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Friday April 30th

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Like many people my wife and I decided to take a one-week holiday in Cyprus and got marooned there because of the volcanic dust. We were on a Thomson/Tui holiday and I must commend them for the way they handled the crisis. We were allowed to remain in our hotel for the duration and were upgraded to full board. When flights re-started Thomson took the view that those who had been delayed the longest should be repatriated first which is only justice and common-sense which was not shown by all travel agents or holiday makers. LM

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We had great success with selling the Haydn Symphonies as mp3 files put onto CD (see review). This time we offer the complete organ works of J.S.Bach played by Kevin Bowyer on 8CDs containing 320 kbps mp3 files and a complete set of notes as a pdf file. You can buy these through MusicWeb for just £23 post-free here. Reviews by Brian Wilson and Kirk McElhearn
Same Price: Complete Haydn Symphonies on mp3 CDs review

NOTE: These sets cannot be played on a normal CD player. You will need one of the following: a computer; a portable MP3 device (like an iPod, but not limited to iPods); a DVD player; the latest generation of in-car disc players.


The Fourth ENGLISH MUSIC FESTIVAL from Friday 28th May to Bank Holiday Monday 31st May, 2010.

World premiere performance of York Bowen's First Symphony and rare performance of Montague Phillips’ First Piano Concerto, with David Owen Norris as soloist.


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This week: The difference between a violin and a viola is that a viola burns longer. Victor Borge.

May Download Roundup by Brian Wilson



Composing in Words: William Alwyn on his Art (Musicians on Music: Volume 9)
Edited by Andrew Palmer MusicWeb Special Price £28 post-free World-wide

The Great Lablache - Nineteenth Century Operatic Superstar: His Life and His Times By Clarissa Lablache Cheer Published 2009 688 pages Price: £14.00 (paperback), £23.00 (hardback) XLIBRIS CORPORATION, USA [RJF]

An interesting if diffuse read. Something of a mixed blessing ... see Full Review 

MUSICWEB Special Offer £10.99 post-free

Jon LORD (b. 1941)
To Notice Such Things - a six-movement suite
Jon Lord (piano); Cormac Henry (flute)*; Jeremy Irons (narrator) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Clark Rundell rec. 2009, Premiere Recordings AVIE RECORDS AV 2190 Review


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FRIDAY April 30th

Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860 -1909) Iberia Yoram Ish–Hurwitz (pno), rec. 2007-9 TURTLE RECORDS TR 75529-30 [40:15/43:22] [BBr]

I cannot warm to this performance … see Full Review

Thomas FORTMANN (b. 1951) Sax Music Steve Potts, Davide Vallini, Ruber Marani (sop. sax), Marco Falaschi (sop., alto sax), Francesca Corsi (alto, bar. sax), Milo Vanelli (ten. sax), Roberto Frati (bar. sax), Marco Podesta, Ettore Candela, Carlo Lapegna (pno), Devis Tarolli (drums), Quartetto Berlioz, rec. 2009? METIER MSV 28512 [51:40] [JW]

Music locked into jazz, rock backbeat and the sinuous song of saxophonic yearning ... see Full Review

Philippe HUREL (b. 1955) Phonus: Phonus ou la voix du Faune, Figures libres, Quatre Variations Benoît Fromanger (flute), Matthew Ward (perc.), Oslo PO/Christian Eggen, Ensemble Court-Circuit/Pierre-André Valade, Argento Chambert Ens./Michel Galante, rec. 2004-5 PLUSLOIN MUSIC PL S217 [56:46] [CR]

A strong sense of character in this music … it has much to offer on multiple hearings. ... see Full Review

Leoš JANACEK (1854-1928) The Makropulos Case, Lachian Dances Elisabeth Söderstrom, Vienna PO & State Opera Ch/Charles Mackerras rec. 1970/8 DECCA 478 1711 [66:02 + 51:55] [JW]

A remarkable and vivid example of Söderström’s art … see Full Review

Jan JANCA (b. 1933) Organ and choir works - Vol. 3 Andreas Sieling, Felizitas Rodach, Wolfgang Baumgratz (organ), Opus Vocale/Volker Hedtfeld, rec. 2007-8 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 606 1572-2 [65:23] [DM]

Good, workmanlike pieces, winningly played; worth acquiring for the delightful Suite alone.... 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

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

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Concertante 1 & 2, Violin Duet Henning Kraggerud, Øyvind Bjorå (violin), Oslo Camerata, Barratt Due CO/Stephan Barratt-Due, rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570840 [57:02] [J-PJ]

A fine and satisfying recording of music which, if hardly outstanding, has strong merits ... see Full Review

Sinfonias from the Enlightenment Moderntimes 1800/Ilia Korol, Julia Moretti, rec. 2007 CHALLENGE RECORDS CC72193 [45:37 + 47:37] [JV]

An interesting survey of the development of orchestral music in the mid-18th century, including four first recordings ... see Full Review

Tea for Two – Dances and Rags with London Brass London Brass rec. 1988 TELDEC 2564 68617-2 [60:00] [DM]

A most entertaining collection ... see Full Review

THURSDAY April 29th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. Mark Passion Amarcord, Die Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. live, 2009 CARUS 83.244 [73:15] [MC]

Excellently presented and performed … Bach collectors and lovers of sacred music should not hesitate ... see Full Review 

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien Heidi Grant Murphy (soprano); Dagmar Pecková (mezzo); Nathalie Stutzmann (alto); Dörte Lyssewski (speaker) Collegium Vocale Gent/Christoph Siebert SWR SO Baden Baden und Freiburg/Sylvain Cambreling rec. 2005 GLOR CLASSICS GC08181 [77:08] [J-PJ]

A project that was misconceived from the start ... see Full Review 

Manfred GURLITT (1890-1972) Goya-Sinfonie, Four Dramatic Songs Christiane Oelze (soprano) Berlin RSO/Antony Beaumont rec. 2007 PHOENIX EDITION 114 [70:14] [RB]

A lyric composer but not a lavish late-romantic ... see Full Review 

Yngve SKÖLD (1899-1992) Cello sonata, Poem, Suite for horn and piano John Ehde (cello) Carl-Axel Dominique (piano); Ib Lanzky-Otto (horn); Wilhelm Lanzky-Otto (piano) rec. 1975/99 STERLING CDA1665-2 [56:45] [RB]

You could cut the roundedly lyrical melancholy with a knife ... see Full Review 

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Symphonies 3 & 6, The Fall of Babylon Overture O della Svizzera Italiana/Howard Shelley rec. 2009 HYPERION CDA67788 [63:38] [J-PJ]

Spohr again mining the same increasingly depleted seam of creativity relegating him to the status of minor composer ... see Full Review 

Danish Violin Concertos - Vol. 3 by August ENNA (1859 - 1939) Hakon BØRRESEN (1876 - 1954) Peter Erasmus LANGE-MÜLLER (1850 - 1926) Siegfried SALOMON (1885 - 1962) Gustav HELSTED (1857 - 1924) Kai Laursen (violin) South Jutland SO/Carl von Garaguly, Peter Ernst Lassen, Alf Sjøen rec. 1966-75 DANACORD DACOCD 465-466 [51:30 + 65:13]  [NB]

Undoubtedly part of a monumental achievement but far from being an obligatory purchase … see Full Review

Finntastic - Musical Souvenirs from Finland rec. 1990-2000 BIS-CD-1277 [69:52]  [RB]

An almost completely unhackneyed Finnish music from BIS ... see Full Review 

The Golden Age of Light Music - A Trip to the Library rec. 1937-58 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5164 [77:19] [JS]

Reminding us of the glories of the light music genre around the middle of the last century … see Full Review  

The Service of Venus and Mars: Music for the Knights of the Garter Gothic Voices/Christopher Page rec. 1986 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55290 [49:46] [J-PJ]

A real value-for-money disc ... see Full Review 

Tewkesbury Abbey - Choral Evensong Tewkesbury Abbey School Ch/Benjamin Nicholas rec. 2006 DELPHIAN DCD34019 [74:37] [JQ]

A splendid representation on disc of the liturgy of Evensong ... see Full Review 


WEDNESDAY April 28th

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Barbara HARBACH Vocal Music Stella Markou (soprano) with Paula Kasica (flute); Paul Garritson (clarinet and bass clarinet); Donita Bauer (bassoon); Ayako Watanabe (harp); David Gillham (violin); Joanna Mendoza (viola); Kurt Baldwin (cello); James Richards (conductor) (Abigail!); Alla Voskoboynikova (piano) (Pleasure, Emily! And Light); Paul Hecht (trumpet) (Emily!); Diana Haskell (clarinet); Barbara Harbach (piano) (Pioneer Women); Thomas F George (piano) (21st Century) rec. 2008,DDD MSR RECORDS MS 1256 [69:49] [BBr]

This is something very special … see Full Review

Josef HOLBROOKE (1878-1958) The Piano Music - Volume 2 Panagiotis Trochopoulos (piano) rec. the Library, Lilhac, France, 7-8 December 2009. DDD CAMEO CLASSICS CC9036CD [69:35] [RB]

Holbrooke continues to surprise - much to enjoy from the tempestuous to the poetic ... see Full Review

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

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

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 - 1943) Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom Kansas City Chorale/Charles Bruffy rec. 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

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) 12 Sonatas for Guitar: Luigi Attademo (guitar) rec. 1998, BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9125 [63:14] [ZT]

Old treasures in a refreshing new guise. … see Full Review

Anatolijus ŠENDEROVAS (b.1945) Two Songs of Shulamith Dmitri Borisovich KABALEVSKY (1904 – 1987) Cello Sonata Alberto Evaristo GINASTERA (1916 – 1983) Cello Sonata, Canción al Arbol del Olvido Jelena Očić (cello); Federico Lovato (piano) rec. 2009 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72358 [65:48] [NB]

A superb disc in every respect particularly the programme planning and hyper-sensitive response to the music … see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) CD 1 Sonata for Cello and Piano Op. 40 (1934) [27:12] Sonata for Cello and Piano Op. 147 (arr. Daniel Shafran) (1975) [31:25] CD 2 Concerto for Cello No. 1 Op. 107 (1959) [29:35] Concerto for Cello No. 2 Op. 126 (1966) [32:44] Viviane Spanoghe (cello); Arthur de Groote (piano) Sofia Soloists Symphony Orchestra/Emil Tabakov rec. Concert Hall of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Liège, July 1992 (Sonata No. 1); Concert Hall of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Brussels, 2008 (Sonata No. 2); Sofia, Bulgaria, April 1984 (Concertos) TALENT DOM3810 12-13 [58:37 + 62:19] [WK]

All the Shostakovich music for cello (and more) played with insight and feeling. … see Full Review

Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Drei Stucke fur Violoncello und Klavier (1891) [7:10] Cello Sonata in A minor (1894) [29:25] Carl GOLDMARK (1830-1915) Cello Sonata Op.39 (1890) [20:37] Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Tanzlied des Pierrot from Die Tote Stadt (1920) [4:02] Four Pieces from Viel Lärmen un Nichts Op.11 (1920) [14:25] Romance-Impromptu from the film Deception (1946) [3:11] Raphael Wallfisch (cello) John York (piano) rec. 2006 NIMBUS NI 5806 [78:53] [JW]

Admirers of the Viennese ethos should make the acquaintance of this disc ... see Full Review

Forbidden Music Gideon KLEIN (1919-1945) String Trio (1944) [11:29] Duo for violin and violoncello (1940) [8:46] Ervín SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) Duo for violin and violoncello (1925) [16:46] Sonata for solo violin (1922) [11:02] Hans KRÁSA (1899-1944) Passacaglia and Fuga – for string trio (1944) [9:06] Tanec, for String Trio [5:15] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Kaddish (arr. Daniel Hope) [4:37] Daniel Hope (violin); Philip Dukes (viola); Paul Watkins (cello) rec. September 2001 and April 2002 (Schulhoff solo violin sonata), Wyastone Leys, Monmouth NIMBUS NI 5702 [67:14] [JW]

Impressively committed, technically eloquent and attuned to the spirit of the music ... see Full Review


TUESDAY April 27th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Works for Organ Volume 1 NIMBUS NI5280 [67:11] Volume 2 NIMBUS NI5289 [55:32]
BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Works for Organ (MP3 Edition) Kevin Bowyer (organ) rec. Skt. Hans Kirke, Odense, Denmark, May 1991-September, 2001. DDD. NIMBUS NI1721 [8 CDs of MP3 files: 30:52:00] [Equivalent to the 17 volume CD series] [BW] [KM]

All this wonderful music at such a low price; you can’t go wrong [KM] Not only Bargain of the Month, but almost certainly Bargain of the Year [BW] ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Agustín BARRIOS (Mangore) (1885-1944) Confesión Alexander-Sergei Ramírez (guitar) rec. 2000 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 471532-2 [75:19] [ZT]

A treat for all aficionados of fine music - a must for Barrios devotees … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 in E (1881-3) [69:04] Czech Philharmonic/Lovro von Matacic rec. 1967 SUPRAPHON ARCHIV SU 3781-2 [69:04] [SV]

Matacic in vintage form for this fine Bruckner Seventh … see Full Review

Karl Amadeus HARTMANN (1905-1963) String Quartet no. 1 Carillon (1934) [21:52] String Quartet no. 2 (1945) [28:48] Hanns EISLER (1898-1962) String Quartet Op. 73 (1937) [13:36] Vogler Quarett Berlin rec. Wyastone Leys, Monmouthshire, 19-21 February 2001, Stereo DDD NIMBUS RECORDS NI5729 [64:16] [GD]

A fascinating disc, of most interest to those with a taste for 20th century string quartets who are seeking to fill in the gaps ... 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

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

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Overture and concertos for flutes, oboes, bassoon, violins and strings Alexis Kossenko (flute, recorder); Georges Barthel (flute); Jane Gower (bassoon); Alfredo Bernardini (oboe); Lidewij van der Voort (violin); Judith Maria Olofsson (cello); Holland Baroque Society rec. Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam, 11-13 February 2009. DDD CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS SA 28409 [77:13] [JPJ]

Unbounded enthusiasm and joy in music-making lie at the heart of this disc. ... see Full Review

Arias for Soprano and Trumpet George Frideric HANDEL (1685 – 1759) Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660 - 1725) Tommaso ALBINONI (1671 – 1751) Georg von REUTER (1708 – 1772) Petronius Luca Antonia PREDIERI (1688 – 1767) Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 – 1739) George Frideric HANDEL (1685 – 1759) John Wallace (trumpet); Helen Field (soprano) Philharmonia Orchestra/Simon Wright rec. All Saints Church, Tooting, 5-7 January 1988 NIMBUS NI5123 [71.00] [RH]

Interesting and imaginatively programmed ... see Full Review

The Art of Youra Guller (1895-1980) Frédéric CHOPIN (1810 - 1849) Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683 - 1764) Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) LISZT (1811-1886) [14:28] Enrique GRANADOS (1867 - 1916) Louis-Claude DAQUIN (1694 - 1772) Mateo Pérez de ALBÉNIZ (circa 1755 - 1831) Claude BALBASTRE (1727 - 1799) François COUPERIN (1668 - 1733) Youra Guller (piano) rec. September 1975, Nimbus Studios NIMBUS NI 5030 [61:57] [JW]

Performances imbued with spirit ... see Full Review

MONDAY April 26th

Hakon BØRRESEN (1876-1954) Symphony 1, Violin Concerto Rebecca Hirsch (violin) Aalborg SO/Owain Arwel Hughes rec. 1996 DACAPO 8.224059 [71:48] Symphonies 2 & 3 Aalborg SO/Owain Arwel Hughes rec. 1997 DACAPO 8.224061 [76:09] [RB]

Børresen: more at home with songful serenading than high-tension romantics - more Gade than Sibelius. Definitely worth hearing ... see Full Review 

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 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Lionel SAINSBURY (b.1958) Violin Concerto Haydn WOOD (1882-1959) Violin Concerto, Adagio Lorraine McAslan (violin) BBC Concert O/Barry Wordsworth, Gavin Sutherland rec. 2009 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7245 [71:47] [RB]

Two strong works written in captivating romantic idioms that while not identical have more in common than you might expect ... see Full Review 

Mátyás SEIBER (1905-1960) Chamber Works and Songs Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano); Andrea Mélath (mezzo); David Frühwirth (violin); Péter Szabó (cello); László Ernyei (accordion); Zsusza Kollár (piano) rec. 2004 HUNGAROTON HCD32405 [78:23] [RB]

Ethnic melodic tonality to dissonance with a lyrical core ... see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Un ballo in Maschera Carlo Bergonzi, Leontyne Price, RCA Italiana Opera Ch & O/Erich Leinsdorf rec. 1966 SONY OPERA HOUSE 88697581322 [68.36 + 59.35] [RJF]

Verdi singing does not come much better than this. This 1966 recording and performance has stood the test of time ... see Full Review 

Richard WAGNER (1813 - 1883) Das Rheingold, Die Walküre & Siegfried Bayreuth Festival Ch & O/Clemens Krauss rec. live, 1953 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO039-41 [145:15 + 210:55 + 242:11] [RMo]

Will not replace Solti or Karajan for beauty of sound but is now the front-runner as a supplement ... see Full Review


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[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
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