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Misc and

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ACCENDO Music from the time of Claudio Monteverdi   The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble  with Robert Howarth (keyboards) Adrian Chandler & Warren Zeilinski (violins) & Mark Chambers (counter-tenor) Deux-Elles DXL 913 [62 mins]  [PW]

The selection is of composers who were colleagues of Monteverdi and might have influenced him. A winning collection which we have already played through several times.

Amadeus Quartet Mozart Clarinet Quintet Franck  Piano Quintet Strauss  Prelude to Capriccio Amadeus Quartet Gervase de Peyer Clifford Curzon Cecil Aronowitz William Pleeth Recorded 966/1960/1971 BBC Legends BBCL 4061-2 [76.31] [CF]

How sorely the Amadeus Quartet and the Everest-high standards they set are missed, and the compulsive listening to anything unlocked from this treasure trove could not be highlighted more than by the miraculous playing on this disc.

AMIR.  Music for violin, two violins and violin and piano.   Amir (violin), Marat Bisengaliev (violin), John Lenehan (piano)   Black Box BBMI 042 [DW]

Amir has a good technique but, sadly, no maturity in his playing as yet. But, then I was 13 once.
A second CD will be awaited with interest to discover how Amir's mentors plan to shape his career.

Eduard van Beinum  The Radio Recordings   Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam  Q Disc 97015 [11 CDs + DVD] [PW]

A worthy centenary memorial to a good, sincere conductor who may never achieve the fabled status of some notable individualists of his time.

BLESSED SPIRIT Music of the Soul's Journey The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge Timothy Brown Recorded March 2000  Collegium Records COLCD127  [71:10] [AS]

Few discs have ever afforded me more pleasure than that which I have derived from this splendidly conceived anthology of sacred music. In his introduction to the accompanying booklet , producer John Rutter describes the album's theme as being 'the music of heaven and our journey to heaven'.

Gustav HOLST Beni Mora - LSO/composer
Suite: The Sea - LSO/composer
Arthur BLISS
Conversations - SO/composer
The Wasps Overture - Aeolian Orch/composer
Hamilton HARTY
With the Wild Geese - Hallé /composer
The Wreckers overture - British SO/composer
mono Recorded: Holst (14 Feb 1924), Bridge (26 July 1923), Bliss (9 Feb 1923), Vaughan Williams (1922), Harty (26 Mar 1926), Smyth (1 May 1930).  SYMPOSIUM 1202 [75.05] [RB]

The disc is generously topped up and will be a direct draw for British music enthusiasts.

Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Barry Wordsworth.
ASV White Label WHL 2128.
Various orchestras and ensembles.
ASV White Label (2 disc set) CDWLZ 250.

Here are two more releases in ASV's series celebrating the best of British light music which refreshingly get away from the same two dozen or so titles (welcome as they are) which crop up on so many other British light music compilations on CD. Although some composers are common to both issues, they are very different.....there is indeed richness here.

ENGLISH MUSIC FOR PIANO DUET Lord BERNERS (1883 - 1950) Valses Bourgeoises, Fantaisie espagnole, Trois morceaux Constant LAMBERT (1905 - 51) Overture, Trois pièces nègres pour les touches blanches, Alan RAWSTHORNE (1905 - 71) The Creel William WALTON (1902 - 83) 11 Duets for Children Philip LANE (b.1950) Badinages Peter Lawson and Alan MacLean Recorded in the Princess Hall of The Cheltenham Ladies College, 1994 ALBANY TROY 142 [67.38]  [G P-J]

A disc to treasure

CARUSO The complete recordings Vols.1-3 [Naxos]/Tenor of the Century [ASV] Recorded 1902-1920 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8. 110703/04/08 [72.19/73.52/69.22] ASW CD AJS241 (2cds) [78.18/74.24] [CF]

The choice is yours - a sampler from ASV or the start of a complete edition from Naxos

The Celibidache Edition: The Swedish Radio Recordings
Disc 1 - Dvorak: Cello Concerto in B minor, Jacqueline Du Pré, cello
Disc 2 - Franck: Symphony in D & Hindemith: Mathis der Maler
Disc 3 - Sibelius: Symphony No 2 in D minor* & Symphony No 5 in E flat major
Disc 4 - Richard Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel & Don Juan; Shostakovich: Symphony No 9 in E flat major
Sergiu Celibidache, Swedish radio Symphony Orchestra DG 469 069-2 4 discs - 45'20, 70'01, 81'18 & 60'35 - Stereo/mono*  only available as a boxed set, Full Price

..........breathtaking string sonorities that are as resplendent as they are luminous. Where many conductors can take Franck's darkened palate and somehow turn it into a glutinous morass of density, Celibidache separates balances so violin and cello lines are spliced together and then splayed apart like a fragmented rainbow.

A CAPELA DO REI MAGNÂNIMO "The Chapel of the Magnanimous King" FRANCISCO ANTONIO DE ALMEIDA (C.1702 - C.1755) In Dedicatione Templi CARLOS SEIXAS(1705 - 1742) Sonata no.75 in A minor D.SCARLATTI (1685 - 1757) Laetatus Sum BERNARDO PASQUINI (1637 - 1710) Sonata in C GIOVANNI BATTISTA BASSETTI (? - ?) Lauda Jerusalem JOAO RODRIGUES ESTEVES (c. 1700 - 1751) Mass for 8 voices Lisbon Chamber Choir/Teresita Gutierrez Marques David Cranmer (organ) Recorded Lisbon 2000 STRAUSS PORTUGALSOM SP 4292 [54.50] [GP-J]

There is some attractive music here, though none of it is of especially high quality. Perhaps predictably, the best piece is the Scarlatti, though the de Almeida motet is worth listening to, as is the Mass by Esteves.

DANISH SYMPHONIES OF THE LATE ROMANTIC PERIOD Louis GLASS (1864-1936) Symphony No 5 Sinfonia Svastica (1916) Rudolph SIMONSEN (1889-1947) Symphony No 2 Hellas (1921) Hakon BØRRESEN (1876-1954) Symphony No 2 The Sea (1904) Herman SANDBY (1881-1965) Symphony No 4 (1955) Danish Radio SO/Launy Grøndahl Mono ADD rec Glass 22 Oct 1957; Simonsen 5 Sept 1954; Børresen 3 June 1954; Sandby 19 Mar 1956. DANACORD DACOCD 370-371 [CD1 54.15 + CD2 61.12] [RB]

A fine set of historic significance and generating considerable interest both for what it is and as an 'overture' to future recordings of the complete Glass, Sandby and Simonsen. The 'axle' work here is the Glass - a work which will yet secure a prominent reputation and, more to the point, great affection among music-lovers. Recommended.

DUMKY - POPULAR UKRAINIAN SONGS CD1 Dumky in the Salon 25 popular Ukrainian songs for voice and piano Olga Pasichnyk, soprano, Natalya Pasichnyk, piano CD2 Popular Dumky
20 Ukrainian folk-songs
Various folk artists Opus111 OPS 30-228  CD1 [67'49] CD2 [55'28] [GP-J]

There is far, far more than academic interest here; these recordings present music-making of the highest order, and give a flavour of the richness and power of this important source of European musical inspiration. Most of the arrangements are attractive and tasteful, and they are superbly performed by the sisters Pasichnyk.

Enchanting Music Rued LANGGAARD Three Songs for Choir  Vagn HOLMBOE Motet, 'I know a flower so lovely and brave' Speravi in Domino  Erik HAUMANN The day the cherry trees blossomed   Coro Misto director Søren Birch   Danacord DACOCD 546 (57.50 minutes) [TB]

There is no question that the music on this disc sounds well, for it is beautifully recorded in an ample and clear acoustic, and the performers are of the hghest calibre, sensitively directed by Søren Birch.

THE ENGLISH HYMN - 1 "CHRIST TRIUMPHANT": Great Hymn Tunes of the Twentieth Century
Wells Cathedral Choir, Rupert Gough (organ) Malcolm Archer Hyperion CDP12101 [67' 40"] [CF]

Some of my best arguments have been about hymns, until I came to realise that musical value judgements have precious little to do with it.....What I am trying to say is that "Great hymns of the twentieth century" is a risky title that is likely to mean in reality a selection of those with particular meaning for the compiler of the anthology. In Wells taste tends toward the high Anglican, with Malcolm Archer favouring broad, dignified tempi.

English String Miniatures Volume 2 Frank Bridge  'Sally in our Alley'; 'Cherry Ripe' & 'Sir Roger de Coverley' Sir Edward Elgar  Sospiri Haydn Wood  Fantasy-Concerto John Ireland  The Holy Boy Ralph Vaughan Williams  Charterhouse Suite (c.1923) Frederick Delius  Air & Dance (c. 1920) Peter Warlock  Serenade for the 60th birthday of Frederick Delius (1922) Geoffrey Bush  Consort Music (1989) Rec. 21/22 March 2000 English Northern Philharmonia David Lloyd-Jones Naxos 8.555068 [69.21] [JF]

When you are jaded with the complexities of Boulez, bored by the repetitiveness of Reich and overwhelmed by the massive constructions of Mahler and Bruckner, turn to English String Miniatures - Volume 2 on Naxos. This is a stunning CD. Never be put off simply by the fact that it is described as 'miniatures'. The works on this disk are all miniature masterpieces and deserve to be firmly entrenched in the orchestral repertoire - and not necessarily just as 'encores.'

FANFARES FOR A NEW MILLENNIUM  Fanfares by: Christopher BLAKE Auckland!, Eve de  [MB]CASTRO ROBINSON Other echoes, John RIMMER Vulcan, Juliet PALMER Secret Arnold, John PSATHAS Luminous, Lisa MERIDAN-SKIPP firecracker, John ELMSLY Resound!, Dorothy BUCHANAN Peace, Chris CREE BROWN Y2K Pacemaker, Philip DADSON MAYA, David HAMILTON Zarya. Auckland Philharmonia/Miguel Harth-Bedoya, James Sedares, Nicholas Braithwaite, Kazufumi Yamashita, Samuel Wong, Edvard Tchivzhel, Vladimir Verbitsky, Yip Wing-Sie, Anthony Halstead
rec Auckland Town Hall, 1999-2000 Atoll ACD 100 [56.07]

Your first reaction on reading the heading above might well be to click that mouse button and quickly move on to the next review. But hold fast! Here is an extraordinary CD that will doubtless rate as one of my records of the year and deserves a hearing from anyone with the slightest interest in contemporary music.

Flight of Song Howard SKEMPTON (b. 1947) We who with songs (1995) Opportunity (2000) Rose-Berries (1990) Song at the Year's Turning (1980) The Flight of Song (1996) To Bethlem did they go (1995) He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven (1999)
Judith WEIR (b. 1954) Ascending into Heaven (1983) Two Human Hymns (1995)
Jonathan HARVEY (b. 1939) Thou mastering me God (1989) God is our Refuge (1986) The Tree
Sir Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998) Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (1963)

The Choir of Queen's College, Cambridge directed by James Weeks Matthew Steynor, organ Guild GMCD 7213 [DDD 64:25] [CT]

This disc offers much to commend in both the choice of programme and sensitive performances by the Choir of Queen's College. Most of all it leaves a desire to further explore the music of the fine composers represented.

HARP SHOWPIECES Complete Chamber Music, volume 5 Judy Loman (harp) Recordings made in April 1998 Naxos 8.554347 [75:47] [AS]

This fascinating disc, spanning the music of three centuries, provides an authoritative overview of the instrument's development as well as of its solo repertoire. Each of these pieces is a winner. A further delight of this disc is Julia Seager's accompanying programme booklet, rich in basic information about the harp, its development and repertoire.

HUAPANGO Mexican Music Pablo Garcia Josd Moncayo (1912-1958) Huapango Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940) Ocho X Radio Bias Dimas Galindo (1910-1993) Sones de Mariachi Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940) Sensamaya Rodolfo Halffter (1900-1987) Don Lindo de Almena Carlos Chavez (1899-1978) Sinfonia India (Symphony No. 2) Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa and Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria conducted by Herrera de la Fuente Guild GMCD 7211 [58 mins] [PW]

The keynote is energy and a zest for life, and dance is never far away. The chief reason to add this to your collection is Revueltas, whose originality is evident in the quirky, anarchic polytonal Eight times radio for an odd assortment of eight instruments and Sensemaya for a huge orchestra with Latin & Indian instruments to reinforce the 'small army of percussion'.

GREAT CONDUCTORS - ERICH KLEIBER DVORAK  Symphony no 9 ('From the New World'); Carnival Overture; Scherzo Capriccioso; Slavonic Dance no 1 SMETANA  The Moldau
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philmarmonic Orchestra, Berlin State Opera Orchestra Erich Kleiber
Historical Recordings 1927-1948  Transfer Mark Obert-Thorn Recorded September-October 1999 Naxos 8.110907 [74:34] [AS]

Historical recordings are a lottery: interesting from an interpretative perspective, perhaps, but often of dodgy sound quality, as on the whole is this one.

Fritz Kreisler: Concerto Recordings-Vol. 1 LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Violin Concerto in D J.S.BACH (1685 - 1750)  Adagio from Sonata no.1 FELIX MENDELSSOHN (1809 - 1847) 'May Breezes' from Songs Without Words Op.62 No.1 Violin Concerto in E minor Fritz Kreisler (violin) Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Leo Blech Arpàd Sàndor (piano) Recorded Berlin 1926 NAXOS 8.110909 [78:20] [GP-J]

This is pure musical pleasure, not to be missed.

Dinu Lipatti  CHOPIN Frédéric (1) Sonata no.3 in b, op.58 LISZT Franz (2) Années de Pélérinage: II. Italie: 5. Sonetto 104 del Petrarca RAVEL Maurice (3)  Miroirs: 4. Alborada del Gracioso BRAHMS Johannes (4)* Walzer, op.39: 6, 15, 2, 1, 14, 10, 5, 6 ENESCU George (5) Sonata no.3 in D, op.25 Recorded 1937 (4), 1943 (5), 1947 (1, 2), 1948 (3) Dinu Lipatti (pianoforte) with Nadia Boulanger* (pianoforte).  EMI Great Recordings of the Century CDM 5 67566 2 [CH]

It seems a banal comment but when in the wild spin of the finale heavy chordal writing is set against filigree passage-work it really does seem impossible that only one person is playing. [Chopin]

A New Sound for a New Millennium SCHUBERT Variations on Trockne Blumen SANCAN Sonatine PROKOFIEV Sonata no. 2, Op 94 Andrew Anson (flute), Alastair Lilley (piano).   Claudio Records CR4942-2 [53.25] [DW]

This is an attractive disc. It is always a problem putting a programme together for a CD. What we have here is marvellous Sancan and terrible Schubert and then this impressive sonata by Prokofiev.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK: Classic Railway Music. Various orchestras, ensembles and soloists.

This attractive release, in which the musical items are linked by railway sounds and rounded off by Reginald Gardner's amusing (spoken) Trains commentary, presents vintage recordings - Coronation Scot etc.

PASSION FOR PIANO Works by Albéniz, Bach, Balakirev, Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Gershwin, Gottschalk, Granados, Grieg and Handel. Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Shura Cherkassky, Ivan Davis, Andor Foldes, Andrei Gavrilov, Emil Gilels, Werner Haas, Julius Katchen, Wilhelm Kempff, Zoltán Kocsis, Alicia de Larrocha, John Lill, Jean-Marc Luisada, Roberto Szidon, Rosalyn Tureck and Alexis Weissenberg. Panorama 469 232-2 [AAD, ADD, DDD] [two discs] [156'41] Recorded 1955-92. [CC]

This set throws up some interesting pianistic comparisons....Destined by its very nature to be a mixed bag, this two-disc set ended up being more stimulating than one might have originally thought. And that's no bad thing.

Romanze: The Romantic Viola Robert SCHUMANN (1810-49) Märchenbilder, Op. 113.  Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Elegy, Op. 44.  Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Two Pieces.  Johann KALLIWODA (1801-66) Three Nocturnes from Op. 168.  Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Romanze, Op. 85.  Mikhail GLINKA (1804-57) Viola Sonata in D minor (completed Borisovsky). Yuko Inoue (viola); Kathron Sturrock (piano). Black Box BBM1034 [DDD] [69'25] [CC]

I hope this disc goes at least some way to banishing those (admittedly very funny) viola jokes to oblivion. Inoue champions the music of all of the composers on the disc wholeheartedly … this disc will bring a great deal of pleasure and more than its fair share of discoveries

Swedish Trumpet Concertos Daniel BÖRTZ (b.1943) Trumpet Concerto "Songs and Dances" Jan SANDSTRÖM (b.1954) Trumpet Concerto No. 2 Folke RABE (b.1935) Sardine Sarcophagus Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet) Malmö Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gilbert Varga BIS BIS-CD-1021 [DDD 60:48] [CT]

An interesting disc featuring three concertos which although not the most musically memorable of works, demonstrate and communicate an impressive understanding of the man and instrument which inspired them.

TANGO INTIMO Music for bandoneón and violin Alicia Petronilli - bandoneón Søren Elbæk - violin Kontrapunkt 32313 [57.23] [SF]

....But one swallow does not a summer make and with a rather harsh and close recording (the violin a little backward, bathed in what appears to be added artificial reverberation), and one of the least attractive covers I have yet seen on a professionally released CD, Tango Intimo can, for most of us, be safely given a miss.

TRIO VIVACE - Maiden Voyage DELIBES Dome Epais MOZART Ah guarda sorella OFFENBACH Belle Nuit  BACH Andante HANDEL O thou that takest; Rejoice greatly; He shall feed REGER Maria Wiegenlied ADAM O holy night YON Gesu Bambino TRAD (Spanish) La Pedida de la Posada SAINT-SAENS Come, Blessed Saviour MENDELSSOHN I waited for the Lord VIVALDI Laudamus Te. Trio Vivace: Ruth Arnett (mezzo), Anna Bjarnson-Carson (soprano) and Anne Young (piano). [no number] [55.04]

A pleasure-giving addition to family listening at any time of year

Twentieth Century Music for two pianos and orchestra: Nikolai LOPATNIKOFF Two Piano Concerto (1949-50) [18 mins] Alexandre TANSMAN Suite for two piano and orchestra (1928) [22 mins] Gian Francesco MALIPIERO Dialoghi VII (1956) [13 mins] Joshua Pierce (piano) Dorothy Jonas (piano) Slovak State PO/David Amos rec 5-8 Dec 1994 Kosice, Slovakia CENTAUR CRC2269 [52.01] [RB]

World premiere recordings in up-front style. The Lopatnikoff and Tansman well worth experiencing. The Malipiero less so.

[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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