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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    




PART 4
M - R
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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ALPHABETICAL LISTING

Edward MACDOWELL (1860-1908) Piano Sonatas: No. 1 Tragica (1891-2) Op. 45 [24.23]; No. 2 Eroica Op. 50 (1895) - [24.13]; No. 3 Norse Op. 57 (1899) [26.28]; No. 4 Keltic Op. 59 (1900) [19.42]; Charles Tomlinson GRIFFES (1884-1920) Four Roman Sketches Op. 7 (1915-16) [19.31]; Three Preludes (1919) [4.45] - Rhapsody in B minor (1912, rev 1914) [6.53]; Fantasy Pieces Op. 6 (1912-15) - [16.10]; De Profundis (1915) [5.33] - Sonata (1917-18) [15.13]; The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan (1912) [8.47] - Three Tone-Pictures Op. 5 (1910-12) [8.28]; Legend (1915) [5.33] James Tocco (piano) rec. Musical Arts Center, Indiana University, early 1980s GASPARO GALLANTE GG4-1007 [4CDs: 54.18+42.47+45.17+45.00] [RB]

Tocco brings explosive volatility and Lisztian bravura to the Macdowell but is not as successful with the elusive Griffes ... see Full Review

Otmar MÁCHA (b.1922) Patria Bohemorum - The Land of the Czech Fathers (1989) [44.03] - Variations on the Theme and Death of Jan Rychlík (1964) [13.39] - Violin Concerto (1989) [19.47] Jitka Soběhartová (sop) - Drahomíra Drobková (alto) - Vratislav Kříž (bar) - Ivan Ženatý (violin) - Czech Radio Chorus, Prague/Pavel Kühn - Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, Prague/Michel Tabachnik; Vladimír Válek - rec. Czech Radio ADD/DDD ARCO DIVA UP 0026-2 191 [77.48] [RB]


Serious, sturdy, grave and moving music. ... see Full Review

James MACMILLAN (b.1959) Britannia (1994) [12’42] The Berserking, a concerto for piano and orchestra (1989) [31’22] Into the Ferment (1988, rev. 2002) [23’27] Martin Roscoe (piano) BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/James MacMillan Recorded in Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 3-4 December 2002 CHANDOS CHAN 10092 [67’54] [TH]

Makes a strong claim on those collectors who enjoy exploring the contemporary British music scene. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 in A minor (1903-06) London Symphony Orchestra/Mariss Jansons - Recorded "live" at the Barbican, London, 27-28 November 2002 LSO LIVE LSO0038 [2CDs: 81.52] [TD]


I remain faithful to the classically conceived, symphonically aware approach to tragedy well exemplified here by Mariss Jansons and will certainly return to this. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No 4 in G major (1921 chamber version by Erwin Stein)* [53’06"] Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen (1920 chamber version by Arnold Schoenberg)** [16’20"] *Clare Gormley (soprano) **Jeffrey Black (baritone) Sidney Soloists/John Harding *World première recording Recorded in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Eugene Goossens Hall, Ultimo, Sidney on *6-7 September and ** 26 June 1998 ABC CLASSICS 461 827-2 [69’26"] [JQ]

There are passages of real felicity here. It’s an enterprising and stimulating release … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Kindertotenlieder (1901-04) * [23’14"] - Symphony No 4 in G major (1899 – 1900) [49’42"] Kathleen Ferrier (contralto); Desi Halban (soprano) - *Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Bruno Walter - Philharmonic Symphony of New York/Bruno Walter - Rec. *Kingsway Hall, London, 4 Oct 1949; Carnegie Hall, New York, 10 May 1945 NAXOS 8.110876 [73’13"] [JQ]

A classic Kindertotenlieder by a great singer and to experience the work of one of the finest of all Mahler conductors. Self-recommending … see Full Review

Hayren: music of Tigran Mansurian and Komitas Tigran MANSURIAN (b. 1939) Havik (1998) Duet for Viola and Percussion (1998) KOMITAS (1869-1935) (adapted by MANSURIAN) Garun a Krunk (3 versions) Chinar es Hov arek Hoy, Nazan Tsirani tsar Oror (2 versions) Antuni Kim Kashkashian, viola Robyn Schulkowsky, percussion Tigran Mansurian, piano, voice Recorded at Teldec Studio, Berlin, May 2000. ECM NEW SERIES 1754 461831-2 [54.25] [NH]

ECM visits the musical byways of Eastern Europe again to offer us some beautiful and unique compositions … see Full Review

José MARÍN (1618 - 1699) "Tonos Humanos" [14 songs] - Caprichos de amor [6.04; 8.15; 4.02; 3.55] - Lisonjear el dolor [3.08; 4.41; 5.09; 5.06; 4.31] - Mudanzas de amor [4.57; 5.25; 3.52; 3.48; 3.05] Montserrat Figueras, soprano; Rolf Lislevand, guitars; Arianna Savall, harp; Pedro Estevan, percussion; Adela Conzáles-Campa, castanets - Notes in Français, English, Castellano, Deutsch, and Italiano, including texts and translations of all songs and photos of the artists - Recorded at Studio Fondation Tibor Varga, Sion, Switzerland, 6 June 1997 - HYBRID 2.0 STEREO SACD (playable on SACD players and on CD players) ALIAVOX AVSA 9802 [65.58] [PS]

A disk of unfamiliar baroque Spanish soprano songs beautifully sung, imaginatively accompanied, and exceptionally well recorded … see Full Review

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Piano Concerto No. 1 (1934) [21.03] - Piano Concerto No. 2 (1969) [23.25] - Ballade for piano and orchestra (1939) [17.24] Jean-François Antonioli (piano) - I Filarmonici di Torino/Marcello Viotti - rec. RAI Auditorium, Turin, August 1986 ADD? CLAVES CD 50-8509 [62.33] [RB]

For all that Antonioli is a very fine artist it is no contest really. It has to be Benda on ASV .... see Full Review

William MASON (1829-1908) Silver Spring Op. 6 - Capriccio Fantastico Op. 50 - Rêverie Poétique Op. 24 - Improvisation Op. 51 - Valse-Caprice Op. 17 - Deux Humoresques de Bal Op. 23 - La Sabotière; Danse aux Sabots Op. 33 - Lullaby Op. 10 - Badinage Op. 27 - Caprice Grotesque Op. 22 - Ballade et Barcarolle - Trois Préludes - Amourette - Valse de Bravoure Op. 5 Kenneth Boulton (piano) - JoAnne Barry (piano) - Rec. The Sonic Temple, Roslindale, MA February and May 2001 and January 2002 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559142 [78.59] [JW]

A miniaturist inspired by froth and sentiment and a likeable one at that. … see Full Review

Czech Masters: Complete String Quartets of Smetana, Janáček and Martinů Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) String Quartet No. 1 French (1925?) [30.02] String Quartet No. 2 (1927) [19.07] String Quartet No. 3 (1929) [12.18] String Quartet No. 4 (1937) [19.40] String Quartet No. 5 (1938) [26.04] String Quartet No. 6 (1946) [21.55] String Quartet No. 7 Concerto da Camera (1947) [21.02] Madrigals for violin and viola (1947) [15.56] String Trio (1934) [14.39] Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) String Quartet No. 1 in E minor From My Life (1879) [29.53] String Quartet No. 2 in D minor (1882) [18.52] Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) String Quartet No. 1 Kreutzer Sonata (1923) [17.01] String Quartet No. 2 Intimate Letters (1928) [19.31] Stamitz Quartet (Bohuslav Matoušek (violin I), Josef Kekula (violin II), Jan Pěruška (viola); Vladimir Leixner (cello)) rec. Oct 1988-1990. Prague, DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 6473 [5CDs: 49.14 + 42.50 + 72.44 + 68.40 + 52.20] [RB]

Superb Martinů cycle probably the market leader although you will want to compare the Naxos. Smetana and Janáček are good library recordings if not ‘Hall of Fame’ ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Piano Quartet No 1 (1942) Viktor KALABIS (b 1923) Ludus for Piano Quartet Op 82 (? 1998) Karel HUSA (b 1921) Variations for violin, viola, cello and piano (1984) Martinů Piano Quartet - Bohumil Kotmel (violin), Karel Špelina (viola), Miroslav Petráš (cello) and Emil Leichner (piano) - Recorded in May 2000 in the Domovina Studios, Prague ARCO DIVA UP 0027-2 131 [58.08] [JW]


A warm welcome to this disc. It has the accustomed good notes and attractive presentation. More than that it has fine music cogently performed. … see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) The Six Symphonies Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi scores published by Boosey & Hawkes rec. 4-7 May 1987 (1-4); 28-20 Mar 1988 (5-6) Dominikanerbau, Bamberg. DDD 3CDs for the price of 2 BIS BIS-CD-1371/1372 [3CDs: 60.52+62.44+59.16] [RB]

If the price suits then you will be delighted with these buoyantly powerful and virile performances ... see Full Review

Pierre MAURICE (1868-1936) Le nuit tous les chats sont gris overture Op. 35 (1924) [4.51] - Pêcheur d'Islande - impressions musicales d'après Pierre Lôti Op. 8 (1895) [23.14] - Francesca da Rimini - poème symphonique d'après Dante Op. 6 (1899) [14.21] - Daphné prélude pour orchestre Op. 2 bis (1894-97) (ed. Adriano) [3.15] - Perséphone suite pour orchestre Op. 38 (1930) [27.12] - Fugue pour instruments à cordes Op. 20 (1901) [5.00] Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Adriano - rec. Jan 2003, Mosfilm Studios, Moscow DDD STERLING CDS-1053-2 [78.17] [RB]

Not desperately compelling music but surely there is room in the world for such sincere romantic-impressionist creativity. ... see Full Review

Pierre MAURICE (1868-1936) La nuit tous chats sont gris (All Cats Look the Same in the Dark): overture to the comic opera Op. 35 (1924) [04:51] Pecheur d’Islande (Icelandic fisherman): musical impressions after Pierre Loti, Op.8 (1895) [23:14]: 1. On the Icelandic sea; 2. The marriage procession; 3. Declaration of love; 4. The waiting on the coastline Francesca da Rimini: symphonic poem after Dante, Op.6 (1899) [14:21] Daphne, prelude for orchestra, Op. 2 (c.1894-97) ms ed. Ariano [03:15] Persephone: two movement suite for orchestra, Op.38 (1901) [27:12] Fugue pour instruments à cordes (Fugue for string instruments), in B minor, Op.20 (1901) [05:00] Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Adriano Recorded at Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, in January 2003. DDD Six World Premier Recordings: STERLING CDS-1053-2 [78:17] [MC]

A consistently warm and lyrical approach that aptly suits Maurice’s gift for colour and lyrical expression. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH George Frederick MCKAY (1899-1970) Caricature Dance Suite (1924) * From My Tahoe Window - Summer Moods and Patterns (1965) * Americanistic Etude, Op. 27 (1924)* An April Suite, Op. 3 (1924) * Dance Suite No. 2 (1938) * Dancing in a Dream (1945) * ² Excerpts from Five Songs for Soprano (1964) * ¹ Every Flower That Ever Grew (1969) * ¹ Suite for Viola and Piano (1948) ³ º William Bolcom, piano * Joan Morris, mezzo-soprano ¹ Logan Skelton, piano ² Sanford Margolis, piano ³ Mahoko Eguchi, viola º Recorded at The Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan, July 1999-February 2001. NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559143 [64.00] [NH]

Another Naxos American Classics gem - understated but beautiful folk-and jazz-inflected 20th century music … see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Twenty-Four Songs Without Words Volume 1 E major Op.19 No.1 - A minor Op.19 No.2 - A major Op.19 No.3 - A major Op.19 No.4 - F sharp minor Op.19 No.5 - G minor Op.19 No.6 - B minor Op.30 No.4 - D major Op.30 No.5 - F sharp minor Op.30 No.6 - C minor Op.38 No.2 - A minor Op.38 No.5 - A flat Op.38 No.6 - A flat Op.53 No.1 - E flat Op.53 No.2 - G minor Op.53 No.3 - A minor Op.53 No.5 - A major Op53 No.6 - G major Op.62 No.1 - E minor Op.62 No.3 - A minor Op.62 No.5 - C major Op.67 No.4 - E major Op.67 No.6 - E minor Op.102 No.1 - G minor Op.102 No.4 - Fantasia in F sharp minor Op.28 Joyce Hatto (piano) - Rec. Concert Artist Studios Cambridge, January 1999, January 2001 and June 2001 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9072-2 [75.30] [JW]

One can look to Hatto in confidence, knowing the value she places on the text is higher than the need she may feel to project her own personality. … see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor Op.25 (1831) Piano Concerto No.2 in D minor Op.40 (1837) Andante and Rondo Capriccioso Op.14 (1824) Joyce Hatto (piano) The National Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra/René Köhler Recorded Concerto No.1 and 2 plus Capriccio brillant at St.Marks Church, Croydon 2-3 January 1997 Andante and Rondo Capriccioso Recorded at Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, 14 September 1999  CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9070-2 [57.54] [JW]

Hatto shapes the melodies wonderfully well, plays lightly, has digital clarity and the sense of lyricism to play quietly … see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Six Organ Sonatas (1844-45): No.1 in F minor; No.2 in C minor/major; No.3 in A major; No.4 in Bb Major; No.5 in D major; No.6 in D minor. Reg Elson plays the Viscount Prestige organ at Woodsetts, Woodsetts Rec. November 2002 GUILD GMCD 7249 [78.33] [GH]

If you don’t mind the organ and if the music sounds interesting to you then you will enjoy these performances. … see Full Review

Peter MENNIN (1884-1964) Symphony No. 5 (1950) [21.16] - Symphony No. 6 (1953) [26.12] - Concertato - Moby Dick (1952) [10.36] - Fantasia for String Orchestra (1946) [9.04] Albany Symphony Orchestra/David Alan Miller - rec. 1990s DDD ALBANY TROY 260 [67.11] [RB]

Together with the CRI disc the excellent introduction to the orchestral Mennin. ... see Full Review

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum (1964) [30.38] - Couleurs de la Cité Céleste (1963) [17.06] - L'Ascension (1932) [26.12] Yvonne Loriod (piano) - Percussions de Strasbourg - Orchestre du Domaine Musical/Pierre Boulez - Orchestre Philharmonique National de L'ORTF/Marius Constant - rec. 1965, Paris, ADD ERATO DISQUES 2564 60225-2 [73.56] [RB]

Authentic 1960s recordings sounding splendid both in repose (Prière du Christ) and in savage praise (Et Exspecto). An inexpensive way into Messiaen's world ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 13 in C major, K415 (1783) - Piano Concerto No. 14 in E flat major, K449 (1784) - Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K488 (1786) Maria João Pires (piano) - Orchestre de la Fondation Gulbenkian de Lisbonne/Theodor Guschlbauer - Rec July 1973, May 1974, Théâtre San Carlos, Lisbon WARNER APEX 2564 60448 2 [75.51] [TB]

A generous compilation of three wonderful Mozart piano concertos, played by a major pianist, and all at bargain price. Whatever caveats a reviewer may have, those facts remain a compelling inducement for the potential purchaser. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonatas: Sonata in F KV 533/494 (1788); Sonata in C KV 545 (1788); Sonata in Bb KV 570 (1789); Sonata in D KV 576 (1789) Andreas Haefliger, piano - Recorded July 2002 at Reistadel-Neumarkt/Oberpfalz, Germany AVIE AV0025 [68:55] [GPJ]

I enjoy Haefliger’s approach to this music enormously. He is clearly playing on a large modern grand and plays in a healthily unapologetic yet responsive way … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Mass in C minor, K427 (1783) Patricia Petibon (soprano), Lynne Dawson (soprano), Joseph Cornwell (tenor), Alan Ewing (bass) - Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse - Les Arts Florissants/William Christie - Rec 20-23 April 1999, Abbaye de Lessay, Normandy, France ELATUS 2564 60333-2 [49.20] [TB]

 
In the context of the whole performance so well recorded in such a pleasing church acoustic, the concept works remarkably well. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Le Nozze Di Figaro - A comedy with music in four acts to a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte (1786) Count Almaviva - Albert Dohmen (baritone) Countess Rosina - Barbara Frittoli (soprano) Figaro - Stefano Rinaldi Miliani (bass-baritone) Susanna - Paola Antonucci (soprano) Cherubino - Monica Minarelli (mezzo soprano) Marcellina - Elisabetta Lombardi (mezzo soprano) Bartolo - Ezio Maria Tisi (bass) Don Basilio, a music master - Enrico Facini (tenor) Don Curzio, a lawyer - Silvano Paolillo (tenor) Antonio, the gardener - Arturo Cauli (bass) Barbarina - Kirsten Schwarz (soprano) Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana/Gustav Kuhn rec live Teatro Lauro Rossi, Macerata, Italy 29 July, 2/5/10 August 1993 ARTE NOVA 74321 77071-2 [3CDs: 180.42] [CF]

Despite some reservations much to enjoy, in particular the way Don Curzio kick-starts his stammer in the third act. I’ve not heard it done quite like that before. … see Full Review

Carl NIELSEN (1865 - 1931) Symphony No. 3, Op.27 Sinfonia Espansiva (1911) - Symphony No. 4, Op.29 Inextinguishable (1916) Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Jukka-Pekka Saraste - recorded at Culture Hall, Helsinki, Finland, in September 1999 (No. 3) and April 1997 (No. 4) ELATUS 2564 60432-2 [73’18"] [JP]

Both symphonies recorded here give a very good modern view of each work without scaling the absolute heights … see Full Review

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) The Tales of Hoffmann – score completed by Guiraud (1881)(Translation; Arundell sung in English) Hoffmann - Robert Rounseville (tenor) Olympia – Dorothy Bond (soprano) Giulietta – Margherita Grandi (soprano) Antonia – Ann Ayars (soprano) Coppelius, Daperutto and Dr Miracle – Bruce Dargavel (bass-baritone) Nicklausse – Monica Sinclair (mezzo-soprano) Spalanzani and Frantz – Grahame Clifford (baritone) Schlemil, Crespel and Hermann – Owen Brannigan (bass) Cochenille and Pitichinaccio – Murray Dickie (tenor) Luther – Fisher Morgan (bass) Nathaniel – René Soames (tenor) The Sadler’s Wells Chorus Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham Plus a previously unissued excerpt of Beecham playing piano extracts from the opera [15.39] SOMM BEECHAM 13-2 [2 CDs: 141.27] [JW]

Joie de vivre, orchestral excellence … a treasurable sense of time and of place, which I found frequently uplifting. … see Full Review

Carter PANN (b.1972) Piano Concerto (1996-7) [25.05] - Deux séjours (1994) [9.19] - Dance Partita (1995) [18.27] - Two Portraits of Barcelona (1994) [13.16] Barry Snyder (piano) - Czech State Philharmonic, Brno/José Serebrier -
rec. 24-26 Mar 1999, Stadion, Brno, Czech Republic NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559043 [66.31] [RB]

This is entertainment music … relax and enjoy. ... see Full Review

Andrzej PANUFNIK (1914-1991) Sinfonia Sacra (1963) [21.09] - Symphony No. 10 (1988-1990) [15.56] - Cello Concerto (1991) [19.19] Andrzej Bauer (cello) - Warsaw Philharmonic-National Orchestra of Poland/Kazimierz Kord - rec. Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Jan 2000 (Sacra, 10), March 2000 (Concerto). DDD CD ACCORD ACD 072-2 [55.35] [RB]

The best introduction to Panufnik - just a matter of tracking it down in the shops or over the internet ... see Full Review

Andrzej PANUFNIK (1914-1991) Piano Concerto (1961) [21.30] Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Piano Concerto (1987) [24.19] Pavel SZYMAŃSKI (b.1954) Piano Concerto (1994) [19.50] Ewa Pobłocka (piano) - Warsaw Philharmonic - National Orchestra of Poland/Kazimierz Kord - rec. Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Feb 1996 (Lutosławski), June 1998 - (Panufnik, Szymański). DDD CD ACCORD ACD 046-2 [55.35] [RB]

Three Polish piano concertos of the twentieth century. All are very much of that century. ... see Full Review

Allan PETTERSSON (1911-1980) Mesto (1956-1957) [25.26] Symphony No. 2 (1952-53) [41.48] Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Stig Westerberg rec. large auditorium, Royal Academy of Music, Stockholm, Nov 1961 (Mesto); 6, 8, 9, 11 Mar 1966 (2). ADD SWEDISH SOCIETY DISCOFIL SCD 1012 [67.15] [RB]

Pettersson enthusiasts must have this ... a record of a raw and excoriating imagination ... see Full Review

Fra Armando PIERUCCI (b. 1935) De Profundis - Cantata for soprano, chamber choir, string quartet, flute and double - bass, (texts: 12 poems by Regina Derieva) - Variations on a Theme of 4th Mode of Alleluia - Variations on a Theme of Cantata "Via Crucis" - Chamber Choir "AIDIJA" - Gintaré Skeryté, soprano - Vilnius String Quartet - Giedrius Jakaitis, flute - Augustinas Vasilauskas, double bass - Romualdas Gražinis, conductor - Fra Armando Pierucci, organ - Recorded at Tembras Studios Vilnius, Lithuania, August and September 2001 ¹ and St. Saviour's Monastery, Jerusalem, December 1997 - PILGRIM'S STAR/THE DIVINE ART 27004 [56.26] [NH]

Heartfelt music from the Holy Land by an Italian Catholic priest … see Full Review

"Harvard Composers" Walter PISTON (1894 - 1976) String Quartet No.1 (1933) [17.36] Leon KIRCHNER (b.1919) String Quartet No.2 (1958) [15.58] Earl KIM (1920 - 1998) Three Poems in French (1989) [12.56] Lucy Shelton, soprano Bernard RANDS (b.1935) String Quartet No.2 (1994) [13.36] Mario DAVIDOVSKY (b.1934) String Quartet No.5 (1998) [11.53] Mendelssohn String Quartet: Miriam Fried, Nicholas, Mann, vv; Ulrich Eichenauer, vla; Macy Rowen, vc. Notes in English, Deutsche, Français. English translations of the French song texts. Photos of the artists. Surround sound 5.0, also plays in stereo. Hybrid SACD plays on SACD players and on CD players. BIS SACD 1264 [73.07] [PSh]

Beautiful and interesting, at times exceptionally so, American chamber music exquisitely played and recorded in high resolution sound ... see Full Review

Robert PLANQUETTE (1848-1903) Les Cloches de Corneville (The Chimes of Normandy) operetta (1877) (complete, abridged; with dialogue in French) Ernest Blanc (ten) Marquis de Corneville, Huguette Boulangeot (sop) Germaine, Jean Giraudeau (ten) Grenicheux, Louis Musy (bar) Gaspard, Colette Riedinger (sop) Serpolette, André Balbon (bar) Le Bailli. Pierre Dervaux, conductor - Rec. Universal (Decca) Studios, Antony, France 1955. Mono (2CD set for the price of single CD) DISCOVERY/ACCORD OPERETTE SERIES 465 861-2 [97:52] [RW]

Planquette's first full operetta … it is amazing how this first operetta flows with such melody, strong rhythm and interesting orchestral colour. … see Full Review

Further reading: "Operetta", Traubner (Oxford 2003); ‘Musicals", Ganzl (Carlton 1995)

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Peter and the Wolf (1936) [23.29] Jean-Paul BEINTUS (b.1966) Wolf Tracks (2002) [18.58] Mikhail Gorbachev (narrator) - Sophia Loren (narrator) - Bill Clinton (narrator) - Russian National Orchestra/Kent Nagano - rec Scottish Rite Center, Oakland, California, USA, August, March 2002 PENTATONE CLASSICS PTC 5186 011 [47.50] [CF]


Sanctimonious claptrap … Approach with caution. … see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Semyon Kotko - opera in five acts (1938) - Libretto by Sergei Prokofiev and Valentin Katayev - Based on Katayev's story 'I am a son of the working people' - Semyon Kotko - N. Gres (ten) - Semyon's mother - T. Yanko (mezzo) - Frosya, Semyon's sister - T. Antipova (sop) - Remeniuk, chairman of the village Soviet - G. Troitsky (bass) - Tkachenko, a former serjeant-major - N. Panchekhin (bass) - Khivrya, Tkachenko's wife - A. Kleshcheva (mezzo) - Sofya, Tkachenko's daughter - L. Gelovani (sop) - Tsaryov, a sailor - M. Kisilev (bar) - Lyubka, Tsaryov's fiancee - T. Tugarinova (sop) - Mikola, a young lad - N. Timchenko (ten) - German soldiers, Haydamaks, women, old men, Semyon's companions - USSR Radio Choir - USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra/Mikhail Zhukov - rec. MONO, 1960, studio, Moscow, ADD CHANDOS CHAN 10053(3) [77.10+53.27+52.08] [RB]

Chandos cater to a small but developing market in their second ex-Soviet historic release. This highly attractive opera is given with superb voices and with orchestral imagination ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1892-1973) Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major Op. 19 [20.23] Belá BARTÓK (1881-1945) Portrait Op. 5 No. 1 [8.50] Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Violin Concerto in A minor (1938) [63.57] Joseph Szigeti (violin) - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Beecham (Prokofiev) - Philharmonia Orchestra/Constant Lambert (Bartók) - Paris Conservatoire Orchestra/Charles Munch (Bloch) - rec. 23 Aug 1935, EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London (Prokofiev), 22 June 1946 - EMI Abbey Rd Studio No. 1, London (Bartók), 22-23 Mar 1939, Paris (Bloch) ADD NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110973 [63.57] [RB]

Prokofiev alone is sufficient reason to get this. Starry, barbaric, fairy tale bardic delights - murderous, seductive and fantastic. ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Songs: Five Poems, Op. 36 (1921) [15’36]. The Ugly Duckling, Op. 18 (1914) [12’04]. Five Songs without Words, Op. 35 (1920) [11’55]. Four Songs from Five Poems, Op. 23; (1915) [20’14] – Under the roof; A Grey Dress; Trust Me; In my garden. Five Akhmatova Poems,Op. 27 (1916) [10’22]. Three Romances, Op. 73 (1936) [9’27]. Claudia Barainsky (soprano); Axel Bauni (piano). Rec. Bavarian Radio Studio No. 2, 5th-9th Nov 2001. ORFEO EDITION ZEITGENÖSSISCHES LIED C436031A [79’59] [CC]

Mesmerizing listening. … see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Études Tableaux Op.33 (1911) - The Études Tableaux Op.39 (1916/17) Joyce Hatto (piano) - Rec. Concert Artist Studios September 1996 and 1998 Op 33 and 1999 Op 39 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9128-2 [70.20] [JW]

A splendid achievement; clarity and emotive commitment the hallmarks … Hatto is simply not to be found wanting in this repertoire. … see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, Op.30 (1909) - Allegro ma non tanto; Intermezzo; Finale. Alla breve Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concerto No.3 in C major, Op.26 (1921): Andante – Allegro; Thema. Andantino – Variation I L’istesso tempo; Variation II Allegro; Variation III Allegro moderato - Variation IV Andantino meditativo - Variation V Allegro giusto -; Thema L’istesso tempo; Allegro ma non troppo Mikhail Pletnev (piano) - Russian National Orchestra/Mstislav Rostropovich - Recorded Sept 2002: Moscow, State Conservatory, Great Hall DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 471 576-2 [71’26] [MM]

 A Prokofiev to admire and a Rachmaninov to treasure… see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony No.2 in E minor Op.27 (1906/07) - Scherzo in D minor (1887) - Vocalise Op.34/14 (1912 rev.1915) Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio/Vladimir Fedoseyev - Recorded 1999 no location noted RELIEF CR 991062 [63.40] [JW]


Fedoseyev’s bracing and brisk reading compromised by a ruinous glassiness on the violins’ tone … see Full Review

Joseph Joachim RAFF (1822-1882) Works for violin and piano: Volume 2 Sonata No.2 in A Op.78 (1858) [37.57] - Six morceaux Op.85 (1859) [20.04] - Duo on motifs from Wagner’s Lohengrin Op.63 No.3 (1853) [9.08] Ingolf Turban (violin) - Jascha Nemtsov (piano) - recorded in the Kammermusik Studio, SWR, Stuttgart, Germany on 2-4 July 2001 CPO 999 768-2 [67.09] [CF]

Performances that eloquently argue the case for a revival in Raff’s fortunes … the artists have the poetic imagination and technical prowess to meet the task in hand. … see Full Review

Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (b.1928) Cantus Arcticus Op. 61 (1972) [17.33] Klemetti Institute SO/Pertti Pekkanen - Angel of Dusk (1980) [26.53] - Olli Kosonen (double bass) - Finnish RSO/Leif Segerstam - String Quartet No. 2 (1958) [27.12] - Cantos I-III (1960-1972) [21.33] - Tapiola Sinfonietta/Juhammi Lamminmäki - Epitaph for Béla Bartók (1955, 1986) [6.09] - Hommage à Zoltán Kodály (1982) [16.45] - Hommage à Ferenc Liszt (1989) [4.33] - Helsinki Strings/Csaba and Géza Szilvay - A Requiem in our Time (1953) [9.27] - Helsinki PO/Jorma Panula - Sonetto (1969) [6.28] Kullervo Kojo (cl); Juhani Lagerspetz (piano) - rec. 1969-1994. ADD/DDD - Meet the Composer series FINLANDIA 4509-999659-2 [2CDs: 72.08+66.25] [RB]

Finlandia have not laid claims to this series providing a representative sampling. This instead is Finlandia's Rautavaara archive ransacked to create a generous selection. The Cantus, Bartók Epitaph, Canto II and Liszt Hommage are the highlights. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH - Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (b.1928) Isle of Bliss (1995) [11.47] - Piano Concerto No. 2 (1989) [23.39] - Piano Concerto No. 3 Gift of Dreams (1998) [26.39] Laura Mikkola (piano) - Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra/Eri Klas - rec. Netherlands Radio Studios, Hilversum, 12-15 Nov 2002 DDD NAXOS 8.557009 [62.06] [RB]

Snap up this outstanding bargain. The Isle of Bliss and Third Concerto present no obstacles to appreciation. Second Concerto requires persistence - stiffen the sinews. ... see Full Review

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Daphnis et Chloé (1910-12) [57.07] Boléro (1928) [14.21] - Rapsodie Espagnole (1907) [15.25] - Alborada del Gracioso (1918) - from Miroirs [7.45] - Menuet Antique (1928) [6.43] - La Valse (1920) [12.30] - Ma Mère l'Oye (1911) [28.17] - Le tombeau de Couperin (1919) [18.53] - Pavane pour une Infante défunte (1910) [6.42] - Une barque sur l'océan (1910) - from Miroirs [7.28] - Fanfare - from L'Eventail de Jeanne (1927) [1.50] - Pictures at an Exhibition (Mussorgsky orch. Ravel) [32.42] - Danse; Sarabande (Debussy orch. Ravel) (1922) [5.35+4.33] - Valses nobles et sentimentales (1912) [17.32] Choeur et Orchestre National de France/Eliahu Inbal - rec. 15-19 Jan 1987, 25-30 May 1987, 11-14 May 1988, 18-20 May 1988, Studio 104, Radio France, Paris. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 6430 [4CDs: ] [RB]


Generous and at bargain price but for those who take their Ravel slow and sleepy ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) La Boutique Fantasque (ballet to music of Rossini) P120 (1919) - La pentola magica P129 (1920) - Prelude and Fugue in D major, P158 (1901) BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda - Rec. Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 2nd, 5th and 6th October 2002 DDD CHANDOS CHAN-10081 [79’35"] [JP]

I can thoroughly recommend this superb example of technical and musical skill and wonderful performances by the BBC Phil and their new chief conductor. More please!!! … see Full Review

George ROCHBERG (b. 1918) Symphony No. 5 (1984-85)* Black Sounds (1965) Transcendental Variations (1975)* Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra/Christopher Lyndon-Gee * World Première Recordings. Recorded at the Halberg Broadcasting House, Saarländischer Rundfunk, Saarbrücken, Germany, March 19th-23rd 2002 except Black Sounds, December 22nd 2000. NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559115 [61.03] [NH]

An excellent overview of the music of George Rochberg, an atypical and interesting American composer … see Full Review

Ned ROREM (b. 1923) Symphony No 1 (1950)* [22’11"] - Symphony No 2 (1956)* [22’20"] - Symphony No 3 (1958) [24’19"] - World première recordings Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by José Serebrier - Recorded in The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK, 8-9 January 2003 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559149 [69’12"] [JQ]

A splendid birthday tribute … see Full Review

Antonio ROSETTI (c.1750-1792) Concertos for Two Horns Concerto in E flat (Murray C56Q) [16.27] - Concerto in E flat (Murray C57) [15.15] - Concerto in E (Murray C58) [19.06] - Notturno for 2 flutes, 2 horns and strings in E flat (Murray B27) [13.23] Klaus Wallendorf; Sarah Willis (horns) - Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie/Johannes Moesus - rec May 2002, Studio 1 des Bayerishes Rundfunk CPO 999 734-2 [64.38] [PW]

An excellent recording of horn concertos by Rosetti … see Full Review

Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937) Symphony No. 2 Op. 23 (1920-22) [39.55] - Festin de L'Araignée Op. 17 (1912) [31.56] Orchestre National de L'ORTF/Jean Martinon - rec. 1968, Paris. ADD ERATO DISQUES 25654 60577-2 [71.44] [RB]

The impressionist delights of Festin superbly recorded contrast with the often gravely objective Second Symphony ... see Full Review

John RUTTER (b.1945) Mass of the Children (2003) (1-5) - Look at the World (1996) (6) - To every thing there is a season (1997) (7) - Wings of the morning (2002) (8) - A Clare Benediction (1998) (9) - I will sing with the spirit (1994) (10) - Musica Dei donum (1998) (11) - I my best-beloved’s am (2000) (12) - Come down, O Love divine (1998) (13) Joanne Lunn, soprano, Roderick Williams, baritone - Cantate Youth Choir, The Cambridge Singers - City of London Sinfonia/John Rutter - Rec. Great Hall, University College London (tracks 1-5 and 13), and Henry Wood Hall, London (tracks 6-12), June 2002 COLLEGIUM COLCD 129 [79:00] [GPJ]

Rutter ‘groupies’ will certainly find heaps to enjoy. The performances are highly accomplished. A splendid issue of its kind … see Full Review

Toru TAKEMITSU (1930-1996) Rain Coming for chamber orchestra (1982) - Archipelago S for 21 players (1993) - Fantasma/Cantos II for trombone and orchestra (1994) - Requiem for strings (1957) - How Slow the Wind for orchestra (1991) - Tree Line for chamber orchestra (1988) Christian Lindberg (trombone) - Kioi Sinfonietta, Tokyo/Tadaaki Otaka - Recorded at Kioi Concert Hall, Tokyo, Japan, 9-11 Feb. 2000 BIS CD 301078 [71’39] [TH]

No praise can be too high for the quality of performances and recording. Details really matter in this music, and one has here a perfectly judged aural experience, with balance and stage ‘picture’ spot on … 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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