MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


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]

Monday October 31st


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


CYRIL SCOTT: A man whose time has come again? by Desmond Scott
RICHARD ARNELL AT 88 - Susan Roberts
MusicWeb Reviewer’s Log: October 2005 Patrick C Waller
Robert Hugill Weblog - Aug/sept 05
Reviewer’s Log:
a Summer Retrospect John Quinn


The Penguin Concise Guide to Opera By Amanda Holden Penguin Reference ISBN 0-141-01682-5 paperback £9.99

A nicely produced handy guide but only to be relied upon for popular works. ... see Full Review

MUSICWEB SHOP August September  October
MusicWeb is selling these labels: Alba
Concert Artist Hyperion Jecklin MSR  Pentatone Tactus

New from Avie

Tangos and Dances Fionnuala Hunt (violin and director)AVIE AV2079 [JW]
Hunt has certainly paid tribute to the song legacy of tango with care and affection. ... Review
In the Beginning Choral Masterpieces of the 1940s BRITTEN Rejoice in the Lamb PIZZETTI Tre composizioni corale FINZI Lo, the full, final sacrifice COPLAND In the beginning Gloucester Cathedral Choir AV 2072 £12.49 post free review
RICHARD STRAUSS Symphonia Domestica Oboe Concerto An Alpine Symphony Duett-Concertino for clarinet, bassoon and strings Nicholas Cox - clarinet Alan Pendlebury - bassoon Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra Gerard Schwarz AV2071 2CDset £18.75 Post free review
BRAHMS Clarinet sonata No. 1 Clarinet sonata No. 2 Clara SCHUMANN Three Romances (arr. Khaner) Robert SCHUMANN Three Romances (arr.Khaner) Jeffrey Khaner - flute Charles Abramovic - piano AV 2075 £12.49 post free

New from Arcodiva

Dvorak Svata Ludmilla (Saint Ludmilla) Oratorio for Soli, Chorus and Orchestra UP0078-2 232 (2 CDs) libretto £18 post free
Taneyev Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello in D major Dohnanyi Serenade for string trio Op. 10 Czech String Trio UP0076-2 131 £9 post free
Violin Concerto for violin and orchestra Op.53 Barber Concerto for violin and Orchestra Op.14 Martin Válek - Violin Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra Vladimír Válek - conductor
UP0082-2 231 £9 post free

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


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


Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Fantasien Op.116 (1892) Capriccio [2.28]; Intermezzo [4.26]; Capriccio [3.32]; Intermezzo [4.37]; Intermezzo [2.47]; Intermezzo [3.40]; Capriccio [2.13] Intermezzi Op.117 (1892) No.1 [4.42]; No.2 [4.05]; No.3 [6.10] Klavierstücke Op.118 (1893) Intermezzo  [1.52]; Intermezzo [6.18]; Ballade [3.25]; Intermezzo [2.44]; Romanze [3.53]; Intermezzo [5.06] Klavierstücke Op.119 (1893) Intermezzo [3.36]; Intermezzo [5.11]; Intermezzo [1.32]; Rhapsodie [4.22] Elena Kuschnerova (piano) Recorded Studios 1 and 2, Bavarian Radio, 2002-04 ARS PRODUKTION 38 436 [77.00][JW]

A most worthwhile survey ... It has the strength of its convictions ... 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

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

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 (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

Karol RATHAUS (1895-1954) Symphony No. 2 Op. 7 (1923) [33:59] Symphony No. 3 Op. 50 (1942-43) [42:56] Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt/Israel Yinon rec. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach-Konzerthalle, Frankfurt (Oder), 24-27 June, 8-9 July 2002. DDD CPO 777 031-2 [77:28][RB]

Moderately attractive music in a tough idiom requiring some persistence. ... see Full Review

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Sadko - opera-bylina in seven tableaux (1898) Sadko - Georgy Nelepp (ten) Volkhova - Elisabeta Shumskaya (sop) Lyubava - Valentina Davidova (mezzo) Nezhata - E Antonova (alto) The Sea King - S Krasovsky (bass) Duda - S Koltypin (bass) Sopel - A Peregudov (ten) First City Elder - T Chernyakov (ten) Second City Elder - S Nikolau (bass) Viking Merchant - Mark Reizen (bass) Venetian Merchant - Ivan Kozlovsky (ten) Apparition - Pavel Lisitsian Minstrels, Jesters, Soothsayers, Wandering Pilgrims Bolshoi Theatre Chorus and Orchestra/Nikolai Golovanov rec. 1950, USSR, from Melodiya D-01480-87. AAD. mono PREISER 90655 [52:17 + 54:36 + 59:51][RB]

Music-making of real allure ... a fine example in historic sound of one of Rimsky's supernatural operas ... see Full Review

Xaver SCHARWENKA (1850-1924) Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 32 (1873) [28.05] Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Piano Concerto No. 4 in D minor, Op. 70 (1864) [31.23] Marc-André Hamelin (piano) BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Michael Stern rec. 18-19 February 2005, Caird Hall, Dundee HYPERION CDA 67508 [59.41][TB]

Both concertos rate as worthy of our attention more than a century on, even though they are not as firmly positioned in the repertory as they used to be. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlo (Four act version) (1867) Jerome Hines (bass) - Filippo II; Eleanor Steber (soprano) - Elisabetta; Richard Tucker (tenor) - Don Carlo; Blanche Thebom (mezzo-soprano) - Eboli; Ettore Bastianini (baritone) - Rodrigo; Nicola Moscona (bass) - L’Inquisitore; Vilma Georgiou (soprano) - Tebaldo; Charles Anthony (tenor) - Lerma; Gabor Carelli (tenor) - Un araldo; Louis Sgarro (bass) - Un frate; Shakeh Vartenissian (soprano) - Una voce dal Cielo Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Kurt Adler Live recording from the Metropolitan Opera, New York, 5 March 1955 ANDROMEDA ANDRCD 5018 [75:25 + 78:06][GF]

I can’t think that this will ever be someone’s first choice of Don Carlo, but admirers of Ettore Bastianini should definitely search it out and there is enough of good singing elsewhere too to make it a fairly attractive proposition. ... see Full Review



Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Piano Music vol. 4 - for children (gyermekeknek) BB53, Sz.42 (revised 1943) Vol. 1 Based on Hungarian Folk tunes [37:07] Vol. 2 Based on Slovakian Folk tunes [39:12] Jenö Jandó (piano) Recorded at the Phoenix Studio, Budapest, Hungary, 24-27 September, 2002. NAXOS 8.555998 [76:19] [SA]

I can’t single out any single piece from the 29 on this disc – I can say I never tired of them after at least six hearings. ... see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Grande Symphonie funèbre et triomphale, Op. 15 [34’30"] La Mort de Cléopâtre* [23’08"] Overture Benvenuto Cellini, Op. 23*** [10’23"] Overture Le Carnaval romain, Op. 9*** [9’15"] Overture Les Francs-Juges, Op. 3***[13’17"] Overture Le Corsaire, op. 21*** [8’31"] Les Troyens, excerpts**: Chasse royale et orage [14’10"]; Ballet [4’41"]; Marche troyenne [5’20"] Chorale Populaire de Paris Musique des Gardiens de la Paix/Désiré Dondeyne *Nadine Denize (mezzo-soprano) * **Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Gilbert Amy *** Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg/Alain Lombard Recorded: Notre-Dame, Paris, 1958; * and ** Studios of Radio France, Paris, 1980; *** Strasbourg, 1980 ADD WARNER APEX 2564 62183-2 [57’45" +65’51"] [JQ]

Useful and enjoyable. If you wish to explore some of the French master’s less frequently heard works this is a good and inexpensive anthology. ... 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

Saburo MOROI (1903 – 1977) Sinfonietta in B flat For Children Op.24 (1943) [15:46] Two Symphonic Movements Op.22 (1942) [19:09] Symphony No. 3 Op.25 (1944) [33:20] National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland/Takuo Yuasa Recorded: National Concert Hall, Dublin, September 2002 NAXOS 8.557162 [68:15] [HC]

Traditional ... solid, warmly post-romantic and lushly scored music played with admirable commitment and conviction. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1875 - 1945) The Bells, Op. 35 (1912) [35:15] Spring, Op. 20 (1902) [15:57] Three Russian Songs, Op.41 [12:04] Alexandrina Pendachanska Op.35, (soprano) Kaludi Kaludov Op.35, (tenor) Sergei Leiferkus Opp. 35, 20 (tenor) Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia Philadelphia Orchestra/Charles Dutoit. rec. Memorial Hall, Philadelphia, USA, January 1992. DDD DECCA ELOQUENCE 476 7702 [63:55]. [JPh]

All of Rachmaninov’s works for choir and orchestra. A nice idea and the performances are more than satisfactory and allow us to enjoy these works at super budget price. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata in C minor D.958 [31:30] Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Songs without Words, op. 19: 1 [03.33], 2 [02:18], 3 [02:18], 5 [02:45], 6 [03:07] Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Nocturne in B flat minor op. 9/1 [06:27] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Images, Book 1 [15:22], Hommage à Haydn [02:34], L’isle joyeuse [05:55] Sviatoslav Richter (piano) Recorded live at Szeged, Hungary in 1972 DOREMI DHR-7766 [76:07] [CH]

Best left for confirmed Richterites. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813 – 1883) Lohengrin (1850) Lauritz Melchior (tenor) – Lohengrin; Astrid Varnay (soprano) – Elsa of Brabant; Alexander Sved (baritone) – Friedrich von Telramund; Kerstin Thorborg (mezzo) – Ortrud; Norman Cordon (bass) – Henry the Fowler, King of Germany; Mack Harrell (baritone) – Herald Orchestra and Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera, New York/Erich Leinsdorf Recorded at live broadcast on 2nd January 1943 Appendix: Bridal Chamber Scene (Act III, Scene 2) sung by Lauritz Melchior and Emmy Bettendorf. Orchestra/Frieder Weissmann Recorded in Berlin 1926 NAXOS 8.110235-37 [3 CDs: 55:05 + 69:49 + 74:26] [GF]

Despite a glassy string sound this is a thrilling Lohengrin ... see Full Review

Ernst Wilhelm WOLF (1735-1792) Symphonies: E flat [16'51]; F [23'51]; C (1786) [17'20]; D [6'54]. Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Weimar/Nicolás Pasquet. rec. Concert Hall of the Franz Liszt University of Music, Weimar, 4-6 April 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557132 [64'56] [CC]

The world of the Wind Serenade is never too far away yet Wolf can attain depths of expression that seem to post-date his period. Recommended. ... 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


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 per 100 wallets plus P&P

MusicWeb is now selling this label £14.99 post-free World wide

New from Arcodiva
Piano Trio No 1, Op. 8 Piano Trio No 2, Op. 67 Seven Songs (Alexander Blok), Op. 127 ArteMiss Piano Trio
Alžbĕta Poláčková
(sop) UP 0069-2 (CD) £9 postage paid World wide

If you wish to flip between this page and the latest reviews use the button marked "Return to previous page" to get back to here


Have you signed up for our weekly hyper-linked mailing of all the discs reviewed in the week? [NOTE: For some people these mailings may be rejected as spam unless you put me on your white list. They are delivered as (yes! with a double l). They are large mailings so keep your mailbox clear on Friday]

Click here for MUSICWEB Special Offers


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

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782) Ryland Davies (tenor) Belmonte; Valerie Masterson (soprano) Constanze; Lilian Watson (soprano) Blonde; Willard White (bass) Osmin; Pedrillo (tenor) James Hoback; Joachim Nissmeier (speaker) Passa Selim The Glyndebourne Chorus London Philharmonic Orchestra/Gustav Kuhn Rec. Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1980. Producer Peter Wood. PCM Stereo. Format 4:3. Region: 0 (Worldwide). DVD9. NTSC. ARTHAUS 101 091 [140'00] [CC]

What a magnificent opera Die Entführung is! And to have it in this superbly sung and well-conducted version is a real delight. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Die Rheinnixens or Les Fées du Rhin (The Fairies of the Rhine) - A romantic opera in four acts, sung in German (1860-62) Regina Schörg (sop) - Armgard; Nora Gubisch (mezzo) - Hedwig; Piotr Beczala (ten) - Franz; Dalibor Jenis (bar) - Conrad; Peter Klaveness (bass-bar) - Gottfried; Uwe Pepper (ten) - Peasant; Gaëlle Le Roi (sop) - Fairy Lithuanian Radio Choir Orchestre National de Montpellier/Friedemann Layer rec. live, Radio France/Montpellier Festival, France, 30 July 2002. DDD UNIVERSAL ACCORD 472 920-2 [3 CDs: 74:57 + 67:50 + 65:55][RW]

This is a find worthy of inclusion in the wider European repertoire ... even if Tales of Hoffmann has to be discarded to make way for it. The work is a treat. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Eugene Onegin - incidental music (1936) [76:16] Pique Dame - film music (1936, 2000) [33:56] Chulpan Chamatova (speaker); Jakob Küf (speaker)
Boris Statsenko (bar) Soloists from RIAS Kammerchors RIAS Kammerchor/Jörn-Hinnerk Andresen Kevin McCutcheon (harpsichord and piano) Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Michail Jurowski rec. Berlin-Dahlem, Jesus-Christus-Kirche March, Sept 2003, Jan, Feb 2004. DDD CAPRICCIO 67 149 [76:16 + 33:56] [RB]

Treasure - at last a Russian language Onegin on CD - one of the composer's finest and most poetic scores - do not miss it ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 – 1868) La Cenerentola (1817) Joyce DiDonato (mezzo) – Angelina, known as Cenerentola; José Manuel Zapata (tenor) – Don Ramiro; Paolo Bordogna (baritone) – Dandini; Bruno Praticò (bass-baritone) – Don Magnifico; Patrizia Cigna (soprano) – Clorinda; Martina Borst (mezzo) – Tisbe; Luca Pisaroni (bass-baritone) – Alidoro Prague Chamber Choir SWR Radio Orchestra Kaiserslauten/Alberto Zedda rec. live, 13 Nov 2004, co-production: Rossini in Wildbad Festival/SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserslauten NAXOS 8.660191-92 [79:53 + 74:50] [GF]

Rossini himself, somewhere up there in his gourmet heaven, salutes this recording with a glass of spumante. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Die schöne Müllerin D 795 Jan Kobow (tenor) Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano) rec. St. Andreaskirche, Berlin, 3-6 Nov 2003 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD2 2315 [60:56] [GF]

One of the freshest and most uplifting interpretations of Die schöne Müllerin I have come across for a very long time. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Works for violin and piano. Violin Sonata in D minor Op. 9 (1904) (Allegro moderato [9:38]; Andantino tranquillo e dolce [6:44]; Finale: Allegro molto, quasi presto [5:42]) Lullaby (La Berceuse d´Aitacho Enia) Op.52 (1925) [5:25] Nocturne from Op. 28 (1915) [5:52] Roxana´s Song (1924) [5:37] Dance of the Harnasie (1931) [6:43] Tarantella from Op. 28 [5:58] Mythes Op. 30 (1915) Arethusa´s Fountain [6:03]; Narcissus [7:33]; Pan and the Dryads [8:33]) Krzysztof Bakowski (violin) Anna Górecka (piano) rec. July 2001, Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall. DDD CD ACCORD ACD 077 [74.13] [[RB]

The complete Szymanowski for the genre matchlessly presented - Bakowski is a real discovery. Where has Poland been hiding him .... and why ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walküre (1851-6) Siegmund – Poul Elming (tenor) Hunding – Matthias Hoelle (bass) Wotan – John Tomlinson (bass) Sieglinde – Nadine Secunda (soprano) Brünnhilde – Anne Evans (soprano) Fricke/Siegrune – Linda Finnie (mezzo) Gerhilde – Eva Johansson (soprano) Ortlinde – Ruth Floeren (soprano) Waltraute – Shirley Close (mezzo) Helmwige – Eva-Marie Bundschuh (soprano) Rossweisse – Hebe Dijkstra (mezzo) Bayreuth Festival Orchestra/Daniel Barenboim Directed for the stage by Harry Kupfer Directed for video by Horant Hohlfeld Recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival Theatre, June/July 1992 WARNER CLASSICS UNITEL 2564 62319-2 [2 DVDs: 237:00][TH]

We should be grateful that this highly-praised cycle is now reaching us on DVD  – as recent Rings go, it takes the biscuit for me. Roll on the rest! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Symphony no.2 (1933-34) [29:40] (1. Sostenuto – Allegro molto [9:47]; 2. Largo [13:10]; 3. Allegro vivace [6:43]) Symphony no.1 (1921) [26:50] Lady in the Dark – Symphonic Nocturne (Concert Suite arr. Robert Russell Bennett) [17:32]
(1. Andante misterioso ‘My Ship’ [2:53]; 2. ‘Girl of the Moment’ [1:58]; 3. Bolero ‘This is New’ [3:46]; 4. Allegro alla Marcia [1:09]; 5. ‘Dance of the Tumblers’ [1:47]; 6. ‘The Saga of Jenny’ [5:58]) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. Lighthouse Concert Hall, Poole, UK, 12-14 Jan 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557481[74:02] [GPJ]

If you are tempted to think of Kurt Weill as nothing more than a Sullivan to Bertolt Brecht’s Gilbert then I beg you to listen to this outstanding disc. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frank Braley (piano) Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Années de pèlerinage, Book 2, Italie (1837-49) – No. 6, Sonetto 123 del Petrarcha [7'27]; No. 5,  Sonetto 104 del Petrarcha [5'59]. La lugubre gondola II, S200 No. 2 [7'43]. Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Préludes: Book 1 (1910) – No. 10, La cathédrale engloutie [5'57]; No. 9, La sérénade interrompu [2'31]; No. 5, Les collines d'Anacapri [2'52]; No. 4, Les sons et les parfumes [3'06]; No. 12, Minstrels; No. 7, Ce qu'a vu le vent d'Ouest [3'14]; Book 2 (1913) – No. 3, La Puerta del Vino [3'25]; No. 7, La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune [4'21]; No. 6,  Général Lavine – eccentric [2'35]. George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue (1924, version for solo piano) [15'24]. Frank Braley (piano). Rec. Live at La Roque d'Anthéron on August 11th, 2004. Director Yvon Gérault. Region 0. Picture format 16:9 (4:3 compatible). PAL. NAÏVE DR2114 [69'27][CC]

This is a superb recital by an artist whose maturity and questing mind offer much. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Georgian Journey – Secular and Sacred Vocal Music Antchis Chati Choir/Malchaz Erkvanidze Tsinandali Choir Three elderly singers (Karlo Urushadze, Guri Sikharulidze, Tristan Sikharulidze) Recorded Summer 2003 on location in Georgia RAUM KLANG RK 2304-1/2 [78.43 + 67.45] [RH]

Should be of interest to many ... performances of immediacy and vibrancy .... completely entrancing ... the discs have accompanied us on the car stereo in many of our own journeys. ... see Full Review



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantata No. 170 Vergnugte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust (Vergnugte Ruh, beliebte Seelinlust [6:56]; Die Welt, das Sundenhaus [1:47]; Wie jammern mich doch die verkehrten Herzen [7:25]; Wer sollte sich demnach [1:24]; Mir ekelt mehr zu leben [6:46]) Cantata No.82 Ich habe genug (Ich habe genug [9:41]; Ich habe genug [1:26]; Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen [11:12]; Mein Gott! Wann kommst das schone: Nun! [0:59]; Ich freue mich auf meinem Tod [4:07] Cantata No. 159, Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem (Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem [3:26]; Ich folge dir nach [4:58]; Nun will ich mich, mein Jesu, uber dich [1:28]; Es ist vollbracht [5:27]; Jesu, deine Passion [1:53]) Janet Baker (mezzo); Robert Tear (tenor); John Shirley-Quirk (bass) Philip Ledger (harpsichord continuo) St Anthony Singers Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Neville Marriner Recorded in the Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, January 1966 (BWV 159 and 170) and at St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, London, April 1964 (BWV 82) DECCA ELOQUENCE 476 2684 [69:19][EM]

A wonderful disc of Bach cantatas with a star cast from Eloquence. ... see Full Review

Piano Trios: No. 5 in D, Op. 70 No. 1, 'Ghost' (1808) [27'48]; No. 6 in E flat, Op. 70 No. 2 (1808) [30'06]; Variations in E flat, Op. 44 (c1792, publ. 1804) [13'49] Xyrion Trio (Nina Tichman, piano; Ida Baker, violin; Maria Kliegel, cello). Rec. Clara Wieck Auditorium, Sandhausen, Germany, October 20th-22nd, 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557723 [71'43] [CC]

My recording of the month, without a shadow of a doubt. A wonderful disc, well recorded and containing some magnificent playing. Do hear this. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Mêlée Fantasque (1921) [12.00] Checkmate - complete ballet (1937) [53.03] Royal Scottish National Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones rec. 1-9 August 2004, Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow. DDD NAXOS 8.557641 [65.03] [TB]

These Scottish performers capture exactly the essential spirit of the music and the recording is among Naxos’s best: atmospheric, clear and bright. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 73 [44:51] Selection of Hungarian Dances London Philharmonic Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. 21-22 March 2005, Blackheath Concert Hall, London; 28 March 2005, Watford Colosseum, UK. NAXOS 8.557429 [65:06] [KS]

Here the glory still belongs to the composer, and in Alsop’s hands is lovingly recreated, held aloft with the utmost respect. ... 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

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony No. 2 in E minor (1906-7) [66.13] London Symphony Orchestra/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky rec. 10-11 March 1988, All Saints Church, Tooting, London. DDD REGIS RRC 1210 [66.13] [RB]

Will rekindle that first fresh shimmer of discovery, that tremor of the heart, that spine-tingling indicator that tells you what it was to live the creation and recreation of this music. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 5 in E Flat Major Op. 82 (1914) [29:06] En Saga (1892) [17:51] Swan of Tuonela (1893) [8:18] Valse Triste (1904) [4:58] Finlandia (1900) [8:32] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Ole Schmidt (Charles Mackerras: Finlandia only)rec. CTS Studios, London, 1996. DDD REGIS RRC 1216 [69:08] [RB]

This is one of those discs that slips way into the background all too easily. Sibelians need this disc. Schmidt’s Fifth could easily stand as the only version in someone’s collection. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ellen Taaffe ZWILICH (b. 1939) Violin Concertoa (1998) [26'03] Rituals for Five Percussionists and Orchestrab (2002) [25'59] aPamela Frank (violin); bNEXUS/IRIS Chamber Orchestra aSaarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra/Michael Stern. aLive recording in the Kongresshalle, Stuttgart, Germany on October 18th, 1998, bGermantown Performing Arts Centre, Tennessee, USA on March 7th, 2004 Studio recording). DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559268 [52'04] [CC]

Recommended, especially for the Violin Concerto. There is an integrity to the works on this disc that is most impressive. ... 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]

Error processing SSI file

We are grateful to for some of the special graphics used on these pages


Editor Rob Barnett  


Editor Ian Lace

your CDs on-line and benefit this site

Any opinions expressed in reviews or articles on this site are those of the author and  do not necessarily represent the views of the site owner, Len Mullenger or the Editors.  Reviewers and authors retain copyright in their work unless it has been paid for or commissioned by the site owner.

Return to Front page