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Please note that there will be no newsletter for the next two weeks, and the MusicWeb International Recordings of the Year will be published next Friday, December 8.

NEW & RECENT ARTICLES

Second Thoughts and Short Reviews: Autumn 2017-3 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan

Sir John Manduell - an obituary by Kenneth Shenton

Forgotten Artists - 24. Tibor Paul by Christopher Howell

Adriano: In his 30th Year of Recording - an interview by Jim Westhead

The Verdi Requiem - A partial survey of the discography by Ralph Moore

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Daily batches for printing (pdf) Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

LATEST REVIEWS

Friday December 1st 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Diabelli Variations Max REGER (1873-1916) Telemann Variations - Paul Baumgartner, Erik Then-Bergh (piano) rec. 1951/52 ELOQUENCE 482 5880 [76:49] [CC] These explorations/reminders of the byways of the recorded history of the piano are just the ticket.

Roman BERGER (b. 1930) Chamber works - Berger Trio rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573406 [78:33] [RWe] This excellently recorded Naxos disc brings a distinctive compositional voice, and some very fine music, to the wider attention it deserves.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Lucia di Lammermoor - Joan Sutherland (soprano) Richard Tucker (tenor) Metropolitan Opera O & Ch/Silvio Varviso rec. 1961 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO141 [55:44 + 59:53] [RMo] A special thrill and atmosphere in hearing the youthful Sutherland live and in freshest voice here.

Angelo Maria FIORÈ (1660-1723) Complete Cello Sonatas - Elinor Frey (cello) Suzie LeBlanc (soprano) Esteban La Rotta (theorbo) Lorenzo Ghielmi (harpsichord) rec. 2016 PASSACAILLE 1026 [74:38] [JV] If you have a special liking for the cello, do not hesitate to add this disc to your collection.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Complete ‘Amen, Alleluia’ Arias - Robert Crowe (soprano) Il Furioso rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0337 [57:46] [CRo] Handelians will naturally wish to explore these unusual and rewarding compositions, but these interpretations will give them a surprise.

Charles IVES (1874-1954) Concord Sonata, Violin Sonata No. 4 - Joonas Ahonen (piano) Pekka Kuusisto (violin, viola) Sharon Bezaly (flute) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2249 SACD [58:51] [RBe] This recording contains some first rate playing from both performers and is highly recommended.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Sonatas Vol. 4 - Alina Ibragimova (violin) Cédric Tiberghein (piano) rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68164 [54:19 + 64:58] [DC] Living proof that there are as many ways to play great music as there are great musicians.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I Due Foscari - Plácido Domingo (baritone) Francesco Meli (tenor) Anna Pirozzi (soprano) rec. 2016 C MAJOR DVD 742008 [138 mins] [RJF] Not perfect but the better of Domingo’s efforts in the title role.

Brazilian Landscapes Michala Petri (recorder) Marilyn Mazur (percussion) Daniel Murray (guitar) rec. 2016 OUR RECORDINGS 6.220618 [71:11] [GF] A happy journey in the company of these performers.

Royal Air Force - 100th Anniversary Royal Air Force Bands - rec. 2005-2017 CHANDOS CHAN10973(2) [56:16 + 64:50] [JW] A confident and suitably sensitive salute to the service.

Thursday November 30th

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714 – 1788) Lieder - Mariví Blasco (soprano) Yago Mahúgo (fortepiano) Impetus Madrid Baroque Ens rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95462 [62:51] [GF] Hopefully there will be a sequel one day that better lives up to expectations.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Sonatas & Trio - Renaud Capuçon (violin) Bertrand Chamayou (piano) Edgar Moreau (cello) Emmanuel Pahud (flute) Gerard Caussé (viola) Marie-Pierre Langlamet (harp) rec. 2016-2017 ERATO 9029 773960 [65:37] [DJB] A star-studded lineup results in an exceptional outcome.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) La Favorite - Elīna Garanča (mezzo) Matthew Polenzani (tenor) Ch & O Bavarian State Opera/Karel Mark Chicon rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON DVD 073 5358 [157 mins] [RJF] This singing cast would have been better served in a concert performance than this travesty of production and set.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) String Quartet Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Chanson perpétuelle - Quatuor Zaïde, Karine Deshayes (mezzo) Jonas Vitaud (piano) rec. 2017 NOMADMUSIC NMM044 [49.55] [MC] A most desirable release with performances of real merit that do full justice to both works.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Nicholas LUDFORD (c.1485-1557) Missa Dominica - Lewis Brito-Babapulle (organ) Trinity Boys’ Ch, Handbell Ch Gotha/David Swinson rec. 2017 RONDEAU-HORIZON ROP8001 [79.21] [GH] A really significant and important release.

Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony No. 7, Love for Three Oranges & Lieutenant Kijé Suites - São Paulo SO/Marin Alsop rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573620 [55:42] [LW] Alsop concludes her Prokofiev symphony cycle with a fine Seventh.

Halo Works by Phibbs, Tabakova & Kendall - Andrew Matthews-Owen (piano) rec. 2017 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6354 [63:36] [DC] An intrepid and intriguing collection of new piano music.

Reflets Works by Catoire, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Boulanger, Fauré & Ravel - Feodor Rudin (violin) Florian Noack (piano) rec. 2017 ARS PRODUKTION SACD 38235 [74:38] [JW] The programming makes sense with it and the performances are poised and refreshing.

Heinz Rehfuss (baritone) The Decca Recitals - Hans Willi Häusslein, Frank Martin (piano) rec. 1953-55 ELOQUENCE 482 4607 [81:39] [GF] A product that should be snapped up by all admirers of good singing.

 Vittoria-Vittoria A Recital of 17th Century Italian & English Songs - Richard Wistreich (voice) Robin Jeffrey (lute & chitarrone) Celia Harper (chamber organ) Erin Headly (lirone) rec. 1987 CLAUDIO RECORDS DVD-A CR3710-6 [53:27] [DBi] An unusual recital of 17th century songs extremely well sung and recorded.

Wednesday November 29th

Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897) Cello Sonatas - Karine Georgian (cello) Pavel Gililov (piano) rec. 1989/90 ALTO ALC1352 [75:14] Maja Weber (cello) Per Lundberg (piano) rec. 2016 SOLO MUSICA SM269 [53:51] [YJH] The stellar musicianship and extended playtime presented in the Alto disc by Gergian notwithstanding, it is the playing of Weber and Lundberg that remains in my thoughts.

Jean HUBEAU (1917-1992) & Gian Francesco MALIPIERO (1882-1973) Violin Concertos - Henry Merckel (violin) O Ntl de la Radiodiffusion Française/Henri Tomasi rec. 1953/55 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1285 [41:48] [SG] Two concertos which deserve wider currency.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 4 - Genia Kühmeier (soprano) Münchner Philharmoniker/Valery Gergiev rec. 2017 MÜNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS MPHL0005 [56.44] [MC] Gergiev’s compelling live performance is entirely convincing and can stand comparison with and may even surpass those I consider the finest in the catalogue.

Wolfgang RIHM (b. 1952) Works for string quartet - Minguet Qt, Jens Peter Maintz (cello) rec. 2015/16 WERGO WER73462 [47:04] [SSi] A wonderful performance by the Minguet Quartett, which should hopefully bring the music of Wolfgang Rihm to a wider audience.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) & Mieczysław KARŁOWICZ (1876-1909) Violin Concertos - Tasmin Little (violin) BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5185 SACD [73:18] [SB] This recording of Szymanowski’s wonderful concertos could be a first choice.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1837) Daphnis et Chloé, Une barque sur l'océan, Pavane - WDR Ch Cologne, Luxembourg PO/Gustavo Gimeno rec. 2017 PENTATONE SACD PTC5186652 [72:58] [DBi] Fine performances with a spacious but slightly veiled recording.

Olli VIRTAPERKO (b. 1973) Romer's Gap, Multikolor, Ambrosian Delights - Perttu Kivilaakso (cello) Joonatan Rautiola (baritone saxophone) Jonte Knif (knifonium) Jyväskylä Sinfonia/Ville Matvejeff rec. 2016 ONDINE ODE13052 [72:27] [RHa] Approachable and mostly well-wrought concertos for exotic instruments from a maverick Finn with an agit-prop rock past. Well worth a listen.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concertos Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Preludes - Stefan Temmingh (recorder) Capricornus Cons Basel rec. 2017 ACCENT ACC24332 [68:38] [DC] Genuine joy from start to finish.

Funeralissimo Matthias Well (violin) Maria Well (cello) Zdravko Živković (accordion) rec. 2017 GENUIN GEN17486 [54:04] [JW] A track listing that is almost defiantly whimsical.

In the Moment Arabella String Qt rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.579013 [68:33] [GF] Even well-stocked quartet lovers will probably find new acquaintances here.

Tuesday November 28th

Sebastián de ALBERO (1722-1756) Recercata, fuga y sonata - Alejandro Casal (harpsichord) rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95187 [2 CDs: 108:55] [JV] The interpretation of Alejandro Casal is hardly a good argument for these pieces.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Quintet No. 2, String Quintet - Pavel Haas Qt, Boris Giltburg (piano) Pavel Nikl (viola) rec. 2017 SUPRAPHON SU4195-2 [74.44] [MC] The Pavel Haas Quartet continues its tradition of adding excellently performed albums to its discography.

Amanda HARBERG (b.1973) Viola Concerto, Elegy Max WOLPERT (b.1993) Viola Concerto No.1 - Brett Deubner (viola) Southern Arizona SO/Linus Lerner rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.559840 [50:07] [SG] Attractive music, beautifully served.

Franz LISZT (1811–1886) Metanoia - Années de pèlerinage (excpts), Ballades Nos 1 & 2, Consolations - Beatrice Berrut (piano) rec. 2016 APARTE AP137 [73:00] [JWe] Fine performances from a very talented young pianist.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Arias & Overtures - Daniel Behle (tenor) L’Orfeo Barock O/Michi Gaigg rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88985407212 [60:00] [GF] A valuable addition to any opera lover’s collection.

Christopher TYE (c.1505-1573) Complete Consort Music - Phantasm rec. 2016 LINN RECORDS CKD571 [67:00] [DC] Lovely sound, but do we need a bit more grit in the oyster to make true pearls?

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Violin sonatas Nos 4 & 5, Sonatina - Maria Sławek (violin) Piotr Różański (piano) rec. 2014 CD ACCORD ACD217-2 [63:00] Katarzyna BROCHOCKA (b.1982) Pas de basse, Suite, Double bass concerto, Sonata Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Sonata - Karol Kowal (double bass) Katarzyna Brochocka (piano) CD ACCORD ACD218-2 [63:05] [SA] Both discs deserve not only to be heard by all.

Jascha Horenstein: Early Recordings Works by Bach, Haydn Mozart & Schubert - Berlin PO rec. 1929 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC506 [69:02] [JW] It's good to have Horenstein’s complete 78rpm legacy now neatly and well transferred.

The Organs of St Thomas, Leipzig Ullrich Böhme (organ) rec. 1992-2016 RONDEAU ROP6117 [70:57] [MR] I very much like the energy and vitality of Bohme’s playing here.

Kurt Weill, Weimar & Exile Peter Coleman-Wright (baritone) Nexas Qt, Benjamin Burton (piano) rec. 2017 ABC CLASSICS 576 2204 [64:39] [JQ] A most interesting album.

Monday November 27th 

Loyset COMPÈRE (c.1445-1518) Missa Galeazescha: Music for the Duke of Milan - Odhecaton/Paolo da Col rec. 2005 ARCANA A436 [65.12][GH] Well performed and fascinating music by little-known composers.

Rikard NORDRAAK (1842–1866) Songs & Piano Music - Helene Wold (soprano) Eugene Asti (piano) rec. 2015 LAWO LWC1119 [66:30] [GF] Everything here is worth hearing, not least as a memento of a great talent who died very young.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony No. 1 - Philharmonia O/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 2016 SIGNUM RECORDS SIGCD484 [43:23] [NB] A performance that should have stayed in the concert hall.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antoine REICHA (1770-1836) Reicha Rediscovered Vol. 1 - Ivan Ilić (piano) rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10950 [66:47] [DC] You’ve never heard anything quite like this!

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Complete Works Vol. 15: Becker-Psalter - Dresdner Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph Dademann rec. 2016 CARUS 83.276 [73:15] [JV] Excellent performances which continue the good work in this series.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 11 - BPO/Semyon Bychkov  - rec. 1987 PHILIPS/PRESTO 420 9352 [59:54] Stuttgart RSO/Yakov Kreizberg rec. 1997 SWR CLASSICS SWR10224 [57:12] [DM] Sibling rivalry, with a twist.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Suites from The Queen of Spades & Voyevoda - New Zealand SO/Peter Breiner rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573015 [66:22] [SV] This can be warmly recommended despite some minor weaknesses.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin - Piotr Beczala (tenor) Georg Zeppenfeld (bass) Anna Netrebko (soprano) Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOHON 0735319 DVD [2 DVDs: 215 mins] [PSt] Musically speaking, there is not a weak link in this performance, and only those completely allergic to traditional productions need hesitate.

Guy WEITZ (1883-1970) & Joseph JONGEN (1873-1953) Organ Works - Peter Van de Velde (organ) rec. 2014/15 AEOLUS AE11091 SACD [81:32 + 78:12] [SG] A valuable addition to the organ discography.

Beecham at the Royal Festival Hall Vols. 1 & 2 - Frederick Riddle (viola) Royal PO rec. 1959 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC502/4 [58:42 & 70:43] [JW] Things look set fair for the final volume in this series.

Other reviews
Conducting the Brahms Symphonies by Christopher Dyment publ. 2016 BOYDELL & BREWER [GD] A valuable addition to the fascinating history of great conductors of the past.