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ALFONS V EL MAGNANIM - El Cancionero De Montecassino Sacred and Secular Music La Capella Reial de Catalunya - Jordi Savall Rec: November 1996, November 1997, February 1998, April 1998. ALIA VOX 9816 A+B (2 CDs) [145.45] [KM]

Savall, yet again, pulls another forgotten manuscript out of the past, revitalizing the music, adding his imprimatur to it to give it a distinctive sound.

Gustav MAHLER Das Lied Von Der Erde Peter Schreier (Tenor), Birgit Finnila (Alto) Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester/Kurt Sanderling Berlin Classics 0094022BC [62.01] [TD]

This is one of the finest recordings of this inexhaustible work. No Mahlerite should be without it.

Gustav MAHLER Symphony No.1 in D major 3 Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen* Staatskapelle Dresden/Otmar Suitner Hermann Prey (Baritone)* Berliner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester/Kurt Sanderling* Recordings made in 1963 and 1961*  BERLIN CLASSICS 0030372BC [65.20] [TD]

Only an adequate performance of the symphony coupled with an incomplete one of the song cycle.

Gustav MAHLER The Complete Symphonies New York Philharmonic Orchestra (1-7 & 9-10) London Symphony Orchestra (8) Conducted by Leonard Bernstein SONY CLASSICAL SX12K 89499 [12 CDs] [TD]

Hearing this music played by this orchestra under this conductor at this time is still thrilling. You cannot underestimate the influence of this first complete recorded Mahler cycle.

Nikolai MIASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Cello Sonatas - No. 1 in D, Op. 12; No. 2 in A minor, Op. 81 Cello Concerto in C minor, Op. 66. Maria Tarasova (cello); Alexander Polezhaev (piano) Moscow New Opera Orchestra/Yevgeny Samoilov. Rec 1990s Moscow REGIS RRC1050 [DDD] [74.58] [CC]

A fascinating release. This is delightful music which deserves more frequent airing.

Mozart (1756 - 1791) Concertos 1-4 K37, K39-41 Robert Levin, harpsichord The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood Rec: October 1998, London DECCA 466 - 131-2 [60.12] [KM]

A valuable addition to the collection of anyone interested in understanding Mozart's influences and earliest works.

MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos: 15 in B flat, K 450; 21 in C, K.467; 23 in A, K.488* Alfred Brendel (pianoforte), Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner  Recorded 1971* and 1981, London PHILIPS 464 719-2 [78.02] [CH]

Every note seems a pool of light. The recordings are excellent. K.467 very special indeed.

Vítezslav NOVÁK The Storm
A Feature Review of two Supraphon CDs: (1) Krombholc, 1956; (2) Kosler, 1978.
Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904)
The Spectre's Bride (1885) [83.50] Vítezslav NOVÁK (1870-1949)
The Storm - A Sea Fantasy on words by Svatopluk Cech for soloists, mixed chorus and large orchestra (1910) [70.40] Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Jaroslav Krombholc
The Storm - A Sea Fantasy on words by Svatopluk Cech for soloists, mixed chorus and large orchestra (1910)  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Zdenek Kosler

For those who have already discovered Novák through the Pesek-conducted Chandos orchestral collection or through the much less celebrated Bostock ClassicO series the Kosler Supraphon is the disc for you unless you must have the rare recording of Dvorák's Devil's Bride.

James OSWALD (1710-1769) Twelve Divertimenti For Guitar (1759) Rob Mackillop (18th Century wire-strung guitar) ASV CD GUA 221  [AD]

Their folk-like feeling makes these short works, with their variety of themes, a musical delight.

Nicolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) Concertos for violin and orchestra,  No 3 in E Major (1826) [41.52] No 4 in D Minor (1829) [33.48] Ernö Rósza (violin). Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Dittrich Recorded February 1999 NAXOS 8.554396 [75.39] [JQ]

Rósza plays with great skill and technical accomplishment. He displays a lovely singing tone.

Carter PANN (b 1972)  Piano Concerto (1996-97) Deux Séjours (1994) Dance Partita (1995) Two Portraits of Barcelona (1994) The Czech State Philharmonic, Brno /José Serebrier with Barry Snyder (piano) Recorded at the Stadion, Brno, 24-26 March 1999 NAXOS 8.559043 [66:31] [AS]

An amazing original: brilliantly performed and well recorded. Full-price value at Naxos bargain rates - a snip!

Gunner Moller PEDERSEN A Sound Year  Recorded at Octopus Studio, Copenhagen, 1977-1982 Re-mixed at DIEM, Arhus, 1997-1999 Recording producer: Gunner Moller Pedersen Sound engineer: Claus Pedersen DACAPO 8.224174-79 [6CDs: 361.36] [JW]

Abstraction and naturalism - fitting battle grounds in contemporary art where A Sound Year provides a soundtrack variously insistent and nondescript.

PENDERECKI (born 1933)  Chamber Works. String Trio. Prelude for Solo Clarinet. Per Slava. Violin Sonata. Cadenza for Solo Viola. Clarinet Quartet. Edward Brunner (clarinet); Deutsches Streichtrio; Patrick O'Byrne (piano).Recorded April 1992 (string trio), rest December 1997-January 1998, all South West German Radio Studio. CPO 999 730-2 [48'12] [CC]

Issued at medium price, this is a competitive disc that more than holds its own against Wergo's similar compilation. If you are remotely intrigued, you will not regret the outlay.

Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942) Symphony No 4. in A major 'Holmia' (1929) Törnrossagan, Orchestral Suite (The Story of the Sleeping Beauty) 1903; 1934 Frösöblomster, Suite No. 1 (The Flowers of Froso) 1896; 1934 Nörrköping Symphony Orchestra/Michail Jurowski Recorded May 31st - June 4th 1999 De Greer Hall, Nörrköping CPO 999 669-2 [65.55] [JF]

An interesting disc of lesser works by Peterson-Berger. Yet valuable for providing an insight into another facet of this composer's varied output. Worth buying for the orchestral version of the Flowers of Fröso suite.

Allan PETTERSSON (1911-80) Vox Humana (1974) * [50.00] Hilding ROSENBERG (1892-1985) The Shepherd of Days (1963) ** [19.32] * Marianne Mellnäs (sop); Margot Rödin (alto); Sven-Erik  Alexandersson (ten); Erland Hagegård (bar); Swedish Radio Choir; Swedish RSO/Stig Westerberg rec 22 March 1976; 24 May 1976, RSAM, Stockholm. ** Rolf Leanderson (bar); Norrköping SO/Göran W Nilson rec 27 Nov 1981, Norrköping BIS BIS-CD-55 [70.17] AAD [RB]

A contrasted coupling with the contrasting elements not dividing in the way one might expect.

André PREVIN (b.1929) A Streetcar named Desire - opera in three acts to a libretto by Philip Littell based on the play by Tennessee Williams Blanche DuBois - Renée Fleming (sop); Stella Kowalski - Elizabeth Futral (sop); Stanley Kowalski - Rodney Gilfry; Harold Mitchell - Anthony Dean Griffey; Eunice Hubbell - Judith Forst San Francisco Opera Orchestra conducted by the composer DVD - ARTHAUS MUSIK 100 138  [166.10] [CA]
This DVD must be first choice and documents a fine achievement for all involved.

PROKOFIEV Ivan The Terrible (complete film music) Irina Chistjakova (con) Dmitry Stephanovich (bass) Yurlov State Capella Tchaikovsky SO/Vladimir Fedoseyev rec Moscow 1988 NIMBUS NI 5662/3 [CD1 73.05 CD2 26.30] [RB]

There is not a bland or tepid moment to be found in this two disc set. Bless Nimbus for their judgement in accepting this recording under their wing.

PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Bohème. Opera in four acts (1896) Mimi: Licia Albanese, soprano Musetta: Tatiana Menotti, soprano Rodolfo: Beniamino Gigli, tenor La Scala Chorus and Orchestra/Umberto Berrettoni CD transfer from a 1938 75 rpm recording Naxos Great Opera Recordings series, 8.110072-73. 2 CDs. [CD 1: 73.34, CD 2: 58.23] [RB]

It would be a pity of this remarkable Bohème should be regarded as of interest only to dedicated opera buffs.

Jane Eaglen sings Tosca Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)   Jane Eaglen (soprano) Tosca; Dennis O'Neill (tenor) Cavaradossi; Gregory Yurisich (baritone) Scarpia; Andrew Shore (baritone) Sacristan; Jon Daszak (tenor) Spoletta; Christopher Booth-Jones (baritone) Sciarrone; Ashley Holland (baritone) Gaoler; Geoffrey Mitchell Choir; Peter Kay Children's Choir; Philharmonia Orchestra/David Parry. Chandos Opera in English CHAN3066 [DDD] [60'14] [CC]

This disc showcases the talents of the impressive soprano Jane Eaglen - a rewarding purchase.

RACHMANINOV Vespers Op.37 National Academic Choir of Ukraine "Dumka"/ Berusene/Korinnyk/Tyshchencko/Savchuk Recorded December 2000 REGIS RRC 1043 [61.42] [CF]

If you want the authentic sound of a Russian choir, this is the disc for you.

Karl RATHAUS (1895-1954) Suite for Violin & Orchestra Op.27 (1929) Suite for Orchestra Op.29 (1930) Serenade for Orchestra Op.35 (1931) 2 Polonaise Symphonique Op.52 (1943) 2 Dorota Anderszewska (violin) Slovak Radio SO; Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra 2/Joel Eric Suben Recorded [1-2] Bratislava, September 1995 and October 1997 and [3 - 4] Havirov, February 1996 CENTAUR CRC 2402 [56:04] [HC]

All quite satisfying and the recorded sound, though a bit on the dry side, entirely suited to Rathaus's unsentimental music.

RAVEL (1875-1937) Ma Mère l'Oye (complete ballet) (1911) La Valse (1919) Pavane pour une Infante défunte (1910) Rapsodie Espagnole (1910) Boléro (1928) London SO/Pierre Monteux rec Dec 1961 Kingsway Hall, London; Feb 1964, Wembley Town Hall, London ADD PHILIPS 464 733-2 [77.13]

Affectionate 1960s performances to relive in this open-handed collection.

REGER (1873-1916) Complete Violin Sonatas, Vol. 1 Sonata No 5 in F Sharp Minor, Op. 84 (1905) [32.41] Sonata No 1 in D Minor, Op. 1 (1890) [27.46] Ulf Wallin (violin) Roland Pontinen (piano) Recorded: Jan 1998 in DeutschlandRadio Studio 10, Berlin. CPO 999 452 2 [60.30] [JQ]

This disc, superbly executed by these two Swedish musicians, was a welcome discovery.

Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838) Symphony no.1 in D, op.23 Symphony no.2 in C, op.80 Zurich Chamber Orchestra/Howard Griffiths Rec Neumünsterkirche, Zürich, 21-24 Sept 1999 CPO 999 716-2 [52.30] [CH]

Ries symphonies: First - a minor find; Second at least good fun. Performances unlikely to be bettered. Recording warm and pleasant if a little over-reverberant. The musically curious need not hesitate.

Joseph-Guy ROPARTZ (1864-1955) Masses and Motets   Ensemble Vocal Michel  Piquemal/Michel Piquemal Eric Lebrun (organ) rec Cavaillé-Coll Organ, Saint Antoine des Quinze-Vingts, Paris, Sept 1996. DDD MARCO POLO 8.225126 [79.05] [RB]

Thoughtful devotional settings with the most commanding work being the Saint Anne Mass. Lovingly performed and recorded.

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) DISC ONE [77.06] Symphony No. 1, op. 1 in E minor Symphony No. 2 'Antar', Op. 9 Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34 DISC TWO [79:38] Symphony No. 3, op. 32 in C major - 1886 version Russian Easter Festival, Op. 36 Overture Sadko, Op. 5 Piano Concerto, in C sharp minor, Opus 30 Geoffrey Tozer (piano) Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitri Kitajenko Kuhn/Haydn Rec - Grieghallen, Bergen; 17-20 Feb 1993 (Symphony 1 & 2, Capriccio) and 22-25 May 1993 (Antar, Russian Easter, Sadko, Piano Conc). CHANDOS Collect CHAN 6613(2) [AB]

A good compilation of Rimsky-Korsakov's symphonies and popular shorter orchestral pieces, in good performances and well recorded. The Piano Concerto is particularly enjoyable.

RUBBRA (1901-1986) Complete Piano Music Michael Dussek (and Rachel Dussek in Op74 no 1). Recorded in the Henry Wood Hall, January 2001 DUTTON Digital CDLX 7112 (61.56) [GH]

Michael Dussek has more inside knowledge of Rubbra at the piano than anyone around. He plays totally sympathetically and with suitable restraint and passion where appropriate. We have much to be grateful for from him and from Michael Dutton.

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Violin Concerto in G major, Op.46 (1857) Takako Nishizaki (violin); Hong Kong Philharmonic, Kenneth Schermerhorn Rec. Reduta, Bratislava, July 1985 César CUI (1835-1918) Suite Concertante for violin and orchestra, Op.25 (1884) Takako Nishizaki (violin); Slovak Philharmonic, Michael Halász Rec. Tsuen Wan Town Hall, Hong Kong, 14th -17th October 1984 NAXOS 8.555244 [58.35] [RW]

A highly accomplished Takako Nishizaki plays the violin with much energy and feeling.

[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc] 

Classical Editor: Rob Barnett,  Reviewers: Rob Barnett, Ian Lace, Len Mullenger, and:  Richard Adams, Colin Anderson, Arthur Baker, Grace Barber, Terry Barfoot,  Peter Bates, Marc Bridle, Arthur Butterworth, Frank Cadenhead, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, Jim Cooke, Gary Dalkin, Andy Daly, Tony Duggan, Harry Downey,  Christopher Fifield, Lewis Foreman, Simon Foster, John France, Julian Hellaby, Christopher Howell, Simon Jenner, Stephen Lloyd,   Kirk McElhearn, Gwyn Parry-Jones, John Phillips, John Quinn, Ailís Ní Ríain, Humphrey Smith, Philip Scowcroft, Adrian Smith, Colin Scott-Sutherland, Andrew Seivewright, Paul Serotsky, Christopher Thomas, Richard Walker, Richard Whitehouse, Jonathan Woolf, Peter Grahame Woolf, David Wright. A complete list of contributors can be seen here


Any opinions expressed in reviews or articles on this site are those of the author and  do not necessarily represent the views of the site owner, Len Mullenger or the Editors.  Reviewers and authors retain copyright in their work unless it has been paid for or commissioned by the site owner.

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