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

 


Reviews
for December 2001


Full list of reviewers and contributors here

January 2002

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NEW and RECENT ARTICLES

One of the 76 Smartest Philadelphians: Lang Lang in Interview with Marc Bridle

Magnus Lindberg interviewed by Marc Bridle

BEATRIX POTTER IN MUSIC by Philip Scowcroft
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H G Wells in Music by Philip Scowcroft
Music inspired by Oscar Wilde by Philip Scowcroft
Crime Fiction and Music by Philip Scowcroft
EDWARD GERMAN: Serious or Light? by Philip Scowcroft

Jascha Horenstein - a CD Discography by Donald Clarke

Sir Malcolm Arnold at 80 by Hubert Culot

ENCYCLOPAEDIA of Popular Music now on-line (nearly 4000 pages)

DICTIONARY of Classical composers now complete

THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC Reflections of a music publisher by Ernst Roth

Contemporary British Music (1945-1970) by Francis Routh complete on-line book
Arthur Butterworth Writes: The Loquacious Conductor
Diatribes and Digressions:
It maybe Hi-Fi but is it music? by David Dyer
Musings on Carmen by David Dyer

Algernon ASHTON works list

MALCOLM ARNOLD – THE SYMPHONIES: A comparative review (Part One) Paul Conway

GOLDBERG MAGAZINE A quarterly magazine of early music


If you enjoy the sort of articles Arthur Butterworth and others write and feel you would like to write one yourself I would be willing to open a Public Forum where they could be presented. email Len


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Did you know you could help sponsor a new recording for as little as £10 - a symphony for £25? Read on
 such as this one  now reviewed here: GRAHAM WHETTAM  Sinfonia Intrepida   BBCSO/Sir Charles Mackerras.   Redcliffe Recordings RR016 (44' 11'') [PC]


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HOFFNUNG for CHRISTMAS? an ideal Christmas present for yourself or your friends


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 The Hoffnung little books
The Maestro, Symphony Orchestra, Music Festival,Companion to Music, Musical Chairs, Acoustics

Get SIX for the price of FIVE
£7.69 each or 6 books £36 .79 incl P&P

Recording of the Hoffnung Music Festivals: CDs
The Hoffnung Music Festival Concert 1956,The Hoffnung Interplanetary Music Festival 1958,The Hoffnung Astronautical Music Festival 1961

A Last Encore cassette
BBC recordings of Speech Day, Oxford Union, December 1958 "Life begins at 38" with the famous Bricklayer story and the hotelier offering French widows in every bedroom.

If you wish to flip between this page and the latest reviews use the button marked "Return to previous page" to get back to here

LATEST CD REVIEWS (last two days)

There are 230 FULL-LENGTH CD reviews for December on the next five pages - our biggest monthly review number yet.

(The December Gramophone has only approx80 and International Record Review approx100)

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

 

 

BOOK REVIEW

Beecham Stories New Expanded edition of the best selling classic -
Anecdotes, sayings and impressions of Sir Thomas Beecham
compiled by Harold Atkins and Archie Newman with a Foreword by Yehudi Menuhin
Robson Books hardback 90 pages £10:95 ISBN 1-86105-393-2

Always guaranteed to raise a smile.

Frank Bridge – radical and conservative By Anthony Payne
Thames Publishing. Paperback. 106 pages $12:50 ISBN 0 905210 25 5 [IL]

This is an erudite appreciation of the music of a too long neglected and overshadowed British composer. ... see Full Review

GOLDBERG MAGAZINE
A quarterly magazine of early music
120 pages.
60 FF, £6.50, $12.50, 1,250 PTA. http://www.goldberg-magazine.com

Lovers of early and baroque music would certainly do well to check out this magazine, to learn more about the music they listen to, and to have an attractively produced magazine to read every three months.

THE PENGUIN GUIDE TO COMPACT DISCS: The Guide To Excellence In Recorded Music 2002 Edition Edited by Ivan March Reviews by: Ivan March; Edward Greenfield; Robert Layton 1566pp ISBN 0-14-051-497£20.00
Published Nov 22nd [RB]

An ideal Christmas present for the dedicated classical CD collector or someone you might like to become a dedicated collector. Beginners in this field could hardly have a better companion.

THE NEW PENGUIN OPERA GUIDE Edited by Amanda Holden Publ. Penguin Music, 2001 ISBN 0 140 29312 4 ISBN US 0 140 51475 9 1142pp £30.00 [RB]

This book now joins the elite ranks of opera books. On the same shelf you will find Kobbé and the Operatic Grove. As a single volume opera encyclopedia it is peerless. At £30.00 this will be money exceptionally well spent.

The Walled-In Garden – The songs of Roger Quilter
By Trevor Hold.
64 pages; Paperback. Thames Publishing 1978 and 1996. £7:50 ISBN 0 905210 99 9 [IL]

A much-needed and balanced assessment of Roger Quilter’s art. ...see Full Review

William Walton: A Bio-Bibliography by Carolyn J Smith. Bio-Bibliographies in Music Number 18. 247pp. $68.50. ISBN 0-37-25391-9. I988. Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut 06881.

Despite its age this is still a very useful addition to the Walton bookshelf

SCORE REVIEWS


RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Granville BANTOCK (1868-1946) The Song of Songs - Prelude (1926) Omar Khayyam - Prelude and Camel Caravan (1906) Caristiona (1920) Processional (1893) Thalaba the Destroyer - symphonic poem (1899) RPO/Vernon Handley
rec 20-21 Feb 2001, Walthamstow Assembly Halls, London - DDD HYPERION CDA 67250 [76.50] [RB]

Hyperion should take a deep bow for this latest Bantock salvo which is remarkably strong meat especially in the case of Thalaba and Caristiona.

DELIUS Song of Summer. A film by Ken Russell. Written by Ken Russell and Eric Fenby and based on the book Delius as I knew him by Eric Fenby. Produced and directed by Ken Russell. Starring Max Adrian as Frederick Delius, Maureen Pryor as Jelka Delius, and Christopher Gable as Eric Fenby. Black and white. 72 minutes. British Film Institute.
DVD version: BFIVD518 £19.99 (with director's biography and commentary). Video version: VHS BFIV101 £12.99.

No-one interested in Delius should be without a copy of Song of Summer. It has not dated at all and it repays repeated viewing and remains a fine tribute to Eric Fenby's sacrifice and self-less devotion.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) The Haydn Project [141.29] CD1 1. String Quartet No. 23 in F minor, Op. 20/5, H. 3/35 2. String Quartet No. 30 in E flat major "Joke" Op. 33/2, H. 3/38 3. String Quartet No. 43 in G major, Op. 54/1, H. 3/58 4. String Quartet No. 53 in D major "Lark" Op. 64/5, H. 3/63 CD2
1. String Quartet No. 59 in G minor "Rider"/"Horseman" Op. 74/3, H. 3/74
2. String Quartet No. 61 in D minor "Fifths"/"The Bell"/"The Donkey" Op. 76/2, H. 3/76 3. String Quartet No. 66 in G major "Lobkowitz" Op. 77/1, H. 3/81
Emerson Quartet Eugene Drucker, violin Philip Setzer, violin Lawrence Dutton, viola
David Finckel, cello Rec.: LeFrak Concert Hall, Queens College, NY, 2000-01 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 471 327-2 [141.29] [KM]

A magnificent recording, which deserves the utmost attention. While it is unlikely that the Emerson Quartet will record a complete set of Haydn’s quartets, one must hope that they will add more of them to their discography. This is a real gem. ...see Full Review

Graham WHETTAM (b.1927) Concerto Drammatico; Sinfonia contra timore Martin Rummel (vlc); Sinfonia da Camera, Urbana, Illinois/Ian Hobson; Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra/Günter Blumhagen (British Orchestral Music Vol 2) REDCLIFFE RECORDINGS RR 017 [60.00]

These pieces are gloomy and harsh. Whettam’s is a striking musical world.

Hugh WOOD (born 1932) Symphony Op.21 (1982) Scenes from Comus Op.6 (1962/5)² Geraldine McGreevy (soprano)²; Daniel Norman (tenor)²; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis Recorded: BBC Studio 1, Maida Vale, London, September 1999 NMC D 070 [69:16] [HC]

A superb release coupling two substantial pieces by a most distinguished composer whose music is still all too rarely heard. In my Top Ten list and heartily recommended

Lesley GARRETT Travelling Light Featuring Sir George Martin, Michel Legrand, The Clare Singers, Denyce Graves, Michael Ball, Bryn Terfel and Evelyn Glennie Orchestra conducted by Philip Ellis Recorded at Air Studios and Whitfield Street Studios, London, 2000-2001 EMI CDC 5 57251 2 [62:11] [SF]

This is one of those albums that seems to improve on every hearing. If you’re still not sure then give a copy to your mum or auntie or brother. But I suspect you will end up regretting not buying one for yourself.

 

 


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Bach Edition Complete works on 160 CDs FULL DETAILS AT FOOT OF REVIEW BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99697 [approx. 160 hours]

You owe it to yourself to get this set - at its super-bargain price, even those recordings you don't like will not cause too much disappointment, but the quality of the excellent ones is such that you will certainly be delighted. (Note that the cost of some of the recordings in this set that have been licensed from other labels would far exceed the total cost of the entire set.) If only to have the 60 CDs of sacred cantatas, and to discover what is an incredible collection of moving and memorable music, this set is worth having. Treat yourself to 160 CDs of Bach, then, take a few weeks off to enjoy this music. ...see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Mozart Edition Volume 1 Concertos for Wind Instruments,Violin Concertos BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99713 7CDs [approx 454 minutes]

This first volume of Brilliant Classic’s complete Mozart set certainly bodes well for the other 23 volumes. The performances range from good to excellent, the sound is almost always fine. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Mozart Edition vol. 4 Piano Concertos [approx. 11 hours 25 min.] BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99720 [approx. 11 hours 25 min.] [KM]

Once again, Brilliant Classics comes up with a very good set of Mozart’s works. While not perfect, these performances and recordings are fine. The budget price is an additional incentive for those interested in discovering all of Mozart’s works for piano and orchestra. ...see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni, opera (1787) Bo Skovhus (Don Giovanni), Renata Girolami (Leporello), Boaz Daniel (Masetto), Janusz Monarcha (Commendatore), Torsten Kerl (Don Ottavio), Adrianne Pieczonka (Donna Anna), Regina Schörg (Elvira), Ildiko Raimondi (Zerlina)
Hungarian Radio Chorus, Nicolaus Estherházy Sinfonia/Michael Halász
Rec. Phoenix Studio, Budapest, Nov. 2000 NAXOS 8.660080-82 [CD1 58.31, CD2 58.38, CD3 56.30] [RF]

This performance and recording stands ahead of many in the catalogue, even if not supplanting Giulini’s 1959 recording for EMI, which may never be bettered, but that is at full price. ... see Full Review

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana Bo Skovhus (baritone), Jochen Kowalski (alto), Sumi Jo (soprano) Southend Boys' Choir London Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra Zubin Mehta (conductor) Rec 1993, The Maltings, Snape APEX 09274 13772 (60.27) [TB]

The extensive percussion is spectacularly well captured. The tam-tam and timpani can rarely have sounded so thrilling in a recorded performance. Mehta conducts with consummate control of his massed forces though he is occasionally a little indulgent with slow tempi. ... see Full Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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


 


MusicWeb - The International Web Site Founder: Len Mullenger [UK], Classical Editor: Rob Barnett [UK],  Regular Reviewers:   Steve Arloff [UK], Guy Aron [Australia], Tony Augarde [UK], Terry Barfoot [UK], Melinda Bargreen [USA], David J. Barker [Australia], Rob Barnett [UK], Nick Barnard [UK], Robert Beattie [UK], Dave Billinge [UK], Peter Bright [UK], Byzantion [UK], Colin Clarke [UK], Dominy Clements [Netherlands], Michael Cookson [UK], Hubert Culot [Belgium], Evan Dickerson [UK], Gavin Dixon [UK], Robert J. Farr [UK], Christopher Fifield [UK], Göran Forsling [Sweden], John France [UK], Patrick Gary [USA], Pierre Giroux [CAN], Paul C. Godfrey [UK], Michael Greenhalgh [UK], William Hedley [France], Gary Higginson [UK], Neil Horner [UK], Robert Hugill UK], David Jennings [UK], Bill Kenny [UK], William S Kreindler [USA], Ian Lace [UK], Em Marshall-Luck [UK], Oleg Ledeniov [USA]Rob Maynard [UK], David A McConnell [USA], Kirk McElhearn [France], Robert McKechnie [UK], Ralph Moore [RMo] [UK], Dan Morgan [UK], Margarida Mota-Bull [UK], Glyn Pursglove [UK], John Quinn [UK], Carla Rees [UK], Brian Reinhart [USA], Donald Satz [USA], Mark Sealey [USA], John Sheppard [UK], George Stacy, Kevin Sutton [USA], Bert Thompson [USA], Simon Thompson [UK], Zane Turner [Australia], Steve Vasta [UK], Johan van Veen [Netherlands], Raymond Walker [UK], Derek Warby [UK], Brian Wilson [UK], Jonathan Woolf [UK] Leslie Wright [USA]. A complete list of contributors can be seen here




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