& RECENT ARTICLES
[New] BIS's 40th anniversary promotion - 17 pocket-sized CD reviews - A feature by Brian Reinhart
A discussion of the life and songs of Robin Milford by Peter Hunter: Biography ~~ The early songs ~~ The middle period songs ~~ The late songs
Review index: Robin Milford
An interview with composer Bob Chilcott by John Quinn
News 2013/15 by Brian Wilson
concertos & concertante works - A discography
prepared by Mike Herman; an extract from the upcoming full national
discography of Eastern European concertos
The Musicweb International Recordings of the Year will be announced on Monday!
Britons rediscovered A London concert on November 28 featuring Milford's violin concerto - see here for details
Auction of an archive belonging to the British composer Sir George Henschel - see here for more details
Hoffnung postcards are back on sale; just in time for Christmas: Postcards ~~ Christmas Cards
BIS is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a 40% discount on 40 of its best-selling albums (offer until the end of the year for physical CDs, 40 days for downloads).
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a donation to MusicWeb International we are giving away CDs - click the
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Live performance reviews posted daily at Seen
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Friday November 29th
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gregorio ALLEGRI (1582-1652) Miserere Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (c.1525-1594) Stabat Mater, Missa Papae Marcelli, Tu es Petrus Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips
rec. 2005 GIMELL GIMBD641 [CD + BD-A: 76:00] [DM] Gimell’s first BD-A is a resounding success; a landmark in every way.
Carl Philipp Emanuel
BACH (1714-1786) Empfindsamkeit! Symphonies
& Concertos - Alfredo Bernardini (oboe)
Christian Kjos (harpsichord) Barokkanerne rec. 2012 LAWO CLASSICS LWC 1038 [58:00] [BR] After
two centuries of neglect, CPE Bach is coming into his own. As long as the albums
are this good, it’s great news.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 4 Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1849) Symphony 4 -
BBC SO/RPO/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1972/1975 ICA CLASSICS ICAC 5093 [64:12] [DD] Another splendid release of live performances of two 19th century masterpieces conducted by a Grand Old Man of British music.
John McDONALD Airy Joanna Kurkowicz (violin) John McDonald (piano) rec. 2010 BRIDGE 9402 [65:06] [Byz]
Johann Joachim QUANTZ (1697-1773) Flute Concertos -
Mary Oleskiewicz (transverse flute) Concerto Armonico/Miklós Spányi rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573120 [77:36] [JV] This disc is full of good intentions but I find the result rather disappointing.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797
- 1828) Die schöne Müllerin Maximilian Schmitt (tenor)
Gerold Huber (piano) rec. 2013 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 882 [66:41] [GF] Constantly beautiful singing but a certain lack
of colour and drama.
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Kreisleriana Per NØRGÅRD (b.1932) Grooving; Turn; Unfolding Katrine Gislinge (piano) rec. 2012 DANACORD DACOCD741 [63:29] [JF] A happy choice of music and alongside the Horowitz this will be my preferred Kreisleriana for some time to come.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Sonata Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Violin Sonata 2 Poème mystique Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Violin Sonata-
Midori (violin) Özgür Aydin (piano) rec. 2012 ONYX 4084 [66:55] [SG] A well-constructed recital of three masterpieces of twentieth century violin repertoire.
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concertos for Strings -
Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini rec. 1988 TACTUS TB672258 [56:13] [DBi] An enjoyable issue containing six splendid concertos only some of which you might know.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walküre Robert Dean Smith, Melanie Diener, Petra Lang, Tomasz Konieczny, Berlin RSO/Marek Janowski rec. 2012 PENTATONE CLASSICS PTC5186 407 [4 CDs: 217:17] [JPr] This Die Walküre is a triumph for Janowski and the wonderful Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.
Thursday November 28th
Adolf BUSCH (1891-1952) Chamber Music Volume 1: Clarinet and strings
- Bettina Beigelbeck (clarinet)
Busch Kollegium Karlsruhe
rec. 2012/13 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0085 [75:26] [JW] Charming, occasionally droll and without much real depth.
Sparky DAVIS And One Last Waltz, Symphony, Fantasy Sonata - Karolina
Moravian PO/Vít Micka, Petr Vronský rec. 1998/2012 NAVONA
NV5897 [66:35] [Byz] These are polite, slightly naive works, but
lovingly crafted and melodious.
HANDEL (1685-1759) Der Messias (arr. Mozart) Donna Brown
(soprano) Cornelia Kallisch (mezzo) Roberto Saccà (tenor) Alastair
Miles (bass) Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart/Helmuth
Rilling HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD098.022 [55:33 + 76:00] [JS] Every Handel enthusiast should have at least one recording of Mozart’s
arrangement and this would be a very satisfactory way of achieving that
as well as giving considerable pleasure.
OF THE MONTH Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Complete Works for Viola Vol. 1 - Tabea Zimmermann (viola)
Deutsche SO Berlin/Hans Graf rec. 2012 MYRIOS CLASSICS
MYR010 [79:59] [MC] Heartfelt passion and a robust edge blow away the cobwebs
and bring these works very much to life.
Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Rhapsodies, Organ Sonata 2 - David Newsholme (organ)
rec. 2012 REGENT REGCD407 [76:46] [JF] Wisely chosen,
balancing the more popular with the less-well-known. David Newsholme
gives definitive accounts of these pieces.
SALTER (b.1942) Aerial, Piano
Quartet, String Quartet 2 - Nephele Ens, Ens
na Mara, Auriol String Qt rec. 1985-2010 USK
1230CD [37:44] [CR] Convincing
and highly effective music performed effectively
and with competence.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) Tenebrae Responsories Tenebrae/Nigel Short
rec. 2012 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD344 [72:01] [JB] The sheer beauty and power here almost defy description.
The 20th Century Concerto Grosso Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) Concerto doppio for flute & piano Ernst KRENEK (1900-1991) Concertino for flute, violin & piano Vincent d’INDY (1851-1931) Concert for piano, flute & cello -
Maria Prinz (piano) Karl-Heinz Schütz (flute) Christoph Koncz (violin) Robert Nagy (cello)
Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner
rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHAN10791 [61:41] This is a release with everything going for it [DC] Totally absorbing … fine music that is all too rarely heard. [SA]
Music Kinga Augustyn (violin) Efi Hackmey (piano) rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 9.70192 [79:45] [SA] Muscular playing and a beautiful singing tone in these
rarely heard works.
- Music for Advent Ch of Clare College, Cambridge/Graham
Ross; Nicholas Haigh (organ)
rec. 2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU907579 [76:48] [JQ] A marvellous
programme of Music for Advent from the Clare College Choir.
Wednesday November 27th
OF THE MONTH Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704) Litanies de la Vierge - Motets for the House
of Guise - Ens Correspondances/Sébastien Daucé rec. 2013 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 902169 [60:33] [JV] This disc is a treasure
because of the repertoire and the performances.
Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Rodeo, Dance Panels, El Salón
México, Danzón Cubano - Detroit S O/Leonard
Slatkin rec. 2012 NAXOS NBD0037 BD-A
[70:11] [DM] Sonically this Naxos BD-A is a worthwhile improvement over
the CD; it’s reasonably priced, too.
HAKOLA (b.1958) Guitar Concerto Toshio
HOSOKAWA (b.1955) Voyage IX, Awakening, Blossoming
II Timo Korhonen (guitar)
Oulu SO/Santtu-Matias Rouvali rec. 2012 ONDINE
ODE 1219-2 [65:00] [Byz] Rouvali
has full command of these demanding scores and
the sound quality is very good indeed.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots Allan Clayton (tenor) Andrew
Kennedy (tenor) Sophie Bevan (soprano), Orchestra of Classical Opera/Ian Page rec. 2012 SIGNUM SIGCD343 [52:52 + 31:50] [JS] A remarkable demonstration of the very considerable virtues of the composer’s very early works.
STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrushka Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) The
Miraculous Mandarin - London SO/Kent Nagano
rec. 1997 WARNER APEX 2564 673174 [64:54]
[SV] Nagano serves
up an expert Petrushka.
Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony
4, Capriccio Italien - Gürzenich
O Cologne/Dmitrij Kitajenko rec. 2010/11 OEHMS
CLASSICS OC671 [62:12] [DBi] A
fine (almost) completion of Kitajenko's cycle
of Tchaikovsky symphonies - wonderfully played
by the Gürzenich Orchestra.
Van NOSTRAND (b. 1945) Voyage in a White Building I - Robert Stallman
(flute) Jay Humeston (cello) Herman Weiss (prepared
piano) Paul Severtson (violin) NEC Chamber Ens/Anthony
Coleman rec. 1969-2012 NEW WORLD RECORDS
80742-2 [70:19] [DC] Uncompromisingly
modern, but then, so were Picasso and Pollock.
Archipel Machaut Medieval Music and New Music
- Mixtura; Katharina Bäuml (shawm); Margit Kern (accordion)
rec. 2012 GENUIN GEN13284 [66:39] [JB] Astonishing musicianship, brimming with atmosphere. A disc very much worthy of attention.
for Cello and Piano Vol. 2Paul Watkins (cello) Huw
Watkins (piano) rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHAN10792 [75:28] [JF] A fine programme of three stunning sonatas, inspiringly played and beautifully
Songbook - The King’s Singers, South Jutland SO/David
Firman rec. 2013 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD341 [60:10 + 31:36] [JQ] Admirers of The King’s Singers will love this album. Admirers
of these wonderful songs should, perhaps, look elsewhere.
Tuesday November 22nd
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Weihnachts Oratorium Agnes Giebel, Charlotte Wolf-Matthäus, Helmut Krebs, Walter Hauck, RIAS CO & Ch/Karl Ristenpart rec. 1950 AUDITE 21.421 [3 CDs: 155:55] [JQ] Sixty-three years on, Karl Ristenpart’s recording is a most welcome addition to the discography of Bach’s Christmas masterpiece.
Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) String Quartets 1-6 Zoltan KODÁLY (1882-1967) String Quartets 1-2 -
Alexander Quartet rec. 2012 FOGHORN CLASSICS CD2009 [3 CDs: 74:53 + 76:30 + 54:32] [DC] A set to acquire for long-term appreciation.
From the New World Antonín DVOŘAK (1841-1904) Symphony 9 Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le Chant du rossignol Charles IVES (1874-1954) The Unanswered Question John ADAMS (b. 1947) Slonimsky’s Earbox -
Bavarian RSO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2010 C MAJOR 713408 [95:00] [LW] A most enjoyable concert by Nelsons and the BRSO.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Famous Choruses from Messiah -
Barock Vokal, Mainz
Neumeyer Consort/Michael Hofstetter
rec. 2011 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 884 [54:28] [JB] An absolutely exquisite performance, and a must-have for any collection - brava!
Sigfrid KARG-ELERT (1877-1933) The Complete Organ Works - Volume 10 -
Stefan Engels (organ) rec. 2011 PRIORY PRCD 1074 [78:07] [JW] This series goes from strength to strength.
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Nutcracker and the Mouse King Anna Tsygankova, Matthew Golding, Holland Symfonia/Ermanno Florio rec. 2011 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108087 [108:00 + over 150:00 (bonus)] [BW] Well worth acquiring at the new lower price, or giving as a Christmas present.
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681 - 1767) Klingende Geographie Musica Fiorita/Daniela Dolci rec. 2011 PAN CLASSICS PC10291 [68:55] [JV] For an hour of entertainment this disc will do.
Anima Rising Works by Beethoven, Hearne, Janáček, Plews & Wright -
Naomi Wright (cello) Annabelle Lawson (piano) ASC ASCCD116 [58:31] [JF] Excellent playing and an imaginative programme.
Bel Canto Bully - The musical legacy of the legendary opera impresario Domenico Barbaja - rec.
1988 - 2008 NAXOS 8.578237 [75:19] [GF] This
is quite an interesting concept for a compilation disc and there are enough
good things here to make it a good buy.
Alice Herz-Sommer (piano) Works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Schubert & Smetana rec. 1960s-95 AHS RECORDS [78:04] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Abegg Variations,
Symphonic Etudes rec. 1983 AHS RECORDS [56:59] [SA] Refined elegance ... beauty and truth will always gain the upper hand.
Monday November 25th
Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) The Beatitudes, Introduction and Allegro, Things to Come Suite, Lie Strewn the White Flocks, A Colour Symphony, The Phoenix Jennifer Vyvyan (soprano) Richard Lewis (tenor)
BBC SO, London SO/Sir Arthur Bliss, Jacques String O/Reginald Jacques, Philharmonia O/Constant Lambert
rec. 1946-62 DUTTON CDBP 9818 [76:47 + 70:01]
Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem Heather Harper (soprano) Peter Pears (tenor) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)
City of Birmingham SO/Meredith Davies
rec. 1962 TESTAMENT SBT 1490 [80:48]
[JQ] Live recordings of two notable 1962 premières in Coventry, including an essential addition to the discography of War Requiem.
Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Choral Symphony, The Mystic Trumpeter - Susan Gritton (soprano) BBC SO & Ch/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHSA5127 [69.20] [PCG] A superb release, in excellent sound. By far the best
recording of the Choral Symphony available.
Nikolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) Violin Sonatas 1 & 3 -
Chloë Hanslip (violin)
Igor Tchetuev (piano)
rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67963 [68:39] Nikolai MEDTNER Violin Sonata 3 Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Violin Sonata 3 -
Svetlin Roussev (violin)
Frédéric D’Oria-Nicolas (piano)
rec. 2008 FONDAMENTA FON0902002 [65:14] [JW] Hanslip plays charmingly and with reserve while Roussev is the more communicative and fluid player.
Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Discoveries Drosostalitsa Moraiti (piano), Nelly Lee (soprano)
Alexander Ivashkin (cello),
Ensemble Pentaèdre de Montréal/Jeremy Bell,
Bolshoi Soloists’ Ensemble/Alexander Lazarev
rec. 1984-2009 TOCCATA TOCC0091 [68:18] [DC] One for every true Schnittke collector.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Quintet Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Romances 1 & 2 Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Violin Concerto 8 -
Rudolf Koeckert (violin)
Bamberg SO/Ferdinand Leitner,
Bavarian RSO/Fritz Lehmann,
Adrian Aeschbacher (piano) Koeckert Qt,
rec. 1952-54 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 845 [71:18] [JW] Koeckert brings to the table a certain clean-limbed, withdrawn, post-war cleanliness.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) The Execution of Stepan Razin, Zoya Suite, Suite on Finnish Themes - Tuomas Katajala (tenor) Mari Palo (soprano)
Shenyang (bass-baritone) State Ch ‘Latvija’, Helsinki PO/Vladimir
Ashkenazy rec. 2013 ONDINE ODE1225-2 [65:37] [DM] Ashkenazy and
this Finnish band make a terrific team; more, please.
TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 5, Swan Lake Suite - Arctic PO/Christian Lindberg rec. 2012 BIS BIS-SACD-2018 [70:48] [DBi] An imaginative performance, well recorded and well played
but this choice of repertoire puts a small and young orchestra up against
Charles TOURNEMIRE (1870-1939) Works for organ Vols. 1-3 - Vincent Boucher (organ) rec. 2006/08 ATMA CLASSIQUE
ACD2 2470-72 [172:02] [Byz] Good
value for money … a general sense of warm empathy for Tournemire's
John Dowland and Friends Earth, Water, Fire and Air Consort of Musick/Anthony Rooley (director and lute)
rec. 1998 ALTO ALC 1223 [71.10] [GH] The Consort are in great form and at their best. At budget price this is worth every penny.
Glenn Gould - The Russian
Journey A film by Yosif Feyginberg C MAJOR 714108 [56:00] [SG] At 56 minutes, many will feel shortchanged with
this DVD, and more film of Gould performing could have been included.
Bob CHILCOTT (b. 1955) The Rose in the Middle of Winter and other carols -
rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573159 [79:31] [JQ] A delightful disc which will enhance the musical side of Christmas for a lot of people.
Gracious Ladies: The Norbury Family and Edward Elgar by Kevin Allen. Published June 2013 [WK] A book for the committed Elgarian.