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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


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ALPHABETICAL LISTING

LARRY ADLER The Genius of Larry Adler Genevieve, Dinicu Hora Staccato, Massenet's Méditation from Thaïs, Debussy's Clair de Lune, Adagio from Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, Dvorak's New World Symphony, Khachaturian's Sabre Dance, de Falla's Ritual Fire Dance, Alfvén's Swedish Rhapsody, Adler's Screw's Blues, Scott Joplin's The Entertainer, Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue; Summertime from Porgy and Bess, Recorded 1999 DECCA 466 133-2 [55.29] [CF]

It was not my intention to write this review as a tribute to Larry Adler, but his death last month at the age of 87 has sadly turned this into an obituary as well.

ANIMAL HEAVEN Edward HARPER (b.1941): Lights Out (1993) Lyell CRESSWELL (b.1944): Prayer to appease the Spirit of the Land Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929 - 1988): Animal Heaven Op.83 (1980) Sally BEAMISH (b.1956): Four Findrinny Songs (1998) Roger WILLIAMS (b.1943): Oh! Mr Lear! (1998) David JOHNSON (b.1942): God, Man and the Animals (1988) Alison Wells (soprano); John Turner (recorder); Keith Elcombe (harpsichord); Jonathan Price (cello) Recorded: Reid Concert Hall, Edinburgh, September 1999 METIER MSV CD 92036 [61:32] [HC]

All the performers sing and play with obvious enjoyment in the lighter pieces and with commitment in the more serious items (Harper's and Leighton's).

THE ART OF THE BAROQUE TRUMPET, Vol. 5 Vivaldi, Concerto in C major, RV537 for two trumpets and strings Vivaldi, Combatta un gentil cor from Tito Manilo for soprano, trumpet and strings Corelli, Sonata D Major for trumpet and two violins Ziani, Trombe d;Ausonia from La Flora for trumpet and soprano Torelli, Concerto in D major and strings Albinoni, Vien con nuova orribil guerra from La Statira for two trumpets, two oboes and strings Torelli, Sonata in D major for trumpet and strings Galuppi, Alla tromba della Fama for soprano trumpet and strings Stradella, Sinfonia avanti il Barcheggio for trumpet and two violins Vivaldi, Agitata da due venti from Griselda for soprano and strings Franceschini, Sonata in D major for two trumpets and strings Niklas Eklund (baroque trumpet), Jeffrey Segal (trumpet), Maria Keohane (soprano), Wasa Baroque Ensemble. Recorded at the Church of Jonsered, Sweden (1998). NAXOS 8.555099 [61.10] [RB]

Trumpet aficionados will need no encouragement to buy this disc; all lovers of the high noon of the baroque would do well not to miss it.

A HYMN FOR THE WORLD Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano Andrea Bocelli, tenor Coro e Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Myung-Whun Chung Chorus Master: Norbert Balatsch Rec. Roma, Auditorio diVia Della Conciliazione, 5/1997 (2),(6), (13)&6/1997 (DDD) DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 457 355-2 [58.45] [RM]

A disc for living and giving

MUSIC OF THE BEATLES Erich Kunzel/Cincinatti Pops Orchestra/king'singers Recorded 2000 TELARC DSD CD-80540 [55.45] [CF]

Some good moments, but subtlety is scarce and it all goes to show how uniquely irreplaceable the original Fab Four were.

DVD REVIEW BERLINER LUFT A Gala Concert from the Staatsoper Unter Der Linden, Berlin ARTHAUS MUSIK 100 094, PAL regions 2 & 5, 55 mins, Full Price [MB]

Go to the Staatsoper Unter Linden and you risk being reviewed next year (although not by me). In summary: utter rubbish, I'm afraid.

VISIBLE BASS LINE A MAN, A WOMAN AND A DOUBLE BASS Carmen - the opera - Georges Bizet Busy Line - Murray Semos / Frank Stanton Puttin' On The Ritz - Irving Berlin Stop To Think! - Tango Song - Geoff Lindsey / Julian Jacobson Sonata in F - Jean Barrière Hymn II - Alfred Schnittke Angelus - Diana Burrell Theme and Variations - Ignace Joseph Pleyel My Baby Just Cares For Me - Donaldson / Kahn
These Boots Are Made For Walking - Lee Hazlewood Orpheus In The Underworld, and other operas - Jacques Offenbach Lowri Blake, cello and voice Peter Buckoke, double bass Rec: East Woodhay Church Hants Dec 2000 LOWRI RECORDS LOWRI 2004 [67.59] [PGW]

Classics and favourite jazzy songs are purposely juxtaposed to strike sparks off each other. Offenbach and Bizet are both subjected to irreverent compression in Orpheus and Carmen. A welcome addition to Lowri Blake's enterprising own-label discography.

ENRICO CARUSO THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS VOL 4 Recordings made in Camden, New Jersey by the Victor Talking Machine Co. between 16 March 1908 and 12 January 1910 Accompanied by The Victor Orchestra New Restorations by Ward Marston NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110719 [68’29"] [PW]

Given that these recordings are now nearly a century old, dating from well before the advent electric recording and microphones, the transfer to CD is very impressive.

European Choral Music Nuits - Weiß wie Lilien Toshio HOSOKAWA Ave Maria for mixed choir a cappella Giacinto SCELSI Tre canti sacri per 8 voci miste; TKRDG for 6 male voices, 3 percussionists and electrically amplified guitar. Arnold SCHÖNBERG De profundis (Psalm 130), Op.50b, for mixed choir a cappella. René LEIBOWITZ Two Settings, Op.71, for mixed chorus a cappella Anton WEBERN Drei Lieder, Op.18, for voice, clarinet and guitar; Zwei Lieder, Op.19, for mixed chorus, celesta, guitar, violin, clarinet and bass clarinet. Cornelius SCHWEHR deutsche tänze for 5 female voices. Iannis XENAKIS Nuits. Musique pour 12 voix mixtes. György LIGETI Lux œterna for mixed choir a cappellae. Schola Heidelberg; ensemble aisthesis directed by Walter Nußbaum
Recorded SWR Karlsruhe, 2000 BIS-CD-1090 [69.55] [PGW]

If you have not yet explored advanced European choral music, this CD is as good a starting point as any I have encountered recently. The crack Heidelberg choir is equal to all the demands of composers living and long dead - the earliest items by Webern sounding as 'modern' as any of the others.

CHLOË Paganini - La Campanella Bloch - Nigun Gade - Capriccio Williams - Theme from Schindler's List Mussorgsky - Gopak Bruch - Adagio appassionato Glazunov - Meditation Tchaikovsky - Valse-scherzo Shostakovich - Romance Sarasate - Romanza Andaluza Waxman- Carmen Fantasy Chloe Hanslip (violin) London Symphony Orchestra/Paul Mann Recorded 2001 WARNER CLASSICS 8573 88655 - 2 [71.09] [CF]

A fearless player, agility and fluid technique in both left hand and right arm are impressive. The warmth of her sound and the sustained line she achieves are admirable.

 

CHORALIS SEPTENTRIONALIS: EARLY SCANDINAVIAN HYMS & MOTETS Retrover directed by Markus Tapio Recorded at St.Lawrence Church, Lohja (Finland) January 2000 OPUS 111 OPS 30-257 [68.46] [GH]

An interesting CD with some good singing and appropriate and charming instrumental participation. It is well put together and the repertoire is rare and beautiful.The performances are carefully thought out and beautifully executed. The whole concept behind this unique project is clearly stated.

Christ Rising. Music for Holy Week and Easter. Choir of The Queen's College, Oxford conducted by Owen Rees and Edward Whiting, Edward Whiting and George Parsons (organ) GUILD GMCD 7222 [61.37] [JQ]

If this repertoire is to your taste, as it is to mine, you will find this recital a very satisfying experience. Warmly recommended.

FRENCH PIANO DUETS Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Jeux d'enfants Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Ma Mère l'Oye La valse Philip Moore & Simon Crawford-Phillips Rec 26-27 February 2001, St George's Brandon Hill, Bristol DEUX-ELLES DXL 10405 [60.00] [TB]

The piano duet of Philip Moore and Simon Crawford-Phillips is an eminently talented combination, working effectively together in the service of the music they perform.

FROM A TO Z - VOL. 1 Kalevi AHO (b 1949): Solo III (1990-91) [13.08] Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788): Sonata in A minor for Solo Flute, W.132 [ 15.03] Malcolm ARNOLD (b1921): Fantasy for Flute, Op.89 (1966) [4.30] Jurriaan ANDRIESSEN (b1925): Pastorale d'été [3.07] Eugene BOZZA (1905 - 1991): Image pour flute seul, Op.38 (1940) [5.13] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750): Partita in A Minor for Solo Flute, BWV 1013 [17.40] Luciano BERIO (b1925): Sequenza I per flauto solo (1958) [7.23] Sharon Bezaly (flute) Recorded October, 2000 at Furuby Church, Sweden BIS CD-1159 [67.45] [JQ]

Performances of the highest possible order given recorded sound to match.

Great Pianists: Moiseiwitsch Vol 1 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Kinderszenen, op. 15 (rec. 14.4.1930) Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, op. 24 (rec. 4.3.1930), Intermezzo in C, op. 119/3 (rec. 25.3.1927), Rhapsody in E flat (rec. 2.3.1928) Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition (rec. 21.8.1945) Benno Moiseiwitsch (pianoforte) Recorded in the Queen's Small Hall (Schumann, Brahms), Abbey Road Studio 3 (Mussorgsky) NAXOS Historical 8.110668 [77.11] [CH]

Wonderful to have all this available, and so cheaply. The three major works are essential listening for all who care about piano music.

Great Pianists:, Moiseiwitsch Volume 2 Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837)
Rondo in E flat, op. 11 (Rondo favori) (rec. 3.2.1930) Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Andante in F, WoO 57 (Andante favori) (rec. 3.2 and 14.4.1930) Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)-Carl TAUSIG (1841-1871) Rondo Brillant in D flat (Invitation to the Dance) (rec. 27.9 and 11. 12.1939) Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Grillen, op. 12/4 (rec. 25.5.1927), Romance in F sharp, op. 28/2 (rec. 12.10.1941), Vogel als Prophet, op. 82/7 (rec. 13.5.1941) Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Scherzo in E minor, op. 16/2 (rec. 13.5.1941), Songs without Words, in F, op. 53/4 and in A, op. 19/3 (rec. 25.5.1927) Adolph HENSELT (1814-1889) Etude charactéristique, op. 2/6 (Si oiseau j'etais) (rec. 10.12.1925) Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Etude de Concert no. 2 (La leggierezza) (rec. 31.3.1941), Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 (rec. 9.10.1940), Liebesträume no. 3 (31.10.1940) Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)-LISZT Isoldes Liebestod (fragment) (rec. 2.3.1928), Tannhäuser Overture (rec. 28.1, 17.2, 24.3.1938) Benno Moiseiwitsch (pianoforte) Recording venue not indicated NAXOS Historical 8.110669 [78.09] [CH]

Excellent transfers of variable originals and another indispensable disc in Naxos's Historical series.

OLGA GURYAKOVA SINGS RUSSIAN AIRS AND ROMANCES Olga Guryakova (soprano) * With Andrei Baturkin (baritone) Moscow Chamber Orchestra conducted by Constantine Orbelian Recorded in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, August 30 - September 5, 2000 DELOS DE 3273 [65.26] [JQ]

This is one of the most exciting new voices I have heard in a long time. A most enjoyable disc, winningly performed. Recommended unreservedly.

Georg Friedrich HANDEL (1685-1759) Operatic Arias Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sacred Arias Stephanie Blythe mezzo-soprano Ensemble Orchestral de Paris/John Nelson Rec: December 2000, Eglise Notre Dame du Liban, Paris, France. VIRGIN VERITAS 7243 545475 2 2 [71.45] [KM]

A recording of baroque music for people who are not really fans of baroque music.

Michael RAPHAEL Jazz Hymns: What a friend we have in Jesus, Hold to God's unchanging hand, Sweet by and by, Lift Him up, Jesus paid it all, Nearer my God to thee, No, not one, It is well with my soul, I surrender all, Jesus loves the little children, The solid rock, Glory to His name, Blessed Assurance, We are climbing Jacob's ladder, Calvary, Sweet hour of prayer, Old time religion. Kevin Maynor (bass), Brandt Fredriksen (pianoforte), Eric Olsen (pianoforte).Recorded in New York and Washington, 2000 and 2001 GUILD GMCD 7224 [52.43] [CH]

This shows another side of American song and one which could appeal widely.

¡A LA XÁCARA! The Jungle Book of the Baroque Ensemble Villancico, Peter Pontvik
Rec: January 2000, Petrus Church, Stockholm, Sweden. CAPRICE CAP 21658 [55.48] [KM]

This is a very interesting recording, presenting some little-known music from forgotten or unknown composers. The overall tone is festive and energetic.

CELEBRATION William MATHIAS (1934 - 1992) : Clarinet Sonatina Op.3 (1956, rev. 1976) Alun HODDINOTT (b. 1929) : Clarinet Sonata No.2 (1997) Mervyn BURTCH (b. 1929) : Prelude, Arioso and Dance (1991) Christopher PAINTER (b. 1962) : Clarinet Sonata (1999) John METCALF (b. 1946) : Airstream (1997) Peryn Clement-Evans (clarinet) ; Harvey Davies (piano) Recorded : St Mary's Church, Cilcain, North Wales, June 1999 CYFOS CYFC01 CD [56:19] [HC]

It seems that this highly commendable release is the first of a series of recordings of Welsh chamber music. I, for one, hope that this generous project will be fully carried out and I certainly look forward to hearing the forthcoming releases. Recommended.

PASTORALE SOUNDS Music for flute choir Massachusetts High School Flute choir/Danielle Alyssa Boudrot rec Massachusets 2000no cat number supplied 2 CDs. [DW]

The flute is a very sensual human instrument. It can convey a wide range of emotion and colour and, my goodness, how well these young players excel themselves!

PIANO MINIATURES Martino Tirimo REGIS RRC1059[DDD] [73.42] [CC]

Do try to hear this disc: it is full of delights.

THE QUEENES COMMAND (1685-1750) Masterpieces of Elizabethan Keyboard Music Orlando GIBBONS (1583-1625) John BULL (C.1562-1628) William TISDALE (Late 16th Cent.) Giles FARNABY (C. 1563-1640) John DOWLAND (1563-1626) William BYRD (1543-1623) Joseph Payne, harpsichord Rec: May and August 1991, Forde Estate, Boston. BIS-CD 539 [74.25] [KM]

An excellent selection and performance of some of the finest English keyboard music of the Elizabethan period. A must-have disc for anyone who wants to discover the infinite variety of music from this time.

SCENES FROM CHILDHOOD Claude DEBUSSY Children's Corner Robert Alexander SCHUMANN Scenes from Childhood (Kinderszenen), Op.15 Georges BIZET Children's Games (Suite from Jeux d'enfants), Op.22 Maurice RAVEL Mother Goose The Pro Arte Guitar Trio ASV CD WHL2129 [61:55] [AD]

This is charming disc of attractive music which doesn't ask anything of the listener other than to enjoy it.

SONORITIES Japanese Accordion Music. Toshio HOSOKAWA (born 1955) Melodia II. Melodia. Hikaru HAYASHI (born 1931) A Bee Crosses Over the Strait. Maki ISHII (born 1936) Lost Sounds II, Op. 33b. Tango-Prism, Op. 73. Yuji TAKAHASHI (born 1938) Like a Water-Buffalo. Meiro SUGAWARA (1897-1988) Capriccio Pastorale. Ruscello. AYUO(born 1960) Eurasian Tango - No. 1; No. 2; No. 5. Mie Miki (accordion). Recorded at Länna Church, Sweden in May 2000. BIS CD-1144 [DDD] [79.03] [CC]

Mie Miki's belief in this repertoire shines through her playing. Little of this music is of ground-breaking originality, but this disc does represent a journey into relatively uncharted waters.

Swedish Overtures (Ouverturer Å Kongl. Theatern) Jacopo Foroni (1825-1858) Overture No.3 in A major (c.1850) [Rec. August 1995 Franz Berwald (1796-1868) ‘The Dressmaker’ (1845) [Rec. August 1995] & ‘I enter a Monastery’ (1842) [Rec. November 1985] Ludwig Norman (1831-1885) Festive Overture (1882) [[Rec. June 1985] Andreas Randel (1806-1864) ‘The People from Vårmland.’ (1846) [Rec. June 1985] August SÖderman (1832-1876) ‘The Devil’s First Tentative Efforts.’ (1856) [Rec. November 1985] Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-1792) ‘Proserpine’ (1780) [Rec. November 1985] St Petersburg Hermitage Orchestra Conductor: - Mats Liljefors [Berwald’s Dressmaker and Foroni] Kungl, Hovkapellet Conductor: - Stig Westerburg STERLING CDS-1009-2 [61.10] [JF]

A fine example of music lost for well over a century being rediscovered. No masterpieces here, but a CD full of wit, charm, melody and well-written music. A good interesting disc for all those who like a fine tune. Part of a noble recording enterprise by Sterling CDs.

Maggie TEYTE French Songs & Arias Maggie Teyte Recorded 1940-1947 ADD NAXOS HISTORICAL - GREAT SINGERS 8.110147 [66:31] [FC]

As a critic, I am unsatisfied listening to this voice, but as a music lover, I find wonderful treasures of the French repertory here. This disc has the effect of enticing the listener to want to explore this territory further.

THE TIME OF THE TROUBADOURS 12th, 13th and 14th Century Songs from Spain and Portugal by Alfonso el Sabio (1221-1284) Dom Dinis de Portugal (1261-1324) Martin Soarez Andre Dias de Lisboa Martin Codax and others. Vozes Alfonsinas directed by Pedro Ferreira Recorded in St.George's Church, Lisbon, October 1999 PORTUSOM STRAUSS SP 4287 [69.24] [GH]

A beautifully put together and conceived release, which I would heartily recommend to any lover of early music.

VOICES 1900/2000: A Choral Journey Through The Twentieth Century San Francisco Symphony Chorus Vance George, Director *Marc Shapiro (piano) DELOS DE 3270 [62.26] [JQ]

Most of this collection is very enjoyable and it shows off the choir to good effect. The standard of performance is consistently high and the recording quality is very good.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

AUGUST JAEGER: PORTRAIT OF NIMROD A life in letters and other writings by Kevin Allen Ashgate Press 352pp 29 illus. Published Sept 2000 £55 ISBN 1 85928 366 7

Kevin Allen's book is commendably detailed and well written. It fills another gap in that wonderfully rich period in English music from 1870 to 1910 and makes a highly fascinating read.

COMPANION TO BAROQUE MUSIC Edited by Julie Anne Sadie 549 pages Oxford University Press, 1998 ISBN 0-19-816704-0 [KM]

The main interest of this book is its dictionary of composers; it probably contains more than any other book, bar Grove. For this alone, in spite of its confusing structure, it is a valuable book for curious lovers of baroque music. It is a fine tool to help better understand the lives of the many baroque composers, and the relationships among them.

TUNES OF GLORY : THE LIFE OF MALCOLM SARGENT Richard Aldous Hutchinson, London 302pp xviii 38 illus. Published 2001 £18.99 ISBN 0 09 180131 1 [CF]

Richard Aldous has now produced a biography which uses the sources denied to Reid, such as family archives and papers retained by his former secretary Sylvia Darley. Aldous is an historian with a love of music, his portrayal of social conditions vividly detailed, but he is no expert musician though he clearly loves music.

THE SCHUBERT SONG COMPANION John Reed 510 pages Mandolin, 1997 ISBN 1-901341-0013 [KM]

This huge book is a must for all serious lovers of Schubert's lieder. Its presentation of virtually every Schubert song provides a tremendous amount of material for those who wish to learn more about this monument of music.

[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc]     


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