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[Recommended recordings]

Elliott CARTER (b. 1908) A Labyrinth of Time Directed by Frank Scheffer, Featuring interviews with Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez and others. Released 2004, filmed in New York with archival footage from Berlin, Paris and other locales. ALLEGRI FILM/IDEAL AUDIENCES INTERNATIONAL DVD9DS17 [90:00] [KS]

An intimate portrait of an uncompromising musician spanning a significant portion of his creative life. A fine aid in understanding the challenging and difficult music of a significant American composer. ... see Full Review

Luigi CHERUBINI (1760–1842) Symphony in D major (1815) [30:02] Médée (Medea): Overture (1797) [7:49] Faniska: Overture (1806) [7:39] Lodoïska: Overture (1791) [10:32] Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo/Piero Bellugi rec. July 2005, Casino di Sanremo, Italy. DDD NAXOS 8.557908 [56:07][MC]

Cherubini’s Symphony in D major is unremarkable overall but certainly worthy of the occasional outing. Much attention has gone into this performance and it becomes my first choice version. ... see Full Review

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Great Pianists - Cortot: Volume 4 Piano Sonata No.2 in B flat minor Op.35 (1839) [17:01] Piano Sonata No.3 in B minor Op.58 (1844) [23:22] Six Chants Polonaise Op. 74 (arr. Liszt S480/R145) No. 2. Frühling (Wiosna, Spring) [2:34] No. 3. Das Ringlein (Pierscien, The Ring) [2:05] No. 5. Mein Freuden (Moja pieszczotka, My Joys) [3:23] Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22 [4:49] Polonaise No. 6 in A flat major, Op. 53, "Heroic" [6:30] Polonaise No. 7 in A flat major, Op. 61, "Polonaise-fantasie" [9:43] Alfred Cortot (piano) rec. London, June and December 1928 (Sonata No.2); July 1933 (Sonata No.3); March 1939 (Chants Polonaise); Camden, New Jersey, February 1923 (Grande Polonaise); London, July 1933 (Polonaise No.6) and London, 1947 (Polonaise No.7) NAXOS 8.111065 [69:28] [JW]

A valuable repository of some of the most charismatic and resourceful Chopin playing on record. ... see Full Review

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Great Pianists - Cortot: Volume 5 Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 (1835) [8:48] Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op. 38 (1839) [6:53] Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47 (1841) [6:43] Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52 (1842) [9:45] Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 in E flat major (1830-31) [4:20] Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 in E flat major (1830-31) [4:16] Nocturne Op. 15 No. 1 in F major [4:33] Nocturne Op. 15 No. 2 in F sharp major (1830-31) [3:22] Nocturne Op. 27 No. 1 in C sharp minor [4:40] Nocturne Op. 55 No. 1 in F minor [4:33] Nocturne Op. 55 No. 2 in E flat major [4:35] Alfred Cortot (piano) rec. Queen’s Small Hall, London 1929 (Ballades), EMI Abbey Road Studio, London 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951 (Nocturnes) NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111245 [62:29] [JW]

A triumphant end for the Cortot-Chopin series. Good restoration work allows us to hear these performances in all their disputatious but teeming glory ... see Full Review

Domenico CIMAROSA (1749-1801) Il Credulo (1786) [56:25]* Tiburno: Cesare Valleti (tenor); Don Catapazio: Sesto Bruscantini (bass-baritone); Norina: Dora Gatta (soprano); Madama Filinta: Elena Rizzieri (soprano); Lesbina: Maria Luisa Giorgetti (soprano); Filiberto: Mario Carlin (tenor); Astrolabio: Franco Calabrese (bass) Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) ‘Aprite un po’ quegli occhi’ (Le nozze di Figaro) (1786) [05:03] ** ‘Madamini, il catalogo è questo’ (Don Giovanni) ( 1787) [05:02] ** Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) ‘Ecco il factotum’ (Il barbiere di Siviglia) (1816) [04:54] ** Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) ‘ Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni’ (La sonnambula) (1831) [02:36] ** Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) ‘Oh, de’ verd’anni miei’ (Ernani) (1844) [04:51] ** * Orchestra Sinfonico e Coro di Milano della RAI/Alfredo Simonetti rec. May 17, 1956, Milan ** No orchestra/conductor details provided; rec. 1952-1954, Turin. ARCHIPEL ARPCD 0362 [79:06][GPu]

A pleasant comic opera in a live recording from the 1950s, though with poor sound plus five better sounding arias by the excellent Bruscantini … see Full Review

Arnold COOKE (1906-2005) Symphony No. 1 (1947) [36:40] Concerto in D for string orchestra (1948) [16:07] Jabez and the Devil – Suite from the Ballet (1959) [18:02] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite rec. Watford Town Hall, 1 February 1989 (Sym); Henry Wood Hall, London, 6 February 1988 (Concerto); Kingsway Hall, London, 7 January 1974 (Jabez) LYRITA SRCD.203 [70:53] [JF]

A great start to what must surely be a re-appraisal of Cooke’s orchestral music. An opportunity for the vast majority of listeners to discover this composer’s music for the first time. ... see Full Review

Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713) 12 Sonate a Violino e Violone o Cimbalo Op. V CD 1 Sonata in D, Op. 5,1 [12:02] Sonata in B flat, Op. 5,2 [10:23] Sonata in C, Op. 5,3 [11:57] Sonata in F, Op. 5,4 [10:31] Sonata in g minor, Op. 5,5 [10:47] Sonata in A, op. 5,6 [11:04] CD 2 Sonata in d minor, Op. 5,7 [08:44] Sonata in e minor, Op. 5,8 [11:16] Sonata in A, Op. 5,9 [11:23] Sonata in F, Op. 5,10 [09:19] Sonata in E, Op. 5,11 [07:59] Sonata in d minor, Op. 5,12 'Follia' [11:05] Stefano Montanari (violin) Accademia Bizantina/Ottavio Dantone rec. April, August 2002, Sala del Refettorio di S. Vitale, Ravenna, Italy ARTS 47724-8 [65:33 + 59:23][JV]

The most dramatic and exciting recording of Corelli's Opus 5 ... see Full Review

Brian Blyth DAUBNEY (b. 1929) October Roses 1.The Lent Lily [2:19] 2. March [2:56] 3. A Rose for Lidice [5:08] 4. She hath an Art [1:26] 5. Autumn, the Fool [1:52] 6. Echo and Narcissus [2:16] 7. The Frost [1:34] 8. Helen in Sparta [2:47] 9. Goblin Song [2:21] 10. Mother Redcap [2:59] 11. Hospital Grapes [2:54] 12. Young Friend [3:00] 13. The Singer [2:40] 14. I must go and sleep [2:37] 15. Absence [3:06] 16. Dirge for a Lady [2:58] 17. John Anderson, my Jo [1:44] 18. Wantage Bells [1:57] 19. Shed No Tear [2:55] 20. Natura Naturans [1:37] 21. The Storm [2:01] 22. The Lake Isle of Innisfree [3:19] 23. The Folly of Being Comforted [2:57] 24. The Sigh [4:33] 25. Lyonnesse [3:08] 26. The Fiddler of Dooney [1:35] 27. On the Death of Anne Brontë [4:05] 28. The Cloths of Heaven [1:39] 29. October Roses [1:26] 30. Resurrection Spiritual [2:58] Anna Dennis (soprano: 5-9, 15-20, 27-30); William Berger (baritone: 1-4, 10-14, 21-26) John Talbot (piano) rec. Music Hall of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, May-June 2006 BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY BMS433CD [79:00] [GB]

What a welcome issue this is from the enterprising British Music Society. ... see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Petite suite (1889) [12:11] Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire (1891) [5:32] Six épigraphes antiques (1914) [14:05] Symphonie in B minor (1880) [9:25] La Mer (1905) [23:34] Piano 4 Hands: (Joseph Tong; Waka Hasegawa (piano duet)) rec. The Warehouse, London, 14-15 February 2006 QUARTZ MUSIC QTZ2048 [64:50][DC]

Piano 4 Hands prove admirable Debussy interpreters. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La Mer: trois esquisses symphoniques (1903-05) [24:51] Claude DEBUSSY arranged for orchestra by Colin MATTHEWS (b. 1946) Préludes (1910-1912, arrs, 2001-06):- Brouillards (Book II No. 1) [4:03] Ce qu’a vu le vent d’Ouest (Book I, No. 7) [3:10] Minstrels (Book I No 12) [2:39] Canope (Book II No 10) [2:57] Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir (Book I No 4) [3:53] La Puerta del Vino (Book II No 3) [3:38] Général Lavine – eccentric (Book II No. 6) [3:15] Feuilles mortes (Book II No 2) [3:36] Les tierces alternées (Book II No. 11) [3:12] La danse de Puck (Book I No 11) [3:03] Le vent dans la plaine (Book I No 3) [2:55] La fille aux cheveux de lin (Book I No 8)*[5:00] Hallé Orchestra/Mark Elder rec. 14–16 July 2006; *2 August 2006, BBC Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester. DDD HALLÉ CD HLL 7513 [67:24][JQ]

This release is an out-and-out winner. ... see Full Review

Carl Ditters von DITTERSDORF (1739-1799) Sinfonia in D major, Grave D6 (1788) [19:46]  Sinfonia in A major, Grave A6 (1781) [13:02]  Sinfonia in E flat major, Grave Eb9 (1782) [29:08] Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra/Álvaro Cassutto rec. 20-23 September 2005, Igreja da Cartuxa, Caxias, Portugal NAXOS 8.570198 [61:56] [TB]

Dittersdorf is undoubtedly a composer who continues to deserve attention, and  in that sense this Naxos issue is a commendable enterprise. ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Lucia di Lammermoor - opera seria in Prologue and Two Acts (1835) Lucia Ashton - Désirée Rancatore (sop); Sir Edgardo, Lord of Ravenswood - Roberto De Basio (ten); Lord Enrico Ashton, Lucia’s brother - Luca Grassi (bar); Raimondo, Lucia’s tutor and adviser - Enrico Giuseppe Lori (bass); Lord Arturo Bucklaw, wealthy suitor of Lucia - Matteo Barca (ten); Alisa, Lucia’s companion - Tiziano Falco (mezzo); Normanno, an acolyte of Enrico - Vincenzo Maria Sarinelli (ten) Chorus and Orchestra of the Donizetti Musical Festival of Bergamo/Antonio Fogliani rec. live, Teatro Donizetti di Bergamo, Italy. October 2006 Director and Costume designer: Francesco Esposito. Set designer: Italo Grassi Filmed in High Definition. Presented in dts digital surround sound, Dolby, PCM 2.0. Vision 16:9 Colour. NTSC Menu language English. Subtitles in Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese. Notes and synopsis in Italian, English, German, Italian, French DYNAMIC 33535 [143:00] [RJF]

Although the singing is not of the highest class it is more than adequate. The straightforward staging focuses all attention on the story and the wonderful melodic music. As such it is particularly welcome ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Dom Sébastien Roi De Portugal - opera in five acts (1837) Zayda, a Moorish girl - Vesselina Kasarova (mezzo); Dom Sébastien, King of Portugal - Giuseppe Filianoti (ten); Dom Juam de Sylva, Grand Inquisitor - Alastair Miles (bass); Abayaldos, a chieftain - Simon Keenlyside (bar); Camoëns, a poet - Carmelo Corrado Caruso (bass); Dom Henrique - Robert Gleadow (bass); Dom Antonio - Lee Hickenbottom The Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, London/Mark Elder rec. Royal Opera House, London, 10, 13 September 2005; Ballet Music: Cadogan Hall, London, 11 September 2005. Concert performance using the critical edition of the music published by Ricordi in 2003. OPERA RARA ORC33 [3 CDs: 61.56 + 69.58 + 44.36][RJF]

If my highest hopes for this recording are not fully realised, there remains more than enough interest and satisfaction for me to keep returning and investigating the many virtues and surprises of Donizetti’s final opera. ... see Full Review

John DOWLAND (1563?-1626) Dowland's Tears: Lute Music Volume 2 Lacrimae Pavan [5.24]; Galliard to Lacrimae [2.41]; Pavan (P16) [5.13]; The Earl of Essex His Galliard [1.54]; Pavan (P18) [5.40]; Mr.Giles Hobie’s Galliard [1.55]; Dowland’s Tears (I saw my lady weep arr. North) [2.09]; Sir Henry Umpton’s Funeral [5.56]; Sir John Langton’s Pavan [5.48]; Langton’s Galliard [2.37]; Piper’s Pavan [5.16]; Captain Digorie Piper’s Galliard [1.54]; Dowland’s Adieu (P30) [4.58]; Galliard (P30) [1.59]; Mignarda (Henry Noel’s Galliard) [3.00]; Lacrimae (alternative version) [5.15]; Semper Dowland Semper Dolens [4.24] Nigel North (lute) rec. St.John’s Chrysostum Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, 16-19 June 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557862 [66.03] [GH]

An excellent follow-up to the first. North competes with any other lutenist. At Naxos’s excellent price this surely cannot be resisted. ... see Full Review

Odes to Saint Cecilia Giovanni Battista DRAGHI (c.1640-1708) From harmony, from heav’nly harmony (1687) [40:06] John BLOW (1649-1708) The glorious day is come (1691) [31:21] Suzie Le Blanc (soprano) Joseph Cornwell (tenor) Michael Chance (counter-tenor) Jozic Koc (bass) (Blow) Richard Wistreich (bass) (Draghi) The Parley of Instruments/Peter Holman The Playford Consort/Richard Wistreich rec. November 1994 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55257 [71:43] [JW]

Fine works, well performed if a trifle sedately. The recorded sound catches the intimate as well as the grand statements with clarity and warmth. ... see Full Review

Henri DUTILLEUX (b. 1916) Complete Solo Piano Music Sonata (1948) [24:56] Trois Préludes (1973-88) [15:17]: Au gré des ondes (1946) [11:44]; Hommage à Bach [2:48]; Etude [1:16] Bergerie (1947) [1:19] Tous les Chemins…mènent a Rome (1961) [1:42] Résonances (1965) [2:28]: Petit air à dormer debout [1:16]; Mini-prélude en éventail [1:06] John Chen (piano) rec. Genesis Concert Hall, Manukau City, Auckland, New Zealand, July 2005 NAXOS 8.557823 [61:23] [TH]

Chen’s beautifully graded pianism is hypnotic…I look forward to hearing more from him ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphonies: No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70 (1885) [38:48]; No. 8 in G, Op. 88 (1888) [36:18] Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Václav Talich rec. Abbey Road Studio No. 1, 23 November 1938 (No. 7); 23, 28 November 1935 (No. 8) ADD. NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111045 [73:06][CC]

It is difficult to find fault with an issue as consistent as this one, so it is just left for me to give my unqualified recommendation. ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No.8 in G major Op.88 (1898) [30:28]Slavonic Dance Op.46 No.1 B83 (1878) [4:16] Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884)The Bartered Bride – Overture (1866) [6:51] *Ma Vlast – Vltava (1874) [11:49] New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra/Bruno Walter London Symphony Orchestra/Bruno Walter * rec. New York 1941 (Slavonic Dance and Vltava); 1947 (Symphony) and London, 1938 (Bartered Bride) IDIS 6509 [53:27] [JW]

Some of the tempo changes sound ill-considered if not downright arbitrary and there’s a blustery feel to the whole thing ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Symphony No.2 in E Flat Major, Op.63 (1911) [48:03] First take of Rondo (to cue 116) [4:18] Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op.85 (1919) [25:11]* London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Edward Elgar Beatrice Harrison (cello), New Symphony Orchestra/Sir Edward Elgar* rec. 1 April, 15 July 1927, Queen's Hall, London; 23 March, 13 June 1928, Kingsway Hall, London*.  Mono AAD NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111260 [77:31][TP]

Essential listening for Elgarians ... see Full Review

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1996) The Complete Solo Piano Music Miguel Baselga (piano) rec. 5-7 August 1996, Danderyds Gymnasium, Sweden BIS CD-773 [77:30] [CH]

The only version of the complete original piano music and a very fine one. ... see Full Review

Giles FARNABY (1562-1640) Complete Fantasias for Harpsichord Fantasia (MB 6/FVB 320) [03:36] Fantasia (MB 8/FVB 323) [07:28] Fantasia (MB 5/FVB 82) [05:20] Unidentified part-song, arr. Farnaby (MB 7/FVB 333) [03:55] Fantasia (MB 4/FVB 489) [04:30] Fantasia (MB 12/FVB 343) [04:31] Canzonet 'Construe my meaning', arr. Glen Wilson [03:30] Fantasia (MB 13/FVB 347) [03:12] Unidentified part-song, arr. Farnaby (MB 3/FVB 340) [04:14] Fantasia (MB 10/FVB 313) [04:08] Canzonet 'Ay me, poor heart', arr. Farnaby (MB 11/FVB 330) [02:39] Canzonet 'Witness, ye heavens', arr. Glen Wilson [02:43] Fantasia (MB 9/FVB 270) [04:02] Loth to Depart [04:41] Glen Wilson (harpsichord) rec. October 2005, 'Schüttbau' in Hofheim-Rügheim, Unterfranken, Germany. DDD NAXOS 8.570025 [58:30][JV]

This recording of his Fantasias shows that Farnaby was a splendid composer whose music is captivating and highly original ... see Full Review

Orlando GIBBONS (1583-1625) Hymns and Songs of the Church Songs of joy [07:15] Songs of love [13:12] Songs of sacrifice [08:58] Songs of lamentation [10:19] Songs of triumph [10:47] Songs of unity [08:40] Songs of faith [08:50] Songs of hope [03:41] Tonus Peregrinus/Antony Pitts rec. 28–30 September 2004, Bromley Parish Church; Finchcocks, Goudhurst, Kent, UK. DDD NAXOS 8.557681 [71:42][JV]

Those who are interested in religious music in general, no matter from which time it comes, will find this disc interesting ... see Full Review

Joseph GIBBS (1699-1788) The Eight Violin Sonatas (publ. 1748) Sonata No.1 in D minor Sonata No.2 in A major Sonata No.3 in G major Sonata No.4 in flat major Sonata No.5 in E major Sonata No.6 in F major Sonata No.7 in A minor Sonata No.8 in E flat major Sergei Bezkorvany (violin) Julian Dawson (harpsichord) rec. 1988, location unspecified CLAUDIO RECORDS CR 3606/07-2 [46:19 + 47:17][JW]

Enjoyable and small-scaled performances that present Gibbs’s muse with understanding. ... see Full Review

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) The Light (1987) [23:43] Symphony No. 4 Heroes Symphony (1996) [46:26] Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop (conductor) rec. The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, 16-17 May 2006. NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559325 [70:09] [DC]

Attractive, and sympathetically performed. ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Music for the Chapel Royal Let God arise, HWV 256b [12:32] I will magnify thee, HWV 250b [18:11] As Pants the hart, HWV 251d [11:54] O Sing unto the Lord, HWV 249a [11:19] Two movements from As Pants the hart, HWV 251a [6:59] Choir of the Chapel Royal Musicians Extra-ordinary/Andrew Gant rec. Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace, London, 18–20 July 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557935 [60:55][MK]

The glorious distinction of being the first example of church music by Handel to be recorded in the building and by the choir for which it was originally intended. … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1739) Floridante (1720/21) [163.42] Floridante – Marijana Mijanovic (mezzo) Oronte – Vito Priante (bass) Elmira – Joyce DiDonato (mezzo) Rossane – Sharon Rostorf-Zamir (soprano) Timante – Roberta Invernizzi (mezzo) Coralbo – Ricardo Novaro (bass) Il Complesso Barocco/Alan Curtis rec. Chiesa di San Silvestroa, Tuscania, nr. Viterbo, September 2005 ARKIV 00289 477 6566 [3 CDs: 58.28 + 50.21 + 54.53][RH]

For anyone wanting a fresh look at one of Handel’s stronger mid-period operas then you need look no further. Whilst neither the opera nor the recording are in the top flight, both have very much to recommend them. ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) and John Christopher SMITH (1712–1795) Tobit (1764) Anna – Maya Boog (soprano) Sarah – Linda Perillo (soprano) Azarias/Raphael – Barbara Hannigan (soprano) Tobias – Alison Browner (mezzo) Tobit – Knut Schoch (tenor) Raguel – Stephan MacLeod (bass) Junge Kantorei Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra/Joachm Carlos Martini Rec. live, Koster Eberbach, Rheingau, Germany, 3 June 2001. DDD NAXOS 8.570113-14 [76.22 + 80.00] [RH]

Think of this as a recital disc. Just put it on and enjoy some of Handel’s finest music in attractive performances. ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Fernando, Re di Castiglia (1732) [149.19] Fernando – Lawrence Zazzo (counter-tenor) Elvida – Veronica Cangemi (soprano) Dionisio – Filippo Adami(tenor) Isabella – Marianne Pizzolato (mezzo) Alfonso – Neal Banerjee (counter-tenor) Sancio – Max Emanuel Cencic (counter-tenor) Altomaro – Antonio Abete (bass) Il Complesso Barocco/Alan Curtis rec. 20-28 April 2005, Tonhalle, St. Gallen, Switzerland VIRGIN CLASSICS 3654832 [71.53 + 77.26] [RH]

If you are looking for a disc of perfect Handel singing, then look elsewhere, but if you want a highly dramatic presentation of one of Handel’s more underrated operas then look no further. ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony No. 88 in G major, The Letter V (1789) [22:03] L’isola disabitata: overture (1779) [6:52] Symphony No. 101 in D minor, The Clock (17xx) [26:10] Osterreichisch-Ungarische Haydn-Philharmonie/Adam Fischer rec. Haydnsaal, Schloss Esterhazy, Eisenstadt, September 2006. DDD MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 901 1441-6 [55:18][MG]

State-of-the-art historically informed performances on modern instruments with fine transparency of texture ... see Full Review

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartet op.3/5: 2. “Serenade” (arr. Tilling) [03:07] [actually by P. Roman HOFFSTETTER (1742-1815)] (1) Divertimento for Orchestra no.3 [11:46] (2) The Old Austrian People’s Hymn (arr. Tilling) [01:21] (1) Variations in F minor [15:48] (3) Symphony no.94 in G – “Surprise”: 2. Andante [07:08] (4) Symphony no.104 in D – “London” [29:40] (5) Graunke Symphony Orchestra/Kurt Graunke (1), Little Orchestra of London/Leslie Jones (2), Richard Tiling [or Tilling?] (piano) (3), Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra/Hans Natievsky [or Matievsky?] (4), London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult (5) no rec. info SOUNDS OF EXCELLENCE PLATINUM 05122 [68:09] [CH]

Boult leaves you in no doubt that Symphony 104 is important music. ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732–1809) Die Schöpfung (1798) Miah Persson (soprano) – Gabriel, Eva; Topi Lehtipuu (tenor) – Uriel; David Wilson-Johnson (baritone) – Raphael, Adam Salzburger Bachchor Mozarteum Orchester, Salzburg/Ivor Bolton rec. live, 20–22 October 2005, Salzburg Mozarteum, Grosser Saal OEHMS CLASSICS OC609 [52:20 + 45:53] [GF]

A quality product that should give great pleasure to all lovers of this marvellous masterpiece. ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony No. 94 in G major, Surprise (1791) [20:44] Symphony No. 101 in D major, Clock (1793-4) [25:46]Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)Variations on a theme by Haydn, Op. 56a (1874) [17:00] Wiener Philharmoniker(Haydn), London Symphony Orchestra (Brahms)/Pierre Monteux rec. Sofiensaal, Vienna, 20-21 April 1959 (Haydn), Kingsway Hall, London, 8-9 December 1958 (Brahms). ADD LONDON 452 893-2 [64:06] [MG]

Performances of abundant character and continuous fascination … see Full Review

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Tanzstücke op.19 (1920) [13:44] In einer Nacht op.15 (1919) [22:49] Klaviersonate Nr. 3 (1936) [18:12] Christian Seibert (piano) rec. KvB Saal (WDR), 4-6 October 2005 CPO 777 171-2 [55:06] [DC]

Seibert’s full tone and detailed and refined technique are given every chance to develop in CPO’s excellent recording. ... see Full Review

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Walt Whitman Op.7 (1899) [7:14] Suite de Ballet in E flat Op.10 (1899) [19:43] Suite in E flat Op.28 No.1 orch. Gordon Jacob (1909) [10:12] A Hampshire Suite Op. 28 No.2 orch. Gordon Jacob (1911) [11:18] A Moorside Suite orch. Gordon Jacob (1928) [17:01] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite rec. Watford Town Hall, 14 Jan 1988 (Whitman); July and 23 August 1993 (Suite E flat); 26 August 1993 (Hampshire, Moorside); Kingsway Hall, 7 March 1980 (Suite de Ballet). ADD (Suite de Ballet); DDD LYRITA SRCD.210 [63:31] [SH]

Buy it. Enjoy the progress of genius from struggle to mastery. Played without any showing off but with a mastery to match that of the composer. ... see Full Review

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra Op.49/H175 (1929) [14:54] St Paul’s Suite Op. 29 No.2/H118 (1913) [12:26] Brook Green Suite H190 (1933) [6:01] A Song of the Night for Violin and Orchestra Op.19 No.1/H74 [8:14] Lyric Movement for Viola and Chamber Orchestra H191 (1933) [11:32] A Fugal Concerto for Flute, Oboe and Strings Op.40/H152 (1922) [8:26] Janice Graham (violin), Sarah Ewins (violin), Andriy Viytovych (viola), Anna Pyne (flute), Philip Harmer (oboe) English Sinfonia/Howard Griffiths rec. St Clements Church, Islington, London, November 2005 NAXOS 8.570339 [61:33] [JW]

Even at Naxos price I would avoid this and head straight for the Lyrita. ... see Full Review

Joaquim HOMS (1906–2003) Orchestral Works – Volume 1 Biofonia (1982) [13:15] Presències (1967) [23:15] Dos Soliloquis (1973) [13:48] Variacions sobre un tema popular català (1943, orch. 1948) [11:15] Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya/Juan José Olives rec. Sala Simfònica de l’Auditori, Barcelona, July 2005 COLUMNA MUSICA 1CM0169 [65:52] [HC]

These performances and recordings are very fine indeed, and certainly give Homs’ consistently fine music its long-deserved due. ... see Full Review

Richard HOWARD (b. 1946) Prairie Visions - a suite for piano Richard Howard (piano) rec. Zenph Studios, Raleigh, North Carolina, July 2006. DDD. MSR CLASSICS MS1178 [62.51] [ED]

A pleasant enough disc but not especially memorable in terms of composition or playing … others might feel differently. ... see Full Review

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Tritons, symphonic prelude (c.1905) [10:29] The Forgotten Rite, prelude (1913) [7:07] Mai-Dun, symphonic rhapsody (1920-21) [11:23] A London Overture (1936) [11:57] Epic March (1942) [8:12] Themes from Julius Caesar (arr. Geoffrey Bush) (Scherzo; Cortège) (1942) [6:45] The Overlanders, suite (ed. Charles Mackerras) (Scorched Earth; Mary & Sailor; Open Country; The Brumbies; Night Stampede) (1946-47) [20:07] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1960s. ADD recordings originally made in association with John Ireland Trust LYRITA SRCD 240 [76:04] [JQ]

These performances are required listening for all Ireland enthusiasts and their appearance at last on CD is greatly to be welcomed ... 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. no information given. DDD world premiere recording of Symphony No. 1 LYRITA SRCD.315 [65:19] [GO]

Full marks to Lyrita for releasing this intriguing and important CD. ... see Full Review

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) The Makropulos Case (1924) Cheryl Baker (soprano) - Emilia Marty; Neal Davies (bass baritone) - Dr Kolenatý; John Graham-Hall (tenor) - Vítek; Elena Xanthoudanis (soprano) – Kristina; John Wegner (baritone) - Baron Prus; Thomas Walker (tenor) - Janek Prus; Graham Clark (tenor) - Count Hauk-Sendorf English National Opera Chorus English National Opera Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. live, London Coliseum, May 2006. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 3138(2) [66:24 + 59:19][AOz]

There’s still so much to give pleasure here … especially if you want a clear, no-frills English-language version.. ... see Full Review

Philipp JARNACH (1892-1982) Piano Sonata II (1952) [24:02] Aria for violin and piano Op.10a (1918-22) [5:15] Romancero 1 – Sonatina for piano Op.18 (1924) [16:57] Three Rhapsodies – Chamber Duo for violin and piano Op.20 (1927) [11:29] Kolja Lessing (piano) Ingolf Turban (violin) rec. Funkhaus am Wallrafplatz, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal, June 2004 (Op.10a and Op.20) and December 2005 CAPRICCIO CAP67188 [57:39] [JW]

Jarnach has been well served here once again. ... see Full Review

Joseph Jongen (1873-1953) Messe en l’honneur du Saint-Sacrement Op.130 (1945-1948) [34:06] Deus Abraham Motet pour une messe de marriage W150 (1909) [3:21] Pie Jesu No.1 of Deux Motets W71 (1895) [2:49] Quid sum miser? No.1 of Trois Motets W99 (1899) [4:43] Flor Peeters (1903-1986) Missa Festiva Op.62 for choir and organ (1947) [27:31] Thomas Gould (violin); Paul Provost (organ) London City Brass The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge/David Hill rec. St John’s College Chapel, Cambridge, 10-12 July 2006 HYPERION CDA67603 [72:50] [JF]

A worthy CD that all lovers of ‘ecclesiastical’ music will want in their collection. In spite of my reservations about the Jongen pieces this presents two fine works by two great, but relatively unknown Belgian composers. ... see Full Review

John JOUBERT (b. 1927) String Quartet No.2 Op.91 (1977)a [24:13] Landscapes Op.129 (1992)b [22:13] Piano Trio Op.113 (1986)c [30:43] Lyric Fantasy Op.144 (2000)d [8:58] Piano Sonata No.1 Op.24 (1957)e [14:05] Piano Sonata No.2 Op.71 (1972)e [24:46] Piano Sonata No.3 Op.157 (2006)e [23:16] Brodsky Quarteta; Patricia Rozario (soprano)b; David Chadwick (violin)bc; Ann Joubert (cello)bc; Mark Bebbington (piano)bcd; John McCabe (piano)e rec. St. Mary’s Church, Walthamstow, February 2006 (String Quartet No.2) and Barber Institute, Birmingham, July and August 2006 (other works) SOMM SOMMCD 060-2 [77:20 + 71:06] [HC]

Fills a considerable gap and amply demonstrates the breadth of Joubert’s achievement as well as the human warmth and utter sincerity of his music ... see Full Review

Vasily KALINNIKOV (1866-1901) Symphony No.2 in A major (1895-97) [37:52] Intermezzo No.1 in A major (1896-97) [4:57] Intermezzo No.2 in G major (1896-97) [4:36] Serenade for string orchestra (1891) [9:43] Nymphs – a symphonic picture (1889) [10:10] USSR Symphony Orchestra/Evgeni Svetlanov rec. Moscow 1968 (symphony); 1990 (remainder) MELODIYA MEL CD 10 00170 [67:16] [JW]

Direct and powerfully energised performances, dedicated to exploring Kalinnikov’s melodic and rhythmic strengths. ... see Full Review

Vasily KALINNIKOV (1866-1901) Suite (1892) [39:11] Cedar and Palm – symphonic poem (1897-98) [12:16] Bylina (c.1892-93) [12:02] USSR Symphony Orchestra/Evgeni Svetlanov rec. Moscow, 1990 MELODIYA MEL CD 10 00169 [63:28] [JW]

Svetlanov proves powerfully in control of Kalinnikov’s folk-and-romance sound world. Everything sounds proudly vibrant and alive. ... see Full Review

Michel LAMBERT (c.1610-1696) Leçons de Ténèbres (1689) Disc One Première Leçon Du Mercredi Saint for voice and continuo [20:35] Deuxième Leçon Du Mercredi Saint for voice and continuo [15:02] Troisième Leçon Du Mercredi Saint for voice and continuo [15:58] Première Leçon Du Jeudi Saint for voice and continuo [16:52] Disc Two Deuxième Leçon Du Jeudi Saint for voice and continuo [11:23] Troisième Leçon Du Jeudi Saint for voice and continuo [15:27] Première Leçon Du Vendredi Saint for voice and continuo [17:19] Deuxième Leçon Du Vendredi Saint for voice and continuo [12:47] Troisième Leçon Du Vendredi Saint for voice and continuo [13:59] Noémi Rime (soprano); Nathalie Stutzmann (alto); Charles Brett (countertenor); Howard Crook (tenor); Philippe Foulon (viola da gamba); Mauricio Buraglia (theorbo); Ivète Piveteau (harpsichord, positive organ, director) rec. October 1988, Abbaye de Royaumont, France. DDD VIRGIN VERITAS 0946 3 85789 2 5 [69:43 + 72:06][MS] Beautiful and intense music for Holy Week sensitively, passionately almost, performed with focus and panache. ... see Full Review

Antoine de LHOYER  (1768-1852) Duo Concertant in A major, op. 31 no. 1 (1814) [14:11] Duo Concertant in E minor, op. 31 no. 3 (1814) [14:04] Duo Concertant in C major, op. 31 no. 2 (1814) [15:35] Duo Concertant in D minor, op. 34 no. 2 (1819) [15:14] Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli (guitars) rec. Baroque Hall, Seminario Arcivescovile, Ivrea, Turin, Italy, 13-14 January 2005. NAXOS 8.570146 [59:04] [BB]

As his works become more widely known, more often and variously interpreted, I believe that de Lhoyer will be seen as fully the equal, and sometimes the superior, of better-known early-Romantic guitar composers.  ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Präludium und Fuge über BACH [13:59] Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen [20:02] Fantasie und Fuge über den Choral ‘Ad nos, ad salutarem undam’ [27:17] Gerhard Weinberger (organ) rec. Passau Dom 30 April, 1 May 1984, 9 May 2005. DDD CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77281 [61:18] [CB]

Weinberger’s performances alone make this well worth having ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Three pieces from Harmonies poétiques et réligieuses, S173: Ave Maria (1847-52) [6:28]; Pensées des morts (1847-52) [12:24]; Pater noster (1847-52) [2:45] Via Crucis (The way of the cross), for solo voices, chorus and organ, S53 (1876-78) [42.44] Brigitte Engerer (piano) Accentus/Laurence Equilbey rec. April 2006, Cité Internationale des Congrès de Nantes-Métropole, France. DDD NAÏVE V 5061 [58:27][MC]

A well performed release of the Via Crucis using the piano, but it would not be my first choice. Outstanding playing from Engerer in the three pieces from the Harmonies poétiques et réligieuses. ... see Full Review

Zdeněk LUKÁŠ (b. 1928) Concerto for viola and orchestra Op.185 (1983) [23:50] Divertimento for violin and viola Op.96 (1973) [13:40] Meditation for viola and piano Op.116 (1975) [9:15] Jiří JAROCH (1920-1986) Fantasy for viola and orchestra (1966) [13:52] Karel Špelina (viola), Antonín Novák (violin), Josef Hála (piano) Plzeň Radio Symphony Orchestra/Vít Micka (Concerto), Bohumír Liška (Fantasy) rec. Czech Radio Plzeň February 1985 (Concerto), Czech Radio Prague April 1978 (Divertimento, Meditation); Czech Radio Plzeň October 1974 (Fantasy) ARCO DIVA UP0090-2 131 [62:56] [JW]

The triple salute to two composers and violist has been realised with character and imagination. ... 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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