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Monthly Listing
223 reviews this month
October 2015


Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I - Pietro De Maria (piano) rec. 2014 DECCA 4811304 [54:00 + 56:14] [SG] This is top-drawer playing of the finest order and I’m now eagerly looking forward to Book II.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1675-1750) Magnificat, Cantata 63 - Dunedin Consort/John Butt (organ) rec. 2014 LINN CKD469 SACD [78:00] [JQ] A compelling package for Bach collectors.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 30-32 - Cédric Pescia (piano) rec. 2009 CLAVES 502903 [64:09] [SG] I can think of no better advocate for these last three sonatas than Cédric Pescia.

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Morning Heroes; Hymn to Apollo - BBC SO & Ch/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHSA5159 SACD [65:12] [JQ] A splendid new recording of Bliss’s eloquent musical commemoration of the fallen of World War I.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem - Genia Kühmeier, Gerald Finley, Netherlands Radio Ch, Royal Concertgebouw O/Mariss Jansons rec. 2012 RCO LIVE RCO15003 SACD [67:30] [JQ] A distinguished account of the Requiem which deserves to rank with the best.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) String Quintet, Intermezzo, String Quartet - Fitzwilliam Qt, James Boyd (viola) rec. 2010/11 LINN CKD402 [76:33] [RMo] All Brucknerians will welcome this CD which unites all of Bruckner’s significant chamber music in one superb recording.

Alfredo CASELLA (1883-1947) Symphony 1, Symphonic Fragments from Le Couvent sur l’eau, Elegia eroica - Gillian Keith (soprano) BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2013/15 CHANDOS CHAN10880 [77:14] [IL] Hugely enjoyable for Casella fans and all those who enjoy Technicolor excitement in their music.

Francesco CILEA (1866-1950) L’Arlesiana - Annunziata Vestri, Dmitry Golovnin, Mariangela Sicilia, O Filarmonica Marchigiana/Francesco Cilluffo rec. 2013 DYNAMIC Blu-ray 57688 [105.00] [MC] A real find.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) & Édouard LALO (1823-1892) Cello Concertos - Johannes Moser (cello) PKF–Prague Philharmonia/Jakub Hrůša rec. 2015 PENTATONE PTC5186488 SACD [65:33] [LW] A superb Dvořák concerto and the Lalo is unmissable.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphonies 31, 70 & 101 - Scottish CO/Robin Ticciati rec. 2015 LINN CKD500 SACD [77:08] [ST] A community achievement from a communal team ... a brilliant musical partnership.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Works Vol. 3 - Novelletten, Davidsbündlertänze, Abegg Variations, Geistervariationen - Imogen Cooper (piano) rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHAN10874 [75:51] [SSi] Great feeling and eloquence.

John TAVERNER (c.1490-1545) Missa Corona Spinea; Dum transisset I and II - Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips - rec. various times GIMELL CDGIM046 [62:07] A spectacular disc from the Tallis Scholars [JQ] lovers of Tudor polyphony should not hesitate [BW].

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Complete Symphonies - Russian Ntl O/Mikhail Pletnev rec. 2011-13 PENTATONE PTC5186489 [7 CDs: 409:22] [ST] This set stands pretty near the top.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) A Sea Symphony - Katherine Broderick (soprano), Roderick Williams (baritone) Hallé Ch & O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2014 HALLÉ CDHLL7542 [70.16] [JQ] A most distinguished and exciting addition to the Hallé’s Vaughan Williams cycle.

A-Z of Singers rec. 1902-57 NAXOS 8.558097-100 [4 CDs: 312:54] [PSt] For anyone who wants on overview of this period this is self-recommending.

Cantigas de Santa Maria Barbora Kabátková (soprano, harp, psaltery) Margit Ůbellacker (dulcis melos) Martin Novák (percussion) Hana Blaziková (soprano, harp) rec. 2014 PHI LPH017 [72.32] [GH] I am utterly taken with this ... simplicity and effortless beauty.

France-Espagne Works by Chabrier, Debussy, Massenet & Ravel - Les Sičcles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2012-14 ACTES SUD MUSICALES ASM17 [51:04] [ST] A hit.  A good idea for a disc and done so brilliantly that it will appeal to newcomers as well as avowed Francophiles.

John ADAMS (b. 1947) Absolute Jest, Grand Pianola Music - St Lawrence Qt, Orli Shaham, Marc-André Hamelin (pianos) Synergy Vocals, San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas, John Adams rec. 2013/15 SFS MEDIA SFS0063 [57:34] [JQ] This is a cracking disc and all Adams devotees will want it.

Anonymous (13th Century) Carmina Burana - Ensemble Organum/Marcel Pérčs rec. 1989 HARMONIA MUNDI HMG501323.24 [70:00 + 78:34] [MS] An important non-secular work from Carmina Burana outstandingly performed by one of the best ensembles in the field.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Flute Concertos - Arte dei Suonatori/Alexis Kossenko (flute) rec. 2005 ALPHA CLASSICS 304 [70:19] [DC] A ‘must-have’ for C.P.E. Bach fans.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1744-1788) Die Israeliten in der Wüste - Anja Petersen, Sarah Maria Sun (sopranos) Daniel Johannsen (tenor) Johannes Weisser (bass) Ch Musicus Köln, Das Neue O/Christoph Spering rec. 2014 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88875 016302 [75:13] [JV] A very strong case for CPE Bach's fine oratorio.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Chaconne Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Fantasia after Bach, Fantasia contrappuntistica - Lukasz Kwiatkowski (piano) rec. 2014 DUX 0934 [58:53] [SB] If you are a fan of these works you will want to hear this disc.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Missæ Breves - Ens Pygmalion/Raphaël Pichon rec. 2007 ALPHA CLASSICS 302 [61:39] [DBi] A really enjoyable disc containing superb performances. A pity about the lack of musical information and sung text in the booklet.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) French Suites, Overture in the French style - Vladimir Feltsman (piano) rec. 2002/5 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6314 [62:07 + 62:15] [RMo] Much here to delight.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partitas - Huguette Dreyfus (harpsichord) rec. 1983 HERITAGE HTGCD 292/3 [62:18 + 78:43] [DC] A significant set and still a strong contender.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites - Bruno Cocset (cello) rec. 2001 ALPHA CLASSICS 301 [55:12 + 73:08] [RMo] An interesting and diverting introduction to anyone wishing to hear Bach played in historically informed and aware style.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations; Canons; German Songs - Céline Frisch (harpsichord) Café Zimmerman, Dominique Visse (counter-tenor) rec. 2000/01 ALPHA CLASSICS 303 [77:30 + 24:50] [DC] Very fine, but floating expression or pathological right-hand lateness? You decide.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Gamba Sonatas Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonata George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Violin Sonata - Steven Isserlis (cello) Richard Egarr (harpsichord) rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68045 [59:50] [DC] One to enjoy for many years to come.

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Choral Works - Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Ens & Chamber Ch/Paul Spicer rec. 2014 SOMM SOMMCD0152 [73:11] [JQ] A very good collection of choral pieces by Samuel Barber.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Complete Works for Piano Solo Vol. 2 - Andreas Bach (piano) rec. 2009/13 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD98.043 [67:24] [SSi] An excellent interpretation - one which marks Andreas Bach out as the main competitor to Zoltán Kocsis in this wonderful music.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Piano Sonatas - Volumes I-IV rec. 2012-14 4 MSR CLASSICS MS1465-68 [4 CDs: 292:22] [BR] Brawn’s Beethoven sonata cycle has a chance to be one of the best of its decade.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 1 & 2 - O Wiener Akademie/Martin Haselböck rec. 2014 ALPHA 470 [56:44] [BR] Very good Beethoven performances by an excellent period-instrument orchestra, undermined by absurd booklet notes.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 9 - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Lucerne Fest Ch, Philharmonia O/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1954 AUDITE 80.461 LP [2 LPs: 76:32] [SG] Furtwängler’s finest Ninth in stunning sound. A must for vinyl enthusiasts.

Jiří Antonín BENDA (1722-1795) Sonatas, Sonatinas & Songs - Ivana Bilej Brouková (soprano) Edita Keglerová (harpsichord) Helena Zemanová (violin) Hana Fleková, Marek Štryncl (cello) rec. 2013/14 SUPRAPHON SU4184-2 [75:48] [JW] Unfamiliar music that is finely structured and well played.

Sir Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Chamber Works - Berkeley Ens, John Loucks (violin) Sarah Bennington (flute) Libby Burgess (piano) rec. 2014 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10149 [59:48] [MC] Fresh and committed playing ... a breath of fresh air.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique, Lélio - Chicago SO & Ch/Riccardo Muti rec. 2010 CSO RESOUND CSOR9011501 [54:48 + 59:54] [SB] I am rather surprised it has taken five years for these fine performances to be issued.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von BIBER (1644-1704) The Rosary Sonatas Georg MUFFAT (1653-1704) Sonata - Ariadne Daskalakis (violin), Ens Vintage Köln rec. 2013 BIS BIS-2096 SACD [70:37 + 61:53] [BW] Likely to become my benchmark for these highly inventive sonatas, especially for those who enjoy intensely emotional playing.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von BIBER (1644-1704) Missa Salisburgensis, Battalia - Hespčrion XXI/Jordi Savall rec. 2002/15 ALIA VOX AVSA9912 SACD [71:40] [BW] A splendid recording of a work of baroque splendour. 

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) Stabat mater Baron Emanuele d'ASTORGA (c.1680-1757) Stabat mater - King's Consort/Robert King rec. 1999 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55287 [73.20] [PCG] A most welcome reissue which should help give this music a new lease of life.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Cello Sonatas 1 & 2 - Annlies Schmidt de Neveu (cello) Rolf Knieper (piano) rec. 1960 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1061 [48:30] [SG] Annlies Schmidt de Neveu’s playing doesn’t really float my boat.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Symphonies - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2006-12 BR KLASSIK 900140 [3 CDs: 167:04] [DC] Could be more competitive price-wise, but still excellent.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quartet (orch. Schoenberg) Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Begleitmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene - Netherlands PO/Marc Albrecht rec. 2014 PENTATONE PTC5186398 SACD [51:04] [SG] Compelling accounts, in stunning sound quality, more than compensate for the short measure.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto, Serenade 2 - Endre Wolf (violin) Sinfonia of London/Anthony Collins, Concertgebouw O/Carlo Zecchi rec. 1954/58 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1090 [78:16] [JW] A particularly fine transfer ensures that Wolf’s Brahms, in particular, is heard in the best possible light.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies 1 & 2 - London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2008 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO-0043 [44:16 + 41:31] [SV] Much to enjoy in Jurowski's refreshing Brahms - here handsomely recorded.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 'Die Nullte' - Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller rec. 2015 HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH15035 [43:29] [RMo] Thoroughly enjoyable ... superbly played.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 5 - Hamburg PO/Simone Young rec. 2015 OEHMS CLASSICS OC689 SACD [73:23] [DBi] The final issue in this excellent series, very well recorded indeed, which should be heard by every Bruckner enthusiast.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 9 - Netherlands RPO/Jaap van Zweden rec. 2008 EXTON OVCL-00276 [62:08] [SV] Despite my strictures, this is a fine performance.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 9 - Philharmonia O/Christoph von Dohnányi rec. 2014 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD431 [61:26] [DC] Maybe not a giant-killer, but definitely a keeper.

Gordon CHIN (b.1957) Symphony 3, Cello Concerto 1 - Wen-Sinn Yang (cello) Taiwan PO/Shao-Chia Lü rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.570615 [62.12] [GH] Excellent recording quality at the service of often disturbing musical journeys.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Barabino Chopin Vol. 4 - Adolfo Barabino (piano) London SO/Lee Reynolds rec. 2014 CLAUDIO DVD-A CR6021-6 [55:18] [DBi] Lovely sensitive performances beautifully recorded. A good purchase.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Works Vol. III - David Wilde (piano) rec. 2013-15 DELPHIAN DCD34159 [64:36] [BR] I have to urge any Chopin enthusiast to listen to this. There is nothing else like it.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) 1846: The last year at Nohant - Barcarolle, Mazurkas, Cello Sonata, Waltzes, Nocturnes - Pascal Amoyel (piano) Emmanuelle Bertrand (cello) rec. 2014 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902199 [72:30] [BR] Whether you’ll want this depends on how much affinity you feel for the cellist Emmanuelle Bertrand.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Preludes - Maxence Pilchen (piano) rec. 2014 PARATY PTY115131 [34:40] [SB] Frankly not competitive.

René CLAUSEN (b. 1953) & Stephen PAULUS (1949-2014) Calm on the listening ear of night - Lucy Wakeford (harp) Rachel Gough (violin) Ch Royal Holloway/Rupert Gough rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68110 [77:24] [JQ] A fine addition to the discography of the Choir of Royal Holloway.

Carson COOMAN (b.1982) Shoreline Rune, Symphony 4, Prism - Erik Simmons (organ) Slovak Ntl SO/Kirk Trevor DIVINE ART DDV24161 [36:00] [JF] Wonder, mystery and a deep sense of engagement with the world of nature and society.

Luigi DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975) Il Prigioniero - Giulia Barrera (soprano), Maurizio Mazzieri (baritone), Romano Emili (tenor), National SO/Antal Dorati rec. 1974 DORATI EDITION ADE046 [44:41] [WK] Dorati constantly drives the music forward but neglects no detail of this fascinating score. Excellent performances.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Images Books 1 & 2 Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Suite - Sabine Weyer (piano) rec. 2015 ORLANDO RECORDS OR0015 [55.07] [MC] Most impressively performed ... has hardly been off my player since it arrived.

Félicien DAVID (1810-1876) Le Désert - Accentus, Paris CO/Laurence Equilbey rec. 2014 NAIVE V5405 [45.01 + 49.12] [EML] Pleasant but lacks musical depth and inspiration.

Gary DAVISON (b. 1961) The Armour of Light - Ch of Wells Cathedral/Matthew Owens; Jonathan Vaughn (organ) Matthew Souter (viola) Simon Jones (trumpet) rec. 2014 REGENT REGCD452 [76:30] [JQ] Attractive and well-crafted liturgical music even if it doesn’t appear to break much new ground.

Ernő DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Piano Quintets 1 & 2 - Gottlieb Wallisch (piano) Ensō Qt rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570572 [54:15] [RWe] For a bargain disc of these two splendid Piano Quintets, this Naxos issue is very welcome indeed.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Don Pasquale - John Del Carlo (bass-baritone) Anna Netrebko (soprano) Metropolitan Opera O & Ch/James Levine/Donald Palumbo rec. 2010 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 0734645 Blu-ray [142:00] [MC] As good as it gets.

Claude DUBOSCQ (1897-1938) Violin sonata, Concert intime, Matines, Sarabandes & Gaillardes - Laurent Le Flecher, Serge Blanc (violin), Alexandre Leger, Odette Gartenlaub (piano), Raphaël Sommer (cello) rec. 1961/2014 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1060 [51:32] [JW] An excellent, somewhat unexpected disc.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841–1904) Three Modern Greek Poems, Gypsy Songs, Biblical Songs - Adam Plachetka (bass-baritone) Gary Matthewman (piano) rec. 2014 RADIOSERVIS CR07292 [53:40] [GF] A powerful voice but one scaled down, smooth and beautiful for the intimate moments.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841–1904) Biblical Songs Bedřich SMETANA (1824–1884) Operatic arias - Adam Plachetka (bass-baritone) Bohuslav Martinů PO/Robert Jindra rec. 2014 RADIOSERVIS CR07242 [74:15] [GF] An interesting and valuable programme, well sung.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 9 Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Sinfonietta - Anima Eterna Brugge/Jos van Immerseel rec. 2015 ALPHA 206 [70:49] [LW] Period performances of Janáček and Dvořák to pique one’s curiosity.

Joachim Nikolas EGGERT (1779-1813) Symphonies 1 & 3, Svante Sture - Gävle SO/Gérard Korsten rec. 2009-14 NAXOS 8.572457 [66:20] [JF] A wholly successful project that demands to be continued.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Symphony 1, Cockaigne - Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2009 ONYX 4145 [63:19] [BR] Good, but there is much better out there, even in recent years.

Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987) Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello - KLIMT Qt rec. 2013 STRADIVARIUS STR33967 [71:51] [DC] Listener, if you seek his monument – close your eyes.

Wilhelm FITZENHAGEN (1848-1890) Cello Concertos Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Variations on a Rococo Theme - Alban Gerhardt (cello) Deutsches SO Berlin/Stefan Blunier rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68063 [75:01] [MC] Those interested in virtually forgotten late-Romantics might well want to explore. The music is superbly played.

Gordon GETTY (b.1933) The little match girl, A prayer for my daughter, Poor Peter, Joan and the bells - Bavarian Radio Ch, Munich Radio O/Asher Fisch; Ulf Schirmer rec. 2013/14 PENTATONE PTC5186480 SACD [66.59] [PCG] Admirers of Getty’s music will want this disc and those who are discovering him for the first time should also be well satisfied.

Christoph GRAUPNER (1683-1760) Concerti e Musica di Tavola - Accademia Daniel/Shalev Ad-El rec. 2010 CPO 777 645-2 [67:17] [JV] Compelling interpretations.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Lyric Pieces - Janina Fialkowska (piano) rec. 2014 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22696 [67:25] [BR] It takes great artistry to make the act of performance sound this simple and effortless.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Saul - Rosemary Joshua, Emma Bell (sopranos) Lawrence Zazzo (counter-tenor) Jeremy Ovenden (tenor) RIAS Kammerchor, Concerto Köln/René Jacobs rec. 2004 HARMONIA MUNDI HMY2921877-78 [74:33 + 75:06] [GF] This will probably be my choice just as often as the Mackerras in the future.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 – 1759) Siroe, Re di Persia - Ann Hallenberg, Johanna Stojkovic, Sunhae Im, Capella Coloniensis/Andreas Spering rec. 2003 HARMONIA MUNDI HMX2921826.27 [79:08 + 75:57] [GF] Lots of pleasure to be derived from this.

Richard HARVEY (b.1953) The Legend of Suriyothai - Budapest Film O/Richard Harvey rec. 2004 ALTUS ALU0006 [52:46] [JWh] Dramatic and tuneful ... play it at a high volume and it’s impossible not to be enthralled.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphonies 31, 70 & 101 - Scottish Ch O/Robin Ticciati rec. 2015 LINN RECORDS SACD CKD500 [77.00] [MC] Fresh and responsive.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Trios Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Quartets - Barthold Kuijken (transverse flute), Piet Kuijken (fortepiano), Wieland Kuijken (cello), Ewald Demeyere (harpsichord), Ann Cnop (viola) rec.2014 ACCENT ACC24293 [63:03 + 44:24] [JV] Even if you have good recordings of these works in your collection there is every reason to add this set.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) The Long Christmas Dinner - Camille Zamora (soprano) Sara Murphy (mezzo) Jarrett Ott (baritone) American SO/Leon Botstein rec. 2014 BRIDGE 9449 [48:49] [NB] A rare and special disc. Fascinating and rather moving.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Mathis der Maler, Symphony in E flat - NDR SO/Christoph Eschenbach ONDINE ODE1275-2 [67:28] [DM] Eschenbach gives middling performances here; Blomstedt is still my first choice for Mathis, Tortelier for the partnering symphony.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Pieces; Sonata for cello solo; Meditation; Sonata for cello and piano - David Geringas (cello) Ian Fountain (piano) rec. 2014 ES DUR RECORDS ES2054 [54:52] [SB] Rather short measure but nothing but admiration for eloquent playing and expertise from Geringas and Fountain.

Christopher IRVIN (b. 1953) Orchestral and Choral Works Vol. 2 - Richard Weigall (oboe) RTÉ Concert O/Gavin Sutherland, John Longstaff rec. 2014 CAMPION CAMEO 2087 [78:14] [JF] An enjoyable disc of light music that hat tips toward the Edwardian era.

John JOUBERT (b.1927) Temps perdu; Sinfonietta; The instant moment - Christopher Hirons, Pierre Joubert (violins) Henry Herford (baritone) English String O/William Boughton rec. 1987 NAXOS 8.571368 [63:09] [SB] We should be grateful for this reissue and hope there will be others to follow.

Charles KOECHLIN (1867-1950) String Quartets 1 & 2 - Ardeo Qt rec. 2006 AR RÉ-SÉ AR2006-3 [61.32] [MC] A captivating and pleasurable release letting us hear music that deserves wide circulation.

Leopold KOŽELUCH (1747-1818) Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 5 - Kemp English (fortepiano) rec. 2011 GRAND PIANO GP646 [75:21] [PRB] An attractive addition to any collection.

Zygmunt KRAUZE (b. 1938) Hommage ŕ Strzemiński rec. 1969-2014 DUX 1207 [74:25] [DC] At its best, a source of endless awe.

Toivo KUULA (1883–1918) Festive March, South Ostrobothnian Suites 1 & 2, Prelude and Fugue - Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2015 ONDINE ODE1270-2 [70:50] What a find; I look forward to exploring Kuula’s output in more detail soon [DM] The playing and the recording are superlatively good [PCG].

Franciszek LESSEL (1780-1838) Works for Pianoforte - Dorota Cybulska-Amsler (piano) rec. 2014 DUX 1173 [76:40] [PRB] For listeners with a distinct interest in less-well-trodden repertoire of the period.

Richard LLOYD (b. 1933) Illumine me - The Bede Singers/David Hill rec. 2014 REGENT REGCD455 [74:40] [JQ] A most rewarding programme of music by Richard Lloyd, expertly performed.

Mary McAULIFFE (b. 1947) Return to Old Ireland - Donald George (tenor) Lucy Mauro (piano) West Virginia Univ Studio O & Ch/Jeffry Blake Johnson, Michael O’Neal Singers/Michael O’Neal rec. 2000-12 DELOS DE1046 [47:36] [GF] Lovers of Irish music shouldn’t hesitate.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 1 - Utah Symphony/Thierry Fischer rec. 2014 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-715 SACD [52:53] [JQ] Live Mahler from Utah: but is the performance strong enough for repeated listening under domestic conditions?

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 2 - Brieley Cutting, Angela Turner, Stephen Emmerson, Stewart Kelly (2 pianos 8 hands) rec. 2012 MELBA MR301144 [78:00] [JW] A refreshing new approach to a great symphony that many Mahlerians would enjoy.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 4 - Maria Ewing (soprano) Concertgebouw O/Bernard Haitink rec. 1986 ARTHAUS MUSIK DVD 109108/Blu-ray 109109 [62:00] A fine performance which demonstrates Bernard Haitink’s prowess in Mahler [JQ] Buy only for this specific reading. There are equally good performances with much better sound and picture than this [DBi].

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 6 - Bavarian RSO/Daniel Harding rec. 2014 BR KLASSIK 900132 [82:28] [ST] Definitely a lot to enjoy ... well worth repeated hearings.

Gian Francesco MALIPIERO (1882-1973) Sinfonia degli eroi, Ditirambo tragico, Grottesco, Dai sepolcri - Thessaloniki State SO/Amaury du Closel rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.572766 [57:03] [DJB] A welcome addition to the Malipiero discography.

Marin MARAIS (1656-1728) Five Old French Dances, Suite Louis de Caix D’HERVELOIS (1677-1759) Suites - Paul Doktor (viola) Fernando Valenti (harpsichord) rec. c. 1953 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1088 [50:26] [JW] Admirers of the two instrumentalists will relish this disc’s restoration.

Antonio Maria MONTANARI (1676–1737) Violin Concertos - Ensemble Diderot/Johannes Pramsohler (violin) rec. 2015 AUDAX ADX13704 [59:47] [BW] Lovers of Corelli are positively encouraged to become acquainted with the music of his successor.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Hor chel ciel e la terra, Lamento della ninfa, Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda Marco MARAZZOLI (c.1605-1662) La Fiera di Farfa - Le Počme Harmonique/Vincent Dumestre rec. 2009 ALPHA CLASSICS 306 [71.31] [DBi] A really enjoyable disc containing superb performances somewhat hampered by the failure to print the sung text in the booklet.

Alexander MOSOLOV (1900-1973) Piano concerto 1, Legend, Piano sonata 1, Iron Foundry - Steffen Schleiermacher (piano) Ringela Riemke (cello) Berlin RSO/Johannes Kalitzke rec. 2014 CAPRICCIO C5241 [55:09] [SB] Presenting the works which made Mosolov briefly famous.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Requiem - Olga Pasiecznik (soprano) Anna Lubanska (mezzo) Krzysztof Szmyt (tenor) Krzysztof Borysiewicz (bass) Sinfonia Amabile Ch & O/Piotr Wajrak rec. 2014 DUX 1210 [53:03] [DC] Very nice, but not a world-shaker.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonatas 11, 12 & 16 - Jennifer Lim (piano) rec. 2014 GENUIN CLASSICS GEN15371 [61:28] [DC] Mozart is well served … again.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concerto 5, Violin Sonatas 32 & 35 - Oscar Shumsky (violin) Leopold Mittman (piano) The Little Orchestra Society/Thomas Scherman rec. 1950s FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1086 [68:22] [JW] Clearly a niche disc.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concertos 1 & 2 Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto - Devy Erlih (violin) O Concerts Lamoureux/Arthur Goldschmidt, Südwestfunk SO Baden-Baden/Ernest Bour, rec. 1952/7 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR124 [62:03] [SG] Reservations about the Mozart concertos but the Mendelssohn is compelling.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Cosě fan tutte - Malin Hartelius (soprano) Marie-Claude Chappuis (mezzo) Luca Pisaroni (bass-baritone) Vienna PO/Christoph Eschenbach rec. 2013 EUROARTS DVD 2072748 [2 DVDs: 200:00] [RF] Little innovation in this traditional production. None the worse for that.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony 41 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 2 - Poznán PO/Sir Neville Marriner rec. 2013 DUX 1196 [66:23] [DC] A nice souvenir but not really competitive.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Il Re Pastore - John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Sarah Fox, Ailish Tynan (sopranos) O of Classical Opera/Ian Page rec. 2014 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD433 [62:38 + 54:34] [ST] A great success, this set is well worth checking out.

Modest Petrovich MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition; Night on the Bare Mountain Alexander Nikolayevich SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Piano Sonata 3 - Alessio Bax (piano) rec. 2015 SIGNUM RECORDS SIGCD426 [66:16] [SA] Bax's playing is brilliantly illuminative.

Andrzej PANUFNIK (1914-1991) Concertos - Robert Kabara (violin) Roman Jabłonski (cello) Bogdan Czapiewski (piano) Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music SO, Gdansk/Zygmunt Rychert rec. 2014 DUX 1176 [68:53] [DC] Hurrah Panufnik, but alas, not preferable.

Stephen PAULUS (1949-2014) Far in the Heavens - True Concord Voices & O/Eric Holtan rec. 2013 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-716 [66:14] [JQ] Attractive and expertly crafted choral music by Stephen Paulus in accomplished performances.

Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736) Stabat Mater - Le Počme Harmonique/Vincent Dumestre rec. 2000 ALPHA 308 [59:50] [BW] An attractive reissue but the performance of the main work yields to several other recordings, some equally inexpensive.

François-André Danican PHILIDOR (1726-1795) Les Femmes Vengées - Opera Lafayette/Ryan Brown rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.660353 [67:20] [BW] I enjoyed this much more than I had anticipated.

John PLAYFORD (1623-1686) Nobody's Jig - Les Witches rec. 2001 ALPHA CLASSICS 307 [72:03] [GPu] Attractive listening, though some of the interpretations are a little too polite and lacking in robust rhythmic drive.

Nicola Antonio PORPORA (1686-1768) Female Choruses - Coro Femminile Harmňnia, Ensemble Barocca I Musicali Affeti/Michele Peguri rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95159 [66:06] [JW] Enthusiastic but a stop-gap.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Dialogues des Carmélites - Patricia Petibon, Véronique Gens, Sandrine Piau, Ch de Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Philharmonia O/Jérémie Rhorer rec. 2013 ERATO Blu-ray 2564 621953 [166:00] [DBi] A superb performance of a masterly and very disturbing opera.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) The Complete Songs Vol. 5 - rec. 2010/11 SIGNUM SIGCD333 [61:26] [GF] Maybe not the essential Poulenc but well worth it for some exhilarating entertainment.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphonies 4 & 5; Dreams - Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2014/15 ONYX 4147 [77.28] [DBi] Absolutely superb performances and splendid recordings in this continuing Prokofiev symphonies cycle. A winner.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concertos 2 & 4 - Sequeira Costa (piano) Royal PO/Christopher Seaman rec. 1993 CLAUDIO CB6027-2 [60:23] [JWh] A near miss in detailed sound.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 2 Anatoly LIADOV (1855-1914) The Enchanted Lake - Bergen PO/Andrew Litton rec. 2014/15 BIS BIS-2071 SACD [70:54] Symphony 2 - London SO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2008 LSO LIVE LSO0677 SACD [60:53] [DM] Two top-notch accounts of a great symphony, very well recorded; however, there can only be one winner …

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 3 Mily BALAKIREV (1837-1910) Russia - London SO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2014 LSO LIVE LSO0779 SACD [56:30] [LW] Gergiev delivers a tepid performance of Rachmaninov's Third Symphony and fails to convince in Balakirev.

Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Symphony 2, Vocalise - Valer Sabadus (counter-tenor) Gürzenich O Köln/Dmitri Kitajenko rec. 2013 OEHMS CLASSICS OC441 [64:44] [BR] Extraordinarily energetic, romantic, bursting with enthusiasm.

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Pičces de Clavecin - Blandine Rannou (harpsichord) rec. 2000 ALPHA CLASSICS 309 [63:25 + 74:09] [SSi] Rannou’s virtuosity and poise shines through and sheds new light on this fine music.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Chamber works - Adolf Busch (violin) Rudolf Serkin (piano) Philipp Dreisbach (clarinet) Busch Qt, Wendling Qt rec. 1929-51 GUILD HISTORICAL GHCD2412 [74:01] [JW] Another very recommendable release from Guild’s intelligently programmed Busch series.

Aribert REIMANN (b. 1936) Lear - Bo Skovhus, Hamburg PO/Simone Young rec. 2014 ARTHAUS MUSIC Blu-ray 109064 [176.00] [DBi] A very fine performance and recording of a first class, but tough and loud, opera.

Carl REINECKE (1824-1910) Trio Heinrich von HERZOGENBERG (1843-1900) Trio York BOWEN (1884-1961) Ballade - Andre Schoch (trumpet) Michael Massong (trombone) Friedrich Höricke (piano) rec. 2014 MDG 6031912-2 [60:45] [JW] Things aren’t quite as they seem.

Nicolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) The Tale of Tsar Saltan - Zdravko Kovac (bass), Nada Toncic (soprano), Ch & O Zagreb National Opera/Dimitry Zebre rec. 1956 PRISTINE CLASSICAL PACO120 [2 CDs: 2:35:39] [JWh] A good transfer of a sparkling opera.

Johann Heinrich ROLLE (1716 - 1785) Motets - Kammerchor Michaelstein/Sebastian Göring rec. 2004/6 CPO 777778-2 [50:41 + 69:17] [JV] Those interested in this kind of repertoire should not hesitate to add this disc to their collection.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Petite Messe Solennelle - Accentus; Paris CO/Ottavio Dantone rec. 2014 NAĎVE V5409 [77:05] [JWh] A fabulous version of the Petite Messe.

Giacinto SCELSI (1905-1988) Suites 9 & 10 - Sabine Liebner (piano) rec. 2014 WERGO WER6794-2 [59:36] [DC] Fascinating worlds of both beauty and the barbaric.

Arnold SCHÖNBERG (1874-1951) Pelleas und Melisande; Violin Concerto - Kolja Blacher (violin) Gürzenich O Köln/Markus Stenz OEHMS CLASSICS OC445 [69:35] [DC] Don't be put off by Mr Schönberg - he was a fun guy, really …

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Violin Sonatas, Rondeau brilliant, Fantasie, Arpeggione Sonata, Adagio - Tasmin Little (violin) Piers Lane (piano) Tim Hugh (cello) rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHAN10850(2) [74:36 + 74:13] [ST] Very welcome ... a most useful collection of Schubert's less often heard music.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Dances, Waltzes, Sonata D960 - Shani Diluka (piano) rec. 2013 MIRARE MIR240 [58:00] [DC] Unusual but sublime Schubert programme.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Das Paradies und die Peri - Kate Royal (soprano) Mark Padmore (tenor) Bernarda Fink (alto) Florian Boesch (bass) London SO & Ch/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2015 LSO LIVE LSO0782 SACD/BD-A [51:26 + 36:37] [ST] Despite its many virtues, this won’t replace the likes of Giulini, Harnoncourt or Gardiner.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Davidsbündlertänze; Kreisleriana - Eugen Indjic (piano) rec. 2013 DUX 1187 [55:58] [BR] A very fine recital from a thoughtful performer who is still best-known as one of the “Joyce Hatto” victims.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Novellette, Davidsbündlertänze, Abegg variations, Geistervariationen - Imogen Cooper (piano) rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHAN10874 [75:51] [DC] Top of the range Schumann.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Musikalische Exequien - La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken rec. 2014 ACCENT ACC24299 [50:29] [DC] A feast of melancholy reflection.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, Concertino & Tarantella for 2 Pianos - Anna Vinnitskaya, Ivan Rudin (pianos) Kremerata Baltica rec. 2014 ALPHA CLASSICS 203 [50:00] [JWh] Good but not a top recommendation.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 10, Passacaglia - Boston SO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2015 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 5059 [64:48] [JQ] A very fine performance.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Jedermann, Two Serious Melodies, In memoriam - Cathedralis Aboensis Ch, Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573340 [72:50] [LW] Segerstam excels in his Sibelius series on Naxos with death-haunted works.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Pelléas et Mélisande - Pia Pajala (soprano), Sari Nordqvist (mezzo) Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573301 [57:49] [SG] I’m now tempted to explore the other volumes in the series ... and with enthusiasm.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto, Serenades Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Violin Concerto - Baiba Skride (violin) Tampere PO/Santtu-Matias Rouvali rec. 2015 ORFEO C896152A [49:02 + 37:34] [JW] Bumpy and over-colouristic. Passagework taken so scrupulously that all spirit of adventure is dissipated.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) The Seven Symphonies - Lahti SO/Okko Kamu rec. 2012/14 BIS BIS-2076 SACD [3 CDs: 240:13] [RWe] A fine new SACD symphony cycle to grace Sibelius' 150th anniversary year.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphonies 1-7 - Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2014/15 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS BPHR150071 [4 CDs + BD-A + BD-V] [MC] Beautifully played ... overflows with humanity yet feels intensely rehearsed. Spontaneity is essentially absent as is the icy chill and awe.

Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Complete Music for Solo Piano Vol. 1 - Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2014 SHEVA SH115 [71:42 + 74:24] [JW] An absolute assurance of technique and tone – a sure guide.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan, Symphony - Frankfurter Opern & Museum O/Sebastian Weigle rec. 2014/15 OEHMS CLASSICS OC890 [62:07] [RMay] A welcome new disc.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) O Matinec Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Dances Max REGER (1873-1916) Aus Meinem Tagebuch - Paul Orgel (piano) rec. 2014 MSR CLASSICS MS1533 [60:33] [JW] An unlikely looking triptych with a shared mood.

Thomas TALLIS (c.1505-1585) Tallis Edition Vol. 5 - The Cardinall’s Musick/Andrew Carwood rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68095 [71:58] [JQ] Those who are collecting this outstanding Tallis series need not hesitate over acquiring Volume 5.

Phyllis TATE (1911-1987) The Lodger - Owen Brannigan (bass), Johanna Peters (mezzo), BBC Northern Singers & O/Sir Charles Groves rec. 1964 LYRITA REAM.2119 [63.58 + 54.40] [PCG] Of considerable interest as a piece of its period.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Queen of Spades - Misha Didyk (tenor) Tatiana Serjan (soprano) Larissa Diadkova (contralto) Bavarian RSO & Ch/Mariss Jansons rec. 2014 BR KLASSIK 900129 [3 CDs: 168:43] [ST] A worthy memento of what must have been some very engaging concerts.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Anniversary Edition: The Most Popular Ballets and Operas DOCUMENTS 600223 [10 CDs] [JWh] Bargain box with some classic performances. Good value overall.

Thomas TELLEFSEN (1823-1874) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 - Einar Steen-Nřkleberg (piano) Trondheim SO/Terje Mikkelsen rec. 2003 SIMAX PSC1232 [53:50] [PB] An outstanding player ... bristling technical difficulties ... great panache and sincerity in the quieter and more introspective moments.

Mikis THEODORAKIS (b.1925) Echowand lieder - Johanna Krumin (soprano) Markus Zugehör (piano) rec. 2014 WERGO WER51202 [52:34] [SA] That Theodorakis was so thrilled by the result ... says it all.

Will TODD (b.1970) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - Fflur Wyn (soprano) Opera Holland Park/Matthew Waldren rec. 2015 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD420 [68.42] [PCG] Immediately approachable.

Václav Jan TOMÁŠEK (1774-1850) Songs - Renata Pokupić (mezzo) Roger Vignoles (piano) rec. 2013/14 HYPERION CDA67966 [61:22] [JW] Settings that are largely taut, compact and full of elegant simplicity.

Marco UCCELLINI (1610-1680) Sonate over Canzoni - rec. 2013 STRADIVARIUS STR37023 [78:53] [JV] Everyone interested in 17th-century violin music should investigate this fine disc.

Giuseppe VALENTINI (1681-1753) Concerti grossi - Ensemble 415/Chiara Banchini rec. 2001 ALPHA CLASSICS 310 [74:18] [DC] Absolutely stunning. Now for a complete Op. 7 recording – any takers?

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) La Traviata - Angela Gheorghiu, Ramón Vargas, O Teatro La Scala/Lorin Maazel rec. 2007 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101342 Blu-ray [202.00] [MC] Treasurable and powerfully charged this deserves great praise.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1743) ‘The Four Seasons' & other concertos - Amandine Beyer (violin) Gli Incogniti rec. 2008 ALPHA CLASSICS 312 [70:54] Cello Sonatas - Bruno Cocset (cello) Les Basses Réunies rec. 1998 ALPHA CLASSICS 313 [71:46] [DJB] Two very good seasons and two wrongly judged ones make the Beyer disc a mixed bag; the sonatas are a very different, darker Vivaldi, best sampled rather than played through.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The New Four Seasons - O of Life/Nigel Kennedy rec. 2011/12 SONY 88875076722 [61:01] [BW] Seems deliberately intended to enrage lovers of Vivaldi.

Ernst Wilhelm WOLF (1735-1792) String Quartets - Pleyel Qt Köln rec. 2012 CPO 777 856-2 [63:50] [DC] Surprisingly inventive – you can’t go wrong with E.W. Wolf.

Leo ZEITLIN (1884-1930) Yiddish Songs, Chamber Music and Declamations - Rachel Calloway (mezzo) Guenko Guechev (speaker/baritone) Daniella Rabbani (speaker) Musicians of the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival rec. 2010 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0294 [62:28] [SA] I note with satisfaction that Toccata call this Volume One of a series entitled Russian Jewish Classics. I look forward to more releases.

Domenico ZIPOLI (1688-1726) Complete Suites and partitas - Giovanni Nesi (piano) rec. 2014 HERITAGE HTGCD298 [66:56] [DJB] I’m very glad to have made the acquaintance of these works on the modern piano.

The Art of the Bassoon Robert Thompson (bassoon) rec. 1980-2002 HERITAGE HTGCD402 [4 CDs: 216:09] [JWh] Thoughtful and well-produced ... showcases Robert Thompson in a wide range of musical styles.

Brazilian Adventures Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68114 [77:46] ]JQ] Previously hidden musical treasure from colonial Brazil brought vividly to life by Ex Cathedra.

The Britannic Organ Vol. 10 Welte’s German organists and their music - rec. 1920s-30s OEHMS CLASSICS OC849 [68:06 + 72:57] [JW] A niche purchase - for Welte aficionados and those interested in German organ traditions of the twentieth century.

Budapest String Quartet Works by Borodin, Dittersdorf, Dvorak, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Schubert & Tchaikovsky - rec. 1926-29 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM098 [79:29 + 76:25] [JW] A must-have for admirers of the Budapest Quartet.

Canciones Espańolas Zoryana Kushpler (mezzo) Olena Kushpler (piano) rec. 2013 CAPRICCIO C5193 [57:19] [GF] Very attractive readings that should be heard by anyone with an interest in Spanish songs.

Choralis Passeris Polish Music for Cello and Strings - Anna Wróbel (cello) Camerata Vistula rec. 2014 DUX 1220 [69:27] [DC] Unusual and attractive repertoire in a desirable package.

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.

Clockworking Nordic Affect SONO LUMINUS SLE-70001 [44:31] [GF] I can’t say that I have digested the music on this disc completely but it has grown in stature and I hope to hear more from these Icelandic composers.

Un Concert pour Madame de Sévigné Works by Lully, Marais & Hotteterre - Marc Hantaď, Georges Barthel (transverse flute) Philippe Pierlot (viola da gamba) Eduardo Egüez (theorbo) rec. 2009 FLORA FLO2110 [70:10] [JV] The standard of playing is of the highest order but the presentation of this disc is a big mess.

Cultural Death: Music under Tyranny Works by Beethoven, Berlioz & Brahms - Alfred Hoehn (piano)/Leipzig RSO/Reinhold Merten, Munich PO/Oswald Kabasta, USSR State SO/Oscar Fried rec. 1937-44 ARBITER 162 [78:43] [JW] A complex web of cultural questions behind this disc.

The Dresden Album Trio Sonatas by Handel, Fux, Fasch & Telemann - Ensemble Diderot rec. 2013 AUDAX RECORDS ADX13701 [63:11] [JV] The playing is excellent and does ample justice to the style of this repertoire.

Dutch Cello Sonatas Vol. 7 Doris Hochscheid (cello) Frans van Ruth (piano) rec. 2015 MDG 90319106 SACD [75:39] [DJB] Uninspiring – have MDG reached the end of the line for this series, I wonder?

English Music For Oboe Works by Crosse, Dickinson, Jacob & Howells - Sarah Francis (oboe) Peter Dickinson (piano) Tagore String Trio, Rohan de Saram (cello) rec. 1985/2014 HERITAGE HTGCD275 [68:22] [JWh] A must-buy oboe collection.

Entartete Musik Works for alto saxophone and piano - Duo Disecheis rec. 2013 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94874 [51:39 + 54:11] [ST] Never less than classy ... probably most of interest to specialists.

The Eternal Ecstasy Chapel Ch of Selwyn College, Cambridge/Sarah MacDonald rec. 2013 REGENT REGCD427 [72:48] [JQ] A rewarding selection of unaccompanied choral music, well performed.

Flos Virginum Motets of the 15th Century - Stimmwerck rec. 2013 CPO 777 937-2 [62:10] [GH] A rare disc of pleasingly unusual repertoire.

The Genius of Film Music Hollywood Blockbusters 1960s-1980s - London PO/John Mauceri rec. 2013 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO-0086 [46:36 + 42:39] Not an unqualified success, but still worth hearing; a fair recording, too [DM] John Mauceri and the LPO treat us to great night at the movies [JQ].

Angela Gheorghiu (soprano) Autograph WARNER CLASSICS 2564 619047 [8 CDs: c.620:00 + 1 DVD: 56:48] [RMo] Devotees of Gheorghiu’s art will not hesitate to acquire this tribute to her, especially given its bargain price.

Göttweig Partitas Music at the Court of Emperor Leopold I - Lydia Maria Blank (harpsichord) rec. 2008 STELLAMARIS SM201401 [74:14] [JV] This music has a rather intimate character and that comes off perfectly here.

Green Philippe Jaroussky (counter-tenor) Nathalie Stutzmann (contralto) Jérôme Ducros (piano) Ebčne Qt rec. 2014 ERATO 2564 616695 [57:18 + 54:34] [JW] Jaroussky possesses grace, charm and wit and more besides.

Raoul von Koczalski (piano) The Complete Recordings Vol. 2: Pre-War Recordings rec. 1930-39 MARSTON 53016-2 [3 CDs: 232:49] [SG] Lovers of Chopin’s music will, like me, find much to savour and enjoy in this release.

Kurland Sounds Vilnis ŠMĪDBERGS (b.1944) Merry-Go-Round Ēriks EŠENVALDS (b. 1977) Visions of Arctic Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) Symphony 2 - Ints Dālderis (clarinet) Lepāja SO/Atvars Lakstīgala rec. 2012/13 ODRADEK RECORDS ODRCD319 [74:09] [DC] Latvian sounds – fulsome and sparkling.

L'arpa di Partenope Harp Music from Early Baroque Naples - Margret Köll (arpa doppia) rec. 2012 ACCENT ACC24192 [56:27] [JV] This disc is a fine introduction to Italian music for the harp and to its versatility.

Love is Strange Works for Lute Consort - Le Počme Harmonique/Vincent Dumestre rec. 2005 ALPHA CLASSICS 305 [61:14] [GH] A joy to encounter.

Paul Makanowitzky (violin) Works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mondonville, Mozart, Schoenberg, Schumann & Stravinsky -Noël Lee, Jerzy Vitas (piano) rec. 1940s-1963 MELOCLASSIC MC2025 [64:19 + 61:21] [SG] A wide, varied programme showcasing a violinist whose name will be unfamiliar to many.

Masters of the Past - Newly Discovered Simon Ferdinand LECHLEITNER (18th century) Litaniae de Corde Jesu Jacek SZCZUROWSKI (1716-1773) Litaniae Just CASPAR (1717-1760) O Iesu mi dilecte - The Early Music Ensemble Diletto/Anna Moniuszko rec. 2014 DUX 1175 [44:08] [JV] A disc for curious minds who would like to extend their musical horizon.

Missa Transfigurationis Psallentes/Hendrik Vanden Abeele (baritone/director) rec. 2014 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW1576 [65:62] [MS] Glorious music of great grace and impact just the right balance of attack and sensitivity.

Music for Wimpole Hall Works by Hawkins, Paisible & Tudway - Eboracum Baroque/Christopher Parsons Private Release [68:23] [GH] Rare music and well worth hearing.

Music For Winds Works by Barber, Hindemith, Janáček, Ligeti & Nielsen - London Winds rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHAN10876 [80:13] [GPJ] Five masterpieces – delightfully entertaining, beautiful, splendidly recorded and performed with consummate excellence.

Naples 1759 Works by Pullj, Mancini & Durante - Rebecca Rosen (cello) Claudio Barduco Ribeiro (harpsichord) La Cicala/Inęs d’Avena (recorder) rec. 2015 PASSACAILLE 1013 [56:15] [DC] Jewels from a Parthenopean treasure trove.

New Irish Music Chatham Saxophone Qt rec. 2014 RTÉ LYRIC FM CD149 [46:51] [HC] A very fine collection of Irish works but the playing time is a bit on the short side.

David Oistrakh (violin) Solos and duos - Lev Oborin, Vladimir Yampolsky (piano) rec. Paris, 1953/54 VANGUARD OVC4080/2 [3 CDs: 167:26] [JWh] Despite the technical flaws in the transfers, this set should be welcomed back into circulation.

A Polish Kaleidoscope Works by Dobrzyński, Moszkowski, Palester & Zarębski - Ravel Piano Duo rec. 2014 DUX 1174 [48:53] [SA] Brilliant and virtuosic ... thoroughly enjoyable. Thrilling performances.

Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute) The Complete Erato Records Vol. 1 rec. 1954-63 ERATO 2564 619044 [10 CDs: 16 hours] [JW] Rampal completists had better check their shelves and get busy.

The Rest is Silence WINTER & WINTER 910 226-2 [74:11] [DC] Vast lake – quality swimwear.

Felix Salmond (cello) Sonatas by Beethoven & encores - Leonid Hambro, Simeon Rumschisky (piano) rec. 1927-48 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM099 [79:09] [JW] Salmond’s adaptable, broad-ranging sympathies expertly reflected.

Scandinavian Classics Vol. 5 rec. 1933-55 DANACORD DACOCD757-758 [73:43 + 74:16] [DBi] A good issue for those keen to replace their old 78s. One or two gems included.

Silver Bow Works for solo violin arranged for flute - Katherine Bryan (flute) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Jac Van Steen rec. 2014 LINN CKD520 SACD [60:00] [ST] The aural equivalent of a warm hug.

Sing with the Voice of Melody Stile Antico rec. 2006/13 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU807650 SACD [72:41] [JW] A fine souvenir Stile Antico's tenth anniversary.

Solitaires Works by Alain, Dutilleux, Messiaen & Ravel - Kathryn Stott (piano) rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2148 SACD [68:37] [BR] Kathryn Stott gives a brilliantly constructed, fantastically played recital of French keyboard titans.

Song of Songs Works by Berio, Lang & Olivero - Trio Mediaeval, Garth Knox (viola) Agnčs Vesterman (cello) Sylvain Lemętre (percussion) Cliona Doris (harp)/Andrew Synnott rec. 2014. LOUTH CONTEMPORARY MUSIC LCMS1502 [45:17] [DC] A strikingly canorous trinity.

The Sound of the 20s Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Violin Sonata 1 Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Violin Sonata George ENESCU (1881-1955) Violin Sonata 3 - Stefan Tarara (violin) Lora Vakova-Tarara (piano) rec. 2015 ARS PRODUCTION SACD 38179 [78:46] [JW] Challenging and in many ways rewarding.

Maestro Vladimir Spivakov Anniversary Edition rec. 1970-1990 MELODIYA MELCD1002300 [5 CDs: 341:00] [SG] A worthy anniversary tribute to a multi-faceted musician.

Jascha Spivakovsky (piano) Bach to Bloch Vol. 1 Works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Kabalevsky rec. 1955-67 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM065 [70:25] [JW] Powerful grandeur, clarity and refinement of voicings.

Leopold Stokowski (conductor) Works by Bauer, Borodin, Britten, Debussy & Enescu - Jacques Abram (piano) P-SO New York rec. 1947/49 GUILD GHCD2419 [70:27] [JW] Once again then, repertoire, conductor, soloist and the rarity of this live material constitutes a most attractive disc.

Tientos y Glosas Iberian Organ and Choral Music from the Golden Age - Martin Neu (organ) ensemble officium/Wilfried Rombach rec. 2014 AUDITE 97.713 [54:48] [JV] A good survey of the keyboard music written on the Iberian peninsula during the 17th century.

The Virtuoso Recorder III Capella Academica Frankfurt/Michael Schneider (recorder, transverse flute) rec. 2013 CPO 777 885-2 [73:06] [JV] A worthy sequel to the previous discs devoted to concertos from Germany and Italy.

What Artemesia Heard Music and Art from the Time of Caravaggio and Gentileschi - El Mundo/Richard Savino rec. 2014 SONO LUMINUS DSL92195 [77:16] [BW] I believe you will obtain enjoyment from this recording and the earlier recordings from this ensemble.

Earl Wild (piano) The Complete RCA Album Collection rec. 1947-76 RCA RED SEAL 88875030742 [5 CDs: 241:25] [JW] A salute to Wild's recordings for RCA Victor and Columbia Masterworks.

Other Reviews

Cool Brass/Hot Brass The London Sound CALA CACD0122/3 [77:05 & 73:09] [JW] Prepare to be stunned by sheer virtuosity.

The Golden Age of Light Music British Cinema and Theatre Orchestras Vol. 4 rec. c.1927-45 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5228 [79:09] [JW] Something for everyone who likes light music of this period.

The Golden Age of Light Music And at the Piano … rec. c. 1949-62 GUILD GLCD5229 [75:05] [JW] Plenty of riches in this fine conspectus.

The Golden Age of Light Music 100 Greatest American Light Orchestras Vol. 1 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5230 [74:39] [JW] A terrific opening release for this new marque from Guild.

Articles and Notices

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

Download News 2015/9 by Brian Wilson

Meyerbeer: From Berlin To India by Nick Fuller

The Loder Family and their Music in Provincial Britain: Report on a Study Day by Raymond J Walker

Encounters with British Composers by Andrew Palmer

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Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

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Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)