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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

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911) Symphony 2 Kate Royal (soprano) Magdalena Kožená (mezzo) Rundfunkchor Berlin, Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2010 EMI CLASSICS 6473632 [86:23] [JQ]

Acquire this superb new Mahler Second – but hang on to your copy of Rattle’s 1986 recording too!

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 4 Sarah Fox (soprano) Philharmonia O/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. 2006 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD219 [56:43] [JQ]

This is a very fine Mahler Fourth and a treasurable example of the work of a great conductor in repertoire with which he was not automatically associated.

Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911) Symphonies 6 & 8 Rotterdam PO, Brabant O/Eduard Flipse rec. 1954/5 ROTTERDAM PHILHARMONIC VINTAGE RECORDINGS no number [3 CDs: 157:57] [JQ]

Pioneering versions of two Mahler symphonies that should be sought out by all serious Mahler collectors.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 2 Alice Coote, Natalie Dessay, Orfeón Donostiarra, Frankfurt RSO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2009 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6945860 [23:17 + 61:54] [JQ]

A well played version of this imposing symphony but several other recordings offer a more compelling experience.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 3 see SCHOENBERG

Gian Francesco MALIPIERO (1883-1973) The Symphonies - Vol. 5 Sinfonia dello zodiaco; Symphonies 9 & 10 Moscow So/Antonio de Almeida rec. 1993 NAXOS 8.570882 [71:23] [JF]

Disquieting, strange conjunctions and disjunctions, terse to the point of brooding intensity.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Piano Concertos – Vol. 2 Nos. 1, 2, 4 Giorgio Koukl (piano) Bohuslav Martinů PO/Arthur Fagen, rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572373 [74:45] [RC]

Brilliantly captures Martinů’s coloristic effects and eclectic nature.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Symphony 4, La Jolla, Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca, Double Concerto, Concerto for String Quartet, Sinfonia Concertante, Memorial to Lidice rec. 1958-95 EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 2643502 [73:23 + 69:29] [RB]

Inexpensive Martinu in sound performances that have been about a bit.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Symphony 2 'Lobgesang' Ruth Ziesak, Mojca Erdmann (sop.) Christian Elsner (ten.) MDR RSO & Ch/Jun Märkl rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572294 [68:41] [RB]

Mendelssohn stirringly and fervently done. Superbly crafted performance.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto, Octet James Ehnes (violin) Philharmonia O/Vladimir Ashkenazy, Seattle Chamber Music Soc rec. 2010 ONYX 4060 [57:31] [KS]

Flawless, perfect, profound; James Ehnes scores another home run with this incomparable performance.

Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Viola & Clarinet Sonatas, Trio Ana Chumachenco (violin) Hariolf Schlichtig (viola) Eduard Brunner (clarinet) Adrian Oetiker (pno) rec. 2008-9 TUDOR 7154 [62:26] [RB]

This is an unusual and rewarding assemblage of Mendelssohn chamber music most beautifully performed and recorded.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, Symphony 5 Québec SO/Louis Lortie (piano) rec. 2009 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD2 2617 [64:14] [SV]

This is a pleasing and well-performed programme.

Mendelssohn In Verbier Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Piano Sextet, Piano Concerto 1, Symphony 3 Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrushka Yuja Wang (piano) Kirill Troussov (violin) David Aaron Carpenter, Maxim Rysanov (violas) Sol Gabetta (cello) Leigh Mesh (double-bass) Verbier Festival O/Kurt Masur rec. 2009 IDEALE AUDIENCE 3079248 [100:00] [CC]

A remarkable homage to the evergreen genius of Mendelssohn – with the bonus of a stunning version of the Stravinsky Petrushka pieces.

Gian Carlo MENOTTI (1911 – 2007) The Consul, Amelia al Ballo Ch & O La Scala/Nino Sanzogno rec. 1950/4 NAXOS 8.112023-24 [69.01 + 75.18] [RH]

The original recording of The Consul is a vividly dramatic and highly atmospheric.

Nikolai MIASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Cello Sonata 2 see Russian Music for Cello and Piano

Vytautas MIŠKINIS (b.1954) Time is Endless Royal Holloway Ch/Rupert Gough, rec. 2010 HYPERION CDA67818 [77:57] [JQ]

Another Hyperion disc of unfamiliar but rewarding Baltic choral music, expertly performed

Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950) Complete Solo Folksong Arrangements Adrian Thompson (tenor) Marcus Farnsworth (baritone) John Talbot (piano) Weybridge Male Voice Ch/Christine Best rec. 2010 BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY BMS438CD [65:38] [RB]

Everything feels just right. An essential companion to the Moeran songs on Chandos and by no means inferior in quality of invention or execution. Your Moeran collection is incomplete without this disc.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Clarinet Concerto, Sinfonia Concertante Franz KROMMER (1759-1831) Concerto for two clarinets Sabine Meyer (clarinet) Staatskapelle Dresden/Hans Vonk; Württembergisches CO Heilbronn/Jörg Faerber rec. 1988/90 EMI CLASSICS MASTERS 6317952 [75:59] [MC]

The Mozart scores have great appeal and are given marvellous performances.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Divertimenti Wiener Oktett rec. 1952-9 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 4328 [50:25 + 66:47] [JS]

Reminds us of unfairly neglected works and performers.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Last Four String Quartets Juilliard String Qt rec. 1974 SONY 77114 [54:38 + 51:26] [BW]

Classic accounts, well worth considering, but there are less expensive rivals, some on period instruments.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Divertimento for string trio, Fugues with Slow Preludes Hermitage String Trio rec. 2010 CHANDOS CHAN 10635 [63:40] [JS]

Many hours of supreme musical pleasure are guaranteed.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Piano Sonatas Daniel-Ben Pienaar (piano) rec. 2008/9 AVIE AV2209 [5 CDs: 288:17] [DC]

Hesitate not - this really is new Mozart. 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Andante & variations see BARTÓK

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto 17 see Dohnányi in London

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Sorochyntsi Fair, Night on the Bare Mountain Alexander BORODIN Polovtsian Dances Latko Koroshetz, Bogdana Stritar, Slovenian National Opera Ch & O/Samo Hubad, Vienna SO/Willem van Otterloo rec. 1955/8 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO053 [60:46 + 54:14] [RB]

The qualities we look for - that ardent listening experience we want to repeat - are here in abundance. 

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) The Music for Organ Kevin Bowyer (organ) rec. 1999 NIMBUS NI 5675 [78:43] [DC]

Stimulating and impressive, but only partly Pärt.

Ernst PEPPING (1901-1981) Three Fugues on BACH see HINDEMITH

Vincent PERSICHETTI (1915-1987) Complete Piano Sonatas Geoffrey Burleson (piano) rec. 2005–7 NEW WORLD 80677-2 [77:10 + 72:46] [RB]

Shatteringly assertive, sanguine, glitteringly opalescent, plangent and kindly, and stone-smashing.

Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Tango Etudes, Cuatro estaciones Portenas Cavatina Duo rec. 2008-9 BRIDGE 9330 [58:29] [CR]

Musicianly players … artistic expertise bringing light and shade and creating an admirable sense of atmosphere.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gabriel PIERNÉ (1863–1937) Variations en ut mineur, Etude de concert, Trois pièces formant suite de concert, Passacaille Laurent Wagschal (piano) rec. 2009 TIMPANI 1C1178 [61:41] [HC]

A very fine survey of Pierné’s mature output for piano.

Gabriel PIERNÉ (1863-1937) Piano Concerto, Divertissements sur un Thème Pastoral, Ramuntcho Suites 1 & 2 Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) BBC Phil/Juanjo Mena rec 2009/10 CHANDOS CHAN 10633 [67:23] [DC]

Very fine indeed, and a high-quality programme with no fillers necessary.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH David L. POST (b.1949) String Qts 2-4, Fantasia on a Virtual Choral Hawthorne String Qt rec. 2002-7 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559661 [59:54] [Byz]

Post is a remarkable composer - not only inventive and technically capable, but also a superb communicator.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphonies 1 & 5 Sydney Symphony/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec.2009 EXTON EXCL-00042 [55:57] [AM]

Good, clean, but ultimately unmemorable performances rendered in less than ideal sound.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Scythian Suite Alban BERG (1885-1935) Lulu-Suite Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 6 Anna Prohaska (sop.) Simón Bolívar Youth O Venezuela/Claudio Abbado rec. 2010 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC20101 [95:24] [RC]

A sonic spectacular and a sight to behold.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 - 1924) Tosca Karita Mattila (soprano) Marcelo Álvarez (tenor) George Gagnidze (baritone) Metropolitan Opera O & Ch/Joseph Colaneri rec. live, 2009 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6419739 [137:00] [GF]

For great singing of the three central roles and with conducting that in no way lets the performance down, the present set is well worth owning. 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) La rondine Angela Gheorghiu (soprano) Roberto Alagna (tenor) William Matteuzzi (tenor) Inva Mula (soprano) London Voices, London Symphony Orchestra/Antonio Pappano rec. 1996 EMI CLASSICS 6407482 [66:16 + 54:19] [GF]

You can’t expect to hear/see the opera better done.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) La bohème see A Tribute to Mirella Freni

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) King Arthur Véronique Gens (soprano) Sandrine Piau (soprano) Les Arts Florissants/William Christie rec. 1995 ERATO 2564 67743-4 [50:43 + 41:38] [JS]

One of the best I have heard.

Live in Moscow Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Bells, Vocalise Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Festive Overture Moscow State Chamber Ch, Russian Ntl O/José Serebrier rec. live, 2010 WARNER CLASSICS & JAZZ 2564 680255 [59:38] [SV]

Pellucid, near-audiophile quality. Serebrier is expert at eliciting expression through sonority and color. 

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 3, Isle of the Dead Philadelphia O/Sergey Rachmaninov rec. 1929/39 NAXOS 8.111357 [59:17] [JW]

If you want these performances, this disc proves a canny and inexpensive way to acquire them. 

Sergei RACHANINOV (1873-1943) Cello Sonata see Russian Music for Cello and Piano

Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (b.1928) Toccata, Laudatio Trinitatis, Ta tou theou see PÄRT

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Music for Two Pianos Stephen Coombs, Christopher Scott (pianos) rec. 1990 REGIS RRC1356 [56:07] [DM]

A terrific disc – and a bargain to boot. Buy it.

Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937) Piano Concerto see STRAUSS

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Boléro see SCHUBERT

Josef REICHA (1752-1795) Cello Concerto see SPOHR

Josef Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839–1901) Organ concertos Stefan Johannes Bleicher (organ) Cäcilia Chmel (cello) Musikkollegium Winterthur/Douglas Boyd rec. 2010 MUSIKPRODUCTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG9011643-6 [57:58] [GD]

Satisfying if comfortable listening.

Franz Xaver RICHTER (1709–1789) Sonatas for Flute, Harpsichord and Cello - Vol. 1 Pauliina Fred (flute) Aapo Häkkinen (harpsichord) Heidi Peltoniemi (cello) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572029 [61:00] [Byz]

For admirers of music of the era, this disc represents an appealing prospect - and Richter absolutely deserves much greater exposure.

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade, Russian Easter Festival Overture Royal PO/Charles Dutoit rec. 2010 ONYX 4064 [60:88] [GD]

Dutoit really knows how to get the best out of an orchestra.

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Sinfonietta on Russian Themes, Overture on Russian Themes see KALINNIKOV

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH George ROCHBERG (1918-2005) Piano Music - Vol. 3 Partita-Variations, Nach Bach, Sonata-Fantasia Sally Pinkas (pno) rec. 1996-7 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559633 [67:26] [DM]

Deeply satisfying.

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901–1999) Concierto de Aranjuez, Fantasia para un Gentilhombre , Concierto para una fiesta Alfonso Moreno (guitar) State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra/Enrique Batiz rec. 1994 REGIS RRC1360 [69:04] [RB]

Price is low, performances neon lit and the music a delight to hear.

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999) Concierto de Aranjuez, Invocacion y danza Stephen GOSS (b. 1964) The Albeniz Concerto Isaac ALBENIZ (1860-1909) España Xuefei Yang (guitar) Barcelona I Nacional de Catalunya SO/Eiji Oue rec. 2010 EMI CLASSICS 6983612 [75:56] [RB]

Thrummingly immediate …. a delight.

Lauro ROSSI (1812–1885) Cleopatra Dimitra Theodossiou (sop.) Alessandro Liberatore (ten.) Coro Lirico Marchigiano ‘V. Bellini’, Marchigiana PO/David Crescenzi, rec. 2008 NAXOS 2.110279 [114:56] [RJF]

A welcome hearing of a competent, but little known, Italian opera composer overshadowed by Verdi.

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792 – 1868) La Gazzetta Judith Gauthier (soprano) Marco Orestano (baritone) San Pietro a Majella Ch, Naples Czech Chamber Soloists/Christopher Franklin, rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.660277-78 [69.48 + 59.53] [RH]

Charmingly effective … you might well be entranced.

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Arias Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo) Wiener Volksopernorchester/Giuseppe Patanè rec. 1988 DECCA ORIGINALS 4782663 [64.11] [RF]

A welcome reminder of the start of a formidable recording career of one of the great singers of her generation.

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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