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Detailed listing (last five days)]
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[Recommended recordings]

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Chamber Music for Wind Instruments and Piano Sonata for Oboe and Piano in D major, Op. 166 (1921) [11:29] Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in E flat major, Op. 167 (1921) [17:06] Sonata for Bassoon and Piano in G major, Op. 168 (1921) Romance for Flute and Piano in D flat major, Op. 37 (1871) Caprice sur des airs danois et russes, for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Piano, Op. 79 (1887) Ensemble Villa Musica: (Jean-Claude Gérard (flute); Ingo Goritzki (oboe); Ulf Rodenhäuser (clarinet); Dag Jensen (bassoon); Leonard Hokanson (piano)) rec. January 1991, Furstliche Reitbahn, Bad Arolsen, Germany. DDD MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM  MDG GOLD 304 03952 [58:42] [MC]

This is a well performed and recorded release … a worthwhile addition to the Saint-Saëns discography ... see Full Review

Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725) Dixit Dominus [13:06] Sdegno la fiamma estinse [4:00] Mori, mi dici, [4:57] O selce, o tigre, o ninfa [3:56] O morte [6:13] Arsi un tempo [4:16] Magnificat [21:57] Concerto Italiano: Anna Simboli (soprano); Elisabetta Tiso (soprano); Paolo Costa (alto); Gianluca Ferrarini (tenor); Sergio Foresti (bass); Ignazio Schifani (organ and harpsichord); Eduardo Eguez (chitarrone)/Rinaldo Alessandrini rec. 2006, European Union. DDD NAïVE OP 30350 [58:35] [MS]

Sacred and secular vocal music by Scarlatti father splendidly performed by the ever-impressive Concerto Italiano; recommended for its bright, powerful and yet sensitive attention to detail and texture… see Full Review

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Symphony No.0 (1956-57) [40:34] Nagasaki (1958) [36:09] Hanneli Rupert (mezzo) Cape Town Voice of the Nation (Nagasaki) Cape Philharmonic Orchestra/Owain Arwel Hughes rec. November 2006, Cape Town City Hall, South Africa BIS BIS-CD-1647 [77:35][DC]

If you couldn’t predict the road Schnittke’s work would ultimately follow from these pieces alone, you would certainly come away with the sense that his career was safely assured. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quintet in C major, D956 (1828) [53:47] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Divertimento, K136 (‘Salzburg Symphony’) (1772) [16:38] Aeolian String Quartet: Sidney Humphreys (violin); Raymond Keenlyside (violin); Margaret Major (viola); Derek Simpson (cello); Bruno Schreker (2nd cello, Schubert) rec. 1966-7, venue not stated, ADD REGIS RRC1278 [70:26][BW]

A classic account of the Schubert restored … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sonata in A major, D.959 (1828) [41:44] German Dances, D.820 (1824) [7:57] Ländler, D.814 (1824) [3:19] German Dance, D.841 (1824) [1:25] Waltzes, D.844 (1824) Christian Zacharias (piano) rec. 13-14 November 2006, Fürstliche Reitbahn, Bad Arolsen MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM DG GOLD SACD MDG 940 1440-6 [56:15][TB]

Careful attention to details of phrasing sets the standard, and the splendidly clear and atmospheric MDG recording suits the piano tone admirably. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin D795 (1823) [58:34] Gerhard Hüsch (baritone) Hanns Udo Müller (piano) rec. January-March 1934 PRISTINE AUDIO PAC0007 [58:34][JW]

This now has a much more visceral and immediate piano image; closer to Hüsch and not recessed. Both men now occupy a degree of aural parity and that was not the case in 1934. ... see Full Review

Georg SCHUMANN (1866–1952) Three Choral Motets for mixed choir, Op. 75 (1934) [25.10] Five Choral Motets for mixed choir, Op. 71 (1921/22) [42.15] Geraldine McGreevy (soprano) Mary Nelson (soprano) The Purcell Singers/Mark Ford rec. St. Alban’s Church, London, 5, 12 November 2006. DDD GUILD GMCD 7311 [67.35][RH]

Fine performances of well-crafted music. Anyone interested in the byways of German neo-Romantic composers in the 20th century would be well advised to try this disc. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Davidsbündlertänze Op. 6 (1837) [33:27] Kreisleriana Op. 16 (1838) [27:57] Carnaval Op. 9 (1834) [24:17] Piano Sonata in F sharp minor Op.11 (1835) [26:25] Fantasie Op.17 (1836) [29:45] Kinderszenen Op.15 – No.7 Träumerei (1838) [2:46] Walter Gieseking (piano) rec. Berlin, 1938-47 ANDROMEDA ANDRCD 9009 [79:04 + 66:08] [JW]

With good sonics for the time, these recycled performances cast their spell anew ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Das Paradies und die Peri, op. 50 (1843) [95:55] Margaret Price; Oliviera Miljakovic (sopranos); Marjorie Wright (mezzo); Anne Howells (contralto); Werner Hollweg; Carlo Gaifa (tenors); Wolfgang Brendel (baritone); Robert Amis el Hage (bass) Coro di Roma della RAI/Gianni Lazzari Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma della RAI/Carlo Maria Giulini rec. 9 February 1974, "Auditorium RAI Rome" (Foro Italico?) ARTS ARCHIVES 43076-2 [58:50 + 37:05] [CH]

A valuable discovery of a work much prized by Giulini but which he did not record commercially. ... see Full Review

Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) Festival Overture for Orchestra (chorus and organ ad libitum) (1902, revised 1912 and 1929) [10:34] Violin Concerto (ded. LKVG) (c. 1925) [21:55] * Aubade for large orchestra, Op. 77 (To My Friend Landon Ronald) (1905, revised c. 1911) [10:43] Three Symphonic Dances, Op. 22 (revised from Symphony No. 2 (1901-02)) (c. 1907) [17:59] Olivier Charlier (violin) Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus/Darius Battiwalla BBC Philharmonic/Martyn Brabbins rec. Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 16 and 17 March 2006 * premiere recording CHANDOS CHAN 10407 [61:40][RB]

Another strong entrant in the Scott renaissance which continues to assault both ignorance and the accumulation of ill-informed assumptions about this fine composer. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No.8 in C Minor Op.65 (1943) [63:05] Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1989. DDD DECCA LONDON 425675 [63:05][TP]

This is by no means a terrible recording. It just isn't a great one. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) The 15 String Quartets CD 1 No.1 in C major Op.49 (1938) [14:12] No.2 in A major Op.68 (1944) [32:25] No.3 in F major Op.73 (1946) [29:51] CD 2 No.4 in D major Op.83 (1949) [21:31] No.5 in B flat major Op.92 (1952) [29:56] No.6 in G major Op.101 (1956) [26:50] CD 3 No.7 in F sharp minor Op.108 (1960) [11:40] No.8 in C minor Op.110 (1960) [19:47] No.9 in E flat major Op.117 (1964) [23:46] No.10 in E flat major Op.118 (1964) [21:48] CD 4 No.11 in F minor Op.122 (1966) [15:13] No.12 in D flat major Op. 133 (1968) [26:14] No.13 in B flat major (1970) [18:16] Two Pieces for String Octet Op.11 [9:50] * CD 5 No.14 in F sharp major Op.142 (1973) [25:01] No.15 in E flat major Op.144 (1974) [37:24] Beethoven Quartet; *Komitas Quartet Dmitri  Tziganov (1903-1992); Vassili  Shirinsky (1901-1965) (violins); Vadim Borisovsky (1900-1972) (viola); Sergei  Shirinsky (1905-1974) (cello); Fedor Druzhinin (viola) (1962-); Nicolai  Zabavnikov (violin II) (1965-); Evgeny Altman (cello) (1974-); rec. 1956-1974. no individual recording information supplied DOREMI DHR-7911-5 [5 CDs: 76:35 + 78:24 + 77:08 + 69:42 + 62:31][EMc]

An indispensable document for those who value unvarnished honesty of performance and a sense of direct link to the mind of the composer. ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Karelia Suite, Op. 11 (1893) [15:33] En Saga, Op. 9 (1892) [17:47] Pohjola’s Daughter, Op. 49 (1906) [14:12] Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22, No. 3* (1895) [8:17] Finlandia, Op. 26, No. 7 (1899) [8:02] Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Yoel Levi * Patrick McFarland (English horn) rec. 8 February, 16, 18 May 1992, Woodruff Memorial Arts Centre, Atlanta, Georgia TELARC CD-80320 [64:32] [DM]

A golden opportunity sadly missed ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865–1957) Songs 1. Svarta rosor, Op. 36, No. 1 (Ivar Hellman) [1:49] 2. Säv, säv, suda, Op. 36, No. 4 (Ivar Hellman) [2:32] 3. Demanten på marssnön, Op. 36, No. 6 (Ivar Hellman) [2:21] 4. På verandan vid havet, Op. 38, No. 2 [3:28] 5. Under strandens granar, Op. 13, No. 1 (Jussi Jalas) [4:45] 6. Våren flyktar hastigt, Op. 13, No. 4 [1.40] 7. Kom nu hit, död, Op. 60, No. 1 [2:35] 8. Var det en dröm? Op. 37, No. 4 (Jussi Jalas) [2:04] 9. Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings möte, Op. 37, No. 5 (Ernst Pingoud) [2:57] 10. Im Feld ein Mädchen singt, Op. 50, No. 3 (Simon Parmet) [2:51] 11. Die stille Stadt, Op. 50, No. 5 (Leif Segerstam) [2:52] 12. Aus banger Brust, Op. 50, No. 4 (Leif Segerstam) [2:21] 13. Koskenlaskijan morsiamet, Op. 33 [9:06] 14. Lastu lainehilla, Op. 17, No. 7 (Ernst Pingoud) [1:13] 15. Illalle, Op. 17, No. 6 (Jussi Jalas) [1:27] 16. Souda, souda, sinisorsa (Jussi Jalas) [1:15] 17. Kaiutar, Op. 72, No. 4 (Jussi Jalas) [2:58] 18. Laulu ristilukista, Op. 27, No. 4 [4:09] (arranger in parenthesis) Jorma Hynninen (baritone) Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra/Leif Segerstam rec. Tampere Hall, March 1994 ONDINE ODE 823-2 [53:49][GF]

Hynninen’s singing is on such a high level, vocally and interpretatively, that it is hard to believe that anyone could challenge him ... see Full Review

Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) Hubička (The Kiss) (1875/6) [103:27] Karel Kalaš (bass) - Father Paloucký; Ludmila Černiková (soprano) - Vendulka; Beno Blachut (tenor) - Lukáš; Přemysl Kočí (baritone) - Tomeš; Marta Krásová (contralto) - Martinka; Vladimir Jedenáctík (bass) - Matouš; Štefa Petrová (soprano) - Barče; Karel Hruška (tenor) - A frontier guard; Prague National Theatre Chorus and Orchestra/Zdenĕk Chalabala. rec. Dominova Studio, 30 June, 1-2 July 1952. ADD mono Includes notes, text and translation SUPRAPHON SU 3878-2 [58:55 + 44:52] [CC]

There is so much to enjoy, and this radiant, laughing performance makes the best possible case for the magnificently crafted music of The Kiss. ... see Full Review

Bedřich SMETANA (1824–1884) The Bartered Bride (sung in German) (1866) Gottlob Frick (bass) – Kezal; Pilar Lorengar (soprano) – Marie; Fritz Wunderlich (tenor) – Hans; Karl-Ernst Mercker (tenor) – Wenzel; Ivan Sardi (bass) – Micha; Marcel Cordes (baritone) – Kruschina; Nada Puttar (mezzo) – Kathinka; Sieglinde Wagner (contralto) – Agnes; Ernst Krukowski (tenor) – Springer; Gertrud Freedmann (soprano) – Esmeralda; Walter Stoll (bass) – Muff; RIAS-Kammerchor, Bamberger Symphoniker/Rudolf Kempe rec. May, June, October 1962, Kulturraum, Bamberg and Grunewaldkirche Berlin EMI CLASSICS 3818722 [67:43 + 69:37] [GF]

An infectious version, thrillingly conducted by Kempe and with three superb singers in the leading roles ... see Full Review

Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) Dreams (c.1875) Faded Happiness [4:49] Consolation [4:48] In Bohemia - a country tale [4:49] In the Salon [4:22] By the Castle [5:54] Celebration of Czech country folk [4:59] The Curious One - Transcription for solo piano (1858) of Der Neugierige (Inquisitive) from Schubert's song cycle Die schöne Müllerin (c.1823) [4:52] Concert Étude in C major (1858) [6:21] On the Sea Shore - a memory (1861) [5:47] Fantasia on Czech Folksongs (1862) [9:35]Czech Dances, Book 1 Polka in F sharp minor (1877) [2:50] Polka in A minor (1877) [2:54]Czech Dances, Book 2 Hulán (1879) [5:56] Kathryn Stott (piano) rec. 18-20 October 2006, Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England. DDD CHANDOS CHAN10430 [67:59] [MC]

Kathryn Stott acquits herself admirably in this interesting and reasonably appealing selection of Smetana’s piano music ... see Full Review

William STERNDALE BENNETT (1816-1875) Overture, The May Queen (1842) [6:27] Overture, The Wood Nymphs (1839) [13:42] Symphony in G minor Op. 43 (1863) [23:41] Overture, The Naiades (1836) [12:32] * Overture, Parisina (1835) [8:05] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite Philharmonia Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite * rec. early 1990s? London. ADD LYRITA SRCD.206 [64.35] [RW]

Wow! What an enjoyable disc — never be put off by a dull CD picture. ... see Full Review

Johann STRAUSS II (1825–1899) 19 Waltzes see review for details Wiener Johann Strauss-Orchester/Willi Boskovsky rec. Baumgartner-Kasino, Wien, March 1982 (CD1 tr. 1-7), December 1980 (CD 1 tr 8, 9 and CD 2 tr. 1, 2), November 1984 (CD 2 tr. 3, 4), April 1984 (CD 2 tr. 7-10) and at Studio Rosenhügel, Wien, in December 1985 (CD 2 tr. 5, 6) EMI CLASSICS 0946 3 81524 2 2 [76:14 + 78:53] [GF]

Anyone who likes the idea of performing this music à la ballroom instead of concert hall will find much to admire here. ... see Full Review

Johann STRAUSS II (1825–1899) Wiener Blut (1899) (arr. Adolf Müller, Jr.) Karl Dönch (baritone) – Prince Ypsheim-Gindelbach, Prime Minister; Nicolai Gedda (tenor) – Balduin Count Zedlau, Count; Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) – Gabriele, Countess; Karel Stepanek (speaking role) – Count Bitowski; Erika Köth (soprano) – Demoiselle Franziska Cagliari, Franzi; Hannah Norbert (speaking role) – Franzi; Alois Pernerstorfer (speaking role) – Kagler; Emmy Loose (soprano) – Pepi Pleininger; Erich Kunz (baritone) – Josef; Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus/Otto Ackermann rec. 21-22, 26-28, 31 May 1954, Kingsway Hall, London. ADD NAXOS 8.111257 [69:43][GF]

Every operetta lover should invest in this issue ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) The Complete Songs – Vol. 2 Die Nacht Op.10 No.3 (1885) [3:08] Geduld Op.10 No.5 (1885) [4:36] Mein Herz ist stumm Op.19 No.6 (1888) [3:13] All: mein Gedanken Op.21 No.1 (1889) [1:08] Du meines Herzens Krönelein Op.21 No.2 (1889) [2:21] Ach Lieb, ich muß nun scheiden Op.21 No.3 (1889) [1:53] O wärst du mein! Op.26 No.2 (1891) [2:47] Ruhe, meine Seele! Op.27 No.1 (1894) [3:37] Traum durch die Dämmerung Op.29 No.1 (1895) [2:46] Schlagende Herzen Op.29 No.2 (1895) [2:35] Nachtgang Op.29 No.3 (1895) [3:02] Blauer Sommer Op.31 No.1 (1895) [2:16] Weißer Jasmin Op.31 No.3 (1895) [2:29] Das Rosenband Op.36 No.1 (1897-8) [3:06] Waldseligkeit Op.49 No.1 (1901) [3:02] In goldener Fülle Op.49 No.2 (1901) [2:25] Wiegenliedchen Op.49 No.3 (1901) [2:05] Wer lieben will, muß leiden Op.49 No.7 (1901) [2:36] Ach, was Kummer, Qual und Schmerzen Op.49 No.8  (1901) [2:21] Blindenklage Op.56 No.2 (1906) [5:01] Drei Lieder der Ophelia Op.67 (1918) [8:06] 1.Wie erkenn’ ich mein Treulieb?   [2:46] 2.Guten Morgen, ’s ist Sankt Valentinstag   [1:26] 3.Sie trugen ihn auf der Bahre bloß   [3:43] Anne Schwanewilms (soprano); Roger Vignoles (piano) rec. All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, 22-24 August 2006. DDD HYPERION CDA67588 [66:27][JQ]

This fine CD is a worthy successor to Volume One in the series and an essential purchase for all lovers of Strauss lieder ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Der Rosenkavalier (1909-10) Kiri te Kanawa (soprano) – die Feldmarschallin; Kurt Rydl (bass) – der Baron Ochs von Lerchenau; Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo) – Octavian; Barbara Hendricks (soprano) – Sophie; Franz Grundheber (baritone) – Herr von Faninal; Julia Faulkner (soprano) – Marianne; Graham Clark (tenor) – Valzacchi; Claire Powell (contralto) – Aninia. Boys of the Dresden Kreuzchor Dresden Staatsoper Chorus/Hans-Dieter Pflüger Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra/Bernard Haitink rec. Lukaskirche, Dresden, August 1990. DDD EMI CLASSICS 3 58618 2 [3 CDs:74:35 + 62:40 + 67:27][BW]

Excellent performances and clear, wide-ranging digital sound, but the EMI/Karajan sets, in mono and stereo, are not superseded … see Full Review

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882–1937) Children’s Rhymes (1915) [29.09] Songs of the Fairy Tale Princess (1922-23) [17.41] Anna Mikolajczyk (soprano)
Edward Wolanin (piano) rec. S-1 Studio of Polish Radio, Warsaw, May 2006 DUX DUX0547 [46.48] [RH]

Slightly short playing time but displays Szymanowski in the best possible light. Highly recommended for those interested in exploring some fascinating vocal music. ... see Full Review

John TAVENER (b. 1944) Beyond the Veil Song for Athene (1993); 'Spit in My Face' from 'Three Holy Sonnets of John Donne' (1960); Annunciation (1992); The Protecting Veil (1987) - First Movement; Akathist of Thanksgiving (1986-87); 'The Bless duet' from 'Mary of Egypt' (1991); 'As One Who Has Slept' (1996);Agraphon (1994). Westminster Abbey Choir; Stephen Varcoe (tenor); Renato Ripo (cello); La Camerata/Alexander Myrat; Choir of Greek Orthodox Cathedral, London; Patricia Rozario (soprano). Produced and Directed by Bryan Izzard Edited and Presented by Melvyn Bragg Photography: Clive Barda, Performing Arts Library Filmed in England and Greece, 1998, 2006 LWT/NVC ARTS 3984-23931-2 [80:00] [JWi]

A taster for full-length performances or recordings but also an informative introduction to the composer's life and work and a tribute to what can be achieved in careful and thoughtful television production ... see Full Review

Joan TOWER (b. 1938) Made in America (2005) [31:12] Tambor (1998) [14:03] Concerto for Orchestra (1991) [28:42] (Part One [15:41], Part Two [13:01]) Nashville Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin Laura Turner Concert Hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, 29-30 June 2006. DDD NAXOS 8.559328 [55:56] [JWi]

An interesting and well-produced disc which would broaden the musical horizons of many listeners ... see Full Review

William TURNER (1651-1740) Sacred Choral Music Julia Doyle (soprano); William Purefroy, William Towers (alto); Paul Thompson (tenor); Daniel Jordan (bass) The Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge Yorkshire Baroque Soloists/Geoffrey Webber rec. 1–4 July 2006, Pembroke College Chapel, Cambridge, UK. DDD DELPHIAN DCD34028 [66:14] [JV]

An important addition to the catalogue - the quality of the music justifies the efforts of everyone involved ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony No.6 in E minor (1948) [32:54] London Symphony Orchestra/Adrian Boult rec. Abbey Road Studios, London, February 1949 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC072 [32:54][JW]

The provisional conclusion must be that the XR is highly effective but not necessarily outstanding. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Il Trovatore (1853) [138:14] Ballet Music from Le Trouvère (1857) [25:57] Leonora – Joan Sutherland (soprano) Manrico – Luciano Pavarotti (tenor) Azucena – Marilyn Horne (mezzo) Il Conte di Luna – Ingvar Wixell (baritone) Ferrando – Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass) Ruiz – Graham Clark (tenor) Ines – Norma Burrowes (soprano) An old gipsy – Peter Knapp (baritone) A messenger – Wynford Evans (tenor) London Opera Chorus National Philharmonic Orchestra/Richard Bonynge rec: Kingsway Hall, London, 1976: ADD DECCA 475 8281 [3 CDs: 73:03 + 65:11 + 25:57][RH]

Many incidental beauties, but your attitude will depend on how much you like Sutherland’s technique and Bonynge’s rather limp conducting. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Falstaff - opera in three acts (1893) Falstaff - Renato Bruson (baritone); Alice Ford - Katia Ricciarelli (soprano); Ford - Leo Nucci (baritone); Meg Page - Brenda Boozer (mezzo); Mistress Quickly - Lucia Valentina-Terrani (alto); Nannetta - Barbara Hendricks (soprano); Fenton - Dalmacio Gonzales (tenor); Pistol - William Waldermann (bass); Bardolph - Francis Egerton (tenor); Dr. Caius - John Dobson (tenor) Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London/Carlo Maria Giulini rec. live, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, 1995 Producer: Ronald Eyre. Set design: Hayden Griffin. Costume design: Michael Stennett Directed for TV and Video by Brian Large Sound format. LPCM stereo. Picture format 4:3. Colour WARNER MUSIC VISION 50-51442-0494-2-8 [137:00][RJF]

This traditional staging from 1982 has a superbly sung and acted portrayal of Falstaff from Bruson. Add a good all-round cast and affectionate conducting by Giulini and it should appeal to many. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Macbeth – melodrama in four acts (1865) Macbeth, a general in King Duncan’s army - Leo Nucci (baritone); Banco, a general in King Duncan’s army - Enrico Iori (bass); Lady Macbeth - Sylvie Valayre (soprano); Macduff, a Scottish nobleman, Thane of Fife - Roberto Iuliano (tenor); Malcolm, Duncan’s son - Nicola Pascoli (tenor); Lady Macbeth’s lady-in-waiting - Tiziana Tramonti (mezzo); Il medico - Enrico Turco (bass); Davide Ronzoni; Riccardo Di Stefano; Noris Borgogelli. Compagnia Balletto di Roma Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Regio di Parma/Bruno Bartoletti rec. live Teatro Regio di Parma, June 2006 Director for Stage: Liliana Cavani Set Design: Dante Ferretti Costume Design: Alberto Verso Lighting Design: Sergio Rossi Choreography: Amedeo Amodio Director for TV and Video: Andrea Bevilacqua Region 0; Sound formats: DD5.1; LPCM stereo; Picture Format: 16:9 anamorphic NTSC; Subtitles: GB, D, F, I, E; Liner Notes GB, D, F; Disc Format DVD9 TDK DVWW OPMACPA [156:00] [RM]

Sadly, a production that is less than the sum of its parts ... see Full Review

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Cello Sonata No.2 Op.66 [27:30] Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 19 (1901) [32:03] Wolfgang Laufer (cello) Steven Swedish (piano) Recorded at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, undated GASPARO GSCD 365 [59:33] [JW]

Rather lean and occasionally impersonal performances, variably and closely recorded. At best offering rewards of clarity and judicial detachment. ... see Full Review

Leonardo VINCI (1690/1697-1730) Erighetta e Don Chilone (1726) [23:33] Sinfonia per archi [4:34] Giuseppe PETRINI (fl.1720) Graziello e Nella [10:59] Leonardo VINCI (1690/1697-1730) Adónde fugitivo [6:57] Triste, ausente, en esta selva [14:15] Cuando infeliz destino [8:29] José de NEBRA (1702-1768) Tempestad grande amigo [2:40] Roberta Invernizzi (soprano); Cristina Calzolari (alto); Giuseppe De Vittorio (tenor); Giuseppe Naviglio (baritone) Cappella della Pietà de’Turchini/Antonio Florio rec. 2001, Santa Caterina da Siena, Naples NÄIVE OP 30274 [71:35][GPu]

Historically interesting, but more importantly, a thoroughly enjoyable and well planned presentation of some of the musical connections between Naples and Spain in the early eighteenth century … see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Seven Favourite Bassoon Concertos Concerto No.16 in C major (RV 469) [10:20]* Concerto No.33 in C major (RV 470) [10:37]* Concerto No.19 in F major (RV 488) [8:02]** Concerto No.17 in C major (RV 472) [10:28]** Concerto No.5 in D minor (RV 481) [10:28]** Concerto No.4 in C major (RV 474) [9:30]* Concerto No.22 in F major (RV 486) [8:30]* Daniel Smith (bassoon) English Chamber Orchestra/Philip Ledger rec. no details provided. Originally issued ASV*1986,**1989 REGIS RRC 1277 [68.24][LB]

Not a huge amount of contrast … an album better 'dipped' into by bassoonists and Vivaldi fans alike. Ideal reference material. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Lohengrin (1850) Reingard Hagen (bass) – Heinrich der Vogler; John Treleaven (tenor) – Lohengrin; Emily Magee (soprano) – Elsa von Brabant; Hans-Joachim Ketelsen (baritone) – Friedrich von Telramund; Luana DeVol (soprano) – Ortrud; Robert Bork (baritone) – Herald; Vicenç Esteve Madrid, José Luis Casanova, Francisco Santiago, Stefan Kocan – Four noblemen; Eun Kyung Park, Glòria López Péres, Sandra Codina, Miglena Savova – Pages; Andy McGurk – Gottfried; Margarida Buendia, Angèlica Prats, Rosa Cristo, M. Josep Escorsa – Girls; Cor del Gran Teatre del Liceu, Orquestra Simfònica del Gran Teatre del Liceu/Sebastian Weigle Directed for stage by Peter Konwitschny; Sets and costumes: Helmut Brade; Lighting: Manfred Voss; Directed for TV by Pietro d’Agostino rec. live, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 24, 27 July 2006 Picture format: NTSC 16:9; Sound formats: PCM Stereo; DD 5.1; DTS 5.1 EUROARTS 2056008 [2 DVDs: 223:00] [GF]

What’s wrong with this production? The surgeon made a successful operation but he managed to kill the patient. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Parsifal (1882) 1. Prelude, act 1 [14:36] 2. Good Friday Music, act 3 [10:19] Der fliegende Holländer (1843) 3. Overture [10:53] Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868) 4. Prelude, act 3 [6:22] 5. Prelude, act 1 [10:28] Tristan und Isolde (1865) 6. Prelude [11:34] 7. Liebestod [7:46] Anja Kampe (soprano) (7) Hallé/Mark Elder rec. 23 January, 2, 4 February 2007, BBC Studio 7, New Broadcasting House; Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. DDD HALLÉ CD HLL 7517 [72:38][GF]

Admirers of Hallé or Elder or Wagner shouldn’t hesitate. An excellent disc in splendid sound. Retailing at £10 it shouldn’t dig too deep a hole the music-lover’s pocket. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Götterdämmerung (1876) Stig Andersen (tenor) – Siegfried; Robert Bork (baritone) – Gunther; Günter von Kannen (bass) – Alberich; Kurt Rydl (bass) – Hagen; Linda Watson (soprano) – Brünnhilde; Irmgard Vilsmaier (soprano) – Gutrune; Michaela Schuster (mezzo-soprano) – Waltraute; Birgitta Svendén (contralto) – First Norn; Michaela Schuster (mezzo) – Second Norn; Irmgard Vilsmaier (soprano) – Third Norn; Alexandra Coku (soprano) – Woglinde; Natascha Petrinsky (mezzo) – Wellgunde; Elena Zhidkova (contralto) – Flosshilde; Koor van De Nederlandse Opera, Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest/Hartmut Haenchen rec. live, Het Muziektheater Amsterdam, September 2005; (act 2, sc. 1) February 2005 ET’CETERA KTC 5503 [4 CDs: 70:00 + 39:35 + 61:40 + 74:01] [GF]

Swings and roundabouts but summing up pros and cons this set is a much safer bet than the Naxos with fresh and lively conducting and generally better singing ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Götterdämmerung (1876) Albert Bonnema (tenor) – Siegfried; Hernan Iturralde (baritone) – Gunther; Franz-Josef Kappellmann (bass-baritone) – Alberich; Roland Bracht (bass) – Hagen; Luana DeVol (soprano) – Brünnhilde; Eva-Maria Westbroek (soprano) – Gutrune; Tichina Vaughn (mezzo) – Waltraute; Janet Collins (contralto) – First Norn; Lani Poulson (mezzo) – Second Norn; Sue Patchell (soprano) – Third Norn; Helga Rós Indridadóttir (soprano) – Woglinde; Sarah Castle (mezzo) – Wellgunde; Janet Collins (contralto) – Flosshilde; Staatsopernchor Stuttgart, Staatsorchester Stuttgart/Lothar Zagrosek rec. live, Staatstheater Stuttgart, Germany, 3 October 2002, 12 January 2003 NAXOS 8.660179-82 [4CDs: 49:16 + 66:34 + 63:52 + 77:59][GF]

Fine orchestral playing but Zagrosek’s conducting is uneven and too much of the singing is unsteady and unfocused. ... see Full Review

William WALTON (1902-1983) Viola Concerto (original version) (1928-29) [24:51] Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) Meditations on a Byzantine Hymn Op.117 (1962) [11:15] Viola Concerto in A major Op.75 (1952) [25:05] Lawrence Power (viola) BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ilan Volkov rec. City Hall, Glasgow, 16-17 September 2006 (concertos); Henry Wood Hall, London, 27 September 2006 (Meditations) HYPERION CDA67587 [61:13][NS]

This spaciously recorded Hyperion disc is rendered indispensable by its inclusion of the Rubbra concerto. ... see Full Review

Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Original recordings 1929-1956 Die Moritat von Mackie Messer (from Die Dreigroschenoper) (1) [02:45] Bilbao Song (from Happy End) (2) [03:05] Die Ballade von der Unzulänglichkeit (from Die Dreigroschenoper) (3) [02:48] Alabama Song (from Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny) (4) [02:55] Surabaya Johnny (from Happy End) (5) [03:06] Wie man sich bettet (from Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny) (6) [03:05] September Song (from Knickerbocker Holiday) (7) (8) (two versions combined) [04:44] My Ship (from Lady in the Dark)(9) [02:56] Tchaikovsky /And Other Russians) (from Lady in the Dark) (10) [03:18] The Saga of Jenny (from Lady in the Dark) (11) [03:14] Lost in the Stars (from Ulysses Africanus and Lost in the Stars) (12) [03:01] Lover Man (Trouble Man) (from Ulysses Africanus and Lost in the Stars) (13) [02:50] Speak Low (1) (from One Touch of Venus) (14) [02:04] Speak Low (I1) (from One Touch of Venus) (15) [03:17] Moderato Assai from the Threepenny Opera (arr. Stefan Frenkel) (16) [02:16] Moon-Faced, Starry-Eyed (from Street Scene) (17) [03:05] Here I’ll Stay (from Love Life) (18) [03:15] Green-Up Time (from Love Life) (19) [02:41] Pirate Jenny (from The Threepenny Opera) (20) (04:04) Mack the Knife (A Theme from the Threepenny Opera) (21) [03:24] Kenny Baker (vocalist) (15), Bertolt Brecht (vocalist) (1, 3), Buddy Clark (vocalist) (18), Walter Huston (vocalist) (7, 8), Danny Kaye (vocalist) (10), Greta Keller (vocalist) (19), Gertrude Lawrence (vocalist) (9, 11), Lotte Lenya (vocalist) (2, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 20), Mary Martin (vocalist) (15), Johnny Mercer (vocalist) (17), Kurt Weill (vocalist) (14), Jascha Heifetz (violin) (16), Benny Goodman (clarinet) & His Orchestra (17), Louis Armstrong (trumpet and vocalist) & His All-Stars (21), Emanuel Bay (piano) (16), Cy Walter (piano & rhythm section) (19), Kurt Weill (piano) (5, 6, 12, 13, 14), Mitchell Ayres’ Orchestra & Chorus (18), Orchestra (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 20), Theo Mackeben’s Jazz Orchestra (1, 2, 3), The Three Admirals and Orchestra (4)/Maurice Abravanel (8, 10, 15), Leonard Joy (9, 11), Samuel Matlowsky (20), Victor Young (7) rec. May 1929 (1, 3), c. October 1929 (2), 24 February 1930 (4), 24 November 1938 (8), 28 January 1941 (10), 23 February 1941 (9, 11), c. 1942 (5, 6, 12, 13, 14), 7 November 1943 (15), 31 October 1944 (7), 30 November 1945 (16), 30 January 1947 (17), 20 December 1947 (18), March 1954 (20), 28 September 1955 (21), January 1956 (19) in Berlin (1, 2, 3, 4), Hollywood (17), Los Angeles (7) and New York (all others) NAXOS 8.120831 [62:47][CH]

Recordings of great historical importance, apart from their intrinsic merits ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) 62 Lieder 18 Goethe-Lieder (1888/9) [52:54]; Sechs Lieder für eine Frauenstimme (1877-82) [14:24]; Die Zigeunerin (1887) [3:05]; 3 Mörike-Lieder (1888) 12:26]; Spanisches Liederbuch songs (1890) [5:14]; Sechs alte Weisen (1890) [12:23]; Italienisches Liederbuch songs (1890) [39:40]; Sonne der Schlummerlosen (1896) [2:42]; Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano); Gerald Moore (piano) rec. London, 1956-62. 2007 digital remasters. ADD. detailed track-listing below EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 00946 3 80040 2 8 [71:11 + 80:13][AOz]

This isn’t just another recording. It’s a piece of history, and exquisitely beautiful. ... see Full Review

Mark ZUCKERMAN (b.1948) Introduction and Fugue (2001) [6:16] Shir Kinah: Elegy for Victims of Terrorism (2002) [8:39] Out of the Wilderness (1995) [16:35] Shpatsír (2001) [3:32] Theme Song (1999) [1:57] String Quartet (2003) [36:14] Seattle Sinfonia/Joel Eric Suben Momenta Quartet (Miranda Cuckson, Annaliesa Place (violins); Stephanie Griffin (viola); Joanne Lin (cello)) rec. 12 February 2000, Kenmore, WA (Out of the Wilderness, Theme Song); 30 June 2001, Seattle, WA (Introduction and Fugue, Shir Kinah, Shpatsír); 6 July, 17 September 2006, Patrych Sound Studios, New York (Quartet). first recordings. DDD MSR CLASSICS MS 1223 [73:19] [DW]

Technically competent enough, the music lacks a strong enough identity, originality, variety or natural flow to bear repeated listening. … see Full Review



Detailed listing (last five 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]
[Recommended recordings]

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