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Harald SAEVERUD (1897 – 1992) Symphony No. 5 Quasi una fantasia Op.16 (1941) [24:32] Oboe Concerto Op. 15 (1939)a [17:37] Entrata regale Op. 41 (1960) [5:30]
Sonata Giubilata Op. 47 (1969) [9:59] Gordon Hunt (oboe)a Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Ole Kristian Ruud rec. Stavanger Concert Hall, July 2000 (Symphony 5, Oboe Concerto); Aug 2000 (Entrata regale, Sonata Giubilata) BIS CD-1162 [59:11] [HC]

Music often understated avoiding grandiloquence. Speaks directly in a concise, "straight-to-the-point" manner ... one of its most endearing qualities. ... see Full Review

Antonio SALIERI (1750-1825) Tarare, Opera in Five acts (1787) [184.00] French text by Beaumarchais Tarare ... Howard Crook (tenor) Atar ... Jean-Philippe Lafont (baritone) Spinette ... Anna Caleb (soprano) Calpigi ... Eberhard Lorenz (tenor) Altamort ... Hannu Niemelä (bass) Artenée ... Nicolas Rivenq (tenor) Urson ... Jean Francois Gardeil (baritone) Astasie ... Zehava Gal (soprano) Le Génie du Feu ... Klaus Kirchner (baritone) Le Génie de La Réproduction, des Êtres, où La Nature ... Gabriele Rossmanith Michel Laplenie, Chorus Master; Deutsche Händel Solisten/Jean-Claude Malgoire Heinz Balthes, Stage design; Daniel Ogier, Costumes; Jürgen Zoch, lighting. Recorded at the Festspiele, Schwetzingen, Germany, 1988. [month and day not given] Directed for video by Claus Viller. Notes in English, Français, Deutsch. Synopsis, no printed texts or translations. NTSC 4:3 DVD-9 Region 0 [All regions] PCM 2.0 stereo sound, 48kHz 16Bit. Sung in French. Menu languages: Deutsch, Français, English, Castellano. Subtitle languages: Deutsch, Français, English, Castellano, Italiano, Japanese. No PAL version available. EUROARTS-ARTHAUS MUSIK 100 557 [184.00][PSh]

A riot of fun, a terrific show, the fount from which Italiana, Nozze di Figaro, Zauberflöte, and Mikado all sprang. ... see Full Review

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Complete Works for Violin and Piano Phantasy for Violin with Piano Accompaniment (1949) [9'03]. Piece for Violin and Piano (1893/4) [1'23]. Sonata after the Wind Quintet, Op. 26 (1923/4, arr. Felix Greissle, 1926) [48'42]. Fragment for Violin and Piano (1927) [4'23]. Ulf Wallin (violin); Roland Pöntinen (piano). rec. Bybrokajen 11 (former Academy of Music), Stockholm, Sweden in March 2001 (Phatasy) and August/November 2003 (other works). DDD BIS CD-1407 [64'26] [CC]

An outstanding disc in every way. A compulsory purchase for all students of this important composer ... a valuable and involving musical experience that far outreaches the purely musicological. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Complete String Quartets Vol. 6 String Quartet No. 15 in G major, D. 887, Op. 161 (1826) [45:10] Five Deutsche Tänze (German Dances) with Coda and Seven Trios for String Quartet, D. 90 (1813) [14:26] Kodály Quartet rec. Phoenix Studio, Budapest, Hungary, 16 April, 17-19 June 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.557125 [59:34] [MC]

Not my first choice but well performed and recorded and worth collecting. A worthy conclusion to this successful Naxos series. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schiller-Lieder, Vols. 3 and 4 CD 1 (1) Der Jüngling am Bache – 1st setting D30 [03:36], 2nd setting D192 [03:00], 3rd setting, first version D638 [04:50], Das Geheimnis – 1st setting D250 [03:03], 2nd setting D793 [05:32], Leichenfantasie D7 [18:52], Der Graf von Habsburg D990 [01:54], Die Erwartung D159 [10:28]
CD 2 (2) An den Frühling – 1st setting D283 [01:35], 2nd setting, second version D587 [02:27], Die Götter Griechenlands D677 [04:25], Des Mädchens Klage – 1st setting D6 [03:26], 2nd setting, first version D191 [03:26], 3rd setting D389 [03:39], Klage der Ceres D323 [16:36], Thekla – 1st setting D73 [03:21], 2nd setting, first version D595 [01:42], 2nd setting, second version D595 [04:59] Maya Boog (soprano) (2), Lothar Odinius (tenor) (1), Ulrich Eisenlohr (piano) Recorded at DRS, Zurich, Switzerland, 10th-13th November 2004 (1), 2nd-4th December 2003 (2) NAXOS 8.557369-70 [51:15 + 47:15] [CH]

More a volume for those collecting the whole series than a must for all Lieder-collectors. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (1845) [30.21] Jenö Jandó (piano) Budapest Symphony Orchestra/András Ligeti Introduction and Allegro appassionato, Op. 92 (1849) [14.21] Jenö Jandó (piano) BRT Philharmonic Orchestra/Alexander Rahbari Introduction and Allegro, Op. 134 (1853) [14.45] Jenö Jandó (piano) Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Antoni Wit rec. Italian Institute, Budapest, 1-6 March 1988 (Concerto); Concert Hall of the Belgian Radio and Television, Brussels, 3-4 June 1992 (Op. 92); Katowice, Poland, 21-23 August 1996 (Op. 134) NAXOS 8.557547 [59.27][SV]

At Naxos prices, worth considering for the ostensible ‘fillers’. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810 – 1856) Frauenliebe und Leben, Op. 42 [22:12]; Tragödie, Op. 64 No. 3 [4:50]; Liederkreis, Op. 24 [21:24]; 3 Heine-Lieder: Abends am Strand, Op. 45 No. 3 [3:22]; Lehn deine Wang’ an meine Wang’, Op. 142 No. 2 [0:47]; Mein Wagen rollet langsam, Op. 142 No. 4 3:51] Brigitte Fassbaender (mezzo) Irwin Gage (piano) Recorded at Studio Lankwitz, Berlin, October 1984 ELOQUENCE 476 2386 [56:50] [GF]

No lover of great Lieder-singing can afford to be without this disc. ... see Full Review

Peter SCULTHORPE (b.1929) Earth Cry [11.06] Mangrove [15.05] Songs of Sea and Sky [16.04] Kakadu [16.14] From Ubirr [12.10] William Barton (didgeridoo)
Queensland Orchestra/Michael Christie rec. 18-20 September in Studio 420, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Brisbane ABC CLASSICS 476 192-1 [71.21] [EM]

This is desperately emotional and deeply moving music - music that cries aloud to one’s soul - and one of the most revelatory and frankly astonishing CDs I’ve encountered. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65 (1943) Beethoven Orchester Bonn/Roman Kofman Rec. Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche, Bad Godesberg, 26-28 Oct 2004. DDD DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM GOLD MDG337 1204-2 [70'59][CC]

A mixed account here, that starts promisingly and then fails to live up to that promise. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No.2 in G major, Op.126 (1966) Symphony No.12 in D minor, Op.112 (1960-61) The Year 1917 (in Memory of Lenin) Jonathan Ayling (cello) London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox. Recorded "live" in St. Cyprian’s Church, Glentworth Street, London, NW1 on November 13th, 2004 DUNELM RECORDS DRD0234 [78:14] [PS]

A "live" performance with all the problems that raises but these considerations are more than compensated for by the sense of occasion conveyed by this very recommendable release. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No.1 in E flat, Op.107 (1959) [28:46]*; Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No.2 in G major, Op.126 (1966) [35:50]** Jonathan Ayling (cello) London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox. * Recorded "live" in St. Cyprian’s Church, Glentworth Street, London, NW1 on May 15th, 2004 ** Recorded "live" in St. Cyprian’s Church, Glentworth Street, London, NW1 on November 13th, 2004. DUNELM RECORDS DRD0233 [64:46] [IM]

A most moving and memorable CD. Highly recommended. ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1958) Pohjola’s Daughter, Op. 49 (1906) [15.02] Valse triste, Op. 44 (1903) [5.54] Karelia Suite, Op. 11 (1893) [15.24] En Saga, Op. 9 (1892) [17.49] Tapiola, Op. 112 (1925) [18.04] Boston Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis Rec December 1976 (Tapiola); April 1979 (Pohjola’s Daughter, Karelia Suite); March 1980 (Valse Triste, En Saga), Symphony Hall, Boston. ADD PHILIPS ELOQUENCE 476 2817 2 [72.54] [TB]

This attractive Philips reissue ... music beautifully played by one of the world’s finest orchestras conducted by an important Sibelian ... see Full Review

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) String Quartets: Vol. 10 String Quartet No. 24 in G Op.82 No.2 (1828) [31:07] (i) Allegro [8:54] (ii) Adagio [7:03] (iii) Alla Polacca: Moderato [6:53] (iv) Finale: Allegro [8:17] String Quartet No. 25 in A minor Op.82 No.3 (1829) [28:07] (i) Allegro [8:48] (ii) Andante [5:05] (iii) Scherzo: Vivace [5:20] (iv) Finale: Andante - Allegro [8:53] Moscow Philharmonic Concertino String Quartet Rec. Studio 1, Russian State TV and Radio Company Kultura, Moscow in December 2003. DDD MARCO POLO 8.225306 [59:14] [PCW]

A fine disc in a series that looks to be worth investigating ... see Full Review

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) String Quartets (Complete), Volume 11: No. 32 in C, Op. 141 (1849) [34’31]; No. 34 in E flat, Op. 152 (1855) [31’35]. Moscow Philharmonic ‘Concertino’ String Quartet (Yaroslav Krasnikov, Sofiya Krasnikova, violins; Pavel Zhdanov, viola; Victor Kozodov, cello). rec. Studio 1, Russian State TV and Radio Co Kultura, Moscow, 16-30 Dec 2003. DDD MARCO POLO 8.225307 [66’06] [CC]

Another triumph for Marco Polo. An explorer of a record label it certainly is, and long may it continue in this vein. ... see Full Review

Sir John STAINER (1840-1901) The Crucifixion - A Meditation on the Sacred Passion of the Holy Redeemer (1887) James Gilchrist (tenor); Simon Bailey (bass); Stephen Farr (organ). Choir of Clare College, Cambridge/Timothy Brown Recorded in Guildford Cathedral, Surrey, UK, 21-22 June 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557624 [66:47] [JQ]

Naxos has done English choral music proud in the last few years and this is another fine release, which I’m very happy to recommend. ... see Full Review

Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) La Chauve-souris (The Bat) - arr. Douglas Gamley Ballet in 2 acts after "Die Fledermaus" Choreography: Roland Petit Bella – Alessandra Ferri Johann – Massimo Murru Ulrich – Luigi Bonino Corpo di Ballo del Teatro alla Scala Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala/Kevin Rhodes Recorded live at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi, Milan, December 2003 Sound DD5.1, DTS 5.1, LPCM Stereo. TDK DVD DV-B LCHS [93:00] [AB]

Parisian esprit, Viennese charm, Milanese elegance - just irresistible. ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrushka (Revised 1947 version) [36’00"] Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) The Miraculous Mandarin* [31’50"] *Chor der Wiener Staatsoper Wiener Philharmoniker/Christoph von Dohnányi Recorded in the Sofiensaal, Vienna, December 1977 ADD DECCA AUSTRALIAN ELOQUENCE 476 2686 [67’50"] [JQ]

A splendid re-issue ... the disc can be recommended confidently. ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882 - 1971) Apollo ballet (1928) [25’12"] Agon ballet (1957) [20’56"] Orpheus ballet (1963) [28’31"] London Symphony Orchestra/Robert Craft (Apollo and Orpheus) Orchestra of St. Luke’s/Robert Craft (Agon) rec. 1–4 July 1995 (Apollo); 3–5, 8 Jan 1995 (Orpheus), Abbey Road Studios; SUNY, Purchase, New York, 1992 (Agon). DDD NAXOS 8.557502 [77.45] [JPh]

Performances and recording quality are first rate ... recommended very highly. ... see Full Review

Hommage á Igor Stravinsky Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Fanfare for a New Theatre (1964) [0’48] Three Pieces for String Quartet (1914) [6’24] Three Easy Pieces for Piano Duet (1914/15) [4’01] Five Easy Pieces for Piano Duet (1919/17) [6’22] Epitaphium (1959) [1’40] Double Canon in memoriam Raoul Dufy (1959) [1’27] Valse pour les enfants (1917) [0’50] Les cinq doigts (1921) [8’18] Souvenir d’une marche boche (1915) [1’44] Pour Pablo Picasso (1917) [0’20] Three Pieces for Clarinet solo (1919) [4’42] Valse des fleurs (1914) [0’42] Three Pieces for String Quartet arr. for piano duet by the composer (1914) [7’19] Luciano BERIO (1925-2003) Autre fois (berceuse canonique pour Igor Stravinsky) (1971) [0’51] Edison DENISOV (1929-1996) Canon en Mémoire d’Igor Stravinsky (1971) [3’09] Pierre BOULEZ (b.1925) Originel-transitoire VII (1971) [5’34] Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Canon for two Violins, Viola and Cello in memoriam Igor Stravinsky (1971) [5’33] Elliott CARTER (b.1908) Canon for Three - in memoriam Igor Stravinsky (1971) [1’14] Ensemble Avantgarde rec. Rathaussaal Markkleeberg, Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen, July 5-6 2004 MDG 613 1333-2 [62’09] [TH]

Such a good idea I’m surprised no-one has thought of it before. It’s typical of companies such as MDG to give attention to intelligent programming like this ... see Full Review

Georges TACONET (1889-1962) Fourteen Songs Violin Sonata in D minor (1927) Dominique Méa (sop); Carlos Cebro (piano) Fanny Clamagirand (violin); Virginie Martineau (piano) rec. Centre François-Mitterand, Saralbe (Moselle), 15-17 July 2002 (songs); Salle Adyar, Paris 8-9 Feb 2003. MARCO POLO 8.225300 [65:14] [RB]

I was pleased to make Taconet's acquaintance - another of the neglecteds of France ... subtly fragranced songs and a sonata emotionally anchored by its substantial andante ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 - 1893) Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Op. 23 (1889) [33’27"] Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835 - 1921) Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22 (1868) [23’55"] Andre Watts (piano) Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Yoel Levi. rec. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Centre, Atlanta, Georgia, 1 Aug, 21 Nov 1994. DDD TELARC CD-80386 [57.50] [JPh]

Recommended highly. Fans of Telarc will not be in the least disappointed with the playing and/or sound of this disc. ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893) Suite No. 3 in G major, Op. 55 (1883) [41’11"] Suite No. 4 in G major, Op. 61, Mozartiana (1887) [26’14"] Ruggiero Ricci (violin) Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Lorin Maazel (Op.55). Suisse Romande Orchestra/Ernest Ansermet (Op. 61). Rec. Sofiensaal, Vienna, June 1977; Victoria Hall, Geneva, December 1966. ADD ELOQUENCE 476 2723 [67.37] [JPh]

It’s a bargain of a lifetime. There is no need to delay, only extreme enjoyment awaits you. ... see Full Review

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681 - 1767) Ein Feste Burg – Vocal and Instrumental Music Ruth Ziesak (soprano) Sonja Erwied (soprano) Arnon Zlotnik (alto) Jan Kobow (tenor) Michael Berner (tenor) Konstantin Wolff (bass) Reinhold Friedrich (trumpet) Vocalensemble Rastatt Les Favourites/Holger Speck rec. 5-10 October 2004, Altkatholische Auferstehungskirche, Karlsruhe CARUS 83.166 [74.32] [RH]

An attractive disc, a varied programme played in fine style by performers who convey real enjoyment. An admirable introduction to Telemann’s art. ... see Full Review

Jean-Balthasar TRICKLIR (1750-1813) Cello Concertos: no.3 in C [17:28], no.4 in D [17:31], no.5 in A [17:13], no.6 in G [20:13] Alexander Rudin (cello), Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra Recorded at the Mosfilm Tonstudious in September-October 2003 CELLO CLASSICS CC1015 [72:33] [CH]

Tricklir sounds to have been a merry old soul. Definitely worth exploring. ... see Full Review

Giovanni VALENTINI (1681-1753) Concerti grossi e a quattro violini, Op. 7 Concerto grosso in A minor, No. 11 (1710) [19:12] Concerto grosso in G major, No. 7 (1710) [7:43] Concerto grosso in D minor, No. 2 (1710) [11:32] Concerto grosso in D minor, No. 3 (1710) [9:50] Concerto grosso in A major, No. 1 (1710) [15:55] Concerto grosso in A minor, No. 10 (1710) [10:06] Chiara Banchini, violin (No. 7) Stéphanie Pfister, violin (No. 2) David Plantier, violin (No. 3) Odile Edouard, violin (No. 1) Olivia Centurioni, violin (No. 10) Ensemble 415/Chiara Banchini Recorded at Frasnes-le-Château, 20 Oct-4 Nov 2001 ZIG-ZAG TERRITORIES 020801 [74:18] [JR]

This recording is highly recommended. May it mark the end of 250 years of unjust neglect! ... see Full Review

Edgard VARÈSE (1883-1965) Amérique (1921) [23’16] Offrandes (1921) [7’31] Hyperprism (1923) [3’54] Octandre (1924) [5’21] Arcana (1925-27) [18’27] Densité 21.5 (1936) [3’37] Ionisation (1929-31) [6’18] Ecuatorial (1934) [10’58] Nocturnal (1961) [11’12] Intégrales (1925) [10’37] Déserts (1954) [25’36] Phyllis Bryn-Julson (soprano) Philippe Pierlot (flute) Nicholas Isherwood (bass-baritone) Men’s chorus of Radio France French National Orchestra/Kent Nagano Recorded at Radio France, Paris, Nov. 1991, March 1992 and Jan. 1996 (Ecuatorial) WARNER APEX 2564 62087-2 [63’14 + 68’23] [TH]

The Chailly Decca set comprises two exceptionally well-filled discs ... there really is no contest. ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Te Deum in G [7:12] Mass in G minor [23:10] O vos omnes [5:51] Valiant-for-Truth [5:57] A vision of aeroplanes [10:06] Judith BINGHAM (b. 1952) Mass [26:50] The Choir of Westminster Cathedral/Martin Baker (Master of Music) Robert Quinney (organ) rec. Westminster Cathedral, 5-8 July 2004 DDD HYPERION CDA67503 [79:45] [CT]

Strongly committed accounts of both familiar and less familiar Vaughan Williams coupled with an impressive CD premiere of Judith Bingham’s striking Mass. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Aida (1871) Antonio Massaria (bass) – Il Re; Giulietta Simionato (mezzo) – Amneris; Caterina Mancini (soprano) – Aïda; Mario Filippeschi (tenor) – Radamès; Giulio Neri (bass) – Ramphis; Rolando Panerai (baritone) – Amonasro; Salvatore Di Tommaso (tenor) – Un messaggero. Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Roma della RAI/Vittorio Gui Recorded in Rome 12 June 1951 WARNER FONIT 50467 7918-2 [77:21 + 61:09][GF]

An inexpensive complement to Karajan, Solti, Muti and Abbado ... many opera lovers will find a lot to relish in this Cetra recording ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) Rigoletto (highlights) Prelude; Act I: Della mia bella; Questa o quella; Gran nuova!; Ch’io gli parli; Pari siamo!; Figlia!; Mio Padre!; Giovanna, ho dei rimorsi; Gualtier Maldè; Caro nome; Zitti, zitti Act II: Ella mi fu rapita!; Parmi veder le lagrime; Possente amor; Povero Rigoletto; Cortigiani, vil razza; Tutte le feste al tempio; Schiudete; ire al carcere; Sì, vendetta Act III: La donna è mobile; Un di, se ben rammentomi; Bella figlia dell’amore; V’ho ingannato Richard Leech (tenor) ... Il Duca di Mantova; Alexandru Agache (baritone) ... Rigoletto; Leontina Vaduva (soprano) ... Gilda; Jennifer Larmore (mezzo-soprano) ... Maddalena; Patricia Bardon (mezzo-soprano) ... Giovanna; Alastair Miles (bass) ... Il Conte di Monterone; Peter Sidhom (baritone) ... Marullo; Barry Banks (tenor) ... Borsa; Geoffrey Moses (bass) ... Il Conte di Ceprano; Fabrizio Visentin (tenor) ... Usciere; Paula Bradbury (mezzo-soprano) ... Paggio. Chorus and Orchestra of Welsh National Opera/Carlo Rizzi Recorded in Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, in February 1993 WARNER APEX 2564 61522-2 [75:53] [GF]

Something of a mixed bag, but there are many good things here and Agache’s impersonation of the hunchbacked jester is something more than that. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) Simon Boccanegra Paolo Silveri (baritone) – Simon Boccanegra; Antonietta Stella (soprano) – Maria/Amelia; Mario Petri (bass) – Jacopo Fiesco; Carlo Bergonzi (tenor) – Gabriele Adorno; Walter Monachesi (baritone) – Paolo Albiani; Giorgio Giorgetti (bass) – Pietro; Walter Collo (tenor) – Captain of the Cross-bowmen; Bianca Furlai (soprano) – Amelia’s Maid-servant Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of RAI, Rome/Francesco Molinari-Pradelli Recorded in Rome, 21 November 1951 WARNER FONIT 5050467-7906-2-9 [72:12 + 50:47] [GF]

Hi-fi buffs need not bother to buy this issue, but readers interested in some of these singers, or good singing in general, should give it a chance. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I Vespri Siciliani - Grand opera in five acts (1855) Libretto by Scribe and Duveyrier Italian translation of the original French version performed at the Academic Imperiale de Musique, Paris, (The Opéra) on 13 June 1855 Guido di Montforte, Governor of Sicily - Leo Nucci (bar); Duchess Elèna, sister of Duke Frederic of Austria - Susan Dunn (sop); Arrigo, a young Sicilian - Veriano Luchetti (ten); Giovanni da Procida, a Sicilian doctor - Bonaldo Giaiotti (bass); Bethune, a French officer - Gianfranco Casarini (bass); Vaudemont, A French officer - Sergio Fontana (bass-bar); Ninetta, Elèna’s maid - Anna Caterina Antonacci (mezzo) Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Communale di Bologna/Riccardo Chailly Recorded 1986. Produced by Radio Italiana in association with NVC ARTS Producer and video director: Luca Ronconi; Designer, Pasquale Grossi Picture format: NTSC 4:3. Dolby Digital Sound 2.0 stereo WARNER MUSIC VISION DVD VIDEO 504678029-2 [171:00] [RJF]

All in all the La Scala production on Opus Arte is far superior to this Bologna offering. ... see Full Review


RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der fliegende Holländer Daland: Matti Salminen, Senta: Lisbeth Balslev, Erik: Robert Schunk, Mary: Amy Schlemm, Der Steuermann Dalands: Graham Clark, Der Holländer: Simon Estes Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele/Robert Balatsch, Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele/Woldemar Nelsson, recorded Bayreuth 1985 director: Harry Kupfer DVD-all regions; 5.1 DTS surround sound. UNITEL DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00440 073 4041 [135:00]. [AO]

Exceptionally good performances by Estes and Salminen, this unusual, challenging interpretation will appeal to those who appreciate Wagner's mental and musical processes ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Parsifal (1882) Christopher Ventris (tenor) - Parsifal; Waltraud Meier (soprano) - Kundry; Matti Salminen (bass) - Gurnemanz; Thomas Hampson (baritone) - Amfortas; Tom Fox (bass) - Klingsor; Bjarni Thor Kristinsson (bass) - Titurel Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Kent Nagano Recorded live at the Festpielhaus Baden-Baden,  4, 6, 8 August 2004. Includes film, Parsifal's Progress [75'18] Stereo and surround sound OPUS ARTE OA0915D [3 DVDs: 96:07 + 66:43 + 143:43][JL]

There are some controversial aspects to this production but if you come to terms with them you could be watching one of the finest all-round operatic performances you will ever see. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walküre (1870) Brünnhilde ... Deborah Polaski (soprano) Sieglinde ... Linda Watson (soprano) Wotan ... Falk Struckmann (bass) Siegmund ... Richard Berkeley-Steele (tenor) Hunding ... Eric Halfvarsen (bass) Fricka ... Lioba Braun (soprano) Valkyries:- Gerhilde ... Sabine Braum Ortlinde ... Annegeer Stumphius Waltraute ... Marisa Altmann-Althausen Schwertleite ... Andrea Bönig Helmwige ... Heike Gierhardt Siegrune ... Mireia Pintó Rossweise ... Francisca Beaumont Gran Teatre del Liceu Symphony Orchestra/Bertrand de Billy Directed by Harry Kupfer Recorded 18, 27 June 2003, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona OPUS ARTE OA 0911 D [3 DVDs: 250.00] [TB]

De Billy is a fine Wagner conductor, and his performance whips up plenty of fire, if occasionally the tension is allowed to sag. ... a professional performance that has its compelling aspects. ... see Full Review

Sir William WALTON (1902 - 1983) Christopher Columbus - A Musical Journey (1942) [58.44] (concert version arr. 2002 Carl Davis and Patrick Garland) Hamlet and Ophelia (1947) [12.27] (Suite arr. 1967 Muir Matheson from the Hamlet film score.) Julian Glover, speaker ... Christopher Columbus Jamie Glover, speaker ... ironic spirit / herald Caroline Carragher, soprano ... Isabella Jean Rigby, Mezzo-soprano ... Beatriz / woman Philip Lloyd Holtam, speaker ... Sailor / voice Craig Ogden, guitar; Tom Randle, tenor solo; Roderick Williams, baritone solo BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales/Richard Hickox Nick Whiting, leader; Adrian Partington, chorus master Recorded in Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, UK, 17 May 2004. Remastered to DSD. Notes and complete text in English, Deutsch, Français. Photos of composer and artists. Hybrid SACD CHANDOS CHSA 5034 [71.15]

A gem of a suite from one of Walton’s finest film scores, and a stirring BBC pageant brilliantly performed and recorded. ... see Full Review

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Oberon or The Elf King’s Oath - Romantic Opera in three acts (1826) Hillevi Martinpelto ... Reiza (soprano) Steve Davislim ... Oberon (tenor) Jonas Kaufmann ... Sir Huon of Bordeaux, Duke of Guienne (tenor) Marina Comparato ... Fatima (mezzo) William Dazeley ... Sherasmin (baritone) Frances Bourne ... Puck (mezzo-soprano) Katherine Fuge ... first Mermaid (soprano) Charlotte Mobbs ... second Mermaid (soprano) Roger Allam (narrator) Monteverdi Choir Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique/Sir John Eliot Gardiner Recorded at the Colosseum, Watford, England, 15-19 March 2002. DDD PHILIPS 475 6563 5 [60:57 + 61:47] [MC]

The playing and singing is beautifully tailored to the score ... an endless kaleidoscope of subtle colours ... a delightful experience ... see Full Review

Egon WELLESZ (1885-1974) Symphony No. 3 Op. 68 (1949-51) [34.12] Symphony No. 5 Op. 75 (1955-56) [28.57] Radio Symphonieorchester Wien/Gottfried Rabl rec. Grosser Sendesaal, Funkhaus ORF, 2004. DDD CPO 999 999-2 [63.22] [RB]

Two deeply serious Germanic symphonies touched to varying degrees by the influence of Schoenberg. ... see Full Review

Percy WHITLOCK (1903-1946) Organ Sonata in C minor [44'37] Five Short Pieces [14'24] Fantasie Choral No 1 in D flat major [12'24] John Scott, organ Rec: St Paul's Cathedral, London, 6-8 January 2004. DDD HYPERION CDA67470 [71'50][CB]

Scott's performance is rather no-nonsense, typical of his artistry in general. His playing is marvellous. ... see Full Review

Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931) Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Op 27 (1924) No.1 in G "To Joseph Szigeti" [14.59] No. 2 in A "To Jacques Thibaud" [12.39] No.3 in D "To Georges Enesco" [6.45] No.4 in E "To Fritz Kreisler" [11.23] No.5 in G "To Mathieu Crickboom" [9.14] No. 6 in E "To Manuel Quiroga" [6.48] Benjamin Schmid (violin) Recorded in June and September 1988, unspecified location OEHMS CLASSICS OC 236 [63.44][JW]

Schmid brings youth, enterprise and occasional idiosyncrasy to these sonatas ... 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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