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Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660 - 1725) Messa per il Natale, 1707 [Ad Introitum] Bernardo PASQUINI (1637 - 1710) Pastorale (organ) [04:49] Alessandro SCARLATTI Beata mater, motetto a 4 voci [04:22] plainchant [Introito] Dominus dixit ad me [02:05] Alessandro SCARLATTI Kyrie [04:32] Gloria [11:25] plainchant [Prophetia] Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Titum [01:30] Bernardo PASQUINI [Canzon dopo l'Epistola] Fantasia (organ) [02:27] plainchant Alleluia [02:22] [Evangelium] In illo tempore: Exit edictum a Caesare Augusto [02:17] Alessandro SCARLATTI Credo [08:35] [Ad Offertorium] Bernardo PASQUINI Ricercare (organ) [04:01] O benedicte Jesu, motetto (alto a basso continuo) [06:58] Alessandro SCARLATTI Sanctus [01:37] plainchant Benedictus [00:35]
Alessandro SCARLATTI/plainchant
Agnus Dei [02:42] [Ad Communionem] Bernardo PASQUINI Canzona alla francese (organ) [01:27] Francesco FOGGIA (1604-1688) Congaudete jubilate, motetto per soprano, 2 violini e basso continuo [04:46] [Ad Finem] plainchant Ite missa est [00:46] Bernardo PASQUINI Toccata (organ) [01:52] Ensemble vocale Festina Lente (Teresa Nesci, Roberta Giua, Monica Piccininni, soprano; Alessandro Carmignani, Gianluigi Ghiringhelli, alto; Gianluca Ferrarini, Fabio Furnari, tenor; Walter Testolin, Enrico Bava, bass) I Musici di Santa Pelagia (Michele Balma Mion, Paola Nervi, violin; Daniele Bovo, cello; Roberto Bevilacqua, viola da gamba, double bass; Elena Cicinskaite, theorbo) Schola Gregoriana; Maurizio Fornero, organ Dir: Michele Gasbarro Recorded in 2002/3 at the Imperia House Recording Studio, Italy STRADIVARIUS STR 33646 [69:19] [JV]

The liturgical music by Alessandro Scarlatti hasn't been given much attention - it is more conservative in style than his oratorios or cantatas, but well worth exploring, in particular with an outstanding recording like this ... see Full Review

Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725) San Casimiro, Rè di Polonia (1705?) Olga Pasiiecznik (soprano) – Royal Pomp Jacek Laszczkowski (counter-tenor) – Profane Love Anna Mikolajczyk (soprano) - Chastity Marcin Ciszewski (counter-tenor) - Humility Krzysztof Szmyt (tenor) – Saint Casimir Jaroslaw Bręk (bass, as part of closing chorus along with the soloists) Zbigniew Pilch, Marek Skuza (1st violin), Dymitr Olszewski, Agnieszka Wolińska (2nd violin), Piotr Rzeczycki (viola), Mark Caudle (cello), Tomasz Iwanek (double-bass), Katarzyna Tomczak (harpsichord), Anton Biroulia (theorbo) Jerzy Żak (lute and conductor)
Recorded Nawiedzenia Church, Warsaw, April-May 1999 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0025 [56:45] [GPu]

A première recording of an interesting oratorio, in a very enjoyable performance ... see Full Review

Music of Tribute, Volume 4: Scarlatti Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757)
Sonata in G major, L 486 [4:53] Jean FRANCAIX (1912-1997) Hommage à Scarlatti [3:22] Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonata in B minor, L 33 [5:53] Marcelle de Manziarly (1899-1989) Hommage à Scarlatti [1 :19] Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonata in B flat major, L 396 [3:52] Vlastimir NIKOLOVSKI (1925-2001) Sonata in G [2:37] Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonata in C minor, L 360 [2:47] Charles-Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Duettino (alla D. Scarlatti) [1:51] Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonata in D major, L 415 [5:26] Raymond LEWENTHAL (1926-1988) Toccata alla Scarlatti [4:18] Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonata in A minor, L 314 [3:12] Marc-André Hamelin (b.1961) Essercizio per pianoforte [4:58] Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonata in F major, L 432 [6:20] Leopold GODOWSKY (1870-1938) Concert-Allegro [5:18] Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonata in E major, L 21 [5:42] Walter STEFFENS (b.1934) Hommage à Scarlatti [4 :01] György KURTÁG (b.1926)
Hommage à D.S. Viktoria Lakissova (piano) Recorded in Sendesaal Radio Bremen, Bremen, June 2004 LABOR RECORDS LAB 7077 [66:37] [GPu]

A well-played, thought-provoking and entertaining anthology of pieces by – and in homage to – Domenico Scarlatti. Warmly recommended … see Full Review

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Friede auf Erden op. 13 (1911) [9'54]; Farben op. 16 no. 3 (1909) [4'09]; Drei Volksliedsätze (1929) [9'24]; Friede auf Erden op. 13 (1907) [9'33]; Kammersymphonie für 15 solo-instrumente op.9 (1914) [20'26]; Verbundenheit op. 35 no. 6 (1930) [2'36]; Dreimal tausend Jahre op.50A (1949) [2'52]; De Profundis op. 59B (1950) [5.16] Accentus Chamber Choir/Laurence Equilbey Ensemble Intercontemporain/Jonathan Nott (Op. 9) rec. August 2002, Paris (Accentus); March 2005, Paris (Op. 9) DDD NAÏVE V5008 [64'07][AO]

Another fascinating exploration by Accentus – superbly blended harmonies of great sophistication ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Octet in F major, D803 (1824) [63’30] Mullova Ensemble: Viktoria Mullova, Adrian Chamorro (violins); Erich Krüger (viola), Manuel Fischer-Dieskau (cello); Klaus Stoll (double bass), Pascal Moraguès (clarinet); Marco Postinghel (bassoon), Guido Corti (horn) Recorded at Polling im Innkreis, Austria (no date) ONYX 4006 [63’30] [TH]

To my ears while faultlessly played it fatally lacks in any sort of geniality or grace ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Mass No. 6 in E flat major, D950 (1825?) Gundula Janowitz (soprano); Grace Hoffmann (alto); Albert Gassner (tenor); Waldemar Kmentt (tenor); Franz Crass (bass) Chor und Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Rafael Kubelik rec. live 22 March 1968, Herkülesaal der Residenz, Munich. SACD AUDITE 92.541 [53:46] [JQ]

Anyone who doesn’t have a version of this work in his or her collection could do far worse than invest in this recording. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise D911 Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone Alfred Brendel, piano The Rehearsal (bonus documentary) Rec.: 1979, Siemensvilla, Berlin, Germany. Sound format: LPCM stereo Picture format: 4:3 Picture standard: NTSC Region code: 0 Subtitles: GB, D, F, I, E TDK DVWW-COWINT [73:00 (Winterreise); 56:00 (The Rehearsal)] [KM]

A must-have DVD for fans of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Schubert’s lieder ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Poets of Sensibility - Vol 3: Der Tod und das Mädchen; Der Leidende (3rd version) Totengräberlied; Die Mutter Erde; Der Liedende (2nd version); Die Nonne; Täglich zu singen; Klage (D371); Stimme der Liebe; Seufzer; An eine Quelle; An die Apfelbäume; Die frühe Liebe; An den Mond; Abendlied; Klage (D436); Auf den Tod einer Nachtigall D201 and D399); Auf dem Wasser zu singen; Lied in der Abwesenheit; Der Liebende; Minnelied; Der Traum; Seligkeit. Wolfgang Holzmair (baritone) Ulrich Eisenlohr (piano) rec. Munich, 30 November-5 December 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557568 [60:59] [AO]

Highly recommended for Holzmair’s lyrical, naturalistic style – the best disc in this series by far, good enough for experienced collectors to seek out ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Impromptus D.899[28:35], Impromptus D.935 [33:54] SCHUBERT/Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Song transcriptions: Ständchen S.560/7 [05:12], Auf dem Wasser zu singen S.558/2 [03:51], Erlkönig S.558/4 [04:28] Murray Perahia (piano) rec. 22-23 November 1982, Vanguard Studios, New York City (D.899), 18 December 1980, Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City (D.935], 27-28 November and 1-2 December 1998, Lyndhurst Hall, Air Studios, Hampstead, London (Schubert/Liszt) SONY CLASSICAL SK 94732 [76:25] [CH]

One of the most beautiful piano records ever made. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Sonata No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 11 (1833-35) [32:11] * Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 (1833-38) [17:42] Papillons, Op. 2 (1828-31) [13:46] Three Romances, Op. 28 (1839) [13:54] Catherine Collard, piano Recorded Salon Honnorat, Cite Universitaire, Paris, March 1978 Recording Location/Dates Not Identified * WARNER APEX 2564 61797-2 [78:04] [DS]

Compelling music-making fully possessing Schumann’s gorgeous musical lines, impetuosity and contrast of action/enlightenment ... see Full Review

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Symphoniae Sacrae I (1629) CD 1 Domine, labia mea aperies (SWV 271) [04:32] Cantabo Domino in vita mea (SWV  260) [04:28] Fili mi, Absalon (SWV 269) [06:28] Paratum cor meum, Deus (SWV 257) [03:30] Anima mea liquefacta est (1. Pars) (SWV 263) [04:20] Adjuro vos, filiae Jerusalem (2. Pars) (SWV 264) [04:11] Jubilate Deo omnis terra (SWV 262) [05:48] In lectulo per noctes (1. Pars) (SWV 272) [04:49] In venerunt me custodes civitatis (2. Pars) (SWV 273) [04:48] O quam tu pulchra es (1. Pars) (SWV 265) [04:03] Veni de Libano (2. Pars) (SWV 266) [04:06] In te, Domine, speravi (SWV 259) [05:18] CD 2 Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore (1. Pars) (SWV 267) [03:23] Exquisivi Dominum (2. Pars) (SWV 268) [03:15] Attendite, popule meus (SWV 270) [08:06] Venite ad me omnes qui laboratis (SWV 261) [07:15] Veni, dilecte mi (SWV 274) [05:34] Exultavit cor meum in Domino (SWV 258) [04:30] Buccinate in neomenia tuba (1. Pars) (SWV 275) [03:23] Jubilate Deo (2. Pars) (SWV 276) [02:51] Barbara Borden, Nele Gramß (soprano), Rogers Covey-Crump (counter-tenor), John Potter, Douglas Nasrawi (tenor), Harry van der Kamp (bass) Concerto Palatino: (Bruce Dickey, Doron David Sherwin, cornett, cornetto muto; Johani Listo, trumpet; Peter Van Heyghen, Marcel Ketels, recorder; Thomas Albert, Irmgard Schaller, violin; Charles Toet, Sue Addison, Harry Ries, Wim Becu, trombone; Bernhard Junghänel, Regina Sanders, Birgit Siefer, curtal; Stephen Stubbs, chitarrone; Klaus Eichhorn, organ) rec. October, November 1991, Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem, The Netherlands. DDD ACCENT ACC 30078 [57:38 + 38:50][JV]

Splendid performances of one of Schütz's most important collections of sacred concertos - a most welcome reissue ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No.11 in G minor, op.103, “The Year 1905” (1957) (I. Adagio (The Palace Square) [15:18]; II. Allegro (The 9th of January) [19:46]; III. Adagio (Eternal Memory) [15:19]; IV. Allegro non troppo (The Tocsin) [15:22]) Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi/Oleg Caetani Recorded live at the Auditorium di Milano, Italy in March 2003 ARTS 47676-8 [66:15][GPJ]

As a live experience, it may well have been something very special; as a recording intended for repeated hearings, it isn’t really competitive. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings in C minor, Op. 35a (1933) [23'05]. Concertino for Two Pianos in A minor, Op. 94 (1953, arr. piano/chamber orchestra Ilya Dimov) [9'48]. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in F, Op. 102 (1957) [18'36]. Florian Uhlig (piano); aPeter Leiner (trumpet) SWR Radio Symphony Orchestra Kaiserlautern/Jirí Stárek. rec. SWR Studio Kaiserlautern, 2002-2004. DDD HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD93.113 [51'27] [CC]

Playing time is low but the inclusion of the Concertino arrangement makes this worth a listen. ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 6 in D minor op. 104 [27:33] Symphony No. 4 in A minor op. 63 [33:04] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham (6) BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham (4) rec. live, Royal Albert Hall, Prom, 15 Sept 1954 (6); Studio, Criterion Theatre, London, 4 Oct 1951 (4). mono. ADD Not previously issued. Released in collaboration with the Sir Thomas Beecham Trust in Support of the Scholarship Fund. SOMM SOMM-BEECHAM 18 [61:23][JW]

The finest Beecham Fourth that I know ... a Sixth no less fine and in much better sound ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) The Legend of Jean Sibelius: Finlandia (1899) [8'28]; Karelia Suite (1893) [17'09]; Violin Concerto in D Minor (1903) [34'44]; The Oceanides (1914) [10'03]; Valse Triste (1903) [4'42]; Andante Festivo (1922) [5'10]; En Saga (1902) [18'03]; The Wood-Nymph (1894/5) [21'36]; Pohjola's Daughter (1906) [13'10]; Tapiola (1926) [17'22]; Porilaisten Marssi (1900) [2'14] Raimo Laukka, (baritone), Leonidas Kavakos (violin) Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä recorded 1990-2003 and 2005, Finland. DDD BIS-CD-1557/58 [76'28 + 78'58][AO]

A convenient collection of famous staples and lesser known versions of old favourites by the pre-eminent Sibelius conductor of our time. You can't go wrong with this. ... see Full Review

Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) The Bartered Bride (1866) Krusina - Neal Davies (baritone) Ludmila - Yvonne Howard (mezzo) Marenka - Susan Gritton (soprano) Tobias Micha - Geoffrey Moses (bass) Hata - Diana Montague (mezzo) Vasek - Timothy Robinson (tenor) Kecal - Peter Rose (bass) Ringmaster - Robin Leggate (tenor) Esmeralda - Yvette Bonner (soprano) Royal Opera Chorus Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. 15-13 December 2004, Blackheath Concert Halls, London. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 3128 [56.11 + 77.19] [TB]

Idiomatic but not unbelievably eccentric. The whole enterprise has much to commend it. The issue revolves around the attitude towards ‘original language’ and ‘opera in English’. ... see Full Review

Scenes from Salome and Elektra

Elektra (1909): Elektra’s Soliloquy: Allein! Weh, ganz allein [9:34]; Recognition Scene: Was willst du, fremder Mensch? [21:37]; Finale: Elektra! Schwester! Komm mit uns! [9:42] Salome (1905): Dance of the Seven Veils [9:04]; Final Scene: Ah! Du wolltest mich micht deinen Mund [17:03] Inge Borkh (soprano), Paul Schöffler (baritone) (Elektra), Francis Yeend (soprano) (Elektra), Chicago Lyric Theater Chorus (Elektra) Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner rec. 1956, 1954 and 1955. ADD BMG-RCA LIVING STEREO 82876 67900 2 SACD [67:10] [GF]

Don’t miss this one! ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Firebird (Suite, 1919 version) [19:16] Petrushka (1947 version) [33:21] Fireworks, op.4 (1908) [3:43] Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/David Zinman rec. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, March 6-7 1991 TELARC CD-80270 [56:36] [GPJ]

An outstanding bargain. If you want a coupling of these two great ballets, you’ll find it hard to beat this one. ... see Full Review

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Piano Works Volume 4 Nine Preludes Op.1 (c.1896) [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 (1933-4) [5:44] Valse Romantique (1925) [3:43] Piano Sonata No. 3 Op.36 (1917) [18:58] Martin Roscoe (piano) Rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, UK in April 2003 DDD NAXOS 8.557168 [68:51] [PCW]

Martin Roscoe has proved a convincing exponent of Szymanowski’s music ... see Full Review

Sir John TAVENER (b. 1944) Schuon Lieder (2004) [62:19] Patricia Rozario (soprano) Gillian McDonagh (Tibetan temple bowls) The Schubert Ensemble Rec. 24-26 November 2004, St Michael’s Church, Highgate, London. DDD BLACK BOX BBM1101 [62:19] [ABi]

Overall a must for fans of Tavener, but equally an important work that is well worth exploring further. ... see Full Review

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) David Oistrakh Collection, Volume 6 Piano Trio  in A minor, Op. 50a (1881/2) [46'12]; Souvenir d'un lieu cher, Op. 42 (1878) – No. 1, Méditation in D minorb [9'24]; Valse-Scherzo, Op. 34b (1877) [5'20]; Sérénade mélancholique in B minor, Op. 26c (1875) [10'00]. David Oistrakh (violin) aSviatoslav Knushevitsky (cello); aLev Oborin, bVladimir Yampolsky (pianos) cUSSR State Symphony Orchestra/Kyril Kondrashin. From Melodiya aD15696/707, bD393/4, cD12982/5 rec. aMarch 1st & 4th, 1948, b1948, c1945. ADD DOREMI LEGENDARY TREASURES DHR7742 [71'03][CC]

A joy to encounter performances of such character as these ... A fascinating release from a company whose catalogue is of major historic importance. ... see Full Review

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Seasons, Op. 37b (1875-76) – No. 6, Barcarolle in G minor (June) [5'14]; Morceaux, Op. 19 – No. 4, Nocturne in D minorb (1873) [5'24]; Trio in A minor, Op. 50 (1881-82) [48'08]; Sérénade mélancolique in B minor, Op. 26a (1875) [10'43] Boris Berezovsky (piano); aDmitri Makhtin (violin); bAlexander Kniazev (cello) Rec. live at La Roque d'Anthéron, 10 August 2004. Director: Andy Sommer. LPCM Stereo 2.0. DTS 5.1. Dolby Digital 5.1. Region Code 0. PAL players only. DVD-9. NAÏVE DR2115 AV 103 [69'29] [CC]

Another excellent DVD from this source. Almost as much a joy to watch as they are to listen to, thanks to the near-miraculous picture clarity. ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Variations on a Rococo Theme, for cello and orchestra, Op. 33 (edited by Wilhelm Fitzenhagen) (1876) [21.21] Romances:* The Exploit [03.25]; I opened the window [01.22]; Nocturne in D minor, Op.19, No. 4 (arranged by Tchaikovsky from piano piece, Op. 19 No. 4 (1873) for cello and small orchestra) [05.16] Romances:* Not a word… my friend [02.49]; Why? [03.25]; Alone again as before [02.20]; Don’t ask [02.09] Andante cantabile in D minor (second movement of String Quartet No. 1, Op. 11 (1871) arranged by Tchaikovsky for cello and string orchestra) [08.01] Romances:* Lullaby in a storm [02.17]; No! there was only one who knew [02.28]; Lullaby [04.56]; Does the day reign [03.26] *Various songs arranged for cello and orchestra by Evgeni Stetsuk Alexander Kniazev, cello Moscow Chamber Orchestra/Constantine Orbelian rec. Great Hall, Moscow Conservatory, Russia, 14-16 May 2005. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564-62061-2 [63.43] [MC]

Warners have a winning formula in these cello-centric and highly melodic Tchaikovsky scores and transcriptions. A really desirable disc. ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Eugene Onegin (1879) [141.43] Nuccia Focile – Tatiana (soprano) Dimitri Hvorostovsky – Eugene Onegin (baritone) Sarah Walker – Madame Larina (mezzo) Olga Borodina – Olga (mezzo) Irina Arkhipova – Filipyevna (contralto) Neil Shicoff – Lensky (tenor) Alexander Anisimov – Prince Gremin (bass) Francis Egerton – Monsieur Triquet (tenor) Herve Hennequin – A captain (baritone) Sergei Zadvorny – Zaretsky St. Petersburg Chamber Choir Orchestre de Paris/Semyon Bychkov Recorded 1993 PHILIPS 475 7017 [70.36 + 71.07][RH]

I have no hesitation a recommending this recording, especially as you can get the set - complete with libretto - for around £18 ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Pastorelle en Musiqueopera/serenata (c.1712-21) Caliste – Doerthe Maria Sandmann (soprano) Iris – Barbara Fink (mezzo) Damon – Mathias Hausmann (tenor) Amyntas – Lydia Vierlinger (alto) Knirfx – Bernhard Berchtold (tenor) Capella Leopoldina/Kirill Karabits Recorded in concert, May 2005 CAPRICCIO 71 054/55 [62.48 + 43.01] [JW]

A most worthwhile discovery presented with real élan and scholarly intelligence ... One of the best Capriccio releases I’ve reviewed ... see Full Review

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Heilig, heilig, heilig ist Gott - Oratorio (1747) Monika Mauch, soprano Ralf Popken, altus Andreas Post, tenor Albrecht Pöhl, bass Hanoversche Hofkapelle Trompeten Consort Friedemann Immer Collegium vocale Siegen/Ulrich Stötzel rec. 21-22 October 2004, Martinikirche, Siegen, Germany. HÄNSSLER CD-98489[77:49] [KS]

A fine performance though with reservations about some of the singing ... much lovely music to discover here. ... see Full Review

Ludwig THUILLE (1861-1907) Piano Concerto in D major (1882) [37:16] Symphony in F major (1885) [41:27] Oliver Treindl (piano) Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento/Alun Francis rec. Auditorium Konzerthaus J Haydn, Bozen, 3-6 June 2003, 7-9 June 2004. DDD CPO 777 008-2 [78:47] [RB]

Splendid and enthusiastic performances of unfamiliar but pleasing works. If you like the Schumann and Brahms you will find this disc delightful. ... see Full Review

Michael TIPPETT (1905 - 1998) The Heart’s Assurance (1950) [18.04]; Boyhood’s End (1943)[12.37]; Music (1960) [3.28]; Songs for Ariel (1961) [5.13] Benjamin BRITTEN (1913 - 1976) Canticle 1 (1947) [7.37] Henry PURCELL (1659 - 1695)
If music be the food of love [2.03]; Music for a while [3.23]; Sweeter than roses [3.28]; An evening hymn [3.54]; Epithalamium [2.41]; What shall I do [1.34];’Twas within a furlong of Edinburgh Town [2.14]; Ah! How Sweet it is to Love [1.55]; I attempt from Love’s Sickness [1.51] Pelham HUMFREY (1647 - 1674) A Hymn to God the Father [2.45] John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Ian Burnside (piano) rec. The Warehouse, London, 29, 31 March, 1 April 2005 SIGNUM RECORDS SIGCD066 [72.46] [RH]

This is a lovely CD and shows Ainsley’s vocal talents off well. ... see Full Review

Mark-Anthony TURNAGE (b. 1960) This Silence (1992/3) [15:35] True Life Stories (1995/9)a [12:56] Slide Stride (2002)b [13:02] Two Baudelaire Songs (2004)c [10:23] Eulogy (2003)d [9:56] Two Vocalises (2002)e [5:40] Cantilena (2001)f [10:45] Sally Matthews (soprano)c; The Nash Ensemble; Ian Brown (piano)abe; Gareth Hulse (oboe)f; Lawrence Power (viola)d; Paul Watkins (cello)e; Lionel Friend rec. Henry Wood Hall, London, October 2004 ONYX 4005 [78:34]

Some have described Turnage’s music as brash or vulgar. His chamber music is all subtlety and refinement. A splendid and highly rewarding release. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Nabucco (1842) Ambrogio Maestri (baritone) - Nabucco; Andrea Gruber (soprano) - Abigaille; Paata Burchuladze (bass) - Zaccaria; Nazzarno Antinori (tenor) - Ismaele; Nino Surguladze (soprano) - Fenena; Carlo Striuli (bass) - High Priest; Enzo Peroni (tenor) - Abdallo SONICS acrobatic dance group Coro del Teatro Municipale di Piacenza Orchestra della Fondazione Arturo Toscanini/Daniel Oren. Rec. live at the Teatro Municipale di Piazenza in 2004. Stage Director and Design Paolo Panizza. Picture format 16:9. Region Code: 0. Sound format PCM Stereo. Dolby Digital 5.1.DTS 5.1. ARTHAUS 101 241 [130'00][CC]

Very strongly recommended from just about all angles. ... see Full Review

La Traviata
(original version of the premiere at La Fenice, 6 March 1853). Patrizia Ciofi (soprano) Violetta Valéry; Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone) Giorgio Germont; Roberto Saccà (tenor) Alfredo Germont; Eufemia Tufamo (mezzo) Flora Bervoix; Elisabetta Martorana (soprano) Annina; Salvatore Cordella (tenor) Gastone; Andrea Porta (baritone) Baron Douphol; Federico Sacchi (bass) Doctor Grenvil; Vito Priante (baritone) d'Obigny; Luca Favaron (tenor) Giuseppe Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice/Lorin Maazel. rec. live at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice, 18 November 2004. Director Robert Carsen. TDK DV-OPLTLF [146'00] [CC]

A thought-provoking and excellent Traviata in the original 1853 version. The more one watches, the more it emerges as rich, rewarding and challenging. A simply fantastic DVD. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Rigoletto (1851) [113:05] Robert Merrill (baritone) – Rigoletto; Anna Moffo (soprano) – Gilda; Alfredo Kraus (tenor) – Duke of Mantua; Rosalind Elias (mezzo) – Maddalena; Ezio Flagello (bass) – Sparafucile; David Ward (bass) – Count Monterone; Anna Di Stasio (mezzo) – Giovanna; Piero Di Palma (tenor) – Borsa; Robert Kerns (baritone) – Marullo; Mario Rinaudo (baritone) – Count Ceprano; Corinna Vozza (soprano) – Countess Ceprano; Tina Toscano (soprano) – A Page; Enzo Titta (baritone) – A Herald RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Georg Solti Recorded June 1963 at RCA Italiana Studios, Rome, Italy. ADD BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876 70785 2 [53:33 + 59:32][GF]

The most moving portrayal of Rigoletto ever committed to disc and the voice I always imagine when talking or just thinking of Rigoletto. ... see Full Review

David del TREDICI (b.1937) Paul Revere’s Ride (2005) [33'10] Christopher THEOFANIDIS (b.1967) The Here and Now (2005) [10'05] Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Lamentation from Symphony No.1 Jeremiah (1943) [29'55] Hila Plitmann (soprano), Nancy Maultsby (mezzo); Richard Clement (tenor), Brett Polegato (baritone) Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Orchestra/Robert Spano rec. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, 14-15 May 2005. DDD TELARC CD 80638 [73’18] [TH]

With superb sound, this disc can be confidently recommended to those who like their choral music devoid of spurious modernism. ... see Full Review

Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949) Piano Music vol. 2 Romantic Sonata on a Spanish Theme Op.3 (1909) [20:28] Fantasy Sonata Op.59 (1930) [12:34] Magical CornerParade in sonata form Op.97 (1941-6) [24:00] Concerto without Orchestra Op.88 (1935) [10:45] Jordi Masó (piano) rec. Jafre, Spain. July 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557438 [67:47][PCW/JW]

Patrick Waller: Turina’s sonatas deserve the wider audience they will gain from this disc; Jonathan Woolf: Maso proves an adept interpreter. I’ve encountered him before in this series and he is sure-footed and not inclined to exaggeration. ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Toward the Unknown Region (1907) [11’39] Willow-Wood (1909) [13’55] The Voice of the Whirlwind (1947) [5’15] Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus (1939) [11’38] The Sons of Light (1951) [19’24] Roderick Williams (baritone) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones rec. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. 20 Feb, 8 May 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557798 [61’51][TH][CH]

Tony Haywood: A hugely enjoyable release, intelligently programmed and with high production values ... Christopher Howell: The last major RVW gap filled, plus a work appearing on CD for the first time. ... see Full Reviews

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs of Travel (words by Robert Louis Stevenson) [24:03]: (The Vagabond [3:24]; Let Beauty awake [1:57]; The Roadside Fire [2:17]; Youth and Love [3:34]; In Dreams [2:18]; The Infinite Shining Heavens [2:15]; Whither must I wander? [4:14]; Bright is the ring of words [2:10]; I have trod the upward and the downward slope [1:54]) The House of Life (words by Dante Gabriel Rossetti) [26:27]: (Love-sight [4:29]; Silent Noon [4:09]; Love’s Minstrels [5:21]; Heart’s Haven [3:46]; Death in Love [4:28]; Love’s Last Gift [4:15])Linden Lea (words by W Barnes) [2:44] Four Poems by Fredegond Shove [13:53]: (Motion and Stillness [2:01]; Four Nights [3:33]; The New Ghost [5:15]; The Water Mill [3:04]) Roderick Williams (baritone)
Ian Burnside (piano) Recorded in Potton Hall, Suffolk, 27-29 August 2004. DDD NAXOS ENGLISH SONG SERIES 8.557643 [67.07] [EM]

I was tremendously impressed by this disc, which exceeded the very high expectations I had entertained. The singing is outstanding – deeply intelligent, powerful and highly-charged. ... see Full Review

Francesco Maria VERACINI (1690-1768) Sonata No.1 in G minor, from Sonate a violino solo e basso, Op.1 (1721) [17:58] Sonata No.5 in C major, from Sonate a violino, o flauto solo, e basso, (1716) [10:44] Sonata No.1 in D major, from Dissertazioni…sopra l’opere quinta del Corelli (?1760) [11:50] Sonata No.6 in A major, from Sonate accademiche, Op.2 (1744) [20:42] John Holloway (violin), Jaap ter Linden (cello), Lars Erik Mortensen (harpsichord) rec. Propstei St. Gerold, Germany, September 2003 ECM NEW SERIES 1889 476 7055 [61:48] [GPu]

Early and late sonatas by Veracini vivaciously and sensitively performed, and well recorded ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Ave Maria [6:49] In solitaria stanza [3:47] Nell’orror di notte oscura [3:47] More, Elisa, lo stanco poeta [2:53] Non t’accostare all’urna [4:09] Stornello [1:51] Il tramonto [3:25] Ad una stella [2:58] Il mistero [4:25] Lo spazzacamino [2:31] Il poveretto [2:34] La seduzione [2:48] Brindisi (1st version – autograph score) [2:11] Chi i bei dì m’adduce ancora [2:44] L’esule [8:18] Brindisi (2nd version – published edition) [2:13] Dennis O’Neill, tenor Ingrid Surgenor, piano rec. 27-29 October 1997, St. Silas’ Church, St. Silas’ Place, London. DDD NAXOS 8.557778 [57:24][JR]

Highly recommended. Fans of Verdi and of tenors as well as people who just love good singing will find this a worthy addition to their collections. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Attila - Opera in a prologue and three acts (1846) Libretto by Temistocle Solera after Zacharias Werner’s play Attila, König der Hunnen. First performed at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice, 17 March 1846 Attila, King of the Huns, Nicola Ghiuselev (bass); Ezio, a Roman general, Lybomir Videnov (bar); Odabella, daughter of the Lord of Aquileia, Marie Krikorian (sop); Foresto, a knight of Aquiliea, Boiko Zvetanov (ten); Uldino, a young Breton, Attila’s slave, Boris Bogdanov (ten); Leone, an ancient Roman, Plamen Hidjov (bass) Sofia National Opera Chorus Sofia State Philharmonic Orchestra/Vladimir Ghiaurov
No recording date or venue given. First published by Delta Music, Frechen, Germany 1997. A digital DDD recording CAPRICCIO EDITION OPERA 51 201 [69.21 + 40.57] [RF]

The singing and conducting might pass muster for one night in the theatre but they do not meet the requirements for enjoyable repeated listening at home ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Traviata - opera in three acts (1853) Libretto by Francesca Maria Piave after Alexander Dumas’ play La dame aux camellias. First performed at Teatro La Fenice, Venice, 6 March 1853 Violetta Valéry, Montserrat Caballé (sop); Flora, Dorothy Crebill (mezzo); Annina, Nancy Stokes (sop); Alfredo Germont, Carlo Bergonzi (tenor); Giorgio Germont, Sherrill Milnes (bar); Gastone, Fernando Iacopucci (ten); Doctor Grenvil, Harold Enns (bass); Baron Douphol,  Gene Boucher (bar); Marquis d’Obigny, Thomas Jameson (bar) Giuseppe, Camillo Sforza (ten) RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Georges Prêtre rec. RCA Italiana studios, Rome, Italy, June 1967 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 70778 2 [71.36 + 53.08][RJF]

I hope that that this issue portends a policy of making available many of the fine recorded operas that are to be found in that combined archive including many recordings that have few, if any rivals ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La forza del destino, Melodramma in four acts (1869) Revised 1869 version. Original libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on the novel ‘Don Alvaro, o La fuerza de sino’ by Angel Perez de Saavedra, Duke of Rivas. First performed at the Imperial Italian Theatre, St. Petersburg, 10 November 1862. This edition was withdrawn from Italian Theatres in December 1863. Revised with additions to the libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni and first performed at La Scala, Milan, 27 February 1869 Marquis of Calatrava, Richard Vernon (bass); Donna Leonora, his daughter, Leontyne Price (sop); Curra, her chambermaid, Diane Kesling (sop); Don Alvaro, lover of Leonora and of Royal Inca Indian descent, Giuseppe Giacomini (ten); Don Carlo of Vargas, Leonora’s brother, Leo Nucci (bar); Preziosilla, Isolo Jones (mezzo); Fra Melitone, Enrico Fissore (bass-bar); Padre Guardiano Bonaldo Giaiotti (bass); Mastro Trabuco, muleteer, Anthony Laciura (ten); Alcade. James Courtney (ten); Spanish military surgeon, John Darrenkamp (ten) Metropolitan Opera Chorus
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra/James Levine. Production by John Dexter using set designs by Eugene Berman for the 1952 Met production. Costumes by Peter J Hall. Video director, Kirk Browning. Audio Producer, John F. Pfeiffer rec. live Metropolitan Opera, New York, 24 March 1984 Picture format: NTSC/Colour/4:3 Sound formats: PCM Stereo. DTS 5.1. DOLBY digital 5.1 Menu language English. Subtitles in Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese. DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 000440 073 4076 GH [2 DVDs: 180:00] [RF]

This evening at the Met was always going to be special ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Otello (1887) Giovanni Martinelli (tenor) – Otello; Elizabeth Rethberg (soprano) – Desdemona; Lawrence Tibbett (baritone) – Iago; Nicholas Massue (tenor) – Cassio; Thelma Votipka (mezzo) – Emilia; Giovanni Paltrinieri (tenor) – Roderigo; Nicola Moscona (bass) – Lodovico; George Cehanovsky (baritone) – Montano Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera, New York/Ettore Panizza Recorded at the New York Metropolitan Opera, 12 February 1938 Reissue Producer and Restoration Engineer: Ward Marston NAXOS 8.111018-19 [75:00 + 75:00] [JQ]

A legendary performance that is essential listening for all lovers of Verdi’s music and for all who relish a head-on theatrical experience. ... see Full Review

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Bachianas Brasileiras - complete CD1 [73:10] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1 for an orchestra of cellos (1930) [19:50] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2 for chamber orchestra (1930) [22:16] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 3 for piano and orchestra (1938) [31:04] CD2 [40:42] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4 for orchestra (1930, 1941) [20:27] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for voice and eight cellos (1938, 1945) [10:59] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6 for flute and bassoon (1938) [9:07] CD3 [62:22] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 7 for orchestra (1942) [27:26] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 8 for orchestra  (1944) [24:48] Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9 for string orchestra (1944) [10:08] Rosana Lamosa (sop); Jose Feghali (piano); Anthony La Marchina (cello); Eric Gratton (flute); Cynthia Estill (bassoon) Nashville Symphony Orchestra/Kenneth Schermerhorn; Andrew Mogrelia rec. 14 May 2005, 7, 21, 23 Mar 2004. Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. DDD  NAXOS 8.557460-462 [3 CDs: 73:10 + 40:42 + 62:22][GF]

Another feather in Naxos’s well-filled hat.. a treasure trove of wonderful and too little known music. ... 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] [GPu]

Very enjoyable performances of music which is more various and subtle than one might expect ... see Full Review

Vincent William WALLACE (1812-1865) To my Star, Celtic Romance
La Louisiana, Waltz (1842) [4.14] Music Murmurings in the Trees, Romance (1851) [6.07] Mazurka, Étude (1858) [3.26] L'Absence et le Retour, Romance suivre d'une Grande Polka Brillante (1856) [9.09] To My Star A Mon Etoile, Romance (1844) [3.26] La Rapidité, Second Étude de Salon (1853) [5.28] La Force, Third Étude de Salon (1853) [6.46] A Flower of Poland (Une Fleur de Pologne), Mazurka (1862) [3.42] Nocturne Dramatique, Grand Nocturne (1848) [6.09] The Empress L'Imperatrice, Waltz (1844) [2.36] The Shepherd's Lament (La Plaints du Berger), Idylle (1950) [3.50] Souvenir of Spain (El Nuevo Jaleo de Jerez), Danse Nationale (1856) [5.50] The Bee and the Rose, Morceau de Salon (1844) [2.03] Valse Militaire (1837) [3.26] La Cracovienne, Grand Fantasie and Variations (1842) [11.49] Rosemary Tuck, piano St Silas Church, Kentish Town, London, May 3-4th 2005 CALA CACD 88044 [79:00] [RW]

Affectionate performances within a sumptuous acoustic. Reveals the charm of Wallace’s melody lines, interesting rhythms and swirling undercurrents of energy. ... see Full Review

Karl WEIGL (1881-1949) Symphony No. 6 (1947) [39:01] Old Vienna (1939) [19:48] Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Thomas Sanderling (symphony); Alun Francis (Old Vienna) rec. 20-24 Jan 2004, Jesus Christus Kirche, Berlin (Symphony; 6-7 Sept 2004, Haus des Rundfunks, Großer Sendesaal des RBB, Berlin. DDD BIS-CD-1167 [59:42] [RB]

Fascinating music though not totally compelling in either case but the symphonic manner is there without a doubt. Weigl is an intriguing composer ... see Full Review

Judith WEIR (b.1954) Blond Eckbert (1993-4) Libretto by the composer after Ludwig Tieck Blond Eckbert – Nicholas Folwell (baritone) Bertha – Ann-Marie Owens (soprano) Walther/Hugo/Old Woman -Christopher Ventris (tenor) A Bird – Nerys Jones (soprano) Chorus and Orchestra of English National Opera/Sian Edwards Original recording from Channel 4 soundtrack to the 1994 film Blond Eckbert NMC ANCORA D106 [65’09][TH]

Whilst this CD is most welcome it is a piece that benefits from being seen and a DVD really would be the ticket  ... see Full Review

Healy WILLAN (1880-1968) Prelude and Fugue in c (1908) [11’36] Chorale Prelude on a Melody by Orlando Gibbons (1950) [3’31] Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue (1916) [19’35] Aria from A Fugal Trilogy (1950) [2’14] Five Preludes on Plainchant Melodies (1958) [19’31] Passacaglia and Fugue No 2 in e (1959) [12’48] Prelude on ‘Aberystwyth’ (1956) [2’57] Epilogue (1908) [5’22] Patrick Wedd, organ rec., Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Montréal, Canada, 26-28 February 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.557375 [77’39] [CB]

An interesting collection, and given the price is well worth having. ... see Full Review

Władisław ŻELEŃSKI (1837-1921) Piano Works 1 Deux Morceaux, Op. 63: Toccata [5:27]; Idylle in B major [4:47] Ode to Youth. Solemn March, Op. 51 [9:51] Solemn March in Honour of the Immortal National Bard Adam Mickiewicz [11:01] Two Mazurkas, ‘A Madame Sophie Menteur’, Op. 31: No. 1 in C sharp minor [4:10]; No. 2 in A major [6:10] Sonata in E minor, Op. 20 [32:41] Joanna Ławrynowicz (piano) Recorded in Warsaw, 2004-5 ACTE PRÉALABLE APO124 [74:13] [GPu]

Not music of great individuality or originality, but there is much to enjoy for those fond of the piano music of the Nineteenth Century ... 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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