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

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PART 4  [Part 1]  [Part 2]
 [Part 3] [Part 4]  [Part 5]        
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Franz SCHUBERT (1797 - 1828) Symphony No 5 in B Flat Major [28.45] Symphony No 8 in B Minor [38.20] Completed by Brian Newbould (Including Entracte Music No I from Rosamunde) Rosamunde. Incidental Music. Ballet Music No 2 [6.54] Symphony No 9 in C Major "The Great" [59.35] Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Sir Charles Mackerras Recorded Abbey Road Studios. CD1 November 1990, CD2 October 1987. DDD Total Timing [133.46] Virgin veritas 2CD VBD5 61806 2 £8.99 [HD]

Recommended listening - you do not need to be a period performance devotee to enjoy it.

Franz SCHUBERT Four Violin Sonatas D384,408, 385 & 574; Fantasie D934; Arpeggione Sonata D821 Szymon Goldberg (violin) with Radu Lupu (piano); Maurice Gendron (cello) with Jean Francaix (piano) Decca 466 748-2 [119.24] [PGW]

A complete delight and a nostalgic trip too. ...A delectable Double Decca to grace anyone's collection.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797 - 1828) Quintet in A D667 "Trout"* [39.42] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART(1756 - 1791) Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade in G K525)** [17.50] Guarneri Quartet RCA Red Seal 09026 63589 2 [58.12] [HD]

Certainly a disc to consider but it is not generously filled and there are better versions of the Trout to choose from.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-56). Toccata in C, Op. 7. Etudes symphoniques, Op. 13 (including Five Posthumous Variations). Fantasie in C, Op. 17. Earl Wild (piano).
Ivory Classics IC71001 [ADD/DDD] [72'45] [CC]

Not recommended

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Preludes, Volume 2. Julian SCRIABIN (1908-1919) Four Preludes. Evgeny Zarafiants (piano). Naxos 8.554145 [DDD] [65'01]

The curiosity offered by this disc lies in the appending of four preludes by Julian Scriabin (who died at the age of eleven). The works do, indeed, sound like his father's music. A haunting end to an interesting disc.

Salvatore SCIARRINO Le voci sottovero & Infinito Nero Ensemble Recherche/Sonia Turchetta (mezzo-soprano) Kairos 0012022KAI [52.45] [PGW]

All fully explained - 'silence is not empty. It gives birth to sound' - and beautifully packaged. Very bizarre, so no star rating attempted!

SIBELIUS Symphonies Nos. 1,2,5 & 7, 'The Swan of Tuonela'.   Hallé Orchestra Sir John Barbirolli. Dutton Laboratories CDSJB1018 2CDs146m ADD (Rec: 1949-57). [RB] [GF]

...these magnificently refurbished Pye recordings demonstrate a grand sweep and manner that was characteristic of Sir John's live performances so often talked about in Manchester of the fifties.

DVD REVIEW:  SIBELIUS Violin Concerto  De FALLA Nights in the Gardens of Spain Maxim Vengerov (vln), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim Arthaus Musik (Region 0), Cat. No 100 034 (87 minutes) [MB]

This DVD contains one of the greatest performances of Sibelius' Violin Concerto you will ever hear. It is a performance that chilled me to the bone.

STANFORD Songs Vol. 2.   Stephen Varcoe: baritone, Clifford Benson: piano.   Hyperion CDA67124 77m DDD. [GF]

Varcoe and Benson have already proved themselves as master interpreters of this composer's songs and they are quite in inspired form throughout, indeed this volume should confirm that Hyperion's stature in the world of English song remains quite unchallenged.

STRAUSS Choral Works Feierlicher Einzug; Wanderers Sturmlied Op 14; Festliches Präludium Op 61; Olympic Hymn; Taillefer Op 52 Elisabeth-Maria Wachutka (sop); Gerhard Siegel (ten); Hans-Peter Scheidegger (bar); Münchner MotettenChor; Münchner Symphoniker/ Hayko Siemens ARTE NOVA Classics 74321 72107 2 [57.25][LF]

This is the third recording of Taillefer, Richard Strauss's most unlikely vocal work, an enormous setting for soloists, chorus and orchestra, dating from 1903, telling the story of the Battle of Hastings and the heroic deeds of William the Conqueror's minstrel Taillefer. Owing to its overblown forces and a battle scene that out-Heldenlebens Ein Heldenleben, critical reception has not been as positive as I feel it deserves.

STRAVINSKY 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. DG 453 458-2 (full price, 1 hour 7 minutes). [AB]

Overall a fascinating collection of miniatures, well played and well recorded.

Toru TAKEMITSU (1930 - 1996) I hear the water dreaming (1987)** [10.50] Toward the sea I (1981)* [11.11] Le fils des étoiles (1975)* [ 4.15] Toward the sea II (1981)** [11.08] And then I knew 'twas wind (1992)* [13.10] Toward the sea III (1989)* [10.56] Air (1995)* [ 5.36] Patrick Gallois (flute) Göran Söllscher (guitar) Fabrice Pierre (harp) Pierre Henri Xuereb (viola) BBC Symphony Orchestra   Andrew Davis.(conductor) Recording. The Warehouse, London. 9 / 96 * London, Abbey Road Studios. Studio One. ** DDD   DG 453 459-2 [67.06] [HD]

This will not be everyone's cup of tea. Sampling first would be advised.

G. P TELEMANN 6 Paris Quartets.   Wilbert Hazelzet Sonnerie.   Virgin Veritas VBD561-812-2 118m DDD. [GF]

With the glut of Bach recordings being issued, other composers have remained quite in the shadows this year so it is welcome to review this excellent reissue of Telemann's 'Paris' Quartets

TELEMANN Der Tod Jesu.   Dorothee Mields, Britta Schwarz, Jan Kobow, Klaus Mertens. Magdeburger Kammerchor Telemann Kammerorchester Michaelstein Ludger Remy.   CPO 999-720-2 76m DDD. [GF]

'Der Tod Jesu' is rather similar to the St John Passion in its reflective thematic inspiration and absence of bombastic religious statements.

THALBERG Piano Concerto in F minor, Souvenirs de Beethoven, Nocturne, Canzonette Italienne, Un Soupir Francesco Nicolosi (piano) Razumozsky Symphony Orchestra  Andrew Mogrelia Naxos 8.553701 (62 minutes)

.... while the music-making is accurate, it does seem slightly careful. There is little of the sheer élan which a concerto of this type might demand, and which an extra rehearsal or two might have achieved.

DVD Review Guiseppe VERDI (1813-1901) AIDA opera in four acts (Recorded at La Scala, Milan in 1985) Maria Chiara, Luciano Pavarotti, conducted by Lorin Maazel. ARTHAUS MUSIK 100058 [160 mins]. [IL] [PGW]

This 1985 La Scala performance of Aida is a triumph.

TOMAS LUIS DE VICTORIA (1548-1611) Devotions and Lamentations Devotion to Our Lady 52.16 Mystery of the Cross 76.16 The Sixteen / Harry Christophers rec St Judes on the Hill, Hampstead, 1997  REGIS RRC 2027 2CDs [128.32] [RB]

The spare Mystery of the Cross contrasts with the harmonic riches of the Devotion to Our Lady. All is lovingly recorded and performed.

VIVALDI  Nisi Dominus RV 608 , Concerto in F for strings RV 141, Clarae stellae, scintillate, RV 625, Concert in C for strings RV 109, Vestro Principi Divino, RV 633, Salve Regina, RV 616. Andreas Scholl (countertenor) Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Paul Dyer. DECCA 466 964 - 2 (DDD) (69.31)[DW]

These pieces were not written for a countertenor and, quite frankly they do not work and Vivaldi is the loser and that is not fair. And yet Scholl is magnificient. He really is. It is like the situation when one is asked a question and the answer is neither yes or no.

DVD REVIEW Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan & Isolde Tristan, Jon Frederic West Isolde, Waltraud Meier King Mark, Kurt Moll   Kurwenal, Bernd Weikl Brangane, Marjana Lipovsek Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper Bayerisches Staatsorchester, conducted by Zubin Mehta Arthaus Musik DVD 100056 Full Price, playing time: 241 minutes (2 discs) [MB]

This is certainly a Tristan that many could live with and it survives repeated viewing well. And, it is crucially a gripping performance.

Richard WAGNER Love Duets from "Siegfried" and "Tristan und Isolde"* Deborah Voigt (Soprano)  Placido Domingo (Tenor)  *Violeta Urmana (Mezzo-soprano) Orchestra  of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden Conducted by Antonio Pappano EMI Classics CDC5 57004 2 [57.26] [TD]

For those who like their Wagner short and for those who wish to hear Domingo especially in these two duets, this disc is a must.

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 [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.

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