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Great Composers - MAHLER Chapter 1: Early Life: Piano Quartet (Jupiter Quartet); Das klagende Lied Chapter 2: Early Symphonies: Symphony No.1 - 1st and 3rd movements; Des Knaben Wunderhorn - Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht?; Symphony No.2; Symphony No.3 - 1st movement Chapter 3: Vienna: Symphony No.1 – Finale; Symphony No.4 - 1st movement; Symphony No.5 - 2nd movement, Finale, Adagietto Chapter 4: Haunted by Death: Symphony No.5 - 1st movement; Symphony No.6 - Opening and Finale; Symphony No.7 - 2nd movement; Kindertotenlieder No.5; Symphony No.6 – Finale Chapter 5: Das Lied von der Erde: Das Lied von der Erde - Last movement; Symphony No.9 - 4th movement Chapter 6: Tenth Symphony: Symphony No.8 - 1st movement; Symphony No.10 - 1st and 5th movements; Symphony No.9 - 4th movement Chapter 7: Credits Kenneth Branagh (narrator) BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Georg Solti WARNER MUSIC VISION 50-51011-5453-2-0 [58:00][EM]

An interesting and well-presented documentary, extremely informative without ever seeming dry and the ending was fairly moving. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor (1901-1902) [73:21] (Trauermarsch [12:35]; Stürmisch bewegt, mit größter Vehemenz [15:04]; Scherzo [19:12]; Adagietto, sehr langsam [10:49]; Rondo-Finale, allegro [15:25]) San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas rec. Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, 28 September-2 October 2005. DDD SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY 821936-0012-2 [73:21] [DC]

A truly excellent performance, and a stunning recording, but … ... see Full Review

John MAHON (c.1748-1834) Concerto No.2 in F major [18:22] Duet No.4 in B flat major [17:33] Duet No.1 in F major [7:15] J.C. BACH (1735-1782) Concerted Symphony in E flat major [16:14] James HOOK (1746-1827) Clarinet Concerto in E flat major (unpublished) [19:55] Colin Lawson (clarinet; basset-horn) Michael Harris (clarinet; basset-horn) (Tracks 4 and 9) The Parley of Instruments/Peter Holman rec. St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, 16-18 May 1996. DDD HYPERION HELIOS CDH55261 [70:06][SH]

This Helios disc is recommended without reservation, not least because it throws up so many questions and answers a few as well. ... see Full Review

Benedetto MARCELLO (1687-1762) Sonate per Flauto e Basso, Op. 2 CD 1 Sonata in d minor, op. 2,8 [12:18] Sonata in G, op. 2,6 (orig. in C) [08:47] Sonata in d minor, op. 2,4 (orig. in e minor) [11:26] Sonata in e minor, op. 2,2 (orig. in d minor) [07:59] Sonata in D, op. 2,1 (orig. in F) [07:42] Sonata in a, op. 2,10 [09:28] CD 2 Sonata in g minor, op. 2,3 [08:05] Sonata in F, op. 2,12 [10:08] Sonata in C, op. 2,9 (orig. in F) [08:08] Sonata in B flat, op. 2,7 [09:01] Sonata in e minor, op. 2,11 (orig. in d minor) [09:00] Sonata in G, op. 2,5 [07:36] Accademia Claudio Monteverdi Venezia (Susanne Schaffert, Gianni Lazzari, recorder, transverse flute; Luigi Rivighi, violin; Claudio Ronco, cello; Luciano Contini, chitarrone; Emanuela Marcante, harpsichord, organ; Hans-Ludwig Hirsch, harpsichord)/Hans-Ludwig Hirsch rec. November 1985, Aria Studio, Appiano, Bolzano, Italy. DDD ARTS 47790-2 [57:57 + 52:13][JV]

Technical shortcomings and a unsatisfying performance make it impossible to recommend this set ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Rhapsody-Concerto for viola and orchestra H337 (1952) [21:10] Zdeňek LUKÁŠ (b. 1928) Viola Concerto [25:56] Carl STAMITZ (1745-1801) Viola Concerto in D major op. 1 [22:09] Jitka Hosprová (viola) Prague Chamber Orchestra rec. Domovina Studio, Prague, 1-3 Aug 2005. DDD ARCO DIVA UP 0073-2 131 [69:33] [RB]

Huskily attractive caramel tone from Hosprová … a mix that adds to the Martinů the Mozaertean Stamitz and the accessibly modern Lukáš ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Complete Piano Music 1 Huit préludes H.181 [17:37] Fenêtre sur le jardin H.270 [8:03] Fables H.138 [7:12] Trois esquisses H.160 [5:42] Le Noël H.167 [5:30] Esquisses de Danses H.220 [10:26] Foxtrot H.126 [2:40] Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. RSI Lugano, Switzerland, 19 April, 15 August 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557914 [57:10] [PCW]

Another worthy projected series is up-and-running from Naxos – they should certainly be giving this one high priority. … see Full Review

Wenzeslaus MATIEGKA (1773-1830) Notturno, op.21 in G major [32:24] Serenade, op.26 in C major [28:44] Karl Kaiser (flute); Petra Müllejans (viola); Sonja Prunnbauer (guitar) rec. Nachtmusik, Konzert im Kloster, Wallfahrtskirche Mariae Krönung, Oberried, 25 September, 2005. DDD cpo 777 190-2 [61:16] [GPu]

A delightful and unexpected sidelight on the musical life of Vienna at the beginning of the nineteenth century … see Full Review

Nikolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) Forgotten Melodies I Op.38 [39:26] (No.1 Sonata-Reminiscenza - Allegretto tranquillo [16:04]; No.2 Danza graziosa - Con moto leggiero [2:57]; No.3 Danza festiva - Presto [4:47]; No.4 Canzona fluviala - Allegretto con moto [2:40]; No.5 Danza rustica - Allegro commodo [2:01]; No.6 Canzona serenata - Moderato [4:17]; No.7 Danza silvestra [3:40]; No.8 Alla Reminiscenza - Quasi coda [2:53]) Forgotten Melodies II Op.39 [26:20] (No.1 Meditazione Introduzione, quasi Cadenza — Meno mosso — Meditamente [4:44]; No.2 Romanza - Meditamente [4:19]; No.3 Primavera - Vivace [3:31]; No.4 Canzona matinata - Allegretto cantando, ma sempre con moto [4:34]; No.5 Sonata tragica - Allegro risoluto [9:00]) Zwei Märchen Op.8 [9:09] (Andantino [3:09]; Allegro [5:52]) Marc-André Hamelin (piano) rec. St George’s, Brandon Hill, Bristol, various dates, 1996, 1997, 1998. HYPERION CDA67578 [74:57] [SA]

Playing that is exemplary in its brilliance and control …. the perfect performer to reveal the depths of this wonderfully reflective and evocative music. ... see Full Review

Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864) Dinorah (1859) Luciana Serra (soprano) - Dinorah; Angelo Romero (baritone) - Hoël; Max Rene Cosotti (baritone) - Corentin; Francesco D’Artegna (bass) - Huntsman; Giuseppe Botta (singer) - Un Reaper; Rosanna Didone (mezzo) - Goatherd; Gloria Scalchi (singer) – Goatherd Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro Verdi di Trieste/Baldo Podic. rec. Live, Teatro Verdi, Trieste, 8 February 1983. ADD LIVING STAGE LS 1127 [79:10 + 79:38][CC]

Worth hearing if you are curious as to what goes on in ‘the rest’ of this opera outside the Shadow Song ... see Full Review

Wilhelm MIDDELSCHULTE (1863-1943) Kanonische Fantasie über BACH und Fuge über vier Themen von Bach [25:30] Konzert über ein Thema von Bach [31:12] J.S. BACH (1685-1750) Toccata and Fuge in d minor (mit Klavierpart von Middelschulte) [8:37] Jurgen Sonnentheil (organ) Philip Mayers (piano) rec. St Petrikirche, Cuxhaven, November 2003. DDD CPO 7771442 [65:19][GB]

Difficult to be enthusiastic about …. many ideas …. fragmentary structure ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) La création du monde - ballet, Op. 81 (1923) [16:47] Saudades do Brasil, Op. 67: no 7, Corcovado; no 9, Sumaré; no 8, Tijuca; no 11, Larenjeiras (1920-1921) [7:25] Le boeuf sur le toit - ballet, Op. 58 (1919) [19:35] Saudades do Brasil, Op. 67 (1920-1921) [19:35] (complete: Overture; no. 1,– Sorocabo; ; no. 2, Botafogo; no. 3, Leme; no. 4, Copacabana; no. 5, Ipanema; no. 6, Gavea; no. 7, Corcovado; no. 8, Tijuca; no. 9, Sumaré; no. 10, Paineras; no. 11, Larenjeiras; no. 12 Paysandu) ORTF National Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein Concert Arts Orchestra/composer (Saudades complete) rec. 12-13 November 1976, Salle Wagram, Paris (Bernstein); 10-12 Sept 1956, Studio A, Capitol Tower, Hollywood. ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3458082 [67:01] [MC]

This release is sheer delight from start to finish and I cannot help thinking that it would make the perfect introduction to Milhaud’s music. ... see Full Review

Léon (Ludwig) MINKUS (1826-1917) La Bayadère - ballet in three acts (1877) Altynai Asylmuratoya - Nikiya, The Bayadère; Irek Mukhamedov – Solor, Bravest warrior in the land; Darcey Bussell – Gamzatti, Daughter of the Rajah; Tetsuya Kumakawa – The Bronze Idol; Anthony Dowell – The High Brahmin; David Drew – Dugmanta, Rajah of Golkonda Artists of the Royal Ballet Royal Opera House Orchestra/John Lanchbery Directed for Stage by Natalia Makarova Set Design: Pier Luigi Samaritani Lighting Design: John B. Read Costume Design: Yolanda Sonnabend rec. live, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, March 1991 Directed for TV by Derek Bailey Picture ratio 4:3, Sound DD5.1, DTS5.1, LPCM Stereo, Region 0 TDK DVD DVBLLBM [123:00][RJW]

This prestigious realisation of a classical ballet with sumptuous settings and attractive costumes puts many a modern production to shame. ... see Full Review

Nikolai MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Serenade for Chamber Orchestra in E Flat Op.32 No.1 (1927-31) [15:18] Sinfonietta for String Orchestra In B Minor Op.32 No.2 (1927-31) [24:47] Lyric Concertino for flute, clarinet, horn, bassoon, harp and  string orchestra Op.32 No.3 (1927-31) [18:42] Salutatory Overture in C Major Op.48 (1939) [9:26] Marina Stepanova (flute); Boris Sokol (clarinet); Kirill Arsenov (horn); Alexander Kozhevnikov (bassoon); Liudmila Yanchishina (harp) (Op. 32 No. 3) Moscow New Opera Orchestra/Yevgeny Samoilov rec. July 1993, Studio 5, Moscow Radio. DDD originally issued as Olympia OCD528 REGIS RRC1244 [68:58] [RB]

Myaskovsky is a soulfully entertaining and wildly inventive creator of music and here is the evidence ... see Full Review

Dimitri NICOLAU (b. 1946) Dances and Melodies op. 125 [26:35] Zwei Goethe-Lieder op. 138 [10:44] Three Dances op. 190 [10:34] Summer Dance [3:47] In Memoriam à Siegfried Behrend op. 102 [8:13] Gertraud Erhard (sop) Armin Korn, Christian Wernicke, Andreas Schumacher (guitars) Das Badische Zupforchester/Arnold Sesterheim rec. SW Studio, Karlsruhe. DDD ANTES EDITION BM 31.9209 [61:22] [RB]

To Western ears this music will seem abstruse and exotic. It is recommended for just these reasons. ... see Full Review

Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op.6 (c. 1817-1818) [37:56] Louis SPOHR (1784–1859) Violin Concerto No. 8 in A minor, Op.47 ‘In Form einer Gesangsszene’ (‘In the form of a vocal scena’) (1816) [19:52] Hilary Hahn (violin) Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Eiji Oue rec. October 2005 (Paganini), February 2006 (Spohr), Berwaldhallen, Stockholm, Sweden. DDD  DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 6232 [57:48][MC]

These fine performances from Hahn are not my first choices in these two fascinating concertos. However, the release is rewarding and makes an attractive proposition for any lover of Romantic violin concertos. ... see Full Review

Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (1523–1594) Missa Tu es Petrus [24.06] Tu es Petrus [5.53] Ave Maria [3.13] Quam pulchri sunt [3.48] Tölzer Knabenchor/Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden rec. 1974, Pfarrkirche Lenggries (Germany) DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 82876 69994 2 [36.54] [RH]

Unusual though the repertoire is the disc is not one that I will be returning to. ... see Full Review

Harry PARTCH (1901-1974) Enclosure 7 Film: The Dreamer that Remains: A Portrait of Harry Partch (1972, rev. 2005) [28:08] Stephen Pouliot (director); Betty Freeman (producer); John Monsour, William Crain (cameramen); Danlee Mitchell (musical director); Mark Hoffman (sound recordist); James Aitkenhead (assistant to Partch); Jack Logan (conductor); Harry Partch, Mark Hoffman, Danlee Mitchell, Katherine Bjornson, Alexis Glatly, Michael Crosier, Ron Caruso, David Dunn, Dennis Dunn, Jonathan Glasier, Jean-Charles Francois, Randy Hoffman, Emil Richards, Jon Szanto, Duane Thomas, Francis Thumm (musicians). Edited for Innova by Philip Blackburn and Chris Campbell. Film: Delusion of the Fury: A Ritual of Dream and Delusion (1969) [72:07] Bill Symons jr., Gary Coleman, Linda Schell, Emil Richards, Todd Miller, Ruth Ritchie, Frank Berberich, Mark Stevens, Michael Aaron, Robert Rose, Lynn Tausig, Dean Drummond, Stephen Tosh, Robert McCormick, Carol Brown, Nathan Widato, Joe Roccisano, Robert Randles, Latif Allen, John McAllister, John Grayson, John Stannard (performers); John Stannard (tenor voice); Victoria Bond (soprano); Paul Bergen (bass); John Blount (Pilgrim/The Slayer, Deaf Hobo); Susan Marshall (Son of the Slain, Old Woman with Lamb); Glendon Hornbrook (Ghost/The Slain, Deaf and Near-sighted Justice); Danlee Mitchell (musical director); John Crawford (director); Virginia Storie Crawford (choreographer); Madeline Tourtelot (film producer and director); Jack Robinette, John Morrill, Jack Lord, Madeline Tourtelot (cameramen); Madeline Tourtelot, Les Blank (editors); Ted Tourtelot (stills photographer); Takashi Yamada, Harry Partch, Linda Schell (assistants); Cecil Charles Spiller (sound recording). Digital transfer from 16 mm. Film courtesy of Danlee Mitchell and Jon Szanto. Soundtrack remastered in 5.1 surround sound by Preston Wright, re-synched by Chris Campbell. Extras: Bonus Album Slideshow: The Instruments of Harry Partch (1969) [43:57] Harry Partch (voice); Danlee Mitchell, Linda Schell (musicians). Recorded 1969 by Danlee Mitchell; digital transfer by Jon Szanto. Slideshow by Philip Blackburn. “Dreamer” – Director Stephen Pouliot’s commentary (2006) [18:02 – 28:08 (see text)] “Dreamer” out-take – Making Rose Petal Jam (1972) [2:00] Harry Partch (“chef”) Chris Campbell (video restoration) Film: Revelation in the Courthouse Park – excerpts (1960) [6:51] John Garvey (conductor); Barnard Hewitt (producer); George Talbot (designer and technical supervisor); Jeffrey Foote (Sonny, Pentheus); Freda Pierce (Mom, Agave);John Bert (Dion, Dionysius), Joel Klein (Herdsman); Coryl Crandall (Cadmus); Elizabeth Hiller (Korypheus) Filmed by Madeline Tourtelot, 9 April 1961, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Video transfer courtesy of Harry Partch Estate Archive. DVD (5:4 aspect ratio) NTSC, all regions INNOVA 407 [171:05][PSe]

The final instalment of Innova’s “Enclosures” series is a beautifully-produced DVD and a splendid introduction to Harry Partch, the “Maverick di tutti Mavericks”, and his extraordinary music. Not for the faint-hearted! ... see Full Review

Ildebrando PIZZETTI (1880–1968) La Pisanella – Suite (1913) [14:01] Concerto de l’estate (1928) [28:56] Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879–1936) Trittico Botticelliano (1927) [19:20] Nino ROTA (1911–1979) Concerto per archi (1965) [15:24] Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Lamberto Gardelli (Pizzetti) Argo Chamber Orchestra/Laszlo Heltay (Respighi) I Musici (Rota) rec. Victoria Hall, Geneva, May 1966 (Pizzetti); Kingsway Hall, London, April 1978 (Respighi); Switzerland, July 1985 (Rota) DECCA ELOQUENCE 476 9766 [77:58] [HC]

These readings deserved to be re-issued … well worth having especially for the Respighi and the Rota. ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19 (1916-1917) [20:43] Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63 (1935) [27:34] Violin Sonata No. 2 in D major, Op. 94 bis (arr. David Oistrakh) [23:26] David Oistrakh (violin) London Symphony Orchestra/Lovro von Matacic London Philharmonic Orchestra/Alceo Galliera (2) Vladimir Yampolsky (piano) Rec. London, England, November 1954, mono (1); 14-19 May 1958, stereo (2); Colonaille Hall, Brussels, Belgium 22-25 May 1955. ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 5628882 [72:53] [RB]

Fine revivals from the EMI stable. Precisely etched and joyously breathtaking. A pleasure to welcome them back. ... see Full Review

Valentin RATHGEBER (1682-1750) Augsburgisches Tafel-Confect Concerto for 2 trumpets, 2 violins and bc in D [05:06] Rätzel [03:02] Quodlibeticum: Fratres exultate [04:47] Quodlibeticum: Der herrische Riepel [04:48] Quodlibeticum: Von einem Politico [02:50] Quodlibeticum: Die Bettelzech [07:48] Concerto for 2 trumpets, 2 violins and bc in C [04:49] Quodlibeticum: Vom Rauch- und Schnupf-Taback [06:56] Von allerhand Nasen [03:30] Quodlibeticum: Reim dich oder ich friß dich [02:20] Von Erschaffung Adam und Eva [09:09] Von der edlen Music [02:45] Johann Caspar SEYFERT (1697-1767) Die Beschwerlichkeiten des Ehestandes [03:20] Quodlibeticum: Summirum Summarum [02:49] Amor vincit omnia [02:53] Quodlibeticum: Der Liebhaber des Gelds, des Weins, des Frauenzimmer [07:58] Die gute und böse Ehe [02:40] Canto Tanto (Monika Frimmer, soprano; Christa Bonhoff, contralto; Dantes Diwiak, tenor; Peter Kooy, bass) Das Neu-Eröffnete Orchestre/Jürgen Sonnentheil rec. May 2003, St. Jacobus-Kirche, Weissenstadt, Germany. DDD cpo 999 995-2 [77:42] [JV]

These songs and dialogues by Rathgeber are a pleasure to listen to … their humour is eloquently communicated … see Full Review

Alan RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971) Theme and Variations for Two Violins (1937) [15:29] String Quartet No. 1 (1939) [10:01] String Quartet No. 2 (1954) [17:37] String Quartet No. 3 (1965) [17:02] Maggini Quartet (Laurence Jackson (violin I); David Angel (violin II); Martin Outram (viola); Michal Kznawski (cello)) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 13-15 December 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.570136 [60:09] [PC]

Rawsthorne fans will definitely want this disc and those of you interested in 20th century modernism in music might want to try this as well ... see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Violin Sonata P110 (1917) [26:18] Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Violin Sonata (1921) [18:04] Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Violin Sonata Op.18 (1888) [26:39] Frank Almond (violin) William Wolfram (piano) rec. Milwaukee Arts Centre, WI, July 2005. AVIE AV 2113 [71:33] [JW]

A rather airless and clinical acoustic. The ear gets progressively more tired. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Luigi ROSSI (1607-1653) Le Canterine Romane - Roman cantatas for two and three sopranos: Disperate speranze à 3 [05:04] Piango, prego e sospiro a 3 [04:44] Infelice pensier à 2 [11:13] Passacaille del seigneur Luigi [02:43] Corrente [01:05] Occhi belli à 2 [02:54] Sarabanda [01:09] Balletto [00:42] Noi siam tre donzellette semplicette à 3 [28:48] Ai sospiri, al dolore à 2 [03:13] Arie di passacaglia [03:31] Speranza al tuo pallore à 2 [03:20] Poi che mancò la speranza [05:42] Fan battaglia à 3 [02:56] Tragicomedia (Barbara Borden, Suzie LeBlanc, Emily Van Evera (soprano); Päivi Järviö, (mezzo); Eric Headley (viola da gamba, lirone); Stephen Stubbs (chitarrone, guitar); Andrew Lawrence-King (arpa doppia, harpsichord, organ))/Stephen Stubbs rec. September 1992, Sender Freies Berlin, Germany. DDD WARNER APEX 2564 61782-2 [77:40] [JV]

One of the best recordings of Italian 17th-century music ever made - both music and performance are brilliant ... see Full Review


Detailed listing (last five 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]
[Recommended recordings]

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