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John CAROLLO (b.1954) Starry Night, Anguish in Every Household, Clarinet Quartet 1, Transcendence in the Age of War Brno Sax Qt, Moravian PO/Petr Vronský/Jan Kucera rec. 2010 NAVONA RECORDS NV 5844 [71:07] [Byz]
New music that often has every right to stand alongside the great works of past centuries and to reward those who have put so much creative effort into it.

Isaiah CECCARELLI (b.1973) Bréviaire d'Epuisements Emilie Laforest (voice) Josée Lalonde (voice) Lori Freedman (bass clarinet) Philippe Lauzier (bass clarinet) Pierre-Yves Martel (viola da gamba) Isaiah Ceccarelli (percussion) rec. 2009 AMBIANCES MAGNETIQUES AM 199 [51:39] [Byz]

Only really recommendable to those with plenty of cash to spare and a strong urge for avant-garde joyriding.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, Piano Sonata 2, Mazurkas, Nocturnes, Polonaise see Yundi

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Nocturne see BRAHMS

Sebastian CURRIER (b.1959) Piano Sonata, Departures and Arrivals, Scarlatti Cadences, Brainstorm Laura Melton (piano) rec. 2009/10 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559638 [55:10] [Byz]

Currier's music is on the cusp of the kind of broader exposure it deserves.

Richard DANIELPOUR (b. 1956) The Enchanted Garden: Preludes, Book I and II Xiayin Wang (piano) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.559669 [49:37] [HC]

A lovely disc of attractive and accessible piano music.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862 - 1918) Complete Orchestral Music - Vol.6 Suite bergamasque, Petite Suite, Printemps, En blanc et noir, Symphony Lyon Ntl O/Jun Märkl rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572583 [74:21] [NB]

Collectors five discs into this series won’t need to read this review to make up their minds. 

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin sonata Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin sonata Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Humoresques Efi Christodoulou (violin) Margaret Fingerhut (piano) rec. 2010 GUILD GMCD 7358 [59:11] [GA]

The Sibelius Humoresques are the standout in this interesting and enterprising program of early 20th century violin works. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Appalachia, The Song of the High Hills Olivia Robinson (soprano) Christopher Bowen (tenor) Andrew Rupp (baritone) BBC SO & Ch/Andrew Davis rec. 2010 CHANDOS CHSA5088 [64:24] [IL]

Beautifully-shaped and sensitive readings.

Jeanne DEMESSIEUX (1921-1968) Organ Works: Six Études,Triptych, Te Deum Pierre Labric (organ) rec. 1969/1972 DISQUES FY & DU SOLSTICE SOCD 269 [62.35] [GH]

Probably one for the specialists.

François DEVIENNE (1759-1803) Six Duos Concertants for Flute and Viola Ewa Murawska (flute), Marcin Murawski (viola) rec. 2008, DDD ACTE PREALABLE APO222 [69:04] [CR]

Elegance and wonderful energy.

Lawrence DILLON (b. 1959) Violin Music Danielle Belén (violin, kazoo) David Fung (piano) Juan-Miguel Hernandez (viola) Stan Muncy (marimba) rec. 2009 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559644 [61:21] [Byz]

Quality music, quality performances, quality production. 

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Linda di Chamounix Eglise Gutiérrez (soprano) Stephen Costello (tenor) Ludovic Tezier (bass-baritone) Ch & O Royal Opera House, Covent Garden /Sir Mark Elder rec. live, 2009 OPERA RARA ORC43 [3 CDs: 165:33] [RJF]

Performed in the new Critical Edition by Gabrielle Dotto, this is another quality recording of a Donizetti opera complemented by the unsurpassed Opera Rara presentation. 

Paul DUKAS (1865-1935) La Péri, Symphony, The Sorcerer's Apprentice Netherlands RPO/Jean Fournet REGIS RRC1344 [75:00] [ST]

The playing and direction on the disc is good; my only complaint is that the sound is ever so slightly recessed. 


Requiem, Quatre Motets see Voices from Heaven

Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto 2 Piano Concerto Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) Frantisek Maxián (piano) Czech PO/Václav Talich rec. 1951-1952 REGIS RRC1368 [76:52] [GA]

This release is not recommendable; the recording is raw and uncomfortable, and there are superior versions of both these Dvorák concertos currently available.

Antonin DVORÁK (1841-1904) Piano trios Max Brod Trio rec. 2010 AUDIOMAX 703 1682-2 [70:36] [GD]

I love the way that they land running at the start of the work, fully engaging the listener from the very first note.


Antonín DVO
RÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 9 see BRAHMS

Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Violin Concerto see Romantic Works for Violin

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The violin music: Violin concerto, Serenade, Salon pieces, Violin sonata Marat Bisengaliev (violin) Benjamin Frith (piano) West Kazakhstan PO/Bundit Ungrangsee rec. 1999-2009 NAXOS 8.572643-45 [3 CDs: 194:31] [GA]

A captivating Elgar Violin Concerto is worth the price of the set by itself, and the rest is very fine.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin sonata see DEBUSSY

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Serenade see HAYDN

Michael J. EVANS (b.1964) Eidola: The Haunted Palace, Piano Concerto, Nocturne with Sunrise Karolina Rojahn (piano) Moravian PO/Vit Micka rec. 2010 NAVONA RECORDS NV5843 [59:35] [Byz]

Easy, attractive melodies but there are also glimpses of greater potential. 

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) El sombrero del tres picos see Invitation to the Dance

Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987) 2 Instruments; Dance Suite Barbara MONK FELDMAN (b.1953) Duo; Pour un Nuage Viole OGREOGRESS 40720 [91:11] [GD]

Two Feldman themes: his early work and the music written by his widow after his death.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Friedrich Ernst FESCA (1789-1826) Flute Quartets Linos Ens rec. 2005 CPO 777 126-2 [69:04] [CR]

Charming repertoire. Enjoyable sound. Breathtaking flute playing.

Lukas FOSS (1922-2009) The Prairie Elizabeth Weigle (soprano); Gigi Mitchell-Velasco (mezzo); Frank Kelly (tenor); Aaron Engebreth (baritone) Providence Singers Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Andrew Clark rec. 2007 BMOP/SOUND 1007 [53:02] [CR]

An excellent recording which captures the work's essence very well. 

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Violin Sonata Shlomo Mintz (violin) Yefim Bronfman (piano) rec. 1985/6 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94160 [58.04] [SA]

A wonderful disc of three classic sonatas which I have never heard bettered or enjoyed more.

Luis de FREITAS BRANCO (1890-1955) Orchestral Works - Vol. 4: Symphony 4, Vathek RTÉ Ntl SO/Álvaro Cassuto rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572624 [76.23] [GH]

A most enjoyable and interesting composer.

Andrea GABRIELI (1532/33 - 1585) Keyboard Music Glen Wilson (harpsichord, spinet) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572198 [72:15] [JV]

Nobody interested in early keyboard music should miss this disc.  

Niels Wilhelm GADE (1817-1890) Novelette 1 & 2 Aarhus Ch O/Ove Vedsten Larsen rec. 1981 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94185 [42:48] [BR]

Very pleasant additions to the romantic string-serenade repertoire.

Hans GÁL (1890-1987) Piano Music Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2005, NIMBUS NI 5751-52 [67:35 + 72:45] [JW]

Nimbus’s more billowy recording suits Jones’s mellow approach and he can be warmly commended for his rich tone and more horizontal response.

Johann Ernst GALLIARD (1687-1749) Pan and Syrinx see PURCELL

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue see Jazz Nocturne

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue see Rhapsodies for Two Pianos

Gordon GETTY (b. 1934) Overture ‘Plump Jack’, Ancestor Suite, Homework Suite ASMF/Sir Neville Marriner rec. 2009 PENTATONE CLASSICS PTC 5186 356 [60:22] [DM]

Well-formed but ultimately rather dreary. 

Alberto GINASTERA (1916-1983) Cello Concertos 1 & 2 Mark Kosower (cello) Bamberg SO/Lothar Zagrosek rec. 2009/10 NAXOS 8.572372 [68:58] [NB]

A disc that one admires very much indeed without necessarily liking it a lot - certainly one of the finest Naxos concerto discs that I have heard.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Kepler Martin Achrainer Soloists and Chorus of the Landestheater Linz, Bruckner O Linz/Dennis Russell Davies rec. 2009 ORANGE MOUNTAIN OM5004 [120:00] [KM]

More of the same from Glass.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Violin Sonata see Glass Heart

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) The Seasons see Invitation to the Dance

Reinhold GLIČRE (1875 1956) Symphony 3 see Stokowski

Mikhail GLINKA (1804-1857) Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture, Three Dances from A Life for the Tsar Pytor Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Nutcracker Act 2 BBC SO/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky rec. 1981 ICA CLASSICS ICAD5027 [65:08] [AM]

A wonderful blast from the Promenading past with Rozhdestvensky's perfectly judged Nutcracker.

Percy Aldridge GRAINGER (1882-1961) Piano Favourites Martin Jones (piano) rec. 1989/91 NIMBUS NI7703 [78:05] [BW]

An excellent sampler for the complete box set – all that many will need.

Romantic Trumpet Sonatas Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Holberg Suite (arr. Daniel-Ben Pienaar) Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Sonata 1 Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Sonata 2 Karl PILSS (1902-1979) Sonata Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (trumpet) Daniel-Ben Pienaar (piano) rec. 2010 LINN RECORDS HYBRID SACD CKD370 [69:56] [BR]

Linn have struck gold: romantic trumpet sonatas! Go on, do a double-take.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johan HALVORSEN (1864 - 1935) Orchestral Works - Vol. 3 Symphony 3, Fossegrimen, Bergensiana Ragnhild Hemsing (Hardanger fiddle) Bergen PO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2009/10 CHANDOS CHAN10664 [79:53] [NB]

Utterly beguiling. 

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Messiah Elizabeth Watts (soprano) Catherine Wyn Rogers (alto) Mark Le Brocq (tenor) James Oldfield (bass) Huddersfield Choral Soc, Northern Sinf/Jane Glover rec. 2010 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD246 [71:17 + 67:01] [JS]

A solid and worthy recording rather than one which seriously competes with the best previous recordings of this often recorded work.

Emil HARTMANN (1836-1898) Nordic and German Songs Iben Vestergård (soprano) Cathrine Penderup (piano) rec. 2010 DANACORD DACOCD 712-713 [60:06 + 64:44] [Byz]

The singer here might well have been off-colour whilst making this recording. 

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Horn Concerto No.1 in D major (1762) [16:54] Symphony No.31 in D major Hornsignal (1765) [28:29] Michael HAYDN (1737-1806) Horn Concerto in D major (c.1777) [15:24] Anthony Halstead (natural horn) The Hanover Band/Roy Goodman rec. January 1989, Frognal School, Hall NIMBUS NI 5190 [60:47] [JW]

Full of character and acumen … you won’t go far wrong with this.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1737-1809) Trios Annie Laflamme (flute) Dorothea Schönwiese-Guschlbauer (cello) Richard Fuller (fortepiano) rec. 2009 COVIELLO CLASSICS COV21011 [58:38] [JS]

Very attractive and engaging music, played and recorded so as to display it at its best.

Passione Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony 49 Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Serenade Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto 12 Ingrid Andsnes (piano) Telemark CO/Lars-Erik ter Jung rec. 2010 FABRA FBRCD 07 [60:58] [Byz]

Performed with not very much passion.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphonies 25, 42 & 65 Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä/Patrick Gallois rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570761 [67:21] [SV]

Musically informed performances played by a polished modern orchestra. This disc is sure to please and at minimal cost.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Kleine Orgelsolomesse; Theresienmesse Soloists, Trinity Choir, Rebel Baroque O/J. Owen Burdick rec. 2004/08 NAXOS 8.572128 [56:04] [GA]

Lively and vigorous readings on period instruments of the Kleine Orgelsolomesse and the Theresienmesse at a bargain price.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Keyboard concertos 3, 4 & 11 Jolanda Violante (fortepiano) L’Arte dell’Arco/Federico Guglielmo (violin and director) rec. 2008 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94175 [64:22] [GA]

The orchestra plays extremely and Violante is an able and agile soloist, but their efforts are undermined by a dull-sounding fortepiano.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony 102 see PROKOFIEV

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Kleine Kammermusik György LIGETI (1923-2006) Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Wind Quintet Quintett.Wien rec. 2001, DDD NIMBUS NI 5728 [50:06] [LW]

Fine accounts of twentieth-century wind quintets, but more could have been included.

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Planets (version for 4 hands) York BOWEN (1884-1961) Suite in Three Movements York2 Duo: Fiona and John York (piano) rec. 2010 NIMBUS NI5871 [70:28] [OL]

The coordination of the partners is marvelous, the variety of the sounds they produce is spectacular, and the feeling of the right sound at the right moment is priceless.


Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis, Requiem see Voices from Heaven

String Quartet Op.22 (1923) ] see SCHULHOFF

Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778 - 1837) Te Deum, Missa Solemnis, Alma virgo Andrea Čajová (soprano) Zuzana Dunajčanová (alto) Ondrej šaling (tenor) Rastislav Uhlár (bass) Chorus Alea, Solamente Naturali Bratislava/Didier Talpain rec. 2007 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94115 [67:40] [JV]

Hummel's splendid choral and orchestral writing comes off very well here.  

Kamran INCE (b.1960) Symphony 5 'Galatasaray'; Hot, Red, Cold, Vibrant; Requiem Without Words; Before Infrared Turkish Ministry of Culture Choir, Bilkent SO/Kamran Ince rec. 2005-07 NAXOS 8.572553 [75:38] [Byz]

Those who are happy to be bludgeoned by their music, or who equate volume with passion, should find much to enjoy in Ince's music.

David JEPHCOTT (b.1949) A Different View David Morris (whistler) Royal Liverpool PO/Clark Rundell rec. 2007 DDD NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6140 [64:46] [Byz][RB]

Hardly compelling but certainly worthy of consideration by anyone attracted to pretty, timeless music that is lightweight, but not banal. [Byz] Pleasing and undemanding listening. [RB]

FrantiŠek JIRÁNEK (1698-1778) Concertos & sinfonias Sergio Azzolini (bassoon) Marina Katazhnova (violin) Jana Semerádová (flute) Collegium Marianum/Jana Semerádová rec. 2010 SUPRAPHON SU4039-2 [66:50] [JW]

Decidedly attractive discoveries with a strong and distinct Italianate lyric gift.

Jerome KERN (1885-1945) The Jerome Kern Treasury Thomas Hampson (baritone), Jeanne Lehman (soprano) London Sinf Ch/Terry Edwards London Sinf/John McGlinn rec. 1992 EMI CLASSICS - AMERICAN CLASSICS - 9 48946 2 [79:09] [DM]

Dim the lights, crack open the Chardonnay and just enjoy.

Wilhelm KIENZL (1857-1941) Lieder - Vol. 1 Christiane Libor (soprano) Carsten Süss (tenor) Jochen Kupfer (baritone) Stacey Bartsch (piano) rec. 2008 CHANDOS CHAN10666 [67:47] [JZ]

Modern audiences should be delighted by these engaging performances. 

Victor KISSINE (b.1953) Zerkalo see Tchaikovsky

FEATURE REVIEW Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Symphony in F sharp(1947-52) [48:49] Munich Philharmonic Orchestra/Rudolf Kempe rec. 1972 then transferred to digital under the supervision of George Korngold for CD reissue in 1983. VARČSE SARABANDE VSD-5346 [48:49] [IL]

 In short Kempe’s reading is a recording to be treasured.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Songs Vol. 1 Britta Stallmeister (soprano) Uwe Schenker-Primus (baritone) Klaus Simon (piano) rec. 2007/8 NAXOS 8.572027 [76:53] [IL]

A delightful programme comprising the lesser-known Korngold songs delivered to perfection.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) String Quartet No.1 see Reznicek

Gui Sook LEE Stillness, Ostinato in Springtime, The Movement, Moving On, Refrain, Ji Hyun Kim (piano) Kim McCormick (flute) McCormick Percussion Group/Robert McCormick DDD RAVELLO RR7810 [68:48] [Byz]

Makes an excellent starting-point for anyone interested in Eastern composers in particular or attractive contemporary musical exotica in general.

György LIGETI (1923-2006) Sonate pour alto Heinz HOLLIGER (b.1939) Trema Franco DONATONI (1927-2000) Toccatina Giancinto SCELSI (1905-1988) Manto Genevičve Strosser (viola) rec. 2009 AEON AECD 1100 [71:21] [DC]

Tough, but something of a reference for this repertoire

György LIGETI (1923-2006) Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet (1953) [11:50] see HINDEMITH

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsodies 1-19 Misha Dichter (piano) rec. 1977-1985 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802049 [72:45 + 69:27] [BR]

A fantastic set, at bargain price, which treats the rhapsodies more respectfully than most.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Liszt – His Life and Music by Malcolm Hayes 2 CDs + book + dedicated website NAXOS 8.558214-15 [76:34 + 77:35] [IL]

Will satisfy Liszt admirers as well as all music-lovers whether beginners or experienced performers or listeners.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, Hungarian Rhapsody Byron Janis (piano) Moscow Radio SO/Kirill Kondrashin, Moscow PO/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky rec. 1961/2 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802058 [63:28] [BW]

Only Richter from the same vintage has an edge on these recordings.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Complete Piano Works - Vol 31 Grande Fantasie de concert sur des motifs favoris de l’opéra ‘La Sonnambula’, Réminiscences de ‘Norma’, Réminiscences des ‘Puritains’ de Bellini, Hexaméron (Morceau de concert; Grandes variations de bravoure sure la marche des ‘Puritains’ de Bellini) William Wolfram (piano) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572241 [70:06] [DM]

The playing is top-notch and the recording is pretty good too.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Wild and Crazy rec. 1961-2008 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 9526 [79:21 + 77:43] [DC]

A very decent collection, despite the title.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsody 2 see Invitation to the Dance

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsody 2 see Rhapsodies for Two Pianos

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Rhapsodie espagnole, Hungarian Rhapsody 2, Prelude and Fugue on the name of Bach, Funérailles see Cziffra

Anatol LYADOV (1855-1914) The Enchanted Lake see RACHMANINOFF

Sergey LYAPUNOV (1859-1924) Piano concertos 1 & 2; Rhapsody on Ukrainian Themes Shorena Tsintsabadze (piano) Russian PO/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570783 [58:32] [DM]

Very much a case of what might have been, I’m afraid.


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