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Friday February 24th
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
LOCATELLI (1695-1764) Concerti Grossi - Freiburger
Barockorchester /Gottfried von der Goltz rec. 2004 HARMONIA
MUNDI HMA1951889 [61:03] [DC] A real ear-opener.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphonies Nos 1 & 4 -
London SO/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2014-16 LSO LIVE
LSO0769 [62:11] [ST] Delightful performances.
SHIELD (1893-1962) Laurel &
Hardy: The Original Piano Music - Alessandro Simonetto (piano)
rec. 2016 AEVEA AE16024 [66:48] [RMay] Evocative
and quite delightful.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.