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  Friday January 31st

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

  The Gerard Hoffnung Oxford Union (Bricklayer) speech now available on CD
                     "Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations.
                     "There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects."


Lennox Berkeley: John France interviews Richard Stoker.

Michael Oliver: a personal memoir by Lewis Foreman

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DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH - A Catalogue, Bibliography and Discography
by Derek C Hulme
Published by Scarecrow Press Inc, Lanham, Maryland 20706 USA Hardback Third Edition, 2002 701pp ISBN 0-8108-4432-X $85 [RB]

Shostakovich would I am sure embrace Mr Hulme warmly for this authoritative resource. ... see Full Review

Charles Villiers Stanford. By Paul Rodmell. pp. xx + 495. (Ashgate. Aldershot, 2002, £57.50. ISBN 1-85928-198-2.)
Charles Villiers Stanford. Man and Musician. By Jeremy Dibble. pp. xvi + 535. (Oxford University Press, 2002. £65. ISBN 0-19-816383-5.)

Rather like waiting for a bus, a pair of Stanford biographies arrives together in time for the 150th anniversary of his birth. If you can afford to buy both, then do, for each with its various differences complements the other. … see Full Review




John CORIGLIANO (b. 1938) Symphony No. 1 (1989) Stephen Hough (piano) John Sharp (cello) Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Barenboim Recorded at Orchestra Hall, Chicago, 15-17 March 1990 WARNER CLASSICS ELATUS 0927-49011-2 DDD [40:41] [CT]

A powerful reading of a disturbing yet hugely rewarding work. Strongly recommended … see Full Review

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Symphony in F sharp Op.40 (1952) [53.54] Moderato ma energico [15.20] Scherzo [10.33] Adagio: Lento [16.57] Finale: Allegro [11.04]The Sea Hawk (1940) [8.06] Oregon Symphony Orchestra/James DePreist rec Baumann Auditorium, George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon, November 12 and 13 1997 DELOS DE 3234 [62.00] [CF]

As good as it gets. … see Full Review

György LIGETI (b.1923) The Ligeti Project Vol.3 Cello Concerto (1966) [14’22] Clocks and Clouds (1973) [14’23] Violin Concerto (1992) [27’02] Sippal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel (2000) [11’24] Siegfried Palm (cello); Frank Peter Zimmerman (violin); Katalina Karolyi (mezzo); Cappella Amsterdam; Amadinda Percussion Ensemble; Asko Ensemble; Schoenberg Ensemble Reinbert de Leeuw (conductor) Rec. Muziekcentrum Vredenburg, Utrecht, 7-9 April 2001, 12-16 September 2001 TELDEC CLASSICS 8573-87631-2 [67’15] [TH]

A beguiling combination of clarity and sheer weirdness … see Full Review

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908 – 1992) Des canyons aux étoiles ... (1971/4) Roger Muraro (piano); Jean-Jacques Justafé (horn); Francis Petit (xylorimba); Renaud Muzzolini (Glockenspiel) Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Myung-Whun Chung Recorded: Radio France, Salle Olivier Messiaen, July 2001 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 471 617-2 [47:52 + 44:15] [HC]

Impressive and often deeply moving … beautifully ecstatic … Chung has long demonstrated his empathy with Messiaen’s music … see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony No. 2 in E minor (1905) [58.14] Sinfonia Varsovia/Jose Cura rec 3-4 December 2001, Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio, Polish Radio. AVIE AV0022 [58.14] [RB]

Truly great Rachmaninov playing ... furious and tender ... see Full Review

Joby TALBOT (b. 1971) "…similarities between diverse things…" for piano trio and vibraphone (2001) Blue cell for saxophone quartet (2001) Minus 1500 for string quartet, vibraphone and bassoon (2001) String Quartet No. 1 (1998) The Dying Swan (suite) for piano trio (2002) 6/11/98 for solo piano (1998) Falling for electric cello (1998) String Quartet No. 2 (2002) The Duke Quartet Apollo Saxophone Quartet Joby Talbot (piano, conductor) Rob Farrer (percussion, vibraphone) Everton Nelson (violin) Jonathan Carney (violin) Natalia Bonner (violin) Joel Hunter (viola) Chris Worsey (cello) Philip Sheppard (cello, electric cello) Lucy Shaw (bass) Joanna Cackett (bassoon) Ivor Talbot (guitar samples) Recorded at Winterbrook Studios, Morphonic Studios and Intimate Studios London, St. Peters Church, Ruthin, February-July 2002 DDD BLACK BOX BBM 1078 [74:37] [CT]

A genuine voice for the new millennium. Played superbly. … see Full Review


Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The complete symphonies - Boult's 1950s mono cycle - Symphony No. 1 A Sea Symphony (1909) [67,46] - Symphony No. 2 A London Symphony (1913) [43.58] - Symphony No. 3 A Pastoral Symphony (1921) [34.57] - Symphony No. 4 (1931) [33.54] - Symphony No. 5 (1943) [36.34] - Symphony No. 6 (1947) [38.33] - Symphony No. 7 Sinfonia Antartica (1952) [44.53] - Symphony No. 8 (1955) [28.05] - Symphony No. 9 (1956) [34.53] - John Cameron (ten) - Isobel Baillie (sop) - London Philharmonic Choir London Philharmonic Orchestra/Adrian Boult - rec. Jan 1952 - Dec 1956, Kingsway Hall, London: ADD Mono (except 8 and 9 which are stereo); all except 9 recorded in presence of the composer. DECCA - THE BRITISH MUSIC COLLECTION 473 241-2 [5CDs: 67.46+79.30+72.17+74.21+73.22] [RB]

Classic historic recordings. For RVW enthusiasts a classic page in the history of these symphonies ... see Full Review

The Art of Conducting Great Conductors of the Past Barbirolli, Beecham, Bernstein, Busch, Furtwängler, Karajan, Klemperer, Koussevitsky, Nikisch, Reiner, Stokowski, R. Strauss, Szell, Toscanini, Walter and Weingartner. WARNER MUSIC VISION 0927 42667-2 DVD [164 mins] [JP]

A wonderful DVD, one which I will return to many, many times, and there could be no higher compliment made to a recording than this. … see Full Review



Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38 (1900) [93’45"] * William WALTON (1902-1983) Belshazzar’s Feast (1931) [35’15"] § * Gerontius: Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor) The Angel: Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo-soprano) The Priest, The Angel of the Agony: Michael George (bass) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir Huddersfield Choral Society Stephen Disley (organ) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley § Michael Rippon (baritone) Hallé Choir and Orchestra/James Loughran Rec: Elgar: Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 16, 17, 19 January 1993; Walton: Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, September 1973 EMI CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 7243 5 75764 2 0 [72’22"+56’45"] [JQ]

A decent performance of Belshazzar; an excellent one of Gerontius. A very good bargain and I confidently recommend it. … see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs: It was a lover and lass; The Lawyer; The splendour falls; The water mill; Tired; Silent Noon; Searching for lambs; Nocturne; Joy, Shipmate, Joy; Lord, come away!; Come love, Come Lord; Dirge for Fidele - Five Mystical Songs (1909) [17.23] - On Wenlock Edge (1911) [22.35] Anthony Rolfe Johnson (ten) - Simon Keenlyside (bar) - Duke Quartet - Graham Johnson (piano) - rec. 9-11 July 1996, Rosslyn Hill Chapel. London. DDD NAXOS 8.557114 [76.55] [RB]

A masterly collection - quiet consummation indeed! ... see Full Review

GREAT BRITISH MUSIC - Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Purcell, Opus 34 (1946) - Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge, Opus 10 (1937) - Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia (Peter Grimes), Opus 33 (1945) - BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis - Rec October 1990, St Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London - WARNER APEX 0927 49423 2/1 [67.40] - Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Paris: The Song of a Great City (1900) - In a Summer Garden (1909) - Brigg Fair (1907) - The Walk to the Paradise Garden (1907) - On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring (1912) - Summer Night on the River (1912) - BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis - Rec December 1992, St Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London - WARNER APEX 0927 49423 2/2 [77.21] - Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) - Overture: Cockaigne, Opus 40 (1901) - Introduction and Allegro, Opus 47 (1905) - Serenade for String Orchestra, Opus 20 (1892) - Enigma Variations, Opus 36 (1899) - BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis - Rec April 1991, St Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London - WARNER APEX 0927 49423 2/3 [74.25] - Gustav HOLST (1857-1934) - The Planets, Opus 32 (1916) - Egdon Heath, Opus 47 (1927) BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis - Rec December 1993, St Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London - WARNER APEX 0927 49423 2/4 [74.07] WARNER APEX 0927 49423 2/1-4 [TB]

Playing is first-class, so too the recorded sound, while the interpretations can challenge the best … see Full Review

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