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Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704) In Nativitatem Domini Canticum, Messe de Minuit Les Arts Florissants/William Christie Recorded Grande Salle, Cité de la Musique, Paris, 21-22 December 2000 ERATO 8573-85820-2 [57.02] [CF]

This is a joyful celebration of Christmas and will make an ideal present for the coming festivities.

CHOPIN Frédéric (1810-1849) Mazurkas, opp. 6, 7, 17, 24, 30, 33, 41, 50, 56, 59, 63, 67, 68, "A Emile Gaillard", "Notre temps" Nina Milkina (pianoforte) Recorded in the Wigmore Hall, London, April 1970 UNTERSCHRIFT CLASSICS (no number) [2 CDs, 68.33, 75.25] [CH]

The world of Chopin's Mazurkas is so infinitely varied that no one artist will have the best answer to every single piece. There are a number of sets for which we have to be eternally grateful and Nina Milkina's is among them.

Richard DANIELPOUR (born 1956) Elegies (1997) Sonnets to Orpheus (1992)˛ Frederica von Stade (mezzo-soprano); Thomas Hampson (baritone); London Philharmonic Orchestra; Ying Huang (soprano)˛; Perspectives Ensemble˛; Roger Nierenberg. Recorded : Henry Wood Hall, London, September 1998 (Elegies); American Academy of Arts & Letters, New York City, April 2000 (Sonnets) SONY SK 60850 [65:27] [HC]

If you respond to the music of Barber, Mennin or Piston you can not fail to respond to Danielpour's beautifully crafted music.

DEBUSSY 12 Études Mitsuko Uchida (piano) (England April 1989) Philips 464 698-2 [47 mins] [PGW]

It is not very many years ago that Debussy's late piano music was considered difficult to listen to and rarely performed. I love the fire and finesse of Uchida's version and have relished many rehearings. Short measure? Quality is what counts! [PGW]

Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto in B minor, B191. Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33. Mstislav Rostropovich (cello); London Philharmonic Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini. [ADD] Recorded in No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road on April 29th-30th and May 1st, 1977. EMI GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY CDM5 67593-2 [62.39][CC]

The coupling of these two concertos is a remarkably successful one, and one which makes a straight play-through of the disc a positively life-enhancing experience.

Brian ELIAS (born 1948) Five Songs to Poems by Irina Ratushinskaya (1989) Laments (1998)˛ Mary King (mezzo-soprano); Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo-soprano)˛; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Martyn Brabbins; Tadaaki Otaka˛ Recorded : BBC Studio 1, Maida Vale, London, December 1997; live, Royal festival Hall, London, November 1999˛ NMC D 064 [54:25] [HC]

Brian Elias's music definitely deserves wider exposure and this very fine release will hopefully help achieving this.

FAURÉ Gabriel (1845-1924) Piano Quartets: No.1 in C minor, Op.15. No.2 in G minor, Op.45. Domus Quartet. Susan Tomes (piano), Krysia Osostowicz (violin), Robin Ireland (viola), Timothy Hugh (cello).Recorded in Rosslyn Chapel, Hampstead, London, February 25-26 1985. Hyperion CDA20166 Limited Edition [62.13] [RB]

This disc comes garlanded with prestigious international awards and recommendations for the original release (CDA66166), recorded in 1985 and now reissued in this limited edition.

Raphaël FUMET (1898 - 1979) Hommage à Raphaël Fumet
L’Ange des Bois for piano solo, Lacrimosa for viola and piano, Barcarolle for viola and piano, Ode Concertante for flute and piano, La Rose for violin and piano, Toccata for organ, La Nuit for string orchestra
Bruno Rigutto, piano, Gérard Caussé, viola, Gabrielle Fumet, flute, Jean Mouillère, violin, Jean Galard, organ, Ichiro Nodaïra, piano, Chamber Orchestra/Jean-Jacques Wiederker, Anne Wiederker, solo violin ARION ARN 68475 [60:26] [GPJ]

Fumet’s music can fairly be described as conservative - influenced by great figures of late Romanticism – Rachmaninov and Ravel seem to me to loom very large.

Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937) SEVERN MEADOWS: Songs by Ivor GURNEY Paul Agnew, tenor; Julius Drake, piano Recorded: Henry Wood Hall, November 2000 HYPERION CDA 67243 [70:35] [HC]

Undoubtedly the finest song writer of his generation. Paul Agnew is an eloquent exponent of these bitter-sweet, nostalgic and elegiac songs.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) The Complete Flute Sonatas Sonata in G major HWV363b (Op 1 No 5), Sonata in E minor HWV379 (Op 1 No 1a), Sonata in B minor HWV367b (Op 1 No 9), Sonata in E minor HWV359b (Op 1 No 1), Sonata in A minor HWV374 (Halle Sonata No 1í), Sonata in E minor, HWV375 (Halle Sonata No 2í), Sonata in B minor HWV376 (Halle Sonata No 3í), Sonata in D major HWV378 Lisa Beznosiuk flute, Richard Tunnicliffe cello, Paul Nicholson harpsichord - Rec: June 1994 and January 2001. HYPERION CDA67278 [72.30] [KMcE]

The overall sound of this recording is sober and not unforgettable. These works are not masterpieces, and, while they may interest Handel fans, or those who especially like the flute, there is little to recommend them to other, curious listeners.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Sonatas complete Riko Fukuda, fortepiano Rec: September - October 2000. BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99671 [approx. 10 hours 41 mins]

Not only are the performances by all the pianists very good, but the sound puts the instruments in a very flattering context. If you like Haydn's piano sonatas, you owe yourself to buy this set - it will certainly change the way you consider these works.

Harmonious Families - Volume 5
HELSTED Carl (1818-1904) Symphony No. 1 in D (c.1841/42) Overture in d (1841) HELSTED Gustav(1857-1924) Romance for Violin & Orchestra (1888) Concerto for Cello & Orchestra in C Op.35 (1919) Karsten Dalsgaard Madsen - Violin Henrik Dam Thomsen - 'Cello Giordano Bellincampi, conductor The Danish Philharmonic Orchestra, South Jutland. Recorded Musikhuset, Sonderborg August 2000 DANACORD DACOCD 537 [68.02] [JF]

This CD is full of interesting, if slightly uninspiring music. It is an essential addition to the corpus of Danish works available on CD. 7 out of 10 for the Helsted but full marks plus a gold star for the entire Harmonious Families CD series!

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Planets, Suite for Orchestra H125 (Op. 35) (1920) Colin MATTHEWS (1946) Pluto - The Renewer (2000) Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Lyric Movement for Viola and small orchestra (1933) Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Neptune from The Planets, H125 (Op. 35) (1920) (with original ending) Timothy Pooley (viola), Hallé Orchestra and Ladies of the Hallé Choir - Mark Elder recorded 27 - 28/3/01, in the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester - DDD HYPERION CDA67270 [75.00] [JP]

Hyperion is lucky to have been able to record this scoop and hit the market with it.

Alan HOVHANESS (1911-2000) Songs for bass and piano - volume 1 Ara Berberian (bass)/Alan Hovhaness (piano) rec c. 1969 CRYSTAL RECORDS CD815 [50.12] [RB]

A disc to open ears to Hovhaness's pianism and to Berberian's sturdy devotional legato.

DVD review
Kaguyahime Nederlands Dans Theater; The Circle Ensemble cond. Maki Ishii Arthaus 100 162 [PAL, 70 mins]

Maki Ishii fuses European and traditional Japanese music. For this full length ballet he combines western percussion with Japanese drums, woodwind instruments and Gagaku court music. Jiri Kylian's choreography is as inventive as followers of his Nederlands Dans Theaterwill expect and the 1994 production is supported by superb camera work and lighting. A feast for eyes and ears to See and Hear. [PGW]

KARG-ELERT Sigfrid (1877-1933) Piano Works Vol. 2 Walzerszenen op. 45 (1901), 4 Klavierstücke op. 23 (1903), Aus dem Norden op. 18 (1903), Patina op. 64 (1924), Reisebilder op. 7 (1895) Ernst Breidenbach (pianoforte)
Recorded at the Akademie für Tonkunst Darmstadt, 9-13.10.2000 CPO 999 711-2 [79.56] [CH]

A mixed bag, and I wonder if it is such a good idea to record "complete" works as people tend to nowadays

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Violanta - Prelude and Carnival Op.8 (1916) Schauspiel overture Op.4 (1911) Märchenbilder (Fairytale Pictures) Op.3 (1910) Straussiana (1953) Theme and variations Op.42 (1953) Tales of Strauss Op.21 (1927) orch. Kopriva Bruckner Orchestra Linz/Caspar Richter Recorded Brucknerhaus, Linz, 2001 ASV CD DCA 1108 [68.38] [CF]

This is a no-holds-barred style and no quarter is given, enjoyable music with not a dull track anywhere.

Ernst KRENEK Violin Concertos Op 29 & Op 140; Double Concerto Op 124. Peter Rosenberg (violin)/Gabriel Rosenberg (piano)/Bamberger Symphoniker/Florian Merz Rcd: 1998, Konzerthalle, Bamberg] Koch-Schwann 3-6408-2 [73 mins] [PGW]

- - a valuable collection of three concertos involving the violin and a welcome contribution to the rehabilitation of a prolific, stylistic chameleon of a composer.

Paul LADMIRAULT (1877-1944) Poèmes Symphoniques En Forêt Symphonic Poem)(1932)  Valse Triste for piano & orchestra Brocéliande au Matin (1909) La Brière (1926) Légende Orchestra of Brittany/Stefan Sanderling Rec. Rennes, September 2000 PIERRE VERANY PV700021 [56.38] [RW]

The orchestra of Brittany plays well under the direction of Sanderling and this disc is nicely presented in an attractive full colour card case in place of the dull and crackable jewel case.

Harmonious Families Volume 4 Siegfried LANGGAARD (1852-1914) Piano Concerto No.1 (c.1885) Rued LANGGAARD (1893-1952) "From Arild" - Piano Concerto (BVN B29) (c.1937) Oleg Marshev - Piano The Danish Philharmonic Orchestra, South Jutland. Matthias Aeschbacher, conductor Recorded Musikhuset, Sonderborg November 1999 DANACORD DACOCD535 [71.45] [JF]

The Siegfried Langgaard Piano Concerto is one of the very best of romantic works. Up there with the Rachmaninov 2 and the Tchaikovsky 1. This deserves to be known the world over. My discovery of 2001.

Sylvio LAZZARI (1857 - 1944) Piano Trio op. 13 in G minor Sonata for violin and piano op. 24 in E Trio de France Recorded May 1996 at Radio-France Studio 106 ARION 68360 [75.24] [GP-J]

The performances here, by members of the Trio de France are, as I say, wonderfully convincing, conveying both the music's passion and a belief in its intrinsic quality. I hope string players (and pianists) will take up these works and give them the airings they so richly deserve.


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[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc]   

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