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If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Detailed listing (last five days)]
[Part 1 New]  
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[Recommended recordings]

 

DAILY CD REVIEWS



Hoffnung At Large
New
double CD lasting 2 hours of Gerard Hoffnung from the BBC.
Full details here

£14 postage included world-wide

Hoffnung Music Festivals 1956,58,61
2CDs:£17 postage included World-Wide [mono/stereo]
This is a must for all Hoffnung enthusiasts.
Purchase here    see review








Available for the FIRST TIME
- a DVD of 7 animated Hoffnung cartoons as shown on the BBC in the 1960s in FULL COLOUR plus animated Gilbert and Sullivan Ruddigore. £14.99 Details
NOTE: Region 0 but PAL only

Hoffnung - A Last Encore
On 2 CDs lasting 1 hour 45min, this contains all the recordings of Hoffnung preserved in the BBC archives. They include the famous and hilariously funny Bricklayer story from the Oxford Union. [mono]
£14 postage included world-wide Purchase

See a new Hoffnung Cartoon every day


 

Click for MUSICWEB RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR


RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Ludwig BACH (1677-1731) Cantatas (pre-1726) Marche dich auf, werde licht [17:55] Ja, mir hast du Arbeit genacht [19:56] Er machete uns lebendig [12:08] Die mit Tränen säen [17:32] Barbara Schlick (soprano) Mary Nichols (alto) Wilfried Jochens (tenor) Stephen Varcoe (bass) Jugendkantorei Dormagen, Die Kleine Konzert/Hermann Max rec. Neanderkirche, Dusseldorf, 2-6 November 1981 CARUS 83.186 [67:33] [JW]

A sure-footed conspectus of a gifted cousin’s seldom-performed cantatas. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat, Op. 83a (1878-81) [45:31] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1797-1827) Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111b (1822) [25:47] John Ogdon (piano) aThe Hallé Orchestra/John Barbirolli rec. aBBC Studios, Manchester, 16 September 1966; bBBC Studios, London, 5 November 1963. ADD mono BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4183-2 [71:54][CC]

This is a magical reminder of a great pianist, here caught in collaboration with a great conductor. One thing is sure - we are in the presence of genius when we listen to these astonishing performances. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Domenico CIMAROSA (1749–1801) Il matrimonio segreto - Comic Opera in Two Acts (1792) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) – Geronimo, a wealthy merchant; Julia Varady (soprano) – Elisetta, his elder daughter, promised in marriage to the Count; Arleen Augér (soprano) – Carolina, his younger daughter, secretly married to Paolino; Julia Hamari (contralto) – Fidalma, Geronimo’s sister, widow; Alberto Rinaldi (baritone) – the Count; Ryland Davies (tenor) – Paolino, young clerk to Geronimo; English Chamber Orchestra/Daniel Barenboim rec. George Watson’s College, Edinburgh, August-September 1975, Henry Wood Rehearsal Hall, London, August 1976 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 476 5303 [3 CDs: 56:45 + 59:39 + 49:40] [GF]

One of the best examples of recorded opera buffa in the entire catalogue – a true benchmark version! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Orlando GIBBONS (1583-1625)
Keyboard Music
Fantasia, MB101 [2:25] A Fancy, MB3; Fantasia, MB81 [5:13] The Queen’s Command, MB282 [1:30] Pavan, MB17; Galliard, MB232 [4:56] Ground, MB262 [2:33] Alman, MB33; Coranto, MB402 [2:53] The Italian Ground, MB272 [1:54] Verse, MB4; Fantasia of 4 parts, MB121 [6:24] Prelude, MB13 [1:38] Pavan: Lord Salisbury, MB18; Galliard, MB193 [5:59] Alman: The King’s Jewel, MB36; Alman, MB373 [3:39] Pavan, MB163 [5:31] Galliard, MB21; Galliard, MB223 [5:07] Lincoln’s Inn Masque, MB44; The Queen’s Command, MB283 [2:39] Christopher Hogwood (1cabinet organ, 2Italian spinet, 3harpsichord) rec. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, April 1975. ADD EXPLORE RECORDS EXP 0006 [53:20] [MG]

The classic recording of Gibbons’ keyboard music with playing unsurpassed by its successors … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Vingts Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus (1944) [124:27] Joyce Hatto (piano) rec. Concert Artists Studios, Cambridge. Regards 1-10, 8 September 2004; 5 January 2006, Regards 11-20, 10 September 2004; 6 January 2006. CONCERT ARTIST CACD 20032 [55:14 + 68:59] [DC]

I can’t imagine Messiaen himself would have wanted more. ... see Full Review

 RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Violin Sonatas CD 1 Sonata for Piano and Violin in F, K.376 [16:38] Sonata for Piano and Violin in E flat, K.302 [12:05] Sonata for Piano and Violin in G, K.379 [15:52] Sonata for Piano and Violin in B flat, K.454 [15:30] CD 2 Sonata for Piano and Violin in A, K.305 [16:44] Sonate für Violine und Klavier Nr. 26 B-dur KV 378 [19:30] Sonate für Violine und Klavier Nr. 18 G-dur KV 301 [13:19] Sonata for Piano and Violin in E flat, K.481 [23:27] CD 3 Sonata for Piano and Violin in C, K.296 [15:39] Sonata for Piano and Violin in E flat, K.380 [20:07] Sonata for Piano and Violin in F, "für Anfänger", K.547 [16:34] Sonata for Piano and Violin in D, K.306 [19:20] CD 4 Sonata for Piano and Violin in C, K.303 [9:44] Sonata for Piano and Violin in F, K.377 [18:50] Sonate für Violine und Klavier Nr. 21 e-moll KV 304 [14:21] Sonate für Violine und Klavier A-dur KV 526 [20:52] Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin) Lambert Orkis (piano) rec. Philharmonie im Gasteig, Munich, February 2006. DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 002894775801 [4 CDs: 68:19 + 70:12 + 72:56 + 64:04][DC]

A more consistently wonderful set than this new recording you won’t find for money or love. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791) The Mozart Album see review for details Anna Netrebko (soprano)٭, Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone)¹, Elīna Garanča (mezzo)ŗ, Thomas Quasthoff (bass-baritone)², René Pape (bass)³, Christoph Strehl (tenor)^, Erika Miklósa (soprano)Ŗ, Miah Persson (soprano)˚, Christine Rice (mezzo)י; rec 2005-6 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 6297 [59:30] [GF]

A collection of golden eggs worth anyone’s money! Here are indeed some of finest voices now before the public. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492: Giunse alfin il momento … Deh vieni, non tardar, o gioia bella (Susanna)[4:17]; Voi che sapete (Cherubino)(with embellishments by Domenico Corri)[3:06]; Ch’io mi scordi di te? … Non temer, amato bene K. 505 (Idamante)(from a revision of the opera Idomeneo)[10:36]; Cosģ fan tutte, K. 588: In uomini, in soldati (Despina)[2:55]; Ei parte … Senti! …Ah, no! … Per pietą, ben mio, perdona (Fiordiligi)[9:33]; Č amore un ladroncello (Dorabella)[3:13]; La clemenza di Tito, K. 621: Non pił di fiori vaghe catene (Vitellia)[7:06]; Idomeneo, K. 366: Quando avran fine omai … Padre, germani, addio! (Ilia)[8:01]; Vado, ma dove? o Dei! K. 583 (Madama Lucilla) (insertion in the opera Il burbero di buon core by Martin y Soler)[4:29]; Le nozze di Figaro: Non so pił cosa son, cosa faccio (Cherubino) [2:46]; Alma grande, e nobil core! K. 578 (Madama)(insertion in the opera I due baroni di Rocca Azzurra by Domenico Cimarosa [4:28]; Le nozze di Figaro: Giunse alfin il momento … Al desio di chi t’adora, K. 577 (Susanna)(replacing Deh vieni non tardar at the revival in Vienna, 29 August 1789)[7:29]; Magdalena Ko˛enį (mezzo) Jos van Immerseel (fortepiano) Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Sir Simon Rattle rec. AIR Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London, December 2005 ARCHIV PRODUKTION 00289 477 5799 [67:56][GF]

Being a Mozart enthusiast in the operatic field this year involves deep incisions in the bank account. This disc with Ko˛enį also belongs in the not-to-be-missed category. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH John TAVERNER (c. 1490-1545) Kyrie (Le Roy) [6:37] Western Wind Mass [25:08] William CORNYSH (d. 1523) Woefully Arrayed [7:22] ANONYMOUS (c. 1510) Ah, My Dear Son [5:43] SHERYNGHAM (c. 1500) Ah, gentle Jesu [6:02] John BROWNE (fl. c. 1480-1505) Jesu, mercy [9:21] Christopher TYE (c. 1505-1573) In Pace Ars Nova Copenhagen/Paul Hillier rec. 19-24 July 2004, St. Paul’s Church, Copenhagen. DA CAPO 8.226050 [65:32][KS]

Flawless singing from every point of view. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Concerti per violino vol. 1
Concerto in D Grosso Mogul (RV 208) [15:07] Concerto in g minor (RV 332) [09:43] Concerto in D L'Inquietudine (RV 234) [06:22] Concerto in c minor Il Sospetto (RV 199) [09:08] Concerto in B flat La Caccia (RV 362) [07:40] Concerto in E Il Riposo (RV 270) [07:31] Enrico Onofri (violin) Academia Montis Regalis/Alessandro de Marchi rec. June 2005, Oratorio di Santa Croce, Mondovi, Italy. DDD NAÏVE OP 30417 [55:33] [JV]

This disc is a winner in every respect - Onofri not only gives splendid interpretations but also explains which Vivaldi’s underlying ideas ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Christmas at St. John’s College, Cambridge Chapel Bell [0.35] Plainsong Rorate cæli [5:21] Hymn: O come, O come, Emmanuel [3:25] Antiphon: O Sapientia [1:00] Otto GOLDSCHMIDT (1829-1907) A Tender Shoot [2:08] Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) A Spotless Rose (1919) [3:15] Hymn: Lo! He comes with clouds descending (descant by Christopher Robinson) [4:44] Antiphon: O Adonai [1:08] Edward NAYLOR (1867-1934) Vox dicentes: Clama (1911) [9:00] Antiphon: O Radix Jesse [1:02] Judith BINGHAM (b. 1952) The clouded Heaven (1998) [4:50] Antiphon: O Clavis David [1:09] John RUTTER (b. 1943) There is a flower (1986) [4:28] Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) This have I done for my true love (1916) [5:29] Antiphon: O Oriens [0:57] Francis POTT (b. 1957) Lullay my liking (2004) [6:40] Antiphon: O Rex gentium [0:58] Peter WARLOCK (1894-1930) arr. David HILL Bethlehem Down (1927) [4:49] Antiphon: O Emmanuel [1:00] Morten LAURIDSEN (b. 1943) O magnum mysterium (1994) [6:50] Hymn: O come, all ye faithful (descant by David Hill) [3:54] Antiphon: Hodie Christus natus est [1:07] The Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge/Paul Provost (organ)/David Hill rec. St. John’s College Chapel, 13-15 January 2006. DDD HYPERION CDA67576 [74:41] [JQ]

This is a very distinguished package indeed. I shall be surprised if I encounter a finer CD of Christmas music this year ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Lighten our Darkness: Music for the Close of Day, including The Office of Compline Evening Prayers John SHEPPARD (c1515-1558) In pace [5:16]; Libera nos, salva nos [3:49] Orlande de LASSUS (1532-1594) Justorum animae [3:06] Jacob HANDL (1550-1591) Pater noster [4:22] William MUNDY (c1528-1591) O Lord, the Maker of all thing [2:51] William BYRD (1543-1623) Visita, quaesumus Domine [5:04] Josef RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Abendlied [3:23] Evening Hymns William BYRD O Christ who art the light and day [4:29] Louis BOURGEOIS (c1510-1559) O gladsome light [1:54] Thomas TALLIS (c1505-1585) Te lucis ante terminum [2:24] Motets of the Virgin Mary Tomas Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) Alma Redemptoris Mater [6:52]; Ave Regina caelorum [3:18]; Regina caeli laetare [3:35]; Salve Regina [10:32] Francisco GUERRERO (1528-1599) Ave Maria [5:06] Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Bogoroditsye Dyevo (Ave Maria) [2:38] Two Commendations William BYRD In manus tuas [3:25] John SHEPPARD In manus tuas [3:56] The Office of Compline* [22:42] John Harte (Reader)/Simon Wall (Precentor) The Cambridge Singers/John Rutter rec. The Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, January 2006. DDD COLLEGIUM COLCD 131 [77:33 + 22:42][JQ]

This is a lovingly performed and deeply satisfying pair of discs that should be self-recommending to all lovers of the music of the English church. ... see Full Review

 


BARGAINS OF THE MONTH

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Elgar Orchestral Works conducted by Sir John Barbirolli CD 1 [67:43]
Symphony No. 1, Introduction and Allegro, CD 2 [65:24] Symphony No. 2, Elegy, Sospiri, CD 3 [63:14] Falstaff, Cockaigne, Froissart, CD 4 [72:55] Enigma Variations, Pomp & Circumstance Marches Nos. 1-5, Serenade, CD 5 [53:45] Sea Pictures, Cello Concerto, Janet Baker (mezzo) ; Jacqueline du Pré (cello) Allegri String Quartet Sinfonia of London/John Barbirolli ; Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli ; Hallé Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli ; New Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli ; London Symphony Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli EMI CLASSICS 3 67918 2 [5 CDs: 67:43 + 65:24 + 63:14 + 72:55 + 53:45] [RB]

This is a commanding Christmas bargain. Readings that are still exciting, eccentrically blighted and blessed, magnificent and suffused with radiant personality. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Orchestral Miniatures Froissart Overture Op. 19 (1890) [14:02]; May Song (1901 orch. 1928) [4:04]; Carissima (1913) [3:44]; Romance for Bassoon and Orchestra Op. 62 (1910) [5:18]; Three Characteristic Pieces Op. 10 (1882/99) [12:02]; Minuet Op. 21 (1897/9) [4:26]; Chanson de Nuit Op. 15 no. 1 (1897) [4:26]; Chanson de Matin (1898) [3:37]; Three Bavarian Dances (1895) [12:15] Preman Tilson (bassoon) New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/James Judd rec. Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand, 6-8 April 2004 NAXOS 8.557577 [64:04][GH]

A delightful disc with attractive and thoughtful performances and at a budget price. This particular combination of pieces has not been put together before and probably never will again, so snap it up. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Lyric Pieces CD 1 Lyric Pieces (8), Book 1, Op. 12 (1867) Lyric Pieces (8), Book 2, Op. 38 (1883) Lyric Pieces (6), Book 3, Op. 43 (1886) Lyric Pieces (7), Book 4, Op. 47 (1885-1888) CD 2 Lyric Pieces (6), Book 5, Op. 54 (1891)  Lyric Pieces (6), Book 6, Op. 57 (1893) Lyric Pieces (6), Book 7, Op. 62 (1895) CD 3  Lyric Pieces (6), Book 8, Op. 65 (1897) Lyric Pieces (6), Book 9, Op. 68 (1898) Lyric Pieces (7), Book 10, Op. 71 (1901) Aldo Ciccolini (piano) rec. Paris, 2004 (exact date and location not given) CASCAVELLE VEL3083 [3 CDs: 61:23 + 62:33 + 59:04] [DC]

Confirms Ciccolini’s place as one of the great pianists of our time. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 8 in E flat Symphony of a Thousand (1906-10) [80:51] Barbara Kubiak (soprano) Magna Peccatrix; Izabela Klosinska (soprano) Una Poenitentiam; Marta Boberska (soprano) Mater Gloriosa; Jadwiga Rappé (mezzo-soprano) Mulier Samaritana; Ewa Marciniec (mezzo) Maria Aegyptiaca; Timothy Bentch (tenor) Doctor Marianus; Wojtek Drabowicz (baritone) Pater Ecstaticus; Piotr Nowacki (bass) Pater Profundis Polish Radio Choir (Kraków); Warsaw Boys’ Choir; Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University Choir; Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra/Antoni Wit rec. Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, 1-6 June, 2005 NAXOS 8.550533-34 [23:56 + 56:55][TH]

Exceptional value … serious Mahlerians really should hear it ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Toru TAKEMITSU (1930-1996) Spirit Garden (1994) [14:42] Solitude Sonore (1958) [6:32] Film Scores: Jose Torres (1959): Music of Training and Rest [5:12]; Black Rain (1989): Funeral Music [5:17]; Face of Another: Waltz [2:26] Dreamtime (1981) [14:35] A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden (1977) [13:52] Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. January 2005, Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, England NAXOS 8.557760 [62:37] [KM]

An excellent introduction to this little-known composer, and at a bargain price ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH English String Miniatures 6 Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) A Moorside Suite (1928) (arr. Philip Lane) [14:02] Scherzo [3:13]; Nocturne [6:30]; March [4:20] Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Chacony in G minor, Z.730 (ed. Benjamin Britten) [7:07] Paul LEWIS (b.1943) Rosa Mundi (2003) [3:36] Adam CARSE (1878-1958) The Winton Suite (1933) [12:40] Prelude [2:22]; Air [2:17]; Dance [1:34]; Song [3:39]; Finale [2:47] Peter WARLOCK (1894-1930) Bethlehem Down (1927) (A carol for strings arr. Philip Lane) [4:07] Paul CARR (b.1961) A Very English Music (2002) [7:42] Cuckmere Haven [2:39]; Cornish Air [3:08]; The Hunt Gathering [1:55] William Lloyd WEBBER (1914-1982) Waltz in E minor (1939) [4:36] Lionel SAINSBURY (b.1958) Two Nocturnes (1990) [4:49] Molto lento [2:23]; Mesto e semplice [2:26] Malcolm LIPKIN (b.1932) From Across La Manche (1998) [15:34] Overture [4:34]; Ballade [5:23]; Dance-finale [5:37] Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland rec. (tracks 1 – 17): Phoenix Sound, Wembley , London, UK. 10-11 November 2003; (tracks 18-20): Sony Studios London UK, 12 August 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557753 [74:15] [GPJ]RB]

I hope this isn’t the last in what is proving to be an astonishingly rich series from Naxos. The recording is typically excellent, the playing committed, the conducting by Gavin Sutherland assured and stylish [GPJ]
This is a classic collection and varied enough to be listenable at a single sitting ... the RBS and Gavin Sutherland happily catch the half-lights as well as the dazzle and the dark [RB] ... see Full Review

 

 

Detailed listing (last five days)]
[Part 1 New]  
[Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L][Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[Recommended recordings]




 

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