Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

MusicWeb reviewers select their Recordings of the Year Reviewers were allowed a totally free choice. They were not restricted to discs they had reviewed.

PART TWO Part 1 Click on cover to read a full review

  Anne Ozorio
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Lieder: Recorded Hamburg 1969 and 1970 ADD Die Schöne Müllerin, Winterreise, Schwanengesang Recorded Hamburg 1972 ADD Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone), Gerald Moore (piano). Texts and translations in English and summaries in French. DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4775765 [21 CDs: 75’00 + 70’48 + 75’59 + 73’34 + 76’00 + 66’36 + 67’33 + 71’58 + 69’52 + 71’55 + 73’54 + 73’58 + 70’47 + 72’45 + 73’20 + 63’20 + 66’22 + 68’52 + 62’05 + 71’39 + 50’31]

This year has been a memorable year for Schubert. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's 80th birthday brought an influx of good reissues, including the essential DG set of complete songs for male voice. AO

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die Schöne Müllerin (1828) Gerhard Hüsch (baritone) Hanns Udo Müller (piano) original recording 1934. ADD PRISTINE AUDIO PA CO 005 [58:40] Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise (1827) Gerhard Hüsch (baritone) Hanns Udo Müller (piano) original recording January 1933. ADD PRISTINE AUDIO PA CO 007 [57:55]

Appropriately, Pristine Audio Direct re-issued a new mastering of the first recordings, made by Gerhard Husch in 1933 and 1934. AO

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin D.795 (1823) (Im Winter zu lessen, a cycle of poems by Wilhelm Müller, 1794-1827) 1. Das Wandern; 2. Wohin?; 3. Halt!; 4. Danksagung an den Bach; 5. Am Feierabend; 6. Der Neugierige; 7. Ungeduld; 8. Morgengruß; 9. Des Müllers Blumen; 10. Tränenregen; 11. Mein!; 12. Pause; 13. Mit dem grünen Lautenbande; 14. Der Jäger; 15. Eifersucht und Stolz; 16. Die liebe Farbe; 17. Die böse Farbe; 18. Trockne Blumen; 19. Der Müller und der Bach; 20. Des Baches Wiegenlied.  Ian Bostridge (tenor); Mitsuko Uchida (piano). Recorded December 2003, Lyndhurst Hall, London. DDD EMI CLASSICS 5 57827 2 [63:48]

Of new recordings, the top pick simply has to be Ian Bostridge and Mitsuko Uchida's Die Schone Mullerin. Just as Husch and Fischer- Dieskau made versions that reflected their eras, Bostridge creates one with psychological depth. Above all, his understanding of the darker, supernatural side of Romanticism illuminates the mystery that makes the brook an elemental force. AO

John Phillips

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1875 - 1945) Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27 (1908) [53:12] The Isle of the Dead, Op. 90 (1909) [20:52] L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Paul Kletzki (Symphony) Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam/Vladimir Ashkenazy (Isle of the Dead). rec. Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland, August 1967; Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, January 1983. ADD/DDD
DECCA ELOQUENCE 470 6752 [74:10]

The first of two recordings of the Rachmaninov Symphonies with the Suisse Romande Orchestra under their then chief conductor, Paul Kletzki.This re-issue, from Australia, shows graphically what treasures still lay untapped in some record company vaults, as these two performances have lain unreleased since the days of L.P. JP

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1875-1945) Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 13 (1897) [46:25] The Rock - Fantasia, Op. 7 (1893) [16:01] L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Walter Weller (Symphony) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Walter Weller (The Rock). rec. Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland, August 1972. ADD (Symphony); Kingsway Hall, London, October 1974. ADD (The Rock)  DECCA ELOQUENCE 476 7724 [62:45]

Surging, romantic readings from a re-juvenated Suisse Romande under their then chief conductor, unfortunately, not long with them. JP
Edward ELGAR (1857 – 1934) Enigma Variations, Op. 36 BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis. Recorded live in Worcester Cathedral, 30 June 2004. DVD. (DTS Stereo, LPCM Stereo) BBC OPUS ARTE OA 0917 D [85’00"]

This DVD will warm your heart. JP

  Glyn Pursglove
Antonio VIVALDI (1678 - 1741) The Complete Sacred Music Magnificat RV610a ; Lauda, Jerusalem RV609 ; Kyrie RV587; Credo RV591; Dixit Dominus RV594; In fuore iustissimae irae RV626; Longe mala, umbrae, terrores RV629; Clarae stella, scintillate RV625; Canta in prato, ride in monte RV623; Filae maestae Jerusalem RV638; Nulla in mondo pax sincera RV630; Dixit Dominus RV595; Domine ad adiuvandum RV593; Credidi propter quod RV605; Beatus Vir RV598; Beatus Vir RV597; Juditha Triumphans RV644; In turbato mare RV627; Non in pratis aut in hortis RV641; Stabat mater RV621; O qui caeli terraeque serenitas RV631; Deus tuorum militum RV612; Confitebor tibi, Domine RV596; Beatus vir RV795; Salve Regina RV617; Laudate Dominum RV606; In exitu Israel RV604; Nisi Dominus RV608; Laetatus sum RV607; Laudate pueri RV601; Vestro Principi divino RV633; Jubilate o amoeni chori RV639/ Gloria in excelsis RV588; Sum in medio tempestatum RV632; Laudate pueri RV600; Cur sagittas, cur tela RV637; Sanctorum meritis RV620; Salve Regina RV661; Laudate pueri RV602; Salve Regina RV618; Ascende laeta RV635; Gaude mater Ecclesia RV613; Vos aurae per montes RV634; Gloria Patri RV602a; Gloria RV589; Nisi Dominus RV803; Ostro Picta RV642; Giovanni Maria RUGGIERI (fl. c. 1690 - 1720) – Gloria RV ANH 23. Ann Murray (mezzo); Susan Bickley (mezzo); Maria Christina Kier (soprano); Susan Gritton (soprano); Lisa Milne (soprano); Deborah York (soprano); Catrin Wyn Davies (soprano); Carolyn Sampson (soprano); Tuva Semmingsen (soprano); Joanne Lunn (soprano); Ann Murray (mezzo); Susan Bickley (mezzo); Catherine Denley (mezzo); Jean Rigby (mezzo); Sarah Connolly (mezzo); Joyce DiDonato (mezzo); Nathalie Stutzman (contralto); Alexandra Gibson (contralto); Hilary Summers (contralto); James Bowman (counter-tenor); Robin Blaze (counter-tenor); Lynton Atkinson (tenor); Charles Daniels (tenor); David Wilson Johnson (bass); Neal Davies (bass); Michael George (bass); The Choir of the King’s Consort The King’s Consort/Robert King; Recorded 1996 – 2002, St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb. HYPERION CDS44171/81 [11 C Ds: 62.42 + 69.15 + 70.29 + 78.10 + 70.19 + 78.18 + 62.58 + 68.52 + 68.23 + 66.42 + 76.37]

The Grove of 1940, in the course of an unsympathetic (and brief) entry on Vivaldi - “he mistook the facility of an expert performer … for the creative faculty, which he possessed but in a limited degree” – grudgingly mentions that he wrote “a few cantatas end even motets”. Now we know rather more of Vivaldi’s church music and the reissue of this glorious set of recordings is an immensely enjoyable and powerful reminder of how good so much of it is. Almost without exception these performances have energy and vitality, precision and refinement and the recording quality is everywhere of the highest order.GP

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) Boccherini Edition String Sextet No.1 in E flat G454; String Sextet No.3 in E G456; String Sextet No.4 in F minor G457; String Sextet No.6 in F G459; String Quartets op.15: Quartet No.1 in D G177; String Quartets op.24: Quartet No.6 in G minor G194; String Quartet in A op.39 G213; String Quartets op.64: Quartet No.1 in F G248; String Quintets op.13: Quintet No.4 in D minor G280; String Quintets op.31: Quintet No.2 in G G326; String Quintets op.60: Quintet No.3 in A G393; String Quintets op.62: Quintet No.5 in D G401; Duet for 2 Violins in E flat 'La bona notte' G62; String Quartet No.4 in G 'La Tiranna' G223; String Quintet No.6 in C 'La musica notturna delle strade di Madrid' G324; String Quintet No.6 in F G336; Oboe Quintets op.55: Quintet No.1 in G G431; Quintet No.3 in D G433; Quintet No.4 in E flat G434; Quintet No.5 in E flat G435; Quintet No.6 in D minor G436; Six Sextets: 'Divertimentos': No.1 in A G461; No.5 in A G465; No.6 in C G466; Symphonies op.37: Symphony No.1 in C G515; Symphony No.3 in D minor G517; Symphony No.4 in A G518; Symphony in C minor op.41 G519. Symphony in D op.42 G520; Symphony in D op.43 G521; Symphony in D minor op.45 G522; Guitar Quintet in D minor G445; Guitar Quintet in E G446; Guitar Quintet in B flat G447; Guitar Quintet in D G448; Guitar Quintet in D G449. Guitar Quintet in G G450. New Berlin Chamber Orchestra, Petersen Quartet, Parisii Quartet, Dimov Quartet, various soloists. Recordings in collaboration with Sender Freies Berlin, Suddeutscher Rundfunk Stuttgart and Westdeutscher Rundfunk Cologne during the 1990s. DDD CAPRICCIO CC49463 [10 CDs]

An absolute feast, and at an amazingly low price! Boccherini remains a seriously underrated composer. As this collection shows he can be, by turns, dramatic and intense, witty and playful, elegant and charming. Maybe not all of the performances are absolutely top-notch but none are less than acceptable (some are much more than that), but there is music here of real individuality and flair. It adds up to hours of joyful listening. GP

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Naxos Quartets: No. 3 (2003) [31’04]; No. 4, ‘Children’s Games (2004) [25’05] Maggini Quartet (Laurence Jackson, David Angel, violins; Martin Outram, viola; Michal Kaznowski, cello). Rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, on September 28th-30th, 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557397 [56’10]

The Third Quartet is a work of immense power, of anger and pain, strikingly beautiful in its long slow second movement, an ‘In Nomine’, which contrives to be both bitter and almost gorgeously lyrical. The Fourth, initially inspired by Breughel’s painting of the same name, is by no means simply playful and, like the Third, it is shadowed by the invasion of Iraq. Throughout the Magginis play quite magnificently. GP

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Divertimentos (String Trios) - Volume 3 No. 14 in D. Major, Hob. V:15 [10:45] No. 15 in C Major, Hob. V: 16 [15:57] No. 16 in E-flat major, Hob. V: 18 [14:25] No. 17 in B. Flat Major, Hob. V: 18 [14:12] No. 18 in E Major, Hob. V: 19 [14:50] Wiener Philharmonia Trio (Piter Wächter (violin), Tomáš Vinklát (violin), Tamáš Varga (cello) rec.: Studio Baumgarten, Vienna, 20-21 February 2003. CAMERATA CM-28043 [72:26]

This is music of serious graciousness, of exquisite instrumental interplay. Haydn is at his most bubblingly fertile and these Trios are played here with both delicacy and strength. The Wiener Philharmonia Trio sound utterly at home with the music, persuasively articulating both its dance rhythms and its elegance, its formal variety and its unpretentious intelligence. Their performances are a delight, this is intimate music ideally suited to home listening. GP

  John Quinn

James MACMILLAN (b. 1959) Seven Last Words from the Cross (1993)* [46:24] On the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin (1997)** [6:41] Te Deum (2001)** [15:02] Polyphony; ** James Vivian (organ) *Britten Sinfonia/Stephen Layton Recorded* 1-2 April 2004 in St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb; ** The Temple Church, London. DDD HYPERION CDA67460 [68:35]

This is a marvellous recording of a contemporary choral work of great importance. Seven Last Words from the Cross was commissioned by BBC television for Holy Week 2004. The piece is scored for mixed choir and a small ensemble of strings. I am absolutely convinced that it is indeed a masterpiece. It’s an extraordinarily eloquent, harrowing, disturbing and very beautiful work. It is also a profound utterance in which the already powerful imagery in the texts has been rendered even more potent by the way in which the music has been married with the words.

No praise can be too high for Stephen Layton, his choir and the players of the Britten Sinfonia who combine to give a committed performance of stunning virtuosity This is a magnificent and very important disc and, despite the strong claims of other releases it is undoubtedly my Recording of the Year. JQ

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. John Passion, BWV 245 [124'43"] Friedericke Sailer (soprano); Marga Höffgen (alto); Helmut Krebs (tenor/Evangelist); Franz Kelch (bass/Jesus); Hermann Werdermann (bass/Petrus, Pilatus) Recorded: Ilsfeld, Germany, October 1960 Motet: Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225 [14'38"] Motet: Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226 [8'38"] Motet: Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230 [7'34"] Recorded: Schwaigern, Germany, 1968 St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 [193'27"] Agnes Giebel (soprano); Renate Günther (alto); Helmut Krebs (tenor/Evangelist); Franz Kelch (bass/Jesus); Hermann Werdermann (bass) Recorded: Protestant Church, Weinsberg, Germany, October 1958 Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147 [36'00"] Ingeborg Reichelt (soprano); Margarethe Bence (alto); Helmut Krebs (tenor); Franz Kelch (bass) Recorded: Protestant Church, Weinsberg, Germany, March 1957 Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 [164'19"] Agnes Giebel (soprano); Claudia Hellmann (alto); Helmut Krebs (tenor); Barry McDaniel (bass) Recorded: Ilsfeld, Germany, June 1963 Motet: Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228 [10'57"] Motet: Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229 [9'37"] Recorded: Schwaigern, Germany, 1968 Motet: O Jesu Christ, mein's Lebens Licht, BWV 118 [4'37"] Recorded: Schwaigern, July, 1966 Mass in B minor, BWV 232 [127'55"] Ingeborg Reichelt (soprano I); Elisabeth Fellner (soprano II); Renate Günther (alto); Helmut Krebs (tenor); Franz Kelch (bass) Recorded: Protestant Church, Weinsberg, Germany, January 1958 Motet: Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227 [23'32"] Recorded: Schwaigern, Germany, 1968 Heinrich Schütz Choir, Heilbronn Boys' Choir of the Robert-Mayer-Schule, Heilbronn (BWV 244) Pforzheim Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn Instrumental Ensemble (BWV 227, 228 & 229) Südwestfunk Orchestra, Baden-Baden (BWV 147) Conducted by Fritz Werner
WARNER ERATO 2564 61403-2 [10 CDs: 78'26" + 77'07" + 76'27" + 75'37" + 77'23" + 58'02" + 53'38" + 76'00" + 78' 07" + 73'20" Total 724'07"]

Erato have put Bach lovers in their debt by reissuing in three large boxes, each containing ten CDs, all the Bach choral recordings made for them by Fritz Werner. I was fortunate enough to be invited to review all three volumes. I choose this box primarily because it includes a delightful performance of the Christmas Oratorio and a very fine account indeed of the St. Matthew Passion. Inevitably, given that Werner’s recordings were made over quite a period of time his is an uneven achievement but all 30 CDs in the three boxes reveal him as a Bach conductor of wisdom, humanity and perspicacity. There’s much fine solo singing to admire, especially from Agnes Giebel and Helmut Krebs, two Bach singers of great distinction. The instrumental obligatti are a constant delight. Bach lovers should snap up this box while it is available. I also strongly recommend the other two volumes, which contain Werner’s cantata recordings. JQ

 Sir John TAVENER (b.1944) T he Veil of the Temple (2002) [148’17"] Patricia Rosario (soprano); Simon Wall, Nathan Vale (tenors); Thomas Guthrie, Andrew Rupp (baritones); Adrian Peacock, Jeremy Birchall (basses) The Choir of the Temple Church, London; The Holst Singers Instrumental Ensemble; Members of English Chamber Orchestra/Stephen Layton Abridged concert version recorded live at the première performances of the complete score in the Temple Church, London on 27-28 June (overnight), 1 July and 4-5 July (overnight) 2003. DSD SACD HYBRID BMG RCA RED SEAL 82876661542 [76’25" + 71’52"]

A second disc in my shortlist by Stephen Layton, newly appointed as Director of Music at Trinity College, Cambridge. The Veil of the Temple is a huge conception. The full version plays for some eight hours. What is recorded here is Tavener’s concert version. Even in this much shorter form it comes across as an extraordinary, visionary work. It is, in essence, an all-night vigil, divided into eight “Circles.” Tavener describes the design as being “rather like a gigantic prayer wheel” and much of the power of the work is cumulative. This is a moving and very considered work of art and I rejoice that it is available on CD to a wide audience. The performance is wholly worthy of the music. The singing and playing is superb and Stephen Layton directs with dedication and total commitment. The recorded sound is excellent and very atmospheric. Finally the documentation is some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. This release is a major event.JQ

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 8 in E flat Christine Brewer (soprano); Magna Peccatrix; Soile Isokoski (soprano) Una Poenitentiam; Juliane Banse (soprano) Mater Gloriosa; Birgit Remmert (mezzo-soprano) Mulier Samaritana; Jane Henschel (mezzo-soprano) Maria Aegyptiaca; Jon Villars (tenor) Doctor Marianus; David Wilson-Johnson (baritone) Pater Ecstaticus; John Relyea (bass) Pater Profundus City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus; London Symphony Chorus; City of Birmingham Symphony Youth Chorus; Toronto Children’s Chorus City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle Recorded live at Symphony Hall, Birmingham: 5, 8, 9 June 2004 DDD EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 57945 2 9 [77’38"]

With this release Sir Simon Rattle completes his recordings of the Mahler symphonies for EMI. It’s been a long journey and the results over the years have been somewhat uneven at times. However, his cycle is crowned by a live recording of the Eighth which has a great deal to commend it. In particular the sheer energy and exuberance of the performance is quite remarkable. Rattle seems to see this problematic score in one huge sweep and from the first downbeat the listener is carried along on a musical flood tide. In this recording you get the thrill, the risk taking, of a live performance. However, with excellent recorded sound and scrupulous attention to detail in the preparation and execution of the performance you also get many of the benefits of a studio reading. Although one may not agree with every detail, this new recording is a formidable achievement and a fitting culmination to Rattle’s recorded survey of the Mahler symphonies. Like Solti’s version was for three decades (and in many ways still remains) this new recording will, I suspect, become a benchmark. It’s not the last word on Mahler’s Eighth but it’s a recording by one of the most thought-provoking Mahlerians of our day and one that demands to be heard. The symphony is superbly performed by all concerned and expertly recorded by EMI's engineers. JQ

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No 2 in D major, Op. 36 (1801-2) [32’16"] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No 2 in D major, Op. 73 (1877) [39’46"] Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Mariss Jansons rec. live, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 27-28 October 2004. DSD RCO LIVE RCD 05002 [71’50"]

These live performances celebrate the relatively new partnership between the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons. Though the recordings were made at two concerts both performances sound as if they were set down in a single take. The Beethoven is a “big band” performance but though it has body and weight it’s by no means heavy. It’s a truly bracing performance, packed with verve and good humour. The performance of the Brahms is even better, characterised by the same attention to detail that was apparent throughout the Beethoven. I suggest that anyone hearing this CD will agree that Jansons is a truly exceptional conductor. His feeling for the music, his thorough preparation, his ability to inspire his players and his evident rapport with them combine to make these performances something very special. This is one of the finest orchestral CDs to have come my way for a very long time. I’ve found that listening to it is a thrilling experience.JQ

  Donald Satz

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Six Partitas for Keyboard Disc 1: Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825 Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826 Partita No. 3 in A minor, BWV 827 Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828 (Overture and Allemande) Disc 2: Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828 (Conclusion) Partita No. 5 in G major, BWV 829 Partita No. 6 in E minor, BWV 830 Scott Ross, harpsichord Recorded Temple de Sommières, April 1988 WARNER ELATUS 2564 61778-2 [74:48 + 70:41]

These are life-affirming and vibrant performances informed with an unerring sense of rhythmic flow. The Allemandes and Sarabandes are played with heart-felt sentiment, while the faster movements are highly energetic and exciting. Tempos are in the mainstream, ornamentation is uniformly tasteful
and the recorded sound is excellent. A superb achievement by Scott Ross that matches or surpasses the exceptional sets of the Partitas by Gustav Leonhardt, Igor Kipnis, Edward Parmentier and Trevor Pinnock. DS

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]

Glass, an obscure Danish late-romantic composer, gets his inspiration from the heart of the Romantic era. Although his symphonies tend to meander and some cohesion, The two chamber works on this CPO disc are tightly constructed and reveal a wealth of thematic invention. Throughout, Glass varies music of energy and tension with sweetly-poured passages, resulting in music of variety and constant interest. The Piano Quintet represents Glass at the peak of his powers, and the 4th Movement is astounding for its myriad of compelling themes, improvisatory elements and rapturous emotional content. Performances and sonics are excellent.. DS

Joseph Leopold EYBLER (1765-1846) Quintet in D major for 2 Violins, Viola, Cello and Double Bass [42:37] Trio in C major for Violin, Viola and Cello [28:47] Quintett Momento Musicale Recorded Markkleeberg, Saxonia, August 2004 MDG 603 1321-2 [71:39]

My surprise disc of the year, this delectable and upbeat music possesses excellent construction and captivating melodic lines. The performances are on modern instruments, but the style is historically informed with minimum vibrato, perfect balance of voices and a stately demeanor ideal for Eybler's
musical idiom. The soundstage is superlative, having a wonderful depth and clarity that allows listeners to savor every musical line. Definitely a disc to treasure for all enthusiasts of Classical era chamber music. DS

  Paul Serotsky

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) CD 1: Gayne - Ballet (1942) † Spartacus - Excerpts (1954) * Masquerade Suite (1944) *Russian Fantasy (1944) * [5'24] National Philharmonic Orchestra (†), London Symphony Orchestra (*)/Loris Tjeknavorian Rec. 27, 29 October 1976, West Ham Central Mission, London (†), May 1981, St. Barnabas Church, London BMG-RCA Red Seal 82876-65836-2 [75'44 + 71'19]

For many years I have treasured the original LPs of this Gayne, both for the sheer sensuality of the recording and the pyrotechnically brilliant playing, but most of all for Tjeknavorian’s loving representation of Khachaturian’s Armenian idiom. In the early days of CD, RCA’s issue of a poorly-remastered single disc of extracts disappointed me and, I suspect, many others. Hence, this new issue is doubly welcome. Firstly, we get all the music as originally issued on LP. Secondly, we get a whole LP’s worth of extra music. Thirdly (who’s counting, anyway?) the new remastering gives you exactly what you had on the LPs, minus all the clicks and pops. It’s been a long time a-coming, but well worth the wait. P Se

Harry PARTCH (1901-1974) Enclosure 6 Delusion of the Fury: A Ritual of Dream and Delusion (1966 ) Ensemble of Unique Instruments/Danlee Mitchell; supervised by the composer. Rec. UCLA Playhouse, Macgowan Hall, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, January 1969 Recording originally issued on Columbia Masterworks LP INNOVA 406 [72'08]

Those who read my review (see here) will already be aware that this recording, whose original LP incarnation has long been deleted from the catalogue, would probably have languished forever in Sony’s deep, dark oubliette, had it not been for the astonishing persistence of Innova’s MD, Philip Blackburn. It’s a hair-raising horror-story, but one with a happy ending, especially if you’re one of those souls with a devil-may-care attitude and a taste for adventure – for, while some composers are said to be “off the beaten track”, Harry Partch never came within a mile of it. So, if you’re one who laughs at danger, then Partch’s masterpiece will be right up your street. The icing on the cake is that this CD reproduces John McClure’s exemplary recording of Partch’s astonishing sound-world with correspondingly exemplary fidelity. It’s out of this world! P Se

  Paul Shoemaker

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) Giulio Cesare in Egitto, HWV 17 (1724) [208.00] Text by Nicola Haym after Bussani Giulio Cesare ... Graham Pushee, counter-tenor Curio ... Richard Alexander, bass Cornelia ... Rosemary Gunn, soprano Sesto ... Elizabeth Campbell, mezzo Cleopatra ... Yvonne Kenny, soprano Tolomeo ... Andrew Dalton, counter-tenor Achilla ... Stephen Bennet, tenor Nireno ... Rodney Gilchrist, counter-tenor Dancers of Opera Australia Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra/Richard Hickox. Recorded at the Opera House, Sydney, Australia, June 1994 Notes in English, Deutsch, and Français. Colour photos of Graham Pushee in costume, and of Sydney Opera House. Detailed track listing. No text or translations. PAL 4:3 PCM stereo 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1, dts 5.1. Disk 1, DVD-9; Disk 2 DVD-5. Subtitles in English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano. Region code 0 [all regions] Region 1 NTSC version available as Kultur Video D2911. EUROARTS 2053599 [146.00 + 62.00]

Brilliant sound and video of Handel's masterpiece. Three countertenors on stage, a dramatic, exciting presentation of the story, never forgetting good theater and good fun. The best we'll see of this opera for a long long time. P Sh

Johann Adolf HASSE (1699 - 1783) Requiem in E flat (1764) [42.27] Miserere in d, [21.36] Simona Houde-Šaturová, soprano; Britta Schwartz, alto; Eric Stokloßa, tenor; Gotthold Schwarz, bass Dresdner Kammerchor Dresdner Barockorchester/Hans-Christoph Rademann Recorded in the Lukaskirche, Dresden, Germany, 6 February 2005. Notes in Deutsch, English, Français. Photos of artists, texts with translations. CARUS 83.175 [65.04]

A major discovery, the Requiem Mass Vivaldi never wrote. Every recording of music by Hasse makes you want to hear more. P Sh

Antonio SALIERI (1750-1825) Tarare, Opera in Five acts (1787) [184.00] French text by Beaumarchais Tarare ... Howard Crook (tenor) Atar ... Jean-Philippe Lafont (baritone) Spinette ... Anna Caleb (soprano) Calpigi ... Eberhard Lorenz (tenor) Altamort ... Nicolas Rivenq (bass) Artenée ... Nicolas Rivenq (tenor)Urson ... Jean Francois Gardeil (baritone) Astasie ... Zehava Gal (soprano) Le Génie du Feu ... Klaus Kirchner (baritone) Le Génie de La Réproduction, des Êtres, où La Nature ... Gabriele Rossmanith Michel Laplenie, Chorus Master; Deutsche Händel Solisten/Jean-Claude Malgoire Heinz Balthes, Stage design; Daniel Ogier, Costumes; Jürgen Zoch, lighting. Recorded at the Festspiele, Schwetzingen, Germany, 1988. [month and day not given] Directed for video by Claus Viller. Notes in English, Français, Deutsch. Synopsis, no printed texts or translations. NTSC 4:3 DVD-9 Region 0 [All regions] PCM 2.0 stereo sound, 48kHz 16Bit. Sung in French. Menu languages: Deutsch, Français, English, Castellano. Subtitle languages: Deutsch, Français, English, Castellano, Italiano, Japanese. No PAL version available. EUROARTS-ARTHAUS MUSIK 100 557 [184.00]
At last we can understand why Salieri was so popular in his time. This work stands as precursor to a dozen later masterpieces and is a load of fun. Superbly performed, staged, acted, recorded. P Sh

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) String Quartets Volume 4 String Quartet No. 12 Op. 127 (1824) [37.22] String Quartet No. 13 Op. 130 (1825, new finale 1826) [42.11] Borodin Quartet (2005): Ruben Aharonian, Andre Abramenkov, vv; Igor Naidin, vla; Valentin Berlinsky, vc Recorded in Small Hall, Conservatory, Moscow, Russia, 24 April 2004 Notes in English, Deutsch, Français.    CHANDOS CHAN 10292 [79.39]

This Volume 4 in the complete set of Beethoven Quartets performed by the current Borodin Quartet was a revelation to me. Here is an entirely new and brilliantly revelatory look - dramatic, humanistic, lyrical, ingratiating - at these familiar works in excellent new sound. Late Volume 5 kept up the high standard and we can hope when this set is complete it will be one of the half dozen absolutely must-have versions of these cornerstones of the quartet literature. Even if some other volumes in the series disappoint, buy volumes 4 and 5 for performances you will refer to again and again.P Sh

  Kevin Sutton
Jack Liebeck: Sonatas for Violin and Piano Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano in D, Op. 94a [24:10]
Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931) Sonata No. 3 in d minor "Ballade" for unaccompanied violin, Op. 27, no. 3 [6:59] Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Poème, op. 25 [14:41] Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Sonata for violin and piano no. 1 in d minor, op. 75 [23:51] Jack Liebeck, violin Katya Apekisheva, piano Rec. Wathen Hall, St. Paul’s School, England, 25 May, 2 July 2003. DDD QUARTZ QTZ 2002 [70:00

Perhaps the most exciting new soloist of the year, Jack Liebeck plays with fire and passion, taste and aplomb. His reading of the Prokofiev is one of the best on record. This is a young man with a brilliant future. You don't want to miss this superb recording. KS

A L’Estampida - Medieval Dance Music Danse Real (French 14th c) [2:45]; English Dance (13th c.) [4:00]; Estampie Real: La Seste (French 13th c.) [3:27]; Estampie Real: La Quarte (French 13th c.) [1:57]; Estampie Real: La Septime (French 13th c.) [1:51]; Estampie: Robertsbridge Codex (English 14th c) [6:59]; Chomineiamento di Gioia (Istampitta) (Italian, 14th c.) [5:20]; Lamento di Tristano (Italian 14th c.) [7:07]; La Rotta (Italian 14th c) [3:37]; Dança Amaorosa/Troto (Italian 14th c) [5:41]; Salterello (Italian 14th c.) 2:51]; La Manfredina/La Rotta della Manfredina (Italian 14th c) [10:59]; Salterello (Italian 14th c.) [4:25] The Dufay Collective: Paul Bevan, whistle, slide trumpet, pipe and tabor, percussion; Giles Lewin, vielle, repec, bagpipes, shawm, pipe and tabor; William Lyons, flute, shawm, recorders, bagpipes, symphony, pipe and tabor, percussion; Susanna Pell, vielle and percussion; Peter Skuce, organ, harp, and percussion; Raphael Mizraki, oud, vielle, dulcimer, gittern and percussion Recorded in June 1991 at St. Michael’s Church Blackheath, London. AVIE 0015 [61:05]

This disc is a smile a minute. Delights abound in this fantastic trip through the late medieval and early renaissance. Superb ensemble playing from this fine group KS

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) La Lettre à Elise WoO 59 [3:10] Variations on "God Save the King" WoO 79 [8:17] Andante Favori in F WoO 57 [9:25] Sonata No. 14 in c-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 (Moonlight) [16:09] Bagatelle in E flat, Op. 33, No. 1 [3:59]
Bagatelle in g minor, Op. 119, No. 1 [2:33] Bagatelle in D, Op. 119, No. 3 [1:39] Bagatelle in B-flat, Op. 119, No. 11 [1:55] Bagatelle in G, Op. 126, No. 5 [2:38] Rage Over a Lost Penny, Op. 129 [6:14] Variations in F, Op. 34 [12:41] Anne Queffélec, piano Recorded at the Cité des Congrès in October 2004. MIRARE MIR 9972 [69:00

I would have never imagined in a million years that I would have so enjoyed a performance of the dreaded Für Elise, but this disc is charming beyond belief. Anne Queffelec is superb, and her good taste and refinement come through like a beacon. Splendid performance. KS

In The Shade of Forests George ENESCU (1881-1955) Impressions d’enfance Op.28 (1940) [22.01] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Tzigane – Rapsodie de concert for violin and luthéal (original version) (1924) [10.41] Sonata Op. posthumous (1897) [12.37]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata (1916-17) [13.14] Nocturne et Scherzo (1882) – re-adaptation by Phillipe Graffin [4.11]
Il pleure dans mon Coeur – transcribed Arthur Hartmann in 1908 and 1943 [3.04] La fille aux cheveux de lin - transcribed Arthur Hartmann in 1910 [2.27] Minstrels - transcribed by Claude Debussy in 1914 [2.22] Beau Soir - transcribed Arthur Hartmann in 1941 [2.14] Phillipe Graffin (violin) Claire Désert (piano and luthéal) Recorded at Doopsegezinde Kerk, Deventer and Musical Instrument Museum (Tzigane) September 2004 AVIE AV2059 [73.11]

Jonathan Woolf and I both loved this disc. This is some very first rate violin playing, and the Enesco is worth the price of the whole shebang. Even with Philippe Graffin's annoying sniffing, this is fantastic music making. KS

  Johan van Veen

Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785) Sehet, welch eine Liebe - Motets Da es nun Abend ward a 8 [03:11] Die mit Tränen säen a 4 [05:50] Wast hast du, Mensch a 8 [01:58] Herr, wenn Trübsal da ist a 4 [02:00] Die richtig für sich gewandelt haben a 4 [05:06]  Ihr sollt nicht sorgen und sagen a 4 [02:10] Machet die Tore weit a 8 [02:45] Wünschet Jerusalem Glück a 8 [02:10] So gehst du nun, mein Jesu, hin a 4 [03:00] Siehe, das ist Gottes Lamm a 8 [03:53] Herr, lehre uns bedenken a 4 [04:24] Unser Leben währet siebenzig Jahr a 4 [03:50] Selig sind die Toten a 4 [05:39] Sehet, welch eine Liebe a 4 [03:05] Ob jemand sündiget a 4 [02:10] Seid fröhlich in Hoffnung a 8 [03:09] Unser Vater in dem Himmel a 4 [04:23] Kammerchor Stuttgart/Frieder Bernius Recorded in February 2004 at the Evangelische Kirche in Reutlingen-Gönningen, Germany. DDD CARUS 83.210 [58:53]

Outstanding motets by a composer whose oeuvre is almost completely neglected. The impressive quality of the compositions goes along with an equally impressive performance by the Kammerchor Stuttgart. The clarity of the choral sound, the immaculate phrasing and articulation, perfect intonation and the fine shaping of the musical lines as well as the way the text is treated - these characteristics make this definitely one of the finest choral releases of recent times. JV

Johann Paul VON WESTHOFF (1656-1705) Sonatas for violin and basso continuo, 1694 Sonata IV in d minor [10:57] Sonata III in d minor [12:39] Sonata II in a minor [11:25] Sonata V in g minor [11:08] Sonata VI in g minor [10:47] Sonata I in a minor [12:11] Les plaisirs du Parnasse: David Plantier, violin; Maya Amrein, cello; Shiruko Noiri, archlute; Andrea Marchiol, harpsichord rec. April 2004, Church of Frasnes-le-Château, France. DDD ZIG-ZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT050201 [69:13]

Von Westhoff was one of Germany's most brilliant violinists of the late 17th century. This is the first recording of the sonatas of 1694, which are technically very demanding and remarkable in the specific indications of tempo and dynamics. This is not only a very important release from a historical point of view, but it also has great artistic merit. David Plantier gives splendid performances. Technically his playing is very impressive, and the players of the basso continuo match him. This is one of the most important releases in recent times. JV

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732 – 1809) Die Schöpfung (The Creation) Sunhae Im (soprano) – Gabriel, Eva); Jan Kobow (tenor) – Uriel; Hanno Müller-Brachmann (bass) – Raphael, Adam; Christine Wehler (alto) VokalEnsemble Köln/Max Ciolek; Capella Augustina/Andreas Spering Recorded by Deutschlandfunk, Sendesaal, Köln, July 2003. DDD SACD NAXOS 6.110073-74 [55:09 + 49:13] also available as CD 8.557380-81

This recording is pretty close to being an ideal interpretation of Haydn's masterpiece. It is a very absorbing recording: right from the start Andreas Spering creates an incredible tension and he is able to keep that tension until the Amen which closes the oratorio. The performances of soloists, choir and orchestra are outstanding - only the vibrato of the soprano is a little obtrusive sometimes, in particular in the terzettos. In particular at a Naxos price this recording is not to be missed.JV

Jacques Martin HOTTETERRE 'le Romain' (1673-1763) La Flûte du Roy - Preludes, Suittes et Sonates en Trio 3e Suite in G (1er Livre, 1708/1715) [10:32] 3e Sonate en trio in d, op. 3,3 (1712) [06:28] Prélude en G. Re, Sol, 3ce Mineur (L'Art de Préluder, 1719) [03:10] Rochers, vous êtes sourds (Airs et Brunettes, 1721) [05:25] 2e Suite in c minor (2e Livre, 1715) Prélude en D. La, Re, 3ce Majeure (L'Art de Préluder, 1719) [03:33] De mes Supires de ma langueur (Airs et Brunettes, 1721) [04:02] 4e Suite in e minor (1er Livre, 1708/1715) [14:48] 6e Sonate en trio, op. 3,6 [05:03] Jean-Henry D'ANGLEBERT (1635-1691) Passacaille for harpsichord [04:55] Michael Form, recorder; Rebeka Rusó, treble and bass viol; Dolores Costoyas, theorbo; Dirk Börner, harpsichord Recorded September 2002 at the Church Alt-Leisnig in Polditz (Germany) DDD RAUMKLANG RK 2207 [73:25]

This disc is not the first devoted to Hotteterre's music, but in my opinion it is definitely the most interesting as far as performance practice is concerned. The interpretation underlines the emotional and expressive element in French music which is demonstrated, for instance, by the contrasts in tempo. For this recording Michael Form has looked into period publications which describe the original tempi in which dances at that time were played. An aspect of Hotteterre's own playing which has been paid attention to, is the extensive ornamentation. The result is a very exciting performance, which reveals aspects of French baroque music, which too often remain underexposed.JV

Gottfried Heinrich STÖLZEL (1690 - 1749) Cantatas for Pentecost 1737 Werdet voll Geistes [09:53] Siehe da, eine Hütte Gottes [09:21] Wollte Gott, dass alle das Volk weissagete [08:14] Daran ist erschienen die Liebe Gottes gegen uns [12:53] So denn ihr, die ihr arg seid [10:17] Lehre mich tun nach deinem Wohlgefallen [09:50] Er heisset Friedefürst, cantata for Sunday Quasimodogeniti 1732 [06:46] Dorothee Mields, soprano; Martin Wölfel, alto; Jan Kobow, tenor; Christian Immler, bass Telemannisches Collegium Michaelstein/Ludger Rémy Recorded in June 2002 at the Evangelische Kirche St Bonifatius, Ditfurth, Germany. DDD CPO 999 876-2 [68:11]

These cantatas are of exceptional quality and can make one understand why Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel was a highly admired composer in his time. There is a lot of text expression, and the recitatives are particularly interesting. As Stölzel was considered an expert on the subject, these cantatas show that he was able to use his theoretical knowledge in an imaginative way. These splendid cantatas receive performances which vary from good to outstanding.JV

  Patrick Waller
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin D.795 (1823) (Im Winter zu lessen, a cycle of poems by Wilhelm Müller, 1794-1827) 1. Das Wandern; 2. Wohin?; 3. Halt!; 4. Danksagung an den Bach; 5. Am Feierabend; 6. Der Neugierige; 7. Ungeduld; 8. Morgengruß; 9. Des Müllers Blumen; 10. Tränenregen; 11. Mein!; 12. Pause; 13. Mit dem grünen Lautenbande; 14. Der Jäger; 15. Eifersucht und Stolz; 16. Die liebe Farbe; 17. Die böse Farbe; 18. Trockne Blumen; 19. Der Müller und der Bach; 20. Des Baches Wiegenlied.
Ian Bostridge (tenor); Mitsuko Uchida (piano). Recorded December 2003, Lyndhurst Hall, London. DDD EMI CLASSICS 5 57827 2 [63:48]

Ian Bostridge’s first recording of Die schöne Müllerin was a major success 10 years back but this reading goes even deeper. Mitsuko Uchida is superb too making this one of the most desirable of all versions of this evergreen cycle. PCW

Leoš JANÁCEK (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 Broucek, 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]

A varied programme of relatively rare Janácek given committed performances, superbly recorded and beautifully presented.PCW

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

The 24 Fugues are remarkably inventive for a nonagenarian and Gal’s piano music is a major discovery. Leon McCawley’s performances, the sound and documentation cannot be faulted.. PCW

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde (1865) Nina Stemme (sop) ... Isolde Plácido Domingo (ten) ... Tristan Mihoko Fujimora (mezzo) ... Brangäne René Pape (bass) ... King Marke Olaf Bär (bar) ... Kurwenal Jared Holt (ten) ... Melot Ian Bostridge (ten) Shepherd Rolando Villazón (ten) ... Young Sailor Matthew Rose (bar) ... Steersman Royal Opera House Chorus, Covent Garden Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden/Antonio Pappano rec. Nov 2004–Jan 2005, No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road Studios, London. DDD Plus bonus DVD EMI CLASSICS 558006-2 [3 CDs: 78:57 + 73:54 + 73:38 = 227:00]

Billed as the last ever all-star studio opera recording, this just pipped Simon Rattle’s Mahler 8 recording in my affections. Most impressive of all, for me, is Pappano’s conducting. The bonus 227 minute single DVD with text is a worthwhile extra. PCW

Franz Ignaz BECK (1734-1809) Six Symphonies Op. 1: Sinfonia No. 1 in G minor [12:24]; Sinfonia No. 2 in F [11:42]; Sinfonia No. 3 in A [9:06]; Sinfonia No. 4 in E flat [8:12]; Sinfonia No. 5 in G [11:29]; Sinfonia No. 6 in C [6:06] New Zealand Chamber Orchestra/Donald Armstrong rec. Brierley Theatre, Wellington College, New Zealand, August 2001. DDD NAXOS 8.554071 [59:00]

I enjoyed but underestimated this when reviewing it back in August. Don’t be put off by the Op.1 label, these are important works in the development of the symphony and the playing is excellent.. PCW

Jonathan Woolf

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

“Schreker conducts” has an enticing ring for adherents of composer-conductors who flourished on acoustic and electric discs. This three CD set, superbly annotated, collates all his known recordings (including two versions of The Birthday of the Infanta suite) and includes unpublished sides as well, making it a revealing and comprehensive survey of some considerable historical importance. JW

Zoltán Székely and the Hungarian String Quartet: Historical recordings and previously unissued public performances, 1937-1968.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Quartet K 456 ("Dissonant") (*Menton Festival, 13 July 1958) [25.08] Quartet in D minor K 421(Rec. for HMV in London 1946) [25.45] Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Quartet No. 14 in D minor ("Death and the Maiden") (*Menton Festival, 22 July 1958) [37.42] Quartet No. 15 in G Major, Op. 161 (*Menton Festival, 22 July 1958) [39.31] Quartet No. 14 in D minor ("Death and the Maiden") (Chamber Music Society LP CM-17, rec. 1952) [35.50] Josef HAYDN (1732-1809) Quartet in C major Op 74 No 1 (*University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 5 July 1950) Quartet in D Major Op 64 No. 5 (*University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1951) Quartet in D Major Op 64 No. 5 (from 78s) (Rec. for HMV in London, 1946) Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Quartet in C, Op. 59 No. 3 (*Menton Festival, 21 July 1961) [25.52] Quartet in C# minor, Op. 131 (*Menton Festival, 21 July 1961) [34.25] Quartet in F Op. 59 No. 1 (*Budapest, Academy of Music,20 Dec. 1968)[38.54] Zoltan KODÁLY (1882-1967) String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10 (Concert Hall Soc. LP CHS-1157, rec. 1952) [17.13] Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Fifth String Quartet (*Menton Festival, July 1961) [30.42] Sixth String Quartet (*Menton Festival, July 1961) [28.23] Third String Quartet (*Budapest, Academy of Music. 20 Dec. 1968) [15.03] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Quartet in A minor Op.51 No. 2 (Budapest, Academy of Music. 20 Dec. 1968) [31.12] Nicola Antonio PORPORA (1686-1768) Sonata II in G (from Sonate XII di Violino e Basso (osia di Cimbalo e violoncello)) (Amer. Decca 78 G-25877). Zoltán Székely with Géza Fried, piano [8.19]. Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Quartet in D Major, Op. 11 (Concert Hall Soc. LP CHS-1183, rec. 1952) [25.10] Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Quartet in F Major, Op. 96 ("American") (Concert Hall Soc. LP CHS-1157, rec. 1952) [26.10] Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 82 (Dutch Decca 78 set X-10110, rec. 1942).[20.56] Székely, with Hague Residence Orchestra conducted by Willem van Otterloo Cinq Novellettes pour Quatuor d'archets, Op. 15 (Concert Hall Soc. LP CHS-1183 rec. 1952 [28.31] Edouard LALO (1823-1892) Guitarre (Dutch Decca 78 set X-10110, rec. 1942) Székely with Jean Antonietti, piano.[3.27] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Quartet in A minor, Op. 41 No. 1 (*University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1 July 1951) [21.35] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 (*University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1 Aug. 1951) [22.22]
Hungarian String Quartet – [1] Székely--Moskowsky-Koromzay-Palotai. [2] Székely-Moszkowsky-Koromzay-Magyar. [3] Székely-Moskowsky-Halleux-Palotai. [4] Székely-Kuttner-Koromzay-Magyar. * Public performances. Technical reconstruction (2004) by Maggi Payne. Issued with the kind cooperation of Prof. Gabriel Magyar and the Székely Estate.
MUSIC & ARTS CD1161[8 CDs: 78.41 + 75.27 + 77.47 + 73.46 + 77.39 + 68.27 + 78.52 + 74.30]

An eight CD swathe of material, live and historic, charts the superb musicianship of the Hungarian Quartet. Repertoire duplications serve only to heighten interest and the existence of such as a rare wartime Glazunov concerto allows one to get even closer to the primarius of the quartet, Zoltán Székely. Their Bartók and Kodály have particular interest, given their closeness to the composers, but the whole box (the inevitable few disappointments aside) is something of a triumph of programming and breadth. JW

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

Another box set is my final choice but again there are strong reasons for thinking big. Hans Gál has received some dedicated recordings over the years but surely none finer than this, a collection of surviving pieces written for his own instrument, the piano. It charts a full and long compositional life, one subject to vicissitude and fragmentation. These pieces however are wide-ranging, Gallic as much as Viennese, cosmopolitan as much as concentrated on Bachian principles. Magnificent performances from McCawley. JW


Return to Index


Return to Index