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Revelatory and awe-inspiring

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Outstanding performances

burns with a steady, beckoning light

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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+ Download

James MacMILLAN (b. 1959) Sun-Dogs, Visitatio Sepulchri Netherlands Radio Ch & Chamber Phil, Celso Antunes/James MacMillan rec 2008/9 BIS BISSACD1719 [67:02] [JQ]

Two highly contrasting choral works by an outstanding contemporary composer in superb performances.


Elizabeth MACONCHY (1907-1994) Three Preludes see British Women Composers

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 3, Symphony 10 Adagio Hildegard Rössl-Majdan (alto) Wiener Sängerknaben, Vienna SO/Charles Adler rec. 1952/53 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1249 [66:00 + 67:05] [JW]

Makes big claims on the historically minded collector.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959) Le Jour de Bonté (The Day of Charity) Prague Chamber Ch, Pilsen PO/Milan Kanák rec. 2009 ARCO DIVA UP 6121-2 131 [73:16] [ST][RB]

A delight. Charming and interesting and leaves you hungry for more. [ST] One of the highlights and discoveries of the Martinu celebrations. [RB]

Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959) Sextet see KORNGOLD

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Sinfonietta La Jolla in A for piano and chamber orchestra see BEETHOVEN

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863 – 1945) Cavalleria rusticana Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1857 – 1919) Pagliacci Maria Callas (soprano) Giuseppe Di Stefano (tenor) Tito Gobbi (baritone) Ch & O Teatro alla Scala/Tullio Serafin rec. 1953-4 EMI CLASSICS 6407222 [78:08 + 72:37] [GF]

A recording of Pagliacci to challenge even Cellini’s.

William MATHIAS (1934–1992) Violin Sonatas Sara Trickey (violin) Iwan Llewelyn-Jones (piano) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572292 [53:05] [RB]

Recording premieres of all three Mathias sonatas in performances that match sympathy and passion with resourcefully imaginative writing.

Nicholas MAW (b.1935) Sonata Notturna, Life Studies Raphael Wallfisch (cello) English String O/William Boughton rec. 1995 NIMBUS NI5471 [65:07] [RB]

Essential recordings of Maw’s music for string orchestra.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphony 4, Overtures Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die Zauberharfe Overture, Rosamunde Suisse Romande O/Ernest Ansermet rec. 1960/4 DECCA ELOQUENCE 4800382 [57:31 + 62:33] [SV]

That the recordings carry historic, documentary value is unquestionable; that they might constitute essential consumer acquisitions is another matter entirely, despite their incidental felicities.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Viola Sonata see Špelina

Gian Carlo MENOTTI (1911-2007) Amahl and the Night Visitors, Sebastian Chet Allen (boy soprano) Rosemary Kuhlmann (soprano) unnamed O/Thomas Schippers, Robin Hood Dell O Philadelphia/Dimitri Mitropoulos rec. 1946/51 NAXOS 8.111364 [63:06] [WH]

A delightful Christmas opera with the original 1951 television cast. 

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Catalogue d’oiseaux Momo Kodama (piano) rec. 2009 TRITON/OCTAVIA RECORDS OVCT-0060 [3 CDs: 158:37] [DC]

Awe-inspiring audiophile sonics, and only just short of being Messiaen nirvana.

Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Milhaud conducts Milhaud Les Quatre Saisons, Saudades do Brasil Szymon Goldberg (violin) Ernst Wallfisch (viola) Geneviève Joy, Jacqueline Bonneau (pianos) Maurice Suzan (trombone) Solistes des Concerts Lamoureux/Concert Arts Orch/Darius Milhaud rec. 1956-58 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 272 [67:17] [RB]

Delightful tonal wares on display … lissom yet tangy character.

Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950) Complete Solo Folksong Arrangements Adrian Thompson (tenor); Marcus Farnsworth (baritone); John Talbot (piano) Members of the Weybridge Male Voice Choir/Christine Best
rec. 2010. DDD Full contents list at end review BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY BMS438CD [65:38] [NB]

A success in every respect.

Bernhard MOLIQUE (1802-1869) String Quartets 1 & 2 Mannheim String Qt rec. 2007 CPO 777 336-2 [75:14] [Byz]

With justifiably considerable enthusiasm the players perform both works beautifully, with splendid intonation and perception.

Michel Pignolet de MONTÉCLAIR (1667 - 1737) A la guerre! - Concertos for transverse flute Gabriele Cassone (natural trumpet) Antonio Frigé (harpsichord) Ens Pian e Forte rec. 1998 DYNAMIC DM8004 [79:07] [JV]

Arranging Montéclair's flute music for the trumpet was not a good idea.

Xavier MONTSALVATGE (1911-2002) Concertino 1 + 13, Tres postals; il luminades see TOLDRA

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete works for violin and orchestra Julia Fischer (violin) Gordan Nikolic (violin, viola) Netherlands CO/Yakov Kreizberg rec. 2005-7 PENTATONE PTC 5186 453 [3 CDs: 194:06 + DVD] [JFL]

Near the top of my Mozart heap — amid Mintz, Mutter, Kavakos and Zehetmair.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Entführung aus dem Serail Anneliese Rothenberger, Nicolai Gedda, Lucia Popp, Gerhard Unger, Gottlob Frick, Wiener PO/Josef Krips rec. 1966 EMI CLASSICS 6407342 [36.58 + 77.19] [DBe]

A starry cast, with a classic performance from Gottlob Frick, achieving not quite the sum of its parts.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
(1756-1791) Piano Concerto 23 see Great Pianists


RECORDING OF THE MONTH Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Tiempo del Angel Astoria FUGA LIBERA FUG603 [51:30] [DJB]

Unless you have a complete aversion to the accordion and/or the tango, this is wonderful.

Paolo PEREZZANI (b 1955) Primavera dell’anima see DALLAPICCOLA

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concerto 3 Gustav MAHLER (1850-1911) Symphony 1 Yuja Wang (piano) Lucerne Festival O/Claudio Abbado rec. 2009 EUROARTS 2057964 [93:00] [BW]

High-quality performances very well presented – deserves to sell as well as its DVD equivalent already has.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concerto 2 Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Symphonic Dances Geneviève Laurenceau (violin) Capitole de Toulouse Ntl O/Tugan Sokhiev rec. 2010 NAÏVE V5256[63:38] [RC]

This disc offers perhaps the two most important Russian composers of the 20th century in equally compelling performances of major works.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Valery Gergiev – In Rehearsal and In Concert Scythian Suite Rotterdam PO/Valery Gergiev rec. 1997 KULTUR VIDEO D4570 [1 DVD – Suite: 23:43; Documentary: 34:11] [RC]

Fans of Prokofiev and of this work as well as Gergiev mavens should find this DVD of considerable interest.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Manon Lescaut Maria Callas, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Ch & O Teatro alla Scala/Tullio Serafin rec. 1957 EMI CLASSICS 6407542 [76.23 + 44.12 + CD-ROM] [DBe]

A dramatic and engaging performance of an exciting opera. A few ‘raw’ patches notwithstanding this is a classic set. 

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Dido and Aeneas, Z626 Solenn’ Lavanant Linke (mezzo) Yeree Suh (soprano) Alejandro Meerapfel (baritone) Capella Mediterranea, Nouvelle Ménestrandie/Leonardo Garcia Alarcón rec. 2009 AMBRONAY AMY022 [52:55] [MG]

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Vocalise, Symphony 3 National PO/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1975 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802024 [46:19] [RB]

Stokowski wild-eyed with white hair flying amid the brilliant glitter and thunderous attack.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Piano Concerto 2 Yuja Wang (piano) Mahler Ch Orch/Claudio Abbado rec. 2010 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 9308 [56:17] [WH]

Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Symphonic Dances see PROKOFIEV

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Sonata 2 see Primakov

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Ma mère l’oye see BARTOK

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Violin Sonata see FRANCK

Max REGER (1873-1916) Violin Sonata 7, Viola Suites 1-3 Luigi Alberto Bianchi (violin, viola) rec. 1977/92 DYNAMIC DM8008 [56:02] [GD]

A satisfying disc of Reger chamber music.

Graham REYNOLDS (b.1971) The Difference Engine Leah Zeger (violin) Jonathan Dexter (cello) Graham Reynolds (piano) rec. 2010 INNOVA 790 [41:51] [DC]

Nothing but good things to report.

Neil ROLNICK (b.1947) Extended Family, Faith, MONO Prelude ETHEL Quartet, Bob Gluck (piano) Neil Rolnick (voice, laptop computer) rec. 2010 INNOVA 782 [58:06] [Byz]

You may find this kind of new technology experimentation interesting, if not overly musical.

Nikolay Andreyevich ROSLAVETS (1880-1944) Cello Sonatas 1 & 2, Razdum’ye, Tantsï belïkh dev, Viola Sonata Lachezar Kostov (cello) Viktor Valkov (piano) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570996 [52:44] [SA]

The compositions on this disc will be further assistance in putting Roslavets’ music in the spotlight.

Edmund RUBBRA (1901–1986) Sonatina for treble recorder, Passacaglia sopra see Songs of Yesterday

Roberto SIERRA (b.1953) Piano Trios 1-3, Fanfarria, Aria y Movimiento Perpetuo, for violin and piano Trío Arbós: Miguel Borrego (violin) José Miguel Gómez (cello) Juan Carlos Garvayo (piano) rec. 2009. NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559611 [53.05] [Byz]

This must be the most immediately attractive 'serial' music ever written!

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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