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Miłosz MAGIN (1929-1999)
Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra (1964) [21:39] Concerto for Cello, String orchestra and Timpani (1977) [28:46] Justine Verdier (piano) Jaroslaw Domżal (cello) Orchestra of the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Bialystok Branch/Jan Milosz Zarzycki rec. Filharmonia Bialostocka, May 2003, February 2004 ACTE PRÉALABLE APO 113 [50:25] [JW]

Concertos avowedly reflective of Prokofiev yet retaining independence of spirit and form. Fine, warm-hearted and generous performances all round ... see Full Review

Miłosz MAGIN (1929-1999) Piano Works Volume 1 Triptyque polonaise (1967) [7.37] Trois Pièces Caractéristiques (1948) [5.29] Sonata No.2 (1981) [22.08] Miniatures Polonaises (1982) [5.35] Images d’Enfants (1952) [9.25] Cinq Préludes (1963) [9.15] Magdalena Adamek (piano) rec. Polish Radio Studio S2 Warsaw, April 2000. ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0052 [59.46] [JW]

Magin’s was an attractive voice, traditional, advancing not a step beyond Prokofiev, but full of good cheer, and warmth. ... 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 (Fenętre 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

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Naxos Quartet No.5 (2004) [20:32] Naxos Quartet No.6 (2004/5) [35:07] Maggini Quartet rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, England, May 2005 NAXOS 8.557398  [55:39][HC]

The Maggini play wonderfully. I do not doubt that this impressive cycle will be one of their greatest achievements. ... see Full Review

Benoît MERNIER (b. 1964) An die Nacht (2002)a [19:14] Piano Trio (2003)b [14:00] Blake Songs (1992/4)c [25:00] Laure Delcampe (soprano)a; Carmen Fuggiss (soprano)c; Trio Fibonaccib; Orchestre Philharmonique de Liègea; Ensemble Modernc; Patrick Davina, Peter Rundelc rec. Salle Philharmonique de Liège, March 2004 (An die Nacht); Academiezaal, Sint-Truiden, December 2004 (Piano Trio) and RTBF, Flagey Studio 4, Brussels, March 1994 (Blake Songs) CYPRÈS CYP 4624 [57:51] [HC]

A promising young composer ... breadth of vision and the ability to realise it with imagination and with strongly expressive music. ... see Full Review

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567–1643) L’Orfeo (1609) Orfeo – Mark Tucker (tenor) L Musica, Messaggiera, Proserpina – Sara Macliver (soprano) Caronte, Plutone – Damian Whiteley (bass) Apollo – Paul McMahon (tenor) Eco - Brett Wymark (tenor) Euridice – Penelope Mills (soprano) Ninfa – Josie Ryan (soprano) Speranza – Anna Fraser (soprano) Pinchgut Opera; Cantillation Orchestra of the Antipodes/Anthony Walker rec. live 1, 3, 5, 6 December 2004, City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney ABC CLASSICS 476 8030 [49.27 + 62.36] [RH]

A strong, involving production which stands up well to other performances even if it is not first choice for the library. ... see Full Review

Paul MORAVEC (b.1957) The Time Gallery (2000)[42:15] Protean Fantasy (1993) [9:33] Ariel Fantasy (2002) [4:17] eighth blackbird (percussion) Peter Sheppard-Skaerverd (violin) Aaron Shorr (piano) rec. Studio 4, Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, Illinois, 23-24 Nov 2002 NAXOS 8.559267 [56:06] [DB]

Intricate percussion music with chamber ensemble. Well-recorded, well-performed ... an interesting and engaging program... see Full Review

Ignaz MOSCHELES (1794-1870) Cello Sonata in E major Op 121 (1850-51) [33.17] Melodisch-contrapunktische Studien Op 137 Nos 4, 8 and 9 (published 1864) [No.7 in E flat Book II, No.6 in D minor Book II, No.4 in C sharp minor Book I] [8.10]Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Cello Sonata in A major Op 104 (1824) [23.11] Jiří Bárta (cello) Hamish Milne (piano) rec. Wathen Hall, St Pauls School, Barnes, London, February 2005 HYPERION CDA 67521 [64.55] [JW]

Performances that are warm, affectionate and intimate ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 7 in F for Two Pianos K 242* [1776, arr. 1780] (25:11) Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, K 488 [1786] (27:46) Mira Yevtich, (Piano) Ksenia Bashmet, (Piano)* Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. May 2005, Moscow Radio Studio, Russia BEL AIR MUSIC BAM 2037 [53:16] [DB]

Charming performances and excellent production. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Concerto for Two Pianos in E flat major, KV 365 * (?1779) [23:41] Concerto for Three Pianos in F major, KV 242 ** (1776) [22:04] Piano Concerto in D minor, KV 466 ***  (1785) [32:31] Daniel Barenboim, George Solti (pianos), English Chamber Orchestra; ** András Schiff, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Georg Solti (pianos), English Chamber Orchestra; *** Sir Georg Solti (piano), English Chamber Orchestra rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, London, June 1989 DECCA ELOQUENCE 476 2451 [78:16][GPu]

Enjoyable, assured music-making which is eminently listenable ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Six ‘Haydn’ Quartets CD 1 String Quartet in G major, K387 ‘Spring’ (1782) [30.37] String Quartet in D minor, K421 (1783) [31.32] CD 2 String Quartet in E flat major, K428 (1783) [26.34] String Quartet in B flat major, K458 ‘The Hunt’ (1784) [26.13] CD 3 String Quartet in A major, K464 ‘Drum’ (1785) [33.11] String Quartet in C major, K465 ‘Dissonance’ (1785) [21.19] Esterházy Quartet: (Jaap Schröder, violin I; Alda Stuurop, violin II; Linda Ashworth, viola; Wouter Möller, cello) rec. September/ October 1979, January/February 1980. No details of the recording venue are provided. ADD DECCA  475 7108 [3 CDs: 62.28 + 53.05 + 64.47] [MC]

A fine Decca reissue from the Esterházy Quartet ... closely recorded and with well balanced sound ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Werke fűr 2 Pianisten: Vol. 1 Sonate B-Dur K.358 (1774) [14:38] Andante and Variations in G major K.501 (1786) [8:00] Sonata in F major K.497 (1786) [25:00] Fugue in G minor K.401 (1772/73) [4:40] Orgelstűck fűr eine Uhr in F minor K.608 (1791) [9:16] Yara Tal and Andreas Groethuysen (piano) rec. 28-31 August 2004, Konzerthaus Karlsruhe SONY SK93868 [62:06] [DC]

My respect for this duo’s playing grows each time I hear them and this CD deserves its place in the top rank of recordings in this repertoire ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Idomeneo (1781) Aldo Certocci (tenor) Idomeneo; Georg Jelden (tenor) Idamante; Agnes Giebel (soprano) Ilia; Irmgard Stadler (soprano) Elettra; Cesare Ponde de Leon (baritone) Arbace; David Ward (bass) High Priest of Neptune; Ottokar Shofer (bass) The Voice; Chorus and Orchestra of RAI Rome/Peter Maag. rec. live, Auditorium Foro Italico, Rome, 8 October 1965. ADD ARTS ARCHIVES 43063-2 [78:34 + 46:46] [CC]

Although it is always nice to see another Idomeneo hit the shelves, this one is a very mixed bag ... 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

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Early Symphonies - Vol. 2 Sinfonia in D, K97/73m (1770) [9:36] Sinfonia in D, [K111 and K120/111a] (1771) [6:34] Sinfonia in G, K124 (1772) [14:02] Sinfonia in D, K141a (1772) [7:11] Sinfonia in C, K162 (1773) [8:40] Sinfonia in E-flat, K184/166a (1773) [8:16] Sinfonia in F, K199/162a (1773) [22:20] Sinfonia in g, K183 (1773) [27:25] Sinfonia in D, [K 196 and K127/207a] (1775) [7:14] Menuetto and Trio in C, K409/383f (1782) [7:09] Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. Dec 1999 and Dec 2000 Kasino Zögernitz, Vienna DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 82876 75736 2 [54:16 + 64:10] [DB]

Immediately arresting and driving performances of early Mozart. ... see Full Review

Mozart and Grieg for piano four hands Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) piano II part arr. Edvard Grieg CD 1 Sonata in C major, KV 545 ‘Sonata facile’ (1788) [13.15] Sonata in G major, KV 283 (1775) [21.59] Sonata in F major, KV 533 (1788) [19.47] CD 2 Fantasia in C minor, KV 475 (1785) [14.56] Sonata in C minor, KV 457 (1784) [25.28] Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 Op. 46 (c. 1888) (arranged for piano four hands) [15.37] Peer Gynt Suite No. 2 Op. 55 (c. 1891) (arranged for piano four hands) [17.02] Evelinde Trenkner; Sontraud Speidel (piano duo) rec. 13-15 February, 2 June 2005, Furstliche Reitbahn, Bad Arolsen, Germany. DDD MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM SACD MDG 330 1382-2 [62.50 + 73.09] [MC]

The supreme talents of Trenkner and Speidel. A winning combination from MDG. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Unknown Arias for Soprano and Concertante Instrument Cor Sincerum [6:57]; Jesu, amor meus [5:56]; Mens sancta Deo [4:56]; Mens sancta Deo [5:41]; Jesu dulcis memoria [6:37]; Offertorium ”Salve Regina” [11:26]; Domine Deus salutis meae [3:30]; Plasmator Deus [5:55]; Die Hoffnung dient zum Stabe [9:30] Helen Donath (soprano), Dieter Klöcker (clarinet) (tracks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9), Josef Suk (violin) (tracks 2, 6), Karl-Otto Hartmann (bassoon) (tracks 4, 8) Suk Chamber Orchestra/Klaus Donath rec. Prague, 3–10 June 1987 ARTS ARCHIVES 43012-2 [62:24][GF]

Donath’s singing is full-blooded! ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Serenade in G major, K 525 (1787) [18:18] Serenata Notturna, K 239 (1776) [13:04] Divertimento in F major, K 247, Lodron Night Music No. 1 (1776) [36:21] Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Petter Sundkvist rec. 4-7 June 2004, Concert Hall, Örebro, Sweden. NAXOS 8.557023 [67:43] [GPu]

Decent performances of lovely music, but lacking real grace ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni (highlights) - Dramma giocoso in two acts. K527 (1787) Don Giovanni, Bo Skovhus (bar); Leporello, Renata Girolami (bass); Don Ottavio, Torsten Kerl (ten); Masetto, Boaz Daniel (bar); Donna Anna, Adrianne Pieczonka (sop); Donna Elvira, Regina Schörg (sop); Zerlina, Ildiko Raimondi (sop); Commendatore, Janusz Monarcha, (bass) Hungarian Radio Chorus Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia/Michael Halász rec. Phoenix Studio, Budapest, 20–30 Nov 2000 Libretto: Lorenzo Da Ponte First performed at the Nostic Theatre, Prague, 29 October 1787 NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.557893 [75.28][RJF]

This selection of highlights from Don Giovanni is felicitous and generous and can be thoroughly recommended. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Salzburg: A Musical Tour of the City of Mozart Overture to Cosě fan tutte K 588 Adagio, from Flute Quartet in D major K 258 German Dance, K 605, No.3 Romanza, from Piano Concerto No.21 in C major, K 467 Gigue in G major for Organ, K 574 Allegro con brio, from Symphony No.25 in G minor, K 183 Rondo-Tempo di menuetto, from Bassoon concerto, K 191 Maestoso from March in D major, K 429 Allegro, from Serenade in D major, K 185 Lacrimosa dies illa, from the Requiem, K 626 Allegro, from Divertimento in F major, K 138 No details of performers or recording details are given. DDD. DTS Surround Sound 5.1. No region coding. NAXOS DVD 2.110517 [55:40][GPu]

A pleasant enough experience. But so much more could be done with this idea. ... see Full Review

Nikolai MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor, Op.23 (1921-1923) [57:12] State Academic Russian Choir Academic Symphony Orchestra of Moscow State Philharmonic/Kirill Kondrashin Rec. live, concert, Great Hall, Moscow Conservatoire, 5 December 1978 MELODIYA MEL CD 10 00841 [57:12] [JD]

Kondrashin’s Melodiya performance of the Sixth Symphony is fully worthy of it and should be in any self-respecting Myaskovsky collection. ... see Full Review

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphonic Rhapsody (1888) [9:15] An Evening on Giske (1889) [6:45] Helios Overture (1903) [12:50] Aladdin Suite (1918-19) [25:56] Rhapsody Overture – An Imaginary Journey to the Faeroe Islands (1927) [10:35] Amor and the Poet – Overture (1930) [5:20] New York Scandia Symphony/Dorrit Matson rec. Trinity Church, New York City, 19 February 2004, 17 February 2005. DDD CENTAUR CRC 2780 [70:47] [IL]

Matson is an exciting and colourful Nielsen conductor and the dedicated New York Scandia players respond splendidly to her inspired direction. Aladdin is magnificent. ... see Full Review

Joaquin NIN-CULMELL (1908-2004) Cello Concerto, after P. Anselm Viola [21.17] Suite for solo cello Joaquin NIN (1879-1949) Suite Espagnole (1930) [8.48] Chants d’Espagne (1927) [8.41] Cuatro Comentarios (1930) [10.44] Svetlana Tovstukha (cello) Kazan Philharmonic Orchestra/Melani Mestre (piano and conductor) rec. Philharmonic Hall, Kazan, March 2001 (Concerto), Studio Albert Moraleda, June 2001 (remainder) COLUMNA MUSICA 1CM0092 [49.28][JW]

Promising on paper this programme is, to be blunt, somewhat disappointing. Rather a hit and miss affair all round. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Per NŘRGĹRD (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. Vĺrsol 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. Nřrgĺrd’s admirers will need no further recommendation ... many others will find much to relish ... see Full Review

Feliks NOWOWIEJSKI (1877-1946) Piano Works: volume 1 Gavot [3.30] Fairy-tale [2.31] The Polish Dance no. 1 (c.1930s) [4.43] The Polish Dance no. 2 (c.1930s) [3.27] The Polish Dance no. 3 - Alla Polacca (c.1930s) [3.52] March: Under the Banner of the Peace (c.1891) [3.26] Prelude no. 1 - original version, original version (1915) [2.05] Prelude no. 1 - second version [2.21] Prelude no. 2 (1937) [2.11] Ballade no. 1 op. 20 in C sharp minor [7.12] Ballade no. 3 op. 20 in A flat major [5.20] Ballade no. 4 op. 20 in C sharp minor [5.45] Mazurka no. 1 in F sharp minor [3.58] Mazurka no. 2 in A minor [4.05] General Dowbór-Musnicki Military March [3.27] Magdalena Adamek (piano) rec. Warsaw, January, May 2002 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP085 [58.24]
Feliks NOWOWIEJSKI (1877-1946) Piano Works volume 2
Easy classical and contemporary dances for children [13.07] Album leaf [3.42] Kashubian dance: Borowiak [4.03] Ballade no. 2 in A major op. 20 no. 2 [7.21] Slavonic picture (Obrazek slowianski) [6.02] Mazurka no. 3 in D minor [3.52] Mazurka no. 4 in A minor [3.18] Mazurka no. 5 in E minor [3.59] Threnody (Tren) Op. 20 no. 3 [7.02] Gontyna in Arkona [7.51] Poezja starego Krakowa [3.14] Praetorian's March from Quo vadis (1907) [5.07] Magdalena Adamek (piano) rec. Warsaw, January, May 2002 ACTE PREALABLE AP086 [69.30] [JW]

The best lies in the later works and those Mazurkas in particular. There may be a great deal of generic ephemera to wade through but it’s well crafted of its kind and the greater rewards are certainly there. ... see Full Review

Karl von ORDONEZ (1734-1786) Symphonies Sinfonia in A major (Brown A4) [9:42] Sinfonia in G minor (Brown Gm7) [10:05] Sinfonia in C major (Brown C2) [13:12] Sinfonia in B minor (Brown Bm1) [13:33] Sinfonia in G minor (Brown Gm8) [15:22] Toronto Camerata/Kevin Mallon rec. 9-11 January 2004, Grace Church-on-the-Hill, Toronto. DDD NAXOS 8.557482 [61:53] [DB]

Enjoyable and elegant music from an Austrian unknown ... see Full Review

Lorenzo PALOMO (b. 1938) Nocturnos de Andalucia: Brindis a la noche (A Toast to the Night); Sonrisa truncada de una estrella (Shattered Smile of a Statr); Danza de Marialuna (Dance of Marialuna); Ráfaga (Gust of Wind); Nocturno de Córdoba (Nocturne of Córdoba); El tablao (The Flamenco Stage); [40:53] Canciones espańolas (Spanish Songs): Una primavera andaluza (An Andalusian Spring); Tientos; Plenilunio (Full Mopon); Del atardecer al alba o Recuerdos de juventud (Memories of Youth) [33:48] Maria Bayo (soprano)(Canciones espańolas), Pepe Romero (guitar) (Nocturnos de Andalucía) Seville Royal Symphony Orchestra/Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos rec. Sala Apolo, Seville, Spain, 29 August-2 September 2000 NAXOS 8.557135 [74:19] [GF]

I liked some of the songs very much and will certainly play them again. I didn’t take to the Nocturnos as I had hoped. ... 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

Paul PARAY (1886-1979) The chamber music Violin Sonata (1908) [23:42] Cello Sonata (1921) [24:11] String Quartet (1915-19) [29:13] Marion Tanau (violin) (sonata) Nadine Deleury (cello) (sonata) Eduard Perrone (piano) (sonatas) Varty Manouelian (violin 1); Marion Tanau (violin 2); James Van Valkenburg (viola); Nadine Deleury (cello) (quartet) rec. Detroit, 26 Jan 2004. DDD world premiere recordings GROTTO PRODUCTIONS GP-0007 [77:06] [RB]

Wonderfully life-enhancing chamber works by Paray revived by the dedication and inspiration of Fr Perrone and his sympathetically inclined partners. ... see Full Review

Alla PAVLOVA (b. 1952) Symphony No. 2 For the New Millennium (1998 rev 2002) [37:34] Symphony No. 4 (2002) [19:59] * *Yaroslav Krasnikiov (violin); Georgy Khachikyan (organ) Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio/Vladimir Fedoseyev rec. Studio 5, Russian State TV and Radio Company KULTURA, Moscow, 17-20 September 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557566 [57:33]

Enjoyable and can be recommended to lovers of the neo-romantic. ... see Full Review

Ernst PEPPING (1901-1981) CD1 Symphony No. 1 (1939) [32:07] Symphony No. 2 (1942) [41:10] CD2 Symphony No. 3 Tageszeiten (1944) [38:15] Piano Concerto (1950) [22:02] Volker Banfield (piano) Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie/Werner Andreas Albert rec. Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Herford, Schützenhofsaal, 27-30 Jan 1992, 24-27 Jan 1994; 22-25 Nov 1993; 3-7 April 1995. DDD CPO 777 041-2 [73:17 + 60:17] [RB]

If you have a taste for discursive German symphonies of the 1940s then do give this set a hearing. The Concerto is an outright success ... see Full Review

Gabriel PIERNÉ (1863-1937) Impressions de Music Hall (c.1925) [18:08] Fantaisie Basque for violin and orchestra (1927) [12:08] Izé˙l (1894) [9:54] Divertissements sur un thčme pastoral (1931) [12:10] Philippe Koch (violin) Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg/Bramwell Tovey rec. Luxembourg Philharmonie, September 2005 TIMPANI IC1096 [52:39][JF]

A good but not essential CD. Enjoyable with much that is attractive, interesting and even impressive. ... see Full Review

Walter PISTON (1894-1976) Serenata (1957) [11:31] *+ Symphony No.5 (1956) [21:34] *$ Symphony No.7 (1960) [20:44] #% Symphony No. 8 (1965) [23:32] #^ The Louisville Orchestra/Robert Whitney */Jorge Mester # Rec. in: Columbia Auditorium, Louisville, Kentucky, 16 December 1956 (mono) +; Macauley Theater, Louisville, Kentucky, 24 February 1965; Alumni Chapel, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, 12 November 1974; Macauley Theater, Louisville, Kentucky, 15 May 1975. ADD FIRST EDITION FECD-0010 [77:28][TP]

Essential listening for Piston fans. For those not in the know, this music - with the exception of the Serenata - is probably not an ideal introduction ... see Full Review

Humphrey PROCTER-GREGG (1895-1980) Violin Sonata no.3 in F (1947) [20:28] Clarinet Sonata (c. 1943) [19:21] Horn Sonata in A (1975) [22:36] Westmoreland Sketches for piano (1968): [14:02] (Shower in Spring (no.23); Summer Dreams (no.24); Autumn Reflections (no.25); Winter Elegy (no.26)) Nicholas Cox (clarinet); Robert Ashworth (horn); Richard Howarth (violin); Ian Buckle (piano) rec. The King’s School, Macclesfield, 31 March, 1-2 April 2005 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7165 [76:49] [RB]

Two irresistibly lyrical sonatas from the 1940s coupled with other works of a slightly chilly but still singing demeanour from the 1960s and 1970s ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony-Concerto for cello and orchestra in E minor, Op. 125 (1951) [38.02] Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Cello Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 126 (1966) [34.20] Lynn Harrell (cello) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz rec. 25-26 May 2005 (Prokofiev), 27-28 May 2005 (Shostakovich), Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool AVIE AV2090 [72.22][TB]

A generous coupling of two masterworks, both of which are delivered in performances of distinction and personality. ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Alexander Nevsky, Op.78 (1938) [38:35] Lieutenant Kijé Suite, Op.60 (1933) [19:45] Ewa Podles (mezzo-soprano) Latvian State Choir Orchestre National de Lille/Jean-Claude Casadesus rec. live, Auditorium du Nouveau Sičcle, Lille, France, 1 June 1994. DDD previously released on Harmonia Mundi NAXOS 8.557725 [58:20][EB]

An excellent Alexander Nevsky coupled with a very good Lieutenant Kijé make this disc one to find and enjoy ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Manon Lescaut - opera in four acts (1893) Manon Lescaut, Renata Scotto (sop); Lescaut, Manon’s brother and Sergeant in the King’s Guard, Pablo Elvira (bar); Chevalier des Grieux, a student, Placido Domingo (ten); Geronte, wealthy Treasurer-General, Renato Capecchi (bass); Edmondo, a student, Richard Creech (ten) Metropolitan Opera Chorus Metropolitan Opera Orchestra/James Levine. rec. live, Metropolitan Opera, New York, 29 March 1980 Production by Gian-Carlo Menotti. Set and costumes design by Gil Weschler. Video director, Kirk Browning. Audio Producer, John F. Pfeiffer Picture format: NTSC/Colour/4:3 Sound formats: PCM Stereo. DTS 5.1. DOLBY digital 5.1 Menu language: English. Subtitles: Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese. Libretto: Marco Praga, Domenico Oliva, Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa based on a novel by Abbé Prévost. First performed at the Teatro Regio Turin, 1 February 1983 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON DVD VIDEO 000440 073 4241 GH [2 DVDs: 180:00][RJF]

Forget the minor technical limitations of this early video transcript and glory in Puccini’s music and the committed acting and singing of the main protagonists. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Isle of the Dead, Op. 29 (1909) [22:30] Symphonic Dances, Op 45 (1940) [36:45] London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Vladimir Jurowski rec. live, Royal Festival Hall, London, 8 December 2004 (Op. 29); 29 October 2003 (Op. 45) LPO 0004 [60:17] [KS]

Sheer power and virtuosity with melodies so gorgeous that they almost belong in a movie love scene ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Sonata No.1 in D minor Op.28 (1907) [39.27] Morceaux de Salon Op.10 (1893-94) [33.41] Martin Cousin (piano) rec. The Banff Centre, October 2004 SOMM CD048 [73.16] [JW]

Executed with considerable control and command of the idiom this is a more than useful debut disc ... see Full Review

Celebrating Sacred Rhythms Ariel RAMIREZ (b.1921) Navidad Nuestra (1964) [18.58] Folk Drama of the Nativity, based on the Rhythms and Traditions of Hispanic America. Misa Criolla (arr. Jesus Gabriel Segade) (1964) [22.15] Folk Mass based on the Rhythms and Traditions of Hispanic America TRADITIONAL Missa Luba (arr. Father Guido Haazen) (1958) [15.58] Mass in Congolese Style for Mixed Chorus with Soloists and Percussion (based on an improvisation by the Congolese chorus Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin Manuel Melendez (tenor) (Navidad; Criolla) José Sacin (tenor) Navidad; Criolla) Pablo Talamante (tenor) (Navidad; Criolla) Christal Rheams (alto) (Luba) The Choral Arts Society of Washington Instrumental and Percussion Ensembles/Joseph Holt rec. St. Luke’s Catholic Church, McLean, Virginia, USA, July 2004. NAXOS 8.557542 [56.47] [MC]

I just loved these performances of Misa Criolla and the Navidad Nuestra. A fascinating release that provided an abundance of pleasure. ... see Full Review

Behzad RANJBARAN (b. 1955) The Persian Trilogy (1991-2000) 1. Seven Passages (2000) [13:39] 2. Seemorgh (1991) [22:07] (The Mountain; The Moonlight; The Sunrise) 3. The Blood of Seyavash (1994) [42:28] (The Young Prince and Heir; Seduction by Betrayal; Trial by Fire; Tormented Loyalties; Seeds of Envy; Idyllic Love; Prophecy Fulfilled) London Symphony Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta rec. St Luke’s Church, London, Sept 2003. DDD DELOS DE 3336 [78:21][RB]

Vibrant exotic oriental writing ... echoes of Szymanowski and Shostakovich ... gaudy suggestion  ... mysterious illusion and all in sensational sound ... see Full Review

Iiro RANTALA (b. 1970) Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in G sharp major and A flat (2002) [38:15] Astorale for Piano Solo [7:59] Tangonator for Violin and Piano [5:01] Final Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra [5:25] Iiro Rantala (piano) Tapiola Sinfonietta/Jaakko Kuusisto rec. Tapiola Hall, Espoo, May 2005. DDD ONDINE ODE 1071-2 [57:00][RB]

If you go for fanciful, even dissolute adventures in the shadow-land between jazz, popular and classical you will find this irresistible .... and fun. ... see Full Review

Max REGER (1873-1916) Works for Orchestra CD1 [63:59] Eine Ballettsuite op. 130 (1913) [17:56] Konzert im alten Stil op. 123 (1912) [23:16] Beethoven-Variationen op. 86 (1904, 1915) [22:29] Karl Suske (violin) Heinz Schunk (violin) (op. 123) Staatskapelle Berlin/Otmar Suitner rec. 1973, Original CD release 01.08.2002 as 0032242BC CD2 [44:33] Hiller-Variationen op. 100 (1907) [44:33] Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Franz Konwitschny rec. 1963, Original CD release 15.03.2002 as 0032152BC CD3 [61:31] Mozart-Variationen op. 132 (1914) [32:23] Vier Tondichtungen nach A. Böcklin op. 128 (1913) [28:57] Walter Hartwich (violin) (Böcklin) Staatskapelle Dresden/Heinz Bongartz (Böcklin) Dresdner Philharmonie/Heinz Bongartz rec. 1970, 1965, Original CD release 18.06.1994 as 0021772BC CD4 [74:14] Sinfonietta op. 9 (1905) [50:10] An die Hoffnung op. 124 (1912) [11:54] Hymnus der Liebe op. 136 (1914) [11:57] Annelies Burmeister (alto) (opp. 124, 136) Günter Siering (violin) (op. 9) Dresdner Philharmonie/Heinz Bongartz (Sinfonietta) Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Leipzig/ Heinz Bongartz rec. 1973, 1969, Original CD release 01.08.2002 as 0032232BC CD5 [57:40] Violinkonzert A-Dur op. 101 (1908) [57:40] Manfred Scherzer (violin) Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1984, Original CD release 12.03.1996 as 0091242BC CD6 [52:31] Konzert für Klavier und Orchester f-Moll (1910) [52:31] Amadeus Webersinke (piano) Dresdner Philharmonie/Günther Herbig rec. 1973, Original CD release 15.04.2002 as 0002532CCC CD7 [41:45] Symphonischer Prolog zu einer Tragödie op. 108 (1908) [26:02] Eine romantische Suite op. 125 (1912) [26:19] Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin/Heinz Rögner rec. 1974, Original CD release 12.10.1995 as 0031192BC Rec. 1963-1984. DDR. ADD BERLIN CLASSICS - EDEL 0183992BC [7 CDs: 63:59 + 44:33 + 61:31 + 74:14 + 57:40 + 41:45 + 52:31] [JW]

Palpable dedication. Not everything at the top of the pile but the alternative is to scrabble around for individual discs. A definite case of value for money. ... see Full Review

Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838) Piano Sonatas Grande Sonate in D Op.9 No. 1 [29:45] Grande Sonate Fantaisie L’Infortune in F# minor Op.26 [23:56] Andantino from Sonatina Op.5 No.1 [2:07] Andantino from Sonatina Op.5 No.2 [4:03] Alexandra Oehler (piano) rec. SWR Stuttgart, March 2004. DDD CPO 777 136-2 [60:23][PCW]

Felicitations to CPO and Ms. Oehler. More please ... see Full Review

Joseph-Guy ROPARTZ (1864-1955) Symphony No. 2 (1900) [37:09] Symphony No. 5 (1944) [29:25] Orchestra Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy/Sebastian Lang-Lessing rec. Salle Poirel, Nancy, France, Dec 2005 (2); Sept 2005 (5). DDD World premiere recordings TIMPANI 1C1097 [71:03] [RB]

Sturdy symphonies rescued from neglect ... living viable works demonstrating Ropartz’s musical command and tenacious mastery ... see Full Review

Joseph-Guy ROPARTZ (1864-1955) Pêcheur d'Islande - incidental music - suite (1891) [22.33] Rhapsodie for cello and orchestra (1928) [11.38] Oedipe à Colonne - incidental music - suite (1914) [24.16] Henri Demarquette (cello) Orchestre de Bretagne/Kirill Karabits rec. Rennes, June 2005. DDD TIMPANI 1C1095 [56.29] [RB]

Ropartz here showcased as writer of music of character both dreamy and decisive. ... see Full Review

Joseph-Guy ROPARTZ (1864-1955) String Quartet No. 3 (1925) [27:03] String Quartet No. 2 (1911-12) [31:14] Quatuor Stanislas (Laurent Causse, violin I; Bertrand Menut, violin II; Paul Fenton, viola; Jean de Spengler, cello) rec. Nancy Opéra, France, 6-9 July 2004. DDD World premiere recordings TIMPANI 1C1099 [58:17] [RB]

Easily recommendable ... a formidably desirable pioneering project. Music ably and sympathetically performed, should satisfy and whet the appetite of any admirer of 20th century melodic chamber music.... see Full Review

Ned ROREM (b. 1923) Pilgrims (1958) [7:14] * Flute Concerto (2002) [31:21] * Violin Concerto (1985) [24:07] Philippe Quint (violin) Jeffrey Khaner (flute) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/José Serebrier rec. 16-17 June 2005, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, UK. DDD * world premiere recording NAXOS 8.559278 [62:42] [RB]

A classic album. Satisfying and beautiful music that has about it a rippling current of vitality. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia - comic opera in two acts (1816) Libretto by Cesare Sterbini based on the Beaumarchais play Premiere: Teatro Argentina, Rome, 20 Feb 1816 as Almaviva, ossia L’inutile precauzione (the useless precaution) Count Almaviva, Luigi Alva (ten); Figaro, a barber, Tito Gobbi (bar); Bartolo, a doctor and ward of Rosina, Melchiore Luise (buffa-bar); Rosina, Maria Callas (sop); Basilio, a singing teacher, Nicola Rossi Lemeni (bass); Berta, Dr. Bartolo’s housekeeper, Anna Maria Canali (mezzo); Fiorello, servant of Count Almaviva, Pierluigi Latinucci (bass) Orchestra and Chorus of Tetro alla Scala, Milan/Carlo Maria Giulini rec. live, 16 February 1956. mono DYNAMIC - INSTITUTO DISCOGRAFICO ITALIANO IDIS 6479/80  [71.17 + 64.11] [RJF]

On the basis of this recording I will certainly be on the lookout for any other gems from the archive of the Instituto Discografico Italiano. ... see Full Review

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Cello Sonata No.1 in D major Op.18 (1852) [27.38] Alexander TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977) Cello Sonata No.3 in F sharp minor Op.30 No.2 (1928) [10.11] Alexander GRECHANINOV (1864-1956) Cello Sonata in E minor Op.113 (1927) [19.02] Yuri Semenov (cello) Ksenia Stegman (piano) rec. 1997 MELODIYA MEL CD 10 00970 [58.37] [JW]

Recorded in 1997 this is a good coupling, very decently played and recorded and especially valuable for the Grechaninov. ... see Full Review

Walter RUMMEL (1887-1953) The Complete Bach Transcriptions Jonathan Plowright (piano) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 7-10 July 2005 HYPERION CDA67481/2 [64:31 + 69:11] [DB]

Virtuosic, sensitive adaptations of Bach in defined and powerful performances. ... see Full Review

John RUTTER (b. 1945)
Mass of the Children (2002) [35:43] Shadows (1979) [25:06] Wedding Canticle (2004) [5:55] Angharad Gruffydd-Jones (soprano) Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone) Stewart French (guitar) Daniel Pailthorpe (flute) James McVinnie (organ) Farnham Youth Choir Clare Chamber Ensemble The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge/Timothy Brown rec. Chapel of Tonbridge School, Kent, 19 July 2005. NAXOS 8.557922 [66:45] [KS]

I had my hopes up that we might have another original work from Rutter. Alas, no. ... 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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