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October 2009

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Due to mail strikes, we are only presenting 5 reviews per day so that we do not run out. We will return to normal on Monday November 1.

FRIDAY October 30th

Tomaso ALBINONI (1672-1751) Concerto a Cinque Op.10 Harmonices Mundi/Claudio Astronio rec. 2004 ARTS 47747-8 [72:12][DC]

A desirable collection … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage - Volume 9 Cantatas for the Seventeenth & Eighteenth Sundays after Trinity The Monteverdi Choir; English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG159 [2 CDs: 70:22 + 68:19][JQ]

Performances that often penetrate to the heart of this music ... see Full Review

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 Staatskapelle Weimar/Michael Halasz rec. 2008 NAXOS DIGITAL 8.570994 [61:32][BR] 

Dull symphonies lacking character, drama or melody … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Chaconne; Suites Nos. 2 & 8 Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Sonatas Hob XVII:6 & Hob XVI:52 Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2009 HYPERION CDA67736 [67:25][BW] 

Excellent – even harpsichord lovers will appreciate the Handel ... see Full Review

Nikolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) Two Pieces Op. 58 Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Suite No. 2; Russian Rhapsody; Symphonic Dances Dmitri Alexeev, Nikolai Demidenko (piano) rec. 1993 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55337 [78:11][OL]

Formidable playing … fast and furious ... see Full Review

 

THURSDAY October 29th

Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) String Quartets 1 & 2 Aviv Qt rec. 2008 NAXOS DIGITAL 8.570965 [50:55][BR]

An overlooked modernist thrills, chills and dances … see Full Review

John TAVENER (b.1944) The Hidden Treasure Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Summa, Fratres Winchester Cathedral Ch/David Hill, Chilingirian Qt rec. 1993-4 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6932332 [62:40 + 72:12] [BBr] 

Compelling in a strange kind of way… see Full Review

David Oistrakh Piano Trios by Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) & Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) David Oistrakh (violin) Sviatoslav Knushevitzky (cello) Lev Oborin (piano) rec. 1950-2 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4778537 [52:43 + 62:43][JW] 

These performances sweep aside all objections ... see Full Review

Picking Strings - The Golden Age of Light Music rec. 1947-58 GUILD GLCD5156 [78:53][BBr]

Another winner from Guild … see Full Review

The Russian Trumpet Jouko Harjanne (trumpet); Kari Hänninen (piano) rec. 2007-8 ALBA ABCD276 [68.12][SP]

A harsh representation of Harjanne’s playing ... see Full Review

 

WEDNESDAY October 28th

Arthur HARTMANN (1881-1956) Miniatures for violin and piano and
Transcriptions
Solomia Soroka (violin) Arthur Greene (piano) rec. May 2007, Hart Recital Hall, Lansing, Michigan TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0089 [71:58] [JW]

Warm, sympathetic and very well recorded ... see Full Review 

Alun HODDINOTT (1929-2008) Four Welsh Dances, Overture, Jack Straw, Concerto Grosso No. 2, Investiture Dances, Welsh Dances, Set 2 William MATHIAS (1934-1992) Celtic Dances Daniel JONES (1912-1993) Dance Fantasy Royal Philharmonic Orchestra /Charles Groves, Philharmonia Orchestra /Charles Groves, National Youth Orchestra of Wales /Arthur Davison, BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra /Bryden Thomson rec. 1972-75 ADD/DDD LYRITA SRCD.334 [64.31]  [JW]

Great spirit and sensitivity - a welcome restoration ... see Full Review 

Alexander PRIOR (b.1995) Velesslavitsa - Concerto for Piano, Two Violins and Cello and orchestra (2008) [46:35] Zhang Xiao Ming (piano); Simone Porter (violin); Michael Province (violin); Nathan Chan (cello); Northern Sinfonia/Alexander Prior rec. live, The Sage, Gateshead, 29 April 2009. DDD TOCCATA TOCC0109 [46:35] [RB]

Smoking fervour and volatile tension ... see Full Review 

Philip SPRATLEY (b.1942) Music for string orchestra Sinfonietta op. 6 (1987) [26:30] Clarinet Concertino - Byard's Leap op. 27 (1980s) [16:16] Recorder Concertino - A Gallery of Cats op. 26 (1983 rev. 2008) [13:00] In Outlaw Country - Suite for Harp, Strings and Trumpet (1971 rev. 2007?) [15:52] Linda Merrick (clarinet); John Turner (recorder); Tracey Redfern (trumpet); Eira Lynn Jones (harp) Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Barry Wordsworth Manchester Sinfonia/Philip Spratley rec. 16 March 2007, Angel Studios, London; 15 September 2008, St Thomas’ Church, Hillgate, Stockport. TOCCATA TOCC0088 [71:11]  [RB]

Warmly and lyrically complex ... see Full Review 

The Russian Piano Sergei RACHMANINOV (1973 - 1943) Prelude in C sharp minor, op.3/2 (1892) [4:10] Mily BALAKIEV (1947 - 1910) Piano Sonata in Bb minor (1860s - 1905) [26:54] Alexander SCRIABIN (1872 - 1915) Nocturne in A, op.5/2 (1890) [3:12] Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891 - 1953) Piano Sonata No.4 in C minor, d’après des vieux cahiers, op.29 (1917) [18:19] Julian Hellaby (piano) rec. 17-18 March 2008, St Francis Hall, Hollywood, Birmingham. DDD CAMPION CAMEO 2081 [53:03] [BBr]

Will give much pleasure … see Full Review

 

TUESDAY October 27th

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Middle String Quartets CD 1 String Quartet No.7 in F, Op.59/1 (1806) [39:58] String Quartet in F, Op.14/1 (arr. of Piano Sonata No.9, 1798-9) [13:03] CD 2 String Quartet No.8 in e minor, Op.59/2 (1806) [34:37] String Quartet No.9 in C, Op.59/3 (1806) [30:38] CD 3 String Quartet No.10 in E-flat, Op.74, ‘Harp’ (1809) [30:44] String Quartet No.11 in f minor, Op.95, ‘Serioso’ (1810) [21:01] Wihan Quartet rec. live, Convent of St Agnes, Prague, 18 October 2007, 8 November 2007, 6 December 2007, 17 January 2008 and 7 February2008. DDD. NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6109 [3 CDs: 54:04 + 65:26 + 51:47] [BW]

Not quite top flight but very good value ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Septet in E-flat, Op.20 (1799-1800) [40:01] Serenade in D, Op.25 (1801) [24:32] Ensemble 360 (Sara Bittloch (violin); Martin Saving (violin); Marie Bittloch (cello); Laurène Durantel (double-bass); Guy Eshed (flute); Matthew Hunt (clarinet); Peter Whelan (bassoon); Naomi Atherton (French horn)) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, UK, 28-31 May 2007. DDD. NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6112 [65:06] [BW]

Fine performances of Beethoven at his most delightful ... see Full Review 

Ferdinando CARULLI (1770-1841) Gustavo CARULLI (1801-1876) Music for Guitar and Piano: 2 Franz Halász (guitar), Deborah Halász (piano) rec. 19-22 September, 2007, Studio 2, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich NAXOS 8.570588 [75:33] [GPu]

Enjoyable music, well played, but it cries out for period instruments … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732 - 1809) String Quartet in G, op.54/1 (1788) [19:09] String Quartet in C, op.54/2 (1788) [20:19] String Quartet in E, op.54/3 (1788) [23:40] Sacconi Quartet (Ben Hancox, Hannah Dawson (violins); Robin Ashwell (viola); Cara Berridge (cello)) rec. 21 - 22 July and 4 August 2008, The Music Room, Champs Hill, Sussex, DDD SACCONI RECORDS no serial number [63:13] [BBr]

A most exciting issue…see Full Review 

John JOUBERT (b. 1927) CHORAL MUSIC O Praise God in his Holiness Op.52 (1967)a [1:49] Pro Pace Motets (1955/9) [21:29] How are my Foes Increased, Lord! Op.61 (1969)a [6:45] Sleep Canticle Op.81 (1974)b [9:45] Three Hymns to St Oswald Op.74 (1972)a [22:04] Nowell Op.58 (1968)a [3:23] Jean Knibbs (soprano)b; Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor)b; Martin Neary (organ)a The Louis Halsey Singers/Louis Halsey rec. St Giles, Cripplegate, London, February 1979 BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY BMS 102CDH [65:30] [NB]

Melodic flair, tonal beauty and formal control ... see Full Review 

 

MONDAY October 26th

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961) Lincolnshire Posy Dallas Wind Symphony/Jerry Junkin rec. 2008 REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-117 [73:43][BM] 

A beautiful, exceptional recording, full of joy … see Full Review

English 18th-century Keyboard Concertos by George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759), Thomas ROSEINGRAVE (1688-1766), Thomas CHILCOT (c1700-1766), James NARES (1715-1783), Philip HAYES (1738-1797) and James HOOK (1746-1827) The Parley of Instruments/Paul Nicholson (organ, harpsichord, fortepiano) rec. 1993 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55341 [76:06][JV]

A good recording despite the largely speculative reconstructions ... see Full Review

Hypnos Music by Philippe SCHOELLER (b.1957), Pierre HAMON (b.1956), Guillaume de MACHAUT (1300-1377) and Mario LAVISTA (b.1943) Pierre Hamon (flutes) rec. 2007 ZIG-ZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT090101 [61:15][CR] 

Far from stereotypical … full of soulful melodies and wonderful variety ... see Full Review

Let’s Come To An Arrangement Andrew Wilson (organ) rec. 2009 REGENT REGCD325 [73:54][ST] 

A very successful disc ... see Full Review

Rarities of Piano Music at Schloss vor Husum Volume 20 from the 2008 Festival Various artists rec. 2008 DANACORD DACOCD689 [74:21][JF]

An excellent CD for all enthusiasts of romantic piano music ... 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]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]


 



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