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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


 

PART 6
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ALPHABETICAL LISTING

Angels' Song - The New Music of Salisbury Cathedral
Lennox BERKELEY
(1903-1989) The Lord is my Shepherd David HALLS Mass Pierre VILLETTE (1926-1998) O salutaris Philip WILBY Of Angel's Song Kenneth LEIGHTON (1926-1988) An Easter Sequence Pierre VILLETTE Hymne à la Vierge Howard GOODALL The Lord is my Shepherd Howard GOODALL Magnificat (Salisbury Canticles) Howard GOODALL Nunc Dimittis (Salisbury Canticles) Jonathan DOVE Into Thy Hands
The Girl Choristers and Lay Vicars of Salisbury Cathedral
Director Simon Lole Organ David Halls Trumpet Martin Ings No recording information supplied by company GRIFFIN GCCD4020 DDD [61:08] [CT]

An enterprising release of mainly British church music, notable for a pleasing performance of Leighton's An Easter Sequence.

ANIMAL HEAVEN Edward HARPER (b.1941) Lights Out (1993) 1. The Trumpet 2. The Ash Grove 3. The Wind’s Song 4. Lights Out Lyell CRESSWELL (b.1944) Prayer to appease the Spirit of the Land Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-1988) Animal Heaven (1980) 1. I think I could turn and live with animals 2. Here they are Sally BEAMISH (b.1956) Four Findrinny Songs (1998) 1. Short Heraldry 2. Grey Seal 3. Three Horizons 4. Italia Roger WILLIAMS (b.1943) Oh! Mr Lear! (1998) 1. There was an Old Man in a Tree 2. There was an Old Man of the Isles 3. A Scottish Lullaby and Scherzo 4. There was an Old Man of Dundee David JOHNSON (b.1942) God, Man and the Animals (1983-88) Alison Wells soprano, John Turner recorder, Keith Elcombe harpsichord, Jonathan Price cello. Recorded in the Reid Concert Hall Edinburgh 6-8 September 1999 METIER MSV CD92036 DDD [61:32] [CT]

Strong, highly committed performances of works that deserve to be heard and another example of Metier’s outstanding commitment to contemporary British music.

Sir John Barborolli: Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART(1756-1791) Symphony No. 35 in D major, K.385, "Haffner" Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1777-1827) Symphony No.7 in A major, Op.92 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Siegfried Idyll Halle Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli (Royal Albert Hall, London, 12 August 1967. Royal Festival Hall, London, 24 April 1968. BBC Studios, Manchester, 22 April 1966.) BBC Legends BBCL 4076-2 [74.01] [TD]

Three more works from the Barbirolli repertoire in fair sound and good performances.

ESPAÑA ANTIGUA CD1 CANSÓS DE TROBAIRITZ, CD2 LLIBRE VERMELL DE MONTSERRAT, CD3 COURT MUSIC AND SONGS, CD4 SEPHARDIC ROMANCES, CD5 RENAISSANCE MUSIC FROM THE NEAPOLITAN COURT, CD6 ANTONIO DE CABEZÓN 1510-1566, CD7 CANCIONES Y DANZAS DE ESPAÑA (1547-1616),CD8 EL BARROCO ESPAÑOL Hespèrion XX / Jordi Savall Rec: between 1976 and 1986; no precise information given with the set. VIRGIN CLASSICS VB5 619642 (8 CD set) [KM]

This is a beautiful set, containing 8 discs of masterpieces performed perfectly. I don't have enough superlatives to truly describe it, and, at such a low price (less than the cost of 2 full-priced CDs), there is no excuse if you don't go out and buy this right away.

BLUES FOR D.D. Blues for D.D. - Jeffrey AGRELL Sonata - Daniel SCHNYDER Serenade - Andre JOLIVET Yananda/Ulpirra - Ross EDWARDS Five pieces for oboe/Duo concertante - Antal DORATI Diana Doherty (oboe) David Korevaar (piano) Recorded 1999 ABC CLASSICS 465 782 - 2 [74.18] [CF]

For aficionados of the oboe and for those keen to get better acquainted with what the instrument can do I cannot recommend this disc highly enough.

FEAST Bill DOUGLAS Feast*, Banana*, Highland*, Funk for Spain*, Jewel Peter MAXWELL DAVIES Farewell to Stromness, Yesnaby Ground Irving BERLIN Steppin' Out with My Baby Astor PIAZZOLLA Tango melancolico Raymond SCOTT Powerhouse*, Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals* Mr. CANAVAN The Emigrant's Farewell° Mathieu LUSSIER Valstango, Bassango Marjan MOZETICH Odes to the Americas The Caliban Quartet of Bassoonists, with Bill Douglas (pianoforte) (in his own pieces), *Mark Duggan (percussion), °Kate Crossan (Celtic singer) Recorded at the studios of PJ Productions, Burlington, Ontario, Canada, June-July 1999 BIS-NL-CD-5012 [73.32] [CH]

I haven't heard such a feel-good record for I don't know how long. More records like this might give the lie to Norman Lebrecht's gloom-and-doom prognostications for the serious music scene.

The Floral Dance, and other PETER DAWSON favourites (Songs of the late 19th and early 20th Century) Gregory Yurisich (bass-baritone), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, David Lloyd-Jones Rec. Government House Ballroom, Hobart, Australia; June 1999 MELBA 301083 [77.37] [RW]

Gregory Yurisich sings with style and precision. He resembles a Robson in timbre, wide compass and powerful delivery. An ideal CD to bring memories of yesteryear flooding back.

GLASS HARMONICA Schulz, Largo; von Holt Sombach, Adagio; Reichardt, Rondeau; Naumann, Sonata III, Mozart, Adagio, K.356, Adagio and Rondo, K.617, Adagio, Rondo; Beethoven, Melodram; Röllig, Kleine Tonstücke; von Apell, Il Trionfo della musica, cantata; von Holt Sombach, Fantasie and Allemand from 1 ère Suite; Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermoor, Scena and Aria; von Holt Sombach, Minuet II from 1ère Suite; Thomas Bloch, Sancta Maria. Thomas Bloch (glass harmonica) with (as programmed) the Rosamunde Quartet; Marc Marder (double bass); Philippe Bernold (flute), Maurice Bourgue (oboe), Jean Sulem (viola), Xavier Gagnepain (cello); Fabrice Di Falco and Yves Le Pech (male sopranos), Damien Top (tenor) and Christine Icart (harp); Montserrat Sanromà (soprano) and Ettore Borri (piano); Fabrice Di Falco (male soprano, baritone and all voice parts). Recorded 1997 (tracks-1-16) ADS (Ivry-sur-Seine) Auditorium, Strasbourg (track 17) 1998, Labo T (Neuilly Plaisance) France.
NAXOS 8.555295 [70.56] [RBr]

The fascination of the glass harmonica has remained powerful enough to attract present-day players and composers. Thomas Bloch is unquestionably a virtuoso. A disc for connoisseurs

 

GREAT BAROQUE ARIAS Gillian Fisher, soprano James Bowman, alto John Mark Ainsley, tenor Michael George, bass King's Consort, Robert King. Rec: 1987, St. Pauls', Southgate, London. REGIS RRC 1062 [61.22] [KM]

This is an excellent collection of some beautiful baroque arias, and contains some true gems performed by some of the best soloists. Personally, I am most touched by the slower, more moving pieces, of which there are many.

GREAT VIOLINISTS: JOSEPH SZIGETI (1892-1973)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
(1756-1791) Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K. 218 London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Beecham Joseph Szigeti, violin
Recorded 8 October 1934Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 British Symphony Orchestra/ Walter Joseph Szigeti, violin Recorded 14 April 1932 NAXOS Historical 8.110946 [66:56] [JL]

Two concerto performances from the early 1930s that show off the art of an outstanding violinist ably supported by two great conductors.

Guitar Duets Julian Bream & John Williams (guitars) BMG - RCA 74321 846092 [CD1: 70:07; CD2: 74:24]

Apart from that, this collection is a fine historical document of two of the finest classical guitarists of their generation each enjoying the musicianly company. This is essential listening for anybody remotely interested in classical guitar music.

Hexaméron – Morceau de Concert Franz Liszt (1811-1886) – Aprés un lecture dé Dante – Fantasie quasi Sonata Johann Peter Pixis (1788-1874) Melange sur les motifs favoris du ‘Siège de Corinthe’ de Rossini Henri Herz (1803-1888)‘Les perles animeés' Grande Valse Op.211 Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) Barcarolle Op.60 Sigismund Thalberg (1812-1871) Grande fantasie de concert sur l’opéra ‘La Traviata’ de Verdi Op.78 Carl Czerny (1791-1857) Variazioni sopra un tema di Rode ‘La Ricordanza’ Op.33 Franz Liszt et al Hexaméron - Morceau de Concert (contributions from all the above composers.) Oleg Marshev Piano Recorded in the Concert Hall Sonderborg, Denmark April 1999 DANACORD DACOCD 530 [76.51] [JF]

Give this great CD a try. I accept that it is not the normal ‘piano lovers’ repertoire. However, even a cursory playing of this recording will reveal a number of treasures from a huge storehouse of Operatic and Ballet Fantasies that are waiting exploration. A beautiful CD.

HOMMAGE À HOROWITZ  MENDELSSOHN/LISZT/ HOROWITZ Wedding March & Variations from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' HOROWITZ Waltz in F minor HOROWITZ Danse excentrique (Moment exotique)
HOROWITZ Variations on a theme from Bizet's Carmen LISZT/HOROWITZ Hungarian Rhapsody No.19 LISZT/HOROWITZ Vallée d'Obermann MUSSORGSKY/HOROWITZ By the Water SAINT-SAËNS/HOROWITZ Danse macabre HOROWITZ Etude-fantaisie in Eb Op.4 'Les Vagues'
SOUSA/HOROWITZ The Stars and Stripes forever
Valery Kuleshov (piano) Recorded 2000 BIS CD-1188 [59.31]

This is all colourful music, glittering and naturally virtuosic, most of it the stuff of encores after a more cerebral recital.

INSPIRACIÓN JOHANNES TONIO KREUSCH Inspiracion (Preludio) AGUSTIN BARRIOS- MANGORE Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios, Vals No.3, Las Abejas, La Catedral , Preludio (Saudade), Andante religioso, Allegro solemne, FRANCISCO TARREGA Capricho Arabe, Maria, ISAAC ALBENIZ Asturias JOAQUIN RODRIGO Invocacion y Danza, LEO BROUWER Danza Caracteristica, Elogio de la Danza, Lento, Obstinato, Paisaje Cubano con Campagnas, Danza del Altiplano JOHANNES TONIO KREUSCH Inspiracion (Conclusio) Johannes Tonio Kreusch (guitar) ARTE NOVA 74321 86937 2 [AD][77:56]

Kreusch's tempi favour caution and less than dynamic performances. The tone is heavy rather than full. Something of a frustrating experience.

Wilhelm KEMPFF Robert SCHUMANN - Fantasie in C Op. 17 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN - Six Bagatelles Op. 126 Johannes BRAHMS - Sonata in F Minor Op. 5 Wilhelm Kempff (piano) Recorded live at the 1958 Salzburg Festival ORFEO D’OR C 570 011 B [79.16] [CF]

Kempff exploits this music to the full, belying his more advanced years, facing head on the technical hazards, such as the first movement’s complexities, and painting vivid colours of sound and dynamics.

KINGS OVER THE WATER - In the steps of the exiled Stuarts
Instrumental and vocal music from the early 18th Century by; Innocenzo FEDE (dates unknown), Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725), Alessandro STRADELLA (1644-1687), Tomaso VITALI (1663-1645), Henry DESMARETS(1661-1741), Jean Baptiste LULLY(1632-1687), ALBINONI (1671-1751), VIVALDI (1678-1741) Francesco FEO (1691-1761) and Gioacchino COCCHI (1720-1804) Marie Vassiliou - soprano; Harry Nicoll and Richard Edgar-Wilson - tenors; John Trusler and Andrew Roberts - violins; Marilyn Sansom -'cello and Jane Clark - harpsichord Recorded St. Paul's Church New Southgate May 2001 JANICULUM JAN D205 [67.13] [GH]

An interesting and enterprising CD including much music which has not been heard for almost 300 years, and throwing light onto a little known area of European music and society.

HIGHLIGHTS OF LATVIAN CLASSICS  - Latviesu Klasikas Dargumi Jurjanu ANDREJS (1856-1922) Acikops; Barcarola Emils DARZINS (1875-1910) Valse Melancolique Janis MEDINS (1890-1966) Aria; Flower Waltz Alfreds KALNINS (1879-1951) Autumn Janis IVANOVS (1906-1983) Cello Concerto (II); Introduction and Waltz from Frost in Springtime Jekabs MEDINS (1885-1971) Legend Imants KALNINS (b. 1941) Symphony No. 4 (II) Peteris VASKS (b. 1946) Cantabile Romualds KALSONS (b. 1936) Wedding Song Liepaja SO/Imants Resnis rec 17-18 Jan 2001, Liepaja Latvian Society House Hall UPE CLASSICS 750404001726 [61.03] [RB]

A no compromise sampler of the approachable vein in Latvian music. Imants Resnis and the Liepaja players deserve much credit for their pliant and mercurial response to changing tempi and dynamics. Very highly commended.

JOSEF LOCKE: Hear my Song, Violetta Josef Locke (tenor), Gerald Moore (piano) (1), unnamed orchestras conducted by Herbert Caruthers (2), Geraldo (3), Woolf Phillips (4), Eric Robinson (5), George Scott-Wood (6), Debroy Somers (7), Danny Walters (8). All items recorded in London. NAXOS Nostalgia 8.120549 [56.13]

A definitive presentation of a singer who gave a lot of pleasure in his day. A really tenory tenor, with proper baritonal support and a heroic ring to his upper register, singing light repertoire. [CH]

MIRRORS - SONGS BY CONTEMPORARY SWEDISH COMPOSERS
Jonas FORSSELL
(b.1957) Hans GEFORS (b.1952) Kjell PERDER(b. 1954) [full track listing at foot of review) Olle Persson (Baritone) Matti Hirvonen (Piano) Recorded in Swedish Radio Studio 3 April and May 2000 DAPHNE 1014 [59.16] [GH]

I cannot speak too highly of the whole enterprise. Don't let this be a CD that slips you by. A very remarkable recital by a remarkable singer.

MODERN MASTERS III
Norman DELLO JOIO
(b.1913)
Meditations on Ecclesiastes (1956) [30.14] Alan HOVHANESS (1911-2000) Psalm and Fugue for String Orchestra (1940) [10.10] Shepherd of Israel (1952) [15.46] Arnold ROSNER (b.1945) Responses, Hosanna and Fugue (1977) [20.06] Philharmonia Orchestra/David Amos rec Nov 1990, CBS Studios, London, United Kingdom HARMONIA MUNDI FRANCE HMU 906012 [76.35] [RB]

These are four works kith and kin in their entwining around chant and highly unfashionable allegiance to richly ornamented string writing.

O MAGNUM MYSTERIUM. CHRISTMAS MUSIC AND CAROLS Choir of Lincoln College, Oxford *Philip Smith and ***Christopher Eastwood (organ) Conducted by Tom Lydon and **Christopher Eastwood Recorded in Exeter College, Oxford in March, 2001 GUILD GMCD 7226 [74.40] [JQ]

In summary, this is a generally enjoyable release. However, it enters a crowded and highly competitive field and in the last analysis I believe it lacks that extra ounce of distinction which would make it a leading recommendation.

ON A TANGENT, 1200-1599 1 "Galliardo (Philips)" 2 "Mit ganczem Willen (Paumann)" 3 "Elend, du hast umfangen mich (Paumann)" 4 "Estampie (anonymous c1325)" 5 "Basse dance 7 (Attaingnant)" 6 "En avois (anonymous 15th century)" 7 "Christ ist erstanden (12th-15th C)" 8 "Quando claro (anonymous 16th century)" 9 "Holloyne pardye (Anonymous)" 10 "Wie möcht ich frölich werden (Neusidler)" 11 "Guardame las vacas (Narvaez)" 12 "Ricercar 3 in G (Luys Milan)" 13 "Fantasia X imitating Ludovico (Mudarra)" 14 "Fantasia 67 in F (Luys Milan)" 15 "Mille regretz (Josquin-Narvaez)" 16 "A point (Thomas Tallis)" 17 "A pavyon (Newman)" 18 "Alman de la nonette (van Soldt)" 19 "Fantasia (Sancta Maria)" 20 "Suonata prima (Banchieri)" 21 "O vos omnes (Victoria, Lehman)" 22 "Song of the Birds (Catalan folk song)"
ON A COTANGENT, 1600-1999
1 "Song 13 (Orlando Gibbons)" 2 "Lobt Gott den Herren (Vulpius)"
3 "Amarilli mia bella (Caccini-Philips)" 4 "Wunderbarer König (17th C chorale)" 5 "Wer nur den lieben Gott...(Georg Böhm)" 6 "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden (3 vers)" 7 "Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten...(Pachelbel)" 8 "Warum betrübst du dich (Pachelbel)" 9 "Minuets in G major and G minor (Bach)" 10 "Jesu meine Freude (Walther)" 11 "Polonaise 1 in G minor (CPE Bach)"
12 "Polonaise 2 in G major (CPE Bach)" 13 "Polonaise 3 in G minor (CPE Bach)" 14 "Tombeau de Mlle Gaultier (D Gaultier)" 15 "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (Lehman)" 16 "Kremser; Grosser Gott, wir loben dich" 17 "The foggy morn (Irish traditional)" 18 "The piper o'er the meadows straying"
19 "Le petit negre (Debussy)" 20 "Sakura canons (trad Japanese, Lehman)" 21 "Dona nobis pacem (traditional round)"
Bradley Lehman, clavichord Rec: Dayton VA, July 6-8, 1999. MP3.COM 70078 (1) 70125 (2) [KM]

All in all, these two discs are fine examples of the little-known instrument, the clavichord. Its unique sound is indeed something that all music-lovers should discover. Bradley Lehman gives two wonderful anthologies of music for this instrument, which are delightful in both melody and sound.

Great Violinists: Maud POWELL (1867 - 1920) The Complete 1904 - 1917 Recordings, Vol.1 Maud Powell (violin) Recorded 1904 - 1917 NAXOS 8.110961 [71.56] [SHJ]

A beautifully restored disc of great historical value. Maud Powell's warm, inviting tone makes this an essential buy for violin aficionados.

Paul ROBESON Songs of Free Men Songs by Lehman ENGEL, Ivan DZERZHINSKY, Felix MENDELSSOHN, Marc Blitzstein, Earl ROBINSON, Isaac DONAYEVSKY, Alexander GRETCHANINOFF. Modest MUSSORGSKY, Avery ROBINSON. George H. CLUTSAM, Lily STRICKLAND, Peter DEROSE, Oscar HAMMERSTEIN & Jerome KERN, Oley SPEAKS, George GERSHWIN Full details at foot of review Paul Robeson, Bass-Baritone Lawrence Brown, Piano Columbia Concert Orchestra Emanuel Balaban, Conductor rec 1942, 1945, 1947 SONY MHK 63223 [71.23] [RB]

These songs weave their way through protest, patriotism, comfort, defiance and religion. Treacly emotion finds no home here.


CARL SCHURICHT Gottfried STÖLZEL - Concerto grosso in D major Ludwig van BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’ Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Carl Schuricht Recorded live at the 1961 Salzburg Festival ORFEO D’OR C 538 001 B [57.30] [CF]

The playing here is rather unremarkable and understated, the warm-toned strings and athletic horns in the trio better than some scrawny woodwind playing from the oboes. It is all tidily organised if nothing else, but of the reissues listed there are far more mouth-watering prospects on offer than this.

SERENE ECSTASY. THE LIGHT AND SORROW OF ORTHODOX RUSSIA
Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY
(1840-93) Prayer of Repentance for Russia, Eucharist from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom Alexander ARKHANGELSY: (1846-1924): I Cried out to The Lord Pavel CHESNOKOV (1877-1944) Three Choruses from Days of Battle, Op. 45 O Praise our Lord Blessed is the Man The Angel Cried Mikhail IPPOLITOV-IVANOV (1859-1935): Praise the Lord, O my soul Vladislav AGAFONNIKOV (b1936): Joyful Light, Lord now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace, Rejoice, Virgin Mother of God Nikolai LEBEDEV (1947-2000): Angel Prayer, Requiem (excerpts) Valeri KIKTA (b1941):St. Dmitry Rostovsky's Psalm of Repentance, Hymn to the Holy Virgin, Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-98):Three sacred Chorales. The Spiritual Revival Choir of Moscow's Schnittke Institute of Music Conductor: Lev Kontorovich Recorded May, 2000 in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory DELOS DE 3264 [70.46] [JQ]

The programme is well chosen, containing some rapt and moving music.

Tribute to Madam (Dame Ninette de Valois) Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Checkmate + – complete ballet William BOYCE (1711-79)/Constant LAMBERT (1905-51) The Prospect Before Us + (complete ballet) Gavin GORDON (1901-70) The Rake’s Progress †(complete ballet) Geoffrey TOYE (1889-1942) The Haunted Ballroom* (complete ballet) Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Barry Wordsworth + Recorded in Walthamstow Town Hall; May 2001 † Recorded at Golders Green Hippodrome; May 2001 ASV CD WLS 255 (2 CDs: 151:13) [IL]

A worthy tribute to the grande dame of the world of ballet. This album is noteworthy as being the first recording of Bliss’s complete Checkmate score and for the inclusion of Geoffrey Toye’s haunting and captivating The Haunted Ballroom – again complete. The recorded sound is first class and performances thrilling and poetic.

THE WORLD OF MINIMALISM Philip GLASS V2 Schneider The American Composers Orchestra, Dennis Russell Davies Steve REICH Drumming (part I end - part II start) Steve Reich and Musicians Robert MORAN Points of Departure Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman Graham FITKIN Frame
Graham Fitkin and Shelagh Sutherland, keyboards John ADAMS Shaking and trembling San Francisco Symphony, Edo de Waart Michael NYMAN Memorial
Michael Nyman Band Terry RILEY In C Piano Circus DECCA 470 125-2 [71.40] [KM]

This album has strengths and weaknesses. It allows you to discover works and composers you may not know, yet not all it contains will interest you. This disc contains some fine works

 

BOOK REVIEWS

ARNOLD BAX IDEALA: The Love Letters and Poems of Arnold BAX edited by Colin Scott-Sutherland Fand Music Press published September 2001 ISBN 0-9535125-3-3 320pp hardback [RB]

This is a prominent landmark in the Bax literature and another magus-key to one window into Bax's musical legacy: a magic casement indeed.

A CHRONICLE OF FIRST BROADCAST PERFORMANCES OF MUSICAL WORKS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 1923-1996 Edited by Alastair Mitchell and Alan Poulton Ashgate 798 pp 9 illus. Published 2001 £75 ISBN 1 85928 239 3

Priced at £75, it is probably destined for the shelf of a public library, and regrettably only the major ones these days, but it is nevertheless a fascinating book to dip into, especially if you might be looking for ideas for concert programming.

[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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