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[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
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[Recommended recordings]

Superbudget £5.99 or less Budget £6-7.99 Medium £8-10.99 Full price £11+


Robert SAVAGE (1951–1993) Cowboy Nocturne; Sudden Sunsets Florida Poems; An Eye-Sky Symphony; Aids Ward Scherzo; Frost Tree Polish National Symphony Orchestra/Joel Eric Suben rec. 1986-96 CRI CD790 [61:22][BBr]

This music is very good. Very good indeed ... see Full Review

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Early and Unknown String Works Rangzen Quartet & Strings; Christina Fong rec. 2006 OGREOGRESS 634479454004 [69:29][DC]

A must for serious Schoenberg students ... see Full Review

Phillip SCHROEDER (b. 1960?) Move in the Changing Light etc. Phillip Schroeder (piano, synthesizer, electric bass, percussion, digital delays); Amy McGinty (soprano); Robert Best (baritone); Daniel Cline (cello) rec. 2005 INNOVA 655 [62:07][MSJ] 

Tepid broth ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1827) Symphony No.9 Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937) Piano Concerto Boston Symphony Orchestra & Philharmonia Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein (piano; conductor) rec. 1957 & 1946 INSTITUTO DISCOGRAFICO ITALIANO IDIS6538 [68:04][BBr] 

Two very special performances. Bernstein firing on all cylinders ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata D960 Muzio CLEMENTI (1752-1832) Sonata Op.40, no.2 Lazar Berman (piano) rec. 1972 INSTITUTO DISCOGRAFICO ITALIANO IDIS6539 [55:41][DC]

Expressive rather than excessive – recommendable at almost every level ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartet D703, String Quintet Artemis Quartet, Truls Mørk rec. 2007 VIRGIN CLASSICS 5021132 [62:50] [LW]

I am thoroughly enjoying this dramatic new account ... see Full Review

William SCHUMAN (1910-1992) Violin Concerto Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Serenade Robert McDuffie, Saint Louis SO/Leonard Slatkin rec. 1989 EMI AMERICAN CLASSICS 2066112 [64:02] [RB]

Tensile lyrical concertos in a romantic tradition yet without schmaltz ... see Full Review

Gerard SCHWARZ (b. 1945) In Memoriam see HEGGIE

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto Magnus LINDBERG (b. 1958) Violin Concerto Lisa Batiashvili (violin) Finnish RSO/Sakari Oramo rec. live 2007 SONY/BMG CLASSICAL 88697 129362 [58:25] [RB]

Two Finnish concertos alluringly performed and recorded ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) *Symphony No. 5 in E flat, Op. 82 (1915/1919) [31:38] Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Pan and Syrinx (Pastorale for Orchestra), Op. 49 (1917-8) [8:26] Symphony No. 4, Op. 29 "The Inextinguishable" (1915-6) [37:39] City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, *Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle rec. September 1984, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick; *October 1981, Studio No. 1, Abbey Road, London EMI CLASSICS 50999 5 03428 2 2 [76:59] [SV]

For all his care over musical strands Rattle can sound thick and shapeless ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Nightride and Sunrise, Luonnotar, Lemminkäinen Suite, The Maiden in the tower, Pelléas et Mélisande, Valse triste Solveig Kringelborn (soprano), Ellerhein Girls’ & Estonian National Male Ch, Estonian National SO/Paavo Järvi rec. 1996/2001 VIRGIN CLASSICS 5220552 [73:32 + 67:38] [RW]

Järvi gets the best out of his players … agility and memorable emotional flow ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865–1957) Symphonies 4 & 5 Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1976 CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 5218722 [71:24] [BBr]

A magnificent Fourth … an outstanding bargain ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) The Tempest see SULLIVAN

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Grand Concert Overture, Symphonies 1 & 2 Svizzera Italiana O/Howard Shelley rec. 2006 HYPERION CDA67616 [74:04] [SV]

Two listenable and engaging symphonies ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) CD 1 [70:12] The Rite of Spring (1913, rev. 1947) [34:54] Petrushka (1911, rev. 1947) [35:05] CD 2 [77:46] The Firebird (1910) [47:25] Apollo (1927, rev. 1947) [30:07] Peter Donohoe (piano) (Petrushka) City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle rec. Arts Centre, University of Warwick, December 1987 (Rite); 3-4 October 1986 (Petrushka); October 1987 (Firebird);. April 1988 (Apollo). DDD EMI CLASSICS 20TH CENTURY CLASSICS 50999 2 06876 2 5 [70:12 + 77:46] [ST]

Lovers of rhythm and orchestral passion will not be disappointed ... see Full Review

Sir Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) The Tempest - incidental music (1. Introduction; 2. Act III Prelude; 3. Banquet Dance; 4. Act IV Overture; 5. Dance of Nymphs and Reapers; 6. Act V Prelude; 7. Postlude) (1861) [28:12] Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) The Tempest - incidental music (1924): Prelude [5:37]; Suite No. 2 () [14:29]; Suite No. 1 () [20:06] Kansas City Symphony/Michael Stern rec. 1-2 February 2008, Community of Christ Auditorium, Independence, Missouri, USA REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-115CD [68:40] [RB]

This is a fine and thoughtfully put together collection with a wonderful Sullivan contribution ... see Full Review

Tōru TAKEMITSU (1930–1996) Nostalgia (1987)b Three Film Scores (1994/5) see Tan Dun

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 3; Suite No. 3 London Philharmonic Orchestra; Paris Conservatoire Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1955-6 BEULAH 4PD12 [79:54][EMc]

Admirably paced, musically done but lacking the last ounce of panache ... see Full Review

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Swan Lake Maya Plisetskaya, Alexander Bogatirev, Bolshoi Ballet, Bolshoi Theatre O/Algis Zhuraitis rec. live 1976 VAI 4446 [141.00] [MM-B]

If you love ballet and admire Plisetskaya’s artistry then this is for you ... see Full Review

Virgil THOMSON (1896-1989) Three Portraits, Five Ladies, Eight Portraits see CORIGLIANO

Veljo TORMIS (b.1930) At the Crossroads, Tower Bell in my Village see Contemporary Sacred Music from Estonia

Andres UIBO (b.1956) Antiphons see Contemporary Sacred Music from Estonia

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphonies Nos. 4-6 etc. Various artists rec. 1967-1982 EMI CLASSICS BRITISH COMPOSERS 2161462 [74:54 + 76:01][RB] 

Versions of the symphonies that have something unique to tell us and enthral ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Wasps - Overture; Serenade to Music; Fantasia on 'Greensleeves'; Toward the Unknown Region; Symphony No. 5 Philharmonia/Sir John Barbirolli; London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Sargent. rec. 1957-1962 EMI CLASSICS BRITISH COMPOSERS 2161512 [78:25][EMc/RB]

Sargent's intriguing Vaughan Williams aired at last with Barbirolli for company ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Essential Vaughan Williams rec. 1950s-1980s EMI CLASSICS 50999 2 07992 2 9 [78:12 + 77:28] [ST]

Impossible to imagine a better introduction to RVW’s marvellous diversity ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello Placido Domingo (tenor); Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1992 OPUS ARTE OAR3102D [146:00][TH]

You may be advised to try and sample this one first ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Luisa Miller Darina Takova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Ch & O Teatro La Fenice, Venice/Maurizio Benini rec. live 2006 NAXOS 2.110225-26 [2 DVDs: 108:20 + 49:20] [ST]

Fine, if not outstanding ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Rigoletto Chorus and Orchestra of the Rome Opera House/Jonel Perlea rec. 1956 NAXOS HISTORICAL GREAT OPERA RECORDINGS 8.111276-77 [54.07 + 80.39][RJF]

Not an experience I will repeat very often ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Traviata Renata Scotto (soprano); Philharmonia Orchestra/Riccardo Muti rec. 1980 EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 5096942 [75:00 + 54:06][NV]

Scotto portrays the musical essence of the role ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Stiffelio José Carreras, Catherine Malfitano, Ch & O Royal Opera, Covent Garden/Edward Downes rec. 1993 OPUS ARTE (ROYAL OPERA HOUSE COLLECTION) OAR3103D [122:00] [RJF]

Full of mature and very dramatic music finely acted and sung in this performance ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-83) Parsifal: Prelude to Act I & Finale to Act III Alban BERG (1885-1935) Three Pieces for Orchestra Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das klagende Lied David Christopher Ragusa (boy soprano) Marisol Montalvo (soprano) Hedwig Fassbender (mezzo) Michael Hendrick (tenor) Anthony Michaels-Moore (baritone) London PO & Ch/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2007 MEDICI ARTS 3056808 [154:00 + 104:00] [DM]

A concert – and conductor – well worth watching ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Der Ring des Nibelungen: Soloists etc & Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Bernard Haitink EMI CLASSICS 50999 5 19479 2 7 [14 CDs] [GF]

In spite of a flawed Brünnhilde this is one of the Ring frontrunners ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Tristan und Isolde (1865)
Siegfried Jerusalem (tenor) – Tristan; Matthias Hölle (bass) – König Marke; Waltraud Meier (mezzo) – Isolde; Chorus and Orchestra of the Bayreuther Festspiele/Daniel Barenboim rec. 1995 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00440 073 4439 [2 DVDs: 235:00] [GF]

Intriguing and dreamlike, evocatively realised and musically on a high level ... see Full Review

Ulrich WEDLICH (b. 1954) Guitar Sonata see 20th Century Guitar

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) Fantasia for Cello and Orchestra, Flute Concertos 1 & 2, Clarinet Concerto Claes Gunnarsson (cello); Anders Jonhall (flute); Urban Claesson (clarinet) Gothenburg SO/Thord Svedlund rec. 2005 CHANDOS CHSA5064 [79:25] [RB]

Concise, full of song and atmosphere yet shot through with chilly light ... see Full Review

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) On the threshold of hope Clarinet Sonata, Jewish Songs after Shmuel Halkin, Piano Quintet ARC Ensemble rec. 2006 RCA/BMG RED SEAL 828768 77692 [74:43] [RB]

The Piano Quintet has the confidence of a tragic masterwork ... see Full Review

Egon WELLESZ (1885-1974) String Quartets: No. 3 Op.25 (1918) revised by Hannes Heher [29:30]; No. 4 Op 28 (1920) [18:23]; No. 6 Op.65 (1947) [14:35] Artis Quartett Wien (Peter Schuhmayer (violin I); Johannes Meissl (violin II); Herbert Kefer (viola); Othmar Müller (cello) rec. 11-13 December 2005, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, UK NIMBUS NI 5821 [62.35] [JF]

As a total package this is an excellent release ... see Full Review

Charles WUORINEN (b. 1938) The Dante Trilogy (Chamber Version): The Mission of Virgil, The Great Procession, The River of Light The Group for Contemporary Music rec. 1996/9 NAXOS 8.559345 [72:10] [GPu]

Fascinating chamber ensemble Dante. I long to hear the orchestral version … see Full Review

David WYNNE (1900-1983) Piano Sonata No. 2 (1957) [14:26] String Quartet No. 3 (1966) [19:33] Ian PARROTT (b.1916) String Quartet No. 4 (1963) [15:35] David HARRIES (1933-2003) Piano Quintet Op. 20 (1964) [12:55] Eric Harrison (piano); Alfredo Wang (violin); James Barton (violin); Frederick Riddle (viola); George Isaac (cello) rec. March 1971, Decca Studio No. 3, West Hampstead, London. ADD recorded under auspices of Welsh Arts Council LYRITA SRCD.284 [58:19] [RB]

A challenging but not unappetising collection of Welsh music from the 1960s . ... see Full Review

Alexander von Zemlinsky (1871-1942) Three Pieces for Cello and Piano; Cello Sonata; Trio in D minor for Clarinet, Cello and Piano Othmar Müller (cello); Ernst Ottensamer (clarinet); Christopher Hinterhuber (piano) rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570540 [64:21][WK]

Two recently rediscovered early works in sturdy if not superlative performances ... 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]

Over a period of three years from December 2003, I have spent a lot of time in the company of Harry Partch – not literally, of course, as he died in 1974, but working my way though an article and some eight reviews that can all be found on MusicWeb. Then, at the MusicWeb annual lunch (January 2007), the name of John Cage caught my ear. For reasons that my subconscious was not prepared to divulge, my curiosity was tickled. Partch and


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