Classical Editor: Rob Barnett Founder Len Mullenger: Len@musicweb-international.com
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Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER Trois histoires sacreés: Dialogus inter angelum et pastores, Mors Saulis et Jonathae, 'Cum essent congregata ad praelium', Sacrificium Abrahae Il Seminario Musicale/Gérard Lesne Astrée Naive E8821 [68 min] [PGW]
- - - miniature oratorios, or spiritual operas, mature works by a theatrical composer at the peak of his powers - splendid singing and playing captured in just the right ambience at Versailles
CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Concert Op.21 (1891) Pièce en Ut majeur Op.39 (1897) Régis Pasquier (violin); Jean-Claude Pennetier (piano); Roland Daugareil, Geneviève Simonot (violins); Bruno Pasquier (viola); Roland Pidoux (cello) Recorded Paris 1983 HARMONIA MUNDI HMA 1951135 [51:02] [HC]
Both pieces receive highly idiomatic readings by a handful of artists who are much in sympathy with the music.
THE COMPLETE SONGS OF ERNEST CHAUSSON Felicity Lott (soprano) (1), Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano) (2), Chris Pedro Trakas (baritone) (3), Graham Johnson (pianoforte), with Geraldine McGreevy (soprano) (4), The Chilingirian Quartet (5). HYPERION CDA67321/2 [2 CDs, 65.10, 65.02] [CH]
Overall unlikely to be bettered, but let us remember that some great Chausson performances have come out in ones and twos.
CHOPIN 51 Mazurkas, opp.6, 7, 17, 24, 30, 33, 41, 50, 56, 59, 63, 67, 68, "A son ami Emile Gaillard" in a, "Notre temps" in a (rec. 1938-1939, London, Abbey Road) 3 Mazurkas, opp.33/2, 56/3, 63/1 (not no.3 as stated in the booklet) (rec. 1932, 1930, 1932, London) 2 Valses, opp.34/1, 64/2 (rec. 1928, 1930, London, Small Queen's Hall) Artur Rubinstein (pianoforte) NAXOS 8.110656-57 [2 CDs: 66.34; 70.14] [CH]
This first encounter with the complete Mazurkas is an important moment in the history of the gramophone and in the development of 20th Century musical taste generally
CHOPIN 6 Polonaises, opp.26, 40, 44, 53; Polonaise-Fantaisie, op.61; Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, op.22 Artur Rubinstein (pianoforte) (rec. 1934-5, London, Abbey Road) Naxos 8.110661 [64.16] [CH]
Naxos have obtained a generally pleasing, if limited, sound and the ear soon tunes in and concentrates on the enthralling playing.
'Music of PETER CROSSLEY-HOLLAND' Songs and Pianoforte solos Pamela Rudge (mezzo-soprano) Josephine Baldwin (Piano) Katherine Weston (Cello) Nicola Furst (flute) Katherine Byron (harp)
This CD, with its attractively illustrated notes, provides but a tantalising glimpse into the creative world of a composer whose works include a Symphony, several symphonic poems, a violin Sonata, several choral works and songs.
Aaron COPLAND Piano Concerto (1926) Gian Carlo MENOTTI Piano Concerto (1945) Earl Wild (piano) The Symphony of the Air/composer (Copland), Jorge Mester (Menotti) rec 1961 VANGUARD CLASSICS SVC-3 [49.23] [RB]
Likely to be 'up your street' if you enjoy the Malcolm Arnold Concerto for Phyllis and Cyril or the Britten Piano Concerto.
DELIUS A Mass of Life Rosina Raisbeck (sop) Monica Sinclair (con) Charles Craig (ten) Bruce Boyce (bar) London Philharmonic Choir/Frederick Jackson Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham rec Nov 1952-May 1953 EMI Studio No. 1, Abbey Road, London SONY CLASSICAL SM2KK89432 [2CDs 41.18; 69.12] [RB]
A dithyramb (in mono) to life here and now both in its reflective soliloquising and in its turbulent upland glories.
DELIUS Over the Hills and Far Away, Sea Drift, Paris - Song of a Great City Bruce Boyce (bar) BBC Chorus/Leslie Woodgate Royal Philharmonic Orchestra /Sir Thomas Beecham rec 7 Feb 1950 (Over the Hills); Aug 1955 (Paris); 23 April, 2-3 Dec 1954 (Sea Drift). SONY CLASSICAL SMK89430 [61.03] [RB]
If you want to capture the Delius Beecham alchemy in sound better than the Naxos 1930s recordings this is where to go. Distilled enchantment
Antonín DVORAK (1841-1904) Serenade in E, B52. Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) Italian Serenade. Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Divertimento, Sz113. Saito Kinen Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa. Philips 462 594-2 [DDD] [61'20] [CC]
Despite the enjoyable account of the Bartók and the intelligent programming, it is difficult to justify the full-price cost for this disc.
Antonin DVORÁK (1841-1904) String Quintet in A minor, Opus 1 String Quintet in E flat major, Opus 97 Vlach Quartet, with Ladislav Kyselák (viola) Rec 12th-13th April 1997, 30th-31st May 1997, Martínek Studio, Prague NAXOS 8.553376 (65.04) [TB]
This disc will give much pleasure to any lover of chamber music
ELGAR Nursery suite, Dream Children, In Moonlight, Romance for Bassoon, Sospiri, Serenade for strings, Elegy Julie Price (bassoon) Stephanie Gonley (violin) William Bennett (flute) Osian Ellis harp) Paul Goodwin (conductor) English Chamber Orchestra Recorded 2000 Harmonia mundi HMU 907258 (59' 31") [PLS]
Performances of these string works are polished, though the emotion seems rather understated.
ELGAR Cockaigne Overture, Serenade for Strings, Enigma Variations Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beechamrec Nov and Dec 1954, Walthamstow Town Hall SONY CLASSICAL SMK89405 [58.28] [SL] [RB]
A warm welcome to these recordings on their return to the catalogue, their first appearance on CD.
Beecham's new wine in Elgar's old bottles. A potent brew.
ELGAR Organ Sonata, Vesper Voluntaries, 'Organ Sonata No. 2' arr. Ivor Atkins from the Severn Suite, 'Nimrod' from the Enigma Variations (transcribed by Hugh Davies)*Imperial March (transcribed by Simon Lindley)+ Donald Hunt at the Worcester Cathedral organ * Hugh Davies at the Carlisle Cathedral organ + Simon Lindley at the Leeds Parish Church organ REGIS RRC 1001 [68:28] [SF]
Elgar wrote little music for the organ. The music on this CD is very well worth the attention of Elgarians
Robert FUCHS (1847-1927) Complete String Quartets, Volume 2: C, Op. 71; A, Op. 106. Minguet String Quartet Dabringhaus und Grimm MDG603 1002-2 [63.54] [DDD] [CC]
This release came as a happy and unexpected surprise. The young quartet's fierce commitment brings with it the bonus of youth and the excitement of fresh discovery.
GERSHWIN Gershwin plays Gershwin (original recordings 1919-1931) Naxos Nostalgia 8.120510 * [62:53] [GD]
A valuable piece of musical history and a real bargain at Naxos budget price.
Alberto GINASTERA (1916-1983) Piano Concerto No. 1, Opus 28 Piano Concerto No. 2, Opus 39 Dora de Marinis (piano) Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Julio Malaval Rec 23-27 April 1999, Bratislava Radio Studios NAXOS 8.555283 [66.10] [TB]
The Naxos sound better than acceptable; performances might be described in the same way. All credit to the musicians for the standards they have achieved, in music which will repay closer attention.
GLAZUNOV Orchestral Works Fantasy The Sea op 28 Oriental Rhapsody op 29 Ballade op 78 Cortège Solennel op 91 Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Igor Golovchin Recorded at Mosfilm Studio, Moscow, in May 1996 NAXOS 8.553512 [68:35] [AS]
The music gripped my attention only spasmodically.
GUBAIDULINA String Quartets 1 - 3; String Trio The Danish Quartet CPO 999 064-2 [70 mins] [PGW]
Gubaidulina's four string quartets constitute an important line in her oeuvre - - performances and recording exemplary, a fine pendant to treasure after a memorable live experience at South Bank
Masterworks for organ and orchestra Alexandre GUILMANT (1837-1911), Léon BOELLMANN (1862-97), François-Joseph FÉTIS (1784-71) Franz Hauk organ Ingolstadt Philharmonic/Olaf Koch GUILD GMCD7215 [73.44] [RWa]
This disc of lesser known French and Belgium composers is very appealing and highly recommended.
Jésus GURIDI (1886-1961) Diez Melodías Vascas (1941) [19.53] Amaya: Plenilunio-Espatadantza (1920) [11.35] Homenaje a Walt Disney - fantasy for piano and orchestra (1956) [22.00] Pilar Bayona (piano) Orquesta de Conciertos de Madrid Orquesta Nacional de España/Jésus Arámbarri Mono ADD - rec 1959 (Hispavox) EMI CLASSICS CDM 7 64558 2 [RB]
EMI are to be thanked for keeping this exceptionally vivid disc in the catalogue. Well worth your attention and we can surely hope for the world premiere recording of Guridi's Sinfonia Pirenaica.
HANDEL Aminta and Fillide, cantata for two voices, strings and continuo. HWV83. Gillian Fisher and Patrizia Kwella (sopranos)/London Handel Orchestra/Denys Darlow Helios (Hyperion) CDH55077 [54.42] [DW]
For Handel devotees this is a CD to have. For lovers of impeccable singing it is well worth having as well.
HANDEL Arias from Rinaldo and Orlando Ewa Podles (contralto) Moscow Chamber Orchestra/Constantine Orbelian Rec 6-9 March and 7-12 September 2000 Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA, USA DELOS DE 3253 [60.45] [JW]
Podles' expressive and dramatic powers signal a distinctive and individual talent; whatever else one may feel listening to this disc one will never be bored.
HAYDN AND HIS ENGLISH FRIENDS Psalmody/Parley of Instruments/Peter Holman HYPERION CDA 67150 [PS]
This is an issue of great historical interest and no little musical interest.
HEIFETZ plays ELGAR and WALTON ELGAR Violin Concerto WALTON Violin Concerto Jascha Heifetz (violin) LSO/Malcolm Sargent (Elgar) rec 6 June 1949 Cincinnati SO/Eugene Goossens (Walton) rec 18 Feb 1941 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110939 Great Violinists [69.00] [GP-J]
An issue to be treasured. We are, perhaps, too inclined to regard the Menuhin/Elgar version as the ultimate touchstone.
Joseph HOLBROOKE (1878-1958) Chamber Works: Clarinet Quintet (19) [24.43] Piano Quartet (19) [26.14] Traditional Melodies of England, Scotland and Ireland (19) [22.59] Quintet: John McCaw (cl), Delmé Quartet Quartet: London Piano Quartet Traditional Melodies: Delmé Quartet recordings first issued in the 1970s on Blenheim LPs BRITISH MUSIC LABEL BML 040 [73.56] [PLS]
This CD, one of a mouth-watering series from BML, comprises reissues well transferred from two different LPs originally issued in the 1970s.
LAKELAND PICTURES Piano Music of Herbert HOWELLS and Armstrong GIBBS. Alan Cuckston (piano) SWINSTY FEW 123 CD £11.00 (including p & p, from Alan Cuckston at Turnham Hall, Cliffe, Selby, N.Yorks. YO8 6ED) [PLS]
I recommend this release without reservation. The playing not only has the accomplishment we expect from Mr. Cuckston, but it shows the genuine affection these pieces demand and deserve.
Miriam HYDE (b.1913) Piano Concerto No. 1 (1933) Piano Concerto No. 2 (1935) Village Fair (1943) * Miriam Hyde (piano) West Australian SO/Geoffrey Simon Sydney SO/Dobbs Franks* rec May 1975, May 1979 ABC Classics ELOQUENCE 465 735-2 [66.52] [RB]
The memorable invention and well worth getting. A notch or two superior to the run of the romantic mill.
Heino JÜRISALU (1930-1991) Three Estonian Dances (1956) Three Serenades for Chamber Orchestra (1961) Quintet (1956) Flute Concerto (1969) Forest Concerto for horn and orchestra (??) Symphony No. 2 (1975) Dances: Latvian RSO/Eric Klas (rec Riga 1971) Serenades: Moscow RSO/Nijazi (rec Moscow, 1975) Quintet - Jaan Dun (fl), Aleksander Rjabov (cl), Moissei Alperten (vn), Peeter Paemurru (vc), Evi Ross (pf) (rec Estonian Radio 1979) Flute Cto - Samuel Saulus (fl)/Estonian RSO/ric Klas (rec Estonian Radio 1971) Horn Cto - Kalle Kauksi (horn)/Estonian RSO/Peeter Lilje (rec Estonian Radio 1983) Sym 2 - Estonian RSO/Paul Mägi (rec Estonian Radio 1980) ANTES EDITION BM-CD 31.9119 [74.56] [RB]
Antes are rapidly providing us with a primer of fine Estonian music. Do try to get hold of this disc.
Edvin KALLSTENIUS (1881-1967) Dalarapsodi (1931) Sångoffer for baritone and orchestra (1944) Symphony no. 2 (1935) Olle Persson (bar) Swedish Radio SO/B Tommy Andersson rec Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, June 1998 PHONO SUECIA PSCD 701 [68.23] [RB]
Music for contemplation and concentration. (2nd Symphony)
Giya KANCHELI (b. 1933) Magnum Ignotum, Simi Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) Koninkijk Filharmonisch Orkest van Vlaadderen/Jansug Kakhidze ECM New Series 289 462 713-2 [50.38] [PB]
Kancheli's best music is sad, dramatic, and intermittently terrifying.
Rued LANGGAARD (1893-1952) The Complete Symphonies Volumes 1-7 Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic Orchestra Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic Choir Ilya Stupel - conductor in chief. Roma Owsinska, Soprano (2) Tadeusz Chmielewski, Piano (3) Jan Wolanski (15) DANACORD DACOCD 404-410 [DDD] [JF]
A great complex of works. A huge cycle of symphonies. Some of these pieces are truly great, some exhibit pure genius, some are unlistenable, some are just plain banal. Yet somehow I feel that this man has to be accommodated into the Pantheon of Western composers. These CDs make a very brave and largely consummated attempt at beginning to secure this recognition.
Jón LEIFS (1899-1968) Guðrúnarkvida (1940) Nótt (1964) Helga kviða Hundingsbana (1964) Grógaldr (1965) Þórunn Guðmundsdóttir (mezzo);Guðbjörn Guðbjörnsson (ten); Guðjón Óskarsson (bass) (Guðrúnarkvida) Einar Clausen (ten); Bergþór Pálsson (bar); (Nótt) Guðrún Edda Gunnarsdóttir (alto); Jóhann Smári Sævarsson (bass) (Helga kviða Hundingsbana) Guðrún Edda Gunnarsdóttir (alto); Finnur Bjarnason (ten) (Grógaldr) Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra/Johan Arnell rev May-Oct 1999, Langholt Church, Iceland. World premiere recordings ICELAND MUSIC INFORMATION CENTRE ITM 9-01 [50.28] [RB]
A unique disc of Leifs premieres shocking in their profundity and stark eloquence.
Jón LEIFS (1899-1968) Visions and Images Geysir (1961) Landsýn - Overture (1955) Three Images (1961) Hekla (1961) Reykjavík Male Choir Iceland SO/Paul Zukofsky world premiere recordings; rec 1989 ICELAND MUSIC INFORMATION CENTRE ITM 6-04 [39.04] [RB]
A most rewarding disc that has been all but neglected everywhere.
Jón LEIFS (1899-1968)/Hjálmar H RAGNARSSON Tears of Stone - music from the film LEIFS: Iceland Cantata; Elegy; Galdra Loftur Overture; Funeral March LEIFS: (folk): Icelandic Dance; Funeral March; Andante; Preludio Organo RAGNARSSON: Lif's Theme I and II; Variations I, II and III; Lovers' Duet; After the Concert; In the ballroom; Annie Listens to the Radio ICELAND MUSIC INFORMATION CENTRE ITM 6-05 [58.05] [RB]
The Leifs assortment includes some complete works which will echo in the memory. Otherwise a memento of a film that many of us will not have seen.
Christian Lindberg and friends play Christian Lindberg Christian LINDBERG Fafner Fanfare for Four Frogs (1998) Mandrake in the Corner (1998-2000) Doctor Decker-the Dentist (1999) Catmania (1998-1999) Kinky Creatures (1998) Salute to a Sausage Society (1999) Under the Pillow (1998-1999) Kokakoka (1998-1999) Arabenne (1996-1997) An Awfully Ugly Tune (1998) Fredrik HÖGBERG The Ballad of Kit Bones (1998) Christian Lindberg (trombone) Trombone Unit 2000 (Sven-Erik Eriksson, Jonas Bylund, Häkan Björkman, Jessica Gustavsson, Lars Westergren). Christian Lindberg, Jonas Bylund, Jane Lennard Suff, David Hayens (narrators). Singapore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lan Shui (Mandrake in the Corner)
Tapiola Sinfonietta conducted by Jean- Jacques Kantorow (Arabenne) BIS BIS-CD-1148 DDD [66:24] [CT]
The novelty items are fine in small doses although overall it is the two more substantial works that make the disc worthwhile.
LUMBYE (1810-1874) Complete Orchestral Works, Volume 4: Tivoli Symphony Orchestra/Giordano Bellincampi Rec Sept 1997-August 1998, Tivoli Concert Hall and Freemason Hall, Copenhagen MARCO POLO 8.225170 [56.10] [TB]
A disc which is well worth considering; anyone who enjoys the music of the Strauss family (and who doesn't?) will enjoy this
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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, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, 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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