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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    


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ALPHABETICAL LISTING

Anda-Louise BOGZA Soprano PORTRAIT: singing arias by Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901), Alfredo CATALANI (1854-1893), Umberto GIORDANO (1867-1948) and Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava/Ivan Anguélov Recorded March 2001, Slovak Radio Concert Hall, Bratislava DDD ARTE NOVA CLASSICS 74321 85296 2 [73.30] [RM]

A budget priced CD laden with powerfully sung "big" arias

EIGHTEENETH CENTURY BRITISH SYMPHONIES Thomas ARNE Symphony no. 4 in C minor Earl of KELLY, Thomas ERSKINE (1732- 1781) Periodical Overture no 17 in E John COLLETT Symphony Opus No 5 (1767) William SMETHERGILL Symphony (1790) Carl Friedrich ABEL Symphony Opus 10 No. 1 (1771) John MARSH (1752 -1828) Conversational Sinfonie in E flat The Hanover Band/Graham Lea-Cox. Rec UK 2000, DDD ASV CD GAU 216 [71.26] [DW]

Much to enjoy on this disc.

BAROQUE FAVOURITES Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra/Jean Lamon The Helicon Ensemble/Albert Fuller REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-2101 (two discs) [56:47]

A brisk canter through a familiar selection of eighteenth-century works. Performances uniformly crisp and elegant and well recorded. The discs are to be recommended.

MUSIC FOR CELLO AND PIANO
Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-92) Le Grand Tango.
Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) La vida breve – Danse espagnole No. 1 (arr. Kreisler/Marechal). El amor brujo – Pantomima e Cancion (arr. C Schiff); Danse rituelle du feu (arr. Piatigorsky). Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Danzas españolas No. 5 – Andaluza. Tonadilla No. 1 (arr. Fournier). Goyescas – Intermezzo (arr. Cassadó). Isaac ALBENIZ (1860-1909) Celebre Serenata Espagnola (arr. Cassadó). Malagueña. Tango, Op. 165 No. 2 (arr. Marechal). Gaspar CASSADÓ (1897-1966) Sérénade. Danse du Diable vert. La Pendule, la fileuse et le galant. Lamento de Boabdil. Requiebros. Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Habanera (arr. Bazelaire). Alborada del grazioso (arr. Castelnuovo-Tedesco). Alban Gerhardt (cello); Rina Dokshinsky (piano). Recorded in Holy Trinity Church, Weston, Hertfordshire in February 1998. [DDD] EMI Debut CDZ5 73164-2 [72'41] [CC]

What makes Gerhardt different from the usual Wunderkind is not his phenomenal technique, but rather the fact that he uses this technique musically at all times. This intelligently planned recital is triumphantly delivered by this duo. Gerhardt is a real find.

CLASSICS EXPLAINED RAVEL: Bolero & Ma Mère L'Oye Jeremy Siepmann (narrator) and the Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kenneth Jean Issued 2001: date and place of recording not given. NAXOS 8.558032-33 [97:38] (two discs)

This is one of the first issues in a Naxos series designed presumably to 'educate' the listener new to classical music. If this is a reasonably representative example, then I have my doubts.

COMPOSITO Piano pieces by women composers Monica Pons (piano) rec Lacoruña Conservatori, Superior de la Coruña (España) 1997 Ars Harmonica AH037 [DW]

This seemed an interesting disc but I found little of the music to be very inspiring. In fact a lot of it was very anaemic.

José Antonio ESCOBAR: GUITAR RECITAL J S BACH (1685- 1750) Sonata in G minor, BWV 100 Francisco TARREGA (1852-1909) Sueño, Maria, Preludio No.1, Preludio No.5, Rosita Dionisio AGUADO (1784-1849) Rondo II in A minor Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Mallorca, Torre Bermeja,
Frank MARTIN (1890-1974)
Quatre Pièces Brèves Vicente ASENCIO (1908-1979) Collectici íntim NAXOS 8.555719 [68:06] [AD}

Naxos have yet again given us a varied selection of well played, well recorded guitar music. Most enjoyable.

VIDEO REVIEW: Great Conductors of the Third Reich – Art in the Service of Evil Furtwängler; Böhm; Blech; Karajan; Knappertsbusch; Krauss; Schillings, Berlin Philharmonic Footage from 1933-1943, 53 minutes (NTSC or PAL) B & W – English Subtitles BEL CANTO SOCIETY, BCS – 0052 [MB]

Horrified that humanitarian musicians were able to bring themselves to make a political association between music and government but at the end of this tape you should feel that the music triumphs.

GREAT VOICES OF THE OPERA VOLUMES I, II AND III 1905-46, 1901-46, 1905-1949 120CDs see review for details

With the under-a-pound price for each disk and the wealth of repertory this is, for the opera buff, an astonishing purchase. If you have never heard the French baritone Gérard Souzay, for example (Box 2, Disk Case 15), this discovery alone could be worth the price of the entire set.

MARTHA MASTERS: Guitar Recital Alexandre TANSMAN (1897-1986) Cavatina J.S BACH (1685-1750) Suite in E minor, BWV 996 FERNANDO SOR (1778-1839) Variations on a Theme of Mozart, Op.9 BRYAN JOHANSON (b. 1951) Variations on a Finnish Folk Song MANUEL PONCE (1886-1948) Thème Varié et Finale JOAQUIN RODRIGO (1901-1999) En Los Trigales Martha Masters (guitar) NAXOS 8.555720 [64:10] [AD]

Taken as a whole, this disc should be no disappointment to those purchasing it. The Tansman and the Johanson being worth the outlay.

THE MEDINAH SESSIONS Works for sundry instrumental ensembles WALTON Façade Suite STRAUSS (arr Hasenöhrl) Till Eulenspiegel SCRIABIN (arr Elliot) Waltz in A flat NIELSEN Serenata in vano STRAVINSKY Suite The Soldier's Tale WEILL The Threepenny Opera Suite* PAUL Bowles Music for a Farce*
MARTINU La Revue de Cuisine* VARÈSE Octandre* RIMSKY-Korsakov (arr Blackwood) Capriccio Espagnol Chicago Pro Musica Recently remastered, the original recordings (released as RR-16, 17 & 29) were made at the Medinah Temple, Chicago, in August 1983 and * in June 1988. REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-2102 (two discs) [138.01] [AAS]

These are highly enjoyable discs and warmly recommended.

Music for the Iliad Hans Peter Stubbe Tegelbjaerg (b. 1963) Iliou Persis Morten Carlsen (b. 1949) Iliad 5-8 Jørgen Teller (b. 1958) Four Encounters Hans Sydow (b. 1968) Entropy 1- for virtual voices Gunner Møller Pedersen (b. 194) Iliad 17-20 (b. 1953) Burning River. Played/realised by the Composers. Recorded at Danish Institute of Electro-acoustic Music in 1999 DACAPO 8.224198-99 [2 CDs 90:20] [JF]

An interesting CD for those listeners who like and understand electronic music. A wide variety of styles and sounds, well recorded and attractively packaged. Be prepared for a wild sonic trip to the 8th century BC.

LES MUSICIENS DU NORD Au temps des archiducs Albert et Isabelle (The Musicians from the North - in the Time of Archdukes Albert and Isabelle) Vocal and instrumental works by T. SUSATO, Emmanuel ANDRIAENSSEN (ca. 1556-1604), Andian WILLAERT (1480-1562), Pierre PHALESE (1510-1573), Roland de LASSUS (1532-1594), A. Van KERKHOVEN (1627?-1673), Pierre de MANCHICOURT (1510-1564), Peter PHILIPS (1560-1628), Pieter Cornet (1575-1633), Gregorio HUWET (1550-1616), Jacques de WERT (1536-1596), Josquin DESPRES (1440-1521), Jacques MANGEANT (1571-1639) La Cetra d'Orfeo Stephan Van Dijk, tenor Rec: 2000. CYPRES CYP1628 [71.13] [KM]

This beautiful disc is the perfect remedy to a grey, rainy day. Its overwhelming festive tone will liven up almost anyone. Tenor Stephan Van Dijk has a perfect voice for this repertoire, and the musicians are all excellent.

MUSIK AM PREUßISCHEN HOF (Music at the Prussian Court)
Berlin composers of the baroque and early classical period
CD1: Music at the Berlin Court, first performances from original manuscripts in the Berlin State Library. Nichelmann, Overture in B major for 2 oboes, strings & continuo; Kirnberger, Sinfonia in D major for two horns, strings & continuo; Quantz, Flute Concerto in E major for strings & continuo "Pour Potsdam"; Schaffrath, Overture and Allegro assai for strings and continuo; C.P.E.Bach, Concerto for two harpsichords, two horns strings and continuo. Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin. Ernst-Burghard Hilse (flute), Christine Schornsheim and, Raphael Alpermann (harpsichords). Playing time 71.56
CD2: Berlin Composers of the eighteenth century. C.P.E.Bach. Sinfonia No.3 in C major; Frederick II of Prussia, Flute Concerto No.4 in D major; Eichner;; Harp Concerto in D major, Op.9; Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra/Hans-Peter Frank, Bernd Casper (harpsichord), Richard Waage (flute), Marion Hofmann (harp). Claus Spyra (cello), Angelika Lindner (double bass). First recorded perfomances from original manuscripts in the Berlin State Library. Berlin Classics 0093902BC. Recorded 1984 in Christuskirche, Berlin (1984). Playing time 49.10
CD3: Arias from Berlin Operatic History. (first performances of works by Graun, Bononcini, Telemann, Hasse, Frederick II, Agricola. Berlin Chamber Orchestra/Max Pommer, Kowalski (counter tenor), Schornsheim, Alpermann (harpsichords), Friedrich (cello), Strauch (d.bass). Recorded 1985-86 at Studio Christuskirche, Berlin. Playing time 59.00
CD4: C.P.E.Bach, The five Berlin Symphonies. Chamber Orchestra Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach/Hartmut Haenchen, Klaus Kirbach (harpsichord). Recorded 1985, at Studio Christuskirche. Playing time 53.02
CD5: Concert at the Prussian Court. Graun, Concerto Grosso in G major for flute, violin, viola, cello, strings and continuo; Benda, Sinfonia No.6 min E-flat major for violin, 2 oboes, 2 horns strings & continuo; Graun, Concerto in F major for organ, strings and continuo; Benda, Concerto in F Major for viola, 2 horns strings and continuo; C.P.E.Bach, Sonatina in D major, Wq 109 for two harpsichords, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 horns, 3 trumpets, percussion and strings. Chamber Orchestra Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach/Hartmut Haenchen, Rosenbusch, (violin), Krüger (viola), Trompler (violin), Schröter (cello), Schornsheim and Kirbach (harpsichords).
Recorded 1991-92 in the Berlin-Karlshorst Kirche. Playing time 75.19
BERLIN CLASSICS. Boxed set 0094462 BC
[RB]


This is indeed a rich harvest! Many of these works are receiving their first recorded performances. A dazzling set of audio recordings from the eighties and early nineties.

Sviatoslav RICHTER: The Sofia Recital 1958. Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-81) Pictures at an Exhibition. Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Moment musical in C, D780 No. 1. Impromptus - E flat, D899 No. 2; A flat, D899 No. 4. Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-49) Etude in E, Op. 10 No. 3. Franz LISZT (1811-86) Valses oubliées, S215 - No. 1 in F sharp; No. 2 in A flat. Etudes d'exécution trascedente, S139 - No. 5, 'Feux follets'; No. 11, 'Harmonies du soir'. Sergei RACHMANINOV(1873-1943) Prelude in G sharp minor, Op. 32 No. 13. Sviatoslav Richter (piano). PHILIPS 50 Great Recordings 464 734-2 [ADD] [76'30]

The raw power and force of personality from the very first note is awesome ... the disc is priceless because of Pictures alone.

RUSSIAN ORCHESTRAL MUSIC Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881): Night on the Bare Mountain [9.31] (Orch. Rimsky-Korsakov, arr. Stokowski) Mikhail Ivanovich GLINKA (1804-1857): Kamarinskaya [6.20] Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): Prelude in E flat minor, Op. 34 No.14
(Arr. Stokowski) [2.54] Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971): Pastorale (1933 version arr. Stokowski) [3.08] Peter TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893): Ouverture solennelle "1812", Op.49* [15.45] Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915): Le Poeme de L’extase, Op. 54 [18.27] Anatol LYADOV (1855-1914): Eight Russian Folk Songs, Op.58 (extracts) [7.27] Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) Polovtsian Dances from "Prince Igor"** [10.56] *Band of the Grenadier Guards **John Alldis Choir **Welsh National Opera Chorus Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski Recorded ‘live’ at the Royal Albert Hall, London on 15 June, 1969 BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4069-2 [75.35] [JQ]

A desirable purchase for anyone who wants to hear great music making caught on the wing. Not everything here may be "authentic" but what the hell! Throw caution to the winds.

SUMMERTIME Thomas ARNE (1710-78) Where the Bee Sucks. Samuel BARBER (1910-81) Sure on this shining night, Op. 13 No. 3. The Monk and his Cat, Op. 29 No. 8. Hector BERLIOZ (1803-69) Les Nuits d’été, Op. 7 – No. 1, Villanelle; No. 6, L’ile inconnue. Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-90) Peter Pan - My House. Johannes BRAHMS (1833-97) Meine Liebe ist Grün, Op. 63 No. 5. John IRELAND (1879-1962) The Trellis. Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Go not, happy day, H34. Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) To Daffodils. Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Shepherd’s Song. Gabriel FAURE (1845-1924) Clair de Lune. Sior, Op. 83 No. 2. Notre amour, Op. 23 No. 2. Harold FRASER-SIMSON (1878-1944) Vespers. George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Porgy and Bess – Summertime. Michael HEAD (1900-76) The little road to Bethlehem. Liza LEHMANN (1862-1918) Ah! Moon of my delight. Cole PORTER (1891-1964) The Tale of the Oyster. Roger QUILTER (1877-1953) Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal, Op. 2 No. 3. Love’s Philosophy, Op. 3 No. 1. John RUTTER (born 1945) The Lord bless you and keep you. Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) An Sylvia, D891. Auf dem Wasser zu singen, D774. Robert SCHUMANN (1810-56) Myrthen, Op. 25 – No. 3, Der Nussbaum. Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Orpheus with his Lute. Peter WARLOCK (1894-1930) Sleep. Haydn WOOD (1882-1959) A brown bird singing. TRADITIONAL The lark in the clear air. Felicity Lott (soprano); Graham Johnson (piano).Recorded at Champs Hill in April 2000. [DDD] BLACK BOX BBM3007 [74.26] [CC]

Aided by the ever-impressive Graham Johnson throughout, this is a winner of a disc. Lott and Johnson seem to have mastered the ‘Art of the Simple’: surely one of the hardest things to do in all music?

Great Singers: Maggie Teyte (1888-1976) French songs and Arias NAXOS Historical 8.110147 ADD [66.28] [RM]

Maggie Teyte was a great singer. This CD is cogent evidence of that and can be enjoyed at any level.

Richard WAGNER (1813 - 1883): Overture & Venusberg Music (Tannhauser)* Frederick DELIUS (1862 - 1934): Irmelin, Scenes from Act 2 Georges BIZET (1838 - 1875): Music from L'Arlésienne, Suites 1 & 2 Jules MASSENET (1842 - 1912): The Last Sleep of the Virgin (from La Vierge) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra * BBC Women's Chorus Conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham Recorded live at The Royal Albert Hall on 16 September, 1954 BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4068-2 [73.22] [JQ]

One of the out and out winners in this BBC Legends series and warmly recommended.

WESTERN POETS IN RUSSIAN MUSIC Volume 2. Song Recital. Songs by Gliere, Medtner, Kalinnikov, Dargomizhsky, Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Cui, Bortnyansky and Rubinstein.
Sergei Larin (tenor), Elenora Bekova (piano). CHANDOS CHAN 9841 (DDD) [62.25] [DW]

Much to admire but, sadly, not an overall recommendation.

 

BOOK REVIEW

Julian Lloyd Webber - Married to Music
The Authorised biography by Margaret Campbell
Robson Books. £16:95. 206 pages hardback ISBN 1-86105-400-9

 

[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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