> Classical CD Reviews January 2002 part 4 M-R: Classical MusicWeb (UK)

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Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959) Toccata e Due Canzoni (1946) [25.37] Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Concerto in Ré (1946) [12.32] Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1959) Symphony No. 4 "Deliciae Basilienses" (1946) [27.07] Kammerorchester Basel/Christopher Hogwood Rec Radio Studio Zurich, Switzerland, 8-9 March 2001 ARTE NOVA 74321-86236-2 [65.43] [AT]

Workmanlike performances of workmanlike pieces, worth investigating for a buoyant performance of a delightful Martinu rarity....see Full Review

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Symphonic and Choral Works Cavalleria Rusticana Prelude Intermezzo L’Amico Fritz Intermezzo Isabeau Intermezzo Silvano Barcarola Le Maschere Sinfonia Inno a Rosaura (choir) Furlana (choir) Dansa esotica Gugliemo Ratcliff Sogno Iris Prelude Choir and Orchestra of the Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi/Tiziano Severini Rec. Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste, Italy DYNAMIC CDS 379 [78.17] [RW]

This disc preserves what must have been a memorable occasion. The serious collector will welcome the many rare items. ...see Full Review

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Hérodiade Wiener Staaatsoper Live John the Baptist ..Placido Domingo Herod.. Juan Pons Hérodiade.. Agnes Baltsa Salomé.. Nancy Gustafson Phanuel..Ferruccio Furlanetto Vitellius.. Hans Helm High Priest.. David Calne Johnson A Voice..Ruben Broitman Chorus of the Wiener Staatsoper Orchestra of the Wiener Staatsoper Conducted by Marcello Viotti Recorded Live by the Austrian Radio (ORF) on 12th February 1995 RCA Red Seal/ BMG 2 CDs 74321-79597-2 [137:17] [IL]

A gripping production of one of Massenet’s best operas full of passion and melody with Domingo on top form supported by a strong cast. … see Full Review

Nikolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) Piano Concerto No. 1 (1914-18) [37.23] Piano Concerto No. 2 (1927) [40.18] Piano Concerto No. 3 Ballade (1940-43) [35.46] Piano Sonata in G minor Op. 22 (1911) [15.38] Sonata Reminiscenza Op. 38 No. 1 (1919) [11.46] Sonata Tragica Op. 38 No. 5 (1919) [9.44] Geoffrey Douglas Madge (piano) Artur Rubinstein PO/Ilya Stupel rec Lodz, October 1991 BIS-CD-1258 [152.44] 2 CDs for price of one [RB]

For the Medtner-curious it makes first recommendation for convenience and integrity of artistic values. Madge and his orchestra give the best approximation of a big concert hall sound all with a scaled up epic set to the jaw. ... see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) The Hebrides – Overture, op. 26 (1), Symphony no. 3 in A minor – "Scottish", op. 56 (1), Symphony no. 4 in A – "Italian", op. 90 (2) Scottish National Orchestra/Sir Alexander Gibson (1), London Philharmonic Orchestra/James Lockhart (2) Recorded in City Hall, Glasgow, 4.1975 (1), Barking Town Hall 6-7.1.1975 (2) EMI CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 574 9462 [77.15] [CH]

The two Scottish works are a fine memento of Gibson, with much of the tension of his best live concerts. The Lockhart "Italian" is less desirable. …..see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Trios Nos 1 and 2 Opp 49 and 66 Gould Piano Trio Recorded Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk April 2000 NAXOS 8.555063 [57.02] [JW]

The commitment of the Gould Trio springs from admirable roots but comes at the cost of architectural coherence. I found their rubato slightly affected. Some extraneous noises can be heard - off-putting on repeated hearing. .. see Full Review

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) L’Incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea), opera Carolyn Watkinson (sop) (Nerone), Judith Nelson (sop) (Drusilla), Peter Ratinckx (c-ten) (Amore), Henri Ledroit (alto c-ten) (Ottone), Carmen Balthorp (sop) (Poppea), Andrea Bierbaum (mezz) (Ottavia), Ulrik Cold (bass) (Seneca) Il Complesso Barocco/Alan Curtis Rec. Live performance, Theatre La Fenice, Venice, Italy, September 1980 ADD WARNER FONIT: MUSIC ANTIQUA 8573 84065-2 [CD1 76.13 CD2 47.20 CD 3 39.06] [RW]

This is an issue for those with a special and determined interest in this field. Ordinary opera-goers may wish to investigate studio recordings of modern orchestral or other authentic realisations …. Full review

Alexander MOYZES (1906-1984) Symphony No. 7 (1954-55) Symphony No. 8 21.08.1968 (1968) Slovak Radio SO/Ladislav Slovák rec 2-8 Apr 1990, 2-4 Dec 1994, Concert Hall, Slovak Radio, Bratislava MARCO POLO 8.225091 [70.29] [RB]

Not the place to start your Moyzes Odyssey but a tidy way of showing Moyzes' migration from pastoral perfection to the acrid tragedy of an uncaring century. ...see Full Review

Alexander MOYZES (1906-1984) Symphony No. 9 (1970) [37.06] Symphony No. 10 (1978) [32.48] Slovak Radio SO/Ladislav Slovák rec 26-30 June 1995, 7-11 Feb 1994, Concert Hall, Slovak Radio, Bratislava MARCO POLO 8.225092 [69.54] [RB]

Moyzes at last forsakes the innocence and confidence of the nineteenth century and embraces and expresses the new uncertainties. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Piano Sonatas Mitsuko Uchida Rec: 1983 - 1987, Henry Wood Hall, London. PHILIPS 468 356-2 5 CDs [328.16] [KM]

This is a brilliant set, one that every Mozartian should own. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonatas, Volume 2 Sonata in D major, K 284 Sonata in C major, K 309 Sonata in D major, K311 Roberte Mamou (piano) Rec 1991, Ghent PAVANE ADW 7247 [67.40] [TB]

A most welcome addition to the catalogue. She has just the right manner for this repertoire, spontaneous and natural. ...see Full Review

Arne NORDHEIM (b 1931) Complete Violin Music Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Duplex for Violin and Cello, Partita fur Paul Peter Herresthal (violin) Oystein Sonstad (cello) Mats Claesson (electronics) Stavanger Symphony Orchestra Eivind Aadland conductor Recorded Stavanger Concert Hall November 2000 (Concerto), Lanna Church, Sweden June 2001 (Duplex) and Lindesmannsalen, Oslo April 1997 (Partita) BIS CD 1212 [61.39] [CH]

Nordheim's rebellion against Norwegian conservatism is as well known as his embracing of electronic music. With BIS’s usual standards of excellence in matters of presentation and sound this is a highly recommended disc. …see Full Listing

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Serenades & Divertimenti for Wind Instruments Mozart Edition vol. 3 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 7CDs 99716 [approx. 6 hours 10 min.] Superbudget

This is another set which, for its price, is truly a bargain. While not all of the works are truly interesting, the performances are excellent. … see Full Listing

Max d'OLLONE (1875-1959) Piano Quartet (1949) String Quartet (1898) Piano Trio (1920) Patrice d'Ollone (piano) Quatuor Athenaeum Enesco
rec Jan 1999, Salle des fêtes de l'Académie de Paris PIERRE VERANY PV799061 [69.03] [RBr]

Something of a revelation – three substantial works by a French composer who has been largely neglected for more than fifty years. A freshness, intensity and individuality that deserves a better fate. I impatiently await further opportunities for becoming acquainted with other works by this fascinating composer. ...see Full Review

Pavel PABST (1854-1807) Opera and Ballet Paraphrases Fantasie sur l’opéra "Mazeppa" (Tchaikovsky) Paraphrase de concert sur l’opéra "Eugene Onegin" (Tchaikovsky) Réminiscences de l’opéra "Le Demon" Grand Fantasie (Rubinstein) Paraphrase de concert sur le ballet "La Belle au bois dormant" (Tchaikovsky) Berceuse (Tchaikovsky Op.16 No.1) Illustrations de l’opéra "La Dame Pique" (Tchaikovsky) Oleg Marshev – Piano
Recorded at the Cultural Institute, Milan September 1996 DANACORD DACOCD450 [67.39] [JF]

Excellent stuff. This CD should help secure a new generation of enthusiasts for a long derided form of music - the paraphrase or transcription. Brilliantly played - all good stuff. ... see Full Review

Hans PFITZNER (1869-1949) Palestrina - A musical legend - (excerpts from Act One and Act Three) Libretto by the composer after historical sources Sung in German Palestrina - Fritz Wunderlich (tenor) Ighino - Sena Jurinac (soprano) Silla - Christa Ludwig (contralto) Vienna State Opera Chorus Vienna State Opera Orchestra Robert Heger (conductor)Recorded live by Austrian Radio (ORF) on 16 December 1964 RCA RED SEAL 74321 79598 2 [79.35] [CF]

It is the unforgettable voice and impeccable diction of Fritz Wunderlich which will sear itself upon your memory. …see Full Review

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Piano concerto, Concert champêtre for harpsichord, Organ concerto Jean-Bernard Pommier (piano) Maggie Cole (harpsichord) Gillian Weir (organ) City of London Sinfonia Richard Hickcox (conductor) Recorded at Henry Wood Hall and Royal Festival Hall, London, February 1988 VIRGIN CLASSICS VM5619792 [69.22] Midprice [CF]

This is a highly enjoyable trio of works by that tunesmith Poulenc, who can rarely be serious without breaking out into some sort of parody, pastiche, or dry French wit, and the sheer variety of the three solo keyboard instruments makes it trebly enjoyable. ... see Full Review

André PREVIN Diversions (1999) Sallie Chisum remembers Billy the Kid – orchestral version - (1994) Vocalise – orchestral version – (1995) The Giraffes go to Hamburg (2000) Three Dickinson Songs (1999) Barbara Bonney, soprano, Renee Fleming, soprano, Moray Welsh, cello, with Wiener Philharmoniker (Diversions),and the London Symphony Orchestra (Sallie Chishum and Vocalise) conducted by André Previn, (conductor and piano).recorded 5/2000 in Musikverein, Wien (Diversions), 5/2000 in the Academy of Arts & Letters, New York (Giraffes, Songs), 6/2000 in Abbey Road Studios, London (Sallie and Vocalise). DG 471 028-2 [56.39] [JP]

If I single out the singers for special mention, this is not to denigrate the two orchestras who turn in performances as we all would expect, and DG’s recording and presentation are well up to their normal house standard. Very highly recommended. ….see Full review

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) Piano WorksVolume 1-5 Oleg Marshev (piano) Recorded: - Concert Hall Lodz; Volume 1 –November 1991; Volume 2 –May 1992; Volume 3 –May 1994; Volume 4 – April 1995; Siemens Villa, Berlin June 1995 DANACORD DACOCD 391-395 (all available separately) [JF]

A fine, comprehensive recording of all the catalogued piano works of Sergei Prokofiev. Oleg brings "a finished technique, indomitable temperament, profound insight, and finally, the gift for sincere yet wholesome lyricism." An excellent buy ...see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor Ernst von DOHNANYI (1877-1960) Variations on a Nursery Song Henry Charles LITOLFF (1818-1891) Scherzo from the Third Concerto Symphonique Arthur Ozolins (piano) Toronto Symphony conducted by Mario Bernardi (recorded in 1986 at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto) CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) SMCD 5052 [58:21] [IL]

Sterling performances of slightly less well-known yet well-loved Late Romantic works for piano and orchestra.... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 1
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Mikhail Pletnev (piano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Libor Pesek Rec Nov 1987, St Augustine's Church, Kilburn VIRGIN CLASSICS 7243 5 61976 2 [50.39] [TB]

These may not be the definitive performances of a lifetime, but they are hugely enjoyable and there are insights galore. … see Full Review

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) Piano Works Morceaux de Fantasie Op.3 (1892) Elégie in Eb minor; Prelude in C# minor; Mélodie in E major; Polichinelle; Sérénade in Bb minor Piano Sonata No.2 in B flat minor Op.36 (revised version) (1913/1931) Variations on a theme of Corelli Op.42 (1931) Oleg Marshev - pianist Recorded at the Concert Hall in Sønderborg, Denmark April 1999 DANACORD DACOCD 525 [67.18] [JF]

Oleg Marshev plays all these pieces with great understanding and superb technical competency. This is a fine introduction to Rachmaninov's music for solo piano. The Corelli Variations are stunning. … see Full Review

Joachim RAFF (1822-1882) ymphony No.1 in D major To the Fatherland (1861) Rhenish Philharmonic Orchestra/Samuel Friedman Rec. details? NAXOS 8.555411 [65.00?] [RW]

A work remarkably unified in structure, thematic material and orchestral texture played with dynamic enthusiasm. The acoustics are warm and full with good balance between sections. …see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Piano quintet in F minor (1902)
String quartet in D minor (1909) Six pieces for violin and piano (1901-1905) The Ambache Recorded at St Michael’s Church, Highgate, London, 14-16 November 2000 CHANDOS CHAN 9962 [76.42] [CF]

A surprising revelation: music that is very delightful, tuneful, and imaginative. The Ambache play it all superbly well. … see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Liriche da Camera - Italian Song Axel Everaert (tenor) and Pascal del Marmol (piano) (Recorded at Théâtre La Colonne à Miramas (France) 21-23 April 1997) PAVANE ADW 7375 [60:24] [IL]

A compilation of beautiful songs sensitively performed and another valuable addition to the growing and widening Respighi discography. .. see Full Review

Ned ROREM (b 1923) Selected Songs Carole Farley (soprano) Ned Rorem (piano) Recorded Old North Church, Nantucket, MA, June 2000 NAXOS 8.559084 [57.36] [JW]

Don’t forego the pleasure of Rorem’s pianism in his own music. My own preference is strongly for Graham but it would be good to open the windows and feel the bracing air of Carole Farley once in a while. … see Full Review


Edmund RUBBRA STRING QUARTETS String Quartet No 2 in E flat major Op. 73; (1951) Lyric Movement for String Quartet and Piano Op. 24; (1929 rev. 1946) Meditations on a Byzantine Hymn ‘O Quando in Cruce’ for two violas Op. 117a; (1962) String Quartet No 4 Op. 150 (1977) Dante Quartet with Michael Dussek piano and Judith Busbridge and Krysia Osostowicz violas Recorded at Maltings Snape May 2001 DUTTON CDLX 7114 [59.13]

An excellent disc which, with just a few noted reservations, I can very much recommend. ...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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