Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett,  Reviewers: Rob Barnett, Ian Lace, Len Mullenger, and:  Richard Adams, Colin Anderson, Terry Barfoot,  Marc Bridle, Arthur Butterworth, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, Gary Dalkin, Andy Daly, Tony Duggan, Harry Downey,  Gerald Fenech,  Lewis Foreman, David Frieze, Malcolm Galloway,  Ian Marchant, John Phillips, Ailís Ní Ríain, Humphrey Smith, Philip Scowcroft, Colin Scott Sutherland, Andrew Seivewright, Richard Whitehouse, Reg Williamson, Peter Grahame Woolf, David Wright. A complete list of contributors can be seen here


August 2000 part 4

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Cello Concerto; Symphony No.8
Truls Mork (cello)/Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Ole Kristian Ruud
BIS CD-972 [64' 21"] [CA]

Melody is the root of Saeverud's invention; his expression is personal and communicative and requires concurrent appreciation of its organic development and emotional release.

Colin Anderson

Franz SCHUBERT (1797 - 1828)
Octet in F Major, D 803 [53.07]
Ludwig SPOHR
(1784 - 1859)
Octet in E Major [24.56]
The Vienna Octet
Recorded March 58 (Schubert) and March 59 (Spohr) Sofiensaal, Vienna ADD
DECCA Legends 466 580-2 [78.03] [HD]

Some vintage Chamber music from Decca. The Schubert Octet is a welcome back and the Spohr a welcome addition.

Edith Wiens (soprano); Rudolf Jansen (pianoforte); Joaquin Valdepeñas (clarinet)*
CBC MVCD 1053 65:51m [CH]

.... when the singer enters a miracle happens and the piano glistens and shimmers around the voice in a way it so often just fails to. Many a more famous version seems earthbound after this.

Peter Pears (tenor) Benjamin Britten (piano)
Decca 466 382-2 [70.07] [PW]

It is good to have this classic 1963 account of Winterreise back in the catalogue.... An indispensable acquisition. 

Piano Duets Fantasy D940; Variations D813; Grand Duo D812
Sviatoslav Richter/Benjamin Britten (piano)
Decca 466 822-2 [75.27] [PW]

A gem quarried from the BBC recordings at the Aldeburgh Festivals of 1964/65 at the Aldeburgh Parish Church (Variations) and Jubilee Hall (Fantasy & Duo). Not a lot needs to be said. The intimate venues were conducive to superb 'domestic' music making, ideally exemplified by the coming together of these great musicians year after year.

Judith (1949) 23.41
Eastman Philharmonia/David Effron
Night Journey (1947) 21.28
Endymion Ensemble/Jon Goldberg
In Sweet Music (1978) 
Rosalind Rees (soprano)/Orpheus Trio 24.54
rec 1983, 1981, 1980.

Schuman's 'hand' is unmistakable. The haunted, whispering and attentuated strings, the tension built and held, the gale-blown or breezily strident sassy woodwind, the explosive energetic brass barks and towering monoliths, the counterpoint of lean and slow-moving lyrical ideas against quicker material....An imperative addition for anyone captivated by the violin concerto or third symphony.

Piano Concerto in A minor. op 54

Piano Concerto in D minor, op 15
Ivan Moravec, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Mata
Dorian Records, DOR-90172, 79 minutes, Full-Price [MB]

Ivan Moravec is a name that might not be familiar to many, yet he is one of the last of a legendary generation of great pianists that demands comparison with Richter, Gieseking and Solomon.

Both the Schumann and the Brahms recordings on this disc, from live performances, are in their own ways fascinating insights into a world of pianism you hardly ever hear nowadays. This disc is indispensible for this reason alone, even if the performances will generate some controversy.



Ruth Crawford SEEGER
Chamber Works
String Quartet; Suites for Wind Quintet, Wind Quintet & Piano & for Piano & Strings; Diaphonic Suites 1-4.
Pellegrini Quartet & Ensemble Aventure
CPO 999 670-2 [63.15]

This is a valuable and comprehensive collection of forthright, clear-headed music, arranged well in a sequence which varies the instrumentation between wind and strings, and from one voice to six.

Cello sonata; Blok romances



Rostropovich/Vishneskaya/Benjamin Britten,
with Brainin/Schidlof/Lovett.
Decca 466 823-2 [74.22] [PW]

I found this one of the most interesting and valuable of the recent batch BBC live recordings at the Aldeburgh Festivals, which display Britten's versatility & prowess at the piano.... Another splendid Aldeburgh Festival recital compilation, impeccably remastered to vivid, nostalgic effect for those of us who attended some of these performances, and equally recommendable to younger collectors.

The Tempest - Incidental Music, op.129: Prelude; Suites 1 and 2
Violin Concerto in D minor, op.47 (1)
Dmitry Sitkovetsky (violin) (1); Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner
Hänssler CD 98.353 [70' 37"]

Symphony No. 2 (1915)
Serenade (1913 rev 1919)
Stockholm PO Tor Mann (Symphony) Rafael Kubelik (Serenade)
stereo rec Stockholm Concert Hall 15-16 Aug 1959 (symphony) 22-24 Sept 1964 (serenade)

Do not be too quick to dismiss this generous coupling on account of age. The recording quality is decent, solid and honest. The coupling is outstandingly generous and the performances are of great virtue.....The generous repackaging of the series was an inspired stroke.

DVD Review:

Eva Marton, Brigitte Fassbaender, Cheryl Studer, Franz Grundheber & James King
Chorus & Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, Claudio Abbado
Arthaus Musik, 100048 109 minutes  [MB]

For this is a great performance, one of the finest you will ever hear with a near-perfect cast and playing by the Vienna Philharmonic that is shattering.

Shadow Dances.
Tangoa. Suitesa - No. 1; No. 2. Concerto in Db. Concertinob. Octetb. Three Pieces for String Quarteta. Praeludiuma. Ragtimea. Duetc. Fanfare for a New Theatrec. Scherzo à la Russea.
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Producer Christian Gansch. Engineer Wolf-Dieter Katwatky. Date aApril 1996, bDecember 1995, cDecember 1996.
DG 453 458-2 (full price, 1 hour 7 minutes).


Michael Oliver

Toru TAKEMITSU (1930-1996)
I Hear the Water Dreaming
Toward the Sea (versions for flute and guitar; for flute, harp and string orchestra†;and for alto flute and harp)
Le Fils des Étoiles
And then I knew 'Twas Wind*
Patrick Gallois (wooden flute) and Fabrice Pierre (Salvi harp and Camac* harp)
BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Davis †
Deutsche Grammophon 20/21 - 453459 -2

Takemitsu's primary inspiration was the natural world and the flute was the instrument that came closest to capturing its essence through its many possible variations of tone-production and fingering to allow extraordinary subtle colouring of phrases and even individual notes......A colourful collection of slow moving, mostly serene and dreamlike music most sympathetically played.

String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11
String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, OP. 22
New Haydn Quartet, Budapest - Janos Horvath, Peter Sarosi,(violins) Gyorgy Porzolt,(viola) and Gabor Magyar (cello)
recorded 2-5/10/95, in the Unitarian Church Budapest. DDD
Naxos 8.550847 [66.35]

An excellent, well performed disc of two of Tchaikovsky's best loved chamber works in an excellent recording at budget price

Der Tod Jesu
Dorothee Mields   Britta Schwarz   Klaus Mertens   Jan Kobow   
Magedburg Chamber Choir/Telemann Chamber Orchestra Michaelstein/Ludger Remy
CPO 999 720-2[76.12] [PGW]

This may surprise listeners who are more familiar with Telemann's voluminous instrumental music. The text is vivid and refreshingly unfamiliar. The recitatives are dramatic and expressive and the sequence of reflective arias is accompanied by a variety of obligatto instruments, which maintains interest and pleasure.

Sonatas 1 Op.51 & 2 Op.82; Sonata espagnola; Homenaje a Navarra; Variaciones clasicas; Euterpe
Roland Roberts (violin) Miyako Hashimoto (piano)
Meridian CDE 84430 70 mins

Roland Roberts is a reasonably accomplished violinist, though perhaps with limited imagination, and his intonation is slightly suspect at times. More seriously (perhaps related to the recording) his tone sounds wiry and harsh - the CD benefits from playing with some top cut. The notes by the violinist need proof-reading.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 - 1901)
La Traviata Victoria de los Angeles, Germont Carlo del Monte, Germont Mario Sereni, Rome Opera Chorus and Orchestra Serafin
EMI double fforte CZS 5 73824 2 2CD's [ 119.02 ] [HD]

If you want a Traviata that won't break the bank and you will continue to enjoy after repeated playings - this is the one to buy.

Abbé Georg Joseph VOGLER (1749 - 1814)
Requiem in E Flat Major (arr. Dr. Joachim Veit) [57.00]
Chor der Staatlichen Musikhochschule Mannheim
Kurpfalzisches Kammerorchester.
Sabine Goetz (soprano), Barbara R. Grabowski (alto),
Christopher Wittmann (tenor), Rudolf Piernay (bass).
Gerald Kegelmann (conductor).
DDD Recorded July 16/17 1999. SWR Studio Kaiserslautern
ARTE NOVA Classics 74321 71663 2 [57.00] [HD]

A most interesting disc that brings back to life a lost piece.

Five Symphonies.
London Mozart Players Matthias Bamert.
Chandos CHAN9823 71m DDD.[GF]

Mathias Bamert's 'Contemporaries of Mozart' series now tackles Wesley, an English composer chiefly remembered for his sacred music . These five symphonies are full of colour and imagination and resemble Ditterdorsf's 'Ovid' Symphonies for their range of flair and advanced orchestration.

Richard YARDUMIAN (1917-1985)
Armenian Suite (1937)
Symphony No. 2 Psalms (1947, 1964)
Lili Chookasian (contralto)
Utah SO/Varujan Kojian
rec 1981? PHOENIX PHCD 112 [38.14] [RB]

The music strikes some well defined dramatic attitudes along the way but is a work of evident sincerity which generally avoids the obvious. The tender and movingly quiet ending bespeaks a composer with no shortage of artistic valour.

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