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MusicWeb Recommended Recordings 2004 JAN-APR

[Jan] [Feb] [March] [April} [May - August] [Sept - Dec] [2005]

UNEASY LISTENING - A caricature guide to 20th century composers
by John Minnion
109pp Paperback ISBN 0-9544499 1 6 [RB]

This is wonderfully well done as a book of illustrations. It tells us something of the psychology of the composer in each case and does so wittily and not without taking a few dangerous corners. ... see Full Review



JANUARY

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Coronation March (1911) [6’46] Summer (1914) [10’42] Phantasm, for piano and orchestra (1927) [24’21] There is a Willow Grows aslant a Brook (1927) [11’18] Vignettes de danse (1938) [11’20] Sir Roger de Coverley (A Christmas Dance) (1922) [4’41] Howard Shelley (piano) BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox Recorded at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, Nov.28-29 2002 Bridge Orchestral Works Vol.3 CHANDOS CHAN 10112 [69’55] [TH]

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 1 in D (1884-96) Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Rafael Kubelik
Recorded "live" in Herkules-Saal in der Residenz, Munich, 2nd November 1979 AUDITE 95.467 [51.33] [TD]

This is a top recommendation. It supersedes Kubelik’s studio recording on DG and surpasses Horenstein and Barbirolli which must now be thought of as alternatives to this Audite release. Simply indispensable. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No 6 in A minor [81’07"] St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Sanderling Recorded: Big Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, 2-4 July 1995. DDD RS REAL SOUND RS 052-0186 [2 CDs 35’54" + 45’13"] [JQ]

I should like to hear Sanderling in more Mahler but for now this excellent recording will do to be going on with … see Full Review

Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937) Boléro (1928) [17.22] La Valse (1920) [12.25] Rapsodie Espagnole (1907) [16.14] Pavane pour une infante défunte (1905) [6.55] Daphnis et Chloé Suite #2 (1912) [17.13] Daphnis et Chloé Suite #2, "Chloé is accosted" [4.33] Minnesota Orchestra/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski Recorded in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, November 1974. All CD tracks are in 2.0 stereo, without any mixdown of the rear channels. All SACD tracks in discrete 4.0 Surround Sound, except the final track which is in discrete derived 5.0 Surround Sound. Digitised and restored by Paul Stubblebine Playable on SACD players and on all compact disk players Hybrid SACD ORIGINAL MASTERS RECORDING UDSACD 4002 [73.21] [PSh]

The best sounding recording of this music ever made, and, perhaps surprisingly, one of the very best played as well. An absolute must-have for anyone who loves Ravel, no matter how many recordings of this music you already have...see Full Review

Peter llyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Romeo and Juliet – Fantasy Overture (1880) Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.74 ‘Pathétique’ (1893) Philharmonia Orchestra/Guido Cantelli Romeo and Juliet recorded 13th October 1951, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road; Symphony No.6 recorded 22-28th October 1952, Royal Festival Hall. Full Price TESTAMENT SBT 1316 [61’44] [MB]

A mandatory purchase for anyone interested in great conducting and great orchestral playing. Only very rarely will you ever hear anything as thrilling. … see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello (1884-86) Opera in four acts, libretto by Arrigo Boito Otello – Placido Domingo (tenor) Iago – Leo Nucci (baritone) Desdemona – Barbara Fritolli (soprano) Cassio – Cesare Catani (tenor) Roderigo – Antonello Ceron (tenor) Emilia – Rossana Rinaldi (mezzo) Lodovico – G. Battista Parodi (bass) Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan/Riccardo Muti Stage Director – Graham Vick TV Director – Carlo Battistoni Recorded at La Scala, Milan, December 2001 TDK DVOPOTEL
[140 minutes] [TH]

It is hard not to give this a completely unqualified recommendation. … see Full Review

Great Conductors of the Twentieth Century: Dimitri Mitropoulos Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911): Symphony No 6 in A minor* [74’39"] Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869): Roméo et Juliette. Symphonie Dramatique; Op. 17 - Excerpts ** [46’28"]: Introduction; Roméo Seul; Scène d’amour; La reine Mab, ou la fée des songes; Roméo au tombeau des Capulets Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918): La Mer*** [22’36"] Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949): Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils**** [8’49"] *WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln (Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester) New York Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos Rec. *Klaus-von-Bismark Saal, WDR, Cologne, 31 August 1959; 30th Street Studios, New York, **22 October 1952; ***27 November 1950; *****3 November 1956. ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT CONDUCTORS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY 7243 5 75471 2 3 [74’42"+78’18"] [JQ]

Mahler 6 is the highlight but the whole offers great, inspirational conducting. Music making that demands to be heard. Recommended with the greatest possible enthusiasm. … see Full Review

Duo Mandala: Tapestry Bill CONNOR Krug: (2002) [8.14] Julian DAWES Three Pieces for Mandolin and Harp: (1994): Waltz [2.30]; Phantasy [3.18]; Toccata [1.54] David SUTTON-ANDERSON Mandalas: (1994-1995) [17.39] Paul MITCHELL-DAVIDSON Tapestry: (1994-1995): Dance of Limewood, Smile of Ash [6.44]; A Joy of Wild Asses [5.20]; Harvest of the Quiet Eye [7.56]; A Full Moon Rising Red [12.11] Alison Stephens (mandolin) Lauren Scott (harp) Recorded at Sennheiser Studio, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, 9-11 September 2002 BLACK BOX BBM 1088 [65.53] [CF]

A highly attractive disc … masters of their instruments, playing with imaginative flair and technical skill. … see Full Review

 


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1826) Symphonies 1-9: S.464 arr. 1837-1865 by Franz Liszt (1811 - 1886) Cyprien Katsaris, piano Recorded 1985-1989, location not given. Notes in English, Français, Deutsch TELDEC CLASSICS 2564 60865-2 [6CDs: 61.15+53.48+71.23+44.06+66.41+65.36] [PSh]

The best set of these amazing transcriptions which every Beethoven lover must own—even a Beethoven hater might like them … see Full Review

Classical Cello Concertos CD1 Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor Wq. 170 (H.432) Cello Concerto No. 3 in A major Wq. 172 (H.439) Cello Concerto No. 2 in B flat major Wq. 171 (H.436) Balázs Máté (cello) Concerto Armonico/Péter Szüts On authentic instruments Recording: 1995 Licensed from Hungaroton, Hungary. Brilliant Classics DDD STEMRA 92198/1 CD2 Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) Cello Concerto in E flat major, No.12 (G deest) Cello Concerto in G major, No.7 (G 480) Cello Concerto in A major, No.2 (G 475) Cello Concerto in C major, No.11(G 573) Julius Berger (cello) South-West German Chamber Orchestra, Pforzheim/Vladislav Czarnecki Recording: 1988, Matthäuskirche, Pforzheim, Germany. Producer: Teije van Geest Licensed from EBS, Germany Brilliant Classics DDD STEMRA 92198/2 CD3 Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) Cello Concerto in D major, No.6 (G 479) Cello Concerto in B flat major, No.9 (G 482) Cello Concerto in C major, No.4 (G 477) Cello Concerto in D major, No.3 (G 476) Julius Berger (cello) South-West German Chamber Orchestra, Pforzheim/Vladislav Czarnecki Recording: 1988, Matthäuskirche, Pforzheim, Germany. Producer: Teije van Geest Licensed from EBS, Germany Brilliant Classics DDD STEMRA 92198/3 CD4 Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) Cello Concerto in D major, No.5 (G 478) Cello Concerto in E flat major, No.1 (G 474) Cello Concerto in C major, No.8 (G 481) Cello Concerto in D major, No.10 (G 483) Julius Berger (cello) South-West German Chamber Orchestra, Pforzheim/Vladislav Czarnecki Recording: 1988, Matthäuskirche, Pforzheim, Germany. Producer: Teije van Geest Licensed from EBS, Germany Brilliant Classics DDD STEMRA 92198/4 CD5 Leonardo LEO (1694-1744) Cello Concerto in D major (L 10) Cello Concerto in A major (L 20) Sinfonie concertante for cello and strings in C minor (L 30) Julius Berger (cello) South-West German Chamber Orchestra, Pforzheim/Vladislav Czarnecki Recording: 29-31 May 1999, Kirnbachhalle, Niefern-Öschelbronn, Germany. Producer & engineer: Reinhard Geller Licensed from EBS, Germany Brilliant Classics DDD STEMRA 2198/5 CD6 Leonardo LEO (1694-1744) Cello Concerto in F minor (L 40) Cello Concerto in A major (L 50) Cello Concerto in D minor (L 60) Julius Berger (cello) South-West German Chamber Orchestra, Pforzheim/Vladislav Czarnecki Recording: 5-7 July 1999, Kirnbachhalle in Niefern-Öschelbronn, Germany. Producer & engineer: Reinhard Geller Licensed from EBS, Germany Brilliant Classics DDD STEMRA 92198/6 CD7 Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Cello Concerto in D major Hob. VIIb: 2 Cello Concerto in C major Hob. VIIb: 1 Miklós Perényi (cello) Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra/János Rolla Recording: 1979 Producer: Zoltán Hézser Licensed from Hungaroton, Hungary. Brilliant Classics ADD STEMRA 92198/7 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92198 [7 CDs: CD1 68:57; CD2 63:26; CD3 72:37; CD4 74:42; CD5 37:21; CD6 44:03; CD7 50:38] [MC]

Excellently performed works with many gems waiting to be discovered. Nothing here to deter even the most discerning buyer. The slim and compact packaging is simple, yet attractive … at super-budget price an absolute steal. Highly recommended. … see Full Review

 

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) The Cunning Little Vixen (in English) Libretto by Leoš Janáček, English translation by Yveta Synek Graff and Robert T Jones Forester – Thomas Allen (bass) Mosquito/Schoolmaster – Robert Tear (tenor) Forester’s Wife/Owl – Gillian Knight (soprano) Vixen – Lillian Watson (soprano) Priest/Badger – Gwynne Howell (bass) Pásek, innkeeper – John Dobson (tenor) Harašta, a poacher – Nicholas Folwell (baritone) Fox – Diana Montague (mezzo-soprano) Innkeeper’s Wife - Elizabeth Bainbridge (mezzo-soprano) Hens, Forest creatures and Voices Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Simon Rattle Recorded Abbey Road, London, June 1990 CHANDOS CHAN 3101(2) [2 CDs: 96.47] [JW]

Chandos are doing us proud in their selective and astute reclamation of such material. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonatas, Fantasias and Rondos CD 1 [73:09] Sonatas in G, K.283, A, K.331, F, K.332, B flat, K.333 Rec. 9-11 December 1989 CD 2 [65:00] Sonatas in B flat, K.281, E flat, K.282, C, K.545, D, K.284 Rec. 26-29 June 1990 CD 3 [70:39] Sonatas in C, K.309, A minor, K.310, D, K.311, C, K.330 Rec. 27 August 1990 (K.309), 7-9 September 1989 (K.310, K.311), 5 August 1991 (K.330) CD 4 [73:38] Sonata in C, K.279, Fantasia in D minor, K.397, Sonata in F, K.280, Rondo in D, K.485, Fantasia in C minor, K.475, Sonata in C minor, K.457 Rec. 21-24 and 27 August 1990 CD 5 [67:29] Sonatas in F, K.533, B flat, K.570, D, K.576, Rondo in A minor, K.511 Rec. 8-9 November 1990 (K. 533, K.570), 6-7 March 1991 (K. 576, K.511) Alicia de Larrocha (piano) Recorded at the American Academy Institute of Arts and Letters, New York City (K.330), University Music School Concert Hall, Cambridge, England (K. 310, K.311), all others in BMG Studio A, New York City, dates as above BMG CLASSICS RCA RED SEAL 82876-55705-2 [5 CDs] [CH]

An ideal buy; warmly recorded performances that express everything that is in the music while remaining wholly without idiosyncrasies. … see Full Review

BARGAIN DISCOVERY OF THE MONTH Julian ORBÓN (1925 – 1991) Danzas sinfónicas (1957) Concerto Grosso (1958) Tres versiones sinfónicas (1954) Asturias Symphony Orchestra/Maximiano Valdés Recorded: Casa Municipal de Cultura, Avilés, 1998 NAXOS 8.557368 [66 :17] [HC]

This still underrated composer unquestionably deserves serious consideration. Recommended. … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sinfonia Varsovia/Yehudi Menuhin Symphony No. 1 in D major, D.82 (1813) Symphony No. 4 in C minor, D.417 ‘Tragic’ (1816) WARNER APEX 2564 60527-2 Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, D.125 (1815) Symphony No. 6 in C major, D.859 (1818) WARNER APEX 2564 60529-2 Symphony No. 3 in D major, D.200 (1815) Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, D.485 (1816) Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D.759 ‘Unfinished’ (1822) WARNER APEX 2564 60530-2 Symphony No. 9 in C major, D.944 ‘Great’ (1827) WARNER APEX 2564 60531-2 Rec. 20–29 Jan 1997, Studio 1, Polish Radio, Warsaw Complete Set 5CDs 2564605322

Yehudi Menuhin’s close and stimulating relationship with Sinfonia Varsovia reflected in this fine cycle excellently played and recorded …Everything sounds nicely in place, and there is atmosphere as well as clarity. … see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 - 1975) String Quartets 1-15 complete Brodsky Quartet: Michael Thomas, Ian Belton vv.; Paul Cassidy, vla.; Jacqueline Thomas, vc. Recorded Teldec Recording Studio, Berlin, Germany, September 1989. Notes in English, Deutsch, Français Originally released 1991; re-released 2003 TELDEC 2564 60867 2 [378.16] [PSh]

A very satisfactory version of these milestones in the quartet form. … see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Suite from the The Nutcracker, Op.71a: Miniature Overture; March; Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy; Trepak; Arab Dance; Chinese Dance; Dance of the Reeds; Flower Waltz Capriccio Italien, Op.45 Eugene Onegin, Op.24: Waltz and Polonaise Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Lazarev Recorded Moscow, 1992 WARNER APEX 2564 608822-2 [50:12] [JL]

This disc freshens up some popular old Tchaikovsky numbers with superb playing, proving that a special, vibrant Russian orchestral sound still lives. … see Full Review


  February

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Vanessa. An opera in three acts (Revised Version) Vanessa: Ellen Chickering (soprano) Erika: Andrea Matthews (soprano) The Old Baroness: Marion Dry (contralto) Anatol: Ray Bauwens (tenor) The Old Doctor: Richard Conrad (tenor) Nicholas: Philip Lima (baritone) Ukrainian National Capella "Dumka" National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Gil Rose Rec. Concert Studio of Ukrainian Radio, Kiev, Ukraine, 25 May – 8 June 2002 DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.669140-41 [2 CDs 55’08" + 65’51"] [JQ]

Rejoice that such a significant opera has been done proud by this release. … a very fine achievement. Urgently recommended. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841 - 1904) Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 53 (1884) Romance in F Minor Op. 11 (1877) Joseph SUK (1874 - 1935) Fantasia for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 24 (1902) Josef Suk (violin) Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl Part of the Karel Ančerl Gold Edition remastered in 24 bit sound Rec. Rudolfinum Hall, Prague, August 1961. ADD SUPRAPHON SU 3668-2 [69:16] [JPh]

Drama and delicacy balanced perfectly … the wonderful acoustic of the Rudolfinum, enhances the performances, making listening an absolute joy. … see Full Review

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Cendrillon (1896) Frederica von Stade (mezzo) Cendrillon; Nicolai Gedda (tenor) Prince Charmant; Jane Berbié (soprano) Madame de la Haltière; Jules Bastin (bass) Pandolfe; Ruth Welting (soprano) La Fée; Teresa Cahill (soprano) Noémie; Elizabeth Bainbridge (mezzo) Dorothée; Claude Méloni (tenor) Le Roi, La Voix du Héraut; Paul Crook (tenor) Le Doyen de la Faculté; Christian du Plessis (baritone) Le Surintendant des Plaisirs; John Noble (baritone) Le Premier Ministre Ambrosian Opera Chorus; Philharmonia Orchestra ADD /Julius Rudel Rec All Saints Church, London, in 1978. SONY CLASSICAL SM2K91178 [two discs: 136’33: 71’18 + 65’15] [CC]

This set positively sparkles with joy … this is a Recording of the Month if ever there was one. … see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) The Symphonies CD1 Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39 (1899) Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52 (1904–1907) Finlandia Op. 26 (1899–1900) CD2 Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43 (1901) [44.10] Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 63 (1911) [35.48] CD3 Symphony No. 5 in E flat Op. 82 (1914) [31.14] Karelia Suite Op. 11 (1893) [14.55] Pohjola’s Daughter Op. 49 (1906) [11.51] The Bard Op. 64 (1913) [7.58] CD4 Symphony No. 6 (1923) [27.01] Symphony No. 7 (1924) [21.19] Tapiola (1926) [15.42] City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo rec. Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 7-12 Jan 2002 (CD1), 29 May - 1 June 2000 (CD2), 17-19 Apr 2001 (CD3), 6-8 Jan 2003 (CD4) WARNER ERATO 2564 60294-2 [4 CDs: 75.15+80.00+66.35+64.22] [RB] [JPh]


If you like your Sibelius served ablaze rather than cool then Oramo is the man for you. Magnificent in 2, 5, 6, 7 and Pohjola. Never less than thoughtful and often provocative ... see Full Review

LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI - Decca Recordings 1965-1972 DECCA ORIGINAL MASTERS LIMITED EDITION 475 145-2 [5CDs: 78.14+69.48+75.33+65.13+80.38] [RB]

A landmark set in a limited edition. Sybaritic opulence at its zenith with an OTT recording system to match. Gorgeous? ... I should say! ... see Full Review

 

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Iolanta (1892) - opera in eight scenes, an introduction and finale [92.24] Olga Myktenko (sop) - Iolanta Benno Schollum (bass) - King René of Provence Andrey Grigoryev (bar) - Robert Piotr Beczala (ten) - Count Vaudémont Vladimir Krassov (bar) - Ibn-Hakia Roman Muravitsky - Alméric Nikolai Didenko - Bertrand Nina Romanova - Martha Bella Kabanova - Brigitte Moscow Chamber Choir/Vladimir Minin Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio/Vladimir Fedoseyev Alla Demidova reads from Pushkin's Eugene Onegin interspersed with scenes from Tchaikovsky's opera (sung by Maria Gavrilova (sop), Irina Chistiakova (mezzo), Sergej Murzayev (bar), Albert Shagidullin (bar), Vitaly Tarashchenko (ten)). [48.00] rec. live, 13 March 2002, Grand Hall, Moscow Conservatory (Iolanta); live, 24 May 1999, Pushkin Concert, 24 May 1999, Great Hall, Moscow Conservatory (readings). RELIEF CR991074 [68.38+70.36] [RB]

Wonderful - a most accomplished and life-imbued version of Iolanta. A top recommendation ... see Full Review

 

MY LOVE Malena Ernman (mezzo-soprano) Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Una voce poco fa Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen: L’amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera), Près des remparts de Séville (Seguidilla) Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Vocalise-étude en forme de Habanera Michel LEGRAND (b. 1932) The summer knows Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Le Nozze di Figaro: Non sò più cosa son, cosa faccio, Voi che sapete, Abendempfindung an Laura Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die Sterne, D.939, Im Frühling, D.882, Heidenröslein, D.257, Litanei, D.343 Duke ELLINGTON (1899-1974) Heaven*, Come Sunday*, Almighty God, My Love Nils LINDBERG (b.1933) Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Bo NILSSON (b.1937) Vals i mejram, Röda höst, Det finns ju faktiskt telefon* Malena Ernman (mezzo-soprano), Mats Bergström (guitar), with *Magnus Lindgren clarinet/flute) and Hans Backenroth (double bass) All works arranged by Mats Bergström, the first two Bo Nilsson pieces after arrangements by Stefan Nilsson Recorded April and June 2002 at Länna Church, Sweden BIS-NL-CD-5020 [67:45] [CH]

Malena Ernman is second to none among today’s mezzos and the originality of her programme planning ensures that each disc is a special event. … see Full Review

 

CURIOSITY OF THE MONTH Hornroh Zirp Das Alphorn danasch [1:15] Kaamor [4:56] Purup [1:16] Dr’ Schlipfer [4:16] Rothko Room [3:04] Flüchting [2:06] Serpent tacere [4:39] Adieu O(h) W(eh) [2:17] Arb [7:08] Ahjä [3:18] Flugs [3:27] Choral [4:54] Zirp [4:42] Fun Facile [6:41] All compositions written and arranged by Hornroh Recorded in July 2002 at Saalbau Aarau DDD SUISA MGB CD 6195 [54:01] [PG]

If you only buy one recording of new music this year, you wouldn’t go wrong by choosing this one; I cannot recommend it highly enough. … see Full Review

 

 

 


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

 

Dave BRUBECK (b. 1920) Chromatic Fantasy Sonata [29:05] Five Pieces from ‘Two-Part Adventures’ [5:50] Tritonis [13:04] The Salmon Strikes [3:06] Rising Sun [3:44] John Salmon, PianoRecorded at the School of Music, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA on 22 September and 13-14 October, 2002 DDD NAXOS 8.559212 [54:48] [PG]

Performances of highest caliber. truly excellent. The music is a joy. The performance is exquisite. Very highly recommended. … see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Sonata in G minor, Hob.XVI: 44 Piano Sonata in G major, Hob.XVI: 40 Piano Sonata in E minor, Hob.XVI: 34 Piano Sonata in C major, Hob.XVI: 48 Piano Sonata in C minor, Hob.XVI: 20 András Schiff (piano) Recorded in Teldec Studio, Berlin, January, 1997 DDD WARNER ELATUS 2564 60677-2 [73’45]

Even in a crowded field, this is almost self-recommending. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1895-6) Marjorie Thomas (Contralto) Tolzer Knabenchor Symphonie-Orchester und Frauenchor des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Rafael Kubelik Recorded "live" in Herkules-Saal in der Residenz, Munich, 20 April 1967 AUDITE 23.403 [2 CDs: 94.36] [TD]

This is a firm recommendation for Mahler’s Third and another gem in Audite’s Kubelik releases. … see Full Review

 

Nicolay MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor, Op. 44 (1938) [38:06] Mieczyław VAINBERG (1919-1996) Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in G minor, Op. 67 (1961) [28:43] Ilya Grubert, violin Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Dmitry Yablonsky, conductor Recorded in Studio 5 of the Moscow State Broadcasting and Recording House from 27 February to 5 March 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557194 [66:49] [KS]

Bold, lyrical, rhythmic, charming, dramatic and thought-provoking … some unusual yet highly accessible delights. Go buy and enjoy. … see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Tosca (1900) Maria Callas (Tosca), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Cavaradossi), Tito Gobbi (Scarpia), Franco Calabrese (Angelotti), Angelo Mercuriali (Spoletta), Melchiorre Luise (Sacristan), Dario Caselli (Sciarrone/Gaoler), Alvaro Cordova (Shepherd), Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, Milan/Victor De Sabata Recorded 10th-14th, 16th and 18th-21st August 1953 in the Teatro alla Scala, Milan NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110256-57 [2 CDs: 42:35, 65:56] [CH]

This mythical set lives up to its reputation and sounds fine in this transfer. … see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrushka (1911, rev. 1947) [34’11]. Le sacre du printemps (1913, rev. 1947) [32’42]. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl. Rec. Dvořák Hall of Rudolfinum, Prague, in March 1962 (Petrushka) and March 1963 (Le sacre). ADD SUPRAPHON KAREL ANČERL GOLD EDITION SU3665-2 [67’05] [CC]

A remarkable document that should be heard without delay. … see Full Review


March

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Concerto Grosso No. 2 in G (1948) [15’27]. Autumn Legend for Cor anglais and String Orchestraa (1954) [12’18]. Lyra Angelicab (Concerto for Harp and String Orchestra) (1953/4) [31’29] aGeoffrey Browne (cor anglais); bOsian Ellis (harp) London Philharmonic Orchestra/William Alwyn. No rec. info given. ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD230 [59’17] [JW]

Of all the Alwyn discs from Lyrita, this is surely the most special. … see Full Review

William BLANK (b.1957) Trio à cordes (1997) [18.28] Trio Contrechamps: Isabelle Magneat, v; Ruth Killius, vla; Daniel Haefliger, vc. Recorded live by Radio Suisse Romande in Geneva, 14 March 1998 Anacrousis pour percussion solo (2001) [18.47] Michael Tschamper, percussion Recorded in Geneva, Switzerland, 15 July 2002 Cris pour piano et ensemble (1999) [21.05] David Lively, Piano; Ensemble Contrechamps/William Blank. Recorded live at Maison de la Radio, Geneva, Swizerland, 2 April 2000 Ebbe(n) pour grand orchestra (2000) [19.07] Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Fabio Luisi Recorded live in Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland, 11 October 2001 Notes in Français, Deutsch, English. Photo of composer and artists. Co-production of Radio Suisse Romande and Espace 2 MUSIQUES GRAMMONT PORTRAIT MGB CTS-M 79 [77.17] [PSh]

Very fine music by an unfamiliar name, but one that will most likely become more familiar to all of us in the near future ... see Full Review

Samuel COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912) Violin Concerto in G minor Op. 80 (1911) [31:25] * Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 53 (1882) [31:02] Philippe Graffin, violin Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra/Michael Hankinson * world premiere recording rec. studio, 19, 23 Oct 2003 (Coleridge-Taylor), live at dress rehearsal and concert 17 Oct 2003 (Dvořák), Linder Auditorium, University of the Witwatersrand Education Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa. DDD AVIE AV 0044 [62:43] [RB]

Powerfully memorable store of whistleable tunes sweetly sung and set down by Avie .... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Trio Sonatas op. 2 Sonata in g minor, op. 2, 6* (HWV 391) [09:09] Sonata in F, op. 2, 4* (HWV 389) [12:02] Sonata in g minor, op. 2, 5* (HWV 390) [10:47] Sonata in b minor, op. 2, 1** (HWV 386b) [11:29] Sonata in g minor, op. 2, 2* (HWV 387) [10:25] Sonata in B flat, op. 2, 3* (HWV 388) [11:14] Sonnerie: Monica Huggett, Emilia Benjamin*, violin; Joseph Crouch, cello; Matthew Halls, harpsichord, organ; Wilbert Hazelzet**, transverse flute Recorded October 2002 at Saint Silas Church, Kentish Town, London, UK. DDD AVIE AV0033 [65:56] [JV]

I strongly recommend this excellent performance of some of Handel’s greatest chamber music ... see Full Review

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Platée Paul Agnew (Platée) Mireille Delunsch (La Folie / Thalie) Yann Beuron (Thespis / Mercure) Vincent Le Texier (Jupiter) Doris Lamprecht (Junon) Laurent Naouri (Cithéron, un Satyre) Valérie Gabail (L’Amour / Clarine) Franck Leguerinel (Momus) Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble/Marc Minkowski Choreography: Laura Scozzi Rec: February 2002, Opéra National de Paris au Palais Garnier Sound format: Dolby Digital 5.0, DTS 5.0, LPCM stereo Subtitle languages: GB, D, F, ES, IT Picture format: 16:9 and 4:3 Picture standard: PAL Region code: 2 TDK DV-OPPLT [150 mins] [KM]

I cannot praise this DVD enough - the music, singing, and performances are impeccable. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise Matthias Goerne (baritone) Alfred Brendel (piano)8 and 10 October 2003 (Live concerts) Wigmore Hall, London DECCA CLASSICS 467 092-2 [75.32] [ME]

This performance is as close to perfection as any human creation can possibly be. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) The Four Symphonies Symphony No. 1 Spring (1841) [30.40] Symphony No. 2 (1846) [34.38] Symphony No. 3 Rhenish (1850) [31.51] Symphony No. 4 (1841 rev. 1851) [29.27] Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim rec. 12-14 March 2003, Studio 1 NLG, Berlin. DDD TELDEC CLASSICS 2564 61179-2 2 [72.39+67.14] [JPh]

Very, very attractive, and played superbly. ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949):
Der Rosenkavalier - opera in three acts libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal The Feldmarschallin, Princess Werdenberg: Maria Reining (soprano) Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau: Jaro Prohaska (baritone) Octavian: Jarmila Novotná (soprano) Herr von Faninal: Georg Hann (baritone) Sophie, his daughter: Hilde Güden (soprano) Marianne, Sophie’s duenna: Stefanie Holeschofsky (soprano) Valzacchi, an intriguer: Peter Klein (tenor) Annina, his partner: Dagmar Hermann (contralto) The Major-Domo to the Feldmarschallin: William Wernigk (tenor) An Attorney: Alfred Muzzarelli (bass) An Italian Singer: Helge Rosvaenge (tenor) Police Inspector: Georg Monthy (bass) Innkeeper: William Wernigk (tenor) Choir of the Vienna State Opera Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/George Szell Recorded by Sendergruppe "Rotweissrot" at a performance in the Festspielhaus, Salzburg 29 August 1949 (Archive of Austrian Radio ORF) Der Rosenkavalier: excerpts Excerpts from Act 1: Introduction [3’04"]; "Wie du warst! Wie du bist!" [3’45"]; "Warum ist Tag?" [4’31"]; "Der Feldmarschall sitzt im krowatischen Wald…" [6’32"]; "Da geht er hin…"[4’27"]; "Ach, du bist wieder da!" [1’59"]; "Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding." [10’28"] Excerpts from Act 2: "im dieser feierlichen stunde…" [3’21"]; "Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren…" [7’56"]; "Wart, i hau’ dich z’samm…" [6’41"] Excerpts from Act 3: "Weiss bereits nicht…" [5’32"]; "Mein Gott, es war nicht mehr als eine Farce." [6’30"]; "Marie Theres’!" [8’31"]; "Ist ein Traum, kann nicht wirklich sein…" [3’01"] The Feldmarschallin, Princess Werdenberg; Lotte Lehmann (soprano) Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau: Richard Mayr (baritone) Octavian: Maria Olszewska (soprano) Herr von Faninal: Victor Madin (baritone) Sophie, his daughter: Elisabeth Schumann (soprano) Marianne, Sophie’s duenna: Anne Michalsky (soprano) Valzacchi, an intriguer: Hermann Gallos (tenor) Annina, his partner: Bella Paalen (contralto) Choir of the Vienna State Opera Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Robert Heger Recorded in the Konzerthaus, Vienna 20-24 September 1933 Source: HMV DB2060/72 Matrix: 2WX581/606 ANDANTE AND 3985 [4 CDs: 65’53"+53’55"+54’56"+76’18"] [JQ]

Recommended wholeheartedly to all who love the music of Richard Strauss and this wonderful opera in particular ... a marvellous, human and glorious score ... see Full Review

William Brocklesby WORDSWORTH (1908-1988) Symphonies: No. 2 in D, Op. 34 (1947/8) [43’45]; No. 3 in C, Op. 48 (1948) [27’20]. London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite. No rec. info given. DDD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD207 [71’05] [CC]

The performances are eloquent in the extreme and represent a most persuasive document. Much of this music is either lively or lovely (sometimes both) … Do try to hear this disc. … see Full Review

Nancy Ambrose King plays Oboe Concertos Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Oboe Concerto in C K314 (1777) [20.49] Eugene GOOSSENS (1893-1962) Oboe Concerto in One Movement (1927) [11.52] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Concerto for Oboe and Strings in A minor (1944) [18.32] Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra (1955) [17.18] Nancy Ambrose King (oboe) Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra/Jeremy Swerling rec. Vitkovice Dum Kulture, Ostrava, Czech Republic, 5-7 Sept 2000, 7 Jan 2002. DDD CALA CACD1035 [68.66] [RB]

This is the only collection of these works. For those having a taste for oboe and orchestra the choice is clear. All concerned can take a well-deserved bow for this one. Classic stuff. ... see Full Review

Puccini Passion Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Le Villi ‘Se come voi piccini.’ Edgar ‘Adio mia dolce’ Manon Lescaut ‘Il quelle trine morbide’; ‘Sola, perduta, abbandonata’ La Boheme ‘Si, mi chiamano Mimi’. ‘Quando me’n vo’. ‘Donde lieta usci’ Tosca ‘Vissi d’arte’ Madama Butterfly ‘Un bel di vedremo’. ‘Che tua madre dovrà’. ‘Con onor muore’ La Rondine ‘Chi il bel sogno di Doretta’. ‘Ore dolci e divine’ Suor Angelica ‘Senza Mamma’ Gianni Schicchi ‘O mio babbino caro’ Turandot ‘Signore, ascolta’. ‘Tu che di gel sei cinta’ E l’uccellino Sole e amore Cheryl Barker (soprano) Orchestra Victoria/Richard Bonynge Rec. South Melbourne Town Hall, Australia MELBA MR-301085 [63:34] [RJF]

A highly skilled and committed singer who gives her all ... a very individual vibrant lyric soprano conveying much emotion ...as satisfying a disc of this demanding repertoire as I have heard in a long time. ... see Full Review

 

Great Conductors of the 20th Century: Hermann Scherchen Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Coriolan Overture, op. 62: (1807) [8.05] Vienna State Opera Orchestra (mono June 1954) Symphony no.8 in F, op. 93 (1812) [23.20] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (mono 30 Sept 1954) Igor STRAVINSKY (1882 - 1971) L’Oiseau de Feu (1910): Suite (1919) [19.50] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (mono September 1954) Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874 - 1951) Suite in the Old Style (G Major) for Strings (1935) [17.43] Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (stereo 1 September 1959) Carl ORFF (1895 - 1982) after William BYRD (1543 - 1623) Entrata (1940) [8.35] Vienna State Opera Orchestra (stereo 17 November 1960) Emil Nikolaus von REZNIČEK (1860 - 1945) Donna Diana: Overture (1894) [5.38] Vienna State Opera Orchestra (stereo June 1957) Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732 - 1809) Symphony in G, Hob 1:100 "Military" (1794) [23.06] Vienna State Opera Orchestra (stereo July 1958) Johannes BRAHMS (1833 - 1897) Symphony no. 1 in c, op. 68 (1876) [44.14] Vienna State Opera Orchestra (mono October 1952) Vienna Recordings made in the Mozart-Saal, Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria. (1952-60) British recordings made in the Walthamstow Town Hall, London, UK (1954) German radio recording made in Lankwitz Studio, Berlin, September 1959. Hermann Scherchen conducting
Recordings are monophonic except the Schoenberg, Byrd/Orff, Rezniček and Haydn. AAD EMI CLASSICS IMG ARTISTS 7243 5 75956 2 9 [78.26 + 73.23] [CH]

I don’t think you could doubt that a great conductor and an original, enquiring mind was in charge of every track here. ... see Full Review

 

 

 


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis, for soloists, chorus and orchestra Op. 123 Lori Phillips (soprano) Robynne Redmon (mezzo-soprano) James Taylor (tenor) Jay Baylon (bass-baritone) Mary Kathryn van Osdale (violin) Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Kenneth Schermerhorn Recorded at the Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA, 21-22 April 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557060 [77:11] [MC]

Naxos have struck gold with this release. A truly awe-inspiring performance. Outstanding! ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824 - 1896) Symphony No. 3 in D minor Wagner Symphony (1877) Adagio from Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1876) Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1889) New Philharmonic Orchestra of Westphalia/Johannes Wildner.recorded in the Festspielhaus Recklinghausen, Germany, October 2001 - January 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.555928-29 [127’29"] [JPh]

Superb performances of the different versions … many will enjoy these immensely … Well done Naxos, give us more like this! … see Full Review

Paul CRESTON (1906-1985) Toccata Op. 68 (1957) [13:42] Symphony No. 5 Op. 64 (1955) [25:34] Out of the Cradle Op. 5 (1932) [10:32] Partita Op. 12 (1935) [16:35] Invocation and Dance Op. 58 (1953) [13:17] Scott Goff (flute) Ilkka Talvi (violin) Seattle Symphony Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz Rec. Seattle Center Opera House, 1991-1992 NAXOS 8.559153 [79:42] [RB]

A cracking disc - combining exuberant high optimism with triumphantly lyrical tenderness. Creston’s generosity of spirit sings its lyrical heart out … see Full Review

Arthur Grumiaux - Historic Philips Recordings 1953-1962 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concerto No. 1 in B flat major K207 Violin Concerto No. 2 in D major K211 Arthur Grumiaux (violin) Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Bernhard Paumgartner, recorded 1954-55 Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major K216 Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major K218 Arthur Grumiaux (violin) Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Rudolf Moralt, recorded 1953 Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major K219 Violin Concerto in D major K271i Arthur Grumiaux (violin) Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Bernhard Paumgartner, recorded 1954 Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata in G minor Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Violin Sonata in G major, Pièce en forme de Habanera arr. Catherine Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major Op. 13, Les Berceaux Op.23 No. 1 Pablo de SARASATE (1844-1908) Zigeunerweisen Op. 20 Joseph-Hector FIOCCO (1703-1741) Allegro from Pièces de Clavecin Op. 1 arr. H. Bent and N. O’Neill Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Andaluza (Danzas Españolas Op. 37 No. 5) arr. Kreisler Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Tango Op. 165 No.2 arr. Kreisler Arthur Grumiaux (violin) István Hajdu (piano) Recorded 1962 Edouard LALO (1823-1892) Symphonie Espagnole in D minor Op. 21 Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Poème Op.25 Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Tzigane Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso Op.28 Havanaise Op.38 Arthur Grumiaux (violin)/Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux/Jean Fournet, recorded 1954 and 1956 Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto in E minor Op.64 Arthur Grumiaux (violin) Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Rudolf Moralt, recorded 1954 Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) Violin Concerto No.4 in D minor
Arthur Grumiaux (violin)/Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux/Franco Gallini, recorded 1954 I Palpiti Op.13 arr. Kreisler Le Streghe Op.8 arr. Kreisler Arthur Grumiaux (violin) Riccardo Castagnone (piano) Recorded 1958 PHILIPS ORIGINAL MASTERS LIMITED EDITION 473 104-2 [5 CDs 64.09 + 70.19 + 76.48 + 71.04 + 76.20] [JW]

I have little but praise for this elegantly designed and life-enhancing collection. A boon to Grumiaux’s admirers opening up compelling perspectives on his subtle but flexible music making. … see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlosers am Kreuze, H.XX: 2 (1786) (The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross) - oratorio for soloists, chorus and orchestra Arnold Schoenberg Choir Concentus musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt Recorded at the Casino Zogernitz, Vienna, Austria in October 1990, DDD WARNER CLASSICS ELATUS 2564 60808-2 [62:43] [MC]

This Elatus release is one of the finest recordings of any choral works in the catalogues. Indispensable Haydn, indispensable music! ... see Full Review

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ (1965-1969) Yvonne Loriod, piano Arturo Muruzabal, cello Martine van der Loo, flute Harmen de Boer, clarinet Peter Prommel, marimba Ruud Stotÿn, vibraphone Henk de Vlieger, xylorimba Ludwig van Gijsegem, tenor Reiner Holthaus, baritone Choir of the BRT, Brussels Groot Omroepkoor and the Radio Symphonie Orkest, Hilversum/Reinbert de Leeuw Recorded live, Great Hall, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 29 June 1991. DDD NAÏVE - DISQUES MONTAIGNE MO 782170 [2CDs: 100:01] [KS]

I encourage all lovers of music, regardless of experience or knowledge, to invest in this recording - it is bargain price. Opportunities to hear this music very rare; to walk away not having experienced it at all would be a loss indeed. ... see Full Review

John TAVENER (b.1944) - A Portrait CD1 In Alium – Section A (1968) To a Child Dancing in the Wind (1983) - Movement 1: He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven The Lamb (1982); The Tyger (1987) Ikon of Light (1984): Movement 1: FOS 1, DOXA Movement 2: Piu Intensita, Mandelion for organ (1981) (extract) Chant for guitar (extract) (1984) Ikon of St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (extract) The Protecting Veil (1989), Section 1 Mary of Egypt (1991) – Act III: Bless Duet, Akhmatova Songs, Diódia for string quartet (1997) (extracts) Song for Athene (1993) CD2 Zodiacs for piano (1997) Prayer of the Heart (1999) Ikon of Eros (2000): Movement 2: Eρωη (Eros) Mother and Child (2002) (extract) John Tavener Reflects………A Recorded Interview NAXOS 8.558152-53 [79:31+75:55] [GPJ]

Of incalculable value to those wanting to come to terms with this sometimes perplexing yet undeniably significant figure in the world of modern music. … see Full Review

Evgeny Kissin in Concert Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor Op. 23 St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra/Valery Gergiev Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Orchestra in C minor Op. 35 Bernard Soustrot, trumpet; St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra/Vladimir Spivakov Recorded 30 March 1987 (Tchaikovsky) 26 December 1988 (Shostakovich) Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11 Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor Op. 21 Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitri Kitaenko [Recorded ?27 March 1984] Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Waldesrauschen La Leggierezza Liebestraum No. 3 in A flat major Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 in C sharp minor Etude d’exécution transcendante No. 10 in F minor "Appassionata" Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Études symphoniques Op. 13 Abegg Variations Op. 1 Widmung (Transcription Franz Liszt) Recorded 23 May 1983 and 26 February 1989 Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Waltz No. 14 in E minor Op. Posth. Mazurka in F minor Op. 63 No. 2 Mazurka in D flat major Op. 30 No. 3 Mazurka in B flat minor Op. 24 No. 4 Mazurka in F minor Op. 68 No. 4 Mazurka in C sharp minor Op. 50 No. 3 Fantasie in F minor Op. 49 Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor Op. 58 Recorded 23 May 1984 and 26 February 1989 Evgeny Kissin (piano) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92118 [4 CDs 56.28+63.05+65.45+56.21] [RH]

A testament to some remarkable pianism, live recordings made of Kissin in his teens, including the stupendous Chopin piano concertos recorded when he was 12. ... see Full Review


April

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Orchestral Works, Volume 4 Rebus - Overture for Orchestra (1940) [10:44] (premiere recording on CD) Oration (Concerto elegiaco) for solo cello and orchestra (1930)* [29:16] Allegro moderato - Fragment of a symphony for string orchestra (1940-41) [13:24] (edited by Anthony Pople) Lament for string orchestra (Catherine, aged 9, 'Lusitania' 1915) (1915) [5:21] A Prayer for chorus and orchestra (1916-18)† [17:55] Alban Gerhardt (cello)* BBC National Chorus of Wales † BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox Rec. Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, 13-14 May 2003 CHANDOS CHAN 10188 [77:00] [RB]

An extraordinarily rewarding series now celebrated in a fourth volume placing the masterly tragic-elegiac Oration alongside the busily loquacious Rebus, the innocence of Lament and the transitional but still independent-minded A Prayer.... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH The Berkeley Edition: Volume Four Michael BERKELEY (b. 1948) Concerto for Organ and Orchestra Viola Concerto (Revised version 1996) Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Voices of the Night Op. 86 Symphony No. 2 (Revised version 1976) Paul Silverthorne (viola) Thomas Trotter (organ) BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox Rec. St. David’s Hall, Cardiff, May 2003 (Organ Concerto) Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, May 2003 (other works) DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10167 [71:26] [CT]

Another fine addition to the ongoing Chandos Berkeley Edition ... see Full Review

Les Chemins d’Amour Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Le sommeil; Quelle aventure; La reine de cśur; Ba, be, bi, bo, bu; Les anges musiciens; Le carafon; Lune d’avril; Violon; C’est ainsi que tu es; Dernier poème; Les chemins d’amour Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Chevaux de bois; Beau soir; Fleurs des blés; Rondel chinois; Nuit d’étoiles Henri DUPARC (1848-1933) Extase; Au pays où se fait la guerre; Chanson triste; Soupir; Le manoir de Rosemonde; Elégie; Phidylé; L’invitation au voyage Olga Pasiecznik (soprano), Ewa Pobłocka (piano) Recorded at the National Philharmonic Concert Hall, Warsaw, 5th-6th January and 25th-26th February 2002 CD ACCORD ACD 078-2 [68:13] [CH]

It would be difficult to imagine a better duo partnership for this music, in whose hands it wafts in and out of the consciousness as a perfect musical equivalent of Marcel Proust. ... see Full Review

Toivo KUULA (1883-1918) Finnish Songs Syystunnelma (Autumn Mood), Tuijotin tulehen kauan (Long stared I into the Fire), Aamulaulu (Morning song), Kesäyö kirkomaalla (Summer Night in the Churchyard), Epilogi, Suutelo(the Kiss), Marjatan Laulu (Marhatta’s Song), Sinikan Laulu (Sinika’s Song), Sinipiika (Blue Maiden), Lauanta-Ilta (Saturday Evening), Jääkukkia (Ice Flowers), Vanha Syyslaulu (Old Autumn Song), Yö nummella (Night on the Moor), Tule Armaani (Comer, my Sweetheart), Inamdran Laulau (Imandra’s Song),Purjein kuutamolla (Sailing in the Moonlight). Leevi MADETOJA (1887-1947) Syksy-Sarja (Autumn Song Cycle) Syksy (Autumn), Lähtö (The Departure), Luulit, ma katselin sua (You thought I was watching you), Hyvää yötä ( Good Night), Lintu sininen (Bluebird), Ijät hyrskyjä päin (Ever against the Breakers) Kirsi Tiihonen, (soprano), Satu Salminen (piano). Recorded Järvenpää Hall, Järvenpää , Finland, 25-27 August 1996. DDD MARCO POLO 8.225177 [74.11] [AO]

This fascinating conjunction of nostalgia and forward thinking provides us with some beautifully evocative mood music. ... see Full Review

DISCOVERY OF THE MONTH Johann Joachim QUANTZ (1697-1773) Concerto in G minor for two flutes, strings and bc: Allegro [6.17]; Amoroso [4.18]; Presto [4.56] Concerto in G major for two flutes, strings and bc (No.89): Spiritoso e larghetto [2.42]; Allegro [3.46]; Grave [1.59]; Allegro assai [3.46] Concerto in D major for flute, strings and bc (No.82): Allegro di molto-Adagio-Allegro [7.32]; Un poco andante e cantabile [4.49]; Allegro [4.56] Concerto in G major for flute, strings and bc (No161): Allegro [5.58]; Arioso mesto [5.56]; Allegro Vivace [4.12] Josep-Francesc Palou – flute Claudi Arimany - flute Hungarian Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra Rec. Aug 2002, L’Auditori del Conservatori de Palma de Mallorca COLUMNA MUSICA 1CM0109 [61.33] [PW]

A most welcome disc of stylish performances of quite wonderful music and deserves wide dissemination. ... see Full Review

Valentin SILVESTROV (b. 1937)Requiem for Larissa (1997/9) National Choir of Ukraine "Dumka"National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Volodymyr Sirenko Recorded: Kiev, Ukraine, 2001 ECM New Series 1778 (472 112-2) [52:32] . [HC]

Most beautiful and deeply felt. Poignant grief expressed with sincerity, honesty and restraint ...A major work ... one of the finest discs I have heard recently. ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
The Poisoned Kiss
An opera in three acts. Libretto by Evelyn Sharp and Ralph Vaughan Williams Soloists BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox Rec. Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, 3-6 January 2003 World premiere recording CHANDOS CHAN 10120 [2CDs: 57:56+58:03 = 115:59] [RB]

This set now joins the strong representation of RVW Hickox-conducted operas on Chandos and provides undemanding delight, witty repartee, romantic enchantment - a serenade for a summer’s night ... see Full Review

Fancy That! John DANKWORTH (b.1927) Suite for Emma Leonard BERNSTEIN (1917-1990) Sonata for clarinet and piano Arthur BENJAMIN (1893-1960) Le Tombeau de Ravel Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Vocalise Robert MUCZYNSKI (b.1929) Time Pieces André PREVIN (b.1929) Passing Fancy Fancy Passing Alan Vivian, clarinet; Susanne Powell, piano Recorded at Llewellyn Hall, Canberra, ACT, Australia, August 1998 REVOLVE AJM1314 [66:12] [GPJ]

A most distinguished disc, beautifully planned and executed, and the recording is ideal. ... see Full Review

Piano Music for Children Béla BARTÓK (1881-1935) Four pieces from Ten Easy Pieces Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Les Cinq Doigts Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Music for Children, op. 65 Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Children’s Notebook, op.60 Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Pictures from Childhood Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Five pieces from Piano Album Anton WEBERN (1883-1945) Kinderstück Béla BARTÓK (1881-1935) Four pieces from Mikrokosmos, Volume 6 Raymond Clarke, piano Recorded on 16th December 2001 and 1st September 2001 at King’s Hall, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne DIVINE ART 25022 [77:18] [GPJ]

I don’t know whose idea this CD was, but it was a brilliant one. More please! ... see Full Review

 


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

Frederich Von FLOTOW (1812-1883) Alessandro Stradella, comic opera (1844) Stradella, Werner Hollweg (ten); Leonore, Helen Donath (sop); Bassi, Richard Kogel (bass); Malvolio, Alexander Malta (bass); Barbarino, Ferry Gruber (ten). Orchestra and Choir of Bayerischen Radio/Heinz Wallberg Rec. Germany, 1977, ADD Albert LORTZING (1801-1851) Regina, opera excerpts (1848) Simon, Gerhard Frei (bar); Regina, Irmgard Klein (sop); Stefan, Heinz Friedrich (bass); Richard, Karl Heinz Stracke (ten). Choir and Orchestra of Berlin Radio/Walter Schartner Rec. Berlin, Germany, 1951, ADD GALA GL100.733 [63.38+75.03] [RW]

High-spirited and refreshing with everyone responding admirably. The handling of the nuances of the Flotow is excellent. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865 - 1957) The Complete Symphonies:- Kullervo, Op. 7 (1892) (3)(f)† [80.59] Symphony No. 1, Op. 39 (1898-9) (1)(a) [39.34] Symphony No. 2, Op. 43 (1901-2) (1)(c) [46.38] Symphony No. 3, Op. 52 (1904-7) (2)(d) [30.17] Symphony No. 4, Op. 63 (1911) (1)(b) [37.18] Symphony No. 5, Op. 82 (1914-9) (2)(d) [30.17] Symphony No. 6, Op. 104 (1923) (1)(c) [26.05] Symphony No. 7, Op. 105 (1924) (1)(e) [22.51] Other Orchestral Works:- En Saga, Op.9 (1892, rev. 1901) (1)(e) [18.48] Karelia Suite, Op.11 (1893) (3)(h) [15.21] Rakastava, Op. 14 (1893) (1)(e) [14.40] Lemminkäinen Suite, Op. 22 (1893-5) (4)(g) [51.47] Finlandia, Op. 26 (1899-1900) (1)(c) [9.00] Valse Triste, Op. 44 (1904) (1)(c) [6.04] Pohjola’s Daughter, Op. 49 (1906) (4)(g) [15.05] Night Ride and Sunrise, Op. 55 (1907) (3)(h) [17.01] The Bard, Op. 64 (1913-4) (4)(g) [7.57] Tapiola, Op. 122 (1925-6) (2)(d) [18.29] The Oceanides, Op.73 (1914) (3)(h) [10.57] Hillevi Martinpelto (sop.)†, Karl-Magnus Fredriksson (bar.)† London Symphony Chorus† London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis Rec. London: (1) Blackheath Concert Halls, (2) Watford Town Hall, (3) Walthamstow Assembly Hall, (4) Watford Colosseum, (a) December 1994, (b) April 1994, (c) 12-13 December 1994, (d) 1-3 December 1992, (e) April/December 1994, (f) November 1996, (g) 17-19 January 2000, (h) 13 February 1998 BMG/RCA RED SEAL 82876-55706-2 [7 CDs: 77.38 + 72.53 + 61.07 + 73.09 + 64.41 + 75.25 + 76.51 = 501'44] [PSe]

Sympathetic recordings and vital performances of revelatory interpretations, over 500 minutes of pure bliss for any lover or learner of Sibelius. ... see Full Review

Sir Thomas Beecham (1879- 1961) - Great Conductors of the 20th Century CD 1 Gioacchino ROSSINI William Tell Overture Antonín DVOŘÁK Legend No. 2 Richard WAGNER Das Rheingold - Entry of Gods into Valhalla Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART Divertimento No. 15 Frederick DELIUS Appalachia Carl Maria von WEBER Der Freischütz Overture CD 2 Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Antar Symphony Felix MENDELSSOHN Song without words Op. 102 Nos 2 and 3 Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4 George Frideric HANDEL Amaryllis Suite - Sarabande Edith Furmedge (soprano) Margaret Field-Hyde (soprano) Sylvia Patriss (alto) Gwladys Garside (mezzo-soprano) Walter Widdop (tenor) George Chitty (tenor) Theo Herrmann (bass) Cuthbert Matthews (baritone) Cuthbert Matthews (bar) (Delius) Royal Opera Amateur Chorus (Delius) London Philharmonic Orchestra (Rossini, Dvořák, Weber, Delius); Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (rest) Rec. mono and stereo (only I from Tchaikovsky) - 1934-1958. ADD EMI CLASSICS/IMG 575938-2 [2CDs: ] [RB]

Some very special music making here and invaluable in its wholesale publication of many previously unissued originals. A stunner. ... see Full Review

 

 

 


Continued... May-Aug

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