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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    





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ALPHABETICAL LISTING

 

Stellan SAGVIK (b.1952) Landskap Skånelåtsgästabud (1997) [2:20] (13) Skånsk Concertino (1982) [10:13] (10)* Blekingsk Concertino (1982) [7:54] (12)* Västkustskt epos (1997) [2:31] (1) Bohuslänsk Concertino (1982) [11:23] (7)* Närkisk Concertino (1983) [10:48] (8)** Sörmländsk Concertino (1983) [9:57] (9)* Rondâné (1976) [15:43] (2) Stadsladdning (2006) [0:47] Trioconcertino (1983) [16:19] (10, 11, 5)** Uppländsk Concertino (1982) [9:09] (4)* Fårsocken lite våt I regnet (2006) [1:21] Värmländsk Concertino (1983) [10:13] (6)** Å ngermanländsk Concertino (1982) [9:34] (3)* Steg för steg (2006) [3:02] Norrbottnisk Concertino (1983) [8:70] (14)* Trr (1977) [7:26] (2) Marie Axelsson (folk fiddle) (1); Konkret Buchla (tape) (2); Orlando Corabian (bassoon) (3); Liviu Gocan (clarinet) (4); Jakob Henriques (guitar) (5); Kristian Karlstedt (tuba) (6); Alexandru Marc (horn) (7); Jörgen Pettersson (alto saxophone) (8); Gabriel Posdarescu (trumpet) (9); Kinga Práda (flute) (10); Nils-Erik Sparf (viola) (11); Adriana Suciu (oboe) (12); Martin Sammelman (folk fiddle) (13); Nacis Vieru (trombone) (14); Filarmonica de Cluj*; Stockholms Stråkensemble**/Stellan Sagvik rec. 1997, Cluj and 2006, Stockholm NOSAG CD 2028 [70:55 + 67:09] [GPu]

Quirky and engaging, with a series of excellent short concertos for soloists and strings and some evocative and witty musique concrète ... see Full Review

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Gurrelieder (1900-1913) Tove – Elizabeth Connell (soprano) Waldtaube – Jard van Nes (mezzo) Waldemar – Paul Frey (tenor) Klaus-Narr – Volker Vogel (tenor) Bauer – Walton Gronroos (bass) Sprecher – Hanz Franzen (bass-baritone) Chor des NDR Hamburg Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks Opernchor der Stadtischen Buhnen Frankfurt Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt/Eliahu Inbal rec. May 1990, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Germany. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 8156 [62:58 + 42:97] [DH]

Kubelik and Sinopoli remain my favourites, but for engineering and conducting Inbal’s Gurrelieder is an important supplement. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No. 8 in B minor Unfinished D759 (1822) (abridged) New Queen's Hall Orchestra/Sir Henry Wood rec. 13 February 1923 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 041 [12:43] [MG]

Even though a précis of an interpretation, this makes for an extraordinary experience. … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Quintet in C major D956 (1828) [46.19] Isaac Stern and Alexander Schneider (violins), Milton Katims (viola), Pablo Casals, Paul Tortelier (cellos) Symphony No.5 in B flat major D485 (1816) [29.10] Prades Festival Orchestra/Pablo Casals rec. Prades, 1952 (Quintet) and 1953 (Symphony) SONY CLASSICAL 82876 787592 [76.00][JW]

Quintet: intense expressive commitment by these five stellar musicians. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Trio in B flat major, Op. 99, D.898 (1826) (Allegro moderato [11:11]; Andante un poco mosso [9:10]; Allegro [6:09]; Allegro vivace [8:48]) Jean Fournier (violin) Antonio Janigro (cello) Paul Badura-Skoda (piano) Released in 1953 as Westminster LP 51-88 Transfer and digital remastering by Pristine Audio, April 2006 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM027 [35:18] [DC]

Sounds like a live performance. Play to the end and tell me you couldn’t imagine it being followed by rapturous applause ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Arpeggione Sonata, D821 (1824) [26.23] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70 (1849) [10.09] Five Pieces in Folk Style, Op. 102 (1849) [16.33] Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Rondo, Op.94 (1885) [6.48] Silent Woods, Op. 68/5 (1884) [4.50] Humoresque, Op. 101 No.7 (1892-5) [3.20] André Navarra (cello), Anne d’Arco (piano) (Schubert, Schumann), Erika Kicher (piano) (Dvořák) rec. 1978-1980 ADD CALLIOPE CAL 3614 [68:43][DRD]

Anyone interested in fine playing of yesteryear shouldn’t hesitate ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Winterreise D.911 (1827) Christine Schäfer (soprano) Eric Schneider (piano) rec. Teldex Studio, Berlin, November 2003 ONYX 4010 [68:32] [PCW]

A Winterreise for all seasons … see Full Review

An Appreciation of the Hyperion Complete Schubert Song Edition By John Quinn and Patrick Waller

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Poets of Sensibility Vol. 4: Zufreidenheit; Das Lied vom Reifen; An die Natur; Morgenlied; Blumenlied; Pflicht und Liebe; Erntelied; Zufriedenheit; Mailied; Die Mainacht; Am ersten Maimorgen; An die nachtigall; Daphne am Bach; Frühlingslied; Phidile; Die Knabenzeit; An den Mond; An die nachtigall; Klage um Ali Bey; Abendlied; Winterlied; An Grabe Anselmos; Die Laube; Wiegenlied. Wolfgang Holzmair (baritone), Birgid Steinberger (soprano), Ulrich Eisenlohr (fortepiano) rec. Munich, 30 November-5 December 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557569 [62:27] [AOz]

Another good disc following on from the previous volume 3 in the series, Naxos 8.557568 ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas – Complete Recording Disc 1 [74:09] Sonata in A flat major, D.557 (1817) Sonata in E minor, D.566 (1817) Sonata in B major, D.575 (1817) Sonata in A major, D.664 (1819) Disc 2 [72:49] Sonata in A minor, D.845 (1825) Sonata in D major, D.850 (1825) Disc 3 [78:29] Sonata in A minor, D.537 (1817) Sonata in E flat major, D.568 (1817) Sonata In C major D.840 ‘Reliquie’ (1828) Disc 4 [74:22] Sonata in F minor, D.625 (1818) Sonata in A minor, D.784 (1823) Sonata in C minor, D.958 (1828) Disc 5 [76:56] Sonata in E major, D.157 (1815) Sonata in C major, D.279 (1815) Sonata in G major, D.894 (1826) Disc 6 [78:06] Sonata in A major, D.959 (1828) Sonata in B flat major, D.960 (1828) Michael Endres (piano) rec. WDR Funkhaus, Saal 2. Köln. December 1993-January 1995 CAPRICCIO 49 456 [74:09 + 72:49 + 78:29 + 74:22 + 76:56 + 78:06] [DC]

Top drawer Schubert. Get a copy while you can. Performances that eschew artificiality, histrionics, eccentricity or misplaced reverence. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No.5 in B flat D485 (1816) [27.56]* Symphony No.8 in B minor D759 Unfinished (1822) [24.50] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Overture to Leonore No.3 Op.72a (1806) [13.39] Columbia Symphony Orchestra*/Bruno Walter, New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Bruno Walter rec. Columbia Studios, NYC, 1954 (Leonore), American Legion Hall, Hollywood, California 1960 (No.5), St George Hotel, Brooklyn, NYC (No.8) 1958 SONY CLASSICAL 82876 787412 [66.53] [JW]

I wouldn’t want to argue too far how great this brace of Schubert symphony performances actually is but I’m more than happy to welcome them in this revivified format. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) The Art of Sofronitsky Arabesque Op.18 [6.20] Carnaval Op.9 [25.05] Des Abends Op.12 No.1 [3.20] Kreisleriana Op.16 [31.27] Vladimir Sofronitsky (piano) rec. 1952 (Arabesque, Kreisleriana) and 1959 (Des Abends, Carnaval) CLASSICAL RECORDS 004 [66.14] [JW]

Sofronitsky remains one of the troubling giants of post-War pianism ... see Full Review

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Feuillet d’album Op.45/1 [1.09] Poeme - Vers la flame Op.72 [4.17] Preludes Op.11 Nos. 2, 4, 5, 8-12 [12.41] Preludes Op.13 [6.21] Two pieces for the left hand Op.9 [7.17] Fantasie in B minor Op.28 [8.40] Two Poems Op.31 [4.13] Two Morceaux Op.57 [2.24] Two Poems Op.63 [2.25] Sonata No.9 Op.68 [6.45] Sonata No.10 Op.70 [9.56] Heinrich Neuhaus (piano) No recording details CLASSICAL RECORDS CR 060 [66.34] [JW]

Admirers will not hesitate; generalists will reflect on the sound quality. ... see Full Review

Roger SESSIONS (1896-1985) Chamber Music for Strings Quintet for two violins, two violas and cello (1958) [20.16]* Canons (to the memory of Igor Stravinsky) for string quartet (1971) [02.04]* Six Pieces for Solo Cello (1966) [12.52] String Quartet No. 1 in E minor (1938) [30.51] The Group for Contemporary Music (Benjamin Hudson, violin; Carol Zeavin, violin; Lois Martin, viola; Joshua Gordon, cello; Jenny Douglass, viola (Quintet)) rec. Recital Hall, Music Division, State University New York, Purchase, New York, USA, 15-16 April 1992 (Quintet, Canons, String Quartet No. 1); The American Academy and Institute of Art and Letters, New York City, USA, 11 September 1991 (Six Pieces). * World première recording. DDD NAXOS 8.559261 [66.04][MC]

The chamber music of Roger Sessions is well served by this splendid Naxos release. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) String Quartets: No. 3 in F, Op. 73 (1946) [32’32]; No. 7 in F sharp, Op. 108 (1960) [13’19]. Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) String Quartet No. 2 in F, Op. 92 (1941) [22’24]. The Kopelman Quartet (Mikhail Koperman, Boris Kuchar, violins; Igor Sulyga, viola; Mikhail Milman, cello) rec. Wyastone, Monmouth, UK, 24-27 July 2005. DDD NIMBUS RECORDS NI 5762 [68’15] [CC]

How wonderful to see Nimbus demonstrating all its strengths in this superb issue … A tremendous success. More, please. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Luonnotar and Orchestral Songs Soile Isokoski (soprano) Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/Leif Segerstam rec. Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, October 2005. DDD ONDINE ODE 1080-5 SACD [61:37] [AOz][RB]

An essential recording – the finest performances of Sibelius’s vocal work, demonstrating how important song was in the composer’s development [AOz]
This is a glorious disc that will delight lovers of Scandinavian song as well as Sibelians everywhere. ... see Full Review [RB]

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Complete Piano Music: Vol. 3 Menuetto in B flat major (preliminary version of Op.27 No.2) (1891-92) [2.42] Waltz in D flat major (1891-93) [2.12] Six Impromptus, Op.5 (1893) [18.22] Two pieces from Karelia Suite, Op.11 (1893, arr.1897): I) Intermezzo [3.06]; II) Ballade [6.40] Sonata in F major, Op.12 (1893) [16.57] from The Wood-Nymph (Skogsrået), Op.15 (1894-95, arr. 1895) [3.18] Allegretto in F major, JS 23 (1895-96) [2.40] Caprizzio in B flat minor (1895) [2.10] Lento in E major, JS 119 (1896-97) [3.22] Allegretto in G minor, JS 225 (1897) [1.10] Caprice, Op. 24/3 (first version 1898) [1.59] Andantino in F major, Op. 24/7 (first version 1899) [3.34] Menuetto in B flat major (1898-1900) [1.47] March Triste, JS 124 (1899) [5.31] Allegro in G minor (1899-1903) [1.26] The Cavalier (Kavaljeren), JS 109 (1900) [1.29] Folke Gräsbeck (piano) rec. June 2003, Nybrokajen 11 (the former Academy of Music), Stockholm, Sweden. DDD BIS BIS-CD-1272 [79.58] [MC]

Sibelius lovers will surely relish this lovingly performed release. ... see Full Review

Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) String Quartet No 1 in E minor From My Life (1876) [29:19] String Quartet No 2 in D minor (1883) [19:19] Wihan Quartet
rec. Domovina Studio, Prague, October-November 2005.January, February 2006. DDD ARCO DIVA UP 0086-2 131 [48:33] [DD]

A superb rendition of a classic quartet ... see Full Review

Fernando SOR (1778-1839) Minuets Op. 2: No. 1, G major [0.53]; No. 4, C major [1:14] Op. 3: G major [1:29] Op. 5: No. 1, G major [0:53]; No. 3, C major [1:07] Op. 8: G major [1:02] Op. 11: No. 1, G major [1:39]; No. 2, G minor [1:36]; No. 3 G major [2:37]; No. 4, D major [2:34]; No. 5, D major [1:50]; No. 6, A major [2:11]; No. 7, A minor [1:45]; No. 8, A major [2:22] No. 9, E minor [1:49]; No. 10, E major [2:36]; No. 11, F major [2:11]; No. 12, B Flat major [2:18] Op. 13: No. 1, A major [1:05]; No. 3, C major [2:01] Op. 15: E minor [1:26] Op. 22: C major [2:41] Op. 23: G major [1:38] Op. 24: No. 1, C minor [2:39]; No. 2 F major [1:21]; No. 3 F major [1:17]; No. 4 F major [2:16]; No. 5, F major [1:57]; No. 6, F major [1:15]; No. 7, F major [1:31]; No. 8, B flat major [1:37] Op. 25: C major [2:36] Op. 32: E major [1:25] Op. 36: No. 1, A minor [2:53]; No. 2, G major [3:12] Agustín Maruri (guitar) rec. 20-22 Sept. 2005, Santa Eufemia de Cozollos, Olmos de Ojeda, Palencia, (Spain) EMEC E-069 [65:00] [ZT]

In summary, if you are a fan of Sor and want to hear all his minuets well played on an original 1840 René Lacote guitar, this recording is for you. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony) Staatskapelle Weimar/Antoni Wit rec. Weimarhalle, Weimar, Germany, 4-6 July 2005 NAXOS 8.557811 [54:14] [GPJ]

A major contender, then, and you can cram the one hundred and forty or so players that this work requires into your hi-fi for just £4.99 – a miracle! ... see Full Review

John TAVENER (b. 1945) Lament for Jerusalem (2002) [54.35] Angharad Gruffydd Jones (soprano) Peter Crawford (counter-tenor) Choir of London and Orchestra/Jeremy Summerly rec. 30-31 March 2005, All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London NAXOS 8.557826 [54.35][RH]

While I did not quite believe the extravagant claims made for the piece in the CD booklet, I enjoyed this performance immensely. If you are interested in Tavener’s music and like fine singing, then buy this disc. ... see Full Review

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Manfred Symphony * (1885) [51:06] Alexander BORODIN (1869-1876) Symphony No. 2 in B minor # (1869-76) [26:22] Philharmonia Orchestra/Paul Kletzki rec. Kingsway Hall, London, * 29 Jan, 2 Feb 1954; # 3, 12 Feb 1954, Mono. ADD TESTAMENT SBT 1048 [77:39]
Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY
(1840-1893) ‘Manfred’ Symphony in Four Scenes after Byron’s Dramatic Poem* (1885) [59:02] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vladimir Jurowski * rec. live at Royal Festival Hall, London, 8 December 2004 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO-0009 [59:02] [IL]

Recorded in 1954, Kletzki’s reading, delivered in white heat, still remains supreme, easily eclipsing the new Jurowski/LPO recording despite excellent sound engineering. ... see Full Review

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Dances and Overtures The Queen of Spades (Overture) (1890) [3:58] Fatum - Symphonic Poem, Op. 77 (1866) [15:58] The Voyevoda (Overture) (1867-68) [9:21] The Maid of Orleans: Entracte between Acts I and II (1879-81) [3:22]; Danse des Bohémiens (Act II) [3:44]; Danse des Polichinelles et des Histrions (Act II) [4:21] Cherevichki (The Little Slippers): Danse Russe (Act III); [3:52]; Danse des Cosaques (Act III) [3:26] The Enchantress: Introduction (1885-87) [5:31]; Danse des Histrions (Act I) [3:56] Mazeppa: Gopak (Act 1) [4:21] The Oprichnik: Danses (Act IV) (1870-72) [5:47] National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar rec. Grand Concert Studio of the National Radio Company of Ukraine, Kiev, 18-20 December 2000. DDD NAXOS 8.554845 [67:36] [WK]

Contains some wonderful music in performances from lackluster to totally committed. At bargain price presents some of the best of the composer’s lesser-known operatic music. ... see Full Review

Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Complete Music for String Quartet Volume 1: Five Early Pieces (1863-4) [8:42] String Quartet in D-major, Op. 11 (1871) [30:14] String Quartet in F-major, Op. 22 (1874) [36:25] Volume 2: Adagio molto for Strings and Harp (1863-4) [5:39] String Quartet No. 3 in E-flat minor, Op. 30 (1876) [35:57] String Quartet Movement in B-flat major (1865) [13:27] Adagio Cantabile from Souvenir de Florence Op. 70 (1890) [10:58] The Shostakovich Quartet (Andrei Sishlov, violin I; Sergei Pischugin, violin II; Alexander Golkovsky, viola; Alexander Korchagin, cello) rec. State Radio-TV at Moscow Central Recording Studios, 1973-1978. ADD REGIS RECORDS RRC 2071 [75:21 + 66:01] [WK]

One must choose between the more serene Borodin performances and the slightly rougher, but heartfelt Shostakovich ones.... see Full Review

Craig URQUHART (b. 1953) Secret and Divine Sign Michael Slattery (tenor)*; Craig Urquhart (piano) rec. Klavierhaus, New York, 21-22 September 2005 AVIE AV2088 [52:47] [GP]

Well-judged settings, beautifully sung, though Urquhart’s musical language makes for a certain uniformity of effect ... see Full Review

Moishei VAINBERG (Mieczyslaw WEINBERG) (1919-1996) Symphony No.4 in A minor Op.61 (1957 revised 1961) [28.05] Symphony No.6 in A minor Op.79 (1962-63) [41.55]+ Boys Chorus of the Moscow Choral College+ Moscow Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra/Kyrill Kondrashin rec. Moscow, 1962 (Symphony 4), 1965 (Symphony 6) MELODIYA MEL CD 10 00986 [70.20] [JW]

Weinberg in contrasting moods; neo-baroque and with powerful structural awareness and melancholic drama. Exemplary passion and incision. ... see Full Review

The Film Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams: Volume 3 Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Story of a Flemish Farm (Suite from the film The Flemish Farm) (1942) [25:08] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (Edited Stephen HOGGER) The Loves of Joanna Godden (1946) [15:13] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS and Ernest IRVING (1878-1953) (Edited HOGGER) Bitter Springs (1950) [25:57] Ladies of Manchester Chamber Choir/Darius Battiwalla BBC Philharmonic Orchesta/Rumon Gamba rec. Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 22-23 June 2005. DDD CHANDOS CHAN10368 [66:37] [CT]

The concluding instalment of Chandos’s fine series of discs celebrating the film music of Vaughan Williams. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Aida (1871) Norma Fantini (soprano) – Aida; Marco Berti (tenor) – Radames; Ildoko Komlosi (mezzo-soprano) – Amneris; Mark Doss (baritone) – Amonasro; Orlin Anastassov (bass) – Ramfis; Guido Jentjens (bass) – Il Re; Michela Remor (soprano) – Una sacerdotessa; André Grégoire (tenor) – Un messaggero Symphony Orchestra and Choir of La Monnaie-De Munt/Kazushi Ono Stage Director, Set and Lighting Designer: Robert Wilson rec. live, Theatre Royal de La Monnaie, 15 October 2004 OPUS ARTE OA 0954 D [2 DVDs: 159:00] [GF]

Looking for a traditional Aida? Look elsewhere. If you are into Zen and prepared for an evening with no eye-contact between the characters, then this is your version. And the beauty of the sets is really ravishing! ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aida - opera in four acts (1871) Il Re, King of Egypt - Guido Jentjens (bass); Amneris, his daughter - Ildiko Komlosi (mezzo); Radames, captain of the guards - Marco Berti (ten); Amonasro, King of Ethiopia - Mark Doss (bass-bar); Aida, his daughter - Norma Fantini (sop); Ramfis, High priest - Orlin Anastassov (bass) Chorus and Orchestra of the La Monnaie-De Mont/Kazushi Ono rec. live, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie-De Mont, Brussels, 15 October 2004 Stage director, Set and Lighting Designer: Robert Wilson Television Director: Benoît Vlietinck Picture format: 16/9 Anamorphic. Recorded in High Definition Sound formats: LPCM Stereo. DTS 5.1 Sung in Italian with subtitles in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch OPUS ARTE DVD VIDEO OA 0954 D [2 DVDs: 159:00] [RF]

If the Tate Modern Gallery in London, where unmade beds and dissected animals count as art, are your cup of tea then this Robert Wilson approach may appeal. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1797–1848) Arias Luisa Miller, Oh! Fede negar potessi … Quando le sere al placido [5.43] I Lombardi, La mia letizia infondere [2.18] Aida, Se quell guerrier io fossi! … Celeste Aida [4.21] Ernarni, Merce, diletti amici … Come rugiada al cespite … Deli’esillio nel dolor..O tu l’alma adore [6.40] Un ballo in Maschera, Forse la soglia … Ma se m’é [5.28] Otello, Dio, mio potevi scagliar tutti I mali … Ma, o pianto, o duol! [4.57] Otello, Niun mi tema [6.06] La forza del destino, Orchestral introduction. La vita e inferno … O tu che in seno agli angeli [10.42] Macbeth, O figli … Perfidi! .. Pieta, rispetto, amore [4.01] Jérusalem, Lémir aupres de lui m’appelle … Je veux encore entendre [6.12] Il Trovatore, Ah si, ben mio [3.19]. Di quella pira [3.26] Roberto Alagna (tenor) London Voices. Berlin Philharmoniker/Claudio Abbado rec. Philharmonie, Berlin. February, August 1997 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 6279 GH [64.08] [RJF]

Far too often here Alagna fails to bring out the innate qualities of Verdi’s vocal writing. I cannot derive much pleasure from his uneven, often forced, vocal emission. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) The very best of Verdi La forza del destino: Overture, Pace, pace, mio dio, Solenne in quest’ora Nabucco: Va, pensiero Ernani: Surte e la notte … Ernani, involami Macbeth: Patria oppressa! Luisa Miller: Quando le sere al placido Rigoletto: Questa o quella;La donna e mobile; Pari siamo!; Cortigiani, vil razza dannata; Gualtier Malde … Caro nome Il trovatore: Vedi, le fosche notturne; Il balen; Ah! Si, ben mio; Di quella pira; D’amor sull’ali rosee vane; Un ballo in maschera: Di tu se fedele Messa da Requiem: Dies irae; Tuba mirum; Ingemisco La traviata: Libiamo, ne’lieti calici; Sempre libera; Lunge da lei per me; Di Provenza il mar Don Carlo: E lui! Desso l’Infante! … Dio, che nell’alma infondere Aida: Se quell guerrier io fossi! … Celeste Aida; Ritorna vincitor … I sacri nomi di padre; Gloria all’Egitto; Grand March; Ballet Music Otello: Fuoco di gioia, Mia madre aveva una povera ancella … Piangea cantando … Ave Maria Falstaff: Ehi paggio! … L’onore! Ladri see review for performance details NAXOS 8.552121-22 [77:44 + 76:40] [GF]

Not everything is on an exalted level but there are enough good things to make this a suitable starting point for recent converts, which I think is the category of listener this series is aimed at. The price is right. ... see Full Review

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Guia Prático I Acordei de Madrugada (I Woke up Very Early) [1:30] A Maré Encheu (The Tide Flowed) [1:34] A Roseira (The Rosebush) [1:00] Manquinha (The Little Limping Girl) [2:12] Na Corda da Viola (On the String of the Guitar) [1:52] Guia Prático II Brinquedo (Play) [1:05] Machadinha (Little Axe) [1:15] Espanha (Spain) [0:53] Samba-Lêlê (Samba-Lêlê) [1:34] Senhora Dona Viuva (Mrs. Widow) [1:53] Guia Prático III O Pastorzinho (The Little Shepherd) [1:03] João Cambuête (João Cambuête) [1:20] A Freira (The Nun) [0:59] Garibaldi Foi à Missa (Garibaldi went to Mass) [1:26] Ó Pião (Oh Whirligig) [1:10] Guia Prático IV O Pobre e o Rico (The Pauper and the Rich) [0:44] Rosa Amarela (Yellow Rose) [2:19] Olha o Passarinho, Domine! (Look at the Little Bird, Domine!) [0:40] O Gato (The Cat) [2:21] Ó sim! (Oh Yes!) [0:53] Guia Prático V Os Pombinhos (The Little Doves) [0:39] Você Diz que Sabe Tudo (You Say You Know Everything) [2:21] Có, Có, Có! (Có, Có, Có!) [1:26] O Bastão ou Mia Gato (‘The Stick’ or ‘Cat Miaow’) [1:44] A Condessa (The Countess) [2:46] Guia Prático VI Sonho de uma Creança (A Child’s Dream) [1:35] O Corcunda (The Hunchback) [0:56] Caranguejo (Crab) [1:27] A Pombinha Voou (The Little Dove Flew Away) [1:40] Vamos Atraz da Serra, Oh! Calunga! (Let’s Go Behind the Mountain, Oh! Calunga) [1:18] Guia Prático VII No Fundo do Meu Quintal (In My Backyard) [1:09] Vai Abóbora! (Some Pumpkin!) [0:55] Vamos, Maruca (Let’s Go, Maruca) [1:41] Os Pombinhos (The Little Doves) [0:55] Anda á Roda (Round the Circle) [1:53] Guia Prático VIII Ó Limão (Oh Lemon) [0:49] Carambola (Carambola) [0:29] Pobre Céga (Poor Blind One) [1:08] Pai Francisco (Father Francisco) [1:06] Xô! Passarinho (Shoo! Little Bird) [1:07] Sinh’Aninha (Miss Aninha) [0:37] Vestidinho branco (Little White Dress) [1:01] Guia Prático IX Laranjeira Pequenina (Small Orange Tree) [0:59] Pombinha, rolinha – brinquedo de roda (Little Dove, Little Pigeon – round song) [1:40] Ó Ciranda, Ó cirandinha (O Ciranda, O Cirandinha – round song) [0:45] A Velha que Tinha Nove Filhas (The Old Woman Who Had Nine Daughters) [1:06] Constante (Faithful) [0:57] O Castelo (The Castle) [1:22] Sonia Rubinsky (piano) rec. Performing Arts Center, The Country Day School, King City, Ontario, Canada, 2-5 January 2006. DDD NAXOS 8.570008 [63:17] [GPu]

There are many minor delights here in a colourful collection of piano miniatures, a well-played addition to an attractive series … see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concertos for Violin, Strings and Continuo: in G minor, RV 331 (c. 1730-1735) [12.57]; in C major, RV 190 (1735) [14.03]; in G minor, RV 325 (1725) [07.32]; in D major, RV 217 (c. 1727) [12.29]; in G major, RV 303 (1724) [12.20] Giuliano Carmignola (baroque violin) Venice Baroque Orchestra/Andrea Marcon rec. Gustav Mahler Hall, Kulturzentrum Grand Hotel, Toblach/Dobbiaco, Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy, Feb 2006. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON ARCHIV PRODUKTION 00289 477 6005 [58.18] [MC]

Carmignola clearly loves this music and plays with a controlled power and expression expertly blended with a certain panache. Vivaldi lovers will not want to be without this beautifully performed and recorded release. ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Cello Concerto in G minor, RV416 (c. 1708-1711) [11.45] Cello Concerto in A minor, RV420 (c. 1708-1711) [10.45] Concerto for two cellos in G minor, RV531 [11.02] Cello Concerto in C minor, RV401 (1723-29) [10.24] Cello Concerto in G minor, RV417 (1723-29) [8.58] Cello Concerto in A minor, RV418A (1723-29) [10.49] Cello Concerto in G major, RV415A (attributed to Vivaldi) [9.55] Jonathan Cohen (cello and a five-string ‘piccolo’ celloA) Sarah McMahon (cello) (RV531) The King’s Consort/Robert King (director; harpsichord) rec. Cadogan Hall, London, 15-17 April 2005. DDD HYPERION CDA67553 [73.40] [MC]

Cohen is highly impressive and his skilfully controlled playing displays a real stamp of authority, avoiding any flashiness or superficiality. ... see Full Review

Ignatz WAGHALTER (1881-1949) String Quartet in D major, Op.3 (1901) [28:43]* Notturno for Violoncello and Piano, Op.4 (1902) [4:53]** Sonata in F minor for Violin and Piano, Op.5 (1902) [25:32]*** Two Pieces for Violin with Piano Accompaniment, Op.14 (1908): Idyll [4:12]*** Geständnis [3:13]*** Detroit-Windsor Chamber Ensemble: *Lillian Scheirich (violin), Velda Kelly (violin), James Greer (viola), Nadine Deleury (cello); ** Nadine Deleury (cello), Mary Siciliano (piano); ***Lilian Scheirich (violin), Mary Siciliano (piano) rec. Solid Sound, Ann Arbor, Michigan, no date given DWG MUSIC 101 [66:38] [GPu]

Rare, youthful works by a largely forgotten figure whose career was effectively destroyed by the rise of the Nazis. Attractive chamber music in a late romantic idiom ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868) Paul Schoeffler (bass-baritone) – Hans Sachs, cobbler; Otto Edelmann (bass) – Veit Pogner, goldsmith; Hugo Meyer-Welfing (tenor) – Kunz Vogelgesang, furrier; Wilhelm Felden (bass) – Konrad Nachtigall, tinsmith; Karl Dönch (baritone) – Sixtus Beckmesser, town clerk; Alfred Poell (baritone) – Fritz Kothner, baker; Erich Majkut (tenor) – Balthasar Zorn, pewterer; William Wergnick (tenor) – Ulrich Eisslinger, grocer; Hermann Gallos (tenor) – Augustin Moser, tailor; Harald Pröglhof (bass) – Hermann Ortel, soapmaker & A Night Watchman; Franz Bierback (bass) – Hans Schwarz, stocking-weaver; Ljubomir Pantscheff (bass) – Hans Folz, coppersmith; Gunther Treptow (tenor) – Walther von Stolzing, a young Franconian knight; Anton Dermota (tenor) – David, Sachs’ apprentice; Hilde Gueden (soprano) – Eva, Pogner’s daughter; Else Schürhoff (soprano) – Magdalena, her nurse Vienna State Opera Chorus Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Hans Knappertsbusch rec. 2–9 September 1950 (Act 2), 11–22 September 1951 (Acts 1 and 3) in the Musikvereinsaal, Vienna NAXOS 8.111128-31 [4 CDs: 71:34 + 73:28 + 68:27 + 52:02] [GF]

This old Knappertsbusch may be the most authentic for both conducting and singing – as long as you can accept the ageing sound. A wonderful tribute to the art of Paul Schoeffler and his deeply moving human portrayal of Hans Sachs. A desert-island-set. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walkure (1870) first day of the stage festival play "The Ring of the Nibelung" Act I Claire Watson (soprano) - Sieglinde Fritz Uhl (tenor) - Siegmund Josef Greindl (bass) - Hunding Wiener Philharmoniker/Hans Knappertsbusch rec. live, Theater an der Wien, Vienna, 21 May 1963 Executive Producer: Wilfried Scheib Production Assistant: Franz Eugen Dostal Asssistant Director: Peter Maar Technical Director: Heinrich Eigner Lighting Design: Arthur Zelnicek Sound Recording: Josef Dworschak Editing: Walter Hauk TDK DVWW-CLHK63M [72:00][DH]

I love the way Knappertsbusch buoys and floats phrases. Captures the radiance of passion but the ardent, chemical-rush slips through his fingers. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Siegfried (1876) Siegfried: Heinz Kruse Mime: Graham Clark Der Wanderer: John Bröcheler Alberich: Henk Smit Fafner: Carsten Stabell. Erda: Anne Gjevang Brünnhilde: Jeannine Altmeyer Waldvogel: Stefan Pangratz Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Der Nederlandse Opera/Hartmut Haenchen : Stage Director: Pierre Audi rec. live, Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam, 1999 DVD - all regions OPUS ARTE OA 0948D [3 DVDs: 273:00][GF]

This Siegfried definitely had me hooked from beginning to end. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Götterdämmerung (1869-74) Heinz Kruse (tenor) Siegfried; Jeannine Altmeyer (soprano) Brünnhilde; Wolfgang Schöne (baritone) Gunther; Henk Smit (bass) Alberich; Kurt Rydl (bass) Hagen; Annr Gjeving (mezzo) Waltraute; Eva-Maria Bundschuh (soprano) Gutrune; Hebe Dijkstra (mezzo) First Norn; Irmgard Vilsmaier (mezzo) Second Norn; Kirsi Tiihonen (soprano) Third Norn; Gabriele Fontana (soprano) Woglinde; Hanna Schaer (soprano) Welgunde; Catherine Keen (mezzo) Flosshilde; Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/Hartmut Haenchen. rec. live at Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam, 1999 Stage Direction: Pierre Audi LPCM Stereo. 16:9 anamorphic. All Regions OPUS ARTE OA 0949 D [3 DVDs: 269:00][CC]

It has to be said there is much to enjoy here, sonically and vocally, despite my misgivings. Perhaps we are getting spoiled by all this DVD Wagner? ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der Meistersinger von Nürnberg Hans Sachs - Bernd Weikl, Viet Pogner - Manfred Schenk, Sixtus Beckmesser - Hermann Prey, David - Graham Clark, Walther von Stolzing - Siegfried Jerusalem, Eva - Mari Anne Häggander, Magdalene - Marga Schmil, Bayreuther Festspiele/Horst Stein; Director - Wolfgang Wagner. Recorded 18-29th June, 1984, Bayreuther Festspielhaus. DVD-all regions (2 DVD set) DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 0734160 [267:00] [AOz]

Not as good all round as the Frühbeck de Burgos/Berlin production – but Prey’s Beckmesser and Weikl’s Sachs are unmissable, exceptional interpretations ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Scenes from The Ring of the Niebelung: Die Walkure (1870): Ein Schwert wehieß mir der Vater [6:32]; Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond [3:31]; Siegmund heiß ich und Siegmund bin ich [3:27] Siegfried (1876): Notung! Notung! Neidches Schwert! [7:33]; Hoho! Hoho! Hohei! Schmiede mein Hammer, ein hartes Schwert! [6:06]; Das der mein Vater nicht ist [6:13]; Noch einmal, liebes Vöglein [6:34]; Selige Öde auf sonniger Höh! [13:52] Götterdämmerung (1876): Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt [5:17]; Brünnhilde, heilige Braut! [5:13]; Trauermarsch [6:34] Ben Heppner (tenor) Burkhard Ulrich (baritone) Staatskappelle Dresden/Peter Schneider rec. Lucaskirche, Dresden, September, October 2005 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4776003 [71:02] [KS]

This is a coup for Mr. Heppner, a disc deserving of any number of awards. I cannot speak highly enough of this superb accomplishment ... see Full Review

Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) The Seven Deadly Sins* (1933) Lotte Lenya (Anna I and Anna II) The Family: Julius Katona, Fritz Göllnitz (tenors), Ernst Poettgen (baritone), Sigmund Roth (bass) Orchestra/Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg Happy End (1929) Lotte Lenya (singer) Orchestra/Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg Texts by Bertolt Brecht rec. Friedrich Ebert Halle, Hamburg, September 1956*; July 1960; remastered using DSD SONY CLASSICAL 82876 78754-2 [73:47] [PCW]

An authenticity that makes you tingle ... see Full Review

Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937) Disc 1 [76:06] Symphony No. 3 in e minor Op. 13 No. 3 (1872/1887) [17:25] (i) Prelude, Moderato [7:12]; ii) Adagio [4:09]; iii) Final: Allegro molto [6:04]) Symphony No. 4 in f minor Op. 13 No. 4 (1872/1887/1901) [28:04] (i) Toccata [2:56]; ii) Fugue: Moderato assai [3:52]; iii) Andante cantabile: Dolce [5:14]; iv) Scherzo: Allegro vivace [6:04]; v) Adagio [5:46]; vi) Finale: Moderato [4:12]) Symphony No. 9 in c minor, Op. 70 Gothique (1890/1894/1895) [26:13] (i) Moderato [6:07]; ii) Andante sostenuto [5:08]; iii) Allegro [3:54]; iv) Moderato-Allegro-Moderato-Andante [6:57]; v) Finale: Allegro [4:07]) Symphony No. 1 in c minor Op. 13 No. 1 (1872/1887) - Meditation: Lento [4:24] Disc 2 [70:17] Symphony No. 6 in g minor Op. 42 No. 2 (1878) [32:07] (i) Allegro [8:25]; ii) Adagio [7:43]; iii) Intermezzo: Allegro [5:49]; iv) Cantabile [5:07]; v) Finale: Vivace [6:06]) Symphony No. 2 in D major Op. 13 No. 2 (1872/1887) - Finale: Allegro [3:42] Symphony No. 5 in f minor Op. 42 No. 1 (1879) [34:28] (i) Allegro vivace [11:00]; ii) Allegro cantabile [7:16]; iii) Andantino quasi allegretto [7:19]; iv) Adagio [5:25]; v) Toccata [5:28]) Marie-Claire Alain (organ) rec. Eglise de St-Germain-en-Laye, 25-28 November 1977 (symphonies 3,4,6,9), St Etienne, Caen, 1970, (Symphonies 1,2,5). ADD WARNER APEX 2564 62297-2 [76:06 + 70:17][CB]

Not the best of Alain. I long for a more monumental instrument, and a more supple and lyrical approach. An interesting glimpse into the performance practice of a generation ago, no more than that. ... see Full Review

Haydn WOOD (1882-1959) Horse Guards - Whitehall (from London Landmarks Suite) Orchestre Raymonde/Robert Preston [3:11] Joyousness - Concert Waltz (from Moods Suite) Light Symphony Orchestra/Haydn Wood [4:18] Laughing Cavalier (Haydn Wood) New Concert Orchestra/Jack Leon [3:01] Longing London Palladium Orchestra/Richard Crean [3:02] Roses of Picardy Peter Yorke and his Concert Orchestra featuring Freddy Gardner, saxophone [2:33] Seville (from Cities of Romance Suite) BBC Variety Orchestra/Charles Shadwell featuring Reginald Foort, organ [2:35] The Seafarer - A Nautical Rhapsody (Haydn Wood) Intro: Hulla Balloo Balay, Rio Grande, Leave Her Johnnie Leave Her, Drunken Sailor, Shenandoah, When Johnnie Comes Down To Hilo, Roving Charles Williams and his Concert Orchestra [7:38] Montmartre (from Paris Suite) Debroy Somers Band [2:47] Nelson's Column - Overture (from London Landmarks Suite) Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams [3:05] Soliloquy Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Robert Farnon [3:11] Homage March Light Symphony Orchestra/Haydn Wood [4:13] Bird of Love Divine London Palladium Orchestra/Richard Crean [3:37] Vienna (from Frescoes Suite) New Concert Orchestra/Serge Krish [4:07] Mannin Veen (Dear Isle Of Man) Light Symphony Orchestra/Haydn Wood [8:55] Caprice (from Moods Suite) Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams [2:18] Tower Hill (from London Landmarks Suite) Queen's Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams [3:15] I Hear You Calling Me (Charles Marshall arr. Haydn Wood) London Palladium Orchestra/Richard Crean [4:15] Torch of Freedom - Grand March New Concert Orchestra/Jack Leon [2:34] Stanford Rhapsody (founded on Sir Charles Villiers Stanford's Songs of the Sea) (Haydn Wood) Intro: Drake's Drum, Homeward Bound, Devon O Devon In Wind And Rain, The Old Superb Debroy Somers Band [8:19] Recorded 1933-52. ADD GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5121 [77.57][RW]

Wood’s recipe for cheerful and bright, easily accessible music is provided in many different and original forms. ... see Full Review

Mark ZUCKERMAN (b.1948) Because Because [4:45] Laughing Song [2:16] Grow Old Along With Me [3:09] Ani L’Dodi V’Alay T’shukato [1:27] Proverbs for Four at Fifty: Oz V’Hadar L’Vushah [2:02] L’Khah Nirveh Dodim [3:01] D’rakheyha Darkhey Noam [2:06] Reyshit Khakhmah [2:03] Kol Dodi [6:53] Doyres fun der tsukunft [2:06] Shtiler, shtiler [4:03] Gebet [2:32] Grant Us Peace [3:10] The Goldene Keyt Singers: Mary Ellen Callahan (soprano), Hsi-Ling Chang (mezzo), Michael Steinberger (tenor), Thomas Meglioranza (baritone) rec. Baby Monster Studios, New York City, 24-25 April 1999; TMF Studios, New York City, 2-3 October 1999 MSR CLASSICS MS 1146 [39:32] [GPu]

Choral settings which are often beautiful in their fusion of traditional Jewish idioms and a distinctively modern compositional sophistication … see Full Review

 



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