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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



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Alphabetical Listing

PART 7
Misc. M-Z

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

Three Ballets by Kenneth MacMillan Scott JOPLIN (1868-1917) Elite Syncopations Brian ELIAS (b.1948) The Judas Tree Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Concerto Royal Opera House O/Robert Clark, Barry Wordsworth, Dominic Grier rec. 2010 OPUS ARTE OA1038 D [114:00] [NB]

An excellent record of three of choreographer Kenneth MacMillan’s most iconic shorter ballets.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Mélodies Françaises Gérard Souzay (baritone)/Dalton Baldwin (piano) rec. 1960-8 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802007 [4 CDs: 288:28] [JQ]

Lovers of French music and all connoisseurs of great singing should lose no time in acquiring this set, which represents an unmissable bargain.

Mit Feuer und Leidenschaft Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Grand Duo concertant Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Dance Preludes Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Clarinet Sonata Sebastian Theile (clarinet) Nicholas Rimmer (piano) rec. 2009 THOROFON CTH2568 [50:09] [OL]

Fire and passion. 

A Musical Journey - Austria & Italy To music of Mozart Capella Istropolitana/Barry Wordsworth rec. 1990/2010 NAXOS 2.110245 [57:49] [RW]

Good performance linked to crisp and well defined video.

Mya Yrmana Fremosa - Medieval woman’s songs of love and pain Amanda Simmons, Gaby Bultmann and Leila Schoeneich (all voice and instruments) rec. 2009 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72385 [DC]

Magical atmosphere from the long-lost but not so distant Middle-Ages.

Perles oubliées de la flute Michel Moragues (flute) Kyoko Nojima (Piano) rec. 2009 SAPHIR LVC 1112 [74:55] [JS]

Two genuine unknown pearls out of four pieces is a good score!

The Piano at the Ballet Anthony Goldstone (piano) rec. 2008 DIVINE ART DDA25073 [79:53] [KS]

Fine performances and basically interesting transcriptions make this a collection that is enjoyable one or two pieces at a time. A nice musical dessert. 

Praise to the Holiest Cantores Missae/Charles Finch CANTORES MISSAE CM002 [60.21] [RH]

Not aimed at the average listener, rather for those interested in music to be performed, at their church services. And as such it is beautifully executed and should, I hope, win many people over.

Prima Donna The Story of an Opera DECCA 074 3397 [128.00] [MM-B]

On the whole, the documentary is compelling, well made and I liked it. However, you will eventually get tired of what is an overlong self-promoting documentary.

Hommage a Bidú Sayão - Volume 2 rec. 1942-1953 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD 145 [71:27] [JW]

Interesting selections, and dedicated professionalism.

Hommage à Bidú Sayão - Volume 3 Bidú Sayão (soprano) Bell Telephone Hour O/Donald Voorhees rec. 1946-59 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD150 [64:46] [JF]

Another hour plus of Sayão in predominantly off-air material proves diverting and enjoyable.

Plum Pudding – A Christmas celebration in words and song Felicity Lott (soprano); Gabriel Woolf (narrator) Joyful Company of Singers/Peter Broadbent rec. 30 November 2002, Champs Hill, Sussex, England CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD 013 [77:44] [IL]

One of the best Christmas albums I have ever heard. Not to be missed.

A Romantic Evening Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792 – 1868) William Tell Overture Adrian BEECHAM (1904 – 1982) Six Spanish Songs Piotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893) Symphony 6 Sadhbh Dennedy (soprano), Young Musicians SO/James Blair rec. 2010 YMSO no number [45:43] [BBr]

The Adrian Beecham piece is well worth hearing.

Sea to Shining Sea: A Tapestry of American Music Robin Spielberg (piano, vocals, kalimba, percussion) rec. 2010 PLAY MOUNTAIN MUSIC PMM109 [68:01] [JW]

Gentle charms, then, unpretentious and warmly attractive, run throughout this disc.

Mordecai Shehori (piano) plays the Complete Moschelès and Fétis “Methode des Methodes” rec. 2010 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD 152 [62:54] [JW]

This winning undertaking is resilient, eloquent and commanding both in intent and execution.

Solomon Piano music by Beethoven, Schumann, Bach, Chopin & Brahms Solomon (piano) rec. 1956 AUDITE 23.422 [66:45 + 54:42] [JW]

There is surprisingly little live Solomon, so my view is to go for it.

My soul doth magnify the Lord Settings of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis by Stanford, Walmisley, Wesley, Blair, Wood & Brewer St Paul’s Cathedral Ch/John Scott rec. 1987 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55401 [58:10] [JS]

The drama of the Walmisley, the individuality of the Wesley and the grandeur of the Blair and Brewer are all very well conveyed.

Joan Sutherland Classic Australian Performances Joan Sutherland (soprano) Elizabethan Sydney O/Richard Bonynge rec. 1976-1988 ABC CLASSICS 476 3963 [78.26 + 73.10] [RJF]

Joan Sutherland’s many admirers need not hesitate to add this collection from live performances to their collection.

Talescapes Choral works by Haapanen, Tuomela, Bergman, O'Regan, Heiniö & Talvitie YL Male Voice Choir/Matti Hyökki,Talla Vocal Ensemble/Pasi Hyökki rec. 2009 ONDINE ODE 1155-2 [DM]

There’s much to enjoy here.

The Viennese School - Teachers and Followers Schoenberg Volume 2 Steffen Schleiermacher (piano) rec. 2007/9 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 613 1434-2 [67:49] [MC]

Extremely well presented with crystal clear sound quality.

Violino o cornetto Sonatas: Giovanni Paolo CIMA (c.1570-c.1622) Girolamo FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643) Giovanni Battista FONTANA (?-c.1630) Dario CASTELLO (1st half 17th C) Biagio MARINI (1587-1663) Marco UCCELLINI (1610-1680) Maurizio CAZZATI (c.1620-1677) Alessandro STRADELLA (1639-1682) Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713) Canzona (Theresa Caudle (cornett, violin), Mark Caudle (cello, bass violin), David Miller (chitarrone), Alastair Ross (harpsichord, organ)) rec. 2008 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6134 [73:34] [JV]

An interesting survey of Italian chamber music of the 17th century.

The Virtuoso Recorder - Concertos of the German Baroque by Fasch, Schickhardt, Scheibe, Schultze, Graupner & Stulick Michael Schneider (recorder) Cappella Academica Frankfurt/Michael Schneider rec. 2009 CPO 777 534-2 [65:28] [JV]

This disc contains no fewer than three first recordings ... the combination of repertoire and performance makes this disc a winner.

CHRISTMAS DISC REVIEWS

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Weihnachts-Oratorium Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Wiebke Lehmkuhl (tenor) Martin Lattke (tenor) Konstantin Wolff (bass) Dresdener Kammerchor, Gewandhaus O/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2010 DECCA 478 2271 [69:15 + 63:07] [DC]

Not just for Christmas – a joy forever.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Christmas Oratorio (arr. by Bill Dobbins for Big Band and 6 part male chorus) The Kings Singers, WDR Cologne Big Band/Bill Dobbins rec. 2009 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD215 [55:22 + 51:59] [NB]

Sadly lacking.

Howard BLAKE (b.1938) The Snowman – The Live Stage Show SONY MUSIC CDR 81267 [80:00] [BBr]

Great entertainment! And remember, The Snowman is not just for Christmas, now it can be for the whole year!

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) A Ceremony of Carols (1942) [22:04] Elizabeth POSTON (1905-1987) An English Day-Book (c.1969) [19:43] Oliver Iredale SEARLE (b.1977) On a Summer Night [4:03] Stephen DEAZLEY (b.1969) The Ears of Mr Tuer [3:09] National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) Girls Choir/Christopher Bell Claire Jones (harp) rec. Caird Hall, Dundee, 2-3 May 2010. DDD. Texts included. SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD228 [49:06] [BW]


Not my first choice for the Britten but the couplings may appeal.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Christoph GRAUPNER (1683 - 1760) Christmas Cantatas Veronika Winter (soprano) Franz Vitzthum (alto) Jan Kobow (tenor) Markus Flaig (bass) Das Kleine Konzert/Hermann Max rec. 2010 CPO 777 572-2 [73:44] [JV]

There is hardly a better way to get to know Graupner's individual vocal style than with this disc.

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.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Nutcracker Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2009 EMI CLASSICS 6316212 [43:47 + 42:37] [MC][RB]

Beautifully played and recorded this sumptuously presented release will I’m sure be a runaway Christmas success. [MC] Fortunate the child who discovers the Nutcracker experience at Christmas through this set. [RB]

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Nutcracker Ricardo Cervera, Miyako Yoshida, Royal Ballet, Ch & O Royal Opera House/Koen Kessels rec. live, 2009 OPUS ARTE OA1036 D [127:00 + extras] [JS]

A fine performance of a justified favourite is given the presentation it deserves.

Piotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Cherevichki Olga Guryakova, Vsevolod Grivnov, Larissa Diadkova, Maxim Mikhailov, Royal Opera House O/Alexander Polianichko rec. 2009 OPUS ARTE OA1037D [DVD: 155:00] [BW]

This DVD is likely to become one of my regular Christmas visitors.

A Late-Romantic Christmas Eve Elena Fink (soprano) Le Quatuor Romantique; Wasj Ninow (violin) rec. 2010 ARS PRODUCTION ARS 38086 [77:44] [JS]

Full of seasonal delights.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Baroque Christmas in Hamburg Works by Praetorius, Selle, Scheidemann, Bernhard, Scheidt, Förtsch & Weckmann Bremer Barock Consort/Manfred Cordes rec. 2009, CPO 777 553-2 [72:18] [JV]

A compelling programme of Christmas music from 17th-century Hamburg.

Christmas from Winchester Winchester Cathedral Choir/Andrew Lumsden Simon Bell (organ) Frances Kelly (harp) rec. 2010 REGENT REGCD350 [75:29] [AM]

Excellent sound and beautiful singing make this well chosen programme a Christmas delight

RECORDING OF THE MONTH In Dulci Jubilo - Romantic Choral Music for Christmas Norddeutscher Figuralchor/Jörg Straube rec. 2009 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM GOLD MDG947 1651-6 [74:57] [CC]

This is a tremendous Christmas disc with a difference. Romantic period choral writing - a superb collection. 

Great Christmas Classics, Great Scottish, Viennese & Irish Classics City of Glasgow PO/Iain Sutherland REL/RIVER RECORDS [BBr]

Riches indeed.

Merry Christmas - Traditional and New Christmas Music Tölz Boys' Ch/Ralf Ludewig Henschel String Qt rec. 2009 NEOS 90902 [66:19] [MC]

A Christmas winner and a refreshing change from the usual cloying festive releases.

Plum Pudding – A Christmas celebration in words and song Felicity Lott (soprano); Gabriel Woolf (narrator) Joyful Company of Singers/Peter Broadbent rec. 30 November 2002, Champs Hill, Sussex, England CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD 013 [77:44] [IL]

One of the best Christmas albums I have ever heard. Not to be missed.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Puer natus est - Tudor Music for Advent and Christmas Stile Antico rec. 2010 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU807517 [78:09] [JQ]

Acquire this exceptionally fine disc and let the radiance of the music and the performances illuminate your Christmas.

A Christmas Selection from Rob Barnett
Christmas Around The World
Christopher Howell (organ) SHEVA COLLECTION SH025 [67:58]
I Saw Three Ships Manor House String Qt MANOR HOUSE MUSIC 002 [69:27]  
Christmas Spirit
Mainstreet Brass MSR CLASSICS MS1325 [68:05]  
A Family Christmas Royal Scottish Ntl O/Christopher Bell SIGNUM SIGCD202 [68:58]
A Christmas Musical Tour NAXOS 2.110254 [57:29]

BOOK REVIEWS

Far from the Fashionable Crowd - The People’s Concert Society & Music in London’s Suburbs by Dr. Alan Bartley MA Whimbrel Publishing 978-0-956582201 £18.99 [JF]

A trajectory of musical, historical and even political history that has been largely ignored over the years.

Lennox & Freda by Tony Scotland Michael Russell (Publishing) Ltd, hardback 575 pages ISBN 978-0-85955-319-3 £28.00 [JF]

I shall certainly turn to the pages of this volume for pleasure, resource and understanding on many occasions.

Martinu and the Symphony by Michael Crump Toccata Press ISBN 9780907689652 £47.50 [TF]

Excellent and thoroughly researched.


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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