Classical Editor: Rob Barnett             Music Webmaster Len Mullenger:

see below

allow time to load


Editor Rob Barnett  

Search Previous Reviews


Editor Ian Lace

your CDs on-line and benefit this site

a CD
 New each month!

Win a subscription to International Record Review

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




see compilation of ATHENE reviews here

C to L

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


MARIO CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO GUITAR RECITAL Lorenzo Micheli, Guitar   Naxos 8.554831 [AD]

Lorenzo Micheli certainly has a feeling for this music and is sensitive to its demands. As always the recorded sound achieved by Naxos is excellent.

CHARPENTIER (c. 1645-1704) Te Deum (H 146), Motets Pour Le Roi Louis Maitrise de Bretagne; Le Parlement de Musique Directed by Martin Gester. Opus 111 OPS 30-297 [61:43] [IL]

Gester's forces communicate very expressively the full range of emotions contained therein and the playing of the instrumentalists is polished and refined, and stirring too. For early baroque music enthusiasts a firm recommendation

COPLAND  The Populist (suites from Billy the Kid and Rodeo, plus the complete ballet Appalachian Spring) Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony RCA Red Seal 09026635112 [76: 32] [GD]

Whether an admirer of Copland, Americana, or the wide open spaces of Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams, this is an essential recording which should please a wide musical constituency. One of the finest albums of the year.

DEBUSSY  Préludes Books 1 & 2 Krystian Zimerman (piano) Deutsche Grammophon DG 435 773-2 2 CD[84 mins]

Zimerman has a full command of the pianistic range of these pieces and brings each one vividly to life, tender or scintillating. The notes are by Roger Nichols, whose writings on French music are invariably illuminating and stylishly written. British record collectors will be fascinated to read about the English connections of these pieces.

Léo DELIBES Lakmé: Highlights Joan Sutherland (Lakmé), Gabriel Bacquier (Nilakantha), Jane Berbié (Mallika), Emile Belcourt (Hadji), Alain Vanzo (Gérald), Gwenyth Annear (Ellen), Claude Calés (Frédéric), Josephte Clément (Rose), Monica Sinclair (Miss Bentzon), Monte Carlo Opera Chorus, Orchestre National de l'Opéra de Monte-Carlo/Richard Bonynge Decca 458 220-2 [68' 06"] [CH]

All in all this was an assumption which we are fortunate to have preserved.

DELIUS WHILE SPRING AND SUMMER SANG Transcriptions of DELIUS, and Piano Music by JOHN IRELAND Alan Rowlands (Piano)

Beautifully produced CD - a personal testament on the part of the pianist Alan Rowlands - with an evocative title (from Rossetti) and sleeve design.

Christoph DELZ - Composer & Interpreter (PGW)
1. DELZ In the Jungle; MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition SWDR Orchestra/Kord; Christoph DELZ (piano) FSM FCD 97 742 [59.48]
2. DELZ Sils; 1st Piano Concerto LISZT Three late piano pieces Christoph DELZ (piano) SWF Orch Baden-Baden/Matthias Bamert FSM FCD 97 743 [53.33] (PGW)
3. DELZ Arbeitslieder; Piano Quartet; String Quartet Cologne Radio Choir Christoph DELZ (piano) etc
Grammont CTS-P 18-2 [51 mins] [PW]

These three CDs pass one of my chief tests, that of uniqueness & unrepeatablilty.

DOWLAND Robert (Collected) A Musicall Banquet   Andreas Scholl with Edin Karamazov, Markus Märkl & Christopher Coin DECCA 466 917-2 [67.29] [PW]

Andreas Scholl has been touring this interesting programme internationally in recital with the same eminent accompanists. His counter-tenor voice combines a beautiful tone quality, and evenness, with musical intelligence and scrupulous attention to detail. This collection will assuredly give great pleasure and bids fair to reap critical reward.

Felix DRAESEKE (1835-1913) Symphony in G Major (1872) [38.55] Piano Concerto (1886) [31.46] Claudius Tanski (piano) Wuppertal SO/George Hanson rec 21-24 June, 16-17 Aug 1999, Stadthalle, Wuppertal MD&G 335 0929-2 [70.47] [RB]

Rare and substantial romantic repertoire. No trace of milk and water. Long playing time. Two meaty rewarding works with highlights aplenty.

Henri DUTILLEUX  String Quartet Ainsi la Nuit  Claude DEBUSSY  String Quartet Op.10 (1893)  Maurice RAVEL  String Quartet (1902)   Orpheus String Quartet   Channel Classics CCS 3892 [73.24]  [PW]

.....the chief interest of this CD is likely to be the quartet of Henri Dutilleux (b.1916), which occupied this fastidious composer from 1971 to 1977, and bids fair to become established in the 'canon' of French masterpieces for the medium.

GEORGE DYSON (1883-1964) In Honour of the City, Sweet Thames Run Softly, A Spring Garland, The Blacksmiths, To Music David Nettle and Richard Markham (pianos) Osian Ellis (harp)
Stephen Roberts (bar) RCM Chamber Choir RPO/Sir David Willcocks rec 1985-87, London SOMM Celeste series SOMMCD014 [70.14] [RB]

A collection including surprising pleasures. Dyson the original and Dyson the celebrant.

Heino ELLER (1887-1970) Complete Preludes for piano (1910-1937) Vardo Rumessen (piano)
rec 3-4 Nov 1997, Lefrak Concert Hall, New York PRO PIANO RECORDS PPR224520  [71.29] [RB]

Self-recommending to those in touch with Baltic sympathies.

JOHN ELLIS.  Music for Organ.   RONALD FROST, at the organ of St. Ann's Manchester,
Dunelm DRD 0152 [PS]

Music in an idiom approachable if sometimes astringent.

NICOLAS FLAGELLO (1928-1994) Overture Burlesca (1952) Piano Concerto No 2 (1956) Credendum for violin and orchestra (1973) A Goldoni Overture (1967) Piano Concerto No 3 (1959) Tatjana Rankovich (piano) Elmar Oliveira (violin) Slovak PO/David Amos rec Kosice June 1995 ARTEK AR-0002-2 [67.44] [RB]

A strong recommendation for anyone who having started exploration with the Naxos American Classics series would like to delve deeper into 20th Century Romantic Americana.

 NICOLAS FLAGELLO (1928-1994) Serenata (1968) The Land - song cycle (1954) Symphony No. 2 Symphony of the Winds (1970) Symphonic Waltzes for solo piano (1958) Ezio Flagello (bass) Tatjana Rankovich (solo piano) Orchestra da Camera di Roma/Nicolas Flagello I Musici di Firenze/Nicolas Flagello rec Serenata (Rome 1968); The Land (1962), Symphony (1979), Waltzes (12/7/1994) CITADEL CTD 88115 [74.38] [RB]

The most generous collection of Flagello on the market. This revives LP era recordings alongside a 1994 world premiere. Anything with Rankovich playing is worth having.

NICOLAS FLAGELLO (1928-1994) She Walks in Beauty (1957) Capriccio for cello and orchestra (1962) Lautrec - Ballet suite (1965) Remembrance (1971) Contemplazioni Michelangelo (1964) George Koutzen - cello Joann Grillo - soprano (She Walks) Maya Randolph - soprano (Remembrance) Nancy Tatum - soprano (Contemplazioni) Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma/Nicolas Flagello rec 1960s and 1970s? PHOENIX PHCD 125 [65.51] [RB]

This disc has been around for almost a decade. Nevertheless it is well worth seeking out for the passion and power of Capriccio and the Broadway romance of She Walks in Beauty. A nice introduction to the vocal Flagello.

FRASER SIMSON The Maid of the Mountains Janis Kelly, Christopher Maltman, Michael George, Richard Suart, The New London Light Opera Chorus and Orchestra Ronald Corp. Hyperion CDA67190 80m DDD.[PS]

A lot of pleasure to be had listening to this generously filled CD.

Niels GADE SYMPHONIES Volume 1 Symphony no.2 in E, op.10;  Symphony no.8 in b, op.47;
Allegretto, un poco lento (discarded slow movement from Symphony no.8);  In the Highlands, op.7.
Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Christopher Hogwood Chandos CHAN9862 [69' 46"] [CH]

For those who enjoy the hills as well as the mountains of romantic symphonism he still has much to say. The new series should be worth following, and the warm recording and helpful notes in three languages can only add to the pleasure.

Philippe GAUBERT Pièces Romantiques pour flûte et piano Kathryn Thomas (flute) & Richard Shaw (pf), Phoebe Scott (cello) Deux-Elles DXL 923 (73'17, Full Price) [MB][PW]

Kathryn Thomas has a glorious tone - and her sense of the dynamic range of these works is finely attuned. This is undoubtedly a beautiful disc - and a beautifully played one.

GILBERT Dream Carousels, Quartet of Beasts ,Six of the Bestiary, Igorochki,* Towards Asavari 2 John Turner, recorder* Peter Lawson, piano 2 RNCM New Ensemble/Clark Rundell RNCM Wind Orchestra/Timothy Reynish NMC D 068  [HC]

Elegance balanced by humour, fantasy sharpened by logic, compassion informed by clarity; above all, an inventive imagination which reveals our familiar world in new and unexpected lights

LOUIS GLASS Symphony No. 4 (1911) Plovdiv PO/Nayden Todorov rec Plovdiv, Oct 1999 DANACORD DACOCD541 [60.02] [RB]

A pleasing and undemanding late romantic symphony from unknown Dane, Louis Glass - precursor - we hope - to a white heat account of Glass's masterwork: Symphony No. 5.

Christoph Willibald GLUCK Orfeo ed Euridice Risë Stevens (Orfeo), Lisa Della Casa (Euridice), Roberta Peters (Amore), Rome Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Pierre Monteux BMG 09026 63534 2 [2 discs 76.45 + 53.36] Recorded in 1957 [CH]

Unless you want a taste of how Mrs. Thatcher might have sung if she had been able to, leave well alone.

AMERICAN SYMPHONIES ROGER GOEB (1914-97) Symphony No. 4 (1954) HOMER KELLER (1915-?) Symphony No. 3 (1955?) ELIE SIEGMEISTER (1909-1991) Symphony No. 3 (1957) Japan Philharmonic SO/Akeo Watanabe (Goeb) rec 1961  Japan Philharmonic SO/William Strickland (Keller) rec 1959  Oslo Philharmonic SO/composer (Siegmeister) rec June 1964   CITADEL CTD88121 [60.54] [RB]

Three decently recorded and extremely well performed American symphonies from the 1950s. Their idiom is moderately challenging in a vigorous Stravinskian way. They cannot be regarded as seriously dissonant. Equally these are not as accessible as Roy Harris or early Walter Piston.

DAVID GOLIGHTLY Symphony No. 1; Three Seascapes. City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Gavin Sutherland. ASC CD CS 38 [PS] [AS]

Well argued symphony - very accessible in idiom, a "Classic FM work", no more "difficult" than say George Lloyd or William Alwyn.

Morton GOULD (1913-1996) American Ballads; Foster Gallery; American Salute Theodore Kuchar conducts the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine NAXOS American Classics 8.559005 [73:48] [IL]

Multi-talented, Morton Gould was a composer, conductor, arranger and orchestrator, and pianist. He wrote in a wide variety of musical forms from ballet to Broadway and from classical orchestral works to film and television scores..... The music is played with great vivacity by the Russians and you would swear they came from Utah rather than the Ukraine. 

GRAINGER Tuneful Percussion Woof! Recorded 1999 move MD 3222 [54.15] [CF]

A generous sixteen tracks, the percussionists Woof! (their ! not mine) provide a wide variety of tone colour and sound, the stick work impeccably refined and technically secure, in a blend of familiar tunes (Shepherd's Hey to start and Country Gardens to end) to the unfamiliar (Gamelan melodies), also included are arrangements of pieces by Balfour Gardiner, Debussy and Ravel.

Jesús GURIDI Amaya Lyric Drama in three acts and an epilogue Basque libretto by Fr. José de Arrué after the novel by Navarro Villoslada Marco Polo CD box set: 8.225084/85 [2 hr 17 min] [CW]

Though little known to outsiders, Basque composer Jesús Guridi (1886-1961) is as much beloved in Spain as in his homeland. He is a nationalist composer in the same deep sense as Vaughan Williams was in England, rooted in folk idioms, a generous melodist, approachable but never chauvinistic, above all imbued with a strong sense of the spiritual.

HANDEL  Theodora Cast Theodora  ... Susan Gritton, Irene ...  Susan Bickley, Didymus ...  Robin Blaze, Septimius  ... Paul Agnew, Valens ...  Neal Davies, Messenger  ... Angus Smith, Gabrieli Consort and  Players Paul McCreesh Archiv 469 061-2 3CDs. (DDD) [DW]

The recorded sound is very good and devoid of echoes, reverberations and all such other things that can plague a recording. The soloists are excellent and certain arias are , quite frankly, breathtaking or sheer beauty. The chorus is superb and some choruses are so very well executed that you have to play them again to makes sure you are not dreaming. The conducting seems absolutely right and the playing of the Gabreli Consort is a delight.

HAYDN  Double Concerto in F, for violin, piano and strings HobXVIII 6, Violin Concerto in G HobVIIa : 4 , Violin Concerto in C Hob. VIIa:1. European Union Chamber orchestra, Adelina Oprean (violin/director) Justin Oprean (piano). Hyperion Helios CDH55007 (DDD) (60.18) [DW] can enjoy this music and the performances but, in a day when these concertos are not widely known we do need a more compelling and orthodox account of them.

HOWELLS Piano Concerto No.1 in C minor Op.4 Piano Concerto No.2 in C major Op.39 Penguinski Howard Shelley, piano BBC Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox CHANDOS CHAN 9874 [HC]

A most welcome addition to Howells' steadily expanding discography

HOWELLS Suite for Orchestra: The Bs; Three Dances for Violin & Orchestra; In Green Ways
Lydia Mordkovitch, violin  Yvonne Kenny, soprano  LSO/Richard Hickox CHANDOS CHAN 9557 [HC]

Rare works in very fine performances (that of The Bs I find particularly beautiful), superb warm recording

HOWELLS King's Herald (1934) Paradise Rondel (1925) Fantasia (1936/7) Threnody (1935) Pastoral Rhapsody (1923) Procession (1920) Moray Welsh (cello) LSO/Hickox CHANDOS CHAN 9410 [HC]

Hickox conducts fine performances of these unfamiliar pieces and the LSO, in top form, respond wholeheartedly.

IVES (1874-1954) Complete Works for Violin and Piano. Pre-First Violin Sonata. Largo. Violin Sonatas Nos. 1-4. Nobu Wakabayashi (violin); Thomas Wise (piano). Arte Nova 74321 75495-2 (two discs] [DDD] [91'18] [CC]

By far the most successful aspect of Wakabayashi's performances is her willingness to react to Ives' nostalgic side. I hope to encounter Miss Wakabayashi's playing again: she clearly feels great affection for this fascinating music.

Guus JANSSEN 2nd String Quartet Streepjes; Voetnoot 1 for piccolo; Temet (flute, violin, cello, Harp); Octet; Klotz (violin, high-hat & ensemble); Veranderingen (Gerard Bouwhuis & Cees van Zeeland pianos) Various artists. Donemus Composers' Voice CV 61 [73.37] (PGW)

Here is a splendidly entertaining and thought provoking CD to introduce Guus Janssen (b.1951)

SCOTT JOPLIN (1868-1917) Piano Rags and other pieces Phillip Dyson (piano)rec Henry Wood Hall, Dec 1998 ASV WHITE LINE CD WHL 2120 [72.51] [RB]

Phillip Dyson carries off these pieces with dapper but sensitive aplomb.

Hanspeter KYBURZ  Malstrom SWR-SO Baden-Baden & Freiburg/Zender;  The Voynich Cipher Manuscript Sudfunk-Chor Stuttgart/Klangforum Wien/Huber;  Parts Klangforum Wien/Rundel Kairos 0012152K [59 mins] (PGW)
New Saxophone Chamber Music  Hanspeter KYBURZ Cells  Christoph STAUDE Obduktion  Isabel MUNDY Composition for saxophone & tape  Walter ZIMMERMANN Fragmente der Liebe Ensemble UnitedBerlin/Hirsch with Johannes Ernst (saxophones) Col legno wwe 31890 [71 min] (PGW)
Hanspeter KYBURZ  Parts Klangforum Wien/Rundel The Voynich Cipher Manuscript Sudfunk-Chor Stuttgart/Klangforum Wien/Huber Cells Klangforum Wien/Rundel with Marcus Weiss (saxophones) Grammont Portrait MGB CTS-M 52 [68 mins] (PGW)

I remain haunted by Hanspeter Kyburz (b. 1960), little known in UK yet although widely performed in Europe

PAUL LADMIRAULT (1877-1944) The complete sonatas Violin Sonata (1931) Cello Sonata (1939) Clarinet Sonata (1942) Roland Daugareil (violin) Yvan Chiffoleau (cello) Jacques Lancelot (clarinet)
Robert Plantard (piano) rec 1980 ADD SKARBO SK 4952 [48.41] [RB]

A good disc strong in the two string sonatas. Recommended.

LAMBERT Overture The Bird Actors, Pomona, Romeo and Juliet State Orchestra of Victoria/John Lanchbery CHANDOS CHAN 9865 [HC] [RB]

These youthful works exhibit a remarkable assurance and an extraordinary orchestral masterly. The more so bearing in mind that Lambert was nearly twenty at the time. Shortish on playing time - grippingly recorded and performed.

Jón LEIFS (1899 - 1968) Hafís, Tveir Söngvar, Guðrúnarkviða, Nótt, Fine 1
Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Schola Cantorum ,Ingveldur Yr Jónsdóttir, Gunnar Guðbjörnsson, Ólafur Kjartan Sigurðarson, Loftur Erlingsson, Conducted by Anne Manson BIS CD-1050 [55.41] [SF]

As long as record companies continue to research the archives for hidden masterpieces - and 'masterpieces' is no exaggeration for the music to be found on this disc - and serves them up with such loving care and attention as BIS has done here, then there is plenty of hope for the future of the medium, whether it be in the form of downloads or physical music carriers.

LEKEU (1870-1894) Cello Sonata (1888) Three Pieces for piano (1892) Jean-Paul Dessy (cello)
Boyan Vodenitcharov (piano) CYPRES CYP1617  [57.02] [RB]

No denying the attraction of this music even if the Sonata is diffuse it is never less than committedly presented by two enthusiastic and able artists.

Theo LOEVENDIE Gassir, the Hero   Opera in One Act Claron McFadden/Roger Smeets/Christopher Gillett/Timothy Wilson/Robert Poulton/Lieuwe Visser Asko Ensemble/David Porcelijn Donemus Composers' Voice CV 35 [34.30] [PW]

A concise 34 mins. chamber opera based on an African folk tale about a great warrior who was urged to relinquish his triumphalism and persuaded to take a lute with him to the next battle, in which he loses his sons one by one - but the lute sang of their deeds and that song lives forever! The Dutch composer Theo Loevendie employs Turkish heterophony and his own 'curve technique', based on enlarging or reducing intervals. Despite its brevity, it makes a powerful and enduring impression.

[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, Terry Barfoot,  Marc Bridle, Arthur Butterworth, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, Gary Dalkin, Andy Daly, Tony Duggan, Harry Downey,  Christopher Fifield, Lewis Foreman, Simon Foster, Christopher Howell, John Phillips, Ailís Ní Ríain, Humphrey Smith, Philip Scowcroft, Colin Scott-Sutherland, Andrew Seivewright, Christopher Thomas, Richard Whitehouse, 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.

Return to Front page