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  Friday May 28th

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Hoffnung Music Festivals 1956,58,61
$33.75 £19 World $37£21 post free
This is a must for all Hoffnung enthusiasts.
Purchase here    see review

Hoffnung - A Last Encore
On 2 CDs lasting 1 hour 45min, this contains all the recordings of Hoffnung preserved in the BBC archives. They include the famous and hilariously funny Bricklayer story. $22 £14 post free world-wide Purchase

An ALL-ARNOLD Concert at the Royal Festival Hall 24-9-04


CONSTANT LAMBERT: Humphrey Searle talks to David Wright (1965) [withdrawn]

MALCOLM ARNOLD David C F Wright [withdrawn]


MusicWeb recommended recordings 2004


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Voices in the Wilderness: Six American Neo-Romantic Composers By Walter Simmons [RB]

Do not be surprised if you come away from reading this book with questions seriously disturbing to the concert and recording status quo. ... see Full Review

UNEASY LISTENING - A caricature guide to 20th century composers
by John Minnion
109pp Paperback ISBN 0-9544499 1 6 [RB]

This is wonderfully well done as a book of illustrations. It tells us something of the psychology of the composer in each case and does so wittily and not without taking a few dangerous corners. ... see Full Review



Hildegard of BINGEN (1098-1179) Sapphire Night: O Frondens Virga; Karitas Habundat; O Euchari, Columba; In Matutinis Laudibus; Columba Aspexit. Anonymous 'O Gloriosa' Patricia VAN NESS (b.1951) ‘The Nine orders of the Angels' Tapestry/Laurie Monahan (soprano and harp) Carolann Buff, (mezzo-soprano) Recorded at Mandelslah, May 2003. DDD MUSIK DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 344 1193-2 [76.43] [GH]

I would be amazed if you did not become as besotted with this disc as I am. ... see Full Review

Piano music of Erik Chisholm and his friends BARTÓK Out of Doors Suite (With drums and pipes) SORABJI Fantasiettina sul nome illustre dell'Egregio poeta Hugh MacDiarmid Ossia Christopher Grieve MCMLXI CHISHOLM Sonata in A (1939) "An Riobain Dearg": (Molto Moderato; Scherzo: Allegretto con Moto; Lament: HMS "Thetis" foundered June 3rd 1939; Allegro Moderato) STEVENSON A Threepenny Sonatina BUSONI Fantasia Contrappuntistica (Edizione Definitiva) Murray McLachlan (piano) Recorded 16-17, 19 December 2003, Whiteley Hall, Chethams, Manchester. DDD DUNELM DRD0219 [78:11] [CSS]

In MacLachlan's hands a magisterial performance ... see Full Review

Johann Friedrich FASCH (1688-1758) Overture in G (FWV L:G16) [32:02] Concerto for bassoon, strings and bc in C (FWV L:C2) [09:45] Concerto à 7 for 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, bassoon and bc in c minor (FWV L:c2) [09:15] Concerto for violin, strings and bc (FWV L:A3) [08:02] Concerto for bassoon, strings and bc in d minor (FWV L:c1) [09:22] Concerto for 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, bassoon and bc in E flat (fragment) (FWV L:Es 1) [02:33] Hans-Peter Westermann, Alessandro Piqué, oboe; Sergio Azzolini, bassoon; Veronika Skuplik, violin La Stravaganza Köln (on period instruments)
Rec. August 2002, Evangelische Kirche, Honrath, Germany. DDD CPO 777 015-2 [71:30] [JV]

A passionate plea for the orchestral music of Fasch, an unjustly neglected master of the German baroque ... see Full Review

Samuil Evgenievitch FEINBERG (1890-1962) The Twelve Piano Sonatas: Nos. 1-6: No. 1, Op. 1a (1915) [6’51]; No. 2, Op. 2b (1915-16) [9’01]; No. 3, Op. 3b (1916) [23’24]; No. 4, Op. 6a (1918) [8’33]; No. 5, Op. 10a (1920-21) [8’05]; No. 6, Op. 13c (1923) [14’20]. aNikolaos Samaltanos, bcChristophe Sirodeau (pianos). Rec. Eglise Evangélique Saint-Marcel, Paris, in abSpring 2002 and cDec 1993. DDD BIS CD-1413 [70’13] [CC]

Revelatory. The music of Feinberg is hypnotic in the extreme, close to Scriabin in mystical mode. Enjoy the voyage of discovery. ... see Full Review

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Sonatas: Volume 3: Keyboard Sonatas: No. 33 in C minor, Hob.XVI:20 (1771); No. 35 in A flat, Hob.XVI:43 (first publ. 1783); No. 47 in B minor, Hob.XVI:32 (c1774); No. 50 in D, Hob.XVI:37 (c1779); No. 61 in D, Hob.XVI:51. Alain Planès (piano). Rec. Salle modulable, IRCAM, Paris, August 2001. DDD HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901763 [65'31] [CC]

Recommended without hesitation. Planès is a Haydn interpreter to be reckoned with. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Jenůfa (Brno version, 1908; English translation, Edward Downes and Otakar Kraus). Janice Watson (soprano) Jenůfa; Elizabeth Vaughan (mezzo) Grandmother Buryja; Dame Josephine Barstow (soprano) The Kostelnička; Peter Wedd (tenor) Števa Buryja; Nigel Robson (tenor) Laca Klemeň; Neal Davies (baritone) Foreman at the mill; Alan Fairs (bass) Mayor of the village; Marion McCullough (mezzo) Mayor’s wife; Charlotte Ellett (soprano) Karolka; Claire Hampton (soprano) Jano; Rosie Hay (soprano) Barena; Imelda Drumm (mezzo) Maid; Sarah Pope (mezzo) Village woman; Chorus and Orchestra of Welsh National Opera/Sir Charles Mackerras Rec. in association with the Peter Moores Foundation. Rec. Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, July 20th-26th, 2003. DDD CHANDOS OPERA IN ENGLISH CHAN 3106 [2CDs: 121’12] [CC}

The felicities of the scoring emerge as if newly-minted, sometimes inspiring delight, at others horror. Unhesitatingly recommended. ... see Full Review

Colin MATTHEWS (b. 1946) Sonata No. 5 Landscape Cello Concerto No. 1 Hidden Variables, Memorial, Quatrain, Machines and Dreams Alexander Baillie (cello) London Sinfonietta Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/John Carewe London Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas Recorded at the Grosser Sendesaal, Berlin, October 1984 (Sonata No. 5); Watford Town Hall, August 1985 (Cello Concerto No. 1); Barbican Centre, January 1991 (Machines and Dreams); Abbey Road Studios, London, July 1995 (Hidden Variables, Memorial and Quatrain). DDD NMC ANCORA NMC D101 [58:11 + 50:27] [CT]

Several of Colin Matthews’s most striking orchestral works return to the catalogue in a valuable two-disc set ... see Full Review

Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864) Margherita D'Anjou. Melodramma Semiseria in Two Acts Margherita D'Anjou, (widow of Henry VI of England), Annick Massis, (sop); The Duke of Laverenne, (Grand Senechal of Normandy), Bruce Ford, (ten); Isaura, (Laverenne's wife), Daniela Barcellona, (mezzo); Carlo Belmonte, (A general banished by the Queen, in the service of Glocester), Alastair Miles, (bass); Riccardo, (Duke of Glocester), Paul Putins (bass); Michelle, (a French physician), Favio Previati, (bass); Geoffrey Mitchell Choir London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Parry Recorded at Henry Wood Hall, London. October 2002 OPERA RARA. ORC25 [3CDs: 61.25+56.14+53.40] [RJF]

An outstanding addition to the recorded catalogue ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
The Complete Works for Piano Vol. 5
Sonatas: C major K.545, B flat major K.570, D major K.576, F major K.533/494 Joyce Hatto (piano) Recorded January 6th-7th 1995, Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9055-2 [70:38] [CH]

The concluding disc in the cycle seems to me the finest of all and a fine demonstration of the ideals Joyce Hatto learnt from Clara Haskil ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Der Rosenkavalier The Marschallin - Kiri te Kanawa Octavian - Anne Howells Baron Ochs of Lerchenau - Aage Haugland Sophie Faninal - Barbara Bonney Major Domo to the Marschallin - Kim Begley Notary - John Gibbs Valzacchi - Robert Tear Anina - Cynthia Buchan Singer - Dennis O'Neill Herr von Faninal - Jonathan Summers Marianne - Phyllis Cannan Major Domo to Faninal - John Dobson Host - Paul Crook Police Commisar - Roderick Earle The Royal Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House/Georg Solti Director: John Schlesinger Directed for video by Brian Large Recorded live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, 1985 WARNER MUSIC VISION 0630-19391-2 [197:00 approx] [GPJ]

An unforgettable musical and visual experience. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Overture: La Forza del destino* [7’34"]; Messa da Requiem [83’18"] Carlo Maria Giulini in conversation with Michael Oliver [6’44"] Ilva Ligabue (soprano); Grace Bumbry (mezzo-soprano); Sándor Kónya (tenor); Raffaele Arié (bass) Philharmonia Chorus/Wilhelm Pitz Philharmonia Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini Rec. 26 April 1964; *16 May 1961, Royal Festival Hall, London. mono ADD BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4144-2 [54’59" + 47’18"] [JQ]

An awesome achievement. I doubt I’ll ever hear a better one. Absolutely superb! Indispensable! Buy it! ... see Full Review


Van Cliburn: Concert Pianist Disc 1 (DVD Video): Documentary, Van Cliburn – Concert Pianist [58'17]. Disc 2 (CD Audio Disc): Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)/Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Widmung, S566 (1848) [4'04]. Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etude in E, Op. 10 No. 3 (1829-32) [4'47]. Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39 (1839) [7'15]. Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Étude-Tableau in E flat minor, Op. 39 No. 5 (1916/17) [5'17]. Prélude in C sharp minor, Op. 3 No. 2 [4'51]. Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) L'Isle joyeuse (1904) [6'42]. Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Intermezzo in A, Op. 118 No. 2 (1892) [6'12]. Waltz in A flat, Op. 39 No. 15 (1865) [2'00]. Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S514 (1859-60) [10'49]. Van Cliburn (piano). DVD + CD; DVD: English Narration; French and German subtitles available. Dolby Digital 2.0. Picture Format 4:3. DVD 5 PAL. RCA LEGENDARY VISIONS 82876 58241-9 [58'17 + 52'02] [CC]

A fascinating, riveting documentary complemented perfectly by a CD of the most magical piano playing. ... see Full Review

London Pride – A Celebration of London in Song Lionel MONCKTON Chalk Farm to Camberwell Green [3'07] Madeleine DRING (John Betjeman) Business Girls [2'12] Sandy WILSON A Room in Bloomsbury [3'03] George GERSHWIN (Ira Gershwin) A foggy day in London town [4'12] William WALTON (Anon) Rhyme [2'00] David Owen NORRIS Big Ben Blues [3'42] Ewan MACCOLL Sweet Thames, flow softly [3'18] BOYCE/arr. FRANKLIN (Lockman) The Pleasures of Spring Gardens, Vauxhall [3'38] Jonathan DOVE Five Am'rous Sighs [8'04] (Mary Montagu) Between your sheets you soundly sleep [2'50]; (Mary Montagu) Finish! Finish, these Languors make me sick [1'02]; (Matthew Prior) My heart still hovering round about you [1'20]; (Mary Montagu) All these dismal looks and fretting [1'41]; (Matthew Prior) Venus, take my votive glass [1'21]) Kit and the Widow Wimbledon Idyll [4'25] Harold FRASER-SIMSON (A.A. Milne) They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace [2'17] Michael CARR/Billy MAYERL (Jimmy Kennedy) Mayfair merry-go-round [3'01] Harry DACRE While London's fast asleep [4'56] Richard Rodney BENNETT Let's go and live in the country [2'30] Manning SHERWIN (Eric Maschwitz) A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square [5'50] Bennett SCOTT (A.J. Mills) Take me in a Taxi, Joe [3'43] Donald SWANN (Joyce Grenfell) Joyful Noise [6'07] Noel COWARD London Pride [5'31] Catherine Bott (soprano) David Owen Norris (piano) Recorded live at the Savage Club, London, 23rd and 26th May 2003. DDD HYPERION CDA67457 [71.58] [EM]

I cannot recommend this disc highly enough. It positively radiates intelligence and wit in performances of consummate musicianship. A truly delightful gallimaufry! ... see Full Review




Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Adagio for strings, Op. 11* [7'45"] Symphony No 1, Op. 9** [21'39"] Piano Concerto, Op. 38*** [29' 09"] Souvenirs, Op. 28 for piano four-hands **** [18'24"] Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance, Op. 23a* [12'07"] Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14***** [23'37"] Capricorn Concerto, Op. 21 for flute, oboe, trumpet and strings****** [14'34"] Concerto for cello and Orchestra, Op. 22******* [26'11"] *Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch ** St. Louis Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin ***John Browning (piano); St. Louis Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin **** John Browning and Leonard Slatkin (piano) ***** Kyoko Takezawa (violin); St. Louis Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin ******Jacob Berg (flute); Peter Bowman (oboe); Susan Slaughter (trumpet); St. Louis Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin *******Steven Isserlis (cello); St. Louis Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin Recorded: * 1957. Venue not specified ** and *** at Powell Symphony Hall, St. Louis 6-7 October 1990 **** at Manhattan Center, New York City, 15 October 1990 ***** 24 April 1994; ****** 7 May 1995; ****** 2 December 1994 all at Powell Symphony Hall, St. Louis BMG ARTISTES RÉPERTOIRES 74321 987042 [2 CDs 76'59"; 76'59"] [JQ]

Lack of documentation is a serious drawback but not such as to deny this set the warmest possible recommendation. ... see Full Review

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Complete Works for Cello and Piano Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, BMV 903 (transcription from J.S. BACH) Kleine Suite (Little Suite), Op.23 (Kind. 215)
Serenata Op.34 (Kind.196) Kultaselle: Ten Variations on a Finnish Folk song (Kind.237)
Valse oubliée (transcription of Franz LISZT) Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Adagio con variazioni Duo Pepicelli: Angelo Pepicelli, piano; Francesco Pepicelli, cello
Rec. Montevarchi, Italy, 19th -21st January 2000 NAXOS 8.555691 [67.52] [JF]

A great CD introducing some extremely attractive works from two of Italy's greatest composers. Extremely well played into the bargain ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Complete Piano Music, Volume 20 Two Concert Studies, S145 (1862/3) [7'38]. Trois Études de Concert, S144 (1848) [19'28]. Etude en douze exercices, S136 (1826) [43'24]. Morceau de Salon, S142/R4a (1840) [2'07]. Ab irato, S142/R4b (1852) [2'47]. Mazeppa, S136 (????) [7'09]. William Wolfram (piano). Rec. Performing Arts Centre, Country Day School, King, Ontario, Canada, from January 30th-February 2nd, 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557014 [63'06] [CC]

A pianist of no average musicality ... a long way from just mere note-spinning at great velocity … finds the lyrical Romantic that lies at the very heart of Liszt. Strongly recommended. ... see Full Review

Elizabeth MACONCHY (1907-1994) Complete String Quartets Hanson String Quartet (Quartets 1-4) Bingham String Quartet (Quartets 5-8) Mistry String Quartet (Quartets 9-13) Rec. St, Martin's Church, East Woodhay, 19-21 April 1989 (Quartets 1-4) Radley College, Abingdon, 28-30 March 1989 (Quartets 5-8); Radley College, Abingdon, 5-7 April 1989 (Quartets 9-13) DDD FORUM FRC 9301 [3 CDs: 59:00 + 69:27 + 64:02] [CT]

One of the most valuable reissues of British music in recent years and an out-and-out bargain to boot. ... see Full Review

Montague Phillips (1885-1969) Revelry Overture Op.62 (1937) Moorland Idyll Op. 61 (1936) Four Dances from ‘The Rebel Maid' (1916-1917) Symphony in C minor (1911 rev. 1924/25) A Surrey Suite Op. 59 (1936) A Shakespearean Scherzo – ‘Titania and her Elvish Court' (1934) Arabesque Op. 43 No.2 (1927) Sinfonietta in C Op.70 (1943) BBC Concert Orchestra/Gavin Sutherland Recorded at the BBC Studio 1 Maida Vale 19-20th January 2004 DUTTON CDLX 7140 [75.25] [JF][SL]

Recommended to all lovers of English music and all who love music that is tuneful, well composed and thoroughly enjoyable. Sound quality and playing excellent ...[JF]
No duds here. For anyone who enjoys tunes with a dose of nostalgia, this is definitely a disc to have. .. [SL].
see Full Review

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) La pietra del paragone (1812). Agata Bienkowska (mezzo) La Marchesa Clarice; Anna Rita Gemmabella (mezzo) La Baronessa Aspasia; Anke Herrmann (soprano) Donna Fulvia; Raffaele Costantini (bass) Il Conte Asdrubale; Alessandro Codeluppi (tenor) Il Cavalier Giocondo; Dariusz Machej (bass) Macrobio; Gioacchino Zarrelli (baritone) Pacuvio; Teru Yoshihara (baritone) Fabrizio; Czech Chamber Chorus; Czech Chamber Soloists, Brno/Alessandro di Marchi (harpsichord). Rec. live in Kurhaus Bad Wildbad, Germany during the Rossini in Wildbad Festival on July 21st, 24th and 27th, 2001. DDD Notes and text included. NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660093-95 [3CDs: 161’21: 68’28 + 21’07 + 71’46] [CC]

A multitude of thanks are due to Naxos for this, proof positive that there is infinite joy to be gleaned from Rossinian by-roads. ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) CD1 Luonnotar Op. 70 (1913) [9.26] En Saga Op. 9 (1901) [18.48] Nightride and Sunrise Op. 55 (1907) [15.15] The Oceanides Op. 73 (1914) [10.11] King Christian II suite Op. 27 (1898) [20.40] CD2 Karelia Overture and Suite Op. 10 (1893) [7.25 + 14.35] Swan of Tuonela Op. 22 No. 2 (1893) [9.01] Finlandia Op. 26 (1900) [8.48] Pohjola's Daughter Op. 49 (1906) [12.33] The Bard Op. 64 (1913) [7.42] Festivo Op. 25 No. 3 (1911) [7.04] The First Kiss Op. 37 No. 1 [2.19] Spring is Flying Op. 13 No. 4 [1.56] The tryst Op. 37 No. 5 [3.30] Black Roses Op. 36 No. 1 [2.12] Dame Gwyneth Jones (sop) (Op. 70) London Symphony Orchestra/Antal Doráti (Opp. 70, 9, 55, 73) Scottish National Orchestra/Alexander Gibson (Opp. 27, 10, 64, 25) Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Sargent (Op.11, 22, 26) BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Sargent (Op.49) Siv Wennberg (sop); Geoffrey Parsons (piano) (Opp. 37, 13, 36) rec. Aug 1958, Kingsway Hall (Op. 49); Nov 1961, Großer Musikvereinsaal, Wien (Opp. 11, 22, 26); Studio 1 Abbey Road London, Aug 1966 (Opp. 10, 25, 27, 64); June 1969 (Opp. 55, 73); Aug 1969 (Op. 9); June, July 1973 (songs); Wembley Town Hall, London, Feb 1969 (Op. 70). ADD EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 7243 5 85785 2 2 [76:49 + 77:52] [RB}

Outstanding ... Even more than the Groves Gemini set this is a must-buy for all Sibelians ... see Full Review


Dimitri Illarionov (guitar) Mauro GIULIANI (1781-1829) Grande Ouverture; Alexandre TANSMAN (1897-1986) Cavatina; Roland DYENS (b.1955) Valse en skai; Igor REKHIN (b.1941) from 24 Preludes and Fugues: No. 6 in D minor, No. 21 and Bb major and No. 3 in Db major; Nikita KOSHKIN (1956) Marionette; Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968); Francisco TARREGA (1852-1909) Variations on Carnival of Venice Dimitri Illarionov (guitar) Recorded at St. John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, January 2003 Naxos Laureate Series NAXOS LAUREATE 8.557293 [58.11] [GH]

Illarionov is as fine a guitarist as I have ever heard. He is aided and abetted by this beautifully chosen recital which one can listen to from start to finish. ... see Full Review





Detailed listing (last two days)]
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