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



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May

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Thomas ADÈS (b. 1971) Tevot, Violin Concerto, Three Studies from Couperin, Powder Her Face Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle, Anthony Marwood, CO Europe/Thomas Adès rec. 2007/9 EMI CLASSICS 4578132 [66:43] [LW]

An important disc of remarkable contemporary music … see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Motets Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2009 BIS BISSACD1841 [75:28]  [MC]

Suzuki provides immaculate performances of the Bach Motets ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St Matthew Passion Thomas Quasthoff (bass) Thomanerchor Leipzig; Tölzer Knabenchor Gewandhaus O/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2009 DECCA 478 2194 [80:31 + 79:39] [DC]

Blows away a few cobwebs - very high quality.... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH York BOWEN (1884-1961) Piano Works - Vol. 4 Partita, Suite Mignonne, Third Suite, Three Sketches, Sonatina, Three Novelettes, Polonaise, A Whim Joop Celis (pno), rec. 2009 CHANDOS CHAN10593 [79:35] [JF]

A fantastic CD ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) St John's Magnificat and other choral works Ch St John’s College, Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha rec. 2009 CHANDOS CHAN10587 [75:33] [JF]

There are at least four excellent reasons why this CD should be at the top of the list for all Herbert Howells enthusiasts ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giovanni LEGRENZI (1626-1690) Messa a 4 Voci e Doi Violini, Vesperae Solemnes de Confessore Oficina Musicum/Riccardo Favero rec. 2008 DYNAMIC CDS653 [35:45 + 67:30] [MS]

Superbly persuasive … so complete and sheerly lovely that one cannot wait for more … see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 2 Yvonne Kenny (soprano); Jard van Nes (mezzo); London PO & Ch/Klaus Tennstedt rec. live, 1989 LPO LIVE LPO 0044 [25:02 + 67:48] [JQ]

A most exciting release. Tennstedt working in a white-hot interpretative crucible. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 2 Anne Schwanewilms, Lioba Braun, Bayerische SCh, Bamberg SO, Bayerische Staatsphilharmonie/ Jonathan Nott rec. 2008 TUDOR 7158 [32:53 + 51:24] [DM]

Not to be missed ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 4 Miah Persson (soprano) Budapest Festival O/Iván Fischer rec. 2008 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS SA 26109 [57:00] [LW]

Fischer’s Mahler Fourth is tops … see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Manon Tamara Rojo, Carlos Acosta, José Martín, Christopher Saunders, Laura Morera, Royal Ballet, Orch. of Royal Ballet/Martin Yates, Filmed 2008 DECCA 074 3346 [117:00 (ballet) + 45:00 (bonus)] [I&GL]

A truly spellbinding production with superb dancing from Rojo and Acosta ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Aribert REIMANN (b.1936) Lear (1978) Soloists Chor der Oper Frankfurt, Frankfurter Museumsorchester/Sebastian Weigle rec. 2008, Notes and plot summary in English and German. Libretto in German only. OEHMS CLASSICS OC 921 [71:31 + 79:08] [GPu]

A striking recording of a modern operatic masterpiece … See Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concertos 1-3, Concert Fantasia Stephen Hough (piano) Minnesota O/Osmo Vänskä rec. live, 2009 HYPERION CDA67711/2 [65:39 + 75:31] [IL]

A triumph ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Götterdämmerung Jennifer Wilson, Lance Ryan, Franz-Josef Kapellmann, O de la Comunitat Valenciana/Zubin Mehta rec. live, 2008 UNITEL CLASSICA 701108 [287:00] [ST]

A Ring on DVD to live with and to return to again and again. ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Kleine Dreigroschenmusik Ernst TOCH (1887-1964) Egon und Emilie Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) H.M.S. Royal Oak Capella Amsterdam; Ebony Band/Werner Herbers rec. 1998-2006 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS25109 [69:24] [DC]

Astounding, remarkable, wunderbahr! … see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Between Life and Death: Songs and arias Christoph Prégardien (tenor) Michael Gees (piano) rec. 2008 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72324 [41:50 + 44:47] [DM]

It’s quality and not quantity that counts here … see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Diminuito Rolf Lislevand (lutes, vihuela de mano); Linn Andrea Fuglseth, Anna Maria Friman (voice) rec. 2007/8 ECM NEW SERIES 2088 [58:11] [DC]

Transcendent music making - and great fun as well ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Visions of Beyond Late works by Liszt, Brahms, Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, Schubert and Schumann Edward Rosser (piano) rec. 2007 CONNOISSEUR SOCIETY CD4260 [63:49] [BR]

Not a recital but a great narrative in music … see Full Review 

 

BARGAINS OF THE MONTH

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Howard BLAKE (b.1938) The Passion of Mary, Four Songs of the Nativity London Voices, Royal PO/Howard Blake rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572453 [76:25] [BB]

Far too good to miss … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Kissin Plays Chopin Evgeny Kissin (piano) rec. 1993-2004 BMG-RCA 88697 625302 [5 CDs: 317:31] [DC]

Powerful and sometimes wayward, but not to be avoided ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1868) Lucrezia Borgia Montserrat Caballé, Alfredo Krauss, RCA Italiana Opera Ch & O/Jonel Perlea rec. 1966 SONY OPERA HOUSE 88697575942 [60.53 + 73.22]  [RJF]

The preferred choice among CD recordings of this dramatic work from Donizetti’s pre-Lucia period ... see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) The Complete String Quartets Kodaly Qt rec. 1989-2000 NAXOS 8.502400 [25CDs: 25:42:24] [SA]

The Kodaly Quartet plays with a shared intelligence that makes for thrilling listening - nothing could persuade me to live without it … see Full Review 

HISTORICAL BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864 – 1949) Der Rosenkavalier Lotte Lehmann (soprano) Richard Mayr (bass) Elisabeth Schumann (soprano) Vienna State Opera Ch, Vienna PO/Robert Heger rec. 1933 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO036 [59:46 + 38:40] [GF]

No one who loves this music can afford to be without this recording ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Dona Nobis Pacem, Sancta Civitas Matthew Brook (baritone); Christina Pier (soprano); Andrew Staples (tenor) The Bach Ch, Bournemouth SO/David Hill rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572424 [64:39] [JQ]

Two English choral works of great stature in fine new recordings ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH English Viola Sonatas by Jacob, Ireland, Arnold, Delius and Berkeley Martin Outram (viola); Julian Rolton (piano) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572208 [72:04] [BBr]

A fabulous disk … see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Moviebrass Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) West Side Story Suite Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Adagio for Strings John WILLIAMS (b. 1932), Jerry GOLDSMITH (1929-2004), James HORNER (b. 1953) and David ARNOLD (b. 1962) Space Brass John WILLIAMS Indiana Jones: Main Title Theme (arr. Marco Pierobon) [4:27] Danny ELFMAN (b. 1953) The Simpsons Theme (arr. Marco Pierobon) [1:38] Franco MICALIZZI (b. 1939) and Yuji OHNO (b. 1941) Lupin III: Main Title Theme (arr. Marco Pierobon) [3:17] Gomalan Brass Quintet rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.572244 [59:03] [RB]

Whoop it up with the Gomalan. ... see Full Review

JUNE

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH David BEDNALL (b. 1979) Requiem * O come let us sing; Salvator mundi; Let all the world The Chamber Choir of St, Mary’s, Calne/Edward Whiting David Bednall (organ); *Philip Dukes (viola) rec. 2009 REGENT REGCD327 [64:29] [JQ]

Anyone who is interested in choral music should try to hear this wonderful disc. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet No. 6 in B flat major, Op. 18/6 (1798-1800) String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 (1825-26) Große Fuge for String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 133 (1825-26) Artemis Quartet (Natalia Prischepenko (violin); Gregor Sigl (violin); Friedemann Weigle (viola); Eckart Runge (cello)) rec. 8-13 November, 16-18 December 2009, Teldex Studio, Finckensteinallee, Berlin. DDD VIRGIN CLASSICS 50999 694584 0 8 [74:25] [MC]

These Beethoven Quartets are given performances of the highest quality. A sure-fire ‘Record of the Year’ for 2010. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Muzio CLEMENTI (1752-1832) The Complete Sonatas -Vol. 5 Sonatas op. 34, 37 & 46 Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2009 HYPERION CDA67814 [77:51 + 67:28] [MS]

The fifth of six sets containing all of Clementi's piano sonatas - played with great flair, expertise but above all insight. Another winner … see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Symphonic Poems The Water Goblin, The Noon Witch, The Golden Spinning Wheel, The Wild Dove, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. , 2001, 2008, 2009 SUPRAPHON SU 4012-2 [79:42] [BR]

The new standard recordings of Dvorák’s symphonic poems … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685 – 1759) Giulio Cesare in Egitto (1724) Complete recording of the 1724 version. Kristina Hammarström (mezzo) – Giulio Cesare; Emanuela Galli (soprano) – Cleopatra; Mary-Ellen Nesi (mezzo) – Sesto; Irini Karaianni (mezzo) – Cornelia; Romina Basso (mezzo) – Tolomeo; Tassis Christoyannis (baritone) – Achilla; Petros Magoulas (bass) – Curio; Nikos Spanatis (bass) – Nireno; Orchestra of Patras/George Petrou rec. 24-30 July 2006, Patras, Greece Italian libretto with English translation enclosed MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 609 1604-2 [3 CDs: 75:50 + 78:48 + 77:23] [GF]

A knock-out from the very first bars of the overture ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Opera at Eszterháza: Arias - La Circe Miah Persson (soprano) Haydn Sinfonietta Wien/Manfred Huss rec. 2008/9 BIS BISSACD1811 [71.31] [MM-B]

A joy from beginning to end ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Aleko (1892-1893) Sergey Murzaev (baritone) - Aleko; Svetla Vassileva (soprano) - Zemfira; Evgeny Akhimov (tenor) - Young Gypsy; Gennady Bezzubenkov (bass) - Old Gypsy; Nadezhda Vasilieva (mezzo) - Old Gypsy Woman; Coro del Teatro Regio del Torino; BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda. rec. 2009. DDD CHANDOS CHAN10583 [50:55] [CC]

My Recording of the Month, by a long way. The BBC Philharmonic sounds simply superb … Noseda conducts intelligently, sensitively, with full structural awareness of the dramatic trajectory. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sven-David SANDSTRÖM (b. 1942) Messiah Festivalensemble Stuttgart/Helmuth Rilling rec. live, 2009 CARUS 83.453 [36:06 + 54:15] [GF]

One of the finest large-scale choral works during the whole post-war era … see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40 (1898)[47:29] Anton WEBERN (1883-1945) Im Sommerwind* (1904) [15:03] Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Bernard Haitink rec. 2009. DSD CSO-RESOUND CSOR 901 1004 [62:32] [JQ]

A magnificent CD, including as fine a CD version of Ein Heldenleben as I can recall ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Visions – Lavinia Meijer Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Suite, Op. 83 (1969) Paul PATTERSON (b. 1947) Spiders, Op. 48 (1985) Bugs, Op. 93 (2006) Garrett BYRNES (b. 1971) Visions in Twilight (2000) Isang YUN (1917-1995) In Balance (1987) Toru TAKEMITSU (1930-1996) Stanza II for harp and tape (1971) Lavinia Meijer (harp) rec. 2009 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS SA 29709 [63:08] [DM]

A must-have for harp aficionados and audio buffs alike. ... see Full Review

 

BARGAINS OF THE MONTH

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Alban BERG (1885-1935) Violin Concerto (1935) [24:40] Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Violin Concerto in D (1931) [20:18] Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 (1878) [33:50]
Arthur Grumiaux (violin) Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam/Igor Markevitch (Berg) and Ernest Bour (Stravinsky) and Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Bogo Leskovic (Tchaikovsky)
rec. Vienna, November 1956 (Tchaikovsky) and Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, December 1966 (Stravinsky) and January 1967 (Berg) DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 0481 [78:55] [WH]

An unmissable disc from a master violinist … see Full Review

 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) L’Italiana in Algeri - Comic opera in two acts (1813) Samuel Ramey (bass); Kathleen Battle (soprano) I Solisti Veneti; Prague Philharmonic Choir/Claudio Scimone rec. 1980 ERATO OPERA COLLECTION 2564 68335 9 [71.30 + 69.21] [RF]

A welcome return to the catalogue of this excellent performance which is a must for all Rossini enthusiasts. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone); Gerald Moore (piano) rec. 1961 EMI CLASSICS 9659402 [62:30] [KM]

Perhaps the best recording of this work, available in a new edition ... see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Early One Morning: Finnish Orchestral Favorites Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (CD1), Camerata Finlandia (CD2)/Jorma Panula rec. 1995,1996,2007 NAXOS CD 8.578143-44 [70:33 + 53:15] [BR]

I loved this two-disc sampler of lesser-known Finnish composers … see Full Review

JULY

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833 – 1897) Piano Sonata 3 Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 – 1943) Piano Concerto 2 Julius Katchen (piano) New SO/Anatole Fistoulari rec. 1949/51 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM035 [64:28] [BBr]

These performances are amongst the best available … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1857-1919) I Medici Plácido Domingo (tenor) Daniela Dessi (soprano) Ch & O Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Alberto Veronesi rec. 2007 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON DG 477 7456 [78:43 + 46:21] [JS]

With luxury forces throwing themselves unsparingly into an idiomatic, well focused and vigorous performance this is a significant achievement and DG’s enterprise deserves to be richly rewarded

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813–1883)
Lohengrin
Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) Anja Harteros (soprano) Ch & O Bayerische Staatsoper/Kent Nagano rec. 2009 DECCA 0743387 [2 DVDs: 207:00] [ST]

Marvellous singing and intelligent stagecraft

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Rosso : Italian baroque arias by Sartorio, Stradela, Handel, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Porpora & Marcello Patricia Petibon (soprano) Venice Baroque O/Andrea Marcon rec. 2009 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 8763 [75:24] [BW]

Well-known and unknown arias, all made to sound superb

 

BARGAINS OF THE MONTH

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphony 8 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572392 [61:57] [JQ] [BBr]

A powerful, stirring performance of this dark, brooding symphony [JQ] A real success [BBr] ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sir Adrian Boult The 1956 Nixa-Westminster stereo recordings, Vol. 1 Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Symphony 1 Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Falstaff, Symphony 2, Cockaigne Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Soirées musicales, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Matinées musicales, Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia London PO/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1956 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR06 [3 CDs: 77:05 + 76:34 + 75:59]

A splendid set, which all admirers of Sir Adrian Boult should hear [JQ] These recordings have never sounded as good. [RB]

AUGUST

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Keyboard Works Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 1994-2008 HYPERION CDS44421/35 [15 CDs: 17:39:00] [DC]

A truly valuable and life enhancing collection.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas 3 & 9 Viktoria Mullova (baroque violin), Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano), rec. 2009 ONYX 4050 [54:34] [MC]

This stunning Onyx release can compete with the very best

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 –1827) The Complete Piano Concertos Paul Lewis (piano) BBC SO/Jirí Belohlávek rec. 2009/10 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 902053.55 [3 CDs: 67:48 + 69:31 + 38:53] [JQ]

This set of the Beethoven piano concertos is a very considerable achievement

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frédéric (Fryderyk) CHOPIN (1810-1849) Cello Sonata Simon (Szymon) LAKS (1901-1983) Cello Sonata Karl (Karol) SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Cello Sonata Raphael Wallfisch (cello); John York (piano) rec. 2010 NIMBUS NI5862 [75:53] [BW]

One of the unexpected highlights of the Chopin year for me.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810–1849) Songs Konrad Jarnot (baritone); Eugčne Mursky (piano) rec. 2009 HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH04068 [53:34] [GF]

Those who still look down on Chopin’s songs should give this a listen. I’m sure they will be converted – just as I was.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929 – 1988) Works for Solo Piano Sonatas, Preludes, Winter Scenes Margaret Fingerhut (piano) rec. 2009 CHANDOS CHAN10601 [70:16] [NB]

Interpretations of the very highest order

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Lorenzo PALOMO (b.1938) Dulcinea Ainho Arteta (soprano) Ch & O Deutsche Oper Berlin/Miguel Angel Gómez Martínez rec. live, 2006 NAXOS 8.572577 [58:15] [GPu]

A compelling piece recorded live at its premiere

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) L’Inganno Felice Raúl Giménez, Annick Massis, Le Concert des Tuileres/Marc Minkowski rec. live, 1996 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 681484 [78.11] [RJF]

A welcome return to the catalogue at a price that should ensure that all Rossini-lovers add it to their collection if it is not already there.

 

BARGAINS OF THE MONTH

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) L’Elisir d’amore Mariella Devia, Roberto Alagna Tallis Chamber Ch, English CO/Marcello Viotti rec. 1992 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 681478 [61:07 + 69.12] [RJF]

A very warm welcome to the return to the catalogue of this idiomatic and well sung performance.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Quartets Helena Suchárová-Weiser (pno), Vlach Qt Prague, rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572159 [71:11] [SV]

Beautiful playing … at Naxos prices an absolute steal

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) The Complete Works - 150th Anniversary Edition EMI CLASSICS 6089852 [16 CDs: ca 19 hrs] [ST]

This set is a real treat, and an unmissable bargain.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Kirsten Flagstad - The Supreme Wagnerian Soprano rec. 1923–52 EMI CLASSICS ICON SERIES 4553462 [5 CDs: 377:55] [GF]

The Voice of the Century!

 

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

 

 


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