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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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  Saturday November 29th


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LATEST CD REVIEWS (last two days)


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Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Fidelio (1814) Leonore (mezzo) – Angela Denoke Florestan (tenor) – Jon Villars Don Pizarro (baritone) – Alan Held Rocco (bass) – Laszlo Polgar Marzelline (soprano) – Juliane Banse Jaquino (tenor) – Rainer Trost Don Fernando (bass-baritone) – Thomas Quasthoff Arnold Schoenberg Choir Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle Recorded in concert at the Philharmonie, Berlin, 25-28 April, 2003 EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 57555-2 (2CDs: 65’58+44’17) [TH]

Difficult to see this version toppling existing recommendations. … see Full Review

Giles FARNABY (c1563-1640) "Farnaby’s Dreame" For two Virginals */*** [01:14] Muscadin * [01:16] Fantasia * (M.B., No. 5) [05:06] Meridian Alman * [01:42] Mal Sims * [01:28] Alman * (M.B., No. 22) [01:02] Rosseter’s Galliard * [02:16] Wooddy-Cock * [06:09] A maske * (M.B., No. 33) [01:49] Pawles Wharfe * [02:08] The Old Spagnioletta * [00:56] Fantasia * (M.B., No. 12) [03:52] His Humour * [01:28] A Maske * (M.B., No. 31) [02:11] The King’s Hunt * [02:06] Fantasia * (M.B., No. 7) [03:46] A Gigge * [01:17] Gallarda * [01:34] Tell mee Daphne * [01:54] Spagnioletta * [02:00] Fantasia * (M.B., No. 10) [03:42] A Maske ** (M.B., No. 32) [01:07] Alman (Johnson, set by Farnaby) ** (M.B., No. 23) [00:43] Fantasia ** (M.B., No. 6) [03:31] Pavana (Johnson, set by Farnaby) ** [05:45] Why aske you ** [01:59] Giles Farnaby’s Dreame ** [00:57] Quodling’s Delight ** [02:52] Lachrymae Pavan (Dowland, set by Farnaby) ** [08:01] A Toy ** [01:11] (M.B. refers to the series Musica Brittannica, in which a number of Farnaby’s compositions have been published) Pierre Hantaï, harpsichord (Italian harpsichord by F.A, 1677 *; Flemish harpsichord by Ruckers, Antwerp 1624 **); Elisabeth Joyé, spinet (French, 17th century ***) Recorded in February and March 1990 in the Museum of Chartres (*) and the Unterlinden Museum at Colmar (**), France DDD ACCORD 476 057-2 [76:27] [JV]

Farnaby may be a rather obscure composer of the Elizabethan era, his music is imaginative and often virtuosic – well worth hearing … see Full Review

Nicholas Zumbro plays de Falla and Granados Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas Book I El Pelele, Crepusculo, Los requiebros, Coloquio en la reja, El fandango de candil, Quejas ó la maja y el ruiseñor, Intermezzo Goyescas Book II El amor y la muerte; Balada, Epilogo; Serenata del espectro Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) El Amor Brujo, Pantomine, Scene-Chanson du feu-follet, Nicholas Zumbro (piano) Recorded at St Silas Church, London (1994?) CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9004 [72.24] [JW]

Zumbro shows fine affinities with Spanish music – its colour and rhythm … see Full Review

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Violin Sonata (1914-21) [16’03] Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Sonata No.1 in F minor, Op.80 (1946) [27’05] Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) 19 Preludes, from Op.34, transcribed for violin by Dmitri Tsiganov [23’19] Kai Gleusteen (violin) Catherine Ordronneau (piano) Recorded at Crear Studios, Scotland, 2-4 September 2002. DDD AVIE AV 0023 [67’00] [TH][JW]

Works well on its own terms as an enjoyable recital [TH]
This is an attractively programmed disc but it’s been badly recorded. [JW]… see Full Review

Lars-Erik LARSSON (1908-1986) God in Disguise (Förklädd Gud) Op. 24 (1940) [29.12] A Winter's Tale (En vintersaga) - four vignettes to Shakespeare's play Op. 18 (1937) [9.53] Little Serenade (Liten serenad) Op. 12 (1934) [10.34] Pastoral Suite (Pastoralsvit) Op. 19 (1938) [13.30] Sven Wollter (narrator) Jeanette Kohn (sop) Thomas Lander (bar) Jönköping Chamber Choir Jönköping Sinfonietta/Christopher Warren-Green rec. Dec 2001, Feb 2002, Jönköpings konserthuset, Sweden. DDD INTIM MUSIK IMCD 082 [63.00] [RB]

Confident feel-good music not afflicted with blandness or facile emotion. ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891 - 1953) Ivan the Terrible: Oratorio from the film score, Op. 116 (1942-5) (arr. 1960 Stasevich/Slatkin) [65.27] Claudine Carlson, Mezzo-soprano. Baritone soloist uncredited. St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Leonard Slatkin Recorded March 1979. Location not given. Notes and technical information in English. Photos of Prokfiev and from the film. Digitally remastered by Paul Stublebine. Originally on Vox/Turnabout QS LP CD tracks 2.0 track stereo. SACD tracks 2.0 track stereo and 4.0 track surround. All tracks have index points when appropriate. Hybrid SACD playable on SACD players and CD players. MOBILE FIDELITY UDSACD 4003 [65.27] [PSh]

A very well played, fine sounding version of what may soon become a high resolution, surround sound war-horse ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 1 in F# minor Op.1 (1891) Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op.18 (1901) Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor Op. 30 (1909) Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor Op.40 (1927) Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in A minor (1934) Oleg Marshev (piano)Aarhus Symphony Orchestra/James Loughran Rec. Frichsparken, Aarhus, May/Oct 2001 DDD DANACORD DACOCD 582-583 [3CDs: 165.38] [JF]

A fine version of the famous Rachmaninov Concerti. Certainly one to consider owning beside Ashkenazy, Shelley and Argerich. Well presented. … see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Carnaval, Op. 9 Papillons, Op. 2 Kinderszenen, Op. 15 Arabeske, Op. 18 Nelson Freire, piano Recorded at Auditorio Massimo, Lugano, December 2002 DECCA 4739022 [59:57] [DS]

Freire enthusiasts should love the performances, sound deficiencies or not. … see Full Review

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) String Quartet No. 1 in C major Op. 37 (1917) String Quartet No. 2 Op. 56 (1927) Camerata Quartet Rec. Concert Hall, Karol Szymanowski State Music School, Warsaw, April 2000 DUX 0366 [35.34] [JW]

I admired the Camerata’s playing – if timing considerations are against them I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by the performances. … see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlos. Opera in Five Acts (sung in Italian) (1886 Modena and 1867 Paris versions) Philip (King of Spain), Jaakko Ryhänen (bass); Don Carlos (Infante of Spain), Lars Cleveman (ten); Rodrigo (Marquis of Posa), Peter Mattei (bar); The Grand Inquisitor, Bengt Rundgren (bass); Elisabeth de Valois (Philip's Queen), Hillevi Martinpelto (sop); Princess Eboli (Elisabeth's lady-in-waiting), Ingrid Tobiasson (m.sop); Tebaldo (Elisabeth's page), Iwa Sörenson, (sop); The Count of Lerma (A Royal Herald), Klas Hedlund (ten); An Old Monk, Martti Wallén (bass); A Voice from Heaven, Hilda Leidland (sop)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm/Alberto Hold-Garrido Recorded at the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm on 18th December 1999 and 22nd and 27th January 2000 Bargain Price NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660096-98 [3CDs: 78.51+70.18+45.40] [RF]

Other than Mattei’s singing, I regrettably find little to recommend in this issue, particularly now the price is matched by better sung versions elsewhere. … see Full Review

 

 

 

 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas: No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 (1801) [13’38]; No. 15 in D, Op. 28, ‘Pastorale’ (1801) [21’15]; No. 16 in G, Op. 31 No. 1 (1802) [24’01]. Artur Schnabel (piano) Rec. Abbey Road Studio No. 3, London, on April 10th-11th, 1933 (No. 14), February 3rd and 17th, 1933 (No. 15) and November 1935 and January 15th, 1937 (No. 16). ADD Complete Beethoven Sonata Society recordings vol. 5 NAXOS GREAT PIANISTS 8.110759 [58’54] [CC]

There is a wealth of experience on display here. … see Full Review

Sir Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Symphony No. 4 (1977-78) Michael BERKELEY (b. 1948) The Garden of Earthly Delights (1998) Cello Concerto (1983) Alban Gerhardt (cello) BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox Recorded Brangwyn Hall, Swansea; 17 and 18 December 2002 DDD Berkeley Edition: Volume Three CHANDOS CHAN 10080 [65:09] [CT]

Another fine instalment in Chandos’s Berkeley Edition, with the promise of more to come. … see Full Review

Umberto GIORDANO (1867 – 1948) Andrea Chenier (1896) Maddalena di Coigny – Maria Caniglia (soprano) Andrea Chenier – Beniamino Gigli (tenor) Garlo Gerard – Gino Bechi (baritone) Countess di Coigny – Giulietta Simonato (mezzo-soprano) Madelon – Vittoria Palombini Bersi – Maria Huder Roucher – Italo Tajo Fouquier –Tinville – Giuseppe Taddei Mathieu – Leoni Paci Fleville - Giuseppe Taddei The Abbe – Adelio Zagonara L’Incredibile - Adelio Zagonara Majordomo – Gino Conti Dumas – Gino Conti Schmidt – Gino Conti Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala Opera House, Milan/Olivero de Fabritiis Recorded Milan November 1941 by La voce del padrone Umberto GIORDANO (1867 – 1948) Andrea Chenier (excerpts) Giacomo Lauri Volpi (tenor) Recorded 1941 Antonio Cortis
Recorded 1930 Cesare Formichi (baritone) Recorded 1927 Claudia Muzio (soprano) Recorded 1935 Francesco Merli (tenor) Recorded 1928 Aureliano Pertile (tenor) Recorded 1930 NAXOS 8.110275-76 [2CDs: 53.41+74.53] [RH]

A fine, dramatic performance with a superlative cast. … see Full Review

George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759) Ballet music Alcina (HWV 34) [25:47] Terpsichore (HWV 8b) [11:10] Il Pastor fido (HWV 8c) [10:22] English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner Recorded in March 1984 at St Luke’s Church, London DDD WARNER ELATUS 2564-60335-2 [47:21] [JV]

A recording of ballet music by Handel which isn’t often performed – almost 20 years old, it still sounds quite good, despite some shortcomings … see Full Review

Joseph Martin KRAUS (1756-1792) "Complete Piano Music" Rondo in F (VB 191) [09:00] Sonata in E flat (VB 195) [19:52] Scherzo con variazioni (VB 193) [11:59] Larghetto (VB 194) [00:42] Sonata in E (VB 196) [32:07] Swedish Dance (VB 192) [03:47] Zwei neue kuriose Minuetten (VB 190) [01:51] Jacques Després, piano (Steinway) Recorded in October 2000 in Convocation Hall, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada DDD NAXOS 8.555771 [79:19] [JV]

This first recording of the keyboard music by Kraus is a missed opportunity because of a bad choice of instrument … see Full Review

Jacob OBRECHT (1450-1505) Missa Sub Tuum Presidium Confugimus; Benedicamus In Laude; Salve Crux; Beata es Maria; Salve Regina a 3; Mille Quingentis;
Factor Orbis. The Clerks’ Group/ Edward Wickham Recorded at St. Andrew’s Church, West Wratting, February 2003 ASV GAUDEAMUS 341 [69.41] [GH]

For all that I might have preferred more flamboyance and passion in these chaste performances The Clerks’ Group is the best companion in this repertoire. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ethyl SMYTH (1858-1944) String Quartet in E Minor: Allegretto lirico [12:10]; Allegro molto leggiero [5:48]; Andante [12:51]; Allegro energico [10:26] Amy Marcey BEACH (1867-1944) Quartet in one movement [14:57]: Grave - Piu animato - Allegro molto - Grave Susan SPAIN-DUNK (1880-1962) Phantasy Quartet in D Minor [13:11]: Allegro con fuoco - Andante moderato – Allegro con fuoco – Piu tranquillo Archaeus Quartet: Anne Hooley: Violin, Bridget Davey: Violin, Elizabeth Turnbull: Viola, Martin Thomas: Cello Recording location and dates not given. LONTANO RECORDS LORELT LNT 114 [69:23] [SA]

I cannot remember a record I’ve enjoyed more this year or one I felt compelled to listen to time after time – a fabulous disc! … see Full Review

Siegfried WAGNER (1869 – 1930) Die Heilige Linde op. 15 (1927) Arbogast, king of a German tribe – John Wegner (baritone) Hildegard, his wife – Dagmar Schellenberger (soprano) Sigrun, his sister – Ksenija Lukic (soprano) Gundelind, his cousin – Mechthild Georg (mezzo-soprano) Fritigern, a king’s son from a neighbouring tribe – Thorsten Scharnke (tenor) Ekhart, a count – Adam Kruzel (baritone) Philo, a minion of the Roman emperor - Volker Horn (tenor) Caius, his messenger - Hein Heibuchel (tenor) Autonoe - Katalin Ilalmai (mezzo-soprano) Antenor – Roman Trekel (baritone) A soldier – Soon-Dong Kwon (bass) Knight – Josef Otten (bass) WDR Rundfunkchor Köln WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln/Werner Andreas Albert Recorded October 8-19, 2001, Philharmonie Köln CPO 999 844-2 [3CDs: 50.01 + 50.53 + 48.13] [RH]

The first recording of the 14th opera by the son of the more famous Richard; this story of sparring Saxons and Romans is well performed but opera itself rarely grips. … see Full Review

American Women Composers Ursula MAMLOK From My Garden (1983) Designs (1962) Sonata (1988) Ruth CRAWFORD (1901-1953) Sonata (1926) Louise TALMA (b 1906) Sonata (1962) Ellen Taaffe ZWILICH (b 1939) Sonata in Three Movements (1974) Catherine Tait (violin) Barry Snyder (piano) Recorded Eastman Theatre of the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music 1995 GASPARO GSCD-300 [59.41] [JW]

Committed and understanding performances of this bracing music … see Full Review

Andrew GRIFFITHS - baritone WILLIAMS: ‘My Little Welsh Home’; ‘Llanfihangel Bachellaeth’; ‘Gwynfyd’; ’Crwys’Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni, ‘Madamina! Il catalogo é questo’ George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) ‘Thou Art Gone Up On High’ TRADITIONAL ‘Dafydd y Garreg Wen’ (David of the White Rock) LEWIS ‘Cân Yr Arad Goch’ SCHÖNBERGStars’; ‘Empty Chairs At Empty Tables’ (Sir) Arthur SULLIVAN ‘The Lost Chord’ Mitch LEIGH ‘Man of La Mancha’ Vaughan THOMAS ‘Berwyn’Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser, ‘O du Mein Holder Abendstern’(Sir) William Sterndale BENNETT (1816-1875) ‘The Carol Singers’ Andrew Griffiths (baritone) (b.1968) Accompanist. Annette Brynn Parry (piano) Recorded at the Tabernacl, Machynlleth, Wales. 2003 BERSE RECORDS BECD 1 [50.07] [RF]

The virtue of this disc lies in its variety. While never scaling the operatic heights Griffiths’ singing will give pleasure in the lighter repertoire and, to his compatriots, in the Welsh language songs. … see Full Review

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Suzanne Rhodes DRAYER A Singer’s Guide to the Songs of JOAQUÍN RODRIGO Scarecrow Press Inc., 266 pages, ISBN 0-8108-4408-7

A useful little book intended to introduce Rodrigo’s songs to potential performers. … see Full Review

Luca Marenzio The Career of a Musician between the Renaissance and the Counter-Reformation by Marco Bizzarini Translated by James Chater Published September 2003 Ashgate; ISBN 0 7546 0516 7; 370 pages, 10 b/w illustrations, 40 musical examples £49.50 MusicWeb price £42.50

This is a book containing much important information about a significant 16th century composer and it sheds fascinating light on the mechanisms by which a Roman composer in the period might construct a career in music. It is unfortunate that the book’s structure and editing mean that it could be rather off-putting for the casual reader. … see Full Review

OPERETTA by Richard TRAUBNER (1897-1951) 2nd edition, Routledge, (Taylor & Francis Bks Ltd) 2003 ISBN 0-415-96641-8. pp.498. £20

One of the best reference books of the Musical Theatre is Richard Traubner's book, ‘Operetta’. Originally published in 1983 it is now reprinted in a second edition. … see Full Review

 

THE PENGUIN GUIDE TO COMPACT DISCS & DVDs 2003/4 Edition: The Key Classical recordings on CD, DVD & SACD 2004 Edition Edited by Ivan March
Reviews by: Ivan March; Edward Greenfield; Robert Layton Assistant Editor: Paul Czajkowski Paperback 1566 pp. ISBN 0141013842 £24.99 [RB]

The most wide-ranging and satisfying classical review print source on the market. ... see Full Review

Rudolf Serkin: A Life By Stephen Lehmann Humanities Bibliographer, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, University of Pennsylvania, USA; and Marion Faber, Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, USA.Published by Oxford University Press, USA, 27 February 2003 ISBN: 0-19-513046-4 £20 [US$35.00] Hardcover 234mm x 156mm [6-1/8" x 9-1/4"]360 pp.; 53 illustrations. Discography by Paul Farber. [PSh]

An interesting story about a very interesting man, interesting even if he isn’t your favourite pianist. … see Full Review


RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Arnold BAX (1883-1953)
The Seven Symphonies (1921-1939)
Rogue's Comedy Overture (1936) [9:59] (dedicated to Julius Harrison) premiere recording Tintagel (1917-19) [15:13] (dedicated to Miss Harriet Cohen) Interview with Vernon Handley by Andrew McGregor BBC Philharmonic/Vernon Handley CHANDOS CHAN 10122 [5CDs: 74:03+77:24+73:41+69:37+60:43]
Reviews by
Richard Adams
A master conductor, at the absolute height of his powers interpreting music that he loves passionately - definitive … see Full Review
Rob Barnett
Bax the poet of the emotions does not shy from violence nor from whole-hearted celebration, ecstatic absorption in beauty, sorrow and drama. You could not have a better starting place and destination than this epochal set. … see Full Review
Graham Parlett
Vernon Handley’s Bax cycle has been a long time in coming, but it has proved well worth the wait. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto in D major, Op.61 (1806) Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64 (1844) Viktoria Mullova (violin) Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique/John Eliot Gardiner Recorded in Watford Colosseum, 5-7 June, 2002 PHILIPS 473 872-2 [68’17] [TH]

Will irritate as many as it will thrill. I definitely fall into the latter camp. Recording quality superb, full and warm. … see Full Review

Derek BOURGEOIS (b.1941) Apocalypse Op. 187 (2003) Sonata for Trombone and Brass Band Op. 156B (1998) Blitz Op. 65 (1981) Concerto Grosso for Brass Band Op. 61A (1983) Ian Bousfield (trombone) Yorkshire Building Society Band/Dr. David King Rec. Peer Hall, University of Salford, 14th-16th March 2003 DDD EGON SFZ113 [69:45] [CT]

A band and conductor at the very height of their considerable musical powers in music of unbridled excitement. … see Full Review

Sylvie BODOROVÁ (b.1954) Terezin Ghetto Requiem for baritone and string quartet (1997) [16.11] Concierto de Estio for guitar and string quartet (1999) [16.01] Ronald STEVENSON (b.1928) String Quartet Voces Vagabundae (1989) [29.10] Nigel Cliffe (bar) María Isabel Siewers (guitar) Martinů Quartet rec. Domovina Sudio, Prague, June 2002, Jan 2003 ARCO DIVA UP 0052-2 131 [62.11] [RB]

Two composers unpredictably but stimulatingly matched; tonal music that has not lost its ability to surprise, delight and warn ... see Full Review

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Music for piano: Passacaglia (1921/22) [7’12]. Piano Variations (1930) [11’18]. Piano Sonata (1939-41) [24’43]. Piano Fantasy (1955-57) [33’20]. Raymond Clarke (piano) Rec. King’s Hall, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, September 1st, 2001. DDD DIVINE ART 25016 [76’52] [CC]

My recording of the month, without a shadow of a doubt. For anyone who has yet to experience the wonders of Copland’s music for piano, here is the place to start. … see Full Review

 

Frederic CLIFFE (1857-1931) Symphony No. 1 in C minor Op. 1 (1889) [43.25] Orchestral Picture: Cloud and Sunshine (1890) [14.26] Malmö Opera Orchestra/Christopher Fifield rec. 6-8 May 2003, St. Johannes Church, Malmö, Sweden. DDD STERLING CDS-1055-2 [57.54] [RB]

Two virile and confident works in the Mendelssohn-Schumann tradition given splendidly engaged, life-imbued performances and audio to match. ... see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Lieder: Der Blumenstrauß, op.47/5, Pagenlied, Des Mädchens Klage, Die Liebende schreibt, op.86/3, Suleika, op.34/4, Suleika, op.57/3, Reiselied, op.34/6, Erster Verlust, op.99/1, Auf Flügeln des Gesanges, op.34/2, Andres Maienlied (Hexenlied), op.8/8, Der Blumenkranz, Ferne, op.9/9, Scheidend, op.9/6, Reiselied, op.19/6, Herbstlied, op.84 [not 85 as printed on the cover and in the booklet]/2, Venetianisches Gondellied, op.57/5, Schlafloser Augen Leuchte, Neue Liebe, op.19/2, Der Mond, op.86/5, An die Entferne, op.71/3, Die Sterne schau’n in stiller Nacht, op.99/2, Frühlingslied, op.47/3, Nachtlied, op.71/6, Volkslied, op.47/4 Nathalie Stutzmann (contralto), Dalton Baldwin (piano) Recorded at "La Chartreuse", Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, December 1989 WARNER ELATUS 2564-60535-2 [58:47]

Stutzmann’s gloriously rich, true contralto tones suggest riches and depths not always suspected in these songs. … see Full Review

Ervin (Erwin) SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) 1-5 Divertimento for String Quartet Op.14 (1914) [21:24] 6-9 String Sextet, for two violins, two violas and two cellos (1920-24) [21:52] 10-13 Duo for violin and cello (1925) [17:08] Kocian Quartet (Pavel Hula (first violin) tracks 1-13; Jan Ostrcil (second violin) tracks 1-9; Zbynek Padourek (viola) tracks 1-9; Vaclav Bernasek (cello) tracks 1-13; Jan Talich (viola) tracks 6-9; Evzen Rattay (cello) tracks 6-9) Recorded March – October 1994, Domovina Studio, Prague. DDD Chamber Works Vol. 2 SUPRAPHON 11 2167-2 131 [61:04] [MC]

Repeated listening to these Schulhoff scores offers revelatory rewards. In fact I strongly and confidently feel that we have discovered a major twentieth century composer here.… see Full Review

Ethyl SMYTH (1858-1944) String Quartet in E Minor: Allegretto lirico [12:10]; Allegro molto leggiero [5:48]; Andante [12:51]; Allegro energico [10:26] Amy Marcey BEACH (1867-1944) Quartet in one movement [14:57]: Grave - Piu animato - Allegro molto - Grave Susan SPAIN-DUNK (1880-1962) Phantasy Quartet in D Minor [13:11]: Allegro con fuoco - Andante moderato – Allegro con fuoco – Piu tranquillo Archaeus Quartet: Anne Hooley: Violin, Bridget Davey: Violin, Elizabeth Turnbull: Viola, Martin Thomas: Cello Recording location and dates not given. LONTANO RECORDS LORELT LNT 114 [69:23] [SA]

I cannot remember a record I’ve enjoyed more this year or one I felt compelled to listen to time after time – a fabulous disc! … see Full Review

 


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

American Orchestral Compositions (1890-1916) Edward MACDOWELL (1860-1908) Suite No. 1 in D minor Op. 42 (1891) [21.32] Suite No. 2 Indian Op. 48 (1892) [36.20] Horatio PARKER (1863-1919) Vathek - symphonic poem (1903) [14.54] Victor HERBERT (1859-1924) Hero and Leander - symphonic poem Op. 33 (1900) [29.11] Arthur FARWELL (1877-1952) The Gods of the Mountains - suite Op. 52 (1916) [19.04] Henry HADLEY (1871-1939) Symphony No. 2 in F minor Op. 30 (1901) [45.15] Salome - symphonic poem (1905-6) [31.18] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Karl Krueger rec. 1960s, stereo ADD. Recordings made by the Society for the Promotion of the American Musical Heritage BRIDGE 9124A/C [58.00+63.17+76.35] [RB]

Rapturous, restive and troubled late-romanticism … superlative playing and the close-up rugged analogue sound ... see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Violin Concerto Op. 14 (1939) Isaac Stern (violin) New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein, recorded 1964 Piano Concerto Op. 38 (1962) John Browning (piano) Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell, recorded 1964 Adagio for Strings Op. 11 (1938) Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy, recorded 1957 Essay for orchestra No. 2 Op. 17 The School for Scandal - Overture Op. 5 (1933) Stern, BrowningNew York Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Schippers, recorded 1965 SONY CLASSICAL SBK87948 [74.09] [JW]

An Essential Classic that preserves performances of outstanding commitment and understanding. … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Arias for mezzo soprano Rinaldo: Or la tromba, Cara sposa, Venti, turbini, Cor ingrato, Lascia ch’io pianga, Serse: Frondi tenere – Ombra mai fu; Partenope: Furibondo spira il vento; Agrippina: Bel piacere; Orlando: Fammi combattere Marilyn Horne (mezzo soprano), I solisti Veneti/Claudio Scimone Recorded at the Villa Simes, Piazzola, Italy, April 1982 APEX 2564 60519-2 [43:59] [CH]

This music springs to life as Handel’s operatic music rarely does. Don’t miss this enthralling testament to one of the great voices of the late 20th Century. … see Full Review

Gustav HOLST (1974-1934) Four Songs for voice and violin op. 35 (1917) [7.21] Six Songs op. 16 (1904) [13.02] Vedic Hymns op. 24 (1908) [24.26] Twelve Humbert Wolfe settings op. 48 (1929) [25.39] Margrete's Cradle Song Op. 4 No. 2 (1896) [2.38] The Heart Worships (1907) [3.14] Susan Gritton (sop) Philip Langridge (ten) Christopher Maltman (bar) Louisa Fuller (violin) Steuart Bedford (piano) rec. 5-7 May 1998, St Silas Church, St Silas Place, Chalk Farm, London first issued in 1997 on Collins Classics English Song Series - volume 6 NAXOS 8.557117 [76.21] [RB]

If you are at all interested in Holst or English song this is as attractive a buy as you are ever going to get. Don't delay ... buy today. ... see Full Review

Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Orchestral Works Vol.8 Dance Preludes for Clarinet and Orchestra (1955) Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra (1980) Grave, Metamorphoses for Cello and String Orchestra (1981) Chain 1 for 14 Performers (1983) Two Children’s Songs for Voice and Chamber Orchestra (1948) Six Children’s Songs for Voice and Instruments (1947) Zbigniew Kaleta (clarinet), Arkadiusz Krupa (oboe), Nicolas Tulliez (harp) Rafal Kwiatkowski (cello), Urszula Kryger (soprano) Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Antoni Wit Rec. Grzegorz Fitelberg Concert Hall, Katowice, Jan and April 2001 NAXOS 8.555763 [57’34] [TH] [CC]

This is an excellent disc, and the performances are inspired and dedicated.[TH]
This is a very, very rewarding disc. Repeated playing has not only reinforced but has actually strengthened my admiration for this composer [CC]. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Don Giovanni (Prague Version, 1787). Kwangchul Youn (bass) Don Giovanni; Regina Schörg (soprano) Donna Anna; Heidi Brunner (mezzo) Donna Elvira; Jeffrey Francis (tenor) Don Ottavio; Maurizio Murara (bass) Leporello; Birgid Steinberger (soprano) Zerlina; Reinhard Mayr (bass) Masetto; Reinhard Hagen (bass) Il Commendatore; Chorus sine nomine Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/Bertrand de Billy Rec. Sendesaal, Vienna in September 2002. DDD ARTE NOVA 74321 98338 2 [157’35: 3CDs: 76’21+66’18+16’56] [CC]

Arte Nova has given us cause to be grateful for this fascinating document. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Sonata for two violins in C, Op. 56 (1932) [13:40] Sonata No. 1, for violin and piano in f minor, Op. 80 (1938/1946) [21:38] Sonata No. 2, for violin and piano in D, Op. 94a (1944) [23:48] Jaakko Kuusisto, Violin I (op. 56), solo (op. 80) Pekka Kuusisto, Violin II (op. 56), solo (op. 94a) Iikka Paanannen, piano (op. 80) Paija Kerppo, piano (op. 94a) Recorded at the Finnish Broadcasting Company Studios in September, 1998 DDD WARNER APEX 2564 60623-2 [68:17] [KS]

An exceptionally fine performance of some magnificent music … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828) The Symphonies plus An interview with Yehudi Menuhin (In German – translations in English and French). Sinfonia Varsovia/Yehudi Menuhin Rec. 20–29 Jan 1997, Studio 1, Polish Radio, Warsaw. DDD APEX 2564 60530-2 [236.47], excluding talk [33.13] ~£15

Highly recommended, particularly at the low price. … See Full Review

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Violin Concerto No. 1 (1916) [25.49] Violin Concerto No. 2 (1932) [22.25] Mandragora (1926) [25.48] Stabat Mater (1926) [25.55] Litania do Marii Panny (1933) [9.29] Demeter (1924) [7.53] Kazimierz Pustelak (ten); Zdzislaw Lapinski (cello) (Mandragora) Jadwiga Gadulanka (sop); Jadwiga Rappé (alto); Andrzej Hiolski (bar) (Stabat Mater) Jadwiga Gadulanka (sop) (Litania) Jadwiga Rappé (alto) (Demeter) Polish Radio National SO/Polish Radio SO Kraków (only Mandragora)/Jerzy Maksymiuk (concerti); Antoni Wit (all other Szymanowski) Henryk GÓRECKI (b.1933) Three Pieces in the Old Style (1963) [9.47] Tadeusz BAIRD (1928-1981) Colas Breugnon Suite (1953) [14.40] Polish CO/Jerzy Maksymiuk rec. Warsaw School of Music, Aug-Sept 1976 (Baird, Gorecki); Polish RTV Studios, Katowice, Sept 1978, Mar 1981, Mar 1983 ADD/DDD EMI CLASSICS DOUBLE FFORTE 7243 5 75670 2 2 [72.52+69.32] [RB]

For all of my allegiance to the Rowicki set this generous and extremely inexpensive coupling is well worth getting. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813 - 1901) La Traviata – Opera in 3 Acts Libretto – Francesco Maria Piave, Violetta Valery - Tiziana Fabbricini, Flora Bervoix - Nicoletta Curiel, Annina - Antonella Trevisan, Alfredo Germont - Roberto Alagna, Giorgio Germont - Paolo Coni, Gastone, Visconte de Letorières - Enrico Cossutta, Barone Douphol - Orazio Mori, Marchese d’Obigny - Enzo Capuano, Dottor Grenvil - Francesco Musini, Giuseppe - Ernesto Gavazzi, Domestico di Flora - Ernesto Panariello, Commissionario - Silvestro Sammaritano, Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala, Milan/Riccardo Muti Rec. La Scala, Milan: March 29, 31, April 2, 7, 1992. SONY CLASSICAL SM2K 90457 [2 CDs: 61’49+74’29] [LB]

This recording has the potential to transform the indifferent listener into a passionate devotee of Italian Opera. … see Full Review

 


 


Detailed listing (last two days)]
[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L]  [Part 7 Misc M-Z]

 

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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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