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Alphabetical Listing

PART 4
M-R

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+ Download

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) The Symphonies Russian State Symphony Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. 1992-1996, full listing at end of review WARNER CLASSICS AND JAZZ 2564 68886-2 [14 CDs: 733:07] [DC]

Some redeeming features, but by no means a first choice.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 3 Dagmar Peckova (mezzo) Deutsches SO Berlin/Kent Nagano rec. 1999 WARNER CLASSICS APEX 2564 68161-7 [MSJ]

Fresh but rather lightweight.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860 - 1911) Songs with Orchestra - Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Rückert-Lieder, Des Knaben Wunderhorn Susan Graham (mezzo) Thomas Hampson (baritone) San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas rec. live, 2007/9 SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY 821936-0036-2 [64:57] [GF]

A disc that would have been a candidate for inclusion among my Recordings of the Year, had it arrived a little earlier. 

Maciej MALECKI (b.1940) Polish Suite for String Quartet see Kilar

Johann MATTHESON (1681-1764) Christmas Oratorio and Magnificat Die Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2009 CPO 777 274-2 [55:20] [JV]

This disc convincingly shows Johann Mattheson's qualities as a composer of sacred music.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alessandro MELANI (1639-1703) Motetti Concerto Italiani/Rinaldo Alessandrini rec. 2006 NAÏVE OP30431 [67:07] [JV]

Brilliant performances of sacred music by a great composer. 

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Lieder ohne Worte (Songs Without Words) Roberte Mamou (piano) MERIDIAN CDE 84576/7 [66:53 + 54:38] [KS]

An ample helping of beautiful music played beautifully. Ms. Mamou has the goods and delivers them with style and ease. 

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Elias Ruth Ziesak (soprano) Claudia Mahnke (mezzo) Christoph Genz (tenor) Ralf Lukas (bass-baritone) MDR Radio Ch & SO/Jun Märkl rec. 2008/9 NAXOS 8.572228-9 [66:45 + 65:53] [JS]

“Elias” is every bit as dramatic as most of the operas of his contemporaries and this set brings out that drama to the full. 

Ludwig MINKUS (1826-1917) La Bayadère Isabelle Guérin, Laurent Hilaire, Élisabeth Platel, O Colonne/Michel Quéval rec. 1994 WARNER CLASSICS 50-51865-5572-2-7 [130:00] [DB]

Elegantly done despite the tediousness of Minkus' score.

Pierre-Alexandre MONSIGNY (1729–1817) Le Déserteur William Sharp (baritone) Dominique Labelle (baritone) Opera Lafayette O/Ryan Brown rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.660263-64 [59.49 + 37:00] [RH]

This isn’t a master-work, but it is a fascinating and charming.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete Edition rec. 1968-2005 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94051 [ca 170:00:00] [RB]

Mozart is one of the greats so if you are tempted by the low price don't feel you have to hold back – there’s a wealth of discovery and delight here.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni Christopher Maltman, Erwin Schrott, Annette Dasch, Dorothea Röschmann, Vienna State Opera Ch, Vienna PO/Bertrand de Billy rec. 2008 UNITEL CLASSICA/EUROARTS 2072548 [2 DVDs: 177:00] [BW]

Controversial – sample first if you can – but overall a successful supplement to existing recommendations.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Clarinet Quintet Bedrich SMETANA (1824 - 1884) String Quartet 1 Simon Löffelmann (clarinet) Hölderlin Qt rec. 1990 EDITION HERA 02122 [62:56] [BBr]

I cannot recommend this recording. 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Idomeneo Kurt Streit, Angeles Blancas Gulin, Ch & SO Carlo Theatre Naples/Marco Guidarini, rec. 2004 NAXOS 8.660250-52 [3 CDs: 55:12 + 39:44 + 64:55] [GF]

As a total experience this Idomeneo is not competitive but readers wanting a cheap set can still find much to enjoy.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 20, 21, 23 & 27, Rondo Daniel Barenboim (piano and director)/English CO rec. 1967-71 EMI CLASSICS MASTERS 6317962 [63:16 + 66:25]  [BBr]

This set can be warmly welcomed. 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 20 & 27 Evgeny Kissin (piano/dir.) Kremerata Baltica, rec. 2008 EMI CLASSICS 6266452 [63:16] [CC]

I enjoyed these performances more than I did the Kissin/LSO/Davis reading … A most successful release.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concerto 5 Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto 1 Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Violin Concerto 8 Georg Kulenkampff (violin) Berlin PO/Joseph Keilberth, Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, rec. 1935-42 DUTTON CDBP 9804 [72:31] [JW]

Attractive and worthy of note.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Requiem, Exsultate Jubilate Helen Donath, Barbara Hendricks, Christa Ludwig, Robert Tear, Robert Lloyd, Philharmonia Ch & O/Carlo Maria Giulini, ASMF/Sir Neville Marriner rec. 1978/87 EMI CLASSICS 6318012 [70:39] [JQ]

A good, reliable Mozart collection, well worth investigation by collectors who may have missed these recordings first time round.

Nico MUHLY (b.1981) I Drink the Air Before Me DECCA 478 2570 [53.20] A Good Understanding rec. 2010 DECCA 478 2506 [58.41] [KM]

Classical music for those who don’t listen to classical music.

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Leonore Overture 3 George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1750) ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus Sally Matthews (soprano) Lawrence Brownlee (tenor) Christian Gerhaher (baritone) Berlin Radio, State & Cathedral Boys Choirs, Berlin PO/Simon Rattle, rec. 2004 EUROARTS 2053678 [89:00] [MC]

An abundance of commitment and exuberance here to seal a marvellous concert.

Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941) Symphony BBC Scottish SO/Jerzy Maksymiuk. rec. 1998 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55351 [74:21] [CC]

Paderewski’s canvas is vast, and one can only hold Hyperion in the highest esteem for this recording – and for reissuing it on the lower price Helios label.

Lorenzo PALOMO (b.1938) Dulcinea Ainhoa Arteta, Ch & O Deutsche Oper Berlin/Miguel Angel Gómez Martínez rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.572577 [58:15] [MM-B]

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Palomo’s "Dulcinea" is a rare and beautiful work. An exquisite merger of text and music.


RECORDING OF THE MONTH

Gabriel PIERNÉ
(1863-1937) Sonata da Camera see LOEFFLER


Walter PISTON
(1894-1976) String Quartets 1, 3 & 5 Harlem Qt rec. 2009 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559630 [GH]

The music, the recording and the performances are of a very high quality.

Thomas PITFIELD (1903-1999) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 Anthony Goldstone (piano) Royal Northern College of Music O/Andrew Penny rec. 2003 NAXOS 8.557291 [54:41] [SS]

This recording gives much pleasure and is well worth exploring especially at superbudget price.

Elizabeth POSTON (1905-1987) An English Day-Book see BRITTEN

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Stabat Mater Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Fünf Gesänge Claudia Barainsky (soprano) EuropaChorAkademie, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie/Joshard Daus rec. 2007/8 GLOR CLASSICS GC08091 [1 CD: 40:06 + 1 DVD] [JQ]

With a poor soprano soloist and unacceptably short playing time this disc is simply not recommendable.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet Manuel Legris, Moniques Loudières, Paris Opera & Ballet O/Vello Pähn rec. 1995 WARNER CLASSICS 50-51865-5575-2-4 [149:00] [DB]

An essential purchase for all lovers of ballet, music and fine theatre.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Sonata 8, Four Pieces, Visions Fugitives Jerry Wong (piano) rec. 2007/8 MSR CLASSICS MS 1357 [64:25] [KS]

A satisfying program of works spanning the whole of Prokofiev’s career. Jerry Wong is an expressive pianist with a good ear for color and contrast, even if he has a lead foot on the sostenuto pedal from time to time.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La bohème Melody Moore, Alfie Boe, ENO Ch & O/Miguel Harth-Bedoya, rec. live, 2009 WARNER/NVC ARTS 50-51865-9489-2-6 [120:00] [CC]

Worth preserving, to be sure, but should by no means be anyone’s single version in their collection.

Roger QUILTER (1877 - 1953) Four Songs of Mirza Schaffy see Departures

Niels Otto RAASTED (1888-1966) Sonatas for solo violin Johannes Søe Hansen (violin) rec. 2010 DACAPO 6.220563 [BR]

Intelligent sonatas to be respected, but not necessarily enjoyed.

Sergey RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Symphony 3, Isle of the Dead, Vocalise Philadelphia O/Sergey Rachmaninov, rec. 1929, 1939 NAXOS 8.111357 [59:17] [IL]

Gorgeous string tone, scintillating percussive colour, all vividly caught.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concertos 3 & 4 Leif Ove Andsnes (piano) London SO/Antonio Pappano rec. 2009 EMI CLASSICS 6405162 [67:14] [IL]

Another winning Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Bells, Vocalise Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Festive Overture Lyubov Petrova (soprano) Andrei Popov (tenor) Sergei Leiferkus (baritone) Wen-Sinn Yang (cello) Russian Ntl O/José Serebrier rec. 2010 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 68025-5 [59:39] [JW]

A success from beginning to end - interpretatively, sonically and programmatically.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Complete symphonies and orchestral works Sydney SO/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 2007 EXTON EXCL-00018 [5 CDs: 304:13] [JQ]

A most attractive collection of Rachmaninov’s orchestral music. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, Piano Concerto, Miroirs Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano) Cleveland O/Pierre Boulez rec. 2010 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 8770 [70:32] [IL]

An excellent recording of a terrific partnership between soloist and orchestra and of beautifully sculpted solo performances. 

Max REGER (1873-1916) Choral Works Consortium/Andrew-John Smith rec.   2009 HYPERION CDA67762 [66:22] [GD]

A surprisingly varied programme and an impressively performed disc.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade, Russian Easter Festival Overture Royal PO/Charles Dutoit rec. 2010 ONYX 4064 [61:15] [BBr]

This Scheherazade is too good to miss.

George ROCHBERG (1918-2005) Caprice Variations Eliot Fisk (guitar) rec. 1993 NIMBUS RECORDS NI2566 [75:04] [ZT]

To date, one of Fisk’s best recordings, if not the best.

Miquel ROGER (b.1954) Divertimento per a Cordes see Girona XXI Vol. 3

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792 – 1868) William Tell Overture see A Romantic Evening

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 45 (1937) [34:28] Festival Overture, Op. 62 (1947) [7:19] Symphony No. 7 in C, Op. 88 (1957) [35:59]* New Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley; *London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult ADD LYRITA SRCD.235 [77:47] [SV]

Handley’s Rubbra: beautiful and more immediately pleasing; Boult: atmospheric with a gratifying attention to the expressive potential of color and texture.

 


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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