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John Alden Carpenter (1876-1951) Collected Piano Works Sonata in G minor (1897) [22.00] Diversions (1923) [13:55] Nocturne (1898) [4:21] Polonaise Américaine (1912) [2.25] Impromptu (1913) [4.37] Tango Américain (1920) [4.36] Minuet (1893) [2.29] Little Dancer (1917) [2.42] Little Indian (1916) [3.05] Twilight Reverie (1894) [5.56] Danza (1935) [4:47] Denver Oldham, piano. rec. American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Auditorium, New York, January 1985. NEW WORLD RECORDS NW803282 [72.05] [JF]

Carpenter’s collected piano works present an interesting trajectory of the composer’s music over a forty year period. An important CD for all lovers of American music. ... see Full Review

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) The Complete Works for the Piano Volume 3 Fantasy in F minor Op.49 Bolero in A minor Op.19 Scherzo No.1 in B minor Op.20 Scherzo No.2 in B flat minor Op.31 Scherzo No.3 in C sharp minor Op.39 Scherzo No.4 in E major Op.54 Joyce Hatto (piano) Recorded Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, 1998, 2000 and 2003 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9037-2 [60.45] [JW]

Joyce Hatto’s Chopin solo series just gets better and better. ... see Full Review

Henry Walford DAVIES (1869-1941) Everyman – Cantata (1904; 1934 revisions of two movements are included as a supplement) Elena Ferrari (soprano – Good Deeds), Jennifer Johnston (contralto – Knowledge), Andrew Staples (tenor – Death), Pauls Putnins (bass – Everyman) London Oriana Choir Kensington Symphony Orchestra/David Drummond Recorded 13-15 February 2004. Henry Wood Hall, London. Additional track (unspecified) 25 June 2004, St. John’s, Smith Square, London DUTTON CDLX7141 [68:55] [CH]

At least part of this once-famous work still has the power to move. ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Linda di Chamounix - Melodramma in three acts First performed: Vienna Karntnerthor, 19 May 1842 Linda, Mariella Devia (sop); Carlo, (Visconte di Sirval) Luca Canonici (ten); Marquis of Boisfleury, Alfonso Antoniozzi (buffo); Antonio, Linda’s father, Petteri Salomaa (bass); Pierotto, an orphan musician, Sonia Ganassi (mezzo); The Prefect, Boguslaw Fiksinski (bass); Maddalena, Linda’s mother, Francesca Provvisionato (sop); Chorus of the Nationale Reisopera East Netherlands Orchestra/Gabriele Bellini Recorded Musiekcentrum Enschede, Holland. 24 June - 2 July 1992. DDD ARTS 47151-2 [3CDs: 74.01 + 56.22 + 46.14] [FR]

Given the fine performance and budget price I recommend every lover of the bel-canto genre to go out and buy it. Superb mature Donizetti well performed. ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Sinfonia a soli instrumenti di fiato in G minor, reconstructed Päuler Concertino in C minor for flute and chamber orchestra, orchestrated Hoffmann Concertino in F major for oboe and chamber orchestra, orchestrated Hoffmann Concertino in S minor for violin, cello and orchestra, reconstructed Wojciechowski Concertino in G major for clarinet and orchestra Concertino in B flat major for clarinet and orchestra Sinfonia in D minor per la Morte di Capuzzi Imre Kovács (flute) József Kiss (oboe) Ágnes Girgás (cor anglais) Béla Kovács (clarinet) András Kiss (violin) Judit Kiss Domonkos (cello) Camerata Budapest/László Kovács Recorded at Festetich Castle, Budapest, 1994 NAXOS 8.557492 [64.19] [JW}

No masterpieces but good recorded sound - a pleasant hour’s worth of music with this unfailingly fluent melodist. ... see Full Review

Richard DRAKEFORD (b. 1936) Cello Suite (1957/8) [9:22] John R. WILLIAMSON (b. 1929) Sonata No. 2 for Cello and Piano (2001) [27:46] Vagn HOLMBOE (1909 – 1996) Sonata for Solo Cello Op.101 (1969) [19:27] Diane Porteous (cello); Kathryn Page (piano) Recorded: Whiteley Hall, Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, July 2003 (Drakeford, Holmboe) and August 2004 (Williamson) DUNELM RECORDS DRD 0229 [51:35] [HC]

A most interesting and rewarding recital. These works ought to be known and appreciated more widely. Warmly recommended. ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto in B minor Op.104 (1895)* Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Cello Concerto No.2 in D major Hob 7b-2 (1782)+ Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Minuet Daniil Shafran (cello) Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra/Mariss Jansons, recorded 1980* USSR State Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Jarvi, recorded 1977+ Anton Ginsburg (piano), recorded 1970 AULOS MUSIC AMC2-053 [68.04] [JW]

You may find yourself astonished by Shafran’s Dvořák but you won’t be half as astonished as the audience. They clap like people who have just sat through an earthquake. As indeed, in a sense, they have. ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Mazurek (Mazurka) for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 49/B90a (1879) [6’14]. Rondo in G minor for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 94/B181b (1893) [6’15]. Seven Interludes, B15 (1867) [23’20]. Silent Woods (Klid) for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 68 No. 5/B182b (1893) [6’05]. Polonaise in E flat, B100 (1879) [4’59]. Nocturne in B, Op. 40/B48 (1875) [4’37]. Suite in A, ‘American’, Op. 98b/B190 (1895) [16’34]. Five Prague Waltzes, B99 (1879) [8’40]. Polka in B flat, ‘Prazskym akademicum’ (‘For the Prague Students’), Op. 53A/1/B114 (1880) [1’58] aAlexander Trotnianski (violin) Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky (bcello). Rec. Studio No. 5, Radio House Moscow, on October 10th-12th, 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557352 [78’42] [CC]

Recommended, despite some shortcomings. A great way to explore some of the lesser-known byways of this great composer’s output. ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) String Quartets Volume 7 String Quartet No. 1 in A major Op.2 (1862 revised 1888) String Quartet No.6 in A minor Op.12 (1873) Vlach Quartet Prague Recorded at the Martínek Studio, Prague, June and July 2003 NAXOS 8.557357 [66.53] [JW]

Pleasurable and nourishing listening. ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Trio No. 3 in F minor, Op. 96/B130 (1882) [42’28]. Josef SUK (1874-1935) Elegie (Under the impression of Zeyer’s Vyšehrad) [5’14]. Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Piano Trio No. 3 in C, ‘Grand Trio’ [19’45]. Czech Trio (Milan Langer, piano; Dana Vlachová, violin; Miroslav Petráš, cello). Rec. Lichtenstein Palace, Prague, on July 28th-31st, 2004. DDD ARCODIVA UP0072-2 131 [62’22] [CC]

Marvellous programming here. The Czech Trio plays three native works with the utmost dedication in a spacious, supporting recording. A lovely disc. ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) DVD documentary of Dvořák’s life and music interspersed with a performance of String Quartet No.10 in E flat major Op. 51 plus CDs of Symphony No. 9 in E minor "From the New World" * Serenade for Strings in E major† Slavonic Dances Op. 46 ● Cello Concerto ◙ Zara Nelsova (cello) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Paavo Järvi *, Sir Yehudi Menuhin † John Farrer● Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra/Walter Süsskind ◙ No provenance given to any of the CD recordings except that the Slavonic Dances were ‘Licensed from’ ASV and the Cello Concerto by Vox USA BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92408 [1 DVD and 2 CDs: 74:46 + 76:39] [IL]

Shoe-string super-budget stuff with a vengeance! ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857 – 1934) Symphony No. 2 in E Flat, Op. 63 (1911) Introduction and Allegro for strings, Op. 47 (1905)Song, by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822) read by Mark Elder Hallé Orchestra/Mark Elder Rec. BBC Studio 7 New Broadcasting House Manchester, 12-13 July 2003 (Symphony), Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; 21 July 2003 (Introduction and Allegro); and 18 June 2004 (Song) DDD HALLÉ CD HLL 7507 [75:30] [JPh]

Sorry, Hallé and Mr. Elder. Try to sound a little more interested in the music next time. ... see Full Review

John FOULDS (1880-1939) Three Mantras from Avatara (1. Of Action and Vision ... of Terrestrial Avataras; 2. Of Bliss and Vision ... of Celestial Avataras; 3. Of Will and Vision ... of Cosmic Avataras) Op. 61b (1930) [26:28] Lyra Celtica - concerto for voice and orchestra Op. 50 (1925) [16:11] Apotheosis (Elegy) - Music Poem No. 4 for violin and orchestra Op. 18 (1907) [11:18] Mirage - Music Poem No. 5 for orchestra Op. 20 (1910) [23:49] Susan Bickley (mezzo) Daniel Hope (violin) City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo rec. Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 26-27 Feb 2004. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61525-2 [78:13] [IL]

At last the extraordinary sound-world of John Foulds is captured on disc in first class performances and sound. Required listening for every British music enthusiast ... see Full Review

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Porgy and Bess - Opera in Three Acts (1935) (Abbreviated version) Lyrics by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin. Libretto by DuBose Heyward. Porgy, Lawrence Winters (bar); Bess, Camilla Williams (sop); Serena, Inez Matthews (sop); Sporting Life, Avon Long (ten); Crown, Warren Coleman (bar); Clara, June McMechen (sop); Maria/Lily/Strawberry Woman, Helen Dowdy (mezzo); Jake, Eddie Matthews (bar); Mingo, William A. Glover (ten); Robbins, Irving Washington (ten); Peter, Harrison Cattenhead (ten); Frazier, J. Rosamond Johnson (bar); Annie, Sadie McGill (mezzo); Jim, George Fisher (bar); Undertaker, Hubert Dilworth (bar); Nelson/Crab Man, Ray Yeats (Tenor) Orchestra and J. Rosamond Johnson Chorus/Lehman Engel Recorded 5th-13th April 1951 in the Columbia 30th Street Studios, New York Appendix. Highlights from Porgy and Bess Risë Stevens (mezzo); Robert Merrill (bar) The Robert Shaw Chorale. RCA Victor Orchestra/Robert Russell Bennett Reissue Producer and Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS HISTORICAL GREAT OPERA RECORDINGS 8.110287-88 [2CDs: 77.36+79.09] [RJF]

The energy of musical comedy and the vocal richness of opera ... thoroughly recommendable. ... see Full Review

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op.55 (1895) The Seasons, ballet, Op.67 (1900) Royal Scottish Symphony Orchestra/José Serebrier Recorded Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland, 2003, DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61434-2 [70:31] [RW]

Clear and slightly reverberant recording maximises the textures and appeal of these works making the disc worthy of consideration as a benchmark recording ... see Full Review

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Orfeo ed Euridice, Opera in Four Acts Combination of 1762 Vienna and 1774 Paris versions. Sung in Italian Orfeo, Ewa Podles (cont); Euridice, Ana Rodrigo (sop); Amore, Elena de Merced (sop) Chorus of the Comunidad de Madrid Orchestra Sinfónica de Galicia/Peter Maag Live recording. La Coruna, Spain. 19 June 1998 ARTS 47536-2 [34.29 + 69.14] [RJF]

The audience is enthusiastic ... I am too, and strongly recommend this performance to all those not concerned about original version or period instrument performance. ... see Full Review

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) María del Carmen - Opera in three acts (1898) Libretto by José Feliu i Codina after his play of the same name Cast: Diana Veronese (María del Carmen); Concepción (Larisa Kostyuk); Fuensanta (Silvia Vazquez); Jesús Suaste (Pencho); Dante Alcalá (Javier); Gianfranco Montresor (Domingo); David Curry (Don Fulgencio); Aleberto Arrabal (Pepuso); Stewart Kempster (Migalo); Ricardo Mirabelli (antón); Alex Ashworth (Roque); Nicholas Sharratt (Andrés); Vicenç Esteve (Un cantaor huertano) Wexford Festival Opera Chorus National Philharmonic Orchestra of Belarus/Max Bragado-Darman rec. Theatre Royal, Wexford, 23, 26, 29 October 2003 MARCO POLO 8.225292-93 [50.01 + 53.19]

Tempi and balances are well judged, and the conductor’s firm grip on proceedings ensures we get a very good idea of Granados's intentions and orchestral mastery. ... see Full Review

Paul GRIFFITHS and Frances-Marie UITTI [text and music] There is still time: scenes for speaking voice and cello (1997) [55’19"] Paul Griffiths (speaker); Frances-Marie Uitti (cello) Recording: Rainbow Studio, Oslo August 2003 DDD * ECM NEW SERIES 1882 476 2411 [55’19"] [BH]

A worthwhile experiment that will probably give pleasure to either fans of the cellist or those who enjoy Griffiths’ mellifluous voice. ... see Full Review

Christopher GUNNING (b.1944) Concerto for piano and orchestra (2001) [28.52] Storm (2003) [11.40]Symphony No. 1 (2002) [24.57] Olga Dudnik, piano Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Christopher Gunning (conductor) recorded in Bratislava on 7-10 December 2003. DDD ALBANY TROY686 [65.56] [CF]

Gunning’s approachable tonal idiom ... eloquent harmonic language ... an exhilarating disc, and one which will not disappoint. ... see Full Review

Rodolfo HALFFTER (1900-1987) Don Lindo de Almería, Ballet suite Op.7b (1936) La madrugada del panadero (The Baker’s Dawn), Ballet suite Op.12a (1940) Paquiliztli, Op.46 (1983) Obertura festiva, Op.21 (1952) Obertura concertante, Op.5 (1932) Orchestra of the Communidad de Madrid/José Ramón Encinar NAXOS 8.557623 [58:00] [RW]

Admirable performances but the texture is thin and instrumental sections lack of integration. Little for the listener to get enthused over. ... see Full Review

August HALM (1869-1929) Symphony in A major (1911-1924) [53:40] Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen/Peter Borin Rec. 2-3 June 2004, Reutlingen, Germany. Südwestrundfunk. DDD STERLING CDS-1064-2 [53:40] [RB]

Halm is no major discovery but his gift for pleasing pastoral invention is entertaining and if grand profundity is not really in evidence there is still much here to enjoy. ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Italian Cantatas Cuopre tal volta il cielo HWV 98 Tu fedel? Tu constante? HWV 171 Mi palpita il cor HWV 132c Spande ancor a mio dispetto HWV 165 Amarilli vezzosa (il duello amoroso) HWV 82 Arcadia Miriam Allan (soprano) Christopher Field (alto) Michael Leighton Jones (bass) Catherine Shrugg (violin) Nicole Forsythe (violin) Robin Hillier (flute) Rosanne Hunt (cello) Samantha Cohen (theorbo)
Jacqueline Ogeil (harpsichord and director) Recorded in the Carmelite Monastery, Kew, March and July 2004 TALL POPPIES TP 173 [70.35] [JW]

Colour and rhythmic drive. It’s only the acoustic that lets down the disc – and then it’s not a fatal drawback. ... see Full Review

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Giulio Cesare
Cleopatra – Renata Tebaldi (soprano) Giulio Cesare – Cesare Siepi (bass) Cornelia – Elena Nicolai (mezzo soprano) Sesto – Gino Sinimberghi (tenor) Tolomeo – Antonio Cassinelli (bass) Achille – Fernando Piccini Curio/Nireno – Gerardo Gaudioso Chorus and Orchestra of the Theatre of San Carlo, Naples/Herbert Albert Recorded live in the Teatro Grande, Pompeii, 6 July 1950 WALHALL WLCD 0024 [59.13 + 70.14] [JW]

I strongly suggest that this disc is either withdrawn or repackaged responsibly, in the way I have described. Nothing less will do. ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Messiah Judith Raskin, soprano; Florence Kopleff, contralto; Richard Lewis, tenor; Thomas Paul, bass; Robert Conant, harpsichord; Robert Arnold, organ; James Smith, solo trumpet; The Robert Shaw Chorale and Orchestra/Robert Shaw. Recorded June 13-20, 1966 in Webster Hall, New York City. ADD BMG-RCA 82876 62317 2 [74:12 + 74:47][PSh]

Flawless enunciation and peerless rhythmic drive but lacks a sense of line and the blend of the voices is less than stellar. Tone is at best professional, at worst, strident, unvaried and colorless. ... see Full Review

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Semele: O, Sleep Why Dost Thou Leave Me? Semele: Endless Pleasure; Scipione: Scoglio d'immota fronte; Orlando: Quando spieghi;Serse: Ombra mai fù; Samson: To Fleeting Pleasures Make Your Court; Rinaldo: Lascia ch'io pianga; Rinaldo: Dunque, I laci d'un volto, Ah! Crudel; Samson: Let The Bright Seraphim; Giulio Cesare: V'adore pupile; Giulio Cesare: Da tempeste il legno infranto; Rodelinda: Ritorno, caro e dolce mio tesoro; Lotario: Sommo rettor del cielo, d'una torbida sorgente; Agrippina: Pensieri; Agrippina: Bel piacere; Alexander Balus: Calm Thou...Convey Me Renée Fleming (soprano) Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Harry Bicket Recorded at the Colosseum, Watford, November 2003 SACD DECCA 475 6186 [70.22] [JW]

In the end I was left slightly disappointed ... see Full Review

George Frederic Handel (1685-1759) Suites de pieces pour Le Clavecin - 2 volumes (c. 1710-1720) Volume 1 Suite I in A major HV 426 [11:09] Suite II in F major HV 427 [9:43] Suite III in D minor HV 428 [22:53] Suite IV in E minor HV 429 [16:15] Suite V in E major HV 430 [14:01] Volume 2 Suite VI in F# Major HV 431 [9:18] Suite VII in G minor HV 432 [20:22] Suite VIII in F minor HV 433 [14:38] Chaconne in G major HV435 [6:55] Sonata in G minor HV 580 [2:36] Sonatina in G minor HV 583 [0:41] Air in G minor HV 467 [3:14] Capriccio in G minor HV 483 [1:23] Fuga in G major HV 606 [3:34] Capriccio (Lesson) in A minor HV 496 [1:57] Fuga in A minor HV 609 [5:34] Ottavio Dantone (clavecin) Recorded Villa Medici, Briosco, Italy October 1998 Played on original instrument 1769 by M Kramer. ARTS 47698- 2; ARTS 47699-2 [74:01 + 71:25] [JF]

A definitive recording of the ‘Eight Suites’. This music should be much better known than it is. ... see Full Review

George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1757) Theodora, HWV 68, oratorio in three acts, text by Thomas Morell (1750) [207.00] Theodora - Dawn Upshaw Didymus - David Daniels Valens - Frode Olsen Septimus - Richard Croft Irene - Lorraine Hunt [Lieberson] Keyboard continuo, Jonathan Hinden; Cello continuo, Susan Sheppard; Theorbo continuo, Elizabeth Kenny. Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/William Christie Stage Director and video direction, Peter Sellars. Sets, George Tsypin; Costumes, Duná Ramicová Recorded at the Glyndebourne auditorium, East Sussex, England, 1996. Brief synopsis and track list in English. On-screen menus in English. Subtitles in English, Français, Deutsch. Format DVD-9, NTSC 4:3 colour. Region code 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Dolby digital 2.0 stereo. Region 1 version available on Kultur video, ASIN# B00023BN4M WARNER MUSIC VISION 0630-15481-2 [207.00] [PSh]

A superb musical performance of Theodora, but you may prefer to throw away the box and turn off the video screen. ... see Full Review

Robert HELPS (1928-2001) Shall We Dance for piano (1994)* Piano Quartet (1997) Postlude for horn, violin and piano (1964) Nocturne for string quartet (1960)+ John IRELAND (1879-1962) The Darkened Valley (c.1919)* Robert Helps (piano) * Janine Jansen (violin) Quinten de Roos (violin) Ronald Carbone (viola) + replacing Rohde Hartmut Rohde (viola) Frank S. Dodge (cello) Ron Schaaper (horn) Daniel Blumenthal (piano) Recorded in the Kammermusiksaal der Philharmonie, Berlin, live (except Piano Quartet and Nocturne) between 2000 and 2003 NAXOS 8.559199 [58.04]

Fuses impressionism with layered density ..... allusiveness and power. Performances thoroughly committed ... see Full Review

Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854-1921) Hänsel und Gretel (1890-93, sung in English) [103:24] Susanne Mentzer (mezzo) Hansel; Heidi Grant Murphy (soprano) Gretel; Judith Forst (mezzo) The Witch; Janice Taylor (mezzo) Mother; Robert Orth (baritone) Father; Anna Christy (soprano) Sandman, Dew Fairy Milwaukee Children’s Choir and Symphony Orchestra/Andreas Delfs. Text included. Rec. Live, Uihlein Hall, The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 28-30 Nov 2003. DDD AVIE AV0050 [60:47 + 42:37] [CC]

The important point about this set is that the sense of live performance – and a magical, fun one at that – is viscerally captured. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854-1921) Hänsel und Gretela (1890-93) Elisabeth Grümmer (mezzo) Hansel; Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Gretel; Else Schürhoff (mezzo) The Witch; Maria von Ilosvay (mezzo) Mother; Josef Metternich (baritone) Father; Anny Felbermayer (soprano) Sandman, Dew Fairy; Loughton High School for Girls Choir; Bancroft School Choir Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan. Hänsel und Gretel extracts: Suse, liebe Suse, was raschelt im Strohb; Brüderchen, komm tanz’ mit mirb (sung in Italian); Ral la la … heissa Mutter, ich bin da! (Besenbinderlied)c; Ein Männlein steht im Walded; Der kleine Sandmann bin ichd; Abends, will ich schlafen gehnd; Hurr hopp hopp hoppe; Juchhei! Nun ist die Hexe tot (Witch Waltz)f. bConchita Supervía (mezzo); bInes Maria Ferraris, dElisabeth Schumann, fMeta Seinemeyer (sopranos); fHelen Jung (mezzo); cGerhard Hüsch (baritone); borchestra/A. Albergoni; cefBerlin State Opera Orchestra/cHanns Udo Müller, efFrieder Weissmann; dErnest Lush (piano) Synopsis included. From aColumbia 33CX1096/97, Fonotipia b120166, cHMV EH1024, dDA1439, efOdeon O-7796. . Rec. aKingsway Hall, London, on June 27th, 29th-30th and July 1st-2nd, 1953, bMilan in 1928, Berlin in cJanuary 1937, efFebruary 15th, 1929, dAbbey Road Studio No. 3, London, on August 28th, 1935. NAXOS GREAT OPERA RECORDINGS 8.110897/8 [127’21: 62’45 + 64’36] [CC]

Surely one of the real jewels in Naxos’ crown … and don’t just play it at Christmas, either! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1938) Complete Piano Works: Capriccioa [19’39]; Concertinob (1925) [16’47]; Tema con variazioni (Zdenka’s Variations) (1880) [9’25]; V mlhách (In the mists) (1912) [two versions: 13’51 and 13’42]; Vzpomínka (Reminiscence) [two versions: 1’07 and 1’09]; Po zarostlém chodníčku I (On an Overgrown Path I) (1911) [25’51]; Po zarostlém chodníčku II (On an Overgrown Path II) [10’54]; Piano Sonata I;X;1905, ‘Z ulice’ (‘From the Street’) (1905) [12’58] Jan Jiraský (piano); aJiří Ševčík (flute); aJiří Houdek, aMarek Vajo (trumpets); aStanislav Penk, aPetr Fríd, aPavel Čermák (trombones); aJiří Nauš (tuba)/aLubomir Mátl; bPavel Wallinger; bJan Vašta (violin); bMiroslav Kovář (viola); bVít Spilka (clarinet); bRoman Novozámský (bassoon); bJindřich Petráš (french horn). Rec. abDominova Studio, Prague, on 6, 13 April 2004 ARCODIVA UP 0071-2 132 [126’25: 61’22 + 65’03] [CC]

Unhesitatingly recommended. A vastly laudable project the value of which lies in Jiraský’s eminently musical approach ... see Full Review

Douglas Bruce JOHNSON (b.1949) Territory of The Heart Songs of Time, of Love, of Wonder; Il terzodecimo canto for string quartet … at evening, in the shadow of the volcano, they are dancing …; Two Essays for String Quartet Elizabeth Anker (contralto) Leslie Amper (piano) Gregory Vitale (violin) Christine Vitale (violin) Jennifer Stirling (viola) Emmanuel Feldman (cello) Anthony de Bedts (piano) No recording information (CD published 2004). DDD ZIMBEL RECORDS ZR105 [56’11"] [RNB]

This fine disc provides a welcome introduction to the music of a lively-minded composer and is thoroughly recommended. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert JOHNSON (c.1583-1633) Away Delights – Lute Solos and Songs from Shakespeare’s England Fantasia, The gypsies’ dance, As I walked forth, Where the bee sucks, Gallyard (My Lady Mildmay’s Delight), Woods, rocks and mountains, Come hither you that love, Tell me dearest, Pavan I in C minor, Almayne I Hark! Hark! The lark, Away delights, Oh, let us howl, Pavan II in F minor, Almayne II, How wretched is the state, Have you seen but a white lily grow? Care-charming sleep, Pavan III in C minor, Almayne III, Almayne IV, With endless tears, Come heavy sleep Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Matthew Wadsworth (lute) Mark Levy (bass viol) Recorded St Mary’s Church, South Creake, Norfolk, October 2003 and April 2004 AVIE AV2053 [64.47] [JW]

A very distinguished release and its dynamic motor, Wadsworth, also wrote the notes, produced the artwork and owns the copyright. A Restoration Man indeed. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Charles KOECHLIN (1867-1950) Vers la Voûte Étoilée - nocturne pour orchestre dédié à la mémoire de Camille Flammarion (1923-33, rev. 1939) [12:31] Le Docteur Fabricius - poème symphonique d’après la nouvelle de Charles Dollfus Op. 202 (1941-44 orch. 1946) [51:09] Christine Simonin (ondes martenot) Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR/Heinz Holliger Rec. SWR, Stadthalle Sindelfingen, Konzertsaal, 24-26 Feb 2003. DDD HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.106 [63:40] [RB]

Two world premiere recordings ... two philosophical and imaginative pieces touched with an ardent imagination ... see Full Review

Ernst KRENEK (1900-1991) Three One Act operas
Der Diktator Op.49 (1926); Schwergewicht oder Die Ehre Der Nation Op.55 (1927) ;Das Geheime Königreich Op.50 (1927) Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Marek Janowski Recorded Berlin-Dahlem Jesus-Christus-Kirche 1998 and 1999 CAPRICCIO 60 107 [44.17 + 42.12] [JW]

Hard-edged and brittle, or faux melismatically romantic. It all makes for a tangy mid-twenties brew. ... see Full Review

Guillaume LEKEU (1870-1894) Piano Trio in C minor (1891) Piano Quartet (Unfinished. Second movement completed by D’INDY)* Spiller Trio Albert Lysy (viola)* Recorded Studio 2, Bavarian Radio, May 1999 (Trio) and March 1992 (Quartet) ARTS 47567-2 [69.54] [JW]

Powerful performances at very reasonable cost - very strongly recommended. ... see Full Review

Paul LEWIS (b.1943) Serenade and Dance: The Romantic Harmonica Music of Paul Lewis The Secret World of Polly Flint [4:15] Woof! Fantasy [4:38] Two Miniatures: Loves [2:09]; Lark [1.03] Impromptu for Harmonica and Harp [5:03] Spring Suite: Jaunt [3:10]; Romance [2.36]; Jig [2:40]. Tea for Three [2:15] Pavane [4:35] Seal Morning [3:08] Serenata [11.2] A Somerset Garland [12:08]: Bridgwater Shanty [2:27]; Martock Jig [2:35]; Muchelney Ham Lament [2:35]; Huish Episcopi Sarabande [2:48]; Langport March [2:33].
Norfolk Rhapsody [8:43] Serenade and Dance [3:30] The Benny Hill Waltz [2:16] James Hughes, harmonica Elizabeth Jane Baldry, harp Dana Preece, piano The Delamere String Quartet (James Davis and Arnold Goodger, violins; Nicola Akeloyd, viola; Sylvia Knussen, cello)
Pail Lewis, wind chimes and "musical director" Rec. The Old Bakehouse, Honiton, Devon, and St. Andrews Church, Charmouth, Dorset, June 30th, July 1st and 24th, 1997 CAMPION CAMEO 2024 [74:58] [WT]

Unpretentious, never less than skilfully written, and deserves a modest place in the grand tradition of British "Light Music". ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-86) Complete Piano Music, Vol. 21 Transcription of Symphony No 9 in D minor, Op 125, by Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827), S464/R128 Konstantin Scherbakov (piano) recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk, 2-3 June 2003 NAXOS 8.557366 [65'03"] [PL]

A splendid CD of a great but little known piano sonata - remarkable achievement ... see Full Review

Miguel LLOBET (1878 – 1938) Guitar Music Scherzo – Vals (1909); Estudio Capricho (1899); Mazurka (1901); 13 Catalan Folksongs (1899 – 1920); Respuesta (Impromptu)(1922); 5 Preludes (1912 – 1935); Mazurka for Federico Bufaletti; 4 Folksongs (ca 1910); Study in E major (1899); Romanza (1896); Variations on a theme by Sor (1908). Lorenzo Micheli (guitar). Rec. Aula Magna, Seminario Arcivescovile, Ivrea (Turin), Italy, 24 April, 24 Oct 2002. NAXOS 8.557351 [73:42] [GF]

In spite of some reservations I think that this well-filled disc could adorn many guitar collections. ... see Full Review

Carl LOEWE (1796-1869) Balladen: Nächtliche Heerschau, op. 23, Der Räuber, op. 34 No. 2 Süßes Begräbnis, op. 62 No. 5 Hinkende Jamben, op. 62 No. 5 Kleiner Haushalt, op. 71 Heinrich der Vogler, op. 56 No. 1 Die verfallene Mühle, op. 109 Trommelständchen, op. 132 No. 2 Die Uhr, op. 123 No. 3 Der Nöck, op. 129 No. 2 Spirito Santo, op. 143 Der Feind (Der Marsch), op. 145 No. 2 Hermann Prey (baritone) Karl Engel (piano) Recorded Rittersaal, Schloss Hohenems, May 1976 ARTS 43021-2 [49.24] [JW]

Just the right voice: warm, flexible and adeptly lyric, capable of irresistible mezza voce and considerable colour. It also has great authority and a certain grand seigneurial status. ... 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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