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Alphabetical Listing

PART 7
Misc M-Z

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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Music for Strings Includes Jacques COHEN (b. 1969) Yigdal Salomon CUELLAR (b. 1990) Suite for Strings Malcolm ARNOLD (1921–2006) Variations on a Ukrainian Folksong Isis Ensemble/Jacques Cohen rec. 2007 MERIDIAN CDE84561 [61:35]  [BBr]

Shows exactly how rewarding music can be created from the simplest of means ... see Full Review

A Night at the Opera Anthony Goldstone (piano) rec 2008; 2005 DIVINE ART DDA25067 [79.27]

The grand manner with an aristocratic flourish ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH The Rise of the North Italian Violin Concerto: 1690-1740 Volume Three - The Golden Age Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) Concerto for violin, 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 horns, strings and continuo Pietro Locatelli (1695-1764) Concerto da Chiesa in C, Concerto for 4 Violins, strings and continuo Giovanni Battista Sammartini (c.1700-1775) Concerto à più Stromenti in E-Flat, Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) Concerto for violin, strings and continuo Antonio Vivaldi Concerto for violin, 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 horns, timpani, strings and continuo La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler (violin) rec. 2008. DDD. AVIE AV2154 [79:25] [BW]

Buy the CD or the download, but get this recording somehow ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Rostropovich plays Cello Works Mstislav Rostropovich (cello); Various accompanists rec. 1969-1995 WARNER ERATO 2564696817 [9 CDs: 9:55:00][RB]

A zanily variegated, enterprising selection … glorious playing ... see Full Review

Saxophone Concertos Takashi YOSHIMATSU (b. 1953) Saxophone Concerto “Albireo ModeToshiyuki HONDA (b. 1957) Concerto du vent Jacques IBERT (1890–1962) Concertino da camera Lars-Erik LARSSON (1908–1986) Concerto for Saxophone and String Orchestra Nobuya Sugawa (saxophone) BBC Philharmonic/Yutaka Sado rec. 2007 CHANDOS CHAN10466 [77:02] [HC]

A very fine release with much to enjoy here ... see Full Review

Erwin Schrott (bass-baritone) Arias by Mozart, Berlioz, Verdi, Meyerbeer & Gounod Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana/Riccardo Frizza rec. 2008 DECCA 478 0473 [52:39] [GF]

An auspicious recording debut ... see Full Review

Andrés Segovia - The 1950s American Recordings Vol. 5 Includes Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895–1968) Capriccio diabolico, Guitar Quintet Alexandre TANSMAN (1897–1986) Cavatina Andrés Segovia (guitar), Quintetto Chigiano rec. 1954–1956 NAXOS 8.111313 [76:30] [GF]

It is extra valuable to have these works played by their dedicatee ... see Full Review

Spanish Piano Includes Enrique GRANADOS (1867–1916) Allegro di Concierto Isaac ALBENIZ (1860–1909) Asturias Federico MOMPOU (1893–1987) Canción Xavier MONTSALVATGE (1912–2002) Sonatine pour Yvette Manuel de FALLA (1876–1946) Danza Yoko Suzuki (piano) rec. 2007 COLUMNA MÚSICA 1CM0189 [66:00] [BBr]

A pianist of brilliance and insight and I now want more ... see Full Review

The Golden Age of Light Music Stringin’ Along GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5146 [77:36] [BBr]

What a wonderful series this is, full of surprises ... see Full Review

Time of the Templars Music for a Knight; Music of the Church; Music of the Mediterranean NAXOS 8.503192 [3 CDs: 65:34 + 75:25 + 67:24] [ST]

A widely sampled dip into medieval music at very little cost ... see Full Review

Anna Tomowa-Sintow sings Tchaikovsky, Verdi & Strauss Anna Tomowa-Sintow (soprano); Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Kurt Masur rec. 1974 BERLIN CLASSICS 0013942BC [53:36][GF]

Constantly illuminating … these Strauss arias can be compared with the best ... see Full Review

Anna Tomowa-Sintow - soprano Music by Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893), Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) and Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Anna Tomowa-Sintow (soprano); Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra/Kurt Masur rec. 1974 BERLIN CLASSICS REFERENCE 0013942BC [53.36][RJF]

An excellent if short selection showing distinction and much promise ... see Full Review

Trumpet Masque Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (trumpet); Daniel Ben-Pienaar (piano) rec. 2007 LINN RECORDS CKD310 [72:57][BW] 

Thoroughly enjoyable … only die-hard period-performance advocates will object ... see Full Review

La Voce nel Violino Includes Giovanni Battista FONTANA (1589? - 1630?) Sonata II Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567 - 1643) Mentre vaga angioletta, madrigal Dario CASTELLO (1st half 17th Century) Sonata II Giovanni Antonio PANDOLFO MEALLI (fl 1660 - 1690) Sonata II La Cesta Imaginarium rec. 2006 ZIGZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT 071102 [60:31] [JV]

An original programme concept performed brilliantly - not to be missed ... see Full Review

Music for Cardinal Wolsey Richard Pygott (c.1485-1549) Missa Veni sancte spiritus Gloria [10:07] Credo [10:53] Sanctus [10:29] Agnus Dei [9:10] John Mason (b.?-1548) O rex gloriose [11:34] Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford/Stephen Darlington. rec. Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire, 21-22 March 1994. DDD. NIMBUS NI5578 [52:20]
Thomas Ashwell
(c.1482-after 1513, perhaps 1527) Missa Jesu Christe (6 parts) (before 1513?) Gloria [12:59] Credo [11:16] Sanctus [10:19] Agnus Dei [8:59] Hugh Aston (c.1485-1558) Missa Videte manus meas (6 parts) Gloria [13:25] Credo [12:39] Sanctus [12:34] Agnus Dei [10:31] Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford/Stephen Darlington. METRONOME MET1030/1031 [43:33+49:49] [BW]

Attractive minor music, well performed and recorded ... see Full Review


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]


I was full of admiration for Benjamin Pasternack’s previous CD of Copland’s solo piano music; indeed, it became one of my discs of the year and has been played often since (see review). So this new release already created some anticipation, as I have always had a soft spot for the rarely heard Piano Concerto as well as looking forward to the other works here.
 
In fact, the planning on this new Naxos release is very intelligent indeed. I don’t recall having heard the suite from Copland’s little-known opera The Tender Land before, but suffice to say it is full of what might be termed the best of his popular style. As befits the subject matter – the vicissitudes of a simple farming family in the Depression-hit South of the 1930s – the music is redolent of Appalachian Spring, the film music to Of Mice and Men and other ‘wide-open’ scores of the 1940s and 1950s. The Suite he extracted from the opera, which was not a success after its New York premiere in 1954, is in three movements. The Introduction is replete with those open fourths and fifths in the brass, the Love Music that follows it enjoying the simplest and most affecting of melodic lines. The lively rhythms of the Party Scene which follows could be out of Billy the Kid, whilst the ringing affirmation of the Finale: The Promise of Living, are about as American as Copland ever got. It is well worth making an acquaintance with and note writer Joseph Horowitz admits to preferring it to the flawed opera.
 
The Piano Concerto is firmly rooted in the 1920s, though once again the glorious introductory bars, where horns, trumpets and trombones exchange bold fanfares, points to his later style. It’s usually referred to as his jazziest work, and there are lots of elements to back this up, particularly the second movement, where Copland clearly has Gershwin in his sights, though with very different results. But the opening movement, for all its ‘blue note’ leaning, has more in common with the angular dissonance of the Piano Variations, written just a few short years later. The Concerto is a marvellous work, full of New York swagger but tightly constructed – rather like the more popular Clarinet Concerto – and it’s a real mystery why it doesn’t crop up on more concert programmes. There have been some good recordings over the years, including the benchmark version from the composer himself with Bernstein at the helm, though it does sound rather aggressively bright by modern standards. I’ve tended to stick by an excellent RCA recording from Garrick Ohlsson and the San Francisco Symphony under Tilson-Thomas, part of an excellent Copland survey he undertook in the early 1990s (Copland – The Modernist, c/w Orchestral Variations, Symphonic Ode and Short Symphony). I have to say this newcomer runs it close, with orchestral playing every bit as solid and assured. The string tone of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, another new name to me, is superb and the brass and wind sections are easily as sonorous and colourful as their more famous counterparts. Pasternack shows once again that he is completely inside Copland’s style, and the very tricky passages of the second movement are just as effective as Ohlsson’s more overtly virtuosic reading.
 
The disc rounds off its rarity value in style with arrangements of Copland’s popular Old American Songs, originally for voice and piano but here transcribed to include chorus and orchestra by Irving Fine, R. Wilding-White and Glenn Koponen. It works very well, with the St Charles Singers relishing the allusions to folk ballads, minstrel tunes, hymns and children’s tunes. The lyrics – included in the booklet - may be pure cornball in places (‘My pig says ‘
So this new release already created some anticipation, as I have always had a soft spot for the rarely heard Piano Concerto as well as looking forward to the other works here.



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