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


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


Roberto ALAGNA The Christmas Album London Symphony Orchestra Various Choirs Arranged and conducted by Robin Smith EMI Classics CDC 5 57017 2 [62.21] [SF]

Alagna fans will hardly need the stimulus of a review to rush out and buy the tenor's first foray into the Christmas music market. And their instincts will be spot on, for this is a highly entertaining and often moving addition to his discography.

AN AMERICAN PANORAMA Leonard BERNSTEIN On the Waterfront (1954) Roy HARRIS Symphony No. 3 (1937) Aaron COPLAND Billy the Kid (1938) Dallas SO/Eduardo Mata  rec 1991 DORIAN DOR-90170 [60.30] [RB]

Superb recording, as ever from Dorian. Bernstein collectors will want this for On the Waterfront.

The All Time Greatest Classical Album  featuring Barbara Bonney, Sarah Brightman, Jose Carreas, Charlotte Church, Michael Crawford, Placido Domingo, Karl Jenkins, Kiri Te Kanawa, Jacqueline du Pre, & John Williams (guitarist) SONY TV97CD [Total: 150:52 * Disc One: 73:08 - Disc Two: 77:44] [GD]

This is simply shoddy, cheap recycling of archive material, and if Sony do wish to encourage further exploration surely it would not be too much trouble to document the original performances and the albums on which they can be heard?

The Art of the Dramatic Mezzo Soprano TCHAIKOVSKY Joan of Arc - Farewell, dear hills and fields. MUSSORGSKY Khovanshchina - Forces mysteriousa. CILEA Adriana Lecouvreur - Acerba voluttà. ROSSINI Semiramide - Ah! Quel giorno ognor rammento. MASCAGNI Cavalleria Rusticana - Voi lo sapete. SAINT-SAËNS Samson et Dalila - Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix. GLUCK  Alceste - Divinités du Styx. Orphee et Eurydice - J'ai perdu mon Euridice. VERDI Don Carlo - O don fatale. Trovatore - Condotta ell'era in ceppia. Macbeth - La luce langue; Una macchia è qui tuttora. Dolora Zajick (mezzo); Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Charles Rosencrans with aPiero Giuliacci (tenor). Teldec CD-80557 [DDD] [69'25] [CC]

A mainly fulfilling recital. Zajick has a large voice which suits the heavier items on her programme best.

BERNSTEIN LIVE New York Philharmonic [10 CDs] [CA]

With this issue the already comprehensive picture we have of Bernstein is generously supplemented. There's some real treasures here - the icing on the Bernstein cake.

"Bolder Baroque": Bolder Brass Jean-Joseph MOURET (1682 - 1738)  Rondeau from Suites de Symphonies [2.07] J.S. BACH (1685 -1750) Fantasia in C Major BWV 570 [2.37] Contrapunctus IX from The Art of Fugue [3.27] William BYRD (1543 - 1623) The Earle of Oxford's March [3.14] Wolsey's Wilde [1.14] Callino casturame [1.12] The Bells [5.00] Girolamo FRESCOBALDI (1583 -1643) Toccata [4.49] J.S. BACH (1685 - 1750)  Air from Orchestral Suite No 3, BWV 1068 [4.45] Fugue in G Minor, BWV 578 [3.28] Johann PACHEBEL (1653 - 1706) Ciaccona in F Minor [8.21] J.S.BACH (1685 - 1750) Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne from Cantata 147 [3.01] Kom, süsser Tod. BWV 478 [2.50] Passacaglia & Fugue in C Minor. BWV 582 [12.30] Boulder Brass All arrangements by Michael Allen Conductor Thomas Blomster Recorded July 23 -28 &29 1999 Montview Presbyterian Church, Denver, Colorado. DORIAN RECORDINGS DOR-93204 DDD [58.59] [HD]

An enjoyable CD. Good brass playing in a well-judged selection.

Chinoiserie   Jenny Lin (piano) BIS CD 1110 [80 mins] [PGW]

Chinoiserie was assembled by an enterprising Taiwanese-American pianist who recorded her selection in February 2000 for the Chinese New Year, Year of the Dragon. It makes for an entertaining thematic sequence played with a light touch and what I would describe as relaxed virtuosity - pianism which makes light of difficulties and never allows the tone to harden.

DEVIL'S DANCE Gil Shaham, violin  Jonathan Feldman, piano Deutsche Grammophon 463 483-2 [69:41] [GD]

Shaham and Feldman play as if their lives depended on it. Let's pray no one had to sell their soul

Review of newly released DVDs from Arthaus, Universal and TDK [MB]

ELIZABETHAN SERENADE The Best of British Light Music Various orchestras and conductors NAXOS 8.553515 (from Marco Polo recordings originally issued in 1996) [78.21] [AS] impressive survey of the field, featuring the works of no fewer than 14 composers.

FINE ARTS BRASS ENSEMBLE Georg Frederick HANDEL (1685 - 1759) .Arrival of the Queen of Sheba* [3.06] Antonio VIVALDI (1678 - 1741) .Concerto in C Major for Two trumpets & Strings* [7.47]
Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins, Cello and Strings. (Op 3 No 11)* [9.26]  Tomaso ALBINONI (1671 - 1751) arr Giazotto (b 1910).Adagio* [8.43]  Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750).Badinerie(from Suite in B Minor)* [1.16] Wachet Auf (from Cantata No 140)* [5.10] Wir eilen mit schwachen (fron Cantata No. 78)* [4.04]  Concerto in A minor for Violin & Strings. ** [10.43] Air on the G String (from Suite No 3) *** [3.32] Brandenburg Concerto No 2. * [11.04] Fine Arts Brass Ensemble   NIMBUS NI 5651 DDD [64.56] [HD]

A selection of mainly well-known baroque pieces arranged for brass quintet. Not special but no quibbles. Recommended.

THE GEORGIAN ORGAN. Music by T. Arne, Hayes, Heron, Keeble, Russell, Webbe, S. Wesley, Hook and Adams, on the1818 Elliot organ at Ashridge Chapel, Berkhamsted. HILARY NORRIS. Priory PRCD 741[PS]

Organ fanciers will enjoy this stylishly, thoughtfully played, well recorded and presented CD

GREAT VIOLINISTS - KREISLER The Complete Concerto Recordings (volume 3) Various orchestras and conductors Bach Double Concerto in D minor Mozart Violin Concerto no 4 in G Paganini/Kreisler Concerto in D in one movement Kreisler (after Vivaldi) Concerto in C NAXOS Historical Recordings 8.110922  [70. 07] [AS]

On several counts, this is a recording of exceptional interest. It serves as a vivid reminder of Kreisler's incomparable artistry - his relaxed virtuosity, rich tonal palette and effortless bowing technique.

Heritage & Legacy Frederick AUSTIN - The Sea Venturers (1934), Alexander Campbell MACKENZIE - Prelude to Colomba Op. 28 (1883), Charles Villiers STANFORD - Overture - Shamus O'Brien (1896), Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910), Edward ELGAR -Variations on an Original Theme, 'Enigma' Op.36 (1899), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Douglas Bostock RLPO-Live RLCD 301 [69'33"] [JF]

Three British World Premieres on the one disc! Imaginative British programme & stunning playing by one of the great 'northern' orchestras.

Andrew MANZE Portrait Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) Toccata and Fugue in A minor Francesco Geminiani Concerto XII in D minor "Follia" George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1759)  Concerto VI in G minor, HWV 324 Sonata in A major, HWV 361 Biagio Marini (1587 - 1685) Curiouse & Moderne Inventioni Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Op. III (1660), no. 3, "La Melana" Jean-Féry Rebel Sonate Sixième in B minor Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 - 1767) From Gulliver Suite for Two Violins Marco Uccellini (1603 - 1680) Sonata over Toccata V, Op. IV "Detta La Laura rilucente" Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741) Violin Concerto in E-flat major "La tempesta di Mare" Op. VIII, no. 5, RV 253 Andrew Manze - violinHarmonia Mundi HMX 2907278 [74:34]
Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Violin Sonatas Op.3/1 - 6 Violin Sonatas Op.4/1 - 6 Andrew Manze - violin Harmonia Mundi HMU 907241 [80:00]
Francesco Geminiani  Concerti Arcangelo Corelli  Corelli: Sonata in A major for Violin & Cello Andrew Manze - violinHarmonia Mundi HMU 907261.62 2 CD [144:19]

All strongly recommended and no collectors with open ears should be without some of this Harmonia Mundi series.

BY NIGHT OR BY NOON  24 songs sung by Ian Ford (boy alto)   Ian Ford (boy alto)  Andrew Plant (piano)  Fergus Black (organ)  John Stephens (violin)  rec 20 Oct, 3 Nov 1996, Oundle School Chapel MCPS IAF-CD1  [75.24] [RB]

This makes a refreshing collection though inevitably pitched at a narrow audience

A Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Joy to the World. Carol of the Bells. I Wonder as I Wander. Whence is that goodly fragrance?. Masters in this Hall. The First Noël. Pat-a-pan. What shall we give to the babe in the manger?. One December Bright and Clear. Fantasy on 'What Child is this?'. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Jesus, Jesus rest your head. Angels from the Realms of Glory. Silent Night. Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Orchestra at Temple Square/Craig Jessop. Telarc CD-80552 [DDD] [56'48] [CC]

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir in all their glory. All in all, great fun, unless you show a marked aversion to slick arrangements of Christmas standards: it is remarkably easy to get into the spirit of it all.

Piano Dance - A 20th Century Portrait Gloria Cheng (piano) TELARC CD-80549 [72:07]

Here's an engaging programme of 23 pieces for piano to entertain and intrigue the ear.

TOP BRASS: A limited edition containing the following two albums: BRASSED OFF: Music from the original soundtrack Grimethorpe Colliery Band/John Anderson except *Orchestra/Trevor Jones CLASSIC BRASS Grimethorpe Colliery RJB Band/Garry Cutt, with *Lesley Garrett (soprano) BMG Classics 75605 51368 2 [2 CDs 49' 55", 68' 50"] [CH]

Brassed Off is a great disc which I feel everyone should have, even and especially those who normally don't go in for brass bands.


Collins Classical Music Encyclopedia General Editor: Stanley Sadie. Foreword by Vladimir Ashkenazy Published by Harper Collins Large Format Hardback 384 pages ISBN 0 00 472390 2 £29:99

This beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated book includes some novel features that lift it above the average coffee table, beginners-guide-to-music.

[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