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RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Sonata No. 1, Sz75 (1921). Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Violin Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 21 (1912). Cecilia Zilliacus (violin); Bengt-Åke Lundin (piano). Rec. Studio 3, Swedish Broadcasting Corporation, Stockholm, 26-28 Nov 2001. DDD CAPRICE CAP21612 [56’33] [CC]

The Dohnányi … is performed with the fire and enthusiasm of youth. A triumph all round. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos: 1 in C op.15, 2 in B flat op.19, 3 in c op.37, 4 in G op.58, 5 in E flat op.73 Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano) - Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt - Recorded live in the Stefaniensaal, Graz (1, 3-5) and the Musikverein, Vienna (2) - 23rd-26th June 2001 (1) - 21st-23rd September 2001 (2) - 28th-30th June 2000 (3) - 26th-28th June 2002 (4) - 21st-24th June 2002 (5) TELDEC CLASSICS 09274 7334-2 [3 CDs: 70:24, 37:50, 75:09] [CH]

If you think you know these works well and are prepared to reassess your reactions to them you can look forward to many hours of illumination. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major, Op. 55, Eroica (1803) Symphony No. 9 in D Minor Op. 125 Choral (1824) Karita Mattila (soprano), Violetta Urmana (mezzo-soprano), Thomas Moser (tenor) and Eikke Wilm Schulte (bass) with the Swedish Radio Choir and the Eric Ericsson Chamber Choir. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Claudio Abbado Directed by Bob Cole. recorded in February 2001 live at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome (Eroica) and May, 2000, also live, in the Philharmonie, Berlin. (DVD). TDKDV BPAB39 [122.00] [JP]

Well up to the standard of the earlier releases in the series. You should be delighted. … see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Violin Concerto, Op.15 (revised version) (1939 rev. 1961) William WALTON (1902-1983) Viola Concerto (1927, 1961 version) Maxim Vengerov (violin) London Symphony Orchestra/Mstislav Rostropovich Britten recorded March 2002, Walton recorded December 2002, Abbey Road, London. Full price EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 57510 2 7 [64’29] [MB]

An outstanding disc that gives us the best recording yet of Britten’s concerto and a performance of the Walton that is only bettered by William Primrose’s second recording. … see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Sacred Cantatas - Ich habe Lust abzuscheiden, BuxWV 47 - Salve, Jesu, Patris gnate unigenite, BuxWV 94 for two sopranos, two violins and basso continuo - Jesu dulcis memoria, BuxWV 56 for two sopranos, two violins, violone and basso continuo - Mein Herz ist bereit, BuxWV 73* for bass, three violins, violone and basso continuo - Fuga, BuxWV 174 in C major - Cantate Domino, BuxWV 12 for two sopranos, bass and basso continuo - Ich halte es dafür, BuxWV 48† for soprano, bass, violin, viola, violone and basso continuo - Herr, wenn ich nur dich hab, BuxWV 38† for soprano, two violins, violone and basso continuo - Jesu, meine Freude, BuxWV 60 for two sopranos, bass, two violins, violone and basso continuo - Suzie Le Blanc, soprano † Emma Kirkby, soprano - Peter Harvey, bass - Purcell Quartet - with Claire Salaman, violin* - Rec: February 2002, St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, London CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN 0691 [75:33] [KM]

An excellent recording of some beautiful sacred music by Buxtehude. … see Full Review

Icelandic Spring Poem Thorkell SIGURBJARNSSON / Hannes PETURSSON Beginning Jon THORARINSSON / Bjarni GISSURARSON Poem to the Sun Hildigunnur RUNARSDOTTIR / Hildigunnur HALLDORSDOTTIR Summer Rain Sings Out (soloist: Hallveig Runarsdottir) Snorri Sigfus BIRGISSON / Pall VIDALIN Amor Hrodmar Ingi SIGURBJORNSSON / Jonas HALLGRIMSSON Ah, Who Mourns an Icelander Hrodmar Ingi SIGURBJORNSSON / Jonas HALLGRIMSSON Jouney's End Jon ASGEIRSSON Verses from Viglund's Saga Hjalmar Helgi RAGNARSSON / Stefan Hordur GRIMSSON April Night Song Jon NORDAL / ANAKREON / Sigurdur NORDAL The Dark Earth Drinks Jon NORDAL / Snorri HJARTARSON Autumn Jon NORDAL / Snorri HJARTARSON Silence Jon NORDAL / Snorri HJARTARSON Spring Jon NORDAL / Jon ASKAR Icelandic Spring Poem (percussion: Eggert Palsson) Atli Heimir SVEINSSON Meditation II Thorkell SIGURBJORNSSON Ek wiwar / Runic inscription Thorkell SIGURBJORNSSON / Thorgeir SVEINBJARNARSON Ready to Leave Thorkell SIGURBJORNSSON / TRADITIONAL Old Upbringing Mist THORKELSDOTTIR / Thorsteinn VALDIMARSSON Gryla's Motley Crew Karolina EIRIKSDOTTIR / Sigurdur PALSSON Wild Youth Karolina EIRIKSDOTTIR / Vilborg DAGBJARTSDOTTIR Winter Hildigunnur RUNARSDOTTIR / Hildigunnur HALLDORSDOTTIR Sleepless Night (soloist: Olafur Runarsson) Snorri Sigfus BIRGISSON / Gomul baen - Sleep Now My Darling Thorkell SIGURBJORNSSON / Sigurbjorn EINARSSON Now the Sun Sinks in the Sea Hallveig Runarsdottir (soprano), Olafur Runarsson (baritone), Eggert Palsson (percussion) Hamrahlid College Choir/Thorgerdur Ingolfsdottir Recorded 1994 to 1999 at various venues in Iceland DDD SMEKKLEYSA SMK22 [73:24] [DB]

The Hamralid College choir is extraordinarily fine. This disc has the potential to be another of those unexpected hits. … see Full Review

Joseph JONGEN (1873-1953) Impressions d'Ardennes (1913) [14.53] Cello Concerto (1900) [34.59] Fantaisie sur deux noëls populaires wallons (1902) [15.17] Marie Hallynck (cello) Orchestre National de Belgique/Roman Kofman rec. 9-13 July 2002, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. DDD CYPRÈS CYP1634 [65.14]

A strong entry from Cyprès. The Impressions and the Concerto are particularly attractive ... see Full Review

Nina KOTOVA (1969 - ) Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (2000) [29.28] Ernest BLOCH (1880 -1959) Schelomo, Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra (1933) [20.22] Jewish Life: #1, Prayer (1924) [4.05] Max BRUCH (1838 - 1920) Kol Nidrei, Op 47 (1881) [9.46] Nina Kotova, cello The Philharmonia of Russia/Constantine Orbelian Recorded in the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow, Russia, December 9, 2001 Notes in English DELOS DE 3305 [63.43] [PS]

Magnificent performances, especially of Schelomo, by a new star in the musical heavens. And an intriguing new concerto … see Full Review
You can sample, download or purchase this disc

 

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Etudes d’exécution transcendante (Third version 1852) Christopher Taylor, Hamburg Steinway D piano (Reid Schaefer, technician) - Notes in English. Recorded at Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. September 2002 LISZT DIGITAL LD005 [74.42] [PS]

An astonishingly brilliant reading of this most difficult music. Destined to become a classic. A must-have for every Lisztian and piano student. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied Von Der Erde (1907-9) Janet Baker (alto), Waldemar Kmentt (tenor) Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Rafael Kubelik Recorded "live" at Herkulessaal der Residenz in Munich on 27th February 1970 AUDITE 95.491 [62.11] [TD]

One of the all-time great Mahler recordings … there are none to surpass it, perhaps only to equal it. You will be moved, delighted and changed by it. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde Waltraud Meier (mezzo-soprano) Torsten Kerl (tenor) WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln/Semyon Bychkov "I follow a voice within me" A portrait of the singer Waltraud Meier (1h 26m) Regional Code 0 Picture Format 16:9 Sound formats PCM Stereo, DTS5.1, DD5.1 Production 2002 Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian Reviewed using DTS5.1 TDK DVD 10 5188 9 DV-WMLVE [1 disc: 2h 38 m] [DB]

Gorgeous! Rush out and buy it, it costs less than half a decent seat in the Barbican, the acoustic of the Köln Philharmonie is better, you get a free film thrown in … see Full Review

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

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]

Michael Gielen: Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1851) Die Glückliche Hand, drama with music, Op.18 (1910-13) - Alban BERG (1885-1935) Der Wein, concert aria (1929) - Anton WEBERN (1883-1945) Five Pieces for Orchestra Op.10 (1911) - Cantata No.1 Op.29 (1938) - Eduard STEUERMANN (1892-1964) Variations for Orchestra (1958) - Michael GIELEN (b.1927) ‘Pflicht und Neigung’ for ensemble (1988) - John Brocheler (baritone, Die Glückliche Hand),Melanie Diener (soprano, Der Wein), Christiane Oelze (soprano, Cantata) - Berlin Radio Choir (Schoenberg), Anton Webern Choir, Freiburg (Webern) SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg/Michael Gielen - Recorded in the Konzerthaus, Freiburg and Hans Rosbaud Studio, Baden-Baden, between 1990 and 2000 DDD HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.060 [78’08] [TH]

Useful and stimulating overview … all beautifully executed … high quality … see Full Review


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. John Passion BWV 243 (1723) - John Mark Ainsley tenor, Evangelist. Stephen Richardson, Christus, Catherine Bott - soprano. Michael Chance, alto. Paul Agnew, tenor. Stephen Varcoe bass, Pilate King’s College Choir Cambridge - The Brandenburg Consort/Stephen Cleobury - No recording details given BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99050 [2CDs: 72.58+65.14] [GH]

At its price it could act as a second version for your library to put alongside your tried and tested first preference. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto in D major Op.77 (1878) [41.30] Brigitte Lang (violin) Baden-Baden ilharmonic/Werner Stiefel Sonata in F minor for Viola and Piano Op.120 No.1 (1894) [23.08] Simone Jandl (viola) Barbara Uszynska (piano) Part of a concert sponsored by Lions Club International on 1 November 2002 in the Kurhaus Weinbrennsaal, Baden-Baden, Germany, on 1 November 2002 5th Carl Flesch Academy Lions Prizewinners’ Concert. (in collaboration with the Carl Flesch Academy International Master Course, Baden-Baden, Germany) Insert booklet in German only BELLA MUSICA BM31.2361 [61.04] [RDB]

It would be unfortunate if this German-made CD does not reach the major catalogues and receive the wider distribution it richly deserves. … see Full Review

Modest Petrovich MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Night on the Bare Mountain (Rimsky-Korsakov version) [10:54] - Hopak from "Sorochintsy Fair" [1:42] - Golitsyn’s exile from "Khovanshchina" [5:10] - Night on the Bare Mountain (original version) [12:50] - Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Maurice Ravel) [32:48] National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar - Rec. Grand Concert Studio of the National Radio Company of Ukraine, Kiev, 15-18 August, 2001 NAXOS 8.555924 [63:24] [SA]

Commitment … involvement … a feeling of wonder … see Full Review

Alan RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971) Piano Concerto No. 1 (1939, rev. 1942) [17’38] Piano Concerto No. 2 (1951) [26’15] Improvisations on a Theme by Constant Lambert (1960) [12’15] . Peter Donohoe (piano, Concertos) Ulster Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa Rec. Usher Hall, Belfast, 20th, 22nd-24th November 2001. DDD British Piano Concertos series NAXOS 8.555959 [56’19] [CC]

A true feather in Naxos’ cap and bodes extremely well for the rest of the series. May the next instalment come sooner rather than later. … see Full Review

John RUTTER (b. 1945) Requiem* (1985) [34’24"] ‘Arise, shine’** (1999) [4’40"] ‘Come down, O Love Divine’ (1998) [6’51"] ‘Musica Dei Donum’*** (1998) [5’50"] ‘A Clare Benediction’** (1998) [3’30"] ‘Go forth into the world in peace’** (1988) [2’42"] Toccata in 7* (1974) [2’06"] Variations on an Easter Theme**** (1983) [7’45"] *Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge directed by Timothy Brown Members of the City of London Sinfonia and Nicholas Rimmer (organ) **with Nicholas Rimmer (organ) ***with Karen Jones (flute) ****Nicholas Rimmer and Nicholas Collon (organ) Recorded in Douai Abbey, Berkshire, England, July 2002 NAXOS 8.557130 [68’56"] [JQ]

The power to move and delight listeners, surely a precious commodity … see Full Review

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

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. … see Full Review

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

BOOK REVIEW

The Life and Music of Sir Malcolm Arnold - The Brilliant and the Dark
by Paul R.W. Jackson 277 pages, 26 plates, 107 musical examples Published by Ashgate, ISBN 1 85928 381 0 [PS]

An intensely moving account of the composer’s life … see Full Review

LESLIE STUART (1864-1928): Composer of Floradora - a biography Routledge (Tanner & May) ISBN 0 -415-93747-7 pp295 £35

Exploring the life of a gifted musician is always fascinating and in this respect Andrew Lamb has made an excellent job. … see Full Review

 


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