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Edward MACDOWELL (1860-1908) Piano Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 15 (1885) Piano Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 23 (1890) Second Modern Suite, Op.14 for solo piano (1883) Seta Tanyel (piano) BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins recorded 14 - 15/9/00, in the Caird Hall, Dundee (concerti), and 17/12/00 in Henry Wood Hall, London (solo) - DDD HYPERION CDA67165 [77.10] [JP]

It is wonderful to get such good performances recorded in very good modern sound.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.4 in G major (1899-1900) Dame Margaret Price (Soprano) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Jascha Horenstein (Barking Town Hall, London, 23-24 November 1970) CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 5 74882 2 [59.25] [TD]

This is a leading recommendation for this symphony, now widely available in good sound at last.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 4 in G major Camilla Tilling (soprano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Benjamin Zander Rec 6-8 June 2000, Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London Includes 'free' CD: Benjamin Zander discusses Mahler's 4th TELARC CD-80555 [CDs: 58.06; 79.00] [TB]

Mahler's Fourth is arguably his most lovable symphony, but this isn't its most loveable recorded performance.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.9 in D Major, Kindertotenlieder* Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano)*, Scottish National Orchestra* London Symphony Orchestra/Jascha Horenstein (Royal Albert Hall, London 15/9/66 and Usher Hall, Edinburgh 3/3/67*) Restoration and remastering by Jerry Bruck, Posthorn Recordings BBC Legends BBCL 4075-2 2 CDs [113.38] [TD]

Every Mahlerian should own this recording of the Ninth Symphony. It should be treasured by all whose first concern is music and its performance in front of an audience.

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Ballade for piano and orchestra (1939) [16.53] Piano Concerto No. 1 (1933-34) [20.41] Piano Concerto No. 2 (1968) [22.25] Danse de la Peur (1937) [13.17] Paul Badura-Skoda (piano) Sebastian Benda (piano) in Danse only Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana/Christian Benda rec RSI Auditorium, Lugano, Switzerland, 22-26 June 1999 DDD co-production with RSI Radio Svizzera de Lingua Italiana, Rete 2. recorded to mark 25th anniversary of death of Frank Martin ASV CD DCA 1082 [73.59] [RB]

There is no competition for this issue. This is the only such collection of the complete music for piano and orchestra. Not music to make blitzkrieg conquests but works of sincere substance and curtain-darkened brilliance.

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Amoureuse: Sacred and Profane Arias Rosamund Illing (soprano), Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Richard Bonynge Rec. November 1998 Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Sydney Australia MELBA 301080 [74.43] [RW]

Rosamund Illing has a reputation as a fine and versatile singer and she doesn’t disappoint in her singing of Massenet. Maybe there could be more variation in dynamics and characterisation in some of the arias, but really the fault lies with Massenet, not Illing.


David MATTHEWS (born 1943) In the Dark Time Op.38 (19845) Chaconne Op.43 (1986/7) BBC Symphony Orchestra; Jac van Steen Recorded : BBC Studio 1, Maida Vale, London, May 1998 NMC D 067 [47:28] [HC]

Both pieces are superb examples of Matthews' consummate craftsmanship and deeply anchored musicianship

Johann Simon MAYR (1763-1845) Mass in C Minor Wolfang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Salve Regina, Quis te comprehendat, In te Domine speravi Marina Ulewicz soprano Christa Mayer alto Thomas Cooley tenor Thomas Gropper bass Vokalensemble Ingolstadt Georgian Chamber Orchestra, Ingolstadt Franz Hauk, conductor Recorded Asam Kirche, Ingolstadt April 2001 GUILD GMCD 7231 [65.48] [JW]

The Choir perform well and the chamber orchestra – woodwind especially – particularly so Franz Hauk shapes the Mayr into newly minted life. Altogether a genuinely worthwhile discovery.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791) Le nozze di Figaro - Opera in four acts Figaro - Erich Kunz (Baritone) Susanna - Irmgard Seefried (Soprano) Il Conte d’Almaviva - George London (Baritone) La Contessa d’Almaviva - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano) Cherubino - Sena Jurinac (Soprano) With Martin Rus, Elisabeth Höngen, Erich Majkut, Rosl Schwaiger, Welhelm Felden, Anny Felbermayer and Hilde Czeska Chor der Wiener Staatsoper
Wiener Philharmoniker / Herbert von Karajan Recorded 17-21 June and 23-27 and 31 October 1950 Musikvereinssaal, Wein Digitally remastered at Abbey Road Studios 1999 ADD EMI Classics CMS 5 67068 [CD1: 62.50; CD2: 56.53]

Add this excellent recording to another of the same work and enjoy some superlative sounds.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Overture: Der Schauspieldirektor; Concerto for Two Pianos in E flat major, K365 ; Aria: L'amero, saro costante, K208 (Il re pastore); Concert Aria: Ma, che vi fege, o stelle, K368; Symphony in F major, K112 Clara Haskil, Géza Anda (pianos) Erika Köth (soprano) Camerata Academica Salzburg Bernhard Paumgartner Rec 4 August 1957, Mozarteum Salzburg ORFEO C 572 011 B [60.57] [TB]

Some of the finest Mozart performers of their generation but their abundant freshness and vitality is rather undermined by the sound.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) The Complete Symphonies (1892-1925) London SO/Ole Schmidt In Symphony No. 3 only: Brian Rayner Cook (bar); Jill Gomez (sop) rec 1974, St Giles, London, ADD REGIS RRC 3002 [70.51+73.28+69.45] [Available separately: Symphonies 4 and 5 REGIS RRC 1036; Symphonies 1-3 and 6 REGIS RRC 2046] [RB]

Regis prove that these Unicorn-Kanchana tapes - the first integral Nielsen cycle - have but slept. Snap up this bargain set as a matter of urgency.

Gunner Møller PEDERSEN (b.1943) Die Rättin - Rottesken (1997)
opera based on the novel by Günter Grass: Helle Hinz (mezzo) Ulrik Cold (bar) Sankt Nikolai Kirkes Kammerkor/Jan Juhler Ensemble Domino - Lolland/Peter Ettrup Larsen rec Nakskov, March 2001 DANACORD DACOCD 591 [71.54] [RB]

Of interest to those concerned to keep up with developments in modern opera. I also commend it strongly to budget-strapped opera producers.

Peter PHILIPS (1561-1628) Eighteen Motets from Cantiones Sacrae Quinus Vocibus of 1612 The Sarum Consort directed by Andrew Mackay Recorded at Milton Abbey Dorset August 1999 ASV Gaudeamus GAU 217 [69.00] [GH]

The singing is undoubtedly first class both collectively and individually, and the recording quality is excellent. The venue is ideal and should be considered again.

Mario PILATI (1903-1938) Concerto for Orchestra (1931-2) Three Pieces for Orchestra (1929) Suite for Strings and Piano (1925) By the Cradle (Ninna-Nanna) (1938) Slovak Radio SO/Adriano Recorded at the Slovak Radio, Bratislava, May 2000 and January 2001 MARCO POLO 8.225156 [61.05]

There is enough on this CD to show that Pilati, who was very prolific, was a promising and very fine composer. A great one … ? Well, perhaps Marco Polo will allow us more opportunities in the future to decide on that one.

 Sergei PROKOFIEV (1878-1953) PROKOFIEV PLAYS PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3, Suggestion diabolique, Op.4, No.4,
Visions fugitives, Op. 22 (extracts, nos. 9,3,17,18,11,10,16,6,5), Gavotte (from "Classical Symphony, Op.25), Andante assai (from Sonata No,4, Op.29), Conte de la vieille grand-mere, Op.31, No.2, Conte de la vieille grand-mere, Op.31, No.3, Gavotte, Op.32, No.3, Etude, Op.52, Sonatine Pastorale, Op.59, No.3
Paysage, Op.59 No.2,
Sergey Prokofiev (piano) London Symphony Orchestra/Piero Coppola Recorded June 1932 (concerto) Recorded 1935 (other works) NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110670 [56:18] [JL]

This is a disc of undoubted historic interest that contains performances of distinction in their own right by one of the great composer/pianists of the recording age. [JL]
The Naxos disc is excellently done and at this price it is, frankly, an irresistible bargain. [JW]

Sergei Sergeivich PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Songs and Romances. The Ugly Duckling, Op. 18a. Three Songs to Words by Pushkin, Op. 73d. Ten Folk-Songs, Op. 104b. Two Duets, Op. 106ce. Green Jare. Seven Songs, Op. 79acd. Three Songs for Children, Op. 68a. To my homelandc. Soldier's Marching Songd. Two Poems, Op. 9d. Five Poems by A. Akhmatova, Op. 27a. Five Poems by K. Balmont, Op. 36acd. Six Songs, Op. 66ad. Five Songs from Op. 89ace. Five Poems, Op. 23acd. Five Songs without Words, Op. 35a. Songs of our daysacd. aVictoria Yevtodieva (soprano); bLyubov Sokolova (mezzo); cKonstantin Pluzhnikov (tenor); dAndrey Slavny (baritone); eSergei Aleksashkin (bass); Yuri Serov (piano). [DDD] Recorded in St Catherine's Lutheran Church, St Petersburg in September-December 1995. Delos DE3275 [three discs] [231'01]

The present issue goes hand-in-glove with Gergiev's recordings of Prokofiev operas (not to mention his performances) in widening our appreciation of this astonishingly multi-faceted composer.

DVD Review Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Manon Lescaut The Flemish Opera Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Silvio Varviso A production of De Vlaamse Opera, Cultural Ambassador of Flanders Produced by BRTN in 1991 ARTHAUS MUSIK DVD 100 224 [124.00] [IL]

Like Wagner and Respighi, Puccini was very fussy about every facet of the production of his operas. If he had seen what Flemish Opera had done with his first major success he would probably have had a fit!

Sergei RACHMANINOV(1873-1943) Symphonic Dances, Op. 45: 1 non allegro, 2 andante con moto (tempo di valse), 3 lento assai, Vocalise, Op.34, Etudes–Tableaux (orch. Respighi from Op. 33 and 39), 5 the sea and the seagulls, 6 the fair, 7 funeral march, 8 little red riding hood and the wolf, 9 march Minnesota Orchestra/Eiji Oue - Recorded May/June 2001, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-96 HDCD [67.06] [JL]

A feast of orchestral colour combining a late Rachmaninov work with some of the composer’s earlier piano pieces orchestrated by Respighi. Immaculate playing sumptuously recorded.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony No. 1, Cinq Etudes-tableaux (orch. Ottorino Respighi) Russian State Orchestra/Valeri Polyansky CHANDOS CHAN 9822 [72:00] [IL]

One of the most thrilling, passionate and moving performances of Rachmaninov's Symphony 1 on record. The Respighi orchestrations of the Etudes-Tableaux make a compelling fill-up.

RACHMANINOV Cello Sonata Op 19 SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Sonata Op 40 Gwyneth George cello Alberto Portugheis piano Recorded Christ Church Chelsea October 1970 (Rachmaninov) and February 1971 (Shostakovich) GUILD GMCD 7219 [54.56] [JW]

If your preference is for intimacy, tonal reticence and chamber compatibility then this disc has its rewards.

 Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) 'Respighi's Rome' The Fountains of Rome (1914-16) [17.14] The Pines of Rome (1924) [22.48] Roman Festivals (1929)* [25.45] Oregon Symphony Orchestra conducted by James DePriest Recorded in the Arlene Schnitzer Auditorium, Portland, Oregon January 2001 & *May 1987 DELOS DE 3287 [65.50] [JQ] [CT]

A distinguished issue which will give much pleasure and can be recommended confidently. [JQ] This is undoubtedly one of the finest recordings of these works released in recent years and can be recommended without reservation. [CT]

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Metamorphoseon modi XII; Rossiniana; Burlesca; Passacaglia in C Minor by J.S.Bach Wuppertal Symphony Orch/George Hanson Recorded at Stadthalle, Wuppertal, September 2000 - DDD MDG 335 1030-2 [76.23] [AB]

An interesting disc which forms a good introduction to some of Respighi's less familiar orchestral works.

Rolf Urs RINGGER (b1935, Zurich) Ikarus; Ippolito Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel/Armin Brunner TUDOR 7097 (Basel Volkhaus 1991/1995) [77 mins] A Moment of Sunrise; Joy; Cuando el fuego; Addio; Dommage que... English Chamber Orchestra/ Tallis Chamber Choir/Jol Mathias Jenny (St Jude's, London) TUDOR 7036 [62.00] [PGW]

A prolific Swiss composer who celebrates the intensity of light in many of his scores. It has been rewarding to make a wider acquaintance with this thoughtful and articulate composer and his music.

Joaquin RODRIGO Concierto Madrigal; Tonadillas Peter & Zoltan Katona (guitars)Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra/Conrad van Alphenrecd. De Doelen Rotterdam 10/00 & Doopsgezinde Kerk Deventer 01/0 Channel Classics CCS 16698 1 [62 mins] [PGW]

Concierto Madrigal (1968) takes the form of 10 variation movements on Arcadelt's 'O felici occhi', and will appeal to everyone who enjoys, say, Respighi's refurbishment of Ancient Airs & Dances.

Johann Helmich ROMAN (1694-1758) Twelve Suites for Harpsichord
Joseph Payne, harpsichord Rec: January, February 1994, Forde Estate, Boston. BIS CD-669/670 [2CDs: 138.44] [KM]

This is the first of Payne's recordings for BIS that has disappointed me … no matter how many times I listen to this set, it just doesn't do anything for me.

Guy ROPARTZ (1864-1955) Piano Music Ouverture, Variations et Final (1904) Musiques au Jardin (1915) Nocturne No. 3 (1914) Françoise Thinat (piano) Recording data not available but original ADD recording made in 1983 and released on CD originally in 1991 ARION ARN 68184 [53.42] [GH]

If you enjoy music which seems to be surrounded by a Celtic dream then Ropartz may be your man. But there is more to his music. There is a clarity of form and expression displaying an insatiable curiosity about all styles and languages, and although this CD is only the tip of a vast iceberg, it is certainly an iceberg worth investigating

Nino ROTA (1911-1979) Symphony No. 3 in C major* , Concerto festivo (Concerto for Orchestra in F major) Le Molière imaginaire - Ballet Suite Norrköping Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ole Kristian Ruud* and Hannu Koivula, Recorded Norrköping May 1998* and August 1999. BIS CD 1070 [60:00] [IL]

Undemanding, pleasing music from one of the masters of Italian film music played with style and verve.

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

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