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October 31st

Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
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[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
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Hans Werner Henze
1 July 1926 – 27 October 2012


Download News 2012/20 by Brian Wilson

Elisabeth Lutyens: En Voyage – suite for orchestra. article by John France

A Visit to Eric Coates’ boyhood home in Hucknall (Nottinghamshire) … and The Eric Coates Society - Ian Lace

EM Records makes the premičre recording of Ivor Gurney’s Violin Sonata in E flat: a session report by John Quinn

Scandinavian, Finnish & Baltic Concertos A national discography by Mike Herman

Eric Pinkett and the Leicestershire County School of Music  An appreciation by a former student

Download News 2012/19 by Brian Wilson



Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto and Rachmaninov Symphony 2: Sunday 18th November, St Faith's Church, Crosby Road North Liverpool L22 4QQ starting at 7.30pm.

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Other reviews - From now on, reviews that don't fit in the normal range of classical music (e.g. nostalgia, light music) will be published as a group on the second Monday of the month. They can be found in Misc M-Z of the monthly index.


Arkivmusic has over 4000 ArkivCDs which are digital remakes of out-of-print CDs available nowhere else. New issues now contain full booklet notes link



Christmas CD Reviews are on a separate page HERE



251 reviews completed so far this month.

Wednesday October 31st

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913 - 1976) Winter Words, Three Folk Song Arrangements, Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, Three Folk Song Arrangements Nicholas Phan (tenor), Myra Huang (piano) rec. 2009/2010. DDD. Booklet includes sung texts and English translations for op. 22. AVIE AV2238 [58:17] [MG]

Enjoyable performances, freshly sung and played.

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Brigg Fair - An English Rhapsody (1907) [18:43] Piano Concerto - Early version in three movements (1897-1904) [30:01] Idylle de Printemps - Morceau symphonique (1889) [10:18] Paris - A Nocturne (The Song of a Great City) (rev. ed. Beecham) (1899) [18:43] Howard Shelley (piano) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis rec.2011 CHANDOS CHAN 10742 [75:35][IL]

An enchanting addition to the Delius discography. [IL] Even the best of teams can have an off-day. [NB]

Complete String Trios Hans GÁL (1890-1987) Serenade in D Op.41 [25:37]*; Trio in F sharp minor Op.104*[25:09] Hans KRÁSA (1899-1944) Tanec (Dance) [5:53]; Passacaglia and fuga [9:44] Ensemble Epomeo (Caroline Chin (violin), David Yang (viola), Kenneth Woods (cello)) rec.13-15 December 2011, Millfield School Concert Hall, Somerset, England *world premičre recordings AVIE RECORDS AV2259 [67:08] [SA]

In every way this is a fantastic disc that listeners will want to hear again and again.

Juliusz LUCIUK (b.1927) Gesang am Brunnen — oratorio for soprano, tenor, baritone, mixed choir and chamber orchestra (c.1993) Orkiestra Kameralna Polskiego Radia w Krakowie/José Maria Floréncio rec. 1996, Texts, but not translated into English ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0240 [54:51] [JW]

An interesting slant on yet another strand of contemporary Polish religious music.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Homage: the Six Quartets Dedicated to Haydn Alexander String Quartet (Zakarias Grafilo (violin), Frederick Lifsitz (violin), Paul Yarbrough (viola), Sandy Wilson (cello)) rec. 2003/2004. DDD FOGHORN CLASSICS CD-1985 [3 CDs: 61:49 + 56:05 + 66:16] [Byz]

Immaculate professionalism … huge and telling ensemble experience, instrumental mastery practically faultless … Classical elegance and textural clarity.

Vitezslav NOVÁK (1870-1949) In the Tatras (1902) [17.10] South Bohemian Suite (1937) [30.04] Eight Nocturnes for voice and orchestra Op. 39 (1908) [29.28] Daniela Straková (soprano) Carlsbad Symphony Orchestra/Douglas Bostock rec. 1998 ALTO ALC 1199 [76.42] [GH]

Hooked on Novák since the 1970s. This budget price collection is a compulsive purchase.

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) The Complete Sonatas MP3 Edition Richard Lester (harpsichord, fortepiano, organ) rec. 2001-2006 ; DDD Contains mp3 files at 320 kbs NIMBUS NI1719 [9 mp3 CDs: 41:00:00] [BW, KM] NOTE: These sets cannot be played on a normal CD player. You will need one of the following: a computer; a portable MP3 device (like an iPod, but not limited to iPods) a DVD player; or the latest generation of in-car disc players.

A notable bargain – but take it in small doses. [BW] Sometimes you get what you pay for; the poor sound of this set isn’t compensated for by its bargain price. [KM]

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Lieder Heinrich Schlusnus (baritone) Franz Rupp, Sebastian Peschko (piano) rec. 1927 – 1943. ADD NIMBUS PRIMA VOCE NI7883 [77:20] [RMo]

A master-class in the Lieder-singer’s art.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Liederkreis, Op. 39 (1840) [26:59] Sechs Gedichte aus dem Liederbuch eines Malers, Op. 36 (1840) [15:59] Liederkreis, Op. 24 (1840) [21:30] Gerald Finley (baritone); Julius Drake (piano)
rec. 2011/2012, DDD German texts and English translations included HYPERION CDA67944 [64:30][JQ]

This fine disc is a worthy successor to Gerald Finley’s earlier Schumann disc.

Barbara THOMPSON (b.1944) Perpetual Motion Apollo Saxophone Orchestra rec. 2012, Royal Northern College of Music. DDD NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6200 [52:06] [JW]

Inspiring musicians playing with terrific verve.


Tuesday October 30th

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Violin Sonatas Josef Suk (violin) Jan Panenka (piano) rec. 1966-67 SUPRAPHON SU 4077-2 [4 CDs: 242:07] [JW]

Valuable, thoughtful and convincing … one of the most outstanding duos of its time. 

Francesco CAVALLI (1602-1676) La Didone Anna Bonitatibus, Krešimir Špicer, Les Arts Florissants/William Christie rec. 2011 OPUS ARTE OA1080D [176:14] [BW]

This is the Cavalli DVD to own; it should also appeal to Monteverdi fans. 

Jonathan DOVE (b. 1959) There Was a Child Joan Rodgers (soprano) Toby Spence (tenor) CBSO Ch,Youth Ch, Children’s Ch & O/Simon Halsey rec. 2011 SIGNUM SIGCD285 [50:47] [DMcC]

Powerful spiritual communication in this fabulous performance. I was very touched by the music and the performance.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Concertone, Violin Concerto 5 Piero Toso (violin) Orch di Padova e del Veneto/Christian Joseph Saccon (violin) rec. 2007 WIDE CLASIQUE WCL 134 [56:00 + DVD 58:00] [JW]

Scrutiny and admiration are very evident. 

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Tosca Maria Callas (soprano) Giuseppe Di Stefano (tenor) Tito Gobbi (baritone) Ch & O of La Scala, Milan/Victor de Sabata rec. 1953 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO 080 [72:03 + 35:54] [JS]

I have had considerable pleasure from this re-mastering. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise Maarten Koningsberger (baritone) Roger Braun (piano) rec. 2002 QUINTONE Q11003 [73:30] [GF]

Koningsberger’s is a perfectly valid reading, worth anyone’s money. 

Ittai SHAPIRA (b.1973) The Old Man and the Sea, Concierto Latino Ittai Shapira (violin) Royal Liverpool PO/Neil Thomson, London Serenata/Krzysztof Chorzelski rec. 2010-2012 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD 032 [52:41] [Byz]

A memorably orchestrated, romantic modern masterpiece, full of imagination, passion and beautiful melody. 

Viktor ULLMANN (1898-1944) The Complete Piano Sonatas Jeanne Golan (piano) rec. 2011 STEINWAY AND SONS CD 30014 [66.13 + 59.10] [GH]

Golan plays this music so convincingly … Ullmann is a fascinating figure. 

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Orchestral Excerpts Vol. 3: Tannhäuser, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg & Tristan und Isolde Alessandra Marc (soprano) Seattle SO/Gerard Schwarz rec. 1986-1992 NAXOS 8.572769 [62.26] [PCG]

One cannot help but feel that this could well have been left to gather dust. 

Insomnia A Nocturnal Voyage in Song William Berger (baritone) Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2012 DELPHIAN DCD34116 [55:42] [ST]

Just not to my taste.


Monday October 29th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken rec. 2009 ACCENT ACC24224 [51:31 + 45:20] [JFL]

The most chamber-music like of Kuijken’s Brandenburgs yet. 

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Appalachia, Sea Drift Leon Williams (baritone) Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Florida O/Stefan Sanderling rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.572764 [60.11] [PCG]

The orchestra relishes Delius’s contrasts. 

Aram KHACHATRIAN (1903-1978) Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto, Funeral Ode, Masquerade Suite, Gayane, Piano Concerto Leonid Kogan (violin) Sviatoslav Knushevitsky (cello) Antonín Jemelík (piano) USSR State Radio and Television SO/Aram Khachaturian, Alexander Gauk Prague RSO/Aram Khachaturian rec. 1946-60 SUPRAPHON SU4100-2 [79:54 +78:20] [JW]

I had a superb time with this and so will any Khachaturian admirer.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) String Sextet, Piano Quintet Camerata Freden rec. 2011 TACET 198 [68:00] [IL]

Technically accomplished performances but, at times, a little cold-hearted. 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Le nozze di Figaro Teddy Tahu-Rhodes, Taryn Fiebig, Sian Pendry, Peter Coleman-Wright, Opera Australia Chorus, Australian Opera and Ballet O/Patrick Summers rec. live, 2010 OPERA AUSTRALIA OPOZ56002BD [183.00] [MM-B]

Not a memorable production but certainly likeable. 

Sir Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918) Te Deum, The Birds of Aristophanes Suite, The Glories of Our Blood and State, Magnificat Amanda Roocroft (soprano) BBC Ntl Ch & O Wales/Neeme Järvi rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHAN10740 [75:15] [JF]

A moving tribute to one of Britain great composers. 

Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933) Hymne an den heiligen Adalbert, Song of Cherubim, Canticum canticorum Salomonis, Kosmogonia, Strophen Olga Pasichnyk (soprano) Rafał Bartmiński (tenor) Tomasz Konieczny (bass) Warsaw PO & Ch/Antoni Wit rec. 2008-10 NAXOS 8.572481 [57:18] [MC]

Impressively performed and well recorded. 

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Violin Concerto Vilde Frang (violin) Danish Ntl SO/Elvind Gullberg Jensen rec. 2011 EMI CLASSICS 6025702 [71:48] [WH]

Two very individual and magnificent performances.

Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) String Quartet 4 Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894 - 1942) Five Pieces for String Quartet Anton WEBERN (1883 - 1945) Langsamer Satz Jaan RÄÄTS (b. 1932) Concerto for Chamber Orchestra Prezioso String Qt rec. 2011/2 ESTONIAN RECORD PRODUCTION ERP 5912 [68:54] [HC]

Prezioso's first disc is a splendid calling card while offering a most attractive programme. 

Yo-Yo Ma - 30 Years Outside the Box SONY CLASSICS 88697 523072 [90 CDs + Book] [KM]

Ma is an excellent cellist and never boring.


Friday October 26th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Italian Concertos Matthias Havinga (organ) rec. 2010 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94203 [74:56] [JV]

A very fine debut of this young Dutch organist.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet 15 Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) String Quartet Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quartet 17 Quartetto Italiano rec. 1965 ICA CLASSICS ICAC 5070 [77:07] [JW]

The Quartetto Italiano captured live.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 7, The Triumphant Return (documentary) Berlin PO/Sergiu Celibidache rec. 1992 EUROARTS 2011408 [144:00] [JWh]

A great documentary and concert from a genius of the podium.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Preludes (orch. Peter Breiner) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Jun Märkl rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572584 [36.54 + 39.31] [PCG]

A supplement to Märkl’s readings of the Matthews orchestrations.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 9 Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester/Claudio Abbado rec. 2004 EUROARTS 205 4004 [84:00] [DM]

A no-hoper, thanks to appalling sonics. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) String Quartet Voces Intimae Leos JANÁČEK (1854-1928) String Quartet 1 Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) String Quartet 1 Henschel Qt rec. 2008 NEOS CLASSICS 11006 [65:23] [MC]

Dark and melancholy is explored through compelling playing of real distinction.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 2 Russian National O/Mikhail Pletnev rec. 2011 PENTATONE PTC 5186382 [48:12] [DMcC]

A most frustrating and disappointing release.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Un ballo in maschera Ferruccio Tagliavini, Giuseppe Valdengo, Maria Curtis Verna, RAI Torino/Angelo Questa rec. 1954 WARNER FONIT 2564 66143-9 [75:06 + 44:30] [RMo]

A vintage Ballo.

Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) Officium Defunctorum; Motets Collegium Vocale Ghent/Philippe Herreweghe PHI 005 [59:40] [DG]

A distinctive interpretation that’s as good as any of the rivals.

Georg Christoph WAGENSEIL (1715-1777) Concertos for Organ Elisabeth Ullmann (organ) Piccolo Concerto Wien/Roberto Sensi rec. 2002 ACCENT ACC 24248 [62:27] [Byz]

Utterly winsome music with appealing foot-tapping rhythms and catchy melodies piled high.


Thursday October 25th

William BYRD (1539/40-1623) Complete Fantasias for Harpsichord Glen Wilson, Naoko Akutagawa* (harpsichord) rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572433 [77:30] [JV]

The quality of music, performance, instrument and programme notes makes this a splendid release. 

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Rinaldo Sonia Prina (mezzo) Tim Mead (counter-tenor) Luca Pisaroni (bass) O Age of Enlightenment/Ottavio Dantone rec. 2011 OPUS ARTE OA1081D [161:32] [BW]

Visually distracting, aurally very well worth considering. 

Ferdinand HILLER (1811-1885) Die Zerstörung Jerusalems Die Gewandhauschor, Leipzig, Vocalconsort Leipzig, Camerata Lipsiensis/Gregor Meyer rec. 2011 QUERSTAND VKJK1202 [52:23 + 53:30] [JS]

Historical interest but little here to compel a second hearing. 

György LIGETI (1923-2006) String Quartet 2 Matthias PINTSCHER (b. 1971) Study IV for Treatise on the Veil John CAGE (1912-1992) String Quartet Iannis XENAKIS (1922-2001) Tetras JACK Qt rec. 2011 WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLIVE0053 [72:40] [LW]

A real showcase for the talents of the JACK Quartet. 

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Symphony 4 State SO of Russia/Igor Golovchin rec. 1993 DELOS DRD2012 [65:24] [NB]

Can I go back to sleep now please? 

Johann Hermann SCHEIN (1586-1630) Israelsbrunnlein Dresdner Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2000/12 CARUS 83.350 [47.07 + 47.25] [RH]

Performances of great charm. 

Thomas TELLEFSEN (1823-1874) Complete Piano Works Jørgen Larsen (piano) rec. 2010/11 2L 2L-080-PABD [198:00] [KM]

Attractive piano music from a student, then friend of Chopin. 

The Godowsky Edition Vol. 7 Carlo Grante (piano) rec. 2011 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1259 [65:37] [JW] 

Collectors of this unfurling series will find very much to their liking here. 

Neomonology Works by Bayolo, Smooke & Hersch Jeffrey Weisner (double bass) rec. 2011 INNOVA 833 [45:36] [DC]

Musically rewarding - and not just a virtuoso showcase. 

Salve Regina Del Signor Monteverde Newly discovered pieces by Monteverdi and Frescobaldi Il Pegaso/Maurizio Croci rec. 2012 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94286 [54:37] [JV]

An interesting disc because of the little-known music.  


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