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Alphabetical Listing

Misc. M-Z

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[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]

Superbudget £5.99 or less Budget £6-7.99 Medium £8-10.99 Full price £11+

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Missa Gotica (anon. 14th cent.) Ensemble Organum rec. 2009 ZIGZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT090601 [51:30] [MS]

An outstanding and immensely enjoyable CD of glorious fourteenth century polyphonic liturgical music … see Full Review 

Musique pour basson et piano - Vol. 2 Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Basson Sonata Olav BERG (b.1949) Vertigo Othmar SCHOECK (1886 - 1957) Basson sonata Olav BERG (b.1949) Bassoon sonatine Otmar NUSSIO (1902-1990) Variazioni Isang YUN (1917-1995) Monologue Manfred SCHOOF (b.1936) Two Impromptus Dag Jensen (bassoon); Midori Kitagawa (piano) rec. 1997 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG6030831-2 [71:00] [CR]

Highly enjoyable and the playing is excellent throughout … see Full Review

The Near Past of the Hungarian Flute János DECSENYI (b.1927) Sonatina pastorale for flute and piano (1956) [8:24] Mátyás SEIBER (1905 - 1960) Pastorale and Burlesque (1952) [7:45]György KOSA (1897 - 1984) Notturno (1966) [12:16] Csaba SZABO (1936 - 2003) Sonata con ritmo di ballo (1963) [19:44] Endre SZERVANSZKY (1911-1977) Sonatina for flute and piano (1952) [9:18] Kamillo LENDVAY (b.1928) Quattro duetti (1965) [8:37]Ferenc FARKAS (1905-2000) Meditazione (1990) [4:22] Pá JARDANYI (1920 - 1966) Sonatina (1952) [4:40] Zoltan Gyöngyössy (flute); Zsuzsa Kollär (piano) rec. 2008, . DDD HUNGAROTON CLASSIC HCD 32578 [75:23] [CR]

A fascinating insight into Hungarian flute repertoire … see Full Review

Out of the Cool Richard Rodney BENNETT (b.1936) Winter Music (1960) [10:57]; Robert SAXTON (b.1953) Krystallen (1973) [6:39]; Cecilia MCDOWALL (b.1951) The Moon Dances (2003) [13:57]; Arthur BUTTERWORTH (b.1923) Aubade (1973) [5:01]; Richard Rodney BENNETT (b.1936) Summer Music (1983) [10:21] David HEATH (b.1956) Out of the Cool (1986) [6:37]; Brian LOCK (b.1967) Sonata for Flute and Piano (2004) [16:39]; Susan Milan (flute); Andrew Ball (piano) rec. November 2007, St Michael’s Church, Highgate, London. DDD METIER MSV 28510 [70:16] [CR]

An excellent collection of new British flute repertoire … see Full Review  


Risonanza - Modern Czech Music for Oboe, Harp and Piano Jan HANUš (1915-2004) Trio concertante Op.59b for oboe, harp and piano (1978) [23:34] Sonata quasi una fantasia Op.61 for oboe and piano (1968) [12:22] Petr EBEN (1929-2007) Risonanza for harp solo (1986) [6:40] Ordo modalis for oboe and harp (1964) [13:07] Pavel HAAS (1899-1944) Suite for oboe and piano (1939) [14;26] Kateřina Englichová (harp) Vilém Veverka (oboe) Ivo Kahánek (piano) rec. January 2009, Bohemia Music Studio, Prague SUPRAPHON SU 3993-2 [70:42] [JW]

Three of the country's brightest young musicians in pure accord ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sacrificium Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo) Il Giardino Armonico/Giovanni Antonini rec. 2009 Italian texts and German, English and French translations enclosed DECCA 478 1521 Limited Edition [77:55 + 21:15] [GF]

This is certainly an indispensable issue! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Scotland At Night Choral settings of Scottish poetry from Robert Burns to Alexander McCall Smith Laudibus/Mike Brewer rec. 2009 DELPHIAN DCD34060 [64:17]  [CSS]

Encompasses Scotland in the nostalgia that is its characteristic voice ... see Full Review 

A Scottish Perspective John Maxwell GEDDES (b. 1941) Soundposts Rory BOYLE (b. 1951) Auld Nick’s Dance Tunes Volume 6 Edward McGUIRE (b. 1948) Air and Slip Jig Edward HARPER (1941 - 2009) Album Leaf Buxton ORR (1924 - 1997) A Celtic Suite Yvonne Paterson (flute); NYOS Strings/Julian Clayton rec. 2008 NYOS 009 [57:46] [HC]

Attractive and enjoyable ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Songs of Northumbria Traditional songs: The Cullercoats Fish Lass;, The Cliffs of Old Tynemouth; Trimden Grange Explosion; Water of Tyne; Blow the Wind I-Ho; Cushie Butterfield; The Keel Row; Rap Her to Bank; It Was One Summer Morn; The Oak and the Ash; The Hexhamshire Lass; Lavender’s Blue; Cat Gut Jim; The Sandgate Lass’s Lament; Ee Aye, Aa Cud Hew; The Proacher’s Call,; Died of Love; Jowl, Jowl; The Row Between the Cages; The Coal Owner and the Pitman’s Wife; The Lambton Worm; The Newcastle Overture; Wor Geordie; Blaydon Races. Sir Thomas Allen (baritone); Sheila Armstrong (soprano) Eric Robson (narrator and interviewer) Northumbria Concert Orchestra and Chorus/David Haslam
rec. 8-10 August 1993, All Saints Church, Newcastle and at Durham Cathedral. Reissued in DVD format 2008. MAWSON AND WAREHAM (MUSIC) LTD MWMVD 88 [c.90:00] [IL]

A rare treat, a joy to treasure … see Full Review 

Spiritual Resistance Music From Theresienstadt Pavel HAAS (1899-1944) Four Songs after words of Chinese Poetry Karel BERMAN (1919-1995) Reminiscences Suite Hans KRASA (1899-1944) Five Songs Gideon KLEIN (1919-1945) Three Songs Victor ULLMANN (1898-1944) Man and his Day, Three Songs Zikmund SCHUL (1916-1944) Die Nischt-Gewesenen Wolfgang Holzmair (baritone) Russell Ryan (piano) rec. 2008 BRIDGE 9280 [75.08] [GH]

A heart-rending disc of songs acting as a reminder of a lost generation … see Full Review

Valoa Robert KAJANUS (1856-1933) Suite for Strings Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Mourning Music Ilkka KUUSISTO (b. 1933) Divertimento Pasi PIISPANEN (b. 1966) The Broken Vase, The Forest Grave, Dog of the Night, Light Uuno KLAMI (1900-1961) Suite for String Orchestra Ulla Soinne (viola); Reijo Mustakallio (baritone) Tapiola Youth Strings/Heikki Pekkarinen rec. 2005 ALBA ABCD242 [60:04] [RB]

Do not neglect these indispensable Alba discs ... see Full Review

Wondrous Free - Song of America II Thomas Hampson (baritone) Wolfram Rieger, Craig Rutenberg (piano) rec. 2009 THOMAS HAMPSON MEDIA THM5432 [64.25]  [RH]

All lovers of good singing will want to hear this ... see Full Review



Anthony BOLTON (b. 1950) A Garland of Carols* *Sioned Williams (harp); **Richard Edgar-Wilson (tenor); **Fali Pavri (piano) Oxford Voices/Mark Shepherd rec. 2009 English texts included GUILD GMCD 7335 [76:19] [JQ]

Well presented and should help bring Bolton to the public’s attention ... see Full Review 

A Boston Camerata Christmas. Worlds of Early Christmas Music
CD 1: An American Christmas - Carols Hymns & Spirituals, 1770-1870 [61:46]
CD 2: A French Christmas - French Christmas Music, 1200-1600 [62:51]
CD 3: A Spanish Christmas - Music from the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, the Holy Land & the New World, 1200-1700 [72:34] Boston Camerata; The Schola Cantorum of Boston (CD 1); The Brown University Chorus (CD 1); The Boston Shawm & Sackbut Ensemble (CD 2); Camerata Mediterranea (CD 3); Abdelkrim Rais Andalusian Orchestra of Fès (CD 3)/Joel Cohen rec. 1985-93 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 69415-0 [61:46 + 62:51 + 72:34]  [JQ]

For those of a slightly adventurous spirit this could be just the thing for a welcome seasonal change ... see Full Review

Celebration - Christmas Fanfares and Carols Aled Jones (readings), BBC Welsh Chorus, John Hugh Thomas, Huw Tregelles Williams (organ), Fanfare Trumpeters of the Welsh Guards, Lt. Col. P. Hannam, BEM, musical director rec. 3-4 February and 1 July 1991, Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. DDD
NIMBUS NI 5310 [73:34]

A lovely collection … see Full Review 

Christmas A Cappella. Songs from around the world. Chicago a cappella rec. 2008, Bond Chapel. University of Chicago Original texts and English translations included CEDILLE CDR 90000 107 [64:10] [JQ]

There’s not a musical hair out of place here but the result is curiously uninvolving... see Full Review

Christmas Chant: Traditional Latin Plainchant for Christmas The Monks of Prinknash Abbey; The Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey rec. 1987. DDD. Texts and translations included. SAYDISC CD-SDL 369 [62:48] [BW]

Ideal for those seeking peace and simplicity at Christmas ... see Full Review 

Christmas from Lichfield Robert Sharpe (organ); The Choir of Lichfield Cathedral/Andrew Lumsden rec. Lichfield Cathedral, 12-15 February 1996. DDD.Texts included. NIMBUS NI5496 [69:57] [BW]

This may be the collection you’re looking for ... see Full Review 

Christmas Organ Music Kevin Bowyer (organ) rec. Chichester Cathedral, 16-17 August 1995. DDD. NIMBUS NI7711 [71:45] [BW]

A most attractive recording ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Christmas Preludes - Preludes for Holy Christmastide Johannes Strobl (organ) rec. 2008, The Abbey Church of Muri, Canton Aargau, Switzerland AUDITE 92.573 [73:04] [DM]

The perfect complement to a festive feast ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Es ist ein Ros entsprungen Vocal Concert Dresden/Peter Kopp; Sebastian Knebel (organ) rec. 3 - 6 October 2008, Hauptkirche St Marien in Kamenz, Germany. DDD BERLIN CLASSICS 0016442BC [64:33] [JV]

An outstanding disc with choral music for Advent and Christmas ... see Full Review 

Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen - Christmas Music for Choir and Organ Vox Bona/Karin Freist-Wissing; Stefan Horz (organ) rec. 7-9 February 2009, Ev. Emmanuel-Kirche, Köln-Rondorf (choir); Kreuzkirche, Bonn (organ) AUDITE 92.565 [80:49] [DM]

Worth buying for the choral items alone; don’t expect much from the rest. ... see Full Review 

Feliz Navidad - Mediterranean Christmas Music from the Renaissance Cécile Kempenaers (soprano); José Pizarro (tenor) Capella de la Torre/Katharina Bäuml rec. 2008 DDD. Texts and translations included. COVIELLO CLASSICS COV20811 [65:53] [BW]

Joins a select number of first-rate renaissance and baroque Christmas recordings ... see Full Review 

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury rec. live, Chapel of Kings College, Cambridge, 24 December 2008 Texts enclosed Track-Listing at end of review EMI CLASSICS 50999 6860822 [54:53 + 34:58] [RC]

A fine souvenir of a memorable occasion ... see Full Review

Frohlocke nun! (Rejoice Now!) - Christmas music from Berlin between Baroque and Romanticism Dennis Chmelensky (treble); Olivia Vermeulen (contralto); Jan Kobow Patrick Vogel (tenor); Matthias Vieweg (bass) Staats- und Domchor Berlin, Lautten Compagney Berlin/Kai-Uwe Jirka rec. 2009 CARUS 83.442 [70:40] [JV]

A very good recording of music for Christmastide most of which has never been recorded before ... see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH In Terra Pax: A Christmas Anthology Gustav HOLST, John JOUBERT, William MATHIAS, Herbert HOWELLS, Gerald FINZI, Peter WARLOCK, Kenneth LEIGHTON, John RUTTER, John GARDNER, William MATHIAS, Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Julia Doyle (soprano); Roderick Williams (baritone); Mark Williams (organ, celesta, piano) City of London Choir; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Hilary Davan Wetton rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572102 [57:37] [ST]

As good a Christmas recital as you’re likely to find ... see Full Review

Into This World This Day Did Come. Carols Contemporary & Medieval Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge/Geoffrey Webber/David Ballantyne, Matthew Fletcher & Geoffrey Webber (organ) rec. 2009, . DDD Original texts and English translations included *First recording DELPHIAN DCD34075 [75:28][JQ]

This is one of the most original and enterprising Christmas discs to have come my way in a long time... see Full Review

Karl JENKINS (b.1944) Stella Natalis, Joy to the World Kate Royal (soprano); Alice Halstead (chorister); Alison Balsom (trumpet); Jody K Jenkins and Zands (percussion); Tenebrae; Adiemus Singers; Marylebone Camerata/Karl Jenkins rec. Angel Recording Studios, London, 3-4, 19 July 2009. DDD. Texts included. EMI CLASSICS 50999 6886482 [79:33]

Guaranteed enjoyment for fans of Karl Jenkins ... see Full Review 

Joulun virsi - Elämän virsi - Old Finnish Choral Hymns for Christmas Jorma Hynninen (baritone) Marko Ylönen (cello) Kalevi Kiviniemi (organ) rec. 20-22 February 2006, Kallio Church, Helsinki, Finland FUGA 9215 [61:04] [DM]

A Christmas disc to savour ... see Full Review

Joy In The Morning Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore, Andrew Fletcher (organ) rec. 10-11 July 2009, St Paul’s Church, Birmingham. DDD Original texts and English translations included ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100008 [75:33] [JQ]

The Christmas CD market is overflowing but this issue has a very strong claim indeed on the attention of collectors ... see Full Review

see additional review by William Hedley

Make We Joy - Music for Christmas by Gustav HOLST (1874 - 1934) and William WALTON (1902 - 1983) Christ Church Cathedral Choir Oxford/Stephen Darlington Simon Lawford (organ) rec. Merton College Chapel Oxford, 11- 12 May 1987 NIMBUS NI7021 [49:41]  [NB]

If you are looking for a choral disc of Christmas music without resorting to the usual “lessons & carols” format you will be hard pressed to do better than this... see Full Review

Midwinter The Sanctuary Ensemble: Christian Forshaw (saxophones, church organ, percussion); Grace Davidson, Joanna Forbes, Katie Trethewey, Amy Wood (singers); Alexia Kalogiannidis (backing vocals); Jeremy Holland-Smith (chorus director, organ); Ian Cape (percussion) rec. 2008 INTEGRA RECORDS ING1003 [38:43] [NB]

Will either delight or frustrate ... see Full Review 

Nativitas - American Christmas Carols James Higdon (organ); Pamela Williamson (soprano solo); Lyra Pringle Pherigo (flute); Wesley Kelly (harp); Kansas City Chorale/Charles Bruffy NIMBUS NI5413 [67:03] [NB]

As beautiful a disc of precious Christmas music as you are likely to hear this or any year ... see Full Review

Organ Christmas Beatrice-Maria and Gerhard Weinberger (organ and organ duet) rec. 2009, CPO 777 487-2 [63:36] [DM]


Dull and uninspired ... see Full Review

The Spirit of Christmas Past various artists (see review) rec. historical. NIMBUS PRIMA VOCE NI 7861 [74:35] [CC]

A lovely, heart-warming collection, intelligently chosen and programmed. ... see Full Review 

The Spirit of Christmas Present Kansas City Chorale/Charles Bruffy,Huw Tregelles Williams (organ); BBC Welsh Chorus/John Hugh Thomas, Kevin Bowyer (organ), James Higdon (organ) The Gulbenkian Orchestra/Michel Swierczewski, Christ Church Cathedral Choir/Stephen Darlington, English String Orchestra/William Boughton, Pamela Williamson (soprano); Lyra Pringle Pherigo (flute); Welsey Kelly (harp) rec. 1987-96 NIMBUS NI7034 [62:07] [BW]

You could do better, even from within Nimbus’s own catalogue ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681 - 1767) Christmas Cantatas Christoph BERNHARD (1629-1692) Fürchtet euch nicht* Mária Zádori (soprano), Judit Németh (mezzo), Gábor Kállay (tenor), Klaus Mertens (baritone); Capella Savaria/Pál Németh rec. 1983-91 HUNGAROTON HCD 32611 [66:45] [JV]

First-rate music in excellent performances - a perfect disc ... see Full Review 

The Herald Angels Sing - Choral music for Christmas Junges Vokalensemble Hannover/Klaus-Jürgen Etzold rec. Kirche Stephansstift Hannover, 7-9 November 2008, 6-8 February 2009 CARUS 83.441 [65:24] [NB]

When nothing too vigorous is needed … see Full Review  

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Weihnachtslieder (Christmas Carols)   Thomanerchor Leipzig/Georg Christoph Biller; Ulrich Böhme (organ) rec. 2007, 2008 CARUS 83.440 [68:12] [JV]

A most attractive and tasteful programme for Advent and Christmas ... see Full Review 

What Sweeter Music: Songs and Carols for Christmas Tenebrae/Nigel Short James Sherlock (organ) rec. St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield, London 22-26 June 2009; *27-28 August 2001; **St. Michael’s Church, Highgate, 12-13 May 2004 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD182 [58:30] [JQ]

Listening with great enjoyment ... see Full Review 

While shepherds watched - Christmas music from English parish churches - 1740 - 1830 Psalmody; The Parley of Instruments/Peter Holman; Timothy Roberts (fortepiano*) rec. 18-20 July 1996 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55325 [67:33] [JV]

Music written for parish churches - no reconstructions but radiating a sense of authenticity ... see Full Review


The Cambridge Companion to Gilbert & Sullivan David Eden and Meinhard Saremba (eds) publ. 2009, 276pp CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS Paperback £15 (ISBN 978 0 521 716598) Hardback £40 (ISBN 978 0 521 888493) [RJW]

For those who think they have read and know everything about G&S ... see Full Review

Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]



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