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Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.9 in D major Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester/Claudio Abbado Recorded live in the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome, 14th April 2004 Directed by Paul Smaczny PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 Region Code 0 Disc Format DVD9 EUROARTS DVD 2054009 [84:00] [JW]

A performance that is detailed and fluid, architecturally cogent, but not perhaps overwhelming. ... see Full Review

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Violin Concerto (1951) [29.21] Concerto for seven wind instruments, timpani, percussion and strings (1949) [20.30] Danse de la peur (1936) [14.16] Michael Erxleben (violin), Adrienne Soos and Ivo Haag (piano duo) Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur/Jac van Steen rec. 23 October 2003 (Concerto for seven wind instruments); 15-17 January 2004 (Violin Concerto, Danse), Stadthaus, Winterthur. DDD. SACD MDG 601 1280-2 [64.25] [RB]

Three concentrated works: an aptly unsmiling and mercilessly serious Danse de la peur, a cool yet clear Concerto for seven wind instruments and from Erxleben a Violin Concerto that manages to be both intensely lyrical and objective. ... see Full Review

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1950) [29:36] Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1965) [24:17] Stephen Kates, cello; Paul Kling, violin Louisville Orchestra/Robert Whitney, Jorge Mester rec. 1963, 1973, Louisville, Kentucky. FIRST EDITION FECD-0020 [53:54] [RB]

Two concertos written in tonal idiom, with an intensity that places them on the one hand alongside the concertos of Rubbra and in the case of the violin work share a soul with Ravel’s faerie fantasy. ... see Full Review

Toshiro MAYUZUMI (1919-1997) Pieces for prepared piano and strings (1957) [9:29] Samsara, symphonic poem (1962) [19:46] Essay for string orchestra (1963) [10:33] Benjamin Owen, piano Louisville Orchestra/Robert Whitney, Akira Endo rec. 1963, 1966, 1980, Louisville, Kentucky FIRST EDITION FECD-0030 [39:48] [RB]

Subtle and unusual music. ... essential to any Mayuzumi collection.... see Full Review

Loic MALLIE (b. 1947) Retour de Bayreuth - Improvisations on Themes of Wagner: Andante [5'57]; Scherzando con fuoco [2'24]; Mysterioso [6'11]; Molto vivo, Tutti [9'13]; Caccia [1'56]; Prelude de choral  [4'50]; Fugato [4'18]; Marche Funèbre [8'52]; Humoresque [1'46]; "Tristan..."  [6'06]; Final [12'14] Loic Mallie, organ Rec: 7-8 November 1998, La Madeleine, Paris DDD EDITIONS HORTUS HORTUS 017 [63'47][CB]

It is a privilege to spend an hour in the company of such music-making. If this has not yet found its way to your CD shelves, buy it without hesitation. ... see Full Review

Heinrich MARSCHNER (1795-1861) Hans Heiling (1831-32) Hans Heiling – Alexander Welitsch (bass) Geisterkönigin – Helene Werth (soprano) Anna – Margot Guilleaume (soprano) Konrad – Karl Friedrich (tenor) Gertrude - Res Fischer (mezzo soprano) Stephan – Gustav Neidlinger (bass baritone) Choir and Orchestra of NDR/Wilhelm Schüchter Recorded in Hamburg, 19-24 June 1950 Bonus: Geisterkönigin - Scene Act II With Marianne Schech, Maud Cunitz Choir and Orchestra of Stuttgart Radio/Bertil Wetzelsberger Recorded 1948 WALHALL ETERNITY SERIES WLCD 0010 [48.24 + 59.30][JW]

Caution is still necessary for all the reasons I noted above but as a souvenir of this intelligent 1950 production there are many rewards to be garnered. ... see Full Review

George Frederick McKAY (1899-1970) Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1940)* Suite on Sixteenth Century Hymn Tunes (1962) Sinfonietta No. 4 (1942) Song Over The Great Plains (1953)** *Brian Reagin, (violin);**Ludmilla Kovaleva (piano) National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/John McLaughlin Williams Recorded Kiev, 2003 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559225 [78:18] [JL]

Naxos’s third McKay disc ... a worthy revival of music that could otherwise have been lost to posterity. ... see Full Review

Nikolai Medtner (1880–1951) Three Arabesques Op. 7 (1904) [11.29] Two Fairy Tales Op. 8 (1905) [9.41] Romantic Sketches for the Young Op. 54 (1932) [27.22] Second Improvisation (in the form of variations) Op. 47 (1926) [29.25] Geoffrey Tozer, piano rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 10-11 April 2002. The Piano Works of Nikolai Medtner - Volume 8 CHANDOS CHAN 10266 [78:06] [JF]

A welcome addition to this complex but rewarding composer’s discography. Tozer plays this music with skill, understanding and obvious high regard. ... see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-47) Piano Trio No 1 in D minor, Op 49 Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Trio in E minor, Op 90 ‘Dumky’ Beaux Arts Trio: Daniel Hope (violin), Antonio Meneses (cello); Menahem Pressler (piano) recorded by Teldex Studio Berlin at the Frits Philips Muziekcentrum, Eindhoven, 31 January - 2 February 2004 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61492-2 [66'54"] [PL]

There’s much beautiful playing here: it’s polished and musical ... see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) The Organ Sonatas op. 65 (1844-5) Sonata No. 1 in f [15'40] Sonata No. 2 in c [10'17] Sonata No. 3 in A [9'01] Sonata No. 4 in B flat [13'44] Sonata No. 5 in D [8'39] Sonata No. 6 in d [14'19] Kay Johannsen, organ Rec: St Adalbero, Wurzburg 28-30 May 2001 DDD CARUS 83.167 [72'29] [CB]

A very well judged and well executed recording. Faithfully reflects the registrational ideas of the composer and also his tempo markings ... sadly unimaginative choice of organ ... see Full Review

Peter MENNIN (1923-1983) Symphony No. 5 (1950) • [20:29] (I. Con Vigore [4:38]; II. Canto [8:23]; III. Allegro Tempestuoso [7:28]) Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1956) • [25:51] (I. Allegro moderato [9:42]; II. Adagio [10:01]; III. Allegro vivace [6:08]) Symphony No. 6 (1953) • [25:38] (I. Maestoso; Allegro [7:56]; II. Grave [8:19]; III. Allegro vivace [9:23]) Janos Starker, cello Louisville Orchestra/Robert Whitney, Jorge Mester Recorded: 1954, 1960, 1969, Louisville, Kentucky Executive producer: Matthew Walters Original supervising producer: Howard Scott Annotation: Peter Mennin, Frank J. Oteri and Fanny Brandeis Partial funding by Aaron Copland Fund for Music and National Endowment for the Arts world premiere recordings FIRST EDITION FECD-0013 [72:04] [RB]

A superb addition to the Mennin discography. Wonderful to have the dedicatees’ version of the Sixth and Starker’s pioneering recording. Serious Menninists must get this First Edition recording. ... see Full Review

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Vingt Regards sur L'Enfant-Jésus Peter Serkin (piano) Recorded 11-15 June 1973, RCA Studio A, New York City, ADD * BMG-RCA RED SEAL CLASSIC LIBRARY 82876 62316 2 [54:43 + 67:48] [BH]

A recording notable for Serkin’s deep understanding of the composer’s sound-world and its emotional extremes, coupled with considerable instrumental prowess. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-91) Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major, K314 (1777) Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra in C major, K299 (1777) Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major, K313 (1777) Fabrice Pierre (harp) Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Patrick Gallois (flute) recorded at the Örebro Concert Hall, Sweden, 26-30 August 2002 NAXOS 8.557011 SACD 6.110055 [70'15"] [PL]

An engaging sense of fun in these refreshingly different performances. ... see Full Review

Budapest String Quartet Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quartet in C K465 Dissonance String Quartet in D K499 Hoffmeister String Quartet in F K590 Budapest String Quartet Recorded 1932-35 BIDDULPH 80213-2 [71.59][JW]

Lissom elegance ... fine bowing and attention to corporate dynamics. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete Sonatas for Keyboard and Violin, volume 1 Sonata in G major KV 379 (1781) Sonata in C major KV 6 (1764) Sonata in F major KV 547 (1788) Sonata in B flat major KV 378 (1779) Gary Cooper (fortepiano) Rachel Podger (violin) rec. Our Lady St Mary, South Creake, Norfolk, UK. June 2004. DDD; SACD CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS SA 21804 [77:05] [MC]

The astoundingly mature playing ... full of character in near flawless performances of works that are packed with high quality and extraordinary interest. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Cosi fan tutte - Dramma giocoso in Two acts. Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte First performed at the Vienna Hofburgtheater, 26 January 1790 Fiordiligi, Sena Jurinac (sop); Dorabella, Alice Howland (sop); Ferrando, Richard Lewis (ten); Guglielmo, Marko Rothmüller (bar); Don Alfonso, Sesto Bruscantini (bar); Despina, Isa Quesnel (sop) Glyndebourne Festival Chorus Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Fritz Busch Recorded live, 5 July 1951, plus interpolations GUILD HISTORICAL - IMMORTAL PERFORMANCES - GHCD 2303-04 [79.42 + 70.05] [JW]

An essential purchase for admirers of Busch? But problematic sound rules it out for the generalist ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791) Die Entführung aus dem Serail (highlights) Overture Act I: Hier soll ich dich denn sehen, Konstanze! (Belmonte); Solche hergelauf’ne Laffen (Osmin); Konstanze! Dich wieder zu sehen! O wie ängstlich (Belmonte); Singt dem grossen Bassa Lieder (Chorus); Ach, ich liebte, war so glücklich (Konstanze) Act II: Durch zärtlichkeit und Schmeicheln (Blonde); Ich gehe, doch rate ich dir (Blonde, Osmin); Martern aller Arten (Konstanze); Vivat Bacchus! Bacchus lebe! (Pedrillo, Osmin); Ach Belmonte! Ach mein Leben! (Konstanze, Blonde, Belmonte, Pedrillo) Act III: Ich baue ganz auf deine Stärke (Belmonte); O, wie will ich triumphieren (Osmin); Nie werd’ ich deine Huld verkennen (Konstanze, Blonde, Belmonte, Pedrillo, Osmin) Yvonne Kenny (soprano) – Konstanze; Lillian Watson (soprano) – Blonde; Peter Schreier (tenor) – Belmonte; Wilfried Gahmlich (tenor) – Pedrillo; Matti Salminen (bass) – Osmin; Chorus and Mozart-Orchestra of the Opera House, Zürich/Nicolaus Harnoncourt Recorded in the Opera House, Zürich, in 1985 WARNER APEX 2564 61509-2 [73:02] [GF]

If you can accept Harnoncourt’s approach, this highlights disc offers you a wealth of good singing. Schreier and Salminen are reasons enough to buy it ... see Full Review

Ernesto NAZARETH (1863-1934) Tangos, Waltzes, and Polkas 1 Espalhafatoso (Boisterous) [2:30] 2 Brejeiro (Mischievous) [1:57] 3 Confidências (Confidences) [7:05] 4 Escovado (Cunning) [4:11] 5 Nenê (Baby) [3:20] 6 Ameno Resedá [2:35] 7 Turbilhão de Beijos (Whirlwind of Kisses) [6:54] 8 Gaucho [2:45] 9 Plangente (Lamenting) [5:12] 10 Topázio Liquido [3:16] 11 Ouro Sobre Azul (Gold on Blue) [3:16] 12 Sarambeque [2:59] 13 Epônina [5:47] 14 Escorregando (Going down well) [2:37] 15 Tenebroso (Gloomy) [3:19] 16 Odeon [3:09] 17 Apnahei-te Cavaquinho (I have grabbed you, Cavaquinho) [2:33] Iara Behs (piano) Recorded in the Concert Hall of Music Academy of North Rhine-Westphalia, Heek, Germany in November 2003. NAXOS 8.557687 [63.24][ZT]

This is a recording that will bring joy to disciples of fine music. ... see Full Review

Per NØRGÅRD (b. 1932) Nuit des Hommes (1995/6) Helene Gjerris (mezzo-soprano); Helge Rønning (tenor); Bodil Rørbech, Andreas Hagman (violins); Markus Falkbring (viola); Fredrik Lindstrøm (cello); Gert Sørensen (theremin, percussion, keyboard); Kaare Hansen (conductor) rec. Max Studio, December 2003 DA CAPO 8.226011 [63:42] [HC]

All concerned sing and play with irresistible conviction ... I frankly do not think that this performance of one of Nørgård’s most thought-provoking works could be bettered. ... see Full Review

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Works for cello and orchestra:- Concerto Militaire1 in G (1848) [24:23] Four Impressions2,3 (orch. Geese) [25:31] Concerto Rondo1 (1851) [19:58] Guido Schiefen (violoncello) WDR Rundfunkorchester, Köln/Helmut Froschauer1, David de Villiers2, Gérard Oskamp3 Rec. WDR Saal 1, Köln, 1994-2002 DDD CPO 777 069-2 [69:56][PCW]

You’ll need to be particularly interested in the cello or Offenbach but, from either direction, I doubt that it will disappoint … this is lovely cello playing … see Full Review

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana (1935-36) Ruth-Margaret Pütz (soprano) Michael Cousins (tenor) Barry McDaniel (baritone) Roland Hermann (bass) Cologne Radio Choir Tölzer Childrens Choir Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra/Ferdinand Leitner Recorded by West German Radio, Cologne, 1973 ARTS 43001-2 [60.29][JW]

One can see why this ceded ground to the Jochum but it does have attractions of its own ... see Full Review

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Catulli Carmina (1943) Donald Grobe (tenor) – Catallus Ruth-Margaret Pütz (soprano) - Lesbia Trionfo di Afrodite (1950-51) Enriqueta Tarrés (soprano) – Sposa Donald Grobe (tenor) – Sposo Hans Günter Nöcker (bass) – Corifeo Brigitte Dürrler (soprano) – Corifea Horst R Laubenthal (tenor) – Corifeo Cologne Radio Choir Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra/Ferdinand Leitner Recorded Cologne, 1974 ARTS ARCHIVES 43002-2 [75.00] [JW]

Tremendously involved and involving. The restoration sounds first class. ... see Full Review

Carl ORFF (1895-1982)
Orpheus – free adaptation of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (1923) Carl Orff (speaker) Hermann Prey (bass baritone) – Orpheus Lucia Popp (soprano) – Eurydice Rose Wagemann (mezzo soprano) – Die Botin Karl Ridderbusch (bass) – Der Wächter der Toten Choir of Bavarian Radio Munich Radio Orchestra/Kurt Eichhorn Recorded Munich, 1972 ARTS ARCHIVES 43003-2 [66.07] [JW]

A curio that will be of most interest to devotees of the development of Orff’s vocal and theatrical powers. ... see Full Review

Giovanni PAISIELLO (1741-1816) Sinfonia d'Opera: Allegro vivace [4.59] Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major* [19.04] Proserpine: Overture in D (1803) [5.51] Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor* [24.41] *Francesco Nicolosi (piano) Collegium Philharmonicum Chamber Orchestra/Gennaro Cappabianca rec. Court of the Royal Palace Theatre, Caserta, Italy, 25-28 Feb 2003 NAXOS 8.557031 [54.35] [SV]

Paisiello’s clean, articulate manner delivered with playing that is rich-toned, clear-textured ... see Full Review

Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (ca.1525-1594) Missa Papae Marcelli [28:50] Sicut cervus [6:00] William BYRD (1543-1623) Laudibus in sanctis [6:10] Mass for five voices [24:50] Hägersten Motet Choir/Ingemar Månsson rec. 1980-1993, Swedish Radio and Notera Sagvik, locations and specific dates not given. NOSAG RECORDS CD 006 [66:50] [KS]

This is a very fine release, and all lovers of fine choral singing should enjoy it ... see Full Review

Clifton PARKER (1905-1989) The Film Music Suite from Treasure Island (1949) (arranged by Philip Lane) [23:35]: (Main Titles and The Admiral Benbow [3:59]; To Bristol/Setting Sail [2:24]; On the Island [2:24]; Storming the Stockade [3:09]; Jim Hawkins, Ship to Shore [3:35]; Looking for the Treasure [2:20]; Leaving the Island [4:58] Seascape from Western Approaches (1944) (edited by Philip Lane) [4:37] The Sword and the Rose (1952) (reconstructed, arranged and orchestrated by Philip Lane) [7:23]: (Fanfare [1:27]; Galliard [1:11]; Lute Dance [2:47]; Volta [2:00]) March from Sea of Sand (1958) (arranged and orchestrated by Philip Lane) [3:10] The Blue Lagoon - Rhapsody for orchestra (1948) (reconstructed, arranged and orchestrated by Philip Lane) [9:15] Theme from Night of the Demon (1957) (reconstructed and arranged by Philip Lane) [3:02] Virgin Island: A Caribbean Rhapsody (1958) (edited by Philip Lane) [9:24] March from Sink the Bismarck! (1960) (orchestrated by Philip Lane) [4:19] Blue Pullman (1960) (arranged by Philip Lane) [15:34] BBC Concert Orchestra/Rumon Gamba rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, 29-30 March 2004 CHANDOS CHAN 10279 [79:39] [RB]

When it comes down to it Parker had a real gift for sea music both tender and stormy. ... see Full Review

Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Psalm 95, "Cantate Domino Canticum Novum..." (1996) [3.27] Berliner Messe (1992) [22.56] De Profundis (1980) [5.56] Summa (1977) [4.40] The beatitudes (1991) [7.51] Magnificat (1989) [7.22] Elora Festival Singers and Orchestra/Noel Edison Jurgen Petrenko, organ Recorded at Grace Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 25 May 2003. Notes in English and Deutsch. Recorded in 44/24 5.1 channel sound, also encoded in AC-3 and dts. DVD-Audio also playable on DVD-Video Players. Not playable on CD players. NAXOS 5.110052 [52.12] [PSh]

Slightly churchy but still excellent Arvo Pärt, with little sense of enclosure in the surround sound. ... see Full Review

Harry PARTCH (1901 - 1974) "Enclosure 1" Four historic art films produced by Madeline Tourtelot, with music by Harry Partch Rotate the Body in All Its Planes (1961) [9'00] Music Studio - Harry Partch (1958) [17'48] U.S. Highball (1958, completed 1968) [24'18] Windsong (1958) [17'38] Innova 400, VHS tape, NTSC format*, monaural sound. [68'44] [PSe]

Undimmed by technical and financial limitations, these films provide an almost unique insight into the combined, corporeal vision of two pioneering artists, the film-maker Madeline Tourtelot and the "Compleat Musician" Harry Partch ... see Full Review

Walter PISTON (1894-1976) Serenata (for orchestra) (1957) [11:36] (I Con allegrezza [2:58]; II Con sentimento [5:32]; III Con spirito [2:56]) Symphony No. 5 (1956) [21:31] (I Lento. Allegro con spirito [8:48]; II Adagio [8:01]; III Allegro lieto [4:32]) Symphony No. 7 (1960) [20:48] (I Con moto [6:25]; II Adagio pastorale [10:02]; III Allegro festevole [4:09]) Symphony No. 8 (1965) [23:39] (I Moderato mosso [9:29]; II Lento assai [10:07]; III Allegro marcato [3:52]) Louisville Orchestra/Robert Whitney, Jorge Mester Recorded: 1959, 1964, 1974, 1975, Louisville, Kentucky Executive producer: Matthew Walters Original supervising producer: Howard Scott Annotation: James M. Keller, Nelson Keyes, Walter Piston, Marshall Portnoy Partial funding by Aaron Copland Fund for Music and National Endowment for the Arts. world premiere recordings FIRST EDITION FECD-0010 [77:07] [RB]

A most convenient and pleasing way of acquiring your missing Piston symphonies. A growing but fascinating severity pervades this music. ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Cantata, Alexander Nevsky Op.78 (1938) [40:35] Christine Cairns (mezzo-soprano) Los Angeles Master Chorale Suite, Lieutenant Kije Op. 60 (1934) [20:05] Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/André Previn Rec. Royce Hall, UCLA on 18 November 1986. DDD TELARC CD-80143 [61:14] [PCW]

Despite many good things, this can only be recommended to those who prize quality of recorded sound and refinement above everything else ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924) La Bohème (highlights) Act I: Non sono in vena – Oh! Sventata, sventata! – Che gelida manina – Si, Mi chiamano Mimi – O soave fanciulla; Act II: Quando men vo soletta – Marcello un di l’amò – Qual dolore, qual bruciore! – La Ritirata; Act III: Marcello, Finalmente – Ebbene, no. Non lo son – Che! Vai? – Dunque è proprio finite – Che facevi? Che dicevi?; Act IV: Sono andati? – Che avvien? – Madonna benedetta Barbara Hendricks, sop (Mimi), José Carreras, ten (Rodolfo), Gino Quilico, bar (Marcello), Angela Maria Blasi, sop (Musetta), Richard Cowan, bass-bar (Schaunard), Federico Davià, bass (Alcindoro), Francesco Ellero d’Artegna, bass (Colline) Choeur et Maîtrise de Radio France Orchestre National de France/James Conlon Recorded in the Grand Auditorium, Radio France, Paris, in May 1987 WARNER APEX 2564 61510-2 [49:18] [GF]

As a complement for comparison, always fascinating, this is a better way of spending a fiver than I would have thought, especially for Barbara Hendricks’ contribution. ... see Full Review

Cesare PUGNI (1802 - 1870) La Fille du Pharaon, ballet in three acts (1862) [101.00] Aspicia danced by Svetlana Zakharova; Taor danced by Sergei Filin. Choreography by Pierre Lacotte, based on Marius Petipa. Scenario after "Le Roman de la Momie" by Théophile Gautier.* Stage design and costumes by Pierre Lacotte Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow/Alexander Sotnikov. Recorded at the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, Russia, 31 October 2003. Video Direction by Dennis Caiozzi. Menu and subtitle languages: Français, English, Deutsch, Español, Russkiy. Special features: Interview with Pierre Lacotte [16.00] Dancers’ biographies [13.00] PCM Stereo 2.0, dts 5.1 surround sound. DVD 9 PAL 16:9. All regions. No NTSC version is currently listed. BEL AIR BAC 001 [130.00] [PSh]

Suspend belief and have a spectacular Egyptian night at the ballet. Pretty girls, pretty guys, even a real horse on stage. If you like Aïda, you’ll love Fille du Pharaon. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concertos: No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1 (1891, rev. 1917) [26’02]; No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17 (1901) [32’26]; No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 (1909) [38’23]; No. 4 in G minor, Op. 43 (1926, rev. 1941) [23’44]. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43 (1934) [23’44]. Stephen Hough (piano) Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Litton. rec. Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, Morton H Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, 28 June 2003 (Rhapsody) and live in concerts during April-May 2004 (Concertos) DDD HYPERION CDA67501/2 [74’41 + 70’54] [CC]

A truly superb set. I decided to live with these performances and they really are as good as I initially thought them to be. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV: (1873 - 1943) Vespers – All Night Vigil (1915) Raissa Palmu (soprano), Erja Wimeri (contralto) Eugen Antoni (tenor) Finnish National Opera Chorus/Eric-Olof Söderströmrecorded in St. John Church, Helsinki, 1st April, 29th, 30th 31st May, 1st June, 2001. DDD NAXOS 8.555908 [54’00"] [GH]

To sum up: not a bad release but not a favourite. If you buy it then there is much to enjoy ... see Full Review

Väinö RAITIO (1891-1945) Queen of the Flowers1. Valssi - Waltz [3:59] 2. Humoreski - Humoresque [2:44] 3. Idylli - Idyll [4:27] 4. Tango [2:48] 5. Scherzo (Felis domestica) [4:14] 6. Danse grotesque [1:42] 7. Valse mignonne [2:56] 8. Neiet niemien nenissä - Maidens on the headlands (Symphonic poem) (1935) [7:24] Kesäkuvia Hämeestä - Summer pictures from Häme [15:55] 9. Vanhassa puistossa - In an old park [3:15] 10. Kesäyö - Summer night [2:26] 11. Paimenlaulu - Herdsman's song [2:09] 12. Punahattaroita - Red clouds [2:22] 13. Venelaulu - Boat song [2:40] 14. Kukkien kuningatar - Queen of the flowers [3:01] Metsäidyllejä - Forest idylls [12:56] 15. Metsäpolku - Forest path [2:52] 16. Metsälampi - Forest pond [2:53] 17. Metsätähti - Forest star [3:52] 18. Metsäpuro - Forest stream [3:18] Tapiola Sinfonietta/Tuomas Ollila
rec. Tapiola Hall, Espoo, April 2001. DDD ONDINE ODE 9750 [59:40] [RB]

Mendelssohn, MacDowell and Raff through a lens admitting the freshness of Prokofiev and Ravel. Don’t miss this highly attractive music. ... see Full Review

Steve REICH (b. 1936) Different Trains (2000) [27:06] Triple Quartet (1999) [14:49] The Four Sections (1986) [23:05] Orchestre National de Lyon/David Robertson Recorded in July 2003 in the Auditorium, Lyons, France NAÏVE MONTAIGNE MO 782167 [65:03][KS]

A painless introduction to some more modernist music. A must-have for any serious music lover. A complete winner ... see Full Review

Antonín REJCHA [Anton / Antoine REICHA] (1770 -1836) Wind Quintet in Bb, Op 88, #5 (1817) [33.25] Wind Quintet in C, Op 91, #1 (1818) [29.39] Michael Thompson Wind Quintet: Michael Thompson, horn; Jonathan Snowden, flute; Derek Wickens, oboe; Timothy Lines, clarinet; John Price, bassoon. Recorded at St. Paul’s Church, Rusthal, Kent, England, 27 November 1995. Notes in English and Deutsch NAXOS 8.554227 [63.04] [PSh]

Great music you might not have heard, but will listen to often. ... see Full Review

Antonín REICHA (1770-1836) Wind Quintet in B flat major Op.88 No.5 Wind Quintet in C major Op.91 No.1 Michael Thompson Wind Quintet Recorded St Paul’s Church, Rusthall, Kent, November 1995 NAXOS 8.554227 [63.04] [JW]

More examples of idiomatic writing, and suitably nonchalant enjoyment of Reicha’s rich harmonies by a crack quintet ... see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879 - 1936) Lauda per la nativitá del Signor (1930) [22.20] Text by Jacopone da Todi, 13th c. (Sung in English as "Laud to the Nativity") Marie Gibson, soprano; Marilyn Horne, soprano; Charles Bressler, tenor. Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567 - 1643) Vespro della Beata Virgine (1610): Magnificat [23.37] Sung in Latin. Ed. Ghedini. Anita Priest, organ Roger Wagner Chorale and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Alfred Wallenstein. Recorded in Los Angeles, California, USA in 1961 [date and name of hall not given]. Previously issued on Capitol LP SP 8572. [ADD] Notes in English. Texts including translation of the Latin text. HDCD* playable on all CD players, offering improved resolution on HDCD capable players. CLARION CLR914CD [45:57] [PSh]

A brilliant classic recording, famous singers, an unfamiliar Christmas music masterpiece, and an exciting excerpt from a now more frequently heard work — a very welcome addition to the catalogue. ... see Full Review

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade Op.35 Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le Rossignol [Song of the Nightingale] Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner Rec. Orchestra Hall, February 8th 1960 (Rimsky) and November 3rd 1956 (Stravinsky) RCA RED SEAL LIVING STEREO SUPER AUDIO CD 82876 66377 2 [66.51][JW]

A classic Scheherazade on SACD, coupled with Le Rossignol. Neither offers many, if any, surprises though the new format offers its own frisson. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 –1868) Armida - Melodramma in three acts in the Critical Edition prepared by Claudio Scimone First performed at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples on 11 November 1817 Armida, Princess of Damascus, Sorceress, Cecilia Gasdia (sop); Rinaldo, Knight Crusader, Lord of Matalban, Chris Merritt (ten); Goffredo, Commander in Chief of the Crusaders, and Carlo, Knight Crusader, William Matteuzzi (ten); Gernando, Knight of the Crusades, rival of Rinaldo, and Ubaldo, Knight Crusader, Bruce Ford (ten); Eustazio, Knight of the Crusades, brother of Godfrey, Charles Workman (ten); Idraote, Uncle of Armida, and Astarotte, Ferruccio Furlanetto (bass) Ambrosian Opera Chorus I Solisti Veneti/Claudio Scimone rec. 19 June 1992. Teatro Communale di Treviso, Treviso, Italy ARTS 47327-2 [76.10 + 76.45] [RJF]

Lovers of Rossini and of Italian opera should purchase this ... commendable enterprise shown by Arts Music in re-issuing this fine performance of an undeservedly neglected work. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) La donna del lago - opera in two acts. (After the poem The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott) First performed at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples on 24th September1819 Giacomo, James V, King of Scotland, under the name of Uberto, Rockwell Blake (ten); Elena, June Anderson (sop); Douglas d'Angus, Elena’s father, Giorgio Surjan (bass); Rodrigo di Dhu, rebel leader, Chris Merritt (ten); Malcolm Graeme, Martine Dupuy (mez); Serano, Douglas’s retainer, Ernesto Gavazzi (ten) Albina, Elena’s confident, Marilena Laurenza, (mez) Stage Director, Werner Herzog. Set Design, Maurizio Balo. Costumes, Franz Blumauer. Lighting Design, Gianni Mantovanini Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala, Milan/Riccardo Muti Recorded live by RAI television, 1992 OPUS ARTE DVD VIDEO OA LS 3009 D [98:03] [RJF]

Mature Rossini at his best and most demanding. I recommend it to enthusiasts of the opera seria now slowly gaining a foothold in the repertoire. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 – 1868) L’Italiana in Algeri (highlights) Ouvertura; Act I: Languir per una bella … (Lindoro); Quanta roba! quanti schiavi! (Coro, Haly, Isabella); Già d’insolito ardore nel petto (Mustafà); Oh! Che muso, che figura! (Isabella, Mustafà); Pria di dividerci da voi ... (Tutti) Act II: Oh, come il cor di giubilo (Lindoro); Ho un gran peso sulla testa (Taddeo, Coro); Per lui che adoro (Isabella, Mustafà, Taddeo, Lindoro); Pappataci! Che mai sento! (Mustafà, Lindoro, Taddeo); Pronti abbiamo e ferri e mani (Coro, Isabella); Son l’aure seconde, son placide l’onde (Coro, Lindoro, Isabella, Taddeo, Mustafà); Mio signore ... mio marito (Tutti) Samuel Ramey (bass) – Mustafà, Bey of Algiers; Kathleen Battle (soprano) – Elvira, his wife; Clara Foti (mezzo-soprano) – Zulma, Elvira’s servant; Nicola Zaccaria (bass) – Haly, the pirate chief); Ernesto Palacio (tenor) – Lindoro, a young Italian slave; Marilyn Horne (mezzo-soprano) – Isabella, an Italian woman); Domenico Trimarchi (bass) – Taddeo, Isabella’s admirer). Prague Philharmonic Chorus I solisti Veneti/Claudio Scimone Recorded in the Teatro Comunale, Treviso, in June 1980. WARNER APEX 2564 61564-2 [72:52] [GF]

Absolutely enchanting! ... see Full Review

Peter RUZICKA (b. 1948) Celan Symphony (1997-1999) [50:04] Erinnerung for clarinet and orchestra (2000) [18:17] Anne-Carolyn Schlüter (sop); Thomas Mohr (bar) Sharon Kam (clarinet) NDR Sinfonieorchester/Peter Ruzicka Rec. no details given THOROFON CTH 2490 [68:21] [RB]

Stunningly recorded ... transparency and impact. The symphony is an unequivocally impressive piece of music. ... 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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