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Monthly Listing
June 2016
198 reviews this month


Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 1, Ballades - Paul Lewis (piano) Swedish RSO/Daniel Harding rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902191 [72:07] [ST] The best Brahms 1 we’ve had for years.

Dario CASTELLO (? - 1644) Sonate Concertate 1629 - Musica Fiata/Roland Wilson rec. 2013 CPO 555011-2 [81:36] [JV] This music is very exciting and so is the playing of Musica Fiata.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Organ Works - Benjamin Nicholas (organ) rec. 2015 DELPHIAN DCD34162 [68.33] [IL] One of the very best of the Elgar organ music albums.

Friedrich Theodor FRÖHLICH (1803-1836) String Quartets - Rasumowsky Qt rec. 2014/15 CPO 555017-2 [61.43 + 63.18] [MW] What a discovery!

Olivier GREIF (1950-2000) Sonate de Requiem, Piano Trio - Emmanuelle Bertrand (cello) Pascal Amoyel (piano) Antje Weithaas (violin) rec. 2005 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901900 [62:04] [BBa] Beautifully-crafted music of lasting worth which, once grasped, will not be easily forgotten.

Henry MADIN (1698-1748) Te Deum & Diligam te, Domine - Les Cris de Paris/Geoffroy Jourdain, Stradivaria/Daniel Cuiller rec. 2015 ALPHA 963 [69:09] [JV] One can easily imagine that Madin's compositions were received with enthusiasm.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Piano solos and duos - Lucille Chung, Alessio Bax (piano) rec. 2015 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD455 [62:10] [DM] Chung is fluent in the solos and fiery in the duos; a sonic treat, too.

Erik SATIE (1866-1925) Socrate - Barbara Hannigan (soprano) Reinbert de Leeuw (piano) rec. 2015 WINTER & WINTER 910 234-2 [50:43] [SSi] If you only buy one disc of Satie this year, it should be this one.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quintet, Lieder - Quatuor Ebčne, Gautier Capuçon (cello) Matthias Goerne (baritone) Laurčne Durantel (double bass) rec. 2015 ERATO 2564 648761 [72:06] [LW] A superlative account of Schubert’s String Quintet makes this indispensable.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphonies 2 & 8 - Royal Liverpool PO/Andrew Manze rec. 2015 ONYX 4155 [76:28] [SG] Terrific performances and convincing interpretations. I can’t wait for the next instalment.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Forza del Destino - Anja Harteros (soprano) Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) Bayerisches Staatsorchester/Asher Fisch rec. 2014 SONY CLASSICAL 88875160649 [2 DVDs: 178 mins] [ST] Unless you only wish for traditional staging, this is now the one to go for.

Conversations Sonatas & Concerti by Quentin & Guillemain - Nevermind rec. 2015 ALPHA CLASSICS 235 [74:09] [JV] Musical conversations at the highest level.

The Lion’s Ear Tribute to Pope Leo X - La Morra rec. 2015 RAMÉE RAM1403 [65:35] [GPu] Teaches and delights in equal measure.

Views from Ararat Works by Saygun, Babadschanjan & Bagdassarian - Rebekka Hartmann (violin) Margarita Oganesjan (piano) rec. 2014 FARAO CLASSICS B108086 [83:20] [SG] Hauntingly evocative music. Full marks all round.

Samuel ADLER (b.1928) Symphony 6, Cello Concerto, Drifting on Winds and Currents - Maximilian Hornung (cello) Royal Scottish Ntl O/José Serebrier rec. 2015 LINN CKD545 [59:00] [MR] Vivid orchestral colour from an overlooked American composer.

Domenico ALBERTI (1710-1740) Complete Keyboard Music - Manuel Tomadin (harpsichord, fortepiano, organ) rec. 2013/14 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95161 [276:00] [JV] Tomadin delivers fine performances but the mistaken choice of the fortepiano is a serious flaw.

Daniel-François Esprit AUBER (1782-1871) Opera Overtures Vol. 1 - O Régional de Cannes/Wolfgang Dörner rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573553 [63:53] [DM] There’s little charm or charisma in this collection; dreadful sonics, too.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Three Violinists play Bach - Devy Erlih, Henri Merckel, Reinhold Barchet (violin) Kurt Kalmus (oboe) Munich Pro Arte CO/Kurt Redel rec. mid-1950s OPUS KURA OPK7043 [67:49] [SG] Bach playing from the ‘good old days’.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites - Petrit Çeku (guitar) rec. 2014/15 EUDORA EUD-SACD-1602 SACD [133:28] [DHu] Life’s not complete without Bach’s cello suites on the guitar, and this is as good a place to start.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin sonatas & partitas - Rachel Barton Pine (violin) rec. 2015 AVIE AV2360 [60:48 + 64:45] [SSi] Up there with the best.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St Matthew Passion - Ernst Haefliger (tenor) Irmgard Seefried (soprano) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (bass) Munich Bach O & Ch/Karl Richter rec. 1958 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO126 [3 CDs: 198:41] [JW] Those new to this classic recording will enjoy the sympathetic restoration here.

Michael William BALFE (1808-1870) Satanella - Sally Silver (soprano), John Powell Singers, Victorian Opera O/Richard Bonynge rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.660378-79 [2 CDs: 111.46] [PCG] Satanella may not be a masterpiece, but it is great fun.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Piano Works - Cédric Tiberghien (piano) rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68123 [77:33] [SB] I enjoyed this recital immensely.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) By Arrangement - Péter Nagy (piano) Divertimento Budapest/Vidor Nagy (viola, conductor) rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0351 [60:57] [JW] Doubtless a specialised market for it.

Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) Concerto for Orchestra, Viola Concerto - Daniel Benyamini (viola) Boston SO/Rafael Kubelik; O de Paris/Daniel Barenboim rec. 1973/78 ELOQUENCE 480 0713 [60:22] [SV] Kubelik delivers a fine performance of the main work, but the Barenboim/Benyamini concerto disappoints.

Paul BAZELAIRE (1886–1958) Complete works for cello and piano - Morten Zeuthen (cello) Daniel Blumenthal (piano) rec. 2014/15 SIMAX CLASSICS PSC1355 [73:38] [GF] Highly desirable– not only for cellists – with a lot of music available on CD for the first time.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 1–9 - Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2015 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS BPHR160091 [5 CDs + 3 Blu-ray: 343.26] [RWe] An attractive choice for anyone who favours owning what is basically the same magnificent cycle in three disc formats and a download option.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas 1-10 - Franco Gulli (violin) Enrica Cavallo (piano) rec. 1956-59  FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1151-3 [3 CDs: 227:48] [SG] Hats off for this release of a rare and compelling Beethoven Violin Sonata cycle, making its long-awaited debut on CD.

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen - Christine Rice (mezzo) Bryan Hymel (tenor) Royal Opera House O & Ch/Constantinos Carydis OPUS ARTE OABD7188D Blu-ray [149:45] [MC] Strong lead characters with an enthusiastic supporting cast adds significantly to the success of this well filmed revival of Francesca Zambello’s colourful and gratifying production.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Double Concerto, Symphony 4 - Amanda Forsyth (cello) Canada Ntl Arts Centre O/Pinchas Zukerman (violin) rec. 2015 ANALEKTA AN28782 [73:31] [GPJ] Despite the virtuoso soloists, rather pedestrian performances of both of these Brahms masterworks.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Serenade 2, Alto Rhapsody, Symphony 2 - Sara Mingardo (alto) Bavarian Radio Ch, Lucerne Festival O/Andris Nelsons rec. 2014 ACCENTUS MUSIC Blu-ray ACC10325 [109:00] [JQ] Charismatic performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 1, Ballades - Paul Lewis (piano) Swedish RSO/Daniel Harding rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902191 [72:07] [LW] Brahms First Concerto well played and recorded, though lacking in youthful fire.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Solo Piano Works Vol. 4 - Barry Douglas (piano) rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHAN10857 [82:57] [RWe] Barry Douglas is a great Brahmsian – a superb instalment in a superb series.

Walter BRAUNFELS (1882-1954) Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - Piers Lane (piano) BBC Concert O/Johannes Wildner rec. 2012/14 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7327 [65:27] [JQ] An excellent and very welcome addition to Dutton’s Braunfels series.

Leo BROUWER (b. 1939) Concierto de Benicŕssim Joaquin RODRIGO (1901-1999) Concierto de Aranjuez Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Guitare - Miguel Trápaga (guitar) Real Filharmonía de Galicia/Óliver Díaz rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573542 [67:27] [DHu] Behind the plain packaging is an exceptional concert of guitar-centred works.

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Complete String Quartets - Diogenes Qt rec. 2014/15 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95051 [79:57] [MC] A wonderful opportunity to trace the very early development of this much loved composer.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony in F - Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller rec. 2015 HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH15004 [43.23] [RMo] Not a great deal of the music here is especially memorable but it is certainly intriguing.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 5 - London PO/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski rec. 2015 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO0090 [78.51] [MC] The reputation of Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony is served marvellously by this inspirational live performance from the LPO under Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Mass 3, Psalm 146, Organ works - Philharmonischer Chor München, Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller (organ) rec. 2015 PROFIL PH16034 [60:21 + 56:48] [RMo] Special for both the well-known Mass and the less familiar works.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Mass 3, Psalm 146, Organ works - Philharmonischer Ch München, Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller (organ) rec. 2015 PROFIL PH16034 [60:21 + 56:48] [MC] Schaller’s deep concentration draws engaging and tautly committed performances.

Anthony BURGESS (1917-1993) Mr WS, Marche pour une revolution, Mr Burgess’s Almanack - Brown University O/Paul Phillips rec. 2005-2014 NAXOS 8.573472 [67.37] [PCG] Let us be grateful for what is furnished here.

George BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916) Fantasia Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) The Melodist and the Nightingale Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Variations - Aleksei Kiseliov (cello) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Martin Yates rec. 2015 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7326 [61:55] [JQ] A fascinating disc which lovers of British music will find a rewarding experience.

Maurizio CAZZATI (1616-1678) Mass & Psalms - Ens Voces Suaves/Francesco Saverio Pedrini; Adrien Pičce (organ) rec. 2015 CLAVES 50-1605 [61:55] [JV] Good, straight performances with fine singing and playing.

Ruperto CHAPÍ (1851-1909) String Quartets 1 & 2 - Cuarteto Latinoamericano rec. 2014 DORIAN SONO LUMINUS DSL-92185 [71:14] [RB] A whirl of virtuosity coupled with a potent vein of fantasy and a generous heart and imagination.

Nigel CLARKE (b.1960) Music for Thirteen Solo Strings - Longbow/Peter Sheppard Skćrved (violin) rec. 2014/15 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0325 [72:10] [RB] Nigel Clarke’s music is distilled, blade-keen melodic; poignant and searching.

John CORIGLIANO (b. 1938) The Ghosts of Versailles - Patricia Racette (soprano) Christopher Maltman (bass)  Los Angeles Opera/James Conlon rec. 2015 PENTATONE PTC5186538 SACD [80:57 + 74:37] [PCG] Those who have yet to encounter this significant work will find that the musical elements are well served here.

Matthew CURTIS (b. 1959) Orchestral Works Vol. 5 - Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland CAMPION CAMEO 2090 [75:14] [JW] If you are still mourning the passing of the Golden Age of British Light Music, lend an ear to Matthew Curtis.

Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) Grand Concerto, Grand Nocturne Brilliant & Rossini Variations - Rosemary Tuck (piano) English CO/Richard Bonynge rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573417 [66:16] [DHu] Everybody giving Czerny their best shot – but I’m not converted.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Lucia di Lammermoor - Maria Callas (soprano) Giuseppe Di Stefano (tenor) RIAS SO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1955 MINUET RECORDS 428412 [76:17 + 68:19] [RMo] This new Minuet issue represents good value as long as you can do without the text.

Andrew DOWNES (b.1950) Symphonies 1-4, Concert Overtures - Czech PO/Ondřej Vrabec rec. 2015 ARTESMON AS7442 [62.40 + 58.31] [PCG] A thoroughly worthwhile release.

Guillaume DUFAY (c.1397-1474) The Tenor Masses - Cut Circle/Jesse Rodin rec. 2014 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW1577-78 [67:21 + 70:08] [GH] These masses make excellent bed-fellows and the technically assured performers are clearly inside the music.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 6, Slavonic Dances - Houston Symphony/Andrés Orozco-Estrada rec. 2015 PENTATONE PTC5186575 SACD [51:36] [BW] Well worth considering but try the alternatives too.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 8, Carnival overture Josef SUK (1875-1935) Serenade for Strings - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2016 BR KLASSIK 900145 [73:14] [JQ] Three very fine performances of Czech masterpieces.

Sir George DYSON (1883-1964) The Complete Organ Works - Daniel Cook (organ) rec. 2014 PRIORY PRCD1136 [66:23] [JQ] A notable addition to the Dyson discography.

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] [RB] Delightful … a grand version of the Elgar that will speak to music-lovers everywhere.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius, Severn Suite - Robert Tear (tenor) Alfreda Hodgson (contralto) Benjamin Luxon (baritone) Scottish Ntl Ch & O/Sir Alexander Gibson, London Collegiate Brass/James Stobart rec. 1976/85 CRD 33267 [2 CDs: 109:24] [PCG] A first-time comer to Gerontius could do worse.

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] [RB] One brilliant nationalistic dance suite and two major concert works from an otherwise unheard 20th century Turkish composer.

Ferenc FARKAS (1905–2000) Orchestral Music Vol. 3 - Lajos Lencsés (oboe), Franz Liszt CO rec. 2014 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0217 [71:58] [RB] Succulent charm and the courage to be succinct.

Zdeněk FIBICH (1850-1900) & Radu PALADI (1927-2013) String Quartets - Martfeld Qt rec. 2015 COVIELLO CLASSICS SACD COV91607 [51:17] [DBi] A well played and recorded disc of interesting and attractive quartets by two lesser known composers.

Gerhard FROMMEL (1906-1984) Piano Sonatas 4-7 - Tatjana Blome (piano) rec. 2013 GRAND PIANO GP640 [70:40] [RK] I will listen to some of the sonatas again, but in the end, cannot feel too bad that the world has mostly forgotten Frommel.

Alberto GINASTERA (1916 -1983) The Vocal Album - Ana María Martínez, Virginia Tola (soprano) Plácido Domingo (tenor) Santa Barbara SO/Gisčle Ben-Dor rec. 2002-14 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 686830 [53:07] [HC] A very fine Ginastera release and a most welcome addition to this composer's discography.

Karl GOLDMARK (1830-1915) Rustic Wedding Symphony, Prometheus Overture - Robert-Schumann Philharmonie/Frank Beermann rec. 2010 CPO 7774842 [58:31] Karl GOLDMARK Rustic Wedding Symphony Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Legend, The Golden Spinning Wheel - Royal PO/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. 1947-59 BEULAH 5PDR4 [69:18] [BW] Beecham for sheer magic.  Beermann for a fine performance, modern sound, and a very interesting coupling.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Orchestral Works Vol. 2 - Lieder Cŕmera, Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya SO/Pablo González rec. 2013/14 NAXOS 8.573264 [56:57] [RB] A fascinating opportunity to encounter a composer better known for his music for solo piano.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Chamber Music with Piano - Trio Rodin rec. 2013 ĆVEA CLASSICS AE16013 [72:25] [DJB] Superb performances of some quite lovely music that should be better known.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Piano Quintet & piano works - Thomas Rajna (piano) Alberni String Qt CRD 3335 [55:13] [SB] If you like this combination then this will do very well.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Violin Sonatas 1-3 - Daniela Cammarano (violin) Alessandro Deljavan (piano) rec. 2014 ĆVEA CLASSICS AE15010 [76:45] [RK] A big, heart-on-the-sleeve conception of Grieg.

Christopher GUNNING (b. 1944) Violin & cello soncertos, Birdflight - Harriet Mackenzie (violin) Richard Harwood (cello) Royal PO/Christopher Gunning rec. 2015 DISCOVERY MUSIC AND VISION DMV119 [74:56] [RB] Breathy airborne singing … summer-fragrant and sweetly lyrical.

George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759) Alcina - Patricia Petibon (soprano) Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor) Ch MusicAeterna, Freiburg Baroque O/Andrea Marcon rec. 2015 ERATO Blu-ray 9029 597435 [182:00] [MC] A treat from start to finish - imaginative and certainly risqué with the finest imaginable singing from an impressive cast.

George Friderick HANDEL (1685-1759) Messiah - Dora Labbette (soprano) Muriel Brunskill (contralto) Hubert Eisdell (tenor) Harold Williams (bass) BBC Ch & O/ Sir Thomas Beecham rec. 1927 PRISTINE PACO129 [61:03 + 63:05] [PSt] An excellent transfer given the problems with the original recording.

Ross HARRIS (b. 1945) Symphony 5, Violin Concerto - Ilya Gringolts (violin) Sally-Anne Russell (mezzo-soprano) Auckland PO/Garry Walker, Eckehard Stier rec. 2013/15 NAXOS 8.573532 [65:24] [RB] A delicate yet steely concerto paired with an unusually structured poetic-tragic Symphony.

Jonathan HARVEY (1939-2012) Deo - Ch St John’s College, Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha rec. 2015 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD456 [60:24] [ST] A most auspicious beginning to what, I hope, will be a very fruitful working relationship.

Johann Adolf HASSE (1699–1783) Complete Solo Cantatas Vol. 1 - Jana Dvořáková (soprano) Veronika Mráčková Fučíková (mezzo), Hof-Musici rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0228 [68:22] [SSi] A good introduction to Hasse's chamber cantatas.

Roy HEATON SMITH (1928-2014) Opening the Door - Clare Wilkinson (mezzo) Linda Merrick (clarinet) Benedict Holland (violin) Alistair Vennart (viola) Harvey Davies, Ewa Tytman (piano) rec. 1958-2015 DIVINE ART DDA21228 [60:45 + 63:08] [JF] Essential listening for all enthusiasts of British music from the second half of the 20th century.

Bernard HERRMANN (1911-1975) Classic Film Scores - National PO/Charles Gerhardt rec. 1974 [52:08] Fantasy Film World - National PO/Bernard Herrmann rec. 1974 [45:59] Franz WAXMAN (1906-1967) Classic Film Scores - National PO/Charles Gerhardt rec. 1974 [53:35] HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS BD-A  [DHu] Manna from Heaven for surround-sound buffs, but stereophiles should stick with the CD alternatives.

Edward Burlingame HILL (1872-1960) Symphony 4, Piano Concertinos 1 & 2, Divertimento - Anton Nel (piano) Austin SO/Peter Bay rec. 2013/14 BRIDGE 9443 [60:42] [JQ] Music by a neglected American composer which is worth seeking out.

Jacques IBERT (1890-1962) Orchestral Works - Suisse Romande O/Neeme Järvi rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHSA5168 SACD [82:15] [CRo] An attractive introduction to Ibert’s exquisitely crafted orchestral music.

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Music for String Orchestra - Raphael Wallfisch (cello), O of the Swan/David Curtis rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.571372 [63.34] [IL] Will appeal strongly to John Ireland admirers.

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Music for String Orchestra - Raphael Wallfisch (cello), O of the Swan/David Curtis rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.571372 [63.34] [DHu] Ireland arranged for strings as faithfully and beautifully as we hope he might have imagined.

Joseph JONGEN (1873–1953) Tableaux pittoresques, Sarabande triste, Suite, Pages intimes - Nathan Braude (viola) Royal PO de Ličge/Jean-Pierre Haeck rec. 2014 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW1575 [63:00] [RB] A most welcome disc that enthusiasts of impressionistic romanticism need to explore.

Giya KANCHELI (b.1935) Symphonies 4-6, Mourned by the Wind - Yuri Bashmet (viola) State SO of Georgia/Jansug Kakhidze rec. 1978/88 MELODIYA MELCD1002286 [50.33 + 73.31] [RB] Unless you want Kancheli's music written since coming to the West this will do very nicely.

Elena KATS-CHERNIN (b. 1957) Butterflying - Tamara-Anna Cislowska, Elena Kats-Chernin (piano) rec. 2015 ABC CLASSICS 481 2625 [64:17 + 63:38] [RB] Chimingly liquid and memorably melodic music stylishly and authoritatively profiled.

Aram Il’yich KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Symphony 2, Lermontov Suite - Russian PO/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570436 [52:30] [DM] Refinement at the expense of character; superb sound, though.

Oskar KOLBERG (1814-1890) Pieces for Piano and Songs - Mariusz Rutkowski (piano) Anna Radziejewska (mezzo soprano) Karol Kozłowski, Tadeusz Szlenkier, Dariusz Stachura (tenor) rec. 2014 DUX 1142-43 [67:42 + 72:44] [JW] The musicians are adroit guides to pieces that have localised charm but sometimes lack definable expressive power.

László LAJTHA (1892–1963) Symphonie Les Soli, Sinfoniettas 1 & 2 - Budapest Ch Symphony rec. 2012/13 BMC RECORDS BMCCD189 [75:23] [HC] A splendid addition to Lajtha's discography.

Joseph LANNER (1801–1843) Viennese Dances - O de Cannes/Wolfgang Dörner rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573552 [68:29] [GF] Wholly charming.

Joseph LANNER (1801-1843) Viennese Dances - O de Cannes/Wolfgang Dörner rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573552 [68:29] [RMay] Undemanding music that, in idiomatic performances like these, will put a smile on your face.

Orlandus LASSUS (1532-1594) Prophetiae Sibyllarum - Vocalconsort Berlin/Daniel Reuss rec. 2015 ACCENT ACC24307 [49:06] [JV] Reuss and his singers deliver a strong case for these masterpieces.

Mischa LEVITZKI (1898-1941) Complete Works For Piano Solo & works by Gabrilowitsch & Friedman - Margarita Glebov (piano) rec. 2014/15 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0334 [78:26] [RB] Enriches the listening experience with unexpected perspectives. Not everything has striking musical substance but there is much to impress and delight.

Franz LISZT (1811–1886) Complete Songs Vol. 4 - Sasha Cooke (mezzo) Julius Drake (piano) rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68117 [60:32] [GF] An obligatory buy for every song enthusiast.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Études d'exécution transcendante - Dinara Klinton (piano) rec. 2015 GENUIN CLASSICS GEN16409 [67:21] [RWe] Few recent accounts of these works are as completely satisfying as this.

Antonio LOTTI (1667-1740) Crucifixus - Syred Consort, O of St Pauls/Ben Palmer rec. 2015 DELPHIAN DCD34182 [79:28] [CRo] A revelation of a musical personality who speaks with a directness that is both beguiling and compelling.

Harl McDONALD (1899-1955) The Music of Harl McDonald Vol. 2 - Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Harl McDonald, Arthur Fiedler rec. 1937-50 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC430 [78:06] [JW] The excellent transfers bring the music to life in the best possible way.

Harl McDONALD (1899-1955) The Music of Harl McDonald Vol. 2 - Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Harl McDonald, Arthur Fiedler rec. 1937-50 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC430 [78:06] [RB] A surprisingly varied cross-section of this once extremely popular music.

Sir James MACMILLAN (b. 1959) Since it was the Day of Preparation - Brindley Sherratt (bass) Synergy Vocals, Hebrides Ens rec. 2015 DELPHIAN DCD34168 [72:16] [JQ] A highly impressive recent work by Sir James MacMillan receives an accomplished and committed first recording.

Albéric MAGNARD (1865-1914) & Rudi STEPHAN (1887-1915) Works for violin & piano - Judith Ingolfsson (violin) Vladimir Stoupel (piano) rec. 2014 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC303711 [54:47] [JW] This is the first of three discs from the duo to reflect a WWI theme.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphonies 7-9 - Philharmonia O/Lorin Maazel rec. 2011 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD362 [6 CDs: 281:29] [JQ] The last volume of Maazel’s live Mahler cycle is variable but includes a remarkable performance of the Ninth.

Riccardo MALIPIERO (1914–2003) Complete Music for Solo Piano - José Raúl López (piano) rec. 2001-11 TOCCATA TOCC0129 [55:44] [RB] Tough music presented with professional attention to detail and artistic qualities.

Nicholas MARSHALL (b.1942) Songs & Chamber Music - James Gilchrist (tenor) Manchester Ch Ens rec. 2014 METIER MSV28552 [74:54] [RB] Countryside affinities and a songster's gift for word-setting.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Suites from Špalíček, Rhapsody-Concerto - Mikhail Zemtsov (viola) Estonian Ntl SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2014/15 CHANDOS CHAN10885 [64:55] [SB] Martinů is always entertaining and delightful and this is a useful coupling.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Complete Piano Trios - Smetana Trio rec. 2015 SUPRAPHON SU4197-2 [71:30] [RK] The Smetana plays these pieces like the great music they are.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Elias - RIAS Kammerchor, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2015 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC30356 [63:15 + 62:51] [JQ] A compelling account of Elias that tells the story vividly and confirms the true stature of the work.

Benoît MERNIER (b. 1964) La grâce exilée - Lorenzo Gatto (violin) David Lively (piano), Belgique Ntl O/Andrey Boreyko, Royal PO de Ličge/Pascal Rophé, Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon Ntl O/Ernest Martínez Izquierdo rec. 2010/15 CYPRES CYP4644 [61:24] [HC] Yet another very fine release devoted to Mernier's challenging, though beautiful music.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Complete Works for Solo Piano - Roger Muraro (piano) rec. 1998-2001 ACCORD 4812563 [7 CDs + 2 DVDs: 606:41] [SG] For anyone wanting the complete solo works you couldn’t get better than this.

Krzysztof MEYER (b.1943) Piano Quartet; Piano Quintet - Silesian String Qt, Piotr Sałajczyk (piano) rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573357 [64:45] [BW] Those hesitant about modern music should sample at length; admirers of Meyer’s chamber music should be very happy with this CD.

Ludwig MINKUS (1826-1917) Don Quixote - Ballet & O Teatro Alla Scala/Alexander Titov rec. 2014 C MAJOR 735708 DVD [120:00] [IL] Osipova and Sarafanov sparkle in an otherwise uneven production.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) L’Orfeo - Taverner Consort and Players/Andrew Parrott rec. 2012 AVIE AV2278 [47:17 + 56:15] [BW] Not perhaps one of the very top runners but not far behind: well worth considering.

Alexander MOSOLOV (1900-1973) Complete Works for Solo Piano - Olga Andryushchenko (piano) rec. 2015 GRAND PIANO GP703-04 [48:06 + 46:37] [RK] Another fine Grand Piano project.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Sonatas - Alina Ibragimova (violin), Cédric Tiberghien (piano) rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68091 [50:29 + 53:28] [CRo] This set is captivating, and true to Mozart’s spirit.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 5 & 6, Three Concertos after JC Bach - Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano) Die Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2084 SACD [69:30] [MG] Excellent recording, good performances, but for me the wrong approach to the K107 concertos.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 22 & 24 - Cristofori/Arthur Schoonderwoerd (fortepiano) rec. 2015 ACCENT ACC24313 [65:52] [BW] Illuminating but not totally convincing small-scale interpretations.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Le Nozze De Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosě fan tutte - Ch & O Zürich Opera House/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 1996-2001 ARTHAUS MUSIC Blu-ray 109236 [ca 10 hrs] [RJF] Many much better performances available but the virtue of price and Blu-ray will appeal to some as will the casting of favourite guest singers.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Gran Partita Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Notturno - Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ens/Trevor Pinnock rec. 2015 LINN RECORDS CKD516 SACD [60:31] [JQ] A delectable disc; especially recommended for listening on a warm summer’s evening.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Suite, String Quartet 2 Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-1996) String Quartet 2 - Peter Sauermann (piano), Musica Vitalis Qt rec. 1954/97 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1035 [73:06] [JW] An unusual coupling, but a worthwhile one.

Matvey NIKOLAEVSKY (1882–1942) Piano Music, Songs & Orchestral Dances - Svetlana Zlobina (mezzo)Mikhail Mordvinov (piano) Moscow SO/Filipp Chizhevsky rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0324 [82:23] [RB] Toccata teach us a thing or ten about some neglected pages of Russian musical culture and entertain us into the bargain.

Per NŘRGĹRD (b. 1932) Symphonies 4 & 5 - Oslo PO/John Storgĺrds rec. 2015 DACAPO 6.220646 SACD [55:52] [DM] John Storgĺrds makes a strong case for these symphonies; the recording is among Dacapo’s best.

Michael NYMAN (b. 1944) Complete Piano Music - Jeroen van Veen (piano) rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95112 [57:07 + 53:42] [SSi] Not the complete piano music, but an attractive and well performed collection anyway.

Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933) Concertos for Wind Instruments and Orchestra - Agata Kielar-Długosz (flute) Arkadiusz Krupa (oboe) Kateřina Javůrková (horn) Arkadiusz Adamski (clarinet) Polska SO Iuventus/Krzysztof Penderecki rec. 2015 DUX 1274 [47:17] [LW] Authoritative and attractive Penderecki, though of rather short measure.

Nikolai PEYKO (1916-1995) Complete Piano Music Vols 1 & 2 - Dmitry Korostelyov; Maria Dzhemesiuk (pianos) rec. 2008/9 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0104/5 [62:06 & 64:27] [RB] Curiosity rewarded and further fuelled.

Ignaz Joseph PLEYEL (1757-1831) Piano Trios - IPG Pleyel Klaviertrio rec. 2015 ARS PRODUCTIONS ARS38203 SACD [60:26] [SSi] ‘Hidden Gems’ indeed: the music is lovely and the performances excellent.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony 5, Scythian Suite - Deutsches SO Berlin/Tugan Sokhiev rec. 2013-2014 SONY CLASSICAL 88875 185152 [67:47] [RK] A perfectly respectable performance, but suffers in comparison to the best.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Turandot - Daniela Dessě, Massimo La Guardia, O & Ch Teatro Carlo Felice/Donato Renzetti rec. 2012 DYNAMIC 55764 Blu-ray [119:00] [MC] Giuliano Montaldo’s staging provides satisfaction and succeeds in bringing the characters convincingly to life.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) & Arno BABAJANIAN (1921-1983) Works for solo piano - Raffi Besalyan (piano) rec. 2014 SONO LUMINUS DSL92187 CD & BD-A [65:42] [RWe] Besalyan is an artist who does justice to each of these Rachmaninov works, and the unfamiliar Babajanian morsels are an appetising addition to an appealing release.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) String Quartet Thomas ADČS (b. 1971) Arcadiana Henri DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Ainsi la nuit - Quatuor Varčse rec. 2015 NOMADMUSIC [66.08] [MC] Quatuor Varčse excel with a refreshing combination of twentieth-century works.

Max REGER (1873–1916) Guitar Transcriptions - Laura Young (guitar) rec. 2013 GRAMOLA 99072 [59:56] [JPr] Not a dull moment - what Ms Young does with Reger deserves the highest praise.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Drei Motetten, O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden - SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart/Frieder Bernius rec. 2015/16 CARUS 83.288 [59:23] [SSi] One of the best discs that I have heard of Reger’s music.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Complete Chorale Cantatas - GewandhausChor/Gregor Meyer rec. 2015 CPO 777 984-2 [70:49] [CRo] Fine performances of works that may lack something in charisma and dynamism.

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Symphonies 1 & 3 - Berlin RSO/Gerard Schwarz rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573581 [58:29] [RMay] Distinctive accounts that do much to rehabilitate the hitherto much maligned and little loved third symphony.

Arnold ROSNER (1945–2013) Piano Concerto 2, Gematria, Pastoral Dances, From the Diaries of Adam Czerniaków - Peter Vinograde (piano) Peter Riegert (speaker) London PO/David Amos rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0368 [76:10] [RB] A key addition to the Rosner discography.

John RUTTER (b. 1945) Psalmfest - St Albans Cathedral Ch & Abbey Girls’ Ch, Royal PO/Andrew Lucas rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573394 [71:43] [JQ] A highly enjoyable collection of psalm settings by John Rutter in excellent performances.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Symphonies 1 & 2 - Ekaterina Sergeeva (mezzo) Alexander Timchenko (tenor) London SO & Ch/Valery Gergiev rec. 2014 LSO LIVE LSO0770 [2 SACDs: 91:09] [DM] A passionate Scriabin First and a very decent Second from Valery Gergiev and the LSO; the sound ranges from excellent to superb.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Symphonies 1 & 2 - Ekaterina Sergeeva (mezzo) Alexander Timchenko (tenor) London SO & Ch/Valery Gergiev rec. 2014 LSO LIVE SACD LSO0770 [50.08 + 41.01] [MC] With playing out of the top drawer the LSO under Valery Gergiev excels with these two early Scriabin symphonies.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies 5, 8 & 9, Hamlet Suite - Boston SO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2015 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 5201 [2 CDs: 157:35] [DM] A first-choice Fifth, a top-echelon Eighth and a treat of a suite; roll on the Seventh.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 13 - Dimiter Petkov (bass) London SO & Ch/André Previn rec.1979 WARNER CLASSIC MASTERS WPCS-23265 [62:38] [DM] Previn and the LSO at their very best, and in gorgeous sound; a bona fide classic.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Finlandia, Karelia suite, Symphony 2 - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2015 BR KLASSIK 900144 [70:18] [DM] A thrilling Finlandia, an odd Karelia and a very individual take on the symphony; for Jansons fans only.

Kaikhosru Shapurji SORABJI (1892-1988) 100 Transcendental Studies 63-71 BIS BIS-1853 [79:26] 100 Transcendental Studies 72–83 - Fredrik Ullén (piano) rec. 2014/15 BIS BIS-2223 [79:25] [RB] Shattering clashes and affluently liquifacient impressionism. Extremely impressive.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Complete Organ Works Vol. 2 - Daniel Cook (organ) rec. 2013 PRIORY PRCD1106 [71:37] [JQ] Stanford’s organ music receives splendid advocacy from Daniel Cook.

John STANLEY (1713-1786) Organ Concertos - Northern Sinfonia O/Gerald Gifford (organ) CRD 3365 [53:50] [PCG] Music which is otherwise unavailable in performances that are excellent both in manner and recording.

Daniel STEIBELT (1765-1823) Piano Sonata & other works - Anna Petrova-Forster (piano) rec. 2015 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR32P [76:14] [SG] This is music that doesn’t move me in any way.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Pulcinella Suite, Apollon Musagčte, Concerto in D - Tapiola Sinfonietta/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2211 SACD [64:55] [DBi] AA nicely recorded and performed disc which I wish I could have enjoyed more.

Gyorgy SVIRIDOV (1915-1998) The Snow-Storm, Pushkin’s Garland, Five Choruses to Lyrics by Russian Poets - Large SO of Moscow Radio/Vladimir Fedoseyev; Moscow Chamber Ch/Vladimir Minin rec. 1986/87 ALTO ALC1317 [76:12] [RB] Fine and revealing … another triumph for Alto.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840–1893) Complete Romances - rec. 1962–90 MELODIYA MELCD1002361 [321:19] [GF] A lot to enjoy in this box but also quite a lot that is far from ideal.

Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto 2 Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Piano Concerto - Xiayin Wang (piano), Royal Scottish Ntl O/Peter Oundjian rec. 2015 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5167 [75:54] [DBi] Fiery and dramatic performances. A superb disc in every respect.

Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto 2 Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Piano Concerto - Xiayin Wang (piano), Royal Scottish Ntl O/Peter Oundjian rec. 2015 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5167 [75:54] [NB] An enjoyable disc which further elevates the good opinions already formed of Xiayin Wang's exceptional talent.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 6 Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Rusalka Fantasy - Pittsburgh SO/Manfred Honeck rec. 2015 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-720 SACD [67:03] [JQ] Thoughtful and thought-provoking Tchaikovsky.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Works for recorder - Bolette Roed (recorder) Alexis Kossenko (transverse flute) Reiko Ichise (viola da gamba) Arte dei Suonatori rec. 2015 DUX 1245 [78:29] [JV] This music is more theatrical than these performances suggest.

Randall THOMPSON (1899-1984) Requiem - Philadelphia Singers/David Hayes rec. 2014 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559789 [55:16] [PCG] A musically worthy representation of a score that certainly does not deserve the total lack of recognition it has achieved thus far.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I Due Foscari - Plácido Domingo (baritone) Francesco Meli (tenor) Maria Agresta (soprano) ROH Ch & O/Antonio Pappano rec. 2015 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7197D [122:00] [RJF] A taut production in period costumes, allied to some notable singing but negated by idiosyncratic casting.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Traviata - Emma Matthews (soprano) Gianluca Terranova (tenor) Australian Opera & Ballet O & Ch/Brian Castles-Onion rec. 2014 ABC CLASSICS DVD 076 2940 [130:00] [RJF] Location, sets and costumes used to perfection.

Pauline VIARDOT (1821-1910) Songs - Ina Kancheva (soprano) Kamelia Kader (mezzo) Christo Tanev (cello) Ludmil Angelov (piano) rec. 2014 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0303 [69:05] [JW] The artists make a good case for the Russian songs in particular.

Zachary WADSWORTH (b.1983) The Far West - Luminous Voices/Timothy Shantz rec. 2015 BRIDGE 9466 [49.47][MW] Well-crafted, elegiac modern choral music, sensitively performed.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser - Lauritz Melchior, Kirsten Flagstad, Metropolitan Opera Ch & O/Erich Leinsdorf rec. 1941 PRISTINE PACO130 [3 CDs: 175:03] [PSt] Even if you already have the Met box or any other previous incarnation, buy it – you will find the improvement in sound quality worth every penny.

Robin WALKER (b. 1953) Orchestral Music - Novaya Rossiya SO/Alexander Walker rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0283 [58:13] [RB] Heartening that music like this was being written in the 1990s and 2000s.

Jan Dismas ZELENKA (1679-1745) Missa Divi Xaverii, Litaniae de Sancto Xaviero - Collegium 1704 & Vocale/Václav Luks rec. 2015 ACCENT ACC24301 [71:28] [JFL] Just the idea of how much Zelenka remains to be discovered makes me very happy.

Apasionado Works by Sarasate, Lalo, Ravel & Waxman - Ning Feng (violin) SO del Principado de Asturias/Rossen Milanov rec. 2015 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS37916 [72:07] [DHu] As a themed programme, this works quite well - but for the individual works, consider the alternatives.

Archipelago of Light Works by Villa-Lobos, Ginastera, Prado & Piazzolla - Tali Morgulis (piano) rec. 2013 DELOS DE3435 [62:05] [OL] Excellent pianism … a colorful album.

Cançons i danses catalanes Works by Llobet, Manén & Mompou - Franz Halász (guitar) rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2092 SACD [60:52] [DHu] Just set aside an hour and immerse yourself in this.

Carneval Oriental Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli (soprano) Charlotte Quadt (mezzo) Pera Ens/Mehmet C. Yeşilçay; L’arte del mondo/Werner Ehrhardt rec. 2015 CAPRICCIO C5263 [55:37] [RK] Those curious about a different approach to 17th-century Italianate music may find pleasure herein.

Youri Egorov (piano) 1978 Ambassador Auditorium Recital - rec. 1978/80 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR47D Download [89:43] [JW] Let’s hope more Egorov recitals will be forthcoming from this source, to shine renewed light on a fine talent lost too young.

Elite Syncopations Royal Ballet O/Philip Gammon (piano) CRD 3329 [44:32] [NB] I did enjoy hearing this disc again - it reminded me why ragtime is so infectious.

English Music for Brass Works by Britten, Ireland, Tippett & Walton - London Collegiate Brass/James Stobart rec. 1985 CRD 3444 [47:24] [NB] A collection that has retained its interest and value in the thirty or so years since its original release.

Fiorentino Edition Vol. 4 The Early Recordings: 1953-1966 - Sergio Fiorentino (piano) rec. 1953/66 PIANO CLASSICS PCLM0104 [10 CDs: 716:03] [SG] The last volume in the Fiorentino Edition – a true labour of love.

From My Homeland: Czech Impressions Werner von Schnitzler (violin) Cosmin Boeru (piano) rec. 2015 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38184 SACD [75.08] [MW] Admirable performances and a superb introduction to the riches of Czech chamber music.

Great European Organs Vol. 99: The Organ of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin - David Leigh (organ) rec. 2015 PRIORY PRCD1168 [79:00] [MR] Hugely satisfying performances of obscure repertory from one of Dublin’s overlooked musical glories.

Great European Organs Vol. 100: The Organ of Liverpool Cathedral - David Poulter (organ) rec. 2015 PRIORY PRCD1158 [77:00] [MR] Prexit: Priory get out of Europe with a major celebration of British greatness.

Great Tenor Arias Vol. 1 - Bruno Prevedi, Gianni Raimondi, Gino Penno rec. 1954-80 DECCA ELOQUENCE 482 0292 [61.36] Great Tenor Arias Vol. 2 - Giuseppe Campora, Gianni Poggi, Flaviano Labo rec. 1953-1956 DECCA ELOQUENCE 482 0290 [74.37] [PCG] Eloquence have once again have shown a willingness to explore the field of recordings which might otherwise have remained undiscovered in the archives.

José Iturbi (piano) The Victor & HMV Solo Recordings rec. 1933-52 APR 7307 [3 CDs: 211:46] [SG] Indispensable for pianophiles.

Mélancolie Miki Aoki (piano) rec. 2015 PROFIL PH15023 [66.00] [MC] Miki Aoki, a pianist to watch, excels in this fascinating programme of music by Les Six.

Les Musiciens et la Grande Guerre Vol. XVII: Vers La vie Nouvelle - Anne de Fornel (Pleyel Piano) rec. 2015 HORTUS 717 [63:02] Vol. XVIII: Ombres et Lumičres - Ens Calliopée rec. 2015 HORTUS 718 [72:32] [NB] Another fine pair of discs in a series that is going from strength to strength.

Overtures from the British Isles Vol. 2 BBC Ntl O Wales/Rumon Gamba rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHAN10898 [81.18] [MW] An enjoyable, thoughtfully planned programme of British music.

Peregrinatio Ramon Llull Vol. 2 - Capella de Ministrers, Musica Reservata Barcelona/Carles Magraner rec. 2015 LICANUS CDM1638 [64.19] [GH] A journey through music popular during Raimon Llull's lifetime and with which he might have been familiar.

Portuguese Music for Cello and Orchestra Works by Braga Santos, Costa, Freitas Branco & Lopes-Graca - Bruno Borralhinho (cello) Orquestra Gulbenkian/Pedro Neves rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573461 [65:09] [RB] Sound of pleasing detail and full spectrum impact in this provocative collection.

Portuguese Piano Trios Vol. 1 Works by Azevedo, Carneyro & Costa - Trio Pangea rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573402 [60:24] [PRB] Even ignoring its bargain price, this is a CD with a great deal to commend it.

The Complete Psalms of David Vol. 9 - Ch Salisbury Cathedral/David Halls, John Challenger (organ) rec. 2015 PRIORY PRCD1150 [77:37] Vol. 10 - Ch Chichester Cathedral/Charles Harrison, Timothy Ravalde (organ) rec. 2015 PRIORY PRCD1155 [74:12] [JQ] Priory’s series of the complete Psalms of David comes to a fine conclusion.

Romantic Moments for Male Choir Sacred Choral Works - Taipei Male Ch/Frieder Bernius rec. 2015 CARUS 2.602/99 [52:35] [DHu] Superb singing by an elite choir, but questionable programming and production choices.

Russian Oboe Concertos Maria Sournatcheva (oboe) Göttinger SO/Christoph-Mathias Mueller rec. 2015 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 9011947-6 SACD [72.24] [MW] Delightful, tuneful collection which will give much pleasure.

Silence and Music Choral works - Brevitas/Matthew D. Nielsen rec. 2015 BREVITAS B427090-03 [38:39] [JQ] A fine choir’s auspicious recorded debut though the playing time is very ungenerous.

Tangent Shores: Amethyst Jai Jeffryes (piano) COMPOSERS CONCORDANCE RECORDS COMCON0031 [76:16] [DC] Fascinating and enjoyable sequence of premiere recordings.

The Tchaikovsky Files A film by Ralf Pleger rec. 2015 EUROARTS DVD 2061518 [53:00] [RMay] A brief but interesting study of Tchaikovsky’s sexuality – still a controversial issue today.

23 Vocalises-Études Harry White (alto saxophone) Edward Rushton (piano) rec. 2014 BIS BIS-9056 [67:40] [DM] A delectable programme, played and recorded with great affection and artistry; a must for sax aficionados.

Günter Wand: The Radio Recordings rec. 1951/92 PROFIL EDITION PH13038 [20 CDs: ca 22 hrs] [MC] A mixed bag that will appeal mainly to the specialist collector and Wand devotees.


Other Reviews

Burl Ives The Wayfaring Stranger - His 33 Finest rec. 1941-61 RETROSPECTIVE RTR4285 [79:20] [BMC] An excellent collection of songs showcasing Burl Ives’s career.

Frank Bridge - The Complete Works Compiled and edited by Paul Hindmarsh, publ. 2016 PHM Publishing [JF] A complete picture of Frank Bridge in the context of his time.

Great British Songbook - Ross Leadbeater (vocal, piano), Laura Stanford String Qt rec. 2016 ROSS LEADBEATER RECORDS ROSS2016 [17.24] [IL] I cannot say that this particular selection will do much to help keep the traditions of the Great British Song Book alive.

Tango Passion Tango in Berlin rec. 2015 EUROARTS DVD 2061508 [83.00] [IL] Not thrilling or sexy - for aficionados only.

Pleasures and Treasures Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration rec. 1965-2012 SAYDISC CDSDL436 [77:22 + 78:50] [RB] Diverting and varied listening.


Articles and Notices

Download News 2016/7 by Brian Wilson

Arthur Bliss's Edinburgh overture by John France

Arnold's Cornish Dances: 50th Anniversary by John France

Piano Trio Survey: Mid-2016 Update by David Barker

Forgotten Artists: Pietro Argento by Christopher Howell


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