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NEW & RECENT ARTICLES

[New] Download News 2014/11 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan

[New] Christopher Hogwood - an obituary

Forgotten Artists: Hélène Boschi by Christopher Howell

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

MWI Recommends - Handel Music for the Royal Fireworks & Strauss Don Juan.

NOTICES

[New] 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

[New] The Virgil Thomson Foundation is commemorating the 25th anniversary of his death - see here for details

[New] BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week - Sir George Dyson, September 29-October 3.

[New] Ethyl Smyth's opera The Boatswain's Mate - help required - see here for details

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Publishing schedule
Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, other music), Wednesday: MWI Recommends, Friday: Articles.
Live performance reviews posted daily at Seen and Heard
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LATEST REVIEWS

Tuesday September 30th

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 …

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.

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.

Monday September 29th

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) 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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Friday September 26th

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Thursday September 25th

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.

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.

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 Åstrand (violin); Per Salo (piano) rec. 2013 DACAPO 8.226082 [69:34] [SSi] A disc well worth investigating.

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.

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

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.

Wednesday September 24th

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

 


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