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[Recommended recordings]


Roberto AlagnaTenor! CD 1 Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) La Bohème: 1. Che gelida manina [4:40] 2. O soave fanciulla [3:51] Tosca: 3. Recondita armonia [2:11] 4. E lucevan le stelle [3:09] 5. Ah! Franchiggia … O dolce mani [4:17] La rondine: 6. Ma come puoi lasciarmi [5:21] Le villi: 7. Ecco la casa … Torna ai felici di [6:02] Gianni Schicchi: 8. Firenze è come un albero fiorito [2:28] Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Il trovatore: 9. Ah si, ben mio … L’onda de’ suoni mistici [5:07] 10. Di quella pira [3:11] Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848) Lucie de Lammermoor: 11. C’est moi Lucie [2:18] 12. Sur la tombe de mon père [5:29] 13. Vers toi toujours s’envoler [4:01] 14. Tombes de mes aïeux [7:44] Giuseppe VERDI Don Carlos: 15. Fontainebleau! Forêt immense et solitaire [4:03] 16. Qui me rend ace mort? Ô funèbres abîmes! [4:34] 17. Dieu, tu semas dans nos âmes [4:35] CD 2 Charles GOUNOD (1818–1893) Roméo et Juliette: 1. Cavatine: L’amour … Ah! Lève-toi, soleil! [3:55] 2. Duo de la chamber: Va, je t’ai pardonné … Nuit d’hyménée … Anges du ciel [11:08] Jules MASSENET (1842–1912) Manon: 3. En fermant les yeux [3:08] 4. Je suis seul … Ah, fuyez, douce image [4:47] 5. Toi! Vous! Oui! Je fus cruelle … N’est-ce plus ma main [6:53] Werther: 6. Oui, ce qu’elle m’ordonne … Lorsque l’enfant revient [3:32] 7. Traduire … Pourquoi me reveiller, ô soufflé du printemps [3:13] 8. N’achevez pas, hélas [2:38] Georges BIZET (1838–1875) Carmen: 9. Duo: Parle-moi de ma mère [8:50] 10. Duo: Je vais danser en votre honneur … La-la-la-la … Au quartier! [4:44] 11. La fleur que tu m’avais jetée [3:37] Hector BERLIOZ (1803–1869) Te Deum: 12. Prière: Te ergo quaesumus [7:30] Giuseppe VERDI Requiem: 13. Ingemisco [3:26] Giacomo PUCCINI Messa di Gloria: 14. Et incarnatus est [2:46] Jacques OFFENBACH (1819–1880) La Belle Hélène: 15. Le jugement de Pâris: Au Mont Ida [3:18] Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918–1990) West Side Story: 16. Tonight, tonight, it all began tonight [3:49] Roberto Alagna (tenor); Leontina Vaduva (soprano) (CD1 tr. 2); Angela Gheorghiu (soprano) (CD1 tr. 5, 6, 9, 10 and CD2 tr. 2, 5, 8, 10 and 16); Natalie Dessay (soprano) (CD1 tr. 11–13), Inva Mula (soprano) (CD2 tr. 9), Thomas Hampson (baritone) (CD1 tr. 17); José Van Dam (bass) (CD1 tr. 16); Philharmonia Orchestra/Antonio Pappano (CD1 tr. 1, 2); Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Antonio Pappano (CD1 tr. 3–5)/Richard Armstrong (CD2 tr. 3–5, 15, 16); London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano (CD1 tr. 6–10; CD2 tr. 6–8, 14); Orchestre I Choeurs de l’Opera National de Lyon/Evelino Pidò (CD1 tr. 11–14); Choeur du Théâtre du Châtelet, Orchestre de Paris/Antonio Pappano (CD1 tr. 15–17); Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse/Michel Plasson (CD2 tr. 1, 2, 9–11); Choeur & Orchestre de Paris/John Nelson (CD2 tr. 12); Berliner Philharmoniker/Claudio Abbado (CD2 tr. 13) rec. published 1996–2003 EMI CLASSICS 0946 3 80793 2 3 [73:25 + 77:36][GF/RJF]

This collection from Alagna’s complete opera and other recordings from EMI show the tenor’s strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately the former predominate with some sensitive singing in the French repertoire ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ashokan Farewell/Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster Jay UNGAR Ashokan Farewell [5:10] Molly MASON Bound for Another Harvest Home [4:05] Jay UNGAR Prairie Spring [3:42] Jay UNGAR Haymaker’s Hoedown [2:45] 15th Century German, arr. Jay UNGAR and Molly MASON Solstice Hymn [2:54] Jay UNGAR Thanksgiving Waltz [3:46] TRADITIONAL, arr. Jay UNGAR, Molly MASON & Balfa Toujours La Chanson de Mardi Gras [3:50] William STEPP/Aaron COPLAND, arr. Jay UNGAR Bonaparte’s Retreat/Hoedown [5:09] Stephen FOSTER (1826-1864), arr. Jay UNGAR and Molly MASON with David ALPHER Violin solo [0:25] Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair [4:17] Hard times, come again no more [5:13] The Voice of Bygone Days [3:56] Foster Favourites Medley [3:50] Beautiful Dreamer [3:53] That’s what’s the matter [3:18] Old Home Medley [4:56] Sweetly she sleeps, my Alice fair [3:27] My wife is a most knowing woman [3:47] Linger in blissful repose [3:07] Ah! May the red rose live alway [5:21] Jay Ungar (violin); Molly Mason (guitar); Thomas Hampson (baritone); David Alpher (piano) Balfa Toujours appear on La Chanson de Mardi Gras Nashville Chamber Orchestra/Paul Gambill, appears on Bonaparte’s Retreat/Hoedown rec. BMG Studios, New York, 8-9 April, 6 May, 8-10 July 1992; Great Hall, Glen Tonche Studios, Woodstock, New York and Austin Pea State University, Clarksville, Tennessee, 1999. DDD EMI CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 0946 3 82225 2 1 [77:21][PG]

Rife with near-magical moments. It would be difficult to recommend an album more highly. ... see Full Review

J.S. Bach’s Earliest Autographs Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Chorale Fantasie on Nun freit euch, lieben Christen [14:14] Johann PACHELBEL (1653-1706) Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit [3:21] An Wasserflüssen Babylon [4:58] Fugue in b minor [3:01] Johann Adam REINCKEN (1643-1722) Chorale Fantasie on An Wasserflüssen Babylon [19:16] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Wie Schön leuchtet der Morgenstern Choralbearbeitung, BWV 731 (fragment) [1:32] Choralbearbeitung, BWV 764 [5:06] Jean-Claude Zehnder (organ) rec. Schnitger Organ, St. Jacobi’s Church, Hamburg, 27-29 August 2006. DDD CARUS 83.197 [51:30][KS]

Music from a fascinating and historically significant discovery, artfully played. A definite must for lovers of North German organ music. ... see Full Review

British Horn Concertos Gordon JACOB (1895-1984) Concerto for Horn and Strings (1950s) [20:35] Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Concerto No. 2 for Horn and Strings, Op. 58 (1956) [14:03] York BOWEN (1884-1961) Concerto for Horn, string orchestra and timpani (1956) [16:27] Ruth GIPPS (1921-1999) Horn Concerto, Op. 58 (1968) [17:11] Gilbert VINTER (1909-1969) Hunter’s Moon (1943) [6:22] David Pyatt (horn) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite rec. Watford Town Hall, 10-21 Jan 1994 (Jacob, Bowen, Arnold); Henry Wood Hall, London, 8-9 Feb 1994 (Gipps, Vinter). DDD LYRITA SRCD.316 [74:42] [RB]

Revel in the bloom, range, supple agility and warmth of these romantic works from British composers. Magnificent playing and recording ... see Full Review

The Busch-Serkin Duo - Unpublished Recordings Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonata No.5 for violin and keyboard BWV 1018 [21:02]Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonata No.1 in G major Op.78 (1879) [26:43] Trio in E flat major for piano, violin and horn Op.40 (1865) [29:31] Adolf Busch (violin) Rudolf Serkin (piano) Aubrey Brain (horn) rec. Library of Congress, live, March 1939 (Bach); Broadcasting House London, live October 1936 (Brahms Sonata); Studio No.3 Abbey Road, London, May and November 1933 (Brahms Horn Trio) APR 5528 [77:09] [JW]

Need I add that this is an indispensable issue for Busch and Serkin collectors? ... see Full Review

Maria Callas – The Studio Recitals CD1: Puccini Arias [45:14] CD2: Lyric and Coloratura Arias [49:00] CD3 Callas at La Scala [41:50] CD4: Verdi Arias I [49:14] CD5: Mad Scenes [47:23] CD6: Callas à Paris I [49:08] CD7: Callas á Paris II [43:04] CD8: Verdi Arias II [39:53] CD9: Mozart, Beethoven, Weber [44:23] CD10: Rossini and Donizetti Arias [39:22] CD11: Verdi Arias III [52:07] CD12: The EMI Rarities 1953–1961 [63:28] CD13: The EMI Rarities 1962–1989 [51:08] Maria Callas (soprano) EMI CLASSICS 0946 3 68033 2 6 [13 CDs: 45:14 + 49:00 + 41:50 + 49:14 + 47:23 + 49:08 + 43:04 + 39:53 + 44:23 + 39:22 + 52:07 + 63:28 + 51:08] [GF]

Every reader who still hasn’t acquired these recitals in one form or other should buy this box and gets access to one of the most fascinating voices in recorded history ... see Full Review

Ettore Causa – Romantic Transcriptions for Viola and Piano Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Valse sentimentale, Op. 51 No. 6 (arr. Alan Arnold) [1:46] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Scherzo, Op. Posth. [5:01] Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Spanish Dance No. 2 (Orientale) (arr. Milton Katims) [2:34] Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etude, Op. 25 No. 7 (arr. Alexander Glazunov / Ettore Causa) [4:30] Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Allegro appassionato, Op. 43 (arr. Ettore Causa) [3:32] Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Prélude, Op. 9 No. 1 (arr. Wadim Borisovsky) [2:00] Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Dance of the Knights (arr. Wadim Borisovsky) [5:25] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Romance (arr. Milton Katims) [2:04] Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Daisies, Op. 38 No. 3 (arr. Jascha Heifetz / Ettore Causa) [2:23] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Lerchengesang, Op. 70 No. 2 (arr. Ettore Causa) [2:32] Hungarian Dance No. 1 (arr. Watson Forbes) [2:56] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Abendlied, Op. 85 No. 12 (arr. Ettore Causa) [2:28] Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Chanson triste, Op. 40 No. 2 (arr. Johann Palaschko) [2:43] Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Les Berceaux, Op. 23 No. 1 (arr. Ettore Causa) [2:46] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Hungarian Dance No. 3 (arr. Watson Forbes) [2:18] Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etude, Op. 10 No. 6 (arr. Alexander Glazunov / Ettore Causa) [3:22] Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Song Without Words, Op. 109 (arr. Milton Katims) [3:57] Eugéne YSAŸE (1858-1931) Rêve d'enfant, Op. 14 (arr. Ettore Causa) [3:53] Ettore Causa (viola) Ulrich Stærk (piano) rec. Mantius Hall, Copenhagen, January 2005 CLAVES 50-2609 [57:23] [JW]

An enjoyable calling card for a tonally highly accomplished musician. ... see Full Review

Le Chant des Templiers - Music from the Manuscript du Saint Sépulcre de Jerusalem XII siècle, Chantilly Antiphon: Crucem sanctam [8.21]; Responsorium: Benedicat nos dues [6.12]; Responsorium: Honor virtus et potestas [5.47]; Antiphon: Te Deum patrem ingenitum/magnificat [14.01]; Antiphon: Media vita in morte sumus/Nunc dimittis [10.35]; Kyrie Eleison [7.25] Antiphon: Da Pacem domine/Psalm Fiat pax in virtute tua [7.17] Antiphon: Salve Regina [14.43] Ensemble Organum/Marcel Peres rec. Royal Abbey, Fontrevraud, December 2005 NAÏVE AMBROISIE AM 9997 [74.23][GH]

A fascinating, fulfilling and rewarding experience ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH The Cold Dancer – Contemporary String Quartets from Scotland Kenneth DEMPSTER (b.1962) String Quartet No.4 (The Cold Dancer) (2005) [12:22] James CLAPPERTON (b.1968) The Great Divorce for String Quartet (1990) [16:03] Judith WEIR (b.1954) String Quartet (1990) [13:23] William SWEENEY (b.1950) String Quartet No.3 (2004) [36:34] Edinburgh Quartet rec. no details DELPHIAN DCD34038 [78:24] [JW]

Wherever they were written these are fine works by four excellent composers. Not always pretty – but invariably on the money emotively. ... see Full Review

Concerti Italiani Alberto CURCI (1886-1973) Concerto Romantico Op.20 (1944) [16:17]Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770) Violin Concerto [15:03] Giovanni Battista VIOTTI (1755-1824) Violin Concerto No.22 in A minor (1803) [27:38]Camillo SIVORI (1815-1894) Capriccio No.5 from XII Studi-Capricci Op.25 [3:41]Pietro LOCATELLI (1695-1764) Capriccio No.18 from L’Arte del Violino (1733) [3:06]Federico FIORILLO (1753-1824) Capriccio No.28 from the Thirty-Six Capricci Op.3 [2:57] Fulvio Luciani (violin) I Pomeriggi Musicali/Carlo de Martini rec. Teatro Dal Verme di Milano, June 2006 Curci, Tartini and Viotti), Baroque Hall, SMC Ivrea, September 2006 (remainder) LA BOTTEGA DISCANTICA BDI146 [69:10] [JW]

A bit of an odd one this but I was pleased to hear the old fashioned Curci ... see Full Review

The Divine Feminine: A Musical Meditation on the Mystery and Spirit of Woman John TAVERNER (b.1944) The Last Sleep of the Virgin (excerpt) [1:17] Robert KYR (b.1952)/Hildegard of BINGEN (1098-1179) O eterne deus (excerpt) [0:47] O viridissima virga [4:15] Arvo PÄRT (b.1935)Fratres, for eight cellos (excerpt) [1:17] Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1549-1611)O magnum mysterium (excerpt) [2:22] Alan HOVHANESS (b.1911)Alleluia and Fugue, Op.40b (excerpt) [3:12] Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Le Spectre de la rose, from Les Nuits d’été, Op.7 [6:23] Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Siciliana, from Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3 [3:29] Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Adagio, from Symphony No.8 (excerpt) [1:37] Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Venus, The Bringer of Peace, from The Planets [8:30] Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Madrigal, from Romeo and Juliet, Suite No.1, Op.64A [3:20] Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Love Scene, from Roméo et Juliette (excerpt) [4:30] Carl ORFF (1895-1982) In trutina, from Carmina Burana [2:13] Ralph Vaughan WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (excerpt) [5:57] Christopher ROUSE (b.1949) Movement V. Ànhran, from Flute Concerto (excerpt) [4:58] see review for performance details TELARC CD80689 [55:34] [GPu]

A dire compilation in the service of poorly thought out ideas, callously trivialising in its treatment of music and performers alike … see Full Review

Echo de Paris: Parisian Love Songs, 1610-1660 DE VICENT (d.1650) Le Phoenix [2:23] Pierre GUÉDRON (c.1575-c.1620) Quay, faut il donc [4:26] Aux Plaisirs [3:47] Robert BALLARD (c.1575-1650) Entrée [1:07] Angelique  [2:16] Giovanni Paolo FOSCARINI (before 1621-1649) Folia [2:31] Etienne MOULINIÉ (c.1600-after 1669) O Stelle homicide [1:39] Luigi ROSSI (c.1597-1653) L’Augellino [3:23] Michel LAMBERT (1610-1696) Silvie [2:42] Francesco CORBETTA (c.1615-1681) Passacaglia [2:16] Etienne MOULINIÉ (c.1600-after 1669) Orilla del claro Tajo [1:50] Luis de BRICENO (fl. 1626) Caravanda Ciacona [1:43] Louis COUPERIN (c.1626-1661) Symphonie [3:28] Michel LAMBERT (1610-1696) Iris [2:38] Angelo Michele BARTOLOTTI (c.1615-after 1669) Prélude [1:20] Courante [1:40] Canarie [1:20] Francesco CAVALLI (1602-1676) Lamento di Apollo [7:29] Pierre GUÉDRON (c.1575-c.1620) Un jour l’amoureuse Silvie [3:33] Giovanni Paolo FOSCARINI (before 1621-1649) Zarabanda detta la favorita [2:19] Stephan van Dyck (tenor) and Private Musicke: Pierre Pitzl (5-course guitar, 4-course guitar, viola da gamba); Hugh Sandilands (5-course guitar, 4-course guitar, lute); Luciano Contini (lute, 4-course guitar); Daniel Pilz (viola da gamba, colascione); Eve Neunhäuserer (viola d gamba) rec. 16-18 February, 2006, Bischöfliches Palace, St. Pölten, Austria ACCENT ACC 24173 [53:57][GPu]

An enterprising, informative and enjoyable anthology of early baroque songs and instrumental pieces … see Full Review

Ensemble La Monica Michael de LA BARRE (c.1675-1743/44) IXe Suite Sonate L’Inconnue, for flute and basso continuo (1710) [8:12] John Ernest GALLIARD (c.1687-1749) Sonata I in A Minor, for bassoon and basso continuo (1733) [8:13] Robert de VISÉE (c.1656-c.1732) Prélude, for theorbo (1699) [1:14] Entrée d’Apollon, for theorbo (1699) [3:33] Nicola MATTEIS, the elder (d.?1707) Aria Amorosa: version for flute – originally violin – and theorbo (1685) [3:17] Luigi MERCI (c.1695-1751) Sonata IV in G Minor, for bassoon and basso continuo (1735) [9:30] Jacques-Martin HOTTETERRE (1674-1751) Suite in E Minor, for flute and basso continuo (1708) [22:15] Gilles DURANT de LA BERGERIE (1550-1605) Ma belle si ton ame (1603), version for flute and theorbo [1:08] Philipp Friedrich BÖDDECKER (1607-1683) Sonata sopra ‘La Monica’, for bassoon and basso continuo (1651) [5:24] Ensemble la Monica: Christina Sönstevold (transverse flute); Knut Sönstevold (baroque bassoon); Suzanne Persson (theorbo, baroque guitar) rec. 20-23 June, 2005 and 13 May, 2006, Gäsinge Church, Gnesta, Sweden SFZ RECORDS SFZ1012 [62:56] [GPu]

Interesting, but rather low-key interpretations, often limited by the relative insufficiency of the basso continuo support … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Exposed Throat Heinz Karl GRUBER (b. 1943) Exposed Throat (2000) [11:22] Daniel BÖRTZ (b. 1943) Målning (2000) [8:53] Poul RUDERS (b. 1949) Reveille-Retraite (2003) [10:04] Robert HENDERSON (b. 1948) Variations Movements (1967) Robin HOLLOWAY (b. 1943) Sonata for Solo Trumpet Op.94a (1999) [21:43] Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet) rec. Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, Sweden, January and March 2004 BIS CD-1281 [62:00] [HC]

Hardenberger navigates fearlessly and almost effortlessly through all these demanding, but ultimately highly rewarding pieces. A magnificent release ... see Full Review

The Feast of St Edward, King and Confessor at Westminster Abbey [Matins] plainsong Laudes Regiae [04:08] William SMITH (1603-1645) The Preces [01:01] William CROTCH (1775-1847) Psalm 132 [04:28] Charles STANFORD (1852-1924) Te Deum (from Service in C, Op. 115) [08:03] Benedictus (from Service in C, Op. 115) [05:35] William SMITH and Robert STONE (1516-1613) The Responses [05:41] Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) O God, thou art my God (Z 35) [03:52] [Eucharist] Jonathan HARVEY (b1939) Missa bravis [10:52] Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Os iusti meditabitur [04:39] [Evensong] William MORLEY (d1721) Psalm 99 [02:31] Henry PURCELL Magnificat (from Evening Service in g minor, Z 231) [03:28] Nunc dimittis (from Evening Service in g minor, Z 231) [03:03] Philip MOORE (b1943) The King and the Robin [09:37] Jeanne DEMESSIEUX (1921-1968) Te Deum, Op. 11 [08:51] The Choir of Westminster Abbey/James O'Donnell Robert Quinney (organ) rec. February 2006, Westminster Abbey, London, UK. DDD HYPERION CDA67586 [75:57] [JV]

An interesting and impressive programme of music in honour of Westminster Abbey's patron ... see Full Review

Aldo Ferraresiil Gigli del violino: The Great Italian Radio Recordings Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Concerto in B minor Op.61 [41:40] Orchestra Sinfonica RAI Milan/Pietro Argento, recorded 22 March 1966 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concerto No.5 Turkish K219 [38:47] Orchestra Alessandro Scarlatti, Naples/Carlo Zecchi, recorded 21 June 1960 Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Concerto No.1  [34:27] Orchestra Sinfonica RAI Turin/Mario Rossi, recorded 15 May 1959 Mario GUARINO (1900-1971) Violin Concerto [38:15] Orchestra Sinfonica RAI Milan/Ferruccio Scaglia, recorded 30 July 1969 William WALTON (1902-1983) Violin Concerto [29:43] Orchestra Sinfonica RAI Milan/Milton Forstat, recorded 26 May 1961 Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Violin Concerto [34:07] Orchestra Sinfonica RAI Turin/Aram Khachaturian, recorded 12 April 1963 Salvatore ALLEGRA (1898-1993) Violinata alla luna per violino e orchestra [4:48] Il Pastore errante per violino e orchestra [4:52] Orchestra Alessandro Scarlatti, Naples/Salvatore Allegra, recorded 27 April 1973 Niccolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) Violin Concerto No.1 Op.6 [32:12] Orchestra Sinfonica RAI Rome/Ferruccio Scaglia, recorded 19 November 1966 Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto Op.35 [31:37] Orchestra Alessandro Scarlatti, Naples/Gaetano Delogu, recorded 14 July 1968 Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Capriccio-Konzertstück [9:29] Orchestra Alessandro Scarlatti, Naples/Leopold Ludwig, recorded 1 April 1967 Niccolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) Violin Concerto No.4 [27:41] Orchestra Sinfonica RAI Milan/Franco Gallini, recorded 27 April 1963 Antonio BAZZINI (1818-1897) Violin Concerto No.4 [18:05] Orchestra Alessandro Scarlatti, Naples/Franco Gallini, recorded 13 June 1961 Carlo JACHINO (1887-1971) Sonata drammatica per violino e orchestra [20:16] Orchestra Sinfonica RAI Rome/Milton Forstat, recorded 1 July 1960 Franco MANNINO (1924-2005) Capriccio dei Capricci (da Paganini due studi per orchestra di virtuosi) Op.50 [10:47] Orchestra Sinfonica RAI Rome/Franco Mannino, recorded 19 April 1969 Mario GUARINO (1900-1973) Violin Sonata [21:53] Ernesto Galdieri (piano) recorded 12 April 1972 Franco ALFANO (1876-1954) Violin Sonata (1923) [25:58] Ernesto Galdieri (piano) recorded 10 December 1973 Joaquin TURINA (1882-1949) La Oracion del Torero for violin and piano [8:19] Ernesto Galdieri (piano) recorded 12 May 1966 El Poema de una Sanluqueña [20:11] Ernesto Galdieri (piano) recorded 12 May 1966 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Violin Sonata Op.18 [28:27] Ernesto Galdieri (piano) recorded 20 November 1970 Karl HOLLER (1908-1987) Music for violin and piano Op.27 [23:55] Ernesto Galdieri (piano) recorded 11 October 1971 Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Violin Sonata No.1 [25:51] Ernesto Galdieri (piano) recorded 21 July 1965 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonata No.9 Op.47 Kreutzer [30:45] Ernesto Galdieri (piano) recorded 20 November 1970 Eugene YSAŸE (1858-1931) Poème Élégiaque Op.12 [15:40] Chant d’hiver Op.15 [10:01] Divertimento Op.24 [8:14] Ernesto Galdieri (piano) recorded 21 July 1965 Violin Concerto [9:56] Orchestra Sinfonica RAI Rome/Massimo Freccia, recorded 23 December 1964 The 78 recordings: Antonio BAZZINI (1818-1897) Le Ronde de lutins Op.25 [3:03] Prospero Ferraresi (piano) Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Liebesträume No.3 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Rosenkavalier Waltzes arranged Vasa Příhoda [4:40] G Favaretto (piano) recorded 1943 Niccolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) Le Streghe [4:46 C Vidusso (piano) recorded 1929 Aldo Ferraresi (violin) with accompaniments as above COMITATO GRANDI MAESTRI [No catalogue number] [9 CDs: 70:30 + 70:28 + 73:47 + 73:25 + 66:31 + 67:19 + 71:37 + 56:43 + 61:19][JW]

Ferraresi was a rather fascinating character and these performances, even when flawed, invariably show spontaneity and excitement. ... see Full Review

Juan Diego Flórez - The Tenor Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) 1. La donna è mobile (Rigoletto) [2.25] Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) 2. Avete torto! … Firenze è come un albero fiorito (Gianni Schicchi) [3.17] Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) 3. Una furtiva lagrima (L’elisir d’amore) [4.42] 4. Ah! Mes mais, quel jour de fête! … Pour mon âme quel destin! (La Fille du régiment) [7.00] Joseph LACALLE (1859-1937) 5. Amapola. arr. Guinovart. Daniel Binelli (bandoneon); David Galvez (guitar); Michael Shih, Adriana Voirin DeCosta (violin); Laura Bruton (viola); Karen Basrak (cello); William Clay ((bass); Shields-Collins Bray (piano) [4.24] Augustin LARA (1896–1970) 6. Granada. arr. Guinovart. Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra/Miguel Harth-Bedoya [4.16] Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) 7. Che ascolto! (Otello) [6.43] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) 8. Se di regnar sei vago (Mitridate) [4.15] Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) 9. Vieni fra queste braccia (La gazza ladra) [5.10] Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) 10. J’ai perdu mon Euridice (Orphée et Euridice) [4.33] Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) 11. La speranza più soave già quest’alma lusingava (Semiramide) [7.42] Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) 12. Pietoso al lungo pianto alfin m’arride amore … Deh! Lasciate a un’alma amante (Un giorno di regno) [6.30] Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) 13. Allegro io son ( Rita) [3.43] Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) 14. Qui tollis. [6.02] Raffaella Ciapponi (clarinet obbligato) Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) 15. Si, ritrovarla io giuro (La Cenerentola) [6.04] Juan Diego Flórez (tenor) Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Milano Giuseppe Verdi /Carlo Rizzi (1, 2, 10-12); Riccardo Frizza (3, 4, 13) Riccardo Chailly (7, 9, 14, 15) rec. Auditorio di Milano, Milan. July 2000 (14); May, August 2001 (7, 9, 15) September, November 2002 (3, 4, 13); March 2003 (1, 2, 10-12); Salle del Castillo, Vevey, May 1998 (8); Landreth Auditorium, Fort Worth, Texas, September-October 2004 (5, 6). DDD DECCA 475 8418 [77.42][RM]

Undiluted Flórez – greatly enjoyable. ... see Full Review

Folies Nicolas LEBÈGUE (c1631-1702) Les Cloches (arr. Susie Napper) [04:02] Marin MARAIS (1656-1728) Les Voix Humaines (arr. Susie Napper) [04:08] François COUPERIN (1668-1733) Le Dodo ou L'amour au Berçeau [03:45] Muséte de Choisi et Muséte de Taverni [03:39] Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Pièces de clavecin en concert (arr. Susie Napper) La Coulicam [04:22] La Livri [03:55] La Vézinet [02:32] François COUPERIN Le Trophée [02:17] Airs pour la suite du Trophée [03:26] Le point du jour (allemande) [03:06] L'Anguille (arr. Margaret Little) [03:18] Marin MARAIS La Muzette (Margaret Little) [04:13] Les Folies d'Espagne (arr. Susie Napper) [17:25] Les Voix Humaines (Susie Napper, Margaret Little (viola da gamba)) rec. September 2000, Église Saint-Augustin, Saint-Augustin de Mirabel, Québec, Canada. DDD ATMA ACD22203 [60:09] [JV]

An interesting disc with arrangements for two gambas - not every arrangement is convincing, but the playing is of the highest calibre ... see Full Review

The Golden Age of Light Music in the 1950s Volume IV – Cornflakes rec. 1951-56 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5130 [78:21] [JW]

Another consistently entertaining collection as Guild cannily push to the outer reaches of the fifty-year copyright period. ... see Full Review

The Golden Age of Light Music - Light Music On The Move rec. 1947-56 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5131 [78:37] [JW]

The peg on which this particular Guild release is hung is movement ... see Full Review

Clytus Gottwald - Transkriptionen Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Soupir – Three Poems by Stéphane Mallarmé [3:53] La vallée des cloches [6:20] André CAPLET (1878-1925) Trois Fragments du Miroir de Jésus:- Présentation [3:18] Agonie au Jardin [2:19] Résurrection [3:08] Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus [7:34] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Soupir [3:32] Alban BERG (1885-1935) Drei Lieder aus Sieben frühe Lieder:- Die Nachtigall [2:35] Im Zimmer [1:29] Traumgekrönt [3:30] Heinz HOLLIGER (b.1939) Zwei frühe Lieder nach Texten von Christian Morgenstern:- Vöglein Schwermut [3:43] Herbst [3:14] Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Zwei Studien zu ‘Tristan und Isolde’:- Im Treibhaus [Act III Scene I] [5:37] Träume [Act II – O sink hernieder, Nacht der liebe] [3:40] Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen [6:43] SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart/Marcus Creed rec. Villa Berg, SWR Stuttgart 2003-2006; the Mahler Live at the Evang.Kirche, Stuttgart-Gaisburg CARUS 83.181 [64:09] [JW]

Gottwald’s transcriptions for a capella choir. The source material can take the form of lieder or instrumental works. ... see Full Review

The Harp of Luduvico Alonso MUDARRA (c.1510-1580) Fantasia que contrahaze la harpa en la maniera de Luduvico [02:29] Divisions on Spagnoletta (improvisation) [02:47] Luis MILÁN (c.1500-c.1561) Fantasia de consonancias y redoubles [02:40] Divisions on the Spanish Pavan (improvisation) [02:25] Improvisations after Diego ORTIZ (c1510-c1570) Fantasia [03:00] Divisions on Paradetas [04:12] Tutte le vecchie [01:58] Giovanni DE MACQUE (c.1548/50-1614) Prime Stravaganze [02:25] Gagliarda I [00:56] Toccata a modo di trompetas [03:46] Orazio MICHI dall'arpa (1594/95-1641) Si duro tronco [03:11] I diletti di mundo [01:58] Quel signor [01:06] Girolamo FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643) Toccata X [05:20] Aria detta la Frescobalda [05:21] Toccata V [05:39] Aria detta Ballata [08:49] Ciacona [01:29] Toccata IX [05:35] Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespro della Beata Vergine: Nigra sum [03:40] Andrew Lawrence-King (arpa doblada, arpa doppia) Recorded February 1991 in St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucestershire, UK DDD HYPERION HELIOS CDH55264 [70:06][JV]

A ground-breaking recording of early repertoire on historical harps by one of the world's leading interpreters … and at  budget price - don't miss it! ... see Full Review

Sessions - Joel Hastings Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Oriental Sketch (1917) [1:55] Lilacs (1914 piano transcription of song Op. 21/5) [2:28] Lullaby (Transcription of Tchaikovsky's song ‘Lullaby’) [4:03] Étude-Tableau No. 1 in C minor, Op.39 No.1 (1916) [3:25] Prelude No. 12 in G-sharp minor, Op.32 No.12 (1910) [2:49] Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Ten Pieces for Piano, Op.12 (1906-1913) March [1:39]; Gavotte [2:21]; Rigaudon [1:23]; Mazurka [1:24]; Capriccio [2:54]; Legend [2:49]; Prelude [2:11]; Allemande [2:37]; Scherzo Humoristique [2:08]; Scherzo [2:48] Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-47) Variations Sérieuses in D minor, Op.54 (1841) [11:22] Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Sonata No.9, Op.68 ‘Black Mass’ (1912-13) [8:52] Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Totentanz (arr. Liszt 1860-65) [15:10] Joel Hastings (piano) rec. 22-23 May 2001, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Flint, Michigan, USA. DDD PRESTANT CLASSICS PR1016 [72:43]
Liszt Transcending - Joel Hastings
Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Transcriptions, Paraphrases and Arrangements Concert Paraphrase of Rigoletto by Verdi (arr. Liszt 1859) [7:11] Widmung by Schumann (arr. Liszt 1848) [3:34] Das Wandern by Schubert (arr. Liszt 1846) [2:05] Der Müller und der Bach by Schubert (arr. Liszt 1846) [5:14] Auf Flügeln des Gesanges by Mendelssohn (arr. Liszt 1840) [3:28] Reminiscences of Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti (arr. Liszt 1835-36) [6:07] Isolde's Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde by Wagner (arr. Liszt 1867) [7:27] Die Forelle by Schubert (arr. Liszt 1846) [3:31] Ständchen by Schubert (arr. Liszt 1838-39) [5:34] Erlkönig by Schubert (arr. Liszt 1838) [4:39] Sarabande and Chaconne from Almira, Concert Arrangement by Handel (arr. Liszt 1879) [13:56] Melodie from Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck) (transcribed by Giovanni Sgambati) [3:57] Joel Hastings (piano) rec. live, 19 August 2005, First Baptist Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. DDD PRESTANT CLASSICS PR1019 [66:53] [MC]

This is high calibre playing from Joel Hastings a pianist who is worthy of considerable attention. These two releases deserve a place in any collection of instrumental music. ... see Full Review

Songs by Michael Head and Friends Michael HEAD (1900-1976) 1. Sweet chance [2.02]; 2. O to be in England [3.44]; 3. Fox Gloves [2.25]; 4. Green Rain [3.18]; 5. A piper [1.29]; 6. A green cornfield [2.17] David BEDNALL (b. 1979) 7. England [4.10]; 8. First sight of her and after [3.33] Michael HEAD 9. Ships of Arkady [3.37]; 10. Beloved [1.51]; 11. A blackbird singing [2.35]; 12. Nocturne [4.13] Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) 13. King David [4.40] Michael HEAD 14. Dear delight [3.03]; 15. You shall not go a-Maying [3.19]; 16. Love’s lament for comely grace [3.11]; 17. Love me not [3.19]; 18. O let no star [2.30]; 19. The twins [2.18]; 20. A summer idyll [2.30]; 21. Slumber song of the Madonna [2.47]; 22. When sweet Ann sings [2.44] Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937) 23. Down by the Salley Gardens [2.55]; 24. Sleep [3.16] Richard Rowntree (tenor); David Bednall (piano) rec. Wells Cathedral School, 20-21 October 2004. DDD LAMMAS LAMM179D [71.55] [RM-O]

An interesting but over-indulged feast of Michael Head’s songs ... See Full Review

David Helfgott: A Musical Journey Part I – A documentary Edited and presented by Melvyn Bragg Part II – In Concert 1997, Nottingham, UK Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Andante and Rondo Capriccioso Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Un sospiro; Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 23 'Appassionata' Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) The Flight of the Bumblebee David Helfott (piano) Picture format NTSC 4:3; Region codes 2,3,4,5; Linear PCM Stereo; Subtitles : English, Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano WARNER MUSIC VISION 3984 20512-2 [94:00] [PCW]

A well-balanced documentary – worth seeing if you are at all interested in what happens when potential genius and mental illness collide … see Full Review

How can I keep from Singing? Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Pie Jesu (Requiem) [3.25] John RUTTER (b. 1945) For the beauty of the earth [3.35] Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Long since in Egypt’s plenteous land (Judith) [4.45] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872–1958) The Call (Five Mystical Songs) [2.21] Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) The Lost Chord [5.13] Stephen OLIVER (1950-1992) How blest are they [4.03] Arr. John SCOTT (b. 1956) Like a mighty river flowing [3.03] George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Let the bright seraphim (Samson) [6.42] Arr. John SCOTT (b. 1956) The Ash Grove [3.12] James Leith Macbeth BAIN, arr. Gordon JACOB (1895-1984) The Lord’s my shepherd [3.45] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872–1958), arr. Julius HARRISON (1885–1963) Linden Lea [3.07] Arr. John SCOTT (b. 1956) Annie Laurie [2.06] Robert LOWRY (1826-1899), arr. John SCOTT (b. 1956) How can I keep from singing? [4.56] Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Lift thine eyes (Elijah) [2.19] Mark BLATCHLY (b. 1960) For the Fallen [5.13] John RUTTER (b. 1945) A Gaelic Blessing [1.47] Crispian Steele-Perkins (trumpet) Andrew Lucas (organ) Richard Moorhouse(organ) Choristers of St. Paul’s Cathedral City of London Sinfonia/John Scott rec. St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, CTS Studios, Wembley, 15-17 July 1996. DDD EMI CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 0948 3 75942 2 3 [59.55][RH]

Some superb singing from one of the finest groups of trebles in the UK ... see Full Review

Il più misero amante Alessandro STRADELLA (1639-1682) Il più misero amante, Cantata for soprano and bass continuo (c.1667-77) [8:37] Pietro Antonio LOCATELLI (1695-1764) Sonata No.4 Op.2 for flute and bass continuo [9:53]   Ercole BERNABEI (1622-1687) Dal regno d'amore, Cantata for soprano and bass continuo [6:52] Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) All'ombra di sospetto, Cantata for soprano, flute and bass continuo [10:41] Pietro NARDINI (1722-1793) Sonata in sol mag. flute and bass continuo [4:28] Giacomo CARISSIMI (1605-1674) Scrivete occhi dolenti, Cantata for soprano and bass continuo (c.1650) [8:05] Camerata Hermans; Cristina Paolucci (soprano); Fabio Ceccarelli (flute); Alessandro Montani (cello); Fabio Ciofini (harpsichord/leader) rec. January 2006, Urbino LA BOTTEGA DISCANTICA 140 [55:10][JW]

Paolucci sings with directness and great musicality. Camerata Hermans show equal distinction. Let’s hear more from this talented group. ... see Full Review

Scenes from Jewish Operas - Volume 2 David SCHIFF (b. 1945) Gimpel the Fool (1979) (excerpts): 1. Scene 10: Lullaby [3:59] 2. Scene 11: Pantomime [1:39] 3. Scene 11a: Bread Song [3:24] 4. Scene 11b: Night Music [2:41] 5. Scene 11c: Gimpel and the Goat [2:17] 6. Scene 11d: Elka’s “Gvald” [1:32] 7. Scene 11e: The Divorce [3:09] 8. Scene 11f: Gimpel’s Second Monologue [1:24] Gary Moss (baritone) – Gimpel; Megan Besley (soprano) – Elka; Alissa Mercurio (soprano) – Goat; Michael Gallant (tenor) – Apprentice; Nicholas Phan (tenor) – Rabbi; Theodore Bikel (speaker) – Badkhn University of Michigan Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Kenneth Kiesler Elie SIEGMEISTER (1909–1991) Lady of the Lake (1985) (excerpts): 9. Scene 5 [9:15] 10. Interlude [1:25] 11. Scene 6 [2:18] 12. Scene 7 [4:38] Carol Meyer (soprano) – Isabella; Robert McPherson (tenor) – Blumberg; Marcus DeLoach (baritone) – Ernesto Seattle Symphony/Gerard SchwarzHugo WEISGALL (1912–1997) Esther (1993) (excerpts): 13. Act I, Scene 8 (excerpt) [3:45] 14. Act III, Scene 2 [3:54] 15. Act III, Scene 10 [7:28] Juliana Gondek (soprano) – Esther; Ted Christopher (baritone) – Xerxes Seattle Symphony/Gerald Schwarz rec. Hill Auditorium, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, January 2001 (Schiff); Batsyr University Chapel, Seattle, May 2000 (Siegmeister); Benaroya Hall, Seattle, May 1999 (Weisgall). DDD NAXOS 8.559450 [53:22] [GF]

A goldmine for everyone interested in Jewish music, and opera enthusiasts who want to widen their knowledge should give this disc a try ... see Full Review

Salomea Krushelnytska (complete recordings) & Elena Ruszkowska (selections) see review for details Piano and orchestral accompaniments, folk ensemble; Ruszkowska accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Carlos Sabajno except the Moniuszko and Chopin; the Ruszkowska Moniuszko song accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Artur Rodzinski rec. Krushelnytska 1902-12 and 1928 (folk songs); Ruszkowska 1909 and c.1921 MARSTON 52052-2 [79:05 + 79:50] [JW]

A connoisseur’s release. Transfers made with considerable care; surface noise reduced without compromising frequency range; and the voice emerges with great presence. ... see Full Review

Látigo Rafael HERNANDEZ Cachita [2:42] Armando PONTIER Milongueando en el cuarenta [2:54] Jeremy COHEN Crowdambo (c. 2004) [4:16] Armando PONTIER A los amigos (To the friends) [4:53] Enrique SABORIDO Felicia [2:40] Evan PRICE Felipe, for string quartet [4:59] Gerardo H. Matos RODRIGUEZ (1897-1948) La Cumparsita (1917) [4:18] Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Melodía en La menor [4:41] Libertango [2:30] Chick COREA (b. 1941) Armando's Rhumba [3:23] Carlos GARDEL (1890-1935) El día que me quieras [4:41] Mariano MORES Taquito militar [4:00] Eduardo AROLAS Comme Il faut (Exactly as it should be) [2:39] Agustín BARDI (1884-1941) Gallo ciego (Blinded rooster) [4:06] Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918–1990) Cool, from musical West Side Story (1957) arranged by David Balakrishnan [4:31] Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Nuevo Tango [5:32] Quartet San Francisco: (Jeremy Cohen (violin); Kayo Miki (violin); Emily Onderdonk (viola); Joel Cohen (cello)) John Santos, percussion (tracks 1, 3, 10) rec. 22-25 August 2005, Sound Studio, Skywalker Ranch, Nicasio, California. DDD VIOLINJAZZ RECORDINGS JCCD104 [63:26] [MC]

On this double Grammy-nominated release the Quartet San Francisco are on magnificent form with these exciting and colourful scores. ... see Full Review

Love’s Voice Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937) On Wenlock Edge (1917-18) [2:56] Bread and cherries (1921) [0:53] Down by the Salley Gardens (1910) [2:43] Ha'nacker Mill (1921) [2:09] Snow (1921) [2:39] Hawk and Buckle (1921) [1:10] John IRELAND (1879-1962) Friendship in misfortune [1:48] The Three Ravens [3:30] The trellis [3:24] The Land of Lost Content (1920-21) [11:34] Ian VENABLES (b.1955) Love's Voice – a song cycle Op.22 (1995) [15:43] Vitae summa brevis Op.3 No.3 [3:32] Flying Crooked Op.28 No.1 [1:08] At midnight Op.28 No.2 [4:08] The hippo Op.33 No.6 [1:40] Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Oh Fair to See Op.13b [17:31] Nathan Vale (tenor) Paul Plummer (piano) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, February 2006 SOMMCD 063 [76:39][JW]

Somm have a knack of selecting young but highly promising artists … This is no exception. ... 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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