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August 2008

There are 210 CD reviews in the pages opposite

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The Treasures of Beethoven - by John Suchet Hardcover: 64 pages (260 x 298mm) 160 colour/mono images Hardback in slip-case Large format 31 x 27.8 x 4 cm Andre Deutsch ISBN-10: 0233002162 ISBN-13: 978-0233002163 Ł35.00 [RB]

Unique both at the price and generally. Will suit any real Beethoven enthusiast ... see Full Review

Scotland's Music by John Purser Mainstream Publishing ISBN-10: 1845961609 ISBN-13: 978-1845961602 Hardback - Large format: 28.8 x 23.2 x 3.4 cm 430 pages [RB]

Deals doughtily with a serious subject in a serious but engaging way ... see Full Review

Vaughan Williams on Music by David Manning ISBN13: 9780195182392 ISBN10: 0195182391 hardback, 456 pages OUP Ł19.99 [RB]

Surprises, shocks and delights from the doyen of British composers ... see Full Review


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FRIDAY August 29th

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Early Piano Works Volume 1 Sonata 2, Schumann Variationen, Ballades Hardy Rittner (fortepiano) rec. 2007 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG904 1494-6 [66:53] [DC]

Close your eyes, and imagine yourself in 1854 ... see Full Review

Laurence CRANE (b. 1961) Solo Piano Pieces Includes Three Preludes, Blue Blue Blue (1986) [7:03] Kierkegaards, Derridas, James Duke son of John Duke, Three Pieces for James Clapperton Michael Finnissy rec. 2004/5 METIER MSV28506 [80:00] [BBr]

Crane’s art is too important and too beautiful to miss ... see Full Review

Joseph Martin KRAUS (1756-1792) Amphitryon Chantal Santon (soprano) Georg Poplutz (tenor) Bonner Kammerchor, l’arte del mondo/Werner Ehrhardt rec. live 2007  PHOENIX EDITION PHCD111 [77:49] [DC]

A grand Gustavian entertainment ... see Full Review

Joseph MARX (1882-1964) Piano Works Tonya Lemoh rec. 2006 CHANDOS CHAN10479 [54:38] [KS]

Fascinating … a real find for lovers of keyboard music ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Lucio Silla Lothar Odinius, Simone Nold, Vocal Group Ars Nova, Danish Radio Sinfonietta/Adam Fischer rec. 2001-02 DACAPO 8.226069-71 [3 CDs: 68.18 + 70.42 + 31.00] [MM-B]

An enjoyable, beautifully recorded interpretation ... see Full Review

Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires Mikhail BRONNER (b. 1952) The Seasons ARCO CO/Levon Ambartsumian rec. live2006/7 PHOENIX PHCD170 [74.58] [DC]

It’s worth investigating ... see Full Review

Sir Arthur SULLIVAN (1842–1900) & Sir William S. GILBERT (1836–1911) The Mikado Owen Brannigan, Richard Lewis, Sir Geraint Evans, Glyndebourne Festival Ch, Pro Arte O/Sir Malcolm Sargent rec. 1956 CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 2134442 [54.26 + 36.22] [RH]

Strongly operatic cast letting their hair down a little, superb diction, high musical values ... see Full Review

Fugas y Fandangos Works by De Falla, Castelnuovo-Tesdesco and Granados for two guitars Susan Mebes; Joaquim Freire (guitars) rec. 1994 LÉMAN CLASSICS LC44401 [52:41]

The guitar duets of Castelnuovo-Tedesco are the standouts on an attractive CD … see Full Review

The King’s Singers – Greatest Hits rec. 1974-1991 EMI CLASSICS 5145872 [77:39 + 79:41] [TP]

An enjoyable but flawed compilation ... see Full Review

Erwin Schrott (bass-baritone) Arias by Mozart, Berlioz, Verdi, Meyerbeer & Gounod Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana/Riccardo Frizza rec. 2008 DECCA 478 0473 [52:39] [GF]

An auspicious recording debut ... see Full Review

THURSDAY August 28th

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Songs Include Winter Words, Four Burns Songs, Who are these Children? Daniel Norman (tenor) Christopher Gould (piano) rec. 2005 BIS BIS-CD-1510 [68:11] [JF]

The Burns Songs are masterly and Ca’ the Yowes brings the house down ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphonies 7-9, American Suite Royal Liverpool PO/Libor Pešek rec. 1987 VIRGIN CLASSICS 5220392 [75:12 + 67:12] [JW]

Pleasant but variably convincing, not optimally recorded ... see Full Review

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Songs Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo); Neil Mackie (tenor); Cristopher Maltman (baritone); Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 1999 SOMM SOMMCD220 [65:07] [EM]

A good selection of some charming Elgar songs ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Charles IVES (1874-1954) Orchestral Sets 1-3 Malmö Chamber Ch & SO/James B Sinclair rec. 2006-07 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559353 [63:36] [SH]

A great moment in the history of recorded music ... see Full Review

Vítěslava KAPRÁLOVÁ (1915-1940) Chamber Music Virginia Eskin (piano); Stephanie Chase (violin) rec. 2007 KOCH INTERNATIONAL KICCD7742 [64:42] [JW]

The performances of this too-little known music are terrifically engaging ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Complete Piano Music Vol. 29: Transcriptions for two pianos Les Préludes, Orpheus, Mazeppa, Die Ideale Tami Kanazawa and Yuval Admony (pianos) rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570736 [65:49] [RM]

Mainly of interest to those completing their Naxos/Liszt collection ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concertos 1-5, Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola Giuliano Carmignola (violin) Danusha Waskiewicz (viola) Orchestra Mozart/Claudio Abbado rec. 2007 ARCHIV PRODUKTION 477 7371 [57:36 + 71:45] [MC]

The Mozart violin concertos lovingly performed ... see Full Review

Nicolai MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) String Quartets 12 & 13 Taneyev Quartet rec.1981/2 NORTHERN FLOWERS NF/PMA9954 [54:40] [JW]

What Svetlanov is to the symphonies, Taneyev is to the quartets ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il Viaggio a Reims Katia Ricciarelli, Samuel Ramey, Ruggero Raimondi, CO Europe/Claudio Abbado rec. live 1984 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON GRAND PRIX 477 7435 [67.07 + 68.35] [RJF]

One of the best recordings of a Rossini opera ever set down ... see Full Review

Sir Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) The Tempest Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) The Tempest Kansas City Symphony/Michael Stern rec. 2008 REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-115CD [68:40] [RW]

Excellent pacing and due attention to dynamics ... see Full Review


WEDNESDAY August 27th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin (ca. 1720) Christian Tetzlaff (violin) rec. St. George’s, Brandon Hill, Bristol, March, November 1993 VIRGIN CLASSICS 5 22034 2 [62:04 + 66:33] [DC]

Like having a fine painting on your wall to inspire and refresh your soul. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Garth Knox – Amore Garth KNOX (b.1956) Malor me bat (2004) [9:16] Marin MARAIS (1656-1685) Les Folies d’Espagne (1685) (arr. Garth KNOX, Agnès VESTERMAN) [10:35] Roland MOSER (b.1943) Manners of Speaking (2006): Poem [3:49] Anecdote [2:45] Tobias HUME (c.1569-1645) A Pavin (1605) (arr. Garth Knox) [6:45] Attilio ARIOSTI (1666-1729) Prima Lezione (1720): Allegro [4:16] Largo [4:12] Andante [2:09] Anonymous Celtic Dance (arr. Garth Knox) [1:36] I Once Loved a Lass/ Jig (arr Garth Knox) [2:35] Klaus HUBER (b.1924) ... Plainte ... pour Luigi Nono (1990) [5:15] Garth Knox (viola d’amore), Agnès Vesterman (cello) rec. September 2006, Propstei St. Gerold, Austria ECM 1925 - 4766369 [54:06] [GPu]

Outstanding … high musicality and ravishing sounds … see Full Review

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Symphony No.1, Antar, Symphony No.3, Overture "Bojarynja Vera Sheloga", Overture, Intermezzo act1 ,act2, In the Woods, Tsar’s Hunting, Storm, musical picture from "The Maid of Pskov", "Scheherazade",Capriccio Espagnol, Fantasia on Serbian Themes, Suite from "Pan Voyevoda", Suite from "Snow Maiden" Four musical pictures from"Golden Cockerel", "Sadko", musical picture, Suite from "The Tale of Tsar Saltan", Procession of the Nobles from "Mlada" Introduction to "Golden Cockerel", Act 1, Procession from "Golden Cockerel", Act 3 , Introduction and symphonic picture from the 3rd Act of "The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya" - Praise to the desert and Battle in Kerzhenets, Introduction to "Sadko",Introduction to "May Night",Introduction to "The Tsar’s Bride", Russian Overture on Three Russian Themes, Easter Festival Overture, "From Homer", "On the Tomb", "Dubinushka", Sinfonietta on Russian Themes The State Academic Symphony Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. c. 1969-1993 SVET 57-009-1/3 [6 CDs: 67:03 + 63:19 + 70:03 + 76:16 + 58:51 + 72:37] [JW]

The essential Rimsky box: colourful, intense, incisive, grave, effervescent ... see Full Review

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) Symphony No. 6, Op. 80 (1953/4) [32:40] Symphony No. 8, Op. 132, ‘Hommage à Teilhard de Chardin’ (1966-68) [24:55] Soliloquy for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 57 (1947) [15:02] Philharmonia Orchestra/Norman Del Mar (symphonies) Rohan de Saram (cello); London Symphony Orchestra/Vernon Handley (Soliloquy).© 1992. No further details available. ADD. LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD.234 [72:38] [BW]

Neglected music in excellent performances and recordings ... see Full Review

Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) Piano Trio in G minor (1855) [28:05] Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor "Dumky" (1891) [30:40] Ad Trio Prague rec. Lichtenstein Palace, Prague, 26-28 October 2007 NOVERA UP 0105-2 131 [58:53] [IL]

An intelligent pairing and most persuasive performances. ... see Full Review

Apostle of Ireland: A Medieval Office for St. Patrick First Vespers, Matins, Lauds, Second Vespers Canty/Rebecca Tavener; William Taylor (wire-strung clarsach) rec. 2007. DDD. Booklet with texts and translations. DIVINE ART DDA25065 [78:03] [BW]

Spiritual nourishment … an excellent successor to Canty’s earlier recordings ... see Full Review

The English Clarinet Edward GERMAN (1862-1936) Romance for clarinet and piano (1889) [4:35] Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Sonata for clarinet and piano (1934) [13:51] Edwin ROXBURGH (b. 1937) Wordsworth Miniatures for solo clarinet (1998) [8:05] Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Five Bagatelles for clarinet and piano (1938-43) [15:19] William Yeates HURLSTONE (1876-1906) Four Characteristic Pieces for clarinet and piano (1899) [16:57] Paul PATTERSON (b. 1947) Soliloquy for solo clarinet (c.1995) [5:52] William LLOYD WEBBER (1914-1982) Frensham Pond for clarinet and piano (1960) [2:44] Air and Variations for clarinet and piano (1952) [6:38] Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Pastoral for clarinet and piano (1916) [4:25] John Bradbury (clarinet) James Cryer (piano) rec. 2-3 June 2006, Wathen Hall, Barnes, London, England. DDD NAXOS 8.570539 [78:26] [MC]

A splendid achievement. A strong case for English clarinet music. ... see Full Review

Nicolai Gedda in Opera NIMBUS PRIMA VOCE NI 7943/44 [75:16 + 70:13] [GF]

Essential listening … an individual and instantly recognisable voice ... see Full Review

Music for Cardinal Wolsey Richard Pygott (c.1485-1549) Missa Veni sancte spiritus Gloria [10:07] Credo [10:53] Sanctus [10:29] Agnus Dei [9:10] John Mason (b.?-1548) O rex gloriose [11:34] Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford/Stephen Darlington. rec. Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire, 21-22 March 1994. DDD. NIMBUS NI5578 [52:20]
Thomas Ashwell
(c.1482-after 1513, perhaps 1527) Missa Jesu Christe (6 parts) (before 1513?) Gloria [12:59] Credo [11:16] Sanctus [10:19] Agnus Dei [8:59] Hugh Aston (c.1485-1558) Missa Videte manus meas (6 parts) Gloria [13:25] Credo [12:39] Sanctus [12:34] Agnus Dei [10:31] Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford/Stephen Darlington. METRONOME MET1030/1031 [43:33+49:49] [BW]

Attractive minor music, well performed and recorded ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH The Rise of the North Italian Violin Concerto: 1690-1740 Volume Three - The Golden Age
Antonio Vivaldi
(1678-1741) Concerto for violin, 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 horns, strings and continuo Pietro Locatelli (1695-1764) Concerto da Chiesa in C, Concerto for 4 Violins, strings and continuo Giovanni Battista Sammartini (c.1700-1775) Concerto à più Stromenti in E-Flat, Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) Concerto for violin, strings and continuo Antonio Vivaldi Concerto for violin, 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 horns, timpani, strings and continuo La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler (violin) rec. 2008. DDD. AVIE AV2154 [79:25] [BW]

Buy the CD or the download, but get this recording somehow ... see Full Review

TUESDAY August 26th

Wilhelm Friedemann BACH (1710-1784) Keyboard Works - 2 Julia Brown (harpsichord) rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570530 [74:07][JV]

WF Bach's unmistakable qualities are to the fore in these fine interpretations ... see Full Review

Judith BAILEY (b. 1941) Instrumental music Davey Chamber Ensemble rec. 2007 METIER MSVCD92101 [77:24][DC]

A well-performed programme of some highly intriguing music ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Piano Sonatas: Vol.VI Piano Sonatas Nos. 22-26 András Schiff (piano) rec. 2006 ECM NEW SERIES 1947 [76:46][DC]

The best for a long time to come ... see Full Review

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Twelve Études, Op. 10; Four Ballades Hugues DUFOURT (b. 1943) La ligne gravissant la chute - Hommage ŕ Chopin Nima Sarkechik (piano) rec. 2008 ZIG ZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT080401 [74:10][MC] 

Displaying considerable potential Sarkechik impresses in this programme ... see Full Review

Erno von DohnÁnyi (1877-1960) Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 Michael Ludwig (violin); Royal Scottish National Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570833 [71:24][WK]

Outstanding music … hits all the required emotional stops ... see Full Review

Umberto GIORDANO (1867–1948) Marcella Bratislava Chamber Choir; Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia,/Manlio Benzi rec. 2007 DYNAMIC CDS573 [64:18][GF]

Highly attractive music unperformed for far too long ... see Full Review

Bernhard LANG (b. 1957) I hate Mozart Klangforum Wien Vokalensemble NOVA/Johannes Kalitzke rec. 2006 COL LEGNO WWE20277  [64:15 + 62:00] plus [126:15][RH]

A lively and rather off-the-wall little gem ... see Full Review

Handel-Inspired Paul Ayres (organ) rec. 2007 PRIORY PRCD894 [72:25][GPu]

Beautifully assembled; playing, instrument, repertoire, recording all top notch … see Full Review

Freddy Kempf (piano) Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Gaspard de la nuit Mily BALAKIREV (1837-1910) Islamey Freddy Kempf (piano) rec. 2006 BIS BISSACD1580 [63:43][DM]

Uneven Pictures but fine Gaspard and stunning Islamey ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Rostropovich plays Cello Works Mstislav Rostropovich (cello); Various accompanists rec. 1969-1995 WARNER ERATO 2564696817 [9 CDs: 9:55:00][RB]

A zanily variegated, enterprising selection … glorious playing ... see Full Review


MONDAY August 25th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage Volume 25: Cantatas for the Fifth Sunday after Easter (Rogate); Cantatas for the Sunday after Ascension Day (Exaudi) Johann Christoph BACH (1642-1703) Fürchte dich nicht The Monteverdi Choir; English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner. rec. 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG144 [55:10 + 52:40][JQ]

Another impressive issue in this important series ... see Full Review

Eve CASTOR (b. 1969) Pleins et Delices: Oeuvres de musiques de chambre Various artists rec. 1996 QUANTUM QM6981 [60:21][CR]

An individual style which fuses modernism with melody ... see Full Review

Jonathan COLE (b. 1970) Testament Ben FOSKETT (b. 1977) Violin Concerto Luke BEDFORD (b. 1978) Or Voit Tout En Aventure London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen rec. 2004-6 LONDON SINFONIETTA LABEL SINF CD1-2007 66036-2 [51:46][CR]

The perfect place to start for exploring new repertoire ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Les sept derničres paroles de notre Rédempteur sur la Croix - Die Sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze (“The Seven Last Words”) (String Quartet version) Klenke Quartett rec. 2006 BERLIN CLASSICS 0016312BC [74.17][JFL] 

A broader flow with flexible tone ... see Full Review

André LAPORTE (b. 1931) Symphonic and Vocal Works Various artists rec. 1968-2001 FUGA LIBERA FUG523 [4 CDs: 64:53 + 60:03 + 62:11 + 54:00][HC]

The best possible Laporte survey ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Lieder Ruth Ziesak (soprano); Gerold Huber (piano) rec. 2007 BERLIN CLASSICS 0016282BC [74:02][MC] 

I was highly delighted with these assured performances ... see Full Review

Poul RUDERS (b. 1949) Light Overture; Cembal d’Amore: First Book; Credo; Air with Changes; The Second Nightshade Various artists rec. 2005-6 BRIDGE 9237 [61:10][HC]

Ruders’ orchestral mastery and flair for arresting textures ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) 14 Lieder Sophie Koch (mezzo); Philippe Entremont (piano) rec. 2006 CASCAVELLE VEL3117 [40:19][GF]

Strong, vibrant, confident singing ... see Full Review

Art of the Symphonic Organist - Music by Richard WAGNER (1813-1883), Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921), Sigfrid KARG-ELERT (1877-1933), Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894), Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925), Francis POULENC (1899-1963), Guy BOVET (b.1942) and Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Ken Cowan (organ) rec. 2006 JAV RECORDINGS JAV169 [67:52][DC]

Some creative arrangements add interest to a substantial programme ... see Full Review

Trumpet Masque Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (trumpet); Daniel Ben-Pienaar (piano) rec. 2007 LINN RECORDS CKD310 [72:57][BW] 

Thoroughly enjoyable … only die-hard period-performance advocates will object ... see Full Review


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[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[Recommended recordings]



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