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April 2014
 

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RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Easter Oratorio, ‘Actus tragicus’ - Monteverdi Ch, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2013 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG719 [60:15] [JQ] An outstanding addition to Gardiner’s Bach discography.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Piano Concertos - Rudolf Buchbinder (piano/conductor) Vienna PO rec. 2011 SONY CLASSICAL 88883745212 [3 CDs: 64:40 + 69:18 + 37:11] [SG] Under Buchbinder’s direction, these are five star performances, which will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Symphonies and Overtures - Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2007-09 DECCA 478 2721 [372:00] [ST] A hearty welcome to this set marrying the best of the old with the freshness of the new and reminding us of how eternally contemporary Beethoven’s symphonic achievement is.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 5 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Fantasy - Yundi (piano) Berlin PO/Daniel Harding rec. 2014 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4810710 [67:01] [SG] Yundi’s performances of these towering masterpieces of the piano repertoire are a treat not to be missed.

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) La Sonnambula - Ana Durlovski (soprano) Luciano Botelho (tenor) Enzo Capuano (bass) Staatsopern Stuttgart Ch & O/Gabriele Ferro rec. 2013 EUROARTS 2059338 DVD [156:00] [JS] Demonstrates that what can appear to be a star vehicle responds even more to being taken seriously as music and as drama.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Les Troyens - Bryan Hymel, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Ch & O Royal Opera House/Antonio Pappano rec. 2012 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7113D [254:00 + 30:00] [DBi] A total triumph in every respect. Equal to the very best Blu-ray opera issues I have seen.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Symphonies and Orchestral Works - Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2012/13 DECCA 478 5344 [3 CDs: 234:04] [ST] Chailly has brought Leipzig’s Brahms tradition right into the 21st Century. Buy with confidence.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1813-1976) Canticles - Mark Padmore (tenor) Iestyn Davies (counter-tenor) Marcus Farnsworth (baritone) Julius Drake (piano) Lucy Wakeford (harp) Richard Watkins (horn) rec. 2012 WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLive0064 [59:23] [ST] Padmore is a perfect choice for this repertoire.

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Porgy and Bess - Eric Owens (baritone) Laquita Mitchell (soprano) San Francisco Opera O & Ch/John DeMain rec. 2009 EUROARTS DVD 2059638 [158:00 + 29:00 bonus] [RF] If you think opera started and finished with a clutch of great Italian, French, Russian and German composers then try this and think again; it is a revelation.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra Mohammed FAIROUZ (b. 1985) Symphony 4 - Ji Hye Jung & Gwendolyn Burgett (timpani) Jānis Porietis (trumpet) U Kansas Wind Ens/Paul W. Popiel rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573205 [57:48] [SA] I was massively impressed, moved and overwhelmed.

Georg Frederick HANDEL (1685-1759) Organ Concertos Guillaume CONNESSON (b. 1970) Concertino - Ragna Schirmer (fortepiano, Steinway grand piano, Hammond B3 organ) rec. 2012/13 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300554BC [3 CDs: 218:38] [JS] All in all, a real treat for any open-minded Handelian.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Trios Volume 3 - Kungsbacka Piano Trio rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572063 [73:43] [LJ] Intuitive and insightful performances complemented by a fresh and balanced recording. Bravo!

Orlande de LASSUS (1532-1594) Lagrime di San Pietro - Gallicantus/Gabriel Crouch rec. 2013 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD339 [53:21] [JB] This is a diligently and intelligently researched and presented project, deserving only of the very highest of praise and success.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Années de pčlerinage (complete) - Sinae Lee (piano) rec. 2012 NIMBUS NI6202 [3 CDs: 160:43] [JWh] A truly phenomenal recording.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphonies 4 & 5, The Hebrides - City of Birmingham SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHSA5132 SACD [66:04] [ST] Three cheers for this CD, and all the more exciting that this is only Volume 1.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Songs without Words, Fantasia, Variations Sérieuses, Etudes - Bernd Glemser (piano) rec. 2012 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 430 [71:06] [AL] Immensely enjoyable from start to finish.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concertos 1 & 2 - Sayaka Shoji (violin) St. Petersburg PO/Yuri Temirkanov rec. 2012 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 0580370 [49:21] [SG] Truly memorable performances. Pure magic.

Wilhelm STENHAMMAR (1871-1927) Excelsior!, Mellanspel ur Sången, Serenade - Royal Flemish Philharmonic/Christian Lindberg rec. 2013 BIS BIS-SACD-2058 [58:19] [DM] At last, Stenhammar gets the fine performances he deserves; first-rate sound, too.

Stabat Mater dolorosa Works by Bach, Byrd, Tallis, Victoria & others - Ch Clare College, Cambridge/ Graham Ross rec. 2013 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 907616 [75:46] [JQ] An outstanding disc of Music for Passiontide.

Adolphe ADAM (1803-1856) Le Corsaire Maria Gutierrez, Davit Galstyan, Takafumi Watanabe, Ntl O du Capitole/David Coleman rec. 2013 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7140D [110:00] [RMay] For anyone wanting a modern Le Corsaire in expertly and beautifully filmed performances by a very accomplished company this innovative account could hardly be bettered.

Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Minea, Double Bass Concerto, Symphony 15 - Eero Munter (bass) Lahti SO/Jaakko Kuusisto, Dima Slobodeniouk, Osmo Vänskä rec. 2010/11 BIS BIS-SACD-1866 [78:19] [MC] This outstanding release makes an ideal embarkation point for anyone wanting to hear the music of Kalevi Aho.

Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Works for and with organ - Jan Lehtola (organ) Petri Komulainen (horn) Jussi Vuorinen (trombone) Kaija Saarikettu (violin) Anna-Kaisa Pippuri (oboe) rec. 2010/13 BIS BIS-SACD-1966 [62:08] [DM] Small but beautifully turned; Song of the Earth is a real find.

Anatoly ALEXANDROV (1888-1982) Piano Music Vol. 1 - Kyung-Ah Noh (piano) rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0186 [70:01] [PRB] Alexandrov deserves to be far better-known outside his native Russia and the present CD is well worth getting to know.

Charles-Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Concerto for solo piano - Vincenzo Maltempo (piano) rec. 2013 PIANO CLASSICS PCL0061 [69:18] [JW] A formidable disc, excellently recorded and splendidly interpreted.

Hendrik ANDRIESSEN (1892 – 1981) Symphony 1, Ballet Suite, Symphonic Etude, Kuhnau Variations rec. 2011 CPO 777 721-2 [56:45] Symphony 2, Ricercare, Mascherata, Wilhelmus van Nassouwe Netherlands SO/David Porcelijn rec. 2012-2013 CPO 777 722-2 [60:33] [HC] Excellent releases in a series that promises to give us a complete or near-complete recording of Andriessen's symphonic music.

George ANTHEIL (1900-1959) A Jazz Symphony, Ballet pour instruments mécaniques et percussion - Boston Modern O Project/Gil Rose rec. 2007-2009 BMOP/SOUND 1033 [39:53] [DC] Plenty of wallop.

Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Symphonies 2 & 8 - Gothenburg SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHSA5133 SACD [61:28] [SV] It's unlikely this will be bettered any time soon.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714 - 1788) Works for Violin and Pianoforte Albrecht Breuninger (violin), Piet Kuijken (fortepiano) rec. 2006 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.312 [67:20] [JV] A disappointing release.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Magnificat; Heilig ist Gott; Sinfonie - Elizabeth Watts, Wiebke Lehmkuhl, Lothar Odinius, Markus Eiche, RIAS Kammerchor, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2011/2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902167 [56:05] [JQ] An early and splendid contribution to the CPE Bach anniversary celebrations.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Württemberg Sonata 6, Variations on Folies d'Espagne Johann Gottfried MÜTHEL (1728-1788) Arioso and 12 variations - Preethi de Silva (harpsichord, fortepiano) rec. 1983-2010 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR28 [54:43] [JV] This disc gives a good impression of what was typical of the keyboard repertoire in the time between the baroque era and the classical period.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Lutheran Masses Vol. 2 - The Sixteen/Harry Christophersrec. 2013 CORO COR16120 [73:51] [BW] Strong competition in these works but couplings could well make this and the earlier Coro Volume I your first choice.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. John Passion - James Gilchrist (tenor) Matthew Rose (bass) Elizabeth Watts (soprano) Sarah Connolly (alto) Ch & O Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Egarr rec. 2013 AAM RECORDS AAM002 [31:41 + 72:56] [JQ] Involving and moving.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St Matthew Passion - RIAS Kammerchor, Staats- und Domchor Berlin, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/René Jacobs rec. 2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 802156.58 SACD [78:51 + 80:12] [ST] Jacobs needs to stick to what he is good at and put musical values above pseudo-historical experiments.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin concertos - Henryk Szeryng (violin) Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française PO/Jean Martinon, Dimitri Chofaras rec. 1962/3 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR912 [50:45] [JW] Szeryng revealed in all his aristocratic assurance.

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Symphony (realised & orch. Martin Yates) - Royal Scottish Natl O/Martin Yates rec. 2013 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7308 [78:28] [IL] Mainly for devotees of Arnold Bax; nevertheless there is much to reward the patient listener prepared to overlook much loquaciousness.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Vol. 2 - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHAN10798(3) [3 CDs: 217:39] [LW] Bavouzet’s clear-headed Beethoven provides much to treasure.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Violin Sonatas - Daishin Kashimoto (violin) Konstantin Lifschitz (piano) rec. 2012/2013 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 634929 [4 CDs: 259:46] [MC] A remarkable level of engagement with this wonderful music.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 3 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto 24 - Yevgeny Sudbin (piano) Minnesota O/Osmo Vänskä rec. 2011/12 BIS BIS-SACD-1978 [66:05] [BR] Sudbin’s own cadenzas and the Minnesota clarinets are the standouts.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 1 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto 12 - Leon Fleisher (piano) Cologne RSO/André Cluytens, Georg Ludwig Jochum rec. 1957-1960 ICA CLASSICS ICAC 5121 [61:03] [SG] A valuable document from the early career of a great pianist, whose physical disability left a hiatus in his recorded legacy.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Sonatas for Violin and Piano Vol. 1 - Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin); David Breitman (fortepiano) rec. 2012 NIMBUS NI6245 [57:31 + 47:06] [MS] Idiomatic and uninhibited performances on period instruments.

Georg BENDA (1722-1795) Chamber Music and Songs - Elena Bertuzzi (soprano) Paolo Borgonovo (tenor) Ulrike Slowik (violin) Ens Arcomelo/Michele Benuzzi (harpsichord) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94433 [6 CDs: 336:01] [JW] In Benda’s fusion of unexpectedness and expressive intensity lies the very best of his music.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique Edgard VARÈSE (1883-1965) Ionisation - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2010/13 BR KLASSIK 900121 [58:44] [MC] New life breathed into the Berlioz and the Ionisation test is passed with flying colours.

Harrison BIRTWISTLE (b. 1934) The Ring Dance of the Nazarene, 3 Latin Motets, On the Sheer Threshold of the Night, The Moth Requiem - Roderick Williams (baritone) BBC Singers, Nash Ens/Nicholas Kok rec. 2012/13 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD368 [73:54] A giant musical presence in superb performances [DC] An unmissable collection by one the UK's most important and accomplished composers played with great style and efficacy [MS].

Richard BLACKFORD (b.1954) Voices of exile - Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo), Gregory Kunde (tenor), Gerald Finley (baritone) Bach Ch, New London Children’s Ch, Philharmonia Orchestra/David Hill rec. 2005 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6264 [60.36] [PCG] A work considerably underestimated at the time of its original release.

York BOWEN (1884-1961)  Clarinet Sonata, Piano Trios, Phantasy Quintet - Robert Plane (clarinets) David Adams (viola) Gould Piano Trio rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHAN10805 [78:29] [JQ] Fine and attractive chamber works by York Bowen in excellent performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 1, Handel Variations - Bruno Leonardo Gelber (piano) Münchner Philharmoniker/Franz-Paul Decker rec. 1965/1975 ERATO 2564 635354 [74:59] [SG] These excellent Brahms recordings make a welcome return to the catalogue.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonatas, Hungarian Dances - Erica Morini (violin) Leon Pommers, Artur Balsam (piano) rec. 1945/56 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR808 [56:47] [JW] A warm welcome to this disc.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 2 - Edward Kilenyi (piano) SO RIAS Berlin/Jonel Perlea rec. 1955 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 936 [45:09] [SG] This Brahms recording fleshes out the meagre recorded CD legacy of an almost forgotten pianist.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quintets 1 & 2 - Takács Qt, Lawrence Power (viola) rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA67900 [56:58] [SG] Performances which set the standard high. Hyperion have come up with another winner. A notable release.

Herbert BREWER (1865-1928) The Complete Organ Works - Daniel Cook (organ) rec. 2011 PRIORY PRCD 1057 [77:50] [JF] Inspiring, well-wrought music that demands the attention of all organ enthusiasts and lovers of British music. This album has been long overdue.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) The Turn of The Screw Andrew Kennedy, Sally Matthews, Michael Clayton-Jolly, Lucy Hall, LSO/Richard Farnes rec. 2013 LSO LIVE LSO0749 [53:59 + 56:33] [ST] A welcome set but does not take precedence over the finest.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Männerchöre Vol. 2 - Ensemble Linz/Thomas Kerbl (piano) rec. 2012 GRAMOLA 98997 [49:37] [SV] This programme of Bruckner’s secular choral music may catch you off-guard.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 9 - London SO/Bernard Haitink. rec. 2013 LSO LIVE LSO0746 [67:10] [JQ] A gripping and magisterial Bruckner Ninth.

Roffredo CAETANI (1871-1961) Piano Music - Alessandra Ammara (piano) rec. 2013 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94909 [78:56] [RBl] An introduction to some very worthwhile music and an excellent addition to a fine pianist’s discography.

André CAMPRA (1660-1744) Messe de Requiem - La Chapelle Royale/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 1987 HARMONIA MUNDI HMG501251 [43:25] [JB] This is historically informed performance at its very highest standard … an absolute must-have for any French baroque enthusiast.

Elliott CARTER (1908-2012) String Quartets 1-5 - Juilliard String Qt rec. 1990-2013 SONY CLASSICAL 88843 033832 [65:29 + 72:02] [DC] Jump into the intellectual fire.

Alfredo CATALANI (1854-1893) Ero e Leandro, Cantemplazione, Il Mattino - Rome SO/Francesco La Vecchia rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 8.573072 [54:48] [RMay] You won't be disappointed in taking a gamble with this new release.

Ernesto CAVALLINI (1807-1874) Capriccios, Duos - Nicola Bulfone (clarinet) Marco Giani (clarinet) rec. 2005/12 NAXOS 8.573133-34 [78:19 + 77:08] [LJ] Daring, outgoing and always utterly attentive to the character of this elegant bel canto music.

Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704) Musique sacrée - Robyn Allegra Parton (soprano) Ch of New College Oxford, Oxford Baroque/Edward Higginbottom rec. 2012 NOVUM NCR 1387 [72:30] [JV] This disc is not quite what I had hoped for and expected.

Frederick CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 - Ingrid Fliter (piano) Scottish CO/Jun Märkl rec. 2013 LINN CKD 455 SACD [73.21] [PCG] Excellent performances in modern sound.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Estampes, Images Books I & II, Études - Craig Sheppard (piano) rec. 2013 ROMÉO RECORDS 7299/7300 [42:19 + 49:16] [JW] Captivating, musically honest and interpretatively elevated performances, ones that Debussians will want to hear.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Cello Concerto - Pablo Casals (cello) Prades Festival O/Eugene Ormandy, Festival Casals O of Puerto Rico/Alexander Schneider rec. 1953/60 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC401 [64:30] [JS] For admirers of Casals and anyone who prefers character rather than perfection.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Stabat Mater - Janice Watson (soprano) Dagmar Pecková (mezzo) Peter Auty (tenor) Peter Rose (bass) London PO & Ch/Neeme Järvi rec. 2010 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO-0062 [67:08] [JQ] A performance that has merits but for repeated listening other versions offer more.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Stabat Mater - Mariana Zvetkova (soprano) Ruxandra Donose (mezzo) Johan Botha (tenor) Roberto Scandiuzzi (bass) Ch Sachsischen Staatsoper Dresden, Staatskapelle Dresden/Giuseppe Sinopoli rec. 2000 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4710332 [54:27 + 33:07] [JQ] Dramatic Dvořák from Sinopoli.

Anton EBERL (1765-1807) Piano music - Marie-Luise Hinrichs (piano) rec. 2009/10 CPO 777 605-2 [53:27] [PRB] Eberl is definitely worth getting to know and this disc is an ideal way to discover more about his music.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius; Symphony 1 - Collegium Vocale Ghent, Royal Flemish Philharmonic/Edo de Waart rec. 2013 PENTATONE CLASSICS PTC 5186472 SACD [71:11 + 71:12] [JQ] Worthwhile Elgar performances from Belgium, though a disastrous side-break in Gerontius is a major drawback.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto - Alfredo Campoli (violin) Pablo Casals (cello) London PO, BBC SO/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1945/1954 HERITAGE HTGCD245 [73:12] [JWh] Two classic recordings reinstated by Heritage.

Heino ELLER (1887-1970) Complete Piano Music Vol. 2 - Sten Lassmann (piano) rec. 2009 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0132 [71:38] [JW] A faultless guide, relishing Eller’s opportunities for crispness and geniality.

Ferenc ERKEL (1810-1893) King Stephen - Budapest SO/Valéria Csányi rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.660345-46 [75.11 + 66.49] [PCG] Assuredly no undiscovered masterpiece but certainly interesting.

Philipp Heinrich ERLEBACH (1657-1714) Sonatas - El Arte Mvsico: Ángel Sampredo, Teresa Casanova (violin) Isabel Gómez-Serranillos (cello) Diego Fernández (harpsichord) rec. 2012 VERSO VRS 2146 [66:32] [JV] A compelling disc which demonstrates the quality of Erlebach's music.

Giovanni GABRIELI (1555-1612) Music for Brass and Organ - Andreas Sieling (organ) Berlin Brass/Lucas Vis rec. 2013 PENTATONE PTC 5186509 SACD [63:00] [DM] Head-bangers only need apply.

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Iphigenia in Aulis - Camilla Nylund (soprano) Michelle Breedt (mezzo) Christian Elsner (tenor) Ch Musicus Köln/Das Neue O/Christoph Spering rec. 2013 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 953 [42:43 + 71:35] [RMo] There is room for Wagner’s take on Iphigenia especially when it is in a performance as good as this.

Carl Heinrich GRAUN (1703/4-1759) Osteroratorium - Nina Koufochristou (soprano) Dagmas Saskova (alto) Jan Kobow (tenor) Andreas Wolf (bass) Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2012 CPO 777 794-2 [64:08] [DC] Lovely recording of a very fine work.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Peer Gynt, Suites 1 & 2, Aus Holbergs Zeit Lars-Erik LARSSON (1908-1986) Pastoral-Suite - Württemberg PO/Ola Rudner rec. 2013 ANTES EDITION BM 319288 [69:51] [LJ] Punchy vitality meets the contemplative.

Andreas HAMMERSCHMIDT (1611/12-1675) Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt Johann ROSENMÜLLER (1619-1684) Dixit Dominus - Gli Scarlattisti/Jochen Arnold rec. 2001-11 CARUS 83.377 [50:56] [JW] There is terrific variety in these settings.

Robert HANSON Thanksgiving Music, Violin Sonata - Sarah Leonard (soprano) Jonathan Powell, Jan Rautio (piano) Jane Gordon (violin) rec. 2007 CALA CACD 77014 [61:57] [JW] Hanson doesn’t go in for easy consolation.

Emil HARTMANN (1836-1898) Solo Piano Works - Cathrine Penderup (piano) rec. 2012-2013 DANACORD DACOCD744-745 [73:44 + 74:16] [JW] The easy-going charm of this music is brought to life very warmly here.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartets Vol. 6 - Leipziger Streichquartett rec. 2013 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 307 1812-2 [64:55] [AL] Performances that are polished and enjoyable but still leave me wanting more.

Simeon ten HOLT (1923-2012) Canto Ostinato XL - Jeroen van Veen, Sandra van Veen (piano and keyboard) Irene Russo, Fred Oldenburg (piano) Bergwerf (organ) Esther Doornink, Peter Elbertse (marimba) rec. 1999-2012 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9453 [12 CDs: 843:16] [DC] Canto Ostinato augetur et ultra quam credi.

Jacques-Martin HOTTETERRE (1674-1763) Complete Chamber Music Vol. 1 - Camerata Köln rec. 2011 CPO 777 790-2 [75:15] [JV] Fine and tasteful interpretations, albeit a little restrained.

Salomon JADASSOHN (1831-1902) Symphony 1, Piano Concerto 1, Serenade Paul PABST (1854-1879) Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto, Macbeth - Panagiotis Trochopoulos, Valentina Seferinova (piano) Ilya Hoffman (violin) Belarussian State SO/Marius Stravinsky, Karelia State SO/Denis Vlasenko, Malta PO/Michael Laus rec. 2005-11 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9033CD/CC9048CD [73:23 & 66:49] [DC] Bravo.

Vladas JAKUBĖNAS (1904-1976) Chamber and Instrumental Music - Vilnius String Qt, Kasparas Uinskas, Rusnė Mataitytė (violin), Edmundas Kulikauskas (cello), Albina Šikšniūtė (piano), St Christopher CO/Donatas Katkus rec. 1999-2011 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0013 [65:28] [SA] A disc to savour … one that repays close listening with a richly rewarding experience.

Joseph Christoph KESSLER (1800-1872) Preludes, Etudes - Magdalena Brzozowska (piano) rec. 2013 ACTE PREALABLE AP0319 [61:26] [Byz] Kessler was clearly a prodigious pianist.

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) The Battle of Stalingrad Reinhold GLIČRE (1875-1956) Solemn Overture - Royal Norwegian Air Force Band/Leif Arne Pedersen rec. 2012 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1045 [54:46] [NB] Ultimately a disc for those interested in the genre rather than the music performed.

Nikolai KORNDORF (1947-2001) Complete Music for Cello - Alexander Ivashkin (cello) Russian PO Moscow/Konstantin Krimets Anya Alexeyev (piano) rec. 2001-2006 TOCCATA TOCC0128 [76:24] [JV] Highly individual and often solemnly beautiful music in performances that are hugely committed and sensitively shaped.

Karol KURPIŃSKI (1785-1857) The Castle of Czorsztyn - Aleksandra Orłowska-Jabłońska, Hubert Stolarski, Jadwiga Niebelska, Polish Sinfonia Iuventus O/Michał Niedziałek rec. 2012 DUX 0955 [54:19] [SA] Worthy of being seen and heard. I hope that this world premičre recording will spark a reaction in the right quarters.

Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-1988) Piano Concerto 1 Ruth GIPPS (1921-1999) Piano Concerto, Theme and Variations - Angela Brownridge (piano) Malta PO/Michael Laus rec. 2011 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9046CD [56.53] [PCG] One is grateful for the opportunity to hear this music in commercial recordings but this is one of the least impressive discs in the series.

Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Phaéton Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, Ingrid Perruche, Isabelle Druet, Les Talens Lyriques/Christoph Rousset rec. 2012 APARTÉ AP061 [79:00 + 74:00] [ST] Rousset - one of the masters of the French baroque.

Anatoly LYADOV (1855-1914) Complete Piano Music Volume 1 - Olga Solovieva (piano) rec. 2005/08 TOCCATA TOCC 0082 [64:41] [JW] Charming, deft performances, coolly recorded.

Marin MARAIS (1656-1728) Alcione - Suites des Airs ŕ joüer - Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall rec. 1993 ALIA VOX AVSA9903 SACD [52:45] [JV] A little more than 50 minutes of great music, well suited to repeated listening.

David MATTHEWS (b.1943) String Quartets Volume 2 - Kreutzer Qt rec. 2010/11 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0059 [61.04] [GH] The journey through Matthews’ string quartets is well worthwhile.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto - Johanna Martzy (violin) RSO Stuttgart des SWR/Hans Müller-Kray, Günter Wand rec. 1959-1964 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 94.226 [65:55] [SG] For lovers of the art of Johanna Martzy, of which I am one, this is a valuable and desirable release.

Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864) Ballet music from the operas - Orquestra Simfónica de Barcelona i Nacional Catalunya/Michał Nesterowicz rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573076 [69:40] [DM] One or two dull patches can’t take the shine off this engaging disc; great fun.

Carl MILLÖCKER (1842 –1899) Der Bettelstudent Linda Plech, Cornelia Zink, Mörbisch Festival O/Uwe Theimer rec. 2013 VL KLASSIK VLMD020 DVD [148:00] [RW] A truly memorable evening for all present.

Eduard MIRZOYAN (1921-2012) Cello Sonata Vache SHARAFYAN (b.1966) Between a dream and awakening, On Wings of Hymns - Suren Bagratuni (cello) Deborah Moriarty (piano) James Forger (saxophone) Marta Bagratuni (cello/voice) rec. 2013 BLUE GRIFFIN RECORDINGS BGR 291 [54.57] [GH] One for the inquisitive minded.

Stanislaw MONIUSZKO (1819-1872) Overtures - Warsaw PO/Antoni Wit rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572716 [79:28] [RMay] Pleasant enough listening but by no means essential listening.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) & Jacques DUPHLY (1715-1789) Pieces for harpsichord with violin - Violaine Cochard (harpsichord) Stéphanie-Marie Degand (violin) rec. 2010 AGOGIQUE AGO009 [63:59] [JV] This disc deserves an enthusiastic reception.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni Thomas Allen, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Carolyn James, Carol Vaness, Cologne Opera/James Conlon rec. 1991 ARTHAUS MUSIC DVD 102319 [175:00] [RF] The visual presentation here, along with aspects of production, are a disappointment and no advert for Michael Hampe’s renowned skills.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 20 & 24 - Maria Isabella de Carli, Ezra Rachlin (piano) International Festival Youth O, Houston SO/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1949-60 GUILD HISTORICAL GHCD2405 [70:28] [JW] Five orchestras at Stokowski’s command in a pleasing, if at times interpretatively uneven programme.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The A-Z of Mozart Opera - Susan Gritton (soprano) Cora Burggraaf (mezzo) Allan Clayton (tenor) Mark Stone (baritone) Matthew Rose (bass) O of Classical Opera/Ian Page rec. 2007 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD373 [67:47] [RMo] Pale and polite facsimiles of Mozart singing.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies 38-40 (arr. Hummel) - Uwe Grodd (flute) Friedemann Eichhorn (violin) Martin Rummel (cello) Roland Krüger (piano) rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572841 [75:29] [LJ] These Hummel’s arrangements render a certain intimacy to the Mozart symphonies.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Requiem - Joanne Lunn (soprano) Rowan Hellier (alto) Thomas Hobbs (tenor) Matthew Brook (bass) Dunedin Consort/John Butt rec. 2013 LINN RECORDS CKD449 SACD [61:00] [JS] An essential addition to any collection of Mozart’s choral music.

Georg MUFFAT (1653-1704) Complete Apparatus Musico-Organisticus - Adriano Falcioni (organ) rec. 2013 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94493 [53:29 + 56:52] [HPR] Fantastically angular, heart-wrenchingly dissonant, playfully tuneful.

Martin MÜNCH (b. 1961) Arabesques - Laurent Wagschal (piano) rec. 2012/13 EDITION PROMETHEUS PMT 1036 - ACD 6147 [67:15] [RBl] Well worth getting to know.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Sorochyntsi Fair, Night on the Bare Mountain Alexander BORODIN Polovtsian Dances - Latko Koroshetz, Bogdana Stritar, Slovenian Ntl Opera Ch & O/Samo Hubad rec. 1955 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO053 [60:46 + 54:14] Sorochinsti Fair - Hermann Kuklin, Svetlana Zalizniak, Ch & O Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and sBallet Theatre of Russia/Evgeny Brazhnik. rec. 1996 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94865 [73:19 + 27:34] [DCh] Reasonable alternatives for anyone not too fussed about understanding what they are listening to.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphonies 4 & 5 - Royal Stockholm PO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2012/13 BIS BIS-SACD-2028 [69:46] [GPJ] A truly significant contribution to the performance history of these works.

Johann Martin Friedrich NISLE (1780-1873) Octet; Septet; Quintet - Consortium Classicum rec. 2009 CPO 777 266-2 [68:50] [PB] Most enjoyable. CPO are to be congratulated for giving music-lovers a fresh name to pursue.

Pehr Henrik NORDGREN (1944 – 2008) Concerto for Clarinet, Folk Instruments and Small Orchestra; Symphony 1 - Christoffer Sundqvist (clarinet) Anna-Karin Korhonen (kantele) Ilkka Heinonen (bowed harp) Markku Lepistö (two-row accordion) Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Juha Kangas rec. 2011 ALBA ABCD359 [62:16] [HC] Another superb Nordgren release - excellent performances, magnificent recorded.

Reinhard OPPEL (1878-1941) Piano Music Vol. 1 - Heejung Kang (piano) rec. 2006 TOCCATA TOCC0003 [61:29] [JW] Warm, technically adroit and deftly pointed music-making.

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Leonore 3 - Berlin Radio Ch, Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2004 EUROARTS Blu-ray 2053674 [89:00] [RF] At last, one of the great mid-twentieth century musical compositions, whose rhythmic vitality and sonorities have a wide appeal, gets a welcome Blu-Ray airing.

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana - Sarah Tynan (soprano) Andrew Kennedy (tenor) Rodion Pogossov (baritone) Trinity Boys Ch, London Phil Ch & O/Hans Graf rec. 2013 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO0076 [60:09] [GPJ] A superb recording of a live concert that makes you fervently wish you’d been there.

Nicolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) Violin concertos 1 & 2 - Kristóf Baráti (violin) NDR Radiophil Hannover/Eiji Oue rec. 2008 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94803 [65:40] [RMay] Accomplished and very enjoyable majoring on beauty and even delicacy … an artistically integrated approach.

Andrzej PANUFNIK (1914-1991) Symphonic Works Vol. 7 - Michael von Schönermark (bassoon) Sarah van der Kemp (mezzo) Konzerthaus O Berlin, Polish Radio SO/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2009/10 CPO 777 686-2 [67:13] [MC] One of the finest and most enduringly fascinating composers active in the late-twentieth century.

Bernardo PASQUINI (1637 - 1710) Sonatas for two organs - Luca Scandali (organ) Hadrien Jourdan (organ/harpsichord) rec. 2012 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94347 [72:10] [JV] More than 70 minutes of pure joy - don't miss it.

Dora PEJAČEVIĆ (1885-1923) Piano Quintet, String Quartet, Piano Quartet - Oliver Triendl (piano) Quatuor Sine Nomine rec. 2009 CPO 777 421-2 [33:14 + 57:40] [Byz] A composer of radiant, passionate, supremely lyrical works - undeniably original.

Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933) Serenade, Sinfonietta 2, Sinfonietta per Archi, Concerto per Violoncello - Łukasz Długosz (flute) Rafał Kwiatkowski (cello) Radom CO/Maciej Zółtowski rec. 2012 DUX 0935 [60:19] [DC] An all-round winner.

Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933) Symphony 8 - Iwona Hossa (soprano) Agnieszka Rehlis (alto) Thomas E. Bauer (baritone) Podlaise Opera Ch & Philharmonic in Bialystok, Polish Sinfonia Iuventus O/Krzysztof Penderecki rec. 2012 DUX 0901 [49:39] [DC] Excellent, lyrical Penderecki.

Goffredo PETRASSI (1904–2003) Flute Concerto, Piano Concerto, La follia di Orlando – Ballet Suite - Mario Ancillotti (flute) Bruno Canino (piano) O Sinf di Roma/Francesco La Vecchia rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573073 [71:31] [HC] Another fine Petrassi disc from La Vecchia and his Rome Orchestra.

Allan PETTERSSON (1911-1980) Symphony 9 - Norrköping SO/Christian Lindberg rec. 1978/2013 BIS BIS-SACD-2038 [SACD + DVD: 69.40 + 81.40] [PCG] This CD should certainly help to establish Pettersson as a major symphonic composer.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Sept Répons de Ténčbres, Stabat Mater - Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Cappella Amsterdam, Estonian National PO & Ch/Daniel Reuss rec. 2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902149 [62:12] [JQ] Splendid performances that make the best possible case for Poulenc’s sacred music.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concerto 3, Symphony 5 - Denis Matsuev (piano) Mariinsky Theatre O/Valery Gergiev rec. 2012 MARIINSKY MAR0549 SACD [70:38] [GPJ] Fine readings of two masterpieces of Prokofiev’s maturity.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphonies 3 & 7 - Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2013 ONYX 4137 [65.08] [DBi] The first of a new cycle and it sets enviable standards.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concertos 1-5 - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) BBC PO/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2012/13 CHANDOS CHAN 10802(2) [74:45 + 46:52] [MC] An indispensable set for Prokofiev admirers and all enthusiasts of 20th century music.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Turandot Birgit Nilsson, Franco Corelli, Anna Moffo, Ch & O Metropolitan Opera, New York/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1961 PRISTINE PACO 071 [79:09 + 39:31] [RB] A resonant theatre-real Turandot.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Bohčme - Giuseppe Di Stefano (tenor) Maria Callas (soprano) Ch & O Teatro alla Scala di Milano/Antonino Votto rec. 1956 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO102 [52:05 + 52:17] [RMo] This runs Karajan and Beecham very close and I would not like to be without it.

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Music For A While: Improvisations - L'Arpeggiata/Christina Pluhar rec. 2013 ERATO 2564 633750 [76:21] [Byz] Post-modern Purcell: O let me weep, forever weep

Osmo Tapio RÄIHÄLÄ (b. 1964) Peat, Smoke and Seaweed Storm - Jukka Harhu (french horn) Matilda Kärkkäinen (piano) Finnish Radio SO/Sakari Oramo, Dima Slobodeniouk rec. 2005/12 ALBA ABCD 367 SACD [65:10] [DC] Substantial and well worth exploring.

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683 - 1764) The Complete Harpsichord Works - Jory Vinokour rec. 2011 SONO LUMINUS DSL 92154 [78:19 + 78:25] Pičces de Clavecin - Arthur Haas (harpsichord) PLECTRA PL 21301 [78:18 + 74:49] [JV] There are strong arguments in favour of both recordings.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Tzigane; Pavane pour une infante défunte; Le tombeau de Couperin Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Petite Suite; Danse sacrée et danse profane - Paris CO/Thomas Zehetmair rec. 2012 NAĎVE V5345 [65:10] [JW] Though not without some expressive and recording quibbles this has a personal stamp and much is rewarding.

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Impressioni brasiliane, La Boutique fantasque - Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Ličge/John Neschling rec. 2013 BIS BIS-SACD-2050 [68:55] [DM] Elegant and engaging; Respighi performances don’t come much better than this.

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Complete works for violin and piano Vol. 1 - Emy Bernecoli (violin) Massimo Giuseppe Bianchi (piano) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573129 [71:45] [JWh] Good performances.

Joseph-Guy ROPARTZ (1864-1955) Complete Sonatas Vol. 1 - Nicolas Dautricourt (violin) Juliette Hurel (flute) Raphaël Pidoux (cello) François Kerdoncuff (piano) rec. 2012/2013 TIMPANI 1C1214 [70:13] [SG] Three sonatas from a composer who deserves better recognition. Well worth exploring.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1868) Complete Overtures Vols 1 & 4 - Prague SO/Christian Benda rec. 2011-2012 NAXOS BD-A NBD0028/8.572735 [1:57:46 & 55:31] [BW] Blu-ray: superior sound and, with two CDs’ contents on one disc, good value; CD4: a very fine conclusion to this excellent series.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Complete Overtures Vol. 4 - Prague SO/Christian Benda rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 8.572735 [55:31] Alert and spontaneous sounding … recorded in a very suitable acoustic [JS] An excellent fourth volume in the Naxos Rossini series [JWh].

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Le Comte Ory - Yijie Shi (tenor) Lorenzo Regazzo (bass) Laura Polverelli (mezzo) Roberto De Candia (baritone) Teatro Communale di Bologna O/Paolo Carignani rec. 2009 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 649 DVD [134:00+26:00] [JS] I hope that the potentially very good cast here may be heard one day in a version that allows them a real chance to display their very obvious abilities.

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Symphony 2, Feramors - State SO Russia/Igor Golovchin rec. 1993 DELOS DRD 2010 [66:11] [SV] Golovchin does his damnedest to make this work and he intermittently succeeds with the orchestra playing well.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartets - Amadeus Qt rec. 1950-1964 AUDITE 21.428 [79:42 + 74:13] [JW] Catching the Amadeus near its peak and the recording quality and re-mastering are first-class.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Complete Symphonies - Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1978-81 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94693 [4 CDs: 251:41] [AL] One of the great Schubert cycles, now reissued at an ideal price for collectors.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Gerald Finley (baritone) Julius Drake (piano) rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68034 [74:33] [RMo] Admirers of Finley will not be disappointed.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) Helmut Deutsch (piano) rec. 2013 SONY CLASSICAL 88883 795652 [70:16] [JQ] One of the most acclaimed of today’s voices in Winterreise.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata D960; Wandererfantasie - Barry Douglas (piano) rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHAN 10807 [69:15] [DC] Not quite top of the pile, but still very good.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies 3-5 - Swedish CO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2009-2011 BIS BIS-SACD-1786 [80:57] [BR] This is early Schubert that really packs a punch.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Psalms of David - Dorothee Mields (soprano) Dresden Chamber Ch & Baroque O/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2012 CARUS SACD 83.255 [65:48 + 75:35] [JW] The work’s sonic amplitude and grandeur convincingly put across.

John SHEPPARD (c. 1515-1558) Sacred choral music - Ch of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh/Duncan Ferguson rec. 2013 DELPHIAN DCD34123 [68:59] [DC] Discomforting.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 14 - Gal James (soprano) Alexander Vinogradov (bass) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573132 [49:36] [JQ] One of the best performances in Vasily Petrenko’s Shostakovich cycle to date.

Myroslav SKORYK (b.1938) Music for Violin and Piano - Solomia Soroka (violin), Arthur Greene (piano) rec. 2010 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0137 [65:42] [SA] Really interesting music by a little known composer played by two fantastic performers.

Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) The Complete Works for Violin and Piano - Alberto Bologni (violin) Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2013 SHEVA SH100 [3 CDs: 219:35] [JW] We can all be enthusiastic that this body of music has been recorded so comprehensively, scrupulously and intelligently.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Operatic orchestral music - Rotterdam PO/Jeffrey Tate rec.1991/92 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 636544 [76:57] [RMo] Strauss at his most melodic and indulgent.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Rake's Progress Felicity Lott, Leo Goeke, Samuel Ramey, LPO/Bernard Haitink rec. 1977 ARTHAUS MUSIK 102 314 DVD [146:00] [JS] Potentially a valuable addition to the available recordings of this extraordinary work.

Alexandre TANSMAN (1897-1986) Piano Music - Eliane Reyes (piano) rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573021 [74:51] [SA] I hope people will enjoy discovering a real wealth of fine music from this modest kindly man.

Sir John TAVENER (1944-2013) The veil of the Temple - Ch of the Temple Church, Holst Singers, English CO/Stephen Layton rec. 2003 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD 367 [76.01 + 71.45] A very special musical event and a fitting testimonial to a composer who reached out to engage directly with listeners [PCG] A very remarkable work indeed [DC].

Sir John TAVENER (1944-2013) Ikon of Light, Funeral Ikos, The Lamb, Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete - Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips, Chilingirian String Qt rec. 1982/4 GIMELL GIMSE404 [77:32] [JQ] A most eloquent memorial to Sir John Tavener, superbly performed.

Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Tempest; Piano Concerto 1 - Joyce Yang (piano) Odense SO/Alexander Lazarev rec. 2011/2013 BRIDGE 9410 [58:10] [RMo] Fine live performances from a supposedly provincial source.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The sleeping beauty - Larissa Lezhnina, Farukh Ruzimatov, Kirov Ballet & Theatre O/Viktor Fedotov rec. 1989 ARTHAUS MUSIK DVD 100 313 [129:00] [RMay] For anyone who puts quality of performance before that of the medium of delivery this will give real and lasting pleasure.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681 - 1767) Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst Vols 1 & 5 - Bergen Barokk rec. September 2005/08 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0037/0102 [66:54 & 59:41] [JV] I am very happy with these discs which shed light on the many qualities of this compelling collection of cantatas.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Miriways Markus Volpert, Ulrike Hofbaur, Julie Martin du Theil, L'Orfeo Barockorchester/Michi Gaigg rec. 2012 CPO 777 752-2 [73:38 + 73:03] [DC] Highly attractive High Baroque.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Violin Sonatas - Stephan Schardt (violin) Elisabeth Wand (cello) Sonja Kemnitzer (harpsichord) rec. 2013 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 90318356 SACD [70:32] [JV] A nice disc which fills a gap in the Telemann discography.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Complete Ballet Music from the Operas - Bournemouth SO/José Serebrier rec. 2011 NAXOS BD-A NBD0027 [115:00] [RJF] Plenty of Verdi’s rarely heard glorious orchestral music well performed. The extra sound formats will appeal over the CD issue.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Macbeth – Simon Keenlyside (baritone) Brindley Sherratt (bass) Latonia Moore (soprano) Op in English Ch/English Natl Op O/Edward Gardner rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHAN 3180(2) [80:13 + 79:23] A fitting conclusion to the Chandos Opera In English series supported by the Peter Moores Foundation [RJF] I will straightaway admit to being disappointed by this set [RMo].

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlos - Josi Van Dam, Roberto Alagna, Thomas Hampson, Karita Mattila, Waltraud Meier, Orchestre de Paris/Antonio Pappano rec. 1996 WARNER CLASSICS Blu-ray 2564 634780 [211:00] [RF] The overall darkness of this production is compensated for by the presence of some Francophone singers, particularly Alagna.

Johannes VERHULST (1816-1891) String Quartets - Utrecht String Qt rec. 2013 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 603 1840-2 [58:22] [JW] Verhulst’s quartets are more than mere appendices to romantic chamber music.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der Fliegende Holländer Pierre-Louis DIETSCH (1808-1865) Le Vaisseau Fantôme ou Le Maudit des Mers Soloists, Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble/Marc Minkowski rec. 2013 NAĎVE V5349 [4 CDs: 235:10] [ST] Principally for the historically minded.

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Die Walküre - Martha Mödl (soprano) Ferdinand Frantz (baritone) Vienna PO/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1954 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO100 [3 CDs: 230:55] [RMo] Belongs in the collection of any true Wagnerite, especially now sounding so marvellous.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Rienzi - Peter Bronder (tenor) Christiane Libor (soprano) Claudia Mahnke (mezzo) Falk Struckmann (bass) Frankfurt Opera Ch & Museum O/Sebastian Weigle rec. 2013 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 941 [3 CDs: 156.17] [PCG] This ‘potted’ version simply cannot compete.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Götterdämmerung - Irene Theorin (soprano) Lance Ryan (tenor) Mikhail Petrenko (bass) Gerd Grochowski (baritone) O & Ch Teatro La Scala/Daniel Barenboim rec. 2013 ARTHAUS MUSIK Blu-ray 108093 [292.00] [PCG] Of the modern productions of the Ring this is one of the best.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Excerpts from Parsifal, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre & Siegfried - Karl Muck, Siegfried Wagner rec. 1927-8 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO 103 [77:23 + 74:20] [PCG] A distinguished collection of historical Wagner recordings.

William WALTON (1902-1983) Violin Sonata, Two Pieces Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Pičce en forme d’Habańera Michael Davis (violin) Rayson Whalley (piano) rec. 1972 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9001CD [51:27] [JWh] A superb recital from Michael Davis.

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Symphony 1; Violin Concerto - Tasmin Little (violin) BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2013/2014 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5136 [76:30] [BW] Performances that vie with the very best in both works.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1995) Complete Violin Sonatas Vol. 2 - Yuri Kalnits (violin) Michael Csányi-Wills (piano) rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0026 [70:58] [WK] Kalnits and Csányi-Wills show great commitment to Weinberg.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Symphony 12, The Golden Key – Ballet Suite 4 - St Petersburg State SO/Vladimir Lande rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573085 [75:40] An incredibly deep and heartfelt tribute to Weinberg’s best friend [SA] Lande’s disc is a must as a fine performance of the 12th in its own right [WK].

Isidora ŽEBELJAN (b.1967) Balkan Bolero - Chamber Music - Borislav Čičovački (oboe, oboe d’amore, cor anglais, oboe sopile) rec. 2012/13 OBOE CLASSICS CC2028 [65:56] [SA] An amazingly surprising and rewarding disc that never fails to thrill and excite.

William ZINN (b. 1924) Elie Wiesel, String Quartet 1, Kol Nidrei Memorial - Wihan Qt NIMBUS NI6256 [56:50] [JW] The Wihan proves masterly ambassadors for this music.

Valentín de ZUBIAURRE (1837-1914) Symphony, Ecos de Oiz - Roman Jablonski (cello) Basque Natl O/Juan José Ocón rec. 2009 CLAVES CD 50-1012 [56:40] [RB] Throw your boinas high in the air for the completion of Claves' Basque music series.

Claudio Abbado at the Lucerne Festival Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony 7 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 2 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Siegfried Idyll - Vienna PO/Ch O of Europe/Claudio Abbado rec. 1978/88 AUDITE 95.627 [77:44] [JQ] A highly desirable archive issue, documenting some of Claudio Abbado’s work at the Lucerne Festival.

Thomas Michael Allen (tenor) Far Away Charles Spencer (piano) rec. 2011 CAPRICCIO C5194 [78:46] [GPJ] A beautifully planned and executed CD by two outstanding musicians, each a master of his art.

The American Album Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) String Quartet 12 Charles Tomlinson GRIFFES (1884-1920) Two Sketches Based on Indian Themes Kevin PUTS (1972-) Lento assai Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) String Quartet - Cypress String Qt rec. 2011/12 AVIE AV2304 [64:33] [SFV] Appealing and makes this a good programme for "listening through".

Amore e morte dell'amore - Duets by Monteverdi, Marcello, Lotti, Scarlatti, Durante and Handel - Roberta Invernizzi (soprano) Sonia Prina (contralto) Ensemble Claudiana/Luca Pianca rec. 2012 NAĎVE OP30549 [68:29] [JV] Fine music, great singing.

Maurice André (trumpet) Baroque Trumpet Music - Jean-François Paillard CO, L’Ensemble Orchestral de L’Oiseau-Lyre/Pierre Colombo rec. 1957/68 REGIS RRC1405 [76:09] [JW] Value as an introduction to a great artist’s legacy and at a very reasonable price.

Around the World Emmanuel Pahud (flute) Christian Rivet (guitar) rec. 2013 WARNER CLASSICS 6153992 [79:35] [MC] Something different yet highly attractive.

Authentic Quartet Works by Förster, Krommer, Wölfl, Albrechtsberger & Zmeskall rec. 2003-11 HUNGAROTON HCD32332/32495/32580/32623/32705 [5 CDs: 354:07] [Byz] Performances of great acuity, communicative conviction and technical accuracy.

Autograph Alexandre Tharaud (piano) rec. 2013 WARNER ERATO 9341372 [69:21] [JW] Too wilful and inclined to point-making; rhythms often sound unnatural; harmonies promoted to the detriment of the shape of phrases.

Awakening 21st Century Slovenian Flute Music - Nicole Molumby (flute) Andrea Ridilla (oboe) Blaž Pucihar (piano) Leslie Moreau (clarinet) Janis McKay (bassoon) Jošt Drašler (string bass) rec. 2013 MSR CLASSICS MS1448 [43:44] [SA] Wonderful music but very short playing time.

Bach and Contemporary Music Alexandra Sostmann (piano) rec. 2013 TYXART TXA13036 [65:23] [RBl] An intriguing recital juxtaposing Bach and a variety of contemporary styles.

Bolero Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Pavane, Le Tombeau de Couperin, Bolero Gabriel PIERNÉ (1863-1937) Introduction and Variations on a Popular Theme Thierry ESCAICH (b.1965) Le Bal, Tango Virtuoso Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997) Petit Quartet - Ellipsos Saxophone Qt rec. 2013 GENUIN GEN14543 [75:57] [BR] This disc is pure pleasure, from Ravel’s Tombeau to new dance works, and, yes, even Bolero.

British Composers Premiere Collection Vol. 2 Works by Blower, Gaze Cooper, Kelly & Milford José Garcia Gutiérrez (horn); John McDonough (oboe) Malta PO/Michael Laus rec. 2011 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9032CD [68.14] [JS] For anyone interested in musical byways this disc is a real treasure … a valuable introduction to some unfortunately neglected composers.

Adolf Busch The Berlin Recordings 1921-29 GUILD HISTORICAL GHCD 2406-07 [56:16 + 65:53] [JW] An important acquisition for the violin-fancier, commended for its comprehensiveness and its generosity.

Catch Me If You Can John WILLIAMS (b.1932) Escapades Michael KAMEN (1948-2003) Saxophone concerto  Mark KNOPFLER (b. 1949) Local Hero - Amy Dickson (alto saxophone) Melbourne SO/Benjamin Northey rec. 2012 SONY CLASSICAL 88843 027202 [SA] This music shows just how brilliantly the saxophone can shine in the right setting.

Marcel Ciampi (piano) Works by Chopin, Liszt, Grieg, Debussy & Franck - Capet Qt, Yvonne Astruc (violin) rec. 1928-31 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR797-98 [61:31 + 61:38] [JW] No one who cares about French pianism can afford to do without Ciampi’s small but glorious recorded legacy.

Walter Damrosch Christoph Willibald von GLUCK (1714-1787) Airs de Ballet Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Ballet Divertissement from Henry VIII Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Ma Mčre l’oye - National SO, New York SO rec. 1927-30 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 395 [71:54] [JW] A terrific disc, played with artistry and sensitivity.

Douce France – Mélodies et Chansons - Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo) rec. 2013 NAIVE V5343 [50:55 + 54:56] [ST] Von Otter's voice is supremely well suited to this sort of repertoire.

Ebony and Ivory Andrew Simon (clarinet) Warren Lee (piano) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573022 [69:35] [LJ] Great skill and impressionable character.

Europa 2001 Concert Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony 94 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Flute Concerto 2 Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique Emmanuel Pahud (flute) Berlin PO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2001 EUROARTS 2051444 Blu-ray [132.00] [PCG] I rather doubt that one would want to listen to this concert more than a few times.

Fantaisies d'opéra Works by Liszt, Marschner, Wagner & Wieniawski - Léo Marillier (violin) Alexandre Lory (piano) rec. 2013/14 Studio Forgotten Records, Rennes, France FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR24M [65:13] [SG] Violinistic ability, musicianship and artistry single Marillier out as one of the up-and-coming talents of the future. Watch this space.

French Organ Music from the Golden Age Vol. 3 André RAISON (c.1650-1719) Messe, Offerte Louis-Nicolas CLÉRAMBAULT (1676-1749) Suites - David Ponsford (organ) rec. 2013 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6268 [78:45] [DC] Belongs on your shelf of organ treasures.

A German Soul Devotional Music from 17th Century Hamburg: Works by Buxtehude, Tunder, Rosenmuller & Bach - Laia Frigolé (soprano) Juan de la Rubia (organ) Ensemble Méridien rec. 2012 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94717 [64:06] [JV] I have mostly enjoyed these performances but the interpreters should have been more critical in their choice of repertoire.

Carlo Maria Giulini -The Concerto Recordings WARNER CLASSICS 4317612 [9 CDs: 536:34] [SG] Hats off to Warner for gathering together these recordings under one roof. At budget price, they provide an irresistible bargain.

Glorious Glyndebourne rec. 2002-2012 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7138 [152.00] [MMB] I did not find this particularly interesting though the sound and picture are of outstanding quality.

Clara Haskil et Dinu Lipatti Works by Bach, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Debussy & Bartók - Südwestfunks SO/Paul Sacher rec. 1948/53 TAHRA TAH747 SACD [78:55] [SG] A historical document and example of some extraordinary and exemplary pianism, by two fellow Romanians.

Incandescent Alison Smith (classical guitar) rec. 2013 Private release ASICD02 [64:59] [PRB] If you’ve enjoyed Smith playing live and want to take something of this home with you then this CD will serve the purpose.

Medieval Chant / Tallis Lamentations - Tenebrae Consort/Nigel Short rec. 2013 BENE ARTE SIGCD901 [65.23] [GH] Beautiful and captivating music, superbly sung - uplifting at any time of the year.

Yehudi Menuhin The Great Violin Concertos rec. 1950s/1960s REGIS RRC3016 [3 CDs: 221:12] [JW] If your interest in Menuhin doesn’t run to the vast EMI box this more set is attractively priced.

Charles Munch: Boston Rarities Vol. 1 rec. 1950/51 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 403 [72:07] [RMo] Will remind Munch’s admirers of his special ability to inspire an orchestra to play with joy and abandon.

Oblivion Paul SCHOENFIELD (b.1974) Café Music Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Die vier Jahreszeiten in Buenos Aires, Oblivion Joaquin TURINA (1882-1949) Circulo - Gelius Trio rec. 2013 THOROFON CTH2610 [63:40] [LJ] More ballroom than tango.

OrquesTango - Binelli-Ferman Duo, Montevideo Philharmonic/Federico Garcia Vigil 4TAY CD-4039 [59:06] [JW] Combines romance and yearning, dance and melancholy. The soloists are terrific players.

Paul Paray - live in Detroit Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 5 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 2 Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto - Glenn Gould (piano) Arnold Steinhardt (violin) Detroit SO rec. 1959/60 TAHRA TAH721-22 [55:17 + 62:32] [JW] Don’t overlook this.

Paroles de violoncelle Works for cello by Ibert, Jolivet, Dutilleux, Chaillou, Sauget & Honegger - Christophe Pantillon (cello) rec. 2013 GRAMOLA 99007 [69:49] [JW] A most worthy ambassador, revealing expert stylistic awareness and no little finesse.

Les Vents Français Music for Wind Quintet by Ibert, Ravel, Milhaud, Taffanel & others rec. 2011 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 634845 [67:01 + 51:00] [MC] Chamber music admirers have no reason to hesitate with this excellent set.

Signs, Games & Messages Works by Bartók, Janáček & Kurtág - Jennifer Koh (violin) Shai Wosner (piano) rec. 2012 ÇEDILLE RECORDS CDR 90000 143 [76:15] [JW] Everything here is played with fiery commitment.

Grigory Sokolov (piano) Works by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Saint-Saens, Schumann & Tchaikovsky - rec. 1966-88 MELODIYA MELCD1002078 [4 CDs: 251:17] [SG] Connoisseurs of consummate pianism will want this set from a pianist who has achieved cult status.

Sounds from Within Works by Bartok, Boustany, Holt, Martin & Martinu - Wissam Boustany (flute) Stefan Warzycki (piano) rec. 1990 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6166 [58.13] [JW] If the programme appeals then be assured that the performances are good.

Souvenir Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Serenade, Souvenir de Florence Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Suite - Trondheim Solistene rec. 2011 2L 2L090PABD BD-A [85:17] Flint Juventino BEPPE (b. 1973) Remote Galaxy - Ralph Rousseau (viola da gamba) Mark van de Wiel (clarinet) Emily Beynon (flute) Philharmonia O/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 2012 2L 2L100PABD BD-A [82:00] [DM] One hit, one miss; first-class presentation though.

Strike the Viol - Philippe Pierlot, Rainer Zipperling (viola da gamba) Giovanna Pessi (harp) rec. 2009 FLORA 1409 [67:14] [JV] You won't hear such excellent viol playing that often.

Tambalagumba! Early World Music in Latin America - Ensemble Villancico/Peter Pontvik rec. 2014 CPO 777811-2 [51.00] [GH] Lively and utterly entrancing performances but the CD runs to less than an hour.

Terra Tremuit Works by Byrd, Brumel, Lassus, Vaet, Créquillon & Palestrina - Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal/Christopher Jackson rec. 2013 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22653 [54:45] [BW] No match for The Tallis Scholars in Brumel’s Mass but well worth having for the other music.

Hugh Tinney (piano) - A Portrait rec. 2012 RTÉ LYRIC FM CD142 [74:42] [JW] A retrospective programme and portrait.

1930s Violin Concertos Volume 1 Works by Barber, Berg, Britten, Hartmann & Stravinsky - Gil Shaham (violin) rec. 2008-13 CANARY CLASSICS CC12 [70:59 + 54:23] [NB] For those who collect Shaham's recordings there is much to admire here.

Waltzes Works by Schubert, Brahms & Dvořák - Dirk Joeres (piano) rec. 1993 HERITAGE HTGCD 258 [65:01] [JW] A disc for dipping and dipping can be fun.

Other reviews

Giuseppe Verdi by Daniel Snowman. Published 2014 The History Press [RJF] Succinct and well-written.

Friedelind Wagner Richard Wagner’s rebellious granddaughter by Eva Rieger translated by Chris Walton. Published 2013 Boydell Press [CF] Her story makes an uplifting read.

Light Music While You Work Vol. 5 rec. 1943-46 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5211 [79:18] [JW] Light, often bright, frequently breezy and leavened by a swathe of light classical offerings.

Articles and Notices

Download News 2014/4 by Albert Lam & Brian Wilson

A free online collection of articles & recordings of the Polish composers, Górecki, Lutosławski & Penderecki - see here for more details

Music for Holy Week and Easter From Outhere and other independent labels by Brian Wilson

Decoding John Cage by Frank Manheim

Forgotten Artists Some Updates by Christopher Howell

Forgotten Artists: Otto Ackermann by Christopher Howell

David Dubery: Observations - a new recording by John France

Download News 2014/5 by Albert Lam & Brian Wilson

David Jennings' Piano Sonata by John France

[New] Blu-ray Audio from Naxos and Euroarts by Brian Wilson

 

 


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