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Johannes SCHENCK (1660-after 1712) Le Nymphe di Rheno  (The Nymphs of the Rhine) Op 8 Vol 1:Sonatas for 2 Violas da Gamba Les Voix Humaines Recorded Saint-Augustine's Church, Quebec May 1997  NAXOS 8.555414 [62.35] [GH]

All in all a very fine release of unknown repertoire which will give expert and non-expert alike considerable pleasure

SCHUBERT  Schwanengesang D 957 Totengräbers Heimwehe D 842 Nachtstücke D672 An den Mond D 193 Im Frühling D 882 Christian Gerhaher (baritone) Gerold Huber (piano) Arte Nova Classics DDD 74321750752 [71.18] [CT]

Lieder enthusiasts will, without question, have their favourite recordings of Schwanengesang, but at budget price this performance is well worth a listen.

William SCHUMAN (1910-1992) Violin Concerto (1947 rev 1954, 1958) New England Triptych (1956) IVES (orch SCHUMAN)  Variations on America Philip Quint (violin) Bournemouth SO/José Serebrier rec Poole Arts Centre, UK, 30-31 May 2001 NAXOS 8.559083 [58.47] [RB]

An essential addition to your collection and listening pleasure. Schuman's is one of the great twentieth century violin concertos.

Bright SHENG Flute Moon for piccolo/flute, harp, piano, percussion and string orchestra, China Dreams for orchestra. Postcards for orchestra Sharon Bezaly (piccolo/flute) Singapore Symphony Orchestra/Lan Shui. BIS- CD- 1122 (DDD) [59.03] [DW]

All human emotions are here. This is a winner.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony no 7 in C major (Leningrad) op 60 Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Mata Recorded in the Eugene McDermott Hall, Dallas, in May 1991 DORIAN DOR-19601 [77:54] [AAS]

Not recommended.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony no 8 in C minor op 65 Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Litton Recorded in the Eugene McDermott Hall, Dallas, in January 1996 DELOS DE3204 [59:17] [AAS]

The recording is vivid, clear and spacious. Highly recommended.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 5 (1915) Symphony No. 7 (1924) Boston SO/Colin Davis rec Symphony Hall, Boston, Jan 1975 PHILIPS 464 740-2 [53.49] [RB]

This is not quite the extraordinary Sibelius you will have expected from years of wiseacre pronouncements.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 6 (1923) [30.22] Symphony No. 7 (1924) [22.45] Tempest Suite No. 2 (1926) [18.10] Iceland SO/Petri Sakari rec Reykjavik, 11-12 Feb, 23-25 March 2000 NAXOS 8.554387 [71.17] [RB]

A highly desirable budget choice. Try Sakari and his Icelanders for an interpretation rich in chilly quickening.

SPERGER (1750-1812) String Symphonies in C [19.09], F [26.16] and B flat major [23.16] Musica Aeterna Bratislava/Peter Zajicek rec. 22-23. 1. 92, Classical Manor House, Dolma Krapa, Bratislava. Naxos 8.554764 [68.41] [SJ]

Excellent for astringent easy listening. Another discovery

STRAUSS DER ROSENKAVALIER Felicity Lott (sop), Anne Sophie von Otter (mezzo), Barbara Bonney (sop), Kurt Moll (bass), Gottfried Hornik (bar) Chor und Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper/Carlos Kleiber DG 073 008-9, 2 DVDs [75.09; 117.15] Full Price [MB]

Ideal in almost every respect. A worthy companion to Erich Kleiber's Decca recording. In father and son we have the alpha and omega of Strauss's most sublime work.

Richard STRAUSS Rosenkavalier Suite, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Don Juan SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester/Georges Prêtre HÄNSSLER Classic CD 93.012 [59:34] [SF]

Something of a curate's egg. This well recorded disc is certainly worth trying if you admire Georges Prêtre.

STRAVINSKY (1888-1971) Stravinsky Collection Vol. 2 4 Norwegian Moods, Capriccio, Ode, Danses Concertantes Peter Donohoe (piano) Hong Kong Philharmonic/David Atherton rec. 4-6. 7. 95, Tsuen Wan Town Hall, Hong Kong GMNCD102 [56.03] [SJ]

Stravinsky in our time.

SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Concert Overture (1913) Symphony No. 2 (1910) Songs of the Infatuated Muezzin (1918-34) * Wordsong (1928) * Zofia Kilanowicz (sop) London PO/Leon Botstein rec Walthamstow Town Hall, London 15-18 Feb 2000. TELARC CD-80567 [68.28] [RB]

Compelling for the songs and for the tender strength of Kilanowicz's voice.

Toru TAKEMITSU Nami no Bon and Ran Toshio HOSOKAWA Memory of the Sea (Hiroshima Symphony) - premiere recording Atsutada OTAKA Fantasy for Organ and Orchestra - premiere recording Bryan Ashley (organ) Sapporo Symphony Orchestra/Tadaaki Otaka CHANDOS CHAN 9876 [87:41] [GD]

Music by three modern Japanese composers, mixing original concert pieces with music derived from the screen. An imaginative and rewarding release.

Thomas TALLIS (c1505-1585) Missa Salve Intemerata Votive Antiphons: Ave rosa sine spina and Salve intemerata and Fantasy in A minor for organ with various plainsong antiphons Winchester Cathedral Choir/David Hill; Philip Scriven (organ). Rec Winchester Cathedral May 2000 HYPERION CDA 67207 [67.50] [GH]

A very fine release, perhaps not always top notch Tallis in the mass but the two large scale antiphons are superb and certainly worth the cost of the entire enterprise.

TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1   Tatiana Nikolaieva (piano) Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Kurt Masur rec April 1959, Bethanienkirche, Leipzig BERLIN CLASSICS BC 2134-2 [33.52] [RB]

Here in an extremely competitive field there is insufficient to mark out this version as anything other than good. A respectable disc from which a new listener will learn much

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS A London Symphony (Symphony No. 2) - Original 1913 version - première recording George BUTTERWORTH The Banks of Green Willow London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Hickox   Chandos CHAN 9902 [67:42] [SF] [PC]

If you have any interest in the music of Vaughan Williams this is an almost mandatory purchase. [SF]
I urge anyone with an interest in British music to purchase this excellent disc. Highly recommended. [PC]

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Symphonies 8 and 9   LPO/Haitink EMI 7243 5 57086 2 5 [PC]

Exemplary recording capturing warm-hearted readings that emphasise the humanity of RVW's vision.

ESSENTIAL VERDI various performers Decca - 4671282

As an introduction to the range of music to be found in Verdi these discs can be safely bought. A listener-friendly sequence for the man who is starting to know classical music and wondering if Verdi is for him.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Falstaff Soloists and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Sir Colin Davis Rec 8-18 April 1991, Herkulessaal der Residenz, Munich BMG Classics 09026 60705 2 2CDs: [53.53 + 63.43] [TB]

With a splendid cast and inspired conducting, this set is well worth investigating.

VERDI REQUIEM Mia Peltenburg (soprano) Rosette Anday (mezzo-soprano) Paul Marion (tenor) Josef von Manowarda (bass) Vienna Symphony Orchestra & Singverein, Wilhelm Furtwängler Live recording, Vienna, November 1927 (incomplete) FURT NOV 002 One disc, 65'35, Full Price [SM]

This Verdi Requiem may be incomplete but what remains, albeit in primitive sound, is of scorching intensity.

VERDI Requiem Renée Fleming (soprano) Olga Borodina (mezzo-soprano) Andrea Bocelli (tenor) Ildebrando D'Arcangelo (bass) Kirov Orchestra and Chorus, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg/Valery Gergiev PHILIPS 468 079-2, 2 CDs [87.32], Full Price [MB]

This is rarely a moving performance and often one that hangs fire. This is unfortunate because the Kirov forces are first rate. The recording is magnificent from a technical viewpoint - one of the best ever given to this work

VERDI  Requiem Margaret Price (soprano) Jessye Norman (mezzo-soprano) Jose Carreras (tenor) Ruggero Raimondi (bass) Edinburgh Festival Chorus London Symphony Orchestra/Claudio Abbado (Live recording from Edinburgh Festival, 1982) ARTHAUS DVD 100 146 (regions 2,5,6), 87 min [MB]

This is a DVD that listeners will return to again and again for a performance that ranks amongst the very greatest ever committed to disc. It will not disappoint.

WAGNER  Siegfried Sadler's Wells Opera Orchestra/Reginald Goodall CHANDOS CHAN 3045(4), 4 discs [63.10, 67.34, 74.33, 73.01], Mid-price[MB]

Chandos' remastering of this set is exemplary. An extremely fine achievement for a remarkable and lasting performance.

WALTHER (1684-1748) Organ Works Volume 2 Craig Cramer Organ of Marienkirche, Mechterstådt/Thüringen, Germany Organ by Carl Christian Hofmann, Gotha, 1770 (restored 1995) rec. 7-9.11.97, Mechterstådt/Thüringen, Germany NAXOS 8.554317 [73.31] [SJ]

Another Naxos first, bar Vol. 1. This is where to go after Bach's Vivaldi Concerto

WESLEY  ANTHEMS The Choir of York Minster/Philip Moore Recorded May 1999 Guild GMCD 7201 [68:03][AS]

I cannot recommend this disc too highly. The acoustic of York Minster is a perfect setting for the music, and the choir is thoroughly on top of its work

Richard WETZ (1875-1935) Symphony No. 3 (1920-22) Symphonisches Orchester/Erich Peter rec Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem, 28-31 Aug 1981, RIAS, Berlin DDD originally issued on an Ars Musici LP in the early 1980s Deutscher Romantiker series vol. 1 STERLING CDS-1041-2 [58.46] [RB]

An ambitious statement in the German romantic tradition - confident, sturdy and resolute.

WHETTAM (1927-) Sinfonia Intrepida (1977) [44.14] BBC SO/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. 8.10.80, BBC Maida Vale Studio 1, London REDCLIFFE RECORDINGS RR016 [44.14] [SJ]

A mandatory post-Cheltenham symphony by this unaccountably neglected composer

Jan Dismas ZELENKA (1679-1745) Complete Orchestral Works Volume three. Das Neu-Eroffnete Orchestre (period instruments)/Jurgen Sonnentheil CPO 999 697 -2 (DDD) [58.17] [DW]

An elegant recording of music by a fine musician who never made the top grade.

Grete Von ZIERITZ (b. 1899) Cassandra Calls (1985/86) Concertino (1987) for Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and String Quintet Gypsy Romance (1984) for solo violin Mitglieder der Orchester-Akademie des Berliner Philharmonischen Orchesters Philharmonisches Oktett Berlin Marianne Boettcher (Violin) ARTE NOVA CLASSICS 74321 65421 2 [AAD 57:06] [CT]

There is little to bring me back to this disc other than the short Concertino, which did raise my interest levels to a degree.

[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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