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August 2009

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An indispensable addition to the Hitchcock literature ... see Full Review 

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MONDAY August 31st

Johannnes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto; Double Concerto Vadim Repin (violin); Truls Mørk (cello) Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2008 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4777470 [72:50][RB]

Fervour that’s the word ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH John ECCLES (c.1668-1735) The Judgment of Paris etc. Early Opera Company/Christian Curnyn rec. 2008 CHANDOS CHAN0759 [62.14][RH] 

A forgotten gem which deserves to be rediscovered ... see Full Review

Richard FRANCK (1858-1938) Orchestral Music Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen/Christopher Fifield rec. 2008 STERLING CDS1078-2 [69:09][JQ]

Enjoyable, skilful and attractive music ... see Full Review

Haflidi HALLGRIMSSON (b. 1941) Concerto for Cello and Orchestra; Herma Truls Mørk (cello); Scottish Chamber Orchestra/John Storgårds rec. 2007 ONDINE ODE1133-2 [57:21][GH] 

Challenging, subtle and interesting ... see Full Review

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Piano Trios etc. Gould Piano Trio rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570507 [60:34][MC]

A pleasure to review … will enhance any collection ... see Full Review

Ståle KLEIBERG (b. 1958) Concerto for Violin and Orchestra; Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra Marianne Thorsen (violin); Göran Sjölin (double-bass); Trondheim Symfoniorkester/Daniel Reuss rec. 2007-8 2L59 [50:54][RB]

Passion and impressionistic panache ... see Full Review

William Rhys MEEK (b. 1963) On Salisbury Plain – Music for Piano William Rhys Meek (piano) rec. 2008 PRIVATE PRESSING [32:22][NH]

Overall, a real triumph ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Mystical Songs Choir of Trinity College, University of Melbourne Australian Chamber Brass Ensemble/Michael Leighton Jones rec. 2007 ABC CLASSICS 4766906 [77:14][MC]

This valuable disc just grew and grew on me ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alexander von ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Symphonic Fantasy: Die Seejungfrau; Sinfonietta New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/James Judd rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570240 [63:26][IL] 

Irresistible ... see Full Review

American Choral Premieres William Ferris Chorale/Paul French rec. 2007-8 CEDILLE RECORDS CDR90000109 [64:10][JQ]

Very worthwhile and immaculately performed ... see Full Review


FRIDAY August 28th

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) La Figlia del Reggimento, Lucia di Lammermoor, L'Elisir d'amore, Poliuto, Maria di Rohan various orchestras & conductors, rec. 1988/9 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92462 [10 CDs: c.512:00] [RJF]

Worth the bargain price to hear the two more rarely performed works included ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Alexander's Feast, Concerto Felicity Palmer (soprano) Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor) Stephen Roberts (bass) Stockholm Bach Ch, Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 1977 TELDEC DAS ALTE WERK 2564 69056-2 [56:55 + 39:48] [BW]

A very decent performance but not top of the list ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Theodora Arnold Schoenberg Ch, Concentus musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 1990 TELDEC DAS ALTE WERK 2564 69056-4 [64:43 + 68:00] [GF]

Not as immediately appealing as some but worth anyone's acquaintance … see Full Review

Jón LEIFS (1899-1968) Scherzo concreto, Quintet, Variazioni pastorale, Elegies Thórunn Gudmundsdóttir (mezzo); Rut Ingólfsdóttir (violin) Reykjavík CO/Bernharthur Wilkinson. rec. 2002-5 SMEKKLEYSA SMK46 [54:50] [RB]

Hot as a furnace & cold as ice ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Cello Concertos 1 & 2, Cello Concertino Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Czech PO/Jirí Belohlavek rec. 1991 CHANDOS CLASSICS CHAN10547X [76:27] [RB]

Delightful ... see Full Review

Stephen PAULUS (b. 1949) To Be Certain Of The Dawn Minnesota Chorale; Minnesota Boychoir; The Basilica Cathedral Choir; The Cathedral Choristers Minnesota O/Osmo Vänskä rec. 2008 BIS BISCD1726 [59:13] [JQ]

A thoughtful and thought-provoking piece. I urge you to hear it. ... see Full Review

Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933) Utrenja ('Morning Prayer') Warsaw PCh & O/Antoni Wit rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572031 [74:50] [DM]

A welcome release, despite variable singing and recording ... see Full Review

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Purcell Edition III - Odes, Anthems and Ceremonial Music Monteverdi Choir; Equale Brass Ensemble; English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner WARNER CLASSICS 2564 69140-7 [4 CDs: 288:00] [ST]

A reliable bargain ... see Full Review

A little Music for a Few Friends Halle Wind Quintet, Michael Davies (violin); John Adams (viola); Ian Rudge (cello) rec. 1975/6 CAMPION CAMEO 2076 [57:22] [CR]

World-class playing ... see Full Review

Charles Munch in New York Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Iberia Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Le Tombeau de Couperin, Daphnis et Chloé Suite 2 Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937) Bacchus et Ariane Suite 2 NBC SO, New York PSO/Charles Munch rec. 1949/54 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1208 [68:13] [JQ]

Self-recommending to all collectors who prize great conducting ... see Full Review


THURSDAY August 27th

Helmer ALEXANDERSSON (1886-1927) Overture, Symphony 2 Uppsala CO/Paul Mägi rec. 2006 STERLING CDS 1076-2 [48:48] [NB]

For Swedish symphonic music completists only ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg-Variationen Martin Schmeding (organ) rec. 2009 CYBELE 030.802 [74:44] [SR]

Great sound and marvellous musicianship ... see Full Review 

Christopher BALL (b. 1936) Violin Concerto, From the Hebrides, Five Bagatelles, Celtic Twilight Thomas Gould (violin) Emerald Concert O/Christopher Ball rec. 2008 OMNIBUS CLASSICS CC5003 [74:40] [RB]

Deeply attractive music - an instant winner ... see Full Review 

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Concerto 2, Violin Sonata 1 Yehudi Menuhin (violin) Philharmonia O/Wilhelm Furtwängler Adolph Baller (piano) rec. 1947/53 NAXOS 8.111336 [68:43] [JW]

The place to go to appreciate Menuhin’s grip on Bartók’s grammar ... see Full Review

Leonid Alekseevic POLOVINKIN (1894-1949) Piano Works Anait Karpova (piano) rec. 2007/8 FUGA LIBERA FUG555 [60:08] [RB]

Tougher music from the deeps of the Soviet era. ... see Full Review 

Hieronymus PRAETORIUS (1560-1629) Magnificats and motets The Cardinall's Musick/Andrew Carwood rec. 2008 HYPERION CDA67669 [68:30] [JV]

An important addition, despite some shortcomings in the interpretation ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony 9, Rosamunde Entr’acte 3 Berlin PO, Vienna PO/Wilhelm Furtwängler (Rosamunde) rec. 1942/4 TAHRA FURT2006 [58:20] [JW]

The most unbridled, unfettered and unclassical of performances ... see Full Review 

Giovanni Battista VIOTTI (1755-1824) Chamber Music for Flute and Piano Mario Carbotta (flute) Carlo Balzaretti (piano) rec. 2007 DYNAMIC CDS 620/1-2 [42:59 + 45:40] [CR]

Interesting, unusual repertoire and enjoyable ... see Full Review 

Del sonar pitoresco - Musical pleasures in the Venetian countryside at the time of Tiepolo Antonio LOTTI (c.1667-1740) Sonata a 4 Giovanni Benedetto PLATTI (1697-1763) Sonata Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Trio Sonata Giovanni Antonio BRESCIANELLO (1685-1757) Concerto Agostino STEFFANI (1654-1728) Chomigioia Antonio LOTTI  Echo Sonata a 4 Francesco MONTANARI (1676-1737) Sonata Ensemble Barocco Sans Souci rec. 2008 DYNAMIC CDS637 [64:47] [JV]

First recordings of pieces for oboes and bassoon - well executed & recorded ... see Full Review 

Hallé Centenary Concert Carl Maria WEBER (1786-1826) Der Freischütz Overture Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 2 Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Symphony 1, A conversation with Sir John Barbirolli Clifford Curzon (piano); Hallé O/Sir John Barbirolli rec. 1958 BARBIROLLI SOCIETY SJB1033-34 [64:06 + 65:54] [JQ]

A fine souvenir of a great partnership ... see Full Review 


WEDNESDAY August 26th

Erik CHISHOLM (1904-1965) Music for Piano - Volume 5 Piobaireachd for solo piano (undated) [24:29] Sonatina No.5 (undated) [6:07] Sonatina No.6 (1946) [6:54] Cameos (1926) [10:01] Sonatina Ecossaise (1929 rev. 1951) [10:51] Harris Dance (undated) [3:36] Tango (1926) [3:04] Sonata Electra (undated) [4:35] Dance Bacchanal (1924) [4:42] Murray McLachlan (piano) rec. 18 -22 December 2006 Whiteley Hall, Chetham's School of Music, Manchester DIVINE ART DIVERSIONS DDV24140 [74:37] [JF]

A fine production and essential for enthusiasts of British piano music. ... see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Aaron COPLAND (1900 - 1990) Dance Panels (1959) [29:00] Eight Songs of Emily Dickinson (1948-50 orch. 1960s) [21:13] Short Symphony (1933) [15:55] Helene Schneiderman (mezzo) Orchestra of St. Luke's/Dennis Russell Davies rec. no information given - original release MusicMasters 1992 NIMBUS NI2545 [66:47] [NB]

A life-enhancing disc of the highest possible quality ... see Full Review 

Léo DELIBES (1836-1891) Coppélia (1870) [86:32] Sylvia - Suite (1876) [16:18] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Daphnis et Chloé - Suite No.2 (1912) [16:36] L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet rec. April 1957 (Coppélia); April 1959 (Sylvia); November 1960 (Daphnis et Chloé), Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland. ADD DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 0083 [62:18 + 57:29]   [PL]

Idiomatic, distinctly danceable ... see Full Review 

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Mai-Dun (1921) [11:04] The Forgotten Rite (1913/18) [7:09] Satyricon Overture (1944/46) [8:45] The Overlanders Suite (1946/47) (arr. Sir Charles Mackerras) [19:27] A London Overture (1936) [12:14] Epic March (1942) [8:18] Hallé Orchestra/John Wilson rec. 24-25 March 2007, BBC Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England. DDD HALLÉ CDHLL7523 [67:41] [MC]

Wilson and the Hallé on splendid form ... see Full Review 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) (a) Symphony No 38 in D major K504 'Prague' [23:26] (b) Flute Concerto No 2 in D major K314 [19:12] (c) Motet 'Exultate, jubilate' K165 [14:54] (d) Serenade in B flat major K361 'Gran Partita' [38:03]Leopold MOZART (1719-1787) (e) Trumpet Concerto in D major [8:53] André Pepin (flute) (b); Janine Micheau (soprano) (c); Michel Cuvit (trumpet) (e); L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (a,b,d,e); Paris Conservatoire Orchestra (c); Ernest Ansermet (conductor) (a-e) rec. Radio Hall, Geneva July 1947 (a), Maison de la Mutualité, Paris, May 1948 (c), Victoria Hall, Geneva November 1957 (b), May 1955 (d), March 1968 (e) DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 0379 [57:54 + 47:06] [JS]

Much to enjoy here ... see Full Review 

Georgs PELĒCIS (b.1938) Revelation [15:07] Nevertheless (1994) [27:41] Astor Piazzolla, Oskar Strock and Me/Buena Riga [19:13] The Last Song [4:58] Gidon Kremer (violin) Katia Skanavi (piano, Revelation, Nevertheless) Jānis Šipkēvis (contralto) and Gabor Boldoczki (trumpet, Revelation) Kremerata Baltica rec. Radio Studios, Riga, November 2005 MEGADISC CLASSICS MDC 7797 [67:03] [DC]

Great beauty, plenty of padding. ... see Full Review

Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Ivan the Terrible Concert Scenario [59:14] CHANDOS CHAN 10536 X [59:14]
Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74 [46:32] Excerpts from The Tale of the Stone Flower, Op. 118 [25:58] CHANDOS CHAN 10537 X [72:43]
Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphonic Suite from War and Peace (arr. C. Palmer) [27:02] Summer Night: Suite from 'The Duenna', Op. 123 [22:31] Russian Overture Op. 72 [14:08] CHANDOS CHAN 10538 X [63:03]
Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet: Suites Nos. 1-3 CHANDOS CHAN 10539 X [78:48]
Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19 [21:56] Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63 [25:47] Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano in F minor , Op. 80 [29:45] CHANDOS CHAN 10540 X [77:50]
Eugene Onegin - Melodrama in Sixteen Scenes Op. 71 [124:11] CHANDOS CHAN 10541(2) X [74:05 + 50:06] [RB]

A fascinatingly varied and provocative crop - rhetoric and poetry ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) L'Histoire du Soldat (1918) [29:57] Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Rossiniana (1925) [22:58] Ars Nova/Robert Mandell (Stravinsky) Vienna State Opera Orchestra/Robert Zeller rec. Carnegie Hall, 25 May 1956 (Stravinsky) and no date or location given (Respighi). HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDCD 111 [53:47] [DC]

Great initiative, and a worthwhile restoration. ... see Full Review 

Battaglia d'amore Bellerofonte CASTALDI (1580 - 1649) Girolamo FRESCOBALDI (1583 - 1643) Bellerofonte CASTALDI Il Furioso (Eugenia Cirrieri, Laura Fabris, Janet Youngdahl (soprano), Gian Polo Fagotto, Claudio Zinutti (tenor), Victor Coelho (archlute, theorbo, tiorbino), David Dolata (theorbo, tiorbino), Neil Cockburn (harpsichord))/David Dolata rec. 2006, DDD TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0081 [76:33] [JV]

An interesting and musically captivating portrait of an intriguing personality ... see Full Review 

British Clarinet Music Charles Harford LLOYD (1849 - 1919) Suite in the Old Style (1914) [9:48] Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852 - 1924) Three Intermezzi Op.13 (1879) [8:03] Sonata in F major Op.129 (1911) [18:25] William Yeates HURLSTONE (1876 - 1906) Four Characteristic Pieces [14:34] Cecil Armstrong GIBBS (1889 - 1960) Three Pieces (1957) [7:56] Gerald FINZI (1901 - 1956) Five Bagatelles (1943) [13:49] Alessandro Travaglini (clarinet); Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2009 SHEVA COLLECTION SH021 [75:59]  [NB]

A beautiful disc of essentially lyrical English clarinet music ... see Full Review 


TUESDAY August 25th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Thrill of the Chase   Florence Mustric (organ) rec. 2007 MSR CLASSICS MS1271 [65:23][JS] 

A very satisfying collection ... see Full Review

Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Requiem Jean-Jacques GRUNENWALD (1911-1982) Psalm 129 Vasari Singers/Jeremy Backhouse rec. 2008 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD163 [74:08][WH]

One of the most beautiful works in the choral repertoire ... see Full Review

Howard GOODALL (b. 1958) Choral works Choir of Christ Church Cathedral; Oxford/Stephen Darlington rec. 1994-6 UNIVERSAL 4763331 [61:46][JQ]

An appealing collection of attractive pieces ... see Full Review

Francisco de PEÑALOSA (c.1470-1528) The Complete Motets Pro Cantione Antiqua/Bruno Turner rec. 1991 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55357 [67:53][MS]

Sumptuous and expertly-sung ... see Full Review

Thomas L READ (b. 1938) Night Pageantry Various artists rec. 1982-2008 ZIMBEL RECORDS ZR118 [59:09][BBr]

Faceless and without charm ... see Full Review

The Art of Campoli – Volume III Alfredo Campoli (violin); London Philharmonic Orchestra/Arthur Bliss, National Symphony Orchestra/Victor Olof, Eric Gritton (piano) rec. 1946-55 BEULAH 6PD10 [77:28][JW]

Another worthily re-ordered entrant to the Campoli lists ... see Full Review

I was Glad Choir of St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh/Michael Harris rec. 2008 YORK AMBISONIC YORKCD201 [62:36][JQ]

Carefully prepared but lacks just a vital bit of character ... see Full Review

Lydia Mordkovitch plays Russian Works for Violin/Viola by Dimitri Borisovich KABALEVSKY (1904-1987), André Mikhaylovich VOLKONSKY (1933–2008), Ivan Yevstafyevich KHANDOSHKIN (1747-1804), Sergei Sergeyevich PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) and Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Lydia Mordkovitch (violin/viola); Nicholas Walker/Julian Milford (piano) rec. 1998-2008 CHANDOS CHAN10526 [76:07][MC] 

An appealing and fascinating mix ... see Full Review

Robert Riefling (1911-1988) - Great Norwegian Performers 1945-2000: Volume IV, Music by Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Robert Riefling (piano) rec. 1979-86 SIMAX PSC1833 [65:12 + 75:22][JW]

A somewhat problematic release ... see Full Review

Stokowski conducts Schubert and Dvořák Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Rosamunde - Incidental Music Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 9 Leopold Stokowski and his Symphony Orchestra rec. 1947-52 CALA CACD0550 [76:07][NB]

Breathtaking Schubert, baffling Dvořák ... see Full Review


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