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RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Die Kunst der Fuge Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin rec. 2007 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 467 [82:00] [KM]

An extraordinary DVD of one of Bach’s finest compositions. Not to be missed ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Stanley BATE (1911-1959) Viola concerto Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Romance William Henry BELL (1873-1946) Rosa Mystica Roger Chase (viola) BBC Concert O/Steve Bell rec. 2008 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7216 [74:54] [MC]

A fine recording that will promote these forgotten works. The Stanley Bate Viola Concerto is an outstanding score deserving of acclaim ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Symphonies Minnesota O/Osmo Vänskä rec. 2004-8 BIS BISSACD1825/26 [5 CDs: 353:16] [DC]

The current top of an already rather distinguished pile of references ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jacob OBRECHT (1450-1505) Missa Sancto Donatiano Capella Pratensis/Stratton Bull, Peter Van Heyghen rec. 2006/7 FINELINE CLASSICAL FL72414 [DVD+CD: 118:00 + 63:13] [GH]

I advise you to buy it instantly. Outstanding ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quintet, String Quartets 14 & 15 Belcea Qt, Valentin Erben (cello) rec. 2009 EMI CLASSICS 9670252 [75:28 + 74:20] [MC]

An impressive release that firmly establishes the Belceas at the vanguard of chamber music ensembles. … see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) String Quartet 3, Piano Quintet Marc-André Hamelin (piano) Takács Qt rec. 2009 HYPERION CDA67631 [56:35] [DC]

Seek it out, lend it not ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Carnaval, Kreisleriana, Arabeske, Vassily Primakov (piano) rec. 2009 BRIDGE 9300 [71:41] [OL]

Excellent, fresh, dramatic, thoughtful ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Kile SMITH (b. 1956) Vespers The Crossing/Donald Nally; Piffarro, The Renaissance Band rec. 2008 NAVONA RECORDS NV5809 [65.00]  [RH]

A brilliant new work in the spirit of the Lutheran Vespers service ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello Ramon Vinay, Herva Nelli, NBC SO/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1947 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO033 [69:21 + 66:31] [ST]

Pick this one with confidence ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Das Rheingold Wotan - Juha Uusitalo (bass–baritone) Fricka - Anna Larsson (mezzo) Alberich - Franz-Josef Kapelmann (bass) Loge - John Daszak (tenor) Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana/Zubin Mehta Bonus Film - The Making of Rheingold [27:00] UNITEL CLASSICA 700508 [221:00] [ST]

Remarkably compelling, wonderfully entertaining … a sense of the powerful, supernatural and indeed god-like … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Poems Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (1950) [30:29] Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Vers la flamme, Op. 72 (1914) [6 :26] Alban BERG (1885-1935) Sieben frühe Lieder (1905-8) [14:47] Pawel SZYMANSKI (b. 1954) Drei Lieder nach Trakl (2002) [12:10] Agata Zubel (soprano); Marcin Grabosz (piano) rec. Witold Lutoslawski Concert Hall, Polish Radio, Warsaw, December 2007–March 2008 CDACCORD ACD149-2 [63:59] [WH]

A magnificently planned recital, superbly sung and played. Unmissable … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Verismo Renée Fleming (soprano) Giuseppe Verdi SO & Ch, Milan/Marco Armiliato rec. 2008 DECCA 478 1533 [72:20] [MC]

A wonderful collection of verismo arias that is worthy of acclaim. Fleming’s creamy vocals are stunning and in beautiful condition ... see Full Review



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies 5 & 9 Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572167 [78:07]  [LW]

Terrific performances of these symphonies at bargain price … see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Also Sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Tod und Verklärung, Metamorphosen Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1987/9 DAL SEGNO DSPRCD050 [51:09 + 68:10] [BR]

Classic recordings widely available at last … see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH William WALTON (1902-1983) Symphony 1, Belshazzar’s Feast, Violin Concerto, Viola Concerto, Partita Yehudi Menuhin (violin/viola); Philharmonia Ch & O, New PO, London SO/Sir William Walton rec. 1951-69 EMI CLASSICS 9689442 [78:52 + 73:41] [WH]

An indispensable composer-conducted Walton collection … see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Martha Argerich The Collection 2 - The Concerto Recordings rec. 1967-2004 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 8124 [7CD: 462:26] [OL]

A unique combination of daring and ease - a box full of marvels ... see Full Review 




RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Ballet Music Homage to the Queen - suite op. 42 (1953) [19:43] Rinaldo and Armida - dance-drama in one act op. 49 (1954) [20:57] Sweeney Todd - concert suite op. 68a (1959) (prepared 1984, David Ellis with composer) [20:16] Electra - ballet in one act op. 79 (1963) [14:49] BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba rec. Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 9-10, December 2008 CHANDOS CHAN 10550 [76:14] [JQ][RB]

A disc that no admirer of Arnold’s music will want to be without. [JQ] A splendid collection [RB] ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jan Josef Ignác BRENTNER (1689 - 1742) Arias Šimon BRIXI (1693-1735) Graduale Pro Dominica Quinquagesimae proprium in a minor 'Tu es Deus' [03:34] Hana Blažíková (soprano) Collegium Marianum/Jana Semerádová rec. June 2003, September 2005, May 2009, Church of Our Lady Queen of Angels, Prague, Czech Republic. DDD SUPRAPHON SU 3970-2 [60:42]

Spirited and stylish performances of music by a Czech composer of the early 18th century ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gabriel FAURÉ (1845 – 1924) Mélodies Yann Beuron (tenor); Billy Eidi (piano) rec. Chapelle de l’Hôpital du Bon-Secours, Paris, February 2009 Sung texts enclosed TIMPANI 1C1162 [51:42] [GF]

Great interpretations of great songs … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Francisco GUERAU (1649-1722) Songs José MARÍN (1618-1699) Songs Laberintos Ingeniosos: Lambert Climent (tenor), Pedro Estevan (percussion), Xavier Díaz-Latorre (guitar/direction) 11-15 June 2007, L’église évangélique Allemande, Paris Texts and translations included ZIG-ZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT090301 [58:40] [GPu]

A fine collection of passionate music from the Spanish baroque, persuasively played … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Václav Gunther JACOB (1685 - 1734) Dixit Dominus, Missa Dei Filii Valentin RATHGEBER (1682-1750) Concertos Capella Regia Praha/Robert Hugo rec. 2008/9 SUPRAPHON SU3971-2 [79:32] [JV]

Music and interpretation are of a very high standard ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Uuno KLAMI (1900-1961) Northern Lights, Op. 38 (1946) [18:49] Cheremissian Fantasy for cello and orchestra, Op. 19 (1931) [13:27] Kalevala Suite, Op. 23 (1943) [32:56] Samuli Peltonen (cello) Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgĺrds rec. Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, rec 2009. ONDINE ODE 1143-2 [65:25] [RB]

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Colbran the Muse Joyce DiDonato (mezzo) Ch & O Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome/Edoardo Müller rec. 2009 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6945790 [72.05] [RJF]

An outstanding disc for all lovers of singing. Its high standard marks it out as one that will be around for a long time ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphonic Dances, The Isle of the Dead, The Rock Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2008/9 AVIE AV2188 [70:09] [JQ] [RB]

Magnificent performances, stunningly recorded [JQ] Certainly one to go for [RB] ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Viola concerto Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1976) Viola sonata Antoine Tamestit (viola); Markus Hadulla (piano) Warsaw Philharmonic/Dmitrij Kitajenko rec. 2007/8 AMBROISIE AM168 [65:26] [CR]

This is a wonderful recording, capturing the essence of both works with understanding and communicating effectively to the listening audience ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) Ivanhoe Peter Wedd (tenor) Toby Spence (tenor) Janice Watson (soprano) - Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo) BBC Ntl O Wales/David Lloyd-Jones rec. 2009 CHANDOS CHAN 10578 (3) [3 CDs: 59:01 + 52:08 + 54:24] [RW]

An excellent job … sure to please the harshest of critics ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH John TAVERNER (c.1490-1545) Sacred Choral Music Ch St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh/Duncan Ferguson rec. 2009 DELPHIAN DCD34023 [58:10] [JQ]

An outstanding disc ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Lost in the Stars Gregory Hopkins, Stephen Kumalo, Concert Chorus of New York; O St. Luke’s/Julius Rudel rec. 1992 NIMBUS NI2543 [71:41] [JQ][RB]

Weill’s last completed work given a fine, dramatic reading [JQ] Everything is just right [RB] ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH De Angelis Anneliina Koskinen (soprano, diatonic C-flute, reed pipe, bells, Loriman pipe, tenor rebec, symphonia, Celtic harp, 5 stringed kantele) rec. 2008 ALBA ABCD282 [61:06] [EM]

This disc completely captivated me ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Cantare - La voix de la Harpe Isabelle Moretti (harp) Dame Felicity Lott (soprano) rec. 2009 NAÏVE V5186 [78:29] [JQ]

A delectable experience ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Concerto Italiano Domenico DALL’OGLIO (c.1700 - 1764) Violin Concerto Michele STRATICO (1728 - after 1782) Violin Concerto Pietro NARDINI (1722 - 1793) Violin Concerto Antonio LOLLI (1725 - 1802) Violin Concerto Giuliano Carmignola (violin) Venice Baroque O/Andrea Marcon rec. 2009 ARCHIV 477 6606 [81.40]  [RH]

Four 18th century Italians whose music is dazzling - buy it ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Caroline Goulding (violin) Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962) Gypsy Caprice & other short pieces John CORIGLIANO (b.1938) Red Violin Caprices Paul SCHOENFIELD (b.1947) Four Souvenirs Henri VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881) Souvenir d'Amérique George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Selections from "Porgy and Bess" TRADITIONAL Cape Breton Island Fiddling w/Christopher O'Riley (piano) rec. 2009 TELARC CD80744 [67:31] [OL]

Amazing musicality, virtuosity with a personality ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jag & Jersey Libby LARSEN (b.1950) Yellow Jersey, Corker James M. DAVID (b.1978) E-TYPE Jag Norbert BURGMÜLLER (1810 - 1836) Duo Jean FRANÇAIX (1912 - 1997) Tema con Variazioni Scott McALLISTER (b.1969) Black Dog Linda Cionitti (clarinet) rec. 2008 MSR CLASSICS MS1329 [61:03] [NB]

A veritable box of unexpected delights - a disc I urge you to hear … see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Simon Keenlyside Recital Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Francis POULENC (1899 – 1963) Simon Keenlyside (baritone); Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. live, Wigmore Hall, London, 26 October 2008. DDD Original texts and English translations included WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLIVE0031 [74:08] [JQ]

A quite exceptional recital disc ... see Full Review



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567–1643) Sacred Music & Madrigals Taverner Consort, Taverner Choir and Taverner Players/Andrew Parrott VIRGIN CLASSICS 9669652 [5 CDs: 314:35] [MC]

Andrew Parrott and his forces are in impeccable form in these mainly sacred works from Monteverdi ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH London Mozart Players: the complete HMV stereo recordings Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies 28 & 41, Concertos for Two PianosJuan Crisóstomo de ARRIAGA (1806-1826) Symphony Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony 103 Vitya Vronsky, Victor Babin (pianos) London Mozart Players/Harry Blech rec. 1955-7 FIRST HAND REMASTERS FHR05 [3 CDs: 67:58 + 64:05 + 67:21] [JS]

An irresistible bargain and a worthy memorial to Harry Blech … see Full Review



RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas BWV22, 23, 127 & 159 Dorothee Mields (soprano); Matthew White (alto); Jan Kobow (tenor); Peter Kooy (bass) Collegium Vocale Gent/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 2007 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901998 [63:47] [MC]

This is an outstanding Bach release in all respects ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Triple concerto Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Double concerto Trio Poseidon, Gothenburg SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2004/7 CHANDOS CHAN10564 [69:41] [RB]

Artistic insight, poignancy and exciting performance values ... see Full Review 

RECORIDNG OF THE MONTH Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies 1-9, Te Deum Vienna SO/Volkmar Andreae rec. 1953 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1227(9) [9 CDs: 527:02] [JW]

Among historic cycles this one now ranks high indeed. ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Luigi DALLAPICCOLA (1904 – 1975) Partita (1930-32)a [29:01] Dialoghi (1959-60)b [18:57] Quattro Liriche di Antonio Machado (1948, orch. 1964)a [5:50] Three Questions with Two Answers (1962-63) [13:02] Gillian Keith (soprano)a; Paul Watkins (cello)b BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda rec.2009 CHANDOS CHAN 10561 [67:21] [HC]

One of the finest discs to have come my way recently ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Préludes Books 1 & 2 Roger Woodward (piano) rec. 2007 CELESTIAL HARMONIES 13279-2 [79:43] [DC]

Late news: reviewer lost for words ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Osvaldo GOLIJOV (b. 1960) La Pasión según San Marcos (St. Mark Passion) (2000) Soloists Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, Orquesta La Pasión, Members of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela/María Guinand (CD) Robert Spano (DVD) rec. CD: 2007/08; DVD: 2008, Libretto included DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 7461 CD: [53:06 + 31:21] DVD: [87:37] [DM]

Only the stoniest of hearts could fail to be moved ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jonathan HARVEY (b. 1939) Works for Piano & Flute Florian Hoelscher (pno), Pirmin Grehl (flute) rec. 2007-8 NEOS 10828 [58:11] [CR]

A world-class performance of some magnificent repertoire ... see Full Review

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

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 

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 

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 

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 

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

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

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 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 

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

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Szymon Goldberg Centenary Edition: Vol. 1: Non-Commercial Recordings MUSIC & ARTS CD-1223 [8 CDs: 572:03] [JW]

For me it's a Record of the Year ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH La Voce di Orfeo - Gli amori di Francesco Rasi 1574-1621 Furio Zanasi (baritone); Giulio Casati (narrator) La Chimera/Eduardo Egüez rec. 2009 DDD NAIVE E 8925 [62:36] [JV]

A magnificent recording and an impressive demonstration of recitar cantando ... see Full Review



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) L'Enfance du Christ Jean Rigby (mezzo) Gerald Finley (baritone) St. Paul's Cathedral Choristers, Corydon Singers & O/Matthew Best rec. 1994 HYPERION DYAD CDD22067 [44:04 + 56:48] [SV]

One to love and to cherish … 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  

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64 (1911-1915) London SO/Bernard Haitink rec. 2008 LSO LIVE LSO 0689 [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 

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 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH The Service of Venus and Mars: Music for the Knights of the Garter Gothic Voices/Christopher Page (with Andrew Lawrence-King, medieval harp) rec. 1986 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55290 [49:46] [BW]

The Christophorus is entertaining, the Hyperion an essential purchase ... see Full Review



RECORDING OF THE MONTH Agustín BARRIOS (Mangore) (1885-1944) Confesión Alexander-Sergei Ramírez (guitar) rec. 2000 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 471 532-2 [75:19] [ZT]

A treat for all aficionados of fine music - a must for Barrios devotees … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) El Sombrero de Tres Picos, Zarzuela Arias Victoria de los Angeles, Montserrat Caballé, Philharmonia O/Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos rec. 1964/6 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDCD193 [76:48] [RB]

The de Falla is from a great vintage and the Caballé consituency need to hear the young diva in her grandest sunrise. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) Brockes-Passion (HWV 48) Soloists; Kölner Kammerchor, Collegium Cartusianum/Peter Neumann rec.2009 CARUS 83.428 [78:25 + 74:58] [JV]

An excellent performance with no weak links ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Barbara HARBACH Vocal Music Stella Markou (soprano) with Paula Kasica (flute); Paul Garritson (clarinet and bass clarinet); Donita Bauer (bassoon); Ayako Watanabe (harp); David Gillham (violin); Joanna Mendoza (viola); Kurt Baldwin (cello); James Richards (conductor) (Abigail!); Alla Voskoboynikova (piano) (Pleasure, Emily! And Light); Paul Hecht (trumpet) (Emily!); Diana Haskell (clarinet); Barbara Harbach (piano) (Pioneer Women); Thomas F George (piano) (21st Century) rec. 2008,DDD MSR RECORDS MS 1256 [69:49] [BBr]

This is something very special … see Full Review

Dear Mrs Parks Taylor Lee Gardner (child soprano); Janice Chandler-Eteme (soprano); Jenetta Steele (alto); Kevin Deas (baritone) Brazeal Dennard Ch, Rackham Community Ch, Detroit SO/Thomas Wilkins rec 2009 NAXOS 8.559668 [59:03] [BBr]

An important composer … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Joachim QUANTZ (1697-1773) Flute Sonatas Verena Fischer (transverse flute); Klaus-Dieter Brandt (Baroque cello); Léon Berben (harpsichord) rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.557805 [63:28] [CR]

A lovely disc … enjoyable and of real quality from beginning to end ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Lionel SAINSBURY (b.1958) Violin Concerto Haydn WOOD (1882-1959) Violin Concerto, Adagio Lorraine McAslan (violin) BBC Concert O/Barry Wordsworth, Gavin Sutherland rec. 2009 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7245 [71:47] [RB]

Two strong works written in captivating romantic idioms that while not identical have more in common than you might expect ... see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Vier letze Lieder, 12 Orchestral Songs Elizabeth Schwarzkopf (sop.) Radio SO Berlin, London SO/George Szell, rec. 1965/8 EMI CLASSICS MASTERS 9659412 [64:34] [BW]

The pick of EMI’s latest reissue series ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Die Tageszeiten, Nun danket alle Gott Basler Madrigalisten; L'arpa festante/Fritz Näf rec. 2009 CARUS 83.439 [66:24] [MS]

Full of surprises, depth and energy, this CD is a delight … see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Donald TOVEY (1875-1940) The Bride of Dionysus – excerpts Sally Silver, Yvonne Fontane, Robert Johnston, Michael Bundy, Belfast PCh, Ulster O/George Vass rec. 2009 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7241 [77:49] [RB]

A truly grand opera in which passion and Brahmsian nobility commingle amid the most exalted lyrical writing. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Tender is the North Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Two Pieces Niels W. GADE (1817-1890) Tre Tonestykker Áskell MÁSSON (b.1953) Larghetto Knut NYSTEDT (b.1915) Variasjoner Otto OLSSON (1879-1964) Sonata Iain Quinn (organ) rec. 2009 CHANDOS CHAN10581 [71:02] [DC]

Superlative performance, interesting and inspired programming ... see Full Review



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Works for Organ (MP3 Edition) Kevin Bowyer (organ) rec. 1991-2001 NIMBUS NI1721 [8 CDs of MP3 files: 30:52:00] [Equivalent to the 17 volume CD series] [BW] [KM]

All this wonderful music at such a low price; you can’t go wrong [KM] Not only Bargain of the Month, but almost certainly Bargain of the Year [BW] ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Georges BIZET (1838-1875) CD 1 Carmen Suite; L'Arlésienne Suite; Patrie! – Ouverture dramatique; CD 2 Symphony in C; Jeux d'enfants (Petite Suite); La jolie fille de Perth Suite Joaquin TURINA (1882-1949) Danzas fantásticas L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet rec. 1958-1960 ADD DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 0457 [74:56 + 66:07] [DM]

Very desirable indeed … a chance to make amends for earlier misjudgements. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Jean GILLES (1668-1705) Messe des Morts - Requiem [43.58] Michel CORRETTE (1709-1795) Carillon des Morts [4.46] Anne-Marie Rodde (soprano); Jean Nirouet (counter-tenor); Martyn Hill (tenor); Ulrich Studer (baritone); Peter Kooy (bass) Collegium Vocale Gent; Musica Antiqua Köln/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 1981. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 93890 [48.45] [GH]

At bargain price this is a fine catch ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967) Orchestral Works Philharmonia Hungarica/Antal Doráti, London SO/István Kertész rec. 1968-73 DECCA COLLECTORS EDITION 478 2303 [4 CDs: 294:26] [RB]

Authentic national flavours and vivacious golden age analogue Decca sound - an irresistible acquisition ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH György LIGETI (1923-2006) String Quartets 1 & 2, Andante and Allegretto Parker Qt rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570781 [55:46]  [LW]

Superb renditions of the Ligeti Quartets at bargain price … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Complete Symphonies Collector's Edition Conductor: Leonard Bernstein DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 8668 [11 CDs: 746:00] [ST]

A hugely dynamic achievement that deserves to be appreciated, warts and all. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphonies 3 & 6, Ruth Güldbæk (soprano); Eric Sjøberg (baritone) Danish State RSO/John Frandsen, Thomas Jensen rec. 1946-55 DUTTON CDBP9796 [62:12] [RB]

Jensen: sheer delight in intricacy and joyously precise; Frandsen: powerful with mordant accentuation of rhythmic impact and idyllically understated pastoral warmth ... see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 - 1868) La Cenerentola Joyce DiDonato (mezzo) Juan Diego Flórez (tenor) Gran Teatre del Liceu Ch & SO/Patrick Summers rec. 2008 DECCA/UNITEL CLASSICA 074 3305 [2 DVDs: 179:00] [RMK]

Splendid escapism … An enchanting romantic bubble of joy ... see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH John RUTTER (b.1945) Gloria Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918 - 1990) Chichester Psalms Francis POULENC (1899 - 1963) Quatre petites Prières de Saint François d'Assise, Litanies à la Vierge Noire Ch Clare College Cambridge, Corydon Singers/Matthew Best rec. 1995 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9087 [60:04] [BBr]

Don’t miss it on any account … see Full Review  

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Ballet and Symphonies London Sinf, Berliner PO, CBSO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 1977-2007 EMI CLASSICS 2427542 [4 CDs: 263:50] [CR]

A strong overview in which Rattle’s flair and panache make for an essential collection ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Un ballo in Maschera Carlo Bergonzi, Leontyne Price, RCA Italiana Opera Ch & O/Erich Leinsdorf rec. 1966 SONY OPERA HOUSE 88697581322 [68.36 + 59.35] [RJF]

Verdi singing does not come much better than this. This 1966 recording and performance has stood the test of time ... see Full Review 

[Jan- April] [May- Aug] [Sept-Dec] [2009]



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