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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]


RECORDING OF THE MONTH Charles-Henri Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Douze Études dans les Tons Mineurs Op. 39 Comme le vent (Like the wind) (A minor) [5:30] En Rythme Molossique (In Molossian Rhythm) (D Minor) [8:44] Scherzo Diabolico (G minor) [4:30] Allegro (C minor) [10:37] Marche Funčbre (F minor) [6:53] Menuet (B-flat minor) [5:41] Finale (E-flat minor) [4:44] Allegro Assai (G-sharp minor) [30:48] Adagio (C-sharp minor) [11:51] Allegro alla Barbaresca (F-sharp minor) [11:03] Ouverture (B minor) [15:49] Le Festin d’Esope (Aesop’s Banquet) (E minor) [9:50] Stephanie McCallum (piano) rec. 28 July 2004 (4-7); 11 February 2005 (1-3); 6 October 2005 (8-10); 12 December 2005 (11); 6 December 1999 (12), Eugene Goossens Hall of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Ultimo Centre, Sydney. DDD ABC CLASSICS 4765335 [46:44 + 79:31] [WK]

A superlative set of the complete Op. 39 études-unsurpassed pianism and enthusiasm ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Edgar BAINTON (1880-1956) Symphony No. 3 in C minor (1956) [42:09] Rutland BOUGHTON (1878-1960) Symphony No. 1 Oliver Cromwell (1905) [36:58] Roderick Williams (bar) (Boughton) BBC Concert Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford. 12-13 July 2006. DDD DUTTON CDLX 7185 [79:26] [RB]

Resplendently carried off. Bainton 3: treasurable, impressionistic, phantasmal and refulgently orchestrated … a work of ineffable beauty and wild insight. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Arthur BENJAMIN (1893-1960) Overture to an Italian Comedy (1937) [6:21] Cotillon, A Suite of Dance Tunes (1938) [12:12] North American Square Dance Suite (1951) [13:48] Symphony (1945) [44:22] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Myer Fredman (overture); London Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite (Cotillon); London Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth (Dance Suite; Symphony) rec. 1971, 1982. ADD/DDD LYRITA SRCD.314 [76:50] [RB]

Benjamin’s light and serious sides generously represented in vivid performances and with recording to match ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op. 115 (1891) [34:39] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Clarinet Quintet movement in B flat major, K516 (c.1791) [8:26] Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Reverie Orientale, op. 14, no. 2 (1886) [6:54] Wiliiam SWEENEY (b. 1950) An Og-Mhadainn (1979) [11:45] Lesley Schatzberger (clarinets) Fitzwilliam String Quartet rec. National Centre for Early Music, York, 15-16, 19-20 May 2005. DDD LINN RECORDS CKD 278 [62:28] [MG]

This is a challenging disc for all the right reasons. Not always comfortable listening but rewarding. And a great range of perspectives. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 in E (1881-83, ed. Haas) [65:39] NDR Symphony Orchestra/Günter Wand rec. live, Musik- und Kongresshalle, Lübeck, 28 August 1999. DDD TDK DVWW-COWAND8 [65:39][CC]

Unhesitatingly recommended to all Brucknerians. This DVD cycle is a lasting monument to one of the great Bruckner conductors. ... 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

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]

Yundi Li excites and delights with these warhorses. He proves to be a performer of significant stature. A remarkable concerto recording debut. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950) Sinfonietta (1944) [23:16] Symphony in G minor* (1937) [44:24] Overture for a Masque (1944) [10:36] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult New Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult* rec. 1968, 1970, 1975. ADD LYRITA SRCD.247 [78:55] [RB]

Classic versions still unmatched and now stealing with nonchalant confidence the poll place in the Moeran discography ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto in D (1878) [35:53]Sérénade mélancolique for violin and orchestra (1875) [9:27] Valse-Scherzo for violin and orchestra (1877) [7:46] Souvenir d’un lieu cher (Souvenir of a beloved place) for violin and piano (1878) [15:54]* Julia Fischer (violin) Yakov Kreizberg (piano)* Russian National Orchestra/Yakov Kreizberg rec. Souvenir: MCO Studio 5, Hilversum, April 2006; DZZ Studio 5, Moscow, April 2006 PENTATONE PTC5186095 [68:25] [IL]

Fischer’s awesome talent makes for a performance that can compare with the best in this very popular concerto. Imaginative, intelligent programming ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Wasps overture (1909) [9:59] A Sea Symphony (1909) [66:20] Susan Gritton (soprano) Gerald Finley (baritone) London Symphony Chorus London Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox rec. Barbican Centre, London, 3-4 June 2006. DDD CHANDOS CHSA 5047 [76:17][MG]

Overall the recording, playing and singing of this Hickox version set a new standard … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868) Giorgio Tozzi (bass) – Hans Sachs; Ernst Wiemann (bass) – Veit Pogner; Willy Hartmann (tenor) – Kunz Vogelgesang; William Workman (baritone) – Konrad Nachtigall; Toni Blankenheim (bass-baritone) – Sixtus Beckmesser; Hans-Otto Kloose (baritone) – Fritz Kothner; Kurt Marschner (tenor) – Balthasar Zorn; Wilfried Plate (tenor) – Ulrich Eisslinger; Jürgen Förster (tenor) – Augustin Moser; Franz Grundheber (bass) – Hermann Ortel; Carl Schultz (bass) – Hans Schwarz; Karl Otto (bass) – Hans Foltz; Richard Cassilly (tenor) – Walther von Stolzing; Gerhard Unger (tenor) – David; Arlene Saunders (soprano) – Eva; Ursula Boese (mezzo-soprano) – Magdalene; Vladimir Ruzdak (baritone) – A Night Watchman Chorus of the Hamburg State Opera; Ballet of the Hamburg State Opera Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra/Leopold Ludwig; Set Design: Herbert Kirchhoff; Costumes: Rudolf Heinrich; Directed by Leopold Lindtberg; Directed for TV by Joachim Hess rec. Hamburg State Opera, 1970 Sound format: mono; Picture format: 4:3 Colour ARTHAUS MUSIC 101 273 (2 DVDs) [240:00] [GF]

When in the future I want to bask in the humour, warmth and humanity of Wagner’s brightest creation, this is probably the version I will return to most often. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH The Cold Dancer – Contemporary String Quartets from Scotland Kenneth DEMPSTER (b.1962) String Quartet No.4 (The Cold Dancer) (2005) [12:22] James CLAPPERTON (b.1968) The Great Divorce for String Quartet (1990) [16:03] Judith WEIR (b.1954) String Quartet (1990) [13:23] William SWEENEY (b.1950) String Quartet No.3 (2004) [36:34] Edinburgh Quartet rec. no details DELPHIAN DCD34038 [78:24][JW]

Wherever they were written these are fine works by four excellent composers. Not always pretty – but invariably on the money emotively. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Exposed Throat Heinz Karl GRUBER (b. 1943) Exposed Throat (2000) [11:22] Daniel BÖRTZ (b. 1943) Mĺlning (2000) [8:53] Poul RUDERS (b. 1949) Reveille-Retraite (2003) [10:04] Robert HENDERSON (b. 1948) Variations Movements (1967) Robin HOLLOWAY (b. 1943) Sonata for Solo Trumpet Op.94a (1999) [21:43] Hĺkan Hardenberger (trumpet) rec. Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden, January and March 2004 BIS CD-1281 [62:00] [HC]

Hardenberger navigates fearlessly and almost effortlessly through all these demanding, but ultimately highly rewarding pieces. A magnificent release ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Leopold Stokowski Otto KLEMPERER (1885-1973) Merry Waltz from the opera Das Ziel (1915) [3:02] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) [17:02] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Rapsodie espagnole (1908) [16:02] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No.4 in E minor Op.98 (1885) [37:36] Ottokar NOVÁČEK (1866-1900) Perpetuum mobile Op.5 No.4 transcribed Leopold Stokowski (1940) [3:55] š New Philharmonia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski London Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski š rec. Royal Albert Hall, 14 May 1974; 21 September 1974 (Nováček) BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4205-2 [78:24][JW]

This Brahms Fourth - the most exciting, galvanizing and convincing of all Stokowski’s efforts. ... see Full Review



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hugo ALFVÉN (1872-1960) Symphony No. 5 in A minor, Op. 54 (19432-1958) [53:58] Andante religioso from Revelation Cantata, Op. 31 (1913) [3:49]* Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Niklas Willén rec. De Geer Hall, Norrköping, Sweden, 15-17 June 2004; 23-27 May, 2005*. DDD NAXOS 8.557612 [57:47][TP]

Lovers of the romantic symphony should invest in this disc without delay.  Whatever the faults of this music, its freshness, flashes of original genius and the stunning playing offer more than ample compensation. ... see Full Review

BARGAINS OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Das Wohltemperierte Klavier: Book I, BWV 846-869 (1722) [133.07] Wanda Landowska (Pleyel harpsichord) rec. 1949-1951, New York; Lakeville, Connecticut; USA. ADD Transfer produced by Mark Obert-Thorn. Notes in English. Original matrix numbers and recording dates and places. Photo of artist. NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110314-15 [64.00 + 69.07]
Das Wohltemperierte Klavier
: Book II, BWV 870-893 (1742) [180.04] Prelude, Fugue, & Allegro, BWV 998 (1743) [12.50] Wanda Landowska (Pleyel harpsichord) rec. 1949-1951, Lakeville, Connecticut; USA. ADD Transfer produced by Mark Obert-Thorn. Notes in English. Original matrix numbers and recording dates and places. Photo of artist. NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111061-63 [3 CDs: 61.33 + 66.43 + 64.38] [PSh]

An untarnishable masterpiece of a recording, a musical monument, even if in some places it doesn’t sound very good. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.9 in D Minor Op.125 Choral (1824) Elizabeth Schwarzkopf (sop); Elisabeth Hoengen (cont); Hans Hopf (ten); Otto Edelmann (bass) Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 29 July 1951, Festpielhaus, Bayreuth. ADD Reissue Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS 8.11060 [74:19] [SH]

Not just recommended but absolutely essential to any civilised person. ... 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

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

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

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/Gisčle 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

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Elisabeth Schwarzkopf singt Mozart-Arien 1. Le nozze di Figaro: Giunse alfin il momento … Deh vieni, non tardar 2. Don Giovanni: Vedrai carino 3-4 Le nozze di Figaro: Porgi amor; Voi che sapete 5 Don Giovanni: Crudele? … Non mi dir 6 Le nozze di Figaro: Non so piů cosa son 7 Idomeneo: Zeffiretti lusinghieri 8 Don Giovanni: Batti, batti, o bel Masetto 9 Le nozze di Figaro: Dove sono 10 Don Giovanni: In quali eccessi ... Mi tradi, quell’alma ingrata 11 Il re pastore: L’amerň sarň costante 12-13 Die Entführung aus dem Serail: Welcher Kummer herrscht in meiner Seele;  Martern aller Arten Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Philharmonia Orchestra/John Pritchard (1–9), Josef Krips (10); Wiener Philharmoniker/Josef Krips (11-12), Herbert von Karajan (13) rec. London, 1 July  (4, 8), 2 July (1, 2, 6), 4 July (3, 5), 9 September (9), 16 September (7) 1952; in Vienna, 23 October (13), October (12); 2 November (11) 1946, 26 September 1947 (10) PREISER RECORDS 93444 [73:26] [GF]

I admire the whole recital tremendously and recommend it strongly to every listener with even a remote interest in Mozart-singing - or singing in general. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor (1892) [12:39] Trio élégiaque No. 2 in D minor, Op. 9 (1893) [44:44] Valeri Grohovski (piano), Eduard Wulfson (violin), Dmitri Yablonsky (cello) rec. 6-7 September 2005, Potton Hall Suffolk NAXOS 8.557423 [57:23] [TB]

Make no mistake; this is one of the most successful recordings of chamber music one could wish to encounter, and to have it available at budget price is a cause for celebration... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Complete Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 8 Sonata in A Kk181 [3:42] Sonata in E Kk496 [4:48] Sonata in C Kk420 [4:25] Sonata in F minor Kk466 [6:39] Sonata in B flat Kk441 [2:59] Sonata in B minor Kk87 [6:13] Sonata in D Kk96 [4:50] Sonata in G minor Kk426 [5:48] Sonata in A flat Kk127 [5:29] Sonata in F minor Kk462 [5:18] Sonata in A minor Kk382 [2:24] Sonata in C Kk485 [5:08] Sonata in A Kk101 [4:27] Soyeon Lee (piano) rec. Performing Arts Centre, Country Day School, Ontario, Canada, 6-8 January 2006 DDD NAXOS 8.570010 [62:10] [PCW]

The recording is worth a special mention – well up to the high standard Norbert Kraft has previously set on various discs for this label. The documentation is also decent and the only thing that feels cheap about this disc is the price. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) [17:06] The Wasps (Overture) (1909) [9:07] Fantasia on ‘Greensleeves’ (1928) [4:36] George BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916) The Banks of Green Willow (1913) [5:47] Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma) Op.36 (1899) [31:13] London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn rec. Kingsway Hall, London, 26 January 1979 and No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, 27-28 November 1978 (The Wasps, Enigma Variations), 30 November 1971 (Greensleeves), and 15-16 December 1976 (Green Willow). British Composers Series EMI CLASSICS 3 82157 2 [68:25] [DC]

Previn’s characterisations in the ‘Enigma’ variations populate your room with real people…... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ashokan Farewell/Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster Jay UNGAR Ashokan Farewell [5:10] Molly MASON Bound for Another Harvest Home [4:05] Jay UNGAR Prairie Spring [3:42] Jay UNGAR Haymaker’s Hoedown [2:45] 15th Century German, arr. Jay UNGAR and Molly MASON Solstice Hymn [2:54] Jay UNGAR Thanksgiving Waltz [3:46] TRADITIONAL, arr. Jay UNGAR, Molly MASON & Balfa Toujours La Chanson de Mardi Gras [3:50] William STEPP/Aaron COPLAND, arr. Jay UNGAR Bonaparte’s Retreat/Hoedown [5:09] Stephen FOSTER (1826-1864), arr. Jay UNGAR and Molly MASON with David ALPHER Violin solo [0:25] Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair [4:17] Hard times, come again no more [5:13] The Voice of Bygone Days [3:56] Foster Favourites Medley [3:50] Beautiful Dreamer [3:53] That’s what’s the matter [3:18] Old Home Medley [4:56] Sweetly she sleeps, my Alice fair [3:27] My wife is a most knowing woman [3:47] Linger in blissful repose [3:07] Ah! May the red rose live alway [5:21] Jay Ungar (violin); Molly Mason (guitar); Thomas Hampson (baritone); David Alpher (piano) Balfa Toujours appear on La Chanson de Mardi Gras Nashville Chamber Orchestra/Paul Gambill, appears on Bonaparte’s Retreat/Hoedown rec. BMG Studios, New York, 8-9 April, 6 May, 8-10 July 1992; Great Hall, Glen Tonche Studios, Woodstock, New York and Austin Pea State University, Clarksville, Tennessee, 1999. DDD EMI CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 0946 3 82225 2 1 [77:21][PG]

Rife with near-magical moments. It would be difficult to recommend an album more highly. ... 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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