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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

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Cello Concerto No 1 in A minor, Op. 33 (1872) [19:37] Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Élégie for cello and orchestra (1880/1895) [6:45] Aprčs un ręve arr. Pablo Casals (1878) [3:05] Edouard LALO (1823-1892) Cello Concerto in D minor (1876) [27:20] Jesús Morales ('cello) Philharmonia Bulgarica/Jaime Morales rec. 2005 CENTAUR CRC 2837 [56:49] [SV]

A potential Rostropovich in the making.

Giuseppe SAMMARTINI (1695-1750) Concertos & sonatas for recorder Giovanni Battista SAMMARTINI (1700-1775) Harpsichord sonata Collegium Pro Musica/Stefano Bagliano (recorder) rec. 2008 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94157 [71:34] [Byz]

A bountifully filled disc of splendid music in first-rate performances … memorable melodies and imaginative harmonies.

Pablo de SARASATE (1844-1908) Concert Fantasy on Carmen see BRAHMS

Henri SAUGUET (1901–1989) Cirque, Le Voyante, Le Chemin des Forains Francis POULENC (1899–1963) Cocardes Georges AURIC (1899–1983) Huit Počmes de Jean Cocteau Darius MILHAUD (1892–1974) Six Chansons de Théâtre Celini Ricci (soprano) Daniel Lockert (piano) rec. 2009/2010. DORIAN SONO LUMINUS DSL 92125 [74.53] [RH]

Admirable programme, intelligently put together and including some lesser-known works but Ricci’s performance is simply unsatisfactory.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartet 14 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Quintet Sviatoslav Richter (piano) Borodin Qt rec. 1994/1995 WARNER APEX 2564 67429-8 [74:12] [GA]

Buy this for the Schumann Piano Quintet, which is very successful.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Masses Luba Orgonasova (soprano) Birgit Remmert (alto) Deon van der Walt (tenor) Anton Scharinger (bass) Wolfgang Holzmair (baritone) Arnold Schoenberg Ch, CO Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 1995 WARNER APEX 2564 67430-2 [50:05 + 53:31] [RMo]

The later Mass is a gem.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Piano Sonatas 4 & 13; Wandererfantasie Eldar Nebolsin (piano) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572459 [62:15] [GM+BW]

Well worth considering, especially at the price.


(1797-1828) “Arpeggione” sonata see BRAHMS

Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896) Concerto Movement see Robert SCHUMANN

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Kinderszenen, Fantasie in C Mindru Katz (piano) rec. 1974 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD 157 [56:42] [JW]

There is more Katz to come from this source, and one awaits it impatiently.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) String Quartets 1-3 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quartets 1-3 Melos Qt rec. 1986/7 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802051 [3 CDs: 177:54] [MC]

There are far better alternatives in the catalogue.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto; Introduction and Allegro Appassionato; Introduction and Allegro Concertante Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896) Concerto Movement Oleg Marshev (piano) South Jutland SO/Vladimir Ziva. rec. 2009 DANACORD DACOCD688 [73:41] [CC]

The couplings to the concerto on this disc are what actually what makes the disc interesting, and musically worthwhile.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Phantasiestucke, Drei Romanzen, Märchenbilder, Adagio und Allegro Jeajoon RYU (b.1970) Sonata for violin and piano Eungsoo Kim (violin); Moon-Young Chae (piano) rec. Vienna, 2010 TELOS TLS127 [66:33] [RBe]

A very good recital with both players showing a real rapport and a shared understanding.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Carnaval Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Pieces Sergei Rachmaninov (piano) rec. 1929/40 ST-LAURENT STUDIO YSL 78-019 [50:44] [JW]

St-Laurent have effortlessly outstripped RCA.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Quintet see SCHUBERT

Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Concerto No. 1 and 2, Piano Quintet Martin Helmchen (piano), Paul Beniston (trumpet), Pieter Schoeman (violin), Vesselin Gellev (violin), Alexander Zemtsov (viola), Kristina Blaumane (cello) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2008, 2009, 2010 LPO-0053 [75.49] [RBe]

Warm and intense.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Cello Concerto 2, Cello Sonata 1 Sol Gabetta (cello) Mihaela Ursuleasa (piano) Munich PO/Marc Albrecht rec. 2008 RCA-BMG RED SEAL 88697359612 [66:01] [MC]

I know of no more dramatic and beautifully played account of the Concerto

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Complete Works for Cello Raphael Wallfisch (cello) John York (piano) BBC SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2005 NIMBUS NI 5764/5 [61:07 + 67:12] [LW]

Wallfisch excels in Shostakovich’s complete cello works. Something of a bargain.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Five pieces for children arr. Levon Atovmian A child’s exercise book Op.69 see Russian Piano Miniatures for Children

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto Nicolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) Violin Concerto 2 Yulian Sitkovetsky (violin) Czech PO/Nicolai Anosov, Mark Pavermann rec. 1953/5 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 290 [58:34] [JW]

The fervour is unceasing and the music is charted with feverish intensity. 

Sir Arthur SOMERVELL (1863-1937) Maud Sir William STERNDALE BENNETT (1815-1875) Songs Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Five Early Songs; Three Rondeaux Alfred TENNYSON (1809-1892) Maud (The Monodrama) Stephen Roberts (baritone) Terence Allbright (piano) Gabriel Woolf (reader) PRELUDE RECORDS CDPR2552 [77.10 + 60.59] [EM]

This failed to impress.

Johann STAMITZ (1717-1757) Flute Concertos Robert Aitken (flute) St Christopher CO/Donatas Katkus rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570150 [69:15] [CR]

Enjoyable phrasing and a pure, sweet, uncomplicated tone quality balanced with a good sense of energy and exuberant display. 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Wilhelm STENHAMMAR (1871 - 1927) Symphonies, piano concertos & other orchestral works Peter Mattei (baritone) Ulf Wallin (violin) Love Derwinger, Cristina Ortiz (piano) Gothenburg SO/Neeme Järvi; Malmö SO/Paavo Järvi rec. 1982-92 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94238 [3 CDs: 230:38] [RB]

The accustomed romantic idiom inflamed with Swedish folk voices - a sensational bargain.

Sir William STERNDALE BENNETT (1815-1875) Songs see SOMERVELL

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie, Der Tanz der sieben Schleier City of Birmingham SO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2010 ORFEO C 833 111 A [62:28] [NB]

I have to say that I have never heard as exciting or as passionate a performance.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le Baiser de la Fée, Perséphone, Pulcinella, Symphony in Three Movements Hong Kong PO/David Atherton, London PO/Kent Nagano, Northern Sinf, CBSO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 1978-94 EMI CLASSICS 9498442 [75:54 +76:52] [DM]

Worth buying for the Atherton and, to a lesser extent, the Nagano. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Josef SUK (1874-1935) Asrael Symphony Czech PO/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. 2007 SUPRAPHON SU 4043-2 [60:01] [RB]

The best modern version.

Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770) The Devil’s Trill sonata see Virtuoso

Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto 1 Concert Fantasy Peter Katin (piano) London SO/Edric Cundell, London PO/Sir Adrian Boult rec.1958/59 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 276 [61:07] [CH]

Brilliant, technically commanding but also poetic playing from Katin and a particularly strong orchestral performance from Boult in the Fantasy.

Piotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano concertos 1 & 2 Emil Gilels (piano) Milano della RAI SO/Fernando Previtali, Leningrad PO/Kirill Kondrashin rec. 1959 ISTITUTO DISCOGRAFICO ITALIANO IDIS6606 [64:39] [RMay]

Even artistic giants can sometimes have feet of clay.

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Romeo and Juliet, Marche Slave see RIMSKY-KORSAKOV

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Complete works for cello and orchestra Alexander Rudin (cello) Ens Instrumental Musica Viva/Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Alexander Rudin rec. 1997 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94188 [66:14] [GA]

A very well-played collection of Tchaikovsky’s cello output rounded off with an elegant performance of the Serenade for Strings. 

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) A children’s album see Russian Piano Miniatures for Children

Nikolai TCHEREPNIN (1873-1945) Piano Music Three Pieces, op.24 [14:38] 14 Sketches on Pictures from the Russian Alphabet, op.38 (1908) [32:49] 6 Musical Illustrations to Pushkin's 'The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish', op.41 [18:08] David Witten (piano)
rec. 2009. DDD TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0117 [65:45] [Byz]

Tcherepnin's piano music - evocative, melodic, harmonically imaginative and immensely varied.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) The Recorder Collection Dan Laurin, Clas Pehrsson (recorders) Drottningholm Baroque Ens rec. 1974-2008 BIS BISCD1488-90 [6 CDs: 411:28] [DC]

A terrific survey of Telemann’s recorder works - a bargain must-have.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Ich hoffete aufs Licht - Funeral Music for Emperor Karl VII La Stagione Frankfurt/Michael Schneider rec. 2010 CPO 777 6032 [62:53] [MS]

A far better than merely competent performance.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs of Travel see British Romantics

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Inno delle nazioni (Hymn of the Nations) Libera me, Domine;Quattro pezzi sacri (Four Sacred Pieces) Barbara Frittoli (soprano), Francesco Meli (tenor) Ch & O Teatro Regio, Torino/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2010 CHANDOS CHAN 10659 [70:35] [MC]

A most compelling disc.

Pauline VIARDOT-GARClA (1821-1910) Sonatine, Morceaux see FARRENC

Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) Missa Trahe me post te Westminster Cathedral Ch/James O'Donnell, Iain Simcock (organ) rec. 1994 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55376 [67:30] [GD]

A highly thought of disc then, especially at this budget price.

Hector VILLA-LOBOS (1887 - 1959) Villa Lobos conducts Villa Lobos Felicia Blumental (piano) Victoria de los Angeles (soprano) Choeurs de Radio France; Chorale des Jeunesses Musicales de France; L'Orch Nat de la Radiodiffusion Francaise/Heitor Villa-Lobos rec. 1954-58 EMI CLASSICS 50999 0 28202 2 4 [6 CDs: 78:02 + 70:28 + 70:13 + 64:00 + 72:31 + 70:48] [RB]

An opportunity in well refurbished mono analogue sound to get to grips with the composer’s own vision of this music.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Sacred Music John Alldis Ch, English CO, Concertgebouw CO/Vittorio Negri rec. 1976-90 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802045 [7 CDs: 457:05] [GD]

Negri was considered a Vivaldi authority back in the 1970s and it is easy to hear why.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Night of Love Waltraud Meier (soprano) Siegfried Jerusalem (tenor) Berliner PO/Daniel Barenboim rec. 1989-94 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 67605-9 [78:41] [GF]

Meier and Jerusalem are up there among the Wagner classics.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der Ring des Nibelungen Radio Italiana Ch & SO/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1953 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO57-060 [13 CDs: ca 15 hrs] [RMo]

This remastered set is indispensable to Wagnerites everywhere.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Preludes and orchestral excerpts from operas Suisse Romande O/Ernest Ansermet rec. 1963 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 0567 [50:50] [SV]

A French sound, bright and clear, rather than a deep, weighty Germanic one.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der Fliegende Holländer Juha Uusitalo (bass-baritone) Catherine Nagelstad (soprano) Nederlandse Opera Ch, Netherlands PO/Hartmut Haenchen, Martin Kušej (director) rec. live, 2010 OPUS ARTE OA1049D [167:00] [ST]

I enjoyed this film very much, mainly for the singing rather than the staging. 

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg James King (tenor) Pilar Lorengar (soprano) Theo Adam (bass-baritone) Metropolitan Op Ch/Orch/Thomas Schippers rec. 1972 SONY CLASSICAL 88697 853042 [ST]

Something very special, and the budget price undoubtedly helps.


Siegfried WAGNER
(1869-1930) Violin Concerto see PFITZNER

Henry WALFORD DAVIES (1869-1941) Violin sonata see BLISS

William WALTON (1902 - 1983) Violin concerto Samuel BARBER (1910 - 1981) Violin concerto, Adagio for Strings Thomas Bowes (violin) Malmö Opera O/Joseph Swensen rec. h 2010 SIGNUM SIGCD238 [66:02] [NB]

A disc of so many virtues but not the winner either. 

William WALTON (1902-1983) Troilus and Cressida, Partita Richard Lewis (tenor) Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Philharmonia O/Sir William Walton rec. 1955/9 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 286 [69:37] [RB]

This will please but cannot stand comparison with the EMI re-mastering.

Thomas WEELKES (c.1576-1623) Ninth Service, Evening Service and Anthems
Stephen Carter* +, Richard Roberts* (altos); Andrew Carwood* (tenor); Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford/Stephen Darlington rec. 1988. DDD. Texts included. NIMBUS NI5125 [50:42] [JW]

Fruitful, grand and invigorating.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) The Passenger Soloists Vienna SO/Teodor Currentzis rec. 2010 NEOS 51005 [190:00] [DBi]

An almost unknown, almost great opera in a stunning production.

Jörg WIDMANN (b. 1973) Messe; Fünf Bruchstücke; Elegie Jörg Widmann (clarinet) Heinz Holliger (piano) Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken/Christoph Poppen rec. 2008/9 ECM NEW SERIES 2110 4763309 [67:57] [HC]

This superb release is the best introduction possible to Widmann’s hugely personal sound-world.

Henryk WIENIAWSKI (1835-1880) Légende; Variations on an Original Theme see Virtuoso

John R. WILLIAMSON (b.1929) Lads of love and sorrow Mark Rowlinson (baritone) David Jones (piano) rec. 2006 DIVINE ART DIVERSIONS DDV24163 [66:30] [JQ]

Songs by an English composer that are worth hearing.

Ian WILSON (b.1964) Man-o'-War; An Angel Serves a Small Breakfast; Winter Finding; Licht/ung Rebecca Hirsch (violin) RTÉ National SO/Gerhard Markson, David Porcelijn rec. 2006/7 RTÉ LYRIC FM CD126 [60:51] [Byz]

Wilson's music is wonderfully played here.

Isidora ŽEBELJAN (b.1967) The Horses of St Mark, Rukoveti, The Minstrel's Dance, Selište, Escenas Picaras Aile Asszonyi (soprano) Žebeljan Ens, Janáček PO/David Porcelijn rec. 2007 CPO 777 670-2 [66:41] [Byz]

CPO must be congratulated for once again having rendered the music-lover a grand service by finding and then recording, in unwelcoming times, another original voice. 

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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