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March 2016
238 reviews this month


Joseph Bodin de BOISMORTIER (1689-1755) Don Quichotte Chez La Duchesse - Chantal Santon Jeffery, François-Nicolas Geslot, Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet rec. 2015 ALPHA 711 DVD [117:00] [SSi] A real comic romp of an opera and a very enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours … every time I watch it I find something new to smile at.

Sergei BORTKIEWICZ (1877-1952) Piano Works - Nadejda Vlaeva (piano) rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68118 [76:06] [PRB] If you’ve not heard any Bortkiewicz yet this stunning new release crystallises everything on a single generous CD.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Trio 1, Piano Quartet 3 - Trio Wanderer, Christophe Gaugué (viola) rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902222 [73.54] [IL] Polished performances.

Arnold COOKE (1906-2005) Symphonies 4 & 5 - BBC SO/John Pritchard, BBC Northern SO/Bernard Keeffe rec. 1975/81 LYRITA REAM.1123 [59:44] [SG] These visionary interpretations have prompted me to explore further the Cooke oeuvre.

Hugo de LANTINS (d.1430) & Arnold de LANTINS (d.1432) Secular Works - Le Miroir de Musique/Baptiste Romain rec. 2014 RICERCAR RIC365 [67.07] [GH] Sweet harmonies and an increasing emphasis on melody.

Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697-1764) Scylla et Glaucus - Emöke Barath, Anders J. Dahlin, Les Nouveaux Caractčres/Sébastien d’Hérin rec. 2014 ALPHA 960 [3 CDs: 159:38] [SSi] This is a wonderful example of French baroque art.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 1 - Bavarian RSO/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2014 BR KLASSIK 900143 [53:25] [DM] An electrifying Mahler First, superbly well played and recorded; one of the best thing I’ve heard this year.

Johann Simon MAYR (1763-1845) Saffo - Andrea Lauren Brown, Jaewon Yun (sopranos) Markus Schäfer (tenor) Bavarian State Opera Ch, Simon Mayr Ch, Concerto de Bassus/Franz Hauk rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.660367-68 [60:56 + 60:28] [DCh] What’s not to like?

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Choral WorksDanish National Choirs/Michael Schřnwandt, Phillip Faber & Suzanne Wendt rec. 2014/15 DA CAPO 8.226112 [63.29] [MW] Sheer bliss.

Jacques PAISIBLE (c1656-1721) Complete Recorder Sonatas - Michael Hell (recorder), Eva Maria Pollerus (harpsichord) rec. 2011 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0071 [68:40 + 60:42] [JV] This first recording of the complete music for recorder and basso continuo by Paisible is highly important.

Jussi Björling (tenor) Copenhagen Concert/The Voice of Firestone - Bertil Bokstedt (piano) Voice of Firestone O & Ch/Howard Barlow rec. 1952/59 JSP RECORDS JSP682 [67:50] [GF] The beauty of his silvery voice is unmistakable. A quality issue that should be in every Jussi Björling collection.

Khatia Buniatishvili (piano) Kaleidoscope Works by Mussorgsky, Ravel & Stravinsky - rec. 2015 SONY 88875 170032 [60:31] [NB] A disc of flair, individual insight and not a little controversy.

Cançons i danses catalanes Works by Llobet, Manén & Mompou - Franz Halász (guitar) rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2092 SACD [60:52] [DM] Immaculate, penetrating musicianship, with a sound to match; magic.

Grigory Sokolov (piano) Works by Beethoven, Brahms, Rameau & Schubert - rec. 2013 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4795426 [65:06 + 73:20] [SG] Incandescent playing from a charismatic player.

Stances du Cid Cyril Auvity (haute-contre) L’Yriade rec. 2015 GLOSSA GCD923601 [59:32] [SSi] Offers a chance to hear a collection of airs de cour, in a performance by a group of musicians that I would pay a lot of money to see perform these works.

Urgency of Now Rhythm Art Duo, Vocal Art Ens Sweden/Jan Yngwe rec. 2014 FOOTPRINT RECORDS FRCD080 [60.57] [JQ] 61 minutes of outstanding singing.

Leroy ANDERSON (1908-1975) Fiddle Faddle - Utah SO/Maurice Abravanel rec. 1967 VANGUARD CLASSICS OVC1043 [45:48] [JW] Abravanel’s lucid, affectionate and lively way with Anderson.

Hendrik ANDRIESSEN (1892-1981) Symphony 3, Symphonie Concertante, Overture Chantecler - Netherlands SO/David Porcelijn rec. 2012 CPO 777 723-2 [52:57] [HC] This third volume of CPO's survey is highly commendable.

Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Orchestral Works Vol. 4 - Gothenberg SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 1997/2015 CHANDOS CHAN10894 [62.23] [IL] A disappointing West Coast Pictures.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas and partitas for solo violin - Pavel Šporcl (violin) rec. 2015 SUPRAPHON SU4186-2 [72:45 + 73:38] [NB] Bach in searchingly metaphysical mood.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Johannes-Passion - Ch Bayerischen Rundfunks, Concerto Köln/Peter Dijkstra rec. 2015 BR KLASSIK 900909 [3 CDs: 177.23] [MC] Inspirationally intense.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) A Tribute to Bach: Flute sonatas and arias - Rachel Brown (flute), London Handel Players, Laurence Cummings (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2013 UPPERNOTE UPCD003 [67:25 + 61:07] [WKL] Rachel Brown: a sensitive musician in total command of her instrument.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Domestic Bach - Bergen Barokk rec. 2012 LAWO LWC1073 [62:29] [JV] If you are not too critical you may enjoy this disc.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concertos - Cecilia Bernardini (violin); Dunedin Consort/John Butt rec. 2014 LINN CKD519 [59:29] [BW] A worthy successor to earlier Bach recordings from the Dunedin Consort and John Butt.   

Mason BATES (b. 1977) Orchestral works - San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas; Mason Bates (electronica) rec. 2014 SFS MEDIA SFS00652 SACD [71:23] [DC] Well-crafted modern music with an easy appeal.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1927) Violin Concerto, Symphony 6 - Isabelle Faust (violin) Berliner Philharmoniker/Bernard Haitink rec. 2015 EUROARTS 2061298 DVD [90:00] [WKL] Decent but not going to challenge the top versions currently on the market.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Piano Concertos: The 78-rpm Recordings - Wilhelm Kempff (piano) rec. 1925/42 APR 6019 [75.34 + 77.38] [SG] Pianophiles will not fail to respond to Kempff’s persuasive accounts. This is, without doubt, a set to treasure.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 24 & 26-32 - Wilhelm Kempff (piano) rec. 1925–36 APR 6018 [76:02 + 71:26] [JW] Opportunities for reflection and analysis - for musical pleasure too.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 9 (transcr. Liszt) - Yuri Martynov (piano) rec. 2015 ALPHA CLASSICS 227 [70:52] [DC] Do we like this? No, we love it.

Sergei BORTKIEWICZ (1877-1952) Piano Music - Stephen Coombs (piano) rec. 1996-1998 HYPERION DYAD CDD22054 [79:33 + 68:39] [RB] Approaching 150 mins of often glorious and even torrid Bortkiewicz.

Sergei BORTKIEWICZ (1877-1952) Works for piano - Nadejda Vlaeva (piano) rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68118 [76:04] [RB] A fascinating addition to the Bortkiewicz literature.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonatas 1-3 - Georg Kulenkampff (violin) Georg Solti (piano) rec. 1947/8 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM100 [66:33] [JW] The tonal qualities of the two musicians register strongly ... an excellent restoration.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies 3 & 4 - Berlin PO/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1948/9 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC456 [79:47] [JQ] Brahms as if newly forged in Furtwängler’s creative crucible. An amazing and highly rewarding experience.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Trios 1-3 - David Perry (violin), Paulina Zamora (piano), Uri Vardi (cello) rec. 2010 DELOS DE3489 [83:24] [DHu] I cannot see this challenging the best but it has an audience who will appreciate its particular aesthetic.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Sextets - The Lindsays, Louise Williams (viola) Paul Watkins (cello) rec. 2004 ALTO ALC1272 [78:28] [WK] Will appeal those who like the lyrical side of Brahms.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quartets 1 & 2 - New Orford Qt rec. 3023 BRIDGE 9464 [69:39] [JQ] Excellent performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) & Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Clarinet Quintets - Raphaël Sévčre (clarinet)Pražák Qt rec. 2015 MIRARE MIR282 [57:33] [RK] Fine performances of two very different clarinet quintets.

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Complete String Quartets - Diogenes Qt rec. 2014/15 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95051 [79.57] [BSt] Sometimes left me feeling dissatisfied.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Study Symphony - Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller rec. 2015 PROFIL PH15004 [43.23] Symphony 0 Die Nullte - Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller rec. 2015 PROFIL PH15035 [43.29] [MC] Top-drawer.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 6 - Frankfurt RSO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2010 BMG-RCA 88875131262 [52:42] [RWe] An excellent addition to an increasingly impressive series.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 9 - Altomonte O St. Florian/Rémy Ballot, Matthias Giesen, Klaus Laczika (pianos) rec. 2006/15 GRAMOLA 99089 SACD [77:02 + 65:50] [RMo] Daring, confident and controversial.

Francis CHAGRIN (1905-1972) Symphonies 1 & 2 - BBC SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.571371[56:02] [MW] Important and powerful music.

Bob CHILCOTT (b.1955) Sun, Moon, Sea and Stars - Tenebrae Consort/Nigel Short rec. 2015 BENE ARTE SIGCD903 [63:44] [JQ] A thoroughly entertaining disc. I loved it.

Bob CHILCOTT (b. 1955) St John Passion - Jonathan Vaughn (organ) Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society; Wells Cathedral Voluntary Choir; Wells Cathedral Ch/Matthew Owensns rec. 2014 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD412 [67:46] [ST] Want to try something a little different this Easter then you can investigate this Passion with total confidence.

Simon CHRISTENSEN (b.1971) MANIFEST – But There’s No Need To Shout - Birgitte Bćrentzen Pihl, Signe Madsen (violins) Mina Fred (viola) Sofia Olsson (cello) rec. 2014 DACAPO 8.226587 [72:18] [JFL] Braver souls than I shall venture forth and find enjoyment.

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Fanfare for the Common Man, El Salón Mexico, Billy the Kid & Appalachian Spring suites, Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo - BBC Philharmonic/John Wilson rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHSA5164 SACD [79:27] [MW] Where’s the fizz?

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Fanfare for the Common Man, El Salón México, Billy the Kid Suite, Appalachian Spring Suite, Rodeo - BBC PO/John Wilson rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHSA5164 SACD [79:27] [JF] The magic of this ‘all-American’ music captured and well communicated.

Francesco CORSELLI (1705-1778) Sacred cantatas and sonatas - Alicia Amo (soprano) Musica Boscareccia rec. 2014 ITINERANT RECORDS IE002 [73:33] [JV] The artists have done a great job convincing the listener that Corselli's oeuvre is well worth thorough exploration.

Jean-Michel DAMASE (1928-2013) Trio, Quatuor, Variations Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997) Suite, Divertimento - Ransom Wilson (flute), Jean-Michel Damase (piano) Jacques Tys (oboe) Orpheus CO rec. 1974/2010 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6304 [76:08] [DC] Greatly enjoyable French programme with a personal touch.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Chamber music - Sigiswald Kuijken (violin/viola) Veronica Kuijken (violin) Sara Kuijken (viola) Wieland Kuijken (cello) Barthold Kuijken (flute) Piet Kuijken (piano) Sophie Hallynck (harp) rec. 1999 ARCANA A392 [71.00] [WH] Fine performances of Debussy’s chamber masterpieces from the extended Kuijken family.

Leo DELIBES (1836-1891) Coppélia - Lyon National Opera Ballet, Lyon National Opera O/Kent Nagano rec. 1994 ARTHAUS MUSIK Blu-ray 109186 [61:00] [RMay] An intriguing version that throws up all sorts of new ideas.

Peter DICKINSON (b. 1934) Orchestral Works - Lesley Hatfield (violin) Robert Plane (clarinet) BBC Ntl O for Wales/Clark Rundell rec. 2015 HERITAGE HTGCD211 [70:11] [JF] Approachable, sometimes challenging, but always enjoyable.

Henri DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Pages de jeunesse - Pascal Godart (piano) Marc Trénel (bassoon) Vincent Lucas (flute) Daniel Breszynski (trombone) Alexandre Gattet (oboe) rec. 2007 INDÉSENS INDE087 [58:42] [WKL] If you want these works on a single disc, you do not need to look elsewhere.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 8, Carnival Josef SUK (1875-1935) Serenade - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2016 BR KLASSIK 900145 [73:15] [DM] The Dvořák is nimble, the Suk ponderous; variable sonics.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Overtures - Prague Philharmonia/Jakub Hrůša rec. 2015 PENTATONE PTC5186532 SACD [63:14] [DM] Prose to Kubelik’s poetry; undernourished sound.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) String Quartet 13 Josef SUK (1874–1935) Meditation Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) String Quartet 1 - Wihan Qt rec. 2015 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6322 [65.17] [MW] An excellent recording of great quartets.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto Augusta Read THOMAS (b. 1964) Ritual Incantations - David Finckel (cello) Taipei SO/Felix Chiu-Sen Chen rec. 2003 ARTISTLED 28822-8 [51.10] [WH] Outstanding performances of an unexpected but very satisfying coupling.

Mohammed FAIROUZ (b. 1985) No Orpheus - Kate Lindsey (mezzo) Kiera Duffy (soprano) Christopher Burchett (baritone) rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.559783 [61.39] [MW] For any lover of song, this is a disc to explore.

Louise FARRENC (1804-1875) Piano Trios - Mary Ellen Haupert (piano), Nancy Oliveros (violin), Laura Sewell (cello) CENTAUR CRC3435 [51:18] [DJB] This could have been a valuable and desirable release, but it isn’t.

Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987) Patterns in a Chromatic Field - Christian Giger (cello) Steffen Schleiermacher (piano) rec. 2014 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 6131931-2 [79:17] [DC] Rather special.

Michael FINNISSY (b. 1946) Singular Voices - Clare Lesser (soprano) Carl Rosman (clarinet), David Lesser (piano) rec. 2005/6 METIER MSV28557 [63:05] [JF] Music is nothing if it is not about adventure, new discoveries and challenge.

Auguste FRANCHOMME (1808-1884) The Franchomme Project - Louise Dubin (cello) rec. 2012-14 DELOS DE3469 [67:07] [SM] Total mastery of the cello, intonation well-nigh perfect and tone is always warm.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross; Trois pičces pour grand orgue - Mainz Cathedral Ch & O/Karsten Storck rec. 2014/2015 RONDEAU PRODUCTION ROP6110 [69:19] [SB] Franckists wanting to explore beyond the few well-known works should try this.

Emil FREY (1889–1946) Piano Music Vol. 1 - Luisa Splett (piano) rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0339 [65:33] [RB] Splett is an articulate advocate and more than rises to Frey's challenges.

Peter Racine FRICKER (1920-1990) The Vision of Judgement, Symphony 5 - Dame Gillian Weir (organ), Robert Tear (tenor) Leeds Festival Ch, Royal Liverpool PO/Sir Charles Groves; BBC SO/Sir Colin Davis rec. 1976/80 LYRITA ITTER BROADCAST COLLECTION REAM.1124 [66:48] [DC] Dramatic discoveries from a neglected source.

Grigori FRID (1915-2012) Complete Music for Viola and Piano Alexander VUSTIN (b.1948) In Memoriam Grigori Frid - Elena Artamonova (viola), Christopher Guild (piano) rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0330 [62:37] [JW] A long life marked by political turbulence and unease.

Vicenzo GALILEI (c.1520-1591) The Well-tempered Lute - Žak Ozmo (lute) rec. 2014/15 HYPERION CDA68017 [63:03] [CSe] Reveals both the science behind the scale; and the human expression behind the experiment.

Umberto GIORDANO (1867-1948) Andrea Chénier - Mario Del Monaco, Zinka Milanov,– Leonard Warren, Metropolitan Opera House Ch & O/Fausto Cleva rec. live, 1954 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO128 [2 CDs: 108:25] [WKL] If you do not mind less-than-modern recorded sound this set has its strengths.

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) String Quintet Sergei TANEYEV (1856-1915) String Quintet 1 - Gringolts Qt Christian Poltera (cello) rec. 2014 BIS BIS2177 SACD [66.09] [BS] If this is a coupling that appeals you need not hesitate.

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Violin Concerto Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Souvenir d’un lieu cher Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Počme Camille SAINT-SAENS (1835-1921) Études, Caprice - Hideko Udagawa (violin) London PO/Kenneth Klein rec. 1989 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6316 [63.36] [PCG] The disc remains highly recommendable.

Carl Heinrich GRAUN (1704-1759) Der Tod Jesu - Monika Mauch (soprano) Georg Poplutz (tenor) Arcis-Vocalisten München, Barock O L'arpa festante/Thomas Gropper rec. 2014 OEHMS OC1809 [56:24 + 40:50] [JV] If you don't have this work in your collection this is the best version to go for.

Bonifazio GRAZIANI (1604-1664) Cantatas - Consortium Carissimi/Garrick Comeaux rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573257 [71.05] [MW] A major discovery of the Roman Baroque.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907), Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) & Olav Anton THOMMESSEN (b. 1946) String Quartets - Engegĺrd Qt rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2101 [72:23] [SG] Captivating readings. Altogether a charming disc.

Knut HĹKANSON (1887-1929) & Josef ERIKSSON (1872 -1957) Oss tonsättare emellan - Gabriel Suovanen (baritone) Solveig Wikman (piano) Klarakvartetten ALTFIOL I VÄST AIVCD007 [74:58] [GF] Anyone interested in composers standing to one side of the mainstream in Swedish 20th century music should derive a lot of pleasure from this disc.

Georg Friederich HÄNDEL (1685-1759) Organ Concertos - Rudolf Innig (organ) rec. 2015 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 317 1929-2 [47:07 + 43:15] [DC] A reminder of how 19th century ears heard the old masters.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Arie per la Cuzzoni - Hasnaa Bennani (soprano) Les Muffatti/Peter Van Heyghen rec. 2015 RAMÉE RAM1501 [69.27] [MC] An impressive Handel recital that is worthy of your attention.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Cello Concertos 1 & 2 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Romances 1 & 2 - Daniel Müller-Schott (cello), Australian CO/Richard Tognetti rec. 2001 ORFEO C080031A [64:14] [DJB] Magnificent performances of the Haydn concertos in glorious sound but the Beethoven arrangements aren’t a success.

Franz Anton HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812) Carl STAMITZ (1745-1801) Michael HAYDN (1737-1806) Viola Concertos - Andra Dārziņa (viola) Urban Camerata rec. 2014 CPO 777 986-2 [75:22] [JW] Sounds as if they're enjoying every moment.

Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785) Der Messias - Sächsisches Vocalensemble, Batzdorfer Hofkapelle/Matthias Jung rec. 2014 CPO 777 947-2 [51:33 + 44:40] [WKL] A good starting point for anyone interested in exploring works by Homilius.

Heinrich ISAAC (c1450-1517) Missa De Apostolis, Motets - The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips GIMELL CDGIM023 [74:50] [JQ] A significant figure in Renaissance music, extremely well served by the Tallis Scholars.

Gabriel JACKSON (b. 1962) To the Field of Stars Hans SCHANDERL (b. 1960) Pilgrimage Enrico MIAROMA (b. 1962) Farewell - S:t Jacobs Chamber Choir/Gary Graden rec. 2014 FOOTPRINT RECORDS FRCD083 [57:13] [JQ] An important, richly imagined choral work by Gabriel Jackson in a stunning performance.

Marie JAËLL (1846-1925) A Portrait - Musique symphonique, musique pour piano rec. 2012-15 EDICIONES SINGULARES ES1022 [3 CDs: 172:45] [SSi] A wealth of talent and ability.

Vladas JAKUBĖNAS (1904-1976) Choral Songs - Dainius Jozenas (piano) Vilnius Municipal Ch Jauna Muzika/Vaclovas Augustinas rec. 2004 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0028 [54:49] [RB] Songs divided between religious and folk always anchored to touching melody and a common fervour.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Choral Works - Collegium Vocale Gent, Het Collectief/Reinbert de Leeuw rec. 2015 ALPHA 219 [69:12] [LW] An attractive Janáček programme.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Glagolitic Mass, Otče náš - Sara Jakubiak (soprano) Susan Bickley (mezzo) Stuart Skelton (tenor) Bergen PO & Ch/Edward Gardner rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHSA5165 SACD [63:22] [JQ] A very fine, exciting performance of the Glagolitic Mass in thrilling sound.

Paul JUON (1872-1940) Silhouettes, Sieben kleine Tondichtungen - Malwina Sosnowski, Rebekka Hartmann (violins) Benyamin Nuss (piano) rec. 2015 MUSIQUES SUISSES MGBCD6284 [67:43] [RB] Hardly earth-shattering but never less than pleasing invention. Well worth exploring.

Friedrich KIEL (1821-1885) Viola Sonata Carl REINECKE (1824-1910) Fantasy Pieces Henry XXIV, Prince REUSS (1855-1910) Viola Sonata - Anna Kreeta Gribajcevic (viola) Oliver Triendl (piano) rec. 2014 TYXART TXA15067 [56:05] [JW] Well-considered and finely recorded.

Erland von KOCH (1910-2009) Symphonies 3 & 4, Impulsi, Nordiskt Capriccio - Swedish Radio SO/Per Hammarström rec. 2010/13 BIS BIS-2169 [62:48] [MW] An important addition to the discography of Swedish music.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) & Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Violin Concertos - Vilde Frang (violin) Frankfurt RSO/James Gaffigan rec. 2015 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 600921 [58.12] [MC] A remarkable Korngold and a highly accomplished Britten - all in astonishingly vivid sound.

Mark Louis LEHMAN (b.1947) Chamber Music Vol. 1 - Angela Park, Albert Mühlböck (piano), Rachel Patrick (violin) Cole Tutino, Alan Rafferty (cello) rec. 2015 ENHARMONIC ENCD16-031 [69:44] [RB] Sincere, unshowy and gently eloquent.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Sonata, Années de pelčrinage, Grandes études de Paganini, Wagner's Liebestod - Emil Gryesten (piano) rec. 2015 DANACORD DACOCD772 [70:01] [JF] A great album, featuring an imaginative and essential selection.

Pietro Antonio LOCATELLI (1695-1764) 24 Capriccios - Igor Ruhadze (violin) rec. 2013 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94774 [98:40] [SSi] A useful addition to the baroque violin repertoire, in a performance to enjoy.

Giovanni Lorenzo LULIER (c.1662-1700) La Gloria, Roma e Valore - Chiara Balasso, Lia Serafini (sopranos) Matteo Pigato (alto) I Musicali Affetti/Fabio Missaggia rec. 2014 FRA BERNARDO FB1505643 [60:00] [JV] This disc is a delight from start to finish.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 3 - Kelley O’Connor (mezzo) Dallas SO & Ch/Jaap van Zweden rec. 2015 DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA DSOLIVE007 [96:24] [DM] Shallow performance and sound; an unmitigated disaster.

Luca MARENZIO (c.1553-1599) Quinto Libro di Madrigali - La Compagnia del Madrigale rec. 2011/2014 GLOSSA GCD922804 [64:17] [JV] If you love Italian madrigals you definitely should not miss this disc.

David MATTHEWS (b.1943) String Quartets Vol. 4 - Kreutzer Qt rec. 2014/15 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0318 [74.23] [BS] On this evidence I shall probably confine myself to Matthews' orchestral compositions.

Sir Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b.1934) Symphony 10 Sir Andrzej PANUFNIK (1914-1991) Symphony 10 - London SO/Antonio Pappano rec. 2014 LSO LSO0767 SACD [57:51] [BW] Two works whose appeal is not immediate but which are worth persevering with.

Johann Friedrich MEISTER (c1638-1697) Il Giardino del Piacere - Johannes Pramsohler, Roldán Bernabé (violins) Gulrim Choi (cello) Philippe Grisvard (harpsichord) Ens Diderot rec. 2015 AUDAX RECORDS ADX13705 [66:45] [SG] An absolute delight.

Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Songs without Words, Variations sérieuses, Fantasia Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 - Shani Diluka (piano) O Ntl Bordeaux Aquitaine/Kwamé Ryan rec. 2008-2010 MIRARE MIR287 [58:00 & 64:00] [JFL] Something of a bargain, assuming you covet the contents.

Anthony MILNER (1925-2002) The Song of Akhenaten, The Water and the Fire - BBC Training O, BBC Northern SO/Meredith Davies rec. 1973/77 LYRITA ITTER BROADCAST COLLECTION REAM1125 [71:26] [JQ] A very welcome opportunity to hear two eloquent scores by Anthony Milner in dedicated performances.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Arias and madrigals - Magdalena Kožená (mezzo) La Cetra Barockorchester Basel/Andrea Marcon (harpsichord) rec. 2014 ARCHIV PRODUKTION 479 4595 [77.05] [MC] I can see this album having a broad appeal.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 20 & 21 - Alon Goldstein (piano) Rachel Calin (bass) Fine Arts String Qt rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573398 [57:56] [JL] There’s too much great music in more wonderful performances out there for me to ever listen to this again. Next.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quartets - Hagen Qt rec. 2014 MYRIOS CLASSICS MYR017 SACD [59.07] [MC] Well worth adding to any chamber music collection.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) The Complete Symphonies - Frankfurt RSO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2009/13 BMG-RCA RED SEAL 88875178802 [3 CDs: 204:35] [NB] A fine set, superbly played, intelligently conducted in good modern sound available at a bargain price.

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Gisei – Das Opfer - Ch & O of Deutschen Oper, Berlin/Jacques Lacombe rec. 2012 CPO 777819-2 [60.26] [PCG] Those who like Orff’s later more characteristic music will enjoy making the acquaintance of an opera that he was at pains to conceal from the world.

Bernardo PASQUINI (1637-1710) La sete di Christo - Francesca Aspromonte (soprano) Luca Cervoni (tenor) Concerto Romano/Alessandro Quarta rec. 2015 CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77398 [66:56] [JV] Under the direction of Alessandro Quarta this oratorio receives a fully idiomatic performance.

Dora PEJAČEVIĆ (1885-1923) Piano Works - Nataša Veljković (piano) rec. 2014 CPO 555 003-2 [79:06 + 78:22] [PRB] There’s always something fresh to discover.

Hans PFITZNER (1869-1949) & Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Orchestral excerpts from operas - Deutschen Oper Berlin O/Christian Thielemann rec. 1995 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON PRESTO 449571-2 [75.24] [SB] Thielemann: imaginative, getting exactly the right sound: delicacy, snarl and the long lyrical line.

Christine de PIZAN (1365-c.1430) Chansons et Ballades - VocaMe, Michael Popp (instrumentalist) rec. 2015 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300699BC [57.36] [GH] Fascinated and impressed by an innovative concept, imagination and execution. Well worth exploring.

Jósef Michał PONIATOWSKI (1816-1873) Mass - Akademii Muzyczney w Gdańsku/Przemysław Stanisławski rec. 2015 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0356 [48.51] [MW] Well-made, not technically adventurous, but attractive and devout.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Piano works - Aleck Karis (piano) rec. 2014 BRIDGE 9459 [63:45] [RK] Introduces the world of Poulenc’s keyboard quite honourably.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Cello sonata Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Élégie KOMITAS (1869-1935) Songs - Astrig Siranossian (cello) Théo Fouchenneret (piano) rec. 2015 CLAVES 50-1604 [63:15] [DJB] A promising debut.

Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concertos 4 & 5, Symphonies 4, 6 & 7 - Alexei Volodin, Sergei Babayan (piano) Mariinsky O/Valery Gergiev rec. 2012/15 MARIINSKY MAR0577 SACD [81:02 + 77:22] [DBi] The most disappointing issue yet from the Mariinsky and Gergiev.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Alexander Nevsky - Betty Allen (mezzo), Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1972 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFER HDTT BD-A [38:26] [DBi] An exciting old performance decently recorded and transferred to modern media.

Roger QUILTER (1877-1953) Shakespeare Songs Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Songs of the Clown Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Let Us Garlands Bring - Krzysztof Bobrzecki (baritone) Anna Mikolon (piano) rec. 2013 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0352 [53.22] [WH] Shakespeare through Polish eyes, an unusual disc.

Serge RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Symphony 3, 10 Songs - Vsevolod Grivnov (tenor) London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2015 LPO LIVE LPO0088 [59.22] [IL] A Third for the sweet-toothed but the songs are a revelation and worth the outlay for this new CD alone.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Complete Piano Works Vol. 3 - Artur Pizarro (piano) rec. 2013-15 ODRADEK ODRCD317 [3 CDs: 197:18] [RWe] Pizarro completes his superb Rachmaninov series.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto 2 - Artur Rubinstein (piano) Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1972 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFER BD-A [33:48] [DBi] Great music-making but a redundant issue for technical reasons.

Robert RADECKE (1830-1911) Symphony, King John Overture, Nachtstück, Two Scherzi - Biel Solothurn SO/Kaspar Zehnder rec. 2015 CPO 777 995-2 [64:53] [RB] Will appeal to listeners who already have an appetite for Mendelssohn and Schumann.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Trio Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Trio 4, Violin Concerto 3 - Yehudi Menuhin (violin) Gaspar Cassadó (cello) Louis Kentner (piano) Bath Fest CO/Yehudi Menuhin (violin) rec. 1961/62 MINUET 428409 [72:30] [JW] A fine Mozart and a vibrant, rich-toned and expressively communicative Ravel.

Max REGER (1873-1916) & Heinrich REIMANN (1850-1906) Chorale Fantasies - Balázs Szabó (organ) rec. 2014-2015 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM 9201945-6 SACD [71:49 + 77:30] [SSi] A wonderful recording of some of Max Reger’s finest organ works; one which will sit well with any collector of organ music.

Steve REICH (b. 1936) Mallet Quartet, Sextet, Nagoya Marimbas, Music for Pieces of Wood - Third Coast Percussion rec. 2014 CEDILLE RECORDS CDR90000161 [62:28] [RB] That essential dynamic tickle, thud and rhythmic absorption is there.

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Antiche danze ed arie per liuto, Suites Nos. 1-3, Gli uccelli - Munich Radio O/Henry Raudales rec. 2009 CPO 777 233-2 SACD [64:52] [NH] Life-enhancing and highly enjoyable.

Bernhard ROMBERG (1767-1841) Cello Concertos 1 & 5 - Davit Melkonyan (cello), Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2015 CPO 777 969-2 [58:27] [SM] Brilliant cello playing by Davit Melkonyan.

Julius RÖNTGEN (1855-1932) Piano Music Vol. 2 - Mark Anderson (piano) rec. 2014/15 NIMBUS NI5937 [68:50] [JW] Wholly sympathetic to the idiom and the sound is generous, spacious.

Julius RÖNTGEN (1855-1932) Works for Violin and Piano Vol. 1 - Christoph Schickendanz (violin) Ernst Breidenbach (piano) rec. 2011 CPO 777 768-2 [74:24] [JW] Sweet lyricism, lovely calm, airy grace.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il Barbiere di Siviglia - Changhan Lim, Joyce DiDonato, Royal Opera Ch/Renato Balsadonna, O Royal Opera House/Antonio Pappano (harpsichord) rec. 2009 ERATO Blu-ray 2564 605529 [176.00 + 48.00 bonus] [MC] A Barbiere to savour, eminently enjoyable from start to finish.

Alec ROTH (b. 1948) String Quartets 2-4 - Allegri Qt rec. 2015 NIMBUS ALLIANCE/RTF CLASSICAL NI6321 [63.51] [WH] Life-enhancing music that makes you smile … superbly performed and recorded.

Francesco ROVIGO (c. 1541-1597) Missa Dominicalis, Mottetti & Canzoni - Capelli Musicale di Santa Barbara/Umberto Forni (organ) rec. 2014 TACTUS TC541801 [67.02] [MW] A valuable recording for anyone interested in Monteverdi’s contemporaries.

Bonaventura RUBINO (1600-1668) Messa de Morti ŕ 5 concertata - Cappella Musicale, Studio di Musica Antica, Ens La Cantoria/Vincenzo di Betta TACTUS TC601803 [75:33] [JV] The liturgical framework lends this recording a character of its own and the performances are very respectable.

Joseph RYELANDT (1870-1965) Chamber Works Vol. 1 - De la Haye Ens rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0282 [62:44] [PRB] Ryelandt never intended to set the world alight but this music is eminently listenable.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Cello Concertos 1 & 2, Le Carnaval des animaux, Caprice-Valse, Africa - Truls Mřrk (cello) Louis Lortie (piano) Bergen PO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHSA5162 SACD [75:32] [MC] Guaranteed to delight and entertain.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Complete Piano Works Vol. 4: Dances and Souvenirs - Geoffrey Burleson (piano) rec. 2015 GRAND PIANO GP625 [71:51] [JWe] A superb disc played by a very talented pianist.

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonatas - Yevgeny Sudbin (piano) rec. 2014/15 BIS BIS-2138 [74:30] [DC] The full spectrum of spectacular virtuosity and poetic depth.

Johann Hermann SCHEIN (1586-1630) The Leipzig Stadtpfeifer Tradition - Alice Foccroulle, Béatrice Mayo-Felip (sopranos) Reinoud Van Mechelen (tenor) InAlto/Lambert Colson Marc Meisel (organ) rec. 2014 RAMÉE RAM1401 [62:42] [JV] Despite my reservations in regard to some aspects of this disc there is much to enjoy here.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony 9 - O Mozart/Claudio Abbado rec. 2011 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 4652 [62.47] [JQ] One of the finest recorded performances of the Schubert Ninth that I’ve heard.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Impromptus - Amir Katz (piano) rec. 2015 ORFEO C898151A [63:37] [RK] Engaging and thoughtful … sits comfortably alongside the finest versions of the Impromptus.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata D958, Six Moments musicaux - Emil Gryesten (piano) rec. 2015 DANACORD DACOCD769 [64:07] [TPo] Although Gryesten does not quite scale the heights of the masters, he has much to offer.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Octet Bernhard CRUSELL (1776-1838) Concert Trio - Emma Johnson (clarinet) Chris West (double bass) Philip Gibbon (bassoon) Michael Thompson (horn) Carducci Qt rec. 2014 SOMM CÉLESTE SOMM0156 [74:34] [JQ] This disc is a winner.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die Schöne Müllerin - Georg Lehner (baritone) Dino Mastroyiannis (piano) rec. 2014 SHEVA SH109 [66:47] [BW] With so many superb recordings available this live performance is uncompetitive.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Songs - Thilo Dahlmann (baritone) Charles Spencer (piano) rec. 2014 CAPRICCIO C3001 [77:04] [GF] Worth hearing despite inadequate documentation.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Nacht und Träume - Ailish Tynan (soprano), Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2015 DELPHIAN DCD34165 [62:49] [GF] Many good things here but note that sometimes over-wide vibrato …

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Liederkreis, Liederkreis, Dichterliebe - James Gilchrist (tenor) Anna Tilbrook (piano) rec. 2014 LINN RECORDS CKD474 [76:18] [JQ] Fine Schumann from James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Violin Sonata 2 Richard STRAUSS Violin Sonata - Noé Inui (violin) Vassilis Varvaresos (piano) rec. 2015 NAVIS CLASSICS NC15004 [63:05] [SG] Impassioned and committed performances that will repay repeated listening.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) The Complete Schütz: Vol. 12 Symphonia Sacrae III - Dresden Chamber Ch & Baroque O/Hans-Christophe Rademan CARUS 83.258 [52:39 + 66:51] [GH] Highly rated.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Trio 2 Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Trio 4 Joan TOWER (b. 1938) Big Sky - Oberlin Trio rec. 2014 OBERLIN MUSIC CD1601 [65:45] [DJB] Performances that lack the inspiration to reach beyond the merely satisfactory.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Concertos 1 & 2 - Lydia Mordkovitch (violin) Scottish Ntl O/Neeme Järvi rec. 1989 CHANDOS CHAN10864X [69:40] [ST] Up there with the best.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Complete String Quartets - Quatuor Danel rec. 2001-15 ALPHA CLASSICS 226 [386:22] [SSi] An excellent survey of the finest quartet cycle of the twentieth century, which for me comes close to knocking the Borodin set off its perch.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony 2 - Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1972 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS BD-A [44:57] [JQ] A very good Sibelius performance in vivid sound.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphonies 5 & 7, En Saga - Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2010/14 HALLÉ CDHLL7543 [72.13] [MC] Engaging performances that certainly gain my seal of approval.

Leone SINIGAGLIA (1868-1944) Works for Violin & Piano -Alessandra Génot (violin) Massimiliano Génot, Carlo Negro (piano) - Le Baruffe Chiozzotte rec. 2009 BRILLIANT 95239 [65:46] [JW] Valuable for those who want to get to grips with elusive recordings of the composer, though the main work is better served elsewhere.

Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) Dalibor - Richard Samek (tenor) Dana Buršová (soprano) BBC Singers & SO/Jiři Bělohlávek rec. 2015 ONYX 4158 [80.23 + 66.12] Dalibor - Richard Lewis (tenor) Joan Hammond (soprano) BBC Ch; Philharmonia O/Vilém Tauský rec. 1955 CLASSICAL RECORDINGS QUARTERLY CRQCD213-14 [79.32 + 68.57] [PCG] New listeners may well find the new Onyx provides the best way to make the acquaintance of a major romantic opera which deserves to be better known.

Bent SŘRENSEN (b. 1958) Sounds Like You, Intermezzi from Under himlen - Marie Louise Wille (actor) Lore Lixenberg, Signe Asmussen (mezzos) Danish Ntl Vocal Ens & SO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2009/13 DACAPO 6.220632 SACD [72:36] [DC] Magical spaces filled with mystery and rarified thrills.

Michael STIMPSON (b. 1948) Dylan; The Drowning of Capel Celyn - Roderick Williams (baritone) Sioned Williams (harp) rec. 2006/2014 STONE RECORDS 5060192780550 [61:52] [NH] A most desirable and promising issue.

Richard STRAUSS (1874-1949) Enoch Arden - Henry Goodman (narrator) Lucy Parham (piano) rec. 2014 DEUX-ELLES DXL1158 [72.07] [PCG] A real masterpiece of Strauss’s maturity which should receive attention from all who love the work of the composer.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Violin Sonata Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Violin Sonata Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Sonata for 2 violins - Louis Kaufman, Peter Rybar (violin) Artur Balsam, Pina Pozzi (piano) rec. 1952 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1158 [59:52] [JW] Playing as one seldom hears it today – compulsively sweeping and energised, with big-hearted, instantly communicative warmth.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Rite of Spring - MusicAeterna/Teodor Currentzis rec. 2013 SONY CLASSICAL 88875061412 [34:45] [RMo] A very good performance offset by short playing time.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrushka, Pulcinella, Symphonies of Wind Instruments - Netherlands Radio PO/Jaap van Zweden rec. 2008 EXTON OVCL-00378 SACD [67:10] [SV] The sound is wonderful, the conductor is perceptive and the orchestra is responsive.

Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK (1562-1621) Complete Keyboard Works rec. 2012-14 GLOSSA GCD922410 [6CDs: 446:38] [BW] Don’t be daunted by the size of the Glossa Sweelinck project – this is a set to dip into and enjoy.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Król Roger - Mariusz Kwieceń (baritone) Georgia Jarman (soprano) Saimir Pirgu (tenor) Ch & O Royal Opera House/Antonio Pappano rec. 2015 OPUS ARTE DVD OA1161D [105:00] [LW] This DVD of Król Roger is unlikely to be surpassed in the foreseeable future.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 5, Romeo and Juliet Alan SHULMAN (1915-2002) A Laurentian Overture - NBC SO/Guido Cantelli rec. 1952 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC457 [72:08] [JQ] Fantastic Tchaikovsky performances by Cantelli in excellent transfers.

Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto 1 Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concerto 2 - Beatrice Rana (piano) O dell' Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Sir Antonio Pappano rec. 2015 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 600909 [67.05] [MC] A really appealing coupling.  

Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Swan Lake - London Festival Ballet, Danish Radio SO/Graham Bond ARTHAUS MUSIK Blu-ray 109185 [116:00] [RMay] Not an obvious first choice but does offer a distinctive, individual and generally enjoyable approach.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto 2 Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Piano Concerto - Xiayin Wang (piano) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Peter Oundjian rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHSA5167 SACD [75:19] [DM] Xiayin Wang astounds at every turn, as does the recording; a terrific coupling, too.

Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998) String Quartets 1-5 - Heath Qt rec. 2013/14 WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLIVE0080/2 [71:01 + 57:11] [SB] These players accept these works on their own terms and their version will do very well.

Chinary UNG (b.1942) Water Rings Overture, Anicca, Antiphonal Spirals, Singing Inside Aura, Grand Spiral: Desert Flowers Bloom - Susan Ung (viola and voice), Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose rec. 2012/13 BMOP/SOUND 1044 [54:10] [HC] A splendid survey of Chinary Ung's often beautiful orchestral music.

Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) Presence - Sol Gabetta (cello) Irčne Tamacheff-Gabetta (organ) Amsterdam Sinfonietta/Candida Thompson rec. 2009/15 SONY CLASSICAL 88725423122 [60:35] [DC] The composer says ‘yes’, and that’s good enough for me.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Sir John in Love - Heddle Nash (tenor) Roderick Jones (baritone) April Cantelo (soprano) Sadler’s Wells Ch Philharmonia O/Stanford Robinson rec. 1956 LYRITA ITTER BROADCAST COLLECTION REAM.2122 [64:32 + 61:54] [PCG] Many points of interest here and subtle differences of interpretation that will produce their own rewards.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concertos Op. 7 - Federico Guglielmo (violin) Pier Luigi Fabretti (oboe) L'Arte dell'Arco/Federico Guglielmo rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95044 [47:06 + 42:49] [JV] An excellent opportunity to fill a gap in your Vivaldi collection.

Jan Václav VOŘÍŠEK (1791-1825) Complete Works for Piano Vol. 3 - Biljana Urbam (piano) rec. 2014 GRAND PIANO GP672 [75:17] [SSi] This is an important survey of Voříšek’s piano music, and one to savour.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678 - 1741) Sacred Music Vol. 4 - Aradia Ens/Kevin Mallon rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573324 [59:48] [JV] This fourth instalment can hardly be considered a significant addition to the discography of Vivaldi's sacred music.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Six Ballet Scenes, Symphony 22 - Siberian SO/Dmitry Vasilyev rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0313 [71:59] [MC] A satisfying surprise and certainly worth obtaining for the Ballet Scenes.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Compete Overtures - WDR SO Köln/Howard Griffiths rec. 2013/14 CPO 777 831-2 [69:00] [JF] I knew I was going to enjoy this collection.

Philip WOOD (b. 1972) Sonnets, Airs and Dances - Manchester Camerata Ensemble rec. 2004/2015 DIVINE ART DDA25131 [71:21] [JF] Ageless in its impact.

William WORDSWORTH (1908-1988) Symphonies 1 & 5, Conflict - BBC Scottish SO/James Loughran, Stewart Robertson rec. 1968-79 LYRITA REAM.1121 [73:06] [HC] Again a superb release from Richard Itter's broadcast collection.

John WORGAN (1724-1790) The Complete Organ Music - Timothy Roberts (organ) rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0332 [65:26] [JF] I hope that this disc may be the first of a number exploring the music of this important composer.

Victor YOUNG (1900-1956) Suites: The Uninvited, Gulliver's Travels, Bright Leaf - Moscow Symphony Ch & O/William Stromberg rec. 1997 NAXOS FILM MUSIC CLASSICS 8.573368 [69:31] [NB] Something of a revelation and a very welcome return to the catalogue.

Victor YOUNG (1900-1956) Suites from: The Uninvited, Gulliver's Travels, Bright Leaf - Moscow SO & Ch/William Stromberg rec. 1997 NAXOS FILM MUSIC CLASSICS 8.573368 [69:31] [BMC] Fine reconstructions using authentic orchestral specifications.

Eugene ZÁDOR (1894-1977) Festival Overture, Variations on a Hungarian Folksong, Symphony 3 - Budapest SO MÁV/Mariusz Smolij rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573274 [71:03] [NB] Unfamiliar repertoire performed with conviction in good sound.

Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Songs of Night and Dream, Chamber Symphony - Jenny Carlstedt (mezzo) Lapland CO/John Storgĺrds rec. 2015 ONDINE ODE1272-2 [61:23] [NB] A not wholly convincing case for Zemlinsky's music in orchestral guise.

21st Century Swedish Composers Concertos by Henryson, Högberg & Nelson - Västerĺs Sinfonietta/Glenn Mossop rec. 2000 INTIM IMCD072 [79.30] [RB] The Henryson is not to be missed.

Claudio Abbado: The Last Concert Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique - Berlin PO rec. 2013 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS BPHR 160081 [MC] Quite special, near magical, music making.

Claudio Abbado: The Last Concert Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique - Berlin PO rec. 2013 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS BPHR160081 [GPJ] An appropriately lavish and beautifully produced tribute to this great musician.

Americas Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Adiós Nonino, Le Grand Tango, Histoire du Tango, Oblivion Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Bachianas Brasileiras 1 & 5 - Anne Gastinel (cello) Sandrine Piau (soprano) Cellos Ntl O France rec. 2014 NAĎVE V5378 [65:55] [DJB] Star quality which works better for the Villa-Lobos than the Piazzolla.

Best Wishes from Cecilia Bartoli Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia, Il Turco in Italia Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni ARTHAUS MUSIK Blu-ray 109177 [3 discs: 485:00] [RJF] Bartoli is a pleasure to see and hear but here is too often is partnered by mediocrity.

A Bassoon in Stockholm Franz BERWALD (1796-1868) Septet, Quartet Édouard DU PUY (1770?-1822) Quintet - Donna Agrell (bassoon) rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2141 SACD [68:53] [WKL] While not masterworks these are enjoyable and deserve to be programmed more often.

Erling Blöndal Bengtsson (cello) Danish First Performances: Works by Delius, Britten & Lutoslawski - Copenhagen PO/Okko Kamu, Danish Radio SO/Meredith Davies & Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1976-91 DANACORD DACOCD770 [60:02 + 65:56] [NB] A box of delights.

Composed to the soul Works by Abel & Hasse - Dorothee Mields (soprano) Hamburger Ratsmusik/Simone Eckert (viola da gamba) rec. 2014 CPO 777 911-2 [52:41] [WKL] Novelty value - yes but otherwise I cannot find much to admire about this album.

Conductus 3 John Potter, Christopher O'Gorman, Rogers Covey-Crump (tenors) rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68115 [61:35] [MS] An excellent collection of attractively performed works from an unjustly overlooked mediaeval genre.

Conversations avec Dieu Le Concert Étranger/Itay Jedlin; Anne-Marie Blondel (organ) rec. 2015 AMBRONAY AMY045 [77:17] [JV] Le Concert Étranger presents itself here as a very fine ensemble which has a really good feeling for this repertoire.

Dämmerung Works by Dohnányi, Fock & Zemlinsky - Larissa Groeneveld (cello) Frank van de Laar (piano) rec. 2014/15 GUTMAN RECORDS CD154 [55:41 + 26:57] [JW] Late-Romanticism flourishes here.

Dance Passion Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano) rec. 2015 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38183 SACD [78:22] [JWe] Played with a smile … to be sampled when in need of cheering up.

The Best of Plácido Domingo rec. 1968-2015 SONY CLASSICAL 88875 123122 [4 CDs: 310:36] [WKL] In his prime Domingo was a very good tenor and the first 2 CDs here showcase the best of Domingo, as the title suggests.

Duels Franz LISZT (1811–1886) Piano Sonata Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856) Kreisleriana Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Symphony 7 Allegretto - Simon Ghraichy (piano) rec. 2015 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72698 [74:16] [JWe] Some utterly breath-taking playing here.

Amanda Forbes (soprano) White As Lilies - Lucy Wakeford (harp), Fiona McCapra (violin), Adrian Bradbury (cello) rec. 2015 KNS CLASSICAL KNSA038 [58:58] [PRB] A most attractive, compelling and extremely-well-put-together debut album.

Four Thousand Winter Trinity Ch/Daniel Taylor rec. 2015 SONY CLASSICAL 88875 178222 [57:30] [JQ] Very fine performances of lovely music for the Christmas season.

The Genteel Companion Richard Harvey (recorders) Monica Huggett (violin), Jakob Lindberg (archlute) ALTUS ALU0010 [68:00] [WKL] Look elsewhere if you are interested in this repertoire.

Gesualdo - Death for Five Voices A Film by Werner Herzog - Il Complesso Barocco/Alan Curtis, Gesualdo Consort London/Gerald Place ARTHAUS MUSIK DVD 109208 [60:00] [DC] Perhaps not great art, but certainly intriguing.

Liv Glaser (fortepiano) Allegretto Spiritoso SIMAX PSC1327 [78:02 + 73:24] [GF] A very attractive proposition.

Haec Dies Music for Easter - Matthew Jorysz (organ) Ch Clare College, Cambridge/Graham Ross rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU907655 [72:41] [JQ] A most desirable collection of Easter music.

Ich hebe meine Augen auf Works by Telemann, Heinichen and Graupner - Veronika Winter (soprano) Alex Potter (alto) Hans Jörg Mammel (tenor) Markus Flaig (bass) L'arpa festante/Rien Voskuilen rec. 2014 CARUS 83.337 [78:11] [JV] The performances could hardly be better.

Island Songs Works by Dean, Edwards & Sculthorpe - Amy Dickson (saxophone) Sydney SO/Benjamin Northey, Harth-Bedoya rec. 2013 SONY CLASSICAL 88875 169062 [59:08] [BMC] A beautiful piece of work and the sound quality is excellent.

Daniela Koch (flute) Works by Dohnanyi, Enescu, Hindemith, Prokofiev & Reinecke -  Oliver Triendl (piano) rec. 2013 INDÉSENS INDE074 [71:42] [WKL] A pleasing album with good stylistic contrast.

Liaisons Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano - Anthony de Mare (piano) rec. 2010-14 ECM NEW SERIES 2470-72 [3 CDs: 197:10] [DC] Full of freshness and surprise.

Liberté, Égalité, Sororité Works by Arrieu, Bonis, L Boulanger, Farrenc, Viardot & Tailleferre - Diana Ambache (piano) and friends rec. 2015 AMBACHE AMB2606 [74:45] [SM] Very fine work indeed.

Mynstrelles with Straunge Sounds The Earliest Consort Music - Rose Consort of Viols rec. 2014 DELPHIAN DCD34169 [67:20] Loquebantur Music from the Baldwin Partbooks - The Marian Consort/Rory McCleery rec. 2015 DELPHIAN DCD34160 [66:12] [BW] Two collections more suited to those already acquainted with English music of the sixteenth century, though they should also appeal to others.

O My People Antiphon/Matthew Cann rec. 2015 WILLOWHAYNE RECORDS WHR038 [64:36] [JQ] An enterprising programme from a very accomplished choir.

Orient - Occident Jaan RÄÄTS (b.1932) Concerto for trumpet & piano Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Concerto piccolo, Cantus, Orient & Occident Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Concerto 1 - Éric Aubier (trumpet) Roustem Saďtkoulov (piano) O Pays Savoie/Nicolas Chalvin rec. 2014 INDÉSENS INDE070 [58:10] [WKL] The Rääts and Pärt will be interesting to those who want to expand their musical horizons.

Paroles ŕ l'absent Works by Boulanger, Caplet, Chausso & Ravel - Luce del Canto, Europa Barocca/Simon Pierre-Bestion rec. 2014 NOMADMUSIC NMM008 [58:42] [MC] Lovers of choral music shouldn’t hesitate as there are some gems to be discovered here.

Pensées Intimes Works by Antoine, L Boulanger, Kelly & Pfitzner - Guillaume Sutre (violin) Steven Vanhauwaert (piano) HORTUS 712 [73:58] [MC] My advice is to sidestep this CD.

Saimir Pirgu (tenor) Il Mio Canto - O Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Speranza Scappucci rec. 2015 OPUS ARTE OACD9041D [62:51] [RMo] I cannot in all honesty say that I am likely to turn to this recital when I want to hear these arias again.

Saimir Pirgu (tenor) Il Mio Canto - O del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Speranza Scappucci rec. 2015 OPUS ARTE OACD9041D [62.51] [MC] Worthy of praise but the competition is fierce.

Prague Kaleidoscope Works by Brunner, Freidlin, Hurnik, Ruzicka, Kukal & Benko - Duo Teres rec. 2015 ARCO DIVA UP0182 2131 [55:53] [JW] These largely light-hearted, genial, zesty works suit the violin-and-guitar medium well. They bring deft sonority and lyrical warmth.

La Ręveuse 17th Century Vocal Works rec. 2007-11 MIRARE MIR295 [3 CDs: 195:34] [CRo] Bears eloquent testimony to the art of a tightly-knit group … stylish playing, enthusiasm and a keen ability in interact.

Marita Sřlberg (soprano) Opera Arias - Norwegian Ntl Opera O/John Fiore rec. 2013/14 SIMAX PSC1336 [68:12] [GF] A delightful recital that should adorn even the most discriminating collection.

Solitaires Boulanger Trio rec. 2014 C-AVI MUSIC 8.553345 [69:08] [DJB] Choice of works and performances are exemplary.

Sol nascente Italian coloratura arias - Charlotte Schäfer (soprano), Neue Düsseldorfer Hofmusik/Michael Preiser rec. 2014 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38187 SACD [61:01] [GF] Delights from Charlotte Schäfer but my heart sank when I tried to read the texts.

Spirit, Strength and Sorrow Settings of Stabat Mater by Firsova, Korvits, Casciolini, Martin & Scarlatti - The Sixteen/Harry Christophers rec. 2014 CORO COR16127 [68:45] [JQ] A very stimulating disc of old and new settings of the Stabat Mater, all in exemplary performances.

Tossy Spivakovsky (violin) Violin sonatas by Bach, Bartók & Beethoven - Artur Balsam, Robert Cornman (piano) rec. 1947/50 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1137 [57:52] [SG] Given the dearth of Spivakovsky on disc, this release is greatly appreciated.

Tribute to Madam Works by Bliss, Boyce, Byrd, Gordon & Toye - Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Barry Wordsworth rec. 2001 ASV WHITE LINE PRESTO CDWLS255 [79.27 + 72.07] [PCG] There is so much to enjoy here, nearly all of it unavailable elsewhere. Purchasers should not hesitate.

Upheld by stillness Renaissance gems and their reflections - ORA/Suzi Digby rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI HMW906102 [78:44] [JQ] A stimulating and rewarding launch of what promises to be an exciting project.

The Vale of Tears Works by JS Bach, Praetorius & Schütz - Schola Cantorum, O Theatre of Early Music/Daniel Taylor rec. 2014 ANALEKTA AN29144 [49:45] [JV] I am not overly enthusiastic about this recording which has considerable weaknesses.

Bruno Walter Rarities American Columbia Recordings 1941-55 - P-SO NY, Columbia SO, Philadelphia O PRISTINE AUDIO PASC452 [67:38 + 71:11] [JW] A canny piece of programming that succeeds in shedding renewed light on little-explored recordings.

Wild Men of the Seicento Piers Adams (recorders) David Wright (harpsichord/organ) rec. 2014 RED PRIEST RECORDINGS RP013 [64:16] [CSe] Riches that are multifarious: musical, technical, interpretative and expressive.

Wine Dark Sea Works by Grantham, Mackey, Ticheli & Welcher - Nathan Williams (clarinet) U Texas Wind Ens/Jerry Junkin rec. 2014 REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-137 HDCD [69:41] [DM] Music of variety and substance, stylishly played; another Rolls-Royce recording from Reference.

Endre Wolf (violin) In Sweden Vol. 2 - rec. 1949-78 DANACORD DACOCD763-768 [6 CDs: 448:00] [SG] In expanding and widening Wolf’s scant discographical legacy, Danacord have done him proud. A true labour of love.

Works for String Orchestra Works by Bax, Benjamin, L Berkeley, Panufnik & Stevens - Boyd Neel O/Boyd Neel, London CO/Anthony Bernard rec. 1961 LYRITA REAM1117 [69:34] [BW] No masterpieces but fine, persuasive performances of largely neglected music in more than tolerable sound.

Other Reviews

Some Other Time A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein - Nils Landgren (trombone and vocals) Bochum SO/Vince Mendoza rec. 2015 ACT 9813-2 [53:08] [DHu] Bernstein-themed soft jazz fusion, but is it true to the spirit of its dedicatee?

Eve Boswell Pickin’ A Chicken - Her 56 Finest rec. 1949-58 RETROSPECTIVE RTS4277 [79:21 + 79:13] [JW] She was clearly a fun person and sang fun songs.

For Love Is Lord Of All Gef Lucena (vocals, bouzouki, mandolin, autoharp, flageolet, recorder) rec. 2013-15 SAYDISC CDSDL439 [67:57 + 66:57] [JW] This twofer reflects the breadth of Lecena's interests and musical enthusiasms and loves.

High, Low or In Between Svante Henryson (cello) Katarina Henryson (vocals) rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2136 SACD [50:10] [RB] Breaking down those fusty old barriers. Ice-clear generous-toned sound and every depth and height well caught.

Ruth Etting America’s Sweetheart Of Song rec. 1927-37 RETROSPECTIVE RTS4283 [78:21 + 77:47] [JW] This excellent selection has been chosen cannily.

Articles and Notices

Wanda Luzzato: Jenö Hubay's "most talented pupil after Vecsey" by Gianluca La Villa

Download News 2016/3 by Brian Wilson and Dan MOrgan

Download News 2016/4 by Brian Wilson

Arthur Catterall - The Manchester Years by Stuart Scott

The Music Of Gerard Schurmann by Paul Conway


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