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Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!

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

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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]

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony 3 see POULENC

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony 3 see Byways of Beecham

Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660 - 1725) La Colpa, Il Pentimento, La Grazia Alessandro STRADELLA (1644 - 1682) Lamentatione per il Mercordi Santo, Crocifissione e Morte di N.S. Giesů Cristo Vocal Ens & O La Stagione/Michael Schneider rec. 1991 CAPRICCIO C5126 [49:07 + 65:23] [JV]

An interesting oratorio in a good, albeit too restrained performance.

Boguslaw SCHAEFFER (b. 1929) Assemblage rec. 1994-2011 DUX 0881/82 [70:57 + 68:54] [DC]

New access to significant and influential achievements.

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Twelve Penitential Psalms; Voices of Nature SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart/Marcus Greed rec. 2011 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC SACD93.281 [54:44] [DC]

Scarily communicative – a gloriously performed choral masterpiece.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Gurrelieder, Verklärte Nacht London SO & Leopold Stokowski and his Symphony Orchestra rec. 1952/61 GUILD GHCD 2388/89 [60:14 + 75:18] [RMo]

Special historical interest for Stokowski enthusiasts.

Franz SCHREKER (1878-1934) Der Holdestein, Meereswogen Robert FUCHS (1847-1927) Gesänge für Frauenchor Orpheus Vokalensemble/Michael Alber, Konrad Elser (piano) rec. 2011 CARUS 83.399 [61:31] [NB]

Bloodless and irredeemably twee.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies 4, 8 & 9 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony 29 Concertgebouw O, Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer rec. 1956-60 ANDROMEDA ANDRCD 9106 [54:47 + 74:04] [JS]

Real drive and energy.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Fantasie, Rondo brillant, Grand Duo Carolin Widmann (violin) Alexander Lonquich (piano) rec. 2010 ECM 2223 (4764546) [53.21] [KM]

A good recording of some minor works by Schubert. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise Florian Boesch (baritone) Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 2001 ONYX 4077 [76:43] [JQ]

An impressive traversal of Schubert’s winter journey.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Trios, Arpeggione Sonata Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio rec. 2010 BRIDGE 9376A/B [64:15 + 74:07] [JS]

Likely to give real and lasting musical pleasure.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schwanengesang, Der Winterabend Christopher Maltman (baritone) Graham Johnson (piano) rec. 2010 WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLIVE0049 [63:26] [JQ]

There are many excellent CD versions of Schwanengesang in the catalogue but this one joins the ranks of the very best. 

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Märchenbilder Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Lachrymae Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Viola Sonata Krzysztof Chorzelski (viola) Katya Apekisheva (piano) rec. 2010 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD029 [61:07] [JW]

Three very different works played by an extremely sensitive team and very well recorded.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Musikalische Exequien Dorothee Mields, Anja Zügner (sopranos) Alexander Schneider (counter-tenor) Matthias Müller (violin) Ludger Rémy (organ) Dresdner Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2011 CARUS 83.238 [68:24] [ST]

Thoughtful, moving and evocative … very beautifully sung.

Déodat de SÉVERAC (1872-1921) Piano Music Vol. 2 Jordi Masó (piano) rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572428 [60.42] [GH]

Masó brings out the nuances of this music.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10 (1924-1925) [32:03] Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 14 To October (1927) [20:02] Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 20 The First of May (1929) [27:51] Netherlands Radio Choir Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra/Mark Wigglesworth rec. 2006 (1), 2010 (2-3), Sung texts (Cyrillic and English) included BIS-SACD-1603 [81:13][JQ]

Gripping performances, reported in superb sound.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) CD 1 Orango - Prologue (1932) Unfinished satirical opera; piano score orchestrated by Gerard McBurney CD 2 Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43 (1936) Los Angeles Master Chorale/Grant Gershon Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen rec. live, 2011, Sung text included DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 0249 [32:00 + 64:32] [DM]

Worth it for Orango alone; look elsewhere for the symphony.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Viola Sonata see SCHUMANN

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Clarinet Sonata see British Clarinet Sonatas

Alessandro STRADELLA (1644 - 1682) Lamentatione per il Mercordi Santo, Crocifissione e Morte di N.S. Giesů Cristo see SCARLATTI


Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche see MAHLER

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Quixote, Op 35 (1897) [41:24]* Tod und Verklärung, Op 24 (1889) [24:05] *Miloš Jahoda (cello); *Jiri Hurnik (violin); *Pavel Perina (viola) Prague Symphony Orchestra/Jiri Kout rec. 2009 FOK 0004-2 031 [65:35] [SV]

Much to enjoy in Kout's forthright way with Strauss.

Richard STRAUSS (1865-1949) Tod und Verklärung see Guido Cantelli

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Symphonia Domestica see Carl Schuricht

Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) The Mikado Kanen Breen, Mitchell Butel, Opera Australia O & Ch, O Victoria/Brian Castles-Onion rec. 2011 OPERA AUSTRALIA OPOZ56014 [146:00] [RJW]

Overall, superbly done.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Maria SZYMANOWSKA (1789-1831) Ballads and Romances Elizabeth Zapolska (mezzo), Bart van Oort (piano – Broadwood, 1825) rec. 2011 List of songs at end of review Texts and translations included ACTE PREALABLE AP0260 [71:54] [SA]

This is a disc of rare quality

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto, Sérénade Mélancolique, Valse-Scherzo, Souvenir d’un lieu cher James Ehnes (violin) Sydney SO/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 2010 ONYX 4076 [69:43] [ST]

An altogether outstanding disc.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Eugene Onegin Bo Skovhus, Krassimira Stoyanova, Andrej Dunaev, Royal Concertgebouw O/Mariss Jansons OPUS ARTE OA1067D [151:00 + 30:00 extras] [JS]

A version which anyone who loves this most personal of operas needs to see and hear.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Manfred Symphony see Temirkanov

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto 1 see Günter Wand

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alexander TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977) Complete Piano Music - Vol. 1 Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2011 GRAND PIANO GP608 [62:38] [SA]

This is one of those discs that makes me want to shout with delight... A wonderful disc altogether! 

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Overture-Suites, Concertos, Divertimento Collegium Musicum 90/Simon Standage rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN0787 [79:18] [DC]

Very enjoyable indeed. 

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Fantasias Andrea Coen (harpsichord) rec. 2011 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94228 [3 CDs: 168:52] [Byz]

Telemann sounding special.

Eduard TUBIN (1905-1982) Works for violin and piano Vol. 1 Sigrid Kuulmann (violin) Marko Martin (piano) rec. 2005 ESTONIAN RECORD PRODUCTIONS ERP 3009 [65:43] [SA]

A disc to savour and to marvel at.

Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949) Piano music Vol. 8 Jordi Masó (piano) rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572682 [62:27] [PCG]

Unjustly neglected music which deserves attention.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Luisa Miller Montserrat Caballé, Richard Tucker, Metropolitan Opera O/Thomas Schippers rec. 1968 SONY CLASSICAL 88691 90994 2 [66.54 + 62.54] [RJF]

Despite theatre cuts by the conductor there is much to please adherents of live performances in this performance of this transitional work.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Traviata Natalie Dessay, Charles Castronovo, Ludovic Tezier, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Ch, London SO/Louis Langrée rec. 2011 VIRGIN CLASSICS 7307989 [139:00] [RJF]

Even at its lower price, poor presentation and the quality of the recorded opposition mean this is for Dessay fans only.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Joanna d'Arc Nikolay Dorozhkin, Anna Lichorowicz, Wrocław Opera Ch & O/Ewa Michnik rec. 2011 DUX 0846/7 [63:16 + 41:09] [GF]

Good early Verdi. 

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Rigoletto Alan Opie (baritone) David Corcoran (tenor) David Parkin (bass) Emma Matthews (soprano) Opera Australia Ch/O/Giovanni Reggioli rec. 2010 OPERA AUSTRALIA OPOZ56009DVD [2:11:00] [JS]

Adequate rather than inspired.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Complete ballet music from the operas Bournemouth SO/José Serebrier rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572818-19 [54:09 + 61:13] [JS]

The performances and recording are affectionate and lively.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Rigoletto Ferruccio Tagliavini, Giuseppe Taddei, Lina Pagliughi, Cetra Chorus, SO di Torino della RAI/Angelo Questa rec. 1954 WARNER MUSIC 2564 66211-6 [52.47 + 59.40] [RMo]

If you had only one Rigoletto there is no reason why this should not be it.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Falstaff Fernando Corena, Anna Maria Rovere, Glyndebourne Opera Ch, Royal PO/Carlo Maria Giulini rec. 1955 ICA ICAC5061 [58:15 + 67:04] [JS]

A wonderfully relaxed and good humoured performance in which nearly everything seemed to have gone right.

Henry VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881) Violin Concerto No.1 in E major Op.10 (1840) [40:41] Violin Concerto No.2 in F sharp minor Op.19 (1836) [21:34] Greeting to America Op.56 (1843-44) [12:50] Chloë Hanslip (violin) Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2011, HYPERION CDA67878 [75:07] [JW]

A wealth of neatly sculpted phrasing … wistfulness warmed with tremulousness … uplifting and confident, even martial, and certainly virtuosic.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Götterdämmerung Kirsten Flagstad, Set Svańholm, Norwegian Opera Ch & O; Oslo PO/Řivin Fjeldstad rec. 1956 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.112066-69 [4 CDs: 260:12] [RMo]

Not the fulfilment of a Wagnerian’s dream but it has sterling qualities.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walküre Stig Fogh Andersen, Egils Silins, Susan Bullock, Susan Bickley, The Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2011 HALLÉ CDHLD7531 [5 CDs: 247:57]  [GD]

Consistently high musical standards …excellent sound quality too. 

Silvius Leopold WEISS (1687-1750) Lute Sonatas - Vol. 11 Robert Barto (lute) rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572680 [65:43] [BR]

This series is as addictive as ever, and for newcomers to some of the finest baroque-era lute music, Volume 11 would be a good introduction.

Hugo WOLF (1860 – 1903) The Complete Songs Vol 2 - Mörike Lieder part 2 Sophie Daneman (soprano) Anna Grevelius (mezzo) James Gilchrist (tenor) Stephan Loges (baritone) Sholto Kynoch (piano) rec. 2010 STONE RECORDS 5060192780093 [76:30] [GF]

Good production values and singing that is a bit uneven but on the whole fully acceptable.

Eugene ZÁDOR (1894-1977) Aria and Allegro; Five contrasts; A Children’s Symphony; Hungarian Capriccio; Csárdás Rhapsody Budapest SO MÁV/Mariusz Smolij rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572548 [66:49] [PCG]

Zádor, despite his limitations, does not deserve the total neglect that appears to have been his lot since his death.

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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