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Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835 - 1921) Symphony #3 in c, Op 78 "Organ Symphony" (1886) [34.46] Berj Zamkochian, organ at Symphony Hall, Boston, USA Bernard Zhigera, Leo Litwin, pianos Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch Recorded at Symphony Hall, Boston, USA, 6 April 1959 by Lewis Layton. AAD
Remastered at JVC, Yokohama, Japan, by Hiromichi Takeguchi. Notes in Japanese. Technical notes in English. Photos of conductor, engineers, and equipment. RCA/BMG JMCXR-002 [34.46] [PSh]

A high price to pay for improvement, but the improvement is scarcely noticeable, at least for most of us ... see Full Review

Emil von SAUER (1862 – 1942) Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor (1901) Cinq Morceaux difficulté moyenne (1909) Petite Scene de Ballet (1908) Menuet (Vieux style) (1904) Polka de Concert (1895) Galop de Concert (Etude Galop) (1899) Oleg Marshev, piano Aarhus Symphony Orchestra/James Loughran Recorded at Frichsparken, Aarhus, Denmark September 2002 DANACORD DACOCD 596 [66.35] [JF]

This is excellent CD which fills an important gap in the repertoire of the romantic piano concert. Essential listening. Marshev’s playing, is, as usual, brilliant. ... see Full Review

Giacinto SCELSI (1905-1988) Works for chorus and orchestra CD1: Aion (1961) [20:05]; Pfhat (1974) [8:40]; Konx-Om-Pax (1969) [18:05] CD2: Quattro Pezzi per orchestra (Ciascuno su una sola) (1959) [15:19]; Anahit (Poème Lyrique - dédié à Vénus) (1965) [13:05]; Uaxuctum (1966) [19:57] CD3: Hurqualia (1960) [18:23]; Hymnos (1963) [11:30]; Chukrum (1963) [17:16] Carmen Fournier (violin) (Anahit) Tristan Murail (ondes martenot) (Uaxuctum) Choeur de la Philharmonie de Cracovie Orchestre de la Radio-Télévision Polonaise de Cracovie/Jürg Wyttenbach rec. Church of St Catherine of Cracow, Poland, 23-25 June 1988, 12-20 April 1989, June 1990. DDD ACCORD 476 1072 [3CDs: 47.21 + 49.42 + 47.13] [RB]

Remarkable music, static, mysterious, Ligeti-like and with a rare sense of arcane things - otherworldly events ... see Full Review

Peter SCHICKELE (b.1935) Schickele on a Lark Sextet (1990) String Quartet No.2 In Memorium (1988) Quintet No.2 for piano and strings (1997) The Lark Quartet with Robert Rinehart (viola) Julia Lichten (cello) Peter Schickele (piano) Recorded at the Recital Hall, the Performing Arts Centre, Purchase College, State University of New York, December 1997 ARABESQUE Z6719 [74.03] [JW]

Above all else Schickele’s writing is good humoured and fun – and graciously written as well. ... see Full Review

Thomas SCHMIDT-KOWALSKI (b.1949) Symphony No. 3 in D minor Op. 67 (2000) [34.35] Cello Concerto in A minor Op. 84 (2002) [34.34] Nikolai Schneider (cello) SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserslauten/Manfred Neuman rec. 18-21 Nov, 16-18 Dec 2002, SWR Studio, Kaiserslauten NAXOS 8.551212 [69.09] [RB]

I wish Schmidt-Kowalski well ... sincere music this. ... speaks to us in language in touch with the classical-romantic 'centre' ... see Full Review

Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sir Thomas Beecham Conducts Schubert - The Original CBS Recordings Symphony No. 1 in D major, D. 82 Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, D. 125 Symphony No. 8 in B minor, ‘Unfinished’ D. 759 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham Rec. Mono, Walthamstow Town Hall, London on Dec. 1953 (Sym No. 1) and 28 May 1954 (Sym. No. 2); Symphony No. 8 at Kingsway Hall, London on 15, 24 Jan., 11, 23 July 1951 and Studio No. 1 Abbey Road, London on 9 May 1951 SONY CLASSICAL SMK87876 [77:31] [MC]

More than just historical documents. Really fine and appealing interpretations that have been attractively recorded. Beecham fans will be in their element. ... see Full Review

Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die Schöne Müllerin (The Lovely Miller Maid) Ralph Kohn (baritone) Graham Johnson (piano) No recording venue and dates given OPERA OMNIA OP1751 [63:22] [MC]

An enjoyable recital but the competition is so exceptionally fierce in this song-cycle. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Complete works for Violin and Piano Sonatina in A Minor, D. 385 (Op. 137, No. 2) (1816) Sonatina in D Major, D. 384 (Op. 137, No. 1) (1816) Sonatina in G Minor, D. 408 (Op. 137, No. 3) (1816) Sonata ('Duo') in A Major, D. 574 (Op. 162) Rondo ('Rondo brillant') in B Minor, D. 895 (Op. 70) (1826) Fantasy in C Major, D. 934 (Op. 159) (1827) Jaime Laredo (violin) Stephanie Brown (piano) Recording: September 1989, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, NY BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92275 [2 CDs 53.54 + 65.57] [JW]

This inexpensive and musicianly box. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Piano Concerto in A minor Op.54 Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra/Hans Swarowski, recorded Vienna, 1958 Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Wedding Cake for Piano and Orchestra in A flat Op.76 Filarmonica Triestina/Luigi Toffolo, recorded Trieste, 1956 Friedrich KUHLAU (1786-1832) Piano Concerto in C major Op.7 Salzburg Symphony Orchestra/Theodore Guschlbauer, recorded Salzburg, 1969 Felicja Blumental (piano) with accompaniments as above Recorded 1956-69 BRANA RECORDS BR 0016 [72.13] [JW]

Another worthwhile retrieval of Blumental material ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Arabesque Op.18 Carnaval Op.9 Des Abends Op.12 No.1 Kreisleriana Op.16 Vladimir Sofronitsky (piano) Recorded 1952 (Arabesque, Kreisleriana) and 1959 (Des Abends, Carnaval) VISTA VERA VVCD-00024 [66.14] [JW]

Uneven yes but unsettlingly human and with a technique still able to cope with most demands ... one of the troubling giants of post-War pianism ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Lieder Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone); abGerald Moore, cHertha Klust (pianos). [mono/stereo] Rec. Studio No. 3, Abbey Road, London on aMarch 10th, 1954, dOctober 10th, 1951, Gemeindehaus, Berlin-Zehlendorf, on bMarch 26th-27th, 1964 and cSeptember 16th, 1956. ADD EMI CLASSICS Great Recordings of the Century 5 62755-2 [79’28] [CC]

This GROC acts as a timely reminder of Fischer-Dieskau’s art, warts and all. ... see Full Review

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Eleven Motets 1. Hodie Christus Natus Est
2. Fili Mi Absalon 3. Auf Dem Gebirge 4. Heu Mihi Domine 5. Ich Danke Dir Herr 6. Der Engel Sprach 7. O Quam Tu Pulchra Es 8. Die Seele Christi Heilige Mich 9. Was Mein Gott Will* 10. Exultavit Cor Meum 11. Selig Sind Die Todten 12. Auf Dem Gebirge (version 2)* Pro Cantione Antiqua, London Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, Restoration Academy/ Edgar Fleet (director) English Consort of Viols* No recording details given. ADD REGIS RECORDS RRC 1168 [61.24] [MC]

A wonderful place to start on an exploration of Heinrich Schütz’s music ... see Full Review

Heinrich SCHUTZ (1585-1672) Symphoniae Sacrae From Symphoniae Sacrae, op. 6 (1629) 1. Concerto 11 - Psalm 34, 1-3 Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore 2. Concerto 13 - Samuel II, 19, 4-5 Fili mi, Absalon 3. Concerto 18 - canticles 4, 16; 5, 1 Veni, dilecte mi, in hortum meum 4. Concerto 20 - Psalm 150, 4; Ps. passim Jubilate Deo in chordis et organo From Symphoniarum Sacrarum Secunda Pars, op. 10 (1647) 5. Concerto 26 - Ludwig Helmbold, 1563 Von Gott will ich nicht lassen 6. Concerto 3 - Psalm 8 Herr unser Herrscher, wie herrlich ist dein Nam 7. Concerto 4 - Luke 1, 46-48, 50-55 Meine Seele erhebt den Herren 8. Concerto 8 - Psalm 18, 2-7 Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr 9. Concerto 16 - Psalm 68, 2-4 Es steh Gott auf 10. Concerto 12 - Luke 2, 29-32 Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener im Friede fahren 11. Concerto 10 - Psalm 150 Lobet den Herrn in seinem Heiligtum 12. Concerto 27 - Psalm 33, 1-3 Freuet euch des Herren, ihr Gerechten Cappella Augustana/Matteo Messori (organ and direction) Recording: July 2003, Chiesa arcipretale di S. Giacomo, Polcenigo (Pordenone), Italy SUPER AUDIO CD DSD Direct Stream Digital Stereo This SACD can also be player on CD players. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92210 [66:24]

The SACD sound is naturally recorded and the performances are really well sung and played, getting right to the heart of the music. ... see Full Review

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Musicalische Vesper Eile mich, Gott, zu erretten (SWV 282) (Kleine Geistliche Konzerte, I, 1636) [03:14] Der Herr sprach zu meinem Herrn (SWV 22) (Psalmen Davids, 1619) [03:24]O Jesu, nomen dulce (SWV 308) (Kleine Geistliche Konzerte, I, 1636) [03:17]Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes (SWV 386) (Geistliche Chormusik, 1648) [04:20] Anima mea liquefacta est (SWV 263 & 264) (Symphoniae Sacrae, I, 1629) [07:21] Siehe, wie fein und lieblich ist (SWV 412) (Symphoniae Sacrae, III, 1650) [06:06] Spes mea, Christus Deus (SWV 69) (Cantiones Sacrae, 1625) [02:59] Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen (SWV 29) (Psalmen Davids, 1619) [07:24] Freuet euch des Herren, ihr Gerechten (SWV 367) (Symphoniae Sacrae, II, 1647) [04:48] Herr, unser Herrscher (SWV 27) (Psalmen Davids, 1619) [04:28] Saul, Saul, was verfolgst du mich (SWV 415) (Symphoniae Sacrae, III, 1650) [02:55] Nun will sich scheiden Nacht und Tag (after SWV 138 & 233) (Psalmen nach Cornelius Becker, 1629) [03:39] Benedicam Dominum (SWV 267) (Symphoniae Sacrae, I, 1629) [03:20] Magnificat (SWV 468) [10:14] Nele Gramß (soprano), Andreas Post, Markus Brutscher, Gerd Türk (tenor), Wolf Mathias Friedrich (bass) Kölner Kammerchor; Collegium Cartusianum (on period instruments) Dir: Peter Neumann Recorded in October 2002 at the Melanchthonkirche, Cologne-Zöllstock, Germany DDD MDG 332 1170-2 (CD), MDG 1170-5 (DVD-Audio/Video) [67:38] [JV]

A cross-section of the oeuvre of Heinrich Schütz - recommendable, although not all expectations are fulfilled ... see Full Review

Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) Symphony No. 3, ‘The Musesa (1937) [34’45]. Piano Concerto No. 2b (1958) [20’16]. Neptune (1933, rev. 1935) [24’22]. bHoward Shelley (piano); aHuddersfield Choral Society/Joseph Cullen BBC Philharmonic/Martyn Brabbins Rec. 15 – 17 April 2003, Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester. DDD CHANDOS CHAN10211 [79’32]

An impressively engineered disc with very persuasive performances will, I hope, encourage a fresh assessment of Scott ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Hamlet Op. 116 (Complete film score, incorporating the Suite, Op. 116a, arr. Atovmian). Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky Rec. Studio 5, Russian State TV & Radio Company KULTURA, Moscow, on February 6th-14th, 2003. DDD NAXOS SACD FILM MUSIC CLASSICS 6.110062 [62’28] [CC]

Do try to hear this - more than the sum of its parts ... not just for Shostakovich completists .... it offers a rich tapestry of pleasure. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57 (1940) [33:56] Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67 (1944) [28:46] Elisabeth Leonskaja, piano The Borodin Quartet Rec. Teldec Studio, Berlin, April 1995. DDD WARNER ELATUS 2564 60813-2 [62:52] [KS]

A highly recommendable performance of two of the last century’s major chamber works. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH 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

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Höstkväll, op.38/1 (5:16), Soluppgång, op.37/3 (2:00), Se'n har ja ej frågat mera, op.17/1 (2:15), Arioso, op.3 (4:24), Våren flyktar hastigt, op.13/4 (1:37) Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Solveigs sang, op.23/19 (4:58), Solveigs vuggesang (4:26), Fra Monte Pincio, op.39/1 (4:50), En svane, op.25/2 (2:16), Våren, op.33/2 (4:45) SIBELIUS Luonnotar, op.70 (9:44) GRIEG Det første mode (3:57) SIBELIUS Sancta Maria, mild och nåderik (from "Jungfrun i tornet") (4:27), Den judiska flickans sång (from "Belsazar") (3:20) Karita Mattila (soprano) City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo Recorded October-November 2001, Symphony Hall, Birmingham WARNER CLASSICS 8573 80243-2 [58:22] [CH]

It’s a very beautiful voice singing some very beautiful music, but it’s not the whole story. ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Complete Piano Trios: Volume 2 Piano Trio in D (Korpo) (1887) Andantino in G minor (1887-8) Allegretto in A flat (1887-8) Piano Trio in C (Lovisa) (1888) Allegro in D minor (1889) (completed Kalevi Aho) Allegretto in E flat (1891-2) (completed Jaakko Kuusisto) Alla Marcia in C (1892-5) Jaakko Kuusisto (violin); Marko Ylönen (cello); Folke Gräsback (piano) Rec. Danderyd Grammar School, Sweden, April 2002, DDD BIS-CD-1292 [66:39] [PCW]

Don’t come here looking for recognisable Sibelius … an interesting insight into his development … see Full Review

Valentin SILVESTROV (b. 1937) Metamusik (1992) Postludium (1984) Alexei Lubimov (piano) Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien/Dennis Russell Davies Recorded: ORF Studio, Vienna, April 2001 ECM NEW SERIES 1790 (472 081-2) [67:38] [HC]

Superb performances, recorded under the composer’s supervision, are self-commending. Another magnificent release from ECM. ... see Full Review

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Complete String Quintets Volume 2 Quintet No.3 in B minor Op.69 (1826) Quintet No.4 in A minor Op.91 (1833-34) New Haydn Quartet with Sándor Papp (viola II) Recorded April 1994 at the Unitarian Church, Budapest NAXOS 8.555966 [63.44] [JW]

A touch long winded but affable and beautifully lucid ... Spohr’s chamber music deserves revaluation ... see Full Review

Gottfried Heinrich STÖLZEL (1690-1749) German Chamber Cantatas for Solo Voice and Basso continuo Vol II: Nos. 9 - 16
Cantata No. 9: Zorn’ge Sterne, lasst mich sterben* [08:01] Cantata No. 10: Flieht, ihr Schaffe, flieht von hinnen** [06:21] Cantata No. 11: Zu guter Nacht, ihr stolzen Türme und Paläste* [07:57] Cantata No. 12: Ja, mein Engel, dieses Herze** [09:01] Cantata No. 13: Ihr Augen, laßt den Tränenbächen* [07:43] Cantata No. 14: Ihr stillen Seufzer, gehet** [07:27] Cantata No. 15: Ich bin es schon gewohnt*/** [06:39] Cantata No. 16: Von dem Einfluß zweier Sternen*/** [11:52] Dorothee Mields, soprano*; Jan Kobow, tenor** Les Amis de Philippe (on period instruments): Monika Schwamberger, cello; Andreas Arend, theorbo; Beate Röllecke, organ; Ludger Rémy, harpsichord and direction
Recorded in November 2001 and April 2002 at the Studio of Radio Bremen, Germany. DDD CPO 999 910-2 [65:40] [JV]

Cantatas for solo voice and basso continuo in Italian style by a master of musical drama ... see Full Review

Take Me To Your Leader 25 songs written and delivered by Derek STRAHAN (b.1935) Derek Strahan: voice, guitar, harmonica, keyboard for virtual bass and additional virtual instrumentation. Recorded 1960 – 1974; digital remastering: 2001 REVOLVE RECORDINGS RDS004 [74.19] [JL]

These songs from the sixties and seventies are inventive, witty and tuneful. Some of the blacker satire is chillingly relevant today. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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

Josef SUK (1874-1935)
Symphony Asrael op. 27 [59.44] Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin/Kirill Petrenko rec. live, 31 Oct 2002, Komischen Oper Berlin CPO 777 001-2 [59.44] [RB]

I liked this CPO version very much and I hope that dedicated Suk enthusiasts will try it. ... see Full Review

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) King Roger - opera in three acts Op. 46 (1918-24) Libretto: Jaroslaw Iwaskiewicz, composer Roger II, King of Sicily - Wojtek Drabowicz (bar) Roxana - Olga Pasiecznik (sop) Edrisi, Arab Sage - Krzystof Szmyt (ten) Shepherd - Piotr Beczala (ten) Archbishop - Romuald Tesarowicz (bass) Deaconess - Stefania Toczyska (mezzo) All Polacca Youth Choir/Sabina Wlodarska Chorus and Orchestra of Polish National Opera/Jacek Kaspszyk rec. Teatr Wielki - Opera Narodowa, Warszawa, 27-29 Jan 2003. DDD CD ACCORD ACD 131-2 [RB}

Kaspszyk takes the laurels for the most modern sound in a performance evidently fully in sympathy with Szymanowski's testament to the tension between duty and delight .... and the primacy of delight. ... see Full Review

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36a (1878) [41’27]. Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat, Op. 107b (1959) [27’19]. bMstislav Rostropovich (cello) Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky. Live performances from aRoyal Albert Hall, London, on September 9th, 1971 and bUsher Hall, Edinburgh, on September 9th, 1960. bmono ADD BBC LEGENDS/IMG ARTISTS BBCL4143-2 [70’05] [CC]

What might be seen as perhaps a curious coupling is vindicated by the searing intensity of both performances. This remarkable disc will bring many rewards. ... see Full Review

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, ‘Pathétique’ (1893) [48’39]. Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde (1865) - Prelude, Act I [11’23]; Verklärung [7’04]. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler From HMV DB4609-14 (Tchaikovsky) and DB3419/20 (Wagner). Rec. in Berlin on October-November (Tchaikovsky) and February 11th (Wagner), 1938. ADD NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110865 [67’05] [CC]

Recorded at a time of great upheaval and tension in Germany, the emotional impact of these performances, especially the Wagner, demands hearing. Transfers are, as always with Obert-Thorn, expertly managed. ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concertos: No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 (1874) [33’21]; No. 3 in E flat, Op. 75 (1893) [16’02]. Andante and Finale, Op. 79 (orch. Taneyev) [19’52]. Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky.Rec. Studio No. 5, KULTURA State TV & Radio Company, Moscow, on March 14th-17th, 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557257 [69’12] [CC]

Not really memorable, then, unless one is tracking Scherbakov’s career. The Third Concerto may not inspire, but it may give fair pleasure. The First Concerto does neither. ... see Full Review

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Tafelmusik Musica Amphion Wilbert Hazelzet and Kate Clark, traverso Rémy Baudet, Franc Polman and Sayuri Yamagata, violin Richte van der Meer and Jaap ter Linden, cello William Wroth, trumpet Frank de Bruine, Alfredo Bernardini and Peter Frankenberg, oboe Teunis van der Zwart and Erwin Wieringa, horn Pieter-Jan Belder, conductor Recorded Remonstrantse, Doopsgezinde, 2003 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92177 [4 CDs: 69’48 + 69'48 + 61’38 + 69'25] [JW]

Characterisation of is acutely judged and the rewards are uniform – and lasting. ... see Full Review

Erkki-Sven TÜÜR (b. 1959) Symphony No.3 (1997) Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1996) Lighthouse (1997) David Geringas (cello) Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien/Dennis Russell Davies Recorded: ORF Studio, Vienna, July-August 1998 ECM NEW SERIES 1673 (465 134-2) [63:33] [HC]

Tüür: a really distinctive voice ... communication is paramount ... the performers obviously relish each note of the music and play with commitment and conviction. Excellent recording and production. ... see Full Review

Erkki-Sven TÜÜR (b. 1959) Concerto for violin and Orchestra (1998) Aditus (2000, rev. 2002) Exodus (1999) Isabelle van Keulen (violin) City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi Recorded: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, May 2002 ECM NEW SERIES 1830 (472 497-2) [61:09] [HC]

These pieces, superbly played and beautifully recorded, confirm this composer’s growing status as the most prominent Estonian composer of his generation. Warmly recommended. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aida (1871) Fiorenza Cedolins (soprano) Aida; Walter Fraccaro (tenor) Radamès; Dolora Zajick (mezzo) Amneris; Vittorio Vitelli (baritone) Amonasro; Carlo Striuli (bass) King; Giacomo Prestia (bass) Ramfis; Angelo Casertano (tenor) Messenger; Antonella Trevisan (soprano) Preistess; Chorus and Orchestra of the San Carlo Theatre, Naples/Daniel Oren.Rec. Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, Italy.Dolby Digital. 16:9, All Formats. PAL. 5.1. BRILLIANT CLASSICS - THE OPERA SERIES 92272 [158’00] [CC]

The whole does add up to more that the sum of its parts, and this is due to Daniel Oren’s sure grasp of the opera’s structure. A qualified recommendation. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 - 1901) Requiem (1874) [84.19] Don Carlos: "Spuntato ecco" [5.13] Macbeth: Chorus of the Scottish Refugees [5.45] Otello: "Fuoco di gioia" [2.42] Nabucco: Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves [5.07] Aïda: "Gloria all’Egitto" [9.29] Susan Dunn, sop.; Diane Curry, mezzo sop.; Jerry Hadley, tenor; Paul Plishka, bass Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Robert Shaw Recorded in Symphony Hall, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 14 April 1987. Notes in English. Complete texts and translations. TELARC CD80152 [2CDs: 113.15] [PSh]

A good all round performance with excellent—but not perfect—sound ... see Full Review

Johannes VERHULST (1816-1891) Overture in B minor op.2, Overture in C minor op.3 – "Gijsbrecht van Aemstel", Overture in D minor op.8, Symphony in E minor op.46 Residentie Orchestra The Hague/Matthias Bamert Rec. 11 December 2001 (op.2), 26 Feb-1 Mar 2002 (others), Dr Anton Philipszaal, The Hague CHANDOS CHAN10179 [58:35] [CH]

A symphony of some stature, though it fared better in a previous recording by Hans Vonk ... see Full Review

Heitor VILLA LOBOS (1887-1959) Trio for violin, cello and piano No. 2 (1915) [31:28] Trio for violin, cello and piano No. 3 (no date given) [37:33] Richard Milone, violin Miriam Braga, piano Tânia Lisboa, cello No recording dates or locations given. DDD MERIDIAN CDE 84475 [69:01] [KS]

Some of the most engaging music that I have heard in months. ... a most ethereally atmospheric and evocative listening experience. ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Cantatas Lungi dal vago volto, cantata for voice, violin and bc (RV 680)* [16:02] Perfidissimo cor! Iniquo fato!, cantata for voice and bc (RV 674)** [12:02] Amor, hai vinto, cantata for voice and bc (RV 651)* [12:53] Qual per ignoto calle, cantata for voice and bc (RV 677)** [12:28] All’ombra di sospetto, cantata for voice, transverse flute and bc (RV 678)* [09:53] New Chamber Opera: Mary Nelson, soprano (*); Charles Humphries, alto (**) The Band of Instruments (on period instruments): Christine Garratt, transverse flute; Caroline Balding, violin; David Watkins, cello; Gary Cooper, harpsichord and direction Recorded in August 2002 in the Chapel of New College, Oxford, UK. DDD ASV GAUDEAMUS CD GAU 339 [63:21] [JV]

Five fine cantatas by Vivaldi in widely divergent performances ... see Full Review

Wladimir VOGEL (1896-1984) Violin Concerto* (1940) Hermann SUTER (1870-1926) Violin Concerto in A minor Op.23 (1921) Bettina Boller (violin) Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne/Jürg Wyttenbach*/Mario Venzago No Rec. info DDD MUSIKSZENE SCHWEIZ MGB CD 6169 [65:09] [PCW]

Both these works deserve to be better known and this is a very good introduction to them… see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Overture to Der fliegende Holländer [11:41] Siegfried-Idyll [17:52] Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt [9:41] Funeral music from Götterdämmerung [6:29] Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde [17:35] Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI (1-3,5) Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma della RAI (4) Wilhelm Furtwängler Rec. June 6, 1952 (1-3); May 31, 1952 (4); March 11, 1952 (5), RAI studios. ADD WARNER FONIT CETRA 5050466-2965-2-8 [69:37] [KS]

Great performances by a master musician in respectable sound for their age. The music is recommended. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde (1865) Ludwig Suthaus (tenor) Tristan; Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) Isolde; Blanche Thebom (mezzo) Brangäne; Josef Greindl (bass) King Mark; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Kurwenal; Rudolf Schock (tenor) Sailor/Shepherd; Edgar Evans (tenor) Melot; Rhoderick Davies (baritone) Helmsman; Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Philharmonia Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler From HMV ALP1030/35. Rec. 10-22 June 1952, Kingsway Hall, London. ADD NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110321/4 [4CDs: 335’23] [CC]

A miracle of sorts. If this magnificent account of the greatest music-drama of them all is not yet in your collection, now would be a good time to rectify the omission. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde (1865) – Acts II and III.
August Seider (tenor) Tristan; Helena Braun (soprano) Isolde; Ira Malaniuk (mezzo) Brangene; Gottlob Frick (bass) Marke; Hans Hotter (bass-baritone) Kurwenal; Albrecht Peter (tenor) Melot; Paul Kuen (tenor) Shepherd; Chorus and Orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera, Munich/Rudolf Kempe. Live rec. from the Prinzregententheater, Munich on November 8th, 1953. ADD ARCHIPEL DESERT ISLAND COLLECTION MONO ARPCD0256-2 [144’46: 66’21 + 78’25][CC]

A quite remarkable performance of Acts II and III from Wagner’s chromatic vortex and as such deserves better remastering. ... see Full Review

Graham WATERHOUSE (b. 1962) Chieftain’s Salute Op.34a (2001)a Sinfonietta Op.54 (2002) Mouvements d’Harmonie Op.29 (1991) Celtic Voices Op.36/1 (1996) Hymnus Op.47 (1998) Hale Bopp Op.36/2 (1997)b Jig, Air and Reel Op.9 (1983) Graham Waller (Great Highland Bagpipe)a; Timothy Funnel (treble)b; Endymion Ensemble English Chamber Orchestra/Yaron Traub Recorded: July 2002 (Chieftain’s Salute) and November 2002 MERIDIAN CDE 84510 [71:14] [HC]

All these pieces are superbly played by all concerned, and this portrait provides the best possible introduction to Graham Waterhouse’s well-written and attractive music. ... see Full Review

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Abu Hassan - Singspiel in One Act (1810-11) * Symphony No. 1 in C major (1806-1810) Narrator/Caliph – Wolfgang Völz * Abu Hassan - Jörg Dürmüller, tenor * Fatime – Johanna Stojkovic, soprano * Omar – Franz-Josef Selig, bass * Chor Werk Ruhr * Cappella Coloniensis/Bruno Weil Recorded in Köln, Funkhaus Wallrafplatz Studio 1, May 2002 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 05472 77979 [78’25] [DS]

Heartily recommended ... except those allergic to period instruments. Works not deep in emotional content or wide in breadth, but nevertheless a delightful representation of Weber’s artistry ... see Full Review

Judith WEIR (b. 1954) Disc 1 Piano Concerto (1997)a Music for 247 Strings (1981)b Piano Trio (1997)c Arise! Arise! (1997)d Piano Quartet (2000)e Disc 2 Distance and Enchantment (1988)f The Bagpiper’s String Trio (1988)g The Art of Touching the Keyboard (1988)h I Broke Off a Golden Branch (1991)i Ardnamurchan Point (1990)j El Rey de Francia (1993)k The King of France (1993)l William Howard (piano)abcdehijk; Petra Casén (piano)i; Susan Tomes (piano)l; Simon Blendis (violin)b; The Schubert Ensembleacdeik; Domusfg Recorded: Champs Hill, Pulborough,, Sussex, November 2002 (Disc 1) and All saints Church, East Finchley, London, February and March 1990 (Disc 2) NMC ANCORA+ D 090 [61:23 + 57:50] [HC]

All these performances are really very fine and could not be bettered. They serve Weir’s colourful and engaging music well. This is a most desirable release on all counts. ... see Full Review

Nigel WESTLAKE (b. 1958) Solarmax - music from the film (2000) Sydney Chamber Choir/Nicholas Routley (soloists and musicians) Recorded at The Sydney Opera House, Eugene Goossens Hall; Powerhouse Studio, Rimshot Studio and Audio Loc. Mixed and edited May 2000 ABC CLASSICS 476 176-1 [40.15] [NL]

Some exciting percussion-driven moments to remember; otherwise an aural memento of the documentary. ... see Full Review

John R WILLIAMSON (b.1929) Twelve Housman Songs The Isle of Portland, As I gird on for fighting, Now hollow fires burn out to black, When I came last to Ludlow, Oh, stay at home my lad, and plough, Delight it is in youth and May, With rue my heart is laden, I wake from dreams and turning, The mill stream, When Adam walked in Eden young, It nods and curtseys, The farms of home, Nigel Shaw (bar) John R Williamson (piano) Recorded 5 Sept 1999 DUNELM RECORDS 0133.DR.1299 [19.23] [JW]

You will find much that is complex, personal, reflective and – in the best sense – problematically human in these excellent settings. ... see Full Review

Peter Von WINTER (1754-1825) Maometto. Tragic Melodrama in Two Acts Maometto, Sebastian Na (ten); Zopiro (Sheriff of Mecca), Antonia de Gobbi (bass); Omar (Maometto’s Lieutenant), Luca Salsi (bar); Fanor (Senator of Mecca), Cesare Ruta (ten); Seide (Maometto’s Slave), Gloria Montanari (m.sop); Palmira (Maometto’s Slave), Maria Luigia Borsi (sop) Czech Philharmonic Choir. Czech Chamber Soloists, Brno/Gabrielle Bellini Recorded live July 13th and 18th 2002 in Kurhaus Bad Wildbad, Germany, during the ‘Rossini In Widbad Festival’ MARCO POLO 8.225279-80 [2CDs: 72.26+64.32] [RJF]

This is a very enjoyable and well-conducted performance of an opera by a considerable composer who has, thus far, had far too little exposure on record. ... 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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