Some items
to consider

 

  • Groundbreaking Weber
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Groundbreaking Weber

MWI RECORDING
OF THE YEAR


CD review L Wright
BBC Prom
CBSO Birmingham

MWI Editor In Chief
Recording of the Year


music that will please greatly


Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear


vital imagination


Henrik HELLSTENIUS
A harum-scarum springboard


Always expect the unexpected

Reviews from the last 7 days
182 reviews completed so far this month.
This month's reviews
Last month's reviews

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Altus 10% off
Arcodiva
Atoll 10% off
CDAccord
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Hortus
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sheva £2 off
Sterling 10% off
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Editor in Chief
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

We would like to expand our readership. Remember that this list and MusicWeb International is totally free of charge. Please persuade your friends to subscribe to this list.

We would also like more donations, preferably by monthly standing order. Our offer of a free disc when you donate still stands.

Len

 

NEW & RECENT ARTICLES

[New] Mozart 225: Part 1 by Michael Greenhalgh

[New] Listening Studio Report by John Quinn

Forgotten Artists: Maryla Jonas by Christopher Howell

Gareth Glyn's Anglesey Sketches – Revisited by John France

The Operas of Charles Gounod by Nick Fuller (4 MB pdf file)

NOTICES

English Music Festival 2017 programme

In order to persuade more of you to make a donation to MusicWeb International we are giving away CDs - click the Donate button top right for more details.

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

Shopping on-line? Help us by doing it through the MusicWeb sales page.


LATEST REVIEWS

Friday February 24th

Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Iberia Books 3 & 4 - Alexander Boyd (piano) rec. 2014 CLAUDIO DVD-A CR6023-6 [42:23] [DBi] Excellent performances beautifully recorded. Another good purchase.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Bach on Brass - German Brass BERLIN CLASSICS 0300720BC [77:08] [ST] Makes you marvel even more at Bach’s originality and the depth of his genius.

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 - Baltimore SO/Marin Alsop rec. 2013/14 NAXOS 8.559790 [59:32] [JQ] Fine Bernstein interpretations, splendidly played.

Geoffrey BUSH (1920-1998) Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, Concerto for trumpet, piano & strings - David Johnson (tenor) Lynne Dawson (soprano), Patrick Addinall (trumpet) Hamish Milne (piano), Musicians of London/Simon Joly, BBC PO/Bryden Thomson rec. 1986 LYRITA REAM1131 [74:08] [JF] Another superb release from Lyrita that explores one more facet of a much undervalued composer.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Arias - Regula Mühlemann (soprano) Basel CO/Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli rec. 2015 SONY 88985337582 [54:23] [GF] Excellent … predominantly rarely heard arias, well worth adding to every Mozart-lover’s collection.

Florent NAGEL (b. 1979) Alice in Wonderland - Joanna Marteel, Florent Nagel (piano) rec. 2016 AZUR CLASSICAL AZC147 [78:33] [SG] All concerned bring this imaginative score vividly to life.

Joachim RAFF (1822-1882) Suite, Overtures, Preludes - Tra Nguyen (piano) SO Norrlands Opera/Roland Kluttig rec. 2009 STERLING CDS10852 [77:46] [JW] A consistently rewarding disc for those who like raffish and congenial music.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Complete Piano Sonatas - Peter Donohoe (piano) rec. 2014/15 SOMM SOMMCD262-2 [74:34 + 65:51] [NB] As a document of a remarkable artist's consistently profound insight into an elusive composer's work this is a treasurable set.

Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) 1812 overture & works by Sibelius, Liszt, Berlioz & Weber - Philharmonia O/Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1958-60 MINUET RECORDS 428420 [77:13] [RMay] A disc whose generous helping of attractively tuneful and well-played material, presented in perfectly clear sound, will bring a smile to the faces of all but the most stubborn curmudgeons.

Russian Ballets Suites by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev & Khachaturian - Bolshoi Theatre O/Evgeny Svetlanov, Novosibirsk SO/Arnold Katz rec. 1995-2010 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95409 [3 CDs: 231:00] [DHu] Two production faults aside, about as good a collection of classic Russian ballet suites as you’re likely to find.

Thursday February 23rd

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Cello suites Luigi DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975) Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio György LIGETI (1923-2006) sonata - Natalie Clein (cello) rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68155 [64:29] [DBi] A lovely disc of 20th century music for solo cello.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 - Vienna SO/Yakov Kreizberg rec. 2004 PENTATONE PTC5186051 SACD [67:24] [DM] Bruckner Sevenths don’t come much better than this; one for the desert island.

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) At the Boar's Head Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Riders to the Sea - Warsaw Chamber Opera Sinfonietta/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2016 DUX 1307-08 [55:11 + 38:29] [NB] Decent performances but they don’t seriously challenge the existing versions.

Pierre de MANCHICOURT (c.1510-1564) Sacred works - Ch of St. Luke in the Fields, New York/David Shuler rec. 2016 MSR CLASSICS MS1632 [65.44] [GH] Music that has been much overlooked, presented here in often moving performances.

William MATHIAS (1934-1992) Choral works - St. Albans Abbey Girls Ch,Lay Clerks of St Albans Cathedral Ch/Tom Winpenny (organ) Michael Papadopoulos (organ and piano secondo) Peter Foggitt (piano primo) O Nova rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573523 [71:44] [JQ] A fine collection of music by William Mathias, expertly performed.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) String Quartets Nos 1 & 3 - Heath Qt rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU907665 [66:24] [ST] The performance is outstandingly assured, and speaks of artists who have already attained a remarkable degree of maturity.

Daniel Behle (vocals) Mein Hamburg - Schnyder Trio rec. 2015/16 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300826BC [66:19] [GF] A wonderful disc that all admirers of Daniel Behle and of good singing should allow themselves to own.

Lachen und Weinen Songs by Hindemith, Schubert & Weill - Katja Stuber (soprano) Boris Kusnezow (piano) rec. 2014 CONDITURA CONREC005 [54:07] [SG] A varied programme that works well.

Mandala 3 Works by LeFanu & Lumsdaine - Gemini/Ian Mitchell rec. 1995/2015 MÉTIER MSV28565 [76:34] [JF] A fascinating release, exploring the work of two of Britain’s leading composers.

Sing Willow Les Sirènes Female Chamber Ch/Andrew Nunn ALBION RECORDS ALBCD030 [67:55] [JQ] A thoroughly attractive disc in every respect from a superb choir.

Wednesday February 22nd

György LIGETI (1923-2006) Bagatelles, Chamber Concerto, Pieces for Wind Quintet - Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2016 MUSICALES ACTES SUD ASM26 [44:01] [LW] Excellent accounts of Ligeti chamber works, though the CD could have accommodated more music.

Oskar LINDBERG (1887-1955) Requiem & other choral works - Stockholm University College of Music O/Hans Kyhle rec. 1980/86 STERLING CDS1013-2 [61:36] [SG] A release that makes a compelling case for Lindberg's music.

Pietro LOCATELLI (1695-1764) Concerti Grossi - Freiburger Barockorchester /Gottfried von der Goltz rec. 2004 HARMONIA MUNDI HMA1951889 [61:03] [DC] A real ear-opener.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) A Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture & Incidental Music - Monteverdi Ch/London SO/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2016 LSO LIVE LSO0795 [55:09] [ST] With a film of the concert included, this is an excellent package.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Arias - Maria Bengtsson (soprano) Lausanne CO/Bertrand de Billy rec. 2016 MDG 9401973-6 SACD [67:09] [GF] One of the loveliest Mozart recitals I have heard in a long time.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Grand Piano Sonata, The Seasons - Sviatoslav Richter (piano) rec. 1954/56 PRAGA DIGITALS PRD/DSD 350076 SACD [79:01] [JW] There is nothing new or startling here and most collectors of Richter will have this material already.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, String Quartet No. 8 - Boris Giltburg (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573666 [69:47] [ST] Snap this up! Giltburg and Petrenko work superbly together. Great value for money.

Cristina SPINEI (b. 1984) Music For Dance - Voxare String Qt, St Michel Strings/Jose Serebrier rec. 2009-16 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0371 [63:15] [DJB] Hypnotically rhythmic and melodically pleasing.

Michael STIMPSON (b.1948) Jesse Owens, Preludes in our time - Abigail Kelly (soprano) Jolhnny Herford (baritone) Philharmonia O/Stuart Stratford rec. 2014 STONE RECORDS 5060192780659 [65.41] [PCG] This has to be thought of as a sampler from from what is clearly an expertly constructed and well-written score. It is to be hoped that performances and recordings of the full work will follow.

The Tree of Life Choral works for Advent and Christmas - The Trinity Ch/Daniel Taylor rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 88985387302 [56:01] [JQ] It’s a joy to hear music such as this sung by so expert a consort of singers.

Tuesday February 21st 

Eyvind ALNÆS (1872-1932) Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 - Latvian National SO/Terje Mikkelsen rec. 2008 STERLING CDS1084-2 SACD [78:14] [JW] Both these symphonies are highly enjoyable, though the First is the more structurally convincing achievement.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass in B minor - Ch Bayerischen Rundfunks, Concerto Köln/Peter Dijkstra rec. 2016 BR KLASSIK 900910 [3 CDs: 178.48] [MC] Peter Dijkstra conducts an achingly beautiful live performance.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partitas - Jory Vinikour (harpsichord) rec. 2014 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92209 [3 CDs: 153:07] [SSi] This recording may not be a first choice, but it is safe and steady one which presents the music well but without a flourish.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alban BERG (1885-1935) Wozzeck - Roman Trekel (baritone) Anne Schwanewilms (soprano) Houston SO/Hans Graf rec. NAXOS 8.660390-91 [36:22 & 61:30] [GPJ] A fine and very powerful Wozzeck from Houston, with Anne Schwanewilms magnificent and moving as Marie.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Roberto Devereux - Mariella Devia (soprano) Stefan Pop (tenor) O & Ch Teatro Carlo Felice/Francesco Lanzillotta rec. 2016 DYNAMIC Blu-ray 57755 [138 min] [RJF] Without the distractions of Regietheater or intrusive producer concepts, this performance and staging gets to the heart of Donizetti’s last Elizabethan opera.

Gerald FINZI (1901-1956), Arnold BAX (1883-1953) & John IRELAND (1879-1962) Choral works - Daniel Cook (organ), Ch Westminster Abbey/James O’Donnell rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68167 [73.35] [EJW] Fine performances from all involved in this recording of English church music.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphonies Nos 1 & 4 - London SO/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2014-16 LSO LIVE LSO0769 [62:11] [ST] Delightful performances.

Leroy SHIELD (1893-1962) Laurel & Hardy: The Original Piano Music - Alessandro Simonetto (piano) rec. 2016 AEVEA AE16024 [66:48] [RMay] Evocative and quite delightful.

Marianne Crebassa (mezzo) Oh, Boy! - Mozarteum O Salzburg/Marc Minkowski rec. 2016 ERATO 9029592762 [72:36] [MR] A wide-ranging programme of mezzo-soprano “trouser-roles” sung with wonderful vibrancy by this most impressive French singer.

Recuerdos Works by Tarrega, Moller, Piazzola, Brookshire, Falla & Nordgren - Athens Guitar Duo rec. 2015 CLAUDIO RECORDS DVD-A CR6037-6 [60:23] [DBi] Another spectacularly well recorded disc.

Monday February 20th 

Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Orchestral Works Vols 4 & 5 - Gothenburg SO & Ch/Neeme Järvi rec. 1997-2015 CHANDOS CHAN10894 [62.23] CHSA5166 SACD [63.17] [JQ] The final instalments in Neeme Järvi’s Atterberg symphony cycle.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations - Beatrice Rana (piano) rec. 2016 WARNER CLASSICS 9029 588018 [77.45] [MC] Beatrice Rana is a pianist who makes you sit up and take notice.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Concerto for 2 Violins Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741) Violin Concerto César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata - David Oistrakh & Igor Oistrakh (violins) Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Franz Konwitschny, Anton Ginsburg (piano) rec. 1957/58 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300841BC [59:33] [JW] Well presented but there’s nothing here that is new to disc.

Guido Alberto FANO (1875-1961) & Silvio OMIZZOLO (1905-1991) Works for cello and piano - Rocco Filippini (cello) Andrea Bacchetti (piano) rec. 2013 TACTUS TC870001 [63:00] [DJB] Fano is definitely worth exploring, but the choice of discmate is a mystery.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Sonata in B minor, Concert Études 1 & 2 - Daria Telizyn (piano) rec. 1987 CLAUDIO DVD-A CR3705-6 [53:53] [DBi] A remarkable pianist superbly recorded at the peak of her all-too-short career.

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (1934-2016) Chamber works - Duccio Ceccanti (violin) Vittorio Ceccanti (cello) Matteo Fossi, Bruno Canino (piano) rec. 2009/16 NAXOS 8.573599 [63:10] ]JF] All fans of Max will require this CD.

Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (1846-1909) Orchestral works - National Polish Radio SO/Gabriel Chmura, Slawek A. Wróblewski, Zygmunt Rychert rec. 2001/2004 STERLING CDS1083-2 [64:35] [JW] This is the best of Noskowski I’ve yet encountered.

Jean PAPINEAU-COUTURE (1916-2000) String Quartets, String Trio - Quatuor Molinari rec. 2016 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22751 [60:01] [SG] Attractive quartets, stylishly performed. An immensely rewarding discovery.

Howard SHORE (b. 1946) A Palace Upon the Ruins, Peace, The Garden, Six Pieces, Catania - rec. 2016 HOWE RECORDS HWR-1020 [50:10] [MMB] Pleasant, solid work with some enchanting moments.

Dixit Dominus Choral works by Vivaldi, Mozart & Handel - La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall rec. 2015 ALIA VOX AVSA9918 SACD [68:45] [ST] Very well done and definitely worth a listen, particularly for the marvellous Handel.

Other reviews
Musicals The Household Troops Band of the Salvation Army/Carl Saunders rec. 2016 SP&S SPS398CD [66:27] [BMC] Fine songs and performances ... serenity and exuberance beautifully captured.