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RECORDING OF THE MONTH
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music that will please greatly


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A pleasure to see and hear


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Monthly Listing
192 reviews this month
May 2015

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Magnificat, Cantata BWV63 - Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Mark Padmore (tenor) Collegium Vocale Gent/Philippe Herreweghe HARMONIA MUNDIA HMA1951782 [61:49] [ST] Whatever the time of year, this disc is a winner.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Sonatas Carl REINECKE (1824-1910) Undine Sonata; Introduzione ed Allegro appassionato - Michael Collins (clarinet) Michael McHale (piano) rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHAN10844 [69:55] An excellent recording of the Brahms Sonatas but for me it is the Reinecke pieces which are the real stars here [SSi] What more could we possibly want? [PCG]

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) Symphonies 6, 28, 29 & 31 - New Russia State SO/Alexander Walker rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573408 [69:51] [MC] De rigueur for all Brian admirers and lovers of British music alike.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Les Martyrs - Michael Spyres (tenor) Joyce El-Khoury (soprano) O Age of Enlightenment/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2014 OPERA RARA ORC52 [3 CDs: 188.12] [RJF] Elder brings inspired conducting as well as dramatic cohesion and vitality to Donizetti’s first grand opera including music not heard since the premiere.

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Works for Piano and Orchestra - Jeffrey Siegel (piano) Saint Louis SO/Leonard Slatkin rec. 1974 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94861 [70:19 + 70:18] [JWh] A classic Vox recording and an incredible bargain.

William HURLSTONE (1876-1906) Complete Piano Music - Kenji Fujimura (piano), Julia Lu (piano, duet) rec. 2007/13 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0289 [75:24] [JF] A must-have CD for all British music enthusiasts.

Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Works for Solo Piano - Véronique Briel (piano) rec. 2013 DUX 0967 [58:01] [BR] Lutosławski’s solo piano music is extremely good, and deserves to enter both the repertoire and your listening library.

James MACMILLAN (b. 1959) Piano Trio 2, Fourteen Little Pictures Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Piano Trio Sally BEAMISH (b. 1956) Piobaireachd - Gould Piano Trio rec. 2014 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD090 [66:19] [SSi] The Gould Piano Trio give wonderful performances of all these works showing a real affinity with and understanding of the music.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony 5, Scythian Suite - Bergen PO/Andrew Litton rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2124 SACD [67:00] Magnificent Prokofiev recordings from Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic in stunning sound [JQ] Another victory for the Bergen Philharmonic, Andrew Litton and the mastery of BIS engineers [BR].

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) The Execution of Stepan Razin, The Sun Shines over our Motherland, The Song of the Forests - Alexei Tanovitski (bass) Konstantin Andreyev (tenor) Narva Boys Ch, Estonian Concert Ch, Estonian Ntl SO/Paavo Järvi rec.2012 ERATO 2564 616666 [79:52] [DM] Paavo Järvi follows up his fine Leningrad with very persuasive performances of these cantatas; the playing, singing and sound are sensational.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Piano Music from Ainola - Folke Gräsbeck (piano) rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2132 SACD [80:54] [DM] Musical and sonic nirvana, this; prepare to be overwhelmed.

Romanus WEICHLEIN (1652-1706) Encaenia Musices - Capella Vitalis Berlin RAUMKLANG RK3401 [68:18] [DJB] How can this glorious music and this brilliant ensemble be so little known?

20th Century Romantics Works by Bloch, Bourgeois, Gliere, Montag & Piazzolla - Nicholas Bayley (double bass) Geoffrey Duce (piano) rec. 2012 NIMBUS NI6308 [68:43] [BR] If you don’t have too many double bass recitals, start here: it’s captivating.

Jorge Bolet (piano) Ambassador from the Golden Age: A Connoisseur’s Selection for the Bolet Centennial rec. 1937-1989 MARSTON 56003-2 [6 CDs: 475:14] [SG] A worthy release, showcasing the ‘other’ Bolet. There could be no better centenary tribute.

Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) The Roots of Heaven, David Copperfield - Moscow SO/William Stromberg rec. 2000 NAXOS FILM MUSIC CLASSICS 8.573366 [62:09] [JWh] Tantalising snippets aren’t really for me.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. Matthew Passion - Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Egarr rec. 2014 AAM RECORDS AAM004 [3 CDs: 144:38] [JQ] Expertly sung and played, but I have reservations over the conducting.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) & Sven-David SANDSTRÖM (b. 1942) Motets - Kammerchor Hannover, La Festa Musicale/Stephan Doormann rec. 2014 RONDEAU ROP6105 [66:36] [GF] Undisputed masters of choral writing.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cöthen funeral music - Sabine Devieilhe (soprano) Damien Guillon (counter-tenor) Thomas Hobbs (tenor) Christian Immler (bass) Ensemble Pygmalion/Raphaël Pichon rec. 2014 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902211 [73.53] [DC] ‘New’ old Bach – yes please!

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concertos Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Concerto Grosso 3 - Deborah Nemtanu (violin, viola) Sarah Nemtanu (violin) Paris CO/Sascha Goetzel rec. 2014 NAĎVE V5383 [68:00] [LW] Satisfying Bach in a crowded field enhanced by the inclusion of a Schnittke concerto.

Leonardo BALADA (b. 1933) Symphony 6, Concerto for three cellos, Steel Symphony - Galicia SO, Barcelona SO/Jesús López-Cobos; Berlin RSO/Eivind Gullberg Jensen rec. 2007/12 NAXOS 8.573298 [59:54] [PCG] The Naxos Balada series misses a beat.

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Piano Concerto, Nocturne Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Piano Concerto, Night Piece - Elizabeth Joe Roe (piano) London SO/Emil Tabakov rec. 2013 DECCA 478 8189 [74:30] [IL] An intelligent, imaginative pairing in winning performances.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa solemnis - Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Gächinger-Kantorei Stuttgart/Helmuth Rilling rec. 1997 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD98.053 [78:58] [SV] I like this sort of Missa solemnis, solid rather than flashy.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Complete Piano Trios Vol. 4 - Gould Piano Trio rec. 2012 SOMM SOMMCD0144 [79.00] [IL] I enjoyed immensely this latest release in Somm's Beethoven Piano Trio series.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Harold en Italie; La mort de Cléopâtre - Antoine Tamestit (viola) Karen Cargill (mezzo) LSO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2013 LSO LIVE LSO0760 SACD [63:09] [ST] While no one will get rid of their previous versions, this one is an interesting alternative.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Septet, Quintet for Piano & Winds - Vienna Octet, Willi Boskovsky (violin) rec. 1957/1959 ALTO ALC1243 [66:27] [BW] Classic performances, still sounding well and at an attractive price.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique - Boston SO/Seiji Ozawa rec. 1973 PENTATONE PTC5186211 SACD [47:14] [CG] That can tip the scales from being one historic recording, to one fantastic historical recording.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Intrata di Rob-Roy Mac Gregor, Ręverie and Caprice, Harold in Italy - James Ehnes (violin/viola) Melbourne SO/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHSA5155 SACD [64:00] [RMo] Not an essential issue, even for committed adherents of Berlioz like me.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Le Carnaval romain Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Trois Nocturnes Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Pavane pour une infante défunte, Alborada del gracioso - Minneapolis Symphony/Antal Doráti rec. 1952 DORÁTI EDITION ADE031 [44.55] [MC] I cannot envisage anyone other than the most die-hard Antal Doráti fans wanting these rather disappointing performances.

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) The Beatitudes, The Enchantress - Heather Harper (soprano) Pamela Bowden (contralto) Gerald English (tenor) BBC SO & Ch/Sir Arthur Bliss, Rudolf Schwarz rec. 1957-64 LYRITA REAM1115 [75:53] [NB] Another Lyrita triumph.

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1713-1805) String Quintets - I Virtuosi della Rotonda rec. 2013 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94961 [63:10 + 62:22] [SSi] There is much here to enjoy, both in the music and in the performances, which are first rate.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein Deutsches Requiem - Christina Landshamer (soprano) Florian Boesch (bass) NDR Ch, Stuttgart RSO/Roger Norrington rec. 2014 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD93.327 [64:24] [DC] Revelatory vision, or single-minded artifice?

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein Deutsches Requiem - Christine Schäfer (soprano) Christian Gerhaher (baritone) Ch Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Phil/Christian Thielemann rec. 2007 C MAJOR Blu-ray 719904 [82:46] [JQ] A spacious live account of the Brahms Requiem, expertly performed.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 1 Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Scottish Fantasy - David Oistrakh (violin) London SO/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1962 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC438 [76:18] [JS] In every way a self-recommending disc.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto, Hungarian Dances 5 & 6 - Berl Senofsky (violin) Vienna SO/Rudolf Moralt rec. 1955 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1052 [46:29] [SG] Senofsky’s long admired recording of Brahms Violin Concerto in a superb re-mastering.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 8 - Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2012 C MAJOR Blu-ray 716204 [89:00] [JQ] A magnificent Bruckner performance.

Geoffrey BUSH (1920-1988) Small Pieces for Orchestra - Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Northern CO/Nicholas Ward rec. 2013 LYRITA SRCD341 [61:10] [JW] Vivid playing and recording, and well researched notes ... fills a welcome gap in Bush’s representation on disc.

Cécile CHAMINADE (1857-1944) Piano Sonata; Etudes - Johann Blanchard (piano) rec. 2014 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 90418716 SACD [78:10] [BR] Great pianism, but this un-charming repertoire is not the best introduction to Chaminade.

Cecilé CHAMINADE (1857-1944) Piano Trio 2 Claude DEBUSSY (-1918) Piano Trio René LENORMAND (1846-1932) Piano Trio - Trio Chausson rec. 2011 MIRARE MIR163 [72:13] [DJB] Beautifully played, with a real rarity, but the shining star is the Chaminade.

Luigi CHERUBINI (1760-1842) Medea - Maria Callas (soprano) Jon Vickers (tenor) Ch & O Covent Garden/Nicola Rescigno rec. 1959 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO119 [58:11 + 75:58] [RMo] This rejuvenated and revitalised re-mastering by Pristine of one of Callas’ greatest triumphs remains indispensable to her admirers.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Complete Nocturnes - Jan Smeterlin (piano) rec. 1954 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR161/2 [52:19 + 44:13] [SG] Smeterlin furnishes these wonderful readings with his own brand of individuality and I am more than happy to spread the news.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Complete waltzes, Nocturnes - Louis Lortie (piano) rec. 2011-14 CHANDOS CHAN10852 [83:20] [BR] Louis Lortie’s Chopin series climbs to new heights with the best album yet.

Ambrož ČOPI (b.1973) Musica Sacra - Chamber Ch Ave/Ambrož Čopi rec. 2013 AČOP CD001 [48:14] Musica Profana - Slovenian Chamber Ch/Martina Batič rec. 2014 AČOP CD002 [47:56] [JW] I’d never come across Čopi before, but I’m glad I did.

David CRUMB (b. 1962) Red Desert - Fritz Gearhart (violin) Marcantonio Barone, Corey Hamm (piano) Jerome Simas (clarinet) Steve Vacchi (bassoon) chamber ensemble/Robert Ponto rec. 2011-14 BRIDGE 9450 [65:29] [DC] A chip off the old block, but one with its own ideas.

Ernő DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Piano Quintets 1 & 2 - Shmuel Ashkenasi (violin) Nobuko Imai (viola) Trio Nota Bene rec. 2014 CLAVES 50-1505 [52:49] [SG] Intelligent and polished performances by musicians who prove they are worthy advocates of these marvellous but sadly neglected scores.

Ernő DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Complete Solo Piano Music Vol. 3 - Martin Roscoe (piano) rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68033 [79:08] [JWh] Martin Roscoe is brilliant throughout. Rhythms are crisp, articulation faultless. A complete joy.

Antal DORÁTI (1906-1988) Symphony 1, Nocturne and Capriccio - Allegri String Qt, Minneapolis Symphony/Antal Doráti rec. 1960/63 DORÁTI EDITION ADE009 [42:51] [NB] Well-worth exploring even with the short playing time and unsophisticated sonics.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Violin Concerto, Romance, Mazurek, Violin Sonatina - Thomas Albertus Irnberger (violin) Pavel Kašpar (piano) Prague Philharmonia/Petr Altrichter rec. 2014 GRAMOLA SACD 99022 [76:24] [JW] I like this performance’s honesty and whole-heartedness.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 7, In Nature's Realm, Scherzo capriccioso - Bournemouth SO/José Serebrier rec. 2011 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 666562 [72:06] [SV] Drive, clarity and basic integrity ... the players "sing" the lyrical themes fervently ... There's drama too with pointed articulation and meticulous balancing.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) String Quartets 10 & 11 - Talich Quartet rec. 2014 LA DOLCE VOLTA LDV18 [70:11] [JW] For sheer lyric elegance and an approach that lets the music unfold naturally, warmly and affectionately, you can't go wrong with the Talich.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius - Paul Groves (tenor) Sarah Connolly (mezzo) John Relyea (bass) Staatsopernchor Dresden, Staatskapelle Dresden/Sir Colin Davis rec. 2010 PROFIL EDITION PH12017 [36:31 + 57:29] [MC] An outstanding recording pleasingly presented.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Symphony 1; Cockaigne - Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2009 ONYX 4145 [63:19] [MC] I’m sure many Elgarians will want to add this to their collections.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Elgar from Salisbury - John Challenger (organ) rec. 2014 REGENT RECORDS REGCD463 [77:56] [NB] Interesting repertoire on a generously filled disc, recorded in fine sound but rather literally performed.

Michele ESPOSITO (1855-1929) Music for violin and piano - Carmelo Andriani (violin) Vincenzo Maltempo (piano) rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95102 [46:40 + 52:40] [JW] A fine release, and complementary to an earlier Esposito release.

Sebastian FAGERLUND (b. 1972) Violin Concerto, Ignite - Pekka Kuusisto (violin) Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2013 BIS BIS-2093 SACD [56:56] [DC] Remarkably intense and powerful.

Luis Carlos FIGUEROA (b. 1923) Suite, Piano Concerto, Flute Concertino, String Quartet - Wilson Casallas (piano) Bryan Muńoz (flute) Conservatorio Ntl Colombia SO/Guerassim Voronkov, Cuarteto Q-Arte rec. 2012 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0165 [66:48] Toccata Classics introduces yet another interesting unknown; the Suite is a real standout [DJB] Toccata are always up for the challenge of the unfamiliar. Are you? This is attractive music that is well worth your ear-time [RB].

Jack GALLAGHER (b. 1947) Symphony 2, Quiet Reflections - London SO/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.559768 [75:08] [SV] Even if you think you're allergic to "new music", give this a listen.

Carlo GESUALDO (1566-1613) Madrigals - Musica Ficta/Bo Holten rec. 2013 DANACORD DACOCD760 [60:36] [JF] A fine introduction to Gesualdo.

Christoph GRAUPNER (1683 - 1760) Bass Cantatas - Klaus Mertens (bass-baritone) Accademia Daniel/Shalev Ad-El rec. 2010 CPO 777 644-2 [71:23] [JV] I can't imagine a stronger case for these cantatas than Mertens' interpretations.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Cello Sonata Heinrich von HERZOGENBERG (1843-1900) Cello Sonata 3 SWR MUSIC SWR10161 [53:15] Gustav JENNER (1865-1920) Cello Sonata Friedrich KIEL (1821-1885) Cello Sonata - Martin Ostertag (cello) Fany Solter (piano) SWR MUSIC SWR10162 [51:58] [DJB] Avoid the Grieg/Herzogenberg "disc" like the plague, but the Jenner/Kiel has qualities beyond its novelty value.

Edvard GRIEG (1845-1907) Lyric Pieces - Stephen Hough (piano) rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68070 [73:08] [DC] A CD to treasure.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Suites for Harpsichord Vol. 3 - Gilbert Rowland (harpsichord) rec. 2014 DIVINE ART DDA21225 [59:42 + 69:28] [JF] Rowland's playing is admirable throughout.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Handel in the Wind - Red Priest rec. 2014 RED PRIEST RP012 [71:59] Admirers of this life-enhancing quartet can confidently acquire Red Priest’s latest disc [JW] An inventive and occasionally riotous tribute to Handel [GPu].

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphonies - Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood rec. 1983-1995 DECCA L’OISEAU-LYRE 480 6900 [32 CDs: c. 43:00:00] [SSi] This excellent set, though incomplete, is surely one of the greatest legacies left us by Christopher Hogwood.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Cello concertos - Laszlo Varga (cello) Bamberg SO/Antal Doráti rec. 1975 DORÁTI EDITION ADE039 [51:57] [SG] I am very grateful to the Antal Doráti Society for making these important recordings available once again.

Michael HAYDN (1737-1806) The Complete String Quintets - Salzburger Haydn-Quintett rec. 2013 CPO 777 907-2 [76:58 + 59:04] [DC] An attractive set.

Alan HOVHANESS (1911-2000) Prelude and Quadruple Fugue, Concerto for Soprano Saxophone, Symphony 48 - Greg Banaszak (soprano saxophone) Eastern Music Festival O/Gerard Schwarz rec. 2013 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559755 [55:48] These three works are unlikely to change anyone’s opinion of Hovhaness [DJB] Hovhaness adherents will have no choice - the compulsion will be well rewarded [RB].

Alan HOVHANESS (1911-2000) Piano Works - Alessandra Pompili (piano) rec. 2013 DYNAMIC CDS7701 [52:52] [JW] A disarmingly well-played disc.

JACQUET of Mantua (c.1483–1559) Missa Surge Petre & other sacred works - The Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68088 [76:33] [BW] A real discovery – snap this up to encourage Hyperion to give us more.

Edvin KALLSTENIUS (1881-1967) Symphony 1, Sinfonietta 2, Musica Sinfonica - Helsingborg SO/Frank Beermann rec. 2007 CPO 777 361-2 [56:08] [SG] I sincerely hope that this is the beginning of a Kallstenius series.

Yoshihiro KANNO (b. 1953) Light, Water, Rainbow - Noriko Ogawa (piano) rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2075 SACD [72:00] [KM] I look forward to hearing more music by this composer.

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Piano Concerto Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concerto 3 - Nareh Arghamanyan (piano) Berlin RSO/Alain Altinoglu rec. 2013 PENTATONE PTC5186510 SACD [67:17] [DM] Outclassed by the competition; look elsewhere.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897–1957) The Adventures of Robin Hood - Moscow SO/William Stromberg rec. 2003 NAXOS 8.573369 [82:43] [BW] If you didn’t obtain this the first time round, it’s even more tempting at budget price.

Max LIFCHITZ (b. 1948) Works for ensemble - Ars Nostra Ens rec. 2012 NORTH/SOUTH RECORDINGS NSR1058 [72:09] [JW] Syncretic or not, this is a fine disc.

Malcolm LIPKIN (b. 1932) Symphoies 1-3 - BBC Scottish SO/Lionel Friend, BBC PO/Edward Downes, Adrian Leaper rec. 1983-93 LYRITA SRCD.349 [67:57] [WK] British dissonant style symphonism with a convincing sense of structure and developmental ability.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Concertos 1 & 2; Danse macabre (Totentanz); Fantasy on Hungarian Folk Tunes - France Clidat (piano) Orchestre de la Résidence de la Haye/Roger Norrington rec. 1975/76 DECCA 481 1228 [72:32] [SG] France Clidat in captivating performances of repertoire in which she excelled.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Années de Pélerinage - Deuxičme Année (Italie) Piano Sonata - Angela Brownridge (piano) rec. 2011 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9030CD [71:16] [JW] Still a fine and representative selection of Brownridge’s Liszt repertoire.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Urlicht Lieder - Christianne Stotijn (mezzo) Julius Drake (piano) rec. 2006 ONYX 4014 [71:54] [MC] Crystal clear diction, natural warmth and mellow timbre, this singer's personality and expressiveness makes a vivid impression.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 4 - Elizabeth Watts (soprano) Netherlands PO/Marc Albrecht rec. 2014 PENTATONE PTC5186487 SACD [57:53] [DM] A dreary, life-sapping Fourth. Even the sound is lacklustre.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 5; Kindertotenlieder - Brigitte Fassbaender (mezzo) NDR SO/Klaus Tennstedt rec. 1980 PROFIL PH13058 [73.06 + 26.38] [MC] These two engaging performances are welcome additions to the Mahler catalogue.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 9 - Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2014 HALLÉ CDHLD7541 [43:56 +38:09] [JQ] A distinguished Mahler Ninth from Manchester.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Concerto for two pianos Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Sonata for two pianos Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Concertino Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Concerto for two pianos - Bizjak Piano Duo, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker/Radoslaw Szulc rec. 2014 ONYX 4148 [63:49] [MC] The Bizjak sisters on blistering form playing with intelligence, liveliness and charm.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphony 5, Ruy Blas, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage - London SO/John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2014 LSO LIVE LSO0775 BD-A/SACD [47:09] [ST] I warmly welcomed the first instalment; this successor isn’t disappointing, except for the short playing time.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Des canyons aux étoiles - London PO/Christoph Eschenbach rec. 2013 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO-0083 [50:49 + 49:17] [JQ] An astonishingly accomplished live recording of Messiaen’s vivid and visionary music.

Ernst MIELCK (1877-1899) Orchestral and Choral Works - Juha Kotilainen (baritone) Academic Male-Voice Ch Helsinki, Helsinki University SO/Mikk Murdvee rec. 2012/13 2012/13 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0174 [61:47] A fine selection of music from a life cut very short [DJB] Early nationalism but generally speaking with a Germanic accent [RB].

Federico MOMPOU (1893 – 1987) Complete Songs Vol. 2 - Marta Mathéu (soprano) Jordi Masó (piano) rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573100 [61:18] [GF] Song enthusiasts should without delay get hold of one or other recording of Mompou’s songs. Why not the present one?

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonatas 5, 10, 12 & 14, Fantasie - Wilhelm Backhaus (piano) rec. 1956/67 BELVEDERE 10148 [75:09] [JW] For all his rugged approach Backhaus was never unaware of the music’s less serious moments.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Castrato Arias - Valer Sabadus (counter-tenor) Recreation-Grosses O Graz/Michael Hofstetter rec. 2013 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1814 [49:54] [GF] Sabadus is added to my list of extremely good counter-tenors ... Mozart-lovers should acquire this disc.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Concerto for Flute and Harp; Sinfonia Concertante for Four Winds - Oslo PO/Alan Buribayev, Arvid Engegard rec. 2013 LAWO LWC1071 SACD [57:58] [DD] A proficient performance of the Flute and Harp Concerto and a superb one of the Sinfonia Concertante. A very enjoyable hour of lesser-known Mozart.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Requiem - Rachel Harnish, Karita Mattila (sopranos) Sara Mingardo (mezzo) Michael Schade (tenor) Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone) Swedish Radio Ch, Berlin PO/Claudio Abbado rec. 1999 EUROARTS Blu-ray 2016364 [62:00] [JQ] A very distinguished Mozart Requiem from Claudio Abbado.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition, Songs and Dances of Death, Night on Bare Mountain - Ferruccio Furlanetto (bass) Mariinsky O/Valery Gergiev rec. 2010/14 MARIINSKY MAR0553 SACD [68:28] [DM] These performances burn with a low flame; even Gergiev groupies are likely to be disappointed.

Johann Gottfried MÜTHEL (1728-1788) The Five Keyboard Concertos - Marcin Świątkiewicz (harpsichord) Arte Dei Suonatori rec. 2013 BIS BIS-2179 SACD [54:58 + 72:12] [DC] Count me converted – you have to hear this.

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Te Deum, Wallfahrtslied, Berliner Messe, Dopo la vittoria - Bavarian Radio Ch, Munich Radio O/Peter Dijkstra rec. 2012/14 BR KLASSIK 900511 [67:06] [MC] Persuasive performances that can move by their engaging and often haunting devotional intensity.

William PERRY (b. 1930) Music for Great Films of the Silent Era Vol. 2 - RTÉ National SO/Paul Phillips rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573105 [79.09] [IL] A worthy follow-up to the original collection of William Perry's music for silent films.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Choral Works - Elora Festival Singers/Noel Edison rec. 2012/13 NAXOS 8.572978 [54.13] [GH] A good quality, budget CD presenting so well in so many areas.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Les Animaux modčles, Concerto for two pianos Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997) Concerto for two pianos - Mona and Rica Bard (pianos) Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinlands-Pfalz/Ariane Matiakhrec. 2014 CAPRICCIO C5237 [68:55] [DC] Excellent stuff.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphonies 1 & 2, Sinfonietta, Autumnal Sketch - Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2014 ONYX 4139 [79:29] [JQ] A second rewarding instalment in Kirill Karabits’ Prokofiev symphony cycle.

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Dido and Aeneas - Vivica Genaux (soprano) Henk Neven (baritone) Accentus, O Opéra Harmonique Rouen Haute-Normandie/Vincent Dumestre rec. 2014 ALPHA 706 DVD [80:00] [CC] Altogether a most fascinating DVD, superbly performed.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Complete Preludes rec. 2003 CHANDOS CHAN10107 [79:58] Complete Études-Tableaux - Rustem Hayroudinoff (piano) rec. 2006 CHANDOS CHAN10391 [62:20] [RWe] As the Rachmaninov solo piano catalogue swells, these earlier discs should not be overlooked. This is a superb artist not merely interpreting the music, but identifying with it.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto 2, Symphonic Dances Nikolaď RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade - Denis Matsuev (piano) St Petersburg PO/Yuri Temirkanov rec. 2013 IDÉALE AUDIENCE Blu-ray 2075064 [150:00] [JQ] A generous compilation of excellent performances of Russian music by Yuri Temirkanov and the St Petersburg Philharmonic.

Franz Xaver RICHTER (1709-1789) Synfonia con fuga, De Profundis, Messa de Requiem - Czech Ens Baroque O & Ch/Roman Válek rec. 2014 SUPRAPHON SU4177-2 [64:04] [DC] Glories unearthed from the archives of the unpublished.

Anthony RITCHIE (b.1960) Symphony 4 - Jenny Wollerman (soprano) Christchurch SO/Tom Woods rec. 2014 ATOLL ACD314 [42:20] [BW] Powerful music, powerfully performed and well worth your attention.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Guillaume Tell - Nicola Alaimo (baritone) Juan Diego Florez (tenor) Simone Alberghini (bass) O & Ch Teatro Comunale, Bologna/Michele Mariotti rec. 2013 DECCA DVD 0743870 [140:00 + 122:00] [RJF] Production idiosyncrasies detract from some excellent singing.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony 3; Symphony in A; Le rouet d’Omphale - Carl Adam Landström (organ) Malmö SO/Marc Soustrot rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573139 [71:40] [GPJ] A splendid addition to the discography of the great Organ Symphony.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony 3, Danse macabre, Cyprčs et Lauriers, - Vincent Warnier (organ) O Ntl de Lyon/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2013/14 NAXOS 8.573331 [57:45] [MC] An agreeable release that promised a lot more than it delivered.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Trio 1 Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Piano Trio Vincent d’INDY (1851-1931) Piano Trio 2 - Horszowski Trio rec. 2013 BRIDGE 9441 [67:46] [SB] I am happy to recommend this disc particularly for the d’Indy and the Fauré.

Aulis SALLINEN (b. 1935) Cello Sonata, Piano Trio, From A Swan Song Elina Vähälä (violin) Arto Noras (cello) Ralf Gothóni (piano) rec. 2010 CPO 777 814-2 [55.09] [GH] Sallinen has discovered a true way of making the cello sing but also making it dramatic and powerful.

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Symphony 3 - Tobias Berndt (organ) Heike Gneiting (piano) RSO Berlin/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2014 PENTATONE SACD PTC5186485 [52.16] [DC] A gauntlet thrown down, and still falling.

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Film Music Edition - Berlin RSO/Frank Strobel rec. 2003-05 CAPRICCIO C7196 [4 CDs: 280:23] [DC] A remarkable and highly enjoyable collection.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Scenes from Goethe's Faust - Christian Gerhaher (baritone) Christiane Karg (soprano) Bernarda Fink (alto) Bavarian RSO & Ch/Daniel Harding rec. 2013 BR KLASSIK 900122 [72:40 + 43:00] [JQ] An important set containing a first-rate performance of a fine work by Schumann.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Violin Concerto, , Piano Trio 3 - Isabelle Faust (violin) Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello) Alexander Melnikov (piano) Freiburger Barockorchester/Pablo Heras-Casado rec. 2014 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902196 [61:37] [SSi] A pair of works that come to life in the hands of these performers, I look forward to the subsequent volumes in this series.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) & Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Songs and Duets - Ann Murray (mezzo) Malcolm Martineau (piano) Benjamin Appl (baritone) John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Johnny Langridge (tenor) Hester Dickson (piano) rec. 2013 LINN RECORDS CKD443 [64:00] [JQ] Ann Murray’s farewell recital disc is a delight.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856) Dichterliebe & songs by Mozart & Wolf - Siwoung Song (baritone) Helmut Deutsch (piano) rec. 2014 GRAMOLA 99055 [57:13] [GF] A delightful recital, crowned by a memorable Dichterliebe.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) The Complete Etudes & Préludes - Piers Lane (piano) rec. 1992/2000 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55242/450/451 [55:45 & 60:21 & 67:12] [RWe] You can discover on these discs one of the great masters of the piano miniature, displaying a surprisingly wide range of emotions, and all in the most expert hands.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) The Complete Počmes - Garrick Ohlsson (piano) rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA67988 [79:46] [RWe] This fascinating survey of thirty-four Scriabin miniatures, expertly played, makes a very worthwhile contribution to the composer’s centenary.

Mátyás SEIBER (1905-1960) Tre Pezzi Antal DORATI (1906-1988) Cello concerto Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Viola Concerto - Raphael Wallfisch (cello) BBC National O Wales/Gábor Tákacs-Nagy rec. 2014 NIMBUS NI5919 [77:28] Especially valuable for the Seiber with good performances of the other works a worthwhile addition [BW] The programming and expressive attractions of this disc are considerable [JW].

Mátyás SEIBER (1905-1960) Ulysses, Elegy, Three Fragments - Alexander Young (tenor) Cecil Aronowitz (viola) Peter Pears (narrator) London SO/David Atherton, London PO, Melos Ens/Mátyás Seiber rec. 1960/72 LYRITA SRCD348 [75:31] [JS] Should reawaken interest in a great but sadly short-lived composer ... excellent performances and no need to apologise for the sound.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 9, Violin Concerto 1 - Leonidas Kavakos (violin) Mariinsky O/Valery Gergiev rec. 2011/12 MARIINSKY MAR0524 [63:31] [DM] A perplexing symphony and an exhilarating concerto; Gergiev as unpredictable as ever.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1967) Symphonies 2 & 7 - BBC Ntl O Wales/Thomas Sřndergĺrd rec. 2014 LINN RECORDS SACD CKD462 [62.00] [PCG] Does not do justice to performances that in the concert hall have really been something very special indeed.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Complete Works for Mixed Choir - Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Ch/Heikki Seppänen rec. 2014 ONDINE ODE 1260-2D [51:11 + 52:40] [MC] There was little here that made much of an impression; dedicated performances, though.

Leif SOLBERG (b. 1914) Fantasy and Fugue, Good Friday Meditation, Pastorale, Symphony - Tim Collins (organ) Solberg Centenary Singers, Liepaja SO/Paul Mann rec. 2014 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0260 [82:07] [DJB] A fine celebration of Solberg’s 100th birthday; the symphony is a real find.

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Symphonies 7 & 9, Waltz - NDR Radio PO Hannover/Howard Griffiths rec. 2010-12 CPO SACD 777 746-2 [70.48] [MC] Enjoyable, well crafted and splendidly performed.

Maximilian STEINBERG (1883-1946) Passion Week Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Chant Arrangements for Holy Week - Cappella Romana/Alexander Lingas rec. 2014 CAPPELLA ROMANA CR414-CD [61:57] [DC] This one will stay with you forever.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan, Ein Heldenleben - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2011-2014 BR KLASSIK 900127 [64:51] [JQ] These performances are up with the best.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Gala Concert - Christine Goerke, Anja Harteros, Camilla Nylund (sopranos) Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2014/ C MAJOR Blu-ray 729004 [101.00 + 45.00] [MC] It would be hard to find greater performances such is the excellence on display at the Semperoper.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Letzte Lieder, Eine Alpensinfonie Wolfgang RIHM (b. 1952) Ernster Gesang Anja Harteros (soprano) Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2014 C MAJOR DVD 726408 [103:00] [JQ] Very fine Strauss performances from Dresden.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Selected Lieder Recordings 1901-1946 MARSTON 53017-2 [3 CDs: 235:26] [JW] A treat for Straussians who would like a snapshot of Strauss on song in the first half of the twentieth century.

Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) Vier letzte Lieder & other songs, Capriccio: Intermezzo & Closing Scene - Felicity Lott (soprano) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Neeme Järvi rec. 1986-92 CHANDOS CLASSICS CHAN10075X [69:30] Vier letzte Lieder & other songs - Soile Isokoski (soprano) Berlin RSO/Marek Janowski rec. 2001 ONDINE ODE9822 [64:24] [BW] Two very worthwhile alternatives to the classic Schwarzkopf and the Netrebko recordings.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Concerto for Piano & Wind Instruments, Capriccio, Movements, Pétrouchka - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) Săo Paulo SO/Yan Pascal Tortelier rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHSA5147 SACD [79:40] [LW] Bavouzet and Tortelier have a winner in Stravinsky’s works for piano and orchestra.

Paweł SZYMAŃSKI (b. 1954) Pieces for String Quartet Paweł MYKIETYN (b. 1971) String Quartet 2 - Royal Qt rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68085 [66:53] [NB] Admirers of the contemporary string quartet genre will find no fence they need to sit on here.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Manfred Symphony, Marche Slave - City of Birmingham SO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2013 ORFEO C895151C [67:31] [JQ] A fine reminder of Andris Nelsons’ partnership with the CBSO at its peak.

George Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Ouverture & Concerti pour Darmstadt - Les Ambassadeurs/Alexis Kossenko (director/flute) Zefira Valova (violin) rec. 2014 ALPHA 200 [70:23] [DBi] A lovely addition to anyone's baroque collection.

George Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Johannes Passion - Catherine Bott (soprano) Sarah Connolly (mezzo) Capella Brugensis, Collegium Instrumentale Brugense/Patrick Peire ET'CETERA KTC1518 [63:07 + 46:03] [DBi] An important addition to the Telemann discography.

Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949) Piano Music Vol. 10 - Jordi Masó (piano) rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573183 [64:07] [GPu] Another fine Turina collection from pianist Jordi Masó - a pretty comprehensive overview of the virtues of the composer’s writing for piano.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Dona nobis pacem Stephen HOUGH (b. 1961) Missa Mirabilis - Sarah Fox (soprano) Christopher Maltman (baritone) Colorado SO & Ch/Andrew Litton rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68096 [54:46] [JQ] The first recording of Stephen Hough’s fine Mass coupled with a Vaughan Williams masterpiece.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello - Johan Botha, Renée Fleming, Falk Struckmann, Metropolitan Opera/Semyon Bychkov rec. 2012 DECCA DVD 0743862 [157:00 + 10:00 (bonus)] [RF] If this was Renée Fleming’s valedictory Desdemona, she and this elegant production deserved better musical and sung support.

Kevin VOLANS (b. 1949) Trio Concerto, Symphony, Concerto for Piano & Winds - Storioni Trio, Isabelle O'Connell (piano) RTÉ Ntl SO/Gavin Maloney, Alan Buribayev rec. 2007/12 RTÉ LYRIC FM CD147 [72:57] [HC] A most welcome addition to Volans' discography.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) The Potted Ring: Siegfried rec. 1929-32 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO114 [2 CDs: 151.10] [PCG] Stands as an ‘Old Testament’ of Ring recordings and wonders have been done with the sound.

Matthew WHITESIDE (b. 1988) Dichroic Light - Emma Lloyd (viola/viola d’amore) Abby Hayward (cello) Joanna Nicholson (bass clarinet) Robinson Panoramic & Aurea Qts, Red Note ALBA CHRUTHACHAIL IMBT1501 [72:49] [DC] Sounds both subtle and sour from Scotland.

Christopher WRIGHT (b. 1954) String Quartets 1-4 - Fejes Qt rec. 2014 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6291 [78:02] [HC] A fine release likely to enlarge one's appreciation of Wright's generous music.

Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Die Seejungfrau; Sinfonietta - Helsinki PO/John Storgĺrds rec. 2014 ONDINE ODE12375 SACD [69:25] [NB] Trust Beaumont or Chailly as the superior storytellers.

American Romantics The Boston Scene - Artem Belogurov (piano) rec. 2013 PIANO CLASSICS PCL0080 [69:56] [PRB] Belogurov has a flawless technique, a keen eye for colour and characterisation and an obvious empathy with the music itself.

Argentum et Aurum Musical Treasures from the Early Habsburg Renaissance - Ens Leones/Marc Lewon rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573346 [78:37] [BW] This release combines detailed scholarship – with very enjoyable performances and the recording is very good.

Best of British Piano Works by Bridge, Lambert & Reizenstein - Peter Jacobs, John McCabe, Philip Martin (pianos) rec. 1989/91 CONTINUUM CCD1040 [78:46] [DC] “Best of British” and proud of it too.

Bright is the Ring of Words Songs by Butterworth, Finzi, Moeran & Vaughan Williams - Chris Booth-Jones (baritone) Igor Kennaway (piano) rec. 2013 MAGPIE RECORDS MAG0502 [62:00] [NB] A deeply enjoyable and moving recital.

Kyung-Wha Chung (violin) The Complete Warner Recordings rec. 1978-2000 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 614053 [11 CDs + 1 DVD] [MC] A confident reminder of why Chung is so highly placed in the pantheon of violinists.

Creole Connections Morten Gunnar Larsen (piano) rec. 2013/14 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1070 [71:38] [BR] An easy-going hit collection from Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, New Orleans, Los Angeles and more.

Diana Damrau (soprano) Fiamma del Belcanto - Teatro Regio Torino O/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2014 ERATO 2564 616674 [78.50] [MC] Damrau displays a range of excellence from a truly caressing pianissimo to her most dramatic outpouring of emotion.

Dolce Napoli Works by Fiorenza, Leo, Mancinini, Pullj, Rosa & Sarri - La Cicala/Inęs d’Avena (recorder, director) rec. 2014 PASSACAILLE 1007 [55:46] [DC] A rich source of genuine discovery and delight.

Donaufahrt Works by Beethoven, Doppler, Kalliwoda, Mozart & Weber - Rie Koyama (bassoon) Clemens Müller (piano) rec. 2014 GENUIN GEN15334 [66:23] [GPJ] Stunning playing from this brilliantly gifted young Japanese bassoonist.

Empfindsam Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Symphony, Sonata, Harpsichord concerto Wilhelm Friedmann BACH (1710-1784) Symphony Francesco BARBELLA (c.1692-1732) Concerto - Collegium Musicum Den Haag/Claudio Ribeiro (maestro al cembalo) rec. 2014 CMDH (no number) [65:38] [DC] Bags of pleasant surprises.

The English Cathedral Series Vol. XVIII: Worcester Christopher Allsop (organ) rec. 2014 REGENT REGCD449 [70:49] [BW] An eclectic and attractive programme, very well performed on the new Worcester organ.

The English Cathedral Series Volume XIX: Peterborough Cathedral - David Humphreys (organ) rec. 2014 REGENT REGCD459 [63:07] [BW] Not a barnstorming instrument but fine performances of music well chosen for it.

Devy Erlih (violin) Sonatas by Bach, Beethoven & Ravel and works by de Falla, Sarasate & Tartini - Maurice Bureau (piano) rec. 1952 MELOCLASSIC MC2024 [78:59] [JW] A fine addition to Erlih’s regrettably small current discography.

Flow My Tears Works by Campion, Danyel, Dowland, Hume, Johnson & Muhly - Iestyn Davies (counter-tenor) Thomas Dunford (lute) Jonathan Manson (viol) rec. 2013 WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLIVE 0074 [76:38] [JW] Admiration for this beautifully performed recital.

Pierre Fournier (cello) Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto 2 Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Cello Concerto 1 - Swiss Festival O/István Kertész; RTF PO/Jean Martinon rec. 1962/76 AUDITE 95.628 [60:53] [JW] Some exceptionally fine performances.

Pieces from the Gdansk Lute Tablature 4022 Magdalena Tomsinska (lute) rec. 2014 DUX 1150 [58.15] [GH] A very pleasing presentation.

Angela Gheorghiu (soprano) Autograph WARNER CLASSICS 2564 619047 [8 CDs: c.620:00 + 1 DVD: 56:48] [MC] A collection that makes indispensable listening for opera lovers.

Guitar Music of Colombia José Antonio Escobar (guitar) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573059 [63:23] [BR] José Antonio Escobar’s musical tour of South America reaches the folksy, charming Afro-Caribbean influences of Colombia.

Myra Hess (piano) Live recordings from the University of Illinois rec. 1949 APR 7306 [3 CDs: 205:23] [JW] Expands the Hess discography and our appreciation and understanding of her as a recreative artist. One can ask for little more.

The Hungarian Connection Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Quintet, Waltzes, Hungarian Dances Leó WEINER (1885-1960) Két Tétel Traditional Dances from Transylvania - Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet) Leonidas Kavakos, Christoph Koncz (violin) Antoine Tamestit (viola) Stephan Koncz (cello) rec. 2014 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4811409 [61:30] [SB] The clarinet quintet heard the Viennese way: very gentle and romantic, indeed quite schmaltzy.

If the Owl Calls Again Christianne Stotijn (mezzo) Antoine Tamestit (viola) Joseph Breinl (piano) Rick Stotijn (double bass) Oliver Boekhoorn (duduk) Oxalys Ens rec. 2013/14 WARNER CLASSICS 5419 639375 [63:13] [MC] No problem whatsoever with Stotijn’s excellent voice but with a few exceptions I find this repertoire generally weak.

In the Midst of Life Music From the Baldwin Part Books Vol. 1 - Contrapunctus/Owen Rees rec. 2014 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD408 [68:18] [GH] This is a fine CD and I wait impatiently for its follow-up.

In Praise of Saint Columba Ch Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge/Geoffrey Webber rec. 2013 DELPHIAN DCD34137 [76.15] [ST] A voice from another world ... ultimately, rather barmy, but definitely something for the curious.

Lazare-Lévy (piano) Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonata K330, Quintet for piano & winds César FRANCK (1822-1890) Prelude, Fugue and Variations, Variations symphoniques Federico MOMPOU (1893-1987) Impresiones intimas - France Ntl O/Tony Aubin Georges Jouatte (tenor) rec. 1950-63 MELOCLASSIC MC1025 [75:33] [JW] All lovers of French pianism will react favourably to this splendid release.

Erich Leinsdorf in rehearsal and performance Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Parsifal: Preludes & Interludes Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphony 4 - Südwestfunk SO Baden-Baden rec. 1989 EUROARTS DVD 2001338 [118:00] [JW] An attractive proposition: integrity and devoted music-making, without ostentation.

Lavinia Meijer (harp) Voyage - Amsterdam Sinfonietta/Candida Thompson rec. 2013/2014 SONY CLASSICAL 88875 046402 [60:04] [BR] Lavinia Meijer’s greatest-hits collection of French impressionists is mostly terrific.

The Neo-classical Trumpet Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Pulcinella Suite Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Masques et Bergamasques Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Sonatine Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Gli uccelli - Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (trumpet) Daniel-Ben Pienaar (piano) rec. 2014 LINN RECORDS CKD 448 [66:53] [BR] The repertoire, arrangements, and playing are all so winning that I feel silly writing a review.

Elly Ney (piano) Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Quintet Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto 15 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) German Dances - Hoffman String Qt, German Opera House CO, Berlin/Ernst Schrader rec. 1944 MELOCLASSIC MC1029 [67:56] [JW] It’s always valuable to hear Ney not least in works that escaped commercial recording.

David Oistrakh (violin/viola) Impérial Oistrakh! rec. 1953-1972 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 614443 [3 CDs: 235:44] [RMo] A cobbled-together anthology. Oistrakh deserves a better memorial.

The Orchestra Claudio Abbado and the musicians of the Orchestra Mozart EUROARTS DVD 2060738 [60:00] [JWh] There’s plenty of passion to be seen and heard here.

Per Monsieur Pisendel 2 Works by Albinoni, Montanari, Pisendel & Vivaldi - La Serenissima rec. 2014 AVIE AV2308 [74:30] [BW] An enjoyable successor to La Serenissima’s earlier recordings.

Postcard from Heaven Works by Cage, Coates, Tcherepnin & Tenney - Susan Allen, Marilu Donavan, Ellie Choate, Jullian Risigari-Gai, Jaclyn Urlik (harp), Colton Lytle (bowed vibraphone) rec. 2014 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80763-2 [55:15] [DC] Ancient instrument meets modern music-makers.

Nemanja Radulović (violin) Journey East rec. 2014 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 3361 [54:30] [SB] A most enjoyable programme.

Saxony Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Orchestral extracts Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Prelude and Fugue Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Orchestral Suite 3 - Saxon Wind Phil/Thomas Clamor rec. 2014 GENUIN GEN15333 [56:07] [JS] Playing of this quality and musicianship is always welcome.

Sesquialtera Works by Blow, Corelli, Handel, Nares & Stanley - James Tibbles (organ) rec. 2006 ATOLL ACD406 [77:07] [JV] This is an attractive disc, not only because of the repertoire and the instrument, but also because of James Tibbles' fine interpretations.

Voice of the Soul Voices 16 rec. 2013 ATOLL ACD213 [61:00] [DD] An interesting choral recital with a strong New Zealand flavour. Well worth hearing for those looking for something slightly unusual.

Other Reviews

Henry MANCINI (1924-1994) The Classic Soundtrack Collection SONY 88843 091732 [9 CDs] [IL] A very full tribute to the great popular talent that was Henry Mancini.

The Mills Brothers Paper Doll: Their 56 Finest rec. 1931-52 RETROSPECTIVE RTS4263 [TA] The Mills Brothers had a tangible influence on later vocal groups.

Songs of Wales Stuart Burrows (tenor) John Samuel (piano) rec. 1980s TŶ CERDD TCR012 [57.48] [JS] These will give immense pleasure.

Articles and Notices

National Discographies - January-March Update by Mike Herman

Scarlatti Reimagined Pianist Claire Huangci in Conversation with Stan Metzger

Decca Sound - The Mono Years 1944-56  by Jonathan Woolf: Part 1 ~~ Part 2 ~~ Part 3

MusicWeb International’s Twentieth Anniversary Celebration by John Quinn

From the MusicWeb International Listening Studio: Another Audio Report by John Quinn

Download News 2015/5 by Brian Wilson & Dan Morgan

A to Z of the Piano Trio Repertoire by David Barker: "C" Composers

Fortepianist Penelope Crawford: An interview with Brian Reinhart

 




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