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MusicWeb Recommended Recordings 2006 JAN-APR

[Jan - April] [May - August] [Sept - Dec] [2005]

UNEASY LISTENING - A caricature guide to 20th century composers
by John Minnion
109pp Paperback ISBN 0-9544499 1 6 [RB]

This is wonderfully well done as a book of illustrations. It tells us something of the psychology of the composer in each case and does so wittily and not without taking a few dangerous corners. ... see Full Review

Eric Charles Blake The book is well written and has good illustrations; it is strongly recommended. Wars, Dictators and the Gramophone 1898-1945 pp320; illustrated; laminated cover.published by Sessions of York, Huntingdon Rd, York YO31 9HS, England Buy from MusicWeb £10 plus postage - immediate delivery review



JANUARY

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann.Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo (c. 1720) CD 1 [61:35]
Sonata No 1 in G minor, BWV 1001; Adagio [4:05]; Fuga [4:49];Siciliana [3:04]; Presto [3:30]; Partita No.1 in B minor, BWV 1002; Allemanda [4:37];Double [2:14]; Corrente [3:29]; Double.Presto [3:22]; Sarabande [3:15];.Double [3:07];Temopo di Borea [3:30]; Double [3:22] Sonata No 2. in A minor, BWV 1003; Grave [4:27];Fuga [7:56]; Andante [5:33];Allegro [5:16]. CD 2 [68:43] Partita No 2 in D minor, BWV 1004; Allemanda [4:22]; Courante [2:26]; Sarabanda [3:28]; Giga [4:03]; Ciaccona [14:00]. Sonata No 3 in C major, BWV 1005;Adagio [3:22]; Fuga [9:06]; Largo [2:37]; Allegra assasi [4:45]. Partita No. 3 in E major, BWV 1006; Preludio [3:18]; Loure [3:45]; Gavotte en Rondeau [2:57]; Menuet I [1:38]; Minuet II [2:26]; Bourée [1:16]; Gigue [1:49] Gidon Kremer, violin rec: Partitas: 25-29 Sept. 2001, Lockenhaus, Pfarrkirche St. Nikolaus; Sonatas: 10-15 March 2002, Riga, Recording Studio. ECM NEW SERIES 1926/27 4767291 [61:35 + 68:43] [ZT]

For aficionados a significant void will exist in their collection if this fine recording is not included. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Sonata in G major, Op. 31, No 1 (1801-2) [24:39] Sonata in d minor, Op. 31, No. 2 "Tempest" (1801-2) [24:31] Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 31, No. 3 (1802) [24:24] Paul Lewis, piano rec. April 2005, Teldex Studio, Berlin HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901902 [73:55] [KS]

Paul Lewis is a talent for posterity, a pianist of such refinement that he is certain to make a mark in the world that will long outlast his time on the planet ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Slavonic Dances arr. for wind quintet by Guido Schäfer (Allegro scherzando op.46,2 [4:49]; Presto, op.46,8 [4:02]; Allegretto grazioso op.72,2 [5:43]; Allegro vivace (presto) op.72,7 [3:46]) Quartet op.96 in F, arr. for wind quintet by Guido Schäfer [25:41] (Allegro ma non troppo [9:56]; Lento [6:12]; Molto vivace [3:53]; Vivace, ma non troppo [5:25]) Bagatelles op.47, arranged for wind quintet by Volker Grewel (Allegretto scherzando [3:14]; Tempo di minuetto [2:37]; Allegretto scherzando [3:02]; Canon. Andante con moto [3:24]; Poco allegro [4:27]) Ma’a lot Quintet: Stephanie Winker (flute), Christian Wetzel (oboe), Ulf-Gudo Schäfer (clarinet), Volker Grewel (horn), Volker Tessmann (bassoon) rec. 10-12 February 2005, Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen. DDD MDG GOLD MDG345 1356-2 [61:19][GPJ]

Exceptionally felicitous ... highly skilled arrangements ... world-class playing from all five members of this stunning group. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH André JOLIVET (1905-1974) Piano Music: Volume 1 Cosmogonie (1938) [10:19]; Sarabande sur le nom d’Erik Satie (1925) [3:57]; Mana (1934) [13:03]; Etude sur les modes antiques (1944) [3:43]; Deux mouvements (1930) [15:50]; Romance barbare (1920) [3:39]; From Bom Bo (1935) [1:16]; Tango (1927) [3:10]; Algeria – Tango (1934) [2:19]; El viejo camello (1935) [1:37]; Danses pour Zizou (1934) [1:01]; Madia (1935) [0:54]; Sidi Ya Ya (1934) [6:54] Pascal Gallet (piano) rec. Salle Jeanne d’Albret, St-Germain en Laye, June 2003 MAGUELONE MAG 111.136 [68:58] André JOLIVET (1905-1974) Piano Music: Volume 2 Danses rituelles (1939) [28:21]; Trois temps (1930) [7:40]; Deuxième sonate (1957) [18:36]; Berceuse dans un hamac (1951) [2:18]; Danse caraïbe (1963) [0:20]; Danse roumaine (1949) [1:31]; Chansons naïves (1951) [15:23] Pascal Gallet (piano) rec. Salle Jeanne d’Albret, St-Germain en Laye, September 2004 MAGUELONE MAG 111.137 [70:16][HC]

An absolute must for all the Jolivet admirers but many other will derive much pleasure from the shorter, more accessible pieces before facing the demanding, but ultimately rewarding challenges of the bigger works. ... see Full Review

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

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

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

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

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949)
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

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

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
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

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Echoes of the East John WILLIAMS arr. Christian JENKINS Olympic Spirit (1998) [2:55] Karl JENKINS arr. Tony SMALL The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace [20:07] * Traditional arr. John IVESON Londonderry Air [2:56] # Vittorio MONTI arr. Steve YORK Czardas [3:46] + Martin BUNCE arr. Steve BRODIE Marianne [3:12] §
Herman BELLSTEDT arr. Robert CHILDS
Napoli [5:47] * Rodney NEWTON Echoes of the East [12:41] Jim WEBB arr. Barrie FORGIE MacArthur Park [9:04] Traditional arr. Barrie FORGIE Scarborough Fair [4:24] Harry JAMES arr. Bill GELDARD Trumpet Blues and Cantabile [2:36] Igor STRAVINSKY arr. Ray FARR Infernal Dance and Finale from The Firebird (1910) [7:35] David Childs (euphonium) * Chris Thomas (trombone) #
Owen Farr. (tenor horn) +, Joanne Deane (flugel horn) §. Buy As You View Band/Dr Robert Childs Rec. St Teilo Arts Centre, Wales, 17 July 2005. DDD DOYEN DOYCD195 [75:51] [TP]

All in all a splendid disc of light brass band fare. Buy and enjoy. ... see Full Review

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH The King's Singers - From Byrd to the Beatles William BYRD (1543-1623) Haec dies; O Lord make thy servant Elizabeth our Queen Thomas WEELKES (1576-1623) As Vesta was from Latmos Hill Descending Orlando DI LASSO (1532-1594) arr. MASON Dessus le Marche d'Arras Pierre PASSEREAU Il est bel et bon Carlo GESUALDO (c 1561-1613) Luci serene e chiare Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Si ch'io vorrei morire Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967) Esti dal Cyrillus KREEK Õnnis on inimene; Psalm 121 Max REGER (1873-1916) Agnus Dei Traditional arr. Philip LAWSON Down to the River to Pray Paul MCCARTNEY/John LENNON arr. HART Honey Pie Paul MCCARTNEY/John LENNON arr. RUNSWICK Blackbird Duke ELLINGTON arr. KUHN Creole Love Call Freddie MERCURY arr. HART Seaside Rendezvous Billy JOEL arr. Philip LAWSON Lullabye (Goodnight my Angel) Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) arr RUNSWICK Overture to the Barber of Seville Traditional arr. Fred WEATHERLEY Danny Boy Thomas TALLIS (c 1505-1585) Spem in Alium Paul DRAYTON Masterpiece The King's Singers rec. live in Cadogan Hall, London, 2005. ARTHAUS MUSIK DVD 101 248 [93:00][TP]

A fabulous DVD and one that will please and entertain all. Fans of the group will be delighted and new initiates will be entertained, no matter what their musical background. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ana María Martínez: Soprano Songs and Arias Léo DELIBES (1836 – 1891) Les filles de Cadix; Charles GOUNOD (1818 – 1893) Roméo et Juliette: Je veux vivre; Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924) Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro; Franz LEHÁR (1870 – 1948) Die lustige Witwe: Vilja-Lied; Pablo LUNA (1879 – 1942) El Niño Judío: De España vengo; Francis LÓPEZ (1916 – 1995) Violetas imperiales; Giacomo PUCCINI La Rondine: Chi il bel sogno di Doretta; Joseph CANTELOUBE (1879 – 1937) Chants d’Auvergne: Baïlèro; Giacomo PUCCINI Madama Butterfly: Un bel di vedremo; Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887 – 1959) Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 for voice and 8 cellos: Aria (Cantilena); Dança (Martelo) Ana María Martínez (soprano) Prague Philharmonia/Steven Mercurio Recorded in the Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague, in August 2000 NAXOS 8.557827 [53:26][GF]

One of the freshest, loveliest and most musical soprano voices to have appeared for some time. ... see Full Review

 


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

 

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

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

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

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

 

February

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

 

 RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen('Songs of a Wayfaring Lad')  Symphony No. 1 in D Major, 'Titan'  Christopher Maltman (baritone)  Philharmonia Orchestra/Benjamin Zander  including discussion disc  rec. Studio One, EMI Abbey Road (Songs), 11 July 2004; Watford Coliseum (Sym) 12-14 July 2004.  Symphony playable in DSD Surround and DSD Stereo on an SACD player. TELARC 2SACD-80628 [68.32 + 79.06] [JPr]

Mahler would have expected it to sound quite awful' - so why was it played so well on the recording?...see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Malcolm ARNOLD (b. 1921) The Return of Odysseus op. 119 (1976) [28:20] Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Suite Française (1944) [15:57] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Toward the Unknown Region (1907) [13:17] Anne Taylor (sop) (Arnold) The City of Glasgow Chorus The Orchestra of Scottish Opera/Graham Taylor rec. Scottish Opera Centre, Glasgow, 21-22 October 2005. DDD DIVINE ART 25035 [57:54] [RB]

An essential purchase for Arnoldists and Milhaud fans ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No. 9 in D minor Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Symphony No. 8 in B minor Unfinished NDR Sinfonieorchester/Günter Wand rec. live, Musik-und-Kongressehalle, Lübeck, 8 July 2001 DVD. DTS Stereo. LPCM Stereo TDK DV-COWAND4 [100:00] [JPh]

A superb DVD ... a wonderful reminder of conductor’s art and a fine performance in its own right. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Francisco GUERRERO (1528-1599) Missa Surge propera [31:12] Usquequo, Domine [5:24] Ave Maria [4:15] Hei mihi, Domine [4:21] Surge propera [7:21] Beata Dei genitrix [6:22] Ave virgo sanctissima [3:57] Regina caeli laetare [4:25] The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips rec. September 2004, Temple Church, London. DDD GIMELL CDGIM 040 [66:57][ABi]

A substantial and welcome contribution to the Guerrero discography – a fantastic marriage of choir and repertoire. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No 4 (arranged by Erwin Stein) Christiane Oelze (soprano) Thomas Christian Ensemble rec. Schloß Esterhazy, Eisenstadt, Austria, 28-30 May 2004. DDD MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 603 1320-2 [55’23] [AO]

The one version that comes closest to capturing the logic of the transcription and the gloriousness of the original symphony. Real understanding, conviction and panache. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Otto OLSSON (1879–1964) Requiem Op. 13 (1901–1903) Sylvia Lindenstrand (soprano); Inger Blom (alto); Björn Haugan (tenor); Olle Sköld (bass) Gustaf Vasa Oratorio Choir Royal Opera Orchestra/Anders Ohlson rec. 16 May 1993, Gustaf Vasa Church, Stockholm PROPRIUS PRSACD 9086 [67:44][GF]

Music of a young man with a positive view of life ... mirrored by the lightness and melodious quality of much of this Requiem. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OD THE MONTH Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891–1953) The Love for Three Oranges, Opera in four acts and a prologue (1921)
Libretto by the composer, for Vsevolod Meyerhold’s adaptation of L’amore delle tre melarance by Carlo Gozzi. English version by Tom Stoppard. see review for cast Opera Australia Chorus, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra/Richard Hickox A production by Opera Australia recorded live at the Sydney Opera House in February 2005 CHANDOS CHAN 10347 (2) [49:34 + 49:52] [GF]

Two of the most amusing hours I have had for a very long time – and I am not leading a particularly dull life. Great entertainment presented with the highest possible production values. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann STRAUSS I (1804-1849) Strauss Edition, Vol. 7: Mittel gegen den Schlaf, Walzer op.65 (1833) [06:52] Jugendfeuer-Galopp (1836) [02:31] Emlék Pestre (Erinnerung an Pesth) Walzer op.66 (1834) [07:26] Cachucha-Galopp op.97 (1837) [02:07] Gabrielen-Walzer op.68 (1834) [07:36] Boulogner-Galopp, op.104 (1839) [01:58] Pfennig-Walzer op.70 (1834) [06:52] Der Carneval in Paris, Galopp op.100 (1838) [02:39] Iris-Walzer op.75 (1834) [06:25] Original-Parade-Marsch op.73 (1832) [01:56] Erinnerungen an Berlin, Walzer op.78 (1834) [07:59] Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina/Ernst Märzendorfer rec. 1-6 May 2004, Fatra Concert Hall, Žilina, Slovakia MARCO POLO 8.225283 [54:22][CH]

The series reaches a new level of excellence. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard Wetz (1875-1935) Requiem Op. 50 in B minor (c. 1920) [60:06] (Requiem and Kyrie [12:04]; Dies Irae [13:31]; Domine Jesu [8:15]; Sanctus and Benedictus [13:14]; Agnus Die [13:02]) Marietta Zumbült (sop); Mario Hoff (bar) Dombergchor Erfurt/Silvius von Kessel Philharmonischer Chor Weimar/Andreas Korn Thüringisches Kammerorchester Weimar/George Alexander Albrecht rec. live, St. Severi, Erfurt, 27 September 2003. DDD CPO 777 152-2 [60:06] [JF]

One of the great unsung requiems in the liturgical literature. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Birgit Nilsson - Swedish Radio Concerts Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924) Tosca: Vissi d’arte; Turandot: In questa reggia; Carl Maria von WEBER (1786 – 1826) Oberon: Ozean, du Ungeheuer; Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 – 1827) Fidelio: Abscheulicher, wo eilst du hin; Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) Aida: O patria mia; La forza del destino: Pace, pace, mio Dio; Richard WAGNER (1813 – 1883) Tannhäuser: Dich, teure Halle, grüss’ ich wieder; Rolf LIEBERMANN (1910 – 1999) Penelope: Penelope’s aria; Franz BERWALD (1796 – 1868) Estrella de Soria: Estrella’s aria Birgit Nilsson (soprano), Swedish Radio Orchestra/Nils Grevillius (1, 4, 6), Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Nils Grevillius (2, 3, 5, 7), Royal Orchestra, Stockholm/Sixten Ehrling (8), Stockholm Radio Orchestra/Sten Frykberg (9) rec. Circus, Stockholm, January 15, 1961 (1, 4, 6), Concert Hall, Stockholm, August 18-19, 1961 (2, 3, 5), March 5, 1959 (7), Royal Academy of Music, Stockholm, April 18, 1955 (8), April 13, 1947 (9) BLUEBELL ABCD 055 [65:28][GF]

There are not many discs around with soprano singing that challenges this and none that surpasses it! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH The Ramallah Concert - West Eastern Divan Orchestra - Daniel Barenboim DVD 1: Knowledge is the beginning - a film produced and directed by Paul Smaczny [94:00] DVD 2: The Ramallah Concert - West-Eastern Divan Orchestra/Daniel Barenboim [112:00] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major for Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn, KAnh.9 (297b) Mohamed Saleh (oboe); Kinan Azmeh (clarinet); Mor Biron (bassoon); Sharon Polyak (horn) Speeches by Nabeel Hath and Mustafa Barghouti. Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67 Speeches by Miriam Said and Daniel Barenboim. Encore Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Nimrod from Enigma Variations Op. 36 West Eastern Divan Orchestra - Daniel Barenboim Recorded "live" at the Cultural Palace, Ramallah, 21 August 2005 and includes an 18 minute documentary directed by Ayellet Hallerr. Concert produced by Paul Smaczny Concert Director: Michael Beyer Documentary Director: Ayellet Heller Principal Photography: Nyika Jansco Picture format: NTSC/Colour/16.9 Sound formats: PCM Stereo. DTS 5.1 surround. DOLBY digital 5.1 Region 2-5 encoding. PAL Menu language English, German, French, Spanish and Arabic (for Knowledge Is The Beginning) WARNER VISION DVD VIDEO 2564 62792-2 [94:00 + 112:00] [DD]

Quite simply the best music DVD I’ve ever seen; it’s so much more than just music. ... see Full Review

 

 

 

 


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH William ALWYN (1905-1985) Symphony No. 4 (1959) [32:13] Sinfonietta for Strings (1970) [22:51] Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones rec. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 2-4 Aug 2004, 4 Jan 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557649 [55:04] [RB]

Spirited and well-recorded performances that will win new friends for Alwyn. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Seven Trio Sonatas, Op. 2: Sonata No.1 in B flat major, BuxWV 259 [8:33] Sonata No.2 in D major, BuxWV 260 [9:06] Sonata No.3 in G minor, BuxWV 261 [10:54] Sonata No.4 in C minor, BuxWV 262 [8:32] Sonata No.5 in A major, BuxWV 263 [9:15] Sonata No.6 in F major, BuxWX 265 [8:15] John Holloway (violin), Jaap ter Linden (viola da gamba), Lars Ulrik Mortensen (harpsichord) rec. 9-10 February, 20-21 September 1994, Kastelskirken, Copenhagen. NAXOS 8.557249 [63:13][GPu]

Surely some of the greatest chamber music of the baroque period, very well performed. A remarkable bargain ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Cockaigne (In London Town) – Concert Overture, Op. 40 (1900-01)* Rec. 11 April 1933, EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London Variations on an Original Theme (‘Enigma’), Op. 36 (1898-99)** Rec. 28 April, 30 August 1926, Queen’s Hall, London Pomp and Circumstance Marches Op. 39 No. 1 in D major (1901)** Rec. 27 April 1926, Queen’s Hall, London No. 2 in A minor (1901)** Rec. 27 April 1926, Queen’s Hall, London No. 3 in C minor (1904)*** Rec. 15 July 1927, Queen’s Hall, London No. 4 in G major (1907)*** Rec. 15 July 1927, Queen’s Hall, London No. 5 in C major (1930) *** Rec. 18 September 1930, Kingsway Hall, London Side 3 of the Cockaigne Overture in "Accidental Stereo" Rec. 11 April 1933, EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1, London Royal Albert Hall Orchestra ** London Symphony Orchestra *** BBC Symphony Orchestra * Edward Elgar (conductor) NAXOS 8.111022 [67:35] [DC]

There can be no doubting the historical value of this Naxos CD ... priceless! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Emil Gilels Edition
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Nocturne in C minor Op. 48 No. 1,
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor Op. 35 , Polonaise in A flat major Op. 53 "Heroic", Impromptu No. 2 in F sharp major Op. 36, Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor Op. 58 Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Sonata in B minor , Hungarian Rhapsody No. 15 "Rákoczy March",Piano Sonata in B minor ,Hungarian Rhapsody No. 9 "Peszter Carnaval" , Valse oubliée No. 1,Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Sonata No. 1 in F sharp minor Op. 11 , Arabesque in C major Op. 18 ,Piano Sonata No. 2 in G minor Op. 22 (with original finale) , Carnaval, Op. 9 Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Sonata No. 2 in D minor Op. 14, Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor Op. 28, Piano Sonata No. 8 in B flat major Op. 84,Visions fugitives (selection) Op.22 , Toccata Op. 11, March from "Love for Three Oranges" Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1916) Piano Sonata No. 3 in F sharp minor Op. 23, Piano Sonata No. 4 in F sharp minor Op. 30,Préludes Op. 74 Nicolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) Sonata in G minor Op. 22 Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Suite Pour le Piano, Images, book I Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Prélude, Forlane, Toccata, from Le Tombeau de Couperin, Pavane pour une infante défunte ,Jeux d'eau Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) 6 Morceaux, Op. 19 Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Piano Sonata No. 2 in E minor Op. 75 Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Daisies Op. 38 No. 3, Vocalise Op. 34 No. 14. Prelude in C sharp minor Op. 3 No. 2, Prelude in B flat major Op. 23 No. 2, Prelude in G flat major Op. 23 No. 10, Prelude in B major Op. 32 No. 11, Prelude in G minor Op. 23 No. 5, Etude-tableau in E flat minor Op. 39 No. 5, Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Four Ballades Op. 10 , Fantasien Op. 116 Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Piano Sonata in A flat major Op. 39 Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor Op. 30 Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor Op. 23 Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor Op. 11, Andante Spianato et grande polonaise Brillante in E flat major Op. 22 Emil Gilels (piano) USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Kyrill Kondrashin, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Kyrill Kondrashin Recording: 1-1949 (1), 10-1962 (2-4), 6-1952 (5/6) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92615 [10 CDs: 68.50 + 73.57 + 78.38 + 70.21 + 50.54 + 66.08 + 78.37 + 72.18 + 71.27 + 72.12] [JW]

Only the most sanguine of Gilels admirers can afford to be without it. The sound can be problematic, the provenance not yet fully established but the performances are, for the most part, magnificent. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Opera Arias: Armide: Le perfide Renaud me fuit [07:55]; Iphigénie en Aulide: Vous essayez en vain – Par la crainte [03:39]; Iphigénie en Tauride: Non, cet affreux devoir [04:25]; Iphigénie en Aulide: Adieu, conservez dans votre âme [03:28]; Alceste: Divinités du Styx [05:20]; La Rencontre Imprévue: Bel inconnu [01:59]; Je cherche à vous faire [02:51]; Paride ed Elena: Spiagge amate [02:00]; Oh, del mio dolce ardor [03:12]; Le belle immagini [03:36]; Di te scordarmi [04:46]; Orfeo ed Euridice: Che puro ciel [05:39]; Che farò senza Euridice [03:46] Dame Janet Baker (mezzo) English Chamber Orchestra/Raymond Leppard. rec. April 1975, London PHILIPS ELOQUENCE 476 2617 [52:36] [CH]

In general a thrillingly sung recital of music which, apart the two famous arias, is not particularly well-known. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Bo LINDE (1933-1970) Violin Concerto Op. 18 (1958) [26:15] Cello Concerto Op. 29 (1965) [30:03] Karen Gomyo (violin) Maria Kliegel (cello) Gävle Symphony Orchestra/Petter Sundkvist rec. 5-7 March 2003; 26-28 April 2004, Gevaliasalen, Gävle, Sweden first issued on Swedish Society Discofil, 2005 NAXOS 8.557855 [56:18] [RB]

Two romantic-dramatic concertos full of explosive action and searing sunny lyricism. I don’t buy the suggestion that Linde is a neo-classicist. Not to be missed ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Mstislav Rostropovich Edition Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E minor Op. 125: Andante [10:00]; Allegro giusto [16:16]; Andante con moto [9:50] Nicolai MIASKOVSKY (1882-1950) Cello Concerto in C minor Op. 66: Lento ma non troppo [10:02]; Allegro vivace [17:13] Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Kyrill Kondrashin; Recording: 27-12-1972 Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto in B minor Op. 104: Allegro [14:48]; Adagio ma non troppo [11:45]; Allegro moderato [12:39] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Cello Concerto in A minor Op. 129: Nicht zu schnell [10:43]; Langsam [3:33]; Sehr lebhaft [8:27] Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; USSR State Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, Boris Khaikin (Dvořák); USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Schumann); Recording: 23-6-1957 (Dvorak); 30-11-1960 (Schumann) Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Cello Concerto in A minor Op. 33: Allegro non troppo [6:00]; Allegretto con moto [3:50]; Molto allegro [7:59] Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major: Moderato [7:10]; Adagio [7:09]; Allegro molto [6:12] Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major: Allegro moderato [13:32]; Adagio [4:40]; Allegro [4:25] Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Victor Dubrovsky (Saint-Saens); Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Rudolf Barshai (Haydn); Recording: 14-2-1964 (Saint-Saens), 15-9-1963 (Haydn) Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Variations on a Rococo Theme Op. 33 [17:36]; Pezzo Capriccioso in B minor Op. 62 [6:56] Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Minstrel Song for Cello and Orchestra Op. 71 [4:31]; Melody [7:38] Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Concerto Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra – cello and piano reduction [22:03] Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; Unnamed pianist; USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Tchaikovsky); National Symphony Orchestra of the USSR, Nianonov (Glazunov); [Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Yevgeny Svetlanov (Khatchaturian) – claimed in documentation but actually a cello and piano reduction with unnamed pianist]; Recording: 30-11-1960 (1), 13-5-1964 (2), 22-9-1949 (3,4), 17-10-1965 (5) Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Cello Concerto No. 1 Op. 107: Allegretto [5:55]; Moderato [10:20]; Cadenza [4:57]; Allegro con moto [4:29] Boris TISHCHENKO (b.1939) Concerto for cello and 17 wind instruments and percussion [22:49] Victor VLASOV Cello Concerto: Movement 1 [11:00]; Movement 2 [3:05]; Movement 3 [9:46] Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Shostakovich); Symphony Orchestra, Yevgeny Svetlanov (Tishchenko); USSR State Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Vlasov); Recording: 10-2-1961 (Shostakovich), 28-11-1968 (Tishchenko), 13-5-1964 (Vlasov) Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Cello Sonata in C major Op. 119: Andante grave [10:08]; Moderato [4:06]; Allegro ma non troppo [7:02] Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Cello Sonata: Movement 1 [7:28]; Movement 2 [10:24] Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Russian Song [4:04] Eduard MIRZOYAN Cello Sonata [17:54] Mstislav ROSTROPOVICH Humoresque Op. 5 [2:08] Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; Alexander Dedukhin, piano (1-3, 6-8); Aram Khatchaturian, piano (4-5); Recording: 10-1-1967 (1-3,4); 11-11-1968 (6-8) Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Concertino for Cello and Orchestra in G minor Op. 132: Andante mosso [7:28]; Andante [5:43]; Allegretto [4:10] Mieczslaw VAINBERG (1919-1996) Cello Concerto in D minor Op. 43; Movement 1 [12:45]; Movement 2 [16:54] Lev KNIPPER (1898-1974) Concerto-Monologue [15:56] Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; USSR State Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Prokofiev); USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Vainberg, Knipper); Recording: 13-5-1964 (Prokofiev), 25-2-1964 (Vainberg, Knipper) Edouard LALO (1823-1892) Cello Concerto in D minor: Prélude (Lento-allegro maestoso) [12:27]; Intermezzo [5:40]; Andante-allegro Vivace [6:25] Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Cello Concerto: Andante-allegro [3:37]; Lento [6:31]; Allegro marcato [5:17] Henri SAUGUET (1901-1989) Melodie Concertante [Cello Concerto in D major] [22:15] Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Victor Dubrovsky; Recording: 14-2-1964 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Cello Sonata in C major Op. 102 No. 1: Andante-allegro Vivace [7:41]; Adagio-allegro vivace (track 2 and 3) [6:56] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Cello Sonata No 1 in E minor Op.38: Allegro non troppo [11:44]; Allegretto quasi minuetto [5:27]; Allegro [5:24] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Fünf Stücke im Volkston Op. 102: Mit Humor [3:07]; Langsam [3:07]; Nicht schnell, mit viel Ton zu spielen [1:10]; Nicht zu rasch [3:44]; Stark und markiert [2:19] Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Apres un rêve [3:18] Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Two Movements from The Firebird [3:09] Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) Ritual Fire Dance [3:04] D. MELE Brazilian Dance – Tijuka [2:35] Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; Alexander Dedukhin, piano; Recording: 7-11-1961 (1-3), 11-12-1960 (4-6), 15-12-1960 (7-15) Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Suite for cello solo No. 2 Op. 80: Declamatio (largo) [3:26]; Fuga (andante) [3:57]; Scherzo (allegro molto) [1:42]; Andante lento [4:37]; Ciaconna [6:07] Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Cello Sonata H 125: Allegro ben moderato [8:59]; Adagio ma non troppo [4:52]; Molto allegro agitato [7:22] George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Aria [3:44] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Suite for Cello solo No. 5 in C minor BWV 1011: Prelude [6:59]; Allemande [3:11]; Courante [1:32]; Sarabande [3:55]; Gavotte, attacca: Gigue [4:58] Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; Alexander Dedukhin, piano; Recording: 11-11-1968 (1-9), 15-12-1960 (10-14) under exclusive licence from Gostelradiofund, Russian Federation BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92771 [10 CDs: 63.41 + 62.14 + 61.06 + 58.59 + 72.41 + 63.28 + 63.15 + 62.23 + 63.24 + 66.00][JW]

Concerns over provenance swept away by the riches to be found in these ten excellently filled discs ... see Full Review

 

March

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Sinfonia per archi, Op.53 (1953 arr. 1960) [29:17] Adagio Amoroso for violin and orchestra (1967) [8:04] Intermezzo (1921) [8:26] Prelude and Fugue (1917 arr. 1933) [3:11] Suite No. 7 (after Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra), Op.29 (1926) [13:30] Camerata Nordica/Ulf Wallin (violin and conductor) rec. Virserum Kyrka, Sweden, March, Nov 2004. DDD CPO 777 156-2 [62:38] [RB]

Utterly unmissable. Beautiful coaxed and balanced dynamics, subtle and diaphanous textures contrast with resinous attack ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Fidelio, Opera in two acts (1804-05, rev. 1814) CD 1 Leonore Overture No. 2, Op. 72 (1805) [15.46] Fidelio, Act 1 CD2 Fidelio, Act 2 Leonore Overture No. 1 in C major, Op. 138 (1807) [11.27] Leonore Overture No. 3 in C major, Op. 72 (1805-06) [15.26] Fidelio Overture, Op. 72 (1814) [06.54] Kwangchul Youn, bass - Don Fernando Falk Struckmann, bass-baritone - Don Pizarro Plácido Domingo, tenor - Don Florestan Waltraud Meier, mezzo - Leonore René Pape, bass - Rocco Soile Isokoski, soprano - Marzelline Werner Güra, tenor - Jaquino Klaus Häger, bass - second prisoner, Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper, Berlin Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim, rec. May/June 1999, Broadcasting Hall, main radio station in former East Germany, Berlin. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 3984 25249-2 [77.54 + 79.56] [MC]

A dramatic and exciting performance. One of the finest modern Fidelios on record. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Sonata No.24 in F sharp major, Op.78 (1809) [11’03] 33 Variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op.120 (1823) [58’37] Nikolai Demidenko (piano) rec. St. Paul’s School, London 17-18 Feb 2005 ASV GOLD GLD 4017 [69’40] [TH]

A release of outstanding interest to both pianophiles and lovers of this wild, occasionally wacky, astonishing masterpiece. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH On Photography Gavin BRYARS (b. 1943) And so ended Kant’s travelling in this world (1997) [7:50] Three poems of Cecco Angiolieri (1997) [14:00] On Photography (1983) [13:14] Arturs MASKATS (b. 1957) Da ispravitsja molitva moja (1936) [12:17] Valentin SILVESTROV (b. 1937) Diptychon (date of composition not given) [12:17] Janis Maleckis (piano); Gavin Bryars (harmonium); Edgars Saksons (percussion); Monta Martinsone (soprano); Gundars Dzilums (baritone), Ensemble Cosmos Latvian Radio Choir/Sigvards Klava (conductor), Kaspars Putnins (On Photography) rec. 10-14 January 2005, St. Johns Church; Riga Reformer’s Church, Riga Latvia. GBR RECORDS BCGBCD07 [70:39] [DB]

Stunning performances of new works. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Sonata in B flat minor op.35 [26:39]; Ballade in G minor op.23 [09:23]; Andante spianato et Grande polonaise brillante op.22 [13:34]; Fantasia op.49 [13:29]; Waltz in A flat op.69/1 [04:34]; Waltz in A flat op.34/1 [05:53]; Waltz in E flat op. posth [03:11]; Scherzo no.2 in B flat minor op.31 [10:55]; Mazurka in A minor op.68/2 [03:22]; Mazurka in B minor op.33/4 [06:25]; Mazurka in D flat op.30/3 [03:36]; Berceuse in D flat op.57 [04:34] Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (piano) rec. Turin, 1962, RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana OPUS ARTE OA 0940 D [106:00][CH]

A quite extraordinary experience, something timeless ... see Full Review

RECORD OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) The Complete Piano Works Vol. 2 12 Études [46:57], La Plus que lente [4:47], 2 Arabesques [6:38], Hommage à Haydn [2:05], D’un Cahier d’esquisses [4:23] Joyce Hatto (piano) rec. Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, 28 December 2001 (Études), 4 April 2002 (Arabesques), 10 July 2002 (Hommage and Cahier), no date given for "La Plus que lente". CONCERT ARTIST CACD 9131-2 [65:22] [CH]

This looks like becoming a classic version. Indispensable, and especially recommended to those who have so far not warmed to the "Études". ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH George ENESCU (1881–1955) Piano Music, Vol. 2 CD1: Prelude and Fugue in C major (1903) [15:10]; Nocturne in D flat major (1907) [20:27]; Scherzo (1896) [5:58]; Pièce sur le nom de Fauré (1922) [3:05] CD2: Piano Sonata No. 1 in F sharp minor Op. 24/1 (1924) [25:08]; Piano Sonata No. 3 in D major Op. 24/3 (1934) [23:30] Luiza Borac (piano) rec. 4-5, 7 July 2005, St. Dunstan’s Church, Mayfield, England AVIE AV2081 (SACD) [44:50 + 48:53] [GF]

One must wonder why this music isn’t heard more often,. Two discs abounding in ravishing pianism ... hard to imagine this music better played. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Joseph JONGEN (1873 – 1953) Piano Music: Volume 2 CD 1 Toccata Op.91 (1929) [4:05] Sarabande triste Op.58 (1918) [5:45] Sérénade Op.19 (1901) [5:27] Deux études de concert Op.65 (1920) [13:01] Mazurka Op.126bis (1943) [5:16] Mazurka et Napolitania Op.76 (1924) [12:32] Première Ballade Op.105 (1936) [9:00] Deuxième Ballade Op.119 (1941) [11:58] CD 2 Bourrée dans le style ancien Op.123 (1942) [8:00] Sarabande dans le style ancien (1902) [2:57] Troisème étude Op.84 (1924) [3:18] Trois pièces Op.102 (1936) [7:57] Jeux de Nymphes Op.91 No.2 (1927) [3:27] En forme de valse Op.43 (1913) [5:42] Treize Préludes Op.69 (1923) [38:45] CD 3 Dix Pièces Op.96 (1932) [30:34] Fantasie sur deux Noëls populaires wallons Op.24 (1902)a [15:07] Pages intimes Op.55 (1917)a [8:16] Jeux d’enfants Op.120 (1941)a [9:19] Trois pièces Op.129 (1950)a [10:25] Intermezzo-piccolo Op.136bis (1950)a [2:48] Diane Andersen (piano); Diane Andersen, André De Groote (piano duet)a rec. Recital Studio, Tihange, Belgium, no date, published 2005 PAVANE ADW 7477-9 [70:59 + 70:59 + 77:15] [HC]

Pure joy from first to last, and a must for all the admirers of Jongen’s music. All who respond to Debussy’s, Ravel’s or Ireland’s piano music will find plenty to enjoy here. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni (1787) Wojtek Drabowicz (baritone) - Don Giovanni; Anatoly Kocherga (bass) - Commendatore; Regina Schörg (soprano) - Donna Anna; Marcel Reijans (tenor) - Don Ottavio; Véronique Gens (soprano); Keanchul Youn (bass) - Leporello; Felipe Bou (bass) - Masetto; Marisa Martins (soprano) - Zerlina; Chamber Choir of the Palau de la Música Catalana; Orchestra Academy of the Gran Teatro del Liceu/Bertrand de Billy. Director: Calixto Bieito. rec. Gran Teatro del Liceu, 12, 17 December 2002. OPUS ARTE OA 0921 D [2 DVDs: 156'00][CC]

A wonderful set, and certainly my preferred modern-day Giovanni on DVD. I was left stunned in admiration ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Nicolò PAGANINI (1782 – 1840) Guitar Music Grand Sonata in A major [21:35]; Sonata No. 4 in D major [3:51]; Ghiribizzi [8:56]: Nos. 15; 16; 37; 38; 22; Sonata No. 30 in A major [3:11]; Sonata No. 6 in F major [4:15]; Sonata No. 14 in F major [5:09]; Three Caprices (originally for solo violin) [14:06]: Nos. 11; 5; 24 Marco Tamayo (guitar) rec. St John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, 10-13 June 2004 NAXOS 8.557598 [61:04] [ZT]

There is no finer recording in existence of Paganini’s music for solo guitar. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sacred Choral Music - Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks Francis POULENC (1899-1963) 1. Salve Regina [4:12] Missa in G 2. Kyrie [3:19] 3. Gloria [3:41] 4. Sanctus [2:25] 5. Benedictus [3:31] 6. Agnus Dei [4:59] Soloists: Masako Goda, soprano; Gabriele Weinfurter, alto; Andreas Schulist, tenor. 7. Ave verum Corpus [2:08] 8. Exultate Deo [2:37] 4 Bußpsalmen 9. Timor et tremor [3:02] Vinea me electa [3:44] 11. Tenebrae facta sunt [4:00] 12. Tristis est anima mea [3:04] Soloist: Prisker Eser-Streit, soprano Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902 -1986) Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriennes 13. Ubi caritas [2:06] 14. Tota pulchra es [1:57] 15. Tu es Petrus [0:56] 16. Tantum ergo [2:56] Ton de LEEUW (1926-1996) 17. Prière [9:02] Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) O sacrum convivium [5:10] Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Peter Dijkstra Rec. 16-20 July 2004, Bavaria Studio, Munich, Germany OEHMS CLASSICS OC540 [64:06] [GPJ]

A rare treat for lovers of choral music, and for lovers of French music too ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk - opera in four acts (1934) Libretto: Dmitri Shostakovich and Alexander Preys, after the novella by Nikolay Leskov Katerina Ismailova - Nadine Secunde Sergey - Christopher Ventris Boris Ismailov - Anatoli Kotcherga Zinoviy Ismailov - Francisco Vas Shabby Peasant - Graham Clark Aksinya - Mireille Capelle Sonyetka - Nino Surguladze Chief of Police - Juha Kotilainen Teacher - John Hurst Priest - Maxim Mikhailov Old Convict - Yevgeny Nesterenko Chamber Chorus of the Palau de la Música Catalana Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona/Alexander Anissimov Stage Director: Stein Winge Video Director: Toni Bargalló Recorded live at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, May 2002
LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital Surround, Format - NTSC 16:9 EMI CLASSICS 5 99730 9 [2 DVDs: 187:15] [ABa]

An exceptionally good performance of a very important opera that so seldom appears on the stage. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Eric WHITACRE (b. 1970) Cloudburst and other choral works i thank You God for most this amazing day (1999) [6:05] I hide myself (1991) [2:51] Sleep (2000) [5:33] i will wade out (1999) [2:45] Go, lovely Rose (1991) [4:07] When David heard (1999) [12:57] hope, faith, life, love (1999) [3:50] Cloudburst* (1993) [8:25] With a lily in your hand (1991) [2:27] This Marriage (2004) [2:59] Water Night (1995) [5:03] A Boy and a Girl [2002) [4:25] Her sacred spirit soars (2002) [5:08] Lux aurumque (2000) [4:08] Polyphony/Stephen Layton. *with Stephen Betteridge (piano); Robert Millett (percussion); pupils of The Lady Eleanor Holles School, Hampton, Middlesex rec. The Temple Church, London, 3-5 January 2005. DDD HYPERION CDA67543 [70:50] [JQ]

Whitacre’s a highly significant composer with a very genuine gift for choral writing with that priceless ability to communicate strongly and effectively with his audience. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Delectatio Angeli: Music of love, longing and lament John BEDYNGHAM (c.1460) O rosa bella [3.38]; Bernart de VENTADORN (1125-1195) Can vei la lauzete mover [7.15]; Jehan VAILLANT (fl.c.1360-90) Par maintes foys [2.49]; Etienne de MEAUX (fl.c.1300) Trop est mes maris jalos [3.28]; Francesco LANDINI (1325-1397) Giunta vaga bilta [2.35]; Matheus de PERUSIO (d.1418) le greygnour bien [4.36]; Johannes CICONIA (1335-1411) Per quella strada [3.19]; Guillaume DUFAY (c.1397-1474) Hélas mon dueil [3.14]; L’alta belleza tua [1.38]; Anon English 13th Century English Dance; Anon Spanish c.1300 Four Planctus (La Huelgas ms) [15.54] Catherine Bott and friends (Pavlo Beznosiuk and Mark Levy (medieval fiddles)) rec. Angel Studios, Islington, London, April 2001. HYPERION CDA 67549 [62.26] [GH]

I enjoyed practically everything that this disc offered with the Dufay being the star. I know of no just cause or impediment why everyone else shouldn’t do so as well. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Grigory Sokolov plays Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms CD 1 and 2 Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 (circa 1749-50) Partita No. 2, BWV 826 (circa 1727) rec. Gramzapis Studio, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1982 (available individually on OPUS 111, OP30346) CD 3 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Rondo in C major, Op. 51, No. 1 (1797) Rondo in G major, Op. 51, No. 2 (1800) Rondo alla ingharese quasi un capriccio (Rage over a lost penny), Op. 129 (1795) Sonata No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 7 (1797) Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101 (1816) rec. Villa dei Cedri, Cola di Lazise, Italy, March 1991 (available singly on OPUS 111, OP30420) CD 4 Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) 24 Préludes, Op. 28 (1831-39) rec. Salle Adyar, Paris, France, June 1990 (available singly on OPUS 111, OP30336) CD 5 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Four Ballades, Op. 10 (1854) Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5 (1853) rec. Salle Gaveau, Paris, France, 10 December 1992 (Ballades), 20 December 1993 (Sonata) (available singly on OPUS 111, OP30366) Grigory Sokolov (piano) NAÏVE OP30421 [5 CDs: 54:39 + 55:33 + 71:13 + 60:06 + 66:58][MC]

Accolades for these sterling performances. Should anyone want evidence of a true genius at work then this set provides it ... see Full Review


HISTORICAL RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Lionel Tertis – The Complete Columbia Recordings 1924-1933 BIDDULPH 80216-2
[4 CDs: 79.39 + 70.55 + 76.04 + 79.27]

 


BARGAINS OF THE MONTH

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) CD 1 [63:59) Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 BWV 846-869 (1722)  Rec. March 1949 in RCA Studio B, New York, New York and Feb 1951, Lakeville, Connecticut  CD 2 [68:42] Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 BWV 846-869 (1722) Rec. February 1951 in Lakeville, Connecticut CD 3 [54:30] Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 BWV 870-893 (1738-1742) Rec. June 1951 to March 1954, Lakeville, Connecticut CD 4 [64:08]  Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 BWV 870-893 (1738-1742) Rec. June 1951 to March 1954, Lakeville, Connecticut CD 5 [61:43]  Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 BWV 870-893 (1738-1742) Rec. June 1951 to March 1954, Lakeville, Connecticut CD 6 [64:40]Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 1(1741-1742) [48:44] Rec. New York, 5–12 June 1945; Concerto in D major after Vivaldi, BWV 972 (1708-1717) [8:43]  Rec. 2 July 1946, Lotus Club, New York City;  Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 906 (ca.1738) [3:43]  Rec. Lakeville, Connecticut, 1957; Prelude, Fugue and Allegro for Lute in E flat major, BWV 998 (ca.1740) [12:40]  Rec. 20 February 1946, Lotus Club, New York City  CD 7 [64:35] Two-Part Inventions BWV 772-786 (1723) Rec. Lakeville, Connecticut (1954 - 1955); Fantasie in C minor, BWV 919 (after 1712) [1:25]  Rec. 2 May 1946, Lotus Club, New York City;  Three-Part Inventions, BWV 787-801 (1723) Rec. Lakeville, Connecticut (1958 - 1959);
Capriccio in B flat major on the Departure of his Most Beloved Brother, BWV 992 (ca.1704) [11:12]  Rec. 11-12 September 1957, Lakeville, Connecticut; Partita for Keyboard no 2 in C minor, BWV 826 (1726-1731) [19:25] Rec. February and March 1957, Lakeville, Connecticut Wanda Landowska, harpsichord
(ADD) RCA RED SEAL 82876-67891-2 LC 00316 [7 CDs: 63:59 + 68:42 + 54:30 + 64:08 + 61:43 + 64:40 + 64:35] [DC]

At somewhere just under three pounds a disc this box comes in as something of a bargain, so, make the most of it! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH George Frederick HANDEL (1685-1759) Water Music (c.1715-17 rev 1736) Water Music: Suite No. 1 in F major, HWV 348 [29’24"] (I. Overture. II. Adagio e staccato 05:07; III. Allegro. IV. Andante 06:53; V. Allegro 03:42; VI. Air 02:29; VII. Minuet 02:11; VIII. Bourree 02:11; IX. Hornpipe 02:41; X. Allegro 04:09) Water Music: Suite No. 2 in D major, HWV 349 (1717) (I. Allegro 02:07; II. Alla Hornpipe 02:59; III. Minuet 01:52; IV. Lentement 02:05; V. Bourree 01:25 Water Music: Suite No. 3 in G major, HWV 350 (1717) (I. Sarabande 02:59; II. Rigaudon I and II 02:38; III. Minuet I and II 03:34; IV. Bourree I and II 01:41) Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749) HWV 351 [20:06]
(I. Overture 07:17; II. Bourree 03:05; III. La paix 03:23; IV. La rejouissance 03:05; V. Minuet I - Minuet II 03:17)  Aradia Ensemble/Kevin Mallon rec. St Anne’s Church, Toronto, Canada, 5-8 Jan 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557764 [71:00] [DD]

A winner from start to finish - Handel’s music is given a splendid rendition! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854-1921) Hänsel und Gretel - A fairy opera in three acts (1890-93) libretto by Adelheide Wette Hänsel: Frederica von Stade (mezzo) Gretel: Ileana Cotrubaş (soprano) Mother: Christa Ludwig (mezzo) Father: Siegmund Nimsgern (baritone) The Sandman: Kiri Te Kanawa (soprano) The Dew Fairy: Ruth Welting (soprano) The Witch: Elisabeth Söderström (soprano) Children’s chorus of the Cologne Opera Gürzenich Orchestra/John Pritchard rec. 1978, Erholungshaus, Leverkusen, Germany. ADD. CD 2 contains a PDF file with the libretto in German, English, French and Italian. SONY CLASSICAL S2K 96455 [61.22 + 46.20] [ED]

When it comes to the music however, this is a set without a weak link and it provides continual pleasure. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Madama Butterfly (1904) [135:29] Victoria de los Angeles (Madama Butterfly, soprano), Giuseppe Di Stefano (Pinkerton, tenor), Tito Gobbi (Sharpless, baritone), Anna Maria Canali (Suzuki, mezzo), Maria Huder (Kate Pinkerton, mezzo), Renato Ercolani (Goro and Prince Yamadori, tenor), Bruno Sbalchiero (Imperial Commissioner, bass), Arturo La Porta (Zio Bonzo, bass) Rome Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Gianandrea Gavazzeni rec. 1954 (no other information) La Bohème: Sì, mi chiamano Mimì [05:01], Donde lieta uscì [03:09] Victoria de los Angeles (soprano) Rome Opera Orchestra/Giuseppe Morelli, rec. 1954 REGIS RRC 2070 [69:12 + 74:27] [CH]

A thrilling and moving experience with no weak link … a classic set ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) The War Symphonies: No. 4 in C minora (1935/6) [64'12]; No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47b (1937) [48'09]; No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54c (1939) [27'53]; No. 7 in C, Op. 60, 'Leningrad'd (1941) [78'50]; No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65e (1943) [63'16]; No. 9 in E flat, Op. 70c (1945) [25'45]. Kirov Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, dRotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra/Valery Gergiev. DDD PHILIPS 470 841-2 [5 CDs] [CC]

A must for all students of Shostakovich. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Pulcinella* (1920) [36:22] The Fairy’s Kiss** (1928) [42:01] Diana Montague, (mezzo)* Robin Leggate, (tenor)* Mark Beesley, (bass)* Philharmonia Orchestra/Robert Craft * London Symphony Orchestra/ Robert Craft ** rec. Abbey Road Studio No.1, London, 3-5 January 1995 (The Fairy’s Kiss), 31 January and 1 February 1997 (Pulcinella). DDD NAXOS 8.557503 [78:23] [DC]

This CD attracts another unhesitating recommendation and collectors should add it to the Stravinsky/Craft section on their shelves. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sir Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998) Concerto for Double String Orchestra (1938-39) [22.25] Little Music for String Orchestra (1946) [10.59] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Five Variants of ‘Dives and Lazarus’ (1939) [11.12] Partita for Double String Orchestra (1946-48) [20.21] English Sinfonia/John Farrer rec. 23, 27 November 1995, Walthamstow Town Hall, London (Concerto); May 1992, Henry Wood Hall, London (Little Music); 1-2 July 1996, St Giles Cripplegate, London (Vaughan Williams) SANCTUARY CLASSICS CD RSN 3057 [65.11] [DC]

A welcome collection of interesting and attractive pieces for strings. These yield little or nothing to more expensive versions ... see Full Review
 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH The John Browning Edition 4 Volumes See review for details MSR CLASSICS MS 1120-3 [63.59]

A heart-warming selection and shows just what a powerful and impressive musician he was. Gives a strong insight into the younger Browning’s sensitive musicianship. ... see Full Review


APRIL 2006

 

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard ARNELL (b. 1917) Symphony no.3 op.40 (1944-45) [62:07] The New Age – Overture op.2 (1939) [9:38] Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Martin Yates rec. Glasgow, 4-5 September 2005 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7161 [72:10] [RB]

The Arnell Third Symphony: a most impressive work of epic symphonic weight, circumstance and moment. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH The American Cello Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Cello Concerto Op. 22 (1946) [26:54] Chen YI (b. 1953) Cello Concerto Eleanor’s Gift (1998/1999) [15:19] Behzad RANJBARAN (b. 1955) Cello Concerto (1998/2000) [29:49] Paul Tobias (cello) Virginia Symphony Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta rec. Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, VA, USA, 26 Jan 2001 (Ranjbaran); 15-16 Feb 2003 (Chen Yi, Barber). DDD world premiere recordings: Chen Yi and Behzad Ranjbaran ALBANY RECORDS TROY648 [72:08] [RB]

Three American cello concertos in contrasting styles. The Chen Yi is in a tough idiom contrasting with the frank romanticism of the Barber and the grace and optimistic favour of the Ranjbaran ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets (complete) (1798-1827) The Borodin Quartet Volume 1: String Quartet Opp. 59 No. 1 (1806) [39.57] and No. 3 (1806) [32.58] CHANDOS CHAN 10178 [72.59] Volume 2: String Quartet Op. 59 No. 2 (1806) [44.50] and Op. 74 (1809) [33.26] CHANDOS CHAN 10191 [78.30] Volume 3: String Quartets Op. 95 (1810) [22.18], Op. 131 (1826) [38.01] and Op. 133 (1826) [16.52] CHANDOS CHAN 10268 [77.24] Volume 4: String Quartets Op. 127 (1824) [37.22], Op. 130 (1826) [42.11] CHANDOS CHAN 10292 [79.39] Volume 5: String Quartet No. 15 Op. 132 (1825) [46.13], String Quartet No. 16 Op. 135 (1826) [26.24] CHANDOS CHAN 10304 [72.48] Volume 6: Quartets 1 - 6, Op. 18 (1798 - 1801) [31.44] No. 2 [24.01] No. 3 [26.12] No. 4 [24.41] No. 5 [32.14] No. 6 [28.03] CHANDOS CHAN 10381(3) [55.58 + 51.06 + 60.30] Borodin Quartet (2005): Ruben Aharonian (violin); Andre Abramenkov (violin); Igor Naidin (viola); Valentin Berlinsky (cello) rec. Small Hall, and Great Hall, Conservatory, Moscow, Russia, 2003 - 2006. Notes in English, Deutsch, Français. [PSh]

For my money the best set of Beethoven quartets ever produced. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Mauro GIULIANI (1781-1829) Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, No. 1 in A major op.30 (1808) [30:18] Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, No. 2 in A major op. 36 (1812) [29:26] Edoardo Catemario (guitar) Wiener Akademie/Martin Haselböck. rec. November 2002, Hofburg Chapel, Vienna. ARTS 47688-2 [60:02][GPu]

A vivid recording of delightful music, played on period instruments, ... thoroughly charming and in its unassuming way rather beautiful ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Asger Hamerik (1843-1923) Choral-Symphony No. 7 for orchestra, chorus and mezzo Op. 40 (1906) [35:14] Requiem for orchestra, chorus and contralto Op. 34 (1886-7) [43:33] Randi Stene (mezzo) Danish National Choir DR/Saul Zaks Danish National Symphony Orchestra DR/Thomas Dausgaard rec. Danish Radio Concert Hall, 6-7 Sept 2002 (Requiem); 12-15 May 2005 (Symphony 7). DACAPO 8.226033 [78.51] [RB]

Two sensational choral-orchestral works. One of those CDs where you want to play it to friends without telling them beforehand what they will be hearing. Reactions should be fascinating. Deeply impressive. A resounding and sonorous success. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (original piano versions) Der Schildwache Nachtlied [6:13] Revelge* [7:08] Rheinlegendchen [3:26] Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht? [2:10] Verlorne Müh’! [7:11] Trost im Unglück [2:21] Lob des hohen Verstands [2:59] Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt [4:14] Lied des Verfolgten im Turn [4:26] Der Tambourg’sell [6:31] Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen [8:13] Das irdische Leben [2:51] Das himmlische Leben* [8:25] Urlicht* [5:19] “Es sungen drei Engel einen süssen Gesang”* [4:22] Thomas Hampson (baritone); Geoffrey Parsons (piano) rec. Teldec Studio, Berlin, November 1991, June 1993.DDD *World première recording WARNER CLASSICS 9031 74726-2 [73:06][JQ]

I’ve heard some very fine recital discs from Thomas Hampson in the past but this is one of the finest of all. An outstanding achievement! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claudio SANTORO (1919-1989) Symphony No 4 Sinfonia da Paz* (1953/4) [25:29] Ponteio for string orchestra (1953) [5:48] Symphony No 9 (1982) [25:00] Frevo (1953/1982) [2:40] *São Paulo Symphony Choir São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP)/John Neschling rec. Sala São Paulo, Brazil, February 2002. DDD BIS CD1370 [60:12] [PCW]

A very fine disc and a chance to discover some music that surely should be more widely known … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) CD1 Fantasie for Piano Four Hands, D940 (1828) [18:45] Allegro for Piano Four Hands, D947, “Lebensstürme” (1828) [15:17] CD2 Sonata for Piano Four Hands, D812, “Grand Duo” (1824) [40:47] Characteristic March No.1, D968b [6:02] Military March No.1, D733 [4:39] Evgeny Kissin (piano) James Levine (piano) rec. live, 1 May 2005, Carnegie Hall, New York City BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876 69283 2 [34:05 + 51:33] [DC]

Superb! The energy and spirit of these live performances have that quality of uniqueness which means they can take pride of place alongside any studio recording one can name ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin concerto 1 in A minor, Op.77 [39:29] a Leoš JANÁČEK (1854–1928) Violin concerto, Die Wanderung einer Seele [11:41] b Baiba Skride (violin)a Munich Philharmonic/Mikko Frank (conductor) b Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Marek Janowski (conductor) rec. live, Philharmonie, Munich, 16-18 April 2004 (Shostakovich), Berlin, 25 August 2004 (Janáček). DDD. SONY CLASSICAL 82876731462 [52:41] [ED]

White-hot Shostakovich ... Skride is a serious artist. More please, and soon! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Wasps (1909)Text: Aristophanes English singing translation and narration: David Pountney Henry Goodman (narrator) Hallé Choir/Richard Suart/James Burton Hallé/Mark Elder rec. 26-28 July 2005, Albert Halls, Bolton. DDD world premiere recording; studio recordingrecording in association with BBC and BBC Radio 3 with support from the Vaughan Williams Estate HALLÉ CD CD HLD7510 [44:07 + 61:30] [RB]

Some may find this an unnerving experience but it works superbly well provided you are ready for the salty dialogue. It’s a small price to pay for the fascination and delight of hearing so much familiar and unfamiliar Vaughan Williams. ... see Full Review

 

 


BARGAINS OF THE MONTH

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH William BOLCOM (b. 1938) Complete Violin Sonatas First Sonata (1956, revised version) [21:54] Second Sonata (1978) [17:59] Third Sonata (Sonata Stramba) (1993) [21:46] Fourth Sonata (1994) [15:13] Solomia Soroka (violin); Arthur Greene (piano) rec. Britton Recital Hall, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, January 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.559150 [76:52][PCW]

An imaginatively varied and powerful series ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856) Lieder: Fünf frühe Lieder, op. posth. (1828): Kurzes Erwachen; Gesanges Erwachen; An Anna I; An Anna II; Im Herbste; Zwölf gedichte von Justinus Kerner, Op. 35 (1840): Lust der Sturmnacht; Stirb, Lieb’ und Freud’!; Wanderlied; Erstes Grün; Sehnsucht nach der Waldgegend; Auf das Trinkglas eines verstorbenen Freundes; Wanderung; Stille Liebe; Frage; Stille Tränen; Wer machte dich so krank?; Alte Laute; Fünf Lieder, Op. 40 (1840): Märzveilchen; Muttertraum; Der Soldat; Der Spielmann; Verratene Liebe; from Fünf Lieder und Gesänge, Op. 127 (1850-1851): Sängers Trost; From Vier Gesänge Op. 142 (1852): Trost im Gesang Thomas Hampson (baritone), Geoffrey Parsons (piano) rec. Siemensvilla, Berlin, December 1989 WARNER CLASSICS 2292 44935-2 [66:18] [GF]

Hampson during his early bloom ... nimble, sappy, beautiful, perfectly controlled and moving effortlessly between head-voice and chest-voice. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ernst TOCH (1887-1964) Symphony no 1, Op. 72 (1951-1952) [39:52] Symphony no 2, Op. 73 (1953) [32:20] Symphony no 3, Op. 75 (1955) [27:49] Symphony no 4, Op. 80 (1957) [26:45] Symphony no 5, Op. 89 Jephtha (1963) [23:51] Symphony no 6, Op. 93 (1963) [22:25] Symphony no 7, Op. 95 (1964) [22:18] Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Alun Francis rec. Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany (1995 - 2002) DDD CPO 777 191-2 [3 CDs: 66:38 + 60:11 + 68:58] [RB]

A compact and inexpensive introduction to the seven symphonies of the intricately inventive Ernest Toch said by himself to be a dachshund in the USA when he had been a St Bernard in Germany. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) The Verdi Recordings (Arturo Toscanini) La Traviata, I Lombardi: Act III Trio, Rigoletto: Act IV, Nabucco (excerpts), Un ballo in maschera, Luisa Miller: Overture & Act II arias, I vespri siciliani: Overture, La forza del destino: Overture, Aida, Imno delle nazioni, Otello, Falstaff, Te Deum: No. 4 Quattro pezzi sacri, Messa da Requiem see review for performer and recording details, NBC Symphony Orchestra/ Arturo Toscanini. Recordings, when not otherwise indicated, at NBC Studio 8-H, New York City BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876-67893-2 [12 CDs: 75:48 + 76:32 + 76:03 + 71:37 + 36:59 + 68:25 + 45:45 + 62:24 + 61:59 + 55:00 + 77:42 + 77:36] [GF]

At the ridiculously low price this box should be an obligatory buy for every opera lover! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Isang YUN (1917–1995) Chamber Symphony I (1987) [26:53] Tapis (1987) [8:23] Gong-Hu (1984)a [25:47] Rana Park (harp)a; Korean Chamber Ensemble/Piotr Borkowski rec. Seoul National University Concert Hall, Seoul, August 2005 NAXOS 8.557938 [61:03][HC]

If you have never heard Yun’s music and are willing to give it a try, you will not be disappointed either by the pieces or the fine performances heard here. ... see Full Review

 


Continued... May-Aug

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