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Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
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Nothing but Praise

BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set

Telemann continues to amaze

A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition

Another Bacewicz winner

match any I’ve heard

An outstanding centenary collection

personable, tuneful, approachable

a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.

music that will be new to most people

telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded

hitherto unrecorded Latvian music


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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]

Albéric MAGNARD (1865-1914) Cello Sonata in A major Op. 20 (1910) [27:04] En Dieu, mon espérance et mon Espée pour ma Défense for piano (1888) [5:24] Trois pièces for piano, Op. 1 (1887-88) [10:17] Promenades for piano, Op. 7 (1893) [27:52] Alain Meunier (cello) Philippe Guilhon-Herbert (piano) rec. no details given HORTUS 085 [70:37] [RB]

Strenuous drama married with burnished and noble lyricism.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 1, Symphony 5 Adagietto Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche Boston SO/Erich Leinsdorf rec. 1962/3 ICA CLASSICS ICAD5051 [78:00] [CH]

An astonishingly complete, all-embracing vision of Mahler 1, a brilliant rapscallion of a Till and a gorgeous Adagietto. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 2 Charlotte Margiono (soprano) Jard van Nes (alto) Ch & O Staatskapelle Dresden/Bernard Haitink rec. 1995 PROFIL EDITION PH07040 [33:16 + 53:11] [MC]

In my experience nothing beats this remarkable Haitink account.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 7 Bamberg SO/Jonathan Nott rec. 2011 TUDOR 7176 [79:50] [DMcC]

Nott has missed the heart of the work.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Duette Maîtrise des Bouches-du-Rhône, Jeune Choeur/Samuel Coquard, Nina Uhari (piano) rec. 2011 PARSIPHONIE PAR 001 [29:11] [GF]

A disc for lovers of youthful voices. 

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde Věra Soukupová (contralto); Vilém Přibyl (tenor) Czech PO/Václav Neumann rec. 1971 RADIOSERVIS CR04382 [56:03] Píseň o Zemi (Song of the Earth) Marta Krásová (alto); Beno Blachut (tenor) Prague National Theatre O/Karel Šejna rec. 1960 SPOLEČNOST BENO BLACHUTA SBB0010402 [55:19] [DM]

An intelligent, persuasive performance from Neumann; a crude and unmemorable one from Šejna. 

Benedetto MARCELLO (1686-1739) Piano Sonatas Andrea Bacchetti (piano) rec. 2010 RCA RED SEAL 88697 814662 [55:14] [Byz]

Bacchetti's near-perfect playing matched with the beauty of Marcello's sonatas.

Louis MARCHAND (1669-1732) Suites Jean Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Suite Christophe Rousset (harpsichord) rec 2011 EDITIONS AMBRONAY AMY032 [58:25] [JV]

The harpsichord and the suites by Marchand are the main attractions.

Felix MENDELSSON (1809-1847) Symphonies 3 & 4 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Masonic Funeral Music Boston SO/Charles Munch rec. 1958-59 ICA CLASSICS ICAD5039 [73:15] [JW]

These Mendelssohn performances are terrific.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Trio No.1 in D minor Op.49 (1839) [29:25] Piano Trio No.2 in C minor Op.66 (1845) [29:19] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Clavierstücke in canonischer form Op.56 (1845) arr. Theodor Kirchner 1880s [28:27] Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch rec. 2011, NIMBUS NI 5875 [77:14] [OL]

Good quality readings.

Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Duette see MAHLER

Gustav MERKEL (1827-1885) Organ Works Vol. 3 Halgeir Schiager (organ) rec. 2006 SIMAX PSC1275 [76:56] [Byz]

A tantalising glimpse of Merkel … leaves the listener eager to get hold of volume 4!

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Visions de l'Amen Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) En blanc et noir Ralph van Raat, Håkon Austbø (piano) rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572472 [62:39] [DM]

Impressive, well-presented performances; just a little short on fervour and insight.

Scott MILLER (with Carla REES ) Devices and Desires Carla Rees (quarter tone C flute) Scott Miller (electronics) rec. 2011 RARESCALE RECORDS RR004 [55:56] [Byz]

Rees constantly amazes with her arsenal of techniques, sheer concentration and stamina. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Missa In illo tempore Odhecaton/Paolo Da Col rec. 2011 RICERCAR RIC322 [64:35]  [JV]

I strongly urge you to purchase this disc. 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Le Nozze Di Figaro Luca Pisaroni, Isabel Rey, Ludovic Tézier, Barbara Frittoli, Marina Comporata, Ch & O Teatro Real, Madrid/Jesús López-Cobos rec. 2009 TEATRO REAL TR97001BD [205:00] [RJF]

Satisfactory cast and pedestrian conducting limit the impact of spectacular sets and complete score.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto 17, Concerto for two pianos, Sonata for two pianos Alfred Brendel (piano) Walter Klien (piano II) Vienna State Opera O/Paul Angerer REGIS RRC1388 [76:31] [Byz]

Little value in this disc for Mozart fans.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Masonic Funeral Music see MENDELSSON

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony 29 see SCHUBERT

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) L'Incoronazione di Poppea Birgitte Christensen, Jacek Laszczkowski, Norwegian Ntl Opera O/Alessandro De Marchi rec. 2010 EUROARTS 2058928 [180:00] [JPo]

A production trying too hard to be controversial in an interesting twist on filmed opera from Norway.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition see Günter Wand

Jesper NORDIN (b. 1971) Pendants I-III, Undercurrents, Surfaces scintillantes, Cri du berger, the aisle Benjamin Caray (cello) Gageego/Pierre-André Valade rec. 2011 PHONO SUECIA PSCD 192 [73.46] [PCG]

Unusual and interesting music, but its purpose remains unclear.

Nicolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) String Quartets 1-3 Amati Ens rec. 2011 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94287 [58:03] [Byz]

Warm, cosy, supremely melodic, eschewing all vulgarity. 

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Organ Concerto Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony 3 Thomas Trotter (organ) Auckland PO/Arvo Volmer rec. 2010 ATOLL ACD116 [58:15] [ST]

Characteristic, occasionally creepy, rich and full. Very convincing.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 2 Kirov Opera O/Valery Gergiev rec. 1999 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802082 [59:25] [JQ]

A welcome reissue of Gergiev’s first traversal of Rachmaninov’s Second.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Serge RACHMANINOFF (1873-1973) Moments musicaux Op.16 (1896) [27:33] Études-tableaux Op.33 (1911) [23:35] Variations on a theme of Corelli Op.42 (1931) [17:45] Xiayin Wang (piano) rec. 2011, 2012 CHANDOS CHAN 10724 [69:18] [NB]

A disc of exceptional quality. 

Jean Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Suite see MARCHAND

John RAMSAY (b.1931) String Quartets 1-4 Fitzwilliam String Qt rec. 2010/1 METIER MSV 28528 [38:32 + 48:29] [Byz]

The intellectual grounding of these quartets makes their instant approachability all the more gladdening.

Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (b. 1928) Cello Concerto 2, Percussion Concerto Truls Mørk (cello) Colin Currie (percussion) Helsinki PO/John Storgårds rec. 2011 ONDINE ODE 1178-2 [70:31] [HC]

A superb addition to Ondine's survey of Rautavaara's large and varied output.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Trio, Alborada del gracioso Kees OLTHUIS (b. 1940) Voyage à l’horizon … Seul … Trio Suleika rec. 2010 COBRA 0034 [57.47] [PCG]

Nobody who cares about the future of classical music should overlook the Olthuis.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) La valse, Boléro see DEBUSSY

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia Dmitry Korchak (tenor) Luca Salsi (baritone) Ch & O Teatro Reggio di Parma/Andrea Battistoni rec. 2011 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108 042 [170:00] [RJF]

A provincial performance featuring some new voices in an imaginative production with few way-out idiosyncrasies.

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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