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[Recommended recordings]

Alfredo CASELLA (1883-1947) La Giara Op.41 (1924) [29:32] Serenata Op.46bis (1930) [22:19] Riccardo Caruso (tenor) Orchestra I.C.O. Lecce/Marco Balderi rec. Studio Elite, Sermide, January 1997 LA BOTTEGA DISCANTICA BDI23 [52:03] [JW]

La Giara is a superbly bubbling brew that demands to be heard. Performances that are enjoyable, engaging, convincing and unostentatiously recorded. ... see Full Review

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor (1830) [32:32] Moriz Rosenthal (piano) Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Frieder Weissmann, recorded 1930-31 Piano Concerto No.2 in F minor Op.21 (1829) [27:24] Josef Hofmann (piano) New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra/John Barbirolli, recorded live March 1936 ALTARA ARCHIVE ALT 1014 [59:56][JW]

The pairing of Hofmann and Rosenthal makes sense. Two indisputably great pianists and two great performances. ... see Full Review

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Summer in Nohant Mazurkas Op. 41 (1839): No. 1 in E minor (Palma mazurka) [2:19]; No. 2 in B major [1:09]; No. 3 in A flat major [2:05]; No. 4 in C sharp minor [3:25] Ballade No. 3 in A flat major Op. 47 (1841) [7:08] Nocturnes Op. 48 (1841): No. 1 in C minor [6:34]; No. 2 in F sharp minor [8:24] Polonaise in A flat major (Polonaise héroïque) Op. 53 [7:06] Nocturnes Op. 55 (1842-3): No. 1 in F minor [5:44]; No. 2 in E flat major [5:18] Mazurkas Op. 59 (1845): No. 1 in A minor [4:00]; No. 2 in A flat major [2:40]; No. 3 in F sharp minor [3:21] Polonaise-fantaisie Op. 61 (1846) [12:52] Ian Jones (piano) rec. Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden, 25-27 August 2004. DDD LONDON INDEPENDENT RECORDS LIR 013 [74:50] [RW]

Ian Jones is a gifted pianist. Good acoustics; recording likewise ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 38 (1844) [33’19]; Fantasy in F minor, Op. 49 (1841) [13'11] Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Konzertstück in F minor, Op. 79 (1821) [18'20]* Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Andante and Rondo capriccioso, Op. 14 [6'50] Claudio Arrau (piano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Alceo Galliera* rec. No. 3 Studio, Abbey Road, London, 14-21 April 1960 (Chopin), 30 June 1951 (Mendelssohn), No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, 19 April 1960 (Weber). ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 5 62884 2  [72:11] [CC]

Arrau's Chopin enjoys something of classic status, and here are two perfect examples of why this is so ... Mendelssohn that can only be described as miraculous ... virtuoso elan ... one of the jewels of the EMI  GROCs. ... see Full Review

A "Hatto" Original Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1848) Complete Mazurkas Eugen Indjic (piano) rec. Studio Teije van Geest, Germany, 1988 (?) CALLIOPE CAL 3321/2 [74:46 + 70:11] [CH]

I hope this recording has the success in 2007 it doesn’t seem to have had in 1988. ... see Full Review

Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etudes, Op. 25, Nos. 1-12 (1832-36) [31:43] Trois Nouvelles Etudes (1839) [6:03] Deux Posthumous Nocturnes [5:51] Tomoko Hagiwara (piano) rec. Stillwater Sound Recording Studio, San Francisco, California, no dates given. STILLWATER SOUND SWS011 [43:46] [KS]

Adequate at best, lame program notes and less than stellar sound make this recording less than desirable. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Twenty-Four Préludesa (1836-38) [34:21]; Prélude in C sharp minor, Op. 45b (1841) [4:07]; Berceuse in D flat, Op. 57b (1843/4) [4:08]; Impromptusc (1837-42) – No. 1 in A flat, Op. 29 [3:45]; No. 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 36 [4:27]; No. 3 in G flat, Op. 51 [4:52]; Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66c (1835) [4:34]; Barcarolle in F sharp, Op. 60c (1846) [7:52] Alfred Cortot (piano) rec. No. 3 Studio, Abbey Road, London, a 5 July, 20 June 1933; b 4 November 1949; c5 July 1933. ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3615412  [68:45] [CC]

These are, indeed, classic recordings ...  the remastering has (re)produced a sound of great clarity and yet depth. Cortot's playing is what this disc is about and while one listens he almost always convinces one that his is the true way. Superb. ... see Full Review

Cesare CIARDI (1818–1877) Gran Concerto in D major, Op. 129 (1859) [20.17] (2) L’Eco dall’Arno, Op. 34 [10.02] (2) Il carnevale di Venezia, Op. 22 [7.26](2) e Rossignol du Nord, Op. 45 [6.08] (1) Un sospiro del cuore [6.00] (1) Las Smorfiosetta [2.56] (1) Di Chi? [5.28] (1) Piccola fantasi su due Stornelli napoletani [5.07] (1) Roberto Fabbriciani (flute) Massimiliano Damerini (piano) (1) Orchestra Sinfonica del Fiuli Venezia Giulia/Stefan Fraas (2) rec. April 2005, Auditorium in Undine (Italy) NAXOS 8.557857 [63.24][RH]

No-one would claim great musical significance for Ciardi’s music, but it is undeniably attractive and here the performances are stunningly virtuosic. Sit back and enjoy and admire. ... see Full Review

Rebecca CLARKE (1886-1979) Viola Sonata (1919) [27:01] Passacaglia (on an old English tune) (1941) [5:17] Lullaby (1909) [4:37] Lullaby on an Ancient Irish Tune (1913) [2:36] Morpheus (1918) [7:18] Chinese Puzzle (1921) [1:28] I’ll bid my heart be still (c.1944) [3:32] Untitled Piece for viola and piano (c.1918) [5:21] Dumka (c.1941) [10:13] * Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale (1941) [13:26] + Philip Dukes (viola) Sophia Rahman (piano) except the Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale Daniel Hope (violin) * Robert Plane (clarinet) + rec. Concert Hall of Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, June 2004 NAXOS 8.557934 [78:54][JW]

An attractive Clarke disc, very well played and recorded and at Naxos’s tempting price range. ... see Full Review

Eric COATES (1886-1957) Suite: The Three Men (1935) [23:19] Concert Valse: Dancing Nights (1932) [8:12] Two Symphonic Rhapsodies: I Pitch my Lonely Caravan; Birdsongs at Eventide/I Heard You Singing (1933) [5:06; 5:19] Idyll: Summer Afternoon (1924) [3:53] Ballet: The Enchanted Garden (1946) [21:11] Concert Valse: Footlights (1939) [5:50] Suite: Four Centuries: IV Rhythm (20th Century) (1942) [6:57] March: London Bridge (1934) [4:31] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth rec. 1990s? DDD LYRITA SRCD213 [76.19] [JW]

More Lyrita Coates, rarer Coates, and better-played Coates. ... see Full Review

Boult conducts Coates; Boult conducts Marches Eric COATES (1886-1957) The Merrymakers Overture (1923) [4:40] Summer Days Suite (1919) [11:35] From Meadow to Mayfair Suite (1931) [8:19] The Three Elizabeths Suite - March Princess Elizabeth (1944) [5:12] The Three Bears - Phantasy (1927) [9:44] March The Dambusters (1954) [4:02] Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961) Children’s March Over the Hills and Far Away (1918, 1928) [3:55] Frederick DELIUS (1862-1924) Marche Caprice (1890) [3:23] William WALTON (1902-1983) Hamlet: Funeral March (1947) [4:44] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Wasps: March past of the kitchen utensils (1909) [3:04] Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) (arranged by Benjamin Britten) Soirées Musicales: March (1936) [1:28] Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Suite in E flat Op.28 No.1: March (1909) [3:00] New Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Sir Adrian Boult rec. Kingsway Hall, London, 9 November, 6 December 1976 (Coates); 15 August, 19 September, 13 November 1976 (other items). ADD LYRITA SRCD.246 [63.08] [JW]

If you accept that this Lyrita constitutes a mellower and beautifully recorded collection than you will certainly not be disappointed. ... see Full Review

Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713) 12 Concerti Grossi, Op. 6 Rémy Baudet, Sayuri Yamagata (violin), Albert Brüggen, Richte van der Meer* (cello) Musica Amphion/Pieter-Jan Belder (harpsichord) rec. Summer 2004, Doopsgezinde Kerk, Deventer & the Augustinuskerk, Amsterdam (*), The Netherlands DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92610 [66:19 + 64:30] [JV]

One of the better recordings of Corelli's Concerti grossi. At budget price one can hardly go wrong with this set. ... see Full Review

George CRUMB (b.1929) Vox Balaenae (1971) [18:50] Federico’s Little Songs for Children (1986) [13:24] An Idyll for the Misbegotten (Images III) (1986) [9:51] Eleven Echoes of Autumn (Echoes I) (1965) [17:36] New Music Concerts Ensemble/Robert Aitken rec. CBC Glenn Gould Studio, 13 April 2003 and Performing Arts Centre, The Country Day School, King City, Ontario, 10-12 September 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.559205 [59:42] [DC]

George Crumb’s star in the recording catalogue continues to wax, and with every justification. ... see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Piano Works Vol. 1 Suite bergamasque (1890 rev. 1905) [16:31] Nocturne (1890) [06:38] Danse bohémienne (1880) [02:10] Rêverie (1890) [04:19] Mazurka (1891) [03:04] Deux Arabesques (1888) [08:35] Valse romantique (1890) [03:27] Ballade (1890) [06:20] Danse (Tarantelle styrienne) (1890) [05:10] Suite: Pour le piano (1901) [12:09] François-Joël Thiollier (piano) rec. 28 November-1 December 1994, Temple Saint Marcel, Paris NAXOS 8.553290 [70:57] [CH]

Free-spirited playing that brings the composer’s early efforts to life wonderfully. ... see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Piano Music - Volume 2 The Little Negro (1909) [01:25] Children’s Corner (1908) [17:45] La boîte à joujoux (1913) [33:56] Epigraphes antiques (1914) [17:18] François-Joël Thiollier (piano) rec. 13-15 March 1995, Temple Saint Marcel, Paris. DDD NAXOS 8.553291 [71:43][CH]

Two rare Debussy works not always included in cycles of the solo piano music, and a captivatingly improvisational Children’s Corner. ... see Full Review 

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Piano Music II Estampes (1903) [15:11] Children’s Corner (1908) [17:56] Deux Arabesques [07:30] Suite bergamasque (1890) [17:10] La Plus que lente (1910) [05:03] Ballade (c.1890) [07:27] Mazurka (1890) [02:59] Le Petit Nègre (1909) [01:50] Pascal Rogé (piano) rec. 28-30 December 2005, Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland ONYX 4018 [76:23] [CH]

An excellent production but in the last resort not really memorable. ... see Full Review

Lex van DELDEN (1919-1988) Complete String Quartets String Quartet I Willink Tetraptych op. 43 (1954) [15:36] String Quartet II op. 86 (1965) [20:19] String Quartet III op. 106 (1979) [19:09] Musica di Catasto: Intrada e Passacaglia op. 108 (1981) [11:04] Utrecht String Quartet (with Quirijn van Regteren (double bass)) rec. 25-28 April 2006, Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem. DDD MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 603 1436-2 [66:36] [RB]

Vivid, vigorous and accessible music, stunningly played and recorded with faithful immediacy. ... see Full Review

A "Hatto Original" Paul DUKAS (1865-1935) Piano Sonata in E flat minor (1899-1900) [44:06] Prélude élégiaque (1909) [04:31] Variations, Interlude et Final (1902) [18:34] La plainte, au loin, du faune (1920) [04:26] Tor Espen Aspaas (piano) rec. 29-31 October 2001, 12-14 September 2003, Sofienberg kirke, Oslo SIMAX CLASSICS PSC 1177 [72:11] [CH]

My urgent recommendation of this disc to all lovers of French piano music still stands. ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) String Quartet No. 14 in A flat Major Op.105 B.193 (1895) [32.45] Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major Op.81 B.155 (1887) [41.33] Psophos Quartet Dana Ciocarlie (piano) rec. Auditorium ADAC, Place Nationale, Paris, 5-8 June 2006. DDD AR-RE-SE AR 2006-2 [74.45] [GH]

The Psophos – admirable for their easy-going and serene approach. ... see Full Review

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857–1934) The Very Best of Elgar Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (1901) [6.12] (1) Salut d’Amour (1889) [3.01] (2) Cockaigne overture (1901) [15.21] (3) Cello Concerto in E minor (1st Movement) (1918) [9.02] (4) Piano Quintet (3rd movement) (1919) [10.12] (5) Sospiri (1914) [4.32] (6) Violin Sonata (1918) [7.57] (7) Ave Verum Corpus (1902) [2.40] (8) Violin Concerto (2nd movement) (1910) [11.06] (9) The Wand of Youth Suite (6th Movement) (1908) [2.19] (10) Imperial March (1897) [4.22] (11) String Quartet in E minor (1918) [8.10] (12) Symphony No. 2 (3rd Movement) (1911) [8.09] (13) Enigma Variations (Variation 9: Nimrod) (1899) [3.31] (14) The Apostles (The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me) (1903) [6.50] (15) Symphony No. 1 (2nd movement) (1907) [7.28] (16) Serenade for Strings (1st movement) (1892) [3,14] (17) The Dream of Gerontius (Part II, ‘But Hark ! A Grand Mysterious Harmony’) (1900) [8.59] (18) Introduction and Allegro (1905) [14.47] (19) Sea Pictures (IV Where Corals Lie) (1899) [3.35] (20) Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 (1901) [5.17](21) Takako Nishizaki (violin) (2) Simone Lamsma (violin) (7) Dong-Suk Kang (violin) (9) Jeno Jando (piano) (2) Peter Donohoe (piano) (5) Yurie Miura (piano) (7) Maria Kliegel (cello) (4) Maggini Quartet (5, 12) Jonathan Vaughn (organ) (8, 15) Sarah Connolly (mezzo) (20) William Kendall (tenor) (18) Sarah Fryer (mezzo) (18) Choir of St. Johns College, Cambridge/Christopher Robinson (8, 15) Bournemouth Symphony Chorus (18) Waynflete Singers (17) New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/James Judd (1, 10, 21) Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Adrian Leaper (3, 9) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Michael Halasz (4) Northern Sinfonia/David Lloyd-Jones (6) BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/George Hurst (11, 14, 16) BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Edward Downes (13) Capella Istropolitana/Adrian Leaper (17, 19) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/David Hill (18) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Simon Wright (20) NAXOS 8.552133-34 [72.48 + 75.01][RH]

Not for the library shelves, but definitely one to consider as a present for anyone who is interested in finding out more about one of the towering figures of English music, and hearing some fine performances in the process. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) In the South (Alassio) – Concert Overture op.50 (1904) [19:48] Grania and Diarmid – Incidental Music and Funeral March op.42 (1901) [09:30] Symphony no.1 in A flat op.55 (1908) [48:56] Introduction and Allegro op.47 (1905) [14:12] Serenade in E minor op.20 (1892) [12:21] Symphony no.2 in E flat op.63 (1910) [53:16] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec.29 September 1970, 19 February 1971, All Saints’ Tooting (op.50), 4, 6, 11 February 1974, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road London (op.42), 20, 25 September 1976, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road (op.55/I-III), 10 October 1976, Kingsway Hall, London (op.55/IV), 10 December 1972, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road (op.47), 29, 30 October 1972, Kingsway Hall (op.20), 3 November 1975, 2, 7 January 1976, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road (op.63) EMI CLASSICS 0946 3 82151 2 7 [78:31 + 80:06][CH]

Dedicated performances by one of the composer’s finest interpreters, and a truly great performance of Symphony no. 2. ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Sea Pictures Op.37 (1899) [23:05] The Music Makers Op.69 (1912) [39:39] Sarah Connolly (mezzo) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Simon Wright rec. The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, January 2006 NAXOS 8.557710 [62:44] [JW]

However much one tries not to acknowledge the fact it’s inevitable that the three B’s - Baker, Boult and Barbirolli – hover benignly over this release. ... see Full Review

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1834) Great is the Lord Great is the Lord, Op. 67 (1912) [10:24] They are at rest (1909) [2:56] Queen Alexandra Memorial Ode (1932) [6:39] Ave Maria, Op. 2 No. 2 (1887) [3:11] The Spirit of the Lord. Prologue from The Apostles, Op. 49 (1903) [7:23] Te Deum and Benedictus, Op. 34 (1897) [19:25] O salutaris hostia (1880) [2:58] Ave verum Op. 2 No. 1 (1887) [2:39] Ecce sacerdos magnus (1888) [3:14] O hearken Thou Op. 64 (1911) [4:28] Give unto the Lord Op. 74 (1914) [8:45] The Choir of Westminster Abbey/James O’Donnell Robert Quinney (organ) rec. 6, 7, 13, 14 July 2006, Westminster Abbey. DDD HYPERION CDA67593 [72:11][JQ]

There’s a good deal of noble music to enjoy in very good performances and the disc is a fine offering as part of the Elgar 150th anniversary celebrations. ... see Full Review

Ernest Van Der EYKEN (b. 1913) In Flanders' Fields Vol. 47 String Quartet No.2 (1943) [1828] Twee melodieen (1942) [8.46] Trio per flauto, violino e viola (1989) [20.38] Sonatine voor Sofie (1983) [6.36] Concerto per otto strumenti a fiato (1999) [15.46] Mate Szucs (viola); Jozef de Boenhouwer (piano); Denis Pietre Gustin (flute); Andre Siwi (violin); Therese Marie Gilissen (viola); Naove Musiche String Quartet; Wind Ensemble Bellerophon/Jan de Maeyer rec. Studio The Right Place Brussels, January 2006 (String Quartet No.2; Twee Melodieen; Sonatine); Royal Music Conservatory Brussels, January 1999 (Trio); live, Festival of Flanders, Mechelen, October 2000 (Concerto) PHAEDRA 92047 [70.14] [GH]

Well crafted music and quite typical of its period. If you are feeling adventurous you could do worse than try this disc out. ... see Full Review

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) Piano Music - Volume 1: Nocturno (1899) [4.12]; Serenata (1899) [3.20]; Serenata andaluza (1902) [4.39]; Allegro de concierto (1903) [9.20]; Homenaje a Claude Debussy (1920) [2.42]; Sobre la tumba de Paul Dukas (1935) [4.00]; Cuatro piezas españolas (1909) [16.29]; Suite de ‘El Amor brujo’ (1915) [12.38] Daniel Ligorio (piano) rec. Estudios Moraleda, Barcelona, Spain, February/March 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.555065 [57.29][GH]

Not overly enthusiastic. Probably best to look elsewhere at present ... see Full Review

Giovanni Battista FERRANDINI (1710–1791) Cantate per Passione Liebste Mutter voll der Schmerzen [8.25] Concerto in F minor [8.56] O spettacolo pur troppo funesto [25.06] Quartet in G major [10.23] Ecco quel tronco [20.05] Elisabeth Scholl (soprano) Echo du Danube rec. 14-18 November 2005, Deutschlandfunk Sendsaal, Cologne, Germany ACCENT ACC24181 [73.38] [RH]

Music which is gracefully poised and attractively melodic. This attractive programme provides a good way to get to know his music. ... see Full Review

Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) A Severn Rhapsody Op. 3 (1923) [6:14] Nocturne (New Year Music) Op. 7 (1925) [10:23] Three Soliloquies for small orchestra from the Suite - Love’s Labours Lost Op. 28 (1946) [4:33] Romance for string orchestra Op. 11 (1928) [8:08] Prelude for string orchestra Op. 25 (1950s) [5:16] The Fall of the Leaf, Elegy for orchestra Op. 20 (1950s) [9:14] Introit for small orchestra and solo violin Op. 6 (1925) [9:48] Eclogue for piano and string orchestra Op. 10 (1929, 1956) [10:33]* Grand Fantasia and Toccata for piano and orchestra Op. 38 (1928, 1953) [15:14]* Rodney Friend (violin) Peter Katin (piano) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult New Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley * rec. 1970s. ADD LYRITA SRCD.239 [79:26] [RB]

The complete Boult-conducted Finzi coupled with two key works for piano and orchestra ... see Full Review

Johann Joseph FUX (c.1660-1741) Overture in D, N4 [20:08] Concerto in D, ‘Le dolcezze e I’amarezze della notte, E112 [13:56] Intrada in C, E62 [9:33] Suite in C, N83 [15:08] Rondeau, E111 [4:47] Freiburger Barockorchester/Gottfried von der Goltz rec. April, 2006, Paulussaal, Freiburg, Germany. DDD CARUS 83.308 [63:58] [MS]

Four world premieres of a neglected late Baroque composer played with aplomb and vigour… see Full Review

Andrea GABRIELI (c.1510–1586) Ricercar a 4 del primo tuono [6.15]; Ricercar a 4 del sesto tuono [5.28]; Ricercar a 4 del duodecimo tuono [3.14]; Ricercar del settimo tuono [4.00]; Ricercar per sonar a 8 [3.54]; De profundis clamavi [5.28]; O Sacrum Convivium [3.52]; Petit Jacquet [1.59]; Anco che co’l partire [4.03]; Intonazione del sesto tuono [1.09]; Missa Pater Peccavi [28.25] His Majestys Consort of Voices His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts/Timothy Roberts (director and organ) rec. 23-25 September 1999, St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb HYPERION HELIOS CDH55265 [66.22] [RH]

An entrancing and convincing foray into Gabrieli’s sound-world … should be on everyone’s library shelves. ... see Full Review

Paul GILSON (1865-1942) Flemish Connection VI La Captive: Suite from Act I - Ballet Pantomime compiled in 1995 by Frits Celis (1900) [22:53] Andante and Scherzo for cello and orchestra (1906) [8:39] La Mer – Symphonic Sketches for orchestra, eleven saxhorns, and men’s choir (1892) [34:38] Timora Rosler (cello) Flemish Radio Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins rec. 22-24 March 2006, Studio 4, Flagey, Brussels. DDD World premiere recordings KLARA ETCETERA KTC4017 [66:10] [RB]

Lavish late-romantic music with the echoes of Russian nationalist zest. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Alberto GINASTERA (1916–1983) Panambí Op.1 (1937) [39:10] Estancia Op.8 (1941)a [33:22] Luis Gaeta (narrator, bass-baritone)a London Symphony Orchestra/Gisèle Ben-Dor rec. Abbey Road Studios, London, May 1997 NAXOS 8.557582 [72:32][HC]

These scores teem with life-asserting energy … a self-commending release of these indispensable readings of two of Ginastera’s most readily attractive scores. ... see Full Review

Philip GLASS (b.1937) Notes on a Scandal (film Soundtrack) (2006) Music conducted by Michael Reisman rec. Air Studios, London. 2006 DECCA 475 8661 [50:51][IL]

A relentlessly dour, obsessive downbeat score but Glass’s imaginative writing sustains interest. ... see Full Review

Louis Moreau GOTTSCHALK (1829-1869) Deuxième Banjo, Op.82 [4:47] Solitude, Op.65 [4:06] La Brise (valse de concert) [4:01] Souvenir de la Havane (grande caprice de concert) [6:01] Le chant du martyr (grande caprice religieux) [6 :15] Manchega (étude de concert) [3 :42] La Savane (ballade créole) [6 :20] Union (paraphrase de concert on the national airs “ Star Spangled Banner”, “Yankee Doodle” and “Hail Columbia”) [8:44] Lambert Orkis (piano) rec. May 1982, Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA (re-mastered 2006). BRIDGE 9206 [43:56] [SA]

The disc is an interesting addition to the discography of this thoroughly original composer. ... see Full Review

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) The Complete Music for Piano Eva Knardahl, Love Derwinger (piano) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Kjell Ingebretsen Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Jun’ichi Hirokami rec: 1977-1980, Nacka Aula, Sweden (CDs 1-10); December 1978, Henry Wood Hall, London, England (Piano Concerto); March 1993, Linnköping Concert Hall, Sweden, and May 1993, Nybrokajen, Sweden (CDs 11-12). ADD/DDD BIS CD1626/28 [12 CDs: 65:21 + 66:54 + 62:05 + 64:47 + 66:29 + 70:00 + 64:52 + 65:56 + 72:24 + 65:30 + 62:14 + 60:34] [KM]

Given price, completeness and quality, there is little reason to hesitate. Even if previously you've only sampled Grieg, this budget set is a fine reason to discover the full range of his piano works. ... see Full Review

Patrick HADLEY (1899-1973) The Trees So High – Symphonic Ballad in A minor (1931) [34:07] Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Intimations of Immortality. Ode for tenor, chorus and orchestra (1950) [43:12] Thomas Allen (baritone)/Guildford Philharmonic Choir/Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley (Hadley) Ian Partridge (tenor)/Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir/Vernon Handley (Finzi) rec. 1979 (Hadley) and 1975 (Finzi) LYRITA SRCD.238 [77:19][JW]

Don’t waste a second worrying about duplication – what’s ten pounds against eternity? ... see Full Review

Adolphus HAILSTORK (b. 1941) Symphony No. 3: (i) Vivace [12:00] (ii) Moderato [12:04]; (iii) Scherzo [4:45] (iv) Finale: Moderato [11:55] Symphony No. 2 (1999): (i) Allegro [8:00]; (ii) Grave [10:59]; Allegro con brio [4:43]; (iv) Adagio – Allegro [13:05] Grand Rapids Symphony/David Lockington rec. De Vos performance Hall, Michigan, 5 November 2002 (No. 2); 23 November 2003 (No. 3). DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559295 [77:32] [PCW]

Works that push back no boundaries but support the notion that the symphony may yet be alive and well … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Tobit, (Oratorio in Three Parts (1764?) compiled by John Christopher Smith, 1712-1795) [2:36:22] Maya Boog (soprano ‘Anna’) Linda Perillo (soprano ‘Sarah’) Barbara Hannigan (soprano ‘Azarias’/’Raphael’) Alison Browner (mezzo ‘Tobias’) Knut Schoch (tenor ‘Tobit’) Stephan MacLeod (bass ‘Raguel’) Junge Kantorei Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra/Joachim Carlos Martini rec. 3 June, 2001, Kloster Eberbach, Rheingau, Germany. DDD NAXOS 8.570113-14 [76:22 + 80:00][MS]

An oddity, not to say rarity, assembled from words sourced by Thomas Morell and music mostly by Handel … makes surprisingly good listening ... see Full Review

William Henry HARRIS (1883-1973) Choral Music O Hearken Thou (1937) [2:32] Strengthen ye the weak hands (1949) [7:47] Faire is the heav’n (1925) [5:47] Love of love (1935) [5:23] King of Glory (1925) [5:24] Praise the Lord (1938) [10:30] The night is come (1961) [10:23] The shepherd-men (1933) [2:50] O joyful night (1939) [4:45] From a heart made whole (1936) [3:23] I said to the man (1969) [2:20] Bring us, O Lord God (1955) [4:24] The Choir of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle/Timothy Byram-Wigfield Roger Judd (organ) rec. St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, 23-25 January 2006 NAXOS 8.570148 [65:45][WK]

A diverse collection of Harris anthems, with three works never before recorded. ... see Full Review

Karl Amadeus HARTMANN (1905-1963) Sinfonia tragica (1940-43) [23:35] Concerto for Viola and Piano accompanied by wind instruments and percussion (1954-56) [27:12] Tatjana Masurenko (viola) Frank-Immo Zichner (piano) Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Marek Janowski rec. Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, November 2002 CAPRICCIO 71112 [50:51] [JW]

A powerful presence … this uniquely valuable coupling is a must ... see Full Review

Johann Michael HAYDN (1737-1806) completed by P. Gunther KRONECKER (1803-1847) Requiem in B [47:38] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) God is our refuge KV 20 (1765) [1:03] Misericordias Domini KV 222 (1775) [6:27] Venite populi KV 260 (1776) [4:51] Ave verum corpus KV 618 (1791) [2:45] Lydia Teuscher (soprano); Manami Kusano (mezzo); Julian Prégardien (tenor); Jens Hamann (bass); KammerChor Saarbrucken, Kammerphilharmonie Mannheim / Georg Grün rec. 4-5 March 2006, Funkhaus Halberg, Grosser Sendesaal, Saarbrücken CARUS 83.353 [62:46][GPu]

More of a historical curiosity than an entirely satisfying work, this Requiem begun by Michael Haydn and completed by Kronecker is probably of mainly specialist interest  … see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartet in D major Op.64 No.5 Hob III:63 The Lark (1783) [18:56] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quartet in D minor K421 [417b] (1783) [20:21] Clarinet Quintet in A major K581 (1789) [28:07] Ivan Mozgovenko (clarinet) Borodin Quartet rec. Moscow 1958 (Haydn); 1964 (Mozart Quartet); Moscow 1969 (Mozart Clarinet Quintet) MELODIYA MEL CD 10 01021 [67:54][JW]

Admirers of the Borodin vintage 1958 and 1964-69 can luxuriate in these fine sounding and very mellow performances. ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Haydn sonatas on early pianos Piano sonata in A flat major, Hob. XVI:43 (1783) [13:28] Piano sonata in A major, Hob. XVI:26 (1773) [9:37] Piano sonata in C major, Hob. XVI:50* (c.1794/5) [17:35] Piano sonata in D major, Hob. XVI:51* (?c.1794/5) [6:11] Richard Burnett (Rosenberger fortepiano, *Broadwood fortepiano) rec. Finchcocks, Goudhurst, Kent, January 1979. AAD AMON RA CD-SAR 5 [47:02] [MG]

Time hasn’t diminished the quality of these performances and the recording still sounds well. … see Full Review

Jennifer HIGDON (b. 1962) Piano Trio (2003) [13:21]* Voices (1993) [17:31]+ Impressions (2003) [26:50]# Anne Akiko Meyers (violin)*; Alisa Weilerstein (cello)*; Adam Neiman (piano)*; Nicholas Kitchen; Melissa Kleinbart (violins)+; Hsin-Yun Huang (viola)+; Wilhelmina Smith (cello)+; The Cypress String Quartet# rec. Vilar Center for the Arts, Beaver Creek, Colorado, 15 July, 2003 (live première recording)*; Adrian Carr Studios, New York, February 1995 +; Skywalker Ranch, California, May 2003#. DDD NAXOS 8.559298 [57:42][TP]

Higdon’s voice deserves to be heard and hearing it is a pleasure ... see Full Review

Alfred HOLLINS (1865-1942) Organ Works Concert Overture in C major (1889) [8.33] Benediction Nuptiale (1898) [5:38] A Trumpet Minuet (1929) [5:01] Allegretto grazioso (1906) [4:31] Concert Overture in C minor (1899) [7:48] Evening Rest (1917) [7:28] Concert Overture in F minor (1922) [8:52] Andante in D (1895) [9:50] A Song of Sunshine (1913) [4:49] Maytime Gavotte (1927) [3:54] Theme with Variations and Fugue (1911) [13:13] Timothy Byram-Wigfield (organ) rec. 22-23 February 2006, Caird Hall, Dundee. DDD DELPHIAN DCD34044 [79:40][JF]

The touchstone for all enthusiasts of Alfred Hollins music. Excellent value for money with fine playing, great repertoire and the fantastic sound ... see Full Review

Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785) St John Passion HoWV.I.4 (c1770-1780) Jana Reiner (soprano) – Magdalene (arias) Katja Fischer (soprano) – Magdalene Fritz Vitzthum (counter-tenor) - Diener Jan Kobow (tenor) – Evangelist Tobias Berndt (bass) – Jesus Clemens Heidrich (bass) – Pilate Kruzianer Stephan Keucher (tenor) – Knecht Kruzianer Christian Lutz (tenor) - Peter Dresdener Kreuzchor Dresden Baroque Orchestra/Roderich Kreile rec. Lukaskirche, Dresden, March 2006 CARUS 83.261 [52:21 + 66:49] [JW]

Searching, sympathetic and successful … amazing to think that these works have never been recorded before. ... see Full Review

Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785) Ein Lammlein geht und tragt die Schuld – Passion Cantata HoWV.I.2 (published 1775) Monika Mauch (soprano) Bogna Bartosz (mezzo) Markus Brutscher (tenor) Hans Christoph Begemann (bass) Basler Madrigalisten Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik/Friz Naf rec. Reformerte Kirche Arlesheim, March 2006 CARUS 83.262 [59:30 + 34:17] [JW]

The writing is simple, direct and unaffected. Though the quality of the music is such that it makes its appearance highly desirable. ... see Full Review

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Legend for piano and orchestra (1933) [12:43] Overture Satyricon (1946) [8:43] Piano Concerto (1930) [24:45] These Things Shall Be (1937) [19:44] Two symphonic studies: Fugue; Toccata (arr. Geoffrey Bush) () [11:13] Eric Parkin (piano) John Carol Case (baritone) London Philharmonic Choir/Frederic Jackson London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1966, 1968, 1971. ADD LYRITA SRCD.241 [77:13] [RB]

This is the essential John Ireland in performances as freshly conceived and played as they were when first issued almost four decades ago .... see Full Review

Adrian JACK (b.1943) String Quartet No.3 (1996) [13:29] String Quartet No.4 (1999) [12:00] 08.02.01 (2000) [4:16] String Quartet No.5 (2000) [12:04] String Quartet No.6 (Serenade) (2002) [13:41] The Arditti String Quartet: Irvine Arditti, Graeme Jennings (violin); Ralf Ehlers (viola); Rohan de Saran (cello) rec. June 2005, All Saints’ Church, East Finchley, London DEUX-ELLES DXL 1116 [57:00][GPu]

Concise, thoughtful, stimulating string quartets, blessed with the great artistry of the Arditti … see Full Review

André JOLIVET (1905-1974) Chant de Linos for flute, violin, viola, cello and harp (1944) [5:50] Sonate for flute and piano* (1958) [15:58] Cinq incantations for flute solo (1936) [16:55] Suite en Concert for flute and percussion (1965) [15:59] Cabrioles for flute and piano* (1953) [1:10] Eline van Esch (flute) and Ensemble Gerard Bouwhuis (piano)* rec. Frits Philips Concert Hall, Eindhoven, September 2005 ETCETERA KTC1322 [62:38][DC]

Eline van Esch is an excellent soloist and advocate for Jolivet’s music ... see Full Review

Johann Wenzel KALLIWODA (1801-1866) String Quartet No. 1 in E minor, Op. 61 (pub. 1835) [26:01] String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 62 (pub. 1836) [19:52] String Quartet No. 3 in G major, Op. 90 (pub. 1838) [30:13] Quatuor Talich (Talich Quartet): (Jan Talich, violin; Petr Macecek, violin; Vladimir Bukac, viola; Petr Prause, cello) rec. March 2005, ArcoDiva Studio, Prague, Czech Republic. DDD CALLIOPE CAL9357 [76:22] [MC]

Excellent performances. These neglected but highly gratifying Kalliwoda quartets demand to be heard by a wide audience. Admirers of Haydn, Mozart and Mendelssohn will be in their element ... see Full Review

Franz LACHNER (1803-1890) Requiem in F minor Op.146 (1856) [59.15] Marina Ulewicz (soprano) Ruby Hughes (soprano) Roxana Constantinescu (alto) Colin Balzer (tenor) Gerhard Werlitz (tenor) Günther Papendell (bass) Kammersolisten Augsburg/Hermann Meyer rec. Church of St Georg, Augsburg, 25-27 March 2006. DDD CARUS 83.178 [59.15] [CF]

A fairly worthy work, the soloists are generally good, the conductor paces it all well. From the byways this makes a welcome addition to the catalogue in which, to date, Lachner’s music is usually confined to chamber music and song. ... see Full Review

Pierre de LA RUE (c. 1460-1518) Missa pro defunctis [27:29] Josquin DES PRES (c. 1450-1521) Missa: Hercules Dux Ferrariae [22:36]; La Deploration de Johannes Ockeghem [6:13] New London Chamber Choir/James Wood rec. St. Barnabas Church, Finchley, November 1985 AMON RA CD-SAR 24 [56:34][RH]

This is an attractive disc and only occasionally do the choir’s very high standards lapse. Fine musicality ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Morten LAURIDSEN (b. 1943) Mid-Winter Songs (1983) [19:03] Les Chansons des roses (1993) [17:12] I will lift up mine eyes (1970) [3:14]* O come, let us sing unto the Lord (1970) [3:22]* Ave, dulcissima Maria (2005) [7:04]* Nocturnes (2005) [14:39] Polyphony, Britten Sinfonia (1), Polyphony, Morten Lauridsen (piano) (2, 6); Polyphony, Andrew Lumsden (4)/Stephen Layton * first recordings rec. Temple Church, London, 3-4 January 2006. Midwinter Songs: St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, 3 April 2006. DDD HYPERION CDA67580 [65:17] [JQ]

I recommend this new disc from Polyphony without reservation. Though 2007 is only two months old I feel sure this will be one of my Recordings of the Year ... see Full Review

Peter LIEBERSON (b. 1946) Neruda Songs (2005) [31:11]: (Si no fuera porque tus ojos tienen color de luna [5:04]; Amor, amor, las nubes a la torre del cielo [5:48]; No estés lejos de mi un solo día, porque cómo [6:23]; Ya eres mía. Reposa con tu sueño en mi sueño [7:26]; Amor mío, si muero y tú no mueres [7:10]) Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo) Boston Symphony Orchestra/James Levine rec. 25-26 November 2005, Boston Symphony Hall NONESUCH 79954-2 [31:11] [JQ]

It has been a deeply moving and satisfying experience for me to become acquainted with these wonderful, luminous songs. An outstanding disc. ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat major, S.124 (1830-49, rev. 1853 & 56) [17:48] Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11 (1830) [38:32] Yundi Li (piano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Andrew Davis rec. July 2006 Watford Colosseum, London, England. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 6402 [56:26][MC]

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Melodies (Hungarian Fantasia) S.123, R.454 (c. 1852) (based on Hungarian Rhapsody No.14 in F minor for solo piano, S.244) [14:07] Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat major, S.124, R.455, (1830-49, rev. 1853, 1856) [17:55] Piano Concerto No.2 in A major, S.125 (1839-40, rev. 1849, 1861) [20:50] Totentanz (Dance of death), Paraphrase on the ‘Dies irae’ for piano and orchestra, S.126, R.457, (1849, rev. 1853, 1859) [15:22] Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano) Orchestre-Symphonique de Montréal/Charles Dutoit rec. May, October 1990, St. Eustache, Montreal, Canada. DDD DECCA ELOQUENCE 442 8833 [68:32] [MC]

Thibaudet performs these four Liszt scores admirably with the benefit of excellent sound quality. This is certainly worth considering and I’m sure that many will be attracted to the well-chosen all-Liszt programme. ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos.1-14 Hungarian Rhapsody No.1 in E major [10:22] Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 in C sharp [7:05] Hungarian Rhapsody No.3 in B flat minor [4:03] Hungarian Rhapsody No.4 in E flat minor [4:20] Hungarian Rhapsody No.5 in E minor Héroïde-élegiaque [4:21] Hungarian Rhapsody No.6 in D flat [5:51] Hungarian Rhapsody No.7 in D minor [4:33] Hungarian Rhapsody No.8 in F sharp minor Capriccio [5:06] Hungarian Rhapsody No.9 in E flat major Carnaval de Pesth [9:22] Hungarian Rhapsody No.10 in E major Preludio [4:46] Hungarian Rhapsody No.11 in A minor [4:44] Hungarian Rhapsody No.12 in C sharp minor [7:55] Hungarian Rhapsody No.13 in A minor [7:22] Hungarian Rhapsody No.14 in F minor [7:01] Marche de Rákóczy in A minor [2:47] Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C sharp [7:49] Hungarian Rhapsody No.14 in F minor [8:33] Concerto Pathétique in E minor for two pianos, four hands [8:33] + Mark Hambourg (piano) Michal Hambourg (piano) + rec. London 1926-34 APR 7040 [66:13 + 58:11][JW]

Not an infallible finger technician but a bravura sense of projection and drama compensate as do the rippling delicacies, Olympian rubato and cimbalom effects ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Symphonic Poems, Vol. 4 No. 9: Hungaria, S103, (1848-54) [21:52] No. 8: Héroïde funèbre (Heldenklage), S102 (1848-50, rev.1854) [23:19] No. 2: Le Triomphe funèbre du Tasse, S112, No.3 (1866) [13:05] New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Michael Halász rec. 30 May-1 June 2005, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand. DDD NAXOS 8.557847 [58:16] [MC]

Everyone in sterling form. This series has gone from strength to strength.  ... see Full Review

Alonso LOBO (1555-1617) Missa ‘Simile est Regnum Caelorum’ [24:03] Missa ‘Petre ego pro te rogavi’ [20:36] Vivo ego, dicit Dominus [3:00] Francisco GUERRERO (1528-1599) Simile est Regnum Caelorum [4:17] Petre ego pro te rogavi [3:57] Musica Ficta (Eva Juárez (soprano); Pilar Moral (soprano) (Agnus Dei, Missa ‘Simile est Regnum Caelorum’; Sanctus and Agnus Dei, Missa Petre ego pro te rogav’); Marta Infante (contralto); Miguel Bernal (tenor); Luis Vicente (bass) (‘Agnus Dei’, ‘Missa ‘Simile est Regnum Caelorum’’); Héctor Guerrero (bass)); María Crisol (bassoon); Raúl Mallavibarrena rec. July, 2006, Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Benalauría (Málaga). DDD ENCHIRIADIS EN 2016 [52:56] [MS]

Enjoyable and instructive but lacks the ultimate polish of, say, The Tallis Scholars. … 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]


= Untitled Document

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