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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


 
 

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  BANK HOLIDAY
May 30th/31st


DAILY CD REVIEWS



Hoffnung Music Festivals 1956,58,61
2CDs:£17 postage included World-Wide [mono/stereo]
This is a must for all Hoffnung enthusiasts.
Purchase here    see review

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


Visit the HOFFNUNG EXHIBITION at the Frome Festival - July 1-10 2005

ADVANCE NOTICE MALCOLM ARNOLD FESTIVAL 2006 to coincide with Sir Malcolm's 85th Birthday

Hyperion have lost their appeal against Lionel Sawkins - details

 

NEW and RECENT ARTICLES

Carole Farley – singer and champion of repertoire. Interviewed by Anne Ozorio

View from the audience by Frank T. Manheim: THE RELEVANCE OF FUTURISM IN CLASSICAL MUSIC TODAY: WHY CONTEMPORARY COMPOSERS STILL HAVE TROUBLE EXCITING AUDIENCES

George ENESCU: a fiftieth anniversary commemoration through recordings
Part I: Enescu the composer - Evan Dickerson

MusicWeb Reviewer’s Log: May 2005 Reviewer: Patrick C Waller

KENNETH V. JONES by Helen Davis

Murray McLachlan reflects on the fruits of a private pilgrimage in the life and music of JOHN WILLIAMSON

CLASSICAL MUSIC - TOO ÉLITIST ? Arthur Butterworth
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies recently commented that there was a real danger that Classical Music might soon die out altogether. Arthur Butterworth responds

Three emigrés: Gál, Gerhard and Goldschmidt by Guy Rickards 2005 Update
Avie Special Offer The Complete Piano Works by Hans Gal played by Leon McCawley:- 3-CD set available September 2005
Pre-order your copy now and receive a 33% discount off the recommended retail price of £30.00 - ORDER NOW AND PAY ONLY £20.00.

 

See also Whose music is it anyway? Norman Lebrecht
This might spell the end to cheap historical re-issues.

 

LATEST CD REVIEWS (last two days)
There is more to MusicWeb than just CD reviews - see site map

 

187 completed for May

see alphabetical index

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[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Z]
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Recordings of the Month Bargains of the Month

 

Specialist Music Books for sale- expensive but I have made them as cheap as I can and offer free postage

Eric Charles Blake The book is well written and has good illustrations; it is strongly recommended. Wars, Dictators and the Gramophone 1898-1945 pp320; illustrated; laminated cover.published by Sessions of York, Huntingdon Rd, York YO31 9HS, England Buy from MusicWeb £10 plus postage - immediate delivery

Christopher Fifield - Ibbs and Tillett: The Rise and Fall of a Musical Empire. Just published by Ashgate. 692 pages, 78 b/w illustrations. Hardback for only £29.95 post-free in the UK [review]

LONDON – a Musical Gazetteer By Lewis and Susan Foreman Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2005 ISBN 0-300-10402-2 (chalk.paper) 384 pp 107 b/w illus large format paperback ISBN 0 300 10402 2 £15:99.

.....must find itself a place on music-lovers’ shelves beside the British Music Yearbook and is excellent value for the quite modest price. see Full Review

BOOK REVIEWS

IBBS AND TILLETT: The Rise and Fall of a Musical Empire by Christopher Fifield April 2005 244 x 172 mm Includes 78 b&w illustrations 724 pages Hardback Ashgate Publishing Limited 1 84014 290 1 £29.95 post free through MusicWeb

This is great big palatial book; that's the first impression and the impression stays. Its splendour is its detail and its finish and it is very readable - packed with good stories but with a fascinating narrative sweep across the decades. ... see Full Review

London - A Musical Gazetteer by Lewis Foreman and Susan Foreman Illustrations: 100 illustrations Number of Pages: 352 Paperback ISBN 0 300 10402 2 PRICE: £15.99 PUB DATE: 31 Mar 2005 [RB]

Indispensable to a world of lovers and addicts of London as well as to those researching classical musical subjects of one sort or another. ... see Full Review

Eduard Tubin (1905-1982) -100th Birthday Celebrations

Naxos at 18!

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SHOSTAKOVICH
Piano Trio No 1, Op. 8 Piano Trio No 2, Op. 67 Seven Songs (Alexander Blok), Op. 127 ArteMiss Piano Trio
Alžbĕta Poláčková
(sop) UP 0069-2 (CD) £9 postage paid World wide

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RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1973) CD 1 String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 25 (1941)  [26:13] String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op 36 (1945)  [31:47] CD 2 String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94 (1975)  [25:44] Three Divertimenti for String Quartet (1936)  [10:31]  Belcea Quartet Recorded: String Quartet No. 3, July 2003 and remaining works 28 June to 3 July 2004 at Potton Hall, Suffolk, U.K.  EMI CLASSICS 5 57968 2 [58:10 + 36:24][MC]

I feel truly privileged to have this spectacular release from the Belceas in my collection. My advice is to obtain it immediately. A stunning set! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Eric COATES (1886-1957) Concert waltz: Footlights (1939) The Three Men Suite (1935) The Selfish Giant (1925) London Again Suite for Orchestra (1936) Cinderella – A Phantasy (1929) Summer Days Suite (1919) Television March (1946) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/John Wilson rec. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England, 7-8 October 2003. DDD AVIE AV2070 [79:14] [IL]

Sweet tuneful nostalgic delight – a must for Eric Coates admirers. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Zoraida Di Granata - Melodramma eroico in two acts. Libretto by Bartolomeo Merelli. First performed at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, on the 28th January 1822. Revised edition presented at the same theatre on the 7th January 1824 Given in new performing editions prepared by Chris Moss and Robert Roberts Cast for the 1822 edition (CD 1, CD 2. CD 3 trs 1-9) Almuzir, King of Granada. Bruce Ford (ten); Zoraida, in love with, and loved by, Abenamet, Majella Cullagh (sop); Abenamet, General of the Moors, Paul Austin Kelly (ten); Ali, Almuzir's confidant, Matthew Hargreaves (bass); Almanzor, friend of Abenamet, Dominic Natoli (bass); Ines, a Spanish slave and friend of Zoraida, Cristina Pastorello (sop) Changes in cast for the 1824 revisions (CD 3 trs.10-14 and CD 4) Abenamet, Diana Montague (mezzo) The Geoffrey Mitchell Choir. The Academy of St Martin in the Fields/David Parry Recorded at St. Clements Church, London. October and December 1998 OPERA RARA ORC17 [4CDs: 74.22 + 71.40 + 54.54 + 64.19] [RJF]

Much enjoyable listening here, complemented by fine singing which can be enjoyed by all lovers of this fertile and seminal period of operatic composition in Italy. I recommend it without reservation ... see Full Review

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pascal DUSAPIN (b. 1955) Perelà, Uomo di fumo (2003) John Graham-Hall (tenor, Perelà); Isabelle Philippe (soprano, the Queen); Chantal Perraud (coloratura, Alloro’s daughter); Martine Mahé (contralto, the Old Woman); Nora Gubisch (mezzo-soprano, Oliva di Bellonda); Friedemann Röhlig (bass, Master of Ceremonies, Minister); Scott Wilde (bass, Servant, Alloro, President of the Court of Justice); Niels van Doesum (bass, First Guard, Pilone the Philosopher); Nicolas Courjal (bass-baritone, Second Guard, Rodella the Banker); Daniel Gundlach (falsetto, Archbishop); Gilles Yanetti (the Parrot); Chorus of the National Opera, Montpellier Montpellier National Orchestra/Alain Altinoglu Recorded: (live) Opera Berlioz-Le Corum, Montpellier, May 2003 NAIVE MO 782168 [65:45 + 55:34][HC]

A major release of a major work of our time ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Edward ELGAR (1857 – 1934) Enigma Variations, Op. 36 BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis. Recorded live in Worcester Cathedral, 30 June 2004. DVD. (DTS Stereo, LPCM Stereo). BBC OPUS ARTE OA 0917 D [85’00"][JPH]

Recommended without reservation. I am sure that this release will be one of my DVDs of the Year. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH In The Shade of Forests George ENESCU (1881-1955) Impressions d’enfance Op.28 (1940) [22.01] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Tzigane – Rapsodie de concert for violin and luthéal (original version) (1924) [10.41] Sonata Op. posthumous (1897) [12.37] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata (1916-17) [13.14] Nocturne et Scherzo (1882) – re-adaptation by Phillipe Graffin [4.11] Il pleure dans mon Coeur – transcribed Arthur Hartmann in 1908 and 1943 [3.04] La fille aux cheveux de lin - transcribed Arthur Hartmann in 1910 [2.27] Minstrels - transcribed by Claude Debussy in 1914 [2.22] Beau Soir - transcribed Arthur Hartmann in 1941 [2.14] Phillipe Graffin (violin) Claire Désert (piano and luthéal) Recorded at Doopsegezinde Kerk, Deventer and Musical Instrument Museum (Tzigane) September 2004 AVIE AV2059 [73.11] [JW][KS]

A fascinating disc. Not one I shall easily forget. Maybe the sniffing will cause problems on repeated listening. A disc brimming with dedication and admirable engagement. ...[JW]
Takes us to a realm of wonder ... pure joy ... Buy it soon, and prepare to be transported, transmuted, transfixed and transfigured![KS] ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Leopold GODOWSKY (1870-1938)The Complete Studies on Chopin’s Etudes Joyce Hatto (piano) Rec. The Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, 4th September and 10th October 2004 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9147-2 [79.00] Rec. The Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, 1st September and 10th and 11th October 2004 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9148-2 [77.58] [JW]

Formidable and compelling, these performances by Joyce Hatto represent a remarkable distinction. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Années de pèlerinage – Deuxième année: Italie S.161 [55:30], Supplement: Venezia e Napoli S.162 [17:33] Joyce Hatto (piano) Recorded 11th-12th March 1996, 1st October 1999, The Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge CONCERT ARTISTS/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9150-2 [71:13] [CH]

The "Dante Sonata" is a Liszt performance to set alongside the greatest I know – a major addition to the Liszt discography. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Twenty-Four Preludes Opp. 23 and 32 (1901-1910) Joyce Hatto (piano) rec. Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, UK, March 1999 and December 2001 CONCERT ARTIST CACD-9127-2 [77.12] [WH]

Beauty of sound, even in fortissimos, mastery of the Rachmaninov style through playing which seems totally at the service of the composer. Deeply satisfying performances. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Philip SAINTON (1891-1967) The Island - Symphonic Poem for Full Orchestra [16:58] (Dedicated to my very good friend, Ernest Hall) Patrick HADLEY (1899-1973) The Trees so High* - Symphonic Ballad for large orchestra with baritone solo and chorus [34:33] Philip SAINTON (1891-1967) Nadir - Symphonic Elegy for Orchestra [13:40] The Dream of the Marionette (The Sadness of the Marionette; The Sleep of the Marionette; The Dream of the Marionette; March; Epilogue Patrick HADLEY (1899-1973) La Belle Dame sans merci† [10:00] One Morning in Spring - Sketch for Orchestra [4:15] Lenten Meditations‡ 18:57 Leslie Pearson organ Neill Archer tenor†‡ David Wilson-Johnson baritone* Stephen Richardson bass‡ Philharmonia Chorus *†‡ Philharmonia Orchestra/Matthias Bamert rec. All Saints' Church, Tooting, London; 3-4 August 1992 (The Island, The Trees So High) and 18-19 March 1996 (Nadir, La Belle Dame sans merci, One Morning in Spring, Lenten editations); Blackheath Halls, London, 20 September 1996 (The Dream of the Marionette) DDD CHANDOS CHAN 241-22 [51:43 + 65:49] [RB]

Do not miss this. Recording of the Month. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Humoreske Op. 20 (1838) [28:39] Toccata Op. 7 (1829-32) [7:22] Gesänge der Frühe Op. 133 (1853) [11:59] Kinderszenen Op. 15 (1838) [19:44] Album für die Jugend Op. 68 (1848) [74:35] Kreisleriana Op. 16 - Eight Fantasies for Pianoforte (1838) [34:19] Theme with Variations in E flat major WoO 24 ('Geistervariationen') (1854) [9:44] Faschingsschwank aus Wien Op. 26 (1839-40) [21:35] Michael Endres (piano) Recorded Cologne, 2000/2001 OEHMS CLASSICS OC366 [3 CDs: 68:07 + 74:35 + 65:54][JL]

This superbly played triple disc set represents a considerable body of Schumann’s piano composition and is a major recording achievement. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Petits Fours: Cello Quartets by Offenbach, Klengel, Fitzenhagen Wilhelm FITZENHAGEN (1848 – 1890) Konzertwaltzer, Ave Maria Op.41; Die Spinnerin Op.59 No.2 Jacques OFFENBACH (1819 – 1880) Adagio; Scherzo Georg GOLTERMAN (1824 – 1898) Deux Morceaux de Salon Op.53: No.2 Nocturne; No.1 Religioso Julius KLENGEL (1859 – 1933) Four Pieces Op.3: Lied Ohne Worte; Gavotte; Wiegenlied; Marsch
Two Pieces Op.5: Serenade; Humoreske Friedrich GRÜTZMACHER (1832 – 1903) Consecration Hymn Op.65 Guillaume PAQUE (1825 – 1876) Souvenir de Curis The Cellists of The London Mozart Players: 1 Sebastian Comberti; 2 Julia Desbruslais; 3 Ben Chappell; 4 Sarah Butcher Recorded: 23rd to 25th January 2002 at St Silas, London NW5 CELLO CLASSICS CC 1007 [66.32] [LB]

A palpable joy - the connoisseur and music lover have in this CD a benchmark recording of some of the classics of the repertoire. ... see Full Review

 

 



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH 19th Century Guitar Favourites Fernando SOR (1778-1839) 1. Minuet, Op.11. No.6 [2:19] Eight Studies: 2 Op.35, No 22 in B Minor [2:52]; 3 Op.31, No.19in A Major [1:36]; 4 Op.35, No.17 in D Major 1:21]; 5 Op. 6, No.9 in D Major [2:59]; 6 Op.6, No.6 in A Major [2:38]; 7 Op. 6, No.11 in E Minor [3:24]; 8 Op.35, No 13 in C Major [0:42; 9 Op 6, No. 12 in A major [4:58]; 10 Minuetto, Op. 22 [3:16] Dionisio AGUADO (1784-1849) 11 Minuett [2:27] 12 Andante [3:46]Six Etudes: 13 Leccion 15 [1:21]; 14 Leccion 29 [1:25]; 15 Leccion 19 [0:37]; 16 Leccion 26 [1:39]; 17 Estudio 17 [1:15]; 18 Leccion 24 [1:07] Francisco TÁRREGA (1852-1909) 19 Rosita-polka [1:30]; 20 Marita- mazurka [2:18]; 21 Sueno-mazurka [2:02]; 22 Adelita-mazurka [1:19]; 23 Mazurka en sol [2:44]; 24 Estudio brillante [2:01]; 25 Gran Vals [3:14]; 26 Endecha [1:21]; 27 Lágrima [2:03]; 28 Aborada-capriccio [2:22]; 29 Recuerdos de la Alhambra [4:18]; 30 Maria-gavota [1:34]; 31 Preludio No I [1:34]; 32 Preludio No. II [1:04] Norbert Kraft (Guitar) rec. St. John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Canada, August 1993. DDD NAXOS 8.553007 [69:06] [ZT]

In decades to come this will remain a testament to superb guitar playing, refined interpretations and good taste. Definitely my desert island "allowed one only" choice ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732 – 1809) Die Schöpfung (The Creation) Sunhae Im (soprano) – Gabriel, Eva); Jan Kobow (tenor) – Uriel; Hanno Müller-Brachmann (bass) – Raphael, Adam; Christine Wehler (alto) VokalEnsemble Köln/Max Ciolek; Capella Augustina/Andreas Spering Recorded by Deutschlandfunk, Sendesaal, Köln, July 2003. DDD SACD NAXOS 6.110073-74 [55:09 + 49:13] also available as CD 8.557380-81 [GF]

Wonderful set: premium quality at super-budged price! Strongly recommended. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz KROMMER (1759-1831)
Oboe Quintets and Quartets
Oboe Quintet* in C, VII:12 (i) Allegro Moderato [8:17] Adagio [6:53] Menuetto and trio: Allegretto [3:48] Allegro [5:26] Oboe Quartet in F, IX:22 (i) Allegro [4:49] (ii) Menuetto and trio [3:29] (iii) Rondo [3:39] Oboe Quartet in C, IX:21 (i) Allegro aperto [5:46] (ii) Adagio [4:50] (iii) Rondo [3:15] Oboe Quintet* in E flat, VII:13 (i) Allegro Moderato [8:33] Andante moderato [5:50] Menuetto and trio: Allegretto [4:07] Andante poco allegretto [5:56] Sarah Francis (oboe), Tagore String Trio (Frances Mason, Brian Schiele, James Halsey), with Jonathan Barritt* (viola) Rec. St. Michael’s Church, Highgate, London in August 2004 DDD REGIS RRC1201 [75:29] [PCW]

This music is well worth getting to know and fine musicianship is on offer - quite a bargain. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan, op 20 (1888) [18’27”] Die Heiligen drei Königen, op 56, no.6 [6’10”] Waldseligkeit, op 49, no 1 [3’06”] Wiegenlied, op 41, no 1 [4’46”] Morgen!, op 27, no 4 [4’03”] Das Rosenband, op 36, no 1 [3’07”] Meinem Kinde, op 37, no 3 [2’40”] Befreit, op 39, no 4 [5’20”] Macbeth, op 23 (1887) [19’48”] Anne Schwanewilms (soprano) (Lieder) Hallé/Mark Elder Rec. BBC Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester: 12-13 July 2004 (Macbeth), 22-23 September 2004 (Don Juan and lieder). Texts and translations included. DDD. HALLE CD HLL 7508 [67’31”][ED]

This issue covers all in glory and leaves the sense of discovering something new, even in well known works. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Boris Christoff: The Great Russian Bass Roles. Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887)Prince Igora (1887, orch. Rimsky-Korsakov) – I hate a dreary life (Galitsky’s Aria) [3’49]; How are you Prince (Kontchak’s Aria) [7’27]. Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Sadko (1898) – Song of the Viking Guesta [3’42]. Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Eugene Onegin (1879) – Prince Gremin’s Ariab (‘Everyone knows love on earth’) [4’54]. Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Boris Godunov (1874, arr. Rimsky-Korsakov) – Varlaam’s Songc (‘In the town of Kazan’); Boris’s Monologuec (‘I have attained the highest power’) [5’51]; Farewell and Death of Borisd [11’51]. Songs and Dances of Death (1875-7) – Field-Marshal Deathe [4’56]. Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Ernani (1844) – Che mai veggio! … Infelice … Infin che un brando vindicef [6’52]. Don Carlo (1867) – Ella giammai m’amog [10’28]. Arrigo BOITO (1842-1918) Mefistofele (1868) – Ave Signor!h [3’55]; Son lo spirito che negai [3’50]. Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893) Faust (1859) – Sérénade: Vous qui faites l’endormiej [2’50]. TRADITIONALSong of the Volga Boatmena [4’20]. Boris Christoff (bass); eGerald Moore (piano); dChorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; abdfhiPhilharmonia Orchestra/adhIssay Dobrowen, bWilhelm Schüchter, fAnatole Fistoulari, iNicolai Malko; cFrench National Radio Orchestra/ Issay Dobrowen; gRome Opera Orchestra/Gabriele Santini; jChorus & Orchestra of the Théâtre National de l’Opéra/André Cluytens. Rec. a1950, bcdj1952, ef1951, g1954, hi1949. ADD REGIS RRC1196 [78’35] [CC]

Magnificent. If anyone needs an introduction to the great Boris Christoff, this should be it. ... 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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