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October 31st

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210 reviews completed so far this month

Monday October 31st

Doreen CARWITHEN (1922-2003) Film Music BBC Concert O/Gavin Sutherland rec. 2010 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7266 [61:31] [RB]

Some really fine cinema music here high on sumptuous 1950s confidence.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ross EDWARDS (b. 1943) Violin concerto Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto Adele Anthony (violin) Adelaide SO/Arvo Volmer rec. 2009 CANARY CLASSICS CC09 [57:20] [NB]

A very rewarding disc.

Toivo KUULA (1883-1918) Songs and Orchestral Music Susan Gritton (soprano) BBC Concert O/Martin Brabbins rec. 2011 DUTTON EPOCH INTERNATIONAL CDLX 7272 [73:22] [RB]

A most impressive disc. Glorious.

René MAILLARD (b.1931) Surviving after Hiroshima, Concerto Grosso, Concerto da Camera 2 Sarah Jouffroy (mezzo) Royal PO/Dionysios Dervis-Bournias rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572623 [71:00] [Byz]

Music with a neo-Classical feel to it, recalling Stravinsky in spirit if not in style.

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Poema autunnale Josef SUK (1874-1935) Fantasy Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Počme Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Lark Ascending Julia Fischer (violin) Monte-Carlo PO/Yakov Kreizberg rec. 2010 DECCA 478 2684 [69:59] [OL]

The entire disc radiates purity.

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.

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.

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.

Classic Film Scores for Bette Davis - Music by Steiner, Korngold, Newman and Waxman National PO/Charles Gerhardt rec. 1973 SONY/RCA RED SEAL 88697 812722 [41:00] [IL]

Nicely unrestrained readings of these powerfully emotional, melodramatic scores.

Rarities of Piano Music Schloss vor Husum - Vol. 22 rec. 2010 DANACORD DACOCD709 [77:18] [JF]

Not a few of these pieces are miniature masterpieces.


Friday October 28th

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Franco ALFANO (1875-1954) Violin Sonata; Piano Quintet; Nenia And Scherzino Mary Ann Mumm, Elmira Darvarova (violin) Scott Dunn (piano) Craig Mumm (viola) Samuel Magill (cello) rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572753 [66:16] [RB]

This is late-romantic music that sings with it face looking into radiance.

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Le docteur Miracle Christiane Eda-Pierre (soprano) Robert Massard (baritone) Rémy Corazza (tenor) Radio France O/Bruno Amaducci. rec. 1976 OPERA D’ORO GRAND TIER OPD7077 [51:57] [RMo]

Worth acquiring for its intrinsic, Gallic charm and the quality of the performance. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Die Schöne Magelone Dominik Wörner (bass-baritone) Masato Suzuki (piano) rec. 2010 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38497 [53:59] [JS]

A performance very much worth hearing.

Erik CHISHOLM (1904-1965) Music for Piano - Vol. 7: Elegies and Suites Murray McLachlan (piano) rec. 2006 DIVINE ARTS DIVERSIONS DDV24155 [68:45] [Byz]

Jam-packed with inventive, subtle and tantalising rhythms, harmonies and effects.

Frederick DELIUS  (1862-1934) Hiawatha, Suite, Légende, Double Concerto, Caprice and Elegy Philippe Graffin (violin) Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola) BBC Concert O/David Lloyd-Jones rec. 2009 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7226  [71:57]  Lebenstanz, Irmelin suite, A Poem of Life and Love, A Village Romeo and Juliet suite Royal Scottish Ntl O/David Lloyd-Jones rec. 2010 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7264  [68:06] [RB]

Mightily impressive in these hands. 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Reinhold GLIERE (1875-1956) Symphonies 1-3; Horn Concerto; The Zaporozhy Cossacks; The Red Poppy & The Bronze Horseman Suites; Concert Waltz; Heroic March; Overtures BBC Philharmonic/Sir Edward Downes, Vassily Sinaisky rec. 1991-96 CHANDOS CHAN10679(5)X [5 CDs: 348:43] [RB]

Done with Chandos style … elite results … voluptuously lyrical and vividly imagined … The price is irresistible.

Alessandro GRANDI (c.1586 - 1630) Vespro della Beata Vergine Deborah York, Daniel Taylor, Ed Lyon, Peter Harvey, Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart/Matthew Halls rec. 2010 CARUS 83.367 [57:50] [JV]

A largely unsatisfying attempt to bring Grandi's music to the attention of a modern audience.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies 35 & 36; Piano Concerto 22; Horn Concerto 1 Radek Baborak (horn) Berlin PO/Daniel Barenboim (piano, conductor) rec. 2006 EUROARTS 2020208 [116:08] [TP]

This is a very enjoyable release and well worth snapping up at its discounted price.

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.

Songbook The trebles of Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum/Benjamin Nicholas, Helen Porter (piano) Carleton Etherington (organ) rec. 2010 DELPHIAN DCD34097 [66:42] [JQ]

A happy disc.


Thursday October 27th

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Grande Messe des Morts Robert Murray (tenor) Chetham’s School Brass Ens, Gabrieli Players & Consort, Wrocław PO & Ch/Paul McCreesh rec. 2010 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD280 [48:25 + 40:17] [JQ]

At last we have a recording that, in every respect, does full justice to the Grande Messe des Morts. 

Michael HURD (1928-2006) The Widow of Ephesus; Mr Owen’s Great Endeavour Pippa Goss, Louise Winter, Michael Bundy, City of Canterbury Chamber Choir, Orchestra Nova/George Vass rec. 2010 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7269 [67:01] [RB]

Steadfastly rewarding. Lovely!

Ludvig IRGENS-JENSEN (1894-1969) Symphony, Passacaglia Bournemouth SO/Bjarte Engeset rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572312 [66:47] [NB]

Congratulations and praise to Naxos for another winner of a disc. 

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) The Tales of Hoffmann Roberto Alagna (tenor) Natalie Dessay (soprano) Sumi Jo (soprano) Ch & O Opéra National de Lyon/Kent Nagano rec. 1994-6 ERATO OPERA COLLECTION 2564 67266-5 [3 CDs: 172:13] [ST]

Not perfect but still immensely enjoyable. 

Georges ONSLOW (1784-1853) String Quintet, String Quartet Gérard Jarry, Yvon Caracilly (violins) Serge Collot, Bruno Pasquier (violas) Michel Tournus (cello) rec. 1972 EDITIONS ANDRÉ CHARLIN CCV1002 [46:00] [JW]

A splendid restoration and well worth your time. 

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. 

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. 

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.  

Per la Vergine Maria Works by Monteverdi, Bencini, Melaini, Soler, Scarlatti & Carissimi Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini rec. 2010, NAIVE OP 30505 [63.31] [GH]

The recording serves only to enhance the music. It allows it to breathe and the performers are well balanced. Worth investing in. 

Songs of Cricket London Quartet, Chris Hatt (piano) Alexander L’Estrange (piano) rec. 2011 SIGNUM SIGCD217 [69:00] [JS]

Overall I found this disc a disappointment.


Wednesday 26th October

Matthew CURTIS (b.1959) Orchestral Works (Volume IV) A Festival Overture [4:32] Short and Suite (Valse; Intermezzo; Fancy Free; On the River; Striding Edge) [9:34] Variations on a Theme of Verdi [10:25] Four Winds Suite [26:20] Autumn Leaves [4:33]; Sterling Silver [7:59]; Summer Serenade [3:34]; Christmas Rush [4:02] Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland rec. 2008-9 CAMPION CAMEO 2085 [79.47] [RB]

A magician of light exuberant music in the grand British tradition.

Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) Piano Sonatas - Volume 3 Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2008/ 2009/2010 NIMBUS NI5872/73 [68:56 + 75:23] [JW]

Fresh from my enjoyment of volumes 1 and 2 in this series, I find that there’s no cessation in the latest release

Joăo Rodrigues ESTEVES (c1700 - after 1751) Sacred Music Andrew Carwood (tenor)*, Mike McCarthy (bass)* Christ Church Cathedral Choir/Stephen Darlington; David Goode, Philip Millward (organ) rec. 1996 NIMBUS NI 5516 [68:06] [JV]

Delightful performances of some treasures from the Portuguese musical heritage.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Vasily KALINNIKOV (1866-1901) Symphony No. 1 in G minor (1894-1895) [37:37] Symphony No. 2 in A major (1895-1897) [39:02] Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra/Kees Bakels rec. 2000, DDD BIS-CD-1155 [77:29] [DM]

A very special disc indeed.

Dariusz MAZUROWSKI (b.1966) Electronic music Pseudaria (2011) [30:59]
Divertimento (2010) [31:58] Music composed, performed and engineered by Mazurowski rec. 2011 World Premiere Recordings ACTE PREALABLE AP0241 [63:02] [RB]

Atmospheric and richly varied sound assemblages.

Serge RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Caprice bohémien, Op. 12 (1892-94) [17:55] Prince Rostislav (1891) [14:41] Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op. 44 (1935-36) [40:50] BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2010 DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10677 [73:49] [JQ]

A splendid disc.

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.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No.6 in B minor Pathétique (1893) [45:41] Nutcracker Suite (1892) [21:38] Large Symphony Orchestra, Ministry of Culture, Russian Federation/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (Symphony) Moscow State Symphony Orchestra/Pavel Kogan (Suite) 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.

4 Strings Only: A Recital for Solo Violin
Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Paul BEN-HAIM (1897-1984) Luciano BERIO (1925-2003) Herwig Zack (violin) rec.2010/2011 AVIE AV2189 [76:38] [AM]

A valuable collection of solo violin works from a very impressive violinist.

English Violin Sonatas Thomas DUNHILL (1877-1946) Violin Sonata in F op.50 (1918) [29:47] Granville BANTOCK (1868-1946) Violin Sonata no.3 in C (1940) [19:53] Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Violin Sonata no.1 in D op.11 (1880) [24:59]
Susanne Stanzeleit (violin), Gusztáv Fenyň (piano) rec. 1994 REGIS RRC1376 [75:34] [CH]

The Dunhill is a wonderful discovery and the Stanford is the best of the two performances now available.

Tuesday 25th October

Christopher BALL (b.1936) Horn Concerto, Oboe Concerto, Celtic Moods, Invocations of Pan, A Summer Day Tim Thorpe (horn) Paul Arden-Taylor (oboe/cor anglais) Roger Armstrong (flute) Jonathan Burgess (flute) Leslie Craven (clarinet) Emerald Concert Orch/Adderbury Ens/composer rec. 2002-2010 MUSICAL CONCEPTS MC143 [77:48] [RB]

The Horn Concerto is a winner.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Concerti 1 & 2 Viola Concerto James Ehnes (violin/viola) BBC PO/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2010/2011 CHANDOS CHAN 10690 [77:45] [NB]

A disc of superb value in playing time terms as well as anything else.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz BIBER (1644-1704) The Rosary Sonatas for violin and continuo Leah Gale Nelson (violin) Daniel Swedberg (theorbo) Dongsok Shin (organ) rec. 2010 LYRICHORD LEMS 8079 [72:57 + 52:41] [GA]

Leah Gale Nelson brings fire and fervour to this very fine, historically-informed recording of the Biber Rosary sonatas.

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Les Pecheurs de Perles Leila – Pierrette Alarie, Nadir – Leopold Simoneau Zurga, – Rene Bianco, Nourbad– Xavier Depraz Orch des Concerts Lamoureux/Jean Fournet
GUILD GHCD 2382/83 [138:45] [DBe]

Focused singing, clean with a tight and bright youthful sounding vibration.

Mikolajus ČIURLIONIS (1875-1911) Piano Music, vol. 2 Muza Rubackyte (piano) rec. 1993 NAXOS 8.572660 [69:35] [Byz]

Rubackyte pays this music great respect and her lovely lyrical tone, discipline and expressiveness ensure persuasive performances.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphonies 4 & 5 Camilla Tilling (soprano)World Orch for Peace/Valery Gergiev rec. 2010 C MAJOR 702608 [153:51] [TP]

This is not everyone’s ideal Mahler, but it is thoroughly enjoyable if you favour ensemble clarity and thrilling execution over deep emotion.

Teizo MATSUMURA (1929-2007) Symphonies 1 & 2, To the Night of Gethsemane Ikuyo Kamiya (piano) RTÉ Nat SO/Takuo Yuasa rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570337 [60:50] [Byz]

Enormous, almost overwhelming power.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerti 6, 8 & 9 Angela Hewitt (piano) Orchestra da Camera di Mantova/Carlo Fabiano rec. 2010 HYPERION CDA67840 [75:23] [DC]

A very exciting prospect indeed.

Josef Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839–1901) Klavierwerke Jürg Hanselmann (piano) Sandra Hanselman-Kästli (piano) rec. 1990-2004 CARUS 83.365 [10 CDs: 11:10:00] [DC]

A feast for piano buffs.

Entertaining Miss Austen - Newly discovered music from Jane Austen’s family collection Amanda Pitt (soprano) John Lofthouse (baritone) David Owen Norris (piano) rec. 2009 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7271 [73:55] [RB]

Austen and music with sprightly and committed performances.


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