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M. de SAINTE COLOMBE (fl. latter 17th Century) Pièces pour viole de gambe
Prelude [1:35] Les Couplets [9:44] Le Retrouvé [7:07] Le Conférence [11:57] Le Changé [9:19] Tombeau Les Regrets [8:51] Le Raporté [4:50] Le Majestueux [4:32] Le Précipite [2:50] La Varié[3:10] L’Infidelle [5:41] Hille Perl, viola da gamba Le Santana, viola da gamba Andrew Lawence-King, harps Lorenz Duftschmidt, lutes Recorded 23-26 March 1996, St. Andrew’s Church, Toddington [DDD] DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 74321 935562 [68:38] [KS]

A nice evening’s listen all in all and a chance for some aural peace and tranquility for a change ... see Full Review

Sonata for violin and piano No. 1, in D minor, op. 75 (1885) Sonata for violin and piano No. 2, in E flat major, op. 102 (1896) Berceuse, op. 38, for violin and piano (1871) Elegie, op. 160, for violin and piano (1920) Elegie, op. 143, for violin and piano (1915) Romance, op. 37, for violin and piano (1871) String Quartet No. 1 in E minor, op. 112 (1899) String Quartet No. 2 in G major, op. 153 (1919) Quatuor Viotti
Olivier Charlier (violin) Jean Hubeau (piano) Recorded in Studio 103, Radio-France, December 1984 (string quartets) and Studio 107, Radio-France, August 1987 (violin and piano works). WARNER CLASSICS APEX 2564 61426-2 [65:20 + 54:34] [MC]

Simply wonderful chamber works superbly performed. This disc would have been strongly recommended at full-price. An indispensable release. ... see Full Review

Robert SAXTON (b. 1953) CD1 Music to Celebrate the Resurrection ++ (1988); I will awake the Dawn (1986) Violin Concerto + (1990); In the Beginning ++ (1987) Tasmin Little (violin) BBC Symphony Orchestra/Matthias Bamert + English Chamber Orchestra/Steuart Bedford ++ BBC Singers/John Poole CD2 Caritas - a chamber opera in two acts (1991) Members of Opera North Children from Allerton Grange Middle School, Leeds, English Northern Philharmonic/Diego Masson Recorded live at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, November 1991. NMC ANCORA D102 [72.08 + 78.14] [GH]

Saxton: direct and natural, powerful and passionate, when he has a strong and spiritual aim ... performances faultless. ... I cannot imagine how things might be improved. ... see Full Review

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757)Sonata K 126 in C minor; Sonata K 450 in G minor; Sonata K 108 in G minor; Sonata K 384 in C major; Sonata K 406 in C major; Sonata K 69 in F minor; Sonata K 518 in F major; Sonata K 519 in F minor; Sonata K 434 in F major; Sonata K 278 in D major; Sonata K 402 in E minor; Sonata K 403 in E major; Sonata K 202 in E major Christian Zacharias (piano)Rec. 10/11 June 2002, Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen. DDD [RNB] SACD Hybrid MDG 940 1162-6 [61'51] [RNB]

Rewarding performances of deeply-felt music ... see Full Review

Francesco SCARLATTI (1666-?1741) Dixit Dominus :Dixit Dominus [2.56], Donec ponam inimicos tuos [2.19], Virgam virtutis tuae [1.07], Tecum principium [3.14], Juravit Dominus [.232], Dominus a dextris tuis [1.22], De torrente in via bibet [2.04], Gloria Patri [4.27]Messa: Kyrie [5.09], Gloria [4.12], Gratias agimus tibi [3.35], Domine Deus, Rex Coelestis [2.24], Domine Fili unigenite [3.32], Domine Deus, Agnus Dei [2.49], Qui tollis peccata Mundi (I) {2.33], Qui tollis peccata Mundi (II) [4.00], Quoniam tu solus sanctus [1.4], Cum Sancto Spiritu [3.09]Miserere: Miserere mei [3.06], Amplius lava me [3.06], Ecce enim [1.23], Asperges me hyssopo [1.55], Cor mundum [1.23], Ne proicias me [1.25], Docebo iniquos vias tuas [3.08], Sacrificium Deo [2.33], Benigne fac Domine [1.06], Tunc acceptabis [2.08], Gloria Patri [3.05] Armonico Consort, Concerto Gallese, The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, Christopher Monks (director), Emma Kirkby (soprano) Recorded in Douai Abbey, Berkshire, October 2003 DDD DEUX-ELLES DXL 1096 [73.44] [EM]

At his worst, Scarlatti is definitely not worth going out of your way for, but at his best he reaches the heights of Vivaldi, Handel or most elevated Bach. A revelation of a disc! ... see Full Review

Johann Christian Friedrich SCHNEIDER (1786-1853) Symphony No. 17 in c minor [23:42] Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Concerto for violin and strings in d minor* [21:30] Symphony No. 1 in c, op. 11 [32:30] Hiro Kurosaki, violin (*)
Cappella Coloniensis/Sigiswald Kuijken Recorded in November 2003 at the Paterskirche in Kempen, Germany DDD CPO 999 932-2 [77:53] [JV]

An interesting recording of a symphony by a forgotten composer of the early 19th century, and two of Mendelssohn’s less frequently performed orchestral works … see Full Review

Phillip SCHROEDER (b. 1956) Turning to the Center
An Offering (1999-2000) From Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar (2000) Turning to the Center (2001) Robert Best, baritone and percussion Tamara Raatz, clarinet and bass clarinet Phillip Schroeder, piano and synthesiser Rec. Harwood Recital Hall, Russell Fine Arts Center, Henderson State University, Arkansas, July 16th - 20th 2001. CAPSTONE RECORDS CPS-8699 [50.55]
Songs of My Affinities Eight Songs on Poems by Ogden Nash (1996) Spirits of the Dead (1999) Songs of My Affinities (1998) The Infinite in Repose (2002) Robert Best, baritone Steven Becraft, clarinet Stephen Feldman, cello Rick Dimond, percussion Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi, piano Phillip Schroeder, synthesiser Rec. Harwood Recital Hall, Russell Fine Arts Center, Henderson State University, Arkansas, May 22nd - 24th and 26th - 29th 2003. CAPSTONE RECORDS CPS-8726 [51.31]

Schroeder's vocal works show here that they can live with the best of current/recent American song. Personal utterances with true integrity - excellent! ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797 - 1828) Piano Works for Four Hands Variations in Bb, D.968A (D.603) (1818) [10.30] Rondo in A, D.951 (1828) [12.27] Allegro ma non troppo in a, "levensstürme", D.947 (1828) [16.41] Divertissement über französische in b Motive: Andantino Varié, D.823/II [9.03] Fantasie in f, D.940 (1828) [19.15] Rico Gulda, Christopher Hinterhuber (piano) Recorded at Alte Reitschule at Grafenegg Castle, Austria, 31 May 2002 Notes in English, Deutsche, Français. NAXOS 8.555930 [67.56] [PSh]

Very fine performances of these cornerstones of the repertoire … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) 4 Impromptus D.899, 4 Impromptus D.935 Peter Katin (Clementi square piano of 1832) Recorded 18-19, 21-22 December 1993 at Peter Katin’s studio DIVERSIONS (DIVINE ART) 24112 [64:21] [CH]

The B flat Impromptu gets a very beautiful performance, but elsewhere there is a lack of poetry. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)String Quartet No. 13 in A minor ‘Rosamunde’, Op. 29/1, D804 (1824) [33:52]String Quartet No. 14 in D minor ‘Death and the Maiden’ D810 (1826) [39:16] Tokyo String QuartetRecorded 30 June - 2 July 1987, RCA Studio A, New York City, USA (D804); 19-22, Sept 1989, Richardson Hall, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA (D810) DDD BMG RCA RED SEAL 82876 60871 2 [73:15] [MC]

Not my first choice yet offers a fine coupling that will not disappoint. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)String Quartet No. 13 in A minor ‘Rosamunde’, Op. 29/1, D804 (1824) [33:52]String Quartet No. 14 in D minor ‘Death and the Maiden’ D810 (1826) [39:16] Tokyo String QuartetRecorded 30 June - 2 July 1987, RCA Studio A, New York City, USA (D804); 19-22, Sept 1989, Richardson Hall, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA (D810) DDD BMG RCA RED SEAL 82876 60871 2 [73:15] [MC]

Not my first choice yet offers a fine coupling that will not disappoint. ... see Full Review

Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1779-1828) Austrian Contemporaries Vol. 2 Die Unglückliche, D713 (1817?; publ. 1821) [6’08]. Widerspruch, D865 (1826?; publ 1828) [2’14]. Glaube, Hoffnung und Liebe, D955 (1828) [4’46]. Frohsinn, D520 (1817) [2’17]. Die abgeblühte Linde, D514 (1817?; publ. 1821) [3’37]. Der Flug der Zeit, D515 (1817?; publ. 1821) [1’31]. Das Heimweh, D851 (publ. 1827) [6’48]. Die Allmacht, D852 (1825) [5’12]. Labetrank der Liebe, D302 (1815) [2’41]. An die Geliebte, D303 (1815) [1’47]. Vergebliche Liebe, D177 (1815) [2’03]. Die Sterne, D176 (1815) [3’00]. Die erste Liebe, D177 (1815) [2’47]. Lob des Tokayers, D248 (1815) [2’48]. Der Zufriedene, D320 (1815) [2’07]. Der Sänger am Felsen, D482 (1816) [3’00]. Skolie, D306 (1815) [1’04]. Die Befreier Europas in Paris, D104 (1814) [4’01]. Abschied (melodram), D829 (1826) [2’18]. Die Fröhlichkeit, D262 (1815) [1’45]. Detlef Roth (baritone); Ulrich Eisenlohr (piano). Texts and translations included. Rec. Radiostudio1, Zurich, on May 24th-28th, 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557172 [65’00] [CC]

This disc is a voyage of discovery, a treasure-trove fully worthy of investigation. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Life and Works Written and narrated by Jeremy Siepmann with Tom George as Schubert Die Schöne Mullerin [61.47] Peter Schreier, tenor; Walter Olbertz, piano Rec: 2004. NAXOS 8.558135-38 [approx. 271:00] [KM]

A fine way to learn more about Schubert - well written, well read, and interesting: ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) The Four Symphonies Symphony No. 1 Spring (1841) [30.31] Symphony No. 2 (1846) [36.22] Symphony No. 3 Rhenish (1850) [32.14] Symphony No. 4 (1841 rev. 1851) [25.17] Manfred Overture [11:07] Cleveland Orchestra/Georg Szell rec. 21, 24-25 Oct 1958, 12 Mar 1960, 21 Jan 1959, Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio. ADD SONY CLASSICAL 516027 2 [66.54+68.53] [RB]

The Szell-Schumann is the sort of discovery that you will want to share with others. I think you might be very pleasurably surprised. ... see Full Review

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Solo Piano Music Etude, Op. 2/1 Twelve Etudes, Op. 8 (1894) Twenty-Four Preludes, Op. 11 (1888-1896) Two Poems, Op. 32 (1903) Elena Kuschnerova, piano Recorded Hans-Rosbaud-Studio of SWR Baden-Baden, January/February 1999 ARS MUSICI AM 1259-2 [69:38] [DS]

I can certainly recommend any disc so captivating and gorgeous as the Kuschnerova ... see Full Review

Harold Shapero (b.1920) Serenade in D for String Quintet (1945) [35.18] String Quartet (1941) [20.56] String Trio (1937) [11.01] Lydian String Quartet, (with Edwin Barker, double bass in the Quintet) Recorded at Slosberg Auditorium Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts. Serenade 13th June 2003; Quartet 12th November 2001; Trio 30th May 2002. NEW WORLD RECORDS 80569-2 [67.15] [JF]

Shapero’s key chamber works ... deserve to be listened to. A great neo-classicist to rival Poulenc and even Stravinsky himself. ... see Full Review

Vissarion SHEBALIN (1902-1963) The Nine String Quartets Volume 1 String Quartet No. 1 in A minor Op. 2 (1924) [21:46] String Quartet No. 2 in B flat major Op. 19 (1935) [30:09] String Quartet No. 3 in E minor Op. 28 (1939) [27:14]
Volume 2 String Quartet No. 4 in G minor Op. 29 (1940) [31:20] String Quartet No. 5 in F minor Slavonic Op. 33 (1942) [26:03] String Quartet No. 9 in B minor Op. 58 (1963) [20:13] Volume 3 String Quartet No. 6 in B minor Op. 34 (1943) [25:08] String Quartet No. 7 in A flat major Op. 41 (1948) [18:23] String Quartet No. 8 in C major Op. 53 (23:08) [1960] Krasni Quartet (Anton Shelepov (violin); Alexandra Zubova (violin); Boris Vainer (viola); Aleksei Shestiperov (cello)) first recordings rec. St Petersburg Recording Studio, St Petersburg, March 1999 - June 2000. DDD OLYMPIA OCD 663 - volume 1 [79:11] OLYMPIA OCD 664 - volume 2 [77:45] OLYMPIA OCD 665 - volume 3 [67:46] [RB]

Shebalin’s traditional idiom, once settled on, satisfied him in full. Music that is pointed, poignant and movingly elegiac ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 - 1975) Ballet Suites Nos. 1 (1950) [12.45]; 2 (1951) [19.53]; 3 (1952) [15.18]; 4 (1953) [12.12] (all arr. Lev Atovmyan) Dmitri Yablonsky, cello solo; Oleg Tokathev, trumpet solo Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitri Yablonsky Recorded in KULTURA Studio 5, Moscow, Russia, 1 June 2003 Notes in English and Deutsch. Detailed track list. NAXOS 8.557208 [60.07] [PSh]

Fine new recording in audiophile sound of a familiar classical standard ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 – 1975) Sonata for Violin and Piano Op.134 (1968) 24 Preludes Op.34 (1932/3) 24 Preludes Op.34 (arr. Tzyganov and Sergeyenya-Bezverkhny) Sonata for Viola and Piano Op.147 (1974) Mikhail Bezverkhny (violin, viola); Timur Sergeyenya (piano) Recorded: St. Catherine Lutheran Church, St. Petersburg, November 2003 DE RODE POMP RP/GMA 041 [78:28 + 75.10] [HC]

A most welcome release: two major late works and the fine Op. 34 set ... performances generally very fine ... fans of Shostakovich should investigate this generously filled disc. ... see Full Review

Jan SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto in D minor op.47 (1905), Serenade in G minor op.69b (1913) Christian SINDING (1856-1941) Violin Concerto no.1 in A op.45 (1898), Romance in D op.100 (1910) Henning Kraggerud (violin) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Bjarte Engeset Recorded 24-26 June 2003 at Lighthouse, Centre for the Arts, Dorset. NAXOS 8.557266 [71:08] [CH]

A version of the Sibelius concerto that is worth discovering; the Sinding is less memorable but contains much generously romantic writing. ... see Full Review

HISTORICAL RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 2 in D major Op. 43 (1902) [39:35] Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 8 in G major Op. 88 (1898) [36:15] BBC Symphony Orchestra (Sibelius) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Dvořák) Sir Thomas Beecham Rec. Royal Festival Hall, London, 8 Dec 1954 (Sibelius); 25 Oct 1959 (Dvořák).ADD MONO 20 Bit remastering from the original BBC tapes BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4154-2 [77.09] [RB]

Live versions of Sibelius 2 and Dvořák 8: sensational, thrilling, incandescent. No Sibelius collection is complete without this extraordinary disc ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Snöfrid Op. 29 (1900) [14:15] Overture in A minor JS144 (1902) [9:13] Coronation Cantata JS104 (1896) [18:37] Rakastava Op. 14 (1891-1912) [12:18] Oma Maa Op. 92 (1918) [13:26] Andante Festivo JS34b (1922, 1938) [5:10] Stina Ekblad (narrator) (Snöfrid) Jubilate Choir (Snöfrid; Coronation; Oma) Jaakko Kuusisto (violin); Ilkka Pälli (cello) (Rakastava) Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä Rec. April 2001; Jan 2002; May 2002; Jan 2003; Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland. DDD BIS BIS-CD-1265 [74:48] [RB]

Sibelians will have to have this collection for the Overture and the Cantata .... everything here is extremely well done ... vibrant music-making ... see Full Review

Jan SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Piano Music Volume 5 6 Bagatelles op.97; 8 Petits Morceaux op.99; 5 Morceaux Romantiques op.101; 5 Characteristic Impressions op.103; 5 Esquisses op.114 Håvard Gimse (piano) Recorded 25th-26th April 2001 at St. Martin’s Church, East Woodhay, Hampshire, UK NAXOS 8.555853 [59:11] [CH]

Fluent and agreeable romantic piano music, but Sibelius’s voice is not in it. Gimse’s performances suggest a real love of his task. ... see Full Review

(1921 – 1997)
Symphony No.11 (1990) Variations on a theme by Nielsen (1983) City of London Sinfonia/Matthew Taylor Recorded: St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead, London, December 2003 HYPERION CDA 67500 [54:55] [HC]

This release, appropriately dedicated to the late Ted Perry, is up to Hyperion’s best. Performances and production are simply magnificent, so that this splendid disc is warmly and unreservedly recommended. ... see Full Review

Louis (Ludwig) SPOHR (1784-1859) Concertante No. 1 in A major, for two violins and orchestra, op.48 (1808) Grande Polonaise, for violin and orchestra, op 40* (1815) Concertante No. 2 in B minor, for two violins and orchestra, op.88 (1833) Potpourri on Irish Songs for violin and orchestra, op59* (1820) Ulf Hoelscher* (violin) Gunhild Hoelscher (violin) Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Christian Frohlich Recorded at Jesus-Christus Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem, April 17-20, 2001, DDD CPO 999 798-2 [72:29] [MC]

A refreshing alternative to the usual repertoire. Well performed and recorded! ... see Full Review

Max STEINER (1888-1971) The Adventures of Mark Twain (1942 film score) Score restoration by John Morgan Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/William Stromberg recorded at Mosfilm Studio, Moscow, February 2003 NAXOS 8.557470 [70:49] [IL]

A first-class performance of one of Steiner’s outstanding, heart-warming Americana, Oscar-nominated scores. ... see Full Review

Johann STRAUSS I (1804-1849) Edition, Volume 4: Waltzes, Polkas, Galops Melodies from the Opera, La Muette de Portici, (Auber), Op. 32 (1829) Charming Polka, 0p. 31 (1827) Vive la Danse! (Waltz), Op. 47 (1831) Fortuna Galop, Op. 69 (1834) Cheerful too at a serious Time (Waltz), Op. 48 (1831) Original Parade march (Vienna Bürger-March Nr. 1) (1832) Life a Dance or Dance a Life! (Waltz), Op. 49 (1831) Caprice Polka 0p. 6 (1827) Cotillons nach beliebten Melodies from the Opera, La Straniera (Bellini), Op. 50 Venetianer-Galopp, Op. 74 Hof-Ball-Tänzer (Waltz), Op. 51 Galopp Nr. 1 (La muette de Portici, Auber) Bajaderen-Walzer, Op. 53 Galopp Nr. 2 (La muette de Portici, Auber) Slovak Sinfonietta of Zilina/Ernst Märzendorfer Rec. Zilina, 1999. DDD Marco Polo 8.225254 [66:36] [RW]

Bright performances with engaging warmth in a near-ideal ambience ... see Full Review

Oskar STRAUS (1870 - 1954) Die Perlen der Cleopatra, operetta in 3 acts (1923) [76.06] Libretto by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald. [sung in German] Morenike Fadayomi, soprano Cleopatra Michael Zabanoff, tenor Prinz Beladonis Axel Mendrok, tenor Victorian Sylvius Volker Vogel, baritone Pampylos Gundula Peyerl, soprano Charmian Robert Meyer, Marcus Antonius Franz Lehár-Orkester, Chor des Lehár Festivals Bad Ischl/Herbert Mogg Notes in Deutsch, English, and Français. Photos of the artists. No text. Recorded in PCM at Festpielsaal, Bad Ischl, Germany, August 28, 2003 SACD tracks, 2.0 stereo and 5.0 surround. CD tracks, 2.0 stereo. Hybrid SACD, playable on CD players CPO 777 022-2 [37.20 + 38.46] [PSh]

A time traveller’s visit to "roaring twenties" Berlin. If you like raunchy German cabaret humour, this is for you. ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1865-1949) Der Rosenkavalier Elizabeth Whitehouse (soprano) Marschallin; Idliko Komlosi - Octavian; Desirée Rancatore - Sophie; Daniel Lewis Williams - Baron Ochs; David Pittman-Jennings - Faninal; Pietro Ballo (tenor) Singer; Massimo Theatre Orchestra/John Neschling. Rec. Massimo Theatre. BRILLIANT CLASSICS - THE OPERA SERIES 92271 [210’00] [CC]

If I’d have gone to the opera house for the evening, I would consider this an overall success and not felt short-changed. At home, it is slightly different ... see Full Review

Fireworks - Fantasy for Orchestra (1909) [3:57] The Firebird - complete ballet (1910) [41:12] Tango (1940 rev 1953) [3:31] Scherzo à la russe (1944) [3:50] The Song of the Nightingale - symphonic poem (1917) [21:56] London Symphony Orchestra/Antal Dorati Rec. Watford Town Hall 7 June 1959 (Firebird); 22, 24 June 1964 (Nightingale); 27 June 1964 (Fireworks; Scherzo); 7 July 1964 (Tango). ADD
SACD reviewed in CD mode MERCURY LIVING PRESENCE 470 643-2 [76:47] [RB]

One of the greatest recordings. If you have any affection for the Russian tradition or for unbridled voluptuous orchestral extravagance sensationally recorded then this must be on your shopping list. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Perséphone Paul DUKAS (1865-1935) Overture Polyeucte Paul Groves (tenor); Nicole Tibbels (speaker) Cantate Youth Choir; Trinity Boys’ Choir BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Sir Andrew Davis (Stravinsky) and Jan Pascal Tortelier (Dukas) Recorded in the Royal Albert Hall (live) August 10th 2003 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61548-2 [73:34] [GH]

Beautiful choral writing like nothing I have ever heard in Stravinsky. Its melodic charm seems set in another world, which indeed it is as Persephone lies asleep beside the banks of the Lethe. ... see Full Review

Lepo SUMERA (1950-2000) To Reach Yesterday Scenario for flute, bass clarinet and piano (1995) Two Pieces from the Year 1981 for piano The Silent Odalisque for flute solo (1997) To Reach Yesterday for cello and piano (1993) Two Sonnets of Shakespeare for voice and piano (1999) Stars for voice and piano (2000) Pille Lill (soprano); Marje Lohuaru (piano) The Reval Ensemble Recorded February – June 2002. Chamber Hall of the Estonian Academy of Music. DDD MEGADISC MDC 7814 [53:24] [CT]

An intriguing collection of chamber music by one of the most influential recent figures in Estonian music. ... see Full Review

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) CD1 Capriccio Italien, op.45 [14:20] Symphony no.4 in F minor [40:11] Polonaise from Eugene Onegin [4:19] CD2 Symphony no.6 in B minor, op.74, Pathétique [43:21] Romeo and Juliet (Overture-Fantasia) [17:45] ANGELOK CD 9920/21 Russian Federal Orchestra/Vakhtang Jordania Recorded at the Radio Palace Hall, Moscow, Russia, July 2000 (Symphony no.6, Romeo and Juliet and Capriccio Italien), and May 2000 (Symphony no.4 and Polonaise) ANGELOK CD 9920/21 [59:09 + 61:08] [GPJ]

Suffers from the sort of wilful driving that leaves the poor orchestral players struggling in the conductor’s wake ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No 6 in B minor, Op. 74, "Pathétique" [43’45"] Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48* [26’25"] Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam/Willem Mengelberg Rec. Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 22 April 1941; *7 November 1938 ADD NAXOS 8.110885 [70’10"] [JQ]

Serenade for Strings: the sweetness of the upper strings ... wonderfully pliant and responsive playing ... I wish I could be as enthusiastic about the symphony ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Cantatas for soloists, choir and orchestra Moscow (1882) [25.57] N. Derbina; A Polyakov Choir and Large Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio/Gennady Cherkasov Festival Cantata - In memory of Peter the Great's 200th anniversary (1871) [31:53] Lev Kuznetsov; Large Choir of Moscow Radio/Kavdiy Ptitsa; Moscow Radio 1982. Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra/V. Kozhukhar, live 1982. Nature and Love for two sopranos, alto, choir and piano (1870) [8.40] R Glushkova; T Alexandrova, L Simonova, Women's Group of the State Radio Choir/L Yermakova, T Kravchenko (piano) rec. Moscow: live Studio 5, State Radio House, Moscow, 1988; Festival: 1982-1988, ADD/DDD REGIS RRC 1182 [65.25] [RB]

Rarities for the Tchaikosky-curious. Rewarding writing and rapturous in the case of Nature and Love ... see Full Review

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893) Symphony No. 4 in f, Op 36 (1878) [43.36] Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/Sergiu Comissiona Recorded 1981 at National Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC, USA. [ADD? or DADD?] Notes in English: track list, technical and musical credits. On screen extras: Technical documentary [6.15] speaker adjust utility [1.00] DVD-Audio 2.0 and 5.1 sound, AC-3 Dolby 2.0 and 5.1 surround sound. Originally released on the Vanguard label. DVD-Audio plays on all DVD players SILVERLINE 288229-9 [50.50] [PSh]

A fine performance of this war-horse in fine surround sound ... see Full Review

Geirr TVEITT (1908-1981) Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra, Op 5 (1931) [21.49] Concerto No. 4 for Piano and Orchestra, Op 130 "Northern Lights" (1949-81) [30.04] The Turtle for mezzo-soprano and orchestra (1965) [28.59] Håkon Austbø (4) Steinway D piano; Sveinung Bjelland (1) (piano) Ingebjørg Kosmo, mezzo-soprano Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Ole Kristian Ruud Recorded at the Concert Hall, Stavanger, Norway, June 2001 - June 2003. Steinway D piano; piano technician, Jan Inge Almås. Notes in English, Norsk, Deutsch, and Français. Photos of artists. Lyric text printed in original English only, no translations included. BIS CD-1397 [81.18] [PSh]

A newly discovered major Norwegian composer who will not remain unknown for long ... see Full Review

Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) Violin Concerto Tālā geisma (1996/7) Musica dolorosa (1983) Viatore (2001) Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Katarina Andreasson, violin and leader
Recorded: Örebro Concert Hall, January 2003
BIS CD-1150 [59:18] [HC]

All three pieces superbly played ... well up to BIS’s best standards. ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) CD1 Overture: The Poisoned Kiss [6:45] Two Hymn-tune Preludes [7:53] (Eventide 4:50; Dominus Regit me 3:00] The Running Set [4:41] Flos campi [20:57] Suite for viola and orchestra: (Group 1 : Prelude; Carol; Christmas Dance; Group 2: Ballad; Moto perpetuo; Group 3: Musette; Polka mélancolique; Galop} [25:33] Sea Songs 3:51 Frederick Riddle, viola; Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir; Bournemouth Sinfonietta/Norman Del Mar; George Hurst CD2 Overture: The Wasps 10:13 London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley Three Songs from The House of Life orchestrated. Maurice Johnstone: (Love-sight 4:12; Silent Noon 4:03; Heart's Haven 4:17) Stephen Varcoe, baritone City of London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox Six Studies in English Folksong [8:36] Janet Hilton, clarinet/Keith Swallow, piano Romance [6:40] Tommy Reilly, harmonica; Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble/Sir Neville Marriner Linden Lea [2:19] (arr. A. Somervell) Huddersfield Choral Society/Brian Kay Fantasia on Greensleeves [4:12] (arr. R. Greaves) BBC Philharmonic/Vernon Handley Serenade to Music [10:39] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley Rec. Christchurch Priory, Dorset, 1 January 1975 (Overture: The Poisoned Kiss; Hymn-tune Preludes, The Running Set; Sea Songs); April 1977 (Flos Campi; Suite for viola); St John's Smith Square, London, 1 June 1976 (Romance); St George the Martyr, London, 31 May - 1 June 1992 (Six Studies); All Saints' Church, Tooting, London, November 1983 (Overture: The Wasps and Serenade to Music); New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 20-21 February 1995 (Fantasia on Greensleeves) and 11 November 1995 (Linden Lea); St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, London 13-14 March 1989 (House of Life Songs) CHANDOS CHAN2419 [69:41 + 55:43] [RB]

A resplendent if rather idiosyncratic collection with plenty of surprises and not a few discoveries. ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872 - 1958) Sinfonia Antartica (1950) Deborah Wai Kopohe (soprano) New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/James Judd. DVD includes a visual tribute to the continent of Antartica. This includes historical footage of past explorer’s exploits on the continent, the wildlife of Antartica and a programme of artists’ and poets’ impressions of the continent, captured in exemplary pictures and words, plus a travel guide. recorded in 1994, 1998 and 1999 PANGAEA ENTERTAINMENT PDVD 5401 DVD [150:00]. [JPh]

A very entertaining release which is well worth viewing and returning to, as I have done. ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony No. 9 in E minor (1958) [38:58] Alan HOVHANESS (1911-2000) Symphony No. 2 Mysterious Mountain (1955) [18:49] Wallingford RIEGGER (1885-1961) New Dance Op. 18b (1942) [5:55] Paul CRESTON (1906-1985) Toccata Op. 68 (1957) [12:34] Leopold Stokowski and his Symphony Orchestra rec. live, Carnegie Hall, 25 Sept 1958. ADD CALA CACD0539 [73:17] [RB]

Live performances brimming with ardent power and fantasy ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Film Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams Volume 2 49th Parallel (1940) (Suite edited by Stephen Hogger) The Dim Little Island (1949) (Partially reconstructed by Stephen Hogger) The England of Elizabeth (1955) (Suite edited by Stephen Hogger) Emily Gray (soprano);Martin Hindmarsh (tenor) Chetham’s Chamber Choir BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Rumon Gamba Recorded Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 30 September - 1 October 2003. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10244 [70:47] [CT]

An important second instalment in Chandos’s series of Vaughan Williams film music. It is entirely deserving that his richly rewarding work in this medium is committed to disc ... see Full Review

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Piano Music, Volume 4: Bachianas Brasilieras No. 4 (1930-41) [19’43]; Poema singelo (1938-42) [6’05]; Carnaval des Criançasa (1920) [15’24]; Prencette et Piá (1928) [15’32]; A Fiandiera (1921) [2’52]; Simples Coletânea (1917-19) [6’02]; Valsa romântica (1907) [3’44]. Sonua Rubinsky, aTatjana Rankovich (pianos). Rec. Grace Church on the Hill, Toronto, Canada, on October 17th-20th, 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.555717 [69’53] [CC]

Sonia Rubinsky is a player of much talent and great sensitivity. Her affinity with the music of her native Brazil is clear. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Siegfried: Extended extracts Lauritz Melchior, Heinrich Tessmer, Albert Reiss (tenors); Nora Grubn, Florence Easton (sopranos); Maria Olszewska (contralto); Eduard Habich (baritone); Friedrich Schorr, Rudolf Bockelmann (bass-baritone); London Symphony Orchestra/Robert Heger, Albert Coates, Vienna State Opera Orchestra/Karl Alwin; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Robert Heger Performance background and plot synopsis included.rec 1929-1932 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110091/92 [151’30: 79’04 + 72’26]. [RH]

An illuminating glimpse into the performance styles of pre-war Wagner, a must for all lovers of Wagner’s music. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde (1865) - Act 2, scenes 1 and 2 (with concert ending of 1862) [52’00]. Götterdämmerung (1876) Act 3, Scene 3 [20’44]. Margaret Jane Wray (soprano, Isolde and Brünnhilde); Nancy Maultsby (mezzo, Brangäne); John Horton (tenor, Tristan) Russian State Symphony Orchestra/John McGlinn. Rec. Studio No. 5, Moscow Film Studios, on May 23rd-30th, 2001. DDD NAXOS 8.555789 [76’39] [CC]

Worth it for the concert ending but as a Wagner experience leaves much to be desired. Comparison with the Great and Good of Wagner interpretation is not called for here. ... see Full Review

William WALTON (1902-1983) Coronation Te Deum (1937) [10:33] Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Sea Pictures (1900) [22:37] Arnold BAX (1883-1953) November Woods (1917) [19:44] Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945) [16:48] Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo) Choristers of Winchester Cathedral/Andrew Lumsden Winchester College Quiristers/Christopher Tolley BBC Singer, BBC Symphony Chorus/Stephen Jackson BBC SO/Andrew Davis rec. Live Proms, Royal Albert Hall, 30 July 2003 in the presence of HRH Queen Elizabeth II and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. BBC WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61550-2 [69:42] [RB]

Imaginative and largely unhackneyed anthology ... as well as a memento of a memorable concert.... see Full Review

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) The Wise Virgins: Sleepers Wake [2.37], The Saviour is born today [4.21], What God hath done, is rightly done [3.12], Lord, hear my longing [2.00], See what His love can do [2.52], Ah! How Ephemeral [2.02], Sheep may safely graze [6.09], What God hath done is rightly done [1.30], Praise be to God [1.40] Constant LAMBERT (1895-1951) Horoscope: Palindromic Prelude [2.44], Dance for the followers of Leo [4.44], Saraband for the followers of Virgo [5.30], Man’s variation [0.58], Woman’s Variation [2.58], Bacchanale [4.44], Valse for the Gemini [4.08], Pas de deux [4.18], Invocation to the Moon and finale [7.20] BBC Concert Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth Recorded at Watford Coliseum, 18th and 19th March 2003 DDD ASV CD DCA 1168 [64.00] [EM]

Despite the appalling Wise Virgins, I would recommend this CD just for the radiant and irrepressible Horoscope ... see Full Review

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (VAINBERG) (1919-1996) Symphony No. 4 Op. 61 (1957 rev. 1961) [30.12] Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes Op. 47 No. 1 (1949) [11:55] Sinfonietta No. 2 Op. 74 (1960) [17.32] National Polish Radio Symphony Orchesra, Katowice/Gabriel Chmura rec. Grzegorz Fitelberg Concert Hall, Katowice, Poland, 4 June 2003 (Moldavian); 23-27 Feb 2004. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10237 [59.56] [RB]

A classic entry with a greater emphasis on populism, poignancy and nostalgia than in volume 1. ... 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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