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Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911). Symphony No 2 in C Minor Resurrection - Kathleen Ferrier (con) and Joan Vincent (sop) Concertgebouw Orchestra. Amsterdam Toonkunstchoir. Cond. Otto Klemperer - Live performance given at the Holland Festival on 6 July 1951. Bargain Price GUILD IMMORTAL PERFORMANCE SERIES GHCD 2210 [77.41] [RJF]

If you are a Mahler or Ferrier fan, and haven't heard this performance, which is in good sound, then invest the modest cost, you will be well rewarded. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.1 in D major Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Lorin Maazel (Recorded in the Musikverin, Vienna in 1986) SONY ESSENTIAL CLASSICS SBK89783 [57.54] Superbudget [TD]

A disappointing interpretation from Maazel although superbly played and richly recorded. … see Full Review

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No 7 Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado Live recording, Philharmonie, Berlin May 2001 Full Price DG 417 623-2 [78’07] [MB]

One of Abbado’s greatest recordings - and one of a handful of Mahler symphonies which are truly unequalled in their inspiration. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.7 in E minor (1904-5) Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra/Kirill Kondrashin (Recorded "live" at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam 29th November 1979) Remastering by Charles Eddi at Sofreson from a recording by NPS Radio TAHRA TAH451 [72.24] [TD]

A superb performance of Mahler’s Seventh to be ranked with the finest but carrying an extra magic only "live" performance with realistic concert hall recording balance can bring. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.9 in D Minor (1908-1909) Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Bruno Walter Recorded "live" on 16th January 1938 in the Musikverein,Vienna Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110852 [70.43] [TD]

A fine new version of this legendary recording. … see Full Review

Gian Francesco MALIPIERO (1882 – 1973) I Capricci di Callot (1942) Martina Winter (soprano), Giacinta; Markus Müller (tenor), Giglio; Gro Bente Kjellevold (mezzo-soprano), la Vecchia Beatrice; Bernd Valentin (baritone), il Principe; Burkhard Ulrich (tenor), il Poeta; Jörg Sabrowski (baritone), una Maschera; Thomas Schmid-Kapfenburg (piano); Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra; Peter Marschik - Recorded (live): Opernhaus Kiel, May 1999 CPO 999 830-2 [56:36 + 36:36] [HC]

At the start of the enthusiastic applause greeting this performance, someone is heard shouting Bellissimo!. There is really nothing to add to this. … see Full Review

Jaakko MÄNTYJÄRVI (b. 1963) ECLECTICA - Jaakko Mäntyjärvi – Choral works Pseudo-Yoik - 4 Shakespeare Songs: Come away, death; Lullaby; Double, double, toil and trouble; Full fathom five - El Hambo - More Shakespeare Songs: Fear no more; Over hill, over dale; Time; Who is Sylvia; A scurvy tune - Psalm 150 in Grandsire Triples - Canticum Calamatatis Maritimae - Psalm 150 in Kent Treble Bob Minor - Kouta Tapiola Chamber Choir, Sibelius Academy Chamber Orchestra/Hannu Norjanen, Emmiliiana Tikkala, piccolo - Recorded in Roihuvuori Church, Helsinki, and Olari Church, Espoo, 2001(?) FINLANDIA 0927 41563 [69:09] [GPJ]

It’s very exciting when you come across a really talented new composer, one who has a distinctive voice and yet who can communicate strongly with the listener. … see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Trio in D Minor Op 49 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Trio in D minor Op 63 Jacques Thibaud, violin - Pablo Casals, cello - Alfred Cortot, piano - Recorded London 1927-28 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110185 [59’23] [JW]

Elegant, big tone, triumphant pianism, propulsive warmth … see Full Review

Gian Carlo MENOTTI (b.1911) The Saint of Bleeker Street - Musical Drama in Three Acts (1954) - Annina…………Julia Melinek (soprano) - Michele………..Timothy Richards (tenor) - Desideria………Pamela Helen Stephen (mezzo-soprano) - Don Marco…….John Marcus Brindle (bass-baritone) - Carmela………..Sandra Zeltzer (soprano) - Assunta………...Yvonne Howard (mezzo-soprano) - Salvatore……….Vitali Rozynko (baritone) Spoleto Festival Chorus and Orchestra/Richard Hickox - Recorded live at the Teatro Nuovo, Spoleto, Italy, 7, 10, 14 July 2001 DDD CHANDOS CHAN 9971(2) 2 Discs [51.20, 73.32] [TH]

Emotional intensity, good tunes, a sumptuously rich instrumental palette, and plenty of emotional clout. … see Full Review

Michael MENTION (1714-1788) Fantaisie, Impressions 1 - 3, Libidineuses 1 & 2, Sonatine, Ballade, Etudes 1 - 3, Sonata No. 2 Michael Mention piano recorded 7 9/6/99 in Bridges Hall of Music, Claremont, California, DDD PROdigital PRO - 4652 [68.09] [JP]

Mention's interpretations of his own works. Most of the works are relatively short, which is a good thing, as many modern works outstay their welcome, and this does not happen here. see Full Review

Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Piano Concerto - Concerto for Violin and Orchestra - Quartet No 7 - Six Chants Populaires Hébraïques - La Création du Monde - Suite Française - Marguerite Long, piano - Yvonne Astruc, violin - Galimir Quartet - Martial Singher, baritone - Darius Milhaud, piano - Orchestra Nationale, unnamed orchestra and Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York conducted by Darius Milhaud - Recorded 1931-46 PEARL GEM 0124 [72’04] [JW]

Most are classics of the twentieth century discography, many in still unsurpassed performances. … see Full Review

Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Alissa op 9, Trois Poèmes de Lucile de Chateaubriand op 10, D’un Cahier inédit d’Eugénie de Guérin op 27, Deux Poèmes de Coventry Patmore op 30 Florence Katz, mezzo-soprano Serge Cyferstein, piano Recorded Theatre de Poissy, May 1994 TIMPANI 1C1022 [56’06] [JW]

Exceptionally convincing, brilliantly accomplished and rather moving. … see Full Review
You can make a HUGE saving by downloading this disc

Benno MOISEIWITSCH - The Complete Acoustic Recordings - Louis DAQUIN (1694-1772) Le Coucou - Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Jardins sous la pluie, Clair de lune, Minstrels - Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849) Berceuse Op 57, Chant polonais No 5 arr LISZT, Prelude Op 28 No 20, Waltz Op 64 No 1, Waltz Op 70 No1, Impromptu Op 36, Nocturne Op 72 No 1, Mazurka Op posthumous - Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Jeux d’eau - Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Capriccio Op 76 No 2 - Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Nocturne for Left Hand Op 9 No2 - Selim PALMGREN (1878-1951) Bird Song, The Sea, Rococo - Jean Phillipe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Gavotte and Variations - Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) arr TAUSIG Pastorale, Capriccio - Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Hark Hark the Lark - Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Sonata Op 24 – Moto Perpetuum - Theodor LESCHETIZKY (1830-1915) Arabesque en forme d’Etude Op 45 No 1 - Leo DELIBES (1836-1891) Passepied - Moritz MOSKOWSKI La Jongleuse Op 52 No 4 - Modest MUSSOURGSKY (1839-1881) Gopak - Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Traumeswirren, Fruhlingssnacht arr LISZT - Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Barcarolle Op 30 No 1 - Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Concerto No 1 Songs without Words Op 53 No 4 and Op 19 No 3 - Adolf HENSELT (1814-1889) Etude Op 2 No 6 - Abram CHASINS (1903-1987) Flirtation in a Chinese Garden, Rush Hour in Hong Kong - Jacques IBERT (1890-1962) The Little White Donkey - Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Liebestod – Tristan und Isolde arr LISZT - Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Rondo Op 11 Benno Moiseiwitsch, piano - Royal Albert Hall Orchestra conducted by Landon Ronald - Recorded London 1916-1930 PEARL GEMS 0142 [2 CDs: 144’16] [JW]

Listening to the pianism enshrined in them can only deepen one’s understanding not only of Moiseiwitsch’s art but of the art of the piano itself. … see Full Review

Frederic MOMPOU (1893 – 1987) Música Callada (1959 – 1967) El pont (1941) Muntanya (1915) Jordi Masó (piano) Recorded: Auditori Enric Granados, Lleida, February 2000 NAXOS 8.554727 [78:48] [HC]

Very fine release: excellent playing, natural piano sound. Nevertheless if you do not know Mompou’s piano music you might better start with any of the other volumes before investigating the present one. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quintets, Vol 3 - String Quintet in G minor, K516 (1787) [36.44] String Quintet in D major, K593 (1790) [31.43] Ensemble Villa Musica - recorded 6/7 February 2001 at the Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen DDD MD&G 304 1106-2 [68.47][PJL]

With its gorgeous K593, it’s a fine CD, and worth anyone’s money. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Serenade No 4 in D major, K203 (1774) [37.20]Vier Kontratänze, K101 (1776) [5.24]Serenade No 5 in D major, K204 (1775) [35.15] Tero Latvala (violin) Tapiola Sinfonietta, cond. Jean-Jacques Kantorow - recorded September 1999 (K203/204) and April 2000 (K101) at the Tapiola Concert Hall, Finland DDD BIS-CD-1100 [79.13] [PJL]

This beautifully-recorded disc is a treasure. Go serenade yourself… … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Serenade No 4 in D major, K203 (1774) [37.20] Vier Kontratänze, K101 (1776) [5.24] Serenade No 5 in D major, K204 (1775) [35.15] Tero Latvala (violin) Tapiola Sinfonietta, cond. Jean-Jacques Kantorow - recorded September 1999 (K203/204) and April 2000 (K101) at the Tapiola Concert Hall, Finland DDD BIS-CD-1100 [79.13] [PJL]

This beautifully-recorded disc is a treasure. Go serenade yourself… … see Full Review

W. A. MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni. Don Giovanni, Giuseppe Taddei (bar), Leporello, Italo Tajo (bass), Don Ottavio, Cesare Vallettl (ten). Masetto, Vito Susca (bar), Anna, Maria Verna (sop),. Elvira, Carla Gavazzi (sop),. Zerlina. Elda Ribetti (sop). Orchestra and chorus of Turin Radio. Cond. Max Rudolf - Recording. Turin, 1955. mono - bargain price
WARNER FONIT 0927 43561 [3 CDs: 54.48+51.21+56.58] [RJF]

This set may have been long forgotten but it has been a pleasure to listen to, and particularly at bargain price, is worth adding to one's collection. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Mozart Edition Volume 13 Keyboard Works [approx 521 minutes] CD1 Variations Vol. I - CD2 Variations Vol. II - CD3 Variations Vol. III - CD4 KLAVIERSTÜCKE VOL. I - CD5 Klavierstücke Vol. II - CD6 Klavierstücke Vol. III - CD7 KEYBOARD WORKS 4-HANDS Vol. I - CD8 KEYBOARD WORKS 4-HANDS Vol. II - CD9 Sonata in B flat major KV 358 (1773-74) - CD10 ORGAN WORKS, ORGELWERKE Martin Haselböck, organ - Domorgel zu Brixen/Tirol, Austria - Recording: September 1989, Dom zu Brixen BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99725 [approx 521 minutes] [KM]

Worth far more than its cost. While this set does not contain Mozart’s deepest music, it is certainly full of hours of enjoyable works. … see Full Review

Leopold MOZART (1719-1787) Symphony in D major (Eisen D6, 1760) [12.38] Symphony in F major (Eisen F5, 1756/60) [16.01] Symphony in D major (Eisen D24, 1753) [09.09] Symphony in D major (Eisen D11, 1750/51) [14.22] Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra Vilnius, cond. Georg Mais - DDD: recorded 6-9 June 2001 in Studio Vilnius ARTE NOVA 74321 89771 2 [53.02] [PJL]

Inexpensive opportunity to widen your horizons. It’s widened mine, but I confess it hasn’t stirred my soul! … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade No. 13 in G) K525 - Bassoon Concerto in B flat K191* - Divertimento in D K136 - Divertimento in B flat K137 - Divertimento in F K138 Yoshiyuki Nakanishi (bassoon) - London Mozart Players/Jane Glover - Rec London 1988 (*rec London 1984) EMI CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE LC 6646 [72:08] [JL]

Performances from the mid-1980s a delight, collected into a disc that is a real bargain. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 21 in C major, K467 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 9 in E flat, K271 Stephen Hough, piano Hallé Orchestra/Bryden Thomson Recorded Manchester, May 1987 EMI CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 575 1452 [58:58] Superbudget [JL]

A bargain reissue of the popular k467, coupled with the youthful but remarkably forward looking k271. These performances may not plumb the depths but there is much to delight in the poise of Stephen Hough’s playing. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Mozart Edition Volume 2
Le Nozze di Figaro [176 min.] Apollo et Hyacinthus [85 min.] BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99714 5CDs [approx 261 minutes]

A very good set consisting of one of Mozart’s finest operas and a little-known work. This bargain-priced box set will delight Mozart fans, and continue to please those collecting this complete Mozart edition. … see Full Review

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1835-1881): Boris Godounov (excerpts) (version completed by Rimsky-Korsakov) Boris - Feodor Chaliapin (bass), Tchelkalov - Aristide Baracchi (baritone), Shuisky - Angelo Bada (tenor), Dimitri - Dino Borgioli (tenor), Varlaam - Salvatore Baccaloni (bass), Missail - Giuseppe Nessi (tenor), Theodore - Margherita Carosio (soprano), Lavretzky - Dennis Noble (baritone), Tcherniakovsky - Aristide Baracchi (baritone), Innocente - Octave Dua (tenor), (Pimen - Nicola Moscona) Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden - London Philharmonic Orchestra Vincenzo Bellezza, conductor, from a performance at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (with interpolations), 4 July 1928 GUILD GHCD 2206 [72:14] [CMG]

As complete a rendering of this important performance as we shall ever have, undistorted by sonic improvements and presenting honest and full-toned reproductions of the originals … see Full Review

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphony No. 4, FS76 (Op. 29) ‘The InextinguishableAlexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Poem of Ecstasy, Op.54 Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Zubin Mehta Recorded 1967 (Scriabin), 1974 (Nielsen) ADD ELOQUENCE DECCA 466 904-2 [53.31] Super-budget [TH]

This re-issue deserves serious consideration by anyone interested in these two composers. … see Full Review

Maurice OHANA (1914 - 1992) Cello Concerto No.2: "in dark and blue" (1990) T’Harân-Ngô for orchestra (1974) Piano Concerto (1981) Sonia Wieder-Atherton (cello) Jean-Claude Pennetier (piano) Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Arturo Tamayo Recorded in Luxembourg Conservatoire 1997 DDD Stereo TIMPANI 1C1039 [65:20] [DB]
You can make a HUGE saving by downloading this disc

A splendid modern cello concerto and two rather more avant-garde and challenging works by Ohana - extremely well recorded and played. … see Full Review

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana (1937) [62.35] - Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Pavane, Op 50 (choral version, 1887) - César FRANCK (182-1890) Panis angelicus (1860, arr. Sandré) Hallé Choir and Orchestra, cond. Maurice Handford, with (Orff only) Sheila Armstrong (soprano), Peter Hall (tenor), Brian Rayner Cook (baritone) and the Boys of Manchester Grammar School - ADD: recorded in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, May 1982 (Orff) and May 1980 (Fauré, Franck) CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 7243 5 75146 2 [73.36] [PJL]

Hallé Choir undoubtedly sing with gusto but they’re neither frolicsome nor debauched. They sometimes sound tired and half-hearted … see Full Review

Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736) La Morte di San Giuseppe - Michele Farruggia - San Giuseppe, Bernatette Manca di Nissa - Maria Santissima, Maria Angeles Peters - San Michele, Patrizia Pace - Amor Divino - Orchestra Allesandro Scarlatti di Napoli, Marcello Panni - Rec: June 1990, Auditorium Domenico Scarlatti, Napoli, Italy. WARNER FONIT 0927 43308-2 [109.14] [KM]

In spite of the excellent work of the orchestra this is one recording to avoid. … see Full Review

Steve PERILLO Napoli! (1998) - Piano Concerto No.1 (1998)a - Hangoverture (1998)
Antique Suite (1998) Nina Kogan (piano)a; St. Petersburg Festival Orchestra/Yuval Waldman - Recorded: "Kapella", St. Petersburg, May 1998 CENTAUR CRC 2544 [61:42] [HC]

Joyously iconoclastic music. … see Full Review

Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER (1867 - 1942) Symphony No. 4 in A Major "Holmia" (1929) Tornrossagan (1934) Frösöblömster (1898) Nörrkoping Symphony Orchestra/Michail Jurowski. co-production between CPO / Swedish Broadcating Corporation - recorded 31/5 - 4/6 1999 in De Geer Hall, Nörrkoping. DDD CPO 999 662-2 [65'55''] [JP]

Fans of early twentieth century conservative Scandinavian symphonies will be well pleased with these recordings. … see Full Review

John PICKARD (born 1963) String Quartet No.2 (1993) String Quartet No.3 (1994) String Quartet No.4 (1997/8) Sorrel Quartet Recorded: The Maltings, Snape, December 2001 DUTTON CDLX 7117 [66:21] [HC]

Superbly recorded performances could hardly be better. They serve the music well. … see Full Review

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Mélodies Songs from:- Banalités, Chansons Villageoises, Tel Jour Telle Nuit, Chansons Gaillardes, Calligrammes Pierre-Yves Pruvot, baritone, Charles Bouisset, piano Recorded at Villa Louvigny, Luxembourg December 2000 TIMPANI 1C1061 [58:50] [GPJ]

In the best sense, very ‘modern’ singing, and makes a useful comparison and contrast with the more familiar older generation of interpreters. … see Full Review
You can make a HUGE saving by downloading this disc

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Stabat Mater,Litanies à la Vierge Noire, Quatre Motets pour un temps de pénitence Judith Howarth, soprano The Choirs of Gonville and Caius Colleges, Cambridge BBC Philharmonic Orchestra Conductors Christopher Robinson (Stabat Mater), Geoffrey Webster (Litanies), Timothy Brown (Motets) DVD, recorded St.Wulfram’s Church, Grantham, UK (Stabat Mater) and Jesus College Cambridge UK (Litanies and Motets) 1996(?) BBC OPUS ARTE DVD VIDEO OA 0817D [GPJ]

A moving, compelling document regarding some of this unique composer’s finest music. … see Full Review

Josquin DES PRES (c.1455-1521) Master of Musicians Songs and Instrumental Music by Josquin Des Pres, his Pupils and Contemporaries Composers include Isacc, Agricola, Japart, Willaert etc. Jennie Cassidy, soprano, Belinda Sykes, alto, John Potter, tenor and Robert Evans, bass Musica Antiqua of London directed by Philip Thorby Recorded at St. Mark’s Church, East Woodhay, January 2000 SIGNUM 025 [68.21] [GH]

So, much here to enjoy for all early music enthusiasts and a reminder of what I call the ‘nitty-gritty’ of Renaissance music with some pieces not previously available. … see Full Review Make a HUGE saving by downloading this disc

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25 ‘Classical’ Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op.100 Russian Overture, Op.72 London Symphony Orchestra (Op. 25, Op. 100) London Philharmonic Orchestra (Op.72) Walter Weller Recorded in Kingsway Hall, 1975 (Op.25), 1977 (Op.100), 1979 (Op.72) ADD ELOQUENCE DECCA 467 469-2 [74.47] Super-budget [TH]

Couplings of these two most popular symphonies are legion, but Weller’s disc can hold its own with any, particularly in this price category. An excellent budget addition to the Prokofiev discography. … see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891 - 1953) Excerpts from Romeo And Juliet – Ballet (1938) Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 – 1943) Aleko’s Cavatina from Aleko (1893) Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 – 1832) Romances 1 and 2 for Violin and Orchestra (1802 and 1798) Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92 (1812) Anatoly Kocherga, Baritone (Rachmaninov), Kolja Blacher, Violin, (Beethoven) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado. recorded in the Maryinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 1st May, 1996. Video directed by Brian Large TDK DVD - ECSPE [89 minutes (main programme) + 20 minutes documentary] [JP]

The overall impression of this DVD is one of immense pleasure, and provided you are happy with the repertoire presented I cannot think of a higher recommendation. … see Full Review

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Håkon Austbo (pianoforte) Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Murray McLachlan (pianoforte) Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Colin Stone (pianoforte) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 6137 [5 CDs: 63’ 20", 67’ 27", 69’ 46", 76’ 42", 74’ 16"] [CH]

Perhaps the Scriabin and the Shostakovich in themselves justify the modest price of the set, but the Prokofiev is not really good enough. … see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) An Introduction to TOSCA (musical excerpts with spoken guide) Thomson Smillie, writer. David Timson, narrator. Featuring musical examples from Naxos 8.660001-02 (Nelly Miricioiu/Silvano Carroli/Giorgio Lamberti/Slovak Philharmonic Choir/Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Rahbari) NAXOS 8.558047 [67.59] [NH]

An audiobook style introduction to a classic Puccini opera that is both accessible and effective… See Full Review.

Giacomo PUCCINI Madama Butterfly (Original 1904 Version) Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San) Svetlana Katchour, F.B. Pinkerton - Bruce Rankin - Suzuki,servant, Fredrika Brillemburg- Sharpless, Heikki Kilpelainen - Goro, Uwe Eikotter - Kate Pinkerton, Kristen Strejc - Prince Yamadori, Loren Christopher Lang - Bonze, Andreas Haller - Bremen Theatre Chorus; Theo Wiedebusch, Chorus-Master Bremen Philharmonic State Orchestra/Gunter Neuhold - Recorded at Bremen Theatre, Stuhr, Germany, 15-19 December 1997 - Bargain price NAXOS 8.660078-79 [2CDs: 79.36] [JP]

In summary, an interesting issue. My own preference would be for the standard version, both for the sake of familiarity and for the better atmospheric surround. … see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Madama ButterflyAn opera in two acts to a libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, based on David Belasco’s play Madama Butterfly. .Toti Dal Monte, Beniamino Gigli Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Rome Conducted by Oliviero de Fabritiis Recorded on 32 sides by His Master‘s Voice The Royal Opera House, Rome, July 1939 Matrices: 2BA 3271-3300, 2BA 3314-15 Catalogue: DB 3859-74 Appendix: A selection of recordings by Toti Dal Monte. Gaetano Donizetti Le ricchezze ed il orado from La Figlia del reggimento (Recorded: 10th March 1928)Tornami a dir che m'ami from Don Pasquale (Recorded: 4th October 1933) Vincenzo Bellini Ah! non credea mirarti from La Sonnambula (Recorded: 3rd July 1929) Giuseppe Verdi Sul d'un soffio estesio from Falstaff (Recorded: 5th July 1929)
Pietro Mascagni Flammen, perdonami!...from Lodoletta (Recorded: 2nd May 1941)
Fambre-Bianchini Ninna-nanna (Recorded: 6th July 1929) Bianchini Redentor in famegia (Recorded: 6th July 1929) Francesco Geminiani Amuri, Amuri (Recorded: 3rd January 1938) NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110183-84 ADD [CD1 76.25 CD2 77.04] [US]

Youthful naturalness, brilliance, charming honey-sweet timbre, coloured with the flame of youth and the lyricism of poesy … see Full Review

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Harmonia Sacra and Complete Organ Music Voluntary in G Major Z720 - A Morning Hymn: Thou wakeful Shepherd Z198 - A Divine Hymn: Lord, what is Man? Z192 - Voluntary in D Minor Z718 - The Aspiration: How long, great God Z189 - In the black dismal Dungeon of Despair Z190 - O solitude Z406 - Voluntary in C Major Z714 - The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation: Tell me...Z196 - Voluntary in D Minor for Double Organ Z719 - On our Saviour's Passion: The Earth trembled Z197 - With sick and famished eyes Z200 - Verse in F Major Z716 - Full of wrath Z185 - Voluntary on the Old 100th (A Major) Z721 - Adam's Sleep: Sleep, Adam, Sleep Z195 - An Evening Hymn: Now that the sun Z193 Davitt Moroney, organ - Jill Feldman, soprano - Rec. September 1992, Eglise Paroissial Saint-Miliau, Guimiliau, France. ARCANA A 310 [69.20] [KM]

A very successful disc combines works with similar tone to great effect. The use of organ accompaniment for the anthems highlights their dark tones, and the overall sound is very moving. … see Full Review
You can make a HUGE saving by downloading this disc

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 4 - Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Concerto for piano and wind instruments - Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Prometheus: The Poem of Fire* Alexei Lubimov (piano) Toronto Mendelssohn Choir* Toronto Symphony Orchestra/Jukka-Pekka Saraste - Recorded May 1996, Toy Thomson Hall, Toronto WARNER APEX 0927 43073 2 [68.22] [TB]

Lubimov’s sensitivity most impressive but Ashkenazy's Decca Rachmaninov and Scriabin are just a little more vivid. … see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No 2, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Prelude in C sharp minor Op 3 No 2 William Kapell, piano Robin Hood Dell Orchestra of Philadelphia William Steinberg (Concerto) Fritz Reiner (Rhapsody) Recorded 1945 –1951 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110692 [57’20] [JW]

Kapell’s emerges with balanced virtuosity and a musicality that never sacrificed sensitivity to sentimentality, bravura to bombast. … see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto no. 3 in d, op. 30 (1) - CHINESE FOLK-MELODY Liu Yang River (2) - Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Etudes: op.2/1, op. 8/2, 3, 8, 10, 11, 12, op. 42/4, 3, op. 65/3 (3) Lang Lang (pianoforte) St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra/Yuri Temirkanov (1) Recorded 22.8.2001, Royal Albert Hall, London, live (1, 2) 20.10.2001, Oberlin College, Ohio (3) TELARC CD 80582 [71’ 48"] [CH]

An artist who is surely here to stay, and some outstanding Scriabin. … See Full Review

I’m sure Lang Lang will return to the Concerto in time in a more sympathetic acoustic and with increased experience. … see Full Review [JW]

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op.18 - Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43 - Prelude in B minor, Op.32, No.10 - Prelude in D major, Op.23, No.4 - Prelude in C sharp minor, Op.3, No.2 - Tamas Vasary (piano-Concerto, Rhapsody) - Lazar Berman (piano-Preludes) London Symphony Orchestra/Yuri Ahronovitch
Recorded 1976 (Op. 18), 1977 (Op. 43), 1980 (Preludes) ADD ELOQUENCE DG 457 305-2 [75.58] Super-budget [TH]

Difficult to give much more than a muted welcome, even at budget price, in the face of some of the competition. … see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 1 (1890) [23.58] Piano Concerto No. 3 (1909) [44.49] Peter Katin (piano) (1) Alicia de Larrocha (piano) (3) LSO/Previn (3); LPO/Boult (1) rec 1971 (1), 1975 (3), ADD DECCA ELOQUENCE 461 348-2 [68.47] [RB]

Worthwhile pairing of a highly personal peripheral reading of the Third and a sturdy mainstream version of the Tchaikovskian First. … see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto no.3 in d minor Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concerto no.2 in g minor Shura Cherkassky, piano, BBC SO/Rudolf Schwarz (Rachmaninov), LPO/Kent Nagano (Prokofiev) Rachmaninov recorded Royal Festival Hall, London, 11th December 1957, Prokofiev recorded Royal Festival Hall, London, 2nd May 1991 BBC LEGENDS BBCL4092-2 [76:09] [GPJ]

Titanic performance of the Prokofiev; totally worth hearing. Repays the listener for persisting with the comparatively frustrating and unsatisfactory version of the Rachmaninov. … see Full Review

Carl REINECKE (1824-1910) - Trio for oboe, horn and piano in A minor, op. 188 - Nocturne for horn and piano, op. 112 - Trio for clarinet, horn and piano in B flat major, op. 274. Luc van Marcke, horn; Fabrice Melinon, oboe; Olivier Dartevelle, clarinet; Luc Devos, piano. Recorded January/March 1997, Villa Louvigny, Luxembourg. TIMPANI 1C1043 [57.17] [WH]

Not an essential purchase, but much to be recommended to those who like to leave the motorway and explore the back roads of the romantic repertoire. … see Full Review
You can make a HUGE saving by downloading this disc

Josef REJCHA (1752-1795) Concerto in A major for Cello and Orchestra Op 4 No 1 - Concerto in D major for Two Violins (or Violin and Cello) and Orchestra Op 3 - Concerto in D major for Cello and Orchestra - Mikael Ericsson, cello - Jana Vlachova, violin Czech Chamber Orchestra/Ondrej Kukal - Recorded Martinek Studio, Prague, February, May and September 1995 PANTON 81 1420 – 1031 [69’31] [JW]

This issue is of real interest – and not just to those preoccupied with the Classicists of the Bohemian diaspora. … see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Belkis, Queen of Sheba-Suite - Dance of the Gnomes - The Pines of Rome Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Eiji Oue with Chad Skelton (tenor) Recorded May 2001 at Orchestral Hall, Minneapolis DDD REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-95CD [62.30] [AB]

The exotic Respighi - contrasts the little known with the very well known. Recommended. … see Full Review

Nicolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)Sheherazade - Symphonic Suite for Orchestra Op.35 (1888) [46:05] Sydney Harth, solo violin Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Zubin Mehta Capriccio Espagnol Op.34 (1887) [16:07] Israel Philharmonic Orchestra/Zubin Mehta Recorded London, 1975, 1980 ELOQUENCE DECCA 466 686-2 [62:28] [JPo]

Some lush moments, particularly with the 'cellos at the opening of the third movement, but these are lingered upon in such a way as to make them over-sugared. … see Full Review

Joseph-Guy ROPARTZ (1864-1955) Le Pays - Drame en musique en trois actes et quatre tableaux (1908-10) - Poème de Charles Le Goffic - Mireille Delunsch (sop) ... Kæthe - Gilles Ragon (ten) ... Tual - Olivier Lallouette (bar) ... Jörgen Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg/Jean-Yves Ossonce - rec Luxembourg, May 2001 world premiere recording TIMPANI 2C2065 [CD1 Acts 1 and 2: 61.00; CD 2 Act 3: 49.00] [RB]

A world premiere for Ropartz's lyric drama - turbulently dramatic, tragic and moody, Brittany is the amour lointaine. The voices are secure, clean toned, strong and attractive. Delunsch has a voice which merits the sort of fame meted out to the greatest. … see Full Review
You can make a HUGE saving by downloading this disc

Joseph-Guy ROPARTZ (1864-1955) Piano Trio * Prélude, Marine et Chansons +
Quartet No. 4 # Jean-Louis Haguenauer, piano * Alexis Galpérine, violin * Cecilia Tsan, cello * Ensemble Stanislas + Quartet Stanislas # Recorded Salle Poirel, Nancy 1995 and 1996 TIMPANI 1C1047 [70’05]

A superbly presented disc which well encompasses the stylistic affinities of a major figure in the history of French chamber music. Strongly recommended. … see Full Review
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Gioachino ROSSINI - Arias. Ah, dov’è, dov’è, il cimento - Semiramide Che ascolto! - Otello Cessa di pim resistere - Il barbiere di Siviglia Vieni fra queste braccia - La gazza ladra Concedi, amor pietoso - L’Italiana in Algeri S’intessano agli aliori / Terra amica - Zelmira Oh fiamma soave - La donna del lago Si, ritrovarla io giuro - La Cenerentola Juan Diego Flórez (tenor) Coro Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Romano Gandolfi Chorus Master) Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Riccardo Chailly Recording: Auditorium di Milano, May and August 2001. DECCA UNIVERSAL CLASSICS 470 024-2 [59.09] [ME]

A recording to treasure; it introduces a young singer who achieves ‘the union of scrupulous means and brilliantly effective ends.’ … see Full Review

Albert ROUSSEL (1866-1937) Complete Songs Marie Devellereau (Soprano), Yann Beuron (tenor), Laurent Naouri (baritone), Billy Eidi (piano), Étienne Plasman (flute), Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra; Jean-Yves Ossonce (conductor) Recorded May and July 2001, Luxembourg TIMPANI 2C2064 [2CDs: 49.38+55.47] [TB]

Roussel is a major composer who is well worth exploring. His cause is well served here. … see Full Review
You can make a HUGE saving by downloading this disc


[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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