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[Recommended recordings]


Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Overture to La Princesse Jaune Op.30 (1872) [6:38] Requiem Op.54  (1878) [35:39] Symphony No.3 in C minor – Organ Symphony (1886) [35:52] Tinuke Olafimihan (soprano) Catherine Wyn-Rogers (contralto) Anthony Roden (tenor) Simon Kirkbride (bass) James O’Donnell (organ) The Hertfordshire, Harlow and East London Choruses London Philharmonic Orchestra/Geoffrey Simon rec. All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London, January, April 1993 CALA CACDS 4032 [78:29][JW]

A worthwhile restoration. Do investigate this unusual and rare work. ... see Full Review

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Africa – Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra Op.89 (1890) [11:08] Parysatis – Airs de Ballet (1902) [7:57] La jota aragonese Op.64 (1881) [3:45] Samson and Delilah – Grand Fantasy – (1877) arranged Alexandre Luigini (1850-1906) [13:35] Tarantelle for flute, clarinet and orchestra Op.6 (1857) [5:36] Sarabande et Rigaudon (1892) [8:41] º Danse macabre – original version for tenor and orchestra Op.40 (1873) [2:49] Suite algeriénne - Marche militaire françaises Op.60 (1880) [4:20] The Muse and the Poet for violin, cello and orchestra Op.132 (1910) [15:16] Ascanio - Valse-Finale  (1890) [3:55] Gwendolyn Mok (piano) Susan Milan (flute) James Campbell (clarinet) Tina Gruenberg (violin) º Anthony Roden (tenor) Stephanie Chase (violin) Robert Truman (cello) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Geoffrey Simon rec. All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London, January, April 1993. DDD CALA CACDS 4031 [77:46][JW]

Highly sympathetic solo playing and Geoffrey Simon ensures that these disinterred morsels receive captivating playing ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No. 9 in C major Great D.944 (1828): ((i) Andante - Allegro ma non troppo [16:05]; (ii) Andante con moto [14:25]; Scherzo: Allegro vivace [15:00]; (iv) Allegro vivace [16:17]) Bamberger Symphoniker/Jonathan Nott rec. Joseph-Keilberth-Saal, Bamberg, 19-22 September 2006 TUDOR SACD 7144 [61:44] [PCW]

A superb version of the Great C major – one that captures the spirit of Schubert and yet manages to be individual … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Trio No.1 in B flat D.898 (1827) [39:46] Piano Trio No.2 in E flat D.929 (1827) [42:52] Notturno in E flat D.897 (1827) [8:40] Sonatensatz D.28 (1812) [7:16] Frank Braley (piano); Renaud Capuçon (violin); Gautier Capuçon (cello) rec. MC2 Maison de la Culture de Grenoble, 10-12 Sept. 2006 VIRGIN CLASSICS 00946 365476 2 [47:11 + 51:40][TH]

Goes straight to the top for my recommendations of these wonderful works ... see Full Review

Sounds Orchestral Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Transcribed David Gibbs Symphony No. 5 in B flat D485 [29:50] Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Transcribed David Gibbs Symphony No. 4 op 90 [32:42] David Gibbs and Greg Morris (organ duet) rec. Blackburn Cathedral, 14-15 February 2006. DDD LAMMAS LAMM 197D [62:37][CB]

Very enjoyable …approach perhaps too clever …virtuosic playing … admirable attention to detail ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise D911 (1827) Gute Nacht; Die Wetterfahne; Gefror'ne Tränen; Erstarrung; Der Lindenbaum; Wasserflut; Auf dem Flusse; Rückblick; Irrlicht; Rast; Frühlingstraum; Einsamkeit; Die Post; Der greise Kopf; Die Krähe; Letzte Hoffnung; Im Dorfe; Der stürmische Morgen; Tauschung; Der Wegwiser; Mut; Die Nebensonnen; Der Leiermann Jorma Hynninen (baritone); Ralf Gothóni (piano) rec. Martinus Hall, Vantaa, Finland, September 1988 ONDINE ODE725 [72:01] [AOz]

No Winterreise collection – or any song collection, for that matter – can afford to be without Hynninen ... see Full Review

Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) The Complete Sonatas and Other Works for Piano. Sonata Op. 66 [22:14]; Second Sonata [14:33]; Sonata III [17:15]; Sphinx Op. 63 [4:27]; Rainbow Trout [3:53]; Rondeau de Concert [5:30]; Ballad [6:52]; Victorian Waltz [3:34] Michael Schäfer (piano). rec. 28-29 April 2003, Studio 1, Bayerischer Rundfunk (Sonata op. 66, Sonata III, Rondeau de Concert, Ballad, Victorian Waltz), 8 March 2005, University of Music and Performing Arts Munich (Second Sonata, Sphinx, Rainbow Trout) GENUIN GEN 85049 [78:19] [JS]

Completely au fait with Scott’s compositional style; his interpretations are full of charm and grace. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Peter SCULTHORPE (b. 1929) CD1 Requiem (2004)a [42:15] CD2 My Country Childhood (1999)b [15:54] Earth Cry (1999)b [5:57] Great Sandy Island (1998)b [22:47] New Norcia (2000)b [5:07] Quamby (2000)b [23:26] Adelaide Chamber Singersa; William Barton (didjeridu)a Adelaide Symphony Orchestra/Arvo Volmera, James Juddb rec. Adelaide Town Hall, November 2005 (Requiem) and June 2000 (CD2) ABC CLASSICS 476 5692 [42:15 + 73:16] [HC]

A magnificent release that may be safely recommended to all Sculthorpe admirers. A fine introduction to this endearing composer’s sound-world. Not to be missed. ... see Full Review

Andrés SEGOVIA (1893-1987) Original Compositions Estudios Diarios (Oración [1:45]; Remembranza [2:08]; Estudio Sin Luz [2:43]; For Carl Sandburg [0:35]; Estudio En Mi Mayor [2:01]; Estudio-Vals [2:24]; Estudio Para Deli [1:17] Macarena [0:48]; Neblina [1:22]; Leccion 11 [1:00]; Leccion 12 [0:58]) Tres Preludios en la mayor (I [0:38]; II [0:31]; III [0:41]) Impromptu [1:28] Tondilla [2:40] Cinco Anecdotas (I Allegretto [1:33]; II Allegro moderato con grazia [0:57]; III, Lento malinconico [2:15]; IV, Molto tranquillo [0:39]; V, Allegretto vivo [2:32]) Once Preludios (I, mi menor [0:43]; II, Fatiga, mi menor [2:33]; III León, mi menor [1:07]; IV,do mayor [0:30];V,mi menor [0:59]; VI, si menor [2:06]; VII Madrileño, mi menor [2:56]; VIII Sobre un temo de Aparicio Méndez, mi mayor [1:28]; IX, Sine nomine, do mayor [0:37]; X, sol mayor [0:47]; XI, Vara, si menor [1:03]) Agustin Maruri (guitar) rec. 20-22 Sept. 2006, Madrid, Spain. EMEC E-070 [46:44] [ZT]

A useful recording for students of the guitar and essential for aficionados of Andrés Segovia … see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 8 in C minor Op. 85 (1943) [62:28] London Shostakovich Orchestra/Christopher Cox rec. St. Cyprian’s Church, Glentworth Street, London, 20 May 2006. DDD DUNELM RECORDS DRD0261 [62:28][PC]

Youthful indiscretions aside, this isn’t a bad performance, but I can’t imagine listening to it a second time. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony no. 8 in C minor op. 65 (1943) [58:15] Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York/Artur Rodzinski rec. 15 October 1944, Carnegie Hall, New York, live broadcast including introductory and closing announcements GUILD GHCD 2322 [59:06][CH]

Rodzinki’s art deserves investigation and the present production is as good a place to start as any. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-75) Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major Op.107 (1959) [28:06] Cello Concerto No.2 in G major Op.126 (1966) [35:21] Rafał Kwiatkowski (cello) Polish Radio Orchestra/Wojciech Rajska rec. Witold Lutosławski Studio of Polish Radio in Warsaw, 1999-2000 DUX 0549 [63:27][DC]

These recordings are ones with which you will be reluctant to part. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1907-1975) Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op. 23, The Year 1905 (1957) West German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cologne/Semyon Bychkov. rec. Philharmonie, Cologne, 19-23 November 2001. AVIE AV2062 [59:11] [CC]

As a concert performance, this Bychkov performance would have been satisfactory. As a proposition on disc, it is less so ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865–1957) Songs – Vol. 2 1. Finlandia-hymni, from Op. 26 [2:53] 2. Jääkärien marssi (March of the Jaeger Battalion), Op. 91a [2:28] 3. Aamusumussa (In the Morning Mist), JS 9a [1:56] 4. Ateenalaisten laulu (Song of the Athenians), Op. 31, No. 3 [2:22] 5. Sortunut ääni (The Broken Voice), Op. 18, No. 1 [1:33] 6. Isämaalle (To My Country), JS 98a [2:17] 7. Karjalan osa (Karelia’s Fate), JS 108* [5:10] 8. Siltavahti (The Guard of the Bridge), JS 170 [2:38] 9. Uusmaalaisten laulu (Song of the Uusimaa People), JS 214 [2:32] 10. Laulu ristilukista (Fool’s Song of the Spider), Op. 27, No. 4 [4:08] 11. Kullervon valitus (Kullervo’s Lament), from Op. 7 [2:11] 12. Kolme soeksaa sisarta (The Three Blind Sisters), Op. 46, No 4 [3:27] 13. Tule, tule, kultani (Come, come, my darling), JS 211* [1:33] 14. Miss’ on , kussa minun hyväni (Where is my beloved?) from Rakastava (The Lover), JS 160c [1:41] 15. Mummon syntymäpäivivänä (Grandmothers’ Birthday Song), JS 136* 16. Partiolaisten marssi (Scout March), Op. 91b [2:48] 17. Koulutie (The Road to School), JS 112 [5:19] 18. Tuule tuuli leppeämmin (Blow, wind, more gently), Op. 23, No. 6a (arranged by Olavi Pesonen) [3:25] 19. Sydämäni laulu  (Song of my Heart), Op. 18, No. 6 [2:34] 20: Kallion kirkon kellosävel (Bell Melody of Kallion Church), Op.65b [3:02] 21. Herran sinuous (God’s Blessing), JS 95* [2:30] 22. Soi kunniaksi Luojan (May the hymn of honour now resound), Op. 23, No. 6b [2:36] Hannu Jurmu (tenor), Jouni Somero (piano) rec. Selosali, Espoo, Finland, 28–30 July, 1, 13, 14 August 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.570020 [60:58][GF]

A substantial helping of lesser known Sibelius songs, sung in Finnish. It isn’t spotless but the singing is far better than on the previous volume. ... see Full Review

Roberto SIERRA (b. 1953) New Music with a Caribbean Accent Vestigios rituales (1) (1984) [8:00] Conjuros (2) (1982) [10:05] Trio tropical (3) (1991) [17:33] Cinco bocetos (4) (1984) [8:53] Glosa a la sombra (5) (1987) [9:59] Descarga, for piano and ten instruments (6) (1987-90) [12:42] Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs (pianos) (1) Virginia Gutiérrez (soprano), Joel Sachs (piano) (2) Mark Steinberg (violin), Maria Kitsopoulos (cello), Joel Sachs (piano) (3) David Krakauer (clarinet) (4) Ellen Lang (mezzo), David Krakauer (clarinet), Mia Wu (viola), Cheryl Seltzer (piano), Joel Sachs (conductor) (5) Cheryl Seltzer (piano), Jayn Rosenfeld (flute), Nathan Williams (clarinet), Daniel Grabois (French horn), Richard Kelley (trumpet), Benjamin Herrington (trombone), Erik Charlston (percussion), Mark Steinberg (violin), Rachel Evans (viola), Maria Kitsopoulos (cello), Victor Kioulaphides (double bass), Joel Sachs (conductor) (6) Continuum/Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs (directors) rec. January and November 1991, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York City NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559263 [67:13] [DM]

Enterprising as ever, Naxos has served up another stimulating American Classic. Continuum play with great verve and passion ... see Full Review

Valentin SILVESTROV (b. 1937) Symphony No. 5 (1980-82) [46:54] Postludium – symphonic poem for piano and orchestra (1984) [18:05] Alexei Lubimov (piano) Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/David Robertson rec. 25-30 January 1995, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin. DDD SONY CLASSICAL SK 66825 [65:08][RB]

Silvestrov - sensuous to the point of saturation rather than devout to the point of asceticism. ... see Full Review

Valentin SILVESTROV (b.1937) Symphony No.6 (1994-95) [54:20] SWR Stuttgart Radio SO/Andrey Boreyko rec. June 2005, Stadthalle, Sindelfingen. co-production ECM/Südwestrundfunk ECM NEW SERIES ECM 1935 [54:20][RB]

A warm vision made the more enthralling by a tectonic violence which causes the landscape to heave and shudder.... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) Má Vlast – a cycle of symphonic poems (1874-1879) Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Václav Talich rec. Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague, June and July 1954. ADD NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111237 [75:22][JW]

For the Talich collector this 1954 set is glorious and the one that remains the most generally recommendable. ... see Full Review

Louis/Ludwig SPOHR (1784-1859) Nonet in F, Op.31 (1813) [31:39]1 Septet in A minor, Op.147 (1853) [32:55]2 Ensemble 360: Sarah Bitlloch (violin)1,2; Martin Saving (viola)1; Marie Bitlloch (cello)1,2; Laurène Durantel (double bass)1; Guy Eshed (flute)1,2; Adrian Wilson (oboe)1; Matthew Hunt (clarinet)1,2; Benjamin Hudson (bassoon)1,2; Naomi Atherton (French horn)1,2; Tim Horton (piano)2 rec. 14-15 November 20061 and 23-24 November 20062, Potton Hall. Suffolk ASV GOLD GLD 4026 [65:21][GPu]

Affectionate, well-recorded performances of interesting, if limited, chamber works … 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] [RB]

Fine un-clichéed music-making in an idiom related to that of Schumann and Weber. ... see Full Review

Johann STRAUSS II (1825–1899) Eine Nacht in Venedig (1883) (edited by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Ernst Marischka) Nicolai Gedda (tenor) – Guido, Duke of Urbino; Erich Kunz (baritone) – Caramello; Karl Dönch (bass-baritone) – Delacqua; Peter Klein (tenor) – Pappacoda; Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) – Annina; Emmy Loose (soprano) – Ciboletta; Hanna Ludwig (contralto) – Agricola; Barbara; Speaking parts: Karel Stepanek – Barbaruccio; Hanna Norbert – Barbara; Anton Diffring – Enrico; Lea Seidl – Agricola Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus/Otto Ackermann rec. 25–28, 31 May, 25 September 1954, Kingsway Hall, London. ADD NAXOS 8.111254 [78:51][GF]

No lover of this delectable score should miss this issue. It is unlikely that you will ever hear it better sung, played or acted. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) (1911-1913) [35:02] L’Oiseau de Feu (The Firebird) (1945 version) [31:23] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Yuri Simonov rec. CTS Studio, London, March 1993. DDD REGIS RRC 1276 [66:25][PC]

An admirable Firebird and The Rite is about as good as I’ve heard lately. ... see Full Review

Sergey Ivanovich TANEYEV (1856-1915) Symphony No. 1 in E minor (1872) [28.30] Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1884) [35.04] Russian State Symphony Orchestra/Valeri Polyansky rec. Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, June 2004. DDD world premiere recordings CHANDOS CHAN 10390 [63.48][RB]

Essential to admirers of the symphonies of Glazunov, Kalinnikov, Arensky and Balakirev but be ready for a sterner twist to the writing. Grand recordings in every sense ... see Full Review

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 - 1893) Symphony #4 in f, Op 36 (1877) [42.39] Symphony #5 in e, Op 64 (1888) [49.26] Symphony #6 in b, "Pathétique" Op 74 (1893) [45.48] Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan Recorded at Jesus-Kristus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany, 21 September 1971. Notes in English, Deutsch, and Français. EMI 3817982 [ADD] [73.07 + 64.59] [PSh]

A bad #4, but very good, some will say the best, #5 and #6... see Full Review

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Concertos and Chamber Music, Vol. 5 Concerto in A major TWV 43:A4 [9:00] Sonata in D minor TWV 42:d10 [9:12] Ouverture in G minor TWV 55:g8 [20:34] Quadro in G major TWV 43:G6 [7:25] Sonata in C major TWV 40:203 [8:22] Partia 5 in E minor TWV 41:e1 [10:23] Musica Alta Ripa: Danya Segal (recorder); Hans-Peter Westermann (oboe); Anne Röhrig, Ursual Bundies, Susanne Dietz (violin); Christoph Heidemann (violin, viola); Juris Teichmanis, Albert Brüggen (cello); Barbara Hofmann (violone); Dennis Götte (chitarrone); Bernward Lohr (harpsichord) rec. 28 January, 7-10 September, 2006, Schloss Nordkirchen, Germany MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 309 1450-2 [65:33][GPu]

An enjoyable programme, sympathetically played and well-recorded, of Telemann’s sociable chamber music, musical dialogues of unflamboyant sophistication … see Full Review

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Triosonata for recorder, harpsichord and bc in b flat (TWV 42,B4) [09:08] Triosonata for violin, recorder and bc in a minor (TWV 42,a4) [10:55] Triosonata for viola da gamba, harpsichord and bc in G (TWV 42,G6) [10:56] Sonata for recorder, oboe and bc in a minor (TWV 42,a6) [10:18] Triosonata for viola da gamba, recorder and bc in F (TWV F3) [07:24] Triosonata for recorder, violin and bc in f minor (TWV 42,f2) [07:29] Concerto for recorder, oboe, violin and bc in a minor (TWV 43,a3) [11:42] La Primavera: (Clémence Comte (recorder); Peter Frankenberg (oboe); Igor Roukhadze (violin); Maaike Boekholt (viola da gamba); Sarah Walder (viola da gamba; cello); Regina Albanez (theorbo); Menno van Delft (harpsichord)) rec. November 2005, Achelse Kluis, Hamont-Achel, Belgium. DDD ETCETERA KTC 1312 [67:56] [JV]

A fine selection from the large corpus of Telemann's instrumental music, showing the composer's versatility and creativity, but the performances are largely disappointing … see Full Review

TON-THAT Tiêt (b. 1933) Les jardins d’autre monde (1987) [30:38] Et la rivière chante l’éternité (2000) [16:38] Poèmes (2004)a [13:29] Ensemble Les Temps Modernes, Ensemble Thai-Haa rec. Salle Varèse, CNSMD, Lyon, September 2006 HORTUS 046 [60:45] [HC]

These often beautiful works are characterised by remarkable subtlety and great sonic refinement ... see Full Review

Eduard TUBIN (1905-1982) Barbara von Tisenhusen – opera in three acts and nine scenes ETW 112 (1967-68) Helvi Raamat, Väino Puura, Ants Kollo, Hans Miilberg, Uno Kreen, Mare Jõgeva, Tarmo Sild, Ivo Kuusk Estonian National Opera Orchestra “Estonia”/Peeter Lilje rec. Estonia, 1992. DDD ONDINE ODE776-2D [62:01 + 32:39] [RB]

Inventive tonal textures burnished and glowing with strange and tragic colours. A very satisfying opera ... see Full Review

Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949) The complete violin sonatas Sonata española (1907-08) [21:07] Sonata No.1 Op.51 (1923) [12:41] Sonata No.2 Op.82 Sonata española (1933-34) [13:41] Variaciones clásicas Op.72 (1932) [9:12] Homenaje a Navarra Op.102 (1945) [5:25] David Peralta Alegre (violin) Ana Sánchez Donate (piano) rec. Auditorium of the Conservatorio Professional de Música de Getafe, May 2006 VERSO VRS 2039 [62:44][JW]

The Verso team makes a fine case for this vital and energising music. ... see Full Review

Erkki-Sven TÜÜR (b. 1959) Salve Regina (2005)a [5:39] Ardor (2001, rev. 2002)b [25:56] Dedication (1990)c [7:00] Oxymoron (2003)d [19:40] Pedro Carneiro (marimba)b; Leho Karin (cello)c; Marrit Gerretz-Traksmann (piano)c; Vox Clamantisa; NYYD Ensemblead; Estonian National Symphony Orchestrab; Olari Elts (conductor)abd rec. Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn, March 2003 (Ardor) and June 2006 (Dedication, Oxymoron), and Issanda Muutmise Church, Tallinn, June 2006 (Salve) ECM NEW SERIES 1919 [58:32] [HC]

Tüür’s is a distinctive voice in Estonian contemporary music, whose music now enjoys a highly deserved exposure ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Sons of Light * A Cantata for Chorus and Orchestra (1950) [20:03] Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Mystic Trumpeter - Scena for Soprano and Orchestra Op. 18 (Ed. Colin Matthews (1904) [19:51]** Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Ode on the Nativity for Soprano solo, Chorus and Orchestra (1912) [24:15]* * Teresa Cahill (soprano) The Bach Choir; Royal College of Music Chorus London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir David Willcocks ** Sheila Armstrong (soprano) London Symphony Orchestra/David Atherton rec. March 1980, Kingsway Hall (RVW, Parry) LYRITA SRCD.270 [64.13] [RB]

Lyrita put on the map three neglected scores from the British choral tradition and do so magnificently ... see Full Review

Johann Baptist VAŇHAL (1739-1813) Flute Quartet in B flat major Op.7 No.2 [19:18] Flute Quartet in G major Op.7 No.3 [21:45] Flute Quartet in C major Op.7 No.6 [20:02] Uwe Grodd (flute) Janaki String Trio rec. Grace Church-on-the-Hill, Toronto, Canada, 13–15 June 2006 NAXOS 8.570234 [61:04][DC]

Beautifully played music which makes few emotional demands, but hiding a verdant garden of rich colour and variety. ... see Full Review

Francesco Maria VERACINI (1690-1768) Sonate accademiche, Op.2 (1744) Sonata No. 1 in D major [19:07] Sonata No. 2 in B flat major [15:52] Sonata No. 3 in G major [15:23] Sonata No. 4 in F major [14:23] Sonata No. 5 in G minor [15:24] Sonata No. 6 in A major [20:09] Sonata No. 7 in D minor [11:03] Sonata No. 8 in E minor [10:53] Sonata No. 9 in A major [10:04] Sonata No. 10 in F major [10:08] Sonata No. 11 in E major [17:18] Sonata No. 12 in D minor [14:38] The Locatelli Trio: Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin); Richard Tunnicliffe (cello); Paul Nicholson (harpsichord, organ) rec. 25-30 June, 1993, Westdeutschen Runfunk, Cologne HYPERION CDS 44241/3 [3 CDs: 65:08 + 58:00 + 52:34][GPu]

Baroque chamber music by one of the period’s eccentrics, in fine performances and good sound … see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Ernani - lyric drama in four acts (1844) Ernani, the bandit - Placido Domingo (ten); Don Carlo, King of Spain - Renato Bruson (bar); Don Ruy de Silva, a Spanish grandee - Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass); Elvira, Silva’s niece and loved by Ernani - Mirella Freni (sop); Don Riccardo, the King’s equerry - Gianfranco Manganotti (ten); Jago, equerry to Silva - Alfredo Giacomotti (bass) Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala, Milan/Riccardo Muti rec. live, production by Luca Ranconi, December 1982 EMI CLASSICS 3818842 [47.34 + 80.57] [RJF]

Realistically presented at lower price, this recording has outstanding portrayals from Domingo and Bruson to compensate for an over-parted Freni. The vibrant La Scala chorus and Muti’s conducting are also pluses ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aida - opera in four acts (1871) Il Re, King of Egypt - José Van Dam (bass); Amneris, his daughter - Agnes Baltsa (mezzo); Radames, Egyptian captain of the guard - José Carreras (ten); Amonasro, King of Ethiopia - Pierro Cappuccilli (bar); Aida, his daughter - Mirella Freni (sop); Ramfis, High priest - Ruggero Raimondi (bass) Vienna State Opera Chorus Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan rec. Musikvereinsaal, Vienna, May 1979 EMI CLASSICS 3818772 [3 CDs: 41.52 + 42.52 + 69.52] [RJF]

Karajan’s second recorded Aida has its thrilling moments. But his excessive variations in tempi and dynamic, together with his choice of lyric voices as the lovers, make his viewpoint and the outcome somewhat idiosyncratic ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741) Heroes – Opera arias Orlando finto pazzo (RV 727): Se in ogni sguardo [03:11] Giustino (RV 717):Vedrò con mio diletto [05:11] Ottone in villa (RV 729): Frema pur, si lagni Roma [04:24] L'Olimpiade (RV 725): Mentre dormi amor fomenti [07:42] Tito Manlio (version 1719; RV 738): Vanne perdida va – Fra le procelle, rec & aria [05:04] Andromeda liberata (RV deest): Sovente il sole [09:23]Demofoonte (RV deest): Sperai vicino il lido [05:36] Giustino (RV 717): Deh perché – Bel riposo de'mortali [04:15] Il Tigrane (RV 740): Farà la mia spada [02:44]Tieteberga (RV 737): Sento in seno ch'in pioggia di lagrime [04:06] Orlando furioso (version 1714; RV Anh 84): Cara sposa [02:41] Farnace (version 1738; RV 711): Perdona, o figlio amato [06:29] Orlando finto pazzo (RV 727): Alla rosa ruggiadosa [02:22] Philippe Jaroussky (alto) Ensemble Matheus/Jean-Christophe Spinosi (violin) rec. July 2006, Auditorium de l'Ecole Nationale de Musique, de Danse et d'Art dramatique in Brest, France. DDD VIRGIN CLASSICS 3634142 [63:15] [JV]

'Sublime' and 'tender' arias from Vivaldi operas by Vivaldi, performed brilliantly … is a very impressive recital ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Götterdämmerung (1876) Wolfgang Windgassen (tenor) - Siegfried Hermann Uhde (baritone) - Gunther Josef Greindl (bass) - Hagen Gustav Neidlinger (bass) - Alberich Astrid Varnay (soprano) - Brünnhilde Gré Brouwenstijn (soprano) - Gutrune Maria von Ilosvay (mezzo) - Waltraute Maria von Ilosvay (mezzo) - 1. Norn Georgine von Milinkovic (contralto) - 2. Norn Mina Bolotine (mezzo) - 3. Norn Jutta Vulpius (soprano) - Woglinde Elisabeth Schärtel (mezzo) - Wellgunde Maria Graf (contralto) - Flosshilde Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele/Joseph Keilberth rec. live, Bayreuth Festspielhaus, Germany, 28 July 1955. ADD TESTAMENT SBT4 1393 [4 CDs: 57:58 + 56:12 + 65:28 + 77:14] [DH]

Keilberth ends Götterdammerung splendidly but that’s not enough. Crucially the world does not sound as though it is collapsing, as leitmotif piles upon leitmotif, in the Immolation scene ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Das Rheingold (1869) Wolfgang Probst (bass-baritone) – Wotan; Motti Kastón (baritone) – Donner; Bernhard Schneider (tenor) – Froh; Esa Ruuttonen (baritone) – Alberich; Eberhard Francesco Lorenz (tenor) – Mime; Roland Bracht (bass) – Fasolt; Phillip Ens (bass) – Fafner; Michaela Schuster (mezzo) – Fricka; Helga Rós Indridadóttir (soprano) – Freia; Mette Ejsing (contralto) – Erda;  Catriona Smith (soprano) – Woglinde; Maria Theresa Ullrich (mezzo) – Wellgunde; Margarete Joswig (contralto) – Flosshilde Staatsorchester Stuttgart/Lothar Zagrosek Directed for stage by Joachim Schlömer; Stage Design and Costumes by Jens Kilian rec. live, Staatsoper Stuttgart, 28 September, 29 December 2002 Picture format: NTSG 16:9; Sound formats: PCM Stereo; DD 5.1; DTS 5.1 EUROARTS 2052068 [152:00] [GF]

When I want to hear this opera I will probably choose another version. When I want to see it I will probably also choose another one but this Stuttgart production has its own merits – if one can stand the concept ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH William WALTON (1902-1983) Viola Concerto (original version) (1928-9) [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] [DC]

Well nigh irresistible ... see Full Review

Nigel WESTLAKE (b. 1958) Hinchinbrook Riffs (2003) [8:30] Jovian Moons (2001, rev. 2002) [16:09] Songs from the Forest (1994) [6:59] Flying Fish (2003) [4:07] Shadow Dances (2000, rev. 2004) [12:31] Antarctica – Suite (1992) [23:45] Slava Grigoryan (guitar) (all) Michael Kieran Harvey (piano) (Moons); Leonard Grigoryan (guitar) (Forest); Joel Westlake (double bass) (Forest); Saffire Guitar Quartet (Fish) Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Nigel Westlake (Dances, Antarctica) rec. Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Southbank Centre, Melbourne, May 2003 (Moons) and July 2004 (Dances, Antarctica); Avalon Studio, November 2003 (Forest); Jumpstart Studio, Brisbane, June 2004 (Fish) and Jeremy Alsop’s Studio, May 2006 (Riffs) ABC CLASSICS 476 5744 [72:01] [HC]

Variety and invention … guitar music that is superbly and idiomatically written with an inexhaustible melodic fund and rhythmic verve ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Six Songs (lyrics: Maurice Maeterlinck) [21:20]: (i. Die drei. schwestern, op. 13 [4:15]; ii. Die mädchen mit den verbundenen augen, op. 13 [3:17]; iii. Lied der jungfrau, op. 13 [2:56]; iv. Als ihr geliebter schied, op. 13 [2:35]; v. Und kehrt er einst heim, op. 13 [3:10]; vi. Sie kam zum schloss gegangen, op. 13 [ 5:07]) Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) Menschheit (lyrics: Theodor Däubler): (Der Dudelsack, op. 28 [5:15]; ii. Flügellahmer versuch, op. 28 [8:10]; iii. Oft einfach, op. 28 [2:44]; iv. Dämmerung, op. 28 [4:15]; v. Einblick, op. 28 [8:12]) Landschaften, (lyrics: Theodor Kuhlemann): (Die Türen Sind Zugeweht, op. 26 [2:43]; ii. Alle Frauen Weinen, op. 26 [3:12]; iii. Demut Faltet Den Raum, op. 26 [3:55]; iv. Viele Wege Sind Kleine, Vergangene, op. 26 [2:20]; v. Die Goldnen Winde, op. 26 [3:34]) Randi Stene (mezzo) Trondheim Symphony Orchestra/Muhai Tang rec. 14-18 June 2004. Olavshallen, Trondheim, Norway. DDD SIMAX PSC 1249 [65:41] [RB]

Randi Stene and the orchestra are magnificent in these gloriously emotion saturated songs. ... 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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