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RECORDING OF THE MONTH Cécile CHAMINADE (1857-1944) Piano Music Vol. 1: Chaconne Op. 8; Autrefois No. 4 of Pièces humoristiques Op. 87; Callirhoë – Air de Ballet (no opus number); Solitude No. 2 of Poèmes provençales Op. 127; Romance in D major Op. 137; L’Ondine Op. 101; Scherzo in C major No. 1 of Études de concert Op. 35; Automne No. 2 of Études de concert Op. 35; Thème varié in A major Op. 89; Sérénade in D major Op. 29; Souvenance No. 1 of Romances sans paroles Op. 76; Élévation in E major No. 2 of Romances sans paroles Op. 76; Étude mélodique in G flat major Op. 118; Étude pathétique in B minor Op. 124; La Lisonjera (no opus number);Valse romantique Op. 115; Pêcheurs de nuit No. 4 of Poèmes provençales Op. 127; Deuxième valse Op. 77; Études scholastique Op. 139 Peter Jacobs (piano) rec. 24-25 June 1991. location undisclosed. DDD HYPERION HELIOS CDH55197 [71:20] [IL]

An undemanding and tuneful collection that will enchant all but the strictest classicists and the hardest-hearted. ... see Full Review

Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Symphony Op.20 (1890) [30.55] Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Paul Paray, recorded 1956 Poème for violin and orchestra Op.25 (1896) [15.35] Arthur Grumiaux (violin)/Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux/Manuel Rosenthal, recorded 1966 Poème de l’amour et de la mer Op.19 (1882-1893) [28.10] Irma Kolassi (mezzo soprano)/LPO/Louis de Froment, recorded 1955 ACCORD 476 762 5 [76.15] [JW]

Well-selected classic discs. The focus is on restoring the performances in a cohesive piece of programming. Mission accomplished. ... see Full Review

Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849) Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op 23 (1835-36) [10:09] Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op 38 (1836-39) [8:10] Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47 (1840-41) [8:00] Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52 (1842) [11:36] Impromptu No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 29 (1837) [4:57] Impromptu No. 2 in F sharp major, Op. 36 (1839) [6:23] Impromptu No. 3 in G flat major, Op. 51 (1842) [5:38] Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66 (1834) [5:49] Bolero, Op. 19 (1833) [8:39] Eugene Mursky (piano) rec. SWR Kammermusik Studio, Villa Berg, 13-14 August, 17 September 2004. DDD HÄNSSLER PH04065 [69:24][TO]

Scrupulously detailed Ballades that too often turn cold and stiff. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Old American Songs (orchestral version): * First Set: 1 The Boatmen’s Dance (Minstrel Song) [3:04]; 2 The Dodger (Campaign Song) [2:15]; 3 Long Time Ago (Ballad) [3:04]; 4 Simple Gifts (Shaker Song) [1:36]; 5 I Bought Me A Cat (Children’s Song) [2:10]; Second Set: 6 The Little Horses (Lullaby) [2:49]; 7 Zion’s Walls (Revivalist Song) [1:56]; 8 The Golden Willow Tree (Anglo-American Ballad) [3:37]; 9 At The River (Hymn Tune) [2:52] 10 Ching-A-Ring Chaw (Minstrel Song) [1:33]; 11 Down A Country Lane [2:51] Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson **: 12 Nature, The Gentlest Mother [3:55]; 13 There Came A Wind Like A Bugle [1:32]; 14 The World Feels Dusty [1:55]; 15 Heart, We Will Forget Him! [2:26]; 16 Dear March, Come In! [2:04]; 17 Sleep Is Supposed To Be [2:43]; 18 Going To Heaven! [2:50] 19 The Chariot [3:08] Billy the Kid (selection): 20 Waltz - Molto moderato [3:51]; 21 Prairie Night – Molto moderato [4:42]; 22 Celebration Dance – Allegro [2:15] Thomas Hampson (bar)* Dawn Upshaw (sop) ** Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra/Hugo Wolff Recorded in the Ordway Music Theatre, St Paul, Minnesota, in September 1992 (Old American, Orchestral Pieces); September 1993 (Eight Poems) WARNER APEX 2564 62089-2 [59:08][SA]

A great disc ... see Full Review

Matthew CURTIS (b.1959) Orchestral Works: Vol. 2 Ring in the New (2004) [5:32] Romanza (1982) [6:42] Little Dance Suite (2004?) [14:07] Irish Lullaby (2004) [3:16] Graduation Day (2003?) [7:14] Autumn Song (1985) [7:59] Sinfonietta (1999-2001) [27:10] Bon Voyage! (2002) [4:56] Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland rec: 24 Feb 2004, Phoenix Sound, Wembley; 5-6 July 2004, Whitfield Street Studios, London. DDD British Composer series CAMPION CAMEO 2035 [76:53] [RB]

Bright and breezy stuff and no mistake. ... see Full Review

Luigi DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975) Complete works for violin and for piano
Sonatina canonica su capricci di Paganini (1943) [9.44] Tre episodi dal baletto ‘Marsia’ (1949) [13.29] Quaderno musicale di Annalibera (1951-52) [15.14] Inni – musica per tre pianoforte (1935) [11.13] Due studi, for violin and piano (1946-47) [9.50] Tartiniana seconda, for violin and piano (1956) [11.31] Roberto Prosseda (piano) Duccio Ceccanti (violin) Recorded at the Teatro Sperimentale, Ancona, August 2003 NAXOS 8.557676 [71.02] [JW]

Performances are persuasive and appreciably enjoyable. ... see Full Review

Henri DALLIER (1849-1934) Piano Trio in C minor (1898) [26:10] Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) Cello Sonata in B minor op. 27 (1910) [23:14] Joseph-Ermend BONNAL (1880-1944) Violin Sonata (1899-1907) [17:39] Detroit Chamber Trio (Eduard Perrone (piano); Velda Kelly (violin); Nadine Deleury (cello)) rec. Award Audio, Studio A, St Clair Shores, MI, 21-22 Nov 2002 (Vierne); 14-15 Oct 2004 (Dallier); 23 Nov 2004 (Bonnal). DDD AWARD AUDIO AA-05001 [67:20] [RB]

Enterprising and rewarding works warmly recorded and performed with arresting zeal ... see Full Review

Alphonse DAUDET (1840-1897) and Georges BIZET (1838-1875) L'Arlésienne - drame en trois actes et cinq tableaux - adaptation de Max de Rieux (1872) Lettres de mon moulin; Ouverture; Acte I - En Camargue, la ferme de castelet; Acte II - L'étang de Vacarès; Le cuisine de Castelet; Acte III: La Magnanerie; Farandole; Acte III La chambre de Rose Mamaï L'Arlésienne - 22 music tracks from Bizet's incidental music Rose Mamaï - Mary Marquet La Renaude - Berthe Bovy Vivette - Bernadette Lange Frederi - Hubert Noel Balthazar - Maurice Chambreuil Mitifio - Robert Vitalin L'innocent - Jacques Bernard Francet Mamaï - Pierre Larquey Patron Marc - Fernand Sardou Chœurs et Orchestre sous la direction de Albert Wolff Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux/Igor Markevitch (only the Intermezzo CD2 tr. 28) rec. 1955, Paris, France, ADD. mono ACCORD 476 764 7 [80:35 + 61:53] [RB]

A vivid and nostalgic retrieval and, I think, the only version of the play with Bizet's music. ... see Full Review

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Orchestral Works Brigg Fair – An English Rhapsody (1907) [15.39] On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring (1912) [6.18] The Walk to The Paradise Garden (1900-01) [8,26] A Song of Summer (1930) [8.48] London Symphony Orchestra/Anthony Collins Recorded 1953 PRISTINE AUDIO PASCO15 [39.11] [JW]

Collins could do no wrong and I certainly commend his conducting ... see Full Review

Alfred DESENCLOS (1912-1971) Messe de Requiem (1963) [30:36] Salve Regina (1958) [3:42] O Salutaris* [3:40] Pater noster (1944) [3:02] Nos autem (1958) [4:06] O Salutaris* [2:09] Ave, Maria* [2:35] Sanctus* [1:28] Agnus Dei [2:20] Les Eléments/Joël Suhubiette. Frédéric Desenclos (organ) Recorded at Notre-Dame-du-Taur, Toulouse. Dates not stated. DDD HORTUS 009 [53:45] [JQ]

Anyone interested in twentieth-century French choral music should investigate this release. ... see Full Review

Felix DRAESEKE (1835-1913) Symphony No. 1 in G major Op. 12 (1869-72) [35:32] Symphony No. 4 in E minor/G major Symphonia Comica WoO 38 (1912) [21:55] Gudrun overture (1882) [11:31] NDR Radiophilharmonie/Jörg-Peter Weigle rec. Großer Sendesaal des Landesfunkhauses Niedersachsen des NDR, Hannover, 19-23 Aug 2002. DDD
CPO 999 746-2 [68:58] [RB]

Two symphonies by Draeseke: one flawed; the other even more fascinating and well worth getting to know. Gudrun is a fine addition to the ranks of late-romantic operatic preludes. ... see Full Review

Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Le Chemin de la Croix, op. 29* (1931) With Gregorian Chants for Passiontide** Friedhelm Flamme (organ)* Gregorianik-Schola** Marienmünster/Hans Hermann Jansen Recorded: Stiftskirche, Bad Gandersheim, 2-3 January 2004. DDD CPO 777 128-2 [75:36][JQ]

One of the finest organ discs I’ve heard in years and even if you already have the work in your collection I suggest you consider investing in this issue as well. ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 9 in E minor Op. 95 From the New World (1893) [45:13] Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Symphony No. 2 (1943) [23:01] Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi rec. Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, 13-14 March 2005. DSD TELARC CD-80616 [68:16] [RB]

A not untroubled Dvořák 9 alongside a very good Martinů 2. Congratulations all round on thoughtfully provocative programming.. ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Sonata in E minor Op.82 (1918) [25.02] Ferrucio BUSONI (1866-1924) Violin Sonata in E minor Op.29 (1891) [27.53] Sergei PROKOFIEV (1892-1953) Five Melodies for violin and piano Op.35 bis (1925) [14.24] Gerald Itzkoff (violin) Philip Amalong (piano) Recorded at the Crain Residence, Cincinnati, March 2004 TITANIC TI265 [67.38] [JW]

A calling card that showcases some stylistic affinities and promotes a chamber duo who are attuned to each other’s playing ... see Full Review

Louise FARRENC (1804-1875) Nonette for Strings and Winds in E-flat Major, Op. 38 [29:10] Melodie in A-flat Major [2:20] Variations Concertantes for Violin and Piano, Op. 20 [9:47] From Etudes, Op. 26: No. 17 in e-flat minor [1:26]; No. 18 in d-flat major [3:08] Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in E-flat Major, Op. 44 [28:34] Philippe Bernold, flute; François Leleux, oboe; Roman Guylot, clarinet; André Cazalet, horn; Gilbert Audin, bassoon; Guillaume Sutre, violin; Miguel da Silva, viola; François Salque, cello; Vincent Pasquier, double-bass; Brigitte Engerer, piano; Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, piano Recorded in concert at the Auditorium of the Louvre, 5 and 26 January, 2005 as a part of a cycle of concerts featuring the music of Farrenc and Clara Schumann. NAÏVE V 5033 [74:31] [KS]

Highly recommendable .... entices me to seek out more music by this fine and unjustly neglected composer. Start here and enjoy the exploration! ... see Full Review

Johann Friedrich FASCH (1688-1758) Concerti Concerto a due cori in B Flat major (Ouverture [6:43]; Air [2:07]; Bourree [1:34]; Minuet I/II [5:34]; Air [2:47]; Passepied I/II [3:02]) Cappella Coloniensis/Hans-Martin Linde Concerto à 8 in D major (I Allegro [2:02]; 8. II Largo [1:25]; III Allegro (Tempo di Menuetto) [3:05]) Reinhold Friedrich, trumpet; Lajos Lencses, Laszlo Parkanyl, oboe; Aladar Tuske, bassoon; Budapest Strings Concerto in G major (I Allegro [2:57]; II Largo [2:06]; III Allegro [2:32]) Günter Höller, transverse flute; Helmut Hucke, oboe Cappella Coloniensis/Hans-Martin Linde Concerto in F major (I Allegro [5:28]; II Andante [2:11]; III Allegro [4:05]) Ludwig Güttler, Kurt Sandau, corno da caccia Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum Leipzig/Max Pommer Concerto in D major (I Allegro [3:42]; 17. II Andante [3:20]; 18. III Allegro [3:22]) Reinhold Friedrich, Alain De Rudder, trumpet; Zoltan Varga, Lehel Ronai, horn; Lajos Lencses, Laszlo Parkanyi, oboe; Aladar Tüske, bassoon; Budapest Strings rec. Westdeutschen Rundfunks, Köln. DDD CAPRICCIO SACD 71 049 [55:52][ZT]

Capriccio’s new release is recommended listening but is not the best available recording of this important and under-recorded baroque composer. ... see Full Review

Pietro Antonio FIOCCO (1654-1714) Le retour du printemps, pastorale* [46:53] Sonata for recorder and bc in C*** [06:04] Tutto acceso d'amore, Cantata a voce sola** [04:32] Sonata for recorder and bc in g minor*** [05:01] Dimmi, Amor, aria for solo voice and bc** [01:39] Julie Hassler (*), Raphaëlle Kennedy (*), Françoise Masset (*/**), Caroline Pelon (*), soprano; Jean-Michel Fumas, Gilles Guénard, alto (*); Philippe Noncle, haute-contre (*); Vincent Bouchot, baritone (*); Hugo Reyne, recorder (***) La simphonie du Marais/Hugo Reyne rec. live 20 October 1999 at the Théâtre royal de la Monnaye, Brussels (*); 21 October 1999 at the Academiezaal in Truiden (**/***), Belgium DDD CYPRES CYP 3616 [64:11] [JV]

A generally well-performed musical portrait of Fiocco ... the music is nice to listen to, but doesn't make a lasting impression ... see Full Review

Graham FITKIN (b. 1963) Flak Sciosophy (1986)a [4:29] Untitled 11 (1987)a [6:34] There Is A Great Weight On My Head Tonight (1986)a [8:50] Flak (1989)a [6:27] The Cone Gatherers (1987)b [11:00] Piano Piece 90 (1990)b [1:58] From Yellow to Yellow (1985)b [1:35] Piano Piece Early 89 (1989)b [4:09] Piano Piece Mid 89 (1989)b [2:23] Piano Piece Late 89 (1989)b [2:40] Eleanor Alberga, Graham Fitkin, Shelagh Sutherland, Errollyn Wallen (pianos)a; Graham Fitkin (piano)b Recorded: Floating Earth Wilde Theatre, Bracknell, July 1990 GFR GFCD 990901 [49:55] Graham FITKIN (b. 1963) Ironic Bed (1998) [5:49] Bob (1996) [1:46] Ironic (1997) [16:19] Turning (2000) [6:53] Beethoven 7 (1999) [2:29] Graham Fitkin Group Recorded: Snakeranch Studios, London, July 2000 GFR GFCD 000703 [33:59][HC]

I look forward to hearing more Fitkin soon, and will in the meantime return to these discs for some fresh air.  ... see Full Review

Josef Bohuslav FOERSTER (1859-1951) Cello Sonata No. 1 op. 45 (1898) [20:13] Cello Sonata No. 2 op. 130 (1926) [16:49] Three Nocturnes op. 163 () [9:01] Melody for cello and piano (1934) [5:28] Duo Moravia: Jiří Hanousek (cello); Paul Kaspar (piano) Erika Sporerová (alto) rec. 19-20 June 1996, Studio Franken, Bavarian Radio, Nürnberg. Germany. DDD. TUDOR CD 7071 [50:13] [RB]

Do not expect sparks and lightning but if you have a taste for music with a gentle romantic glow then your goal is found. ... see Full Review

Gottlob Frick Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782) - Wer ein Liebchen hat gefundena [2:25]; Solche hergelaufnen Laffena [4:18]; O wie will ich triumphierenb [2:24]; Le nozze di Figaro (1786) – La vendettac [2:46]; Die Zauberflöte (1791) - O Isis und Osiris d[3:20]; In diesen heil’gen Hallene [4:40] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1828) Fidelio (1814) - Hat man nicht auch Gold beinebenf [2:57] Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia (1816) – La callunia è un venticellog [4:13] Jacques Fromental HALÉVY (1799-1862) La Juive (1835) – Si la rigeurh [4:08] Albert LORTZING (1801-1851) Zar und Zimmermann (1837) – O sancta justitiai[6:25]; Der Waffenschmied (1846) – Auch ich war ein Jünglingj [4:00] Otto NICOLAI (1810-1849) Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (1849) – Als Büblein kleink [4:21] Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlos (1867) – Ella giammai m’amòl [7:30] Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Eugene Onegin (1879) – Ein jeder kennt die Lieb’ auf Erdenh [5:17] Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin (1850) - Gott grüß euch, liebe Männer von Brabantm [2:54]; Tristan und Isolde (1865) – Tatest du’s wirklich?n[12:45] Gottlob Frick (bass); abcdehijklBerlin Symphony Orchestra/abcdghijklWilhelm Schüchter, eArthur Grüber; fVienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler; mOrchester des Nordwestdeutschen Rundfunks, Hamburg/Wilhelm Schüchter; nLeipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra/Franz Konwitschny.
mALP1095, nUrania URLP202. Rec. September ab23rd, ijk24th, fOctober, lJune 13th, mJuly 1953, March c3rd, d27th, h15th, eApril 28th, 1954, nOctober 1950. All tracks sung in German. From Electrola aEH1443, b7EG8403, cgDB11563, deDB11567, hDB11566, hEH1445, jkEH1444, lDB11555, HMV fALP1130, ADD mono PREISER 93443 [75:34] [CC]

An intelligently-planned disc that is infinitely rewarding and enlightening. ... see Full Review

Kenneth FUCHS (b. 1956) An American Place (2004) [18:44] Eventide - concerto for english horn, harp, percussion and string orchestra (1980s) [21:24] Out of the Dark, suite for chamber orchestra after Three Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler (1980s) [15:09] Thomas Stacey (cor anglais) (Eventide) Timothy Jones (French horn) (Out of the Dark) London Symphony Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta rec. St Luke's, Finsbury, London, 6-7 September 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.559224 [55:16] [CC]

Well worth investigating. Fuchs is a composer who is new to me, and it has been interesting to spend 55:16 in his presence. ... see Full Review

Hans GÁL (1890-1987) The Complete Works for Solo Piano Sonata for piano Op.28 (1927) [18.20] Suite for piano Op.24 [14.16] Sonatina No.1 in C Op.58 (1951) [10.26] Sonatina No.2 in A minor Op.58 (1951) [11.48] Drei Skizzen Op.7 (1910-11) [6.18] Three small pieces for piano Op.64 (1933) [8.55] Three preludes for piano Op.65 (1944) [8.38] Twenty-Four Preludes for piano Op.83 (1960) [50.02] Twenty-Four Fugues for piano Op.108 (1980) [59.54] Leon McCawley (piano) Recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk, November 2004 and March 2005 AVIE AV2064 [3 CDs: 78.47 + 50.02 + 59.54] [JW]

Both Gallic and cosmopolitan - a most enjoyable and rewarding set ... see Full Review

Carlo GESUALDO (1560-1613) Madrigals for five voices - Books 1, 2 and 3 Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam/Harry van der Kamp rec. Renswonde, Reformed Church, Nederl, Hervormde Kerk, Dec 2001, Oct 2002. DDD CPO 777 138-2 [71.44 + 71.09] [GH]

Harry van der Kamp who directs and sings has done a wonderful job with these works. Never can they have sounded so convincing. The singers are ideal and there are no weak links ... see Full Review

Louis GLASS (1864-1936) String Sextet Op. 15 in G major (1892) [32:46] Piano Quintet Op. 22 in C major (1896) [38:03] Christina Bjørkøe (piano) Copenhagen Classic rec. Danmarks Radio, Radio House, Concert Hall, 9-10 Oct 1999 (op. 15); 23-25 Mar 2003 (op. 22). CPO 777 062-2 [70:47] [RB]

Neither work touches the heights of the Fifth Symphony but this is honest music which retains the capacity to charm and move. ... see Full Review

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) String Quartet No. 3 in G major op. 26 (1886) [27:45] String Quartet No. 5 in D minor op. 70 (1898) [28:45] The Fridays (Les Vendredis or Pyatnitsy: cycle for string quartet: Prelude and Fugue (book 1 No. 1) [10:16]; Kuranta (book 2 No. 6) [2:02] The Shostakovich Quartet (Andrei Shishlov; Alexander Balashov; Alexander Galkovsky; Alexander Korchagin) rec. State Radio and TV Committee of the Moscow Central Recording Studio 1979 (3); 1975 (5); 1974. ADD REGIS RRC 1211 [69:15] [RB]

I commend this inexpensive disc to explorers of the string quartet who already know and love their Smetana and late Dvorak chamber music. ... see Full Review

Reinhold GLIÈRE (1875-1956) Symphony No. 3 in B minor Il’ya Muromets Op. 42 (1911) [93:02] Cello Concerto Op. 87 (1946-47) [46:26] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Harold Farberman (Symphony) Sergei Sudzilovsky (cello) Russian Cinematic Symphony Orchestra/Sergei Skripka Rec. Dec 1978, All Saints Church, Tooting, London. DDD (symphony); Mosfilm Studio, Moscow, July 1986 (concerto). DDD REGIS RRC 2068 [65:27 + 74:01] [RB]

This is a real treat for those who like to venture around the periphery of Russian nationalist repertoire and like a more spacious approach to the Symphony. ... see Full Review

Mikhail Ivanovich GLINKA (1804-1857) Intégrale des oeuvres pour piano [34:14] 1. Separation; 2. Maidens choir from the opera ‘Ruslan and Ludmila’; 3. Mazurka; 4. Variations on a Russian song ‘Among the gentle valleys’; 5. Nocturne (from V. Engelgardt’s collection); 6. Nouvelles Contredanses; 7. Barcarole; 8. Polka; 9. Mazurka; 10. Waltz; 11. A three-voice fugue; 12. Souvenir d’une Mazurka; 13. Farewell waltz Ludmila Berlinskaya, piano Sextet in E flat major for two violins, viola, cello, bass and piano Grand Sextet (1832) [25:51] Borodin String Quartet; Ludmila Berlinskaya, piano; Grigori Kovalevski, double-bass rec. Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, Moscow, Russia, 27-30 December, 2003 DDD EUROPE ART EA RECORDS EA 0404/1 [60:05][MC]

Charming light salon piano solos and the more substantial sextet ... attractive scores lovingly performed ... see Full Review

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Alceste (Paris version, 1776) [138:09] Dame Janet Baker (Alceste, mezzo), Robert Tear (Admète, tenor), Jonathan Summers (Le Dieu Hercule, baritone), John Shirley-Quirk (Le Grand-Prêtre d’Apollon, Un Dieu Infernal, baritone), Matthew Best (L’Oracle, bass), Philip Gelling (Le Hérault, Le Dieu Apollon, tenor), Maldwyn Davies (Evandre, tenor), Elaine Mary Hall, Janice Hooper-Roe, Mark Curtis, Matthew Best (Coryphées) Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Sir Charles Mackerras Live relay from Covent Garden, 12th December 1981 PONTO PO-1035 [72:43 + 65:26] [CH]

An important event in the annals of recent British opera history. ... see Full Review

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Orfeo ed Euridice [100:43] Kerstin Thorborg (Orfeo – mezzo); Jarmila Novotna (Euridice – soprano); Marita Farell (Amore – soprano); Annamary Dickey (Blessed Spirit – soprano); Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera/Erich Leinsdorf Recorded 20 January 1940 at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Broadcast commentary included. Interview with Kerstin Thorborg [18:16] – date and interviewer unknown GLUCK Orfeo ed Euridice: Che farò senza Euridice (in German) [03:17] Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Das Rheingold: Weiche, Wotan, Weiche [03:56], Die Walküre: So ist’s denn aus [02:48], Deiner ew’gen Gattin [02:25], Götterdämmerung: Höre mit Sinn was ich sage! [08:20], Tristan und Isolde: Einsam wachend [04:32], Parsifal: Ich sah das kind (05:31] Kerstin Thorborg (mezzo), Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Frieder Weissman (Gluck), RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra/Karl Riedel (Wagner) Recorded 26 June 1933 (Gluck), 8 May 1940 (Wagner), venues not given GUILD GHCD 2317/18 [72:26 + 79:33] [CH]

If you don’t mind 1940 sound and want an austerely tragic, but vital, view of this opera, this issue is a good deal more that a collector’s piece. ... see Full Review

Nicolas de GRIGNY (1672-1703) Veni Creator [14'19] J.S. BACH (1685-1750) Fantasia in c BWV 562 [3'44] Nicolas de GRIGNY Pange Lingua J.S. BACH An Wasserflussen Babylon BWV 653 [5'11] Nicolas de GRIGNY Verbum Supernum [8'37] J.S. BACH Fugue in G BWV 577 [3'14] Nicolas de GRIGNY Ave Maris Stella [9'41] J.S. BACH Pièce d'Orgue BWV 572 [7'54] Nicolas de GRIGNY A Solis Hortus [8'32] Terje Winge (organ) rec. 11-14 October 2002, Al Kirke, Hallingdal, Norway DDD SIMAX CLASSICS PSC 1242 [69'45] [CB]

A worthwhile release allowing us to hear a genuinely interesting piece of modern organ building but for my money it is let down by some rather identity-less playing. ... see Full Review

Camargo GUARNERI (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 PO/Thomas Conlin rec. 20-21 Aug 2004, 24-25 June 2004, 4-5 Jan 2003, Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw. DDD NAXOS 8.557666 [69:49] [RB]

The adventurous will be rewarded with three piano concertos bursting with vitality and charting Guarneri's way with the rhythm and romance of the big city. ... see Full Review

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685 – 1739) Rodelinda (1725) [3:22:00] Rodelinda – Anna Caterian Antonacci (soprano) Grimoaldo – Kurt Streit (tenor) Garibaldo – Umberto Chiummo (baritone) Eduige – Louise Winter (mezzo) Bertarido – Andreas Scholl (counter-tenor) Unulfo – Artur Stefanowicz (counter-tenor) Flavio – Tom Siese (silent role) Jean-Marie Villegier (director) Nicolas de Lajartre and Pascale Cazales (set designers) Patrice Cauchetier (costume designer) Bruno Boyer (lighting designer) Humphrey Burton (video director) Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/William Christie Recorded Glyndebourne 1998 WARNER MUSIC VISION 3984-23024-2 1DVD [202:00] [RH]

Rodelinda and Bertarido’s relationship set in a world inspired by early cinema. ... see Full Review

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Destero dall empia dite (Amadigi) (1715) M’hai resa infelice (Deidamia) (1741) Piagero la sorte mia (Giulio Cesare) (1724) Scherza in mar (Lotario) (1729) Ombre piante; Se’l mio duol (Rodelinda) (1725) Tutta raccolta ancor (Scipione) (1726) Orrida a gl’occi miei (Ariodante) (1735) Ah. crudel (Rinaldo) (1711) Sommi dei; Barbaro, partiro (Radamisto) (1720) Emma Bell (soprano) Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Richard Egarr Recorded 8–10 September 2004, Usher Hall, Edinburgh LINN CKD 252 [51.24][RH]

I will treasure this disc as a record of a fine singer at a wonderful peak in her career but I can’t get rid of the feeling that the engineers could have made her sound even better. ... see Full Review

Howard HANSON (1896-1981) Howard Hanson conducts Howard Hanson CD 1 Merry Mount Suite (1933) [15:46] Mosaics (1958) [12:45] For the First Time (1962) [20:30]** Piano Concerto Op.36 (1948) [20:14] CD 2 The Composer Talks - Howard Hanson discusses his music:- Introduction - the four orchestral colours [3:26] Merry Mount Suite (1933) - How does a composer write for orchestra; Pitch spectrum and the colours of the orchestra [30:32] Mosaics (1958) - How the colours of music influence musical form in the composer’s mind [24:33] For the First Time (1962) - Musical sound. Using the tonal vocabulary of music to describe the impression [19:55] CD 3 Symphony No. 1 in E minor Op. 21 Nordic (1923) [26:42] Symphony No. 2 Op. 30 Romantic (1930) [27:54] The Song of Democracy (1957) [12:04] CD 4 Symphony No.3 (1943) [33:!2] Elegy in Memory of My Friend Serge Koussevitzky, Op.44 (1956) [11:21] The Lament for Beowulf (1925) [12:38]* Alfred Mouledous (piano) Eastman School of Music Chorus/Dr Herman H Genhart * Eastman-Rochester Orchestra Eastman Philharmonia** Eastman-Rochester Symphony Orchestra/Howard Hanson rec. Eastman Theatre Rochester, New York. 1957-1965. ADD from Mercury LPs: SR90175 (Merry Mount); SR90267 (Mosaics); SR90357 (First Time); SR90430 (Piano Concerto); SR90165 (Symphony 1); SR90192 (Symphony 2); SR90150 (Democracy); SR90449 (Symphony 3); SR90150 (Elegy); SR90192 (Beowulf). stereo
MERCURY LIVING PRESENCE 475 6867 4 MM4 [4 CDs: 69:10 + 78:36 + 66:39 + 62:14] [RB]

A splendid collection for Hanson specialists everywhere. For explorers it gives the great works in the shape of the first two symphonies, Beowulf and the Merry Mount Suite. ... see Full Review

Howard HANSON (1896-1981) Fanfare for the Signal Corps (1943) [1:08] Merry Mount Suite (1933) [15:00] Bold Island Suite (1961) [23:51] Symphony No. 2 Romantic (1930) [25:56] Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/Erich Kunzel rec. Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, 8 Sept 2004. DDD TELARC CD-80649 [66:12] [RB]

A fine addition to the Hanson library ...the Bold Island Suite is a real discovery. ... see Full Review

Emil HARTMANN (1836-1898) Violin Concerto in G minor op. 19 (1876) [25:15] Cello Concerto in D minor op. 26 (1879) [18:52] Piano Concerto in F minor op. 49 (1890) [26:02] Christina Åstrand (violin) Stanimir Todorov (cello) Per Salo (piano) Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra/Hannu Lintu rec. Helsingborg Konserthuset, 1-5 Sept 2003, 20-21 Aug 2004. DDD DACAPO SACD 6.220511 [70:09][RB]

A very agreeable disc in every way ... romantic era music that, while not immune from convention, is entertaining and often touching. ... see Full Review

Johann Adolf HASSE (1699-1783) Requiem in E flat major [42:27] Miserere in D minor [21:36] Simona Houda-Šaturová (soprano), Britta Schwarz (contralto), Eric Stoklossa (tenor), Gotthold Schwarz (bass) Dresdner Kammerchor Dresdner Barockorchester/Hans-Christoph Rademann Recorded live 5th-6th February 2005 in the Lukaskirche, Dresden. CARUS 83.175 [65:04] [CH]

Certainly gives us plenty to think about. ... see Full Review

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony No. 37 in C major (1758) [13.09] Symphony No. 38 in C major (1766-8) [14.39] Symphony No. 39 in G minor (1770?) [15.38] Symphony No. 40 in F major (1763) [15.16] Cologne Chamber Orchestra/Helmut Müller-Brühl rec. Sendesaal DLR, Cologne, 24-28 May 2002 NAXOS 8.557093 [58.41] [SV]

Menuets, stately and dignified; Andantes move along elegantly, without straining for inappropriate profundity. Try it, you'll like it. ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartets Op. 74 (1793): No. 1 in C major; No. 2 in F major; No. 3 in G minor, ‘Rider’ The Lindsays: Peter Cropper, violin; Ronald Birks, violin; Robin Ireland, viola; Bernard Gregor-Smith, cello rec. Holy Trinity Church, Wentworth, England, 21-23 Jan 2003. DDD ASV GOLD GLD4013 [79:43] [MC]

A most satisfying sound quality together with really fine booklet notes. The Lindsays are heard at their best with this superb Haydn release ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1808) Folksong arrangements - Volume 2 Scottish Songs for George Thomson II - see review for details Lorna Anderson (soprano) Jamie MacDougall (tenor) Haydn Trio Eisenstadt rec. October 2003, May, October 2004, Haydn Hall, Esterházy Palace, Eisenstadt BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92542 [4 CDs: 73.14 + 72.26 + 68.04 + 67.38] [JW]

These folksongs should be savoured like chocolate mints, a few at a time. Any more and indigestion is assured. ... see Full Review

Albert HURWIT (b. 1931) Symphony No. 1 Remembrance (2002) [58:59] Bulgarian National Radio SO/Michael Lankester rec. July 2004, Bulgarian Radio Studio 1, Sofia, Bulgaria. DDD MSR CLASSICS MS 1134 [58:59] [RB]

This eclectic yet patently sincere symphony. ... see Full Review

Akira IFUKUBE (b. 1914) Sinfonia Tapkaara (1954 rev. 1979) [25:57] Ritmica Ostinata for piano and orchestra (1961 rev.1972) [21:33] Symphonic Fantasia No. 1 (1983) [13:15] Ekaterina Saranceva (piano) Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. 3-12 May 2004, Studio 5, Russian State TV and Radio Company KULTURA, Moscow. DDD NAXOS 8.557587 [60:45] [RB]

Valuable that this has been recorded but fascinating rather than compelling. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Leoš JANÁČEK (1854–1928): The Eternal Gospel, Legend for soprano, tenor, chorus and orchestra (1913) [18.45] The Ballad of Blaník (1919) [8.02] The Fiddler’s Child, Ballad for solo violin and orchestra (1913) [11.46] The Excursions of Mr Brouček, Suite for orchestra (1908-17) [20.58] Gwyneth-Ann Jeffers (soprano: Angel), Adrian Thompson (tenor: Joachim of Fiore), Edinburgh Festival Chorus (The Eternal Gospel) - sung in Czech Elizabeth Layton (violin) (The Fiddler’s Child) BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ilan Volkov rec. 5-6 June 2004 and 7–8 January 2005, Caird Hall, Dundee. DDD. HYPERION CDA 67517 [59.54] [ED]

All Janáček fans should be acquiring this without delay as should those as yet unconverted ... It’s quality all the way. ... see Full Review

Emmerich KÁLMÁN (1882-1953) The Duchess of Chicago - Operetta in two Acts (1928) Libretto by: Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald King Pankraz XXVII of Sylvaria ... Peter Matic Sándor Boris, Crown Prince of Sylvaria ... Mehrzad Montazeri Miss Mary Lloyd of Chicago ... Norine Burgess Princess Rosemarie of Morenien ... Renée Schüttengruber James Jacques Bondy ... Wolfgang Gratshmaier Count Bojazowitsch, Finance Minister of Sylvaria ... Josef Luftensteiner Marquis Perolin, Minister of State, Sylvania ... Sándor Németh Count Negresco ... Christian Drescher Tihány, Directior of the Grill American ... Gernot Kranner Princess Soljanka of Morenien ... Florentina Kubizek Kupp Mihály, Gypsy Leader ... Aliosha Biz
Choir, Orchestra and Children’s Company of der Volksoper Wien Bühnenorchester der Wiener Staatsoper/Michael Tomaschek rec. Vienna Volksoper, Autumn 2004, part of rediscovered music programme. CAPRICCIO DVD 93509 [145:00] [IL]

A mixed reception, I am afraid. Moments of sparkling vivacity interposed with much longer periods of languor. East meeting rather uncomfortably with the West. ... see Full Review

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Three Ballet Suites Gayaneh (1942) [18:25] (Sabre Dance; Dance of the Rose Maidens; Lullaby; Lesghinka; Ayesha's Dance; Gopak) Spartacus (1956) [25:33] (Adagio; Dance of the Maidens; Scene and Dance with Crotalums; Variations of Aegina and Bacchanalia) Masquerade (1940-43) [13:37] (Romance; Nocturne; Waltz) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Yuri Simonov rec. 1990s, London. DDD REGIS RRC 1041 [58:26] [RB]

Simonov takes the Khachaturian dance scores to the ball and leaves them dreamy and breathless ... see Full Review

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Toccata (1932) [4:44] Poem (1927) [9:22] Two Pieces (1926) [3:33] Sonatina (1959) [8:51] Ten Children's Pieces (1964) [16:43] Piano Sonata (1961, original version) [30:50] Waltz from Maskarade [4:15] Murray McLachlan (piano) rec. Aug 1992, All Saints, Petersham. DDD REGIS RRC 1184 [79:16] [RB]

McLachlan makes a persuasive champion ... impresses for its virtuosity and aggression and sometimes for its humanity. Much to intrigue here. A pleasure to welcome this back at bargain price ... see Full Review

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) The Sea Wolf - film music (1941) [55:04] plus trailer [4:40] The Adventures of Robin Hood suite from film music (1938) [16:22] BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Rumon Gamba rec. Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester; 1, 3 Sept 2004. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10336 [76:22] [RB]

All credit to Chandos: a superb disc. It valuably fills a yawning gap in the discography and opens the door on one of the most subtle and grown-up of film scores. ... see Full Review

Orlando Di LASSUS (LASSO) (1532-1594) Penitential Psalms: Volume II: 4th [20.07] 5th, [25.08] 6th, [7.59] 7th [14.09]; Numbers 51, 102, 130 and 143 Harry Geraerts (tenor) Rodrigo del Pozo (alto) Tölzer Knabenchor Musicalische Compagney Berlin/Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden rec. Dachau, Schloss, Renaissance-Saal, June 2004. DDD CAPRICCIO 67 130 [67.56] [GH]

Although these are not perfect performances they are by far the best and most arrestingly authentic I have yet heard. The more I hear them the more I like them and, what’s more, I admire the music even more. ... see Full Review

Paul Le FLEM (1881-1954) Works for solo piano: Avril (1910) [5:51]; Vieux calvaire (1910) [6:23]; Sept prières enfantines (1911) [11:47]; Par grèves (1910) [7:59]; Par landes (1907) [5:55]; Chant des Genêts (1911) [11:42] Violin Sonata (1905) [29:05] Marie-Catherine Girod (piano) Annick Roussin (violin) rec. La Clé d'Ut, 10-12 Nov 1992. AAD Collection Musiques Françaises ACCORD 476 160 9 [78:42][RB]

Melancholy, heroic, sombrely optimistic ... echoes with the sound of bells and the beautiful magnificence of marine landscapes - in wind, rain and sunshine. I cannot overstate the high quality of this music. ... see Full Review

Franz LEHÁR (1870–1948) Das Land des Lächelns (The Land of Smiles) (1929) Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) – Lisa; Nicolai Gedda (tenor) – Prince Sou-Chong; Erich Kunz (baritone) – Gustl; Emmy Loose (soprano) – Mi; Otakar Kraus (baritone) – Tschang; Felix Kent (speaking part) – Fu-Li; André Mattoni (speaking part) – Servant Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus/Otto Ackermann Recorded in Kingsway Hall, London, 17th, 19th – 21st April and 28th June 1953 Reissue Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn
Appendix: Excerpts from Operettas by Lehár Performed by Legendary Singers
Reissue Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Ward Marston NAXOS 8.111016-17 [74:03 + 78:21] [GF]

Still hesitating? OK but I must go back to my listening room and play a few tracks from this Desert-Island set before bedtime. ... see Full Review

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Das Land des Lächelns (1929) Romantic operetta in two parts. Libretto by Herzer, Lohner-Beda and Leon Sou-Chong: René Kollo (tenor) Lisa: Birgit Pitsch-Sarata (sop) Graf Ferdinand von Lichtenfels: Fred Liewehr (bar) Mi: Dagmar Koller (sop) Graf Gustav von Pottenstein: Heinz Zednik (bass) Lin-Po: Herbert Prokipa Korean Court Ballet Südfunkchor Stuttgart and Radioorchester Stuttgart/Wolfgang Ebert Musical arrangement by Bert Grund Staged and Directed by Arthur Maria Rabenalt rec. soundtrack August, September 1973, filmed September, October 1973. DVD. DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON UNITEL 0040 073 4056 [100:00][ED]

A curiosity despite Kollo’s contribution. ... see Full Review

Albert LORTZING (1801-1851) Undine - opera in four Acts (1845) Undine, Monika Krause (soprano) Ritter Hugo, Josef Protschka (tenor) Veit, Heinz Kruse (tenor) Kühleborn, John Janssen (baritone) Bertalda, Christiane Hampe (soprano) Hans, Andreas Schmidt (baritone) Marthe, Ingeborg Most (contralto) Tobias, Klaus Häger (bass) Pater Heilmann, Günter Wewel (bass) Dirk Schortemeier (speaker) WDR Rundfunkchor Köln/Godfried Ritter WDR Radio Orchestra, Köln/Kurt Eichhorn rec. WDR Studios, Cologne, Germany, Nov, Dec 1989, Feb 1990. DDD CAPRICCIO 51 195 [78:34 + 78:02] [RW]

This Capriccio recording emerges in a positive and energetic light with a strong cast, all in excellent voice and with clear diction. ... 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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