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Alphabetical Listing


[Click here for the most recent reviews (last five days)]
Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
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[Recommended recordings]


RECORDING OF THE MONTH Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta (1936) (I: Andante tranquillo [6:51]; II: Allegro [7:38]; III: Adagio [6:12]; IV: Allegro molto [6:40]) Concerto for Orchestra (1944) (I: Introduzione-Andante non troppo-Allegro vivace [10:54]; II: Giuco delle coppie- Allegro vivace [7:15]; III: Elegia –Andante non troppo [8:34]; IV: Intermezzo interrotto-Allegro [4:38]; V: Finale – Pesante-Presto [9:53]) Boston Symphony Orchestra (Music), NBC Symphony Orchestra (Concerto)/Guido Cantelli rec. 27 March 1954 (Music); 29 January 1949 (Concerto). ADD Pristine Audio XR remastering by Andrew Rose June-July 2007 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC081 [68:36] [SH]

You must have this CD. It’s the very reference model of the works in sound so close to real that it’s truly amazing. Simply essential ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Samuel COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912) Légende (Concertstück) Op. 14 (1897) [7:12] Romance in G Op. 39 (1899) [9:35] Violin Concerto in G minor Op. 80 (1912) [32:53] Julius HARRISON (1885-1963) Bredon Hill - a rhapsody for violin and orchestra (1941) [11:54] Lorraine McAslan (violin) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite rec. Watford Town Hall, 10-12 January 1994, (Légende, Concerto, Bredon); 20 January 1994 (Romance). DDD LYRITA SRCD.317 [61.37] [RB]

A real feel-good concerto and a work by Harrison that deserves to live on in its nostalgia and pastoral contentment. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) A Severn Rhapsody Op. 3 (1923) [6:14] Nocturne (New Year Music) Op. 7 (1925) [10:23] Three Soliloquies for small orchestra from the Suite - Love’s Labours Lost Op. 28 (1946) [4:33] Romance for string orchestra Op. 11 (1928) [8:08] Prelude for string orchestra Op. 25 (1950s) [5:16] The Fall of the Leaf, Elegy for orchestra Op. 20 (1950s) [9:14] Introit for small orchestra and solo violin Op. 6 (1925) [9:48] Eclogue for piano and string orchestra Op. 10 (1929, 1956) [10:33] Grand Fantasia and Toccata for piano and orchestra Op. 38 (1928, 1953) [15:14] Rodney Friend (violin), Peter Katin (piano) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult New Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley (Eclogue, Fantasia) rec. 1970s. ADD LYRITA SRCD.239 [79:26] [JW]

Superb sound caps a mandatory purchase for lovers of the English muse, and of course for Finzi lovers in particular ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Alcina HWV 34: Ah! Mio cor! Schernito sei [10:39] Hercules HWV 60: Where shall I fly? [06:23] Agrippina HWV 6: Pensieri, voi mi tormentate [07:19] Giulio Cesare in Egitto HWV 17: Cara speme [05:53] Joshua HWV 64: Oh! Had I Jubal’s lyre [02:29] Ariodante HWV 33: Scherza infida in grembo al drudo [11:30] Theodora HWV 68: With darkness deep as is my woe [05:51] Amadigi di Gaula HWV 11: Desterò dall’empia Dite [05:41] Orlando HWV 31: Ah! Stigie larve! – Già latra Cerbero – Vaghe pupille [07:37] Ariodante HWV 33: Dopo notte, atra e funesta [06:40] Rinaldo HWV 7: Lascia ch’io pianga [04:58] Magdalena Kožená (mezzo) Venice Baroque Orchestra/Andrea Marcon rec. March 2006, Gustav Mahler Saal, Kulturzentrum Grand Hotel, Toblach ARCHIV PRODUCTION CD 477 6547 [76:34] [CH]

Clear away preconceptions and be prepared for one of the most extraordinary vocal displays to have been issued in recent years. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz LISZT (1811-1886) St. Elizabeth (The Legend of Saint Elizabeth) - oratorio for soloists, chorus and orchestra, S2 (1857-62) Kolos Kováts - Hermann, Landgrave of Thüringen (bass) Erzsébet Komlóssy - Countess Sophie, his wife (mezzo) Sándor Sólyom-Nagy - Landgrave Ludwig, their son (baritone) Éva Andor - Elizabeth, his fiancée, later his wife (soprano) József Gregor - Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (bass) Lajos Miller - Hungarian magnate (baritone) György Bordás - the Seneschall (baritone) Dušan Turinič - the child Ludwig (contralto) Eugenia Kraičirová - the child Elizabeth (soprano) Bratislava Radio Children’s Chorus Slovak Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra/János Ferencsik rec. 14-17 July 1973, Reduta Concert Hall, Bratislava, Slovak Republic. AAD Sung in German with full English texts and essay HUNGAROTON CLASSIC HCD 11650-51 [69:48 + 68:41] [MC]

A remarkable performance and recording fully deserving its return to the catalogue ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Francis POTT (b. 1957) The Cloud of Unknowing (2006) [88:46] James Gilchrist (tenor) Jeremy Filsell (organ) Vasari Singers/Jeremy Backhouse rec. Tonbridge School, UK, 16-18 February 2007. DDD Texts included SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD105 [45:28 + 43:18] [JQ]

I listened, enthralled, to this major addition to the choral repertoire ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) Tosca (1900) Fiorenza Cedolins (soprano) – Floria Tosca; Marcelo Alvarez (tenor) – Mario Cavaradossi; Ruggero Raimondi (bass-baritone) – Il barone Scarpia; Marco Spotti (bass) – Cesare Angelotti; Fabio Previati (baritone) – Il sagrestano; Enrico Facini (tenor) – Spoletta; Giuliano Pelizon (Baritone) – Sciarrone; Angelo Nardinocchi (baritone) – Un carceriere; Ottavia Dorrucci (treble) – Un pastorello; Orchestra e Coro dell’Arena di Verona, Coro di voci bianche ”A.Li.Ve.”/Daniel Oren; rec. live, Arena di Verona, July 2006 Directed for Stage, Set, Costumes and Lighting Design by Hugo de Ana; Directed for TV and Video by Loreena Kaufmann Sound formats: DD 5.1; DST 5.1; LPCM Stereo; Picture Format 16:9 TDK DVWW-OPTOV [119:00] [GF]

I don’t know what’s coming up during the remaining months but I feel quite certain that this will be my opera DVD of 2007 ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Luisa Miller - tragic melodrama in three acts (1849) Count Walter, local landowner – Raffaele Arié (bass); Rodolfo, Count Walter’s son – Luciano Pavarotti (tenor); Frederica, Duchess of Ostheim and Walter’s niece – Cristina Angelakova (mezzo); Wurm, Count Walter’s steward – Ferruccio Mazzoli (bass); Miller, a retired soldier – Matteo Manuguerra (baritone); Luisa, Miller’s daughter – Gilda Cruz Roma (soprano) Chorus and Orchestra Sinfonica RAI di Torino/Peter Maag rec. live, RAI auditorium, Turin. 6 December 1974. ADD ARTS MUSIC - ARTS ARCHIVES 43088-2 [57.07 + 79.40] [RJF]

This excellent live performance features Pavarotti at the height of his vocal powers, surrounded by a good cast and with a sympathetic Verdian on the rostrum. The live occasion frisson draws the best from all concerned. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Stiffelio - opera in three acts (1849) Stiffelio, A Protestant minister of the Gospel – Placido Domingo (tenor); Lina, Stiffelio’s wife caught in adultery – Sharon Sweet (soprano); Stankar, an elderly officer and Lina’s father – Vladimir Chernov (baritone); Jorg, an elderly minister – Paul Plishka (bass); Raffaele, a nobleman – Peter Riberi (tenor); Dototea, Lina’s cousin – Margaret Lallimore (mezzo) Metropolitan Opera Chorus Metropolitan Opera Orchestra/James Levine. Stage director: Giancarlo Del Monaco; Set and costume design by Michael Scott; Video director: Brian Large rec. live, Metropolitan Opera, New York, November 1993 Picture format: NTSC/Colour/4:3 Sound formats: PCM Stereo. DTS 5.1. DOLBY digital 5.1 Menu language: English. Subtitles: Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese. DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 0734288 [116:00] [RJF]

Long thought lost, this superb dramatic opera is given in naturalistic sets. With an outstanding performance by Domingo celebrating his 25th anniversary at the Met, it is a must buy for Verdi enthusiasts ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Symphonic Syntheses by Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977): Das Rheingold (1853-4): ‘Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla’ (ed. by Stokowski) [8:11] Tristan und Isolde (1857-9): ‘Prelude to Act I’; ‘Liebesnacht’; ‘Liebestod’ [36:33] Parsifal (1878-82): Symphonic Synthesis from Act III [15:51] Die Walküre (1854-6) ‘Magic Fire Music’* and ‘Ride of the Valkyries’+ (arr.* ed.+ Stokowski) [13:53] Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra /José Serebrier rec. Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK. 10-11 June 2006 NAXOS 8.570293 [74:28][IL]

Ravishing performances of Stokowski’s sumptuous take on Wagner. This will undoubtedly figure in my outstanding releases for 2007. Don’t miss it ... see Full Review



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Belá BARTÓK (1881-1945) Concerto for Orchestra (1945) [38:49] The Miraculous Mandarin (1919) [31:36]* Laurenscantorij Rotterdam Choir*, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly rec. May 1995 and May 1997*, Great Hall, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. DDD DECCA 458 841-2 [70:54][TP]

An individual and essential Bartók album ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Edward Elgar - The Collector's Edition The Masterpieces – The Greatest Artists The symphonies, concertos, orchestral, choral, chamber and piano music plus CD30: Elgar conducts Elgar see review for full contents list rec. London,. Liverpool, Manchester, 1963-1990. (CD30: 1929-1933) ADD/DDD EMI CLASSICS 5036032 [30 CDs: 1904:17] [RB]

Elgar in iconic recordings drawn from the EMI vault. A shining bargain for the Elgar explorer ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) CD1 Boléro (1928) [14.56] Shéhérazade: Ouverture de féerie (1903) [13.47] Rapsodie espagnole (1907) [16.06] Menuet antique (1909) [6.19] La Valse (1920) [12.35] CD2 Ma Mère l’Oye (1908) [36.44] Le Tombeau de Couperin (1917) [17.56] Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899) [6.32] Alborada del gracioso (1905) [7.53] Une Barque sur l’océan (1905) [7.18] CD3 Daphnis et Chloé (1912) [56.25] Valses nobles et sentimentales (1911) [16.35] Marcel Gallègue (trombone) (Boléro) André Sennedat (bassoon) (Alborada) Michel Garcin-Marrou (horn) (Pavane) Choeurs du Théâtre National de l’Opéra Orchestre de Paris/Jean Martinon rec. Salle Wagram, Paris, July–October 1974, DDD EMI CLASSICS TRIPLE 5008922 [3 CDs: 63:23 + 76.23 + 73.00] [RB]

Fortunate the collector who chances on this set; delight and revelation await. At bargain price this is a gift that will cast its smiling spell for years to come ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Federico Moreno TORROBA (1891–1982) Sonatina (1965): (1. Allegretto [3:50]; 2. Andante [3:40]; 3. Allegro [4:01]) 4. Burgalesa (1928) [2:35] Suite Castellana (1926): (5. Fandanguillo [2:18]; 6. Arada [2:59]; 7. Danza [2:26]; 8. Madroños (1954) [2:49]) Castillos de España: (9. Alcázar de Segovia [2:53]; 10. Alba de Tomes [1:16]; 11. Montemayor [1:28]; 12. Zafra [2:03]; 13. Manzanares del Real [1:08]; 14. Sigüenza [1:47]; 15. Simancas [1:32]; 16. Turégano [2:20]; 17. Torija [2:45]; 18. Calatrava [2:51]; 19. Redaba [1:43]; 20. Alcañiz [1:30]; 21. Javier [2:46]; 22. Olite [2:11]; 23. Nocturno (1926) [3:33]) Aires de la Mancha: (24. Jeringonza [1:32]; 25. Ya llega el Invierno [1:44]; 26. Copilla [0:48]; 27. La Pastora [1:57]; 28. Seguidilla [1:54]) David Russell (guitar) rec. Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, 11-13 February 1996. TELARC CD-80451 [65:57] [GF]

For anyone who wants a cross-section of Federico Moreno Torroba’s music for guitar in modern sound, this is a clear first recommendation. ... see Full Review

[Click here for the most recent reviews (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]
[Recommended recordings]

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