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Alphabetical Listing

PART 4
M-R

[Click here for a list of reviews from the last five days]

Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[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]

[This month's Recommended recordings]

 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH MA Sicong (1912-1987) Music for Violin and Piano Dragon Lantern Dance (1953) [3.34] Mountain Song (1953) [4:16] Madrigal (1944) [3:37] Inner Mongolia Suite (1937) [15:47] Lullaby (1935) [4:59] Lantern Dance Festival (1952) [4:58] Amei Suite (1981) [7:27] Rondo No. 1 (1937) [5:37] Tone Poem of Tibet (1941) [22:54] Ku Hsiao-mei, (violin); Lu Ning (piano) rec. Salt Lake City, Utah, November 2006 NAXOS CHINESE CLASSICS 8.570600 [71:05] [AOz]

What we hear on this recording is a highly subtle creation based on western form but completely in keeping with the fundamental spirit of Chinese chamber music ... see Full Review

Elizabeth MACONCHY (1907–1994) Proud Thames (1952)a [5:58] Symphony for Double String Orchestra (1953)b [21:50] Serenata Concertante (1962)c [21:37] Music for Strings (1983)d [18:21] Manoug Parikian (violin)c London Philharmonic Orchestraad; London Symphony Orchestrabc; Vernon Handleyabc; Barry Wordsworthd rec. no information provided, published 1972, 1982 and 2007 LYRITA SRCD.288 [67:50] [HC]

I am absolutely delighted to have these fine works by a beloved composer back in the catalogue, especially in such beautifully committed readings as these ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.5 (1901-1902) Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar de Venezuela/Gustavo Dudamel rec. Caracas, Ciudad Universitaria, Aula Magna, February 2006. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 6545 GH [69:25][OW]

A disc to highlight the virtuosity of its orchestra rather than revealing notable insights from its conductor. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.10 (Cooke version) (1911) [77:26] Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 24-25 September 1999, Philharmonie, Berlin. DDD EMI CLASSICS 5034202 [77:26] [DC]

Aside from the deceptively restful cover art I have no hesitation in recommending this recording ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 8 (1908) Twyla Robinson (soprano); Erin Wall (soprano); Adriane Quieroz (soprano); Michelle De Young (contralto); Soimone Schröder (contralto); Johan Botha (tenor); Hanno Müller-Bracchmann (baritone); Robert Holl (bass); Tobias Berndt (organ) Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin; Rundfunkchor Berlin; Aurelius Sängerknaben Calw; Staatskapelle Berlin/Pierre Boulez rec. Jesus-Christus Kirche, Berlin, April 2007 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4776597 [23:44 + 61:32] [AOz]

A truly amazing performance and recording, exceptionally vivid and life-affirming ... see Full Review

Marin MARAIS (1656-1728) Music for viola da gamba Les Folies d'Espagne [18:14] Suite in e minor [30:35] Le Labyrinthe [12:28] Ensemble Spirale (Marianne Muller (viola da gamba), Sylvie Abramowicz (viola da gamba - bc), Charles-Édouard Fantin (guitar), Claire Antonini (theorbo), Violaine Cochard, (harpsichord))/Marianne Muller rec. October 2005, St Michael Church, Paris, France. DDD ZIGZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT060801 [61:20][JV]

An excellent recording of Marais' music for viola da gamba - not to be missed ... see Full Review

Dave MARIC Borrowed Time: Predicaments (2003) [5:29 + 4:34]; Lucid Intervals (2006) [3:57 + 4:25 + 2:17]; Sense and Innocence (2002) [10:11]; Shapeshifter (2001) [7:18]; Borrowed Time (2003) [10:00]; Trilogy (2000) [5:25 + 4:06 + 3:37] Colin Currie (percussion) with Dave Maric (piano) (1,2), Hakan Hardenberger (flugelhorn and trumpet) (3-5), Sam Walton (percussion) (7), Clive Driskill-Smith (organ) (8) DDD ONYX 4024 [61:36] [CR]

A series of contemporary works which are approachable and engaging, without being dumbed down in any way …see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Concerto for flute, violin and orchestra H252 (1936) [18:41] ¹ Duo concertante for two violins and orchestra H264 (1937) [17:44] ² Concerto in D major for two violins and orchestra H329 (1950) [18:37] ³ Bohuslav Matoušek (violin) Janne Thomsen (flute) ¹ Régis Pasquier (violin) ² Jennifer Koh (violin) ³ Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Christopher Hogwood rec. Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague June 2004 (Duo concertante) and December 2005 (remainder) HYPERION CDA67671 [55:06][JW]

A propitious start in what looks like being a must-have series ... see Full Review

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863–1945) Cavalleria rusticana (1890) Violeta Urmana (soprano) – Santuzza; Vincenzo LaScola (tenor) – Turiddu; Dragana Jugovic (mezzo) – Lola; Viorica Cortez (mezzo) – Mamma Lucia; Marco di Felice (baritone) – Alfio Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1858–1919) Pagliacci (1892) Vladimir Galouzine (tenor) – Canio; María Bayo (soprano) – Nedda; Carlo Guelfi (baritone) – Tonio; Antonio Gandia (tenor) – Beppe; Ángel Ódena (baritone) – Silvio; Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real (Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus)/Jesús López Cobos Stage Director: Giancarlo Del Monaco; Set Designer: Johannes Leiacker; Costume Designer: Birgit Wentsch; Lighting Designer: Wolfgang von Zoubek Television Director: Angel Luis Ramírez rec. Teatro Real de Madrid, 27 February, 2 March 2007 extra features on DVD2: interviews with Giancarlo Del Monaco, Jesús López Cobos, Violeta Urmana, Vincenzo LaScola, Vladimir Galouzine and María Bayo OPUS ARTE OA0983D [2 DVDs: 201:00] [GF]

Intense performances … certainly worth every opera-lover’s attention ... see Full Review

Nicholas MAW (b.1935) Scenes and Arias for soprano, mezzo, contralto and orchestra (1962) [34:12]† Anthony MILNER (1925-2002) Salutatio Angelica Op. 1 cantata for contralto solo, choir and chamber orchestra (1948) [22:21]* Roman Spring cantata for soprano and tenor soli, chorus and orchestra (1969) () [22:38]** † Jane Manning (soprano); Anne Howells (mezzo); Norma Proctor (contralto) BBC Symphony Orchestra/Norman Del Mar * Alfreda Hodgson (contralto); ** Felicity Palmer (soprano); Robert Tear (tenor) London Sinfonietta Chorus/Clive Wearing London Sinfonietta/David Atherton rec. November 1968, Kingsway Hall, originally released on Argo ZRG 622 (Maw) with Lutyens’ Quincunx; February 1973, January 1974, Kingsway Hall, Originally released on Decca SXL 6699 (Milner). ADD LYRITA SRCD.267 [79.39] [GH]

The recordings serve the music beautifully and anyone who cares about British Music of the period should snap this recording up without fail... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Nikolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) Complete Works for Violin and Piano: Vol.1 Violin Sonata No.3 in E Minor, Op.57 "Epica" (1938) [46:34] Three Nocturnes, Op.16 (1909) [13:50] Fairy Tale, Op.20, No.1 in B flat minor (arr. Jasha Heifetz) (1909) [3:14] Laurence Kayaleh (violin), Paul Stewart (piano). rec. Pollack Hall, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 18-20 December 2006. DDD NAXOS 8.570298 [63:47][TP]

This disc will kindle within you an affection for this neglected composer ... Bring on volume 2! ... see Full Review

Anthony MILNER (1925-2002) Salutatio Angelica,Roman Spring see Maw

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] [JW]

An indispensable disc for Moeran adherents ... see Full Review

E. J. MOERAN (1894-1950) Stalham River (1921), The White Mountain (1929), Toccata (1921), Prelude (1935), Berceuse (1935), Bank Holiday (1925), Two Legends (1923) see BAINES

Federico MORENO TORROBA (1893-1982) Guitar Music Volume 1 Castles of Spain: Turégano [2:22]; Manzanares el Real [1:04]; Alcaniz [1:43]; Siguenza [1:55]; Alba de Tormes [1:41]; Torija [2:06]; Montemayor [1:30]; Olite [2:17]; Zafra [2:54]; Redaba [1:28]; Simancas [1:48]; Alcázar de Segovia [2:42]; Javier [3:57]; Calatrava [2:59] Gates of Madrid: Puerta de Alcalá [2:44]; Puerta del Angel [1:52]; Puerta Cerrada [3:10]; Peurta de Hierro [1:29]; Puerta de San Vicente [1:36]; Puerta de Toledo [1:47]; Puerta de Moros [2:54] Preludio [2:18]; Vieja Leyenda [2:20]; Jaranera [1:28] Ana Vidovic (guitar) rec. 22-25 September 2005 at St. John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada NAXOS 8.557902 [52:40] [ZT]

Brilliantly executed but often fails to capture the spirit of the music ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony No.39 in E flat, K543 [24.47] Oboe Concerto in C, K314 [17:38] German Dance in C, K600 no.1 [1:56] German Dance in G, K600 no.5 [1:38] German Dance in C, K602 no.3 [1:49] German Dance in C, K605 no.3 [1:46] Symphony No.36 in C, Linz, K425 [24.26] Erich Kleiber rehearses Symphony No.39 [5:26] Lothar Faber (oboe) Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra (now WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne)/Erich Kleiber; Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra/Erich Kleiber (K425) rec. 20 January 1956 - WDR Studio 1, Cologne Radio; 31 December 1955 - Stuttgart Symphony No.39; German Dances previously available: DECCA ACL 226 MEDICI MASTERS MM011-2 [79.56][BBr]

Mozart just as he should be: big, bold and forthright ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter” see BEETHOVEN

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Complete Mozart Piano Concertos: Volume 4 Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, K467a (1785) [28:27] Piano Concerto No. 16 in D, K451b (1784) [23:42]. Cyprien Katsaris (piano) Salzburg Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra/Yoon Kuk Lee. rec. live, Grosser Saal of the Mozarteum, Salzburg, 23 May 1997a; 4 December 1998b DDD. Timing also includes two alternative cadenzas for No. 21. PIANO 21 P21 025-N [57:59][CC]

All praise to Katsaris for creating his own label, Piano 21, after many years recording for a large variety of labels. The performances on this disc will give much pleasure as well as stimulate much thought. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Don Giovanni (1787) Simon Keenlyside (baritone) – Don Giovanni; Alfred Muff (bass) – Il Commendatore; Eva Mei (soprano) – Donna Anna; Piotr Beczala (tenor) – Don Ottavio; Malin Hartelius (soprano) – Donna Elvira; Anton Scharinger (bass-baritone) – Leporello; Reinhard Mayr (bass) – Masetto; Martina Janková (soprano) – Zerlina Chor des Opernhauses Zürich, Orchester der Oper Zürich/Franz Welser-Möst Director: Sven-Eric Bechtoff; Set Designer: Rolf Glittenberg; Costume Designer: Marianne Glittenberg; Lighting Designer: Jürgen Hoffmann; Choreographer: Stefano Giannetti Directed for TV and Video by Felix Breisach rec. live 14, 16 and 18 May 2006 Colour NTSC System 16:9; Audio Content: LPCM Stereo; Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround; DTS 5.1 Surround EMI CLASSICS 5009709 [2 DVDs: 185:00] [GF]

This production has its points if one can accept the abstract setting, the cast are good actors and much of the singing is good but Welser-Möst’s heavy-handed conducting lets it down seriously ... see Full Review

Thea MUSGRAVE (b. 1928) Concerto for Orchestra (1967) [20:26]* Clarinet Concerto (1969) [23:38]** Horn Concerto (1971) [22:06]*** Monologue, for solo piano (1960) [6:02] Excursions, eight duets for piano, four hands (1965) [9:51] Gervase de Peyer (clarinet); Barry Tuckwell (horn); Thea Musgrave (piano); Malcolm Williamson (piano) *Scottish National Orchestra/Alexander Gibson **London Symphony Orchestra/Norman Del Mar ***Scottish National Orchestra/Thea Musgrave rec. January 1974, City Hall, Glasgow (Concerto for Orchestra; Horn Concerto); January 1972, London Opera Center (Clarinet Concerto); September 1971, Kingsway Hall, London (Monologue; Excursions). ADD LYRITA SRCD.253 [80.21] [JW]

Whether dramatic or droll this selection – big concertos and small piano works – has something for everyone who appreciates healthy challenges and spatial awareness ... see Full Review

Alfred NEWMAN (1900-1970) All About Eve – Suite (1950) [4:39] Beau Geste (reconstructed by William Stromberg) (1939) [20:10] (1 Prelude [1:52]; 2 The Early Years [3:32]; 3 Chasing a Mouse [1:38]; 4 Blue Water Sapphire - Farewell [3:55]; 5 March Out [0:54]; 6 Battle [3:16]; 7 A Viking’s Funeral [3:46]; 8 Finale – End Cast [1:20]) The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Restored and Reconstructed by John Morgan) (1938) [38:47] (1 Main Title and Foreword [1:47]; 2 The Gypsies [1:14]; 3 The Festival [1:06]; 4 In the King’s Box [1:19]; 5 The Dance of Death [0:52]; 6 Grabage at Gringoire [0:40]; 7 Esmeralda’s Dance [2:30]; 8 Thank You Mother of God [4:58]; 9 Whipping [2:38]; 10 Esmeralda Walks up Steps [4:11]; 11 A Woman Has Bewitched Me [3:29]; 12 Hallelujah [0:58]; 13 Esmeralda in Bell Tower [2:43]; 14 Clopin Calls Charge [4:04]; 15 Victory at Notre Dame [3:07]; 16 Clopin on Ground – Hallelujah Reprise [2:30]; 17 End Cast [0:47]) Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/William Stromberg  rec: October 1996, Mosfilm Studio, Moscow  NAXOS 8.570187 [63:43] [BBr]

An excellent reissue of music by a much underrated composer. The sound is excellent … be slightly brighter than the original. A must for all fans of film music and this composer ... see Full Review

Michael NYMAN (b. 1944) The Piano Music From “The Piano” (1993) Heart Asks Pleasure First Lost And Found Silver Fingered Fling All Imperfect Things Big My Secret Deep Sleep Playing Mood That Passes Through Attraction Of The Pedalling Ankle From “Wonderland” (1999) Franklyn Nadia Debbie Jack From “Enemy Zero” (1996) Love Theme Digital Tragedy From “End of the Affair” (1999) Diary of Love From “The Diary of Anne Frank” (1989) Why Candlefire Schoolroom If John Lenehan (piano) rec. January-February 2005, Rectory Studio, Buckinghamshire. SONY CLASSICAL 88697126782 [62:44][DC]

Good aural wallpaper for fantasists. ... see Full Review

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana (1936) Claire Rutter (soprano) Tom Randle (tenor) Markus Eiche (baritone) Highcliffe Junior Choir/Bournemouth Symphony Junior Choir Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Marin Alsop rec. The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, May 2006  NAXOS 8.570033 [60:49][JW]

Naxos’s new disc has high standards to maintain and in many respects it does. ... see Full Review

Teodorico PEDRINI (1641-1746) Sonata XII (adagio and pastorale) see D'AMBLEVILLE

Krzysztof  PENDERECKI (b. 1933) Te Deum (1979-80) (I. Te Deum laudamus [13:02]; II. Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus [7:53]; III. (Boże coś Polskę -) Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine [15:51]) Hymne an den Heiligen Daniel  (1997) [12:14] Polymorphia (1961) [10:48] Polish Requiem: Chaconne (2005) [7:18] Izabela Kłosińska (soprano), Agnieszka Rehlis (mezzo), Adam Zdunikowski (tenor), Piotr Nowacki (bass) (Te Deum) Warsaw Philharmonic Choir/Henryk Wojnarowski Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra/Antoni Wit rec. 5-7, 29 September 2005, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw, Poland Texts and English translations provided NAXOS 8.557980  [67:06] [DM]

A well-chosen programme that offers a good introduction to Penderecki’s work, past and present ... see Full Review

Laurent PETITGIRARD (b. 1950) Dialogue for Viola and Orchestra (2002)a [23:13] Cello Concerto (1994)b [24:25] Le Légendaire (1983/4)c [21:09] Gérard Caussé (viola)a; Gary Hoffmann (cello)b; Augustin Dumay (violin)c Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitainea; Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestrab; Polish radio Choir, Krakowc; Classical Polish Philharmoniac; Laurent Petitgirard rec. Salle Franklin, Bordeaux, September 2005 (Dialogue); Opéra garnier, Monte Carlo, September 1997 (Cello Concerto) and Bygdosz Philharmonic Hall, Poland, June 1986 (Le Légendaire) NAXOS 8.557602 [68:47][HC]

Anyone enjoying accessible contemporary music will find much to enjoy here ... see Full Review

Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Sinfonia Buenos Aires, Op. 15 (1951) [25:55] Concerto for Bandoneón, String Orchestra, and Percussion (1979) [22:10] Mar del Plato 70 (c. 1965) (arranged for symphony orchestra, José Carli, 1995) [3:29] Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas (1965-1969) (arranged for symphony orchestra, Carlos Franzetti, 1989) [19:05] Juan José Mosalini (bandoneón, Concerto) Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen/Gabriel Castagna rec. Studio of Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, Germany, 31 March-4 April 2006. CHANDOS CHAN10419 [71:10] [BB]

Exciting, audience-friendly works. Fans of accessible 20th century music need to have this disc ... see Full Review

Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) María de Buenos Aires Suite [20:48] Verano Porteño [8:58] Milonga del Ángel [6:18] Chiquilín de Bachín [4:49] Libertango [2:46] Oblivion [3:53] Balada para un Loco [4:29] Versus Ensemble; Enrique Moratalla (vocals); Maria Rey-Joly (soprano); Horacio Ferrer (reciter, sung and spoken texts) rec. Caja Rural Auditorium, Granada, December 2006 except Milonga de la Annunciación from María de Buenos Aires Suite, rec. live, Tango World Meeting, Valparaiso, Chile, January 2007  NAXOS 8.570523 [52:15] [JW]

Adequate but not especially imaginative arrangements ... see Full Review

David POHLE (1624-1695) Wie der Hirsch schreyet Musica Sacra Sonata à 6, No. 24 [5:38] Wie der Hirsch schreyet [8:36] Diligam te Domine [5:42] Sonata à 3, No. 29 [3:12] In te Domine speravi [5:27] Sonata à 6, No. 23 [3:41] Benedicam Dominum [4:12] Sonata à 6, No. 11 [3:46] Jesu chare [9:29] Paratum cor meum [5:37] Sonata à 6, No. 25 [9:11] Monika Mauch (soprano) David Erler (alto) Hans Jörg Mammel (tenor) L’arpa festante/Rien Voskuilen rec. Kloster Altenberg, Solms, 6-9 September 2004 CARUS 83.413 [64:31][DC]

A well executed and gorgeous sounding programme ... see Full Review

Michael PRAETORIUS (1571-1621) Lutheran Mass for Christmas Morning Anders Engberg-Pedersen, Lasse Overgaard Nielsen, Asser Oppfeldt, Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen (trebles); Susan Hemington Jones, Constanze Backes, Tessa Bonner, Sarah Pendlebury (sopranos); Angus Smith, Tom Phillips, Robert Horn, Julian Podger, Mark Le Brocq (tenors); Donald Greig (baritone); Simon Grant, Stephen Charlesworth (basses); Boys’ Choir and Congregational Choir of Roskilde Cathedral (directors: Kristian Olesen, Finn Evald); Timothy Roberts (cathedral organ) Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh rec. October 1993, Roskilde Cathedral, Denmark. DDD. Texts and translations included ARCHIV PRODUKTION 4392502 [79:00] [DM]

A refreshing antidote to all those unimaginative festive compilations, this beautifully presented disc demands your attention this Christmas ... see Full Review

Andre PREVIN (b.1929) Reflections see VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony No. 5 in B flat, Op. 100 (1944) [42:41] Romeo and Juliet: Suite No. 1 - The Death of Tybalt (1936) [4:08]* Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34 (Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell) (1946) [16:35]* Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra/Gennady Rozhdestvensky rec. Royal Albert Hall, September 1971; *Usher Hall, Edinburgh, September 1960 BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4184-2 [64:41][SV]

Reminds us record mavens of an important difference between a concert performance and a studio recording: in concert, wonderful things can happen, sometimes when everyone - including the performers - least expects it. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) CD 1 [65:58] Symphony No.1 in D minor, op.13 (1895) [46:11] The Isle of the Dead, op.29 (1909) [19.47] CD 2 [67:13] Symphony No.2 in E minor, op.27 (1906/1907) [54:45] Scherzo in D minor (1887) [5.29] Vocalise, op.34/14 (1912 orch. 1916) [6.57] CD 3 [72:16] Symphony No.3 in A minor, op.44 (1935/1936) [37:35] Symphonic Dances, op.45 (1940) [34:32] St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra/Mariss Jansons rec. 12-16 January 1998 (opp.13 and 29); 13-16 September 1993 (op.27, Scherzo and Vocalise); 21-30 September 1992 (opp.44 and 45); Philharmonic Hall, St Petersburg EMI CLASSICS TRIPLE 5 00885 2 [3 CDs: 65:58 + 67:13 + 72:16][BB]

All in all, there is only one word to describe this set: WOW! ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) CD 1 [74:10] Piano Concerto No.1 in F sharp minor, op.1 (1890 revised 1917) [26:46] Piano Concerto No.4 in G minor, op.40 (1926 revised 1927) [24:57] Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op.43 (1934) [22:04] CD 2 [74:01] Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, op.18 (1901) [31:25] Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, op.30 (1909) [42:15] CD 3 [73:12] Prelude in C# minor (1893) [4.35] 10 Preludes, op.23 (1903) [30:37] 12 Preludes, op.32 (1910) [37:04] Agustin Anievas (piano) New Philharmonia Orchestra/Moshe Atzmon (opp.18 and 43); Aldo Ceccato (op.30); Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (opp.1 and 40) rec. 12-13 September 1971 (opp.1 and 40); 16, 20-21 May 1967 (opp.18 and 43); 2-3 February 1973 (op.30); 19-20 August 1972, 18-20 July 1973, 6 June 1974 (Preludes). Studio No.1, Abbey Road, London. ADD EMI CLASSICS TRIPLE 5 00871 [3 CDs: 74:10 + 74:01 + 73:12][BBr]

Virtuosity isn’t enough and Anievas fails to show any real sympathy with this music … not helped by some lacklustre accompaniments and occasional dull sound. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1874-1942) Cello Sonata, Vocalise (arr. cello and piano) see SHOSTAKOVICH

Joseph Joachim RAFF (1822-1882) Works for violin and piano Vol. 4 Fourth Grand Sonata (Chromatic Sonata in one movement) Op.129 (1866) [16:18] Sonatillen Op.99 Nos 1-3 and 9-10 [18:05] Fifth Grand Sonata Op.145 (1868) [29:34] Ingolf Turban (violin) Jascha Nemtsov (piano) rec. Kammermusikstudio des SWR, Stuttgart, June 2006  CPO 777 006-2 [64:18] [JW]

Turban-Nemtsov prove admirably accomplished. Recording: warm, sympathetic and attractive, the works themselves inconsistent. At their best though, in the shape of the Fourth Sonata, they show Raff in the best light possible ... see Full Review

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683–1764) Pièces de clavecin en concerts (1741) Quatrième concert in B flat [10:54] Deuxième concert in G [19:06] Premier concert in c minor [09:44] Cinquième concert in d minor [13:31] Troisième concert in A [14:20] Trio Sonnerie: (Monica Huggett (violin); Mitzi Meyerson (harpsichord); Sarah Cunningham (viola da gamba)) rec. April 1986, Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset, UK. DDD VIRGIN CLASSICS VC 7 59154 2 [67:39][JV]

The best recording of Rameau's 'Pièces de Clavecin en Concert' I have ever heard ... see Full Review

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683–1764) Operatic Arias Platée (1745): 1. Que ce séjour est agreeable (Act 1, Scene 3) [3:52] 2. Quittez nymphes, quittez (Act 1, Scene 5) [2:26] 3. A l’aspect de ce nuage (Act 2, Scene 1) [7:56] 4. Marche pour la danse – Dans cette fête: Mouvement de menuet – Marche pour la danse (Act 3, Scene 3) [3:45] La Guirlande de Fleurs (1751): 5. Peut-on être à la fois si tendre … Raminez vous – Musette: Allegro [7:57] Castor et Pollux (1754 version): 6. Séjour de l’éternelle paix (Act 4, Scene 5) [4:48] Naïs (1749): 7. Prélude: La jeune nymphe que j’adore … Que l’univers entire … Amour, tu termines nos maux … Je vole où m’appelle ton choix (Act 3, Scene 1) [7:34] Les Festes de l’Hymen et de l’Amour (1747): 8. Gigue – Que vous connaissez mal … Qu’à la voix d’Osiris – Mouvement de sarabande et de loure (Act 1, Scene 1) [6:43] Dardanus (1744 version): 9. Lieux funestes (Act 4, Scene 1) [4:59] Zoroastre (1749): 10. A mes tristes regards (Act 2, Scene 1) [3:45]Zaïs (1748): 11. Prélude: Charmes des coeurs ambitieux … Ritournelle – A mes desires (Act 2, Scene 1) [4:46] Naïs: 12. Cessez de ravager la terre (Act 3, Scene 5) [2:54] Platée: 13. Charmant Bacchus (Prologue) [2:39] Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (haute-contre/tenor) Opera Lafayette/Ryan Brown rec. Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland, USA, 10-13 February 2006 texts and translations included NAXOS 8.557993 [64:04] [GF]

Fouchécourt may have lost something in tonal quality but this is more than compensated for by his deep insight. This disc should be of interest to anyone the least interested in baroque opera ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Fontane di Roma (1914-16) [17:05] Pini di Roma (1924) [23:07] Il tramonto (1918) [15:46]* Roman Festivals (1929) [24:27] Christine Rice (mezzo)* Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Antonio Pappano rec. concert and sessions 11-23 January 2007, Sala Santa Cecilia, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome. DDD Text of Il tramonto in German, Italian, English and French; liner notes in English, German and French. EMI CLASSICS 3944292 [80:41] [TP]

With incredible music-making, Pappano deserves to do very well with this release... see Full Review

Wallingford RIEGGER (1885-1961) New Dance see VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

Ned ROREM (b. 1923) Piano Concerto No.2 (1951) [34:08] Cello Concerto (2002) [25:10] Simon Mulligan (piano); Wen-Sinn Yang (cello) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/José Serebrier rec. 30-31 August 2006, Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow NAXOS 8.559315 [59:18] [BBr]

Performances that are as fine as one could hope for ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) La Cambiale Di Matrimonio (The Bill of Marriage) - farsa giocosa in one act (1810) Tobia Mill, an English merchant - Paolo Bordogna (bass); Fanny Mill, his daughter – Désirée Rancatore (sop); Edoardo Milfort, in love with Fanny – Saimir Pirgu (ten); Slook, a Canadian merchant – Fabio Maria Capitanucci (bass); Norton, Mill’s cashier – Enrico Mario Marabelli (bass); Clarina, Fanny’s chambermaid – Maria Gortsevskaya (mezzo) Orchestra Haydn Di Bolzano E Trento/Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli rec. BPA Palas, Pesaro, Italy, Rossini Opera Festival. DYNAMIC CDS529 [78.10] [RJF]

This performance enables listeners to hear Rossini’s first staged opera in a commendably lively and well-sung production from Pesaro. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Torvaldo e Dorliska Dramma semiseria in two acts (1815) Torvaldo - Francesco Meli (ten); Dorliska, Torvaldo’s wife - Darina Takova (sop); Giorgio, custodian of the Duke of Ordow’s castle - Bruno Pratico (bass); Duca d’Ordow - Michele Pertusi (buffo bass); Ormondo, Captain of the Duke’s Guard - Simone Alberghini (bass-bar); Carlotta, Giorgio’s sister - Jeanette Fischer (sop) Prague Chamber Choir Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento/Víctor Pablo Pérez rec. live, Teatro Rossini, Pesaro Festival, Italy, August 2006 Performed in the Critical Edition by Francesco Paolo Russo for the Rossini Foundation in collaboration with Casa Ricordi Director: Marioi Martone; Sets: Sergio Tramonti; Costumes: Lubomír Mátl; Video Director: Tiziano Mancini Filmed in High Definition. Presented in dts digital surround sound, PCM 2.0. Vision 16:9 Colour. NTSC Menu language English. Subtitles in Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese. Notes and synopsis in Italian, English, German, and French DYNAMIC 33528 [2 DVDs: 157:00][RJF]

This superb Pesaro staging and performance of Rossini’s rarely performed opera is even better when seen than merely heard. It will not readily be surpassed ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia - Melodramma Buffa in two acts (1816) Count Almaviva, an aristocrat in disguise who in enamoured of Rosina - Nicolai Gedda (ten); Figaro, a barber and general factotum – Sherrill Milnes (bar); Bartolo, a doctor and elderly guardian of Rosina and who fancies to marry her – Renato Capecchi (buffa bar); Rosina, ward of Bartolo enamoured of Almaviva - Beverly Sills (soprano); Basilio, a singing teacher – Ruggiero Raimondi (bass); Berta, Dr. Bartolo’s housekeeper –Fedora Barbieri (mezzo); Fiorello, servant of Count Almaviva – Joseph Galiano (bar) Chorus of Bavarian Radio. Munich Radio Orchestra/Miguel Gómez-Martinez; John Alldis Choir London Symphony Orchestra/James Levine rec. All Saints’ Tooting, London, August 1974 and May 1975 EMI CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 3932762 [74.57 + 76.15] [RJF]

I find little virtue in this re-issue. It does nothing for the reputations of two fine singers who had much more to offer in their prime and in the appropriate repertoire ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Le Comte Ory - opera in two acts (1825) Count Ory, a young and licentious nobleman - Huw Rhys-Evans (tenor); Countess Adele - Linda Gerrard (soprano); Isolier, page to Count Ory and in love with the Countess Adele - Luisa Islam-Ali-Zade (mezzo); Raimbaud, friend to Count Ory - Luca Salsi (bass-baritone); Governor, tutor to Count Ory - Wojtek Gierlach (bass); Ragonde, companion to Countess Adele - Gloria Montanari (mezzo); Alice, a young peasant - Sofia Soloviy (soprano) Czech Phiharmonic Choir; Czech Chamber Soloists/Brad Cohen rec. live, 12, 16, 19 July 2002, Kursaal, Bad Wildbad, Germany, Rossini In Wildbad Festival NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660207-08 [66.37 + 60.58][GF]

At the usual Naxos give-away price this is a highly recommendable version of one of Rossini’s most spirited comedies ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia (1816) Maria Callas (soprano) – Rosina; Luigi Alva (tenor) – Il conte d’Almaviva; Tito Gobbi (baritone) – Figaro; Fritz Ollendorff (bass) – Bartolo; Nicola Zaccaria (bass) – Basilio; Gabriella Carturan (mezzo) – Berta; Mario Carlin (tenor) – Fiorello Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus/Alceo Galliera rec. 7–14 February 1957, Kingsway Hall, London texts and translations included EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3920462 [66:09 + 63:52] [GF]

Competition is undeniably keen but I had a very pleasant evening listening to this set and there wasn’t a dull moment ... see Full Review

Nino ROTA (1911–1979) Sinfonia sopra una Canzone d’Amore (1972) [29:31] Concerto-Soirée for piano and orchestra (1961) [19:44] Benedetto Lupo (piano) Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana/Massimo de Bernart rec. July 1991, Palermo ARTS 47596-2 [49:15] [BBr]

I really enjoyed this disk and, despite the short playing time, any disk which brings Rota’s concert music before a larger public is a good thing ... see Full Review

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1988) Missa Cantuariensis op. 59 (1946) [21:52] Dormi Jesu op. 3 (1924) [1:24] That Virgin Child Most Meek op. 114 no. 2 (1967) [3:21] Missa in honorem Sancti Dominici op. 66 (1948) [20:09] St Margaret's Westminster Singers/Richard Hickox Ian Watson (organ) (op. 59) rec. 1975, London, AAD First released on RCA LP LRL 15119 in 1976 CHANDOS CHAN10423 [47:25] [RB]

This is a labour of reverence and of love ... see Full Review

 


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