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Peter MACHAJDÍK (b.1961) Flowing into the Unknown Kirin for two pianos (2003) [9:05] Deserted Tracks for cello and piano (2002) [8:14] Solstice for cello and harp (2000) [8:26] Flowing Into the Unknown for oboe, violin and piano (2002) [13:42] Obscured Temptations for piano (2003) [7:16] Lullaby for piano (1999) [2:32] Mayuko Kida, Daniel Garel (piano) (Kirin) Kristina Lesičká (cello), Mayuko Kida (piano) (Deserted Tracks) Josef Lupták (cello), Adriana Antalová (harp) Dominik Melichárek (oboe), Zuzana Uškovicová (violin), Mayuko Kida (piano) (Flowing) Daniel Garel (piano) (Obscured) Josef Lupták (cello) (Lullaby) rec. Slovak Radio, Bratislava. DDD EDITION HUDBA N81 0003 2 131 [50:47] [RB]

Machajdík whose music is tonal, more spare and lyrical than minimalist and inflected with the flavour of folk music ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 in A minor
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Yoel Levi recorded in Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia, 26-27 June 1997 TELARC CD-80444 [78'07"] [PL]

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Levi’s conducting. One of the most striking achievements is the extent to which Mahler’s every marking is loyally enacted. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 9 in D minor (1909) [89:49] Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly Rec: Grote Zaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 14-18 June 2004. DSD DECCA 475 6191 DSA2 [2 SACDs: 30:29 + 59:20] [JQ]

Mahler’s Ninth has been lucky on record. Here is another distinguished addition to the discography of that symphony ... see Full Review

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Cello Concerto (1965-66) [24’10"] The Four Elements (1963-64) [18’46"] Jean Decroos (cello) Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Bernard Haitink Rec. live: Radio Hilversum, 9 December 1970 (Concerto) and December 1965 (Elements) ADD DORON MUSIC DRC 3044 [43’26"] [BH]

Taped from live performances ... totally winning recordings. Both pieces rare on disc - a bit of a surprise given their high quality. ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Symphony No. 5 H310 (1946) [30:24] Symphony No. 6 Fantaisies Symphoniques H343 (1951-53) [27:11] Memorial to Lidice H296 (1943) [8:38] Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl rec. Rudolfinum Studio, Prague, 21-23 Mar 1955 (5); 23-24 Feb 1956 (6); 20 Mar 1957 (Lidice). AAD mono Karel Ančerl Gold Edition Vol. 34 SUPRAPHON SU 3694-2 001 [66:31] [RB]

Mono although good sound. Indispensable to any serious Martinů scion. For the open-minded there are many worse places to start your Martinů odyssey. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe MARTUCCI (1856-1909)
Sonata for Cello and Piano op. 52 (1880) Due Romanze op. 72 (1890)Tre Pezzi op. 69 (1888) Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Adagio con variazioni * (transcribed cello and piano 1921) Arturo Bonucci (cello) Antonio Bacchelli (piano) Pietro Spada (piano) * Recorded in Rome, December 1991 (Respighi) and October 1988 (Martucci) ARTS 47137-2 [77.21] [JW]

A well considered pairing. The works are of a commensurately higher level than the rather salon-inspired examples to be heard in the sister volume. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe MARTUCCI (1856-1909) Sonata for Violin and Piano Op.22 (1874) Tre Pezzi Op.67 for Violin and Piano Op.67 (1886) Melodia for Violin and Piano (1890) Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Cinque Pezzi for Violin and Piano * Sei Pezzi for Violin and Piano (1901) * Rodolfo Bonucci (violin)#Antonio Bacchelli (piano) Pietro Spada (piano) * Recorded in Rome, December 1991 (Respighi) and October 1988 (Martucci) ARTS 47138-2 [76.04] [JW]

Some fairly lightweight things here played with commitment and just the right kind of discretion. An enjoyable, relaxing recital. ... see Full Review

Joseph MARX (1882-1964) Alt-Wiener Serenaden (1941-42) Partita in Modo Antico (1937-38 arranged 1945) Sinfonia in Modo Classico (1940-41 arranged 1944) Bochum Symphony Orchestra/Steven Sloane Recorded in Stadhalle, Wuppertal, April 2003 ASV CD DCA 1158 [76.45] [JW]

If you know Marx only as the impressionistic-romantic you will be shocked, to say the least, by these works. ... see Full Review

Sir Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Lullaby for Lucy (1981) [5:24] BBC Singers/Simon Joly Rec. St. Giles Church, London, March 1995 Strathclyde Concerto No. 9 for Six Woodwind Instruments (1994) [25:42] David Nicholson (piccolo), Elizabeth Dooner (alto flute), Maurice Checker (cor anglais), Josef Pacewicz (E flat clarinet), Ruth Ellis (bass clarinet), Alison Green (contrabassoon) Scottish Chamber Orchestra/composer Rec. City Hall, Glasgow, November 1996 Symphony No. 8 Antarctic [40:34] Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra/composer Rec. Konserthaus Die Glocke, Bremen, September 2003 MaxOpus Custom Compilation [71:50]
Sir Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Maxwell’s Reel, with Northern Lights (1998) [10:48] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/composer Rec. St. Augustine’s Church, Kilburn, May 1998 Strathclyde Concerto No. 3 for Horn, Trumpet and Orchestra (1989) [31:27] Adagio [8:31] - Allegro moderato [6:37] - Cadenza [2:30] - Andante [8:37] - Allegro [5:09] Robert Cook (horn), Peter Franks (trumpet) Scottish Chamber Orchestra/composer Rec. Usher Hall, Edinburgh, July 1991 Trumpet Concerto (1988) [30:18] Adagio - Allegro [13:40]; Adagio molto [9:53]; Presto [6:43] John Wallace (trumpet) Scottish National Orchestra/composer
Rec. City Hall, Glasgow, April 1990 MaxOpus Custom Compilation [72:44] [PCW]

These two discs are full of variety and contain some of the most interesting contemporary music around … see Full Review

Philip Dyson celebrates the Centenary of Billy Mayerl Billy MAYERL (1902-1959) Sweet William, Jazzaristrix, Song of the Fir Tree, Marigold, Ace of Spades, Bats in the Belfry, Shallow Waters, Mignonette, Jazz Master, Autumn Crocus, Ace of Hearts George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) I’ll build a Stairway to Paradise/Do It Again, Fascinating Rhythm, Oh! Lady Be Good, I Got Rhythm, Rhapsody in Blue (arranged solo piano) Zez CONFREY (1895-1971) Kitten on the Keys, Morton GOULD (1913-1996) Boogie Woogie Etude, Jerome KERN (1885-1945) Smoke Gets In Your Eyes arranged MAYERL, Percy FRENCH (1854-1920) Phil the Fluter’s Ball arranged MAYERL, Felix ARNDT (1889-1918) Nola Philip Dyson (piano) Recorded live in concert at the Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London, 9th November 2002 MARIGOLD 010 [54.53 + 43.09] [JW]

This was obviously a fun evening at the Purcell Room ... who knows this repertoire with as much sustained affection as Phillip Dyson. ... see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-47) Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49 (1839) Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH ( 1906-75) Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67 (1944) Kaja Danczowska (violin) Dorota Imielowska (cello) Mariola Cieniawa (piano) Recorded in the Concert Hall, ‘Florianka’, Cracow, Poland, June 1999. CD ACCORD ACD 128-2 [57:38] [MC]

These finely shaped and blended performances with a high quality of tone are well worth hearing. ... see Full Review

Saverio MERCADANTE (1795-1870) Flute Concerto in E minor, Op. 57 (1819) [21.26] Flute Concerto in E Major (1813) [18.38] Flute Concerto in D Major (18??) [16.50] Marzio Conti (flute) Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese/Vittorio Antonellini rec. Teatro San Filippo, Pescara, October 1999 ARTS 47584-2 [56.54] [SV]

So why should you hear this record? Well, the music is beautiful, which is probably the best reason. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Il Terzo Libro de’ Madrigali (1592) La giovinetta pianta [03:13] O come è gran martire [03:49] Sovra tenere erbette e bianchi fiori [03:39] O dolce anima mia, dunque è pur vero [03:31] Stracciami pur il core [03:12] O rossignuol chín queste verdi fronde [04:38] Se per estremo ardore [03:27] Vattene pur crudel [02:09] Là tra'l sangue [03:21] Poi ch'ella in sé tornò [03:36] O primavera gioventù de l'anno [03:33] Perfidissimo volto [03:31] Ch'io non t'ami, vor mio? [05:11] Occhi, un tempo mia vita [03:10] Vivrò fra i miei tormenti [01:49] Ma dove, oh lasso me! [03:09] Io pur verrò là dove sète [02:40] Lumi, miei cari lumi [02:50] Rimanti in pace [04:01] Ond'ei, di morte [04:36] Delitiae Musicae: Alessandro Carmignani, Fabian Schofrin, Gianluigi Ghiringhelli (alto), Fabio Fùrnari, Paolo Fanciulacci (tenor), Marco Scavazza (baritone), Walter Testolin (bass), Maurizio Piantelli (theorbo), Carmen Leoni (harpsichord) Dir: Marco Longhini Rec. May 2002, Chiesa di San Pietro, Vincoli, Azzago, Italy. DDD NAXOS 8.555309 [69:06] [JV]

Another enthralling recording of Monteverdi madrigals by Delitiae Musicae ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-91) The Complete Piano Concertos CD1 [73'37"] Piano Concerto No. 1 in F major, K37 (1764) Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, K39 (1764) Piano Concerto No. 5 in D major, K175 (1773) Piano Concerto No. 8 in C major, K246 (1776) CD2 [75'44"] Piano Concerto No. 7 in F major for three pianos, K242 (1776) Rondo in A major, K386 (1782) Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat major, K271 (1777) Rondo in D major, K382 (1782) CD3 [70'19"] Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, K41 (1764) Piano Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, K238 (1776) Piano Concerto No. 3 in D major, K40 (1764) Piano Concerto No. 10 in E flat major for two pianos, K365 (1779) CD4 [74'10"] Piano Concerto No. 11 in F major, K413 (1782) Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K414 (1782) Piano Concerto No. 13 in C major, K415 (1782) CD5 [75'41"] Piano Concerto No. 14 in E flat major, K449 (1784) Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat major, K450 (1784) Piano Concerto No. 19 in F major, K459 (1784) CD6 [63'09"] Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major, K453 (1784) Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat major, K482 (1785) CD7 [70'02"] Piano Concerto No. 16 in D major, K451 (1784) Piano Concerto No. 18 in B flat major, K456 (1784) Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K503 (1st movement) (1786) CD8 [75'26"] Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K503 (2nd and 3rd movements) (1786) Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K467 (1785) Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K491 (1786) CD9 [63'25"] Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K466 (1785) Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K595 (1791) CD10 [57'33"] Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K488 (1786) Piano Concerto No. 26 in D major, K537 ‘Coronation’ (1788) Karl Engel (piano) Till Engel (Piano - K242 and K365 only) and Leopold Hager (Piano - K242 only) Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra/Leopold Hager Recorded in Großer Saal des Mozarteums, Salzburg, 28-30 November 1974 (K453 and K488), 1-2 May 1975 (K595), 8-9 March 1975 (K449 and K503), 9-12 June 1975 (K175), 11 June 1975 (K595), 5 November 1975 (K37, K39 and K537), 19 May 1976 (K238, K414, K466 and K482), 31 May 1976 (K450), 2 June 1976 (K415), 1-2 December 1976 (K413 and K451), 12-18 June 1976 (K382, K386 and K467), 29 September 1977 (K242), 30 September 1977 (K365), 28 November 1977 (K246 and K459), 16 February 1978 (K40 and K41) and 18 February 1978 (K271) WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61398-2 [10 CDs: 73'37" + 75'44" + 70'19" + 74'10" + 75'41" + 63'09" + 70'02" + 75'26" + 63'25" + 57'33"][PJL]

Five out of ten - no more! ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-91) The Piano Concertos, Vol. 6 Piano Concerto No 13 in C major, K415 Piano Concerto No 26 in D major, K537 ‘Coronation’ Matthias Kirschnereit (piano) Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Frank Beermann recorded at the Sinfonie an der Regnitz, Bamberg, 10-12 March 2004 ARTE NOVA 74321 98494-2 [59'06"] [PL]

These are worthy and serviceable second-division performances which, good though they are, just miss the boat. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Piano Concerto in D, #26, K.537, "Coronation" (1788) [31.29] Piano Concerto in Bb #27, K 595, (1791) [31.33] Daniel Barenboim, pianist and conductor Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Rec January 1989 (26); February 1988 (27), Siemensvilla, Berlin, Germany. Notes in English and Deutsch WARNER CLASSICS ELATUS 2564 60679-2 [63.02] [PSh]

Excellent, many will say perfect, performances of these two masterpieces ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Oboe Concerto in C, K314(285d) [18:17] Bassoon Concerto in Bb, K191 (186c) [16:15] Flute and Harp Concerto in C, K299 (297c) [26:12] Marcel Ponseele (oboe), Marc Vallon (bassoon), Wilbert Hazelzet (flute), Saskia Kwast (harp), The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra/Ton Koopman Recorded in the Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem, May 1993 WARNER ELATUS 2564 61569-2 [61:19] [GPJ]

Competition is very strong in the area of Mozart concertos, but this disc is, given its price, thoroughly recommendable for the Flute and Harp Concerto alone. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Six Quartets Dedicated to Haydn: No. 14 in G, K387 (1782) [29’57]; No. 15 in D minor, K421 (1783) [28’44]; No. 16 in E flat, K428 (1783) [23’17]; No. 17 in B flat, K458, ‘Hunt’ (1784) [21’28]; No. 18 in A, K464 (1785) [29’09]; No. 19 in C, K465, ‘Dissonance’ (1785) [25’29]. Guarneri String Quartet (Arnold Steinhardt, John Dalley, violins; Michael Tree, viola; David Soyer, cello). No rec. info given. RCA RED SEAL COMPLETE COLLECTIONS 82876 60390-2 [3 CDs: 58’58 + 45’30 + 55’29] [CC]

Reliable versions of Mozart’s magnificent six Haydn Quartets. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Sonata for Flute or Violin and Harpsichord in BbA, K.10 (1764) [9.40] Sonata for Flute or Violin and Harpsichord in G, K.11 (1764) [8.14] Sonata for Flute or Violin and Harpsichord in A, K.12 (1764) [8.45] Sonata for Flute or Violin and Harpsichord in F, K.13 (1764) [11.55] Sonata for Flute or Violin and Harpsichord in C, K.14 (1764) [8.55] Sonata for Flute or Violin and Harpsichord in Bb, K.15 (1764) [8.10] Piano Variations in D on a Menuet by M. Duport, K.573 (1789) [14.47] Robert Stallman, flute; Kateřina Englichová, harp Recorded in Church of the Good Shepherd, New York City, NY, USA, April 1998. Recorded in 2.0 stereo at 20 Bit resolution. Notes in English and Czech. Photos of artists and composer. ARCO DIVA UP 0074-2 131 [71.22] [PSh]

A sonically beautiful presentation of rare Mozart sonatas ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-91) Don Giovanni (1787) Paolo Silveri (baritone) Don Giovanni; Salvatore Baccaloni (bass) Leporello; Regina Resnik (mezzo) Donna Elvira; Ljuba Welitsch (soprano) Donna Anna; Eugene Conley (tenor) Don Ottavio; Nadine Conner (soprano) Zerlina; Lorenzo Alvary (bass) Masetto; Nicola Moscona (bass) Commendatore Chorus and Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera House, New York/Fritz Reiner Rec. New York, 6 January 1951 mono ADD WALHALL ETERNITY SERIES WLCD0005 [70’29 + 73’21] [CC]

Definitely not a version with which to get acquainted with Mozart’s masterpiece. Interesting for a couple of the singers, though, in particular Regina Resnik. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791) Idomeneo - opera in three acts KV366 Idomeneo ... Richard Lewis (tenor) Idamante ... Leo Goeke (tenor) Ilia ... Bozena Betley (soprano) Electra ... Josephine Barstow (soprano) Arbace ... Alexander Oliver (tenor) The High Priest of Neptune ... John Fryatt (tenor) The Voice of Neptune ... Dennis Wicks (bass)
The Glyndebourne Chorus The London Philharmonic Orchestra/John Pritchard Recorded at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, 1974 DVD ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 079 [125:00]

Save for Dame Josephine’s performance this is not the most exciting DVD. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Great Composers Series DVD [52’00] String Quartet in D minor, K.421 Movement I [8’20] Movement II [7’36] Movement III [3’52] Movement IV [9’48] CD1 [74’39] 1. Le Nozze Di Figaro: Overture [4’28] 2. Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major K467 "Elvira Madigan": Andante [6’26] 3. Piano Sonata in A major K331: Rondo alla Turca [3’24] 4. Clarinet Concerto in A major K622 "Out of Africa": Adagio [6’24] 5. Jupiter Symphony in C major K551: Allegro vivace [11’51] 6. Requiem in D minor K 626: Requiem aeternam [4’46] 7. Ave Verum Corpus [3’37] 8. Clarinet Quintet in A major K581: Allegro [9’04] Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Serenade in G major K525: 9. Allegro [5’16] 10. Romanze, andante [4’36] 11. Menuetto [1’41] 12. Rondo, allegro [3’56] 13. Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major K313: Allegro [9’48] La Petite Bande, Sigiswald Kuijken (1) Derek Han, piano. Philharmonia Orchestra/Paul Freeman (2) Klára Würtz, piano (3) Harmen de Boer, clarinet; Amsterdam Sinfonietta/Lev Markiz (4) Mozart Akademie Amsterdam, Jaap ter Linden (5) Chamber Choir of Europe, Kammerorchester Pforzheim/Nicol Matt (6) The Choir of St. John’s College Cambridge/Christopher Robinson (7) Karl Leister, clarinet; Brandis Quartet (8) Kammerorchester Mannheim/Florian Heyerick (9-12) Peter-Lukas Graf, flute; English Chamber Orchestra/Raymond Leppard (13) CD2 [63’47] 1. Cosi Fan Tutte: Overture [4’50] 2. Flute and Harp Concerto in C major K299: Andantino [8'06] 3. Piano Concerto in F major K459: Allegro assai [7’47] 4. Gran Partita in B flat major K361: Adagio [5’15] 5. Symphony in C major K425 Linzer: Andante [9’23] 6. Serenata Notturna in D major K239: Marcia [4’42] 7. Posthorn Serenade in D major K320: Concertante (andante grazioso) [8’00] 8. Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major K219: Allegro aperto [9’28] 9. Piano Sonata in C major K545: Allegro [3’16] 10. Le Nozze di Figaro: Voi che sapete [2’46] La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken (1) Marc Grauwels, flute; Giselle Herbert , harp; Les Violons du Roy/Bernard Labadie (2) Derek Han, piano; Philharmonia Orchestra/Paul Freeman (3) European Chamber Orchestra Wind Ensemble/Alexander Schneider (4) Mozart Akademie Amsterdam/Jaap ter Linden (5) Gil Sharon, violin; Amati Chamber Orchestra (6) Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Sir Colin Davis (7) Emmy Verhey, violin; Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra/Eduardo Marturet (8) Klára Würtz, piano (9) Monica Groop, soprano; La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken (10) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92410 [DVD: 52.00; 2CDs: 74.39 + 63.47] [RMk]

Interesting in parts, possibly for the wrong reasons, but no more. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839 – 1881) Pictures at an Exhibition orch. Maurice Ravel (1922) Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893) March miniature, (from Suite No. 1 in D minor) (1879) Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839 – 1881) A Night on the Bald Mountain (orch. Rimsky-Korsakov) (1886) Alexander BORODIN (1833 – 1887) Prince Igor: Polovtsian March (1890) Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893) Marche slave (1876) Dmitri KABALEVSKY (1904 – 1987) Colas Breugnon Overture, Op. 24 (1938) Mikhail GLINKA (1804 – 1857) Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture (1842) Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner. Recorded 7 Dec 1957, 14 March 1959, Symphony Hall, Chicago, U.S.A. SACD (ADD). BMG-RCA LIVING STEREO 82876 61394-2 [70’57"] [JPh]

Like many of Reiner’s recordings the performances have never been surpassed ... see Full Review

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-81) Night on Bald Mountain, arranged and orchestrated by Nicolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Pictures at an Exhibition, orchestrated by Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Introduction to Khovanshchina (‘Dawn on the Moscow River’) Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Yoel Levi recorded in Woodruff Memorial Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia, 11-12 January 1991 TELARC CD-80296 [49'51"] PL]

I enjoyed it: and you’re unlikely to be disappointed. ... see Full Review

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) The Complete Symphonies (1892-1925) Symphony No. 1 (1892) [34:34] Symphony No. 2 Four Temperaments (1902) [31:55] Symphony No. 3 Sinfonia Espansiva (1911) [36:26] Symphony No. 4 Inextinguishable (1916) [34:02] Symphony No. 5 (1921) [35:43] Symphony No. 6 Sinfonia Semplice (1925) [35:02] London Symphony Orchestra/Ole Schmidt In Symphony No. 3 only: Brian Rayner Cook (bar); Jill Gomez (sop) Originally recorded by Unicorn in 1973, St Giles, London, ADD REGIS RRC 3002 [70.51+73.28+69.45] [IL]

Even if you already have a Nielsen symphonies cycle I do urge you to invest in this beautifully refurbished set – the first stereo version recorded. It is a classic and at Regis’s bargain price a very real bargain. ... see Full Review

Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER (1867 – 1942) The Complete Piano Music - Volume 2: Six Piano Tunes (1897): When the rowan blooms – Gångtrall – In the western mountains – Fiddler – Chorus mysticus – Nachspiel; Invention à 2 voci (1897); Gliding skies (1897); The star-boys (1897); Norrland rhapsody (1900); Four Dance Poems (1900): To the foredancers – Summer dreams – Morning breeze – Serenade; Last Summer (1903): The mountain – The lake – The moor – A squirrel and a stock dove – The spruce forest – The mountain stream. Olof Höjer (piano) Recorded at the Svaneholm Castle, Skåne, Sweden, March 2001. Instrument: Hornung & Möller, Copenhagen 1903 – 1904. SWEDISH SOCIETY DISCOFIL SCD 1087 [71:52] [GF]

This disc has given me a lot of pleasure and I recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone wishing to broaden his/her pianistic horizon. ... see Full Review

Laurent PETITGIRARD (b. 1950) Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man Joseph Merrick – Nathalie Stutzmann (contralto) Doctor Treves – Nicolas Rivenq (baritone) Tom Norman – Robert Bréault (tenor) Mary – Marie Devellereau (soprano) Eve Lukes – Sophie Koch (mezzo) Carr Gomm – Nicolas Courjal (bass) The Coloratura – Celena Nelson-Shafer (soprano) Jimmy – Damien Grelier (treble) First Boy – Christophe Crapez (tenor) Second Boy – Francis Dudziak (baritone) A young girl – Lilian Faraon (soprano) Father – Yves Blanchard (baritone) Mother – Françoise Faidherbe (mezzo) First Lady –Agnes Poly (soprano) Second Lady – Mari Laurila (mezzo) French Opera Chorus Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra/Laurent Petitgirard Rec. Opera Garnier de Monte-Carlo, 18-22 May 1999 NAXOS 8.557608-9 [73.54 + 75.25] [RH]

First recording for Petitgirard’s lyrical and rather retro sounding opera; highly effective if not quite as challenging as it could be. ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet Op.64 (1936) - highlights June Whitfield (narrator) National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Andrew Mogrelia Recorded (?1995 with narration in ?2004) NAXOS 8.557675 [79.26] [JW]

Whether you will be attracted to a performance with narration is not a question I can answer though it may warm some children’s hearts at Christmas ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891 - 1953) The Stone Flower, Ballet in four acts and nine scenes, Op 118 (1953) [148.19] Scenario by Mira Mendelson [Prokofieva] and Leonid Lavrovsky from "The Malachite Box" by Pavel Bazhov. BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda Recorded at the New Broadcasting House, Manchester, UK, 28 January 2003 Notes in English, Deutsch, and Français. CHANDOS CHAN 10058(2) [72.39 + 75.40] [PSh]

If you think Mahler as well as Prokofiev should have written one more symphony, this disk set is for you ... ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Gianni Schicchi (1918). Giuseppe Taddei (baritone) Gianni Schicchi; Grete Rapisardi (soprano) Lauretta; Agnese Dubbini (mezzo) Zita; Giuseppe Savio (tenor) Rinuccio; Gino Del Signore (tenor) Gherardo; Renza Ferrari (soprano) Nella; Pier Luigi Latinucci (bass) Betto di Signa; Fernando Corena (bass) Simone; Alberto Albertini (baritone) Marco; Liana Avogadro (mezzo) La Ciesca; Franco Calabrese (bass) Maestro Spinelloccio, Ser Amantio di Nicolao; Orchestra Lirica di Torino della Radiotelevisione Italiana/Alfredo Simonetto. Rec. Turin, Italy, in 1949. ADD mono WARNER FONIT 5050467-1048-2-2 [53’22] [CC]

This Gianni Schicchi is a joy and should be savoured as an illustration not only of Puccini’s lighter side but also for true italianate excellence of execution. ... see Full Review

Great Puccini Love Scenes and other opera favourites Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Madama Butterfly (Vogliatemi bene’) Raina Kabaivanska as Butterfly and Nazzareno Antinori as Pinkerton conducted by Maurizio Arena recorded at the Arena di Verona in July 1983 La fanciulla del west ‘Non potrò mai capire’; ‘Ch’ella mi creda’ Placido Domingo as Dick Johnson and Carol Neblett as Minni conducted by Nello Santi recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in November 1982 Manon Lescaut (‘Vedete? Io son fidele’; In quelle trine morbide’; ‘Tu non m’ami dunque il tuo…vieni ! Colle tue braccia stringi’; ‘Ah Manon mi tradisce il tuo folle pensier’; ‘Ansier eternal, crudel’ Placido Domingo as Des Grieux and Kiri Te Kanawa as Manon Lescaut conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in May 1983 Il Tabarro (‘O Luigi! Luigi!) Sylvia Sass as Giorgetta; Nicola Martinucci as Luigi; and Piero Cappuccilli as Michele conducted by Gianandrea Gavazzeni recorded at La Scala, Milan in February 1983 Tosca - Amaro sol per te m’era il morire Eva Marton as Tosca and Giacomo Aragall as Cavaradossi conducted by Daniel Oren
recorded at the Arena di Verona in August 1984 La Bohème Donde lieta usci; Sono andati
Neil Shicoff as Rodolfo; Ileana Cotrubas as Mimi; Thomas Allen as Marcello; Marilyn Zascau as Musetta conducted by Lamberto Gardelli recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in February 1982 Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) Die Fledermaus - O Gott, wie rührt mich dies; The Czardas Kiri Te Kanawa as Rosalinde; Hildegard Heichele as Adèle and Hermann Prey as Eisenstein conducted by Pacido Domingo recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in December 1983 Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Les Contes d’Hoffmann - ‘Il était une fois à la cour d’Eisenach’; ‘Amis, l’amour tendre et rêveur, erreur!’; ‘O Dieu, de quelle ivresse’ Placido Domingo as Hoffmann conducted by Georges Prêtre recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in January 1981 Giuseppe VERDI ( 1813-1901)
Otello - ‘A terra, si, nel livido fango’; ‘Piangea cantando…Ave Maria’ Kiri Te Kanawa as Desdemona conducted by Zoltan Pesko recorded at the Arena di Verona in July 1982 Ernani - ‘Come rugiada al cespite’; ‘Ah, morir potessi adesso’ Placido Domingo as Ernani and Mirella Freni as Elvira conducted by Riccardo Muti recorded at La Scala, Milan in December 1982 WARNER/NVC ARTS DVD Video 0630-18771-2 [111:00 approx] [IL]

A popular compilation of 1980s opera productions with enough less familiar selections to interest the cognoscenti. The Covent Garden sets are lavish. An ideal Christmas present. ... see Full Review

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)
The Fairy Queen. Semi-Opera in Five Acts (1692) Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Andrew Carwood (tenor) Michael Bundy (bass) Gillian Keith (soprano 1) Rebecca Outram (soprano 2) William Towers (counter-tenor) Robert Murray (tenor) New English Voices Accademia Bizantina/Ottavio Dantone Recorded at Teatro Rossini, Lugo di Romagna, Ravenna, July 2001 ARTS 47679-2 [65.19 + 67.07] [JW]

This entrant has strong and lasting virtues of its own and is recommended on merit. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 – 1943) Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano Op.19 (1900) Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 – 1975) Sonata in D minor for Cello and Piano Op.40 (1934) Gwyneth George (cello); Alberto Portugheis (piano) Recorded: Christ Church, Chelsea, October 1970 (Rachmaninov) and February 1971 (Shostakovich) GUILD GMCD 7219 [54:56] [HC]

The present versions, recorded as far back as 1970 and 1971, are very fine and quite satisfying, though the recorded sound may at times show its age. ... see Full Review

Jean-Phillippe RAMEAU (1683 - 1764) Keyboard Works Volume 2. Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin (1728) Suite in A [29.30] Suite in G [28.42] Cinq pièces pour clavecin seul, extraites de ‘Pièces de clavecin en concert’ (1741) La Livri [2.40] L’Agaçante [2.48] La timide 1ere rondeau [2.31] La timide 2me rondeau [2.10] L’Indiscrète rondeau [1.27] La Dauphine (1747) [3.01] Sophie Yates, harpsichord by A. Garlick after Goujon 1747, tuned A=415Hz. in Valotti [unequal] temperament by A. G. Recorded at 96/24 Forde Abbey, Somerset, UK, 18 June 2003. Notes in English, Deutsch, Français. Picture of composer and photo of artist. CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN 0708 [73.05] [PSh]

From this Volume 2 I predict that this is the best available Rameau set in terms of both performance and sound. ... see Full Review

Max REGER (1873-1916) Es sungen drei Engel Sieben geistliche Volkslieder [19:38] Drei Choralbearbeitung für Weinnachten, Neujahr, Epiphanias, Op. 79g [6:46]
Zwölf deutsche geistliche Gesänge [40:41] NDR Chor Hamburg/Hans-Christoph Rademann Recorded in NDR Rolf-Liebermann-Studio, Hamburg, June 2003. DDD CARUS 83.155 [67:08] [JQ]

A charming and delightful collection, expertly performed. The Christmas season is a particularly appropriate time to recommend this disc ... see Full Review

Max REGER (1875-1916) Variations and Fugue on a Theme of J.S. Bach Op. 81 (1904) Variations and Fugue on a Theme of G.P. Telemann Op. 134 (1914) Mark Latimer (piano) Recorded at All Saints’ Church, Petersham, April 1994 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61718-2 [70.39]

Sound is good and cover art arresting. The music and performances, unfortunately, less so. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Carl REINTHALER (1822–1896) Jephta und seine Tochter Jephta – Richard Salter (bass) Mirjam – Sabine Riggerbusch (soprano) A Maiden - Waltraud Hoffmann-Mucher (alto) Ephraim – Jurgen Sacher (tenor) A Maiden – Konstanze Maxsein (soprano) Prophet – Oliver Zwarg (bass) Bremer Domchor Kammer Sinfonie Bremen/Wolfgang Helbich Recorded St. Petri Dom Bremen, 25-28 March 1997 CPO 999 938-2 [60.47 + 63.35] [RH]

A fascinating oratorio written just after Mendelssohn’s death and owing something to Elijah but displaying a fine command of the genre. I enjoyed this immensely.... see Full Review

Joseph Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Six Pieces for Violin and Organ Op.150 Suite for Violin and Organ Op.166 Line Most (violin) Marie Ziener (organ) Recorded in David’s Church, Copenhagen, June 2000 NAXOS 8.557383 [59.55] [JW]

Undemanding and attractive, recorded sympathetically. Played with finesse and elegance – and not too much sauce ... see Full Review

Ned ROREM (b. 1923) Six Songs for High Voice [15’ 38"] Last Poems of Wallace Stevens (1972)* [26’42"] Ariel (1971)** [16’33"] Jack l’éventreur (1953) [5’34"] Ode (1953) [1’42"] Alleluia (1946) [2’46"] Laura Aikin (soprano); *Gerhard Zank (cello); ** Nicola Jürgensen (clarinet); Donald Sulzen (piano) Rec. Bayerischer Rundfunk, Studio 2, 7-11 February, 2003 DDD ORFEO C 620 041 A [66’19"] [JQ]

This fine CD of Rorem’s songs - which probably represent the peak of his achievement - is a most welcome addition and is strongly recommended. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) L’Italiana in A!geri, Comic opera in two acts. First performance, 22nd May 1813 at Teatro San Benedetto, Venice Isabella, Lucia Valentini-Terrani (mezzo); Lindoro, Ugo Benelli (ten); Mustafa, Sesto Bruscantini (bass-bar); Taddeo, Enzo Dara (bar); Elvira, Norma Palacios-Rossi (sop), Zulma, Gigliola Caputi (mezzo); Haly, Alfredo Mariotti (bass) Chorus and Orchestra of the Staatsoper Dresden/Gary Bertini
Recorded February 1978. Dresden, Germany ARTS MUSIC - ARTS ARCHIVES - 43048-2 [69.37 + 70.34] [RJF]

If you don’t know L’Italiana in A!geri then I urge you to go and buy this now and remedy that deficiency. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) La pietra del paragone - Melodrama giocoso in Two Acts La Marchessa Clarice - Agata Bienkowska (mezzo); Il Conte Asdrubale - Raffaele Costantini (bass); Baronessa Aspasia - Anna Rita Gemmabella (mezzo); Donna Fulvia - Anke Hermann (sop); Il Cavalier Giocondo (friend of the Count, a poet) - Alessandro Codeluppi (ten); Macrobio (a journalist) - Dariusz Machej (bass); Pacuvio (a poet) - Gioacchino Zarrelli (bar); Fabrizio, (confidante of the Count) - Teru Yoshihara (bar) Czech Chamber Chorus
Czech Chamber Soloists, Brno/Alessandro de Marchi Rec. live 21, 24, 27 July 2001, Kurhaus Bad Wildbad, Germany, ‘Rossini In Wildbad Festival’ NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660093-95 [3 CDs: 68.28+21.07+71.46] [RF]

This performance does not convert me to the view held by some that ‘La pietra del paragone’ is the first full flowering of Rossini’s genius. ‘Tancredi’ and ‘L’Italiana in Algeri’ are true works of genius. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) The five One Act Farse composed for the Teatro San Moise, Venice. 1810-1813 La Cambiale di Matrimonio (The Bill of Marriage);L’Inganno Felice (The Happy Stratagem);La Scala di Seta (The Silken Ladder); L’occasione fa il Ladro (Opportunity Makes the Thief); Il Signor Bruschino or Il Figlio per azzardo; BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92399 [8CDs] [RJF]

Go out and buy whilst the opportunity is there ... 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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