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Robert CASADESUS (1899-1972) Sextet for Piano and Wind Instruments, Op. 58 (1958) Concerto for Three Pianos and Orchestra, Op. 65 (1964)* Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano, Op. 34^ (1942) Three Mediterranean Dances for Two Pianos, Op. 36 (1943) Toccata, Op.40+ (1946) Robert Casadesus, piano, w. Gaby and Jean+ Casadesus, pianos. Zino Francescatti,^ violin. André Sagnier, flute, Lucien Debray, oboe, Marcel Jean, clarinet, Gérard Tantôt, bassoon, Roger Guérin, trumpet (Sextet). Orchestre des Concerts Colonne/Pierre Dervaux (Stereo)* rec. 1954 (Toccata), 1950 (Mediterranean Dances), 1949 (Violin Sonata), 1960 (Sextet), and 1966 (Concerto) SONY/CBS 5054852 [66:11] [BBailey]

You could do far worse than to spend time with Casadesus the composer ... this CD is well recommended ... see Full Review

Robert CASADESUS (1899-1972) Symphony No. 1 (1934-35) [26:56] Symphony No. 5 Sur le nom de Haydn (1959-60) [20:00] Symphony No. 7 Israël (1967-70) [16:57] Natasha Jouhl (sop) Alexandra Gibson (mezzo) Mark Wilde (ten) Michael Druiett (bass) Gateshead Children's Choir/Andrew Scott Northern Sinfonia Chorus/Alan Fearon Northern Sinfonia/Howard Shelley rec. Jubilee Hall, Gosforth, Newcastle, 29-30 Oct 2004. DDD premiere recordings CHANDOS CHAN 10263 [64:13] [RB]

Avoids searing emotion ... a sense of standing a pace back from tragedy; very emotionally rigorous ... works of lyrical release avoiding dissonance. ... see Full Review

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Ballades: No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 [9’22]; No. 2 in F, Op. 38 [6’42]; No. 3 in A flat, Op. 47 [7’19]; No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52 [10’42]. Scherzos: No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20 [9’07]; No. 2 in B flat minor [9’46]; No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39 [7’17]; No. 4 in E, Op. 54 [10’58]. Artur Rubinstein (piano). Rec. Manhattan Center, New York City, on April 28th-29th (Ballades) and March 25th-26th (Scherzos) 1959. ADD RCA LIVING STEREO SACD 82876 61396 2 [71’24] [CC]

Magnificent, vintage Chopin here, acting as a timely reminder as to why Artur Rubinstein’s Chopin interpretations are held in such high esteem. ... see Full Review

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etudes, Op. 25 (1832-36) [32’36]. Trois Nouvelles Etudes (1839) [5’29]. Berceuse in D flat, Op. 57 (1844) [4’35]. Barcarolle in F sharp, Op. 60 (1846) [8’27]. Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61 (1846) [13’06]. Frederic Chiu (piano). Rec. Skywalker Sound, Marin County, California, on March 26th-27th, 2001 and October 12th-14th, 2003. DDD HARMONIA MUNDI USA HMU907282 [64’27] [CC]

US-based Frederic Chiu possesses a melting tone and a high level of musicianship. ... see Full Review

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Works for Piano Duo Dance of the Adolescent (1924) Music for the Theater (1925) El Salón México (1937) arr. Bernstein Billy the Kid (1938) Two Dance Episodes from Rodeo (1942) (Arr. Gold and Fizdale): (i) Saturday Night Waltz (ii) Hoe Down Danzón Cubano (1942) Danza de Jalisco (1968) Arianna Goldina and Rémy Loumbrozo (pianos) Rec. June 2000 and April 2001, location not stated DDD PHOENIX USA PHCD154 [73:46] [PCW]

Arianna Goldina and Rémy Loumbrozo are clearly in their element in this repertoire and miss no opportunity to have some fun ... see Full Review

Francois COUPERIN (1668-1733) Complete Chamber Music CD1 ‘Les Nations’ Volume 1 1st and 2nd ordres [48.28] CD2 ‘Les Nations’ Volume 2 ‘3rd Ordre ‘L’Impériale’ 4th ordre ‘La Piémontoise’ [48.44] CD3 Concerts Royaux ; [49.35] CD4 Les Goûts-réunis Part 1 Concerts 5-8 [55.52] CD5 Les Goûts-réunis Part 2 Concerts 6-14 [63.32] CD6 ‘Le Parnasse ou L’Apothéose de Corelli’ and Concert Instrumental sous le titre D’Apothéose de Lully’ [42.16] CD7 La Sultane; La Superbe; Le Steinquerque; Pièces de Violes (2 suites) Le Rossignol en amour [60.01] Musica ad Rhenum/Jed Wentz Recorded at the church of Maria Minore, Spring 2004 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92178 1-7 [GH]

From Volume 3 onwards I was awarded complete and consistent pleasure by the playing and the general level of musical and scholastic approach. ... see Full Review

Luigi Dallapiccola (1904-1975) Tartiniana: Divertimento for violin and orchestra (1951) [14:43] Due Pezzi: for orchestra (1947) [12:17] Piccola Musica Notturna (1954) [8:53] Frammenti Sinfonici dal BallettoMarsia (1942-43; 1947) [20:04] Variazioni per Orchestra (1953-54) [16:34] James Ehnes, violin (Tartiniana) BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda Recorded: Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester 14-16 April 2004. CHANDOS CHAN 10258 [73:07] [JF]

A beautiful and moving release. Five masterpieces of lyrical serial music that just demands to be discovered. I cannot praise this CD too highly. ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1868) The Young Donizetti L'Ajo Nell'Imbarazzo (1824) Overture Alfredo Il Grande (1823) Act I: Cavatina, Non e di morte il fulmine. (Bruce Ford) Pietro Il Grande, Kzar Delle Russie (1819) Act II: Sextet, Ah qual colpo, oh del, qual fremito. (Russell Smythe, Susan Bickley, Marilyn Hill Smith Myrna Moreno, Kevin John, Jonathan Best) Enrico di Borgogna (1818) Act I: Recitative and Cavatina, Elisa! Elisa! Oh! me infelice Care aurette che spiegate (Della Jones) Zoraida di Granata (1822) Act I: Finale, 'Qual tradimento e questo!. Ah! Ch’io provo di smanie, d'affetti (Bruce Ford, Majella Cullagh, Paul Austin Kelly, Cristina Pastorello, Dominic Natoli, Matthew Hargreaves) Chiara e Serafina - ossia - I Pirati (1822) Act II: Trio, Tremante, smarrito.(Yvonne Kenny, Lynne Davies, Della Jones) Zoraida di Granata (1824) Act I: Cavatina, Era mia... mi amo... l'amai....Che mi giovo l'alloro (Diana Montague, Geoffrey Mitchell Choir) Le Nozze in Villa (1821) Act II: Trio, In lei vegg'io l'oggett. (Diana Montague, Paul Nilon, Jonathan Viera) Gabriella di Vergy (1826) Act II: Aria, Perche non chiusi al di? (Eiddwen Harrhy) Elvida (1826) Duet, Se geme a’ tuoi lai (Jennifer Larmore, Annick Massis) La Zingara (1822) Act I: Cavatina, A te nell'appressarmi. (Bruce Ford) L'eremitaggio di Liwerpool (1828) Act II: Rondo Finale, Confusa e l'alma mia....Non intende il mio contento.(Yvonne Kenny, Geoffrey Mitchell Choir) Philharmonia Orchestra; Academy of St Martin in the Fields; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; London Philharmonic Orchestra Conductors: David Parry, Alun Francis, Antonello Allemandi OPERA RARA ORR 229 [78.27] [RJF]

A unique opportunity of hearing, on one disc, the development of Donizetti’s style in his early works and career. Highly recommended. ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Instrumental Concertos Sinfonia a soli instrumenti di fiato in G minor (1817) Concertino in C minor for flute and chamber orchestra (1819) Concertino in F for oboe and chamber orchestra Concertino in D minor for violin, cello and orchestra Concertino in G for cor anglais and orchestra (1816) Concertino in B flat for clarinet and orchestra Sinfonia in D minor per la Morte di Capuzzi (1818) Imre Kovács (flute), József Kiss (oboe), Ágnes Girgás (cor anglais), Béla Kovács (clarinet), András Kiss (violin), Judit Kiss Domonkos (cello) Camarata Budapest/László Kovács Rec. Festetich Castle, Budapest, June 1994 DDD NAXOS 8.557492 [64:19] [PCW]

An enjoyable disc - gracious, undemanding music which is well-played and perfect for relaxation … see Full Review

Padre José Antonio DONOSTIA (1886-1956) Piano Music Basque Preludes (1912-16), Andante for a Basque Sonata, Nostalgia, Heartfelt prayer to Our Lady of Socorri, Basque Minuet, On the Banks of the Ter, Tiento and Song, Homage to Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga, Jordi Masó (piano) Recorded at the Teatre Ponent de Granollers, Barcelona, July 2000 NAXOS 8.557228 [78.35] [JW}

Song and simplicity - both are here in full measure. ... see Full Review

Music for cello and piano II Richard DRAKEFORD (b.1936) Cello Suitefor Rohan de Saram (1957-8) John R. WILLIAMSON (b.1929) Cello Sonata No. 2 (2001) * Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-1996) Solo Cello Sonata (1969) Diane Porteous (cello) Kathryn Page (piano) * Rec. Whiteley Hall, Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester in July 2003 and August 2004 DDD DUNELM RECORDS DRD0229 [51:35] [PCW]

Why listen to yet another version of a well-known work by a well-known artist on a major label when you can explore material as interesting and well-played as this? ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony no. 9 in E minor (From the New World) [37'18]Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809 - 1847) Symphony no. 3 in A minor (The Scottish) [34'09] Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow (piano duet) DIVINE ART 25028 [71.38] [DW]

You should acquire this disc even if you only play it once. It is a real joy. But do not treat it as a novelty. It is too good for that. ... see Full Review

Dennis EBERHARD (b. 1943) Shadow of the Swan: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Prometheus Wept (August 6, August 9, 1945) for Solo Bass and String Orchestra Halida Dinova (piano) Piotr Migunov (bass) St. Petersburg Cappella Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Tchernoushenko Rec. St. Petersburg Recording Studio, St. Petersburg, 25–27 Nov 2002 DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559176 [56:07] [JW]

A rather baffling disc, difficult to really get to grips with. ... see Full Review

John ECCLES (1668-1735)/William CONGREVE (1670-1729) Semele (1707) Semele - Leslie Mangrum Ino - Lee Tayler Cadmus - Kyle Ferrill Athamus - Kathleen Phipps Jupiter - Mathew Toberson Juno - Brenda Grau Iris - Barbara Clements Cupids - Erica Cochran/Diane Coble Somnus - Bragi Valsson Apollo - Scott MacLeod Chief Priest - Michael Moreno Florida State University Opera and Early Music Department/Anthony Rooley Recorded at the Opperman Music Hall, Spring 2003 FORUM FRC 9203 [69.09 + 48.20: 119.17] [GH]

The action comes thick and fast ... a lively recitative verging on arioso ... astonishing to think that this music has never been performed until now ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Concerto in B minor op. 61 (1910) [49:43] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Lark Ascending (1920) [16:21] Hilary Hahn (violin) London Symphony Orchestra/Colin Davis rec. London, Abbey Road, Oct 2003 (Elgar); Dec 2003 (Vaughan Williams) SACD reviewed in CD format only DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 474 8732 [66:10] [RB]

Ultimately an estimable Elgar concerto rather than a consistently great one. Has some of the nagging seeds of greatness ... and remains a version that made me want to return again and again. ... see Full Review

Einar ENGLUND (1916–1999) Piano Quintet (1941)a String Quartet (1985/6) Peter Lönnqvist (piano)a Sinfonia Lahti Chamber Ensemble Recorded: Sibelius Hall, Lahti, October 2000 (Piano Quintet) and May 2002 (String Quartet) BIS BIS-CD-1197 [54:57] [HC]

A must for all “Englundians”, and is warmly recommended to all who respond to sincere, expressive and deeply human music. ... see Full Review

Michael FINNISSY (b. 1946) Gershwin Arrangements (1975/1987-8) [49’27]: How long has this been going on? [3’30]; Things are looking up [3’11]; A foggy day in Londontown [3’11]; Love is here to stay [4’35]; They can’t take that away from me [4’26]; Shall we dance? [2’51]; They’re writing songs of love, but not for me [3’55]; Fidgety Feet [2’00]; Embraceable you [5’24]; Waiting for the sun to come out [4’35]; Innocent ingénue baby [4’35]; Blah, blah, b;ah [2’33]; Boy wanted [4’51]. More Gershwin (1989-90) [30’21]: Limehouse nights [3’27]; Wait a bit, Susie [2’51]; I’d rather Charleston[3’28]; Isn’t it wonderful! [2’08]; Nobody but you [1’58]; Swanee [4’25]; Dixie Rose [1’07]; Someone believes in you [3’35]; Nashville Nightingale [7’22]. Nicolas Hodges (piano). Rec. December 6th-7th, 1999, June 20th-21st, 2000 at St George’s, Bristol. DDD  METRONOME METCD1063 [79’48] [CC]

All in all this is a superbly recorded and played disc that reveals just how searching the mind of Michael Finnissy really is. ... see Full Review

John FOULDS (1880-1939) Three Mantras from Avatara (1. Of Action and Vision of Terrestrial Avataras; 2. Of Bliss and Vision of Celestial Avataras; 3. Of Will and Vision of Cosmic Avataras) Op. 61b (1930) [26:28] Lyra Celtica - concerto for voice and orchestra Op. 50 (1925) [16:11] Apotheosis (Elegy) - Music Poem No. 4 for violin and orchestra Op. 18 (1907) [11:18] Mirage - Music Poem No. 5 for orchestra Op. 20 (1910) [23:49] Susan Bickley (mezzo) Daniel Hope (violin) City of Birmingham SO/Sakari Oramo rec. Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 26-27 Feb 2004. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61525-2 [78:13] [JT]

This new recording is self-recommending. Will be sought by all Foulds enthusiasts and deserves wide appreciation among general music lovers ... see Full Review

Robert FUCHS (1847-1927) Complete Violin Sonatas: Volume 2 Violin Sonata No.2 in D major Op.33 (1883) Violin Sonata No.3 in D minor Op.68 (1901) Violin Sonata No.6 in G minor Op.103 (1915) Ursula Maria Berg (violin) Oliver Triendl (piano) Recorded Hochschule für Musik, Karlsruhe, September and October 2003 THOROFON CTH2512 [71.04] [JW]

Berg and Triendl show a real instinct for the rhapsodic ebb and flow of Fuchs’ melody line and the interplay of voices that give such life and lift ... see Full Review

Chen GANG (b.1935) and He ZHANHAO (b.1933) The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto (1959) Peter BREINER (b.1957) Songs and Dances from the Silk Road: A Beloved Rose (Kazakh Folk-Song); The Half-Moon Climbs (Uygur Folk-Song); Spinning (Gansu Folk-Song); All at Work (Great North-West Folk-Song); Sa Hi Long Ba (Uygur Fol-Song); Lan Hua Hua (Shanxi Folk-Song); Lift Your Veil (Uygur Folk-Song); Tulufan (Xinjiang Folk-Song) Takako Nishizaki (violin) New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/James Judd Rec. Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand, 8th-10th April 2003 NAXOS 6.110082 SACD [63:23] [JW]

Kitsch? No, certainly not. ... heartfelt, melodious and delightful work. ... see Full Review

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Porgy and Bess (1935) Lawrence Winters (baritone) - Porgy Camilla Williams (soprano) – Bess June McMechen (soprano) – Clara Inez Matthews (soprano) – Serena Helen Dowdy (mezzo soprano) – Lily Sadie McGill (mezzo soprano) – Annie Helen Dowdy (mezzo soprano) - Strawberry Woman, Maria, Lily Avon Long (tenor) - Sportin’ Life William A. Glover (tenor) – Mingo Irving Washington (tenor) – Robbins Harrison Cattenhead (tenor) – Peter Ray Yeats (tenor) – Nelson, Crab Man Warren Coleman (baritone) – Crown Eddie Matthews (baritone) – Jake George Fisher (baritone) – Jim Hubert Dilworth (baritone) – Undertaker J. Rosamond Johnson (baritone) – Frazier Robert Carroll (speaker) - Mr Archdale George Matthews (speaker) – Detective Peter Van Zant (speaker) – Policeman, Coroner (Anonymous) Orchestra and J Rosamond Johnson Chorus/Lehman Engel Recorded Columbia Studios, New York, April 1951 Appendix; Highlights Summertime, A woman is a sometime thing, My man’s gone now, Oh, I got plenty of nuttin’ , Bless, you is my woman now, It ain’t necessarily so, Oh, Bess, oh where is my Bess, Oh Lawd, I’m on my way, Risë Stevens (mezzo-soprano) Robert Merrill (baritone) The Robert Shaw Chorale RCA Victor Orchestra Robert Russell Bennett Recorded in the Manhattan Centre, New York, September 1950 NAXOS 8.110287/88 [77.36 + 79.09] [JW]

The Engel performance still commands both admiration and inquisitive listening. ... see Full Review

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) The Authentic George GershwinVolumes 1-4 Jack Gibbons (piano) Recorded St Martin’s Church, East Woodhay 1992 and 1993 (Volumes 1, 2 and 3), St George’s Brandon Hill, May 1997 (Volume 4) SANCTUARY RESONANCE CD RSB 401-04 [4 CDs: 68.40 + 75.51 + 76.47 + 67.55] [JW]

A fine box; maybe not always persuasive but as often as makes no difference. ... see Full Review

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Gershwin For Trumpet: arrangements for trumpet and piano Juraj Bartos (trumpet) Peter Breiner (piano) Recorded Glenn Gould Studio, C.B.C., Toronto, June 1996 NAXOS 8.554302 [50.15] [JW]

The trumpet-piano duo is a difficult one in jazz but the arrangements are generally well worked out ... see Full Review

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Symphony No. 2 (1995) [43:14] Symphony No. 3 (1994) [23:54] Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop Rec. The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, UK, 20-21 July 2003 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559202 [67:07] [RB]

The linkage of these two symphonies has a certain logic. If the concept attracts then the price and the musical and technical values match the best on the market. ... see Full Review

Christoph Willibald VON GLUCK (1714-1787) L'innocenza giustificata, festa teatrale in 2 parts María Bayo (Claudia), Verònica Cangemi (Flavio), soprano; Marina de Liso (Flaminia), mezzosoprano; Andreas Karasiak (Valerio), tenor ChorWerk Ruhr; Cappella Coloniensis/Christopher Moulds Recorded September 2003 at Studio Stolbergerstrasse, Cologne, Germany DDD DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 82876 58796 2 [46:29 + 40:59] [JV]

A pre-reform serenata by Gluck, which partially points into the direction of his 'Orfeo' … see Full Review

Edvard GRIEG (1842 - 1907) Concert Overture In Autumn Op. 11(1866) Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A Op. 16 (1907) Symphonic Dances Op. 64 (1897) Håvard Gimse (piano) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Bjarte Engeset Recorded at Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, 15 May 2003 NAXOS 6.110060 SACD [71.38] [JW]

Fine playing all round ... see Full Review

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Complete Solo Piano Music CD 1: Lyric Pieces (Volumes 1-4). [74:12] CD 2: Lyric Pieces (Volumes 5-7). [72:47] CD 3: Lyric Pieces (Volumes 8-10). [66:40] CD 4: (6) Poetic Tone-Pictures, op 3; (25) Nordic Folksongs and Dances, op 17; (3) Pictures from Folk Life, op 19; Ballade in g, op 24. [77:54] CD 5: (4) Piano Pieces, op 1; Sonata in e, op 7; Improvisations on Two Norwegian Folksongs, op 29; (12) Pieces Based on His Own Songs, opp 41 and 52. [76:57] CD 6: (4) Humoresques, op 6; Five Albumleaves, op 28; Moods, op 73; From Three Piano Pieces: The Dance Goes On and Gnome’s Tune; From Holberg's Time, op 40. [75:23] CD 7: (19) Norwegian Folkdances, op 66; Funeral March for Rikard Nordraak, EG 107; (17) Norwegian Peasant Dances, op 72. [75:22] Gerhard Oppitz (piano)
Rec. 1993. Germany. DDD BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876 60391 2 [7 CDs: 8 hours, 39 minutes] [GS]

An exemplary recording by Gerhard Oppitz ... played very well though not erasing the memory of Gieseking, Gilels and Barenboim ... see Full Review

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Lyric Pieces Heidi Kommerell (fortepiano) Rec 13-15 November 2003, Museum Huelsman Bielefeld MD&G 604 1271-2 [58.27] [TB]

Kommerell is an artist who conveys much understanding and sensitivity in these delightful pieces. ... see Full Review

Charles Tomlinson GRIFFES (1884-1920) The White Peacock [5:37] Three Poems of Fiona McLeod: The Lament of Ian the Proud [3:58]; Thy Dark Eyes to Mine [2:46]; The Rose of the Night [3:49] Bacchanale [3:59] Clouds [4:08] Three Tone Pictures: The Lake at Evening [3:33]; The Vale of Dreams [3:02]; The Night Winds [1:52] Poem for Flute and Orchestra [9:58] The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan [12:29] Barbara Quintiliani, soprano Carol Wincenc, flute
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta Recorded at Kleinhaus Music Hall, Buffalo, NY, February 2002. [DDD] NAXOS 8.559164 [56:08] [KS]

A nice addition to the impressionist repertoire, and a great diversion from Afternoon of a Faun. Recommended. ... see Full Review

Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937) Despair, Sehnsucht (Longing), Song of the Summer Woods, The Sea Nocturne in B Nocturne in A flat Nine Preludes (No. 9 recorded here in two versions) Howard FERGUSON (1908-1999) Piano Sonata in F minor (1938-40) Five Bagatelles (1944) Mark Bebbington (piano) Recorded St Paul's Church, Birmingham, April 2004 SOMM SOMMCD 038 [74:03] [JW]

Performances fully committed – I liked Bebbington’s singing tone in the Gurney and the full weight he gives to chordal outbursts in the Ferguson ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 – 1759) – Lotario Adelaide – Simone Kermes (soprano) Lotario – Sara Mingardo (contralto) Berengario – Steve Davislim (tenor) Idelberto – Hilary Summers (contralto) Matilde – Sonia Prina (contralto) Clodomiro – Vito Priante (bass) Il Complesso Barocco/Alan Curtis Recorded June 22-28, 2004, Chiesa dell’Annunziata, Ravello, Salerno, Italy DEUTSCHES HARMONIA MUNDI 82876 58797 2 [79.30 + 77.18] [RH]

A fine performance ... or perhaps buy it as a present for those who think that Handel’s operas are all too long and all sound the same. ... see Full Review

George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759) Ode for St Cecilia's Day (HWV 76) Dorothee Mields, soprano; Mark Wilde, tenor Alsfelder Vokalensemble Concerto Polacco/Wolfgang Helbich Rec. August 1999, Maria Magdalena Kirche, Templin, Germany. DDD NAXOS 8.554752 [48:44] [JV]

An recording of one of Handel's finest works which is enjoyable but doesn't reveal the full glory of the score ... see Full Review

Johann Ernst HARTMANN (1726-1793) Complete Symphonies Symphony No.1 in D major Symphony No.2 in G major Symphony No.3 in D major Symphony No.4 in G major Concerto Copenhagen Lars Ulrik Mortensen (harpsichord and director) Recorded Garnisons Kirke, Copenhagen, August and October 2003 CPO 777 060-2 [51.25] [JW]

Works that revel in refinement and superior taste; no obvious depths plumbed ... crafted with care ... see Full Review

Josef HAYDN (1732-1809) Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E flat major Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E major Ferdinand DAVID (1810-1873) Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra in E flat major, Op.4 Georg WAGENSEIL (1715-1777) Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra in E flat major Jeffrey Segal (trumpet) Michael Bertoncello (trombone) Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich/David Zinman Rec. Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland, May 2001 (Haydn, Hummel); Feb 2003 (rest) ARTE NOVA 82876 58424 2 [58’06] [TH]

I doubt anyone will have much cause for complaint ... lack of pretension only adds to immediate appeal. ... see Full Review

Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Symphony No. 3 Liturgique (1945) Pacific 231 (1923)
Mouvement Symphonique No. 3 (1933) Rugby (1928) Pastorale d’été (1920) New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa Recorded 23-25 January 2002, Wellington Town Hall, New Zealand NAXOS 8.555974 [65.04] [JW]

A real contender, excellently recorded, and finely played. ... see Full Review

Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Potpourri in G minor for Viola and Orchestra, Op. 94 (1820) [18:42] Adagio and Rondo alla Polacca in A major for Violin and Orchestra (undated) [10:38]* Variations in B flat major for Piano and Orchestra on a Theme from the Berlin Singspiel "Das Fest der Handwerker", Op. 115 (1830) [15:07]* Concerto in G major for Violin and Orchestra (undated) [21:40]* James Ehnes, violin and viola London Mozart Players/Howard Shelley, conductor and pianist Recorded Blackheath Halls, London, June 2004 Premiere Recordings * CHANDOS CHAN 10255 [66:20] [DS]

As Chandos continues to explore Hummel's legacy, I tip my hat to this excellent enterprise that has put him firmly on the musical map where he belongs.... see Full Review

Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Mass in E-flat major, Op. 80 (1804) [43:39] Te Deum in D major (no opus given) (1805) [10:24] Quod In Orbe, Op. 88 (1806) [7:51] Susan Gritton, soprano Ann Murray, mezzo James Gilchrist, tenor Stephen Varcoe, baritone Orchestra: Collegium Musicum 90/Richard Hickox Rec. Blackheath Halls, London, 8-10 Sept 2003. DDD CHANDOS CHACONNE 0712 [61:54] [WT]

Conviction and splendid sensitivity ... always alert, stylish, and ultra-transparent –allows us to hear the many felicities of Hummel’s scoring. The voices are well-matched and sound as though they’re really enjoying the music ... see Full Review

Karel HUSA (b.1921) Recollections Deux Preludes (1966)* Five Poems (1994)+ Recollections 91982)# Serenade (1963) Sato Moughalian (flute), Edward R Gilmore (clarinet) Laura Koepke (bassoon) * Quintet of the Americas+ Quintet of the Americas and David Oei (piano)# Quintet of the Americas/Perspectives Ensemble/David Gilbert (conductor) Recorded at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York 2001 except Deux Preludes, same location, 2003 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80571-2 [61.24] [JW]

Sinewy and difficult – but much is toughly sensitive. ... see Full Review

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Violin Sonata No.1 in D minor (1908-09) Trio No.2 in E minor (1917) Cello Sonata in G minor (1923) The Holy Boy – carol (1913 arranged 1919) Daniel Hope (violin) Julian Lloyd Webber (cello) John McCabe (piano) Recorded Champs Hill, Pulborough, Sussex, December 2003 (Violin Sonata and Trio), St John’s Smith Square, August 1979 (Cello Sonata), Henry Wood Hall, February 1987 (The Holy Boy) SANCTUARY - ASV GLD 4009 [69.23] [JW]

You won’t be disappointed with this release; fine performances of major English chamber music. ... see Full Review

Charles IVES (1874-1954) Sonata No.2 for Piano, ‘Concord, Mass.: 1840-60’ (1904-15) Varied Air and Variations, The Celestial Railroad, Four Transcriptions from ‘Emerson’, No.1 Steven Mayer (piano) Recorded at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Toronto, Canada, 30-31 January 2002 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559127 [72’35] [JW]

The Ivesian tent is a capacious one; there’s room for Bedouin of all shapes and sizes. ... see Full Review

Frederick JACOBI (1891-1952) Cello Concerto (1932): Allegro Cantabile; Allegretto; Allegro Ritmico Alban Gerhardt, cello Barcelona Symphony/National Orchestra of Catalonia/Karl Anton Rickenbacher Sabbath Evening Service (excerpts) (1931): Mi khamokha; V'sham'ru; O May the Words; Adon olam Patrick Mason, baritone Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus/Joseph Cullen Hagiographa (1938): Job; Ruth; Joshua Brian Krinke, Perrin Yang, violins; George Taylor, viola; Stefan Reuss, cello; Joseph Werner, piano Ahavat Olam (1945) Cantor Robert Bloch; Aaron Miller, organ New York Cantorial Choir/Samuel Adler Two Pieces in Sabbath Mood (1946): Kaddish; Oneg Shabbat Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Samuel Adler Rec. Milken Archive of American Jewish Music NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559434 [70:08] [RB]

The Concerto is an explicitly devotional piece with each of its three movements based in sequence on psalms 90, 91 and 92. The work communicates as a personal prayer with the listener eaves-dropping on this intimate act of faith. ... see Full Review

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Taras Bulba [22:30] Concertino for piano, two violins, clarinet, horn and bassoon [16:22] Sinfonietta [21:52] Rudolf Firkušný (piano) (Concertino) Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Rafael Kubelik Rec. May and Oct 1970, München, Residenz, Herkulessaal. ADD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON DG 476 2196 [60:54] [RB]

Kubelik lays bare the imperiously beating heart of this music and is complemented by DG’s electrifying recording ... rich in amplitude and dynamic life. ... see Full Review

Vítĕzslava KAPRÁLOVÁ (1915-1940) Portrait of the Composer: Military Sinfonietta, Op. 11a (1936) [14’34]. String Quartet, Op. 8b (1935) [19’25]. April Preludes, Op. 13c (1937) [9’30]. Love Carold (1938) [1’20]. Ritornell, Op. 25e (1940) [4’13]. Partita, Op. 20f (1938/9) [19’26]. Waving Farewell, Op. 14g (1937) [5’16]. Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Love Carold (1937) [0’48]. afgCzech Symphony Orchestra of Brno/František Jílek; bJanáček String Quartet (Bohumil Smejkal, Adolf Sýkora, violins; Jiří Kratochvíl, viola; Karel Krafka, cello); dLenka Škorničková (soprano); gVilém Přibyl (tenor); eIvan Mĕrka (cello); ceJaroslav Smýkal, dJitka Drubílková, fJiří Skovajsa, (pianos). Rec. acf1991, b1982, e1974, g1975, dStudio Dominova, in April 1998. ADD STUDIO MATOUŠ MK 0049-2 [75’14] [CC]

An essential supplement to the Supraphon Kaprálová disc. Do try to search it out. ... see Full Review

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Piano Concerto in D flat (1936) [36:32] Sonatina (1959) [8:36] Toccata (1932) [4:33] Alberto Portugheis (piano) London Symphony Orchestra/Loris Tjeknavorian Rec. St Barnabas Church, Woodside Park, London, 17-18 Nov 1986 ASV RESONANCE CD RSN 3037 [49:41] [RB]

If you like Sanctuary’s distinctive highly coloured, technicolour sound-signature there’s no real reason to hesitate at this bargain price. ... see Full Review

Giselher KLEBE (b.1925) Piano Music 2 Poèma drammatico for two pianos and orchestra Op.130 (1999) * Soggetto cavato primo Op.122 Soggetto cavato secundo Op. 129 Widmungen Op.115 + Zornige Lieder ohne Worte Op.118 (1994) # Meine Enkelkinder und ich: Mira, Maya, Tim Christian and ihr Opa, Op.140 (2002) # Thema und 39 Variationen Op.142 # Silke-Thora Matthies and Christian Köhn (pianos) and SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg/Peter Ruzicka* Christian Köhn (piano)+ Silke-Thora Matthies (piano)# Recorded Konzerthaus Freiburg, April 2002 (Poèma drammatico) and Rudolf-Oetker-Halle Bielefeld, September 2003 (remainder) MARCO POLO 8.225290 [75.00] [JW]

The performances are tangibly engaged ... see Full Review

August KLUGHARDT (1847-1902) Auf der Wanderschaft – Suite for Orchestra Op.67 (1895 orchestrated 1897) Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No.3 in D major D200 (1815) Alhaltische Philharmonie Dessau/Golo Berg Rec. Mitteldeutschen Rundfunks, Anhaltischen Theater, Dessau, May 2003 ANTES BM CD 31.9196 [50.20] [JW]

Klughardt was a generous melodist and this is unfailingly attractive music ... see Full Review

Joseph KREUTZER (1790-1840) Trios Op.9: Nos. 1-4 Gragnani Trio: Thomas Richter (flute), Anna Tarnawska (violin) and Karin Scholz (guitar) Recorded Bavarian Music Academy, December 2003 THOROFON CTH 2488 [60.00] [JW]

The music, enjoyable and slight, emerges in proper perspective and with naturalness. ... see Full Review

Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697-1764) The Complete Flute Sonatas Barthold Kuijken, transverse flute; Wieland Kuijken, viola da gamba; Robert Kohnen, harpsichord Recorded in September 1984 DDD ACCENT ACC 30035 [50:05 + 59:01] [JV]

A complete recording of all Leclair's sonatas which are suitable for the flute, brilliantly performed by Barthold Kuijken and his companions… see Full Review

Nicola LEFANU (b.1947) String Quartet No. 2 (1996); Concertino for clarinet and string orchestra (1986/1990) Cancion de la luna for counter-tenor and string quartet (1992) Catena for Eleven Solo Strings (1999) Fiona Cross (clarinet); Nicholas Clapton (counter-tenor) Goldberg Ensemble/Malcolm Layfield Recorded at the Sir John Lyons Concert Hall, University of York, July 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557389 [62.03] [GH]

Delicacy, complete with aleatoric passages and microtonal writing .... sums up completely Lefanu’s highly original sound-world ... see Full Review

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Der Sterngucker (The Stargazer) (1916) - Operetta in 3 Acts Lothar Odinius, (tenor) Franz Höfer, Astronomer Claudia Rohrbach, (soprano) Kitty Höfer Henna Dóra Sturludóttir, (soprano) Lilly Moos Robert Wörle, (tenor) Paul von Rainer, Baron Markus Köhler, baritone) Nepomuk, Herr Popper, Herr Moos, Herr Rahmberger Angelika Bomber, (soprano) Mizzi, Frau Popper Alexander Bröer, (alto) lsolde, Frau Rahmberger, Frau Moos Rosenstock und Edelweiß Singspiel in 1 Act (1912) - Overture German Chamber Academy of Neuss/Johannes Goritzki DDD. SACD (Surround Sound) CPO 999 872-2 [37:54 + 47:36] [RW]

Not the best Lehár has written but graceful and sensitively delivered ... see Full Review

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Der Rastelbinder (The Tinker) (1902) Operetta in 2 acts with dialogue Fritz Muliar, (tenor) - An onion peddler Hans Kraemmer, (baritone) - Glöpper, a tinsmith Helga Papouschek, (soprano) - Mizzi, the tinsmith's daughter Elfie Hobarth, (soprano) - Suza, a servant girl Heinz Zednik, (tenor) - Janku, the tinsmith's boy assistant Adolf Dallapozza, (tenor) - Milosch, a corporal ORF Choir and Vienna Mozart Boys Choir ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hans Graf Recorded at ORF Radio studios, Vienna, Austria, November 1981. ADD CPO 777 038-2 [73:38 + 62:38] [RW]

Carries the distinctive Viennese style that was to follow and become such a Lehár hallmark ... see Full Review

DISCOVERY OF THE MONTH Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1858-1919) Pagliacci - Opera in Two Acts. Plus appendix, Florence Quartararo Memorial Canio, Ramon Vinay (ten); Nedda, Florence Quartararo (sop); Tonio, Leonard Warren (bar); Silvio, Hugh Thompson (bar); Beppe, Lesley Chabay (ten) Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera New York/Giuseppe Antonicelli Live broadcast performance. 28 February 1948 Appendix of Florence Quartararo in excerpts recorded 1945-1950 George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Atlanta, Care Selve Umberto GIORDANO (1867-1948) Andrea Chenier, La mamma morta Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Il Trovatore, Tacea la notte placida Otello, Act 1 duet (abridged) with Joseph Laderout (ten) Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Tosca, Perche chiuso with Ramon Vinay Tosca, ‘Vissi d’arte’ Landon RONALD (1873-1938) Cycle of Life, Love I have won you Georges BIZET (1838-1870) Carmen, Parle-moi de ma mère. With Ramon Vinay Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Cavalleria rusticana, Voi la sapete Madama Butterfly, Un bel di vedremo Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Le nozze di Figaro, Dove sono Don Giovanni, Taci inguisto core. With Ezio Pinza (bass), Salvatore Baccaloni (bass) Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Thais, Mirror Song Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828). Ave Maria GUILD HISTORICAL IMMORTAL PERFORMANCES SERIES GHCD 2291-92 [72.08 + 79.10] [RJF]

Quartararo - a voice to set alongside the giants of the 20th century. I suggest lovers of fine singing go out and buy while stocks last. Once the word gets out copies will surely fly off the shelves. ... see Full Review

Nils Lindberg (b. 1933) A Christmas Cantata (2002) [42:09] Three Swedish Folk Songs arranged for Choir (2003?) [7.56] Margareta Jalkéus, soprano; Olle Persson, baritone Gustaf Sjökvist Chamber Choir/Gustaf Sjökvist Nils Lindberg Big Band Recorded on 21st December in Storkyrkan, Stockholm. PROPRIUS PRCD 2027 [50.05][JF]

A refreshing change from the usual diet of Christmas Music. A combination of the old tunes and jazz provides a novel insight into the ‘festive’ season. ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811 - 1886) Harmonies Poétiques et Réligieuses, S.154 (1834):#7, Funérailles [11.57] Rhapsodie Espagnole, S.254 (1863) [13.53] Années de Pélerinage, 1er Année: Suisse, S.160 (1855): #6, Vallée d’Obermann [14.31] Sonata in b, S.178 (1853) [31.15] Arnaldo Cohen, Steinway D Piano Stefan Olsson, piano technician. Recorded at former Academy of Music, Stockholm, Sweden, 7 July 2003 Notes in English, Deutsch, Français. BIS CD -1253 [72.30] [PSh]

A superb recording of Sonata in b in a beautifully, sensuously played collection ... see Full Review






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