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Aita MADINA (Francisco de Madina Igarzabal) (1907-1972)
CD 1
Concierto Vasco para 4 guitarras y orquesta (for four guitars and orchestra) (1969) [28:49] Basque Rhapsody (1945?) [21:31] Concertino Vasco para arpa y orquesta de cuerdas (for harp and string orchestra) (orch. Tomás Aragüés Bernad) [11:28] CD 2 Aita Gurea * (1964) [4:37] Basque Christmas Suite * ** [7:16] La Cadena de Oro ** [10:59] Agur Maria [4:32] Basque Children Overture [4:23] Christmas Triptych [10:00] Danza (Dance) (1969) [4:07] Orreaga (Basque Suite) [10:02] Los Romeros, (guitars) Xavier de Maistre, (harp) * Ana Salaberria, ** Elena Barbé, (sopranos) Andoni Alemán, (narrator) Orfeón Donostiarra/José Antonio Sainz Alfaro *** Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa (Basque National Orchestra)/Cristian Mandeal rec. San Sebastian, 6-18 June, 13-23 Sept 2005. DDD Basque Music Volume IX CLAVES CD 50-2517/18 [64:58 + 55:56] [RB]

A generous hearted and fascinating production bringing Madina’s brightly-hued and folk-inflected music into the light ... see Full Review

KATHLEEN FERRIER MEMORIAL Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony no.2 in C minor Resurrection (1894) [74:51] Jo Vincent (soprano), Kathleen Ferrier (alto) Amsterdam Toonkunstchoir Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. live, Holland Festival, 12 July 1951 complete broadcast with commentary in Dutch and German GUILD GHCD 2210 [77:08] [CH]

An interesting supplement to Klemperer’s classic Philharmonia version and the only document of Ferrier in this work. ... see Full Review

Henry MANCINI (1924–1994) The Music of Henry Mancini (arr. Richard Hayman): Peter Gunn; Moon River; Baby Elephant Walk; String on Fire; Dear Heart; Dream of a Lifetime; The Great Race March; Days of Wine and Roses; The Pink Panther; Two for the Road; Pie in the Face Polka; Ballerina’s Dream; The Life Force Theme; The Glass Menagerie; Charade; Beaver Valley ’37: I. The River; II Black Snow; III The Sons of Italy; Drummer’s Delight; The Thorn Birds; March with Mancini Richard Hayman and his Orchestra rec. Concert Hall, Slovak Radio, Bratislava, 7–9 November 1990 NAXOS 8.557825 [74:55] [GF]

All in all this is good entertainment. Anyone wanting a well-played cross-section of Mancini’s hits mixed with some lesser-known pieces need look no further. ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Symphony No. 5  (1946) [23:45] Intermezzo (1950) [9:03] Oboe Concerto (1955) [15:51] Estampes (1958) [17:15] Marion Gibson (oboe) Louisville Orchestra/Robert Whitney; Sidney Harth (concerto) rec. Louisville, Kentucky, 26 March 1953, Columbia Auditorium (Intermezzo); April 28 1959; Macauley Theater, Louisville, Kentucky (Estampes); 18 February 1966 (Symphony No. 5); 15 January 1980, (Oboe Concerto). ADD FIRST EDITION MUSIC FECD-0018 [65:54][ABi]

Captivating and passionate performances supported by a wonderfully warm expertly re-mastered recorded sound ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) String Quartet No. 5 (1938) [26:32] (Allegro ma non troppo [5:50]; Adagio [6:11]; Allegro vivo [5:37]; Lento. Allegro [8:42]) Vítězslava KAPRÁLOVÁ (1915-1940) String Quartet Op. 8 (1934) [21:10] (Con brio [7:11]; Lento [8:50]; Allegro con variazioni [5:01]) Josef SUK (1874-1935) Meditation on the old Czech chorale St. Wenceslas (1914) [5:49] Kaprálová Quartet (Rita Čerpučenko, Simona Hurníková, Světlana Jahodová, Margit Klepáčová) rec. November 2005, Domovina Studio, Prague. DDD ARCO DIVA UP 0085 - 2 131 [53:45] [RB]

Vital, gripping and relentlessly present music-making counter-balanced by yielding tenderness in the wonderful Martinů and Kaprálová ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Julietta (1937) Juliette – Eva-Maria Westbroek (soprano) Michel – Johannes Chum (tenor) Inspector, Forest Warden, Civil Servant – Eberhard F Lorenz (tenor) Man with Helmet, Blind Beggar – Matteo de Monti (bass) Merchant of Memories, Blind Beggar, Man at the Window – Richard Salter (baritone) Old Father "Youth", Old Arab, Old Man – Adalbert Waller (bass) Old Sailor, little Arab, First Gentleman – Susanne Reinhard (mezzo) Second Gentleman – Valentina Kutzarova (mezzo) Third Gentleman –Astrid Monika Hofer (mezzo) Bird Merchant – Hanna Fahlbusch-Wald (mezzo) Old Woman, Fish merchant – Sulie Girardi (mezzo) Old Lady, Engine Driver – Burkhard Ulrich (tenor) Bregenz Festival Choir The Kammerchor Moscow Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Dietfried Bernet rec. Festival House, Bregenz, live, July 2002 VMS MUSIC TREASURES VMS 106 [3 CDs: 47.22 + 68.32 + 37.16] [JW]

If you want Julietta you must have Krombholc. ... see Full Review

Toshiro MAYUZUMI (1929-1997) Rumba Rhapsody (1948) [8.12]; Symphonic Mode (1950) [18.45]; Mandala Symphony (1960) [17.54]; Bugaku - Ballet in Two Parts - Court Dance Music (1962) [23.29] New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa rec. Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand, 23-25 August 2004 NAXOS 8.557693 [68.20] [GH]

Intriguing and often exciting, melodic material varied and memorable if derivative. Something to offer all listeners. ... see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, overture (1826 version) Psalm 114 Symphony No. 2 Lobgesang (1840 version) Wolfgang RIHM (b. 1952) Verwandlung 2 (world première) Anne Schwanewilms, Peter Seiffert, Petra-Maria Schnitzer (soloists) Riccardo Chailly (conductor) Gewandhausorchester Leipzig rec. live 2 September 2005, Gewandhaus, Leipzig. DVD - all regions EUROARTS 2054668 [121:00] [AO]

Celebrates Leipzig as a city, and the Gewandhausorchester’s illustrious founder, Felix Mendelssohn. It bodes well for Chailly’s tenure as Chief Conductor ... see Full Review

Stephen MONTAGUE Southern Lament* (1997) [17:26] Midnight Sun [2:44] Chorale for a Millennium Sunset** [1:46] Headless Horseman [1:58] Thanksgiving Hymn [6:02] A Crippled Ghost at Halloween [4:03] Beyond the Milky Way** [1:07] Dagger Dance*** [1:06] Paramell V (1981) [7:48] Haiku (1986) [13:28] Night Frost Settles on a Pumpkin [2:00] Something’s in Grandma’s Attic*** [2:00] For Merce C. at the Barbican (2005) *** [3:09] After Ives…: Four Studies [14:22] Philip Mead (piano) Monica Acosta (voice)* Elysian Quartet ** Nancy Ruffer (flute/piccolo) London Sousa Band/Stephen Montague Stephen Montague (piano)*** rec. Vestry Hall, London College of Music and Media, 25 May, 19 December 2003, 30 August, 16 October 2005. NMC D118 [79:09] [DC]

Challenge and familiarity, jokes and tears, virtuosity and simplicity, tough brutalism and elegant nuance. All in all, a package hard to resist. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Serenade in G K.525 – “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” [18:18] Serenata notturna K.239 [13:04] Divertimento in F K.247 – “Lodron Night Music no.1” [36:21] Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Petter Sundkvist rec. Örebro Concert Hall, Örebro, Sweden, 4-7 June 2004. NAXOS 8.557023 [67:43][CH]

A terribly prissy “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” but worth considering for the other two pieces. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Fantasy in D minor K397 (1782 or 17860-87) [5.53] Andante for the Mechanical Organ in F major K616 (1791) [5.10] Adagio in B minor K540 (1788) [6.50] Rondo in D major K485 (1786) [4.33] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Sonata in A Major Op.2 No.2 (1794-95) [22.21] Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Six Polish Songs: A Maiden’s Wish Op.74 No.1 [4.12] Spring song Op.74 No.2 [3.12] Silver Ring Op.74 [2.14] A Drinking Song Op.74 [2.11] My Joy Op.74 [4.33] The Dead Knight of the Forest Op.74 [1.32] Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Rapsodie espagnole S254 (1863) [13.47] Mordecai Shehori (piano) Recorded in 1998, no recording details CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD100 [JW]

Shehori: an adept and poetic player with ardent and self-evident gifts. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Mozart - Exultate Jubilate! Regina coeli, K108 (1771) [14.52] Laudate Dominum, from Vesperae solennes de Confessore, K339 (1780) [04.18] Sub tuum praesidium, K198 [05.19] Sancta Maria, mater Dei, K273 (1777) [03.45] Exultate, jubilate K165 (1777) [13.45] Agnus Dei from, Coronation Mass, K317 (1779) [03.35] Laudate Dominum, from Vesperae solennes de Domenica, K321 (1779) [04.24] Regina coeli, K127 (1772) [14.53] Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Choir of The King’s Consort The King’s Consort/Robert King rec. Cadogan Hall, London, 29-31 October 2005. DDD HYPERION CDA67560 [65.39] [MC]

A well performed and enjoyable release of Mozart sacred music. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) La clemenza di Tito (1791) Rainer Trost (tenor) – Tito Vespasiano; Magdalena Kožená (mezzo) – Sesto; Hillevi Martinpelto (soprano) – Vitellia; Lisa Milne (soprano) – Servilia; Christine Rice (mezzo) – Annio; John Relyea (bass) – Publio Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. Usher Hall, Edinburgh, August 2005 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 5792 [62:17 + 65:14] [GF]

May not outdo the competition completely but belongs up there among the best ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) La Clemenza di Tito - Opera in two acts K. 621 (1791) Libretto adapted by Caterino Mazzola from Pietro Metastasio’s original of 1735. First performed 6 September 1791, National Theatre, Prague, to celebrate the Coronation Day of Emperor Leopold II Tito, Emperor of Rome, Werner Krenn (ten); Sesto, a Roman patrician, friend of Tito, in love with Vitellia, Teresa Berganza (mezzo); Vitellia, daughter of the emperor Vitellius, Maria Casula (sop); Servillia, sister of Sesto, in love with Annio, Lucia Popp (sop); Annio, a Roman patrician, friend of Sesto, in love with Servillia, Brigitte Fassbaender (mezzo); Publio, Tugomir Franc (bass) Chorus and Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera/Istvan Kertész rec. Sofiensaal, Vienna, May-June 1967. DDD DECCA CLASSIC OPERA SERIES 475 7030 [DM2] [56.01 + 65.10] [RF]

This recording is of interest for its seminal importance in the re-emergence of La Clemenza di Tito on stage and record. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quartets, Volume 1 Quartet in B flat major, K. 458 "The Hunt" (1784) [31:39] Quartet in C major, K. 465 "The Dissonance" (1785) [38:33] Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546 (1788) [7:17] * The Coull Quartet rec. St. Paul's Church, Birmingham, September 2003, July 2004 * SOMM SOMMCD 040 [77:44] [DS]

In this case, high quality performances cloaked in an admirable and crisp soundstage do not win the day. ... see Full Review

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

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

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) La Clemenza di Tito. Opera in two acts K. 621 (1735) Libretto adapted by Caterino Mazzola from Pietro Metastasio’s original of 1735. First performed 6 September 1791, National Theatre, Prague, celebrating Coronation of Emperor Leopold II Tito, Emperor of Rome, Christoph Prégardien (ten); Sesto, a Roman patrician, friend of Tito, in love with Vitellia, Susan Graham (mezzo); Vitellia, daughter of the emperor Vitellius, Catherine Neglestad (sop); Servillia, sister of Sesto, in love with Annio, Ekaterina Siurina (sop); Annio, a Roman patrician, friend of Sesto, in love with Servilia, Hannah Esther Minutillo (mezzo); Publio, Roland Bracht (bass) Orchestra and Chorus of The Opéra National de Paris/Sylvain Cambreling Stage Directors, Ursel and Karl-Ernst Herrmann. Set and costume design by Karl-Ernst Herrmann TV Director, Thomas Grimm rec. live, Palais Garnier, Paris, May-June 2005. Presented in stereo and dts surround sound Sung in Italian with subtitles in English, German, French Italian and Spanish OPUS ARTE OA 0942 D [2 DVDs: 68.01 + 79.11] [RJF]

Mortier has done everything in his power to present the opera in this long-lasting form. However, the only justification for adding this to you collection is the outstanding singing of Susan Graham ... see Full Review

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839–1881) Boris Godunov (1874) (arr. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov) Evgeny Nesterenko (bass) – Boris Godunov; Nelya Lebedeva (soprano) – Xenia; Tatiana Yerastova (mezzo) – Fyodor; Raisa Kotova (contralto) – Xenia’s Nurse; Vladimir Kudryashov (tenor) – Prince Shuisky; Yuri Mazurok (baritone) – Andrei Tchelkalov; Alexander Vedernikov (bass) – Pimen; Vladislav Piavko (tenor) – Grigory; Tamara Sinyavskaya (mezzo) – Marina Mnishek; Arthur Eizen (bass) Varlaam; Alexander Arkhipov (tenor) – Misail; Larissa Nikitina (soprano) – Tavern Hostess; Alexander Fedin (tenor) – The Idiot Chorus and Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow/Alexander Lazarev Stage Director: Irina Morozova; Designer: Fyodor Fedorovsky; Choreography: Leonid Lavrovsky; Directed for video by Derek Bailey rec. live, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, January 1987 WARNER MUSIC VISION 51011-1851-2 [170:00][GF]

Fascinating. An authentic performance with singers and musicians who know this music like their own pocket. Fedin, Mazurok, Vedernikov, Eizen and Nesterenko give an extra frisson to the set. ... see Full Review

Carl Nielsen (1865 - 1931) Maskarade Overture, FS 39 (1906) [4.43] Ved en Üng Kunstners Båre, FS 58 (1910) [4.22] Helios Overture, Op 17, FS 32 (1903) [12.20] Saga-Drøm, Op 39, FS46 (1908) [9.07] Pan and Syrinx, Op 49 FS 87 (1918) [8.46] Rhapsodic Overture - an Imaginary Journey to the Faeroe Islands, FS 123 (1927) [10.36] Bohemian-Danish Folk Tune FS 130 (1928) [6.24] Aladdin: Suite from the Incidental Music FS 89(1919) [24.16] Members of the Jutland Opera Chorus Vibeke Kærsgaard Lembcke (clarinet); Karl Lenaart Karlsson (english horn) (op. 39) Aarhus Symphony Orchestra/Lance Friedel rec. Frichsparken, Aarhus, Denmark, 1 October 2004. DDD Notes in English, Photo of conductor. MSR CLASSICS MS 1150 [80.30] [PSh]

There could hardly be a better introduction to Nielsen’s most popular works than this disk. ... see Full Review

Gary NOLAND (b.1957) Royal Oilworks Music Prelude in E minor Op.34 (1979 revised 1993) [3.44] Serial Lullaby Op.80/1 (2005) [5.41] Spray Taint Op.80/2 (2005) [7.24] Dog Duo Op.66 (2002) [3.41] Ragbones Op.11 (1977 revised 1988) [4.27] Grey Malignant Banks Op.80/3 (2005) [5.16] My Babe’s Gone Down To Do Her Glue Op.80/4 (2005) [6.32] Royal Oilworks Music Op.80/5 (2005) [5.17] Prelude and Zootrot Op.22 (1991) [2.47] Something Rotten Op.80/6 (2005) [4.52] Music is Dead: A Paradox in Fugue Op.53 (2001) [4.19] Dreadmill Op.37 (1994) [6.35] Deformed Fugue Op.17 (1977 Revised 1990) [1.51] Insurrection of the Office Slaves Op.80/7 (2005) [7.27] Psycho-Bacchanal Op.80/8 (2005) [3.54] All compositions performed by Gary Noland No recording details NORTH PACIFIC MUSIC NPM LD 024 [73.24] [JW]

A veritable one-man band of off-kilter influences ... see Full Review

Johann PACHELBEL (1653-1706) Canon and Gigue [12.32] Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony No.103 in E flat major ‘Drum Roll’ (1794-5) [26.20] Niccolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major Op. 6 (1817) [28.13] Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 9 in D minor (1891-1896) [55.15] Christian Ferras (violin) NWDR Symphony Orchestra/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt rec. 1952-54 TAHRA 568/569 [68.43 + 55.15] [JW]

Another very satisfying contribution to Schmidt-Isserstedt’s standing in the hierarchy of mid-century Germany conductors. ... see Full Review

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

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

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

No masterpieces but pleasant to listen to. Paganini had a certain melodic gift. Tamayo plays with easy assurance ... see Full Review

Vincent PERSICHETTI (1915-1987) Serenade No. 5 for Orchestra, Op. 43 (1950) [10:44] Symphony for Strings (Symphony No. 5), Op. 61 (1953) [18:08] Symphony No. 8 (1967) [28:50] Louisville Orchestra/Robert Whitney, Jorge Mester rec. Louisville 1954, 1960, 1970. ADD Louisville commissions: Serenade 5 and Symphony for Strings. All world premiere recordings FIRST EDITION FECD-0034 [57:42] [RB]

An essential centrepiece to our Persichetti collection. Time for the rest of the symphonies ... see Full Review

Ignaz PLEYEL (1757-1831) String Quartets, Op.2, Nos. 1-3 String Quartet in A major, op 2 No.1 [17:19] (1. Allegro [8:49]; 2. Andante grazioso [5:19]; 3. Menuetto [3:11]) String Quartet in C major, op.2 No.3 [17:52] (4. Allegro moderato [7:27]; 5. Adagio cantabile [4:57]; 6. Finale: Allegro [5:27]) String Quartet in G minor, op.2 No.3 [20:30] (7. Adagio [6:51]; 8. Allegro assai [7:25]; 9. Grazioso [6:14]) Enső Quartet rec. Holy Martyrs Church, Bradford, Ontario, Canada, 31 January-4 February 2004 NAXOS 8.557496 [55:40][JW]

These players never skate over the surface of the music ... see Full Review

Ignaz PLEYEL (1757 – 1831) String Quartets, Op. 2 Nos. 4-6 String Quartet in E flat major, Op. 2 No. 4 [18:42]; String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 2 No. 5 [18:06]; String Quartet in D major, Op. 2 No. 6 [19:51] Ensō Quartet rec. Holy Martyrs Church, Bradford, Ontario, Canada, 31 January – 4 February 2004 NAXOS 8.557497 [56:38] [GF]

Music that explains itself .... for happy listening. Strongly recommended! ... see Full Review

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

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

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

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

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924) Manon Lescaut (1893) Licia Albanese (soprano) – Manon Lescaut; Jussi Björling (tenor) – Chevalier des Grieux; Robert Merrill (baritone) – Lescaut; Franco Calabrese (bass) – Geronte di Ravoir and Sergeant of the Royal Archers; Mario Carlin (tenor) – Edmondo and The Dancing Master; Enrico Campi (bass) – The Innkeeper and The Ship’s Captain; Anna Maria Rota (mezzo) – The Madrigal Singer Rome Opera House Chorus and Orchestra/Jonel Perlea rec. 11–13, 15–17 July 1954, Opera House, Rome Reissue Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn Bonus Tracks: A Licia Albanese Recital NAXOS 8.111030-31 [75:54 + 69:57] [GF]

No one can afford to be without this version for its overall excellence but especially for Björling on unsurpassable form ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Sonata for Cello and Piano (1901) arranged for viola by Vadim Borisovsky [34.51]* Vocalise Op.34 No.14 (1912 revised 1915) arranged for violin/viola and piano by Yuri Zhislin [6.08]* Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Violin Sonata in E flat Op.18 (1887) [29.16] Yuri Zhislin (violin and viola*) George-Emmanuel Lazaridis (piano) Recorded at St Mary’s Church, Walthamstow, London, January 2005 SOMM CD046 [70.37] [JW]

The programme is well constructed but its romantic instincts are not really fully met. ... see Full Review

Osmo Tapio RÄIHÄLÄ (b. 1964) Rampant for two violins (1997) [6:18] (Reeta Maalismaa and Maria Puusaari, violin) Damballa for flute, oboe, clarinet and violin (2000) [7:43] (Lauri Toivio, flute, Riikka Talvitie, oboe, Kimmo Leppälä, clarinet, Maria Puusaari, violin) String Quartet nr. 2 Jobimao (2000) [9:24] Uusinta String Quartet King of Lycksele for solo cello (2002) [3:54] (Markus Hohti, cello) Stoa Trilogy (Ataraxy; Apathy; Autarchy) for violin and piano (2002) [10:49] (Maria Puusaari, violin, Emil Holmström, piano) Rock Painting (Värikallio) for chamber orchestra (flute oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, piano, and violin, viola, cello, double bass) (Eva Ollikainen, conductor, Lauri Toivio, flute, Anni Haapaniemi, oboe, Marko Portin, clarinet, Janne Pulkkinen, bassoon, Reeta Rossi, horn, Emil Holmström, piano, Maria Puusaari and Mirka Malmi, violin, Max Savikangas, viola, Markus Hohti, cello, Henrika Fagerlund, double bass) rec. Helsinki, Espoo, Finland, 2005? DDD ESEK FINNISH MUSIC PROMOTION CENTRE UUCD103 [59:31][RB]

Räihälä is well worth watching and not as a final shudder of the avant-garde outliers either. This disc makes an excellent starting place for exploration. ... see Full Review

Max REGER (1873-1916) Chorale Fantasia on "Alle Menschen mussen sterben" op. 52 no. 1 (1900) [17:13]; Six Trios op. 47 (1900) [17:43]; Introduction, Variations and Fugue in F sharp minor on an Original Theme op. 73 (1903) [37:13] Martin Welzel (organ) rec. Trier Cathedral, 8-9 July 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557338 [72:10] [IB]

If you’re in the market for something demanding but ultimately rewarding in organ repertoire this will be money well spent. It’s my intention to sample the other Welzel volumes as soon as possible. ... see Full Review

Jean-Baptiste ROBIN (b. 1976) Trois Elements d'un songe (2004): (Frontispice [2'35]; Souffle [2'49]; Crépusculaire [5'34]) Benoit MERNIER (b. 1964) Cinq Inventions pour orgue: Invention I (1998) [3'18]; Invention (1999) [4'48] Laurent CARLE (b. 1970) Aphorismes (1999), (extracts): (Pièce III [1'34]; Pièce IV "Emince sonore" [1'55]; Pièce V [1'27]) Christophe MARCHAND (b. 1972) Toccata et Canzone à Quatre (2004) [5'44] Pierre FARAGO (b. 1969) Nachtlich geschűrtz (2004) [10'37] Eric LEBRUN (b. 1967) XV Mystères du Rosaire: x) Eli Eli lamma sabachtani (2001) [5'54] Valery AUBERTIN (b. 1970) Vincent Van Gogh - Les Fresques - Lamento (1991) [7'34] Jacques PICHARD (b. 1961) Livre d'orgue pour le temps de la Passion (1991-1995); La trahison de Judas [8'37] Thierry ESCAICH (b. 1965) Trois Esquisses (1991): (Tournoiement [2'25]; Rituel [6'08]; Variation sur un souvenir [4'27]) the composers (organ) (Toccata et Canzone a Quatre played with Pascale Rouet) rec. organ hall, Paris Conservatoire, 27 January 2005. DDD EDITIONS HORTUS 037 [76'17] [CB]

Hortus show yet again why they are the leading label in the field of documenting French organ culture with an imaginative and beautifully presented release. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il Turco in Italia - dramma buffo in two acts (1814) Libretto by Felice Romani based on an earlier libretto by Mazzola written for Seydelmann, a contemporary of Mozart, and performed in Dresden in 1788. First performed at the Teatro alla Scala Milan, 14 August 1814. Selim, womanising Turkish Prince captivated by Fiorilla, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni (bass); Fiorilla, capricious wife of Don Geronio, Maria Callas (sop); Geronio, elderly husband of Fiorilla, Franco Calabrese (bass); Don Narciso, servant and lover of Fiorilla, Nicolai Gedda (ten); Prosdocimo, a poet and friend of Geronio, Mario Stabile (bar); Zaida, enamoured of Selim, Jolanda Gardino (mezzo) Chorus and orchestra of La Scala, Milan/Gianandrea Gavazzeni rec. La Scala, Milan. August, September 1953. MONO APPENDIX: Coloratura arias sung by Maria Callas. MONO Il barbiere di Siviglia, Una voce poco fa Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864) Dinorah, Ombre légère (Shadow Song) Léo DELIBES (1836-1891) Lakme, Où va la jeune Hindoue? (Bell Song) Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I vespri siciliani, Mercé dilette amiche (Bolero. Act 5)) rec. 21 September 1954, Watford Town Hall. Philharmonia Orchestra /Tullio Serafin Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn. From English Columbia label LPs NAXOS HISTORICAL GREAT OPERA RECORDINGS 8.111028-29 [76.55 + 60.31] [RF]

Callas infuses into her singing both meaning and expression and in this recording she is ably and sympathetically supported by Gianandrea Gavazzeni ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Ermione - Opera in Two Acts (1819). First performed at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples, 27 March 1819 Libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola based on Racine’s tragedy Andromaque. Ermione, rejected lover of Pyrrhus and loved by Orestes, Anna Caterina Antonacci (sop); Andromache, widow of Hector and a prisoner of Pyrrhus who is infatuated by her, Diana Montague (mezzo); Orestes, son of Agamemnon, Bruce Ford (ten); Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, betrothed to Ermione, Jorge Lopez-Yanez (ten), Pylades, companion of Orestes, Paul Austin Kelly (ten); Phoenix, tutor to Pyrrhus, Gwynne Howell (bass); Cleone, Julie Unwin (sop); Cefisa, Lorna Windsor (mez); Attalus, Paul Nillon (ten) Glyndebourne Chorus London Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Davis Filmed for Channel Four Television Corporation at the Glyndebourne Festival, June 1995 Director, Graham Vick; Designer, Richard Hudson; Lighting Designer, Wolfgang Göbbel Directed for video by Humphrey Burton Picture format NTSC 4:3. Colour. Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. Subtitles in English, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese WARNER MUSIC VISION DVD VIDEO 0630-14012-2 [138:00][RJF]

An exceptional performance from Glyndebourne ... superb direction and singing. ... see Full Review

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792–1868) Il Turco in Italia - Drama Buffo in Two Acts (1814) Natale De Carolis (bass) – Selim, a Turkish prince; Myrtň Papatanasiu (soprano) – Donna Fiorilla, a capricious woman; Massimiliano Gagliardo (baritone) – Don Geronio, her husband; Amedeo Moretti (tenor) – Don Narciso, an admirer of Donna Fiorilla; Piero Guarnera (baritone) – Prosdocimo, a poet and acquaintance of Don Geronio; Damiana Pinti (mezzo-soprano) – Zaida, former slave and betrothed of Selim, then a gypsy; Daniele Zanfardino (tenor) – Albazar, confidant of Selim, then a gypsy, follower and confidant of Zaida Gianni Fabbrini (fortepiano), Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Marrucino di Chieti/Marzio Conti rec. Teatro Marucino, Chieti, Italy, October 2003 NAXOS 8.660183-84 [80:57 + 63:06][GF]

Probably not first choice to many. Nevertheless has its own validity. First time buyers could very well start here. They will hopefully fall just as much in love with Myrtň Papatanasiu as I have ... see Full Review

Edwin ROXBURGH (b. 1937) Saturn (1982) [28:14] Clarinet Concerto (1996) [31:07] Linda Merrick (clarinet) Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra/Peter Stark (Saturn) Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra/Edwin Roxburgh (Concerto) rec. Haileybury College, Hertford, 6-7 April 2005 (Saturn); RNCM, Manchester, 9 October 2005 (Concerto) NMC NMC D119 [59:21][WK]

A well-performed disc of music that deserves to be better known, although it will appeal to a somewhat limited audience. ... see Full Review


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

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