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Monday November 30th

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MONDAY November 30th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage - Vol. 13 Monteverdi Ch, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner. rec. 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG162 [65:19 + 69:03]  [JQ]

Another fine addition to Gardiner’s excellent cycle ... see Full Review  

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Missae breves, Sanctus Ensemble Vocale de Lausanne, Lausanne CO/Michel Corboz rec. 1974 WARNER APEX 2564 69046-48 [70:21 + 73.42] [RH]

Now showing its age ... see Full Review 

Leonardo BALADA (b. 1933) Cristóbal Colón José Carreras, Montserrat Caballé, Ch & O Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona/Theo Alcántara rec. live, 1989 NAXOS 8.660237-38 [64:52 + 47:45] [GF]

Try this - it has a lot to offer ... see Full Review 

Michael DAUGHERTY (b. 1954) Metropolis Symphony, Deus ex Machina Terrence Wilson (piano) Nashville SO/Giancarlo Guerrero rec. 2007/8 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559635 [75:55] [NB]

Contemporary music as fun ... see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH John DOWLAND (1563-1626) Complete Lute Music Nigel North (lute) rec. 2004-7 NAXOS 8.504016 [4CDs: 257:22] [JW]

The most outstanding collection of Dowland’s lute music before the public today ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) La Resurrezione Camilla Tilling (soprano) Kate Royal (soprano) Toby Spence (tenor) Le Concert d’Astrée/Emanuelle Haim rec. live, 2009 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6945670 [62.22 + 49.50]  [RH]

Time and again my ear was drawn to the lovely instrumental contributions ... see Full Review 

Albert SCHNELZER (b. 1972) Predatory Dances Tobias Ringborg (violin) Claes Gunnarsson (cello) Per Lundberg (piano) Staffan Mårtensson (clarinet) Susanna Andersson (soprano) Francisca Skoogh (piano) rec. 2007 DAPHNE 1031 [66:33] [GD]

Remarkable clarity and mastery of rhythm ... see Full Review 

Georg Joseph VOGLER (1749-1814) Symphonies, Ballet Suites 1 & 2, Overtures London Mozart Players/Matthias Bamert rec. 2008 CHANDOS CHAN10504 [67:19] [SV]

It's good to hear this music, and to hear it so well played … see Full Review 

Stephen Hough in Recital Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Variations Sérieuses Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata 32 Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Invitation to the Dance Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Waltzes Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La Plus Que Lente Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Mephisto Waltz Stephen Hough (piano) rec. 2008 HYPERION CDA67686 [79:02] [BR]

Hough’s genius for miniatures strikes again … see Full Review 

Ewa Podleś (alto) Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Cantata Arianna a Naxos and arias by Rossini, Verdi & Donizetti Polish RSO/Lukasz Borowicz rec. live, 2008 DUX 0709 [63:06] [RMo]

I am not quite sure why this disc exists ... see Full Review 


FRIDAY November 27th

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797 – 1848) L’Elisir d’amore Hilde Güden (soprano) Giuseppe Di Stefano (tenor) Ch & O del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Francesco Molinari-Pradelli rec. 1955 DECCA HERITAGE SERIES 478 1724 [62:32 + 45:37] [GF]

Still the historic recording of the work ... see Full Review

Egberto GISMONTI (b.1947) Saudações Alexandre Gismonti & Egberto Gismonti (guitars) Camerata Romeu/Zenaida Romeu, rec. 2006/7 ECM RECORDS ECM 2082/83 (1797280) [75:37 + 70:03] [DC]

Expresses a sense of joy and optimism ... see Full Review

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Masquerade, Two pieces, Romantic intermezzo Russian PO/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570211 [66:57] [RMay]

A lukewarm reaction to some of Glazunov’s less inspired writing ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 23 & 24 Mitsuko Uchida (piano and director) Cleveland O rec. live, 2008 DECCA 478 1524 [59:52] [RM]

Uchida has something profound and even slightly disturbing to say about this music ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise, Piano Sonata (D840) Peter Schreier (tenor) Sviatoslav Richter (piano) rec. 1979/85 DECCA THE ORIGINALS 478 1714 [56:52 + 65:51] [JQ]

Contains insights and thought-provoking details at every turn ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH William SCHUMAN (1910-1992) Symphony 6, Prayer in a Time of War, New England Triptych Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz rec. 1990-2008 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559625 [60:51] [RB]

A Schuman symphonic cycle becomes more than a pipe-dream. Stunning and totally committed playing ... see Full Review

William Grant STILL (1895 - 1978) Symphonies 4 & 5, Poem for Orchestra Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter rec. 2009 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559603 [56:24] [RB]

Revel in these fine and likeably accessible works ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Suites: Der Rosenkavalier, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Josephs-Legende Buffalo PO/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572041 [68:34] [RM]

Falletta need fear no comparison with her illustrious predecessors ... see Full Review

The Art of Bernard Haitink DECCA 478 1429 [7 CDs] [WH]

Three indifferent performances, but most of the others are gems … see Full Review

Mordecai ShehoriThe Celebrated New York Concerts - Vol. 4 Joseph HAYDN (1832-1809) Arietta and Variations Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata D784 Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Selection Franz LISZT (1881-1886) Années de pèlerinage Mordecai Shehori (piano) rec.1980-2001 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD139 [65:58] [JW]

Exciting! ... see Full Review


THURSDAY November 26th

Charles-Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Grande Sonate, Symphony Stefan Lindgren (piano) rec. 1992/8 DAPHNE 1034 [67:05] [OL]

Simpler, leaner, and less romantic than the competition ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Six Partitas András Schiff (piano) rec. live, 2007 ECM 2001-2 (476 6991) [72:14 + 60:50] [ST]

A very special disc ... see Full Review 

Elliott CARTER (b. 1908) Mosaic, Dialogues & other works New Music Concerts Ensemble/Robert Aitken rec. 2006/7 NAXOS 8.559614 [64:50] + 2.110256 [51:07] [CR]

A fantastic product, with world class recordings of Carter’s music ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Rossini Mezzo - Scenes & arias Silvia Tro Santafé (mezzo) Lluis Vich Vocalis; Navarra SO/Julian Reynolds rec. 2009 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD170 [61:06] [GF]

A worthy heir to Teresa Berganza - more discs from her, please Signum ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schwanengesang Ian Bostridge (tenor), Antonio Pappano (piano) rec. 2008 EMI CLASSICS 2426392 [60:51] [CR]

Unsentimental but nevertheless expressive ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme Suite, Salome - Dance of the Seven Veils, Don Juan, Der Rosenkavalier Suite London SO, Tivoli O/Richard Strauss rec. 1921-26 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC175 [72:38] [JW]

Inevitable sound issues but a valuable document nonetheless ... see Full Review  

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser - Overture and Venusberg Music Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) The Walk to the Paradise Garden Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Variations on an Original Theme Melbourne SO/Charles Mackerras rec. live, 2007 ABC CLASSICS 476 3224 [65:28] [JW]

Enjoyable but not top-notch ... see Full Review 

The Beautiful Beatles The Aureole Trio rec. 2008 KOCH INTERNATIONAL KIC-CD-7755 [58:15]  [GF]

Eminently suitable for concentrated listening as well as relaxation ... see Full Review

The Piano at the Carnival Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Masquerade Suite Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Carnaval Franz LISZT (1811-1888) Hungarian Rhapsody 9 Antonin DVORAK (1841-1904) Carnival Overture Anthony Goldstone (piano) rec. 2008/9 DIVINE ART DDA25076 [76.31] [GH]

Something of an unusual disc, but nicely planned ... see Full Review

Unaccompanied Niccolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) Nel cor piu non mi sento, God Save the King Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) Sonata for Solo Violin Nikos SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949) Sonata fur Geige allein Eugene YSAŸE (1858-1949) Sonate George Zacharias (violin) rec. 2008 DIVINE ART DDA25074 [69:18] [ZT]

A highly refined technique an empathy with the music ... see Full Review


WEDNESDAY November 25th

Asger HAMERIK (1843-1923) The Symphonies 1-7, Requiem for orchestra, choir and contralto Randi Stene (mezzo) Danish National Symphony Chorus/Saul Zaks Helsingborg & Danish National Symphony Orchestras/Thomas Dausgaard. rec. 1997-2005, Helsingborg & Copenhagen DACAPO 6.200002 [4 CDs: 72:04 + 72:54 + 68:14 + 78:48] [RB]

Romantic era symphonies - exemplary in every way and rewarding to the attentive listener... see Full Review

Krzysztof MEYER (b.1943) Symphony No.7 Sinfonia del Tempo che passa, op.97 (2002/2003) [41:34] Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra, op.105 (2005/2006) [35:26] Magdalena Rezler–Niesoilowska (violin), Julius Berger (cello) National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice/Gabriel Chmura (Symphony); Lukasz Borowicz (Concerto) rec. 23 – 25 November 2004 (Symphony) and 10 – 11 June 2008 (Concerto), Concert Hall of the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice DDD DUX 0695 [76:59] [BBr]

His music is well worth the effort … see Full Review

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No 1 in G minor, Op 13, “Winter Daydreams” [41:35] Symphony No 6 in B minor, Op 74, “Pathétique” [46:44] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2008, LPO 0039 [41:35 + 46:44] [BR]

A revelatory First, and a fine Sixth too … see Full Review

Facets 3 – New American Music for Trumpet James WINTLE (b.1942) Distant Voices (2006) [17:08] Barbara HARBACH (b.1946) Perambulations for trumpet and piano (2004) [5:08] Emily! (2007) [7:46] Francine TRESTER (b.1969) Four Thoreau Songs (2007) [6:20] Sonata for trumpet and piano (2005) [13:56] Joseph KLEIN (b.1962) Die Königskünderin (The King-Proclaimer) (2006) [4:26] Ulysses KAY (1917-1995) Tromba (1983) [8:00] John Holt (trumpet and flugelhorn) Nataliya Sukhina (piano) Sophia Grech (mezzo) Igor Borodin and Julia Bushkova (violins): Katrin Meidell (viola) and Johannes Kleinmann (cello) rec. 2007-2009 CRYSTAL RECORDS CD 768 [63:19] [JW]

First class ambassadors for this new music ... see Full Review

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury rec. live, Chapel of Kings College, Cambridge, 24 December 2008 Texts enclosed Track-Listing at end of review EMI CLASSICS 50999 6860822 [54:53 + 34:58] [RC]

A fine souvenir of a memorable occasion ... see Full Review

Flying Solo Béla BARTÓK (1881 - 1945) Sonata for Solo Violin Sz.117 [25:37] Nicolò PAGANINI (1782 – 1840) Caprices for Violin Op.1 Nos. 4, 9, 21 [13:05] Eugène YSAŸE (1858 – 1931) Sonata No.3 in D minor Op.27 No.3 “Ballade” [6:40] Sonata No.5 in G major Op.27 No.5 [9:03] Bernd Alois ZIMMERMANN (1918 - 1970) Sonata for Solo Violin [9:12] Augustin Hadelich (violin) rec. LeFrak Hall, Queens College, New York, USA, 30 December 2008 and 5-6 January 2009 AVIE AV2180 [64:09] [NB]

The music is the master and it is well served ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH In Terra Pax: A Christmas Anthology Gustav HOLST, John JOUBERT, William MATHIAS, Herbert HOWELLS, Gerald FINZI, Peter WARLOCK, Kenneth LEIGHTON, John RUTTER, John GARDNER, William MATHIAS, Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Julia Doyle (soprano); Roderick Williams (baritone); Mark Williams (organ, celesta, piano) City of London Choir; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Hilary Davan Wetton rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572102 [57:37] [ST]

As good a Christmas recital as you’re likely to find ... see Full Review

The Jewish Soul David ZEHAVI (1910-1975) Eli, Eli arranged for cello and piano by Roy Friedman [2:45] Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Meditation Hébraïque for cello and piano (1924) [6:29]From Jewish Life for cello and piano (Prayer, Supplication, Jewish Dance) (1924) [9:07] Joachim STUTSCHEWSKY (1891-1982) Hassidic Suite for cello and piano (1946) [9:34] Odeon PARTOS (1907-1977) Yizkor (In Memoriam) for cello and piano [10:22] Mark KOPYTMAN (b.1929) Kaddisch for cello and piano (1981) [14:50] Max BRUCH (1823-1920) Kol Nidrei Op.47 (1880) arranged for five cellos by Günter Ribke [10:47] ¹ Amit Peled (cello) Eli Kalman (piano)Yotam Baruch, DaVin Lee, Andrew Talle and Jong Bin Kim (cellos) ¹ rec. June 2008, Harduf, Israel, and December 2007, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Spencerville, Maryland CENTAUR CRC 2988 [63:57] [JW]

A leavening of novelty for the curious-minded ... see Full Review

Organ Christmas Beatrice-Maria and Gerhard Weinberger (organ and organ duet) rec. 2009, CPO 777 487-2 [63:36] [DM]


Dull and uninspired ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sacrificium Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo) Il Giardino Armonico/Giovanni Antonini rec. 2009 Italian texts and German, English and French translations enclosed DECCA 478 1521 Limited Edition [77:55 + 21:15] [GF]

This is certainly an indispensable issue! ... see Full Review


TUESDAY November 24th

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Konzertstück in C, WoO 5 (orch. Juan MANÉN (1883 - 1971) (1929)) (1787) [20:25] Grosse Fuge in B♭, op.133 (orch. Felix WEINGARTNER (1863-1942) (1906)) (1825/1826) [19:11] Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) 10 Waltzes for string orchestra (1897?) [16:19] Wrocławer Chamber Orchestra/Ernst Kovacic (violin) rec 17-20 November 2008, Jan Kaczmarek Concert Hall of Radio Wrocław. DDD CD ACCORD ACD 145-2 [56:05] [BBr]

Just too polite … see Full Review 

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 – 1759) Giulio Cesare in Egitto (1724) Angelo Manzotti (sopranist) – Giulio Cesare; Alexandra Zabala (soprano) – Cleopatra; Paola Pittaluga (contralto) – Cornelia; Patrizia Bozzo (soprano) – Sesto; Angelo Galeano (counter- tenor) – Tolomeo; Riccardo Ristori (bass) – Achilla; Angelo Bonazzoli (counter-tenor) – Nireno; Guido Ripoli (baritone) – Curio Il Concento Ecclesiastico Vocal Ensemble and Orchestra/Luca Franco Ferrari rec. live, 30 July 2006, Savona Italian libretto enclosed CONCERTO CD 2042-3 [3 CDs: 70:08 + 74:14 + 65:55] [GF]

Worth hearing for a thrilling Cesare and a partly ravishing Cleopatra ... see Full Review

Krzysztof MEYER (b.1943) Complete works for cello and piano Cello Sonata No.1, op.62 (1983) [28:29] Canzona, op.56 (1981) [10:59] Cello Sonata No.2, op.99 (2004) [24:42] Ewa Mizerska (cello), Emma Abbate (piano), Katarzyna Hlensk (piano - 2nd Sonata only) rec 28-30 January 2008, Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio, Polish Radio, Warsaw DDD TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0098 [64:34] [BBr]

For me this is essential listening … see Full Review 

Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (1846-1909) Piano Works 1 Impressions Op.29 [12:40]
3 Pièces Op.35 [14:03] Moments mélodiques Op.36 [16:13] Contes Op.37 [20:31] Feuille de trèfle Op.44 [13:03] Valentina Seferinova (piano) rec. May 2008, Polish Radio Station S1 ACTE PRÉALABLE APO 188 [76:41] [JW]

Idiomatic skill and some striking moments ... see Full Review 

Henryk OPIEŃSKI (1870-1942) Complete Songs; Chamber Works Maria Pawlaczyk (soprano) Weronika Firlej-Kubasik (piano) Anna Organiszczak (piano) ¹ Mariusz Derewecki (violin) ² rec. 2001 and 2003, Radio Merkury and the Academy of Music, Poznań ACTE PRÉALABLE APO 075 [63:56] [JW]

Altogether a different brand of Polish composition ... see Full Review 

Robin ORR (1909-2006) Centenary Tribute - Archive recordings of performances by friends and colleagues Granville Jones (violin); Thurston Dart (harpsichord) rec. historical, various dates ADD GUILD GHCD2350 [72:28] [GH]

A fascinating collection of historic recordings … see Full Review 

Benjamin LEES (b.1924) Piano Concerto No. 1 (1955) [26.06] Ernest GOLD (b.1921) Piano Concerto (1943) [27.05] Joseph Bloch (piano) (Lees) Marisa Regules (piano) (Gold) National Orchestral Association/John Barnett (Lees); Leon Barzin (Gold) rec. 30 Oct 1963 from collection of Paul A Snook (Lees); 8 Jan 1945 from collection of Miklos Pogonyi (Gold) ADD PIERIAN PIR 0010 [53.11] [RB]  
Kent KENNAN (1913-2003) Chamber music Sonata for violin and piano "Sea sonata" (1937) [23:25] Night soliloquy for flute and piano (1936) [4:36] Scherzo, aria and fugato for oboe and piano (1949) [9:18] Threnody: for violin and piano (1992) [4:08] Quintet for piano and strings (1935) [15:10] Richard Kilmer (Sonata); Adriana Hulscher (Threnody, Quintet); Jennifer Bourianoff (Quintet) (violins); Felicity Coltman (piano); Megan Meisenbach (flute); Kathleen Turner (oboe); Ames Asbell (viola); Margaret Coltman-Smith (cello) rec. studios of KMFA-FM, Austin, Texas PIERIAN PIR 0017 [52:29] [RB] 
Nikolai LOPATNIKOFF (1903-1976) Concerto for Violin, Op. 26 (1941) [22:13] Joseph Fuchs (violin) National Orchestral Association/John Barnett Symphony no 3, Op. 35 (1953-54) [30:16] National Orchestral Association/Leon Barzin rec. 12 March 1945; 26 January 1960. ADD PIERIAN PIR 0023 [52:29] [RB]

Fascinating music and Kennan revealed as a major romantic voice ... see Full Review

Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland, Alice through the Look Glass) Oscar Wilde Happy Prince, The Rose and the Nightingale, The Selfish Giant, The Devoted Friend and The Remarkable Rocket Read by Sir John Gielgud rec. 1985 (Wilde) 1987 (Carroll) NIMBUS NI 1797 [112:00] (Wilde) NIMBUS NI 1723 [4 CDs: 59.42 + 57.55 (Wonderland); 63.19 + 73.16 (Looking Glass)] (Carroll) [Em]

Engages, fascinates and enchants ... see Full Review 

FRENCH and BRAZILIAN Piano Music Francis POULENC , Heitor VILLA-LOBOS, Frutuoso VIANNA, Francisco MIGNONE Elizabeth Powell (piano) rec. 1959 (Brazilian works); 1960 (Poulenc) LYRITA REAM 2111 [2CDs] [BBr]

Well worth the outlay … see Full Review 

Out of the Cool Richard Rodney BENNETT (b.1936) Winter Music (1960) [10:57]; Robert SAXTON (b.1953) Krystallen (1973) [6:39]; Cecilia MCDOWALL (b.1951) The Moon Dances (2003) [13:57]; Arthur BUTTERWORTH (b.1923) Aubade (1973) [5:01]; Richard Rodney BENNETT (b.1936) Summer Music (1983) [10:21] David HEATH (b.1956) Out of the Cool (1986) [6:37]; Brian LOCK (b.1967) Sonata for Flute and Piano (2004) [16:39]; Susan Milan (flute); Andrew Ball (piano) rec. November 2007, St Michael’s Church, Highgate, London. DDD METIER MSV 28510 [70:16] [CR]

An excellent collection of new British flute repertoire … see Full Review  


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