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[Recommended recordings]

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jan CARLSTEDT (1926–2004) String Quartet No.1 in D minor Op.2 (1951/2) [19:18] String Quartet No.2 Op.22 (1966) [26:34] String Quartet No.3 Op.23 (1967) [20:08] Lysell Quartet rec. Eklidens skolas aula, Nacka, Sweden, July 1993 and October 1995 ACOUSTICA ACCD-1013  [66:46] String Quartet No.4 Op.31 (1972) [25:21] String Quartet No.5 Op.32 (1977) [22:24] String Quartet No.6 Op.60 (1998) [25:01] Lysell Quartet rec. Eklidens skolas aula, Nacka, October 1995 and Dala-Järna kyrka, January 2004 ACOUSTICA ACCD-1015  [72:57] [HC]

They may not have the sophistication of Bartók’s quartets nor the all-embracing concerns of Shostakovich, but they represent their composer at his best. They are just too fine to be ignored ... see Full Review

Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704) Te Deum H146 [22:57] Messe pour plusieurs instruments au lieu des orgues H 513 [26:51] Claire Lefilliâtre (soprano); François-Nicolas Geslot (haute-contre); Bruno Boterf (tenor); Jean-Claude Sarragosse (bass) (H146) Chœur de Chambre de Namur, Les Agrémens (H146), La Fenice (H513)/Jean Tubéry rec. September 2004, Église du prieuré, Cons-La-Grand-Ville (H146); October 2004, Église abbatiale, Pontigny (H513) RICERCAR RIC245 [49:50] [JV]

Splendid performances of two sacred works by Charpentier – the mass is especially interesting for its highly original scoring and for the way it is performed here … see Full Review

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto No.2 in F minor Op.21 (1829) [29:32] Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor Op.30 (1909) [35:22] Witold Malcuzynski (piano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Paul Kletzki rec. November 1946 (Chopin); April 1949 (Rachmaninov) GUILD GHCD 2323 [65:11][JW]

A rather unbalanced disc. Performances generally very recommendable. I just wish the transfers were better. ... see Full Review\

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Nocturnes CD 1 B flat minor, Op. 9, no. 1 [6:33]; E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 [5:03]; B major, Op. 9, No. 3 [7:16]; F major, Op. 15, No. 1 [5:04]; F sharp major, Op. 15, No. 2 [4:05]; G minor, Op. 15, No. 3 [5:06]; C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 1 [5:34]; D flat major, Op. 27, No. 2 [6:01]; B major, Op. 32, No. 1 [5:33]; A flat major, Op. 32, No. 2 [6:44]; G minor, Op. 37, No. 1 [8:16] CD 2 G major, Op. 37, No. 2 [7:18]; C minor, Op. 48, No. 1 [6:42]; F sharp minor, Op. 48, No. 2 [7:29]; F minor, Op. 55, No. 1 [5:25]; E flat major, Op. 55, No. 2 [6:27]; B major, Op. 62, No. 1 [7:48]; E major, Op. 62, No. 2 [6:42]; E minor, Op. 72, No. 1 [4:29]; C sharp minor, Op. posth. [4:08]; C minor, Op. posth. [3:39] Elizabeth Leonskaja (piano) rec. Teldec Studios, Berlin, 1991, 1992. DDD WARNER APEX 2564 64374-2 [66:06 + 61:09] [WK]

An original view of the complete nocturnes at a budget price ... see Full Review

Muzio CLEMENTI (1752-1832) Sonatina Op.36, no.1 in C Major (1797, revised 1820) [3:32] Sonatina Op.36, no.4 in F Major (1787, revised 1820) [6:08] Sonata Op.13, no.6 in F Minor (1785, revised 1807?) [14:41] Sonatina Op.36, no.2 in C Major (1797, revised 1820) [5:26] Sonata Op.24, no.2 in B flat Major (1788-9) [13:29] Sonatina Op.36, no.6 in D Major (1797, revised 1820) [6:04] Sonata Op.34, no.2 in G Minor (1795) [20:17] Liv Glaser (fortepiano) rec. 26-30 June 2005, The Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto. SIMAX PSC 1258 [69:43] [GPu]

A rewarding recital of piano pieces by Clementi, equally instructive and enjoyable, well-played on a fine modern replica of a Clementi piano…see Full review

Arnold COOKE (1906-2005) Concerto in D for string orchestra (1948) [16:07] Symphony No. 1 (1947) [36:40] Jabez and the Devil - Suite (1959) [18:02] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite rec. 1970, 1979, 1977. ADD LYRITA SRCD.203 [70:53] [RB]

Fascinating insights into a composer we may have come to view as rather grey … see Full Review

Carson COOMAN (b. 1982) Symphony No. 2 Litanies of Love and Rain Op. 574 (2004) [10:26] Partita for baroque flute Op. 526 (2003) [6:05] 2 Piano Concerto Op. 649 (2005) [8:41] Vision for violin and organ Op. 646 (2005) [3:38] Symphony No. 3 Ave Maris Stella Op. 650 (2005) [16:34] Songlines, Sun Dreaming Op. 307 (2001) [6:53] Sonata for violin and organ Op. 573 (2004) [21:24] Stephen Schultz (baroque flute), Nora Skuta (piano), Rachel Gough (violin), Rupert Gough (organ) Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra (op. 307), Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (opp. 574, 649, 650)/Kirk Trevor (opp. 307, 574, 649, 650) rec. Slovak Radio Hall, Bratislava, 15 April 2005, 11 November 2005, 10 March 2006 (opp. 574, 649, 650); Kresge Recital Hall, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 24 September 2005 (op. 526); Philharmonic Hall, Zlin, Czech Republic, 12 December 2001 (op. 307); Chapel of the Royal Holloway, University of London, 12 January 2006 (opp. 573, 646); DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559329 [73:40] [PCW]

A natural successor to Hovhaness … see Full Review

Carl DAVIDOFF (1838-1889) Cello Concerto No. 1 op. 5 in B minor (1859) [19:53] Cello Concerto No. 2 op. 14 in A minor (1863) [26:37] Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)Variations on a Rococo Theme op. 33 [18:34] Wen-Sinn Yang (cello) Latvian National SO/Terje Mikkelsen rec. Reformatu baznica, Riga, November 1997-March 1998 CPO 777 263-2 [65:23] [RB]

Davidoff proving himself the troubadour of the cello with an interest in melody over mere pyrotechnics ... see Full Review

A "Hatto Original" Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Préludes – Book I [37:04] Préludes – Book II [37:26] Izumi Tateno (piano) rec. 9-13.1.1988 (Book I), 10-11.8.1989 (Book II), Järvenpää Hall, Järvenpää, Finland FINLANDIA FACD 411 [75:39] Originally issued in Japan on Pony Canyon D32L0006 (Book I) and PCCL-00085 (Book II) [CH]

I love these performances more than most others. A golden light hovers over the playing ... see Full Review

Lex van DELDEN (1919–1988) String Quartet III “Willinck Tetraptych” Op.106 (1979) [15:36] String Quartet II Op.86 (1965) [20:19] String Quartet I Op.43 (1954) [19:09] Musica di Catasto Op.108 (1981)a [11:04] Utrecht String Quartet; Quirijn van Regteren Altena (double bass)a rec. Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem, The Netherlands, April 2006 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 603 1436-2 [66:36][HC]

These tense, troubled and beautiful quartets belong to the 20th century mainstream and are somewhat at odds with the new trends that once prevailed amongst the younger Dutch composers ... see Full Review

Steve DOBROGOSZ (b.1956) When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d: A Song for Choir and Orchestra Steve Dobrogosz (piano) St Jacobs Chamber Choir Uppsala Chamber Symphony Orchestra/Gary Graden rec. 13 November 2005, Uppsala University Auditorium NOSAG CD 125 [79:56][GPu]

An interesting setting of a great poem, but Dobrogosz’s musical idiom isn’t rich or various enough to do his text full justice … see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848) Don Pasquale - dramma buffo in three acts (1843) Don Pasquale…an old-fashioned, elderly bachelor, tight-fisted, credulous, obstinate but basically good-natured … Ferruccio Furlanetto (bass); Dottor Malatesta … a physician, good-humoured and enterprising, friend of Don Pasquale and also a close friend of Ernesto … Lucio Gallo (baritone); Ernesto … Don Pasquale’s nephew, an ardent young man in love with Norina …Gregory Kunde (tenor); Norina … a passionate young widow, will not tolerate contradiction, but honest and sensitive … Nuccia Focile (soprano); A notary … Claudio Giombi Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala/Riccardo Muti rec. live, Teattro alla Scala, Milan, 1994 Director: Stefano Vizioli Region 0, AC-3, Classical, Colour, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, PAL, Subtitled. 1.33:1 TDK DVWW-OPDPSC [130.00][RM]

A sparkling production full of verve. ... see Full Review

Maurice DuruflÉ (1902-1986) Complete Organ Music Fugue sur le thème du Carillon des heures de la Cathédrale de Soissons Op. 12 (1962) [3:30] Prélude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le thème du 'Veni Creator' Op. 4 (1930) [20:09] Prélude sur l'Introït de l'Epiphanie Op. 13 (1961) [2:15] Scherzo Op. 2 (1924) [6:01] Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d'Alain Op. 7 (1942) [12:35] Méditation Op. posth. (1964) [3:43] Hommage à Jean Gallou (1953) [1:54] Suite Op. 5 (1933): Prélude, Sicilienne, Toccata [23:14] Henry Fairs (organ) rec. Church of Notre Dame d’Auteuil, Paris, 5-6 June 2006. DDD NAXOS 8.557924 [73:21][JF]

The present disc would make an ideal first instalment for that Duruflé collection ... see Full Review

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 7 in D minor (1885) [37:23] Symphony No. 8 in G major (1889) [34:27] London Symphony Orchestra/Antal Dorati rec. 1963 (No. 7), 1959 (No. 8), Watford Town Hall, London MERCURY LIVING PRESENCE 434 312-2  [71:50][PB]

Highly sympathetic and rewarding performances of these superb works. ... see Full Review

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Disc 1 Symphony No. 1 in A flat Op.55 (1908) [48:37] (I: Andante. Nobilmente e semplice – Allegro; II: Allegro molto; III: Adagio; IV: Lento – Allegro) Disc 2 Symphony No. 2 in E flat Op. 63 (1911) [51:16] (I: Allegro vivace e nobilmente; II: Larghetto; III: Rondo (Presto); IV: Moderato e maestoso) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec.1968 . ADD 2 CDs for the price of 1 LYRITA SRCD.221 [48:37 + 51:16] [RB]

Not the most passionately headstrong of readings but full of the satisfaction of maturity. Should be in the collection of all Elgarians. ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Symphony no. 2 in E flat major op. 63 (1911) [48:03] * Ditto: First take of first part of second movement [04:18]* Cello Concerto in E minor op. 85 (1919) [25:11]** Beatrice Harrison (cello)** London Symphony Orchestra*, New Symphony Orchestra**/Edward Elgar rec. 1 April, 15 July (second take of first part of second movement) 1927*, 23 March, 13 June 1928**, Queen’s Hall, London*, Kingsway Hall, London** NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111260 [77:31][CH]

Some essential documents of British musical history ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38* (1899) [86:31] Variations on an Original Theme, ‘Enigma’, Op. 36 (1899) [29:16] The Holly and The Ivy** (1898) [4:58] *Jane Irwin (mezzo); Justin Lavender (tenor); Peter Rose (bass)* ** City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo rec. Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 27, 29, 30 August, 1 September 2006. DDD ** world première recording CBSO CD003 [68:11 + 52:56] [JQ]

This is a noteworthy set and a handsome 150th anniversary tribute to Elgar ... see Full Review

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Seven Piano Pieces Impromptu No.2 in F minor Op.31 (1883) [3.41] Nocturne No.6 in D flat major Op.63 (1894) [7.04] Barcarolle No.2 in G major Op.41 (1885) [5.55] Nocturne No.13 in B minor Op.119 (1921) [6.40] Barcarolle No.1 in A minor Op.26 (c.1880) [4.37] Nocturne No.4 in E flat major Op.36 (1884) [5.57] Thème and Variations in C sharp minor Op.73 (1895) [12.28] Kathleen Long (piano) rec. London, 1951 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM015 [46.22][JW]

I happen to be delighted to see Kathleen Long’s early 1950s Decca Fauré recordings once more available.  ... see Full Review

Brian FERNEYHOUGH (b. 1943) Missa Brevis (1969) [14.23] The Doctrine of Similarity (13 Canons) (1999-2000) [28.71] Two Marian Motets (1966/2002) [10.12] Stelae for Failed Time (2001) [14.06] BBC Singers Lontano/Odaline de la Martinez rec. Maida Vale Studio 1, 15 August 2003 (Doctrine of Similarity), 26 August 2004 (Stelae for Failed Time); St. Silas Kentish Town, 25 February 2005 (Missa Brevis), 2 September 2005 (Marian Motets) METIER MSV28501 [67.12] [RH]

In a world where contemporary classical music seems to be increasingly minimal or post-Modern, Ferneyhough’s brand of maximal modernism acts as a beacon to us all. ... see Full Review

Heinrich FINCK (1444-1527) Missa Dominicalis [28:08] Veni redemptor dominum (Hymnus) [06:10] Rorate coeli (introitus) [04:15] Audi filia (tractus) [03:39] Ecce virgo (communio) [01:48] Deo dicamus regi potenti (Natalis Domini cantica) [02:16] Von hin scheid ich [04:34] Auf gut Gelück [02:40] O schönes Weib [02:48] Habs je getan [02:52] Mein herzigs G [03:18] Ach herzigs Herz [02:32] Stimmwerck (Franz Vitzthum, (alto); Klaus Wenk, (tenor); Gerhard Hölzle, (tenor); Marcus Schmidl, (bass)) rec. 2005, Studio of Cavalli-Records, Bamberg, Germany. DDD CAVALLI RECORDS CCD325 [65:06] [JV]

Stimmwerck presents a well-chosen selection of music by the unjustly neglected Heinrich Finck – a promising start to a series of discs of music by German renaissance composers ... see Full Review

Clarinet Concerto Op. 31 (1949) [29:19] Cello Concerto Op.40 (1956) [41:06] John Denman (clarinet) Yo-Yo Ma (cello) New Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley (clarinet concerto) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley (cello concerto) rec. 1977, 1979. ADD LYRITA SRCD.236 [70:28] [RB]

The pastoral mystic at prayer – ecstatic in soliloquy and in irrepressible delight … see Full Review

Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Music for 'Love's Labour's Lost' for string orchestra (1946, 1952) [28:33]** Let us Garlands bring - Five Shakespeare Songs for Baritone and String Orchestra (Come away death; Who is Sylvia?; Fear no more the heat o' the sun; O mistress mine; It was a lover and his lass) Op. 18 (1942) [14:58]† Two Sonnets by John Milton for Tenor and small Orchestra (When I consider; How soon hath time) (1928) [8:32]* Farewell to Arms for Tenor and small Orchestra (1940, 1926-28) [9:00]* In terra pax (Christmas Scene) for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus and Orchestra (1954-56) [16:21] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley ** John Carol Case (baritone)†, Ian Partridge (tenor)* Jane Manning (soprano), John Noble (baritone), John Alldis Choir New Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. 1970s? London. ADD LYRITA SRCD.237 [77.38] [RB]

Transcendent Finzi generously assembled and perfectly performed ... see Full Review

Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Five Bagatelles arr. Lawrence Ashmore (1950s) [15:01] Clarinet Concerto in C minor op. 37 (1949) [29:50] Lawrence ASHMORE (b. 1930) The Four Seasons [21:16] Greensleeves [4:18] Richard Stoltzman (clarinet) Guildhall String Ensemble/Robert Salter rec. 1990, London. DDD RCA-BMG 60437-2-RC [70:45][RB]

A rather dry-eyed perspective ... miraculous breath control ... burred and grained wood tones ... see Full Review

Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) A Severn Rhapsody, Op. 5 (1923) [6.14] Nocturne, Op. 7 (c.1925) [10.23] Three Soliloquies for small orchestra (1946): (Grazioso [1.40]; Adagio [1.40]; Allegretto [1.19]) Romance for string orchestra, Op 11 (1928) [8.08] Prelude for string orchestra, Op 25 (date uncertain) [5.16] Introit for small orchestra and solo violin, Op 6 (1925) [9.48] The Fall of a Leaf - Elegy for Orchestra Op 25 [9.14]  Eclogue for piano and orchestra (1956) [10.33] Grand Fantasia and Toccata for piano and orchestra (1953) [15.14] Rodney Friend (violin), Peter Katin (piano) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult New Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley (Eclogue, Fantasia) rec. 1978 (Boult); 1977 (Handley), venues not given. ADD LYRITA SRCD.239 [79.26] [GH]

For anyone new to Finzi this disc is an ideal place to start: music which sums up his style, superbly recorded and incomparably performed ... see Full Review

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Symphony in D minor (1886-8) [38:53] (1) Variations symphoniques (1885) [16:45] (2) Prélude, choral et fugue (1884) [19:55] (3) Piano Quintet in F minor (1878-9) [40:18] (4) Violin Sonata in A (1886) [29:54] (5) Jean-Philippe Collard (piano) (2-5), Augustin Dumay (violin) (5), Quatuor Muir (4), Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse/Michel Plasson (1-2) rec. 5 December 1983, 4 January 1984 (1-3), 17-18 December 1983 (4), 4-5, 9-10 July 1989 (5), Salle Wagram, Paris. EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 0946 3 81783 2 3 [75:50 + 70:19][CH]

Not really the best way to get your basic Franck. ... see Full Review

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Dracula (arr. Michael Reisman) (2007) [67:51] Michael Reisman (piano) rec. Looking Glass Studios, NY ORANGE MOUNTAIN OMM0033 [67:51] [KM]

An enjoyable arrangement of Glass’s score for Dracula played on piano ... see Full Review

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) The Complete Symphonies [343:08] CD 1 [72:53] Symphony No.1 in E major, Op.5 (1881) [34:48] Symphony No.6 in C minor, Op.58 (1896) [37:27] CD 2 [64:20] Symphony No.2 in F sharp minor, Op.16 (1886) [43:10] Mazurka in G major, Op.18 (1888) [9:44] Ot mraka ka svetu (From Darkness to Light), Op.53 (1894) [10:14] CD 3 [60:23] Ballade in F major, Op.78 (1902) [9:35] Symphony No.3 in D major, Op.33 (1890-92) [50:15] CD 4 [75:11] Symphony No.4 in E flat major, Op.48 (1893) [34:35] Symphony No.8 in E flat major, Op.83 (1905) [40:05] CD 5 [70:21] Symphony No.5 in B flat major, Op.55 (1895) [35:28] Symphony No.7 in F major, Op.77 (1902) [34:12] BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Tadaaki Otaka rec. Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, Dec 1997 (1); March 1992 (2, Mazurka, Darkness, Ballade); May 1998 (3); April 1997 (4); April 1995 (5); January 1998 (6, 8); February 1998 (7). DDD 5 discs for the price of 2 BIS-CD-1663/64 [5 CDs: 72:53 + 64:20 + 60:23 + 75:11 + 70:21][RB]

If you like your Glazunov languidly accentuated then this splendidly recorded Bis set from Otaka and the BBC NOW is for you ... see Full Review

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Five Novelettes Op.15 (1891) [31:16] String Quintet in A major Op.39 (1881) [32:12] * Fine Arts Quartet with Nathaniel Rosen (cello) * rec. The American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, February 2005 NAXOS 8.570256 [63:28][JW]

Genial Glazunovians will enjoy the wares on offer ... see Full Review

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Music for the Chapel Royal Let God Arise HWV256b (1725-26) [12:32] I will magnify thee HWV250b (1723-24) [18:11] As pants the hart HWV251d (1720-22) [11:54] O Sing unto the Lord HWV249a (1713-14) [11:19] Two movements from As pants the hart HWV251a (1712-13) [6:59] Choir of the Chapel Royal Musicians Extra-ordinary/Andrew Gant rec. Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, London, July 2005 NAXOS 8.557935 [60:55][JW]

The Musicians Extra-ordinary sound like an expert group of specialists. They and the chorus are especially felicitous. ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Giulio Cesare - dramma per musica in tre atti HWV 17 (1724) Flavio Oliver – Giulio Cesare, David Mendéndez – Curio, Ewa Podleś – Cornelia Maite Beaumont – Sesto, Elena de la Merced – Cleopatra, Jordi Domènech – Tolomeo, Oliver Zwarg – Achilla, Itxaro Mentxaka – Nireno, Héctor Manzanares – Coccodrillo Orquestra Simfònica I Cor del Gran Teatre del Liceu/Michael Hofstetter Herbert Wernicke (adaptation and stage direction) rec. live, July 2004, Gran Teatro del Liceu, Barcelona Picture format: 16:9 anamorphic NTSC Region: 0 TDK DVWW-OPGCES [2 DVDs: 84:00 + 132:00] [DC]

All of the drama and fun, most of it intended, of a grand night out ... see Full Review

Howard HANSON (1896-1981) Merry Mount - opera in three acts and six scenes op. 31 (1933) [124:02] Lady Marigold Sandys - Lauren Flanigan (soprano) Sir Gower Lackland - Walter MacNeil (tenor) Wrestling Bradford - Richard Zeller (baritone) Praise-God Tewke - Charles Robert Austin (bass) Christopher Bristol, (tenor); Gene Buchholz, (bass); Fred K. Dent, (baritone); Byron Ellis, (bass-baritone); Rosy Freudenstein, (alto); Paul Gudas, (tenor); Diana Huber, (soprano); Daniel Jessup, (bass); Barry Johnson, (baritone); Gino Luchetti, (tenor); Louise Marley, (mezzo); Joachim Schneider, (baritone); Nan Beth Walton, (alto) Seattle Symphony Chorale; Northwest Boychoir/Joseph Crnko; Seattle Girls' Choir/Dr Jerome Wright Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz rec. live, Seattle Center Opera House, Washington, 28-29 October 1996. DDD Detailed tracklisting at end of review NAXOS AMERICAN OPERA CLASSICS 8.669012-13 [45:13 + 78:49][RB]

Hanson's singing and lyrical impulse is heard at full stretch. This splendidly representative red-blooded recording should win Merry Mount new admirers. ... see Full Review

Johann Michael HAYDN (1737-1806) Vocal and Instrumental Works Missa Tempore Quadragesimae (MH553) [14:21] Symphony in E flat (MH340/P17) [14:36] Ave Regina (MH140) [10:46] Divertimento in A (MH299/P121) [16:23] Responsoria ad Matutinum in Nativitate Domini (MH639) [11:49] Ex Tempore/Florian Heyerick (140, 553, 639), Academia Palatina (340), Marcolini Quartett (299) rec. September, October, November 2006, SRC Steurbaut, Ghent, Belgium (140, 299, 553, 639); September 2006, Kirche St. Maria, Schwetzingen, Germany (340) ETCETERA KTC4020 [67:58] [JV]

An overview of the music of Johann Michael Haydn - recommended to those music lovers who are open to music which didn't - and doesn't - shake the world ... see Full Review

Joaquim HOMS (1906–2003) Suite “Between Two Lines” (1948) [9:52] Concertino for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1946/7)a [16:42] Suite for Piano Op.1 (1921)a [5:34] Adagio for Strings (1950) [10:55] Cycle I “El caminant i el mur” (1962)b [9:11] Diptych I (1976)a [4:58] Soliloquy II for Strings (1974) [6:26] Jordi Masó (piano)a; Montserrat Torruella (mezzo-soprano)b; Granollers Chamber Orchestra/Francesc Guillén rec. Teatre Auditori de Granollers, Spain, January 2006 NAXOS 8.570306 [64:24] [HC]

This marks the composer’s centenary and offers the best introduction possible to his personal, endearing sound-world ... see Full Review

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Concertino Pastorale for string orchestra [19:40] The Holy Boy (A Carol of the Nativity) for string orchestra [2:30] A Downland Suite for string orchestra [8:50] Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Rosemary (No. 1 of two Entractes) [3:26] Suite for string orchestra [20:52] Sally in our Alley (No. 1 of Two Old English Songs) [3:29] Cherry Ripe (No. 2 of Two Old English Songs) [3:11] Lament for string orchestra [3:35] Sir Roger de Coverley, Christmas Dance [4:25] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1970, 1979, 1977. ADD LYRITA SRCD.242 [70.02] [RB]

Immaculately turned Bridge and Ireland … fascinatingly partnered … see Full Review

Gordon JACOB (1895-1984) Symphony No. 1 (1929) [34:18]* Symphony No. 2 in C major (1945) [32:01] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth rec. 1992. DDD * premiere recording LYRITA SRCD.315 [66:25] [RB]

While it may take a while to read your way into Jacob's style you will find plenty of familiar way-markers and the rewards keep coming with every audition. ... see Full Review

Leos JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Glagolitic Mass  (1927) [39:30] Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, op. 60, (1920) [36:46] Sheila Armstrong (soprano), Ameral Gunson (mezzo), Robert Tear (tenor), William Shimell (bass) London Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra/Klaus Tennstedt rec. Royal Festival Hall, London 12 May 1985 (Janáček), 4 May 1986 (Strauss) BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4208-2 [76:16] [DM]

Janáček: hardly an indispensable addition to Tennstedt’s recorded legacy but the Strauss is genial and elegant ... see Full Review

John JENKINS (1592-1678) Five Part Consort Music: Fantasy No. 1 in G [2.57]; No. 7 in c [4.05]; No. 9 in c [2.58]; No. 17 in C [3.53]; No. 11 in c [3.32]; No. 6 in g [3.29]; No. 13 in d [3.24]; No. 15 in D [2.40]; No. 12 in d [2.48]; No. 16 in D [2.36]; No. 14 in d [2.50]; No. 3 in g [3.08]; No. 8 in c [3.47]; No. 5 in g [2.49]; No. 2 in g [2.49]; No. 4 in d [4.02] No. 10 in c [3.47]; Pavans: No. 1 in G [6.30]; No. 2 in g [3.20]; No. 3 in F [4.56] Phantasm; Mikko Perkola (tenor viol) rec. Magdalen College, Oxford, 14-17 August 2006. DDD AVIE AV2120 [73.21] [GH]

I like this disc and although it might appear to be a little bit ‘niche market’, if you are interested in this repertoire then this is a very good place to start. ... see Full Review

John JOUBERT (b. 1927) Song-cycles and chamber music The Hour Hand for soprano and recorder op. 101 (1982) [6:24] Shropshire Hills for high voice and piano op. 155 (2003) [10:28] Improvisation for recorder and piano op. 120 (1988) [6:07] Kontakion for cello and piano op. 69 (1971) [13:23] The Rose is Shaken in the Wind for soprano and recorder op. 137 (2001) [6:07] Six Poems by Emily Brontë for soprano and piano op. 63 (1965?) [21:23] Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano); John Turner (recorder); Richard Tunnicliffe (cello); John McCabe (piano) rec. Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Manchester University, 18-19 December 2006. DDD first recordings made in presence of composer TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0045 [76:26] [RB]

Joubert has carved out his own distinctive and very seriously passionate corner of the English tradition ... see Full Review

Daniel JONES (1912-1993) Symphony No. 4 (1954) [31:35]* Symphony No. 7 (1972) [21:54]* Symphony No. 8 (1972) [24:32]** Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves* BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra/Bryden Thomson** rec. 18-19 April 1972, Studio No. 1 Abbey Road, London (4, 7) originally released on EMI ASD 2855; 10-11 February 1979, BBC Llandaff originally released on BBC Regium REGL 359 (8). ADD The original recordings with support from the Welsh Arts Council. CD transfer and re-mastering supported by the Arts Council of Wales. LYRITA SRCD.329 [78.05] [RB]

Three intriguing symphonies from a Welsh magician of the orchestra ... see Full Review

Manolis KALOMIRIS (1883–1962) Triptych (1937/40) [22:16] Symphony No.3 in D minor “Palamian” (1955)* [30:39] Three Greek Dances (1934) [8:46] The Destruction of Psará (1949?)* [1:34] Nikitas Tsakiroglou (narrator)* Athens State Orchestra/Byron Fidetzis rec. Athens Concert Hall Recording Centre, June-July 2005 NAXOS 8.557970 [63:15] [HC]

Often beautiful and powerfully gripping music ... see Full Review

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897–1957) Das Wunder der Heliane (1927) [167:48] Anna Tomowa-Sintow (soprano) – Heliane; Hartmut Welker (baritone) – Der Herrscher; John David de Haan (tenor) – Der Fremde; Reinhild Runkel (mezzo) – Die Botin; René Pape (bass) – Der Pförtner; Nicolai Gedda (tenor) – Det Schwertrichter; Martin Petzold (tenor) – Der junge Mensch Rundfunk Chor Berlin Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/John Mauceri rec. 20-29 February 1992, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Dahlem, Berlin. DDD originally released, 1993, Decca’s Entartete Musik series 436 636-2 DECCA 475 8271 [3 CDs: 56:04 + 61:25 + 50:19][GF]

This mystery play-based opera may be hard to penetrate but it has a humane message we sorely need in this cruel world and it abounds in gorgeous music, gorgeously played and sung in a gorgeous recording. ... see Full Review

Orlando di LASSO (LASSUS) (1532-1594) Marienvesper Introitus [1:16] Dixit Dominus [7:05] Laudate Pueri [6:13] Laetatus sum [8:25] Nisi Dominus [6:55] Lauda Jerusalem [10:02] Responsorium [5:13] O gloriosa Domina [5:05] Salve Regina [3:16] Magnificat [6:28] Salve Regina [3:18] Benedicamus [0:39] Weser-Renaissance: Susanne Rydén (soprano); Monika Mauch (soprano); Marnix De Cat (alto); Hans Jörg Mammel (tenor); Johan Linderoth (tenor); Kees Jan De Koning (bass); Job Boswinkel (bass); Gephard David (cornett); Frithjof Smit (cornett); Ole Andersen (trombone); Wim Becu (trombone); Adam Woolf (trombone); Adrian Rovatkay (dulcian)/Manfred Cordes rec. 11-13 July, 2005, Stiftskirche Bassum, Germany. DDD CPO 777 182-2 [64:22] [MS]

Beautiful, undemonstrative music from late sixteenth century Munich by the Franco-Flemish Lassus well performed with corresponding suaveness by period-instrument and choral specialists … see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Symphonic Poems Vol. 3 Mazeppa S. 100. Symphonic Poem No.6 (1854) [16:33] Héroïde funèbre  S. 102. Symphonic Poem No. 8 (1857) [22:41] Prometheus S.99. Symphonic Poem No. 5 (1850) [12:27] Festklänge S. 102. Symphonic Poem No. 7 (1854) [19:07] BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 12-13 December 2006, Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester CHANDOS CHAN 10417 [71:24][DM]

With performances as resolutely earthbound as this you will need to search elsewhere for real musical inspiration. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Complete Piano Music, Vol. 24 Four Mephisto Waltzes (1856-85) [36:04]: (No. 1, (1856-61) S514 [12:05]; No. 2, S515 (1878/79-81) [11:12]; No. 3, S216 (1883) [9:48]; No. 4, S696 (1885) [2:59] ) Two Elegies (1874-78) [10:58]: (No. 1, S196 (1874) [5:45]; No. 2, S197 (1878) [5:13]) Grosses Konzertsolo, S176 (1849-50) [23:08] Giuseppe Andaloro, piano rec. 8-9 March 2005, Potton Hall, Westleton, Saxmundham, Suffolk. DDD NAXOS 8.557814 [70:10] [MC]

For Naxos Andaloro makes an inspired choice as soloist. One senses his complete involvement with the significant demands of Liszt’s challenging music ... 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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