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July 2014
 

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RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 9 - Lucerne Fest O/Claudio Abbado rec. 2013 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 3441 [63:07] [JQ] A magnificent Bruckner Ninth from Claudio Abbado’s last concerts.

Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643 - 1704) La Couronne de Fleurs, La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers - Boston Early Music Fest Vocal and Ch Ensembles/Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs rec. 2013 CPO 777 876-2 [79:11] [JV] Lovers of French baroque music are lucky as they can add another fine disc to their collection.

Greville COOKE (1894-1989) Piano works Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Nocturne Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) A Little Piano Book Duncan Honeybourne (piano) rec. 2014 EM RECORDS EMRCD022 [76.42] [JF][RB] There is so much to interest, entertain and move in the pages of Greville Cooke’s piano works. / Willowy poetry, whimsical wit, dappled and flickering fantasy and no shortage of stormy conflict.

Josef GUNG’L (1809/10-1889) Marches, Waltzes, Polkas - Nürnberger Symphoniker/Christian Simonis rec. 2010 CPO 777 582-2 [66:27] [JS] Overall has much appeal to anyone interested in nineteenth century dance music.

Hans Werner HENZE (1926-2012) Symphonies 3-5 & 7-9 rec. 2006-10 - Berlin RSO & Ch/Marek Janowski rec. 2008 WERGO WER6721/2/3-2 [3 CDs: 179:20] [MC] The revelatory moments in this astonishing series are too many to enumerate.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Transcendental Études - Lazar Berman (piano) rec. 1963 MELODIYA MELCD1002179 [63:15] [SG] A hearty welcome ... scintillating performances.

Johann PACHELBEL (1653 - 1706) Complete Organ Works Vol. 1 - Michael Belotti, James David Christie, Jürgen Essl, Christian Schmitt (organ) rec. 2009-2012 CPO 777556-2 [5 CDs: 350:06] [JV] A monument to one of the greatest composers of the baroque era.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Violin Sonata, Fantaisie Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonata 1 - David Oistrakh (violin) Frida Bauer (piano) rec. 1970/1972 MELODIYA MELCD1002147 [72:00] [SG] Violin playing at its best.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Trios 1 & 2 Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Trio - Smetana Trio rec. 2013 SUPRAPHON SU 4145-2 [68:11] [NB] Reinforces the stature of both the music performed and its executants.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Also sprach Zarathustra, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche - City of Birmingham SO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2011-2013 ORFEO C878141A [65:43] Evidence of what a crack team this orchestra has become under Nelsons [ST] Andris Nelsons and the CBSO are in remarkable form here [MC].

Tomaso Antonio VITALI (1663-1745) & Giovanni Battista VITALI (1632-1692) Ciaconna - Clematis/Stéphanie de Failly (violin) rec. 2011/12 RICERCAR RIC326 [62:15] [DJB] An outstanding release in all respects.

Jan Dismas ZELENKA (1679-1745) Sub tuum praesidium; Sanctus et Agnus Dei František Ignác Antonín TŮMA (1704-1774) Stabat mater Johann Georg ORSCHLER (1698-1767/70) Sonata for two violins - Collegium 1704 & Vocale/Václav Luks rec. 2013 SUPRAPHON SU4160-2 [56:01] [JV] One of the best discs I have heard lately.

Annie Fischer (piano) The Complete London Studio Recordings - rec. 1955-69 WARNER CLASSICS ICON 2564 634123 [8 CDs: c. 540:00] [JS] Playing of supreme imagination and musicality.

Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Horn concerto, Theremin concerto - Annu Salminen (horn) Carolina Eyck (theremin) Lapland CO/John Storgårds rec. 2012 BIS BIS-2036 SACD [58:28] [DM] The horn concerto is a deeply impressive construct; though clever, the theremin concerto is comparatively lightweight.

Isaac ALBENIZ (1860-1909) Piano Music Vol. 4 - Ruben Ramiro (piano) rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573294 [75:42] [LJ] A selection ranging from salon to elegance and Hispanic fervour.

David AMRAM (b.1930) The Chamber Music – Live at the New York Chamber Music Festival rec. 2012 URLICHT UAV5987 [79:57] [RB] A selection of Amram’s cooling and often engaging music.

George ANTHEIL (1900-1959) Piano Music - Guy Livingston, Philippe Keler, Stéphane Leach (piano) rec. 2013 WERGO WER67622 [62:44] [JW] All pretty exhausting but Antheil remains addictive and brilliant.

Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Symphonies 1 & 2, Suite No. 3, Anniversary Cantata, Fantasia on Themes by Ryabinin, Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, Vocal Quartets - Russian State Symphonic Cappella & SO/Valeri Polyansky, BBC Philharmonic/Vassily Sinaisky rec. 2001/2 CHANDOS CHAN10024/10086 [66:33 & 73:04] [DJB] There is a good reason why these symphonies have a very limited discography – they are only of limited quality.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Keyboard Symphonies - Andrea Chezzi (harpsichord) rec. 2013 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94839 [47:43] [JV] This disc sheds light on a hardly-known aspect of CPE Bach's oeuvre.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) French Suite 5 Anatoly LYADOV (1853-1914) A Musical Snuffbox & other short pieces - Victor Paukstelis (piano) rec. 2013 SHEVA COLLECTION SH101 [47:31] [Byz] Were it not for the niggardly timing, there would be nothing but praise for this recording.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Die Kunst der Fuge - Cédric Pescia (piano) rec. 2013 AEON AECD 1333 [40:05 + 59:09] [DC] Fascinating and desirable.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Capriccio sopra il genio del Bach giovanissimo - Cécile Mansuy (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2011 CHROMART CLASSICS TXA14038 [67:56] [JV] A substantial addition to the Bach discography.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Concertos and Chorale Preludes - Kåre Nordstoga (organ) rec. 2011 LAWO CLASSICS LWC 1035 [54:59 + 73:09] [JV] This is the first time I have heard Nordstoga's performances and I quite like them.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Schübler & Leipzig Chorales - Kåre Nordstoga (organ) rec. 2012 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1056 [2CDs: 70:30 + 60:23] [DC] Gorgeous and spacious, but more immersion than involvement.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ Works - David Goode (organ) rec. 2010 SIGNUM SIGCD261 [80:26] [DC] If you want just one organ disc ...

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) A Bach Recital - Penelope Thwaites (piano) rec. 2013 LIR CLASSICS LIR027 [59:37] [JW] With a most attractive recording, this release merits warmest admiration.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Duke Bluebeard’s Castle - Sir John Tomlinson (bass) Michelle DeYoung (mezzo) Juliet Stephenson (narrator) Philharmonia Voices & O/Esa-Pekka Salonen rec. 2011 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD372 [66:42] [JQ] A fine live account of Duke Bluebeard’s Castle.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Violin Sonatas - Daishin Kashimoto (violin) Konstantin Lifschitz (piano) rec. 2012/13 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 634929 [4 CDs: 259:46] [JW] Outstanding techniques and that allow things to be taken to excess on occasion.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 17 & 29 - Mindru Katz (piano) rec. 1971/2 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD169 [69:50] [JW] Distinguished examples of Katz’s powerful but selfless art.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata 17 Franz Xavier Schnyder von WARTENSEE (1786-1868) Piano sonata Anton LISTE (1772-1832) Grande Sonate - Sona Shaboyan (piano) rec. 2013 GUILD GMCD 7405-06 [53:38 + 55:01] [JW] Played with requisite sensitivity but also panache and drama.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Kreutzer & Spring Sonatas - Manoug Parikian (violin) Magda Tagliaferro (piano) rec. 1960 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR879 [57:08] [JW] A buoyant partnership.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Overtures - O des Concerts Lamoureux/Igor Markevitch rec. 1958 ISTITUTO DISCOGRAFICO ITALIANO IDIS 6580 [55:35] [SV] Fleet, linear, lean and generally crisp.

George BENJAMIN (b.1960) Written on Skin - Christopher Purves (baritone) Barbara Hannigan (soprano) Bejun Mehta (counter-tenor) Royal Op House O/George Benjamin rec. 2013 OPUS ARTE DVD OA1125D [90:00 + 8.00] [DCh] A great opera with a gripping story, original and compelling music and superb performances.

Antonio BERTALI (1605-1669) Sonatas - ACRONYM rec. 2013 OLDE FOCUS RECORDINGS FCR901 [64:07] [DJB] A valuable release, marred by some intonation problems.

Adolphe BLANC (1828-1885) String Quintets 3, 4 & 7 - Fabergé Quintet (Rodrigo Reichel, Frauke Kuhlmann Bettina Lenz (violin) Gerhard Sibbing (viola) Sven Forsberg (cello) Peter Schmidt (double bass) rec. 2005 ES-DUR ES2046 [67:41] [BW] Attractive performances of inconsequential but attractive light-hearted music.

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Macbeth, Symphony in E flat, In memoriam, Three Jewish Poems - Royal PO/Dalia Atlas rec. 1996 NAXOS 8.573290 [68:02] [PCG] This was always a superb release, and one is grateful to Naxos for reissuing it.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quartet 1 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-827) String Quartet 14 - Busch Qt rec. 1951 MELOCLASSIC MC4000 [71:12] [JW] A worthy and moving appendix to the imperishable studio recordings of the 1930s.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem - Barbara Bonney (soprano) Bryn Terfel (baritone) Swedish Radio Ch, Berlin PO/Claudio Abbado rec. 1997 EUROARTS Blu-ray 2012784 [79:00] [JQ] An expertly moulded and deeply felt account.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto Nicolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) Violin Concerto 2 - Henry Merckel (violin) Association des Concerts Symphoniques de Toulouses/Jean Fournet, Paris RSO/Manuel Rosenthal rec. 1953/8 MELOCLASSIC MC2011 [72:26] [SG] Performances distinguished by Gallic charm and refinement.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quintet, String Quartets 1-3 - Gringolts String Qt, Peter Laul (piano) rec. 2013 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC 100042 [72:05 + 68:06] [MC] Disappointing.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Cello sonatas 1 & 2 - André Navarra (cello) Alfred Holeček (piano) rec. 1961 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 939 [51:41] [JW] Vividly delineated, splendidly judged … excellent transfer.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto Nicolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) Violin Concerto 1 Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso - Guila Bustabo (violin) Munich Radio O/Robert Heger rec. 1959/63 MELOCLASSIC MC 2005 [71:46] [JW] Violin aficionados will welcome hearing Bustabo in these rare performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonatas 1 & 3 BRAHMS/DIETRICH/SCHUMANN F.A.E. Sonata - Jana Vonášková-Nováková (violin) Irina Kondratenko (piano) rec. 2013 SUPRAPHON SU 4170-2 [74:41] [JW] Fine things here but not quite enough for wholehearted praise.

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) Complete Piano Music - Peter Hill (piano) rec. 1981 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9016CD [59.03] [PCG] This new and comprehensive reissue may be recommended enthusiastically.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra; Peter Grimes - Interludes and Passacaglia; Simple Symphony; Sinfonia da Requiem - Eduard van Beinum, Benjamin Britten rec. 1955-59 REGIS RRC1417 [73:08] [JWh] I'm sorry I can't be more positive.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Mass 3 - Hanna-Elisabeth Müller (soprano) Anke Vondung (alto) Dominik Wortig (tenor) Franz-Josef Selig (bass) Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Bamberg SO/Robin Ticciati rec. 2013 TUDOR 7193 [62:11] [JQ] A fine performance of Bruckner’s last Mass.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Complete Symphonies - Leipzig Gewandhaus/Václav Neumann, Kurt Sanderling; Berlin RSO/Franz Konwitschny, Heinz Rögner rec. 1951-85 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94686 [9 CDs: 9:07:20] [NB] By restoring an older performing tradition this challenges preconceptions about this complex composer and his mighty works.

Ignaz BRÜLL (1846-1907) Symphony, Serenade 1 - Belarussian State SO/Marius Stravinsky rec. 2007 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9027CD [66:19] [JW] Well worth exploring.

Ignaz BRÜLL (1846-1907) Piano Music - Janet Olney (piano) rec. 2007 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9045CD [49:07] [JW] Played with obvious dedication and affection. Pretty well recorded. Most enjoyable.

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1809-1847) & Dmitri KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) Preludes - Mindru Katz (piano) rec. 1969/74 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD167 [51:34] [JW] Will reward those searching out Katz’s precious legacy on disc.

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etudes - Robert Goldsand (piano) rec. 1950s FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR719 [76:01] [JW] A reminder of what a true artist Goldsand was.

Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849) Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra - Oleg Marshev (piano) South Denmark Philharmonic/David Porcelijn rec. 2010 DANACORD DACOCD701-702 [70:03 + 66:03] [JF] A splendid release that will be a major success for both Danacord and Marshev.

Francesco CILČA (1866-1950) L’Arlesiana - Giuseppe Filianoti (tenor) Iano Tamar (soprano) Jin Seok Lee (bass) Francesco Landolfi (baritone) Camerata Vocale Freiburg, Freiburg PO/Fabrice Bollon rec. 2012 CPO 777 805-2 [61:41 + 44:16] [RMo] Makes a strong case for a comparatively neglected work.

Muzio CLEMENTI (1752-1832) Sonatas - Ian Hominick (piano) rec. 2012 MSR CLASSICS MS 1475 [76:27] [PB] Appears to fall short in terms of piano sound and overall performance.

Peter CORNELIUS (1824-1874) Complete Lieder Vol. 4 - Christina Landshamer (soprano) Markus Schäfer (tenor) Hans Christoph Bergemann, Mathias Hausmann (baritones) Matthias Veit (piano) rec. 2010-2012 NAXOS 8.572859 [57:16] [JS] Undemonstrative but fascinating and delightful, well performed and well presented.

Ferdinand DAVID (1810-1873) Twenty Virtuoso Studies, Six Caprices - Reto Kuppel (violin) rec. 2012/13 NAXOS 8.573048 [75:41] [JWh] Fabulous playing but the Studies are musically hollow.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Le convenienze teatrali; L’Elisir d’amore; Don Pasquale BELAIR CLASSICS BAC 607 [3 DVDs: 373:00] [RJF] This trio of bargain-priced Donizetti comic operas includes one largely unknown work together with the two best known of the composer’s comic operas. The updated L’Elisir d’Amore is well staged and acted. There are better, and more traditional performances, of Don Pasquale available in a competitive market

John DOWLAND (1563-1626) Lachrimae or Seaven Teares - Heathor Consort rec. 2013 FUGA LIBERA FUG718 [67:57] [RMo] Much to delight the ear if you respond to Dowland’s essentially doleful art.

Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Three Preludes and Fugues; Cortège et Litanie; Variations sue un vieux Noël; Symphonie-Passion Pierre Cochereau (organ) rec. 1975 SOLSTICE FYCD820 [70:51] [DC] A Marcel Dupré ‘must-have’.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Trios 3 & 4 - Tempest Trio rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573279 [72:42] [BR] Good but not great. Try the recent Trio Solisti disc to hear the difference.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Czech & American suites, Symphonic Variations - Czech PO/Alois Klíma, Karel Šejna rec. 1952/57 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR244 [65:49] [JW] Incisive and characterful.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Symphony 1, Cockaigne rec. 2012/13 BIS BIS1939 SACD [67:16] Symphony 2 - Royal Stockholm PO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2011-2012 BIS BIS1879 SACD [63:53] A near-perfect First; an odd, divisive Second; some of the best recorded sound in history [BR] An excellent and highly enjoyable Elgar 1 from Sakari Oramo [JQ].

Maurice EMMANUEL (1862-1938) Violin Sonata, Suite on Greek folksongs, Musiques - Frédéric Angleraux (violin) Hélène Hébrard (mezzo) François Killian (piano) rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0231 [72:37] [WK] Powerful performances … a true understanding of both poetry and music.

Georges ENESCO (1881-1955) Violin Sonata 2, Octet - Georges Enesco (violin) Celiny Chailley-Richez (piano) Ensemble Louis de Froment rec. 1951 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 942 [61:05] [SG] Captivating performances, but allowances for sound quality need to be made.

Robert ERICKSON (1917-1997) String Quartets 1 & 2, Solstice, Corfu - Del Sol Qt rec. 2013 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80753-2 [39:18 + 44:21] [DC] Contemplation of 'pure sound’ through the string quartet medium.

Robert ERICKSON (1917-1997) White Lady, Garden, Piano Concerto, Pacific Sirens - Laura Martin (violin) Keith Humble (piano) U Illinois Contemporary Chamber Players, Cleveland Chamber Symphony/Edwin London
rec. 1999/2001 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80603-2 [69:58] [DC] Some remarkable statements in sound.

Robert ERICKSON (1917-1997) Night Music, Fantasy, East of the Beach, Auroras - Rose Popper-Keizer (cello) Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose rec. 2008 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80682-2 [69:58] [DC] Sidestep avant-garde ‘isms’ and enter Erickson’s personal new world.

Ferenc ERKEL (1813-1869) Hunyadi László - Dániel Pataky (tenor) Krisztián Cser (baritone) Beatrix Fodor (soprano) Honvád Male Ch, Budapest PO/Domonkos Héja rec. 2012 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94869 [65:57 + 77:56] [PCG] Much more than just a piece of Hungarian patriotism.

Ivan FEDELE (b. 1953) Suite francese, Etudes boréales, Two Moons, Due Notturni con figura - Maria Grazia Bellocchio (piano) rec. 2009 STRADIVARIUS STR 33936 [62:14] [HC] A splendid survey of Fedele's piano music.

Friedrich Ernst FESCA (1789-1826) Complete String Quartets Vol.1 - Diogenes Qt rec. 2007/10 CPO 777 482-2 [3 CDs: 206:24] [Byz] Superb musicianship - technique, togetherness and sense of expression are truly admirable.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Violin Sonata 1 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Violin Sonata 3 - Janine Andrade (violin) Nicole Rolet de Castel, Tasso Janopoulo (piano) rec. 1958/60 MELOCLASSIC MC2013 [67:25] [SG] A treasured document.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata, 3 chorals pour orgue - Karl-Andreas Kolly (piano) Simone Riniker (violin) David Riniker (cello) rec. 2013 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 90318556 SACD [64:04] [DC] New perspective on an irreplaceable masterpiece?

John GARTH (1712-1810) Accompanied Keyboard Sonatas - Gary Cooper (harpsichord, fortepiano, organ) Avison Ens rec. 2008 DIVINE ART DDA 25115 [48:32 + 48:50] [JV] Delightful music, energetic performances.

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Orfeo ed Euridice - Bejun Mehta (counter-tenor) Eva Liebau (soprano) Regula Mühlemann (soprano) O Collegium 1704/Collegium Vocale 1704/Václav Luks rec. 2013 ARTHAUS MUSIK Blu-ray 108103 [75:00] [RJF] An interesting experiment in a unique setting that is rather spoiled by the excision of much dance music.

Henryk Mokolaj GÓRECKI (1933–2010) Pieces in Olden Style Romuald TWARDOWSKI (b. 1930) Triptych of the Virgin Mary Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913– 1994) Folk Melodies Wojciech KILAR (1932– 2013) Orawa Stanislaw MORYTO (b. 1947) Pieces in Polish Style - Sinfonia Academica CO/Leszek Sokolowski rec. 2012 DUX 0939 [44:31] [GF] Worth the attention of the music-loving public.

Alexander GRECHANINOV (1864-1956) Complete Music for Viola and Piano - Elena Artamonova (viola) Nicholas Walker (piano) rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0234 [67:21] [JW] Well worth getting to know.

André Ernest Modeste GRÉTRY (1741-1813) Guillaume Tell - Marc Laho (tenor) Anne-Catherine Gillet (soprano) Lionel Lhote (baritone) Natacha Kowalski (mezzo) O & Ch de l’Opéra royal de Wallonie/Claudio Scimone rec. 2013 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW 1370 [78:51] [JS] A very welcome addition to the catalogue.

Edvard GRIEG (1943-1907) & Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Piano Concertos - Friedrich Wührer (piano) Vienna PO/Karl Böhm, Pro Musica O Vienna/Hans Swarowsky rec. 1944/54 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR677 [54:50] [JW] Unconventional but also diverting.

Christopher GUNNING (b. 1944) Symphonies 6 & 7, Night Voyage - Royal PO/Christopher Gunning rec. 2014 DISCOVERY DMV112 [62:56] [RB] Dramatic and full of inventively communicated incident.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) Chemins d'exil Arias & Trio Sonatas - Capucine Meens (soprano) Ensemble Hemiolia/Claire Lamquet EURYDICE LE003 [67:27] [JV] All the pieces on this disc are available in better performances.

Jake HEGGIE (b. 1961) Out of darkness - Caitlin Lynch (soprano) Sarah Larsen (mezzo) Morgan Smith (baritone) Music of Remembrance/Mina Miller rec. 2012/13 NAXOS 8.559770 [78.44] [PCG] Those who have found Dead man walking and Moby Dick impressive statements will relish the thought of this disc and they will not go unrewarded.

Joseph HOLBROOKE (1878-1958) Music for piano Vols 1 & 2 - Panagiotis Trochopoulos (piano) rec. 2008/9 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9035CD/CC9036CD [73.21 & 62.52] [PCG] Smashing fistfuls of chords and anguish-laden dissonances ... fire-eating performances.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Idyll, Suite for string quintet, String Quartet 1 - Wroclaw CO/Ernst Kovacic rec. 2013 DUX 0946 [68:46] [SG] Delightful and immensely enjoyable.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) On the overgrown path, Book 1 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Waldszenen, Kinderszenen - Marc-André Hamelin (piano) rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68030 [74:26] [DM] Enchanting; Hyperion’s pied piper does it again.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Complete Works for Piano - Martino Tirimo (piano) rec. 2003 HERITAGE HTGCD 264/5 [50:45 + 60:47] [JWh] A lovely set.

Nicolai KAPUSTIN (b. 1937) Piano Trios - Miguel Borrego (violin) José Miguel Gómez (cello) Juan Carlos Garvayo (piano) rec. 2012 NON PROFIT MUSIC NPM 1405 [56:28] [PRB] Not an expensive CD and if you already like Kapustin’s infectious style of writing, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962) Violin Music - Jack Liebeck (violin) Katya Apekisheva (piano) rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68040 [68:53] [JW] A fruitful tension between the Kreislerian model and the modern performance.

Siobhan LAMB (b. 1963) Through the Mirror, My Little Wife - Suoni Ens/Siobhan Lamb PROPRIUS PRCD 2074 [40:45] [NB] Fusing contemporary classical disciplines with the freedom of jazz.

Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697-1764) Complete Sonatas for Two Violins - Greg Ewer, Adam LaMotte (violins) rec. 2013 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92176 [2 CDs: 53:24 + 70:27 & BD-A] [MS] Intriguing and profound repertoire played with attention and spontaneity in ways that cannot help but please.

Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-1988) Complete Organ Works Vol. 1 - Stephen Farr, John Butt (organ) rec. 2013 RESONUS RES10134 [79:07] [JF] I thoroughly enjoyed this and look forward to reviewing the second volume.

Jacques LOUSSIER (b. 1934) Violin concertos 1 & 2 Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941) Violin sonata - Adam Kostecki (violin) Piotr Iwicki (percussion) Gunther Hauer (piano) Polish Philharmonic CO/Adam Kostecki rec. 2004/11 NAXOS 8.573200 [65:14] [RB] The Loussiers have pretty much nothing in common with the Paderewski but so what.

Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911) Complete Wunderhorn Songs - Dietrich Henschel (baritone) Boris Berezovsky (piano) rec. 2012 EPR CLASSIC EPRC 013 [74:04] [GF] Henschel and Berezovsky guide us in masterly fashion towards the Mahlerian eternal life.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde (chamber version) Gerhild Romberger (mezzo) Stephan Rügamer (tenor) Detmolder COAlfredo Perl rec. 2013 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 90118456 SACD [62:01] [GPJ] A creditable recording, but completely outgunned by Herreweghe’s masterly account.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 3 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 1 - Claudio Arrau (piano) Helen Watts (contralto) London SO & Ch, French Radio & Television O/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1961/2 ARCHIPEL ARPCD 0557 [64:20 + 76:23] [PCG] Clearly a very great performance indeed, with which one is delighted to make acquaintance; but the orchestra and the recorded sound do rather let the side down.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 3, Kindertotenlieder - Kathleen Ferrier (alto) BBC SO/Sir Adrian Boult; Concertgebouw O/Otto Klemperer rec. 1947/51 TESTAMENT SBT21422 [57:38 + 72:41] [JQ] The British première of Mahler’s Third: a significant addition to the Boult discography.

Heinrich August MARSCHNER (1795–1861) Der Vampyr - Markus Marquardt (bass) Regina Klepper (soprano) Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) WDR Rundfunk Köln Ch & O/Helmuth Froschauer rec. 1999 CAPRICCIO C5184 [61:47 + 66:49] [GF] If you are curious about German-speaking composers roughly contemporaneous with Wagner you should give Marschner a try.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Complete works for piano and orchestra - Oleg Marshev, Anne Mette Stæhr (piano) South Denmark PO/David Porcelijn rec. 2011-2012 DANACORD DACOCD 734-736 [4 CDs: 243:43] [RB] Apportioned across a couple of evenings you will find much to enjoy as you discover works that in the majority of cases you may not have heard before.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Turangalîla-Symphonie - Angela Hewitt (piano) Valérie Hartmann-Claverie (ondes Martenot) Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2014 ONDINE ODE1251-5 [75:08] [DM] Not the Turangalîla I’d hoped for; Previn, Mena and Chailly are still tops.

Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864) Overtures and Entr’actes from the French Operas - New Zealand SO/Darrell Ang rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573195 [71:22] [GH] Vibrant, well worth exploring and performed with depth of understanding.

Ludwig MINKUS (1826-1917) Don Quixote - Marianela Nuñez, Carlos Acosta, The Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House O/Martin Yates rec. 2013 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7143D [125:00] [IL] A triumph for the ROH and for Acosta.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespro della Beata Vergine - Choeur de Chambre de Namur, Cappella Mediterranea/Leonardo García rec. 2013 AMBRONAY AMY041 [41:29 + 46:07] [JV] Whatever one may think of some decisions taken here, this recording of Monteverdi's masterpiece is not to be missed.

MORITZ, Landgrave of Hesse (1572-1632) Sacred and Secular Works - Weser-Renaissance Bremen/Manfred Cordes rec. 2010 CPO 777 661-2 [71:13] [JV] Idiomatic and compelling interpretations of compositions by a German 'uomo universale' of the late Renaissance.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin sonatas K454 & 526 - Frederick Grinke (violin) Kendall Taylor (piano) rec. 1953 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR870 [40:54] [JW] Sane and sensibly musical performances.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Dialog Mit Mozart: Violin Sonatas - Daniel Auner (violin) Robin Green (piano) rec. 2013 GRAMOLA 99038 [53:38] [GPJ] Wonderfully stylish Mozart playing though the recorded sound may take a little getting used to.

Georg MUFFAT (1653-1704) Missa in labore requies - St. Florianer Sängerknaben, Ars Antiqua Austria/Gunar Letzbor rec. 2013 PAN CLASSICS PC10301 [47:25] [JV] This Mass makes one regret that Muffat didn't compose more sacred music.

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Orphée aux enfers - Alexandru Badea, Elizabeth Vidal, Dale Duesing, Reinaldo Macias, La Monnaie/Patrick Davin rec. 1997 ARTHAUS MUSIK 100403 DVD [120:00] [JS] To be approached with caution and limited expectations.

Pavel PABST (1854-1897) Piano Concerto Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Hamlet - Panagiotis Trochopoulos (piano) Belarusian State SO/Marius Stravinsky rec. 2005 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9021CD [76:24] [PRB] A concerto certainly worthy of being born again.

Bernardo PASQUINI (1637-1710) Sonate per gravecembalo - Luca Guglielmi (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2003/8 STRADIVARIUS STR33959 [54:55] [JV] Pasquini's oeuvre is versatile and compelling and so is Guglielmi's interpretation.

John PICKARD (b. 1963) Eden, Gaia Symphony - Eikanger-Bjørsvik Musikklag/Andreas Hanson rec. 2012 BIS BIS-2061 SACD [81:09] [DM] Brass band music as you’ve never heard it before; ardent, atavistic, awesome.

Ildebrando PIZZETTI (1880-1968) Violin Sonata; Tre canti Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968) Sonata quasi una fantasia; Tre vocalizzi - Hagai Shaham (violin) Arnon Erez (piano) rec. 2010 HYPERION CDA67869 [68:34] [JW] Terrifically atmospheric - full of colour and verve.

Giovanni Benedetto PLATTI (1697-1763) Concerti per il Cembalo obligato - Paolo Grazzi (oboe) Luca Guglielmi (fortepiano) Concerto Madrigalesco rec. 2013 ARCANA A375 [71:47] [JV] This disc proves once again that Platti was an excellent composer.

David POPPER (1843-1913) Suites for Cello - Alexander Hülshoff, Martin Rummel, Bertin Christelbauer (cellos) Mari Kato (piano) rec. 2012 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0007 [56:41 + 53:09] [JW] Music saturated in idiomatically genial writing … uniformly first-class.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concerto 2 Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto 1 - Guro Kleven Hagen (violin) Oslo PO/Bjarte Engeset rec. 2013 SIMAX PSC1266 [49.02] [PCG] One would look forward to hearing this soloist again but would hope that more careful consideration would be given to the repertory on her next disc.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Fanciulla del West - Eva-Maria Westbroek (soprano) Carlo Ventre (tenor) Ashley Holland (baritone) Frankfurter Opern-und Museum O/Sebastian Weigle rec. 2013 OEHMS OC945 [58:20 + 72:22] [NB] No happy ending here.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Madama Butterfly - Alexia Voulgaridou (soprano) Teodor Ilincai (tenor) Lauri Vasar (baritone) Hamburg State Op Ch & PO/Alexander Joel rec. 2012 ARTHAUS MUSIK 102187 DVD [137.00] [PCG] A Butterfly that leaves one dry-eyed throughout cannot be redeemed even by the most superlative singing and acting.

Sergei Vasil’yevich RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Complete Works for Piano - Vladimir, Vovka & Dody Ashkenazy, André Previn (pianos) Alistair Mackie (trumpet) Royal Concertgebouw O, Philharmonia O/Bernard Haitink rec. 1963-2013 DECCA 478 6348 [11 CDs: 13:29:04] [DM] Fifty years of great music-making, all in one box; a bargain at any price.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Cello Sonata Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Cello Sonata - Alexander Russakovsky (cello) Amber Shay Nicholson (piano) rec. 2012 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94771 [68:56] [SA] These two attractive cello sonatas are in extremely good hands here.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1875-1943) Monna Vanna, Songs - Moscow Conservatory Opera Soloists, Ch & SO/Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano) Soile Isokoski (soprano) rec. 2009-2013 ONDINE ODE 1249-2 [57:18] [SG] The long-awaited first Russian version of Rachmaninov’s unfinished opera, Monna Vanna, definitely deserves a hearing.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873–1943) The Complete Preludes - Peter Katin (piano) rec. 1971 SOMM SOMMCD0110 [79:10] [JQ] A welcome tribute to a highly distinguished pianist.

Joachim RAFF (1822-1882) Trois Morceaux, Fantasie-Sonata, Grand Sonata - Valentina Seferinova (piano) CAMEO CLASSICS CC9024CD [61:50] [JW] Kudos to Cameo for its courage and confidence to restore this most enjoyable programme.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Orchestral Works Vol. 2 - O Ntl de Lyon/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 8.572888 [66:39] [SV] The good news: Slatkin comes to life in a characterful Le tombeau.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, Pavane pour une infante défunte, La Valse - Yakov Zak, Alexander Slobodyanik (piano) USSR Academic State SO/Yevgeny Svetlanov, Vladimir Verbitsky rec. 1959-82 MELODIYA MEL CD 1002160 [60:50] [DM] The concertos are a treat; routine fillers though.

Anton REICHA (1770–1836) Complete String Quartets Vol. 2 - Kreutzer Qt rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0040 [64:15] [Byz] Breathtakingly imaginative.

Jaroslav RÍDKÝ (1897-1956) Cello Concerto 2, Serenade for strings Otakar OSTRČIL (1879-1935) Summer - František Smetana (cello) Brno RSO/Bretislav Bakala, Czech PO/Jaroslav Rídký, Karel Šejna rec. 1950s FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR940 [57:27] [JW] This is a pleasure to listen to.

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999) Concierto de Aranjuez, Invocación y danza, Fantasía para un gentilhombre - Miloš Karadaglić (guitar) London PO/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2013 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 481 0652 [60:06] [LW] Everything is first-class about this production: wonderful performances, recorded with real presence.

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] A splendid case is made for these works.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) String Trio Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Hasards Jean RIVIER (1896-1987) String Trio - Pasquier Trio; Monique Mercier (piano) rec. 1957/59 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR922 [50:27] [JW] Can be confidently acquired either for repertoire or elevated performances or both.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Lieder - Ian Bostridge (tenor) Julius Drake (piano) rec. 2013 WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLIVE0067 [73:26] [JQ] A recital that all lovers of Schubert Lieder should hear.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) - Violin Sonatas, Rondo - Sara Trickey (violin) Daniel Tong (piano) Callino Qt rec. 2013 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD080 [69:55] [CF] The music on this CD makes for seventy minutes of sheer delight.

Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) Piano concerto, Double Concerto for flute and piano, Concerto for string quartet Frank-Immo Zicher (piano) Jaques Zoon (flute) Leipzig Qt, Deutsches SO Berlin/Roland Kluttig rec. 2007 CAPRICCIO C5197 [67:04] [PCG] These valuable performances have plenty of bite and body.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Cello Concerto Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Silent Woods, Cello Concerto - Jamie Walton (cello) Philharmonia O/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 2011 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD322 [68:43] [SV] Definitely worth getting but only for the Schumann.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto, Introduction und Allegro appassionato, Introduction and Concert-Allegro - Angela Hewitt (piano) Deutsches SO Berlin/Hannu Lintu rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67885 [62:02] [MC] Strikingly elegant and expressive playing that radiates freshness.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) 24 Preludes, String Quartet 8 - Dogma CO/Mikhail Gurewitsch BERTHOLD RECORDS AUD9121830 SACD [59:25] [DC] Non-essential Shostakovich.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 7 - Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2013 HALLÉ CDHLL7537 [76:20] [DM] A splendid Leningrad nobbled by poor engineering; frustrating.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 14 - Gal James (soprano) Alexander Vinogradov (bass) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573132 [49:36] [MC] Haitink now has a fierce competitor whose fine advocacy deserves attention.

Haskell SMALL (b. 1948) The Rothko Room: Journeys into Silence - Haskell Small (piano) rec. 2011-2013 MSR CLASSICS MS 1497 [52:40] [DC] Top-notch new music: self-recommending.

Fernando SOR (1778-1839) Guitar sonatas - Ricardo Gallén (guitar) rec. 2013 EUDORA EUD-SACD-1401 [77:54] [DM] Sor and Gallén shine brightly; a treat, and not just for guitar fans.

Paul John STANBERY (b.1957) Symphony 2 - Hamilton-Fairfield SO/Paul John Stanbery rec. 2012 NAVONA NV5957 [34:01] [Byz] Likely to appeal to a wider, undemanding, audience, but an appalling running time.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Violin Concerto 2 Robin MILFORD (1903-1959) Violin Concerto - Rupert Marshall-Luck (violin) BBC Concert O/Owain Arwel Hughes rec. 2014 EM RECORDS EMR CD023 [75:46] [JQ] An important release which all lovers of British music from the first half of the twentieth century should hasten to hear.

The Strauss Family Vienna SO/Manfred Honeck rec. 2013 WIENER SYMPHONIKER WS005 [57:35] [MC] Captivating and highly desirable.

Richard STRAUSS (1874-1949) Capriccio - Renée Fleming, Bo Skovhus, Vienna State Opera O/Christoph Eschenbach rec. 2013 C MAJOR 716004 Blu-ray [166.00] [PCG] A joy to encounter the sure directorial hand of Brian Large … Fleming’s Countess has a liveliness of approach and acting skill which others fail to match.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Celebrating Strauss - Songs and operatic excerpts IDÉALE AUDIENCE Blu-ray 3075054 [60:00] [JQ] A misguided attempt to celebrate Richard Strauss.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Tod und Verklärung, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Vier letzte Lieder - Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) Vienna PO, Philharmonia O/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1950/54 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC407 [79:57] [RMo] Estimable accounts, superbly played.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Macbeth, Don Quixote - Frank-Michael Guthmann (cello) Johannes Lüthy (viola) SWR SO Baden-Baden und Freiburg/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2012/13 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.304 [74:19] [SV] Roth takes nothing for granted and I like the results.

Georgy SVIRIDOV (1915-1998) The blizzard; Pushkin Garland - Moscow RSO/Vladimir Fedoseyev, Vladimir Minin rec. 1975/79 MELODIYA MELCD1002202 [63.13] [PCG] Attractive music but this reissue lacks texts and translations.

Thomas TALLIS (c.1505–1585) Missa Puer natus est nobis and other sacred music - The Cardinall’s Musick/Andrew Carwood rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68026 [67:35] [JQ] Another fine instalment in The Cardinall’s Musick’s Tallis Edition.

Alexander TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977) Complete Piano Music Vol. 5 - Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2010 GRAND PIANO GP650 [54:23] [SA] Koukl totally inhabits this music.

Nikolai TCHEREPNIN (1873–1945) Songs - Elena Mindlina (soprano) David Witten (piano) rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0221 [79:20] [RB] Satisfaction pretty much guaranteed.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Violin sonatas 1715 - Stephan Schardt (violin) Elizabeth Wand (cello) Sonja Kemnitzer (harpsichord) rec. 2013 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 90318356 SACD [70:32] [DC] Fun-filled playing and ensemble musicianship of the utmost refinement … strangely off the beaten track.

Ludwig THUILLE (1861-1907) String Quartets 1 & 2 - Allegri Quartet rec. 2012 CHAMPS HILL CHRCD077 [61:44] [JW] Affectionate and stylistically apt. characteristically well recorded.

Viktor ULLMANN (1898-1944) The Complete Works for Piano Solo - Christophe Sirodeau (piano) rec. 2010/12 BIS BIS-2116 SACD [60:53 + 64:08] [DM] Deeply penetrating performances; a new benchmark has been set.

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) The Guitar Manuscripts – Vol. 2 - Andrea Bissoli (guitar) Gabriella Pace (soprano) Ens Musagčte; Minas Gerais PO/Fabio Mechetti rec. 2010-2013 NAXOS 8.573116 [62:31] [LJ] A gossamer of Euro-Brazilian sounds attractively held together by Bissoli.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Parsifal - Poul Elming, Linda Watson, Hans Sotin, Falk Struckmann, Bayreuth Festival O/Giuseppe Sinopoli rec. 1998 C MAJOR Blu-ray 715804 [268.00] [PCG] This might well be the Parsifal of choice for a video collection.

William WALTON (1902-1983) Violin Sonata, Two Pieces Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata - Michael Davis (violin) Rayson Whalley (piano) rec. 1972 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9001CD [51:27] [JW] This is a strong example of Michael Davis’s strength in this repertoire.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Trumpet Concerto, Symphony 18 - Andrew Balio (trumpet) St. Petersburg Chamber Ch & State SO/Vladimir Lande rec. 2010-2013 NAXOS 8.573190 [70:26] Sinfoniettas 1 & 2, Symphony 7 - USSR State Academic SO/Yevgeni Svetlanov, Moscow CO/Rudolf Barshai rec. 1962-67 MELODIYA MELCD1002180 [66:32] Trio, Sonatina, Sonata - Elizaveta Blumina (piano) Kolja Blacher (violin) Erez Ofer (violin) Johannes Moser (cello) Nabil Shehata (double bass) rec. 2012 CPO 777 804-2 [68:23] [SA] I am convinced that along with Shostakovich he is the greatest composer to come out of the Soviet Union.

Percy WHITLOCK (1903-1946) Sonata Jehan ALAIN (1911-1940) Litanies Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Cortège et Litanie César FRANCK (1822-1890) Choral 3 - Greg Morris (organ) rec. 2014 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD379 [72.53] [WK] All involved are to be congratulated.

Malcolm WILLIAMSON (1931-2003) The Complete Piano Concertos - Piers Lane, Howard Shelley (pianos) Tasmanian SO/Howard Shelley HYPERION CDA68011/2 [53:48 + 62:46] [GH] Terrific performances … highly recommendable.

Bora YOON (b. 1980) Sunken Cathedral - Bora Yoon (various instruments) Sekou Sundiata (poetry & performance) Chris Eddleton (cymbals, metal percussion) Peter Scherer (percussion) male vocal quartet; Sympho, New York Polyphony INNOVA 880 [73:15] [DC] Cutting edge – but memorable?

Douglas YOUNG (b.1947) The Hunting of the Snark - Peter Easton (narrator) Douglas Young (piano and percussion) Leicestershire Chorale Leicestershire Schools SO & Ch/Peter Fletcher rec. 1982 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9019CD [53:40] [JWh] A riveting work.

Sergei ZHUKOV (b.1951) Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto - Eleonora Bekova (piano) Elvira Bekova (violin) Karelia State SO/Marius Stravinsky, Moscow State SO/Konstantin Krimets CAMEO CLASSICS CC9047CD [74:34] [SA] This is a rare disc that deserves to be heard.

Above and Beyond Works by Creston, Copland, Schwarz, Grainger, Rands, Barber & Offenbach - The President’s Own’ United States Marine Band/Gerard Schwarz rec. 2012 NAXOS WIND BAND CLASSICS 8.573121 [71:53] [GPJ] An intriguing programme, outstandingly played. Emphatically not just for wind band aficionados.

L'art de la Variation Pierre Cochereau (organ) SOLSTICE SOCD302 [78:48] [DC] An automatic choice for Cochereau collectors.

Michčle Auclair (violin) Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Violin Sonata Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) Rhapsody 1 Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)  Suite Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)  Duo Concertante Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Fantasy - Jacqueline Bonneau, Jean-Claude Ambrosini, Genevičve Joy (piano) rec. 1958/60 MELOCLASSIC MC2014 [73:32] [SG] Auclair deserves a wider audience. This issue is well worth the investment – indeed a revelation.

Aura Soave Céline Scheen (soprano) Philippe Pierlot, Kaori Uemura, Rainer Zipperling, Romina Lischka (viola da gamba), Giovanna Pessi (harp) rec. 2012 FLORA 2712 [62:20] [JV] A most exciting disc and a model of sensitive music making.

Baroque violin sonatas by Albicastro, Corelli, Handel, Leclair & Telemann - Johannes Pramsohler (violin) Philippe Grisvard (harpsichord) rec. 2013 AUDAX RECORDS ADX13700 [65:22] [JW] Not a disc for the timorous … a recital of ceaseless striving for the essence of the baroque ideal.

The Beatles Arrangements for string quartet by Luboš Krtička - Wihan Qt rec. 2000. NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6272 [43:50] [RB] Looking for some unassertive Beatles-flavoured string quartet background then look no further.

Beyond the Eastern Wind Works by Gorecki, Part & Vasks - Collegium Vocale/Michael Deltchev Louise Boll (organ) rec. 2013-2014 DANACORD DACOCD750 [54:05] [JF] A beautiful CD with hugely attractive music, performed with distinction and obvious attention to detail.

The Art of Julian Bream Mauro GIULIANI (1781-1829) Guitar Concerto 1 Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Guitar Concerto Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Preludes Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Pavane - Melos Ens rec. 1957-60 REGIS RRC1416 [72:42] [JWh] A great reminder of a fine artist.

British Music for Cello and Piano William BUSCH (1901-1945) Suite Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-1988) Partita William WORDSWORTH (1908-1988) Cello Sonata 2 Arnold COOKE (1906-2005) Cello Sonata 2 - Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Raphael Terroni (piano) rec. 2005-10 NAXOS 8.571352 [75.14] [PCG] Potential purchasers are advised to snap this CD up while it remains readily available.

Characters Works by Corelli, Vivaldi, Avison, Telemann & Rebel - Karlsson Baroque/Göran Karlsson rec. 2013 FOOTPRINT FRCD076 [70:43] [JV] With their debut disc Karlsson Barock has made a good start.

Le Charme de la vieille Europe Works by Warlock, Weiner, Saint-Saens, Debussy & Faure - O de Lancy-Genčve/Roberto Sawicki (violin) rec. 1994-2011 DORON DRC5038 [62:49 [JW] Enjoyable though much of this disc is, it’s also something of a curiosity.

Myung-Whun Chung (piano) Works by Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Schubert, Schumann & Tchaikovsky rec. 2013 ECM NEW SERIES 2342 [54:55] [GM] A very attractive and well-recorded collection.

Colours of the Heart Works by Delius, Debussy, Ravel & Grieg - Midori Komachi (violin) Simon Callaghan (piano) rec. 2014 MUSIKALEIDO MKCD001 [56:49] [IL] An adventurous selection of not-so-well-known sonatas delivered with aplomb.

Composing America Works by Adams, Bolcom, Copland & Moravec - Lark Qt, Yousif Sheronick (percussion) Stephen Salters (baritone) Jeremy Denk (piano) rec. 2012/13 BRIDGE RECORDS 9423 [55:35] [BR] An eccentric but exemplary recital of music so diverse that the composer’s homeland is the only common theme.

The Crown Imperial Marches for 20th Century British Coronations - London Symphonic Concert Band/Tom Higgins rec. 2013 SOMM SOMMCD 0138 [69.11] [IL] A most interesting and adventurous collection.

Fernando De Lucia (tenor) The Complete Gramophone Company Recordings 1902-1909 MARSTON 54004-2 [4 CDs: 316:50] [JW] A voice that is simultaneously remote from us and yet more than capable of delivering important lessons from the grave.

Andrzej Dobber (baritone) Arias by Verdi, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Wagner & Mussorgsky - Dariusz Machej (bass) Warsaw PO/Antoni Wit Rec. 2013 DUX 0959 [63:31] [GF] An attractive recital.

Do Not Go Gentle / Spaces In A Space Bingham Qt rec. 2012/13 PRIMA FACIE PFCD32/33 [71.04 & 29.38] [PCG] A collection of works for string quartet written by various British composers over the course of the last twenty years.

East-West Encounters Colin McPHEE (1900-1964) Balinese Ceremonial Music Douglas YOUNG (b.1947) Trajet/Inter/Lignes Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Canteyodjaya George CRUMB (b.1929) Vox Balaenae - Dreamtiger rec. 1981 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9018CD [62:00] [JWh] A great collection from Dreamtiger.

Endless Song Encores for Piano - Margaret Fingerhut (piano) rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHAN 10826 [73:11] [PCG] The sort of indulgence which draws the listener in.

Fantaisies d’opéra Works by Liszt, Marschner, Wagner & Wieniawski - Léo Marillier (violin) Alexandre Lory (piano) rec. 2013/14 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 24M [65:13] [JW] Reservations about the recording but well judged playing with vivacity, sparkle and virtuosity.

French Organ Music Works by Tournemire, Vierne, Messiaen, Dupré & Duruflé - Pétur Sakari (organ) rec. 2013 BIS BIS-1969 SACD [72:47] [BR] The instrument is a sort of ideal of organ sound, and the playing is superb.

Diana Gabrielyan (piano) Works by Babajanyan, Mansuryan, Shostakovich & Stravinsky - rec. 2013 ODRADEK RECORDS ODRCD311 [72:39] [SA] Diana Gabrielyan is a name to watch out for.

Gala from Berlin - Grand Finales RIAS Kammer Ch, Berlin Radio Ch, Berlin PO/Claudio Abbado rec. 1999 EUROARTS Blu-ray 2013324 [108:00] [JQ] It’s good to have a reminder of the late and much-missed Claudio Abbado on top form.

Gems from the Belgian Treasure Trove Piano trios by Rasse, Ryelandt & Vreuls - I Giocatori Piano Trio rec. 2013 PHAEDRA PH92080 [73:25] [DJB] There may be no actual Belgian treasure trove of forgotten piano trios, but these quite definitely are gems.

Carlo Maria Giulini - The London Years Philharmonia & New Philharmonia O, London PO, London SO rec. 1956-68 WARNER CLASSICS 9937392 [17 CDs: 21:18:00] [JQ] Wonderful performances by one of the truly great conductors of the twentieth century.

Great European Organs No. 90 The Organ of Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London - Gerard Brooks (organ) rec. 2013 PRIORY PRCD 1099 [79:59] [JS] Should have an appeal well beyond the ranks of organ fanciers.

Friedrich Gulda: Chopin and Beyond Friedrich Gulda (piano) rec.1986 ARTHAUS MUSIK 102190 DVD [106:00] [SG] Not for the faint-hearted.

Handel and his English contemporaries Robert Woolley (organ) rec. 2011 REGENT REGCD382 [78:50] [JV] A fine survey of English organ music of the 18th century and should have an appeal beyond the ranks of organ aficionados.

Hidden Treasures Seunghee Lee (clarinet) Evan Solomon (piano) rec. 2013 SEUNGHEE 888174 459394 [60:48] [PCG] Some good though suave and undramatic playing. One would welcome these players in more adventurous and less saccharine repertory.

Home is where ... Douglas LILBURN (1915-2001) Salutes to Seven Poets George ENESCU (1881-1955) Sonata in the Romanian Folk Character Boris PIGOVAT (b.1953) Viola Sonata - Donald Maurice (viola) Richard Mapp (piano) ATOLL ACD 413 [74:26] [SA] Three works in total contrast to each other and working extremely well as a programme.

Julius Katchen (piano) Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Sonata Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Fantasies, Klavierstücke, Scherzo Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Variations Fryderyk CHOPIN (1809-1847) Nocturnes, Ballade - rec. 1962/4 AUDITE 21.419 [59:25 + 49:41] [JW] An exceptionally fine addition to Audite’s already admirable sequence of RIAS releases.

Carlos Kleiber – I am lost to the world A documentary film by Georg Wübbolt C MAJOR Blu-ray 715304 [58:32] [LW] Essential viewing, but could have been better.

Gianluca Littera (harmonica) Works by Fauré, Hovhaness, Piazzolla, Tausky & Whettam - Stesischoros O/Francesco Di Mauro rec. 2010 STRADIVARIUS STR 33875 [49:38] [HC] A lovely disc though the all-too-short playing time will probably militate against it.

The Masters of Violin - Vol. 3 Works by Respighi, Dietrich, Schumann & Brahms - Franco Gulli (violin) Enrica Cavallo (piano) rec. May1986/90 DYNAMIC CDS7693 [54:45] [JW] Admirers of this duo can invest with confidence.

Miraculous Metamorphoses Works by Hindemith, Prokofiev & Bartók - Kansas City Symphony/Michael Stern rec. 2012 REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-132 [54:45] [DM] An impressively played and engineered programme from Kansas City.

Mister Paganini Works by Albéniz, Kreisler, Paganini & Ysa˙e - Laurent Korcia (violin) Haruko Ueda (piano) Paris CO/Jean-Jacques Kantorow rec. 2013 NAĎVE V5344 [50:43] [JW] Short measure for a mildly conceptual album but plenty to stimulate.

Neapolitan Flute Concertos Vol. II Works by Cecere, Geraso, Palella & Perez - Carlo Ipata (transverse flute) Auser Musici rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67884 [62:16] [JV] This disc is of the same high standard as its predecessor.

Gianandrea Noseda Ten Years of Musica Italiana BBC Philharmonic, O Teatro Regio Torino CHANDOS CHAN 241-47 [76:51 + 78:52] [Byz] All in all, there is nothing here not to like.

The Operatic Pianist Andrew Wright (piano) rec. 2012 DIVINE ART DDA 25113 [64:48] [JW] Spirited readings in good recorded sound.

Pour passer la melancolie Andreas Staier (harpsichord) rec. 2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU902143 [74:50] [BR] Inspired programme, restored instrument, excellent booklet, brilliant sound.

Sviatoslav Richter (piano) Concertos by Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev & Glazunov - Yevgeny Mravinsky, Kurt Sanderling, Kirill Kondrashin rec. 1950/58 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 405 [75:36 + 77:59] [SA] Any fans of Richter will doubtless wish to add this set to their collection.

Erich Röhn (violin) Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto 1 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Romance 2 Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerto for 3 violins Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Rondo - rec.1942/44 MELOCLASSIC MC2017 [58:58] [SG] Many thanks to Meloclassic for adding to the virtually non-existent discography of this little-known violinist.

Music for the Royal Occasion from St. Paul's Christopher Dearnley (organ) Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral/Barry Rose rec. 1981 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9017CD [49:50] [JWh] An enjoyable royal collection.

Malcolm Sargent - The Great Recordings rec. 1947-1966 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 634121 [18 CDs : 1321:30] This extensive survey of Sir Malcolm’s EMI/HMV recordings proves good value for money and an attractive proposition [SG] When Sargent was on-song he was a force to be reckoned with even if his relationship with orchestras was tempestuous [RB].

Works for violin and piano by Brahms, Fišer, & Kukal, Martinů & Mozart - Leoš Čepický (violin) Ivan Klánský (piano) rec. 2013 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6265 [74:31] [JW] If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate. The Fišer is a masterpiece.

 

Other reviews

Audition and Other Stories by Roger Hecht. Published 2013 English Hill Press [BMC] I would recommend this book for short story readers, and for the title story alone, particularly to anyone who is interested in gaining insight into the auditioning world.

The Sounds of “All Our Yesterdays” Presented by Brian Inglis CAMEO CLASSICS CC9005CD [57:57] [JW] Many memorable sounds here.

The Golden Age of Light Music Song of the West GUILD GLCD5215 [78:11] Springtime GUILD GLCD5216 [77:54] [JW] More varied and enjoyable selections from the Guild stable.

Portrait Gallery - A Life in Classical Music by Edward Greenfield. Published 2014 Elliott & Thompson [CF] A good read.

Borut KRZISNIK (b. 1961) Currents of Time - Mario Marolt (saxophone) Nino De Gleria (bass) Hugo Sekoranja (piano) Mire Lovric (voice) Borut Krzisnik (guitar, piano, sampler, rhythm machine, tape, noise) Anton Kovac (bass, rhythm machine) rec. 1990 CLAUDIO RECORDS CC6011-2 [48:02] [DC] Not ‘classical’ but who cares - if it’s good ...

Articles and Notices

Forgotten Artists: Hans Swarowsky by Christopher Howell

Download News 2014/8 by Kirk McElhearn, Geoffrey Molyneux & Brian Wilson

In conversation with Riccardo Chailly by Michael Cookson

Carl Goldmark - In Memory of the Composer and his Work