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MusicWeb Recommended Recordings 2005 JAN-APR

[Jan - April] [May - August] [Sept - Dec] [2004]

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

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 review



JANUARY
RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto no.2 in B flat op.19 [28:11], Piano Concerto no.3 in c op.37 [35:43] Martha Argerich (piano) Mahler Chamber Orchestra/Claudio Abbado Recorded live at the Teatro Communale di Ferrara, 2/2000 (no.2), 2/2004 (no.3) DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 5026 [64:00] [CH]

A CD which shows that there can be a point in recording these repertoire works again; surely one of the Beethoven discs of the 21st century which will still be listened to in the 22nd. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Samuel COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875–1912) Violin Concerto in G minor Op. 80 (1912) [31'55] (1 Allegro maestoso — Vivace — Allegro molto [11'39] 2 Andante semplice — Andantino [8'28] 3 Allegro molto — Moderato [11'41]) Arthur SOMERVELL (1863–1937) Violin Concerto in G minor (1930) [32'59] (First Recording) (1 Allegro moderato e con grazia [18'21] 2 Adagio [6'44] 3 Allegro giocoso [7'47]) Anthony Marwood (violin) BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins rec. 24-25 Feb 2004, Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh. DDD The Romantic Violin Concerto – 5 HYPERION CDA67420 [65:03] [RB]

Make no mistake the Coleridge-Taylor is a vivacious and captivating work which I guarantee that you will come to love. The Somervell will instantly appeal to all lovers of the Brahms and of the British pastoral idyll filtered through the German romantic idiom ... see Full Review

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Turangalîla Symphony (1946-8) [76:59] Yvonne Loriod (piano); Jeanne Loriod (ondes martenot); Toronto Symphony Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa Recorded December 1967 ADD BMG RCA RED SEAL CLASSIC LIBRARY 82876 59418 2 [76:59] [JQ]

Right now I can’t think of a better way to experience this work than through this full-blooded yet sensitive reading ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto no.17 in G major K 453 Piano Concerto no. 21 in C major K467 Ewa Pobłocka (piano) Leopoldinum (Wrocław Chamber Orchestra)/Jan Stanieda rec. 29-30 April 1995, Bydgoszcz Philharmonic Concert Hall, Poland. DDD CD ACCORD ACD 093-2 [56:22] [GPJ]

These performances made me aware that in Mozart’s concertos we have some of the greatest treasures, not just of music, but of the whole of Western civilisation. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH We Want The Light With Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Evgeny Kissin, Zubin Mehta, Itzhak Perlman, and Pinchas Zuckerman. the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne, the Cologne Opera Chorus, the Cologne Cathedral Children's Choir plus three camp survivors: Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, Jacques Stroumsa and Alice Sommer Herz and others. Directed and written by Christopher Nupen. All regions DVD 2004 Allegro Films/ Christopher Nupen Films BBC/OPUS ARTE OA CN0909 D [330:00] [AO]

The interviews with musicians who survived the concentration camps are remarkable. They support the view that music resonates with something fundamental in the human soul, and cannot, ultimately, be hijacked for evil purposes ... see Full Review

 



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

 

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH The Great Composers Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) CD1: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, BWV1049 [15.13] Consort of London/Robert Haydon Clark Jesu meine Freude, from Cantata No. 147 [3.11] Holland Boys’ Choir, Netherlands Bach Collegium/Pieter Jan Leusink Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV656 [8.54] Hans Fagius (organ) Orchestral Suite No. 3, BWV 1068 [21.35] Consort of London/Robert Haydon Clark Motet: Lobet den Herrn, BWV230 [6.13] Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne/Michel Corboz Italian Concerto: Allegro, BWV971 [4.08] Pieter Jan Belder (harpsichord) Schlummet Ein: bass aria from Cantata No. 82 [9.24] Bas Ramselaar (bass), Netherlands Bach Collegium/Pieter Jan Leusink CD2: Violin Concerto in E major, BWV1042 [17.19] Emma Verhey (violin), Camerata Antonio Lucio Siciliano, from Flute Sonata in E flat, BWV1032 [2.12] Stephen Preston (flute), Trevor Pinnock (harpsichord) St Matthew Passion: Opening Chorus [6.54] Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, Brandenburg Consort/Stephen Cleobury Concert for oboe d’amore in A major, BWV1055 Rob Visser, Amsterdam Bach Soloists Eine Feste Burg: opening chorus from Cantata No. 80 [5.18] Holland Boys’ Choir, Netherlands Bach Collegium/Pieter Jan Leusink Preludio: Partita for solo violin in E major, BWV1006 Mark Lubotsky Aus Liebe: soprano aria from St Matthew Passion [4.38] Emma Kirkby, Brandenburg Consort, Stephen Cleobury Badinerie: Orchestral Suite No. 2, BWV1067 [1.21] Consort of London, Robert Haydon Clark Bourrée: Lute Suite in E minor, BWV996 [1.26] Bist du bei Mir, BWV508 [2.40] Johannette Zomer (mezzo soprano), Pieter Jan Belder (harpsichord) Prelude: English Suite in E minor, BWV810 Bob van Asperen (harpsichord) Largo: Concerto in D minor for 2 violins, BWV1043 Darius Polack, Kamil Drzygula (violins), Lodz Chamber Orchestra, Zdislav Szostak No recording information listed DVD: The Great Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach Directed by Kriss Russmann BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92416 [2 CDs: 67.51 + 70.23; DVD: 58.00] [TB]

These discs will give pleasure and the sequence works satisfactorily enough. But then Bach is the most indestructible of composers. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-76) Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 68 (1963) Suite from Death in Venice, Op. 88, arr. Steuart Bedford (1973) Rafael Wallfisch (cello) English Chamber Orchestra/Steuart Bedford recorded in St Barnabas Church, Finchley, London, 26 March 1984, and All Saints’ Church, Tooting, London, 27 November 1984 CHANDOS 10274 X [61'05"] [PL]

In a marketplace teeming with good discs of Britten’s music, positively none is better than this. ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN BARGAIN OF THE MONTH (1913-1976) Canticle I, op.40 – My Beloved is Mine [7:11] Canticle II, Op.51 – Abraham and Isaac [16:10] The Heart of the Matter (rev. Peter Pears, 1983) [24:56] Canticle III, Op.55 – Still Falls the Rain [11:31] Canticle IV, Op.86 – Journey of the Magi [10:50] Canticle V, Op. 89 – The Death of Saint Narcissus Philip Langridge (tenor), Jean Rigby (contralto), Gerald Finley (baritone), Derek Lee Ragin (counter-tenor), Dame Judi Dench (narrator), Steuart Bedford (piano), Frank Lloyd (horn), Osian Ellis (harp) Recorded at All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, on 19-20, 23-24 March 1996. Narrations recorded at Floating Earth, on May 16th 1996 NAXOS THE ENGLISH SONG SERIES 8.557202 [66:47] [GPJ]

This is a very fine recording of some of the most exquisite vocal music of the past century, and enshrines the work of so many fine artists. Impossible to recommend it too highly. ... see Full Review


February

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich in concert Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Pulcinella (1920) – Suite italienne (arr. Stravinsky/Piatigorsky, 1932) [17’36]. Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 119 (1949) [23’28]. The Stone Flower (1948) – Waltz (arr. Piatigorsky/Knushevitsky) [2’16]. Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 40 (1934) [25’40]. Mischa Maisky (cello); Martha Argerich (piano). Rec. Live rec. from Flagey Hall, Brussels, in April 2003. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 5323 [72’22] [CC]

My disc of the month ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen BWV 56 [18’08"] Der Friede sei mit dir BWV 158 [10’18"] Ich habe genug BWV 82 [21’21"] Thomas Quasthoff (bass-baritone) Albrecht Mayer (oboe) Members of the RIAS-Kammerchor Berliner Barock Solisten/Rainer Küssmaul (violin) rec. Berlin-Dahlem, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Jan 2004. DSD. SACD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 474 5052 GSA [50’05"] [JQ]

Every collector of Bach cantata recordings needs to have this disc in his or her collection. I recommend it with the greatest possible enthusiasm. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No 1 in C minor Op.68 (1876) [47:40] ((i) Un poco sostenuto – Allegro [16:15]; (ii) Andante sostenuto [9:19]; (iii) Un poco allegretto e grazioso [4:48]; (iv) Adagio – Allegro non troppo ma con brio [17:18]) Tragic Overture Op.81 (1880) [14:01] Academic Festival Overture Op. 80 (1880) [10:38] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Marin Alsop Recorded Watford Colosseum in January 2004 DDD NAXOS 8.557428 [72:42] [PCW]

Alsop’s approach to this work is lyrical and passionate ... a substantial success ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Aaron COPLAND (1900 - 1990) Chamber Music of Aaron Copland Movement for String Quartet (1923) [5.52] Prelude for Piano Trio (1924) [4.39] Pieces (2) for Violin and Piano (1926) [10.09] Vocalise for Flute and Piano (1928) [4.53] Pieces (2) for String Quartet (1928) [8.29] Vitebsk for Piano Trio (1928) [11.55] Sextet for String Quartet, Clarinet and Piano (1937 rev.) [14.25] Sonata for Violin and Piano (1943) [19.14] Quartet for Piano and Strings (1950) [21.08] Duo for Flute and Piano (1971) [14.34] Threnodies (2) for Flute and String Trio (1971) [7.39] Derek Bermel, clarinet; Michael Boriskin, piano; Paul Lustig Dunkel, flute; Nicholas Kitchen, violin; Wilhelmina Smith, cello. Borromeo String Quartet: Nicolas Kitchen, Wil Fedkenheuer, vv; Mai Motobuchi, vla; Yeesun Kim, vc., assisted by Jennifer Frautchi, Curtis Macomber, vv; Hsin-Yun Huang, Cynthia Phelps, vla. Rec. Dec 2000 - Mar 2003, various locations in New York and Boston, USA. Notes in English. Photo of composer and artists. No timings.* ARABESQUE Z6794-2 [60.18 + 62.33] [PSh]

Surprising, ingenious, and beautiful music from a composer you thought you knew. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Piano Concerto (sketches, drafts and recordings of his Piano Concerto realised for performance by Robert Walker) [36:40] (I. (Andante piacevole) – Nobilmente e semplice [18:15]; II. Poco Andante con rubato [6:23]; III. (Solenne quasi recitativo) – Allegro ma non troppo Vivace [12:02]) Suite of Four Edward Elgar Songs (transcribed for orchestra by Haydn Wood) [10:37] I. Rondel [1:28]; II. Queen Mary’s Song [3:00]; III. The Shepherd’s Song [2:48]; IV. Like to the Damask Rose [3:21] Adieu (orch: Henry Geehl) [2:38] So Many True Princesses (orch: Anthony Payne) ‡ [6:13] Spanish Serenade, op. 23 ‡ [4:22] The Immortal Legions (from ‘Pageant of Empire’) ‡ [4:00] Anthony COLLINS (1893-1963) Elegy in Memory of Edward Elgar [10:00] David Owen Norris (piano) † BBC Singers ‡ BBC Concert Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones world premiere recordings (except Suite of Four Songs, premiere stereo recordings; Collins). In association with BBC Radio 3, BBC Concert Orchestra, Elgar Society Recorded: Studio 1, Abbey Road, London, 18 and 19 October 2004. DDD DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7148 [74:40] [RB]

Concerto: majestic, extremely impressive ... captured with craggy mastery. Enthusiastically recommended to Elgarians everywhere. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) The Complete Songs – Volume 1 Les Matelots; Seule!; Chanson du pêcheur; Barcarolle; Tarantelle; Au bord de l’eau Les berceaux; Au cimetière; Larmes; Cinq melodies "de venise"; Pleurs d’or; Accompagnement; La fleur qui va sur l’eau; Mirages; C’est la paix; L’horizon chimérique. Felicity Lott (soprano); Jennifer Smith (soprano); Geraldine McGreevy (soprano); Stella Doufexis (soprano); John Mark Ainsley (tenor); Christopher Maltman (baritone); Stephen Varcoe (baritone); Graham Johnson (piano) Recorded 2002-2004 HYPERION CDA67333 [68:47] [IL]

An excellent beginning to what promises to be another memorable Hyperion French Song collection. 26 Fauré songs to enchant the ear. ... 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

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) String Quartet no.1 in G op.44 (1891) [29:01] String Quartet no.2 in A minor op.45 (1891) [27:03] Fantasy for Horn and String Quartet* (1922) [11:47] RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet, with Stephen Stirling (horn)* Recorded 22nd-24th September 2003 in the Henry Wood Hall, London HYPERION CDA67434 [68:09] [CH]

Urgently recommended, and not only to lovers of British music. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir John TAVENER (b.1944)
The Veil of the Temple (2002) [148’17"] Patricia Rosario (soprano); Simon Wall, Nathan Vale (tenors); Thomas Guthrie, Andrew Rupp (baritones); Adrian Peacock, Jeremy Birchall (basses) The Choir of the Temple Church, London; The Holst Singers Instrumental Ensemble; Members of English Chamber Orchestra/Stephen Layton Abridged concert version recorded live at the première performances of the complete score in the Temple Church, London on 27-28 June (overnight), 1 July and 4-5 July (overnight) 2003. DSD SACD HYBRID BMG RCA RED SEAL 82876661542 [76’25" + 71’52"] [JQ]

This release is a major event. I cannot recommend it too highly. ... see Full Review

Prometheus: Musical Variations on a Myth A film by Christopher Swann. Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus (1801) - Introduction, ‘La Tempesta’ [1’55]; No. 1, Poco Adagio - Allegro con brio [2’59]; No. 9, Adagio - Allegro molto [3’41]; No. 10, Pastorale: Allegro [2’56]. Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Prometheus, S99 (1850, rev. 1855) [13’42]. Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Prometheus. ‘Le poème de feu’, Op. 60a (1908-10) [19’26]. Luigi NONO (1924-1990) Prometeo, Suite (1992) - Isola seconda, ‘Hölderlin’b [9’42]. aMartha Argerich (piano); aBerliner Singakademie; bSolistenchor Freiburg (Ingrid Ade-Jesemann, Monika Bair-Ivenz, Ulrike Krumbiegel, Matthias Schadock) Berliner Philharmoniker/Claudio Abbado. PCM Stereo. 4:3. Region Code: 0 Worldwide. No rec. info. ARTHAUS 101717 [57’00] [CC]

Argerich might be the initial pulling power of this DVD, but as viewing goes on it becomes clear that as a package this DVD is fascinating ... something really special. One of the best DVD films I have seen so far and one I will return to often. ... see Full Review

Leopold Stokowski Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 5 in D minor (1937) [40:51] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony No. 8 in D minor (1953-5) [30:15] London Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski Rec. live, Royal Albert Hall, London, 15 (8) 17 (4) September 1964. BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4165-2 [71:40] [IL]

A blisteringly powerful Shostakovich 5 and a zestful RVW 8 make this a compelling CD that will appeal to all Stokowski fans and admirers of both composers. ... see Full Review

 

 



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

 

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, Book 1 BWV 846-869 [122:26] Sviatoslav Richter (piano) Recorded July 21st-31st 1970 at the Schloss Klesheim, Salzburg, Austria BMG RCA RED SEAL 82876 62315 2 [67:51 + 54:35] [CH]

I am quite sure that Richter’s overall achievement will stand as a classic. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Joseph CANTELOUBE (1879-1957)
Chants d'Auvergne: La pastoura als camps; Bailero; Trois Bourrees; Pastourelle; L'Antoueno; Deux Bourrees; La delaissado; Passo pel prat; Lou boussu; Brezairola; Malurous qu'o uno fenno; Jou l'pount d'o Mirabel; Oi ayai; Lou coucut; Quand z'eyro petitoune; La-haut sur le rocher; Uno jionto postouro; Lo diziou be Véronique Gens (sop) Orchestre Nationale de Lille/Jean-Claude Casadesus Rec July 2004, Lille, France NAXOS 8.557491 [62:13] [RB]

A very good economical version of the Auvergne songs intelligently sung and acted and the orchestral role is given the attention its attractions clamantly demand. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Scherzo No.1 in B minor, Op.20 Scherzo No.2 in B flat minor, Op.31 Scherzo No.3 in C sharp minor, Op.39 Scherzo No.4 in E major, Op.54 Introduction and Variations in E major, B14 Variations in B flat major on Mozart’s ‘là ci darem la mano’ from Don Giovanni, Op.2 Nikolai Demidenko (piano) Recorded 5 -6 December 1989 and 29-30 May 1990 at Snape Maltings, Suffolk DDD HYPERION HELIOS CDH55181 [62’55] [TH]

There is a very good case for getting Demidenko’s intelligently played account ... a real snip at the Helios budget price. ... see Full Review


March


RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Luciano BERIO (1925 – 2003) Naturale (1985)a [18:40] Chemins II (1967)b [13:18] Morton FELDMAN (1926 – 1987) Rothko Chapel (1971)c [23:12] The Viola in My Life II (1970)d [9:46] Christophe Desjardins (viola); Jacqueline Ott (percussion)a; Basler Madrigalistenc: Collegium Novum Zürichbcd; Jonathan Nott (conductor)bcd Recorded: DRS Radiostudio 1, Zürich, March 2004 AEON AECD 0425 [65:14] [HC]

Desjardins is a formidable musician. Faultless technique hand in hand with generous musicality. A marvellous release ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH John Browne (fl. c. 1490) Music from the Eton Choirbook Salve regina I [13:25] Stabat iuxta [12:25] Stabat mater [15:56] O Regina mundi clara [13:55] O Maria salvatoris [15:44] The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips Recorded in the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Salle, Norfolk, England. [No date given] GIMELL CDGIM 036 [71:25] [JF]

Near perfect music from the late fifteenth century sung in glorious style. A most moving and satisfying disc. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Morten LAURIDSEN (b. 1943) Lux Aeterna (1997) [26.33] Madrigali: Six Fire Songs on Italian Renaissance Poems (1987) [19.36] Ave Maria (1997) [6’38] Ubi caritas et amor (1999) [6.57]O Magnum Mysterium (1994) [6.40] Polyphony; Britten Sinfonia/Stephen LaytonRecorded the Temple Church, London on 31st July and 1st August 2003. DDD HYPERION CDA67449 [66.45] [JPh]

This Hyperion release is superb and the disc is a must. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Symphony No. 8 in E flat Christine Brewer (soprano); Magna Peccatrix; Soile Isokoski (soprano) Una Poenitentiam; Juliane Banse (soprano) Mater Gloriosa; Birgit Remmert (mezzo-soprano) Mulier Samaritana; Jane Henschel (mezzo-soprano) Maria Aegyptiaca; Jon Villars (tenor) Doctor Marianus; David Wilson-Johnson (baritone) Pater Ecstaticus; John Relyea (bass) Pater Profundus City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus; London Symphony Chorus; City of Birmingham Symphony Youth Chorus; Toronto Children’s Chorus City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle
Recorded live at Symphony Hall, Birmingham: 5, 8, 9 June 2004 DDD EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 57945 2 9 [77’38"] [JQ][TD]

Superbly performed by all concerned and expertly recorded by EMI’s engineers, I recommend this CD with great enthusiasm. [John Quinn]
Lean and direct ... intent on clarity and sense of direction ... an apparent lack of some grandeur and sense of occasion. I was not especially moved or inspired. ... absorbing and different and very refreshing . [Tony Duggan] ...see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die Schöne Müllerin (Im Winter zu lesen: A cycle of poems by Wilhelm Müller (1794-1827)) Das Wandern; Wohin?; Halt!; Danksagung an den Bach; Am Feierabend; Der Neugierige; Ungeduld; Morgengruβ; Des Müllers Blumen; Tränenregen; Mein!; Pause; Mit dem grünen Lautenbande; Der Jäger; Eifersucht und Stolz; Die liebe Farbe; die böse Farbe; Trockne Blumen; Der Müller und der Bach; Des Baches Wiegenlied. Ian Bostridge (tenor); Mitsuko Uchida (piano)Recorded December 2003, Lyndhurst Hall, London. DDD EMI CLASSICS 5 57827 2 [63'48"] [AO]

Bostridge's first die Schöne Müllerin created a sensation in the song world. This new version, even more original and distinctive, confirms that the cycle will inextricably be linked with his name ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Music for the Chapel of the Pietà Concerto for violin, strings and continuo in F, RV 292 [9:20] Laudate pueri Dominum (Psalm 112) for soprano, strings and continuo, RV600 [23:29] Concerto for violin, organ, strings and continuo in F, RV542 [10:11] Concerto fatto per la Solennitá della S.Lingua di S.Antonio in Padova, 1712, for violin, strings and continuo in D, RV212 [16:12] Salve Regina (antiphon) for soprano, violin, strings and continuo, RV617 [8:56] Concerto for violin, cello, organ, strings and continuo, RV554a [11:45] Mhairi Lawson (soprano), Sarah McMahon (cello solo), Robert Howarth (organ) La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler (Director, violin) Recorded at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Salehurst, East Sussex, England, 22–24 Nov 2004 AVIE AV2063 [79:58] [GPJ]

Nothing ‘academic’ about the performance of this music. Exuberant and often full of élan and humour. ... see Full Review

NEWCOMER OF THE MONTH Denis Matsuev -Tribute to Horowitz Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Années de Pèlerinage, Deuxième Année, S161 (1849) – Sonata, ‘Après une lecture de Dante’ [16’13]. Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S514 (1859-60) [11’23]. Hungarian Rhapsody, S244 No. 2 (1847, cadenza by Matsuev) [9’12]. Georges BIZET (1838-1875)/Vladimir HOROWITZ (1904-1984) Variations on a Theme from Carmen [3’21]. Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)/Grigory GINZBURG (1904-1962) Fantasy on a Theme from Il barbiere di Siviglia [4’17]. Denis Matsuev (piano). Rec. Moscow, Russia, in October 2003. DDD BMG RUSSIA RCA RED SEAL 82876 61273 2 [44’25] [CC]

This is at times staggering virtuosity. Short measure at under 45 minutes, perhaps, but there are more notes here than in most 80 minute CDs ... see Full Review

 

 

 



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH A L’Estampida - Medieval Dance Music Danse Real (French 14th c) [2:45]; English Dance (13th c.) [4:00]; Estampie Real: La Seste (French 13th c.) [3:27]; Estampie Real: La Quarte (French 13th c.) [1:57]; Estampie Real: La Septime (French 13th c.) [1:51]; Estampie: Robertsbridge Codex (English 14th c) [6:59]; Chomineiamento di Gioia (Istampitta) (Italian, 14th c.) [5:20]; Lamento di Tristano (Italian 14th c.) [7:07]; La Rotta (Italian 14th c) [3:37]; Dança Amaorosa/Troto (Italian 14th c) [5:41]; Salterello (Italian 14th c.) 2:51]; La Manfredina/La Rotta della Manfredina (Italian 14th c) [10:59]; Salterello (Italian 14th c.) [4:25] The Dufay Collective: Paul Bevan, whistle, slide trumpet, pipe and tabor, percussion; Giles Lewin, vielle, repec, bagpipes, shawm, pipe and tabor; William Lyons, flute, shawm, recorders, bagpipes, symphony, pipe and tabor, percussion; Susanna Pell, vielle and percussion; Peter Skuce, organ, harp, and percussion; Raphael Mizraki, oud, vielle, dulcimer, gittern and percussion Recorded in June 1991 at St. Michael’s Church Blackheath, London. AVIE 0015 [61:05] [KS]

I can’t imagine any listener being disappointed in this infectious and delightful program. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 – 1827) The Symphonies, Leonore Overture, No. 1, Op. 138 (1807) Leonore Overture, No. 2, Op. 72a (1805) Leonore Overture, No. 3, Op. 72b (1806) Fidelio Overture, Op. 72c (1814) Soile Isokoski (soprano); Rosemarie Lang (alto); Robert Gambill (tenor); René Pape (bass) Chorus of the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim. Rec. May – July 1999, Grosser Sendesaal, Berlin. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564-61890-2 [6 CDs: 73.42 + 71.56 + 72.07 + 67.16 + 67.34 + 76.40] [JPh]

Snap this up whilst it is still available at this price or at least until someone at Warner Classics realizes what they have done. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Overtures Coriolan, Op.62 [8’10] Creatures of Prometheus, Op.43 [7’15] Ruins of Athens, Op.113 [5’53] Fidelio, Op.72 [7’27] Leonore 1, Op.138 [10’17] Leonore 2, Op.72 [13’40] Leonore 3, Op.72 [13’59] Egmont, Op. 84 [8’13] Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt Recorded ‘live’ (except Coriolan) in the Stefaniensaal, Graz, June 1993, in the Musikverein, Vienna, November 1993 and in the Concert Hall, Athens, April 1996 WARNER ELATUS 2564 61779-2 [76’09][TH]

There’s some great music here, so go and treat yourself. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) The Nine Symphonies and Helgoland Symphony No. 1 in C minor (1866 Linz version, Nowak edition) [49:44] Helgoland* (1893) [11:13] Symphony No. 2 in C minor (1877, Nowak edition as revised by Bornhöft and Carragan) [62:25] Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1877 version) [59:36] Symphony No. 4 in E flat (1878/1880 version) [68:23] Symphony No. 5 in B flat (Original version, 1878) [72:02] Symphony No. 6 in A (1881) (Nowak/Haas edition) [54:45] Symphony No. 7 in E (1883) [70:40] Symphony No. 8 in C minor (1890, Haas edition) [77:02] Symphony No. 9 in D minor (1896) [63:30] *Male voices of the Rundfunkchor, Berlin und Ernst Senff-Chor Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Daniel Barenboim Rec. Philharmonie, Berlin and Deutsches Schauspielhaus Berlin (Symphonies Nos. 5, 7 only), 1990-1997. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61891-2 [9 CDs: 589:20: 60:57 + 62:25 + 59:36 + 68:23 + 72:02 + 54:45 + 70:40 + 77:02 + 63:30][PCW]

Barenboim’s set is the best value “complete” Bruckner around at the moment ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Maurice OHANA (1913 – 1992) Syllabaire pour Phèdre (1966/7)a Cris (1968/9)b Messe (1977)c Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejias (1949/50)d Cantigas (1953/4)e Signes (1965)f Livre des prodiges (1978/9)g Chiffres de clavecin (1968)h Anneau du Tamarit (1976)i Sorôn-Ngô (1969/71)j Sacral d’Ilx (1975)k Deux pièces pour clavecin (1982/3)l Carillons pour les heures du jour et de la nuit (1960)m Mady Mesplé (soprano)a; Hanna Schaer (soprano)c; Isabel Garcisanz (mezzo-soprano)ce; Michel Jarry (baritone)d; José Luis Gómez (speaker)d; Elisabeth Chojnacka (harpsichord)hklm; Alain Meunier (cello)i; Geneviève Joy, Jacqueline Robin (piano)j; Choeur de l’ORTFabe; Choeur de Radio Francec; Ensemble "Ars Nova"adef; Orchestra National de Francegi; Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio Franceh; Marius Constantaf, Marcel Couraudbe, Guy Riebelc, Theodor Guschlbauerd, Stanislaw Skrowaczewskig, Marc Andraei Recorded: Various venues, 1967, 1973, 1977, 1981, 1983 and 1987 ERATO 2564 61321-2 [77:45 + 70:25 + 70:51 + 63:53] [HC]

A highly personal, sincere and utterly honest composer who painstakingly ploughed his furrow regardless of any current fashion ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Etudes Symphoniques op.13 (including the 6 supplementary variations) [33:58], Bunte Blätter op.99 [34:51], Fantasiestücke op.12: 5. In der Nacht [04:06], 7. Traumes-Wirren [02:38] Sviatoslav Richter (piano) Recorded September 1971 except op.12, recorded live at the NHK Hall, Tokyo on 24th February 1979. REGIS RRC 1186 [76:35] [CH]

Grab this! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sir Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998) A Child of Our Time (1939-41) Faye Robinson (soprano); Sarah Walker (mezzo); Jon Garrison (tenor); John Cheek (bass) City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Sir Michael Tippett Recorded in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 11-13 October 1991. DDD NAXOS 8.557570 [69’19"] [JQ]

Doubly welcome in centenary year. An indispensable purchase for all admirers of Tippett and all lovers of the English choral tradition. At the Naxos price an incredible bargain. Strongly recommended. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Teresa Cahill (soprano)
Richard STRAUSS
(1864-1949)
Das Rosenband op.36/1 [02:55], Nichts op.10/2 [01:38], Traum durch die Dämmerung op.29/1 [02:33], All mein Gedanken op.21/1 [01:12], Du meines Herzens Krönelein op.21/3 [02:24], Ach Lieb, ich muss nun scheiden op.21/3 [02:00], Schlagende Herzen op.29/2 [02:44], Die Georgine op.10/4 [03:44], Ich liebe dich op.37/2 [02:23], Meinem Kinde op.37/3 [02:39], Muttertändelei op.43/2 [02:25], Schön sind, doch kalt die Himmelssterne op.19/3 [02:26], Ruhe, meine Seele op.27/1 [03:38], Schlechtes Wetter op.69/5 [02:22], Heimkehr op.15/5 [02:17], Allerseelen op.10/8 [03:32], Die Nacht op.10/3 [02:59], Cäcilie op.27/2 [02:22] Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) In my Garden op.38/1 [01:52], To her op.38/2 [02:37], Daisies op.38/3 [02:19], The Pied Piper op.38/4 [02:45], Dreams op.38/5 [03:36], The Quest op.38/6 [02:13] Richard STRAUSS Mein Herz ist stumm op.19/6 [03:08], Gefunden op.56/1 [02:19], Hat Gesagt, bleibt’s nicht dabei op.36/3 [02:01], Das Rosenband op.36/1 [02:54], Nichts op.10/2 [01:34], Traum durch die Dämmerung op.29/1 [02:45] Teresa Cahill (soprano); Roger Vignoles (piano) Recorded 30th and 31st July at the Church of St. George the Martyr, London (first Strauss group), 14th December 1981 at Broadcasting House, London (remainder) THE DIVINE ART - DIVERSIONS 24114 [76:11] [CH]

Glorious singing from an unjustly semi-forgotten artist. Recommended with great enthusiasm. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Composition Féminine - Music composed for Classical Guitar – from Baroque to Modern.
Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983) Concerto for Two Guitars and Orchestra (c. 1961) Maria Luisa Anido
(1907 -1996) Prelude pampeano [3:46]; Melodia de Argentina [1:58]; Aire de vidalita [2:57] Emilia Giuliani-GuglieLmi (1813 –c.1840) Variations on a Theme of Mercadante Op.9 [5:22] Ida Presti (1924-1967) Danse Rhythmique (1959) [4.25] Elisabeth R. Austin (b. 1938 ) Falcon Fantasy for guitar and orchestra [5.50] Camilla de Rossi (? – c. 1710) Sinfonia for Guitar – from the Oratorio The Sacrifice of Abraham [7:20] Chris Bilobram, guitar Christian Schumann, second guitar (Tailleferre). Reinhard Wolschina, piano The Orchestra of the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt rec. Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt, 27–29 Sept, 13-18 Oct 2004. QUERSTAND VKJK 0422 [47.20] [JF]

A disc full of unheard treasures by six women composers. Every one of these works deserves to be in the repertoire. A gorgeous disc. ... see Full Review

APRIL

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (b. 1921) A Grand, Grand Festival Overture, Op. 57* (1956) [7'59] Peterloo, Overture for Orchestra, Op. 97 (1967) [10'08"] The Smoke, Overture for Orchestra, Op. 21 (1948) [7'57"] Tam o'Shanter, Overture after the Poem of Robert Burns, Op. 51 (1955) [8'17"] A Flourish for Orchestra, Op. 112 (1973) [3'25"] The Fair Field, Op. 110 (1972) [7'17"] A Sussex Overture, Op. 31 (1951) [9'18"] Anniversary Overture for orchestra, Op. 99 (1968) [4'19"] Robert Kett Overture, Op. 141** (1990) [7'52"] Beckus the Dandipratt, Comedy Overture for Full Orchestra, Op. 5 (1943) [7'57"] *Kathy Jones (principal vacuum cleaner); Helena Miles (sub principal vacuum cleaner); Chris Hoyle (section vacuum cleaner); Fiona Macintosh (principal floor polisher) BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Rumon Gamba Recorded in Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 20-22 January 2004. DDD** First recording CHANDOS CHAN 10293 [75'43"] [JQ]

Hugely entertaining music conducted with incisiveness and flair. A pretty unmissable disc. I urgently recommend it. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 and 2 Preludes and Fugues BWV 846-869 1-12 played by Andrei Gavrilov 13-24 played by Joanna McGregor Preludes and Fugues BWV 870-886 1-12 played by Nikolai Demidenko 13-24 played by Angela Hewitt Recorded at the New Art Gallery, Walsall, (Gavrilov), at the Palau Güell, Barcelona, (McGregor), at the Palazzo Labia, Venice (Demidenko) and the Wartburg, Eisenach (Hewitt) all in February 2000 Directed for TV by Karen Whiteside (Book 1) and Peter Mumford (Book 2) EUROARTS 2050309 [2 DVDs: 121:00 + 139:00] [TH]

An idea simple but quite brilliant and the results are as engaging as any I've come across. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Michael HAYDN (1737–1806) Requiem pro defuncto Archiepiscopo Sigismundo (Requiem for Archbishop Siegmund) (1771) [40.12] Missa in honorem Sanctae Ursulae (1793) [43.38] Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Hilary Summers (alto) James Gilchrist (tenor) Peter Harvey (bass) Choir of the King's Consort The King's Consort/Robert King Recorded at St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, 7-9 May 2004 2 CDs priced as a single CD HYPERION CDA67510 [40.12 + 43.38][RH]

The Mass is given a satisfyingly spirited performance, but these discs are memorable for their fine recording of Michael Haydn's astonishing Requiem. One of my records of the year ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896) Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 7a (1835) [23'30]. Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17b (1846) [30'24]. Francesco Nicolosi (piano); bRodolfo Bonucci (violin); bAndrea Noferini (cello); aAlma Mahler Sinfonietta/Stefania Rinaldi. Rec. aSt Marcellino Church, Naples, Italy on May 25th-26th, 2004, bStudio 52, Naples Italy, on September 24th, 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557552 [53'54] [CC]

This is a superb, important disc that I for one hope will introduce new listeners to this important composer. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op.43a (1935-6) Composer's arrangement for Two Pianos Rustem Hayroudinoff, Colin Stone (pianos) Rec. Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, May 2004. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10296 [59:00] [PCW]

This will be compulsory and compulsive listening for admirers of DSCH … see Full Review

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Parsifal Parsifal: Christopher Ventris, Kundry: Waltraud Meier, Gurnemanz: Matti Salminen, Amfortas: Thomas Hampson, Klingsor: Tom Fox, Tinturel: Bjarni Thor Kristinsson, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchestra Berlin, Festspielchor, Baden-Baden/Kent Nagano Nikolaus Lenhoff, Stage Director
recorded live, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, 4th, 6th and 8th August 2004. DVD: all regions
including film "Parsifal's Progress" 317 minutes. OPUS ARTE OA 0915D [3 DVDs: 317:00] [AO]

Hard to beat this production for performance – all singers are specialists in their prime. It is as a total work, with a radical understanding of Wagner’s deepest philosophical ideas, that this production will become "immortal". My recommended pick of the year ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-83) Tannhäuser (1845) Wolfgang Windgassen (tenor) Tannhäuser; Gré Brouwenstijn (soprano) Elisabeth; Josef Greindl (bass) Hermann; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Wolfram von Eschenbach; Josef Traxel (tenor) Walther von der Vogelweide; Toni Blankenheim (bass) Biterolf; Gerhard Stolze (tenor) Heinrich der Schreiber; Herta Wilfert (mezzo) Venus; Volker Horn (treble) Young Shepherd; Chorus and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival/André Cluytens. Rec. by Bavarian Radio at the Festspielhaus, Bayreuth on August 9th, 1955. AAD ORFEO BAYREUTHER FESTSPIELE LIVE C643043D [197’49: 68’05 + 70’22 + 59’28] [CC]

This is now the best currently available Tannhäuser by a considerable margin ... see Full Review

 

 

 



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. John Passion, BWV 245 [124'43"] Friedericke Sailer (soprano); Marga Höffgen (alto); Helmut Krebs (tenor/Evangelist); Franz Kelch (bass/Jesus); Hermann Werdermann (bass/Petrus, Pilatus) Recorded: Ilsfeld, Germany, October 1960 Motet: Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225 [14'38"] Motet: Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226 [8'38"] Motet: Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230 [7'34"] Recorded: Schwaigern, Germany, 1968 St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 [193'27"] Agnes Giebel (soprano); Renate Günther (alto); Helmut Krebs (tenor/Evangelist); Franz Kelch (bass/Jesus); Hermann Werdermann (bass) Recorded: Protestant Church, Weinsberg, Germany, October 1958 Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147 [36'00"] Ingeborg Reichelt (soprano); Margarethe Bence (alto); Helmut Krebs (tenor); Franz Kelch (bass) Recorded: Protestant Church, Weinsberg, Germany, March 1957 Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 [164'19"] Agnes Giebel (soprano); Claudia Hellmann (alto); Helmut Krebs (tenor); Barry McDaniel (bass) Recorded: Ilsfeld, Germany, June 1963 Motet: Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228 [10'57"] Motet: Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229 [9'37"] Recorded: Schwaigern, Germany, 1968 Motet: O Jesu Christ, mein's Lebens Licht, BWV 118 [4'37"] Recorded: Schwaigern, July, 1966 Mass in B minor, BWV 232 [127'55"] Ingeborg Reichelt (soprano I); Elisabeth Fellner (soprano II); Renate Günther (alto); Helmut Krebs (tenor); Franz Kelch (bass) Recorded: Protestant Church, Weinsberg, Germany, January 1958 Motet: Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 [23'32"] Recorded: Schwaigern, Germany, 1968 Heinrich Schütz Choir, Heilbronn Boys' Choir of the Robert-Mayer-Schule, Heilbronn (BWV 244) Pforzheim Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn Instrumental Ensemble (BWV 227, 228 & 229) Südwestfunk Orchestra, Baden-Baden (BWV 147) Conducted by Fritz Werner WARNER ERATO 2564 61403-2 [10 CDs: 78'26" + 77'07" + 76'27" + 75'37" + 77'23" + 58'02" + 53'38" + 76'00" + 78' 07" + 73'20" Total 724'07"] [JQ]

I have enjoyed these recordings enormously and recommend them with great enthusiasm, especially at such an advantageous price. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz LEHÁR (1870–1948) Die lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow)(1905) Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) – Hanna Glawari; Erich Kunz (baritone) – Count Danilo Danilowitsch; Nicolaï Gedda (tenor) – Camille de Rosillon; Emmy Loose (soprano) – Valencienne; Anton Niessner (baritone) – Baron Mirko Zeta; Josef Schmidinger (bass) – Raoul de Saint-Brioche; Otakar Kraus (baritone) – Vicomte Cascada Speaking parts: Hella Kurty – Valencienne; André Mattoni – Vicomte Cascada Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus/Otto Ackermann Recorded 16th – 18th and 21st April 1953 in Kingsway Hall, London. First issued on Columbia 33CX 1051 and 1052 Reissue Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS 8.111007 [79:06][GF]

Good sound, excellent playing and glorious singing. I can't believe anyone will regret buying it. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Roger QUILTER (1877-1953) Complete Folk-Song Arrangements and Complete Part-Songs for Women’s Voices Amanda Pitt (soprano); Joanne Thomas (mezzo); Philip Langridge (tenor); David Wilson-Johnson (baritone) and David Owen Norris (piano) * Première recordings rec. Turner Sims Concert Hall, University of Southampton. 14 and 15 February and 31 August and 1 September 2004 NAXOS 8.557495 [77:53]

A memorable collection, sympathetically performed. With over half the songs premiere recordings, this is an album that all Quilter enthusiasts simply must have. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Alan RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971) Symphony no.1 (1950) [24:40] Symphony no.2 (1959) ‘A Pastoral Symphony' [19:47] Symphony no.3 (1964) [30:43] Charlotte Ellett (soprano) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones Recorded in the Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset UK, January 6th-8th, 2004 NAXOS 8.557480 [75:10] [GPJ]

Meticulously prepared performances ... I urge lovers of English music to hurry out and get this CD .... it makes fascinating listening ... see Full Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Continued... May-Aug

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