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Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear

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This is a triumph!

Bruckner Symphony 3
Revelatory and awe-inspiring

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Sibelius 3, 6, 7 Vanska
Outstanding performances

burns with a steady, beckoning light

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This impressed me mightily

Shostakovich 5, 8 9
Great concentration

Let me tell you
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Alphabetical Listing


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]

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

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Complete Symphonies Collector's Edition Conductor: Leonard Bernstein See review for full details DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 8668 [11 CDs: 746:00] [ST]

A hugely dynamic achievement that deserves to be appreciated, warts and all. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 7 Royal Concertgebouw O/Bernard Haitink rec. 1983, HDTT HDCD190 [77:10] [JZ]

A fine concert performance and a recording of artisan quality … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911) Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen see SCHUBERT

Gian Francesco MALIPIERO (1883-1973) The Symphonies - Volume 4 Symphony 7, Sinfonia in un tempo, Sinfonia per Antigenida Moscow SO/Antonio de Almeida rec. 1993 NAXOS 8.570881 [68.41] [GH]

I am quite drawn to the music but can’t quite get involved ... see Full Review 

Igor MARKEVITCH (1912 – 1983) Partita, Le Paradis Perdu Lucy Shelton (sop.), Sarah Walker (mezzo), Jon Garrison (ten.), Martijn van den Hoek (pio); Netherlands Concert Ch., Arnhem PO/Christopher Lyndon-Gee, rec. 1997 & 1999 NAXOS 8.570773 [75:37] [HC]

A very fine recording of Partita and a useful, if somewhat imperfect rendering of Markevitch’s large-scale oratorio … see Full Review

Yannis MARKOPOULOS (b.1939) Pyrrichios Dance 13, Shapes in Motion, Triptych, Concerto-Rhapsody Marc Grauwels (flute); Dimitri Papatheodorou (piano); Zacharias Spyridakis (Cretan lyre) Brussels Virtuosi/Iannis Leonidakis, Flanders Opera SO/Edwig Abrath rec. 2003/7 NAXOS GREEK CLASSICS 8.572237 [73:21] [OL]

Beautiful, though sometimes predictable ... see Full Review 

Julian MARSHALL Out of the Darkness Gavin BRYARS (b.1943) The Garden Chapel Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Spiegel im Spiegel Melanie Pappenheim (mezzo); Sophie Harris (cello); Lucy Railton (cello); Ian Belton (piano, keyboard) School House 6 Ens/Howard Moody rec. 2009 MMC 101 [61:33] [CR]

I could listen to this for hours ... see Full Review 

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Ballade see Ballade

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890 - 1959) Piano Concertos 3 & 5, Piano Concertino Giorgio Koukl (piano) Bohuslav Martinů PO, Zlín/Arthur Fagen rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572206 [77:37] [BBr]

This issue will give a lot of pleasure … see Full Review 

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Symphony 2 see DVOŘÁK

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Thaïs Renée Fleming, Thomas Hampson, Metropolitan Opera Ch & O/Jesus López-Cobos rec. live 2008 DECCA 0743355 [138:00] [RMay]

Fleming is entirely convincing as a flirtatious and seductive courtesan for whom even a monk might risk his soul. She looks as if she is genuinely enjoying her role ... see Full Review 

William MATHIAS (1934-1992) Symphony No.1 see JOUBERT

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Concertos 1 & 2 for two pianos Joshua Pierce and Dorothy Jonas (pianos) Slovak State PO/Bystrìk Režucha rec. 1995 MSR CLASSICS MS 1330 [70:27] [JS]

Something a little relentless here … see Full Review

Ole-Henrik MOE (b. 1964) Vent Litt Lenger Arditti Quartet, Ole-Henrik Moe (violin) rec. 2009 AURORA ACD 5054 [37:51] [CR]

Highly modern … highly exciting … left me wanting more ... see Full Review

Stanislaw MONIUSZKO (1819 – 1872) 14 Lieder see Katarzyna Dondalska

Cristóbal de MORALES (c.1500-c.1553) Gregorian Chant Gabrieli Consort and Players; Paul McCreesh rec.1995 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 93904 [76:17] [MS]

Music as it might have been heard in late sixteenth century Toledo in the context of other liturgical music. The singing and playing is of the highest order ... see Full Review

Finn MORTENSEN (1922-1983) Sonata, Op.7 see Norwegian Imperatives

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Mitridate, Re di Ponto Henriette Bonde-Hansen, Maria Fontosh, Danish Radio Sinfonietta/Adam Fischer, rec. 2002 DRS 6.220580-82 [3 CDs: 68:23 + 56:51 + 42:30] [ST]

A good job from Fischer, but the competition pips him to the post ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) - Wilhelm Strienz (bass); Helge Roswaenge (tenor); Walter Grossman (bass); Ernst Fabbry (tenor); Erna Berger; Tiana Lemnitz ; Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. November 1937-8 ADD NIMBUS PRIMA VOCE NI 7827/8 [62:17 + 69:23] [MC]

This is indispensable for any opera collector or lover of great music. Sparkles and delights … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphonies 3 & 6, Ruth Güldbæk (soprano); Eric Sjøberg (baritone) Danish State RSO/John Frandsen, Thomas Jensen rec. 1946-55 DUTTON CDBP9796 [62:12] [RB]

Jensen: sheer delight in intricacy and joyously precise; Frandsen: powerful with mordant accentuation of rhythmic impact and idyllically understated pastoral warmth ... see Full Review 

Joaquín NIN (1879 – 1949) The Piano Music Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2006/7, DDD NIMBUS NI 5851 [67:15] [JW]

This sumptuous and wide-ranging recital ... see Full Review

Pehr Henrik NORDGREN (1944 – 2008) Symphonies 7 & 8, Summer Music Turku PO/Juha Kangas rec. 2007-8 ALBA ABCD288 [60:55] [HC]

Nordgren’s last symphonies in superb performances and recording … see Full Review

Jan NOVÁK (1921-1984) Philharmonic Dances see DVOŘÁK

Carl ORFF (1895 – 1981) Carmina Burana (1934) [64.25] Ann Archibald (soprano); John Graham-Hall (tenor); Peter Sidhom (baritone) Boys of the Temple Church Choir, London; The Royal Choral Society Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Richard Cooke rec. circa 2000 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9155 [64.25]

A strong performance but in a crowded market this CD doesn't quite make it. … see Full Review

Juan Gutiêrrez de PADILLA (c.1590-1664) Lamentations for Maundy Thursday see VICTORIA

Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Hypatia see ALWYN

Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Spiegel im Spiegel see MARSHALL

Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736) Sacred Works - Volume 2 Missa S. Emidio, Salve Regina in F min., Laudate pueri Dominum, Manca la guida al pie Veronica Cangemi, Rachel Harnisch (sop.), Teresa Romano (mezzo), Sara Mingardo (alto), Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera & Orch. Mozart/Claudio Abbado, rec. 2009 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON ARCHIV 477 8463 [72.49] [GH]

Subtle and beautiful … most sensitively accompanied by Abbado ... see Full Review

Gregor PIATIGORSKY (1903-1976) Var. on a Theme of Paganini see POPPER

Gabriel PIERNÉ (1863 - 1937) Cello sonata, Expansion, Caprice see French Cello Sonatas

David POPPER (1843-1913) Suite for Cello & Piano, Three Pieces, Im Walde, Gregor PIATIGORSKY (1903-1976) Var. on a Theme of Paganini Wendy Warner (cello), Eileen Buck (pno) rec. 2007-8 CEDILLE RECORDS CDR 90000 111 [79:15] [BR]

Music by cellists for cellists, played with love … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Francis POULENC (1899 - 1963) Sacred choral works see RUTTER

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Organ Concerto see HAYDN

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891–1953) Symphony 1 Claude DEBUSSY (1862–1918) Ibéria (from Images) Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921) Danse Macabre Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) Don Juan NBC SO/Arturo Toscanini, rec. 1950 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 208 [57:53] [BBr]

If Toscanini’s your bag then this is for you … see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Flute sonata 2 see Music in Motion

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Turandot (Highlights) Eva Turner, Giovanni Martinelli, ROH Ch, London PO/John Barbirolli rec. 1929/37 BARBIROLLI SOCIETY SJB1032 [74:05] [RB]

Pulse-racing … absolutely hair-raising ... see Full Review 

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Edition Vol. 4 - Instrumental Music rec. 1965-95 WARNER CLASSICS 2564691390 [5 CDs: 308:44] [JW]

Clearly has elements that appeal more than others. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Joachim QUANTZ (1697-1773) Flute Sonatas Verena Fischer (transverse flute); Klaus-Dieter Brandt (Baroque cello); Léon Berben (harpsichord) rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.557805 [63:28] [CR]

A lovely disc … enjoyable and of real quality from beginning to end ... see Full Review 

Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Symphony 1, Isle of the Dead Moscow State SO/Pavel Kogan rec. 1990 ALTO ALC1032 [67:16] [RMay]

Most impressive ... see Full Review 

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concertos 2 & 3 Simon Trpceski (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2009 AVIE AV2192 [75:48] [JQ]

A fine achievement ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphonic Dances, The Isle of the Dead, The Rock Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2008/9 AVIE AV2188 [70:09] [NB]

Not the final word on either of the two main works but a valid and passionate vision ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 - 1943) Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (1910) [96.11] Protodeacon - Father Andre Papkov (bass) Celebrant – David Adams (tenor) Second Celebrant – Todd E. Berry (bass) Kansas City Chorale/Charles Bruffy rec. St. John's Center, Kansas City, Missouri, 12–15 October 1995 NIMBUS NI 5497/8 [41.26 + 53.45] [RH]

Even if you like this account I would recommend getting another which responds more positively to the drama and vigour of Rachmaninov's setting. ... see Full Review

Camden REEVES (1974) Night Descending Gemini (Ian Mitchell (bass clarinet) Caroline Balding (violin) Robin Michael (cello) Clive Williamson (piano) Alison Wells (mezzo) rec. 2007 CADENZA MUSIC CACD0807 [45:08] [NB]

Did not engage my emotions ... see Full Review

Johannes REGIS (c.1425-1496) Sacred choral works The Clerks/Edward Wickham rec. 2008 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW0848/9 [67:57 + 58:36] [GPu]

A first chance to hear, well-recorded and beautifully sung, all the music of an important figure … see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Pini di Roma, Fontane di Roma Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) arr. Ottorino RESPIGHI La Boutique Fantasque L’Orchestre de Suisse Romande/LSO/Ernest Ansermet, rec. 1963 & 1950 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 0024 [69:44] [JS]

An enjoyable and valuable recording … another really worthwhile Ansermet resurrection … see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Belkis Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Symphonic Metamorphosis Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) The Tragedy of Salome Borusan Istanbul PO/Sascha Goetzel rec. 2009 ONYX 4048 [77:32] [IL]

For those seeking exotic and erotic thrills this can hardly fail ... see Full Review

Emil Nikolaus von REZNICEK (1860 – 1945) String Quartet No.1 in C sharp minor (1921) [29:10] Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897 – 1957) String Quartet No.1 in A major Op.16 (1922/3) [33:33] Franz Schubert Quartett, Wien rec. 1996 NIMBUS NI 5506 [62:58]
Franz SCHMIDT (1874 – 1939) String Quartet in A major (1925) [38:42] String Quartet in G major (1929) [38:56] Franz Schubert Quartett, Wien rec.1995 NIMBUS NI 5467 [77:53] [NB]

Quality of repertoire, performance, engineering and presentation … see Full Review

George ROCHBERG (b. 1917) String Quartets Nos. 3-6 Concord String Quartet rec. 1970s, ADD NEW WORLD 80551-2 [76:01 + 59:23] [RB]

Four grand and deeply moving string quartets. Their power may surprise you in ways you had not expected. ... see Full Review

Old Rococo - The life of Gioacchino Rossini rec. 1992 NVC ARTS 50-51865-6018-2-1 [83:00] [RJF]

An often-frustrating introduction to the life and works of one of Italy’s greatest composers ... see Full Review 

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Overtures: La Gazza Ladra, La Scala di Seta, Il Signor Bruschino, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Il Turco in Italia, L’Italiana in Algeri, Semiramide, Guillaume Tell RPO/Enrique Batiz, State of Mexico SO/Enrique Batiz BRILLIANT CLASSICS 93994 [70:03] [JS]

Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 - 1868) La Cenerentola Joyce DiDonato (mezzo) Juan Diego Flórez (tenor) Gran Teatre del Liceu Ch & SO/Patrick Summers rec. 2008 DECCA/UNITEL CLASSICA 074 3305 [2 DVDs: 179:00] [RMK]

Splendid escapism … An enchanting romantic bubble of joy ... see Full Review 

Nino ROTA (1911–1979) piano music Michelangelo Carbonara (piano) rec. 26–28 November 2008, Studio Barzan, Milan. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9097 [62:47] [BBr]

Splendid music played with an unaffected and easy manner … see Full Review

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) String Quartets 1-4, Lyric Movement, Meditations on a Byzantine Hymn, Improvisation for unaccompanied cello, Cello Sonata Michael Dussek (piano) with Dante Quartet (Krysia Osostowicz (violin); Matthew Truscott (violin); Judith Busbridge (viola); Pierre Doumenge (cello)) rec. Henry Wood Hall, London, 14-17 April 2002 DUTTON EPOCH LXBOX 2010 [71.41 + 59.13] [RB]

Rubbra the sombre and sincere lyricist in chamber music that suited his serious and unadorned style so well. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH John RUTTER (b.1945) Gloria Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918 - 1990) Chichester Psalms Francis POULENC (1899 - 1963) Quatre petites Prières de Saint François d'Assise, Litanies à la Vierge Noire Ch Clare College Cambridge, Corydon Singers/Matthew Best rec. 1995 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9087 [60:04] [BBr]

Don’t miss it on any account … 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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