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Anthologie de Musique Luxembourgeoise: Volumes 1, 4 and 6
Volume 1 Jules Kruger Suite Picturale René Mertzig Rapsodie Chorégraphique Norbert Hoffmann Trois Élégies René Hemmer Symphonie No 2
Volume 4 Alexander Mullenbach Flugstand Victor Fenigstein Seventeen Millions
Volume 6 Johny Fritz Konzertstück für Tuba Edmond Cigrand Aux Fraiches Lueurs ... Norbert Hoffmann Concerto pour Orchestre Jos Kinzé Kleine Lustspielouverture René Mertzig Koncertstück pour trombone Orchestre Symphonique de radio-Télé-Luxembourg  cond Marcel Wengler, Léopold Hager, Peter-David de Villiers Discs unnumbered [CA]

The performances are decent enough, so are the recordings. It doesn't really matter - there is nothing here I could recommend. These CDs, for the most part, present neutral, grey-coloured functional music

Johan Helmich ROMAN (1694-1758) Sonata in b minor for flute and basso continuo Michel PIGNOLET DE MONTECLAIR (1667-1737) Concerto no. 2 for flute and basso continuo Simon BALICOURT (18th century) Sonata in D major for flute and basso continuo Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partita in c minor for flute and harpsichord Georg PhiIipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Sonata in f minor for flute and basso continuo Ensemble Fraal Jacques LesburgËres - flute Hans-Michael Eckert - cello Hans-Wolfgang Brassel - harpsichord rec March 1993 ANTES EDITION BM-CD 31.9014 [52.55] [KM]

The musicians play well together, although the recording focuses too much on the flute at the expense of the harpsichord. An interesting recording of some well-known and other little-known Baroque works for flute and continuo

English Oboe Concertos Michael HURD (b. 1928) Concerto da Camera Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-88) Oboe Concerto (1953) William BLEZARD (b.1921) Two Celtic Pieces John GARDNER (b.1917) Oboe Concerto (1990) Philip LANE (b. 1950) Three Spanish Dances (1981) Jill Crowther (oboe) English Northern Philharmonia/Alan Cuckston ASV WHITELINE CD WHL 2130 [64.58] [RB][DW]

This is an award-winning collection made irresistible by the gorgeous concerto by Michael Hurd.[RB] A very important disc. Sound and performances extremely good. The soloist has a super tone and an engaging style, accuracy, poise and, a rare commodity ... presence. [DW]

THE ENGLISH TENOR REPERTOIRE VOLUME FIVE: 'The Parlour Tradition' Gordon Pullin (tenor) Roger Fisher (piano)

I cannot really imagine anyone not deriving pleasure from this disc - even if some might do so shamefacedly

KATHLEEN FERRIER What is Life? 22 tracks Recorded 1946-1950 REGIS RRC 1057 [78.05]

For those unfortunate to be unfamiliar with the voice of Kathleen Ferrier, this disc is a fine introduction.

JAMES GALWAY AT THE WATERFRONT James Galway filmed live in performance at Belfast's Waterfront Hall in 1999, and in conversation with Melvyn Bragg : The Concert: REINECKE Sonata, PROKOFIEV Sonata, MOUQUET La Flûte de Pan, TAFFANEL Fantaisie, DOPPLER Andante et Rondo, OVERTON Jeanne's Song, MORLACCHI Il Pastore Svizzero, TRAD. Danny Boy, RIMSKY-KORSAKOV The Flight of the Bumble-bee James Galway (flute) Phillip Moll (piano) Jeanne Galway (flute) NVC Arts - Warner Music Vision 8573-84093-2 [132:00] DVD
Forget switching on the TV set; just listen to the concert through the hi-fi as if this were an audio CD - all ninety minutes of it. There's then the beautifully filmed and uplifting video documentary to return to from time to time.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Keyboard Sonata in E, Hob.XXVI:31.  Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36. Johannes BRAHMS (1833-97) Six Pieces, Op. 118.  Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-93) Dumka. Nocturne in C sharp minor, Op. 19 No. 4.  Mily BALAKIREV (1837-93) Islamey. Lang Lang (piano). Telarc CD-80524 [DDD] [78.28] [CC]

Lang Lang is a name to watch.

ITALIAN LUTE MUSIC Christian Zimmermann: Renaissancelaute/Arciliuto Rec: August 1993. ANTES EDITION BM-CD 31.9030 [49:49]  [KM]

A very attractive selection of lute music from 16th century Italy, well played and recorded.

Oscar NATZKA (bass) - The Definitive Collection Volume 1: 1938-1940; Volume 2: 1942-1950. not available separately; all ADD; all mono ATOLL Vol. 1 - ACD 400 Vol. 1 CD1: [57.13]; CD2: [68.44]   ATOLL Vol. 2 - ACD 500 Vol. 2 CD1: [58.58]; CD2: [65.49]  [RB]

This thorough and splendidly finished set will appeal to aficionados of singing and those who would like to recall or discover a distinctively deep voice. One of the few truly great basses outside the old USSR.

Oh Fair to See - Songs by English Composers
Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Till Earth Outwears - seven Hardy settings Oh Fair to See - seven Hardy settings Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The House of Life - a cycle of six sonnets by D G Rossetti Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) On The Island   Donald Kaasch(tenor)/Peter Lockwood (piano) rec Utrecht, June 2000 GLOBE GLO 5202 [70.10] [RB]

If you are more tolerant of vibrato there is nothing else to criticise on this album and much to praise.

PRESENTING FRANCESCO LIBETTA Francesco Libetta (pianoforte). Live recital, Lincoln Theater, Miami Beach, Florida, 27 Feb 2000. VAI AUDIO VAIA 1196 [72.30]

Libetta, for all the hype, impresses for his sincere, unruffled musicality without quite obtaining the speaking quality of the greatest pianists.

Mie Miki Toshio HOSHIKAWA: Melodia II (1977/79/2000); Melodia (1979). Hikaru HAYASHI: A Bee Crosses Over the Strait (1988). Maki ISHII: Lost Sounds II, Op.33b (1978/84) for accordion and tape. Yuji TAKAHASHI: Like a Water-Buffalo (1985) (poem & music). Meiro SUGAWARA: Capriccio Pastorale (1983); Ruscello (1980). AYUO: Three pieces from 'Eurasian Tango' (1998). Mie Miki (accordion) rec May 2000 Lanna Church, Sweden BIS-CD-1144 [60.00] [PGW]

An enjoyable programme, in a variety of contemporary idioms, for an instrument which has recently joined the mainstream of contemporary music, expertly played, vividly recorded

Viktoria Mullova Plays the Tchaikovsky and Sibelius TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto SIBELIUS Violin Concerto Viktoria Mullova (violin) Boston Symphony Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa rec Boston, Oct 1985 PHILIPS 50 464 741-2 [66.34] [RB]

While not displacing my reference recording (Oistrakh on BMG), Mullova and Ozawa have a lot to tell us about both works. Her Sibelius is a very strong contender in anyone's list.

Pletnev Live at Carnegie Hall BACH/BUSONI Chaconne in D minor, BWV1004. Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111. Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-49) Four Scherzos. plus bonus encores Mikhail Pletnev (piano). Carnegie Hall, November 1st, 2000 DG 471 157-2 [two discs] [DDD] [102.01] [CC]

A pattern seems to be developing of a clean technique which never seems entirely at the service of a fully formed interpretative statement. Balakirev's Islamey is the redeeming feature of the recital. Here at last caution is thrown firmly to the wind.

RENAISSANCE MUSIC FOR FLUTE AND LUTE Janette Flüel - Flute and recorder Christian Zimmerman - Vihuela rec 1994, 1996 ANTES EDITION BM-CD 31.9078 [62.44]

Attaignant certainly deserves to be heard more. An interesting introduction to the music of the Renaissance, and an anthology of various composers of the time.

Arthur Rubinstein plays Music of Spain. Isaac ALBÉNIZ Córdoba, Evocacion, Navarra, Sevillanas, Manuel de FALLA Noches en los jardines de España*, Danza del molinero, Andaluza, Danza del terror, Danza ritual del fuego, Enrique GRANADOS Danza española no. 5, La maja y el ruiseòorFederico MOMPOU Cançons i danses nos. 1 & 6 Arthur Rubinstein, Piano * with Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Golschmann Recorded 1947, 1949, 1953-5 ADD mono RCA 09026 63018-2 'Arthur Rubinstein Collection' no. 18 [66.56] [AB]

Stunning playing by Rubinstein of music which he loved. The mono recordings sound well and the disc gives a useful 'alternative' view of Spanish music.

RUNE OF HOSPITALITY - SONGS: by VAUGHAN WILLIAMS and EDMUND RUBBRA Mark Chambers (Counter-tenor) David Mason (Piano) Caractacus String Quartet  Rec Leighton Park School, May 1999 DEUX-ELLES 1012 [77.00] [GH]

An excellent recording of very fine English art songs wonderfully performed by a singer who is specialising in this repertoire.

The Romantic Piano Concerto Volume 2
CD1:- Moscheles: Piano Concerto in G Minor, Op. 58 (c.1818) Hiller: Piano Concerto in F-sharp Minor, Op69 (1856) Litolff: Piano Sinfonique in E-flat Major, Op.45 (c.1846) CD2:- Reinecke: Piano Concerto No.1 in F-sharp, Op. 72 (1879) Mendelssohn: Capriccio Brilliant for Piano & Orchestra, Op. 22 (1825) Rheinberger: Concerto for Piano & Orchestra, Op.94 Michael Ponti (piano) Philharmonia Hungarica/Othmar Maga, Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg/Louis de Froment & Pierre Cao, Berlin Symphony Orchestra/Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach Rec. 1968/78 VOXBOX CDX5065 [CD1 72.17; CD2 63.17] [PW]

One of seven volumes representing the art of the performing pianist-composers of the Romantic tradition. Michael Ponti plays with considerable dexterity, and handles both powerful and sensitive passages with considerable skill. Pleasantly balanced analogue concerto recordings from the 1960s and 1970s.

The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 5
Piano Concerto No.3, Op. 60 (1943) Balakirev: Piano Concerto in E-flat Major (1909-11) Liapunov: Rhapsody on Ukrainian Themes for Piano & Orchestra, Op.45 (1908) CD2:- Sinding: Piano Concerto in D-flat Major (1889) with Ronald Keller (piano) Goetz: Piano Concerto in B-flat Major, Op. 18 (1867) Michael Ponti (piano) is soloist for all but the Sinding concerto; Westphalian Symphony  Orchestra/Landau,  Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg/Cao, Berlin Symphony Orchestra/Faerber Rec. 1973/78 VOXBOX CDX5068 [CD1 78.20; CD2 55.48] [RW]

Michael Ponti and Roland Keller play with skill and energy, and handle both the powerful and tranquil passages sympathetically. The analogue recordings of the '70s are clear and are pleasantly balanced though with dryish acoustics.

Symphonic Organ Music - Vol. 2 Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Vesper Voluntaries
Op. 3 No. 1 Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Three Preludes in D minor, A minor and B flat major Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893) Offertoire Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) Organ Sonata Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) Six Preludes for Organ Hans-Ola Ericsson at the Gerald Woehl Organ of St. Petrus Canisius, Friedrichshafen/Bodensee, Germany (recorded 10-12/10/1999) BIS CD-1102 [69:15] [IL]

Like the curate's egg, good in parts; the Elgar disappoints.

THEN AGAIN: BRITISH PIANO MUSIC OF THE '80s AND '90s Colin TOUCHIN (b.1953) : Sonatella (1990) Christopher BEST (b.1958) : Then Again Robert RAMSKILL (b.1950) : Jazz Sonatina (1985) Julian HELLABY (b.1956) : Medley on Jazz Standards Julian Hellaby (piano) Recorded Warwick 1998 ASC CS CD39 [c. 65.00] [HC]

Four composers who do not shy away from writing entertaining music in an accessible, often jazzy idiom.

The World of BRITISH FOLK SONGS DECCA 467 782-2 (60.53) [TB]

This collection offers the listener an interesting experience, but stylistically it must now be viewed as something of a period piece. The real beauty of folk songs lies in their very directness and simplicity, in which sense it is Pears and Britten who come closest to the heart of the matter.


EBORACUM CHORAL SERIES from BANKS MUSIC, YORK: Some recent publications

EDWARD ELGAR (1857-1934) An Anthology of Works from Boosey & Hawkes (The Masterworks Library) Sea Pictures (1899), Pomp & Circumstance Marches 1 - 5 (1901-1930), Cockaigne (In London Town) (1901) 265 pages of score ISMN M060110238 £19.99 229 mm x 305 mm [JC]

Nicholas MAW (b. 1935) Dance Scenes, Violin Concerto, Sonata for Solo Violin Faber Music [GK]  


MASSENET - A Chronicle of his Life and Times by Demar Irvine  Amadeus Press; 398 pages; paperback. First published in 1994.  ISBN 1-57467-024-7 $22.95

This important book languished in an unpublished special typewritten edition in American libraries from 1974 until the author of the Foreword, Reinhard G. Pauly, discovered it while investigating the existence of an English version of Massenet's memoirs, Mes Souvenirs.

Penguin Guide to Compact Discs
Yearbook 2000/1

By Ivan March, Edward Greenfield and Robert Layton
Penguin Books, London. Pp 706. PB, £14.99

Wagner and Philosophy By Bryan Magee.
Allan Lane £20.00 pp 398.

WIGMORE HALL : 1901-2001 - A CELEBRATION Ed. Julia MacRae Wigmore Hall Trust £15.00 ISBN 0-9539581-0-8 224pp. [CF]

This paperback history, lavishly illustrated with photographs and posters old and new, is a real bargain at fifteen pounds.

[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


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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