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RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage: Volume 7 Cantatas for The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Es ist nichts Gesundes an meinem Liebe, BWV 25 [17:42] Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78 [23:05] Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich, BWV 17 [16:24]  Malin Hartelius (soprano); Robin Tyson (alto); James Gilchrist (tenor); Peter Harvey (bass) The Monteverdi Choir English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. Abbaye d’Ambronay, France, 24 September 2000 Cantatas for the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels Nun ist das Heil, und die Kraft, BWV 50 [3:15] (Occasion unspecified) Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, BWV 130 [15:30] Es erhub sich ein Streit, BWV 19 [20:24] Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg, BWV 149 [18:21] Malin Hartelius (soprano); Richard Wyn Roberts (alto); James Gilchrist (tenor); Peter Harvey (bass) The Monteverdi Choir English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. Unser Lieben Frauen, Bremen, 29 September 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG 124 [57:27 + 57:44][JQ]

In every respect this set lives up to the very high standards of previous issues in the series. It’s essential listening for all lovers of Bach’s cantatas. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 8-18, 21-27 David Allen Wehr rec. 2003/4 CONNOISSEUR SOCIETY CD4262 (Vol. 2) [78.15 + 79.40]; CD4263 (Vol. 3) [79.05 + 79.10] [PSh]

Exquisite Beethoven by one of the finest pianists currently before us, recorded in laboratory quality sound. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op. 26 (1864-68) [23:40] Romance for viola and orchestra in F major, Op. 85 (c. 1911) [8:23]  Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 (1844) [26:56] Janine Jansen (violin, viola) Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly rec. live, 5-9 September 2006, Gewandhaus, Leipzig, Germany (live performances). DDD DECCA 4758133 [59:05] [MC]

Janine Jansen fully deserves her exalted reputation and doesn’t put a foot wrong with this excellent Decca release of two staples of the violin concerto repertoire. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas (Los majos enamorados) (1909-11) [55:57] El Pelele (The Straw Man) [5:49] (arranged for guitars by Christophe Dejour) Trio Campanella: (Christophe Dejour; Frank Massa; Thomas Winthereik, (guitars)) rec. Torpen Chapel, Denmark, December 2006, April 2006. NAXOS 8.557709 [61:47][KS]

To put it simply, this is the finest recording of music for guitars that I have ever heard ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Messiah (Dublin version, 1742) [140:05] Susan Hamilton (soprano) Annie Gill, Claire Wilkinson (contraltos) Nicholas Mulroy (tenor) Matthew Brook (bass) Dunedin Consort and Players/John Butt rec. Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, 1-4 May 2006. DDD LINN RECORDS CKD 285 [76:37 + 63:28][MG]

With a scholarly yet accessible approach and attractive consistency of character, this is a performance which convincingly conveys spirituality in a fresh and immediate recording.  … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jerome KERN (1885-1945) Show Boat (1927) Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II Magnolia Hawks – Frederica von Stade (sop); Gaylord Ravenal – Jerry Hadley (tenor); Julie Laverne – Teresa Stratas (sop) ; Joe – Bruce Hubbard (bass); Queenie – Karla Burns (mezzo); Frank Schultz – David Garrison (tenor); Ellie May Chipley – Paige O’Hara (sop); Captain Andy Hawks – Robert Nichols (baritone); Parthy Ann Hawks – Nancy Kulp ; Lady on levee – Lillian Gish Ambrosian Chorus London Sinfonietta/John McGlinn rec. Abbey Road Studio 1, London, June-September 1987. EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3615432 [3 CDs: 70:26 + 74:55 + 76:10] [TH]

A heart-warming experience and another GROC to savour ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz LISZT (1811-1886) A Faust Symphony (1857) (i) Faust [30:16]; (ii) Gretchen [23:19]; (iii) Mephistopheles [25:58] Kenneth Riegel (tenor) Tanglewood Festival Chorus Boston Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein rec. Symphony Hall, Boston, 26 July 1976. ADD Directed by Humphrey Burton Picture format NTSC 4:3; Sound Formats PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1; Region Code 0; Disc Format DVD 9; subtitles in English, French, German and Spanish EUROARTS 2072078 [83:00] [PCW]

A stupendous one-off occasion … you may struggle to find something better than this in any format … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Piano Sonatas Joyce Hatto (piano) rec. Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, 1995 - 2005 CONCERT ARTISTS IPO01052 [re-edited and re-mastered] (5CDs packaged together in slim-line case with a booklet - German booklet available on request. 5discs for the price of 3) [CH]

A cycle consistently illuminated by an inner spirituality. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Bohème (1896) Rodolfo, Aquiles Machado (ten); Mimi, Inva Mula (sop); Marcello, Fabio Maria Capitanucci (bar); Musetta, Laura Giordano (sop); Schaunard, David Menendez (bar); Colline, Felipe Bou (bass); Alcindoro, Alfredo Mariotti (ten); Benoit, Juan Tomás Martinez (bass); Parpignol, Gonzalo Fernández de Terán Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real, Madrid (Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus)/Jesus Lopez-Cobos rec. live, Teatro Real, Madrid, March 2006 Stage director, Giancarlo del Monaco. Set and Costume Designer, Michael Scott Television Director, Robin Lough Plus bonus of interviews and cast gallery Picture format: 16/9 Anamorphic. Recorded in High Definition Sound formats: LPCM Stereo. DTS 5.1 Sung in Italian with subtitles in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish OPUS ARTE OA0961D [2 DVDs: 149:00] [RJF]

The realistic sets provide an ideal framework for Inva Mula’s detailed and poignant portrayal of Mimi’s brief life and also for the realisation of the director’s cinematographic aspirations for the work. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Peter and the Wolf Op. 67 (1936) Philharmonia Orchestra/Mark Stephenson Suzie Templeton (director) Special features: The Musical Themes; The Story - Picture Gallery; The Making of Peter & The Wolf; A Day on the Film Set; Director’s Commentary Language versions: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian (Bonus Material) Subtitle Languages GB for the Bonus Material Sound format: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 Region Code: 2.5 Breakthru Films 2006 ARTHAUS-MUSIK 101 804-GB [movie: 35:00; bonus: 75:00][DC]

A wonderful production, richly deserving of any and all awards which must surely come its way. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) The Complete Piano Works Volume 1 Jeux d'eau (1901) [5:46] Sonatine (1905) [11:04] Miroirs (1905) [27:46] Gaspard de la nuit (1908) [22:23] Volume 2 Sérénade grotesque (1893) [3:27] Menuet antique [5:44] Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899) [6:02] Menuet sur le nom de Haydn (1909) [1:42] A la manière de Borodine (1913) [1:31] A la manière de Chabrier (1913) [1:41] Prélude (1913) [1:25] Valses nobles et sentimentales (1911) [14:13] Le Tombeau de Couperin (1917) [35:36] La Valse (1920) [11:30] Joyce Hatto (piano) rec. 17-18 May 2005, Concert Artist Studios CONCERT ARTIST CACD20042 (9138/9139) [67:09 + 71:35] [DC]

With a lifetime of living with these works, Joyce Hatto records them with the advantage of knowing their every wrinkle and secret like few others. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir Donald TOVEY (1875–1940) Cello Concerto, Op. 40 (1935) [54:16] * Air for strings** (arr. Peter Shore) [2:15] Elegiac Variations, op. 25, for cello and piano (1909) [10:11] Alice Neary (cello) Ulster Orchestra/George Vass, Gretel Dowdeswell (piano) rec. Ulster Hall, Belfast, 29-30 May 2006. *First modern recording; **First recording TOCCATA TOCC0038 [67:04] [RB]

Fresh, keenly imagined and emotionally engaging. The performance, recording, documentation and presentation adroitly complement this major work. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Carl VINE (b.1954) The Piano Music: 1990-2006 Piano Sonata No.1 (1990) [15:31] Piano Sonata No.2 (1998) [20:41] Five Bagatelles (1995) [8:50] Red Blues (1999) [4:46] The Anne Landa Preludes (2006) [24:00] Michael Kieran-Harvey (piano) rec. 20 May 2004, Studio 200, ABC (Sonata No.1); 10 February 1999, Newcastle Conservatorium (Sonata No.2); 10-11 May 2006, City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney TALL POPPIES TP190 [74:15] [DC]

Wow! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Libre comme un oiseau Aurelian-Octav POPA (b.1937) Perpetuum mobile [10.05] Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Prélude from The Fairy Queen [1.33] Martian NEGREA (1893-1973) Le mois de Mars [2.40] Henry PURCELL Prélude from The Fairy Queen [1.46] Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Three Pieces for solo clarinet [5.13] Henry PURCELL Hornpipe from The Fairy Queen [0.56] Tiberiu OLAH (1928-2002) Sonata for solo clarinet [6.40] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partita [2.37] Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Abîme des Oiseaux [6.31] François COUPERIN (1668-1733) Les petits moulins à vent [1.21] John CAGE (1912-1992) Sonata [4.36] Hans-Ulrich LEHMANN (1937-) Mosaïk [7.05] Carl Philippe Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Solfegietto [1.32] Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Cadenza [3.35] Corneliu CEZAR (1937-1998) Théâtrale [1.28] Olivier MESSIAEN Subtilité des Corps Glorieux [3.34] Mihnea BRUMARIU (b.1958) Musique pour Aurelian [5.10] Olivier MESSIAEN Hymne des passereaux au lever du jour [1.13] Aurelian-Octav Popa (clarinet) rec. IRCAM, Espace de Projection, December 2004. DDD. CALLIOPE CAL 9354 [69.30][ED]

A most engaging recital. Let your imagination take flight! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Songs – Rodion Pogossov Edward GRIEG (1843–1907) With a water lily, Op. 25 No. 4 [2:16]; Dereinst, Gedanke mein, Op. 48 No. 2 [2:52]; Die verschwiegene Nachtigall, Op. 48 No. 4 [3:15]; Zur Rosenzeit, Op. 48 No. 5 [2:47]; Ein Traum, Op. 48 No. 6 [2:19]; Antonio Pietro CESTI (1623–1669) Alessandro (1651): Si mantiene il mio amor (realisation by John Glenn Paton) [2:27]; Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873–1943) Oh no, I beg you, do not leave, Op. 4 No. 1 [1:52]; In the mysterious silence of the night, Op. 4 No. 3 [2:42]; I was with her, Op. 14 No. 4 [1:25]; All things pass away, Op. 26 No. 15 [1:43]; Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714–1787) Paride ed Elena: O del mio dolce ardor [3:17];Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911)Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (1883): Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht [3:41]; Ging heut’ Morgen übers Feld [4:18]; Ich hab’ ein glühend Messer [3:07]; Die zwei blauen Augen [5:15]; Antonio CALDARA (1670–1736) La constanza in amor vince l’inganno, cantata: Come raggio di sol [2:32]; Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840–1893) The fearful minute, Op. 28 No. 6 [3:36]; Again, as before, alone, Op. 73 No. 6 [2:08]; Don Juan’s Serenade, Op. 38 No. 1 [2:40]; On the golden cornfields, Op. 57 No. 2 [3:10]; Maury YESTON (b. 1945) Nine, musical: Unusual Way [2:57] Rodion Pogossov (baritone); Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 16–21 February 2006, Potton Hall, Suffolk EMI CLASSICS DEBUT 3596352 [60:26] [GF]

Always thrilling to hear a young singer on his way up. I wouldn’t in the least be surprised if Rodion Pogossov becomes one of the most sought after baritones ... see Full Review




BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Orchestral works see review for details rec. 1970-79 EMI CLASSICS BRITISH COMPOSERS 5865892 [79:23 + 74:43] [RB]

An unmissable and generous set ... vitally essential Bliss. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) The Symphonies CD1 Symphony No. 1 (1884-96) [54:32]* Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” (1888-94): I [21:35] CD2 Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” (1888-94): II-V [60:57] + CD3 Symphony No. 3 (1895-6): I-IV [65:22] CD4 Symphony No. 3 (1895-6): V-VI [30:04] ^ Symphony No. 4 (1899-1901): I-III [48:43] CD5 Symphony No. 4 (1899-1901): IV [9:09] # Symphony No. 5 (1901-2) [67:49] CD6 Symphony No. 7 (1908) [78:48] CD7 Symphony No. 6 (1903-05): I-III [53:53] CD8 Symphony No. 6 (1903-05): IV [29:22] Symphony No. 9 (1909) I-II [44:12]* CD9 Symphony No. 9 (1909) III-IV [42:28]* Symphony No.10: Adagio (1910) [26:04] CD10 Symphony No.8 (1909) [78:50]* $ CD 11 Das Lied von der Erde (1909) [61:55]* Kristina Laki (soprano)+, Lucia Popp (soprano)#, Julia Varady (soprano)$, Marianne Haggander (soprano)$, Maria Venuti (soprano)$, Florence Quivar (mezzo)+$, Ann Howells (mezzo-soprano)$, Maria Lipovšek (mezzo-soprano)%, Gwendolyn Killebrew (contralto)^, Paul Frey (tenor)$, Ben Heppner (tenor)%, Alan Titus (baritone)$, Siegfried Vogel (bass)$; Kölner Rundfunkchor +$, Südfunk-Chor Stuttgart +$, Knabenchor des Collegium Josephinium, Bonn ^, Frauenchor des Bayerischen Rundfunks und des Westdeutschen Rundfunks ^, The Little Singers of Tokyo $, Prager Philharmonischer Chor $; Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester/Gary Bertini rec. 21, 23 November 1991, Suntory Hall Tokyo (Symphony No.1); 29 April – 4 May 1991, Philharmonie, Köln (Symphony No.2); 25-27 March 1985, Studio Stollberger-Strasse, Köln (Symphony No.3); 30 November and 4 December 1987, Philharmonie, Köln (Symphony No.4); 29 January – 3 February 1990, Philharmonie, Köln (Symphony No.5); 21 September 1984, WDR Studios, Köln (Symphony No.6); 9-15 February 1990, Philharmonie, Köln (Symphony No.7); 12-14 November 1991, Suntory Hall Tokyo (Symphony No.8); 20 February 1991, Suntory Hall Tokyo (Symphony No.9); 1-3 July 1991, Philharmonie, Köln (Symphony No.10: Adagio); 16-17 November 1991, Suntory Hall Tokyo (Das Lied von der Erde); Live recordings *. DDD EMI CLASSICS 0946 3 40238 2 5 [11 CDs: 76:07 + 60:57 + 65:22 + 78:47 + 77:32 + 78:48 + 53:53 + 73:34 + 68:32 + 78:50 + 61:55][TP]

This cycle is an essential purchase for all Mahlerians and the best possible set for beginners …... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) The Essential SIBELIUS Symphonies 1-7, En Saga, Pohjola, Valse Triste, Finlandia, Tapiola, Violin Concerto, 2 Serious Melodies, 2 Serenades, 6 Humoresques, Kullervo, Wood-Nymph, Lemmikainen Suite, Karelia, Scenes Historiques, Song of the Athenians, The Origin of Fire, The Captive Queen, Rakastava, Andante Festivo, King Christian Suite, Pelleas and Melisande, The Tempest, Snöfrid, The Bard, Oceanides, Luonnotar, The Broken Voice, The Boat Journey, Song of my Heart and other songs, 2 String Quartets, Piano Trio, Piano Quintet, Water Drops, Andante Cantabile, Violin Sonata, Malincolia, 4 Violin Pieces, Violin Sonatina, 2 Danses Champêtres, Florestan, Impromptu, Piano Sonata, Romance, Kyllikki, 3 Sonatinas, The Solitary Fir Tree, The Spruce, Scène Romantique, The Village Church Helena Juntunen, (soprano), MariAnne Häggander, (soprano), Lilli Paasikivi, (mezzo), Monica Groop, (mezzo), Anne Sofie von Otter mezzo), Jorma Hynninen, (baritone), Raimo Laukka, (baritone), Tommi Hakala, (baritone), Sauli Tiilikainen, (baritone), Stina Ekblad, (narrator), Lasse Pöysti, (narrator), Leonidas Kavakos, (violin), Laura Vikman, (violin), Nils-Erik Sparf, (violin), Jaakko Kuusisto, (violin), Anna Kreetta Gribajcevic, (viola), Marko Ylönen, (cello), Taneli Turunen, (cello), Torleif Thedéen, (cello), Joel Laakso, (cello), Erik T. Tawaststjerna, (piano), Bengt Forsberg, (piano), Folke Gräsbeck, (piano), Love Derwinger, (piano), Harri Viitanen, (harmonium), Tempera Quartet, (string quartet) Helsinki University Chorus, (choir), Lahti Boys' Choir, (choir), Dominante Choir, (choir), Jubilate Choir, (choir), Orphei Drängar, (choir), Leonidas Kavakos (violin); Dong-Suk Kang (violin); Tempera Quartet Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi rec. 1979-2006, Finland, ADD (only trs 9-22 of CD15)/DDD 15 CDs for the price of 4 Full track-listing at end of review BIS CD-1697-1700 [15 CDs: 75:32 + 76:10 + 77:20 + 68:16 + 78:19 + 80:46 + 71:36 + 76:27 + 80:11 + 77:02 + 79:39 + 75:48 + 79:13 + 77:42 + 78:01] [RB]

With one strange omission this set justifies its claim to offer The Essential Sibelius. It will provide hours of pleasure, discovery and rediscovery for not very much money. If this were your only Sibelius you would have a very fine cross-section of the best of this great composer. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH New England Legacy Quincy PORTER (1897-1966) Violin Sonata No.2 (1929) [16:10] Four Pieces for violin and piano (1947) [12:51] Walter PISTON (1894-1976) Violin Sonata (1939) [17:22] Amy BEACH (1867-1944) Three Compositions Op.40 (1898): La Captiva [3:25]; Berceuse [3:02]; Mazurka [3:06] Joel Pitchon (violin) Jonathan Bass (piano) rec. Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall, Smith College, Northampton MA, undated GASPARO GSCD 367 [56:18] [JW]

An enjoyable recital. Greater tonal variety and tensile strength would have brought greater results ... see Full Review




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

March 2007


RECORDING OF THE MONTH Charles-Henri Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Douze Études dans les Tons Mineurs Op. 39 Comme le vent (Like the wind) (A minor) [5:30] En Rythme Molossique (In Molossian Rhythm) (D Minor) [8:44] Scherzo Diabolico (G minor) [4:30] Allegro (C minor) [10:37] Marche Funèbre (F minor) [6:53] Menuet (B-flat minor) [5:41] Finale (E-flat minor) [4:44] Allegro Assai (G-sharp minor) [30:48] Adagio (C-sharp minor) [11:51] Allegro alla Barbaresca (F-sharp minor) [11:03] Ouverture (B minor) [15:49] Le Festin d’Esope (Aesop’s Banquet) (E minor) [9:50] Stephanie McCallum (piano) rec. 28 July 2004 (4-7); 11 February 2005 (1-3); 6 October 2005 (8-10); 12 December 2005 (11); 6 December 1999 (12), Eugene Goossens Hall of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Ultimo Centre, Sydney. DDD ABC CLASSICS 4765335 [46:44 + 79:31] [WK]

A superlative set of the complete Op. 39 études-unsurpassed pianism and enthusiasm ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Edgar BAINTON (1880-1956) Symphony No. 3 in C minor (1956) [42:09] Rutland BOUGHTON (1878-1960) Symphony No. 1 Oliver Cromwell (1905) [36:58] Roderick Williams (bar) (Boughton) BBC Concert Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford. 12-13 July 2006. DDD DUTTON CDLX 7185 [79:26] [RB]

Resplendently carried off. Bainton 3: treasurable, impressionistic, phantasmal and refulgently orchestrated … a work of ineffable beauty and wild insight. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Arthur BENJAMIN (1893-1960) Overture to an Italian Comedy (1937) [6:21] Cotillon, A Suite of Dance Tunes (1938) [12:12] North American Square Dance Suite (1951) [13:48] Symphony (1945) [44:22] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Myer Fredman (overture); London Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite (Cotillon); London Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth (Dance Suite; Symphony) rec. 1971, 1982. ADD/DDD LYRITA SRCD.314 [76:50] [RB]

Benjamin’s light and serious sides generously represented in vivid performances and with recording to match ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op. 115 (1891) [34:39] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Clarinet Quintet movement in B flat major, K516 (c.1791) [8:26] Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Reverie Orientale, op. 14, no. 2 (1886) [6:54] Wiliiam SWEENEY (b. 1950) An Og-Mhadainn (1979) [11:45] Lesley Schatzberger (clarinets) Fitzwilliam String Quartet rec. National Centre for Early Music, York, 15-16, 19-20 May 2005. DDD LINN RECORDS CKD 278 [62:28] [MG]

This is a challenging disc for all the right reasons. Not always comfortable listening but rewarding. And a great range of perspectives. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 in E (1881-83, ed. Haas) [65:39] NDR Symphony Orchestra/Günter Wand rec. live, Musik- und Kongresshalle, Lübeck, 28 August 1999. DDD TDK DVWW-COWAND8 [65:39][CC]

Unhesitatingly recommended to all Brucknerians. This DVD cycle is a lasting monument to one of the great Bruckner conductors. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Morten LAURIDSEN (b. 1943) Mid-Winter Songs (1983) [19:03] Les Chansons des roses (1993) [17:12] I will lift up mine eyes (1970) [3:14]* O come, let us sing unto the Lord (1970) [3:22]* Ave, dulcissima Maria (2005) [7:04]* Nocturnes (2005) [14:39] Polyphony, Britten Sinfonia (1), Polyphony, Morten Lauridsen (piano) (2, 6); Polyphony, Andrew Lumsden (4)/Stephen Layton * first recordings rec. Temple Church, London, 3-4 January 2006. Midwinter Songs: St. Jude on the Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, 3 April 2006. DDD HYPERION CDA67580 [65:17] [JQ]

I recommend this new disc from Polyphony without reservation. Though 2007 is only two months old I feel sure this will be one of my Recordings of the Year ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat major, S.124 (1830-49, rev. 1853 & 56) [17:48] Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11 (1830) [38:32] Yundi Li (piano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Andrew Davis rec. July 2006 Watford Colosseum, London, England. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 6402 [56:26][MC]

Yundi Li excites and delights with these warhorses. He proves to be a performer of significant stature. A remarkable concerto recording debut. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950) Sinfonietta (1944) [23:16] Symphony in G minor* (1937) [44:24] Overture for a Masque (1944) [10:36] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult New Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult* rec. 1968, 1970, 1975. ADD LYRITA SRCD.247 [78:55] [RB]

Classic versions still unmatched and now stealing with nonchalant confidence the poll place in the Moeran discography ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto in D (1878) [35:53]Sérénade mélancolique for violin and orchestra (1875) [9:27] Valse-Scherzo for violin and orchestra (1877) [7:46] Souvenir d’un lieu cher (Souvenir of a beloved place) for violin and piano (1878) [15:54]* Julia Fischer (violin) Yakov Kreizberg (piano)* Russian National Orchestra/Yakov Kreizberg rec. Souvenir: MCO Studio 5, Hilversum, April 2006; DZZ Studio 5, Moscow, April 2006 PENTATONE PTC5186095 [68:25] [IL]

Fischer’s awesome talent makes for a performance that can compare with the best in this very popular concerto. Imaginative, intelligent programming ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Wasps overture (1909) [9:59] A Sea Symphony (1909) [66:20] Susan Gritton (soprano) Gerald Finley (baritone) London Symphony Chorus London Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox rec. Barbican Centre, London, 3-4 June 2006. DDD CHANDOS CHSA 5047 [76:17][MG]

Overall the recording, playing and singing of this Hickox version set a new standard … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868) Giorgio Tozzi (bass) – Hans Sachs; Ernst Wiemann (bass) – Veit Pogner; Willy Hartmann (tenor) – Kunz Vogelgesang; William Workman (baritone) – Konrad Nachtigall; Toni Blankenheim (bass-baritone) – Sixtus Beckmesser; Hans-Otto Kloose (baritone) – Fritz Kothner; Kurt Marschner (tenor) – Balthasar Zorn; Wilfried Plate (tenor) – Ulrich Eisslinger; Jürgen Förster (tenor) – Augustin Moser; Franz Grundheber (bass) – Hermann Ortel; Carl Schultz (bass) – Hans Schwarz; Karl Otto (bass) – Hans Foltz; Richard Cassilly (tenor) – Walther von Stolzing; Gerhard Unger (tenor) – David; Arlene Saunders (soprano) – Eva; Ursula Boese (mezzo-soprano) – Magdalene; Vladimir Ruzdak (baritone) – A Night Watchman Chorus of the Hamburg State Opera; Ballet of the Hamburg State Opera Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra/Leopold Ludwig; Set Design: Herbert Kirchhoff; Costumes: Rudolf Heinrich; Directed by Leopold Lindtberg; Directed for TV by Joachim Hess rec. Hamburg State Opera, 1970 Sound format: mono; Picture format: 4:3 Colour ARTHAUS MUSIC 101 273 (2 DVDs) [240:00] [GF]

When in the future I want to bask in the humour, warmth and humanity of Wagner’s brightest creation, this is probably the version I will return to most often. ... 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

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

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Leopold Stokowski Otto KLEMPERER (1885-1973) Merry Waltz from the opera Das Ziel (1915) [3:02] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) [17:02] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Rapsodie espagnole (1908) [16:02] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No.4 in E minor Op.98 (1885) [37:36] Ottokar NOVÁČEK (1866-1900) Perpetuum mobile Op.5 No.4 transcribed Leopold Stokowski (1940) [3:55] ¹ New Philharmonia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski London Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski ¹ rec. Royal Albert Hall, 14 May 1974; 21 September 1974 (Nováček) BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4205-2 [78:24][JW]

This Brahms Fourth - the most exciting, galvanizing and convincing of all Stokowski’s efforts. ... see Full Review



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hugo ALFVÉN (1872-1960) Symphony No. 5 in A minor, Op. 54 (19432-1958) [53:58] Andante religioso from Revelation Cantata, Op. 31 (1913) [3:49]* Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Niklas Willén rec. De Geer Hall, Norrköping, Sweden, 15-17 June 2004; 23-27 May, 2005*. DDD NAXOS 8.557612 [57:47][TP]

Lovers of the romantic symphony should invest in this disc without delay.  Whatever the faults of this music, its freshness, flashes of original genius and the stunning playing offer more than ample compensation. ... see Full Review

BARGAINS OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Das Wohltemperierte Klavier: Book I, BWV 846-869 (1722) [133.07] Wanda Landowska (Pleyel harpsichord) rec. 1949-1951, New York; Lakeville, Connecticut; USA. ADD Transfer produced by Mark Obert-Thorn. Notes in English. Original matrix numbers and recording dates and places. Photo of artist. NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110314-15 [64.00 + 69.07]
Das Wohltemperierte Klavier
: Book II, BWV 870-893 (1742) [180.04] Prelude, Fugue, & Allegro, BWV 998 (1743) [12.50] Wanda Landowska (Pleyel harpsichord) rec. 1949-1951, Lakeville, Connecticut; USA. ADD Transfer produced by Mark Obert-Thorn. Notes in English. Original matrix numbers and recording dates and places. Photo of artist. NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111061-63 [3 CDs: 61.33 + 66.43 + 64.38] [PSh]

An untarnishable masterpiece of a recording, a musical monument, even if in some places it doesn’t sound very good. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.9 in D Minor Op.125 Choral (1824) Elizabeth Schwarzkopf (sop); Elisabeth Hoengen (cont); Hans Hopf (ten); Otto Edelmann (bass) Bayreuth Festival Chorus and Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 29 July 1951, Festpielhaus, Bayreuth. ADD Reissue Producer and Audio Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS 8.11060 [74:19] [SH]

Not just recommended but absolutely essential to any civilised person. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 38 (1844) [33’19]; Fantasy in F minor, Op. 49 (1841) [13'11] Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Konzertstück in F minor, Op. 79 (1821) [18'20]* Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Andante and Rondo capriccioso, Op. 14 [6'50] Claudio Arrau (piano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Alceo Galliera* rec. No. 3 Studio, Abbey Road, London, 14-21 April 1960 (Chopin), 30 June 1951 (Mendelssohn), No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, 19 April 1960 (Weber). ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 5 62884 2  [72:11] [CC]

Arrau's Chopin enjoys something of classic status, and here are two perfect examples of why this is so ... Mendelssohn that can only be described as miraculous ... virtuoso elan ... one of the jewels of the EMI  GROCs. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Twenty-Four Préludesa (1836-38) [34:21]; Prélude in C sharp minor, Op. 45b (1841) [4:07]; Berceuse in D flat, Op. 57b (1843/4) [4:08]; Impromptusc (1837-42) – No. 1 in A flat, Op. 29 [3:45]; No. 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 36 [4:27]; No. 3 in G flat, Op. 51 [4:52]; Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66c (1835) [4:34]; Barcarolle in F sharp, Op. 60c (1846) [7:52] Alfred Cortot (piano) rec. No. 3 Studio, Abbey Road, London, a 5 July, 20 June 1933; b 4 November 1949; c5 July 1933. ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3615412  [68:45] [CC]

These are, indeed, classic recordings ...  the remastering has (re)produced a sound of great clarity and yet depth. Cortot's playing is what this disc is about and while one listens he almost always convinces one that his is the true way. Superb. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) In the South (Alassio) – Concert Overture op.50 (1904) [19:48] Grania and Diarmid – Incidental Music and Funeral March op.42 (1901) [09:30] Symphony no.1 in A flat op.55 (1908) [48:56] Introduction and Allegro op.47 (1905) [14:12] Serenade in E minor op.20 (1892) [12:21] Symphony no.2 in E flat op.63 (1910) [53:16] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec.29 September 1970, 19 February 1971, All Saints’ Tooting (op.50), 4, 6, 11 February 1974, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road London (op.42), 20, 25 September 1976, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road (op.55/I-III), 10 October 1976, Kingsway Hall, London (op.55/IV), 10 December 1972, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road (op.47), 29, 30 October 1972, Kingsway Hall (op.20), 3 November 1975, 2, 7 January 1976, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road (op.63) EMI CLASSICS 0946 3 82151 2 7 [78:31 + 80:06][CH]

Dedicated performances by one of the composer’s finest interpreters, and a truly great performance of Symphony no. 2. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Alberto GINASTERA (1916–1983) Panambí Op.1 (1937) [39:10] Estancia Op.8 (1941)a [33:22] Luis Gaeta (narrator, bass-baritone)a London Symphony Orchestra/Gisèle Ben-Dor rec. Abbey Road Studios, London, May 1997 NAXOS 8.557582 [72:32][HC]

These scores teem with life-asserting energy … a self-commending release of these indispensable readings of two of Ginastera’s most readily attractive scores. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Elisabeth Schwarzkopf singt Mozart-Arien 1. Le nozze di Figaro: Giunse alfin il momento … Deh vieni, non tardar 2. Don Giovanni: Vedrai carino 3-4 Le nozze di Figaro: Porgi amor; Voi che sapete 5 Don Giovanni: Crudele? … Non mi dir 6 Le nozze di Figaro: Non so più cosa son 7 Idomeneo: Zeffiretti lusinghieri 8 Don Giovanni: Batti, batti, o bel Masetto 9 Le nozze di Figaro: Dove sono 10 Don Giovanni: In quali eccessi ... Mi tradi, quell’alma ingrata 11 Il re pastore: L’amerò sarò costante 12-13 Die Entführung aus dem Serail: Welcher Kummer herrscht in meiner Seele;  Martern aller Arten Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Philharmonia Orchestra/John Pritchard (1–9), Josef Krips (10); Wiener Philharmoniker/Josef Krips (11-12), Herbert von Karajan (13) rec. London, 1 July  (4, 8), 2 July (1, 2, 6), 4 July (3, 5), 9 September (9), 16 September (7) 1952; in Vienna, 23 October (13), October (12); 2 November (11) 1946, 26 September 1947 (10) PREISER RECORDS 93444 [73:26] [GF]

I admire the whole recital tremendously and recommend it strongly to every listener with even a remote interest in Mozart-singing - or singing in general. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor (1892) [12:39] Trio élégiaque No. 2 in D minor, Op. 9 (1893) [44:44] Valeri Grohovski (piano), Eduard Wulfson (violin), Dmitri Yablonsky (cello) rec. 6-7 September 2005, Potton Hall Suffolk NAXOS 8.557423 [57:23] [TB]

Make no mistake; this is one of the most successful recordings of chamber music one could wish to encounter, and to have it available at budget price is a cause for celebration... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Complete Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 8 Sonata in A Kk181 [3:42] Sonata in E Kk496 [4:48] Sonata in C Kk420 [4:25] Sonata in F minor Kk466 [6:39] Sonata in B flat Kk441 [2:59] Sonata in B minor Kk87 [6:13] Sonata in D Kk96 [4:50] Sonata in G minor Kk426 [5:48] Sonata in A flat Kk127 [5:29] Sonata in F minor Kk462 [5:18] Sonata in A minor Kk382 [2:24] Sonata in C Kk485 [5:08] Sonata in A Kk101 [4:27] Soyeon Lee (piano) rec. Performing Arts Centre, Country Day School, Ontario, Canada, 6-8 January 2006 DDD NAXOS 8.570010 [62:10] [PCW]

The recording is worth a special mention – well up to the high standard Norbert Kraft has previously set on various discs for this label. The documentation is also decent and the only thing that feels cheap about this disc is the price. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) [17:06] The Wasps (Overture) (1909) [9:07] Fantasia on ‘Greensleeves’ (1928) [4:36] George BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916) The Banks of Green Willow (1913) [5:47] Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma) Op.36 (1899) [31:13] London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn rec. Kingsway Hall, London, 26 January 1979 and No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, 27-28 November 1978 (The Wasps, Enigma Variations), 30 November 1971 (Greensleeves), and 15-16 December 1976 (Green Willow). British Composers Series EMI CLASSICS 3 82157 2 [68:25] [DC]

Previn’s characterisations in the ‘Enigma’ variations populate your room with real people…... 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



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano in B flat (1946); Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in D (1934); Folk-Tale for Cello and Piano (1918); Clarinet Sonata in E major (1901); Romance for Clarinet and Piano (1901); Trio in One Movement for Piano, Violin and Clarinet (1906) Robert Plane (clarinet); Gould Piano Trio (Lucy Gould (violin); Alice Neary (cello); Benjamin Frith (piano)) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, UK, 21-23 December 2004 NAXOS 8.557698 [76:44] [EM]

A good and well-played combination of brilliant and beautiful works … can’t be beaten ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Works for Solo Piano - Vol. 4 Sonata No.12 in A flat major, Op.26 (1800-01) [18:21] Sonata No.13 in E flat major, Op.27 No.1 ‘Quasi una fantasia’ (1800-01) [14:54] Sonata No.14 in C sharp minor, Op.27 No.2 ‘Moonlight’ (1800-1) [14:31] Sonata No.15 in D major, Op.28 ‘Pastoral’ (1801) [24:42] Ronald Brautigam (McNulty fortepiano after Anton Walther) rec. Österåker Church, Sweden, August 2005 BIS SACD 1473 [77:38][TH]

Another success ... carry on collecting with pleasure ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Judith BINGHAM (b. 1952) Salt in the Blood (1995) [20:40] The Darkness Is No Darkness-Segue-S.S. Wesley (1810-76) Thou Wilt Keep Him (1993) [8:05] First Light (2001) [10:22] The Snows Descend (1997) [6:45] The Secret Garden (2004) [21:58] BBC Symphony Chorus/Stephen Jackson Thomas Trotter (organ) Fine Arts Brass rec. BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, 7-8 May 2005 (Salt in the Blood, The Darkness Is No Darkness, First Light and The Snows Descend); live, BBC Proms, 21 August 2004 (The Secret Garden). DDD NAXOS 8.570346 [67:50][CT]

A long awaited first complete disc devoted to Judith Bingham’s music concentrating on her memorable and finely crafted choral works. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quintet in F minor Op.34 (1862) (reconstructed by Sebastian Brown) (1946) [42:34] Joseph Miroslav WEBER (1854-1906) String Quintet in D major (1898) [28:14] Divertimenti Ensemble: Paul Barritt and Rachel Isserlis (violins); Jonathan Barritt (viola); Josephine Horder and Sebastian Comberti (cellos) rec. St. Paul’s Deptford, London, April 2006. DDD CELLO CLASSICS CC1017 [71:00] [JW]

Discover a vibrant and exciting forgotten composer and encounter an old friend in new clothes. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Edith CANAT DE CHIZY (b. 1950) Alive (2003)a [13:05] Wild (2002) [4:38]Formes du vent (2002)b [9:43] Falaises (2003)c [9:38] Les Rayons du jour (2005)d [19:29] Ana-Bela Chaves (viola)d; Emmanuelle Bertrand (cello)bc; Quatuor Ebèneac Orchestre de Paris/Christoph Eschenbachd rec. Studio La Verrière, Paris, April 2005; Théâtre Mogador, Paris, February 2005 (Les Rayons du jour) SOLSTICE SOCD234 [56:54] [HC]

Performances consistently fine, technically assured and fully committed. Wonderful music superbly played and recorded. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH A “Hatto Original” Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Mephisto Waltz no.1 [10:54] Grandes études de Paganini: La Campanella [04:52] Etudes d’exécution transcendante: Harmonies du soir [09:00], Feux follets [03:32] Sonata in b minor [30:30] Minoru Nojima (piano) rec. 17-18 December 1986, CA Civic Auditorium, Oxnard. REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-25CD [59:24][CH]

A great Liszt record. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan (1888-9) [15:44] Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks (1894-5) [14:42] Salome’s Dance (1903-05) [8:21] Festive Prelude (1913) [12:39] Hans PFITZNER (1869-1949) Symphony for Large Orchestra in C major, Three Movements in One, Op. 46 (1940) [15:31] Hanns Ander-Donath, (organ) Staatskapelle Dresden/Karl Böhm (Pfitzner, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel, Salome); Kurt Striegler (Festive Prelude) rec. Semperoper, Dresden, January 1941 (Pfitzner); January 1939 (Don); January 1941 (Till); January 1939 (Salome); Dresden Frauenkirche, May 1944 (Prelude). PROFIL PH07010 [67:22] [KS]

A glorious reflection of a bygone era, a time in which art and beauty held much more value than they do today. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770) Concertos for Violin and Orchestra, Vol. 1 Concerto for Violin in E major, D47 [17:05] Concerto for Violin in F major, D69 [17:49] Concerto for Violin in A major, D101 [19:13] Concerto for Violin in D major, D34 [16:28] Paulik László (violin) Orfeo Orchestra/György Vashegyi rec. 13-16 February 2001, Hungaroton Studio, Budapest, Hungary. DDD HUNGAROTON CLASSIC HCD32045 [70:58] Concertos for Violin and Orchestra, Vol. 2 Concerto for Violin in C major, D7 [16:35] Concerto for Violin in D major, D20 [19:49] Concerto for Violin in A major, D90 [19:35] Concerto for Violin in D major, D17 [17:56] Paulik László (violin) Orfeo Orchestra/György Vashegyi rec. 9-10, 12-13 April 2003, Hungaroton Studio, Budapest, Hungary. DDD HUNGAROTON CLASSIC HCD32234 [74:23] [MC]

Great cause for celebration with these two volumes of Tartini violin concertos taking a treasured place in my collection … László is one of Hungary’s best kept secrets and he deserves to be heard by a wider audience. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Beecham, Flagstad and Wagner; The Beecham Collection Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) The Flying Dutchman Overture (1843) [9:57] Lohengrin; Prelude to Act I (1848) [9:24] ¹ Wesendonck-Lieder (1857-58) [20:01] ² Tristan und Isolde; Prelude (1859) [9:11] Tristan und Isolde; Liebestod (1859) [7:28] ² Kirsten Flagstad – Talk on “Singing Wagner” [10:43] ² Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) ² RPO/Thomas Beecham BBC Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Beecham ¹ rec. live, Royal Festival Hall, November 1954 (Flying Dutchman); live, Royal Festival Hall, November 1953 (Lohengrin): Studio 1 Maida Vale, London, December 1952 (Wesendonck-Lieder and Tristan); BBC radio, 1949 (Flagstad talk). ADD SOMM-BEECHAM 20 [67:33][JW]

Offers the highest of rewards ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Nicole Cabell – Soprano Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) La Bohème: Quando me’n vo’ [2:41] Charles GOUNOD (1818–1893) Roméo et Juliette: Ah! Je veux vivre [3:31] Gian-Carlo MENOTTI (1911–2007) The Old Man and the Thief: What a curse for a woman is a timid man! [4:54] Charles GOUNOD Roméo et Juliette: Dieu! quell frisson court dans mes veines! … Amour, ranime mon courage [6:04] Giacomo PUCCINI Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro [2:16] Leo DELIBES (1836–1891) Les Filles de Cadix [3:16] George GERSHWIN (1898–1937) Porgy and Bess: Summertime [2:58] Michael TIPPETT (1905–1998) A Child of our Time: How can I cherish my man in such days [3:47] Hector BERLIOZ (1803–1869) Benvenuto Cellini: Les belles fleurs! … Entre l’amour et le devoir [7:38] Gustave CHARPENTIER (1860–1956) Louise: Depuis le jour [5:20] Vincenzo BELLINI (1801–1835) I Capuleti e I Montecchi: Eccomi in lieta vesta … Oh! quante volte [9:40]¹ Giacomo PUCCINI La rondine: Chi il bel sogno di Doretta [3:00]² Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848) Don Pasquale: “Quel guard oil cavaliere …”… So anch’io la virtù magica [6:02] Nicole Cabell (soprano) Timothy Brown (horn)¹, Helen Tunstall (harp)¹, John Constable (piano)² London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis rec. The Colosseum, Watford, 21–30 December 2005. DDD DECCA 475 7661 [61:50][GF]

She is at the very beginning of her career and more stage experience will certainly add to her already well endowed armoury of expressive means. For pure singing she is full-fledged already. Indeed it is a remarkable voice ... see Full Review


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Arnold conducts Arnold CD1 Symphony No. 1, Op. 22 (1949) [39:09] Solitaire – Sarabande and Polka (1956) [8:41] Concerto for 2 Pianos (3 hands), Op.104 (1969) [14:21] Tam O'Shanter, Op. 51 (1955 [7:55] English Dances 3 and 5 (1950) [5:35] CD2 Beckus the Dandipratt, Op. 5 - Comedy Overture (1944) [7:23] Symphony No. 2, Op. 40 (1953) [25:21] Overture: Peterloo, Op. 97 (1967) [9:01] Symphony No. 5, Op. 74 (1961) [33:35] Phyllis Sellick, Cyril Smith (pianos, concerto) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Sy 1, Solitaire), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (concerto, Peterloo, Sy 5), Philharmonia Orchestra (Tam, Dances), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Beckus, Sy 2) rec. Walthamstow Assembly Hall, 17 October 1955 (Sy 2, Beckus); De Montfort Hall, 13-14 June 1972 (Sy 5, Peterloo), 18-19 June 1970 (concerto); Winter Gardens, Bournemouth, 5-6 April 1979 (1, Solitaire); Kingsway Hall, 19 September 1955 (Tam, 3, 5). ADD. Stereo/Mono (Philharmonia; RPO) EMI CLASSICS BRITISH COMPOSERS 382146-2 [76:11 + 75:48]

This is an indispensable issue [JQ] ... You don’t know Arnold until you have heard these recordings. He continues to surprise and delight [RB] ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Collector’s Edition Includes symphonies, concertos, chamber music, piano sonatas, sacred music, Fidelio, and lieder Various artists recorded 1957-1996 Full listing here and at end of this review EMI CLASSICS 3877392 50 CDs [c.55 hours] [PCW]

Don’t roll over Beethoven ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Requiem Op.48 (1887-93) [35:34] Pavane Op.50 (1887) [6:48] Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Requiem Op.9 (1947) [37:19] Robert Chilcott (treble), John Carol Case (baritone); John Wells (organ) Choir of King’s College, Cambridge New Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir David Willcocks (Fauré) Janet Baker (mezzo), Stephen Roberts (baritone); John Butt (organ) Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Sir Philip Ledger (Duruflé) rec. Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge: 20 December 1967 (Fauré); Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge: October, December 1980 (Duruflé). ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3799942 [79:48] [DC]

Buy it now, and keep it handy for the rest of time. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) String Quartet No. 1 in B minor, Op. 50 [22:49] String Quartet No. 2 in F major, Op. 92 [21:15] Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34 [8:33] Quintet in G minor, Op. 39 for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and double bass. [17:57] Russian String Quartet (Tatiana Berkul (violin); Maria Suchkova (violin); Elena Ozol (viola); Ludmila Krushkova (cello)); Igor Fedorov (clarinet); Mikhail Khoklov (piano); Dmitri Kotenok (oboe); Oleg Tantsov (clarinet); Yuri Goloubev (double bass) rec. May-July 1996, Russian Broadcast and Recording Department Studio I, Moscow. ARTE NOVA 74321 654272 [72:21][KS]

You really should have it, and I am not sharing mine! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856) Lieder Edition 3 Liederalbum für die Jugend, Op. 79 (1849) [49:15]: No. 1. Der Abendstern [2:18]; No. 2. Schmetterling [0:51]; No. 3. Frühlingsbotschaft [0:57]; No. 4. Frühlingsgruss [1:45]; No. 5. Vom Schlaraffenland [1:52]; No. 6. Sonntag [1:50]; No. 7. Zigeunerliedchen I [0:58]; No. 8. Zigeunerliedchen II [1:35]; No. 9. Des Knaben Berglied [1:58]; No. 10. Mailied [1:07]; No. 11. Käuzlein [2:13]; No. 12. Hinaus ins Freie! [1:18]; No. 13. Der Sandmann [2:08]; No. 14. Marienwürmchen [1:35]; No. 15. Die Waise [2:10]; No. 16. Das Glück [0:52]; No. 17. Weihnachtlied [1:48]; No. 18. Die wandelnde Glocke [2:04]; No. 19. Frühlingslied [2:45]; No. 20. Frühlings Ankunft [1:33]; No. 21. Die Schwalben [1:06]; No. 22. Kinderwacht [1:14]; No. 23. Des Sennen Abschied [2:04]; No. 24. Er ist’s [1:20]; No. 25. Spinnelied [1:47]; No. 26. Des Buben Schützenlied [1:00]; No. 27. Schneeglöckchen [1:25]; No. 28. Lied Lynceus des Türmers [2:07]; No. 29. Mignon [3:34]; Lieder und Gesänge I, Op. 27 (1849)[8:49]:; No. 1. Sag an, o lieber Vogel mein [1:40]; No. 2. Dem rotten Röslein, gleich mein Lieb [1:16]; No. 3. Was soll ich sagen? [2:53]; No. 4. Jasminenstrauch [0:48]; No. 5. Nur ein lächelnder Blick [2:13] Sibylla Rubens (soprano) (2, 4, 10-11, 13-16, 19, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29); Stefanie Iranyi (mezzo) (10, 16, 19, 21, 25); Thomas E Bauer (baritone) (1, 3, 5-9, 12, 17-18, 20, 22-23, 25-26, 28, 30-34); Uta Hielscher (piano) rec. 26 – 28 January 2006, Bayerische Rundfunk Studio 1, Munich, Germany NAXOS 8.557076 [58:04] [GF]

A wholly delightful recital with Thomas E Bauer rapidly advancing to the peak of the Lieder Singer’s Helicon and Sibylla Rubens following suit ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) CD1 1. Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (1846) [33:30] 2. Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129 (1850) [25:29] 3. Konzertstück in F major for Four Horns and Orchestra, Op. 86 (1849) [18:49] CD2 4. Introduction and Allegro appassionato, Op. 92 (1849) [16:39] 5. Concert Allegro with Introduction in D minor, Op. 134 (1853) [15:26] 6. Violin Concerto in D minor (1853) [27:37] 7. Overture, Scherzo and Finale, Op. 52 (1841) [15:24] Ingrid Haebler (piano), Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Eliahu Inbal (1); Lynn Harrell (cello), The Cleveland Orchestra/Neville Marriner (2); Dale Clevenger, Richard Oldberg, Thomas Howell, Norman Schweikert (horns), Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Barenboim (3); Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano/conductor), London Symphony Orchestra (4); Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano), London Symphony Orchestra/Uri Segal (5); Joshua Bell (violin), The Cleveland Orchestra/Christoph von Dohnányi (6); Wiener Philharmoniker/Sir Georg Solti (7). rec. Concertgebouw, Grote Zaal, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 1972 (1); Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, November 1981 (2); Orchestra Hall, Chicago, USA, March 1977 (3); Kingsway Hall, London, UK, May 1976 (4); Kingsway Hall, London, UK, June 1977 (5); Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, October 1994 (6); Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria, September 1969 (7). ADD (1,3,4,5,7) DDD (2,6) DECCA ELOQUENCE 442 8410 [78:05 + 75:25] [TP]

A far-sighted release satisfying beginner and seasoned collector alike. At Eloquence price, this is an unmissable bargain. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Kirsten Flagstad Edvard GRIEG (1843–1907) Haugtussa, Op. 67 (1898) (Words: Arne Garborg) [28:50] 1. Det syng (The Singing) [4:22] 2. Veslemöy (Little Maiden) [3:03] 3. Blåbaer-Li (Bilberry Slopes) [3:47] 4. Møte (Meeting) [4:01] 5. Elsk (Love) [3:11] 6. Killingdans (Kidlings’ Dance) [1:48] 7. Vond Dag (Evil Day) [2:24] 8. Ved Gjaetle-Bekken (At the Brook) [6:15] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) 9. Ah, perfido! Op. 65 (1795-96)[12:57] Fidelio Op. 72 (1814): 10. Abscheulicher, wo eilst du hin?[7:13] Carl Maria von WEBER (1786–1826) Oberon (1826): 11. Ozean, du Ungeheuer [8:07] Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Lohengrin (1850): 12. Euch Lüften, die mein Klagen [3:37] Die Walküre (1870): 13. Du bist der Lenz [2:07] Götterdämmerung (1876): 14. Starke Scheite schichtet mir dort [16:45] Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) Edwin McArthur (piano) (1-8); Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy (9-14) rec. 27 August 1940 (1-8); 17 October 1937 (9-14), Academy of Music, Philadelphia. ADD NAXOS 8.110725 [79:37] [GF]

Arguably the most glorious dramatic soprano singing ever committed to disc. Should be in every decent collection. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Organ Recital at Liverpool Cathedral G.F. Handel (1685-1759) (arr. Tracey) Alla Hornpipe from the Water Music Suite in D (1717) [3:49] J.H. Fiocco (1703-1741) (arr. Tracey) Harpsichord Suite No.1 - Andante and Allegro (1730) [3:16] J.S. Bach (1685-1750) Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV565 (1708) [7:41]; (arr. Tracey) Badinerie from Suite No.2 on B minor BWV 1067 (1717) [1.28] Henry Purcell (1659-1695) (arr. Ley) Two Trumpet Tunes and Air (?) [4:28] Marco Henri Bossi (1861-1925) Scherzo in G minor Op.49 No.2 (1904) [5:36] William Walton (1902-1983) (arr. Tracey) Crown Imperial (1937) [9:49] Norman Cocker (1889-1953) (arr. Ley) Tuba Tune (1922) [5:02] George Thalben-BALL (1896-1987) Elegy (1944) [4:51] Max Reger (1873-1916) Introduction and Passacaglia in D minor (1900) [6:16] Henri Mulet (1878-1967) Byzantine Sketches No.8 Noel and No. 10 Toccata (c.1915) [7:32] Pietro Yon (1886-1943) Humoresque ‘L’organo primitivo (Toccatina for Flute) (1918) [2:33] Charles Marie Widor (1844-1937) Toccata in F from Organ Symphony No.5 in F minor Op. 42 No.1 (1879) [5:48] Ian Tracey (organ).
rec. Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, June 1989. CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 0946 3 82228 2 8 [74:14] [JF]

A great CD. Buy it for yourself or for anyone on the cusp of becoming an organ buff! And do not forget to prepare yourself for 2008 when Liverpool becomes the European Capital of Culture! ... see Full Review





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