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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

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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+

RECORDING OF THE MONTH James MacMILLAN (b. 1959) The Sacrifice Christopher Purves (baritone) Lisa Milne (soprano) Welsh National Opera Ch & O/Anthony Negus rec. 2007 CHANDOS CHAN 10572(2) [55:01 + 76:05] [JQ]

An enthralling, sometimes draining and always compelling experience. ... see Full Review

James MacMILLAN (b. 1959) Seven Last Words from the Cross, Christus Vincit, Nemo te Condemnavit, ... here in hiding ... Dmitri Ens/Graham Ross rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570719 [70:37] [JQ]

Superb accounts of eloquent and moving contemporary religious music ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) 4 Movements Totenfeier, Symphony No. 10 Adagio, Blumine, ‘What the wild flowers tell me' (arr. Britten) Frankfurt RSO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2007/8 VIRGIN CLASSICS 2165762 [70:16] [JQ]

Not a disc to set the pulse racing ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 1 Mikhail GLINKA (1804-1857) Ruslan and Ludmila Overture London PO/Klaus Tennstedt rec. 1990/1 BBC LEGENDS BBCL4266-2 [70:41] [DM]

A deeply penetrating, once-in-a-lifetime performance, and it goes straight to the top of my list of recommendations ... see Full Review 

Igor MARKEVITCH (1912 – 1983) Complete Orchestral Works - Volume 3 Cantique d’Amour, L’envol d’Icare, Concerto Grosso Arnhem PO/Christopher Lyndon–Gee rec. 1995/6. DDD NAXOS 8.572153 [54:51] [BBr]

This disk is essential for allowing us to get to know a major composer ... see Full Review

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Mass for Double Choir Zoltan KODÁLY (1882-1967) Missa Brevis Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Litanies à la Vierge Noire Max Hanft (organ) Bavarian Radio Chorus/Peter Dijkstra rec. 2007/8 BR KLASSIK 403571900500 [67:05] [WH]

Extremely beautiful performances compromised by an over-expressive interpretative viewpoint … see Full Review 

Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959) Symphony No. 5, Symphony No. 6 Fantaisies Symphoniques Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Jirí Belohlávek rec. 2007/2009 SUPRAPHON SU 4007-2 [58:29] [DC]

Best ever? Certainly close ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959) Marionettes Book I H137 (1924) [12:569] Marionettes Book II H116 (1918) [13:56] Marionettes Book III H92 (1914) [10:00] 8 Preludes, H181 (1929) [18:49] Les ritournelles H227 (1932) [12:20] Paul Kaspar (piano) rec. 2009 TUDOR 7148 [68:34] [JW]

For those with a burnished, less extrovert appreciation of Martinu ... see Full Review

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) L'amico Fritz Roberto Alagna (tenor) Kobus; Angela Gheorghiu (soprano) Ch & O Deutsche Oper Berlin/Alberto Veronesi rec. 2008 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON DG 477 8358 [61.13 + 29.19] [CF]

A tuneful, pleasant work with some sublime moments ... see Full Review

Joyaux Romantiques André MATHIEU (1929 - 1968) Piano Concertino 2 Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906- 1975) Piano Concerto 1 Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809 - 1847) Violin and Piano Concerto André Lefèvre (piano), David Lefèvre (violin), Paul Archibald (trumpet), London Mozart Players/Matthias Bamert rec. 2009 ANALEKTA AN29283 [77:16] [BBr]

Well played but lacking charm, and/or excitement ... see Full Review

Johann MATTHESON (1681 - 1764) Der liebreiche und geduldige David Nicky Kennedy (soprano) Christian Hilz (bass) Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2007 CPO 777 360-2 [60:50] [JV]

Not one of the most interesting vocal works of the early 18th century - its qualities are not fully explored in this recording, though ... see Full Review 

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Sonata for Violin and Piano in F major (1838) [23:16] Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings (1823) [36:09] Rudens Turku (violin); Oliver Schnyder (piano) Capella Istropolitana/Ariel Zuckermann rec. 2008, AVIE AV2170 [59:33]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Trio in C minor Op 66 [30:28]Piano Trio in D minor [29:15] The Benvenue Fortepiano Trio (Eric Zivian (fortepiano); Monica Huggett (violin); Tanya Tomkins (cello)) rec. 2009, AVIE AV2187 [59:43]

Brings these two neglected works to very real life. … see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Mendelssohn Edition 4 - Incidental Music, Sacred and Secular Choral Music Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Kurt Masur Gulbenkian Ch & O/Michel Corboz rec. 1979-1990 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 692676 [5 CDs: 312:10] [CF]

A set of unfamiliar works ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Symphonies 3 & 5 Bergen PO/Andrew Litton rec. 2007 BIS BIS-SACD-1604 [70:15] [DC]

‘Perfect’ symphonic Mendelssohn.... see Full Review 

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809 - 1847) Violin and Piano Concerto see MATHIEU

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908 - 1992) Poèmes pour Mi, Les offrandes oubliées, Un sourire Anne Schwanewilms (soprano) O Ntl de Lyon/Jun Märkl rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572174 [52.48] [RH]

Ideally placed to enable people to experiment and try the repertoire … see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Trois Mélodies, Harawi Hetna Regitze Bruun (soprano) Kristoffer Hyldig (piano) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572189 [65:19] [DC]

An assault on the senses, but not to be missed … see Full Review  

Darius MILHAUD (1892 - 1974) Alissa, L'amour chante, Poèmes juifs Carole Farley (soprano) John Constable (piano) rec. 1992 NAXOS 8.572298 [71.28]  [RH]

This disc is worth a try but you may long for a different type of performance ... see Full Review

Ludwig MINKUS (1826-1917) Don Quixote, Paquita see DELIBES

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Clarinet Quintet, String Quartet 15 Nicola Boud (basset clarinet) EDDING Qt rec. 2009 ET'CETERA KTC1401 [61:47] [OL]

Gives me all the music in the best way I can imagine ... see Full Review 

Wolfgang MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto 12 see HAYDN

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony 36, Overtures see STRAUSS

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) St John’s Night on the Bald Mountain, rev. Rimsky-Korsakov and arr. Arnaud and Perez [9:55]; Pictures at an Exhibition, arr. Arnaud see RIMSKY-KORSAKOV

Andrzej NIKODEMONICZ (b.1925) Works for violin and piano (1947-56) Katarzyna Duda (violin) Agnieszka Schulz-Brzyska (piano) rec. December 2008, Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of Polish Radio in Warsaw DUX 0705 [53:41] [JW]

Works of warm melodic grace ... see Full Review

Joaquín NIN (1879 – 1949) The Piano Music Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2007 NIMBUS NI 5851 [67:15] [BBr]

Very enjoyable … see Full Review

Guillaume-Gabriel NIVERS (1632 - 1714) Messe du 6e ton, Processional pour l'abbaye royale de Chelles [10.28]; Fête de Sainte-Scholastique, Graduale Romano-Monasticum see CORRETTE

Pehr Henrik NORDGREN (1944-2008) Symphonies 7 & 8, Summer Music Turku PO/Juha Kangas rec. 2007/8 ALBA ABCD 288 [60:55] [CR]

Contemporary music speaking to a wide audience. An interesting and often thought-provoking musical journey … see Full Review

Pehr Henrik NORDGREN (1944 – 2008) Lamentations Symphony for Strings, Concerto for Strings, The Whole World Will Lament, Oboe Concerto Anni Haapaniemi (oboe); Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra/Juha Kangas rec.2008/9 ALBA ABCD 294 [67:32] [HC]

This very fine release perfectly illustrates Nordgren’s long association with the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and its conductor … see Full Review

Hans OTTE (1926-2007) Stundenbuch (Book of Hours) – forty-eight pieces for piano for two hands, in four volumes (1991-98) [57:06] Roger Woodward (piano) rec. 2006 CELESTIAL HARMONIES 13259 [57:06] [DC]

For an expression of poetry in music, this is hard to beat. … see Full Review

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

Niccolò PAGANINI (1782 – 1840) The Paganini Caprices arranged for String Quartet (arr. William ZINN) 24 Caprices [75:56] Wihan Quartet rec.2009 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6113 [75:56] [NB]

It all makes for a rather unrelenting musical experience. ... see Full Review

Gabriel PIERNÉ (1863-1937) Variations libres et finale see French Flute Chamber Music

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Litanies à la Vierge Noire see MARTIN

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concerto 1 see SIBELIUS

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Turandot (1924) [120:00] Maria Guleghina (soprano) - Turandot Marco Berti (tenor) - Calaf Orchestra Comunitat Valenciana/Zubin Mehta Includes a bonus track ‘The Making of Turandot’ [36:00] DVD UNITEL CLASSICA 700308 [156:00] [AS]

Allowing for a few small quibbles nothing mars the great enjoyment I had watching this performance. ... see Full Review

Henry PURCELL (1659 - 1695) Dido and Aeneas Della Jones (mezzo) Peter Harvey (baritone) St. James's Singers & Baroque Players/Ivor Bolton rec. 1989 DAS ALTE WERK 2564 69856-9 [58.17]  [RH]

A good, solidly intelligent and musical account ... see Full Review

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Dido and Aeneas Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Götterdämmerung: Act III, Scene 3 Kirsten Flagstad, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Mermaid Singers and Orchestra/Geraint Jones, Philharmonia O/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1948/52 NIMBUS RECORDS PRIMA VOCE NI7956 [76.35] [EM]

Fascinating to hear such singers as Flagstad and Schwarzkopf in these roles ... see Full Review

Deon Nielsen PRICE Yellow Jade Banquet, Epitaphs for Fallen Heroes, America Themes, Gateways, States of Mind, Dancing on the Brink of the World Ntl SO Ukraine/Berkeley A. Price; John McLaughlin Williams rec. 2007 CAMBRIA CD1170 [66:01] [RB]

This music is intriguing – rich and strange indeed. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 (1915) [6:38] Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 (1908) [54:05] Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2009. DDD NAXOS 8.572458 [60:43] [LW]

A new benchmark for Rachmaninov’s Second Symhony … see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 – 1943) Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom Op.31 (1910) [95:11] Kansas City Chorale/Charles Bruffy Father Andre Papkov (Protodeacon); David Adams (Celebrant); Todd E. Berry (Second Celebrant); rec.1995 NIMBUS NI 5497/8 [41:26 + 53:45] [NB]

For those with an interest in sacred music or just choral singing of the very highest order this is a most beautiful if not essential recording ... see Full Review

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) L’Enfant et les Sortilges, L'Heure Espagnole London PO/Simon Rattle, Sian Edwards WARNER MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT 50-51865-4314-2-8 [100:00] [DM]

A most attractive pairing ... see Full Review

François REBEL (1701–1775) & François FRANCOEUR (1698–1787) Zélindor, roi des Sylphes; La Trophée Jean-Paul Fouchecourt (tenor) Opera Lafayette Ch & O/Ryan Brown rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.660224 [61.36] [RH]

Successfully evokes the charm and shallowness of Louis XV's Versailles ... see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879–1936) Belkis, Queen of ShebaPaul HINDEMITH (1895–1963) Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber Florent SCHMITT (1870–1958) The Tragedy of Salome Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra/Sascha Goetzel rec.2009. DDD ONYX4048 [77.32] [RB] + blind review from [NB]

Imaginative choice of repertoire, spectacular recording and the promise, I hope, of more to come. ... see Full Review

Julius REUBKE (1834-1858) Complete Works for Piano and Organ Paolo Marzocchi (piano) Luca Scandali (organ) rec. 2008 CPO 777 467-2 [76:04] [RC]

Big-boned, muscular performances ... see Full Review 

Orchestre Russe Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Sadko, arr. Arnaud and Perez [10:39]; The Snow Maiden: Dance of the Tumblers [3:40] Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) St John’s Night on the Bald Mountain, rev. Rimsky-Korsakov and arr. Arnaud and Perez [9:55]; Pictures at an Exhibition, arr. Arnaud [30:21] Ensemble Carpe Diem rec. 2008, HORTUS 070 [54:26] [BR]

Arrangements which have more than just curiosity value … see Full Review

Christopher ROBERTS Remote Stories, The Channel, Travelling Alone, Last Cicada Singing Christopher Roberts (Qin) rec. 2008/9 COLD BLUE MUSIC CB0034 [27.51]  [RH]

For those inclined to explore - do try this evocative disc … see Full Review 

Joaquin RODRIGO (1901-1999) Concierto como un Divertimento see ROMANTIC CELLO CONCERTOS

Kurt ROGER (1895-1966) Chamber Music Robert Plane (clarinet), Emily Beynon (flute), Mia Cooper, Lucy Gould (violin), David Adams (viola), Alice Neary (cello), Benjamin Frith (piano), rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572238 [75:28] [CR]

Demonstrates the breadth of Roger’s talents as a composer and effectively conveys the emotional content of his works ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ned ROREM (b. 1923) On An Echoing Road The Prince Consort rec. 2009 LINN RECORDS CKD342 [56:38] [JQ]

An exceptionally fine single-disc introduction to Ned Rorem’s songs ... see Full Review 

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Péchés de vieillesse Vol. 3 Alessandro Marangoni (piano) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572315 [65:28] [JS]

Not a dud item here … the performances are convincing and enjoyable … see Full Review 

Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937) Sérénade see French Flute Chamber Music

Jesús RUEDA (b. 1961) Piano Music Piano Sonatas 1 & 2, 24 Interludes Ananda Sukarlan (piano) rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.572075 [62:56] [JW]

Wistful and refractory; ebullient and assertive ... 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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