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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

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonatas for Keyboard Christian Zacharias, Piano Recorded at Fürstliche Reitbahn, Bad Arolsen, June 2002 MDG GOLD 3401162 [61:51] [DS]

Zacharias discards the essence of Scarlatti, and the disc is one to avoid. … see Full Review

Johann Adolph SCHEIBE (1708 - 1776) Introduzzione to ‘Sörgesange over Kong Frederik V’ (1766) [6.42] Sinfonia à 4 in Bb (c.1765) [7.47] Sinfonia to ‘Sörge- og Klagesange over Dronning Lovise.’ (1752) [11.04] Sinfonia à 16 in D (c.1765) [10.33] Sinfonia à 4 in Bb (c.1765) [8.19] Sinfonia à 4 in A (c.1765) [8.10] Sinfonia in D to ‘Der Temple des Ruhmes’ (1752) [8.22] Concerto Copenhagen/Andrew Manze Notes in English, Français, Deutsch
Recorded Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 1993 Previously released as CHAN 0550 CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN 0696 [61.37] [PSh]

Bach students, and pre-Classical style specialists will want to hear this CD. Libraries, Bach completist collectors and Danish nationalists will want to own it. … see Full Review

Samuel SCHEIDT (1587-1654) Tabulatura Nova, I (1624) - CD 1: Cantio Sacra ‘Wir gleuben all an einen Gott’ (*/***) [16:32] - Fantasia super ‘Io son ferito lasso’, Fuga quadruplici (**) [09:56] - Cantio Sacra ‘Vater unser im Himmelreich’ (*/***) [16:10] - Fantasia super ‘Ut.Re.Mi.Fa.Sol.La’ (**) [14:51] - Cantio Sacra ‘Warum betrübstu dich mein Hertz’ (*/***) [12:24] - CD 2: Passamezo (**) [17:53] - Niederlandisch Liedgen. Cantio Belgica ‘Weh windgen weh’ (**) [06:32] - Curant (**) [01:53] - Curant (**) [02:11] - Niederlandisch Liedgen. Cantio Belgica ‘Ach du feiner Reuter’ (**) [09:54] - Frantzösisch Liedgen. Cantio Gallica ‘Est ce Mars’ (**) [10:15] - Psalm ‘Da Jesus an dem Creutze stundt’ (*/***) [08:52] - Fantasia super ‘Ich ruffe zu dir Herr Jesu Christ’ (*) [06:39] Franz Raml, organ (*), harpsichord (**) - Christina Landshamer, soprano (***) - Recorded in May 2002 in St Jakobi, Lüdingworth (*) & July 2002 in Schloss Leitheim (**) DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 614 1155-2 [69:53 + 64:10] [JvV]

A collection of music by one of Germany’s great masters of the keyboard, but the recording doesn’t do it full justice. … see Full Review

Othmar SCHOECK (1886-1957) Penthesilea - opera in one act Op. 39 (1924-25) Libretto after the play by Heinrich von Kleist Penthesilea: Helga Dernesch Prothoe: Jane Marsh Meroe: Mechthild Gessendorf High Priestess: Marjana Lipovšek Priestess: Gabriele Sima Achilles: Theo Adam Diomedes: Horst Hiestermann Herald: Peter Weber ORF-Chor and ORF-Symphonieorchester/Gerd Albrecht rec. live 17 Aug 1982, Vienna Musikverein, during rehearsals for the Salzburg Festival, Austrian Radio, ADD ORFEO D'OR C 364 941 B [79.59] [RB]

Has its imperfections but captures the essence of this savage blitzkrieg of a piece. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major Op. 53, D.850 (1825) Lieder: ‘Der liebliche Stern’ D.861; ‘Tiefes Leid’ D.876; ‘Auf der Bruck’ D.853; ‘Der Wanderer’ D.649; ‘Fulle der Liebe’ D.854; ‘Wiedersehn’ D.855; ‘Vom Mitleiden Maria’ D.632; ‘Im Walde’ D.708; ‘Der Schmetterling’ D.633 Ian Bostridge (tenor) Leif Ove Andsnes (piano) Rec. December 2002 No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (Sonata); Lyndhurst Hall, Air Studios, London (lieder) DDD EMI CLASSICS 5 57509 2 [69:19] [MC]

Eloquent and authoritative … playfulness to pathos, from dramatic scene to religious ecstasy, from passion to tragedy. finesse and sensitivity. … see Full Review

Alan SHULMAN (1915-2002) Theme and Variations (1940)a Rendezvous (1946)b A Nocturne (1938)c Hatikvah (1949, arr. Shulman)d Waltzes for Orchestra (1949)e A Laurentian Overture (1951)f Minuet for Moderns (1954)g The Bop Gavotte (1954)g Emanuel Vardi (viola)a; Alfredo Gallodoro (clarinet)b; NBC Symphony Orchestraabcdef; NBC Concert Orchestrag; Frank Blacka, Samuel Antekb, Milton Katimsce, Leonard Bernsteind, Guido Cantellif, Don Gillisg Recorded: March 1941 (Theme and Variations), December 1946 (Rendezvous), October 1948 (A Nocturne), April 1949 (Hatikvah), October 1949 (Waltzes), March 1952 (A Laurentian Overture) and July 1954 (Minuet, The Bop Gavotte) BRIDGE 9119 [48:23] [HC]

Shulman’s music is new to me. Listening to this beautifully produced disc made me wonder at the complete neglect in which his music is presently held. … see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto in A minor Op.54 (1841) Concert Allegro with Introduction Op.134 for piano and orchestra (1853) Introduction and Allegro appassionato Op.92 for piano and orchestra (1848) Lausanne Chamber Orchestra/Christian Zacharias piano and conductor MDG DVD-Audio MDG 940 1033 5 [61.49] [DB]

Attractive performances of all Schumann’s concerted music for piano on one very well recorded high-resolution audio DVD. … see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) 9 Novelletten Op.21 (1838) [49.59] - Blumenstück Op.19 [6.50] - Träumerei Op.15.7[2.55] Craig Sheppard (piano) - Recorded live at a concert in the Meany Theater, University of Washington, Seattle, USA 2000, 2001 DDD AT 02-01114 [60.26] [RDB] [JW]

These interpretations reveal the subtleties that often lie behind Schumann’s piano works. … see Full Review [RDB]
A most compelling traversal of a greatly under-appreciated set, once habitually dismissed for mere note-spinning and flummery … see Full Review [JW]

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH - Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) THE DEUTSCHE SCHUBERT LIED EDITION 11 - North German Poets - Auf der Bruck D.853, An mein Herz D.860, Tiefes Leid D.876, Im Walde D.834, Der liebliche Stern D.861, Um Mitternacht D.862, Lebensmut D.883, Im Frühling D.882, Über Wildemann D.884, Klaglied D.23, An die Laute D.905, Alinde D.904, An die Sonne D.272, Lied aus dem Märchen "Undine" D.373, Der Schäfer und dem Reiter D.517, Don Gayseros D.93, Der Einsame D.800, Im Abendrot D.799, Der Wanderer D.493 Hanno Müller-Brachmann (bass-baritone), Ulrich Eisenlohr (piano) Recorded 13th-16th August 2001 at Sender Freies, Berlin, Germany NAXOS 8.555780 [74:52] [CH]

Another splendid achievement in an important Naxos cycle, especially valuable for the set of nine songs to poems by Ernst Schulze. … see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-56) Lieder to Poems by Heinrich Heine - Liederkreis, Op. 24 (1840). Die beide Grenadiere, Op. 49 No. 1 (1840). Der arme Peter, Op. 53 No. 3 (1840). Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 127 – No. 2, Dein Angesicht; No. 3, Es leuchtet meine Liebe. Gesänge, Op. 142 (1840) – No. 2, Lehn deine Wang’; No. 4, Mein Wagen rolet langsam. Myrthen, Op. 25 (1840) – No. 7, Die Lotosblume; No. 21, Was will die einsame Träne; No. 24, Was will die einsame Trane. Tragödie, Op. 64 No. 3. Abends am Strand, Op. 45 No. 2 (1840). Das feindlichen Bruder, Op. 49 No. 2 (1840). Balsazar, Op. 57 (1840). Tragödie, Op. 64 No. 3 (1841). Stephan Genz (baritone); Christoph Genz (tenor) (Op. 64 No. 3); Claar ter Horst (piano). Rec. Tonstudio van Geest, Sandhausen/Heidelberg in December 1996, February and April 1997. DDD CLAVES CD50-9708 [58.46’] [CC]

Baritone Stephan Genz has studied the Lied with the best … And it shows. Very, very strongly recommended. … see Full Review

Rodion SHCHEDRIN (b.1932) Carmen Suite for Strings and Percussion (1967) [32.30] Russian Photographs (1994) [23.50] Veličanie (Glorification) (1995) [9.30] Chamber Orchestra Kremlin/Misha Rachlevsky rec Jan 2001, Moscow Conservatory CLAVES CD 50-2207 [56.00] [TM]

A good introduction to the wide variety of this composer’s style, with the Carmen Suite performance, in particular, a real tour de force. Warmly recommended. see Full review
You can sample each track, download or purchase the disc

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 - 1975) String Quartets 1-15 complete - Rubio Quartet: Dirk van de Velde, Dirk van den Hauwe, violins; Marc Sonnaert, viola Peter Devos, cello - Recorded live at the Roman Church, Mullern, Belgium, September 2002 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 6429 [378.16] [PS]

A very satisfactory version of these milestones in the quartet form. … see Full Review

Dedicated to Victims of War and Terror Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-75) Chamber Symphony op.110a (1960) Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Concerto for Piano and Strings (1979) Moscow Chamber Orchestra/Constantine Orbelian (pianist and conductor) Recorded Skywalker Ranch, California, 5, 7 March 2000 DELOS DE3259 [47:48] [GPJ]

Two uncompromising masterpieces, moving and intensely satisfying despite the prevailing despair … performances pretty much ideal … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Seven Symphonies, Tone Poems, Violin Concertos Symphony No. 1 (1898) [39.34] Symphony No. 2 (1902) [46.33] Symphony No. 3 (1907) [29.31] Symphony No. 4 (1911) [28.29] Symphony No. 5 (1915) [31.35] Symphony No. 6 (1923) [28.17] Symphony No. 7 (1924) [22.30] Violin Concerto (1903) [34.23]* Finlandia (1890) [7.57] Karelia Suite (1893) [16.34] Tapiola (1926) [18.18] En Saga () [19.27] Two Serious Melodies (1915) [7.23]* Two Serenades (1915) [14.55]* Romance for Strings [5.29]** Valse Triste [5.23]** Luonnotar (1913) [9.19] Philharmonia Orchestra/Vladimir Ashkenazy Boston Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Ashkenazy ** Boris Belkin (violin)* DECCA 473 590-2 [5CDs: 72.49+71.24+76.32+73.48+77.21] [RB]

An irresistible bargain for those who have contracted the Sibelius bug and want virile and vibrantly assertive readings ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 2 (1902) [43.04] Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Sleeping Beauty suite (Introduction; Prologue No. 3: Pas de Six - variation IV; Act I excerpts; Act III excerpts) [24.09] Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Egmont - Overture [9.01] BBC Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski (Sibelius) New Philharmonia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski (Tchaikovsky; Beethoven) rec. Royal Albert Hall, London, 16 Sept 1964 (Sibelius); Kingsway Hall, London, 10 Sept 1965 (Tchaikovsky); BBC Studios Maida Vale, London, 7 June 1973 (Beethoven). ADD. mono except Beethoven (stereo). BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4115-2 [76.41] [RB]

Stokowski fanciers have another reason to check their shelves for space for this disc. ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto [31.36] Gidon Kremer (violin) London Symphony Orchestra/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky Symphony No. 2 [43.41] En Saga [18.05] Tapiola [16.30] Valse Triste [5.04] Pohjola's Daughter [13.00] The Bard [7.52]
The Oceanides [9.49] Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Jukka-Pekka Saraste
rec 1977 ADD (concerto); 1987-88 DDD Artistes Répertoires series No. 33 RCA RED SEAL 74321 886 852 [71.18+73.55] [RB]

A rough and ready presentation - thought-provoking in the case of the concerto and in Saraste a meeting of power and elegance. ... see Full Review

Kaikhosru Shapurji SORABJI (1892-1988) The Complete Songs for Soprano Elizabeth Farnum (soprano) Margaret Kampmeier (piano) Recorded Aug-Nov 1999 and Aug 2000: Patrych Sound Studios, Bronx, NY, DDD CENTAUR CRC 2613 [56:01] [JW]

Subtle, night-haunted … complex impressionistic settings … passionate outbursts and moments of intense reflection. … see Full Review

 

John Philip SOUSA (1854-1932) Music for Wind Band, Volume 3 The Corcoran Cadets (1890) - Semper Fidelis (1888) - Selections from "The Free Lance" (1905) - The New York Hippodrome (1916) - La Flor di Sevilla (1929) - Waltzes from "El Capitan" (1896) - A Century of Progress (1931) - Suite: The Last Days of Pompeii (1893) - The White Rose (1917) - With Pleasure – Dance Hilarious (1912) - The Belle of Chicago (1892) - The National Game (1925) Royal Artillery Band/Keith Brion
Recorded Woolwich Town Hall, London, November 2000 NAXOS 8.559092 [54:09] [DS]

Those collecting this series have no reason to stop, and new entrants to Sousa’s music should find Volume 3 a most enjoyable release. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH - Ronald STEVENSON (b.1928) A'e Gowden Lyric: Songs by Ronald Stevenson - A Child's Garden of Verses [1-17] 1. Dedication - 2. Bed in Summer - 3. The Land of Nod - 4. Time to Rise - 5. Singing - 6. Rain - 7. Windy Nights - 8. Shadow March - 9. My Shadow - 10. Fairy Bread - 11. The Swing - 12. Summer Sun - 13. From a Railway Carriage - 14. Autumn Fires - 15. When the golden day is done - 16. The Lamplighter - 17. Envoy - 18. Traighean (Shores) - 19. The Robber - 20. Hill Sang - 21. The Gaelic Muse - 22. The Buckie Braes - 23. The Quiet Comes In - 24. The Bobbin-Winder - - 25. To the Future - 26. O Wha's the Bride - 27. Trompe L'Oeil - 28. The Bonny Broukit Bairn - 29. Fairytales - 30. Hallowe'en Sang - 31. The Plum Tree - 32. The Day is Düne - 33. The Rose of All the World - 34. The Droll Wee Man - 35. A'e Gowden Lyric Susan Hamilton (soprano) - John Cameron (piano) - world premiere recordings - rec. 21-22 Nov 2001, St Mary's Collegiate Church, Haddington, East Lothian. DDD DELPHIAN DCD 34006 [66.59] [RB]

This CD will find friends worldwide; for those who value words, music and in their coupling the power to move. ... see Full Review

Johann STRAUSS Junior (1825-1889) Opera Explained Series: ‘Die Fledermaus’ An Introduction to… ‘Die Fledermaus’ by J Strauss Jr (1825-1899) - Opera or operetta? - The history of the times and the Strauss family - The background to Die Fledermaus and the overture - The story begins - Dr Falke - Act I-‘Finale’ - Act II - Prince Orlofsky's palace - Mistaken identities - Rosalinde's ‘Czardas’ - Act II-‘Finale’ - Strauss ‘dance numbers’ - Act III - in the jail - The Bat's revenge Written by Thomson Smillie. Narrated by David Timson - Die Fledermaus extracts from Naxos 8.660017-18 - Bargain Price NAXOS 8.558070 [79.34] [RJF]


My cynicism aside, this ‘Introduction’ is worthwhile and enjoyable in its own terms. Despite my earlier frustrations I consider it is worthy of purchase by anybody either new to opera in general or to this work in particular. … see Full Review

Johann STRAUSS (the younger) (1825 - 1899) Simplicius - operetta in three acts (1887, rev. 1999) [132.00] Libretto by Victor Léon, after Der abentheurliche Simplicissimus Teutsch, by Johann Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelhausen, 1688. Michael Volle, Hermit; Martin Zysset, Simplicius; Rolf Haunstein, General von Vliessen; Elizabeth Magnuson, his daughter; Piotr Beczala, Arnim von Grübben; Oliver Widmer, Melchior the Astrologer; Louise Martini, Schnapslotte; Martina Jankova, Schnapslotte’s daughter; Liliana Nikiteanu, Ebba, a Swedish spy. Sung in German Stage Director, David Pountney; Choreography, Philipp Egli Chorus, Children’s Choir and Orchestra of the Zürich Opera House/Franz Welser-Möst Recorded at the Opernhaus, Zürich, Switzerland, 2000 Notes and synopsis in Deutsch, English and Français. No text. Menus and Subtitles in Deutsch, English, Français, Castellano PAL 16:9 Format DVD 9 Region Code 2,5. Vision control by Karl Künzler Sound PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 ARTHAUS MUSIK DVD 100 364 [132.00] [PS]

An excellent newly discovered operetta emerging out of a tragic situation; marvellous entertainment, brilliant staging, beautiful music, plenty of laughs, some cynical humour. … see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Salome (1905) - Catherine Malfitano (sop) Salome - Bryn Terfel (bass-bar) Jochanaan - Kenneth Riegel (ten) Herodes - Anja Silja (mezzo-sop) Herodias Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Christoph von Dohnányi - Directed for the stage by Luc Bondy - Directed for video by Hans Hulscher - Recorded London 1997 - 5.1 DTS surround sound and stereo. Subtitles DECCA 074 105-9 [109.00] [JL]

A confused production overcome by a fine set of performers who, under Christoph von Dohnányi's musical direction, achieve a powerful result. … see Full Review

Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) An die schönen blauen Donau, op. 314 (11.04) Wein, Weib und Gesang, op. 333 (4.37) Wiener Blut, op. 354 (8.09) Künstlerleben Walzer, op. 316 (7.58) Tritsch Tratsch Polka, op. 214 (2.33) Kaiserwalzer, op. 437 (11.09) Liebeslieder Walzer, op. 114 (4.09) Rosen aus dem Süden, op. 388 (9.42) Johann STRAUSS I (1804-1849) Radetzky Marsch, op. 228 (2.12) Bratislava Symphony Orchestra/Otto Aebi No information given on recording location or date [AAD] CLASSIC COLLECTION 99870 [61.33] [PS]

Much released tapes of Strauss chestnuts done straightforwardly, on-the-beat and not without charm ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrouchka (1947 version) - Scherzo à la Russe (1945 version) - Firebird Suite (1919 version) Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi - Recorded in Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, 24-25 March 2002
TELARC CD 80587 [59:42] [GPJ]

Järvi paces the music so well … lets the momentum of the drama build inexorably and allows all the delicious details to be clearly heard … see Full Review

Thomas TALLIS (c.1505 - 1585) Videte Hymn: Salvator mundi, Domine (5vv) [4.57] Respond: Audivi vocem de caelo (4vv) [4.22] Antiphon: Salvator mundi salva nos II (5vv) (pub.1575) [3.40] Respond: Loquebantur variis linguis (7vv) [3.53] Respond: In pace in idipsum (4vv) [6.09] Antiphon: O sacrum convivium (5vv) [4.30] Respond: Videte miraculum (6vv) [12.44] Respond: Homo quidam fecit cenam magnam (6vv) [5.07] Magnificat (5vv) [11.49] Nunc dimittis (5vv) [3.46] The Chapel Choir of St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge/Alexander Ffinch - Recorded 2-4 July 2002 in St. George’s Church, Chesterton PRIORY PRCD727 [60’57"] [JPo]

Weakness in the main body and in attack though ensemble is well blended, speeds nicely judged and balance good. I cannot give a whole-hearted welcome … see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor Op. 23 (1875 rev. 1879 and 1889) - Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concerto No. 4 in C minor Op. 44 (1875) Joyce Hatto (piano) National Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra/René Köhler - Recorded at the Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, March 1997 (Tchaikovsky) and January 1999 (Saint-Saëns) CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9086-2 [61.47][JW]

Intelligent, sensitive, unselfconsciously authoritative … individual and strong, Hatto’s performances never fail to inspire. … see Full Review

Georg Philip TELEMANN (1681 - 1767) St. Matthew Passion (1746) - Barbara Schlik (soprano) - Claudia Schubert (alto) - Evangelist - Wilfried Jochens (tenor); Petrus, Caiaphas - Stefan Dörr (tenor); Christus - Achim Rück (bass); Hans-Georg Wimmer (bass) Collegium Vocale des Bach-Chores Siegen - Barock-Orchester "La Stravaganza-Köln"/Ulrich Stötzel - Recorded 1995 (first issued by Hänssler) BRILLIANT CLASSICS - STEMRA 992277 [2 CDs: 38.29+40.19] [RH]

A re-issued of an excellent recording of an underrated work. Just the place to start exploring Telemann’s fascinating legacy of Passion settings. … see Full Review

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Trio Sonata in d for two violins and continuo, TWV 42:d9 (c.1709) [9.11] Trio Sonata in e for two flutes and continuo, TWV 42:e11 (c. 1709) [14.26] Trio Sonata in F for oboe, violin, and continuo, TWV 42:F12 (c. 1709) [5.26] Trio Sonata in d for two scordatura violins and continuo, TWV 42:d6 (c. 1709) [5.46] Trio Sonata in d for two flutes and continuo, TWV 42:d11 (c. 1709) [10.21] Trio Sonata in g for flute, viola da gamba, and continuo, TWV 42:g15 (c. 1709) [8.54] Trio Sonata in G for two violins and continuo, TWV 42:G11 (c. 1709) [9.02] The Public Musick: Steven Zohn, Colin St.Martin, flutes; Brian Brooks, Julie Andrijeski, violins; Geoffrey Burgess, oboe; Patricia Ann Neely, Christal Theillman, viole da gamba; Stephanie Vail, cello; James Bobb, harpsichord. Notes in English Recorded in Sage Chapel, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., USA, October 2000 CENTAUR CRC 2592 [63.14] [PSh]

All Telemann admirers will want these excellent performances of some of his attractive early music, never before heard … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Will TODD (b. 1970) Saint Cuthbert (Oratorio) (1995) - words by Ben Dunwell The Call; The Storm; Man Unkind; Plague and Healing; Enthronement; Lindisfarne; Vikings; The Tide; Journeying; Prayer Patricia Rozario, Angel (soprano) John Hudson, Cuthbert (tenor) Graeme Danby, Man (bass) Northern Sinfonia Chorus Durham Singers Hallé Choir Hallé Orchestra/Christopher Austin Recorded in Studio 7, BBC Manchester, June 2nd - 4th 2001
Mawson and Wareham MWM CDSP56 [79.43] [NH]

A superb must buy for anyone remotely interested in British choral/contemporary music … see Full Review

Mark-Anthony TURNAGE (born 1960) Another Set To (2000)a Silent Cities (1998) Four-Horned Fandango (1995/6, rev. 2000)b Fractured Lines (1999/2000)c Evelyn Glennie, Peter Erskine (percussion)c; Christian Lindberg (trombone)a; Timothy Brown, Michael Murray, Andrew Antcliff, Christopher Larkin (horn)b; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin Recorded: Walthamstow Assembly Hall, July 2002 CHANDOS CHAN 10018 [56:25] [HC]

Superlative performances and superb recording up to Chandos’s best. I enjoyed this release enormously and I am eagerly awaiting more. … see Full Review

Julia USHER (b.1945) Sacred Physic: a dramatic madrigal (2001) A Reed in the Wind (1981) Before Light Ends (2001) Le Isole della Laguna (1984) What is the Price of Experience? (2001) Invocation: "Poor Naked Wretches" (2001) Nikki Bloomfield (oboe/cor anglais) Peter Lawson (piano) Jonathan Price (cello) Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano) Jane Simpson (harpsichord) John turner recorders Recorded Manchester, UK, January 2002 METIER MSV CD92066 FP [71:29] [JL]

An experienced composer’s first commercial disc … deserves to be better known. The vocal works show real power. … see Full Review

Dag WIRÉN (1905-1986) Sinfonietta Op. 7 (1933-34) - Cello Concerto Op. 10 (1936) - Romantic Suite from The Merchant of Venice Op. 22 (1943) - Symphony No. 3 Op. 20 (1943-44) Mats Lidström (cello) - Sami Sinfonietta/Stefan Solyom - Recorded Studio 2, Radiohuset, Stockholm, February 2001 PHONO SUECIA PSCD 716 [71.53] [JW]

Full of melancholy … rumbustious and jolly … compact, incisive … encompassing quicksilver changes of mood and emotive states. … see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Five Mystical Songs (1909) [17.23] On Wenlock Edge (1911) [22.35] Songs: It was a lover and lass; The Lawyer (with Louisa Fuller, Violin); The splendour falls; The water mill; Tired; Silent Noon; Searching for lambs (with Louisa Fuller, Violin); Nocturne; Joy, Shipmate, Joy; Lord, come away! (with John Metcalf, Viola); Come love, Come Lord (with John Metcalf, Viola); Dirge for Fidele 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] [IL]

Radiant performances of some of Vaughan Williams best-loved songs. Naxos are to be congratulated for making this important Collins Classics collection available again. … see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs:- From the House of Life (Dante Gabriel Rossetti) Four Last Songs (Ursula Vaughan Williams) Four Poems by Fredegond Shove Along the Field (A.E. Housman) Linden Lea (William Barnes) The Sky Above the Roof (Paul Verlaine) Dreamland (Christina Rossetti) Claribel (Alfred, Lord Tennyson) If I were a Queen (Christina Rossetti) Adieu (German folksong) Think of Me (German folksong) Ruth Golden (sop) Levering Rothfuss (piano) Thomas Woodman (bar) Nancy Bean (violin) rec. Recital Hall, SUNY Purchase, Purchase, New York, USA. Apr 1992. DDD DECCA - THE BRITISH MUSIC COLLECTION 472 899-2 [73.57] [RB]

A useful collection built around the voice of Ruth Golden ... Along the Field outstanding ... see Full Review

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco VERDI (1813-1901) Life and Works: Giuseppe Verdi Audio-Original written and narrated by Jeremy Siepmann - With Freddie Jones as Verdi - Elaine Claxton as Strepponi, Barbieri-Nini, Stolz - David Timson as Reporter, Censor, Berlioz, Zannari - Steve Hodson as Bishop, Lessona, Critic, Mariani, Husband, Martinelli, Minister Charles Simpson as Muzio, Cambiaggio, Boito - Musical extracts played by various orchestras and conductors all from Naxos discs NAXOS 8.552111-14 [4:53:44] [SA]

All in all a real coup and I eagerly await further "lives" to explore. Thoroughly recommended! … see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) String Quartet in E minor (1873) - Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Crisantemi (1890) - Three Fugues for string quartet (apprentice work) - Scherzo for string quartet(apprentice work) - Three Minuets in A major for string quartet (1892, rev. 1898) - Tempo di Quartetto for string quartet (apprentice work) - Quartetto David (Mauro Loguercio, Gabriele Baffero, violins; Antonio Leofreddi, viola; Marco Decimo, cello) Recorded March 2001, Lanna Church, Sweden BIS CD-1006 [55:22][DS]

My best recommendation is to acquire the ASV disc to enjoy the better music and performances … see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) - Il Trovatore (1851-53) - Manrico (tenor) – Jussi Bjoerling - Leonora (soprano) – Zinka Milanov - Count di Luna (baritone) – Leonard Warren - Azucena (mezzo) – Fedora Barbieri - Ferrando (baritone) – Nicola Moscona - Robert Shaw Chorale RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra/Renato Cellini - Recorded at the Manhattan Center, New York, February 21 – March 16, 1952 Mono Appendix – Zinka Milanov in ‘Song Gems of Yugoslavia’, performed with anonymous violin and piano accompaniments, recorded New York, 1944 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110240-41 [2CDs: 62’07+72’34] [TH]

You will not hear a more authentically Italian-sounding Trovatore anywhere on disc. Whichever version you have, this has to be worth another tenner. … see Full Review

Johannes VERHULST (1816-1891) Mass, Op. 20 Nienke Oostenrijk (soprano); Margriet van Reisen (contralto); Marcel Reijans (tenor); Hubert Claessens (bass) The Netherlands Concert Choir Residentie Orchestra, The Hague/Matthias Bamert Rec. Dr. Anton Philipszaal, The Hague, The Netherlands; 11-14 December 2001 CHANDOS CHAN 10020 [64’55"] [JQ]

An enterprising release … of interest to listeners with an enquiring ear, particularly those keen to find something different in the nineteenth century choral repertoire. … see Full Review

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887 - 1959) Symphony No. 3 A Guerra (1919) - Symphony No. 9 (1952) - Overture de l’Homme Tel (1952) - SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester, Stuttgart/Carl St. Clair. - recorded at Stadthalle Sindelfingen, March 19-20, 1998 (No.3) and July 8-10, 1999 and April 17-18, 2000 (No. 9). DDD CPO 999 712-2 [61.25] [JP]

Performances appear to be first class and the recording quality is of very good broadcast quality, clear and bright … see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) String Concertos, Volume 3: ‘Concertos for strings and basso continuo’ Collegium Musicum 90/Simon Standage (violin) Rec: All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London N2, 22-24 October 2001. 24 bit recording DDD Producer: Nicholas Anderson, Sound Engineers: Jonathan Cooper and Michael Common CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN 0687 [62:27] [MC]

Securely crafted with a certain charm if often rather ‘assembly line’ repetitious … a touch more panache would have been welcome … see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Hans Sachs, cobbler - Otto Edelmann Veit Pogner, goldsmith - Frederick Dallberg Kunz Vogelgesang, furrier - Erich Makjut Konrad Nachtigall, tinsmith - Hans Berg Sixtus Beckmesser, town clerk - Erich Kunz Fritz Kothner, baker - Heinrich Pflanzl Balthasar Zorn, pewterer - Josef Janko Ulrich Eisslinger, grocer - Karl Mikorey Augustin Moser, tailor - Gerhard Stolze Hermann Ortel, soapmaker - Heinz Tandler Hans Schwarz, stocking-weaver - Heinz Borst Hans Folz, coppersmith - Arnold van Mill Walther vonStolzing, a Franconian knight - Hans Hopf David, Sachs’ apprentice -Gerhard Unger Eva, Pogner’s daughter - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Magdalena, her nurse - Ira Malaniuk A Night Watchman - Werner Faulhaber - Bayreuth Festival Chorus (Chorus Master: Wilhelm Pitz) Bayreuth Festival Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan Recorded in July and August 1951 in the Festspielhaus, Bayreuth First issued on Columbia LX1465-98 (78rpm) and 33CX1021-25 (LP) NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110872-75 [70’09+73’19+68’56+55’13: 4.27’46] [JPo]

Manystrengths … a good introduction though I prefer the Kempe overall … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Parsifal (1882) Music drama in three acts, libretto by the composer Parsifal – Wolfgang Windgassen (tenor) Kundry – Martha Mödl (soprano) Gurnemanz – Ludwig Weber (bass) Amfortas – George London (bass-baritone) Titurel – Arnold van Mill (bass) Klingsor – Hermann Uhde (bass) Chorus and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival/Hans Knappertsbusch Recorded at the Bayreuth Festival, July and August 1951 Mono NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110221-24 [4CDs: 55’15+62’10+78’20+76’26] [TH]

Unless you already have it, no Wagner lover should hesitate[TH] An imperishable gravity that can never be forgotten[JW]… see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Peter WARLOCK (1894-1930) The Curlew (1922) Lillygay (1922) (3 songs only) Peter Warlock's Fancy (1924) Peterisms Sets 1 and 2 (3 songs in each set) (1922) My gostly fader (1918) Bright is the ring of words (1918) Saudades (3 songs) (1916-17) The cloths of heaven (1916) The frostbound wood (1929) Bethlehem Down (1929) Sweet and twenty (1924) And wilt thou leave me thus? (1928) Mr Belloc's Fancy (1921) The Bachelor (1922) Away to Twiver (1926) Captain Stratton's Fancy (1924) Adrian Thompson (ten) Christopher Maltman (bar) John Constable (piano) The Duke Quartet Philippa Davies (flute) Christine Pendrill (cor anglais) rec. 3-4, 11 Feb 1997, All Saints Church, East Finchley, London English Song Series No. 4 NAXOS 8.557115 [70.28] [RB]

Commitment and understanding added to a generous cross-section of Warlock's songs ... all at bargain price ... see Full Review

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Clarinet Concerto no. 1 in f, J114/op.73 (1811), Clarinet Concertino in E flat, J109/op.26 (1811), Clarinet Concerto no. 2 in E flat, J118/op.74 (1811), Clarinet Quintet in B flat, J182/op.34 (1815) (string orchestra version)* Sabine Meyer (clarinet) Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt, *Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn/Jörg Faerber Recorded 19th –13th September 1985, Lukaskirche, Dresden, *11th-14th November 1984, Kirche auf der Karlshöhe, Ludwigsberg GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY EMI CLASSICS 5 67988 2 [78:36] [CH]

Supremely entertaining works, though not without depth in the slow movements, played by a clarinettist who is alive to every quicksilver change of mood. … see Full Review

Nigel WESTLAKE (b. 1958) Antarctica (the film music) Yearning for the continent - the last place on earth - penguin play - threnody - penguin circus - canyons of ice - meltponds/dry valleys/the ice core - Scott's theme - wooden ships - at the pole - Scott's theme - finale - postlude - David Pereira, cello - Louise Johnson, harp - Timothy Kain, guitar - Phllippe Marc Antequil, boy soprano Christine Douglas, solo soprano Orchestra conducted by Carl Vine - Recorded in Rhinoceros Studio, Sydney, Australia (date not given, disc released 1992) TALL POPPIES TP012 [37.03] [NH]

A lovely disc of contemporary soundtrack music which also stands up in its own right as a great piece of music … see Full Review

Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Lyric Symphony Op. 18 (1921) [43.40] Cymbeline - Incidental Music (1913-15) [26.30] Turid Karlsen (sop) Jaroslav Březina (ten) Franz Grundheber (bar) Members of Bremen Shakespeare Company (Cymbeline) Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Antony Beaumont rec. Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague, 14-19 May 2002. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10069 [70.23] [RB]

The first recording of Beaumont’s urtext version of the Symphonie and the premiere of the complete version of the Cymbeline music. ... see Full Review

Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1872-1942) Lyric Symphony in Seven Songs (1923) Dorothy Dorow (soprano) and Siegmund Nimsgern (baritone) BBC Symphony Orchestra/Gabriele Ferro Recorded in London April 13th and 14th 1978 WARNER FONIT 0927 43405-2 [48:01]
Alexander ZEMLINSKY
(1872-1942) Lyric Symphony in Seven Songs (1923) Alban BERG (1885-1935) Three pieces from "Lyric Suite" (1925/6) Five Orchestral Songs after Texts from Postcards (1912) Vlatka Orsanic (soprano) and James Johnson (baritone) SWF-Symphony Orchestra/Michael Gielen Recorded in February and March 1994, SWF Hans-Rosbaud Studio, Baden-Baden ARTE NOVA 74321 27768 2 [66:07] [IL]

Although the newer Warner Fonit recording of the Zemlinsky Lyric Symphony has much to recommend it including two impressively expressive soloists, I marginally prefer the dramatic power of Gielen’s Arte Nova recording in splendidly vivid sound. … 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] 
[Part 7 Misc M-Z]



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