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Friday May 31st

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


Can I draw your attention to a concert: Thursday June 20th 7.30pm at the National Trust Property: Charlecote Park (not far from Stratford upon Avon)
The Guillami Quartet
(supported by
Haydn, Joseph: String Quartet Op76 No. 6 "Fantasia"
Ravel, Maurice: String Quartet in F
Dvorak, Antonin: String Quartet No.12 in F (Op 96) "American"
Box Office 01985 843 601 -
see you all there.

Worcester Three Choirs Festival Aug 17-23rd


Portrait: Aaron Rabushka by Jennifer Paull

JOHN MARSH 1752-1828 250th Anniversary Celebrations

Phil Scowcroft Garlands: We have started to add the next 200.

Memories of ‘The Warlock Circle’ by Denis Apivor

Joy Finzi (1907-91) by Pamela Blevins

FLORENT SCHMITT (1870 - 1958) By Leslie De’Ath

Nikolai KAPUSTIN - A Performer’s Perspective By Leslie De’Ath

Benjamin Dale's The Flowing Tide Broadcast, BBC Radio 3, by Christopher Foreman

More York Bowen: Dutton records the violin sonatas by Lewis Foreman

Maud Powell - A Pioneer's Legacy by Karen A. Shaffer

New Perspectives on Ivor Gurney’s Mental Illness by Pamela Blevins

Ivor Gurney and the Question of Syphilis by Pamela Blevins

Ivor Gurney, Wilfred Owen and T. Ratcliffe Barnett in Scotland by Pamela Blevins


ARTHUR BENJAMIN (1893-1960) by Pamela Blevins


‘Holes Held Together By String’ Stanford, Parry and the Rise of British Chamber Music in Victoria’s Age by Lewis Foreman


Overtures and Encores by Arthur Butterworth


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LATEST CD REVIEWS (last two days)

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Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Musical Offering BWV 1079 - Ricercar a 3, Canon Perpetuus super Thema Regium, Canon 1 a 2, cancrizans, Canon 2 a 2, Violino in unisono, Canon 3 a 2, per motum contrarium, Canon 4 a 2, per Augmentationem, contrario motu, Canon 5 a 2, per Tonos, Fuga canonica in Epidiapente, Ricercar a 6 (harpsichord), Canon a 2, Canon a 4, Sonata Sopr'il Soggetto Reale .I. Largo .II. Allegro .III. Andante .IV. Allegro, Canon Perpetuus [per justi intervali] Documentary: A New Organ for St. Thomas Church Barthold Kuijken, flute - Sigiswald Kuijken, violin - Wieldand Kuijken, cello - Robert Kohnen, harpsichord - Rec: July 28 2000, Old Town Hall, Liepzig. ALIA VOX AV9817 [62 min.] [KM]

A fine performance, though the DVD adds little to the music. … see Full Review

Sir Henry Rowley BISHOP - Nineteen songs for Shakespeare: Lo! Here the Gentle Lark; Welcome to this Place; Should He Upbraid; Who is Sylvia I and II; That Time of Year; When that I Was and Little Tiny Boy; Come Live With Me; Hark, Hark Each Spartan Hound; Oh! Never Say; Sing Willow; It Was a Lover and His Lass; Under the Greenwood Tree; Take, oh Take Those Lips Away; Flower of the Purple Dye; Now the Hungry Lions Roar; Orpheus With His Lute; Come Thou Monarch of the Vine; Spirits Advance. Musicians of the Globe/Philip Pickett. Rec ADD 1998? DECCA - THE BRITISH MUSIC COLLECTION 470 381-2 [67’09"] [PLS]

Not quite first rate music but excellent work of the second rank. I urge you to explore it. … see Full Review

Antonín DVORÁK (1841 – 1904) Slavonic Dances 1–16, Opp. 46 and 72 (1878 and 1886) Chamber Orchestra of Europe - conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt recorded in Stefaniensaal, Graz, Austria, June 2000 (Op. 72) and June 2001 (Op. 46) DDD TELDEC CLASSICS 8573-81038-2 [73.23][JP]

Performance and recording superb. Recommended but Sejna’s Supraphon issue is the genuine article. … see Full Review

Georg Friedrich HAENDEL (1685-1759) Partenope - Meredith Hall (soprano) Kai Wessel (countertenor) Annette Markert (mezzo-soprano) Christopher Josey (countertenor) John McVeigh (tenor) William Berger (bass) Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra/Nicholas McGegan - Rec: May 30 to June 5, 2001, International Handel Festival, Göttingen. GÖTTINGEN HANDEL SOCIETY No catalogue number [192.39] [KM]

If you can deal with audience noise, you will certainly find some excellent music and some very good singing. … 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

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

Bedrich SMETANA (1824 - 1884) Piano Music Czech Dances, 2nd series (1879) Six Characteristic Pieces Op. 1 (1848) Jan Novotný, piano Recorded: Domovina Studio, Prague (Czech Dances), 1972; Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague (Six Characteristic Pieces), 1980 SUPRAPHON 3070-2 111 [68.55] [NH]

Czech piano music that is both more substantial and more modern than might be expected .….. see Full Review

Josef STRAUSS Josef STRAUSS Edition Vol 22 - Einzugs Marsch; Veterans, Eccentrics, Coincidentals and Flinserin (Sequins) waltzes; polkas Patti, Die Kosende, Lock and Elfen; Rendezvous and Sofien quadrilles. Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Kosice)/ Karl Albert Geyer MARCO POLO 8.223624 [62’26"] [PLS]

Music that is often attractive, charming, enjoyably rhythmic, deliciously witty. … see Full Review

20th CENTURY MUSIC FOR CLARINET AND PIANO FROM THE BRITISH ISLES Elizabeth MACONCHY (1907 – 1994) Fantasia (1979) Anthony POWERS (born 1953) Sea/Air (1985) Piers HELLAWELL (born 1956) High Citadels (1994) Harrison BIRTWISTLE (born 1934) Verses (1965) Richard Rodney BENNETT (born 1936) Scena III (1977) Hugh WOOD (born 1932) Paraphrase on Birds of Paradise Op.26 (1985) Gordon CROSSE (born 1937) A Year and a Day (1979) Martin BUTLER (born 1960) Capistrano Song (1984) Michael BERKELEY (born 1948) Flighting (1987) Kate Romano (clarinet); Alan Hicks (piano) Recorded: Hospital of St Cross, Winchester, July 1995 and March 1996 METIER MSV CD92013 [68:44] [HC]

Kate Romano, a wonderfully equipped musician, flawless technique and consummate musicianship. Well-thought out survey of the variety achieved by very different composers. … see Full Review

The Eberle Quartet Philip GATES String Quartet No. 1 in A minor - Frank BRIDGE Three Idylls, Novelletten - Samuel BARBER String Quartet Op.11 The Eberle Quartet (Daphne Moody and Jennifer Gibbs - violins, Moira Alabaster - viola, Muriel Daniels - cello).
Recorded at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, St. Hilda's College, Oxford 28th - 30th January 1997 NAIM NAIMCD019 [58.30] [NH]

The all female Eberle quartet introduce an accessible and talented new voice … see Full Review

European Concert 2000 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 2 in B Flat major, Op. 19 (1793, rev 1794-95) Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, OP. 125 (1822-24) Mikhail Pletnev, piano - Karita Mattila, mezzo-soprano, Violeta Urmana, alto, Thmas Moser, tenor, Eike Wilm Schulte, Baritone, Swedish Radio Choir, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir (Chorus master – Tonu Kaljuste) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Claudio Abbado. recorded in the Philharmonie, Berlin, 1st May, 2000 - Video directed by Bob Cole. [90 minutes (main programme) + 28 minutes documentary] TDK DVD – EC10A [JP]

Edge of the seat playing, with all desks showing a concentration which is missing from many other orchestras. … see Full Review

Simon TRPCESKI: Piano Recital - TCHAIKOVSKY (arr. Pletnev): Concert Suite from The Nutcracker - SCRIABIN: Piano Sonata No.5, Op.53 - STRAVINSKY: Three movements from Petrushka - PROKOFIEV: Piano Sonata No.6 in A, Op.82 - Recorded November 2001 at Potton Hall, Suffolk. Budget Price EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 75202 2 5 [72’42"] [MB]

Trpceski an important young artist, fiery and poetic in equal measure. … see Full Review

SOUNDS FROM TAMPERE CONSERVATOIRE Jussi-Pekka NUTO (born 1962) Clap (1997)a Ilari LAAKSO (born 1952) AM – Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1992)a Leonid BASHMAKOV (born 1927) Clarinet Concerto (1990)b Sakari VAINIKKA (born 1945) Trumpet Concerto (1985)b Esko SYVINKI (born 1943) Piano Concerto No.1 Op.4 (1978)b Lauri Voipo (cello); Pekka Ahonen (clarinet); Aki Välimäki (trumpet); Hikka Servo-Junttu (piano); Tampere Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra; Tuomas Piriläa, Juha Törmäb Recorded: Tampere Conservatoire Hall, February 1999 TAMPEREEN KONSERVATORIATALON SÄÄITÖ TKTS-1 [47:18 + 48:45] [HC]

Standards of performance high. Well worth investigating, especially for the Bashmakov and the Vainikka concertos. … see Full Review

Waldbuhne in Berlin 1997 Mikhail GLINKA (1804 - 1857) Ruslan and Ludmilla – Overture (1842) Peter TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893) Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor Op. 23 (1875, revised 1879 and 1889) Waltz from Swan Lake (1877) Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810 – 1849) Waltz in D Flat Major Op. 64, No. 1 Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839 – 1881) Prelude from "Khovanschina" (1872) Gopak from "The Fair at Sorochinsk" (1913) Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844 – 1908) The Flight of the Bumblebee from Tsar Saltan (1900) Capriccio Espagnol Op.34 (1887) Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891 – 1953)
Death of Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet (1938) Paul LINCKE (1866 – 1946) Berliner Luft (1902) Daniel Barenboim – piano Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta.
recorded in the Waldbuhne, Berlin, 29th June, 1997 Video directed by Bob Coles. TDK DVD - WBSPE [97 minutes] [JP]

If the repertoire attracts you, then go out and buy this disc. I guarantee you will enjoy it, and with such good sound, notes and production, it is a winner. … see Full Review




A DICTIONARY-CATALOG OF MODERN BRITISH COMPOSERS by Alan POULTON Music Reference Collection, Number 82 Hardback in three volumes: vol. 1: A-C; Vol 2: D-L; Vol. 3 M-Z, 1700pp through numbered across the three volumes ISBN 0-313-31623-6 Library of Congress 00-026439 GREENWOOD PRESS, Connecticut publ. 2000 Volumes are available individually [AB] [RB]

This major book facilitates and decisively paves the way for the slowly rolling renaissance of British music from the period 1945-1970. ...see Full Review

Why Beethoven threw the stew And lots more stories about the lives of Great Composers. By Steven Isserlis; Faber; PB; £4.99

... like Plutarch’s "Lives", one wishes that he could have written like this about so many other composers. ...see Full Review



Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) 24 Preludes op. 28 - Prelude in C sharp minor op. 45 - Prelude in A flat major op. Posth. - Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor op. 35 Martha Argerich, piano - Recorded 1974 (sonata), 1975 (28 Preludes), 1977 (op. 45/posth) DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON Legendary Recordings 463 663-2 [61:17] [JL]

"Legendary Recordings" indeed! The cumulative power of the Preludes make it, for some, the greatest performance of the work ever recorded. … see Full Review

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Romance sans paroles, op.17 no.3 [2.45] - Nocturne No.1, op.33 no.1 [8.47] - Nocturne No.3, op.33 no.3 [4.33] - Impromptu No.2, op.31 [3.42] - Nocturne No.6, op.63 [9.36] - Barcarolle No.1, op.26 [5.37] - Nocturne No.11, op.104 no.1 [4.41] - Nocturne No.13, op.119 [8.43] - Improvisation (8 pièces brèves), op.84 no.5 [1.43] - Romance sans paroles, op.17 no.1 [1.54] - Prélude, op.103 no.2 [2.24] - Prélude op.103 no.7 [2.06] - Ballade, op.19 [15.48] Kun Woo Paik, piano - Rec Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, 29-31 July 2001 DECCA 470 246-2 [72.21] [TB]

A very beautiful record that places these works in the context of their more celebrated relations, yet demonstrates their marvellous individuality at the same time. … see Full Review

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

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

Swan Flight Veljo TORMIS (b.1930) Ocean; Swan Flight Claude DEBUSSY (1868-1918) La Mer Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Swan of Tuonela Estonian-Finnish Symphony Orchestra/Anu Tali Recorded Estonia Concert Hall, Tallin, Estonia July 200, June 2001 FINLANDIA 8573-89876 [70:41] [GPJ]

A disc to be treasured, and I can’t wait to hear more from this brilliant combination. … see Full Review



Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) The Complete Symphonies - CD1 to CD33
Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, cond. Adam Fischer, with *Rainer Küchl (violin), Wolfgang Herzer (cello), Gerhard Turetschek (oboe) and Michael Werba (bassoon) DDD: recorded at the Haydnsaal, Esterházy Palace, Eisenstadt, Austria BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99925 [PJL]

Fischer’s has been a memorable project: it began well, and got better and better. In the early days, it was competitive without ever being top of the class: now the race is run, it is most certainly a winner, and its rivals have their work cut out to match it, let alone surpass it. … see Full Review

Leoš JANÁCEK (1854-1928) String Quartet No.1 ‘The Kreutzer Sonata’ , String Quartet No. 2 ‘Intimate Letters’ - Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) From Cypresses, B.152
New Helsinki Quartet - Recorded at Sigyn Hall, Turku, Finland, August 1996 DDD Super budget WARNER APEX 0927 40603 2 [59.02] [TH]

No-one investigating this marvellous release will have any cause for complaint. … see Full Review

Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967) Sonata for solo cello, Op.8 (1915) Duo for violin and cello, Op.7 (1914) Jerry Grossman (cello) Daniel Phillips (violin) Recorded at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, October 1983 DDD WARNER APEX 7559 79672 2 [59.09] [TH]

Stimulating music that is as original as anything in Bartók, and in performances of real power and commanding stature. … see Full Review


What can they be thinking at Brilliant Classics? A 25-CD set of sacred music, including some of the greatest works ever written, at such a low price! It’s worth it ... and how! … see Full Review

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Chamber Symphony No.1, Op.9 (1906)[21.03]
Verklärte Nacht, Op.4 (1899)[31.45] Chamber Symphony No.2, Op.38 (1939) [21.32] Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Heinz Holliger - Rec. Casino Zogernitz, Vienna, June 1989 (1), Teldec Studios, Berlin, September 1992 (2 and 3) APEX 0927 44399 2[74.20] [AT]

Playing outstanding. Wind solos are played magnificently, and the brooding, searching mood is just right. A fantastic disc, budget price or not. … see Full Review

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Symphony No 1 in B flat minor [43.10]* Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in B minor** [27.15] Concerto for Cello and Orchestra*** [29.43] Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in A minor**** [25.46] Sinfonia Concertante for orchestra with piano obbligato (original 1927 version) ***** [18.35] * London Symphony orchestra conducted by Andre Prévin. Recorded in 1966 ** Jascha Heifetz (violin); Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Sir William Walton. Recorded in 1950 *** Gregor Piatigorsky (cello); Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Charles Munch. Recorded in 1957 **** Yuri Bashmet (viola); London Symphony Orchestra conducted by André Previn. Recorded in 1994 ***** Kathryn Stott (piano); Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vernon Handley. Recorded in 1989 BMG RCA 74321 92575 2 [144.30] Superbudget ?? [JQ]

All five recorded performances are from the top drawer and in my opinion three are ‘best buys’. The set is an ideal introduction to Walton’s music … see Full Review
(Whilst the Amazon price holds)

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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 (Toradzo) 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



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