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MACDOWELL (1861-1908) Piano Sonata No. 1 Tragica (1892) [26.21] Piano Sonata No. 2 Eroica (1895) [24.53] Piano Sonata No. 3 Norse (1899) [17.54] Piano Sonata No. 4 Keltic (1900) [18.54] Woodland Sketches (1896) [25.10] Sea Pieces (1898) [20.44] Alan Mandel (piano) rec 4 & 7 Jan 1999, Coolidge Auditorium, Library of Congress, Washington DC PHOENIX PHCD 148 2 CDs CD1 [72.14] CD2 [61.37] [RB]

Very highly commended both for repertoire and interpretation. Whether factually right or not I had the impression that Mandel knew these works. He certainly point presents them with conviction.

MAHLER Symphony No.3 in D minor Franz SCHUBERT Rosamunde (excerpts) D797 Anton WEBERN Six Pieces For Orchestra op.6 Cornelia Kallisch (Alto), Europa Chor Akademie, Freiburger Domsingknaben, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg Conducted by Michael Gielen Hänssler Classics CD 93.017 [135:38] [TD]

I believe Gielen, like his predecessor at Baden-Baden, Hans Rosbaud, presents an important and refreshing point of view and would urge you to try it.

Alexander MOYZES (1906-1984) Symphony No. 3 (1942) [23.40] Symphony No. 4 (1947 rev 1957) [40.36] Slovak Radio SO/Ladislav Slovák rec Bratislava, May 1994/Oct 1993 MARCO POLO 8.225089 [64.16] [RB]

Technical misjudgements aside, Moyzes is another character worth exploring but Moyzes-pioneers should start with the first disc.

MOZART  Piano Concertos  No 20 K466 & No 24  491   Clara Haskil with Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux Igor Markevitch Philips 464 718-2 [60 mins]  [PGW]

It is good to have Clara Haskil's performances of the D minor & C minor concertos back in circulation in the Philips 50 collection.

MOZART Sinfonia Concertante K364« Vladimir Ivanovich TSYTOVICH Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestraª Leningrad Chamber Orchestra« Orchestra of Old and Modern Musicª Victor Liberman (Violin«) Yuri Kramarov (Violaª) Conducted by Edward Serov Kontrapunkt 32314 [52.15] [SF]

...a performance of the wonderful Sinfonia Concertante of Mozart (for violin, viola and orchestra) of unremitting plainness - the conductor needs to take a great deal of responsibility for this with a severe straightjacket approach to the accompaniment.  One to avoid.

MOZART Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 - 18; Fantasie in C minor Ronald Brautigam, fortepiano BIS CD-835/837 [380.54] 6 CDs for the price of 3 [SF]

Even if you already have a set of performances played on the modern piano, I would strongly urge you to investigate this box. If you haven't, Brautigam would be my top recommendation.

MOZART  HEROINES Natalie Dessay (soprano), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Louis Langrée Virgin VC 5 45447 2 [66' 32"] [CH]

I don't see how I can recommend the disc for just two or three arias and I hope to be able to write better of this soprano on another occasion.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphony No. 1, FS 16, Op 7  Symphony No. 6, "Sinfonia Semplice", FS 116. Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Michael Schønwandt Dacapo 8.224169 [DDD 67:42] [CT]

Michael Schønwandt quite simply draws magnificent playing from the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra in performances which are clean, vivid, highly characteristic and remarkably confident.

NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphony No. 4 Inextinguishable [34.02] Symphony No. 5 [35.42] London SO/Ole Schmidt rec 1974, St Giles, London REGIS RRC 1036 [69.45] [RB]

Regis for two of the strongest of the symphonies in tapes resurrected and sprung-clean from their 1970s slumber.

NIELSEN Violin Concerto, Op.33 BRUCH Violin Concerto, Op.26 Nikolaj Znaider, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Lawrence Foster EMI CDC5 569062, [65.12] Full Price [MB]

The coupling is an unusual one but what impresses is the delight in hearing a young violinist so clearly looking back to the past to capture that sound and strength of tone which I had thought almost a thing of the past. This performance is at once haunting, sublime and effortless. It is a triumph.

Ludolf NIELSEN (1876-1939) The Tower of Babel (1912-14) Forest Walk (1922) Iréne Theorin (sop) - Voice of a bird,  Johnny van Hal (ten) - tenor solo, Per Høyer (bar) - Human Voice, Danish National Radio SO/Owain Arwel Hughes, co-production with Danmarks Radio rec 1-3 Oct 1999, Copenhagen DA CAPO 8.224093 [63.05] [RB]

Easily the most exacting and satisfying of the Da Capo Ludolf Nielsen series. Your only problem may be that musically the symphonies do not match this impressive achievement

Luis de PABLO Impromptus for orchestra (On a C#; Melody; Isocronias; A Lightning Bolt; Harmonic Study) Carmelo BERNALOA Variaciones concertantes (espacios variados num.2) Orquesta Sinfonica de Euskadi/Juanjo Mena Audiovisuals de Sarria Musica Sinfonica Espanola Contemporanea 6 [51.32] [PW]

- - - a valuable coupling of two substantial works by leading members of Spain's Generation of '51, who took on the task of bringing into their country long forgotten avant-garde tendencies and bringing their audiences up to date in a European context.

PARRY and STANFORD Nonets Capricorn Recorded 1987 Helios CDH55061 [52:52] [CF]

Parry never heard his nonet played, a pity for it is an effective and interesting piece with colourful instrumental textures and charming melodic inventions, wistful and reflective in its slower moments, bitingly rhythmic in both the scherzo and the final allegro.

PFITZNER (1869-1949) Das Christ-Elflein (The Christmas Elf) A Fairy Tale Opera in Two Acts
Das Elflein ………………… Helen Donath, Das Christkindchen ………. Janet Perry, Der Tannengreis ………… Alexander Malta, Knecht Ruprecht ………… Nikolaus Hillebrand, Chor des Bayerishen Rundfunks; Münchner Rundfunkorchester conducted by Kurt Eichhorn. Broadcast by Bayerischen Rundfunks 30th November 1979 ORFEO C 437 992 I 2 CDs [100:59] [IL]

This is an enchanting, magical work that shows Pfitzner in a different, happier light. A rewarding listening experience at any time of the year - at Christmas time it will be spellbinding. Heartily recommended.

DAVID POPPER Romantic Cello Showpieces  Im Walde (suite for cello & orchestra) Requiem (for three cellos & orchestra) Hungarian Rhapsody and other works Maria Kliegel (cello) with Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia Gerhard Markson Recorded May 1999 Naxos 8.554657 [55:53] [AS]

David Popper, a virtuoso cellist himself, he wrote extensively for the instrument, though today his works are rarely heard in the concert hall. In the 15 tracks on this disc, most of them no longer than four minutes in duration, he reveals a sure mastery of the cello and a fluent idiom redolent of Schumann and Brahms.

POULENC Complete Chamber Music, volume 5 The Story of Babar, the little elephant (in French)
L'Invitation au Château - incidental music Léocadia - incidental music The Story of Babar, the little elephant (in English) Alexandre Tharaud (piano) and others Recordings made between October 1995 and October 1997
Naxos 8.553615   [73:37]  [AS]

If, like me, you are addicted to the uniquely marvellous musical world of Francis Poulenc, you should rush out at once and purchase this delightful disc.

PUCCINI La bohème Andrea Boccelli Rodolfo, Barbara Frittoli Mimi, Paolo Gavanelli Marcello, Eva Mei Musetta, Natale de Carolis Schaunard, Mario Luperi Colline Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Zubin Mehta Decca 464 060 2 (2 discs, 113.36 minutes) [TB]

This is real Puccini, not hackneyed Puccini. .... So the judgement that Bocelli is merely a singer of popular titbits who has strayed into opera, a kind of modern-day Mario Lanza, is not altogether fair.

RACHMANINOV Suite No. 1 (1893) arr for piano and orchestra by Rebekah Harkness Suite No. 2 (1901) arr for piano and orchestra by Lee Hoiby Suite No. 1 (1893) orig version for two pianos Suite 1 Lee Hoiby/London PO/Jorge Mester  Suite 2 Lee Hoiby/London SO/Lawrence Foster Suite 1 (orig) Steven and Nadia Gordon rec 1968, 1971 orig released on Desto and Klavier LPs CITADEL CTD88101 ADD  [68.47] [RB]

A must have disc for Rachmaninovians looking for the last milligramme of fix.

RACHMANINOV  Symphonic Dances Igor STRAVINSKY  Rite of Spring London SO/Eugene Goossens rec Walthamstow, London, Nov 1958 (Rite); Feb 1960 (Dances) EVEREST EVC 9002 [69.47] [RB]

Silky real world sound in a giant hall acoustic but performances that lack drive. Weak in the Rachmaninov; stronger in the Rite.

Maurice RAVEL The complete works for orchestra on VoxBox (4 discs - 2 sets) Minnesota Orchestra/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski The Piano Concertos Abbey Simon (piano) Orchestra Radio Luxembourg/Louis de Froment  Recorded in two 2CD VOXBOXes Vol. 1 CDX 5031 Vol 2 CDX 5032 [RB]

An outstanding bargain with four hours of the twentieth century's most provocatively impressionistic music on offer at bargain price.

RAWSTHORNE  Symphonic Studies, Oboe Concerto, Cello Concerto.   Stéphane Rancourt (oboe), Alexander Baillie (cello), Royal National Scottish Orchestra, David Lloyd-Jones Naxos 8.554763 [RB]

The disc to have if you want one representative Rawsthorne entry for your collection.

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Incidental Music to The Maid of Pskov Symphonic Suite: Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh Fairy Tale (Szazka), op 29 Fantasia on Serbian Themes, op 6  Moscow Symphony Orchestra Igor Golovchin Recordings made in June 1996 Naxos 8.553513 [72:40] [AS] [TB]

This disc comes as a welcome reminder that Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a good deal of orchestral music which is as colourful and exciting as Capriccio Espagnol or Sheherazade, yet is heard far less frequently as these two old repertory warhorses.

[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,  Peter Bates, Marc Bridle, Arthur Butterworth, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, Gary Dalkin, Andy Daly, Tony Duggan, Harry Downey,  Christopher Fifield, Lewis Foreman, Simon Foster, Christopher Howell, Stephen Lloyd, 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.

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