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Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 9 (1909-10) [85’27"] - Four songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn* [15’50"] - Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen* [15’57"] - * Yvonne Minton (mezzo soprano) Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Sir Georg Solti - Recorded in *Medinah Temple, Chicago in March – April 1970; Orchestra Hall, Chicago in May 1982 DECCA 473 274-2 [116’41"] [JQ]

An interesting, provocative reading of the Symphony and the performances of the songs are very good. … see Full Review

Rolf MARTINSSON (b. 1956) Bridge, Trumpet Concerto No. 1 Op. 47 (1998) - Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Concerto Piccolo über B-A-C-H (1994) for trumpet, strings, harpsichord and piano - Eino TAMBERG (b. 1930) Concerto No. 1 for trumpet and orchestra - Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet) Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi - Recorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden, August 2000 BIS CD-1208 DDD [50:51] [CT]

Impressive performances of three contrasting and highly entertaining Swedish and Estonian trumpet concertos. … see Full Review

Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959) String Quartet Number 4 (1937) [20:42] - String Quartet Number 5 (1938) [28:28] - String Quartet Number 7 "Concerto da Camera" (1947) [21:59] Martinu Quartet: (Lubomír Havlák, violin I, Petr Macećek, violin II, Jan Jíša, viola, Jitka Vlanšánková, cello) - Recorded in the Martíek Studio, Prague, 20-21 November, 16-17 December 1995 DDD NAXOS 8.553784 [71:09] [KS]

Vigorous playing, a fine sense of ensemble, simply ravishing in tone and expression … see Full Review

Giuseppe MARTUCCI (1856-1909) La Canzone Dei Ricordią (1886-87) - Novelletta, Op. 82 (1905) - Colore Orientale, Op. 44 No. 3 (1880) - Andante, Op. 69 No. 2 (1888) - Notturno, Op. 70 No. 1 (1888) - Serenata, Op. 57 No.1˛ (1886) - Momento Musicale, Op. 57 No. 3˛ (1883) - Rachel Yakar, sopranoą Philharmonia Orchestra/Francesco d'Avalos - Recorded in St. Barnabas Church, Mitcham, England, July 1989, December 1989˛ and July 1990ą ASV PLATINUM PLT 8512 [74.13] [NH]

Another excellently programmed disc in the ASV Platinum series, offering a real insight into the strengths and, to a lesser extent, the limitations of Martucci's idiom … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Joseph MARX (1882-1964) Natur-Trilogie (1922-5):- 1. Ein Symphonische Nachtmusik (1922) 2. Idylle - Concertino über die pastorale Quart (1925) 3. Eine Frühlingsmusik (1925) Bochum SO/Steven Sloane rec. Maximilianpark, Hamm, Germany, 11-15 June 2002. DDD Complete Orchestral Music: Volume 1. ASV CD DCA 1137 [64.19] [RB]

An impressionistic South German voice soaked in the quintessence of lyrical expression. The strongest recommendation. ... see Full Review

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Manon (an opera in 5 Acts) (1882-84) Manon Lescaut - Germaine Féraldy (sop) Le Comte Des Grieux - Louis Guénot (bass-baritone) Le Chevalier Des Grieux - Josef Rogatchewsky (tenor) Lescaut - Georges Villier (baritone) Pousette - Andrée Vavon (sop) Javotte - Jeanne Rambert/Mme Ravery (side 31) (sop) Rosette - Andrée Bernadet/Marguerite Julliot (sides 29, 32) (sop) Rosette - Marinette Fenoyer (side 33) (sop) Guillot - Emile de Creus (tenor) De Brétigny - Jean Vieuille/André Gaudin (sides 17, 20, 21) (baritone) L’Hôtelier - Paul Payan Chorus and Orchestra of the Opéra-Comique, Paris/Elie Cohen Recorded on 36 sides by French Columbia, December 1928-March 1929 Matrices: WLX 655, 656, 661, 676-80, 683-87, 689-93, 723-31, 740, 741, 823, 824, 827-29, 835, 836 Catalogue: D 15156-73 Mono ADD Naxos Great Opera Recordings NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110203-04 [2CDs: 76.08+65.25] [RVD]

a recording of real value to which I shall enjoy returning again. … see Full Review

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Werther Opera in 4 Acts (1887) Werther, Marcus Haddock (ten). Charlotte, Béatrice Uria-Monzon (sop). Albert, René Massis (bar). Sophie, Jael Azzaretti, (sop). Le Billi, Jean-Phillipe Marliére (bar). Orchestra National de Lille-Région Nord/Pas-de-Calais/Jean-Claude Casadesus Recorded live during stage performances at the ‘Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle’, Lille, France, from 19th –25th June 1999 NAXOS 8.660072-73 [68.17+53.07] [RF]

The strengths of this issue are in the use of native speakers, all with generally good diction … it can sit comfortably alongside the most distinguished recordings … see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809 - 1847) Symphony for Strings No. 9 in C Minor (1823) - Symphony for Strings No. 11 in F Minor (1823) The German Chamber Academy of Neuss (Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss)/Johannes Goritzki - Recorded Westdeutcher Rundfunk, Köln 1991 CLAVES CD 50-9002 [67.42] [RH]

Rather sober performances of two of Mendelssohn's charming youthful symphonies … see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) A Midsummer Night's Dream: Overture (1826) and Incidental Music (1843) - Overture: Ruy Blas (1839) - Rebecca Evans (soprano) - Juyce di Donato (mezzo-soprano) - The Oxford and Cambridge Theatre Company - Le Jeune Choeur de Paris Ensemble Orchestral de Paris/John Nelson - Rec 13-16 December 2001, Orchestre National d'Ile de France, Alfortville VIRGIN CLASSICS 7243 5 45532 [77.12] [TB]

A dramatic rendition of Ruy Blas completes this most appealing new issue … splendid addition to the catalogue. … see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Lieder ohne Worte (Songs without words) 1-24 (1829-45) - E major Op.19 No. 1 - A minor Op.19 No.2 - A major Op.19 No.3 Jägerlied - A major Op.19 No.4 - F sharp minor Op.19.No.5 - G minor Op.19 No.6 Venetian Gondola Song - E flat major Op 30.No.1 - B flat minor Op.30 No.2 - E major Op.30 No.3 - B minor Op.30 No.4 - D major Op.30 No.5 - F sharp minor Op.30 No.6 Venetian Gondola Song - E flat major Op.38 No.1 - C minor Op.38 No.2 - E major Op.38 No.3 - A major Op.38 No.4 - A minor Op.38 No.5 - A flat major Op.38 No.6 Duetto - A flat major Op.53 No.1 - E flat major Op.53 No.2 - G minor Op.53 No.3 - F major Op.53 No.4 - A minor Op.53 No.5 Volkslied - A major Op.53 No.6 Frank van de Laar (Piano) - Recorded between December 1999 and January 2000 in the Remonstrantse - Gemeente, Deventer, Netherlands DDD CLASSIC COLLECTION 99897 [66.04] [RB]

And yes, I did listen to all 24 at one sitting, very much enjoyed it and regretted the absence of some personal favourites. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Elias’, Op. 70 (1846-7) [128’12"] Christine Schäfer (soprano); Cornelia Kallisch (alto); Michael Schade (tenor); Wolfgang Schöne (baritone) Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart Bach-Collegium Stuttgart/Helmuth Rilling ‘Paulus’, Op. 36 (1834-6) [131’11"] Juliane Banse (soprano); Ingeborg Danz (alto); Michael Schade (tenor); Andreas Schmidt (bass) Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart Prager Kammerchor Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Helmuth Rilling Recorded: 3 – 7 July 1994, iederhalle Stuttgart, Germany (‘Elias’); 17 – 19 November 1994, Rudolfinum Dvořák Hall, Prague (‘Paulus’) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99953 [65’16"+62’56"+72’25"+58’46"] [JQ]

Outstanding value for money … marvellous music in outstanding performances captured in first class sound. … see Full Review

FROM MONTEVERDI TO VIVALDI - CD 1: Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) ‘Venetian Vesper Music’ (Selva morale e spirituale) - Dixit Dominus (II) a 8 [08:24] - Confitebor tibi (II) a 3 [06:27] - Beatus vir (I) a 6 [08:59] - Laudate pueri (II) a 5 [06:52] - Laudate Dominum (I) a 5 [04:48] - Deus tuorum militum a 3 [02:43] - Magnificat a 8 (completed by Andrew Parrott) [12:59] - Jubilet tota civitas a voce sola in dialogo [04:42] - Salve Regina a 3 [05:56] - CD 2: ‘Venetian Church Music’ - Giovanni GABRIELI (1553/56-1612) Intonatio del 9. tono (Intonationi d’organo, 1593) [0:44] - In ecclesiis a 14 (Symphoniae sacrae, II, 1615) [8:12] - Claudio MONTEVERDI Adoramus te, Christe a 6 (Motetti in lode d’iddio nostro Signore, 1623) [4:42] - Alessandro GRANDI (1577-1630) O quam pulchra es (Ghirlanda sacra, 1625) [3:43] - Dario CASTELLO (c1590-1644) - Sonata seconda (Sonate concertate, libro secondo, 1629) [4:37] - Claudio MONTEVERDI Exulta, filia Sion (Arie de diversi autori, 1624) [5:09] - Giovanni LEGRENZI (1626-1690) - Sonata da chiesa a 3, op. 8, 8 ‘La Bevilaqua’ (Sonate, libro III, op. 8, 1663) [5:16] Antonio LOTTI (c1667-1740) - Crucifixus a 10 - Antonio VIVALDI (1676-1741) Clarae stellae, scintillate (RV 625) [12:02] - Antonio LOTTI Crucifixus a 6 - Claudio MONTEVERDI Currite populi (Ghirlanda sacra, 1625) [4:09] - Christe, adoramus te (Motetti in lode d’iddio nostro Signore, 1620) [3:00]- Giovanni GABRIELI Canzon VIII a 8 (Canzoni e sonate, 1615) [5:09] - Fuga del 9. tono - Magnificat a 14 (Symphoniae sacae, II, 1615) [7:12] - CD 3: Claudio MONTEVERDI ‘Madrigali guerrieri et amorosi’ (1638) Altri canti di Marte [7:36] - Ninfa che scalza il piede [4:58] - Chi vol haver felice [2:00] - Hor ch’el ciel e la terra [7:18] - -Lamento della ninfa [5:44] - Altri canti d’amor [8:45] - Su, pastorelli vezzosi [3:58] - Vago, augelletto [4:34] - Volgendo il ciel (ballo) [11:41] - CD 4: Antonio VIVALDI Instrumental music - 4 Concerti for violin, strings and basso continuo, op. 8, 1-4 ‘Le Quattro Stagioni’: Concerto in E, op. 8,1 ‘La Primavera’ (RV 269) [10:04] - Concerto in g, op. 8, 2 ‘L’estate’ (RV 315) [10:18] - Concerto in F, op. 8, 3 ‘L’autunno’ (RV 293) [11:20] - Concerto in f, op. 8, 4 ‘L’inverno’ (RV 297) [8:19] - Concerto for 4 violins, viola and basso continuo in B flat (RV 553) [10:05] - Sinfonia for strings and basso continuo in G (RV 146) [05:44] - Concerto alla rustica for strings and basso continuo in G (RV 151) [03:50] - CD 5: Antonio VIVALDI
Religious music - Gregorian chant
Kyrie (Missa cum jubilis) [01:42] - Antonio VIVALDI Gloria in D (RV 589) [29:09] - Sinfonia ‘Al Santo Sepolcro’ in b minor (RV 169) [03:50] - Laetatus sum (RV 607) [03:35] - Gregorian chant Ave maris stella (hymn) [03:25] - Antonio VIVALDI Magnificat in g minor (RV 610b) [13:24] - Gregorian chant Salve regina (antiphon) [02:59] - Antonio VIVALDI Laudate Dominum omnes gentes (RV 606) [01:51] - Sonata ‘Al Santo Sepolcro’ in E flat (RV 130) [03:47] - In exitu Israel (RV 604) [03:53] Emma Kirkby, Emily Van Evera, Nancy Argenta, soprano; Alison Place, mezzo-soprano; Margaret Cable, Catherine King, Randi Stene, contralto; Rogers Covey-Crump, Nigel Rogers, Jeffrey Thomas, tenor; David Thomas, bass; Chiara Banchini, Alison Bury, John Holloway, Elisabeth Wallfisch, violin; John Toll, organ - Taverner Consort, Choir and Players/Andrew Parrott - Recorded 1982-1992 VIRGIN CLASSICS 5 62167 2 [62:57 + 72:45 + 57:28 + 59:44 + 67:45] [JvV]

A mixed bag with reissues of typically British interpretations of Italian music ... see Full Review

Christophe MOYREAU (c 1690-1771) Pièces de Clavecin (1753) Harpsichord:- Livre I 1 Ouverture: Allegro [3.29] 2 La Petitte Follette: Mesure de Menuet [2.54] 3 La Guepine: Rondeau, Gracieusement [4.21] 4 L'Orleanois: Animé [3.32] Livre II 5 L'Agissante: Vivement [2.40] 6 La Bourruë: Pesamment [3.48] Livre III 7 Ouverture: Vivace - Allegro - Andante [2.50] 8 Allemande: Vivace [2.20] 9 Courante: Largo [4.20] 10 La Baccante: Vivement [5.24] 11 L'Euridice: Gratieusement [2.34] 12 L'Orphée: Gay [2.55] Livre IV 13 La Mode: Menuet [1.45] 14 L'Etourdi: Vite [3.22] 15 Le Momus: Rondeau [3.59] Livre V 16 Le Pandoure: Animé [1.50] 17 L'azem-Beba Carmagniole [2.19] Livre VI 18 Sinfonia II in B flat: Vivace - Largo - Minuetto [5.02] Organ: 19 Le Purgatoire: Tres Lentement (from Livre II) [6.50] 20 Les Cloches d'Orleans: Grand Jeu, Gravement (from Livre V) [5.45] Douglas Hollick (harpsichord and organ) December 2001, Metzler organ, Chapel of Trinity College Cambridge; Gold Room of Harlaxton Manor, Lincolnshire (harpsichord). RIVERRUN RVR CD60 [73.48] [KM]

An attractive recording of harpsichord pieces by a little-known French composer ... See Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) "Chill with Mozart" - Serenade in B flat "Gran Partita, K.361: Adagio â - Vesperae solennes de confessore, K.339: Laudate Dominum Ï - Piano Concerto No. 19 in F, K.459: Allegro Ð - Flute Quartet in A , K.298: Andante Ñ - String Quintet in D, K.593: Larghetto – Allegro Ò - Requiem, K.626: Benedictus Ó - Ave Verum Corpus, K.618 Ô - Serenade in D, K.203: Andante - Concerto in C for Flute & Harp, K.299: Andantino Ö - Sinfonia Concertante in E flat, K.297b: Andantino con Variazioni - Cosi fan tutti: Soave sia il vento - German Wind Soloists â - Priti Coles (sop) Ï - Košice Teachers’ Choir Ï - Jenö Jandó, Piano Ð - Concentus Hungaricus, Mátyás Antal Ð - Jean Claud Gérard, Flute Ñ - Ensemble Villa Musica Ñ - János Féhervári, Viola Ò - Éder Quartet Ò - Magdeléna Hajóssyová (sop) Ó - Jaroslava Horská (cta) Ó - Jozef Kundlák (ten) Ó - Peter Mikuláš (bass) Ó - Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, Zdenek Košler Ó - Košice Teachers’ Choir, Johannes Wildner Ô Salzburg Chamber Orchestra, Harald Nerat - Jiri Válek, Flute Ö - Hana Müllerová, Harp Ö - Capella Istropolitana, Richard Edlinger Ö - Rec. 1987- 2000 DDD NAXOS 8.556780 [72:52] [DS]

For new Mozart listeners who need some mood enhancement. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies - complete - Symphony No.1 in E Major K.16 (1765) - Symphony in F Major K. 19a (1765) - Symphony No. 4 in D Major K19 (1765) - Symphony No. 5 in B Flat Major, K22 (1765) - Symphony G Major K.45a "Old Lambach"(1768) - Symphony in B Flat major K.45b (1768) - Symphony No. 6 in F Major K 43 (1767) - Symphony No. 7 in D Major K.45 (1768) - Symphony No. 8 in D Major K.48 (1768) - Symphony No. 9 in C major K.73 (1770) - Symphony in F major K.75 (1770) - Symphony in F major K.76 (1770) -
Symphony in D major K.81 (1770) - Symphony No. 10 in G major K.74 (1770) - Symphony No. 11 in D Major, K84 (1770) - Symphony in D major K.95 (1770) - Symphony in C major K.96 (1771) - Symphony in D major K.97 (1779) - Symphony No. 12 in G Major K.110 (1771) - Symphony No. 13 in F Major K.112 (1771) - Symphony No. 14 in A major K.114 (1771) - Symphony No. 15 in G major K.124 (1772) - Symphony No. 16 in C major K.128 (1772) - Symphony No. 17 in G major K.129 (1772) - Symphony No. 18 in F Major K.130 (1772) - Symphony No. 19 in E flat Major (1772) - Symphony No. 20 in D Major K.113 (1772) - Symphony No. 21 in A Major K.134 (1772) - Symphony No. 22 in C Major K.162 (1773) - Symphony No. 23 in D Major K.181 (1773) - Symphony No. 24 in B flat Major K182 (1773) - Symphony No. 25 in G Minor, K183 (1773) - Symphony No. 26 in E Flat Major K.184 (1773) - Symphony No. 27 in G Major K.199 (1773) - Symphony No. 28 in C Major, K200 (1774) - Symphony No. 29 in A Major K.201 (1774) - Symphony No. 30 in D Major K 202 (1775) - Symphony in B Flat Major K.216 (1776) - Symphony No. 31 in D Major K.297 "Paris" (1778) - Symphony No. 32 in G major K.318 (1779) - Symphony No. 33 in B flat Major, K319 (1779) - Symphony No. 34 in C major K.338 (1780) - Symphony No. 35 in D Major K.385 "Haffner" (1782) - Symphony No. 36 in C Major K.425 "Linz" (1783) - Symphony No. 38 in D Major K.504 "Prague" !1786) - Symphony No. 39 in E Flat Major K.543 (1788) - Symphony No. 40 in G Minor K.550 (1788) - Symphony No. 41 in C Major K.551 "Jupiter"(1788) - The English Consort Directed from the harpsichord by Trevor Pinnock - All recorded at the Henry Wood Hall from June 1992 – January 1995. DDD DG ARCHIV 471 666-2 [11CDs: 916 minutes] [JP]

The current Archiv issue is extremely good value for money, and I can’t see any purchaser being disappointed by the contents. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Symphonies – Volume 2 Symphony No.18 -41 Mozart Akademie Amsterdam Directed from the harpsichord by Jaap ter LindenAll recorded at Maria Minor, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Spring 2002. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99715 [6CDs: 415 minutes] [JP]

There is one big disadvantage with this set – once you hear it you will probably wish to buy Volume 1 as well. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) The Great Piano Concertos, Volume 3. Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat major, K271 Jeunehomme (1777) - Piano Concerto No. 14 in E flat major, K449 (1784) - Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat major, K450 (1784) - Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major, K449 (1784) - Piano Concerto No. 18 in B flat major, K456 (1784) - Rondo in D major, K382 (1782) Mitsuko Uchida (piano) - English Chamber Orchestra/Jeffrey Tate - recorded in St. John’s Smith Square, London, July 1986 ( K453), May 1987 (K477) - May 1988 (K456) October 1989 (K450) February 1990 (K171 and K382) DDD PHILIPS 473 313-2 [2CDs: 147.09] [JP]

Uchida clearly has the full command of these works … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Concert Arias for Tenor - Va, dal furor portata, K21 - Or che il dover - Tali e catanti sono, K36 - Si mostra la sorte, K209 - Con ossequio, con rispetto, K210 - Se al labbro mio con credi, K295 -
Clarice cara mio sposo, K256 - Per piet…, non ricercate, K420 - Misero! O sogno - Aura che interno spiri, K431 - Sinfonia in E flat major, K16 - Divertimento in F major, K138 - Christoph Prégardien (tenor) L'Orfeo Barockorchester/Michi Gaigg - Rec 24-27 April 2001, SWR Studio, Karlsruhe CPO 999 810-2 [77.09] [TB]

Sensitive, well shaped and lovingly phrased … only the final degree of expressive warmth lacking … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Requiem K626 (1791) - Angela Maria Blasi (soprano) - Marjana Lipovšek (contralto) - Uwe Heilmann (tenor) - Jan-Hendrik Rootering (bass) Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Colin Davis - Recorded 1991 RCA RED SEAL 09026 63982 2 [53.08] [JW]

Grave but certainly not marmoreal … those seeking a more thrusting and theatrical performance will look elsewhere … see Full Review

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Where are you, little star?; Darling Savishna; The Nursery; Lullaby; Sunless; King Saul*; Hopak*; The wild wind blows*; Songs and Dances of Death*; Mephistopheles’ Song of the flea*. Boris Christoff (bass) Alexander Labinsky (piano) *Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française/George Tzipine Recorded in the Salle de la Mutualité, Paris, between 1955 and 1957 Mono EMI CLASSICS Great Recordings of the Century 7243 5 67993 2 [78’59] [TH]

Christoff is delightfully over the top, hugely enjoyable and making more straight-laced versions sound boring. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Joaquín NIN (1879-1949) 10 Villancicos (1932), 20 Canciones populares españolas (1923), Le chant du veilleur (1937)* Elena Gragera (mezzosoprano), Antón Cardó (piano), Miquel Bofill (saxophone)* Recorded 6th-8th September 1999, Estudis Albert Moraleda COLUMNA MÚSICA 1CM0072 [78:04]
(b. 1908)
3 poemas de Gil Vincente (1950), 4 canciones populares de Salamanca (1960), 4 canciones populares de Cataluña (1960), 4 canciones populares de Andalucía (1960), 5 canciones tradicionales españolas (1971), 6 canciones populares sefardies (1982), 2 canciones populares cubanas (1984-90), Si ves un monte de espumas (1985-90), Canciones de la barraca (1997) Elena Gragera (mezzosoprano), Antón Cardó (piano) Recorded 6th-8th September 1999, Estudis Albert Moraleda COLUMNA MÚSICA 1CM0053 [55:17] [CH]

The discs of music by father and son, Nin and Nin-Culmell, are a major discovery, both for the music and for the singer. … see Full Review

Anders NORDENTOFT (b.1957) On This Planet (2002) Thomas Sandberg, vocals Athelas Sinfonietta, Copenhagen/ Morten Ryelund Sørensen Notes in English
Recorded in Sweet Silence Studio, 30 May 2002 DACAPO 8.224221 [56.56] [PSh]

So far out it’s out of sight, but unfortunately it can still be heard … see Full Review

Vítĕzslav NOVÁK (1870-1949) The Storm, Op. 42 (1908-10) The Maid on Shore: Jarmila Žilková (sop) The Swain at the Masthead: Jarmila Smyčková (sop) The Youth under the Mast: František Livora (ten) The Maid in the Cabin: Nadĕžda Kniplova (sop) The Negro in the Cabin/ The Skipper: Richard Novák (bass) Scullion: Kvĕtoslava Nĕmečková (sop) First Coastal Robber: Karel Petr (bass) Second Coastal Robber: Jaromír Vavruška (bass) Czech Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra/Zdenĕk Košler Recorded at the Dvořák Hall of Rudolfinum, Prague, 6-12 December 1978 SUPRAPHON SU 3088-2 211 [76’05"] [JQ]

Snap up this release before it is shipwrecked on the rock of deletions … see Full Review

Sangam - Michael Nyman Meets Indian Masters - Michael NYMAN (b.1944) Sangam - Three Ways of Describing Rain (Nyman/Misra) - i. Sawan (First Rain), ii. Rang (Colour of Nature), iii. Dhyan (Meditation) - Samitha (Compiling the Colours) (Nyman/Shrinivas) - U. Shrinivas, mandolin - Rajan Misra, voice - Sajan Misra, voice - Ritesh and Rajnish Misra, voices - Sanju Sahai, tabla - Michael Nyman Band Michael Nyman, conductor - Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London, July 2002 and Sony Studios, London, October 2002 WARNER CLASSICS 0927 49551-2 [59.08] [NH]

Hot on the heels of Facing Goya, another different but equally compelling aspect of Nyman's art is revealed … See Full review

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Les Contes d’Hoffmann (1877-80) Opera in four acts, libretto by Barbier and Carré, after E.T.A.Hoffmann Hoffmann – Nicolai Gedda (tenor) Olympia – Gianna d’Angelo (soprano) Giulietta – Elizabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Antonia – Victoria de los Angeles (soprano) Coppelius and Miracle – George London (bass) Dapertutto – Ernest Blanc (baritone) René Duclos Choir Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire/André Cluytens Recorded at the Salle Wagram, Paris, Sept. 1964, Nov. 1965. ADD Great Recordings of the Century Series EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 67979 2 [2 CDs 76’29+75’47] [TH]

The stylish performing traditions of a previous generation … pretty good stereo sound. Recommended. … see Full Review

Else Marie PADE (b.1924) Symphonie Magnétophonique (1958) (19.27) - The Little Mermaid (1958) (42.54) - Face It (Hitler is not dead) (1970) (7.58) Else Marie Pade, tape recorders and synthesisers - Notes in English, German, and Danish - Created in the studios of Danish Radio and remixed at DIEM, Arhus, Denmark, 2002 DACAPO 8.224233 [70.20] [PS]

A great classic masterpiece of Musique Concrète available to us at last … see Full Review

Nicolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) 24 Caprices for solo violin, Op.1 (1837) Michael Rabin (violin) Recorded at Studio A, Capitol 46th Street Studios, New York City, Sept 1958, ADD Great Recordings Of The Century EMI CLASSICS 5 67986 2 [72’07] [TH]

Rabin is special, and there can be no better tribute to one of the century’s most gifted, and ultimately most tragic, musical prodigies. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Passio Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem (1982) (St. John Passion) Robert MacDonald, bass (Jesus) Mark Anderson, tenor (Pilate) Tonus Peregrinus/Antony Pitts Recorded in the Abbey Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Dorchester-on-Thames, 15th- 18th May and 28th June 2001. NAXOS 8.555860 [61.50] [NH]

Great music, great performances, but for those seeking truth rather than light relief … see Full Review

Krzystof PENDERECKI (b.1933) Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 (1974-76) [39:16] - ‘Metamorphosen’ Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 (1992-95) [38:16] - Orchestral Works: Volume 4 Rec. Grzegorz Fitelberg Concert Hall, Katowice, Poland, 22-26 May 2000 DDD NAXOS 8.555265 [77:32] [SM]

Admirers of this composer will be thrilled … performance and sound quality excellent. … see Full Review

Tobias PICKER (born 1954) Keys to the City (1982)a - And Suddenly It’s Evening (1994) - Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1999)b - Jeremy Denk (piano)a; Paul Watkins (cello)b Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Sanderling - Recorded: Studio 5, Moscow State Broadcasting and Recording House, February-April 2002 CHANDOS CHAN 10039 [62:11] [HC]

The best possible introduction to Picker’s superbly crafted and highly communicative music. … see Full Review

Amilcare PONCHIELLI (1834 - 1886) La Gioconda (1876); La Gioconda - Maria Callas (Soprano); La Cieca - Maria Amadini (Contralto); Barnaba - Paolo Silveri (Baritone); Alvise Badoere - Giulio Neri (Bass); Laura - Fedora Barbiere (Mezzo-Soprano); Enzo Grimaldo - Gianni Poggi (Tenor); Zuane - Piero Poldi (Bass); Isepo - Armando Benzi (Tenor); Chorus and Orchestra of RAI Turin/Antonino Votto; Recorded September 1952 Vincenzo BELLINI (1801 - 1835) Casta Diva (Norma) Norma - Maria Callas (Soprano); Richard WAGNER (1813 - 1883) Liebestod (Tristan und Isolde) sung in Italian Isolde - Maria Callas (Soprano) Orchestra of RAI, Turin/Arturo Basile - Recorded 1949 REGIS RRC3004 [3 CDs: 55.05+54.43+77.00] [RH]

Callas's first recording of a role strongly associated with her … a must for all lovers of Callas and those interested in the recorded history of 'La Gioconda' … see Full Review

Amilcare PONCHIELLI (1834-1886).
La Gioconda. Opera in 4 Acts (1876) La Gioconda, Violeta Urmana (soprano). Enzo Grimaldi, Placido Domingo (ten). Barnaba, Lada Ataneli (bar). Laura Adorno, Luciana D’Intino (m. sop). Alvise, Roberto Scandiuzzi (bass). La Cieca, Elisabetta Fiorillo (m. sop). Choir and Orchestra of ‘Bayerischen Rundfunks’ (Bavarian Radio)/Marcello Viotti. Recorded Studio 1, Bayerischer Rundfunks, July and August 2002 Special Price EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 57451 2 [3CDs: 53.49+55.08+59.42 min]. [RF]

If the Tebaldi and Bergonzi recording is reissued, this one moves down to third in the pecking order … see Full Review

Francis POULENC (1899 - 1963) Complete Chamber Music Sextet for piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn (1932/1939) Sonata for violin and piano (1943) Sonata for two clarinets (1918) Sonata for horn, trumpet and trombone (1922) Sonata for cello and piano (1940/1948) Sonata for clarinet and piano (1962) Sarabande for solo guitar (1960) Villanelle for piccolo (pipe) and piano (1934) Sonata for oboe and piano (1962) Elegie for horn and piano (1957) Trio for piano, oboe and bassoon (1926) Sonata for clarinet and bassoon (1922) Sonata for flute and piano (1957) The Nash Ensemble:- Philippa Davies (flute/piccolo)
Gareth Hulse (oboe) Richard Hosford (clarinet) Michael Harris (clarinet) Ursula Leveaux (bassoon) Richard Watkins (horn) John Wallace (trumpet) David Purser (trombone) Leo Phillips (violin) Paul Watkins (cello) Craig Ogden (guitar) Ian Brown (piano) Recorded 22, 23 December 1998, 11-13 January 1999, Henry Wood Hall, London HYPERION CDA67255/6 [2CDs: 73.48+72.30] [RH]

A perfect summary of Poulenc's career as a chamber music composer. This recording was seminal when it was first issued and it remains so … see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Sinfonia Concertante for cello and orchestra Op. 125 (1954) [36.51] - Cello Sonata Op. 119 (1949) [24.33] Han-Na Chang (cello) - Antonio Pappano (piano) - London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano - rec. March 2002, No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London. DDD EMI CLASSICS 72453 5 57438 2 4 [61.41] [RB]

Perhaps rather lacking in character in the case of the Sinfonia Concertante but a much better than respectable version of the Sonata. ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) The Complete Piano Sonatas (three discs) Yefim Bronfman (piano) Recorded in multiple sessions, this compilation reissued 2002 SONY ESSENTIAL CLASSICS SB3K87747 3CDs [163.30] [TM]

Should be at the top of every piano lover’s Want List … see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Fanciulla del West (1910) Carla Gavazzi (Minnie), Ugo Savarese (Jack Rance), Vasco Campagnano (Dick Johnson), Aldo Bertocci (Nick), Pier Luigi Latinucci (Sonora), Tommaso Soley (Harry), Pasquale Lombardo (Happy), Jone Farolfi (Wowkle), Dario Caselli (Ashby, Jake Wallace), Giulio Scarinci (Trin, Joe), Giovanni Privitera (Sid, Larkens), Aristide Baracchi (Bello, Billy Buckrabbit, José Castro), Orchestra Lirica e Coro della RAI di Milano/Arturo Basile - Recorded 23rd November 1950, Milan - CETRA OPERA COLLECTION WARNER FONIT 8573 87488-2 [2 CDs: 53:38+65:50] [CH]

A fine performance, especially valuable for a further glimpse of Carla Gavazzi, though the 1950 sound makes it a set for aficionados. … see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Gianni Schicchi (Puccini). One Act Opera.
Gianni Schicci, Italo Talo (bass). Lauretta, Lucia Albanese. (sop). Rinuccio, Giuseppe di Stefano (ten). Zita, Cleo Elmo (sop). Simone, Virgilio Lazzari (bass). Orchestra and Chorus of The Metropolitan Opera House, New York, conducted by Giuseppe Antonicelli. Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Salome (Strauss). One Act Opera. Salome, Ljuba Welitsch (sop). Jochanaan, Herbert Janssen (bar). Herod, Frederick Jagel (ten). Herodias, Kerstin Thorburg (cont). Narraboth, Brian Sullivan (ten). Orchestra and Chorus of The Metropolitan Opera House, New York, conducted by Fritz Reiner. Recorded live broadcast performance on March 12th 1949 Immortal Performances series. GUILD GHCD 2230/31 [2CDs: 78.12+78.04] [RF]

Outstanding in Salome … Welitsch at the height of her vocal and interpretative powers … Janssen and Thorburg are well matches to her … see Full Review

Johann Joachim QUANTZ (1679-1773) Flute Sonatas Sonata in D major QV 1:42 Sonata in G minor QV 1:116 Sonata in D major for Two Transverse Flutes QV 2:15 * Sonata in C major QV 1:9 Sonata in G minor QV 1:128 Trio Sonata in E flat major for Two Transverse Flutes QV 2:17 * Mary Oleskiewicz, baroque transverse flute Jean-Françoise Beaudin, Flute II * Stephanie Vial, baroque cello David Schulenberg, harpsichord and fortepiano Recorded Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University, North Carolina January 1998 NAXOS 8.555064 [60.19] [JW]

A delightful example of sensitive and accomplished musicianship. … See Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 (1909) - Six Moments Musicaux, Op. 16 (1896) - Joyce Hatto (piano) National Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra/René Köhler - Recorded in St. Mark’s Church, Croydon, UK., July 1998 and April 1999 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD9217-2 [71.44] [WH]

As recommendable in its own way as the two others I know best, by Martha Argerich or Byron Janis, and praise doesn’t come higher than that. … See Full Review

Joachim RAFF (1822-1882) Symphony No. 3 in F major Op. 153 In Walde (1869) - Symphony No. 10 in F minor Op. 213 Zur Herbstzeit (1879) Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Košice)/Urs Schneider - Recorded at the House of Arts, Košice, January 1990 NAXOS 8.555491 [70.07] [DW]

Warm, mellow, transparently clear, well-written music noted for its lasting attractiveness and class, impeccable craftsmanship, subtle orchestration, sound structure … see Full Review

Jean Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1784) from Pièces de Clavecin (1731): Lex Cyclopes (3.02); Rigaudons (1.11); Tambourin (1.04); La villegoise (2.56); Les Tendres Plaintes (3.13); Les Niais de Sologne [and doubles] (5.06); L’Entretien des Muses (3.10); Les Toubillons (1.53); Le Rappel des Oiseaux (2.18). from Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin (1728): Allemande (3.26); Courante (2.59); Sarabande (2.14); Les Trois Mains (3.42); Gavotte and Doubles (6.36); Les Triolets (2.29); La Poule (4.30); L’Enharmonique (3.38); L’Egyptienne (2.39). from Cinq Pièces (1741): La livri (2.31); La Timide (4.17). Eiji Hashimoto, harpsichord - Notes in English - Recorded in Corbett Auditorium, University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, May 1995 CENTAUR CRC 2579 [63.35] [PS]

Acceptable performances of Rameau’s most popular keyboard works. Serious collectors will want Christophe Rousset, or equivalent … see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Roman Festivals (1928) - Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan (1888) - Witold LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994) Concerto for Orchestra (1954) Oregon Symphony Orchestra/James DePreist - Rec 28-29 May 1987, Arlene Schnitzer Auditorium, Portland, Oregon DELOS DE 3070 [70.24] [TB]

DePreist has the music's measure, and his orchestra shows itself to have a pedigree of truly international calibre. … see Full Review

Joseph Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839 - 1901) Mass in C, opus 169 - Cyrissa Anderson (Soprano) - JoAnn Stump (Alto) - David Ellwood (Tenor) - John Reschl (Bass) - Francis Slechta (Organ) - Church of the Holy Ghost choir and orchestra - Richard Robertson (Conductor) - Gerald NEAR (1942 - ) Veni Sancte Spiritus - Spiritus Domini - Missa Orbis Factor - Church of the Holy Ghost choir - Francis Slechta (Organ) - Richard Robertson (Conductor) - Recorded September, October 2001, Church of the Holy Ghost, Denver, Colorado, USA LISZT DIGITAL LD001 [51.59] [RH]

An interesting disc of rarely performed liturgical music. Given in decent performances, the disc will probably be mainly of interest to specialists … see Full Review

Wolfgang RIHM (born 1952) Tutuguri: Poème dansé (1980/2) Rupert Huber (speaker); SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart; Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR/Fabrice Bollon Recorded: Stadtshalle Sindelfingen, July 2002 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.069 [78:51 + 37:59] [HC]

Tireless energy, huge forces … a long, cataclysmic work. Quite an experience … see Full Review

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999)
Piano Concerto (rev. Achúcarro) (1942 rev 1996) [30.29] Preludio para un poema a la Alhambra (1928) [7.36] Música para un jardín (1935) [11.11] Homenaje a La Tempranica (1939) [5.34] Juglares (1923) [5.26] Daniel Ligorio Ferrandiz (piano) Castille y León SO/Max Bragado-Darman rec Valladolid, July, Nov, 2001, DDD Complete Orchestral Works: Vol. 4 NAXOS 8.557101 [60.17] [DW]

Very bright and cheerful if a little schmaltzy at times with braying hunting horns and a grandeur that is not held back by pomposity. … see Full Review

Sigmund ROMBERG (1887-1951) Romberg conducts Romberg Vol.1 - The Blue Paradise (1915) Auf Wiedersehen - Maytime (1917) Will You remember? - Blossom Time (1921) Blossom Time Waltzes; Tell me Daisy; Song of Love - The Student Prince (1924) Drinking Song; Deep in my Heart, Dear; Ballet; Golden Days; Serenade; Student Prince Waltzes - The Desert Song (1926) Riff Song; One Alone; Romance; Girls! Girls! Girls! (French March); Desert Song Waltzes; One Flower grows alone; Desert Song; Medley (Romance, Desert Song Waltz) - Lawrence Brooks (ten), Stuart Churchill (ten), Lillian Cornell (sop), Shirlee Emmons (mezzo sop), William Diehl (bar), Warren Galjour (ten), Lois Hunt (sop), Eric Mattson (ten), Genevieve Rowe (sop), Richard Wright (bar) RCA Victor Chorus, Robert Shaw Chorale, Orch. Conducted by Sigmund Romberg - Rec. 1944-51, RCA Victor Studios, ADD NAXOS Historical 8.110866 [74.35] [RW]

These score over the early Pearl transcriptions by giving us the chance to hear the orchestration with improved clarity. The singing is strong throughout. … see Full Review

Antonio ROSETTI (c1750-92) Horn Concertos in E flat, C49; D minor, C38; E, C51; F, C53 Zdenek Divoký (horn) - Czech Chamber Orchestra/Ondrej Kukal - Rec Studios Martínek, Prague, 1997 DDD HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD98.383 [77'31] [CC]

An excellently performed and engineered product ... the recording itself is warm with just the right amount of reverberation to highlight the Czech bloom that suits this music so well. … see Full Review


[Detailed listing (last two days)]
[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] 
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