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Kaija SAARIAHO (b.1952) Nymphéa for string quartet and live electronics (1987) [18’58] John CAGE (1912-1992) String Quartet in Four Parts (1949/50) [17’12] Bruno MADERNA (1920-1973) Quartetto per archi in due tempi (1955) [13’54] Cikada String Quartet Recorded at Sofienberg Church, Oslo, August 2001 ECM NEW SERIES 1799 472 4222 [50’16] [TH]

Bold and innovative music logically programmed ... see Full Review

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Le Carnival des animaux (1886) [21:00] Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Concerto for 2 pianos in D minor (1932) [17:31] Manuel INFANTE (1883-1958) Danses Andalouses (1921) [14:18] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Rapsodie espagnole (1907) [14:15] La Valse (1920) [11:06] Güher and Süher Pekinel (pianos), Gérard Soufflard (double bass), Robert Fontaine (clarinet), Geneviève Amar (flute), Éric Levionnais (violoncello) Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Marek Janowski rec. Teldec Studio, Berlin, November 1989 (Infante, Ravel); Studio 104, Radio France, Paris, November 1990 (Saint-Saëns, Poulenc) WARNER APEX 2564 62125-2 [78:10] [GPJ]

This is a fine CD; the recording for the two pianos alone is just a little boxy, though not enough to be a serious problem. That of the works with orchestra is first-class. ... see Full Review

Aulis SALLINEN (b. 1935) Barabbas Dialogues Op.84 (2002/3) Petteri Salomaa (baritone, Barrabas); Riikka Rantanen (mezzo-soprano, The Woman); Juha Kotilainen (bass-baritone, Judas); Mari Palo (soprano, The Maiden); Topi Lehtipuu (tenor, The Youth); Kalle Holmberg (narrator); Mika Väyrynen (accordion); Elina Vähälä (violin); Arto Noras (cello); Ilpo Mansnerus (flute); Michael Lethiec (clarinet); Ari-Pekka Mäenpää (percussion); Ralf Gothoni (piano and conductor) rec. Naantali Music Festival, June 2004 CPO 777 077-2 [56:34] [HC]

I firmly believe that Barabbas Dialogues is a great piece of music that should not – and must not – be ignored. ... see Full Review

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Film Music Volume One The Commissar - suite (1967) [47:31] Story of an Unknown Actor - suite (1976) [18:38] Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Frank Strobel rec. Deutschlandradios Berlin, 5-7 Dec 2002, 26-28 May 2003. DDD CAPRICCIO hybrid CD/SACD–CC71041 [66:09.] [MM]

My first exposure to Schnittke’s work ... an incredibly poignant romantic voice and a flair for experimental manipulation of orchestral acoustics. ... see Full Review

Paul SCHOENFIELD (b.1947) Viola Concerto (1997-98) [19.11] Robert Vernon (viola) Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Yoel Levi recorded Jesus Christus Kirche, Berlin, November 2000 Four Motets (1995) [11.22] BBC Singers/Avner Itai recorded St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, London, July 2000 The Merchant and The Pauper (1999) – Excerpts from Act II [26.48] Jennifer Larson (soprano) Pei Yi Wang (mezzo soprano) Christopher Meerdink (tenor) Gary Moss (baritone) Tyler Oliphant (baritone) Mark Kent (bass) Isaiah Sheffer (speaker) University of Michigan Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Kenneth Kiesler recorded Hill Auditorium, University of Michigan, January 2001 NAXOS MILKEN ARCHIVE 8.559418 [57.41] [JW]

Schoenfield’s music has often been noted for its Hassidic aspects though the melancholic elements that co-exist have perhaps been downplayed. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No. 1 in D major D.82 (1813) [25:35] Symphony No. 3 in D major D.200 (1815) [24:32] Symphony No. 8 in B minor D.759 Unfinished (1822) [28:17] Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Jonathan Nott Rec. Joseph-Keilberth-Saal, Bamberg, March, December 2003. DDD TUDOR 7141 [79:23] [PCW]

This is probably a disc that you’ll either love or hate - if you get the chance, give it a spin and find out ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartet in G major, D.887 (1826) [45.10] Five German Dances, D.90 (1813) [14.26] Kodály String Quartet rec 16 April 2002 (Dances), 17-19 June 2002 (Quartet), Phoenix Studio, Budapest NAXOS 8.557125 [59.36][TB]

A fine example of interpretation and performance. One of the best recordings ... a splendid disc recommended with the utmost enthusiasm. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sacred Music Offertorium in B minor, D.963 (1828) [9.25] Salve Regina in B major, D.386 (1816) [2.52] Magnificat in C major, D.486 (1815) [8.32] Psalm 23, D.706 (1820) [5.07] Salve regina in B major, D.106 (1814) [4.48] Tantum Ergo in E flat major, D.962 (1828) [5.34] Offertorium in C major, D.136 (1815) [5.07] Chorus of Angels, D.440 (1819) [3.27] Offertorium in F major, D.223 (1823) [5.24] Gott in der Natur, D. 757 (1822) [6.55] Stabat Mater in G minor, D.175 (1815) [6.55] Heilig, Heilig, from Deutsche Messe, D.872 (1827) [3.05] Celina Lindsley (soprano), Magdalena Hajossyova (mezzo), Gabriela Schrekenbach (contralto), Peter Schreier (tenor), Werner Hollweg (tenor), Walton Grönroos (bass) Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Marcus Creed, Dietrich Knothe (conductors) rec. 11-12 March 2005, RIAS Berlin CAPRICCIO 71 050 [66.16][TB]

Often imaginative and sensitive music accorded a high standard of performance. An excellent issue. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Liederkreis Op.24 (1840) [22.14] Der arme Peter Op.53 No.3 (1840) [5.08] Belsazar Op.57 (1840) [4.20] Dichterliebe (1840) [30.53] Thomas E. Bauer (baritone) Uta Hielscher (piano) recorded at Reistadl, Neumarkt/Oberpfalz, Germany, 4-6 October 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557075 [62.35][CF]

This element of partnership between these two young artists is a strong plus on this highly enjoyable disc ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Dichterliebe op. 48 [30:43]; Dein Angesicht op. 127/2 [02:36]; Lehn’ dein Wang’ op. 142/2 [0:47]; Es leuchtet meine Liebe op. 127/3 [02:02]; Mein Wagen rollet langsam op. 142/4 [03:31] Robert FRANZ (1815-1892) Im wunderschönen Monat Mai op. 25/5 [01:38]; Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen op. 11/2; Uns wüssten’s die Blumen op. 12/6; Ich hab’ im Traume geweinet op. 25/3; Allnächtlich in Traume op. 9/4; Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome op. 18/2 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Meine Liebe ist grün op. 63/5; Wenn um del Hollunder op. 63/6; Versunken op. 86/5; 5 Lieder op. 49 [12:56] Stephan Loges (baritone), Alexander Schmalcz (piano) Recorded at Champs Hill, Coldwaltham, West Sussex, UK, on 10th-12th November 2004 ATHENE 23202 [69:04] [CH]

Not the best modern Dichterliebe, but lieder enthusiasts will welcome the group by Franz. ... see Full Review

Isaac SCHWARTZ (b.1923) Yellow Stars, concerto for orchestra in seven parts (1998) National Philharmonic of Russia/Vladimir Spivakov Recorded at Svetlanov’s Hall, Moscow, May 2004 A Film by Joan Grossman with writings and excerpts from Jewish Ghetto diaries and notebooks Dolby Digital 5.1, NTSC/B+W, Colour/4.3, Region Code 0, DVD 5, Languages D, E, F CAPRICCIO DVD 93 508 [57.44] [JW]

Joan Grossman’s film illustrates Yellow Stars with film footage from a variety of sources and locations, travelling in a rough chronological arc ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Quintet, Op. 57 (1940) [30.55] String Quartet No. 1, Op. 49 (1838) [13.00] String Quartet No. 4, Op. 83 (1849) [22.07] Ewa Kupiec (piano) Petersen String Quartet rec. 20-23 October 2003, Bayerischer Rundfunk Studio, Munich CAPRICCIO 67 082 [66.19][TB]

There are more subtle relationships of phrasing than the artists here choose to find ... see Full Review

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) The Complete Mazurkas Ten Mazurkas, Op. 3 (1888-1890) Nine Mazurkas, Op. 25 (1898-1899) Two Mazurkas, Op. 40 (1903) Eric Le Van (piano) Recorded Studio 2, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich, April 2002 MUSIC & ARTS CD1125 [72:39] [DS]

Grab up this Music & Arts release and enjoy Scriabin's unique and transcendent music performed by a "Scriabinist to the manner born". ... see Full Review

Ruth CRAWFORD SEEGER (1901-1953) Suite for five wind instruments and piano (1927 revised 1929) [9.45] Sonata for violin and piano (1925-26) [14.21] Two Ricercari (Poems of H T Tsiang) (1932) [8.16] Prelude No.1 – Andante (1924) [1.14] Prelude No.9 – Tranquillo (1928) [2.54] Study in Mixed Accents (1930) [1.31] Diaphonic Suite No.1 for flute (1930) [5.06] Diaphonic Suite No.2 for bassoon and cello (1930) [4.17] Three Songs (Poems of Carl Sandburg) (1930, 1932) [9.05] Continuum Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs, directors
Recorded American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, NYC, 1991 and 1992 NAXOS 8.559197 [56.30] [JW]

This woman packs a modernist punch and you’ve been duly warned. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 1 in E minor (1899) [34:17] Leopold Stokowski conducts his Symphony Orchestra Symphony No. 2 in D major (1902) [42:02] NBC Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski Rec. New York, 11, 13 July 1950 (Symphony 1); 15-16, 23 Sept 1954 (Symphony 2). ADD mono CALA RECORDS CACD 0541 [76:25][RB]

In the First bitingly passionate idiosyncratically glorious - a stranger to routine. Stokowski’s Second is monumental - a more temperate beast - fascinating stuff. A must-have for Sibelians and Stokowskians ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Jordens Sang (Song of the Earth) Op. 93 (1919) [14:20] Valpautettu Kuningatar (The Captive Queen) (1906) [9:16] Two Chorales: Herr du bist ein fels (1889) [1:41]; Herr erzige uns deine Gnade (1889) [3:05]Kantaati Tohtorin – Ja Maisterin 0 Vihkijaisissa 31 Paivana Toukokuuta (1894) [31:47] Promotional Cantata, with Helena Juntunen (soprano) and Juha Hostikka (baritone) Partiolaisten Marssi, (Scout March) Op.91b (1918) [3:47] Mann Virsi, Op.95 (1920) [5:47] Processional (Onward, Ye Peoples) Op. 113 No. 6 (1927/1938) [3:46] Dominante Choir Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä rec. Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland, 7–10 Jan, 21–24 Aug 2004. DDD BIS-CD 1365 [74:22] [JPh]

May be recommended to all completists collecting the Sibelius Edition as well as the general music-lover curious about the choral works of Sibelius. I cannot imagine that we will get many other versions, and if we do, they are unlikely to be performed and recorded better. ... see Full Review

Naresh SOHAL (b.1939) Chamber Music: Volume 1 Chiaroscuro II (1976) Con Tempo String Quartet Shades IV for solo viola (1982) Rivka Golani (viola) Shades VI for solo violin (2001) Cristina Angelescu (violin) Trio for piano, violin and cello (1990) Cristina Angelescu (violin); Adrian Mantu (cello); Malcolm Troup (piano) Hexad for flute, horn, percussion, violin, cello and bass [1971] Daniel Pailthorpe (flute, Timothy Jackson (horn, Richard Benjufield, (percussion); Anne Solomon (violin); Michael Atkinson (cello); Paul Sherman (double-bass); Roger Montgomery (director) rec. Gateway Studio, Kingston, June 2001. DDD MERU CD 001 [69.06] [GH]

... Again this piece achieves a wonderfully committed and powerful performance with the music seemingly in the bones of the players. ... see Full Review

Gaspare SPONTINI (1774-1850) La Vestale (1807) Maria Callas (soprano) – Giulia Franco Corelli (tenor) – Licinio Enzo Sordello (baritone) – Cinna Nicola Rossi-Lemeni (bass) – Il Sommo Sacerdote Ebe Stignani (mezzo) - La Gran Vestale Vittorio Tatozzi (bass) - Un Console Nicola Zaccaria (bass) – Aruspice Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala ilan/Antonino Votto Recorded live in La Scala, December 1954 ANDROMEDA ANDRCD 5016 [59.54 + 70.39] [JW]

This live 1954 La Scala performance has long been admired by Callas’s delirious worshippers. And quite rightly too .... but sound is pretty awful ... see Full Review

Max STEINER (1888-1971) Compilation: The RKO Years 1929-1936 Music from: CD1: Cimarron (1931); Symphony of Six Million (1932); Bird of Paradise (1932); Sweepings (1933); Morning Glory (1933); Of Human Bondage (1934) CD2: Little Women (1933); The Little Minister (1934) CD3: The Lost Patrol (1934); The Informer (1935) Early 1930s recordings made from original materials and original soundtracks BYU (Brigham Young University) FILM MUSIC ARCHIVES FMA-MS110 [3 CDs: 77:22 + 63:06 + 73:09] [IL]

A compilation that no student of the earliest days of Hollywood’s Golden Age of Film Music can afford to ignore ... see Full Review

William Grant STILL (1895-1978) Three Visions (1935) [9.50] Seven Traceries (1939) [16.39] The Blues [from the Ballet Lenox Avenue] (1937) [2.50] A Deserted Plantation (1933) [12.33] Africa (1928) arranged for piano by Verna Arvey [23.51] Mark Boozer (piano) Recorded at ACA Digital Recording Studio, Atlanta, August 2001 and October 2002 NAXOS 8.559210 [65.31] [JW]

Still was at his finest in his orchestral music. The piano works, however adeptly done, left me disappointed. Scraping the Still barrel. ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864 - 1949): Four Last Songs, op. posth.: (Frühling [4.10]; September [4.21]; Beim Schlafengehen [5.31], Im Abendrot [7.42]) Zueignung, op 10, no 1 [2.01] Cäcilie, op 27, no 2 [2.27] Morgen, op 27, no 1 [3.35] Liebeshymnus, op 32, no 3 [2.21] Hymne an die Liebe, op 71 [8.08] Don Juan, symphonic poem, op 20 [19.40] Georgina von Benza (soprano) Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken/Marco de Prosperis Rec. 17-22 February 2003. DDD TADE CD 002 [60:10] [ED]

You have to give Tade credit for guts and trying at least. Atmospheric but not amazing ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Feuersnot (1901) [87:59] Gaspare SPONTINI (1774-1851) La Vestale (1897): Excerpts [66:30] Feuersnot: Gundula Janowitz (Diemut; soprano); John Shirley-Quirk (Kunrad; baritone); Helmut Krebs (Schweiker von Gundelfingen); Helmut Berger-Tuna (Ortolf Sentlinger); Barbara Scherier (Elsbeth); Maria-José Brill (Wigelis); Carole Malone (Margaret); Klaus Lang (Jörg Pöschel); Walton Grönroos (Hämerlein); Shoko Miahara (Kofel); Josef Becker (Kunz Gilgenstock); Karl-Ernest Mercker (Ortlieb Tulbeck); Gabriele Schreckenbach (Ursula); Wolf Appel (Ruger Aspeck); Maddalena De Faria (Walpurg)
Tölzer Knabenchor, RIAS Kammerchor Radio-Symphonie Orchester Berlin/Erich Leinsdorf Recorded live May 5/15, 1978, location not given La Vestale: Gundula Janowitz (Julia; soprano); Ruza Baldani (La grande Vestale); Gilbert Py (Licinius; tenor); Giampaolo Corradi (Cinna); Agostino Ferrin (Le grand Pontife; bass); Orchestra e Coro [di Roma?] della RAI/Jesus Lopez Cobos Recorded live in Rome, 1974 PONTO PO-1034 [78:14 + 76:15] [CH]

A finely cast and conducted version of a rare Richard Strauss opera. ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Rake’s Progress (1948-51) Tom Rakewell: Leo Goeke (soprano) Anne: Felicity Lott (tenor) Nick Shadow: Samuel Ramey (bass-baritone) Trulove, Anne’s father: Richard Van Allan (bass) Baba the Turk: Rosalind Elias (mezzo) Glyndebourne Chorus and London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink Stage production: John Cox Set design: David Hockney Rec. Glyndebourne Festival Opera 1975 by Southern Television. DVD Region 0. ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 093 [146:00] [ED]

An entirely self-recommending classic. Not to be missed, whether for the cerebral pleasures of artistic influence or simply a cracking all-round operatic experience. ... see Full Review

William STERNDALE BENNETT (1816-1875) Symphony in G minor op. 43 (1867) [27:07] Cipriani POTTER (1792-1871) Symphony No. 7 in F major (1826) [34:02] Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra/Douglas Bostock rec. 4-5 Sept 2004, Hronovická Kulturní Dum, CZ Pardubice. DDD The British Symphonic Collection - Vol. 14 world premiere recordings CLASSICO CLASSCD 634 [61:09][RB]

ClassicO draw the curtains back to let in the light on these two symphonies. The most immediately pleasing is the Sterndale Bennett but it is fascinating to hear the Potter. ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1892-1971) The Firebird [Zhar-Ptitsa] Ballet in two scenes (complete original 1910 version for large orchestra) [44.52] Recorded 29 November 1996 Petrushka Burlesque in four scenes (1911, rev. 1947) [34.01] Recorded 1 February 1997 Philharmonia Orchestra/Robert Craft Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London, England. Notes in English and Deutsch. NAXOS 6.110081 Hybrid SACD [78.53][PSh]

Fine authoritative digital performances and recordings of popular orchestral classics. ... see Full Review

Thomas TALLIS (c.1505-1585) Jesu salvator saeculi [4:14] Gaude gloriosa [17:20] Sermone blando angelus [5:16] Magnificat [10:28] Nunc dimittis 3:15] Mihi autem nimis [2:28] Absterge Domine [5:49] Derelinquat [3:55] Loquebantur varii linguis [3:58] Suscipe quaeso Domine [9:05] O nata lux [1:57] The Cardinall’s Musick/Andrew Carwood Recorded in Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle, 12-14 January 2005 HYPERION CDA67548 [69.15] [EM]

Cardinall’s Musick excel themselves here. The singing is radiant, warm and luminous with the individual winding strands of voices clear and concise. I heartily recommend this disc. ... see Full Review

Thomas TALLIS (c.1505-1585) Spem in alium (40-part Motet) [12:14] Salve intermerata (Motet) [23:10] Missa Salve intermerata [27:51] With all our heart [3:15] Discomfort them, O Lord [6:38] I call and cry to thee, O Lord [4:12] Oxford Camerata/Jeremy Summerly Recorded at All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London 21-23 January 2005 DDD NAXOS 8.557770 [77:19][JQ]

Control of dynamics is well done and when the louder passages occur the singing is thrillingly full-throated.... see Full Review

Thomas TALLIS (c.1505–1585) Spem in Alium; Salve intemerata; Missa Salve intemerata; With all our hearts; Discomfort them, O Lord; I call and cry to thee, O Lord Oxford Camerata/Jeremy SummerlyRecorded All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London, 21–23 January 2005 NAXOS 6.110111 [77.19] [RH]

Naxos will be hoping to sell this disc on the basis of the attraction of Spem in Alium, but I should buy it for the lovely performances of the mass and the motet, Salve intemerata. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 - 1894) Symphony No. 5 in e, Op. 64 (1888) [48.51] St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra/Yuri Temirkanov Recorded Philharmonic Hall, St Petersburg, Russia, 11 April 1992. Capriccio Italien in A, Op. 45 (1880) [14.34] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Yuri Temirkanov Recorded EMI Studio 1, Abbey Road, London, UK, 11 March 1990. Notes in English, Deutsch, Français. RCA BMG 82876 65831-2 [63.44] [PSh]

An exceptional version of this often played symphony, IF you like the Stokowski approach, and IF you are in the right mood. Whatever mood you’re in, this is the best Italien you can get. ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Capriccio Italien Op.45 (1880) [14.49] Francesca da Rimini Op.32 (1877) [24.02] Marche Slave Op.31 [10.38] Overture – 1812 Op.49 (1880) [14.57] Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields/Neville Marriner Recorded at St Jude’s, London, 1990-92 CAPRICCIO SACD 71 042 [64.53][JW]

Playing that is well-mannered, rather sedentary. Neither especially playful nor viscerally exciting. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840–1893) The Sleeping Beauty complete ballet (1890) Nina Semizorova – Princess Aurora Aleksei Fadeyechev – Prince Desire Nina Speranskaya – Lilac Fairy Yuri Vetrov - Carabosse Aleksandr Vetrov - Bluebird Maria Bilova – Princess Florine Andrei Sitnikov – King Florenstin Irina Nesterova – Queen The Bolshoi Ballet Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre/Aleksandr Kopilov. Recorded live at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow in 1989 DVD (PCM Stereo). ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 113 [145:00] [JPh]

As far as ballet DVDs are concerned, I have not enjoyed one so much for so long. If traditional productions are for you, then try this one – you will not be disappointed. ... see Full Review

Virgil THOMSON (1896-1989) Synthetic Waltzes (1925) [5.01] Four Songs to Poems of Thomas Campion (1951) [9.40] Sonata for Violin and Piano (1930) [12.55] Two by Marianne Moore (1963) [4.42] Praises and Prayers (1963) [18.35] Continuum/Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs (directors) Recorded Wright Music Hall, Middle Tennessee State University, 1988 (except Synthetic Waltzes and Four Songs to Poems of Thomas Campion, recorded New York City, 1989) NAXOS 8.559198 [50.53] [JW]

Thomson’s insouciance may sometimes be held against him but at his finest he shows the utmost clarity and beauty in his response. ... see Full Review

Ernst TOCH (1887-1964) Cantata of the Bitter Herbs (1938) [39.51] English and Hebrew texts supplied by Rabbi Jacob Sonderling and Don Alden. Theodore Bikel, narrator;* Carol Meyer, soprano; Elizabeth Shammash, mezzo; Richard Clement, tenor; Prague Philharmonic Choir Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz Recorded in the Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic, October 2000* Jephta, Rhapsodic Poem (Symphony No 5, Op 89 [in one movement]) (1963) [25.26] Seattle Symphony Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz Recorded Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington, USA, June 1998 Notes in English. English and Hebrew texts. NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559417 [65.17][PSh]

Colourful dramatic orchestral music by “The world’s most forgotten composer” who is fortunately being rediscovered. ... see Full Review

Luigi TOMASINI (1741-1808) Trio for baryton, viola and cello in C (Korcak 19) [08:43] Trio for baryton, violin and cello in G (Korcak 27) [12:12] Trio for baryton, violin and cello in e minor (Korcak 34) [13:12] Trio for baryton, violin and cello in A (Korcak 33) [11:16] Trio for baryton, viola and cello in D (Korcak 20) [10:26] Esterházy Ensemble (on period instruments): (Kerstin Linder-Dewan, violin; András Bolyki, viola; Mária Andrásfalvy-Brüssing, cello; Michael Brüssing, baryton) Recorded in March, April 2003, Chamber Music Studio of the Südwestrundfunk, Stuttgart, Germany. DDD CPO 999 973-2 [56:18] [JV]

A rare opportunity to hear the baryton in music by someone we only knew as a brilliant violinist and friend of Haydn - recommended to the adventurous ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Don Carlo (Four-act version, 1884) Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass) – Filippo II; Franco Corelli (tenor) – Don Carlo; Eberhard Waechter (baritone) – Rodrigo; Martti Talvela (bas) – Il Grande inquisitore; Tugomir Franc (bass) – Un frate; Gundula Janowitz (soprano) – Elisabetta; Shirley Verrett (mezzo) – Eboli; Edita Gruberova (soprano) – Tebaldo; Ewald Aichberger (tenor) – Il conte di Lerma; Judith Blegen (soprano) – La voce dal cielo Chorus and Orchestra from the Vienna State Opera/Horst Stein rec. live ORF (Austrian Radio), premiere, Vienna State Opera, 25 Oct 1970. ADD ORFEO C 649 053 D [60:48 + 71:04 + 37:08][GF]

I hope my enthusiasm for this set shines through. Probably one of the most important “historical” issues. Not only die-hard Verdians but all serious opera lovers should give it a try ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Nabucco Renato Bruson (baritone) – Nabucco; Ghena Dimitrova (soprano) – Abigaille; Dimiter Petkov (bass) – Zaccaria; Bruna Baglioni (soprano) – Fenena; Ottavio Garaventa (tenor) – Ismaele; Ellero d’Artegna (bass) – High Priest; Aronne Ceroni (tenor) – Abdallo; Giovanna Di Rocco (soprano) – Anna Orchestra and Chorus of the Arena di Verona/Maurizio Arena Producer: Renzo Giacchieri; Designer: Luciano Minguzzi; Directed for video by Brian Large Recorded live at the Arena di Verona in 1981 NVC ARTS 0630-19390-2 [approx. 130:00] [GF]

Definitely not a desert-island DVD but for Dimitrova’s and Bruson’s singing well worth owning. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) Otello (1887) Vladimir Atlantov (tenor) – Otello; Kiri Te Kanawa (soprano) – Desdemona; Piero Cappuccilli (baritone) – Iago; Antonio Bevacqua (tenor) – Cassio; Gianfranco Manganotti (tenor) – Roderigo; Gianfranco Casarini (bass) – Ludovico); Flora Rafanelli (mezzo) – Emilia; Orazio Mori (bass) – Montano; Gianni Brunelli (bass) – A Herald Orchestra and Chorus of the Arena di Verona/Zoltan Pesko Producer: Gianfranco De Bosio; Designer: Vittorio Rossi; Directed for video by Preben Montell; Produced for video by Robin Scott Recorded live in the Arena di Verona in 1982. WARNER NVC ARTS 4509-99214-2 [approx. 138:00] [GF]

Definitely one of the finest experiences of a standard opera I have seen, live or elsewhere, for a long time. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Il Trovatore - Tacea la notte placida [5.45], D’amor sull’ali rosee [6.10] Nabucco - Ben io t’invenni [8.10] Aida - Ritorna vincitor [7.05], O cieli azzurri [7.03] La Forza del destino - Pace, pace [6.00] Un Ballo in Maschera - Ecco l’orrido campo [10.10] Otello - Ave Maria [5.46] Don Carlo - Tu che le vanitá [11.23] La Traviata - E’strano, e’strano [9.51] Georgina von Benza (soprano) Xavier Rivadeneira (tenor) (La Traviata) Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Marco de Prosperis Rec. Slovak Radio Bratislava, May 2003. DDD. TADE CD001 [78.09] [ED]

Although von Benza turns in generally decent performances, go for more incisive alternatives. ... see Full Review

Ezequiel VIÑAO (b. 1960) Arcanum (1996) Janet Youngdahl (soprano) Absolute Ensemble/Kristian Järvi rec. Master Sound Astoria Studios, Queens, New York, May 2001 BIS-SACD-1187 [60:32][HC]

If you respond to the music of Pärt, Tavener, Vasks and Tüür, you should enjoy this splendidly produced release ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Six Violin Concertos for Anna Maria Concerto in B minor, RV 387 [9:54] Concerto in A major, RV 343 ‘Con violini d’accordatura diversa’ [9:52] Concerto in D major, RV 229 [10:08] Concerto in A major, RV 349 [10:44] Concerto in D minor, RV 248 [11:34] Concerto in B flat major, RV 366 [9:24] L'Arte dell'Arco/Federico Guglielmo (baroque violin) Recorded: Chiesa di S. Maria, Sovizzo, Vicenza, Italy, November 26-28, 2002 DDD CPO 777 078-2 [62:01] [MC]

Lovers of the late-baroque music of Vivaldi might want to explore this CPO release but overall the result is disappointing. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Götterdämmerung (1869-74) John Treleaven (tenor) ... Siegfried; Falk Struckmann (baritone) ... Gunther; Günter von Kannen (baritone) ... Alberich; Matti Salminen (bass) ... Hagen; Deborah Polaski (soprano) ... Brünnhilde; Elisabete Matos (soprano) ... Gutrune/Third Norn; Julia Juon (mezzo) ... Waltraute/First Norn; Leandra Overmann (mezzo) ... Second Norn; Cristina Obregón (soprano) ... Woglinde; Maria Rodríguez (mezzo) ... Wellgunde; Francisca Beaumont (mezzo) ... Flosshilde; Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu/Bertrand de Billy. Rec. Live at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona on June 6th and 14th, 2004. Director: Harry Kupfer. LPCM Stereo. 16:9 anamorphic. Digital DTS Surround. PAL. OPUS ARTE OA0913D [3 DVDs: 284:00][CC]

This is in many respects superb. The acid test is that one should emerge exhausted from Wagner's emotional outpourings, yet uplifted, and this de Billy and his team of soloists do in the final analysis achieve. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868) Maria Müller (soprano) Eva; Camilla Kallab (mezzo) Magdalena; Max Lorenz (tenor) Walther von Stolzing; Jaro Prohaska (baritone) Hans Sachs; Josef Greindl (bass) Pogner; Benno Arnold (tenor) Kunz Vogelgesang; Helmut Fehn (bass) Konrad Nachtigall; Eugen Fuchs (baritone) Beckmesser); Fritz Krenn (bass) Fritz Kothner; Gerhard Witting (tenor) Balthasar Zorn; Karl Krollmann (tenor) Augustin Moser; Herbert Gosebruch (bass) Hermann Ortel; Gustav Rödin (tenor) Ulrich Eisslinger; Franz Sauer (bass) Hans Schwarz; Alfred Dome (bass) Hans Foltz; Erich Zimmermann (tenor) David; Erich Pina (bass) Nightwatchman Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler. Extracts: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868) – Act 1 Preludea [9'29]; Parsifal (1882) - Karfreitagszauberb [10'55]; Götterdämmerung (1876) - Siegfried's Funeral Marcha [9'32]; Tristan und Isolde (1865) – Prelude and Liebestodc [18'58] Berliner Philharmoniker/Wilhelm Furtwängler. Rec. Bayreuth Festival. 1943, aFebruary 2nd, 1949, bApril 25th, 1951, cNovember 8th, 1942. MUSIC & ARTS CD1153 [4 CDs: 72'36 + 74'32 + 78'52 + 71'02] [CC]

A real treat, but be warned this is not a complete Meistersinger (there are gaps). But my word, it is worth it to experience Furtwängler's astonishing grasp of this huge score. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Tristan und Isolde (1865) [212'12] Wolfgang Millgram (tenor) Tristan; Hedwig Fassbender (soprano) Isolde; Lennart Forsén (bass) King Marke; Gunnar Lundberg (baritone) Kurwenal; Magnus Kyhle (tenor) Melot; Martina Dike (mezzo) Brangaene; Ulrik Qvale (tenor) Shepherd and Young Sailor; John Erik Eleby (baritone) Helmsman; Royal Swedish Opera Male Chorus and Orchestra/Leif Segerstam. rec. Konserthuset, Stockholm, 14-19 June 2004. NAXOS 8.660152/4 [3 CDs: 63'41 + 78'25 + 70'07] [CC]

Investigate by all means – the price makes this a real possibility. But this is a Tristan that will not leave anyone emotionally drained. ... see Full Review

Bruno WALTER (1876-1962) Tragödie I-II-III op. 12/4-6 [06:31]; Des Kindes schlaf [02:12]; Die Lerche [03:35]; Elfe [01:46]; Waltraut’s Lied I op.11/3 [01:43]; Waltraut’s Lied II op.11/4; Liebeslust op.11/6 [03:14] Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Freundliche Vision op.48/1 [02:45]; Das Rosenband op.36/1 [03:37]; Nachtgang op.29/3 [02:44]; Muttertändelei op.43/2 [02:08]; Mädchenblumen; 4 Lieder op.22 [09:40]; Hat gesagt ; bleibt’s nicht dabei op.36/3 [02:04]; Du meines Herzens Krönelein op.21/2 [02:01]; Traum durch die Dämmerung op.29/1 [02:54]; Schlechtes Wetter op69/5 [02:17] Joseph MARX (1882-1964) Hat dich die Liebe berührt [02:53]; Ein Drängen ist in meinem Herzen [01:14]; Traumgekrönt [02:05]; Und gestern hat er mir Rosen gebracht [01:44] Emma Bell (soprano); Andrew West (piano) Recorded 5th-7th April 2004 at Potton Hall SA-CD heard on CD equipment LINN CKD 238 [58:33] [RB]

An intensely attractive and thoughtfully constructed recital ... see Full Review

Bruno WALTER (1876-1962) Sonata for piano and violin (1908) [34:20] Karl GOLDMARK (1857-1934) Suite No. 1 in D major for violin and piano, Op. 11 (1869) [30:21] Philippe Graffin (violin, Pascal Devoyon (piano) Rec 15-16 Jan 1999 (Walter, 23 June 2000 (Goldmark), Henry Wood Hall HYPERION CDA67220 [64.41] [RB]

Thoughtful poetry rather than unbridled abandon - such is the nature of this music. ... see Full Review

Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Symphony No. 1 (1921) [26:50] Symphony No. 2 (1933-34) [29:40] Lady in the Dark - Symphonic Nocturne (arr. Robert Russell Bennett) (1940) [17:32] Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop Recorded at the Lighthouse Concert Hall, Poole, UK 12-14 January 2004. NAXOS 8.557481 [74:02][KS]

The Second has a veil of darkness about it while the First is much more angular, brimming with ethereal melodies. Add this one to your collection soon. ... 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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