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Elizabeth MACONCHY (1907-1994) Reflections for viola, clarinet, oboe and harp (1960) [10.25] Miniature for solo oboe [1987] (1.00) Morning, Noon and Night for solo harp [1976] (11.05). Nicola LEFANU (b. 1947) Lament for viola, cello, clarinet and oboe (1988) [13.07] A Travelling Spirit – in memory of Tracey Chadwell for soprano and recorder (1996) [5.03] Soliloquy for solo oboe (1987) [19:76] Mira Clas Tenebras for mezzo-soprano, viola, cor anglais/oboe d’amore and harp (2002) [21.11] Okeanos (Bridget Carey (viola); Neil Hyde (cello); Kate Romano (clarinet); Jinny Shaw (oboe); John Turner (recorder); Lucy Wakeford (harp); Susan Bradshaw (mezzo) and Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano)
rec. Jacqueline du Pré Building, Oxford, 11 Nov 2002, 13 Jan 2003. DDD METIER MSV CD 92064 [71.29] [GH]

Do hunt out this CD. Some of the sounds on it will haunt you hours after you have returned it to its case. ... see Full Review

Miłosz MAGIN (1929-1999) Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra (1964) [21:39] Concerto for Cello, String orchestra and Timpani (1977) [28:46] Justine Verdier (piano), Jaroslaw Domżal (cello) The Orchestra of the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Bialystok Branch/Jan Milosz Zarzycki rec. Filharmonia Bialostocka, May 2003, February 2004 ACTE PRÉALABLE APO 113 [50:25] [GPu]

Not music of great originality, but honest and passionate and played by two impressive young soloists … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 7 (1908) [78.11] San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas Rec. live, Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, 9-12 March 2005. SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY 821936-0009-2 SACD/CD [78.11] [DC]

It’s like a great painting which has been cleaned for the first time in generations – restoring and renewing the sense of awe ... see Full Review

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Cavalleria Rusticana (1889) May Blyth (soprano) – Santuzza Marjorie parry (mezzo) – Lola Justine Griffiths (contralto) – Lucia Heddle Nash (tenor) – Turiddu Harold Williams (baritone) – Alfio Chorus and Orchestra of the British National Opera Company/Aylmer Buesst Recorded 1927 Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1858-1919) Pagliacci (1892) Miriam Licette (soprano) – Nedda/Columbine Frank Mullings (tenor) – Canio/Punchinello Harold Williams (baritone) – Tonio/Taddeo Heddle Nash (tenor) – Peppe/Harlequin Dennis Noble (baritone) - Silvio Chorus and Orchestra of the BritishNational Opera Company/Eugene Goossens Recorded 1927 DIVINE ART 27805 [50.10 + 62.19] [JW]

Most worthwhile - though very English - resurrections ... their appeal will be specialist. ... see Full Review

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Werther (1892) Marcelo Álvarez (tenor) - Werther; Elina Garanča (soprano) - Charlotte; Adrian Eröd (baritone) - Albert; Ileana Tonca (soprano) - Sophie; Peter Jelosits (tenor) - Schmidt; Alfred Šramek (baritone) - Le Bailli; Clemens Unterreiner (tenor) - Bühlmann; Markus Pelz (bass) - Johann; Maria Gusenleitner (soprano) - Käthchen Chor und Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper / Philippe Jordan
Recorded at Vienna State Opera, 25 and 28 February 2005. DVD Region 0.
Bonus: Prior to Opening Night - Marcelo Álvarez and Elina Garanča, Vienna Opera Ball

TDK DVD DVWW-OPWER [132’00" + 12’00" bonus] [ED]

This is a version with much to recommend it, even though it is not the last word on Massenet’s score. ... see Full Review

Toshiro MAYUZUMI (1929-1997) Symphonic Mood (1950) (I. Moderato: Allegro moderato [9:27]; II. Vivo [9:15]) Bugaku - Ballet in Two Parts - Court Dance Music (1962) (I. Lento [14:09]; II. Moderato - Un poco meno mosso - Allegretto - Lento [9:06]) Mandala Symphony (1960) (I. Vajra-dhatu mandala: Tempo non équilibre [6:32]; II. Garbha-dhatu mandala: Extrèmement lent [11:04]) Rumba Rhapsody (1948) [8:12] New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa rec. Michael Fowler Center, Wellington, New Zealand, 23-25 Aug 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557693 [68:26] [RB]

A varied and striking conspectus of Mayuzumi's music ... see Full Review

Stephen MCNEFF (b. 1951) Four Tales from Beatrix Potter, adapted by Adrian Mitchell: The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck for narrator and orchestra (2002) [18:30] The Tale of Peter Rabbit for narrator and orchestra (2002) [17:58] The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin for narrator, chorus and orchestra (2004) [20:11] The Tale of Samuel Whiskers for narrator and orchestra (2004) [18:38] Imelda Staunton (narrator) BBC Singers BBC Concert Orchestra/Clark Rundell rec. Hippodrome, Golders Green; BBC Maida Vale, London, England, 25 June 2002; 25-27 Jan 2005. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10352 [75:37][RHa]

Charming. If your child loves Beatrix Potter, or has grown tired of Peter and the Wolf, look no further! ... see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 (1844) [27.10] Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 (1806) [41.34] Nikolaj Znaider, violin Israel Philharmonic Orchestra/Zubin Mehta rec. live, Frederic R. Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv, Israel, 17-22 July 2005. DDD BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876 69217-2 [71.17] [MC]

Competition is extremely fierce. I have mixed feelings. Znaider is impressive in the Beethoven; less so in the Mendelssohn. ... see Full Review

Claudio MERULO (1533-1604) Missa Virginis Mariae - In Annuntiatione Domini Toccata II del V. tono* [07:01] Introït: Vultum tuum** [02:56] Kyrie*/** [05:32] Gloria*/** [16:10] Gradual: Tollite portas** [05:24] Toccata VIII* [03:53] Alleluja: Diffusa est gratia** [03:06] Offertory: Ave Maria** [02:33] Sanctus*/** [03:42] Agnus Dei*/** [03:52] Communion: Ecce virgo** [02:32] Toccata I del V. tono* [05:46] Roberto Loreggian, organ (*) Schola Gregoriana 'Scriptoria'/Nicola m. Bellinazzo (**) rec. October 2000, Chiesa di S. Caterina, Treviso & Chiesa S. Margherita, Carpi, Verona, Italy. DDD TACTUS TC 533801 [62:48][JV]

Merulo was one of the most important 16th century Italian composers of keyboard music. This recording is a winner in every respect ... see Full Review

Saburo MOROI (1903-1977) Sinfonietta in B flat, Op. 24, 'For children' (1943) [15'46]; Two Symphonic Movements, Op. 22 (1942) [19'09]; Symphony No. 3, Op. 25 (1944) [33'20]. National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland/Takuo Yuasa. rec. National Concert Hall, Dublin, 9-11 September 2002. DDD NAXOS JAPANESE CLASSICS 8.557162 [68'15] [CC]

This whole series of Japanese issues on Naxos is worthy of investigation. This disc is no exception. ... see Full Review

Dexter MORRILL (b.1938) Music for Stanford Getz Variations, for tenor saxophone and tape1 (1984) [19:39] Sea Songs, for soprano, with radio baton, electronics and tape2 (1995) [11:32] Salzburg Variations, for celletto, electronics and tape3 (1994) [10:48] Quartet, for violin, cello and tape4 (1985) [16:15] Chowning, computer generated tape5 (1973) [2:56] Stan Getz (tenor saxophone)1, Maureen Chowning (soprano)2, Chris Chafe (celletto)3, Helmut Braunlich (violin)4, Ignacio Alcover (cello)4 Recorded Frost Ampitheatre, Stanford University, U.S.A., July 19, 19841; Wellin Hall, Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y., U.S.A., 19962; Colgate University Chapel, U.S.A., 19963; Centre for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University, 19914; Colgate university Computer Music Studio, 19735 CENTAUR CRC 2732 [61:18] [GPu]

For those whose minds are not closed against the use of computers in music, this should prove a quietly interesting disc, though the actual musical achievement is somewhat uneven. ... see Full Review

Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925) Pieces for Piano Duet Deutsche Reigen, Op.25 [14:45] Deux Morceaux, Op. 43 [9:28] Polnische Volkstänze, Op. 55 [15:19] Aus Aller Herren Länder, Op. 23 [17:58] Neue Spanische Tänze, Op. 65 [13:25] Ulrich Koella, Gérard Wyss (piano) rec. Studio 2, Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich, 10-22 Nov 1997, 8 Dec 1998. DDD TUDOR 7060 [71:37] [GPu]

Polished and charming piano music for four hands, played with considerable panache ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Serenade in Bb major for 13 Winds, Gran Partita K.361/370a Members of the Orchestra of St.Luke’s/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. Performing Arts Centre, Theatre C, SUNY Purchase, New York, 1-2 July 1993 TELARC CD-80359 [50:37] [GPJ]

This is ‘background music’ raised to the level of the sublime. In a performance such as we have here, it’s simply an unmissable treat. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Flute Concerto No. 1 in G major, K.313 (1778) [26:10] Flute Quartet in C major K.285b (1778) [15:37] Flute Concerto in D major, K.314 (1777? arr.1778) [21:14] Laurel Zucker (flute) Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (members)/Zeev Dorman rec. Israel Conservatory of Music, Tel-Aviv (Concertos), Academy of Arts and Letters (Quartet). Recording sessions not dated. Disc © 1995 CANTILENA RECORDS 66010-2 [63:01] [DC]

Unashamedly modern performances from Laurel Zucker playing on a brilliant sounding Powell flute. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete Violin Concertos and Concertos for Wind CD1 [63.29] Horn Concertos Nos. 1 in D major, K412 (c.1786) [8.32];. 2 in E flat major, K417 (c.1787) [13.15]; 3 in E flat major, K447 (c.1786) [16.58]; 4 in E flat major, K495 (c.1786) [16.30] David Pyatt (horn) Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner Rondos for violin and orchestra in B flat major, K269 (1775) [6.56]; in C major, K373 (1781) [5.16] Thomas Zehetmair (director and violin) Philharmonia Orchestra CD2 [62.04] Violin Concertos Nos. 1 in B flat major, K207 (1773) [19.39]; 2 in D major, K211 (1775) [21.20]; 3 in G major, K216 (1775) [25.18] Adagio for violin and orchestra in E major, K261 (1775) [6.05] Thomas Zehetmair (director and violin) Philharmonia Orchestra CD3 [78.06] Violin Concertos No. 4 in D major, K218 (1775) [21.29]; D major, K271a (1775?) [25.57] Thomas Zehetmair (director and violin) Philharmonia Orchestra Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K219 (1775) [30.20] Vadim Repin (violin) Vienna Chamber Orchestra/Yehudi Menuhin CD4 [72.42] Clarinet Concerto in A major, K622 (1791) [30.01] Sharon Kam (clarinet) Württemburg Chamber Orchestra/Jörg Färber Oboe Concerto in C major, K314 (1777) [19.23] Pierre Pierlot (oboe) English Chamber Orchestra/Jean-Pierre Rampal Bassoon Concerto in B flat major (1774) [18.57] Pierre Hogue (bassoon) Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Theodor Guschlbauer Andante for flute and orchestra in C major (1777), K315 Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute) Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Theodor Guschlbauer CD5 [77.09] Flute Concertos Nos. 1 in G major, K313 (1777) [25.51]; 2 in D major (1777) [20.45] Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute) Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Theodor Guschlbauer Concerto for flute, harp and orchestra in C major, K299 (1777) [30.50] Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute), Lily Laskine (harp) Orchestre de Chambre Jean-François Paillard/Jean-François Paillard Recorded November 1964, Erato Studio Paris (K299); May 1966, Brahms-Saal, Musikverein, Vienna (K313-5); August 1990, Snape Maltings, Suffolk (K261, K269, K373); August 1991, Snape Maltings, Suffolk (K207, K218, K271a); December 1966, Air Studios, London K412, K417, K447, K495); October 1997, Casino Zögernitz, Vienna (K211, K219); December 1997, Evangelische Stadtkirche, Schwaigern (K622); February 2004, Stadthalle Gemering (K216) WARNER CLASSICS 2564 62333-2 [5 CDs: 63.29 + 62.04 + 78.06 + 72.42 + 77.09][TB]

Despite reservations about scant documentation this makes a welcome appearance as the anniversary year dawns. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Horn Concerto No. 1 in D, K. 412 (1791?) [8.14] Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat, K. 417 (1783) [12.45] Horn Concerto No. 3 in E-flat, K. 447 (1786-7) [14.30] Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat, K. 495 (1786) [16.35] Concert Rondo in E-flat, K. 371 (1781?) [6.25] Fragment in E, K. 494a [2:56] Michael FLANDERS and Donald SWANN Ill Wind (based on K. 495, transcribed for orchestra)* Eric Ruske (horn) Richard Suart (soloist)* Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 4-5 December 2004 TELARC CD-80367 [64.26] [SV]

This album would raise anew the vexing question of repertoire reduplication, were it not so good as immediately to dispel all such concerns. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 26 in D, KV 537 (1788) [29:24] Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, KV 482 (1785) [38:30] (arr. for chamber ensemble by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837)) Fumiko Shiraga (piano); Henrik Wiese (flute); Peter Clemente (violin); Tibor Benyi (cello) rec. 28-30 May 2005, Bavaria Music Studios, Munich. DDD BIS BIS-CD-1537 [68:49] [DB]

Great performances of well-known pieces, seen in an entirely new light. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sonata in E flat major for piano and violin KV481 *[18.27] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonata No.2 in A major Op.100  (1886)* [19.19] Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Violin Sonata No.3 in C minor Op.45 (1888) [23.01] Arthur Grumiaux (violin and piano*- overdubbed, playing both instruments) István Hajdu (piano – Grieg) Recorded 1959 (Mozart, Brahms) 1961 (Grieg) PHILPS ELOQUENCE 476 7930 [60:58][JW]

Grumiaux, graciously quick and enlivening, cultivates beautiful warmth and tonally makes a consistently bigger sound than we’re perhaps used to. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791) Inter natos mulierum, K.72 (1771) [5:09]; Misericordias Domini, K. 222 (1775) [6:09]; Requiem, K. 626 (1791) (completed by Franz Xaver Süssmayr) [41:03] Miriam Allan (soprano), Anne Buter (mezzo), Marcus Ullmann (tenor), Martin Snell (bass), GewandhausKammerchor, Leipziger Kammerorchester/Morten Schuldt-Jensen rec. Grosser Saal des Gewandhauses. Leipzig, Germany, 10-12 November 2004 Plus bonus disc with Great Choral Classics by Handel, Beethoven, Vanhal, Rossini, Mozart, Berlioz, Szymanowski, Tippett and Bach (various artists) NAXOS 8.557728 + 8.551806 [52:21 + 71:29] [GF]

Schuldt-Jensen is hard to beat on musical grounds. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Salzburg Sacred Music Vesperae solennes de confessore in C major, KV 339 (1780) [24.55] Missa solemnis in C major, KV 337 (1780) [31.54](includes the Church or Epistle Sonata No. 17 for organ, KV 336 [03.40]) Regina coeli in C major, KV 276 (circa 1779) [05.53] Cornelia Samuelis, soprano Ursula Eittinger, alto Benoît Haller, tenor Markus Flaig, bass Christoph Anselm Noll, organ Kölner Kammerchor Collegium Cartusianum/Peter Neumann Recorded at the Köhn, Trinitatiskirche 12-16 November 2004   DDD  MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM  SACD MDG GOLD 932 1346-6  [56.53][MC]

One of the finest releases of sacred choral music that I have heard for some time. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782) [125'48] Hannsgeorg Laubenthal (speaker) Pasha Selim; Erika Köth (soprano) Konstanze; Lisa Otto (soprano) Blonde; Rudolf Schock (tenor) Belmonte; Murray Dickie (tenor) Pedrillo; Kurt Böhme (bass) Osmin; Chorus of the Vienna State Opera; Wiener Philharmoniker/Georg Szell. rec. Landestheater Salzburg, 7 August 1956. ADD. mono ORFEO SALZBURGER DOKUMENTE C652052I [63'39 + 62'09][CC]

A tremendous live account of Mozart's effervescent Entführung. Any preconceived ideas about Szell should be jettisoned – he captures to perfection the buffo element and is infinitely flexible to his singers. ... see Full Review

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibitiona (1874) [29'35] (orch. Ravel, 29'47b). Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etude in F, Op.10 No. 8c (1829-32) [1'37] ; Waltz in No. 3 in A minor, Op. 34 No. 2c (1831) [4'50]. Byron Janisac (piano) bMinneapolis Symphony Orchestra/Antal Dorati From acSR90305, bSE90217. Rec. aStudio A, Fine Recording, New York on September 25th-29th, 1961, bNorthrop Auditorium, Minneapolis, on April 21st, 1959, cMoscow on June 11th, 1962. ADD MERCURY LIVING PRESENCE SACD 475 6620 [66'20] [CC]

A lovely idea. The piano and the orchestral versions of Pictures, separated by some aural balm, a couple of short Chopin pieces, expertly dispatched. Wonderful to experience the art of Byron Janis. ... see Full Review

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839–1881) Khovanshchina (1886) Boris Freidkov (bass) – Prince Ivan Khovansky; Ivan Nechayev (tenor) – Prince Andrey Khovansky; Mark Reizen (bass) – Dosifey; Vladimir Ulyanov (tenor) – Prince Vasily Golitsin; Ivan Shaskov (baritone) – Shalovity; Yakov Mishenko (tenor) – The Scribe; Lavrenty Yaroshenko (bass) – Kuzka; Vasily Tikhi (tenor) – Streshnev; Ivan Yashugin (bass) – First Strelyets; Andrey Atlantov (bass) – Second Strelyets; Sofya Preobrazhenskaya (mezzo) – Marfa; Nina Serval (soprano) – Susanna; Valentina Volokitina (soprano) – Emma Kirov Chorus and Orchestra, Leningrad/Boris Khaikin Recorded in Leningrad, the Soviet Union, 1946 Appendix A: Three extracts from Khovanshchina Act 2: Marfa’s Divination Nadezhda Obukhova (mezzo) Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra/I Steinberg (rec. 1944) Act 3: Song of Marfa Nadezhda Obukhova (mezzo) with orchestra (rec. 1948) Shaklovity’s aria Pavel Andreyev (baritone) with orchestra (rec. 1937?) Appendix B: A selection of Mussorgsky songs Song of the flea Mark Reizen (bass) with piano (rec. 1946) The seminarist Mark Reizen (bass), Abram Makarov (piano) (rec. 1947)
Hebrew song; Tell me, gentle maiden Sofya Preobrazhenskaya (mezzo), Abram Meierovich (piano) (rec. 1951) Trepak (from "Songs and dances of death") Feodor Chaliapin (bass), Orchestra/Lawrance Collingwood (rec. London 1929) Gopak Igor Gorin (baritone), orchestra/Wilfred Pelletier (rec. c. 1939) The banks of the Don; Forgotten Igor Gorin (baritone), Max Rabinowitsch (piano) (rec. 1939) The he-goat; Forgotten; Darling Savishna Vladimir Rosing (tenor), Myers Foggin (piano) (rec. 1935) Night; Where are you, little star? Mascia Predit (soprano), Gerald Moore (piano) (rec. in London 1950) Reissue Producer and Restoration Engineer: Ward Marston NAXOS 8.111124-26 [3 CDs: 64:39 + 70:02 + 77:57] [GF]

As a complement this Naxos set is a good buy, primarily for Reizen and Preobrazhenskaya ... see Full Review

Ludvig NIELSEN (1906-2001) Church Bells [1'20] Fantasi over To Gamle Olsokmelodier op. 4 (1941) [9'34] Tre Salmer for solo voice and organ (1980, 1963, 1973) [9'10] from 150 Enkle og lette Orgelkoraler til Norsk Koralbok op. 67 (1988): Eg ser deg, Gud, i kvar den blom som tirer [2'24]; Brod for verden lot du voske [1'24] To Salmer for solo voice and organ (1977, 1976) [5'42] Veni Redemptor Gentium et Dies Irae for organ op. 52 (1981) [20'35] Church Bells [2'05] Variasjoner over den Norske Folketone 'Ingen Vinner frem til den Evige Ro' for organ op. 2 (1941) [10'23] Bjorn Kare Moe, organ Mona Julsred, soprano rec. Trondheim Cathedral, Norway, 13-18 September 2004. DDD BIS-CD-1494 [76'23][CB]

Music of uneven quality then, but this is unusual, very interesting, and very well performed. ... see Full Review

Luigi NONO (1924-1990) A Trail on the Water - a film by Bettina Ehrhardt and Wolfgang Schreiber with Claudio Abbado, Maurizio Pollini. The Arnold Schoenberg Choir, Erwin Ortner, Experimentalstudio of the Heinrich Strobel Foundation of SWR, Freiburg. Recorded 2001. Bonus: complete performance of Nono’s …sofferte onde serene…by Maurizio Pollini DVD-all regions TDK EUROARTS DVWW-DOCNONO [76:00] [AO]

Recommended for those who want to understand Nono and his music. Very good performance by Pollini of Nono’s ... sofferte onde serene ... see Full Review

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Gaîté Parisienne (arr. Manuel Rosenthal) [38.48] Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893) Faust: Ballet Music [15.52] Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden/Sir Georg Solti Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Rossiniana (arr. Ottorino Respighi) [25.52]* L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet rec. Kingsway Hall, London, May 1960; *Victoria Hall, Geneva, February 1967 DECCA ELOQUENCE 476 2724 [77.44] [SV]

A mixed bag with brilliant Faust music and a nuanced and vibrant Rossiniana ... see Full Review

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) The Ultimate Collection:- Orpheus – free adaptation of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (1923) Klage der Ariadne (1608) Lamento d’Arianna di Claudio Monteverdi, Carmina Burana (1935-36), Catulli Carmina (1943), Prometheus (1968)
see review for details ARTS 43050-2 [6 CDs as above, in slipcase] [JW]

A vibrant and still recommendable boxed set not without some very tough music. ... see Full Review

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Da pacem Domine (2004) [5:40] (Da pacem Domine; In diebus nostris; Quia non est alius; Qui pugnet pro nobis; Nisi tu Deus noster) The Hilliard Ensemble: Sarah Leonard, soprano; David James, counter-tenor; Rogers Covey-Crump, tenor; Stephen Harrold, tenor; Gordon Jones, baritone Lamentate for piano and orchestra (Homage to Anish Kapoor and his sculpture "Marsyas") (2002) [37:04] (Minacciando [2:38]; Spietato [3:33]; Fragile [1:04]; Pregando – state d’animo [5:25]; Consolante [1:21]; Stridento [1:31]; Lamentabile [5:46]; Risolutamente [2:45]; Fragile e conciliante [6:56]) Alexei Lubimov (piano) SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra/Andrey Boreyko rec. June 2004, Stadthalle Sindelfingen. Germany. DDD ECM NEW SERIES ECM 1930 [42.46] [EM]

Not a disc I can recommend except possibly to Einaudi fans. ... see Full Review

Alexander PEÇI (b. 1951) Albanian Lament Alb-Postmortorium (Albanian Lament) (1997) * [10:10] Rimodelazh (Remodeling) (1996-1998) ** [9:55] Heteroondulacion (Polymotion) (1996) *** [14:02] Spectrum (1998) **** [5:01] Rrenjet e tingujve (Sonic Roots) (1995) # [7:00] Policentrum (1999) ## [14:43] Bujar Lako (speaker)* Irini Qiriako (vocalist) * Suzana Frasheri (soprano) * Merita Rexha (piano) ** Pjeter Guralumi (cellos) *** Ensemble Spectrum **** Fatos Qerimi (clarinet) # AMRA Ensemble/Zhani Ciko ## rec. March 4-6, 2000 at Studio 1, Radio Tirana. licensed from EMI Classics LABOR RECORDS LAB 7030-2 [61:29] [DB]

An extremely interesting release of contemporary Albanian music. And what you hear may surprise you. … see Full Review

Ignaz PLEYEL (1757 – 1831) String Quartets: in A major, Op. 2 No. 1 [17:19]; in C major, Op. 2 No. 2 [17:52]; in G minor, Op. 2 No. 3 [20:30] Ensō Quartet rec. Holy Martyrs Church, Bradford, Ontario, Canada, 31 Jan–4 Feb 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557496 [55:40] [GF]

Lovers of Haydn’s and Mozart’s quartet music, and indeed lovers of string quartet music in general, should not miss the opportunity to hear this fascinating disc. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Boheme - Opera in four acts (1869)
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica based on ‘Scènes de la vie de Bohème’ by Henry Murger. First performed at the Teatro Regio, Turin, 1 February 1869 Rodolfo, Placido Domingo (ten); Mimi, Montserrat Caballé (sop); Marcello, Sherrill Milnes (bar); Musetta, Judith Blegen (sop); Schaunard, Vincente Sardinero (bar); Colline, Ruggero Raimondi (bass); Alcindoro, Nico Castel (ten); Benoit, Noel Mangin (bass) John Alldis Choir; Wandsworth Schoolboys Choir London Philharmonic Orchestra/Georg Solti rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, England. 27 July-4 August 1973. ADD With CD Extra containing libretto with English, German and French translations available via CD-Rom drive with systems requirements of Windows 98 SE or higher, 64MB of Ram, CD ROM drive RCA RED SEAL MASTERWORKS OPERA SERIES 82876 70784 2 [51.44 + 51.22] [RJF]

Despite a sometimes less than sensitive Domingo, Caballé gives a considerable performance and interpretation in this clear and well balanced recording ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Madama Butterfly (1904). Cheryl Barker (soprano) - Cio-Cio-San; Martin Thompson (tenor) - Pinkerton; Catherine Keen (mezzo) - Suzuki; Richard Stilwell (baritone) - Sharpless; Anneleen Bijnen (mezzo) - Kate; Peter Blanchet (tenor) - Goro; Roger Smeets (baritone) - Yamadori; Anrezej Saciuk (bass) - Bonze; Harry Teeuwen (baritone) - Yakusidé Chorus of Netherlands Opera Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/Edo de Waart. Includes Cast Gallery, Synopsis & illustrated talk. Subtitles. All regions. PAL. LPCM Stereo. Rec. live at Het Musiektheater, Amsterdam in 2003. OPUS ARTE OA0936D [2 DVDs: 169'00] [CC]

A superb DVD that now becomes my top recommendation for this opera on DVD. The production is top-notch, and the orchestral contribution the strongest I have yet to hear. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony No. 3 in A minor Op. 44 (1936) [40:38] Symphonic Dances Op. 45 (1940) [31:23] Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/David Zinman rec. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland, 28-29 May 1994. DDD TELARC CLASSICS CD-80331 [72.01] [JPh]

Better than most of the competition in the quality of the recorded sound. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concertos: no.1 in F sharp minor op.1 (1891) [27:45], no.2 in C minor op.18 (1901) [33:56], no.3 in D minor op.30 (1909) [41:15], no.4 in G minor (1927) [24:06]; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini op.43 (1934) [24:06] Howard Shelley (piano) Scottish National Orchestra/Bryden Thomson rec. 1, 3 December 1989, 10, 12 April 1990, Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland. CHANDOS CHAN 241-30 [78:36 + 75:22] [CH]

No recommendation, I’m afraid. ... see Full Review

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Platée Suite (1745) [22:24] Pigmalion Suite (1748) [19:49] Dardanus Suite (1739) [33:33] Daniel Hope (violin) European Union Baroque Orchestra/Roy Goodman rec. 11 December 1999, Chapel of Hertford College, Oxford (Platée); 26-27 December 2001, Eglise Protestante de Bruxelles (Pigmalion); 14 November 2003, St. Michael’s Church, Summertown, Oxford (Dardanus). NAXOS 8.557490 [75:46] [JR]

Tempi are brisk and effective without ever sacrificing the intense levels of detail that lend this music its distinctive sound. ... see Full Review

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Trio for piano, violin and cello in A Minor (1914) [26.29] Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Trio for piano, violin and cello in G Minor, Op. 3 (1881) [33.06] Pascal Rogé, piano; Mie Kobayashi, violin; Yoko Hasegawa, cello rec. Salle de Musique, La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland, June 2002. DDD ONYX CLASSICS ONYX 4008 [59.35][MC]

Rogé, Kobayashi and Hasegawa are outstanding advocates for these wonderful French scores. I offer an enthusiastic recommendation. ... see Full Review

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Miroirs (1904-1905) [27'48]; Gaspard de la nuit (1908) [20'25]; Le tombeau de Couperin (1914-1917) [25'56] David Korevaar (piano)
rec. Recital Hall, Purchase College of Music, New York, July 2000. DDD MSR CLASSICS MS1125 [72'04] [CC]

Worth investigating if not a Ravelian front-runner. ... see Full Review

Max REGER (1873-1916) Works for Orchestra CD1 [63:59] Eine Ballettsuite op. 130 (1913) [17:56] Konzert im alten Stil op. 123 (1912) [23:16] Beethoven-Variationen op. 86 (1904, 1915) [22:29] Karl Suske (violin) Heinz Schunk (violin) (op. 123) Staatskapelle Berlin/Otmar Suitner rec. 1973, Original CD release 01.08.2002 as 0032242BC CD2 [44:33] Hiller-Variationen op. 100 (1907) [44:33] Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Franz Konwitschny rec. 1963, Original CD release 15.03.2002 as 0032152BC CD3 [61:31] Mozart-Variationen op. 132 (1914) [32:23] Vier Tondichtungen nach A. Böcklin op. 128 (1913) [28:57] Walter Hartwich (violin) (Böcklin) Staatskapelle Dresden/Heinz Bongartz (Böcklin) Dresdner Philharmonie/Heinz Bongartz rec. 1970, 1965, Original CD release 18.06.1994 as 0021772BC CD4 [74:14] Sinfonietta op. 9 (1905) [50:10] An die Hoffnung op. 124 (1912) [11:54] Hymnus der Liebe op. 136 (1914) [11:57] Annelies Burmeister (alto) (opp. 124, 136) Günter Siering (violin) (op. 9) Dresdner Philharmonie/Heinz Bongartz (Sinfonietta) Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Leipzig/Heinz Bongartz rec. 1973, 1969, Original CD release 01.08.2002 as 0032232BC CD5 [57:40] Violinkonzert A-Dur op. 101 (1908) [57:40] Manfred Scherzer (violin) Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1984, Original CD release 12.03.1996 as 0091242BC CD6 [52:31] Konzert für Klavier und Orchester f-Moll (1910) [52:31] Amadeus Webersinke (piano) Dresdner Philharmonie/Günther Herbig rec. 1973, Original CD release 5.04.2002 as 0002532CCC CD7 [41:45] Symphonischer Prolog zu einer Tragödie op. 108 (1908) [26:02] Eine romantische Suite op. 125 (1912) [26:19] Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin/Heinz Rögner rec. 1974, Original CD release 12.10.1995 as 0031192BC Rec. 1963-1984. DDR. ADD BERLIN CLASSICS - EDEL 0183992BC [7 CDs: 63:59 + 44:33 + 61:31 + 74:14 + 57:40 + 41:45 + 52:31] [RB]

Irresistible and more often than not an antidote to ‘received wisdom’. ... see Full Review

Max REGER (1873-1916) Organ Works - Volume 6 Chorale Fantasia on ‘Alle Menschen müssen sterben’, Op. 52, No. 1 (1900) [17:13] Six Trios, Op. 47 (1900) [17:43] Introduction, Variations and Fugue in F sharp minor on an Original Theme, Op. 73 (1903) [37:13] Marin Welzel (organ) Rec. Klais Organ, Trier Cathedral, Germany, July 8-9th 2003. NAXOS 8.557338 [72:10] [DC]

This recording will sit well next to my Widors, Francks and Viernes ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia - Comic opera in two acts (1816) Libretto by Cesare Sterbini based on the play by Beaumarchais First performed at the Teatro Argentina, Rome, 20 February 1816 Count Almaviva, Fritz Wunderlich (ten); Figaro, a barber, Hermann Prey (bar); Bartolo, a doctor and ward of Rosina, Max Proebstel (bar); Rosina, Erika Köth (mezzo); Basilio, a singing teacher, Hans Hotter (bass-bar); Berta, Dr. Bartolo’s housekeeper, Ina Gerhein (mezzo); Fiorello, servant of Count Almaviva, Karl Ostertag (bar) Orchestra and Chorus of the Bavarian State Opera/Joseph Keilberth Recorded live, 25 December 1959 in MONO sound Producer: Herbert List. Stage design and costumes: Max Bignens. Television production: Harald Gericke A production at the Bavarian State Opera recorded for television relay by Bayerischer Rundfunk Picture format: NTSC. Black and White. 4:3 Subtitles in German (original language), English, Italian, French, Spanish, Chinese. DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON DVD VIDEO 000440 073 4116 GH [141:00][RJF]

Very much for special interest only. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838) Piano Concertos, Volume 1: A flat, Op. 151, 'Gruss an den Rhein' (1826) [29'01]; C major, Op. 123 (1806) [31'56]. (both ed. Allan Badley). Christopher Hinterhuber (piano) New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Uwe Grodd. Rec. Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand, 1-3 Feb 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557638 [60'57] [CC]

An excellent disc. One of the beauties of Naxos is that one can experiment with rare repertoire at low cost. Here that cost is certainly justified. ... see Full Review

Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838) Piano Concertos, Volume 1 Piano Concerto in A flat major, Op. 151 (1826) [29:01] Piano Concerto in C major, Op. 123 (1806) [31:56] Christopher Hinterhuber (piano) New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Uwe Grodd rec. Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand, 1-3 February 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557638 [60:57][GPu]

Fascinating, little-known music; soloist, orchestra, conductor and recording quality are all beyond reproach ... see Full Review

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) Improvisation for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 89 (1956) [12:25] Improvisations on Virginal Pieces by Giles Farnaby (1938-39) [14:11] Violin Concerto (1959) [30:29] Krysia Osostowicz, violin Ulster Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa rec. Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 25-26 May 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557591 [57:04] [JW]

Osostowicz makes her credentials abundantly clear as a thoughtful, expressive and understanding exponent of Rubbra’s violin works. ... 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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