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Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No 1 in D major* [52’10"] Charles IVES (1874-1954) Central Park in the Dark [10’43"]; The Unanswered Question [5’18"] SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg/Michael Gielen Recorded *11-13 June 2002 in the Konzerthaus, Freiburg; 3 February 1995 in the Hans Rosbaud-Studio, Baden-Baden DDD HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.097 [68’26"] [JQ]

Mahler 1: no real bite to the performance and I was completely unmoved at the end. Much better in the Ives pieces ... see Full Review

Symphony No. 2 Resurrection Eteri Gvazava, soprano, Anna Larsson, contralto Orfeón Donostiarra Lucerne Festival Orchestra/Claudio Abbado Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La mer Lucerne Festival Orchestra/Claudio Abbado Recorded live at the Lucerne Festival, Summer 2003 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 5082 [45’01 + 60’29] [MB]

‘One is battered to the ground and then raised on angels’ wings to the highest heights.’ Performances that are second to none ... one of the most remarkable discs of either work ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911) Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor Giacomo MANZONI (b.1932) Dedica Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Emilia-Romagna "Arturo Toscanini"/Günter Neuhold Recorded live at Teatro Regio, Parma, 1986 WARNER FONIT 5050467-1204-2-6 [69:39 + 21:26] [CM]

Whatever the reason for the pairing of these two composers, I’m afraid Mahler is still the winner. ... see Full Review

String Quartet No. 3 (1929) String Quartet No. 4 (1937) String Quartet No. 5 (1938) Emperor String Quartet Recorded at Holy Trinity Church, Wentworth, Yorkshire, August 2002 BIS CD 1389 [61.10] [JW]

Powerful and eloquent performances ... an opportunity to explore the Emperor’s abrasively vertical response ... see Full Review

Colin MATTHEWS (b. 1946) Sonata No.5 Landscapes (1977/81)a Cello Concerto No.1 (1983/4)b Hidden Variables (1989/1992)c Memorial (1993)c Quatrain (1989)c Machines and Dreams (1991)c Alexander Baillie (cello)a; Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestraa; London Sinfoniettab; London Symphony Orchestrac; John Careweab, Michael Tilson Thomasc Recorded: Sender Freies Berlin, Grosser Sendesaal, October 1984 (Sonata No.5); Watford Town Hall, August 1985 (Cello Concerto No.1); Studio 1, Abbey Road Studios, London, July 1995 (Hidden Variables, Memorial, Quatrain) and (live) Barbican Centre, London, January 1991 (Machines and Dreams) NMC ANCORA D 101 [58:11 + 50:27]

These beautiful works are all well served by first class readings and excellent recording. You will not be disappointed. ... see Full Review  [HC]

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Sonata in E Op.6 (1826) Piano Sonata in G minor Op.105 (1821) Piano Sonata in B flat Op.106 (1827) Rondo capriccioso in E Op.14 (1824) Frederic Chiu (piano) Rec. Salle Adyar, Paris in April 1993 DDD HARMONIA MUNDI HCX 3957117 [66:33] [PCW]

Frederic Chiu’s playing is interesting and sensitive … the most obvious choice for a single disc of Mendelssohn’s sonatas … see Full Review

John METCALFE Scorching Bay (2004): Bend in the road; 8; 7 days later; First major upset of the tournament; Scorching Bay; Fabrine; Curve of the sand; Rocket; Cuba Street; Scooter; I don’t remember you wearing a watch; Music for trains Includes bonus CD: The Inner Line (2002) John Metcalfe - violin, viola, guitar and piano Sophie Harris - cello Richard Pryce – double bass Ralph Salmins - drums Recorded England 2004 SANCTUARY CLASSICS, BLACK BOX BBM1082/1 [60:43] [JL]

The second album of John Metcalfe’s "genre-defying" music comes with the first, The Inner Line, as a bonus, making for a bargain package. ... see Full Review

Ernest John MOERAN (1894 – 1950) Symphony in G minor (1937) Overture for a Masque (1943/4) Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra (1942/3) Margaret Fingerhut (piano) Ulster Orchestra/Vernon Handley Recorded: Ulster Hall, Belfast, September 1987 (Symphony, Overture) and March 1988 (Rhapsody) CHANDOS CLASSICS CHAN X10169 [74:03] [HC]

Vernon Handley conducts vital and committed performances of these works, and his sympathy for the music is refreshingly convincing. ... see Full Review

Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950) Violin Sonata in E minor (1923) [19:36] Lonely Waters; Whythorne's Shadow (1931) [7:01; 6:34] Symphony in G minor (1937) [45:46] Geraldine O'Grady (violin); Charles Lynch (piano) English Sinfonia/Neville Dilkes rec. Aisling Studios, Dublin, 16-17 Dec 1974 (sonata); No. 1 Studio Abbey Road, London, 2 June 1971 (Two Pieces); 12-13 Mar 1973 (Symphony). ADD EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 85154 2 8 [79:21] [RB]

Sensationally enjoyable version of the Symphony with an interesting sonata and two pieces reflecting the Moeran duality ... see Full Review

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567 - 1643)Madrigals Madrigali Erotici e Spirituali Track details below Consort of Musicke BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99710 [6CDs: 61.09 + 51.23 + 65.22 + 70.19 + 52.52 + 64.44] [RH]

Not ideal performances, but a fascinating introduction to these works through a varied mix in some interesting and vivid performances. ... see Full Review

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespro della Beata Vergine, 1610
Magnificat a 6 [23’23] Magnificat a 7 [24’12] Ensemble Vocal et Instrumental de Lausanne/Michel Corboz Rec. Notre Dame de Valentin, Lausanne, 13-15 April 1966 ADD WARNER APEX 2564 61429-2 [66'16'' + 67'15''] [CB]

Apex’s concept is good, but to meet a really mainstream audience today a forty year recording of this work is simply too old. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto no.24 in C minor, K491 1. Allegro [13:56] (cadenza: Daniel Barenboim); 2. Larghetto [8:06]; 3. Allegretto [9:31] Piano Concerto no.25 in C major, K503 1. Allegro maestoso [14:29] (cadenza: Daniel Barenboim); 2. Andante [7:38]; 3. Allegretto [8:42] Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Daniel Barenboim (piano and conductor) Recorded in the Siemensvilla, Berlin, February 1988 WARNER ELATUS 2564 61358-2 [63:00] [GPJ]

The sublime, unsurpassed beauty comes across in generous quantities in this fine issue – undoubtedly a bargain not to be missed. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Così fan tutte, ossia la scuola degli amanti (1790) Text by L. Da Ponte. Fiordiligi - Helena Doese Dorabella - Sylvia Lindenstrand Despina - Daniele Perriers Guglielmo - [Sir] Thomas Allen Ferrando - Anson Austin Don Alfonso - Franz Petri Glyndebourne Chorus London Philharmonic Orchestra/John Pritchard Recorded at the Glyndebourne Festival 1975 Sung in Italian. Subtitles in Deutsch, Français, English, Castellano. Menu languages: Italiano, Deutsch, Français, English, Castellano. Notes in English, Français, Deutsch. DVD-9 NTSC 4:3 format Region 0 “all regions” PCM Stereo 2.0 sound. [PSh] ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 081 [158.00]
An attractively staged and generally well sung but not spectacular Cosí ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Così Fan Tutte (highlights) Charlotte Margiono – Fiordiligi Delores Zeigler – Dorabella Gilles Cachemaille – Guglielmo Deon van der Walt – Ferrando Thomas Hampson – Don Alfonso Anna Steiger – Despina Chorus of De Nederlandse Opera Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec Jan 1991, Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands WARNER APEX 2564 61498-2 [73.58] [PW]

Such a fine performance would be easily recommendable at any time, and becomes even more so at budget price. As it stands, being only a selection, it is hard to recommend this to anybody with a serious interest in Mozart opera. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Franz Josef HAYDN (1732 - 1809) Sacred Arias Annick Massis (soprano) Choeurs et Orchestra Colonne/Daniel Inbal Recorded Live 21 Oct 2003 CASCAVELLE VEL 3073 [76:06] [RH]

A rather safe programme of Mozart and Haydn in disappointing performances by French soprano Annick Massis ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Requiem in D minor (completed Süssmayr), K626* [47’59"] Ave verum Corpus, K618 [4’19"] Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Insanae et vanae curae [8’00"] *Carys Lane (soprano); Frances Bourne (alto); Paul Badley (tenor); Matthew Brook (bass) Tenebrae Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Nigel Short Recorded in St. John’s, Smith Square, London, 3 April 2003 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 60191-2 [60’18"] [JQ]

Mozart Requiem: a dramatic and challenging performance to which I shall certainly return. ... see Full Review

Fabian MÜLLER (b.1964) String Quartet (2000) String Trio (1996) String Quintet Rhapsody (1990/2000) Duo for violin and cello Petersen Quartet Tomasz Tomaszewski (violin) Pi-Chin Chien (cello) Andreas Wylezol (double bass) Recorded at the Siemens Villa, Berlin, October and November 2003 CAPRICCIO 67 106 [55.34] [JW]

My first meeting with Müller and I hope it won’t be my last ... writes with freedom and imagination and whose chamber music is animated, warm and intriguing ... see Full Review

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-81) Boris Godunov (1868-74, rev. orch. Rimsky-Korsakov) [177’55]. Boris Christoff (bass) Boris Godunov/Pimen/Varlaam; Eugenia Zareska (mezzo) Marina, Feodor; Kim Borg (bass) Rangoni, Shchelkalov; Andrzej Bielecki (tenor) Shuisky, Missail, Krushchov; Lydia Romanova (mezzo) Nurse, Hostess; Ludmila Lebedeva (soprano) Xenia; Nicolai Gedda (tenor) Grigory; Raymond Bonte (bass) Lavitsky; Russian Chorus of Paris; French National Radio Orchestra/Issay Dobrowen. Rec. Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, on July 17th-21st, 1952. First issued on HMV ALP1044-47. APPENDIX: PROLOGUE - Scene 2, People’s Chorus [4’27]; Entry of Borisa [4’08]. Act 2b - Boris’ Monologue [5’09]; Clock Scene [4’02]; Act 4 - Boris’ Farewell and Prayerc [4’25]; Funeral Bell and Death of Borisa [4’20]. Fyodor Chaliapin (bass); achorus and orchestra/Eugene Goossens; bLondon Symphony Orchestra/Max Steinmann. From abpreviously unpublished, cHMV DB934, rec. aQueen’s Small Hall, London on May 26th, 1926, bJune 6th, 1931, cMay 21st, 1926. Mono ADD Notes and synopsis included. NAXOS GREAT OPERA RECORDINGS 8.110242-44 [204’26: 64’35 + 68’12 + 71’39]. [CC]

A massively impressive release, and one that once more places us in debt to Naxos. ... see Full Review

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) The Six Symphonies and Choral works conducted by Blomstedt and Wöldike
Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphonies 1-4
Andante Lamentoso - At the bier of a young artist Kirsten Schulz (sop); Peter Rasmussen (ten) ‡ Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Herbert Blomstedt rec. Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Sept 1973 - Feb 1975 stereo ADD recorded in cooperation with Danmarks Radio EMI CLASSICS DOUBLE FFORTE 7243 2 74188 2 [77.34+75.15]
Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphonies 5 and 6 and choral works Hymnus Amoris FS12
Søvnen (Sleep) FS18 Wind Quintet in A FS43 Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Herbert Blomstedt (5, 6) Bodil Gøbel (sop); Tonny Landy (ten); Bent Norup (bar); Mogens Schmidt Johansen (bass); Hans Christian Andersen (bass); Copenhagen Boys' Choir (Hymnus) Danish Radio Chorus (Søvnen) Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Mogens Wöldike Melos Ensemble
rec. Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Nov 1973 - Oct 1976 (symphonies and choral); Dec 1976, Studio 1, Abbey Road, Dec 1967 (quintet) stereo ADD recorded in cooperation with Danmarks Radio (except Quintet) EMI CLASSICS DOUBLE FFORTE 7243 5 74299 2 [71.24 + 65.15] [RB]

Splendid readings and Blomstedt's lively imagination and attention to mood and instrumental detail make these recordings endlessly rewarding. They sound better than ever ... see Full Review

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) The Six Symphonies CD1 421 524-2 Symphony No. 4 The Inextinguishable (1916) [36.13] Symphony No. 5 (1922) [35.34]¦ CD2 425 607-2 Symphony No. 1 (1892) [32.57] Symphony No. 6 Sinfonia Semplice (1925) [33.58] CD3 430 280-2 Symphony No. 2 The Four Temperaments (1902) [32.21] Symphony No. 3 Sinfonia Espansiva (1911) [35.26] San Francisco SO/Herbert Blomstedt Nancy Wait Kromm (sop); Kevin McMillan (bar) (3) rec. Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, Sept 1988 (1); Sept 1989 (2); Dec 1989 (3); Nov 1987 (4); Nov 1987 (5); Sept 1988 (6) DECCA 443 117-2 [71.47 + 66.55 + 67.47] [RB]

A superior choice among the crowded field of Nielsen symphony contenders - polished playing and plenty of character although the paramount performances are of 4 and 5 ... see Full Review

Luigi NONO (1924-1990) Io, Frammento da Prometeo for three sopranos, small chorus, bass flute, contrabass clarinet and live electronics (1981) Das Atmende Klarsein for small chorus, bass flute, live electronics and tape (1980-83) Katia Plaschka, high soprano; Petra Hoffmann, soprano, Monika Blair-Ivenz, soprano; Roberto Fabbriciani, bass flute; Ciro Scarponi, contrabass clarinet Soloistenchor Freiburg Electronic realization and sound direction by Michael Acker and Reinhold Braig Conducted by André Richard COL LEGNO WWE 2 SACD 20600 [72.33 + 38.34] [GH]

Unique and ground-breaking compositions which are worth trying to come to terms with. ... see Full Review

Carl ORFF (1895 - 1982) Carmina Burana (1937) Kathleen Battle (soprano); Frank Lopardo (tenor); Thomas Allen (bass) Shin-Yu Kai Chorus and Knabenchor des Staats-und Domchores Berlin Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa. Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Symphony No 9 in D Minor Op. 125 "The Choral" (1824) Anne Schwanewilms (soprano); Barbara Dever (alto); Paul Groves (tenor); Franz Hawlata (bass) Tokyo Opera Singers Saito Kinen Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa. Rec. live, Philharmonie Berlin, 1990 (Orff); Saito Kinen Festival, 2001. PHILIPS DVD 074 3060 [62:00 (Orff) + 72:00 (Beethoven)] [JPh]

I can wholeheartedly recommend this issue with one or two slight reservations.... see Full Review

Giovanni PAISIELLO (1741-1816) Sinfonia d’Opera: Allegro vivace [4:59] Piano Concerto No. 2 in F [19:04] Overture in D from the opera Proserpine [5:51] Piano Concerto No. 4 in g minor [24:41] Francesco Nicolosi, piano Collegium Philarmonicum Chamber Orchestra/Gennaro Cappabianca Rec. Court of the Royal Palace Theatre, Caserta, Italy, 25-28 February 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557031 [54:35] [KS]

Charming and elegant works ... an adventuresome selection of repertoire. ... see Full Review

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Berliner Messe for choir and string orchestra (revised V/1992) Cantate Domino Canticum Novum (Psalm 95) (1977 revised 1996) De Profundis (1980) Summa (1977) The Beatitudes (1990 revised 1991) Magnificat (1989) Jurgen Petrenko (organ) Elora Festival Singers and Orchestra/Noel Edison Recorded at Grace Church on the Hill, Toronto, May 2003 NAXOS 6.110052 5.1 SURROUND SOUND SACD/CD HYBRID [52.12] [JW]

These highly accomplished performers are clearly well versed in the idiom and catch the essential Pärt with imagination and technical security. ... see Full Review

Walter PISTON Symphony No. 6 [23:57] Ernest BLOCH Schelomo (1916) [21:58] Igor STRAVINSKY Jeu de Cartes [21:57] Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch rec. transferred from RCA Victor LPs, 1956 (Piston); 1957 (Bloch); 1960 (Stravinsky) HAYDN HOUSE CD SDA 2001-270 [68:32] [RB]

Extremely high quality work ... astonishingly good ... see Full Review

Serge PROKOFIEV (1891 - 1953) Zdravitsa (Hail to Stalin) - Original version of the Cantata for chorus and orchestra, Op. 85 (1939)* [12:51] Autumnal, Symphonic sketch Op. 8 (1910; 1914; 1934) [7:43] Hamlet - Incidental music for the play by W. Shakespeare, Op. 77 (The Ghost of Hamlet's Father. Andante lugubre; Claudius's March. Moderato con brio; Fanfares Pantomime. Allegro moderato; Ophelia's first song. Andante; Ophelia's second song. Andante; Ophelia's third song. Andante; Ophelia's fourth song. Andante espressivo; The Gravedigger's song. Sostenuto; Fortinbras's Final March. Andante maestoso) (1938) [21:50] Tatiana Sharova soprano Andrei Baturkin baritone Flourish, Mighty Land - Original version of the Cantata for the thirtieth anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 114 (1947)* Egyptian Nights - Symphonic Suite , Op. 61 (1938) (Night in Egypt. Adagio; Caesar, the Sphinx and Cleopatra. Andantino; The Alarm. Allegro inquieto; Dances. Allegretto; Anthony. Andante mosso; The Fall of Cleopatra. Lento doloroso; Roma militaris. Andante maestoso) [22:06] Russian State Symphonic Orchestra and Capella/Valeri Polyansky Rec. Grand Hall of the Conservatory, Moscow, Russia, August 2002 CHANDOS CHAN 10056 [73.18] Serge PROKOFIEV (1891 - 1953) On the Dnieper, Op. 51 (A ballet in two scenes: Introduction. Andante dolce (quasi andantino); Scene 1: The Meeting. Allegro amabile; Mime Scene. Moderato (quasi allegretto); Pas de Deux. Andante mosso; Man's Variation and Finale. Allegro vivace e ben marcato; Scene 2: The Betrothal. Andante; Fiancé's Dance. Allegro risoluto; Fiancée's Dance. Andante con eleganza; Young Men's Dance. Andantino; The Fight. Allegro precipitato; Mime Scene. Moderato; Epilogue. Andante amoroso) (1931) (40.37) Songs of Our Days - Suite, Op. 76 (March; Over the Bridge. Cavalry song; Goodbye!; Golden Ukraine. Folksong; Brother for Brother; Girls; A Twenty-year old; Lullaby; October Flame) (1937) (25.45) Victoria Smolnikova, mezzo-soprano; Igor Tarasov, baritone Russian State Symphonic Orchestra and Capella/Valeri Polyansky Rec. Grand Hall of the Conservatory, Moscow, Russia, August 2002 CHANDOS CHAN 10044 [66.32] [RB]

Two fascinating Prokofiev discs with the accent on extolling the glories of the Soviet regime ... see Full Review

Sergei Prokofiev (1891 - 1953) Peter and the Wolf, (1935) [24.00] William Henry Pratt ("Boris Karloff"), narrator Lieutenant Kije: Suite, Op (1933) [15.39] Vienna State Opera Orchestra/Mario Rossi Recorded Vienna Austria, May 1957. Karloff’s voice recorded in New York in 1958. On screen extras: technical documentary, composer biography, speaker set-up utility. Notes in English: technical staff, track list. ADD Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 surround for both DVD-Audio players and DVD video players. DVD-Audio playable on all DVD players. SILVERLINE 288230-9 [39.39] [PSh]

A fine recording in excellent sound of a children’s classic and a satirical standard ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet - Scenes from the Ballet (Suite arr. Michael Tilson Thomas) San Francisco Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas No recording information BMG RCA RED SEAL 82876 59424 [78'10] [RNB]

Even if you already have a version of this twentieth century masterpiece, the performance and sonics of this version are wholly recommendable. Shakespeare as well as Prokofiev is done full justice here. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Fanciulla del West (1910) - opera in three acts Libretto C. Civinini and C. Zangarini, after the play The Girl of the Golden West by David Belasco Minnie, Mara Zampieri (sop); Jock Rance, Juan Pons (bar); Dick Johnson (Ramerrez), Placido Domingo (ten); Nick, Sergio Bertocchi (ten); Ashby, Luigi Roni (bass); Billy Jackrabbit, Aldo Bramante (bass); Wowkle, Nella Verri (mezzo-sop); Jake Wallace, Marco Chingari (bar); Jose Castro, Claudio Giombi (bass). Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro al!a Scala/Lorin Maazel Stage Director, Jonathan Miller; Set Design, Stefanos Lazaridis; Recorded Milan, 1991 OPUS ARTE LS3004 D [144:00] [JL]

DVD launch of an admired 1991 production with Domingo at his best. Jonathan Miller’s direction ensures visual impact. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Turandot Gina Cigna, Turandot Francesco Merli, Il Principe ignoto (Calàf) Magda Olivero, Liù Luciano Neroni, Timur Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro dell’ EIAR di Tonno/Franco GhioneRecorded in Mono at Teatro Nuovo, Torino, on 4-15 September, 1938 Giuseppe VERDI Aida "Fu la sorte dell’ armi a’ tuoi funesta" [8:56] Amilcare PONCHIELLI La Gioconda: "E anathema… L’amo come il fulgor" [3:39] Gustave CHARPENTIER Louise: "De quell di" [4:25] Franco ALFANO Risurrezione: "Giunge il teno… Dio pietoso" [4:11] Jules MASSENET Manon: "Ebben! Addio, o nostro picciol desco" [3:44] César-August FRANCK La Procession [4:21] Alexander GRETCHANINOV Step’ju idu ja Unyloju, Op. 5, n. 1 [3:20] Gerussi CARDUCCI Pantiesmo [2:58] WARNER FONIT 5050467-1223-2-1 [78:52 + 73:46] [PG]

For anyone interested in the work itself or in the historical preservation and rediscovery of the truly great performers and performances of the past should enjoy this ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphonic Dances (1940) [35:04] Prince Rostislav (1891) [17:15] Capriccio on Russian Themes (1894) [17:06] USSR SO/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. live, Grand Hall, Moscow Conservatoire, 3 Feb 1986 (Symphonic Dances; 1973 (Rostislav, Capriccio). ADD REGIS RRC 1178 [69:34] [RB]

The vengeful genie has been let out of the bottle - exhilarating but over the top. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18 (1900) [30:51] Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor Op. 30 (1909) [37:45] Prelude in E flat major Op. 23 No. 6 [2:49] Prelude in C sharp minor Op. 3 No. 2 [3:50] Byron Janis (piano) London SO/Antal Dorati (3); Minneapolis SO/Antal Dorati (2) rec. Northrop Auditorium, Minneapolis, 17-18 Apr 1960 (2, Preludes); Watford Town Hall 16-17 June 1961 (3) ADD originally issued on Mercury LPs: SR90260 (2); SR90283 (3) SACD reviewed in CD mode MERCURY LIVING PRESENCE 470 639-2 [75:18] [RB]

Bejewelled detail extracted from these forty plus year old tapes - Janis impresses still ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873–1943) Piano Sonata No. 1 opus 28 in D minor Piano Sonata No. 2 opus 36 in B flat minor Lydia Jardon, piano Recorded at Theatre de Poissy, 2004 AR RÉ-SÉ 2002 - 4 [50:01] [CM]

As with all Rachmaninov, to hear these two Sonatas properly one must sit back and fasten one’s seatbelt for a cruise through a sea of emotions – Rachmaninov’s, Jardon’s and your own. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor (1901) Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor (1934) Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Suite in the Old Style (1972) Leonid Gorokhov (cello); Nikolai Demidenko (piano) Rec. The Music Room, Champs Hill, Pulborough, Sussex, England, 23-24 Feb 2004 ASV GOLD GLD 4006 [78:17] [IL]

Poised, polished, poetic and passionate performances of beautiful, accessible Russian chamber works. Warmly recommended. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) TRANSCRIPTIONS Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)/RACHMANINOV Suite from Partita in E for Violin (Preludio [3’23]; Gavotte [2’51]; Gigue [1’39]). Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)/RACHMANINOV Wohin? Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Lilacs, Op. 23 No. 5 [2’44] Variations on a theme of Corelli, Op. 42 [18’53] Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)/RACHMANINOV A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Scherzo [4’20] Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962)/RACHMANINOV Liebesleid [4’05] Liebesfreud [6’52] Georges BIZET (1838-1875)/RACHMANINOV L’Arlésienne – Minuet [3’08] Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)/RACHMANINOV Lullaby, Op. 16 No. 1 [4’18] Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)/RACHMANINOV The Tale of Tsar Saltan – Flight of the Bumble Bee [1’08] Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (with cadenza by RACHMANINOV) [11’48] Olga Kern (piano) Rec. Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA, USA, 30 Aug - 2 Sept 2003. DDD HARMONIA MUNDI FRANCE HMU907336 [72’37] [CC]

Certainly worth hearing for the Corelli Variations. ... see Full Review

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Sonata for Violin and Cello (1920/22) Felix TREIBER (b.1960) Six Intermezzi (2002) Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967) Duo for Violin and Cello Op.7 (1914) Diana Drechsler (violin) Thomas Gieron (cello) Recorded in Badischen Staatstheater, Karlsruhe, May 2003 ANTES EDITION BM CD 31.9190 [64.14] [JW]

Drechsler and Gieron ... a sympathetic pairing, both clearly attuned to each other’s playing and phrasing. ... see Full Review

The Famous Oistrakh Trio Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Trio A minor (1914) Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Trio in D minor Op.9 Élégiaque (1893) David Oistrakh (violin) Sviatoslav Knushevitzky (cello) Lev Oborin (piano) No recording details PREISER RECORDS 90596 [72.19] [JW]

I can warmly recommend the Oistrakh Trio discs; they’ve been away too long and their warmth and palpable expression will always appeal to their many admirers. ... see Full Review

Steve REICH (b. 1936) Three Tales (1998-2002): Hindenburg; Bikini; Dolly Synergy Vocals Steve Reich Ensemble/Bradley Lubman Plus Bonus DVD NONESUCH 7559-79835-2 [59.37] [NH]

In Dolly, in particular, this CD gives us at best, an ambivalent and, probably, a coruscating artistic response to the "limits of science". Listen, learn and worry? ... see Full Review

Johann Friedrich REICHARDT (1752 - 1814) Erwin und Elmire, Singspiel in two acts
Simone Kermes (Elmire), Johanna Stojkovic (Rosa), soprano; Jörg Dürmüller (Erwin), tenor; Michael Kupfer (Valerio), baritoneCappella Coloniensis/Andreas Spering Rec. Aug-Sept 1999 at the Funkhaus Wallraffplatz in Cologne, Germany DDD
CPO 999 860-2 [44:36 + 37:23]

Another rarity from CPO: a Singspiel on a text by Goethe, composed by Reichardt – it is the music which attracts the attention in this excellent performance … see Full Review


Feste Romane; Fontane di Romana; Pini di Roma Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Daniele Gatti Recorded 14-16 October 1996 at Auditorio Via della Concilliazione, Rome RCA RED SEAL 82876 60869 2 [65:54] [GPJ]

This is going to take some beating – as to Gatti, sensational, yes, but that’s meant as a compliment! ... see Full Review

Knudåge RIISAGER (1897-1974) Piano Works: Sonata Op. 22 (1931) [14:38]; Deux Morceaux (1933) [2:51]; Four Pieces from Slaraffenland Op. 33 (1936-40) [7:32]; Sonatine (1950) [7:15]; Waltz from ballet Tolv med posten Op. 37 (1939) [2:07]; Fire Børneklaverstykker (1964) [3:22]; Quatre Épigrammes (1922) [8:16]; En Glad Trompet og andre Klaverstykker (1933-35) [6:07] Christina Bjørkøe (piano) rec. Carl Nielsen Academy of Music, 13 Dec 2003, 31 Jan, 27 Mar 2004. DDD DACAPO 8.226004 [52:47] [RB]

French-accents are strong ... will appeal to anyone with a liking for Poulenc and Ravel. Quite a discovery. ... see Full Review

Knudåge RIISAGER (1897-1974) Piano Music Sonata, Opus 22 (1931) [14.38] Deux Morceaux (1933) 4 Pieces from Schlaraffenland, Opus 33 (1940) Sonatine (1950) Waltz from the ballet Tolv med posten, Opus 37 (1939) Fire Børneklaverstykker (1964) Quarte Épigrammes (1921) En glad trompet (1935) Christina Bjørkøe (piano) Rec. 13 December 2003, 31 January, 27 March 2004, Carl Nielsen Academy of Music, Copenhagen DA CAPO 8.226004 [52.47] [TB]

Motor rhythms, complex counterpoint and biting harmony ... see Full Revie

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Capriccio Espagnol Op. 34 (1887) [15:14] Le Coq d'Or suite (1908) [25:27] Russian Easter Festival Overture Op. 36 (1887) [15:09] Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) Polovtsian Dances (1887) [11:16] London Symphony Orchestra Chorus London Symphony Orchestra/Antal Dorati rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, 4 July 1956 (Dances); 5 July 1956 (Coq); 9 June 1959 (Capriccio, Overture). ADD
SACD reviewed in CD mode Originally issued on LPs SR90122; SR90265 MERCURY LIVING PRESENCE 475 6194 [67:06] [RB]

Vintage Mercury sound from this Russian spectacular collection ... see Full Review

The Famous Oistrakh Trio Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Trio C major (1897 completed Maximilian Steinberg 1939) Bedřich SMETANA Trio in G minor Op.15 David Oistrakh (violin) Sviatoslav Knushevitzky (cello) Lev Oborin (piano) No recording details PREISER RECORDS 90595 [66.44] [JW]

Nobility and depth ... a real drama of the soul ... exciting, touching, grand, affecting and rapt. ... see Full Review

Nikolai Andreyevich RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844 - 1908) The Tsar’s Bride, opera in 4 acts (1898) [142.31] Text: Rimsky-Korsakov and I. F. Tyumenev, after L. A. Mey. Marfa - Natalya Spiller Grigory Gryaznoy - Pyotr Mevdvev Lyubasha - Maria Maksakova Vasily Sobakin - Maxim Mikhailov Chorus and Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow/Lev Steinberg Recorded Moscow, Russia, 1943 ADD Notes in Cyrillic Russian and English. Synopsis, no libretto. Photos of star singers, set. GREAT HALL MVI CD 053-054 [75.33 + 66.58] [PSh]

A must-have set for connoisseurs of Russian opera, but most of us might prefer a modern recording first to get to know this magnificent score. ... see Full Review

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999) Concierto de Aranjuez (1939) [20:41] (A) Concierto Andaluz for four guitars and orchestra (1967) [24:58] (CCPA) Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerto for four guitars and orchestra (transc. Op. 3 No. 10 four violins and orchestra, Estro Armonico) [9.23] (CCPA) Concerto for guitar and orchestra (transc. concerto in C for mandolin and orchestra) [9.48] (Celedonio) Concerto for two guitars and orchestra (transc. concerto in G for two mandolins and orchestra, Estro Armonico) [10.51] (P/Celin) Celedonio Romero, Celin Romero, Pepe Romero, Angel Romero (guitars) San Antonio Symphony Orchestra/Victor Alessandro Rec. Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, Texas, USA, Nov 1967. ADD SACD reviewed in CD mode MERCURY LIVING PRESENCE 475 6184 [76:47] [RB]

Joyous music-making in the case of the Rodrigo items matched with three emotionally cool Vivaldi concertos. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 - 1868) Il Barbieri di Siviglia plus L’Italiana in Algeri DVD double ARTHAUS MUSIK 100 932[157.00] [PSh]

A beautifully sung, staged, and recorded Barber—the best I know ... 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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