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Friday March 30th

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NEW and RECENT ARTICLES

Memories of a Quiet Magician - Nathan Milstein in Portrait by Anne Ozorio

THE ROGER WRIGHT INTERVIEW Interviewer: Ian Lace. Roger Wright is Controller BBC Radio 3

"An echo inside a shadow wrapped in cellophane" An appreciation of Ferneyhough’s Shadowtime - Anne Ozorio

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MusicWeb Reviewer’s Log: March 2007 Reviewer: Patrick C Waller

Promenade Concert Novelties 1907 by John France

MusicWeb Reviewer's Log: February 2007 Reviewer: Robert Hugill

Link to a list of "Joyce Hatto" articles & recordings reviewed on MusicWeb International

Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande A Recording Overview by Jeffrey Sarver

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Maggie Cotton, former percussionist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for 40 years, give the inside picture of what it is like working in an International Symphony Orchestra More details and ordering [now with specimen page] £9.99 plus postage..

I cannot recommend this book highly enough, it should be required reading for EVERY music student aspiring to become an orchestral musician; even if, hoping to remain above the common herd, so to speak, they only want to become a conductor! Not just music students though: concert-goers, music-lovers everywhere, this is THE book for you! - Arthur Butterworth

Reviews by Rob Barnett, Paul Serotsky and Arthur Butterworth

Arkivmusic has over 2000 ArkivCDs which are digital remakes of out-of-print CDs available nowhere else. link

 

BOOK REVIEWS

BAX - A Composer and his Times by Lewis Foreman 25 b/w illustrations 616 pagesSize: 23 x 15 cm 10 digit ISBN: 184383209713 digit ISBN: 9781843832096 Binding: Hardback Boydell Press Price: 55.00 USD / 29.95 GBP

A whopping great book and the definitive voice on Bax and his music for £30. A solidly and extensively detailed book. It will for most practical purposes be all you will ever need on Bax. ... see Full Review

Alan Bush - A Source Book by Stewart R. Craggs, Ashgate Publishing Publication Date: 02/2007 Number of Pages: 186 pages Binding: Hardback Book Size: 234 x 156 mm British Library Reference: 016.7'8'092 Library of Congress Reference: 2006006944 ISBN-13 978-0-7546-0894-3 Price: $99.95/£55.00 Contents listed at end of review [RB]

Stewart Craggs is the doyen of such productions and the result here is admirably informative and supportive of the deservedly growing interest in Alan Bush’s music. ... see Full Review

LIONEL TERTIS - The First Great Virtuoso of the Viola by John White First published: 2006 40 b/w illustrations 424 pages Size: 23 x 15 cm Binding: Hardback ISBN-10: 184383278X ISBN-13: 9781843832782 The Boydell Press Price: 47.95 USD / 25.00 GBP [RB]

A well structured, sturdy and fascinating account of a life - a crusade for the viola. ... see Full Review

Classic fm The Friendly Guide to Music By Darren Henley Book accompanied by a CD of 20 classical music excerpts Hodder Arnold 224 pages paperback ISBN 978-0-340-94019-8 £9:99; $19:60 Amazon [IL]

A friendly introduction to classical music – buy it for a favourite young person.... see Full Review

Meet the Instruments of the Orchestra! by Genevieve Helsby with Evelyn Glennie 176 pp large format hardback ISBN: 978-1-84379-112-6 Naxos Books [RB]

A reliable and inspired as well as critically engaging introduction to the world of orchestral instruments. Triumphant. ... see Full Review


LATEST CD REVIEWS

Friday March 30th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Concerto C-Dur BWV 594 [18:28] Concerto a-Moll BWV 593 [12:58] Concerto G-Dur BWV 592 [7:44] Concerto C-Dur BWV 595 [10:28] Concerto d-Moll BWV 596 [10:42] Concerto F-Dur nach Italiaenischem Gusto BWV 971 [13:56] Christoph Bossert (organ) rec. Evangelische Stadtkirche, Bad Wimpfen, Germany. No date given. DDD ORGANUM CLASSICS OGM251129 [75:00] [CB]

There are interesting elements here, but this is too eccentric to make it really recommendable. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein Deutsches Requiem (1868) [60.03] Geistliches Lied (1856) [4.36] Clare Seaton (soprano) Colin Campbell (baritone) The Vasari Singers/Jeremy Backhouse, Jeremy Filsell and Roderick Chadwick (piano duet). rec. St. Jude’s Church, Hampstead, London, U.K., 24-26 October 2003. DDD GUILD GMCD7302 [64.39] [WH]

One no longer wants or expects a marmoreal German Requiem, but this one is positively brisk in places. …the reading of the beautiful Geistliches Lied is much more pleasing. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Twenty-Four Préludesa (1836-38) [34:21]; Prélude in C sharp minor, Op. 45b (1841) [4:07]; Berceuse in D flat, Op. 57b (1843/4) [4:08]; Impromptusc (1837-42) – No. 1 in A flat, Op. 29 [3:45]; No. 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 36 [4:27]; No. 3 in G flat, Op. 51 [4:52]; Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66c (1835) [4:34]; Barcarolle in F sharp, Op. 60c (1846) [7:52] Alfred Cortot (piano) rec. No. 3 Studio, Abbey Road, London, a 5 July, 20 June 1933; b 4 November 1949; c5 July 1933. ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3615412  [68:45] [CC]

These are, indeed, classic recordings ...  the remastering has (re)produced a sound of great clarity and yet depth. Cortot's playing is what this disc is about and while one listens he almost always convinces one that his is the true way. Superb. ... see Full Review

Giovanni Battista FERRANDINI (1710–1791) Cantate per Passione Liebste Mutter voll der Schmerzen [8.25] Concerto in F minor [8.56] O spettacolo pur troppo funesto [25.06] Quartet in G major [10.23] Ecco quel tronco [20.05] Elisabeth Scholl (soprano) Echo du Danube rec. 14-18 November 2005, Deutschlandfunk Sendsaal, Cologne, Germany ACCENT ACC24181 [73.38] [RH]

Music which is gracefully poised and attractively melodic. This attractive programme provides a good way to get to know his music. ... see Full Review

Karl Amadeus HARTMANN (1905-1963) Sinfonia tragica (1940-43) [23:35] Concerto for Viola and Piano accompanied by wind instruments and percussion (1954-56) [27:12] Tatjana Masurenko (viola) Frank-Immo Zichner (piano) Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Marek Janowski rec. Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, November 2002 CAPRICCIO 71112 [50:51] [JW]

A powerful presence … this uniquely valuable coupling is a must ... see Full Review

Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785) Ein Lammlein geht und tragt die Schuld – Passion Cantata HoWV.I.2 (published 1775) Monika Mauch (soprano) Bogna Bartosz (mezzo) Markus Brutscher (tenor) Hans Christoph Begemann (bass) Basler Madrigalisten Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik/Friz Naf rec. Reformerte Kirche Arlesheim, March 2006 CARUS 83.262 [59:30 + 34:17] [JW]

The writing is simple, direct and unaffected. Though the quality of the music is such that it makes its appearance highly desirable. ... see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Christus – Biblical Cantata (1898-99) Carlo Gaifa (tenor) – St. Matthew Roland Hermann (baritone) – Christ Gastone Sarti (bass) – Judas Coro della Radiotelevisione della Svizzera Italiana Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana/Marco Balderi rec. live, Auditorium RTSI, June 1991. ADD LA BOTTEGA DISCANTICA BDI125 [66:34] [JW]

Respighi clearly wanted to flex some compositional sinew. ... see Full Review

John Philip SOUSA (1854-1932) Music for Wind Band Vol. 6 Easter Monday on the White House Lawn (From Tales of a Traveller) ed. R. Mark Rogers (1928) [2:20] The Golden Star (1919) [4:40] The Dauntless Battalion (1922) [2:51] Sextet from The Bride Elect (Arr. Herbert L. Clarke) (1897) [2:17] The Federal March (1910) [2:33] Three Quotations (Suite for Band) ed. R. Mark Rogers (1895) [13:27] Liberty Bell (Arr. Brion/Schissel) (1893) [3:45] The Gridiron Club (1926) [3:21] La Reine de la Mer (1886) [7:10] The Chariot Race (1890) [5:31] The Gladiator (1886) [2:53] New Mexico March (1928) [3:06] The Picador March (1889) [3:02] Royal Artillery Band/Keith Brion rec. Woolwich Town Hall, 15-16 January 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.559132 [56:56] [PCW]

Beautifully clean and slightly understated playing … see Full Review

Sessions - Joel Hastings Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Oriental Sketch (1917) [1:55] Lilacs (1914 piano transcription of song Op. 21/5) [2:28] Lullaby (Transcription of Tchaikovsky's song ‘Lullaby’) [4:03] Étude-Tableau No. 1 in C minor, Op.39 No.1 (1916) [3:25] Prelude No. 12 in G-sharp minor, Op.32 No.12 (1910) [2:49] Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Ten Pieces for Piano, Op.12 (1906-1913) March [1:39]; Gavotte [2:21]; Rigaudon [1:23]; Mazurka [1:24]; Capriccio [2:54]; Legend [2:49]; Prelude [2:11]; Allemande [2:37]; Scherzo Humoristique [2:08]; Scherzo [2:48] Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-47) Variations Sérieuses in D minor, Op.54 (1841) [11:22] Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Sonata No.9, Op.68 ‘Black Mass’ (1912-13) [8:52] Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Totentanz (arr. Liszt 1860-65) [15:10] Joel Hastings (piano) rec. 22-23 May 2001, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Flint, Michigan, USA. DDD PRESTANT CLASSICS PR1016 [72:43]
Liszt Transcending - Joel Hastings
Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Transcriptions, Paraphrases and Arrangements Concert Paraphrase of Rigoletto by Verdi (arr. Liszt 1859) [7:11] Widmung by Schumann (arr. Liszt 1848) [3:34] Das Wandern by Schubert (arr. Liszt 1846) [2:05] Der Müller und der Bach by Schubert (arr. Liszt 1846) [5:14] Auf Flügeln des Gesanges by Mendelssohn (arr. Liszt 1840) [3:28] Reminiscences of Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti (arr. Liszt 1835-36) [6:07] Isolde's Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde by Wagner (arr. Liszt 1867) [7:27] Die Forelle by Schubert (arr. Liszt 1846) [3:31] Ständchen by Schubert (arr. Liszt 1838-39) [5:34] Erlkönig by Schubert (arr. Liszt 1838) [4:39] Sarabande and Chaconne from Almira, Concert Arrangement by Handel (arr. Liszt 1879) [13:56] Melodie from Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck) (transcribed by Giovanni Sgambati) [3:57] Joel Hastings (piano) rec. live, 19 August 2005, First Baptist Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. DDD PRESTANT CLASSICS PR1019 [66:53] [MC]

This is high calibre playing from Joel Hastings a pianist who is worthy of considerable attention. These two releases deserve a place in any collection of instrumental music. ... see Full Review

Messa per Rossini Antonio BUZZOLLA (1815-1871) Requiem and Kyrie Antonio BAZZINI (1818-1897) Dies Irae Carlo PEDROTTI (1817-1893) Tuba Mirum Antonio CAGNONI (1828-1896) Quid sum miser Federico RICCI (1809-1877) Recordare Jesu Pie Alessandro NINI (1805-1877) Ingemisco Raimondo BOUCHERON (1800-1876) Confutatis maledictis Carlo COCCIA (1782-1873) Lacrimosa and Amen Gaetano GASPARI (1808-1881) Offertorio Pietro PLATANIA (1828-1907) Sanctus Lauro ROSSI (1812-1885) Agnus Dei Teodulo MABELLINI (1817-1897) Lux aeterna Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Libera me Gabriel Beňačkova (soprano); Florence Quivar (mezzo); James Wagner (tenor); Alexandru Agache (baritone), Aage Haugland (bass) Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart; The Prague Philharmonia Choir Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra/Helmuth Rilling rec. 1989 (?), Evangelische Stadtkirche, Ellwangen, Württemberg ‘In Search of the Messa per Rossini’: Documentary directed by Gabrielle Faust WARNER MUSIC VISION 50-51011 7396-2-0 [120:32] [GPu]

For a specialist audience no doubt, but for those with an interest in the church music of the nineteenth century or the larger history of Italian music this is a fascinating and rewarding issue … see Full Review

 

Thursday March 29th

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Charles-Henri Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Douze Études dans les Tons Mineurs Op. 39 Comme le vent (Like the wind) (A minor) [5:30] En Rythme Molossique (In Molossian Rhythm) (D Minor) [8:44] Scherzo Diabolico (G minor) [4:30] Allegro (C minor) [10:37] Marche Funèbre (F minor) [6:53] Menuet (B-flat minor) [5:41] Finale (E-flat minor) [4:44] Allegro Assai (G-sharp minor) [30:48] Adagio (C-sharp minor) [11:51] Allegro alla Barbaresca (F-sharp minor) [11:03] Ouverture (B minor) [15:49] Le Festin d’Esope (Aesop’s Banquet) (E minor) [9:50] Stephanie McCallum (piano) rec. 28 July 2004 (4-7); 11 February 2005 (1-3); 6 October 2005 (8-10); 12 December 2005 (11); 6 December 1999 (12), Eugene Goossens Hall of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Ultimo Centre, Sydney. DDD ABC CLASSICS 4765335 [46:44 + 79:31] [WK]

A superlative set of the complete Op. 39 études-unsurpassed pianism and enthusiasm ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 1 in C, Op. 15 (1797/8) [32:47] Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor (1803) [34:51] Mikhail Pletnev (piano) Russian National Orchestra/Christian Gansch rec. Live, Beethovenhalle, Bonn, 2 September 2006. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 6415 [67:52] [CC]

Pletnev is nothing if not unpredictable. Ultimately, these are thought-provoking performances but not revelatory ones. ... see Full Review

Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etudes, Op. 25, Nos. 1-12 (1832-36) [31:43] Trois Nouvelles Etudes (1839) [6:03] Deux Posthumous Nocturnes [5:51] Tomoko Hagiwara (piano) rec. Stillwater Sound Recording Studio, San Francisco, California, no dates given. STILLWATER SOUND SWS011 [43:46] [KS]

Adequate at best, lame program notes and less than stellar sound make this recording less than desirable. ... see Full Review

Adolphus HAILSTORK (b. 1941) Symphony No. 3: (i) Vivace [12:00] (ii) Moderato [12:04]; (iii) Scherzo [4:45] (iv) Finale: Moderato [11:55] Symphony No. 2 (1999): (i) Allegro [8:00]; (ii) Grave [10:59]; Allegro con brio [4:43]; (iv) Adagio – Allegro [13:05] Grand Rapids Symphony/David Lockington rec. De Vos performance Hall, Michigan, 5 November 2002 (No. 2); 23 November 2003 (No. 3). DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559295 [77:32] [PCW]

Works that push back no boundaries but support the notion that the symphony may yet be alive and well … see Full Review

Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785) St John Passion HoWV.I.4 (c1770-1780) Jana Reiner (soprano) – Magdalene (arias) Katja Fischer (soprano) – Magdalene Fritz Vitzthum (counter-tenor) - Diener Jan Kobow (tenor) – Evangelist Tobias Berndt (bass) – Jesus Clemens Heidrich (bass) – Pilate Kruzianer Stephan Keucher (tenor) – Knecht Kruzianer Christian Lutz (tenor) - Peter Dresdener Kreuzchor Dresden Baroque Orchestra/Roderich Kreile rec. Lukaskirche, Dresden, March 2006 CARUS 83.261 [52:21 + 66:49] [JW]

Searching, sympathetic and successful … amazing to think that these works have never been recorded before. ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Symphonic Poems, Vol. 4 No. 9: Hungaria, S103, (1848-54) [21:52] No. 8: Héroïde funèbre (Heldenklage), S102 (1848-50, rev.1854) [23:19] No. 2: Le Triomphe funèbre du Tasse, S112, No.3 (1866) [13:05] New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Michael Halász rec. 30 May-1 June 2005, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand. DDD NAXOS 8.557847 [58:16] [MC]

Everyone in sterling form. This series has gone from strength to strength.  ... see Full Review

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Naxos Quartets String Quartet No. 5, Lighthouses of Orkney and Shetland (2004) [20:32]; String Quartet No. 6 (2004/5) [35:07] Maggini Quartet (Laurence Jackson, David Angel (violins); Martin Outram (viola); Michal Kaznowski (cello)). rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 26-28 May 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557398 [55:39] [WH]

Readers hesitant about "contemporary" music and ready for a challenge are warmly encouraged to try this disc. ... see Full Review

Ettore Causa – Romantic Transcriptions for Viola and Piano Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Valse sentimentale, Op. 51 No. 6 (arr. Alan Arnold) [1:46] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Scherzo, Op. Posth. [5:01] Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Spanish Dance No. 2 (Orientale) (arr. Milton Katims) [2:34] Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etude, Op. 25 No. 7 (arr. Alexander Glazunov / Ettore Causa) [4:30] Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Allegro appassionato, Op. 43 (arr. Ettore Causa) [3:32] Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Prélude, Op. 9 No. 1 (arr. Wadim Borisovsky) [2:00] Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Dance of the Knights (arr. Wadim Borisovsky) [5:25] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Romance (arr. Milton Katims) [2:04] Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Daisies, Op. 38 No. 3 (arr. Jascha Heifetz / Ettore Causa) [2:23] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Lerchengesang, Op. 70 No. 2 (arr. Ettore Causa) [2:32] Hungarian Dance No. 1 (arr. Watson Forbes) [2:56] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Abendlied, Op. 85 No. 12 (arr. Ettore Causa) [2:28] Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Chanson triste, Op. 40 No. 2 (arr. Johann Palaschko) [2:43] Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Les Berceaux, Op. 23 No. 1 (arr. Ettore Causa) [2:46] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Hungarian Dance No. 3 (arr. Watson Forbes) [2:18] Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etude, Op. 10 No. 6 (arr. Alexander Glazunov / Ettore Causa) [3:22] Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Song Without Words, Op. 109 (arr. Milton Katims) [3:57] Eugéne YSAŸE (1858-1931) Rêve d'enfant, Op. 14 (arr. Ettore Causa) [3:53] Ettore Causa (viola) Ulrich Stærk (piano) rec. Mantius Hall, Copenhagen, January 2005 CLAVES 50-2609 [57:23] [JW]

An enjoyable calling card for a tonally highly accomplished musician. ... see Full Review

David Helfgott: A Musical Journey Part I – A documentary Edited and presented by Melvyn Bragg Part II – In Concert 1997, Nottingham, UK Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Andante and Rondo Capriccioso Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Un sospiro; Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 23 'Appassionata' Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) The Flight of the Bumblebee David Helfott (piano) Picture format NTSC 4:3; Region codes 2,3,4,5; Linear PCM Stereo; Subtitles : English, Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano WARNER MUSIC VISION 3984 20512-2 [94:00] [PCW]

A well-balanced documentary – worth seeing if you are at all interested in what happens when potential genius and mental illness collide … see Full Review

Scenes from Jewish Operas - Volume 2 David SCHIFF (b. 1945) Gimpel the Fool (1979) (excerpts): 1. Scene 10: Lullaby [3:59] 2. Scene 11: Pantomime [1:39] 3. Scene 11a: Bread Song [3:24] 4. Scene 11b: Night Music [2:41] 5. Scene 11c: Gimpel and the Goat [2:17] 6. Scene 11d: Elka’s “Gvald” [1:32] 7. Scene 11e: The Divorce [3:09] 8. Scene 11f: Gimpel’s Second Monologue [1:24] Gary Moss (baritone) – Gimpel; Megan Besley (soprano) – Elka; Alissa Mercurio (soprano) – Goat; Michael Gallant (tenor) – Apprentice; Nicholas Phan (tenor) – Rabbi; Theodore Bikel (speaker) – Badkhn University of Michigan Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Kenneth Kiesler Elie SIEGMEISTER (1909–1991) Lady of the Lake (1985) (excerpts): 9. Scene 5 [9:15] 10. Interlude [1:25] 11. Scene 6 [2:18] 12. Scene 7 [4:38] Carol Meyer (soprano) – Isabella; Robert McPherson (tenor) – Blumberg; Marcus DeLoach (baritone) – Ernesto Seattle Symphony/Gerard SchwarzHugo WEISGALL (1912–1997) Esther (1993) (excerpts): 13. Act I, Scene 8 (excerpt) [3:45] 14. Act III, Scene 2 [3:54] 15. Act III, Scene 10 [7:28] Juliana Gondek (soprano) – Esther; Ted Christopher (baritone) – Xerxes Seattle Symphony/Gerald Schwarz rec. Hill Auditorium, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, January 2001 (Schiff); Batsyr University Chapel, Seattle, May 2000 (Siegmeister); Benaroya Hall, Seattle, May 1999 (Weisgall). DDD NAXOS 8.559450 [53:22] [GF]

A goldmine for everyone interested in Jewish music, and opera enthusiasts who want to widen their knowledge should give this disc a try ... see Full Review

 

Wednesday March 28th

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Edgar BAINTON (1880-1956) Symphony No. 3 in C minor (1956) [42:09] Rutland BOUGHTON (1878-1960) Symphony No. 1 Oliver Cromwell (1905) [36:58] Roderick Williams (bar) (Boughton) BBC Concert Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford. 12-13 July 2006. DDD DUTTON CDLX 7185 [79:26] [RB]

Resplendently carried off. Bainton 3: treasurable, impressionistic, phantasmal and refulgently orchestrated … a work of ineffable beauty and wild insight. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Quintet in B minor, op. 115 (1891) [34:39] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Clarinet Quintet movement in B flat major, K516 (c.1791) [8:26] Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Reverie Orientale, op. 14, no. 2 (1886) [6:54] Wiliiam SWEENEY (b. 1950) An Og-Mhadainn (1979) [11:45] Lesley Schatzberger (clarinets) Fitzwilliam String Quartet rec. National Centre for Early Music, York, 15-16, 19-20 May 2005. DDD LINN RECORDS CKD 278 [62:28] [MG]

This is a challenging disc for all the right reasons. Not always comfortable listening but rewarding. And a great range of perspectives. … see Full Review

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor Op. 26 (1868) [23.33] Edouard LALO (1823-1892) Symphonie espagnole Op. 21 (1873) [33.09] Isaac Stern (violin) Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy rec. Town Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 13 February 1967 (Lalo); 22 February 1966 (Bruch). ADD SONY CLASSICS 88697 00817 2 [57.02] [GH]

Unlike some others in Sony’s so called ‘Great Performances’ series this is truly what it is cracked up to be. This is a version you could safely give to your mother-in-law. ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 in E flat Romantic (1878-80) [63:59] Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra rec. Munich, 29 October 1951 Symphony No. 5 in B flat major (1876) [68:34] Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra rec. Berlin, 25-28 October 1942 Symphony No. 6 in A major (1879-81) minus the first movement [36:11] Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra rec. Berlin, 13-16 November 1943 Symphony No. 7 in E major (1881-84) [63:52] Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra rec. Rome, 1 May 1951 Symphony No. 8 in C minor (1884-87, rev. 1889-90) [77:08] Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra rec. Vienna, 17 October 1944 Symphony No 9 in D minor, (1891-1896) [59:00] Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra rec. Berlin 7 October 1944 Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Nocturnes (1899): Nuages [7:30]; Fêtes [7:01] Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra rec. Rome, 1 May 1951 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser; Overture (1845) [13:34] Orquesta Sinfonica Venezuela rec. Caracas, 21 March 1954 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Rosamunde; Ballet Music No.2 [5:43]; Entr’acte No.3 (1820) [6:46] Teatro Colón Orchestra rec. Buenos Aires, 5 May 1950 Wilhelm Furtwängler ANDROMEDA ANDRCD 9008 [6 CDs: 63:59 + 68:34 + 76:49 + 63:52 + 77:08 + 59:00] [JW]

Andromeda is not known for effecting any significant changes to source material. The advantages of this set, are twofold - price and drawing together disparate material into one box. ... see Full Review

Eric COATES (1886-1957) Suite: The Three Men (1935) [23:19] Concert Valse: Dancing Nights (1932) [8:12] Two Symphonic Rhapsodies: I Pitch my Lonely Caravan; Birdsongs at Eventide/I Heard You Singing (1933) [5:06; 5:19] Idyll: Summer Afternoon (1924) [3:53] Ballet: The Enchanted Garden (1946) [21:11] Concert Valse: Footlights (1939) [5:50] Suite: Four Centuries: IV Rhythm (20th Century) (1942) [6:57] March: London Bridge (1934) [4:31] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth rec. 1990s? DDD LYRITA SRCD213 [76.19] [JW]

More Lyrita Coates, rarer Coates, and better-played Coates. ... see Full Review

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 1
Paul Kim (piano) rec. January 2001, Patrych Sound Studios, New York City CENTAUR CRC 2567/2568/2569 [64:00 + 78:37 + 64:37] [DC]

This avian collection is very much a safe recommendation, and in many cases will top the competition. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto no.20 in D minor K.466 [31:23] * Piano Concerto no.25 in C major K.503 [31:53]** Dino Ciani (piano) Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI/Piero Bellugi*, Orchestra "Alessandro Scarlatti" di Napoli della RAI/Sir John Barbirolli** rec. 28 January 1972, Turin*, 25 January 1968, Naples** ARTS ARCHIVES 43082-2 [64:29] [CH]

Piano buffs wishing to hear a pianist who might perhaps have played a leading role in our musical lives will be glad to hear his collaboration with Barbirolli. ... see Full Review

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840–1893) 1812 Overture Op. 49 (1880) [16:59] Romeo and Juliet – Fantasy Overture after Shakespeare [20:48] Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Pohjola’s Daughter – Symphonic Fantasy, Op.49 (1906) [14:59] Valse triste (from Kuolema, Op.44) [5:52] Karelia Suite, Op. 11 [15:35] Tanglewood Festival Chorus (1812) Boston Symphony Orchestra/Colin Davis rec. Symphony Hall, Boston, March 1980 (1812; Valse triste), April 1979 (Romeo and Juliet; Pohjola’s Daughter; Karelia Suite). ADD PENTATONE CLASSICS PTC5186 164 SACD Hybrid [74:34] [JPh]

So, if you must have this combination of items this is a reasonable issue but bear in mind that there is competition ... see Full Review

Johann Jakob WALTHER (1650-1717) Hortulus Chelicus Mainz, 1688 Suite No. 9 in C minor [10.43]; Sonata No. 8 in E major [7.59]; Aria No. 14 in G minor [6.48]; Suite No. 6 in B minor; [14.27] Suite No. 20 in E minor [10.05]; Serenata No. 28 in D major [13.06]; Passagagli No. 7 in D minor [9.39] Maya Amrein (cello); Shizuko Noiri (theorbo); Andrea Marchiol (clavecin; organ) Les Plaisirs du Parnasse/David Plantier (violin, director) rec. 14-18 November 2005, Salle du Volkshaus, Basle. Switzerland. DDD ZIGZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT 060902 [73.31] [GH]

Fine and highly civilized music and we are fortunate indeed that it has been so wonderfully researched and executed. ... see Full Review

Giacinto Prandelli II - Old Italian Airs Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725) Su, venite a consiglio [3:33] Antonio LOTTI (1667-1740) Pur dicesti [5:18] Francesco DURANTE (1684-1755) Vergin, tutto amor [2:17] Giovanni Battista BASSANI (c.1657-1716) Ah se tu dormi ancora [2:18] Antonio CALDARA (1671-1736) Sebben, crudele [3:23] Marco Antonio CESTI (1620-1669) Intorno all’idol mio [3:04] Giuseppe GIORDANI (1751-1798) Caro mio ben [2:52] Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725) Sento nel core [4:03] Christoph Willibald von GLUCK (1714-1787) O del mio dolce ardour [4:11] Francesco GASPARINI (1661-1727) Lasciar d’amarti [2:41] Giovanni LEGRENZI (1626-1690) Che fiero costume [2:45] Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736) Tre giorni son che Nina [2:52] Gian Giacomo CARISSIMI (c.1604-1674) Vittoria, mio core! [2:21] Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Scenes from Lucia di Lammermoor (1835) Egli s’avanza…Sulla tomba [12:52] T’allontana, sciagurato [5:01] Tombe deglia avi miei [16:41] Giacinto Prandelli (tenor) Dick Marzollo (piano) Renata Ferrari Ongaro – Lucia Tosca Da Lio – Alisa
Philip Marco – Enrico Norman Scott – Raimondo Luigi Pontiggia – Arturo Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice/Jonel Perlea rec. Italian Arias - 1953 for Vox; Donizetti - 1956 for Remington PREISER 89680 [77:21] [JW]

Prandelli is hugely characterful … of warmth and romance, of gallantry, there is a profusion. ... see Full Review

 

Tuesday March 27th

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Piano Music - Volume 2 The Little Negro (1909) [01:25] Children’s Corner (1908) [17:45] La boîte à joujoux (1913) [33:56] Epigraphes antiques (1914) [17:18] François-Joël Thiollier (piano) rec. 13-15 March 1995, Temple Saint Marcel, Paris. DDD NAXOS 8.553291 [71:43][CH]

Two rare Debussy works not always included in cycles of the solo piano music, and a captivatingly improvisational Children’s Corner. ... see Full Review 

Patrick HADLEY (1899-1973) The Trees So High – Symphonic Ballad in A minor (1931) [34:07] Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Intimations of Immortality. Ode for tenor, chorus and orchestra (1950) [43:12] Thomas Allen (baritone)/Guildford Philharmonic Choir/Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley (Hadley) Ian Partridge (tenor)/Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir/Vernon Handley (Finzi) rec. 1979 (Hadley) and 1975 (Finzi) LYRITA SRCD.238 [77:19][JW]

Don’t waste a second worrying about duplication – what’s ten pounds against eternity? ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Tobit, (Oratorio in Three Parts (1764?) compiled by John Christopher Smith, 1712-1795) [2:36:22] Maya Boog (soprano ‘Anna’) Linda Perillo (soprano ‘Sarah’) Barbara Hannigan (soprano ‘Azarias’/’Raphael’) Alison Browner (mezzo ‘Tobias’) Knut Schoch (tenor ‘Tobit’) Stephan MacLeod (bass ‘Raguel’) Junge Kantorei Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra/Joachim Carlos Martini rec. 3 June, 2001, Kloster Eberbach, Rheingau, Germany. DDD NAXOS 8.570113-14 [76:22 + 80:00][MS]

An oddity, not to say rarity, assembled from words sourced by Thomas Morell and music mostly by Handel … makes surprisingly good listening ... see Full Review

André JOLIVET (1905-1974) Chant de Linos for flute, violin, viola, cello and harp (1944) [5:50] Sonate for flute and piano* (1958) [15:58] Cinq incantations for flute solo (1936) [16:55] Suite en Concert for flute and percussion (1965) [15:59] Cabrioles for flute and piano* (1953) [1:10] Eline van Esch (flute) and Ensemble Gerard Bouwhuis (piano)* rec. Frits Philips Concert Hall, Eindhoven, September 2005 ETCETERA KTC1322 [62:38][DC]

Eline van Esch is an excellent soloist and advocate for Jolivet’s music ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos.1-14 Hungarian Rhapsody No.1 in E major [10:22] Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 in C sharp [7:05] Hungarian Rhapsody No.3 in B flat minor [4:03] Hungarian Rhapsody No.4 in E flat minor [4:20] Hungarian Rhapsody No.5 in E minor Héroïde-élegiaque [4:21] Hungarian Rhapsody No.6 in D flat [5:51] Hungarian Rhapsody No.7 in D minor [4:33] Hungarian Rhapsody No.8 in F sharp minor Capriccio [5:06] Hungarian Rhapsody No.9 in E flat major Carnaval de Pesth [9:22] Hungarian Rhapsody No.10 in E major Preludio [4:46] Hungarian Rhapsody No.11 in A minor [4:44] Hungarian Rhapsody No.12 in C sharp minor [7:55] Hungarian Rhapsody No.13 in A minor [7:22] Hungarian Rhapsody No.14 in F minor [7:01] Marche de Rákóczy in A minor [2:47] Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C sharp [7:49] Hungarian Rhapsody No.14 in F minor [8:33] Concerto Pathétique in E minor for two pianos, four hands [8:33] + Mark Hambourg (piano) Michal Hambourg (piano) + rec. London 1926-34 APR 7040 [66:13 + 58:11][JW]

Not an infallible finger technician but a bravura sense of projection and drama compensate as do the rippling delicacies, Olympian rubato and cimbalom effects ... see Full Review

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 2 Vingts Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus (1944) [123:08] Paul Kim (piano) rec. January 2002, Patrych Sound Studios, New York City CENTAUR CRC 2627/2628 [53:19 + 69:49][DC]

I still can’t imagine Messiaen would have wanted more ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Papillons Op.2 (1830) [14:48] Davidsbündlertänze Op.6 (1837) [34:06] Thema mit Variationen WoO24 (Geister-Variationen) (1854) [12:30] Album für die Jugend Op.68 (1848) [74:21] Cédric Pescia (piano) rec. La Chaix-de-Fonds, Salle de Musique, Switzerland (Opp.2, 6); Lausanne, Chateau Fallot (WoO24; Op.68) CLAVES 50-2603-04 [61:28 + 74:21][JW]

Warm and attractive readings. ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) CD 1 Petrouchka (original 1911 version) [36:24] Feu d’artifice op.4 (1909) [3:51] Le Sacre du Printemps (revised 1947 version) [35:09] CD 2 L’Oiseau de feu (1910) [35:09] Scherzo fantastique op.3 (1908) [13:06] Philharmonia Orchestra/Eliahu Inbal rec. Abbey Road Studios, London, August 1989 (Firebird, Scherzo); The Maltings, Snape, November 1989 (Le Sacre) WARNER CLASSICS APEX 2564 64377-2 [75:40 + 65:52][DC]

A one-size-fits-all entry into the world of Stravinsky’s three great early ballets ... see Full Review

Mon coeur charmé - The song book of Sophie Erdmuthe von Nassau-Saarbrücken [Shepherd's Idyll] Viens aurore, je t'implore [01:01] Depuis que je sais [02:57] Que ne suis-je fougère 01:47] Je n'entends plus dessous l'ormeau [02:35] Depuis que j'ai vu Nanette [01:53] Mes chers troupeaux [01:54] Tircis je n'ose [02:23] Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Sonata for treble viol and bc in G (TWV 41,G6) [10:38] [The Happiness of Love] J'aime une jeune brunette [02:05] Engagés par le tendre amour 01:45] N'oubliez pas votre houlette [00:51] Que je vous aime [01:26] Sois tous mes dieux [02:11] Quel embarras hélas, que faire? [01:33] [Jealousy] De mon berger volage j'entends le flageolet [02:17] Un jour sur la fougère [01:12] L'amant le plus tendre [02:00] Dedans mon petit réduit [01:19] Lisette croyant se venger [00:55] Je soupire, nuit et jour [02:10] Mon coeur charmé de sa chaîne [02:42] Thomas MARC (18th C.) Suitte de Pièce de Dessus de Viole (1724) [11:52] [Humorous Songs] Déjà dans la plaine [01:57] 'L'heureux maladroit', Pierrot dit à Madeleine [01:30] 'Les douces blessures', L'Amour caché dans un buisson [01:23] Robin a une vache [00:43] Tour à tour Licas et Lisette [01:10] Un jour Maman me dit tout bas [01:33] Guillot dit à Guillemette [01:26] Ingrid Schmithüsen (soprano), Markus Schäfer (tenor), Simone Eckert (treble viol), Ulrich Wedemeier (guitar) rec. October 2003, Erbach Castle, Odenwald, Germany. DDD CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77265 [69:10][JV]

Songs from a songbook of a German aristocratic lady of the 18th century … performed well but a little short on substance ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Leopold Stokowski Otto KLEMPERER (1885-1973) Merry Waltz from the opera Das Ziel (1915) [3:02] Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910) [17:02] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Rapsodie espagnole (1908) [16:02] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No.4 in E minor Op.98 (1885) [37:36] Ottokar NOVÁČEK (1866-1900) Perpetuum mobile Op.5 No.4 transcribed Leopold Stokowski (1940) [3:55] ¹ New Philharmonia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski London Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski ¹ rec. Royal Albert Hall, 14 May 1974; 21 September 1974 (Nováček) BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4205-2 [78:24][JW]

This Brahms Fourth - the most exciting, galvanizing and convincing of all Stokowski’s efforts. ... see Full Review



Monday March 26th


Isaac ALBENIZ (1860-1909) Iberia Evocación [5:15] El Puerto [3:30] El Corpus Christi en Sevilla [7:11] Rondeña [6:30] Almeria [8:01] Triana [5:38] El Albaicin [5:30] El Polo [5:55] Lavapiés [6:12] Màlaga [5:01] Jérez [9:33] Eritaña [5:16] Eduard Syomin, piano rec. 1980-1985.  Venue information not included MELODIYA MEL CD 10 00996 [74:25][DB]

A historic performance marred by two-dimensional recording aesthetic. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hugo ALFVÉN (1872-1960) Symphony No. 5 in A minor, Op. 54 (19432-1958) [53:58] Andante religioso from Revelation Cantata, Op. 31 (1913) [3:49]* Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Niklas Willén rec. De Geer Hall, Norrköping, Sweden, 15-17 June 2004; 23-27 May, 2005*. DDD NAXOS 8.557612 [57:47][TP]

Lovers of the romantic symphony should invest in this disc without delay.  Whatever the faults of this music, its freshness, flashes of original genius and the stunning playing offer more than ample compensation. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 18, No.6 ‘Lobkowitz’ (1798-1800) [24:38] String Quartet in E flat major, Op. 127 (1822, 1824-25) [37:46] Henschel Quartet rec. December 6-9, 2004, Studio 2, Bayerischer Rundfunk, German Republic DDD ARTE NOVA CLASSICS 82876 63996 2 [62:55][DRD]

This is a good disc and in isolation very enjoyable and stimulating but the harsh fact remains that at the moment I prefer the Lindsays and the Hagens ... see Full Review

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor (1830) [32:32] Moriz Rosenthal (piano) Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Frieder Weissmann, recorded 1930-31 Piano Concerto No.2 in F minor Op.21 (1829) [27:24] Josef Hofmann (piano) New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra/John Barbirolli, recorded live March 1936 ALTARA ARCHIVE ALT 1014 [59:56][JW]

The pairing of Hofmann and Rosenthal makes sense. Two indisputably great pianists and two great performances. ... see Full Review

Rebecca CLARKE (1886-1979) Viola Sonata (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 (c.1944) [3:32] Untitled Piece for viola and piano (c.1918) [5:21] Dumka (c.1941) [10:13] * Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale (1941) [13:26] + Philip Dukes (viola) Sophia Rahman (piano) except the Prelude, Allegro and Pastorale Daniel Hope (violin) * Robert Plane (clarinet) + rec. Concert Hall of Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, June 2004 NAXOS 8.557934 [78:54][JW]

An attractive Clarke disc, very well played and recorded and at Naxos’s tempting price range. ... 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. 22-23 February 2006, Caird Hall, Dundee. DDD DELPHIAN DCD34044 [79:40][JF]

The touchstone for all enthusiasts of Alfred Hollins music. Excellent value for money with fine playing, great repertoire and the fantastic sound ... see Full Review

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) arr. RAVEL Pictures at an Exhibition [30:53]* Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) La valse (1920) [12:13]* Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Firebird (1909-10): Suite [20:10]** Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano della RAI*, Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI**/André Cluytens rec. live, 3 February 1962*, Milan, 30 April 1962, Turin** ARTS ARCHIVES 43055-2 [60:03][CH]

One novelty to the Cluytens discography and some highly communicative, if not always immaculate, music-making. ... see Full Review

Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (c.1525-1594) Third Book of Lamentations: In Coena Domini (Maundy Thursday) [26:49]; In Parasceve (Good Friday) [24:41]; Sabbato Sancto (Holy Saturday) [27:17] Choir of Westminster Cathedral/Martin Baker rec. 10-12, 14 July 2006, Westminster Cathedral, London. DDD HYPERION CDA 67610 [79:16][MS]

Sorrowful music with its emotions integral to the notes, not imposed by overt effect, well performed by an English choir aware of European traditions ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) The Golden Age - complete ballet Op.22 (1930) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/José Serebrier rec. Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, 23-26 May 2006. DDD NAXOS 8.570217-18 [76:41 + 67:01][SH]

This Naxos double has no faults whatever. ... see Full Review

The Harp of Luduvico Alonso MUDARRA (c.1510-1580) Fantasia que contrahaze la harpa en la maniera de Luduvico [02:29] Divisions on Spagnoletta (improvisation) [02:47] Luis MILÁN (c.1500-c.1561) Fantasia de consonancias y redoubles [02:40] Divisions on the Spanish Pavan (improvisation) [02:25] Improvisations after Diego ORTIZ (c1510-c1570) Fantasia [03:00] Divisions on Paradetas [04:12] Tutte le vecchie [01:58] Giovanni DE MACQUE (c.1548/50-1614) Prime Stravaganze [02:25] Gagliarda I [00:56] Toccata a modo di trompetas [03:46] Orazio MICHI dall'arpa (1594/95-1641) Si duro tronco [03:11] I diletti di mundo [01:58] Quel signor [01:06] Girolamo FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643) Toccata X [05:20] Aria detta la Frescobalda [05:21] Toccata V [05:39] Aria detta Ballata [08:49] Ciacona [01:29] Toccata IX [05:35] Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespro della Beata Vergine: Nigra sum [03:40] Andrew Lawrence-King (arpa doblada, arpa doppia) Recorded February 1991 in St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucestershire, UK DDD HYPERION HELIOS CDH55264 [70:06][JV]

A ground-breaking recording of early repertoire on historical harps by one of the world's leading interpreters … and at  budget price - don't miss it! ... 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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