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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+

Lauri SAIKKOLA (1906 - 1995) Tripartita, Musica per archi see Musica Fennica

Florent SCHMITT (1870-1957) Psalm 47, La Tragédie de Salome Andrea Guiot (soprano); Gaston Litaize (organ) French Ntl Radio O & Ch/Jean Martinon rec. 1972 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDCD 191 [54:39] [RB]

If you favour the hyper-ventilating ecstatic approach don’t miss this ... see Full Review

Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Suite en rocaille see French Flute Chamber Music

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Piano Trio see SHOSTAKOVICH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartets 8 & 15 Busch String Qt rec. 1938 PRISTINE AUDIO XR PACM066 [65:53] [BW]

Performances still among the very best in miraculous re-masterings ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Part-Songs Vol. 2 Sibylla Rubens, Silke Schwarz (sopranos); Regina Jakobi, Ingeborg Danz, Hildegard Wiedmann (altos); Markus Schäfer, Marcus Ullmann (tenors); Thomas E Bauer, Markus Flaig, Marcus Schmidl (basses); Ulrich Elsenlohr (piano) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570962 [67:17] [JS]

An entertaining exploration of some of the lesser known parts of Schubert’s output … see Full Review 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin James Gilchrist (tenor); Anna Tilbrook (piano) rec. 2009 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100006 [65:32] [JQ]

A version of Die schöne Müllerin that is well worth hearing ... see Full Review 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828) Piano Works For Four Hands Fantasy, 3 Marches Militaires, Divertissement ŕ la Hongroise Ykeda Duo rec. 2009 LONTANO 2564 69074-4 [72:18] [OL]

No tension, no momentum, no variety... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies 1-4 Royal PO/Grzegorz Nowak rec. 2008/9 ORCHID CLASSICS ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA RPOSP014 [68.50 + 64.30] [CF]

Good but if only Nowak had gone all the way and trusted the composer more. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies 1 & 2, Piano Concerto, Cello Concerto Dinu Lipatti (piano); Maurice Gendron (cello) O Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet rec. 1950-66 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 0078 [69:26 + 74:08] [DC]

A welcome addition to the Decca Ansermet Legacy ... see Full Review

Reinhard SCHWARZ-SCHILLING (1904-1985) Intro. & Fugue, Symphony, Sinfonia diatonica Weimar Staatskapelle/Jose Serebrier rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570435 [65:40] [RB]

Attractive if not utterly compelling works ... see Full Review

Rodion SHCHEDRIN (b. 1932) The Sealed Angel (1988) [54:42] Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge/Geoffrey Webber Choir of King’s College, London/David Trendell Clare Wills (oboe) rec. 2008, DELPHIAN DCD34067 [54:42] [EM]

Sung with tremendous conviction. One of those works that has the power to uplift, calm and soothe … see Full Review

Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) Piano Trio No.1 (1920) [33:48] Trio - for clarinet in B flat, cello and piano (1955) [18:04] Clarinet Quintet (1951, revised 1953) [13:13] Piano Trio No.2 (published 1951) [10:08] Cornish Boat Song (1931) [3:00] + ‘free’ Web track Little Folk Dance Robert Plane, (clarinet); Mia Cooper (violin); David Adams (viola) The Gould Piano Trio: Lucy Gould (violin) Alice Neary (cello) Benjamin Frith (piano) rec. 2009 DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10575 [78:47] [JF]

This is an extremely important addition to the corpus of Cyril Scott’s recorded music ... see Full Review

Robert SHECHTMAN (1939-2002) Moons and Ancestors Paul Austin (horn); Gregory Crowell (organ) Christina Fong (amplified violin) Ethnoeccentric OGREOGRESS PRODUCTIONS 884502163056 [62.52] [GH]

Something for those of you fascinated by the little-known and underrated ... see Full Review 

Howard SHORE (b.1946) 9pm [3:17], Midnight [2:45], 3am [3:14], 6am [2:30] (from After Hours) (1985) Espresso [3:14] Macchiato [3:59] Robusta [2:39] Unknown Track 8 [5:07] Decaf [5:12] Instant [5:19] Turkish Cream and Sugar [2:41] Heaven (from Heaven) (1987) [4:10] Orchestra/Howard Shore rec. details not given. DDD HOWE RECORDS HWR 1003 [44:12] [BBr]

Thanks, but no thanks … see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Trios 1 & 2 Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Piano Trio Kempf Trio rec. 2004 BIS BIS-SACD-1482 [69:33] [MS]

An appealing pairing of three different yet comparably searing trios … see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 11 Netherlands RPO/Mark Wigglesworth rec. 2006 BIS BIS-SACD-1583 [63:41] [DM]

A deeply satisfying performance and an unrivalled recording ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 – 1975) CD 1 Sonata for Cello and Piano Op.40 (1934) [27:12] Sonata for Cello and Piano Op.147 (1975) [31:25] CD 2 Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat Op.107 (1959) [29:35] Cello Concerto No.2 Op.126 (1966) [32:44] Viviane Spanoghe (cello); André de Groote (piano) Sofia Soloists Symphony Orchestra/Emil Tabakov rec. 1984/1992/ 2008 TALENT DOM 3810 12-13 [58:37 + 62:19] [NB]

Powerful, humane and utterly compelling ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906- 1975) Piano Concerto 1 see MATHIEU

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) The Sound of Sibelius Lahti SO/Osmo Vänskä rec. 2006-7 BIS BISSACD1645 [78:13] [DM]

A very worthwhile release indeed ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto, Three Humoresques Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concerto 1 Vilde Frang (violin) WDR SO Köln/Thomas Søndergård rec. 2009 EMI CLASSICS 6844132 [63:56] [RB]

A rare purity and spun silver … see Full Review 

Paul SPICER Come out Lazar (Shorter choral works) Chapel Ch Selwyn College, Cambridge/Sarah MacDonald rec. 2008 REGENT REGCD280 [63:59] [EM]

Superb performances combining passion with ability … interesting and accessible music ... see Full Review 

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Overture: Das befreite Deutschland, Symphonies 4 & 5 Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana/Howard Shelley rec. 2007 HYPERION CDA67622 [78:00] [RB]

Pleasing symphonies from Spohr … they deserve your attention... see Full Review

Lewis SPRATLAN (b. 1940) In Memoriam, Streaming, The Amherst College Choral Society/Jonathan Hirsch, The Valley Festival O/Lewis Spratlan rec. 1993/2004 NAVONA NV5810 [68:31] [CR]

An ambitious project, which has appeal ... see Full Review

Sir John STAINER (1840-1901) The Crucifixion Andrew Kennedy (tenor); Neal Davies (bass); Darius Battiwalla (organ) Huddersfield Choral Society/Joseph Cullen rec. 2009 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD176 [62:09] [JQ]

A fine and convincing account of Stainer’s sincere and durable Passion piece. ... see Full Review 

Wilhelm STENHAMMAR (1871-1927) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 Seta Tanyel (piano) Helsingborg SO/Andrew Manze rec. 2008. The Romantic Piano Concerto series, Vol. 49 HYPERION CDA67750 [75:16] [CF]

An outstanding achievement ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64 (1911-1915) London SO/Bernard Haitink rec. 2008 LSO LIVE LSO0689 [50:20] [DM]

A magnificent achievement all-round and, quite possibly, the performance of a lifetime ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Vier letzte Lieder, Arias from Ariadne auf Naxos, Capriccio & Arabella Lisa Della Casa (soprano) Vienna PO/Karl Böhm, Heinrich Hollreiser, Rudolf Moralt rec. 1952-4 NAXOS 8.111347 [67:21] [RMo]

A magnificent souvenir of perhaps the greatest Strauss soprano ever ... see Full Review 

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Quixote, Also Sprach Zarathustra Alwin Bauer (cello) Paul Schroer (viola) Cologne RSO/Dimitri Mitropoulos rec. 1959 MEDICI MASTERS MM035-2 [75:16] [JW]

Fulsome command and direction ... see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Don Juan Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony 36, Overtures BBC SO, London PO, Glyndebourne Festival O/Fritz Busch rec. 1934-6 GUILD GHCD2356 [68:49] [JW]

Exciting documents of Busch’s direct and unsentimental approach ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Cleveland O, Chciago SO, Ensemble Intercontemporain/Pierre Boulez rec. 1980-96 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 8730 [6 CDs: 364:22] [DC]

Plenty of marvels for all in this little box ... see Full Review 

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Orchestral Miniatures Orpheus Chamber Orchestra rec. 1995 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9089 [65:49] [RB]

Concise and pungent Stravinsky you are the poorer for not knowing. ... see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Concerto in E flat - Dumbarton Oaks see Celebrating Bach

Thomas TALLIS (c.1505 – 1585) Thomas Tallis's Secret Garden Ensemble Européene William Byrd/Graham O'Reilly rec. 2009, DDD PASSACAILLE 963 [70.21] [RH]

An interested experiment, recording Tallis's pieces as if they were vocal chamber music ... see Full Review

Sergei Ivanovich TANEYEV (1856-1915) Violin Sonata, Theme and Variations & other piano music Ivan Peshkov (violin); Olga Solovieva (piano) rec. 2005/8 NAXOS 8.557804 [74:21] [WK]

A fine new recording of the Violin Sonata and almost all the solo piano music … exemplary playing ... see Full Review 

John TAVERNER (c.1490-1545) Missa Corona Spinea, O splendor glorie Ch St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh/Duncan Ferguson rec. 2009 DELPHIAN DCD34023 [58:10] [BW]

A strong contender, even in the face of illustrious competition ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 5, Eight Stokowski encores Leopold Stokowski and his Symphony Orchestra rec. 1947-55 PRISTINE AUDIO XR PASC188 [74:03] [JW]

This well conceived act of restoration certainly gets my vote ... see Full Review 

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Nutcracker, English Dance for Act II Herman Severin LŘVENSKIOLD (1815-1870) La Sylphide Ambrosian Singers/John McCarthy, LSO/André Previn, Phil. O/John Lanchbery, Copenhagen PO/Ole Schmidt rec. 1972-82 EMI CLASSICS 9 67694 2 [72:03 + 75:03] [DM]

A welcome reminder of Previn's halcyon days with the LSO ... see Full Review

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681 - 1767) Darmstadt Overtures Frans Brüggen, Jeannette van Wingerden (recorder) Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt 1966/78 DAS ALTE WERK 2564 69052-3 [73:15 + 75:24] [JV]

Although these recordings are more than 30 years old they still sound very fresh ... see Full Review 

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681 - 1767) Six Cantatas Maria Jonas (soprano), Klaus Mertens (bass) Les Amis de Philippe/Ludger Rémy rec. 2007 CPO 777297-2 [77:57] [JV]

Musical expression of the ideas of the Enlightenment - interesting and musically rewarding ... see Full Review 

Simeon TEN HOLT (b.1923) Canto Ostinato Assia Cunego (harp) rec. 2007 ETCETERA KTC1398 [72:25] [DC]

A beautiful disc, and deserving of 100% success ... see Full Review

Marcel TOURNIER (1879-1951) Suite see French Flute Chamber Music

Moishei VAINBERG (Mieczyslaw WEINBERG) (1919-1996)Works for Violin and Piano - Volume 1 Violin Sonata No.4 Op.39 (1947) [19:58] Violin Sonata No.5 Op.53 (1953) [22:59] Three Pieces for Violin and Piano (1934) [13:26] Stefan Kirpal (violin)
Andreas Kirpal (piano) rec. August 2007, CPO 777 456-2 [57:27] [JW]

Rich characterisation in this finely recorded recital … confidence and authority ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Wasps: Aristophanic suite (1909) [26:05] Piano Concerto in C (1926-30) [27:39] English Folk Song Suite (1923) (orch. Gordon Jacob) [9:17] The Running Set (1933) [6:36] Ashley Wass (piano) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/James Judd rec. 2009. NAXOS 8.572304 [69:37] [CF]

Nothing cup-of-tea English about this ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Falstaff Mariano Stabile, Pietro Biasini, Vienna State Opera Ballet & Ch, Vienna PO/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1937 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO035 [56:15 + 60:06] [MS]

Compelling, intense yet fluid and sonorous - making the most of Verdi's last opera by emphasising drama and ensemble … see Full Review 

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Requiem Carmen Giannattasio (sop.), Veronica Simeoni (mezzo), Alexander Timchenko (ten.), Carlo Colombara (bass), Mikhailovsky Theatre Ch./St Petersburg PO/Yuri Temirkanov rec. 2009 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD184 [47:10 + 38:43] [RMo]

An honest, passionate and very enjoyable, top-second-rank version ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) Lamentations of Jeremiah Juan Gutiérrez de PADILLA (c. 1590-1664) Lamentations for Maundy Thursday The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips GIMELL CDGIM 043 [64:08] [JQ]

An outstanding release that celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of the Gimell label ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678 - 1741) Farnace Furio Zanasi (baritone) Sara Mingardo (contralto) Le concert des Nations/Jordi Savall rec. 2001 NAÏVE OP30471 [3 CDs: 54.49 + 58.32 + 35.56]  [RH]

Three hours of top quality Vivaldi ... see Full Review 

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der Ring des Nibelungen (1869-1876) Albert Dohmen (Wotan); Linda Watson (Brünnhilde); Soloists Bayreuth Festspiele Chorus and Orchestra/Christian Thielemann rec. 2008. OPUS ARTE OA CD9000B D [14 CDs: 14:50:00] [TD]

It is when considering the singers that doubts about the merits of this recording enter ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Parsifal, Tristan und Isolde (orchestral extracts) see LISZT

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Götterdämmerung: Act III, Scene 3 see PURCELL

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786 - 1826) Clarinet concertino, Clarinet concerto 2 see Phoenix in Flight

Christopher WRIGHT (b. 1954) A Vision of Heaven Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano); Helena Ruinard (violin); Danielle Perrett (harp); Simon Lepper (piano); Tim Kipling (alto flute) rec. 2006 DDD MERLIN CLASSICS MRFD 070914 [73:21] [RB]

Wright the reflective pastoral visionary ... see Full Review

Christopher WRIGHT (b. 1954) Spring Overture, A Little Light Music, Threnody for Orchestra, Searching, Idyll for Small Orchestra, Divertimento,Capriccio Burlesque Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Barry Wordsworth, Gavin Sutherland; Manchester Sinfonia/Christopher Wright rec. 2007/9 DUTTON CDLX 7240 [64:11] [RB]

Some fine light music and other works that are are much, much more ... see Full Review

Eugène YSAŸE (1858 - 1931) Sonata for Two Violins, String Trio, Sonata for Solo Cello Henning Kraggerud (violin); Bård Monsen (violin); Lars Anders Tomter (viola); Ole-Eirik Ree (cello) rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570977 [61:02] [JW]

Authoritative statements of important chamber repertoire too long neglected ... see Full Review 

Alexander von ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Lieder: Barbara Bonney (soprano); Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo); Hans Peter Blochwitz (tenor); Andreas Schmidt (baritone); Cord Garben (piano) rec. 1988 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9009 [72:56 + 67:18] [RB]

An irresistible package ... see Full Review

Alexander von ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Lyrische Symphonie Julia Varady (soprano) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Berliner PO/Lorin Maazel rec. 1981 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9120 [43:53] [RB]

If you are on a tight budget this is self-recommending ... see Full Review

Mikolaj ZIELENSKI (17th Century) Offertoria et Communiones Totius Anni Emma Kirkby (soprano) Andrzej Bialko (organ) Capella Cracoviensis/Stanislaw Galonski rec. 2008 DUX 0681 [54.37]  [RH]

A disc that all lovers of 17th century choral music will want to have … 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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