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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]



Richard ARNELL (b. 1917) Piano Concerto op. 44 (1946) [32:31] Symphony No. 2 Rufus op. 33 (1955-57) [33:28] David Owen Norris (piano) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Martin Yates rec. Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, 19-20 September 2006. DDD DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7184 [66:29] RECORDING OF MONTH  Richard ARNELL (b. 1917) Symphony No. 4 op. 52 (1948) [26:36] Symphony No. 5 op. 77 (1955-57) [36:48] Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Martin Yates rec. Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, 19-20 May 2007. DDD DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7194 [63:49] [RB]

Two eloquent and exciting major works with tragic grandeur in their sights. Finely documented, full-throatedly performed and recorded ... [CDLX7184] Two fine symphonies embracing the extremes of emotion; one devastatingly likeable and radiantly strong. ... [CDLX7194]... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) String Quartet No. 1, Op. 23 (1949) [18:37] String Quartet No. 2, Op. 118 (1975) [27:32] Phantasy for String Quartet, Vita Abundans (1941) [10:50] Maggini Quartet rec. 14-16 December 2006, Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, England. DDD NAXOS 8.557762 [56:59] [MC]

Excellently performed with the benefit of first class recorded sound. Arnold a popular and lightweight composer? Certainly not with these scores! ... see Full Review

RECORDIONG OF THE MONTH Sir Granville BANTOCK (1868–1946) Omar Khayyám - The Ruba’iyat according to Edward Fitzgerald set to Music for Three Solo Voices, Chorus, and Orchestra in Three Parts (1906-1909) Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo) (The Beloved) Toby Spence (tenor) (The Poet) Roderick Williams (baritone) (The Philosopher) Olivia Robinson (soprano) (First Pot) Siân Menna (mezzo) (Second Pot) Edward Price (bass) (Sixth Pot) BBC Symphony Chorus/Stephen Jackson BBC Symphony Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. Watford Colosseum (Town Hall), 1-2 October 2005, 17-18 February 2007 Three CDs for the price of two This is a hybrid SACD and was played and reviewed in standard CD format. Full notes in English, German and French. Sung words in English only. CHANDOS CHSA 5051(3) [3 CDs: 58:14 + 73:08 + 40:09] [RB]

A magnificent project ... one of the living musical treasures of the early twentieth century. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Martin BUTLER (b. 1960) American Rounds (1998) [13:20] Siward’s River Song (2001)a [5:43] Suzanne’s River Song (1999)b [4:46] Nathaniel’s Mobile [9:07]c Funérailles (2005)c [16:03] Two Scarlatti Sonatas (arr. Butler, 2005) Sequenza Notturna (2003) [11:37] Walden Snow (2004)d [3:17] The Schubert Ensemble (William Howard (piano)bcd; Simon Blendis (violin)b; Douglas Paterson (viola)d; Jane Salmon (cello)a; Peter Buckoke (double-bass)) rec. Champs Hill, Pulborough, West Sussex, June 2006. DDD NMC D120 [72:03] [HC]

The Schubert Ensemble obviously relish every moment of the music and play with much commitment throughout. One of the loveliest discs I have heard recently ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Luigi CHERUBINI (1760-1842) Coronation Mass (1825) [50:47] Marche réligieuse (1825) [5:11] Philharmonia Chorus Philharmonia Orchestra/Riccardo Muti rec. 1985. DDD. Texts and Translations included EMI CLASSICS 49302 [56:00] [GPu]

A glorious performance of a choral masterpiece … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony No. 88 in G (?1787) [20:05] Symphony No. 89 in F (1787) [21:06] Symphony No. 90 in C (1788) [26:27] Symphony No. 90 in C: finale (alternative version) [6:50] Symphony No. 91 in E flat (1788) [23:00] Symphony No. 92 in G ‘Oxford’ (1789) [24:47] Sinfonia concertante in B flat for violin, cello, oboe and bassoon (1792)* [21:24] Toru Yasunaga (violin); Georg Faust (cello); *Jonathan Kelly (oboe); *Stefan Schweigert (bassoon) Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle rec. live, 8-10, 14-17 February 2007, Philharmonie, Berlin. DDD EMI CLASSICS 0946 3 94237 2 9 [75:47 + 69:31][JQ]

A set to lift the spirits. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785) Ein Lämmlein geht und trägt die Schuld - Passion cantata (HoWV 1.2) Monika Mauch (soprano); Bogna Bartosz (contralto); Markus Brutscher (tenor); Hans Christoph Begemann (bass) Basler Madrigalisten Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik/Fritz Näf rec. March 2006, Reformierte Kirche, Arlesheim, Switzerland. DDD CARUS 83.262 [59:30 + 34:17] [JV]

A Passion oratorio of impressive quality - this recording goes straight to the top of my list of records of the year... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Hugo KAUDER (1888-1972) String Quartet No. 1 (1921) [23:14] String Quartet No. 2 (1924) [17:34] String Quartet No. 3 (1926) [15:09] String Quartet No. 4 (1927) [15: 25] The Euclid Quartet (Jameson Cooper and Jacob Murphy (violins); Luis Vargas (viola); Amy Joseph (cello)). rec. 12-14 August, 12-13 November 2005, St. Bridget’s Church, Solon, Iowa. CENTAUR CRC 2840 [71:28] [KS]

A composer with a great gift for melody ... these are works of great richness and subtlety finely executed by outstanding performers ... see Full Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Kullervo, symphonic poem for soloists, chorus and orchestra Op.7 (1892) [78:29] (I. Introduction: Allegro moderato [14:00] II. Kullervo’s Youth: Grave [15:56] III. Kullervo and his sister: Allegro vivace [24:19] IV. Kullervo goes to war: Alla Marcia [9:38]V. Kullervo’s death: Andante [14:32]) Randi Stene (mezzo); Peter Mattei (baritone) National Male Chorus of Estonia Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Paavo Järvi rec. Stockholm, 14-19 March 1997 VIRGIN CLASSICS 3913632 [78:29] [SH]

Everyone involved in this recording brings the sensitivity needed to articulate what is ‘Baltic’ music as distinct from Scandinavian. It is done to perfection ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Rise of the North Italian Violin Concerto: 1690-1740, Volume 2. Concerto for violin, strings and continuo in B flat, RV 370 (?1716) [12:22] Arias, for soprano, strings and continuo, from La costanza trionfante degl’amori e de gl’odii, RV 706 (1716) [10:34] Concerto for violin, two violoncellos, strings and continuo in C, RV 561 (1728?) [9:33] Concerto/Sinfonia for strings and continue in E, RV 134 [6:19] Concerto senza cantin, for violin, strings and continuo in D, RV 243 [10:33] Arias for soprano, strings and continuo, from La fida ninfa, RV 714 (1732) [12:08] Concerto for violin, strings and continuo in E flat, RV 254 [14:48] Adrian Chandler (violin, director), Mhairi Lawson (soprano), Sarah McMahon, Gareth Deats (cello), La Serenissima. rec. 4-7 March 2007, Studio 1, The Warehouse, London. All texts and translations included. AVIE AV 2128 [76:38] [GPu]

An outstanding collection, vividly characterised and full of energy, of fine - but not over-familiar - music … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gitta-Maria Sjöberg -Verdi and Puccini Arias see review for details Gitta-Maria Sjöberg (soprano) Odense Symphony Orchestra/Matthias Aeschbacher rec. Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense, Denmark, 24-26 November 2003, 14-19 June 2004 Italian texts included. DANACORD DACOCD 665 [77:05] [GF]

There have been more overtly thrilling recitals with more or less the same repertoire; few have so consistently delved below the surface and found the soul of the characters, presenting them as weak, vulnerable human creatures. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Song of Songs William WALTON (1902-1983) Set me as a seal upon thine heart (1938) [3:32] Guillaume BOUZIGNAC (1592-1641) Surge, amica mea [2:00] Howard SKEMPTON (b. 1947) Rise up, my love (2002) [10:38] Gabriel JACKSON (b. 1962) I am the Rose of Sharon (2001) [6:13]Francis GRIER (b. 1955) Dilectus meus mihi (1987) [7:20] John DUNSTAPLE (c 1390-1453) Quam Pulchra es (ca 1430) [1:49] Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (1525-1594) Descendi in hortum meum (1584) [2:42] Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) Vadem et circuibo civitatem (1572)[9:58] Jean Yves DANIEL-LESUR (1908-2002) La cantique des cantiques (1952) [21:35] Laudibus/Michael Brewer rec. 14-15 January 2006, St. Giles the Martyr, Kentish Town, London. DDD Texts and English translations included DELPHIAN DCD34042 [65:50] [JQ]

I’ve found this a most enjoyable and highly stimulating CD and I hope many other collectors will derive similar pleasure from it. ... see Full Review



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Das wohltemperirte Clavier (The Well-tempered Clavier), Book II, BWV870-893 (1739 or earlier – 1744) CD1 No.1 in C major [2:16+1:44] No.2 in c minor [2:47+2:36] No.3 in C# major [1:36+1:33] No.4 in c# minor [3:47+2:18] No.5 in D major [5:13+3:00] No.6 in d minor [1:37+1:47] No.7 in E flat major [2:44+1:38] No.8 in d# minor [4:35+4:20] No.9 in E major [4:44+3:35] No.10 in e minor [3:26+2:42] No.11 in F major [3:25+1:33] No.12 in f minor [2:47+1:56]CD2 No.13 in F# major [3:47+2:20] No.14 in f# minor [2:52+4:59] No.15 in G major [2:47+1:12] No.16 in g minor [2:06+2:53] No.17 in A flat major [4:10+2:19] No.18 in g# minor [5:03+4:27] No.19 in A major [1:48+1:39] No.20 in a minor [3:43+1:49] No.21 in B flat major [4:47+1:59] No.22 in b flat minor [2:58+5:36] No.23 in B major [2:10+4:10] No.24 in b minor [1:54+2:05] Bob van Asperen (Christian Zell harpsichord, 1728) rec. September 1988 and March 1989, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg. DDD. VIRGIN VERITAS 3 85795 2 [68:16 + 73:44] [bw]

At their new super-bargain price van Asperen’s two 2-CD sets of the ‘48’ deserve the strongest recommendation except for those preferring the piano, who should go for the impending reissue of the Hewitt CDs … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 (1868) Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Hans Hotter (baritone) Singverein des Gesellschaft des Musikfreundes, Wien Wiener Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan. rec. Musikvereinsaal, Vienna, Austria, 20-22, 27-29 October 1947. ADD from Columbia LX 105/1064. NAXOS 8.111038 [76:13][CC]

This performance is forever recommended. That Naxos has provided a transfer at such price and quality zooms the recommendation in on this issue. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Opera Arias CD1: Arias and Overtures, 1704-26 CD2: Arias and Duets from the era of ‘The Rival Queens’ 1726-28 CD3: Arias and Overtures 1729-41 see end of review for details Emma Kirkby (soprano) Catherine Bott (soprano, CD2) The Brandenburg Consort/Roy Goodman rec. St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, 25-27 September1995 (CD1); 2-4 January 1997 (CD2); 14-16 June 1999 (CD3).  DDD. Detailed notes in English, French and German.  Texts in Italian with English translation HYPERION CDS44271/3 [3CDs: 75:39 + 76:06 + 70:40] [BW]

Delightful music, delightfully sung, well accompanied and recorded.  At bargain price, irresistible … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) CD1 Rienzi: Overture (1842) [12:00] Lohengrin: Prelude to Act I (1850) [8:58] Lohengrin: Prelude to Act III (1850) [2:58] Parsifal: Prelude to Act I (1882) [13:27] Tristan und Isolde: Prelude to Act I (1865) [10:42] Eine Faust-Overtüre (1840) [11:52] Die Feen: Overture (1833) [10:56] Kinderkatechismus (1873) [2:24] CD2 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Prelude to Act I (1868) [9:11] Tannhäuser: Overture and Venusberg Music [21:56] Der fliegende Höllander: Overture (1841) [10:32] Symphony in C Major (1832) [41:55] Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Zubin Mehta (Rienzi); Wiener Philharmoniker/Zubin Mehta (Lohengrin, Parsifal, Meistersinger); Wiener Philharmoniker/Sir Georg Solti (Tristan); San Francisco Symphony Orchestra/Edo de Waart (Faust, Symphony); Concertgebouw Orchestra/Edo de Waart (Tannhäuser, Feen, Holländer); Wiener Sängerknaben with members of the Wiener Philharmoniker (Kinderkatechismus). rec. 1961-82 ADD/DDD DECCA ELOQUENCE 442 8283 [78:56 + 78:39] [TP]

If you are serious about your Wagner, this double CD set is an essential purchase ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto in D minor (1903) [28:07]Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto in D (1878) [31:37]Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Violin Concerto in A minor (1904) [20:10] Jascha Heifetz (violin) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham (Sibelius); Sir John Barbirolli (Tchaikovsky, Glazunov) rec. November 1935 (Sibelius); March 1937 (Tchaikovsky); March 1934, Abbey Road, London (Glazunov); digitally re-mastered, 2006 EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3 61590 2 [80:13] [IL]

Three classic readings by virtuoso Heifetz at the height of his powers. A bargain not to be missed ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Sonata in F major for Clarinet and Piano, op. 129 (1911) [18:44] (1) Fantasy no.1 for Clarinet and String Quartet (1921) [11:39] (2) Fantasy no.2 for Clarinet and String Quartet (1922) [14:37] (2) Three Intermezzi for Clarinet and Piano, op. 13 (1879) [08:06] (3) Piano Trio no.3 in A minor, op. 158 – Per aspera ad astra (1918) [20:59] (4) Robert Plane (clarinet) (1, 2, 4), Gould Piano Trio (Lucy Gould (violin) (2, 4), Alice Neary (cello) (2, 4), Benjamin Frith (1, 3, 4)); Mia Cooper (violin) (2), David Adams (viola) (2) rec. 17-19 December 2006, Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, UK NAXOS 8.570416 [74:05][CH]

A Stanford CD première and a convenient grouping of the three chamber works with solo clarinet, in excellent performances. ... 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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