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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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DAILY CD REVIEWS



Hoffnung Music Festivals 1956,58,61
£17 Post-free world-wide
This is a must for all Hoffnung enthusiasts.
Purchase here    see review

Hoffnung - A Last Encore
On 2 CDs lasting 1 hour 45min, this contains all the recordings of Hoffnung preserved in the BBC archives. They include the famous and hilariously funny Bricklayer story. £14 post free world-wide Purchase

MUSICWEB RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR 2004
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SEEN&HEARD CONCERT OF THE YEAR 2004


CD-ROMMUSICWEB ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF POPULAR MUSIC
now available on CD-ROM £15
(£16 outside the UK)
Over 4000 entries The Perfect Christmas Present

Avie Records has received a Grammy Nomination in the Best Classical Vocal Performance category for the CD of Handel Arias by mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Press Release Review [PSh](July RECORDING OF THE MONTH) Review[CW] Avie Web-site

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NEW and RECENT ARTICLES

MusicWeb Reviewer’s Log: October-December 2004 Reviewer: Patrick C Waller

 


MusicWeb recommended recordings 2004

220 CD reviews can be found on these pages

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BOOK REVIEW

British Music: The Journal of the British Music Society Volume 26 2004Editor: Roger Carpenter Celebratory Music of the Masters of the Queen’s (King’s) Musick in the Twentieth Century; Alastair Mitchell Frederic Austin - "a most versatile musician"; Martin Lee-Browne Edwin Rose (1898-1958): the diffident ‘genius’; Alan Gibbs "Waking up England": W Denis Browne and The Comic Spirit; Philip Lancaster "What the Minstrel told us" -Ronald Stevenson, Bax and the North; Cohn Scott-Sutherland Published by the British Music Society [JL]

I enjoyed reading this Journal and am resolved to ensure I catch up with it annually from now on. I liked the balance between detailed musical discussion and entertaining biography. ... see Full Review

Malcolm Arnold - Rogue Genius: The Life and Music of Britain’s most misunderstood composer by Anthony Meredith and Paul Harris 529 pages Published by Thames/Elkin, ISBN 0 903413 54 X Price £30.

For anyone wanting to get to know and understand Britain's greatest living composer, up close and in intimate detail, this illuminating book now takes pride of place: it is absolutely essential reading. ... see Full Review

British Music: The Journal of the British Music Society Volume 26 2004Editor: Roger Carpenter Celebratory Music of the Masters of the Queen’s (King’s) Musick in the Twentieth Century; Alastair Mitchell Frederic Austin - "a most versatile musician"; Martin Lee-Browne Edwin Rose (1898-1958): the diffident ‘genius’; Alan Gibbs "Waking up England": W Denis Browne and The Comic Spirit; Philip Lancaster "What the Minstrel told us" -Ronald Stevenson, Bax and the North; Cohn Scott-Sutherland Published by the British Music Society [JL]

I enjoyed reading this Journal and am resolved to ensure I catch up with it annually from now on. I liked the balance between detailed musical discussion and entertaining biography. ... see Full Review

GERALD FINZI: A Bio-Bibliography by John C. Dressler Greenwood Press 1997 xiii, 200pp £55.50 Hardback ISBN 0 313 28693 0.[RB]

Finzians who may have joined the ‘select’ since 1997 should be reminded of this book and should order it now. It remains uniquely valuable.... see Full Review

Alan RAWSTHORNE - A Bio-Bibliography By John C. Dressler Music Bio-Bibliographies No. 97 (ISSN: 0742-6968) Praeger Publishers. Westport, Conn. 2004. 382 pages LC 2004053431. ISBN 0-313-30589-7 $99.95

An essential purchase for Rawsthorne enthusiasts, for those wanting total documentation of the first golden age of the British film industry and other outright enthusiasts of the genre and era ... see Full Review

 



RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Six Cello Suites Antonio Meneses (cello) recorded in St Martin’s Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, 2-5 June 2004 AVIE AV0052 [55'48" + 72'59"] [PL]

A truly wonderful thing, it deserves the strongest recommendation: buy it, be it your 1st recording, or your nth. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert JOHNSON (c.1583-1633) Away Delights – Lute Solos and Songs from Shakespeare’s England Fantasia, The gypsies’ dance, As I walked forth, Where the bee sucks, Gallyard (My Lady Mildmay’s Delight), Woods, rocks and mountains, Come hither you that love, Tell me dearest, Pavan I in C minor, Almayne I Hark! Hark! The lark, Away delights, Oh, let us howl, Pavan II in F minor, Almayne II, How wretched is the state, Have you seen but a white lily grow? Care-charming sleep, Pavan III in C minor, Almayne III, Almayne IV, With endless tears, Come heavy sleep Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Matthew Wadsworth (lute) Mark Levy (bass viol) Recorded St Mary’s Church, South Creake, Norfolk, October 2003 and April 2004 AVIE AV2053 [64.47] [JW]

A very distinguished release and its dynamic motor, Wadsworth, also wrote the notes, produced the artwork and owns the copyright. A Restoration Man indeed. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Charles KOECHLIN (1867-1950) Vers la Voûte Étoilée - nocturne pour orchestre dédié à la mémoire de Camille Flammarion (1923-33, rev. 1939) [12:31] Le Docteur Fabricius - poème symphonique d’après la nouvelle de Charles Dollfus Op. 202 (1941-44 orch. 1946) [51:09] Christine Simonin (ondes martenot) Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR/Heinz Holliger Rec. SWR, Stadthalle Sindelfingen, Konzertsaal, 24-26 Feb 2003. DDD HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.106 [63:40] [RB]

Two world premiere recordings ... two philosophical and imaginative pieces touched with an ardent imagination ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Carl REINTHALER (1822–1896) Jephta und seine Tochter Jephta – Richard Salter (bass) Mirjam – Sabine Riggerbusch (soprano) A Maiden - Waltraud Hoffmann-Mucher (alto) Ephraim – Jurgen Sacher (tenor) A Maiden – Konstanze Maxsein (soprano) Prophet – Oliver Zwarg (bass) Bremer Domchor Kammer Sinfonie Bremen/Wolfgang Helbich Recorded St. Petri Dom Bremen, 25-28 March 1997 CPO 999 938-2 [60.47 + 63.35] [RH]

A fascinating oratorio written just after Mendelssohn’s death and owing something to Elijah but displaying a fine command of the genre. I enjoyed this immensely.... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835 - 1921) Symphony #3, Op 78 Organ (1886) [34.44] Berj Zamkochian, Aeolian-Skinner organ; Bernard Zighera and Leo Litwin, pianos. Claude DEBUSSY (1862 - 1918) La Mer (1905) [22.52] Jacques IBERT (1890 - 1962) Escales (1922) [15.21] Ralph Gomberg, oboe Boston Symphony Orchestra/ Charles Munch Recorded in Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. RCA/BMG 828766-61387-2 [73.04]

A blockbuster of a recording, the centrepiece of any collection of French music, organ music, or hi-fi demonstration sound! ... ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Piano Quintet (1972-76) [27’42"]; Piano Trio (1992) [29’18"] * Barbican Piano Trio: Gaby Lester (violin), Robert Max (cello), James Kirby (piano), with Jan Peter Schmolck (violin on Quintet) and James Boyd (viola on Quintet). Recorded 6 August and 23 November 2000 at St. Georges, Brandon Hill, Bristol. DDD * BLACK BOX BBM1093 [57’03"] [BH]

An outstanding addition to the Schnittke canon. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claudio Arrau (piano). Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 13 in E flat, Op. 27 No. 1 (1801) [16’59]. Robert SCHUMANN (1810-56) Fantasy in C, Op. 17 (1838) [33’06]. Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Drei Klavierstücke, Op. 11 (1909) [13’43]. Claudio Arrau (piano). Rec. BBC Studios, London, October 16th, 1960 (Beethoven, Schumann); March 13th, 1959 (Schoenberg) ADD mono BBC LEGENDS/IMG ARTISTS BBCL4162-2 [64'08] [CC]

A magnificent disc that reveals ... sovereign majesty. This demands to be heard, both as an indispensable addition to Arrau’s discography and as a testament to Arrau at his very greatest. ... see Full Review

The 'Borderless' RECORDING OF THE MONTH Nostalgica Juan MARTÍN (b. 1943): Rumba Nostálgica; Astor PIAZZOLLA 1921 – 1992): Romance del Diablo; Roland DYENS (b. 1955): Tango en Skai; Béla BARTÓK (1881 – 1945): Romanian Folk Dances; Bill WHELAN (b. 1950): Riverdance (from Riverdance The Show); CELTIC TRADITIONAL: She Moved Through the Fair; Bill WHELAN: American Wake (from Riverdance The Show); CELTIC TRADITIONAL: The Salley Gardens; Nigel WESTLAKE (b. 1958): Six Fish; DEEP PURPLE: Highway Star. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet (Antony Field, Slava Grigoryan, Karin Schaupp, Gareth Koch). Recorded 4–16 June 2004, Jumpstart Studios, Brisbane, Australia. ABC CLASSICS 476 261-1 [54:39] [GF]

Let me say from the outset that this is a fantastic disc! ... see Full Review

 

 



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854-1921) Hänsel und Gretela (1890-93) Elisabeth Grümmer (mezzo) Hansel; Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Gretel; Else Schürhoff (mezzo) The Witch; Maria von Ilosvay (mezzo) Mother; Josef Metternich (baritone) Father; Anny Felbermayer (soprano) Sandman, Dew Fairy; Loughton High School for Girls Choir; Bancroft School Choir Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan. Hänsel und Gretel extracts: Suse, liebe Suse, was raschelt im Strohb; Brüderchen, komm tanz’ mit mirb (sung in Italian); Ral la la … heissa Mutter, ich bin da! (Besenbinderlied)c; Ein Männlein steht im Walded; Der kleine Sandmann bin ichd; Abends, will ich schlafen gehnd; Hurr hopp hopp hoppe; Juchhei! Nun ist die Hexe tot (Witch Waltz)f. bConchita Supervía (mezzo); bInes Maria Ferraris, dElisabeth Schumann, fMeta Seinemeyer (sopranos); fHelen Jung (mezzo); cGerhard Hüsch (baritone); borchestra/A. Albergoni; cefBerlin State Opera Orchestra/cHanns Udo Müller, efFrieder Weissmann; dErnest Lush (piano) Synopsis included. From aColumbia 33CX1096/97, Fonotipia b120166, cHMV EH1024, dDA1439, efOdeon O-7796. . Rec. aKingsway Hall, London, on June 27th, 29th-30th and July 1st-2nd, 1953, bMilan in 1928, Berlin in cJanuary 1937, efFebruary 15th, 1929, dAbbey Road Studio No. 3, London, on August 28th, 1935. NAXOS GREAT OPERA RECORDINGS 8.110897/8 [127’21: 62’45 + 64’36] [CC]

Surely one of the real jewels in Naxos’ crown … and don’t just play it at Christmas, either! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 in A minor
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Yoel Levi recorded in Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia, 26-27 June 1997 TELARC CD-80444 [78'07"]

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Levi’s conducting. One of the most striking achievements is the extent to which Mahler’s every marking is loyally enacted. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Il Terzo Libro de’ Madrigali (1592) La giovinetta pianta [03:13] O come è gran martire [03:49] Sovra tenere erbette e bianchi fiori [03:39] O dolce anima mia, dunque è pur vero [03:31] Stracciami pur il core [03:12] O rossignuol chín queste verdi fronde [04:38] Se per estremo ardore [03:27] Vattene pur crudel [02:09] Là tra'l sangue [03:21] Poi ch'ella in sé tornò [03:36] O primavera gioventù de l'anno [03:33] Perfidissimo volto [03:31] Ch'io non t'ami, vor mio? [05:11] Occhi, un tempo mia vita [03:10] Vivrò fra i miei tormenti [01:49] Ma dove, oh lasso me! [03:09] Io pur verrò là dove sète [02:40] Lumi, miei cari lumi [02:50] Rimanti in pace [04:01] Ond'ei, di morte [04:36] Delitiae Musicae: Alessandro Carmignani, Fabian Schofrin, Gianluigi Ghiringhelli (alto), Fabio Fùrnari, Paolo Fanciulacci (tenor), Marco Scavazza (baritone), Walter Testolin (bass), Maurizio Piantelli (theorbo), Carmen Leoni (harpsichord) Dir: Marco Longhini Rec. May 2002, Chiesa di San Pietro, Vincoli, Azzago, Italy. DDD NAXOS 8.555309 [69:06] [JV]

Another enthralling recording of Monteverdi madrigals by Delitiae Musicae ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839 – 1881) Pictures at an Exhibition orch. Maurice Ravel (1922) Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893) March miniature, (from Suite No. 1 in D minor) (1879) Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839 – 1881) A Night on the Bald Mountain (orch. Rimsky-Korsakov) (1886) Alexander BORODIN (1833 – 1887) Prince Igor: Polovtsian March (1890) Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893) Marche slave (1876) Dmitri KABALEVSKY (1904 – 1987) Colas Breugnon Overture, Op. 24 (1938) Mikhail GLINKA (1804 – 1857) Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture (1842) Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner. Recorded 7 Dec 1957, 14 March 1959, Symphony Hall, Chicago, U.S.A. SACD (ADD). BMG-RCA LIVING STEREO 82876 61394-2 [70’57"] [JPh]

Like many of Reiner’s recordings the performances have never been surpassed ... see Full Review

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) The Fairy Queen. Semi-Opera in Five Acts (1692) Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Andrew Carwood (tenor) Michael Bundy (bass) Gillian Keith (soprano 1) Rebecca Outram (soprano 2) William Towers (counter-tenor) Robert Murray (tenor) New English Voices Accademia Bizantina/Ottavio Dantone Recorded at Teatro Rossini, Lugo di Romagna, Ravenna, July 2001 ARTS 47679-2 [65.19 + 67.07] [JW]

This entrant has strong and lasting virtues of its own and is recommended on merit. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Gurrelieder (1900-11) Stephen O’Mara (tenor), Melanie Diener (soprano), Jennifer Lane (mezzo-soprano), David Wilson-Johnson (bass), Martyn Hill (tenor), Ernst Haefliger (speaker) Simon Joly Chorale Philharmonia Orchestra/Robert Craft Rec. The Colosseum, Watford, England, 16-20 October 2001 DDD Previously released on Koch International Classics NAXOS 8.557518-19 [66.48 + 51.00]

The opening sequence: among the highlights ... has probably never sounded better than it does here. Pacing and shaping are beautifully judged ... played supremely well. [TB]
Clarity and majesty and a huge sense of occasion ... see Full Review [BH]

 

 

 


 

Detailed listing (last two days)]
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[Part 6 Misc A-L]  [Part 7 Misc M-Z]




 

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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