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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



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Alphabetical Listing

Recommendations

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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RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Hamburger Quartalsmusiken Nun danket alle Gott, Herr lehr uns tun, Siehe! Ich begehre deiner Befehle, Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe Himlische Cantorey, Les Amis de Philippe/Ludger Rémy rec. 2009 CPO 777 594-2 [48:03 + 51:27] [JV]

Compelling performances of first-rate sacred cantatas by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano) Elina Garanca (mezzo) Michael Schade (tenor) Franz-Josef Selig (bass) Sächischer Staatsopernchor, Dresden Staatskapelle/Christian Thielemann rec. 2010 UNITEL CLASSICA 705408 [90:00] [ST]

An undeniably big-boned approach. A performance of real stature.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Sonata for Piano and Violin* [11:00] Henry WALFORD DAVIES (1869-1941) Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano* (1893 rev 1895) [21:56] York BOWEN (1884-1961) Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 112 [20:10] Rupert Luck (violin); Matthew Rickard (piano) rec. 2010 *world première recordings EM RECORDS EMR CD001 [53:06] [RB]

This is magnificent impassioned music-making in works of real and dazzling substance. We must hope to hear much more of Luck and Rickard.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Walter BRAUNFELS (1882-1954) Die Vögel Désirée Rancatore (soprano) Brandon Jovanovich (tenor) Los Angeles Opera Ch & O/James Conlon rec. 2009, ARTHAUS MUSIK 101530 101529 [138:54] [RC]

A superb recording that merits the highest praise!

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 5 Berlin PO/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. live, 1942 PRISTINE AUDIO XR PASC 255 [69:33] [MC]

Spacious and eminently noble … quite splendid playing.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841–1904) String Quartets 12 & 13 Pavel Haas Qt rec. 2010 SUPRAPHON SU40382 [63:08] [BR]

Just right to these ears.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Hans-Leo HASSLER (1564-1612) Sacred and secular music Currende/Erik Van Nevel, rec. 1999-2000 ET'CETERA KTC1409 [75:14 + 67:11] [JV]

This production underlines Hassler's importance and the variety and quality of his output.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Missa Sanctae Caeciliae Lucia Popp (soprano) Doris Soffel (contralto) Horst Laubenthal (tenor) Kurt Moll (bass) Bavarian RSO & Ch/Rafael Kubelik rec. 1982 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101533 [73:00] [DBi]

A great performance of great music in a beautiful German abbey.

RECORD OF THE MONTH Rued LANGGAARD (1893-1952) Music of the Spheres Danish Ntl Ch, Vocal Ensemble & SO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2009-10 DACAPO 6.220535 [71:53] [DM]

A real cracker. Absolutely not to be missed.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 5 Lucerne Fest O/Claudio Abbado rec. 2004 EUROARTS 2054074 [74:00] [DBi]

An essential purchase that places itself firmly with the top few of a long list of Mahler Fives.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Exultent caeli O of Age of Enlightenment/Robert Howarth rec. 2010 SIGNUM SIGCD237 [49:08 + 47:59] [JS]

In a word: magnificent.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concerto 2 Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Concerto Anna Vinnitskaya (piano) Deutsches SO Berlin/Gilbert Varga rec. 2010 NAÏVE V5238 [54:30] [GD]

I can't wait to hear some more. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto 2 Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Liebestraum 3, Mephisto 1, Hungarian Rhapsody 2 Nobuyuki Tsujii (piano) Deutsches SO Berlin/Yutaka Sado rec. 2007/8 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72371 [59:50] [MC]

Tsujii is a force to be reckoned with. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Petite Messe Solennelle Gewandhaus Ch & O/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2008 EUROARTS 2057428 [85:00] [RJF]

This performance not only elevates this rarely heard work to stand alongside the composer’s better-known Stabat Mater, but also the great Mass by his fellow Italian opera composer, Verdi.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Christoph ROTHE (1653-1700) St Matthew Passion Cantus Thuringia, Capella Thuringia/Bernhard Klapprott rec. 2009 CPO 777 554-2 [63:05 + 34:07] [JV]

This St Matthew Passion is a major discovery - the performance fully explores its expressive qualities.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Keyboard Sonatas Alexandre Tharaud (piano) rec. 2010 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6420160 [70.45] [RBe]

Absolutely superb … a glorious addition to the Scarlatti discography.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) Suite, Sonatas 1 & 2, Sonata for solo violin Tanja Becker-Bender (violin) Markus Becker (piano) rec. 2010 HYPERION CDA67833 [67:10] [DC]

Can only be described in superlatives. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Humoreske, Studien Fur Den Pedalflugel, Gesänge der Frühe Piotr Anderszewski (piano) rec. 2010 VIRGIN CLASSICS 9486252 [63.31] [RBe]

This is a really wonderful Schumann recital and one of the most moving piano recitals I have ever heard. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerti 1-3 Viktoria Postnikova (piano) Wiener SO/Gennady Rozhdestvensky rec. 1982 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802027 [56:23 + 49:50] [RB]

Bold as brass, red-blooded, wide-stage and almost luridly exciting in the grandest Decca FFRR tradition.

 

BARGAINS OF THE MONTH

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918–1990) Mass Jubilant Sykes (tenor) Morgan State U Ch, Peabody Children’s Ch, Baltimore SO/Marin Alsop rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.559622-23 [64:53 + 38:35] [BR]

An artistic, sonic, historical and musicological milestone.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano msuic Leon McCawley (piano) rec. 2010 SOMM SOMMCD0103 [70.27] [RBe]

An outstanding recital.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Bernard HERRMANN (1911-1975) Film Classics National PO, London PO/Bernard Herrmann rec. 1970-5 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 3784 [72:04 + 68:11] [RB]

Do not miss this rich sampling of Herrmann’s extraordinarily imaginative and enjoyable film music.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Sextet Conradin KREUTZER (1780-1849) Grand Septet Franz BERWALD (1796-1868) Grand Septet Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) Piano Quintet Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Piano Quintet Wiener Oktett rec. 1968/72 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 2397 [63:31 + 77:07] [BR]

Tickets to chamber music heaven.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Giovanni PACINI (1796-1867) Il convitato di pietra Leonardo Cortellazzi (tenor) Geraldine Chauvet (mezzo) Transylvania State PCh, Cluj Südwestdeutsches CO Pforzheim/Daniele Ferrari rec. live, 2008 NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660282-83 [44.55 + 47.28] [RJF]

A different take on a well-known story is accompanied by a Pacini’s sure composition and an enjoyable first public performance.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade, Tale of Tsar Saltan Seattle SO/Gerard Schwarz rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572693 [66:37] [BR]

I put the disc on expecting ‘decent.’ But it’s not decent: it’s spectacular!

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Miklos ROZSA (1907-1995) Ben Hur, Quo Vadis, Julius Caesar - filmscores National PO & Ch, Royal PO & Ch/Miklos Rozsa, Bernard Herrmann rec. 1974-77 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 3790 [47:10 + 52:47] [RB]

Magnificent performances and recordings.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphonies 2 & 3 Large SO Ministry of Culture, Russian Federation/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky rec. 1988-89 ALTO ALC 1103 [78:03] [RB]

Powerhouse performances and recordings to win converts to these wallflowers. Not to be missed.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) The Victoria Collection Tenebrae Responses; Lamentations of Jeremiah; Requiem; Taedet animam meam; Versa est in luctum The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips GIMELL GIMBX304 [3 CDs: 177:00] [JQ]

A self-recommending collection of excellent recordings of music by one of the great masters of polyphony.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Espana Antigua - Spanish Secular Music 1200-1700 Montserrat Figueras (soprano) Hespèrion XX/Jordi Savall VIRGIN CLASSICS 6488012 [8 CDs: 418:54] [GH]

Five hundred years of music, wonderfully played and recorded - a real bible of early Spanish musical art which at the bargain price offered is well worth its weight in gold.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH The Floating City - Sonatas, canzonas and dances by Cestello & Pichi His Majesty’s Sagbutts & Cornetts rec. 1997 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55320 [GH]

A very fine recording. Not only is the music fascinating but the performances are special. Buy it

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH The Spirits of England and France - Vol. 5 Missa Veterem hominem Gothic Voices/Christopher Page rec. 1996 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55285 [65.23] [GH]

My original impression was not especially favourable but I have become quite excited about the Mass and about the singing - it’s a revelation.

 

 


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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