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RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Judith BAILEY (b. 1941) Havas, Concerto for orchestra George LLOYD (1913-1998) The Serf Prelude, In Memoriam, Le Pont du Gard, HMS Trinidad March - Bath Philharmonia/Jason Thornton rec. 2014 EM RECORDS EMRCD026 [64:09] A very important recording [DJB] A most enjoyable programme of orchestral music by two Cornish composers in good performances [JQ] Another acutely judged and well played and recorded CD of otherwise unrecorded British music from EM Records [RB].

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonatas 1-3 - Yehudi Menuhin (violin) Louis Kentner (piano) rec. 1956/7 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR997 [70:36] [SG] One of the finest cycles of the Brahms violin sonatas I have come across.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 7 - Budapest Festival O/Iván Fischer rec. 2012 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA33714 SACD [56:45] [BW] Stands at or close to the top of a very distinguished list of recordings of this popular symphony.

Alfredo CASELLA (1883-1947) Complete Piano Music - Michele d’Ambrosio (piano) rec. 2012/13 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9281 [3 CDs: 212.40] [PCG] I was delighted to encounter this set. Those interested in approachable piano music for both listening and performance will be grateful for such a comprehensive issue.

Edward GREGSON (b. 1945) Dream Song; Horn Concerto; Aztec Dances; Concerto for Orchestra - Wissam Boustany (flute) Richard Watkins (horn) BBC PO/Bramwell Tovey rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHAN10822 [74:55] [HC] Excellent performances of Gregson's often beautiful music.

John PICKARD (b.1963) Symphony 4, Eden - Eikanger-Bjorsvik Musikklag/Andreas Hanson rec. 2013 BIS BIS-2061 SACD [81.09] [PCG] Anybody interested in the development of music in the twenty-first century should rush out and buy this CD at once.

Fantasy Trios Works by Bridge, Suk, Ireland & Schoenberg - Dimension Piano Trio rec. 2012 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD060 [63:22] [NB] A disc that was a privilege to listen to.

Annie Fischer (piano) - The Centennial Collection rec. 1953-67 HUNGAROTON HCD41011 [3 CDs: 192:31] [SG] In remarkable sound quality, these recordings are worth acquiring for pianism of superb artistry and distinction.

L’heure Rose Hélčne Guilmette (soprano) Martin Dubé (piano) rec. 2013 ANALEKTA AN29141 [60:38] [GPJ] An inspiration to any young female composers; wonderful music, sung with total artistic commitment by this exceptional young Canadian soprano.

Eduard ABRAMIAN (1923-1986) Twenty-Four Preludes for Piano - Mikael Ayrapetyan (piano) rec. 2012 GRAND PIANO GP 665 [60:37] [SA] Any lover of piano music will find it a thoroughly rewarding experience.

Charles-Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Sonate de concert Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Elégies, La lugubre gondole - Emmanuelle Bertrand (cello) Pascal Amoyel (piano) rec. 2014 HARMONIA MUNDI HMA1951758 [65:59] [LJ] A refreshing set of pieces for cello and piano where the virtuosity of composers and performers is met with disarming humility.

Pierre ATTAINGNANT (1494-1552) Auprčs de vous - Pierre Gallon, Freddy Eichelberger (claviorganum and virginal) Thomas Dunford (lute) ENCELADE ECL1301 [65:54] [GH] Goes some way towards throwing light upon Attaingnant as well as introducing us to the curious and enticing claviorganum.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier Books I & II - Samuil Feinberg (piano) rec. 1958-61 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM063 [4 CDs: 223:03] [DC] Timeless magic preserved – and essential for all WTC collectors.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Suites for Solo Cello 2, 3 & 6 - Maxim Rysanov (viola) rec. 2012/13 BIS BIS2033 SACD [64:49] [JW] Carefully calibrated vibrato in music that is always vibrant and exciting. Some of the most exciting such playing on disc.

Eduard Ivanovich BAGDASARIAN (1922-1987) 24 Preludes, Rhapsody - Mikael Ayrapetyan (piano) Vladimir Sergeev (violin) rec. 2012 GRAND PIANO GP664 [57:18] [SA] An altogether fascinating introduction to a composer who deserves a great deal more exposure.

Christopher BALL (b. 1936) Cor Anglais Concerto; Clarinet Quintet; Recorder Concerto; Scenes from a Comedy; Caprice on a Baroque Theme - Paul Arden-Taylor (cor anglais, recorder, oboe)  Emerald Concert O, Adderbury Ens/Christopher Ball MUSICAL CONCEPTS MC151 [77:52] [RB] Heart-lifting music in performances and recordings to match.

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Sonatina; Rhapsodic Ballad; Folk-Tale; Legend-Sonata - Lionel Handy (cello) Nigel Clayton (piano) rec. 2012 SLEEVELESS RECORDS SLV1007 [65:58] [RB] Bax enthusiasts and lovers of late-romantic cello music should seek this out.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Vol. 2 -James Brawn (piano) rec. 2012 MSR CLASSICS MS 1466 [76:35] [DD] A top class disc of Beethoven sonatas in excellent sound. Great value.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 7, 27, 32 Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1916) Piano Sonata 3 Boris ARAPOV (1905-1992) Piano Sonata 2; Concerto for Violin, Piano and Percussions - Grigory Sokolov (piano) Leningrad State Philharmonic Society CO/Alexander Dmitriyev rec. 1972-1988 MELODIYA MELCD1002240 [71:17 + 58:42] [SG] Top drawer pianism.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1797-1828) Symphony 9 - Ntl Ch of Korea, Seoul PO/Myung-Whun Chung rec. 2012 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4810591 [68:08] [DC] Must have been a tremendous concert, but can this release reach the peak of the mountain?

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet 1, String Quintet - Delian Qt, Gérard Caussé (viola) rec. 2010 OEHMS CLASSICS OC796 [68:57] [DD] The Delian Quartet have achieved a great standard in their relative short time together.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1837) Violin Concerto, Violin Romance 2 Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Sonata for solo violin - Tibor Varga (violin) Hessischen RSO/Winfried Zillig rec. 1949-51 MELOCLASSIC MC2004 [73:18] [JW] Given all the above this is very much an artist-led release but for those attuned to Varga’s aesthetic there is a great deal to stimulate and intrigue, indeed excite.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 3 & 4 - Maria João Pires (piano) Swedish Radio SO/Daniel Harding rec. 2013 ONYX 4125 [71:30] [JQ] This contains many pleasures.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von BIBER (1644-1704) Fidicinium Sacro-Profanum - Ars Antiqua Austria/Gunar Letzbor rec. 2013 CHALLENGE CLASSICS SACD CC72575 [47:03] [JV] These compelling sonatas are performed by musicians who have a thorough knowledge of the composer and his historical context.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem - Sally Matthews (soprano) Christopher Maltman (baritone) London SO & Ch/Valery Gergiev rec. 2013 LSO LIVE LSO 0748 [64:07] [SV] A good performance but no challenge to your particular favourite from analogue days.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies 3 & 4 - London SO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2012 LSO LIVE LSO0737 SACD [77:15] [ST] Fine performances but there are so many other great ones out there.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin concerto Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin concerto 1 - Hideko Udagawa (violin) London SO/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. 1989 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6270 [61:52] [SG] Recordings that would grace any CD collection.

Fritz BRUN (1878-1959) Piano Concerto; Variations, Divertimento - Tomáš Nemec (piano) Bratislava SO/Adriano rec. 2012 GUILD GMCD7409 [72:46] [PB] Surely cannot fail to delight.

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Opera Omnia XIX: Vocal Works 9 - Amsterdam Baroque Ch & O/Ton Koopman rec. 2012/13 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72258 [79:01] [MS] Koopman’s series unveils the wonders of Buxtehude ... superb interpretation and playing.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concertos - Nikolai Lugansky (piano) Sinfonia Varsovia/Alexander Vedernikov rec. 2013 AMBROISIE AM212 [72:30] [ST] Lugansky’s playing and the orchestra’s muscular vision deserve to win it some friends.

Eric CRAVEN Piano Sonatas 7-9 - Mary Dullea (piano) rec. 2013 METIER MSV28544 [53:43 + 48:56] [JF] A long unfolding of melody. Timeless. The sound is clear, balanced and dynamic.

Jean-Michel DAMASE (1928-2013) Piano Concerto 2, Flute Concerto, Piano Concertino, Symphonie - Ashley Wass (piano) Anna Noakes (flute) BBC Concert O/Martin Yates rec. 2013 DUTTON CDLX7309 [79:16] [RB] Melodious discoveries in readings that are unfailingly stylish ... spot-on.

Ernö DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Variations on a Nursery tune Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Andante and Variations Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Andante favori, Piano sonata 17 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Kinderszenen - Ernö Dohnányi (piano) Royal PO/Adrian Boult rec. 1951/56 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC408 [79:18] [JW] Almost all Dohnányi’s studio recordings as a pianist are now available.

Ernö DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Ruralia Hungarica, Three Pieces, Etudes de Concert, Rhapsody Ernö Dohnányi (piano) rec. 1960 EVEREST SDBR3061 [51:58] [JW] Collectors of this composer’s music will need to hear this disc.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Don Pasquale - Alessandro Corbelli (baritone) Danielle de Niese (soprano) Glyndebourne Ch, London PO/Enrique Mazzola rec. 2013 OPUS ARTE OABD7144D Blu-ray [151.00] [PCG] Most certainly a Glyndebourne classic in every sense.

Henri DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Symphony 1, Tout un monde lointain, The Shadows of Time - Xavier Phillips (cello) Seattle Symphony/Ludovic Morlot rec. 2012 SEATTLE SYMPHONY MEDIA SSM1001 [78:29] [LW] Morlot and the Seattle Symphony show real affinity for Dutilleux.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 8 Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1938) Symphonic Suite Jenůfa - Pittsburgh SO/Manfred Honeck rec. 2014 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-710 SACD [62:04] [JQ] A thoughtful and often perceptive approach to Dvořák, marvellously played and recorded.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 8, Legends - Bournemouth SO/José Serebrier rec. 2014 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 628787 [76:38] [GPJ] A delightful coupling, superbly performed by the Bournemouth players in this latest instalment of Serebrier’s Dvořák.

Ludovico EINAUDI (b. 1955) Passagio - Lavinia Meijer (harp) rec. 2013 SONY CLASSICAL 88883 784082 [57:16] [BR] What's the purpose of art? This isn't it.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Apostles - Alison Hargan (soprano) Alfreda Hodgson (mezzo) David Rendall (tenor) Bryn Terfel (baritone) London SO & Ch/Richard Hickox rec. 1990 CHANDOS CHAN241-49 [73.49 + 53.04] [PCG] Terfel as Peter for Hickox is quite simply streets ahead of his competition.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Symphonies 1 & 2, Serenade for Strings, Introduction & Allegro - London PO/Sir Georg Solti, ASMF/Sir Neville Marriner, English CO/Benjamin Britten rec. 1968-75 DECCA THE BRITISH MUSIC COLLECTION 4730822 [61:09 + 65:31] [JQ] Solti, for all his impetuousness and volatility, offers an intriguing and often stimulating take on Elgar’s symphonies and his recordings are well worth hearing.

Bechara EL-KHOURY (b. 1957) Violin Concerto 1, Horn Concerto, Clarinet Concerto - Sarah Nemtanu (violin) David Guerrier (horn) Patrick Messina (clarinet) France Ntl O/Kurt Masur, Jean-Claude Casadesus; Paris CO/Olari Elts rec. 2009/10 NAXOS 8.572773 [73:13] [GH] Tonal music in wonderfully warm and sensitive performances and quite distinctly of our time.

August ENNA (1859-1939) Overture Cleopatra, Violin Concerto, Symphonic Fantasy - Kathrin Rabus (violin) NDR Radiophilharmonie/Hermann Bäumer rec. 2011 CPO 777 674-2 [63:40] [DC] Well worth exploring.

Mohammed FAIROUZ (b. 1985) Tahrir - UCLA Ch, UCLA Philharmonia/Neal Stulberg rec. 2013 SONO LUMINUS DSL92177 [CD + BD-A: 70:32] [PCG] Beautiful and emotionally affecting.

Zdeněk FIBICH (1850-1900) Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - Czech Ntl SO/Marek Štilec rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573197 [72:27] [RMay] These approachable scores make a strong and genuinely memorable impact from the first hearing.

Alexander Konstantinovich GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Violin Concerto, Concerto Ballata, Saxophone Concerto - Viktor Tretyakov (violin) Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) Lev Mikhailov (saxophone) Vladimir Fedoseyev, Evgeny Svetlanov, Aleksandr Korneyev rec. 1964/85 MELODIYA MELCD1002131 [55:46] [WK] Most likely to appeal to fans of these soloists or to those building up their Glazunov collections.

Reinhold GLIČRE (1875-1956) Symphony 3 ‘Il’ya Muromets’ - Buffalo PO/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2013 NAXOS NBD0041 BD-A [71:37] [DM] Musically and technically first rate; a performance that really does stand out from the herd.

Benjamin GODARD (1849-1895) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, Introduction & Allegro - Tasmanian SO/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68043 [70:13] [PRB] Highly enjoyable ... Godard was far more than just a composer of small-scale salon music.

André-Modeste GRÉTRY (1741-1813) Guillaume Tell - Marc Laho, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Lionel Lhote, Liesbeth Devos, Wallonia Royal Opera Ch & O/Claudio Scimone rec. 2013 DYNAMIC DVD 37694 [87.00] [PCG] One of the more impressive re-discoveries and deserves to be heard more often.

Edvard GRIEG (1843–1907) Songs - Marianne Beate Kielland (mezzo) Nils Anders Mortensen (piano) rec. 2013 LAWO LWC1059 [75:01] [GF] Worth buying not least for the opportunity to hear the lesser known songs – and some impressive singing.

Jorge GRUNDMAN (b.1961) A Mortuis Resurgere - Susana Cordón (soprano) Brodsky Qt rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHSA5138 SACD [54:05] [JW] At 54 minutes this needs to be listened to with a sympathetic ear.

Sofia GUBAIDULINA (b. 1931) Repentance; Serenade; Piano Sonata; Sotto Voce - Wen-Sinn Yang (cello) Franz Halász, Jacob Kellermann, Lucas Brar (guitar) Philipp Stubenbrauch (double bass) Débora Halász (piano) Hariolf Schlichtig (viola) rec. 2013 BIS BIS-2056 SACD [70:07] [MS] Novel yet substantial music by the prolific and ultimately very satisfying Gubaidulina - all played with style and understanding.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Arias - Alice Coote (mezzo) English Consort/Harry Bickett rec. 2012/13 HYPERION CDA67979 [68:31] [RMo] Too many flaws and failings.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) The Triumph of Time and Truth - Sophie Bevan, Mary Bevan (sopranos) Tim Mead (counter-tenor) Ed Lyon (tenor) William Berger (bass) Ludus Baroque/Richard Neville-Towle rec. 2013 DELPHIAN DCD34135 [78:28 + 76:15] [BW] You can’t really go wrong with this fine recording.

Howard HANSON (1896-1981) Merry Mount - Bernardt Tiede (baritone) Beverly Sparks (soprano) Patricia Berlin (alto) Eastman School Ch & SO/Howard Hanson rec. 1955/57 PRISTINE PACO108 [39:44 + 71.54] [RB] An eager grand operatic blaze ... will instantly grip the attention. Extraordinarily immediate.

Alphonse HASSELMANS (1845-1912) Harp Works - Rachel Talitman (harp) Noé Nathorp (cello) HARP & COMPANY CD505034 [56:00] [RB] Agreeable music recorded with unblushing impact.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Die Jahreszeiten - Dorothea Röschmann, Michael Schade, Florian Bosch, Vienna PO & State Opera Ch/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 2013 EUROARTS DVD 2072678 [150:00+30:00] [JS] A reliable guide to the supreme genius of this work but audio alternatives give a better impression of its quality.

Sean HICKEY (b.1970) Cursive - Philip Edward Fisher (piano) Julia Sakharova (violin) Brandon Patrick George (flute) Anne Lanzilotti (viola) Meredith Clark (harp) DELOS DE3465 [64:05] [JW] An easy, interesting entry into the sound-world of a rounded, intelligent composer.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Orchestral Music - rec. 1969-85 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9441 [5 CDs: 297:54] [RB] A budget choice for exploring Hindemith in good to acceptable sound ... not a difficult choice.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Violin concerto Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concerto 3 - Joseph Fuchs (violin) London SO/Eugene Goossens rec. 1959, London EVEREST SDBR3040 [53:42] [JW] Probing and incisive musicianship in splendid Everest sound.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Nobilissima Visione, Five Pieces - Seattle SO/Gerard Schwarz rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572763 [58:37] [NB] Overall, an interesting addition to the Hindemith discography.

Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) When first thine eies unveil - Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Ch/Paul Spicer; Jonathan Stamp (organ) rec.2013 SOMM SOMMCD0140 [79:27] [JQ] A fine Howells recital and another feather in the cap of Paul Spicer and the Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir.

Jacques IBERT (1890–1962) Chamber Music for Wind - Henri Demarquette (cello) Karine Deshayes (mezzo) Ens Initium/Clément Mao-Takacs rec. 2013-2014 TIMPANI 1C1210 [61:02] [HC] A lovely disc, if ever there was one.

Maurice JACOBSON (1896-1976) Theme and Variations, The Music Room, Mosaic, The Song of Songs - Julian Jacobson, Mariko Brown (pianos) Jennifer Johnston (mezzo) Raphael Wallfisch (cello) rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.571351 [79:58] [RB] This generous anthology of Jacobson's smaller-scale works will please and intrigue.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) String Quartets 1 & 2 Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) String Quartet 1 - Talich Qt rec. 2004/5 LA DOLCE VOLTA LDV256 [57:08] [JW] Every reason to welcome back this newly repackaged trio of recordings.

Dmitri KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) Piano Concerto 1, Spring, Rhapsody, Suite – The Comedians - Anatoly Sheludiakov (piano) Russian Cinematographic SO/Walter Mnatsakanov rec. 1996 ALTO ALC1287 [77:27] [RB] It would be a shame to ignore this attractive music.

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) The Battle of Stalingrad & Othello Suites - Viktor Simcisko (violin) Jana Valaskova (soprano) Slovak Philharmonic Ch, Slovak Radio SO/Adriano rec. 1989/92 NAXOS FILM MUSIC CLASSICS 8.573389 [63:14] [MC] Should appeal mainly to specialist film score collectors and admirers of Russian music.

Leopold KOŽELUCH (1747-1818) Complete Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 3 - Kemp English (fortepiano) rec. 2011 GRAND PIANO GP644 [59:57] [DM] Delightful music, essayed with clarity and elegance; and there's lots more to come.

Friedrich KUHLAU (1786-1832) Violin Sonatas Vol. 1 - Christina Ĺstrand (violin); Per Salo (piano) rec. 2013 DACAPO 8.226082 [69:34] [SSi] A disc well worth investigating.

Robert KYR (b.1952) A Time for Life - Cappella Romana; Third Angle New Music/Alexander Lingas rec. 2009 CAPPELLA ROMANA CR-411CD [53:19] [BR] An environmentalism oratorio, beautifully composed by Kyr, who also assembled the sometimes very preachy text.

Thierry LANCINO (b. 1954) Violin Concerto, Prelude and Death of Virgil - Isabelle Faust (violin) Luxembourg PO/Arturo Tamayo; Matteo de Monti (baritone) O Ntl de France/Gerard Schwarz rec. 2000/2005 NAXOS 8.573204 [60:29] [RB] Interesting rather than instantly compelling.

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Wo die Lerche singt (Where the Lark Sings) - Sieglinde Feldhofer, Jevgenij Tauntsov, Miriam Portmann, Gerhard Ernst, Franz-Lehár O/Marius Burkert rec. 2013 CPO 777 816-2 [56.38 + 73.16] [IL] An entertaining Lehár operetta that deserves to be better known.

Peter LIEBERSON (1946-2011) Rilke Songs, The Six Realms, Horn Concerto - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo) Peter Serkin (piano) Michaela Fukacova (cello) William Purvis (horn) Odense SO/Justin Brown/Donald Palma rec. 2003-2005 BRIDGE 9178 [63:04] [LW] The first in a series of fine recordings of Peter Lieberson’s music.

Peter LIEBERSON (1946-2011) Piano Concerto 3; Viola Concerto - Steven Beck (piano) Roberto Diaz (viola) Odense SO/Scott Yoo rec. 2012 BRIDGE 9412 [55:59] [LW] Bridge continues its excellent series of Lieberson works.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Sonata, Little Piano Pieces, La lugubre gondola - Paul Lewis (piano) rec. 2003 HARMONIA MUNDI HMA1951845 [59:58] [GPJ] A welcome re-release of Paul Lewis’s superb Liszt recital of 2003, including one of the finest B minor Sonatas on disc.

Harl McDONALD (1899-1955) Symphony 1, Two Hebraic Poems, San Juan Capistrano, From Childhood – Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy, Leopold Stokowski, Boston SO/Serge Koussevitzky rec. 1935-41 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC402 [72:06] Inventive yet unfailingly easy on the ear [RB] Full of colour and freshness, and never dull. Excellent restorations [JW].

James MacMILLAN (b.1959) Etwas zurückhaltend, Visions of a November spring, For Sonny, String Quartet 3 - Edinburgh Qt rec. 2013 DELPHIAN DCD34088 [75.56] [PCG] Even at its most searing there is always a sense of thematic development which draws the listener onwards.

Cindy McTEE (b. 1953) Circuits, Symphony 1, Einstein's Dream, Double Play - Detroit SO/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2010/2012 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559765 [66:43] [DD] Exciting pieces from an inspired modern composer in exemplary performances.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 2 - Ileana Cotrubas (soprano) Christa Ludwig (contralto) Wiener Staatsopernchor, Wiener Philharmoniker/Zubin Mehta rec. 1975 DECCA BD-A 478 5030 [81:11] [DM] This BD-A isn’t the quantum leap I’d hoped for; still, the performance is as moving and memorable as ever.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 2 - Marlis Petersen (mezzo) Janina Baechle (soprano) Wiener Singakademie, Vienna CO/Gilbert Kaplan rec. 2013 AVIE AV2290 [23:29 + 63:10] [DD] A pointless reduction of a mighty work. This arrangement and recording are totally unnecessary.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) A Life in Songs - Bernarda Fink (mezzo) Anthony Spiri (piano) Gustav Mahler Ens. Tonkünstler O Niederösterreich/Andrés Orozco-Estrada rec. 2013 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902173 [77:53] [MC] Top drawer results from an experienced and unfailing Mahler performer but it’s not the best place for Mahler novices to start.

Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911) & Alma MAHLER (1879–1964) Songs - Karen Cargill (mezzo) Simon Lepper (piano) rec. 2013 LINN CKD453 [53:00] [GF] Cargill's voice has youthful freshness and her affection for the songs is obvious.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Cello Sonatas 1-3 Olli MUSTONEN (b. 1967) Cello Sonata Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Malinconia - Steven Isserlis (cello) Olli Mustonen (piano) rec. 2013 BIS BIS-2042 SACD [78:15] [JW] For a top-notch, intense recording Isserlis and Mustonen take some beating.

Nicolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) Medtner Plays Medtner  Vol. 1 - rec. 1930-1947 MELODIYA MELCD1002200 [69:31] [SG] Excellent transfers of this delightful music.

Sir Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b.1934) Piano works: 1949-2009 - Richard Casey (piano) rec. 2010 PRIMA FACIE PFCD017/8 [52.58 + 70.06] [PCG] A valuable collection, with no competition in the current catalogues.

Sir Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Strathclyde Concertos 9 & 10, Carolísima - Scottish CO/Sir Peter Maxwell Davies rec. 1996 NAXOS 8.572356 [77.01] [JWh] Maxwell Davies at his approachable best.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra - Oleg Marshev, Anne Mette Staehr (piano) South Denmark Philharmonic/David Porcelijn rec. 2011/2012 DANACORD DACOCD734-736 [4 CDs: 244:57] [JF] An ideal introduction to this important part of Mendelssohn's achievement.

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 CD94.226 [65:55] [JW] This sheds on Martzy’s live performances and is particularly welcome and valuable.

Peter MENNIN (1923-1983) Five Pieces, Sonata Norman LLOYD (1909-1980) Three Scenes from Memory, Five Pieces for Dance, Episodes, Sonata - Myron Silberstein (piano) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.559767 [69:53] [SA] Another milestone in the Naxos American Classics series.

Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864) Vasco de Gama - Bernhard Berchtold (tenor) Chemnitz Opera Ch, Robert-Schumann-Philh/Frank Beermann rec. 2013 CPO 777 828-2 [4 CDs: 255.20] [PCG] Will be welcomed by all who are interested in the development of romantic opera in the period immediately before the Wagnerian ascendancy swept all before it.

Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925) Complete music for piano four hands - Domenico Monaco, Michele Solimando (piano) rec. 2013 BRILLANT CLASSICS 94835 [3 CDs: 183.50] [IL] A pleasant collection of charming if slight piano pieces. Sweet, but not to be absorbed at one sitting.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concerto 5 Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Violin Concerto - Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Willi Boskovsky (violin) German Opera House O/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, Vienna SO/Hans Weisbach rec. 1943/44 MELOCLASSIC MC2019 [59:43] [JW] These are interesting documents. One could hardly ask for more dedicated documentation or more sympathetic audio restoration.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Requiem - Genia Kühmeier (soprano) Bernarda Fink (alto) Mark Padmore (tenor) Gerald Finley (bass) Netherlands Radio Choir Royal Concertgebouw O/Mariss Jansons rec. 2011 RCO LIVE RCO14002 SACD [47:35] [ST] Features pretty high in the rankings if you’re looking for a Mozart Requiem on modern instruments.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Songs - Sergei Leiferkus (baritone) Semion Skigin (piano) rec. 1993/96 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94928 [4 CDs: 225:53] [RMo] A fine and comprehensive anthology offered at an attractive price.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphonies 1 & 4 - New York Philharmonic/Alan Gilbert rec. 2014 DACAPO SACD 6.220624 [69:20] [DM] An overheated Fourth and a tepid First; not Gilbert at his best.

Carter PANN (b. 1972) The Piano's 12 Sides, The Bills - Joel Hastings (piano) rec. 2013 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559751 [76:40] [DM] Feisty, sense-sating music from a terrific talent; superbly played and recorded.

Boris PAPANDOPULO (1906-1991) Piano Concerto 2, Sinfonietta, Pintarichiana - Oliver Triendl (piano) Zagreb Soloists/Sreten Krstić rec. 2013 CPO 777829-2 [67:31] [DJB] Quite a discovery.

Ignaz PLEYEL (1757-1831) Sinfonies Concertantes; Bassoon Concerto - Hanna Dönneweg (bassoon) SWR RSO/Johannes Moesus rec. 2010 CPO 777 606-2 [41:55 + 42:58] [TB] Scoring highly on facility and technique, but lower on imagination and drama though well worth hearing.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Madama Butterfly - Mirella Freni (soprano) Plácido Domingo (tenor) Christa Ludwig (mezzo) Vienna State Opera Ch, Vienna PO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1974 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 0735131 Blu-ray [147.00] [PCG] A real pleasure to find that all the emotional punches hit home with all the force that Puccini clearly demands.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Preludes, Transcriptions - Colin Horsley (piano) rec. c. 1954/59 ATOLL ACD442 [76:00] [SG] Atoll are to be commended for making available these recordings made by a pianist who may be known to few.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto 1 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Burleske Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Variations on a Nursery Song - Valerie Tryon (piano) Royal PO/Jac Van Steen rec. 2013 SOMM SOMMCD253 [78.17] [IL] A most enjoyable album.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 – 1943) Monna Vanna Act I, Songs - Soile Isokoski (soprano) Moscow Conservatory Students Ch & SO/Vladimir Ashkenazy (conductor, piano) rec. 2009/13 ONDINE ODE1249-2 [57:18] [GF] Lovers of Rachmaninov’s music shouldn’t hesitate. Go and buy.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Orchestral Works Vol. 1 - RSO Stuttgart des SWR/Stéphane Denčve rec. 2012 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC 93.305 [69:34] [SV] Stylish Ravel with a lovely sheen ... liquid and supple.

Julius RIETZ (1812-1877) Fantaisie, Cello Concerto Johann Benjamin GROSS (1809-1848) Cello Concerto - Klaus-Dieter Brandt (cello) L’arpa Festante/Riccardo Minasi rec. 2011 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38113 SACD [71:27] [DJB] I very much enjoyed this excursion into the little travelled world of the early Romantic cello concerto.

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade - London SO/Sir Eugene Goossens rec. 1958 EVEREST SDBR 3026 [42:51] Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein Heldenleben - London SO/Leopold Ludwig rec. 1959 EVEREST SDBR 3038 [42:25] [RMay] More reminders of how much wonderful music-making was taking place in that incredible decade of recording history.

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Symphony 5; Dmitry Donskoy Overture; Faust - George Enescu PO/Horia Andreescu rec. 1988 NAXOS 8.557005 [71.30] [DD] Acceptable bargain reissue of serviceable performances. No creative genius but worth hearing for fans of nineteenth century Russian music.

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Piano Quartets - Leslie Howard (piano) Rita Manning (violin) Morgan Goff (viola) Justin Pearson (cello) rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68018 [76:28] [JW] Splendid performances – sensitive, energised and with fine ensemble.

Poul RUDERS (b. 1949) Chamber and Piano Works Vol. 9 - David Starobin (guitar) Daniel Druckman (percussion) David Holzman, Sarah Rothenberg (pianos) Amalia Hall (violin) Hsin-Yun Huang (viola) rec. 2007/13 BRIDGE 9427 [56:34] [GH] Much here that is of interest.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Cello Concertos 1 & 2, La muse et le počte, Allegro appassionato, Le Cygne - Natalie Clein (cello) Antje Weithaas (violin) Julia Lynch, Judith Keaney (piano) BBC Scottish SO/Andrew Manze rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68002 [59:49] [IL] An altogether alluring collection.

Philip SAWYERS (b.1951) Cello Concerto, Symphony 2, Concertante for Violin & Piano - Maja Bogdanovic (cello) Louisa Stonehill (violin) Nicholas Burns (piano) Orchestra of the Swan/Kenneth Woods rec. 2013 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6281 [59:42] [JF] I will listen to Sawyers’ 2 again. Beethoven can wait a wee while longer.

Franz Xaver SCHARWENKA (1850-1924) Piano Concertos 1-4 - Alexander Markovich (piano) Estonian Ntl SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHAN 10814(2) [68:35 + 71:35] Scharwenka’s set of four piano concertos couldn’t really receive better approbation than these Markovich performances on Chandos [MC] Järvi has diced with lassitude before now and lost; not this time. Must be the Markovich factor - he really is stunning [RB].

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas - Daniel Barenboim (piano) rec. 2013/14 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 2783 [5 CDs: 351:44] [DC] What does Barenboim bring to the Schubert stable?

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Wanderer Fantasy; Impromptus; Klavierstücke - Jura Margulis (piano con sordino) OEHMS CLASSICS OC435 [73:01] [BR] This CD is a vehicle for a new kind of piano. Now isn’t that exciting? Let’s review the instrument itself.

Peter SCULTHORPE (1934-2014) Complete works for solo piano - Tamara-Anna Cislowska (piano) rec. 2014 ABC CLASSICS 481 1181 [79:21 + 79:26] [RB] Sculthorpe and the ever-eloquent Tamara-Anna Cislowska give voice to a composer drawn to quiet and slowly measured expression.

Norbert SCHULTZE (1911-2002) Schwarzer Peter - Anneliese Rothenberger (soprano) Gerhard Unger (tenor) Hermann Prey (baritone) RIAS Chamber Ch, Schöneberger Sängerknaben, FFB O/Norbert Schultze rec. 1964 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 528921 [42:41] [PCG] In the absence of documentation this remains a genial sort of background for non-German speakers.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphony 3, Overture, Scherzo and Finale - Royal PO/Dirk Joeres rec. 1995-99 HÉRITAGE HTGCD272 [60:00] [RB] Smashing real performances rather than session routine products.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Kinderszenen, Abegg Variations, Fantasie in C - Lise de la Salle (piano) rec. 2013 NAĎVE V5364 [60:48] [BR] When does meditation become too much? This may or may not be for you.

Vissarion SHEBALIN (1902-1963) Orchestral Suites 1 & 2 - Siberian SO/Dmitry Vasiliev rec. 2012 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0136 [62:19] Enjoyable from the first to last ... these suites could hardly receive finer advocacy [MC] Shebalin’s talent here extended into the lighter sphere [RB].

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto, Tapiola - Tossy Spivakovsky (violin) London SO/Tauno Hannikainen rec. 1959 EVEREST SDBR3045 [46:35] [JW] I would never be without Spivakovsky.

Myroslav SKORYK (b. 1938) Diptych, Violin Concerto 7, Cello Concerto, Carpathian Concerto - Nazary Pilatyuk (violin) Valery Kazakov (cello) Odessa PO/Hobart Earle rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573333 [76:42] [RB] Folk-melodic Ukrainian in a brilliant meeting with more sober Western styles.

Richard STÖHR (1874-1967) Fantasiestücke, Cello sonata - Stefan Koch (cello) Robert Conway (piano) rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0210 [60:03] [PRB] Shows a real empathy with the spirit of the music itself.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie, Intermezzo symphonic interludes - Bavarian RSO/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2010/13 BR KLASSIK 900124 [68:45] [JQ] A good recording of Eine Alpensinfonie, marvellously played, but it doesn’t challenge the best.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Elektra - Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Regina Resnik (mezzo) Leonie Rysanek (soprano) O & Ch Vienna State Op/Karl Böhm rec. 1965 ORFEO C8861421 [60:31+38:09] [ST] Thrilling, not just as a historical document, but also as brilliant music-making.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Violin Concerto, Violin Sonata - Thomas Albertus Imberger (violin) Michael Korstick (piano) Israel CO/Martin Sieghart rec. 2012/13 GRAMOLA 98992 SACD [57:21] [SV] Vibrant sound and accurate intonation.

Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) On Shore and Sea, Kenilworth - The John Powell Singers, O Victorian Opera NW/Richard Bonynge rec. 2013 DUTTON CDLX 7310 [65:24] [RB] Dutton's first Sullivan immersion ... very enjoyable.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Violin Sonata Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Sonata - Frédéric Bednarz (violin) Natsuki Hiratsuka (piano) METIS ISLANDS MUSIC MIM0004 [53:58] [NB] A disc that for all its competence lacks the special insights that demand attention.

Sergey TANEYEV (1856-1915) Piano Quintet, Piano Quartet, Piano Trio - Anna Zassimova (piano) Albrecht Breuninger (violin) Stefan Krznaric (violin) Julien Heichelbech (viola) Bernhard Lörcher (cello) rec. 2011 CPO 777 793-2 [44:09 + 75:46] [MC] A fine and uplifting release.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Manfred Symphony - Russian Ntl O/Mikhail Pletnev rec. 2013 PENTATONE SACD PTC5186387 [59:29] [MC] Bitingly dramatic playing in this compelling and memorable performance.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Sleeping Beauty - USSR State Academic SO/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. 1980 MELODIYA MELCD1002243 [3 CDs: 169:42] [RMay] Vividly coloured and vivacious, yet skilfully crafted.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Grand Sonata; Romanze; Aveu passionné Xaver SCHARWENKA (1850-1924) Piano Sonata 2; Two pieces from “Im Freien” - Joseph Moog (piano) rec. 2014 ONYX CLASSICS 4126 [65:46] [BR] Scharwenka’s sonata is a forgotten gem, and this is a worthwhile recital.

Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Seasons (arr. two guitars) Grigoryan Brothers (guitars) rec. 2011 MATERIAL RECORDS MRE041 [44:15] [RMay] Enjoyable though it certainly is its particular appeal will be primarily to devotees of the classical guitar.

Alexander TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977) Complete Piano Music Vols 7 & 8 - Georgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2010 GRAND PIANO GP658/59 [57:30 & 60:25] [SA] I have been privileged to see this journey through from beginning to end.

Carlo TESSARINI (c.1690 - c.1766) Violin Sonatas - Valerio Losito (violin) Federico Del Sordo (harpsichord) rec. 2013 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94787 [53:05] [JV] Very fine performances which convincingly bring out the characteristics and qualities of Tessarini's sonatas.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony 9 - London PO/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1958 EVEREST SBDR 3006 [35:01] [RMo] The perfect balance between drama and lyricism.

Jeroen van VEEN (b. 1969) Piano Music - Jeroen van Veen, Sandra van Veen (piano) Frank Steijens (carillon) rec. 2011-2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9454 [5 CDs: 4188:06] [JW] If you like your minimalism mellifluous …

Jacob Ter VELDHUIS (b. 1951) Complete Solo Piano Music - Jeroen van Veen, Sandra van Veen, Ronald Brautigam (pianos) Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic/Thierry Fischer rec. 2010/13 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94873 [71:13 + 61:18] [DC] Rewarding and illuminating.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) Songs & Romances - Ramon Vargas (tenor) Joanna Parisi (soprano) Charles Spencer (piano) rec. 2013 CAPRICCIO C5170 [65:37] [GF] With the reservations I have expressed the disc should be a valuable addition to anyone’s collection.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) The Potted Ring Vol. 1 - Extracts from Das Rheingold & Die Walküre rec. 1926-32 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO107 [2 CDs: 153.07] [PCG] Not obviously a Ring for first-time buyers but the best opportunity yet to become acquainted with recordings which set a standard for twenty years or more.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Piano Trio, Violin Sonatina, Sonata for solo double bass - Kolja Blacher, Erez Ofer (violin) Johannes Moser (cello) Elisaveta Blumina (piano) Nabil Shehata (double bass) rec. 2011-2012 CPO 777804-2 [68:23] [SG] All in all, this is a very desirable release.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Trumpet Concerto, Symphony 18 - Andrew Balio (trumpet) St Petersburg State SO & Chamber Ch/Vladimir Lande NAXOS 8.573190 [70:26] [WK] A must-purchase addition to all collections of twentieth century music.

Christopher WRIGHT (b.1954) Pandora’s Last Gift rec. 2013 MÉTIER MSV28547 [77:50] [JF] Approachable if a little challenging. Written with consummate skill and not inconsiderable inspiration.

Douglas YOUNG (b.1947) The Hunting of the Snark - Peter Easton (narrator) Douglas Young (piano and percussion) Leicestershire Schools SO & Chorale/Peter Fletcher rec. 1982 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9019CD [53.40] [PCG] Very much in the modern avant-garde style of the 1960s and 1970s.

Eugčne YSAŸE (1858-1931) Sonatas for Solo Violin - Karl Stobbe (violin) rec. 2013 AVIE AV2310 [65:14] Sonatas for Solo Violin, Sonata for 2 violins - Tedi Papavrami, Svetlin Roussev (violin) rec. 2012 ZIG-ZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT342 [64:02 + 29:32] [SG] For lovers of these sonatas or to those coming new to them, either of these versions can be warmly and enthusiastically endorsed.

Domenico ZIPOLI (1688-1726) Sonate d'intavolatura per cimbalo - Sergio Vartolo (harpsichord) rec. 1991 TACTUS TC682602 [78:39] [BBa] Rich in musical ideas, often brimming with charm and felicity.

Alhambra Tilman Hoppstock (guitar) rec. 1995-2009 CHRISTOPHORUS CHE01972 [60:11] [LJ] Evocative ... a musical sortie through Andalusian Spain.

The Bells of Dawn Russian Sacred and Folk Songs - Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone) The Grand Choir ‘Masters of Choral Singing’/Lev Kontorovich rec. 2012 ONDINE ODE1238-2 [64:29] [RMo] This is a wonderful album — manna for admirers of the Russian sacred and folk vocal traditions.

British Piano Concertos rec. 1970s-1990s LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD2345 [4 CDs: 305:00] British String Concertos rec. 1970s-1990s LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD2346 [4 CDs: 306:00] [RB] Suitable for the intrepid and open-minded soul who is happy to entertain a rewarding range of expression.

Chanson d’avril French chansons and melodies by Bizet, Duparc, Liszt & Ravel - Nicole Cabell (soprano) Craig Terry (piano) rec. 2013 DELOS DE3450 [65:47] [GF] A voice that can be overwhelming but so many strengths: a rounded contralto darkness matched with an almost girlish lightness.

Dances and Visions Works by Lully, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Debussy & Saint-Saens - Mordecai Shehori (piano) rec. 2014 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD173 [63:42] [JW] Shies away from volatile directness preferring a more considered, almost resigned perspective.

Joyce DiDonato (mezzo) Stella di Napoli Bel Canto Opera Arias - Opéra de Lyon/Riccardo Minasi rec. 2013 ERATO 2564 636562 [72:15] [MC] An extremely exhilarating and rewarding collection of rarely encountered bel canto arias.

Dvořák and America Works by Dvořák, Beckermann, Fisher, Farwell & Horowitz - University of Texas Chamber Singers, PostClassical Ensemble/Angel Gil-Ordóńez rec. 1998-2013 NAXOS 8.559777 [76:41] [JS] Sheds less light than I had expected on Dvořák’s American connections.

Annie Fischer (piano) Complete London Studio Recordings rec. 1955-69 WARNER CLASSICS ICON 2564 634123 [8 CDs: c. 540:00] [JW] An excellent, core salute to Annie Fischer and her musical legacy.

Folk Songs Works by de Falla, Granados, Obradors & Berio - Nora Gubisch (mezzo) Alain Antinoglu (piano) rec. 2013 NAĎVE V5365 [65:00] [GF] If the programme appeals to you there is no reason not to acquire this disc.

Forever The Love Poems of Pablo Neruda - Ute Lemper (vocals) rec. 2013 STEINWAY & SONS 30020 [62:50] [MC] Lemper in glorious voice but will in the main attract her diehards.

Ivry Gitlis (violin) Portrait rec. 1967-95 DECCA 5346246 [5 CDs: 342:47] [SG] Always a maverick but his playing keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Rita Gorr (mezzo) French Opera - O du Théâtre Ntl de l’Opéra/André Cluytens; O de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire/Georges Prętre rec. 1959/62 GUILD HISTORICAL GHCD2411 [79:49] [RMo] Refreshing to hear a singer prepared to take such risks with her voice even if sometimes the results are almost scary ... spine-chilling, even.

Howard Karp (piano) Concert Recordings 1962-2007 ALBANY RECORDS TROY1492 [6 CDs: 437:00] [DM] A hidden talent revealed at last; a must for all pianophiles.

Pierre Monteux in Amsterdam Works by Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms & Dvořák - Klaas Boon (viola) Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) Royal Concertgebouw O/Pierre Monteux rec. 1960/1963 TAHRA TAH 766-767 [68:06 + 70:31] [SG] A fitting tribute to a great maestro in this the fiftieth anniversary of his death.

Music for Alfred Hitchcock Scores by Benjamin, Elfman, Herrmann, Tiomkin & Waxman - Klaudia Kidon (soprano) DR VokalEnsemblet Danish Ntl SO/John Mauceri rec. 2012 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0241 [81:01] [DM] Despite one or two flat spots this is a very entertaining album; a good recording, too.

Night Stories Jenny Lin (piano) rec. 2014 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD98.037 [61:52] [BR] A just about ideal collection of nocturnes and night-music, from Chopin to Turina and Glinka.

Jarmila Novotná (soprano) Opera Recital rec. 1930/56 SUPRAPHON SU4158-2 [79:02] [JW] A more-than-sufficient number of CD premieres, to tempt the vocal collector.

Nuits Occitanes Ensemble Céladon/Paulin Bündgen rec. 2013 RICERCAR RIC340 [68.13] [GH] Highly attractive and most beautifully recorded.

Overtures and Intermezzi Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 5217812 [77:36] [SV] To hear what Karajan could really do with the Puccini and Mascagni selections, hunt down a digital transfer of his DG Opern-Intermezzi.

In Praise of Saint Columba The Sound World of the Celtic Church - Ch Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge/Geoffrey Wheeler rec. 2013 DELPHIAN DCD34137 [76.15] [GH] A generously filled and decidedly ambitious disc. Music prepared and performed immaculately and with imagination and recorded in a lovely and lively acoustic.

Raymond Paige’s Classical Spice Shelf Stadium SO New York/Raymond Paige rec. 1958 EVEREST SDBR 3027 [42:01] [JW] Great fun – but terrible playing time.

Bruno Rigutto (piano) Les Enregistrements Decca rec. 1968/83 DECCA 3749733 [8 CDs: 8:13:00] [JW] Rigutto himself is well worth listening to. At times reserved or dryish but he has things to say.

The Russian masters of great emotions in music DOCUMENTS 600158 [10 CDs: 664:04] [RMay] A real winner.

Leonie Rysanek: The Soprano Queen rec. 1951–60 DOCUMENTS 600159 [10 CDs: 11:49:14] [RMo] Live and studio recordings made in Rysanek's first ten years of performing ... 10 CDs and all at this modest asking price.

Serenity, Courage, Wisdom A Sequence of Music and Readings for Remembrance - Gabrielle Bullock, Peter Atkinson (readers) Proteus Ens/Stephen Shellard; Christopher Allsop (organ) rec. 2013 REGENT REGCD435 [66:12] [GPJ] A moving programme of words and music from Worcester commemorating World War One.

El Sistema at the 2013 Salzburg Festival Works by Mahler, Ginastera, Gershwin & others - Ntl Children’s SO Venezuela/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2013 C MAJOR DVD 716908 [146:00] [IL] An amazing concert from very talented young Venezuelans.

Slavic Nobility Works by Scriabin & Kosenko - Violina Petrychenko (piano) ARS PRODUKTION SACD ARS38153 [60:32] [SA] Petrychenko is perfectly at home with all this music and plays it with both commitment and affection.

Songs for Mahler in the Absence of Words New York Piano Qt rec. 2012 URLICHT AUDIOVISUAL UAV-5998 [72:32] [SV] Diverse styles projected with understanding and finesse.

Sonorous Sonatas Peter Sheridan (flutes) rec. 2012-14 MOVE RECORDS MD3375 [79:36] [DC] Long may Peter Sheridan's musical voyages continue.

Other reviews

Sleep Songs Caitríona O’Leary (voice) Dúlra rec. 2011 HERESY 014 [50:08] [GPJ] A unique and beautifully produced album, bringing together imaginative research and rich musical talent. These ancient Irish songs come magically to life.

The Golden Age of Light Music By Special Request Percy Faith and Robert Farnon GUILD GLCD5217 [77:17] [JW] Couples two eminent practitioners: Faith and Farnon Contrasts From the 1960s back to the 1920s Vol. 1 GUILD GLCD5218 [72:13] [JW] I like the concept and I like the programming conceits in this disc.

The Golden Age of Light Music By Special Request: David Rose and Sidney Torch rec. c. 1946-62 GUILD GLCD5219 [73:04] Two of the brightest lights in the Light Music genre share disc space Christmas Lights rec. c. 1955-61 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5222 [77:27] [JW] It’s never too early to get your Christmas discs.

Debussy by Eric Frederick Jensen. Published 2014 Oxford University Press [SG] This long awaited and eminently readable biography ranks as a highly desirable acquisition.

Bing Crosby At His Peak, 1943-1945 DSOY 954 [76:27] [BMC] A good collection and cross-section.

Articles and Notices

A survey of some recent Richard Strauss Opera Releases and Reissues by Brian Wilson

Forgotten Artists: Hélčne Boschi by Christopher Howell

Download News 2014/11 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan

Christopher Hogwood - an obituary

A free ebook "The 20th century violin concertante - A repertoire guide to the compositions for violin concertante written between 1894 and 2006" by Tobias Broeker - available in pdf format here


Experience Classicsonline