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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]


RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas, Vol. 33 Jesu, nun sei gepreiset, BWV 41 (1725) [27:40] Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn, BWV 92 (1725) [30:12] Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, BWV 130 (1725) [15:08] Yukari Nonoshita (soprano), Robin Blaze (counter-tenor), Jan Kobow (tenor), Dominik Wörner (bass) Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. April 2005, Kobe Shuin Women’s University Chapel, Japan BIS-SACD-1541 3892-2 [74:12][TB]

Together Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan have achieved some remarkable successes in their Bach odyssey, and this latest collection must rank among their finest to date. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH César FRANCK (1822-1890) Symphony in D minor (1886-1888) [35:06] Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Symphony in B flat (1890) [33:05] Suisse Romande Orchestra/Marek Janowski rec. Dinemec Studio, Gland/Geneva, Switzerland, July 2006 PENTATONE CLASSICS PTC5186078 [68:25] [CH]

I’m delighted to be able to recommended a version of the much maligned and often maltreated Franck Symphony that matches the great versions of the past. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Patrick HADLEY (1899-1973) The Trees so High: Symphonic Ballad in A minor (1931) [34.07] Thomas Allen (baritone) Guildford Philharmonic Choir New Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Intimations of Immortality - Ode for tenor solo, chorus and orchestra (1949) [43.12] Ian Partridge (tenor) Guildford Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. 1970s. ADD original recordings made in association with the Finzi and RVW Trusts (Finzi); RVW Trust (Hadley) LYRITA SRCD 238 [77:19] [RB]

Matchless versions of major works. Outstanding achievement by composers, performers and technicians. Substantial and frankly irresistible. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ferdinand HÉROLD (1791-1833) La Somnambule (1827) Orchestra Victoria/Richard Bonynge rec. Iwaki Auditorium, Melbourne, Australia, July 2004 MELBA MR301087 [69:30][RW]

How could such fine music as this have remained neglected until now? ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH John IRELAND (1879-1962) Tritons, symphonic prelude (c.1905) [10:29] The Forgotten Rite, prelude (1913) [7:07] Mai-Dun, symphonic rhapsody (1920-21) [11:23] A London Overture (1936) [11:57] Epic March (1942) [8:12] Themes from Julius Caesar (arr. Geoffrey Bush) (Scherzo; Cortège) (1942) [6:45] The Overlanders, suite (ed. Charles Mackerras) (Scorched Earth; Mary & Sailor; Open Country; The Brumbies; Night Stampede) (1946-47) [20:07] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Adrian Boult rec. 1960s. ADD recordings originally made in association with John Ireland Trust LYRITA SRCD 240 [76:04] [RB]

A classic John Ireland collection – magically done ... see Full Review

Neruda Songs (2005) [31:11] Si no fuera porque tus ojos tienen color de luna [5:04]; Amor, amor, las nubes a la torre del cielo [5:48]; No estés lejos de mi un solo día, porque cómo [6:23]; Ya eres mía. Reposa con tu sueño en mi sueño [7:26]; Amor mío, si muero y tú no mueres [7:10] Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo) Boston Symphony Orchestra/James Levine rec. 25-26 November 2005, Boston Symphony Hall NONESUCH 79954-2 [31:11] [AOz]

An artistic testament by two brave human beings confronting imminent separation and turning their anxieties into something which can, perhaps, help others when they, too, face such situations ... see Full Review

Années de pèlerinage – Suisse: Première Année – Suisse S160 (1855) Chapelle de Guillaume Tell [6:18] Au lac de Wallenstadt [3:06] Pastorale [1:47] Au bord d’une source [3:48] Orage [4:33] Vallée d’Obermann [14:07] Eglogue [3:35] Le mal du pays [5:50] Les cloches de Geneve [6:20] Scherzo and March S177 (1851) [12:42] Joyce Hatto (piano) rec. Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, April 2003 (Années de pèlerinage); June 2003 (Scherzo and March) CONCERT ARTIST CACD 91622 [62:35] [JW]

Joyce Hatto characterises with vivid finesse and imagination ... vital and all-embracing playing ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major, K 453* (1784) [35:32] Symphony No. 39 in E flat major, K 543 (1788) [34:42] Wiener Philharmoniker/Leonard Bernstein *(piano conductor) rec. Grosser Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, 3-11 October 1981. DDD Video Director: Humphrey Burton NTSC 4:3 Colour; Region Code 0 (worldwide); PCM Stereo; DD 5.1; DTS 5.1 EUROARTS 2072098 [72:13][MG]

Bernstein applies the Vienna Philharmonic’s luxury veneer to his highly responsive approach to Mozart and does so to distinctive effect. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No.4 in F minor Op.36 (1877) [42:57] Symphony No.5 in E minor Op.64 (1888) [47:28] Symphony No.6 in B minor Op.74 Pathétique (1893) [46:09] Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome)/Antonio Pappano rec. live, Sala Santa Cecilia, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, 3-15 July 2006 EMI CLASSICS 3 53258 2 [71:27 + 65:05] [DC]

These discs are a real ‘concert in your pocket’, and genuinely satisfying. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Heroes Orlando finto pazzo - Se in ogni guardo (1714) [3:11] Giustino - Vedro con mio diletto (1724) [5:11] Ottone in villa - Frema pur, si lagni Roma (1713) [4:24] L'Olimpiade - Mentre dormi amor fomenti [7:42] Tito Manlio - Vanne perdida... Frà le procelle (1718) [5:05] Andromeda liberata - Sovente il sole (1726) [9:23] Demofoonte - Sperai vicino il lido [5:36] Giustino - Deh perché... Bel riposo de'mortali (1724) [4:15] Il Tigrane - Farà la mia spada [2:44] Tieteberga - Sento in seno [4:06] Orlando furioso - Cara sposa (1713; 1714 version) [2:41] Farnace - Perdona o figlio amato (1731; 1738 version) [6:29] Orlando finto pazzo - Alla rosa ruggiadosa [2:22] Philippe Jaroussky (counter-tenor) Ensemble Matheus/Jean-Christophe Spinosi rec. Auditorium de l’Ecole Nationale de Musique, de Danse et d’Art Dramatique, Brest, July 2006  VIRGIN CLASSICS 00946 363414 2 2 [63:15][JW]

A most convincing and successful recital – varied and nuanced.  Most impressive all round. ... see Full Review



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 4 in G, Op. 58 (1805/6) [33:10] Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat, Op. 73, “Emperor” (1809) [39:16] Emil Gilels (piano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Leopold Ludwig rec. No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, 26-27, 30 April, 1 May 1957. ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 4768282  [72:35] [CC]

Classic accounts of Beethoven ... These performances demand to be heard. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH François COUPERIN (1668-1733) 4 Livres de pièces de clavecin - Complete harpsichord music Michael Borgstede (harpsichord) rec. March-April 2004, January, February, June 2005, Maria Minor Church, Utrecht, Westvestkerk in Schiedam and Hervormde Kerk in Rhoon, Netherlands. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 93082 [11 CDs:] [JV]

An impressive recording of Couperin's complete harpsichord music - Borgstede's interpretation fully answers the 18th century ideal of 'bon goût' ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartet No. 14 in D minor D.810 Death and the Maiden (1824) [33:06]; String Quartet No. 15 in G major D.887 (1826) [39:58] Busch Quartet (Adolf Busch; Gösta Andreasson (violins); Karl Doktor (viola); Hermann Busch, (cello)) rec. 16 October 1936 (D.810); 22, 30 November 1938, Studio 3, Abbey Road, London (D.887). ADD MONO. EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3615882 [73.33] [ED]

The Busch’s feeling for the music is unsurpassed nearly seventy years after it was recorded. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) String Quartets: A minor, Op. 41, No. 1 [25:56]; F major, Op. 41, No. 2 [21:06]; A major, Op. 41, No. 3 [32:03] Fine Arts Quartet: Ralph Evans (violin); Efim Boico (violin); Yuri Gandelsman (viola); Wolfgang Laufer (cello) rec. Library of Wittem Monastery (Klooster Wittem), Netherlands, 11, 13-15 February 2006 NAXOS 8.570151 [79:05] [GF]

At Naxos price, readers who have so far fought shy of these quartets should give them a try and, like me, they may possibly find that this is eminently well-wrought and attractive music ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Kinderszenen, op. 15 (1838) [20.00]; Etudes Symphoniques, op. 13 (1837) [37.47] Luiza Borac (piano) rec. St Dunstan’s Church, Mayfield, 25-28 April 2001. DDD. AVIE GBELZ0200011-40 [57.47] [ED]

Worth serious consideration, even to sit alongside other versions of choice you might own. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann STRAUSS II (1825–1899) Die Fledermaus (1874) Nicolai Gedda (tenor) – Gabriel von Eisenstein; Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) – Rosalinde; Helmut Krebs (tenor) – Alfred; Rita Streich (soprano) – Adele; Karl Dönch (baritone) – Frank; Erich Kunz (baritone) – Falke; Rudolf Christ (tenor) – Prince Orlofsky; Erich Majkut (tenor) – Dr. Blind; Franz Böheim (speaking part) – Frosch; Luise Martini (speaking part) – Ida; Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus/Herbert von Karajan; rec. 26–30 April 1955, Kingsway Hall, London Appendix: Historical Recordings of Die Fledermaus: Overture (arr. Korngold) [8:20] The Palace Theatre Orchestra/Richard Tauber rec. July 1945, London; Mein Herr, was dächten Sie von mir [2:55] Lotte Lehmann (soprano); Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Frieder Weissmann rec. 26 May 1931, Berlin; Mein Herr Marquis [3:21] Elisabeth Schumann (soprano); Orchestra/Karl Alwin rec. 11 November 1927, Queen’s Small Hall, London; Spiel’ ich die Unschuld vom Lande [3:27] Elisabeth Schumann (soprano); Vienne State Opera Orchestra/Karl Alwin rec. 6 September 1929, Mittlerer Saal, Musikvereinsaal, Vienna; Klänge der Heimat [4:15] Maria Ivogün (soprano); Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Leo Blech rec. October 1932, Berlin; Herr Chevalier, ich grüsse Sie! … Brüderlein, Brüderlein und Schwesterlein [4:08]; Genug, damit, genug! [3:48] Richard Tauber (tenor); Lotte Lehmann (soprano); Karin Branzell (mezzosoprano); Waldemar Staegemann (baritone); Grete Merrem-Nikisch (mezzo); Berlin State Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Frieder Weissmann rec. 17 December, 1928, Berlin NAXOS 8.111036-37 [79:07 + 60:37] [GF]

Whatever other version you own, Karajan’s is definitely one to add and at Naxos price you can still afford a bottle of champagne to go with your Wienerschnitzel. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) Vier letzte Lieder (1949) [19:10] 1. Frühling (Hesse) [3:24]; 2. September (Hesse) [4:07]; 3. Beim Schlafengehn (Hesse) [4:27]; 4. Im Abendrot (Eichendorff) [7:11] Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Ackermann rec. 25-26 September 1953, Watford Town Hall Arabella (1933), highlights [57:41] 5. Ich danke, Fräulein [8:21]; 6. Welko, das Bild! [13:11]; 7. Mein Elemer! [7:55]; 8. Sie wollen mich heiraten [8:49]; 9. Und jetzt sag’ ich adieu [13:26]; 10. Das war sehr gut, Mandryka [6:00] Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) – Arabella; Joseph Metternich (baritone) – Mandryka; Nicolai Gedda (tenor) – Matteo; Anny Felbermayer (soprano) – Zdenka; Walter Berry (bass) – Count Lamoral; Harald Pröglhöf (baritone) – Count Dominik; Murray Dickie (tenor) – Count Elemer; Waiter; Theodor Schlott (bass) – Count Waldner Philharmonia Orchestra/Lovro von Matacic rec. 27–29 September, 6 October 1954, Kingsway Hall, London. ADD NAXOS 8.111145 [76:51] [JW]

This disc is worthy of a place in any Strauss collection. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ernst TOCH (1887-1964) Tanz-Suite for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Double Bass and Percussion, Op.30  (1923-4) [29:53] * Concerto for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, Op.35 (1924-5) [27:10] Christian Poltéra (cello); Spectrum Concerts Berlin: Priya Mitchell*, Julia-Maria Kretz (violin); Hartmut Rohde* (viola); Frank Dodge (cello); Stacey Watton* (double-bass); Marieke Schneemann* (flute); Nigel Shore (oboe); Lars Wouters van der Oudenwijer* (clarinet); Catherine Maguire (bassoon); Bernhard Krug (horn); Daniel Tummes* (percussion) / Thomas Carroll. rec. 1-3 May 2006 *; 3 May 2006; Kammermusiksaal, Philharmonie, Berlin NAXOS 8.559282 [57:35][GPu]

An outstanding recording and performance of fascinating music, by a composer still not as well known as he should be, and therefore not as widely-enjoyed as he should be … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Elisabeth SchumannAria Recordings 1926–1938 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) 1.  Exsultate jubilate, K 165: Alleluia [2:24]; 2.  Il re pastore: L’amerò, sarò costante [4:24]; Le nozze di Figaro: 3.  Non so più [3:27]; 4.  Venite, inginocchiatevi [3:13]; 5.  Voi che sapete [3:43]; 6. Deh vieni, non tardar [3:49]; Don Giovanni: 7. Batti, batti, o bel Masetto [3:45]; 8. Vedrai carino [3:24] Johann STRAUSS II (1825–1899) Die Fledermaus: 9. Mein Herr Marquis [3:24]; 10. Spiel’ ich die Unschuld vom Lande [3:24] Carl ZELLER (1842–1898) Der Vogelhändler: 11. Wie mein Ahn’l zwanzig Jahr [3:23]; 12. Wie mein Ahn’l zwanzig Jahr ’Nightingale Song’ [3:30]; Der Obersteiger: 13. Sei nicht bös’ [3:28] Carl Michael ZIEHRER (1843–1922) Der Landstreicher: 14. Sei gepriesen du lauschige Nacht [3:11]; Der Fremdenführer: 15. O Wien, mein liebes Wien [3:12] Heinrich BERTÉ (1858–1924) Das Dreimädelhaus: 16. Was macht glücklich [3:29] Richard HEUBERGER (1850–1914) Der Opernball: 17. Im chambre separée [2:45] Fritz KREISLER (1875–1962) Sissy: 18. Ich glaub’ das Glück [3:40] Josef STRAUSS (1827–1870) 19. Spährenklänge [3:38] Ralph BENATZKY (1884–1957) 20. Ich muss wieder einmal in Grinzing sein [3:24] Rudolf SIECZYNSKI (1879–1952) 21. Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume [3:25] Elisabeth Schumann (soprano) Orchestra/Georg Byng (1, 2, 5, 7, 8); Lawrance Collingwood (3, 4, 6, 12, 13, 18); Carl Alwin (9); Vienna State Opera Orchestra/Carl Alwin (10, 11); Orchestra/Walter Goehr (14-17, 20, 21); Leo Rosenek rec. 19 May 1926 (1, 5, 7); 7 June 1926 (2, 8); 1 February, 1927 (3, 4); 4 February, 1927 (6); 11 November 1927 (9); 6 September 1929 (10, 11); 17 February 1930 (12, 13); 23 June 1934 (19); 20 November 1935 (18); 25 November 1936 (16, 21); 11 March 1937 (14, 15); 8 June 1938 (20); 11 June 1938 (17). ADD NAXOS 8.111100 [72:12] [GF]

Grading the singing greats for loveliness and charm Elisabeth Schumann inevitably occupies the top position. This disc shows her at her most lovely. ... 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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