& RECENT ARTICLES
Artists: Hélène Boschi by Christopher Howell
A survey of
some recent Richard Strauss Opera Releases and Reissues by
News 2014/10 by Brian Wilson, Geoffrey Molyneux &
- Mozart symphony 35 'Haffner' & Tchaikovsky symphony
Two new Lyrita boxsets available - British
piano concertos & British
string concertos - 4 CDs £16 each post free
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Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, other music), Wednesday: MWI
Recommends, Friday: Articles.
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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.
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
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
MEDTNER (1880-1951) Medtner Plays Medtner
- rec. 1930-1947 MELODIYA MELCD1002200
[69:31] [SG] Excellent
transfers of this delightful music.
PAPANDOPULO (1906-1991) Piano Concerto 2,
Sinfonietta, Pintarichiana - Oliver Triendl
(piano) Zagreb Soloists/Sreten Krstić rec. 2013 CPO
777829-2 [67:31] [DJB] Quite
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not just as a historical document, but also as brilliant music-making.
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.
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.
(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
(1860–1911) & Alma MAHLER (1879–1964)
Songs - Karen Cargill (mezzo) Simon Lepper (piano) rec. 2013 LINN
CKD 453 [53:00] [GF] Cargill's
voice has youthful freshness and her affection for the songs is obvious.
OF THE MONTH John
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.
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.
OF THE MONTH Annie Fischer (piano)
- The Centennial Collection
rec. 1953-67 HUNGAROTON HCD41011 [3 CDs: 72:10 +
53:03 + 67:18] [SG] In
remarkable sound quality, these recordings are worth acquiring for
pianism of superb artistry and distinction.
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.
Peter Sheridan (flutes) rec. 2012-14 MOVE RECORDS MD3375
[79:36] [DC] Long may
Peter Sheridan's musical voyages continue.
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.
by Eric Frederick Jensen. Published 2014 Oxford
University Press [SG] This
long awaited and eminently readable biography ranks as a highly
At His Peak, 1943-1945 DSOY
954 [76:27] [BMC] A
good collection and cross-section.
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.
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.
(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.
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
(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.
(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.
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.
Raymond Paige’s Classical
Spice Shelf Stadium SO New
York/Raymond Paige rec. 1958 EVEREST SDBR3027
[42:01] [JW] Great fun –
but terrible playing time.
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,
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
Works by de Falla, Granados, Obradors & Berio - Nora Gubisch
(mezzo) Alain Antinoglu (piano) rec. 2013 NAÏVE V5365
[65:00] [GF] If the
programme appeals to you there is no reason not to acquire this disc.
Rita Gorr (mezzo)
French Opera - O du Théâtre Ntl de l’Opéra/André Cluytens; O de la
Société des Concerts du Conservatoire/Georges Prêtre 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.
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
(1494-1552) Auprès 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.
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
(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
(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.
(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.
(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
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.
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