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Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Leonard Bernstein: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon - Collectors Edition
Full details in review Box I DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 5174 [6 CDs: 74.00 + 64.10 + 67.14 + 68.45 + 57.08 + 57.38] BOX II 00289 477 5181 [5 CDs: 75.03 + 53.52 + 61.34 + 64.05 + 41.08] Box III 00289 477 5187 [5 CDs: 50.27 + 59.02 + 66.55 + 47.34 + 41.37] [TB]

A remarkable testament to one of the great musicians of the 20th century. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 in C minor Resurrection (1894) Jo Vincent (soprano) Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) Amsterdam Toonkunst Choir Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. Holland Festival, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 12 July 1951. Live radio aircheck. GUILD HISTORICAL GHCD 2210 [77:08][KS]

A treasure well worth the cash outlay ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (original piano versions) Der Schildwache Nachtlied [6:13] Revelge* [7:08] Rheinlegendchen [3:26] Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht? [2:10] Verlorne Müh’! [7:11] Trost im Unglück [2:21] Lob des hohen Verstands [2:59] Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt [4:14] Lied des Verfolgten im Turn [4:26] Der Tambourg’sell [6:31] Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen [8:13] Das irdische Leben [2:51] Das himmlische Leben* [8:25] Urlicht* [5:19] “Es sungen drei Engel einen süssen Gesang”* [4:22] Thomas Hampson (baritone); Geoffrey Parsons (piano) rec. Teldec Studio, Berlin, November 1991, June 1993.DDD *World première recording WARNER CLASSICS 9031 74726-2 [73:06][JQ]

I’ve heard some very fine recital discs from Thomas Hampson in the past but this is one of the finest of all. An outstanding achievement! ... see Full Review

Henry MANCINI (1924-1994) The Music of Henry Mancini Peter Gunn [1:58] Moon River [3:21] Baby Elephant Walk [4:01] String on Fire [2:30] Dear Heart [3:06] Dream of a Lifetime [3:31] The Great Race March [2:29] Days of Wine and Roses [3:42] The Pink Panther [3:52] Two for the Road [3:28] Ballerina’s Dream [3:13] The Life Force Theme [3:27] The Glass Menagerie [5:30] Charade [3:25] Beaver Valley ‘37 [13:40] Drummer’s Delight [4:10] The Thorn Birds [2:56] March with Mancini [3:58] Richard Hayman and His Orchestra rec. Concert Hall of the Slovak Radio, Bratislava, 7-9 November 1990 DDD NAXOS 8.557825 [74:55][PG]

While the intent is good, the execution is not what it could be. ... see Full Review

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Manon - opera in five acts (1884) libretto by Henri Meilhac and Philippe Gille after Antoine-François Prévost’s novel L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut (1731) Manon Lescaut – Mirella Freni (soprano) Chevalier Des Grieux – Luciano Pavarotti (tenor) Le Comte des Grieux – Antonio Zerbini (bass) Lescaut – Rolando Panerai (baritone) Guillot de Morfontaine – Franco Ricciardi (tenor) De Brétigny – Giuseppe Morresi (bass) Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro alla Scala, Milan/Peter Maag rec. live, 3 June 1969, Teatro alla Scala, Milan OPERA D’ORO OPD-1270 [70:05 + 61:13] [JO]

If you want to hear stupendous singing from two of the greatest Italian stars caught in their prime this will be an excellent purchase. ... see Full Review

Nicholas MAW (b. 1935) Life Studies I-VIII (1973-76) [39:46] Richard Rodney BENNETT (b. 1936) Spells for soprano, chorus and orchestra (1974-75) [36:06] Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Neville Marriner (Maw) Jane Manning (sop) Bach Choir, Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir David Willcocks (Bennett) rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, 1978. ADD first issued on LP: ZRG 899 (Maw) and reissued - same coupling on Continuum CD CCD1030 NMC ANCORA NMC D085 [76:19] [RB]

Two brilliant retrievals from the fearsome mid-1970s but showing signs of a return to lyricism and a renunciation of Boulez and Darmstadt. ... see Full Review

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Naxos Quartets: No. 5, Lighthouses of Orkney and Shetland (2004) [20'32]; No. 6 (2004/5) [35'07]. Maggini Quartet (Laurence Jackson, David Angel, violins; Martin Outram, viola; Michal Kaznowski, cello). rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 26-28 May 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557398 [55'39][CC]

Superb – as we have come to expect from Naxos/Maggini. More than that, this is important. The composer/record company marriage is leading to things which may with justification be referred to as 'great'. ... see Full Review

Toshiro MAYUZUMI (1929-1997) Symphonic Mood (1950) [18:45] Bugaku - Ballet in Two Parts (Court Dance Music) (1962) [23:29] Mandala Symphony (1958) [17:54] Rumba Rhapsody (1948) [8:12] New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa rec. Michael Fowler Center, Wellington, New Zealand, 23-25 August 2004. NAXOS 8.557693 [68:20][HC]

Mayuzumi’s most accessible pieces, none of them earth-shaking masterpieces; all very enjoyable. Excellent performances and very fine recording  ... see Full Review

Henryk MELCER (1869-1928) Violin Sonata in G major (1907) [28.44] Dumka for violin and piano (1909) [3.06] Piano Trio in G minor Op.2 (1892-94) [41.46] The Warsaw Trio (Andrzej Gębski (violin), Jarosław Domżał (cello), Joanna Ławrynowicz (piano)) rec. Warsaw, June and September 2004 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0111 [74.12][JW]

If you’re keen to find how far Grieg’s influence spread into continental Europe try the Melcer sonata ... see Full Review

Fanny MENDELSSOHN (1805-1847) Piano Works see review for details Elżbieta Sternlicht, piano rec. Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin, 24-27 June 2005. DDD ACTE PRÉALABLE APO 0130 [63:15] [DB]

At her lightest, Fanny Mendelssohn’s works recall her brother’s lighter moments in his own piano pieces. Occasionally she achieves something great ... see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphony No.4 in A op.90 Italian [26:25]; Symphony No.5 in D op.107 Reformation [27:10]; Octet in E flat op.20: Scherzo: Allegro leggierissimo [04:09] Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch rec. Symphony Hall, Boston, 18 February 1958 (Symphony 4), 28 October 1957 (Symphony 5), 7 March 1960 (Octet Scherzo) (heard as a normal CD) BMG-RCA RED SEAL SACD 82876716162 [57:59][CH]

Highly recommended, especially to those not convinced that Mendelssohn was a BIG composer. ... see Full Review

Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Orchestral and Chamber Music Trio for violin, clarinet and piano op. 157b (1936) [11:33] Symphonic Suite no. 2 Protée op. 57 (1919) [24:16] Little Chamber Symphony no. 3 op. 71 (1921) [3:10] Serenade for Orchestra op. 62 (1920-21) [13:59] Cinq Etudes for piano and orchestra op. 63 (1920) [9:57] Suite from Maximilien op. 110b (1932, rev. 1950) [14:38] Trois Rag Caprices op. 78 (1922) [6:56] Jacques Parrenin (violin), Ulysse Delecluse (clarinet), Annette Haas-Hamburger (piano) (Trio) San Francisco Symphony Orchestra/ Pierre Monteux (Protée) Jean Pougnet (violin), Anthony Pini (cello), Reginald Kell (clarinet), Paul Draper (bassoon), George Eskdale (trumpet)/Walter Goehr (Chamber Symphony) Paul Badura-Skoda (piano) (Five Studies) Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Henry Swoboda (Studies, Caprices, Maximilien, Serenade) rec. 1936-1953. Mono ADD. Transcribed from various 78 rpm and LP discs: Felsted RL89006/Period SPL563 (Trio); Columbia DB1788 (Chamber Sym); RCA Victor 11-8977-79 (Protée); Westminster WL5051 DIVINE ART 27807 [79:30] [RB]

A language shot through with Latin-American carnival, peppery dissonance, jazzy insouciance, nervy neo-classicism, pastoral repose and souped up, whooping, if strangely cold, exuberance. ... see Full Review

Paul MORAVEC (b.1957) The Time Gallery (2000) [42:15] Protean Fantasy (1993) [9:33] Ariel Fantasy (2002) [4:17] eighth blackbird (The Time Gallery) Peter Sheppard – Skærved (violin) Aaron Shorr (piano). rec. Studio 4, Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, Illinois, 23-24 November 2002 (The Time Gallery), and Potton Hall, Suffolk, 2-3 December 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.559267 [56:06] [DC]

Inspirational new music. I suggest you head for the nearest classical CD outlet. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Serenade in G major, K 525 (1787) [18:18]; Serenata notturna, K 239 (1776) [13:04]; Divertimento in F major, K 247, Lodron Night Music No. 1 (1776) [36:21] Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Petter Sundkvist rec. Örebro Concert Hall, Sweden, 4-7 June 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557023 [67:43][GF]

Superbly played, tempos discriminatingly chosen and with phrasing so full of life and that all-important ebb and flow ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Piano Trio in C, K.548 (1788) [19’ 50”] Piano Trio in E, K.542 (1788) [18’ 37”] Piano Trio in B Flat, K.502 (1786) [22’38”] Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Daniel Müller-Schott (cello), André Previn (piano) rec. Baden Baden Festpielhaus, May 2005 Producers: Reinhild Schmidt, Ulrich Vetter DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 5796 [61’20”] [DRD]

Mozart’s underrated piano trios in very fine recordings ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Music for mandolin and guitar: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K 525, 1st Movement, Allegro; Laudate dominum from Vesperae solennes de Confessore K 339; Sonata A major K 331; Ave verum corpus, K 618; Sonata C major K 545; Voi, che sapete, Cherubino’s canzona from Le nozze di Figaro, K 492; Der Hölle Rache, The Queen of the Night’s aria from Die Zauberflöte, K 620; Adagio in C major for glass harmonica, K 356; March in D major, K 408; Variations on “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman”, K 265; Laudate dominum from Vesperae solennes de Confessore K 339 (Version for mandolin orchestra) Detlef Tewes (mandolin), Boris Björn Bagger (guitar) rec. September – October 2005, Karlsruhe, Germany All arrangements by Detlef Tewes and Boris Björn Bagger ANTES BM-CD 31.9217 [72:27][GF]

Bold and delicious arrangements in this charming and distinctive Mozart homage ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor, K.478 (1785) [24:54] Piano Quartet No.2 in E flat K. 493 (1785) [27:36] Fauré Piano Quartet: (Erika Geldsetzer (violin); Sascha Frombling (viola); Konstantin Heidrich (cello); Dirk Mommertz (piano)) rec. Teldec Studio, June/July 2005 DECCA 477 588-5 [52:30][DRD]

Poor value and stiff competition prevents this new entry being a top recommendation despite fine performances ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) CD 1 Divertimento in B flat major K254 (1776) [21:11] Piano Trio in G Major K496 (1786) [26:20] Piano Trio in B Flat major K502 (1786) [23:50] CD 2 Piano Trio in E Major K542 (1788) [19:39] Piano Trio in C Major K548 (1788) [20:57] Piano Trio in G Major K564 (1788) [25:05] Gryphon Trio (Jamie Parker (piano); Annalee Patipatanakoon (violin); Roman Borys (cello)) rec. 17-22 July 2005, Humbercrest United Church, Montreal, Canada. ANALEKTA AN 2 9827-8 [70:21 + 65:41][DRD]

A very good performance of somewhat neglected Mozart works-near the top if not quite. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonata No.11 in A, K331 Alla Turca (1781-3) [22:55] Fantasia in D minor, K397 (1787) [5:40] Fantasia in C minor, K475 (1785) [13:01] Piano Sonata No.8 in A minor, K310 (1778) [15:52] Wilhelm Kempff (piano) rec. UFA-Studio Berlin, January 1962. ADD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 590 7 [57:51][DRD]

One for Kempff lovers only - a great pianist playing great music; sadly not the right music for Kempff ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Le Nozze Di Figaro - Opera buffa in Four Acts. K 492 (Highlights) Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte after Beaumarchais Figaro, Alastair Miles (bass); Susanna, Nuccia Focile (sop); Count Almaviva, Alessandro Corbelli (bar); Countess Almaviva, Carol Vaness (sop); Cherubino, Susanne Mentzer (mezzo); Marcellina, Suzanne Murphy (sop); Basilio, Ryland Davies (ten); Dr. Bartolo/Antonio, Alfonso Antoniozzi (bass); Barbarina, Rebecca Evans (sop) Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Chorus/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland, 31 July-12 August 1995. DDD TELARC CD-80449 [77:20][RJF]

Experience Mackerras’s fleet and consummate Mozart conducting ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Così fan tutte (1790) - Highlights Ouvertura; Act I: La mia Dorabella capace non è; Ah, guarda, sorella; Vorrei dir; Sento, oddio, che questo piede; Bella vita militar!; Di scrivermi ogni giorno; Soave sia il vento; Smanie implacabili; In uomini, in soldati; Come scoglio immoto resta; Non siate ritrosi; E voi ridete; Un’aura amorosa; Act II: Una donna a quindici anni; Il core vi dono, bell’idolo mio; Ah, lo veggio, quell’anima bella; Per pieta, ben mio, perdona; Donne mie, la fate a tanti; Tradito, schernito; È amore un ladroncello; Fra gli amplessi; Tutti accusan le donne Felicity Lott (soprano) – Fiordiligi; Marie McLaughlin (soprano) – Dorabella; Nuccia Focile (soprano) – Despina; Jerry Hadley (tenor) – Ferrando; Alessandro Corbelli (baritone) – Guilelmo; Gilles Cachemaille (baritone) – Don Alfonso Edinburgh Festival Chorus; Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2–13 August 1993. DDD TELARC CD-80399 [76:12][GF]

Anyone wanting a stylish disc of Cosí highlights? Here it is! ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Così fan tutte [159:06] Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Fiordiligi, soprano), Nan Merriman (Dorabella, mezzo), Lisa Otto (Despina, soprano), Léopold Simoneau (Ferrando, tenor), Rolando Panerai (Guglielmo, baritone), Sesto Bruscantini (Don Alfonso, bass-baritone) Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra/ Herbert von Karajan rec. 1954 Don Giovanni: Vedrai carino [03:33], Crudele? … Non mi dir [07:23], Batti, batti, o bel Masetto [03:31], Le nozze di Figaro: Porgi amor [04:14], Voi che sapete [02:56], Dove sono [04:54], Idomeneo: Zeffiretti lusibghieri [05:54] Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Philharmonia Orchestra/John Pritchard rec. 1953 Die Zauberflöte: Ach, ich fühls [04:17] Don Giovanni: In quali eccessi … Mi tradì quell’alma ingrata [05:50] Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI/Mario Rossi rec. 1952, live REGIS RRC 3010 [3 CDs: 62:56 + 63:06 + 75:50] [CH]

A classic set ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Don Giovanni (1787) Highlights Overture; Act I: Introduzione: Notte e giorno faticar; Fuggi, crudele, fuggi; Ah, chi mi dice mai; Madamina, il catalogo è questo; La ci darem la mano; Or sai chi l’onore; Dalla sua pace; Finch’han dal vino; Batti, batti, o bel Masetto; Finale I: Da bravi, via, ballate … Ecco il birbo che t’ha offesa … Trema, trema, o scerllerato! Act II: Ah! Taci, ingiusto core; Deh, vieni alla finestra; Vedrai, carino; Il mio tesoro intanto; Mi tradi quell’alma ingrata; O statua gentilissima; Crudele! Ah no, mio bene! … Non mi dir, bell’idol mio; Finale II: Don giovanni, a cenar teco … Da qual tremore insolito Bo Skovhus (baritone) – Don Giovanni; Alessandro Corbelli (baritone) – Leporello; Christine Brewer (soprano) – Donna Anna; Jerry Hadley (tenor) – Don Ottavio; Felicity Lott (soprano) – Donna Elvira; Nuccia Focile (soprano) – Zerlina; Umberto Chiummo (bass) – Il Commendatore/Masetto Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Chorus/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland, 31 July–11 August 1995 TELARC CD-80442 [77:23][GF]

The only weakness is that it leaves you wanting the complete recording. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Operatic Arias: Don Giovanni, K 527: Il mio tesoro; Dalla sua pace; Die Entführung, K 384: Hier soll ich dich denn sehen; Wenn der Freude; Konstanze! Konstanze;  Dich wiederzusehe;  Ich baue ganz auf deine Stärke; Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Dies Bildnis; Wie stark ist nicht dein Zauberton; Cosi fan tutte, K 588: Un aura amorosa; Ah lo veggio, quell’anima  bella; In quell fiero contrasto ... Tradito, schemito dal perfida cor; Idomeneo, K 366: Fuor del mar ho un mar in seno Stuart Burrows (tenor) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir John Pritchard, London Symphony Orchestra/Sir John Pritchard rec. 1975. No venue given. ADD DECCA CLASSIC RECITALS 475 7168 DM [52:10] [RJF]

Despite the meagre fare, Burrows’ really lovely and well-characterised singing makes this is a must-purchase for his fans, those of the composer and lovers of good singing. ... see Full Review

Alla PAVLOVA (b.1952) Monolog for violin and string orchestra 2002) [6.12] Old New York Nostalgia - suite (1998, rev. 2002) [22.11] Sulamith - ballet suite (2003-2004) [45:34] Yaroslav Kranikov (violin) (Monolog) Leonid Makarevich (piano); Andrey Chernishov (percussion); Aleksey Volkov, Michail Poroshin (saxophone); Georgy Pleskatch (trumpet) (Old New York Nostalgia) Artiom Grinko (trumpet) (Sulamith) Russian Philharmonia Orchestra/Rossen Milanov rec. Studio 5, Russian State TV and Radio Company, KULTURA, Moscow, 28 June-3 July 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557674 [73:57][RB]

Pavlova’s hallmark caressingly tender writing registers with due emotional weight. ... see Full Review

Coleridge-Taylor PERKINSON (1932-2004) Sinfonietta No.1 for strings (1954-55) [15.17] Grass: Poem for piano, strings and percussion (1956) [16.08] Quartet No.1 based on “Calvary” (Negro Spiritual) (1956) [17.04] Blue/s Forms for solo violin (1972) [7.26] Lamentations; Black/Folk Song Suite for solo cello 91973) [15.38] Louisiana Blues Strut (A Cakewalk) (2001) [2.49] Movement for String Trio (2004) [3.56] Chicago Sinfonietta/Paul Freeman (Sinfonietta) Joseph Joubert (piano)/ Chicago Sinfonietta/Paul Freeman (Grass) New Black Repertory Ensemble Quartet (Quartet) Sanford Allen (violin) (Blue/s Forms for solo violin) Tahirah Whittington (cello) (Lamentations) Ashley Horne (violin) (Louisiana Blues Strut) Sanford Allen (violin), Jesse Levine (viola) and Carter Brey (cello) (Movement for String Trio) rec. Lund Auditorium, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, May 2005 (Sinfonietta), WFMT Chicago, May 2005 Quartet, Louisiana Blues Strut and Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, remainder CEDILLE CDR 90000 087 [79.01][JW]

Perkinson’s voice was a valuable one and we could do with more of his music on disc. ... see Full Review

Hans PFITZNER (1869-1949) Das Christelflein – Spieloper in two acts (1901-1906 revised 1917) Marlis Petersen (soprano) – Christelflein Martina Rüping (soprano) – Christkindchen Kevin Connors (tenor) – Frieder Gumpach Christian Bauer (tenor) – Jochen Michael Volle (bass) – Knecht Ruprecht Andreas Hörl (baritone) – Herr von Gumpach Friedemann Röhlig (bass) – Tannengreis Richard Salter (bass) – Franz Andrea Sokol – Erzählerin (narrator) Munch Radio Symphony Orchestra/Claus Peter Flor rec. live, Philharmonie am Gasteig, Munich, December 2004 CPO 777 155-2 [50.00 + 46.20][JW]

Piquant and enticing and an affectionate simplicity. ... see Full Review

Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921 – 1992) Buenos Aires – mi amor - Tango Nuevo: Michelangelo ’70; Tangata – Silfo y Ondina: Fugata; Soledad; Final; Milonga del ángel; Estaciones Porteñas: Primavera Porteña; Verano Porteño; Otoño Porteño; Invierno Porteño; Libertango Operassion: Fabian Dobler (piano), Antje Steen (bandoneon), Susanne Hofmann (violin), Maya Valcheva (double bass), Rares Popsa (guitar) rec. Saal der Bayerischen Musikakademie, Marktoberdorf, 9–12 August 2005. DDD ANTES BM-CD 31.9208 [57:35] [GF]

As good a place as any for the not-yet-converted to start delving ... see Full Review

Ignaz PLEYEL (1757-1831) String Quartet in E flat Op.2 No.4 (1784) [18:42] String Quartet in B flat Op.2 No.5 (1784) [18:06] String Quartet in D Op.2 No.6 (1784) [19:51] Ensō Quartet rec. Holy Martyrs Church, Bradford, Ontario, January, February 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557497 [56:38] [PCW]

Music with much grace and charm which plumbs no emotional depths ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Manon Lescaut - opera in four acts (1893) Libretto: Marco Praga, Domenico Oliva, Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa based on a novel by Abbé Prévost. First performed at the Teatro Regio Turin, 1 February 1893 Manon Lescaut, Licia Albanese (sop); Lescaut, Manon’s brother and Sergeant in the Kings Guard, Robert Merrill (bar); Cavalier des Grieux, a student, Jussi Björling (ten); Geronte, wealthy Treasurer-General, Franco Calabrese (bass) Orchestra and Chorus of the Rome Opera /Jonel Perlea rec, Rome Opera House, July 1954. mono Appendix: A recital by Licia Albanese Gustave CHARPENTIER (1860-1956) Louise, Depuis la jour. rec. 1950 Alfredo CATALANI  (1854-1893) La Wally, Ebben? ne andró lontana. rec. 1950 Francesco CILEA (1866-1950) Adriana Lecouvreur, Poveri fiori. rec. 1950 Arrigo BOITO (1842-1918)  Mefistofele, L’altra notte in fondo al mare. rec. 1947 Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Bachianas Brasileiras No 5, Aria (Cantilena). rec. New York. February 1951 Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS HISTORICAL GREAT OPERA RECORDINGS SERIES 8.111030-31 [75.54 + 69.57][RJF]

Björling, a prince among tenors ... commended as an excellent addition to the ranks of recordings of the composer’s first real success. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Madama Butterfly - opera in two acts (1904) Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica based on Belasco’s dramatisation of a story by John Luther King. First performed at La Scala, Milan, 17 February 1904 Madama Butterfly, Maria Callas (sop); Pinkerton, Nicolai Gedda (ten); Suzuki, Lucia Danieli (mezzo); Sharpless, Mario Borriello (bar); Goro, Renato Ercolani (ten); Il Bonze, Plinio Clabassi (bass); Kate Pinkerton, Luisa Villa (mezzo) Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala Milan/Herbert von Karajan rec. La Scala, Milan. August 1955. MONO Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn. From English Columbia label LPs NAXOS HISTORICAL GREAT OPERA RECORDINGS 8.111026-27 [2 CDs: 76.32 + 62.54][RJF]

There are those who will forgive Callas’s every vocal infelicity for the small change of the added insights associated with her interpretation. On this occasion I would keep my money in my pocket. ... see Full Review

Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838) Clarinet Trio, Op.28 (1810) [23:53] Clarinet Sonata, Op.29 (1809) [24:59] Clarinet Sonata, Op.169 (1814) [20:23] Dieter Klöcker (clarinet); Thomas Duis (piano); Armin Fromm (cello) rec. 17-21 November 2003, 10-11 May 2004, Tonstudio Teije van Geest, Heidelberg/Sandhausen. CPO 777 0362 [69:18][GPu]

All three of these pieces deserve wider circulation than they have yet had. All three are persuasively performed on this CD, which is recommended unreservedly. ... see Full Review

John Donald ROBB (1892-1989) Symphony No.1 (c.1946) [30.47] Viola Concerto Op.24 (1953) [21.08] Dariusz Korcz (viola) National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra/David Oberg No recording details OPUS ONE 183 [51.50][JW]

Robb cleaves attractively to traditional models ... see Full Review

John Donald ROBB (1892-1989) Piano Concerto (1950) [27:14] Hayg BOYADJIAN (b.1938) Symphony No.2 [23.11] Tatiana Vetrinskaya (piano) National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra/David Oberg No recording details [but Symphony recorded January 2000] OPUS ONE 187 [50.25] [JW]

A good, open-hearted and un-academic piano concerto and a tough, sinewy and deliberately uningratiating symphony ... see Full Review

Joseph GUY ROPARTZ (1864-1955) Messe de Sainte-Anne: (Entrée -Pièce d'Orgue [1'01]; Kyrie [3'24]; Gloria [4'01]; Offertoire - Invocation a César Franck [4'4]; Sanctus, Benedictus [3'16]; Elévation - Pièce d'orgue [2'50]; Sortie - Pièce d'Orgue [2'01]) Salut au Saint-Sacrement pour la fête de Saint-Louis de Gonzague: (Hic vir despiciens mundum, 2 voix égales [1'39]; Prelude - Pièce d'orgue [0'50]; Ave verum, soprano solo [2'34]; Coelesti convivio 2 voix égales [2'22]; Memorare, soprano solo [3'30]; Méditation - Pièce d'orgue [1'22]; Tantum ergo, chant grégorien [1'32]; Prière de saint Ignace 3 voix égales [2'52]; Sortie-Pièce d'orgue [2'05]) Prière en mi majeur, orgue [4'35] Symbole des Apotres, extraite de Trois Prières pour chant et orgue, mezzo solo [2'52] Prière pour les Trespasses, orgue [8'11] Tantum ergo - chante par les pelerins de Saint-Anne-d'Auray, dimanche 7 aout 2005 [1'36] Marina Venant, soprano, Caroline Gesret, mezzo Choeur Britten/Nicole Corti Vincent Genvrin, orgue de choeur (all accompaniment), Jean Bizot, grand orgue rec. St-Anne-d'Auray, France, August, September 2005. DDD HORTUS 042 [60'44] [CB]

A profoundly beautiful production, featuring an all-but forgotten musical figure ... see Full Review

Ned ROREM (b.1923) Works for Choir and Organ Arise Shine (1977) [3:40] Impromptu (1990) [1:52] Three Hymn Anthems (1955) [5:24] Why and Because (1997) [3:59] The Seventieth Psalm (1943) [3:43] Seven Motets for the Church’s Year (1986) [14:46] The Flight into Egypt (1997) [3:26] Come, Pure Hearts (1974) [3:01] Mercy and the Truth are Met (1947) [3:39] Entreat me not (1997) [1:32] A Sermon on Miracles (1947) [6:23] Three Motets on poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1973) [8:58] The Harvard University Choir Murray Forbes Somerville (director) Carson Cooman (organ) Appleton Wind Ensemble (Seventieth Psalm) Brattle Street Chamber Players (A Sermon) rec. Methuen Memorial Hall, Harvard USA, 4th – 6th May 2003. BLACK BOX BBM1102 [60:31][DC]

Very pleasant listening. With a little more quality in the performances and recording this is the kind of CD which could have done for Black Box what Hildegard von Bingen did for Hyperion. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) La Scala Di Seta (The Silken Ladder) - farsa giocosa in one act (1812) Libretto by Giuseppe Foppa. First performed at the Teatro San Moise, Venice, 9 May 1812 Germano, a servant, Alessandro Corbelli (bass); Giulia, Luciana Serra (sop); Dorvil, Giulia’s husband, David Kuebler (ten); Blansac, Alberto Rinaldi (bass-bar); Lucilla, Giulia’s cousin, Jane Bunnell (sop); Dormont, Giulia’s father, David Griffith (ten) Radio Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart, Germany/Gianluigi Gelmetti Stage production of the Oper der Stadt Köln and Opera de Montpellier from the Schwetzingen Festival rec. live, Rokotheater Schwetzingen, 6-8 May 1990 Stage production and design by Michael Hempe. Costumes by Chiara Donato Directed for TV by Claus Villar Picture format NTSC 4:3. Colour. Sound Formats: PCM stereo; DD 5.1; DTS 5.1. Subtitles in English, German, Spanish, Italian and French EURO ARTS DVD 20549078 [100:00][RJF]

Playing of the highest order. Corbelli is outstanding as Germano and Ringholz is up to the heroine’s task with agility and warm tone. Their duet is Rossini coloratura singing of the highest order ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Maometto II - melodramma eroico in two acts (1822, Venice version). Libretto by Cesare della Valle revised for Venice by Gaetano Rossi. First performed at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice, 26 December 1822 Maometto, Lorenzo Regazza (bass); Calbo, a Venetian general, Anna-Rita Gemmabella (con); Anna Erisso, daughter of the Governor, Carmen Giannattasio (sop); Paolo Erisso, Governor of Negroponte, Maxim Miranov (ten); Condulmiero, another Venetian general, Nicola Marchesini (male falsetist); Selimo, Maometto's confidant, Federico Lepre (ten); Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro La Fenice, Venice/Claudio Scimone performed in the Critical Edition prepared by Claudio Scimone. rec. live, February 2005 Artistic director, Sergio Segalini. Sets and costumes by Pier Luigi Pizzi. Lighting, Sergio Rossi Video Director Tiziano Mancini Recorded in High Definition. Presented in dts digital surround sound, Dolby, PCM 2.0. Vision 16:9 Colour. NTSC Menu language English. Subtitles in Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese. Notes and synopsis in Italian, English, German, Italian and French DYNAMIC DVD 33492 [2 DVDs:174:00] [RF]

This recording is a welcome and valuable addition to the rapidly expanding repertoire of Rossini operas on DVD. I recommend it in the strongest terms. I hope La Fenice continues to perform such repertoire and that Dynamic will be there to record it. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) La Cenerentola (1816-1817) Clorinda: Raquela Sheeran (soprano) Tisbe: Lucia Cirillo (soprano) Angelina (Cenerentola): Ruxandra Donose (mezzo) Don Magnifico: Luciano di Pasquale (baritone) Alidoro: Nathan Berg (baritone) Don Ramiro: Maxim Mironov (tenor) Dandini: Simone Alberghini (baritone) The Glyndebourne Chorus London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vladimir Jurowski Stage Director: Sir Peter Hall; Extras include an illustrated synopsis, cast gallery and insights feature with Sir Peter Hall and Vladimir Jurowski Filmed in June 2005 and recorded in stereo and multi-track 5.1 surround sound. DVD Region 0. Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT OPUS ARTE OA 0944 D [2 DVDs: 187:00] [ED]

Rossini needs fizz, and this is champagne left uncorked for a touch too long before pouring. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia - comic opera in two acts (1816) Libretto by Cesare Sterbini based on Beaumarchais’s play. First performed at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, 20 February 1816 Count Almaviva, Roberto Saccà (ten); Figaro, a barber, Dalibor Jenis (bar); Bartolo, a doctor and ward of Rosina, Carlos Chausson (buffa bar); Rosina, Bartolo’s ward, Joyce DiDonato (mezzo); Basilio, a singing teacher, Kristinn Sigmundsson (bass); Berta, Dr. Bartolo’s housekeeper, Jeanette Fischer (mezzo); Fiorello, servant of Count Almaviva, Nicholas Garrett (bass) Orchestra and Chorus of l’Opéra National de Paris/Bruno Campanella rec. live, Opéra National de Paris, April 2002. Stage direction by Coline Serreau. Set Design by Jean-Marc Stehlé and Antoine Fontaine. Costumes by Elsa Pavanel co-production with French television Directed for TV and Video by Ariane Adriani Sound format, DD 5.1. Dolby Digital. DTS Suround Sound. LPCM stereo. Picture format, 16:9 anamorphic NTSC. Introductory notes in English, German and French Subtitles in Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish and Italian TDK DVD VIDEO DVWW-OPBARB [152:00] [RJF]

DiDonato's singing has brilliance, richness of tone, a wide variety of colour allied to vocal flexibility. Her trill is a delight whilst her legato cannot be bettered. She is the ideal Rossini diva. ... 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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