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Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
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the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set

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A superb disc

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An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

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Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition

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match any I’ve heard

An outstanding centenary collection

personable, tuneful, approachable

a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.

music that will be new to most people

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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+

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Violin Sonata 1 see FAURÉ

Antonio SALIERI (1750-1825) Requiem Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Meerestille und Glückliche Fahrt Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Intende Voci Gulbenkian Ch & O/Lawrence Foster rec. live, 2009 PENTATONE PTC5186359 [56:22] [JS]

The performances and recording are admirable.

Hans SCHAEUBLE (1906-1988) Die Rose & der Schatten see BURKHARD

Johann Herman SCHEIN (1586-1630) Opella Nova – Fontana D’Israel Ensemble Sagittarius/Michel Laplénie rec. 2009 HORTUS 075 [66.05] [GH]

Particularly sensitive to the words and dynamics are varied very movingly

Franz SCHMIDT (1874-1939) Symphony 3, Chaconne Malmö SO/Vassily Sinaisky rec. 2008/9 NAXOS 8.572119 [78:38] [BBr]

A solid and basic performance

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Discoveries Six Preludes, Dialogue, Yellow Sound, Magdalina, Variations rec. 2000-9 TOCCATA TOCC0091 [68:18] [MS]

Five different works from throughout Schnittke's career performed with vigour and insight by committed musicians.

Othmar SCHOECK (1886-1957) Notturno Christian Gerhaher (baritone) Rosamunde Qt rec. 2007 ECM NEW SERIES 2061 (476 6995) [42:50] [RB][NB]

A most sensitive and moving traversal of Notturno which transcends the stingy playing time.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Impromptus 1-4, Moments musical 1-6, Piano Sonata 18 Tzimon Barto (piano) CAPRICCIO 5028 [60:05 + 79:44] [BR]

Little to no respect for Schubert’s music. Avoid. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano trios, Adagio e Rondo Concertante, Notturno, Sonata Atlantis Trio rec. 1994/5 MUSICA OMNIA MO0310 [64:28 + 63:22] [KM]

A wonderful recording of Schubert’s great chamber music works.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony 5 see MOZART

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Intende Voci see SALIERI

William SCHUMAN (1910-1992) The Symphonies and selected orchestral works Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz rec. 1990-2008 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.505228 [5 CDs: 317:52] [RB]

Intense and luminous playing from Schwarz and the Seattle Orchestra in symphonies of uncompromisingly fierce intensity, raging violence, sable-dark melancholy and nervy kinetic euphoria.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto 2 Louis Lortie (piano) Philharmonia O/Neeme Järvi rec. 1991 CHANDOS CHAN10603X [62:27] [GD]

Rarely has either concerto sounded as convincing or as passionate as here.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Violin Sonatas 1-3 Alberto Bologni (violin); Giuseppe Bruno (piano) rec. 2010 SHEVA COLLECTION SHEVA 028 [70:12] [GD]

Schumann is many things to many people, but to Bologni he is primarily a melodist.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Orchestral Music Franz Peter Zimmermann, Truls Mørk, Kristian Zacharias, Staatskapelle Dresden/Wolfgang Sawallisch, Philharmonia O/Riccardo Muti, Cologne RSO/Vonk rec. 1972-93 EMI CLASSICS 6090372 [4 CDs: 77:14 + 78:54 + 75:39 + 73:53] [RB]

It's no wonder the components of this set have won so many laurels.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Complete Songs Christine Schäfer, Dorothea Röschmann, Felicity Lott, Kate Royal (soprano) Ann Murray (mezzo) Ian Bostridge, Mark Padmore (tenor) Simon Keenlyside, Christopher Maltman (baritone) Graham Johnson (piano) rec. 1995-2007 HYPERION CDS44441/50 [10 CDs: 734.44] [KM]

A monumental set of Schumann lieder: a must-have box set.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Chamber Music Christian Zacharias, Cherubini Qt, Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky rec. 1989-96 EMI CLASSICS 6090112 [5 CDs: 335:44] [GD]

A mixed bag of a reissue.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Lieder and Scenes from Goethe’s Faust EMI CLASSICS 6090222 [6 CDs: 7:17:00] [ST]

This set can be warmly recommended to anyone wanting to explore this utterly essential corner of Schumann’s output.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856) Manfred Overture, Alpenkuhreigen & Zwischenaktmusik see BEETHOVEN

Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) Violin Sonatas 1 & 3, Sonata Melodica Clare Howick (violin) Sophia Rahman (piano) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572290 [74:27] [JF]

Important and rewarding pieces.

Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) Oboe Concerto see GIBBS

Mátyás SEIBER (1905-1960) String Quartets 1-3 Edinburgh Qt rec. 2009 DELPHIAN DCD34082 [60:17] [JW]

Seiber’s quartets are in the best of hands in this enlightening disc.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Quintet Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) String Quartet 1 Vivian Rivkin (piano) Stuyvesant Quartet rec. 1939/41 HISTORIC RECORDINGS HRCD00014 [76:35] [JW]

Fine string tone and first class rapport, full of character and often moving.

Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Concerto 1 see GLAZUNOV

Fernando SOR (1778-1839) Early Works for Guitar William Carter rec. 2009 LINN CKD343 [61:41] [JW]

Enchanting, gorgeously coloured, deeply musical and wholly convincing.

Tim SOUSTER (1943-1994) Equalisation, Sonata Equale Brass Qnt; Tim Souster, Nash Ens/Lionel Friend rec. 1982 NIMBUS NI5317 [46:40] [MS]

Two typical and persuasive examples of Tim Souster's work

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Metamorphosen, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Concerto Hélène Grimaud (piano) CO Europe/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2009 IDÉALEAUDIENCE 3078738 [90.19] [WH]

A beautiful film of a superb concert.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le Sacre du Printemps see RACHMANINOFF

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Sokol March, Serenade see DVOŘÁK

Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770) Violin Concertos Salvatore Accardo (violin), I Musici rec. 1973 PENTATONE CLASSICS PTC 5186 137 [60:25] [J-PJ]

Accardo’s playing is faultless, and he is ably accompanied by the legendary I Musici.

Wilhelm TAUBERT (1811-1891) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 Jakob ROSENHAIN (1813-1894) Piano Concerto Howard Shelley (piano/conductor)/Tasmanian SO rec. 2009 HYPERION CDA 67765 [71:36] [DM]

A must-buy for inquisitive listeners and pianophiles alike.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 5, Suite 3 - Theme and Variations New SO, London SO/Landon Ronald rec. 1928/9 HISTORIC RECORDINGS HRCD0005 [66:49] [JW]

An estimable enterprise, intelligently compiled and well transferred. Represents an important restorative act. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Manfred Symphony Gürzenich O Köln/Dmitri Kitaienko rec. 2009 OEHMS CLASSICS OC665 [61:25] [DM]

A Manfred to die for.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 4 see DVOŘÁK

Michael TIPPETT (1905 – 1998) Choral Music Christ Church Cathedral Ch/Stephen Darlington rec. 1990 NIMBUS NI 5266 [50.56] [RH]

An interesting side-slant on this music

Donald Francis TOVEY (1875-1940) Aria and Variations, String Quartet Tippett Qt rec. 2009 GUILD GMCD 7346 [67:11] [JF]

Two masterworks played with sympathy, understanding and relish.

Peteris VASKS (b.1946) The Seasons Vestard Shimkus (piano) rec. 2009 WERGO WER67342 [59:54] [HC]

The first complete performance of Vasks’ cycle Gadalaiki in superb readings and recording.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aïda Kevin Short, Iano Tamar, Tatiana Serjan, Bregenz Festival Ch, Vienna SO/Carlo Rizzi rec. 2009 UNITEL CLASSICA/C MAJOR 702404 [131:00] [BW]

Spectacle rules at the expense of the music.

Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (c.1548-1611) Motet, Missa Dum complerentur, Missa Simile est regnum coelorumitem Christ Church Cathedral Ch, Oxford/Stephen Darlington rec. 1993 NIMBUS NI5434 [59:02] [MS]

An above average account of two of Victoria's parody masses is sung with style and conviction by accomplished specialists, Oxford's Christ Church Cathedral Choir with Stephen Darlington.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Armida al campo d'Egitto Raffaella Milanesi; Romina Basso; Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini rec. 2009 NAÏVE OP 30492 [3 CDs: 2:49:22] [MS]

A gently compelling piece, expertly and idiomatically performed, and recorded for the first time here.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concertos for recorder, violin, bassoon & strings Adrian Chandler (violin); Pamela Thorby (recorder); Peter Whelan (bassoon) La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler rec. 2010 AVIE AV 2201 [68:59] [J-PJ]

A rather uninspiring programme

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin Fritz Uhl, Victoria de Los Angeles, Christa Ludwig, Ch & O Estable del Teatro Colón/Lovro von Matacic rec. 1964 COLUMNA MÚSICA 1CM0229 [3 CDs: 62:19 + 76:45 + 60:11] [GD]

They don't make them like they used to.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Wesendonck Lieder, Preludes & Overtures Measha Brueggergosman, Cleveland O/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2010 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 8773 [72:16] [ST]

The Wesendonck Lieder are beautifully played and distinctively sung.

William Vincent WALLACE (1812-1865) Lurline Victorian Opera Ch & O/Richard Bonynge rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.660293-94 [74:58 + 75:25] [JW]

Craftsmanship is evident throughout this opera which gathers pace – dramatically and musically – as it goes along. Reveals Weber-like traits and evocations.

William WALTON (1902-1983) Violin Concerto, Symphony 1 Kurt Nikkanen (violin) New Haven SO/William Boughton rec. 2009 NIMBUS NI 6119 [79:28] [MG]

Well worth hearing for their thoughtful approach … see Full Review

William WALTON (1902-1983) Violin Concerto see ELGAR

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH John WARD (1571-1638) First Book of Madrigals The Consort of Musick/Anthony Rooley rec. 1980 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 1816 [46.02 + 49.38] [GH]

To hear such expressive singing and to encounter Kirkby and Tubb in their prime and freshness is unbeatable. 

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786–1826) Overtures: Euryanthe, Abu Hassan see BEETHOVEN

Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Die Sieben Todsünden Alban BERG (1885-1935) Lulu-Suite Angelina Réaux (soprano) New York PO/Kurt Masur rec. 1993 WARNER APEX 2564 681625 [67:43] [JS]

If only Apex had presented this disc adequately this would have been a really recommendable bargain.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Symphonies 1 & 7 Gothenburg SO/Thord Svedlund rec. 2008 CHANDOS CHSA5078 [68.55] [PBW]

For the little Weinberg which is presently available one has largely to thank Chandos and hope that they persist.

Egon WELLESZ (1885-1974) Choral Music Clive Driskill-Smith (organ) Christ Church Cathedral Ch, Oxford/Stephen Darlington rec. 2006 NIMBUS NI5852 [56:21] [JQ][GH]

A CD that is something of an ear-opener and well worth the attention of any choral collector with an enquiring ear. [JQ] Wonderful to hear these works in such very committed performances. [GH]

Samuel WESLEY (1766-1837) Short pieces for organ Christopher Howell (organ) rec. 2009/10 SHEVA COLLECTION 030 [78:04] [JS]

When discs of this music are so rare it is good when one of this quality appears.

Martin WESLEY-SMITH (b. 1945) Merry-Go-Round & other chamber music Australia Ensemble; Timothy Constable (percussion) rec. 2002/5 TALL POPPIES TP200 [71:18] [OL]

The colorful, inventive, bright world of one of Australia’s leading composers

Christoph Ernst Friedrich WEYSE (1774-1842) Perspectives –The Key Masterpieces Danish Ntl CO/Giordano Bellincampi; Tivoli Concert Ch & SO/Michael Schønwandt rec. 1986-2006 DACAPO PERSPECTIVES 8.226105-06 [76:58 + 69:38] [RB]

A well informed and chosen Weyse introduction – classical and early romantic era charms and delights.

Friedrich WITT (1770-1836) Symphonies, Flute Concerto Patrick Gallois (flute) Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä/Patrick Gallois rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572089 [69:37] [J-PJ]

The Naxos tradition of bringing the obscure to light has paid off in this recording.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hugo WOLF (1860 – 1903) The Anniversary Edition Various artists rec. 1955-2005 EMI CLASSICS 6886082 [8 CDs: 571:22] [GF]

For most readers this can very well be the only Wolf discs they will ever need.

Christopher WRIGHT (b.1954) Oboe Concerto see GIBBS

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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