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RECORDING OF THE MONTH Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921) Chamber Music CD 1 Septet in E flat major for piano, trumpet, two violins, viola, cello and double bass, Op 65 (1880) [16'34] Tarantelle in A minor for flute, clarinet and piano, Op 6 (1857) [6'22] Bassoon Sonata in G major, Op 168 (1921) [12'04] Piano Quartet in B flat major, Op 41 (1875) [29'51] CD 2 Piano Quintet in A minor, Op 14 (1855) [30'32] Oboe Sonata in D major, Op 166 (1921) [11'05] Clarinet Sonata in E flat major, Op 167 (1921) [15'57] Caprice sur des airs danois et russes for piano, flute, oboe and clarinet, Op 79 (1887) [10'51] The Nash Ensemble Septet: Ian Brown (piano); Mark David (trumpet) Marianne Thorsen (violin); David Adams (violin); Lawrence Power (viola); Paul Watkins (cello); Duncan McTier (double bass) Tarantelle: Philippa Davies (flute); Richard Hosford (clarinet); Ian Brown (piano) Bassoon Sonata: Ursula Leveaux (bassoon); Ian Brown (piano); Piano Quartet: Ian Brown (piano); Marianne Thorsen (violin); Lawrence Power (viola); Paul Watkins (cello) Piano Quintet: Ian Brown (piano); Marianne Thorsen (violin); Benjamin Nabarro (violin); Lawrence Power (viola); Paul Watkins (cello); Benjamin Nabarro (violin); Oboe Sonata: Gareth Hulse (oboe); Ian Brown (piano) Clarinet Sonata: Richard Hosford (clarinet); Ian Brown (piano); Caprice: Ian Brown (piano); Philippa Davies (flute); Richard Hosford (clarinet); Ian Brown (piano); Gareth Hulse (oboe) Recorded in Henry Wood Hall, London, on 15–17 and 28–30 July 2004 HYPERION CDA67431-2 [65'04 + 68'40][MC]

A wonderfully presented release that is highly recommended. One of my records of the year. ... see Full Review

Aulis SALLINEN (b. 1935) Shadows op. 52 (1982) [8:48] Symphony No. 8 Autumnal Fragments op. 81 (2001) [24:02] Violin Concerto op. 18 (1968) [18:03] The Palace Rhapsody op. 72 (1995) [16:56] Jaakko Kuusisto (violin) Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Ari Rasilainen rec. 29 Nov-4 Dec 2004, Ludwugshafen, Philharmonie. DDD CPO 999 972-2 [67:52] [RB]

The latest in Sallinen's symphonic line plus an urgent recommendation for The Palace Rhapsody which for all its operatic origins has symphonic momentum ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Esa-Pekka SALONEN (b. 1958) Foreign Bodies (2001) (Part 1: Body Language [9:52]; Part 2: Language [6:03]; Part 3: Dance [3:39]) Wing on Wing (2004) [25:56] Insomnia (2002) [21:14] Anu Komsi; Piia Komsi (sopranos) Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen Recorded Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki, Finland, September 2004. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 5375 [66:54] [CT]

Three impressive major works by composer/conductor Salonen in magnificent performances. A triumph all round and highly recommended.... see Full Review

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Keyboard Sonatas: B flat major, K 545; F minor, K 466; F minor, K 365; D major, K 435; B minor, K 87; C major, K 487; F sharp minor, K 448; D major, K 492; G minor, K 30; G major, K 455; G minor; E major, K 20; A major, K 429; G minor, K 426; G major, K 427; B minor, K 197; B minor, K 27; A major, K 24. Yevgeny Sudbin, piano Released March 2005 BIS-CD-1508 [75:45] [DS]

An essential recording for every Scarlatti enthusiast not allergic to the piano in this repertoire ... see Full Review

Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725) Le Violette (1694) [2.26] Giovanni PERGOLESI (1710-1736) A Serpina pencerete from La Serva Padrona [5.38]* Confusa, smarrita from Catone in Utica [3.31] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Das Traumbild K530 (1787) [6.27] Die kleine Spinnerin K531 (1787) [1.50] Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Auf Flügeln des Gesanges Op.34 No.2 (1835) [2.38] Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) The Handsome Lad Op.74 No.8 [2.31] Lithuanian Song Op 74 No.16 [2.28] Dumka [1.18] The Warrior Op.74 No.10 [2.35] Stanislaw MONIUSZKO (1819-1872) The Little Fish [1.37] The Spinning Girl [1.33] Stanislaw NIEWIADOMSKI (1859-1936) Indele and Mendele [2.30] Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ständchen Op.17 No.2 [2.20] Morgen Op.27 No.4 (1894) [3.13] Die Nacht Op.10 No.3 (1880) [2.31] Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Gigerlette – Cabaret Songs (1900) [2.14] Der genügsame Liebhaber – Cabaret Songs (1900) [2.39] Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Youkali – Cycle des Chansons Cabaretistiques (1934)[5.42] Buddy on the Nightshift – Propaganda Songs No.5 (Songs for the War Effort) (1942) [3.09] Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 A.389 – Aria (Cantilena) [6.20]** Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 A.389 – Martelo [4.36]** Annette Celine (soprano) Felicja Blumental (piano) except Annette Celine (soprano)/Rome Radio Symphony Orchestra/Alberto Zedda * Annette Celine (soprano)/eight cellos** No recording dates or locations BRANA BR0020 [69.41] [JW]

It’s pleasurable to hear Blumental in an unusual role as accompanist. And Celine does some things well. A mixed bag. ... see Full Review

Johann Hermann SCHEIN (1586-1630) Israelsbrünnlein (1623) Weser-Renaissance: Susanne Rydén, Constanze Backes, soprano; Marnix De Cat, alto; Hansjörg Mammel, Knut Schoch, tenor; Harry van der Kamp, bass; Thomas Ihlenfeldt, chitarrone; Manfred Cordes, organ (*)/Dir: Manfred Cordes Recorded in January 2003 at the Studio of Radio Bremen, Germany DDD CPO 999 959-2 [53:07 + 48:13] [JV]

An outstanding and impressive recording of a monument in the history of German music ... see Full Review

Franz SCHREKER (1878-1934) The Complete Surviving Recordings of Schreker conducting The Birthday of the Infanta Suite (1908 revised 1923) – two recordings Orchestra of the Berlin State Opera, recorded c.1924 and c.1927 Ein Rokoko-Tanzspiel (1908 revised 1920) Orchestra of the Staatskapelle Berlin, recorded 1926 Kleine Suite für Kammerorchester (1929) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded 1932 Der Ferne Klang (1912) – Waldszene and nächtlicher Reigen (Act I) Maria Schreker (soprano)/Berlin Staatskapelle, recorded 1927 Das Spielwerk (1929) Scene der liese Sei ruhig Alter Maria Schreker (soprano), Charles Kullmann (tenor) Reichs-Rundfunk, Berlin, recorded 1932 Die Gezeichneten (1918) Und wenn’s mehr ware Maria Schreker (soprano)/Orchestra of the Staatsoper, Berlin, recorded 1928 Der Schatzgräber (1920) – Wiegenlied; Klein war ich noch Maria Schreker (soprano)/Orchestra of the Staatsoper, Berlin, recorded 1927 Der Schatzgräber (1920) – Act III Nachtgesang and Zwischenspiel Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded 1923 TRADITIONAL Der rote Sarafin (Russian Folk Song) Irving BERLIN
Russisches Wiegenlied
Maria Schrecker (soprano)/Orchestra, recorded 1930 Edvard GRIEG
(1843-1907) Peer Gynt Suite Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded 1932 Georges BIZET (1838-1875) L’Arlésienne –orchestral suite No.1 arranged Bizet L’Arlésienne –orchestral suite No.2 arranged Guiraud Orchestra of the Staatsoper Berlin, recorded 1926 L’Arlésienne –orchestral suite No.1 arranged Bizet L’Arlésienne –orchestral suite No.2 arranged Guiraud Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded 1928 All items conducted by Franz Schreker SYMPOSIUM 1271-1273 [3 CDs: 70.59 + 66.52 + 69.22] [JW]

An important well-documented set. The opportunity to encounter Schrecker in the round, to appreciate his conductorial strengths and be enriched by the recordings he has left to posterity ... see Full Review

Franz SCHREKER (1878-1934)
Christophorus, der "Die Vision einer Oper" in two acts (three scenes), prelude and postlude (1924-27) [112’28"] Meister Johann: Hans Georg Ahrens (bass) Lisa, his daughter: Susanne Bernhard (soprano) Christoph: Jorg Sabrowski (baritone) Anselm: Robert Chafin (tenor) Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Chorus/Ulrich Windfuhr Sung in German rec. live Opernhaus Kiel, June 2002-March 2003. DDD CPO 999 903-2 [62’51" + 39’37"] [ED]

Although from weightier times, the Schreker idiom eventually becomes oppressive, and not a little tedious – facts this performance cannot quite hide. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828) Die schöne Müllerin (1823) Elja Puukko (baritone), Risto Lauriala (piano) Recorded in Esbo Church, 10th – 11th February, 2004 ALBA ABCD 193 [66:51] [GF]

I wouldn’t choose Puukko’s recording every time but in its own right and within the limitations the artist has set himself, it is a fully valid interpretation. ... see Full Review

Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin (1823). Roman Trekel (baritone); Oliver Pohl (piano). Rec. Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem, 15-18 Nov 2004. DDD Text included OEHMS CLASSICS OC511 [60'08]

The clean intervals of 'Des Müllers Blumen' reveal the problem. Much attention to detail, fine technical prowess but not that final engagement necessary to grip the listener ... see Full Review

Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sacred Music see review for details Rundfunkchor Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchestra, Berlin Celina Lindsley, soprano, Magdalena Hajossyov, soprano, Gabriele Schreckenbach, alt/contralto, Peter Schreier, tenor, Werner Hollweg, tenor, Walton Gronroos, bass, Bernd Casper, piano Recording venue and dates not provided DDD CAPRICCIO SACD 71 050 [66:14] [MC]

The performances invite considerable praise and when combined with the integrity of Schubert’s music this becomes a very desirable release. ... see Full Review

Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894 – 1942) String Quartet No. 1 (1924) [14:34] Divertimento (1914) [22:25] Five Pieces (1923) [13:30] Schulhoff Quartet (Milan Setena, Michal Kostka, violins; Filip Waulin, viola; Jonas Krejci, cello) Recorded: Domovina Studios, Prague, November-December 2003 and September 2004 VMS MUSICAL TREASURES 138 [51:07] [HC]

As far as I can judge, these performances by the Schulhoff Quartet are excellent, carefully prepared, committed and fully convincing, splendidly bringing off the various facets of Schulhoff’s music. Very fine recorded sound. ... see Full Review

William SCHUMAN (1910-1992) Symphony No. 4 (1941)* [24’50"] Orchestra Song (1963)** [2’59"] Circus Overture (1944)** [7’53"] Symphony No. 9 ‘Le fosse ardéatine’ (1967)*** [27’43"] Seattle Symphony Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz Recorded at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, Seattle *Sept 2003, March 2004; **March 2004; ***Nov 2003; February 2004 DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559254 [63’25"] [JQ]

Fine music by a composer who really had something to say. I await further instalments with impatience and recommend this CD urgently. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphony No. 2 in C, Op. 61 (1846) [37.24] Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120 (1853) [30.42]* Orchestre des Champs-Elysées/Philippe Herreweghe rec. Cité des Congrès, Nantes, January 1996; *Salle Wagram, Paris, December 1996 HARMONIA MUNDI FRANCE MUSIQUE D'ABORD HMA 1951848 [68.06][SV]

Herreweghe makes us hear these scores afresh, simultaneously projecting their full symphonic stature. Warmly recommended ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 54* [33:50] Piano Quintet in E flat, op. 44** [30:09] Alicia de Larrocha (piano) London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis*, Tokyo String Quartet** Recorded July 5th 1991, EMI Abbey Road Studio 1, London*, 13th-14th December 1991, Manhattan Center, New York City** BMG-RCA RED SEAL 8287665830 2 [64:19] [CH]

A beautiful collaboration with Davis; the quintet is somewhat disconcerting. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Davidsbündlertänze – Books I and II Op.6 (1837) [38.09] Kreisleriana Op.16 (1838) [32.36] Jerome Rose (piano) Recorded at CUNY Graduate Centre, New York, June 2001 MONARCH CLASSICS M20062 [70.45] [JW]

Rose possesses a cool toughness, allied to commanding resources, perhaps a touch aloof ... see Full Review

Kurt SCHWERTSIK (b.1935) Sinfonia-Sinfonietta 5 Sätze für Orchester op. 73 (1995-96) Konzert für Violine und Orchester No. 2 Albayzin und Sacromonte op. 81 (2000) Dennis Russell Davies, conductor Goldlöckchen op. 74 (1997) Libretto von Donald Sturrock, basierend auf Roald Dahl's "Goldilocks", deutsche Übersetzung von Kurt Schwertsik) Kurt Schwertsik, speaker and conductor Christian Altenburger (violin) Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/Dennis Russell Davies rec. Goldenen Wiener Musikvereinsaal, 12 June 1996 (Sinfonia; Festival Klangspuren, Schwarz Tirol, 29 Sept 2000 (concerto); Millenniumskonzert im Mozarteum Salzburg, 31 Dec 1999; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow 18 Dec 1997 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 342 [78:12] [RB]

Music that is fresh and smilingly reaches out to the listener. Fascinating and mesmerising even when the intention is simply to entertain. Very well worth hearing ... see Full Review

Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 11, The Year 1905, Op. 103 (1957) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Alexander Lazarev rec. 22-23 January 2004, Usher Hall, Edinburgh LINN RECORDS CKD247 [60.33] [TB]

This well mastered disc assumes a worthy position in the RSNO/Shostakovich at tradition, confirming the orchestra’s standards and international credentials.... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) String Quartets 1-15 Taneyev Quartet Recorded in the Glinka Hall, Leningrad, 1968-78 AULOS AMC2 0551/6 [6 CDs: 50.29 + 54.06 + 70.09 + 68.57 + 56.16 + 62.27] [JW]

One of the greatest of all cycles of these quartets ... in many ways its claims on the collector go beyond even that recommendation. Aulos has surpassed itself ... the highest recommendation ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 5 in E flat major Op. 82 (1915, 1916, 1919) [29:07] Symphony No. 6 in D minor Op. 104 (1919) [25:35] Tapiola Op. 112 (1926) [17:26] London SO/Robert Kajanus (Opp. 82, 112) Finnish National Orchestra/Georg Schnéevoigt (Op. 104) rec. 22-24 June 1932, No. 1 Studio, St John's Wood, London (Op. 73); 3 June 1934 (Op. 104); 29 June 1932. ADD. Original sound recordings made by the Gramophone Company. MONO THE DIVINE ART 27801 [72:14] [RB]

Highly listenable and spruced-up versions of classic Sibelian recordings ... see Full Review

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) String Quartet No. 32 in C major Op. 141 (1849) [34.31] String Quartet No. 34 in E flat major Op. 152 (1855) [31.35] Moscow Philharmonic "Concertino" String Quartet Recorded in Studio 1, Russian State TV and Radio Company Kultura, Moscow, December 2003 MARCO POLO 8.225307 [66.06] [JW]

Rather more for the Spohr completist than for the generalist ... not at his most convincing here in performances that don’t do quite enough to assist ... see Full Review

Sir John STAINER (1840-1901) The Crucifixion (1887) James Gilchrist (tenor) Simon Bailey (bass) Stephen Farr (organ) Choir of Clare College, Cambridge/Timothy Brown rec. Guildford Cathedral, Guildford, Surrey, England, 21-22 June 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557624 [66:47] [MC]

Lovers of English choral music will relish this highly attractive release. ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrushka (1911 rev.1947) [34:30] The Rite of Spring (1913 rev.1947) [33:30] Suisse Romande Orchestra/Ernest Ansermet Recorded in Victoria Hall, Geneva, 29th-30 th November 1949 (Petrushka), October 1950 (Rite) LIVING ERA AJC 8554 [68:15][CH]

A particularly warm welcome for “Petrushka” but some reservations over the “Rite”. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Thomas TALLIS (c.1505-1585) Spem in alium [12:14] Salve intemerata [23:10] Missa salve intemerata [28:11] With all our heart [3:15] Discomfort them, O Lord [6:38] I call and cry to thee, O Lord [4:11] Oxford Camerata/Jeremy Summerly Recorded at All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London from 21-23 January 2005. NAXOS 8.557770 [77:19] [KS]

A complete winner. Buy it soon; it is a spiritual experience. ... see Full Review

Sir John TAVENER (b.1944) Lament for Jerusalem [49’16"] Patricia Rozario (soprano); Christopher Josey (counter-tenor) Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Australian Youth Orchestra/Thomas Woods Recorded July 2003 at Trackdown Scoring Stage, Sydney. ABC CLASSICS 476 160-5 [49’16"] [JQ]

A work of haunting beauty, fastidiously crafted. Admirers of Tavener’s unique musical voice need not hesitate. ... see Full Review

Boris TCHAIKOVSKY (1925-1996) Boris Tchaikovsky Edition: Vol. 2 Piano Sonata No. 1 (1944) [12:46] Piano Sonata No. 2 (1952) [17:37] Eight Piece for Children (1952) [9:34] Pentatonica (1952) [4:01] Natural Modes (1993) [5:06] Sonatina (1946) [3:38] Olga Solvieva (piano) rec. Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, 23 Sept, 22 Oct 2004 ALBANY TROY749 [55:00] [RB]

Will appeal strongly to those who already know the composer. Their interests are very well served by both Solovieva and Albany. Music most provocatively characteristic in the sonatas and sonatina. ... see Full Review

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 - 1893) Swan Lake, ballet in four acts, Op 20 (1876) [107.00] Choreography by Rudolf Nureyev, after Ivanov/Petipa. Wiener Symphoniker/John Lanchbery Odette/Odile - Margot Fonteyn Prince Siegfried - Rudolf Nureyev Mitglieder des balletts der Wiener Staatsoper Sets and Costumes: Nicholas Georgiadis; Direction: Truck Branss Filmed at the Staatsoper, Vienna, Austria, 15 October 1966 [sic]. Sound recording by Ateliers am Rosenhügel, Vienna, Austria, 5 October 1966 [sic]. DVD 9 NTSC colour 4:3 region 0 [playable in all regions] PCM Stereo 48/16 2.0. dts 5.0 surround sound. Menu language, English. No subtitles or captioning. Advertising for other programs in the series. DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON UNITEL 073 4044[115.00] [PSh]

A must-have video for balletomanes, but for the rest of us it might not be the best choice for our only version to own. ... see Full Review

Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998) Divertimento on Sellinger's Round for chamber orchestra (1954) [18:27] Little Music for string orchestra (1946) [10:38] Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields/Sir Neville Marriner (recorded in Henry Wood Hall, Southwark, 14/15/18 February 1995) Sonata for Four Horns (1955) [13:43] Michael Thompson Horn Quartet (recorded in Henry Wood Hall, Southwark, 12/14 May 1995) Ritual Dances from 'A Midsummer Marriage' (1956) [28:51] Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Rudolf Barshai
(recorded in the Concert Hall, Poole Arts Centre, 25/26 November 1984) EMI CLASSICS 5-86587-2 [71:47] [PJL]

These performances are all in the top flight. They do not disappoint. Nor do the recordings, which are among EMI's digital best. ... see Full Review

TON-THAT Tiêt (b.1933) Les Sourires de Bouddha Les Eléments/J Suhubiette rec. Flaran, France, 23 Sept 2002. DDD EDITIONS HORTUS 027 [19:17] [RB]

The faint-hearted will have to be very faint of heart not to like this. Interesting and likeable but not compelling. ... see Full Review

Toivo TULEV (b. 1958) Quella sera (1996) [11:10]; Gare de l'Est (1999) [10:54]; Adios/Srī Rāma in memoriam (2003) [13:25]; Isopo (2003) [7:21]; Be Lost in the Call (2003) [11:34] NYYD Ensemble/Olari Elts rec. Eesti Raadio Studio One, 21 Nov 1998 (Quella); 11 Apr 2003 (Lost); Estonia Concert Hall, 5,8 Feb 2004 (Isopo); 25 Feb 2004 (Adios); 26 Feb 2004 (Gare) EESTI RAADIO ERCD047 [54:54] [RB]

Casts a strong contemplative spell. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Songs: Non t’accostare all’urna [04:31], Il poveretto [02:52], More, Elisa, lo stanco poeta [02:42], Stornello [01:42], L’esule [07:33], La seduzione [03:27], Deh, pietoso, oh Addolorata [04:26], Il tramonto [02:52], La zingara [02:10], Perduta ho la pace [04:50], Ad una stella [03:38], Lo spazzacamino [02:14], Nell’orror di notte oscura [03:29], In solitaria stanza [03:35], Il mistero [04:08], Brindisi [02:05], E’ la vita [01:18], L’abandonée [03:09] Norah Amsellen (soprano), Lydia Jardon (piano) Recorded in the Auditorium du Conservatoire Georges Bizet, Paris, 11th-13th July 2004 AR RÉ-SÉ AR 2004 8 [61:54] [CH]

Musica da camera given the full operatic treatment; some may find it more appropriate than I did. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La forza del destino - Melodramma in four acts. (Original version) Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on the novel ‘Don Alvaro, o La fuerza de sino’ by Angel Perez de Saavedra, Duke of Rivas. First performed at the Imperial Italian Theatre, St. Petersburg, on November 10th 1862 Marquis of Calatrava, Roderick Kennedy (bass); Donna Leonora, his daughter, Martina Arroyo (sop); Curra, her chambermaid, Alison Truefitt (sop); Don Alvaro, lover of Leonora and of Royal Inca Indian descent, Kenneth Collins (ten); Don Carlo of Vargas, Leonora’s brother, Peter Glossop (bar); Preziosilla, Janet Coster (mezzo); Fra Melitone, Derek Hammond Stroud (bass-bar); Padre Guardiano Don Garrard (bass); Fra Trabuco, muleteer, Kenneth Bowen (ten); Alcade. Philip O'Reilly (ten); Spanish military surgeon, David Fieldsend (ten) BBC Singers BBC Concert Orchestra/John Matheson OPERA RARA ORCV 304 [3 CDs: 68.08 + 57.33 + 31.03] [RJF]

Gauntness and brutality ... a stark ending with multiple deaths. An ensemble of singers fully immersed and versed in the Verdi idiom. A welcome and thoroughly recommendable recording ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello - Tragic opera in four acts. Libretto by Arrigo Boito based on Shakespeare’s play. Otello, a Moor, commander in chief of the Venetian fleet, Jon Vickers (ten); Desdemona, his wife, Mirella Freni (sop); Iago, an ensign, Peter Glossop (bar); Emelia, Iago’s wife, Stefania Malagú (mezzo); Cassio, a captain under Otello. Aldo Bottion (ten); Roderigo, a Venetian gentleman, Michel Senéchal (ten); Lodovico, Venetian ambassador, José Van Dam (bas-bar); Chorus of the Deutschen Oper, Berlin Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert Von Karajan Filmed in Munich and Salzburg, Durer Studios, August 1973 Sound Recording, Berlin Philharmonie, December 1972 Set design and costumes by Georges Wakhevitch Director and Artistic Supervisor: Herbert Von Karajan Presented in PCM Stereo/5.1 DTS Surround Sound. NTSC/Colour/4:3 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON DVD VIDEO 000440 073 4040 GH [140:00] [RJF]

Unitel’s trio of principals, all well used to their roles from the Salzburg staging, and working with Karajan and his orchestral forces, are hard to beat in this most vividly dramatic of Verdi’s operas. ... see Full Review

Tomás Luis DE VICTORIA (1548-1611) Second Vespers of the Feast of the Annunciation [Versicle and Response] Deus, in adiutorium meum intende [01:04] [Antiphon] Missus est Gabriel - [Vesper Psalm] Dixit Dominus à 8 - [Antiphon] Missus est Gabriel [06:19] [Antiphon] Ave Maria - [Vesper Psalm] Laudate pueri Dominum à 8 [05:36] [Motet] Ave Maria à 8 [04:39] [Antiphon] Ne timeas Maria - [Vesper Psalm] Laetatus sum à 12 [06:49] [Motet] Ne timeas Maria à 4 [02:58] [Antiphon] Dabit ei Dominus - [Vesper Psalm] Nisi Dominus à 8 - [Antiphon] Dabit ei Dominus [06:34] [Little Chapter] Ecce virgo concipiet - [Response] Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae [01:32] [Hymn] Ave maris stella à 4 - [Versicle and Response] Ave Maria, gratia plena [06:57] [Magnificat antiphon] Gabriel angelus - [Magnificat] Magnificat à 8 - [Magnificat antiphon] Gabriel angelus [10:28] [Versicle and Response] Dominus vobiscum - [Collect for the day] Deus, qui de beatae Mariae Virginis - [Versicle and Response] Dominus vobiscum - Benedicamus Domino [02:23] [Votive antiphon] Regina coeli à 8 - [Versicle and Response] Gaude et laetare - [Votive antiphon collect] Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii [05:53] [Litany of Loreto] Kyrie eleison à 8 [07:32] The Exon Singers/Matthew Owens Recorded in January 2004 in the Chapel of Giggleswick School, North Yorkshire, UK. DDD DELPHIAN DCD 34025 [68:46][JV]

Music by De Victoria presented in a liturgical setting ... rather questionable ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concertos for Violin and Strings Op.8 Nos 1-4 The Four Seasons (published 1725) * [39.05] No.1 Spring RV269 No.2 Summer RV 315 No.3 Autumn RV 293 No.4 Winter RV 297 Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962) Concerto in One Movement – after the first movement of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major Op.6 by Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) [17.14] Benjamin Schmid (violin and conductor *) Camerata Salzburg * Mozarteum Orchestra/Hubert Soudant Recorded in the Grosser Saal Mozarteum, Salzburg, September 2001 (Vivaldi) and July-October, 2001 (Kreisler) OEHMS CLASSICS OC 303 [56.20] [JW]

I’ve come across some weird couplings in my time but this one’s the bee’s pyjamas ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der fliegende Hollander: The Flying Dutchman (1843) Franz-Josef Selig (bass - Donald); Astrid Weber (soprano - Senta); Jorg Durmuller (tenor - Georg); Simone Schroder (contralto - Mary); Kobie van Rensburg (tenor – Donald’s steersman); Terje Stensvold (baritone – The Dutchman) WDR Rundfunkchor and Prager Kammerchor Cappella Coloniensis/Bruno Weil rec. Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln, 13-15 June 2004, Philharmonie Essen, Germany DDD DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 82876 64071 –21 [73:26 + 52:20] [EM]

Fascinating from a historical and musicological point of view and a fine production to boot. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin (1850) Wolfgang Windgassen (tenor) Lohengrin; Eleanor Steber (soprano) Elsa von Brabant; Hermann Uhde (baritone) Friedrich von Telramund; Astrid Varnay (soprano) Ortrud; Josef Greindl (bass) Heinrich der Vogler; Hans Braun (baritone) Herald; Gerhard Stolze (tenor) First Noble; Josef Janko (tenor) Second Noble; Alfons Herwig (baritone) Third Noble; Theo Adam (bass) Fourth Noble Bayreuth Festival Chorus; Bayreuth Festival Orchestra/Joseph Keilberth. Recorded in July/August 1953 in the Festspielhaus, Bayreuth. First issued as Decca LXT 2880/84. Reissue Producer and Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn. NAXOS 8.110308-10 [262’37: 78:14 + 71:49 + 69:30][CC]

This is not the only incarnation of this performance yet for this price and with this quality of transfer, the Naxos stands alone. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813 – 1883) Tristan und Isolde. A Music-Drama in Three Acts (1857–59) Wolfgang Millgram (tenor) – Tristan; Lennart Forsén (bass) – King Marke; Hedwig Fassbender (soprano) – Isolde; Gunnar Lundberg (baritone) – Kurwenal; Magnus Kyhle (tenor) – Melot; Martina Dike (mezzo) – Brangäne; Ulrik Qvale (tenor) – A shepherd, A young sailor; John Erik Eleby (baritone) – Helmsman) Kungliga Operans Manskör (Royal Swedish Opera Male Chorus); Kungliga Hovkapellet (Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra)/Leif Segerstam
rec. Konserthuset (the Concert Hall), Stockholm, 14-19 June 2004 NAXOS 8.660152-54 [63:41 + 78:25 + 70:07] [GF]

A very well conducted and played performance, a bit unevenly sung but convincingly acted. It is on three budget-priced discs ... see Full Review

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)
Clarinet Quintet in B flat J182 (1815) [28:41] Trio for flute, cello and piano in G minor J259 (1819) [20:25] Piano Quartet in B flat J76 (1809) [23:54] The Gaudier Ensemble: Richard Hosford (clarinet), Jaime Martin (flute), Marieke Blankestijn (violin I), Lesley Hatfield (violin II), Iris Juda (viola), Christoph Marks (cello), Susan Tomes (piano). Rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, February 2004 DDD HYPERION CDA 67464 [73:10] [PCW]

Weber only wrote three chamber works - here they all are, beautifully played and well recorded on one highly desirable disc ... see Full Review

Egon WELLESZ (1885-1974) Symphony No. 4 Op. 70 (1951-1953) [27:56] Symphony No. 6 Op. 95 (1965) [23:18] Symphony No. 7 Op. 102 (1967) [18:58] Radio Symphonieorchester Wien/Gottfried Rabl Recorded: Grosser Sendesaal, Funkhaus ORF, 13-16, 26-27 Nov 2001. DDD CPO 999 808-2 [70:44][JF]

Essential twentieth century symphonic repertoire. A fine production by CPO. ... 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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