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

The experience of these two streams of American piano composition in all their individual power. … see Full Review

Sir John Blackwood McEWEN (1868-1948) String Quartet No. 8 in E flat major (Allegro piacevole; Larghetto; Allegretto) (1918) [14:13] Dedicated to Philip L. Agnew String Quartet No. 2 in A minor (Allegro marcato - Presto - Tempo I; Andante quasi adagio - Poco più mosso; Vivace - Molto meno mosso - Vivace; Finale. Allegro vivace - Poco meno mosso). (1898) [29:27] A Little Quartet 'in modo scotico', No. 15 (Allegro giocoso - Molto tranquillo e legato; Adagio piacevole molto tranquillo; Vivace. Reel time - Lento). (1936) [16.39] To my friend R.C. Wyse Chilingirian Quartet (Levon Chilingirian - Charles Sewart violins; Asdis Valdimarsdottir viola; Philip de Groote cello) Rec. Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Suffolk, 3-5 May 2002. DDD premiere recordings CHANDOS CHAN 10182 [60.27] [RB]

Streaming playfulness, bustle and musing reflection. Tunes that would have spoken directly to Vaughan Williams. Extraordinary convulsively tumultuous writing Once heard never forgotten. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 in C minor Resurrection Rae Woodland (soprano) Janet Baker (contralto) BBC Chorus and BBC Choral Society London Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski Recorded 30th July 1963 at the Royal Albert Hall Mono BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4136-2 [79’59]

Resplendent … a model not just of its time but of ours too. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1864-1911) Symphony No.4 in G major (1899-1901) Laura Claycomb (Soprano) San Francisco Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas Recorded "live" at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, 24-28 September 2003 Hybrid SACD - playable on SACD and standard CD players SFS MEDIA 821936-0004-2 [62.28] [TD]

Tilson Thomas and the SFSO in Mahler go from strength to strength with a Fourth from the grand tradition. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor (1901-2) Symphony No.10 in F sharp minor (1910) Reconstruction and instrumentation after Mahler’s sketches by Rudolf Barshai Junge Deutsche Philharmonie/Rudolf Barshai Recorded in 1999 in the Philharmonie, Berlin (5) and September 12th 2001 in the Konzerthaus, Berlin (10) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92205 [2CDs: 143.39] [TD]

The best Mahler Fifth on record is now coupled with a Tenth to treasure. Barshai’s Mahler is not to be missed. … see Full Review

Igor MARKEVITCH (1912 – 1983) Piano Concerto (1929)a Cantate (1929/30)b Icare (1932, rev. 1943) Martijn van den Hoek (piano)a; Nienke Oostenrijk (soprano)b; Men’s voices of the Nederlands Concertkoorb; Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra/Christopher Lyndon-Gee Recorded: Musis Sacrum, Arnhem, April 1998 (Piano Concerto, Cantate) and April 1999 (Icare) MARCO POLO 8.225076 [65:40] [HC]

This series is a brave and enterprising venture that deserves the warmest recommendation … see Full Review

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Cavalleria Rusticana (1889) Turridu (tenor) – Jussi Bjoerling Santuzza (soprano) – Zinka Milanov Alfio (baritone) – Robert Merrill Lola (contralto) – Carol Smith Mamma Lucia (mezzo) – Margaret Roggero Robert Shaw Chorale RCA Victor Orchestra/Renato Cellini Recorded in mono 1953 (Manhattan Center?) REGIS RRC 1162 [71’12] [TH]

If you want this team of soloists at low price, you could give it a try ... I would try before you buy. ... see Full Review

William MATHIAS (1934-1992) Clarinet Concerto, Op. 68a (1975) [17’40]. Harp Concerto, Op. 50b (1970) [26’32]. Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 40c (1968) [26’58]. aGervase de Peyer (clarinet); bOsian Ellis (harp); cPeter Katin (piano); aNew Philharmonia Orchestra, bcLondon Symphony Orchestra/David Atherton. Rec. aWatford Town Hall in April 1977 (from Argo ZRG882); Kingsway Hall, London, in bJanuary/February 1973 (Decca SXL6607); cJanuary 1971 (SXL6513). ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD325 [71’12] [CC]

One of the most impressive Lyrita offerings, this disc is the ideal starting point for any investigation into the music of William Mathias ... see Full Review

William MATHIAS (1934-1992) Dance Overture, Op. 16a (1961) [6’36]. Divertimento, Op. 7b (1958) [11’26]. Invocation and Dance, Op. 17a (1961) [11’37]. Prelude, Aria and Finale, Op. 25b (1964) [10’39]. Sinfonietta, Op. 34c (1967) [13’10]. Laudi, Op. 62d (1973) [12’10]. Vistas, Op. 69d (1975) [13’14]. aLondon Symphony Orchestra, bEnglish Chamber Orchestra, dNew Philharmonia Orchestra/abdDavid Atherton; cNational Youth Orchestra of Wales/Arthur Davison Original recordings made under the auspices of the Welsh Arts Council. Rec. abKingsway Hall, London in January/February 1973 (from Decca SXL6607), bJanuary 9th, 10th and 23rd, 1970 (from SXL6468), cnot known (from BBC REC222), dWatford Town Hall, on April 5th, 6th and 14th, 1977 (from Argo ZRG882). ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD328 [78’53] [CC]

William Mathias’s love of life is the first thing that strikes the listener. This collection of shorter works … could serve as the ideal introduction to Mathias’s music. ... see Full Review

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Des canyons aux étoiles (1971-1974) [89.44] Oiseaux Exotiques (1955-1956) [14.07] Couleurs de la Cité Céleste (1963) [16.56] Paul Crossley (piano) Michael Thompson (horn) James Holland (xylorimba) David Johnson (glockenspiel) London Sinfonietta/Esa-Pekka Salonen Rec. London, 1988?, DDD SONY ESSENTIAL CLASSICS SB2K87951 [66.49+54.30] [RB]

Salonen focuses on precision, angularity, accurate tonal painting and rhythmic shaping. He directs a feeling performance of Des Canyons with much more humanity than his Turangalila … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ (1965-1969) Yvonne Loriod, piano Arturo Muruzabal, cello Martine van der Loo, flute Harmen de Boer, clarinet Peter Prommel, marimba Ruud Stotÿn, vibraphone Henk de Vlieger, xylorimba Ludwig van Gijsegem, tenor Reiner Holthaus, baritone Choir of the BRT, Brussels Groot Omroepkoor and the Radio Symphonie Orkest, Hilversum/Reinbert de Leeuw Recorded live, Great Hall, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 29 June 1991. DDD NAÏVE - DISQUES MONTAIGNE MO 782170 [2CDs: 100:01] [KS]

I encourage all lovers of music, regardless of experience or knowledge, to invest in this recording - it is bargain price. Opportunities to hear this music very rare; to walk away not having experienced it at all would be a loss indeed. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 11 in F major, K.413 (1782-83) Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat major, K.482 (1785) Matthias Kirschnereit, piano Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Frank Beermann Recorded at Sinfonie an der Regnitz, Bamberg, March 2001 (K.482), January 2002 (K.413) The Piano Concertos, Volume 5 ARTE NOVA CLASSICS 74321 98337-2 [57:56] [DS]

Given the super-budget pricing of Arte Nova discs, I definitely recommend Volume 5 for the wonderful performance of the Concerto in F major. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Sacred Choral Works see review for details BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92113 [15 CDs]

A fine achievement from the Chamber Choir of Europe, recording all of Mozart’s sacred music, marred only by some disappointing soloists. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Cosi fan Tutte (1789) Dramma giocosa in two acts, libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte Fiordiligi (soprano) – Dorothea Röschmann Dorabella (mezzo) – Katharina Kammerloher Ferrando (tenor) – Werner Güra Guglielmo (baritone) – Hanno Müller-Brachmann Despina (soprano) – Daniela Bruera Don Alfonso (bass-baritone) – Roman Trekel Chorus and Orchestra of the Berlin State Opera/Daniel Barenboim Directed for the stage by Doris Dörrie Directed for TV by Michael Beyer Recorded at the Berlin State Opera, 1 September, 2002 TDK DVOPCFT [2 DVDs: 179 minutes] [TH]

This is certainly a thought-provoking and inventive production, nowhere near as awful as some critics would have you believe. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Così fan tutte (1790). Ina Souez (soprano) Fiordiligi; Luise Helletsgruber (soprano) Dorabella; Heddle Nash (tenor) Ferrando; Willi Domgraf-Fassbänder (baritone) Guglielmo; John Brownlee (baritone) Don Alfonso; Irene Eisinger (soprano) Despina; Chorus and Orchestra of the Glyndebourne Festival/Fritz Busch.
From Mozart Opera Society DB2474/9; DB2583/93S. Rec. by HMV at The Glyndebourne Theatre, Sussex on June 6th, 1934 and June 25th-28th, 1935. ADD NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110280/81 [2CDs: 154’21] [CC]

This invaluable document shows exactly why Busch, Glyndebourne and Mozart are inextricably linked in the annals of recorded sound. One would be hard-pressed to find a better cast for this opera in any period. A wonderful achievement ... see Full Review

Romantic Music from Estonia Iwan MULLER (1780-1854) Grande Polonaise for Harp with obbligato Clarinet and Bassoon [9:39]; Fantasy on Themes from Operas by Rossini Op.27 [19:08]; Duo Concertant for Clarinet, Bassoon and Harp [7:57]; Romanza di Blangini for Clarinet and Harp [5:58]; First Fantasy on a Barcarolle for Clarinet and Harp [4:17]; Duet on Three Arias from Armida by Rossini for Clarinet, Bassoon and Harp [21:05] ; Variations on Mozart’s aria "O dolce Concento" [7:48]. Olivier Darteville (clarinet) Rachel Talitman (harp) Luc Loubry (bassoon) Emmanuel Chaussade (alto clarinet). No rec. info. DDD TALENT DOM 2910 84 [64:13] [PCW]

Nothing profound here but something of a find – recommended … see Full Review

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition (1874; orch. Maurice Ravel 1922) (1), A Night on the Bare Mountain (1867; arr. and orch. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov 1886) (2) Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) In the Steppes of Central Asia (1880) (3) Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Capriccio Espagnol, op. 34 (1887) (4) Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl Recorded in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum, Prague, June 1968 (1, 2), January 1965 (3), December 1964 (4) SUPRAPHON SU 3664-2 011 [65:14] [CH]

Right now I can’t think of performances of these works that I’d rather hear. ... see Full Review

Per NØRGÅRD (b. 1932) Borderlines – Violin Concerto No.2 (2003)a Dream Play (1975, rev. 1980) Voyage into the Golden Screen (1968) Rebecca Hirsch (violin)a Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra; Giordano Bellincampi Recorded: Tivoli’s Concert Hall, April-May 2002 and Danish Radio Concert Hall, November 2002 (Borderlines) DACAPO 8.226014 [52:07] [HC]

Thought-provoking, uncompromising stuff that vastly repays repeated hearings …warmly recommended. This magnificently produced disc is a must for all Nørgård fans … see Full Review

Julian ORBON (1925 - 1991) Symphonic Dances (Danses Sinfonicas) (1957) Three Symphonic Versions (1954) Concerto Grosso (1961) Asturias Symphony Orchestra/Maximiano Valdes. recorded in the Casa Municipal de Cultura, Aviles in 1998. DDD NAXOS 8.557368 [66’17"] [JPh]

Decidedly tonal … watered down Copland with a Spanish idiom. Concerto Grosso: the most deeply felt work … one of Orbon’s loveliest creations … see Full Review

Michael T. OTTO
Spin Trumpet Der Erlkönig for Bb trumpet, speaker and piano 9 lustige Fanfaren und ein Lied for Bb trumpet (solo) cafordenforca 1 for Flügelhorn solo Calme for Flügelhorn and piano Leon’s Cry for Trumpet and piano Alp(en)traum for Didgeridoo, Shell and Flügelhorn cafordenforca II for trumpet solo Sotù for Didgeridoo and Shell a simple evening song for Flügelhorn and piano Michael T. Otto, Bb trumpet, flügelhorn, muschelhorn, didgeridoo; Claudia C. Otto, speaker; Andrea Grözinger, piano; Sepp Schlotter, techno play-a-long (sic); Peter Madsen, jazz piano Recorded La salle de concert of the chateau Montfort Langenargen, February 2003 THOROFON CTH 2484 [53.21] [GPJ]

This is a strange but actually quite attractive CD: it could, for example, provide highly atmospheric background music for a certain kind of drinks party … see Full Review

Mario PAGLIARANI (b. 1963) Domenico Scarlatti gioca ai videogames for bells and synthetic sounds (1990) Pierrot Lunatique for voice, flute / piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano (1993) Annemieke Cantor (voice), Sergio Zampetti (flute), Angelo Bassi (clarinet), Fabio Arnaboldi (violin), Paola Arnaboldi (violoncello), Federica Falascondi (pianoforte), directed by Mario Pagliarani. Berweg. Una passeggiata attraverso la serie del Violinkonzert di Alban Berg for violin and piano (1995) Marianne Aeschbacher, Violin, Risch Biert (pianoforte). Inferno (…der Weg gehult in Schnee) for reciter, voice, flute, violoncello, harmonica, pianoforte and percussion (1996) Mario Cel (reciter), Roberto Balconi (voice), Hieronymous Schadler (flute), Claude Hauri (flute), Claudio Jacomucci (harmonica), Risch Biert (pianoforte), Michael Quinn, p (percussion), directed by Mario Pagliarani. Canzone fantasma. Omaggio a Paul McCartney for flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello and raganella (1996) Ensemble Oggimusica – Marina Chiaese, (flute). Fabio Di Casola (clarinet), Roberto Valtancoli (violin), Guido Boselli (violoncello), directed by Denise Fedeli Una pozzanghera. Omaggio a Ludwig e a Johannes for clarinet, violoncello, and pianoforte (1998) Luca Medici (clarinet), Claude Hauri (violoncello) and Simona Crociani (pianoforte) Rarefatto cantabile for large orchestra (1999 – 2000) L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, conducted by Andrew Litton Johann Sebastien scrive ad Anna Magdalena for bells and synthetic sounds. Co-production: RSI-Rete e RSR-Espace 2, rec. 1995 – 2000. DDD Musiques Suisses MGB CTS-M75 [72.41] [JPh]

If this idiom appeals to you, I wish you luck in trying to uncover something from the contents of this disc. I failed completely. … see Full Review

Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Overture to an Unwritten Tragedya (1893) [10’25]. An English Suite in Ga (c1921) [20’57]. The Birds (1883) – Bridal Marchb [5’21]. Lady Radnor’s Suite in Fa (1894) [13’25]. Symphonic Variationsa (1897) [12’53]. aLondon Symphony Orchestra, bLondon Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult. No rec. info. ADD All works except for the Bridal March recorded in association with The RVW Trust. LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD220 [64’09] [CC]

Surely there has been no greater interpreter of Parry’s music than Sir Adrian Boult? … The recording quality throughout is superb. ... see Full Review

Niccolò PICCINNI (1728-1800) Le donne vendicate (The Revenge of the Women) Musical intermezzi for four voices in two parts Count Belleza, an eccentric knight … Vincenzo Di Donato (tenor) Lindora, a simpering girl, niece of … Giuliana Castellani (soprano) Ferramonte, the ladies’ champion … Mauro Buda Aurelia, novel reading friend of Lindora’s … Sylva Pozzer I Barocchisti/Diego Fasolis CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN 0705(2) [2CDs: 103:21] [IL]

A delightful, fast-moving witty farce with a strong cast. ... see Full Review

Amilcare PONCHIELLI (1834-1886) La Gioconda - opera in four acts La Gioconda, Maria Callas (soprano); Enzo Grimaldi, Gianni Poggi (ten); Barnaba, Paolo Silveri (bar); Laura Adorno, Fedora Barbieri (mezzo); Alvise, Giulio Neri (bass); La Cieca, Maria Amadini (mezzo) Turin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Cetra Chorus/Antonio Votto Recorded Auditorium RAI, Turin, from 6th to 10th September 1952 Appendix: Maria Callas: ‘Three arias’Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835)Norma ‘Casta Diva’ I Puritani ‘O rendetemi speme…Qui la voce sua soave’. ‘Vien diletto’ Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde Liebestod’ Recorded for Cetra on 9th, 10th and 8th of September, respectively, 1949 Bargain Price NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110302-04 (3CDs 54.04+76.46+59.17 min) [RF]

Those wanting to hear Callas in as near pristine voice as she was ever found on record will find much interest and enjoyment here. Pity about the tenor though. … see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Sonata No.6 in A major, Op.82 (1940) Piano Sonata No.4 in C minor, Op.29 (1917) Ten Pieces from Romeo and Juliet, Op.75 (1937) Nikolai Lugansky (piano) Recorded at Teldec Studio, Berlin, 23-25 October 2003 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61255-2 [75’08] [TH]

Full of subtly shaded nuances ... lets Prokofiev’s unique melodic style shine through. ... Lugansky also shows us his virtuoso stripes and finds space for delicate contrast ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet. Scenes from the Ballet, Op. 64 (1935-36) [46’51"]: Montagues and Capulets (Suite 2/1) [5.45"]; Juliet, the Little Girl (Suite 2/2) [3’59"]; Masks (Suite 1/5) [1’49"]; Romeo and Juliet (Balcony Scene: suite 1/6) [6’32"]; Friar Laurence (Suite 2/3) [2’50"]; Dance of the Antilles’ Girls (Suite 2/6) [2’28"]; Dance (Suite 2/4) [1’58"]; Death of Tybalt (Suite 1/7) [4’16"]; Romeo and Juliet Before Parting (Suite 2/5) [9’15"]; Romeo at Juliet’s Grave (Suite 2/7) [7’29"] Peter and the Wolf: Tale for Children with Narrator and Orchestra, Op. 67 (1936)* [23’30"] *Eric Shilling (narrator) Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl Rec. Rudolfinum Studio, Prague, 24-28 August 1959; *February 1963 ADD Karel Ančerl Gold Edition Vol. 16 SUPRAPHON SU 3676-2 011 [70’33"] [JQ]

It’s for the Romeo and Juliet that I unhesitatingly recommend this. Great music recorded by a conductor whose greatness is fully demonstrated. Outstandingly responsive orchestral playing to savour. A disc to treasure. ... see Full Review

Sergei Prokofiev (1891 - 1953) Romeo and Juliet ballet Suite #1, Op. 64A (1936) [26.20] Romeo and Juliet ballet Suite #2, Op. 64B (1936) [29.32] Romeo and Juliet ballet Suite #3, Op. 101 (1946) [17.39] Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi Recorded in the Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, 18 November 2002, utilising the DSD recording system. Notes in English Also available on SACD 90597. TELARC CD-80597 [74.57] [PSh]

An excellent performance and recording of this brilliantly dramatic music, the perfect choice for many collectors ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Bohème (1896) Mimi – Renata Tebaldi (soprano) Rodolfo – Sándor Kónya (tenor) Musetta – Laurel Hurley (soprano) Marcello – Frank Guarrera (baritone) Schaunard – Clifford Harvort (baritone) Colline – Jerome Hines (bass) Benoit – Fernando Corena (bass) Alcindoro – Lorenzo Alvary (bass) Parpignol – Emil Filip (tenor) Orchestra and Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera/Fausto Cleva Rec. New York Metropolitan Opera, 14 March 1964. ADD Bonus tracks: Georg HANDEL – Ombra ma fù (Xerxes) Franz SCHUBERT – Ständchen (Schwanengesang) Johannes BRAHMS – O wußt’ ich doch den Weg zurück op.63 Richard STRAUSS – Zueignung Op.10/1 Vincenzo de CRESCENZO – Rondine al nido Ruggero LEONCAVALLO – Mattinata TRADITIONAL – Virit már a Szarkaláb Zoltán KODÁLY – Recruitingsong Giacomo PUCCINI – E lucevan le stelle (Tosca) Giacomo PUCCINI – Ch’ella mi creda (La Fanciulla del West) Umberto GIORDANO – Amor ti vieta (Fedora) Sándor Kónya (tenor) Otto Seyfert (piano) Rec. Betlehem USA, 5 February 1966. ADD GALA GL 100.727 [2CDs:76:19 + 74:04 = 150:23] [PCW]

Sándor Kónya as Rodolfo was the star of this show….Tebaldi’s Mimi must surely be better heard on other recordings … see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Turandot (1926) Eva Marton (soprano) Turandot; José Carreras (tenor) Calaf; Katia Ricciarelli (soprano) Liù; Jean-Paul Berger (bass) Timur; Robert Kerns (baritone) Ping; Helmut Wildhaber (tenor) Pang; Heinz Zednik (tenor) Pong; Kurt Rydl (baritone) Mandarin; Waldemar Kmentt (tenor) Altoum Vienna Boys Choir Vienna State Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Lorin Maazel. Rec. live in the Staatsoper, Vienna in 1984. ADD SONY CLASSICAL SM2K90444 [126’34] [CC]

Maazel’s pacing triumphs over problems of casting, balance and sometimes intrusive applause to leave one with a fulfilled impression at the close of the work. … see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Tosca: Vissi d’arte; Le Villi: Se come vuoi; Manon Lescaut: In quelle trine morbide, Intermezzo, Act III, Sola, perduta, abbandonata; Sole e amore*, La Bohème: Sì, mi chiamano Mimì; Donde lieta uscì, Canto d’anime*, Madama Butterfly: Un bel dì vedremo, Intermezzo, Act II, La Rondine: Ch’il bel sogno di Doretta, Morire*, Suor Angelica: Senza mamma, Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro; Turandot: Signore ascolta, Tu che di gel sei cinta Kiri Te Kanawa (soprano), Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Lyon/Kent Nagano, items marked * with Roger Vignoles (piano) Recorded at the Opéra National de Lyon from 14th-22nd May 1996 WARNER CLASSICS ELATUS 2564 60681-2 [63:24] [CH]

Fans will find much to enjoy ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Tosca (1900).Adriana Guerrini (soprano) Floria Tosca; Gianni Poggi (tenor) Mario Cavaradossi; Paolo Silveri (baritone) Baron Scarpia; Jan Emanuel (bass) Cesare Angelotti; Carlo Badioli (bass) Sacristan; Armando Benzi (tenor) Spoletta; Eraldo Coda (bass) Sciarrone; Giulio Biellesi (bass) Un Carceriere; Elvina Ramella (soprano) Un Pastore; Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of RAI, Torino/Francesco Molinari-Pradelli.Rec. Turin, Italy, 1952. mono ADD WARNER FONIT 5050466-3305-2-9 [105’46: 42’03 + 63’43]. [CC]

None of the singers’ flaws is sufficient to divert attention from Molinari-Pradelli’s considered yet exciting conception. This should, I believe, be heard, especially at the price. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Tosca - opera in three acts Tosca, Maria Callas (sop); Cavaradossi; Giuseppe Di Stefano (tenor); Scarpia, Tito Gobbi (baritone); Angelotti, Franco Calabrese (bass); Spoletta, Angelo Mercuriali (bar); Sacristan, Melchiorre Luise (bar). Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, Milan/Victor de Sabata Recorded August 1953 in Teatro alla Scala, Milan Restoration Engineer, Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110256-57 [2CDs: 42.35+65.56] [RJF]

Exalted moments of involvement and identification of singer and role rarely caught on recording. You can confidently add this re-mastered version of a truly great, iconic, recording to your collection. Highly recommended. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Tosca (1900) Maria Callas (Tosca), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Cavaradossi), Tito Gobbi (Scarpia), Franco Calabrese (Angelotti), Angelo Mercuriali (Spoletta), Melchiorre Luise (Sacristan), Dario Caselli (Sciarrone/Gaoler), Alvaro Cordova (Shepherd) Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, Milan/Victor De Sabata Recorded 10th-14th, 16th and 18th-21st August 1953 in the Teatro alla Scala, Milan EMI CLASSICS 5 85644 2 [2 CDs: 43:12+66:22] [CH]

One of the greatest recorded performances of an opera ever made, and EMI still seem to hold the trumps in their own transfer. ... see Full Review

Alexandre RABINOVITCH-BARAKOVSKY (b.1945) Pura Cosa Mentale CD1 Six Etats Intermédiaires: La Vie; Le Rêve; La Transe; Le Moment de la Mort; Réalité; l’Existence. (Symphony based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead Bardo Thödol) (1998) [52.46] Musique Populaire (1980) [18.44] CD2 La Triade: Le Deuil; La Transe; Le Silence (Sinfonia Concertante for amplified violin and orchestra) (1998) [28.50] Trois Invocations (1995) [20.02] La Belle Musique No. 4 (1987) [17.58] Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra/composer (Six Etats); Martha Argerich/composer (two amplified pianos) (Musique Populaire); Yayoi Toda (violin), Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto/composer (Triade); Filarmonica Quartet/composer (celesta) (Invocations); Mikhail Adamovitch, Alexéi Ieriomine, Anatol Batagov, composer (amplified pianos) (La Belle Musique No. 4). Rec. 5 Oct 2002, Belgrade (Six Etats); 2 Apr 1992, Warsaw (Musique Populaire); 10 May 1999, Padova (Triade); Nov 2001, Paderewski Hall, Lausanne (Invocations); Mikhail Adamovitch, Alexéi Ieriomine, Anatol Batagov, composer (amplified pianos) (La Belle Musique No. 4). MEGADISC CLASSICS MDC 7812/11 [71.30+66.50] [RB]

Sensuous minimalism with trance-inducing overtones ... the presence of Argerich will bring in many... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 - 1943) Piano Concerto #2 in c, Op 18 (1901) [32.38] Piano Concerto #3 in d, Op 30 (1909) [40.55] Konstantin Scherbakov, piano Russian State Symphony Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky Recorded in Studio 5, State Recording House, Moscow, Russia, 25 May 2002 CD tracks in 2.0 stereo. SACD tracks in 2.0 stereo and 5.1 surround sound. DSD Hybrid SACD playable on CD players and SACD players NAXOS 6.110013 [73.33] Discrete 5.1 surround sound at 48kHz 24Bit, Dolby 5.1 (AC-3), and DTS 5.1. DVD-Audio playable on all DVD players & DVD-audio players. NAXOS 5.110013 [73.33] [PSh]

A quite good Second Concerto, the best Third Concerto I’ve ever heard; stupefyingly brilliant sound in 8 different flavours … see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 2 (1901) Barry Douglas (piano) London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas Rec. 1992, London Piano Concerto No. 3 (1908) Byron Janis (piano) Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch Rec. December 1958, Boston BMG RCA RED SEAL 82876 55269-2 [71.20] [TB]

Janis: a major talent and this performance serves his reputation well. Douglas too, though an artist of a later generation, is a distinguished pianist with a reputation that goes before him. ... see Full Review

Sergie RACHMANINOV (1873 – 1943) Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom Op. 31 Deacon Tobias Simms(Celebrant); Proto-deacon Peter Scorer (Deacon) Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury Recorded Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, UK, July 2003 EMI CLASSICS 5576772 [75:11] [JL]

If you do not mind your Russian Orthodox Liturgy in English cathedral choir sound, then this is magnificent. ... see Full Review

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Castor and Pollux (1754 version) Castor – Colin Ainsworth (tenor) Pollux – Joshua Hopkins (baritone) Télaïre – Monica Whicher (soprano) Phébé/Hébé – Meredith Hall (soprano) Jupiter – Giles Tomkins (bass baritone) Cléone – Renée Winick (soprano) Le Grand Prêtre – Brian McMillan (baritone) Mercure – Joey Niceforo (tenor) A Spartan Soldier 1 at the end of Act 1 – Michael Lee (tenor) A Spartan Soldier 2 at the end of Act 1 – Matthew Lee (tenor) A Voice at the end of Act I – Lorelle Angelo (soprano) Another Voice at the end of Act I – Catherine Lippitt Erickson (soprano) Opera in Concert Arcadia Ensemble/Kevin Mallon Recorded in Grace Church on the Hill, Toronto, February 2003 NAXOS 8.660118/19 [2 CDs: 140.43] [JW]

The combination of the balletic, purely orchestral and juxtaposed aria and recitativo elements creates an organically satisfying and enlivening work At superbudget price this twofer gets a warm recommendation. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Platée Paul Agnew (Platée) Mireille Delunsch (La Folie / Thalie) Yann Beuron (Thespis / Mercure) Vincent Le Texier (Jupiter) Doris Lamprecht (Junon) Laurent Naouri (Cithéron, un Satyre) Valérie Gabail (L’Amour / Clarine) Franck Leguerinel (Momus) Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble/Marc Minkowski Choreography: Laura Scozzi Rec: February 2002, Opéra National de Paris au Palais Garnier Sound format: Dolby Digital 5.0, DTS 5.0, LPCM stereo Subtitle languages: GB, D, F, ES, IT Picture format: 16:9 and 4:3 Picture standard: PAL Region code: 2 TDK DV-OPPLT [150 mins] [KM]

I cannot praise this DVD enough - the music, singing, and performances are impeccable. ... see Full Review

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) La Princesse de Navarre, interludes for the comédie-ballet by Voltaire Marilyn Hill-Smith, Eiddwen Harrhy, Frances Chambers, Judith Rees (soprano), Michael Goldthorpe (tenor), Peter Savidge (baritone), Ian Caddy, Richard Wigmore (bass) English Bach Festival Singers and Baroque Orchestra/Nicholas McGegan Recorded in March 1979 at St Barnabas Church, London ADD WARNER ELATUS 2564-60536-2 [55:47] [JV]

A reissue of the only recording to date of Rameau’s music for Voltaire’s comédie-ballet – the singing is rather unstylish and lacks subtlety … see Full Review

Alan RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971) Symphonies: No. 1a (1950) [22’56]; No. 2, ‘A Pastoral Symphonyb (1959) [19’47]; No. 3 (1964) [32’03] abLondon Symphony Orchestra/aSir John Pritchard, bNicholas Braithwaite; cBBC Symphony Orchestra/Norman Del Mar. With bTracey Chadwell (soprano). Rec. acKingsway Hall aon March 25th, 1975, cin April 1967; bin Watford Town Hall on August 25th-26th, 1993. ADD/bDDD Original recordings of Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 made in association with The British Council; Symphony No. 2 recorded with the support of The Rawsthorne Trust. LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD291 [74’47] [CC]

Well worth hearing – do try to listen also to the Naxos Piano Concertos disc if Rawsthorne’s music appeals. Highly recommended. ... see Full Review

Max REGER (1873-1916) Chorale Fantasia on "Wie schön leucht uns der Morgenstern" (How brightly shines the morning star), Op. 40, No. 1 Organ Pieces, Op. 59, Nos. 7-9 Introduction and Passacaglia in F minor, Op. 63 Organ Pieces, Op. 59, Nos. 10-12 Chorale Fantasia on "Halleluja! Gott zu loben, bleibe meine Seelenfreud!" (May the praise of God remain my soul’s joy!), Op. 52, No. 3 Josef Still (organ) Played and recorded on the Johannes Klais Organ (of 1974) of the Trier Cathedral, Germany, on 21-22 October, 2001. Organ Works Volume Four NAXOS 8.555905 [76:33] [MC]

Still’s technically assured performances are exemplary throughout. The superb recorded sound is warm and detailed. A strong recommendation at any price. ... see Full Review

Joseph Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Sonata No. 12 in D flat major, Op. 154, (1888) Seven of the twelve Trios for Organ, Op. 189, Nos. 6-12 (1897) Sonata No. 13 in E flat major, Op. 161, (1889) Wolfgang Rubsam (organ) Rec. Rieger-Sauer Organ (The Great Organ) of Fulda Cathedral, Germany 8-10 January, 2002. Organ Works Volume 5 NAXOS 8.557184 [69:29] [MC]

An enjoyable recording for lovers of organ works from the Romantic period, works that may need several plays before they reveal their treasures to the listener. ... see Full Review

Ferdinand RIES (1784–1838) Piano Quartet in F minor, Op. 13 Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 17 Daniel Raiskin, viola Mendelssohn Trio Berlin: Stephan Picard, violin Ramon Jaffé, cello Andreas Frölich, piano Recorded at Immanuelkirche, Köln-Rondorf, Germany, March 2002 CPO 999 885 [51:51] [DS]

With excellent music and superior sound and performances, I strongly recommend acquisition of the recording. … see Full Review

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Otello - Opera in three acts. Libretto by Francesco Berio di Salsa Otello, José Carreras (ten); Desdemona, Frederica von Stade (sop); Elmiro, Samuel Ramey (bass); Rodrigo, Salvatore Fisichella (ten); Jago, Gianfranco Pastine (ten); Emilia, Nucci Condo (Mezzo); Lucio, Keith Lewis (ten) Ambrosian Opera Chorus/John McCarthy Philharmonia Orchestra/Jesús López-Cobos Recorded London September 1978
Bargain price PHILIPS CLASSICS DUO 475 448-2 [2CDs: 78.48+74.07] [JL]

This very fine 1978 recording - strong all round – is reissued by Philips in their "Duo" series. Cheap but no libretto. ... see Full Review

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792 - 1868) Petite Messe solenelle Lucia Mazzaria (soprano) Helen Schneiderman (alto )Kenneth Tarver (tenor) Reiner Holthaus (bass) Roberto Szidon (piano) Richard Metzler (piano) Detlef Dörner (harmonium) SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart/Rupert Huber Recorded 1995 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.053 [79.33] [RH]

A fine, if large-scale, performance which is rather let down by the soloists. ... see Full Review

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) Symphonies: No. 6, Op. 80 (1953/4) [32’40]; No. 8, Op. 132, ‘Hommage à Teilhard de Chardin’ (1966-68) [24’55]. Soliloquy for Cello and Orchestra, Op. 57 (1947) [15’02]. Rohan de Saram (cello) London Symphony Orchestra/Vernon Handley (Soliloquy). Philharmonia Orchestra/Norman Del Mar No recording details given ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD234 [72’38] [CC]

A most impressive disc … 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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