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POUL SCHIERBECK (1888-1949) Complete works for solo piano Piano Sonata in G minor (1915), Sou'Wester, Sweater and Shag (1932) Two Fantastic Etudes (1914) Intermezzo, Three Pieces (1915) Rhapsodic Piece (1913) Tove Lønskov (piano) rec 1999-2000 KONTRAPUNKT 32310 [66.58] [RB]

Schierbeck is well worth exploring. His Symphony and Radio-Rhapsody are on Danacord DACOCD 417 (Artur Rubinstein PO/Ilya Stupel). His Fêtes Galantes overture, Häxa, Natten and Chinese Flute are all on POINT PCD5085 (Michael Schønwandt/Sonderjyllands By-Orkester). Surprisingly his Dies Irae suite (from music for the 1943 Danish film of that name) still languishes unrecorded (though recorded for Danish radio by the Jutland orchestra conducted by Aksel Wellejus) as does his Constitution Cantata once stirringly broadcast by that redoubtable champion of Danish music, Launy Grøndahl and Danish Radio forces.

SCHMIDT  Symphony No 2 (1913) [46.16] ARNOLD SCHOENBERG Verklärte Nacht (1899 arr 1917) [31.06] Vienna PO/Dimitri Mitropoulosrec live concert 28 Sept 1958, Grosser Saal, Musikverein, Vienna MUSIC AND ARTS CD-991 [77.34] [RB]

Recommended to Schmidt followers and to all those who prefer their music making to reflect a real concert experience. Be warned however - the disc is now in short supply but copies (down to the last fifty or so I understand) are available direct from Music and Arts.

SCHNITTKE Music for Violin and Piano   Joanna Kurkowicz, violin; Sergey Schepkin, piano.
BRIDGE 9104 [60.52] [PB]

Schnittke works can be difficult to perform, and in some cases, virtually impenetrable to audiences. But these fiery works have warmth and humor. In this remarkable disc, Joanna Kurkowicz and Sergey Schepkin find both.

SHOSTAKOVICH Dmitry (1906-1975) Violin Concerto no. 1 ; Violin Concerto no. 2 YSAYE
Amitie op 29 for two violins and orchestra David Oistrakh (violin) with Igor Oistrakh in the Ysaye.  Orchestras in order Philharmonia: Rozhdestvensky USSR State SymphonyOrchestra/ Svetlanov LPO, Sargent.   BBC Records. BBCL 4060-2 (ADD) [78.18] [DW]

The exciting music is almost too hot to handle. This is great stuff, really. Even the final cadenza sizzles with musical heat. The final minutes are breathtaking! Music of confidence and triumph. If you don't respond to this, you need professional help!

SCHUBERT Franz String Quartet in d, D810 - "Death and the Maiden" String Quartet in c, D703 - "Quartettsatz" String Quintet in C, D956* The Lindsays, with Douglas Cummings* ASV CD DCS 243 [2 CDs: 51' 40"; 57' 43"] [CH]

Here we have some of the greatest chamber music ever written played by one of the finest of all British quartets.

SCHUMANN Symphony no. 2 Symphony no. 3 'Rhenish' Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Barenboim Deutsche Grammophon Galleria 469 554-2 (73.23 minutes) [TB]

These performances date from 1977, and they feature top-class orchestral playing and direction. There are other options in performing this music, certainly, but they are no better than Barenboim's romantic commitment and flowing tempi.

SCIARRINO  Studies for Tuning the Sea   Michel van Goethem (countertenor)  4 flutes, 4 saxophones, percussion and Orchestras of 100 flutes & 100 saxophones/Stefano Venturi & Marco Angius Stradivarius STR 33583 [39.18] [PGW]

The music celebrates the multiplication of tiny natural sounds to grow into gigantic phenomena, a ripple becoming a wave, wild winds growing to a storm.

SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Complete Youth Production for Piano - Volume 1 Folke Gräsbeck, piano BIS 1067 [78:33]  [GP-J]

Folke Grãsbeck deserves praise for completing what must have been, at times, an unrewarding task. His playing is eloquent.

Richard STRAUSS Oboe Concerto, Metamorphosen, Death and Transfiguration Heinz Holliger (oboe) Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Michael Gielen Regis RRC 1034 (78.04 minutes) [TB]

Gielen is one of the most interesting conductors around today. ...However, it is probably be the Oboe Concerto which will be the chief attraction for collectors, since the disc represents excellent vale at nearly 80 minutes, and the soloist is the great Heinz Holliger. Nor does he disappoint. His performance is both technically accomplished and eloquently drawn, and Gielen's accompaniment is ideal.

SULLIVAN Written by Sydney Grundy Haddon Hall The Prince Consort, Edinburgh, conducted by David Lyle. The divine art record company 21201.[AB]

The music is most impressive, full of good tunes and many unique touches to differentiate it from the G. & S. operas. The Scottish numbers and orchestral bagpipe effects are hilarious; there is a storm scene which brings that of Rigoletto to mind; the brief appearance of La Marseillaise and Yankee Doodle Dandee are most unexpected.

EINO TAMBERG (1930-) Nocturne Op. 90 (1994) Saxophone Concerto (1987) Clarinet Concerto (1996) Concerto Grosso (1956) Villu Veski (clarinet) Toomas Vavilov (clarinet) ERSO Estonian National  O/Arvo Volmer rec Tallin, Estonia, 1997-1998 BELLA MUSICA EDITION - ANTES EDITION BM-CD 31.9151 [68.54] [RB]

Tamberg is something of a discovery - essentially a 'singer' even in the lapidary fragmentation of the eighties and nineties.

TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 4 SCRIABIN  Etude in C sharp minor (orch Stokowski) American SO/Leopold Stokowski rec April 1971, Masonic Temple, New York VANGUARD CLASSICS OVC 8012 [47.32] [RB]

Stokowski's personality dominates the disc. In this case, while never dull, the end result fails to satisfy.

VERDI (1813-1901) Messa solenne (Messa di Gloria). Qui tollis. Tantum ergo in F. Laudate pueri. Tantum ergo in G. Pater noster. Ave Maria. Libera me (Messa per Rossini, 1869 version). Elisabetta Scano, Cristina Gallardo-Domâs (sopranos); Juan Diego Flórez, Kenneth Tarver (tenors); Eldar Aliev, Michele Pertusi (basses); Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Riccardo Chailly. Decca 467 280-2 [DDD] [69'09] [CC]

The Verdi celebrations have elicited a host of welcome issues from the majors. Riccardo Chailly here makes a notable contribution by turning his attention to another side of this most operatically based of composers: the lesser-known liturgical music. Decca in fact include no fewer than five World Première recordings on this release

VERDI  Requiem Leontyne Price Soprano Rosalind Elias Mezzo-Soprano Jussi-Bjorling Tenor Giorgi Tozzi Bass Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Fritz Reiner Conductor
Four Sacred Pieces
Yvonne Minton Mezzo-Soprano  Los Angeles Master Chorale Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra  Zubin Mehta Conductor DECCA CD1 467 119-2 [HS]

....wondrously sustained as the singing of Leontyne Price is in this most technically demanding of passages. To maintain such perfect intonation for so long a time unaccompanied, as she does, is a true test of greatness.....It is in his strict fidelity to Verdi's markings that Reiner's rhythmical precision and textural clarity serve, rather than detract from, the emotional intensity of the music.

VERDI  Messa da Requiem*, Quattro pezzi sacri** Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano)*, Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano)*, Nicolai Gedda (tenor)*, Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass)*, Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano)**, Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini Recorded 1963-4*, 1962** EMI Great Recordings of the Century CMS 5 67560 2 [2 CDs, 67'02", 61'43"] [CH]

It gives me no pleasure to write what may be seen as a nasty exercise in debunking......I, too, have to be sincere and can only record that it does precious little for me.

Carl VINE (b.1954) Piano Concerto (1997) Symphony 4.2 (1993 rev 1998) Choral Symphony (1996) Michael Kieran Harvey (piano) Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir Sydney SO/Edo de Waart ABC CLASSICS 456 698-2 [71.32] [RB]

A stimulating disc which, once heard, is liable to have you rooting through the lists to find the original ABC recording of Vine's second and third symphonies.

WAGNER Die Walkure Astrid Varnay (Soprano), Helen Traubel (Soprano), Kerstin Thorborg (Mezzo), Lauritz Melchior (Tenor), Freidrich Schorr (Baritone), Alexander Kipnis (Bass)
Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra Conducted by Eric Leinsdorf Broadcast performance from 6th December 1941 Restoration by K&A Productions Ltd. Naxos Historical 8.110058-60 (175.38) [TD]

It's the eve of Pearl Harbour and an unknown Astrid Varnay is a last minute replacement for Lotte Lehmann in this truly Historical broadcast from the Met

WEBER ORCHESTRAL MUSIC: Disc 1 - Overtures to Euryanthe, Oberon, Der Freischütz, The Ruler of the Spirits, Invitation to the Dance (orch. Berlioz), Abu Hassan, Peter Schmoll, Disc 2 - Symphony no.1 in C Horn Concertino in E Symphony no.2 in C The Hanover Band/Goodman, Anthony Halstead, horn. NIMBUS NI 7062/3 [55:33] [GP-J]

Bathroom acoustic but no missing the 'live' quality and there is some lovely playing from all sections of this excellent ensemble. Goodman's readings have an instinctive feel for the music

BILL WORLAND Tres Señoritas; Shopping Spree; Pepita; Brighton Belle; It's Spring Again; and other works RTE Concert Orchestra Gavin Sutherland Marco Polo 8.225161  [77:28]  [AS]

I have to say that few light music composers can sustain interest for 80 minutes or so, and Worland just isn't one of them. If tunefulness is the prime requisite of light music I'm afraid that few, if any, of his melodies are memorable; and the routine structures rarely deviate from the predictable.

ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Der Traumgörge (1904-07) An opera in two acts and an epilogue David Kuebler (Görge) Patricia Racette (Gertraud) Iride Martinez (Grete) Andreas Schmidt (Hans) Gürzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker/James Conlon Rec 6-8 July 1999, Köln EMI CLASSICS CDS5 57087 2 CD1 [72.55] CD2 [74.32] [RB]

Every aspect of EMI's production breathes quality and while Zemlinsky may have fallen victim to prolixity there is plenty of gold and silver in this expressionist score.

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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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