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Monthly Listing February 2015


Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass in B minor - Soloists, Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68051/2 [57:06 + 57:37] [SG] A performance that couldn’t be bettered.

Angelo Michele BARTOLOTTI (1610?/1668?) Music For A Queen - Fredrik Bock (baroque guitar) rec. 2012 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1065 [64:14] [GPu] Subtle music, intimately expressive of shifting thoughts and feelings, well played and recorded.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Serenades - Gewandhaus O Leipzig/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2014 DECCA 4786775 [65.19] [MC] Could not receive greater advocacy than these entirely convincing readings.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Alfred - Felix Rumpf (baritone) Petra Froese (soprano) Ferdinand von Bothmer (tenor) Czech Phil Ch Brno, Prague RSO/Heiko Mathias Förster rec. 2014 ARCO DIVA UP0140-2 612 [51:18 + 73:36] [NB] A set all admirers of Dvořák should hear.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) String Quintet 2 Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b.1933) Leaves of an Unwritten Diary - Silesian Qnt rec. 2014 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0334 [53:52] [BR] A new masterpiece, an old classic, two great performances, and my first 2015 Recording of the Month.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Glagolitic Mass, The Eternal Gospel (Věčné evangelium) - Prague Philharmonic Ch, Prague RSO/Tomáš Netopil rec. 2013/14 SUPRAPHON SU4150-2 [58:20] [LW] Essential recordings of Janáček's Glagolitic Mass in a new version and The Eternal Gospel.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Sonata, Petrarch Sonnets, Après une lecture du Dante - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68067 [74:37] [SG] A compelling alternative to my favourite versions of these magnificent works.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphony 2, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage - City of Birmingham SO & Ch/Edward Gardner rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHSA5151 SACD [73:01] [GPJ] Fresh, sparkling performances of this glorious music, beautifully captured in the spacious acoustic of Birmingham Town Hall.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concerto 1-5, Sinfonia Concertante - Rachel Barton Pine (violin), Matthew Lipman (viola) ASMF/Sir Neville Marriner rec. 2013 AVIE AV2317 [67:35 + 79:24] [NB] Delightful ... beautifully performed and presented.

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Tintinnabuli - The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips GIMELL CDGIM049 [67:06] Absolutely outstanding performances to celebrate Arvo Pärt’s forthcoming 80th birthday [JQ] I enjoyed hearing this new Gimell recording as much as all concerned clearly enjoyed making it [BW].

Anthony RITCHIE (b.1960) Symphony 4 - Jenny Wollerman (soprano) Christchurch SO/Tom Woods rec. 2014 ATOLL ACD314 [42:20] [NB] A remarkable and deeply moving work that demands international attention and acclaim.

Adoramus Te Motets, songs and consort music - Clare Wilkinson (mezzo) Rose Consort of Viols rec. 2012 DEUX-ELLES DXL1155 [72:41] [JV] This disc deserves special attention - the interpretations are pretty much ideal.

Vera Gornostaeva (piano) Discovering a Legend Vol. IV - Works by Liszt, Schubert & Schumann rec. 1968-79 LP CLASSICS 1012 [71:21] [BR] This is how legends begin: up from old radio archives rises the work of a great pianist.

Invitation au Voyage Songs by Duparc, Presle, Debussy, Boulanger & Hahn - Stéphanie d’Oustrac (mezzo) Pascal Jourdan (piano) rec. 2014 AMBRONAY AMY042 [70:59] [JQ] A wonderful disc of French mélodies.

Invocation Works by Bach, Liszt, Messiaen, Murail & Ravel - Herbert Schuch (piano) rec. 2013 NAÏVE V5362 [68:27] [BR] An inspired recital inspired by church bells and spanning 300 years, by one of our smartest young pianists.

The Marian Collection - Ch of Merton College, Oxford/Peter Phillips, Benjamin Nicholas; Charles Warren (organ) rec. 2014 DELPHIAN DCD34144 [67:42] [JQ] The latest excellent and stimulating disc from The Choir of Merton College.

Volkmar ANDREAE (1879–1962) Piano Trio 2 Sándor VERESS (1907–1992) Piano Trio Raffaele d’ALESSANDRO (1911–1959) Miniatures - Absolut Trio rec. 2013 MUSIQUES SUISSES MGBCD6278 [60:45] [DJB] Outstanding performances of obscure and varied repertoire.

Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Piano Trios 1 & 2 - Leonore Piano Trio rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68015 [73:01] [DJB] Rather lacking in character, but better than most alternatives.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Das wohltemperierte Klavier Books I & II - John Butt (harpsichord) rec. 2013 LINN RECORDS CKD463 [4 CDs: 212:23] [SSi] A mixed bag, full of musical highs and lows.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Recreation for the Soul: Cantatas - The Magdalena Consort/Peter Harvey rec. 2013 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA35214 [63:00] [DC] Easy to welcome in any context.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin - Henryk Szeryng (violin) rec. December 1952 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1037/8 [60:17 + 68:01] [SG] Szeryng’s 1950s mono cycle making a return visit in much improved sound.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concertos Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Concerto Grosso 3 - Deborah Nemtanu (violin, viola) Sarah Nemtanu (violin) Paris CO/Sascha Goetze NAÏVE V5383 [68:00] [DC] Feel like treating yourself?

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Brandenburg Concertos, Orchestral Suites - RCA Victor O/Fritz Reiner rec. 1949-53 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC425 [3 CDs: 191:21] [JWh] Something of a revelation.

William BARTON (b.1981) Birdsong at Dusk, Petrichore, Didge Fusion - William Barton (didgeridoo, vocals, guitar) Kurilpa String Qt, Delmae Barton (vocals) John Rodgers (violin) rec. 2013 ABC CLASSICS 4810962 [41:57] [DC] The work of a musician who listens.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 5 & 6 - Royal PO/Felix Weingartner rec. 1927 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC399 [60:55] [MG] A wonderful Pastoral symphony but a Fifth that’s more of a historical curiosity.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Cello Sonatas - DuoLeonore rec. 2013/14 SOLO MUSICA SM210 [78:52 + 35:14] [PRB] In every respect a highly-desirable new look at Beethoven’s definitive works for cello and piano.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) & Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concertos - Bronislaw Huberman (violin) Vienna PO/George Szell, P-SO New York/Artur Rodzinski rec. 1934/44 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC421 [76:23] [JW] A vital marker of Huberman's greatness.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 3 (arr. piano quartet) - Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin) Dov Scheindlin (viola) Neil Heyde (cello) Aaron Shorr (piano) rec. 2003 MÉTIER RECORDS MSVCD2008 [49:01] [JF] The next time I choose to listen to the Eroica Symphony, it may well be in this version.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Piano Sonatas - Mélodie Zhao (piano) rec. 2012-2013 CLAVES 50-1304-13 [10 CDs: 612:09] [SG] A remarkable achievement for a young pianist. She’s definitely one to watch out for.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Diabelli Variations - Christina Bjørkoe (piano) rec. 2013 DANACORD DACOCD747 [72:31] [DD] A very disappointing and lugubrious recording. A major misjudgment.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Harold en Italie, La mort de Cléopâtre - Antoine Tamestit (viola) Karen Cargill (mezzo) London SO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2013 LSO LIVE LSO0760 SACD [63:09] [BW] No challenge for earlier discs.

Heinrich Ignaz von BIBER (1644-1704) The Rosary Sonatas - Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch (violin) Battalia rec. 2013 ONDINE ODE1243-2D [71:25 + 53:31] [JW] Kaakinen-Pilch’s splendidly realised contribution can be placed very high in the discography of the work.

Marco Enrico BOSSI (1861-1925) Piano Trio, Trio sinfonico - Schuber Trio rec. 2007 TACTUS TC862704 [62:08] Amilcare ZANELLA (1873-1949) Piano Trios - Roberto Guglielmo (piano) Caterina Maria Carlini (violin) Ornella Gattoni (cello) rec. 2002 TACTUS TC872501 [65:07] [DJB] Interesting repertoire, but the Zanella is superior in all ways.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Solo Piano Works Vol. 3 - Barry Douglas (piano) rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHAN10833 [67:26] [JQ] More compelling advocacy for Brahms by Barry Douglas.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 5 - Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2013 C MAJOR Blu-ray 717904 [89:00] [JQ] A distinguished account of Bruckner’s Fifth.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 8 - Oberősterreichisches Jugend SO/Rémy Ballot rec. 2014 GRAMOLA 99054 SACD [37:17 + 66:29] [RMo] A recording that every committed Brucknerian should hear.

Stephen Douglas BURTON (b. 1943) Symphony 2 - Diane Curry (mezzo) Stephen Dickson (baritone) Syracuse SO/Christopher Keene rec. 1978 BRIDGE 9436 [51:25] [WK] Bridge is to be commended for bringing back a notable example of late 20th century American romanticism.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Nocturnes - Luiz de Moura Castro (piano) rec. 1998/99 Private release [61:06 + 59:21] [BR] If you see the Chopin nocturnes as a super-romantic chance for pianists to indulge, you’re going to love this.

François COUPERIN (1668-1733) Concert instrumental sur le titre d’Apothéose, Le Parnasse, ou L’apothéose de Corelli, La Sultane, La superbe - Gli Incogniti/Amandine Beyer (violin) rec. 2014 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902193 [57:16] [DJB] A few listens may be needed to adjust to Gli Incogniti’s sound, but the quality of the performances means it is time well spent.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Suite Bergamasque, Pour le piano Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849) Ballade 1,  Berceuse, Fantaisie, Scherzo 4 - Sarah Beth Briggs (piano) rec. 2014 SEMAPHORE SML MP49 [74:38] [MG] A well sequenced programme, well played and vividly recorded.

François DEVIENNE (1759-1803) Flute Concertos Vol. 1 - Patrick Gallois (flute) Swedish CO rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573230 [66:42] [SV] I'm looking forward to further installments in this series.

Alphons DIEPENBROCK (1862–1921) Orchestral Songs - Hans Christoph Begemann (baritone) St. Gallen SO/Otto Tausk rec. 2013 CPO 777 836-2 [64:48] [GF] I’m now going back to my listening room to play this disc again.

Jan Ladislav DUSSEK (1760-1812) Douze Études mélodiques, Fantaisie - Vincenzo Paolini (piano) rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0275 [73:49] [JW] Harmonically diverting with an attractive freedom of expression ... can’t help providing entertainment.

Paul DUKAS (1865-1935) The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, La péri, Symphony - RTÉ Ntl SO/Jean-Luc Tingaud rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573296 [71:46] [JWh] High quality Dukas.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Requiem - Christiane Libor (soprano) Ewa Wolak (alto) Daniel Kirch (tenor) Janusz Monarcha (bass) Warsaw Philharmonic O & Ch/Antoni Wit rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.572874-75 [50:58 + 46:58] [GF] If you love Dvorak’s Requiem as much as I do, you should invest in this new recording.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Rhapsody in a, Slavonic Rhapsodies - Pilsen Philharmonic/Tomáš Brauner rec. 2013 ARCO DIVA UP0171-2 031 [63:20] [BW] A slightly more serious view of this music – well worth considering.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 9 - New PO/Antal Doráti rec. 1966 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDCD114 [43:59] [SV] Not an essential acquisition except for Doráti die-hards or Phase Four fans.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Symphonies 1 & 2, Cello Concerto, Pomp and Circumstance Marches - André Navarra (cello) Halle O/Sir John Barbirolli; London SO/Sir Arthur Bliss rec. 1954/58 MAJOR CLASSICS M2CD008 [79:49 + 79:13] [EML] Extremely valuable recordings let down by presentation.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius - Arthur Davies (tenor) Felicity Palmer (mezzo) Norman Bailey (baritone) London SCh, USSR State SO/Yevgeny Svetlanov rec. 1983 MELODIYA MELCD1002266 [36:56 + 58:38] An interesting addition to the Gerontius discography [JQ] For all its artistic merits and historical significance, this cannot displace either the classic or more recent recordings [RMo].

Ēriks EŠENVALDS (b. 1977) Choral works - Ch Trinity College, Cambridge/Stephen Layton; Trinity Brass rec. 2013/14 HYPERION CDA68083 [67:48] [JQ] Imaginative choral music by Ēriks Ešenvalds, superbly sung.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) & Gabriel PIERNÉ (1863-1937) Piano Trios - Trio Wanderer rec. 2014 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902192 [57:35] [MC] Trio Wanderer caught in unrivalled form.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Requiem Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893) Les 7 derniers paroles du Christ sur la croix - Andrew Foster-Williams (bass-baritone) Flemish Radio Ch, Brussels PO Soloists/Hervé Niquet rec. 2013-2014 EVIL PENGUIN RECORDS EPRC015 [54:04] [JQ] A stylish release of Fauré’s Requiem and unfamiliar music by Gounod.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Requiem; Cantique de Jean Racine; Messe Basse - Gerald Finley (baritone) Ch King’s College, O Age of Enlightenment/Stephen Cleobury rec. 2014 KING’S COLLEGE KGS0005 SACD [51:33] [LW] This well-performed version of Fauré’s Requiem provides pleasure as it raises questions.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845–1924) Piano Quartets 1 & 2 - Schubert Ensemble rec. 1998/9 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6296 [64:48] [BW] Very fine performances that just fail to equal the best.

Zdeněk FIBICH (1850-1900) Orchestral Music Vol. 4: Overtures - Czech Ntl SO/Marek Štilec rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573310 [66:00] [RMay] These performances demonstrate artistic and technical expertise and deep commitment to Fibich.

Reinhold GLIERE (1875-1956) Symphony 3 - Buffalo PO/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2013 NAXOS NBD0041 BD-A [71:40] [JQ] A fine performance, excellently recorded, which makes the best possible case for Glière’s huge symphony.

Théodore GOUVY (1819-1898) Sonatas - André De Groote and Irena Kofman (piano duet) rec. 2014 TALENT DOM2911112 [65:53] [PRB] Great empathy ... the duo sound as if they enjoy every single note and their playing can simply not be faulted.

Herman GROENEWEGEN (b. 1960) Preludes - Andrew Clark (piano) rec. 2014 Private release [56:25] [BR] Inspired by Chopin, this brand-new piano cycle is even older-fashioned than Chopin was, with an interesting mix of influences.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Music for Queen Caroline - Tim Mead (counter-tenor) Sean Clayton (tenor) Lisandro Abadie (bass-baritone) Les Arts Florissants/William Christie LES ARTS FLORISSANT ÉDITIONS AF004 [72:07] [ST] This deserves to do well.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Organ concertos Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Pièces de clavecin en concerts - Paul Goussot (organ) Ensemble Zaïs/Benoît Babel rec. 2013 PARATY 714127 [68:20] [JV] I enjoyed the performances but from the angle of interpretation this disc is off the mark.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1750) Arias & Scenes for Tenor - Mark Padmore (tenor) Lucy Crowe (soprano) Robin Blaze (counter-tenor) The English Concert/Andrew Manze rec. 2006 HARMONIA MUNDI HMX2907422 [77:11] [ST] Beauty of tone and generosity of feeling.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Rodelinda - Valda Wilson (soprano) Sydney Lyric O/Richard Bonynge rec. 2012 ABC CLASSICS 4810987 [72:16] [GF] Those satisfied with excerpts will be fairly well served by this issue but try to hear it before buying.

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Rinaldo - Lawrence Zazzo (counter-tenor) Miah Persson (soprano) Vivica Genaux (mezzo-soprano) Freiburg Baroque O/René Jacobs rec. 2002 HARMONIA MUNDI HMY2921796-98 [3 CDs: 192:48] [JW] Good though this is, for a kink-free recording you’d be better off elsewhere.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartets, op. 77 - The Heifetz String Qt rec. 1950 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1013 [48:37] [SG] A fascinating discovery and true gem.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlosers am Kreuze - Jenö Jandó (piano) rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573313 [67:31] [DD] Jandó provides a very committed account of a “problematic” piece and one that has considerable merit.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartets, op.20 - Doric String Qt rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHAN10831(2) [74:32+75:32] [RWe] Every lover of Haydn and of chamber music should have a recording of these wonderful pieces.

Franz Anton HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812) Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 - Biliana Tzinlikova (piano) rec. 2013 GRAND PIANO GP666 [68:52] [PRB] It’s good to have some of Hoffmeister's keyboard music on disc.

Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785) Cantatas - Marie-Pierre Roy (soprano) Henriette Gödde (alto) Knut Schoch (tenor) Markus Köhler (bass) Handel’s Company & Ch/Rainer Johannes Homburg rec. 2013 CARUS 83.267 [71:10] [JW] Another fine addition to the Homilius discography.

Joseph HOROVITZ (b.1926) The Essential Collection - Victoria Soames-Samek (clarinet/saxophone) Michael Bell (piano) Bingham String Qt, Reedplay rec. 2014 CLARINET CLASSICS CC0060 [63:13] [GPJ] A delightful disc, devoted to the music of one of the most endearing and versatile composers of the past half-century.

Niccolò JOMMELLI (1714-1774) Tirsi: Soprano cantatas - Yetzabel Arias Fernández (soprano) Stile Galante/Stefano Aresi rec. 2013 PAN CLASSICS PC10308 [74:00] [JV] This make a strong case for Jommelli's oeuvre.

Dmitry KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) Suites and Overtures - Byelorussian Radio and TV SO/Anatoly Lapunov rec. 1994/95 DELOS DRD2017 [73:47] [MC] Accessible, frequently lyrically attractive and certainly rewarding.

John KINSELLA (b.1932) Symphonies 5 & 10 - RTE Ntl SO/Colman Pearce, Irish CO/Gábor Takács-Nagy rec. 1994/2012 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0242 [67.32] [GH] Kinsella has something to say and the determination to say it.

Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697-1764) Six Sonates en trio - Ens Rosasolis rec. 2012 MUSICA FICTA MF8018 [71:32] [JV] These trio sonatas are excellent stuff and the Ensemble Rosasolis manages to bring that across with verve.

Claude LE JEUNE (1528/30-1600) Missa ad placitum, Benedicite Dominum omnes angeli, Magnificat - Ensemble Clément Janequin/Dominique Visse HARMONIA MUNDI HMA1951607 [53:49] [BW] Music, performance and recording are all well worthwhile.

Douglas LILBURN (1915-2001) Violin Sonatas, Allegro Concertante - Justine Cormack (violin) Michael Houstoun (piano) rec. 2012 ATOLL ACD913 [78:52] [JW] Another valuable disc honouring Lilburn with unselfconscious generosity.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Transcendental Études, Mephisto Waltz 1 - Jean Muller (piano) rec. 2013 JCH PRODUCTIONS 2014/01 [76:19] [JW] Great assurance, technical gifts and real musical excellence.

Boris LYATOSHYNSKY (1895-1968) Symphonies 1-5, Grazhyna - Ukrainian State SO/Theodore Kuchar rec. 1993/4 NAXOS 8.555578-80 [56.38 & 76.47 & 55.16] [MC] These symphonies are certainly well worth getting to know.

Guillaume de MACHAUT (c.1300–1377) The Dart of Love - The Orlando Consort rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68008 [64:57] [BW] Lovers of Machaut’s music are becoming more fortunate all the time and this new recording adds to the bounty.

James MacMILLAN (b.1959) Clemency Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Hagar’s Lament - David Kravitz (baritone) Michelle Trainor, Christine Abraham (sopranos) Brett Hodgdon (piano) Boston Lyric Opera O/David Angus rec. 2013 BIS BIS2129 [59.18] [GH] I sometimes wonder if James Macmillan is not now too prolific.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 1 Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le sacre du printemps - Australian World O/Zubin Mehta rec. 2013 ABC CLASSICS 4810847 [35:37 + 61:23] [SV] I don't know that I'd favour this set just for the Sacre. An occasion for selective downloading, if possible.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphonies 1 & 2 - Camilla Tilling (soprano) Lilli Paasikivi (mezzo) Frankfurt RSO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2010/12 C MAJOR Blu-ray 718104 [169:00] [DBi] Splendid performances but only No.1 looks and sounds 'high definition'.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 9 (chamber arr.) - Ensemble Mini/Joolz Gale rec. 2014 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38155 SACD [85:26] [DC] Roll up and hear the best pit orchestra ever.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 5 - Berlin PO/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1961 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC416 [75:52] [JQ] A very considerable performance indeed of the Fifth Symphony led by a Mahler conductor of great stature.

Alessandro MARCELLO (1669-1747) Concertos - Andrea Mion (oboe) Insieme Strumentale di Roma/Giorgio Sasso rec. 2013 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94441 [62:29] [JV] These fine performances deserved a better recording.

Sir Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) The Beltane Fire, The Turn of the Tide - Manchester Cathedral Ch, BBC Philharmonic/Sir Peter Maxwell Davies rec. 1991-95 NAXOS 8.572362 [72:50] [PCG] Naxos continues its commendable series of reissues.

Sir Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Black Pentecost, Stone Litany - Della Jones (mezzo) David Wilson-Johnson (baritone) BBC PO/Peter Maxwell Davies rec. 1992 NAXOS 8.572359 [76:44] [JWh] Disturbing music in excellent performances.

Simon MAYR (1763-1838) Il sogno di Partenope - Andrea Lauren Brown, Sara Hershkowitz (sopranos) Bavarian State Opera Ch, Simon Mayr Ch & Ens/Franz Hauk rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573236 [65:56] [GF] A lot of excellent music on offer in this world premiere recording.

Nikolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) Piano Concerto 3 Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Piano Concerto - Yevgeny Sudbin (piano) Bergen PO/Andrew Litton rec. 2013 BIS BIS2088 SACD [62:42] [SG] On the evidence here, there is no doubt in my mind that Sudbin’s discographical legacy is going from strength to strength.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Fantasie, Thème et variations, Quatuor pour la fin du temps - Ens Nordlys rec. 2010/13 DANACORD DACOCD756 [66:13] [JF] An essential purchase for all enthusiasts of Messiaen’s music.

John METCALF (b.1946) Under Milk Wood - Michael Douglas Jones (bass-baritone), Karina Lucas (mezzo), Elizabeth Donovan (soprano), Wyn Davies (music director)  rec. 2014 TŶ CERDD TCR013 [60.13 + 48.58] [PCG] A modern opera that deserves the attention of all those who are concerned about the future evolution of the musical stage.

Federico MOMPOU (1893 – 1987) Songs - Roger Padullés (tenor) Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2008 OPUS ARTE OACD9021D [61:25] [GF] This is a delightful disc that should be heard by everyone with an interest in art-songs.

Alexander MOYZES (1906-1984) Symphonies 11 & 12 - Slovak RSO/Ladislav Slovák rec. 1993/95 MARCO POLO 8.225093 [69:50] [DJB] Late twentieth century symphonies to add to your Vaughan Williams/Shostakovich playlist.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Clarinet Concerto Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Metamorphosen Flora Marlene GEISSELBRECHT (b.1994) Die Waffen nieder! - Matthias Schorn (clarinet) Wolfgang Holzmair (baritone) Academia Allegro Vivo/Bijan Khadem-Missagh rec. 2013-2014 GRAMOLA 99041 [64:27] [GPJ] A fine programme including an exceptional performance of Metamorphosen.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies 38-40 - Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer rec. 1961 BEULAH 1PD98 [80:58] Classical Classics 2 Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer rec. 1960/1 BEULAH 2PDR2 [64:39] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART Symphony 34, Clarinet Concerto - Jack Brymer (clarinet) London PO, Royal PO/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. 1937-60 BEULAH 1PDR4 [64:04] [BW] These Klemperer and Beecham recordings, though very different, are well worth reviving.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 12 & 23 Ignaz HOLZBAUER (1711-1783) Symphony - Matea Leko (piano) Kurpfälisches CO/Johannes Schlaefli rec. 2014 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38167 [63:01] [DC] Nice, but not particularly special.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sonata for Two Pianos Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Variations Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Rite of Spring - Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim (pianos) rec. 2014 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 3922 [75:27] [SA] Sheer energy ... rarely equalled in a recording studio.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concertos 1 & 5, Sinfonia concertante - Vilde Frang (violin) Maxim Rysanov (viola) Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen rec. 2014 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 627677 [77:24] [MC] Joyous quality ... impressive interplay.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto 22, Symphony 39, Così fan tutte (excerpts) - Camerata Academica Salzburger Mozarteums/Géza Anda (piano), Sinfonia of London/Sir Colin Davis  rec. 1960-79 BEULAH 1PDR6 [73:34] [BW] Also available separately from Beulah but hanging together well as an attractive programme.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Divertimenti, Serenade 11 - Scottish CO Wind Soloists rec. 2014 LINN RECORDS CKD479 SACD [67:08] [BW] Performances which enhance the stature of this music without diminishing the enjoyment.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Requiem, Vesperae solennes de confessore - Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Marianne Beate Kielland (mezzo) Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2013 BIS BIS2091 SACD [74:34] [JQ] Expert and stimulating Mozart performances from Masaaki Suzuki.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Mitridate, re di Ponto - Barry Banks (tenor) Miah Persson (soprano) Classical Opera O/Ian Page rec. 2013 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD400 [4 CDs: 224:18] [GF] A replacement for the old Hager recording that should be attractive to all Mozart lovers.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition, Songs & Dances of Death, Night on Bare Mountain - Ferruccio Furlanetto (bass) Mariinsky O/Valery Gergiev rec. 2010-2014 MARIINSKY MAR0553 SACD [68:28] [ST] Very fine indeed.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphonies 5 & 6 - New York Philharmonic/Alan Gilbert rec.2014 DACAPO 6.220625 SACD [71:25] [DM] The sound and the fury, signifying very little; old rivals still hold sway.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Songs for choir - Ars Nova Copenhagen/Michael Bojesen rec. 2014 DACAPO 6.220569 SACD [63:31] [DM] Ardent, apple-cheeked repertoire lovingly sung; a cappella choirs don’t come much better than this.

Andrzej PANUFNIK (1914-1991) String Quartets 1-3, Song to the Virgin Mary - Brodsky Qt Robert Smissen (viola) Richard May (cello) rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHAN 10839 [78:24] [SSi] An excellent recording which should bring converts to this outstanding music.

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Pilgrim's Song - Chamber Ch Voces Musicales, Tallinn Sinfonietta/Risto Joost rec. 2009 ESTONIAN RECORD PRODUCTIONS ERP2309 [59:11] [JQ] Expert performances which serve Arvo Pärt’s music extremely well.

Nicola PORPORA (1686-1768) Arias - Franco Fagioli (counter-tenor) Academia Montis Regalis/Alessandro De Marchi rec. 2013 NAIVE V5369 [80.10] [JW] An imperious example of the counter-tenor’s art.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Bohème - Jan Peerce (tenor) Licia Albanese (soprano) NBC SO & Ch/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1946 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO110 [2 CDs: 101:34] [GF] Intriguing - the fastest recording ever.

Dariusz PRZYBYLSKI (b. 1984) Passio et Mors Domini Nostri Iesu Christi Secundum Ioannem, …et desiderabunt mori, Miserere - Solistenensemble Phoenix 16/Timo Kreuser rec. 2013 DUX 1119-20 [56:58 + 45:16] [JW] A powerful work but one that requires repeated listening.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Music for Two Pianos - Martha Argerich, Nelson Goerner, Lilya Zilberstein, Gabriela Montero (pianos) rec. 2003/09 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 623594 [78:40 + 40:04] [DC] Bathe in a pianistic seascape of marvels.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Complete Symphonies & Concertos rec. 1959-90 ALTO ALC6005 [6 CDs: 411:49] [GPJ] Uneven but some magnificent performances by Richter, Michelangeli, Slatkin and Rozhdestvensky. Well worth exploring.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 1; The Rock - Gürzenich O Köln/Dmitrij Kitajenko rec. 2013 OEHMS CLASSICS OC440 [62:53] [NB] More than enough quality on show to make me follow any other discs that might appear in this series with great interest.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Complete Solo Piano Works - Florian Uhlig (piano) rec. 2013 HANSSLER CLASSIC CD93.318 [3 CDs: 175:49] [BR] The first truly complete set of Ravel’s piano music, and artistically notable too.

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Symphonies 2 & 4, Ballet music - State SO Russia/Igor Golovchin rec. 1993 DELOS DRD2010/12 [66.11 & 65.24] [NB] Should fit the bill for those interested in good quality romantic repertoire slightly off the beaten track.

Poul RUDERS (b.1949) Nightshade Trilogy - Capricorn/Oliver Knussen, Odense SO/Paul Mann, Scott Yoo rec. 1987-2014 BRIDGE 9433 [50.19] [PCG] A thoroughly rewarding experience and a useful conspectus on the evolving style of the composer.

Elena RUEHR (b. 1963) Shimmer, Vocalissimus, Cloud Atlas, O'Keeffe Images - Jennifer Kloetzel (cello) Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose rec. 2003-14 BMOP/SOUND1039 [69:22] [BW] Powerful music in a modern idiom which nevertheless contains an appealing beauty.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Danse macabre, Cyprès et Lauriers, Symphony 3, - Vincent Warnier (organ) O Ntl Lyon/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2013 NAXOS NBD0045 BD-A [57:48] [JQ] An attractive Saint-Saëns programme from Lyon sounds well on Blu-ray.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Pelleas und Melisande; Variations for Orchestra - Israel PO/Zubin Mehta rec. 1975/88 HELICON CLASSICS 029665 [62:57] [SG] Two compelling recordings from the IPO archives.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Fantasie, Piano Trio 1 - Borsi Kucharsky (violin) Peter Wöpke (cello) Elizabeth Hopkins (piano) rec. 2014 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0046 [75:32] [RWe] There are even finer versions but collectors who are attracted to this disc will not be let down.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Works for Solo Piano Vol. 1 - Barry Douglas (piano) rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHAN 10807 [69:15] [JQ] An auspicious start to a new Schubert series from Barry Douglas.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sonata D894, Fantasia, Lebensstürme - David Fray, Jacques Rouvier (piano) rec. 2014 ERATO 2564 616699 [78.59] [MC] Remarkable insight provides breathtaking results.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphony 1, Manfred - Boston SO/Charles Munch rec. 1956/61 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDCD125 [40:28] [SV] Those with audiophile predilections will enjoy this.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) The Complete Poèmes - Garrick Ohlsson (piano) rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA67988 [79:46] [DM] Ohlsson, the pianistic prestidigitator, pulls it off again; a fine start to this centenary year.

Peter SCULTHORPE (1929-2014) Complete String Quartets with Didjeridu - Stephen Kent (Didjeridu) De Sol Qt rec. 2013-2014 SONO LUMINUS DSL92181 [2 CDs & BD-A: 82.11] [GH] A fascinating release that opens out a unique and evocative sound-world.

Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 1; Cello Concerto 1 Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Sinfonietta - Steven Isserlis (cello) Mahler CO/Teodor Currentzis rec. 2013 EUROARTS DVD 2059818 [82.00] [PCG] Only those who are attracted by the physicality of a live performance need venture further.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Trio 2 Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Piano Trio 1 Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Trio élégiaque 1 - Arnon Erez (piano), Hagai Shaham (violin), Raphael Wallfisch (cello) rec. 2014 NIMBUS NI5917 [75.00] [DC] Can this trio compete in such a hard-fought race?

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony 2 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser Overture - Boston SO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2014 BSO CLASSICS 1401 [61:12] [JQ] The first recordings from Andris Nelsons in Boston.

Yevhen STANKOVYCH (b.1942) Symphonies 1, 2 & 4 - Ukraine Ntl SO/Theodore Kuchar rec. 1995 NAXOS 8.555741 [70:07] [SA] Coming to his music without any prior knowledge is a fascinating and rewarding experience.

Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) Simplicius - Martin Zysset, Elizabeth Magnuson, O & Ch Zurich Opera House/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2000 ARTHAUS MUSIK Blu-ray 108127 [132:00] [RMay] Many may consider it worth acquiring both for its rarity value and for the thoughtful take that it offers on this curious oddity that can't make up its mind whether it's opera or operetta.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan, Vier letzte Lieder, Also sprach Zarathustra - Erin Wall (soprano)
Melbourne SO/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2013 ABC CLASSICS 4811122 [73:46] [JQ] A collection of good Strauss performances from Melbourne.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan, Ein Heldenleben - Anton Barachovsky (violin) Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2011/13 BR KLASSIK 900127 [64:55] [MC] These live accounts can stand confidently alongside the finest recordings in the catalogue.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Also sprach Zarathustra; Macbeth; Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche - Royal Concertgebouw O/Andris Nelsons rec. 2013/14 C MAJOR Blu-ray 719004 [80:00] [JQ] Three distinguished and exciting Strauss performances.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Complete Works for String Quartet - Matthias Kirschnereit (piano) Minguet Qt rec. 2010-2014 CPO 777 652-2 [68:20 + 56:25] [SSi] An excellent recording of this unjustly neglected music. One to savour.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Symphonies 1 & 3, Love Songs of Hafiz - Ben Johnson (tenor) BBC SO & Ch/Edward Gardner rec. 2013/14 CHANDOS CHSA5143 SACD [65:54] [BW] Familiar and unfamiliar Szymanowski attractively presented.

Hilary TANN (b.1947) Of Erthe and Air - Susan Fancher (saxophones) Red Clay Saxophone Qt, Thailand PO/Allan McMurray ARIZONA UNIVERSITY RECORDINGS AURCD5014 [66:55] [GPJ] An immensely rewarding issue.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Trio Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Piano Trio 1 - Trio Wanderer rec. 2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 902161 [71.42] [MC] As smart as a whip.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto 1, Kol Nidrei - Michèle Auclair (violin) Vienna SO/Kurt Woss, Austrian SO/Wilhelm Loibner rec. early 1950s FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR126 [59:52] [SG] Should be enthusiastically taken up by lovers of great violin playing in recordings that have long since become unavailable.

George Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Sonatas, Trios & Concerti - L’Accademia Giocosa rec. 2012 OEHMS CLASSICS OC897 [62:40] [GPu] A kind of redemptive radiance which makes the potentially ‘sad’ both glad and serene.

Antonio Zacara da TERAMO (c. 1365-before 1416) Spinato Intorno al Cor - Currentes/Jostein Gundersen rec. 2010 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1026 [54:11] [DC] Musical jewels from a lost era.

Harold TRUSCOTT (1914-1992) Piano Music Vol. 1 - Ian Hobson (piano) rec. 2014 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0252 [75.02] [GH] Performances that are passionate and also immaculate.

Viktor ULLMANN (1898-1944) The Complete Piano Sonatas -Michael Tsalka (piano) rec. 2013/14 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0035 [70:37 + 61:26] The Complete Works for Piano Solo - Christophe Sirodeau (piano) rec. 2010/13 BIS BIS-2116 SACD [60:53 + 64:08] [JW] There could hardly be more of a difference between the perceptions of these two pianists in this repertoire.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis, A Pastoral Symphony, Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus, The Wasps Overture - Sarah Fox (soprano) Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2012/13 HALLÉ CDHLL7540 [74.16] [MC] This Hallé release must be added to any serious music collection.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello - Robert Dean Smith (tenor) Raffaella Angeletti (soprano) Oviedo Filarmonía/Friedrich Haider rec. 2007/09 NAXOS 8.660357-58 [64:32 + 67:25] [ST] Has good things going for it and at the price it’s hard to beat.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678 - 1741) Concerti per molti istromenti - Modo Antiquo/Federico Maria Sardelli rec. 1995 TACTUS TB672257 [55:31] [JV] The performances are vibrant and engaging, and the virtuosity of the soloists - especially the horn players - is impressive.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerti a quattro - Maria Giovanna Fiorentino (flauto dolce e traversiere) I Fiori Musicali rec. 2011 TACTUS TC672255 [50:35] [DC] Nice programme, but will you want to hear it more than once?

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Symphony, Tristan und Isolde: Nachtgesang und Liebestod, Siegfried Idyll - Netherlands Radio PO/Edo de Waart rec. 2010/13 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72649 [77:32] [BR] Very appealing to Wagner aficionados but maybe not to the average listener.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Orchestral excerpts - Simón Bolívar SO of Venezuela/Gustavo Dudamel rec. 2014 GUSTAVO DUDAMEL/FIDELIO ARTS [65:55] [DM] The Bolívars are superb in the Ring excerpts; their Tristan is still a work in progress.

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Troilus and Cressida - Judith Howarth (soprano) Yvonne Howard (mezzo) Ch of Opera North, English Northern Philharmonia/Richard Hickox rec. 1995 CHANDOS CHAN241-50 [70:08 + 63:04] [ST] Lyricism tinged with edginess and danger.

Michael F. WILLIAMS (b.1962) The Prodigal Child - Joanne Cole-Rosser (mezzo) Ogden Plus Quintetet ATOLL ACD306 [59:33] The Juniper Passion - Matthew Landreth (baritone) Rachael Griffiths-Hughes (conductor) ATOLL ACD243 [49:15 + 46:18] [DCh] These operas have much to interest with their poetic texts and polystylistic scores.

Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931) Sonatas for Solo Violin - Masuko Ushioda (violin) rec. 1993 FONTEC FOCD3284 [69:40] [SG] The most exciting recording of the Ysaÿe’s sonatas I’ve ever come across, by a violinist who deserves to be better known.

Alexander von ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Piano Trio Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Nocturnes Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Piano Trio - Pacific Trio rec. 2013 CAPRICCIO C5221 [73.10] [MC] Satisfying unity and pleasing timbre in three non-mainstream works.

Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) String Quartets - Brodsky Qt rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHAN10845(2) [73:44 + 78:09] [DC] Zemlinsky’s five string quartets? Is this the one to have?

Agony and Ecstasy ABC CLASSICS 4811210 [78:54] [NB] A valuable survey introducing the richness and diversity of twentieth century Australian music.

Marcelo Álvarez (tenor) Twenty Years on the Opera Stage - St. Petersburg State SO/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2014 DELOS DE 3472 [54:38] [MC] A winning aria collection deserving great success.

Audite Finem Old and New Music from Cambridge’s 21st Century College - Charter Ch Homerton College, Cambridge/Daniel Trocmé-Latter, Jonathan Huse (organ) rec. 2014 EM RECORDS EMRCD027 [61:51] [JQ] The debut CD by Homerton College choir.

Baroque Inspirations Works by Kreisler, Stamitz, Tartini, Vitali & Vivaldi - Hideko Udagawa (violin) Scottish CO/Nicholas Kraemer rec. 2014 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6299 [57:35] [BW] Not everything is truly Baroque but it’s all very enjoyable.

Cecilia Bartoli (soprano) St Petersburg - I Barocchisti/Diego Fasolis rec. 2013/14 DECCA 4786767 [77:57] [JW] A highly accomplished disc beautifully complemented by Decca’s production values.

Beyond The River God Works by Couperin & Lynch - Assi Karttunen (harpsichord) rec. 2014 DIVINE ART DDA25120 [78:25] [JF] Baroque works full of charm and interest; modern pieces: approachable, well-crafted, musically satisfying.

Cambrai Motets Music from Northern France: The Cambrai Manuscript - Graindelavoix/Björn Schmelzer rec. 2010 GLOSSA GCDP32109 [44.44] [GH] This recording offers you a real chance to get inside these motets almost more than any other I have come across.

Classical Classics 3 Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Swan Lake Suite Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Les Préludes Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony 104 - Philharmonia O, Vienna PO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1958-1959 BEULAH 3PDR2 [63:22] [BW] Another fine reissue from Beulah – but they have already released each of the components separately.

Comédie et Tragédie Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Suite ‘Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme’ Jean-Féry RÉBEL (1666-1747) Les Élémens, Symphonie nouvelle Marin MARAIS (1656-1728) Suite ‘Alcyone’ - Tempesta di Mare/Gwyn Roberts, Richard Stone rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN0805 [67:04] [BW] Rather too sedate for me but some may prefer it that way.

Españoletas Glen Velez (percussion) Harmonious Blacksmith rec. 2012 Private Release [54:26] [BR] A jovial collection of improvised twists on Spanish baroque tunes.

The Excellent Art of Voluntary Robert Costin (organ) ATOLL ACD241 [73:44] [JV] Lovers of organ music will greatly enjoy this disc.

La Fauvette Passerinette Peter Hill (piano) rec. 2014 DELPHIAN DCD34141 [78:56] [BW] Good as the performances are, an all-Messiaen album would have been preferable.

Flowers of the Field George BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916) A Shropshire Lad Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Requiem da camera Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) An Oxford Elegy - City of London Ch, London Mozart Players/Hilary Davan Wetton rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573426 [60.41] [MC] A fitting tribute to four composers who were greatly affected by the First World War with one making the ultimate sacrifice.

Music for Evensong at Gloucester Cathedral Gloucester Cathedral Ch/Adrian Partington, Jonathan Hope (organ) rec. 2014 PRIORY PRCD1128 [77:55] [JQ] This is a very thoughtful and perceptively devised reflection on the Great War and the performances are uniformly excellent.

From the Imperial Court Music for the House of Hapsburg - Stile Antico rec. 2013 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU807595 SACD [71:07] [ST] Very good indeed.

Martin Jones (piano) 75th Birthday Tribute rec. 1973-2014 NIMBUS RECORDS NI 1718 [4 CDs: 311:00] [DC] A very fine tribute indeed to one of our most valued musicians.

Carlos Kleiber In Rehearsal & Performance Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Der Freischutz Overture Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) Die Fledermaus Overture - Radio SO Stuttgart SWR rec. 1970 EUROARTS 2060868 DVD [102:00] [SG] A fascinating glimpse into the exceptional artistry of one of the greats.

Monique de La Bruchollerie (piano) Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Piano Concertos 20 & 23 César FRANCK (1822-1890) Variations symphoniques Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini - rec. 1955/59 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR653/685 [56:22 & 68:57]  [JW] Musically stimulating and exciting.

Lamento Romina Basso (mezzo) Latinas nostra rec. 2010 NAÏVE V5390 [64:37] [JV] This repertoire is irresistible, but I can't really warm to these performances.

Majestie Music for the Sun King's Court by François Couperin & De Lalande - Poeticall Musicke rec. 2014 VETERUM MUSICA no number [68:01] [JV] An attractive proposal, despite some minor reservations.

A Multitude of Voices World War I Centenary in Choral Song - Susan Fairbairn (soprano) Fournier Trio, Sospiri/Christopher Watson CONVIVIUM CR026 [69:40] [JQ] Interesting and stimulating new additions to the choral repertoire for remembrance.

Neujahrskonzert 2015 Vienna PO/Zubin Mehta rec. 2015 SONY 88875 035492 [51:58 + 53:12] [BW] There’s more than enough that’s different from other years to make this a most enjoyable and worthwhile purchase.

Helen Nicholas (piano) The Debut - Works by Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Ravel & Scarlatti rec. 2014 Private release [59:20] [BR] Your debut should only reveal your skills, not your limits.

The Pianos Trio Live in Lugano rec. 2010/13 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 628807 [77:18] [DC] More than a novelty.

Pictures Music for 8 Horns and Percussion - German Hornsound 8.1 rec. 2014 GENUIN CLASSICS GEN15340 [74:39] [NB] A thrillingly brilliant disc as musically exciting as it is artistically impressive.

Psalm Contemporary British Trumpet Concertos - Simon Desbruslais (trumpet) O of the Swan/Kenneth Woods, David Curtis rec. 2012/13 SIGNUM SIGCD403 [65:49] [HC] A most interesting programme superbly played and recorded.

Shining Night A Portrait of Morten Lauridsen HÄNSSLER CLASSIC DVD 98.046 [73:30 + bonus features] [JQ] An excellent film that gives a good understanding of Morten Lauridsen and what makes him and his music tick.

UK-DK Michala Petri (recorder) Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord) rec. 2014 OUR RECORDINGS 6.220611 SACD [66:27] [JF] Often attractive music well performed.

Vision - Elisabeth Meister (soprano) Cantoribus/Timothy Hamilton rec. 2013 STONE RECORDS 5060192780406 [44:40] [JQ] Cantoribus offers a novel approach to small ensemble singing which is worthwhile to experience.

Visions fugitives Works by Chopin, Medtner & Prokofiev - Anna Gourari (piano) rec. 2013 ECM NEW SERIES 2384 [61:18] [DC] Sublime Prokofiev.

Voice of the Soul Horomona Horo (taonga pūoro) Voices 16/Karen Grylls rec. 2013 ATOLL ACD213 [61:00] [GPJ] Original and intriguing ... intermingling Maōri traditional instruments with an excellent young chamber choir.

Winds and Piano Les Vents Français rec. 2014 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 623185 [3 CDs: 179.27] [MC] For admirers of chamber music this release makes indispensable listening.

A Year at Ely The Choir of Ely Cathedral/Paul Trepte rec. 2014 REGENT REGCD441 [75:00] [JS] Admirable ... deserves inclusion in any representative collection of recordings by English Cathedral choirs.

Zoforbit: A Space Odyssey Works by Crumb, Holst, Long & Sisask - Eva-Maria Zimmermann, Keisuke Nakagoshi (piano 4 hands) rec. 2013 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92178 [CD and BD-A: 69:21] [JQ] A pretty niche disc with limited appeal to collectors.

Itamar Zorman (violin) Portrait Works by Brahms, Chausson, Hindemith, Messiaen & Schubert - Kwan Yi (piano) rec. 2013 PROFIL EDITION PH14039 [75:05] [RWe] Well-planned and splendidly played ... a sign of great things to come.

Other reviews

Revolutions 1830, 1848, 1871 Les Lunaisiens rec. 2011 PARATY 214123 [72:34] [ST] Overall only a mixed success.

Articles and Notices

National Discographies: Central European & Balkan Concertos A-G by Mike Herman

An A to Z of the Piano Trio Repertoire by David Barker: Introduction ~~ "A" Composers

Download News 2015/1 by Brian Wilson, Dan Morgan and Geoffrey Molyneux

Two Centuries In One: Musical Romanticism & the Twentieth Century - an e-book by Herbert Pauls (available as a pdf - we recommend you download it to your computer as it is a large file, 4Mb)

Forgotten Artists: Astra Desmond by Christopher Howell

National Discographies: Central European & Balkan Concertos H-L by Mike Herman



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