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[Click here for the most recent reviews (last five days)]
Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[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]


Edward MACDOWELL (1860-1908) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, New England Idylls Donna Amato (piano) London PO/Paul Freeman rec. 1985-2007 ALTO ALC1012 [75:56] [DB]

A well-performed rerelease from the 1980s, along with newly-recorded miniatures ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 10 (ed. Cooke) BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2007 CHANDOS CHAN10456 [78:24][JQ]

Though this Chandos newcomer has many merits the hegemony of Rattle’s Berlin recording is not challenged ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 4 Luba Orgonášová, Tonhalle O Zurich/David Zinman rec. 2006 RCA-BMG 88697 168522 [57:21] [DM]

A performance full of wonder from a Mahlerian of real stature ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Yoel Levi rec. 1995 TELARC CD80394 [72:38][JFL] 

Too much high octane competition for a Mahler record to succeed on sonics alone ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das klagende Lied Marina Shaguch (soprano); Michelle DeYoung (mezzo); Thomas Moser (tenor); Sergei Leiferkus (baritone) San Francisco Symphony & Chorus/Michael Tilson Thomas rec. live 1996 SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY 821936-0017-2 [67:12] [JWi]

Excellent playing and recording. MTT is an excellent Mahlerian ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Piano Quartet Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Piano Quartet Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quartet 1 Avery Ensemble rec. 2007 ZEPHYR 001-B [62:16] [JWi]

Intelligent and interesting programming with a special attraction for Mahlerites ... see Full Review

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Concerto for Cello and Orchestra; Ballade for Cello and Piano; 8 Preludes for Piano Christian Poltéra (cello); Kathryn Stott (piano); Malmö Symphony Orchestra/Tuomas Ollila-Hannikainen rec. 2006-7 BIS BISCD1637 [65:32][LW]

Will not disappoint anyone new to Frank Martin or anyone with an interest in twentieth-century music ... see Full Review

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Trois Danses pour Hautbois, Harpe, Quintette Solo et Orchesra à Cordes Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra Jacques IBERT (1890–1962) Symphonie Concertante pour Hautbois et Orchestre à Cordes Margit-Anna Süss (harp); Hansjörg Schellenberger (oboe) Franz Liszt-Kammerorkester Budapest/Zoltán Peskó rec. 1996 CAMPANELLA MUSICA C130045 [65:06][DC]

A fascinating trilogy of rare concertos ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Piano Quintet 2 see SCHUMANN

Jules MASSENET (1842–1912) Manon Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La Demoiselle élue Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Les nuits d’été Orchestra and Chorus of the Théâtre National de l’Opéra Comique/Pierre Monteux rec. 1955 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111268-70 [3 CDs: 66.59 + 80.13 + 67.29][RH]

A precious record of a vanished performance style ... see Full Review

Nicholas MAW (b. 1935) Violin Concerto Joshua Bell (violin); London Philharmonic Orchestra/Roger Norrington rec. 1996 SONY CLASSICAL SK62856 [41:48][JW]

Embraces its historical lineage … luminous and pulsing ... see Full Review

Nikolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) The sonatas and other piano music Hamish Milne (piano) rec. 1975-88 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 8851 [7 CDs: 54:56 + 60:12 + 68:22 + 64:05 + 69:18 + 65:18 + 69:49][RB] 

A lifetime's study, reflection and poetry at a magnetically attractive price ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphony 4 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony 9 Berlin PO/Klaus Tennstedt rec. 1980/83 EMI CLASSICS ENCORE 5090222 [77:01] [TP]

Tennstedt’s fans will be glad to be able to snap this disc up ... see Full Review

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Organ Works Livre d'Orgue, Monodie, Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte Trinité Michael Bonaventure rec. 2005/7 DELPHIAN DCD34016 [72:02 + 61:12] [JWi]

Serious enthusiasts will want to add this award-winning disc to their collection ... see Full Review

John METCALF (b. 1946) Mapping Wales (2000, rev. 2001)a [18:31] Plain Chants (2001)b [13:45] Cello Symphony (2004)c [35:25] Catrin Finch (harp)a; Raphael Wallfisch (cello)c; Cardiff Ardwyn Singersb; Bulgarian Chamber Orchestra Orpheusa; English Symphony Orchestrac; Raicho Christova, Helena Braithwaiteb, William Boughton rec. 2004 NIMBUS NI 5746 [67:41] [HC]

Attractive, communicative and often beautiful … too good to be ignored ... see Full Review

Nikolai MIASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Cello Concerto see ELGAR

Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950) Cello Concerto (1945) [30:30] Cello Sonata in A minor (1948) [25:11] Prelude for cello and piano (1944) [4:40] Peers Coetmore (cello) Eric Parkin (piano) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. February 1969, Walthamstow Assembly Hall (concerto); January 1969, Decca Studio 3, London (sonata and prelude). ADD. originally issued on LP as SRCS42 (cello and piano); SRCS43 (Cello Concerto) with Rhapsody No. 2 and Overture for a Masque LYRITA SRCD.299 [60.25] [RB]

Very old friends, flawed but held in affection … it is good to welcome them back ... see Full Review

From Kindersinfonie to Bauernhochzeit Leopold Mozart (1719–1787) Die Bauernhochzeit; Cassatio ex G Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) Fugue K32; Twelve Variations K 265; Symphony No.1 K 16 Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra/Ton Koopman CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72189 [58:48][BW]

Very enjoyable music, performances and recording, but presentation is not up to Challenge’s usual standards ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Symphony 29 William Alwyn (1905-1985) Symphony 3 Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) Symphonic Dances BBC SO, Royal PO/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. 1955/56 SOMM BEECHAM23 [77:57] [JF]

The raison d’être of this CD is the William Alwyn symphony ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies Nos. 38-41 Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. 2007 LINN CKD308 [66:49 + 72:29][TH]

A set worthy to stand as a benchmark for our time ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Operatic and Sacred Arias Lucia Popp (soprano) Münchner Rundfunk-O/Leonard Slatkin, English CO/Georg Fischer rec. 1967-83 EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 5096802 [77:24] [GF]

One of the loveliest sopranos of later decades and one of her best achievements ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Don Giovanni Simon Keenlyside, Eva Mei, Ch & O Zurich Opera House/Franz Welser-Möst rec. live 2006 EMI CLASSICS DVB5009709 [2 DVDs: 185:00] [RM]

A production that interweaves thought provocation and fun ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete Songs for voice and piano Sophie Karthauser (soprano); Stephen Loges (baritone); Eugene Asti (piano) rec. 2007 CYPRES CYP1650 [41:07 + 40:30] [GMH]

Certainly something well worth a look ... see Full Review

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Boris Godunov Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra/Jerzy Semkow rec. 1976 EMI CLASSICS 5091782 [3 CDs: 73:55 + 73:38 + 75:58][JS] 

An undeniably worthy attempt at recording one of opera’s great masterpieces but no text! ... see Full Review

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphonies 1-6 Kirsten Schulz (sop); Peter Rasmussen (ten) Danish RSO/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1973-76 EMI CLASSICS TRIPLE 5008292 [3 CDs] [CR]

A clear musical vision and dramatic accounts of the symphonies. Most enjoyable ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Luigi NONO (1924-1990) Prometeo, Tragedia dell’ascolto (1984-6) Petra Hoffman, Monika Baer (sopranos); Susanne Otto, Noa Frankel (altos); Hubert Meyer (tenor); Sigrun Schell, Gregor Dalal (speakers) Solistenchor, Freiburg; Ensemble Recherche; Solistenensemble des Philharmonischen Orchesters Freiburg; Solistenensemble des SWR Sinfonieorchesters Baden-Baden und Freiburg; xperimentalstudio für akustische Kunst; former Experimentalstudio der Heinrich-Stobel-Stiftung des Südwestrundfunks; Andre Richard (director); Peter Hirsch, (conductor 1); Kwame Ryan, (conductor 2) rec. 16-19 May 2003, Konzerthaus Freiburg. COL LEGNO WWE 2SACD 20605 [66:38 + 64:54] [AO]

The thieves who stole 1000 copies of this disc certainly had excellent taste! ... see Full Review

Pavel PABST (1854-1897) Piano Concerto Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Piano Concerto Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Piano Concerto Oleg Marshev (piano); South Jutland Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Ziva rec. 2007 DANACORD DACOCD660 [73:52][RB] 

Granitic determination and polished grandeur of tone ... see Full Review

Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) Duetto No.1 for violin and cello (c.1801-04) ... see Cello Duos

Johann Gottfried Wilhelm PALSCHAU (c.1741–1815) Concertos for harpsichord and strings Nos. 1 & 2 Johann Abraham Peter SCHULZ (1747–1800) Six diverses pièces pour le Clavecin ou le Piano Forte Concerto Copenhagen/Lars Ulrik Mortensen (harpsichord) rec. 2007 DACAPO 8.226040 [67:08][JV]

Splendid performances of unjustly neglected music by two German-born, Danish-based composers ... see Full Review

Peter PHILIPS (1560/61-1628) Complete Keyboard Works - Volumes 1 & 2 Siegbert Rampe (clavichord, virginals, harpsichord, organ) rec. 2004 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 3411257-2 (V1) [71:27] MDG3411435-2 (V2) [73:24] [JV]

Keyboard music by Peter Philips played on six different instruments of superb quality ... see Full Review

John PICKARD (b. 1963) The Flight of Icarus, The Spindle of Necessity, Channel Firing Christian Lindberg (trombone) Norrköping SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2006/7 BIS CD1578 [66:24] [RB]

Well worth exploring ... see Full Review

Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Cinq Mélodies Op.35 (1920) (transcr. for cello and orchestra) [15:20] Concertino Op.132 (orch.) [19:43] Classical Symphony Op.25 (1926) [14:32] Rodion SHCHEDRIN (b.1932) Parabola Concertante for cello, strings and timpani (2001) [16:27] Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Southbank Sinfonia/Simon Over rec. 2007 NIMBUS RECORDS NI 5816 [66:05] [DC]

Interesting programme, and well worth a punt. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Tosca Renata Scotto (soprano); Placido Domingo (tenor); Philharmonia Orchestra/James Levine rec. 1980 Classics For Pleasure 3932712 [46:08 + 70:11][GPu]

Placido Domingo is the star of a decent, but not great interpretation of the “shabby little shocker” … see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Turandot Monserrat Caballé, José Carreras, Mirella Freni, Choeurs de l’Opéra du Rhin, Strasbourg PO/Alain Lombard rec. 1977 EMI CLASSICS 5091732 [54:34 + 64:22] [JS]

The pleasure that Caballé’s beautiful tone and imaginative approach gives is enormous ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873–1943) Piano Trio 1 Anton ARENSKY (1861–1906) Piano Trio Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Trio 2 Trio Nota Bene rec. 2006 CLAVES RECORDS 50-2720 [69:45] [BBr]

So much to enjoy here that you’ll find yourself returning to this disk again and again ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Francesca da Rimini BBC Singers; BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2007 CHANDOS CHAN10442 [64:46][IB]

There have been other versions but I would have to nominate this issue as my current favourite. Noseda is definitely a man to watch ... see Full Review

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Daphnis et Chloé: Suite No.2, Rapsodie espagnole Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le Chant du Rossignol, L’Oiseau de feu: Suite New York Philharmonic/Lorin Maazel rec. live 2006/7 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 7175 [79:59] [DC]

Holds up in just about every regard – a very fine release ... see Full Review

Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937) Favourite Flavours Piano Duo Genova and Dimitrov rec. 2006 CPO 7772832 [52:52][BBr]

A most definite must-have. You won’t be disappointed ... see Full Review

Steve REICH (b. 1936) Sextet; Piano Phase; Eight Lines The London Steve Reich Ensemble/Kevin Griffiths rec. 2006 CPO 7773372 [57.12][KM] 

A fine recording of three Reich works by a new ensemble dedicated to his music ... see Full Review

Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838) String Quartets - Volume 2 String Quartets 2 & 20 Schuppanzigh Quartett rec. 2005 CPO 777227-2 [60:13] [KS]

Music of great charm, played with excellent craftsmanship by a taut, fine ensemble ... see Full Review

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Sheherazade, The Legend of Tsar Saltan USSR State Academic Bolshoi Theatre O, The Great SO of the Radio-Information Committee/Nikolai Golovanov rec. 1950/2 BOHEME CDBMR GOLO6 [62:52] [RB]

Virile, thunderous, majestically swelling and stompingly accented ... see Full Review

 Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Piano Concerto see PABST

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Complete Piano Edition - Vol. 2 Marco Sollini (piano) rec. 2000 CHANDOS CHAN10319 [63:48][DM]

Spirited playing and fine recording - a feast of good music ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) La donna del lago Maxim Miranov, Sonia Ganassi, Prague Chamber Ch, SWR Radio O Kaiserslautern/Alberto Zedda rec. live 2004 NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660235-36 [73.29 + 73.26] [RJF]

This recording should allow newcomers to enjoy this most melodic and romantic of Rossini’s opera seria ... see Full Review

Frederic RZEWSKI (b. 1938) The People United Will Never Be Defeated!; Four North American Ballads: No.4. Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues Ralph van Raat (piano) rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.559360 [73:05][DC] 

Seminal 20th century piano work, and needing to be snapped up ... see Full Review


[Click here for the most recent reviews (last five days)]
Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[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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