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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

Giacomo CARISSIMI (1605-1674) TEN MOTETS Consortium Carissimi directed by Vittorio Zanon Recorded May 2000 San Cassiano Rovigo Italy NAXOS 8.555076 [64.03] [GH]

Music helped by the beautiful and beatific voice of bass Garrick Comeaux - one of the guiding lights behind the Consortium Carissimi.

Carlos CHAVEZ (1899-1978) The Complete Symphonies:- Nos. 1 (Sinfonia de Antigona); 2 (Sinfonia India); 3; 4 (Sinfonia Romantica); 5; 6 London Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Mata
rec. 1981 VOX BOX CDX 5061 (2 discs, DDD) [135.01] £9.99 [PS]

With the exception of the popular Sinfonia India, these symphonies, contrapuntally complex as well as colourful, reveal Chavez to be both a serious symphonist and arguably Mexico's answer to J. S. Bach. The composer's compatriot, Eduardo Mata, gets the LSO players right on the edges of their seats, and the recording is spot on. This "cheap and cheerful" Vox Box would still be cheap at twice the price

WILLIAM CROFT (1678-1727) Complete Harpsichord Works Julian Rhodes, virginal, spinet & harpsichord Rec: April 1999, Highampton, Devon, England. ISMERON JMSCD 6 * [76.57], JMSCD 7** [78.51] [KM]

An excellent recording of works by a little-known English composer who definitely deserves to be rediscovered. The discs deserve the highest recommendation.

Andrew DOWNES Concerto for two guitars and string orchestra [ 24.49] Cool Largo [5.51] plus Koshkin Usher Waltz [6.41] Bach Flute sonata (bass) [3.57], Fugue from Violin Partita [6.11] Mozart Turkish Rondo [3.51] Simon Dinnigan , Fred T. Baker, City of Birmingham Strings, Andrew Downes. CLASSICPRINT CPV013CD [DW]

A Guitar Concerto of real consequence.

Andrew DOWNES Sonata for flute choir, Op 58 Fantasia for alto flute and bass flute and flute choir, Song of the Eagle The James Madison University Flute Club/Carol Kniebusch Noe, director.
rec. James Madison University ClassicPrint CPVP013CD [DW]

An occasional disc maybe, but welcome all the same. It is very interesting and, at times, very very rewarding indeed.

PASTORALE SOUNDS Andrew DOWNES Fantasia, Sonata for flute Choir Gustav HOLST I'll love my love Luigi ZANINELLI Three Children's Dances Charles THREATTE Pastorale Matt DORAN Sextet for flutes Raimundo PINEDA Polo Oriental, Las Piuetas de Mariana Paule MAURICE Suite pour quator de flute Massachusetts High School Flute Choir/Danielle Alyssa Boudrot 2000 2 CDs. No catalogue number supplied Available from Lynwood Music, 2 Church Street, West Hagley, West Midlands, DY9 ONA Tel 015 628 86625 [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!

Jean-Baptiste Antoine FORQUERAY (1699-1782) Jupiter: Orchestral Transcriptions and Chamber Music Extracts from Pièces de Viole (Paris 1747), Premier Divertissement, Deuxième Divertissement, Troisième Divertissement, Quatrième Divertissement, Charivari Agréable Simfonie
Rec: 3-5 October, 1998, St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucestershire. SIGNUM SIGCD008 [77.32] [RB]

The arrangements are interesting, the music delightful and melodically satisfying. For fans of 18th century French music, this recording is certainly recommended.

Stephen Kovacevich Plays Grieg and Schumann GRIEG Piano Concerto SCHUMANN Piano Concerto Stephen Kovacevich (piano) BBC Symphony Orchestra/Colin Davis rec Walthamstow Assembly Halls, Sept 1970 (Schumann), Jan 1971 (Grieg). PHILIPS 50 464 702-2 [60.26] [RB]

These interpretations in their clean and felicitous fidelity command our attention - even more so at bargain price

Georg Friedrich HAENDEL (1685-1759) Cantatas and Italian Duets Quando in calma ride il mare (duo), Nellí africane selve ** , Che vai pensando (duo), La Lucrezia * , Gi_ nei Tartarei regni (duo), Dalla Guerra amorosa ** , Tacete ohime (duo) ,Les Paladins *Sandrine Piau, soprano ** Jérôme Correas, baritone-bass Emmanuelle Haïm, harpsichord (and chamber organ; not specified in the notes) Marion Middenway, cello Rec: December 1999. ARION ARN 68505 [59.17]

A recording for true fans of Haendel's vocal works. This somewhat uneven disc has its good points, but, in the end, is lacking in overall attraction.

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Concerti Grossi, Opus 3 Nos. 1-6 Northern Sinfonia Bradley Creswick, director Rec 2-4 May 1995, Jubilee Theatre, Gosforth, Tyne and Wear NAXOS 8.553457 [54.03] [TB]

Another appealing bargain from the remarkable Naxos catalogue.

Georg Friedrich HAENDEL (1685-1759) Acis and Galatea Galatea, Kym Amps, soprano Acis, Robin Doveton, tenor Damon, Angus Davidson, countertenor Polyphemus, David van Asch, bass The Scholars of London, artistic coordinator David van Asch Rec: live, Iglesia de San Pedro, Gijon, Spain, February 5, 1991. DORIAN DOR 93227 [74.22] [KM]

A delightful recording that captures the energy of a live performance. One of Haendel's most popular works, this is much simpler than his operas, yet has a great deal of charm. A recommended recording.

Georg Friedrich HAENDEL (1685-1759) Apollo e Dafne, The Alchemist Olga Pasichnyk, soprano Robert Pomakov, bass European Union Baroque Orchestra, Roy Goodman Rec: 11-12 October 2000, Eglise Saint-Sébastian, Stavelot, Belgium. NAXOS 8.555712 [57.14] [KM]

A worthwhile recording though bass Robert Pomakov is disappointing, in Apollo e Dafne. Soprano Olga Pasichnyk is excellent.

Harmonious Families Volume 1 Danish Compositions by Fathers and Sons
Emil Hartmann (1836-1898) ‘Haermaendene på Helgeland’ Overture Op.25 (1878) ‘Hakon Jarl’ – symphonic poem Op.40 (1859-1898) Cello Concerto in D Op.26 (1879) Johann Peter Emilius Hartmann (1805-1900) ‘Hakon Jarl’ – Overture Op.40 (1844) ‘En efterårsjagt.’ An Autumn Hunt Overture Op.63b (1863) The Danish Philharmonic Orchestra, South Jutland Jean-Pierre Wallez – conductor Kim Bak Dinitzen – cello Recorded Musikhuset, Sønderborg November 1998   Danacord DACOCD 508 [70.34] [CF]

This is an impressive first volume of a fine series of relatively unknown works by fathers and sons. It is well-crafted music that is finely played. An excellent addition to the repertoire of romantic music. Well-done Danacord!

Franz Joseph HAYDN Symphonies: 94 in G - "Surprise", 96 in D - "Miracle", 100 in G - "Military", 101 in D - "Clock", 103 in E flat - "Drum Roll", 104 in D - "London". Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam/Sir Colin Davis Recorded in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 1976-1981 PHILIPS 464 707-2 [2 CDs: 75.31, 80.33] [CH]

Davis keeps things wonderfully buoyant. There is also a sense that the musicians are really listening to one another, obtaining a chamber-music-like delicacy.

Leopold HOFMANN (1738-93) Flute Concertos Vol. 1 Flute Concerto in G major (Badley G2) Flute Concerto in D major (Badley D1) Flute Concerto in A major (Badley A2) Flute Concerto in D major (Badley D6) Kazunori Seo (flute) Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia/Béla Drahos rec Phoenix Studio, Budapest, 7-9 Nov 1999 NAXOS 8.554747 [78.52] [RB]

Hofmann shown as a productive musician paying court to an audience with an insatiable taste for a well-turned smiling phrase and a fresh kick of the hooves.

Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-96) Chamber Concertos - Vol. 1 No. 1 for piano, strings and timpani (1939) No. 2 for flute, violin, strings and percussion (1940) No. 3 for clarinet and chamber orchestra (1940-42) Anne Øland (piano) Niels Thomsen (clarinet) Mikkel Futtrup (violin) Eva Østgaard (flute) Danish Radio Concert Orchestra/Hannu Koivula rec June, Sept 1996 DA CAPO (Marco Polo) 8.224038 [67.57] [RB]

The elegance of the Double Concerto contrasts with the autochthonous rustic musculature of the Clarinet Concerto and the elusive Nordic/Slav Piano Concerto.

Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-96) Chamber Concertos - Vol. 2 No. 4 for piano trio and chamber orchestra (1942-45) No. 5 for viola and chamber orchestra (1943) No. 6 for violin and chamber orchestra (1943) Anne Øland (piano) Mikkel Futtrup (violin) Tim Frederiksen (viola) Niels Ullner (cello) Danish Radio Sinfonietta/Hannu Koivula rec Aug, Oct, Nov 1996 DA CAPO (Marco Polo) 8.224063 [62.00] [RB]

Holmboe the neo-classicist is to the fore on this disc.

Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-96) Chamber Concertos - Vol. 3 No. 7 for oboe and chamber orchestra (1944-45) No. 8 for orchestra Sinfonia Concertante (1945) No. 9 for violin, viola and orchestra (1945-46) Max Artved (oboe) Mikkel Futtrup (violin) Tim Frederiksen (viola) Danish Radio Sinfonietta/Hannu Koivula rec Jan, Feb 1997 DA CAPO (Marco Polo) 8.224086 [61.56] [RB]

Highlights are the surprisingly explosive Oboe Concerto and the abandon of the Double Concerto.

Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-96) Chamber Concertos - Vol. 4 No. 10 for wood-brass-gut and orchestra (1945-46) No. 11 for trumpet and chamber orchestra (1948) No. 12 for trombone and orchestra (1950) No. 13 for oboe, viola and chamber orchestra (1955-56) Jacques Mauger (trombone) Ole Edvard Antonsen (trumpet) Max Artved (oboe) Tim Frederiksen (viola) Danish Radio Sinfonietta/Hannu Koivula rec Aug, Nov 1997 DA CAPO (Marco Polo) 8.224087 [74.44] [RB]

The most generously timed of the four volumes with the strengths of the Triple Concerto and Trumpet Concerto well to the fore.

Páll ÍSÓLFSSON (1893-1974) Complete piano music (1920-1940) Three Piano Pieces,
Humoresques, Album Leaves, Variations on a Song by Ísólf Pálsson (Theme and 17 variations)
Nína-Margrét Grímsdóttir (piano) rec 16-19 April 2000, Nybrokajen, Stockholm BIS-CD-1139 [69.50] [RB]

Ísólfsson was no revolutionary. He worked with craftsmanship and inspiration within Brahmsian traditions. Grímsdóttir is a well informed and inspiring champion for this surprising and little known music.

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Frühling (Spring) - Operetta in One Act : Stefanie Krahnenfeld (soprano) Alison Browner (soprano) Robert Wörle (tenor) Markus Köhler (baritone) Elfentanz Concert Waltz (1892) Magyar Abránd, Hungarian Fantasy for violin and orchestra (1897) Mark Gothoni (violin) Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein directed by Johannes Goritzki (Co-production: Deutschland Radio/cpo recorded March 2000, Grosse Sendesaal) CPO 999 727-2 [78:08] [IL]

Lehár at his most romantically magical. A street-wise operetta of the 1920s - full of hummable tunes and a libretto that is naughty but nice.

Franz LISZT Piano Concerto no. 1 in E flat Piano Concerto no. 2 in A Ludwig van BEETHOVEN Piano Sonatas: op. 14/2 in G, op. 49/1 in G minor, op. 49/2 in G Sviatoslav Richter (pianoforte), London Symphony Orchestra/Kyrill Kondrashin Recorded in London, July 1961 (Liszt), 1963 (Beethoven) PHILIPS 464 710-2 [70.09] [CH]

This famous Liszt coupling presents the demonic genius of Richter as he first flashed upon the Western world.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Schubert Song Transcriptions, Volume 2 Müller Lieder (2nd version), Die Forelle (2nd version) , Die Rose, Meerersstille, Der Gondelfahrer, Liebesbotschaft , Ave Maria , Ungeduld (1st version), Geistliche Lieder, Lob der Thränen, Erlkönig Valerie Tryon (piano)
Rec 18-19 May 1999, St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Hampshire NAXOS 8.554729 [67.17] [TB]

A tribute to Valerie Tryon, and to Liszt, that these transcriptions stand so well in their own right.

Henry LITOLFF (1818-1891) Concerto Symphonique No 3 in E-flat Major, National Hollandais Op.45 (c.1846) Concerto Symphonique No 5 in C Minor, Op.123 (1870) Peter Donohoe (piano); BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Litton Rec. October 2000 HYPERION CDA67210 [65.55] [RW]

This is a charming recording with a strong soloist and played with typically superb BBC SSO polish.

Fernando LOPES-GRACA (1906 – 1994) História Trágica-Maritima (1942/3, rev. 1960)* Viagens na minha Terra (1953, orch. 1969) Oliveira Lopes (baritone)*; Hungarian Radio Chorus*; Budapest Symphony Orchestra*; Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra; Gyula Németh Recorded : Hungaroton Studios, Budapest, October 1974* and February 1980 STRAUSS 870003/PS [72:50] [HC]

One of the finest releases devoted to Lopes-Graça’s warmly humane, generous music and probably the best possible introduction to his musical and human thinking.

Fernando LOPES-GRACA (1906 – 1994) Concerto da Camera col Violoncello Obbligato Op.167 (1966) Sinfonietta "Homenagem a Haydn" Op.220 (1980) Maria José Falcão (cello); Budapest Symphony Orchestra; György Lehel Recorded : Hungaroton Studios, Budapest, June 1985 STRAUSS SP 4033 [34:36] [HC]

The beautiful, deeply moving and gripping Concerto is one of Lopes-Graça’s masterpieces and one of the finest cello concertos composed in the second half of the 20th Century.

THE BEST OF Witold LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994) Symphonic Variations, Overture for Strings; Little Suite, Piosenka (Song), Concerto for Orchestra Movements 1 and 2, Funeral Music (Epilogue), Jeux Venetiens (parts 3 and 4), Cello Concerto (Cantilena and Finale), Paganini Variations (complete), Chain II Movement 3,Piano Concerto Movement 4. Various soloists Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice conducted by Antoni Wit. Recording locations and dates not listed
NAXOS 8.556692 [77.42] [GH]

It is good to have performances of Lutoslawski played by Polish musicians who obviously know and regard this music very highly. It is a useful introduction to the composer but like all compilations leaves you feeling just a little frustrated.

[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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