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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



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Alphabetical Listing

Recommendations

Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[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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RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 4 & 7 The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Paavo Järvi rec. 2004-6 RCA RED SEAL 88697 129332 [69:23] [MG]

Herreweghe - considered and Olympian, Järvi: spontaneous and mood-varied … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Albert Herring - A Comic Opera in Three Acts Op. 39 (1947) [133:35] Lady Billows, an elderly autocrat – Joan Cross (soprano) Albert Herring, from the greengrocer’s – Peter Pears (tenor) The English Opera Group Chamber Orchestra/Benjamin Britten rec. live 1949. DDD English libretto included NIMBUS NI 5824/6 [3 CDs: 51:43 + 51:52 +30:00]

The sheer vitality and excellence of the work of Britten and the EOG ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Symphony 2, In the South, Sospiri BBC SO/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1937-44 BEULAH 5PD15 [76:37] [EMc]

Wonderful … consistent inspiration … unforgettable ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Girolamo FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643) Keyboard Music from Manuscript Sources Martha Folts (harpsichord) rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570717 [73:03][JV] 

A spectacular combination of music, instrument and performer - not to be missed ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Charles IVES (1874-1954) Songs, Orchestral and Ensemble pieces Marni Nixon (soprano); John McCabe (piano); Henry Herford (baritone); Ensemble Modern/Ingo Metzmacher rec. 1967 & 1991 EMI CLASSICS AMERICAN CLASSICS 2066312 [79:24][RB]

A master of dissonance ... the magic of mood, evocation, suggestion ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Edouard LALO (1823-1892) Symphonie Espagnole, Fantasie Norvégienne, (both works arr. violin and guitar by Lars Hannibal) Kim Sjøgren, (violin); Lars Hannibal, (guitar) rec. 1992 OUR RECORDINGS 8.226903 [48:33] [KS]

Delightful arrangements of well known works, a lovely little musical diversion ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-1988) Sequence for All Saints; Chorale Prelude: Rockingham; O God, enfold me in the sun; Morning Canticles; The World’s Desire Wells Cathedral & School Chapel Ch/Matthew Owens rec. 2007 HYPERION CDA67641 [76:23] [JQ]

Superb: Hyperion and the musicians have done Leighton proud ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Nikolai MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Symphonies 17 & 21, Salutatory Overture Russian Federation Academic SO/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. 1991-3 ALTO ALC1023 [77:14] [RB]

Fervent music-making from Svetlanov and Myaskovsky ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) La Bohème (1896) Norma Fantini, D’Annunzio Lombard, Massimiliano Pisapia Children’s Choir, Orchestra and Chorus of Festival Puccini/Stewart Robertson rec. 2007 DYNAMIC 33564 [118:00] [GF]

A feast for eye as well as ear! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Julius RÖNTGEN (1855-1932) Aus Goethes Faust Machteld Baumans, Marcel Beekman, Dennis Wilgenhof, Nationale Reisopera Enschede Ch, Netherlands SO/David Porcelijn rec. 2007 CPO 777 311-2 [60:34] [RB]

Extraordinary work … totally beguiling freshness of romantic invention ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH American Orchestral Song Music by Virgil THOMSON (1896-1989), John Alden CARPENTER (1876-1951), Roy HARRIS (1898-1979), Charles Tomlinson GRIFFES (1884-1920) and Horatio PARKER (1863-1919) Patrick Mason (baritone); Odense Symphony Orchestra/Paul Mann rec. 2007 BRIDGE 9254 [57:56][RB]

Luscious late-romantic song-cycles with orchestra and the visionary Harris more angular ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Knotwork Graham FITKIN (b.1963) Vent (1994) [8:58]Eddie McGUIRE (b.1948) Celtic Knotwork (1990/94) [4:39] Pierre Max DUBOIS (1930-1995) Quatuor (1964) [7:15] Lenny SAYERS (b.1977) For Four (2001) [5:13] Eddie McGUIRE (b.1948) Chinese Knotwork (2001) [6:57] Alfred UHL (1909-1992) Divertimento (1942) [12:31] Nicholas SIMPSON (b.1958) Mardale Changes (2005) [9:39] Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Histoire du Tango (1986) [18:57] Fell Clarinet Quartet (Colin Blamey, Helen Bywater, Marianne Rawles, Lenny Sayers) rec. October 2007, Prestonkirk Church, East Lothian, Scotland. DDD DELPHIAN DCD34065 [74:20] [CR]

Accessible and well composed music for four clarinets – an incredible sound ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Lorraine at Emmanuel - Celebrating the lives of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Craig Smith BACH and HANDEL arias Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo) The Orchestra of Emmanuel Music/Craig Smith and John Harbison rec. ‘live’ 1992; 1995; 1999, Emmanuel Church, Boston, MA. DDD English texts (Handel) and German texts with English translations (Bach) included AVIE AV2130 [60:58]

A superb disc that all admirers of this singer will want to have ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Anna Netrebko - Opera Arias Bonus: The Making of the Film: Anna Netrebko. The Woman – The Voice [14:44] Anna Netrebko (soprano) Wiener Philharmoniker/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2003. DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 7566 [62:59 + 40:38] [GF]

One of the classics ... see Full Review


BARGAINS OF THE MONTH

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) The Tender Land Suite, Piano Concerto, Old American Songs Vol. I, Old American Songs Vol. II (arr. for chorus) Benjamin Pasternack (piano) (Tender); St. Charles Singers (Songs); * Nathaniel Stampley (baritone); † Jeffrey Hunt (tenor) Elgin Symphony Orchestra/Robert Hanson rec. 2007, Song texts included NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559297 [63:42] [DM]

Lesser-known Copland superbly played and recorded. Indispensable. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841–1904) Symphonic Variations, op.78 (1877) [22:48] Symphony No.9 in E minor, From the New World, op.95 (1893) [41:56] Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. 2007 DDD NAXOS 8.570714 [64:44][BBr]

Shattering in its power and urgency ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Orchestral works (including symphonies 1-8 & violin concerto) Russian State SO/Valeri Polyansky rec. 1997-2002 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 93565 [7 CDs: 455.08] [RB]

An often joyous set and an astonishing bargain ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Alan HOVHANESS (1911-2000) Fanfare for the New Atlantis; Concerto No. 2 for guitar; Symphony No. 63 Javier Calderón (guitar); Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Stewart Robertson rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.559336 [59:29][RB]

Perhaps the best Hovhaness instalment so far from Naxos ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 Danish National Symphony Orchestra/Michael Schønwandt rec. 1999 NAXOS 8.570738 [71:11][LW] 

A real bargain and the best way to have these symphonies at very affordable cost ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concertos 1-5, Overture on Jewish Themes, Visions fugitives Michel Béroff (piano) Michel Portal (clarinet) Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Kurt Masur, Parrenin Quartet rec. 1974/81 EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 5176292 [72:03 + 75:56] [SH]

Béroff with Masur is as good as it gets, especially in such a pure ADD recording ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) L’Inganno Felice Czech Chamber Soloists Brno/Alberto Zedda rec. 2005 NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660233-34 [51.21 + 34.17][RJF]

A excellent and welcome addition to the burgeoning Naxos Rossini catalogue ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937) Symphony No. 2; Pour une fête de printemps; Suite in F Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Stéphane Denève rec. 2006-7 NAXOS 8.570529 [68:43][LW]

Superb performances and the recorded sound at an economic price ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865–1957) Symphonies 4 & 5 Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1976 CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 5218722 [71:24] [BBr]

A magnificent Fourth … an outstanding bargain ... see Full Review



Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[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]


An excellent reissue by Hyperion on their Helios label, t

Over a period of three years from December 2003, I have spent a lot of time in the company of Harry Partch – not literally, of course, as he died in 1974, but working my way though an article and some eight reviews that can all be found on MusicWeb. Then, at the MusicWeb annual lunch (January 2007), the name of John Cage caught my ear. For reasons that my subconscious was not prepared to divulge, my curiosity was tickled. Partch and Cage have on occasion been paired off, as a sort of American "Debussy and Ravel" – was



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