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Edwin CARR Symphony No 4 (1993) 25.27 Promenade (1986) 18.41  Sinfonietta (1979) 14.30
Pacific Festival Overture (1986) 7.27 New Zealand SO/Kenneth Young rec Tory St, Wellington, NZ
CONTINUUM CCD 1077 [66.05] [RB]

Rather a nice disc of genuine tonal music with a modest contrast running between the symphony and the other works.

AARON COPLAND Fanfare for the Common Man ,Lincoln Portrait *   Canticle of Freedom, An Outdoor Overture ROY HARRIS American Creed, When Johnny Comes marching Home * James Earl Jones (speaker) Seattle SO and Chorale / Gerard Schwarz DELOS DE 3140 [61.30] [RB]

The impression of 'odds and ends' of Harris and Copland is accurate enough but many of these wartime shorter works have a contemporary visceral charge well worth experiencing.

  COWELL piano music   Chris Brown/Sorrel Hays/Joseph Kubera/Sarah Cahill - pianos New Albion NA 103 CD [70.58] [PW]

This is an excellent recital, recorded live before appreciative audiences, and is a recommendable introduction to Cowell's piano music, which is still heard only sporadically in UK.

LYELL CRESSWELL A Modern Ecstasy for sop, bar and orchestra (1986) 43.57 Cello Concerto (1984) 26.57 Nigel Leeson-Williams (bar) Patricia Boylan (sop) Roman Jablonski (cello)
CSR Symphony Orchestra/Richard Bernas rec Bratislava, 8-13 April 1991 CONTINUUM CCD 1033  [71.04] [RB]

Two works of unimpeachable power and undeniably genuine feeling. Do not look for frivolity or relief from angst. This music stares into the Void and does not blink.

CZERNY (1791-1857) Complete Music for Horn and Fortepiano. Introduction et Variations concertante, Op. 248. Drei Brillante Fantasien, Op. 339. Andante e Polacca. Andrew Clark (horn); Geoffrey Govier (fortepiano). Helios CDH55074 [DDD] [79'40] [CC]

Andrew Clark is such a master of both natural and valved horn that this disc will give pleasure to all.

DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Night in Granada (arr. Stokowski) Clair de Lune (Caplet) Pagodes (Percy Grainger) The Girl With the Flaxen Hair (Gleichmann)  Nocturnes, Première Rhapsodie, Petite Suite (Büser) James Campbell (clarinet) Women's Voices of the Philharmonia Chorus
Geoffrey Simon conducts The Philharmonia Orchestra CALA CACD1025 [66:49] [IL]

Many musicians have felt compelled to transcribe many of Debussy's highly atmospheric and evocative piano pieces for orchestra. This album, together with its companion disc 'The Engulfed Cathedral', is a fascinating collection of some of these transcriptions.

DEBUSSY (1862-1918) The Engulfed Cathedral (arr. Stokowski) L'Isle Joyeuse (Molinari)
Deux Arabesques (Mouton) La Mer, Bruyères (Percy Grainger) Danse-Tarantelle Styrienne (Ravel) Children's Corner (Caplet) Geoffrey Simon conducts The Philharmonia Orchestra CALA CACD1024 [69:18] [IL]

More superb transcriptions. Another invaluable addition to the Debussy discography.

DEBUSSY Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune  Boston Symphony Orchestra Michael Tilson Thomas  String Quartet in G minor op.10 Melos Quartett  Syrinx for solo flute Doriot Anthony Dwyer
Estampes Sviatoslav Richter Piano  La Mer Berlin Philharmonic Herbert von Karajan  Preludes Book I
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Sonata for Cello and Piano Mstislav Rostropovich Cello Benjamin Britten Piano NocturnesBoston Symphony Orchestra Claudio Abbado DG Panorama 469-130-2 156m DDD. [GF]

It is quite unbelievable that DG have reissued such recordings at bargain basement prices and that is even more of an incentive to buy!

DELIUS (1862-1934) Florida Suite: Daybreak - Dance; By the River; Sunset - Near the Plantation; At Night North Country Sketches: Autumn; Winter Landscape; Dance; The March of Spring On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring* Air and Dance* Ulster Orchestra London Philharmonic Orchestra* Conducted by Vernon Handley CHANDOS CHAN 6628 [77:42] [IL]

This is a reissue the recordings were made in 1984 and 1986. Vernon Handley proves he is a most sympathetic interpreter of Delius's music in this generously filled album. These are performances of considerable refinement.

DELIUS (1862-1934) Danish Masterworks:  An Arabesque for Baritone, chorus and  orchestra; Five Danish Songs; Seven Danish Songs; Two Danish Songs; Intermezzo from Fennimore and Gerda; Life's Dance Henriette Bonde-Hansen (soprano); Johan Reuter (baritone)
The Danish National Opera Chorus and Aarhus Chamber Choir Aarhus Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bo Holten. DANACORD DACOCD 536 [70:27] [IL]

Here is an enterprising programme, beautifully and lovingly performed, that will be treasured by all Delius lovers.

DONIZETTI (1797-1848) L'elisir d'amore (Highlights). Vincenzo La Scola (tenor) Nemorino; Alessandra Ruffini (soprano) Adina; Simone Alaimo (bass) Dulcamara; Roberto Frontali (baritone) Belcore; Mariangela Spotorno (soprano) Giannetta; Hungarian State Opera Choir and Orchestra/Pier Georgio Morandi. Naxos 8.554707 [DDD] [77'09] [CC]

Best avoided

DUFAY Missa Ecce ancilla Domini; Proprium De angelis & Le Banquet du Voeu (various composers) Ensemble Gilles Binchois/Dominique Vellard Virgin Veritas VBD 5 61818 2 3 [64.06+59.34] [PW]

Have no fears about the performances, which are impeccable, nor the recordings made in France & Switzerland. Le Banquet du Voeu would make a good contribution to the pauses between the courses of your next dinner party!

DUPARC  Mélodies (complete)   Mireille Delunsch (soprano) Vincent Le Texier (baritone) Guy Flechter (tenor) François Kerdoncuff (piano) Timpani 1C1053 [63.34]  [PW]

A disappointment in a series which has given me great pleasure during the last year or two.

Marcel DUPRÉ Complete Organ Works Vol.10 Le Chemin de la Croix Op.29. Jeremy Filsell (organ) Guild GMCD 7193 [56.10]

Impressive music by a composer surprisingly little known outside organ circles and I think this series may surprise and please some CD collectors who may have no organ CDs, or else none other than of Bach.

DVORÁK (1841 - 1904)Requiem Op.89 [92.34] Symhony No 9 in E Minor op95 "From the New World" [42.33] New Jersey Symphony Orchestra  Westminster Symphonic Choir (Joseph Flummerfelt -Choral Director) Oskana Krovytska (sop); Wendy Hoffman (mezzo) John Aler (tenor); Gustav Belácek (bass)Zdenek Macal (Conductor)Recorded October 1999 New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark. N.J. DDD DELOS DE 3260 2 CDs[135.18] [HD]

A double disc that I liked a lot. There are minor reservations but any future buyer should be well satisfied with his purchase.

David FELDER Six Poems from Neruda´s `Alturas´. June in Buffalo Orchestra Magnus Martensson, conductor Coleccion Nocturna Jean Kopperud, clarinet, bass-clarinet James Winn, piano
4-channel tape a pressure triggering dreams June in Buffalo Orchestra Harvey Sollberger, conductor David Felder.   Electronics mode 89 PO Box 1026 New York, NY 10116, USA

Having listened to those three works over and over I am always astonished that, despite the wide-ranging changes in dynamics and colours, any so called `contemporary´ smack is missing entirely. It is music for the 21st century, true to itself, extremely powerful, honest and full of discovery.

FISCHER (c1670-1746) Musical Parnassus, Volume 2. Muscalischer Parnassus - Terpsichore (Suite No. 7); Polymnia (Suite No. 8); Uranie (Suite No. 9). Musicalisches Blumen-Büschlein, Op. 2: Suite No. 2 in F; Suite No. 8 in G. Luc Beauséjour (harpsichord). Naxos 8.554446 [DDD] [60'19] [CC]

C.P.E. Bach stated that Fischer was one of the few composers who had influenced his father's music. Praise indeed, although quotes like that can send one's expectations rocketing over and beyond the music's actual substance.

ANDREA GABRIELI Missa Pater peccavi: motets and instrumental music.   His Majestys Consort of Voices, His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts Timothy Roberts.   Hyperion CDA67167 66m DDD. [GF].

Another major discovery in the shape of the music of Andrea Gabrieli, a lesser known figure than the more illustrious Giovanni but certainly no less inventive and talented.

JOHN GARDNER  Burns Sequence Kenneth Leighton  Hymn to Matter John McEwen
Six Songs for Female Voices.   National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. RSNO/Christopher Bell.
  NYCoS CD1. (56' 03'') [PC]

John Gardner's scoring is witty and economical and the melodies are memorable to the point of being hard to shake out of one's mind. The composer's good humoured personality is writ large throughout the cycle.

Steven R. GERBER Symphony No. 1, Dirge and Awakening, Viola Concerto * Triple Overture ** Lars Anders Tompter (viola)*, The Beckova Sisters** Russian Symphony Orchestra - Thomas Sanderling  recorded in Studio 5, Recording and Broadcast Station of Moscow - 3-7 August 1999.  Chandos CHAN 9831 [67.19] DDD [JP]

Sit up and take notice!

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue Leonard Bernstein piano and conductor of Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra An American in Paris San Francisco Symphony Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa Piano Concerto in F André Previn piano and conductor of the Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra Cuban Overture Porgy and Bess Suite James Levine conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Rhapsody No. 2 Variations on I Got Rhythm Werner Haas (piano) and the Orchestre national de l'Opera de Monte Carlo conducted by Edo De Waart Three Preludes Gil Shaham (violin) and André Previn (piano) Five Song Arrangements André Previn (piano) and David Finck (double bass) DG PANORAMA 2 CDs 469 139-2 [156:56] [IL]

It is unfortunate that DG and Philips have fared relatively poorly in comparison to the competition when it comes to the music of Gershwin for a glance at publications like Gramophone's Classical Good CD Guide shows that they recommend only a few of their releases.I recommend readers to visit our companion Film Music on the Web site. There they will find many reviews of attractive Gershwin collections in the months of 1998, the year of Gershwin's birth centenary.

REINHOLD GLIERE (1875-1956) Taras Bulba ballet suite (1952) YEVHEN STANKOVICH (b.1942) Rasputin ballet suite (1990) Odessa PO/Hobart Earle rec Odessa, June 1996 ASV CD DCA 988 [56.27] [RB]

Two items of Ukrainian tonal esoterica, devastatingly recorded. Old-fashioned but pleasing in the case of Gliere. Luminous and memorable in the Stankovich.

Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961)The Chandos Grainger Edition Volume 15 Orchestral Works 3 Richard Hickox conducts the BBC Philharmonic CHANDOS CHAN 9839 [70:25] [IL]

Richard Hickox and the BBC Philharmonic deliver sparkling and committed performances of all these tuneful delights.

Alexander GRECHANINOV (1864-1956) Cycle of symphonies on CHANDOS (one long file)
Alexander GRECHANINOV (1864-1956) Symphony No. 1 (1894) 34.16 Snowflakes (1910) 15.47 Missa Sancti Spiritus (1940) 20.28 Ludmila Kuznetsova (mezzo) Tatiana Jeranje (con) Russian State Symphonic Cappella Russian State SO/Valeri Polyansky rec 1994 CHANDOS CHAN 9397 [68.46] [RB]

Admirers of Glazunov's orchestral music, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker or Fauré's choral music will need no second bidding.

Alexander GRECHANINOV (1864-1956) Symphony No. 2 Pastoral (1908) 38.11 Mass Et in terra pax (1942) 20.31 Anatoly Obratzsov (bass) Ludmila Golub (organ) Russian State Symphonic Cappella Russian State SO/Valeri Polyansky rec 1995 CHANDOS CHAN 9486 [58.50] [RB]

Two contrasting works: a Tchaikovskian symphony and a serious choral work of predominantly WASP Cathedral tradition.

Alexander GRECHANINOV (1864-1956) Symphony No. 3 36.05 Cantata: Kvalite Boga 30.14 Ludmila Kuznetsova (mezzo) Russian State Symphonic Cappella Russian State SO/Valeri Polyansky rec 1998 CHANDOS CHAN 9698 [66.12] [RB]

Fine coupling. The strongest of the Grechaninov CDs from Chandos. The Cantata is a work of the greatest virtue and one which I recommend to you with every confidence.

Alexander GRECHANINOV (1864-1956) Symphony No. 4 (1927) 34.54 Cello Concerto (1895) 16.53 Missa festiva (1937) 20.28 Alexander Ivashkin (cello) Ludmila Golub (organ) Russian State Symphonic Cappella Russian State SO/Valeri Polyansky rec 1996 CHANDOS CHAN 9559 [74.16] [RB]

Good recordings of works of comfortably workmanlike inspiration striving out of the smoother contours in the case of the symphony

Alexander GRECHANINOV (1864-1956) Symphony No. 5 (1936) 37.12 Missa Oecumenica (1936) 42.02 Tatiana Sharova (sop) Ludmila Kuznetsova (mezzo) Oleg Dolgov (ten) Margarita Fadeyev (bass) Russian State Symphonic Cappella Russian State SO/Valeri Polyansky rec 1999 Moscow CHANDOS CHAN 9845 [79.16] [RB]

The cycle is brought to culmination with every Chandos virtue thumpingly asserted.

GRIEG Peer Gynt Suites Nos. 1 & 2, Sigurd Jorsalfar: 3 Pieces, Holberg Suite, Piano Concerto, Lyric Pieces, Norwegian Dances. Stephen Kovacevich · Emil Gilels · Sir Colin Davis · BBC Symphony Orchestra· Berliner Philharmoniker · Herbert von Karajan DG Panorama 469-142-2 146m DDD/ADD [GF]

Recommended to all those who wish to begin exploring Grieg's unique brand of poetic imagery.

HANDEL. Water Music (Suite in F HWV 348 and Suite in D and G major) HWV 349/350 ; Music for the Royal Fireworks HWV 351 ; Concerto for two horns in F HWV 334 ; Harp Concerto in B flat Op 4 no6 ; Concerti grossi Op. 6 nos. 5 in D, 6 in G minor and 12 in B minor. The English Consort, Trevor Pinnock. DG Panorama 469 145 - 2. 2CD set . Approx price £8.50. Recordings made between 1982 and 1986.[DW]

Worth having for the Concerti Grossi alone.

The Glories of Handel Opera HANDEL Alcina: Tornami a vagheggiar (amA); Dream Music (nE); Sta nell'Ircana pietrosa tana (doy); Atalanta: Care selve (arr. Gamley) (jry); Berenice: Si, tra i ceppi e le ritorte (ktx); Ezio: Se un bell'ardire(lnB); Giulio Cesare: Piangerò la sorte mia (dsz); Da tempeste il legno infranto (bqy); Orlando: Ah Stigie larve! Già latra Cerbero; Vaghe pupille, non piangete (imA); Riccardo Primo: Atterrato il muro cada (huF); Rinaldo: Armida disperata! … Lascia ch'io pianga (enC); Rodelinda: Io t'abbraccio (bgwy); Dove sei, amato bene? (fvD); Semele: Hence, Iris, hence away (fqy); Serse: Frondi tenere … Ombra mai fu (cpy). various singers Decca 458 249-2 [77' 16] [CH]

Decca, thanks to the L'Oiseau-Lyre label, probably has a more distinguished back-catalogue of Handel opera than any other company, but instead of drawing on those excellent pioneering sets led by Sir Anthony Lewis they have preferred to go for the big names.

HANDEL Israel in Egypt (1739 version).   Susan Gritton (soprano), Libby Crabtree (soprano), Michael Chance (alto), Robert Ogden (alto), Ian Bostridge (tenor), Stephen Varcoe (bass), Henry Herford (bass) Choir of King's College, Cambridge, The Brandenburg Consort, Stephen Cleobury.   DECCA 452 295 - 2 (DDD) (125.50) (2 CDs) [DW]

It is impossible to assess this recording. It is good in parts but there are far too many disappointments. Having loved Handel oratorio since I was a boy and having taken part in many of them in excellent performances I cannot recommend this performance.

HAMILTON HARTY  Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto, The Children of Lir, Variations on a Dublin Air, The London Air, Ode to a Nightingale, A Comedy Overture,  An Irish Symphony, In Ireland, With the Wild Geese Ulster Orchestra/Bryden Thomson CHANDOS 7035(3) 3 disc set (also available separately) [RB]

Loosely speaking an Irish Tchaikovskian whose music does nothing by halves. The Nightingale Ode is one of the neglected jewels of the scena repertory. The music of an Irish late romantic. Recommended with every confidence.

HAYDN (1732 -1809) The Seven Last Words on the Cross. [58.40]Instrumental version. Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra . Riccardo Muti Recorded live at the Salzburg Festival. 25 August 1982 ADD EMI CDM 5 67423 2 [HD]

Summary. This is deeply felt music, superbly played but is limited by its lack of variety.

Nigel HESS Winds of Power.  The London Symphonic Wind Orchestra/Composer   CHANDOS CHAN 9764

Nigel Hess, born in 1953, is best known for his music for television, feature films and the theatre, especially the RSC. His gift for approachable, attractive melody is peculiarly suited to those media, but it has been applied to concert music also, much of it wind band, which this disc explores enjoyably.

HOLBORNE (c.1545? -1602) "The teares of the Muses" 1599 - Elizabethan Consort Music Vol II Pavans, Galliards, & Almains Hespèrion XXI, Jordi Savall ALIA VOX AV9813 [66:13] [IL] [GD]

It is always a pleasure to hear the refined yet exuberant playing of Jordi Savall's ensemble. This new album of music by Anthony Holborne does not disappoint.

JACQUES IBERT (1890-1962) Bacchanale (1956) [8.20] Divertissement (1928) [16.47] Ouverture de Fete (1940) [15.57] Symphonie Marine (1931) [14.25] Escales (1922) [15.45]   Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux/Yutaka Sado  (recorded live and in studio at Salle Pleyel, Paris, 29-30 April 1996)  NAXOS 8.554222 [71.20] [RB]

If the playing does not have the total impact and discipline of the Dutoit, Martinon, Bernstein versions the recording and performances are much better than good and no one will feel cheated by such artistry, generosity and economy.

KALSONS  Violin Concertoa. Cello Concertob. Symphonic Variationsc. aValdis ZarinH (violin); bAgnese Rugevica (cello); cJanis Zilbers (piano); Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Terje Mikkelsen. Simax Classics PSC1213 (full price, 1 hour 13 minutes).

Guest review from International Record Review

Sigfrid KARG-ELERT (1877-1933) Works for Harmonium, Volume 4. Renaissance, Op. 57. Sicilienne, W10. 33 Portraits, Op. 101. Graduale, W7a. Einsames Vogelein. Zwei Miniaturen. Zwei Sensibilismen. Zwei Expressionismen. Johannes Matthias Michel (harmonium d'art). CPO 999 631-2 [DDD] [two discs, 129'28] [CC]

An interesting couple of hours' listening, but not to be taken in one go. Michel is a committed interpreter.

Paul von KLENAU Symphony No. 1 in F minor Symphony No. 3 (Triptikon) Paulo und Francesca Odense Symphony Orchestra - Jan Wagner recorded in the Odense Concert Hall - 17-20/5/99- in association with Danish Radio. DaCapo 8.224134 [69.08] DDD [JP]

Paul von Klenau born in 1883 - 1946, is a relatively unknown Danish can probably imagine what these works sound like before even hearing them - Bruckner like sonorities with a firm grasp of orchestration although with a restricted ability for writing distinctive melodies.

MYKOLA KOLESSA (b 1903) Symphony No. 1 (1950) 33 mins MYROSLAV SKORYK  b.1938) Hutsul Triptych (1965) Carpathian Concerto (1972) Odessa PO/Hobart Earle
rec Odessa, 7-10 July 1994 ASV CD DCA 963 [66.29] [RB]

ASV's series of Ukrainian orchestral music seems now to have run out of steam. Hear this disc to encounter the best of the line. Kolessa's irresistible symphony would please any audience as would the salty Skoryk scores.

Joseph KOSMA ChansonsFrancois Le Roux (baritone) Jeff Cohen (piano) with members of the Matrix Ensemble.Decca Entartete Musik 460 050-2[78.32] [PGW]

Here is an interesting collection of chansons by the composer of Les Feuilles Morts.... His colourful life story is recounted in the full notes for this Entartete Musik release and we are provided with full texts and translations, which are invaluable.

[Part 1]  [Part 2]
[Part 3] [Part 4]  [Part 5]         

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

Any opinions expressed in reviews or articles on this site are those of the author and  do not necessarily represent the views of the site owner, Len Mullenger or the Editors.  Reviewers and authors retain copyright in their work unless it has been paid for or commissioned by the site owner.

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