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RECORDING OF THE MONTH Mischa Maisky and Martha Argerich in concert Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Pulcinella (1920) – Suite italienne (arr. Stravinsky/Piatigorsky, 1932) [17’36]. Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 119 (1949) [23’28]. The Stone Flower (1948) – Waltz (arr. Piatigorsky/Knushevitsky) [2’16]. Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 40 (1934) [25’40]. Mischa Maisky (cello); Martha Argerich (piano). Rec. Live rec. from Flagey Hall, Brussels, in April 2003. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 5323 [72’22] [CC]

My disc of the month ... see Full Review

Nellie Melba - The Complete American Recordings - Volume 1 Nellie Melba (soprano) Enrico Caruso (tenor) (1) Charles Gilibert (baritone) (3) Ada Sassoli (harp) (2) Charles K. North (flute) (4) Nellie Melba (piano) (6) Unknown Orchestra/Walther B. Rogers (5) Recorded 5th, 24th, 27th-30th March 1907, New York NAXOS 8.110334 [71.49] [RH]

For the convinced admirer. The unprepared listener is likely to need some perseverance before the disc reveals its riches. ... see Full Review

Music for Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor Anon L'homme armé Cristóbal DE MORALES (1500? - 1553) Missa L'homme armé (with Plainchant propers for the Feast of the Holy Trinity) [40:59] Josquin DESPREZ (c1440 - 1521) Ave Maria [05:52] Nicolas GOMBERT (1500 - 1556) Qui colis Ausoniam [06:47] Cristóbal DE MORALES Jubilate Deo [04:53] Thomas CRECQUILLON (? - 1557) Andreas Christi famulus [05:05] Orlandus LASSUS (1532 - 1594) Heroum soboles [03:07] Don Fernando DE LAS INFANTAS (1534 - 1610?) Parce mihi Domine [08:03] Chapelle du Roi/Alistair Dixon Recorded in March 2000 at St Jude's Church, Hampstead, London. DDD SIGNUM SIGCD019 [75:49] [JV]

This recording shows the importance of music in politics and society of the renaissance ... a lot to enjoy, in particular in the more jubilant pieces ... see Full Review

Peace - A Choral Album for our Times Tomas Luis De VICTORIA (c.1548-1611) O magnum mysterium Randall THOMPSON (1899-1984) Alleluia Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Blazen muzh, op.37 Morten LAURIDSEN (b.1943)
O magnum mysterium
Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Agnus Dei John TAVENER (b.1944) Song for Athene Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Friede auf Erden, op.13 Henryk Mikolaj GORECKI (b.1933) Totus Tuus Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) To be sung of a summer night on the water Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Lux aeterna (‘Nimrod’) Handel and Haydn Society Chorus/Grant Llewellyn Recorded at the Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, Mass., USA 6th-10th July 2003 AVIE AV0039 [65:15] [GPJ]

This CD contains some truly world-class choral singing, and is full of memorable musical experiences. Splendid recording, too ... see Full Review

Opera Arias sung by Lucia Popp Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Zauberflote, Ach, ich fühl's, es ist werschwunden (Pamina) Le Nozze di Figaro, E Susanna non vien..Dove sono i bei momenti (Countess) Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Der Freischutz, Wie nahte mir der Schlummer (Agathe) Hermann GOETZ (1840-1876) Der widerspenstigen Zähmung, Die Kraft versagt (Katharina) Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Rigoletto, Caro nome (Gilda) Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Gianni Schicchi, O mio babbino caro (Lauretta) Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Manon, Allons! Il le faut!... Adieu, notre petite table (Manon) Gustave CHARPENTIER (1860-1956) Louise, Depuis le jour (Louise) Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) Prodanà nevesta (The bartered Bride), Oh! jàky zai! (Oh, what a grief!) (Maria) Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Rusalka, Mesícku nanebi hlubokém (O silver moon) (Rusalka) Lucia Popp (soprano) Munich Radio Orchestra/Kurt Eichorn Recorded June 1982. Munich, Germany ARTS MUSIC 47517-2 [55.22] [RJF]

Lovers of quality singing and of Lucia Popp’s particular skills should add this clear and well-recorded disc to their collection. ... see Full Review

Organ Spectacular - Jean Guillou CD1 J.S. BACH Toccata and Fugue in D Minor BWV 565 [8'24] Nicolas DE GRIGNY Recit de Tierce en Taille [6'09] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART Fantasy in F minor K 608 [9'56] Jean GUILLOU Hyperion or The Rhetoric of Fire; Hermes [4'23], The Fires of Silence [4'56], The Inflamed Soul [10'54], Agni-Ignis [5'13] Charles-Marie WIDOR Allegro Vivace from Symphony No 5 [10'35] Franz LISZT Fantasy and Fugue on BACH [13'32] CD2 J.S. BACH Sinfonia from Cantata 29 "Wir danken dir Gott, wir danken dir" [3'51] Choral, "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" BWV645 [4'25] Badinerie, from Suite No 2 in B minor BWV 1067 [1'27] John STANLEY Voluntary in A minor [4'16] Henry PURCELL Trumpet Tune in D major [2'21] Frei JACINTO Toccata in D minor [2'07] Carlos SEIXAS Toccata in F minor [2'05]; Toccata in G minor [3'10] George Frideric HANDEL Allegro from Organ Concerto op7/10 in D minor [5'30] J.S. BACH Sarabande BWV 977 [2'56] Louis-Nicolas CLERAMBAULT Basse et dessus de Trompette [2'01] J.S. BACH Fugue in G major BWV 577 [2'58] G.F. HANDEL Hornpipe from Water Music [4'10] Joseph HAYDN Flotenuhrstucke in D major [0'58] Flotenuhrstucke in G major [1'42] Robert SCHUMANN Canon in A-flat major [3'41]; Canon in B minor [2'45] Franz LISZT Valse Oubliée No 1 [3'47] Serge PROKOFIEV March from "Love of the 3 Oranges" [1'43] Jean GUILLOU Hautbois d'Amour from "Jeux d'Orgue" [1'58]; Tutti Ostinati from "Jeux d'Orgue" [2'34]; Improvisation on 'Greensleeves' [6'30] CD3 Joseph JONGEN Symphonie Concertante for Organ and Orchestra op 81; Allegro, molto moderato (in the Dorian mode) [7'35], Divertimento, molto vivo [8'18], Molto Lento, misterioso [12'00], Toccata (moto perpetuo), allegro moderato [5'09] Camille SAINT-SAENS Symphony No 3 in C Minor ‘Organ’ (Adagio [9'37], Poco Adagio [9'53], Allegro Moderato [7'38], Maestoso [7'18]) Jean Guillou, organ Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Mata (CD 3) Rec: St Eustache, Paris (CD 1), Notre Dame des Neiges, Alpe D'Huez, France, (CD 2), Meyerson Center, Dallas (CD 3) between 1987 and 1994. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92386 [75'11 + 70'04 + 68'44] [CB]

The saddest element of this gruesome Guillou box is that it will be very inexpensive. Presumably it was intended to find new followers for our instrument. I can barely think of a more inappropriate introduction. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Prometheus: Musical Variations on a Myth A film by Christopher Swann. Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus (1801) - Introduction, ‘La Tempesta’ [1’55]; No. 1, Poco Adagio - Allegro con brio [2’59]; No. 9, Adagio - Allegro molto [3’41]; No. 10, Pastorale: Allegro [2’56]. Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Prometheus, S99 (1850, rev. 1855) [13’42]. Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Prometheus. ‘Le poème de feu’, Op. 60a (1908-10) [19’26]. Luigi NONO (1924-1990) Prometeo, Suite (1992) - Isola seconda, ‘Hölderlin’b [9’42]. aMartha Argerich (piano); aBerliner Singakademie; bSolistenchor Freiburg (Ingrid Ade-Jesemann, Monika Bair-Ivenz, Ulrike Krumbiegel, Matthias Schadock) Berliner Philharmoniker/Claudio Abbado. PCM Stereo. 4:3. Region Code: 0 Worldwide. No rec. info. ARTHAUS 101717 [57’00] [CC]

Argerich might be the initial pulling power of this DVD, but as viewing goes on it becomes clear that as a package this DVD is fascinating ... something really special. One of the best DVD films I have seen so far and one I will return to often. ... see Full Review

Louis Robilliard (organ) Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Symphonie-Passion Op 23: Le Monde dans l'attend du Sauveur [6'59], Nativité [7'39], Crucifixion, [8'28], Résurrection [6'02] Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) trans Louis Robilliard Suite "Pelléas et Mélisande" op. 80: Prélude [5'37], Fileuse [3'07], Sicilienne [3'41], Molto Adagio [4'32] Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Suite op. 5: Prélude [9'21], Sicilienne [6'25], Toccata [8'19] Louis Robilliard organ Rec. St Sernin, Toulouse and St François-de-Sales, Lyon, April 2003. DDD FESTIVO 6961.942 [70'16] [CB]

Don't miss this one, it really is fantastic. ... see Full Review

Romantic Songs Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Hartmut Höll (piano) Licensed from Claves and recorded between 1986 and 1991 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92439 [5 CDs: 51.52 + 54.48 + 54.47 + 44.04 + 54.33] [JW]

Imperfect though some may be, these recordings bear the imprint of Fischer-Dieskau’s intensely personalised response to text, nuance and repertoire ... see Full Review

Andrew Sparling Nick HAYES  (b. 1963) Tongue-Dog Roger REDGATE (b. 1958) +R Timothy SALTER Mondrian Pictures Michael PARSONS (b. 1938) Two Macedonian Songs Diana BURRELL (b. 1948) Double Image Chris SANSOM (b. 1950) Music from the Heart of a Dog Gabriel JACKSON (b. 1962) The White Bird Howard SKEMPTON (b. 1947) Air Melody; Kettle’s Yard Canon Michael FINNISSY (b. 1946) Uzundara Laurence CRANE (b. 1961) Sparling Andrew Sparling (clarinet); Chris Brannick (percussion); Thalia Myers (piano); Nancy Ruffer (flute); Alan Thomas (guitar); Double Image Uzundara (Finnissy) and Sparling (Crane) were recorded on 27th January 2003 at Holy Trinity Church, Weston, Herts. Kettle’s Yard Canon (Skempton) and +R (Redgate) were recorded at the same venue on 10th April 2003. The White Bird (Jackson) and Mondrian Pictures (Salter) were recorded at the Church of St. John the Baptist, Loughton, Essex on 23rd June 2003. Double Image (Burrell), Air Melody (Skempton) and Tongue-Dog (Hayes) were recorded on 11th December 2003 at Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead; Music from the Heart of a Dog (Sansom) was recorded on 3rd February 2004 at Holy Trinity Church, Weston, Herts. Two Macedonian Songs (Parsons) were recorded on 24th June 2004 at St. Mary’s Church, Walthamstow. DDD NMC ARTISTS SERIES NMC D092 [75:21][CT]   

An interesting collection of new music for clarinet showcasing Andrew Sparling ... see Full Review

Leopold Stokowski Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 5 in D minor (1937) [40:51] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony No. 8 in D minor (1953-5) [30:15] London Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski Rec. live, Royal Albert Hall, London, 15 (8) 17 (4) September 1964. BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4165-2 [71:40] [IL]

A blisteringly powerful Shostakovich 5 and a zestful RVW 8 make this a compelling CD that will appeal to all Stokowski fans and admirers of both composers. ... see Full Review

Arturo Toscanini – Great Conductors Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony No. 88 in G major Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony No. 40 in G minor K550 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet in F major Op.135 – Lento assai and Vivace (arranged for string orchestra) Nicolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) Moto Perpetuo (arranged TOSCANINI) Giacomo ROSSINI (1792-1868) William Tell Overture NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini Recorded 1938-39 NAXOS 8.110895 [71.56] [JW]

An air of geniality and easy-going lyricism runs throughout ... see Full Review

Music for Trumpet and Corno da Caccia Theodore SCHWARTZKOPFF (1659-1732) Ouverture in C for trumpet, strings and continuo. Johann MOLTER (1695-1765) Concerto in D for trumpet, strings and continuo Johann HEINICHEN ( 1683-1729) Concerto in F major for two Corni da caccia, flutes, oboes, bassoons and strings. Johann SPERGEN (1750-1802) Concerto in D for trumpet, oboes, horns, strings and continuo Johann NERUDA ( c.1707-1776) Concerto in E flat for corno da caccia, strings and continuo; Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Concerto in E major for trumpet and orchestra Ludwig Guttler (trumpet and corno da caccia) Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum Leipzig/Max Pommer Recorded Leipzig 1982 (Schwartzopff); June 1986 (Heinichen; Sperger); May 1986 (Molter; Neruda; Hummel) CAPRICCIO SACD 71019 [66.34] [GH]

The music eases itself gracefully from phrase to phrase. ... see Full Review

Violin Encounters Brian FERNEYHOUGH (b.1943) Intermedio alla Ciaccona (1986) Unsichtbare Farben (1997/8) Keiko HARADA (b.1968) Labyrinth X (1997/9) David YOUNG Animali (2002) Patrick DE CLERCK (b.1958) Ai Morti (2001) Luciano BERIO (1925 – 2003) Sequenza VIII (1976) Michael MAIERHOF (b.1956) Splitting 5 (2001) Yasutaka Hemmi (violin) rec. Studio Sphere, Matsue, Japan (no date) MEGADISC MDC 7813 [70:13] [HC]

Hemmi is a very fine player with a remarkable technique. Well worth investigating. ... see Full Review

Virtuoso Trumpet - Rolf Smedvig Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047 Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Trumpet Concerto in D major Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 (Transcribed for Trumpet)Leopold MOZART (1719-1787) Trumpet Concerto in D major Rolf Smedvig, trumpet Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Jahja Ling rec. City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland, July 3-4, 1989; Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, June 23, 1992 DDD TELARC CD-80227 [53:28] [MC]

Smedvig on fine form with this reissue of mainstream trumpet repertoire. He gives each phrase its own personality and there is a most agreeable timbre to his playing. ... see Full Review

Voices of Light Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Le Collier [3:46], l’Escalier redit, gestes du soleil [6:37], Amour oiseau d’étoile [4:16], Prière exaucée [3:04], Résurrection [4:02] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Chansons de Bilitis: La Flûte de Pan [2:49], La Chevelure [3:45], Le tombeau des naïads [2:49] Osvaldo GOLIJOV (b. 1960) Lúa descolorida [5:37] Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) La Chanson d’Ève: I. Paradis [7:14], II. Prima verba [2:30], III. Roses ardentes [1:16], IV. Comme Dieu rayonne [2:24], V. L’Aube blanche [1:08], VI. Eau vivante [1:33], VII. Veilles-tu, ma senteur de soleil? [1:36], VIII. Dans un parfum de roses blanches [2:06], IX. Crépuscule [2:36], X. Ô mort, poussière d’étoiles [2:36]  Dawn Upshaw (soprano), Gilbert Kalish (piano) Recorded May 17-18, 2003 at Theater C, SUNY, Purchase, New York (Debussy, Fauré and Golijov), December 21-22, 1997 at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (Messiaen) DDD NONESUCH 7559-79812-2 [61’46”][BH]

Upshaw in effortless form and a sensitive contribution from Kalish ... a light-filled gift indeed ... see Full Review

The Willis Organ at Salisbury Cathedral Francis JACKSON (b.1917) The Archbishop’s Fanfare [1’00] John COOK (1918-1984) Fanfare [5’43] Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) arr. Alexander SCHREINER Maestoso in C sharp minor opus 16 [5’52] Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Scherzo opus 2 [6’11] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Canon in B minor opus 56 No. 3 [3’16] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Lo, how a Rose is Blooming opus 122 no. 8 [3’01] Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Sonata No. 2 in C minor opus 65 [11’30] I Grave II Adagio III Allegro maestoso e vivace IV Fuga: Allegro moderato Franck BRIDGE (1879-1941) Adagio in E major [6’21] Marcel DUPRÉ (186-1971) Triptyque opus 51 [15’19] I Chaconne II Musette III Dithyrambe Michael Murray, organ Rec: Salisbury Cathedral, March 20th-21st, 1990 TELARC CD-80255 [58’58] [GMS]

The programme doesn’t hold together completely but the presence of the Vierne and the Duruflé make it worth hearing. ... see Full Review

Yearning For The Bell: Volumes 6 and 7 Volume 6: Phoenix Crying Volume 7: Searching Riley Lee, shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) Recorded on the 24th and 26th July 1996 in the reverberation room of the National Acoustics Laboratory, Sydney. TALL POPPIES TP167 [57.13] TALL POPPIES TP168 [60.00] [NH]

The concluding volumes of a uniquely enterprising series of Japanese traditional music ... see Full Review

Ruth Ziesak (soprano) Sacred Arias Christian GHEIST (c.1640-1711) Vater unser, der du bist im Himmel Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Sonata in B flat major Op.1 No.4 Samuel EBART (1655-1684) Miserere, Christe, mei Johann VIERDANK (c.1605-1646) Passemezzo e la sua Gagliarda Franz TUNDER (1614-1667) Ach Herr, lass deine lieben Engelein Johann Adam REINCKEN (1623-1722) Suite No.6 in A major Christoph BERNHARD (1628-1692) Aus der Tiefe rufe ich zu dir Thomas BALTZAR (c.1630/31-1663) Airs for solo violin Ruth Ziesak (soprano) Berliner Barock-Compagney Recorded at the Andreaskirche, Berlin, November 2003 CAPRICCIO 67 125 [71.33] [JW]

Ziesak continues her excellent series of recordings with one that, once more, shows off her strengths in baroque works ... see Full Review

Gyles BRANDRETH [writer and deviser] Zipp! (2001-04) Gyles Brandreth
Andrew C Wadsworth Stefan Benarczyk Amanda Symonds Shona White Musical direction and arrangements by Stuart Barr Recorded live at the Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon, May 1st 2004 MUST CLOSE SATURDAY RECORDS MCSR 3023 [63.00 + 34.45] [JW]

A Porter and Sondheim-rich fest of frolics, presided über alles by the Judy Garland-loving, pertly bosomed Gyles "Call Me Madam" Brandreth. ... see Full Review


Book Reviews

Elgar – Child of Dreams By Jerrold Northrop Moore Faber and Faber 2004. Hardback; 212 pages ISBN 0-571-22337-0 £14.99 [IL]

... a fascinating and remarkable feat of scholarship... 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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