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Alphabetical Listing

PART 6
Misc A-L

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]

Superbudget £5.99 or less Budget £6-7.99 Medium £8-10.99 Full price £11+
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Alban Berg Quartett - Piano Quintets by Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828), Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904), Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) and Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Alban Berg Quartett; various pianists rec. 1985-1993 EMI CLASSICS 5176442 [78:21 + 71:50][ST]

A mixed bag - the Schumann being the most well rounded and balanced ... see Full Review

Mikhail Arkadiev (piano) Modest Petrovich MUSSORGSKY (1839–1881) Pictures at an Exhibition and music by Alexander SCRIABIN (1872–1915) and Mikhail ARKADIEV (b. 1958) Mikhail Arkadiev (piano) rec. 1994 CLASSICAL PIANO ASSEMBLY RCD30108 [75:14][BBr]

Pictures is the prize here - a very fine performance ... see Full Review

Aventure: Adieu, naturlic leven mijn Aventure/Ita Hijmans rec. 2007 FINELINE CLASSICAL FL72411 [72:33][JV] 

Sheds light on a little-known aspect of music in the Low Countries around 1500 ... see Full Review

Surprise Measha Brueggergosman William BOLCOM (b. 1938) Cabaret Songs Arnold SCHÖNBERG (1874–1951) Brettl-Lieder Erik SATIE (1866–1925) Songs Measha Brueggergosman (soprano) William Bolcom (piano) BBC SO/David Robertson rec. 2007 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4776589 [60:22] [CH]

A gifted singer with a remarkable timbre… at the beginning of her achievement ... see Full Review

Maria CallasOpera Highlights Maria Callas (soprano); Cast and recording details at end of review EMI CLASSICS 3971042 [8 CDs: 60:03 + 61:11 + 59:49 + 53:36 + 55:33 + 52:12 + 58:18 + 55:50][JS]

This is why Callas is regarded as the greatest dramatic soprano of recent times ... see Full Review

Cantilena Graeme KOEHNE Santa Ana Freeway Galop (from Tivoli Dances) Ross EDWARDS Ritmico from Veni Creator Spiritus First Maninya Peter SCULTHORPE Port Arthur – In Memoriam Night-Song Don KAY Interlude – Land of Moinee Elena KATS-CHERNIN Wild Swans Suite: Green Leaf, Eliza Aria, Brothers Piano Concerto No. 2 (II) Malcolm WILLIAMSON Our Man in Havana: Prelude, Cuban Dances and Waltz Song, Serenade Richard MEALE Cantilena Pacifica Tasmanian SO/Richard Mills; David Porcelijn, Ola Rudner. rec. Hobart, Australia, 1992-2005. ABC CLASSICS 4766342 [73:12] [RB]

An extremely attractive lyrical left-field anthology ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Chant: Music for Paradise The Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz rec. Sanctuary of the Relic of the Holy Cross, Stift Heiligenkreuz, Austria, 21st March-3rd April, 2008. DDD.Booklet with notes, texts and translations. UNIVERSAL CLASSICS & JAZZ UCJ176 6016 [52:45] [BW]

Already a best-seller and deservedly so ... see Full Review

The Tamara Anna Cislowska Collection Tamara Anna Cislowska (piano) rec. 1996-1999 ABC CLASSICS 4766297 [5 CDs 68:14 + 59:34 + 68:19 + 62:10 + 60:21][RB]

An original and unhackneyed collection … performances that are brilliant and sensitive .... see Full Review

Darkness Henryk GÓRECKI (b. 1933) Kleines Requiem für eine Polka André LAPORTE (b. 1931) Litanie con epitaffio Stéphane VANDE GINSTE (b. 1971) Darkness Emanon Ensemble/Raf De Keninck rec. 2007 PHAEDRA 92053 [52:15][HC]

Very fine recordings doing full justice to these rewarding works ... see Full Review

Dr Caligari Mats LARSSON-GOTHE (b. 1965) Dr. Caligari Albert SCHNEIZER (b. 1972) Solitude Stefan KLAVERDAL (b. 1975) Dual Chant Benjamin STAERN (b. 1978) The Lonely One Albert SCHNELZER (b. 1972) Frozen Landscape Stefan KLAVERDAL (b. 1975) The Longing of Eurydice Daniel HJORTH (b. 1973) Modal Move Björn Kleiman (violin); David Wärn (piano) rec. 2006 C-Y CONTEMPORARY CY0701 [73:42] [PG]

On the line between reality and dream. ... see Full Review

Duets for Piano Includes Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Fantasie Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Ma Mère l’Oye Jonathan and Tom Scott (pianos) rec. 2007 SCOTT BROTHERS DUO SBDRCD002 [66:29] [JW]

A well chosen and highly accomplished duo recital ... see Full Review

Duos for piano and organ Includes Flor PEETERS (1903-1986) Concerto for organ and piano Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Variations on Two Themes Tom Scott (piano), Jonathan Scott (organ) rec. 2007 SCOTT BROTHERS DUO SBDRCD001 [60:29] [JW]

A terrific disc recorded in a resplendent acoustic ... see Full Review

Zino Francescatti Includes Tomaso VITALI (1663-1745) Chaconne Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962) Four pieces of "In the style of ..." Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) Variations on “Carnival of Venice” Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Tzigane Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso Zino Francescatti (violin) Artur Balsam (piano) Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1947-54 BIDDULPH 802242 [72:27] [JW]

Some charismatic short performances enshrined in this very welcome disc ... see Full Review

Mirella Freni (soprano) - Opera Arias and Duets Various accompanying artists rec. 1964-1986. ADD; DDD Detailed track-list at end of review EMI CLASSICS ICON 206 2532 [4 CDs: 76.43 + 78.32 + 77.30 + 77.57] [RF]

A comprehensive bargain-priced collection of one of the loveliest soprano voices ... see Full Review

Wilhelm Furtwängler - The Early Recordings Volume 1 Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Brandenburg concerto 3, Orchestral Suite 3 - Air Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Overtures: Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Serenade “Eine Kleine NachtmusikFranz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Rosamunde – incidental music Berlin PO/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1929-37 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111136 [60:27] [RM]

One of the most sophisticated orchestras of its era ... see Full Review

Alexander Gauk Edition – Historical Russian Archives USSR State Radio and TV Orchestras/Alexander Gauk rec. 1944-1961 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 8866 [10 CDs: 688:32] [RB]

Unique Gauk - could be patchy but here often on song ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Karen Geoghegan plays Bassoon Concertos Johan Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Grand Concerto W23 for Bassoon and Orchestra in F major [23:45]; Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Andante e Rondo ungarese Op 35 in C minor [9:08]; Franz BERWALD (1796-1868) Concert Piece in F major [11:10]; Carl Heinrich JACOBI (1791-1852) Introduction and Polonaise Op 9 [9:00]; Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Romance Op 62 [5:13]; George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Summertime [4:36] Karen Geoghegan (bassoon) Orchestra of Opera North/Benjamin Wallfisch rec. 9-10 January 2008, St George’s Hall, Bradford. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10477 [51:46] [CR]

Extraordinary, deeply expressive, bassoon playing ... see Full Review

Stephen Hough (piano) A Mozart Album Stephen Hough (piano) rec. 2006 HYPERION CDA67598 [70:05][RC]  

A stimulating and rewarding recording which has given me much pleasure ... see Full Review

Piano Music by Icelandic Composers Þorkell SIGURBJÖRNSSON, Jóhann G. JÓHANNSSON, Atli INGÓLFSSON, Haukur TÓMASSON, Atli Heimir SVEINSSON, Victor URBANCIC, Jórunn VIÐAR, Hafliði HALLGRÍMSSON, Páll ÍSÓLFSSON, Sveinbjörn SVEINBJÖRNSSON, Árni EGILSSON , Jón LEIFS, BJÖRK/Leon MILO Susanne Kessel (piano) rec. no details provided OEHMS CLASSICS OC 813 [76:41] [RB]

A provocative, accessible but not facile anthology ... see Full Review

Sonja Kehler - Singt Brecht, Eisler, Dessau Sonja Kehler (vocals); various accompanists rec. 1972-8 BERLIN CLASSICS 0184242BC [65:38][GF]

It is hard to imagine a better advocate for these songs ... see Full Review

Kogan-Rostropovich-Gilels Trio Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trios Nos. 6 "Archduke" & in E flat major WoO 38 Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Trios Hob.VV:19 & XV:16 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Trio No.1 Gabriel FAURE (1845-1924) Piano Quartet No.1 Leonid Kogan (violin); Mstislav Rostropovich (cello); Emil Gilels (piano) rec. 1950-58 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4777476 [73:43 + 77:22][JW]

Sheer refinement, pellucid beauty of tone, assertive but never aggressive ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Legendary Piano Recordings The Complete Grieg, Saint-Saëns, Pugno, and Diémer recordings and other G & T rarities Edvard Grieg, Jules Massenet, Claude Debussy, Camille Saint-Saëns, Louis Diémer, Raoul Pugno (piano) rec. 1903-1919 MARSTON 52054-2 [77:47 + 79:50] [JW]

Technology applied with integrity at the service of music. Magnificent ... see Full Review

Peter Lindroos (tenor) - Opera Arias and Songs Finnish National Opera O/Kari Tikka, Pertti Eerola (piano) rec. 1983-94 FUGA 9250 [79:54] [GF]

Studio recordings of one of the finest singers to emerge from Scandinavia ... 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]


en a profound and melancholy contemplation and a blazing triumph.” Bax’s Fifth

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 Cage have on occasion been paired off, as a sort of American "Debussy and Ravel" – was there any real connection between them?

This may come as a bit of an anticlimax but, other than them both being American originals with "far-out" ideas, I can’t really think of one. In fact, they are more on the lines of diametric opposites: with my tongue ever-so-slightly in my cheek, I could say that Partch was a seminal genius who got branded as a crackpot, and Cage was a crackpot who got branded as a seminal genius.

John Cage (1912-92) was nothing if not controversial. With his rise to prominence, an obliging World split into two opposing camps. His supporters saw him as a prime mover in the fields of experimental and electronic music, with abiding interests in "chance music", new ways of using traditional instruments, and practical application of his Zen Buddhist beliefs.

His detractors, the more radical of whom would have preferred the "nothing" option, complained that he just made a lot of silly noise, did unspeakable things to the private parts of otherwise perfectly respectable musical instruments, and came up with a load of airy-fairy claptrap to justify his bizarre buffoonery.

Partch, who was renowned for his considered and candid conclusions, didn’t have too high an opinion of Cage: "When he was younger, I found him rather charming, albeit shallow. Then later, when he was famed for the opening of doors to musical insight, I found myself obliged to use the word ‘charlatan’ . . . Pretty sounds do not necessarily make significant music, and serious words frequently cloak hokum . . . I’m all for common sounds as valid materials [but] one has to have control, so that his common sounds will mean something. . . I feel that anyone who brackets me with Cage is bracketing actual music with metaphysical theories, and what I think is a serious effort with exhibitionism." [Letter to Ben Johnston, 1952, reproduced in Innova Enclosure 3]

Who is right – the "pro" camp or the "anti"? You tell me. The only opinions I can voice with any certainty are that Cage was not really a crackpot – even if he did give that impression to his detractors – and in all probability he caused the expenditure of as much hot air as all the other Twentieth Century composers put together.

For instance, during the late 1960s, when I was a university student, Cage was a hot topic for many an informal debate over a pint or six of a Saturday night in the pub. It’s true, I swear! Granted, we also debated rather coarser matters, interspersed with lots of "rugby songs", but there was no two ways about it – in those heady days, Cage was about as "right on" and as "far out, man" as you could get.

It was even possible – but only just – for intense arguments over Four Minutes and Thirty-Three Seconds to distract our juvenile minds from contemplating the aesthetics of passing bits of mini-skirt! Yet, no matter how much the said work of art – if that’s how you choose to define it – resonated with the mood of the Sixties, it’s as well to remember that it was written quite a while earlier, in 1952, while the hippy generation was just learning to manage without nappies!

 



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