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[Recommended recordings]


Luigi CHERUBINI (1760-1842) Requiem in C Minor (1816); Introit and Kyrie [7:26]; Graduale [1:12]; Sequence: Dies Irae [7:49]; Offertory: Domine Jesu Christe [5:54]; Offertory: Hostias [6:43]; Sanctus and Benedictus [1:13]; Pie Jesu [3:20]; Agnus Dei [5:22] March Funèbre (1820) [5:14] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Elegiac Song Op 118 [5:40] Boston Baroque/Martin Pearlman rec. Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, 7-8 May 2006. DDD TELARC CD-80658 [47:38][JWi]

Telarc are to be congratulated for reviving this historically and musically important requiem, as well as for their very good recording. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35 (1839) [25:46]; Scherzos: No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 20 (1831-32) [10:54]; No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31 (1837) [9:47]; No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39 (1839) [7:14]; No. 4 in E, Op. 54 (1842) [11:08] Simon Trpčeski (piano). rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 26-29 July 2006. DDD EMI CLASSICS 3 75586 2 [65:00][CC]

This stunning disc runs high on my list of Discs of the Year .. This is a must-hear experience. ... see Full Review

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Douze Etudes Op. 10 (1835) 1. No. 1 in C major, allegro [1:55] 2. No. 2 in A minor, allegro [1:22] 3. No. 3 in E major, lento ma non troppo [4:31] 4. No. 4 in C sharp minor, presto [2:16] 5. No. 5 in G flat major, vivace [1:41] 6. No. 6 in E flat minor, andante con molto espressione [2:53] 7. No. 7 in C major, vivace [1:37] 8. No. 8 in F major, allegro [2:23] 9. No. 9 in F minor, allegro molto agitato [2:09] 10. No. 10 in A flat major, vivace assai [2:14] 11. No. 11 in E flat major, allegretto [3:00] 12. No. 12 in C minor, allegro con fuoco [2:27] 12 Etudes Op. 25 (A Madame la Comtesse d'Agoult) (1832-36) 13. No. 1 in A flat major, allegro sostenuto [2:25] 14. No. 2 in F minor, presto [1:43] 15. No. 3 in F major, allegro [2:04] 16. No. 4 in A minor, agitato [2:18] 17. No. 5 in E minor, vivace [3:24] 18. No. 6 in G sharp minor, allegro [2:06] 19. No. 7 in C sharp minor, lento [5:18] 20. No. 8 in D flat major, vivace assai [1:09] 21. No. 9 in G flat major, allegro assai [1:04] 22. No. 10 in B minor, allegro con fuoco [4:29] 23. No. 11 in A minor, allegro con brio [3:36] 24. No. 12 in C minor, allegro molto con fuoco [2:29] Trois Nouvelles Études composées  pour la Méthode de Moscheles et Fétis (1839) 25. No. 1 in F minor, andantino [2:05] 26. No. 2 in D flat major, allegretto [2:24] 27. No. 3 in A flat major, allegretto [2:04] Allegro de concert in A major Op.46 [12:22] Claudio Arrau (piano) rec. No. 3 Studio, Abbey Road, London, June and September 1956 EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3 79988 2 [79:45][JW]

Arrau’s Chopin is powerfully personalised ... in its partial abjuring of overt delicacy and lyricism it promotes clarity instead. ... see Full Review

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Fanfare for the Common Man (1942) [3:18] Rodeo (1942) [18:16] Appalachian Spring (Suite) (1945) [22:19] Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber (1940-43) [20:13]* Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Louis Lane, *Robert Shaw rec. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, March 1981 and *November 1980 TELARC SACD-60648 [64:38] [SV]

Choice and sequence of works is pleasing and mostly well recorded, but this isn't really a top choice for any of these works ... see Full Review

Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713) Violin Sonatas, Op. 5, Nos. 7-12 (1700) Sonata No. 7 in D minor [9:08] Sonata No. 8 in E minor [11:12] Sonata No. 9 in A major [11:41] Sonata No. 10 in F major [10:18] Sonata No. 11 in E major [8:39] Sonata No. 12: Follia [11:55] François Fernandez (baroque violin, Guarneri, 1690); Glen Wilson (harpsichord, Henk van Schevikhoven after a 1628 Ruckers) rec. Kloster Bronnbach, Wertheim, Germany, 20-22 March 2006, DDD NAXOS 8.557799 [62:53][BW]

Lively performances of attractive baroque sonatas, brightly recorded … see Full Review

John CORIGLIANO (b.1938) Snapshot: Circa 1909 (2003) [5:22] A Black November Turkey (1972/2003) [2:55] String Quartet (1995) [32:22] Jefferson FRIEDMAN (b.1974) String Quartet No.2 (1998) [21:39] Corigliano Quartet (Michael Jinsoo Lim, Lina Bahn (violins); Melia Watras (viola); Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)) rec. 26-27 October 2004, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York. DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559180 [62:18][DW]

In so many ways this CD of first-class string quartets by American composers, teacher and pupil yields many rewards. I urge lovers of the medium to be brave and sample this wonderful disc … see Full Review

William CROFT (1678-1727) William Croft at St Paul's Service in D: Te Deum [46:22] Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous [14:13] The Burial Service [15:38] Service in D: Jubilate [12:04] The Choir of St Paul's Cathedral The Parley of Instruments/John Scott rec. February, May 1992, St Paul's Cathedral, London, UK. DDD HYPERION HELIOS CDH55252 [71:33][JV]

Most welcome as very little of Croft's music is available on disc. His music is definitely worth listening to. And the Burial Service alone is enough to make this disc recommendable. ... see Full Review

George CRUMB (b. 1929) The River of Life (2003) [43:02] Unto the Hills (2002) [40:20] Ann Bridge (soprano) Orchestra 2001/James Freeman; rec. Lang Concert Hall, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; 26-27 June 2003, 25-27 November 2003. BRIDGE 9218 A/B [43:02 + 40:20] [JWi]

The series is interesting in that it shows the prolific production and diversity of this composer who, far from being a one hit wonder, writes extensively and for a wide range of instruments and voices. ... see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Etudes (1915) [47:24] Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Etude "Les cloches de Las Palmas" op.111/4 [04:21] Etude "En forme de valse" op.52/6 [07:11] Margit Rahkonen (piano) rec. 1993, Järvenpää Hall, Finland FINLANDIA 4509-95581-1 [59:14] [CH]

I chose the "Etudes" as one of my 2006 "Records of the Year" and I see no reason to alter my opinion. ... see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Complete Works for Piano, Volume 1 Préludes, Book 1 (1910) [38:57] Préludes, Book 2 (1913) [38:36] Les soirs illuminés par l’ardeur du charbon (1917) [02:11] Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) rec. 6-8 November 2006, Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, UK CHANDOS CHAN 10421 [79:44][CH]

A very high recommendation for Book 2, some doubts about Book 1. ... see Full Review

Maurice DuruflÉ (1902-1986) Complete Organ Music Fugue sur le thème du Carillon des heures de la Cathédrale de Soissons Op. 12 (1962) [3:30] Prélude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le thème du 'Veni Creator' Op. 4 (1930) [20:09] Prélude sur l'Introït de l'Epiphanie Op. 13 (1961) [2:15] Scherzo Op. 2 (1924) [6:01] Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d'Alain Op. 7 (1942) [12:35] (Prélude [6:38]; Fugue [5:57]) Méditation Op. posth. (1964) [3:43] Hommage à Jean Gallon (1953) [1:54] Suite Op. 5 (1933): Prélude, Sicilienne, Toccata [23:14] Henry Fairs (organ) rec. Church of Notre Dame d’Auteuil, Paris, 5-6 June 2006. DDD NAXOS 8.557924 [73:21][MK]

Duruflé’s organ works are fiendishly difficult. Henry Fairs has taken on the challenge and succeeded superbly ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 9 From the New World (1893) [43:20] Vítěslav NOVÁK (1870-1949) Slovak Suite Op.32 (1903) [29:25] Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Zdeněk Mácal rec. Rudolfinum, Prague, October 2003 (Slovak Suite) and January 2004 (Symphony) EXTON OVCL 00250 [72:51] [JW]

Sympathetic and affectionate ... see Full Review

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Disc 1 Symphony No. 1 in A flat Op.55 (1908) [48:37] (I: Andante. Nobilmente e semplice – Allegro; II: Allegro molto; III: Adagio; IV: Lento – Allegro) Disc 2 Symphony No. 2 in E flat Op. 63 (1911) [51:16] (I: Allegro vivace e nobilmente; II: Larghetto; III: Rondo (Presto); IV: Moderato e maestoso) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1970, 1979, 1977. ADD 2 CDs for the price of 1 LYRITA SRCD.221 [48:37 + 51:16] [SH]

Rarely, rarely comes an opportunity like this. ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Complete Symphonies Symphony No. 1 (1908) [49.29] Imperial March (1896) [4.20] BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/George Hurst rec. Concert Hall, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, April 1992. DDD[53.49] Symphony No. 2 (1911) [56.03] BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Edward Downes rec. Concert Hall, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 16-17 March 1993. DDD [56.03] Symphony No. 3 in C minor (1932-1934) (Sketches elaborated by Anthony PAYNE (b. 1936) (1997)) [54:59] Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Paul Daniel rec. The Guildhall, Southampton, 24-25 May 1999. DDD [54:59] All discs also available separately NAXOS 8.503187 [53:49 + 56:03 + 54:59] [TP]

An attractive package indeed. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Symphony No.1, Op.55 (1908) [51:57] Sonata for Organ, Op.26 (transcr. for orchestra by Gordon Jacob (1895-1984)) (1895) [26:05] BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox rec. Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, 22-23 May 2006 CHANDOS CHSA 5049 [78:12][DC]

A wonderful thing to have on your shelf or in your pocket. ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Works for Organ: Sonata in G (1895) (26:40) Organ Sonata No. 2 (1933) (13:45) Vesper Voluntaries (1889) (19:00) Cantique (1879 for winds trans. Elgar 1912) (3:47) Chanson de Matin (1897) (trans. Brewer) (3:13) Nimrod (Enigma Variations) (1898) (trans. W.H. Harris) (3:23) Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 in G (1907) (trans. G.R. Sinclair) (5:14) Thomas Trotter (organ) rec. Salisbury Cathedral, 23-25 November 2006 REGENT REGCD256 [75:28][IL]

An exemplary organ recital, excellently recorded in stylish, colourful, committed performances taking full advantage of all the splendours of the great Father Willis Organ at Salisbury Cathedral. ... see Full Review

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Chantant* (c.1872) [5:14] Pastourelle* (1881) [2:19] Rosemary (1882) [3:47] Griffinesque* (1884) [0:24] Sonatina* (1889) [3:30] Presto* (1889) [2:03] Minuet, Op.21 (1897) [4:33] May Song (1901) [3:47] Dream Children, Op.43 (1902) [6:07] Skizze* (1903) [1:15] In Smyrna (1905) [4:56] Concert Allegro* (1901-1906) [10:03] Carissima (1913) [4:52] Sonatina* (1931) [4:02] Serenade* (1932) [3:07] Adieu* (1932) [2:53] * Original piano music Peter Pettinger (piano) rec. St Silas Church, Belsize Park, London, June 1985 CHANDOS CHAN 10429X [64:40][DC]

We can be grateful that so many rarely heard pieces are once again available to fans of Elgar. ... see Full Review

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius Op. 38 (1900) [86:31] Variations on an original theme (Enigma) Op. 36 (1899) [29:16] The Holly and the Ivy (arrangement) (1897) [4:58] Jane Irwin (mezzo – Angel); Justin Lavender (tenor – Gerontius/Soul); Peter Rose (bass – Priest and Angel of the Agony) City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo rec. August, September 2006, Symphony Hall, Birmingham CITY OF BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CBSO CD003 [67:49 + 52:56] [JS]

Fresh and imaginative performances - a set well worth having ... see Full Review

The Spirit of England Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Spirit of England, cantata for soprano, tenor, chorus and orchestra with organ, Op.80 (1916-17) [27:17] Frederick Septimus KELLY (1881-1916) Elegy for StringsIn Memoriam Rupert Brooke’, tone poem for harp and strings (1915) [8:16] Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937) War Elegy (1920) [11:06] Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918) The Chivalry of the Sea, naval ode for five part chorus and orchestra (1916) [13:59] Lilian ELKINGTON (1901-69) Out of the Mist, tone poem (1921) [7:50] Susan Gritton (soprano) Andrew Kennedy (tenor) Ian Farrington (organ) BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/David Lloyd-Jones rec. 25–27 February 2006, The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford. DDD DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7172 [69:00][MC]

This disc of Great War inspired scores makes a worthy addition to the catalogue and contains some superb music. ... see Full Review

Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Clarinet Concerto Op. 31 (1949) [29:19] Cello Concerto Op.40 (1956) [41:06] John Denman (clarinet) Yo-Yo Ma (cello) New Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley (clarinet concerto) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley (cello concerto) rec. 1977, 1979. location(s) not given. ADD LYRITA SRCD.236 [70:28] [DC]

These recordings should be part of the beating heart of any collection seeking to contain the best of British music. ... see Full Review

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Symphonie en Ré mineur [41:00] Psyché – Poème Symphonique – extracts: Sommeil de Psyché. Lento [8:10]; Psyché et Eros. Allegretto modéré [8:13] Heinrich Walther (organ) rec. Wallfahrtsbasilika Vierzehnheiligen, Franken, Germany, December 2005. DDD ORGANUM CLASSICS OGM 261098 [57:35] [CB]

Walther plays with a fabulous feeling for the music’s genre, and a telling stylistic awareness ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Hans GÁL (1890-1987) The Complete String Quartets String Quartets, Vol. 1 Quartet No.1 in F minor, Op. 16 (1916) [27:29] Quartet No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 99 (1970) [28:12] Improvisation, Variations and Finale on a theme by Mozart, Op. 60b (1934) [15:58] The Edinburgh Quartet: (Charles Mutter (violin); Philip Burrin (violin); Michael Beeston (viola); Mark Bailey (cello)) rec. 24-26 November 2003, Broughton St Mary's Parish Church, Edinburgh, Scotland. DDD MERIDIAN CDE 84530 [71:39] Hans GÁL (1890-1987) The Complete String Quartets String Quartets, Vol. 2 Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 35 (1929) [26:26] Quartet No. 3 in B minor, Op. 95 (1969) [28:34] 5 Intermezzi, Op. 10 (1914) [17:05] The Edinburgh Quartet: (Charles Mutter (violin); Philip Burrin (violin); Michael Beeston (viola); Mark Bailey (cello)) rec. 1-4 September, 2004, Broughton St Mary's Parish Church, Edinburgh, Scotland. DDD MERIDIAN CDE 84531 [72:11] 2CD set in slipcase: MERIDIAN CDE84557 [MC]

These are satisfying and accessible string quartets from Hans Gál that always have something to say. Lovers of rare chamber music will be in their element with this splendid set. ... see Full Review

Francesco GEMINIANI (1687-1762) Trio Sonata No 3 in F major, after Sonata Op 1 No 9 [8:48] Concerto Grosso, ‘La Folia’, after Corelli’s violin sonata in D Minor Op 5 No 12 [10:48] * Sonata in E Minor, Op 1 No 3 (revised) [5:48] Trio Sonata No 5 in A Minor, after sonata Op 1 No 11 [6:07] Trio Sonata No 6 in D Minor, after sonata Op 1 No 12 [6:12] Sonata in A major, Op 4 No 12 [4:46] Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op 7 No 2 [8:45] * The Purcell Quartet: Catherine Mackintosh (violin); Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin); Richard Boothby (cello); Robert Woolley (harpsichord) The Purcell Band: Pavlo Beznosiuk (violin); Catherine Weiss (violin); Henrietta Wayne (violin); Francis Turner (violin); Alan George (concertino); Risa Browder (ripieno); Barry Guy (violone); Lucy Carolan (organ)* rec. 4, 5, 12 June 1987, DDD HYPERION HELIOS CDH 55234 [51:48][MS]

A clearly-presented selection of chamber music that reaches out and touches us perhaps more forcefully than it did its intimate audiences when first performed, nearly three hundred years ago ... see Full Review

Alberto GINASTERA (1916-1983) Danzas argentinas, Op.2 (1937) [8:11] Tres piezas, Op.6 (1939-40) [12:01] Malambo, Op.7 (1940) [2:45] 12 Preludios americanos, Op.12 (1944) [14:02] Suite de danzas criollas, Second version, Op.15 (1946) [8:50] Rondó sobre temas infantiles argentinos, Op.19 (1947 [3:12] Danzas argentinas par los niños [2:28] Piezas infantiles I (1934)[4:25] Piezas infantiles II (1942) [4:58] Milonga (1948?) [2:35] Pequeña danza (1955) [1:45] Domenico Zippoli (1688-1726) Organ Toccata, arr. For piano by GINASTERA (1970) [7:23] Alberto GINASTERA (1916-1983) Piano Sonata No.1, Op.22 (1952) [15:02] Piano Sonata No.2, Op.53 (1981) [12:53] Piano Sonata No.3, Op.54 (1982) [4:51] Toccata, Villancico y Fuga, Op.18 (1947) [14:23]* Variazioni e Toccata sopra ‘Auroris lucis rutilat’, Op.52 (1980) [21:16]* Fernando Viani (piano, *organ) rec. 6-8 March, 2006, Schloss Gottesaue, Karlsruhe; * 8 June 2006, Auferstehungskirche, Offenburg NAXOS 8.557911-12 [72:35 + 68:25][GPu]

A valuable recording of Ginastera’s fascinating music for keyboard, persuasively performed in good sound … see Full Review

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Music with Changing Parts (Part 1) [30:18] Music with Changing Parts (Part 2) [19:44] Icebreaker rec. Dartington College of Arts, Devon, South West England, 28 February 2006. DDD ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC 0035 [50:02] [PG]

Music with Changing Parts is as close as Glass ever came to modern jazz and this performance is really quite profound. ... see Full Review

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Raymonda – ballet in three acts Op.57 (1897) Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra/Evgeni Svetlanov rec. Moscow 1961 MELODIYA MEL CD 10 00708 [67:02 + 69:14] [JW]

Armed with his usual charismatic and biting vibrancy Svetlanov accords the score the full complement of fantasy, refinement, and vigour. ... see Full Review

Berthold GOLDSCHMIDT (1903-1996) Passacaglia Op.4 (1925) [6:46] Comedy of Errors – Overture (1925) [5:30] * Ciaccona sinfonica (1936) [12:40] Chronica (1932-1985) [21:41] # Les Petits Adieux (1994) [8:48] ^ Rondeau (1995) [10:48] % City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Simon Rattle City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Berthold Goldschmidt * Sinfonieorchester Komische Oper Berlin/Yakov Kreizberg # François Le Roux (baritone), Orchestre symphonique de Montréal/Charles Dutoit ^ Chantal Juillet (violin), Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Berthold Goldschmidt % rec. 1996. DECCA LONDON 452 599-2 [66:29][TP]

If you care about the music of the last century and missed this disc when first released, you should order it from Arkiv without delay. ... see Full Review

Osvaldo GOLIJOV (b.1960) Oceana 'Oceana' (1996, rev. 2004) – (Call, First Wave 'Ocenana nupcial, cadera de las islas', Second Wave 'Quiero oir lo invisible', Second Call, Third Wave 'Oceana reclina tu noche en el castillo', Aria 'tengo hombre de no ser sino piedra marina', Chorale of the Reef 'Oceana, dame las conchas del arrecife') for voice, small boys' choir, double chorus and orchestra (1996 rev. 2004) [26:13] Tenebrae for string quartet (2002 rev. 2003) [12:56] Three Songs for soprano and orchestra (1. 'Night of the Flying Horses'; 2. 'Lua Descolarada'; 3. 'How Slow the Wind') (2001/2) [21:33] Luciana Souza (vocals); Elizabeth Remy Johnson (harp); Scott Tennant, John Dearman (guitars); Jamie Haddad (percussion); Jay Anderson (bass) (Oceana). Gwinnett Young Singers Kronos Quartet (David Harrington (violin); John Shereba (violin); Hank Dutt (viola); Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)) (Tenebrae) Dawn Upshaw (soprano) (Three Songs) Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Robert Spano rec. November 2004 (Oceana), November 2005 (Songs), Symphony Hall, Atlanta, and November 2006, Worcester, Mass., St. Joseph Memorial Chapel, College of the Holy Cross (Tenebrae) DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 6426 [60:58][DC/JWi]

DC: No problem ... JWi: Music that is distinctive, eclectic and exciting; at once both profound and accessible. A good showcase for Golijov's talent; also thoroughly enjoyable. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Olav Trygvason, opera fragment, Op. 50 (Text: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson) [34:10] 1. Scene 1 [7:46]; 2. Scene 2 [14:59]; 3. Scene 3 [11:22] 4. Foran Sydens Kloster (At the Cloister Gate) Op. 20 (Text: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson) [10:15] Six Songs with Orchestra [29:03] 5. I. Solveigs Sang (Solveig’s Song), Op. 23 No. 19 (Henrik Ibsen) [5:27] 6. II. Solveigs Vuggevise (Solveig’s Cradle Song), Op. 23 No. 26 (Henrik Ibsen) [4:00] 7. III. Fra Monte Pincio (From Monte Pincio), Op. 39 No. 1 (Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson) [4:58] 8. IV. En Svane (A Swan), Op. 25 No. 2 (Henrik Ibsen) [2:21] 9. V. Våren (The Last Spring), Op. 33 No. 2 (A. O. Vinje) [8:17] 10. VI. Henrik Wergeland Op. 58 No. 3 (John Paulsen) [3:30] 11. Ved Rondane (In the Hills), Op. 33 No. 9 (A. O. Vinje) (arr. Johan Halvorsen) [3:03] Solveig Kringelborn (soprano) (1, 4), Ingebjørg Kosmo (mezzo) (2, 4), Trond Halstein Moe (baritone) (1, 2), Marita Solberg (soprano) (5–11) Bergen Philharmonic Choir (1–3), Kor Vest (Bergen Vocal Ensemble) (1–3), Voci Nobili (4); Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Ole Kristian Ruud rec. Grieg Hall, Bergen, Norway, November 2005 (1–4), June 2004 (5–11) BIS SACD-1531 [77:38][AOz]

An excellent recording which gives a lot of insight into Grieg’s music ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1729) Concerti Grossi Op.3 HWV312-7 Concerto No.1 in B flat HWV312 [8:55] Concerto No.2 in B flat HWV313 [12:08] Concerto No.3 in G HWV314 [8:03] Concerto No.4 in F HWV315 [13:33] Concerto No.‘4b’ in F [12:20] Concerto No.5 in D minor HWV316 [9:59] Concerto No.6 in D HWV317/337 [7:09] Organ Concerto Movement in D minor, HWV317/ii [3:29] The Brandenburg Consort/Roy Goodman rec. 15-17 June 1992. location unspecified. DDD. HYPERION HELIOS CDH55075 [76:37] [BW]

Lively performances, well recorded … see Full Review

George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759) Solomon: The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (1749) [2:53]* Trio Sonata in G minor, HWV 393: Largo (1720) [3:01] Concerto for oboe d'amore and strings (Verdi prati) [12:53] Rinaldo: Lascia ch'io pianga (1711) [4:04] Concerto for flute, English horn, and strings (Amabile beltà) [14:30]+ Water Music Suite No. 3: Country Dance (1715) [1:49] Concerto for oboe and strings (Voli per l'aria) [15:52] Serse: Ombra mai fu (1738) [2:39] Concerto for oboe, bassoon, harpsichord and continuo (Piagge serene) [14:14]^ Variations for oboe, bassoon and harpsichord, HWV 430 (Harmonious Blacksmith) [4:25] Albrecht Mayer (oboe, oboe d'amore, English horn) Arkadiusz Krupa (oboe)* Matthieu Gauci-Ancelin (flute)+ Guillhaume Santana (bassoon)^ Sinfonia Varsovia recording dates and venue not listed DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON G 00289 476 5681 [70:18][SV]

The beautiful playing is a pleasure and the recorded sound beguiles the ear ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Italian Cantatas Tu fedel? Tu constante? HWV171 [15:56] Mi palpita il cor HWV132b [10:53] Alpestre monte HWV81 [10:12] Tra le fiamme HWV170 [17:00] Emma Kirkby (soprano) The Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood rec. St Barnabas, North Finchley, London, December 1984. DDD. DECCA ELOQUENCE 476 746-8 [54:36] [BW]

Not ‘great’ Handel but very attractive, especially when so well performed and recorded … see Full Revie

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Agrippina (1710) [217.43] Agrippina – Della Jones (mezzo) Claudio –Alastair Miles (bass) Nerone – Derek Lee Ragin (counter-tenor) Poppea – Donna Brown (soprano) Ottone – Michael Chance (counter-tenor) Pallante – George Mosley (baritone) Narciso – Jonathan Peter Kenny (counter-tenor) Lesbo – Julian Clarkson (baritone) Giunone – Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo) English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner rec. St. Giles Cripplegate, London, November 1991 PHILIPS 475 8285 [3 CDs: 74.52 + 73.43 + 69.08][RH]

Superbly sung and performed … highly enjoyable although I would have liked a little more smile in the music. ... see Full Review

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Radamisto (1720) Janet Baker (mezzo) – Radamisto Malcolm King (bass) – Farasmane Della Jones (mezzo) – Zenobia Martyn Hill (tenor) – Tiridate Eiddwen Harrhy (soprano) – Polissena Lynda Russell (soprano) – Tigrane Patrizia Kwella (soprano) – Fraarte English Chamber Orchestra/Roger Norrington, studio broadcast 1984 Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Songs Freihold Op.3 No.6 (1899-1903) [2:05] Erwartung Op.2 No.1 (1899) [3:53] Waldsonne Op.2 No.4 (1899) [3:00] Traumleben Op.6 No.1 (1903-05) [2:34] Am Wegrand Op.6 No.6 (1903-05) [2:23] Der Wanderer Op.6 No.8 (1903-05) [4:34] Ich darf nicht dankend Op.14 No.1 (1907-08) [2:09] In diesen Wintertagen Op.14 No.2 (1907-08) [4:12] Janet Baker (mezzo soprano) Paul Hamburger (piano), undated Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Sea Pictures Op.37 (1900) [22:37] Janet Baker (mezzo) Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Georg Solti, live recording May 1984 PONTO PO 1054 [3 CDs: 75:24 + 79:03 + 79:44][JW]

Despite the doubts over provenance, dating and uneven sound quality this will be an enticing prospect for Baker admirers. ... see Full Review

Howard HANSON (1896-1981) Merry Mount - opera in three acts and six scenes op. 31 (1933) [124:02] Lady Marigold Sandys - Lauren Flanigan (soprano) Sir Gower Lackland - Walter MacNeil (tenor) Wrestling Bradford - Richard Zeller (baritone) Praise-God Tewke - Charles Robert Austin (bass) Christopher Bristol, (tenor); Gene Buchholz, (bass); Fred K. Dent, (baritone); Byron Ellis, (bass-baritone); Rosy Freudenstein, (alto); Paul Gudas, (tenor); Diana Huber, (soprano); Daniel Jessup, (bass); Barry Johnson, (baritone); Gino Luchetti, (tenor); Louise Marley, (mezzo); Joachim Schneider, (baritone); Nan Beth Walton, (alto) Seattle Symphony Chorale; Northwest Boychoir/Joseph Crnko; Seattle Girls' Choir/Dr Jerome Wright, Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz rec. live, Seattle Center Opera House, Washington, 28-29 October 1996. DDD NAXOS AMERICAN OPERA CLASSICS 8.669012-13 [45:13 + 78:49] [WK]

From the viewpoint of both completeness and sound quality there is no competition to this recording, not even considering quality of performance ... see Full Review

Howard HANSON (1896-1981) Concerto for Organ, Harp and Strings (1926) [16:09] Nymphs and Satyr Ballet Suite (1979) [12:51] Fantasy Variations on a Theme of Youth for Piano and Strings (1951) [11:00] Serenade for Flute, Harp, and Strings (1945) [8:28] Summer Seascape No. 2 (1965) [8:28] Pastorale for Oboe, Harp and Strings (1948-49) [7:29] Joseph Jackson (organ); Doris Hall-Galati (clarinet); Holly Blake (bassoon); Gabriela Imreh, (piano); Andrew Bolotowsky (flute); Adriana Linares (viola); Jonathan Blumenfeld (oboe); Jacqueline Pollauf (harp) Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra/Daniel Spalding rec. March 2005, First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA DDD NAXOS 8.559251 [61:28][JQ]

This attractive disc fills some useful gaps in the Hanson discography ... see Full Review

William Henry HARRIS (1883-1973) Choral Music O Hearken Thou (1937) [2:32] Strengthen ye the weak hands (1949) [7:47] Faire is the heav’n (1925) [5:47] Love of love (1935) [5:23] King of Glory (1925) [5:24] Praise the Lord (1938) [10:30] The night is come (1961) [10:23] The shepherd-men (1933) [2:50] O joyful night (1939) [4:45] From a heart made whole (1936) [3:23] I said to the man (1969) [2:20] Bring us, O Lord God (1955) [4:24] The Choir of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle/Timothy Byram-Wigfield Roger Judd (organ) rec. St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, 23-25 January 2006 NAXOS 8.570148 [65:45][JQ]

This is a first rate production which all devotees of Anglican church music will surely savour. ... see Full Review

Stephen HARTKE (b. 1952) The Greater Good or The Passion of Boule de Suif (2006) [2:22:31] Christopher Burchett (baritone) – M. Carré-Lamadon Andrew Wentzel (bass-baritone) – Count Bréville John David De Haan (tenor) – M. Loiseau Christine Abraham (mezzo) – Mme. Carré-Lamadon Elaine Alvarez (soprano) – Countess Bréville Seth Keeton (bass-baritone) – Cornudet Jill Gardner (soprano) – Mme Loiseau Matthew Worth (baritone) – Coachman Janine Thames (soprano) – The Old Nun Katherine Calcamuggio (mezzo) - The Young Nun Caroline Worra (soprano) – Elisabeth Rousset, also known as Boule de Suif Christian Reinert (tenor) – A Prussian Officer Dorothy Byrne (mezzo) – Mme. Follenvie Liam Moran (bass) – M. Follenvie Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra/Stewart Robertson rec. Cooperstown, New York July/August 2006 NAXOS AMERICAN OPERA CLASSICS 8.669014-15 [74:05 + 68:26][CR]

A charming work which deserves to be heard. ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Overture: L’isola disabitata (1779) [7:15] Sinfonia Concertante in B flat major (1792) [20:19] Symphony No. 100 in G major, ‘Military’ (1794) [24:04] Gordan Nicolic (violin); Herre-Jan Stegenga (cello); Toon Durville (oboe); Margreet Bongers (bassoon) Netherlands Chamber Orchestra/Gordan Nicolic rec. September 2006, Vakult Hall, AmsterdamPENTATONE CLASSICS SACD PTC 5186 300 [51:08] [TB]

Nicolic directs strong and vital performances, aided by recorded sound that allows the music’s dynamic range to make a powerful impact. ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732–1809) Piano sonatas (1760-1780): Nr. 37 in D, Hob.XVI [10.22]; Nr. 43 in A flat-major, Hob.XVI [15.52]; Nr. 35 in C, Hob.XVI [11.37]; Nr. 31 in E, Hob.XVI [9.47]; Nr. 10 in C, Hob.XVI [9.01] Fazil Say (piano) rec. Théâtre des Quatre Saisons, Gradignan, France, July 2006. DDD. NAÏVE V5070 [58.34][ED]

For all its points of contention this recording is hard to ignore and is certainly a Haydn recital like you’ve never heard before. ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Die Schöpfung, HobXXI/2 (1796-8) Arleen Auger (soprano) - Gabriel; Peter Schreier (tenor) - Uriel; Walter Berry (bass) - Raphael; Gabriela Sima (soprano) - Eva; Roland Hermann (baritone) - Adam Arnold Schoenberg Choir; Collegium Aureum/Gustav Kühn rec. live, Great Hall, Alte Universität, Vienna, 31 March 1982 LPCM Stereo. 4:3 NTSC DVD Also includes a documentary, Joseph Haydn and The Creation by Franz Kabelka [17:53]. TDK DVWW-COCREA [114:00][CC]

This is one of the finest Creations I have heard. ... see Full Review

Gustav HOLST (1874–1934) Greeting (1904) [5.42] Dances and Folk Song Settings from Pan’s Anniversary (1905) [11.09] Incidental Music for The Pageant of St. Martin in the Fields (1921) [7.43] HOLST/Henry PURCELL (1659–1695) Suite No. 1 from The Gordian Knot Untied [9.09] Suite No. 2 from The Gordian Knot Untied [6.10] Suite from The Virtuous Wife [13.17] Suite from The Married Beau [17.24] Philharmonia Bulgarica/Jon Ceander Mitchell rec. 15 January 2006, OKI Nadeshda Auditorium, Sofia, Bulgaria CENTAUR CRC 2857 [72.02] [RH]

Lively and attractive performances, but the pieces themselves are of limited interested. For Holst completists only. ... see Full Review

Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Piano Quintets: D minor (1816) [39:39]; E flat minor, Op. 87 (1802) [23:29] Vienna Piano Quintet (Yoko Fog Urata (piano); Peter Wächter (violin); Helmut Weiss (viola); Jörgen Fog (cello); Manfred Hecking (double-bass)) rec. Studio Baumgarten, Vienna, 25-27 May 2004. DDD CAMERATA CM-28055 [63:21][CC]

A most appealing release. ... see Full Review

Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854–1921) Hansel and Gretel (1893) (Sung in English) Jennifer Larmore (mezzo) – Hansel; Rebecca Evans (soprano) – Gretel, his sister; Rosalind Plowright (mezzo) – Gertrude, their Mother; Robert Hayward (baritone) – Peter, their Father; Jane Henschel (mezzo) – The Witch; Sarah Tynan (soprano) – The Dew Fairy; Diana Montague (mezzo) – The Sandman; Sarah Coppen – The Cuckoo; New London Children’s Choir, Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. Blackheath Halls, London, 22–27 November 2006 CHANDOS CHAN 3143 [58:49 + 42:19][GF]

Doesn’t necessarily outclass the competition but worthy to stand beside established favourites … Mackerras steers a middle course … an attractive alternative for those who think Pritchard too lax and Solti too pompous. ... see Full Review

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Jenůfa (1903) Viorica Cortez: Stalenka; Jorma Silvastri: Laca; Pår Lindskog: Števa; Eva Marton: Kostelnička; Nina Stemme: Jenůfa; Rolf Haunstein: Stárek; Christiane Boesiger: Karolka. Cor del Gran Teatre del Liceu Orquestra Sinfònica/Peter Schneider Olivier Tambosi (director) rec. live, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, 27 May, 2 June 2005 TDK DVWW-OPJENU [127:00] [AOz]

I’m glad I listened to this even if it’s not quite as distinguished as it might have been. It’s a case study that tells us something about how scores are brought into performance, and how music gets turned into drama. ... see Full Review

John JOUBERT (b. 1927) Song-cycles and chamber music The Hour Hand for soprano and recorder op. 101 (1982) [6:24] Shropshire Hills for high voice and piano op. 155 (2003) [10:28] Improvisation for recorder and piano op. 120 (1988) [6:07] Kontakion for cello and piano op. 69 (1971) [13:23] The Rose is Shaken in the Wind for soprano and recorder op. 137 (2001) [6:07] Six Poems by Emily Brontë for soprano and piano op. 63 (1965?) [21:23] Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano); John Turner (recorder); Richard Tunnicliffe (cello); John McCabe (piano) rec. Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Manchester University, 18-19 December 2006. DDD first recordings made in presence of composer TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0045 [76:26] [RC] Sound Sample available from the review

Each poem is enhanced as is a jewel by a fine setting, which of course is ultimately what the art song is all about. ... see Full Review

Daniel JONES (1912-1993) Symphony No. 4 (1954) [31:35]* Symphony No. 7 (1972) [21:54]* Symphony No. 8 (1972) [24:32]** Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves* BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra/Bryden Thomson** rec. 18-19 April 1972, Studio No. 1 Abbey Road, London (4, 7) originally released on EMI ASD 2855; 10-11 February 1979, BBC Llandaff originally released on BBC Regium REGL 359 (8). ADD The original recordings with support from the Welsh Arts Council. CD transfer and re-mastering supported by the Arts Council of Wales. LYRITA SRCD.329 [78.05] [SH]
Sound Sample Excerpt Symphony 4(iii) Sound samples are removed after two months

Anyone, especially young people wanting to understand what an orchestra can do really should hear Jones. ... see Full Review

Francisco JUNCA (1742-1833) Mass in A major (1777) Olivia Biarnés (soprano); Montserrat Pi (alto); Jordi Casanovas (tenor); Rafael Muntaner (bass) Coral de Cambra Dyapson/Teodor Roura Orquestra de Cambra Catalana/Joan Pàmies rec. La Capella de L’esperanca de Barcelona AI, March 2000. DDD COLUMNA MUSICA 1CM0068 [49:50] [GH]

A wholly admirable venture and I would like to recognize those who have put it all together. Many will enjoy the strongly characterful music and earnest performance. Unfortunately for me I am not one of them. ... see Full Review

Hans KRÁSA (1899-1944) Brundibar (1943) * [31:24] (Act One [18:06]; Serenade [1:10]; Act Two [12:08]) Overture for Small Orchestra (1943-1944) [5:29]** Lori LAITMAN (b.1955) I Never Saw Another Butterfly (1995-96) [16:46] ***; The Butterfly [5:17]; Yes, That’s the Way Things Were [1:52]; Birdsong [3:22]; The Garden [2:26]; Man Proposes, God Disposes [0:46]; 23. The Old House [3:03] Music of Remembrance/Gerard Schwarz */**, Northwest Boychoir/Josef Crnko *, Craig Sheppard (piano) **, Maureen McKay (soprano); Laura DeLuca (clarinet) *** rec. Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, USA, 15 May 2006 (Brundibar); St. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, USA, 8 May 2006 (overture); Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, Seattle, USA, 7 May 2006 (Laitman) Recording made possible by the generous support of the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences. NAXOS 8.570119 [53:39][SA]

Anyone who wishes to explore Krása’s legacy or to interest their children in music and teach them a valuable lesson at the same time can do no better than start here ... see Full Review

Ernst KRENEK (1900-1991) Alpbach Quintett Op. 180 (1962) [22.10] Symphonische Musik fur neun Soloinstrumente Op. 11 (1922) [24.43] Peterson Quartet; Wieland Welzel (percussion) Rosetti Blaserquintett; Andreas Wylezol (double-bass) rec. Studio 10, Berlin Radio, 21 May 2003 (Quintett); 4-5 May 2003 (Symphonische Musik) CAPRICCIO 67 176 [46.55] [GH]

Rarely heard and recorded Krenek - obviously a must, but for the inquisitive outsider start your ‘Krenek experience’ with the symphonies on CPO. ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Themes for Piano and Orchestra (Hungarian Fantasia) S.123, (c. 1852) [15:16] Concerto in the Hungarian Style,* S.714 (c.1885) orchestrated by Tchaikovsky in 1892 (frequently attributed to Sophie Menter as the Ungarische Zigeunerweisen) [15:15] Wanderer Fantasia for Piano and Orchestra, S.366 (1851) adapted from Schubert's Wanderer Fantasia (Wandererfantasie) for solo piano in C major, D. 760 (1822) [20:15] Cyprien Katsaris (piano) Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy rec. 12-13 October 1981, Old Met, Philadelphia, USA. DDD World première recording* PIANO 21 P21 022-A [50:46] [MC]

This well performed and recorded disc from Cyprien Katsaris will mainly appeal to Liszt specialists and the adventurous collector. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Complete Piano Music, Vol. 25 Verdi Concert Paraphrases and Transcriptions Rigoletto: Paraphrase de concert, S434 (1859) [7:38] Aida: Danza sacra e duetto final, S436 (1871-79) [11:38] Il Trovatore: Miserere, S433 (1859) [8:39] I Lombardi: Salve Maria de Jerusalem, S431 (1848) [6:48] Don Carlos: Coro di festa e marcia funebre, S435 (1867-68) [7:07] Reminiscences de Boccanegra, S438 (1882) [11:17] Ernani: Paraphrase de concert, S432 (1849) [8:49] Alexandre Dossin (piano) rec. 9-12 August 2005, Performing Arts Centre, Country Day School, King City, Ontario, Canada. DDD NAXOS 8.557904 [61:56][MC]

Naxos enter the winner’s enclosure yet again with this assured recital of highly attractive repertoire. Eminently enjoyable ... see Full Review


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[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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