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Giacomo CARISSIMI (1605-1674)
Historia di Jepthe [21:38] Dai più riposti abissi [12:09] Historia di Ionas [19:30] Consortium Carissimi Recorded at the Museo Civico, Marino Italy, 25-28 November 2003 NAXOS 8.557390 [53:16] [KS]

In all, this performance is perfectly acceptable at a sort of collegiate level, but it is not one for the history books. ... see Full Review

George Whitefield CHADWICK (1854-1931) Symphony No. 2 in B flat, Op. 21 (1886) [35’37]; Symphonic Sketches (1895-1904) [30’10]. National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar. Rec. Grand Concert Studio of the National Radio Company of Ukraine in Kiev on December 17th-21st, 2003. DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559213 [65’47] [CC]

Rewarding listening, then, and works that will surely give great pleasure. More, please. ... see Full Review

Guillaume de CHASSY LUNES Cantate Jazz Lune [7.09] Ali Baba [4.39] Été 1917 [5.05] Séguiryia [10.04] Louie Louie, por Buléria [8.02] Majos Desnudos [6.24] Danse des Trolls [5.23] Post-scriptum [3.15] Guillaume de Chassy (piano) Pierre Dayraud (percussion) Les Élements Vocal Ensemble/Joël Suhubiette Recorded in the Church of Saint-Pierre-des-Chartreux, in Toulouse, July 2001 HORTUS 023 [50.01] [JW]

Does it work? And more to the point, what actually is it? Put simply; I’m not sure and I’ve no idea - but I enjoyed listening to it. ... see Full Review

Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Poème de l’amour et de ma mer (1890) [25.26] Elsa Maurus (mezzo) Hector BERLIOZ (1903-1869) Les nuits d’été (1843) [28.35] Elsa Maurus (mezzo) Paul DUKAS (1865-1935) La Péri (1912) [1909] Orchestre National de Lille/Jean-Claude Casadesus rec. 26-28 February 2003, Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle, Lille. DDD NAXOS 8.557274 [73.21] [TB]

An imaginative programme of French music from Naxos, featuring three quite wonderful pieces ... see Full Review

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-49) Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58 (1844) [28’14]. Etude in E, Op. 10 No. 3 (1835) [4’48]. Franz LISZT (1811-86) Piano Sonata in B minor, S178 (1853) [34’27]. Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Piano Sonata No. 9, Op. 68, ‘Black Mass’ (1913) [9’31]. Jean-Marc Luisada (piano). Rec. Temple du Bon Secours, Paris on March 29th-April 2nd, 2004. DDD BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876 645612 [77’32] [CC]

Fascinating programme but other hopes were well and truly dashed. ... see Full Review

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1809-1847) Ballade No.1 in G minor Op.23 (1831-5) [9.11] Ballade No.2 in F major Op.38 (1836-9) [7.30] Ballade No.3 in A major Op.47 (1840-41) [7.17] Ballade No.4 in F minor Op.52 (1842) [11.00] Fantasie Op.49 in F minor (1840-41) [11.39] Jerome Rose (piano) No Recording details MONARCH CLASSICS M20052 [46.59] [JW]

Climaxes rushed and problems inherent in the recording make this one very much for Rose’s admirers ... see Full Review


RECORDING OF THE MONTH Eric COATES (1886-1957) Concert waltz: Footlights (1939) The Three Men Suite (1935) The Selfish Giant (1925) London Again Suite for Orchestra (1936) Cinderella – A Phantasy (1929) Summer Days Suite (1919) Television March (1946) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/John Wilson rec. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England, 7-8 October 2003. DDD AVIE AV2070 [79:14] [IL]

Sweet tuneful nostalgic delight – a must for Eric Coates admirers. ... see Full Review

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Piano Fantasy (1955-7) [29:19] Piano Sonata (1939-41) [21:56]: ((i) Molto moderato [7:59] (ii) Vivace [5:00] (iii) Andante sostenuto [8:57]) Piano Variations (1930) [11:53] Benjamin Pasternak (piano) Rec. Toronto Arts Centre, Ontario in August 2003 DDD NAXOS 8.559184 [63:08] [PCW]

The private side of Copland ... deeply felt readings which penetrate to the heart of this personal music ... see Full Review

Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713) Complete Works Sonate da Chiesa a trè Op.1 Nos 1-12 (1681) [68.45] Sonate da Camera a trè Op.2 Nos 1-12 (1685) [73.01] Sonate a Quattro in D major (WoO4) Tromba sola, due Violini e Basso [5.16] Sonate Postume a due violini e violoncello col basso per l’Organo (WoO5-10) (1714) [33.50] Sonate da Chiesa a trè Op.3 Nos 1-12 (1689) [70.41] Sonate da Chiesa a trè Op.4 Nos. –12 (1694) [78.51] Sonate a violino e violoncello o cembalo Op.5 Nos. 1–11 and La Folia (1700) [119.51] Concerti Grossi Op.6 Nos 1-12 [130.32] Sinfonia (WoO1) to the Oratorio Santa Beatrice d’Este [8.23] Sonata a Quattro WoO2 [6.26] Rémy Baudet (violin) Musica Amphion Pieter-Jan Belder (harpsichord and conductor) Recorded at the Dutch Reformed Church of Renswoude, the Doopsgezinde Kerk of Deventer and the Augustinuschurch, Amsterdam in the summer of 2004 BRILLIANT 92403 [10 CDs: 68.45 + 54.11 + 44.07 + 61.21 + 60.40 + 51.52 + 63.34 + 56.17 + 75.11 + 70.31] [JW]

You won’t go terribly wrong with this box – but you will seldom feel any kind of frisson. ... see Full Review

Henry COWELL (1897 - 1965) Instrumental, Chamber and Vocal Music Vols. 1 and 2 Quartet for Flute, Oboe, Cello, and Harpsichord (1954) [10.51] Suite for Violin and Piano (1925) [11.03] Polyphonica for Small Orchestra (1930) [3.48] Irish Suite for String Piano and Small Orchestra (1929) [16.39] Homage to Iran (1957) [14.50] Casual Developments (6) (1933) [7.43] Set of Five (1952) [16.32] Songs (2), Poems of Catherine Riegger (1936) [4.23]: Sunset; Rest Three Anti-Modernist Songs (1938) [6.55]: "A Sharp Where You’d Expect a Natural"; "Hark! From the Pit a Fearsome sound"; "Who Wrote This Fiendish ‘Rite of Spring?’" Piano Works: Deep Color (1938) [6.36]; Piece for Piano with strings (1924) [3.34]; The Fairy Answer (1929) [4.18]; Fabric (1920) [1.28]; Tiger (1929) [3.01]; Vestiges (1920) [2.31]; Euphoria (1929) [0.59]; What’s This (1915) [0.35]; Elegie (1941) [5.16]; The Banshee (1925) [2.05] Continuum: Joel Sachs, conductor, piano, and persian Drum; Cheryl Selzer, piano and harpsichord; Mark Steinberg, Marilyn Dubow, Mia Su, violins; Ellen Lang, mezzo-soprano; Raymond Murcell, baritone; Gordon Gottlieb, percussion; Jayn Rosenfeld, flute; Marsha Heller, oboe, Maria Kitsopoulos, cello. Notes in English and Deutsch. Recorded various locations in New York City, New York, USA, between 1984 and 1992. Previously released on Musical Heritage Society label. NAXOS 8.559192 [65.46] 8.559193 [59.44] in two jewel boxes, available separately. [PSh]

A fine introduction the music of an American modern music pioneer; some of it is very enjoyable, and the rest is at least fun. ... see Full Review

Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) Nonet for Cor anglais, Clarinet, Bassoon, two Violins, Viola, Cello, Double Bass and Piano (1850) Grande Sérénade Concertante for piano, clarinet, French horn and cello, op. 126 Consortium Classicum Claudius Tanski (piano) rec. May 1994, Furstliche Reitbahn, Arolsen, Germany DDD MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 301 0518-2 [62:09][MC]

A well recorded release from MDG Gold that will delight chamber music lovers. ... see Full Review

Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) Variations on a Theme by Haydn Op.73 [27.31] Vienna Chamber Orchestra/Helmut Froschauer, recorded Vienna, 1968 Karl STAMITZ (1745-1801) Piano Concerto in F major [21.32] Württemberg Chamber Orchestra/Jörg Faerber, recorded Württemberg, undated George Joseph VOGLER (1749-1814) Variations on Marlborough s’en va-t-en-guerre (1791) [22.04] Prague New Chamber Orchestra/Alberto Zedda, recorded Milan, 1963 Felicja Blumental (piano) BRANA BR0024 [71.02] [JW]

A return to form for Brana; sensitive and warm 1960s performances ... see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) An Introduction to… Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande Written by Thomson Smillie David Timson, narrator Musical examples taken from recording made by Choeur Régional Nord/Pas-de-Calais directed by Eric Deltour and Orchestre National de Lille-Région Nord/Pas-de-Calais directed by Jean-Claude Casadesus DDD NAXOS 8.558172 [78:53] [PG]

Thomson Smillie offers the key to understanding this difficult opera. For anyone that has any interest in this opera, this is a valuable disc. ... see Full Review

Issay DOBROWEN (1891-1953)
Piano Concerto in C sharp minor Op. 20 (1912-26) [34:53] Jugend-Sonate Op. 5b (1922) [8:52] Sonata-Skazka Op. 5a (1911) [9:54] Deuxieme Sonate (1915) [11:09] Jørn Fossheim (piano) Academic Orchestra of St Petersburg Philharmonia/Alexander Dmitriev rec. Great Hall of the St Petersburg Philharmonia, 11 Sept 2002 (concerto); Sofienberg Kirke, Oslo, 15 Apr 2002. DDD SIMAX PSC 1246 [64:53] [RB]

Attractive late-romantic works of some substance even if the manner and casing affectionately, even lovingly, recall Medtner and Rachmaninov. ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848)
L’Elisir d’amore, Comic opera in two acts. Libretto by Felice Romani based on Eugene Scribe’s play ‘Le Philtre’. First performed at the Teatro della Canobbiana, Milan, on 12 May 1832 Adina, Kathleen Battle (sop); Nemorino, Luciano Pavarotti (ten); Sergeant Belcore, Juan Pons (bar); Doctor Dulcamara, Enzo Dara (bass); Gianetta, Korliss Uecker (sop) Metropolitan Opera Chorus. Metropolitan Opera Orchestra/James Levine Production, John Copley Set and costume design, Beni Montresor
Lighting design, Gil Wechsler Recitative accompanist, Dennis Giauque Video Director, Brian Large Recorded November 1991 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON DVD VIDEO 000440 073 4021 GH [128:00] [RJF]

The colourful sets and opulent costumes of this production are a perfect complement to Donizetti’s melodic music. Recommended to all lovers of traditional productions. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Zoraida Di Granata - Melodramma eroico in two acts. Libretto by Bartolomeo Merelli. First performed at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, on the 28th January 1822. Revised edition presented at the same theatre on the 7th January 1824 Given in new performing editions prepared by Chris Moss and Robert Roberts Cast for the 1822 edition (CD 1, CD 2. CD 3 trs 1-9) Almuzir, King of Granada. Bruce Ford (ten); Zoraida, in love with, and loved by, Abenamet, Majella Cullagh (sop); Abenamet, General of the Moors, Paul Austin Kelly (ten); Ali, Almuzir's confidant, Matthew Hargreaves (bass); Almanzor, friend of Abenamet, Dominic Natoli (bass); Ines, a Spanish slave and friend of Zoraida, Cristina Pastorello (sop) Changes in cast for the 1824 revisions (CD 3 trs.10-14 and CD 4) Abenamet, Diana Montague (mezzo) The Geoffrey Mitchell Choir. The Academy of St Martin in the Fields/David Parry Recorded at St. Clements Church, London. October and December 1998 OPERA RARA ORC17 [4CDs: 74.22 + 71.40 + 54.54 + 64.19] [RJF]

Much enjoyable listening here, complemented by fine singing which can be enjoyed by all lovers of this fertile and seminal period of operatic composition in Italy. I recommend it without reservation ... see Full Review

Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Messe de Requiem, Op. 9 (1947)* [38’42"] Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Laudes de Saint Antoine de Padoue (1957-9) [6’48"]
Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) O Sacrum Convivium (1937) [4’59"] Patricia Fernandez (mezzo-soprano) Michel Bouvard (organ) Ensemble Vocal Les Éléments/Joël Suhubiette Recorded *in L’Église Nôtre-Dame du Taur, Toulouse, 10-12 July 1999; in La Chappelle des Carmélites, Toulouse, February 1994 HORTUS 018 [50’38"] [JQ]

As compared with the Truro choir there’s a greater degree of warmth and maturity ... it uses female sopranos and altos, the latter a crucial difference in the blend. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pascal DUSAPIN (b. 1955) Perelà, Uomo di fumo (2003) John Graham-Hall (tenor, Perelà); Isabelle Philippe (soprano, the Queen); Chantal Perraud (coloratura, Alloro’s daughter); Martine Mahé (contralto, the Old Woman); Nora Gubisch (mezzo-soprano, Oliva di Bellonda); Friedemann Röhlig (bass, Master of Ceremonies, Minister); Scott Wilde (bass, Servant, Alloro, President of the Court of Justice); Niels van Doesum (bass, First Guard, Pilone the Philosopher); Nicolas Courjal (bass-baritone, Second Guard, Rodella the Banker); Daniel Gundlach (falsetto, Archbishop); Gilles Yanetti (the Parrot); Chorus of the National Opera, Montpellier Montpellier National Orchestra/Alain Altinoglu Recorded: (live) Opera Berlioz-Le Corum, Montpellier, May 2003 NAIVE MO 782168 [65:45 + 55:34][HC]

A major release of a major work of our time ... see Full Review

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 9 in e minor, Op. 95 (1893) [38:25] With introduction of themes by Stokowski [3:52] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Hungarian Dance no. 1 in g minor (1852) trans. Stokowski [3:17] Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 in d minor, S359 (1846) trans. Stokowski. [7:50] Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Rakoczy Marck-The Damnation of Faust (1856) [3:37] Ottokar NOVÁČEK (1866-1900) Perpetuum Mobile-concert caprice (trans. 1917 by Stokowski) [3:21] Geroge ENESCU (1881-1955) Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 in A, Op. 11. (1901) [9:58] The Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski The Leopold Stokowski Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski (Enescu) Recorded in the Academy of Music, Philadelphia 5 & 8 October 1927 (Dvořák); 6 October 1927 (commentary); 17 March 1934 At Church Studio Camden. NJ (Brahms); 18 November 1926 and 10 March 1927 (Liszt); 12 October 1927 (Berlioz); 8 December 1940 (Nováček). Enescu recorded at Lotus Club, New York City, 22 March 1947. MONO LIVING ERA AJC 8552 [71:03] [KS]

A valid portrait of a time long gone in American music-making. ... see Full Review

George DYSON (1883-1964) At the Tabard Inn - overture (1943-46) [11:13] Concerto da Chiesa for string orchestra (1949-51) [19:06] Symphony in G major (1937) [42:14] Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones Duncan Riddell (violin I); Helen Cox (violin II); Stuart Green (viola); Timothy Walden (viola) Rec. Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, 1-2 Nov 2004,. DDD With the aid of the Sir George Dyson Trust NAXOS 8.557720 [72:33] [RB]

David Lloyd-Jones makes something very special of the Concerto da Chiesa and the other pieces here are really very well done ... see Full Review

George DYSON (1883-1964) At the Tabard Inn - Overture * (1943-46) [11:40] Symphony in G† (1937) [44:16] (I Energico [10:26]; II Andante [11:36]; III Allegro risoluto - Molto moderato [10:00]; IV Poco adagio - Andante [12:06]) In Honour of the City‡ (1928) [15:09] London Symphony Chorus‡ London Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox*‡ City of London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox† Recorded in: All Saints' Church, Tooting, London, 5-6 March 1993 (Symphony in G); Blackheath Halls, London 30 September, 1, 4, 5 October 1996 (other works) CHANDOS CHAN 10308X [71:28] [RB]

This disc Chandos has the air and tone of a luxury item. ... see Full Review

Ross EDWARDS (b. 1943) Ecstatic Dances Flower Songs (1985/7)a [11:06]
Etymalong (1984)b [7:48] Ecstatic Dance (1978, rev. 1990)c [5:19] The Tower of Remoteness (1978)d [7:43] Ulpirra (1993)e [1:39] Prelude and Dragonfly Dance (1991)f [7:58] Kumari (1980)g [8:44] Marimba Dances (1982)h [9:44] The Song Companya; David Hewitt, Philip South (percussion)a; Roland Peelman (conductor)a; Lisa Moore (piano)b; Patricia Pollett (viola)c; Gwyn Roberts (cello)c; Nigel Westlake (clarinet)d; David Bollard (piano)d; Jo Dudley (recorder)e; Synergyf; Roger Smalley (piano)g; Michael Askill (marimba)h Recorded: Studio 200, ABC, April 1993 (Flower Songs), August 1993 (Etymalong) and April 1994 (Prelude and Dragonfly Dance); The Nickson Room, University of Queensland, February 1993 (Ecstatic Dance); Sir John Clancy Auditorium, University of NSW, July 1990 (The Tower of Remoteness); Studio 620, Perth, March 1991 (Kumari) and Digital Audio Studios, no date (Marimba Dances) TALL POPPIES TP 051 [61:13]
Ross EDWARDS (b. 1943) Dance Mantras (1992)a [4:58] Raft Song at Sunrise (1995)b [7:36] Laikan (1979)c [13:27] Binyang (1996)d [7:26] Ab Estatis Foribus (1979)e [9:45] Enyato II (1993/4)f [8:56] Ecstatic Dances (1978, rev. 1990)g [8:39] Sydney Chamber Choir, Nicholas Routley (director)ae; Michael Askill (drum)a; Riley Lee (shakuhachi)b; Australia Ensemblec; Rebecca Lagos (percussion)c; Peter Jenkin (clarinet)d; Daryl Pratt (percussion)d; Patricia Pollett (viola)f; Geoffrey Collins (flutes)g Recorded: Studio 200, ABC, Sydney, April 1995 (Dance Mantras), June 1997 (Binyang), December 1996 (Ab Estatis Foribus) and April 1996 (Enyato II); Reverberation Room at National Acoustics Laboratory, Sydney, July 1996 (Raft Song); Sir John Clancy Auditorium UNSW, December 1995 (Laikan) and Studio 227, ABC Sydney, February 1995 (Ecstatic Dances) TALL POPPIES TP 126 [61:55] [HC]

I enjoyed these discs enormously ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Edward ELGAR (1857 – 1934) Enigma Variations, Op. 36 BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis. Recorded live in Worcester Cathedral, 30 June 2004. DVD. (DTS Stereo, LPCM Stereo). BBC OPUS ARTE OA 0917 D [85’00"][JPH]

Recommended without reservation. I am sure that this release will be one of my DVDs of the Year. ... see Full Review

George ENESCU (1881-1955) Symphonies Nos. 1–3 and Vox Maris CD1: Symphony No. 1 in E flat major Op.13 (1905) [31:05] Symphony No. 2 in A major, Op.17 (1911) [46:37] CD2 Symphony No. 3 in C major Op.21 (1919) [49:49] Vox Maris, symphonic poem for soprano, tenor, voices and orchestra Op.31 (1950) [26:42] Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo/Lawrence Foster (CD1) Marius Brenciu (tenor), Catherine Sydney (soprano), Choeur de chambre Les Eléments/Joël Suhubiete (CD2) Orchestre National de Lyon/Lawrence Foster Rec. Salle Garnier, Monte-Carlo 24-25 Sept 1990 (No.1); 22-25 Sept 1992 (No.2); Auditorium de Lyon, Lyon 10-14 Sept 2004 (No.3, Vox Maris) DDD CD1 originally issued on EMI Classics CDC 7547632 EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 86604 2 5 [77:49+76:32][CW]

Lawrence Foster’s competitively-priced and conveniently packaged double album merits a place in any serious Enescu collection. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH In The Shade of Forests George ENESCU (1881-1955) Impressions d’enfance Op.28 (1940) [22.01] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Tzigane – Rapsodie de concert for violin and luthéal (original version) (1924) [10.41] Sonata Op. posthumous (1897) [12.37] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata (1916-17) [13.14] Nocturne et Scherzo (1882) – re-adaptation by Phillipe Graffin [4.11] Il pleure dans mon Coeur – transcribed Arthur Hartmann in 1908 and 1943 [3.04] La fille aux cheveux de lin - transcribed Arthur Hartmann in 1910 [2.27] Minstrels - transcribed by Claude Debussy in 1914 [2.22] Beau Soir - transcribed Arthur Hartmann in 1941 [2.14] Phillipe Graffin (violin) Claire Désert (piano and luthéal) Recorded at Doopsegezinde Kerk, Deventer and Musical Instrument Museum (Tzigane) September 2004 AVIE AV2059 [73.11] [JW][KS]

A fascinating disc. Not one I shall easily forget. Maybe the sniffing will cause problems on repeated listening. A disc brimming with dedication and admirable engagement. ...[JW]
Takes us to a realm of wonder ... pure joy ... Buy it soon, and prepare to be transported, transmuted, transfixed and transfigured![KS] ... see Full Review

Mary FINSTERER (b. 1962) CD1 Nextwave Fanfare (1992)a [3:09] Nyx (1996)b [11:45] Constans (1995)c [19:39] Omaggio alla Pietà (1992)d [4:49] Catch (1992)e [7:12] Tract (1993)f [5:58] Ruisselant (1991)g [13:53] CD2 Sequi (2001)h [14:32] Achos (1999)i [8:41] Ether (1998)j [9:12] Kurz (2000)k [3:18] Pascal’s Sphere (2000)l [20:29] Sleep (2002) [22:36] Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Gunther Schuller (conductor)a; Pittsburgh New Music Ensembleb; Australian Art Orchestrac; The Song Company, Roland Peelman (conductor)d; Sydney Alpha Ensemblee; David Pereira (cello)f; Le Nouvel Ensemble Modernegil; Arditti String Quarteth; Geoffrey Collins (flute)j; Perihelionk Recorded: no information, published 2004 ABC CLASSICS 476 176-0  [66:57 + 79:15][HC]

Committed and convincing readings in this wide-ranging compilation ... the best possible introduction to her vital, highly personal sound-world. I look forward to hearing more of her music. An important release. ... see Full Review

Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) I said to love Op. 19b (I need not go; At Middle Field Gate; Two lips; In five score summers; For life I had never cared greatly; I said to love.) Let us Garlands Bring Op. 18 (Come away, come away Death; Who is Sylvia; Fear no more the heat o’ the sun; O mistress mine; It was a lover and his lass) Before and After Summer Op. 16 (Childhood among the ferns; Before and after summer; The self-unseeing; Overlooking the river; Channel Firing; In the mind’s eye; The too short time; Epeisodia; Amabel; He abjures love) Roderick Williams (baritone) Ian Burnside (piano) Potton Hall, Suffolk, 12-14 August 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557644 [61'19"] [AO]

A wonderful recording showing how English song can be performed with freshness and musical intelligence ... see Full Review

Lukas FOSS (b. 1922) The Complete Works for Solo Piano Grotesque Dance (1938) [04:02] [4:29] Four Two-Voiced Inventions (1938) [7:32] [9:02] Passacaglia (1941) [5:43] [6:22] Fantasy Rondo (1946) [09:06] [9:24] Prelude in D major (1951) [2:12] [3:22] Scherzo Ricercato (1953) [5:00] [6:16] Solo (1981) [13:25] [13:17] For Lenny: Variation on "New York, New York" (1988) [02:10] [2:31] N.B. I have included the timings from Scott Dunn’s recording on Naxos 8.559179 for comparison - highlighted in orange. Interview of Mr Foss by Mr. Beliavsky (2002) [8:52] Daniel Beliavsky, piano Recorded at: - Milwaukee, Wisconsin July 2002. SONATA BOP 001 [59:21] [54:43] [JF]

An important addition to the catalogue of 20th Century American piano music. Combines scholarship with fine playing. ... see Full Review

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata in A major (1886) [30.05] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata in G minor (1916-17) [13.07] Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Humoresque Op.10 No.1 (1877) [2.45] Souvenir d’un lieu cher Op.42 (1878) [16.57] Valse-Scherzo Op.34 (1877) [5.45] Liza Ferschtman (violin) Bas Verheijden (piano) Recorded at the Doopsgezinde Kerk Deventer, spring 2004 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92539 [68.52][JW]

Some of the playing is attractively inward there are moments of rather unvarnished and static; a lack of fantasy really. A lot of colour from time to time though phrasing is inclined to be a touch four-square. ... see Full Review

Johann Jacob FROBERGER (1616 - 1667) Harpsichord Toccatas and Partitas CD 1: Partita FbWV 620; Three Toccatas from book 2 [1649]; Partita auf die mayerlin FbWV 606; Tombeau fait a Paris sur la mort de monsieur Blancheroche, FbWV 632; CD 2: Partita FbWV 630; Three Toccatas from book 4 [1656] ; Partita FbWV 612 ‘Lamento sopra la dolorosa perdita della Real Maesta di Ferdinando IV Re de Romani’; lamentation faite sur la mort très douloureuse de Sa Majesté Impériale, Ferdinand III. Sergio Vartolo (harpsichord)
Recorded in Fumane, Italy, June 2000 NAXOS 8.557472-73 [55.58 + 56.05] [GH]

If you are already collecting this series then no further persuasion is necessary. As I have said, this is fine music but it is rather specialist. ... see Full Review

Anthony GILBERT (b. 1934) ...Into the Gyre of a Madder Dance (1994)a [6:56] Certain Lights Reflecting (1988/9)b [18:41] Unrise (2001)c [15:40] On Beholding a Rainbow (1992/7, rev. 1998)d [32:05] Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano)b; Anthony Marwood (violin)d; RNCM Wind Ensembleac; BBC Symphony Orchestrab; RNCM Symphony Orchestrad; Clark Rundellac; Sir Andrew Davisb; Garry Walkerd Recorded: (live) Studio 1, BBC Maida Vale, London, January 1992 (Certain Lights Reflecting); and Concert Hall of the RNCM, Manchester, May 1999 (On Beholding a Rainbow) and June 2004 (...Into the Gyre of a Madder Dance, Unrise) NMC D 105 [73:57] [HC]

Unreservedly recommended and definitely not to be missed. ... see Full Review

Hermann von GLENCK (1883-1952) Chamber Music and Songs: Serenade for Flute, Viola and Harp [14:09] Nancy Ruffer, flute; Levine Andrade, viola; Jean Kelly, harp Zwei Lieder, op.20 (Blätterfall op.20 No.1 for soprano [1:10]; Morgen op.20 No. 2 for soprano [1:47] Nachklänge (1902) for soprano [1:33] Nachts (1904) for bass [3:17] Altarbild (1911) for bass [1:38] Nebel for bass [1:32] Vier Lieder für eine Altstimme mit Klavier (Morgen [1:52]; Mittag [1:39]; Abend [2:15]; Nacht [2:26]) Louise Innes, soprano William Coleman, bass Edward Rushton, piano Variationen Suite for two pianos op.17 (Thema [0:57]; Marsch [4:29]; Heiter bewegt [3:04]; Ruhig [10:34]; Allegro musso ed inquieto [10:28] Kalliopi Emmanuil, piano Isolda Crespi Rubio, piano Recorded: St. Silas Church, Chalk Farm, London - 22 March 2004 [1]- Wathen Hall, St. Paul's School, Hammersmith, London - 15 April 2001 [2-11] - St. George's, Brandon Hill, Bristol - 6 October 2003 [12-16] DDD GUILD GMCD7286 [64:19] [RB]

A gentle soul not pushing the envelope towards atonality but gaining momentum towards gentle dissonance as he moved into the 1930s ... see Full Review

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1636-1704) Orphée et Euridice (1774) [85.43] Orphée – Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (haut-contre) Euridice – Catherine Dubosc (soprano) Amour – Suzie Le Blanc (soprano) Opera Lafayette Orchestra and Chorus/Ryan Brown Recorded 11th – 15th January 2002, Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts, University of Maryland, USA NAXOS 8.660185-86 [41.03 + 44.40][RH]

Perhaps we do need an ideal performance but Fouchécourt and Brown provide a convincing argument for this version of the opera. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Leopold GODOWSKY (1870-1938)The Complete Studies on Chopin’s Etudes Joyce Hatto (piano) Rec. The Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, 4th September and 10th October 2004 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9147-2 [79.00] Rec. The Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, 1st September and 10th and 11th October 2004 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9148-2 [77.58] [JW]

Formidable and compelling, these performances by Joyce Hatto represent a remarkable distinction. ... see Full Review

Mozart Camargo GUARNIERI (1907 - 1993) Piano Concerto No. 1 (1931) [19’46"] Piano Concerto No. 2 (1946) [22’57"] Piano Concerto No. 3 (1964) [27’06"] Max Barros (piano) Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Conlin recorded in the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall from 20th – 21st August 2004 (No. 1), and 24th to 25th June, 2004, No. 2, and 4th – 5th January 2003 , No. 3. DDD NAXOS 8.557666 [69’49"] [JPh]

With an excellent soloist who never puts a foot (or more to the point hand) wrong, this disc receives an unconditional welcome. Will we now get Concerti 4 – 6, I wonder. ... see Full Review

Jesús GURIDI (1886-1961) Sinfonía pirenaica (Pyrenean Symphony) (1945) [49.14] Bilbao Symphony Orchestra/Juan José Mena Espatadantza (Sword Dance) from Amaya  (1910-20) (Act II Scene IV) [3.28] Bilbao Choral Society/Bilbao Symphony Orchestra/Theo Alcántara (Sword Dance) Recorded at the Euskalduna Concert Hall, Bilbao, February 2003 and at the Teatro Arriaga, Bilbao, June 1997 (Espatadantza Sword Dance) from Amaya) NAXOS 8.557631 [52.42][JW]

Luscious melody and evocative writing ... a work more talked about than heard. A fine chance to put right that injustice. Performance makes the best case for it. ... see Full Review

Jacques Fromental HALÉVY (1799-1862) La Juive (1835) (sung in German) Erna Schlüter (soprano) Rachel; Joachim Sattler (tenor) Éléazar; Maria-Meta Kopp (soprano) Eudoxie; Franz Fehringer (tenor) Prince Léopold; Otto von Rohr (bass) Cardinal de Brogni; Rolf Heide (baritone) Ruggiero; August Heimpel (bass) Albert; Werner Schmidt (baritone) Le Crieur; Eugen Willmann (tenor) L’Officier Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of the Hessian Radio/Kurt Schröder. Rec. Frankfurt on September 6th, 1951. ADD WALHALL ETERNITY SERIES WLCD0029 [148’24: 73’26 + 74’58] [CC]

Good to have this performance, even if it is in German. With Schröder a reliable guide one should not sniff at the chance of hearing this opera. ... see Full Review

Franz Josef HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony No. 101 in D The Clock [27:55] Overture in D [3:55] Trumpet Concerto in E-Flat [15:02] Symphony No. 100 in G Military [21:12] The Vienna Symphony/Fritz Busch Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstler Orchester/Fritz Busch Adolf Holler, trumpet Recordings made in 1950, Vienna. Specific locations and dates not listed. Mono. ARCHIPEL ARPCD 0227 [68:23][KS]

Sadly mediocre. ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Andreas Staier Edition: Haydn Sonatas and Variations CD 1 Late Sonatas Sonata in C Major H.XVI:48 Sonata in E Flat Major H.XVI:49 Sonata in C major H.XVI:50 Sonata in D Major H.XVI:51 Sonata in E Flat Major H.XVI:52 CD 2 Opera XXX Sonata in C Major H.XVI:35 Sonata in C Sharp Minor H.XVI:36 Sonata in D major H.XVI:37 Sonata in E Flat Major H.XVI:38 Sonata in G Major H.XVI:39 Sonata in C Minor H.XVI:20 CD 3 Variations and Sonatas for Fortepiano Arietta con 12 Variazioni in E Flat major H.XVII:3 Sonata in E Minor H.XVI:34 Andante con 12 Variazioni in F minor H.XVII:6 Sonata in D major H.XVI:33 Variation on the hymn ‘Gott erhalte’ H.III/77(?) Andreas Staier, fortepiano Recorded at Schulzentrum, Lindlar, German Republic. 27-30 November 1989 (CD 1), 9-12 October 1992 (CD 2) and 8-11 June 1992 (CD 3). DDD DHM DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 82876 67376 2 [3 CDs: 71:50 + 77:49 + 72:14] [MC]

Haydn’s piano sonatas offer many delights and certainly deserve to be better known. These accounts performed on the fortepiano are rather an acquired taste. If possible I would recommend a listen before purchase. ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Arias and Cantatas Scena di Berenice Hob.XXIVa;10 [12,20] Cantata composra per la Signora Banti in Antigono di Pietro Metastasio Son pietosa, son bonina Hob.XXXIIb;1 [4.30] Aria per La Circe, ossia L’isola incantata di Pasquale Anfossi e Gottlieb Naumann Arianna a Naxos Hob XXVIb; 2 (orchestral version) [17,59] Cantata Solo e pensoso Hob.XXIVb: 20 [7.17] Aria da Il Canzoniere di Francesco Petrarca (Sonetto XXVIII) Miseri noi, misera patria! Hob.XXIVa: 7 [10.41] Cantata Arleen Auger (soprano) Handel and Haydn Society Christopher Hogwood
Recorded at the Methuen Memorial Hall, Massachusetts, October 1988 AVIE AV 2066 [53.02]

A consistently elevated standard of singing and performance ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732 – 1809) Die Schöpfung (The Creation) Sunhae Im (soprano) – Gabriel, Eva); Jan Kobow (tenor) – Uriel; Hanno Müller-Brachmann (bass) – Raphael, Adam; Christine Wehler (alto) VokalEnsemble Köln/Max Ciolek; Capella Augustina/Andreas Spering Recorded by Deutschlandfunk, Sendesaal, Köln, July 2003. DDD SACD NAXOS 6.110073-74 [55:09 + 49:13] also available as CD 8.557380-81 [GF]

Wonderful set: premium quality at super-budged price! Strongly recommended. ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Die Schöpfung (The Creation) Max Emanuel Cencic, Gabriel (sop); Christian Bauer, Uriel (ten); Ernst Jankowitsch, Raphael and Adam (bass); Gertraud Schmid, Eva (sop); Wiener Sängerknaben; Chorus Viennensis Symphonieorchester der Wiener Volksoper/Peter Marschik Recorded live in the Musikverein, Vienna, 1994 CAPRICCIO DVD CC93507 [concert: 104:00; bonus 28:00] [JL]

This live concert recording has its moments but there are problems with the performance and, technically, with the DVD. ... see Full Review

Michael HAYDN (1737-1806) Concerto in D Major for two Trombones and Orchestra Leopold MOZART (1719-1787) Serenade for Trumpet, Trombone and Orchestra [19:37] Michael HAYDN (1737-1806) Concerto in D Major for two Trombones and Orchestra [12:56] Jean FRANCAIX (1912-1997) Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Eleven Strings [8:55] Reinhard SÜSS (b. 1961) Fortuna Desperata Concerto for Piano and Chamber Ensemble [34:20] Otmar Gaiswinkler, trombone; Heinrich Bruckner, trumpet; Walter Voglmayr, trombone; Reinhard Wieser, clarinet; Reinhard Süss, piano Wiener Concert-Verein/Yun-Sung Chang Recorded at Symphonia Studio, Weiner Konzerthaus, 10-14 May, 2002 DDD CAMERATA CM-28030 [76:04] [PG]

Disorientating to have such widely dissimilar works on the same CD ... see Full Review

Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785) Music for the Frauenkirche, Dresden: Der herr ist Gott, de runs erleuchtet (Cantata for Whitsun); Selig seid ihr, wenn ihr geschmahet werdet (Cantata for the Sunday after Ascension); Heilig ist unser Gott, der herr Gott Zabaoth (Cantata for Trinity Sunday); Gott fahret auf mi Jauchzen (Cantata for Ascension day) Vasiljka Jezovsek (soprano); Anne Buter (alto); Hubert Nettinger (tenor); Christian Hilz (bass). Dresden Kreuzchor; Dresden Barockorchester/Roderich Kreile
Recorded at the Lukaskirche, Dresden, May 2004 CARUS 83.183 [73.23] [GH]

No matter how good the performers are the music is no more than second-rate and although it is worth hearing it really does not stir the soul or make a lasting impression. ... see Full Review

Giorgio KOUKL (b.1953) Drops of Light Fantasia [9.35] Jaroslav Klepáč and Miroslav Langer (pianos) Trioplay [12.03] Josef Vacek (oboe) Miloš Bydžovský (clarinet) Josef Svárovský (bassoon) Five Miniatures [5.38] Giorgio Koukl (harpsichord) Ritournelles [6.16]
Josef Vacek (oboe) Josef Svárovský (bassoon) Narcisse [7.13] Enrico Cappelletti and Enrico Quadri (violins) Akira Okitsu (viola) Mauro Poggio (cello) Fylgjur [3.19] Alfred Rutz (flute)
Contest Piece [10.16] Jiří Koukl (clarinet) Giorgio Koukl (piano) Divertimento [10.30] Alfred Rutz (flute) Miklos Barta (oboe) Eric Schmid (clarinet) Martin Wunderle (bassoon) William Bilenko (horn) No recording locations or details GASPARO GSCD 355 [65.29] [JW]

If the chamber music of Les Six, Martinů, Trojan, and Poulenc appeals to you then so will Koukl. ... see Full Review

Oboe Quintets and Quartets
Oboe Quintet* in C, VII:12 (i) Allegro Moderato [8:17] Adagio [6:53] Menuetto and trio: Allegretto [3:48] Allegro [5:26] Oboe Quartet in F, IX:22 (i) Allegro [4:49] (ii) Menuetto and trio [3:29] (iii) Rondo [3:39] Oboe Quartet in C, IX:21 (i) Allegro aperto [5:46] (ii) Adagio [4:50] (iii) Rondo [3:15] Oboe Quintet* in E flat, VII:13 (i) Allegro Moderato [8:33] Andante moderato [5:50] Menuetto and trio: Allegretto [4:07] Andante poco allegretto [5:56] Sarah Francis (oboe), Tagore String Trio (Frances Mason, Brian Schiele, James Halsey), with Jonathan Barritt* (viola) Rec. St. Michael’s Church, Highgate, London in August 2004 DDD REGIS RRC1201 [75:29] [PCW]

This music is well worth getting to know and fine musicianship is on offer - quite a bargain. ... see Full Review

Christian LINDBERG (b. 1958) A Composer’s Portrait Helikon Wasp (2003) for conducting trombonist and orchestra [16'31”] (a) The World of Montuagretta (2001-2002). Concerto for Flute and Chamber Orchestra [20’50”] (b) Condon Canyon (2000) for trombone and brass quintet [11'21”] (c) ´...Ty solen är uppe!´ (1999) for trombone and male-voice choir [9'26”] (d) Behac Munroh (2004) for trumpet, trombone and orchestra [16'35”] (e) (a) Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP)/Christian Lindberg (trombone/conductor/ voice) (b) Sharon Bezaly (flutes)/Svenska Kammarorkestern/Christian Lindberg (c) Stockholms Kammarbrass/Christian Lindberg (trombone) (d) Christian Lindberg (trombone)/Orphei Drängar/Robert Sund (e) Ole Edvard Antonsen (trumpet)/Christian Lindberg (trombone)/Basque National Orchestra/Cristian Mandeal Rec. 2003/2004 in Brazil, Sweden and Spain. Notes and texts included. DDD. BIS BIS-CD-1428 [76’29”][ED]

Things here to interest and amuse, though maybe not for the long term. For some pieces one hearing will suffice, others prove more resilient: take them at face value and nothing more. ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat [19.19] Mephisto Waltz [10.50] Héroïde Funèbre (Symphonic Poem No. 8) [24.55] Lazar Berman (piano) Symphony Orchestra of RAI Turin/Peter Maag Recorded Live 1976/1978, RAI Turin ARTS ARCHIVES 43041-2 [56.25] [RH]

The combination of Berman caught live and the rare symphonic poem means that, whatever its limitations, this is a recording of great interest to lover’s of Liszt’s music. ... see Full Review

Années de pèlerinage – Deuxième année: Italie S.161 [55:30], Supplement: Venezia e Napoli S.162 [17:33] Joyce Hatto (piano) Recorded 11th-12th March 1996, 1st October 1999, The Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge CONCERT ARTISTS/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9150-2 [71:13] [CH]

The "Dante Sonata" is a Liszt performance to set alongside the greatest I know – a major addition to the Liszt discography. ... see Full Review

Giya KANCHELI (b. 1935) Symphony No. 1 (1967) [20.33] Symphony No. 4  (1975) [18.39] Symphony No. 5 (1976) [19.49] Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/James DePreist rec. Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, June 1994. DDD ONDINE ODE8290 [59’21”][JPh]

Recommended highly, particularly if you cannot find the earlier Olympia issues. ... see Full Review

Leon KIRCHNER (b. 1919) Duo for Violin and Piano (1947) [11:09] Elisabeth Perry, violin; Joel Sachs, piano "Flutings" from Lily (1973) [3:13] Jayn Rosenfeld, flute Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano (1954) [14:25] Geoffrey Michaels, violin; Beverly Lauridsen, cello; Joel Sachs, piano Piano Sonata (1948) [14:46] Cheryl Seltzer, piano Triptych (1986/88) [20:53] Maria Kitsopoulos, cello; Mark Steinberg, violin Triptych recorded New York, 1992. All others recorded New York, 1983 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS  8.559195 [64:56][JW]

I favour the Triptych and Duo rather than the Sonata and Trio forged from a less directly communicative anvil. The performers strike the right note throughout, whether yielding or defiant. ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) The Great Romantic Les Préludes (1854) [15:08] Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (1847) [10:23] Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major (1856) [19:23] Tasso (1854) [19:24] Hooshik Hwang (piano) Russian Federal Orchestra/Vakhtang Jordania Recorded Moscow 2003; (Tasso, 2000) ANGELOK1 CD-7752 [61:08] [JL]

Extrovert performances that can be enjoyed by those who do not go to Liszt for his dreamy, romantic side. ... 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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