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ALPHABETICAL LISTING

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 4 (1899) Kindertotenlieder (1901)* Elfride Trötschel (soprano), George London (baritone)* Kölner Westdeutschen Rundfunk Symphonie Orchester/Otto Klemperer rec. live, Köln, March 1954, October 1955* ADD ARCHIPEL ARPCD 0292 [76:06] [AOz]

Not particularly imaginative or exciting as an interpretation but mainly interesting as a measure of performance history. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 in A minor (1904) [84:11] ¹ Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein Heldenleben (1899) [50:34] London Symphony Orchestra/John Barbirolli New Philharmonia Orchestra/John Barbirolli ¹ rec. Studio No1, Abbey Road 1969 (Strauss) and Kingsway Hall, London 1967 (Mahler) EMI CLASSICS 3652852 [72:04 + 62:49][JW]

Barbirolli’s Heldenleben and Mahler 6: both late recordings and both highly controversial. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911) Urlicht Frühlingsmorgen (c.1880) [2:01]; Erinnerung (c.1880) [2:49]; Zu Strassburg auf der Schanz (c.1890) [4:15]; Der Schildwache Nachtlied (1892) [6:25]; Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen (1895) [7:21]; Scheiden und Meiden (c.1890) [2:42]; Rheinlegendchen (1893) [3:14]; Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht? (1892) [2:11]; Ich ging mit Lust durch einen grünen Wald (c.1889) [4:18]; Nicht Wiedersehen! (c.1891) [4:59]; Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt (1893) [4:33]; Urlicht (1892-4) [5:20]; Das Irdische Leben (1893) [2:49]; Um Mitternacht (1901) [6:20]; Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (1901) [6:34] Christianne Stotijn (mezzo), Julius Drake (piano) rec. The Menuhin Hall, Stoke d’Abernon, England, 10-13 April 2006 ONYX 4014 [66:05][GF]

Some vocally uneasy moments but Ms Stotijn is already a highly accomplished lieder interpreter who has obviously thought herself into these songs ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Piano Trio No.2 in D minor, H327 (1950) [15:07] Piano Trio No.3 in C major, H332 (1951) [20:02] Cinq pièces brèves (Piano Trio No.1), H193 (1930) [11:51] Duo No. 2 for violin and cello, H371 (1958) [11:37] Angell Trio rec. 22-24 October 1998, Studio 2, Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany. DDD SANCTUARY CLASSICS RESONANCE CDRSN3075 [59:39] [MC]

Excellent performances and when combined with the clear and well balanced sound quality the disc makes a welcome reappearance ... see Full Review

Joseph MARX (1882-1964) Quartetto in modo antico (1940) [25:02] Quartetto in modo classico (1942) [21:57] Quartetto in modo chromatico (1937) [28:07] Thomas Christian Ensemble ORF Studio 2, Austria, 6-11 November 2005. DDD CPO 777066-2 [75:06][RB]

Vital, ardent, close-quarters playing and recording of these variously retrospective and romantic quartets. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Etienne Nicolas MÉHUL (1763-1817) Symphony No. 1 in G minor (1808-9) [26.26] Symphony No. 2 in D major (1808-9) [24.34] Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski rec. Studio 103, Radio France, Feb 1989 WARNER APEX 0927 49535 2 [58.29] [RB]

Excellent Beethovenian symphonies - a real discovery if you are exploring your way through classical period symphonies. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Etienne MÉHUL (1763-1817) The Complete Symphonies of Méhul CD1 Overture: La Chasse du Jeune Henri (1797) [10.35] Symphony No. 1 in G minor (1808-9) [25:57] Symphony No. 2 in D major (1808-9) [27:33] CD2 Overture: Le Trésor Supposé (1802) [4.28] Symphony No. 3 in C major (1809) [23:40] Symphony No. 4 in E major (1810) [25:44] The Gulbenkian Orchestra/Michel Swierczewski rec. Lisbon, Portugal, 19-23 December 1988. DDD NIMBUS NI 5184/5 [64:05 + 53:52] [RB]

Méhul has the capacity to delight still and these recordings are a sublime avenue through which to approach this composer’s orchestral music. ... see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49 (1839) [30:58] Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66 (1845) [30:29] Variations concertantes for cello and piano, Op 17 (1829) [9:58] The Nash Ensemble: (Marianne Thorsen (violin); Paul Watkins (cello); Ian Brown (piano)) rec. 10-12 October 2005, Champs Hill, Pulborough, Sussex, England. DDD ONYX 4011 [71:54][MC]

Extremely fine performances of these three Mendelssohn chamber scores ... see Full Review

Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864) Semiramide – opera in two acts (1828) [125:38] Semiramide: Deborah Riedel (soprano) Ircano: Filippo Adami (tenor) Scitalce: Fiona James (mezzo) Mirteo: Wojtek Gierlach  (bass) Tamiri: Olga Peretyatko (soprano) Sibari: Leonardo Silva (tenor) Altensteig Rossini Choir/Hans-Jorg Kalmbach; Matthias Wurster, Wurttemberg Philharmonic Orchestra/Richard Bonynge rec. Kursaal, Bad Wildbad, Germany, live, Rossini in Wildbad Festival, 9, 13, 15 July 2005. A co-production with SWR NAXOS 8.660205-6 [66:25 + 59:13] [IB]

An interesting and very worthwhile release that throws light on a neglected corner of Meyerbeer’s career. It is even more welcome as it is well performed and decently recorded. ... see Full Review

Nikolai MIASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor Op. 23 (1921-23) [64.30] Göteborgs Symfoniska Kör Göteborgs Symfoniker/Neeme Järvi rec. August 1998, Göteborg, Konserthuset. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 471 655-2 [64.30] [RB]

Urgency, a sense of cataclysm, tragic beauty, struggle, and bloodied heroism - a reference version for this work ... see Full Review

Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) La création du monde - ballet, Op. 81 (1923) [16:47] Saudades do Brasil, Op. 67: no 7, Corcovado; no 9, Sumaré; no 8, Tijuca; no 11, Larenjeiras (1920-1921) [7:25] Le boeuf sur le toit - ballet, Op. 58 (1919) [19:35] Saudades do Brasil, Op. 67  (1920-1921) [19:35] (complete: Overture; no. 1,– Sorocabo; ; no. 2, Botafogo; no. 3, Leme; no. 4, Copacabana; no. 5, Ipanema; no. 6, Gavea; no. 7, Corcovado; no. 8, Tijuca; no. 9, Sumaré; no. 10, Paineras; no. 11, Larenjeiras; no. 12 Paysandu ORTF National Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein Concert Arts Orchestra/composer (Saudades complete) rec. 12-13 November 1976, Salle Wagram, Paris (Bernstein); 10-12 Sept 1956, Studio A, Capitol Tower, Hollywood. ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3 45808 2 [67:01][RB]

Fine revivals from the EMI stable and a pleasure to welcome them back. ... see Full Review

Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950) The Collected 78rpm Recordings: 1925-45  String Trio in G major (1931), R.59 [21:40] Jean Pougnet (violin); Frederick Riddle (viola); Anthony Pini (cello) - recorded 1941 O Sweet fa’s the Eve (Norwegian folk song), R.101 [2:37] John Goss (baritone)/Cathedral Male Voice Choir (A. W. Whitehead, S. T. Harris, J. McLean and W. Lochhead) - recorded 1945 Can’t you dance the Polka (folk song), R.29a [1:23] John Goss (baritone) with Hubert Foss (piano) - recorded 1925 Sheep Shearing (folk song), R.102 [2:29] John Goss (baritone)/ Cathedral Male Voice Choir (A. W. Whitehead, S. T. Harris, J. McLean and W. Lochhead) - recorded 1926 Diaphenia (1937), R.72 [1:56] The Sweet o’ the Year (1931), R.61 [1:00] Heddle Nash (tenor); Gerald Moore (piano) - recorded 1945 Symphony in G minor (1924-37), R.71 [42:49] Hallé Orchestra/Leslie Heward - recorded 1942 DIVINE ART 27808 [73:58][JW]

It’s very useful to have Moeran’s complete commercial recordings on 78 on one disc. A welcome disc ... see Full Review

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespro Della Beata Vergine (1610) (Vespers of the Blessed Virgin) CD1 Deus in adiutorium [1:51] Missus est Angelus [0:35] Dixit Dominus [7:05] Nigra Sum [3:18] Ave Maria gratia plena [0:40] Laudate pueri Dominum [5:47] Canzon quarta (Giovanni Paolo Cima (c. 1570-after 1622)) [1:36] Ne timeas Maria [0:50] Laetatus sum [6:25] Toccata (Ercole Pasquini (1550s-1610s)) [1:45] Dabit ei Dominus [0:46] Nisi Dominus [4:23] Secondo dialogo (Adriano Banchieri (1568-1634)) [1:10] Ecce ancilla Domini [0:38] Lauda Jerusalem [4:03] Pulchra es [4:05] CD2 Ecce virgo concipiet [0:31] Ave maris stella [9:28] Ave Maria gratia plena [0:16] Spiritus Sanctus [0:41] Magnificat [18:02] Sonata sopra Sancta Maria [6:39] Dominus vobiscum [1:47] Duo seraphim [5:41] Fidelium animae [0:17] Organ improvisation [0:49] Audi coelum [8:18] Divinum auxilium [0:29] Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh rec. November 2005, Tonbridge Chapel, UK DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 6147 [44:57 + 52:57] [PB]

A superb interpretation of Monteverdi’s breathtaking music. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat major, K271 Jeunehomme (1777) [33:02] Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K503 (1786) [32:07] Rondo in A major for piano and orchestra, K386 (1782-83) [9.06] Pascal Rogé (piano) Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra/Raymond Leppard rec. Hilbert Circle Theater, Indianapolis, USA. No recording dates provided. ONYX 4013 [74.34] [MC]

I thoroughly enjoyed Rogé’s performances however I had some reservations about the sound quality. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Piano Sonatas (plus fantasies, rondos) Leon McCawley (piano) rec. 5-8 Dec 2005, 22-25 May 2006, Potton Hall, Suffolk AVIE AV2105 [5CDs: 63.59 + 78:10 + 71:01 + 61:22 + 70:32] [DD]

An immense privilege … strongly recommended …. one of the most enjoyable experiences … bound to end up in my Records of the Year ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Walter Gieseking’s Complete Mozart Recordings 1951-55 Volume I Sonatas for Piano: no 1 in C major, K 279 (189d) (1775) [12:11]; no 2 in F major, K 280 (189e) (1775) [11:01]; no 3 in B flat major, K 281 (189f) (1775) [13:25]; no 4 in E flat major, K 282 (189g) (1775) [10:56]; no 5 in G major, K 283 (189h) (1775) [13:13]; no 6 in D major, K 284 (205b) (1775) [22:04];  no 7 in C major, K 309 (284b) (1777) [16:08]; no 8 in A minor, K 310 (300d) (1778) [14:01]; no 9 in D major, K 311 (284c) (1777) [15:58]; no 10 in C major, K 330 (300h) (1781-1783) [18:40]; no 11 in A major, K 331 (300i) (1781-1783) [16:49]; no 12 in F major, K 332 (300k) (1781-1783) [13:46]; no 13 in B flat major, K 333 (315c) (1783-1784) [17:01] Minuet for Piano in: G major, K 1 (1e) (1761-1762) [1:41]; F major, K 2 (1762) [0:46]; F major, K 4 (1762) [0:56]; F major, K 5 (1762) [0:58] Allegro for Piano in B flat major, K 3 (1762) [0:36] Variations (8) for Piano in G major on "Laat ons Juichen, Batavieren", K 24 (1766) [5:26] Variations (7) for Piano in D major on "Willem von Nassau", K 25 (1766) [4:22] Variations (6) for Piano in F major, K 54 (547b) (1788) [3:35] Minuet for Piano in D major, K 94 (73h) (1769) [1:06] Variations (6) for Piano in G major on Salieri's "Mio caro Adone", K 180 (1773) [4:47] Variations (12) for Piano on a Minuet by J C Fischer, K 179 (189a) (1774) [10:30] Minuets (8) for Keyboard, K 315a (315g) (1773) [14:03] Variations (8) for Piano in F major on "Dieu d'amour", K 352 (374c) (1781) [6:01] Allegro for Piano in B flat major, K 400 (372a) (1781) [4:50] Prelude and Fugue for Piano in C major, K 394 (383a) (1782) [8:05] Fugue for Piano in G minor, K 401 (375e) (1782) [4:00] Fantasia for Piano in C minor, K 396 (385f) (1782) [7:57] Fantasia for Piano in D minor, K 397 (385g) (1782) [5:11] Suite for Piano in C major, K 399 (385i) (1782) [8:47] Variations (6) for Piano in F major on "Salve tu, Domine", K 398 (416e) (1783) [6:42] Walter Gieseking (piano) rec. London. 1953-54. ADD ANDROMEDA ANDRCD 5051 [5 CDs: 71:30 + 62:25 + 68:57 + 69:02 + 65:42] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Walter Gieseking’s Complete Mozart Recordings 1951-55 Volume II Piano Sonatas: No. 14 in C minor, K. 457 (1784) [15:48]; No. 15 in C major ("Sonata semplice") K. 545 (1788) [9:40]; No. 16 in B flat major, K. 570 (1789) [17:48]; No. 17 in D major ("Trumpet", "Hunt"), K. 576 (1789) [13:38]; No.18 in F major, K. 533/494 [19:16]; Adagio in B minor K540 [6:12] Allegro and Allegretto for piano in F major, K. Anh. 135 (K. 547a) [5:47] Kleiner Trauermarsch (Little Funeral March) for piano in C minor, (K. 453a) [2:20] Variations (8) on "Come un agnello," for piano in A major, K. 460 (K. 454a) [7:36] Variations (10) on "Unser dummer Pöbel meint," for piano in G major, K. 455 [13:32] Fantasia for piano in C minor, K. 475 [11:52] Movements for piano in B flat major (spurious), K(3) 498a (K. Anh. C 25.04/05) [7:28] Variations (12) on an anonymous allegretto for piano in B flat major, K. 500 [5:34] German dances (6) for orchestra, K. 509 [10:46] Rondo in D major K485 [4:45] Rondo for piano No. 3 in A minor, K. 511 [7:49] Variations (9) on a minuet by Duport for piano in D major, K. 573 [8:11] Gigue for piano in G major ("Eine kleine Gigue"), K. 574 [1:36] Andantino for piano in E flat major, K. 236 (K. 588b) [4:41] Minuet for piano in D major, K. 355 (K. 576b) [2:35] Variations (8) on "Ein Weib ist das herrlichste Ding," for piano in F major, K. 613 [13:21] Andante for mechanical organ in F major, K. 616 [6:04] Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor K466 (1785) [30:32] # Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major K488 (1786) [24:41] Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor K491 (1786) [31:52] Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major K503 (1786) [31:40] Quintet in E flat major for piano and winds K452 [21:22] * Walter Gieseking (piano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan Philharmonia Orchestra/Hans Rosbaud # Philharmonia Wind Ensemble * rec. London, 1953-54 ANDROMEDA ANDRCD 5057 [5 CDs: 69:11 + 59:43 + 68:43 + 63:16 + 78:59][JW]

The historically and musically minded must make sure that they have at least some of these in their collection ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Flute Quartets: in D K285 [14:04] (1777); in G K285a [7:01]; in A K298 [11:07] (1786); in C K285b [16:23] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Serenade in D for flute, violin and viola Op.25 [24:54] (1801) Lisa Beznosiuk (flute); Pavlo Beznosiuk (violin); Tom Dunn (viola); Richard Tunnicliffe (‘cello) rec. July 2006, Lunces Hall Barn, Sussex. DDD AVIE AV2108 [74:08] [PCW]

Delectable … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Serenade No. 10 for 13 instruments in B flat major, K361 'Gran Partita' (c.1781-84) [48:51] Serenade No. 12 for winds in C minor, K388 (c. 1782-83) [23:36] London Winds/Michael Collins (clarinet) rec. 13-14 April 2006, Walthen Hall, Barnes, London. DDD ONYX 4012 [72:31] [MC]

These are fine recordings. The excellence of the strongest rival versions, however, makes this set difficult to recommend. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) BBC TV Series – Great Composers Excerpts from: Die Entführung aus dem Serail K384 (1781-2) Act II: ‘Welche Wonne, Welche Lust’ Le nozze di Figaro, K492 (1785-6) – Overture; Act I ‘Se vuol ballare’; ActII: ‘Voi che sapete’; Act III: ‘Che soave zeffiretto’ Don Giovanni K527, (1787) Overture Cosi fan tutte, (1789) K588 - Act I Quintet Die Zauberflöte, K620(1790-1)) Act I ‘Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja’. Symphony No. 1, K 16 (1764) Symphony No. 31, K297 ‘Paris’ (1778) - Finale Symphony No. 40, K550 (1788) – 1st movement Symphony No. 41, K551 ‘Jupiter’(1788) - Finale Piano Concerto No. 23, K488 (1784-6) 1st and 2nd movements Violin Concerto in A major, K219 (1775) Clarinet Concerto, K622 (1791) – 2nd movement String Quartet, K465 ‘Dissonance’ (1785) - 1st movement String Quartet in G major, K387 (1782) – Finale Narrated by: Kenneth Branagh Performed by: Cecilia Bartoli (soprano); Lilian Watson (soprano); Imogen Cooper (pianist); Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Endellion Quartet; London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis Contributors include: H.C. Robbins Landon; Jonathan Miller; Robert Levin, Charles Rosen; Sir Georg Solti; Sir Colin Davis and Imogen Cooper. BBC broadcast 1997 WARNER MUSIC/NVC ARTS/BBC 50-51011-5449-2-7 [59:00] [IL]

Even the keenest Mozart admirer will find some wonderful insights in this excellent documentary. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony No.38 in D, ‘Prague’ (1786) [27:10] Symphony No.39 in E Flat (1788) [28:51] Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Alexander Schneider rec. 1986. DDD COE RECORDS CD COE 806 [56:11] [TP]

Both symphonies receive warm, affectionate performances here in clear digital sound ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The secret Mozart: works for clavichord On a Hass clavichord: Allegro in G minor, K. 312 [8.21] Andante and 5 Variations in G, K. 501 [8.55]* Minuetto in D, K. 355/Trio da M. Stadler [7.12]On Mozart’s clavichord: Marche funèbre, K. 453a [2.14] Andantino, K. 236 [1.41] Klavierstück in F, K. 33b (after Gluck) [0.57] Adagio for Glass Harmonica, K. 356 [2.51] Laßt uns mit geschlungen Händen K. 623 [1.32] Rondo in F, K. 494 [6.29]On a Schiedmayer clavichord: Theme and 2 Variations in A, K. 460 [3.55] Fantasia in D minor, K. 397 [5.18] Sonata in D, K. 381 [17.29]* Fantasia in D minor, K.397 (with coda) [5.43] Christopher Hogwood with *Derek Adlam (clavichord) Instruments: Unfretted clavichord by JA Hass, 1761. Pitch: a1=392 Hz; Anonymous unfretted clavichord owned by Mozart from mid to late 1700s. Pitch: a1=415 Hz; Unfretted clavichord by JCG Scheidmayer, 1791. Pitch: a1=430 Hz rec. October 2004, Church of St Lawrence, West Wycombe (Hass and Schiedmayer); Mozart Geburtshaus, Salzburg (Mozart’s clavichord). DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 82876 832882 [73.46] [ED]

A disc that offers a refreshing view of Mozart. Enthusiastically recommended. ... see Full Review

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Boris Godunov (1869 version) Boris – Matti Salminen (bass) Fyodor - Brian Asawa (counter-tenor) Xenia - Marie Arnet (soprano) Xenia’s Nurse - Stefania Toczyska (alto) Prince Vassily Ivanovich Shuisky – Philip Langridge (tenor) Andrei Shchelkalov – Albert Shagidullin (bar) Pimen – Eric Halvarson (bass) Grigory the Pretender – Pär Lindskog (tenor) Varlaam – Anatoly Kotcherga (bass) Missail – Jose Manuel Zapata (bass) Landlady – Itxaro Mentxaka (mezzo) Simpleton – Alex Grigoriev (tenor) Nikitich – David Pittman-Jennings (bass) Dmitri – Ferran Ilari (non-singing role) Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Musica Catalana/Jordi Casas i Bayer Cor Vivaldi – IPSI – Petits Cantors de Catalunya/Oscar Boada Orquestra Simfonica i Cor del Gran Teatre del Liceu/Sebastian Weigle; William Spalding (chorus master) Director; Willy Decker Set and Costume Design: John MacFarlane Directed for television and video by Xavi Boré Recorded live at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, October 2004, Picture format NTSC 16:9 Region Code 0 , Dolby Digital Surround 5. 1 and LPCM Stereo, Subtitles, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Catalan. Liner notes, English, German, French and Spanish TDK DVD DVWW-OPBORIS [157:00][LK]

Philip Langridge (Shuisky) and Eric Halvarson (Pimen) are in great form both vocally and as interpreters of their roles, and together with Salminen make this a Boris which needs to be heard. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Masao OHKI (1901-1971) Japanese Rhapsody (1938) [12:57] Symphony No. 5 Hiroshima (1953) [39:08] New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa rec. Sumida Triphony Hall, Tokyo, 1-2 May 2005 NAXOS 8.557839 [52:05] [AOz]

The Hiroshima Symphony is a startling, bracing and deeply felt meditation on the effects of war – a lesson that still needs to be repeated, again and again ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pavel PABST (1854-1897) Piano Concerto in E flat major Op 82 (1885) [32:58] Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1934) [23:54] Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Fantasy Overture: Hamlet Op. 67 (1888) [18:45] Panagiotis Trochopoulos (piano) Belarusian State Academic Symphony Orchestra/Marius Stravinsky rec. 19 April 2005 (Pabst) and 7-8 February 2005 (Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky) CAMEO CLASSICS C-C9021CD [76:21] [DB]

Recommended particularly for the Pabst — an unearthed gem. … see Full Review

Giovanni PACINI (1796-1867) Pacini Rediscovered - extracts from nine of his operas composed between 1813 and 1848 Adelaide e Comincio (1817) - Overture Annetta e Lucindo (1813) - Quartet, Fra l'orror di notte oscura Eiddwen Harrhy, (sop); Paul Nilon, (ten); John Cashmore, Geoffrey Dolton (bar) Cesare in Egitto (1821) - Terzetto, O bei lampo lusinghiero Annick Massis (sop); Bruce Ford (ten); Kenneth Tarver Temistocle (1823) - Cavatina, Tacete! ohimè, quei cantici Jennifer Larmore (mezzo) Alessandro nell’Indie (1824) - Terzetto, Che fai fellon'... Ciel! d'una misera Majella Cullagh (sop); Enkelejda Shkosa (mezzo); William Matteuzzi (ten) Il contestabile di Chester (1829) - Duetto, Ah sì ch'io t'amo... Là sotto il salice Yvonne Kenny (sop); Susan McCullough Carlo di Borgogna (1835) - Coro, Squillan già di vetta in vetta Geoffrey Mitchell Choir Maria regina d'Inghilterra (1843) - Fenimoore's aria, Eccomi presso alla terribil ora Bruce Ford (ten) Envoi: Allan Cameron (1848) - Cabaletta dell'aria finale, Ah! del core il voto ardente Annick Massis (sop); Alan Opie (bar) Geoffrey Mitchell Choir Philharmonia Orchestra/David Parry London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Parry Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Antonello Allemandi No recording venues or dates given OPERA RARA ORR 238 [75.59][RJF]

This excellent compilation provides an opportunity to hear extracts from works by a little known composer whose music has individuality and distinction ... see Full Review

Polish Fantasy Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941) Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.17 (1888) [33:34]1 Fantaisie Polonaise for Piano and orchestra, Op.19 (1893) [22:37]2 Krzystof Penderecki (b.1933) Partita for harpsichord (1971) [19:17]3 Felicja Blumental (piano; harpsichord) Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Helmut Froschauer1 ; Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Krzystof Penderecki3; Innsbruck Symphony Orchestra/Robert Wagner2 rec. no details given1,2; Polish Radio Studio, Katowice, 19723 BRANA BR0028 [75:31] [GPu]

A valuable and historically important performance of Penderecki’s Partita, and interesting readings – in less than perfect sound – of two showpieces by Paderewski … see Full Review

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Symphony No. 1 (Polyphonic) (1964) (Kanons [9:14]; Prelude and Fugue [7:26]) Collage on the Theme B-A-C-H (1964): (Toccata [2:55]; Saraband [3:29]; Ricercar [1:30]) Pro et Contra, concerto for cello and orchestra (1966) (Maestoso; Largo; Allegro [8:30]) Tabula Rasa, concerto for two violins, prepared piano and string orchestra (1977) (Ludus [10:09]; Silentium [18:18]) Congress Orchestra/Vladimir Norits (Symphony, Collage on the Theme B-A-C-H, Pro et Contra), Paolo Gatto (Tabula Rasa), Vadim Messerman (cello), Crtomir Siskovich and Victor Kuleshov (violins), Peter Laul (piano) rec. Petersburg Recording Studio, 1995. DDD MANCHESTER CLASSICS CDMAN 135 [62.05][EM]

Extremely well-played but those familiar with Pärt’s later music be warned: these are a far cry from those later luminescent, spiritual works of art! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Triodion (1998) [13:36] Tribute to Caesar (1997) [5:33] Nunc dimittis (2001) [6:16] Ode VII (Memento) from Kanon Pokajanen (1994) [7:37] I Am the True Vine (1996) [7:37] The Woman with the Alabaster Box (1997) [5:26] Dopo la vittoria (1996/1998) [10:39] Bogoróditse Djévo (Mother of God and Virgin) (1990) [1:28] Elora Festival Singers / Noel Edison rec. 19-21 May, 2006, St John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. DDD NAXOS 8.570239 [57:35] [GPu]

A fascinating sound-picture of the later developments in Pärt’s choral writing, well sung and well recorded … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b.1933) Symphony No.7 Seven Gates of Jerusalem (1996) Olga Pasichnyk, Aga Mikołaj (soprano), Ewa Marciniec (alto), Wiesław Ochman (tenor), Romauld Tesarowicz (bass), Boris Carmeli (narrator). Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra/Antoni Wit rec. 18-20 November 2003, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, Poland NAXOS 8.557766 [60:47][DC]

A disturbingly moving and dramatic apocalypse for your front room. ... see Full Review

Peter PHILIPS (1560/1-1628) Fantasia in F major (1582) [7.31] Amarilli, mia bella (1603) (after Giulio CACCINI, 1551-1618) [4.03] Chi far fed' al cielo (II) (after Alessandro STRIGGIO, c.1540-1592) [6.35] Pavan in G major (1580) [3.27] Deggio dun que partire (after Luca MARENZIO, 1553-1599) [3.54] Io partirò (after Luca MARENZIO) [3.07] Ma voi, caro ben mio (after Luca MARENZIO) [3.28] Paget Pavan and [7.18] Galliard in C minor [2.39] Bonjour mon creur (1602) (after Orlande de LASSUS, c.1532-1594) [4.39] Le Rossignuol (1595) (after Orlande de LASSUS) [5.10] Margot, labourez [2.47] les vignes (after Orlande de LASSUS) (1605) Fantasia in D minor [3.47] Fece da voi partita [4.18]Passamezzo Pavan and 9.33] Galliard in G minor [5.37] Elizabeth Farr (harpsichord, 1658 by Jerome de Zentis, Rome, restored by Keith Hill). rec. Ploger Hall, Manchester, Michigan, USA, 13 August 2005 NAXOS 8.557864 [78.04] [PSh]

A beautiful, thoroughly enjoyable disk of Elizabethan English keyboard music, a valuable and interesting insight into one of the less known figures of the period. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La bohème (1896) Anna Moffo (soprano) – Mimi; Richard Tucker (tenor) – Rodolfo; Robert Merrill (baritone) – Marcello; Mary Costa (soprano) – Musetta; Giorgio Tozzi (bass) – Colline; Philip Maero (baritone) – Schaunard; Fernando Corena (bass) – Benoit; Giorgio Onesti (bass) – Alcindoro; Adelio Zagonara (tenor) – Parpignol; Flavio Tosin (baritone) – A Customhouse Official; Adelio Zagonara (tenor) – Sergeant Rome Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Erich Leinsdorf rec. Rome Opera House, 15–20 June 1961. DDD SONY/BMG 82876 82621 2 [50:13 + 49:45][GF]

With excellent three-channel SACD sound, a generally first-class cast and in particular the young Anna Moffo’s ravishing Mimi, this 45-year-old recording is something to treasure ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) Madama Butterfly (1904) Leontyne Price (soprano) – Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San); Rosalind Elias (mezzo) – Suzuki, Cio-Cio-San’s servant; Richard Tucker (tenor) – B.F. Pinkerton, Lieutenant in the United States Navy; Anna di Stasio (mezzo) – Kate Pinkerton, his American wife; Philip Maero (baritone) – Sharpless, United States Consul at Nagasaki; Piero de Palma (tenor) – Goro, a marriage broker; Robert Kerns (baritone) – Prince Yamadori, suitor for Cio-Cio-San; Virgilio Carbonari (bass) – The Bonze, Cio-Cio-San’s uncle; Arturo La Porta (baritone) – Imperial Commissioner; Mario Rinaudo (bass) – The Registrar; Leo Pudis (bass) – Yakuside, the uncle; Fernanda Cadoni (mezzo) – Mother of Cio-Cio-San; Gianna Lollini (soprano) – The Aunt; Silvia Bertona (soprano) – The Cousin; RCA Italiana Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Erich Leinsdorf rec. 10–20 July 1962, RCA Italiana Studios, Rome SONY BMG 82876 82622 2 [60:45 + 68:44] [GF]

With Price and Tucker in top form and Leinsdorf’s efficient unsentimental conducting this budget version is a worthy addition to anyone’s collection of Butterflies. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) Tosca (1900) Zinka Milanov (soprano) – Floria Tosca; Franco Corelli (tenor) – Mario Cavaradossi; Gian Giacomo Guelfi (baritone) – Scarpia; Michael Langdon (bass) – Cesare Angelotti; David Tree (tenor) – Spoletta; Forbes Robinson (bass) – Il sagrestano; Ronald Lewis – Sciarrone; Rhyddeech Davies (bass) – Gaoler; Noreen Berry (soprano) – Shepherd, The Covent Garden Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Alexander Gibson rec. live, Royal Opera House, London, 1 July 1957. ADD ROYAL OPERA HOUSE HERITAGE SERIES ROHS005 [43:50 + 70:07] [GF]

The set does not out-manoeuvre any of the established recommendations but it is worth investing in for the sake of the young Corelli on glorious form and the opportunity to hear Guelfi. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 (1909) [38:18] Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 (1868) [22:35] Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Preludes and Fugues (24) for piano, Op. 87 1950-1951: No. 5 in D major [3:22]; No. 24 in D minor [11:08] Emil Gilels (piano) Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris/André Cluytens rec. Théâtre des Champs Elysées, 13 June 1955 (Rachmaninov); 11 March 1954 (Saint-Saëns); New York, 19-20 October 1955 (Shostakovich). mono. ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3 45819 2 [75:40][RB]

An untypically gauzy focus compromises these fine performances – listen through it for Gilels’ aureate music-making in the Rachmaninov. ... see Full Review

Maurice RAVEL (1857-1937) Daphnis et Chloé: Suite No. 2 (1913) [16:55]¹ Piano Concerto in G Major (1931) [21:46]² La Valse (1919-1920) [12:54]³ Martha Argerich (piano)² Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester/Gary Bertini rec. Köln, Philharmonie, 11 November 1989¹; Köln, Gürzenich, 7 December 1985²; Köln, Philharmonie, 3 September 1988³. Live recordings CAPRICCIO 71093 [52:21] [TP]

This is a disc for fans of Argerich, fans of Bertini and fans of Ravel to consider ... see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Ballad of the Gnomes (1920) [15:02] Three Botticelli Pictures (1927) [18:09] Suite in G major for strings and organ (1902-05) [22:28] Adagio with variations for cello and orchestra (1921) [13:08] Leslie Pearson (organ) Alexander Baillie (cello) Philharmonia Orchestra/Geoffrey Simon rec. Goldsmiths College, London, December 1990 CALA SACD CADS 4028 [69:04][JW]

Part bravura, part lyric painting, part Caravaggio, part Botticelli. Eloquent performances. ... see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) The Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Vol. 1 Sonata in B minor for violin and piano (1916-17) [24:57] 1. Moderato 2. Andante espressivo 3. Passacaglia. Allegro moderato ma energico Cinque Pezzi (Five Pieces) for violin and piano (c.1927) [20:38] 4. Romanza 5. Aubade 6. Madrigale 7. Berceuse 8. Humoresque Sei Pezzi (Six Pieces) for violin and piano (c.1922) [24:48] 9. Berceuse 10. Melodia 11. Leggenda 12. Valse caressante 13. Serenata 14. Aria Ilona Then-Bergh (violin) Michael Schäfer (piano) rec. 31 March, 8 June 2005, University of Music and Performing Arts, Munich, Germany. DDD GENUIN GEN 86063 [71:52][MC]

First class playing from Then-Bergh and Schäfer. The Respighi Sonata deserves wider recognition. ... see Full Review

Ned ROREM (b.1923) Nine Episodes for Four Players (2004) [22:08] Dances (1983) [13:51] Spring Music (1990) [24:08] Contrasts Quartet: (Ayako Oshima (clarinet); Monica Bauchwitz (violin); Ariane Lallemand (cello); Evelyne Luest (piano)) rec. July 2004. DDD PHOENIX USA PHCD 163 [67:38] [PC]

Rorem’s forays into atonality are actually more of the conservative Bergian kind, with hints of French wistfulness ... see Full Review

 


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