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O Magnum Mysterium. Music for Christmas Samuel SCHEIDT: Cazon super intradam aechiopicam Hieronymus PRAETORIUS: Magnificat Samuel SCHEIDT: In Dulci jubilo Giovanni GABRIELI: Angelus ad Pastores; O Magnum Mysterium; Salvator Noster Biagio MARINI: Canzon Otta à 6 Angus Davidson (counter-tenor) His Majesty’s Sagbutts & Cornetts Corydon Singers/Matthew Best Filmed in Stationer’s Hall, London Francis POULENC: Quatre Petites Prières de St. François d’Assise; Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noël; Litanies à La Vierge Noire*; Salve Regina; Exultate Deo Simon Over (organ)* Corydon Singers/Matthew Best Filmed at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, 1996? PAL DVD 16:9. All formats BRILLIANT CLASSICS 6468 [72’15"] [JQ]

A strong DVD from the Corydons and Matthew Best … see Full Review

Marken er mejet - Elisabeth Meyer-Topsøe sings Danish Songs Elisabeth Meyer-Topsøe (soprano) Per Salo (piano) Recorded at Frederiksdal Castle, Lolland, April 2003-10-23 DANACORD DACOCD 615 [77.53] [JW]

Meyer-Topsøe’s voice is to the manner born in lyricism and sensitivity … see Full Review

Anne Akiko Meyers Somei SATOH (b.1947) Birds in Warped Time II (date of composition not given) [10:24] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Sonata for violin and piano (ca. 1915) [12:00] Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Thème et Variations (1932) [7:09] Toru TAKEMITSU (1930-1996) Distance de Fée (1951) [6:18] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Sonata for violin and piano (1923-27) [16:55] Anne Akiko Meyers, violin Li Jian, piano Recorded on 27 and 28 August 2002 at Seiji Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood, Massachusetts DDD AVIE 0024 [52:54] [KS]

If this is a harbinger of things to come, the world has a welcome new major player … highly recommended. … see Full Review

Modern Russian Works for Cello Boris TCHAIKOVSKY (1925-1996) Cello Sonata (1957) [22.27] Petr KLIMOV (b.1970) Suite for Solo Cello (2000) [10.47] Stanislav PROKUDIN (b.1970) Two Preludes (1995) [4.07] Ksenia PRASSOLOVA (b.1970) Duet (1993) [9.26] Andrei GOLOVIN (b.1950) Elegy (1980) [5.56] Alexander Rudin (cello) Marina Butir (piano) Tchaikovsky Stanislav Prokhudin (piano) Prokhudin Ksenia Prassolova (piano) Prassolova rec. Concert Hall, Gnessin's Musical College, Dec 2001, Jan 2003. DDD BOHEME CDBMR 308272 [52.43] [RB]

Melody and profundity reward the explorer here. ... see Full Review

More songs my father taught me Sir Thomas Allen (baritone) Malcolm Martineau (piano) Recorded Champs Hill, West Sussex, January 2002 HYPERION CDA 67374 [79.01] [JW]

To those who have a yen to hear again Roses of Picardy and Just a–wearyin’ for you here’s your perfect opportunity. … see Full Review

The Naxos Book of Carols Tonus Peregrinus/Antony Pitts Rec. Church of St-Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, 28-29 July 2003 NAXOS 8.557330 [78.59] [JQ] [RB]

Stimulating and enjoyable. I recommend this CD, especially to all those who will be planning their 2004 carol concerts rather sooner than they might wish! … see Full Review [JQ]
Will suit anyone wanting a variant spin on their seasonal fare. Predominantly an anthology for those jaded by Christmas convention.[RB] … see Full Review

Heinrich Neuhaus. From the Archives Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Polonaise-Fantasia Op. 61 in A flat major, Mazurkas Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Two Poems Op. 61 Maski Strannost Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Danseuses de Delphes (Preludes Book I No. 1) Les Collines d’Anacapri (Preludes Book I No. 5) La Sérénade interrompue (Preludes Book I No. 9) Bruyères (Preludes Book I No. 17) Recorded 1940s PREISER PR 95002 [50.03] [JW]

One can only but profit from listening to Neuhaus. … see Full Review

Oratio – 20th Century Sacred Music from Spain and Latin America Alberto GINASTERA (1916 – 1983) Hieremiae prophetae lamentations, Opus 14 Nemesio OTANO (1880 – 1956) Tota Pulchra Est Ernesto HALFFTER (1905 – 1989) Oratio Jesus GURIDI (1886 – 1989) Fainal para gran organo Javier BUSTO (1949 - ) Agnus Dei from Missa Brevis "Pro Pace" Frederic MOMPOU (1893 – 1987) Ave Maria Fernando REMACHA (1898 – 1984) Veni sponsa Christi Pau CASALS (1876 – 1973) O Vos Omnes Christobal HALFFTER (1930 - ) Panis Angelicus Joaquin RODRIGO (1901 – 1999) Ave Maria Joaquim HOMS (1906 - ) Les Illums den mon Jesus GURIDI (1886 – 1961) Tantum Ergo Padre DONOSTIA (1886 – 1956) O Jesu mi dulcissime Xavier MONTSALVATGE (1912 – 2002) Aureola para una imagen de Ramon Amadeu Anton Garcia ABRIL (1933 - ) Pater Noster; Ave Maria Cesar CANO (1960 - ) Speculum in aenigmatem Coro Cervantes Charles Matthews (organ) Carlos Frenandez Aransy (director)
Recorded: 2-4 April 2003, St. Jude’s Hampstead, London GUILD GMCD 7266 [74.54] [GH]

A beautifully performed, comprehensive survey of Spanish 20th century liturgical music. … see Full Review

Eva Podleś and Garrick Ohlsson live Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Songs A Girl’s Desire Op. 74/5 The Handsome Lad Op. 74/8 The Ring Op. 74/14 Lithuanian song Op. 74/16 My Sweetheart Op. 74/12 Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Songs and Dances of Death Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Etudes C sharp minor Op. 2/1 C sharp major Op. 8/1 E major Op. 8/5 D sharp minor Op. 8/12 F sharp major Op. 42/3 C sharp minor Op. 42/5 E flat major Op. 42/8 Etude in nonas Op. 65/1 Etude in septims Op. 65/2 Etude in quints Op. 65/3 Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Songs Christ is Risen Op. 26/6 How Long Since Love Op. 14/3 In the Silence of the Night Op. 4/3 Everything Passes Op. 26/15 She is Beautiful as Noon Op. 14/9 Spring Streams Op. 14/11 Eva Podleś (contralto) Garrick Ohlsson (piano) Recorded live at the Concert Hall of Warsaw Philharmonic, December 2002 DUX 0405 [70.47] [JW]

Podleś: evocative, dramatic, a characteriser of theatrical dimensions. Ohlsson, much admired … plays with great security and understanding … see Full Review


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Polish Symphonic Music of the 19th Century Karol KURPINSKI (1785-1857) Two Huts (1811) [8.39] Ignacy Feliks DOBRZYNSKI (1807-1867) Monbar (1837-38) [12.02] Stanislaw MONIUSZKO (1819-1872) Bajka - The Fairy Tale (1847-48) [12.36] Wladyslaw ZELENSKI (1837-1921) In the Tatra Mountains (1868-70) [13.20] Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (1846-1909) The Steppes (1896-97) [19.33] Sinfonia Varsovia/Grzegorz Nowak rec. Studio S1, Polish Radi, Warsaw, March 1994. DDD CD ACCORD ACD 019 [66.31] [RB]

Had this been issued by Hyperion music-lovers outside Poland would have been snapping this up in hundreds. Don't let this collection slip past. ... see Full Review

Raphael (1483 1520) – Music of his Time Alexander AGRICOLA (1446 – 1506) Gaudeamus omnes Johannes GHISELIN (early 16th century) La Spagna Johannes de STOKEM (c. 1445 after 1501) Je suis d’Allemagne Guglielmo Ebreo Da PESARO (c. 1425 after 1480) Falla con misuras Domenico Da PIACENZA (died c. 1470) Ballo ‘La Giloxia’ Antonio ALAMANNI Carro della more Marchetto CARA (c.1470 ?1525) Non e tempo Josquin DESPREZ (c. 1450 1521) In pace; El grillo ANONYMOUS Ave regina coelorum; O decus innocentie; Ave Maris Stella; Chiara fontana; Laude e grazie; J’ay pris amours; Pavana ‘le forze d’Hercole; Saltarello ‘Giorgio’; Paduana; Galliarda; La pastorella; L’altr’hier de la mia villa; In questo ballo; In questo ballo; Petit riense Ensemble Unicorn
Agnes Boll (soprano) Pascal Bertin (countertenor) Bernd Lambauer (tenor) Colin Mason (baritone) Peter Rabanser (voice, tambourine) Marco Ambrosini (fiddle, keyed, fiddle) Thomas Wimmer (fiddle, lute) Pierre Pitzl (renaissance guitar) Riccardo Delfino (renaissance harp, hurdy gurdy) Katharina Dustmann (tambourine, frame drum) Wolfgang Reithofer (percussion) Michael Posch (director, recorder) Recorded 5 -8 February 2002, Palais Gentz NAXOS 8.558119 [64.18] [RH]

An attractive disc of music by Raphael’s contemporaries, marred only by rather over-elaborate presentation of some of the songs. … see Full Review

Ossy Renardy. The Great Violinists Volume XVIII Niccolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) 24 Caprices Op. 1 arr Violin and Piano Ferdinand David Alexsander ZARZYCKI (1834-1895) Mazurka Op. 22 Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Ballad in D minor Op. 15 Heinrich ERNST (1814-1865) Hungarian Airs Op. 22 Pablo de SARASATE (1844-1908) Adios montaños mias Op. 37 Danzas Españolas No. 6 Op. 23 No. 2 Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713) Sonata No. 8 in E minor Ossy Renardy (violin) Walter Robert (piano) except the Corelli where the pianist is Leo Taubman Recorded (c1940) SYMPOSIUM 1311 [75.40] [JW]

Renardy’s is a name that will always be tinged with a sense of loss and of promise unfulfilled. … see Full Review

Souls in the Dark - works for violin, cello and piano Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Mozart-Adagio (1992, rev 1997) Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Piano Trio (1985-1992) Peteris VASKS (b.1946) Episodi e canto perpetuo - Hommage à O. Messiaen (1985) [28.03] Trio Animae (Tomas Dratva, piano; Jean-Christophe Gawrysiak, violin; Dieter Hilpert, cello) rec. 26-28 Nov 2002, Grimisuat, Tibor Varga Foundation CASCAVELLE VEL 3071 [63.37] [RB]

Vasks: Gaunt and unforgiving with balm only in the last two movements - otherwise parallels late Shostakovich ... see Full Review

Leopold Stokowski, conductor CD 1 - 64:06 Nicolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade, Op. 35 (1888) Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887)
Polovtsian Dances from Prince IgorPiotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Solitude, Op. 73, No. 6 (transcribed by L. Stokowski) CD 2 - 68:29 Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Toccata and Fugue in D Minor Georges BIZET (1838-1875)
L'Arlésienne Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Carnival of the AnimalsPiotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Nutcracker CD 3 - 70:11 Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) The Swan of Tuonela, Valse triste (from Incidental Music to Kuolema) Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Poem of Ecstasy CD 4 - 68:06 Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, "From the New World" Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Death and Transfiguration Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Prelude in E-flat minor ANDANTE 2986-89 [4 CDs: 64.06+68.29+70.11+68.06] [JW]

The Stokowski-Philadelphia magic at work and with such splendid sounding originals I can’t really imagine Stokowski admirers resisting this latest tempter … see Full Review

Joseph Szigeti Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Sonata No. 1 in F minor Op. 80 (1946) Sonata No. 2 in D Op. 94 bis (1944) Igor STRAVINSKY Pastorale Duo Concertante (1932) Russian Maiden’s Song – Mavra; Parasha’s Aria arr. Dushkin (1922) Josef Szigeti (violin) with Joseph Levine (piano) in Sonata No. 1 recorded 1949 Leonid Hambro (piano) in Sonata No. 2 recorded 1945 Mitchell Miller (oboe), Robert McGinnis (clarinet), Bert Gassman (English horn) and Sol Schoenbach (bassoon) conducted by Stravinsky in the Pastorale recorded in 1946 Igor Stravinsky (piano) in the Duo Concertante and Russian Maiden’s Song recorded in 1945 and 1946 respectively BIDDULPH 80204-2 [73.43] [JW]

Biddulph here concentrate on the 1945-49 recordings - ones that have proved in the past elusive and difficult to track down. … see Full Review

Tonescapes Steve TUNG and Victor WONG Alone in the rain for alto flute and piano (2000) [3.37] Mel LAUF jr. Orientale (1999): In the Rice Paddy; In the Temple [4.30+3.36] Gabriel FAURE arr. Wye Cantique de Jean Racine [5.20] arr. Alberto ARANTES Pot-Pourri Brasileira (1999) [6.33] Jennifer GRADY Soaring (1997) [2.42] Catherine McMICHAEL Academie of Dance (2000) (Chante; Ecossaise; Pavane; Galliarde) [3.44+3.17+3.26+4.26]; Baikal Journey (2002) (Sacred Cauldron; Ancient Friend; Pearl of Siberia; Crystal Sea) [3.38+3.14+8.45+5.25] George Frederick MCKAY Lyric Poem [3.24] Rebecca Jeffreys (flute/piccolo) Lisa Sheldone (flute/piccolo) Karen Edwards (flute/alto flute) Kara Ebert (alto/bass flute) Natassja Lintzau (piano) rec. ADD TONESCAPES 83707 57132 [66.23] [RB]

The variety of style in this journey through the melodic realms of flute music makes for a pleasing balance. ... see Full Review

Toscanini Broadcast Legacy Series Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) Norma ‘Introduction and Druid’s Chorus’ Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Te Deum Arrigo BOITO (1842-1918) Mefistofele ‘Prologue’ NBC Symphony Orchestra. Boys Chorus and Mixed Chorus/Arturo Toscanini Live broadcast performance. December 2nd 1945 Budget Price GUILD HISTORICAL TOSCANINI BROADCAST LEGACY SERIES GHCD 2263 [50.32] [RF]

This is an unusual programme of unrelated items in fair sound. Even those who have the later recordings of the Verdi and Boito will be tempted to hear the great conductor in Bellini and should not hesitate. … see Full Review

Harmonie Veneziane – 1660-1690: String Music of the Venetian Republic’ Francesco CAVALLI (1602-1676) Sinfonia a 5 (from ‘Eliogabalo’) [02:55] Johann ROSENMÜLLER (c1619-1684) Sonata I a 5 [09:28] Giovanni LEGRENZI (1626-1690) Sonata a 5 ‘La Cremona’ [04:14] Pietro Andrea ZIANI (c1620-1984) Sonata XV a 5 [05:55] Carlo FEDELI ‘Saggion’ (c1622-1685) Sonata a 4 ‘in eco’ [07:20] Giovanni LEGRENZI Sonata I a 4 violini Johann ROSENMÜLLER Sonata III a 3 [05:55] Pietro Andrea ZIANI Sonata VIII a 4 [03:20] Johann ROSENMÜLLER Sonata II a 5 [08:08] Giovanni LEGRENZI Sonata V a 4 viole da gamba ò come piace [05:38] Johann ROSENMÜLLER
Sonata VIII a 4 [05:57] Giovanni LEGRENZI Corrente IX a 5 [02:25] Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca: Giorgio Fava (violin & director), Roberto Falcone, Luca Ronconi (violin), Balasz Bozzai (violin, viola), Judit Földes (viola), Walter Vestidello (cello), Giancarlo Pavan (violone), Giancarlo Radop (archlute, guitar), Gianpietro Rosato (harpsichord, organ) Recorded in September 2001 at the Chiesa di S. Vigilio, Col S. Martino, Italy DDD ERATO 0927-49143-2 [69:15] [JV]

Venetian music from the second half of the 16th century is too often neglected – this fine recording puts it into its proper place ... see Full Review

Virtuoso French Organ Music Léon BOELLMANN (1862-1897) Suite Gothique, Op.25 (1895) 1. I. Introduction-Choral Prelude [2.06] 2. II. Menuet Gothique [2.37] 3. III. Prière à Notre-Dame [3.48] 4. IV. Toccata [3.51] Alexandre GUILMANT (1837-1911) 5. Cantilène Pastorale (1861) [6.16] 6. March on ‘Lift up your Heads’ (1861) [6.42] Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) 7. Improvisation No.7 (1917) [3.38] Lois VIERNE (1870-1937) 8. Impromptu, Op.54, No.2 (1927) [3.32] 9. Clair de Lune, Op.53, No.5 (1926) [8.34] 10. Divertissement, Op.31, No.11 (1914) [2.05] 11. Carillon de longpont, Op.31, No.21 1914) [4.00] Jean LANGLAIS (1907-1992) Triptyque (1957) 12. I. Melody [4.03] 13. II. Trio [4.45] 14. III. Final [4.47] Eugène GIGOUT (1844-1925) 15. Toccata in B minor (1890) [3.12] 16. Scherzo (1890) [4.50] 17. Grand Choeur Dialogué (18810 [6.18] Jennifer Bate (Organ) Organ of St Pierre de Beauvais Cathedral (Danion-Gonzalez,1979) Recorded at St Pierre de Beauvais Cathedral, September 1982 REGIS RRC 1147 [75.45] [CAnt]

A hugely enjoyable and highly recommended … see Full Review

Welte-Mignon Piano Rolls, Volume 1 PADEREWSKI: Minuet, Op. 14, no. 1 Ignacy Paderewski, piano, February 1906 – Leipzig STRAUSS/SCHULZ/EVLER: The Blue Danube, Arabesque Josef Lhevinne, piano, October 1906 SAINT-SAËNS: Rhapsodie d’Auvergne in C major, Op. 73 Camille Saint-Saëns, piano, December 1905 – Leipzig CHOPIN: Polonaise in F sharp major, Op. 44 Josef Hofmann, piano, October 1905 – Leipzig PAGANINI/LISZT: Paganini Etude No. 5 in E major Egon Petri, piano, April 1905 – Leipzig SCHUBERT/TAUSIG: Military March in D major, Op. 51, no. 1 Télémaque Lambrino, piano, March 1905 – Leipzig GRÜNFELD: Dinner Waltz (from The Man About Town) Alfred Grünfeld, piano, January 1905 - Leipzig RAVEL: Gaspard de la nuit, no. 1 (Ondine) Walter Gieseking, piano, Freiburg HAYDN/SAINT-SAËNS: Andante from Symphony No. 94 Rudolf Ganz, piano, Freiburg RAMEAU/GODOWSKY: Minuet in A minor Hans Haass, piano, 1925? – Freiburg BIZET/HOROWITZ: Virtuoso Fantasy (from Carmen) Vladimir Horowitz, piano, March 1927 – Freiburg GLAZUNOV: La Nuit Rudolf Ganz, piano, Freiburg VOGRICH: Staccato Caprice in F sharp major Yolanda Mero, piano, October 1905 – Leipzig Recorded in Simi Valley, California, on a restored Steinway-Welte Reproducing Piano NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110677 [68:02] [DS]

Testimony to human enterprise and inspiration … memorable, evocative, and illuminating. … see Full Review

Wolcum Yule: Celtic and British Songs and Carols Anonymous 4 (Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, Jacqueline Horner, Johanna Maria Rose) *With Andrew Lawrence-King (Irish harp, baroque harp, psaltery) Rec. March 21-25 2003 at Skywalker Sound, Marin County, California DDD HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 907325 [66’27"] [JQ]

This is a Christmas disc for the connoisseur, I think, and it is strongly recommended as such. … see Full Review

Zarzuela en Concierto Piano Trio arrangements by Ricardo Miralles of El barberillo de Lavapiés (BARBIERI); Luisa Fernanda (TORROBA); Doña Francisquita (VIVES); La verbena de la Paloma (BRETÓN); Agua, azucarillos y aguardiente (CHUECA). Trío Mompou: Luciano González Sarmiento (piano); Joan Lluis Jordá (violin); Dimitar Furnadjiev (cello) recorded Música-2 de RNE, Madrid, 10-14 June 2002] RTVE MÚSICA 65162 [58:04] [CW]

Enjoyable enough tafelmusik to bring pleausre to aficionados keen to play spot that tune. … see Full Review


Bartok's Mikrokosmos - genesis, pedagogy and style by Benjamin Suchoff The Scarecrow Press, 2002 185pp ISBN: 0810844273

Will understandably be snapped up by musicians and those many for whom Bartok is one of the most original and sophisticatedly beguiling voices in the 'last century. ... see Full Review


Arnold BAX A Catalogue of the Works of Sir Arnold Bax by Graham Parlett hardback £70 ISBN 0-19-816586-2 Clarendon Press, Oxford 1999 [RB]

A book in which the author’s affection for Bax’s music is balanced with academic rigour - a guiding hand; an authoritative friend. ... see Full Review

Information Sources in Music editor: Lewis Foreman ISBN 3-598-24441-X hardback publ K.G. Saur Verlag GmbH, München 444pp. €110.00

A most valuable book of help both to researcher, bibliographer and librarians active in the field of classical music and its sources. ... see Full Review

A Fiddler’s Tale: How Hollywood and Vivaldi Discovered Me. Louis Kaufman (1905 - 1994) Louis Kaufman with Annette Kaufman Foreword by Jim Svejda 384 pages; includes music CD of recordings from 1942-52.

Probably most music lovers, on encountering the name Louis Kaufman, will respond "Who?" Ironically, while probably many people have never head of him, they have all heard him. … see Full Review

Mozart's Piano Concertos by John Irving Ashgate Press, 2003 296pp 12 music exx 4pp index 18p bibliography 07546 0707 0 Hardback £45.00 MusicWeb offer £45.00 reduced to £42.50 post free in the UK

Recommended for academics, and as a handbook for practising musicians. Others with a more general interest in the concertos may find this too tehnically detailed though I daresay they will learn much from it. ... see Full Review

Szymanowski, Eroticism and the Voices of Mythology by Stephen Downes
RMA Monographs No. 11 publ. Royal Musical Association and Ashgate, 2003 109pp. Hardback ISBN 0 947854 10 X £35.00 reduced to £32.50 post free in the UK

An agreeably detailed study suitable for Szymanowski specialists and those fascinated by the margins and overlaps between music, literature and psychology. ... see Full Review

UNEASY LISTENING - A caricature guide to 20th century composers
by John Minnion
109pp Paperback ISBN 0-9544499 1 6 [RB]

This is wonderfully well done as a book of illustrations. It tells us something of the psychology of the composer in each case and does so wittily and not without taking a few dangerous corners. ... see Full Review




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