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RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claudio SANTORO (1919-1989) Symphony No 4 Sinfonia da Paz* (1953/4) [25:29] Ponteio for string orchestra (1953) [5:48] Symphony No 9 (1982) [25:00] Frevo (1953/1982) [2:40] *São Paulo Symphony Choir São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP)/John Neschling rec. Sala São Paulo, Brazil, February 2002. DDD BIS CD1370 [60:12] [PCW]

A very fine disc and a chance to discover some music that surely should be more widely known … see Full Review

Ahmed Adnan SAYGUN (1907-1991) Complete String Quartets No. 1 Op. 27 (1947) [29:23]; No. 2 Op. 35 (1958) [30:39]; No. 3 Op. 43 (1966) [29:16]; No. 4 Op. 77 (1990, Fragment) [12:41] Quatuor Danel rec. Studio Stolberger Strasse, PG Musik WDR 3, Cologne, 1-4 December 2003, 20-22 September, 19 November 2004. DDD CPO 999 923-2 [60:02 + 41:57][AOr]

An astonishing body of works. Instinctive chamber music. All credit to the Quatuor Danel ... see Full Review

Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) La Tragédie de Salomé (1907) op. 50 [26.19] Psaume 47 for soprano, chorus and orchestra op. 38 (1904) [26.06] Sharon Sweet (sop), Jean-Louis Gil (organ), Jacques Prat (violin), Guy Commentale (violin) Choeurs de Radio France/Michel Tranchant Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Marek Janowski rec. Studio 3, Radio France, Oct 1988 (Salomé); Église Notre-Dame du Travail, Paris, May 1989 (Psalm 47) WARNER APEX 2564 62764-2 [52:42][RB]

Schmitt the luxuriant and the lithe. Not the dernier cri in sound but enjoyable and very high interpretative values. … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Trio in B flat major D471 (1816) [8:04] Piano Quintet in A major Trout D667 (1820) [40:07] String Trio in B flat major D581 (1817) [20:37] Paul Lewis (piano); Graham Mitchell (double bass) Leopold String Trio: Marianne Thorsen (violin); Lawrence Power (viola); Kate Gould (cello) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 6-7 June 2005 HYPERION CDA 67527 [69:03] [TH]

Fleet-of-foot and with very keen observance of dynamic light and shade, wholly delightful. A complete winner ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Trio No 1 in B flat major, D 898 (?1827/1828) [33:52] Notturno in E flat major, D 897 (?1827/1828) [9:52] Suk Trio
rec. Prague, 1967. ADD WARNER APEX 2564 60164-2 [43:47] [AtO]

Sublime, Olympian chamber music. The Suk Trio’s Prague Schubert reissued ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Deutsche Schubert-Lied-Edition 21: Poets of Sensibility, Volume 4: Zufriedenheit (2nd setting) D501; Das Lied vom Reifen D532*; An die Natur D372; Morgenlied D266*; Blumenlied D431; Pflicht und Liebe (Fragment) D467*; Erntelied D434; Zufriedenheit (1st setting) D362; Mailied D503*; Die Mainacht D194; Am ersten Maimorgen D344; An die Nachtigall D497*; Daphne am Bach D411*; Frühlingslied D398; Phidile D500*; Die Knabenzeit D400; An den Mond D468*; An die Nachtigall D196*; Klage um Ali Bey D496A; Abendlied D276*; Winterlied D401; Am Grabe Anselmos D504*; Die Laube D214; Wiegenlied ("Schlafe, süsser holder Knabe" D498* Birgid Steinberger (soprano)*; Wolfgang Holzmair (baritone); Ulrich Eisenlohr (fortepiano) Recorded at Bayrischer Rundfunk Studio 2, Munich, Germany, from 30 November to 5th December, 2004 Naxos 8.557569 [62:27] [GF]

There are few established masterpieces here, but since this is middle-period Schubert, everything is of some interest and completists need it. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) CD1 Fantasie for Piano Four Hands, D940 (1828) [18:45] Allegro for Piano Four Hands, D947, “Lebensstürme” (1828) [15:17] CD2 Sonata for Piano Four Hands, D812, “Grand Duo” (1824) [40:47] Characteristic March No.1, D968b [6:02] Military March No.1, D733 [4:39] Evgeny Kissin (piano) James Levine (piano) rec. live, 1 May 2005, Carnegie Hall, New York City BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876 69283 2 [34:05 + 51:33] [DC]

Superb! The energy and spirit of these live performances have that quality of uniqueness which means they can take pride of place alongside any studio recording one can name ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856) Lieder: Fünf frühe Lieder, op. posth. (1828): Kurzes Erwachen; Gesanges Erwachen; An Anna I; An Anna II; Im Herbste; Zwölf gedichte von Justinus Kerner, Op. 35 (1840): Lust der Sturmnacht; Stirb, Lieb’ und Freud’!; Wanderlied; Erstes Grün; Sehnsucht nach der Waldgegend; Auf das Trinkglas eines verstorbenen Freundes; Wanderung; Stille Liebe; Frage; Stille Tränen; Wer machte dich so krank?; Alte Laute; Fünf Lieder, Op. 40 (1840): Märzveilchen; Muttertraum; Der Soldat; Der Spielmann; Verratene Liebe; from Fünf Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 127 (1850-1851): Sängers Trost; From Vier Gesänge Op. 142 (1852): Trost im Gesang Thomas Hampson (baritone), Geoffrey Parsons (piano) rec. Siemensvilla, Berlin, December 1989 WARNER CLASSICS 2292 44935-2 [66:18] [GF]

Hampson during his early bloom ... nimble, sappy, beautiful, perfectly controlled and moving effortlessly between head-voice and chest-voice. ... see Full Review

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Historia der Auferstehung Jesu Christi Surrexit pastor bonus, concerto for 6 voices, 2 violins, 4 viole da gamba and bc (SWV 469) [04:21] Historia der fröhlichen und siegreichen Auferstehung unseres einigen Erlösers und Seligmachers Jesu Christi, oratorio for 8 voices, 4 viole da gamba and bc (SWV 50) [42:30] Ich bin die Auferstehung, concerto for 3 voices and bc (SWV 324) [03:46] Weib, was weinest du, Dialogo for 4 voices and bc (SWV 443) [04:25] Feget den alten Sauerteig aus, concerto for 4 voices, 2 violins and bc (SWV 404) [05:12] Weser-Renaissance: Ulrike Hofbauer, Almut Teichert-Hailperin, Manja Stephan (sopranos); Hans-Jörg Mammel, Knut Schoch, Andreas Hirtreiter, Michael Schaffrath (tenors); Wolf-Matthias Friedrich (bass); Veronika Skuplik, Elfriede Stahmer (violins); Hille Perl, Frauke Hess, Juliane Looke, Lennart Spies (viole da gamba); Thomas Ihlenfeldt (chitarrone); Margit Schultheis (harp); Detlef Bratschke (organ)/Manfred Cordes rec. April 2004, Stiftskirche Bassum, Germany. DDD CPO 777 027-2 [60:16] [JV]

Impressive and idiomatic performances of Schütz's Auferstehungshistorie and some sacred concertos for Easter ... see Full Review

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Five Preludes, Op. 15 (1895/96) [7:13]; Piano Sonata No. 3 in F sharp minor, Op. 23 (1897/88) [20:42]; Nikolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) Forgotten Melodies, Set 1, Op. 38 (1918-20) - Sonata-Reminiscenza in A minor [16:09]; Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Three Movements from Petrushka (1921) [15:39] Evgeny Kissin (piano). rec. SWR-Studio, Freiburg, Germany, 7-8 August 2004. DDD BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876 65390 2 [59:55] [CC]

A well thought out recital that shows many of Kissin's strengths. ... see Full Review

Jean-Baptiste SENAILLIÉ (1687-1730) Troisième Livre de Sonates à violon seul avec la basse continue (1716) Sonatas 1-10 Ensemble Baroques-Graffiti Jarosław Adamus (violin) Jean-Paul Serra (harpsichord) Frédéric Audibert (cello) rec. St Theodore Church, Marseille, August 2004 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0115 [79.00] [JW]

I can imagine someone like Manze investing these sonatas with greater fantasy and colour but not even he would convert them to masterpieces. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin concerto 1 in A minor, Op.77 [39:29] a Leoš JANÁČEK (1854–1928) Violin concerto, Die Wanderung einer Seele [11:41] b Baiba Skride (violin)a Munich Philharmonic/Mikko Frank (conductor) b Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Marek Janowski (conductor) rec. live, Philharmonie, Munich, 16-18 April 2004 (Shostakovich), Berlin, 25 August 2004 (Janáček). DDD. SONY CLASSICAL 82876731462 [52:41] [ED]

White-hot Shostakovich ... Skride is a serious artist. More please, and soon! ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) The Execution of Stepan Razin, op. 119 (1964) [28:37] October, op. 131 (1967) [13:10] Five Fragments, op. 42 (1935) [10:35] Charles Robert Austin (bass-baritone) Seattle Symphony Chorus Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz rec. June 1996, Seattle Center Opera House (Stepan Razin); S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Feb 2000, (October); February 2005 (Five Fragments) NAXOS 8.557812 [52:22] [BB]

Austin sounds more Russian than the competition with a voice that has great depth and resonance ... exciting and evocative ... see Full Review

Robert SIMPSON (1921-1997) Symphony No. 3 (1962) [30:54] Clarinet Quintet (1968) [34:23] London Symphony Orchestra/Jascha Horenstein Bernard Walton (clarinet)/Aeolian String Quartet rec. Barking Assembly Hall, 5 June 1970 (symphony); Christ Church, Chelsea, 6 August 1970 (quintet). ADD Originally released on Unicorn-Kanchana LPs then reissued on CD Unicorn-Kanchana UKCD2028 NMC ANCORA D109 [65:44][RB]

This is a valuable document of the world’s earliest awakening to Simpson’s distinctive and completely genuine voice. ... see Full Review

Antonio SOLER (1729-1783) Sonatas for Harpsichord: Volume 11 see review for details Gilbert Rowlands (harpsichord) rec. 12-14 July, Epsom College Concert Hall, Surrey NAXOS 8.557640 [78:14] [GPu]

An interesting contribution - which demonstrates Soler’s stylistic range - to a valuable series ... see Full Review

Rudi STEPHAN (1887-1915) Music for Violin and Orchestra (1911) [19:56] Music for Orchestra in one movement (1910) [24:30] (premiere recording) Music for Orchestra in one movement (1911) [18:34] Sergey Stadler (violin) Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Oleg Caetani rec. Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 8-11 March 2005. DDD CHANDOS SACD CHSA5040 [63:10] [RB]

Opulence, rhapsodic late-romantic impressionism. Discoveries to be made here ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Pulcinella* (1920) [36:22] The Fairy’s Kiss** (1928) [42:01] *Diana Montagu (mezzo), Robin Leggate (tenor), Mark Beesley (bass) Philharmonia Orchestra/Robert Craft. **London Symphony Orchestra/Robert Craft. rec. 3-5, 8 January*; 1 Feb 1997**, Abbey Road Studio No.1, London. NAXOS 8.557503 [78:23][GPu]

Authoritative and meticulous performances. Warmly recommended, especially for the complete score of Pulcinella. ... see Full Review

Robert STILL (1910-1971) Quintet for three flutes, violin and cello (1954?) [22:02] Geoffrey Gilbert; George Crozier; Lionel Solomon (flutes); Jean Pougnet (violin); Francesco Gabarro (cello) Viola Sonata No. 2 (1953?) [14:45] Frederick Riddle (viola); Eric Harrison (piano) Six Songs for soprano: A song of pain and beauty; Ode to a Skylark; The Kingfisher; When I am dead; Sister Awake; The Siren’s Song [15:33] Heather Harper (soprano) John Russell (piano) Six Songs for baritone: Sonnet; August; Beauty Bathing; Awaiting Execution; To Julia; Sunset on the Morea [15:30] John Carol Case (baritone) John Russell (piano) Two songs: The Sea Hath many Thousand Sands [2.44]; Shall I wasting in despair [2.19] Jessica Cash (sop); Gordon Clinton (bar); John Russell (piano) Twelve Songs: from Record Society LP RS 60; Quintet and Sonata from Argo LP RG 74 mono, 1955. Two Songs from private recording of 1959 Wigmore Hall concert ADD ISMERON JMSCD 8 [71:56] [RB]

A generously loaded disc representing the chamber music and songs of Robert Still. Pleasing music-making and a very unusual quintet ... see Full Review

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Piano Works - Volume 4 Nine Preludes, Op. 1 (c.1896-1900) [18:58] Variations in B flat minor, Op. 3 (1901-3) [11:11] Mazurkas, Op. 50, Nos. 17-20 (1924-5) [10:15] Two Mazurkas, Op. 62 (1933-34) [5:44] Valse Romantique (1925) [3:43] Piano Sonata No. 3 (1917) [18:58] Martin Roscoe (piano) Recorded in Potton Hall, Suffolk, 15-17 April 2003 NAXOS 8.557168 [68:51] [GPu]

A convincing presentation of fascinating music, and the resounding completion of a very desirable series ... see Full Review

Jan TARASIEWICZ (1889-1961) Chamber and Vocal Works Prelude and Toccata in C sharp minor (1951) [9.08] 1 Suite No.1 in D major in four parts (1951) [7.21] 1 From the Suite No.2: Old Rome Song, Nice Waltz, Military March (1951) [5.39] 1 Polka in E major (1947) [3.24] 1 The Song (1919) [1.57] 2 Autumn Song (1919) [1.58] 2 Mournful Songs (1919) [11.25] 3 Why Boys Are Sad? [1.31] 4 My Motherland (1946) [2.57] 4 Lullaby (1946) [2.03] 4 Kasienka (1946) [1.38] 4 Sad Waltz in E minor (1947) [6.38] 5 Nocturne in A flat major (1955) [2.44] 5 Love Song in B flat minor (1949) [5.15] 5 Irina Shumilina (piano) 1 Victor Scorobogatov (baritone) and Anna Korenevskaya (piano) 2 The Student’s Choir of the Belorussian Academy of Music/Oleg Gembitsky 3 Tatyana Tsybulskaya (soprano) and Anna Korenevskaya (piano) 4 Igor Olovnikov (piano) 5 rec. dates and locations not provided ACTE PRÉALABLE AP 0047 [64.38] [JW]

A steady voice, circumscribed but lyrical and not developing much beyond Liadov as a model. A worthy tribute ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphonies Nos. 4-6 Vienna Philharmonic/Valery Gergiev rec. live, Grosser Saal, Musikverein, Vienna 17-21 October 2002 (4), 2-4 September 2004 (6); Festspielhaus, Salzburg, July 1998, ORF recording, Salzburg Festival. DDD PHILIPS 475 6315 [3 CDs: 42:36 + 46:04 + 44:00] [GPJ]

A bit of a mixed box, but containing versions 4 and 6 which are very fine, and which have the virtues of live performance while avoiding some of the acoustic pitfalls this can sometimes bring. ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Eugene Onegin, op.24 Lyrical scenes in three acts (seven scenes). (1877-1878) Libretto by the composer and K. Shilovsky, after Pushkin. Tatyana - Elena Prokina (soprano); Eugene Onegin - Wojciech Drabowicz (baritone); Lensky - Martin Thompson (tenor); Olga - Louise Winter (contralto); Madame Larina - Yvonne Minton (soprano); Filippyevna - Ludmilla Filatova (mezzo); Monsieur Triquet – John Fryatt (tenor); Gremin - Frode Olsen (baritone); Zaretsky - Christopher Thornton-Holmes (baritone); Glyndeboune Festival Chorus London Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Davis Director: Graham Vick; Designer: Richard Hudson; Lighting Designer: Thomas Webster; Choreographer: Ron Howell Filmed by NVC ARTS for Channel Four Television Corporation at the Glyndebourne Festival, July 1994. Directed for video by Humphrey Burton Picture format NTSC 4:3. Colour. Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. DVD Regions 2,3,4,5. Subtitles in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese. WARNER MUSIC VISION DVD VIDEO 0630-14014-2 [154.00][ED]

An absorbing production combines with movingly sung and acted characterisations to produce a reading that demands serious attention. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ernst TOCH (1887-1964) Symphony no 1, Op. 72 (1951-1952) [39:52] Symphony no 2, Op. 73 (1953) [32:20] Symphony no 3, Op. 75 (1955) [27:49] Symphony no 4, Op. 80 (1957) [26:45] Symphony no 5, Op. 89 Jephtha (1963) [23:51] Symphony no 6, Op. 93 (1963) [22:25] Symphony no 7, Op. 95 (1964) [22:18] Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Alun Francis rec. Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany (1995 - 2002) DDD CPO 777 191-2 [3 CDs: 66:38 + 60:11 + 68:58] [RB]

A compact and inexpensive introduction to the seven symphonies of the intricately inventive Ernest Toch said by himself to be a dachshund in the USA when he had been a St Bernard in Germany. ... see Full Review

Sir Donald Francis TOVEY (1865-1940) Bride of Dionysus Prelude (1918) [5.32] (arr.Shore/Vass) Symphony in D Op. 32 (1913, rev. 1923) [58.03] Malmö Opera Orchestra/George Vass rec. Swedish Radio Studio 7, Malmö, Sweden, 27 May 2005. TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0033 [63.20] [RB]

A highly desirable and well-documented purchase for all those wanting a satisfyingly Brahmsian sturdy symphony of epic ambition and execution. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Wasps (1909)Text: Aristophanes English singing translation and narration: David Pountney Henry Goodman (narrator) Hallé Choir/Richard Suart/James Burton Hallé/Mark Elder rec. 26-28 July 2005, Albert Halls, Bolton. DDD world premiere recording; studio recordingrecording in association with BBC and BBC Radio 3 with support from the Vaughan Williams Estate HALLÉ CD CD HLD7510 [44:07 + 61:30] [RB]

Some may find this an unnerving experience but it works superbly well provided you are ready for the salty dialogue. It’s a small price to pay for the fascination and delight of hearing so much familiar and unfamiliar Vaughan Williams. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aida (1871) Aida – Maria Chiara, Amneris – Fiorenza Cossotto, Radames – Nicola Martinucci, Amonasro – Giuseppe Scandola, Orchestra, Chorus and Corps de Ballet of the Arena di Verona/Anton Guadagno Producer – Giancarlo Sbragia Video Director – Brian Large rec. Arena di Verona, 1981 Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0, Format – NTSC 4:3 WARNER DVD 0630-19389-2 [154:00] [ABa]

A good record of a fine live performance with splendid production and vocal standards. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Ernani - opera in four acts (1843) Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on Victor Hugo’s play Hernarni First performed at the Teatro la Fenice, Venice, 9 March 1843 Ernani, the bandit, Marco Berti (ten); Don Carlo, King of Spain, Carlo Guelfi (bar); Don Ruy de Silva, a Spanish grandee, Giocomo Prestia (bass); Elvira, Silva’s niece and loved by Ernani, Susan Neves (sop); Don Riccardo, the King’s equerry, Samuele Simoncini (ten); Jago, equerry to Silva, Alessandro Svab, (bass) Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Reggio, Parma, Italy/Antonello Allemandi rec. live Teatro Reggio, May 2005, annual Verdi Festival. DDD DYNAMIC CDS 496/1-2 [77.23 + 43.22] [RF]

Viscerally thrilling as early Verdi should be, particularly with the chorus in virile voice as they are here. ... see Full Review

Pierre VILLETTE (1926-1998) O sacrum convivium, Op. 27 (1959) [3:43] Hymne à la Vierge, Op. 24 [3:56] Attende, Domine, Op. 45 (1983) [5:37] Notre Père d’Aix, Op. 75 [2:17] Inviolata, Op. 66 (1991) [5:15] Tu es Petrus, Op. 29* (1959) [3:07] O quam suavis est, Op. 76 [3:05] Salutation angélique, Op. 20* (1954) [2:30] Strophes polyphoniques pour le Veni Creator, Op. 28 [5:49] Panis angelicus, Op. 80 [2:58] O salutaris hostia, Op. 21 (1954) [2:55] Ave verum, Op. 3 (1944) [3:16] Salve regina, Op. 5** (1944) [3:06] O quam amabilis es, Op. 71 [3:53] Jesu, dulcis memoria, Op. 78 [3:28] Adoro te, Op. 31 (1960) [3:10] O magnum mysterium, Op. 53 (1983) [4:18] Holst Singers/Stephen Layton *James Vivian (organ); **Katy Cooper (soprano) rec. The Temple Church, London, 11-16 May 2005. DDD HYPERION CDA67539 [62:42] [JQ]

Villette’s subtle and beautiful music deserves a wide audience. This superbly performed recital is an ideal way to get to know it. Outstanding ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Recorder Concertos Concerto in G minor, RV 103 1,4,6 [10:25] Concerto in D major, RV 92 2,5,6 [10:15] Concerto in G minor, RV 105 1,2,4,5,6 [8:45] Concerto in D major, RV 94 1,2,4,5,6 [10:50] Concerto in A minor, RV 108 2,3,5,6 [8:25] Concerto in C major, RV 87 1,2,3,5,6 [8:20] Concerto in G major, RV 101 1,2,4,5,6 [9:41] László Kecskeméti (recorder), László Hadady (oboe)1, Attila Falvay2 and Katalin Párkányi3 (violins), György Olajos4 (bassoon), György Kertész5 (cello), Borbála Dobozy6 (harpsichord) rec. Phoenix Studios, Budapest, 24-27 July 2003 NAXOS 8.557215 [66:41][DB]

Solid performances from a very good ensemble. ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Four Seasons, op.8 CD version: Pina Carmirelli (violin)/I Musici DVD version: A film by Anton von Munster featuring Federico Agostino (violin)/I Musici rec. La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland, July 1982 (CD); various locations in Venice, July 1988 (DVD). PHILIPS 475 6940 [CD: 42:23; DVD: 46:00] [ED]

Pleasing if traditionally conceived performances ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Das Rheingold - music drama in one act (1869) Wolfgang Probst (bass-baritone) … Wotan; Motti Kaston (baritone) .. Donner Bernhard; Schneider (tenor) ... Froh; Robert Kunzli (tenor) ... Loge; Michaela Schuster (mezzo) ... Fricka; Helga Ros Indridadottir (mezzo) ... Freia; Mette Ejsing (contralto) ... Erda; Esa Ruuttunen (bass-baritone) ... Alberich; Eberhard Francesco Lorenz (tenor) ... Mime; Roland Bracht (bass) ... Fasolt; Phillip Ens (bass) ... Fafner; Catriona Smith (soprano) ...Woglinde; Maria Theresa Ullrich (mezzo) ...Wellgunde; Margarete Joswig (mezzo) ... Floβhilde; Staatsorchester Stuttgart/Lothar Zagrosek rec. live, Staatsoper Stutgart, Germany, 28 September, 29 December 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.660170-71 [72:14 + 76:22] [DH][CC]

Fine sound engineering, excellent conducting, beautifully deep bass colours but dragged down by several of the gods.[DH]
A pleasure to welcome this most enjoyable Rheingold.[CC] ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Das Rheingold (1869) John Bröcheler (baritone) (Wotan); Henk Smit (bass) (Alberich); Graham Clark (tenor) (Mime); Reinhild Runkel (mezzo) (Erda); Chris Merritt (tenor) (Loge); Jürgen Freier (baritone) Residentie Orchestra, Amsterdam/Hartmut Haenchen Pierre Audi (director) rec. 1999. Bonus: 50 minute documentary about the production DVD-all regions OPUS ARTE OA 0946D [68:02 + 80:05] [AO]

This is a production to study for its insights. The spare set and visible orchestra concentrate attention on what is happening in the drama, and on its psychological, philosophical ideas ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walkure - music drama in three acts (1870) Birgit Nilsson (soprano) … Brünnhilde Set Svanholm (tenor) … Siegmund Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra cond. Sixten Ehrling rec. live, Royal Opera House Stockholm, Sweden, 18 November 1956 (acts 1, 2); 14 April 1955 (act 3) CAPRICE CAP 21765 [3 CDs: 65:00 + 77:21 + 78:54] [DH]

These Stockholm Royal Opera-based singers should be better known, fully justifying this special archive release ... see Full Review

Siegfried WAGNER (1869 - 1930) Sonnenflammen (1912) [132.50] Alexios – Roman Trekel (baritone) Irene – Michaela Schneider (soprano) Fridolin – Richard Brunner (tenor) Albrecht – Jürgen Trekel (bass) Gomella – Niels Giesecke (tenor) Iris – Eva Batori (soprano) Eustachia – Ulrike Schneider (alto) Gottfried – Ulrich Studer (baritone) Chorus and Orchestra of Halle Opera House/Roger Epple rec. live, 27-31 January 2003, Georg-Friedrich-Handel-Halle CPO 777 097–2 [64.36 + 68.14] [RH]

A committed performance ... anyone interested in Siegfried Wagner’s music can be certain of hearing a performance which makes as strong a case as possible for the work. ... see Full Review

Joseph WEIGL (1766 - 1846) Die Schweizer Familie (1809) [130.57] Graf Wallenstein – Tobia Müller-Kopp (baritone) Durmann – Petri Mikael Pöyhönen (tenor) Richard Boll – Stephan Bootz (bass) Gertrude Boll – Olivia Vermeulen (mezzo) Emmeline – Marilia Vargas (soprano) Jacob Fribourg – Roman Payer (tenor) Paul – Robert Maszl (tenor) Emmeline’s dialogue spoken by Antje Hochholdinger Durmann’s dialogue spoken by Michael Hoffmann Chorus and Orchestra Dreieck/Uri Rom rec. Herbert von Karajan Saal, Universität der Künste, Berlin; September, November 2004. DDD GUILD GMCD 7298-9 [68.47 + 62.10] [RH]

While the music does nothing to probe the characters’ feelings and troubles this is certainly feel-good music.... see Full Review

Dan WELCHER (b.1948) Haleakala - How Maui Snared the Sun (Tone Poem) (1991) [22.32] Prairie Light; Three Texas Watercolours of Georgia O’Keefe (1985) [14.20] Concerto for clarinet and orchestra (1989) Bill Jackson (clarinet) Richard Chamberlain (narrator) Honolulu Symphony Orchestra/Donald Johanos rec. Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu, January 1992 NAXOS 8.559287 [57.06] [JW]

Most diverting all round. ... see Full Review

Malcolm WILLIAMSON (1931-2003) Orchestral Works, Volume 1 Santiago de Espada (1956) [6:09] Suite from 'Our Man in Havana' (1963/1966) [20:19] * (Prelude, Cuban dances and waltz song. Presto; Passacaglia and Threnody. Allegretto - Poco lento; Serenade. Allegretto; Intermezzo. Allegro; Finale) Concerto grosso (1965) [10:49] (Adagio; Adagio; Presto vivace) Sinfonietta (1965) [19:42] * (Prelude; Toccata. Allegro; Elegy. Grave; Tarantella. Presto) Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Rumon Gamba rec. Háskólabió, Reykjavik, Iceland, 13-16 June 2005. DDD * premiere recordings CHANDOS CHAN 10359 [57:13][IL]

The catchy haunting Our Man in Havana makes this a must for lovers of lighter music but a not over-generously filled album with music of limited musicality might make others pause. ... see Full Review

Boris YOFFE (b.1968) 32 Gedichte aus dem Quartettbuch (32 Poems from the Book of Quartets) Patricia Kopatschinskaja and Daniel Kobyliansky (violins), Roman Spitzer (viola) and Dmitri Dichtiar (cello) rec. May 2004 at SWR Studios Karlsruhe ANTES EDITION BM-CD 31.9192 [48.01][JW]

Eastern reflectiveness and minutest incremental intensities of lightening having powerful weight in the context of so much quartet stasis ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Isang YUN (1917–1995) Chamber Symphony I (1987) [26:53] Tapis (1987) [8:23] Gong-Hu (1984)a [25:47] Rana Park (harp)a; Korean Chamber Ensemble/Piotr Borkowski rec. Seoul National University Concert Hall, Seoul, August 2005 NAXOS 8.557938 [61:03][HC]

If you have never heard Yun’s music and are willing to give it a try, you will not be disappointed either by the pieces or the fine performances heard here. ... see Full Review

Władisław ŻELEŃSKI (1837-1921) Deux Morceaux Op. 63 Toccata [5:27]; Idylle in B major [4:47] [10.14] Oda do mlodosci. Marsz uroczysty [Ode to Youth. Solemn March] Op. 51 [9.51] Marsz uroczysty ku czci niesmiertelnego wieszcza Adama Mickiewicza [Solemn March in Honour of the Immortal National Bard Adam Mickiewicz] Op. 44 [11.01] Deux Mazurkas Op. 31 [10.20] Sonata in E minor, Op. 20 [32.41] Joanna Lawrynowicz (piano) rec. Warsaw, 2004-05. ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0124 [74.13] [JW]

Broadly unadventurous though it is Żeleński’s music is often warm and appealing. When it’s bombastic it’s much less interesting. ... see Full Review

Bernard ZWEERS (1854-1924) Symphony No. 1 in D major (1881) [26:18] Daniël de LANGE (1841-1918) Symphony No. 1 in C minor (1868) [30:45] Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra/Ed Spanjaard (Zweers); Anthony Halstead (de Lange) rec. 4 December 1994, Vredenburg, Utrecht (Zweers); 2 August 2001, Studio MCO, Hilversum (de Lange). DDD Dutch Romantics series World premiere recordings STERLING CDS 1068 [57:11] [RB]

This makes for a fascinating whistle-stop tour of the classical-romantic symphonic voice in the Netherlands. Richly enjoyable. ... 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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