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100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos



Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2

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[New] Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos - a survey by Ralph Moore

[New] Piano Trio Discography & Survey: Beethoven
Note - this completes the discography, which will be now updated every 6 months.

[New] Masterwork Index: Schumann's Cello Concerto

Strauss's Arabella - a survey by Ralph Moore

Looking at Reizenstein's Oboe Sonatina by John France

Verdi's Luisa Miller - a survey by Ralph Moore


New Jazz Reviews
Charlie Parker ~ Easy Riders Jazz Band ~ Gene Austin ~ Sidney Bechet ~ Dutch Swing College Band

Recent from Acte Prealable
Wiktor Labunski (1895-1974) Complete Piano Works
Juliusz Wertheim (1880-1928) Songs Vols 1 & 2

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Friday August 7th

Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) String Quartets Nos 4, 6 & 7 - Fanny Mendelssohn Qt rec. 1991 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01404 [55:09] [SSi] Warrants room in the collection of any fan of twentieth century chamber music. 

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) & Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Masses -  Berlin RSO & Ch/Gijs Leenaars rec. 2019 PENTATONE PTC5186774 [53:10] [MC] One of the most accomplished recordings of sacred choral music I have heard in some time.

Geoff CUMMINGS-KNIGHT (b.1947) The Road Less Travelled - Duncan Honeybourne (piano) rec. 2019 PRIMA FACIE PFCD120 [57:00] [JF] Approachable and romantically tinged.

Carlisle FLOYD (b. 1926) Prince of Players - Keith Phares (baritone) Kate Royal (soprano) Florentine Opera Ch, Milwaukee SO/William Boggs rec. 2018 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-736 [41.40 + 54.01] [WK] A major addition to contemporary American opera.

Stanisław MONIUSZKO (1819-1872) Sacred Music - Musica Sacra Warsaw-Praga Cathedral Ch/Paweł Łukaszewski rec. 2019 DUX 1648 [48:38] [GF] A very attractive disc for those who want to widen their knowledge of one of the greatest Polish composers of the 19th century.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) La Valse - Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905282 [44:15] [JQ] Another highly stimulating album from Les Siècles and François-Xavier Roth.

Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) Viola Concerto, Symphony for Strings - Sinfonietta Rīga/Maxim Rysanov (viola) rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2443 SACD [65:44] [SA] Do not fail to give this disc a hearing for it will surely captivate you.

Dinu Lipatti (piano) The Complete Columbia Recordings rec. 1947-48 APR 6032 [2 CDs: 144:00] [JW] Breaks some new ground in the excellence of its restorations.

Tasmin Little (violin) The Best of Tasmin rec. 1992-2019 CHANDOS CHAN20185(2) [78:41 + 80:57] [BW] A useful reminder of Tasmin Little’s artistry, but be sure that you wouldn’t rather have the original albums.

Peninsula Darko Nikčeviĉ (guitar, udu) Srdjan Bulatović (guitar) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574193 [61:02] [GPu] Pleasing music which makes one remember, or anticipate, the joys of Mediterranean life.

Thursday August 6th

Juan Crisóstomo de ARRIAGA (1806-1826) String Quartets - Aeolian Qt rec. 1954 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9117 [69:55] [JW] A perhaps unexpected but nevertheless very welcome restoration.

Richard Rodney BENNETT (1936-2012) Orchestral Works Vol. 4 - Michael McHale (piano) BBC Scottish SO/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5244 SACD [65:52] [WH] Superbly performed and recorded, and an excellent introduction to the composer.

Stefano BERNARDI (1577-1637) Lux Æterna: Ein Salzburger Requiem - Voces Suaves, Concerto Scirocco rec. 2019 ARCANA A470 [68:15] [GPu] All who love the ‘school’ of Monteverdi should hear this.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) & Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Piano Quintets - Mami Shikimori (piano); Wihan Quartet rec. 2018 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6397 [68:21] [BW] Comes close to rivalling my top choices in both works; as a coupling, it works very well.

John GARDNER (1917-2011) The Ballad of the White Horse, An English Ballad - Ashley Riches (baritone), City of London Choir, Paulina Voices, BBC Concert O/Hilary Davan Wetton rec. 2017 EM RECORDS EMR CD057 [64:30] [PCG] A worthwhile rarity.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 - Minnesota O/Osmo Vänskä rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2266 SACD [86:48] [JQ] Other recorded performances penetrate much more deeply into this potent, disturbing symphony.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Songs & Romances - Margarita Gritskova (mezzo) Maria Prinz (piano) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574030 [66:58] [GF] Further evidence of the versatility of Margarita Gritskova as a song interpreter.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Clarinet Quintet, String Sextet - Thorsten Johanns (clarinet), Roland Glassl (viola), Wen-Sinn Yang (cello), Diogenes Quartett rec. 2018/2019 CPO 555 340-2 [74:24] [RHa] A superb, measured account of Reger’s oft-recorded Clarinet Quintet, and a persuasive new view of the thornier Sextet.

Agnelle Bundervoët (piano) Complete Recordings on Decca France rec. 1955-1957 ELOQUENCE 484 1507 [2 CDs: 145:11] [SG] A significant and rewarding release.

Flute and Cello Rarities Atsuko Koga (flute) Georgiy Lomakov (cello) rec. 2019 GENUIN GEN20700 [63:37] [MR] An intriguing programme eloquently played.

Wednesday August 5th

Bonaventura ALIOTTI (c.1640-c.1690) Il trionfo della morte per il peccato d’Adamo - Les Traversées Baroques/Étienne Meyer rec. 2019 ACCENT ACC24368 [50:13 + 44:39] [GPu] A powerful and beautiful oratorio, hitherto forgotten, gets a fine performance in excellent sound.

Juan ESQUIVEL (c 1560-before 1630) Missa Hortus Conclusus - De Profundis/Eamonn Dougan rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68326 [69:29] [RHa] Another splendidly performed and expertly produced Hyperion disc but Esquivel is no Victoria, alas.

Sir Alexander Campbell MACKENZIE (1847-1935) Complete Music for Solo Piano Vol. 2 - Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2017/18 SHEVA COLLECTION SH229 [64:52] [JW] Much to admire here.

Fanny MENDELSSOHN-HENSEL (1805-1847) Chamber works - Fanny Mendelssohn Qt, Stefan Mickisch (piano) rec. 1994 TROUBADISC TROCD01408 [65:02] [SB] Well worth hearing.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Lebensstürme and other works for piano duet - Duo Pleyel rec. 2019 LINN CKD593 [77:11] [BW]  A very worthwhile addition to the many fine recordings of this four-handed music.

Roberto SIERRA (b. 1953) Cantares, Loíza, Triple Concerto - Trío Arbós, Cornell University Ch & Glee Club, Xalapa SO/Lanfranco Marcelletti rec. 2016/18 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559876 [62.32] [MP] A happy release of significant and colourful music that is sure to please anyone who is musically curious.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony No. 5 Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Clarinet Concerto - Philharmonia O/Michael Collins (clarinet) rec. 2019 BIS BIS-2367 SACD [68:30] [RC] Excellent renditions of each work.

Adam WESOŁOWSKI (b. 1980) Industrially - Steven Mead (euphonium) Aleksandra Gajecka Antosiewicz (harpsichord) Łukasz Długosz (flute) Silesian CO/Robert Kabara, AUKSO/Marek Moś rec. 2019 DUX 1659 [68:03] [MR] An entertaining if peculiar collection.

Hugo Kolberg, Michel Schwalbé (violin) Legendary Concertmasters of the Berlin Philharmonic rec. 1952-1965 MELOCLASSIC MC2039 [78:01 + 73:05] [SG] Rare glimpses of two legendary concertmasters in solo roles.

Ekaterina Siurina (soprano) Amour éternel - Kaunas City SO/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2019 DELOS DE3583 [76:11] [GF] Well considered readings.

Tuesday August 4th

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Sonata Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Violin Sonata & The Lark Ascending - Jennifer Pike (violin) Martin Roscoe (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20156 [67:05] [JW] Very fine and enlightening.

Leopold GODOWSKY (1870-1938) 53 Studies on the Chopin Études Vol. 1 - Konstantin Scherbakov (piano) rec. 2019 MARCO POLO 8.225372 [79:00] [JWe] A magnificent feat of pianism, full of jaw dropping virtuosity and some lovely colouring throughout.

Reynaldo HAHN (1874-1947) L'heure exquise - Anastasia Prokofieva (soprano) Sergey Rybin (piano) rec. 2018 STONE 5060192780888 [60:55] [IL] Totally exquisite.

Hans Werner HENZE (1926-2012) Der Prinz von Homburg - Štefan Margita (tenor); Helene Schneiderman (mezzo-soprano); Robin Adams (baritone); Staatsorchester Stuttgart/Cornelius Meister rec. 2019 CAPRICCIO C5405 [43:03 + 64:45] [SB] A workman-like performance of an important Henze opera, but there is no translation with the libretto.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Piano Quintet, Piano Trio - Wolfram Lorenzen (piano) Fanny Mendelssohn Qt rec. 1997 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01414 [64:33] [RHa] The quintet may pose a tougher challenge to potential Regerians than the trio but the performances make the effort worth it.

Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838]) Complete Works for Cello Vol. 2 - Martin Rummel (cello) Stefan Stroissnig (piano) Eric Lamb (flute) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573851 [70:48] [MZ] It’s time to bring Ferdinand Ries out of the shadows, and this solid release from Naxos is an excellent place to start.

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999) Fantasía para un Gentilhombre, Concierto de Aranjuez - Xianji Liu (guitar); Spanish Radio and TV O/Pedro Amaral rec. 2019 (?) IBS CLASSICAL IBS42020 [44:59] [BW]  No new insights, but if reissued with another concerto thrown in, this might be competitive.

Emil TABAKOV (b.1947) Symphonies No. 2 & 6 - Bulgarian Ntl RSO, Plovdiv PO/Emil Tabakov rec. 1985/2002 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0562 [75:07] [GH] One austere symphony, another dramatic and gripping.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I due Foscari – Vladimir Stoyanov (baritone) Stefan Pop (tenor) Maria Katzarava (soprano) Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, O Giovanile Via Emilia/Paolo Arrivabeni rec. 2019 DYNAMIC CDS7865.02 [69:29 + 44:45] [GF] Involvement and total conviction from the three main soloists.

The Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music 2019 Vol. 5 Works by Elsner, Dobrzynski & Noskowski DUX 1657 [78:38] [DJB] That this is a record of competition performances does not lessen the enjoyment to be found.

Monday August 3rd

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos 1-3 Gerald BARRY (b. 1952) Beethoven, Piano Concerto - Nicolas Hodges (piano) Britten Sinfonia/Thomas Adès rec. 2017/18 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD616 [74:21 + 67:48] [LW] Exhilarating Beethoven and puzzling Barry.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concertos - Benjamin Grosvenor (piano), Royal Scottish Ntl O/Elim Chan rec. 2019 DECCA 485 0365 [70:24] [MG] Grosvenor is fluent, assured, charismatic, ebullient, fiery as appropriate: the complete player.

Arnold COOKE (1906-2005) Complete Works for Oboe, Sonata for Two Pianos - Pleyel Ensemble rec. 2017 MPR 108 [75:48] [CC] A fabulous disc, one of a very important series.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Images, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune - Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2018/2019 HALLÉ CDHLL7554 [60:44] [NB] Another triumphant disc.

Božidar KUNC (1903-1964), Fran LHOTKA (1883-1962) & Josip Štolcer SLAVENSKI (1896-1955) String Quartets - Sebastian String Quartet rec. 2018 CPO 555 297-2 [56:29] [JW] Played with fire and clarity.

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Works for Piano Four Hands - Gabriele Baldocci, Francesco Caramiello (piano) rec. 2016 TACTUS TC871804 [79:48] [SSi] This enjoyable disc shows a little-explored aspect of Respighi’s music.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concertos Nos 2, 4 & 5 - Jeanne-Marie Darré (piano) rec. 1953-65 SOLSTICE SOCD 363-64 [62:53 + 74:48] [SG] Darré, the ardent champion of Saint-Saëns.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 13 - Oleg Tsibulko (bass) Russian Ntl O/Kirill Karabits rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186618 SACD [58:13] [JQ] A valuable addition to the RNO’s Shostakovich cycle.

Gothic Toccata Calvin Bowman (organ) rec. 2006 MELBA PD70001 [72:19] [MR] An interesting programme of Australian organ music played with great panache and dazzling virtuosity.

Other reviews
Granville Bantock: A Guide to Research by John C. Dressler publ. 2020 Clemson University Press [JF] A major tool for those interested in Bantock’s musical success.