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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


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]

 

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 Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Six Suites for Violoncello, BWV 1007-1012. DVD 1: Suite No.1 in G Major; Suite No.2 in D Minor; Suite No.3 in C Major DVD 2: Suite No 4 in E Flat Major; Suite No.5 in C Minor; Suite No. 6 in D Major. CD1: Music only from DVD 1; CD2: Music only from DVD 2 Wen-Sinn Yang. (cello) rec. Servatiuskirche Auf Dem Streichen - (no date given) Sound Supervisor: Wilhelm Meister Executive Producer: Korbinian Meyer Director of TV and Video: Ruth Käch. Region Code 0; NTSC ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 419 [2 DVDs: 76:49 + 96:54] [ZT]

Only physical presence could transcend the musical epiphany bestowed by this superb presentation. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Norbert BURGMÜLLER (1810-1836) Piano Sonata in F minor Op.8 (1826) [27:58] Waltz in E Flat major (1827) [03:45] Mazurka in E flat major [03:59] Rhapsodie in B minor Op.13 (1834) [04:58] Polonaise in F major Op.16 (1832) [05:56] Felix MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Marcia funebre in A minor Op.103 (1836) [06:54] Frédéric BURGMÜLLER (1806-1874) Rêveries fantastiques Op.41 (1838) [05:53] L’arabesque (25 Études Op.100, No.2) (1851) [00:44] Innocence (25 Études Op.100, No.5) (1851) [00:54] Ballade (25 Études Op.100, No.15) (1851) [01:19] Valse brillante Op.106 (1851) [06:16] Tobias Koch (piano) rec. Schloss Kremsegg, Kremsmünster, Austria, 16-18 November 2005 GENUIN GEN 86061 [68:44] [GPu]

An outstanding, well-nigh revelatory disc, fascinating music played exceptionally well, with two early pianos very well-recorded … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ronald CORP (b. 1951) Forever Child and Other Choral Music Forever Child (2004) [12:20] Verbum Patri (2002) [1:53] Give to my eyes Lord* (2005) [4:01] May the Lord bless you* (2001) [3:16] Dover Beach (2003) [12:46] Weep you no more sad fountains* (1997) [2:24] Two part songs (1997) [3:18] Four Elizabethan Lyrics* (1994) [9:17] Lute-Book Lullaby (Sweet was the song) (1980) [1:30] Fear no more the heat o’ the sun (2004)[2:57] Missa San Marco (2002) [12:01] Requiem  (2004) [1:55] Voces Cantabiles/*Alexander Wells (piano)/Ronald Corp rec. All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London, 26, 28 November 2005. DDD DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7171 [68:32] [JQ]

This CD has given me enormous pleasure from start to finish and is one of the most enjoyable discs to have come my way for a long time. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Hans Werner HENZE (b. 1926) Voices for two voices and instruments (1973): Los poetas cubanos ya no sueñan; Prison Song; Keiner oder alle; The distant drum; 42 Schulkinder; Caino; Heimkehr; Grecia 1970; Legende von der Entstehung des Buches Taoteking auf dem Weg des Laotse in die Emigration; Gedanken eines Revuemädchens während des Entkleidungsaktes; Das wirkliche Messer; Patria; Screams (Interlude); Para aconsejar a una dama; Roses and revolutions; Schluss; Das Blumenfest Sarah Walker (mezzo), Paul Sperry (tenor) London Sinfonietta/Hans Werner Henze rec. Rosslyn Hill Chapel, January 1978. ADD First released on LP as Decca Headline HEAD19/20, 1980 EXPLORE EXP 0007/8 [49.42 + 47.13] [AOz]

These last few weeks, I’ve been blessed by a surfeit of excellent recordings, but this one really is special ... If all releases by Explore are as good as this, we are in for exciting times. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Wenzel KALLIWODA (1801-1866) Symphony No. 5 in B minor, op. 106 (1840) [27:44] Symphony No. 7 in G minor, WoO/01 (1841) [28:50] Overture No. 16 in A minor, op. 238 (1863) [11:42] Das Neue Orchester/Christoph Spering
rec. Köln, November 15-18, 2004 CPO 777 139-2 [68:29] [DJB]

This is unquestionably my discovery of the year and my disc of the year … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1869-1911) Symphony No. 6 in A Minor Tragic (1903-1905) [84:31] Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphony No. 5, Op.50 (1921-1922) [34:27]* Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Semiramide Overture (1822) [12:23]+ Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra*, BBC Symphony Orchestra+/Jascha Horenstein rec. Winter Gardens, Bournemouth 10 January 1969; BBC Studios, London 26 February 1971*; 6 November 1957+. Also included is a short interview with Horenstein by Deryck Cooke recorded in 1971. ADD. (Mahler and Rossini are mono) BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4191-2 2 [64:19 + 74:00] [TD]

A major release … You will be involved, you will be moved, you will be unnerved, you will not be disappointed. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Un moto di gioia - Opera and Concert Arias Schon lacht der holde Frühling, KV580 (1789) [7:47] Ch’io mi scordi di te? KV 505 (1786)[10:01]¹ Nehmt meinen Dank, KV383 (1782) [3:44] Lungi sa te, mio bene Aria from Mitridate, Rè di Ponto, KV87 (1770) [9:21]² Un moto di gioia, Arietta KV579 (1789) from Le nozze di Figaro [1:33] Come scoglio Recitative and aria from Così fan tutte, KV588 (1790) [5:28] Ruhe sanft mein holdes Leben from Zaide, KV344 (1779) [5:44] Exultate, jubilate, KV165 (1770) [13:30]³ Miah Persson (soprano), Yevgeny Sudbin (piano obbligato)¹, Bengt Olerås (solo horn)², Ulf Samuelsson (organ)³, Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Sebastian Weigle rec. September 2005, Örebro Concert Hall, Sweden BIS SACD-1529 [63:36] [DC]

The singing of one of the best young lyric sopranos of the day … a valuable addition to any vocal collection. ... see Full Review

HISTORICAL RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Six Concerts en Sextuor (1741) [59:10] Les Indes Galantes, Ballet Héroïques (1735) [48:41] Irène Joachim (soprano) Camille Maurane (baritone) Raymond Malvasio (tenor) La Chorale Yvonne Gouverné L’Ensemble Orchestral Hewitt/Maurice Hewitt Rec. in Paris in 1952 (Six Concerts) and 1942 (Les Indes Galantes) CASCAVELLE VEL 3092 [59:10 + 48:41] [JW]

Vigorous and enthusiastic, long on sympathy and romantic trajectory … Hewitt was a talented and dedicated musician and this release does his memory honourable service ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975) Symphony No.13 in B flat minor, "Babi Yar" Op. 113 (1962) (Babi Yar. Adagio [16:13]; Humour. Allegretto [8:19]; In the Store. Adagio [12:12]; Fears. Largo [12:11]; A Career. Allegretto [12:42]) Jan-Hendrik Rootering (bass) Netherlands Radio Choir Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra/Mark Wigglesworth rec. April 2005, Music Centre for Dutch Radio and Television, Studio MCO5, Hilversum BIS-SACD-1543 [62:22]
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975)
Symphony No.13 in B flat minor, "Babi Yar" Op. 113 (1962) (Babi Yar. Adagio [16:03]; Humour. Allegretto [8:07]; In the Store. Adagio [12:43]; Fears. Largo [11:43]; A Career. Allegretto [13:06]) Taras Shtonda (bass) Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno Beethoven Orchester Bonn/Roman Kofman rec. 28-30 November 2005, Heilig Kreuz-Kirche Bad Godesberg MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 937 1205-6 [61:51] [GF]

Two extremely well-played and thrilling SACD versions of this deeply fascinating symphony. The BIS recording wins on points thanks to the impressive sound quality and the singing. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Cello Sonata in D minor, Op. 40 (1934) [30:03]; Pieces for Cello and Piano (1949-1953) – The Clockwork Doll (arr. Sapozhnikov and Kirkor) [0:53]; Hurdy-Gurdy (arr. Atovmian) [0:44]; Sad Song (arr. Kalianov) [1:52]; Lullaby (arr. Kalianov) [1:22]; Spring Waltz (arr. Atovmian) [1:46]; Nocturne (arr. Atovmian) [3:06]; Moderato [2:13]; Gigue from ‘Hamlet’ (arr. Chelkauskas) [1:41] Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Madrigal In Memoriam Oleg Kagan for Solo Cello (1991) [8:22]. Klingende Buchstaben (1988) [4:17]; Cello Sonata No. 1 (1978) [21:57] Alban Gerhardt (cello); Steven Osborne (piano). rec. Wigmore Hall, London, 26-28 August 2005. DDD HYPERION CDA67534 [78:50] [CC]

I cannot recommend this disc enough. True, it is full-price, but I bet you will play it many more times than a multitude of super-budgets. Superb. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1864-1957)  A Film in Two Parts: The Early Years [52:31]; Maturity and Silence [50:34] Elisabeth Söderström (soprano); Boris Belkin (violin) Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Ashkenazy (conductor) Recorded 1984
Cameraman: David Findlay, Editor: Peter Heelas, Writer and Director: Christopher Nupen. NTSC All regions Includes bonus film Allegro molto The Christopher Nupen Films  ALLEGRO FILMS 05CN [103:05] [AO]

A true collector’s item, a poetic and imaginative essay on Sibelius and on the nature of artistic creation. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864 – 1949) Salome (1905) Birgit Nilsson (soprano) – Salome; Gerhard Stolze (tenor) – Herod; Grace Hoffman (mezzo) – Herodias; Eberhard Wächter (baritone) – Jokanaan; Waldemar Kmentt (tenor) – Narraboth; Josephine Veasey (mezzo) – Page to Herodias; Paul Kuen (tenor) – First Jew); Stefan Schwer (tenor) – Second Jew; Kurt Equiluz (tenor) – Third Jew; Aron Gestner (tenor) – Fourth Jew; Max Proebstl (bass) – Fifth Jew; Tom Krause (baritone) – First Nazarene; Nigel Douglas (tenor) – Second Nazarene; Zenon Kosnowski (bass) – First Soldier; Heinz Holecek (bass) – Second Soldier; Theodor Kirschbichler (bass) – Cappadocian; Liselotte Mailk (soprano) – Slave Wiener Philharmoniker/Georg Solti publ. 1962. No recording dates and venue given. John Hunt’s discography in Birgit Nilsson’s autobiography says Vienna, October 1961 DECCA 475 7528 [53:52 + 45:34] [GF]

For the raw animal thrill of Solti’s conducting, the overblown recording and, most of all, Nilsson’s unsurpassed singing of the title role this is a recording that should be in every respectable CD collection. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937) Organ Symphony No.5, Op.42, No.1 (1879) [40:50] Organ Symphony No.6, Op.42, No.2 (1879) [37:54] Colin Walsh (organ) rec. Lincoln Cathedral, 19-21 September, 2005. GUILD GMCD 7305 [79:16] [JF]

I am so impressed by this CD that I would have to recommend it to anyone who wishes to explore this unbelievably exciting and equally beautiful music. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) Eichendorff-Lieder: Der Musikant, Verschweigene Liebe, Das Standchen, Nachtzauber, Seemans Abschied Mörike-Lieder: Der Genesene an die Hoffnung, Der Knabe und das Immlein, Begegnung, Verboirgenheit, Nimmersatte Liebe, Im Frühling, Auf ein Wanderung, Um Mitternacht, Auf ein altes Bild, Gebet, An den Schlaf, An die Geliebte, Lied eines Verliebten, Peregrina 1 and 2, Der Jager, Abschied. Goethe-Lieder: Gutmann und Gutweib, Ganymede Ian Bostridge (tenor), Anthony Pappano (piano) rec. 26-29 April 2005, LSO St Luke’s, London EMI CLASSICS 3 42256 2 [71:37] [AOz]

An excellent and highly individual approach to Wolf by an interpreter who really understands Wolf’s special sensibility and breathes life into the music. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Lyrische Symphonie Op. 18 (1922) Matthias Goerne (baritone); Christine Schäfer (soprano) Orchestre National de Paris/Christoph Eschenbach rec. Paris, June 2005. SACD CAPRICCIO 71 081 [51:47] [AO]

The performances and insights are so profound that this recording will stand the test of time. It will be the touchstone for decades to come, like a "lamp held on high, in order to light (our) way" as the text suggests. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Juan Diego Flórez: Sentimiento latino Pedro Elías GUTIÉRREZ (1870–1954) 1. Alma llanera (1914) [3:18] José Alfredo JIMÉNEZ (1926–1973) 2. Ella (1950s) [3:44] María Isabel GRANDA LARCO (Chabuca GRANDA) (1920–1983) 3. La flor de la canela [3:42] Carlos GARDEL (1890–1935) and Alfredo Le PERA 4. El día quem e quieras(1935) [4:38] Agustin LARA (1900–1969) 5. Granada (1932) [4:15]Trad. (arr. Flórez) 6. La jarra de oro [3:16] José PADILLA (1889–1960) 7. Princesita  (from La corte del amor) (1916) [3:10] María GREVER (1884–1951) 8. Júrame (1920s) [3:37] Manuel María PONCE (1882–1948) 9. Estrellita (1914) [3:04] María Isabel GRANDA LARCO (Chabuca GRANDA) and Eduardo Óscar ROVIRA 10. Fina estampa [2:34] Noel ESTRADA (1918–1979) 11. En mi viejo San Juan (1940s?) [4:44] Ernesto LECUONA (1895–1963) 12. Siboney (1929) [4:00] Nilo MENÉNDEZ and Adolfo UTRERA 13. Aquellos ojos verdes [4:14] María Isabel GRANDA LARCO (Chabuca GRANDA) 14. Bello durmiente [2:38] Jesús Monge RAMIREZ (1910–1964) 15. México lindo (1940s) [4:03] Juan Diego Flórez (tenor), Daniel Binelli (bandoneon) (4, 7, 8), David Gálvez (guitar) (2, 3, 9, 10, 14), Shields-Collins Bray (piano) (7, 9), Juan Diego Flórez (bongos (10), Mariachi de Oro with Swang Lin, Eugene Cherkasov, Xiao-Hua Sheng (violin) (2), Michael Shih, Adriana Voirin De Costa (violin) (7, 9), Laura Bruton (viola) (7, 9), Karen Basrak (cello) (7, 9), William Clay (bass) (7, 9), Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra/Miguel Harth-Bedoya (1, 3-6, 8, 11-13, 15) rec. 25 September–2 October 2004, Landreth Auditorium, Fort Worth, Texas DECCA 475 7576 [55:08] [GF]

Sensible, sensitive, intelligent, technically impeccable, extremely beautiful –not a trace of bad behaviour. Singing of this calibre can refine even the slightest of material – and this is not all that slight. ... see Full Review

 

 

 

 


BARGAINS OF THE MONTH

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
War Requiem, Op. 66 (1961) [81:24] Rehearsing War Requiem: recordings made during session rehearsals* [49:34] Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano); Peter Pears (tenor); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) The Bach Choir; London Symphony Chorus; Highgate School Choir Melos Ensemble Simon Preston (organ) London Symphony Orchestra/Benjamin Britten rec. Kingsway Hall, London, 3-5, 7, 8, 10 January 1963 Stereo/*mono DECCA - THE ORIGINALS 475 7511 [54:52 + 76:50] [JQ]

This superb recording, definitive in so many ways, speaks to us as powerfully today as it ever did. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Requiem, Op. 89 (1890) [94:59] Biblical Songs, Op. 99 – excerpts* (1894) [19:08] Maria Stader (soprano); Sieglinde Wagner (contralto); Ernst Haefliger (tenor); Kim Borg (bass) Czech Chorus, Prague Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl *Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone); Jörg Demus (piano) rec., Rudolfinum, Prague, January, February 1959; *Studio Lankwitz, Berlin, April 1960. ADD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON ROSETTE COLLECTION 476 5307 [72:40 + 41:34] [JQ]

This Ančerl version of the Requiem is something rather special and it constitutes a clear first choice ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Complete Piano Music - Volume 23
Piano Transcriptions of Beethoven's Symphonies 7 and 8, S464/R128: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 [38:46] Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93 [24:58] Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)rec. Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, 5-7 June 2002 (No.7); 5 October 2004 (No.8). DDD NAXOS 8.557856 [63:44] [TP]

Those who have been collecting this series will already be rushing into the stores to snap this issue up. Those who are as yet unfamiliar with Liszt’s Beethoven transcriptions should do the same.... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K467 (1785) [27:41] Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K503 (1786) [31:23] Stephen Kovacevich (piano) London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis rec. London, June 1972. ADD PHILIPS ROSETTE COLLECTION 4765316 [60:04] [DRD]

There have been many superlatives in this review but they’re all deserved. Enough - I’m going to listen to the music again! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet (1935-36): excerpts from Suites No.1 (Op. 64a), No. 2 (Op. 64b) and No. 3 (Op.101): (Montagues and Capulets (Op.64b, No. 1) [5:31]; Juliet the Young Girl (Op. 64b, No. 2) [3:52]; Folk Dance (Op. 64a, No 1) [4:16]; Scene (Op. 64a, No. 2) [1:31]; Madrigal (Op. 64a, No. 3) [3:35]; Minuet (Op. 64a, No. 4) [3:04]; Masks (Op. 64a, No. 5) [1:55]; Romeo and Juliet (Op. 64a, No. 6) [7:41]; Tybalt’s Death (Op. 64a, No. 7) [4:35]; Friar Laurence (Op. 64b, No. 3) [2:40]; Dance (Op. 64b, No. 4) [1:57]; Romeo and Juliet before Parting (Op. 64b, No. 5) [9:14]; Dance of the Girls from The Antilles (The Girls with Lilies) (Op. 64b, No. 6) [2:12]; Romeo at Juliet’s Tomb (Op. 64b, No. 7) [7:01]; Death of Juliet (Op. 101, No.6) [4:18]) Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Myung-Whun Chung rec. Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, January, February 1993. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON ENTRÉE 00289 477 5011 [63:22] [JQ]

Superlative playing, sympathetic conducting, fine engineering, marvellous music and a bargain price; what more can one ask? ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) An Introduction to Ralph Vaughan WilliamsOverture to The Wasps from the 'Aristophanic Suite' (1909) * [10:16] Fantasia on 'Greensleeves' - arranged by Ralph Greaves (d. 1966) (1934) † [4:34] The Lark Ascending - Romance for Violin and Orchestra (1921) ‡ [15:36] A London Symphony (Symphony No. 2) (1913) § [47:41] Michael Davis (violin) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley * London Symphony Orchestra/Bryden Thomson †‡§ rec. dates and venues not supplied but made 1980s and 1990s CHANDOS INTRO CHAN 2028 [78:09] [DH]

Thomson’s mighty London risks creating a following. This is a magnificent performance which impresses more with each hearing ... 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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