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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


 
 

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]

 
Friday December 23rd


DAILY CD REVIEWS





Hoffnung Music Festivals 1956,58,61
2CDs:£17 postage included World-Wide [mono/stereo]
This is a must for all Hoffnung enthusiasts.
Purchase here    see review

Hoffnung - A Last Encore
On 2 CDs lasting 1 hour 45min, this contains all the recordings of Hoffnung preserved in the BBC archives. They include the famous and hilariously funny Bricklayer story. [mono]
£14 postage included world-wide Purchase

See a new Hoffnung Cartoon every day

Available for the FIRST TIME - a DVD of 7 animated Hoffnung cartoons as shown on the BBC in the 1960s in FULL COLOUR plus animated Gilbert and Sullivan Ruddigore. £14.99 Details

 



NEW and RECENT ARTICLES

MICHAEL NYMAN talks to John Leeman about his opera Man and Boy: Dada

WEBLOG- Robert Hugill

Adrian Smith: 1931-2005 Contributions from John Quinn Paul Serotsky Sir Malcolm Arnold CBE Arthur Butterworth MBE Matthew Curtis Keith Llewellyn Elaine Carter Stuart Marsden Marilyn and Dick Myers David Golightly Maggie Cotton

MAURICE JACOBSON (1896-1976) by Michael and Julian Jacobson

MusicWeb Reviewer’s Log: December 2005 Reviewer: Patrick C Waller


BOOK REVIEW

THE PENGUIN GUIDE TO COMPACT DISCS & DVDs 2005/6 Edition: The Key Classical recordings on CD, DVD and SACD Reviews by: Ivan March; Edward Greenfield; Robert Layton Edited by Ivan March Assistant Editor: Paul Czajkowski Paperback 1520 pp. ISBN 0-141-02262-0

Beethoven: The Universal Composer by Edmund Morris. [In the series Eminent Lives] Harper Collins Publishers, New York. 2005. 5-1/2" x 7-3/8." 243 pages, including glossary of musical terms. No index. 1 B&W illustration. US$21.95.ISBN 13978-0-06-075974-2 and ISBN 10 0-06-07594-7.

The Cambridge Companion to Grand Opera David Charlton (editor) Published 2003 Cambridge University Press, 496 pages ISBN 0-521064683-9


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Rafal Blechacz, 20, has become the first Pole in 30 years to win the Chopin International Piano Competition. You can buy his disc here for £10.50 postage paid
Schumann Sonata in G minor Liszt Concert Studies Debussy Suite Bergamasque Chopin Polonaise in A flat major Op.53 Review

Michael Balfe (1808-1870) The Maid of Artois A light romantic opera in 3 Acts, with ballet based on a Manon Lescaut plot Victorian Opera Northwest conducted by Philip Mackenzie CAMEO 2042/3 2CD set with libretto and essays £26 post free
This opera was premièred in London as the second of Balfe’s early English opera successes.
With melodious music and reconstructed score, this is only the second Balfe opera to appear in the CD catalogue.
The quality of Balfe’s music was known to Beecham who turned to his ‘Bohemian Girl’ to represent British operatic interests for the Festival of Britain in 1951. Purchase Review


LPs being offered on Ebay. This list will be updated as often as possible. (suspended until after Christmas)


LATEST CD REVIEWS (last two days)
Offering over 14,000 CD reviews but there is more to MusicWeb than just CD reviews - see site map


Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) The Complete Keyboard Sonatas (Kk Nos 1-555) Scott Ross (harpsichord) Recorded at various locations in France, 1984-1985 DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564 62092-2 [34 CDs - approx. 34 hours, 36 minutes] [PCW] Review updated 18 December 2005

This set is a pinnacle in the history of recorded music … see Ongoing Review


Click for MUSICWEB RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR

 

 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1002 [33.01] Eugene YSAŸE (1858-1931) Sonata No. 1 in G minor, Op. 27/1 [17.23] Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) Sonata for Violin solo (1944) [27.37] Baiba Skride (violin, "Huggins" Stradivari, 1708) Recorded at Studio 10, DeutschlandRadio Berlin, 3-6 May 2005. DDD. SONY CLASSICAL SK92938 [78.03] [ED]

One thing’s for sure ... this disc is no turkey and hooray for that! We’ve all had enough of those by now haven’t we? ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Michael BALFE (1808-1870) The Maid of Artois - A Romantic opera in 3 acts (1836) [148.06] Libretto by Alfred Bunn (1798-1860) after Abbé Prévost (1697-1763) Kay Jordan (Isoline): soprano Stephen Anthony Brown (Jules de Montangon): tenor Rebecca Rudge (Coralie): soprano Jonathan Pugsley (Marquis de Chateau-Vieux): bass-baritone John Molloy (Sans Regret): bass George Hulbert (Synnelet): baritone Adrian Lawson (Martin): baritone John Elliott (Centinel): tenor Geoffrey Brocklehurst (Count Saulnier): bass Annette Reis-Dunne (Ninka): soprano Victorian Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Philip Mackenzie rec. Cheadle Hulme School, Cheshire, 12-13 February 2005 CAMPION CAMEO BRITISH COMPOSER SERIES 2042/3 [78.20 + 69.46] [CF]

A splendidly produced recording into which a lot of hard work and a labour of love has gone. A grand achievement, one which has awakened us all to the huge importance of the music of Balfe ... see Full Review

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphony no.2 in D major, op.73 (1877) [44:51] Hungarian Dances: No. 1 in G minor (orch. Brahms) [3:24]; No. 3 in F (orch. Brahms) [2:46]; No. 10 in F (orch.Brahms) [1:52]; No. 17 in F# minor (orch. Dvořák) [3:37]; No. 18 in D (orch. Dvořák) [1:31]; No. 19 in B minor (orch. Dvořák) [2:38]; No. 20 in E minor (orch. Dvořák) [2:44]; No. 21 in E minor (orch. Dvořák) [1:42]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. Blackheath Concert Hall, London, March 2005 (Symphony); Watford Colosseum, Watford, 28 July 2005 NAXOS 8.557429 [65:06] [GPJ]

I enjoyed this new recording enormously. Penetrated the dark interior of one of the composer’s most complex works ... Alsop was right in there from beginning to end ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin concerto No. 3 in G major, KV 216 (1775) [25.17]; Rondo Nr. 2 in C major, K. 373 (1781) [5.42] Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Rondo in A major, D 438 (1816) [13.44] Michael HAYDN (1737-1806) Violin concerto in B flat major, Perger 53 (1760) [21.47] Baiba Skride (violin) Kammerorchester C.P.E.Bach/Hartmut Haenchen Recorded at Studio 10, DeutschlandRadio Berlin, June 24-27 2004. SACD. DDD. SONY CLASSICAL SK92939 [66.55] [ED]

Looks as if we might have a serious artist on our hands. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791) Le nozze di Figaro (1786) Lucio Gallo (bass-baritone) – Il Conte di Almaviva; Eteri Gvazava (soprano) – La Contessa di Almaviva; Patrizia Ciofi (soprano) – Susanna; Giorgio Surian (bass) – Figaro; Marina Comparato (mezzo) – Cherubino; Giovanna Donadini (contralto) – Marcellina; Eduardo Chama (bass) – Bartolo; Sergio Bertocchi (tenor) – Basilio; Eleonora Contucci (soprano) – Barbarina; Gianluca Ricci (bass) – Antonio; Carlo Bosi (tenor) – Don Curzio; Gabriella Cecchi and Laura Lensi – Two peasant girls Coro e Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Zubin Mehta Directed for Stage by Jonathan Miller Set Design: Peter J. Davison; Costume Design: Sue Blane; Choreography: Susanna Quaranta; Lighting Design: Jvan Morandi; Director of the Stage Production: Massimo Teoldi; Directed for TV and Video by Maria Paola Longobardo
Recorded live at the Teatro Communale, Florence, 2, 15 and 18 October 2003 TDK DVWW-OPNDFF [2 DVDs: 181:00] [GF]

Well-paced with singing on a high level, an enchanting Cherubino and a lively Susanna ... a stylish performance with period costumes and sets ... see Full Review

Candlelight Carols - Christmas with Allmänna Sången Gunnar WENNERBERG (1817 – 1901) Gören portarna höga (Gates, raise your arches); Ivar WIDÉEN (1871 – 1951) Gläns över sjö och strand (Shine over lake and shore); Hugo ALFVÉN (1872 – 1960) Julsång (Christmas Song); Jean SIBELIUS (1865 – 1957) Julvisa ("Giv mig ej glans …") (Christmas Song "Give me no splendour, gold or pomp"); Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK 1562 – 1621) Hodie Christus natus est (Today Christ is born); Michael PRAETORIUS (c. 1571 – 1621)/Jan SANDSTRÖM (b. 1954) Det är en ros utsprungen (Behold a rose is springing); Benny ANDERSSON (b. 1947) Innan gryningen (Before Dawn); Trad/Otto OLSSON (1879 – 1964) Gammal julvisa (Old Christmas Song); Adolphe ADAM (1803 – 1856) O, Helga natt (O, Holy Night); Franz GRUBER (1787 – 1863) Stilla natt (Silent Night); Niels W. GADE (1817 – 1890) Barnens Julafton (The Children’s Christmas Eve); John RUTTER (b. 1945) Shepherd’s Pipe Carol; Candlelight Carol; Herbert HOWELLS (1892 – 1983) A Spotless Rose; Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809 – 1847) Hark! The Herald Angels sing Karl-Magnus Fredriksson (baritone) Allmänna Sången Uppsala Chamber Soloists/Cecilia Rydinger Alin Recorded in October 2004 at the University Hall, Uppsala, Sweden BIS-NL-CD-5028 [62:05] [GF]

There are riches galore on this disc. It can be confidently recommended to lovers of Yuletide music or of good choral singing or of good baritone singing ... or just lovers of good music well performed. ... see Full Review

The Light of the World: Choral music George Frederick HANDEL Eternal source of light [3.40] Walter ALCOCK Sanctus [2.25] Geoffrey BURGON Nunc Dimittis [3.09] John DANKWORTH The Light of the World [2.35] Felix MENDELSSOHN I waited for the Lord [4.39] George Frederick HANDEL How beautiful are the feet [2.16] Samuel Sebastian WESLEY Blessed be the God and Father [7.44] Franz SCHUBERT Ave Maria [5.45] Robert SCHUMANN The Angels' Goodnight [1.29] C. Hubert H. PARRY Long since in Egypt's plenteous land [4.15] TRAD., arr. Malcolm ARCHER Brother James' Air [3.15] Benjamin BRITTEN Balulalow (A Ceremony of Carols) [1.24] enjamin BRITTEN This little babe (A Ceremony of Carols) [1.38] John RUTTER The Lord bless you and keep you [2.56] Gabriel FAURÉ Pie Jesu [3.22] Colin MAWBY Ave verum corpus [4.10] TRAD I would be true (Londonderry Air). [1.26] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART Ave verum corpus [3.24] Morten LAURISDEN Ubi caritas et amor [8.57] John RUTTER A Gaelic Blessing [2.18] Amazing Grace (American folk-hymn melody) [3.18] Tewkesbury Abbey School Choir/Benjamin Nicholas Carleton Etherington (organ)
Stephen Taylor (singing teacher) Recorded at Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire, England, October 2005 SIGNUM SIGCD068 [74:08] [RW]

An enjoyable diversion during this festive season ... see Full Review

New French Song - new settings of French words by British composers (2003-2004) Tarik O'REGAN (b. 1972) Sainte (Mallarmè) [3.39] Sadie HARRISON (b. 1965) ..issu stellaire.. (Mallarmé) [6.12] Will TODD (b. 1970) Le Pont Mirabeau (Apollinaire) [5.09] Edwared COWIE (b. 1943) Les Hiboux (Baudelaire) [4.12] Bob CHILCOTT (b. 1955) L'enfant dort (Hugo) [1.42] John CASKEN (b. 1949) Colloque Sentimental (Verlaine) [6.12] Laurence CRANE (b. 1961) Tour de France Statistics 1903 – 2003 (Crane) [4.47] Adam GORB (b. 1958) La Cloche Fêlée (Baudelaire) [6.27] Gabriel JACKSON (b. 1962) A la Mémoire de Claude Debussy (Cocteau) [3.24] Michael FINNISSY (b. 1946) Salomé (Laforgue) [3.09] Andrew KEELING (b. 1955) Artémis (de Nerval) [4.31] Hugh WOOD (b. 1932) Alicante (Prévert) [1.47] Diana BURRELL (b. 1948) Longtemps ce fut l'été (Bonnefoy) [2.15] Helen ROE (b. 1955) Pourquoi? (Verlaine) [5.48] Nicola LEFANU (b. 1947) Billet à Whistler (Mallarmè) [6.38] Edward MCGUIRE (b. 1948) Rêves de la Bonne Heure (McGuire) [4.52] Judith BINGHAM (b. 1952) La Jeune Morte (Heredia) [2.31] Roger REDGATE (b. 1958) Mirlitonnades (Beckett) [1.57] Howard SKEMPTON (b. 1947) Le Pont Mirabeau (Apollinaire) [1.34] Graham FITKIN (b. 1963) Les Aliments Blancs (Satie) [1.44] Alison Smart (soprano) Katharine Durran (piano) Recorded at the Turner Sims Concert Hall, 1-3 April 2005. DDD. MSV CD 92100 [79.36] [ED]

Artistically enterprising and uncompromising, with excellent production values too, this Metier release is well worth exploring. ... see Full Review

 

 

Thursday

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Works for Solo Keyboard Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826 [21:10] Partita No. 3 in A minor, BWV 827 [18:53] Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828 [37:26] Cédric Tiberghien, piano Recorded Teldex Studio Berlin, August 2004. DDD Released October 2005 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 901869 [77:40] [DS]

It has its virtues but wrong sonics and unimpressive Allemandes and Sarabandes make it impossible for me to recommend this premium-priced disc. ... see Full Review

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Serenade for Solo Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussion (1954) [31:18] Facsimile – Choreographic Essay for Orchestra (1946) [18:38] Divertimento for Orchestra (1980) [18:09] Philip Quint (violin) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, 12-13 January 2005 NAXOS 8.559245 [65:04] [DC]

I defy anyone to find themselves sorry they bought this CD – it’s what we former employees of Farringdon Records call ‘a winner.’ ... see Full Review

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Madrigals Book 4:- II Quarto Libro de’ Madrigali, 1603 Ah, dolente partita [4:01] Cor mio, mentre vi miro [2:32] Sfogava con le stelle [4:30] Volgea l’anima mia soavente [4:16] Anima mia, perdona [3:26] Che se tu se’il cor mio [4:05] Luci serene e chiare [3:59] La piaga c’ho nel core [2:56] Voi pur da me partite, anima dura [4:49] A un giro sol de’belli occhi lucenti [2:46] Ohime, se tanto amate [3:42] Io mi son giovinetta [2:34] Quell’angellin che canta [2:30] Non piu Guerra, pietate [3:30] Si, ch’io vorrei morire [4:02] Anima dolorosa [3:54] Anima del cor mio [3:10] Longed a te, cor mio [3:36] Piagn’e sospira [5:21] Delitiae Musicae/Marco Longhini rec. Chiesa di San Pietro, Vincoli, Azzago, Verona, Italy, 28 July - 2 August 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.555310 [73:46] [EM]

Beautiful ensemble singing where individual voices rise and fall into unison like swelling waves. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791) Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782) Deon van der Walt (tenor) – Belmonte; Kurt Moll (bass) – Osmin; Lars Magnusson (tenor) – Pedrillo); Oliver Tobias (speaking part) – Pasha Selim; Inga Nielsen (soprano) – Konstanze; Lillian Watson (soprano) – Blonde; Kathleen Wilder, Karen Shelby, David Young, Donaldson Bell – Four solo voices Royal Opera Chorus Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden/Georg Solti Directed by Elijah Moshinsky; Scenery: Sidney Nolan and Timothy O’Brien; Costumes: Timothy O’Brien; Stage Lighting: Robert Bryan; Directed for video by Humphrey Burton Filmed live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1988. WARNER NVC ARTS 0630-18773-2 [approx. 142:00] [GF]

Fine singing, good acting, charming sets ... presided over by a Solti less hectic than he has sometimes been. Good playing and technical quality ... Buy and enjoy! ... see Full Review

Michael NYMAN (b. 1944) Man and Boy: Dada (2004) An opera in two acts with libretto by Michael Hastings Kurt Schwitters: John Graham-Hall (tenor); Michael: William Sheldon (boy soprano); Mother + old woman, bus conductress, museum guard, BBC interviewer: Vivian Tierney Michael Nyman Band/Paul McGrath Recorded Abbey Road Studios, London, Oct-Nov 2004 MN RECORDS MNRCD 101/2 [42:25 + 62:21] [JL]

A subtle and touching work superbly performed. A great collaboration between composer and librettist. ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36 (1877) [42:36] Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 (1888) [46:04] Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 ‘Pathétique’ (1893) [44:00] Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Valery Gergiev Recorded: Grosser Saal, Musikverein, Vienna, Austria, 17-21 October 2002 (Sym. 4), 2-4 September 2004 (Sym. 6); Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg, Austria, July 1998 (Sym. 5) DDD PHILIPS 475 6315 0 PX3 [3 CDs: 42:36 + 46:04 + 44:00] [MC]

Opulent, dramatic and powerful performances. This well recorded Philips set would be a welcome addition to any collection. ... see Full Review

Henryk WIENIAWSKI (1835-1880) Violin Concerto in D minor Op.22 (1870) [22.42] Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Concerto for String Orchestra (1948) [14.16] Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b.1933) Agnus Dei (1980-84) arranged for string orchestra by Boris Pergamenschikow (1994) [6.36] Wojciech Pławner (violin) Beethoven Academy Orchestra/Paweł Przytocki Recorded in the Concert Hall of the Silesian Philharmonic in Katowice, May 2005 DUX 0524 [43.36] [JW]

Very much to be sampled before purchase, as this is more a souvenir of an event than a cohesively designed sequence in its own right ... see Full Review

19th Century Organ and Choral Music Theophil FORCHHAMMER (1847-1923) Sonate Nr.2 in e-Moll, op.15 ‘Zur Todtenfeier’ (pub. 1886) [25:04] Aus Acht Choralbearbeitungen, op.11 (pub. 1887) Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit [2:00] Jesus meine Zuversicht [2:33] Theodor KIRCHNER (1823-1903) Aus Orgelkompositionen, op.89 (pub. 1890) [14:33] Benedict JUCKER (1811-1876) Aus Neun Coral-Vorspiele, op.7 (1867) Mein Jesu den die Seraphinen [2:43] O’ wie so gar sanftmüthig [2:03] Ach bleib mit deiner Gnade [2:22] Josef Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Messe in f-Moll, op.159 für Chor und Orgel (1889) [22:04] Ursna Caflisch (organ) Cantus Firmus/Clau Scherrer Rec. Katholische Pfarrkirche Ilanz, 27-31 October 2004 GUILD GMCD 7290 [74:36] [DC]

Greatly of interest to those seeking the less well-trodden byways of romantic organ repertoire ... this recording deserves a firm recommendation. ... see Full Review

An Elizabethan Songbook Richard EDWARDS Where grypinge griefs [4:05] Thomas CAMPION Come let us sound [3:02] John DOWLAND In this trembling shadow [8:05] John DANYEL Like us the lute delights [3:39] John DOWLAND I saw my Ladye weepe [5:35] Francis PILKINGTON Rest sweet Nimphs [3:45] Thomas CAMPION When to her Lute [1:41] Francis PILKINGTON Musick deare sollace [5:05] Thomas MORLEY I saw my Ladye weeping [3:40] Robert JONES If in this flesh [4:07] Francis PILKINGTON Come all ye [4:06] John BARTLETT Sweete birdes deprive us never [6:09] Emma Kirby, soprano Anthony Rooley, lute rec. Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, June 1978. ADD DECCA ELOQUENCE 476 7466 [53.19] [EM]

This a wonderful disc. Delightful songs. Kirkby’s clear, pure voice complemented by Rooley’s sympathetic lute accompaniment. ... see Full Review

 

 


BOOK REVIEW

Beethoven: The Universal Composer by Edmund Morris. [In the series Eminent Lives] Harper Collins Publishers, New York. 2005. 5-1/2" x 7-3/8." 243 pages, including glossary of musical terms. No index. 1 B&W illustration. US$21.95.ISBN 13978-0-06-075974-2 and ISBN 10 0-06-07594-7.

The Cambridge Companion to Grand Opera David Charlton (editor) Published 2003 Cambridge University Press, 496 pages ISBN 0-521064683-9

The Cambridge Companion to the Concerto, edited by Simon P. Keefe Pub: Cambridge University Press, 2005 (1st ed.) 309 pp. Paperback: ISBN 052154257X £17.99 Hardback: ISBN 052183483X £45.00 [ED]

Has the potential to be informative in the right hands ... serves as the springboard for further reading on this absorbing musical genre. ... see Full Review

 

Recordings of the Month Bargains of the Month

 
Specialist Music Books for sale- expensive but I have made them as cheap as I can and offer free postage

BOOK REVIEWS

Eric Charles Blake The book is well written and has good illustrations; it is strongly recommended. Wars, Dictators and the Gramophone 1898-1945 pp320; illustrated; laminated cover.published by Sessions of York, Huntingdon Rd, York YO31 9HS, England Buy from MusicWeb £10 plus postage - immediate delivery review

Christopher Fifield - Ibbs and Tillett: The Rise and Fall of a Musical Empire. Just published by Ashgate. 692 pages, 78 b/w illustrations. Hardback for only £29.95 post-free in the UK [review Rob Barnett] [review Jon Woolf]

LONDON – a Musical Gazetteer By Lewis and Susan Foreman Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2005 ISBN 0-300-10402-2 (chalk.paper) 384 pp 107 b/w illus large format paperback ISBN 0 300 10402 2 £15:99.

.....must find itself a place on music-lovers’ shelves beside the British Music Yearbook and is excellent value for the quite modest price. see Full Review

 

CD WALLETS Get rid of those bulky plastic cases and store CDs and booklets in thin plastic wallets. Clear 80 micron PVC, 130 mm x 130mm with tuck-in flap
£5 £3 per 100 wallets plus P&P
REDUCED by£2 to clear



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RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

 

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Michael BALFE (1808-1870) The Maid of Artois - A Romantic opera in 3 acts (1836) [148.06] Libretto by Alfred Bunn (1798-1860) after Abbé Prévost (1697-1763) Kay Jordan (Isoline): soprano Stephen Anthony Brown (Jules de Montangon): tenor Rebecca Rudge (Coralie): soprano Jonathan Pugsley (Marquis de Chateau-Vieux): bass-baritone John Molloy (Sans Regret): bass George Hulbert (Synnelet): baritone Adrian Lawson (Martin): baritone John Elliott (Centinel): tenor Geoffrey Brocklehurst (Count Saulnier): bass Annette Reis-Dunne (Ninka): soprano Victorian Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Philip Mackenzie rec. Cheadle Hulme School, Cheshire, 12-13 February 2005 CAMPION CAMEO BRITISH COMPOSER SERIES 2042/3 [78.20 + 69.46] [CF]

A splendidly produced recording into which a lot of hard work and a labour of love has gone. A grand achievement, one which has awakened us all to the huge importance of the music of Balfe ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alfonso FERRABOSCO (1543-1588) Psalm 103, Motets & Chansons Dolci ire (madrigal a 5) [6:55] Auprès de vous (chanson a 5) [2:49] In Nomine I [2:38] Pecantem me quotidie (motet a 5) [3:32] Psalmus CIII [32:32] Bruna sei tu, ma bella (madrigal a 5) [2:45] Domine, non secundum peccata nostra (motet a 6) [4:35] Quel sempre acerbo (madrigal a 6) [4:14] The Huelgas Ensemble/Paul Van Nevel Recorded September 2004 at the Chapel of the Franciscans, Lille HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 901874 [60:40] [KS]

No lover of vocal polyphony will want to be without this lovely recording. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Elena KATS-CHERNIN (b. 1957) Wild Swans Concert Suite (2003) [36’47] 1.Green Leaf [2:39]; 2. Eliza Aria [3:17]; 3. Brothers [1:50]; 4. Wicked Witch [1’51]; 5. Magic Spell Tango [3:42]; 6. Good Fairy [3:16]; 7. Knitting Nettles [3:17]; 8. Darkness in the Forest [3:43]; 9. Eliza and the Prince [3:55]; 10. Glow Worms [1:28]; 11. Mute Princess [3:50]; 12. Transformation [3:59] Piano Concerto No. 2 (2001) [18:23] 13. I [5:34]; 14. II [4:08]; 15. III [2:47]; 16. IV [5:54] Mythic (2004) [11:28] Jane Sheldon, soprano (1-12); Ian Munro, piano (12-16) Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Ola Rudner rec. 16-19 August 2004, Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, Tasmania. DDD ABC CLASSICS 476 7639 [66:41] [ZT]

 

Future listeners will wonder how music of this interest and quality could possibly have escaped their attention. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Trios: No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49 (1839) [26'51]; No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66 (1845) [26'54]. The Florestan Trio (Anthony Marwood, violin; Richard Lester, cello; Susan Tomes, piano). Rec. Henry Wood Hall, London, 16-18 December 2003. DDD HYPERION CDA67485 [53'45] [CC]

This is a disc to treasure. The reputation of the Florestan Trio is already high – and here comes firm confirmation of the ensemble's stature. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) String Quartet (1904) [27:13] Germaine TAILLEFERRE (1892-1983) String Quartet (1917-1919) [9:34] Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) String Quartet No. 4 (1918) [13:30] Leipzig String Quartet: Andreas Seidel, violin; Tilman Büning, violin; Ivo Bauer, viola; Matthias Moosdorf, cello. rec. Paul-Gerhardt-Kirche, 8-10 February 2005. DDD MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 3071359-2 [50:42][JF]

I would heartily recommend this disc to all listeners: a good programme with excellent performances. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856) Liederkreis Op. 24 (1840) [18:35]; Liederkreis Op. 39 (1840) [22:45]; Dichterliebe Op. 48 (1840) [25:55] Peter Schreier (tenor), András Schiff (piano) rec. Lukaskirche, Dresden, 9-10 July 2002 ORFEO C 658 051 B [67:33][GF]

A disc that no lover of German lieder should miss. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann STRAUSS (II) (1825-1899) Valses, Polkas, Ouvertures: Tritsch-Tratsch Polka, RV 214 (1858) [2.48] Ouvertüre, Die Fledermaus, RV 503-1 (1874) [8.28] Csardas, Die Fledermaus, RV 503-2 (1873) [4.42] Nordseebilder, Walzer, RV 390 (1879) [9.25] Im Sturmschritt, Polka schnell, RV 348 (1871) [2.17] Neue Pizzikato Polka, RV 449 (1892) [2.56] Perpetuum mobile, RV 257-2 (1881) [2.51] Frühlingsstimmen, Walzer, RV 410 (1883) [6.42] Ouvertüre zu Der Zigeunerbaron, RV 511-1 (1885) [8.07] An der schönen blauen Donau, Walzer, RV 314 (1867) [10.53] Egyptischer Marsch, RV 335 (1869) [5.11] Éljen a Magyar, Polka, RV 332 (1869) [2.52] Furioso Polka, quasi Galopp, RV 260 (1861) [2.34] Orchestra Anima Eterna/Jos van Immerseel Recorded in La Grande Salle de L’Arsenal à Metz, April 2000 ZIG-ZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT 020601 [70:32] [AB]

An altogether remarkable CD which presents a view of the music of Strauss that most would find revelatory. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Elektra, Tragedy in one act (1906) Gwyneth Jones (soprano) - Elektra Leonie Rysanek (soprano) - Clytemnestra Anne Evans (soprano) - Chrysothemis Ronald Hamilton (tenor) - Aegisth Wolfgang Schöne (baritone) - Orest Michael Pavlu (bass) - Orest’s tutor Janeen Franz (mezzo) - the confidante Antoinette Faes (soprano) - the train-bearer Chœur du Grand Théâtre de Genève/Jean Laforge Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Jeffrey Tate rec. live, Grand Théâtre, Geneva, 10 March 1990. ADD. CLAVES CD 50-2514/15 [53’51 + 47’57] [ED]

This will be the Elektra that I will return to most often ... to celebrate remarkable music-making of a work that maintains as firm a grip as ever. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Piet SWERTS (b. 1960) Clarinet Quintet (2001)a [32:30] String Quartet No.2 (1998)b [30:06] Roeland Hendrikx (clarinet)a; Tempera String Quarteta; Spiegel String Quartetb
rec. Casino, Beringen, February 2003 (Clarinet Quintet) and Academiezaal, Sint Truiden, May 2005 (String Quartet No.2) PHAEDRA 92045 [62:36] [HC]

Polished and dedicated performances. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Un ballo in maschera (1859) Gustavo III ... Placido Domingo (tenor) Anckarström ... Leo Nucci (baritone) Amelia ... Josephine Barstow (soprano) Ulrica ... Florence Quivar (mezzo) Oscar ... Sumi Jo (soprano) Cristiano ... Jean-Luc Chaignaud (bass) Horn ... ... Kurt Rydl (bass) Ribbing ... Goran Simic (bass) A Judge ... Wolfganag Witte (tenor) Amelia’s servant ... ... Adolf Tomaschek (tenor) Vienna State Opera Chorus Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Georg Solti Directed by John Schlesinger Recorded 28 July 1990, Großes Festpielhaus, Salzburg. TDK DVD-CLOPUBIM [137.54] [TB]

A traditional Salzburg production ... The three leading roles, sung brilliantly by Placido Domingo, Josephine Barstow and Leo Nucci, are not only fine vocally, but wholly convincing dramatically too ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Five Violin Concertos: Concerto in D major for violin, strings and basso continuo Il Grosso Mogul, RV208 [13:01] Concerto in B minor for four violins and cello, RV580a [08:55]Concerto in C major for violin, strings and basso continuo, RV187 [11:45] Concerto in D major for violin, strings and basso continuo, L'Inquietudine, RV234 [06:18] Concert in E minor for violin, strings and basso continuo, Il Favorito, RV277 [12:58] Viktoria Mullova (violin) Il Giardino Armonico/Giovanni Antonini Stefano Barneschi (violin)a Marco Bianchi (violin)a Riccardo Masahide Minasi (violin)a Marco Testori (cello)a rec. Pieve di Palazzo Pignano, Cremona, Italy, 6-9 June 2004. DDD ONYX 4001 [53:06] [MC]

Vivaldi, Mullova and Onyx are a winning combination. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Messe Noire Igor STRAVINSKY (1881-1971) Serenade in A (1925) [11'43]. Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Sonata No. 2 in B minor, Op. 61 (1942) [25'57]. Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat, Op. 83 (1939-42) [19'27]. Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Piano Sonata No. 9 in F, Op. 68, 'Messe noire' (1912/13) [8'45]. Alexei Lubimov (piano). Rec. Radio Studio DRS, Zurich in May 1998 and December 2000 (Prokofiev). ECM NEW SERIES 1679 (465 1372) [65:52] [CC]

This is an absolutely tremendous disc, from all angles. This will be one of my Records of the Year, of that I am sure. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Zoltán Székely and the Hungarian String Quartet Historical recordings and previously unissued public performances, 1937-1968. Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Quartet K 456 ("Dissonant") Quartet in D minor K 421Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Quartet No. 14 in D minor ("Death and the Maiden") Quartet No. 15 in G Major, Op. 161 Josef HAYDN (1732-1809) Quartet in C major Op 74 No 1 Quartet in D Major Op 64 No. 5 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Quartet in C, Op. 59 No. 3 Quartet in C# minor, Op. 131 Quartet in F Op. 59 No. 1 Zoltan KODÁLY (1882-1967) String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10 Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Fifth String Quartet Sixth String Quartet Third String Quartet Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Quartet in A minor Op. 51 No. 2 Nicola Antonio PORPORA (1686-1768) Sonata II in G (from Sonate XII di Violino e Basso (osia di Cimbalo e violoncello)) Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Quartet in D Major, Op. 11 Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Quartet in F Major, Op. 96 ("American")Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 82 Edouard LALO (1823-1892) Guitarre Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Quartet in A minor, Op. 41 No. 1 Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 Hungarian String Quartet Technical reconstruction (2004) by Maggi Payne. Issued with the kind cooperation of Prof. Gabriel Magyar and the Székely Estate. MUSIC & ARTS CD1161[8 CDs: 78.41 + 75.27 + 77.47 + 73.46 + 77.39 + 68.27 + 78.52 + 74.30] [JW]

That’s it. One of my Records of the Year wrapped up this side of Christmas. I know quartet records don’t sell well - but this one deserves to. ... see Full Review


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH William BOLCOM (b.1938) Recuerdos (1991) [13:22] Frescoes for two pianos, harmonium and harpsichord (1971) [28:18] Sonata for Two Pianos in One Movement (1993) [15:40] Interlude (1963, rev. 1965) [4:03] The Serpent’s Kiss (Ragtime) (1969, arr. 1994) [5:37] Through Eden’s Gates (Cakewalk) (1969, arr. 1994) [5:13] Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann (pianos) Rec. Boston Recital Hall, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta, Canada; 7-10 Jan 2005. NAXOS 8.559244 [72:15] [DC]

Naxos seems to conjure this sort of thing from their sleeve like a magician’s never-ending handkerchief – long may it remain so. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphony no.2 in D major, op.73 (1877) [44:51] Hungarian Dances: No. 1 in G minor (orch. Brahms) [3:24]; No. 3 in F (orch. Brahms) [2:46]; No. 10 in F (orch.Brahms) [1:52]; No. 17 in F# minor (orch. Dvořák) [3:37]; No. 18 in D (orch. Dvořák) [1:31]; No. 19 in B minor (orch. Dvořák) [2:38]; No. 20 in E minor (orch. Dvořák) [2:44]; No. 21 in E minor (orch. Dvořák) [1:42]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. Blackheath Concert Hall, London, March 2005 (Symphony); Watford Colosseum, Watford, 28 July 2005 NAXOS 8.557429 [65:06] [GPJ]

I enjoyed this new recording enormously. Penetrated the dark interior of one of the composer’s most complex works ... Alsop was right in there from beginning to end ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Canadian Carnival Op.19 (1939) [13:09] Violin Concerto Op.15 (1939)a [33:09] BRITTEN-BERKELEY Mont Juic Op.12/Op.9 (1937) [12:03] Lorraine McAslan (violin)a; English Chamber Orchestra/Steuart Bedford rec. The Maltings, Snape, October 1990 NAXOS 8.557198 [58:19][HC]

Good to have these fine readings available again. Well worth having for MacAslan’s superbly poised, committed and convincing reading of the Concerto ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Nicholas GOMBERT (c.1495-c.1560) Credo for 8 voices [12:35]; Haec dies quam fecit Dominus [4:50]; Qui colis Ausonium [7:08]; Salve Regina [Diversi diversa orant] [5:58]; O beata Maria [7:43]; Vae, vae Babylon [11:27]; Media vita in morte sumus [5:59]; Lugebat David Absalon [8:22] Henry’s Eight/Jonathan Brown rec. Ante-Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, 1-3 April 1996. DDD HYPERION HELIOS CDH 55247 [69.54] [GH]

This is a very fine disc and now at budget price it is even more of an attractive proposition. Buy it. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Twenty Polish Christmas Carols [40.05] Lacrimosa (1937) [3:37] Five Songs (1957) [10:39] Olga Pasichnyk (soprano) ¹ Polish Radio Chorus, Kraców ¹ ² Jadwiga Rappé ³ Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (Katowice)/Antoni Wit Rec. Grzegorz Fitelberg Concert Hall, Katowice, 3-5 December 2001 (Carols, Lacrimosa), and 15 January 1997 (Songs). NAXOS 8.555994 [54:22] [DC]

Makes one glad to be alive during the sparkling darkness of midwinter. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs of Travel (1904) [24:09] The House of Life (1903) [30:29] Linden Lea (1908) [2:44] Four poems by Fredegond Shove (1924) [14:03] Roderick Williams (baritone) Ian Burnside (piano) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk 27-29 August 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557643 [67:07] [AO]

Perhaps the finest recording of Vaughan Williams' early songs – superlative performances of songs like Silent Noon and The New Ghost. Get this! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Ernani (1844) [129.11] Ernani – Luciano Pavarotti (tenor) Elvira – Joan Sutherland (soprano) Carlo – Leo Nucci (baritone) Silva – Paata Burchuladze (bass) Giovanna – Linda McLeod (soprano) Riccardo – Richard Morton – (tenor) Jago – Alastair Miles – (bass) Orchestra and Chorus of Welsh National Opera/Richard Bonynge. Recorded in Walthamstow Town Hall, London, May 1987. DDD DECCA 475 7008 [64.34 + 64.37][JPh]

 

I would rate this performance above all of its rivals and supplied now at mid-price, with complete libretto it is unbeatable in the marketplace. ... see Full Review

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Bachianas Brasileiras - complete CD1 [73:10]: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1 for an orchestra of cellos (1930) [19:50] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2 for chamber orchestra (1930) [22:16] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 3 for piano and orchestra (1938) [31:04] CD2 [40:42]: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4 for orchestra (1930, 1941) [20:27] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for voice and eight cellos (1938/1945) [10:59] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6 for flute and bassoon (1938) [9:07] CD3 [62:22]: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 7 for orchestra (1942) [27:26] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 8 for orchestra  (1944) [24:48] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9 for string orchestra (1944) [10:08] Rosana Lamosa (sop); Jose Feghali (piano); Anthony La Marchina (cello); Eric Gratton (flute); Cynthia Estill (bassoon) Nashville Symphony Orchestra/Kenneth Schermerhorn; Andrew Mogrelia rec. 14 May 2005, 7, 21, 23 Mar 2004. Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. DDD NAXOS 8.557460-62 [3 CDs: 73:10 + 40:42 + 62:22][PCW]

The market was just crying out for this release ... highly recommended, a considerable bargain and a fine memorial to Kenneth Schermerhorn ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813 – 1883)
Tristan und Isolde (1857–59) Peter Hofmann (tenor) – Tristan; Hans Sotin (bass) – König Marke; Hildegard Behrens (soprano) – Isolde; Bernd Weikl (baritone) – Kurwenal; Heribert Steinbach (tenor) – Melot; Yvonne Minton (mezzo) – Brangäne; Heinz Zednik (tenor) – En Hirt; Raimund Grumbach (baritone) – Ein Steuermann; Thomas Moser (tenor) – Ein junger Seemann Chor und Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Leonard Bernstein No recording dates and venue given. PHILIPS 475 7020 [4 CDs: 62:23 + 66:05 + 73:50 + 64:06] [GF]

Bernstein wrings every drop of emotion from the music ... an unforgettable experience ... 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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