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Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Songs: Deux Chansons (1932) [7.19]; Trois Mélodies* (1930) [0.53]; Vocalise-Étude* (1930) [1.10]; Two Ballads to Folk Texts* (1932) [6.31]; Four Songs to Folk Texts (1940) [5.39]; Polka from Spalicek, for piano (1932) [2.13]; New Anthology (1942) [10.56]; Waltz from Spalicek, for piano (1932) [6.05]; Three Christmas Songs* (1929) [2.46]; Four Nursery Rhymes* (undated) [1.17]; Love Carol (1937) [0,53]; A Wish for a Mother* (undated) [1.16]; Songs from the Miracle of Our Lady (1934) [6.42] Olga Cerná (mezzo) Jitka Cechová (piano) * world premiere recordings rec. 11-12, 15-16 February 2003, Studio Minor, Trhovy Stépánov, Czech Republic NAXOS 8.557494 [53.40] [TB]

Too much of a good thing if played through at a single setting but these songs are delightful; so too the performances, which are fresh and beautifully paced. ... see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto in D minor (1822) [23.28] (1) Violin Concerto in E minor (1844) [27.15] (2) Max BRUCH (1838–1920)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor (1867) [22.47] (3) Yehudi Menuhin (violin) RCA Victor String Orchestra/Yehudi Menuhin (1) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler (2) Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch (3) rec. 6th February 1952, New York (1); 25th, 26th May 1952, Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin (2); 19th January 1951, Symphony Hall, Boston (3) NAXOS 8.110991 [73.31] [RH]

Silvery tones and elegance ... see Full Review

Yehudi Menuhin plays Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Encores Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto in E minor Op.64 [24.27] Symphony Orchestra of Hollywood/Antal Doráti Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Hungarian Dances WoO1 No.5 in G minor arranged Joachim [2.12] Adolf Baller (piano) Hungarian Dances WoO1 No.4 in F sharp minor arranged Joachim [3.52] Antal Doráti (piano) Pablo de SARASATE (1844-1908) Spanish Dances Op.21 No.1 Malagueña [4.41] No.2 Habanera [3.38] Antonio BAZZINI (1818-1897) Calabrese – Waltz in E minor op.34 [3.44] Adolf Baller (piano) Yehudi Menuhin (violin) with accompaniments as above Recorded at the Charlie Chaplin Studios, Hollywood, 1947 Picture Format NTSC 4; 3 Sound Format PCM Stereo Languages GB D F Region Code 0 Disc Format DVD9 Running Time 44min (performance) plus 36min (A violinist in Hollywood) plus 11 min (On the Encores) Directed by Paul Gordon EUROARTS DVD 2054618 [91:00] [JW]

This exceeded my expectations and I enjoyed it greatly. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Trios: No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49 (1839) [26'51]; No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66 (1845) [26'54]. The Florestan Trio (Anthony Marwood, violin; Richard Lester, cello; Susan Tomes, piano). Rec. Henry Wood Hall, London, 16-18 December 2003. DDD HYPERION CDA67485 [53'45] [CC]

This is a disc to treasure. The reputation of the Florestan Trio is already high – and here comes firm confirmation of the ensemble's stature. ... see Full Review

Saverio MERCADANTE (1795-1870) La Vestale – opera in three acts (1840) [97:09] Emilia: Dorianna Milazzo (soprano) Decio: Dante Alcala (tenor) Giunia: Agata Bienkowska (mezzo) Publio: Davide Damiani (baritone) La Gran Vestale: Danna Glaser (soprano) Metello Pio: Andrea Patucelli (bass-baritone) Licinio Murena: Ladislav Elgr (tenor) Lucio Silano: Mattia Denti (bass) Wexford Festival Opera Chorus/Lubomir Matl Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra/Paolo Arrivabeni rec. live, Theatre Royal, Wexford, Ireland, 23, 26, 29 October 2004. DDD MARCO POLO 8.225310-11 [38:23 + 58:42] [IB]

If you enjoy Italian opera of this period and are curious to hear an example of the man once unfairly dismissed as "Verdi’s foot-stool" you could do no better than start here. ... see Full Review

Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Ouverture Méditerranéenne, for orchestra Op. 330 (1953) [6:38] Kentuckiana - Divertissement on Twenty Kentucky Airs (1948) [6:52] Cortège funèbre (1939) [14:00] * Quatre chansons de Ronsard (1941) [9:43] * Symphony No. 6 (1955) [29:18] * Paula Seibel (soprano) Louisville Orchestra/Robert Whitney, Jorge Mester * Recorded 1953, 1954, 1968 and 1974, Louisville, Kentucky FIRST EDITION FECD-0031 [66:33][JW]

First Edition has done auspiciously here in returning these pioneering and still impressive accounts to the catalogue ... see Full Review

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) The Sacred Music: Vol. 4 Laetatus sum I [6:37] Salve Regina [4:20] Domine, ne in furore tuo [2:45] Salve Regina I [8:39] Dixit Dominus II [5:26] Sanctorum meritis II [3:20] Adoramus te, Christe [4:35] Beatus vir [8:19] Exulta, filia Sion [5:07] Magnificat II [9:26] Salve, o Regina, o Mater [5:00] Laudate Dominum omnes gentes III [4:27] Carolyn Sampson (sop); Rebecca Outram (sop); Cecilia Osmond (sop); Daniel Auchincloss (high tenor); Rogers Covey-Crump (high tenor); Charles Daniels (tenor); James Gilchrist (tenor); Peter Harvey (bass); Robert Evans (bass) Choir of the King’s Consort The King’s Consort/Robert King rec. St Jude-on the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, 12-18 Feb 2004. DDD HYPERION CDA67519 [69:24] [EM]

Textural clarity and beautifully poised interweaving voice lines. The musicians respond to each other with a confidence that is a joy to hear. ... see Full Review

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Madrigals Book 4:- II Quarto Libro de’ Madrigali, 1603 Ah, dolente partita [4:01] Cor mio, mentre vi miro [2:32] Sfogava con le stelle [4:30] Volgea l’anima mia soavente [4:16] Anima mia, perdona [3:26] Che se tu se’il cor mio [4:05] Luci serene e chiare [3:59] La piaga c’ho nel core [2:56] Voi pur da me partite, anima dura [4:49] A un giro sol de’belli occhi lucenti [2:46] Ohime, se tanto amate [3:42] Io mi son giovinetta [2:34] Quell’angellin che canta [2:30] Non piu Guerra, pietate [3:30] Si, ch’io vorrei morire [4:02] Anima dolorosa [3:54] Anima del cor mio [3:10] Longed a te, cor mio [3:36] Piagn’e sospira [5:21] Delitiae Musicae/Marco Longhini rec. Chiesa di San Pietro, Vincoli, Azzago, Verona, Italy, 28 July - 2 August 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.555310 [73:46] [EM]

Beautiful ensemble singing where individual voices rise and fall into unison like swelling waves. ... see Full Review

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Orfeo Orfeo: John Mark Ainsley Euridice: Juanita Lascarro La Messagiera: Brigitte Balleys Apollo: Russell Smyth La Musica: David Cordier La Speranza: Michael Chance Caronte: Mario Luperi Proserpina: Bernarda Fink Plutone: Dean Robinson Pastores: Jean-Paul Fouchecourt; Russell Smyth; Douglas Nasrawi; Dean Robinson Ninfa: Suzie Le Blanc Spiriti: Jean-Paul Fouchecourt; Russell Smyth; Douglas Nasrawi Tragicomedia and Concerto Palatino/Stephen Stubbs Stage Director: Pierre Audi Recorded live at the Het Muziektheater Amsterdam in July 1997 DVD OPUS ARTE OA 0928 D [2 DVDs: 140:00][GH]

Frankly, if you want a DVD of Orfeo, this should be your first option. ... see Full Review

Franz Xavier MOZART (1791 - 1844)
Sechs Lieder (1809?) [9’38"] Romanze: In der Vater Hallen ruhte Op.12 (1808) [8’14"] Acht Deutsche Lieder (1810) [12’48"] Standchen (1820?) [2’18"] An Emma Op. 24 (1820) [3’30"] Sechs Lieder Op.21 (1820) [12’52"] Drei Deutsche Lieder Op.27 (1820) [9’59"] Erinnerung (1829) [1’56"] Barbara Bonney (soprano) Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. Henry Wood Hall, London 1–5 March 2005. DDD DECCA 475 6936 [61’43"] [JPh]

Not an ugly moment to be heard on this superb disc. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin concerto No. 3 in G major, KV 216 (1775) [25.17]; Rondo Nr. 2 in C major, K. 373 (1781) [5.42] Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Rondo in A major, D 438 (1816) [13.44] Michael HAYDN (1737-1806) Violin concerto in B flat major, Perger 53 (1760) [21.47] Baiba Skride (violin) Kammerorchester C.P.E.Bach/Hartmut Haenchen Recorded at Studio 10, DeutschlandRadio Berlin, June 24-27 2004. SACD. DDD. SONY CLASSICAL SK92939 [66.55] [ED]

Looks as if we might have a serious artist on our hands. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano concerto no. 6 in B flat major, K.238 [20.03] Piano concerto no. 15 in B flat major, K.450 [24.55] Piano concerto no. 27 in B flat major, K.595 [31.35] Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano and director) Recorded live at the Stefaniensaal, Graz, on 5-6 July 2005. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564 62259-2 [76.48][ED]


Intelligent performances well given and are sure to offer pleasure. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos, Volume 2: No. 9 in E flat, K271, 'Jeunehomme' (1777) [31'55]; No. 11 in F, K413/387a (1782/3) [21'17] Lausanne Chamber Orchestra/Christian Zacharias (piano). Rec. Métropole, Lausanne, 18-20 June 2004 (K271); 8-9 Jan 2003 (K413/387a). DDD DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM GOLD MDG340 1298-2 [53'12] [CC]

A mixed reception, then. If you want a No. 11– as a piece it is pure gold - Zacharias supplies plenty of delights. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) 250th Anniversary Edition: Chamber Works see review for details WARNER CLASSICS 2564 62335-2 [17:47:54; 16 CDs] [CF]

We need no anniversary excuses to hear Mozart, for no ear ever tires of this genius. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791): Fantasia in C minor, K.396 (1781/2) [8.04] Fantasia in D minor, K.397 (1781/2) [6.12] Fantasia in C minor, K.475 (1785) [13.36] Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828): Fantasia in C minor, D.993 (1813) [7.26] "Wanderer" Fantasy in C major, D.760 (1822) [22.08] Daniel Blanch (piano) Recorded at the Fundación Juan March, Madrid, June 2004. DDD. ARS HARMONICA AH140 [57.26] [ED]

For anyone wanting a recording of the Wanderer Fantasy great experiences are to be found elsewhere and Blanch’s valiant efforts are no challenge to them. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791) Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782) Deon van der Walt (tenor) – Belmonte; Kurt Moll (bass) – Osmin; Lars Magnusson (tenor) – Pedrillo); Oliver Tobias (speaking part) – Pasha Selim; Inga Nielsen (soprano) – Konstanze; Lillian Watson (soprano) – Blonde; Kathleen Wilder, Karen Shelby, David Young, Donaldson Bell – Four solo voices Royal Opera Chorus Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden/Georg Solti Directed by Elijah Moshinsky; Scenery: Sidney Nolan and Timothy O’Brien; Costumes: Timothy O’Brien; Stage Lighting: Robert Bryan; Directed for video by Humphrey Burton Filmed live at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1988. WARNER NVC ARTS 0630-18773-2 [approx. 142:00] [GF]

Fine singing, good acting, charming sets ... presided over by a Solti less hectic than he has sometimes been. Good playing and technical quality ... Buy and enjoy! ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791) Le nozze di Figaro (1786) Lucio Gallo (bass-baritone) – Il Conte di Almaviva; Eteri Gvazava (soprano) – La Contessa di Almaviva; Patrizia Ciofi (soprano) – Susanna; Giorgio Surian (bass) – Figaro; Marina Comparato (mezzo) – Cherubino; Giovanna Donadini (contralto) – Marcellina; Eduardo Chama (bass) – Bartolo; Sergio Bertocchi (tenor) – Basilio; Eleonora Contucci (soprano) – Barbarina; Gianluca Ricci (bass) – Antonio; Carlo Bosi (tenor) – Don Curzio; Gabriella Cecchi and Laura Lensi – Two peasant girls Coro e Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Zubin Mehta Directed for Stage by Jonathan Miller Set Design: Peter J. Davison; Costume Design: Sue Blane; Choreography: Susanna Quaranta; Lighting Design: Jvan Morandi; Director of the Stage Production: Massimo Teoldi; Directed for TV and Video by Maria Paola Longobardo
Recorded live at the Teatro Communale, Florence, 2, 15 and 18 October 2003 TDK DVWW-OPNDFF [2 DVDs: 181:00] [GF]

Well-paced with singing on a high level, an enchanting Cherubino and a lively Susanna ... a stylish performance with period costumes and sets ... see Full Review

Michael NYMAN (b. 1944) Man and Boy: Dada (2004) An opera in two acts with libretto by Michael Hastings Kurt Schwitters: John Graham-Hall (tenor); Michael: William Sheldon (boy soprano); Mother + old woman, bus conductress, museum guard, BBC interviewer: Vivian Tierney Michael Nyman Band/Paul McGrath Recorded Abbey Road Studios, London, Oct-Nov 2004 MN RECORDS MNRCD 101/2 [42:25 + 62:21] [JL]

A subtle and touching work superbly performed. A great collaboration between composer and librettist. ... see Full Review

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Coscoletto ou Le Lazzarone (1865) Mojca Erdman (soprano) ... Coscoletto; Yoo-Chang Nah (bass) ... Frangipani; Mechtild Georg (alto) ... Mariana; Thomas Dewald (tenor) ... Polycarp; Anke Hoffmann (soprano) ... Delfina; Henner Lewyhe (tenor) ... Arsenico; Angele Durand (speaker) ... Narrator Collegium Cantandi Bonn WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln/Helmuth Froschauer Recorded in Funkhaus Am Wallrafplatz, Köln, May and June, 2001. DDD CAPRICCIO 60 121 [50:48 + 30:41] [GPu]

An enjoyable performance of a minor work, probably of enduring interest only to those with a special interest in Offenbach ... see Full Review

Montague PHILLIPS (1885-1969) Charles II Overture Op. 60 (1936) [9:20] Hillside Melody Op. 40 (1925? revised 1946) [6:24] Hampton Court Op. 76 (1954) [6:56] Phantasy for violin and orchestra Op. 16 (1912 revised 1947) [11:46] Festival Overture (In Praise of My Country) Op. 71 (1944) [9:32] In Old Verona: A Serenade for Strings (1950) [4:44] In May Time Op. 38 (1923/4) [13:12] Empire March Op. 68 (1942) [5:08] Matthew Trusler (violin) BBC Concert Orchestra/Gavin Sutherland rec. Colosseum Town Hall, Watford, 3-5 August 2005. world premiere recordings except Op. 76 Montague Phillips Orchestral Music - Volume 2 DUTTON CDLX 7158 [67:39] [JF]

A little bit of warm inspiration from the days when outside the freezing fog was curling round the corner of the gasometer. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Manon Lescaut - Opera in four acts Manon Lescaut ... Maria Guleghina; Il Cavaliere Renato Des Grieux ... José Cura; Lescaut ... Lucio Gallo; Geronte di Ravoir ... Luigi Roni ; Edmondo ... Marco Berti; The Innkeeper ... Grazio Mori; The Dancing Master ... Mario Bolognesi Choir and Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala/Riccardo Muti Directed by Liliana Cavani Recorded live at La Scala, Milan 11 June 1998 TDK DVD VIDEO DVWW-OPMLES [134:00] [IL]

Guleghina shines as an alluring, street-wise Manon. She is strongly partnered by an ardent José Cura ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) String Quartet (1904) [27:13] Germaine TAILLEFERRE (1892-1983) String Quartet (1917-1919) [9:34] Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) String Quartet No. 4 (1918) [13:30] Leipzig String Quartet: Andreas Seidel, violin; Tilman Büning, violin; Ivo Bauer, viola; Matthias Moosdorf, cello. rec. Paul-Gerhardt-Kirche, 8-10 February 2005. DDD MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 3071359-2 [50:42][JF]

I would heartily recommend this disc to all listeners: a good programme with excellent performances. ... see Full Review

Max REGER (1873-1916) Organ Works: Volume 6: Chorale Fantasia on 'Alle Menschen müssen sterben', Op. 52 No. 1 (1900) [17'13]; Six Trios, Op. 47 (1900) [17'43]; Introduction, Variations and Fugue in F sharp minor on an Original Theme, Op. 73 (1903) [37'13] Martin Welzel (organ) rec. Klais organ, Trier Cathedral, Germany, 8-9 July 2003. DDD NAXOS ORGAN ENCYCLOPEDIA 8.557338 [72'10] [CC]

This Naxos Reger series is to be applauded and supported. I welcomed Volume 5 back in June this year; I welcome this volume just as much – if anything, even more. ... see Full Review

George ROCHBERG (1918-2005) Symphony No. 2 (1955-56) [31:28] Imago Mundi (Image of the World) for large orchestra (1973) [24:06] Saarbrücken Radio-Symphony Orchestra/Christopher Lyndon-Gee rec. Großes Sendesaal, Funkhaus Halberg, Saarbrücken, Germany, 19-20 Dec 2000 (Symphony); 30 Jan 2001 (Imago). DDD NAXOS 8.559182 [55.34][MC]

Hard romanticism ... see Full Review

Philip ROSSETER (1567-1623) When Laura Smiles: Lute solos and songs from Elizabethan England: Sweet come again [3.41]; And would you see my Mistress’ face [2.38]; Fantasia [6.8]; No grave for woe [3.16]; Reprove not Love [2.56]; What then is love but mourning [2.14]; Pavin [6.48]; Third Galliard of the Countess of Sussex [1.44]; Galliard [2.08]; Though far from joy [2.21]; When Laura Smiles [3.01] Kind in Unkindness [4.27] prelude [1.27]; Pavin by Rosseter [6.47[; Galliard by Rosseter [2.38]; Almayne [2.00]; If she forsakes me [1.59]; Shall I come if I swim [2.13]; Whether men do laugh or weep [1.44]; What hearts content [2.24] James Gilchrist (tenor) Matthew Wadsworth (lute) Recorded May and July 2005 at St.Martin’s, East Woodhay. Newbury. AVIE AV 2074 [62.48] [GH]

Pleasurable, urbane, civilized, beautifully presented and recorded. ... see Full Review

Salomone ROSSI (1570-c1630) Primo Libro di Madrigali a 4 voci; Arie a voce sola dal I Libro dei Madrigali a 5 voci Ut Musica Poësis Ensemble: Santina Tomasello, soprano; Costanza Redini, contralto; Paolo Fanciulacci, tenor; Marcello Vargetto, bass; Gian Luca Lastraioli, lute; Stefano Bozolo, harpsichord; with Lucia Focardi, soprano; Lucia Sciannimanico, contralto; Valerio Vieri, tenor; Romano Martinuzzi, bass; Francesca Chiocci, viola da gamba; Dir: Stefano Bozolo rec. November 1999, the Oratorio di S. Niccolò del Ceppo, Florence, Italy DDD TACTUS TC 571803 [46:00] [JV]

Rossi was a Jewish composer who mostly worked for the Mantuan court. His madrigals are fairly conservative in style, but well worth listening to in these fine performances ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Moïse et Pharaon - Grand opera in four acts (1827) Libretto by Luigi Balocchi and Joseph-Etienne de Jouy, based on Andre Leone Tottola’s libretto for Mosé in Egitto. First performed at the Paris Opéra, 26 March 1827 Moïse, Hebrew lawgiver, Ildar Abdrazakov (bass); Pharaon, King of Egypt, Erwin Schrott (bass); Aménophis, Pharaoh’s son, Giuseppe Filianoti (ten); Éliézer, Moïse’s brother, Tomislav Muzek (ten); Osiride, High Priest of Isis, Giorgio Giuseppini (bass); Sinaïde, Pharaoh’s wife, Sonia Ganassi (mez); Marie, Moses’ sister, Nino Surguladze (sop); Anaï, Marie’s daughter, Barbara Frittoli (sop)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro alla Scala, Milan/Riccardo Muti Recorded live at the Teatro Arcimboldo, Milan, 21 December 2003 Sound format, DD 5.1. DTS 5.1. LPCM stereo. Picture format 16:9 Introductory essay in English, German and French Subtitles in Italian (original language), English, German, French and Spanish TDK DVD VIDEO DVWW-OPMEP [2 DVDs: 181min] [RF]

A vivid and well-sung performance of a work that deserves greater circulation. It is a very welcome and highly recommended issue. ... see Full Review

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) Improvisation for violin and orchestra op. 89 (1956) [12:25] Improvisations on Virginal Pieces by Giles Farnaby op. 50 (Farnaby's Conceit; His Dreame; His Humour; Loth to Depart; Tell me, Daphne) (1939) [13:11]
Violin Concerto op. 103 (1960) [30:19] Krysia Osostowicz (violin) Ulster Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa rec. 25-26 May 2004, Ulster Hall, Belfast. DDD NAXOS 8.557591 [57:04] [GH]

A very welcome release both for its couplings and its performances. Let us hope that more will come and that the day when Rubbra’s music is firmly in the repertoire is not too far away. ... 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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