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Baldassar Castiglione Il Libro del Cortegiano (Book of the Courtier) Doulce Mémoire
Denis Raisin Dadre with Marie-Claude Vallin (soprano) & Lucien Kandel (tenor). AstréeNaive E 8604 [67.34] [PGW]

A pleasing compilation of early 16C. instrumental & vocal music, taking as its literary source Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier of 1528. Stylishly realised by Doulce Mémoire; music to relax with and enjoy.

Aaron COPLAND Lincoln Portrait, Quiet City, Outdoor Overture, Our Town suite Morton GOULD Latin American Symphonette Charlton Heston (Lincoln Portrait) Utah SO/Maurice Abravanel rec Dec 1961 (Copland); Dec 1962 (Gould), Salt Lake City VANGUARD CLASSICS OVC 4037 [RB]

Short value overall made the shorter by the lacklustre Gould.

COUPERIN; FORQUERAY; RAMEAU; DANDRIEU; DUPHLY Pièces de Clavecin Terence Charlston (harpsichord) Deux-Elles DXL 917 [70 mins] [PGW]

A very pleasing introduction to the genre, as well recorded as played

Nancy DALBERG (1881-1949) Capriccio for Orchestra (c1918) Scherzo for String Orchestra Op.6 (1914) String Quartet No.2 in G minor Op.14 (c1922) Selection of Songs Fantasy Piece for Violin & Piano (1921) Scherzo & Capriccio:   Danish Philharmonic Orchestra/Frans Rasmussen. String Quartet: Carl Nielsen Quartet Songs:  Lars Thodberg Bertelsen (baritone); Frode Stengaard (piano) Fantasy: Soren Elbaek (violin); Morten Mogensen (piano). Rec. February/March 1999 DACAPO 8.224138 [74.34]

A big discovery. The string quartet is a masterpiece. This CD should be in the possession of not only all enthusiasts of Scandinavian music but of everyone who likes well written music that moves the spirit and entertains the mind

Bernard van DIEREN COLLECTION Bernard van DIEREN (1884-1936) Ludmilla Andrew (sop)/Philip Thomas (all songs) Ludmilla Andrew (sop)/Emperor String Quartet (Martin Burgess, Clare Hayes (violins), Niakos arb (viola), Paul Brunner (cello)) (Cenci and Rhapsodia)/Barry Collett Sidonie Goossens (Estemporale 1 and 2)Chris Nicholls (Sonata for solo violin) Chris Nicholls (violin)/Jonathan Ayerst (piano) (Tyroica) BRITISH MUSIC LABEL BML 001 [79.20] [RB]

This is THE collection of the music of the fabled composer Bernard Van Dieren. If you have any interest in the outer reaches of British music during the Twentieth Century this needs to be in your collection.

New Russian Chamber and Electronic Music
Georgy DMITRIEV In the Spirit of Hermann Hesse (for saxophone quartet)  Warsaw Fantasy (for violin and piano) Diptych (for quartet of reed instruments) Nicolo (for violin and piano) Adagio for UPIC (electronic composition) BOHEME CDBMR 008 150 [57:76] [AAS]

Altogether, Dmitriev is an unusual composer and he is here very well served by performers and recording alike.

Andrew DOWNES Centenary Firedances.  Symphony Orchestra of the Birmingham  onservatoire/Jonathan Del Mar The Marshes of Glynn John Mitchinson (tenor) Birmingham Conservatoire Chorus and Symphony Orchestra/Damien Cramner. Hermetics Productions CD No. OHOOl [DW]

No one who loves orchestral showpieces would want to be without the Centenary Firedances

Thomas DUNHILL  Violin Sonata No. 2 (1917) Charles Villiers STANFORD  Violin Sonata No. 1 (1880) Granville BANTOCK  Violin Sonata No. 3 (1940) Susanne Stanzeleit (violin)/ Gusztáv Fenyö (piano) rec 1994?, St Michael's Church, Highgate CALA UNITED CACD88031 [75.34] [RB] review includes a biographical article. See also book review.

A generous and rewarding collection made outstanding by the Dunhill sonata.

Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Works for Organ Vol. 12 Suite Bretonne Op 21 [15.51] Trois Esquisses Op 41 [12.25] In Memoriam Op 61 [28.26] Suite Op 39 [14.59] Robert Delcamp, recorded Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 27-28. 9. 1999 NAXOS 8.554209 [71.40] [SJ]

One of the most cogent, and satisfying of the Naxos Dupré cycle. Don't hesitate.

DVORAK (1841-1904) Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53. Mazurek, Op. 49. Pablo de SARASATE (1844-1908)  Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20. Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25. Akiko Suwanai (violin); Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer.  Philips 464 531-2 [DDD] [55'27][CC]

This is a remarkable record. I have little hesitation in placing the performance of the Dvorák as a first choice.

DVORÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 1 in C minor "The Bells of Zlonice", The Wood Dove Op. 110, "Carnival" Overture Op. 92 Berliner Philharmoniker Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks conductor: Rafael Kubelik DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON Galleria 469 550-2 [ADD 75:39] [CT]

A genuinely worthwhile mid-price issue, which represents good value for money for the performance of The Wood Dove alone.

ELGAR String Quartet o Piano Quintet Sorrel Quartet o Ian Brown Chandos CHAN 9894 [64:37] [SF]

Not to be preferred to the Hyperion CD with the same pianist and members of the Nash Ensemble.

ENGLISH CELLO SONATAS John FOULDS, Ernest WALKER, York BOWEN. Jo Cole (cello), John Talbot (piano).   BMS423CD (81'10") [TH]

All three works are superbly crafted and evince the great virtue of English music throughout the ages, a passionate, singing lyricism, something entirely appropriate to an instrument like the cello.

Ivan FEDELE  Piano concerto; Epos and Chiari   Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Luca Pfaff with Bruno Canino (piano) Stradivarius STR 33348 [52 min] [PGW]

- - - a truly original voice of today and a composer of sensibility, with consummate skill to convey his musical thinking in sound, however it may defy description in words by the liner notes writer - - -

Nicolas FLAGELLO (1928-1994) Declamation for violin and piano (1967) Nocturne for violin and piano (1969) Prelude, Ostinato and Fugue for piano (1960) Piano Sonata (1962) Violin Sonata (1963) Suite for harp and string trio (1965) Setsuko Nagata (violin) Peter Vinograde (piano) Alyssa Reit (harp) David Creswell (viola) Matthias Naegele (cello) rec 7 Dec 1994 (piano sonata); 10, 13 June 1996, Manhattan School of Music ALBANY RECORDS TROY 234 [68.28] [RB]

With the exception of the suite a superheated slice Americana romantica turning towards the dark.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) The Great Organ Works Vol. 1 & 2 Eric Lebrun, Cavaillé-Coll Organ, Saint-Antoine des Quinze-Vingts, Paris, November 1997 Vol. 1: Naxos 8.554697 (Vol. 1) [67.17] Vol. 2: Naxos 8.554698 (Vol. 2) [72.24] [SJ]

Great value, and not many Franck cycles about

Peter Racine FRICKER  Violin Sonata No. 1 Op. 12 (1951) Violin Sonata No. 2 Op. 94 (1986-87) Alan RAWSTHORNE Violin Sonata (1958) Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS  Violin Sonata in A minor Susanne Stanzeleit (violin)/Julian Jacobson (piano) rec 18-20 July 1995, St Michael's Church, Highgate CALA UNITED CACD88036 [77.52] [HC]

This very fine release offers the first modern recordings of Fricker's long neglected music.

THE BEST OF GERSHWIN Cuban Overture  Slow movement from Piano Concerto (with Kathryn Selby) Selection from Porgy and Bess Three Preludes for Piano (Leon Bates) Selection from Girl Crazy,  They can't take that away from me, Rhapsody in Blue   Various orchestras conducted by Richard Hayman Naxos 8.556686 [68:20] [AS]

No doubt there exist more persuasive accounts of each individual item (and certainly of Rhapsody in Blue), but the quality of this selection is generally first-class.

Vittorio GIANNINI (1903-1966) Concerto Grosso for string quartet and string orchestra (1946) Prelude and Fugue (1955) Nicolas FLAGELLO (1928-1994) Andante Languido (1959) Serenata per Orchestra (1968) Morton GOULD Harvest (1945) New Russia Orchestra/David Amos rec 31 Aug - 2 Sept 1994, Moscow ALBANY RECORDS TROY 143 [65.50] [RB]

A glorious collection of music; mostly for strings. Not to be missed. More Giannini please - symphonies next!

Philip GLASS Violin Concerto (1987) Prelude and Dance from Akhnaten (1984) Company (1983) Adele Anthony (violin) Ulster Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa [rec.19th to 21st May 1999] NAXOS 8.554568 [51.46] [JF]

A must-buy for Glass enthusiasts. For the rest of us it is an excellent low-cost introduction to one of this composer's masterpieces.

GLUCK Iphigénie en Tauride Christine Goerke, Rodney Gilfry, Vinson Cole, Stephen Salters, Sharon Baker, Jayne West Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman Recorded 1999 TELARC CD-80546 (2 CDs)  [134.10] [CF]

This is an excellent performance and there is a huge amount of beautiful music to enjoy on these discs.

Górecki (b.1933) Beatus Vir Op.38 (1979) Symphony No. 2 'Copernican' Op.31 (1972) Zofia Kilanowicz, soprano; Andrzej Dobber, baritone Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (Katowice) conducted by Antoni Wit Polish Radio Choir; Silesian Philharmonic Choir Rec. 18-19 Nov 2000 NAXOS 8.555375 [67.10] [JF]

A fine CD. For all those people who bought the 3rd Symphony this is an opportunity to explore what is perhaps an even greater work: the Second.

GOSSEC (1734-1829) Grands Messe des Morts, Symphonie a 17 parties Barbara Invernizzi (sop) Maite Arrauabarrena (mezzo) Howard Crook (ten) Claude Darbella (bass) Gruppo Vocale Cantemus Coros del Radio Svizzera Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana/Wolf-Dieter Hanschild/Diego Fasolis rec. 10. 4. 98 Cathedral si San Lorenzo, Lugano; 16. 2. 98 RSI Auditorium, Lugano symphony) NAXOS 8.55470-51 2CDs [111.33] [SJ]

Recommended to all classical period devotees, all French lovers, all fans of Cherubini and Berlioz. One of their masters stands revealed.

GRANADOS (1867-1916) Piano Music Volume 4: Apparitions: Romantic Waltzes; In the Cuban Style (before 1898); Stories of Youth; 'Honey from Alcarria': Jota (1894); Poetic Waltzes (c. 1893-94); Aragonese Rhapsody (1901); Scenes of Childhood - Miniatures; Apparition Douglas Riva (piano) rec. May 1999, St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Suffolk NAXOS 8.554629 [73.32] [SJ]

Essential supplement to the major Granados

HANDEL Messiah - Oratorio in three parts, complete Heather Harper (sop) Helen Watts (alto) John Wakefield (ten) John Shirley-Quirk (bass) London Symphony Chorus (John Alldis, chorus master) London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis Philips 50 Great Recordings 464 703-2, 2CDs [144.03] [AB]

A classic performance well worth considering because of the glories of the singing from the soloists and chorus. The orchestra is a large one but plays well, but is let down by a less than ideal interpretation.

HANSON Symphony No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 21, The Nordic, (1922), "Merry Mount" Suite, (1938), Symphonic Poem - Pan and the Priest, Op. 26 (1925/6), Rhythmic Variations on Two Ancient Hymns Nashville Symphony Orchestra/Kenneth Schermerhorn recorded 20/4/99 and 24/10/99, in the Andrew Jackson Hall, Tennessee Performing Arts Centre Nashville. DDD NAXOS 8.559072 [60.56] [JP]

At Schermerhorn's slightly slower tempo, the symphony takes on a craggy atmosphere, and given the title, this may not be a bad thing.

Lou HARRISON (b.1917) Concerto for violin percussion orchestra (1940, 1959) [20.29] Concerto for organ with percussion orchestra (1973) [23.19] Eudice Shapiro (violin) David Craighead (organ) Los Angeles Percussion Ensemble/William Kraft rec 1975, 1977 CRYSTAL CD850 [43.56] [RB]

Short measure but a pairing of ineluctable logic. The age of the recordings does not show.

Josef HAYDN  Symphonies Nos. 94, 101 & 102 Collegium Musicum 90/Richard Hickox CHANDOS early music CHAN 0662 [HS]

Hickox's interpretations are refreshingly free of artificial mannerisms; the playing is direct, bright and robust.

HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Sonatas Vol. 10, nos. 1-10. Jeno Jando rec. Phoenix Studio, Budapest, at the Unitarian Church, February 1996. NAXOS 8.553824 [70.47] [SJ]

The other great Haydn piano cycle

HENZE (b.1926) Sechs Gesänge Aus Dem Arabischen (Six Songs from the Arabian), Three Auden Songs Ian Bostridge, tenor and Julius Drake, piano EMI Classics 7243 5 57112 2 9 DDD [56:52] [CT]

A hugely rewarding disc that positively cries out for repeated listening. The music is outstanding, as are the performances.

Joseph HOLBROOKE (1878-1958)  Chamber Works: Clarinet Quintet (19) [24.43] Piano Quartet (19) [26.14] Traditional Melodies of England, Scotland and Ireland (19) [22.59] Quintet: John McCaw (cl), Delmé Quartet Quartet: London Piano Quartet Traditional Melodies: Delmé Quartet recordings first issued in the 1970s on Blenheim LPs BRITISH MUSIC LABEL BML 040 [73.56] [RB]

Some of the most beautiful inspirations in Western art music. Works of great melodic resource and with drama in evidence in the quartet.

Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-1966) String Quartet no. 16, opus 146 String Quartet no. 18, 'Giornata', opus 153 Svaerm, opus 190b Quartetto Sereno. Opus 197 (edited Per Norgård) Kontra Quartet Rec December 1999-January 2000, The Radio House, Copenhagen DACAPO 8.224131 (71.03)
String Quartets no. 17. 'Mattinata', opus 152 String Quartet no. 19, 'Serata', opus 156 String Quartet no. 20, 'Notturno', opus 160 Kontra Quartet Rec June - September 2000, The Radio House, Copenhagen DACAPO 8.224128 (71.03) [TB]

The Kontras are specialists in the field, and their dedication is felt at every stage. Holmboe's music communicates directly, carefully and logically argued, always concerned with more than mere entertainment.

HOLST: Suite, The Planets*;  WALTON: March, Crown Imperial**;  VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis***. BBC SO/Sir Adrian Boult Recorded: * January, 1945 ** April, 1937 *** April, 1940   BEULAH 2PD12 [69.35] [JQ]

An essential purchase for Boult admirers. The recordings capture him in his prime performing music for which he had an especial affinity.

HOWELLS (1892-1983) In Gloucestershire (String Quartet No.3) (1919/1920) George DYSON (1883-1964)  Three Rhapsodies for string quartet (1905-1912) Divertimenti: (Paul Barritt violin; Rachel Isserlis violin; Gustav Clarkson viola; Sebastian Comberti cello) Rosslyn Hill Chapel 13-14 December 1984 HELIOS - CDH55045 [64.22] [JF]

Two wonderful chamber works. A must for all enthusiasts of British Music. Buy now if you missed the original recording. It will not be available forever!

CHAMBER MUSIC OF HOWELLS (1892-1983) AND BRIDGE (1879-1941) Frank BRIDGE Phantasy for Piano Quartet (1911) [12.33] Herbert HOWELLS Piano Quartet (1916) [27.42] Herbert HOWELLS Clarinet Sonata (1946) [21.51] Frank BRIDGE Phantasie for Piano Trio (1903) [16.27] Holywell Ensemble (Peter Nichols (cl). Margaret Ozanne (pf), Daniel Lyness (va), Kate Bailey vn), Spike Wilson (vc)) rec Radley College, 28-29 Aug 1992 BRITISH MUSIC LABEL BML 003 [78.33] [RB]

The Holywells are outstandingly successful in the Bridge Piano Quartet less so in the Howells quartet. The artists are in step with the spirit of this music. Decent liner notes and excellent design.

IVES (1874 - 1954) Symphony No. 2, Robert Browning Overture Nashville Symphony Orchestra/Kenneth Schermerhorn Recorded Tennessee Performing Arts centre, Nashville, June 2000 NAXOS 8.559076 [66.30] [GP-J]

Worthy rather than outstanding performances. The orchestral playing is tidy and stylish enough. Recording lacks any sense of perspective, and has a boxy, unreal sound - disappointing by Naxos' usually high standards

Leos JANÁCEK (1854-1928) Sárka Eva Urbanová (soprano) Sárka, Peter Straka (tenor) Ctirad, Ivan Kusnjer (baritone) Premysl, Jaroslav Brezina (tenor) Lumír, Prague Philharmonic Choir; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras Rec 16-20 August 2000, Rudolfinum Studio, Prague SUPRAPHON SU 3485-2 [64.04 minutes] [TB]

Performance excellent, recording highly satisfactory, leading roles taken with utmost conviction, magnificent playing from the Czech Philharmonic under Mackerras. An issue which adds considerably to our understanding of one of the great opera composers.

KORNGOLD Sinfonietta (1912) Violin Concerto (1945) Ulrike-Anima Mathé (violin) Dallas SO/Andrew Litton rec Nov 1994, Dallas DORIAN DOR-90216 [70.06] [RB]

A classic of recorded sound.

Fritz KREISLER Viennese Rhapsody: Albéniz/Kreisler - Tango, Op165 No. 2;  Dvorak/Kreisler - Slavonic Dances: B78: No 2 in E minor; B145: No 2 in E minor; Falla/Kreisler - La vida breve - Danse espagnole; Granados/Kreisler Andaluza, Op 37 No 5; Kreisler - Caprice Viennois, Op 2. Tambourin chinois, Op 3. Berceuse romantique, Op 9. Viennese Rhapsodic Fantasietta. Zigeuner-capriccio. La gitana. Polichinelle. Aucassin and Nicolette. Liebesleid. Liebesfreud. Slavonic Fantasie. Scott/Kreisler Lotus Land, Op47 No 1 Wieniawski/Kreisler Etude-Caprice Op l8 No 4.Leonidas Kavakos (vn), Peter Nagy (pf)
Recorded 2000BIS CD 1196 DDD [74.06] [AB]

Beautifully played and well recorded recital of Kreisler arrangements and compositions. Gave great enjoyment. A worthy alternative to the composer's own versions.

Lowell LIEBERMANN Symphony No. 2, Op.67 Concerto for Flute and Orchestra Eugenia Zukerman (flute) Dallas Symphony Chorus Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Litton DELOS DE 3256, Full-Price [60'48] [MB][DW]

For anyone who has yet to hear Lowell Liebermann's music this disc would make an excellent starting point. A tour de force and highly recommended. [MB] I fear that this is a disc that you will have to pass your own verdict upon. For me the symphony was, and remains, a damp squib.[DW]

LISZT Cantata for the Inauguration of the Beethoven Statue, 1845 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN Choral Fantasia Paul Komen - fortepiano, Diana Damrau - soprano, Jörg Dürmuller - tenor, Georg Zeppenfeld - bass Kölner Kantorei, Capella Coloniensis Des WDR/Bruno Weil Recorded live 4/10/2000 at the International Beethoven Festival, Bonn DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 05472 77535 2 [45:59] [SF]

The world premiere recording of the Liszt work which was to be his first for large-scale vocal and instrumental forces. A must for Liszt completists.

[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, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, 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, Christopher Thomas, 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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