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Alphabetical Listing


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

Kaija SAARIAHO (b. 1952) Clarinet Concerto, Laterna Magica, Leino Songs Kari Kriikku (clarinet) Anu Komsi (soprano) Finnish RSO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2010 ONDINE ODE 1173-2 [67:28] [DC]

Music which is a tuning fork held up to the harmonies and dissonances of existence.

Aulis SALLINEN (b. 1935) Complete symphonies and concertos Norrköping SO, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Ari Rasilainen rec. 2002-2007 CPO 777 640-2 [5 CDs: 330:06] [RB]

A fine, virile and far from effete imaginative contribution to the two centuries in which this music was created.

Erik SATIE (1866-1925) Piano works Joanna MacGregor (piano) rec. 1989 WARNER CLASSICS SOUND CIRCUS 2564 67263-5 [66:52] [DJ]

A very persuasive selection of Satie's piano music showing his full stylistic range.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Accompanying Music to a Film Scene, Chamber Symphony 1 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quartet 1 (orch. Schoenberg) Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2009 EMI CLASSICS 4578152 [73:40] [MC]

Without doubt, this release will be a strong contender for my Recordings of the Year.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797 - 1828) Winterreise Natalie Stutzmann (contralto), Inger Södergren (piano) rec. 2003 SAPHIR LVC1153 [76:21] [GF]

No performance of Winterreise has touched me as much as this one. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schwanengesang, Auf dem Strom, Die Sterne Mark Padmore (tenor) Paul Lewis (piano) Richard Watkins (French horn) rec. 2010 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU907520 [67:25] [JQ]

A magnificent reading of Schwanengesang. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)Arpeggione’ Sonata Pyotr Ilych TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Variations on a Rococo Theme Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Romance Maxim Rysanov (viola) Swedish CO/Muhai Tang rec. 2010 BIS BIS-SACD-1843 [52:18] [DC]

The last spoonful of sugar in your most indulgent cup of tea.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Winterreise Nikolay Borchev (baritone) Friedrich Suckel (piano) rec. 2010 TROUBADISC TRO-CD 01439 [74:48] [GF]

Borchev already worthy of the attention of lovers of this eternally fascinating song-cycle.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony 8 see STRAUSS

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) String Quartets 1-3 Doric String Qt rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN 10692 [74:15] [GD]

Close to ideal Schumann interpretation, and it augurs well for the future.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Trios 1-3 Ilya Gringolts (violin) Dmitry Kouzov (cello) Peter Laul (piano) rec. 2010 ONYX 4072 [55:45 + 27:53] [PB-W]

Will bring lasting pleasure. The total emotional commitment is admirable.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Piano Concerto Idil Biret (piano) Bilkent SO/Antoni Wit rec. 2006 IBA/BMP 8.571270 [65:00] [SV]

There’s much to enjoy here.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Fantasy, Arabesque, Symphonic Studies Sergei Edelmann (piano) rec. 2009 TRITON EXCL-00025 [79:28] [DC]

Not to be dismissed, but only one in a crowded market.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810 – 1856) Lieder Edition 6: Myrthen, Sechs Gedichte und Requiem Andrea Lauren Brown (soprano) Thomas E Bauer (baritone) Uta Hielscher (piano) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.557079 [68:27] [GF]
Any Schumann lover who wants a recording of Myrthen and the Op. 90 in the bargain can confidently invest in this super-budget issue.

Kurt SCHWERTSIK (b.1935) Nachtmusiken, Herr K. Entdeckt Amerika, Baumgesänge BBC PO/H K Gruber rec. 2010 CHANDOS CHAN10687 [59:52] [Byz]

Elegantly orchestrated, witty, generally melodic music, written for audience enjoyment rather than maven approbation.

Vissarion SHEBALIN (1902-1963) Complete A Cappella Choral Cycles Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella/Nikolay Khondzinsky rec. 2008 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0112 [53:13] [RB]

Treasurable and inwardly lit singing of these secular delights with pinpoint dynamic control.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43 (1936) [65:30] Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz/Daniel Raiskin rec. 2009, C-AVI 8553235 [65:30] [DM]

Shattering, unforgettable Shostakovich.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) New Babylon Basel Sinf/Mark Fitz-Gerald rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572824-25 [43:15 + 48:08] [NB]

Without doubt this is one the finest all-round achievements by Naxos. 

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Music From the Films – Vol. 5 State Cinematograph O/Byelorussian RTV SO/Walter Mnatsakanov rec. 1997 DELOS DRD 2005 [62:45] [DM]

Shostakovich at his most disarming, rasping and delightful.

Christopher SHULTIS (b.1957) Openings, Songs of Love and Longing, "A Little Light, in Darkness", Devisadero University of New Mexico Wind Symphony Eric Rombach-Kendall, Leslie Umphrey (soprano) Falko Steinbach (piano) Carrie Koffman (soprano saxophone) New Mexico Winds rec. 2001/2009 NAVONA RECORDS NV 5849 [66:38] [Byz]

You can safely order the disc and enjoy the fruits of Shultis’s constitutionals.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Violin Concerto Maxim Vengerov (violin) Chicago SO/Daniel Barenboim rec. 1996 WARNER APEX 2564 673005 [69:36] [RB]

These are really fine and very inexpensive Sibelius and a Nielsen readings and recordings.

Arlene SIERRA (b. 1970) Chamber works Vassily Primakov (piano) Susan Narucki (soprano) Charles Neidich (clarinet) Raman Ramakrishnan (cello) Stephen Gosling (piano) Daedalus Qt, International Contemporary Ens/Jayce Ogren BRIDGE 9343 [72:30] [WH]

A remarkable and challenging collection of brilliantly conceived and written ensemble works, but the composer’s booklet notes get in the way.

Christian SINDING (1856-1941) Violin Concerti 1-3, Works for Violin and Orchestra: Legend, Romance, Suite and Abendstimmung Andrej Bielow (violin) NDR Radiophil Hannover/Frank Beermann rec. 2004/2005 CPO 777 114-2 [59:01 + 53:07] [MC]

Appealing and with its share of impressive moments although there’s very little in the way of memorable melodies.

Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) Polkas András Schiff (piano) rec. 1998 WARNER APEX 2564 672756 [56:36] [JW]

Schiff is not the best guide to these lovely, but tricky-to-convey Polkas.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Piano Trio 1, Legend, Irish Fantasies, Piano Quartet 2 Gould Piano Trio, David Adams (viola) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572452 [79:47] [JF]

How anyone could listen to this CD and still believe that Stanford’s music is ‘as dry as dust’ totally evades me. 

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Cello Concerto, Rondo, Ballata and Ballabile, Irish Rhapsody 3 Gemma Rosefield (cello) BBC Scottish SO/Andrew Manze rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67859 [70:08] [MC]

Lovers of the late-Romantic should not hesitate with this Hyperion release. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Allan STEPHENSON (b.1948?) Double bass concerto, Burlesque, Cello concerto Leon Bosch (double bass) Peter Martens (cello) Cape PO/Allan Stephenson rec. 2010 MERIDIAN CDE84602 [62:00] [RB]

Power-floated melodies of sumptuous breadth and superb emotional impact.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Capriccio Renée Fleming, Anne Sofie von Otter, Robert Tear, Paris Ntl Opéra O/Ulf Schirmer rec. 2004 ARTHAUS MUSIK 107 327 [2 DVDs: 148:00] [ST]

Watching it helped me to rediscover afresh the joys of Strauss’s final masterpiece, and that’s high praise to give to any recording.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein Heldenleben Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony 8 BBC Northern SO/Kurt Sanderling rec. 1975/78 BBC LEGENDS BBCL4262-2 [70:25] [RMay]

Had me listening with an unexpected level of attention and fresh ears.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Elektra Iréne Theorin (soprano) Waltraud Meier (mezzo) René Pape (bass) Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker/Daniele Gatti rec. 2010 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 560 [109:00] [DM]

A most welcome addition to the list of operas on Blu-ray. 

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Tod und Verklärung see DVORÁK

John TAVERNER (d. 1545) Imperatrix inferni Alamire/David Skinner rec. 2010 OBSIDIAN CD707 [70:21] [JQ]

Everything about this release exudes quality. Taverner’s music is brought vividly to life.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 5, Francesca da Rimini Russian Ntl O/Mikhail Pletnev rec. 2010 PENTATONE PTC 5186 385 [71:41] [IL]

A sizzling Francesca with a Symphony that’s also very good but which is spoilt by the delivery of that vital horn solo in the second movement.

A Tribute to Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano works Vladimir Feltsman (piano) rec. 2011 NIMBUS NI6162 [68:10] [OL]

Little gems, performed with love and understanding.

Mihailo TRANDAFILOVSKI (b.1974) Chamber Music Strike-Flow, Six Pieces from Cekori, Crystal Threads, A+de+scent, Quartet, Violin Concerto Peter Sheppard Skćrved (violin) Kreutzer Quartet; Caroline Balding (violin) Mihailo Trandafilovski (violin) Lontano/Odaline de la Martinez rec. 2009-2010 LORELT LNT1332 [66:49] [RB]

Fascinating rather than ingratiating.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Joaquin TURINA (1882–1949) Songs Carolina Ullrich (soprano) Débora Halász (piano) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.570707 [71:29] [GF]

A whispered breeze directly from the Virgin Mary’s lips.

Pyotr Ilych TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Variations on a Rococo Theme see SCHUBERT

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony 2, Oboe concerto Stéphane Rancourt (oboe) Hallé O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2010 HALLÉ CDHLL7529 [65:56] [JQ]

This disc continues the rich vein of recordings of English music by Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Messa da Requiem Barbara Frittoli (soprano) Olga Borodina (mezzo) Mario Zeffiri (tenor) Ildar Abdrazakov (bass) Chicago SO & Ch/Riccardo Muti rec. 2009 CSO RESOUND CSOR9011006 [48:08 + 41:20] [JZ]

Insightful interpretation and the intensity of a live performance enhance the strength of this outstanding recording.

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Suite Floral; Cirandas; String Quartets 5 & 12; Danças Características Africanas Brazilian Guitar Qt rec. 2010 DELOS DE 3409 [75:41] [DC]

Very fine arrangements and performances.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Art of Vivaldi's Lute Ronn McFarlane (lute) The Bach Sinf/Daniel Abraham rec. 2010 DORIAN SONO LUMINUS DSL-92132 [67:48] [JV]

A varied and entertaining programme which gives a good impression of Vivaldi's writing for the lute.

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Symphonic compilation arr. Henk de VLIEGER), Eine Faust-Ouvertüre, Deux Entreactes tragiques, Overture to ‘Columbus’ Royal Scottish Nat O/Neeme Järvi rec. 2010 CHANDOS CHSA5092 [79:54] [BW]

Not exactly ‘symphonic’ but well worth hearing.

William Vincent WALLACE (1812-1865) Opera Fantasies and Paraphrases Rosemary Tuck & Richard Bonynge (piano) rec. 2009/10 NAXOS 8.572774 [78:15] [CH]

A very nice evocation of Victorian musical evenings, but does the music have dimensions not explored here?

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Missa Solemnis 1, Offertorium Maria Taborsky (soprano) Gerda Kink (alto) Hermann Pöllman (tenor) Hans Huber (bass) Ch & O St Michael of Munich/Ernest Ehret rec. 1964 EDITIONS ANDRÉ CHARLIN AMS43 [44:25] [JS]

An honest and essentially musical performance which does at least provide a valuable opportunity to get to know some very remarkable and enjoyable music. 

Matthias WECKMAN (1616-1674) Abendmusiken Les Cyclopes/Bibiane Lapointe, Thierry Maeder rec. 2010 ZIG-ZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT110502 [64:42] [MS]

A real find.

Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Symphonies 1 & 2, Suite aus der "Dreigroschenoper" The Gulbenkian Orchestra/Michel Swierczewski rec. 1990 DDD NIMBUS NI 5283 [74:13] [LW]

Good accounts of Weill's symphonies and a fine Threepenny Opera suite.

Charles Henry WILTON (1761-1832) String Trios see HUMMEL

Eugčne YSAźE (1858-1931) String Quintet; String Quartet 'Le Londres'; Andante; Paganini Variations Kryptos Qt, Vlad Bogdanas (viola) rec. 2009 ETCETERA KTC 4034 [58:37] [Byz]

Felicitous, untheatrical music - a superb addition to the quartet repertoire, an instantaneous audience-pleaser.

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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