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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


 

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ALPHABETICAL LISTING

Luigi CHERUBINI Sei Sonate per Cimbalo (Six sonatas for keyboard) Lya De Barberiis (fortepiano) Recordings made in Luglio 1977 WARNER FONIT 8573 87491-2 [64.53] [PW]

The repertoire, the performance, and the recording are all likely to provoke reaction of one sort or another. … see Full Review

Domenico CIMAROSA (1749-1801)Overtures, volume 1 Voldomiro, La Baronessa Stramba, La stravaganze del conte, Il matrimonio segreto, L’infidelta fedele, Il ritorno di Don Calendrino, Il falegname, Cleopatra, Il convito, La vergine del sole, Il credulo, L’impresario in angustie. Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia/Alessandro Amoretti Recorded at Phoenix Studio, Hungary (6-9 April 2000) Marco Polo 8.225181 [69:06] [AAS]

The music is bright, fluent and expertly crafted, and the excellent Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia plays with sparkling elegance in recordings of spacious clarity. … see Full Review

Samuel COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912) - Piano Quintet in G minor Op. 1 (1893) [27.47] - Fantasiestücke for String Quartet Op. 5 (1895) [21.07] Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) - Italian Serenade (1887) [7.20] Live-A-Music: Andrew Berridge (violin), Tony Burrage (violin/Director), Joanna Lacey (viola), Michael Parratt (cello), John Pearce (piano) - rec live Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 7 Nov 2001 - Special Limited Edition First Recording LIVE-A-MUSIC 2001 [56.41] [RB]

We owe it to Live-a-Music that the two Coleridge-Taylor works are presented with such eager and driving confidence. This is an example of real music making aided by the edge that only a live performance can give. ... see Full Review

Peter DICKINSON (b. 1934) A Feature Review: Three Dickinson CDs on ALBANY Concertos for Piano, Organ; Outcry ALBANY TROY 360 [77.35] Song Cycles ALBANY TROY 365 [60.06] Rags, Blues and Parodies ALBANY TROY 369 [62.36] [RB]

A multi-faceted composer too little known whose music is by no means unapproachable. He is extremely sensitive to words and mood but his pellucidly orchestrated concertos should not be overlooked. … see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Lucia di Lammermoor - Opera in three acts, Libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, after Sir Walter Scott's novel The Australian Opera Chorus, The Elizabethan Sydney Orchestra, Conducted by Richard Bonynge, Stage Production by John Copley - Cast: Joan Sutherland, Richard Greager, Malcolm Donnelly, Clifford Grant, Robin Donald - Recorded: Sydney 1986 ARTHAUS Sel. No. 100 242 PAL [2 CDs 145.00] [DL]

A competent and often enjoyable 1986 Australian production with some visual drawbacks. This is Joan Sutherland in the twilight of her career but still showing more than a hint of what made her ‘La Stupenda’. … see Full Review

Henri DUTILLEUX (b. 1916) Métabolesa. The Shadows of Timeb. Symphony No. 2, ‘Le Double’c. bTimothée Collardot, bAude Guirai, bSarah Lecolle (children’s voices); Toulouse Capitole Orchestra/Michel Plasson. Recorded in the Halle-aux-Grains, Toulouse on abJanuary 3rd-6th, 2001, cJune 28th-30th, 1998. DDD EMI CDC5 57143-2 [71.16] [CC]

The fine cohesive forces and undeniable emotive power of these pieces should surely serve to guarantee them a lasting place in the repertoire ... the more one listens, the more there is to discover. … see Full Review

John FIELD (1782-1837) Piano concertos Nos. 5 and 6 Benjamin Frith, piano Northern Sinfonia/David Haslam; Recorded in the Jubilee Theatre, Nicholas Hospital, Newcastle, UK, January 1997 NAXOS 8.554221 [57.22] [RBr]

These two concertos have all the fragrance and filigree detail of the five that Field wrote during his brief creative life, and gain in beauty through Benjamin Frith’s excellent playing. … see Full Review

John FIELD (1782-1837) Nocturnes 1-15 - Roberte Mamou, piano - No recording date or location given PAVANE ADW 7110-2 [64.08] [PQ]

For those who have yet to discover Field’s charm, there is no reason for them to start with this disc. … see Full Review

César FRANCK ‡ Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra* , ‡ Symphonic Poem Les Djinns (op 54)* , ‡‡ Piano Concerto no 2 in B minor † * François-Joël Thiollier (piano), † Martijn van den Hoek (piano) with the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra/Roberto Benzi ‡ Recorded in the Musis Sacrum, Arnhem (June 1995); ‡‡ same location (July 1997) NAXOS 8.553472 [58:58] [AAS]

Filled out with thoroughly attractive accounts of the Symphonic Variations and Les Djinns, this disc is certainly worth a fiver or so. … see Full Review

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Iphigénie en Tauride Susan Graham (soprano): Iphigénie - Paul Groves (tenor): Pylade - Thomas Hampson (baritone): Oreste - Philippe Rouillon (bass): Thoas - Walter Zeh (bass): Minister -
Olga Schalaeva (soprano): Priestess - Astrid Hofer (soprano): Priestess - Patrick Arnaud (tenor): Scythian - Elena Nebera (soprano): Greek woman - Vienna State Opera Concert Society Chorus Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra/Ivor Bolton - Rec 2 August 2000, Residenzhof, Salzburg ORFEO C 563 012 I [2CDs: 104.54] [TB]

A somewhat romanticised, interpreted vision. The music is strong enough to respond to varying interpretations, and this is one option. … see Full Review

Gérard GRISEY (1946 – 1998) Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil (1997/8) Catherine Dubosc (soprano); Klangforum Wien; Sylvain Cambreling Recorded: WDR Funkhaus, October 2000 KAIROS 0012252KAI [41:34] [HC]

I warmly recommend the present release. Catherine Dubosc and Klangforum Wien superbly rise to the occasion and deliver a carefully prepared, committed reading which, I hope, will earn the piece and its composer many new friends. … … see Full Review

Georg Friedrich HAENDEL (1685-1759) Esther , Oboe Sonata in G minor, HWV 404 [105.20] Anthony Robson (oboe) Lynda Russell (sop) Nancy Argenta (sop) Michael Chance (alto) Thomas Randle, Mark Padmore, Matthew Vine, Simon Berridge (ten) Michael George, Robert Evans, Simon Birchall (basses). Choir and Orchestra of The Sixteen, Harry Christophers Rec: St Judes on the Hill, May 1995 REGIS RRC 2025 2CDs [150.20] [KM]

Yet another fine Handel oratorio at a budget price from Regis. Handel fans should snap this one up right away. … see Full Review

Georg Friedrich HAENDEL (1685-1759) - Italian Cantatas - Il delirio amoroso "Da quel giorno fatale" HWV 99 - La Lucrezia "O Numi eterni", Cantata HWV 145 - Il consiglio "Tra le fiamme", Cantata HWV 170 Magdalena Kozená, mezzo-soprano - Les Musiciens du Louvre, Marc Minkowski - Rec: 12/1999 - Paris, Maison de la Radio, Studio 104 ARCHIV 469 065-2 [67.37] [KM]

A fine recording, that shows just how much of a wonderful voice Magdalena Kozená has. The music is beautiful, and some of the arias are among the finest that Handel ever wrote. … see Full Review

Asger Hamerik (1843-1923) Symphony No. 5 in G minor Op.36 (Symphonie sérieuse) (1889-91) Symphony No.6 in G major (Symphonie Spirituelle) Op.38 (1897) Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra Thomas Dausgaard– conductor Recorded at the Helsingborg Concert Hall on 15th December 1997, 11th –12th June 1998 and 25th –26th May 2000. DACAPO 8.224161 [68.16] [JF]

This CD is to be highly recommended. The slow movement of the Fifth Symphony alone repays the cost of this CD many times. A fine addition to the Symphonic Catalogue of Danish, Scandinavian and European music. … see Full Review

Reynaldo HAHN (1875-1947) Violin Concerto Piano Concerto Suite Hongroise Denis Clavier (violin) Angéline Pondepeyre (piano) Philharmonie de Lorraine/Fernand Quattrocchi Recorded in Metz, France in 1997 MAGUELONE MAG 111.106 [73:56] [IL]

A truly enchanting album calculated to chase away the winter blues. It is incredible to believe that these are premier recordings of Hahn’s Violin Concerto and the Suite Hongroise, both are so effulgently melodic. … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Deborah Deborah, Elizabeth Scholl (soprano) Jael, Natacha Ducret (soprano) Barak, Lawrence Zazzo (countertenor) Sisera, Ewa Wolak (contralto) Herald, Knut Schoch (tenor) Abinoam, Jelle S. Draijer (baritone) Junge Kantorei; Barokorchester Frankfurt/Joachim Carlos Martini Recorded live May 1999 in the Kloster Eberbach, Germany NAXOS 8.554785.87 3 CDs [162:24] [RBr]

Live performance.A hollow acoustic totally unsympathetic to the soloists, at times to an almost painful degree, and not improved by a serious imbalance in the ensemble in several places. Not a performance to be praised unreservedly. … see Full Review

John HARBISON (b. 1938) - The Rewaking (1991) - String Quartet No. 3 (1993) - Fantasia on a Ground (1993) - Thanks Victor (1994) The Lydian String Quartet - Dominique LaBelle (soprano) - Recorded 1997-98, at the Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. disc 2 is devoted to interviews with the composer. MUSICA OMNIA MO 0110 2-Disc Set; disc 1 [ 50.00] disc 2 [ 39.51] [TH]

John Harbison is one of America’s most prominent and popular contemporary composers. … see Full Review

Josef Matthias HAUER (1883-1959) - Fifteen Zwölftonspiele. Ensemble Avantgarde Recorded in Leipzig on November 29th-December 1st, 2000. [DDD] DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM - SZENE MDG613 1060-2 [49.23] [CC]

It would be a heart-warming thought indeed if, in these cash-strapped times for the recording industry, enlightened companies the like of Dabringhaus und Grimm could continue where this disc left off and provide more Hauer discs. They would, indeed, be most welcome. … see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Violin Sonata in G major, Hob.XV:32 Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Violin Sonata in A major, D574 Fantasy for violin and piano in C major, D934 Yehudi Menuhin (violin), Benjamin Britten (piano) Rec 16 June 1957, Blythburgh Church (Schubert Fantasy); 27 June 1959, Aldeburgh Church (remainder) BBC LEGENDS BBCL4083-2 [68.57] [TB]

Menuhin and Britten never made commercial recordings together, which makes this BBC Legends issue all the more interesting. … see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Sonata in C minor, Hob.XVI/20, Sonata in F major, Hob.XVI/23, Sonata in A flat major, Hob.XVI/46 Etienne Rappe (piano) Rec 1988, Théâtre du Résidence Palace, Brussels PAVANE ADW 7206 [56.00] [TB]

Performances that certainly capture the spirit of Haydn. Rappe plays a splendid Fazioli instrument. Phrasing beautifully shaped. Recorded sound pleasing, too, in a natural acoustic. … see Full Review

Wim HENDERICKX (born 1962)- Raga I (1994/6)a -Raga II "Tombeau" (1995) - Raga III (1995)b Gert François (percussion)a; Leo De Neve (viola)b; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders; Grant Llewellyn - Recorded: De Blauwe Zaal, deSingel, Antwerp, July 1998 MEGADISC MDC 7833 [64:10] [HC]

Henderickx is one of the most endearing composers of his generation. … see Full Review

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) A Choral Fantasia (1930) [18.17] First Choral Symphony (1925) [49.03] Lynne Dawson (sop) John Birch (organ)
Guildford Choral Society Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Hilary Davan Wetton rec Guildford Cathedral (Fantasia) and Henry Wood Hall, London, 21, 22, 28 March 1993 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55104 [RB]

While the Ode is austere the Symphony is a cherishable choral work in celebration of words and music. A bargain. ...see Full Review

Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854-1921) Hänsel und Gretel Fairy Tale Opera in Three Acts The Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House conducted by Franz Welser-Möst Recorded in Zurich in 1999 TDK DVD Video DV-OPHUG [105 mins approx.]

This might not be a totally satisfying experience for the ear, but it is certainly a visual treat. An imaginative and colourful production clearly aimed at entrancing a young audience. … see Full Review

Niccolò JOMMELLI La Passione di Nostro Signore Gesù Cristo (1749) Parte Prima CD 1 - 1. Overture, 2. Recit: Dove son! Dove corro?, 3. Aria: Giacché mi tremi in seno, 4. Recit: Ma qual dolente stuolo, 5. Chorus: Quanto costa il tuo delitto 6. Recit: Maddalena, Giovanni, 7. Aria: Vorrei dirti il mio dolore, 8. Recit: O più di noi felice, 9. Aria: Torbido mar che freme, 10. Recit: O barbari! O crudeli, 11. Recit: Altri gli svelle, 12. Aria: Come, vista di pene si fiere, 13. Recit: E la Madre frattanto 14. Aria: Potea quel pianto, 15. Recit: Come inventar potea, 16. Aria: Tu nel duol felice sei, 17. Recit: Dopo un pegno sì grande, 18. Duet: Vi sento, o Dio, vi sento, 19. Chorus: Di qual sangue mortale Parte Seconda CD 2 - 1. Recit: Ed insepolto ancora, 2. Aria: Retornerà tra voi, 3. Recit: Qual terribil vendetta, 4. Aria: All’ idea de’ tuoi perigli, 5. Recit: Pur dovrebbe in tal giorno, 6. Aria: Dovunque il guardo io giro, 7. Recit: Giovanni, anchio lo so, 8. Aria: A’ passi erranti, 9. Recit: Non senza guida, 10. Aria: Se a librarsi in mezzo all’onde, 11. Recit: Ah dal felice marmo, 12. Chorus: Santa speme - Anke Herrmann - Maddalena (soprano) - Debora Bernesi - Giovanni (mezzo soprano) - Jeffrey Francis - Pietro (tenor) - Maurizio Picconi - Guiseppe d’Arimatea (baritone) - Ensemble Eufonia and Ensemble vocale Sigismondo D’India - Coro dei seguaci di Cristo - Berliner Barock Akademie (Midori Seiler - leader)
Conducted by Alessandro de Marchi - Recordings made in the Oratorio dell’Immacoletta, Palermo - 31 March to 4 April 1996 K617 K617063 [CD 1 Parte Prima 79.04; CD 2 Parte Seconda 46.30] [PW]

Convincing interpretation and excellent performance, a work well worth rediscovering. … see Full Review

Alfreds KALNINS (1879-1951) Banuta (1920 rev 1927-33) Opera in four acts - Regina Frinberga (sop) - Banuta, Karlis Zarins (bar) - Vizuts, Aleksandrs Daskovs - Valgudis, King, Peteris Gravelis - Daumants, son of the King, Maija Krigena - Maiga, the King's daughter, Druvis Krikis - Zvantevaitis, leader of warriors, Ivars Krastins - Burvis, sorcerer, Oskars Bruveris - Zvalgonis, Andris Blaumanis - Krivs, priest, Karlis Miesnieks - Krivukrivs, High Priest, Valentina Grinberga - First Priestess, Vera Davidone - Second Priestess, Lauma Vanaga - Third Priestess Choir and Symphony Orchestra of Latvian TV and Radio/Aleksandrs Vilumanis RIGAS SKANU RS010 [CD1 75.06; CD2 75.41] [RB]

If you can't get enough in the way of romantic nationalist operas then don't delay. The only downside is the parsimonious tracking. See Full Review

Serge KAUFMANN Chant Concertant* Suite Yiddish+ Selah#
Adamah* Duos for Violins*^ L’Eau retrouvee <
Jean-Pascal Introvigne, baritone < Hubert Chachereau, violin * Cecile Moreau, violin ^ Phillipe Pennanguer, cello + Marie-Josephe Truys, piano + Ad Libitum String Quintet # Orchestre Bernard Calmel conducted by Bernard Calmel Ensemble Vocal Melodia directed by Evelyne Schwab < Recorded in the Auditoriom of l’Ecole Nationale de Musique d’Aulnay-sous-Bois December 1998 PAVANE ADW 7420 [74.02]

Kaufmann’s aesthetic is lyrical, songful and specifically "Yiddish" … see Full Review

Minna KEAL (1909 – 1999) Cantillation for Violin and Orchestra Op.4 (1988)1 Wind Quintet Op.2 (1980)2 String Quartet Op.1 (1978) Symphony Op.3 (1980/5) Stephen Bryant (violin)1; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Nicholas Cleobury; Lontano2; Odaline de la Martinez2; Archaeus String Quartet Recorded : BBC Maida Vale Studios, London (Cantillation, Symphony); St Silas Church, Kentish Town (Quintet) and St Paul’s Church, New Southgate, London (Quartet) LORELT LNT 110 [67:54] [HC]

These works repay repeated hearings and deserve to be better known. Recommended to those willing to explore some neglected by-ways of the 20th Century British music. … see Full Review

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Music from the Films: The Sea Hawk (1940), The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), Captain Blood (1935) & The Prince and the Pauper (1937). London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn recorded July 2001, London. Full Price DG 471 347-2 [67.57] [MB][IL]

Previn’s conducting is exciting generating considerable tension throughout, as one might expect from him, aided by a full and powerful recording by DG. This is, in short, a superb disc in every way. [MB]
The vitality of Korngold’s exuberant scores tends to be drained. Sound quality is very good and there is much to enjoy with some music not included in the RCA Gerhardt series.[IL] … see Full Review

Constant LAMBERT (1905-51) Volume II - Composer Horoscope - Music from the ballet (1937) Apparitions - Music from the ballet (1936) Dante Sonata - Music from the ballet (1949) The Rio Grande (1927) Liverpool Philharmonic (Horoscope: 1, 3, 5) Philharmonia (Horoscope: 2, 4) Philharmonia (Apparitions; Rio Grande) Sadlers' Wells Orchestra (Dante) Louis Kentner, piano (Dante) Kyla Greenbaum, piano (Rio); Gladys Ripley (con) (Rio), Philharmonia Chorus (Rio) all conducted by Constant Lambert rec 15 May 1945 (Horoscope); 14 Jan 1949 (all Philharmonia); 20 March 1940 (Dante Sonata) PEARL GEM 0069 [70.24] [RB]

This balletic compilation is the natural complement to Pearl's volume I. It will go some way to satisfy those fascinated by Lambert the musician and the man. … see Full Review

Guillaume LEKEU (1870-94) Violin Sonata (1892) [31.29] Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1883-1937) Mythes (1915) [6.02] Josef SUK (1874-1935) Ballade (1900) [9.38] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata (1917) [13.22] Jonathan Morton (violin) Carole Presland (piano) rec Conservatoire Royal de Liège, Oct 1992 DDD PAVANE ADW 7280 [61.02] [RB]

Will we hear more of Morton and Presland? This recital is strongly recommended. ... see Full Review

Anatol LIADOV (1855 - 1914) Baba-Yaga (op. 56); Intermezzo (op. 8); Ballade (op. 21b); The Enchanted Lake (op. 62); Mazurka (op. 19); Nenie (op. 67); Polonaise (op. 49); Polonaise (op. 55); Kikimora (op. 63); Fragment from the Apocalypse (op. 66); Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/Stephen Gunzenhauser recorded at Concert Hall of Slovak PO, May 1985 Reissued from Marco Polo 8.220348 NAXOS 8.555242 [58'05] [PS]

Liadov’s wonderful sounds could have been projected with greater richness and bloom. The more I listened, the more I liked what I heard. Definitely worth a try. … see Full Review

Carl LOEWE (1796-1869) Lieder, volume 15: Seven Polish Ballads, Opus 49-51, Saul und Samuel, Opus 14 No. 1, Saul vor seiner, Opus 5 No. 6, Sanheribs Niederlage, Opus 13 No. 1, Saul, Opus 14 No. 4, Eliphas' Gesicht, Opus 14 No. 2, Der Komet, Opus 69 No. 6, Deutsche Barcarole, Opus 103 No. 3,Bauernregel, Opus 9 No. 3, Der alte König, Opus 116 No. 2, Urszula Kryger (soprano), Thomas Mohr (baritone) Cord Garben (piano) Rec 17-19 December 1997, SFB Berlin CPO 999 412-2 [69.21] [TB]

Loewe was inspired by many poetic sources, at his best when he is most direct, laying emphasis on a direct and song-like melodic line. … see Full Review

Fernando LOPES-GRAÇA (1906-1994) Paris 1937 for two pianos (1968) Elegia (1953) Piano Sonata No. 4 (1961) Toccata, Andante and Fugato (1991) Miguel Henriques (piano) Ana Valente (piano) (in Paris 1937 only) rec St George's Church, Lisboa, Portugal, 29-31 May 2000 STRAUSS-PORTUGALSOM SP4352 [51.50] [RB]

Lopes-Graça as the percussively stark Stravinskian of the piano. ... see Full Review

Witold LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994) Preludes and Fugue for 13 Solo Strings (1972); Three Postludes (1958-60); Mini Overture (1982); Fanfare for Louisville (1986); Fanfare for CUBE (1987); Fanfare for the University of Lancaster (1989); Prelude for GMSD (1989); Polish National Radio SO/Antoni Wit - recorded at Grzegorg Fitelberg Concert Hall, Katowice, September 1996 to July 2000 NAXOS 8.555270 [59:10] [PS]

“It’s music, Jim - but not music as we know it”. This selection of mature orchestral and ensemble music by Lutoslawski, inventor of extraordinary sonorities, is played with bags of character and enthusiasm. … 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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