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Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

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Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 

Christmas Reviews 2015

Girolamo ABOS (1715-1760) A Maltese Christmas - Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2015 CPO 777978-2 [67:53] [JF] A discovery that makes an ideal and thoroughly enjoyable Christmas treat.

Alan BULLARD (b.1947) O Come, Emmanuel - Music for Advent & Christmas - Selwyn College/Sarah MacDonald rec. 2014 REGENT REGCD456 [70:39] [JQ] Alan Bullard's well-crafted music has been well served here.

Giovanni Battista COSTANZI (1704-1778) Cantata per Natale - Gambe di Legno/Alessandro Ciccolini rec. 2011 FRA BERNARDO FB1409323 [72:30] [JV] Nice music, interesting instrumental scoring and good performances.

Ferenc FARKAS (1905-2000) Christmas Cantata & other choral Music - Ascolta/Peter Broadbent rec. 2015 TOCCATA TOCC0296 [63:48] [JW] Those who have followed the Farkas trail thus far will want to expand their horizons with this disc.

Witold LUTOSŁAWKSI (1913-1994) Polish Christmas Carols - Piotr Kusiewicz (tenor); Waldemar Malicki (piano) rec. 1986 DUX 0383 [37:48] [BW] The versions for soloist, choir and orchestra on Naxos are more immediate in appeal, but Lutosławski enthusiasts may prefer this recording.

Michael PRAETORIUS (1571-1621) Christmas Vespers - Apollo's Fire, Musettes & Singers/Jeannette Sorrell rec. 2005 AVIE AV2306 [74:40] [JV] Jeannette Sorrell has succeeded in creating a vivid and compelling concert experience.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Weihnachtshistorie - Gerlinde Sämann (soprano) Georg Poplutz (tenor) Dresdner Barock O & Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2014 CARUS 83.257 [61:38] [JV] This recording should be welcomed as a nice addition to the discography.

Advent to Epiphany The Frobenius Organ at Oundle School Chapel - Alexander Eadon (organ) rec. 2015 PRIORY PRCD1164 [68:29] [JF] An enjoyably seasonal and inclusive exploration of one of the more interesting neo-classical organs in the UK.

Carols from Coventry A Memorial Tribute to Sir David Willcocks - Saint Michael’s Singers/Paul Leddington Wright; Kerry Beaumont (organ) rec. 2014 EM RECORDS EMRCD035 [58:28] [CC] If a more traditional Christmas disc is required look no further.

Carols from King’s - 60th Anniversary Edition Ch King's College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury rec. 2014 KING’S COLLEGE KGS0013 DVD [74.30 + 58.55] [RJF] An insight into a world that many, atheist or devout or other faiths, will have joined and enjoyed via the BBC, on Christmas Eve.

Christmas a Cappella I & II Musica Sacra/Indra Hughes rec. 2001/7 ATOLL ACD501/207 [65:36 & 61:43] [EML] Covers a large repertoire of Christmas carols from around the world with a commendable variety of styles, moods and periods.

Christmas from Christ's Carols by Warlock, Holst, and Vaughan Williams - Christ's College/David Rowland rec. 2014 REGENT REGCD446 [73:49] [JQ] A delightful disc of English Christmas music.

Christmas in Medieval England Blue Heron/Scott Metcalfe rec. 2013 BLUE HERON BHCD1006 [71:27] [JV] I didn't enjoy this disc as much as I had hoped.

Christmas Music Through the Ages rec. 1973-1995 SAYDISC CDSDL437 [78:38 + 77:34] [GPJ] An infinitely varied and delightful selection of Christmas music down the centuries – unbeatable value.

Christmas at Norwich Ch of Norwich Cathedral/Ashley Grote rec. 2015 PRIORY PRCD1148 [79:49] [CC] Music aplenty to enjoy.

Dancing Day Music for Christmas - Sara Cutler (harp) Stephen Buzard, Benjamin Sheen (organ) St Thomas Ch New York/John Scott rec. 2015 RESONUS RES10158 [63:58] [JQ] An enjoyable Christmas disc – and a reminder of the talent of John Scott.

December Celebration Lisa Delan (soprano) Lester Lynch (baritone) Volti Ch, New Century CO/Dawn Harms rec. 2014 PENTATONE PTC5186537 SACD [57:06] [JQ] A worthy enterprise but I’m not fully convinced.

The Golden Age of Light Music A Carol Symphony - Music for the Festive Season rec. 1951-62 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5233 [79:11] [JW] A tempting seasonal feast of music.

Nativity Carols and Anthems for Christmas - Cantemus Chamber Ch/Huw Williams, Robert Court (organ) rec. 2015 REGENT REGCD466 [64:04] [BMC] Admirable throughout, with a full, rich, harmonious communal voice, both nimble and joyful.

A Very English Christmas Tenebrae/Nigel Short rec. 2015 BENE ARTE SIGCD902 [55:35] [JQ] A shrewdly chosen programme of English Christmas music, splendidly performed.

A Very English Christmas Tenebrae/Nigel Short rec. 2015 BENE ARTE SIGCD902 [55:35] [ST] It's seasonal, beautiful and very appealing. Go for it.

Weynacht Gesaenge Baroque Advent and Christmas Music - Stimmwerck rec. 2012 CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77364 [67:51] [BW] An attractive collection of quieter Christmas music.

A Wondrous Mystery Renaissance Choral Music for Christmas - Stile Antico rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI SACD HMU807575 [72:57] [JW] A well-judged, sympathetic church recording … a long list of recommendable offerings.

A Wondrous Mystery Renaissance Choral Music for Christmas - Stile Antico rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI SACD HMU807575 [72:57] [ST] Every bit as excellent as we have come to expect.

A York Yuletide York Minster Ch/Robert Sharpe rec. 2015 REGENT REGCD467 [63:27] [JF] An attractive and enjoyable Christmas selection.

Yulefest! Ch Trinity College, Cambridge/Stephen Layton rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68087 [65:13] [JQ] A splendid and varied disc of Christmas music, immaculately performed.

Yulefest! Ch Trinity College, Cambridge/Stephen Layton rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68087 [65:00] [CC] A magnificent Christmas offering, a real gift from Hyperion to the Festive Season. Difficult to imagine this one being topped.

 



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