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Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear

vital imagination

A harum-scarum springboard

Always expect the unexpected

Berg Wozzeck
This is a triumph!

Bruckner Symphony 3
Revelatory and awe-inspiring

For immediate purchase!

Sibelius 3, 6, 7 Vanska
Outstanding performances

burns with a steady, beckoning light

Vadim Gluzman - A quite extraordinarily good disc

This impressed me mightily

Shostakovich 5, 8 9
Great concentration

Let me tell you
Stratospheric Barbara Hannigan
Birmingham and BBC Proms

Berkeley - Authenticity

Highly Expressive

NØRGÅRD Stunning

Superbly played

One to treasure

One of the finest American
choral-orchestral works

from strength to strength

inspired choice




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

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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]


RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass in B minor Dorothea Mields, Hana Blažiková, Damien Guillon, Thomas Hobbs, Peter Kooij, Collegium Vocale Ghent/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 2011 PHI LPH004 [50:47 + 50:32] [JQ]

A splendid and important addition to the discography of Bach’s life-enhancing masterpiece.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Symphonies by the Bach Sons Bach Concentus/Ewald Demeyere rec. 2011 ACCENT ACC24257 [53:20] [JF]

These symphonies excited me, moved me and thoroughly entertained me. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alban BERG (1885-1935) Lulu Patricia Petibon, Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, Michael Volle; Vienna PO/Marc Albrecht rec. 2011 EUROARTS/UNITEL CLASSICA 2072564 [173:00] [DBi]

A wonderful Lulu. Petibon is its true star in every respect. An outstanding disc. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen - - Magdalena Kožená ; Jonas Kaufmann (tenor); Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2012, EMI CLASSICS 4 40285 2 [71.41+78.08] [ST][RF]

Get it while it’s hot! [ST] High on hype, this performance does not challenge many competitors.[RF]

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Alla BORZOVA (b. 1961) Songs for Lada; To the New World Valentina Fleer (soprano) Valentina Kozak (folk contralto) Detroit SO/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2010 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559706 [49.50] [PCG]

Heavenly music … really like nothing else in the repertory.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Songs of Sunset, Songs, North Country Sketches, A Late Lark Henriette Bonde-Hansen, Johan Reuter, Aarhus Cathedral Ch, Aarhus SO & Ch/Bo Holten rec. 2011 DANACORD DACOCD721 [74:27] [IL]

So many riches flowing from Holten’s commitment to Delius.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir Edward ELGAR The Apostles, Op. 49 [114:29] Rebecca Evans (soprano) – Alice Coote (mezzo) Hallé Choir; Hallé Youth Choir; Hallé Orchestra/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2012 English text included HALLÉ CD HLD 7534 [65:08 + 49:21] [JQ]

The clear first choice. This superb Apostles is a mandatory purchase for all Elgar enthusiasts.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Carlo GESUALDO (1566-1613) Madrigals - Book 4 Delitiæ Musicæ/Marco Longhini rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572137 [68:57] [DMcC]

Wonderfully cogent and affecting. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) String Quintet Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) String Quartet 2 Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) String Sextet Nash Ensemble rec. 2011 ONYX CLASSICS 4067 [65:37] [BR]

The Glazunov and Arensky works are underappreciated gems. Great playing, great program, mandatory purchase. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Naji HAKIM (b. 1955) Bach'orama, Jonquilles, Mit seinem Geist, Theotokos, Salve Regina, Gershwinesca Naji Hakim (organ) rec. 2011 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD 284 [69:02] [DM]

A walk on the wild side; an absolute must for adventure lovers. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Xerxes (Serse) Ann Murray, Christopher Robson, Christopher Booth-Jones, Valerie Masterson, Lesley Garrett, English National Opera O & Ch/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. 1988 ARTHAUS MUSIK 100 077 [186:00] [RF]

A classic interpretation of this too rarely heard Baroque masterpiece. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Great Haydn Symphonies CD 1 Symphonies Nos. 6, 45, 48 CD 2 Symphonies No. 82, 92, 94 Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra/Adam Fischer rec. 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1995. DDD. NIMBUS NI7041/2 [75:57 + 76:43] [BW]

A strong contender as an introduction to some wonderful music.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  William LAWES (1602-1645) The Royall Consorts Les Voix Humaines rec. 2002/6 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22373 [63:44 + 65:48] [MS]

Lawes’ most beautiful, varied and profound chamber music played with great style.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Simon MAYR (1763-1845) Samuele Andrea Lauren Brown (soprano) Susanne Bernhard (soprano) Rainer Trost (tenor) Jens Hamann (bass) Simon Mayr Ch/Ingolstadt Georgian Chamber O/Franz Hauk rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572721-22 [34:28 + 60:02]  [RJW]

Lively, engaging and holds the listener’s attention.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Psalms Cyrillus KREEK (1889-1962) Psalms, Five Sacred Folk Songs Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir/Daniel Reuss rec. 2009 ONDINE ODE1201-2 [64:18] [WH]

Gorgeous music, ravishing singing. An exceptional disc. Not to be missed. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Turangalîla-Symphonie Steven Osborne (piano) Cynthia Millar (ondes martenot) Bergen PO/Juanjo Mena rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67816 [77:07] [JQ]

A splendid representation of Messiaen’s ambitious, tumultuous, superb score.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Works for solo piano Michail Lifits (piano) rec. 2011 DECCA 476 4857 [79.00] [JB]

No lover of Mozart’s piano music will want to be without this extraordinary Decca debut CD of Michail Lifits.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Bells Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Alexander Nevsky Elena Prokina (soprano) Daniil Shtoda (tenor) Sergei Leiferkus (baritone) Alfreda Hodgson (mezzo) BBC SO & Ch, Philharmonia Ch & O/Evgeny Svetlanov rec 1988/2002 ICA CLASSICS ICAC5069 [78:30] [JQ]

This is a phenomenal disc! It shows Evgeny Svetlanov at his incandescent, inspirational best. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 11 Leningrad PO/Yevgeny Mravinsky rec. 1959 REGIS RRC1387 [60:22] [JQ]

One of those recordings that’s an essential element in any Shostakovich collection. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Josef SUK (1874-1935) Asrael Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Sinfonia da Requiem BBC SO/Jiří Bělohlávek rec. 2008 SUPRAPHON SU 4095-2 [61:50 + 21:23] [JQ]

A fine souvenir of the fruitful partnership between Jiří Bělohlávek and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Joby TALBOT (b.1971) Alice in Wonderland Lauren Cuthbertson, Sergei Polunin, Edward Watson, Zenaida Yanowsky, Covent Garden O/Barry Wordsworth rec. 2011 OPUS ARTE OA1056D [120:00 + 30:00] [IL]

An entrancing new look at the story of Alice in Wonderland.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) Symphony 20; Cello Concerto Claes Gunnarsson (cello) Gothenburg SO/Thord Svedlund rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHSA 5107 [70:50] [BR]

At last! A new recording of one of my favorite cello concertos. Drop everything and listen to this. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Complete Piano Works Vol. 2 Allison Brewster Franzetti (piano) rec. 2009-2010 GRAND PIANO GP607 [57:28] [SA]

Endlessly fascinating and powerfully stated. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Affettuoso Sonatas by Piani, Geminiani & Handel Emilio Percan (violin) Oriol Aymat Fusté (cello) Luca Quintavalle (harpsichord) rec. 2011 ONYX CLASSICS 4099 [74:52] [JV]

One of the best discs of baroque violin music I have heard for some time.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Rafael Aguirre (guitar) Recital rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572916 [62:16] [BR]

Fantastic. Showcases exceptional playing and all sorts of Spanish delights new and old.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Martha Argerich and Friends Live from Lugano 2011  Martha Argerich (piano) Dora Schwarzberg (violin) Lucia Hall (violin) Lida Chen (viola) Gautier Capuçon (cello) EMI CLASSICS 6447012 [3 CDs: 225:40] [DC]

Live vibe in Hi-Fi: a terrific collection. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Filia Sion Gregorian chant & works by Perotinus, de Grudencz & von Bingen Vox Clamantis/Jaan-Eik Tulve rec. 2010 ECM NEW SERIES 2244 [71:07] [DC]

Truly magical. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Nordic Violin Favorites Works by Olsen, Atterberg, Stenhammar, Bull, Halvorsen, Sibelius & Sinding Henning Kraggerud (violin) Dalasinfoniettan/Bjarte Engeset rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572827 [74:48] [DMcC]

This fabulous recording features lesser known violin repertoire played with a keen advocacy. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Still Sound Bruce Levingston (piano) rec. 2005/9 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92148 [56:13] [BR]

Levingston holds us spellbound with poetic, even sublime playing in a recital which takes us from 1828 to 2004. 



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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