MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

There are currently : visitors online reading classical reviews. Powered by Online Count.

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?
Enter your email address below, then hit enter/return on your keyboard.
You can unsubscribe yourself at any time.

Powered by
Sample: See what you will get

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing


Alphabetical Listing


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]


Antonio SACCHINI (1730–1786) Oedipe a Colonne – opera (1786) [112.07] Oedipe – Francois Loup (baritone) Antigone – Nathalie Paulin (mezzo) Polinice – Robert Getchell (tenor) Thésée - Tony Boutte (tenor) Eriphile – Kirsten Blaise (soprano) Opera Lafayette Orchestra and Chorus/Ryan Brown rec. 13–15 May 2005, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Centre, University of Maryland, USA NAXOS 8.660196-97 [67.54 + 44.53] [RH]

If you have never heard of Sacchini but enjoy Gluck’s French operas that do try this disc, you will not be disappointed. ... see Full Review

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921) Violin Concerto No.3 in B minor, Op.61 (1880) [25:12] Caprice d’après l’Étude en forme de Valse for violin and orchestra, Op.52 (1877) (arrangement by Eugène Ysaÿe) [6:55] Caprice andalous for violin and orchestra, Op.122 (1904) [9:13] Prélude from ‘Le Déluge’ for string orchestra, Op.45 (1876) [6:34]*, Valse-Caprice (Wedding Cake) for piano and string orchestra, Op. 76 (1886) [6:12]*, Allegro appassionato for piano and orchestra, Op. 70 (1884) [6:01]* Jean-Jacques Kantorow (violin), Heini Kärkkäinen (piano) Tapiola Sinfonietta/Kees Bakels, Jean-Jacques Kantorow* rec. September 2004, Tapiola Concert Hall, Finland. DDD BIS-CD-1470 [61:43] [MC]

An attractive collection of six Saint-Saëns scores. The feature work Violin Concerto No. 3 is well performed by Kantorow, however, the competition is extremely fierce. ... see Full Review

Carlos SALZEDO (1885-1961) Night Breeze – the Harp Music of Carlos Salzedo Short Stories in Music, Book I (1934) [12:26] Short Stories in Music, Book II (1934) [11:08] Suite of Eight Dances (1943) [14:33] Prelude for a Drama (1948) [4:29] Préludes intimes (1919) [5:58] Variations sur un thème dans le style ancien, Op. 30 (1911, revised 1954) [15:12] Sarah Schuster Ericsson (harp) rec. 13-14 February 2003, Skywalker Sound, Nicasio, California CAMBRIA CD-1151 [66:39] [GPu]

A well-recorded and thoroughly enjoyable recording of music by one of the great modern harpists, music which lives and breathes its composer’s familiarity with the instrument … see Full Review

Steffen SCHLEIERMACHER (b. 1960) Ensemble Music Auto Werk mit Hup Raum (2005) [19:30] * Obophon for six oboes (2003) [15:21] § Three Pieces for Viola and Bass Clarinet (2003-2005) [7:23] † Merseburger Overtüre mit F. L. (2004) [15:01] ‡ Netz Werk for ensemble and tape (2002) ± *Sächseiche Blechbläserensemble; § Noriko Kitamura (solo oboe); Annelie Schwanebeck, Robert Matthes, Christian Leschowski, Minyonng Lee, Sandra Klein, (oboes); † Dorothea Hemken (viola); Volker Hemken (bass clarinet); ‡ Michael Schönheit (organ); ± Ensemble Avantgarde rec. * 21 Oct 2005 Paul Gerhard-Kirche Leipzig; § 10 Feb 2005 Paul Gerhard-Kirche Leipzig; † 8 Feb 2005 Paul Gerhard-Kirche Leipzig; ‡ 28 June 2006 Dom zu Merseburg; ± 22 Apr 2002 Rathaussaal Markkleeberg MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM SZENE MDG 613 1413-2 [76:25][DB]

Certainly recommended for new music fans. … see Full Review

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Moses und Aron (1930-1932) Moses: Wolfgang Schöne (bass); Aron: Chris Merritt (tenor); Young Girl: Irena Bespalovaite (soprano); Young Man: Bernhard Schneider (baritone); Priest: Karl-Friedrich Durr (bass); First Elder: Ulrich Frisch (baritone); Second Elder: Sasa Vrabac (tenor); Third Elder: Stephan Storck (baritone); Invalid Woman: Emma Curtis (mezzo) A Naked Youth: Alois Redel (tenor) Stuttgart State Opera Chorus/Polish Radio Choir, Krakow/Stuttgart State Opera Children’s Chorus Stuttgart State Orchestra/Roland Kluttig rec. live, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Germany 10, 13, 20 September 2003 NAXOS 8.660158-59 [52.02 + 58.04] [GH]

At Naxos price for a work for which you need some patience and application this version is perfectly good. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Deutsche Schubert-Lied-Edition 22 Poets of Sensibility, Vol. 5: Ludwig Kosegarten (1758–1818) Geist der Liebe, D233² [2:18]; Das Finden, D219² [2:54]; Alles um Liebe, D241¹ [2:24]; Huldigung, D240² [2:15]; Die Erscheinung, D229² [2:55]; Die Täuschung, D230¹ [2:04]; Der Abend, D 221² [3:53]; Die Mondnacht, D238¹ [2:41]; Nachtgesang, D314³ [2:44]; Abends unter der Linde, D235² [3:07]; Das Sehnen, D231³ [2:21]; Luisens Antwort, D319¹ [2:50]; Abends unter der Linde, D237¹ [3:23]; An Rosa I, D315² [0:49]; An Rosa II, D316² [4:01]; An die untergehende Sonne, D457¹ [6:23]; Die Sterne, D313² [2:45]; Idens Nachtgesang, D227¹ [2:14]; Von Ida, D228¹ [1:32]; Idens Schwanenlied, D317¹ [3:18]; Schwangesang, D318³ [4:14]; Lydia Teuscher (soprano)¹; Marcus Ullman (tenor)²; Thomas Bauer (baritone)³; Ulrich Eisenlohr (fortepiano) rec. Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich, Germany, 10-14 November 2003, 12-16 January 2004, 2-3 November 2005 NAXOS 8.557373 [61:04] [GF]

Not a tremendously necessary buy but still a pleasant disc, showing that even unknown songs have their attractions – when sung as well as they are here. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartets Vol.1 String Quartet in D Minor, D.810 Death and the Maiden (1824) [44:19] String Quartet in E major, Op.125/1, D.87 (1813) [25:29] Mandelring Quartett: (Sebastian Schmidt (violin); Nanette Schmidt (violin); Roland Glassl (viola); Bernhard Schmidt (cello)) rec. 4-6 March 2003, Martinkirche, Leinsweiler, Germany. DDD AUDITE 97.507 [69:42] [TP]

An introspective performance that you need to follow rather closely. But the effort to concentrate is repaid by the insights the Mandelring Quartett bring to this music. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartet No. 14 in D minor D.810 Death and the Maiden (1824) [33:06]; String Quartet No. 15 in G major D.887 (1826) [39:58] Busch Quartet (Adolf Busch; Gösta Andreasson (violins); Karl Doktor (viola); Hermann Busch, (cello)) rec. 16 October 1936 (D.810); 22, 30 November 1938, Studio 3, Abbey Road, London (D.887). ADD MONO. EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3615882 [73.33] [ED]

The Busch’s feeling for the music is unsurpassed nearly seventy years after it was recorded. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Adagio and Allegro in A flat for cello and piano, Op. 70 (1849) [9:45] Fantasiestücke for cello and piano, Op. 73 (1849) [11:14] Fünf Stücke im Volkston for cello and piano, Op. 102 (1849) [16:02] Märchenbilder for cello and piano, Op. 113 (transcribed by Alfredo Piatti, edited by Christian Bellisario) (1851) [15:43] Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Arpeggione Sonata in A minor for cello and piano, D.821 (1824) [25:22] Antonio Meneses (cello)Gérard Wyss (piano) rec. 26-28 May 2006, Potton Hall, Dunwich, Saxmundham, Suffolk, England. DDD AVIE AV2112 [78:51] [MC]

The classy partnership of cellist Meneses and pianist Wyss proves to be highly fruitful. This is an all round success and a most welcome addition to the catalogue. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) String Quartets: A minor, Op. 41, No. 1 [25:56]; F major, Op. 41, No. 2 [21:06]; A major, Op. 41, No. 3 [32:03] Fine Arts Quartet: Ralph Evans (violin); Efim Boico (violin); Yuri Gandelsman (viola); Wolfgang Laufer (cello) rec. Library of Wittem Monastery (Klooster Wittem), Netherlands, 11, 13-15 February 2006 NAXOS 8.570151 [79:05] [GF]

At Naxos price, readers who have so far fought shy of these quartets should give them a try and, like me, they may possibly find that this is eminently well-wrought and attractive music ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Solo Music for Piano Humoreske in B flat major, Op. 20 (1838) [29:36] Impromptus (10) on a theme by Clara Schumann, Op. 5 (1833) [19:01] Klavierstücke (7) in the form of Fugues, Op. 126: no 1 (1853) [2:36] Klavierstücke (7) in the form of Fugues, Op. 126: no 4 in D minor (1853) [2:07] Klavierstücke (7) in the form of Fugues, Op. 126: no 7 (1853) [4:03] Phantasiestücke (3) for Piano, Op. 111: no 2 [5:32] Theme and Variations in E flat major, ‘Geistervariationen’ (1854) [13:02] Yael Weiss (piano) rec. September, 2005, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, USA. DDD KOCH INTERNATIONAL CLASSICS KIC-CD-7650 [75:57] [MS]

Schumann played competently, though somewhat lacking in inspiration, more redolent of unsure Schubert than of the visionary Schumann. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Kinderszenen, op. 15 (1838) [20.00]; Etudes Symphoniques, op. 13 (1837) [37.47] Luiza Borac (piano) rec. St Dunstan’s Church, Mayfield, 25-28 April 2001. DDD. AVIE GBELZ0200011-40 [57.47] [ED]

Worth serious consideration, even to sit alongside other versions of choice you might own. ... see Full Review

Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) Piano Concerto No. 1 in C (1913-14) [39:32] Early One Morning - Poem for Piano and Orchestra (1931, rev.1962) [14:47] Piano Concerto No. 2 (1958) [25:12] John Ogdon (piano) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Herrmann rec. 1970s. ADD LYRITA SRCD.251 [79:44] [RB]

A generously timed disc presenting Scott’s subtly beguiling piano concertos with the first being the more instantly captivating of the two. Superbly done. ... see Full Review

Peter SCULTHORPE (b.1929) Cello Dreaming (1988) [18:07] * Quamby (String Quartet No.14 arranged for chamber orchestra 2000) [21:20] Nourlangie (1989) [21:19] + Music for Bali (1968) [3:56] Sue-Ellen Paulsen (cello) * Karin Schaupp (guitar) + Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Richard Mills rec. Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, December 2002, December 2003 ABC CLASSICS 476 7627 [64:46][JW]

An excellently realised disc and part of a model series. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Complete Symphonies, Cantata Op.90 ‘The Sun Shines on our Motherland’, The Execution of Stepan Razin Op.119 Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No.2 in C sharp minor Op.129; Artur Eisen (bass) (13); Evgenia Tselovalnik (sop) (14); Evgeny Nesterenko, (bass) (14) Choirs of the Russian Republic/Alexander Yourlov (2, 3, 13); David Oistrakh (violin – concerto) Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra/Kirill Kondrashin (conductor) Rec. Moscow 1965-75 MELODIYA MEL CD 10 01065 [11CDs]

Essential Shostakovich listening – rough and gritty, but with a bite which leaves scars. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Jazz Suite No. 1 (1934) [8:21] Jazz Suite No. 2 – Waltz 2 (1938) [3:49] Tahiti Trot Op. 16 (1928?) [3:31] The Gadfly suite op. 97a – Barrel-Organ Waltz; Romance (1955) [8:43] Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor op. 35 (1933) [21:07] Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor op. 102 (1957) [19:17] The Unforgettable Year 1919 suite: The Assault on Beautiful Gorky op. 89a (1951) [7:32] Philadelphia Orchestra/Mariss Jansons (Jazz 1, 2; Tahiti); Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields/Neville Marriner (Gadfly); Dmitri Alexeev (piano); English Chamber Orchestra/Jerzy Maksymiuk (opp. 35, 102, 89a) rec. Giandomenico Studios, Collingwood NJ, March 1996 (Philadelphia); No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, October/November 1986 (ECO); St John’s Smith Square, London, May 1983 (ASMIF). CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 3822342 [72:49][RB]

An engaging single disc anthology of Shostakovich in lighter vein and all at bargain price. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Trio no.2 in E minor op.67 (1944) [24:19] Krzysztof MEYER (b.1943) Piano Trio op.50 (1980) [33:42] Arcadia Trio (Rainer Gepp (piano); Gorjan Košuta (violin); Miloš Mlejnik (cello)) rec. 22-23 November 1995 (Shostakovich) and 24-25 May 1996 (Meyer), WDR Saal 2. BELLA MUSICA BM 31.2415 [68:04] [DC]

Krzysztof Meyer’s op.50 Piano Trio is a genuinely powerful work. ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Kullervo op. 7 (1892) [71:47] Charlotte Hellekant (mezzo) Nathan Gunn (baritone) Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Men's Chorus/Robert Spano rec. 27-28 May 2006, Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia. DDD TELARC CD-80665 [71:47]  [TH]

Has a cumulative impact that is truly impressive ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No.3 in C major, op.52 (1907) [29:57] Symphony No.5 in E flat major, op.82 (1919) [33:49] Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/Leif Segerstam rec. Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, 3 June 2003. DDD ONDINE ODE 1035-2 [63:57][JW]

Nevertheless these are splendidly played and recorded performances and the contentious ending to the Fifth aside worthy additions to the Sibelius catalogues. ... see Full Review

Larry SITSKY (b. 1934) Concerto for Violin, Orchestra and Female Voices (No 1) Mysterium Cosmographicum (1972) [36:21] Violin Concerto No.2 – Gurdjieff (c.1982) [22:53] Violin Concerto No. 3 I Ching; The Eight Kua (Trigrams) (1987) Jan Sedivka (violin) Female Voices from the Tasmanian Opera Company Chorus and The Lyric Singers Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Vanco Cavdarski (No. 1) Omri Hadari (No.2) Christopher Lyndon-Gee (No. 3) rec. Hobart, 1974 (No. 1, 2) 1992 (No. 3) ABC CLASSICS 476 5252 [59:14 + 36:31] [JW]

Sedivka is a protagonist and interweaver of distinction; he mediates between Sitsky's elevated vision and the violin's technical realities with perfect judgement. ... see Full Review

Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) Dalibor (sung in English) (1868, revised 1870 and 1878) Vladislav – Gwyn Griffiths (baritone) Dalibor – Robert Jones (tenor) Budivoj – Gordon Farrall (baritone) Beneš – Don Garrard (bass) Vitek – Joseph Ward (tenor) Milada – Pauline Tinsley (soprano) Jitka – April Cantelo (soprano) Judge – Harold Lumb (bass) BBC Orchestra and Chorus/Vilem Tauský rec. 31 August 1969. ADD. GALA GL100.785 [76:22 + 73:52] [JW]

Gala has been active in restoring vintage British operatic performances. This one has rather more limitations than others I’ve heard and will be a niche purchase. ... see Full Review

Carl STAMITZ (1745-1801) Orchestral Quartet in F, Op. 14 No. 4 (1776) [20:58] Concertante Quartet in B-flat, Op. 14 No. 5 (1776) [15:00] Concertante Quartet in G, Op. 14 No. 2 (1776) [12:56] Orchestral Quartet in C, Op. 14 No. 1 (1776) [18:00] NZSO Chamber Orchestra/Donald Armstrong rec. 3-6 Oct. 2004, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Wellington, New Zealand NAXOS 8.557671 [66:55] [DB]

Cheerful and charming pieces from the Mannheim school. … see Full Review

James STEVENS (b. 1923) The Reluctant Masquerade (2000) Mayo Shono (singer) – Natzuko Stephen Gadd (baritone) – Mishima Susan Bickley (mezzo) – Satoko City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra/Cem Mansur rec. Prague 2002-6 (no further details provided) PRISTINE CLASSICAL PACO500 [47:00][PCW]

Multiple musical idioms fused into a coherent and compelling experience … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann STRAUSS II (1825–1899) Die Fledermaus (1874) Nicolai Gedda (tenor) – Gabriel von Eisenstein; Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) – Rosalinde; Helmut Krebs (tenor) – Alfred; Rita Streich (soprano) – Adele; Karl Dönch (baritone) – Frank; Erich Kunz (baritone) – Falke; Rudolf Christ (tenor) – Prince Orlofsky; Erich Majkut (tenor) – Dr. Blind; Franz Böheim (speaking part) – Frosch; Luise Martini (speaking part) – Ida; Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus/Herbert von Karajan; rec. 26–30 April 1955, Kingsway Hall, London Appendix: Historical Recordings of Die Fledermaus: Overture (arr. Korngold) [8:20] The Palace Theatre Orchestra/Richard Tauber rec. July 1945, London; Mein Herr, was dächten Sie von mir [2:55] Lotte Lehmann (soprano); Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Frieder Weissmann rec. 26 May 1931, Berlin; Mein Herr Marquis [3:21] Elisabeth Schumann (soprano); Orchestra/Karl Alwin rec. 11 November 1927, Queen’s Small Hall, London; Spiel’ ich die Unschuld vom Lande [3:27] Elisabeth Schumann (soprano); Vienne State Opera Orchestra/Karl Alwin rec. 6 September 1929, Mittlerer Saal, Musikvereinsaal, Vienna; Klänge der Heimat [4:15] Maria Ivogün (soprano); Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Leo Blech rec. October 1932, Berlin; Herr Chevalier, ich grüsse Sie! … Brüderlein, Brüderlein und Schwesterlein [4:08]; Genug, damit, genug! [3:48] Richard Tauber (tenor); Lotte Lehmann (soprano); Karin Branzell (mezzosoprano); Waldemar Staegemann (baritone); Grete Merrem-Nikisch (mezzo); Berlin State Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Frieder Weissmann rec. 17 December, 1928, Berlin NAXOS 8.111036-37 [79:07 + 60:37] [GF]

Whatever other version you own, Karajan’s is definitely one to add and at Naxos price you can still afford a bottle of champagne to go with your Wienerschnitzel. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) Vier letzte Lieder (1949) [19:10] 1. Frühling (Hesse) [3:24]; 2. September (Hesse) [4:07]; 3. Beim Schlafengehn (Hesse) [4:27]; 4. Im Abendrot (Eichendorff) [7:11] Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Ackermann rec. 25-26 September 1953, Watford Town Hall Arabella (1933), highlights [57:41] 5. Ich danke, Fräulein [8:21]; 6. Welko, das Bild! [13:11]; 7. Mein Elemer! [7:55]; 8. Sie wollen mich heiraten [8:49]; 9. Und jetzt sag’ ich adieu [13:26]; 10. Das war sehr gut, Mandryka [6:00] Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) – Arabella; Joseph Metternich (baritone) – Mandryka; Nicolai Gedda (tenor) – Matteo; Anny Felbermayer (soprano) – Zdenka; Walter Berry (bass) – Count Lamoral; Harald Pröglhöf (baritone) – Count Dominik; Murray Dickie (tenor) – Count Elemer; Waiter; Theodor Schlott (bass) – Count Waldner Philharmonia Orchestra/Lovro von Matacic rec. 27–29 September, 6 October 1954, Kingsway Hall, London. ADD NAXOS 8.111145 [76:51] [JW]

This disc is worthy of a place in any Strauss collection. ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Fünf Klavierstücke, Op. 3 (1880/1) [24:14] Piano Sonata in B minor, Op. 5 (1880/1) [23:03] Stimmungsbilder, Op. 9 (1882/4) [19:16] Stefan Veselka (piano). rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 3-4 April 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557713 [67:33] [CC]

A fascinating disc, well recorded at Potton Hall by Michael Ponder who doubles as Producer and Engineer ... see Full Review

Józef ŚWIDER (b.1930) Te Deum [19:35] Jubilate Deo [2:55] Pater noster (1986) [4:44] Wierzę (Credo) [2:34] Salve Regina [5:08] Czego chcesz od nas Panie (1983) [3:49] Lux perpetua (1987) [3:38] Vocalisa “Pax” [3:27] Missa minima [4:28] Moja piosnka (1983) [2:29] Ave maris stella [3:17] Requiem aeternam (1996) [5:08] Da pacem Domine [4:43] Laudate pueri [2:42] Cantus gloriosus [3:59] Katarzyna Trylnik (soprano); Czesław Gałka (baritone): Arkadiusz Skotnicki and Piotr Sutt (precussion); Julian Gembalski (organ) Polski Chór Kameralny/Jan Łukaszewski rec. St Nikolai, Gdansk, February 2005  CARUS 83.176 [73:19][JW]

Świder’s direct and honest voice is an illuminating and warm one – admirers of, say, Finzi will find no sharp corners here; on the contrary, plenty to enjoy. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No.4 in F minor Op.36 (1877) [42:57] Symphony No.5 in E minor Op.64 (1888) [47:28] Symphony No.6 in B minor Op.74 Pathétique (1893) [46:09] Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome)/Antonio Pappano rec. live, Sala Santa Cecilia, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome, 3-15 July 2006 EMI CLASSICS 3 53258 2 [71:27 + 65:05] [DC]

These discs are a real ‘concert in your pocket’, and genuinely satisfying. ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto in D Op.35 (1879) [34:53] Sérénade mélancolique Op.26 (1875) [9:27] Valse-Scherzo Op.34 (1877) [7:46] Souvenir d’un lieu cher Op.42 (1878) [15:54] ¹ Julia Fischer (violin) Yakov Kreizberg (piano) ¹ Russian National Orchestra/Yakov Kreizberg rec. DZZ Studio No.5, Moscow, April 2006; MCO Studio 5, Hilversum (Souvenir) April 2006 PENTATONE CLASSICS 5186095 [68:25][JW]

Not a bad disc but as Klemperer might have continued, not a good one either. ... see Full Review

Ernst TOCH (1887-1964) Miniature Overture (1932) [2:27] * Peter Pan (A Fairy Tale For Orchestra) Op.76 (1956) [13:00] Notturno Op.77 (1953) [9:27] Jephta, Rhapsodic Poem (Symphony No.5) Op.89 (1963) [20:44] Louisville Orchestra/Robert Whitney Louisville Orchestra/Jorge Mester * rec. Louisville. Kentucky, 1969 (Overture), 1960 (Peter Pan), 1954 (Notturno), 1965 (Jephta) FIRST EDITION FECD 0035 [45:42][JW/RB]

JW: These pioneering recordings reek of commitment and energy and deserve a warm welcome; RB: The integrity is unquestionable - it's a feature of these downright honest discs ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ernst TOCH (1887-1964) Tanz-Suite for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Double Bass and Percussion, Op.30  (1923-4) [29:53] * Concerto for Cello and Chamber Orchestra, Op.35 (1924-5) [27:10] Christian Poltéra (cello); Spectrum Concerts Berlin: Priya Mitchell*, Julia-Maria Kretz (violin); Hartmut Rohde* (viola); Frank Dodge (cello); Stacey Watton* (double-bass); Marieke Schneemann* (flute); Nigel Shore (oboe); Lars Wouters van der Oudenwijer* (clarinet); Catherine Maguire (bassoon); Bernhard Krug (horn); Daniel Tummes* (percussion) / Thomas Carroll. rec. 1-3 May 2006 *; 3 May 2006; Kammermusiksaal, Philharmonie, Berlin NAXOS 8.559282 [57:35][GPu]

An outstanding recording and performance of fascinating music, by a composer still not as well known as he should be, and therefore not as widely-enjoyed as he should be … see Full Review

Francesc VALLS (1665-1747) A todo correr [9:44] Pues oy benignas las Luzes [5:24] Pablo BRUNA (1611-1679) Obras de falsas de sexto tono [2:05] Francesc VALLS Quando Antonio glorioso [6:41] Sagrado portento de amor [8:29] Pablo BRUNA Obra de medio registro [5:05] Francesc VALLS Que estruendo de clarines [6:28] Espiritu ardiente en llamas [6:31] Joan CABANILLES (1644-1712) Tiento XII de falsas [3:30] Francesc VALLS La que en el jardin serafico [8:13] Anonimo del Siglo XVII Passacalles de primer tomo [1:43] A Corte Musical/Rogério Gonçalves rec. June 2004, Chiesa di Sant-Laurent, Lausanne SYMPHONIA SY 05215 [67:03][DC]

A beautifully prepared and performed production, and a stylish representative of current historical performing practice  ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Ernani – Opera in 4 acts (1844) Ernani – Mario Del Monaco (tenor); Don Carlo – Leonard Warren (baritone); Silva – Cesare Siepi (bass); Elvira – Zinka Milanov (soprano); Don Riccardo – James McCracken (tenor) Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra/Dimitri Mitropoulos rec. live, New York, 29 December 1956. MONO ANDROMEDA ANDRCD 9005 [72.05+52.13] [RMO]

An oldie but a goodie – but only just ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Rigoletto - melodramma in three acts (1851) Duke of Mantua - Richard Tucker (ten); Rigoletto, his jester - Leonard Warren (bar); Gilda, Rigoletto’s daughter - Roberta Peters (sop); Sparafucile, a villain available or hire as an assassin - Giorgio Tozzi (bass); Maddalena, his sister - Rosalind Elias (mezzo); Giovanna, Gilda’s Duenna - Thelma Votipka (mezzo); Count Monterone - Normann Scott (bass); Marullo, a courtier - Clifford Harvuot (bar); Matteo Borsa, a courtier - Gabor Carelli (ten); Count Ceprano - Lawrence Davidson (bar); Contess Ceprano - Maria Leone (sop) Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera, New York/Fausto Cleva rec. live, Metropolitan Opera, 25 February 1956 ANDROMEDA ANDRCD 5078  [56.06 + 60.08][RJF]

This clear live recording of a standard 1950s night at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, features one of the greatest exponents of the title role of Rigoletto and is well worth hearing. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Rigoletto - Operatic melodramma in three acts (1851) Duke of Mantua - Giuseppe Di Stefano (ten); Rigoletto, his jester - Tito Gobbi (bar); Gilda, Rigoletto’s daughter - Maria Callas (sop); Sparafucile, a villain available for hire as an assassin - Nicola Zaccaria (bass); Maddalena, his sister - Adriana Lazzarini (mezzo); Giovanna, Gilda’s Duenna - Giuse Gerbino (alto); Count Monterone - Plinio Clabassi (bass); Marullo, a courtier - William Dickie (bar); Matteo Borsa, a courtier - Renata Ercolani (ten); Count Ceprano - Carlo Forti (bar); Contess Ceprano Elvira Galassi (sop) Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, Milan/Herbert von Karajan
rec. September 1955, Teatro alla Scala, Milan. ADD Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn. NAXOS HISTORICAL GREAT OPERA RECORDINGS SERIES 8.111242-3 [56.18 + 61.54]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Rigoletto - Operatic melodramma in three acts (1851)
Duke of Mantua - Giuseppe Di Stefano (ten); Rigoletto, his jester - Tito Gobbi (bar); Gilda, Rigoletto’s daughter - Maria Callas (sop); Sparafucile, a villain available for hire as an assassin - Nicola Zaccaria (bass); Maddalena, his sister - Adriana Lazzarini (mezzo); Giovanna, Gilda’s Duenna - Giuse Gerbino (alto); Count Monterone - Plinio Clabassi (bass); Marullo, a courtier - William Dickie (bar); Matteo Borsa, a courtier - Renata Ercolani (ten); Count Ceprano - Carlo Forti (bar); Contess Ceprano Elvira Galassi (sop)
Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, Milan/Herbert von Karajan
rec. September 1955, Teatro alla Scala, Milan. ADD Note. Regis timings including bonus tracks of Callas singing Son guinta [6.59] and Pace, pace mio Dio [6.07] from Verdi’s La Forza del Destino – rec. 1954. ADD REGIS LEGENDARY PERFORMANCES SERIES RRC 2076 [53.29+71.45] [RJF]

Now it is available at bargain price every Verdi collection should have a copy of this performance. But the significant differences between these two issues will require personal judgements to be made. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlo - Opera in Four Acts, sung in Italian (1884) Philip, King of Spain - Cesare Siepi (bass); Don Carlo, Infante of Spain - Angelo Lo Farese (ten); Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa - Ettore Bastianini (bar); The Grand Inquisitor - Giulio Neri (bass); Elisabeth de Valois, Philip's Queen - Anita Cerquetti (sop); Princess Eboli, Elisabeth's lady-in-waiting - Fedora Barbieri (mezzo); Tebaldo, Elisabeth's page - Liliana Poli (sop); The Count of Lerma, A Royal Herald - Enzo Guagni (ten); An Old Monk - Paolo Washington (bass); A Voice from Heaven - Rena Gary Falachi (sop) Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Antonino Votto rec. live, Teatro Communale, Florence, 16 June 1956 Appendix: Ettore Bastianini as Rodrigo in Don Carlo from the Met production, rec. 5 March 1955 with Richard Tucker as Carlo and Jerome Hines as Philip/Kurt Adler [32.45] ANDROMEDA ANDRCD5064 [3CDs: 70.44 + 63.13 + 69.36] [RJF]

This has serious limitations but is worth hearing for the under-recorded Anita Cerquetti’s performance of Elisabeth. ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlo - Opera in Four Acts, sung in Italian. (1884) Philip, King of Spain, Boris Christoff (bass); Don Carlo, Infante of Spain, Mario Filippeschi (ten); Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa, Tito Gobbi (bar); The Grand Inquisitor, Giulio Neri (bass); Elisabeth de Valois, Philip's Queen, Antoinetta Stella (sop); Princess Eboli, Elisabeth's lady-in-waiting, Elena Nicolai (mezzo); Tebaldo, Elisabeth's page, Loretta di Lelio (sop); The Count of Lerma and A Royal Herald, Paolo Caroli (ten); An Old Monk, Plino Clabassi (bass); A Voice from Heaven, Orietta Moscucci (sop) Orchestra and Chorus of the Opera House, Rome/Gabriele Santini rec. Rome Opera House, October 1954. ADD Appendix. Historical recordings of Don Carlo [41.34] Restoration Engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS HISTORICAL GREAT OPERA RECORDINGS SERIES 8.111132-34 [3 CDs: 77.29 + 71.26 + 63.08][RJF]

Mark Obert-Thorn’s remastering of this seminal first studio recording of Verdi’s masterpiece brings out the strengths of the performance as never before ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Falstaff - opera in three acts (1893) Falstaff - Ruggero Raimondi (bass-bar); Alice Ford - Barbara Fritolli (sop); Ford - Manuel Lanza (bar); Meg Page - Laura Polverelli (mezzo); Mistress Quickly - Elena Zilio (cont); Nannetta - Mariola Cantarero (sop); Fenton - Daniil Shtoda (ten); Pistol - Luigi Roni (bass); Bardolph - Gianluca Floris (ten); Dr. Caius - Carlo Bosi (ten) Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Zubin Mehta rec. live, Teatro Communale, Florence, 12 May 2006 Stage Director, Luca Ranconi. Set design, Margherita Palli. Costume design, Carlo Maria Diappi Directed for TV and Video by Paola Teoldi Sound format, DD 5.1. DTS 5.1. LPCM stereo. Picture format 16:9 anamorphic NTSC Introductory essay in English, German and French Subtitles in Italian (original language), English, German, French and Spanish TDK VIDEO DVWW-OPFALF [128:00][RJF]

Aided by Raimondi’s well-sung and acted portrayal this updated version can stand alongside more traditional productions. ... see Full Review

Carl VINE (b.1954) Oboe Concerto (1996) [17:13] Canzona (1985) [11:50] Suite from The Tempest (1990) [22:26] Smith’s Alchemy (1994) [18:45] Diana Doherty (oboe) Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Ola Rudner rec. studio, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Hobart, February, March 2003 ABC CLASSICS 476 226-7 [70:16][JW]

Broad-ranging and attractively dissonant. The playing is first class. The TSO has nothing to fear from its more famous Antipodean rivals. ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741) The Four Seasons: Spring, Concerto Op. 8 No. 1 (1725) [9.49]; Summer, Concerto Op. 8 No. 2 (1725) [9.58]; Autumn, Concerto Op. 8 No. 3 (1725) [10.19]; Winter, Concerto Op. 8 No. 4 (1725) [8.34] Concerto Op. 8 No. 5, La Tempesta di mare (1725) [8.24] Concerto Op. 8 No. 6, Il piacere (1725) [8.08] Cho-Liang Lin (violin) Anthony Newman (harpsichord and portatif organ) Sejong rec. 6-9 September 2005, The Church of the Holy Trinity, New York City NAXOS 8.557920 [55.11][RH]

Efficient, well played virtuoso performances … looking for love, warmth and a feeling of friendly communal music-making, then look elsewhere. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Heroes Orlando finto pazzo - Se in ogni guardo (1714) [3:11] Giustino - Vedro con mio diletto (1724) [5:11] Ottone in villa - Frema pur, si lagni Roma (1713) [4:24] L'Olimpiade - Mentre dormi amor fomenti [7:42] Tito Manlio - Vanne perdida... Frà le procelle (1718) [5:05] Andromeda liberata - Sovente il sole (1726) [9:23] Demofoonte - Sperai vicino il lido [5:36] Giustino - Deh perché... Bel riposo de'mortali (1724) [4:15] Il Tigrane - Farà la mia spada [2:44] Tieteberga - Sento in seno [4:06] Orlando furioso - Cara sposa (1713; 1714 version) [2:41] Farnace - Perdona o figlio amato (1731; 1738 version) [6:29] Orlando finto pazzo - Alla rosa ruggiadosa [2:22] Philippe Jaroussky (counter-tenor) Ensemble Matheus/Jean-Christophe Spinosi rec. Auditorium de l’Ecole Nationale de Musique, de Danse et d’Art Dramatique, Brest, July 2006  VIRGIN CLASSICS 00946 363414 2 2 [63:15][JW]

A most convincing and successful recital – varied and nuanced.  Most impressive all round. ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Dixit Dominus (RV 807) [23:34] Baldassare GALUPPI (1706-1785) Laetatus sum [10:02] Nisi Dominus [23:49] Lauda Jerusalem [10:42] Roberta Invernizzi, Lucia Cirillo (soprano); Sara Mingardo (contralto); Paul Agnew, Thomas Cooley (tenor); Sergio Foresti, Georg Zeppenfeld (bass) Körnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden Dresdner Instrumental-Concert/Peter Kopp rec. January 2006, Lukaskirche, Dresden, Germany. DDD ARCHIV 4776145 [68:28] [JV]

The setting of Dixit Dominus was only recently recognized as being composed by Vivaldi - a brilliant piece which is given an equally brilliant performance here ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin (1850) Klaus Florian Vogt (tenor) -  Lohengrin; Solveig Kringelborn (soprano) -  Elsa; Hans-Peter König (bass) -  Heinrich; Waltraud Meier (mezzo) -  Ortrud; Tom Fox (baritone) -  Friedrich von Telramund; Roman Trekel (baritone) -  Herald EuropaChorAkademie, Mainz; Chorus of the Opéra National de Lyon Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Kent Nagano. Stage Director Nikolaus Lehnhoff TV Director Thomas Grimm   rec. live, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, 1, 3, 5 June 2006. DDD OPUS ARTE OA 0964 D  [279:00][CC]

Well worth seeing, then, if not as powerfully conducted or, indeed, sung as it could have been. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Die Walküre (1870) Martha Mödl (soprano) – Brünnhilde; Leonie Rysanek (soprano) – Sieglinde; Ferdinand Frantz (baritone) – Wotan; Ludwig Suthaus (tenor) – Siegmund; Margarete Klose (mezzo) – Fricka; Gottlob Frick (bass) – Hunding; The Valkyries: Gerda Scheyer (soprano) – Gerhilde; Judith Hellwig (soprano) – Ortlinde; Dagmar Schmedes (soprano) – Waltraute; Ruth Siewert (contralto) – Schwertleite; Erika Köth (soprano) – Helmwige; Hertha Töpper (contralto) – Siegrune; Johanna Blatter (contralto) – Grimgerde; Dagmar Hermann (contralto) – Rossweisse Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 28 September–6 October 1954, Musikvereinsaal, Vienna. ADD NAXOS 8.111056-58 [3 CDs: 71:17 + 78:06 + 78:39][GF]

All the singing may not be up to the best but as a total experience this is still one of the really important recorded Walküres, most of all for Furtwängler’s inspired and inspirational conducting. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) An Introduction to… Tristan und Isolde Background [14:58] Composition [21:28] The Opera [43:05] Written and read by Christopher Cook Sean Barrett – Richard Wagner Elaine Claxton – Minna Wagner Laura Paton – Mathilde Wesendonck Music from Tristan und Isolde – Naxos 8.660152-54 Wolfgang Millgram – tenor (Tristan) Lennart Forsen – bass (King Marke) Hedwig Fassbender – soprano (Isolde) Gunnar Lundberg – baritone (Kurnwenal) Melot – tenor (Magnus Kyhle) Martina Dike – mezzo-soprano (Brangane) Recording information not disclosed. DDD NAXOS 8.558195 [79:33][PG]

An excellent addition to the series ... see Full Review

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (Moisei VAINBERG) (1919-1996) Piano Trio Op.24 (1945) [28:36] Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Trio No. 2 Op.67 (1944) [26:23] Leschetizky Trio Vienna rec. Bösendorfer Piano Company Hall, Vienna, December 2005, March 2006 CASCAVELLE VEL 3104 [54:59] [JW]

The Sitkovetsky-Geringas-Nemtsov trio on Hänssler are to be preferred with greater edge and intensity and instrumental security. ... see Full Review

Nigel WESTLAKE (b.1958) Invocations – concerto for bass clarinet and chamber orchestra (c.1993-95) [20:35] * Antarctica – suite for guitar and orchestra (1991) [22:01] * out of the blue … for string orchestra (c.1993-95) [10:23] Nigel Westlake (bass clarinet) Timothy Kain (guitar) Alison Lazaroff-Somssich (obbligato violin) * Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/David Porcelijn rec. Ballroom, Government House, Hobart, March 1997 ABC CLASSICS 462 017-2 [52:59][JW]

The Australian Composer Series notches up another success. Full marks to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra under David Porcelijn for being such convincing advocates for so much good contemporary Australian writing. ... see Full Review

Graham WHETTAM (b. 1927) Piano Music Night Music (Sonata) for solo piano (1968) [24.49]; Ballade Hébraïque for piano duet (1981) [11.00]; Prelude, Scherzo and Elegy for solo piano (1964) [10.50]; Fantasy for piano duet (1956) [6.03]; Prelude and Scherzo Impetuoso for piano solo (1967) [9.47] Anthony Goldstone (piano); Caroline Clemmow (piano) rec. St. John the Baptist Church, Alkborough, North Lincolnshire, 2006 DIVINE ART 25038 [62.31] [GH]

A splendid disc and one to which I for one, will regularly return. ... see Full Review

Paul WRANITZKY (1756-1808) Grande sinfonie caractéristique pour la paix avec la Republique française, in C minor Op. 31 (1797) [32.34] Symphony in D major, Op. 52 (1804-5) [24.35] NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover/Howard Griffiths (conductor) rec. Grosser Sendesaal, NDR, Hannover, April 2004. SACD/CD DDD. CPO 777 054-2 [57.11][ED]

Wranitzky proves a momentarily interesting composer whose symphonies form a useful link with Haydn, Mozart and the young Beethoven. Committed advocacy here ... see Full Review

Judith Lang ZAIMONT (b.1945) Pure Colors Wizards – Three Magic Masters (2003) [8:31]1 Astral ... a mirror life on the astral plane (2004) [8:54] 2 Virgie Rainey – Two Narratives for soprano, mezzo and piano (2002) [11:42] 3 Valse Romantique (1974) [4:29] 4 ‘Tanya’ Poems (1999) [12:25] 5 ‘Bubble-Up’ Rag: Concertpiece for Flute and Piano (2001) [9:32] 6 1 Young-Ah Tak (piano); 2 John Anderson (clarinet); 3 Wendy Zaro-Mullins (soprano); Jean del Santo (mezzo); Timothy Lovelace (piano); 4 Immanuel Davis (flute); 5 Tanya Remenikova (cello); 6 Immanuel Davis (flute); Nanette Kaplan Solomon (piano) rec. Ted Mann Hall, University of Minnesota, 16-18 May 2005 ALBANY TROY785 [55:38] [GPu]

A rewarding collection of well-made music, rhythmically and harmonically subtle, and, in its use of a variety of forces, never in danger of wearying the listener … 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]



Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.