Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

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

This is a


a CD
 New each month!

Win a subscription to International Record Review

see below

allow time to load


Editor Rob Barnett  

Search Previous Reviews


Editor Ian Lace

your CDs on-line and benefit this site

Donations here

Current Reviews New entries are indicated by a rotating symbol.
Full list of reviewers and contributors here


PART 2 [Part 1]  [Part 2]
 [Part 3] [Part 4]  [Part 5]        
   Search for earlier CD reviews     powered by FreeFind

WIEL CONEN. Tide and time. Piano work Marijyke van Duin (piano) Etcetera KTC 1228. [60.05] [DW]

Conen's music is depressing. ...By now, I am genuinely feeling sick and depressed . I have had enough . I can't take any more.

Felix DRAESEKE (1835-1913) Symphony No. 3 in C, Op. 40, 'Symphonia tragica'. Funeral March in E minor, Op. 79. North German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hanover/Jörg-Peter Weigle.
CPO 999 581-2 [DDD] [54'58] [CC]

You may well feel that this disc comes as something of a revelation.

DUSSEK Piano Trios. Sonata in F, op. 20 no. 3 Sonata in B flat, op. 24 no.3. Three Sonatas Op 31 for piano with accompaniment for violin and bass with Scotch and German Airs: 1 in B flat for piano trio, 2 in D for piano solo , 3 in C for piano trio. Trio 1790 ( Susanne von Bausznern , Philipp Bosbach and Harold Hoeron.) CPO 999 583-2 (DDD) (63.05) [DW]

A very attractive disc and a wonderful example of how to play chamber music. While the music may not be stunning, it is full of life and unoppressive sunshine and the disc is recommended.

DVORÁK (1841-1904) Symphonies - No. 1 in C minor, B9, 'The Bells of Zlonice'; No. 2 in B flat, B12; No. 3 in E flat, B34 London Symphony Orchestra/István Kertész. Double Decca 466 739-2 [ADD] [144'38] [CC]

This set is not merely recommended. It is indispensable

DVORAK Symphonies - No. 6 in D, No.8 in G Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Myung-Whun Chung DG 469 046-2 [76'25", not 76'52" as stated on cover] [CA]

This latest release finds me admiring but not involved - and I love this music.

DVORÁK (1873-1943) Requiem (1891) [102.32] Leos JANACEK (1854-1928) Glagolytic Mass (1926) [39.32] cond: Zdenek Kosler (Dvorák); Ladislav Slovak (Janacek) Reissues licensed from Opus REGIS 2CD set RRC2019 [142.04] [RB]

Two contrasting choral works of epic ambition and achievement: the Dvorák unfashionable and awaiting rediscovery; the Janacek one of the classics of Twentieth Century choral writing. Both are faithfully represented here in performances that do not know the meaning of a pulled punch. Easily overlooked. Don't.

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934) Bostock and the Münchner Symphoniker in rare ELGAR orchestral and vocal works - many world premiere recordings The Crown of India March, Hail Immemorial Ind , from The Crown of India , The Wind at Dawn, Empire March, A Voice in the Desert, Polonia, Piano Concerto (slow movement), The Spanish Lady suite, Civic Fanfare - Hereford. Christine Østergaard (mezzo) Peter Hall (Narrator) Margaret Fingerhut (piano) Münchner Symphoniker/Douglas Bostock rec 19-20 April 2000, Bavaria Tonstudio, München The British Symphonic Collection Vol. 7 CLASSICO CLASSCD334 [65.12] [GF]

No serious Elgarian should be without this disc.

ELGAR  String Quartet in E minor WALTON  String Quartet in A minor Britten Quartet
rec Bristol, 1991 REGIS RRC 1015 [55.50] [RB]

An extremely welcome and recommendable coupling powerfully recorded.

ENGLUND Cello Concertoa. Symphony No. 6, 'Aphorisms'b. aJan-Erik Gustafsson (cello); Tampere Philharmonic bChoir and Orchestra/Eri Klas. Recorded with support from the Performing Music Promotion Centre (ESEK). Producer Seppo Siirala. Engineer Enno Mäemets. Date September 1999. Ondine ODE951-2 (full price, 56 minutes) [Guest review - Martin Anderson]

Guest review from International Record Review

BENJAMIN FRANKEL The Battle of the Bulge (original score).   Queensland So/Werner Andreas Albert.   CPO 999 696-2. (78' 43'')[PC]

This has to be one of the most important and satisfying recordings of film music to emerge in recent years.

Beat FURRER Nuun; Presto con fuoco; still; Poemas Klangforum Wien/Sylvain Cambreling & Peter Eotvos (conductors)/ Marino Formenti & Florian Muller (piano)/ Eva Furrer (flute)/ Elisabeth Lawrence (mezzo-soprano) Kairos 0012062KAI [52.02] [PGW]

This CD is a 52 minute roller-coaster of exciting, unsettling music, often punctuated by 'noise' over fast-moving rhythmic structures. ....Furrer's instrumental vocabulary is full of metallic sounds evoking non-musical 'noise' which becomes, in context, evocative and even beautiful.

Niels GADE Violin Sonatas no. 1 in A op. 6, no. 2 in D minor Op.21, no. 3 in B flat, op.59.   Dora Bratchkova (violin), Andreas Meyer-Hermann ( piano)   CPO 999 644 - 2 (DDD) (63.23) [DW]

I would like to recommend this disc whole-heartedly but I can't ! It is such a pity. The violinist is good as is the music but the pianist and the recording is awful. By this I do not mean that the pianist is incompetent. He isn't. He is just too loud and eccentric, the centre of attraction.

JOHN GARDNER  Flute Concerto op.220. Symphony No.3 in E minor op.189. Sinfonia Piccola for Strings op.47. Irish Suite op.231. Half Holiday - Overture op.52. Prelude for Strings op.148a. Jennifer Stinton (flute) Royal Ballet Sinfonia Gavin Sutherland. ASV CD WHL 2125. (62' 46'') [PC]

ASV is to be congratulated for being the first company to produce an all-Gardner programme. The host of memorable melodies on this disc should win the composer many new admirers.

Howard GOODALL  We are the Burning Fire: Songs from a Small Planet   Henry Bennett  (treble) The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral Oxford conducted by Stephen Darlington METRONOME MET CD 1040 (68:38) [MH]

Sadly, after promising much, I found this collection to be somewhat disappointing. For me, apart from 'Kou jou-no-tsuki', there's not really any other song here that merits serious attention.

HANDEL Esther - an oratorio in six scenes (1718) original version, Oboe Sonata   Anthony Robson (oboe) Lynda Russell (sop) Nancy Argenta (sop) Michael Chance (alto) Thomas Randle, Mark Padmore, Matthew Vine, Simon Berridge (ten) Michael George, Robert Evans, Simon Birchall (basses).
Choir and Orchestra of The Sixteen/Harry Christophers rec St Judes on the Hill, May 1995 REGIS RRC 2025 2CDs [47.31+57.49] [RB]

A very happy set which should appeal to any Handelian.

Jonathan HARVEY (b. 1939) Madonna of Winter and Spring. Percussion Concerto. Song Offerings. Peter Pommel (percussion); Penelope Walmsley-Clark (soprano); Netherlands Radio Philharmonic  Orchestra/Peter Eötvös (Madonna, Percussion Conc); London Sinfonietta/George Benjamin (Song Offerings).
Nimbus NI5649 [DDD] [77'41] [CC]

A thrilling, involving disc that should be in the CD collection of anyone interested in British music of today.

HAYDN Sonatas (Vol.4) Nos. 32, 34, 42-44 Ronald Brautigan (fortepiano) BIS 1093[78.23] [PW]

Brautigan revels in Haydn's virtuoso flourishes and is as expressive as you could wish in the ornamented adagio of No. 44, which sonata I recommend for a sampling by any sceptical reader.

HOLST Works for Chorus and Orchestra The Golden Goose, A Choral Ballet; The Morning of the Year, A Choral Ballet; King Estmere, An Old English Ballad for Chorus and Orchestra; Morgan (soprano), Beinart (alto), Ovenden (tenor) Guildford Choral Society, The Philharmonia Orchestra/Hilary Davan Wetton Hyperion CDA66784 Total time: 72:10 [Guest Review -Steve Schwartz]

Mostly wonderful.

Erik JØRGENSEN (b. 1912) Confrontations. Variazioni for Piano. Improvisations for Wind Quintet. Piece for String Quartet. Introduction and Presto for Saxophone Quartet. Odense Symphony Orchestra/Tamás Vetö; Ulrich Stark (piano); Danish Wind Quintet; Kontra String Quartet; Danish Saxophone Quartet. Dacapo 8.224217 [DDD] [59'34] [CC]

Stimulating, involving and never less than fascinating performances throughout offer the highest dedication to Jørgensen's cause. Strongly recommended.

Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-87) Grand Motets, Volume 3. Exaudiat te Dominus (Psalm 19). O dulcissime Domine. Notus in zzzz Judaea Deus (Psalm 75). Laudate pueri Dominum (Psalm 112). Benedictus. Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet. Naxos 8.554399 [DDD] [57'35] [CC]

Le Concert Spirituel certainly does not tiptoe around these works but rather throw themselves into their performances with élan.

Richard STRAUSS Josephs Legende Staatskapelle Dresden/Giuseppe Sinopoli DG 463 493-2  [63'54"] [CA]

The worlds of Der Rosenkavalier and Salome meet here. There's some touching things, some exuberant things, and a touch of the exotic (or do I mean erotic?).

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


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.

Return to Front page