NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
Thoughts and Short Reviews: Autumn 2017-2 by Brian Wilson and
Schmitt on Timpani - a survey by Rob Barnett
Records: Russian and East European Adventures - a survey by
Bourgeois - An Obituary by Kenneth Shenton
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Friday October 20th
ARBAN (1825-1889) Fantasies on Verdi Operas -
Angelo Cavallo (cornet) Michele Fontana (piano) rec. 2016
DYNAMIC CDS7784.02 [2 CDs: 120:01] [MR] These follow
a predicable path which, given these technically secure but undemonstrative
performances, is probably more interesting to the player than the
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Ich ruf’ zu Dir,
Ich habe genug, Orchestral Suite No. 2, Passacaglia & Fugue
- Stephan Genz (baritone) Russian Ntl O/Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev
rec. 2015 PENTATONE PTC5186593 SACD [65:52] [DHu]
Tear off your hair shirt for some good old-fashioned, big-band Bach;
the Passacaglia & Fugue arrangement is a real blast.
BRAHMS (1833-1897), Karl WEIGL (1881-1949)
& Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Viola Sonatas
- Paul Doktor (viola) Nadia Reisenberg (piano) rec. 1952-1963 ROMÉO
RECORDS 7317 [76:01] [RB] This is a most agreeable listening
experience unless you must have a closer approach to modern audio
CESTI (1623-1669) L’Orontea - Monteverdi
Continuo Ens, Frankfurt Opera & Museum O/Ivor Bolton rec. 2015
OEHMS CLASSICS OC965 [3 CDs: 175:21] [CRo] Listeners
who like the grit of an animated performance in the theatre will
warm to this recording.
DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Complete Piano Works - François-Michel
Rignol, Lorraine Lacaze (piano) rec. 2017 SOLSTICE SOCD348
[66:12] [SG] François-Michel Rignol’s infectious enthusiasm
and cultivated musicianship should win this wonderful music many
von HERZOGENBERG (1843-1900) Piano Trios Nos 1 &
2 - Vienna Piano Trio rec. 2016 MDG 9422017-6 SACD
[65:38] [BSt] An interesting and very well-produced release,
which suggests that Herzogenberg was one of the more rewarding followers
KALOMIRIS (1883–1962) Complete Works for Solo
Piano - Olivier Chauzu (piano) rec. 2016 GRAND PIANO GP748
[69:43] [RB] Folksy, Kodály-style, peacock-fan brilliance and
melody at play.
KARAYEV (1918-1982) The 7 Beauties, Don
Quixote, Leyla and Mejnun - Bournemouth SO/Kirill
Karabits rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5203 SACD [73.10]
[IL] Extremely colourful and evocative music, brilliantly orchestrated;
the ear is unfailingly captivated.
ROREM (b. 1923) Our Town - Matthew DiBattista,
Margot Rood, Monadnock Gil Rose rec. 2013 NEW WORLD
RECORDS 807902 [55:00 + 68:25] [JQ]
An important release - Ned Rorem’s most recent opera receives
a committed first recording.
Fiery Genius Neopolitan Instrumental Music for
1,2,3, & 4 violins - Ens Aurora/Enrico Gatti (violin) rec. 2016
ARCANA A429 [68.35] [MW] A fascinating and superbly
played introduction to little-known but splendid music from Naples.
Thursday October 19th
BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No. 6 - Bavarian RSO/Bernard
Haitink rec. 2017 BR KLASSIK 900147 [55:15] [DM] Haitink
may be in the late autumn of his life and career, but his new Bruckner
Sixth basks in the heat of high summer. A remarkable achievement
CORFIELD GODFREY (b.1950) Akallabêth and other
Tolkien Works - Tara McSwiney (soprano) Andrew Henley (tenor) Adam
Jondelius (baritone) Nicola Loten (flute) Niamh Ferris (viola) Immanuel
Carl Maria Vogt, Connor Fogel (piano) PRIMA FACIE RECORDS PFCD059
[67:32] [GF] Accessible and captivating music that should appeal
to a wide audience.
Martin LOEFFLER (1861-1935) Divertissement Espagnol,
La Villanelle du Diable, Une Nuit de Mai, Divertissement
- Amy Dickson (saxophone) Lorraine McAslan (violin) BBC Concert
O/Johannes Wildner rec. 2013 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7313
[67:56] [RB] Opulently loquacious, lusciously orchestrated and
a lavish cholesterol count.
MILLÖCKER (1842-1899) Waltzes, Marches, Polkas - Nürnberger
Symphoniker/Christian Simonis rec. 2015 CPO 555 004-2
[65:21] [RB] If you are partial to the music of Vienna's
golden decades … look no further.
RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Virtuoso Arrangements by
Earl Wild - Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2016 NIMBUS NI5965
[72:55] [SB] A range of delights that should be sampled one
SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies 1-8 - Berliner Philharmoniker/Nikolaus
Harnoncourt rec. 2003/06 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS
BPHR150063 [5 SACDs: 273.00] [MC] A sense of spontaneity
that carries the listener along on an enthralling journey.
(1930–2014) Music for Wind Instruments - Maria Grochowska
(flute) Piotr Pyc (oboe) Roman Widaszek (clarinet) Marek Barański
(bassoon) Mariusz Ziętek (horn) rec. 2016 CD ACCORD
ACD228-2 [68:53] [JW] A vivid and often infectious
sense of communication here.
WEINBERG (1919-1996) Works for violin and piano -
Ewelina Nowicka (violin) Milena Antoniewicz (piano) rec.
2012/13 RECART 0006 [43:25] [SG] The enthusiasm
and commitment of these two young artists is compelling.
WIDOR (1844-1937) Complete Works for Woodwind - Thies
Roorda (flute) Olivier Patey (clarinet) Alexei Ogrintchouk (oboe)
rec. 2014-16 NAXOS 8.573764 [62:16] [MR] Widor’s
complete output for woodwind solo opens eyes to a largely overlooked
area of the French repertory, and with such neat and committed performances,
should also win more than a few converts.
Violoncello del Cardinale Accademia Ottoboni/Marco
Ceccato (cello) rec. 2016 ALPHA 368 [63:26] [DJB]
An interesting collection of music that is undermined by a lack
Wednesday October 18th
CHILCOTT (b. 1955) All Good Things
- Sue Greenway (saxophone) Raphael Mizraki (double bass) Alexander
Hawkins (piano) Jon Scot (drums) Commotio/Bob Chilcott, Matthew
Berry rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573383 [71:40] [JQ] Buy
this disc to blow away the cobwebs and put a smile on your face.
EBEN (1929–2007) String
Quartet, Piano Trio, Piano Quintet - Martinů Qt, Karel Košárek
(piano) rec. 2016-2017 SUPRAPHON SU42322 [68:33]
[SSi] An excellent performance, one which can only further the
growing appreciation of this wonderful music.
KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) String Quartets Nos 1 &
2 - Stenhammar Qt rec. 2015 CPO 555 006-2 [62:58]
Complete Piano Concertos - Michael Korstick (piano) rec. 2010 CPO
777 658-2 [56:04 + 66:43] Cello Concertos Nos 1 & 2,
Colas Breugnon Suite - Torleif Thedéen (cello) NDR Radiophilharmonie
Hannover/ Alun Francis, Eiji Oue, Adrian Prabava rec. 2009 CPO
777 668 2 [68:53] [RB] Aspects of a composer - predominantly
superior entertainment with a heart but in a few cases subtle, oblique
MÖLLER (b.1955)/Hans EK (b.1964) The
Nordan Suite - Lena Willemark (vocals, fiddle) Ale Möller (various),
Rafael Sida Huizar (percussion) Västerås Sinfonietta/Hans Ek rec.
2013 PROPHONE PCD-153 [48:12] [RB] The presence
of folk instruments alongside the orchestra and Lena Willemark's
resinous voice lend an ancient or timeless flavour to what we hear.
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Flute Quartets - Aurèle
Nicolet (flute) Munich String Trio rec. 1978 TUDOR 7501
[53:45] [TP] A few tiny recording niggles do not affect my enjoyment
of these fine performances.
REICHA (1770-1836) Complete Piano Music Vol. 2 - Henrik
Löwenmark (piano) rec. 2007/15 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0017 [68:05]
[JW] Charming and full of panache.
STRAUSS (1864-1949) Oboe Concerto, Sonatina No. 2 for
16 wind instruments, Serenade for 13 wind instruments - Andris Nelsons/Concertgebouw;
Alexei Ogrintchouk (oboe) Winds of the Concertgebouw rec. 2014/16
BIS BIS-2163 SACD [74:12] [NB] Very fine performances
from a star cast.
VERDI (1813-1901) Messa da Requiem - Los Angeles
PO & Master Chorale/Gustavo Dudamel rec. 2013 C MAJOR
714804 Blu-ray [116:00] [LW] A reissue of Dudamel’s
Verdi Requiem primarily serving as a memento of a memorable occasion.
Works by Cage, Chávez, Cowell, Harrison, Reich &
Varèse - Tetraktis Percussion
rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95134 [54:22] [GPJ]
A programme of percussion ‘classics’ superbly performed
by this Italian ensemble.
Works by Dall'Abaco & Piatti - Joachim Eijlander (cello) rec.
2017 NAVIS CLASSICS NC17009 [77:41] [SG] A
release that will appeal especially to cello players.
Tuesday October 17th
BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) String Trios Op. 6 - The Lubotsky
Trio rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95493 [56:37]
[SSi] A good introduction to Boccherini’s string trios,
but not the best recording on the market.
FURRER (b. 1954) Works for Choir & Ensemble -
Helsinki Chamber Ch, Uusinta Ens/Nils Schweckendiek rec. 2014 TOCCATA
CLASSICS TOCC0360 [65:44] [SG] Adventurous scores,
showcased at their very best.
OF THE MONTH Louis
GLASS (1864-1936) Symphony No. 5, Fantasy - Marianna
Shirinyan (piano) Staatsorchester Rheinische PO/Daniel Raiskin rec.
2013 CPO 777 494-2 [60:22] [RB] Played on song,
top-dead-centre, … frisson-inducing excitement … "air-conducting"
JACKSON (b. 1917) Choral works - Ch York Minster/Philip
Moore, John Scott Whitley (organ) rec. 1997 PRIORY PRCD841
[72:16] [JQ] A very good overview of the tremendous contribution
which Francis Jackson has made to the music of the English church.
MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5, Des Knaben Wunderhorn
songs, Rückert-Lieder - Siegfried Lorenz (baritone) Staatskapelle
Berlin/Otmar Suitner, Berlin SO/Günther Herbig rec. 1982-84 BERLIN
CLASSICS 0300922BC [63:38 + 40:54] [RMo] The unaffected
naturalness of Suitner’s direction is so appealing.
MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Psalms - Johanna Winkel (soprano)
Hanne Weber (alto) Münchner Rundfunk O & Ch/Howard Arman rec.
2016 BR KLASSIK 900519 [59.16] [MC] This absorbing
Mendelssohn album is distinguished by outstanding performances that
are both convincing and revealing.
TSONTAKIS (b. 1951) Anasa, True Colors, Unforgettable
- David Krakauier (clarinet) Eric Berlin (trumpet) Luosha Fang,
Eunice Kim (violins) Albany SO/David Alan Miller rec. 2011-2013
NAXOS 8.559826 [63:12] [SB] A trio of accessible
and attractive concertos, with touches of Cretan music, klezmer
OF THE MONTH Let
Beauty Awake Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
Songs, Romance Rebecca CLARKE (1886-1979) Viola
Sonata Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-76) Cello Suite No.
3, Lachrymae - Ellen Nisbeth (viola) Bengt Forsberg (piano)
rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2182 SACD [80:18] [RHa] A
superbly devised and executed recital of haunting English viola
works, performed by a young Swedish virtuoso with an uncanny feeling
for this repertoire.
Rarities Edouard LALO (1823-1892) Symphonie
espagnole Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) & Antonín
DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Violin Concertos - Philadelphia
O/Eugene Ormandy, Phil-SO New York/Arturo Toscanini, Leopold Stokowski
rec. 1936-1945 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC503 [66:15] [JW]
This finely transferred disc has done all it can for these concertos.
for Winds by Latvian Composers rec. 1976-2008
SKANI LMIC016 [70:31 + 63:21] [RB] Plenty to challenge
the ear but even the more thorny choices offer enclaves of melody
Monday October 16th
LISZT (1811-1886) Piano works - Sviatoslav Richter
(piano) rec. 1957-88 PRAGA PRD/DSD 350081 SACD [79:28] [RWe]
This is an outstanding recital of great music by a very great artist.
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Horn Concertos Nos 1-4,
Horn Rondo, Bassoon Concerto - Louis-Philippe Marsolais (horn) Mathieu
Lussier (bassoon) Les Violins du Roy/Lussier rec. 2016 ATMA
ACD22743 [76:34] [GPJ] The recorded sound takes a little
getting used to, but these are superbly accomplished performances.
PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concertos - Rudolf Koelman
(violin) Musikkollegium Winterthur/Douglas Boyd rec. 2016 CHALLENGE
RECORDS CC72736 SACD [49:50] [DC] Very fine indeed,
but the competition is stiff.
SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Kajanus conducts Sibelius
Vol. 3: Symphonies 3 & 5 - London SO, Helsinki PO/Robert
Kajanus rec. 1928/32 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111395
[62:44] Première Recordings 1932-34: Symphonies
4, 6 & 7 - Philadelphia O/Leopold Stokowski; Finnish Ntl O/Georg
Schnéevoigt; BBC SO/Serge Koussevitsky rec. 1932/34 NAXOS
HISTORICAL 8.111399 [79:40] [RB] Pioneering recordings
... renowned but not often played.
STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) & Claude ARRIEU
(1903-1990) Violin Concertos - Jeanne Gautier (violin)
O Ntl Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française/Jacques
Pernoo, Eugène Bigotrec July 1956/59 FORGOTTEN RECORDS
FR981 [44:20] [JW] It’s good that French violinist
Jeanne Gautier’s relatively slim commercial legacy has been
expanded with off-air examples of her art.
Florentine Dances of the 14th Century - Henri Agnel
(cistre, cethera, ud) Michael Nick (quinton) Henri Tournier (flute/bansura)
Diamchid Chemirani (zarb) Idriss Agnel (udu) rec. 2003 ALPHA
CLASSICS 336 [57.09] [GH] Well worth
investigating and very ear-catching.
Janowitz (soprano) The Last Recital: In Memoriam
Maria Callas - Charles Spencer (piano) rec.
1999 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR56 [82:38] [PSt] Janowitz
was in remarkable fine fettle in this recital.
OF THE MONTH Nature
and The Soul Latvian Choral Classics - Latvian
Radio Ch/Kaspars Putniņš rec. 2016 SKANI 054 [58:48]
[SG] For the performers this is a 'love letter to Latvia' and
a homecoming - music of timeless appeal.
Hundred Years of the Estonian Symphony ESTONIAN RECORD PRODUCTIONS ERP6004
[70:49 + 70:08] [RB] A varied Estonian orchestral selection
with the emphasis lying away from the avant-garde.
coeli Works by Soriano, Aichinger, Haller &
Palestrina - Regensburg Vocal Soloists, Motet Ch & Men's
Cathedral Ch/Josef Kohlhäufl rec. 1998/2000 TYXART TXA15058
[68:55] [JV] An interesting display of Palestrina's influence
in his own time and in the late 19th century.