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MWI RECORDING
OF THE YEAR


CD review L Wright
BBC Prom
CBSO Birmingham

MWI Editor In Chief
Recording of the Year


Orchestral Music


music that will please greatly


Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear


vital imagination


Henrik HELLSTENIUS
A harum-scarum springboard


Always expect the unexpected

Monthly Listing September 2015
193 reviews this month

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

John ADAMS (b. 1947) Absolute Jest, Grand Pianola Music - Synergy Vocals, Orli Shaham, Marc-André Hamelin (pianos), Saint Lawrence Qt, San Francisco SO/Michael Tilson Thomas; rec. 2013/15 SFS MEDIA SACD SFS0063 [57.34] [MC] Stunning … a cast-iron certainty to be one of my Records of the Year.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonata 3 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonata 2 Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Violin Sonata 3 - Duo Sitkovetsky rec. 2012 LIMEN CDVD018C018 CD/DVD [62:37] [SG] I sincerely hope there will be more to come from this duo, whose intelligent and profound musicianship ticks all the right boxes.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique, Lélio - Chicago SO & Ch/Riccardo Muti rec. 2010 CSO RESOUND CSOR9011501 [114:42] [DM] Superb, even revelatory accounts of both works; top-flight engineering, too.

Emilio de CAVALIERI (c.1550-1602) Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo - Berlin State Opera Ch, Concerto Vocale, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/René Jacobs rec. 2014 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902200.01 [38.15 + 54.33] [GH] There are many reasons for wallowing in and really enjoying this work.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Estampes; Préludes - Michael Lewin (piano) rec. 2014 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92190 CD/BD-A [68:56] [GPJ] A truly distinguished addition to the discography of Debussy piano music.

Toivo KUULA (1883-1918) Festive march; South Ostrobothnian Suites 1 & 2; Prelude and Fugue - Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2015 ONDINE ODE12702 [70:50] [DJB] Quite a discovery - what a shame there is little else in Kuula's orchestral output.

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Les amoureuses sont des folles Sally Silver (soprano) Richard Bonynge (piano) Christine Tocci (mezzo) Nico Darmanin (tenor) Gabriella Swallow (cello) rec. 2014 SOMM SOMMCD0151 [58.53] [IL] A strong choice for all lovers of Massenet’s richly sentimental lyricism.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures from an Exhibition, Night on a Bare Mountain Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Piano Sonata 3 - Alessio Bax (piano) rec. J2015 SIGNUM RECORDS SIGCD426 [66:13] [DM] All-conquering performances in fabulous sound; quite possibly my Recording of the Year.

Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Choral works - Onyx Brass, Daniel Cook (organ) Ch Westminster Abbey/James O’Donnell rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68089 [78:52] [JQ] A magnificent disc.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concerto 2, Sonata for Two Violins, Sonata for Solo Violin, Op. 115 - Viktoria Mullova, Tedi Papavrami (violins) Frankfurt Radio SO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2012 ONYX 4142 [50:55] [SG] An immensely enjoyable release.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) The Seven Symphonies - Lahti SO/Okko Kamu rec. 2012/14 BIS BIS-2076 SACD [3 CDs: 240:13] [DM] Kamu’s distinguished Sibelius joins Vänskä’s at the top of the tree; formidable engineering, too.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) & Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concertos - Fumiaki Miura (violin) Deutsches SO Berlin/Hannu Lintu rec. 2015 AVEX AVCL25878 [65:49] [SG] I am almost certain that we will be hearing a lot more of Fumiaki Miura in days to come. Such talent bodes well for his future career.

Agrippina Ann Hallenberg (mezzo) Il pomo d’Oro/Riccardo Minasi DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88875 055982 [74:54] [GPu] An original and fascinating programme superbly performed, essential listening for any lover of the baroque.

I skogen Nordic Songs - Camilla Tilling (soprano) Paul Rivinius (piano) rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2154 SACD [66:21] [GF] Wonderful songs sung with the utmost delicacy. A wonderful rapport between these two artists.

Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Complete String Quartets Vol. 1 - Lutosławski Qt rec. 12012 NAXOS 8.572806 [71:04] [SB] I am very glad to have made the acquaintance of Bacewicz.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partita 2, French Suite 5, Toccatas - Jean-Léon Cohen (piano) rec. 2015 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR27C [58:29] [SG] An attractive and varied Bach recital.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Suites for Unaccompanied Cello- Jean-Max Clément (cello) rec. 1958 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 868/9 [46:25 + 62:31] Suites for Unaccompanied Cello - Annlies Schmidt de Neveu (cello) rec. 1957/58 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 118/9 [49:02 + 68:15] [SG] Two rare, thought-provoking cycles from the late fifties, welcomed back into circulation.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partitas - Huguette Dreyfus (harpsichord) rec. 1983 HERITAGE RECORDS HTGCD292/3 [62:18 + 78:43] [SSi] This is an excellent interpretation of this music. One of the finest I have heard on any instrument.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Art of Fugue - Schaghajegh Nosrati (piano) rec. 2015 GENUIN CLASSICS GEN15374 [85:31] [DC] Beyond criticism, but now there is a choice to be made ...

Leonardo BALADA (b. 1933) Cumbres, Piano Concerto, Cello Concerto, Viola Concerto, Sonata - Enrique Graf (piano) David Premo (cello) Ashan Pillai (viola) Carnegie Mellon Wind Ens rec. 2010/11 NAXOS 8.573064 [79:38] [SA] Thought-provoking music that delivers at several levels.

Sally BEAMISH (b. 1956) The Singing, A Cage of Doves, Under the Wing of the Rock, Reckless, Trumpet Concerto - James Crabb (accordion) Branford Marsalis (alto saxophone) Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2156 SACD [73:36] [DM] Highly inventive, emotionally complex and consistently inspired this is Beamish at her considerable best; cracking good sound, too.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas 1-4 & 7-9 - Sayaka Shoji (violin) Gianluca Cascioli (piano) rec. 2009/11 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON UCCG1511/1585/1586 [60:14 & 66:48 & 48:03] [SG] I look forward to further collaborations between these two artists as, on the evidence of these performances, they certainly seem to have the Midas touch.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Clarinet Trio Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Trio Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Sextet - Jonathan Cohler (clarinet) Claremont Trio, James Sommerville (horn) Mai Motobuchi (viola) rec. 2008 ONGAKU RECORDS 024-122 [76:15] [SA] All three works are played with enthusiasm, verve and panache.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 4 & 5 - Clifford Curzon (piano) Vienna PO/Hans Knappertsbusch rec. 1954/57 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC318 [73:02] [SV] If you like your Beethoven in the grand Central European manner you will enjoy this issue.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas 3, 7 & 9 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Sonatas - Lola Bobesco (violin) Jacques Genty (piano) rec. 1958 MELOCLASSIC MC2023 [71:28 + 78:38] [SG] Very welcome additions to the Bobesco/Genty discography. Lovers of fine violin playing won’t be disappointed.

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) Norma - Montserrat Caballé (soprano) Fiorenza Cossotto (mezzo) Plácido Domingo (tenor) Ruggero Raimondi (bass) London PO/Carlo Felice Cillario rec. 1972 RCA RED SEAL 88875 073482 [3 CDs: 156.03] [PCG] As a purely musical experience this still holds up against the competition.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quartets 1 & 3 - Artemis Qt rec. 2014 ERATO 2564 612663 [68:24] [MC] A gratifying release in which the Artemis continues to impress with considerable colour and convincing emotional expression.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Viola Sonatas Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Arpeggione Sonata - Robin Ireland (viola), Tim Horton (piano) rec. 2012 NIMBUS NI6210 [74:34] [OL] Solid and expressive performances.

Charlotte BRAY (b. 1982) At the Speed of Stillness - rec. 2001-14 NMC D202 [71.03] [GH] These performances must have thrilled the composer and the recording is ideal.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Violin Concerto Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Violin Concerto Robin MILFORD (1903-1959) The Darkling Thrush - Philippe Graffin (violin) Philharmonia O/Nicholas Collon; Royal Scottish Ntl O/David Lloyd-Jones rec. 2014 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7320 [68:46] [JQ] A fine disc of British music for violin and orchestra.

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concertos 2 & 3 - Lydia Mordkovitch (violin) London SO/Richard Hickox rec. 1998 CHANDOS 10865X [70:52] [DC] Lydia Mordkovitch’s full expressive range supporting Bruch’s less well-known concertos.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 9 - Philharmonia O/Christoph von Dohnányi rec. 2014 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD431 [61:26] [JQ] A considerable performance live from the Salzburg Festival.

John CAGE (1912-1992) String Quartet in Four Parts, Thirty Pieces, Four - Bozzini Qt rec. 2013 COLLECTION QB CQB 1414 [79:46] [DC] Severe and poetic.

Charles CAMILLERI (1931-2009) Piano Concerto 1, Accordion Concerto, Malta Suite - Charlene Farrugia (piano) Franko Božac (accordion) Malta PO/Miran Vaupotić rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573373 [60:21] Not serious music, but still very enjoyable [DJB] Music with a light accent but certainly not shallow [RB].

John Alden CARPENTER (1876-1951) Krazy Kat; Concertino; Carmel Concerto; Patterns - Michael Chertock (piano) BBC Concert Orchestra/Keith Lockhart rec. 2014 DUTTON CDLX7321 [71:40] [DJB] Jazz-inflected works in fine performances.

Ernesto CAVALLINI (1807-1874) Works for Clarinet and Orchestra - Giuseppe Porgo (clarinet) Norddeutsche Phil Rostock/Johannes Moesus rec. 2011 CPO 777 948-2 [63:21] [RB] You will be won over.

Ernest CHAUSSON (1833–1897) Poème de l'amour et de la mer Hector BERLIOZ (1803–1869) Les Nuits d’été Henri DUPARC (1848–1933) Three Songs - Soile Isokoski (soprano) Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgårds rec. 2014 ONDINE ODE1261-2 [64:46] [RMo] An authentic facsimile of Gallic sensuousness.

David CHESKY (b. 1956) Joy and Sorrow - Artur Kaganovskiy (violin) Moran Katz (clarinet) Kristina Reiko Cooper (cello) Ethan Herschenfeld (bass) Chelsea Symphony/Yaniv Segal rec. 2014 CHESKY JD371 [70:45] [DM] David Chesky’s music is well worth your time and money; however, I'm not convinced by the disc's USP, Binaural+.

Bob CHILCOTT (b. 1955) The Angry Planet - BBC Singers, Bach Ch, The Young Singers, London Youth Ch, Finchley Children’s Group/David Hill rec. 2015 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD422 [33:39 + 46:48] [JQ] Three impressive choral works by Bob Chilcott, full of attractive, accessible music.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Introduction et Polonaise brillante, Waltz, Cello Sonata Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Cello Sonata - Duo Arnicans rec. 2014 SOLO MUSICA SM226 [72:33] [MC] A desirable release worthy of attention for its standard of performance and absorbing programme.

Loyset COMPÈRE (c.1445-1518) Magnificat, Motets and Chansons - The Orlando Consort rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68069 [68.22] [GH] These fine secular songs ... enjoyable ... all to Hyperion’s usual high standards.

Carl CZERNY (1791–1857) Trois Rondeaux, Introduzione, Variazioni e Finale, Rondoletto concertant, Duo concertante - Kazunori Seo (flute), Makoto Ueno (piano) rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573335 [78:20] [GF] A strongly recommendable disc for all lovers of flute music.

Leopold DAMROSCH (1832-1885) Symphony, Festival Overture, Marche militaire - Azusa Pacific University SO/Christopher Russell rec. 2014/15 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0261 [63.36] [PCG] The Damrosch symphony deserves rather more than polite intellectual interest.

Brett DEAN (b. 1961) Epitaphs, String Quartets 1 & 2 - Doric String Qt, Allison Bell (soprano) Brett Dean (viola) rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHAN10873 [61:50] [SG] This appealing release has certainly prompted me to explore Dean's music further.

Roger DOYLE (b. 1949) Time Machine rec. 2010/11 HERESY RECORDS 017 [72:00] [DC] A stage set for some potent and memorable magic.

Claude DUBOSCQ (1897-1938) Violin sonata, Concert intime, Matines, Sarabandes and Gaillardes - Laurent Le Flecher, Serge Blanc (violin), Alexandre Leger, Odette Gartenlaub (piano), Raphaël Sommer (cello) rec. 1961/2014 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1060 [51:32] [SG] On the basis of this release, I would certainly like to explore further this largely forgotten and unsung composer.

Henri DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Symphony 1, Deux Sonnets de Jean Cassou, Métaboles - Paul Armin Edelmann (baritone) Deutche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Karl-Heinz Steffens rec. 2015 CAPRICCIO C5242 [54:33] [JF] An ideal introductory album and enthusiasts will also demand this disc.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Trios 3 & 4 - Triple Forte rec. 2013 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22691 [69:28] [DJB] A restrained and measured take on these two great trios.

Antonin DVOŘAK (1841-1904) Songs - Bernarda Fink (soprano) Roger Vignoles (piano) rec. 2003 HARMONIA MUNDI HMG501824 [68:46] [RMo] You will not find a fuller or better collection of these neglected songs and at a bargain price.

Petr EBEN (1929-2007) The Organ Music 1 - Halgeir Schiager (organ) rec. 1996 HYPERION CDA67194 [72:00] [BW] An excellent introduction to Eben’s organ music.

Thomas FORTMANN (b.1951) Symphony 2 Robert NELSON (b.1941) Capriccio Peter LIEUWEN (b.1953) Astral Blue Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961) Lincolnshire Posy - Andrzej Grabiec (violin) Moores SO/Franz Anton Krager rec. 2009-13 METIER MSV28554 [70:35] [JF] An impressive collection of new music.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) & Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonatas - David Nadien (violin) David Hancock (piano) rec. 1958 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1098 [41:19] [JW] Élan and style and technical command.

Julius Ernst Wilhelm FUČÍK (1872-1916) A Festival of Fučik - Royal Scottish Ntl O/Neeme Järvi rec. 2015 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5158 [79:56] Fučík generously and idiomatically surveyed and done in crashing style [RB] Plenty for lovers of light music to enjoy here [BW].

Peter GARLAND (b. 1952) After the Wars - Susan Cahill (piano) rec. 2014 COLD BLUE MUSIC CB0044 [20:19] [KM] An interesting use of space and time ... I wanted to hear more.

Friedrich GERNSHEIM (1839-1916) Piano Quintets 1 & 2 - Oliver Triendl (piano) Gémeaux Qt rec. 2013 CPO 777580-2 [58:52] [RB] There is no glare or jaggedness in these two sumptuous and lovingly-shaped piano quintets.

Philip GLASS (b.1937) Symphony 10, Concert Overture - Bruckner O Linz/Dennis Russell Davies rec. 2013 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0101 [39:40][DC] I’m not going to blow smoke up Glass’s **** just 'cause he wrote some gems in the past.

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Concerto Ballata, Melodie Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Concertino Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Variations on a Rococo Theme - Jamie Walton (cello) Royal PO/Okko Kamu rec. 2013 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD407 [73:41] [LW] Walton gives a splendid account of Tchaikovsky, but the rest is forgettable.

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Violin concerto Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Souvenir d’un lieu cher Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Poème - Hideko Udagawa (violin) London PO/Kenneth Klein rec. 1989 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6316 [63:56] [BW] Very decent performances of the Glazunov and Chausson are eclipsed by other recordings.

Gino GORINI (1914-1990) Works for Strings and Piano - Jessica Oddie, Kumiko Sakamoto (violins) Morgan O’Shaughnessey (viola) Bridget Pasker (cello) Jakub Tchorzewksi (piano) rec. 2013 TACTUS TC910702 [70:53] [DC] A wealth of discoveries from an unknown quarter.

Louis Moreau GOTTSCHALK (1829-1869) Solo Piano Music - Steven Mayer (piano) rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.559693 [64:57] Demonstrates pretty convincingly that we don't always need to treat Gottschalk scores as if they're best suited to Liberace [RMay] Steven Mayer has not caught all the facets of Gottschalk’s music on this disc [GF].

Hugi GUDMUNDSSON (b.1977) Calm of the deep - Hanna Loftsdóttir (viola da gamba), Hamrahild Ch, Nordic Affect rec. 2012/13 SMEKKLEYSA SMK82 [49.38] [PCG] Rather short measure, but a good advertisement for a highly accessible composer who deserves to receive wider recognition.

Henry HADLEY (1871-1937) Orchestral works - BBC Concert O/Rebecca Miller Ileana Ruhemann (flute) rec. 2014 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7319 [78:16] [RB] Imaginative and with a predilection for affably sumptuous romantic music.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Handel in Italy Vol. 1 - Sophie Bevan (soprano) Mary Bevan (soprano) Benjamin Bevan (bass) London Early Opera/Bridget Cunningham (director/harpsichord) rec. 2013 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD423 [43:00] [JF] Handel's Italian years - short playing time.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Trio Sonatas - Ens Amalthée rec. 2014 ALIUD ACDBL085-2 SACD [58:23] [TPo] Whoever wrote the music, it is well worth preserving.

Georg Friederich HÄNDEL (1685-1759) Grand Musical Entertainment - Martin Schmeding (organ) Münchener Bach-Orchester/Hansjörg Albrecht (organ) rec. 2014 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1821 [79:15] [DC] Indeed, a Grand Musical Entertainment.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Violin Concerto 1, Sinfonia Concertante - Ronald Leonhard (cello) Barbara Winters (oboe) David Breidenthal (bassoon) Los Angeles PO/Pinchas Zukerman (violin) rec. 1977 PENTATONE PTC5186224 SACD [43:24] [SG] Guaranteed to brighten up even the most cheerless of days.

Wim HENDERICKX (b. 1962) Triptych - HERMESensemble/Wim Henderickx rec. 2013 HERMESensemble HMES002 [71:25] [DC] One if you're up for a spiritual challenge and a shot of eternal enrichment.

Jacques IBERT (1890-1962) Le Chevalier errant; Les amours de Jupiter - Lorraine Ntl O/Jacques Mercier rec. 2014 TIMPANI 1C1230 [57.35] [MC] I cannot image lovers of French music being anything other than enchanted with this excellent Timpani CD.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Amarus, The Cunning Little Vixen & From the House of the Dead Suites - Czech PO/Václav Neumann, František Jílek rec. 1974-88 PRAGA DIGITALS PRD250308 SACD [75:24] [LW] A reissue that has minimal appeal.

Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967) Duo Reinhold GLIÈRE (1875-1956) Eight duets Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Sonata - Felix Froschhammer (violin); Florian Rohn (cello) rec. 2010 ARCODIVA UP0149-2 131 [58.15] [MC] Innate musicianship. Warm, clear sound. Highly enjoyable.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Suite, Piano Trio - Daniel Rowland, Priya Mitchell (violins) Julian Arp (cello) Luis Magalhães (piano) rec. 2013 TWO PIANISTS RECORDS TP1039282 [69:43] [DC] Compelling.

Simon LAKS (1901-1983) Trois pieces de concert; Cello Sonata; Suite polonaise; Ballade - Judith Ingolfsson (violin); Leonid Gorokhov (cello); Vladimir Stoupel (piano) rec. 2007/8 EDA RECORDS EDA31 [70:15] [DC] Neglected but brilliant, Simon Laks deserves your attention.

Michel Richard de LALANDE (1657-1726) Symphonies pour les soupers du roi - La Symphonie du Marais/Hugo Reyne rec. 1990 HARMONIA MUNDI HMY2921337.40 [4 CDs: 05:21:00] [SB] Baroque enthusiasts who missed this first time round will need no urging to make good the omission now; others will also find this enjoyable.

Jehan de LESCUREL (b. late 13th Century) Chansons - Ensemble Syntagma rec. 2013 EDITION FACSIMILE FME-1401 [70:26] [GM] Even non-specialists should find much to enjoy.

Douglas LILBURN (1915-2001) Complete Electro-acoustic Works ATOLL ACD404 [3 CDs: 214.44 & DVD: 54.48] [PCG] Fascination rather than whole-hearted engagement.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Sacred Choral Music - Kammerchor I Vocalisti/Hans-Joachim Lustig rec. 2015 CARUS 83.465 [56:38] [SB] A most valuable disc.

Alvin LUCIER (b. 1931) Carbon Copies, Risonanza, Music for Pure Waves, Bass Drums and Acoustic Pendulums, Broken Line - Trio Nexus rec. 2012 MODE RECORDS 281 [64:27] [DC] A verdant garden of spellbinding soundscapes.

John McCABE (1939-2015) Variations, Studies, Bagatelles, Haydn Variations - John McCabe (piano) rec. 1998 NAXOS 8.571367 [76:11] [JF] An important re-release of a valuable British Music Society disc that some people - like me - may have missed first time round.

Eddie McGUIRE (b. 1948) Elegy; Euphoria; String Trio; Entangled Fortunes; Quintet 2 - Red Note Ens rec. 2014 DELPHIAN DCD34157 [67:31] [TPo] McGuire has long been one of the most engaged and engaging creative musicians on the scene.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 1 - Utah Symphony/Thierry Fischer rec. 2014 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-715 SACD [52:53] [DM] Thierry Fischer’s Mahler First underwhelms at every turn; even the sound falls below the label’s best.

Henning MANKELL (1868-1930) Piano Concerto Gösta NYSTROEM (1890-1966) Concerto Ricercante - Anna Christensson (piano) Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Roberto Paternostro rec. 2015 CAPRICCIO C5240 [62:00] [SSi] An excellent recording of some unjustly neglected concertos, music that any fan of Scandinavian music will relish.

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Rapsodia Satanica Nino ROTA (1911-1979) Il Gattopardo - Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Frank Strobel rec. 2005 CAPRICCIO C5246 [62:02] [NB] A revelation and an obligatory listen for all film music aficionados.

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Symphony 10 Andrzej PANUFNIK (1914-1991) Symphony 10 - Markus Butter (baritone) London SO & Ch/Antonio Pappano rec. 2014 LSO LIVE LSO0767 [57:51] [SB] Confident performances of exhilarating works.

Ludwig MEINARDUS (1827-1896) Luther in Worms - Matthias Vieweg, Catalina Bertucci, Clemens Lvschmann, Rheinische Kantorei, Concerto Köln/Hermann Max rec. 2013 CPO 777540-2 [54:17 + 49:23] [DC] Resolutely uncontroversial.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Complete Chamber Music for Strings - Mandelring Qt; Gunter Teuffel (viola); Cremona Qt rec. 2011/12 AUDITE 21.436 [4 CDs: 296:12] [SG] Compelling and life-affirming readings, which convey the Mandelring's utter commitment to the music.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Concerto 2 - Augustin Hadelich (violin) Norwegian Radio O/Miguel Harth-Bedoya rec. 2014 AVIE AV2323 [62:25] [LW] There’s much to like in this unusual coupling, but the competition for each concerto is fierce.

Alexander MOSOLOV (1900-1973) Piano concerto 1, Legend, Piano sonata 1 - Steffen Schleiermacher (piano), Ringela Riemke (cello), Berlin RSO/Johannes Kalitzke rec. 2014 CAPRICCIO C5241 [55:09] [RB] An object of curiosity rather than impressed enthusiasm.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Zauberflöte, Symphony 41 - Richard Lewis (tenor) Joan Sutherland (soprano) Geraint Evans (baritone) Hans Hotter (bass) Covent Garden Ch & O, Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer rec. 1952/54 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO115 [3 CDs: 195:19] [MG] A Zauberflöte of great tension at certain points and outstanding contributions from Sutherland and Hotter.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Three Prussian Quartets - Stradivari Qt rec. 2015 SOLO MUSICA SM230 [74.15] [MC] Admirably committed and engaging playing.

Edward Woodall NAYLOR (1867-1934) Vox Dicentes - Ch of Emmanuel College, Cambridge/Richard Latham; George Lacey, Adam Mathias (organ) rec. 2013 REGENT REGCD426 [75:34] [JQ] An opportunity to explore Naylor's church music in committed performances.

Gabriel PIERNÉ (1863-1937) Orchestral Works Vol. 2 - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHAN10871 [72:58] [DJB] From glittering Romanticism to delicate Impressionism, these are very fine works.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Dialogues des Carmélites - Patricia Petibon, Sophie Koch, Véronique Gens, Sandrine Piau, Rosalind Plowright, Topi Lehtipuu; Ch de Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Philharmonia O/Jérémie Rhorer rec. 2013 ERATO Blu-ray 2564 621953 [166.00] [MC] Deserves praise and a firm recommendation.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Complete Music for Winds and Piano - Iowa Ens rec. 2006 MSR CLASSICS MS1540 [78:14] [WK] Attractive for its completeness, sense of ensemble and joy in playing conveyed by the performers.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphonies 4 & 5, Dreams - Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2014 ONYX 4147 [77:28] [MC] Onyx continues to delight with revealing performances of these fascinating Prokofiev scores.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) The story of a real man - Yevgeny Kibkalo, Glafira Deomidova, Georgi Shulpin, Bolshoi Theatre O/Mark Ermler rec. 1961 MELODIYA CD1002353 [39.19 + 75.10] [PCG] Do make the acquaintance of this far from negligible score.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) Tosca - Tamara Milashkina (soprano) Vladimir Atlantov (tenor) Yuri Mazurok (baritone) Ch & O Bolshoi Theatre/Mark Ermler rec. 1974 MELODIYA MELCD1002359 [68:51 + 45:27] [RMo] The elegant Mazurok aside this is a non-starter.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 3 Mili BALAKIREV (1837-1910) Russia - London SO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2014 LSO LIVE LSO0779 SACD [56:30] [DM] After a splendid Second Gergiev disappoints with a dreary Third; the dry, rather close sound is a turn-off too.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Complete Preludes - Boris Berezovsky (piano) rec. 2004 MIRARE MIR004 [77:52] [RWe] This version of Rachmaninov’s gigantic miniatures still deserves its place in the catalogue.

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Castor et Pollux - Colin Ainsworth, Florian Sempey, Emmanuelle de Negri, Clémentine Margaine, Ens Pygmalion/Raphaël Pinchon rec. live, 2014 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902212.13 [69:19 + 70:12] [ST] Much more here to enjoy than to irritate, and it’s definitely worth a listen.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Miroirs, Pavane pour une infant défunte, Gaspard de la Nuit - Carlo Grante (piano) rec. 2013 MUSIC AND ARTS CD-1289 [58:05] [JW] This disc disappoints.

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Mozart and Salieri; The Noblewoman Vera Sheloga - Bolshoi Theatre O/Mark Ermler rec. 1985/86 MELODIYA MELCD1002344 [74.01] [PCG] To a large degree self-recommending.

Anthony RITCHIE (b. 1960) Remember Parihaka, Flute Concerto, Double Concerto for bass clarinet and cello, Coming to it - Alexa Still (flute), Katherine Hebley (cello), Andrew Uren (bass clarinet), Auckland CO/Peter Scholes ATOLL ACD129 [65:14] [NB] The flute concerto is an absolute winner.

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999) Concierto de Aranjuez, Fantasía para un gentilhombre, Concierto madrigal - Narciso Yepes, Godelieve Monden (guitar), Philharmonia O, English CO/García Navarro rec. 1977/79 PENTATONE PTC5186209 SACD [75:54] [BW] Still very competitive and now reborn in SACD format.

Carl RÜTTI (b. 1949) Symphony Caspar DIETHELM (1926-1997) Works for string orchestra - State Phil CO Novosibirsk/Rainer Held rec. 2014 GUILD GMCD7407/2 [65:32 + 26:53] [JQ] A competitive proposition for collectors who are keen to explore less familiar repertoire in expert performances.

Dino SALUZZI (b. 1935) Piano works - Horacio Lavandera (piano) rec. 2013 ECM NEW SERIES 2379 [59:08] [DC] Largely ruminative, but always unexpected.

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Symphony 1 - USSR Ministry of Culture State SO/Gennady Rozhdestvensky rec. 1987 MELODIYA MELCD1002321 [64:57] [DM] This is a mandatory purchase for Schnittke's friends and foes alike; Segerstam is still pretty special, though.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Gurre-lieder - Gürzenich O Köln/Marcus Stenz rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68081/2 [59:21 + 48:43] Even if I can’t quite place Stenz as first choice there’s a great deal to admire in his performance [JQ] Whilst Stenz offers a compelling reading, it is the Chailly/Decca recording that sits at the top of my list [SG].

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony 'Unfinished', Konzertstück, Rondo, Polonnaise - Andreas Janke (violin) Tonhalle O/David Zinman rec. 2011 RCA RED SEAL 88697 953352 [51:50] [SV] Recommended for the violin scores.

Franz SCHUBERT 1797-1828) Symphony 9 - Basel SO/Dennis Russell Davies rec. 2013 SINFONIEORCHESTER BASEL SOB03 [62.11] [MC] Clearly a labour of love, this winning reading combines glorious drama and deep compassion.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies 8 & 9 - WVienna SO/Philippe Jordan rec. 2014/15 WIENER SYMPHONIKER WS009 [77.02] [MC] An engaging disc that will grace any serious collection.

Franz SCHUBERT (1787-1828) Fierrabras - Michael Schade (tenor) Julia Kleiter (soprano) Georg Zeppenfeld (bass) Markus Werba (baritone) Marie-Claude Chappuis (mezzo) Vienna PO/Ingo Metzmacher rec. 2014 C MAJOR Blu-ray 730804 [174:00] [ST] Fierrabras is well worth exploring, and this film is as good a place to start as any.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Genoveva - Edda Moser (soprano) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Peter Schreier (tenor) Berlin Radio Ch, Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Kurt Masur rec. 1976 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95117 [69:17 + 56:46] [PCG] Those willing to be persuaded that this work almost has dramatic viability, should gravitate to this reissue.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto, Piano Trio 2 - Alexander Melnikov (fortepiano) Isabelle Faust (violin) Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello) Freiburg Baroque O/Pablo-Heras Casado rec. 2014 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902198 [57:47 + DVD: 35:40] [DJB] I have some reservations about the period-instrument concerto, but none with the trio.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Violin Sonata 2; Märchenbilder Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896) Romances - Nurit Stark (violin and viola) Cédric Pescia (piano) rec. 2014 CLAVES 50-1502 [55:51] [SG] One cannot fail to be won over by the spontaneity and enthusiasm of these two artists.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 7 - Russian Ntl O/Paavo Järvi rec. 2014 PENTATONE PTC5186511 SACD [72:59] [RWe] A fine disc but not the whole story of the Seventh.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 8 - Russian Ntl O/Paavo Berglund rec. 2005 PENTATONE PTC5186084 SACD [66:29] Symphony 11 - Russian Ntl O/Mikhail Pletnev rec. 2005 PENTATONE PTC5186076 SACD [62:07] [JQ] Two fine Shostakovich interpretations, splendidly played and superbly engineered.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, Concertino, Tarantella - Anna Vinnitskaya, Ivan Rudin (pianos) Kremerata Baltica, Staatskapelle Dresden/Omer Meir Wellber rec. 2014 ALPHA 203 [49:51] [DM] An entertaining collection, nicely played and recorded; Vinnitskaya is a pianist to watch.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto Pancho VLADIGEROV (1899-1978) Violin Concerto 1 - Svetlin Roussev (violin) Bulgarian Ntl RSO/Emil Tabakov rec. 2012/13 FONDAMENTA FON-1402016 [65:04] [JW] Few will want this release for the oft-recorded Sibelius, but the Vladigerov is another matter entirely and well worth hearing.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Kuolema, King Christian II, Belshazzar’s Feast, Pelléas et Mélisande - Pia Pajala (soprano) Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573299-301 [71.16 & 63.01 & 57.49] [PCG] An experience to relish. There are many excellent recordings of Pelléas but this belongs up there with the best.

Christopher SIMPSON (c.1605-1669) Ayres and Graces - Chelys Consort of Viols rec. 2013 BIS BIS-2153 SACD [59:38] [DC] Easy to love.

Fernando SOR (1778-1839) Studies in the Form of Suites - Paolo Cherici (guitar) rec. 2014 DYNAMIC CDS7722 [59:02] [ZT] The merit of this CD lies in creative programming not in the performances.

Roman STATKOWSKI (1859-1925) Piano Music - Barbara Karaśkiewicz (piano) rec. 2012 DIVINE ART DDA25129 [66:36] [JF] One of many ‘forgotten’ composers who deserves to be rehabilitated. Beautifully played.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Symphonia Domestica, Die Tageszeiten - Berlin RSO/Marek Janowski rec. 2012/14 PENTATONE PTC5186507 SACD [67.50] [MC] Admirers of Richard Strauss should relish this rarely heard repertoire especially in performances as admirable as these.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Lieder Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Wesendonck-Lieder - Adrianne Pieczonka (soprano) Brian Zeger (piano) rec. 2014 DELOS DE3474 [51:22] [RMo] The “still point” at the centre of deep yearning is not touched.

Barbara STROZZI (1619-1677) Passioni, Vizi & Virtu - Peggy Bélanger (soprano) Consort Baroque Laurentia/Michel Angers rec. 2012 STRADIVARIUS STR33948 [72.54] [GH] What’s stopping you buying it immediately?

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Complete music for violin and piano - Bruno Monteiro (violin) João Paulo Santos (piano) rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94979 [110:41] [TPo] The right ideas but does not have the equipment or the refinement with which to realise them.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Voyevoda - Academic Grand Ch Central Television and All-Union Radio, USSR Ministry of Culture SO/Vladimir Kozhukhar rec. 1982 MELODIYA MELCD1001869 [77:32 + 77:23] [PCG] An interesting historical document in more ways than one but the documentation …

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphonies 2 & 3 - Cincinnati SO/Eugene Goossens, National SO/Hans Kindler rec. 1940/41 GUILD HISTORICAL GHCD2422 [70:05] To be welcomed. Anyone with a particular interest in Tchaikovsky should certainly make its acquaintance [RMay] Historical recordings - enjoyable in themselves if you bear in mind their seventy-plus vintage [RB].

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Iolanta - Olesya Golovneva (soprano) Gürzenich O Cologne/Dmitri Kitajenko rec. 2014 OEHMS OC963 [43:17 + 64:03] [PSt] If this set were the only recording of Iolanta I would be quite content with it, but in this field it comes a definite third.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst 6 - Bergen Barokk rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0180 [76:04] [BW] Well up to the high quality of earlier volumes in the series.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Violin Sonatas - Arsenale Sonoro rec.2014 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88875 061582 [64:02] [BW] Small reservations are no detriment to my recommending the album overall.

Ludwig THUILLE (1861-1907) & Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein Jugendfreundschaft - Sabina von Walther (soprano) Helmut Deutsch (piano) rec. 2011 DUX 1217 [69:19] [SSi] A wonderful evocation of a musical friendship, one that is highly commended.

Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949) Piano Music Vol. 11 - Jordi Masó (piano) rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573401 [60:30] [JF] I have become increasingly impressed with Turina. I rate him alongside Debussy, Ravel, Albeniz and Granados.

Galina USTVOLSKAYA (1919-2006) Preludes; Piano Sonatas 1-6 - Natalia Andreeva (piano) rec. 2012 DIVINE ART DDA25130 [55:12 + 35:27] [JF] I would not listen to this music by choice but some listeners will want to join this composer on a long and intricate journey where ‘no one has gone before’.

Francesc VALLS (c.1671-1747) Misa Scala Aretina - La Grande Chapelle/Albert Recasens rec. 2014 LAUDA LAU014 [74:34] [JV] A production of great importance.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Traviata - Diana Damrau, Francesco Demuro, Ludovic Tézier, O Opéra Ntl Paris/Francesco Ivan Ciampa rec. 2014 ERATO DVD 2564 616650 [145:00] [RF] Whilst the staging and costumes have moments of welcome opulence and are in period, there are many limitations in the musical performances on stage and particularly in the pit.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concertos for Four Violins - Ensemble 415/Chiara Banchini rec. 2006 ALPHA 311 [53:59] [BW] For civilised and stylish performances of these concertos you need look no further.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741) String Concertos Vol. 1 - Collegium Musicum 90/Simon Standage rec. 1998 CHANDOS CHAN0647 [62:08] [BW] A belated welcome to a recording which we have overlooked in the past.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Götterdämmerung Act III - Birgit Nilsson, Wolfgang Windgassen, Gottlob Frick, O & Ch Royal Opera House/Georg Solti rec. 1963 TESTAMENT SBT1506 [75:05] [JQ] A bit of Wagner performance history - and a fine performance in its own right.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser Overture, Siegfried Idyll, Tristan und Isolde Prelude & Liebestod,  Götterdämmerung excerpts - Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Concertgebouw O/Pierre Monteux rec. 1963 TESTAMENT SBT21507 [47:50 + 38:05] [SG] All concerned have utter commitment to the music and the resulting rewards are immense.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Der Freischütz - Hans Hopf (tenor), Elisabeth Grümmer (soprano), Rita Streich (soprano), Vienna PO/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1954 PRISTINE PACO122 [75:55 + 75:03] [PSt] Furtwängler had the spirit of German romanticism in his very blood and bones, and his conducting goes to the heart of the piece.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Violin Sonatas 1, 3 & 5 Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Violin Sonata 1 Gabriel PIERNÉ (1863-1937) Violin Sonata - Brigitte Huyghues de Beaufond (violin) Hélène Boschi, Varda Nishry (piano) rec. 1957-60 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1055 [65:33] [JW] A most appealing disc.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) Cello Concerto; Violin Concerto; Flute Concerto - Leonid Kogan (violin) Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) Alexander Korneyev (flute) rec. 1961-68 MELODIYA MELCD1002315 [69:37] [JW] This is your 'historic' Weinberg Concerto disc.

Lotta WENNÄKOSKI (b. 1970) Soie, Hava, Amor Omnia Suite - Kersten McCall (flute) Finnish RSO/Dima Slobodeniouk rec. 2014 ONDINE ODE1259-2 [54:23] [DC] Well-crafted and highly imaginative.

Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931) Sonatas for Solo Violin - Oscar Shumsky (violin) rec. 1982 NIMBUS NI5039 [61:46] [JW] A renewed recommendation for this recording, which continues to stand the test of time.

Dinara Alieva (soprano) & Aleksandrs Antonenko (tenor) Arias by Verdi, Puccini & Tchaikovsky -  Kaunas State Ch & City SO/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2014 DELOS DE3477 [74:41] [RMo] A generous and gripping recital.

Alvorada Ophélie Gaillard (cello) rec. 2014 APARTÉ AP104 [58:10 + 52:41] [DJB] Beautifully recorded and performed, but you may find as many tracks to dislike as like.

Amores Pasados Anna Maria Friman (voice and hardanger fiddle) John Potter (voice) Ariel Abramovich, Jacob Heringman (lute) rec. 2014 ECM NEW SERIES 2441 [46:16] [DC] A very pleasant semi-hour.

Piotr Beczala (tenor) The French Collection - Diana Damrau (soprano) O l’Opéra Ntl de Lyon/Alain Altinoglu rec. 2014 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 4101 [62:51] [GF] Not a bad recital but I wish it had been recorded five years ago when Beczala was still in his prime.

Berlin Sonatas Works by Abel, JCF Bach, CPE Bach, Benda, Graun and Kirnberger - Elinor Frey (five-string cello), Lorenzo Ghielmi (fortepiano), Marc Vanscheeuwijck (bass violin) PASSACAILLE 1006 [74:04] [DC] A healthy and enlightening dose of the mid-century Berlin aesthetic.

Bravura! 20th century works for organ - Francesca Massey (organ) rec. 2014 PRIORY PRCD1137 [76:20] [JF] A fine addition to the recorded collection of Great British Organs.

Lucien Cailliet - Transcriber, Arranger, Composer Works by Bach, Cailliet, Mussorgsky, Purcell & Turina - Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1936-47 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC444 [71:13] [JW] Essential? Certainly not but exciting and enjoyable – certainly.

Pablo Casals (cello) A Concert at the White House - Works by Haydn, Mendelssohn & Schumann - Pablo Casals (cello) Alexander Schneider, Jacques Thibaud (violins) Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Alfred Cortot (pianos) rec. 1961 MINUET RECORDS 428408 [72:35] [JW] Casals’s concert at the Camelot Court of JFK.

Double Bass Sonatas Works by Brahms, Gubaidulina, Hindemith & Vasks - Niek de Groot (double bass) Catherine Klipfel (piano) rec. 2014/15 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6312 [70:24] [DC] Very fine indeed.

George Enescu (violin) Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonata 7, Septet Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Introduction and Allegro - rec. 1948-52 MELOCLASSIC MC1022 [73:54 + MP3 CD: 330:00] [SG] Despite the sonic limitations of the source material, I appreciate the release of this valuable document, which will certainly appeal to Enescu devotees.

Études Works by Bartók, Debussy & Prokofiev - Garrick Ohlsson (piano) rec. 2013 HYPERION CDA68080 [66:38] [DC] All-Études? Yes indeed.

France-Espagne Works by Chabrier, Debussy, Massenet & Ravel - Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2012/14 ACTES SUD MUSICALES ASM17 [51:04] [JQ] The sounds of Les Siècles cast fresh light on the wonderful pieces that they play.

Inspired by BACH Julius Berger (cello) Oliver Kern (piano) rec. 2013/14 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6302 [60:54 + 70:19] [DC] Immerse yourself in re-invented Bach.

Leonid Kogan (violin) Concertos by Brahms & Tchaikovsky - Boston SO/Pierre Monteux; Paris Conservatory Concert Society O/Constantin Silvestri rec. 1958/59 MELODIYA MELCD1002328 [78:20] [SG] Not all as it seems on the packet.

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (piano) The Complete Warner Recordings rec. 1939-75 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 615488 [14 CDs: 781:49] [SG] A pianist, who still to this day, twenty years after his death, inspires fascination and awe for his ‘absolute technical mastery and fanatical perfectionism’.

Yevgeny Mravinsky (conductor) Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Music for strings, percussion and celesta ta Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Symphony 3 Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Agon - Leningrad PO rec. 1965-68 PRAGA DIGITALS PRD/DS 350087 SACD [78.29] [DBi] Burningly intense, virtuoso performances worth anyone's time and money.

Charles Munch in Moscow Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Symphony 2 Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Dardanus suite Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La Mer Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937) Bacchus et Ariane Suite 2 - USSR State Academic SO/Charles Munch rec. 1965 MELODIYA MELCD1002279 [76:42] [JW] Powerful results and a gain in excitement obtained from live performances.

Nordic Sound Tribute to Axel Borup-Jørgensen - Michala Petri (recorder) Lapland Chamber O/Clemens Schuldt OUR RECORDINGS 6.220613 SACD [69:12] [DC] A fine tribute indeed.

On with the Dance! Works by Chopin, Rossini, Schubert, Johann Strauss I & II - Royal PO, Royal Opera House O Covent Garden/Sir Malcolm Sargent rec. 1960/62 GUILD HISTORICAL GHCD2421 [78:00] [RMay] You’ll be waltzing around the coffee table before you know it.

Russian Émigrés Works by Firsova, Rachmaninov & Smirnov - Alissa Firsova (piano) rec. 2015 VIVAT 109 [76:00] [SA] When you hear this disc put your feet up, turn off your phone, dim the lights and allow yourself to be transported.

Sacred Songs of Life and Love South Dakota Chorale/Brian A Schmidt rec. 2014 PENTATONE PTC5186530 SACD [53:27] [JQ] A very rewarding compilation, excellently performed and recorded.

Felix Salmond (cello) Sonatas by Beethoven & encores - Leonid Hambro, Simeon Rumschisky (piano) rec. 1927-48 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM099 [79:09] [SG] A long-forgotten cellist - recordings lovingly restored.

Scaramanzia Rolf Lislevand (baroque guitar/chitarra battente/lute) Thor-Harald Johnsen (chitarra battente/baroque guitar) Bjørn Kjellmyr (colascione) Ulrik Gaston Larsen (baroque guitar/theorbo) rec. 2006 NAÏVE V5361 [52:51] [DC] Immersive or entertaining – magical and useful any which way.

Signature Works by Augustyn, Bach, Berio, Boulez, Schnittke & Sørensen - Christine Pryn (violin) rec. 2014/15 DANACORD DACOCD762 [73:29] [JF] 70+ minutes of solo violin music ... I need not have worried.

Leopold Stokowski (conductor) All-American Youth O, Hollywood Bowl SO rec. 1940-46 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1287 [3 CDs: 228:47] [JW] A compact feast for Stokowski fans.

Stokowski Acoustic Vol. 2 Works by Debussy, Schubert, Tchaikovsky & Wagner - Philadelphia O/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1919-24 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC441 [79:01] [JW] There’s much to admire here if you want to collect Stokowski’s series of acoustic discs.

Stravinsky and Glazunov Conduct Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrushka, Pulcinella Suites Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) The Seasons - rec. 1928-32 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC432 [69:16] [JW] These transfers are very accomplished indeed ... a strong entrant.

Daniil Trifonov (piano) The Magics of Music & The Castelfranco Veneto Recital - A film by Christopher Nupen rec. 2014 ALLEGRO FILMS A19CND DVD [103:00] [SG] An excellent visual record of one of the most impressive pianistic talents on the concert circuit today.

Wartime Consolations Works by Hartmann, Shostakovich & Weinberg - Linus Roth (violin) Württemberg CO Heilbronn/Ruben Gazarian rec. 2015 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72680 SACD [55:28] [DBi] An impressive disc of music that is deserving of far greater exposure; in the case of the Hartmann, a reminder of a masterpiece.

Camilla Wicks (violin) Five Decades of Treasured Performances rec. 1946-95 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1282 [6 CDs: 463:00] [JW] It’s unlikely that there will be a Wicks box of this kind for some time, if ever, so devotees should snap this up now.

 

Other Reviews

Max RICHTER (b. 1966) Sleep - Max Richter (piano, organ, synthesizers, electronics) American Contemporary Music Ensemble/Grace Davidson DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4795267 [8:20:00] [KM] Functional, furniture music, a soundtrack for relaxing and sleeping.

The Golden Age of Light Music More Gems from the 1930s. rec. 1930-39 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5225 [78:39] [JW] Many pleasurable moments here.

The Golden Age of Light Music Motorway: Production Music of the 1960s rec. 1960-62 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5226 [75:30] [JW] Another splendid release in a consistently excellent series.

Joseph Holbrooke: Composer, Critic and Musical Patriot Edited by Paul Watt and Anne-Marie Forbes. Published 2015 Rowman & Littlefield Publishers [JF] Helpful in gaining an understanding of one of the most important, but neglected, if somewhat wayward, of British composers.

British Musical Modernism: The Manchester Group and their Contemporaries by Philip Rupprecht. Published 2015 Cambridge University Press [JF] Sets the baseline for all research into the ‘avant-garde’ of the British post-Second World War era.

Articles and Notices

Download News 2015/8 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan

Sir David Willcocks - An obituary by John Quinn

Celebrating Ivor Novello and the Great British Songbook - An interview by Ian Lace with Ross Leadbeater

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




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