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Salvatore SACCO (1572-c.1622) Missa (1607) [26.10] Dialogus B.M.V [7.47] Litaniae Laurentanae [7.42] Gaudeamus Omnes [2.03] Graduale (cantus planus) [3.56] Communio (cantus planus) [1.22] Veni Sponsa Christa [3.10] Paolo QUAGLIATI (c.1555-1628) Toccata dell’Ottavo Tuno [3.36] Canzona II [2.21] Templum Musicae Francesco Di Lernia (organ) Vincenzo Di Donato rec. Zocca, Modena, October 2003. CARUS 83.191 [58.05][JW]

Groundbreaking performances ... warmly sympathetic with the voices youthful and well blended, the direction athletic ... see Full Review

Harald SÆVERUD (1897-1992) Symphony No. 2 op. 4 (1922, rev. 1934) [23:45] Romanza for violin and orchestra op. 23a (1942) [6:32]* Sumarnatt-Båtsong op. 14 no. 6 (1940) [7:41] Cinquanta Variazioni Piccole op. 8 (1931-32) [5:52] Symphony No. 4 op. 11 (1937) [21:33] Katribe Buvarp (violin) * Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Ole Kristian Ruud rec. 25-26 June 2001, Stavanger Concert Hall, Norway. DDD BIS-CD-1262 [66:51] [RB]

Triumphant. A strong mix: accessible and subtle. Should win many new and agreeably surprised friends for Sæverud ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Trio No.1 in F major Op.18 (1863) [25:30] Piano Trio No.2 in E minor Op.92 (1891) [34:22] Florestan Trio (Anthony Marwood (violin), Richard Lester (cello) Susan Tomes (piano)) rec. Henry Wood Hall, London, 21-23 December 2004 HYPERION CDA 67538 [60:03] [TH]

The Florestan play with a warmth and homogeneity that is hard to resist ... see Full Review

Aulis SALLINEN (b. 1935) Symphony No. 4 op. 49 (1979) [23:05] Symphony No. 2 Symphonic Dialogue op. 29 (1972) [16:35] Horn Concerto Campane ed Arie op. 82 (2002) [21:23] Mauermusik Op. 7 (1962) [9:48] Eso Topani (horn) Martin Orraryd (percussion) Norrköping SO/Ari Rasilainen rec. De Geer Hall, Norrkoping, 21-22 Oct 2003, 16-18 Jan 2003; 30-31 Oct 2003. DDD CPO 999 969-2 [70:54][RB]

Sallinen's alternation of motivic cells is something of a hallmark. It is both economic in style and engrossingly satisfying for the listener.  ... see Full Review

Vadim SALMANOV (1912-1978) The Four Symphonies CD1 [57:27] Symphony No. 1 in D minor (1952) (1 Largo. Allegro [10:58]; 2 Andante non troppo [11:32]; 3 Presto [8:24) Symphony No. 2 in G major (1959) (1 The Song of the Forest [3:36]; 2 Nature’s Summons [8:58]; 3 At Sunset [7:19]; 4 The Forest Sings [6:36]) CD2 [59:39] Symphony No. 3 in A minor (1963) (1. Mesto. Allegro Moderato [9:34]; 2 Andante [6:04]; Allegro vivace [4:42]; 4 Andante non troppo [7:43) Symphony No. 4 in B minor (1972) (1 Moderato [14:57]; 2 Marciale [6:58]; 3 Andante [9:37]) Symphony Orchestra of the Leningrad Philharmonia/Yevgeny Mravinsky Rec. live Great Hall, Leningrad Philharmonia 20 Mar 1957 (1); 30 Sept 1960 (2); 24 May 1964 (3); 28 Jan 1977 (4); ADD IM LAB IMLCD073/74 [57:27 + 59:39] [RB]

Salmanov may have thumped the tub at times but his symphonies were more often rounded with a curve into sleep than a thundering call to arms. ... see Full Review

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Six A Capella Mixed Choruses [17:54] String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10 [29:59] Suite in G for String Orchestra [30:01] Jennifer Welch-Babidge (soprano) Fred Sherry String Quartet Simon Joly Singers Twentieth Century Classics Ensemble/Robert Craft (conductor) rec. 28 April 2005, Abbey Road Studios, London (Six A Capella Mixed Choruses); January 2005, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (String Quartet No. 2); November 2004, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (Suite in G). DDD NAXOS 8.557521 [78:18][ABi]

A considerable contribution to the Schoenberg discography. ... see Full Review

Ole SCHMIDT (b. 1928) Suite for flute, string orchestra, harp and percussion, op. 21 (1960) (I Rondino; II Walzer; III Intermezzo; IV Marsch) Concerto for flute and string orchestra (1985) (I Introduction; II Molto lento; III Presto) Concerto for horn and chamber orchestra, op. 31 (1966) (I Largo; II Allegro giusto) Concerto for tuba and orchestra, op. 42 (1975) (I;  II; III Allegro) Jens Bjørn-Larsen (tuba) Ulla Miilmann (flute) David M.A.P. Palmqvist (horn) Danish National Symphony Orchestra/Ole Schmidt rec. Danish Radio Concert Hall, 16-20 August 2004. DDD DACAPO 6.220515 [68:50][RB]

Virile recording quality ... wonderfully provocative writing deeply harnessed to romantic models but breathing a wholly contemporary ozone ... see Full Review

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Concerto Grosso No.1 for Two Violins, Harpsichord, Prepared Piano and String Orchestra (1977) [27.52] Concerto for Piano and Strings (1979) [24.10] Victor Kuleshov, (violin) Ilia Ioff, (violin) Julia Lev (harpsichord and piano) (Concerto Grosso) Veronica Reznikovskaya (piano) (Concerto for Piano) St. Petersburg Mozarteum Chamber Orchestra/Arcady Shteinlukht rec. 1995, Petersburg Recording Studio, St. Petersburg, Russia. DDD MANCHESTER CLASSICAL GALLERY CDMAN 175 [52.08] [MC]

A starting place to discover the orchestral music of Schnittke. Excellent performances of fascinating but challenging scores. ... see Full Review

Abendbilder: Bei dir allein [02:08], Abendbilder [05:42], Himmelsfunken [04:21], Dass sie hier gewesen [02:45], Drang in die Ferne [03:44], Am Fenster [03:24], Auf der Bruck [03:30], Des Fischers Liebesglück [05:40], Der Winterabend [07:31], Das Zügenglöcklein [04:43], Alinde [04:15], Fischerweise [02:52], Im Abendrot [03:47], Der Musensohn [02:10], Du bist die Ruh [04:50], Greisengesang [05:08], Wilkommen und Abscheid [03:31] Christian Gerhaher (baritone), Gerold Huber (piano) rec. 18-21 September 2005, Hochschule für Musik und Theater, München, Grosser Konzertsaal BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876 777162 [70:02] [CH]

Lieder singing of the highest order ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Deutsche Schubert-Lied-Edition 21: Poets of Sensibility, Volume 4 Zufriedenheit (2nd setting) D501 [02:32]; Das Lied vom Reifen D532* [01:57]; An die Natur D372 [02:03]; Morgenlied D266* [03:03]; Blumenlied D431 [01:42]; Pflicht und Liebe (Fragment) D467* [02:59]; Erntelied D434 [01:47]; Zufriedenheit (1st setting) D362 [02:09]; Mailied D503* [02:07]; Die Mainacht D194 [02:47]; Am ersten Maimorgen D344 [02:16]; An die Nachtigall D497* [01:25]; Daphne am Bach D411* [02:57]; Frühlingslied D398 [01:24]; Phidile D500* [04:39]; Die Knabenzeit D400 [02:10]; An den Mond D468* [02:54]; An die Nachtigall D196* [02:10]; Klage um Ali Bey D496A [02:58]; Abendlied D276* [04:54]; Winterlied D401 [02:12]; Am Grabe Anselmos D504* [03:28]; Die Laube D214 [02:38]; Wiegenlied ("Schlafe, süsser holder Knabe" D498* [03:16] Birgid Steinberger (soprano)*; Wolfgang Holzmair (baritone); Ulrich Eisenlohr (fortepiano) rec. Bayrischer Rundfunk Studio 2, Munich, Germany, 30 November - 5 December 2004 NAXOS 8.557569 [62:27] [CH]

Holzmair’s singing of “Die Mainacht” is worth the price on its own, but he sings only half the disc  ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) The Late Schubert Piano Sonata No. 21 in B flat Major, D960 (1828) [38:15] Drei Klavierstücke, D946 (1828) [32:20] Oleg Marshev (piano) rec. Symfonien, Aalborg, Denmark, January 2005. DDD DANACORD DACOCD 646 [70.09] [MC]

Marshev breaths life into the music and is to be congratulated for conveying the true spirit of the music. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D810 Death and the Maiden (1826) arranged for string orchestra by Gustav MAHLER [45.38] Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Adagietto in F major for strings and harp, from Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor (1901-03) [09.57] Kiev Chamber Orchestra/ Roman Kofman, Ute Blaumer, harp (Adagietto) rec. Heiligkreuzkirche in Bad Godesberg, Germany, 27-28 November 2003. DDD MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM SACD MDG 601 1315-2 [55.47] [MC]

Real intensity of emotion ... a superb release and a certainty to be one of my Records of the Year ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Artur Schnabel – The Complete Schubert Recordings: 1932-50 Impromptus D.899 (recorded 1950) No.1 in C minor [8.53] No.2 in E flat [4.10] No.3 in G flat [4.54] No.4 in A flat [6.08] Impromptus, Op. posth. D.935 (recorded 1950) No.1 in F minor [9.04] No.2 in A flat [7.14] No.3 in B flat [9.44] No.4 In F minor [6.41] Allegretto in C minor, D.915 (recorded 1939) [4.54] March in E, D.606 (recorded 1939) 3.21] Moments musicaux, D.780 (recorded 1937) No.1 in C [4.33] No.2 in A flat [6.24] No.3 in F minor [1.51] No.4 in C sharp minor [3.51] No.5 in F minor [1.15] No.6 in A flat [6.37] Piano Sonata No. 18 in D D.850 (recorded 1939) [37.41] Piano Sonata No. 21 in A D.959 (recorded 1937) [34.52] Piano Sonata No. 22 in B flat, D.960 (recorded 1939) [36.48] Piano Quintet in A, Op. posth. 114, D.667 (‘Trout’) (recorded 1935) # [35.16]Lieder (recorded 1932) @ Der Doppelganger – Schwanengesang D957  [4.15] Die Stadt – Schwanengesang D957  [3.36] Gruppe aus dem Tartarus D583 [3.34] Der Kreuzzug D932 [4.11] An die Laute D905 [2.01] Der Musensohn D764 [2.08] Erlkonig D328 [5.09] Marches Militaires D.733 (Recorded 1937) * No 1 in D [3.47] No.2 in G [3.39] No.3 in E flat [4.45] Divertissement à la Hongroise in G minor D.818 (recorded 1937) [31.37] March in G minor D.819 No. 2 (recorded 1937) [4.11] March in B minor D.819 No. 3 (recorded 1937) [7.54] Andantino varié in B minor D.823 (recorded 1937) [7.47] Allegro in A minor (“Lebensstürme”), Op. posth. D.947 (recorded 1937) [12.25] Rondo in A D.951 (1937) * [10.29] Artur Schanbel, piano, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, piano *, Pro Arte Quartet Members, Claude Hobday, double bass #, Theresa Behr-Schnabel, contralto @ MUSIC & ARTS CD 1175 [5 CDs: 65:10 + 62:19 + 71:42 + 71:30 + 74:29 [JW]

All in all this is an impressive restoration of Schnabel’s Schubert and I consider them the finest transfers of this body of work available. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Songs by Schubert’s Friends and Contemporaries Carl BANCK (1809-1889) Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Ludwig BERGER (1777-1839) Jeannette Antonie BÜRDE (b. 1799) Moritz von DIETRICHSTEIN (1775-1864) Maximilian EBERWEIN (1775-1831) Stephan FRANZ (1785-1855) Adalbert GYROWETZ (1760-1853) Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Carl LOEWE (1796-1869) Ferdinand HILLER (1811-1885) Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Anselm HÜTTENBRENNER (1794-1868) Conradin KREUTZER (1780-1849) Nikolaus von KRUFFT (1779-1818) Franz Paul LACHNER (1803-1890) Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Fanny MENDELSSOHN (1805-1847) Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864) Sigismund NEUKOMM (1778-1858) Johann Vesque von PÜTTLINGEN (1803-1883) Benedict RANDHARTINGER (1802-1893) Johann Friedrich REICHHARDT (1752-1814) Louise REICHARDT (1779-1826) Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Antonio SALIERI (1750-1825) Franz SCHUBERT of Dresden (1768-1827) Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Simon SECHTER (1788-1867) Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Václav Jan Křtitel TOMAŠEK (1774-1850) Johann Karl UNGER (1771-1836) Karoline UNGER-SABATIER (1803-1877) Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Joseph WEIGL (1766-1846) August Heinrich von WEYRAUCH (1788-1865) Carl Friedrich ZELTER (1758-1832) Johann Rudolf ZUMSTEEG (1760-1802) A full track listing is provided at the end of the review Susan Gritton (soprano); Stella Doufexis (soprano); Ann Murray (mezzo); Mark Padmore (tenor); Gerald Finley (baritone); Graham Johnson (piano) rec. All Saints, East Finchley, London, August 2001, March, October 2004. DDD HYPERION CDJ33051/3 [3 CDs: 78:25 + 77:02 + 78:17] [JQ]

This is an absolutely first class set. It’s most rewarding and stimulating to listen to and I recommend it urgently to all lovers of lieder as a truly indispensable purchase. Bravo, Graham Johnson! Bravo, Hyperion! ... see Full Review

  William SCHUMAN (1910-1992) Symphony No. 7 (1960) [28:57] Symphony No. 10 American Muse (1976) [31:51] Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz rec. S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, WA. Nov 2003 (7); Sept 2004 (10). DDD NAXOS 8.559255 [60:48] [JQ]

This CD confirms the impression of its predecessor that William Schuman was a major American symphonist of the twentieth century.  ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphony No. 3 Rhenish (1850) [33:15] Overture, Scherzo and Finale (1841 rev. 1845) [17:45] Symphonic Studies: Adagio and Allegro brillante (orch. Tchaikovsky) [8:10] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/ Dirk Joeres rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, London, December 1999 (Sym); Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London, January 1995 (Overture, Scherzo and Finale); Watford Town Hall, England, June 2003 (Symphonic Studies). DDD REGIS RRC 1237 [60:00] [IL]

Fresh invigorating readings that can hold their own with the best in a crowded list of competitive recordings. ... see Full Review

Jose Antonio Carlos de SEIXAS (1704-42) Harpsichord Sonatas, Volume 1: Sonata No.36 in E minor [8:13] Sonata No.19 in D major [3:46] Sonata No.18 in C minor [5:30] Sonata No.34 in E major [3:46] Sonata No.44 in F minor [3:18] Sonata No.43 in F minor [3:47] Sonata No.24 in D minor [1:57] Sonata No.27 in D minor [4:54] Sonata No.42 in F minor [4:02] Sonata No.37 in E minor [3:22] Sonata No.57 in A major [9:22] Sonata No.10 in C major [15:16] Sonata No.50 in G minor [3:50] Débora Halász (harpsichord) rec. Festsaal des Reitstadels, Neumarkt, Germany, 22-24 April 2003 NAXOS 8.557459 [71:02] [GPu]

This is a promising start to a very worthwhile project, and I look forward to future volumes ... see Full Review

Roger SESSIONS (1896-1985) Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1955-56) [18.29] Francis THORNE (b. 1922) Piano Concerto No.3 (1989) [25.45] Robert Taub (piano) – Sessions Ursula Oppens (piano) – Thorne Westchester Philharmonic/Paul Lustig Dunkel rec. Studio A, Performing Arts Centre, Purchase College, January 1993 (Thorne), January 1994 (Sessions) NEW WORLD RECORDS 80443-2 [44.19][JW]

Thorne’s concerto makes a real impression in this expert performance while the power and command of the Sessions’ concerto have not faded. ... see Full Review

Testimony - The Story of Shostakovich. Tony Palmer’s film about Shostakovich starring Ben Kingsley DIGITAL CLASSICS DVD DC 10010 [151:00] [RB]

This sombre piece of cinema is stunningly done with enormous integrity. ... see Full Review

Nikos SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949) The Sea - Ballet Suite (1948-49) [45:15] Four Images (1948) [13:43] Cretan Feast (orchestration by Skalkottas of a work by Dmitri Mitropoulos) (1919 orch. 1923-24) [7:20] Greek Dance in C minor (1949?) [5:07] Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Byron Fidetzis rec. June 2003, Haskolabio, Reykjavik, Iceland. DDD BIS-CD-1384 [72:44][RB]

This along with the masterly Thirty-Six Greek Dances is one of the easiest approaches to the genius of Skalkottas. ... see Full Review

Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) Ma Vlást: 2: Vltava Rehearsal extracts [41:20] and performance [10:37] with introduction [02:38] by Dieter Ertel Südfunk-Sinfonieorchester/Ferenc Fricsay A SDR Stuttgart Production, recorded 1960. DVD (b/w) Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Italian TDK DV-DOCFF [c.55:00] [CH]

Tantalizingly, this film is only half successful in its declared aim of telling us “who Ferenc Fricsay was”. ... see Full Review

Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884)Má Vlast, complete (1874-1879) [78:58] Concertgebouw Orchestra/Antal Doráti rec. Amsterdam Concertgebouw, September 1956 ADD Mono PHILIPS ELOQUENCE ICONS AUSTRALIA 476 8717 [78:58] [AtOr]

Doráti’s mono Má Vlast for the first time on CD but an also-ran in any comparative survey... see Full Review

Kaikhosru Shapurji SORABJI (1892-1988) One Hundred Transcendental Studies, Nos. 1-25 (1940-44): Mouvementé [1:50]; II. Vivace e leggiero [1:09]; III. [4:17]; IV. (Scriabinesco) [2:53]; V. Staccato e leggiero [1:24]; VI. [1:37]; VII. Leggiero abbastanza [1:07]; VIII. [1:56]; IX. Staccato e leggiero [0:58]; X. Con brio ed impeto - Volante [3:09]; XI. (Animato abbastanza) [1:37]; XII. Leggiero quasi saltando [1:44]; XIII. [3:31]; XIV. Tranquillamente soave [4:35]; XV. [1:40]; XVI. [2:43]; XVII. Molto accentato [1:56]; XVIII. Liscio. Tranquillamente scorrevole [5:15]; IXX. Saltando e leggiero [2:12]; XX. Con fantasia [5:24]; XXI. Con eleganza e disinvoltura [4:37]; XXII. Leggiero volante e presto assai [1:24]; XXIII. Dolcemente scorrevole [4:00]; XXIV. Con fantasia e grazia [5:40]; XXV. Vivace e secco [2:42] Frederick Ullén (piano) rec. July 2003, December 2005, Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden. DDD BIS CD 1373 [71:11] [RB]

If you enjoy the piano music of York Bowen, Medtner, Foulds or Nancarrow and are prepared to go just the extra mile you should find this disc extremely rewarding. ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein Heldenleben – Symphonic Poem Op.40 (1898) [47.24] Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme – Suite for Orchestra Op.60 (1917) [34.23] Guy Braunstein (violin) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle rec. Philharmonie, Berlin, October 2005. DDD EMI CLASSICS 3 39339 2 [81.57][JW]

A very problematic recording and a performance to match ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) String Sextet from Capriccio (1942) [9:26] Alban BERG (1885-1935) Piano Sonata in B minor, op. 1 (arranged for String Sextet by Heime Müller) (1907, 2003) [12:16] Arnold SCHÖNBERG (1874-1951) Verklärte Nacht (1899) [28:58] Artemis Quartet (Natalia Prischepenko, Heime Müller, violins; Volker Jacobsen, viola, Eckart Runge, cello); Members of the Alban Berg Quartet (Thomas Kakuska, viola; Valentin Erben, cello). rec. WDR Radio, Cologne, December 2002. VIRGIN 0946 335130 2 [51:02][KS]

An extremely satisfying disc worth its price just for the Berg. Played to perfection, I can even overlook the occasional breath snort ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Rake’s Progress (1951) Trulove - Stafford Dean (bass) Anne - Cathryn Pope (soprano) Tom Rakewell - Philip Langridge (tenor) Nick Shadow - Samuel Ramey (baritone) Mother Goose - Astrid Varnay (mezzo) Baba the Turk - Sarah Walker (mezzo) Sellem - John Dobson (tenor) Keeper - Matthew Best (bass) London Sinfonietta Chorus London Sinfonietta/Riccardo Chailly rec. 1985, London DECCA 475 7005 [68.18 + 67.01][TB]

The sound has emerged with more clarity and depth and this has enhanced the whole performance. The cast is well balanced and there are some distinguished contributions from a talented array of singers ... see Full Review

Thomas TALLIS (1505–1585) Sancte Deus; Suscipe quaeso Domine; Salvator mundi; Miserere nostri; In ieunio et fletu; If ye love me; Loquebantur variis linquis; Candidi facti sunt; O Lord, give thy Holy Spirit; O nata lux; Videte miraculum; Verily, verily; O salutaris hostia; O sacrum convivium; Thou wast, O God; Jesu, Salvator saeculi; Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in the Dorian mode; Te lucis ante terminum The Rodolfus Choir/Ralph Allwood rec. December 2004, Eton College Chapel HERALD HAVPCD 305 [70.34][RH]

These are lovely, well crafted performances ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Francesca da Rimini Op.32 (1876) [22.42] Serenade for Strings in C major Op.48 (1881) [28.08] London Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski rec. Brent Town Hall, London, October 1974. ADD PENTATONE CLASSICS SACD 5186 122 [51.04][JW]

One for the Stokowski completist ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Piano Sonatas Sonata No. 1 in F minor (1863-4) [10:52] Sonata No. 2 in C-sharp minor Op. 80 (1865) [27:13] Sonata No. 3 in G-major Op. 37 [1878] Grand Sonata [29:27] Leslie Howard (piano) rec. All Saints, Petersham, 9-10 November 1993. DDD First released as Hyperion CDA66939 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55215 [66:32] [WK]

Richter’s power and poignancy produced extremely well-balanced performances. Leslie Howard has a similar approach although leaning more towards poignancy ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) CD1 RRC1212 [68:50] Symphony No: 4 (1877) [43:20] Marche Slave (1876) [9:48] 1812 Overture (1880) [15:19]* CD2 RRC1213 [63:46] Symphony No: 5 (1888) [47:00] Capriccio Italien (1879) [16:42] CD3 RRC1214 [60:09] Symphony No: 6 (1893) [45:40] Overture - The Storm (1864) [14:17] London Symphony Orchestra/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Yuri Ahronovitch * rec. All Saints, Tooting, London, February 1987. DDD REGIS RRC 3009 [3 CDs: 68:50 + 63:46 + 60:09] [RB]

Little real competition in or out of budget price. Grippingly sensational sound and interpretative insight. Rozhdestvenky’s Tchaikovsky - the three last symphonies before they became routine ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Orleanskaya Dieva (Maid of Orleans, or Joan of Arc) - opera in four acts (1879) Text by the composer after Schiller, tr. Zukovsky Joan of Arc - Nina Rautio, King Charles VII - Oleg Kulko, Agnes Sorel - Maria Gavrilova, Archbishop - Gleb Nicolsky, Lionel - Vladimir Redkin, Dunois - Mikhail Krutikov, Thibaut - Vyacheslav Pochapsky, Raymond - Arkady Mishenkin, Bertrand - Maksim Mikhailov, Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Aleksandr Lazarev Designer, Valery Levental; Lighting, Alan Woolford; Video Direction, Brian Large. rec. Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia, June 1993. Subtitles in English, Deutsch, Castellano, Français, Italiano, Portugués, Japanese. Notes in English. Track list, synopsis, no texts or translations. NTSC 4:3. Dolby Digital 48kHz 16 bit 2.0 stereo. Region 2,3,4,5. Region 1 edition available from Kultur video WARNER MUSIC VISION NVC ARTS 4509-94191-2 [149.00] [PSh]

If you love Aïda and can forgive Rigoletto, you will very much enjoy this brilliant evening at the opera. ... see Full Review

Alexander Nikolayevich TCHEREPNIN (1899–1977) Piano Concerto No. 2 op. 26 (1923) [19:15] Piano Concerto No. 4 Fantasie op. 78 (1945) [29:15] Piano Concerto No. 6 op. 99 (1965) [27:28] Murray McLachlan (piano) Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra/Julian Clayton rec. Studio 7, BBC Manchester, 1994-5. DDD recorded in association with the Belaieff Foundation REGIS FORUM FRC 9110 [76:10] [RB]

Inventive and engaging music bridging the gap between Stravinsky and Prokofiev presented with sharply defined clarity by a master of the genre and an alert and accomplished orchestra. ... see Full Review

Olav Anton THOMMESSEN (b.1946) BULL's eye (2003) [34:17] Please Accept my Ears for violin and piano (1981) [5:46] Cantabile (Etyde-cadenza) for solo violin (1995) [14:33] Peter Herresthal (violin) Gonzalo Moreno (piano) Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra /Rolf Gupta rec. May 2005, Oslo Concert Hall, Norway (BULL’s Eye), November 2005 (Please Accept my Ears) and December 1996 at Lindemansalen, Norges musikkhøgskole, Oslo, Norway (Cantabile) BIS-SACD-1512 [55:35] [DC]

Something of a must for the new music enthusiast. ... see Full Review

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

Tovey’s cause is well served by this disc ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Giovanna D’Arco, Opera in a prologue and three acts (1845) Libretto by Temistocle Solera loosely based on Schiller’s drama Die Jungfrau von Orleans. First performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 15 February 1845 Carlo VII. King of Spain, Vincenzo La Scola (ten); Giacomo, a shepherd in Dom-Rémy, Renato Bruson (bar); Giovanna D’Arco, his daughter, Susan Dunn (sop); Delil, an officer of the King, Pierre Lefebvre (ten); Talbot, commander of the English army, Francesco Lodetti (bass) Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Communale di Bologna/Riccardo Chailly rec. live, Teatro Communale Bologna, December 1989 Produced by Radio Italiana in association with NVC ARTS Stage producer Werner Herzog. Designer, Henning von Gierke Video direction, Werner Herzog in association with Keith Cheetham Picture format: NTSC 4:3.Colour. Linear–PCM stereo. Subtitles in English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Japanese WARNER MUSIC VISION DVD VIDEO 9031-71478-2 [126:00] [RJF]

Despite reservations as to the two principals, this well staged and conducted performance has given me significantly greater insight into Giovanna D’Arco as well as considerable musical enjoyment ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678 -1741) Tito Manlio opera in three acts (1720) [185:00] Tito: Nicola Ulivieri (bass-baritone) Manlio: Karina Gauvin (soprano) Servilia: Ann Hallenberg (mezzo) Vitellia: Marijana Mijanovic (contralto) Lucio: Debora Beronesi (mezzo) Decio: Barbara di Castri (mezzo) Geminio: Mark Milhofer (tenor) Lindo: Christian Senn (bass-baritone) Academia Bizantina/Ottavio Dantone rec. Sala del Refettorio di S.Vitale of the Museo Nationale of San Vitale, 27, 30 October 2004 NAÏVE OP30413 [3 CDs: 63:16 + 60:08 + 61:33] [IB]

The competition will have to be exceptional to supplant this set. This is living breathing drama ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Arsilda, Regina di Ponto - opera in three acts (RV 700) Elena Cecchi Fedi (Mirinda), Nicky Kennedy (Barzane), Alessandra Rossi (Nicandro) (soprano); Simonetta Cavalli (Arsilda), Lucia Sciannimanico (Lisea) (mezzo); Joseph Cornwell (Tamese) (tenor); Sergio Foresti (Cisardo) (bass) Coro da Camera Italiano; Modo Antiquo/Federico Maria Sardelli rec. July 2001, Chiesa del Santissimo Crocifisso, Barga, Italy. DDD CPO 999 740-2 [68:55 + 57:07 + 40:10] [JV]

An interesting recording of the original version of Vivaldi's third opera - the singing and playing is generally good, but can't make up for the lack of drama and emotion ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Das Rheingold (1869) John Bröcheler (bass-baritone) – Wotan; Jürgen Freier (baritone) – Donner; Albert Bonnema (tenor) – Froh; Chril Merritt (tenor) – Loge; Henk Smit (baritone) – Alberich; Graham Clark (tenor) – Mime; Peter Mikuláš (bass) – Fasolt; Carsten Stabell (bass) – Fafner; Reinhild Runkel (mezzo) – Fricka; Carola Höhn (soprano) – Freia; Anne Gjevang (contralto) – Erda; Gabriele Fontana (soprano) – Woglinde; Hanna Schaer (mezzo) – Wellgunde; Catherine Keen (contralto) – Flosshilde Residentie Orchestra, The Hague/Hartmut Haenchen rec. live, Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam, 1999 Stage Director: Pierre Audi; Set Design: George Tsypin; Costume Design: Eiko Ishioka; Light Design: Wolfgang Göbbel; Dramaturgy: Klaus Bertisch TV Director: Misjel Vermeiren Sung in German with subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Japanese Includes “The Forging of the Ring”, Roland Hazendonk’s documentary introduction to Wagner’s Ring from Het Muziektheater Amsterdam, including interviews with Hartmut Haenchen, Pierre Audi and principal members of the cast. OPUS ARTE OA 0946 D [2 DVDs: 68:02 + 80:45][GF]

As a visual and theatrical experience this became rather thrilling but for superior singing one has to look elsewhere ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Das Rheingold (1854) Wotan - (bass)  – John Tomlinson, Donner - (baritone) – Bodo Brinkmann, Froh - (tenor) – Kurt Schreibmayer, Loge - (tenor) – Graham Clark, Mime - (tenor) – Helmut Pampuch, Alberich - (baritone) – Günter von Kannen, Fasolt - (bass) – Matthias Hölle, Fafner - (bass) – Philip Kang, Fricka - (mezzo) – Linda Finnie, Freia - (soprano) – Eva Johansson, Erda - (mezzo) – Birgitta Svenden, Woglinde - (soprano) – Hilde Leidland, Wellgunde - (mezzo) – Annette Küttenbaum, Flosshilde - (mezzo) – Jane Turner, Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festpiele/Daniel Barenboim. Directed for the stage by Harry Kupfer. Designed by Hans Schavernoch. Directed for video by Horant H.Hohlfeld rec. live, Bayreuth Festspielhaus, June/July 1991 WARNER CLASSICS UNITEL 2564 62318-2 [154:00] [TH]

A tremendously vital and imaginative post-modern production that is wonderfully matched by Barenboim’s conducting. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walküre (1870) John Bröcheler (bass-baritone) – Wotan; John Keyes (tenor) – Siegmund; Kurt Rydl (bass) – Hunding; Nadine Secunde (soprano) – Sieglinde; Jeannine Altmeyer (soprano) – Brünnhilde; Reinhild Runkel (mezzo) – Fricka; Kirsi Tiihonen (soprano) – Helmwige; Annegeer Stumphius (soprano) – Ortlinde; Irmgard Vilsmaier (soprano) – Gerhilde; Hanna Schaer (mezzo) – Waltraute; Catherine Keen (mezzo) – Siegrune; Elzbieta Ardam (contralto) – Rossweisse; Regina Mauel (contralto) – Grimgerde; Hebe Dijkstra (contralto) – Schwertleite Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/Hartmut Haenchen Stage direction: Pierre Audi; Set design: George Tsypin; Costume design: Eiko Ishioka; Light design: Wolfgang Göbbel; Dramaturgy: Klaus Bertisch; TV Director: Hans Hulscher rec. live, Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam, 1999 OPUS ARTE OA 0947 D [3 DVDs: 65:22 + 92:34 + 73:14][GF]

A quality of timelessness. The viewer is forced to focus on the interactions and conflicts between the main characters. That is the real strength of this performance. All in all a quality product. ... see Full Review

William WALTON (1902-1983) Symphony No. 1 in b-flat minor. (1931-35) [46:01] London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis rec. 23 September and 5 December 2005, Barbican Centre, London. LSO LIVE LSO0076 [46:01] [KS]

Signature Walton, jammed with the triumphant rhythms and open harmonies that bring the listener to a glorious mountain summit. Sheer passionate exhilaration. ... see Full Review

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (Moisei VAINBERG) (1919-1996) Piano Quintet Op.18 (1944) [39.43] * Quartet No.8 in C minor Op.66 (1959) [15.30] Borodin Quartet Mieczyslaw Weinberg (piano) * rec. Moscow1963 (Quintet) and 1961 (Quartet) MELODIYA MEL CD 10 00979 [55.35][JW]

Two big, powerful and comprehensively impressive musical statements. ... see Full Review

Judith WEIR (b. 1954) The Consolations of Scholarship (1985) [22:28] (1, 4) Piano Concerto (1997) [16:38] (2, 5) King Harald’s Saga (1979) [13:28] (3) Musicians Wrestle Everywhere (1995) [12:32] (5) Janice Felty (soprano) (1) Xan Bjerken (piano) (2) Judith Kellock (soprano) (3) Ensemble X/Steve Stucky (4) Ensemble X/Mark Davis Scatterday (5) rec. 19-21 April 2002, James J. Neylan Room, Lincoln Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. DDD ALBANY RECORDS TROY803 [64.51][RH]

I can wholeheartedly recommend this disc to those who would like to get to know the music of this approachable but elusive composer. ... see Full Review

Dan WELCHER (b.1948) Haleakala: How Maui Snared the Sun (Tone Poem)* (1991) [22:32] Prairie Light: Three Texas Watercolours of Georgia O’Keefe (1985) [14:20] Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra** (1989) [20:13] *Richard Chamberlain (narrator); ** Bil Jackson (clarinet) Honolulu Symphony Orchestra/Donald Johanos; rec. 10 January 1992, Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu, Hawaii NAXOS 8.559287 [57:06] [GPu]

Prairie Light, a response to the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe, is a fine piece and the Concerto for Clarinet is thoroughly entertaining – the only disappointment comes with the title work ... see Full Review

Dan WELCHER (b. 1948) Haleakala: How Maui Snared the Sun (1991) [22.32] Prairie Light: Three Texas Watercolors of Georgia O’Keeffe (1985) [14.20] Clarinet Concerto (1989) [20.13] Richard Chamberlain (narrator) Bil Jackson (clarinet) Honolulu Symphony Orchestra/Donald Johanos rec. 10 January 1992, Blaisdell Concert Hall, Honolulu, Hawaii. DDD NAXOS 8.559287 [57.06][RH]

A fascinating disc but now that the disc is on my library shelves I am honestly not sure how often I will listen to it again. ... 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 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5121 [77.57] [JW]

Haydn Wood interpreted with engaging brio ... All is set fair for a rip-roaring programme and so it proves. ... see Full Review

Dag WIRÉN (1905-1986) Symphony No. 2 op. 14 (1939) [30’26] Symphony No. 3 op. 20 (1944) [22’12] Concert Overture No. 1 op. 2 (1931) [7’45] Concert Overture No. 2 op. 16 (1940) [5’11] Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/ Thomas Dausgaard rec. De Geerhallen, Norrköping, 3-5 February 1999 CPO 999 677-2 [65’38] [DJB]

Anyone who enjoys the symphonies of Sibelius, and in fact, well-crafted, melodic 20th century orchestral music in general, should not hesitate over this disc ... see Full Review

Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931) Works for Violin and Orchestra Poème élégiaque (orch. Jacques Ysaÿe) Op.12 [14:47] Chant d’hiver Op. 15 in B minor (1902) [12:10] Berceuse Op. 20 in F minor [4:59] Les neiges d’antan Op.23 [9:28] Violin Concerto [No. 8] [24.10] Divertimento Op. 24 [11.23] Albrecht Laurent Breuninger (violin) North West German Philharmonic Orchestra/Welisar Gentscheff rec. West German Radio, Herford, Schützenhof, 1998-99 CPO 777 051-2 [77.00][JW]

Performances are warm and lyric though rather laid-back. An intriguing sidelight on Ysaÿe’s more prominent and bracingly up-to-date solo sonatas. ... see Full Review

Man-Ching ‘Donald’ YU (b. 1980) Illusions: Music of Man-Ching ‘Donald’ Yu Hell and Heaven for piano (2003) [06.18] Fantasy on ‘The Lady of Shallot’ for piano (2003) [06.39] haos’ for piano (2002) [04.45] Uncertainty for piano (2004) [03.45] Sonata No. 1, ‘Grand Concert Fantasy’ (2000) for piano [08.57] Five Japanese Lyrics for soprano and piano (2001) [13.17] Sonnet No. 104 for mezzo-soprano and piano (2002) [03.02] Illusion for oboe and piano (2003) [05.10] Dark Rhapsody for cello and piano (2003) [04.13] Five Miniatures for Piano (2001) [04.39] Sonata No. 2, ‘Humoresque’ for piano (2000) [07.10] Man-Ching ‘Donald’ Yu, (piano) Kristi Foster, (soprano) Xia Heng, (mezzo) Euridice M. Alvarez Izcoa, (oboe) Jeremy Shih, (cello) No recording dates or venues provided ZIMBEL RECORDS #ZR113 [67.44][MC]

Interesting short scores ... reasonably appealing and always accessible. Some enjoyable moments but not enough to tempt me to return. ... see Full Review

Judith Lang ZAIMONT (b.1945) The Vocal-Chamber Art Greyed Sonnets (1975) [13:13]1 Chansons Nobles et Sentimentales (1974) [12:50]2 Songs of Innocence (1974) [1974] [10:36]3 Two Songs for soprano and harp [1978] [10:14]4 The Magic World (1979-80) [24:59]5 1 Elena Tyminski (soprano); Judith Lang Zaimont (piano) 2 Charles Bressler (tenor); Judith Lang Zaimont (piano) 3 Elena Tyminski (soprano); Price Brown (tenor); Patricia Spencer (flute); Barbara Bogatin (cello); Nancy Allen (harp) 4 Berenice Bramson (soprano); Sara Cutler (harp) 5 David Arnold (baritone); Zita Zohar (piano); Jonathan Haas (percussion) rec. 1977-1983. ADD LEONARDA LE 343 [72:01] [GPu]

A consistent perceptiveness as regards the meaning and shape of the words, without ever forfeiting the proper liberties of the composer. If you like modern song, this is a CD well worth hearing. ... 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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