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  Monday March 31st


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BOOK REVIEW

 

The Life and Music of Sir Malcolm Arnold - The Brilliant and the Dark
by Paul R.W. Jackson 277 pages, 26 plates, 107 musical examples Published by Ashgate, ISBN 1 85928 381 0 [PS]

An intensely moving account of the composer’s life … see Full Review

ROGER QUILTER: His Life and Music by Valerie Langfield, Boydell Press, 2002: xviii, 375pp, plus CD ISBN 0-85115-871-4 Ł40 hardback / US$70 [CSS]

Michael TIPPETT: Music and Literature Edited by Suzanne Robinson Contributions by: Michael Tippett, Edward Venn, Sean Flanagan, Suzanne Robinson, Lewis Foreman, Suzanne Cole, Arnold Whittall, Barbara Docherty, Rowena Harrison and Meinhard Saremba 282 Pages, 17 illustrations and 32 Music examples ISBN 0-7546-0132-3 Published by Ashgate, December 2002, Hardback. Ł45

This collection is timely because we are reaching a point when Tippett’s music is heard less and less in programmes throughout Britain … see Full Review



SCORE REVIEWS

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Early Chamber Music Piano Quintet in C minor for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass (1903) [30'30] Nocturne and Scherzo for string quintet (1906) [10'18] String Quartet in C minor (1898) [25'27] Quintet in D major for clarinet, horn, violin, cello and piano (1898) [24'50] Scherzo for string quintet (1904) [5'57] FABER MUSIC

It is a feather in Faber Music’s cap that they have secured the rights to publish these scores which often in equal measure will delight as well as cast light on the early rise to maturity of a composer of international standing. ... see Full Review

 


RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Alexander ARUTIUNIAN (b. 1920) Concerto for violin and orchestra "Armenia 88" (1988) (23.10) Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) Concerto for violin and orchestra "Distant Light" (1997) (28.41) Mikhail BRONNER (b. 1952) Concerto for violin and orchestra "Heaven’s Gate" (2001) (20.16) Levon Ambartsumian (violin – and conductor in Arutiunian and Bronner) The Arco Chamber Orchestra/Lewis Nielson (Vasks) rec 2002 in Hugh Hodgson Hall, University of Georgia Performing Arts Center, Athens, Georgia PHOENIX USA PHCD 153 [72.00] [TM]

A warmly recommended disk for unusual repertoire and strong, communicative performances. … see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Symphony No. 6 (1934) Into the Twilight (1908) Summer Music (1920) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones rec. Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 3-4 August 2002 NAXOS 8.557144 [57.46] [IL]

A thrilling, evocative reading of Bax’s finest symphonic accomplishment. … see Full Review

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen, Opera in Four Acts (1873-75) Libretto by Meilhac and Halévy, after Mérimée Carmen (mezzo) – Anne Sofie von Otter Don José (tenor) – Marcus Haddock Escamillo (baritone) – Laurent Naouri Micaëla (soprano) – Lisa Milne Zuniga (bass) – Jonathan Best Mercédès (mezzo) – Christine Rice Moralès (baritone) – Hans Voschezang Glyndebourne Festival Chorus London Philharmonic Orchestra/Philippe Jordan
Directed for the stage by David McVicar Directed for television by Sue Judd Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Sussex, England, 17 August, 2002 BBC OPUS ARTE OA 0867 D [2 Discs: 220 mins] [TH]

An altogether outstanding record of a thrilling event. … see Full Review

Edith CANAT DE CHIZY (born 1950) - Tiempo (1999)a - Irisations (1999)b - Moving (2001)a - Vivere (2001)c - Hallel (1991)a - Danse de l’aube (1998)d - Diego Tosi (violin)b; Marc Siffert (double bass)d; Trio à cordes de Parisa; Quatuor Parisiic Recorded: Auditorium du Conservatoire Charles Munch, Paris, April 2002 (Tiempo, Moving, Hallel, Danse), July 2002 (Vivere) and September 2002 (Irisations) ÆON AECD 0210 [60:10] [HC]

Robust, joyfully dancing music making of great energy and very often of great beauty … see Full Review

Dave HEATH (b.1956) Sirocco - concerto for violin, oboe and chamber orchestra (2001) The Celtic - concerto for violin and string orchestra (1994) Home from the Storm for flute and chamber orchestra (1984) The Sapphire for oboe and chamber orchestra (2000) Requiem The Beloved for soprano, treble, oboe, choir and organ (2001) Lochalsh for solo violin (1995) Ittai Shapira (violin) (Sirocco, Celtic) Rusen Gunes (viola) (Celtic) John Anderson (oboe) (Sirocco, Sapphire) William Bennett (Storm) English Chamber Orchestra/Dave Heath Angela Tunstall (sop) (Requiem) Jonathan Rendell (treble) (Requiem) Simon Nieminski (organ) (Requiem) Choir of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh (Requiem) David Thomas (oboe) (Requiem) rec. Sony Music Studios, London 31 Aug 2002 (Celtic, Lochalsh); Abbey Road, London, 13 Feb 2002 (Sirocco), St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh 25 Aug 2001 (Requiem), DDD world premiere recordings except The Celtic and Lochalsh BLACK BOX BBM1083 [68.46] [RB]

Rewarding stuff in an accessible though not dumbed down way. ... see Full Review

Joseph MARX (1882-1964) Natur-Trilogie (1922-5):- 1. Ein Symphonische Nachtmusik (1922) 2. Idylle - Concertino über die pastorale Quart (1925) 3. Eine Frühlingsmusik (1925) Bochum SO/Steven Sloane rec. Maximilianpark, Hamm, Germany, 11-15 June 2002. DDD Complete Orchestral Music: Volume 1. ASV CD DCA 1137 [64.19] [RB]

An impressionistic South German voice soaked in the quintessence of lyrical expression. The strongest recommendation. ... see Full Review

Joaquín NIN (1879-1949) 10 Villancicos (1932), 20 Canciones populares españolas (1923), Le chant du veilleur (1937)* Elena Gragera (mezzosoprano), Antón Cardó (piano), Miquel Bofill (saxophone)* Recorded 6th-8th September 1999, Estudis Albert Moraleda COLUMNA MÚSICA 1CM0072 [78:04]
Joaquín NIN-CULMELL
(b. 1908)
3 poemas de Gil Vincente (1950), 4 canciones populares de Salamanca (1960), 4 canciones populares de Cataluña (1960), 4 canciones populares de Andalucía (1960), 5 canciones tradicionales españolas (1971), 6 canciones populares sefardies (1982), 2 canciones populares cubanas (1984-90), Si ves un monte de espumas (1985-90), Canciones de la barraca (1997) Elena Gragera (mezzosoprano), Antón Cardó (piano) Recorded 6th-8th September 1999, Estudis Albert Moraleda COLUMNA MÚSICA 1CM0053 [55:17] [CH]

The discs of music by father and son, Nin and Nin-Culmell, are a major discovery, both for the music and for the singer. … see Full Review

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Grand Duo Concertant for clarinet and pianoforte in E flat major - Seven Variations for clarinet and pianoforte on a theme of Weber’s opera - Silvana in B flat major - Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838) Sonata for clarinet and pianoforte in G minor Pierre-André Taillard (clarinet) - Edoardo Torbianelli (pianoforte) - Recorded at Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori, Florence, October 2001 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 905254 [56:52] [IL]

Sparkling performances and a thrilling Ries sonata add up to an irresistible recital. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Iannis XENAKIS (1922 – 2001) Synaphaï (1969)a - Horos (1986) - Eridanos (1972) - Kyania (1990) - Hiroaki Ooï (piano)a Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg; Arturo Tamayo - Recorded: Conservatoire, Luxembourg, March and May 2002 TIMPANI 1C1068 [64:16] [HC]

Simply stunning. Hard stuff but gripping … the best possible introduction to Xenakis … see Full Review

 


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Passio Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem (1982) (St. John Passion) Robert MacDonald, bass (Jesus) Mark Anderson, tenor (Pilate) Tonus Peregrinus/Antony Pitts Recorded in the Abbey Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Dorchester-on-Thames, 15th- 18th May and 28th June 2001. NAXOS 8.555860 [61.50] [NH]

Great music, great performances, but for those seeking truth rather than light relief … see Full Review

Janácek Quartet. The complete recordings on Deutsche Grammophon - Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quartet in G major K387 - - Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartet in C major Op. 33 No. 3 The Bird Hob III; 39 - String Quartet in E flat major Op. 33 No. 2 The Joke Hob III; 38 - String Quartet in D minor Op. 76 No. 2 Fifths Hob III; 76 - Roman HOFSTETTER (1742 1815) Attrib Haydn - String Quartet in F major Op. 3 No. 5 Serenade Hob III; 17 - Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Octet in E flat major Op. 20 (with the Smetana Quartet) - Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet in E minor Op. 59 No. 2 Razumovsky - Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) - Piano Quartet in F minor Op. 34 - Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Quintet in A major Op. 81 - String Quartet in D minor Op. 34 - String Quartet in F major Op. 96 American - String Quartet in E flat major Op. 51 - String Quartet in A flat major Op. 105 - Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) String Quartet No. 1 in E minor From My Life JB 1; 105 (T 116) - Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) String Quartet No. 2 Intimate Letters JW VII/13 Janácek Quartet - With the Smetana Quartet in the Mendelssohn Octet and Eva Bernáthová in the Brahms and Dvořák Piano Quintets - Recorded 1956-63 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 474 010-2 [7 CDs 428.42] [JW]

Astonishingly persuasive interpreters. … a mandatory purchase for admirers of this great quartet … see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Elias’, Op. 70 (1846-7) [128’12"] Christine Schäfer (soprano); Cornelia Kallisch (alto); Michael Schade (tenor); Wolfgang Schöne (baritone) Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart Bach-Collegium Stuttgart/Helmuth Rilling ‘Paulus’, Op. 36 (1834-6) [131’11"] Juliane Banse (soprano); Ingeborg Danz (alto); Michael Schade (tenor); Andreas Schmidt (bass) Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart Prager Kammerchor Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Helmuth Rilling Recorded: 3 – 7 July 1994, iederhalle Stuttgart, Germany (‘Elias’); 17 – 19 November 1994, Rudolfinum Dvořák Hall, Prague (‘Paulus’) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99953 [65’16"+62’56"+72’25"+58’46"] [JQ]

Outstanding value for money … marvellous music in outstanding performances captured in first class sound. … see Full Review

 

 

 


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MusicWeb - The International Web Site Founder: Len Mullenger [UK], Classical Editor: Rob Barnett [UK],  Regular Reviewers:   Steve Arloff [UK], Guy Aron [Australia], Tony Augarde [UK], Terry Barfoot [UK], Melinda Bargreen [USA], David J. Barker [Australia], Rob Barnett [UK], Nick Barnard [UK], Robert Beattie [UK], Dave Billinge [UK], Peter Bright [UK], Byzantion [UK], Colin Clarke [UK], Dominy Clements [Netherlands], Michael Cookson [UK], Hubert Culot [Belgium], Evan Dickerson [UK], Gavin Dixon [UK], Robert J. Farr [UK], Christopher Fifield [UK], Göran Forsling [Sweden], John France [UK], Patrick Gary [USA], Pierre Giroux [CAN], Paul C. Godfrey [UK], Michael Greenhalgh [UK], William Hedley [France], Gary Higginson [UK], Neil Horner [UK], Robert Hugill UK], David Jennings [UK], Bill Kenny [UK], William S Kreindler [USA], Ian Lace [UK], Em Marshall-Luck [UK], Oleg Ledeniov [USA]Rob Maynard [UK], David A McConnell [USA], Kirk McElhearn [France], Robert McKechnie [UK], Ralph Moore [RMo] [UK], Dan Morgan [UK], Margarida Mota-Bull [UK], Glyn Pursglove [UK], John Quinn [UK], Carla Rees [UK], Brian Reinhart [USA], Donald Satz [USA], Mark Sealey [USA], John Sheppard [UK], George Stacy, Kevin Sutton [USA], Bert Thompson [USA], Simon Thompson [UK], Zane Turner [Australia], Steve Vasta [UK], Johan van Veen [Netherlands], Raymond Walker [UK], Derek Warby [UK], Brian Wilson [UK], Jonathan Woolf [UK] Leslie Wright [USA]. A complete list of contributors can be seen here




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