Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

[Jan-April] [Sept-Dec] [All]

Some items
to consider


A very fine achievement

Complete ballet

Orchestral Music

music that will please greatly

Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear

vital imagination

A harum-scarum springboard

Always expect the unexpected


Johann Ludwig BACH (1667-1731) Trauermusik Anna Prohaska (soprano) Ivonne Fuchs (alto) Maximilian Schmitt (tenor) Andreas Wolf (bass) RIAS Kammerchor, Akademie für Alte Musik/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2010 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 902080 [77:27] [JQ]

A revelation. Johann Ludwig Bach’s masterpiece has been splendidly served in this superb performance.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. John Passion Katharine Fuge, Joanne Lunn (soprano) Bernarda Fink (alto) Mark Padmore (tenor) Hanno Müller-Brachmann, Peter Harvey (bass) Monteverdi Ch, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2003 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG712 [35:25 + 79:24] [JQ]

A splendid new account of the St. John Passion, which all devotees of Bach’s vocal music should try to hear.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Easter Oratorio, Ascension Oratorio Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Iestyn Davies (counter-tenor) James Gilchrist (tenor) Peter Harvey (bass) Retrospect Ens/Matthew Halls rec. 2010 LINN CKD373 [70:26] [JQ]

An effervescent disc of Bach’s vocal music, containing distinguished and stylish performances.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 7-9 Wiener Singverein, Annette Dasch (soprano) Mihoko Fujimura (contralto) Piotr Beczala (tenor) Georg Zeppenfeld (bass) Vienna PO/Christian Thielemann; Discovering Beethoven commentary rec. 2008-2010 UNITEL/CMAJOR 705204 [306:56] [RC]

Among the best Beethoven cycles available today …In fact, this would probably be my top choice … an historic musical event. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata Nos. 17, 21, 31, David Wilde (piano) rec. 2010, DELPHIAN DCD34090 [71:45] [BR]

A huge surprise — superb Beethoven in the romantic mode, with great color and poetry.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Late String Quartets Vol. 2 Cypress String Qt CYPRESS PERFORMING ARTS ASSOCIATION CSQ2010 [44:00] [BW]

Joins the great recordings of these wonderful works.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 9 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Egmont Overture Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Overture The Sicilian Vespers Gil Shaham (violin) Berlin PO/Claudio Abbado rec. 2002 EUROARTS 2051954 [108:01] [DBi]

A superb concert containing a top recommendation for the Dvorák New World. As great a performance as has ever been given.

Vienna Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Cello sonata 2 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) “Arpeggione” sonata Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Cello sonata 3 Thomas Carroll (cello) Llŷr Williams (piano) rec. 2009/10 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100016 [79:46] [OL]

Definitive performances of ultimate beauty. My Disc of the Year.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Billy Budd John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Jacques Imbrailo (baritone) Glyndebourne Ch, London PO/Mark Elder rec. live 2010 OPUS ARTE OA1051D [86:00 + 87:00] [ST]

For my money this is the best opera DVD of the year so far, and quite possibly the best in a considerably greater time period.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Cello symphony, Symphonic Suite from Gloriana, Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes Robert Murray (tenor) Paul Watkins (cello) BBC Philharmonic/Edward Gardner rec. 2010 CHANDOS CHAN10658 [76:22] [LW]

Gardner and the BBC Philharmonic do Britten proud.

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto 1, Romance, String Quintet Vadim Gluzman, Sandis Šteinbergs (violin) Maxim Rysanov (viola) Ilze Klava (viola) Reinis Birznieks (cello) Bergen PO/Andrew Litton rec. 2009, BIS-SACD-1852 [58.04] [CF]

Quite the finest performance of the Bruch concerto I have ever heard.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 2 Aachen SO/Marcus Bosch rec. live, 2010 COVIELLO COV31015 [66:21] [GD]

It all comes together in a way that few manage with this work. 

William BYRD (ca. 1540-1623) Complete Consort Music Phantasm rec. 2010 LINN CKD372 [79:42] [KM]

The beauty of Byrd’s viol consort music, excellently performed, impeccably recorded. 

Jacobus CLEMENS non Papa (1510/1515-1555/6) Missa Pro Defunctis, Motets Brabant Ens/Stephen Rice rec. 2010 HYPERION CDA67848 [72.52] [GH]

Jacobus Clemens can be considered up there with the very best. 

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.

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.

Christopher FOX (b. 1955) Catalogue Irraisoné Christopher Fox (speaker) Exaudi/James Weeks rec. 2006 METIER MSVCD92103 [53:00] [CR]

Not to be missed.

Cheryl FRANCES-HOAD (b.1980) The Glory Tree Nicholas Daniel (oboe) Lendvai String Trio, Ensemble na Mara, London Mozart Trio rec. 2008 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD021 [77:00] [CR]

Refreshingly engaging and unapologetic, with a strong sense of identity and emotional depth.

Edvard GRIEG (1843 - 1907) Violin Sonata 1 Béla BARTÓK (1881 - 1945) Sonata for solo violin Richard STRAUSS (1864 - 1949) Violin Sonata Vilde Frang (violin) Michail Lifits (piano) rec. 2010 EMI CLASSICS 9476392 [78:49] [GF]

Give us more of Vilde Frang, please, EMI! 

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. 

Charles IVES (1874-1954) A Concord Symphony, orch. Henry Brant Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Organ Symphony Paul Jacobs (organ) San Francisco SO/Michael Tilson Thomas rec. 2010 SFS MEDIA 82193600382 [77:07] [KM]

A must for any fan of Ives. The Concord Symphony is a magnificent realization, and the performance here is top-notch.

Denis LEVAILLANT (b.1952) La Petite Danseuse de Degas Ballet & O de l’Opéra National de Paris/Koen Kessels EUROARTS 108 026 [112:00; Interviews: 20:00] [IL]

An inspired and visually ravishing creation. This ballet deserves to go from success to success.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Harmonies du soir Nelson Freire (piano) rec. 2011 DECCA 478 2728 [56.09] [RBe]

An absolutely superlative recital.

James MacMILLAN (b. 1959) A Different World Gregory Harrington (violin) Simon Mulligan (piano) Caroline Stinson (cello) rec. 2009 ESTILE RECORDS 391651 [63:56] [MS]

A compelling and wonderfully-executed recital of James MacMillan's smaller-scale music for piano, violin and cello in a variety of combinations that are not to be ignored. Buy this CD!

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 4; Rückert-Lieder Magdalena Kožená (mezzo) Lucerne FO/Claudio Abbado rec. 2009 EUROARTS 2057988 [79:24] [DM]

A must-have for all Mahlerians.

Gustav MAHLER (1860 – 1911) Kindertotenlieder (1901-1904) Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (1883 – 1885) Rückert-Lieder (1901 – 1904) Katarina Karnéus (mezzo) Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Susanna Mälkki rec. 2007,2010 sung texts with English translations enclosed BIS-SACD-1600 [64:11] [GF]

Don’t miss this issue, dear reader.

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Der Sturm Soloists, Netherlands Radio PO/Thierry Fischer rec. 2008 HYPERION CDA67821/3 [3 CDs: 54:48 + 53:35 + 44:25] [RB]

Magically re-imagined and brought to harvest.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Entführung aus dem Serail Eva Mei (soprano) Rainer Trost (tenor) Patrizia Ciofi (soprano) Ch & O Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Zubin Mehta rec. 2002 ARTHAUS MUSIC 107109 [136:00] [RJF]

High picture quality and sound, elegantly staged and well sung … a first choice for me in this opera.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Arias Ildebrando d’Arcangelo (bass-baritone) O del Teatro Regio di Torino/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2010 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 9297 [60:45] [GF]

One of the most thrilling bass recitals that has come my way.

Thea MUSGRAVE (b. 1928) An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Green, Wild Winter I London Sinf/Thea Musgrave, Scottish Ens, Red Byrd, Fretwork rec. 1981-2008 NMC D167 [64:54] [WH]

Three magnificent works, superbly performed and recorded by the BBC. 

Hans PFITZNER (1869-1949) Violin Concerto Siegfried WAGNER (1869-1930) Violin Concerto Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Träume Juraj Cizmarovic (violin) WDR RSO Cologne/Marcus Bosch rec. 2009 COVIELLO CLASSICS COV31104 [64:03] [MC]

Quite a discovery. 

Mario PILATI (1903-1938) Preludio, Aria e Tarantella, Four Italian Folksongs, Bagatelles, Divertimento Moscow SO/Adriano rec. 2007/8 INEDITA PI 2757 [52:32] [IL]

A thoroughly delightful, light-hearted collection.

Giovanni Benedetto PLATTI (1697 - 1763) Oboe sonatas, Cello sonatas, Trios Ensemble Cordia rec. 2005 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94007 [65:36] [JV]

The best possible recording of Platti's music.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) The Gambler Misha Didyk (tenor) Kristine Opolais (soprano) Vladimir Ognovenko (bass) Stefania Toczyska (mezzo) Staatskapelle Berlin and Staatsopernchor/Daniel Barenboim rec. 2008 UNITEL CLASSICA/KULTUR 701708 [136:15] [RC]

This is a major triumph.

Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet Tamara Rojo, Carlos Acosta, Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Boris Gruzin rec. 2007 DECCA 074 3336 [138:00] [DM]

Nureyev and Fonteyn will always be iconic but this is in another league entirely. 

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) A Tribute to Rachmaninoff Vladimir Feltsman (piano) Russian Ntl SO/Mikhail Pletnev rec. 1992/2010 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6148 [65:14] [RMo]

A collector’s disc where it is very easy to make allowances for the sonic deficiencies in the concerto.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concertos 1 & 4, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Simon Trpceski (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2009-2011 AVIE AV2191 [77:09] [JQ]

If you haven’t already sampled this fine partnership of Trpceski and Petrenko in Rachmaninov, don’t delay any longer!

Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (b. 1928) Kaivos Hannu Niemelä, Johanna Rusanen-Kartano, Jorma Hynninen, Kaivos Ch, Tampere PO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2010 ONDINE ODE1174-2 [75:52] [HC]

A magnificent performance of Rautavaara’s first and finest opera. 

Max REGER (1873-1916) Piano Concerto Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Burleske Marc-Andre Hamelin (Piano) Berlin RSO/Ilan Volkov rec. 2010 HYPERION CDA67635 [56.53] [RBe]

Absolutely outstanding. 

Johann ROSENMÜLLER (1619-1684) Sonatas Giovanni LEGRENZI (1626-1690) Sonatas Alessandro STRADELLA (1639-1682) Sinfonias Rare Fruits Council/Manfredo Kraemer rec. 2010 AMBRONAY AMY028 [81.53] [GH]

Not just a disc for specialists. Exemplary musicianship, breath-taking virtuosity and superb presentation. Sheer musical pleasure.

Heinrich SCHEIDEMANN (c.1595-1663) Magnificat settings for organ Karin Nelson (organ) rec. 2010 INTIM MUSIK IMCD 116 [53:34 + 62:42] [Byz]

An outstanding disc in every regard.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Trios 1 & 2, Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok Susan Gritton (soprano) Florestan Trio rec. 2010 HYPERION CDA67834 [61:53] [LW]

A superb disc of Shostakovich’s piano trios and Blok songs by the Florestan Trio and guest. 

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Pétrouchka, Le Sacre du Printemps Bergen PO/Andrew Litton rec. 2008/9 BIS BISSACD1474 [69:00] [DC]

Stop press: crusty old cynic declares recording as ‘near definitive’.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) L’Oiseau de Feu, Petrouchka, La Sacre du Printemps, Pulcinella Monte Carlo PO/Yakov Kreizberg rec. 2010 OPMC CLASSICS OPMC001 [3 CDs: 159:54] [BW]

Individually these performances are at or near the top of the pile; collectively this is an irresistible offering.  

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

The best modern version.

Svend Erik TARP (1908-1994) Piano Works Theme with variations, Suite, Sonatinas, Improvisations, Sonata Tonya Lemoh (piano) rec. 2010 DACAPO 8.226053 [58:32]

A quality artefact that all but recommends itself [Byz] Do try this most intriguing and musically valuable disc [RB]

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 5; 1812 Overture Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Sten'ka Razin Berlin State Opera O, Berlin PO/Alexander Kitschin rec. 1928-29 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 268 [72:21] [JW]

A rather amazing disc.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) La traviata Patrizia Ciofi (soprano) Roberto Saccà (tenor) Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone) Eufemia Tufano (mezzo) Orch/Chor of the Teatro La Fenice/Lorin Maazel rec. 2004 ARTHAUS 107 227 [146:00] [GF]

This Violetta has looks, acting ability and voice placing her among the best.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678 - 1741) The Complete Cello Sonatas David Watkin (cello) Helen Gough (cello continuo) David Miller (theorbo, archlute, guitar) Robert King (harpsichord, organ) rec. 1993 HYPERION DYAD CDD22065 [65:35 + 50:02] [JV]

Don’t delay; purchase this reissue today.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - orchestral excerpts César FRANCK (1822-1890) Symphony Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Pelléas et Mélisande – concert suite Boston SO/Charles Munch rec. 1959-1961 ICA CLASSICS ICAD 5015 [70:28] [RM]

A very significant musical record.

Jan Dismas ZELENKA (1679-1745) Officium defunctorium, Requiem Collegium 1704 & Vocale/Václav Luks rec. 2010 ACCENT ACC 24244 [61:26 + 40:04] [DC]

Drop dead gorgeousness.

Johann Rudolph ZUMSTEEG (1760 - 1802) Die Geisterinsel Kammerchor Stuttgart, Hofkapelle Stuttgart/Frieder Bernius rec. live 2010 CARUS 83.229 [3 CDs: 139:26] [JV]

Enjoyable Singspiel in a fine performance with an impressive cast.  

Cantiones Sacrae 1575 Motet sequence by Tallis & Byrd Alamire/David Skinner rec. 2009/10 OBSIDIAN OBSID-CD706 [74:37 + 55:47] [JQ]

An exceptionally fine complete recording. 

La Chasse Royale - Keyboard Manuscript of Antoine Selosse Music by John BULL (1562?-1628) John ROBERTS? (fl 1650-1670) Terence Charlston (clavichord, harpsichord, organ) rec. 2009 DEUX-ELLES DXL1143 [59:19 + 33:30] [JV]

Terence Charlston has done it again: another fine recording of unknown but high-quality repertoire.

Duos for Violin & Cello Works by Martinů, Süss, Klein, Dünser, Schulhoff & Toch Eufonia Duo Vienna rec. 2010 VMS MUSICAL TREASURES VMS224 [76.00] [SA]

76 minutes of aurally sublime and fascinating music.

English Spring Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Spring Fire (1913) [32:33] Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Idylle de Printemps (1889) [10:45]; North Country Sketches: The March of Spring (1914) [10:08] Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Enter Spring (1927) [20:50] The Halle/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2010 HALLE CD HLL 7528 [74:30] [RB]

A winner on all counts.

Lamentarium Luigi ROSSI (1597-1653) Marco MARAZZOLI (1602-1662) Marc'Antonio PASQUALINI (1614-1691) Atalante (Nadine Balbeisi (soprano)*, Theodora Baka (mezzo)**, Paulina van Laarhoven, Annalisa Pappano, Nora Roll (viola da gamba), Erin Headley (viola da gamba, lirone), Siobhán Armstrong (arpa doppia), Elizabeth Kenny, Andrew Maginley (chitarrone))/Erin Headley
rec. 2010, DDD NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6152 [67:17] [JV]

One of the best recordings I have heard all year.

Peter Mattei - Great Baritone Arias Royal Stockholm PO/Lawrence Renes rec. 2008-10 BIS BISSACD1749 [63:51] [OL]
A glorious disc!

Rhythms & Blues Works by Barber, Rubin, Scherzinger, Adams, Bolcom, Morton & Swigger Jocelyn Swigger (piano) rec. 2009 CON BRIO RECORDINGS CBR21046 [70:33] [BR]

What a great surprise: American rags, blues, and minimalism together in a superb program.



Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites 1-6 Luigi Piovano (cello) rec. 2008 ELOQUENTIA AL 1021 [80:30 + 78:00] [GA]

A stunning recording of the Six Cello Suites of Bach. It has it all: beauty of sound, musical intelligence and emotional depth.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Piano Concertos 1-3 András Schiff (piano) Budapest Fest Orch/Iván Fischer rec. 1996 WARNER APEX 2564 67437-8 [76:04] [DM]

Peerless performances, alert, alive, astounding.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata8, 17 & 23 Ingrid Fliter (piano) rec. 2011, EMI CLASSICS 094573 2 [72:58] [WH]

Outstanding performances of three favourite minor-key Beethoven sonatas.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Roméo et Juliette Olga Borodina (mezzo) Thomas Moser (tenor) Alastair Miles (bass) Bayerischen Rundfunks Ch, Vienna PO/Sir Colin Davis rec. 1993 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802046 [53:12 + 43:07] [JQ]

If you haven’t got a recording of this Berlioz masterpiece in your collection, you really can’t do better than this.

Pieter BUSTIJN (c.1649-1729) IX Suittes pour le Clavessin Alessandro Simonetto (harpsichord) rec. 2010 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94187 [78:52] [Byz]

This superlative recording by Simonetto is the one to get.

William BYRD (1539?/43?-1623) Masses: For 3, 4 and 5 Voices Christ Church Cath Choir, Oxford/Stephen Darlington rec. 1989/1991 REGIS RRC1336 [72:11] [BW]

Despite the strong competition, this is a superb bargain.

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.

Alberto GINASTERA (1916-1983) Cello Concertos 1 & 2 Mark Kosower (cello) Bamberg SO/Lothar Zagrosek rec. 2009/2010 NAXOS 8.572372 [68:58] [Byz]

A marvellous team performance making a compelling case for these concertos. The Government must act now to make these compulsory components of the repertoire.

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.

Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-1988) Et Resurrexit, Six Fantasies on Hymn Tunes 4-6, Missa de Gloria Greg Morris (organ) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572601 [70:10] [NB]

Naxos have a winner of a disc here.

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) A Faust Symphony Charles Bressler (tenor) Choral Art Society, New York PO/Leonard Bernstein rec. 1964 SONY 88697 857572 [71:10] [IL]

White heat roller-coaster thrills.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Faust & Dante symphonies, Dante Symphony, Dante sonata, Piano sonata, Hungarian Rhapsody 2, Verdi Paraphrases Plácido Domingo, Berlin PO/Daniel Barenboim (piano) rec. 1985-98 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 67440-3 [3 CDs: 211:26] [MC]

Barenboim and Liszt make a perfect combination making this a desirable Warner Classics box set.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1759-1791) Flute and harp concerto, Flute concertos 1 & 2 Emmanuel Pahud (flute) Marie-Pierre Langlamet (harp) Berlin PO/ Claudio Abbado rec. 1996 EMI CLASSICS 9659372 [71:06] [CR]

Unmissable. one of the best Mozart flute concerto recordings I’ve heard, with musicianship and instrumental ability in abundance. 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies 32, 35, 36, 39 & 41 Scottish CO/Jukka-Pekka Saraste rec. 1987/90 VIRGIN CLASSICS 0963702 [68:58 + 62:07] [BW]

Too tempting a bargain to resist. 

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Violin Concerto, Suite, Aria, Rossiniana Laura Marzadori (violin) Respighi CO New York/Salvatore Di Vittorio rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572332 [77:32] [IL]

A notable release for Respighi enthusiasts.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) The Six Symphonies BBC Scottish SO, Lahti SO/Osmo Vänskä rec. 1999-2006 BIS BISCD1839/40 [3 CDs: 241:23] [JQ]

A compelling box, offering a Nielsen cycle of uncommon distinction and authority in superb sound.

Sergei RAKHMANINOV (1873-1943) The piano Concertos Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, John Lill (piano) BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Tadaaki Otaka rec. 1993-1996. DDD NIMBUS NI 1720 [3 CDs: 64:37 + 71:53 + 71:17] [JQ RB]

Consistently satisfying performances that reveal Rachmaninov’s music to the listener faithfully and without unnecessary ostentation. [JQ] An evocative synthesis of ursine majesty and razory melancholy. [RB]

Nikolay RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Sheherazade, The Tale of Tsar Saltan Suite, Flight of the Bumblebee Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572693[66:36] [OL]

The best Sheherazade I’ve heard.

Pablo SARASATE (1844-1908) Works for violin ands orchestra Vol. 3 Tianwa Yang (violin) Navarra SO/Ernest Martínez Izquierdo rec. 2009, NAXOS 8.572275 [58:45] [BR]

Tianwa Yang’s best Sarasate yet, which is really saying something. Absolutely fantastic.

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Complete Keyboard Sonatas - Volume 1 Carlo Grante (piano) rec. 2009 MUSIC & ARTS CD1236 [6 CDs: 392:15] [JW]

Profoundly impressive. 

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) String Quartets 4, 11 & 14 Hagen Qt rec. 1993/4 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802056 [70:48] [WH]

Magnificent performances from the nineties of three challenging Shostakovich Quartets. 

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.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Ein Heldenleben Chicago SO/Daniel Barenboim rec. 1990 WARNER APEX 2564 67716-3 [62:39] [BW]

A Heldenleben to rival the best – and Till is not far behind.

William WALTON (1902-1983) Violin Concerto Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Havanaise Christian SINDING (1856-1941) Suite im alten Stil Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968) Violin Concerto 2 ‘The Prophets’ Jascha Heifetz (violin) Philharmonia O/William Walton, RCA Victor SO/William Steinberg, Los Angeles PO/Alfred Wallenstein rec. 1950-4 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111367 [77:25] [BW]

One of the greatest historical bargains that I’ve heard for a long time.

The British Symphonic Collection various orchestras/Douglas Bostock rec. 1998-2005 MEMBRAN 233316 [10 CDs: ca 12 hrs] [RB]

An adventurous conspectus that is nothing if not enterprising and the price is right - in fact irresistible even for timid risk-takers. 

Mirella Freni - Great Singers Live Arias by Cilea, Puccini, Bizet, Massenet, Verdi, Mozart & Tchaikovsky Munich RSO/Kurt Eichhorn,Vladimir Ghiaurov rec. 1971-87 BR KLASSIK 900303 [59:42] [MC]

I just couldn’t stop playing this disc which is not surprising given that Freni has one of the finest soprano voices I have ever heard. 

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Sings Operetta Philharmonia O/Otto Ackermann, Herbert von Karajan rec. 1950s ALTO ALC 1122 [72:27] [GF]

I kept listening through the whole recital and ended up playing it once again from beginning to end. Absolutely marvellous!

Voices from Heaven Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Requiem, Quatre Motets Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis, Requiem Ch St John’s College, Cambridge/Christopher Robinson, George Guest REGIS RRC1341 [78:54] [JQ]

Beautifully crafted, inspired music in immaculate performances.



[Jan-April] [Sept-Dec] [All]



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