Aureole etc.

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Harald SÆVERUD (1897-1992) Peer Gynt Suites Op. 28 Nos 1 and 2 (1948) [38.45] - Sinfonia Dolorosa Op. 19 [12.00] - Galdreslåtten Op. 20 [8.28] - Kjempeviser-slåtten Op. 22a No. 5 [6.23] Sveinung Sand (violin), Anna Dolezych (viola), Kjersti Dahle (ob/cor ang), Gyrid Erlandsen (cl), Bohumil Maliska (hn) - Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Ole Kristian Ruud - rec. 1995, Stavanger, DDD - Volume 1 Bis Sæverud Series BIS BIS-CD-762 [67.18] [RB]

Awesomely sombre ... a soulful cortège of Old Testament exultant anger ... see Full Review

Harald SÆVERUD (1897-1992) Bassoon Concerto Op. 44 (1964) [23.32] - Lucretia-Suite Op.10 (1935) [17.43] - Symphony No. 7 in one movement Salme Op. 27 (1964) [18.08] Robert Rønnes (bassoon) - Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Dmitriev - rec. Jan 1997, Stavanger, DDD - Volume 2 Bis Sæverud Series BIS BIS-CD-822 [60.32] [RB]

Psalme - epiphanic power in the towering blaze of the Glorification. Once heard not to be forgotten. ... see Full Review

Harald SÆVERUD (1897-1992) Violin Concerto Op. 37 (1956) [34.16] Symphony No. 3 Op. 5 (1925-26) (rev. Robert Rønnes) [44.25] Trond Sæverud (violin) - Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Ole Kristian Ruud - rec. Stavanger. DDD - Volume 3 Bis Sæverud Series BIS BIS-CD-872 [78.59] [RB]

The expressionistic Symphony's Germanic power contrasting with the substantial Concerto - a work the accessibility of which is belied by its first movement.... see Full Review

Harald SÆVERUD (1897-1992) Fanfare og Hymne Op. 48 (1969-70) [4.35] - Piano Concerto Op. 31 (1950) [26.52] - Symphony No. 9 Op. 45 (1966) [28.13] Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Dmitriev - rec. Stavanger, 1997-98, DDD - Volume 4 Bis Sæverud Series BIS BIS-CD-962 [60.56] [RB]

The spare Britten-like concerto contrasts with the often lyrical last symphony ... see Full Review

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Complete works for violin and orchestra Violin Concerto No. 1 (1859) [11.43] - Violin Concerto No. 2 (1879-80) [28.12] - Violin Concerto No. 3 (1879-80) [27.37] - La Muse et le poète (1910) [15.32] - Valse-Caprice (arr. Ysaÿe) (1877) [7.10] - Romance in C major (1871) [6.48] - Romance in D flat major (1874) [5.53] - Havanaise (1887) [9.40] - Morceau de Concert (1880) [9.39] - Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso (1887) [8.56] - Caprice andalou (1904) [9.19] - Prélude du Déluge [7.24] Ulf Hoelscher (violin) -
Ralph Kirshbaum (cello) - New Philharmonia Orchestra/Pierre Dervaux - rec. Abbey Rd Studios, London, 23-24 Mar, 4-7 Apr 1977. ADD EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 72001 2 7 [2CDs: 76.09+73.29] [RB]

There is no reason to go looking further afield. Intrigued ... then buy with confidence. ... see Full Review

Guido SANTORSOLA Three Airs of Court: I. Prelude; II. Aria; III. Finale - from Sonata No.4 (Italiana) for solo guitar: I. Reverie; II. Alla Tarantella Preludio No. 2 (a Luis Walker) from Cinco preludios- from Cuatro piezas Latino-Americanas: II. Valsa Chorosa; IV. Malambo - Suite Antiga: I. Preludio; II. Minueto – Trio; III. Musetta; IV. Sarabanda; V. Giga Choro No.1 - Valsa - Choro Concertino (arranged for two guitars by Maria Isabel Siewers): I. Alegre; II. Pastorale; III. Allegretto - Maria Isabel Siewers (guitar) - Daniela Canale (guitar II) (Concertino) BIS-CD-1178 [75:54] [AD]

Rather one dimensional. It may well be that this music requires a guitarist of unusual insight to bring it off well. … see Full Review

Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725) Six Motets Intellige clamorem meum [4.00] - Salvum fac populum tuum [3.29] - Exaltabo te Domine quoniam 4.38] - Domine vivifica me [2.12] - Ad te Domini levavi [3.30] - Exultate Deo adjutori [2.36] - Missa ad Usum Cappellae Pontificiae Kyrie [5.11] - Gloria [7.08] - Credo [8.58] - Sanctus [1.59] - Benedictus [1.41] - Agnus Dei [5.12] Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne/Michel Corboz - Rec. June 1965, Eglise Notre-Dame de Valentin, Lausanne, Switzerland WARNER APEX 2564 60522-2 [51.22] [PW]

An enjoyable recording of music by a neglected composer … see Full Review

Flute Sonatas by Scheibe and Raehs Johann Adolph SCHEIBE (1708-1776) Sonata No. 1 in D major, for flute and harpsichord obbligato, Sonata No. 2 in B minor, for flute and harpsichord obbligato, Sonata No. 3 in A major, for flute and harpsichord obbligato, Morten RAEHS (1702-1766) Sonata No. 2 in D major, for flute and basso continuo, Sonata No. 3 in C minor, for flute and basso continuo Maria Bania (flute) Lars Ulrik Mortensen (harpsichord) Rec. Diamanten, The Royal Library, 11-13 January 2002 DDD DACAPO 8.224213 [61:49] [MC]

Rather disappointing and workmanlike performances. … see Full Review

Peter SCHICKELE (b. 1935) Five Songs for French Horn and Orchestra (1976) [25.39]Norman DELLO JOIO (b.1913) Homage to Haydn (1969) [18.00] Vincent PERSICHETTI (1915-1987) Symphony No. 8 (1969) [28.37] Kenneth Albrecht (french horn) - Louisville Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin (Dello Joio); Jorge Mester (Schickele; Persichetti) - rec. 14 May 1974 (Dello Joio); 2 May 1979 (Schickele); 10 Mar 1970 (Persichetti) Macauley Theatre, Louisville, Kentucky, ADD - American Archives Series ALBANY TROY 024 [72.11] [RB]

Although the Persichetti rings without outright confidence, the endearing joshing of Schickele and the entertaining Dello Joio make this a complete experience ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Cello Concerto No.1 (1985-86) - ‘Sounding Letters’ for solo cello (1988) - Four Hymns for cello and instrumental ensemble (1974-77) Torlief Thedéen (cello) - Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Leif Segerstam - Recorded at the Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2-3 Nov. 1989 - (concerto) and Danderyd Grammar School, Sweden, 15-16 Sept, 1990 (rest) BIS CD 300507 [70’35] [TH]

This is another clear recommendation for this repertoire and anyone fancying any of the music need not hesitate. … see Full Review

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) String Quartet No.1 (1966) - String Quartet No.3 (1983) - String Quartet No.4 (1986) Canon in Memory of Igor Stravinsky (1971) - Kapralova Quartet - Recorded live at the Church of St Simon and St Jude, Prague in May 2002 at the Prague String Festival ARCO DIVA UP 0054-2 131 [75.28] [JW]

Immensely accomplished performances achieved in the face of the complex difficulty of much of the music … see Full Review

Phillip SCHROEDER (b. 1956) All Rivers At Once: Music for Oboe, English Horn, Piano, Pre-Recorded Synthesiser and Electronics Borne by Currents (2002) - Stillness (1997/2002) - Songs Without Words (for Oboe and Piano) (2001-2002) - From the Shadows of Angels (2001) - No Longer a Stranger (2001) Duo Savage: Susan Savage, oboe and English horn; Dylan Savage, piano and synthesiser - Recorded at Harwood Recital Hall, Russell Fine Arts Center, Henderson State - University, March 28th-29th and May 20th-31st 2002 CAPSTONE RECORDS CPS-8709 [54.26] [NH]

Accessible and likeable new music which lies on the cusp of jazz and classical … see Full Review

Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797-1828) The Piano Masterworks, VOL. 2: Two Scherzi, D593 (1817) – No. 1 in B flat [5’09]; No. 2 in D flat [4’56]. Three Klavierstücke, D946 (1828) [28’48]. Twelve Valses nobles, D969, (1826?) [9’40]. Adagio in E, D612 (1818) [4’12]. Six Moments musicaux, D780 (1823-27/8) [26’48]. Piano Sonatas – A, D959 (1828) [37’57]; C minor, D858, (1828) [29’45] Anthony Goldstone (piano) - Rec. parish church of St John the Baptist, Alkborough, N. Lincs., in 2001 THE DIVINE ART 2-1203 [148’17: 77’15+70’52] [CC]

As in the case of the third volume, then, Goldstone gives us another mixed bag. … see Full Review

Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Keyboard Sonatas – C minor, D958 (1828) [32’20] - A, D959 (1828) [41’53] Andreas Staier (fortepiano) - Rec. Studio DeutschlandRadio, Cologne, in 1996. [DDD] WARNER CLASSICS ELATUS 2564-60442-2 [74’26] [CC]

Very much a disc worth hearing … one that will surely complement some treasured modern instrument performances of these works. … see Full Review

Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797-1828) The Piano Masterworks, VOL. 3 Seventeen Ländler, D366 (1816-1824) [11’43]. Four Impromptus, D899 (1827) [27’04]. Allegretto in C minor, D900 (1823?, completed Goldstone) [6’01]. Diabelli Variation, D718 (1821) [1’13]. Piano Sonatas – A minor, D845 (1825) [32’38]; C, D840, ‘Relique’, (1825, completed Goldstone) [32’56]; D, D850 (1825) [35’57]. Anthony Goldstone (piano).Rec. parish church of St John the Baptists, Alkborough, N. Lincs, 2002. THE DIVINE ART 2-1204 [148’22: 71’49+76’33] [CC]

A set that generates mixed reactions, alas … one is rarely aware of the true stature of Schubert’s genius while listening to these performances. … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) 4 Impromptus, D899 (1827) 4 Impromptus, D935 (1827) Moments Musicaux, D780 (1823-8) Drei Klavierstücke, D946 (1828) Martijn van den Hoek, piano (Impromptus); Folke Nauta, piano (Moments Musicaux); Pieter van Winkel, piano (Klavierstücke) Recorded Remonstrantse Doopsgezinde Gemeente Deventer, Netherlands, June & December 2000 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92100 2 CDs [66.24] and [60.12] [WH]

Relying on this set would be false economy, all the more so since there are magnificent performances available at less than full price see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1799 - 1828) Quartet #2 in C, D32 (1812) [10.46] Quartet #6 in D D 74 (1813) [10.46] Quartet #11 in E, D 353, Op 125, #2 (1816) [10.46] Kodály Quartet: Attila Falvay, Tamás Szábo, vv; János Fejerváry, va; György Éder, vc Recorded at Phoenix Studio, Budapest, Hungary, 15 December 2001 Notes in English and Deutsch. Small photo of the artists. Complete String Quartets, Volume 5 NAXOS 8.557107 [60.10] [PSh]

An excellent entry from what is probably an excellent set of Schubert Quartets … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schubert-Lied-Edition 14: European Poets, Vol. 2 Maya Boog (soprano), Wolf Matthias Friedrich (bass-baritone), Ulrich Eisenlohr (piano) Recorded in Radiostudio 1, Zurich, June 17th-21st 2002 NAXOS 8.557026-27 [51:31+56:03] [CH]

An issue only for those collecting the whole series; the Schubert we love often seems far away and one of the singers is sub-standard. … see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Albüm Für die Jungend 0p.68/1 - Fughetten 0p.126 - Carnaval 0p.9 Franz Vorraber (piano) - Recorded in Germany 19.4.2001 (0p.9) 28.1.2002 (0p.68, 0p.126) Venue not specified - Piano: Bösendorfer - The complete piano works. Vol.6 THOROFON CTH 2518 [63.23] [LB]

 Vorraber reveals himself to be a pianist for the big occasion and Carnaval benefits from a truly majestic interpretation. … see Full Review

Joseph SCHUSTER (1748-1812) Demofoonte, opera seria in 3 acts Marie Melnitzki (Creusa), Dorothee Mields (Dircea), Jörg Waschinski (Timante), soprano; Werner Buchin (Cherinto), Bernhard Schafferer (Adrasto), alto; Jan Kobow (Matusio), Andreas Post (Demofoonte), tenor - La Ciaccona/Ludger Rémy - Recorded 29 May–3 June 2001, Bayerische Musikakademie Alteglofsheim. DDD DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 74321 98282 2 [66:03+73:04] [JVV]

An interesting opera by the 18th century German composer Joseph Schuster – the performance is disappointing because of big cuts and a lack of theatrical atmosphere … see Full Review

Rodion SHCHEDRIN (b.1932) Carmen Suite for strings and percussion Ballet (1967) [40.17] - Russian Photographs (1994) [23.49] - Glorification (1995) [9.30] Chamber Orchestra, Kremlin/Misha Rachlevsky - rec. Great Hall, Moscow Conservatory, 17 Jan 2001. DDD - world premiere recording CLAVES CD 50-2207 [75.39] [RB]

Overall a disc of showcase highlights from a composer of brilliant aural imagination. ... see Full Review

Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) 24 Preludes, Op. 34 (1932/3) [33’52]. Aphorisms, Op. 13 (1927) [13’39]. Piano - Sonata No. 1, Op. 12 (1926) [14’57]. Three Fantastic Dances, Op. 5 (1922) [4’06] Konstantin Scherbakov (piano) - Rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, on February 12th-13th, 2001. DDD NAXOS 8.555781 [66’34] [CC]

A very enjoyable and stimulating disc. … see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) 7 Songs, op. 13, 6 Songs, op. 50, 6 Songs, op. 90, Skogsrået, Den judiska flickans sång (from Belshazzar’s Feast), Likhet, En visa, Serenade, Tanken - Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano), Bengt Forsberg (piano), * with Monica Groop (mezzo-soprano) - Rec. April 5th-6th 1994 and March 30th-31st 1995, Musikaliska Akademien, Stockholm, Sweden BIS-CD-300757 [67:14] [CH]

A pretty enthralling experience. … see Full Review

Jan SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto in D minor, op. 47, original 1903/4 version and final 1905 version Leonidas Kavakos (violin), Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä - Recording first published 1991 (date and location not given) BIS-CD-300500 [75:00] [CH]

A fascinating peep into Sibelius’s thought processes. The performance of the final version ranks with the best. … see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865 - 1957) Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39 (1899) Symphony No. 3 in C major, Op. 52 (1904–1907) Finlandia Op. 26 (1899–1900) City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo.Rec. Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 7, 11, 12 January 2002. ERATO 0927 43500 2 [75.00]. [JPh]

For a modern performance of these works, the current disc is excellent, whilst not being absolutely unmissable. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 6 (1923) [27.01] Symphony No. 7 (1924) [21.19] Tapiola (1926) [15.42] City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo rec. Birmingham Symphony Hall, 6-8 Jan 2003 WARNER ERATO 0927 49144 2 [64.22] [RB]

If you like your Sibelius served ablaze rather than cool then Oramo is certainly the man for you. I loved this. I think you will too. Magnificent ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) En Saga (1892) [19.42] - Karelia Suite (1893) [15.51] - Violin Concerto [32.35] Victor Tretyakov (violin) - Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio/Vladimir Fedoseyev - rec. Dec 1998 (En Saga), Dec 1998 (concerto), May 1999 (Karelia) ADD - Recordings from Russian State Foundation of Radio and Television RELIEF CR991052 [68.05] [RB]

If you like your Sibelius high wide and emphatic this disc is for you. ... see Full Review

Emil SJÖGREN (1853-1918) Violin Sonatas No.1 in G minor Op.19 (1884-85) - Dan Almgren (violin) and Stefan Bojsten (piano) - No.2 in E minor Op.24 (1888) - Nils-Erik Sparf (violin) and Lucia Negro (piano) - No.3 in G minor Op.32 (1899-1900) - Bernt Lysell (violin) and Esther Bodin (piano) - No.4 in B minor Op.47 (1906) Lennart Fredriksson (violin) and Ulrika Berglund (piano) - No.5 in A minor Op.61 (1912-13) - Leo Berlin (violin) and Greta Erikson (piano) - Two Fantasy Pieces Op.27 (1888) - Poème in C major Op.40 (c 1905) - Christer Thorvaldsson (violin) and Elisif Lundén-Bergfelt (piano) - Recorded in Studio 2, Radiohuset, Stockholm, 1984-85 PROPRIUS PRCD 9117-18 [2 CDs 147.15] [JW]

This disc made quite an impression on me. … here are some fine, lyrical and effortlessly constructed works that show real flair. … see Full Review

Nikos SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949) Violin Concerto (1938) [32.41] - Largo Sinfonico (1944) [26.16] - Seven Greek Dances for strings [17.46] Georgios Demertzis (violin) - Malmö Symphony Orchestra/Nikos Christodoulou - rec. June 1997, Malmö Concert Hall BIS BIS-CD-300904 [78.00] [RB]

This disc of adventurous and challenging music well merited being as part of the tranche of discs marking Bis's thirtieth anniversary. ... see Full Review

Kaikhosru Shapurji SORABJI (1692-1988) Passeggiata Veneziana (1956) [21.33] - Variation 56 from Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra (1935-37) [2.41] - Quasi Habanera (1917) [4.59] Maurice RAVEL Rapsodie Espagnole transc. Sorabji (1908, 1945) [18.05] Johann Sebastian BACH Transcription in the light of harpsichord technique for the modern piano of the Chromatic Fantasia of J.S. Bach, followed by a Fugue (1940) [15.23] Fryderyk CHOPIN Pasticcio Capriccioso sopra Op. 64 No. 1 dello Chopin (1933) based on the Valse Op. 64 No. 1 'Minute Waltz' by Fryderyk Chopin [4.13] Michael Habermann (piano) - rec. Studio 4a, National Public Radio, Washington DC, USA. 5-6 Jan, 9-10 Mar, 22 June 2001, DDD BIS-CD-1306 [68.20] [RB]

Thunderous and whispering intimations of a struggle to wrest something rich and strange from the rude mechanics of the keyboard ... see Full Review

Kaikhosru Shapurji SORABJI (1692-1988) Passeggiata Veneziana (1956) [21.33] - Variation 56 from Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra (1935-37) [2.41] - Quasi Habanera (1917) [4.59] Maurice RAVEL Rapsodie Espagnole transc. Sorabji (1908, 1945) [18.05] - Johann Sebastian BACH Transcription in the light of harpsichord technique for the modern piano of the Chromatic Fantasia of J.S. Bach, followed by a Fugue (1940) [15.23] Fryderyk CHOPIN Pasticcio Capriccioso sopra Op. 64 No. 1 dello Chopin (1933) - based on the Valse Op. 64 No. 1 'Minute Waltz' by Fryderyk Chopin [4.13] Michael Habermann (piano) - rec. Studio 4a, National Public Radio, Washington DC, USA. 5-6 Jan, 9-10 Mar, 22 June 2001, DDD BIS-CD-1306 [68.20] [RB]

Thunderous and whispering intimations of a struggle to wrest something rich and strange from the rude mechanics of the keyboard ... see Full Review

Louis SPOHR (1784 – 1859) String Quintet No. 5 in G Minor - String Quintet No. 6 in E Minor - Hadyn Quartet, Budapest Sando Papp (Viola) - Recorded: Unitarian Church, Budapest, 6th-10th September 1993 NAXOS 8.555967 [60.45] [RH]

An enterprising volume in the Naxos series exploring the chamber music of this unjustly neglected figure from early German Romanticism … see Full Review

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Symphony No. 1 (1901) [47.11] - Symphony No. 2 (1902) [41.28] - Symphony No. 3 Divine Poem (1905) [47.03] - Piano Concerto (1897) [27.41] - Poem of Ecstasy (1908) [19.07] - Prometheus - Poem of Fire (1910) [21.40] - Reverie (1898) [4.10] Peter Jablonski (piano) - Brigitte Balleys (sop) - Sergei Larin (ten) - Rundfunkchor Berlin/Gerd Müller-Lorenz - Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Vladimir Ashkenazy - rec. Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem, May 1990 (Reverie; 3), June 1990 - (Ecstasy), Sept 1995 (2; Concerto); Schauspielhaus, Berlin, June 1994. DDD DECCA TRIO 473 971-2 [CD1: 68.52; CD2: 69.27; CD3: 70.12; total: 208.00] [RB]

This is a splendid set with sumptuous sound and a propulsive pulse. … see Full Review

Wilhelm STENHAMMAR (1871-1927) Symphony No.2 in G minor Op.34 (1915) - Serenade in F major Op.31 (1913 rev.1919) Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra - Tor Mann (Symphony – recorded Stockholm 1959) - Rafael Kubelik (Serenade – recorded Stockholm 1964) SWEDISH SOCIETY DISCOFIL SCD 1114 [78.56] [JW]

Here’s a disc to warm the heart and the spirit. Consider it a rave review. … see Full Review

Bernard STEVENS (1916-1983) Chamber Music Piano Trio Op. 3 (1942) [16.17] Violin Sonata (in one movement) Op. 1 (1940) [11.04] Horn Trio Op. 38 (1966) [16.09] Fantasia on a Theme of Dowland Op. 23 (1953) [13.44] Improvisation for solo violin Op. 48a [9.53] The Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble: Kenneth Sillito (violin); Stephen Orton (cello); Hamish Milne (piano); Timothy Brown (horn) rec. Champs Hill, West Sussex, March 2002, DDD ALBANY TROY572 [67.56] [RB]

The Trio and Sonata catch Stevens at his most instantly approachable … he impresses by his patent sincerity.... a lovely disc … see Full Review

Johann STRAUSS I (1804-1849) Walzer (à la Paganini), op. 11, Krapfeln-Waldel-Walzer, op. 12, Die beliebten - Trompetenwalzer, op. 13, Champagner-Walzer, op. 14, Die so sehr beliebten - Erinnerungs-Ländler, op. 15, Fort nacheinander!, Walzer, op. 16, Gesellschafts -Galoppe, op. 17, Lust-Lager-Walzer, op. 18, II. Lieferung der Kettenbrücke-Walzer - op. 19, Chineser-Galopp, op. 20, Carolinen-Galoppe, op. 21a, Kettenbrücke - Galoppe, op. 21b, Erinnerungs-Galoppe, op. 27 (Navariner-Galopp) Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina/Christian Pollack - Recorded 23rd to 25th March 2002 at the Concert Hall Fatra, Žilina - Strauss Edition Volume 2 MARCO POLO 8.225252 [59:21] [CH]

Volume 2 is of rather wider interest than Volume 1, which was more for completists, and is notable for Strauss’s inventive orchestration. … see Full Review

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Epilogue for soprano, baritone, bass, chorus and orchestra (1929) [40.41] Fairy Tale (Pohadka) (1898) [29.21] Luba Orgonasova (sop) Ivan Kusnjer (bar) Peter Mikulas (bass) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Chorus/Ian Tracey Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Libor Pešek rec. 6-8 June 1997, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, DDD VIRGIN CLASSICS 7243 5 45245 2 3 [70.07] [RB]

In a head to head with the Neumann, Pešek is to be preferred in this traversal of the mysteries of life and death ... see Full Review

Josef Suk’s piano Josef SUK (1874-1935) Jaro/Spring Op.22a (1902) - Letní dojmy/Summer Impressions Op.22b (1902) - Vesnická serenáda/A Village serenade (publ.1922) - Dvé klavírní skladby/Two Pieces for Piano (1891) - Písen lásky/Song of Love Op.7 No.1 (1893) - Tří klavírní skladby/Three Pieces for Piano (publ.1943) - Spanish Capers (1909) - Christmas Eve (1923) Otilie SUKOVÁ-DVOŘÁKOVÁ (1878-1905) Pepča Riding a Little Horse - Lullaby - Humoresque Ing. Josef SUK (1901-1951) Scherzino (1948) - Reverie (1944) - Minuet (1944) - Andante (1951) Tomáš Víšek (piano – Suk’s own Bösendorfer No.15421) - Recorded at Křečovice, September 1999 ARCO DIVA UP 0025-2 131 [68.23] [JW]

A useful adjunct for Suk admirers and for devotees quite considerably more. … see Full Review

Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) Patience, comic opera (1881) Libretto by William S. Gilbert (1836-1911) - Martyn Green, Bunthorne bar; Ann Drummond-Grant, Lady Saphir mezzo sop - Margaret Mitchell, Patience sop; Ella Halman, Lady Jane cont; Alan Styler, Grosvenor bar; Peter Pratt Major Murgatroyd bar; Darrell Fancourt Colonel Calverly bass - Neville Griffiths/Leonard Osborn, Duke of Dunstable tenor - D'Oyly Carte chorus and orchestra/Isidore Godfrey - Rec. Decca Studios, London. 1951 NAXOS 8.110233 [70.38] [RW]

A lively reading with more sensitivity than that expressed in some of Sargent's EMI efforts … see Full Review

Johan Severin SVENDSEN (1840-1911) String Quartet in A minor, Op. 1 (1865): Allegro; Andantino; Allegro scherzando; Finale Allegro assai con fuoco - String Quintet in C major, Op. 5 (1868)*: Andante – Allegro; Tema con Variazioni; Finale – Allegro Oslo String Quartet: Geir Inge Lotsberg, violin; Per Kristian Skalstad, violin; Are Sandbakken, viola; Nystein Sonstad, cello - Henning Draggerud, viola * Recorded Nystsiden kirke, Fredrikstad, February 2001 CPO 999858 [58:39] [DS] - String Quartet Comparison: Kontra Quartet/BIS

If you’re open to the byways represented by the Scandinavian portrayal of the Romantic era, do treat yourself to this throroughly enjoyable recording. … see Full Review

Georgy SVIRIDOV (1915-1998) Oratorio Pathétique (1959) [34.51] Valery GAVRILIN (1939-1999) A House on the Road - symphonic suite on the poem by A. Tvardovsky [34.13] Raisa Kotova (mezzo) Alexandr Vedernikov (bass) Grand Choir of USSR Radio and Television Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio/Vladimir Fedoseyev rec. live concert recordings, 1979 (oratorio), 1985 (suite) ADD Recordings from Russian State Foundation of Radio and Television RELIEF CR991053 [65.05] [RB]

I will make it a point of hearing more Sviridov and Gavrilin … the former is a man at peace with the affecting lyrical tradition in Russia's artistic history. ... see Full Review

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Symphony No. 4 Sinfonia Concertante Op. 60 (1932) [24.02] - Harnasie - ballet-pantomime in three acts for tenor, choir and orchestra Op. 55 (1923-31) [34.02] Piotr Paleczny (piano) - Jerzy Knetig (ten) - National Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw/Kazimierz Kord - rec. Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, 12 June 1996 (Op.60), 19-21 Feb 1996 (Op. 55). DDD CD ACCORD ACD 027-2 [58.04] [RB]

Go for the this if you relish power unflinchingly recorded, warmly rendered. If you need something more analytical then wait for the EMI to be reissued as it surely will or track down the Matrix disc. ... see Full Review

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Violin Concerto No. 1 Op. 35 (1916) [24.00] - Violin Concerto No. 2 Op. 61 (1933) [20.23] - Concert Overture in E minor Op. 12 (1913) [11.33] Kaja Danczowska (violin) - National Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw/Kazimierz Kord - rec. Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, 19-21 Feb 1996 (Opp. 35, 61), 12 June 1996 (Op. 12). DDD CD ACCORD ACD 026-2 [56.22] [RB]

Danczowska's connoisseur versions of the concertos enthusiastically recommended … stunningly recorded ... 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

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Concertos Concerto in F major for recorder, bassoon, two violins, viola, basso continuo - Concerto for four violins in G major, TWV 40:201 - Overture in F major for two horns, violins, basso continuo, TWV 44:7 - Concerto in B flat major for three oboes, three violins, basso continuo, TWV 44:43 Frans Brüggen (recorder); Otto Fleischmann (bassoon) - Alice Harnoncourt, Walter Pfeiffer, Peter Schoberwalter, Kurt Theiner (violins) - Hermann Rohrer, Horst Fischer (natural horns) - Jurg Schaeftlein, Karl Gruber, Bernhard Klebel (4) (oboes) Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt - Recorded in 1966. No other recording information given WARNER CLASSICS APEX 2564 60523-2 [53:50] [MC]

 These performances have had their day at the races and now should be retired to pasture. … see Full Review

Edward THOMAS (b.1924) Desire Under the Elms - An American Folk Opera in Three Acts based on a Play by Eugene O'Neill (1970-74) [125.50] Libretto: Joe Masteroff Eben - Jerry Hadley Cabot - James Morris Abbie - Victoria Livengood Simeon - Mel Ulrich Peter - Jeffrey Lentz Sheriff - Darth Meadows London Symphony Orchestra/George Manahan rec. Abbey Road Studios, London, July 2000, KAS Music and Sound, New York, Sept 2000, Jan-June 2002 DDD NAXOS AMERICAN OPERA CLASSICS 8.669001-02 [125.50] [JQ]

Searingly dramatic, high temperature music … principals of high quality. I warmly commend it to aficionados of American music … see Full Review

Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998) A Child of Our Time (1938) [64.34] - Dance Clarion Air (1952) [4.53] - The Source (1942) [2.22] - The Windhover (1942) [2.16] - Lullaby (1943) [4.04] - Bonny at Morn (1960) [2.51] - Four Songs from the British Isles (1956) [12.49] - Magnificat and nunc dimittis (1961) [7.32] - Plebs Angelica (1943) [3.19] - The Weeping Babe (1944) [4.27] - Music (1960) [3.45] - Five Negro Spirituals (1958) [11.06] Jessye Norman (sop) - Janet Baker (alto) - Richard Cassilly (ten) - John Shirley-Quirk (bass) - BBC Singers - BBC Choral Society - BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis - Schola Cantorum Oxford/Nicholas Cleobury - rec. Mar 1975 (Child); Apr 1977 (choral). ADD - The British Music Collection DECCA 473 421-2 [64.34+60.15] [RB]

Valuable for the illuminating and poetic Tippett choral items ... see Full Review

Geirr TVEITT (1908-1981) Prillar (1931) [37.05] - Sun God Symphony (1958) [20.55] Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Ole Kristian Ruud - rec. May 1999 (Sun); Sept 1999 (Prillar), Stavanger Concert Hall, Norway. DDD BIS-CD-301027 [58.58] [RB]

Folksy, yet sturdy and big-hearted. Tveitt was no miniaturist. ... see Full Review

Viktor ULLMAN (1898-1944) Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis or the Denial of Death) Op. 49 (1943) a music piece in one act to words by Peter Kien (1919-1944?) [49.49] Three alternative scenes: Trommlers aria; Dialog (Overall, Tod); Der Kaisers Abschied (Overall). [8.16] Kaiser Overall - Stephen Swanson (bar) Der Lautsprecher - Rupert Bergmann (bass) Ein Soldat/Harlekin - Johannes Strasser (ten) Bubikopf; Ein Soldat; Ein Madchen - Stefani Kahl (sop) Der Tod - Krassimir Tassev (bass) Der Trommler - Ingrid Niedermayr (mezzo) Ensemble Kreativ/Alexander Drčar Herbert Gantschacher (artistic director) rec. Klagenfurt, Jan 1995, DDD A Production of ARBOS - Gesellschaft für Musik und Theater World premiere recording of the original version in original instrumentation. The Decca Entartete version made in February 1993 is of a version using an expanded orchestra. STUDIO MATOUŠ MK 0022-2 631 [58.05] [RB]

Bitter-sharp Studio Matouš production vigorously catches the original's starveling context much better. Speaks eloquently for Ullmann's strongly imprinted music. ... see Full Review

Johann (Jan) Baptist VANHAL (1739-1813) Symphony in D minor (1778)
Symphony in G minor (1771) - Symphony in C major (1775) - Symphony in A minor (1770s) - Symphony in E minor (1770s) Concerto Köln - Rec July 1996, Studio Deutschlandradio, Cologne ELATUS 2564 60340 2 [73.21]

These committed performances, captured in excellent sound, serve Vanhal’s cause well and bring his exciting music before a wider public. … see Full Review

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Piano works A Prole do Bebê - Branquinha – A Boneca de Louca - Moreninha – A Boneca de Massa - Caboclinha – A Boneca de Barro - Mulatinha – A Boneca de Borracha - Negrinha – A Boneca de Pão - Pobrezinha – A Boneca de Trapo - O Polichinelo - Bruxa – A Boneca de Pano - Bachianas Brasileiras No.4 (Preludio) - As Três Marias - Rudepoema Nelson Freire (piano) - Warner Classics 2003, Teldec 1974 APEX 0927 40837 2 [40.12] [RB]

One of the most stimulating piano discs I have heard for a very long time … my only complaint is that this recital is somewhat short. … see Full Review

Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741) Introduction to the Gloria, RV 639 - Gloria RV 588 - Stabat Mater for alto solo, RV 621 - Marjon Strijk (soprano) - Sytse Buwalda (alto) - Marinus Leusink (tenor) - Jeroen assink (bass) - Pieter Affourtit (violin) - Marten Boeken (violin) - Orzse Adam (viola) - Bernadette Verhagen (viola) - Peter Frankenberg (oboe) - Eduard Wesley (oboe) - Susan Williams (tromba) - Fank Wakelkamp (cello) - Vaughan Schlepp (organ) - Holland Boys Choir - Netherlands Bach Collegium Pieter Jan Leusink (conductor) - Recorded July 2001 CLASSIC COLLECTION 99920 [50.18] [RH]

A rather disappointing recording of Vivaldi’s less known Gloria. … see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) La verità in cimento RV 739 (1720) Nathalie Stutzmann, contralto Gemma Bertagnoli, soprano Sara Mingardo, contralto Guillemette Laurens, mezzo-soprano Philippe Jaroussky, counter-tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson, ténor Ensemble Matheus/Jean-Christophe Spinosi Rec: September 2002, Eglise de Doulas, France OPUS 111 OP30365 [136.13] [KM]

A good recording, but with uneven soloists … see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin (1850) – Prelude to Act 1 [8’51]. Tannhäuser (1845) – Dich, teure Halle [4’10]. Die Walküre (1870) – Act 1, Scene 3 [25’54]. Götterdämmerung (1876) – Dawn, Duet and Rhine Journey [20’02]; Siegfried’s Funeral March [12’37] - Brünnhilde’s Immolation [19’10]. Rehearsal Sequence: Die Walküre - Der Männe Sippe (orchestra only [8’56]); Orchestral Finale [11’22] Lauritz Melchior (tenor); Helen Traubel (soprano); NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini - Broadcast performance on February 22nd, 1941 (Rehearsal Sequence, 1947). ADD GUILD HISTORICAL TOSCANINI BROADCAST LEGACY GHCD2242/3 [130’20: 54’54 + 75’26] [CC]

This is a fascinating product … well worth acquiring. … see Full Review

Johan WIKMANSON (1753-1800) String Quartets Op.1 Nos.1-3 - String Quartet No.1 in D minor - String Quartet No.2 in E minor - String Quartet No.3 in B flat major - Fresk Quartet (No.1) - Berwald Quartet (No.2) Nils-Erik Sparf and Per Sandklef (violins), Björn Sjögren (viola) and Bengt Ericson (cello) (No.3) - Recorded Studio2, Swedish Radio, Stockholm, November 1983 (No.1) and June 1984 (No.2); Concert Hall of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, February and March 1985 (No.3) PROPRIUS PRCD 9114 [64.01] [JW]

Whilst hardly of profoundly elevated status, the accountant-composer is an attractive melodist and a skilful architect of musical structure. … see Full Review

Margaret Lucy WILKINS (b.1939) Musica Angelorum (1991) - Struwwelpeter (1973) - Burnt Sienna: Etude for String Trio (1974) - 366" for Solo Trombone (1986) - Symphony (1989) Alison Wells (mezzo-soprano)b; Barrie Webb (trombone)d; Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemblea; FIREBIRD Ensembleb; FIREBIRD String Trioc; Timişoară Symphony Orchestrae; Plamen Djurova, Barrie Webbbe - Recorded: Bulgarian National Radio, Musica Nova, Sofia, June 1996 (Musica Angelorum) - St.Paul’s Hall, University of Huddersfield, June 2002 and Sala Liceuluide Muzică “Ion Vidu”, Timişoară, October 1999 (Symphony) VIENNA MODERN MASTERS VMM 3055 [67:10] [HC]

A composer who has things to say, and who says them in the best possible way, in vivid, arresting and often gripping terms. Demanding, but very rewarding music. … see Full Review

John R WILLIAMSON (b.1940s) Music for Piano - volume 2 - Song of Nature (1993) [4.20] - Twelve Palindromic Studies - set 5 (2000) [26.46] - Piano Sonata No. 4 - The Palindromic (1998) [20.49] - Seven Interval Studies (2001) [18.21] - Lament for Sarah (1998) [2.41] Murray McLachlan (except last item which is played by composer) - rec. 17 Dec 2002, 19 Jan 2003, Whiteley Hall, Chetham's School of Music, Manchester. DDD DUNELM DRD0176 [74.06] [IM]

In conclusion, John R. Williamson’s use of palindromic methods is outstanding and feels perfectly natural. … see Full Review

Malcolm WILLIAMSON (1931-2003) Complete works for piano Antony Gray (piano) rec. 3-10 Mar 1998, Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Ultimo Centre, Sydney ABC CLASSICS 472 902-2 [3CDs: 45.11+58.38+56.45] [RB]

Adroitly and brilliantly performed collection .... pieces rich in allusion and emotion (Diaries etc) ranging from uncompromising serialism to the unmissably triumphant and sincere Hymna Titu ... see Full Review

Magret WOLF (b.1960) Kirisk - The Boy and the Sea: an opera in three acts (2000) libretto by composer after the novel by Tschingis Aitmatow - Sung in German ; Kirisk - Katja Beer (sop); Emraijin - Eduard Tumagian (bar); Mylgun - Markus Brück (bar); Organ - Thomas Hay (bass) Symphony Orchestra RTV Slovenia/Lior Shambadal - rec. Kaiserslauten, Nov 2000, Jan, May, June, Oct 2001, Feb 2002. DDD ARTE NOVA 74321 98342 2 [3CDs: 59.02+63.54+24.10][RB]

Wolf's shamanic opera combines elements of Orff, Reich, Stravinsky and Tormis; primeval and sharply rhythmic ... see Full Review

James YANNATOS Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra (1995) [24.08] - Prisms Symphony No. 3 (1989) [17.21] Walter PISTON Symphony No. 3 (1947) [32.07] - Mendelssohn String Quartet Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra/James Yannatos - rec. 31 Oct 1998 (Prisms); 1 Nov 1997 (Concerto); 5 March 1999 (Piston) DDD ALBANY TROY 400 [73.37] [RB]

Extremely attractive for the yielding Tippett-like intensity of the Yannatos works ... see Full Review

Akio YASHIRO (1929-1976) Piano Concerto (1961); Symphony (1958) Hiromi Okanda (piano) - Ulster Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa - Rec. September 2000 (Symphony) and June 2001 (Concerto), Ulster Hall Belfast DDD NAXOS 8.555351 [59.34] [GH]

Substantial works which will afford great pleasure … I found it quite intriguingly revealing. … 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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