NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] National discography update: Russian,
Soviet & Post-Soviet Concertos
Mefistofele - a survey by Ralph Moore
Montserrat Caballé - an obituary by Ralph Moore
The musical careers of the Sedgwick & Bridge families of Bury
- a timeline prepared by Frank Rutherford
Norma - a survey of recordings by Ralph Moore
Kee, Dutch organist - an obituary by Kenneth Shenton
Thoughts 6: Fairy Day by Christopher Howell
Music on Stamps This week: Musical instruments
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Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, jazz, other music); Friday:
Live performance reviews posted daily at
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Friday October 12th
van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) & Jean SIBELIUS
(1865-1957) Violin concertos - Sayaka Shoji (violin) St.
Petersburg PO/Yuri Temirkanov rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON
UCCG-1811 [76:53] [SG] This is the sort of release
you can just sit back and enjoy.
MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 - Anja Harteros (soprano)
Bernarda Fink (mezzo) Bavarian RSO & Ch/Mariss Jansons rec. 2011
BR KLASSIK 900167 [80.56] [MC] Everything feels remarkably
right – an exceptional performance.
MOYZES (1906-1984) Symphonies Nos 5 & 6 - Slovak
Radio SO/Ladislav Slovák rec. 1994/5 NAXOS 8.573652
[61:54] [RB] A relaxed and good-hearted spirit … nothing
of torment or conflict.
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Grabmusik, Bastien
und Bastienne - Jacques Imbealio (baritone) Anna Lucia Richter
(soprano) The Mozartists/Ian Page rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS
SIGCD547 [66:24] [DC] Very much the one to have.
Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918) Symphony No.4,
Proserpine, Suite moderne - BBC Ntl Ch Wales/Adrian Partington,
BBC Ntl O Wales/Rumon Gamba rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10994
[74:59] [RB] Limpid, almost air-brushed and dancingly rendered.
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos Nos 11-13
- Katrine Gislinge (piano) Stenhammar Qt rec. 2016 ALBA
ABCD418 [72:35] [RBe] There is some very fine
playing here but the modernist cadenzas do not fit.
STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Perséphone - Andrew
Staples (tenor) Pauline Cheviller (speaker) Finnish Ntil Opera Ch
& O/Esa-Pekka Salonen rec. 2017 PENTATONE SACD PTC5186688
[51:03] [TB] Salonen conducts this live performance with complete
TALLIS (c. 1505-1585) The Votive Antiphons
- The Cardinall’s Musick/Andrew Carwood rec. 2005-14
HYPERION CDA68250 [77:39] [SB] A convenient compilation
of Tallis’s votive antiphons in splendid performances.
Remembrance Chapel Ch of the Royal Hospital Chelsea/William
Vann rec. 2018 SOMM CÉLESTE SOMMCD0187 [80:30] [JQ]
A fine way to mark the centenary of the Armistice.
OF THE MONTH The
Rare Treasure of Faith Selections from the hymnal
of Hans Adolph Brorson - Phemius Consort rec. 2017 DACAPO
8.226123 [74:05] [SSi] An excellent disc which introduces
the world of eighteenth-century Pietism through the hymnal of one
of the movement’s leading lights.
Thursday October 11th
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Secular Cantatas X - Bach
Collegium Japan / Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2017 BIS BIS2351 SACD
[66:11] [RWe] A most attractive disc well worthy of bringing a
fine series to its close.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Fantasies, Intermezzi, Klavierstücke
- Timothy Ehlen (piano) rec. 2016-2017 AZICA ACD-71320
[79:42] [RC] Ehlen is impressive in his own multi-faceted way.
BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 8 - Vienna PO/Wilhelm
Furtwängler rec. 1944 MUSICAL CONCEPTS MC-109
[77:33] [RMo] Surely the best of Furtwängler’s wartime
recordings and here presented in the best possible sound.
JENNEFELT (b. 1954) Nocturnal Singing, Four
Opera Choruses - Jessica Bääcklund (soprano), Eric Ericson Chamber
Ch, Swedish RSO & Ch/Andrew Manze, Royal Swedish Navy Band/Fredeik
Malmberg rec. 2010-16 FOOTPRINT FRCD099 [59:49] [RHa]
Jennefelt’s abilities emerge most clearly in the Four Opera
Iwan LUNDQUIST (1920-2000) Symphonies Nos 3 & 4 -
Gothenburg SO/Torbjörn Iwan Lundquist, Sixten Ehrling rec. 1982/85
STERLING CDM3004-2 [74:20] [SG] There’s
a dearth of recordings available of Lundquist’s music, so this
release should go some way to redressing the balance.
Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Symphonies No. 40 &
41 - Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Herbert Blomstedt
rec. 2013/17 BR KLASSIK 900164 [72.39] [MC] The
orchestra plays impressively but the partnership doesn’t quite
get to the heart of these two great works.
NYMAN (b. 1944) McQueen MN RECORDS
MNRCD145 [70:43 + 68:01] [MW] A useful anthology of Nyman’s
RIDOUT (1934-96) String Quartets 1-6 - Coull Qt rec.
2017 OMNIBUS CLASSICS CC5014 [76:18] [CS] The
Coull Quartet show that brevity is no barrier to profundity, potency
WATKINS (b.1976) Flute Concerto, Violin Concerto, Symphony
- Alina Ibragimova (violin), Adam Walker (flute), BBC SO/Edward Gardner
& Hallé/Ryan Wigglesworth rec. 2010/17 NMC RECORDINGS
D224 [67:02] [RB] Well-wrought music of the twenty-first
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dame
Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano) Come to me in my dreams
- Joseph Middleton (piano) rec. 2017/18 CHANDOS CHAN10944
[77:18] [MG] A wonderful selection of English song in performances
from Connolly and Middleton of exemplary commitment and luminosity.
Wednesday October 10th
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies Nos 1-4 - Vienna PO/Rafael
Kubelik rec. 1956/57 ELOQUENCE 482 4969 [81:29 +
76:54] [MG] Kubelik’s Brahms is accessible and attractive
aided by the sensitivity of his interpretation and the quality of
the Vienna Philharmonic’s playing.
BRUNEAU (1857-1934) Suite & Preludes - Barcelona
Symphony & Catalonia Ntl O/Darrell Ang rec. 2017 NAXOS
8.573888 [63:59] [RB] Warm grandeur … a master
of orchestration and romantic mood.
CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968) Exotica - Eleonora
Turtur (violin), Angelo Arciglione (piano) rec. 2018 DIGRESSIONE
MUSIC DCTT83 [59:22] [SSi] A most desirable recording,
including belated premieres.
DUPUIS (1856-1931) Symphonic Works &
Concertos - David Cohen (cello) Richard Piéta (violin) PO de Ličge
et de la Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles/Jean-Pierre Haeck rec. 2004
MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW0421 [75:41] [RB] A composer of
music having feet planted either side of the last two centuries and
here superbly presented and luminously recorded.
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Hills of Dreamland
- Kathryn Rudge (mezzo-soprano), Henk Neven (baritone),BBC Concert
O/Barry Wordsworth rec. 2017 SOMM SOMMCD271-2 [53:30+37:00]
[NB] The sustained excellence of Barry Wordsworth’s interpretations
and Kathryn Rudge’s singing make this a collection worth owning.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei
RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Études-Tableaux - Steven
Osborne (piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68188 [61:39]
[RHa] Deeply satisfying accounts of Rachmaninov’s exploratory,
atmospheric masterpieces from a master pianist.
RIHM (b. 1952) Das Gehege Jean-Pascal
BEINTUS (b. 1966) Le Petit Prince - Rayanne Dupuis
(soprano) Eva-Christina Schönweiss (violin) Kirsten Ecke (harp) Deutsches
SO Berlin/Kent Nagano rec. 2011 CAPRICCIO C5337 [53.43]
[MC] This coupling of two contemporary, yet widely dissimilar,
works is worthy of attention.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz
SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Octet - Isabelle Faust (violin)
& ensemble rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902263
[70:11] [ST] I get the impression the performers must have had
a wonderful time making the disc; it certainly gave me huge pleasure
to listen to.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) A Vaughan Williams
Christmas - Hugh Rowlands (organ) Chapel Ch of the Royal Hospital
Chelsea/William Vann rec. 2018 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD035
[70:22] [JQ] There’s a lot of less than familiar material
here but all of it is well worth hearing, especially in such expert
Solitary Cello Works by Kodály, Dutilleux &
Britten - Oren Shevlin (cello) rec. 2000 CLAUDIO RECORDS CC5046-2
[64.07] [DBi] An outstanding recital of three very important masterworks
from the 20th century.
Tuesday October 9th
BOUGHTON (1878-1960) & Edgar BAINTON (1880-1956)
Orchestral Tone Poems - Royal Scottish National O/Martin Yates rec.
2010 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7262 [76:47] [RB] The
brakes are off and the accelerator is full on for these unknown and
rip-roaring tone poems.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concertos - Vincenzo Maltempo
(piano) Mitteleuropa O/Marco Guidarini rec. 2018 PIANO CLASSICS
PCL10145 [2 CDs: 97:08] [RBe] Moments of greatness from
Maltempo, though he is not in the same league as Fleisher, Gilels
BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 Wolfgang
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony No. 41 - Vienna PO/Herbert
von Karajan rec. 1962 ICA CLASSICS ICAC5102 [29:29
+ 63:07] [SFV] Enjoyable Bruckner, but the Mozart is a musically
DEAN (b. 1961) Hamlet - Allan Clayton, Sarah
Connolly, Barbara Hannigan, London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2017
OPUS ARTE OABD7231D Blu-ray [185 mins] [RWe] Every
opera lover should see and hear this brilliant disc of a fascinating
composition caught in the white-hot moment of its creation.
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Sonatas Vol. 7 - Jean-Efflam
Bavouzet (piano) rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10998 [72:42]
[TB] Bazouzet's Haydn project has played an important part in
reassessing the composer's achievement.
MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Complete works for cello &
orchestra - Petr Nouzovský (cello) Pilsen PO/Tomáš Brauner rec.
2014 MDG 6012041-2 [2 CDs: 114:26] [RC] Scrupulous
musicianship make this a safe recommendation.
OF THE MONTH Olivier
MESSIAEN (1908-1992) La Nativité du Seigneur - Richard
Gowers (organ) rec. 2017 KINGS COLLEGE KGS0025 [67:36] [DM]
A remarkably perceptive and profoundly moving performance; superlative
MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Boris Godunov
- Miroslav Čangalović (bass-baritone) Miroslav
Brajnik (tenor) Melanija Bugarinović (mezzo) Belgrade Ntl Opera
Ch & O/Krešimir Baranović rec. 1955 ELOQUENCE
4826883 [75:00 + 81:34] [RMo] Some good things
but not enough to make it competitive with the many others in better
sound with a more consistently arresting cast.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) A Sea Symphony
- Elizabeth Llewellyn (soprano) Marcus Farnsworth (baritone) BBC SO
& Ch/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68245
[70:53] [JQ] Brabbins’ recording of A Sea Symphony has a
lot going for it.
Hannigan (soprano) Vienna: Fin de Sičcle - Reinbert
de Leeuw (piano) rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS 393 [77.41]
[MC] Beautiful late-Romantic Lieder, superbly performed by Hannigan
and Leeuw to make this a special album.
Monday October 8th
van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 1–9 - Berlin
PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2015 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS
BPHR160093 [5 SACDs: 343 mins] [MC] Performances and
recorded sound are to an elevated standard.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 3, Hungarian Dances
Nos 11-16, Alto Rhapsody Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Orchestrations by Brahms - Anna Larsson (alto), Johan Reuter (baritone),
Swedish Radio Ch, Swedish CO Örebro/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2016/17
BIS-2319 SACD [78:26] [JQ] A most attractive
FEO (1691-1761) San Francesco di Sales - Stuttgart
CO/Fabio Biondi rec. 2017 GLOSSA GCD923409
[2 CDs: 137:52] [JV] A nice addition to the discography of Neapolitan
music of the 18th century, but the performance has some shortcomings.
LEWIS (b. 1943) Harpscape - Gabriella Dall’Olio
(harp) rec. 2014/17 EM RECORDS EMRCD048 [54:27] [JW]
A relaxing, delightful slice of his repertoire.
James LODER (1809-1865) Raymond and Agnes -
Mark Milhofer (tenor), Majella Cullagh (soprano), Retrospect Opera
Ch, Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Richard Bonynge rec. 2017 RETROSPECT
OPERA RO005 [72:44+75:52] [PCG] Raymond and Agnes may
not be a masterpiece, but it certainly merits resurrection.
SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concertos
Nos 4 & 5 - Romain Descharmes (piano) Malmö SO/Marc Soustrot rec.
2015 NAXOS 8.573478 [55:21] [RC] If this repertoire
is of interest, these fine performances will not disappoint.
WIENIAWSKI (1837-1912) Piano works Vol. 4 - Artur Cimirro
(piano) rec. 2017 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0406 [76:43]
[JWe] A really splendid disc of wonderful neglected repertoire,
played by a pianist who is clearly very at home in this sound world.
Várjon (piano) De la nuit Works by Bartók, Ravel
& Schumann - rec. 2016 ECM ECM 2521 [66:06] [DC]
Very fine indeed.
Beauty of Bells SAYDISC CDSDL448 [76:26] [MS] A
well-compiled anthology combines to make an enjoyable musical experience.
Joseph Daley ~
Peggy Lee ~
Al Muirhead ~
Ambrose & His Orchestra ~