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SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) The Complete Music for Piano and Orchestra Gabriel Tacchino (piano), Ruggiero Ricci (violin), Susanna Mildonian (harp), Georges Mallach (cello), J.P. Kemmer (organ) Francis Orval (horn) Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg/Froment Rec. 1974/79 VOXBOX CD3X 3028 [CD1 77.00; CD2 67.53; CD3 76.45] [RW]

This budget-priced set, recorded in 1974-9, has previous recordings to compete with, yet holds up well. The inclusion of an extra (third) CD with some of Saint-Saëns' lesser works makes it worthy of serious consideration as a library set. I enjoyed Tacchino's playing - his intimate manner, sensitivity to nuances of mood change and clear articulation are endearing.

Antonio SALIERI (1750-1825) Overture to "Cublai, gran kan de Tartari", 26 Variations on "La folia di Spagna", Overture to "Angiolina, ossia Il Matrimonio per sussuto", Sinfonia Veneziana, Overture to "La locandiera", Sinfonia "Il giorno onomastico", Overture to "Falstaff, ossia Le tre burle" London Mozart Players conducted by Matthias Bamert. rec All Saints, Tooting, London - 10-11 April, 2000. CHANDOS CHAN 9877 [65.41] [JP]

A very worthy member of Chandos's series, tuneful, superbly played and recorded, and will give pleasure to all who purchase it. I enjoyed it very much.

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Complete Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 3 Jenö Jandö (piano)
Rec: December 1999 NAXOS 8.555047 [66.53] [KM][TB]

Two differing opinions. In the end it depends on your views on authenticity
A disappointing recording though it may appeal to those who dislike the harpsichord and think that 18th century music should be modernised and "adapted" for the piano.[KM]
The recording does justice to Scarlatti, with a nicely atmospheric presence and warmth, as well as a pleasing clarity which allows all the details of the music's extraordinary textures to be heard. [TB]

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Stabat Mater - Musica Sacra [57.06] Stabat Mater Dolorosa [30.46] O Magnum Mysterium (A. Scarlatti) [3.43] Messa Breve ìLa Stellaî [17.58] Te Deum Laudamus [6.17] Iste Confessor [3.25] William Byrd Ensemble, Graham O'Reilly Rec: July 1999. PIERRE VERANY PV799111 [57.06] [KM]

This is a beautiful performance of some powerful, emotional music. The singers are excellent, and the balance between the voices and the continuo is perfect, as is the recording itself. This deserves the highest recommendation.

SAMUEL SCHEIDT (1587-1654) Concertus Sacri (selection) Concertus V: Hodie completi sunt [10.29] Concertus XII: Magnificat [16.56] Concertus IX: Magnificat 8 toni [13.53] Concertus II: Laudate Dominum in Sanctis [15.14] Dresdner Kreuzchor, Ulrich Schicha Capella Fidicinia, Hans Gröh Conductor, Martin Flämig Rec: April and November 1983. BERLIN CLASSICS 0091262BC [56.54] [KM]

Scheidt combined traditional German forms with the then-new Italian style, creating works of unusual richness.

Johann Heinrich SCHMELZER (1623-1680) Arlecchino - Sonate e Balletti Giovanni Battista VITALI Ciaconna [3.18] Passagallo secondo [2.42] Georg MUFFAT Passacaglia [7.11] Ensemble Caprice:- Matthias Maute, recorder Sophie Larivière, recorder Michael Spengler, viola da gamba Maria Grossmann,  harpsichord Rec: July 1998. ANTES EDITION BM-CD 31.9149 [63.40]

Overall, this is an interesting recording. While the music is in no way essential, it provides an agreeable hour of melodies played by competent musicians.

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934 - 1998)  Concerto No. 3 for Violin and Chamber Orchestra* Moderato - Agitato - Andante Sonata No.2 "Quasi una Sonata"** A Paganini for solo violin Levon Ambartsumian, Violin Anatoly Sheludyakov, Piano** *Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra/Mikhail Kukushkin Recorded: Georgia, USA 2001 PHOENIX PHCD 150 [57:46] [SHJ]

A selection from Schnittke's disjunct violin compositions that is interesting both academically and musically. Presented with both subtlety and panache by outstanding Russian performers.

Arnold SCHOENBERG Pelleas und Melisande Op. 5 Richard WAGNER Siegfried -Idyll Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin/Christian Thielemann Deutsche Grammophon 4690082 [DDD 65:17] [CT]

A fine disc that anyone with an interest in early Schoenberg or late romanticism will not want to be without.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Octet in F, D.803 Nonet in e flat, D.79 Consortium Classicum/Dieter Klöcker Recorded 1983 CPO 999744-2 [62.58] [CH]

A disc that can be safely recommended.

SCHUBERT  Piano Sonata in B flat D960;  Piano Sonata in B D575;  Lebensstrume for two pianos D968 Klara Wurtz (piano) Klara Wurtz (and Pieter van Winkel, piano) in D968 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99678/1 (DDD) [78.08] [DW]

If you love Schubert, this disc and its companion is for you. For music students having to play for examinations I recommend this disc. It is also at a bargain price.

Franz SCHUBERT Piano Works Piano Sonata in A minor D537 Piano Sonata in a D664 Three Piano Pieces D946 Klara Wurtz (piano) Pieter van Winkel (piano) (in D946)   BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99678/6 (DDD) [77.19] [DW]

Ms Wurtz's tempi and her timing are first class and the felicitous elegance she brings to the music is evident. Just revel in it.

SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Deutsche Schubert-Lied-Edition, Vol. 6 Schiller-Lieder Vol.1 Martin Bruns (bar.); Ulrich Eisenlohr (pno.) Recorded April 2000 at the Burgerhaus Backnang. NAXOS  8.554740 [68.01] [JQ]

Bruns and Eisenlohr present a very satisfying recital. However, good as they are, I found that when comparisons were made generally the Hyperion versions revealed more subtleties.

Robert SCHUMANN Overtures: Manfred, op. 115, Hermann und Dorothea, op. 136, Die Braut von Messina, op. 100, Julius Caesar, op.128, Genoveva, op. 81 Berlin Symphony Orchestra/Lior Shambadal Recorded 5th- 8th September 2000, Siemens-Villa, Berlin-Lankwitz ARTE NOVA CLASSICS 74321 80782 2 [51.47][CH]

Shambadal obtains a fiery, spine-tingling response from the orchestra in the fast passages and much poetry in the softer ones.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Symphoniae Sacrae I SWV 257-276 * Soloists and Capella Fidicinia, Hans Grau Rec: 1984 BERLIN CLASSICS 0092502BC. [101.09]

An excellent recording of some of Schütz's most varied works. With a clear Italian influence, these pieces represent a key period in Schütz's career. Full of joy, this is beautiful, moving music.

HEINRICH SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Matthäus-Passion SWV 479 * Peter Schreier, tenor BERLIN CLASSICS 0090102BC [57.16] Lukas-Passion SWV 480 **Peter Schreier, tenor BERLIN CLASSICS 009207BC [61.30] Johannes-Passion SWV 481 ***  Peter Schreier, tenor Excerpts from Psalms of David SWV 40, 43, 42, 44 **** BERLIN CLASSICS 0090092BC [25.52]+[21.23]

Excellent recordings of Schütz's three passions, featuring the magnificent Peter Schreier as evangelist, in his prime. While the ascetic character of these a cappella works may not appeal to all, they are worth having just to hear Schreier in his element.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) The Seven Words of Jesus Christ on the Cross Akademia, Françoise Lasserre Rec: January 2000, Eglise Notre-Dame du Liban, Paris. PIERRE VERANY PV700013 [70.32] [KM]

A beautiful recording of a variety of Schütz's sacred vocal works. All the musicians and singers are excellent, the recording is perfect, and the music is very satisfying.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) The Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (1932) Opera in four acts and nine scenes (original version, sung in German) Boris Timofejevitch Ismailov, Oleg Bryiak (bass) Sinovi Borissovitch Ismailov, his son, Jason Alexander (tenor) Katerina Lvovna Ismailova, wife of Sinovi, Anna  Katharina Behnke (soprano) Sergei, Stephen Ibbotson (tenor) Axinia, Christina Rösch (soprano) Badisches Staatskapelle, Badische Staatsopernchor/Wolfgang Heinzel Live recording (DDD) from Badisches Staatstheater, Karlsruhe, June 1996. (Sung in German) ANTES EDITION BM-CD 15.9001. 3 CDs [CD1 49.32, CD2 52.31, CD3 60.50] [RBr]

This dedicated performance, with excellent sound and thrilling voices, should not be missed, not least for the tense, well-rehearsed orchestra.

David W. SOLOMONS (1953-) Songs of Solomons Stephen Taylor(counter-tenor), Jonathan Leonard (piano) rec. Jan 2001 DA CAPO NEW CENTURY CLASSICS NCC2003 [37.38] [PSe]

This curate's egg is definitely one to "try before you buy". Mixing my metaphors a bit, it's a bran-tub of songs: amongst the so-so-rans and the nice-to-haves you'll find a couple of truly treasurable plums. The affectionate performances are unfortunately marred by the use of a pub piano in a recording which redefines the standards for bathroom acoustics.

John Philip SOUSA (1854-1932) STRICTLY Sousa: A Collection of Marches Dallas Wind Symphony/Jerry Junkin Recorded in the Meyerson Symphony Centre, Dallas, 16 July 1998 REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-94CD [64:49] [AAS]

Performance and sound are faultless. The disc would provide ideal background music for a garden party or village fête.

Leo SOWERBY (1895 -1968) Concert Overture (1941) [7.51] Passacaglia, Interlude and Fugue (1932) [16.12] All on a Summer's Day (1954) [12.21] Symphony No. 2 (1928) [24.00] Czech National SO/Paul Freeman Chicago Sinfonietta/Paul Freeman rec 21-24 Oct 1996, studios Czech National Radio, Prague except Symphony 2 April 1997, Trinity High School, River Forest, Illinois ÇÉDILLE CDR 90000 039 [60.51] [RB]

All in all this is a very representative and sound collection - a credit to Sowerby and to Çédille

Leo SOWERBY (1895 -1968) Comes Autumn Time - Program Overture (1917) [4.41] Prairie - Poem after Carl Sandburg (1929) [16.41] Theme in Yellow - Poem after Carl Sandburg (1938) [20.03] From the Northland - Impressions of Lake Superior Country (1923) [20.42] Czech National SO/Paul Freeman
rec 21-24 Oct 1996, studios of Czech National Radio, Prague ÇÉDILLE CDR 90000 033 [60.51] [RB]

This Çédille disc and the reliably informative notes of Frank Crociata bring us to this rhapsodic music via fascinating paths.

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Sonata Concertante for Violin and Harp in D Major, Op. 115, Sonata for Violin and Harp in C Minor,Trio for Violin, Cello and Harp in E Minor (1806),Sonata for Violin and Harp in B flat Major, Op. 16 Sophie Langdon (violin), Hugh Webb (harp), Louis Dorey (cello) Rec: St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, East Sussex, 1998 NAXOS 8.555364 [76.57]  [RW]

This is not a disc one would wish to repeatedly play but it does provide a lovely occasional diversion.

Bernard STEVENS (1916 - 1983) The Shadow of the Glen Op. 50 (1978/9) The True Dark Op.49 (1974) (2) Della Jones (Nora), mezzo-soprano John Gibbs (Dan), baritone Paul Hudson (Tramp), bass Neil Mackie (Michael), tenor Divertimenti Orchestra/Howard Williams Richard Jackson, baritone (2) Igor Kennaway, piano (2) rec 1983, BBC studio ALBANY TROY 418 [62:52] [HC]

A most welcome release and a worthwhile addition to Stevens' slowly expanding discography.

Josef STRAUSS (1827-1870) Josef Strauss Edition, Volume 20 Liechtenstein Marsch, Opus 36 ,Delirien Waltz, Opus 212, Pêle-mêle Polka, Opus 161, Pariser Quadrille, Opus 209, Flattergeister Waltz, Opus 62, Künstler-Caprice Polka, Opus 135, Dithyrambe Polka, Opus 236, Vélocipède Polka, Opus 259, Actionen Waltz, Opus 174, Cupido Polka, Opus 81,
Frauenherz Polka-Mazur, Opus 166, Wiener Bonmots Waltz, Opus 108
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Kosice/Christian Pollack Rec 3-7 March 2000, House of Arts, Kosice, Slovakia MARCO POLO 8.223622 [65.59] [TB]

Josef Strauss's technique is top-drawer, while his invention offers many delights. This attractive programme features some well known items alongside many others which are less famous. [TB]

A lovely CD that represents part of a massive recording programme from Marco Polo. The conductor is a Strauss Family specialist - and this shows in the conviction of the playing. Good opportunity to get to know a lesser-known Strauss. [JF]

Josef SUK Asrael Symphony (1880) [61.42] Antonin DVORAK Stabat Mater (1877) [85.18] Drahomira Tikalova (sop) Marta Krasova (con) Beno Blachut (ten) Karel Kalas (bass) Czech Philharmonic Chorus Czech PO/Vaclav Talich rec Rudolfinum, Prague mono Dvorak rec 8-14 Jan 1952 Suk rec 22-29 May 1952 SUPRAPHON Historical 11 1902-2 902 CD1 [72.06] CD2 [75.04] [RB]

Weakness only in harnessing the unmatched Asrael to the Dvorak. Talich's Asrael is a classic of the catalogue. Count it next to Walter's Lied von der Erde.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Asrael Symphony (1906)  A Fairy Tale (Pohádka) (1900) Serenade for Strings (1892)  Czech PO/Jiri Belohlavek rec: Spanish Hall, Prague Castle, 17-21 June 1991 (Asrael); 22-26 June 1992 (other works) DDD CHANDOS CHAN 9640(2) [CD1 58.38 CD2 59.50] [RB]

The catalogues are not short of strong versions of Asrael. Talich is an essential for Suk enthusiasts. More generalised collectors will wish to opt for this stunning well recorded version or the bargain-midprice Pesek.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) A Fairy Tale - suite (1900) [30.13] Praga - symphonic poem (1900) [23.22] Czech PO/Libor Pešek rec Dvorák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague, 9-10 Nov 1981 (Fairy Tale), 18-19 Jan 1982 (Praga) DDD stereo SUPRAPHON 10 3389-2 031 [53.35] [RB]

There are more generous couplings at mid-price. This disc struck me as a straggler in the catalogue: welcome for A Fairy Tale but not compelling.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Ripening - a symphonic poem (1917) A Fairy Tale - suite (1900) Czech PO/Václav Talich rec Dvorák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague, 28 Apr 1956 (Ripening), 2 May 1949 (Fairy Tale) mono SUPRAPHON 11 1904-2 001 [70.58] [RB]

This disc, of great historical moment, is primarily for the connoisseur rather than the general listener.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) A Summer Tale - tone poem for large orchestra (1907) [51.56] Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale 'St Wenceslas' for string orchestra (1914) [7.23] Antonín DVORÁK Husitska Overture [13.07] Czech PO/Karel Šejna rec Dvorák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague, 26-30 Aug 1957 (Summer Tale), 10-11 Mar 1958 (Wenceslas) and Domovina Studio 1950 AAD SUPRAPHON 11 1923-2 001 [75.50] [RB]

I have not heard Pešek's later recording of A Summer's Tale on Virgin Classics but it would have to be exceptional to match Šejna's sensitive imagination in this large-scale and potentially problematic piece. A very high recommendation then.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) A Summer's Tale - tone poem for large orchestra (1907) [52.19] Praga - symphonic poem (1900) [23.23] Czech PO/Libor Pešek rec Dvorák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague, 14-20 Feb 1984 (Summer Tale), 18-19 Jan 1982 (Praga) DDD SUPRAPHON 11 1984-2 031 [75.50] [RB]

A generously filled and decently recorded disc though A Summer's Tale lacks the Beechamesque give and take of Šejna's 1966 recording - also on Supraphon.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Symphony in E major (1899) [46.27]  Otakar OSTRCIL (1879-1935) Variations for Large Orchestra Calvary (1928) [30.44] Czech PO/Václav Neumann rec Rudolfinum, Prague, 10 Mar 1982, 27 Feb, 2 Mar 1979 DDD SUPRAPHON 11 1826-2 011 [77.21] [RB]

The Dvorák-like Suk Symphony intriguingly harnessed with a tough and forward looking work by Ostrcil.

Franz von SUPPÉ (1819-1895) Overtures Volume 6 Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Košice)/Christian Pollack. Recorded Košice, June 1999. MARCO POLO 8.223865 [63.54] [AB]

A further disc of tuneful and well written overtures played well with good recording.

Franz von SUPPÉ (1819-1895) Die schöne Galathée - operetta in one act - original version (1865) Galathée - Andrea Bogner (sop) Pygmalion - Hans-Jürg Rickenbacher (ten) Ganymed - Juliane Heyn (sop) Mydas - Michael Kupfer (bar) Chor des Theaters der Stadt Koblenz/Bernhard Steiner Staatsorchester Rheinische  Philharmonie/Thomas Eitler rec 29 Feb-3 March 2000, Koblenz CPO 999 726-2 [48.42] [RB]

A succinct and charming work dripping Viennese charm faithfully advocated by singers, orchestra, conductor, technicians and annotator.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Songs: Volume 3 from Op. 6, Op. 28, Op. 38, Op. 47, Op. 57, Op. 63 Lyuba Kazarnovskaya (soprano) Ljuba Orfenova (piano) Rec 1st-7th August 1999, Malya Hall, Moscow Conservatory NAXOS 8.555371 [69.47] [TB]

The more intimate, withdrawn side of Kazarnovskaya's performances are the more satisfying and she is given a really firm focus by the engineers. On the other hand, the piano accompaniments of recessed in what seems a different acoustic.

Gierr TVEITT (1908-81) Piano Concerto No. 1, op. 1 (1927) Piano Concerto No. 5, op. 156 (1954) Håvard Gimse, piano Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted Bjarte Engeset Recorded Henry Wood all, Glasgow, April 2000 NAXOS 8.55507 [52.10]

Good accounts of two fascinating and tuneful piano concertos from a composer who has been much underestimated. Recommended.

Johann Baptist VANHAL (1739-1813) Missa Pastoralis in G Major [33.49] Missa Solemnis in C Major [34.40] Mary Enid Haines (sop); Nina Scott Stoddart (alto); Colin Ainsworth (ten); Steven Pitkanen (bass). TOWER Voices New Zealand Aradia Ensemble, conducted by Uwe Grodd Recorded in St. John's Cathedral, Napier, New Zealand. Recording date: 30 July to 1 August, 2000 NAXOS 8.555080 [68.28] [JQ]

A thoroughly enjoyable disc, with good quality sound. I have one small quibble: it is a pity that there is no separate track listing.

Edgar VARÈSE (1883-1965)Boulez Conducts Varèse: Amériques (1921), Arcana (1925-27), Ionisation (1929-31), Déserts (1949-54) Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Boulez Recorded in Orchestra Hall, Chicago on 12/1995 (Amériques/Ionisation) and 12/1996 (Arcana/Déserts) DG 471 137-2 [68.22], Full price [MB]

As always with Boulez there is sometimes a sense that spontaneity is sidelined and all of these performances are precise to the point of angularity. He tends to strip the music to minimalist clusters of density - more sparse, more knife-edge in its violence.

Edgard VARESE [1883-1 965] Arcana; [1925-7] Octandre [1923]; Offrandes for soprano and chamber orchestra [1921]; Intégrales [1924-5]; Déserts [1950-4] Maryse Castets, soprano. Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christopher Lyndon-Gee Rec Fitelburg Concert Hall Katowice April-May 2000 NAXOS 8.554820 [70.46] [GH]

Naxos is increasingly moving into some adventurous repertoire. A tremendous disc, superbly played and needless to say, marvellous value.

Giuseppe VERDI Pezzi Sacri , Stabat Mater (1896 / 7), Laudi alla Vergine Maria (1896 / 7), Te Deum (1896 / 7), Ave Maria (1889), Ave Maria (1880), Ave Maria from Othello (Act iv)' Libera Me, Domine (1869) Choir and Orchestra of the Academy of St. Cecilia/Myung-Whun Chung recorded 9 / 2000 in Auditorio di Via della Conciliazione, Rome. DG 469 075-2 [62.56] DDD  [JP]

The playing of the orchestra cannot be faulted, and the DG recording quality is well up to their usual standard. The acoustic has also been very well managed with a very impressive bloom to the voices and orchestra.

Giuseppe VERDI Aïda Aida: Maria Chiara, sop. Radames: Luciano Pavarotti, ten. Amneris: Ghena Dimitrova, mezzo-sop. Amonasro: Juan Pons, bar. King of Egypt: Paata Burchuladze, bass Ramphis: Nicolai Ghiaurov, bass Priestess: Francesca Garbi, sop. Messenger: Ernesto Gavazzi, ten. Theatro alla Scala, December 1985. ARTHAUS MUSIC - DVD 100-058 [160.00] [FC]

Pavarotti's voice had by 1985 lost its youthful bloom but he could still deliver the goods. La Scala on their best behaviour and the delicious clarity, freshness and passion Maazel finds in this music makes you hear this old pot-boiler with new ears.

Giuseppe VERDI Rigoletto Renata Scotto (Gilda), Ettore Bastianini (Rigoletto), Alfredo Kraus (the Duke), Fiorenza Cossotto (Maddalena) Florence May Festival Chorus and Orchestra/Gianandrea Gavazzeni BMG CLASSICS/RICORDI 74321 68779 2 [2 CDs, 56.27, 64.12] [CH]

Some very great names have recorded the major roles of Rigoletto but I venture to suggest that you won't find a more integrated version than this. Those who don't insist on digital should also consider it very seriously, for they are unlikely to ever hear the opera better done.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) 12 Sonatas for Violin and Continuo Opus 2 Cordaria, Walter Reiter, violin. Rec: May and August, 1998. SIGNUM SIGCD014 [106.34] [KM]

An excellent recording of some of Vivaldi's earliest works. Far from being immature works, these sonatas take on a new dimension in this performance. Highly recommended.

Richard WAGNER (1813-83) Der Ring des Nibelungen - Highlights Soloists, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan.Rec 1970s DG Panorama 469 223-2 [two discs] [ADD] [153'38] [CC]

This remains a reminder of Karajan's determination to tread his own path at all costs. Sometimes, unfortunately, this was at the cost of the wishes of the composer himself.

Richard WAGNER Tristan und Isolde Tristan: Jon Fredric West, ten. Isolde: Waltraud Meier, sop. Brangäne: Mariana Lipovsek, ms. King Marke: Kurt Moll, bass Kurwenal: Bernd Weikl, bar. Melot: Claes H. Ahnsio, bar. Bavarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus Conductor: Zubin Mehta ARTHAUS 100 056 (2 DVDs) [241.00] [FC].

With interesting visual treatment and much fine singing, it is recommended.

WAGNER PORTRAIT Richard WAGNER (1813-83) Robert Dean Smith (tenor); Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bratislava/Ivan Anguélov Recorded December 8th-13th, 2000, Slovak Radio Concert Hall, Bratislava. ARTE NOVA VOICES 74321 81176-2 [DDD] [76.49] [CC]

The Bratislava orchestra's contribution under Anguélov is distinctly under-powered and seems almost at times to sabotage Smith's efforts. There seems little point in recommending this recital in any way, as the record catalogues are littered with accounts of this wonderful music which really do remind us that Wagner is one of the greatest composers that ever lived.

Sylvius Leopold WEISS (1686 - 1750) Sonatas for Lute, Volume 4 Sonata No.46 in A Major, Sonata No.21 in F minor, Sonata No.37 in C Major Robert Barto (Baroque Lute) NAXOS 8.554557 [66:10] [AD]

These performances employ the Baroque Lute, their intended instrument and should go a long way in establishing the works of Weiss among a wider audience.

Christoph Ernst Friedrich WEYSE (1774-1842) Piano Sonatas Nos. 5-8 Thomas Trondhjem (piano) DaCapo 8.224140 (DDD), rec. December 1999, February 2000 [72'09] [PS]

Over two hundred years old and never before recorded - these piano sonatas can't be up to much, can they? Don't you believe it! They may not be "Great Music", but they are beautifully crafted works, and some of the most sheerly pleasurable listening around - go on, spoil yourself!

Percy WHITLOCK (1903 - 1946) Concert Overture: The Feast of St. Benedict (1934) Ballet of the Wood Creatures ((1939) Wessex Suite (1937) Suite: Music for Orchestra (1941) Come along Marnie (1938) Susan, the Doggie and Me (1938) Holiday Suite (1938/39) Balloon Ballet (1938) March: Dignity and Impudence (1932/33) Malcolm Riley: organ RTE Concert Orchestra; conducted by Gavin Sutherland Rec. 4th & 5th February 2000 at O'Reilly Hall, University College, Dublin  MARCO POLO 8.225162 [71.48] [JF]

A fine recording. Introducing some long forgotten gems. The Blue Poole is worth the price of the CD alone. Fulfils all the best qualities of light music and beyond. Proves once and for all that Whitlock is not simply a composer stuck in the Organ Loft [JF].
Whitlock had an ear for a catchy tune and his scoring is sweet without being syrupy. Anyone who has a soft spot for light music will not regret snapping up this delightful confection. Gavin Sutherland, already responsible for some notable discs of British light music, coaxes some eloquent performances from the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.[SL]

Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844 - 1937) Symphonie en Sol mineur Op.42 (1882) Joseph JONGEN (1873 - 1953) Alleluja Op.112 (1940) Hymne Op.78 (1924) Horatio PARKER (1863 - 1919) Concerto in E flat minor Op.55 (1902) Franz Hauk (organ) Ingolstadt Philharmonic/Alfredo Ibarra Recorded: Ingolstadt Munster, August 1998 GUILD MUSIC GMCD 7182 [62:48] [HC]

These performers play this unfamiliar music with conviction and affection. The present release is most welcome for the Widor and Jongen. Full marks to all concerned.

August Winding (1835 -1899) Concerto for Piano & Orchestra in A minor Op.16 (1869) Concert allegro for Piano & Orchestra in C minor Op.29 (c.1875) Emil Hartmann (1836-1898) Concerto for Piano & Orchestra in F minor Op.47 (1889/1890) Oleg Marshev, Piano The Danish Philharmonic Orchestra, South Jutland/Matthias Aeschbacher Recorded in Musikhuset, Sonderborg November 2000. DANACORD DACOCD 581 [61.37] [JF]

A fine example of three 'romantic' piano concerti. There are even intimations of Richard Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto here! But much, much more than this, these are fine works, played with conviction that deserve to be on every piano concerto enthusiasts' shelves.

Jan Dismas ZELENKA (1679-1745) Missa Dei Patris ZWV 19 (1740) Venceslava Hruba-Freiberger, soprano René Jacobs, alto Reinhart Ginzel, tenor Olaf Bror, bass Thüringischer Akademischer Singkreis, Wolfgang Unger Virtuosi Saxoniae/ Ludwig Güttler BERLIN CLASSICS BC 1078-2 [69.59] [KM]

This is an excellent recording of a composer whose work deserves greater attention. In spite of the weak soloists, this is a very agreeable recording musically.

Carl ZELLER (1842-1898) Der Vogelhändler (Operetta in Three Acts)(Recorded at the Mörbisch Lake Festival of Operetta [Northern Burgenland about 60 kilometres from Vienna] in May 1998) Mörbisch Festival Choir and Symphony Orchestra Burgenland Conducted by Rudolph Bibl. ARTE NOVA 74321 58970 2 [79:49] [IL]

If you like Lehár's The Merry Widow, you will love this sparkling operetta, full of good lively tunes. A treat.

[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc]   

Classical Editor: Rob Barnett,  Reviewers: Rob Barnett, Ian Lace, Len Mullenger, and:  Richard Adams, Colin Anderson, Arthur Baker, Grace Barber, Terry Barfoot,  Peter Bates, Marc Bridle, Arthur Butterworth, Frank Cadenhead, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, Jim Cooke, Gary Dalkin, Andy Daly, Tony Duggan, Harry Downey,  Christopher Fifield, Lewis Foreman, Simon Foster, John France, Julian Hellaby, Christopher Howell, Simon Jenner, Stephen Lloyd,   Kirk McElhearn, Gwyn Parry-Jones, John Phillips, John Quinn, Ailís Ní Ríain, Humphrey Smith, Philip Scowcroft, Adrian Smith, Colin Scott-Sutherland, Andrew Seivewright, Paul Serotsky, Christopher Thomas, Richard Walker, Richard Whitehouse, Jonathan Woolf, Peter Grahame Woolf, David Wright. A complete list of contributors can be seen here


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