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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]

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

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) Cello Sonata in G minor Op.65 (1846) [30:46] Sergei RachmaninoV (1873-1943) Cello Sonata in G minor Op.19 (1901) [34:58]; Vocalise Op.34, No.14 (1912) [8:19] Alexander Kniazev (cello); Nikolai Lugansky (piano) rec. 3-6 July 2006, The Maltings, Snape. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564 63946-2 [74:06] [WK]

A slightly rough-and-ready but committed and thoughtful performance of two of the best-known cello sonatas in the repertory.... see Full Review

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Sonata no.2 in b flat minor op.35 [21:19] Polonaise in A op.40/1 [04:50] Polonaise in f sharp minor op.44 [10:15] Polonaise in A flat op.53 [06:22] Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat op.61 [13:19] Fantaisie-Impromptu in c sharp minor op.66 [04:30] Scherzo no.1 in b minor op.20 [08:24] Vladimir Horowitz (piano) rec. Columbia 30th Street Studios, NY: 18, 24 April, 9, 14 May 1962, (op. 35), 14 November 1963 (op. 20) 4 May 1971, (op. 61); Carnegie Hall: 17 April 1966 (op. 66) 2 January, 1 February 1968 (op. 53) 6 July 1972, (op. 44) SONY CLASSICAL 82876 78769 2 [68:59] [CH]

Horowitz is always Horowitz, and this disc has an awesomely great second Sonata.  ... see Full Review

Rebecca CLARKE (1886–1979) Sonata for Viola and Piano (1919) [27:01] Passacaglia on an Old English Tune (1941) [5:17] Lullaby (1909) [4:37] Lullaby on an Ancient Irish Tune (1913) [2:36] Morpheus (1918) [7:18] Chinese Puzzle (1921) [1:28] I’ll bid my heart be still (1944) [3:32] Untitled Piece for Viola and Piano (c.1918) [5:21] Dumka (1941)a [10:13] Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale (1941)b [6:42] Philip Duke (viola); Sophie Rahman (piano); Daniel Hope (violin)a; Robert Plane (clarinet)b rec. Concert Hall, Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, June 2004 NAXOS 8.557934 [78:54][HC]

This is a splendid release in every respect: excellent performances, very fine recording and – most importantly – great music which at long last receives it due. ... see Full Review

Boult conducts Coates; Boult conducts Marches Eric COATES (1886-1957) The Merrymakers Overture (1923) [4:40] Summer Days Suite (1919) [11:35] From Meadow to Mayfair Suite (1931) [8:19] The Three Elizabeths Suite - March Queen Elizabeth (1944) [5:12] The Three Bears - Phantasy (1927) [9:44] March The Dambusters (1954) [4:02] Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961) Children’s March Over the Hills and far away (1918, 1928) [3:55] Frederick DELIUS (1862-1924) Marche Caprice (1890) [3:23] William WALTON (1902-1983) Hamlet: Funeral March (1947) [4:44] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Wasps: March past of the kitchen utensils (1909) [3:04] Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) (arranged by Benjamin Britten) Soirées Musicales: March (1936) [1:28] Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Suite in E flat Op.28 No.1: March (1909) [3:00] New Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. Kingsway Hall, London, 9 November, 6 December 1976 (Coates); 15 August, 19 September, 13 November 1976 (other items). ADD LYRITA SRCD.246 [63.08] [JF]

A great issue that tidies up a few loose ends. One that all Coates lovers and admirers of Boult’s conducting and personality will insist on having ... see Full Review

Gerard F. COBB (1838-1904) Barrack Room Ballads Ralph Meanley (baritone), David Mackie (piano) rec. 15 November 2001, Sutton, Surrey. DDD CAMPION CAMEO 2056 [73:90] [EM]

Worth its weight in gold ... see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Piano Works - Volume 3 Images I (1905) [15:51] Images II (1906-7) [13:53] Estampes (1903) [14:54] Images oubliées (1894) [14:04] La plus que lente (1910) [04:43] L’Isle joyeuse (1904) [05:28] François-Joël Thiollier (piano) rec. 16-18 January 1996, Temple Saint Marcel, Paris NAXOS 8.553292 [69:40][CH]

Goodish to excellent performances of the Estampes and Images, with the useful addition of the Images oubliées which you may not have. ... see Full Review    

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Piano Works Volume 4 Préludes: Book I [35:07] Préludes: Book II [32:52] François-Joël Thiollier (piano) rec. 25-27 September 1996, Temple Saint Marcel, Paris NAXOS 8.553293 [70:23][CH]

Despite a few reservations this seems to me as good a modern alternative to Gieseking as you are likely to get. If a volatile view appeals to you, don’t hesitate ... see Full Review

A “HATTO ORIGINAL” Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Piano Works Volume 5 12 Etudes (1915) [46:16] D’un cahier d’esquisses (1903) [04:10] Hommage à Haydn (1909) [02:01] Elégie (1915) [01:40] Morceau de concours (1904) [0:39] Page d’album (1915) [01:08] Berceuse héroïque (1914) [03:47] Masques (1904) [05:52] François-Joël Thiollier (piano) rec. 8-10 April 1997, Temple St. Marcel, Paris NAXOS 8.553294 [64:42] “D’un cahier d’esquisses” and “Hommage à Haydn” were issued in 2005 on Concert Artist/Fidelio CACD 9131-2 as the work of Joyce Hatto [CH]

A “Hatto original” but not such an important one as has been claimed. ... see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Clair de lune and other piano favourites Suite bergamasque: Clair de lune [05:10] La plus que lente [04:48] Arabesque no.1 [05:08] Le petit nègre [01:29] Children’s Corner: The snow is dancing [02:54], The little shepherd [02:55], Golliwog’s cakewalk [03:07] Estampes: La soirée dans Grenade [05:29], Jardins sous la pluie [03:46] Arabesque no.2 [03:37] Valse romantique [03:31] Danse (Tarantelle styrienne) [05:14] Pour le piano: Toccata [04:00] Images I: Reflets dans l’eau [05:19] Images II: Poissons d’or [03:54] Mazurka [03:06] Rêverie [04:23] Préludes I: La fille aux cheveux de lin [02:14], Minstrels [02:08], La cathédrale engloutie [05:57] François-Joël Thiollier (piano) rec. 1994-1996, Temple Saint Marcel (This is a sampler from Thiollier’s 5-disc Debussy cycle, for full recording dates see individual reviews). NAXOS 8.555800 [78:10][CH]

Not the best representation of Thiollier’s often distinguished Debussy cycle. ... see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Complete Works for Piano Solo - Vol. III Danse bohémienne (1880) [02:09] Mazurka (c.1889) [02:50] Deux Arabesques (1888) [07:17] Rêverie (pub. 1890) [03:55] Valse romantique [02:59] Suite bergamasque (1890) [17:09] Ballade (pub. 1891) [06:54] Danse (Tarantelle styrienne) (pub. 1890) [05:54] Nocturne (pub. 1890) [05:32] Pour le piano (1894-1901) [12:54] Håkon Austbø (piano) rec. 21-23 February 2006, Sofienberg kirke, Oslo SIMAX PSC 1297 [67:45][CH]

Austbø doesn’t try to make the agreeable early works anything more than they are. This may be a strength for some, a weakness for others. ... see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Children’s Corner (1908) [15:06] Six Épigraphes antiques (1914) [16:13] François COUPERIN (1668-1733)/Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Forlane (pub. 1722) [2:35] Maurice RAVEL Le tombeau de Couperin (1914-17) [24:25] Calefax Reed Quintet rec. June 1995, Schloss Nordkirchen (Oranienburg) MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 619 0658-2 [58:42] [DC]

Calefax’s effortless technique and tastefully understated individual musicianship make for an irresistible package. ... see Full Review 

Leo DELIBES (1836–1891) Lakmé (1883) Mado Robin (soprano) – Lakmé; Agnès Disney (mezzo) – Mallika; Claudine Collart (soprano) – Ellen; Simone LeMaître (soprano) – Rose; Libero De Luca (tenor) – Gerald; Jean Borthayre (bass) – Nilakantha; Jacques Jansen (baritone) – Frederic; Pierre Germain (tenor) – Hadji; Jane Perriat (mezzo) – Mistress Bentson; Edmond Chastenet (tenor) – Fortune Teller; Camille Rouquetty (tenor) – Chinese Merchant; Chorus and Orchestra of the Opéra-Comique, Paris/Georges Sebastian rec. July 1952, Maison de la Mutualité, Paris. ADD Appendix: Three arias from Lakmé sung by French singers of the 1920s and 1930s Prendre le dessin d’un bijou … Fantaisie aux divins mensonges Miguel Villabella (tenor); Orchestra/François Rühlmann rec. 1931 Lakmé, ton doux regard se voile Robert Couzinou (bass); Orchestre de l’Association des Concerts Lamoureux/Albert Wolff rec. 1929 Où va la jeune indoue (Bell Song) Leila Ben Sedira (soprano); Orchestra/Maurice Frigara rec. 1929 NAXOS 8.111235-36 [70:33 + 79:13][GF]

Surprisingly good sound for its age and with the enchanting Mado Robin, this is a version to treasure for those who want this charming opera as authentic as possible. ... see Full Review

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Florida Suite (rev. ed. Beecham) (1886-87) [36:15] Paris The Song of a Great City (1899) [21:22] Brigg Fair An English Rhapsody (1907) [16:02] Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox rec. Wessex Hall, Poole Centre, 7-8 May 1989. DDD EMI CLASSICS BRITISH COMPOSERS SERIES 370565 2 [76:02][WH]

This is beautifully recorded and inexpensive collection for those just starting out on their Delius expedition as well as the converted seeking alternative performances and attracted by the programme. ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848) Anna Bolena (1830) Joan Sutherland (soprano) – Anna Bolena; Samuel Ramey (bass) – Enrico VIII; Jerry Hadley (tenor) – Lord Riccardo Percy; Susanne Mentzer (mezzo) – Giovanna Seymour; Bernadette Manca di Nissa (contralto) – Smeton; Giorgio Surian (bass) – Lord Rochefort; Ernesto Gavazzi (tenor) – Sir Hervey; Orchestra and Chorus of the Welsh National Opera/Richard Bonynge rec. Walthamstow Assembly Hall, February 1987 DECCA CLASSIC OPERA 475 7910 [62:35 + 56:53 + 73:32] [GF]

A great supporting cast and magnificent sound but Joan Sutherland recorded too late in her career is a liability in the title role. ... see Full Review

Paul DUKAS (1865-1935) Fanfare to La Péri [1:50] La Péri – Poème Dansé [17:55] The Sorcerer’s Apprentice [10:46] Symphony in C (1897) (Allegro non troppo vivace, ma con fuoco [14:43]; Andante Espressivo [15:30]; Allegro Spiritoso [11:02]) Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Jesus Lopez-Cobos rec. Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, 31 January, 1 February 1999 TELARC DSD CD 80515 [72:20] [EM]

A nice selection of works by a composer often overlooked ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 104 (1894-95) [38:15] Serenade for Winds in D minor, Op. 44 (1878) [24:14] Nina Kotova (cello) (op. 104 only) Philharmonia Orchestra/Andrew Litton rec. Air Lyndhurst Studios, London, England (No date given). DDD SONY CLASSICAL 82876821182 [62:44] [MC]

A really fine performance of the Dvořák concerto that demonstrating that the glamorous Kotova is a player of real substance. The Serenade makes an attractive coupling to complete this desirable release. ... see Full Review

David Alan EARNEST (b. 1960) Visit the Blue Planet: (Docking Manuevers [sic] [2.28]; Forest Pools [6.18]; Night Sands [4.22]; Whirlwind [3.30]; Drifting [4.48]; Stacey's Chimes [6.05]; Reminiscing [3.27]; Lullabye [4.34]; The Calling ... In the Garden ... Celebration [14.56]; Bayou Grind [4.37]; Sorrow of the Whales [6.04]) “Music Composed, Arranged, Engineered, Produced and Performed by David Alan Earnest,” synthesizers © 1996. Track list, credits, dedication, photos of the composer. STURGEON 511601 [61.13][PSh]

One of the very best New Age music disks, a real classic. ... see Full Review

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Music Makers, Op. 69 * (1912) [39:39] Sea Pictures, Op. 37 (1899) [23:05]. Sarah Connolly (mezzo) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and*Chorus/Simon Wright rec. 7 – 8 January, 2006, The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK. DDD NAXOS 8.557710 [62:44][JQ]

Naxos has got the celebrations of Elgar’s 150th anniversary off to a cracking start with this excellent disc. ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Songs The Shepherd’s Song [2:44] ¹ Queen Mary’s Song [3:39] ¹ Is she not passing fair [2:43] ² Rondel [1:40] ² A Song of Autumn [2:49] ³ The wind at dawn [2:55] ³ Like to the Damask Rose [3:26] ² Through the long days [2:01] ² The Poet’s Life [3:12] ² The Pipes of Pan [4:45] ³ In the Dawn [3:01] ² Speak, Music [2:54] ¹ In Moonlight [2:17] ¹ Pleading [2:50] ¹ Oh, soft was the song [1:59] ³ Was it some golden star? [2:37] ³ Twilight [2:53] ³ The Torch [2:10] ² The River [4:09] ² A Child Asleep [3:27] ¹ Arabian serenade [2:15] ³ Still to be neat [1:43] ³ Modest and fair [1:35] ³ Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo soprano) ¹ Neil Mackie (tenor) ² Christopher Maltman (baritone) ³ Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. Southlands College, London, April 1999 SOMM CD 220 [65:07][JW]

Martineau proves a worthy accompanist providing much of the lift and zest of which the singers seem shy. ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1865-1934) Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op.61 (1911) [49.38] Salut d'amour, Op.12 [2:55]* La Capricieuse, Op.17 [4:30]* Kyung-Wha Chung (violin) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Georg Solti Philip Moll (piano)*, rec. 1977, 1987*. ADD/DDD* DECCA LONDON 421 388 [57:10]
Edward ELGAR (1865-1934) Violin Concerto in B Minor, Op.61 (1911) [48.48] Salut d'amour, Op.12 [3:02] Pinchas Zukerman (violin) St. Louis Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin rec. 1993. DDD BMG RCA RED SEAL RCA 61672 [51:58] [TP]

Chung's account is certainly worth its place in any fine Elgar collection. Zukerman's is redundant. ... see Full Review

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) Piano Music, Vol. 1 Nocturno (c.1896) [4:12] Serenata (c.1900) [3:20] Serenata andaluza (c.1900) [4:39] Allegro de concierto (1903-1904) [9:20] Homenaje a Claude Debussy (1920) [2:42] Sobre la tumba de Paul Dukas, (1935) [4:00] 4 piezas españolas, (1906-1909) [16:29] Suite from ‘El amor brujo’ (1915) [12:38] Daniel Ligorio (piano) rec. Estudios Moraleda, Barcelona, February, March 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.555065 [57:20][JF]

Provides the listener with a selection of works covering forty years of the composer’s career. ... 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

Samuil FEINBERG (1890-1962) Piano Concerto No.2 Op.36 (1945) [37:21] Suite for Piano No.2 Op.25 (1936) [5:26] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No.11 in B flat major Op.22 (1800) [23:48] Samuil Feinberg (piano) USSR State Symphony Orchestra/Nicolai Anosov rec. Moscow 1946 (Concerto); 1939 (Suite); 1960 (Beethoven) MELODIYA MEL CD 10 01005 [66:43] [JW]

One of the more heartening things of the last few years has been the attention paid to Feinberg. This Melodiya neatly conjoins two facets of his art ... see Full Review

Carlo GESUALDO (c.1561-1613) Fifth Book of Madrigals for Five Voices (1611) [54:46] Emma Kirkby (soprano); Evelyn Tubb (soprano); Mary Nichols (alto); Joseph Cornwell (tenor); Andrew King (tenor); Richard Wistreich (bass) The Consort of Musicke/Anthony Rooley. DDD L’OISEAU LYRE 410 128 [54:46] [MS]

Gesualdo’s madrigal writing at its best sung by experts in the field on top form. A recommended reissue … see Full Review

Stephen GOSS (b. 1964) The Garden of Cosmic Speculation (2005) [24.35] (1) Oxen of the Sun (2003/4) [17.30] (2) An Ideal Insomnia (2002) [12.09] (3) Park of Idols (2005) [11.40] (4) Gemini: (Ian Mitchell (bass clarinet); Caroline Balding (violin); Robin Michael (cello); Julian Jacobson (piano)) (1); Jonathan Leathwood (guitars) (2); Graham Caskie (piano) (3); Leonid Gorkhov (cello) (4); Richard Hand (guitar) (4) rec. Studio 1, Performing Arts Technology Studios, University of Surrey, 21 March 2005, 8 January 2006; St. Andrews Church, Toddington, 12 July 2005 CADENZA MUSIC CACD0604 [65.56] [RH]

Contemporary music which manages to be approachable but does not talk down to its listeners. Supported by a fine group of performers. ... see Full Review

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] [JF]

Lyrita are to be commended for re-releasing these two fine performances. Even a cursory study will reveal much in common in both composers’ approach to life and death and the soul. ... see Full Review

Johann Caspar Ferdinand FISCHER (1656-1746) Musica Sacra Concertus de Sancta Cruce [14:18] Missa Sancti Dominici [17:53] Litaniae Lauretanae VI Honori Visitationis B.V. Mariae [07:05] Vesperae seu Psalmi Vespertini pro toto Anno: (Ingressus: Deus in adiutorium [01:01]; Dixit Dominus [02:53]; Beatus vir [03:44]; Laudate pueri [04:30]; Laudate Dominum [02:44]; Magnificat [05:42]) IV Antiphonae pro toto Anno [03:58] Rastatter Hofkapelle (Michael Maisch, Heiko Hörburger (trumpet); Beate Spaltner, Ursula Benzing (soprano); Matthias Lucht (alto); Judith Ritter, (contralto); Jürgen Ochs, Raimund Sturm (tenor); Johannes Happel, Claus Temps (bass); Dietrich Schüz, Christine Wieligmann (violin); Jörg Rieger (cello); Adina Scheyhing (violone); Markus Bieringer (organ))/Jürgen Ochs rec. October 2006, Hans Rosbaud-Studio, Baden-Baden, Germany. DDD CARUS 83.172 [64:36][JV]

Interesting and convincing presentation of music by an unjustly neglected composer ... see Full Review

Orlando GIBBONS (1583-1625) Anthems Hosanna to the Son of David [2:35] O Lord, I lift my heart to thee [1:56] O all true faithful hearts [4:08] Deliver us, O Lord [3:04] This is the record of John [4:26] Lift up your heads [2:39] Almighty and everlasting God [2:39] See, see, the word is incarnate [6:21] Praise the Lord, o my soul [2:25] O clap your hands [4:58] Glorious and powerful God [5:11] O Lord, in thee is all my trust [6:43] O Lord, how do my woes increase [1:09] Out of the deep [5:26] Behold, thou hast made my days [4:53] Oh Lord, in thy wrath [2:58] Blessed are all they that fear the Lord [5:03] I am the resurrection [4:40] Fretwork: (Richard Campbell (treble viol); William Hunt (treble viol); Julia Hodgson (tenor viol); Susanna Pell (tenor viol); Richard Boothby (bass viol); Philip Rushforth (organ) (9, 11, 17); Christopher Allsop (chamber organ) (2, 7, 13)) The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge/Richard Marlow rec. 3 January 1994, Chapel, Trinity College, Cambridge, United Kingdom. CONIFER 75605 51231 2 [74:23][MS]

Clear, sensitive singing of a lovely and enticing repertoire. … see Full Review

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) The Light (1987) [23:43] Symphony No. 4 Heroes Symphony (1996) [46:26] Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, 16-17 May 2006. DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559325 [70:09] [RB]

Glass’s potent way with hypno-rhythmic writing continues visceral and in full spate. ... see Full Review

Leopold GODOWSKY (1870-1938) Piano Music - Volume 8 Java Suite (Phonoramas: Tonal Journeys for the Pianoforte) (1925) [48:01] Part 1: Gamelan/Wayang-Purwa: Puppet Shadow Play/Hari Besaar: The Great Day [10:51] Part 2: Chattering Monkeys at the Sacred Lake of Wendit/Boro Budur in Moonlight/The Bromo Volcano and the Sand Sea at Daybreak [8:34] Part 3: Three Dances/ The Garden of Buitenzorg/In the Streets of Old Batavia [12:05] Part 4: In the Kraton/In the Ruined Water Castle at Djokja/A Court Pageant in Solo [16:31] Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Johann Strauss II No.3: Wine Women & Song [11:54] Konstantin Scherbakov (piano) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 29-30 November 2005 MARCO POLO 8.225274 [59:55][JF]

A must for all enthusiasts of romantic and virtuosic piano music ... see Full Review

Carl Heinrich GRAUN (1703/04-1759) Te Deum for solo voices, choir and orchestra [45:00] Herr, ich habe lieb die Stätte deines Hauses, motet for 4 voices and bc [02:30] Lasset uns freuen und fröhlich sein, motet for 4 voices and bc [02:51] Machet die Tore weit, motet for 8 voices in 2 choirs and bc [08:46] Monika Mauch (soprano); Elisabeth von Magnus (mezzo); Bernhard Gärtner (tenor); Klaus Mertens (bass) Basler Madrigalisten L'Arpa Festante/Fritz Näf rec. June 2005, Martinskirche, Basle, Switzerland. DDD CPO 777 158-2 [59:17][JV]

Graun's setting of the Te Deum is attractive and strong – while this is not the best possible performance, it is certainly recommendable ... see Full Review

H.K. GRUBER (b. 1943) Frankenstein! (1977) [31:51] Perpetuum Mobile - Charivari (1981) [13:45] Dancing in the Dark (2002) [24:47] BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/HK Gruber (chansonnier/conductor) rec. 25-27 February 2005, BBC Broadcasting House, Manchester. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10404 [70:48][TB]

Entertaining and witty vocal delivery … somewhat manic, and delightfully pointed orchestral playing … a recording that is both pleasing and natural, allowing the orchestral colours to maximize their impression. ... see Full Review

Adam de la HALLE (13th century) Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion (see end of review for track listing) Tonus Peregrinus (Mary Remnant (bells, drum, fiddle, gittern, harp, pipe, tabor, rebec, shawm, symphony); John Crook (voices / narrator); Alexander Hickey (tenor); Richard Eteson (tenor); Francis Brett (bass); Joanna Forbes (soprano); Rebecca Hickey (soprano); Kathryn Oswald (alto); Alexander L’Estrange (counter-tenor, tambourine))/Anthony Pitts (director, percussion, bagpipes) rec. 22-23 September, 3 October 2003, Sedgwick Park, West Sussex NAXOS 8.557337 [74:02] [EM]

Performances that cannot be criticised – full of brilliant and often amusing characterisations, with top-quality and expressive singing ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Sonata G Major (orig. C Major), HWV 365 Op.1 No.7 [10:03] Sonata A Minor (orig. D Minor), HWV 367a Op.1 No.9, Fitzwilliam [13:59] Sonata C Major (orig. F Major), HWV 369 Op.1 No.11 [7:20] Sonata D Minor (orig. A Minor), HWV 362 Op.1 No.4 [10:30] Sonata F Major (orig. B Flat Major), HWV 377, Fitzwilliam [5:57] Sonata D Minor (orig. G Minor), HWV 360 Op.1 No.2 [7:26] The Brook Street Band: Tatty Theo (baroque cello); Carolyn Gibley (harpsichord)rec. 14-17 July, 2006, Raveningham Church, Norfolk, United Kingdom. DDD AVIE AV2118 [55:58] [MS]

Handel recorder sonate arranged for cello – and none the worse for the transposition … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Chaconne in G Major, HWV 435 (by 1733) [7:09] Suite in D Minor, HWV 436 (by 1733) [12:51] Suite in E Minor, HWV 438 (by 1733) [7:39] Suite in B Flat Major, HWV 434 (by 1733) [7:53] Suite in G Major, HWV 441 (by 1733) [15:22] Trevor Pinnock (harpsichord) ARCHIV 410656-2 [54:21] [MS]

First class playing by a real expert of some of the best and most exciting Handel keyboard music. see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Un’alma innamorata (1707) [13.49] Detro l’orme fuggaci (1707) [13.53] Figlio d’alte speranze (1706/7) [10.55] Laudate Pueri Dominum (1707) [21.20] Veronika Winter (soprano) Das Kleine Konzert/Hermann Max rec. 11-13 March 2005, Sendesaal, Deutschlandrundfunk, Köln CAPRICCIO SACD 71 083 [52.37][RH]

In many ways an interesting disc, well programmed and performed with a soloist possessed of a lovely voice but rather understated and lacking the necessary bravura and drama. ... see Full Review

Sir William Henry HARRIS (1883-1973) O hearken thou [2:32] Strengthen ye the weak hands [7:47] Faire is the heav'n [5:47] Love of love [5:43] King of glory [5:24] Praise the Lord [10:30] The night is come [10:23] The shepherd-men [2:50] O joyful light [4:45] From a heart made whole [3:23] I said to the man [2:20] Bring us, O Lord God [4:24] Choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle/Timothy Byram-Wigfield Roger Judd (organ) rec. St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, 23-25 January 2006 NAXOS 8.570148 [65:36][EM]

These works are all exquisitely crafted, passionate and innovative. The Choir pull out all the stops to make the performances of high quality, and the singing and playing  are excellent. ... see Full Review

Fritz Bennicke HART (1874-1949) The Bush - Symphonic Suite in five movements, Op. 59 (1923) [39:55] Idyll for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 169 (1949) [17:48] Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Richard Divall (Bush) Ronald Woodcock (violin); Adelaide Symphony Orchestra/Graham Abbott (Idyll) rec. 17 March 1993, Melbourne Town Hall (Bush); 22 February 1994, ABC Studio 520 (Collinswood) South Australia (Idyll) ANTHOLOGY OF AUSTRALIAN MUSIC CSM 38 [57:43] [MH]

A superb and very gratifying introduction to an unjustly forgotten composer … Hart was no breaker of new ground but melodic, colorful and well-crafted music such as this deserves to be heard. ... see Full Review

Heinrich von HERZOGENBERG (1843-1900) Symphony no. 1 in C minor, Op. 50 (1885) [42:18] Symphony no. 2 in B flat major, Op. 70 (1890) [34:48] North German Radio Symphony Orchestra Hamburg/Frank Beermann rec. Grosser Sendesaal, Hannover, Germany 1-3 December 2003 (1); 17-18 May 2004. CPO 777122-2 [77:06][RB]

Another not inconsiderable entry in the history of German romantic symphonic music. ... see Full Review

Alfred HOLLINS (1865-1942) Organ Works Concert Overture in C major (1889) [8:33] Benediction Nuptiale (1898) [5:38] A Trumpet Minuet (1929) [5:01] Allegretto grazioso (1906) [4:31] Concert Overture in C minor (1899) [7:48] Evening Rest (1917) [7:28] Concert Overture in F minor (1922) [8:52] Andante in D (1895) [9:50] A Song of Sunshine (1913) [4:49] Maytime Gavotte (1927) [3:54] Theme with Variations and Fugue (1911) [13:13] Timothy Byram-Wigfield (organ) rec. Caird Hall organ, Dundee, February 2005 DELPHIAN DCD34044 [79:40][JW]

A real stunner of a disc. Everything about it is right. Byram-Wigfield marshals it all with memorable vivacity ... see Full Review

Jef van HOOF (1886–1959) In Flanders’ Fields – Volume 51 Suite from “Meivuur” (1916) [14:31] Divertimento for Trombone and Orchestra (1935)a [7:11] Vier Giza Ritschl liederen (1906)b [7:41] Lentestemming (1910)b [1:50] Drei Lieder im Volkston (1907)b [5:58] Nanoen in huis (1946)b [1:40] Volkslied : ik heb u lief (1906)b [2:20] De Crans es uutghehanghen (1913)b [4:16] Symphony No.3 in E flat major (1944/5) [31:35] Ann De Renais (soprano)b; Ivan Meylemans (trombone)a Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra/Zsolt Hamar rec. Music Hall, Pècs, Hungary, June 2006 PHAEDRA 92051 [78:28] [HC]

As already mentioned earlier in this review, Van Hoof’s music is firmly anchored in Post-Romantic aesthetics; and anyone enjoying warmly lyrical, richly melodic Romantic music will find much to enjoy here. ... see Full Review

Jenö HUBAY (1858-1937) Scènes de la Csarda No. 2 Op.13 My Little Pipe (1883) [12:52] No. 3 Op.18 The Waters of the river Maros flow gentle (1885) [7:16] No. 4 Op.32 Hey Kati [Hejre Kati] (1889) [5:57] No. 5 Op.33 The waves of Lake Balaton (1889) [6:03] No. 7 Op.41 Kossuth’s Song – orchestrated David Wish [8:29] No.8 Op.60 So they say [9:59] No. 12 Op.83 My Little Turtle Dove (c.1898) [7:32] No. 14 Op.117 On Themes of Lavotta Charles Castleman (violin) Eastman Chamber Orchestra/Mendi Rodan Bonus CD: Hubay and his Pupils play Hubay - Rare historical recordings newly restored see review for details MUSIC AND ARTS CD 1164 [68:11 + 66:00] [JW]

A most rewarding two-disc set thoughtfully compiled, very well transferred, and annotated and documented with intelligence. First class all round. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH John IRELAND (1879-1962) These Things Shall Be * for baritone solo, chorus and orchestra (1937) [19:44] Piano Concerto + (1930) [24:45] Legend for Piano and Orchestra + (1933) [12:43] Overture: Satyricon (1946) [8:43] Two Symphonic Studies (Fugue and Toccata) arr. Geoffrey Bush in 1969 from material composed by Ireland for, but unused in, the film The Overlanders [11:13] John Carol Case (baritone) * London Philharmonic Choir * Eric Parkin (piano) + London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult LYRITA SRCD.241 [77:13][IL]

Pretty well peerless performances of key John Ireland works. Has to figure in my best recordings of 2007 list. ... see Full Review

John IRELAND (1879-1962) String Quartet No. 1 in D minor (1897) (Allegro [8:02]; Molto Allegro [4:32]; Andante Moderato [4:42]; Finale: Vivace [5:09]) The Holy Boy (arr. 1941) [3:16] String Quartet No. 2 in C minor (1898) (Allegro Moderato [9:11]; Nocturne: Andante [7:28]; Scherzo: Presto [4:58]; Pocol Allegro – Vivace [10:04]) Maggini Quartet (Laurence Jackson (violin); David Angel (violin); Martin Outram (viola); Michael Kaznowski (cello)) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 21-23 January 2004 NAXOS 8.557777 [57:22] [EM]

Charming works and radiant performances. A must. ... see Full Review

John JEFFREYS (b. 1955) The Far Country: 26 English Songs Awake thee my Bessy; The Song of love; Under the leaves green; She is all so slight; Brown is my Love; Three Roses; Passing By; Horror follows Horror; Severn Meadows; From Omiecourt; The Falcon; I am the Gilly of Christ; Drop,drop slow tears; O my dere hert; Corpus Christi; Full Fathom Five; When that I was; O mistress mine; Black Stitchel; The Far Country; All night under the moon; The Salley Gardens; Little Trotty Wagtail; The Whin; She is ever for the new; Jillian of Berry. James Gilchrist (tenor) Anna Tilbrook (piano) rec. 2005, Magdalen College Oxford. DIVINE ART DDA25049 [69:28][CSS]

Music for a quiet evening – in contemplation of some of the less complex emotions aroused by things fine and beautiful ... see Full Review

Niels Peter JENSEN (1802-1846) Duos for two flutes Duo for two flutes in E minor, Op. 11 No. 2 [16:53] Duo for two flutes in D major, Op. 4 No. 1 [18:45] Duo for two flutes in F major, Op. 4 No. 3 [17:02] Duo for two flutes in D minor, Op. 11 No. 3 [20:59] Rune Most (flute); Marcelo Barboza (flute) rec. 4-5 June, 2-3 October 2005, Johannes Larsen Museet, Kerteminde, Denmark. DDD DACAPO 8.226029 [73:55][MC]

A beautifully recorded, performed and presented release from Dacapo. Jensen’s music deserves further investigation so I am on the lookout for new releases. ... see Full Review

John JOUBERT (b. 1927) O Praise God in his Holiness Op.52 (1967)a [1:49] Pro Pace Motets (1955/9) [21:29] How are my Foes Increased, Lord! Op.61 (1969)a [6:45] Sleep Canticle Op.81 (1974)b [9:45] Three Hymns to St Oswald Op.74 (1972)a [22:04] Nowell Op.58 (1968)a [3:23] Jean Knibbs (soprano)b; Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor)b; Martin Neary (organ)a The Louis Halsey Singers/Louis Halsey rec. St Giles, Cripplegate, London, February 1979 BMS 102CDH [65:30] [HC]

This most welcome release is an apt and timely birthday tribute to a very distinguished composer whose beautifully crafted and often appealing music is all-too-easily overlooked. ... see Full Review

Hans KRÁSA (1899-1944) 1. Brundibár (1943) [31:24] 2. Overture for Small Orchestra (1943-44) [5:29] Lori LAITMAN (b.1955) 3. I Never Saw Another Butterfly (1995-96) Northwest Boychoir (1) Music of Remembrance/Gerard Schwarz (1,2) Craig Sheppard (piano) (2) Maureen McKay (soprano); Laura DeLuca (clarinet) (3) rec. St Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Seattle, May 2006 (2); Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Seattle, May 2006 (1,3) NAXOS 8.570119 [53:39] [JW]

Slick. Very slick. And very wrong. ... see Full Review

Orlandus LASSUS (1532-1594) Penitential Psalm No.1 (Psalm 6) [13:59] Penitential Psalm No.2 (Psalm 32) [18:52] Penitential Psalm No.3 (Psalm 38) [27:14] Laudate Psalms (Psalms 148 and 51) [11:10] Penitential Psalm No.4 (Psalm 51) [20:43] Penitential Psalm No.5 (Psalm 102) [25:26] Penitential Psalm No.6 (Psalm 130) [8:45] Penitential Psalm No.7 (Psalm 143) [15:09] Henry’s Eight: (Declan Costello, William Towers (counter-tenor); Duncan Byrne, Nicholas Todd, Nicholas Yates (tenor); Damian O’Keefe, Giles Underwood, Robert-Jan Temminck (bass))/Jonathan Brown (director) rec. 27-31 August 1997, St- Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London HYPERION DYAD CDD22056 [71:49 + 70:40] [GPu]

A valuable reissue of a fine performance of one of the most intriguing of all Renaissance choral sequences … see Full Review

Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1857–1919) I Pagliacci (1892) Andrea Bocelli (tenor) – Canio; Ana María Martínez (soprano) – Nedda; Stefano Antonucci (baritone) – Tonio; Francesco Piccoli (tenor) – Beppe; Roberto Accurso (baritone) – Silvio; Salvatore Bonaffini (tenor) – Un contadino; Salvatore Todaro (baritone) – Un altro contadino Coro di voci bianche ”Gaudeamus igitur” Concentus Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania/Steven Mercurio rec. Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania, 24 June–4 July 2002. DDD DECCA 475 7753 [78:32] [GF]

The best reason for acquiring this set is Stefano Antonucci’s lyrical and expressive Tonio but I can’t help admiring Bocelli for his boldness ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Works CD 1 Années de Pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage) Première Année: La Suisse (First year: Switzerland) S160 (1836-54) 1. La chapelle de Guillaume Tell (1848-54) [6:33] 2. Au lac de Wallenstadt (1848-54) [2:39] 3. Pastorale (1848-54) [1:35] 4. Au bord d'une source (1848-54) [3:10] 5. Orage (1848-54) [3:54] 6. Vallée d'Obermann (1848-54) [12:41] 7. Eglogue (1836) [3:32] 8. Le Mal du pays (1848-54) [5:41] 9. Les Cloches de Genève (1848-54) [5:20] Années de Pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage) Deuxième Année: L’Italie (Second year: Italy) S161 (1838-49) 1. Sposalizio (1838-39) [7:10] 2. Il penseroso (1838-39) [3:28] 3. Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa (1849) [3:07] 4. Sonetto 47 del Petrarca (after 1846) [5:40] 5. Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (after 1846) [6:06] 6. Sonetto 123 del Petrarca (after 1846) [6:11] rec. Salle Wagram, Paris, France. November, December 1962. CD 2 Deuxième Année: L’Italie (Second year: Italy) S161 (cont.) 7. Après une lecture de Dante: Fantasia quasi sonata (1837, rev. 1849) [13:46] Venezia e Napoli S162 (Supplement to Années de Pèlerinage: Second year) (1859) 1. Gondoliera (1859) [5:10] 2. Canzone (1859) [3:48] 3. Tarantella (1859) [8:21] Années de Pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage) Troisième Année: L’Italie (Third year: Italy) S163 (1867-77) 1. Angelus! (Prière aux anges gardiens) (1877) [6:03] 2. Aux cyprès de la Villa d'Este I: Thrénodie (1877) [5:53] 3. Aux cyprès de La Villa d'Este II: Thrénodie (1877) [8:41] 4. Les Jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este (1877) [7:29] 5. Sunt lacrymae rerum (en mode hongrois) (1872) [5:10] 6. Marche funèbre (In magnis et voluisse sat est) (1867) [6:16] 7. Sursum corda (1877) [3:02] rec. Salle Wagram, Paris, France. November, December 1962, except S162 September 1969. CD 3 Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (Poetic and religious harmonies) S173 (1845-52) 1. Invocation (1847-52) [7:11] 2. Ave Maria (1847-52) [6:49] 3. Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude (1845) [16:51] 4. Pensée des morts (1847-52) [12:55] 5. Pater noster (1847-52) [2:59] 6. Hymne de l’enfant à son réveil (1847-52) [5:25] 7. Funèrailles (‘October 1849’) (1849) [11:49] 8. Miserere, d’après Palestrina (1847-52) [3:46] 9. Andante lagrimoso (1847-52) [6:06] rec. Salle Wagram, Paris, France. 9-10 April 1990. CD 4 Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (Poetic and religious harmonies) S173 (cont.) 10. Cantique d’amour (1847-52) [6:54] Liebesträume (Dreams of Love) Three Nocturnes, S541 (c. 1850) 2. Nocturne No. 1 in A flat [6:29] 3. Nocturne No. 2 in E [4:38] 4. Nocturne No. 3 in A flat [4:17] Consolations S172 (1849-50) 5. Andante con moto [1:06] 6. Un poco più mosso [2:46] 7. Lento placido [4:10] 8. Quasi adagio [2:22] 9. Andantino [1:58] 10. Allegretto cantabile [2:29] Deux Légendes S175 (c. 1863) 11. Saint François d'Assise prêchant aux oiseaux [8:41] 12. Saint François de Paule marchant sur les flots [8:42] Deux Ballades 13. Ballade No. 1 in D flat S170 (1845-48) [7:18] 14. Ballade No. 2 in B minor S171 (1853) [13:35] rec. Salle Wagram, Paris, France. March, November 1970, June 1971, except S173 9-10 April 1990. CD 5 Opera paraphrases: 1. Isolde's Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde after Wagner (arr. Liszt 1867) S447 [7:28] 2. Valse de l'opéra Faust after Gounod (arr. Liszt 1861) S407 [9:25] 3. Valse à capriccio sur deux motifs de Lucia et Parisina after Donizetti (arr. Liszt 1842) S401 [9:17] 4. Paraphrase de concert sur Rigoletto after Verdi (arr. Liszt 1859) S434 [6:33] 5. Réminiscences de Simon Boccanegra after Verdi (arr. Liszt 1882) S438 [11:35] 6. Miserere du Trovatore after Verdi (arr. Liszt 1859) S433 [7:20] 7. Danza sacra et duetto finale d’Aïda after Verdi (arr. Liszt 1871-79) S436 [12:43] Aldo Ciccolini (piano) rec. Salle Wagram, Paris, France. 15-17 March 1982, except S436 9-10 April 1990. ADD/DDD; Digital remastering 2006 EMI CLASSICS 3 67906 2 [5 CDs: 76:47 + 73:39 + 73:51 + 75:25 + 64:21][MC]

I thoroughly enjoyed these performances that aptly demonstrate the art of Aldo Ciccolini. This set should satisfy anyone looking for a broad selection of Liszt piano scores. ... see Full Review

A “Hatto Original” Franz LISZT (1811-1886) 12 Etudes d’exécution transcendante S.139 [65:09] László Simon (piano) rec. August 1986, Beethovensaal, Hanover BIS-CD-369 [65:05][CH]

The most famous record by the pianist everyone must have heard of by now. ... 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

Antonio LOTTI (1667–1740) Vesper Psalms Dixit Dominus [29.33] Laudate Pueri [23.46] Credidi [11.04] Laudate Dominum [4.01] Barbara Christina Steude (soprano) Annekathrin Laabs (soprano) David Erler (alto) Tobias Berndt (bass) Sachisches Vocalensemble Batzdorfer Hofkapelle/Manfred Jung rec. Lukas Kirche, Dresden, 22-24 October 2005 CPO 777 180-2 [66.08] [RH]

Not quite up to the sophistication of the top-flight early music groups but an attractive programme given with charm, poise and a lively immediacy. ... 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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