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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+

Luigi CHERUBINI (1760-1842) Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn see HÄNDEL

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Complete Waltzes Ingrid Fliter (piano) rec. 11-14 May 2009, Potton Hall, Suffolk, UK. DDD EMI CLASSICS 6 98351 2 [67:51] [MC]

With superb playing Fliter stamps her credentials on this splendid disc … see Full Review

Frederick CHOPIN (1810-1849) Complete Music for Solo Piano Tatiana Shebanova (piano) rec. Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio No.2 of the Polish Radio in Warsaw. Stereo. DDD DUX 0640-0649 [10 CDs: 719:52] [also listed as Dux 0650-59] [GD]

Distinctive and accomplished … a major artistic achievement ... see Full Review

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto 2 see DVOŘÁK

Unsuk CHIN (b. 1961) Rocaná, Violin Concerto Viviane Hagner (violin) Montréal SO/Kent Nagano rec. live, 2008 ANALEKTA AN29944 [48:09] [HC]

Unsuk Chin’s subtle, refined and often beautiful music is well served by excellent performances conducted by Nagano … see Full Review 

Arnold COOKE (1906-2005) Violin Sonata 2, Viola Sonata, Cello Sonata 2 Susanne Stanzeleit (violin); Morgan Goff (viola); Raphael Wallfisch (cello); Raphael Terroni (piano) rec. 2005 BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY BMS432CD [67:45] [JF]

Essential listening for all enthusiasts of British music ... see Full Review 

Carson COOMAN (b. 1982) Revolutionary Earthworks: Music for Mechanical Piano ZIMBEL ZR120 [31:10] [CR]

Although I didn’t love Cooman’s music, it is certainly interesting, at times beautiful and at other times acerbic … see Full Review

Brett DEAN (b. 1961) Pastoral Symphony, The Siduri Dances, Water Music, Carlo Sharon Bezaly (flute); Raschèr Saxophone Qt Swedish CO/HK Gruber, Brett Dean rec. 2006/7 BIS BIS-CD-1576 [74:46] [HC]

Excellent performances and superb recording of some of Dean’s most endearing works … see Full Review

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring see London Philharmonic Orchestra

Ignacy Feliks DOBRZYNSKI (1807-1867) String Quintet No.1 in F major Op.20 (post 1835) [33:37] String Quintet in A minor Op.40 [35:52] Kwartet Wilanów; Tomasz Strahl (second cello) rec. January-March 2000, Polish Radio Studio S2, Warsaw ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0048 [69:19] [JW]

Somewhere between Arriaga, Mendelssohn and Schubert. These performances do Dobrzynski proud ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Lucia di Lammermoor Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczala, Metropolitan Opera Ch & O/Marco Armiliato rec. live, 2009 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 0734526 [2 DVDs: 57.23 + 17.04] [RMK]

Not the most convincing Lucia ... see Full Review 

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848) Lucia di Lammermoor Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Ch & O Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Richard Bonynge rec. 1971 rec. 1959/61 DECCA 478 1513 [3 CDs: 66:51 + 73:38 + 62:22] [MC]

A splendid remastered limited edition Decca set starring Dame Joan Sutherland in 1971 in one of her most celebrated roles as Lucia from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Parisina Dario Solari (baritone) Carmen Giannattasio (soprano) Geoffrey Mitchell Ch, London PO/David Parry rec. 2008 OPERA RARA ORC40 [3 CDs: 77.27 + 62.04 + 33.47] [RJF]

Another very welcome addition to the Donizetti discography from Opera Rara ... see Full Review

John DOWLAND (1563-1626) Complete Lute Music Nigel North (lute) rec. 2004-7 NAXOS 8.504016 [4 CDs: 64:39 + 66:03 + 66:22 + 60:18] [GD]

Clarity of tone, lyricism of melodic line secure the musicality of this satisfying set. No better place to start your Dowland pilgrimage than with Nigel North ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Carnival Overture Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Alto Rhapsody Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto 2 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 5 Marian Anderson (contralto); Claudio Arrau (piano) New York P-SO/Fritz Busch rec. 1950 GUILD GHCD2354 [78:20] [JW]

A well compiled programme devoted to a conductor of high moral and musical qualities … see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Dumky Trio see BEETHOVEN

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841 - 1904) Romance, Violin Concerto see SZYMANOWSKI

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Crown of India - An Imperial Masque in Two Tableaux Op.66 (1912) Clare Shearer (mezzo); Gerald Finley (baritone) Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus BBC Philharmonic/Andrew Davis rec. 19-20 June 2009 Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester 2 CDs for the price of 1 CHANDOS CHAN 10570(2) [75:09 + 77:20]

At last a version of this legendary work for pleasure, analysis and study ... see Full Review

Catharinus ELLING (1858-1942) Haugtussa and German Lieder Ann-Helen Moen (soprano) Gunilla Süssmann (piano) rec. 2008 SIMAX PSC1236 [47:17] [GF]

A lovely recital, particularly valuable for rehabilitating Catharinus Elling’s status … see Full Review 

Michael J. EVANS Bloom Lisa Hennessy (flute) Emmanuel Feldman (cello) Karolina Rojahn (piano) rec. 2008/9 NAVONA NV5813 [53:53] [CR]

Consonant language that is undoubtedly easily accessible but has little substance … see Full Review

Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987) Clarinet and String Quartet (1983) [39:10] Milton BABBITT (b.1916) Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet (1995-6) [23:25] Mark Lieb (clarinet); The Phoenix Ensemble rec. Dreamflower Studios, Bronxville, NY, 18-19 October 2008 (Feldman), 19-20 February 2007 (Babbitt). Stereo. DDD INNOVA RECORDINGS INNOVA 746 [60:25] [GD]

Feldman: austere minimalist; Babbitt, a composer at the maximalist end of the American new music spectrum. … see Full Review

George GERSHWIN (1998-1937) Music for Clarinet and Strings (arr. Franck VILLARD) Porgy and Bess Suite [44:08] Piano Concerto in F – excerpt from second movement [6:59] An American in Paris (excerpt: second section) [5:28] Three Preludes [7:07] Michel Lethiec (clarinet) Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä/Patrick Gallois rec. Laukaa Church, Finland, 22-27 October 2007. DDD. NAXOS 8.570939 [63:59]
Porgy and Bess – A Symphonic Picture (arr. Robert Russell BENNETT) (1942) [17:19] Second Rhapsody for piano and orchestra (1931) (arr. Robert MCBRIDE)1 [15:16] Concerto in F for piano and orchestra (1925)2 [31:56] Cristina Ortiz (piano1) London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn (piano2) rec. No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, June 19712, July 1980. ADD2/DDD EMI CLASSICS AMERICAN CLASSICS 50999 9 67135 2 [64:49] [BW]

The EMI has greater appeal than the interesting Naxos arrangements ... see Full Review

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Porgy and Bess Jonathan Lemalu (bass) Isabelle Kabatu (soprano) Arnold Schönberg Ch, CO Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 2009 BMG-RCA RED SEAL 88697 59176-2 [3 CDs: 71:30 + 63:18 + 41:03] [GF]

Interesting version but some of the solo singing and a bloodless chorus rules it out … see Full Review 

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714–1787) Alceste - Opera in three acts. Italian version, Vienna (1767) Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) – Alceste; Raoul Jobin (tenor) – Admeto; Alexander Young (tenor) – Evandro; Marion Lowe (soprano) – Ismene; Thomas Hemsley (baritone) – High Priest/Apollo/Infernal spirit; Joan Clark (soprano) – Eumelo; Rosemary Thayer (soprano) – Aspasia; James Atkins (baritone) – Herald/Oracle The Geraint Jones Singers and Orchestra/Geraint Jones rec. Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, UK, April-May 1956 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 2979 [3 CDs: 59:38 + 72:06 + 37:17] [GF]

Cheaper and with more cue-points than the Hänssler issue, this is the one to go for … see Full Review

Morton GOULD (1913 – 1996) Family Album (1951) [14:14] Concerto for Tap Dancer see TCHAIKOVSKY

James GRANT (b.1954) Chocolates Michelle LaCourse (viola) Martin Amlin (piano) rec. 2007 MSR CLASSICS MS1335 [60:47] [OL]

The musical equivalent of a box of chocolates ... see Full Review

Charles Tomlinson GRIFFES (1884-1920) Roman Sketches Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Symphonic Serenade London SO/Simone Pittau rec. 2004 ASV GOLD GLD4020 [59:21] [SV]

For those interested in these less-well-trodden corners of the repertoire, this definitely merits a recommendation ... see Full Review 

Johann Gottlieb GRAUN (1702/03-1771) & Carl Heinrich GRAUN (1703/4-1759) Keyboard trios Les Amis de Philippe rec. 2006 CPO 777423-2 [75:40] [GPu]

Distinctive chamber music, subtly played and well recorded … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Messiah Julian Doyle (soprano); Iestyn Davies (counter-tenor); Allan Clayton (tenor); Andrew Foster-Williams (bass) Polyphony; Britten Sinfonia/Stephen Layton rec. 2008 HYPERION CDA67800 [64:27 + 69:34] [JQ]

A fine Messiah, which I have enjoyed greatly ... see Full Review 

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Ode for St Cecilia’s Day Felicity Palmer (soprano); Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor) Stockholm Bach Ch, Concentus musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 1977/8 DAS ALTE WERK 2564 68709-5 [49:34] [JS]

A performance with solid merits that deserve its return to circulation … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 – 1759) Teseo (1713) Franco Fagioli, Staatsorchester Stuttgart/Konrad Junghänel rec. live, 2009 CARUS 83.437 [3 CDs: 68.21 + 63.38 + 27.47] [RH]

A fine record of a memorable occasion … see Full Review

Georg Friedrich HÄNDEL (1685-1759) Dettinger Te Deum Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) The Storm Luigi CHERUBINI (1760-1842) Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn NDR Chor, Festspiel O Göttingen/Nicholas McGegan rec. 2009 CARUS 83.358 [63:52] [MS]

Three dramatic works performed with precision and commitment. Almost every drop of expression is extracted by Nicholas McGegan … see Full Review

Pavel HAAS (1899 – 1944) Wind Quintet, Suite for Oboe and Piano, String Quartet 3 Ensemble Villa Musica rec. 1998-2007 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG30415272 [52:18] [BBr]

This is fine music and a good introduction to the composer … see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) The Paris Symphonies (1785-6) CD 1 [68:40] No. 82 in C major (The Bear) [25:02] No. 83 in G minor (The Hen) [19:17] No. 84 in B flat major [24:13] CD 2 [71:29] No. 85 in E flat major (La Reine) [23:35] No. 86 in D major [25:07] No. 87 in A major [22:36] L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet rec. Victoria Hall, Geneva, April 1962. ADD DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 1942 [68:40 + 71:29] [PBW]

Too monochrome ... see Full Review

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732 - 1809) Divertimenti Combattimento Consort Amsterdam/Jan Willem de Vriend rec. 2009 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72345 [59:18] [JV]

These divertimenti with baryton are musical entertainment of high calibre - the ensemble gives spiritual and technically brilliant performances ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Philemon und Baucis Christoph Genz (tenor) Maren Engelhardt (mezzo) Haydn Sinfonietta Wien/Manfred Huss rec. 2008 BIS BISSACD1813 [59:43]  [DC]

Superb production deserving of a very wide audience ... see Full Review 

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Cello Concertos 1 & 2, Minuets 1, 6 & 11 Polish Sinfonia Iuventus O/Ivan Monighetti (cello) rec. 2009 DUX 0663 [56:03] [JS]

A very distinguished disc at any time but particularly welcome at the end of Haydn anniversary year. … see Full Review 

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) The Storm see HÄNDEL

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Clarinet Quartet, Clarinet Sonata, Drei leichte Stüke, Clarinet Quintet Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer (clarinet); Annette von Hehn and Elisabeth Glass (violins); Hartmut Rohde (viola); Frank Dodge (cello); Ya-Fei Chuang (piano) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572213 [73:31] [GD]

Well performed and well recorded, but unlikely to win any new converts to Hindemith's cause ... see Full Review 

Christopher HOBBS (b.1950) sudoku 82 for eight pianos [19:12] Bryan Pezzone (piano) rec. May–July 2009, Architecture, Los Angeles, DDD COLD BLUE CB0033 [19:12] [BBr]

Very special music…see Full Review

Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-1996) Kairos (Sinfonias I–IV) op. 73 (1957-59) [59:38] Sinfonia IV, Op.73d (1959) [14:45] Camerata Wales/Owain Arwel Hughes rec. December 2005, Parish Church, St Jude on the Hill, London. DDD BIS-CD-1596 [75:20] [RB]

Spectral, visionary, grave, delightful ... see Full Review

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Planets Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra Cincinnati SO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2006/8 TELARC CD-80743 [70:00] [AS]

Not in the top echelon ... see Full Review

Jeno HUBAY (1858-1937) Violin Concertos 1 & 2, Scènes de la Csárda 3 & 4 Chloë Hanslip (violin) Bournemouth SO/Andrew Mogrelia rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572078 [70:46] [WH]

Virtuoso romantic violin music, easy to listen to, superbly played…see Full Review

Joseph JOACHIM (1831-1907) Violin Concertos Suyoen Kim (violin) Staatsapelle Weimar/Michael Halász rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570991 [65:57] [NB]

Not a compulsory purchase disc unless the forgotten reaches of 19th Century violin repertoire weave a particular spell for you ... see Full Review

Mauricio KAGEL (1931-2008) String Quartet 4 Tristan KEURIS (1946-1996) String Quartet 1 Lagos Ens rec. 2006 TURTLE RECORDS TR75531 [46:41] [GD]

Skilfully crafted examples of one of the paths taken by the string quartet in recent years ... see Full Review 

Tristan KEURIS (1946-1996) String Quartet 1 see KAGEL

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Symphonic Serenade see GRIFFES

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1857) Violin Concerto see BEETHOVEN

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Violin Concerto see Strauss

Joseph Martin KRAUS (1756-1792) Miserere, Requiem, Stella coeli Deutscher Kammerchor; La Stagione Frankfurt/Michael Schneider rec. 2008 CPO 7774092 [61:31] [JV]

Although I wouldn't rate Kraus's sacred works as high as his orchestral music, the three works here contain enough memorable moments to make them well worth listening to ... see Full Review

Johann KUHNAU/Bach (attrib.) Der Gerechte kommt um see BACH Cantatas

Henri LAZAROF (b.1932) Second Piano Trio (2005) [15:09] ‘Momenti II’ for solo violin (2006) [8:33] ‘Tempi Concertati’ for violin and piano (2002-03) [17:25] ‘4 Etudes for 2 Violins’ (2005) [10:02] ‘Adieu’ (2006) [4:06] Christiane Edinger (violin) Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt (cello) Klaus Hellwig (piano) Adrien Iliescu (violin) – 4 Etudes rec. 2006 at Udk Tonstudio Bundesalle, Berlin CENTAUR CRC 2948 [55:15] [JW]

A disc of real pleasures ... see Full Review

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Love was a dream Alfie Boe (tenor) Scottish Opera O/Michael Rosewell rec. 2009 LINN CKD346 [44:00] [JS]

Well produced, well presented and very enjoyable but very short measure … see Full Review 

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Complete Piano Music. Vol. 30 Gianluca Luisi (piano) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570984 [64:06] [MC]

Gianluca Luisi is an excellent choice in these early Romantic piano arrangements radiant with Italian sunshine … 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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