> Listing of New Classical CD Reviews - August 2002 latest reviews- (last two days): MusicWeb: Len Mullenger

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[Detailed listing (last two days)]
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[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc] 
[Part 7 Misc]

Wednesday July 31st

DAILY CD REVIEWS - No other web-site offers as many new reviews as MusicWeb

Worcester Three Choirs Festival Aug 17-23rd

STOP PRESS: The Gerard Hoffnung Oxford Union (Bricklayer) speech is at last available on CD
"Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations.
There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects."

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
The Royal College of Music will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Stanford on Wednesday 6 November, with a day devoted to his music. The programme will be:

1.05 Recital of church music and part songs by the RCM Chamber Choir, conducted by Paul Spicer
2.00 Masterclass on songs by Stanford and his contemporaries with Roger Vignoles
5.15 Stanford’s Chamber Music – a lecture by Dr Jeremy Dibble
7.00 Recital of chamber music by Stanford:
3 Intermezzi for Clarinet and Piano, op. 13
String quartet no. 2 in A minor, op. 45
3 Rhapsodies after Dante for piano solo, op. 92
Piano quintet in D minor, op. 25
All the events are open to the public and no tickets are required. For further information, please contact Peter Horton at the Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS (020 7591 4324 or phorton@rcm.ac.uk).


GUY-ROPARTZ A Brief Introduction by Dr David C F Wright


THE ROBIN MILFORD CENTENARY: A Cause for Celebration by Martin Anderson

ELIZABETH HARWOOD (1938-1990) On the 13th of July 2002 a plaque was dedicated in the Church of St Mary the Virgin at Fryerning in memory of Elizabeth Harwood Royle, the English Soprano. The text of the eulogy given by Revd. Patrick Sherring is available by clicking here.

MARGARET RITCHIE: Much Loved English Soprano


Philip Lane by Edmund Whitehouse

In Memoriam    Murray Adaskin (March 1906 - May 2002) Convocation Address, Brock University October 21, 2000

Annunzio Paulo MANTOVANI

A large Charles IVES site prepared by Scott Mortensen

WALTER SCOTT AND MUSIC by Philip Scowcroft

MUSIC CRITICS AND WRITERS Personal thoughts and self-examination by Dr David C F Wright

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




WILLIAM S. GILBERT (1838-1910) and ARTHUR S. SULLIVAN (1842-1900): A MOST INGENIOUS PARADOX - The Art of Gilbert & Sullivan by Gayden Wren Oxford University Press: ISBN 0-19-514514-3 pp396 £25

Wren is a gifted writer and gives his honest views with confidence, providing clear style of presentation, clarity of description and much to get one thinking. … see Full Review

William WALTON The Romantic Loner A centenary Portrait Album By Humphrey Burton and Maureen Murray OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS. Hardback. 182 pages. ISBN 0-19-816235-9 £25

For film music fans and lovers of Walton’s music, highly recommended – a coffee table format book to be treasured. … see Full Review




Malcolm ARNOLD (born 1921) Guitar Concerto Op.67 (1959)a English Dances Op.27 & Op.33 (1950/1951)b Symphony for Brass Instruments Op.123 (1978)c Quintet for Brass Op.73 (1961)d Eduardo Fernández (guitar)a; English Chamber Orchestraa; Barry Wordswortha; London Philharmonic Orchestrab; Sir Adrian Boultb; Philip Jones Brass Ensemblecd; Howard Snellc; Elgar Howarthd Recorded: 1954 (English Dances); 1970 (Brass Quintet); 1979 (Symphony for Brass) and 1990 (Guitar Concerto) DECCA 468 803-2 [75:03] [HC]

A miracle of economy, clarity and efficiency. Arnold at his best … see Full Review

Cecil COLES (1888-1918) Music From Behind The Lines: Overture: The Comedy of Errors, Fra Giacomo, Scherzo in A minor, Four Verlaine Songs: "Fantastic in appearance", "A slumber vast and black", "Pastoral: The sky above the roof", "Let’s dance the jig", From the Scottish Highlands, Behind the Lines Sarah Fox, soprano, Paul Whelan, baritone. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins Rec. City Hall, Glasgow on 12 and 13 December 2001 DDD HYPERION CDA67293 [62'44] [PB][IL]

Music that is solemn, poignant and majestic. Coles died in the Great War but unlike Butterworth, Kelly and Farrar he had no committed champions to keep his music before the public.[PB]
A penchant for the dramatic and a gift for writing evocative, atmospheric music.[IL] … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ken Russell’s ELGAR The classic BBC TV 100th ‘Monitor’ Programme broadcast on 11 November 1962 - together with a separate showing of the film with commentary by Ken Russell and Michael Kennedy. Plus Michael Kennedy introduces "home movie" footage of Elgar at the Three Choirs Festivals of 1929, 1930 and 1932 and film of Elgar conducting a recording of his Land of Hope and Glory at Abbey Road Studios black and white bfi (British Film Institute) BFIVD 524 [56 mins – extra material 15 mins] [IL]

Despite its few flaws this is a wonderful film and it is highly recommended to all Elgarians … see Full Review

Impression. French Chamber Music Masterpieces Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924): Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor* Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937): Piano Trio Juno’s Band (Jacqueline Shave (violin); Paul Watkins (cello); Ian Brown (piano); Roger Chase (viola)*) Recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk 20-21 June 2000 Metronome MET CD 1048 [57’ 22"] [JQ]

Good, sensitive and idiomatic performances … see Full Review
You can sample, download tracks or purchase this disc


Reynaldo HAHN (1874-1947) Sonata for Violin and Piano Quintet for Strings and Piano Denis Clavier (violin) Dimitris Saroglou (piano) Quatuor Denis Clavier Recorded in the Esplanade Hall, Metz in September 1997 MAGUELONE MAG 111.107 [63.27] [IL]

Beautifully melodic, here are riches in abundance for the unashamedly romantic. Impeccably played, this music deserves to be much better known. … see Full Review

Roy HARRIS (1898-1979) Symphony No. 7 (1952, revised 1955) Symphony No. 9 (1962) Epilogue to Profiles in Courage - JFK (1964) National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar Recorded in the Grand Concert Studio, National Radio Company of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine, 19th - 27th June 1999. NAXOS 8.559050 [57.49] [NH]

Serious but highly listenable music from an under-recorded American giant.….. see Full Review

Jón LEIFS (1899-1968) Baldr Op. 34 - A Choreographic Drama in Two Acts (1943-47) Gunnar Guðbjörnsson (ten) ... Óðin Schola Cantorum/Hörður Áskelsson Iceland SO/Kari Kropsu rec Jan 2001, Halgrim's Church, Reykjavik, DDD BIS-CD-1230/1231 [40.05+49.37] [RB]

Tough, tonal, uncompromising music, rhythmically emphatic, not without melodic softness, hewn out of granite and adversity. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 in A minor "Tragic" (1903-4) Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken/Günter Herbig Recorded "live" at the Congresshalle, Saarbrücken on 26th November 1999 BERLIN CLASSICS 0094612BC [75:38]

One of the very best recordings of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony available … see Full Review


RACHMANINOV Sergei (1873-1943) Variations on a Theme of Chopin, op. 22 SCHUMANN Robert (1810-1856) Carnaval, op. 9 SCHULZ-EVLER Andrei (1852-1905) Arabesken über Themen des Walzers An der schönen blauen Donau von Johann Strauss Mauricio Vallina (pianoforte) Recorded May and June 2001, Henry Wood Hall, London EMI CLASSICS CDM 5 67936 2 [69’ 53"] [CH]

It’s a long time since I heard a new artist who holds out such hope for the future and I shall follow his career with the greatest interest. ...see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1907-1975) Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11 in G minor Op. 103, The Year 1905 (1957) London Symphony Orchestra/Mstislav Rostropovich Recorded live March 2002, Barbican, London. LSO LIVE LSO0030 [72’24"] [MB]

A remarkable disc of a remarkable concert. World class playing allied with incredible musicianship. Certainly the finest recording of the modern era. … see Full Review

Zygmunt STOJOWSKI (1870-1946) Piano Concerto No 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 3 [35.01] Piano Concerto No 2 in A flat major (Prologue, Scherzo and Variations), Op. 32 [33.01] Jonathan Plowright (piano) BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins Recorded in the Caird Hall, Dundee, 6-7 June 2001 The Romantic Piano Concerto: Volume 28 HYPERION CDA67314 [68.12] [JQ]

Two marvellous, scandalously neglected romantic piano concertos. Rush out, buy it – and enjoy! … see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)12 Sonatas for Violin and Continuo Opus 2 Cordaria, Walter Reiter, violin.Rec: May and August, 1998. SIGNUM SIGCD014 [106.34] [KM]

An excellent recording of some of Vivaldi's earliest works. Far from being immature works, these sonatas take on a new dimension in this performance. Highly recommended. ...see Full Review [KM]
An enjoyable disc which encourages interest in the work and should prompt further and more varied recorded interpretations. … see Full Review [AR]
You can sample, download tracks or purchase this disc



Bernd Alois ZIMMERMANN (1918-70) Die Soldaten, an opera in four acts after the play by Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz; Mark Munkittrick (Wesener); Nancy Shade (Marie Wesener); Milagro Vargas (Charlotte, her sister); Grace Hoffmann (Wesener’s mother); Michael Ebbecke (Stolzius, her betrothed); Elsie Maurer (Stolzius’s mother); William Cochran (Desportes); Alois Treml (Obrist); Gregor Brodocz (Gamekeeper); Guy Renard (Pirzel); Karl-Friedrich Dürr (Eisenhardt); Klaus Hirte (Haudy); Raymond Wolansky (Major von Mary); Ursula Koszut (Countess de la Roche); Jerrold van der Schaaf (the young Count); Johannes Eidloth, Robert Wörle, Helmut Holzapfel (Young Officers); Stuttgart State Opera Chorus, Staatsorchester Stuttgart/Bernhard Kontarsky Harry Kupfer (director) Wolf Münzner (sets and costumes) Hans Hulscher (video director) ARTHAUS DVD 100 270 [111’] [PQ]

Die Soldaten - the only game in town – and its dark message and unsettling music demand to be heard. … see Full Review

NOS SOUVENIRS Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931) Rêve d’enfant, Op. 14 Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Sonata for violin and piano No.1 in A major, Op.13 Ernst CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Nos souvenirs Cécile CHAMINADE (1857-1944) Sérénade espagnole César FRANCK (1822-1890) Sonata for violin and piano in A major Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Beau soir Laurent Korcia (violin) Jean-Marc Luisada (piano) Recorded in Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh, 19-23 April, 2001 RCA RED SEAL 74321 877622 [69.00] [TH]

Subtlety and understatement, saving the virtuosic swagger and panache for the suitable climactic points. … see Full Review




BARGAIN OF THE MONTHLudwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.1 in C major Op.21 (1800), Symphony No.2 in D major Op.36 (1801), Symphony No.3 in E flat major Op.55 "Eroica" (1804), Symphony No.4 in B flat major Op.60 (1806), Symphony No.5 in C minor Op.67 (1808), Symphony No.6 in F major Op. 68 "Pastoral"(1808), Symphony No.7 in A major Op. 92 (1812), Symphony No.8 in F major Op.93 (1812), Symphony No.9 in D minor Op.125 "Choral" (1824), Staatskapelle Dresden, Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Herbert Blomstedt, conductor - Recorded 1975-1980, Lukaskirche, Dresden. (Licensed from Edel Classics) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99927/1-5 [5CDs: 76.52+72.25+78.55+69.06+72.18] [NH]

A masterly and visionary cycle offered at a ridiculously low price….See Full review

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) THE PIANO WORKS Various performers[Contents listed complete at foot of review] 13 CD set DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99802-1-13 [GPJ]

It represents almost unbelievable value and musically, it is simply a gold-mine. … see Full Review

Benjamin FRANKEL (1906-1973) Symphony No. 1 (1958) [25.33] Symphony No. 2 (1962) [35.36] Symphony No. 3 (1964) [17.24] Symphony No. 4 (1966) [25.02] Symphony No. 5 (1967) [18.03] Symphony No. 6 (1969) [28.21] Symphony No. 7 (1970) [28.03] Symphony No. 8 (1971) [24.14] Overture: May Day (1948) [9.26] Mephistopheles Serenade and Dance (1952) [6.09] Overture to a Ceremony (1971) A Shakespeare Overture (1956) The composer introducing his symphonies 2 and 3 - Queensland SO/Werner Andreas Albert - rec ABC Studio 420, Ferry Road, Brisbane, Australia, May 1993, Apr 1994, Oct 1994, Sept 1995, April 1999 - CPO 999 661-2 [4CDs: 53.24+59.18+60.03+70.27=243.12] [RB]

Frankel stands with Hartmann and Vermeulen - different but just as rebellious; given to melody, distilled by serial technique, malleably emotional, lambently orchestrated and flooded with light. … see Full Review

Benjamin FRANKEL (1906-1973) Complete String Quartets Nomos-Quartett rec 7-9 Feb 1996, 14-16 June 1996, Zentralsaal Bamberg DDD CPO 999 420-2 [2CDs: 52.55+37.53] [RB] [HC]

Frankel's credo was melody and its magnetic communicative power … rapt and saturatedly lyrical... [RB]
Excellent readings from the Nomos playing with utmost conviction and commitment. [HC] … see Full Review


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Yevgeny Svetlanov, who died on 3rd May in Moscow, was one of the most mercurial of Russia’s post-war conductors – both in his temperament and his music-making. A frequent visitor to Britain he was due to conduct the Philharmonia on Sunday 5th May in a typical programme of Russian masterworks, music in which he excelled. Over the years, British orchestras, the LSO, LPO and BBC SO amongst them, entrusted the symphonies of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Shostakovich to Svetlanov’s impulsive style of interpretation. But it was the Philharmonia with which he established the most long lasting relationship – one that started in the early 1970s and continued almost annually thereafter. It was rare indeed to find a Philharmonia season in which Svetlanov did not conduct at least one concert. It is, therefore, somewhat ironic that he recorded so little with the orchestra, although the recording he made with the Philharmonia of Glazunov’s Four Season’s is a very fine one.

His style of interpretation owed much to Mravinsky – and like him, Svetlanov was capable of securing a fabulous string sound from his players. His own USSR Orchestra had a profoundly sonorous string tone, and this was something which he partly relished in the European orchestras he guest conducted. Svetlanov never cared much for the brass or woodwind in an orchestra and in Russia at least the sound was often pungent and coarse. If it never sounded too distracting it was partly because Svetlanov’s interpretations inhabited a similar world. I remember a couple of years ago a Mahler 9th which Svetlanov conducted with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra – a performance as dynamic in extremes and explorative in manner as it would be possible to hear today, and a lifetime away from the refined interpretations so often heard in London, Berlin and Vienna. It was a cataclysmic performance which reached real heights of greatness in the great string perorations of the final movement. Typical Svetlanov.

His last concert in Britain was with the BBC SO and critics noticed the sublime playing of an orchestra clearly enjoying the opportunity to play with an inspirational conductor. His concerts were rarely less than inspirational events.

A difficult, even obtuse, man Svetlanov communicated with orchestras only through interpreters – and in one famous instance, with the LPO, by saying absolutely nothing at all for an entire hour and a half of rehearsal; the results were sublime and emphatic in the concert performance. Latterly he had spent much time in the Netherlands and guest conducting elsewhere, a position in part thrust upon Svetlanov by his summary dismissal as chief conductor of his USSR Orchestra two years ago, a position he had held without interruption since the 1960s. His sudden death robs us of a huge talent it is difficult to imagine being replaced: a younger generation of Russian conductors have become a little too westernised to give us the sort of authentic Russian performance Svetlanov excelled at.

Marc Bridle

This year's Proms season has just been announced and it looks like being a vintage season with opera and choral works forming the backbone of this greatest of music festivals. HIghlights of the season must include Prom 30, a performance of Mahler's Eighth Symphony conducted by Simon Rattle (National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain) and Prom 44 a pairing of Martha Argerich and Claudio Abbado with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in Bartok, Ravel (the G major piano concerto) and Debussy. Also promising to be of outstanding interest are three concerts by the Kirov Opera under Gergiev, including a complete performance of Boris Godunov and the UK premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina's St John Passion. They conclude their visit to the Proms with a performance of Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto (Toradze) and Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony. Bryn Terfel and Renee Fleming sing together in a Welsh National Orchestra Prom spanning Wagner, Strauss, Mozart and light music whilst there is a rare performance of Schoenberg's Romantic masterpiece Gurrelieder under the BBC SO and Donald Runnicles. Visiting orchestras come from Spain, France, Denmark and Holland with Riccardo Chailly conducting his Royal Concertgebouw in Mahler's Third Symphony. The Los Angeles Philharmonic under their chief conductor, Esa Pekka Salonen, play two concerts the first of Debussy, Ravel and Prokofiev and in their second concert take on this years Choral Symphony (coupled with Shostakovich's Second). James Levine makes a welcome return to the Proms with the wonderful Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in an enterprising programme of HIndemith, Mozart, Varese (Ameriques) and Ravel. The LSO have two Proms this year - one under Jansons the other under Haitink, whilst the Philharmonia bring with them their Music Director, Christoph von Dohnanyi in Strauss, Beethoven and Dvorak. The LPO play Elijah under their chief conductor Kurt Masur.

Full details of all Proms can be read on the BBC's website at: www.bbc.co.uk/proms. Seen & Heard will be covering much of the season.

Marc Bridle



MusicWeb is planning its first recording of previously unrecorded orchestral pieces by Arthur Butterworth. If you would wish to part-sponsor that recording please contact len@musicweb-international.com

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

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[Detailed listing (last two days)]
[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc] 
[Part 7 Misc]


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Len Mullenger


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