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Daniel Francois Esprit AUBER (1782-1871) La Muette de Portici - Oscar de la Torre (tenor) Angelina Ruzzafante (soprano) Opernchor des Anhaltischen Theaters Anhaltische Philharmonie/Anthony Hermus rec. 2011 CPO 777 694-2 [65:47 + 69:32] [RW] A sensitive and admirable reading of Auber's score. 

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Concertos 1 & 2 - Isabelle Faust (violin) Swedish Radio SO/Daniel Harding rec. 2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 902146 [57:59] [ST] This disc is a winner. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Trio for flute, bassoon and piano, Serenade, Clarinet trio - Oslo Philharmonic Chamber Group rec. 2011 LAWO LWC 1034 [69:29] [JS] An excellent chance to enjoy rarely heard early Beethoven of real quality played and recorded with energy and sensitivity. 

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Rodeo, Dance Panels, El Salón Mexico, Danzón Cubano - Detroit Symphony/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.559758 [70:08] [BR] Rodeo, uncut and as grand as it's ever been played before plus more rarities.

Adalbert GYROWETZ (1763-1850) String Quartets - Pleyel Qt Cologne rec. 2012 CPO 777 770-2 [72:56] [BR] Inventive, often-surprising string quartets of which Haydn would have been proud. 

Oleg KOMARNITSKY (1946-1998) Chamber and Instrumental Music - London Piano Trio rec. 2011 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0196 [57:47] [SA] I was bowled over by this music.

James MacMILLAN (b. 1959) Tenebrae Responsories and other choral works - Westminster Cathedral Ch, London Brass/Martin Baker; Peter Stevens (organ) rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67970 [72:58] [JQ] A splendid disc that shows yet again that James MacMillan is one of the most articulate and compelling of contemporary composers.

Allan PETTERSSON (1911-1980) Symphony 6 - Norrköping SO/Christian Lindberg rec.2012 BIS BIS-SACD-1980 [59:50] [Byz] The always fundamentally tonal music is propelled constantly onwards by the sheer force of argument and expression … the listener's mind is unable to wander.

Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Complete works for violin - James Ehnes (violin) Andrew Armstrong (piano) BBC PO/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2012/13 CHANDOS CHAN 10787(2) [76:03 + 65:09] [MC] An outstanding set which includes quite stunning performances of the two violin concertos. 

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Sonatas 1-5 - Peter Donohoe (piano) rec. 2012 SOMM SOMMCD249 [63:00] [DM] Top-notch Prokofiev, commandingly played; this is as good as it gets.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Bells, Symphonic Dances Rundfunkchor Berlin; Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2010/12 WARNER CLASSICS 9845192 [71:39] [JQ] An exciting disc. Simon Rattle does two of Rachmaninov’s greatest works proud.

Cipriano de RORE (c.1515/1516-1565) Illuxit nunc sacra dies; Missa Doulce mémoire; Missa 'a note negre' Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67913 [72:34] [MS] Beautiful Renaissance choral music performed with warmth and polish by experts.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Complete Works for Violin & Piano - Alina Ibragimova (violin) Cédric Tiberghien (piano) rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67911/12 [54:49 + 62:52] [SG] This is one of the listening highlights of my year, all in all a consummate achievement.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678 - 1741) Per l'orchestra di Dresda Vol. 1 - Les Ambassadeurs/Alexis Kossenko rec. 2012 ALPHA 190 [66:04] [JV] A highly interesting disc which not only sheds light on a lesser-known aspect of Vivaldi's oeuvre, but also on performance practice in Dresden.

The Sound of Montserrat Caballé rec. 1970/79 EMI CLASSICS 721296 2 [5 CDs: 409:10] [GF] Should be in every true opera lover’s collection. Go out and buy.

Carmina Latina Cappella Mediterranea; Choeur de Chambre de Namur; Ensemble Clematis/Leonardo Garcěa Alarcňn rec. 2012 RICERCAR RIC 334 [62.31] [GH] A fine disc and well worth searching out. It will bring you much joy.

The Phoenix Rising - Works by Byrd, Gibbons, Morley, Tallis, Taverner & White - Stile Antico rec. 2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 807572 [74:34] [JQ] Glorious examples of Tudor polyphony, superbly performed and recorded.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Ouvertüre nach französischer Art François COUPERIN (1668-1733) 8e Ordre - Jean-Luc Ho (harpsichord) rec. 2011 ENCELADE ECL 1101 [61:56] [JV] As interesting as the confrontation between Bach and Couperin may be, this disc leaves me unsatisfied.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concertos - Amsterdam Bach Soloists/Thomas Zehetmair (violin) rec. 1994 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94666 [62:05] [JV] Zehetmair's interpretations are compelling and as stylish as one could wish for in a modern instrument performance.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass in B minor, Cantata 147 - Maria Stader, Ernst Haefliger, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Münchener Bach-O & Ch/Karl Richter rec. 1961 PROFIL EDITION PH13034 [3 CDs: 156:02] [MC] I would be highly satisfied if these glorious recordings were the only accounts in my collection such is their superior quality.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Secular Cantatas Vol. 3 - Joanne Lunn (soprano) Hiroya Aoki (counter-tenor) Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2012 BIS BIS-SACD-2041 [77:26] [MS] A selection of Bach's secular smaller-scale choral and vocal works in the Suzuki BIS cantata cycle delights as much as the weightier ones have done. 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partitas - Malcolm Proud (harpsichord) rec. 2012 MAYA RECORDINGS MCD 1301 [78:52 + 78:01] [SG] Exceptionally fine performances, and ones that I will happily return to in the future.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin - Georges Enesco (violin) rec. 1948 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR836-37 [61:59 + 68:16] [JW] A rich corpus of truths from one of the most complete musicians of the twentieth-century.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas Vol. 16 - Gerlinde Sämann (soprano) Petra Nostaiova (alto) Christoph Genz (tenor) Jan Van der Crabben (bass) La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken rec. 2012 ACCENT ACC 25316 [70:07] [TB] If a smaller ensemble is the option you prefer, these performances would be hard to better.

Mili Alekseyevich BALAKIREV (1837-1910) Complete Piano Works Vol. 1 - Nicholas Walker (piano) rec. 2012 GRAND PIANO GP636 [76:23] [SA] An extremely valuable resource and one that will repay repeated hearings. 

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Concertos 1 & 2 - Thomas Zehetmair (violin) Budapest Festival O/Iván Fischer rec. 1995 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9436 [56:58] [LW] A budget reissue of reference accounts of the Bartók violin concertos. 

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Piano Concertos 1-3 - Geza Anda (piano) Berlin RSO/Ferenc Fricsay rec. 1959/60 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 388 [78:46] [GPJ] Effectively ‘cleaned up’ versions of truly authoritative performances of these great masterpieces.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 - Steven Masi (piano) rec. 2011 CONCEZIO PRODUCTIONS 884501832373 [73:13] [BR] A fine Pathétique coupled to more variable performances. This could be an interesting new Beethoven cycle. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 7-9 - Christa Ludwig (mezzo) Hans Hotter (baritone) Philharmonia O & Ch/Otto Klemperer rec. 1957-60 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC371 [69:21 + 72:13] [DRD] Excellent transfers of famous Beethoven recordings - still powerful fifty years on.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas - Volume 3 - François-Frédéric Guy (piano) rec. 2011/2012 ZIG-ZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT318 [3 CDs: 210:15] [TB] An impressive achievement. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Egmont & Leonore Overtures, Symphony 6 - Philharmonia O/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 1981/83 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 7722 [70:52] [DC] Perhaps a little dated, but still luminous and lyrical.

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801- 1835) I puritani Montserrat Caballé, Alfredo Kraus, Ambrosian Opera Ch, Philharmonia O/Riccardo Muti rec. 1979 EMI CLASSICS 7397692 [3 CDs: 172:19] [GF] Muti’s recording is the one to have.

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Lulu - Evelyn Lear (soprano) Paul Schöffler (baritone) Rudolf Schock (tenor) Gisela Litz (mezzo) Vienna SO/Karl Böhm rec. 1962 ARTHAUS 101 687 [135.00] [PCG] As a version of the original version of Lulu this is unique in the catalogue.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Harold in Italy (arr. Liszt) Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Romance oubliée Kurt ROGER (1895-1966) Viola Sonata - Philip Dukes (viola) Piers Lane (piano) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573011 [71.53] [PCG] A superb performance of the somewhat problematic Berlioz transcription alongside the fascinating Roger Sonata and the original version of Liszt’s Romance.

Judith BINGHAM (b. 1952) Choral Music - Finn Lacey (treble) Jonathan Vaughn (organ) Wells Cathedral Ch/Matthew Owens rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67909 [73:00] [JQ] This new recording is a notable and welcome addition to what I hope is a continuing series. 

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Le docteur Miracle - Marie-Bénédicte Souquet (soprano) Pierre-Yves Pruvot (baritone) Jérôme Billy (tenor) Isabelle Druet (mezzo) Lyrique O Région Avignon Provence/Samuel Jean rec. 2012 TIMPANI 1C1204 [58:15] [RMo] A spirited and entertaining airing. 

Richard BLACKFORD (b. 1972) Not in our time Paul Nilon (tenor) Stephen Gadd (baritone) Bournemouth SO & Ch/Gavin Carr rec. 2011 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6161 [54:13] [JQ] A direct and visceral musical response to the dreadful events of 9/11: but does the piece try too hard?

Rory BOYLE (b.1961) A Box of Chatter Flutes en Route, Fraser Langton, Calum Robertson (clarinets), David Hubbard (bassoon), Scott Mitchell (piano), Yvonne Paterson (flute), George Talmuch (oboe), Aurea String Quartet, Illuminati Wind Quartet rec. 2013 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6224 [51:53] [GPJ] Challenging, witty music for woodwind from this engaging and gifted Scottish composer. 

Jean-Baptiste BRÉVAL (1753-1823) Sonatas for cello or violin - Fedor Amosov (cello) Alexey Kurbatov (piano) rec. 2011 CENTAUR CRC3195 [60:41] [JW] Much here is brief, but often delightfully so. 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 2 Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Glagolitic Mass - Tatiana Monogarova (soprano) Marina Prudenskaja (mezzo) Ludovít Ludha (tenor) Peter Mikuláš (bass) Iveta Apkalna (organ) Bavarian RSO & Ch/Mariss Jansons rec. 2012 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108 080 [88:00] [MC] Winning performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem - Anna Lucia Richter (soprano) Stephan Genz (baritone) MDR Leipzig RSO & Ch/Marin Alsop rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.572996 [64:13] [JQ] A good performance of this great work; but several other recordings offer more.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem - Susan Gritton (soprano) John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Christopher Maltman (baritone) Wrocław Philharmonic Ch, Gabrieli Young Singers Scheme, Trebles of New College Ch, Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh rec. 2013 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD340 [37:20 + 46:45] [JQ] A notable addition to the discography of War Requiem in Britten centenary year. 

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies 1-9 - Staatskapelle Dresden/Eugen Jochum rec. 1975-80 WARNER CLASSICS 9845832 [9 CDs: 550:06] [PCG] After nearly forty years Jochum is no bad guide through this music … a generally magnificent traversal of the cycle.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 1 - Hamburg Philharmonic/Simone Young rec. 2010 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 633 [49:08] [SV] Not a particularly good performance … though it's not for lack of trying. 

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies 4 & 7 - Munich PO/Christian Thielemann rec. 2006/8 C MAJOR 712304 [74:52 + 72.32] [DBi] If you like your Bruckner 'big' then this is for you. 

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)  Symphony 7 - London PO/Stanisław Skrowaczewski rec. 2012 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO-0071 [68:56] [RMo] Anyone acquiring this new budget recording is unlikely to be disappointed.

Alexander Chapman CAMPBELL (b. 1988) Ten Sketches of Light - Alexander Chapman Campbell (piano) rec. 2012 MMC 105 [40:18] [JF] Attractive music that will appeal to enthusiasts of Einaudi and Gow.

Bob CHILCOTT (b. 1955) Everyone Sang - Gemma Beeson (piano) Will Todd Trio; Wellensian Consort/Christopher Finch rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573158 [64:03] [JQ] Attractive music by Bob Chilcott on an auspicious debut CD by the Wellensian Consort.

Eric COATES (1886-1957)  The Definitive Eric Coates - Eric Coates conducts his own compositions - rec. 1923-57  NIMBUS NI 6231 [7 CDs: 8:50:00] [RW] Allows us to chart the development of Coates’s career rather nicely.

Samuel COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912) Undiscovered Piano Music - Waka Hasegawa (piano) METROPOLIS RECORDINGS MR1301 [59:10] [BR] How this music isn’t at least used for encores is beyond me. Charming desserts; pair them with wine.

Francisco CORSELLI (1705-1778) Music at the 18th-century Spanish court Nuria Rial (soprano) El Concierto Español/Emilio Moreno rec. 2002 GLOSSA GCD C80307 [62:33] [JV] Corselli is a most interesting composer and the performers serve him very well.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Complete Music for Piano Duo - Massimiliano Damerini, Marco Rapetti (piano our hands & two pianos) rec. 2012 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94448 [3 CDs: 214.02] [PCG] For Debussy completists this issue is self-recommending.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Four-Hand Piano Music - Jean-Pierre Armengaud, Olivier Chauzu (piano) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.572979 [62:16] [DM] Dreary; avoid.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Préludes Books I & II - Craig Sheppard (piano) rec. 2012  ROMÉO RECORDS 7297 [79:42] [JQ] A very fine live traversal of Debussy’s Préludes.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Prélude ŕ l'aprčs-midi d'un faune; Fętes; La Mer Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Ma Mčre l’Oye; Rapsodie Espagnole Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Scherzo - Pascal Rogé and Ami Rogé (pianos) rec. 2011 ONYX 4117 [79:08] [RBl] A sparkling recital of French music with memorable moments.

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Sea Drift, Cynara Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Hymn of Jesus Roderick Williams (baritone) Hallé Ch & O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2011/12 HALLÉ CD HLL7535 [62:25] [MC] An indispensable addition to any serious collection of music for chorus and orchestra.

Francesco DURANTE (1684-1755) Neapolitan Christmas Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2010 CPO 777 571-2 [72:51] [EML] Slightly mixed. Uneven performances and some soloist problems but beautiful music that deserves to be better-known.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Serenade for Strings, Notturno, Josef SUK (1874-1935) Serenade for Strings Appassionata/Daniel Myssyk FIDELIO FACD036 [64:05] [SV] Appassionata projects a vibrant sonority within which each strand is lean and tautly focused. Intonation and tone quality are beyond reproach. 

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) String Quartet 12 Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) String Quartet 1 - Tokyo String Qt rec. 2006 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 807429 [53:21] [SG] The Tokyo Quartet’s valedictory recording. What a way to bow out. 

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 9 John ADAMS (b. 1947) Slonimsky’s Earbox Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le Chant du rossignol - Bavarian RSO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2010 C MAJOR 713504 [95:00] [MC] Exemplary, scrupulously prepared, colourful, committed and compelling. 

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius - Arthur Davies (tenor) Gwynne Howell (bass) Roderick Elms (organ) London Symphony O & Ch/Richard Hickox rec. 1988 CHANDOS CHAN 241-46 [56:32 + 57:57] [JQ] A recording of Gerontius that has much to commend it but it doesn’t disturb the existing ‘pecking order’.  

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) Noches en los jardines de Espańa César FRANCK (1822-1890) Variations Symphoniques Joaquin TURINA (1882-1949) Rapsodia Sinfonica - Valerie Tryon (piano) Royal PO/Kenneth Woods rec. 2012 SOMM SOMMCD 250 [68:57] [TB] An imaginatively compiled programme - Tryon’s rhythmic intensity is particularly compelling. 

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Piano Music - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67875 [72:51] [JW] Hewitt offers extrovert vitality and some personalised moments.

Nicolas FLAGELLO (1928-1994) Odyssey, Symphony 2, Concerto Sinfonico Arnold ROSNER (b. 1945)
Symphony 8 - University of Houston Saxophone Qt & Wind Ens/David Bertman rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573060 [74.37] [IL] Challenging music: Flagello - stark and uncompromising; Rosner - bold and intensely dramatic. For the adventurous. 

Thomas FORTMANN (b.1951) In Dust we Trust Piano TrioViolin Sonata, Four Pieces for Two Violins - Manrico Padovani, Natasha Korsakova (violins) Akemi Masuko (piano) rec. 2012 METIER MSV 28534 [60.56] [GH] I can’t say that I like this music but I greatly admire the energy, both musical and intellectual, that Fortmann has put into it.

Jim FOX (b. 1953) Black Water Bryan Pezzone (pianos) rec. 2006 COLD BLUE MUSIC CB0037 [18:05] [DC] Stimulating and theatrically dramatic multi-piano work. 

Kenneth FUCHS (b.1956) Falling Canons, Falling Trio, String Quartet 5 - Christopher O’Riley (piano) Trio21, Delray String Qt rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 8.559733 [57.24] [GH] There is an individuality about this music which makes one want to return to it.

Harald GENZMER (1909-2007) Organ works - Gerhard Weinberger (organ) rec. 2013 CHROMART CLASSICS TXA 13023 [71:35] [DC] Inspiring stuff to sharpen the brain and raise uplifting smiles.

Roberto GERHARD (1896-1970) String Quartets 1 & 2, Chaconne for Solo Violin - Arditti Qt rec. 2011 AEON AECD 1225 [54:33] [GH] A fine disc, superbly played and well worth purchasing. The quartets are approachable despite their rarity value. It’s good to have Gerhard back. 

Johann Adolf HASSE (1699-1783) Harpsichord Sonatas - Luca Guglielmo (harpsichord) rec. 2011 ACCENT ACC 24255 [70:35] [JV] Interesting repertoire, brilliantly played on stylistically appropriate instruments.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Cello Concertos 1 & 2 Josef MYSLIVECEK (1737-1781) Cello Concerto - Wendy Warner (cello) Camerata Chicago/Drostan Hall rec. 2012 CEDILLE RECORDS CDR 90000 142 [72:36] [BR] Really terrific - if you don’t mind that it totally shuns period performance practices.

Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-1996) Viola concerto, Concerto for orchestra, Violin concerto 2 - Lars Anders Tomter (viola) Erik Heide (violin) Norrköping SO/Dmitri Slobodeniouk rec. 2011 DACAPO 6.220599 [59:18] [DM] Indispensable additions to the Holmboe discography; sonically distinguished too.

Michael KIMBER (b.1945) Music for viola(s) - Marcin Murawski, Edyta Hedzielska, Justyna Kowalczyk, Aleksandra Bazan (violas) rec. 2013 ACTE PREALABLE AP 0284 [65:02] [Byz] The wider appeal of an all-viola programme is hard to gauge; certainly anyone with even the slackest of viola connections should consider investment. 

Tōnu KŌRVITS (b. 1969) Kreego vihik (Kreek’s Notebook) Arturs MASKATS (b. 1957) Lacrimosa Pēteris PLAKIDIS (b. 1947) Fatamorgāna - William Mason (organ) Ch of Royal Holloway, Britten Sinfonia/Rupert Gough rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67968 [61:18] [JQ] Another fascinating exploration of choral music from the Baltic States, superbly performed. 

Michel de LA BARRE (c.1675 -1745) La Julie Camille Poul (soprano) Le Mercure Galant/Serge Saitta rec. 2010 AGOGIQUE AGO010 [68:19] [JV] The playing of the ensemble and the individual artists is of the highest order.

Édouard LALO (1823-1892) Symphonie Espagnole, Concerto Russe - Isaac Stern (violin) Suisse Romande O/Ernest Ansermet, Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1956-94 PRAGA DIGITALS PRD/DSD 350 094 [78:06] [DBi] Praga Digitals have come up with yet another unusual CD of rare but excellent performances. 

Gerhard LAMPERSBERG (1928-2002) Bunte Steine: Chamber Music - Ensemble Avantgarde rec. 2011 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 613 1760-2 [65:40] [Byz] Must be welcomed by anyone interested in post-war Austro-German music, especially those with ears attuned to the musical rarefication of the Second Viennese and Darmstadt Schools.

Orlando di LASSO (c.1534-1564) Biographie Musicale, Vol. 2 - Monika Mauch (soprano), Michael Mantaj (bass) Singer Pur rec. 2012 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW1268 [57:14] [BW] Not for beginners but established Lassus fans should find much to enjoy when performances, presentation and recording are so good.

Eurico Tomás de LIMA (1908-1989) Collected Works Vol. 2 - Miguel Campinho (piano) rec. 2012 NUMÉRICA PRODUÇŐES MULTIMEDIA NUM1249 [73:18 + 67:07] [SA] I can guarantee that this music will captivate.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) A Faust Symphony - Charles Bressler (tenor) Choral Art Society, New York PO/Leonard Bernstein rec. 1960 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 323 [71:38] [JQ] A memorable example of Lennie in full cry with the New York Philharmonic.

James MacMILLAN (b. 1959) ‘O’ Advent antiphon, Tryst, Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis - Netherlands Radio Chamber Phil & Ch/James MacMillan rec. 2011 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72554 [56:10] [MC] An excellently performed second MacMillan volume … approachable, with a reasonable amount of concentration … will certainly bring rewards.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 2, Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen - Anja Harteros (soprano) Bernarda Fink (mezzo) Bavarian Radio SO & Ch/Mariss Jansons rec. 2011 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108 081 [96:00] [DM] An erratic and underwhelming concert; not remotely competitive.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 4 (arr. Erwin Stein) Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Prélude ŕ l’aprčs-midi d’un faune (arr. Bruno Sachs) Sónia Grané (soprano) Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ens/Trevor Pinnock rec. 2012 LINN CKD438 [64:38] [JS] Performances to treasure.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 7 - Gürzenich O Köln/Markus Stenz rec. 2012 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 652 [73:35] [JQ] A pretty impressive reading of the Seventh and a very good addition to Stenz’s Mahler cycle.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde Mildred Miller (mezzo) Ernst Haefliger (tenor) New York PO/Bruno Walter rec. 1960 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO 094 [63:40] [JQ] An outstanding new transfer of Bruno Walter’s stereo recording of Das Lied von der Erde.

Carlo MARTELLI (b.1935) String Quartets 1 & 2, Prelude and Fugue, Terzetto - Pavăo Quartet, Zoe Matthews (viola) Nicola Tait (cello) rec. 2012 DISCADIA DISCA002 [76:19] [JF] Well-constructed, always satisfying and ultimately moving. Music I can do business with.

Marianna (von) MARTINES (1744-1812) Il Primo Amore - vocal & instrumental works - Núria Rial (soprano) La Floridiana/Nicoleta Paraschivescu (harpsichord) rec. 2011 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88697 885792 [63:04] [Byz] Moderately conservative, consummately crafted, effortlessly elegant and moreishly mellifluous.

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Strathclyde Concertos 3 & 4 - Robert Cook (horn) Peter Franks (trumpet) Lewis Morrison (clarinet) Scottish CO/Peter Maxwell Davies rec. 1991 NAXOS 8.572353 [61:07] Strathclyde Concerto 2, Sonata 'Sequentia Serpentigena' - Vittorio Ceccanti (cello) Bruno Canino (piano) Nazionale SO della RAI/Peter Maxwell Davies rec. 2006/12 NAXOS 8.573017 [62:49] [Byz] Naxos continue to rescue valuable Maxwell Davies recordings from obscurity.

Fanny MENDELSSOHN-HENSEL (1805-1847) Das Jahr Hirotoshi Kasai (piano) rec. 2011 TALENT RECORDS DOM 2911 118 [59:10] [BR] Fanny Mendelssohn enthusiasts, unite! New recording of a major piano cycle.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Wind Concertos - Alessandro Carbonare (clarinet) Jacques Zoon (flute) Guilhaume Santana (bassoon) O Mozart/Claudio Abbado rec. 2006/09 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 9331 [62:24] [LW] Fine performances of Mozart wind concertos, but the competition is strong.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 20 & 27 - Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano) Die Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2012 BIS BIS-SACD-2014 [53:34] [BW] The most satisfying in this series so far - if you want the fortepiano in these works, this is your best choice.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quartets - Vienna Philharmonic Qt rec. 1961 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 4711 [47:42] [MG] Above all you feel the music really matters to these players. 

David Owen NORRIS (b.1953) Prayerbook - Navarra String Qt, The Waynflete Singers; Over-the-Bridge; Choristers of New College, Oxford/composer rec. 2012 EM RECORDS EMR CD010 [73:57] [JQ] A patently sincere composition.

Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b.1933) Piano Concerto - Florian Uhlig (piano) Polish RSO/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2013 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 98.018 [37:50] [Byz] Those who can overlook Hänssler's abysmal running time need not hesitate to add this recording to their Penderecki or piano concerto collection, even if already in possession of the Naxos disc.

Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942) Violin Sonata, Suite - Ulf Wallin (violin) Love Derwinger (piano) rec. 2001/02 CPO 999 703-2 [52:05] [JW] Elegant and stylistically apt playing of uniformly attractive music.

Manuel Maria PONCE (1882-1948) Complete Piano Works Vol. 1 - Álvaro Cendoya (piano) rec. 2012 GRAND PIANO GP 638 [59.33] [GH] Cendoya revels in the exotic sonorities and technical demands.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) The Gambler Vladimir Galuzin, Tatiana Pavlovskaya, Sergei Aleksashkin, Larissa Dyadkova, Mariinsky Orchestra/Valery Gergiev rec. 2010 MARIINSKY MAR0540 [126:00] [DBi] A very impressive issue that should be on the shelf of every aficionado of 20th century opera. 

Johann Joachim QUANTZ (1697-1773) Flute Concertos - Mary Oleskiewicz (baroque transverse flute) Concerto Armonico/Miklós Spányi rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573120 [77:34] [BR] Once upon a time, Frederick the Great played these concertos. Now a flautist has rescued them for these world-premiere recordings. 

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 1, Piano Concerto 1 - Yevgeny Sudbin (piano) Singapore SO/Lan Shui rec. 2012 BIS BIS-SACD-2012 [70:58] [DC] Sudbin steals the show once more.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Trio Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Cello & Violin Sonatas Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Piano Trio - Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch rec. 2013 NIMBUS NI 5905 [72:38] [SA] Wallow in some of the most fabulous chamber music ever written.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Complete Works for Cello and Piano - Alexandre Kniazev (cello) Édouard Oganessian (piano) rec. 1997/2008 SAPHIR PRODUCTIONS LVC1103 [3 CDs: 219:02] [JW] Some of the finest chamber music written for the cello between 1904 and 1915.

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Semiramide Alex Penda (soprano) Marianna Pizzolato (alto) Lorenzo Ragazzo (bass) Camerata Bach Ch Poznań, Virtuosi Brunensis/Antonio Fogliani rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.660340-42 [3 CDs: 221:44] [ST] The cheapest Semiramide on the market … the quality to price ratio is definitely high.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Zelmira - Cecilia Gasdia (soprano) William Matteuzzi (tenor) Bernarda Fink (mezzo) José Garcia (bass) Ambrosian Singers, I Solisti Veneti/Claudio Scimone rec. 1989 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 64677-8 [77.03 + 77.07] [PCG] This will do very nicely for the library shelf.

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792 - 1868) Le sičge de Corinthe Lorenzo Regazzo, Majella Cullagh, Marc Sala, Camerata Bach Choir, Virtuosi Brunensis/Jean-Luc Tingaud rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.660329-30 [75:41 + 76:38] [RM] Sound excellent, ensemble crisp and energised and singing generally first rate. 

Terje RYPDAL (b. 1947) Melodic Warrior, And The Sky Was Coloured With Waterfalls And Angels - Terje Rypdal (electric guitar) The Hilliard Ens, Bruckner O Linz/Dennis Russell Davies, Wroclow PO/Sebastian Perlowski rec. 2003/2009 ECM RECORDS ECM 2006 [69:13] [DC] Fizzes with ambition and sonic spectacle. 

Arthur SCHNABEL (1882-1951) Piano quintet, Piano sonata, Lieder - Pellegrini Qt, Irmela Roelcke (piano) Sibylle Kamphues (alto) rec. 2008/9 CPO 777 471-2 [77:27 + 76:01] [SG] Little-known repertoire. Well worth exploring.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Gurrelieder Siegfried Jerusalem (tenor) Sharon Sweet (soprano) Marjana Lipovšek (mezzo) Arnold Schoenberg Ch, Vienna PO/Claudio Abbado rec. 1992 ELOQUENCE 480 7055 [59:50 + 47:09] [JQ] A tremendous account of Gurrelieder:surely one of the foremost versions in the catalogue.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies 6 & 8 - Stuttgart RSO/Sir Roger Norrington rec. 2011 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD93.298 [59:12] [TB] Highly satisfactory. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Duo Sonata, Rondo, Fantasy - Tomas Cotik (violin) Tao Lin (piano) rec. 2011 CENTAUR RECORDS CRC 3250 [59:04] [DC] Cotik and Lin serve the music very well indeed. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony 6, Music from Rosamunde - Swedish CO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2012 BIS BIS-SACD-1987 [62:46] [DC] Chamber orchestra Schubert, but with plenty of bite. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartets, String Trio; String Quintet - Vienna Philharmonic Qt, Richard Harand (cello) rec. 1962-64 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 4712 [66:07 + 53:41] [SG] Capivating performances … a pleasing addition to any chamber music collection.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sonata D.960 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Sonata 'Pathétique' Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Fantasy - Sarah Beth Briggs (piano) rec. 2013 SEMAPHORE SMLMP35 [75:44] [Byz] Technical prowess, crisp articulation, thoughtful, idiomatic phrasing, an elegant sense of expressive restraint, meticulous attention to dynamics, physical and mental strength, and above all a sense of awe. 

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Concerto - Francesco Piemontesi (piano) BBC SO/Jiří Bělohlávek rec. 2012 NAIVE V5327 [70:27] [JW] If you are keen to hear the Dvořák original then go for this one. 

Reinhard SCHWARZ-SCHILLING (1904-1985) Orchestral Works Vol. 2 - Kirill Troussov (violin) Staatskapelle Weimar/José Serebrier rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572801 [63:28] [Byz] Schwarz-Schilling will appeal to anyone who admires his broadly contemporary compatriots Pfitzner, Furtwängler and Hindemith.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 7 - Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573057 [79:15] [MC] Petrenko is in his element. A stunning performance. The RLPO is in inspired form. 

John Philip SOUSA (1854-1932) Music for Wind Band Volume 12 - Royal Swedish Navy Band/Keith Brion rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.559691 [56:06] [JS] Another disc guaranteed to rouse even the most sedentary of listeners from their chair.

Johann STRAUSS (1825-1899) Die Fledermaus - Herbert Lippert (tenor) Daniela Fally (soprano) Chor und Ballett der Seefestspiele Mörbisch, Statisterie der Seefestspiele Mörbisch, Mörbisch Festival O/Manfred Mayrhofer rec. 2012 VL KLASSIK VLMD019 [180:00] [GF] Trust my wife’s judgement and place your orders.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Josephslegende; Love scene from  Feuersnot; Festmarsch Royal Scottish Ntl O/Neeme Järvi rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHSA5120 [70:38] [NB] A perfectly competent disc that in no way displaces pre-existing versions.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Rite of Spring, The Firebird Suite - Walther Straram Concerts O/Igor Stravinsky rec. 1926-29 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 387 [60.36] [PCG] This new transfer enables us to hear the originals in vastly improved sound. 

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le sacre du printemps Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Prélude ŕ l'aprés-midi d'un faune Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Boléro - Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Paris/Philippe Jordan rec. 2012 NAĎVE V 5332 [60:12] [DM] Lacklustre performances, poorly recorded; look elsewhere.

Johan Severin SVENDSEN (1840-1911) Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - Marianne Thorsen (violin) Bergen PO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHAN 10766 [74:10] [DM] Off the well-trodden path; worth the detour - just. 

Maria SZYMANOWSKA 1789-1831) Complete piano works - Sławomir P. Dobrzański (piano) rec. 2011/12 ACTE PRÉALABLE APO281-83 [3 CDs: 233:39] [DC] A treasure of charming and graceful discoveries.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Symphonies 1 & 2 - London SO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2012 LSO LIVE LSO0731 [47:27] [DBi] Excellent performances of two interesting but uneven symphonies. Should appeal to those who know some Szymanowski already.

Sergey TANEYEV (1856-1915) Complete String Quartets Vol. 3 - Carpe Diem Qt rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.573010 [62:15] [Byz] The Carpe Diem Quartet's set is the one to have.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Rare transcriptions and paraphrases Vol. 2: Music from the ballets - Anthony Goldstone (piano) rec. 2011 DIVINE ART DDA25106 [75:55] [Byz] The only bad thing about this disc is that it is officially the last in the series.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 3, The Sleeping Beauty Suite - Gürzenich O Cologne/Dmitri Kitaenko rec. 2010/2011 OEHMS CLASSICS OC670 [68:19] [CC] A rewarding disc, without doubt. A sonic and musical triumph, it holds much to delight.

Alexander TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977) Complete Piano Music - Vol. 4 - Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2012 GRAND PIANO GP649 [58:01] [SA] Another adorable disc of scintillating music brilliantly played. 

Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949) Piano Music Volumes 7-9 - Jordi Masó (piano) rec. 2010-12 NAXOS 8.572455/8.572682/8.572915 [66:09 & 62:12 & 61:30] [Byz] Warm and nostalgic, urbane and romantic, the music focuses on the brighter side of life. 

Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949) Danzas fantásticas, Poema en forma de canciones, Ritmos, Sinfonía sevillana - Clara Mouriz (mezzo) BBC Phil/Juanjo Mena rec. 2011-2012 CHANDOS CHAN 10753 [71:25] [BR] Probably the best one-disc introduction to Turina, both for repertoire and playing. 

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 - 1901) Great Operas: Ernani, I due Foscari, Rigoletto, Il trovatore & La Traviata rec. 1973-91 DOCUMENTS 233617 [10 CDs: 615:26] [GF] Impecunious readers can get five Verdi operas in decent sound and with several world class singers in top shape.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlo - Giacomo Prestia (bass) Mario Malagnini (tenor) Simone Piazzola (baritone) O Regionale dell’Emilia Romagna/Fabrizio Ventura rec. 2012 C MAJOR 724608 724704 [215:00] [TB & DBi] A firm and enthusiastic welcome is in order. 

Robert de VISÉE (c.1655-1733) Lute Music - Toyohiko Satoh (lute) rec. 2012 CARPE DIEM CD-16296 [65.40] [GH] Very civilised music, played and recorded in a beautifully civilised manner.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Le quattro stagioni - Enrico Onofri (violin) Paolo Grazzi (oboe) Il Giardino Armonico, Milano/Giovanni Antonini rec. 1993 TELDEC/DAS ALTE WERK 2564 64763-0 [60:46] [DBi] Not another four seasons! Yes, and this one you have to hear.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Four Seasons - Europa Galante/Fabio Biondi rec. 1991 NAĎVE LA COLLECTION NC40018 [54:13] [ST] A document of performance practice and as a worthwhile musical experience, this disc still stands up very well.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Magic Fire and other transcriptions - Risto-Matti Marin (piano) rec. 2009 ALBA ABCD 353 [71:39] [DM] Magic and fire aplenty; Risto-Matti Marin is a pianist of style and substance. 

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Das Rheingold René Pape, Stephan Rügamer, Nikolai Putilin, Mariinsky O/Valery Gergiev rec. 2010/12 MARIINSKY MAR0526 [72:21 + 75:21] [ST] This Rheingold is fair enough but it in no way stands up to the best of the competition. 

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walküre Act One - Johan Botha, Nina Stemme, Ain Anger, Vienna State Opera O/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2007 ORFEO C875131B [61:35] [ST] Stemme is a Sieglinde of rare nobility and authority. 

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walküre: Act II - Friedrich Schorr (bass-baritone) Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) Lauritz Melchior (tenor) Lotte Lehmann (soprano) San Francisco Opera O/Fritz Reiner rec. 1936 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1272 [74:28] [RMo] A collector's item and the only extant audio record of the frequent collaboration between the phenomenal Flagstad and Lehmann. 

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Das Liebesverbot - Michael Nagy (baritone) Christiane Libor (soprano) Frankfurt Opera Ch, Frankfurt Opera and Museum O/Sebastian Weigle rec. 2012 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 942 [3 CDs: 148.30] [PCG] Will do very well indeed for Wagner completists as well as being enjoyable for those who like early romantic comic opera and fancy a bit of a change from Rossini or Auber. 

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Wagner at the Organ: The transcriptions of Edwin Lemare - Jonathan Vaughn (organ) rec. 2012 REGENT REGCD394 [74:40] Variations on America Rudolf Innig (organ) rec. 2012 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS AND GRIMM MDG 917 1809-6 [70:16] [JS] Both discs are extremely well presented but the Wagner disc is the better demonstration of the art of the arranger.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der Ring des Nibelungen: highlights - State Opera of South Australia, Adelaide SO/Asher Fisch rec. 2004 MELBA MR 301133-34 [77.55 + 76.30] [PCG] This handsome reissue gives us a selection of excerpts from a fine cycle.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786 - 1826) Der Freischütz Christine Brewer (soprano) Sally Matthews (soprano) Simon O’Neill (tenor) London Symphony Ch & O/Sir Colin Davis rec. 2012 LSO LIVE LSO0726 [ST] [64:20 + 58:23] Definitely worth hearing but doesn’t really hold the field against the competition. 

Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937) Organ Symphonies 3 & 4 - Joseph Nolan (organ) rec. 2011 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD334 [65:01] [DC] Another very fine addition to a terrific series.

Andrea Teodoro ZANI (1696-1757) Complete Cello Concertos - Martin Rummel (cello) Die Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2012 CAPRICCIO C5145 [64:17 + 66:03] [Byz] Fine performances and elegant, creative musicianship. 

Mikołaj ZIELEŃSKI (fl. 1611) Opera Omnia Volumess 4-6 - Susi Ferfoglia (organ) Collegium Zieleński/Stanisław Galoński rec. 2010-2011 DUX 0819/0862/0863 [74:21 & 58:57 & 49:22] [Byz] These are discs that will appeal almost exclusively to collectors of the period or of Polish music.

Robert ZUIDAM (b. 1964) McGonagall-Lieder - Katrien Barts (soprano) Post&Mulder (piano duet) Asko|Schönberg/Oliver Knussen rec. 2012 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72608 [54.31] [PCG] Not unapproachable or unenjoyable but all terribly serious.

American Anthem - Works by Barber, Hanson & Randall Thompson - Ying Qt, Adam Neiman (piano) Randall Scarlata (baritone) rec. 2012 DORIAN SONO LUMINUS DSL-92166 [74:02] [MC] I thoroughly enjoyed this impressive disc.

American Violin Concertos by Menotti, Wiprud & Barber - Ittai Shapira (violin) Russian PO/Thomas Sanderling Royal Liverpool PO/Neil Thomson rec. 2001/2012 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD 043 [79:00] [Byz] This CD is a nigh-on irresistible way to experience the thaumaturgy of violin-with-orchestra.

The Australian Voices - The Australian Voices/Gordon Hamilton WARNER CLASSICS 2564 654860 [63:41] [HPR] Rather like a good mug of hot chocolate, this recording is warm and smooth but perhaps lacks a little depth. 

Ursula Bagdasarjanz Vol. 4 - Ursula Bagdasarjanz, Melanie Di Christino (violin) Raluca Stirbat, Fernane Kaeser, Bruno F. Saladin, Luciano Sgrizzi (piano) rec. 1960/2007 GALLO CD-1251 [54:46] [SG] Another welcome volume in the excellent Gallo retrospective of Ursula Bagdasarjanz’ historic recordings. 

British Violin Sonatas - Vol. 1 Howard FERGUSON (1908-1999) Violin Sonata 2 Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Suite William WALTON (1902-1983) Violin Sonata - Tasmin Little (violin) Piers Lane (piano) rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHAN 10770 [61:39] [JW] Little and Lane - Britain’s best ambassadors for native violin sonatas.

Cantus Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Für Alina, Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten, Fratres I, Spiegel im Spiegel Steve REICH (b.1936) New York Counterpoint Hywel DAVIES Purl Ground - Kuniko Kato (marimba, vibraphone, crotales, bells) rec. 2012 LINN CKD 432 [51:40] [Byz] Will appeal greatly to those who consider minimalism the best thing since sliced bread. 

Choral Evensong for the Feast of St. Augustine The Crypt Choir of The King’s School, Canterbury/Howard Ionascu David Newsholme (organ) rec. 2013 THE KING’S SCHOOL KSCD1002 [59:24] [JQ] A well-sung Evensong from some good young singers.

Choirbook For The Queen BBC Singers/Stephen Cleobury; Stephen Disley (organ) rec. 2013 PRIORY PRCD 1097 [66:32] [JQ] An important disc of significant new pieces of church music in expert performances.

Sir Colin Davis - Staatskapelle Dresden rec. 1988-2003 PROFIL EDITION PH13032 [6 CDs: 376:08] [MC] A most worthy six disc collection of live recordings that pays homage to the memory of Sir Colin Davis with his cherished Staatskapelle Dresden.

Empassioned Viktor Bijelovic (piano) rec. 2013 KICKSTARTER.COM [63:47] [Byz] Fairly ideal for a new audience, mixing short and medium pieces with one big work.

Enchanted Forest Arias by Cavalli, Handel, Monteverdi, Purcell & Vivaldi - Anna Prohaska (soprano) Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen rec. 2012 ARCHIV PRODUKTION 479 0077 [70:17] [BW] Small niggles about diction apart, the singing is as enchanting as the title suggests.

The Eton Choirbook - Huelgas Ens/Paul Van Nevel rec. 2011 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88765 408852 [69:25] [BW] A must for lovers of early Tudor church music; non-specialists can also expect to be entranced. 

Great Britain Triumphant! Capella Savaria/Mary Térey-Smith rec. 2008/09 CENTAUR CRC3073 [62:56] [JS] For students of the 18th century, there is more than enough to make this an essential addition to their collections.

Great European Organs - No.85 St George’s Church, Cullercoats - Daniel Cook (organ) rec. 2012 PRIORY PRCD1083 [78:11] [JF] An opportunity to walk the less-trodden paths of British organ music. 

The French Accent Works by Poulenc, Roussel & Jolivet - rec. 1928-1958 OBOE CLASSICS CC2025 [76:56] [JW] A cornerstone of both performance and repertoire and greatly to be welcomed. 

Music of the French Baroque Works by Rameau, Telemann & Marais - Il Gardino Armonico, Musica et Saltatoria/Kasper Mainz rec. 2002 ARTHAUS MUSIC 100 395 [60:00] [IL] An adventurous French Baroque programme that should appeal to devotees of the genre. 

Serge Koussevitzky & the New York P-SO Works by Corelli, Debussy, Ravel, Shostakovich & Tchaikovsky rec. 1942 WEST HILL RADIO ARCHIVES WHRA-6049 [66:48 + 74:22] [JW] Finely engineered, excellent repertoire and often magnificent performances.

Frederic Lamond (piano) Rare Broadcasts and Selected Recordings - Concertgebouw O/Eduard van Beinum rec. 1921-45 MARSTON 52071-2 [77:37 + 73:32] [JW] Invaluably expands our appreciation of Lamond’s art. 

Latino Gold - Miloš Karadaglić (guitar) Europäischen FilmPhilharmonie/Christoph Israel rec. 2011-2013 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 1421 [79:39] [OL] Devoted and persuasive, with evident good taste and style.

The Lost City Lamentations Through the Ages - Sospiri/Christopher Watson rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573078 [62:26] [JQ] An imaginatively conceived programme that advertises the credentials of Sospiri most impressively.

Lost Generation Works by Schulhoff, Tausky & Ullmann - Ulrike Anton (flute) Russell Ryan (piano) English CO/David Parry rec. 2012 GRAMOLA 98964 [65.25] [GH] These musicians make an excellent team and clearly enjoy this rarely played music. 

Nordic Spring Lars Anders Tomter (viola) Terje Třnnesen (violin) Norwegian CO rec. 2012/13 SIMAX CLASSICS PSC 1264 [61:56] [BR] I couldn’t be happier with this CD - it’s a pure pleasure. 

Piano Dreams Yuko Yamashiro (piano) rec. 2012 BELLA MUSICA BM312449 [67:39] [JW] Technique clean and clear but lacks power. A distinct lack of weight. 

Katia Ricciarelli My Favourite Opera: I Capuletti e I Montecchi - Ch & O Teatro La Fenice, Venice/Bruno Campanella rec. 1991 EUROARTS 2001838 [57.49] [RJF] As well as providing several generous excerpts this film gives interesting insight into a production of a bel canto work involving a leading soprano of the time and her colleagues.

Schöne Nacht, du Liebesnacht rec. 1955-74 EMI CLASSICS 9283032 [7 CDs: c. 9 hrs] [JS] Will appeal largely to German-speaking collectors but there is much here for the curious with an interest in these singers as well as providing ample food for thought on the vexed question of opera in the vernacular. 

Season Songs Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Winter Words & songs by Leach, Ben & John Parry - Richard Edgar-Wilson (tenor) Eugene Asti/Andrew Leach (piano) Sam Wilson (marimba) rec. 2010/11 EM RECORDS EMR CD014 [58:58] [JQ] An interesting collection of English songs, most in first recordings and all very well performed.

The Seasons - 20th Century Music for Wind Quintet by Milhaud Koechlin, Francais & others - Berlin Phil Wind Quintet rec. 1991-2002 BIS BIS2072 [4 CDs: 268:43] [DC] No need to try, just buy!

Georg Solti: Charisma and Vitality rec. 1947-1958 DOCUMENTS 233588 [10 CDs: 475:41] [SV] All but enthusiasts will ultimately find the Mahler and the Verdi mere curiosities while the Beethoven, Bartók and Brahms performances are much more. 

The Best of Daniel Taylor (counter-tenor) ATMA ACD2 3001 [64:38] [JW] If you’d like to trace Taylor’s early career on disc this is a useful, though by no means definitive way to do it.

The Trio Sonata in 18th-Century Germany - Works by CPE Bach, JCF Bach, Fasch, Graun, Goldberg & Telemann - London Baroque rec. 2011 BIS BIS-CD-1995 [67:00] [JV] The last disc in a celebrated series devoted to the trio sonata. 

Other reviews

Karl JENKINS (b.1944) Adiemus Colores Pacho Flores (trumpet) Miloš Karadaglić (guitar) Rolando Villazón (tenor) Adiemus Singers La Orquesta de Colores/Karl Jenkins rec. 2012/13 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4791067 [76:33] [Byz] A travesty of all things truly musical or interesting. It will surely do well.

Jean WIENER (1896-1982) Suitesŕ danser 1 & 2 Marcel DELANNOY (1898-1962) Suite ŕ danser - O Hewitt/Maurice Hewitt rec.1953 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR826 [58:13] [JW] Quietly elegant, catchy, indelibly Gallic and inimitably Parisian.

Joy to the World The King’s Singers rec. 2010 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD 268 [58.39] [EML] An eclectic mix of Christmas carols, popular Christmas classics, original compositions by British composers and arrangements of traditional tunes. 

Mecyje Silesian Chamber Quintet rec. 2012 ACTE PREALABLE AP0273 [51:52] [Byz] A very good advert for traditional music, as done in a tasteful way

On a Cold Winter’s Day Quadriga Consort rec. 2012 CARPE DIEM CD-16293 [58.59] [EML] On the whole a disc I enjoyed listening to and no doubt will return to again come the appropriate season.

The Young Johnny Mathis Wonderful! Wonderful! rec. 1956-62 RETROSPECTIVE RTS 4214 [GF] One of the finest voices in the world of popular music 50+ years ago and many of the songs here are among the best ever written. 

Non-Stop to Nowhere rec. 1942-62 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5206 [70:47] [JF] Designed to give pleasure and raise the spirits … sometimes just a little sentimental.

Salon, Light and Novelty Orchestras rec. 1929-46 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5204 [JW] A real smattering of string class here.

Antal Dorati and his recorded legacy by Richard Chlupaty. Published by Antal Doráti Centenary Society, 2013 398 pages [TF] Loyal fans of the Mercury Living Presence label and of this colourful conductor will find much to enjoy here.

Articles & notices

Martinů concertos & concertante works - A discography prepared by Mike Herman; an extract from the upcoming full national discography of Eastern European concertos

Download News 2013/12 by Brian Wilson