Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral



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Verdi's Aida - a survey by Ralph Moore

Dominick Argento - an obituary by Kenneth Shenton

Noises Off - Sound Effects in Opera Recordings by Paul Corfield Godfrey

Second Thoughts & Short Reviews - Spring 2019-3 by Brian Wilson, Simon Thompson & Johan van Veen

Schubert's Winterreise - a survey by Ralph Moore


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Publishing schedule
Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, jazz, other music); Friday: Articles
Live performance reviews posted daily at Seen and Heard

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Friday June 21st 

Gottfried von EINEM (1918-1996) Der Prozess - ORF Vienna Radio SO/HK Gruber rec. 2018 CAPRICCIO C5358 [45:34 + 57:59] [DC] Effectively captures the darkness and labyrinthine world of ‘The Trial’.

Niels GADE (1817-1890) Erlkönigs Tochter, Fünf Gesänge – Sophie Junker (soprano) Ivonne Fuchs (alto) Johannes Weisser (baritone) Danish Ntl Vocal Ens, Concerto Copenhagen/Lars Ulrik Mortensen rec. 2017/18 DACAPO 8.226035 [55:48] [GF] Worth the purchase even if you have another version.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Complete Symphonies - Vienna CO/Ernst Märzendorfer rec. 1967-71 SCRIBENDUM SC818 [33 CDs] [SG] This pioneering venture will be a source of great joy for Haydn devotees.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 Bernd Alois ZIMMERMANN (1918-1970) Trumpet Concerto - Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet) Lucy Crowe (soprano) Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo) Vienna PO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2018 C MAJOR 749004 Blu-ray [110:00] [JQ] A quite compelling performance of the ‘Resurrection’ Symphony.

Allan PETTERSSON (1911-1980) Violin Concerto No. 2, Symphony No.17 - Ulf Wallin (violin) Norrköping SO/Christian Lindberg rec. 2017/18 BIS BIS-2290 SACD [61:06] [SSi] An excellent addition to the catalogue of Pettersson’s recorded music.

Il cembalo transalpino Sophie Yates (harpsichord) rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN0819 [65:16] [GH] An unusual and cleverly planned recital.

Folk Tales Works by Vaughan Williams, Bridge, Bax, Moeran, Elgar & Delius - Gerald Peregrine (cello) Antony Ingham (piano) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574035 [54:26] [JF] Committed performances, succinct liner notes and the splendid sound quality make for a thoroughly enjoyable album.

Organ Classics from King’s College Cambridge Stephen Cleobury (organ) rec. 1993 ALTO ALC1401 [74:00] [MR] A re-issue of once popular favourites played with impeccable taste and elegance.

Thursday June 20th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations - Trio Zimmermann rec. 2017/18 BIS RECORDS BIS-2347 SACD [73:30] [DC] My new reference for this work on anything other than a keyboard.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto, Double Concerto - Tianwa Yang (violin), Gabriel Schwabe (cello), Deutsches SO Berlin/Antoni Wit rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573772 [72:25] [LW] There is much to enjoy in these Brahms concerto performances.

Gordon CROSSE (b. 1937) On the Shoreline - Lawson Trio, Manchester Sinfonia/Richard Howarth rec. 2017/18 PRIMA FACIE PFCD098 [78:34] [JF] A CD to relish: every work is full of interest and is performed with care, commitment and enthusiasm.

Fini HENRIQUES (1867-1940) Piano Music - Thomas Trondhjem (piano) rec. 2018 DANACORD DACOCD840 [79:43] [JF] Charming, but always interesting, little pieces.

Antonio SOLER (1729-1783) Vocal works in Latin - Andrés Cea Galán (organ), La Grande Chapelle, Albert Recasens rec. 2017 LAUDA LAU018 [76:26] [JV] This intriguing disc sheds light on a neglected part of the oeuvre of Antonio Soler.

American Rapture Works by Higdon, Barber & Harlin - Rochester PO/Ward Stare rec. 2018 AZICA RECORDS 71327 [51:54] [RC] A quite worthwhile disc for those interested in Barber and contemporary American music.

Gian Giacomo Guelfi (baritone) Arias & Duets - rec. 1954–68 MYTO MCD00156 [79:32] [RMo] A poorly documented selection which nevertheless displays his breadth and versatility.

A Tale of Two Violas Peter Mallinson (viola), Matthias Wiesner (viola), Evgenia Startseva (piano), Anneke Hodnett (harp), Michael Atkinson (cello), Nicholas Bayley (double bass) rec. 2018 MERIDIAN CDE84652 [71:30] [JW] A disc both to enlighten and to entertain.

Wednesday June 19th

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) The Wooden Prince, The Miraculous Mandarin suite - Helsinki PO/Susanna Mälkki rec. 2017/18 BIS BIS-2328 SACD [73:07] [EJW] Virtuoso orchestral playing, superbly recorded.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Symphony Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Russian Easter festival overture  - Bavarian RSOKyrill Kondrashin rec. 1980 BR KLASSIK 900704 [51:49] [RMay] While the Rimsky misfires, the Franck is a palpable hit.

Barbara HARBACH (b. 1946) Symphony No. 11, Hypocrisy – London PO/David Angus rec. 2017 MSR CLASSICS MS1646 [77:37] [EJW] A greater contrast in volume and intensity, as well as a sense of organic growth, would have made for a better listening experience.

Ståle KLEIBERG (b. 1958) Do You Believe in Heather? - Marianne Beate Kielland (mezzo soprano), Ole Christian Haagenrud (piano), Annika Nordstrøm (flute), Jan Petter Hilstad (viola), Ruth Potter (harp), Ida Kateraas (clarinet) rec. 2018 2L RECORDS 2L-152-SACD [69:51] [DC] Luminous and desirable.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Prelude and Fugue on BACH Max REGER (1873-1916) Fantasy and Fugue,
Easy Chorale Preludes, Chorale Fantasies - Franz Hauk (organ) SELBY SAOM005 [74:41] [JW] Chalk this up as another decided success in Selby’s Organ Masters series.

Govanni Alberto RISTORI (1692-1753) Missa, Litaniae de Sancto Xaverio, Miserere - Sächsisches Vocalensemble, Batzdorfer Hofkapelle/Matthias Jung rec. 2017 CPO 555 200-2 [64:09] [JV] A splendid disc which every lover of choral music will enjoy.

Kevin VOLANS (b. 1949) violin:piano; Etude 9 (Bells for Mary); viola:piano - Waldo Alexander (violin & viola), Jill Richards (piano) rec. 2014 ERGODOS ER20 [75:25] [DC] Intriguing – abstract, but deeply communicative.

Lang Lang (piano) Piano Book rec. 2018 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 7441 [72:32] [GF] An utterly attractive recital.

Tuesday June 18th

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Piano Quintet Anthony PAYNE (b. 1936) Piano Quartet York BOWEN (1884-1961) Phantasy Quintet - Ronald Woodley (clarinet), Primrose Piano Qt rec. 2015 MERIDIAN CDE84640 [73:31] [SG] A captivating performance of a popular score, complemented by three enticing rarities.

Emmerich KÁLMÁN (1882-1953) Die Faschingsfee - Camille Schnoor (soprano), Daniel Prohaska (tenor), Ch & O des Staats theaters am Gärtnerplatz/Michael Brandstätter rec. 2017 CPO 555 147-2 [76:43] [GF] Basically for those who saw the performances and want a souvenir.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937), Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) & Germaine TAILLEFERRE (1892-1983) String Quartets -  Stenhammar Quartet rec. 2016/17 ALBA ABCD431 SACD [61:10] [JF] Thoroughly engaging and satisfying.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Lemminkäinen Suite, Belshazzar's Feast Suite - BBC SO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20136 [71:34] [DM] Seductively sonorous Sibelius, brimming with colour and character; very impressive recording, too.

Robin WALKER (b.1953) Turning Towards You - John Turner (recorder) Leon Bosch (double bass) Emma McGrath (violin) Min-Jung Kym (piano), Manchester Sinfonia/Richard Howarth rec. 1999/2018 DIVINE ART DDA25180 [75:16] [JF] All works are enjoyable, approachable and interesting.

Cracow Wind Quintet and Friends rec. 2017/18 DUX 1566 [43:50] [GPJ] Imaginative and intensely musical playing of (mostly) unfamiliar but impressive repertoire.

Sonata Norwegica Caroline Eidsten Dahl (recorder) Ensemble Freithoff rec. 2017 LAWO CLASSICA LWC1165 [69:38] [DC] Life-enhancing performances of obscure music.

Tempéraments Works by CPE Bach & Mozart - Shani Diluka (piano, fortepiano), Paris CO/Ben Glassberg rec. 2018 MIRARE MIR434 [74:00] [DC] An unusual but richly rewarding programme.

Monday June 17th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Overture in the French Style, French Suite No. 1, Sinfonias - Diana Boyle (piano) rec. 2018 DIVINE ART DDA25190 [36:53 + 47:35] [JF] There is a coolness about her interpretation that allows the music to speak without hindrance of any sort.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Requiem Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Figure humaine Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Trois Chansons - Ens Aedes, Les Siècles/Mathieu Romano rec. 2018 APARTÉ AP201 [59:21] [MR] An outstanding and unusual performance of the Fauré Requiem which probably gets closer to the spirit of the work than any other currently available.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Piano works - Michael Korstick (piano) rec. 2013/17 CPO 555242-2 [69:39] [SB] Superb playing of Cortot’s intriguing transcription of Franck’s violin sonata for solo piano together with Franck’s two major piano works.

Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) An English Mass; Cello Concerto - Guy Johnston (cello), Stephen Cleobury (organ), Britten Sinfonia, King’s College Ch/Stephen Cleobury, Ben Parry, Christopher Seaman rec. 2018/19 KING’S COLLEGE KGS0032 SACD [48:58 + 54:39] [BW]  My first choice for Howells’ An English Mass and the Cello Concerto; it should boost appreciation of Howells’ music.   

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Titan - Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2018 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905299 [57:04] [JQ] Ear-opening Mahler from François-Xavier Roth and Les Siècles.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Complete Piano Trios - Horszowski Trio rec. 2017 AVIE RECORDS AV2405 [57:30 + 45:33] [DC] Can hold its own in distinguished company.

Ivry Gitlis (violin) The Early Years - Birth of a Legend rec. 1949-63 RHINE CLASSICS RH-011 [77:45 + 73:58] [SG] A highly individual player, some would term a maverick, noted for his bold interpretive choices.

Music for Saint Katherine of Alexandria Binchois Consort/Andrew Kirkman rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68274 [66:17] [GH] Another winner for the Binchois Consort.

Other reviews
Richard D’Oyly Carte by Paul Seeley pub. 2018 ROUTLEDGE [RJW] Seeley’s easy style provides a ‘good read’ and uncovers fascinating detail.