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Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano)


Scherber Symphony 2
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Respighi Piano Music
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CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
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Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

Monthly Listing
July 2016
198 reviews this month

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Stabat Mater, Mass for Five Voices, Judica me Michael BERKELEY (b. 1948) Touch Light - Marian Consort/Rory McCleery; Berkeley Ens/David Wordsworth rec. 2016 DELPHIAN DCD34180 [60:59] [JQ] Admirers of Lennox Berkeley’s music should put this disc at the top of their shopping list.

R. Nathaniel DETT (1882-1943) The Ordering of Moses - May Festival Ch, Cincinnati SO/James Conlon rec. 2014 BRIDGE RECORDS 9462 [48:32] [RB] One of the finest American choral-orchestral works I know steps out of the dust.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Piano Quintet Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) String Quartet - Marc-André Hamelin (piano) Takács Qt rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68061 [62:25] [SG] Highly charged and passionate performances. The Takács Quartet goes from strength to strength.

Graeme KOEHNE (b. 1956) Forty Reasons to be Cheerful, The Persistence of Memory, Divertissement, Between Two Worlds, Time is a River - Tasmanian SO/Richard Mills rec. 2004-14 ABC CLASSICS 4811480 [73:12] [DJB] Beautifully crafted, engaging, stylish and moving.

Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1857-1919) Zazŕ - Ermonela Jaho, Riccardo Massi, BBC SO & Singers/Maurizio Benini rec. 2015 OPERA RARA ORC55 [72:02 + 63:59] [MC] Opera Rara has made an inspired choice with Leoncavallo’s Zazŕ which I hope will lead to a number of fully staged revivals.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schubertiade - Anima Eterna Brugge/Jos van Immerseel (piano/director) rec. 2014 ALPHA 216 [4 CDs: 261:38] [JFL] In one word: delightful!

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies 5, 8 & 9, Hamlet Suite - Boston SO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2015 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 5201 [157:35] [JQ] A highly distinguished Shostakovich set from Andris Nelsons.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphonies 2 & 8 - Royal Liverpool PO/Andrew Manze rec. 2015 ONYX 4155 [76.28] [MC] With Andrew Manze conducting the RLPO the legacy of performing Vaughan Williams is in reliable hands on the evidence of this outstanding release.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) The Complete Works rec. 1959-2013 DECCA [RJF] Perfect for the recent opera enthusiast, whilst avid Verdi enthusiasts have the opportunity to add a diversity of performances to their collection at a modest cost, many with the benefit of Decca’s superb recording qualities.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Laudate! - Johannette Zomer (soprano) Tulipa Consort rec. 2015 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS38216 [71:40] [MR] An outstanding début disc from a singer-led ensemble.

The Aeolian Organ at Duke University Chapel Christopher Jacobson (organ) Amalgam Brass Ensemble rec. 2015 PENTATONE PTC5186577 SACD [65:56] [DM] A fabulous instrument, superbly played and recorded; an absolute must for organ fans.

Carolus IV Rex et imperator - Schola Gregoriana Pragensis/David Eben rec. 2015 SUPRAPHON SU4193-2 [69:13] [JV] A highly fascinating musical document of the Bohemian Golden Age of the 14th century.

Youri Egorov (piano) Autumn Songs - rec. 1974-87 ET'CETERA KTC1520 [123:39] [SG] A selection of broadcasts from the archives of Amsterdam Radio, showcasing the artistry and versatility of a great pianist.

Hans ABRAHAMSEN (b. 1952) Works for Wind Quintet - Ens MidtVest rec. 2014/15 DACAPO 8.226090 [51:18] [LW] Abrahamsen’s early works for wind quintet in fine accounts by Ensemble MidtVest.

Adolphe ADAM (1803-1856) Giselle - Tasmanian SO/Nicolette Fraillon rec. 2013/15 ABC CLASSICS 481 1710 [2 CDs: 49:02 + 63:09] [RMay] A distinctive and well-played account that’s well worth consideration.

Théodore AKIMENKO (1876-1945) Works for violin and piano - Tatiana Chulochnikova (violin) Anastasia Dedik (piano) rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0352 [64:41] [RB] Dazzlingly polished … poetically gifted … in the school of Glazunov.

Eugen d’ALBERT (1864-1932) String Quartets 1 & 2 - Reinhold Qt rec. 2015 CPO 555 012-2 [65:33] [SG] The Reinhold Quartett’s confident and imaginative playing certainly wins me over.

Eugen d’ALBERT (1864-1932) String Quartets - Reinhold Qt rec. 2015 CPO 555 012-2 [65:33] [BSt] Enjoyable performances, but not really superior to rival recordings.

Daniel-François-Esprit AUBER (1782-1871) Overtures Vol. 1 - Cannes O/Wolfgang Dörner rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573553 [63:54] [RMay] Based on what is presented here, Auber's overtures don't seem to have been individually distinctive.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St John Passion - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/René Jacobs rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC802236/37 SACD [106:12] [BW] A very fine performance but not one to shake my top recommendations.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partita 6, Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue, Italian Concerto - Jean-Léon Cohen (piano) rec. 2016 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR36C [59:22] [SG] An attractive recital, and a fitting memorial to Pierre Froment.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations - Marie Rosa Günter (piano) rec. 2015 GENUIN GEN16435 [77:17] [DJB] Some good moments, but these Goldbergs don’t entirely satisfy.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Suites, Christ lag in Todesbanden, Ciaccona - Ismo Eskelinen (guitar) rec. 2012 ALBA ABCD354 SACD [61:56] [OL] Has a mystery appeal.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Clavierübung Part III - James Johnstone (organ) rec. 2012 METRONOME METCD1094 [2 CDs: 107:26] [MR] Much intelligent stylistic thought is evident here, but doesn’t solve the problems of presenting the Clavierübung III entire.

Sir Granville BANTOCK (1868-1946) Omar Khayyám, Sappho, Fifine at the Fair, The Pierrot of the Minute - Sarah Walker (contralto) Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Johanna Peters (contralto) BBC Singers; BBC SO, BBC Scottish SO/Norman Del Mar rec. 1968/79 LYRITA ITTER BROADCAST COLLECTION REAM2128 [4 CDs: 257:17] [PCG] When I wish to listen to Omar I will turn to Del Mar for preference.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Complete Works for Piano Solo Vol. 3 - Andreas Bach (piano) rec. 2009/10 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC16020 [70:31] [SSi] Andreas Bach might not be as strong as in the previous two volumes, this is still turning out to be a really useful set of the complete solo piano music.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Orchestral works - London SO, Chicago SO/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1963-1993 DECCA ELOQUENCE 4806872 [70:22 + 68:27] [GPJ] Performances of tireless energy, imagination and sheer excitement.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Coriolan, Piano Concerto 4, Symphonies 3 & 7 - Wilhelm Backhaus (piano) Vienna PO/Hans Knappertsbusch rec. 1954/62 ORFEO C901162B [72:39 + 66:33] [RMo] If you can tolerate the poor recorded sound and the audiences’ coughing, there are epic performances to be heard here.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto - Steven Staryk (violin) London SO/Antal Doráti rec. 1960 ANTAL DORÁTI LIVE ADL203 [80:00] [JW] This usefully fills some discographic gaps.

Franz BERWALD (1796-1868) String Quartet Johan WIKMANSON (1753-1800) String Quartet 2 - Chilingirian String Qt rec. 1975 CRD 3361 [53:29] [SSi] A greatly enjoyable disc, one which extends the knowledge of the string quartet and gives us first class performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonatas - Paul Makanowitzky (violin) Noël Lee (piano) rec. 1957/58 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR195 [61:45] [SG] A Brahms cycle of unshowy virtuosity and compelling vision.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) & Max REGER (1873-1916) Clarinet Quintets - Sharon Kam (clarinet) Isabelle van Keulen, Ulrike-Anima Mathé (violins) Volker Jacobsen (viola) Gustav Rivinius (cello) rec. 2014/15 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300643BC [74:48] [BR] An excellent, and surprisingly rare, coupling.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 4 Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony 1 Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Symphony 4 - Jan Ekier (piano) Warsaw PO/Witold Rowicki rec. 1967 ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDS CD15/2016 [71:46] [SV] Recommended as a document of the orchestra and the conductor, and specifically for the Szymanowski.

Walter BRAUNFELS (1882-1954) Orchestral Songs Vol. 1 - Valentina Farcas (soprano) Klaus Florian Vogt (tenor) Michael Volle (baritone) Staatskapelle Weimar/Hansjörg Albrecht rec. 2015 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1846 [68:08] [RB] Braunfels' late-romantic orchestral lieder with a substantial set of orchestral variations.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) 'Study' Symphony - Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller rec. 2015 HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH15004 [43.23] [RMo] More intriguing than memorable, especially for the Bruckner completist.

Fritz BRUN (1878-1959) Symphony 4, Rhapsody - Moscow SO/Adriano rec. 2008/13 GUILD GMCD7411 [67:09] [RB] Pictorial contemplative but with a commanding infusion of lively, gritty drama. A good place to start your exploration.

Fritz BRUN (1878-1959) Cello Concerto, Choral works, Lieder - Claudius Herrmann (cello), Bratislava SO & Ch/Adriano rec. 2015 GUILD GMCD7420 [54:23] Fritz BRUN Symphony 8 Othmar SCHOECK (1886-1957) Drei Lieder - Bernadett Fodor (mezzo) Bratislava SO/Adriano rec. 2014 GUILD GMCD7421 [72:46] [RB] The triumphant close of the Brun-Adriano-Guild series.

George BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916) Orchestral Works - James Rutherford (baritone) BBC Ntl O of Wales/Kriss Russman rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2195 SACD [75:32] [JF] A fascinating addition to the catalogue of recorded music by George Butterworth.

Benet CASABLANCAS (b.1956) Piano Trios - B3: Brouwer Trio rec. 2012-14 NAXOS 8.573375 [62:09] [GPu] A very rewarding disc of chamber music by a composer whose musical identity is almost as much Eastern European as it is Spanish

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Études - Alessandro Deljavan (piano) rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95207 [70:23] [BR] Strikingly individual interpretation, but that is not necessarily a compliment.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Preludes, Ballades & Impromptus - Wolfram Schmitt-Leonardy (piano) rec. 2011/15 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95210 [2 CDs: 95:55] [BR] An extremely well-played, if short, program by one of the Brilliant label’s best pianists.

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Quiet City, Symphony 3, Appalachian Spring - Boston SO/Serge Koussevitzky rec. 1945/46 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC458 [73:09] [JW] This valuable restoration succeeds in establishing an early interpretative benchmark for the Third Symphony.

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) A Village Romeo and Juliet - John Wakefield (tenor) Elsie Morison (soprano) Sadler’s Wells Ch & O/Meredith Davies rec. 1962 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO132 [66.49 + 52.11] [PCG] A real sense of magic in this performance which is most attractive.

André Cardinal DESTOUCHES (1672-1749)/Michel-Richard de LALANDE (1657-1726) Les Eléments - Élodie Fonnard, Eugénie Lefebvre (sopranos) Étienne Bazola (baritone) Ens Les Surprises/Louis-Noël Bestion de Camboulas rec. 2015 AMBRONAY AMY046 [75:47] [JV] Good performance but the inconsistencies are a serious flaw.

Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Orchestral Works - James Ehnes (violin) Howard Shelley (piano) Clifford Lantaff (harp) BBC PO/Matthias Bamert rec. 1995-2004 CHANDOS CHAN10906(5)X [5 CDs: 336:26] [RB] An economy set presenting attractive and for the most part rarely heard music with performance, recording and documentation value uncompromised.

José Luis DOMÍNGUEZ (b. 1971) Legend of Joaquín Murieta - Santiago PO/José Luis Domínguez rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573515-16 [95:39] [MW] A must for anyone who enjoys the great film-scores.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Trios 3 & 4 - Busch Trio rec. 2015 ALPHA 238 [76:38] [CSe] Fine performances, somewhat let down by the recording balance.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius, Severn Suite - Robert Tear (tenor) Alfreda Hodgson (contralto) Benjamin Luxon (baritone) Scottish Ntl O & Ch/Sir Alexander Gibson, London Collegiate Brass/James Stobart CRD 33267 [54:31 + 54:39] [JQ] A Gerontius that doesn’t challenge the leading recommendations though the singing of Alfreda Hodgson is special.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Piano Quintet, Sea Pictures - Rodolfus Ch, English SO & CO/Kenneth Woods rec. 2013/15 AVIE AV2362 [60:00] [GPJ] Donald Fraser’s orchestration of the Piano Quintet is an exciting addition to the Elgar canon.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Concerto Josef HAYDN (1732-1809) Concerto for violin & piano - Igor Oistrakh (violin) Natalia Zertsalova (keyboard) Moscow State Philharmonic SO/Valentin Zhuk rec. 1984/85 MELODIYA MELCD1002384 [68:00] [SG] Idiomatic Elgar and high-spirited Haydn.

George ENESCU (1881–1955) Violin Sonatas 1 & 2, Impressions d'enfance - Stefan Tarara (violin) Lora Vakova-Tarara (piano) rec. 2016 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38212 SACD [64:30] [SG] The Tararas, who I would wish to hear more from in the future, have done these works proud.

Georges ENESCU (1881–1955) Symphonie concertante, Symphony 1 - Truls Mřrk (cello) Tampere PO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2013-2014 ONDINE ODE11982 [53:00] [RB] Very good indeed and a better than serviceable Enescu introduction.

Ulvi Cemal ERKİN (1906-1972) Symphony 2, Violin Concerto, Köçekçe - James Buswell (violin) Istanbul State SO/Theodore Kuchar rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.572831 [67:59] [MW] Strong rhythms and enjoyable music, well-performed.

Johann Caspar Ferdinand FISCHER (1656-1746) Works for keyboard - Elisabeth Joyé (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2014-2015 ENCELADE ECL1402 [66:44] [JV] A perfect introduction to the keyboard works of Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer.

Carlisle FLOYD (b. 1926) Wuthering Heights - Georgia Jarman (soprano) Kelly Markgraf (baritone), Milwaukee SO/Joseph Mechavich rec. 2015 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-721 SACD [69:51 + 69:52] [RB] A princely production. Everything is fluently treated; nothing is in the least tentative.

Friedrich Theodor FRÖHLICH (1803–1836) String Quartets - Beethoven Qt rec. 2015 MUSIQUES SUISSES MGB-6285 [72:04] [BW] An attractive alternative to the 2-CD CPO set: either is well worth getting to know.

Hans GÁL (1890-1987) Piano Concerto Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto 22 - Sarah Beth Briggs (piano/conductor) Royal Northern Sinf/Kenneth Woods/Bradley Creswick rec. 2016 AVIE AV2358 [68:51] [BSt] Top class playing in both Gal and Mozart.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Glassworlds Vol. 4: The Hours, Notes on a Scandal, Music in Fifths - Nicolas Horvath (piano) rec. 2014 GRAND PIANO GP692 [61:10] [DJB] If you like the lyrical side of Philip Glass, this should appeal.

Émile GOUÉ (1904-1946) Symphony 2, Ballade on a poem by Emily Brontë - Paris RSO/Tony Aubin; Quatuors Vocal & Krettly/Louis de Froment rec. 1949/58 AZUR CLASSICAL AZC135 [45:23] [SG] Captivating scores by an unsung composer who deserves to be better known.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Coronation Anthems, Esther Choruses - NDR Ch, Festspiel O Göttingen/Laurence Cummings rec. 2012/14 ACCENT ACC26405 [55:17] [DHu] Live Handel from Göttingen, at his most resplendent and life-affirming.

Sadie HARRISON (b. 1965) The Rosegarden of Light - ANIM Junior Ens of Traditional Instruments, Kevin Bishop (viola) Ens Zohra rec. 2015/16 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0342 [51:26] Solos and Duos for Strings and Piano - Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Mihailo Trandilovski (violin) Diana Mathews (viola) Roderick Chadwick (piano) rec. 2014 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0304 [72:15] [RB] A valuable pair of discs challengingly introducing this composer to a wider audience.

Johann Adolf HASSE (1699-1783) Complete Solo Cantatas Vol. 1 - Hof-Musici rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0228 [68:22] [JV] This disc sheds light on a lesser-known part of Hasse’s oeuvre, which deserves our attention.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Cello Concertos - Pavel Gomziakov (cello) Gulbenkian O rec. 2015 ONYX CLASSICS 4151 [59:55] [DJB] Lovers of the cello have to hear this most glorious sounding instrument.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) & Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Cello Concertos Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Horn Concerto (arr. cello) - Valentin Radutiu (cello) Munich CO/Stephan Frucht rec. 2015 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC16038 [68:38] [DJB] Undoubtedly a talented soloist, but this doesn’t show him to advantage.

Henrik HELLSTENIUS (b.1963) Like Objects in a Dark Room, In Memoriam Řrjan MATRE (b.1979) Violin Concerto, preSage - Peter Herresthal (violin) Stavanger SO/Rolf Gupta rec. 2014/15 BIS BIS-2152 SACD [74:20] [RB] Pointillist and testing rather than long-limbed and neo-romantic.

Jennifer HIGDON (b. 1962) Cold Mountain - Santa Fe Opera O/Miguel Harth- Bedoya rec. 2015 PENTATONE PTC5186583 SACD [73:10 + 72:30] [SSi] This is a work which marks Jennifer Higdon out as opera composer of some note. Well worth investigating.

HILDEGARD of Bingen (1098 -1179) O Eterne Deus - Karen R. Clark (director/contralto) Shira Kammen (vielle/ medieval harp) Vajra Voices rec. 2015 MUSIC & ARTS CD1291 [MW] [50.22] Belongs with the very best Hildegard collections.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Der Dämon, Kammermusik 1 & 2, Herodiade - Florian Henschel (piano) Gisela Zach-Westphal (recitation) Ens Varianti/Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau rec. 1995 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC16014 [54:57 + 36:56] [SSi] A must for all Hindemith fans. A wonderful recording of a thrilling live concert.

York HÖLLER (b. 1944) Works for String Quartet - Minguet Qt rec. 2011 NEOS 11518 [70:12] [SG] An interesting discovery. Worth investigating.

Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Choral and Organ Music Vols 1 & 2 - Ch New College, Oxford/Edward Higginbottom, David Burchell (organ) CRD 3454/5 [67:29 & 66:30] [SSi] These two discs offer the listener a wonderful Howells collection performed by the best collegiate choir in the country. A must for all lovers of the great English choral tradition.

Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Cello Concerto, 2 Pieces for Small Orchestra Ronald CORP (b. 1951) Cello Concerto - Alice Neary (cello) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Ronald Corp rec. 2014 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7317 [72:29] [JQ] Self-recommending to all Howells enthusiasts with Ronald Corp’s concerto as a most welcome bonus.

Hans HUBER (1852-1921) Symphonies 1-8 - Stuttgart PO/Jörg-Peter Weigle rec. 2001/02 STERLING CDS5000-2 [5 CDs: 335:55] [RB] No monuments to heaven-searing conflict or vertiginous tragedy. Huber's symphonies attest to a beaming smiling muse.

Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) & Franz BERWALD (1796-1868) Septets - Nash Ens CRD 3344 [54:20] [SSi] Excellent performances, let down by thin string sound.

Gabriel JACKSON (b. 1962) To the field of stars - Nonsuch Singers/Tom Bullard rec. 2014 CONVIVIUM CR032 [64:46] [JQ] A distinguished debut disc including richly imagined music by Gabriel Jackson.

Gabriel JACKSON (b. 1962) Vox Clara - Joel Garthwaite (saxophone) Luke Bond (organ) Truro Cathedral Ch/Christopher Gray rec. 2015 REGENT REGCD479 [75:16] [JQ] More imaginatively crafted choral music by Gabriel Jackson in excellent performances.

Ben JOHNSTON (b. 1926) String Quartets - Kepler Qt rec. 2002-16 NEW WORLD RECORDS 806372/806932/807302 [60:46 & 51:06 & 66:43] [RB] This music is clearly part of the Kepler's being and courtesy of these discs can be part of ours.

Rob KEELEY (b. 1960) Dances with Bears - Mary Dullea, Dominic Saunders (piano) Caroline Balding (violin) Rowland Sutherland (flute) Andrew Sparling (clarinet) Lontano/Odaline de la Martinez rec. 2011/12 LORELT LNT138 [71:58] [RB] Brilliance and wit that is bound to impress but emotionally constrained.

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) & Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (b. 1928) Flute Concertos - Sharon Bezaly (flute) Sao Paulo SO/Enrique Diemecke; Lahti SO/Dima Slobodeniouk rec. 2010/14 BIS BIS-1849 [79:10] [BBu] The Khachaturian is more engaging than the two versions of Rautavaara’s ‘Dance of the Winds’.

Leopold KOŽELUCH (1747-1818) Complete Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 6 - Kemp English (fortepiano) rec. 2012 GRAND PIANO GP647 [54:22] [PRB] This musical snapshot of Koželuch’s ongoing development in terms of his piano sonatas would again grace any collection.

Franz KROMMER (1759-1831) Flute Quartets - Andreas Blau (flute) Christoph Streuli (violin) Ulrich Knörzer (viola) David Riniker (cello) rec. 2014/15 TUDOR 7199 [74:26] [SV] Some good things here but also some reservations about both the music and the performances.

Rued LANGGAARD (1893-1952) Songs - Jens Krogsgaard (tenor) Jan Ole Christiansen (piano) rec. 2016 DANACORD DACOCD771 [57:50] [SSi] Interesting. Fills a gap in the Langgaard catalogue. Krogsgaard’s voice takes some getting used to, especially in the more challenging songs.

Alexander L’ESTRANGE (b. 1974) On Eagle’s Wings - Tenebrae/Nigel Short rec. 2015 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD454 [72:03] [ST] Definitely worth exploring.

Johann Georg LICKL (1769-1843) Oboe Quartets 1-3, Cassation, Trio - Lajos Lencés (oboe) Natalie Chee (violin) Paul Pesthy (viola) Ansgar Schneider (cello) rec. 2010-2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0350 [77:07] [RK] World class performances of wonderful music by a minor master.

Stefan LINDGREN (b. 1960) Piano Concerto 4, Nocturne, Poem - Stefan Lindgren (piano) Christin Högnabba (soprano) Helsingborg SO/Andrew Manze rec. 2014 NOSAG CD215 [58:45] [RB] Lindgren must surely be pleased with what I take to be a faithful audio account of three of his major works.

Erkki MELARTIN (1875–1937) Traumgesicht, Marjatta, The Blue Pearl - Soile Isokoski (soprano) Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2015 ONDINE ODE1283-2 [56:50] [RB] Valuable and ear-prickling.

Joachim MENDELSON (1892-1943) Symphony 2, Quintet, Violin Sonata, Chamber Symphony - Polish Ntl Radio SO/Jürgen Bruns rec. 2010-11 EDA 40 [67:16] [RB] It's good that this pretty much unknown figure is so well advocated here.

Claudio MERULO (1533-1604) Motets - Modus Ens/Mauro Marchetti rec. 2014/15 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95243 [45.51] [GH] Merulo's music not presented at its best. Very disappointing.

Ennio MORRICONE (b. 1928) Morricone Conducts Morricone - Ch Bavarian Radio, Munich Radio O rec. 2004 EUROARTS DVD 2054698 [100:00] [JW] A thoroughly enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925) Piano Concerto Adolf SCHULZ-EVLER (1852-1905) Russian Rhapsody - Ludmil Angelov (piano) Rzeszow PO/Vladimir Kiradjiev rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68109 [65:04] [JWe] Will certainly be played over and over again.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 9 & 19 - Clara Haskil (piano) Stuttgart Radio SO/Carl Schuricht rec. 1952-1956 SWR MUSIC SWR19013CD [57:34] [GPJ] Sublime Mozart performances from one of the greatest twentieth century pianists.

Per NŘRGĹRD (b. 1932) Symphonies 2 & 6 - Oslo Philharmonic/John Storgĺrds rec. 2015 DACAPO 6.220645 SACD [54:21] [DM] Another triumph for John Storgĺrds and the Oslo Phil; spectacular sound, too.

Olivier PENARD (b.1974) Chamber works - Debussy Qt, Dana Ciocarlie, Jonas Vitaud (piano) Jean-Marc Fessard (clarinet) Fabrice Bihan (cello) Philippe Bourlois (accordion) rec. 2014 DUX 1112 [75.29] [GH] I really took to of Penard’s music.

Allan PETTERSSON (1911-1980) Symphony 13 - Norrköping SO/Christian Lindberg rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2190 SACD [66:46] Symphonies 4 & 16 - Jörgen Pettersson (alto saxophone) Norrköping SO/Christian Lindberg rec. 2013 BIS BIS-2110 SACD [65:13] [RB] Invaluable and often challenging reminders of Pettersson's monumental contribution to challenging yet rewarding twentieth century symphonism.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Le Bal Masqué, Trio, Sextet - Thomas Allen (baritone) Nash Ens rec. 1986 CRD 3437 [53:45] [MR] Performances which stand comparison with anything that has emerged over the last 30 years.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Fanciulla del West - Renata Tebaldi (soprano) Ch & O Accademia di Santa Cecilia/Franco Capuana rec. 1958 ALTO ALC2028 [132.08] [PCG] Though it is not without its flaws, it is good that this economically priced transfer has now joined many other gems from the same period in the Alto catalogue.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Cantatas - New Philharmonia O & Ch, St Petersburg/Aleksander Titov rec. 1997 CUGATE CLASSICS CGC006 [65:14] [RB] All three Soviet cantatas here decently documented and ardently performed and recorded.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Songs - Julia Sukmanova (soprano) Elena Sukmanova (piano) rec. 2015 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC16024 [57:37] [TB] Presentation lets down a thoughtfully compiled and sensitively performed recital.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto 3, The Bells - Van Cliburn (piano), Russian Republic Capella, Symphony of the Air, Moscow Philharmonic O/Kirill Kondrashin rec. 1956/62 PRAGA DIGITALS PRD350123 SACD [78:01] [RB] Far from obvious: a thoughtful live Third Concerto and a heady Soviet account of The Bells.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Bells, Spring, Vocalise - Galina Pisarenko (soprano) Alexei Maslennikov (tenor) Sergei Yakovenko (baritone) Yurlov Russian Ch, USSR SO/Evgeni Svetlanov rec. 1973/84 ALTO ALC1314 [69:25] [JQ] Still a compellingly attractive purchase.

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Complete Works for Harpsichord - Trevor Pinnock (harpsichord) CRD 35112 [148:51] [SSi] A fine recording of the complete harpsichord music of Jean-Philippe Rameau.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - O Ntl de Lyon/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2012/13 NAXOS 8.573124 [60:58] [SB] A mixed bag overall, but the Schumann is a rarity and worth having.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Orchestral works - USSR State Academic SO/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. 1975 MELODIYA MELCD1002338 [57:33] [RB] Historical significance but overall more for Svetlanov enthusiasts or Ravel completists.

Arnold ROSNER (1945-2013) Orchestral works - Peter Riegert (speaker) Peter Vinograde (piano) London PO/David Amos rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0368 [76:10] [PRB] Charts the development of Rosner’s unique musical language.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Le Comte Ory - Juan Diego Flórez (tenor) Diana Damrau (soprano) Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano) Ch & O Metropolitan Opera NY/Maurizio Benini rec. 2011 ERATO Blu-ray 2564 605450 [153:00] [MC] Bart Sher and his outstanding cast bring Rossini’s fast moving comic opera to life.

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Mosč - Ruggero Raimondi (bass), O & Ch Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano/Francesco Quattrocchi rec. 2015 C MAJOR Blu-ray 735404 [100:50] [MC] This semi-staged performance is nowhere near ideal but it contains some wonderful music and the surroundings of the Duomo are magnificent.

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) The Complete Chamber Music and Songs with Harp - Tracey Chadwell (soprano) Danielle Perrett (harp) Timothy Gill (cello) LYRITA SRCD.353 [67:23] [JW] I’m glad Lyrita has taken over this disc and restored it with such care.

Johann RUFINATSCHA (1812-1893) Symphony 3, Concert arias - Belinda Loukota (soprano) Andreas Mattersberger (bass-baritone) O Akademie St. Blasius/Karlheinz Siessl rec. 2012 MUSIKMUSEUM 21 CD13020 [78:49] [BSt] This emperor does not appear to me to be wearing very much in the way of clothes.

Leo SAMAMA (b. 1951) Chamber works - rec. 2000-16 ETCETERA KTC1561 [148:37] [DC] Rock-solid and echt: challenging and rewarding in equal measure.

Erik SATIE (1866-1925) Piano Music Vol. 1 - Noriko Ogawa (piano) rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2215 SACD [78:02] [DM] At once piquant and palate cleansing; Ogawa at her considerable best.

Martin SCHERBER (1907-1974) Symphony 2 - Russian PO/Samuel Friedmann rec. 2002 CASCADE MEDIA 05116 [46:00] Symphony 3 - Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Elmar Lampson rec. 1999 COL LEGNO WWE1CD20078 [53:42] [RB] Two broadly Brucknerian symphonies: unremittingly serious, head-bowed, self-possessed.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata 19, Impromptus - Nikolai Lugansky (piano) rec. 2015 AMBROISIE NAĎVE AM214 [73:26] [JL] Not to my taste, but will certainly be liked by some.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Lieder - Florian Boesch (baritone) Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 2015 ONYX 4149 [74:08] [RMo] I enjoyed much of this recital despite some concerns.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Variations - Olivier Chauzu (piano) rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573540 [75:49] [JW] The pianism is very good and well worth the cost of the disc.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Chamber Symphonies - re:orchestra/Roberto Beltrán-Zavala rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2227 SACD [72:32] [JFL] Neat, lively and light.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies 5 & 12 - Leningrad PO/Yevgeny Mravinsky rec. 1962/65 PRAGA DIGITALS PRD/DSD 350122 [79:30] [JQ] The special authority of Yevgeny Mravinsky in two Shostakovich symphonies.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Finlandia, Karelia Suite, Symphony 2 - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2015 BR KLASSIK 900144 [70.18] [MC] Mariss Jansons demonstrates his renowned prowess with the music of Sibelius in this live recording from Munich.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Eugene Ormandy conducts Sibelius - Dylana Jenson, Isaac Stern (violin) Mormon Tabernacle Ch, Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1957/77 RCA RED SEAL 88875 108582 [8 CDs: 8:39:13] [RB] A great Sibelius conductor caught at his peak and at other less impressive moments.

Louis SPOHR (1785-1859) Nonet, Octet - Nash Ensemble CRD 3354 [56:20] [GPu] Charming performances of two delightful chamber works which demonstrate that Spohr was very much more than the “academic pedant of the first rank” which Grieg called him.

Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Piano Concerto 2, Dante Rhapsodies - Benjamin Frith (Piano) BBC NOW/Andrew Gourlay rec. 2012 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD042 [73:35] [MR] Benjamin Frith proves himself a powerful advocate for the piano music of Stanford.

Zygmunt STOJOWSKI (1869-1946) Violin Concerto, Romanze Henryk WIENIAWSKI (1835-1880) Fantaisie brillante - Bartłomiej Nizioł (violin) BBC Scottish SO/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68102 [55:54] [RB] A nice apportionment of showy dazzle, confidently ardent melody and staunch determination.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie - Gothenburg SO/Kent Nagano rec. 2014 FARAO CLASSICS B108091 [51:03] [SG] On this evidence the omens look good for Farao’s projected Strauss cycle.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le Sacre du printemps, L'Oiseau de feu, Pétrouchka - Maki Amerada (piano 4 hands) Basel SO/Dennis Russell Davies (piano) rec. 2013-16 SOLO MUSICA SOB06/10/11 [47.51 + 50.22 & 74.45 & 73.15] [MC] Under Dennis Russell Davies, the excellent Sinfonieorchester Basel demonstrates its undoubted prowess in Stravinsky’s three Russian ballets.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Pulcinella Suite, Apollon Musagčte & Concerto in D - Tapiola Sinf/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2211 SACD [64:55] Lausanne CO/Joshua Weilerstein rec. 2015 MDG 9401955-6 SACD [65:36] [DHu] Not quite Tweedledum and Tweedledee, but identical Stravinsky programmes in good but not great performances.

Apolinary SZELUTO (1884-1966) Songs - Aleksandra Kamińska (mezzo) Laura Sobolewska (piano) rec. 2014 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0338 [42:27] [RB] Looks to be a fascinating entry but hobbled by short playing time and lack of translations.

Sergei TANEYEV (1856-1915) Piano Quintet, Poems - Marina Prudenskaya (mezzo) Olga Gollej (piano) Leipzig String Qt rec. 2015 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 3071917-2 [SB] The Piano Quintet is a real discovery; the Seven Poems less satisfactory.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Complete Symphonies - State Academic SO/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. 1967 MELODIYA MELCD1002157 [5 CDs: 314:41] [RB] Vivid, risk-taking music-making. Svetlanov in the 1960s is no perpetrator of Stepford Wives-style risk-averse Tchaikovsky.

Georg TELEMANN (1681-1767) The Grand Concertos for Mixed Instruments Vol. 3 - La Stagione Frankfurt/Michael Schneider rec. 2013/14 CPO 777 891-2 [63:09] [MR] A very satisfying listening experience.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Film Music - RTÉ Concert O/Andrew Penny rec. 1993 NAXOS FILM MUSIC CLASSICS 8.573658 [67:39] [RB] There are tangs and flavours you will not have heard before in Vaughan Williams.

Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) Piano Quintet, Cycle Spleens et Détresses - Anaďk Morel (soprano) Mūza Rubackytė (piano) Terpsycordes Qt rec. 2014/15 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95367 [66.56] [MW] An outstanding performance of the Piano Quintet.

Anatol VIERU (1926-1998) Symphony 6, Exodus & Memorial - Romanian RSO/Horia Andreescu, Romanian RCO/Ludovic Bács rec. 1995-99 TROUBADISC TROCD01446 [76:20] [RB] Laced-tight reserve rather than emotional fluency.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concertos Op. 8, The Four Seasons - Simon Standage (violin) English Concert/Trevor Pinnock rec. 1978 CRD 3325 [59:02] [SSi] An excellent recording that shows The English Concert in development.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerti e Sinfonie per archi e continuo - L'Archicembalo rec. 2015 TACTUS TC672259 [65:26] [JV] The polyphonic, theatrical and expressive qualities of these pieces are brought to light.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)La Cetra’ concertos - Gianpiero Zanocco (violin), L'Arte dell'Arco/Federico Guglielmo (baroque violin) rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95046 [53.24 + 52.37] [MC] A fine recording, which bears comparison with the best alternatives

Johan WAGENAAR (1862–1941) Symphonic Poems Vol. 1 - Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie/Antony Hermus rec. 2008 CPO 777 479-2 [50:16] [RB] Worth hearing. Not everything here is admirable but there's enough to justify the outlay.

Ermanno WOLF-FERRARI (1876-1948) I gioielli della Madonna - Kyungho Kim (tenor) Natalia Ushakova (soprano)  Slovak Radio SO/Friedrich Haider rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.660386-87 [48:14 + 74:37] [GF] Definitely worth the attention of every lover of Italian opera. A true professional who could write lovely melodies and who had the measure of this bloodcurdling drama.

Xiaogang YE (b. 1955) Symphony 3, The Last Paradise - Cho-Liang Lin (violin) Hila Plitmann (soprano) Royal PO/José Serebrier rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2083 [54.13] [MW] Music of extraordinary beauty and real distinction, played with conviction and intensity.

Eugčne YSAYE (1858-1931) Neiges d'antan - Svetlin Roussev, Amaury Coeytaux (violins) Royal PO Ličge/Jean-Jacques Kantorow rec. 2015 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW1681 [69:45] [HC] A splendid sequel to Musique en Wallonie's earlier Ysa˙e selection.

Domenico ZIPOLI (1688-1726) Complete Keyboard Music - Carlo Guandalino (organ) Laura Farabollini (harpsichord) rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95212 [76:10 + 72:20] [JV] Despite reservations about the harpsichord suites this set as a whole is worth being taken into consideration by lovers of baroque keyboard music.

Lily Afshar (guitar) Musica da Camera - Works by Paganini, Piazzolla & Uspensky ARCHER RECORDS ARR-31957 [50:17] [OL] A great showcase for the artistry of the guitarist, but the CD as a whole doesn’t stand up well to repeated listening.

El aire se serena Music from the Courts and Cathedrals of 16th-Century Spain - Seldom Sene rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95304 [67:52] [JV] A disc to treasure.

Ama Me Vocal works by Respighi, Eben, Stravinsky, Part & Bodorova - Eva Garajová (mezzo soprano) Zemlinsky Qt rec. 2015 ARCO DIVA UP0184-2 131 [70:09] [JW] This recital offers attractive and sympathetic performances, with some reservations.

Amati orrori Lamenti & Cantatas by Valente, Provenzale, Strozzi & Falconieri - Echo du Danube/Christian Zincke rec. 2013 CPO 777 834-2 [60:26] [JV] An interesting disc with little known repertoire but the vocal items require more theatrical performances.

The Anthology of American Piano Music Vol. 1 Works by Reinagle, Macdowell, Griffes & Siegmeister - Cecile Licad (piano) rec. 2015 DANACORD DACOCD774 [71:04] [JF] An exciting new release that promises to expand into a collection of American musical masterpieces.

Martha Argerich & Friends Live from Lugano rec. 2015 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 628549 [3 CDs: 218:37] [RK] The best pieces are really outstanding, with many performances to treasure.

Alison Balsom (trumpet) Légende Tom Poster (piano) rec. 2015/16 WARNER CLASSICS 9029 598772 [61.18] The Sound of Alison Balsom rec. 2002-12 WARNER CLASSICS 0191622 [77.02] [MC] Balsom's first release with piano, and a collection from earlier recordings.

La bele Marie Conduits et chansons de l’Ars Antiqua - Anonymous 4 rec. 2001 HARMONIA MUNDI HMG507312 [66:40] [GPu] A disc of beautiful a capella singing from a group, now disbanded, who rightly won many admirers.

Brandenburg Celebrates Works by Brescianello, Handel, Kats-Chernin, Telemann & Vivaldi - Australian Brandenburg O & Ch/Paul Dyer (harpsichord, chamber organ) rec. 2015 ABC CLASSICS 4811929 [67:53] [DJB] Celebration of a significant milestone for a marvellous group.

British - Now! Works by Britten, Berkeley, Bryars & Nyman - Dogma CO/Mikhail Gurewitsch rec. 2015 MDG 912 1944-6 SACD [48:52] [SSi] An excellent survey of British music for string orchestra both well known and new, with for me, the Berkeley being the stand-out piece.

COLORS Works by Vitali, Janáček, Prokofiev, Beethoven & Debussy - Jessica Lee (violin) Reiko Uchida (piano) rec. 2015 AZICA RECORDS ACD-71305 [72:19] [DHu] If “comparisons are odious”, this delectable recital should prove the point.

Concerti Bizarri Works by Fasch, Telemann, Heinichen, Vivaldi & Graupner - Irish Baroque O/Monica Huggett rec. 2015 LINN RECORDS CKD526 [73:41] [JV] The performances are as good as one would wish.

Cyprus between Greek East & Latin West Cappella Romana/Alexander Lingas rec. 2015 CAPPELLA ROMANA CR416-CD [64:46] [JV] Anyone interested in early liturgical music should investigate this disc.

Dancing in Daylight  Fidelio Trio rec. 2015 MÉTIER MSV28556 [52:15] [JW] Sympathetic performances, well recorded.

Elite Syncopations Royal Ballet O/Philip Gammon (piano) CRD 3329 [44.32] [PCG] This disc is valuable for letting us hear some of the ragtime music of Joplin’s contemporaries most of which remains almost totally unknown.

Elizabethan Pavans Oleg Timofeyev (lute) rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95236 [66.18] [GH] For modest financial outlay this will give pleasure at any time.

French Harpsichord Music rec. 2005-15 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95250 [29 CDs] [SSi] On the whole an excellent introduction to the French harpsichord school. Gives great insight into the development of the instrument and its performance in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The Great Violins Vol. 2: ‘Niccolň Amati’ 1647 - Peter Sheppard Skćrved (violin) Roderick Chadwick (piano) rec. 2015 ATHENE ATH23205 [63:16] [JF] Enthusiasts of historical violins will be eagerly awaiting succeeding volumes of this most worthy and enjoyable project.

Hush Collection Vol. 14 Live In Concert rec. 2014 HUSH MUSIC FOUNDATION HUSH014 [79:55] [BMC] A wonderful collection of selections from past Hush releases.

Hymns from King’s Ch King’s College, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury rec. 2015 KING'S COLLEGE KGS0014 [70:15] [ST] The performances here are self-recommending.

Italian works for oboe & piano Luciano Franca (oboe) Filippo Pantieri (pianoforte storico) rec. 2012 TACTUS TC850002 [69:16] [PRB] If you like the sound of a finely-played oboe, music that is both easy on the ear as well as unfamiliar in the main, then there is much to enjoy here.

Simone Kermes (soprano) Love - La Magnifica Comunitŕ/Enrico Casazza (violin/director) rec. April 2015 SONY 88875 111382 [65:25] [JW] Kermes is Kermes and always worth hearing.

John Kitchen (organ) Gaudeamus Igitur rec. 2015 DELPHIAN DCD34163 [72:00] [JF] A recital of the high standard one expects from John Kitchen, a CD to savour and enjoy.

Klemperer in Philadelphia Vols 1 & 2: Works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart & Schumann - Philadelphia O rec. 1962 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC465/7 [4 CDs 281:37] [RWM] A rare chance to hear Klemperer and a great American orchestra in superbly restored sound.

Sergei Krasavin (bassoon) Works by Mozart, Saint-Saëns & Vivaldi -  I. Loyevsky, A. Nasedkin (piano) USSR State SO & Soloists/Yuri Temirkanov rec. 1981/85 MELODIYA MELCD1002355 [59:35] [GPJ] Very fine bassoon playing, though the Vivaldi concertos are marred by massive string tone.

Germaine Lubin (soprano) Complete Recordings rec. 1927-38 MARSTON 52070-2 [142:33] [JW] One of the foremost, if not the foremost French Wagnerians of her time.

Germaine Lubin (soprano) The Complete Recordings rec. 1927/38 MARSTON 52070-2 [74:44 + 67:49] [SG] I can see why many regard Lubin as the greatest French dramatic soprano of the twentieth century.

Les Musiciens et la Grande Guerre XV: Ŕ Nos Morts Ignorés - Marc Mauillon (baritone) Anne Le Bozec (piano) HORTUS 715 [76:26] [JQ] An enterprising programme but the singing is far too one-dimensional.

Now Comes Beauty English Music Festival Commissions - BBC Concert O/Gavin Sutherland rec. 2014/16 EM RECORDS EMR CD037–38 [115:05] [RB] A depth of focus that extends beyond revivals to the vigorous creative life of today's composers.

Paradis sur Terre Works by Caplet, Boulanger, Debussy & Chaminade - Nicky Spence (tenor) Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHAN10893 [64:44] [ST] Well worth exploring.

Antonio Pedrotti in Prague Jan Panenka (piano) Czech PO/Antonio Pedrotti rec. 1951-1971 SUPRAPHON ARCHIV SU4199-2 [3 CDs: 231:35] [RB] A fascinating historical retrieval from deep in the Supraphon vaults.

Portuguese Music for Cello & Orchestra Works by Braga Santos Costa, Freitas Branco & Lopes-Graça - Bruno Borralhinho (cello), Gulbenkian O/Pedro Neves rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573461 [65:09] [JF] A thought-provoking CD of unfamiliar music.

Leonard Rose (cello) Legendary Treasures rec. 1961-73 DOREMI DHR8038-39 [75:36 + 79:07] [SG] These compelling performances provide valuable additions to the cellist’s discography

Songs from the Netherlands Elisabeth von Magnus (soprano) Jacob Bogaart (piano) Quirine Viersen (cello)
rec. 2004/7 NEDERLANDS MUZIEK INSTITUUT NMICD1201 [65:22] [JW] Rare examples of songs by Dutch composers, attractively presented.

WH Squire (cello) Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1894) Clarinet Trio Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Trio - Haydn P Draper (clarinet), Arthur Catterall (violin), Hamilton Harty, William Murdoch (piano) rec. 1924-28 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM101 [77:24] [JW] These restorations have done Squire proud.

Leopold Stokowski (conductor) Twentieth Century Americana - Tommy Dorsey (trombone) James Abato (saxophone) New York City SO, Radio Italiana O Turin, Hollywood Bowl SO rec. 1945/55 GUILD HISTORICAL GHCD2424 [64:57] [RB] Two unusual concertos and a Symphonette, the latter and the Shilkret having a popular emphasis. More evidence of Stokowski's catholic tastes in presenting premieres.

Strings Attached Clarinet works by Brahms & Schumann - Arno Piters (clarinet) rec. 2012 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72572 SACD [59:08] [OL] Arrangements which provide beautiful alternatives to the originals.

Conchita Supervia (mezzo soprano) Complete Edition Vol. 5 rec. 1928-30 MARSTON 51010-2 [70:07] [JW] Exciting news for Supervia completists who will have almost given up hope of these rarities.

The Art of Svetlanov USSR State SO/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. 1962-85 SCRIBENDUM SC501 [20 CDs: 24 hrs] [RB] Svetlanov-philes and Tchaikovskians will find this collection irresistible. It shows the conductor active in both accustomed and unaccustomed repertoire.

Rodion Tolmachev (bassoon) Works by Jolivet, Vivaldi & Weber - Mariinsky Theatre O/Ivan Stolbov rec. 2013/14 MELODIYA MELCD1002413 [64:32] [GPJ] Not the best recorded sound; but Tolmachev’s playing of the great Jolivet Concerto is simply stunning.

TranceClassical Maya Beiser (cello) Andrew McKenna Lee (electric guitar) Morean from Dark Fortress INNOVA 952 [65:42] [DC] A rich and imaginative vein of ancient-meets-new.

Towards Verklärte Nacht Gabriella Sborgi (mezzo-soprano) O Camera di Mantova Sextet/Alessandro Maria Carnelli rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95288 [63:44] [RMo] I cannot recommend the performance of the main work over established, classic recordings, but it remains a fascinating and educative enterprise.

A Tribute To The Mighty Handful Russian Guitar Qt rec. 2014 DELOS DE3518 [64:38] [RMay] Entertaining takes on familiar and lesser-known music rearranged for the Russian guitar.

Le Voyage d'Allemagne Works by Bach, Schenck & Telemann - Emmanuelle Guigues (viola da gamba) rec. 2013 ENCELADE ECL1404 [62:29] [JV] Telemann and Schenk are beautifully played.

Bruno Walter (conductor) Standard Hour - Works by Wagner, Mozart, Haydn & Weber - Brunetta Mazzolini (soprano) San Francisco SO/Bruno Walter rec. 1954 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC469 [55:47] [JW] The relatively brief novelties here will certainly be tempting to the tightly-focused collector.

Other Reviews

Nathaniel Gow's Dance Band Fiddle music from Scottish printed sources 1761-1823 - Concerto Caledonia rec 2015 CONCERTO CALEDONIA CONCAL13 [52:27] [JV] Even if you don't particularly like folk music there is a good chance that you will enjoy this disc.

The Life and Works of Andrzej Panufnik by Beata Bolesławska, translated by Richard J. Reisner, publ. 2015 Ashgate Publishing Company [JF] This book will help present a framework for enjoying and appreciating his compositions.

The Essential Colin Wilson Read by the author rec. 1986 NIMBUS NI5124 [67.36] [PCG] Those of us who love musical adventure will also find it gratifying to have our pleasure given a philosophical justification.

Articles and Notices

Listening Room Report by John Quinn

Download News 2016/8 by Brian Wilson

An interview with tenor Piotr Beczała by Michael Cookson

An interview with Gabriel Jackson by John Quinn

Joubert opera to receive its first professional performance - A preview by Rob Barnett

ASV returns: Hispanic steps - A survey by Rob Barnett

Beulah: At the 2016 Proms by Brian Wilson

An interview with conductor Christopher Seaman by Geoffrey Newman

National discographies: Mid-year update by Mike Herman

 




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