> Classical CD Reviews February 2002 part 5 S-Z: Classical MusicWeb (UK)

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Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Overture : La Princesse jaune, Requiem , Symphony No.3 (Organ Symphony) Tinuke Olafimihan (soprano) Catherine Wyn-Rogers (contralto) Anthony Roden (tenor) Simon Kirkbride (bass) James O’Donnell (organ) The Hertfordshire, Harlow, and East London Choruses London Philharmonic Orchestra Geoffrey Simon (conductor) Recorded at All Saints Church, Gospel Oak,, London, 14 -19 January 1993 Grand Organ recorded at Westminster Cathedral, 15 April 1993 CALA CACD 1032 [78.27] [CF]

The performers on this excellent disc all serve the music well, the acoustics sufficiently spacious for this ethereal music, and the excellent quartet of soloists blend magnificently. .. see Full Listing

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Complete Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 1 [182.54] "Essercizi per gravicembalo" (London, 1738) Sonatas Kirkpatrick 1-48 Pieter-Jan Belder, harpsichord Rec: Autumn 2000, Remonstrantse Kerk Deventer. BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99740 [182.54 3CD] Superbudget

A magnificent set. Fans of Scarlatti will be delighted to know that there is another complete recordings in the works, and, the wait certainly seems likely to be worthwhile. … see Full Listing

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Concerto for Mixed Chorus (1984/5) [40.58] Voices of Nature (Golosa prirodi) (1972)[5.07] Minnesang (1980/81) [18.32] Holst singers Stephen Layton Rec. All Hallows’, Gospel Oak, 13-15 Jul 2001 HYPERION CDA67297[64.48] [AT]

This disc is hugely welcome. The sound of a composer under the yoke of communism trying to explore matters of the spirit whilst forbidden to make expressly devotional music is fascinating and, ultimately, uplifting. … see Full Review

Franz SCHREKER (1878-1934) Ekkehard Overture - Fantastic Overture- Interlude from Der Schatzgräber - Prelude, Die Gezeichneten - Prelude, Das Spielwerk Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/Edgar Seipenbusch Rec 16 Nov 1985 (Ekkehard & Fantastic Overtures), 24 July 1987 (remaining items), Concert Hall of the Slovak Philharmonic, Bratislava NAXOS 8.555246 [54.05] [TB]

Schreker's may be a worthy cause, but it will not be hugely advanced by this disc. … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies – No. 8 in B minor, D759, ‘Unfinished’; No. 9 in C, D944, ‘Great’. Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra/Günter Wand. Recorded in 1980 (‘Unfinished’) and 1977 (‘Great’) [ADD] RCA RED SEAL 74321 6800-7-2 [78.11] Budget [CC]

Günter Wand is a natural Schubertian whose interpretations have given much joy and inspiration over the years. A true bargain: there is precious little symphonic Schubert as satisfying as this, at any price....see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise D911 Jules Bastin (bass) Ursula Kneihs (piano) Rec. Abbaye de Stavalot, France 1978 PAVANE RECORDS ADW 7406 [70.26] [RJF]

Fans of Bastin, and others, who simply enjoy the sound of a good voice in perfect condition, will find this disc an enjoyable bargain. … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die Schöne Mullerin [65.17] Winterreise [75.21] Olaf Bär, baritone; Geoffrey Parsons, piano Rec: June 1986, Lukaskirche, Dresden; December 1988, Abbey Road, London. EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 74855 2 4 [140.38] [KM]

At a bargain price, this should not be missed. Bär is one of the great lieder singers of recent times. see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Fantasy in C, D760, ‘Wanderer’. Piano Sonata No. 18 in G, D894. Elisabeth Leonskaja (piano) Recorded in Teldec Studio, Berlin in November 1988. [DDD] WARNER APEX 0927 40831-2 [66.54] [CC]

Unfortunately, even at super-budget price this disc does not offer enough to be recommendable. … see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphony no. 1 in B flat, op. 38 – "Spring" Symphony no. 4 in D minor, op. 120 Philharmonia Orchestra/Christian Thielemann Recorded 2.2001, All Hallows Church, London DG 469 700-2 [68.48] [CH]

The famous Schumann cycles are all in their various ways classical interpretations. If you prefer a romantic alternative then give these daringly well-meaning versions a try. … see Full Review

Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 1975) Symphony No. 8 (1943) Rehearsal Sequence Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Mariss Jansons
recorded in the Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh 9/11-2-01 - DDD. EMI CLASSICS CDC 5 71762-2 [75.10] [JP]

Jansons delivers the Symphony immaculately prepared and performed with that additional spark which makes certain recordings very special. see...Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Works for String Orchestra Ett ensamt skidspör, for reciter, strings and harp - Grevinnans konterfej, for reciter and strings - Incidental music: Rodlan, Opus 8 - Presto - Andante Festivo - Rakastava, Opus 14 - Romance, Opus 42 - Suite Champêtre Opus 98b - Impromptu - Suite for violin and strings, Opus 114 - Lilga Kovanku, Matti Lehtinen (reciters) - Jari Valo (violin) Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra/Juha Kangas - Rec September 1993, Kaustinen Church, Finland WARNER APEX 09274 06072 (76.23) [TB]

An interesting issue, containing some splendid music, though not everything comes from Sibelius's top drawer. … see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) String Quartet, Op. 56, ‘Voces intimae’.
Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) String Quartet in G minor, Op. 27. New Helsinki String Quartet. Recorded at Sigyn Hall, Finland, September 1997. [DDD] WARNER APEX 0927-40601-2 [72.57] Superbudget [CC]

The New Helsinki String Quartet present both pieces in the best possible light: one comes away enriched from the experience. … see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Complete Symphonies and Selected Miscellaneous Works Conducted by Paavo BERGLUND Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestras (HPO), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO), choirs and soloists as listed Rec. Dec. 1970 (5), Jan. 1972 (2, 4), May 1978 (3), Guildhall, Southampton, no date given for (1) EMI 5 74485 2 (8 CDs, timings as above) Superbudget [CH]

One of the greatest symphonic cycles, plus many shorter pieces, under a conductor who shows a deep understanding and profound identification with it. In the end I felt I was listening, not to Berglund, but to Sibelius. see Full Review

Elie SIEGMEISTER (1909-1991) Prelude, Blues and Finale (1984) - American Chamber Ensemble & Stanley Drucker City Songs (1977) - Clinton Ingram, tenor with Alan Mandel , piano - Theme and Variations for solo piano (1932) - played by Alan Mandel - Songs of Innocence (1972 rev., 1985) Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, soprano with Alan Mandel, piano - Studio recording 1986 - reissued from Gasparo LP GS-253 in 1999 GASPARO GSS 2008 [57.58] [GH]

Alan Mandel plays eloquently. Siegmeister's music is dissonant and unrepentant. … see Full Review

Nikos SKALKOTTAS (1904 – 1949) String Quartet No.1 (1928)
Zehn Stücke für Streichquartett (1940) Octet (1934)² String Trio No.2 (1935) Geros Dimos (1949)
The New Hellenic Quartet; Jan Bengtson (flute)²; Per Huderson (oboe)²; Per Billman (clarinet)²; Christian Davidson (bassoon)²
Recorded: Nybrokajen, Stockholm, April 2000 BIS CD-1124 [65:16] [HC]

The musicians play with conviction, technical assurance and full understanding of Skalkottas’s music. … see Full Review

Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) The Bartered Bride
Soloists Orchestra and Chorus of the National Opera Company of Prague Conductor: Otakar Ostrcil Recorded in Vienna, from 6 to 23 June, 1933 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110098-99 [2 CDs 117.51] [FC]

For those who enjoyed the recent ENO production of this opera and want a recording in the original language there can be no better choice than this fine, budget priced, and all-Czech historical reissue. … see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein Heldenleben, Tod und Verklarung Concertgebouw Orchestra Willem Mengelberg conductor Recorded Concertgebouw 1941 (Ein Heldenleben) and 1942 (Tod und Verklarung NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110161 [65.54] [JP]

Concentration on the grand gestures, astonishing virtuosity and a warmth and humanity in the playing which is often breathtaking. … see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ariadne auf Naxos. Deborah Voigt (soprano) Ariadne/Primadonna; Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo) Composer; Natalie Dessay (soprano) Zerbinetta; Ben Heppner (tenor) Tenor Staatskapelle Dresden/Giuseppe Sinopoli.Recorded in the Lukaskirche, Dresden in September and December 2000. DG 471 323-2[two discs] [122.01] [CC]

Billed by DG as Giuseppe Sinopoli’s last opera recording, this star-clad Ariadne acts as a reminder of all the strengths of this cruelly-underrated conductor/composer (underrated in the UK, at least). Certainly this is a major addition to the Strauss discography, and a most distinguished exit from the recorded vaults of opera for Sinopoli. … see Full Review

Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) The Golden Legend - cantata Janice Watson (sop), Jean Rigby (mezzo), Mark Wilde (ten), Jeffrey Black (bar), Jonathan Brown (ten) London Chorus, New London Symphony Orchestra, Ronald Corp Rec: All Saints Church, Tooting, London; Feb. 2001 HYPERION CDA67280 [94.47] [CW]

The appearance of "The Golden Legend" on commercial CD is a milestone long overdue, and this performance can be heartily welcomed on nearly all counts. ...see Full Review

LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Peter TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Sleeping Beauty Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) The Swan of Tuonela Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Les preludes (symphonic Poem No 3) Leopold Stokowski and his Symphony Orchestra Recorded December 1947 CALA CACD 0522 [76.56] [JW]

The performances date from December 1947. The sound rather splendidly forward and has emerged well refurbished. … see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Opus 11 String Quartet No. 3 in E flat minor, Opus 30 St Lawrence String Quartet Rec 20-16 April 2001, The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Vancouver EMI CLASSICS CDC5 57144 [69.42] [TB]

This is an excellent performance, and the recording is good too, an unqualified success after the qualified success of the First Quartet. This is altogether a splendid disc, although the recording by the Borodin Quartet is better still. … see Full Review

John WILLIAMS (b.1932) -Treesong (2000) Dreamily. "Doctor Hu and the Metasequoia" - Twice as fast – Deciso. "Trunks, Branches and Leaves" - Tempo Primo. "The Tree Sings" - Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1974-76, rev. 1998) In memory of B.R.W. - Moderato - Slowly (in peaceful contemplation) - Broadly (Maestoso) - Quickly
Three Pieces from "Schindler’s List" (1993)
Theme. Lente - Jewish Town (Kraków Ghetto – Winter ’41). Andante - Remembrances. Andante - Gil Shaham, Violin Boston Symphony Orchestra/John Williams - Recorded: Boston Symphony Hall, USA, 1999-2000
DG CD 471 326-2 [66:05] [SHJ]

A landmark disc of John Williams' major violin compositions. Haunting yet very beautiful pieces, they are performed in this superlative recording by the outstanding Gil Shaham and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.… see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): 1) The Lark Ascending* [14.49] 2) Fantasia on Greensleeves (arr. Greaves)** [4.10] 3) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis** [14.41] Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) 4) Serenade in E minor, Op. 20 [11.08] 5) Variations on an Original Theme Enigma, Op. 36 [31.00] *David Nolan (violin) London Philharmonic Orchestra **Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Vernon Handley Recorded: St. Augustines, Kilburn 24 & 25 June, 1985 (items 1 & 4); Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool November & December, 1990 (items 2 & 3); Watford Town Hall 30 & 31 January, 1983 (item 5) CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE CFPCD 7243 5 74880 2 0 [76.19] Superbudget [JQ]

Central performances and the sound is consistent and good. Collectors wanting either a first recording of any of these works or an inexpensive alternative will not go wrong here. see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) On Wenlock Edge*
Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937) The Western Playland** Ludlow and Teme* * Adrian Thompson (tenor); ** Stephen Varcoe (baritone) Iain Burnside (piano); The Delmé String Quartet Rec 23, 24, 26 October 1989 HYPERION CDA66385 [69.08] [JQ]

Though I have one or two reservations about this issue it is nonetheless a very welcome release, particularly for the Gurney cycles, and all lovers of English song will want to hear it. see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The House of Life, Songs of Travel John IRELAND (1879-1962) The Land of Lost Content Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937) Down by the Salley Gardens, An Epitaph, Desire in Spring, Black Stitchel George BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916) Six Songs from "A Shropshire Lad" Peter WARLOCK (1894-1930) A Prayer to St. Anthony, The Sick Heart, My Own Country, Passing By, Pretty Ring Time Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), David Willison (piano) Recorded 1974, Hornsey Town Hall (RVW), 1975, Assembly Hall, Northwood College (others) EMI CLASSICS CZS5 74785 2 [2 CDs: 55.08, 44.48] Superbudget price [CH]

I firmly believe that British song has a rightful place in the repertoire of recitalists of all nationalities. I’m not sure that the treasures are to be found where we tend to think they are, nor that we always sing them in the best way to bring out their beauty. These CDs only serve to reinforce my view. see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Toward the Unknown Region (1), Dona nobis pacem (2), Fantasia (quasi variazione) on the Old 104th Psalm Tune (3), Magnificat (4), Partita (5), Concerto Grosso (6), Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis (7), Romance in D flat (8), The Lark Ascending (9) Sheila Armstrong (soprano) (2), Helen Watts (contralto) (4), John Carol Case (baritone) (2), Peter Katin (pianoforte) (3), Jean Pougnet (9), Christopher Hyde-Smith (flute) (4), Larry Adler (harmonica) (8), Ambrosian Singers (4), London Philharmonic Choir (1, 2), BBC Symphony Orchestra (8), London Philharmonic Orchestra (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9), Orchestra Nova of London (4), Philharmonia Orchestra (7)/Sir Adrian Boult (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9), Meredith Davies (4), Sir Malcolm Sargent (7, 8)Recording dates: 20 Oct. 1952 (8), 21 Oct. 1952 (9), 5 June 1959 (7), 12 Feb. 1970 (3), 16 June 1970 (4), 16-18 April 1973 (1, 2), 10 & 15 Oct. 1975 (5, 6)Locations: Kingsway Hall, London (1, 2), No. 1 Studio Abbey Road, London (3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9), St. Augustine’s, Kilburn (7) EMI CLASSICS CZS 5 74782 2 [2 CDs: 76.16 + 72.34] Superbudget

"Dona nobis pacem" is essential and alone worth the price of the set. But there is much else, too. … see Full Review

Tomas Torrejon y VELASCO (1644-1728) Musique à la Cité des Rois 1. A este sol peregrino 2’33" 2. Cuando el bien que adoro 3’54" 3. Es mi rosa bella 2’52"
4. Si ei alba sonora 5’08" 5. Cuatro plumajes airoses 4’42" 6. Psaume Nisi Dominus 6’38" 7. Lamentation du mercredi Saint 3’26" 8. Messe à six voix 12’01" 9. Psaume Dixit Dominus 5’15" Recordings made in l’eglise de Saint-Pierre aux Nonnains (Metz) on 30 June and 2 July 1993 Ensemble Elyma Coro de Niños de Córdoba (Argentina) Directed by Gabriele Garrido K617 ‘LES CHEMIN DU BAROQUE’ K617035 [47.14]

At 47 minutes this disc is definitely on the short side, and the music is interesting enough that a couple more pieces would have been welcome. … see Full Review

Anna Bon di VENEZIA (1740-1767) Six Sonatas for Harpsichord (1757) Sonata 1 in g minor Allegro - Andantino - Allegretto, Sonata 2 in B flat major Allegro non molto - Andante - Allegro, Sonata 3 in F major Allegretto - Adagio - Minuetto, Sonata 4 in C major Allegro - Largo - Allegro Assai, Sonata 5 in b minor Allegro moderato - Adagio non molto - Allegro, Sonata 6 in C major Allegro - Andante - Minuetto con Variazione Paule van Parys - Harpsichord - Recorded in St Annenkapel, Diest in April 1995 PAVANE ADW 7338 [66.42] [PW]

A pity that van Parys does not seem to be willing to give a little more of herself to allow Anna Bon di Venezia to come across as anything more than ‘interesting’. … see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 1901) Verdi - Domingo - The Tenor Arias various New Recordings (Chung): DDD: Rome, Auditorio di Via della Conciliazione, 4/1999; New York, Master Sound Astoria, 3/2001 New Recordings (Gergiev): DDD: Baden-Baden, Festspielhaus, 7/2000; Salzburg, Aula der Theologischen Fakultät der Universität, Salzburg, 8/2000; New York, Master Sound Astoria, 10/2000 ADD / DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 471 335-2 [4CD] [RMK]

For the Domingo addict this is a must; for the Verdi addict this is a maybe depending on your collection and the need for single arias (and some alternatives) from his lesser known operas see Full Review

Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) Quintet for Piano and Strings, Op. 42* [30.35] String Quartet, Op. 12 [22.25] Athenaeum Enesco String Quartet Constantin Bogdanas & Florin Szigeti (violins); Dan Iarca (viola); Dorel Fodoreanu (cello) *Gabriel Tacchino (piano) Recorded at Adyar Hall, Paris in September, 1999 PIERRE VERANY PV700011 [53.35] [JQ]

This Quintet is a significant discovery. It is imposingly played and the recorded sound is good. This release is warmly recommended to any lovers of French music or of chamber music who wish to explore something a little off the beaten track. ...see Full Review

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Forest of the Amazon Renee Fleming (soprano) Chorus of the Moscow Physics and Engineering Institute Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Alfred Heller Recorded Nov – Dec 1994 and April 1995 in Studio 5, State House for Broadcasting and Recording, Moscow
DELOS DE 1037 [74.05] [JQ]

This CD will be of greatest appeal to devotees of Villa-Lobos’s music who should snap up this rarity while it remains available. … see Full Review

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS Symphony no. 10: "Amerindia". Carla Wood (mezzo-soprano), Carlo Scibelli (tenor), Nmon Ford-Livene (bass-baritone)
Santa Barbara Choral Society, USCB Chamber Choir, Donald Brinegar Singers
Santa Barbara SO / Gisèle Ben-Dor. KOCH INTERNATIONAL CLASSICS 3-7488-2 [c.52.00] [GR]

Self-recommending to lovers of this composer (I count myself for one), it is certainly worth exploring by those who know him only for the Bachianas Brasileiras. … see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Four Seasons; Violin Concertos op.8 nos.1-4, RV269, 315, 293, 297 Concertos RV581 and 582, for the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary London Mozart Players David Juritz (violin and director) Recorded at the church of St Silas the Martyr, Chalk Farm, London, on 1 and 2 March 1999 NAXOS DVD 5.110001 [62.39] [PQ]

Beguiles from the start with the sensitive and alert responses of the London Mozart Players. … see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI Music for cello and orchestra Cello Concerto in E minor, Cello Concerto in G major RV 413, Concerto for strings and cembalo in D, Cello Concerto in G major, R 417, Concerto for strings and cembalo in A major, Concerto for two cellos RV 411 Alexandre Debrus (cello) (second cello - Elaine Debrus-Boucher) Arpeggio Chamber orchestra/Gilberte Boucher Rec 1990s? (DDD) PAVANE ADW 7352 [63.32] [DW]

A mixed reception for this disc but it has much to commend it. … see Full Review

Richard WAGNER Parsifal - Act 2 (complete) and finale Act 3 Sung in German Act 2 (complete) First performance August 1882, Bayreuth, Germany Parsifal - Lauritz Melchior (tenor) Kundry - Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) Klingsor - Arnold Gabor (baritone) Vocal Ensemble and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera, New York Erich Leinsdorf (conductor) Recorded live on 15 April 1938 Act 3 (Finale): Parsifal - Lauritz Melchior (tenor) Amfortas - Herbert Janssen (baritone) GUILD HISTORICAL 2201 [76.21] [CF] [RF]

Melchior was a supreme Parsifal while Kundry was nothing short of sublime in her phrasing, with a kaleidoscopic variety of drama and vocal colour being at the core of her interpretation. [CF]
Such performances as Parsifal are legendary and given the quality of the recording, in its own right not merely in comparison with the EJS or Myto transcriptions, Wagnerians will want this issue in their collection. [RF]… see Full Review


Richard WAGNER Siegfried Sung in German First performance August 1876, Bayreuth, Germany Siegfried -Lauritz Melchior (tenor) Wotan - Friedrich Schorr (bass-baritone) Brünnhilde - Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) Mime - Karl Laufkoetter (tenor) Eduard - Habisch Alberich (bass-baritone) Erda - Kerstin Thorborg (contralto) Fafner - Emanuel List (bass) Woodbird - Stella Andreyeva (soprano) Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera, New York Artur Bodanzky (conductor) Recorded live on 30 January 1937 GUILD HISTORICAL 2207/9 [210.01]

John Steane once wrote, ‘to learn how Wagner could be sung, the public in general had to wait for the great days of Melchior, Schorr and Flagstad’. Well, here is the chance to experience such an occasion - seize it. … see Full Review [CF]
It is the singing that will draw purchasers; above all the name of Melchior. The greatest joy for Wagnerians is that Melchior is matched elsewhere in this wonderful cast. All in all, a formidable performance and welcome addition to the catalogue … see Full Review [RF]

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde (1865) Kirsten Flagstad (Isolde), Lauritz Melchior (Tristan), Sabine Kalter (Brangane), Herbert Janssen (Kurwenal), Emmanuel List (King Marke), Frank Sale (Melot), Roy Devereux (Sailor), Octave Dua (Shepherd), Leslie Horseman (Steersman). Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden London Philharmonic Orchestra/Fritz Reiner Recorded at Covent Garden during performances on 18th May and 2nd June 1936. Archivist and restoration producer Ward Marston NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110068-70 [3 CDs 209.29] [TD]

A remarkable document of recorded history and a performance of rare and compelling power that, in spite of historic sound, is one of the greatest recordings of this opera ever made. … see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde (1865) Isolde – Gertrud Grob-Prandl (sop) Tristan – Max Lorenz (ten) Brangane – Elsa Cavelti (sop) Kurwenal – Siegurd Bjorling (bar) King Marke – Sven Nilsson (bass) La Scala Orchestra and Chorus, Victor de Sabata Recorded live at La Scala, Milan, 13th December 1951 ARCHIPEL RECORDS ARPCD 0027-3 [3 CDs: 73.11, 56.34, 65.01] [MB]

This is without doubt the most searing Tristan on record, and for that reason it is indispensable. … see Full Review

Bruno WALTER (1876-1962) Sonata for piano and violin Karl GOLDMARK (1857-1934) Suite No. 1 in D major for violin and piano, Opus 11 Philippe Graffin (violin, Pascal Devoyon (piano) Rec 15-16 Jan 1999 (Walter, 23 June 2000 (Goldmark), Henry Wood Hall HYPERION CDA67220 [64.41] [TB]

Spectacular recorded sound. Both pieces sound excellent, with real presence and an ideal ambience for this instrumental pairing. … see Full Review

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Façade, Suites Nos I & II, Viola Concerto, Variations on a Theme by Hindemith, Paul Neubauer (viola) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Litton Rec March 1996, Guildhall, Southampton DECCA 470 200 2 [71.30] [TB]

The Bournemouth Orchestra is an international orchestra which happens to be based in the regions. The playing is assured. Recorded sound very good. … see Full Review

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Peter Schmoll and his Neighbours (1802) Busching, Schmidt, Pteffer, Basa, Porcher, Schöpflin Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra/Gerhard Markson Rec. Hagen, 1993 MARCO POLO 8.223592-3 [91.48] [RW]

Delightfully fresh, deserving revival. Weber is not short of ideas, and his arias embrace a number of charming melodies and motifs. The soloists are strong and blend well in the many duets and trios. … see Full Review

Anton WEBERN (1883-1945) Passacaglia, Opus 1, Five Movements for Strings, Opus 5, Six Pieces, Opus 6, Five Pieces, Opus 10, Symphony, Opus 21 Variations, Opus 30 Ulster Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa Rec 29-30 March 2000, Ulster Hall, Belfast NAXOS 8.554841 [52.27] [TB]

Yuasa and the Ulster Orchestra are wholly convincing and can take justifiable pride in their achievement. Confidently recommended. see Full Review

Silvius Leopold WEISS (1686-1750) LUTE SONATAS TRANSCRIBED FOR GUITAR Kurt Schneeweiß (guitar) ARTE NOVA CLASSICS 74321 77063 2 (10 CDs) Superbudget [AD]

This rather turgid, flat-landscaped view of this music falls short of the mark and does little to enhance Weiss's legacy. … see Full Review

Domenico ZIPOLI Vespers of St Ignacio Ensemble Elyma Coro de Niños de Córdoba (Argentine) Directed by Gabriel Garrido Recordings made in L’église de Saint-Pierre aux Nonnains (Metz); 27-29 November 1992 K617 ‘LES RÉFÉRENCES’ K617FC4 [55.35] [PW]

Apart from the children, this disc bears repeated listening and is well worth having. … 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]   

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   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

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