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Detailed listing (last five days)
[Part 1 New]  
 [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L][Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[Recommended recordings]


James MACMILLAN (b. 1959) Cello Sonata No 1 Face, Image [26:51]; Kiss on Wood [9:02]; Cello Sonata No 2 [17:08]; Northern Skies: March, Shifting Sands, Celtic Hymn, Barn Dance, Nocturne, Sabre Dance, Northern Skies [15:16]. Henri Demarquette (cello); Graham Scott (piano). rec. April 2005, Nordern Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England. DEUX-ELLES DXL 1115 [66:23] [JWi]

The works on this disc illustrate the composer's main inspirations: Scottish culture and landscape, and his Catholic faith. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1893-96, rev. 1906) [99:49] Birgit Remmert (contralto) Heinz Saurer (posthorn) Schweizer Kammerchor Zürcher Sängerknaben Tonhalle Orchester Zürich/David Zinman rec. 27 February-1 March 2006, Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland BMG-RCA 88697 12918 2 [34:51 + 54:58][DM]

Zinman achieves a certain majesty but where is the necessary heft … the radiance … the joy? ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911) Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (1884) Kindertotenlieder (1901-04) Lieder aus "Des Knaben Wunderhorn"(1888-89) Thomas Quasthoff (bass-baritone) Håkan Hagegård (baritone); Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester/Gary Bertini rec. Philharmonie, Cologne, 15-17 June, 1992 (1-4), 18-21 January 1993 (10-13), 22-23 January 1993 (5-9). (5-9) live recording. CAPRICCIO 71 124 (SACD) [64:44] [GF]

Great readings of some of Mahler’s finest songs by two of the best male singers of the 1990s, further enhanced by Bertini’s expert conducting ... see Full Review

John McCABE (b. 1939) Ballet Suite No. 1 - Arthur Pendragon (2000) [27:36] Piano Concerto No. 1 (1967) [25:25] Pilgrim, for Double String Orchestra (1999) [19:06] John McCabe (piano) BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/ Christopher Austin rec. City Halls, Glasgow, 12-14 June 2006. DDD DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7179 [72:34] [RB]

John McCabe is a powerhouse on the British music scene and this disc is further evidence of the life force that courses through the veins and arteries of this strongly projected music... see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Paulus (St. Paul) Oratorio, Op. 36 (1834-36) [123:49] Maria Cristina Kiehr (soprano) Werner Güra (tenor) Michael Volle (bass) Kammerchor Stuttgart Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Frieder Bernius rec. 16-17, 19 September 2005, Forum Ludwigsburg, Germany. Texts in German with English translations. Digitally recorded hybrid SACD. CARUS SACD 83.214 [70:01 + 53:48] [MC]

It is hard to fault this Carus release of Mendelssohn’s Paulus … a must for any collection of sacred music ... see Full Review

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Visions de l’Amen (1943) Alexandre Rabinovitch; Martha Argerich (pianos) rec. No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, December 1989. DDD EMI CLASSICS CDC 7540502 [47:21][OEW]

A suitably stunning performance of a glorious work. ... see Full Review

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) Cantate Domino (1620) [2:11] Mass for four voices (published 1650) [21:44] (Kyrie [3:59]; Gloria [4:34]; Credo [6:05]; Sanctus [2:32]; Benedictus [1:34]; Agnus Dei [3:00]) Domine, ne in furore (1620) [4:00] Missa In illa tempore for six voices (1610) [28:24] (Kyrie [3:39]; Gloria [5:47]; Credo [10:06]; Sanctus [2:24]; Benedictus [1:33]; Agnus Dei I [2:32]; Agnus Dei II [2:23]) The Sixteen/Harry Christophers Margaret Phillips (organ) rec. All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, 9-10 May 1986. DDD. Booklet with notes in English, French and German and texts in Latin with English translation. HYPERION HELIOS CDH55145 [56:40][BW]

Strongly recommended to anyone wishing to expand their knowledge of Monteverdi beyond the Vespers – much less dramatic music, but well worth getting to know in such excellent performances … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Paul MORAVEC (b. 1957) Tempest Fantasy* (2002): I. Ariel [4:16]; II. Prospero [5:35]; III. Caliban [7:05]; IV. Sweet Airs [4:57]; V. Fantasia [7:31] Mood Swings (1999) [15:52] B.A.S.S. Variations (1999) [11:32] Scherzo (2002) [3:52] Trio Solisti (Maria Bachmann (violin); Alexis Pia Gerlach (cello); Jon Klibonoff (piano)); David Krakauer (clarinet)* rec. January 2002, October 2003. Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, State University of New York, USA NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559323 [60:40] [DM]

Captivating music with consistent energy and focus … A lovely, natural recording and playing of real stature make this a very special disc ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony No. 41 in C major, K551,  Jupiter (1788) [40:48] Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Kent Nagano rec. Philharmonic Hall, Berlin, DDD. Writers: Reiner Schild and Rolf Rische Video Directors: Oliver Becker (documentary), Ellen Fellmann (concert) Sound formats: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1. Picture format: NTSC 16:9. Disc format: DVD 9. Region code: 0 (all regions). Subtitles: French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish. ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 427  [92:50][MG]

Cleanly and clearly co-ordinated playing which combines vertical transparency with horizontal cogency … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sinfonia concertante in E flat major for Violin and Viola, K364 (1779) [31:58] Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K218 (1775) [24:15] Violin Concerto No. 2 in D major, K211 (1775) [21:55] Maxim Vengerov (violin) Lawrence Power (viola) (K364) UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra/Maxim Vengerov rec. 9-11 February 2006, Henry Wood Hall, London, (K211); 16-18 August 2006, Salle Métropole, Lausanne, (K218, K364). DDD EMI CLASSICS 378374-2 [78:52] [JW]

A curious specimen of Vengerov’s immersion in the classical repertoire. The concertos are excellent, the Concertante disappointing ... see Full Review

"A Hatto Original" Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete Piano Sonatas CD 1 [71:09] Sonata in C major K.279 [14:39] Sonata in F major K.280 [13:36] Sonata in B flat major K.281 [14:58] Sonata in E flat major K.282 [13:19] Sonata in G major K.283 [13:39] CD 2 [64:41] Sonata in D major K.284 [27:50] Sonata in C major K.309 [19:32] Sonata in D major K.311 [16:49] CD 3 [63:52] Sonata in A minor K.310 [18:59] Sonata in C major K.330 [19:49] Sonata in A major K.331 [24:38] CD 4 [75:40] Sonata in F major K.332 [19:45] Sonata in B flat major K.333 [23:07] Fantasia in C minor K.475 [12:27] Sonata in C minor K.457 [19:37] CD 5 [70:44] Sonata in F major K.533/494 [25:10] Sonata in C major K.545 [10:43] Sonata in B flat major K.570 [18:33] Sonata in D major K.576 [15:33] Ingrid Haebler (piano) rec. 1-8 August 1986 (Kk.310, 330, 331, 332, 333), 12-16 January 1987 (Kk.457, 475, 570), 21-27 April 1987 (Kk.533/494, 545, 576), 25-31 October 1988 (K.280, 282, 309), 20-25 July 1989 (Kk.279, 281, 283), 16-21 July 1991 (Kk.284, 311) DENON COCQ-83689-93 [5 CDs: 71:09 + 64:41 + 63:52 + 75:40 + 70:44] [CH]

Haebler’s second Mozart cycle is every bit as good as people said it was when they thought it was by Hatto and a front-runner if you want a calm, Olympian style ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Coronation Mass, K317 (1779) [24.46] Missa Solemnis, K337 (1780) [21.32] Epistle Sonata no. 16, K329 [3.52] Epistle Sonata no. 17, K336 [3.52] Patrizia Kwella (soprano) Ulla Groenewold (contralto) Christoph Pregardien (tenor) Franz-Josef Selig (bass) Cologne Chamber Choir Collegium Cartusianum/Peter Neumann Recorded 1989, originally issued by EMI VIRGIN CLASSICS 00946 391803 2 5 [53.17][RH]

Neumann’s accounts of the masses are pretty much spot-on ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Le nozze di Figaro (1786) (arr. for string quartet, 1799) Marcolini Quartett (on period instruments) rec. May 2006, Kolomanisaal, Cloister Melk, Austria AVI-MUSIC 8553046 [64:29] [GF]

Lovers of string quartet music and opera should find a lot to enjoy and admire here and those who want to give a present to an opera lover who has already got “everything” have a golden opportunity ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Kyrie in D minor K341 (?1780/81) see BERLIOZ

Thea MUSGRAVE (b. 1928) 1. Concerto for Orchestra, (1967) [20:26] 2. Clarinet Concerto, (1969) [23:38] 3. Horn Concerto, (1971) [22:06] 4. Monologue for solo piano, (1960) [6:02] 5. Excursions, eight duets for piano (four hands), (1965) [7:40]  Gervase de Payer (clarinet)(2); Barry Tuckwell (horn)(3); Thea Musgrave (piano)(4,5); Malcolm Williamson (piano) (5) Scottish National Orchestra/Alexander Gibson (1) London Symphony Orchestra/Norman Del Mar (2) Scottish National Orchestra/Thea Musgrave (3) rec. January 1974,  City Hall, Glasgow, Scotland. ADD (1,3), January 1972,  London Opera Centre, UK. ADD (2); September 1971,  Kingsway Hall, London, UK. ADD (4,5) LYRITA SRCD.253 [80:00] [MS]

Captures much of what was so promising about new British music thirty or so years ago. Variety, depth, perceptive playing and freshness. A treat ... see Full Review

Michael NYMAN (b. 1944) The Suit and the Photograph String Quartet No.4 (1995-5) [41:57] 3 Quartets (1994) [14:24] Camilli Quartet (String Quartet) Michael Nyman band (3 Quartets) rec. Galaxy Recording Studio, Mol, Belgium, 17-20 November 1995 EMI CLASSICS 56574   [56:21] [DC]

Grand music, but hard work for the uninitiated ... see Full Review

Knut NYSTEDT (b. 1915) Prayers of Kierkegaard, Op. 157 (1999) [17:42] Salve Regina, Op. 156a (1999) [5:04] The Word Became Flesh, Op. 162 (2001) [7:23] Nytt er livet, Op. 170* (2003) [7:05] Jesu seben Worte, Op. 171 (2003) [11:00] Immortal Bach (J.S. Bach arr. Nystedt) (1987) [3:54]. Beate Kronen (soprano) (trs. 3, 5-10)[ Gea Aartun (soprano) (tr.5) * Bærum Vokalensemble Ensemble 96/ Øystein Fevang rec. February, April, September 2004, Uranienborg Church, Oslo, Norway. Texts and translations provided DEUX ELLES 2L 29SACD [52:52][DM]

A wonderful collection and one that I hope to revisit again and again, with undiminished pleasure ... see Full Review

Andrzej PANUFNIK (1914-1991) Heroic Overture (1952) [6:58] Sinfonia di Sfere (1975) [33:48] Landscape (1962) [8:29] Sinfonia Sacra (1963) [29:35] Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgårds rec. Tampere Hall, October 2006. DDD booklet with liner notes in English, German, French, Finnish ONDINE ODE 1101-5 CD/SACD [75:27] [RB]

This is a fine and often moving entry in the Panufnik catalogue. ... see Full Review

Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918) Symphony No. 5 in B minor (1914) [23:07] Blest Pair of Sirens (1887) [10:55] Symphonic Variations (1897) [13:18] Elegy for Brahms (1897) [10:23] London Philharmonic Choir/Frederic Jackson London Philharmonic Orchestra/Adrian Boult rec. No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, 4, 9, 19 October, 20 December 1978; 21-23 December 1966 (Blest). ADD EMI CLASSICS 65107 [58:09] [RB]

Boult conducting Parry ... something special. Drew grand things from Boult even into old age. A golden anthology ... see Full Review

Sir Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918) Ode on the Nativity (1912) see VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

Alla PAVLOVA (b. 1952) Symphony No.5 (2006) [47:23] (1.Adagio-Vivace [9:57]; 2.Adagio [7:44]; 3 Adagio-Vivace [12:55]; 4.Largo [9:55]; 5. Vivace [6:52]) Elegy for Piano and String Orchestra (1988)* [4:41] Mikhail Shestakov (violin) Andrei Korobeinikov (piano)*, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio/Vladimir Ziva rec. Studio 5 of the Russian State TV & Radio Company Kultura, Moscow, 18-21 June 2006. NAXOS 8.570369 [52:04][SA]

I find her music sumptuous and emotionally rewarding…she writes music that describes tragedy well ... see Full Review

Flor Peeters (1903-1986) Missa Festiva Op.62 for choir and organ (1947) see Jongen

François-André Danican PHILIDOR (1726-1795) CD1 Simphonie No.27 in G major (Ouverture: Le maréchal ferrant, 1761) [12:44] Carmen Sæculare (1788): (Ouverture [4:31]; Prologus: Odi profanum vulgus [1:18]; Prima Pars [5:18]; Seconda Pars [18:04]; Tertia Pars [12:47]) CD2 Carmen Sæculare (contd.) Pars Quarta [38:25] Le sorcier: Ouverture in G major (1764) [8:54] Tom Jones: Ouverture in B flat major (1765) [7:58] Veronica Cangemi (soprano), Nora Gubisch (mezzo), Donald Litaker (tenor), Antonio Abete (bass) Coro della Radio Svizzera Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana/Jean-Claude Malgoire (Carmen Sæculare) Prague Chamber Orchestra/Christian Benda (Simphonie, overtures) rec. Studio Domovina, Prague, 19 April 2005 and Auditorio della RSI, Lugano, Switzerland, 21-22 January 1998 (Carmen Sæculare). NAXOS 8.557593-94 [54:42 + 55:16][DC]

If the fascinating sensitivities of the late 1780s attract then this is an artefact which will bring great pleasure. ... see Full Review

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Concerto in G minor for Organ, Strings and Timpani (1938) [22:47] Gloria (1959) [26:45] Quatre Motets pour un temps de Pénitence (1938-39) [13:30] Maurice Duruflé (organ), Rosanna Carteri (soprano) Chœurs de la R.T.F. (Gloria) Chœurs René Duclos (motets) Orchestre National de l’ORTF/Georges Prêtre rec. 21, 23 February 1961, Église Saint-Étienne-du-Mont (Concerto), 15 February 1961 (Gloria), 29 May 1963 (motets), Salle Wagram. ADD EMI CDC7477232  [63:39] [DC]

Any self-respecting fan of Poulenc should, indeed must, own this disc ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Peter and the Wolf Op. 67 (1936) [26:07] Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) The Carnival of the Animals (1886) [26:02] Jonathan Winters (story-teller) Hephzibah Menuhin and Abbey Simon (pianists) (Carnival) Philharmonia Orchestra/Efrem Kurtz rec. dates and locations not given EMI CLASSICS CHC-7 49918 2  [52:09][DC]

Very nice, but it’s time EMI made a serious re-issue of these wonderful recordings. ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony No.5 in B flat major op.100 (1944) [42:35] Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Tod und Verklärung op.24 (1889) [27:55] Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI/Sergiu Celibidache rec. 1970, Turin, live OPUS ARTE OA0979D [77:00] [CH]

An enthralling performance of the Strauss; the Prokofiev is surprisingly low-key by Celibidache’s standards ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) Turandot (1926) Alessandra Marc (soprano) – Turandot; Ignacio Encinas (tenor) – Calaf; Ainhoa Arteta (soprano) – Liù; Erwin Schrott (bass) – Timur; Lluis Sintes (tenor) – Ping; Eduardo Santamaria (baritone) – Pang; José Ruiz (baritone) – Pong; Pedro Calderón (tenor) – Altoum; José Manuel Díaz (baritone) – Mandarin Coro de Ópera de Bilbao; Escolanía Ntra. Sra. de Begoña (Asociación ars viva) Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi/José Collado rec. live, Palacio Euskaduna, Bilbao, 21, 24 September 2002. DDD RTVE 65171 [79:13 + 41:02] [GF]

A generally good cast, magnificent chorus and orchestra, excellently recorded, and – first and foremost – the best Turandot since Birgit Nilsson. In some respects Alessandra Marc even surpasses the Swedish diva. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) Turandot (1926) (sung in German) Christel Goltz (soprano) – Turandot; Karl Schiebener (tenor) – Altoum, Emperor of China; Wilhelm Schirp (bass) – Timur; Hans Hopf (tenor) – Calaf; Teresa Stich-Randall (soprano) – Liù; Horst Günter (baritone) – Ping; Peter Offermanns (tenor) – Pang; Jürgen Förster (tenor) – Pong; Heiner Horn (baritone) – Mandarin; André Peysang (tenor) – Prince of Persia; Kölner Rundfunkchor, Knabenchor des Humboldt-Gymnasiums Köln, Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester/Georg Solti rec. 13-19 May 1956, Funkhaus, WDR, Cologne. ADD. MONO CAPRICCIO 67 193 [56:46 + 61:46] [GF]

While this can’t be a general recommendation for a first choice of the opera there are so many good things that it should be of interest to more than specialists ... see Full Review

Uljas PULKKIS (b. 1975) Enchanted Garden (2000) [19:38] Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (2001) [20:32] Symphonic Dalí (2002) [36:46] Jaakko Kuusisto (violin) (Garden); Sharon Bezaly (flute) (concerto) Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Susanna Mälkki rec. Stavanger Concert Hall, Norway, June, August 2005 BIS SACD1339 [78:26] [HC]

A remarkable instrumental flair and a sure feel for telling broad orchestral strokes but is a personal voice at work in these imposing works? ... see Full Review

Romances Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873–1943) U mojevo okna (At my window), Op. 26, No. 10 [2:14] Davno-l’, moj drug (It was not so long ago) Op. 4 No 6 [2:19] Dissonance (Discord) Op. 34 No 13 [6:18] Le rêve (Dream) Op. 38 No 5 [3:37] Le joueur de chalumeau (The Pied Piper) Op. 38 No 4 [2:31] Vesennije vody (Spring torrents) Op. 14 No 11 [2:14] Zdes’ khorosho (How peaceful) Op. 21 No 7 [2:12] Lilas (Lilacs) Op. 21 No 5 [2:12] Jan e prorok (I am not a prophet) Op. 21 No 11 [1:41] Margaritki (Daisies) Op. 38 No 3 [2:42] Ne poj, krasavica (Sing not, o lovely one, in my presence) Op. 14 No 4 [4:40] Muza (The Muse) Op. 34 No 1 [4:28] Ostrovok (Small island) Op. 14 No 2 [2:22] Ja zhdu tebya (I await you) Op. 14 No 1 [1:53] Franz LISZT (1811–1886) Bist du (Is it you) [4:44] Es muss ein Wunderbares sein (Who can feel the bliss) [2:06] S'il est un charmant gazon (It there’s a lovely grassy plot) [2:14] Comment, disaient-ils (How then, asked he) [1:42] Enfant, si j'étais roi (Child, if I were King) [3:09] Oh! quand je dors (Oh, when I sleep) [5:17] Chantal Dionne (soprano) Louise-Andrée Baril (piano) rec. Église de la Visitation, Oka, 5-8 September 2006, 11 January 2007. DDD texts and translations included ANALEKTA AN29923 [61:27] [GF]

Despite a certain hardness of tone and more generalised expressiveness, this young soprano has a great deal to offer and in the more inward repertoire her nuanced singing is a pleasure to hear ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Rhapsodie Espagnole (1907) [15:41] Isaac Manuel Francesco ALBENIZ (1860-1909) Iberia (Evocacion; El corpus en Sevilla; Triana; El Puerto; El Albaicin) (orch. Enrique Fernandez Arbos) (1907) [30:51] Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) El sombrero de tres picos (1919) [32:32] Dresdner Philharmonie/Jörg-Peter Weigle rec. April 1989, Lukaskirche, Dresden. ADD BERLIN CLASSICS REFERENCE 0013902 [69:03] [RB]

Superb Iberian music-making and a tonic for jaded palates ... see Full Review

John REEMAN (b. 1946) Lamentation (1993) [9:51] “And the cock crowed” (1994) [9:52] Paschalis (1996) [11:39] The Third Day (1999) [16:09] Symphony for Strings (1997) [16:55] Opus 20/Scott Stroman rec. (live) 1998 (Lamentation, Symphony), 2003 (other works) REEMAN CRJR01 [64:53] [HC]

Fully committed  performances … the sound of this composer-produced disc is fine ... Should appeal to anyone who relishes British contemporary music for strings ... see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Gli ucceli (The Birds) (1927) [19:43] Il tramonto * (The Sunset) (1914) [15:55] Trittico boticelliano (Three Botticelli Pictures) (1927) [1951] * Ewa Podleś (contralto) Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra/Michal Nesterowicz rec. Polish Radio Great Studio, Wroclaw, July 1997 DUX 0489 [56:01] [IL]

There is merit here but, in a competitive field, I prefer the alternatives as above. ... see Full Review

Edwin ROXBURGH (b. 1937) Reflets dans la glace: Sound Adventures for piano Reflets dans la Glace for piano duet [11.48] aka Hasagawa; Joseph Tong (piano duet) Les Miroirs de Miro - four pieces for young pianists (1981) [4.53] Sally Mays (piano) Six Etudes (1980) [14.14] Hiroaki Takenouchi (piano) Piano Sonata (1993) [17.11] Peter O’Hagan (piano) Two Pieces (for young pianists) [4.34] Thalia Myers (piano) Prelude and Toccata [7.49] Karl Lutchmayer (piano) Labyrinth (1970) [8.07] George King (piano) Introduction and Arabesques (1963) [6.55] James Young (piano) rec. The Warehouse, London, 26 November 2006 (Reflets); 29 June 2003 (rest) NMC D132 [75.20] [GH]

An impressive achievement although I yearn for more warmth in this music. That said, there are moments here of delicacy and fragile beauty, as well as passion, intensity and power. ... see Full Review



Detailed listing (last five days)
[Part 1 New]  
 [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L][Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[Recommended recordings]

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