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[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
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[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) Organ Works - Vol. 2 Andrew-John Smith (organ) rec. 2009 HYPERION CDA67815 [76:02] [WK]

Played authoritatively and with great enthusiasm; showing a lesser-known side of this composer. 

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Morceau de Concert for harp and orchestra see Harp Concertos

Giuseppe SAMMARTINI (1695-1750) Concertos & overtures Benoît Laurent (oboe) Les Muffatti/Peter Van Heyghen rec. 2009 RAMÉE RAM 1008 [79:10] [JV]

Lovers of 18th-century music are well advised to follow Les Muffatti on their voyage of discovery through Sammartini's oeuvre.

Continuum: Symphony at Night Marco SCHÄDLER (b.1964) Nachtschicht Matthias FROMMELT (b.1975) Nocturne, Turbulenz, Ohne Namen Jürg HANSELMANN (b.1960) Dies Irae Variationen Klavierduo Sandra und Jürg Hanselmann (pianos) Sinf Orch Liechtenstein/Albert Frommelt/William Maxfield; Sinf Vorarlberg/Benjamin Lack rec. 2007-2010 CARUS 83.364 [76:46] [Byz]

All the performances on this disc are better than might be imagined from such low-key ensembles.

Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Music for two pianos Leslie De’Ath, Anya Alexeyev (piano) Kimberly Barber (mezzo) James Mason (oboe) rec. 2010/11 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7273 [67:16 + 59:09] [RB]

Refreshing stuff adding with real éclat to the diversely populated world of Florent Schmitt.

Philipp SCHOENDORFF (1565/70-in or after 1617) Missa Usquequo Domine, Magnificat, Missa super La dolce vista Philippe DE MONTE (1521-1603) Magnificat, Usquequo Domine oblivisceris me? Cinquecento rec. 2010 HYPERION CDA67854 [60:02] [JV]

One hour of pure joy.

Franz SCHREKER (1878-1934) Der ferne Klang Sally Du Randt (soprano) Mathias Schulz (tenor) Stephen Owen (bass-baritone) Augsburg Theatre Opera Ch, Augsburg PO/Dirk Kaftan rec. live, 2010 ARS PRODUKTION ARS 38 080 [70:05 + 74:17] [DC]

One of the best available. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartet No.13 in A minor, D.804 Rosamunde (1824) [35:36] String Quartet No.14 in D minor, D.810 Death and the Maiden (1824) [42:33] Brandis Quartett rec. 1994/95 DDD NIMBUS NI5438 [78:35] [OL]

Technically impeccable performances, a little on the dry side.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin Christopher Maltman (baritone) Graham Johnson (piano) rec. 2010 WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLIVE0044 [62:34] [JQ]

A masterly live recording to which I’m sure I’ll return often in the future. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise Christopher Maltman (baritone) Graham Johnson (piano) rec. 2010 WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLIVE0046 [77:31] [JQ]

A memorable reading: an interpretation full of insight and imagination. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die Winterreise Laurens Bogtman (baritone), Felix de Nobel (piano) rec. 1954 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 524 [64:25] [CH]

This revival only shows that some records have been forgotten because they weren’t especially good.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise Peter Harvey (baritone) Gary Cooper (fortepiano) rec. 2009 LINN RECORDS CKD 371 [74:38] [JQ]

An outstanding account of Winterreise.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schwanengesang see BEETHOVEN

Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) Violin sonata 2 see ENESCU

Andrew SCHULTZ (b. 1960) Endling, Violin Concerto, Once upon a time Jennifer Pike (violin) Tasmanian SO/Richard Mills rec. 2008 ABC CLASSICS 476 4519 [67:51] [RB]

Schulz's magnetic pull is towards the pensive, steadily glowing and leaning towards the whisper. 

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphony 3 see GAL

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Musicalische Exequien, Motets Vox Luminis/Lionel Meunier rec. 1999/2010 RICERCAR RIC311 [55:07] [JV]

One of the best recordings of Schütz' Musicalische Exequien.  

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585 - 1672) Italian Madrigals Dresdner Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2010 CARUS 83.237 [57:21] [JV]

These performances are dull.

Kurt SCHWERTSIK (b.1935) Nachtmusiken, Herr Kentdeckt Amerika, Baumgesänge BBC Philharmonic/HK Gruber rec. 2010 CHANDOS CHAN10687 [59:52] [NB]

A fascinating disc for the inveterately curious. 

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 5 London SO/Leonard Bernstein rec. live, 1966, EUROARTS IDÉALE AUDIENCE 3085318 [54:45] [DM]

Vintage Lenny; not to be missed.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies 6 & 12 Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko rec. 28-29 July and *23-24 June, 2010, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. DDD NAXOS 8.572658 [69:38] [JQ]

A fine version of the Sixth Symphony but, despite the excellent performance, the Twelfth remains a weak piece.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 – 1975) Piano Duos and Duets Vol. 1 Vicky Yannoula and Jakob Fichert (piano duet/duo) rec. 2007 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0034 [75:46] [DC]

Terrific stuff.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Lemminkäinen Suite Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Peer Gynt Suite 1 Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1947-51 PRISTINE PASC 299 [56:52] [RB]

A  Lemminkainen Suite to remind us of Ormandy's Sibelian fire and of why he was rated so highly by the composer himself. 

Parallels Alexander SKRIABIN (1872-1915) Sonata-Fantasia 2, Two Poems, op.32, Five Preludes, op.74, Three Etudes, op.65 Nikolai ROSLAVETS (1881-1944) Sonata 2, Two Poems, Five Preludes, Three Etudes Anya Alexeyev (piano) rec. 2009 MARQUIS 81415 [72:46] [Byz]

An attractive choice for the curious.

Haskell SMALL (b.1949) Lullaby of War, Renoir's Feast, Three Etudes in Sound Martin Rayner (narrator) Soheil Nasseri (piano) rec. 2007 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559649 [64:19] [Byz]

One of those occasional discs that really does live up to the 'American Classics' label.

Arthur SOMERVELL (1863-1957) Normandy, Piano Concerto Sir Frederic Hymen COWEN (1852-1955) Concertstück Martin Roscoe (piano) BBC Scottish SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2010 HYPERION CDA67837 [68:06] [JF]

An important release for enthusiasts of British music and for those listeners who specialise in romantic piano concertos. 

Ann SOUTHAM (1937-2010) Glass Houses Revisited Christina Petrowska Quilico (piano) rec. 2010 CENTREDISCS CMCCD 16511 [58:06] [KM]

A fine recording of minimalist-inspired piano pieces that combine motion and speed in a unique musical language. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Piano Trio 1, Legend, Jig, Hush Song, Piano Quartet 2 Gould Piano Trio with David Adams (viola) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572452 [79:48] [CH]

Major works, finely performed. Deserves to be a bestseller.

Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Violin Sonata no.1 see English Violin Sonatas

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Max STEINER (1888-1971) The Classic Film Scores National PO/Charles Gerhardt rec. 1973 SONY/RCA RED SEAL 88697 812702 [53:12] [IL]

A fine tribute to one of the leading film music pioneers of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) Die Fledermaus:[152:00] A bonus includes Ballet Music and Gala Sequence Vienna State Opera Chorus Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1960 ALTO ALC 2018 [77:03 + 75:39] [IL]

A glittering Fledermaus but with one or two flaws.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan, Metamorphosen, Lieder Joan Rodgers (soprano) Strasbourg PO/Jan Latham-Koenig (conductor, piano) rec. 2001/8 AVIE AV2172 [63:24] [WH]

An unusual programme and a very fine Strauss collection.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Quixote, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Don Juan Paul Tortelier (cello) Berlin PO/Rudolf Kempe, Fritz Lehmann rec. 1954/8 REGIS RRC1371 [73:37] [MC]

I would be perfectly happy if these accounts were the only ones in my collection.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Piano Music Martin Jones (piano) rec. 1994, NIMBUS NI 5519/20 [65.51 + 70.40] [DC]

Immensely enjoyable.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Fantasy see RESPIGHI

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 6, Nutcracker Suite Large SO, Ministry of Culture, Russian Federation/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Moscow State SO/Pavel Kogan rec. 1989 ALTO ALC1106 [67:43] [NB]

Even at bargain price point there are far too many other finer versions than this of both works – a rare Rohzdestvensky dud.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) 3 String Quartets, String Sextet Souvenir de Florence Franz Schubert Quartett rec. 1993 NIMBUS NI 5711/2 [71:04 + 76:26] [NB]

In a competitive marketplace this is up against testing opposition but as music this richly demands to be heard.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Romeo and Juliet - Fantasy Overture see Prokofiev

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH  Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681 - 1767) Tafelmusik Musica Antiqua Köln/Reinhard Goebel rec. 1988 ARCHIV 477 8714 [4 CDs: 253:25] [JV]

One of the best Telemann recordings of all time.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681 - 1767) Der Tag des Gerichts Siri Karoline Thornhill (soprano), Susanne Krumbiegel (contralto), Tobias Hunger (tenor), Gotthold Schwarz (bass) Bach Consort Leipzig/Gotthold Schwarz rec. 2009 RONDEAU ROP6036 [73:17] [JV]

A fine recording of what is a true masterpiece of an old man, who was still young in spirit.

Sergei VASILENKO (1872-1956) Viola Sonata op. 46 [18:44] Lullaby [4:01] Four Pieces on Old Lute Music op. 35 [14:43] Sleeping River [2:18] Oriental Dance op. 47 arr. Artamonova [5:33] Suite Zodiakus IAS after Unknown Authors of the Eighteenth Century [13:20] Four Pieces (1953) [8:09] Elena Artamonova (viola) Nicholas Walker (piano) rec. 2010. DDD TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0127 [67:34] [RB]

Great and sometimes astonishing fervour in the sonata makes you sit upright with some surprising coups.

Sinfonia Antartica; Scott of the Antarctic – Archive recordings from the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Sinfonia Antartica, Scott of the Antarctic Stanley Kirkby, Robert Carr (baritones) Sir John Gielgud (narrator) Margaret Ritchie (soprano) London PO/Sir Adrian Boult Philh Orch/Ernest Irving rec. 1953/1948 CD41 RECORDINGS CD41-024 [67.14] [JD]

This curious commemorative release does claim our attention.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony 2, Oboe concerto Stéphane Rancourt (oboe) Hallé O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2010 HALLÉ CD HLL 7529 [65:56] [MC]

A stunning live disc that will garner significant praise.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Lark Ascending see RESPIGHI

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1972-1958) Fantasy for piano and orchestra see MATHIAS

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) Un ballo in maschera Placido Domingo (baritone) Josephine Barstow (soprano) Sumi Jo (soprano) Wiener Phil/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1990 ARTHAUS MUSIC 107 271 [145:00] [GF]

Timeless and all-embracing. It’s hard to resist.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Rigoletto Richard Tucker (tenor) Robert Merrill (baritone) Roberta Peters (soprano) Metropolitan Opera Ch & O/Fausto Cleva rec. 1955 SONY CLASSICAL 88697 91005 2 [52:26 + 58:17] [RMo]

A wholly creditable souvenir of a good night at the Met.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Don Carlo Franco Corelli, Leonie Rysanek, Met Ch & O/Kurt Adler rec. 1964 SONY CLASSICAL 88697 91004 2 [75:53 + 79:56] [RMo]

A thrilling performance by a first-rate cast recorded in mono sound so good that one forgets it’s almost “historical”.

Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) Missa Vidi speciosam Ch of Westminster Cathedral/James O'Donnell, David Hill rec. 1984 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55358 [45:07] [MS]

A welcome reissue of simple, committed singing of beautiful and compelling music by Victoria.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Four Seasons; Gloria Mimi Coertse (soprano) Ina Dressel (soprano) Sonja Draxler (contralto) Julian Olevsky (violin) Vienna State Opera O/Hermann Scherchen rec. 1958/60 TAHRA TAH 697 [77:30] [JW]

A good example of Scherchen’s sensitive exploration of the repertory and is heard in a fine transfer.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678 - 1741) Motezuma Vito Priante, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Il Complesso Barocco/Alan Curtis rec. 2008 DYNAMIC 33586 [75:14 + 74:46] [JLZ]

Fine efforts in this production … visually compelling and aesthetically satisfying. 

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Six cello sonatas see BACH

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der Fliegende Holländer Astrid Varnay (soprano) Hermann Uhde (bass-baritone) Rudolf Lustig (tenor) Ludwig Weber (bass) Bayreuth Fest Ch/Orch/Joseph Keilberth rec. l955

This live Bayreuth set is now clearly top of the heap.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Parsifal Klaus Florian Vogt, Robert Holl, Katharina Dalayman, Netherlands Radio PO & Ch/Jaap van Zweden rec. live, 2010 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72519 [4 CDs: 246:04 & bonus DVD] [GD]

Very fine indeed … a great performance … well cast, well paced … a real sense of theatrical drama. 

Fu-Tong WONG (b.1948) Rhapsody of Taiwan Rhapsody of Taiwan, for orchestra, In Memoriam, Xi Shi Fantasy, for violin & orchestra, Variations on a Theme by Chen' Chu-Shui, Fugato for Strings Su Shien-Ta (violin) Taipei Sinfonietta WIND MUSIC TCD5234 [46:20] [Byz]

A superb melodicist and a fine orchestrator - a latter-day Taiwanese Dvorák! Deserves the widest of audiences in the West.

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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