MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Monthly Listing
230 reviews completed this month
May 2013

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




George BENJAMIN (b. 1960) Written on Skin (2012) [91:29]* Duet for Piano and Orchestra (2012) [12:05]**soloists Mahler Chamber Orchestra/George Benjamin* rec. 2012 DDD* NIMBUS NI5885/6 [59:53 + 42:42] [MS] An unmissable major operatic event for contemporary British music by one of its greatest exponents.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quintets 1 & 2 - Uppsala Chamber Soloists rec. 2011 DAPHNE 1045 [52:26] [SG] Benchmark recordings of the two Brahms’ String Quintets from Sweden.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 3 - Netherlands Radio Phil O/Jaap van Zweden rec. 2011 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72551 [59:35] [TB] One of the most seasoned Bruckner conductors working today. This is undoubtedly a major achievement.

Marbrianus DE ORTO and JOSQUIN DESPREZ Music at the Sistine Chapel around 1490 - Cut Circle/Jesse Rodin rec. 2008/10 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW 1265-1266 [74:38 + 74:49] [JV] Interesting repertoire, excellent singing and informative liner-notes.

Carlo GESUALDO da Venosa (1566 - 1613) Sesto Libro di Madrigali La Compagnia del Madrigale rec. 2012 DDD GLOSSA GCD 922801 [77:55][JV] An example of superb madrigal singing.

Charles Tomlinson GRIFFES (1884-1920) Three Tone-Pictures and other piano pieces Garrick Ohlsson (piano) rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67907 [79:04] [DM] Hugely commanding and authoritative; a landmark in every way.

Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-1996) Chamber Music Vol 1: Primavera; Gioco; Sonata per flauto solo; Ballata; Quartetto Ensembl MidtVest rec. 2010 DACAPO 8.226073 [72:20] [BB] In felicity these works sit comfortably beside those by Martinu and Poulenc.

Simeon ten HOLT (1923-2012) Canto Ostinato; Natalon; Aforisme II; Solo Devil’s Dances I-IV; Eadem Sed Aliter - Jeroen van Veen (piano) rec. 2012 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9434 [5 CDs: 78:15 + 46:59 + 67:43 + 50:10 + 77:12] [DC] Fascinating and life-enhancing, a real bargain.

Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Complete Original Works for Piano Duet and Duo - vol.1 Invencia Piano Duo rec. 2010-2011 GRAND PIANO GP 621 [54:14] [Byz] A dreamy Fauréan delight for jadedears – a summer zephyr under an azure sky.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas D.845, 960 - Maria João Pires (piano) rec. 2011 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 8107 [83:24] [DC] Schubert, as good as you are ever likely to hear him.

Myra Hess - The Complete Solo and Concerto Studio Recordings rec. 1928-1957 APR RECORDINGS 7504 [5 CDs: 78:51 + 80:43 + 79:39 + 78:07 + 79:30] [JF] A stunning collection of music played by one of the most talented of British pianists.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD ((1897-1957) Much Ado About Nothing (Incidental Music – first complete recording) (1920) University of North Carolina School of the Arts Drama soloists University of North Carolina School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra/John Mauceri rec. 2012. TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0160 [69.05] [IL] A delight for committed Korngold fans.

Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Wallfahrtslied, Nunc dimittis, Fratres, Te Deum Gordan Nikolic (violin) Netherlands Chamber Ch & O/Risto Joost rec. 2012 GLOBE GLO5252 [63:59] [BW] A good selection of Pärt’s music well suited to beginners and experienced Pärt-fanciers alike.

Fazil SAY (b.1970) Hezarfen - Concerto for Ney and Orchestra; Istanbul Symphony Burcu Karadag (ney) Aykut Köserli (percussion) Nationaltheater Mannheim/Dan Ettinger, Borusan Istanbul PO/Gürer Aykal rec. 2010/2012 NAÏVE V5315 [68.10] [GH] A proper Turkish Symphony and proud of it. How I wish it could be heard live in the UK.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) 12 German dances, Hungarian melody, Impromptu, Sonata in A major D959 Inesa Sinkevych (piano) rec. 2011 INESA SINKEVYCH PRIVATE ISSUE [67:26] [GA] An exceptionally fine performance of the great Schubert A major sonata.

Leonardo VINCI (1696? – 1730) Artaserse Philippe Jaroussky, Max Emanuel Cenic (counter-tenors) – Mandane Coro della Radiotelevisione svizzera, Lugano/Concerto Köln/Diego Fasolis rec. 2011 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6028692 [3 CDs: 67:26 + 65:46 + 54:36] [GF] One of the best baroque opera recordings I have heard. Don’t miss it!

Music for Two Organs – The Viennese Habsburg Court of the 17th Century See end of review for track-listing Johannes Strobl, David Blunden (organs) Choralschola der Cappella Murensis rec. 2011 Hybrid SACD, stereo and multichannel. Reviewed in SACD stereo Sung texts and translations provided AUDITE 92.653 [72:36] [DM] Radiant music, superbly played, sung and recorded; a must for Baroque buffs, organ fanciers and audiophiles alike.

Passacaglia - Matthias Havinga (organ) rec. 2010 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9269 [64:19] [HPR] If you don’t listen to organ music then you should listen to this. A CD for lovers of dramatic and moving music performed by an outstanding talent.

Polychoral splendour from the four galleries of the Abbey Church of Muri Cappella Murensis, Les Cornets Noirs/Johannes Strobl rec. 2011 AUDITE 92.652 [73:07] [DM] My store of enchanted objects has just increased by one; a magnificent disc.

Transitions - Works by Jan Ladislav DUSSEK (1760-1812) Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) - Olga Pashchenko (fortepianos) rec. 2011 FUGA LIBERA FUG 598 [77:01] [BR] An album I’ll treasure. The blurry line between classical and romantic, explored by an intrepid new artist.


Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra (2007) [31:33] Solo IX for oboe (2010) [10:32] Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1984-1985) [27:50] Piet Van Bockstal (oboe) Yutaka Oya (piano) Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2010, . Hybrid SACD, stereo and multichannel. BIS-SACD-1876 [71:16] [DM] Fine music and musicianship, faithfully caught; what BIS does best.

Emilia AMPER (b.1981) Trollfågeln - The Magic Bird Emilia Amper (nyckelharpa/vocals) TrondheimSolistene (strings) Anders Löfberg (cello) rec. 2012 BIS-SACD-2013 [59:42] [Byz] Will be enjoyed by fans of the more familiar traditional Irish or Scottish music.

Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Five Suites for Two Pianos Piano Duo Genova and Dimitrov rec. 2010 CPO 777 651-2 [79:56] [Byz] A full-length disc of tremendous entertainment value and lyrical invention.

Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Symphonies 4 & 6, A Värmland Rhapsody, Suite 3 - Sara Trobäck Hesselink (violin) Per Högberg (viola) Gothenburg SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHSA5116 [70:14] [WH] Little known but enjoyable repertoire in faultless performances.

Tor AULIN (1866-1914) Four Swedish Dances, Three Dances from Gotland, Master Olof - WDR Radio O, Cologne/Niklas Willén rec. 2011 CPO 777 775-2 [65:59] [BR] Tor Aulin, violinist, here conjures up the dance spirit of Grieg and even a bit of Elgarian melancholy. Well worth your time.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I - Arthur Villar (piano) rec. 2012 CD BABY 8087401 [50:49 + 52:50] [DC] Young Villar – preferable to young Schiff.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) French Suites - Colin Tilney (clavichord) rec. 2009 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1268 [60:21 + 63:08] [JW] Intimacy married with refinement in a truly unaffected but often affecting way.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonata Pietro NARDINI (1722-1793) Sonata Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sonata Bela BARTOK (1881-1945) Rhapsody 1 - Ursula Bagdasarjanz (violin) Luciano Sgrizzi/Fernande Kaeser (piano) rec. 1960-1969 GALLO CD-1248 [65:59] [SG] A violin recital that should be on the shelves of all violin enthusiasts.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Metamorphosis Transcriptions for piano - Angelika Nebel (piano) rec. 2012 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC 98.004 [55:48] [Byz] Short running time aside, this is a very impressive release.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage Volume 28: Cantatas for Ascension Day - Soloists, The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner. rec. 2012 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG 185 [77:08] [JQ] A very welcome addition to the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage series.

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Cello Concerto; Cello Sonata; Adagio for Strings - Christian Poltéra (cello) Kathryn Stott (piano) Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Litton rec. 2009/12 BIS-1827-SACD [54:13] [JQ] Barber’s works for solo cello in splendid new performances.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto, Grosse Fuge - Wolfgang Schneiderhan (violin) Berlin PO/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1952/53 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC370 [63:09] [JW] I wish I could say that his performance was as impressive as those of Menuhin and Röhn.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto, Romances 1 & 2 - Adolf Busch (violin) Statsradiofoniens Symfoniorkester/Launy Grøndahl; WOR Radio O/Alfred Wallenstein rec. 1942/1949 GUILD GHCD 2395 [54:39] [SG] A wonderful addition to the Busch discography.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 1 & 5 - Walter Gieseking (piano) Philharmonia O/Rafael Kubelik, Grosses Funkorchester/Artur Rother rec. 1945-1948 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1142(1) [67:40] [JQ] Beethoven concerto performances by Walter Gieseking that are well worth hearing.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 3, Piano Sonata, Op. 2/1 - Alexej Gorlatch (piano) Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Sebastian Tewinkel rec. 2011 BR KLASSIK 900115 [58:30] [MC] An impressive first look at a remarkably talented performer.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 4 & 5 - Claudio Arrau (piano) Boston SO/Charles Munch/Pierre Monteux rec. 1960-1961 WEST HILL RADIO ARCHIVES WHRA-6047 [75:00] [JQ] An impressive and important addition to Claudio Arrau’s discography.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 3 & 29, Bagatelles rec. 1975 ICA CLASSICS ICAC 5084 [80:49] Piano Sonatas 27, 28 & 29 Sviatoslav Richter (piano) rec. 1965-1975 PRAGA DIGITALS PRD/DSD 350 065 [75:10] [JW] Great energy, life-force, sublime meditation but recording quality differs between these two discs.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Piano Sonatas - H J Lim (piano) rec. 2011 EMI CLASSICS 464952 2 [8 CDs: 73:25 + 77:25 + 58:56 + 62:38 + 49:43 + 79:51 + 53:55 + 79:57] [JW] I’m sure that this will not be Lim’s last word on the sonatas.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1826) Complete Piano Duets - Amy and Sara Hamann (piano) rec. 2010 GRAND PIANO GP 619-20 [48:21 + 46:55] [BR] One of Grand Piano’s best releases yet, a great experiment fully committed-to.

Richard Rodney BENNETT (1936-2012) Works for Piano, Part 1: Piano Solo - Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2003 METRONOME METCD 1068-69 [68:07 + 74:42] [Byz]
Richard Rodney BENNETT (1936-2012) Works for Piano, Part 2: Piano Duos & Duets - Martin Jones/Richard McMahon (piano) rec. 2002 METRONOME METCD 1070 [59:49] [Byz]
There can be no doubt concerning the scope of the composer's skills. There truly is a Bennett for all tastes.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Overtures - Bergen PO/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2012 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5118 [72:52] [ST] In short, a winner!

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen: highlights - Tatiana Troyanos, Plácido Domingo, José van Dam, Kiri Te Kanawa, LPO/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1975 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 3520 [74:55] [SFV] This captures Solti at the peak of his powers and popularity.

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Transcriptions for Wind Band - Univ South Carolina Wind Ens/Scott Weiss rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573056 [63:22] [Byz] Bernstein himself did better than this.

York BOWEN (1884-1961) The complete works for violin and piano - Chloë Hanslip (violin) Danny Driver (piano) rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67991/2 [58:01 + 58:52] [NB] Bowen might not be a genius, but if ever a pair of performers were going to persuade me otherwise, this would be the team.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 (1878) [38:04] Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896) Three Romances For Violin And Piano, Op.22 [9:26] Lisa Batiashvili (violin) Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann Alice Sara Ott (piano) (Romances) rec. 2012 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 0086 [47:31] [MC] Excellent playing and immaculate intonation … highly satisfying performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies 1 & 3 - WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln/Jukka-Pekka Sarasterec. 2013 HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH13028 [78:36] [MC] Whilst not usurping Klemperer-EMI this is an excellent release that I will reach for often.

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Scottish Fantasy Op. 46 [30:35] Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor Op. 26 [25:16] Romance for violin and orchestra in F major Op. 85 (arr. Guy Braunstein) [8:36] Guy Braunstein (violin) Bamberger Symphoniker-Bayerische Staatsphilharmonie/Ion Marin rec. 2011. SACD
TUDOR 7188 [64:27] [JS] Performances of this quality are certainly unusual.

Havergal BRIAN (1876?972) Symphony No. 22 Symphonia Brevis, Symphony No. 23, Symphony No. 24, English Suite No. 1 - New Russia State Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Walker rec. 2012. NAXOS 8.572833 [65:26] [RB] A welcoming gateway to Brian enthusiasts existing and potential.

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Phantasy for Piano Quartet Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Piano Quartet Ian WILSON (b.1964) Noct for Piano Quartet William WALTON (1902-1983) Piano Quartet - Cappa Ensemble rec.2012 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6230 [70:19] [BW] Individual works are slightly better served elsewhere but the coupling is unique and makes a fine addition to the Nimbus Alliance roster.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Piano Concerto; Violin Concerto - Howard Shelley (piano) Tasmin Little (violin) BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Edward Gardner rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHAN 10764 [76:30] [MC] A desirable Chandos release of two marvellous Britten concertos that deserve to be far better known.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Orchestral Works rec. 1977-1997 EMI CLASSICS 9781602 [8 CDs: 63.18 + 75.59 + 74.29 + 70.10 + 72.17 + 71.56 + 77.59 + 40.57] [PCG] A valuable asset - no duds and some real winners here.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 3 Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 2 - Anny Felbermayer (soprano) Sonja Dreksler (alto) Austrian Radio Choir; Vienna Symphony Orchestra/F. Charles Adler rec. 1953/56 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1265 [75:43 + 64:51] [JQ] A first release for Charles Adler’s performances of Mahler 2 and Bruckner 3.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies 4-9 - New/Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer rec. 1960-1970 EMI CLASSICS 4 04296 2 [6 CDs: 61:01 + 79:29 + 65:11 + 64:49 + 74:30 + 65:18] [CH] A problematic package. It could be an expensive way of acquiring the one Klemperer Bruckner performance everyone should have – the Sixth
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies 4-9 - Philharmonia & New Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer
New Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. 1963/70 EMI CLASSICS 4042962 [6 CDs: 61:01 + 79:29 + 65:11 + 64:49 + 74:30 + 65:18] [TB]
Klemperer’s contribution to the legacy of Bruckner recordings is important and impressive, and as such this set merits an enthusiastic welcome. .

Franciszek BRZEZINSKI (1867-1944) Complete Piano Works Barbara Pakura (piano) rec. 2012 . DDD ACTE PREALABLE AP0267 [64:29]
Franciszek BRZEZINSKI (1867-1944) Sonata in D, for violin & piano, Józef SZULC (1875-1956) Sonata in A minor, for violin and piano, Irena Kalinowska-Grohs (violin) Barbara Pakura (piano) rec. 2012 (Szulc). DDD ACTE PREALABLE AP0271 [62:07] [Byz] Passion and imagination, breadth and depth betoken a musical mind of definite originality.

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Piano Music Vol. 8 - Wolf Harden (piano) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.572845 [65:17] [CC] In short, a fascinating disc and a vital part of this unfolding series from Naxos.

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 - Shura Cherkassky (piano) BBC Scottish SO/Christopher Adey, BBC SO/Richard Hickox rec. 1981/83 ICA CLASSICS ICAC 5085 [75:22] [JW] For Cherkassky collectors this is clearly a valuable, albeit uneven, acquisition.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) 24 Preludes (orch. Peter Breiner) Royal Scottish Natl O/Jun Märkl rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572584 [36.54 + 39.31] [JWh] Fine orchestrations in quality performances.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Four Hand Piano Music - Jean-Pierre Armengaud and Olivier Chauzu (piano) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.572979 [62:16] [DB] Some non-standard Debussy well played and recorded.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Don Gregorio - Giorgio Valerio (baritone) Giorgio Trucco (tenor) Elizaveta Martirosyan (soprano) Luca Ludovici (bass) O & Ch Donizetti Festival, Bergamo/Stefano Montanari rec. 2007 DYNAMIC CDS 579 [63.29 + 64.32] [RJF] It might not eclipse L’Elisir d’Amore or Don Pasquale but this is a happy romp giving a firm indication of talents to come.

Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Violin Concerto in A minor, Op.53, B108 (1879) [32:16] Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor (1868) [24:01] Julia Fischer (violin) Tonhalle-Orchestra Zurich/David Zinman rec. 2012 DECCA 478 3544 [56:29] [JW] Athleticism and focused tone but the orchestral contribution is wanting.

Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Cypresses, B152 [31:07] String Quartet No. 13, B192 [37:36] Cypress String Quartet rec.2012 AVIE AV2275 [68:43] [BR] I couldn’t get past the harsh sound and poor balance.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Concerto, Op.61* [53.49] Introduction and Allegro, Op.47 [14.39] Nigel Kennedy (violin) * London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. 1983/4 EMI MASTERS 4332872 [68.47] [PCG] A recording and performance that belong in the collection of every Elgarian who loves this concerto.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Cello Concerto; Sospiri; Salut d’amour; La capricieuse Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Silent Woods Rondo Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Adagio con variazioni Sol Gabetta (cello) Danish NSO/Mario Venzago rec. 2009 RCA RED SEAL 88697658242 [65:54] [MC] Stunning playing and sound... eminently satisfying.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Cello Concerto Elliott CARTER (b.1908) Cello Concerto Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Kol Nidrei Alisa Weilerstein (cello) Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim rec. 2012 DECCA 4782735 [62:27] [MC] I rather like a combination of the popular and accessible with the more challenging and neglected but this is well worth obtaining for the Elgar alone.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Cello Concerto Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) Selections from Ma Vlast - Zuill Bailey (cello) Indianapolis SO/Krzysztof Urbanski rec. 2012 TELARC TEL-34030-02 [64:20] [GA] A performance of the Elgar cello concerto that is thoughtful and rich in feeling.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Go, song of mine - Part-Songs and Choral Works Rodolfus Choir/Ralph Allwood rec. 2009 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD315 [75:47] [JQ] Elgar’s choral music is well served here.

Petr FIALA (b.1943) De amicitia - Selected Compositions - Soloists, Czech Chamber Soloists/Ivan Matyáš ³ Martinu Voices/Lukáš Vasilek, Q VOX, Czech Philharmonic Chorus, Brno/Petr Fiala rec. undated Texts and some translations ARCO DIVA UP 0157 2 231 [72:26][JW] If your tastes incline to contemporary Czech choral music, Fiala’s Moravian slant offers much to stimulate.

Zdenek FIBICH (1850-1900) Orchestral Works Vol 1 - Symphony 1, Impressions from the Countryside Czech Natl SO/Marek Štilec rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.572985 [62:18] [NB] A solid opening to this series and with enough interest to encourage a collector to return.

Frederico de FREITAS (1902 – 1980) The Silly Girl's Dance; The Wall of Love; Medieval Suite; Ribatejo RSNO/Álvaro Cassuto rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573095 [70:15] [HC] Lovely, refreshingly enjoyable music … go for it and you will feel much better.

A Venetian Coronation Works by Giovanni & Andrea GABRIELI James O’Donnell and Timothy Roberts (organs) Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh rec. 1989 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6026782 [71.17] [PCG] This Virgin recording remains something very special.

Hans GÁL (1890-1987) Symphony No. 2 in F Op. 53 (1942-1943) [44:52] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphony No. 4 in D minor Op. 120 (1851) [27:43] Orchestra of the Swan/Kenneth Woods rec. 2011, AVIE AV2232 [72:35] [DM] Persuasively done; a most intriguing musical detour.

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue; An American in Paris; Piano Concerto - London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn (piano and conductor) rec. 1971 EMI CLASSICS 50999 4 33288 2 [65:13] [JW] Sensitive, when required, and dramatic when need be, Previn still cuts the mustard.

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Song Book, Three Preludes, Rhapsody in Blue - Corinna Simon (piano) rec. 2012 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 604 1795-2 [59:00] [BR] A real winner of a disc, Gershwin songs and miniatures played with panache. There are even rarities!

Carlo GESUALDO (1566-1613) Responsories of the Office of Tenebrae for Holy Saturday Tomás Luis DE VICTORIA (1548-1611) Lamentations for Holy Saturday- Tenebrae/Nigel Shortrec. 2012 ARCHIV 479 0841 [67:33] [RMo] superb disc, marrying two of the greatest Renaissance polyphonists in some of the most sublime and ethereal Easter liturgical music ever composed.

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 82 [20:52] Meditation in D major Op. 32 [4:15] Mazurka-Oberek in D major [9:56] Othmar SCHOECK (1886-1957) Concerto quasi una fantasia in B flat major Op. 21 (1912) [34:06] - Chloë Hanslip (violin) Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana/Alexander Vedernikov rec. 2011, The Romantic Violin Concerto - Vol. 14 HYPERION CDA67940 [69:09][JQ] This disc is a winner, particularly for the Schoeck concerto.

Ricky Ian GORDON (b.1956) Silver Rain Nicole Cabell (soprano): Ricky Ian Gordon (piano) rec. 2011, BLUE GRIFFIN BGR253 [64:00] [JW] These settings seem to present problems.

Clytus Gottwald - Alma and Gustav Mahler - Transcriptionen für Chor a cappella SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart/Marcus Creed rec. 2012 Full German texts with English translations CARUS 83.370 [63:41] [MC] Impressively performed and recorded … highly agreeable repertoire … many delights.

Peter GRAHAM On The Shoulders of Giants Christian LINDBERG Behac Munroh - Concerto for Trombone, Trumpet and Orchestra Steve FORMAN Inner Weather Martin DALBY A Plain Man’s Hammer Rory BOYLE Behemoth - Dávur Magnussen (trombone); Tom Poulson (trumpet) The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Symphonic Wind Orchestra/Nigel Boddice and Bryan Allen¹ rec. 2011? NIMBUS NI6178 [79:19] [JW] A stimulating disc that repays repeated listening. Personal voices here — and personal visions too.

Giovanni Antonio GUIDO (c.1675-after 1728) Scherzi Armonici sopra le Quattro Stagioni dell'Anno - Caroline Balding (violin) Band of Instruments/Roger Hamilton rec. 2004 DIVINE ART DDA 25072 [66:05] [Byz] Guido's own memorable Four Seasons deserves its own place on playlists and in recital halls. 

Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937) Violin Sonata in E Flat Major (1918/1919) [34:38] Lionel SAINSBURY (b.1958)
Soliloquy for Solo Violin, Op. 21 (1993) [7:24] Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Sonata in E Minor, Op. 82 (1918) [26:22] Rupert Marshall-Luck (Violin) Matthew Rickard (Piano) rec. 2012 EM RECORDS EMR CD011 [68:24] [DJ] This is a superb new release.

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Overture:Music for the Royal Fireworks, Organ Concerto in G minor Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Serenades K.250 & 320 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Leonore 3 - Lionel Rogg (organ) NHK SO/Günter Wand rec. 1979/83 KING INTERNATIONAL KKC 2041/2 [63:51 + 74:03] [JW] The classical Wand - he was very popular in Japan.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) Théâtre intime Les Lunes du Cousin Jacques (Aurore Bucher (soprano), Benoît Toïgo (recorder), Annabelle Brey (cello), Diego Salamanca (theorbo), Frédéric Hernandez (harpsichord)) rec. 2012 No texts and translations HORTUS 101 [59:18] [JV] A disc with various virtues but also some serious shortcomings.

George Friedrich HANDEL (1685-1759) Bad Guys Arias from Tamerlano, Teseo, Amadigi, Ariodante, Giulio Cesare, Ottone - Xavier Sabata (counter-tenor) Il Pomo d’Oro/Riccardo Minasi rec. 2012 APARTÉ AP048 [53:04] [GF] I became totally engrossed in this repertoire.

Joseph HAYDN (1732–1809) Symphonies 102, 103 - Mozarteumorchrester, Salzburg/Ivor Bolton rec. 2011 OEHMS CLASSICS OC421 [53:32] [BW] The slightly mean playing time is the only cloud on the horizon.

Jennifer HIGDON (b.1962) An Exaltation of Larks; Scenes from the Poet’s Dreams; Light Refracted Lark Quartet; Gary Graffman/Blair McMillen (piano) Todd Palmer (clarinet) rec. 2011 BRIDGE RECORDS 9379 [55:19] [BR] The best Higdon I’ve heard. I haven’t been a fan in the past but two of these works are clear winners.

Gary HIGGINSON (b. 1952) Songs of Innocence and of Experience Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano) Danielle Perrett (harp) Chapel Ch Selwyn College, Cambridge; Ely Cathedral Girls' Ch/Sarah MacDonald rec. 2011 REGENT REGCD381 [76:49] [JQ] Collectors who are interested in English choral music will find much to reward them here.

Gustav HOLST— The Collector’s Edition EMI CLASSICS 4404712 [6 CDS: 73:54 + 76:26 + 74:35 + 71:18 +77:05 + 75:46] [JW] No self-respecting Holst admirer should be without these recordings.

Bo HOLTEN (b. 1948) Venus’ Wheel Gustav MAHLER arr. Holten Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen Joris Derder, Johan Reuter (baritone) Luc Tooten (cello) Flemish Radio Ch/Bo Holten rec. 2011 DACAPO 8.226062 [62:35] [JQ] Original, inventive choral music by Bo Holten in splendid performances.

Josquin DES PRÉS (c.1440-1521) Missa Pange Lingua, Missa La sol fa re mi - The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips rec. 1986 GIMELL CDGIM009 [61:43] Missa Sine Nomine, Missa Ad fugam - The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips GIMELL CDGIM039 [68:50] Missa Malheur me bat, Missa Fortuna desperata - The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips rec. 2008 GIMELL CDGIM042 [75:27] [JQ] Exciting, compelling and often moving performances of Josquin Masses by The Tallis Scholars.

Viktor KALABIS (1923-2006) Symphonies and Concertos a variety of sources - see review for details SUPRAPHON SU41092 [3 CDs: 62:22 + 72:32 + 77:29] [Byz] Any music lover currently Kalabisless should get this set at all costs.

Eleni KARAINDROU (b. 1939) Concert in Athens - Eleni Karaindrou (piano) Kim Kashkashian (viola) Jan Garbarek (tenor saxophone) Vangelis Christopoulos (oboe) Camerata O/Alexandros Myrat rec. 2010 ECM NEW SERIES 2220 [54:28] [DC] See if this takes your fancy...

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Concerto-Rhapsody, Sonata-Monologue Sergei LYAPUNOV (1859-1924) Violin Concerto - Hideko Udagawa (violin) Royal PO/Alan Buribayev rec. 2011 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD312 [57:49] [JW] It pains me to say it, but this disc wasn’t an easy or enjoyable listen for me.

Jan Baptysta KLECZYNSKI (1756-1828) Six String Trios, op.4 - vol.1 Trio Alegrija rec. 2012. DDD ACTE PREALABLE AP0264 [44:47] [Byz]
Jan Baptysta KLECZYNSKI (1756-1828) Six String Trios, op.4 - vol.2 Trio Alegrijarec. 2012. DDD
ACTE PREALABLE AP0265 [44:21] [Byz] A decent introduction to a far from insignificant figure.

Sebastian KNÜPFER (1633-1676) Sacred Music The King's Consort/Robert King rec. 1999 HYPERION/HELIOS CDH55393 [79:36] [JV] Most welcome reissue of this tribute to a highly original composer.

Édouard LALO (1823-1892) Piano Trio No.1 Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Piano Trio Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Trio No. 1 - Petrof Piano Trio (Martina Schulmeisterová (piano); Jan Schulmeister (violin); Kamil Žvak (cello)) rec. 2012, NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6219 [70:43] [MC] Played with conviction and character with the music revealed naturally with clarity and crispness.

Claude LE JEUNE (c.1530-1600) Autant en emporte le vent Eric Bellocq (lute) Jean-Marc Aymes (positive organ) Malcolm Bothwell (viola da gamba) Ensemble Clément Janequin/Dominique Visse rec. 2004 HARMONIA MUNDI /MUSIQUE D’ABORD HMA1951863 [67.15] [GH] Memorable and delightful performances … and the recording is ideal.

Peter LEA-COX (b.1945) Of Times and Seasons - Songs & Anthems - Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano) Jennie-Helen Moston (piano) rec. 2012 DIVINE ART DDA25109 [73:02] [JF] Explore slowly and enjoy the diversity on offer here.

Alexander LEVINE (b. 1955) The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom Tenebrae/Nigel Short rec. 2012 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD 316 [77:05] [JQ] A beautiful and imaginative score, superbly performed by Tenebrae.

Thomas Oboe LEE (b. 1945) Six Concertos - Sarah Brady (flute) Ina Zdorovetchi (harp) Irina Muresanu (violin) Robert Levin (piano) Jennifer Slowik (oboe) Rafael Popper-Keizer (cello) Boston Modern Orch Project/Gil Rose rec. 2009-2010 BMOP/SOUND 1025 [65:01 + 69:52] [BR] These six concertos are an excellent introduction to a Chinese-Brazilian-American composer. Sweet, moving, thoughtful, outgoing.

Kurt LEIMER (1920-1972) Piano Concerto 2 Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto 3 - Kurt Leimer (piano) Radio della Svizzera Italiana/Leopold Stokowski, Nuremburg SO/Zsolt Deaky rec. 1961/68 COLOSSEUM CLASSICS COL 9205.2 [60:14] [JW] Certainly admirers of this intriguing pianist-composer will be delighted to make the acquaintance of this disc.

Karol LIPINSKI (1790-1861) Works for Violin and Piano - Bartek Niziol (violin) Pawel Andrzej Mazurkiewicz (piano) rec. 2011 DUX 0878 [56:44] [JW] Good, and valuable, not least in restoring Lipinski’s art to wider circulation. 

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Valse Impromptu, Capriccio alla Turca, La Leggierezza, Hungarian Rhapsodies 6, 10, 11 & 12, Liebestraum - Vanessa Benelli Mosell (piano) rec. 2012 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94357 [65:04] [BR] Competent, entertaining, underwhelming.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) transcr. August STRADAL (1860-1930) Complete Symphonic Poems - Volume Two Risto-Matti Marin (piano) rec. 2007 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0092 [71:50] [RB] I am not at all sure that these solo versions do not work better than the orchestral editions.

Piano Works by Liszt & Messiaen - Fredrik Ullén (piano) rec. 2009 BIS-CD-1803 [72:15] [JW] A conjunction that argues for consonance and lineage in ways that are never pursued beyond the bounds of good musical or historical taste.

Witold LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994) Complete Symphonies - Los Angeles PO/Esa-Pekka Salonen rec. 1994-2012 SONY CLASSICAL 88765440832 [53:30 + 52:37] [DC] Once reference recordings - now a budget introduction to a true 20th century great.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphonies 1-10, Totenfeier, Das Lied von der Erde Royal Concertgebouw O/various conductors rec. 2009-2011 RCO LIVE RCO12102 [11 BDs: 14:22:00] [DM] A very decent survey, with some top-notch performances; presentational issues are a let-down though.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Klagende Lied Alban BERG (1885-1935) Lulu-Suite Anna Prohaska (soprano) Dorothea Röschmann (soprano) Anna Larsson (contralto) Johan Botha (tenor) Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor/Wiener Philh/Pierre Boulez rec. 2011 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 9891 [64:34] [JQ] If you don’t mind having a foreshortened account of Das klagende Lied this disc is a compelling proposition.

Stephen MCNEFF (b.1951) Sinfonia; Heiligenstadt; Weathers; Secret Destinations Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra/Dominic Wheeler rec. 2012 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7301 [64:48] [RB] Pointillistic lyricism, jangling freshness, hail-rattled and gloriously large-scale music.

Leevi MADETOJA (1887-1947) Kullervo - Symphonic Poem, Symphony 2 - Helsinki Phil O/John Storgårds rec. 2012 ONDINE ODE 1212-2 [62:04] [MC] The playing glows with expressive force and a palpable sense of concentration.

Maciej MALECKI (b.1940) The Dream of Frédéric [10:21] String Quartet No. 1 [14:22] String Quartet No. 2 [15:15] String Quartet No. 3 [11:54] Opium Quartet rec. 2012, ACTE PRÉALABLE APO268 [51:53] [BR] Very much for the adventurer, though not everyone will like all of this. One of the all-time best tributes to Chopin, though.

Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1989) Early Orchestral Works - Volume One Prélude en form de scherzo,
Orchestral movement, Posvícení, Nocturna I, Little Dance Suite - Sinfonia Varsovia/Ian Hobson
rec. 2012, TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0156 [67:38][DC] Wholeheartedly welcomed, though not really for Martinu newbies.

Gino MARINUZZI the Younger (1920-1996) Partita for two pianos; Divertimento; Lagerlieder - Martina Colli and Rossella Rubini (2 pianos and piano 4 hands) rec. 2011 TACTUS TC 921301 [53.06] [PCG] Those who enjoy the music of Percy Grainger will definitely warm to that of the younger Marinuzzi.

Étienne-Nicholas MÉHUL (1763-1817) Ouvertures et oeuvres révolutionnaires Les Jacobins/Mathieu Lussierrec. 2012 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD2 2659 [62:30] [JS] Enterprising, well played and well presented … likely to provide much pleasure.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphony 2 - Judith van Wanroij (soprano) Machteld Baumans (soprano) Patrick Henckens (tenor) Consensus Vocalis/Netherlands SO/Jan Willem de Vriend rec. 2012 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72543 [62:36] [JQ] A successful launch for de Vriend’s Mendelssohn symphony cycle.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus Eugeniusz Knapik (piano) rec. 1979 DUX 0848/49 [56:57 + 73:11] [JQ] A prodigious achievement and a notable addition to the discography of this masterpiece.

Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950) Cello Concerto, Serenade in G, Lonely Waters, Whythorne’s Shadow - Guy Johnston (cello) Rebekah Coffey (soprano) Ulster O/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573034 [65:18] [RB] The Concerto is revealed as intensely introspective with bursts of extroversion - the finest version in the catalogue.

Bernhard MOLIQUE (1802-1869) Violin Concertos 3 & 6 - Anton Steck (violin) L’arpa festante/Christoph Spering rec. 2011 ACCENT ACC 24247 [65:11] [JW] A persuasive case is made for Molique, one of the violin world’s Missing Links. 

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567 – 1643) L’Orfeo Sylvia Pozzer, William Matteuzzi, Sara Mingardo, Instrumental ensemble/Sergio Vartolo rec. 2006 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94373 [62:31 + 76:49] [GF] A worthy reading with lean and springy playing, an impressive Orfeo and glorious singing from Mingardo and Pozzer.

Piotr MOSS (b.1949) Orchestral and Chamber Works soloists and 'Amadeus’ Chamber Orchestra/Agnieszka Duczmal rec. 1997-2007 DDD DUX DUX0879 [75:17] [RB] Good to hear Moss’s distinctive voice.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony 29; Kassation; Divertimento - European Union Chamber Orchestra/Hans-Peter Hofmann rec. 2012 BARN COTTAGE RECORDS BCR011 [79:04] [TB] The European Union Chamber Orchestra offers splendid performances of the dance music but that of the Symphony No. 29 is somewhat under-characterised.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sinfonia concertante K. 364, Duos K. 423, 424 - Jan Talich Jr. (violin) Jan Talich Sr. (viola) Talich Chamber Orchestra/Kurt Redel rec. 1992 CALLIOPE CAL1212 [71:20] [JW] Admirers of these fine string players will relish hearing these well characterised and engaging traversals. 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Clarinet quintet K581, and completions of K581a, 516c & 580b by Robert Levin, Franz Beyer - Colin Lawson (basset clarinet) Michael Harris (basset horn) The Revolutionary Drawing Room rec. 2012 CLARINET CLASSICS CC0068 [59:58] [BR] A recommendation for all Mozart lovers: the clarinet music you haven’t heard, including, yes, a world premiere.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Works - vol.1 Sonata in G, KV 283 [12:55] Sonata in C, KV 309 [17:29] Sonata in D, KV 331 [23:00] Fantasia in D minor, KV 397 [6:18] Sonata in B flat, KV 570 [16:30] Gabriele Tomasello (piano) rec. 2012. DDD ACTE PREALABLE AP0272 [76:20] [Byz] For those urgently wanting to get hold of a reasonable recording of Mozart's sonatas, this is not bad.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni - Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass) Claire Watson (soprano) Walter Berry (bass-baritone) Christa Ludwig (mezzo-soprano) New Philharmonia O & Ch/Otto Klemperer rec. 1966 EMI CLASSICS 7044832 [4 CDs: 67:51 + 62:43 + 40:13 + 59:18] [GF] Merits an honoured place on your shelves.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) La finta semplice - Helen Donath (soprano) Robert Holl (bass) Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor) Teresa Berganza (mezzo) Mozarteumorchester Salzburg/Leopold Hager rec. 1983 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94374 [3 CDs: 73:03 + 59:28 + 33:23] [GF] No great opera but everyone who loves Mozart’s melodies will find a lot to enjoy.

Gottlieb MUFFAT (1690-1770) Harpsichord Suites - Naoko Akutagawa (harpsichord) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.572610 [65:05] [Byz] Reassuringly confident and expressive, as well as galvanically virtuosic.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures from an Exhibition Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Sarcasms; Visions fugitives Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67896 [65:58] [LW] A warm welcome for these remarkable performances.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata in D - Alice Sara Ott (piano) rec. 2012 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 0088 [72:29] [DC] Good Mussorgsky, powerful live performances.

Sigismund Ritter von NEUKOMM (1778-1858) Chamber music - Kammerensemble Classic der Deutschen Oper Berlin rec. 2010 CPO 777 621-2 [54:43] [BR] Some composers are forgotten for a reason.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphony No.4, Op.29 Inextinguishable [34:02] Symphony No.5, Op.50 [35:43] London Symphony Orchestra/Ole Schmidt ADD stereo, 1974 ALTO ALC 1236 [69:45] [RB] Not to be missed – do not be put off by the low price.

Carl August NIELSEN (1865 – 1931) Symphonies 4 & 5 rec. 2009-2010 LSO LIVE LSO0694 [66:38] Symphonies 1 & 6 rec. 2011 LSO LIVE LSO0715 [68:11] Symphonies 2 & 3 Lucy Hall (soprano) Marcus Farnsworth (baritone) London SO/Sir Colin Davis rec. 2011 LSO LIVE LSO0722 [66:35] [JL] A very safe and sophisticated cycle but it does not quite crunch the competition as I had anticipated.

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana [58:05] Die Kluge (highlights) [17:50] Janice Harsanyi (soprano), Rudolph Petrak (tenor), Harve Presnell (baritone) Rutgers University Choir Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy Philharmonia Orchestra/Wolfgang Sawallisch (Die Kluge) rec. ADD, stereo, 1960/1 ALTO ALC 1219 [75:45] [RB] Classic Carmina Burana from Ormandy and a gentle introduction to Die Kluge.

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana, Catulli Carmina, Trionfo di Afrodite Bavarian Radio Chorus and Orchestra/Eugen Jochum MAJOR CLASSICS M2CD016 [55.14 + 76.36] [PCG] Caution is most certainly not a virtue in Orff. [PCG] Caution is most certainly not a virtue in Orff.

Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933) Piano Concerto Resurrection, Flute Concerto - Barry Douglas (piano) Lukasz Dlugosz (flute) Warsaw PO/Antoni Wit rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572696 [60:23]
Fonogrammi, Przebudzenie Jakuba, Anaklasis, De Natura Sonoris I, Partita, Horn Concerto Winterreise -
Urszula Janik (flute) Jennifer Montone (horn) Elzbieta Stefanska (harpsichord) Michal Pindakiewicz (electric guitar) Konrad Kubicki (bass guitar) Barbara Witkowska (harp) Jerzy Cembrzynski (double bass) Warsaw PO/Antoni Wit rec. 2008/10 NAXOS 8.572482 [68:52]
Three Olden Style Pieces,
Serenade, Sinfoniettas 1 & 2, Intermezzo, Capriccio - Artur Pachlewski (clarinet)
Jean-Louis Capezzali (oboe) Warsaw PO/ Antoni Wit rec. 2008
NAXOS 8.572212 [58:08] [Byz] Outstanding performances, technically and expressively comparable to, sometimes even surpassing, those of Penderecki himself. 

Krzystof PENDERECKI (b. 1933) String Quartets 1-3 Witold LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994) String Quartet - Royal Qtet rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67943 [59:24] [DC] New clothes for 20th century classics, but is this the real deal?

Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736) The Seven Words Uttered by the Dying Christ on the Cross Sophie Karthäuser (soprano) Christophe Dumaux (counter-tenor) Julien Behr (tenor) Konstantin Wolff (bass) Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/René Jacobs rec. 2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 902155 [80:30] [ST] Well worth exploring. Invest with confidence.

Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736) La Salustia Vittorio Prato, Serena Malfi, Laura Polverelli - Accademia Barocca de I Virtuosi Italiani/Corrado Rovaris rec. 2011 ARTHAUS MUSIK/UNITEL CLASSICA 108 065 [185:00] [DBi] An enjoyable example of Pergolesi's art and of both stylish and virtuoso singing presented in a sufficiently lively way to hold the attention through its three hours plus running time.

John PICKARD (b.1963) Piano Concerto; Sea-Change; Tenebrae Frederik Ullén (piano) Norrköping SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2010/2011 BIS-CD-1873 [74:02] [Byz] A programme full of energy and colour.

Manuel María PONCE (1882–1948) Complete Piano Works Vol. 1 - Álvaro Cendoya (piano) rec. 2012 GRAND PIANO GP 638 [59:33] [Byz] This augurs well for the rest of Grand Piano’s Ponce series.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Gloria, Organ Concerto Eric SATIE (1866-1925) Parade, Prélude du Rideau Rouge, Deux Morceaux en Forme de Poire - Rosanna Carteri (soprano) Maurice Duruflé (organ) Georges Auric and Francis Poulenc (pianos) French Radio and Television 0 & Ch/Georges Prêtre rec.1937/1961 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC324 [65:36] [JQ] Very good new transfers of landmark recordings of two key Poulenc scores.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) melodies - Holger Falk (baritone) Alessandro Zuppardo (piano)
rec. 2012, MDG 606 1776-2 [61:09] [DC] A vocal goldmine.

Michael PRAETORIUS (1571-1621) Ostermesse - Weser-Renaissance/Manfred Cordes rec. 2011 CPO 999 953-2 [68:20] [MS] Idiomatic and appropriately well-conceived … Praetorius' otherwise unavailable Easter Mass does not disappoint.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony 6, Lieutenant Kijé Suite, The Love of Three Oranges Suite - Andrei Bondarenko (baritone) Bergen PO/Andrew Litton rec. 2012 BIS-SACD-1994 [79.10] [DB] BIS has a winner here. No Prokofiev disc has better sound quality than this and with performances of the highest quality, purchase is not a difficult decision.

Henry PURCELL (1659 - 1695) The Fairy Queen Gillian Keith, Rebecca Outram, Carolyn Sampson, Andrew Carwood, Michael Bundy, Accademia Bizantina/Ottavio Dantone rec. 2001 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94221 [65:19 + 67:07] [JV] Not very theatrical or entertaining.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 3; Symphonic Dances - Detroit SO/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 8.573051 [74.19] [PCG] A valuable disc giving us Rachmaninov as traditional symphonist rather than as composer of a last effusive outpouring of Russian romanticism.

Alexander RASKATOV (b. 1953) Obikhod, Praise - Hilliard Ens/Netherlands Chamber O/Gordon Nikolic rec. 2011 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72578 [48:39] [DC] Dark and troubling; with a grim beauty.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Eine Romantische Suite, Vier Tondichtungen nach Arnold Böcklin N. German Radio SO/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt rec. 1967-1972 MEMBRAN 233594 [53:25] [SV] The music's worth knowing, but I don't see this as anything more than a stop-gap.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Complete Organ Works - Vol.2 Zwölf Stücke (Twelve pieces) op.59 [53:54] Phantasie und Fuge (Fantasy and Fugue) [15:45] Jean-Baptiste Dupont (organ) rec. 2012, HORTUS 097 [69:39][SA] Likely to appeal mostly to hardened Reger fans.

Carl REINECKE (1824-1910) Dornröschen, Sieben Kinderlieder Catalina Bertucci (soprano) Gerhild Romberger (alto) Feen-Ensemble/Anne Kohler; Peter Kreutz (piano) rec. 2011 CPO 999 870-2 [63:22] [JS] Unfailing delightful in the style of Mendelssohn and Schumann, and if it breaks no new musical ground it is always charming, well constructed and varied.

Knudåge RIISAGER (1897-1974) Violin Works Johannes Søe Hansen, Anne Søe Iwan, Inkeri Vänskä, Inger Ørbæk Lerch Høj, Christian Ellegaard (violin) Christina Bjørkøe (piano) rec. 2011 DACAPO 6.220594 [60:56] [JW] Riisager is in the finest of hands here.

Nicholas RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh (excpts) St Petersburg PO/Yuri Temirkanov rec. 2009-2011 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD 320 [58.10] [PCG] This Scheherazade is absolutely marvellous, one of the best available.

Johann ROSENMÜLLER (1619-1684) Sonatas 1682 - Musica Fiata/Roland Wilson rec. 2012 CPO 777 688-2 [67.59] [GH] This disc is from a somewhat specialist area but it’s wonderfully played and will give much pleasure especially to lovers of the early baroque.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Adelaide Di Borgogna - Jessica Pratt (soprano) Daniela Barcellona (mezzo) Bogdan Mihai (tenor) Nicola Ulivieri (bass) O & Ch Teatro Comunale di Bologna/Dimitri Jurowski rec. 2011 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108 060 [137:00 +17:00 bonus] [RJF] Great Rossini singing in a tolerable production from the lovely Pesaro theatre.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Demetrio e Polibio - Yijie Shi (tenor) Victoria Zaytseva (mezzo) Mirco Palazzi (bass) O Sinfonica G. Rossini/Corrado Rovaris rec. 2010 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108 061 [115:00 + 15:00 (bonus)] [RJF] With these young artists Rossini singing is safe for at least a generation.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Mosè in Egitto Riccardo Zanellato (Mosè) Alex Esposito (Faraone) Ch & O of the Teatro Communale di Bologna/Roberto Abbado rec. 2011 OPUS ARTE/UNITEL CLASSICA OA BD7112D [150:00] [DBi] A chance to see the 1818 version of a Rossini rarity, well sung and played, with top class visuals but less good sound. Be sure you know what you are letting yourself in for.

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Don Quixote; Ivan IV State Symphony Orchestra of Russia/Igor Golovchin rec. 1993 DELOS RUSSIAN DISC DRD 2011 [51:25] [RM] An interesting CD likely to appeal most to listeners with a special interest in 19th century musical byways.

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Piano Concertos 2 & 4 - Alexander Paley (piano) State SO of Russia/Igor Golovchin rec. 1993 DELOS DRD 2013 [76:48] [JW] Plenty that is expressive and reflective but sometimes the lyricism becomes near-stasis and misses the music’s more visceral quality. 

Frederic RZEWSKI (b. 1938) The People United Will Never Be Defeated! - 36 Variations on ¡El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido! Ole Kiilerich (piano) rec. 2009 BRIDGE 9392 [59:46] [DM] Illuminating, even revelatory; Ole Kiilerich is a pianist to watch.

Déodat de SÉVÉRAC (1872-1921) Works for Piano - François-Michel Rignol (piano) rec. 2008 SOLSTICE SOCD 280 [70:48] [Byz] Rignol communicates Sévérac's sunlit landscapes and blue skies with subtlety, self-assurance and insight.

Scarlatti and the Neapolitan Song - Works by Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Leonardo VINCI (1696-1730) Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736) Sant' Alfonso DE LIGUORI (1696-1787) Letizia Calandra (soprano) Michele Pasotti (guitar) Francesco Cera (harpsichord) rec. 2009 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94488 [56:42] [JV] An intriguing disc shedding light on Neapolitan influences on Domenico Scarlatti.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony 4 Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Serenade for tenor, horn and strings Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony 2 - Gerald English (tenor) Hermann Baumann (horn) Cologne RSO/Sir John Barbirolli rec. 1969 ICA ICAC 5096 [52:47+45:45] [JS] Well worth hearing, demonstrating that in Barbirolli’s later years he was not always addicted to slow speeds.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797 - 1828) Symphonies 5 & 6 - Tonhalle O Zurich/David Zinman rec. 2012 BMG RCA RED SEAL 88725 46336 2 [60:21] [MG] Spirited interpretations in which Zinman looks to put something of a different gloss on these works.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) The Complete Symphonies - Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Lorin Maazel rec. 2001 BR KLASSIK 900712 [3 CDs: 78:33 + 75:54 + 78:41] [RMo] Much to enjoy here … an excellent complete edition.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartet in G major, D887 (1826) [52:09] Quartettsatz in C minor, D703 (1820) [9:45] Wihan String Quartet rec. 2012 NIMBUS NI6221 [62:12] [TB] If this is one of the finest examples of Schubert’s mastery as a composer of chamber music, so too the performances are worthy of that mastery.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise Peter Anders (tenor) Michael Raucheisen (piano) rec. 1945 ACANTA 233690 [73:16] [RMo] This large-scale reading is an essential purchase for the devotee of Schubert Lieder.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585 - 1672) Die Sieben Worte Jesu am Kreuz; Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott; St Luke Passion Ulrike Hofbauer (soprano) Jan Kobow (tenor) Dresdner Kammerchor, The Sirius Viols/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2012 CARUS 83.253 [71:06] [JV] Not the recording of the St Luke Passion I was hoping for.

Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Complete Original Works for Piano Duet and Duo - Volume 2 - Invencia Piano Duo rec. 2010/11 GRAND PIANO GP622 [59:07] [WK] Great charm as well as technical prowess.

A Tribute to Scriabin Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Vladimir Feltsman (piano) rec. 15-16 October 2011, Wyastone Leys, UK. DDD NIMBUS NI6198 [72:17] [OL] A land of concentrated passion and sensuality.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 7
Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573057 [79:15]
City of Birmingham SO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2011 ORFEO C 852 121 A [75:29]
Chicago SO/Leonard Bernstein rec. 1988 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 7587 [80:49] [JQ] Petrenko and Nelsons in the Leningrad: but how do they compare with a classic version?

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 7 - New York PO/Kurt Masur rec. 1998 WARNER APEX 2564 65938-7 [74:45] [JQ] A straightforward, very reliable performance though others dig deeper.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Pohjola’s Daughter, Op. 49 [13:13] The Oceanides, Op. 73* [10:23] Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 43** [46:44] Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2006, 2007, 2012, HALLÉ CD HLL 7526 [70:59] [JQ] Another excellent addition to the Elder/Hallé discography.

Antonio SOLER (1729-1783) 13 Sonatas Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) Fandango (from: Guitar Quintet in D, G.448), transcr. for two harpsichords* - Richard Lester (harpsichord) David Ponsford (harpsichord II*) rec. no details given (compilation). DDD NIMBUS NI5906 [72:49] [Byz] There are few if any better advocates for these pieces than Lester.

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Grand Duo concertant; Adagio; Rondoletto; Six Salon Pieces - Ingolf Turban (violin) Kolja Lessing (piano) rec. 2009 CPO 777 492-2 [76:19] [JW] Those coming fresh to Spohr’s violin works should probably start elsewhere, given that much here is very light in spirit.

Ronald STEVENSON (b.1928) Arrangements and transcriptions - Murray McLachlan (piano) rec. 2009-2010 DIVINE ART DDA 21372 [3 CDs: 71.22 + 70.35 + 75.03] [PCG] A superlative collection of some superlative arrangements and realisations by one of the great masters of the keyboard. A big thank you to everyone concerned with this marvellous release.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Quixote Friedemann Pardall (cello) Mathias Feger (viola) Duisburger Philharmoniker/Jonathan Darlington rec. 2009 ACOUSENCE ACO22012 [42:18] [TB] Excellent performance recorded in a warmly sympathetic acoustic, but poor value for money in comparison with its rivals.

Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK (1562-1621) Organ Works Vol. 1 - Harald Vogel (organ) rec. 2010 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 914 1690-6 [78:42]
Organ Works - Joseph Kelemen (organ) rec. 2012 OEHMS OC 680 [75:44] [JV] Enjoyable, stylish and convincing performances.

Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770) 30 Sonate piccole, Nos. 1-6 (c.1750-70) [59:20] Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin) rec. 2011 TOCCATA TOCC 0146 [59:20] [JW] Communicative wit and birdsong.

Matthew TAYLOR (b.1964) String Quartet No.5, 6 and 7 Dante String Quartet ¹ Allegri String Quartet ² Salieri String Quartet ³ rec. 2012 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0144 [54:22] [JW] Admirers of this dextrous and valuable composer should have no qualms in acquiring this disc.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Ouvertures pittoresques Arte dei Suonatori/Martin Gester rec. 2012 BIS-SACD-1979 [77:12] [DC] A release with curative powers.

Daniel Gottlob TÜRK (1750-1813) 12 Keyboard Sonatas, 12 Easy Keyboard Sonatas Michael Tsalka (keyboard) rec. 2010-2011 GRAND PIANO GP 627-28 [77:55 + 79:06] and GRAND PIANO GP 629-30 [50:13 + 55:56] [Byz] Türk was taught by a pupil of J.S. Bach of whose ideas and style there are clear traces in this music.

Daniel Gottlob TÜRK (1750-1813) Easy Keyboard Sonatas Collections I and II - Michael Tsalka (harpsichord, fortepiano) rec. 2011 GRAND PIANO GP629-30 [50:13 + 55:56] [JV] We owe much gratitude to Michael Tsalka for recording Türk's keyboard music.

Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949) Danzas fantásticas, Poema en forma de canciones, Ritmos, Sinfonía sevillana - Clara Mouriz (mezzo) BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena rec. 2011/12 CHANDOS CHAN 10753 [71:27] [MC] Passionate, rhythmic and vivid coloration. Joyously infectious playing coupled with an open and clear recording.

Viktor ULLMANN (1898-1944) Piano Concerto Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 3 - Herbert Schuch (piano) WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln/Olari Elts rec. 2011 OEHMS CLASSICS OC833 [55:12] [Byz] The potential market for this disc must be small yet those in it who make a financial commitment will not be disappointed.

Viktor ULLMANN (1898-1944) Piano SonataS 4-7 - Maria Garzón (piano) rec. 2012 HÉRITAGE HTGCD 246 [76:28] [SA] Music that’s all the more heartrending to listen to when you know the back-story.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphonies 5 & 8 - Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 1011-2012 HALLÉ CD HLL 7533[68:24] [IL] This new album has much to commend it.

Ian VENABLES (b. 1955) Complete Works for Piano Solo Graham J. Lloyd (piano) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573156 [70:10][JF] I would commend this CD to all British music enthusiasts.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Battaglia di Legnano Enrico Giuseppe Iori, Andrew Richards, Dimitra Theodossiou, Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste/Boris Brott rec. 2012 C MAJOR BLU-RAY 722704 [119:00+11:00] [RF] None of the set, orchestra or chorus do justice to this opera. I know from audio recordings that this work has so much more vitality than is revealed here.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Il Corsaro Bruno Ribiero (tenor) – Corrado, Andrea Papi (baritone) – Giovanni, Irina Lungu (soprano) – Medora - Teatro Regio di Parma Ch & O/Carlo Montanaro rec. 2008 UNITEL CLASSICA 722408 [119.00] Will appeal to those who want to hear and see everything that Verdi wrote.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Forza Del Destino Donna Leonora (Violeta Urmana) Don Carlo di Vargas (Carlo Guelfi) O & Ch of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Zubin Mehta Maggio Danza rec. 2007 ARTHAUS MUSIK 107 325 [2 DVDs: 178:00] [IL] Slightly flawed nevertheless a powerful La Forza Del Destino.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La forza del destino - Chorus and Orchestra of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Zubin Mehta rec. 2007 Subtitles in Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish Booklet notes in English, German, French ARTHAUS MUSIC BLU-RAY 108 046 [189:00] [RF] Though less than perfect this is the best available modern video recording of this melodic and dramatic work.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello - Hans Beirer (tenor) Renata Tebaldi (soprano) William Dooley (baritone) Schöneberger Sängerknaben, Mandolin O Napoli, Ch & O Deutsche Oper Berlin/Giuseppe Patané rec. 1962 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 644 [150:00] [GF] Strictly for Tebaldi fans.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Messa da Requiem; Te Deum - Zinka Milanov (soprano); Bruna Castagna (mezzo); Jussi Björling (tenor); Nicola Moscona (bass) Westminster Choir NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1940 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1269 [56:58 + 42:51] [JQ] Two remarkable Verdi interpretations in a set that all devotees of Toscanini and of great conducting will want to possess.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) A Tribute to Giuseppe Verdi - Selected recordings 1914-1962 - Various singers, conductors and orchestras rec. 1914–1962 PREISER RECORDS PR93484 [73:20 + 77:19] [RM] For all its vocal splendours, this bargain vintage compendium can also be seen as a lament for a lost age and tradition.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Four Seasons (arr. Lucian Moraru) for panpipes and string quintet - Gheorghe Zamfir (panpipes) Traffic Strings rec. 2006 SON ART 005 [35:35] [Byz] Devourers of tuneful crossover or musical kitsch need not hesitate.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) L’Oracolo in Messenia overo La Merope - Magnus Staveland (tenor) Ann Hallenberg (mezzo) Xavier Sabata (counter-tenor) Europa Galante/Fabio Biondi (violin & conductor) rec. 2012
VIRGIN CLASSICS 6025472 [79.49 + 75.52] [MM-B] Ten out of ten and I intend to listen to it over and over again.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) transcr. August Stradal (1860-1930) Die Walküre: Siegmund's Love-Song [4:12]; The Ride of the Valkyries [4:21]; End of the Last Act [17:34] Siegfried: Forest Murmurs [6:17]; Götterdämmerung: Rhine Journey [7:53]; Siegfried's Funeral March [9:17] Wesendonck Lieder [26:45]- Juan Guillermo Vizcarra (piano) TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0171 [71:56] Rhetorical and grandly dramatic transcriptions with performances and recording to match.

Thomas WEELKES (1576 - 1623) Anthems and Madrigals The Consort of Musicke rec. Oct 1994, Forde Abbey, Dorset, UK. DDD ALTO ALC 1217 [61:09] [JV] Superb examples of Weelkes' art.

Felix WEINGARTNER (1863-1942) Symphony 7 - Maya Boog (soprano) Franziska Gottwald (contralto) Rolf Romei (tenor) Christopher Bolduc (baritone) Czech Philharmonic Ch Brno, Babette Mondry (organ) Basel SO/Marko Letonja rec. 2012 CPO 777 103-2 [62.02] [PCG] Those who have been exploring Weingartner’s music will need no encouragement to add his last symphony to their collections.

Silvius Leopold WEISS (1687 - 1750) Lute Sonatas - Volume 11: NN 30, 39, 96 - Robert Barto (lute) rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572680 [65:54] [JV] Robert Barto is an eloquent story-teller and a fine dancing master who makes this music shine.

Lady Margaret WEMYSS (1630-c.1649) Lady Maggie’s Lilt: Music from the Lute Book of Lady Margaret Wemyss - Martin Eastwell (lute) rec. 2010 MUSIC MEDIA MMC104 [62:53] [JF] Attractive, often deeply moving music beautifully played.

Samuel Sebastian WESLEY (1810-1876) Ascribe Unto the Lord Works for 4 & 5 part choir - The Ch of St John's College, Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha John Challenger (organ) rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHAN 10751 [77:10] [WK] Andrew Nethsingha conducts vibrant performances of some of Wesley’s most famous works.

Henryk WIENIAWSKI (1835-1880) Violin Concerto 1 Julius CONUS (1869-1942) Violin Concerto Henri VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881) Fantasia appassionata - Soo-Hyun Park (violin) Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Nicholas Milton rec. 2012 ONYX 4109 [69:25] [JW] Persuasively performed … augurs well for Park’s future.

Hugo WOLF (1860 – 1903) Mörike-Lieder Werner Güra (tenor) Jan Schultsz (piano) rec. 2004 HARMONIA MUNDI HMA 1951882 [64:19] [GF] A beautiful voice: slightly reedy in tone, rhythmically alert, excellent in enunciation, tasteful and expressive.

American Mavericks - Works by Henry COWELL (1897-1965) Lou HARRISON (1917-2003) Edgard VARÈSE (1883-1965) Jeremy Denk (piano) Paul Jacobs (organ) San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas rec.2010/12 SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY 821936-0056-2-0 [73.23] [PB-W] Many listeners attracted by the disc’s curiosity value will find a great deal more than that.

Renato de Barbieri - The Historical HMV Recordings 1956 Vol. 2 Works by Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Ottokar NOVÁCEK (1866-1890) Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962) Renato de Barbieri (violin)Tulio Macoggi, Giuseppe Guastalla (piano) rec. 1956/1947 IDIS 6657 [50:13] [JW] The second IDIS disc devoted to the art of Italian fiddler Renato de Barbieri.

The Berlin Kroll Opera House: The Middle Of Germany - A film by Jörg Moser-Metius Prod. 1980 EUROARTS 2001738 [59:00] [RMay] More about Republic Square than about the history of the Kroll.

Black Manhattan - Volume 2 - Soloists, The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra/Rick Benjamin rec. 2012 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80731-2 [71:31] [JW] Many black theatrical composers and lyricists to enjoy on this disc.

The Britannic Organ - Vol. 5 Works by Wagner - Welte-Mignon Philharmonic Organ rec. 2012 OEHMS CLASSICS OC844 [75:18 + 76:09] [DM] Technically fascinating; of limited interest musically.

The Sound of Pablo Casals - Pablo Casals (cello) with accompanists EMI CLASSICS 9 78003 2 [4 CDs: 76:18 + 77:39 + 66:22 + 71:27] [JW] An attractive box though offering a necessarily selective look at Casals’ art.

Boris Christoff - The Mighty Boris Songs and opera arias by Glinka, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Cui, Balakirev, Verdi, Gounod, Gluck and Mozart - Boris Christoff (bass) EMI CLASSICS ICON 6 82937 2 [11 CDs: c.14:00:00] [RJF] Singers of this quality and distinction only come around every generation or two.

Colours of a Flute Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Jacques IBERT (1890-1962) Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Pierre-Octave FERROUD (1900-1936) André JOLIVET (1905-1974) Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992)- Urszula Janik (flute) *Joanna Kaczmarska-Biezynska (piano) rec. 2011. CD ACCORD ACD 179-2 [54:37] [Byz] A gratifyingly lyrical mixture of core and rarer, solo and accompanied repertoire.

The Cranmer Legacy Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872–1958) Service in D minor Sir Henry WALFORD DAVIES (1869–1941) A Short Requiem - Ch of St Michael at the North Gate, The City Church of Oxford/Tom Hammond-Davies, Benjamin Bloor (organ) rec. 2012 REGENT REGCD389 [72:32] [JF] Will appeal strongly to all enthusiasts of the English Cathedral/Parish Church musical tradition.

Dedicated to Donizetti Giuseppe RABBONI (1800-1856) Giulio BRICCIALDI (1818-1881) Pietro TONASSI (1800-1870) George Alexander OSBORNE (1806-1893) and Jean-Louis TULOU (1786-1865) Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Carl Joachim ANDERSEN (1847-1909) John CLINTON (1810-1864) Gilberto Fornito (flute) Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2012. DDD SHEVA COLLECTION SH069 [75:59][RB] Put this disc on in the background and you will find yourself all too easily drawn in – not just the caress of a pretty tune.

Eden In Atlantis - Works by Dulcie HOLLAND (1913-2000) Robert ALLWORTH (b. 1943) Colin BRUMBY (b. 1933) Eric GROSS (b. 1926) Derek STRAHAN (b. 1935) Gary Williams (cello) Max Olding, Dulcie Holland, Ray Lemond, David Miller (piano) Lawrence Bartlett (organ) Michael Scott (flute and alto flute) Liza Rintel (soprano) Susan Jones (lute) Nuove Musiche Baroque Ens/Adrian Hooper rec. 1992/98 JADE JADCD-1074 [63.25] [PCG] This is a very mixed collection indeed, but the three main works on the disc all in their different ways repay the listener. 

English Fantasy Works by William ALWYN (1905-1982) John CARMICHAEL (b. 1930) Clive JENKINS (b. 1938) Cecil Armstrong GIBBS (1889-1960) John IRELAND (1879-1962) - Peter Cigleris (clarinet) Antony Gray (piano) rec. 2010 CALA CACD77015 [76:41] [JW] Nuance and insight, fine tone and ensemble in this well recorded recital.

Experimental Music Lab - Stanley Schumacher and the Music Now Ensemble MUSICMACHER PRODUCTIONS MM006 [58:18] [DC] Now who’s Bad?

Flute Concertos Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Flute Concerto [18:43] Charles T. GRIFFES (1884-1920)
Poem for Flute and Orchestra [10:10] Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Ballade for flute, string orchestra and piano [7:05] Jacques IBERT (1890-1062) Concerto for flute and orchestra [19:29] - Thomas Jensen (flute) South Jutland Symphony Orchestra/Giordano Bellincampi rec. 2011 and 2012 DANACORD DACOCD 725 [55:41] [DC] Image busting performances – no more frilly flutes.

Grand Hotel - Tom Jenkins (violin) Reginald Kilbey (cello) Jack Byfield (piano) BBC Grand Hotel Orchestra rec. 1951/52 DINMORE DRD 056 [76:29] [JW] It’s good to welcome Jenkins back to the fold.

Jeux d'été: French Wind Quintets Paul TAFFANEL (1844-1908) Quintet Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Suite: La cheminée du roi René, Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997) Quintet 1 Galliard Ensemble rec. 2011 DEUX-ELLES DXL1149 [62:57] [SV] What are you waiting for?

The Klemperer Edition - Romantic symphonies and overtures New/Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer EMI CLASSICS 4043092 [10 CDs: 746:07] [CH] On this showing Klemperer was a greater conductor of Berlioz, Franck and Tchaikovsky, and indeed of Johann Strauss, than he was of Beethoven or Brahms.

Serge Koussevitzky conducts The New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra Works by Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713) Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) New York PSO/Serge Koussevitzky rec. 1942 WEST HILL RADIO ARCHIVES WHRA 6049 [66:48 + 74:22] [JQ] An important set which gives us some vivid examples of great conducting in action.

Sir Philip Ledger – A Musician’s Legacy Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Piano Quintet in A minor, op. 84 (1918-19) [35:23]1 Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, op. 81 (1887) [32:36]2 Sir Philip Ledger (piano) Alberni Quartetrec.2001 DDD ROYAL CONSERVATOIRE OF SCOTLAND / NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6220 [68:05] [MG] A worthy tribute to a fine musician.

Open Your Eyes - Lieder for the turn of a century Works by Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Alban BERG (1885-1935) Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Katherine Broderick (soprano) Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 2011 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD046 [65:33] [GF] A highly desirable debut recital. 

Nilla Pierrou - Mina jubileer (My Jubilees) Works by Bach, Brahms, Larsson & Grieg - Eugène De Canck (piano) rec. 1973–1985 OAK GROVE CD 2030 [4 CDs: 77:45 + 76:09 + 78:30 + 67:49] [GF] A goldmine in every respect.

Manhattan Playboys - 20 American Light Classics Examples: Erich KORNGOLD Overture: Captain Blood [2:08] Jerry HERMAN Overture: Mack & Mabel [5:42]Richard RODGERS Carousel Waltz [5:50] Concert Orchestra/Iain Sutherland rec. 1983-88. ADD. Stereo ALTO ALC 1206 [77:30] [RB] Sumptuous stuff.

The Reichsorchester: The Berlin Philharmonic and the Third Reich - A film by Enrique Sánchez Lansch rec. 2007 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108 059 BLU-RAY VIDEO [100:00] [DBi] Absorbing, moving and thought-provoking … if only a single non-performance disc makes it into one's music collection, this should be it.

The Wolfgang Sawallisch Edition Works by Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Soloists and Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Wolfgang Sawallisch rec. 1958/2001
EDITION GÜNTER HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH12041 [8 CDs: 54:12 + 50:41 + 71:40 + 57:39 + 60:00 + 60:00 + 77:24 + 65:42] [MC] Sawallisch’s memory is marvellously served by this set.

Solti: Journey of a Lifetime A film by Georg Wübbolt ARTE/UNITEL CLASSICA 711 804 [106:00] [DBi] A fascinating but too brief documentary that left me wanting more. The bonus concert is of little interest.

Tudor Masters: Taverner and Gibbons John TAVERNER (1490-1545) Orlando GIBBONS (1583-1625)
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/David Willcocks rec. 1958 and 1961. ADD. No texts included in booklet
ALTO ALC1183 [76:30] [BW] Decent though dated performances; good value, but inexpensive alternatives for each composer are available.

Wing Span: Contemporary Danish Accordion Music and Classical Works - Adam Ørvad (classical accordion) rec. 2009-2011 DANACORD DACOCD718 [65:00 + 63:07] [JW] Anyone with an interest in the accordion will find a huge amount to stimulate in these excellently engineered, vibrantly played performances.


Articles and notices this month

Download News 2013/7 Brian Wilson
Algernon Ashton - England's forgotten composer by Patrick Webb

British Light Music: A personal gallery of 20th-century composers
2013 2nd edition
by Philip L. Scowcroft

£15.00 Soft Cover (£10.00 if ordered before May 15th from MusicWeb International) plus postage




What We Really Do. The Tallis Scholars by Peter Phillips Second Edition ISBN: 978-0-95457777-2-8
344pp First published 2003. Second Edition, 2013 The Musical Times Publications