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MusicWeb Recommended Recordings 2006 May- Aug

[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




RECORDING OF THE MONTH Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Värmlands Rhapsody, Op. 36 (1951-52) [9:05] Violin Concerto, Op. 7 (1913) [37:03] Overture in a minor, Op. 4 (1910-11) [13:18] Ulf Wallin, violin Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin/Roger Epple rec. 2-4 November 2004  Jesus Christus Kirche, Berlin CPO 777 106-2 [59:26] [KS]

Any listener who would not be pleased by this superb music should take the next available appointment for a hearing examination. Not to be missed. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH John FOULDS (1880-1939) Dynamic Triptych for piano and orchestra Op. 88 (1927-29) [25:38] April - England (Impressions of Time and Place No. 1) for orchestra Op. 48 No. 1 (1926 orch. 1932) [7:56] Music-Pictures Group III op. 33 (1912) [19:06] The Song of Ram Dass (1935) [3:13] Keltic Lament Op. 29 No. 2 (Keltic Suite) (1911) [4:38] Peter Donohoe (piano) City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo rec. Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 11, 13, 15-16 Jan 2006. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564 62999-2 [61:05] [RB]

The delightfully relentless tread of the Foulds Edition ... a disc not just for British music buffs but for anyone who values music of stunning originality and otherworldly beauty. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sofia GUBAIDULINA (b. 1931) The Deceitful Face of Hope and of Despair - concerto for flute and large orchestra (2005) [29:55] Sieben Worte (Seven Words) for cello, bayan (accordion) and strings (1982) [31:24] Sharon Bezaly (flute); Torleif Thedéen (cello); Mie Miki (accordion) Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Mario Venzago
rec. Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden, May 2005 (flute concerto); August 2004 (Sieben Worte) BIS SACD 1449 [61:19] [JuW]

For those with a serious interest in Gubaidulina and her contemporaries this is a must ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Emmerich KÁLMÁN (1882-1953) Die Herzogin von Chicago (The Duchess of Chicago)- Operetta in Two Acts (1928) Libretto by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald, revised by Dominik Wilgenbus and Stefan Frey. Peter Matic (King Pánkraz); Mehrzad Montazeri (Prince Boris); Norine Burgess (Miss Mary Lloyd); Renée Schüttengruber (Princess Rosemarie); Wolfgang Gratschmaier (Bondy); Josef Luftensteiner (Finance Minister); Sándor Németh (Minister of State) Chorus, Orchestra and Ballet of the Volksoper Wien/Michael Tomaschek Rudolf Berger (Director) Dominik Wilgenbus (Producer) Marcus Tesch (Choreographer) Co production of Volksoper Wien and Capriccio Music. Recorded live, Vienna, 2005 DVD-all regions CAPRICCIO 93509 [145:00] [AOz]

It’s not "opera archaeology" by any means, but operetta for our times. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Rolf LISLEVAND (b. 1961) Nuove musiche Sources: Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger (c. 1575-1661); Domenico Pellegrini (c. 1610-1662); Alessandro Piccinini (1566-1638); Luys de Narváez (1500-1555); The Margaret Board Lute Book (c. 1620-1635); Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643); Bernardo Gianoncelli (fl. 1650) Arpeggiata addio [7:17] Passacaglia antica I [2:09] Passacaglia andaluz I [2:35] Passacaglia antica II [2:03] Passacaglia cromatica [1:52] Passacaglia antica III [1:48] Passacaglia cantus firmus [2:33] Passacaglia celtica [2:00] Passacaglia spontanea [4:13] Passacaglia andaluz II [2:15] Toccata [5:31] Passacaglia cantata [4:13] Corrente [2:18] Corrente [1:47] Toccata [2:38] Ciaccona [2:57] Toccata cromatica [3:45] Rolf Lislevand (archlute, baroque guitar, theorbo) Arianna Savall (triple harp, voice) Pedro Estevan (percussion) Bjørn Kjellemyr (colascione, double-bass) Guido Morini (organ, clavichord) Marco Ambrosini (nyckelharpa - viola d’amore a chiavi) Thor-Harald Johnsen (chitarra battente) rec. Rainbow Studio, Oslo, October 2004 ECM NEW SERIES 1922 [52:15] [DC]

You really want this CD – I’m telling you, but you don’t really want as much as need it – you’ll certainly find yourself taking a fix on a regular basis once you have it! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz LISZT (1811- 1996) Sonata in b, S178 (1853) [31.12] Fantasy and Fugue on B-A-C-H, S529ii (1871) [11.33] Totentanz, S525 (1865) [16.12] Markus Groh (piano) Steinway D-274 piano. Piano technician, Michel Brantjes rec. Reitstadel-Neumarkt, Oberpfalz, Germany, 22 December 2004. DDD Notes in Deutsch, English, Français. Photos of artist. CD tracks stereo 2.0; SACD tracks 2.0 stereo and 5.0 surround. Hybrid SACD AVIE AV 2097 [59.00] [PSh]

Truly exceptional performances and recordings, perhaps the best of these works ever made. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Per NØRGÅRD (b. 1932) Gennem torne (2003) [20:30] Consolazione: Flos ut rosa (2002) [3:59] Sonora (1981) [9:39] Lille dans (1982) [2:21] Swan Descending (1989) [3:12] Hedda Gabler (1993) [17:45] Mens toner daler. Vårsol med fregner (2004) [2:08] King, Queen and Ace (1989) [19:32] Tine Rehling (harp); Esbjerg Ensemble/Kaisa Roose rec. Esbjerg Performing Arts Centre and West Jutland Music Academy, January-May 2004 DACAPO 8.226039 [79:06][HC]

A magnificent release superbly played. Nørgård’s admirers will need no further recommendation ... many others will find much to relish ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Paul PARAY (1886-1979) Affairs of the Heart - The complete Mélodies of Paul Paray CD 1 Mélodies with orchestra Le papillon (1911) [3:06]; Trois Mélodies sur des poésies de Théophile Gautier (1912) (Infidelité [2:20]; La dernière feuille [1:54]; Serment [1:18]); Quatre Poèmes de Jean Lahor (1921) (Après l'orage [1:15]; Adieux [2:25]; Après le bal [1:47]; Désir de mort [2:16]); Villanelle (1920s?) [1:51]; La promesse (1910) [2:31]; Le chevrier (1913) [2:31]; La plainte (1911) [3:41]; Il est d'étranges soirs (1913) [4:12]; Nocturne pour violon et orchestre (1910) [3:27]; Trois Poèmes pour choeur et orchestre (1910-11): (Soleils de Septembre [5:12]; L'aurore vermeille [4:07]; Nuit tombante [3:45]) CD 2 Mélodies with piano; sacred songs with organ Emprise (1905 or 1908) [2:36]; Nuit d'Italie (1908?) [2:16]; Chanson violette [4:04]; Sépulture (1908) [3:15]; Champs de bataille (1912) [5:03]; En pays de Cocagne (1908?) [5:56]; Chanson napolitaine (1907) [3:43]; Embarquement pour l'idéal (1911) [2:57]; Viole (1913) [2:54]; Mortes les fleurs (1907) [3:51]; Paroles à la lune (1902) [4:06]; Dans les bois (1904) [3:13]; Le Poète et la Muse (1908) [3:37]; Vocalise-Étude (1924) [4:00]; Chaque chose a sa petit place [2:16]; In manus tuas (1914) [3:42]; Panis Angelicus (1904) [4:25]; Ruth Lapeyre (soprano) Adam Stepniewski (violin) (Nocturne) Nadine Deleury (cello) Eric Everett (baritone) (Chaque chose; In manus) The Assumption Grotto Orchestra and Choir, Detroit, Michigan/Fr. Eduard Perrone Fr. Eduard Perrone (piano; organ) rec. 2002, Detroit world premiere recordings GROTTO PRODUCTIONS GP-0004[48:39 + 63:02] [RB]

Taste and accomplishment ... a pearl of the lyric repertoire ... demands your attention if you have any feeling for the settings of Duparc, Canteloube and Chausson ... 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

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

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

RECORDING OF THE MONTH A Golden Year Peter GRAHAM (b. 1952) Journey to the Centre of the Earth (2005) [14.54] Johan de MEIJ (b. 1953) Extreme Make-over (2005) [15.54] Philip WILBY (b. 1949) Northern Lights (2005) [13.16] Bramwell TOVEY (b. 1953) The Night to Sing (2005) [16.50] John PICKARD (b. 1963) Eden (2005) [14.46] Black Dyke Band/Nicholas J. Childs rec. Morley Town Hall, May, October 2005 (Graham, de Meij, Wilby, Pickard); live recording of winning performance British Open 2005, Symphony Hall, Birmingham (Tovey). DDD DOYEN DOYCD205 [75:45] [CT]

A fabulous recording charting Black Dyke’s 150th Anniversary year in music. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Hans Hotter and Birgit Nilsson Arias & Scenes from Der fliegende Holländer and Die Walküre + Schubert lieder Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Der fliegende Holländer: Wie aus der Ferne (Love Duet, act II) [15:06]; Die Walküre: Complete Final Scene [37:24]; Der fliegende Holländer: Die Frist ist um (The Dutchman’s Monologue, act I) [7:33] Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Selected Lieder: An die Musik, D. 547 [2:37]; Meeresstille, D. 216 [1:56]; Am Bach im Frühling, D. 882 [3:26]; Im Frühling, D. 547 [4:02] Birgit Nilsson (soprano); Hans Hotter (bass) Philharmonia Orchestra/ Leopold Ludwig (Wagner) rec. London, May 1957. Gerald Moore (piano) (Schubert) rec. London, 1949. Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam/Bruno Walter (Die Frist ist um)
rec. 1936 ARCHIPEL RECORDS ARPCD 0334 [72:06] [GF]

It was with the anticipation of something extraordinary that I put the CD in the player. I was not let down. ... see Full Review




BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Triple Concerto in C major, Op. 56 (1803-04) [34:35]*; Septet in E flat major, Op. 20 (1799-1800) [39:23]† *Yefim Bronfman (piano); Gil Shaham (violin); Truls Mørk (cello); Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich/David Zinman †Michael Reid (clarinet); Florenz Jenny (bassoon); Jakob Hefti (horn); Gil Shaham (violin); Michel Rouilly (viola); Truls Mørk (cello); Ronald Dangel (double-bass) rec. Zurich Tonhalle, *20-21, †30-31 October 2004. DDD ARTE NOVA CLASSICS 82876 64015 2 [74:21] [AOr]

Gracious melody, gracious playing, gracious recording ... at one with the composer’s vision ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 (1830) [46:42] Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17 (1839) – Part II: Love Scene [13:20]. Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch rec. Symphony Hall, Boston, 14-15 November 1954 (Op. 14); 23-24 April 1961 (Op. 17). ADD RCA LIVING STEREO SACD 82876 67899 2 [60:11][CC]

A deluxe issue. The low playing time hardly matters – this is Berliozian gold. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH César FRANCK (1822-1890) Symphony in D Minor (1888) [39:00]* Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrouchka (1911) [34:48]# Chicago Symphony Orchestra*/Boston Symphony Orchestra#/Pierre Monteux rec. Orchestra Hall, Chicago, 7 January 1961 *; Symphony Hall, Boston, 25, 26, 28 January 1959 #. ADD BMG-RCA LIVING STEREO SACD 82876 678972 [74:08][TP]

In sum, an unsurpassed Franck D Minor and an excellent Petrouchka into the bargain.  Highly recommended. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Tri České tance (Three Czech Dances) (1926) [8:39] Borová (Seven Czech Dances) (1929-30) [12:24] Quatre Mouvements (1929) [7:19] Skici (Esquisses) (1931) [11:39] Hry (Esquisses) (1931) [11:22] Ritornely (Les Ritournelles) (1933) [11:35] Okna do zahrady (Fenêtre sur le jardin) (1938) [8:19] Radoslav Kvapil (piano) rec. Studio Domovina, Prague, May 1991. DDD originally issued on Unicorn-Kanchana, 1991. REGIS RRC 1222 [73:12][RB]

Great value. Martinů of the vivacious Parisian years presented in a warm, sunny light. Performances honed to subtlety and satisfaction by one of the great statesmen of the Czech piano school. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Complete Solo Piano Music see review for full details Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano) rec. Länna Church, Sweden, August 1996 (Sonatas), August 1997 (Variations) BIS CD-1633/36 [57:48 + 60:32 + 58:30 + 70:40 + 59:42 + 73:42 + 60:37 + 63:07 + 61:37 + 61:21] [DC]

A superb box  – 10 CDs for the price of 4 means you will be buying the Variations, and getting the Sonatas thrown in for free: and that in Mozart year, yippee! ... see Full Review

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

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Bella Domna: The Medieval Woman: Lover, Poet, Patroness and Saint Martin Codax (fl. early 13th century) Cantigas de amigo (13th century): Ondas do mar de vigo [3:37] Mandad’ ei comigo [2:36] Mia jrmana fremosa, treides comigo [2:57] Aj deus, se sab’ora meu amigo [6:01] Quantas sabedes amar amigo [6:11] Eno sagrado en vigo [2:37] Aj ondas que eu vin veer [1:34] ANONYMOUS (13th century) Domna, pos vos ay chausida [2:43] ANONYMOUS (13th century) Estampie Royal ‘No.3’ [2:46] Richart de FOURNIVAL (1201-1260) Onques n’amai tant que jou fui amee [6:06] Onques n’amai tant que jou fui amee [Version 2] [1:37] ANONYMOUS (13th century) Estampie Royal ‘No.6’ [2:59] Estampie Royal ‘No.4’ [2:28] La COMTESSE DE DIE (late 12th century?) A chantar m’er de so qu’ieu non volria [5:24] ANONYMOUS (13th century) Danse Royale ‘No.2’ [3:16] ANONYMOUS (early 14th century) Lasse, pour quoi refusai [6:36] Sinfonye: Mara Kriek (voice), Stevie Wishart (medieval fiddle, symphony), Andrew Lawrence-King (harps), Jim Denley (pandeiro, bendir) rec. 16-17 September 1987, All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London. HYPERION HELIOS CDH55207 [GPu]

An important and influential collection, now reissued. It belongs in every collection of medieval song. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Le Jeu d’amour Moniot d’ARRAS (c.1213-1239) Ce fu en mai, au dous tens gai [3:12] Thibault de CHAMPAGNE (1201-1253) Amors me fait commencier [3:52] ANONYMOUS L’on dit q’amors est dolce chose [4:16] Jehannot de l’ESCUREL (d.1304) Bien se lace (2:07] Adam de la HALLE (c.1237-1288) Je muir d’amourete [1:33] Jean de FLAGY ‘Et tout les gens …’ [0:30] ANONYMOUS Lai de Kievrefuel [14:00] Guillaume dAMIENS (13th century) Je mais ne serai saous [1:08] Guillaume le VINIER (d.1245) Pastourelle: Valuru, valuraine [4:53] Guillaume de DOLE ‘Main à main…’ [0:19] ANONYMOUS Caroles on ‘La verte olive’: La jus desous la verte olive; C’est desoz l’olive; C’est la jus par dessous l’olive   [7:45] Guillaume d’AMIENS (13th century) Prendés i garde our cest rivage /ANONYMOUS Prendés i garde [1:34] Colin MUSET (13th century) En mai [2:25] ANONYMOUS Margot, Margot grief sunt li mau d’amer [1:40] ANONYMOUS Trois serors sor rive mer [1:11] ANONYMOUS En un vergier [6:08] ANONYMOUS Tuit cil qui sunt enamourat [2:52] Anne Azema (soprano); Catharine Joussselin; Ellen Santaniello; John Fleagle; Noël Bisson (voice); Shira Kammen (vielle; rebec; harp); Jesse Lepkoff (flute; recorder); Robert Mealy (vielle; harp); Margriet Tindemans (vielle; gittern; harp). rec. 20-25 January 1976, Campion Center, Weston, Massachusetts. WARNER CLASSICS APEX 2564 62685-2 [59:43][GPu]

A delightful recital, equally full of musicality and scholarship. Unreservedly recommended ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Leopold Stokovsky: The Great Philadelphia Wagner Recordings Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Rienzi (1842): Overture [11.03] (rec. November 1926 and January 1927)
Lohengrin (1848): Prelude to Act I [8.13] (rec. October 1927); Prelude to Act III [3.15] (rec. March 1940) Tannhäuser (1845): Prelude and Venusberg Music [22.51] (rec. December 1937); Prelude to Act III (arr Stokowski) [10.21] (rec. January 1936) Parsifal (1879), Prelude to Act I [14.45] (rec. November 1936); Good Friday Spell [11.55] (rec. November 1936); Symphonic Synthesis (arr. Stokowski) [14.07] (rec. April 1934) Tristan und Isolde (1859), Symphonic Synthesis (arr. Stokowski) [35.36] (rec. March 1932) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1867), Prelude to Act I [9.18] (rec. January 1936); Prelude to Act III [6.43] (rec. March 1932) Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski Track list, including recording dates, no notes. Photo of conductor. rec. mono ADD. Re-mastered at 96kHz24Bit "using state of the art restoration techniques". ANDROMEDA ANDRCD 5030 [70.30 + 77.31] [PSh]

Ancient recordings miraculously restored, full range, clear, sweet sounding, and completely listenable. An absolute must for any lover of Wagner, Stokowski, and recording science. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH War’s Embers. A legacy of songs by composers who perished or suffered in World War I Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Only a man harrowing clods SV [4:08]; Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937) The twa corbies MG [4:52]; Black Stitchel MG [2:21]; Blaweary MG [1:30]; The fiddler of Dooney MG [1:57]; Goodnight to the meadow MG [1:21]; The ship MG [2:26]; The boat is chafing MG [1:19]; Cathleen ni Houlihan MG [2:54]; Edward, Edward MG [6:01]; The night of Trafalgar MG [2:18]; Thou didst delight my eyes MG [3:23]; To violets MG [1:05]; Last hours MG [4:52]; Ernest FARRAR (1885-1918) The wanderer's song SV [2:56]; Silent noon SV [3:51]; The roadside fire SV [1:57]; Brittany SV [1:47]; Come you, Mary SV [0:58]; Who would shepherd pipes SV [1:45]; W Denis BROWNE (1888-1915) Arabia MH [5:24]; Diaphenia MH [2:05]; Epitaph on Salathiel Pavy MH [4:41]; To Gratiana dancing and singing MH [4:17]; Frederick KELLY (1881-1916) Shall I compare thee? SV [3:27]; George BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916) Requiescat SV. Michael George (bass) MG; Martyn Hill (tenor) MH; Stephen Varcoe (baritone) SV Clifford Benson (piano) rec. 21-23 April 1987. Location unspecified. AAD A full track listing is given at the end of this review Recording sponsored by The Finzi Trust HYPERION HELIOS CDH55237 [JQ]

This is a self-recommending issue to all lovers of the treasury that is the English song repertory. ... see Full Review




RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Passion According to St. John, BWV 245 (1724, rev. 1749) [108.49] Gerd Türk, tenor; Midori Suzuki, soprano; Robin Blaze, counter-tenor; Chiyuki Urano, bass-baritone; Stephan MacLeod, bass; Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 28 July 2000, Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Video direction by Shokichi Amano. Notes in English, Deutsch, and Français. Complete track list. Menus in English and Deutsch. Subtitles in English, Deutsch, Français. Sound 48kHz 16 bit PCM 2.0; Dolby Surround 5.1.; 16:9 anamorphic NTSC DVD 9 region 0 [all regions] Previews of other DVDs of Bach’s music [5.00] EUROARTS INVITATION 2050396 [117.00] [PSh]

The finest recorded version of this work, performance and recording, setting a standard for the future that may be equalled, but could not be surpassed.  If you don’t have a DVD player, buy one just to play this disk. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Brian FERNEYHOUGH (b. 1943) Shadowtime (2003-4) Libretto by Charles Bernstein Nicolas Hodges (piano, speaker); Mats Scheidegger (guitar) Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart; Nieuw Ensemble/Jurjen Hempel rec. live, English National Opera, London Coliseum, July 2005. DDD In conjunction with BBC Radio 3. NMC D123 [64:42 + 62:02][AOz]

An echo inside a shadow wrapped in cellophane says the text: an apt description of this amazing, fascinating and complex masterpiece that repays repeated listening. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH John FOULDS (1880-1939) Dynamic Triptych for piano and orchestra Op. 88 (1927-29) [25:38] April - England (Impressions of Time and Place No. 1) for orchestra Op. 48 No. 1 (1926 orch. 1932) [7:56] Music-Pictures Group III op. 33 (1912) [19:06] The Song of Ram Dass (1935) [3:13] Keltic Lament Op. 29 No. 2 (Keltic Suite) (1911) [4:38] Peter Donohoe (piano) City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo rec. Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 11, 13, 15-16 Jan 2006. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564 62999-2 [61:05] [JF]

This is big music. This is unique. This is essential. Donohoe’s playing is brilliant. What more can I say? ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No 7 (1905) Lucerne Festival Orchestra/Claudio Abbado rec. live, Lucerne, August 2005 DVD - all regions EUROARTS 2054629 [78:00][AOz]

One day the Lucerne concerts will be appreciated for their role in developing Mahler performance practice ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespers - The complete 1610 publication: Disc 1: Vespers [70:25] Disc 2: Magnificat a 7 [18:15]; Magnificat a 6 [15:47]; Missa In illo tempore [32:24] Carolyn Sampson, Rebecca Outram (soprano) Daniel Auchincloss, Nicholas Mulroy (high tenor) Charles Daniels, James Gilchrist (tenor) Peter Harvey, Robert Evans, Robert Macdonald (bass) The King’s Consort/Robert King rec. St. Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, 6-11 February 2006 also available as SACDA67531/2 HYPERION CDA67531/2 [70:25 + 66:40] [DC]

Truly mind-blowing. Vespers virgins need seek no further. I can’t imagine it being replaced any time soon. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Così fan tutte - Dramma giocoso in two acts Fiordiligi … Edita Gruberova (soprano) Dorabella … Delores Ziegler (mezzo-soprano) Guglielmo … Ferruccio Furlanetto (bass) Ferrando … Luis Lima (tenor) Despina … Teresa Stratas (soprano) Don Alfonso … Paolo Montarsolo (bass) Vienna Philharmonic/Nikolaus Harnoncourt Filmed at Munich, Bavaria Studios, 1-15 June 1988 Sound Recording: Vienna, Studio Rosenhügel, 25 February – 12 March 1988 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00440 073 4237 [90.59 + 84.30][RM]

What a thought provoking school for lovers … what a superb production. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Niccolò PAGANINI (1782–1840) Twenty-Four Caprices op. 1 (arr. for saxophone) Raaf Hekkema (alto saxophone; soprano saxophone) rec. 27–31 August 2005, Hervormde Kerk, Mijnsheerenland, The Netherlands MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 619 1379-2 [81:28][GF]

I can’t believe that anyone will be disappointed when hearing this – unless jealousy is a hampering factor. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Quasi una sonata for violin and chamber orchestra (1968/1987) [22:22] Moz-Art à la Haydn (1977) [11:43] Suite in the Old Style, arranged for chamber orchestra (1972/1987) [15:49] Concerto Grosso No.6 (1993) [13:12] Ulf Wallin (violin); Meri Englund (violin); Tero Latvala (violin); Ralf Gothóni (piano) Tapiola Sinfonietta/Ralf Gothóni rec. December 2003, Tapiola Concert Hall, Finland BIS-CD-1437 [64:26][DC]

Self-recommending. You can never have too much Schnittke, and with such excellent performances and recordings as these you can save yourself ever again needing to look out those scratchy old Melodiyas ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) Piano Concerto No. 1 (1913-14) [30:42] Symphony No. 4 (1951-52)* [28:21] Early One Morning - Poem for Piano and Orchestra (1930-31, revised 1962) [13:54] Howard Shelley (piano) BBC Philharmonic/Martyn Brabbins rec. Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 8-9 September 2005 * premiere recording CHANDOS CHAN 10376 [73:05][RB]

A fine addition to the shelves of any collector of twentieth century melodic music. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Concerto No.1 in A Minor, op.77 (1947) (rev. 1955 as op.99) [43:23] Violin Concerto No.2 in C Sharp Minor, op.129 (1967) [33:03] Romance from The Gadfly, op.97 (arr. Levon Atovmian) (1955) [ 5:56] Daniel Hope (violin) BBC Symphony Orchestra/Maxim Shostakovich rec. 7-9 November 2005, Studio 1, BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, England. WARNER CLASSICS 2564 62546-2 [77:59] [SA]

I found it the most supremely listenable disc I have heard in a long time. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.73 (1946) [30:57] String Quartet No.7 in F sharp minor, Op.108 (1960) [11:47] String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 (1960) [20:21] Hagen Quartett: Lukas Hagen (1st violin); Rainer Schmidt (2nd violin); Veronika Hagen (viola); Clemens Hagen (cello) rec. November 2005, Große Universitätsaula, Salzburg DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 6146 [63:25] [DC]

This disc is up to the Hagen’s usual phenomenal standard. Right there at the ‘unsurpassed’ level ... see Full Review

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

The music making on this disc has a feeling of "rightness" that makes comparisons largely superfluous … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Songs of the Fleet, op.117 for baritone, chorus and orchestra (1910)* [26:04] The Revenge: A Ballad of the Fleet, op.24 for chorus and orchestra (1886) [25:17] Songs of the Sea, op.91 for baritone, male chorus and orchestra (1904) [18:00] Gerald Finley (baritone)* BBC National Chorus of Wales, BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox rec. 6-8 July 2005, Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, Wales. DDD CHANDOS CHSA 5043 SACD [69:37] [CH]

The "popular" Stanford, and the best recordings so far of the two song-cycles. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1860-1911) Siegfried (1876) Siegfried: Heinz Kruse, Mime: Graham Clark, Der Wanderer: John Bröcheler, Alberich: Henk Smit, Fafner: Carsten Stabell Erda: Anne Gjevang, Brünnhilde: Jeannine Altmeyer, Waldvogel: Stefan Pangratz, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Der Nederlandse Opera/ Hartmut Haenchen, Stage Director: Pierre Audi, rec. live, Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam, 1999 DVD - all regions OPUS ARTE OA 0948D [3 DVDs: 273:00] [AO]

Haenchen is superb, galvanising a tight, precise and very animated performance. It’s faster paced than usual and surprisingly lucid. This is a Siegfried to listen to, as well as watch (though missing Clark’s Mime would be a shame) ... Very highly recommended ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wilhelm Kempff Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sonata in F K.332 [16:37] Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sonata in B flat D.960 [36:53] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Sonata in A op.101 [19:13] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Intermezzi: B minor op.119/1 [03:13], C major op.119/3 [01:45] Wilhelm Kempff (piano) rec. 7 October 1967, Whitworth Hall, Manchester University. ADD BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4169-2 [78:14] [CH]

Kempff the free spirit in glorious form ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Christianne Stotijn: Fantasies and Dream-Figures Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Im Walde D.708 [06:59]; An den Mond D.193 [05:09]; Nachtstück D.672 [05:20]; Der Zweig D.771 [05:15]; Abendstern D.806 [02:17]; Auflösung D.807 [02:24]; Nacht und Träume D.827 [03:35]; Erlkönig D.328 [04:22] Alban BERG (1885-1935) 4 Lieder op.2 [08:47] Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) Mörike-Lieder: Die Geister am Mummelsee [03:48]; Gesang Weylas [02:10]; Elfenlied [02:19]; Um Mitternacht [03:38]; Auf eine Christblume I [06:25]; Lied von Winde [02:43] Christianne Stotijn (mezzo), Joseph Breinl (piano)
rec. 21-23 July 2005, Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, UK ONYX 4009 [63:33] [CH]

A highly original programme sung by an up-and-coming singer who can bear comparison with even the greatest lieder-singers ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Women's lives and loves Frauenliebe und –Leben - A Liederspiel devised by Graham Johnson [see review for full details] Felicity Lott (soprano) Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo) Graham Johnson (piano) rec. All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, 2-4 August 2005. DDD. HYPERION CDA67563 [71’46] [ED]

Deeply rewarding; a disc to live with and love. ... see Full Review





BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Luciano BERIO (1925 – 2003) Sequenzas I – XIV Nora Shulman (flute); Erica Goodman (harp); Tony Arnold (soprano); Boris Berman (piano); Alain Trudel (trombone); Steven Dann (viola); Matej Šarc (oboe); Jasper Wood (violin); Joaquin Valdepeñas (clarinet); Guy Few (trumpet); Pablo Sáinz Villegas (guitar); Ken Munday (bassoon); Joseph Petric (accordion); Darrett Adkins (cello); Wallace Halladay (saxophones) rec. St John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, 1998-2004 NAXOS 8.557661-63 [3 CDs: 63:02 + 60:09 + 58:48] [HC]

Splendid - a thirty-four year musical odyssey that will remain as one of the peaks of 20th century instrumental music. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.26 (1864-68) [25.21] Konzertstück for violin and orchestra in F sharp minor, Op. 84 (1910) [17.53] Romance for violin and orchestra in A minor, Op. 42 (1874) [10.13] Maxim Fedotov, violin Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. Studio 5, Kultura TV and Radio Company, Moscow, Russia, 28 Nov-3 Dec 2004.  DDD NAXOS 8.557689  [53.27] [MC]

An excellently performed and recorded release from Naxos that will provide considerable pleasure. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH André CAPLET (1878-1925) Conte fantastique after Edgar Allan Poe's Masque of the Red Death (1919) [17:08] Elisabeth Glab (violin), Marie-Josée Ritchot (violin), Michel Renard (viola), Isabelle Veyrier (cello), Laurence Cabel (harp)  Les prières (1917) [9:12] Elisabeth Glab (violin), Marie-Josée Ritchot (violin), Michel Renard (viola), Isabelle Veyrier (cello), Laurence Cabel (harp), Sharon Coste (soprano) Divertissements (2) for harp (1924) [9:56] Laurence Cabel (harp) Sonnets (2) for soprano and harp (1924) [3:37] Laurence Cabel (harp), Sandrine Piau (soprano) Septet for three female voices and string quartet (1909) [14:24] Sharon Coste (Soprano), Sandrine Piau (soprano), Sylvie Deguy (mezzo), Elisabeth Glab (violin), Marie-Josée Ritchot (violin), Michel Renard (viola), Isabelle Veyrier (cello) Ensemble: Musique Oblique rec. February 1992, Arsenal de Metz, Salle de l'Esplanade. DDD HARMONIA MUNDI HAR MUSIQUE D'ABORD HMA1951417 [55:18][RB]

Music for connoisseurs and especially for those with an interest to follow up in Debussy's circle … but do not expect a Debussy apprentice.  ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Organ Concertos Op. 4: No. 1 in G minor HWV 289 (1738) [15.27]; No. 2 in B flat major HWV 290 (1738) [10.26]; No. 3 in G minor HWV 291 (1738) [10.01]; No. 4 in F major HWV 292 (1738) [13.48]; No. 5 in F major HWV 293 (1738) [8.16]; No. 6 in B flat major HWV 294 (1738) [11.35] Organ Concertos Op. 7: No. 1 in B flat major HWV 306 (1761) [17.26]; No. 2 in A major HWV 307 (1761) [12.09]; No. 3 in B flat major HWV 308 (1761) [14.15]; No. 4 in D minor HWV 309 (1761) [16.13]; No. 5 in G minor HWV 310 (1761) [12.37]; No. 6 in B flat major HWV 311 (1761) [7.50] Ton Koopman (organ) Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra rec. Sint Bartholomeuskerk, Beek-Ubbergen, Netherlands, 1984 WARNER APEX 2564 62760-2 [72.40 + 78.43][RH]

A major milestone in the performance of Handel’s organ concertos and one to which I have returned regularly since it was first issued. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Overtures: Le nozze di Figaro K492 [4.17]; Bastien und Bastienne K50 [1.47]; Der Schauspieldirektor K486 [4.11]; Lucio Silla K135 [7.38]; Così fan tutte K588 [4.41]; La finta giardiniera K196 [7.15]; Die Entführung aus dem Serail K384 [5.24]; Il re pastore K208 [3.28]; Idomeneo K366 [5.00]; La clemenza di Tito K621 [5.01]; Don Giovanni K527 [5.47]; Die Zauberflöte K620 [6.50]
Staatskapelle Dresden/Colin Davis rec. Lukaskirche, Dresden, 1999. DDD BMG-RCA RED SEAL CLASSIC LIBRARY 82876 762352 [61.22] [JW]

Davis cleaves to traditional values with his superlative orchestra, splendidly recorded. Look no further. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hans PFITZNER (1869-1949) String Quartet No. 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 36 (1925) [33'57]. Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) String Quartet No. 4, Op. 37 (1936) [33'12]. Wihan String Quartet (Leos Cepicky, Jan Schulmeister, violins; Jirí Zigmund, viola; Ales Kasprík, cello). rec. 3-4 (Pfitzner), 7, 20 (Schoenberg) April 2000. DDD ARCO DIVA UP 0028-2 [67:20] [CC]

An inspired coupling from Arco Diva. The Pfitzner is an impressive work ... the recording is a fine one ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ned ROREM (b.1923) Pilgrims (1958) [7:14] Flute Concerto (2002) [31:21] Violin Concerto (1985) [24:07] Jeffrey Khaner (flute) Philippe Quint (violin) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/José Serebrier rec. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, June 2005. DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559278 [62:42] [PCW]

Just click on the “Buy Now” link right away … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartet in C Quartettsatz, D103 (1814) [8:01] Five Minuets and Trios, D89 (1813) [12:38] String Quartet No. 14 in D minor Death and the Maiden, D810 (1824) [37:59] Maggini Quartet (David Juritz (violin); David Angel (violin); Martin Outram (viola); Michal Kaznowski (cello)) rec. live, Wigmore Hall, London, 1 June 1993 (Death and the Maiden); remainder All Saints, Petersham, 21 April 1994. DDD RESONANCE CD RSN 3036 [59:00][JWi]

I would re-iterate that this is a lively and exciting performance of a stirring work, and a disc I have found most enjoyable. ... see Full Review

Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 15 B104 (1855) [29:28] Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90, Dumky, B 166 (1891) [32:39] Czech Trio (Milan Langer (piano), Dana Vlachova (violin), Miroslav Petras (cello)) rec. Domovina Studio Prague, 6-7 July 1999. DDD ULTRAPHON UP 0017- 2 131 [62.16] [DD]

Two dark Czech trios performed by a trio that must know them very well. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Healey WILLAN (1880-1968) Hymns, Anthems, Motets In the heavenly kingdom, Op. 380 B380 (1924 completed F.R.C.Clarke 1979) [8:45] St Osmund, Op. 449 B449 (1927) [3:20] Sun of Righteousness, Op. 438 B438 [3:22] How they so softly rest, Op. 302  [B302] (1917) [3:48] Anthem on Ye watchers and ye holy ones, Op. 403 B403 [4:35] Missa Brevis No. 11, "Sancti Johannis Baptistae", Op. 226 B266 Kyrie [2:05]  Sanctus [1:05] Benedictus qui venit [1:20] Agnus Dei [2:40] I looked, and behold a white cloud, Op. 344 B344 (1907) [7:16] (Joseph Schnurr, tenor / Matthew Larkin, organ) Preserve us, O Lord, Op. 310 B310 (1928-37) [1:44] O King all glorious, Op. 311 B311 [2:44] Anthem on Picardy, Op. 405 B405 [5:06] Christ hath a garden, Op. 352 B352 (1940) [3:33] Anthem on O quanta qualia, Op. 394 B394 [3:52] O how glorious, Op. 304 [1:35] O praise the Lord, Op. 377 B377 (revised 1963) [7:50] Rise up, my love, my fair one, Op. 314 B314 [2:26]  Elora Festival Singers/Noel Edison, Matthew Larkin (organ) rec.St John’s Church, Elora, November 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557734 [67.07] [JW]

Appetites whetted for more Willan have been handsomely met with this release ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH ¡Ay, Dulce Pena! - Tonos humanos del Barroco español Juan del VADO (c.1625-1691) A Pascal no le puede [4:58] Juan HIDALGO (1614-1685) ¡Ay de mi dolor! [7:47] José Martínez de ARCE (c.1660-1721) ¿Para qué son las iras? [3:26] ANONYMOUS ¿A quién me quejaré [6:04] ANONYMOUS ¿Qué quiere amor? [4:06] Juan HIDALGO (1614-1685) ¡Ay amor, ay ausencia! [6:15] ANONYMOUS Sobre las ramas de un sauce [3:51] Juan del VADO (c.1625-1691) Las campanas [10:34] Juan HIDALGO (1614-1685) Con tanto respeto adoran [5:37] ¡Ay, corazón amante! [7:34] ANONYMOUS Sarao de la minué francés [3:13] Marta Almajano (soprano), Juan Carlos Rivera (archlute, baroque guitar), Mike Fentross (baroque guitar), Ventura Rico (viola da gamba), Pedro Estevan (percussion) rec.11-13 February 2001, Church of Sant Corneli, de Collbató (Barcelona). HARMONIA MUNDI HMA 1957028 [63:05][GPu]

A delicious recital, which no one with an interest in seventeenth-century music should miss … see Full Review

HISTORICAL RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) His Complete Recordings BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876-67892-2 [10 CDs: 67:49 + 62:45 + 62:30 + 65:03 + 66:00 + 58:14 + 58:54 + 71:52 + 65:39] Superbudget [CH]


In spite of the booklet, the opportunity to gather the entire legacy of one of the greatest of all pianists in a single box is not one to be missed. ... see Full Review




RECORDING OF THE MONTH Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Piano Sonata, Sz80a (1926). Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs, Sz74/Op. 20b (1920). Suite, Sz62/Op. 14c (1916). Out of Doors, Sz81d (1926). Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, Sz110e (1937) Murray Perahia, eGeorg Solti (pianos); eDavid Corkhill and eEvelyn Glennie (percussion) rec. CBS 30th Studio, New York City, 3 December 1973a, 8 Augustb, 19 Novemberc 1980, 29 March 1976d, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Suffolk 7, 9 July 1987e. ADD/DDD SONY CLASSICAL GREAT PERFORMANCES 82876 78750 2 [73’42] [CC]

It is difficult to imagine a better introduction to the piano music of Bartók than this splendid disc. Perahia has a clear vision of what he wants to say and how he says it ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 9 in D minor, op.125 Choral (1824) [72:51] Gabriela Beňačková (soprano), Marjana Lipovšek (contralto), Gösta Winbergh (tenor), Hermann Prey (baritone) Vienna State Opera Chorus Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Claudio Abbado rec. live, May 1986, Musikverein, Grosser Saal, Vienna DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 5005 [72:51][CH]

One of the great Ninths on record ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH York BOWEN (1884-1961) Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 33 (1913) [37.42] Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat, Op 11 (1903) [26.07] Lorraine McAslan (violin) Michael Dussek (piano) BBC Concert Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. 5-6 December 2005, The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford, England. DDD DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7169 [64.09][RB]

Such lavish extravagance of melody and sentiment. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No.7 in E major (1883) [62:34] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor, Op.37 (1800) [38:35] Alfred Brendel (piano) Lucerne Festival Orchestra/ Claudio Abbado rec. live, Concert Hall of the Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne, 10-12 August 2005 Picture: PAL 16:9 Anamorphic Sound: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1 Region: 0 (Worldwide) EUROARTS DVD 2054649 [106:00] [DC]

Isn’t that what we’re all after – that feeling of renewal and joyous discovery? It is here, in spades. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH George CRUMB (b. 1929) Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Death (1962-68) [29:04]: Refrain One [1:25]; I The Guitar / Death Drone I [4:20]; Refrain Two [0:52]; II Casida of the Dark Doves [4:15]; Refrain Three [1:06]; Death-Drone II [1:49]; III Song of the Rider, 1860 [1:56]; Cadenza Apassionata for two drummers [1:32]; Refrain Four [1:05]; IV Casida of the Boy Wounded by the Water [2:09]; Death Drone III [8:36] Quest (1994) [25:41] Refrain I [1:08]; I Dark Paths [5:07]; II Fugitive Sounds [2:09]; Refrain 2 [0:42]; III Forgotten Sounds [4:22]; IV Fugitive Sounds [1:06]; Refrain 3 [1:04]; V Nocturnal [10:04] Nicholas Isherwood (baritone); Alexander Swete (guitar/amplified guitar); Franzisco Obieta (double bass/amplified double bass); Carmen Erb (percussion); Peter Degenhardt (piano/harpsichord); Hugo Read (soprano saxophone); Silke Aichorn (harp). Ensemble New Art/Fuat Kent rec. Radiostudio Zurich, 12-15 June 2004 NAXOS 8.559290 [54:45] [JWi]

A mesmerising and beautiful effect, with a glistening resonance of sound. Not entirely straightforward to grasp but grows on the listener with repetition. Quite fascinating. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Paul DUKAS (1865-1935) Piano Sonata in E flat minor (1900) [45:13] Abel DECAUX (1869-1943) Clairs de lune (1900-1907) [19:40]. Marc-André Hamelin (piano). rec. Henry Wood Hall, London, 26-27 August 2004 (Dukas), 15 December 2005 (Decaux). DDD HYPERION CDA67513 [64:59] [CC]

This has to be one of my ‘Records of the Year 2006’. Simply stunning. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Nicolas FLAGELLO (1928-1994) Piano Concerto No. 1 (1950) [28:48] Dante's Farewell (1962) (orch. Anthony Sbordini) [13:43] Concerto Sinfonico for saxophone quartet and orchestra (1985) [22:53] Tatjana Rankovich (piano) Susan Gonzalez (soprano) National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/John McLaughlin Williams New Hudson Saxophone Quartet Rutgers Symphony Orchestra/Kynan Johns rec. Large Concert Studio, National Radio Company of Ukraine (Kiev), 22-26 June 2005; Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA, 6 November 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.559296 [65:28] [RB]

You will know by now whether this is for you. It merits a wholehearted endorsement. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Macmillan and his British Contemporaries: Twentieth Century Masters Volume 2 Julian ANDERSON (b.1967) O Sing Unto The Lord (1999)[6:59] James MACMILLAN (b.1959) Christus Vincit (1994) [6:33] Jonathan DOVE (b.1959) Ecce Beatam Lucem (1997) [5:58] Ryan WIGGLESWORTH (b.1979) Libera Nos (2003)[3:42] James MACMILLAN: On The Annunciation of The Blessed Virgin (1997) [6:49] Jonathan DOVE: Into Thy Hands (1996) [[5:31] Judith WEIR (b.1954) Love Bade Me Welcome (1994) [4:31] Robin HOLLOWAY (b.1943) Since I Believe [4:39] Francis GRIER (b.1955) A Prayer of St. Augustine [4:08] Tarik O'REGAN (b.1978) Surrexit Christus (2002) [2:54] Peter WISHART (1921-1984) Jesu, Dulcis Memoria (1968) [5:19] John JOUBERT (b.1927) Whitsun Carol, Op.115b (1987) [2:29] Gabriel JACKSON (b.1962) Salve Regina (2000) [4:51] The Choir of New College Oxford/Edward Higginbottom Robert Patterson; Nicholas Wearne (organ) rec. Douai Abbey, Berkshire, England 13-15 July 2004. DDD AVIE AV 2085 [64:08] [JQ]

This is one of the finest choral discs to have come my way for some time. I rejoice to find clear evidence that so much high quality music is being written for liturgical use by composers of today. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Francis POTT (b. 1957) Meditations and Remembrances The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin/Judy Martin, ^ Tristan Russcher. *Tristan Russcher (organ) rec. Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, 21-23 October 2005. DDD SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD080 [70:52] [JQ]

I hope this recording will win a still wider audience for Francis Pott. This is likely to be one of my Recordings of 2006 and I recommend it with the greatest possible enthusiasm. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) The Complete Symphonies CD 1 [50:25] Symphony No.1 in D, Op.25 "Classical Symphony" (1917) [13:54] Symphony No.4 in C, Op.47/112 [36:32] (Revised 1947 version) CD 2 [66:20] Symphony No.2 in D minor, Op.40 (1924) [34:33] Symphony No.3 in C minor, Op.44 (1928) [31:48] CD 3 [64:28] Symphony No.4 in C, Op.47/112 [22:51] (Original 1930 version) Symphony No.5 in B flat, Op.100 (1945) [41:38] CD 4 [72:12] Symphony No.6 in E flat, Op.111 (1947) [40:23] Symphony No.7, Op.131 (1952) [31:49] London Symphony Orchestra/Valery Gergiev rec. live, Barbican Hall, Barbican Centre London: 1 May 2004 (Symphonies 2, 3), 1-2 May (Symphony No.1), 2 May (Symphony No.4 original version), 2, 6 May (Symphony No.5), 6 May (Symphony No.4 revised version), 5, 8 May (Symphonies 6, 7) PHILIPS 475 7655 [4CDs: 50:25 + 66:20 + 64:28 + 72:12] [DC]

A set with which you will be able to live for a long time, and from which new things will always emerge from each hearing. What else did you expect? ... see Full Review

Winterreise D.911 (1827) Christine Schäfer (soprano) Eric Schneider (piano) rec. Teldex Studio, Berlin, November 2003 ONYX 4010 [68:32] [PCW]

A Winterreise for all seasons … see Full Review

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

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

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Helen Callus (viola) Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Suite for viola and orchestra (Group I only) (1934) [7:53] Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Elegy for viola, string quartet and string orchestra (1917) [10:37] William WALTON (1902-1983) Viola Concerto in A minor (1928-29, rev 1962) [27:31] York BOWEN (1884-1961) Viola Concerto in C minor, Op.25 (1907) [31:51] (cadenza by Helen Callus) Helen Callus (viola) solo string quartet (principals of the NZSO): Vesaa-Matti Leppanen (violin); David Gilling (violin); Vyvyan Yendoll  (viola); David Chickering (cello) New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Marc Taddei rec. Michael Fowler Center Auditorium, Wellington, New Zealand, 9-11 February 2005. DDD ASV CD DCA 1181 [78:24] [JF]

As a compilation of essential English music for viola and orchestra this CD is a vital release. Feel absolutely no hesitation in rushing out and buying it as soon as the shops are open! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Russian Romantic Songs Alexander DUBUQUE (1812-1897) Do not chide me, dearest mother [3:00], The two farewells [3:30], Serenade [1:27], When my eyes fall on you [1:52], Adieu [1:50]; Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Amid the din of the ball [2:13]; Mikhail GLINKA (1804-1857) Will I forget [2:25]; Alexander VARLAMOV (1801-1848)O never speak of it, my love [2:25], Reminder [4:38]; A. IVANOV-KRAMSKOY (1912-1993) (guitar solos) A sad mood (3:52), Nocturne [2:29], Waltz [2:48], A gust of wind [2:51]; N. SHIRIAYEV: To hold you close, to love and cover you with tears [3:11];V.N. PASKHALOV (1841-1885) Do not ask of me [2:14]; P.P. BULAKHOV (1822-1885) A dainty mouth pursed in anger [1:32]; Ivan RYBASOV (1846-1877) None but you [2:28]; A. SPIRO: Likeness [1:23]; E. YURYEV: In vain we love and fret [3:38] Kaia Urb (soprano); Heiki Mätlik (guitar) rec. 7-9 Oct 2001, Estonian Radio, Tallinn. HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 907 386 [51:02] [ZT]

I challenge anybody to produce a finer example than that provided on the review disc. It would not surprise me to see this disc win awards for excellence. ... see Full Review





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

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

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

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




RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 Eroica (1803) [44:25] Twelve Contredanses, WoO. 14 (1802): No. 1 in C major [0:28]; No. 2 in A major [0:32]; No. 3 in D major [1:00]; No. 4 in B flat major [0:28]; No. 5 in E flat major [1:07]; No. 6 in C major [1:11]; No. 7 in E flat major [0:33]; No. 8 in C major [0:28]; No. 9 in A major [0:28]; No. 10 in C major [0:57]; No. 11 in G major [0:31]; No. 12 in E flat major [1:40] Funeral March from the incidental music to Leonore Prohaska, WoO. 96 (1815) [4:57] Romance No. 1 in G major, Op. 40* (c. 1800-02) [5:34] Romance No. 2 in F major, Op. 50* (c. 1795) [7:04] Katarina Andreasson (violin)* Swedish Chamber Orchestra Örebro/Thomas Dausgaard rec. Örebro Concert Hall, May, October 2002. DDD SIMAX PSC 1281 [71:34] [MG]

This performance of the Eroica symphony lets you see it in a new light and in a context that is itself fresh and illuminating … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Hungarian Dances - four hands (1-10, 1868; 11-21, 1880) Steven and Stijn Kolacny (Steinway D piano) rec. DSD, Galaxy Studios, Mol, Belgium, 28 March 2002. 2.0 stereo and 5.1 surround SACD tracks, 2.0 stereo CD tracks. Notes in Nederlands, Français, English, and Deutsch.  Photos of artists and composer ETCETERA KTC 5250 [52.27] [PSh]

The best version of these brilliant works to date, a must for all Brahms collectors. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 Resurrection (1888-1894) [76:66] Christine Schäfer, (soprano) Michelle DeYoung (mezzo) Wiener Singverein Wiener Philharmoniker/Pierre Boulez rec. Grosser Saal, Wiener Musikverein, May-June 2005. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 6004 [76:66] [AOz]

This performance really does give a new perspective … truly inspirational. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jacques OFFENBACH (1825-1892) Ballade symphonique La Vie Parisienne (1866) (Preludes to Acts I, 2, 3, 4, 5; Melodrama of the Entrance of the Masks; Melodrama of the glove and bootmakers) Les Bergers, Prelude to Act 1 (1865) La Périchole (1868-74) (Preludes to Acts 1, 2, and scenes 3, 4; Indian March; Melodrama of the acrobats; Melodrama of the letter; Melodrama of the King’s place setting; Melodrama of Piquillo’s goal; Melodrama of the old prisoner; Melodrama of the escape) Sur un volcan, overture (1855) Orphée aux Enfers (1858) (Preludes to Scenes 1, 3, 4; Melodrama of Eurydice’s death; Melodrama of the depart of the Underworld; Melodrama for the anger of public opinion; Melodrama of Orpheus in the Underworld Ba-ta-Clan (1855) (Overture and Chinese March; Exit; Melodrama of Florette’s round) Barbe-Bleue (1866) (Prelude to Acts 1, 3 (Storm), 4; Melodrama of the reception; Melodrama of the dénouement) Les Souvenirs d’Aix-les-Baines, waltz suite (1873)  Orchestre National de Montpellier/Jean-Christophe Keck rec. Montpellier, France, 2005. DDD ACCORD 476  8999 [77:14] [RW]

Fresh material from Offenbach, much not previously recorded although many of the titles are familiar. Quite fascinating. Delightful. ... see Full Review

Matilde di Shabran - Melodramma giocoso in two acts (1821) Matilde, Annick Massis (sop); Corradino Ironheart, Juan Diego Florez (ten); Raimondo Lopez, Eduardo’s father, Bruno Taddia (bass); Edoardo, Hadar Halevy (mezzo); Aliprando, physician, Marco Vinco (bass); Isidoro, poet, Bruno de Simone (bass); Contessa d’Arco, Chiara Chialli (sop); Ginardo, tower-keeper, Carlo Lepore (bass); Egoldo, leader of the peasants, Gregory Bonfatti (ten); Rodrigo, captain of the guards, Lubomir Moravec Prague Chamber Choir Orchestra Sinfónica de Galicia/Riccardo Frizza rec. live, Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro, Italy, August 2004 DECCA 475 7688 [3 CDs: 68.23+52.56+67.36] [RF]

In outstanding fashion this fills an important gap in the composer’s discography. A work of Rossini’s compositional maturity, I cannot see it being bettered. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Musica Sacra vol. 5 Mottetto RV626 “In furore iustissimae irae” [12:55] (1) Sinfonia in B minor RV169 “Al Santo Sepolcro” [05:03] (2) Laudate pueri RV601 [23:10] (3) Concerto in D minor for violin, organ and strings RV541 [09:07] (4) Concerto in F for violin, strings and harpsichord “per la Solennità di San Lorenzo RV286” [12:27] Sandrine Piau (soprano (1, 3), Stefano Montanari (violin)(4), Marcello Gatti (flute) (3), Ottavio Dantone (Organ) (4), Accademia Bizantina/Ottavio Dantone rec. July 2005, Abbaye de Saint-Michel en Thiérache NAÏVE OP 30416 [62:56] [CH]

It’s beginning to dawn on me that we’re living in a golden age of Vivaldi interpretation. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH L’invitation au voyageMélodies from La belle époque Jules CRESSONNOIS (1823–1883) L’invitation au voyage (Charles Baudelaire) [3:29] Léo DELIBES (1836–1891) Départ (Èmile Augier) [4:23] Bonjour, Suzon! (Alfred de Musset) [2:59] Regrets! (Armand Silvestre) [4:58] Charles LECOCQ (1832–1918) La cigale et la fourmi (Jean de La Fontaine) [1:45] La chauve-souris et les deux belettes (Jean de La Fontaine) [3:16] Émile PESSARD (1843–1917) Le spectre de la rose (Théophile Gautier) [4:42] Oh! quand je dors (Victor Hugo) [2:34] Benjamin GODARD (1849–1895) Chanson du berger (Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian) [1:56] Guitare (Victor Hugo) [2:35] L’invitation au voyage (Charles Baudelaire) [4:13] Viens! (Victor Hugo) [2:49] Paul PUGET (1848–1917) Madrid (Alfred de Musset) [3:27] Comment, disaient-ils (Victor Hugo) [2:27] Paul (1852–1933) and Lucien (1860–1909) HILLEMACHER Soupir (Sully Prudhomme) [3:31] Si mes vers avaient des ailes (Victor Hugo) [1:34] L’invitation au voyage (Charles Baudelaire) [1:52] Ici-bas (Sully Prudhomme) [1:59] Sérénade (Alfred de Musset) [2:09] Émile PALADILHE (1844–1926) Psyché (Pierre Corneille) [2:44] Les papillons (Théophile Gautier) [2:59] La chanson des blondes (Jean Aicard) [3:27] Danse indienne (Jean Lahor) [6:06] Henri DUPARC (1848–1933) L’invitation au voyage ((Charles Baudelaire) [4:26] John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano) rec. All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, 2-4 August 2004. DDD HYPERION CDA67523 [78:14] [DC]

There isn’t a dull moment in this long recital. Good songs need not be masterpieces to be enjoyed, especially when performed this well ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Thomas Quasthoff: The Voice Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) An die Musik D457 [4:03]; Erlkönig D328 [2:32]; Ständchen, [3:36]; Greisengesang D957 [4:49] (previously unissued) Thomas Quasthoff, (baritone) Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Claudio Abbado Albert LORTZING (1801-1851) From Der Wildschütz: Funftausend Taler [5:20] Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin/Christian Thielemann Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) From Euryanthe: Wo berg ich mich? [9:17] Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin/Christian Thielemann Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) From Tannhäuser: Wie Todesahnung Dämmerung deckt die Lande - O du, mein holde Abendstern [5:39] Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin/Christian Thielemann Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) From Der Schweigesame Frau: Wie schön ist die Musik [4:01] Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin/Christian Thielemann Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) From Des Knaben Wunderhorn: Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt, [4:03]; Lob des hohen Verstandes [2:32]; Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Justus Zeyen (piano) Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Ich habe genug BVW 82 Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Albrecht Mayer, (oboe) Berliner Barock Soloisten/Rainer Kussmaul (violin and direction) Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Auf der Bruck, D843 [3:21]; Heidenröslein, D257 [1:56]; Die Forelle D550 [2:11]; Tränenregen, D795 [2:11]; Mein! D795 [4:17]; Der Fischermädchen D957 [2:02]; Die Taubenpost, D957 [3:40] Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Justus Zeyen (piano) Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Du Bist wie eine Blüme op. 34 [1:34]; Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Justus Zeyen (piano) Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Auf Flügeln des Gesanges [2:28]; 25 [1:34]; Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Justus Zeyen (piano) Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Verzagen op. 72 [2:30]; Unüberwindlich [2:13]; Sapphische Ode op. 94 [2:30]; Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Justus Zeyen (piano) Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Die Loreley S273 [6.51]; O Lieb, so lang du lieben kannst S298 [5:33]; Es muss ein Wunderbaressein S314 [2:07] Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Justus Zeyen (piano) Carl LOEWE (1796-1869) Herr Oluf op. 2 [6.06]; Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Justus Zeyen (piano) Richard STRAUSS (1864-1894) Heimliche Aufforderung [3:14]; Zueignung op. 10 [1:44]; Morgen! Op. 27 [3:57] Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) Justus Zeyen (piano) Solo jazz Improvisation (6:04) DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 6159 [67:22 + 67:11] [AOz]

A perfect set for anyone new to Quasthoff, or who wants an introduction to German art song ... see Full Review




BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 9 From the New World (1893) [42.48]* The Water Goblin (1896) [21:08] Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
rec. Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, October 1999, (* live recording). DDD WARNER CLASSICS 3984 25254-2 [64:13] [TP]

Harnoncourt has something to tell even the most seasoned collector about this music, and in a warhorse like this, that is no mean feat! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Intimations of Immortality op. 29 (1949-50) [38:58] For Saint Cecilia op. 30 (1947) [16:37] James Gilchrist (tenor) Bournemouth Symphony Chorus/Greg Beardsell Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/David Hill rec. The Concert Hall, The Lighthouse, Poole, 4-5 June 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557863 [55:35][AOz]

Easily the best recording by any standard – I hope Naxos realize what a treasure this is ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony No. 40 in G minor K550 (1788) [26:29] Symphony No. 41 in C major Jupiter K551 (1788) [37:01] Manchester Camerata/Douglas Boyd rec. live, 4 February 2006, The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester AVIE AV 2107 [63:50] [DC]

Looking for a top notch performance of two of the greatest classical symphonies ever written? Your money will be very well spent with this issue. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839–1881) Boris Godunov (arr. & orch. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov) (1874) Prologue, Scene 2 (The Square in the Moscow Kremlin): Long Live the Tsar Boris; Even as glory to the radiant sun; My soul is torn with anguish; Glory, Act II: I have attained the highest power; What do you want?; Mighty Lord …; It is not death that is hard to bear; God, how stifling it’s become! Act IV, Scene 2: Boris Farewell to his Son and Death of Boris George London (bass) – Boris Godunov; Mildred Allen (mezzo-soprano) – Fyodor, his son; Howard Fried (tenor) – Prince Vasily Ivanovich Shuisky; Stanley Kolk (tenor) – Boyal Khrushchyov Columbia Symphony Chorus and Orchestra/Thomas Schippers rec. Manhattan Center, New York City, 23–27 March 1961. ADD Pictures at an Exhibition  (1874) (orch. Maurice Ravel) Philadelphia Orchestra/ Eugene Ormandy rec. Town Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 21 April, 18 June 1966. ADD SONY CLASSICAL 82876 78747 2 [69:58] [GF]

At mid-price this is a find: a truly great version of Pictures and one of the great Borises at the height of his powers. Not to be missed. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN NOF THE MONTH Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Torvaldo e Dorliska. Torvaldo, Huw Rhys-Evans (ten); Dorliska, Torvaldo’s wife, Paola Cigna (sop); ARS Brunensis Chamber Choir Czech Chamber Soloists Brno/Alessandro de Marchi rec. 2003 NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660189-90 [73.20 + 67.47] [RF]

A fine performance of the opera which preceded Rossini’s greatest work by less than two months and with the same librettist. It fills an important gap in the Rossini discography. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 5 in E minor Op. 64 (1888) [45:40] Capriccio Italien Op. 45 (1880) [14:55] Cleveland Orchestra/Georg Szell rec. 23 October 1959 (Symphony), 28 February–1 March (Capriccio), Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio. ADD SONY CLASSICAL 82876 787442 [60:35] [TB]

This famous recording of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth sounds better than ever in its latest transfer from Sony Classical. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH The Art of the Lindsays CD 1 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quartet in C major, K465 Dissonance (1785) [38.15] Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartet No.13 in A minor, Rosamunde D804 (1824) [34.05] CD 2 Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) String Quartet in F major (1902-1903) [28.42] Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartet in E flat, Op.64 No.6 (1790) [18.37] Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-47) String Quartet No.6 in F minor, Op.80 (1847) [24.49] CD 3 Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) String Quartet No.12 in F major, Op.96 (B.179) American (1893) [27.18] Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet in F minor, Op.95, Serioso (1810) [20.80] Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) String Quartet No.2 in D major (1885) [28.37] CD 4 Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) String Quartet No.1 The Kreutzer Sonata (1923) [17.15] Sir Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998) String Quartet No.5 (1990-1991) [27.57] Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) String Quartet No.6, Sz.114 (1938) [30.41] CD 5 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Quintet in A major, D667, The Trout (1819) [37.53] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op.115 (1891) [39.57] The Lindsays: (Peter Cropper, violin; Ronald Birks, violin (all tracks except Schubert Quintet); Robin Ireland, viola (all tracks except Bartók); Bernard Gregor-Smith, cello) Roger Bigley, viola (on Bartók only) Kathryn Stott, piano (Schubert Quintet only); Leon Bosch, double-bass (Schubert Quintet only); Janet Hilton, clarinet (Brahms Quintet only) see review for recording details SANCTUARY CLASSICS RESONANCE CDRSB404 [5 CDs: 72:22 + 72:18 + 76:33 + 76:11 + 77:53] [DRD]

I really can’t recommend this highly enough. It was a source of joy on our recent holiday and will make excellent Christmas presents. A really great advertisement for chamber music. ... see Full Review


Continued... May-Aug

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