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Some items
to consider

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

telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded

hitherto unrecorded Latvian music


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) The Well-Tempered Clavier Book II Peter Hill (piano) rec. 2011 DELPHIAN DCD34101 [78:49 + 79:21] [DC]

Bach which will take you out of this world.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Works for Violin and Piano - Volume 1 Rhapsodies 1 & 2, Sonatas 1 & 2 James Ehnes (violin) Andrew Armstrong (piano) rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN10705 [80:30] [ST]

A magnificent disc, wonderful playing captured in fantastic sound. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1797-1828) Symphony 9 Annemarie Kramer (soprano) Wilke te Brummelstroete (alto) Marcel Reijans (tenor) Geert Smits (bass) Consensus Vocalis Netherlands SO/Jan Willem de Vriend rec. 2011 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72533 [63:40] [DC]

Remarkably revealing - how did Beethoven do that? 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) Il Pirata Carmen Giannattasio, José Bros, Geoffrey Mitchell Ch, London PO/David Parry rec. 2010 OPERA RARA ORC45 [3 CDs: 159:28] [RJF]

This dramatic performance takes this version well ahead of the dated competition. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 (1830) [54:58] Overture: Béatrice et Bénédict (1862) [8:14] Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Robin Ticciati rec. 7-10 October 2011, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, UK. Stereo and multi-channel LINN CKD 400 [63:12] [ST]

It’s this disc I’ll be coming back to when I want to be reminded of just how ground-breaking it still sounds.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Brahms by Arrangement – Volume 1 String Quintets Zebra String Trio rec. 2011 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0066 [77:35]

This is the kind of disc that makes the most jaded listener sit up straight and pay attention

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Serenade, Nocturne Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Dies Natalis Mark Padmore (tenor) Stephen Bell (horn) Britten Sinfonia/Jacqueline Shave rec. 2011 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 807552 [78:29] [JQ]

A release that exudes quality.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alfredo CASELLA (1883-1947) Orchestral Works Vol. 2 Concerto for Orchestra, A notte alta, Symphonic Fragments from ‘La donna serpente’ Martin Roscoe (piano) BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN10712 [73:26] [IL]

The adventurous listener will be very well rewarded by this very imaginative and colourful music. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1801-1849) Piano Music Vol. 2 Louis Lortie (piano) rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN10714 [75:16] [DMcC]

Thoughtful, engaging, and gorgeous.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Francisco CILEA (1866-1950) Adriana Lecouvreur Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Ch & O Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Mark Elder rec. 2010 DECCA 074 3459 [2 DVDs: 150:00] [ST]

Two and a half hours of unalloyed operatic pleasure. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Images, Jeux, Nocturnes, La Mer, Prélude à l’après-midi d’une faune, Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire, Printemps, L’Enfant prodigue Royal Scottish Ntl O/Stéphane Denève rec. 2011/12 CHANDOS CHSA 5102(2) [78:04 + 68:22] [DC]

Sumptuous sonic bathing: thrillingly superb. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Songs Vol. 2 Lorna Anderson (soprano), Lisa Milne (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67883 [66:47] [SA]

Thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding in every way.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jonathan DOVE (b. 1959) The Passing of the Year Convivium Singers/Neil Ferris, Christopher Cromar (piano) rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572733 [69:23] [DMcC]

Gorgeous and poignant, performed with wholehearted fervor.

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

Stylish, convincing, profound and lovely performances. Buy it! 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) Concerti grossi Concerto Copenhagen/Lars Ulrik Mortensen rec. 2009 CPO 777 488- 2 [58:35] [MG]

Minkowski offers virtuosity and excitement, but Mortensen gives us state of the art. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Christian Frederik Emil HORNEMAN (1840-1906) Gurre Suite, Suite from ‘The Contest with the Muses’, Ouverture Héroique, Suite from Kalanus Danish Ntl SO/Johannes Gustavsson rec. 2010-11 DACAPO 6.220564 [image] [66:07] [DC]

A wealth of discovery, and with performances to match.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Leos JANÁCEK (1854-1928) Taras Bulba, Lachian Dances, Moravian Dances Warsaw PO/Antoni Wit rec. 2010-11 NAXOS 8.572695 [54:27] [BR]

This is the best Taras Bulba I’ve heard, full of original gestures and sumptuously played.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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 OA 1067 D [151:00 + 30:00 extras] [JS]

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

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! 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dancing on Ivory Romantic transcriptions for piano Jue Wang (piano) rec. 2011 MSR CLASSICS MS1404 [55:10] [BR]

An adventurous program which exposes a strong young pianist truly coming into his own.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH New Favourites Swedish Chamber Choir/Simon Phipps rec. 2011 MUSICA REDIVIVA MRSACD103 [73:47] [WH]

A magnificent collection of modern Swedish choral music.



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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