NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] MusicWeb International 2017
Recordings of the Year
Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Autumn 2017-3 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan
Sir John Manduell - an
obituary by Kenneth Shenton
Forgotten Artists - 24.
Tibor Paul by Christopher Howell
Adriano: In his 30th Year of
Recording - an interview by Jim Westhead
The Verdi Requiem - A
partial survey of the discography by Ralph Moore
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Tuesday December 12th
van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
No. 9 - Gundula Janowitz (soprano) Grace
Bumbry (mezzo) Jess Thomas (tenor) George London
(bass-baritone) Ch & O Bayreuther Festspiele/Karl
Böhm rec. 1963 ORFEO C935171B
[71:17] [MS] A recording from 1963 by Karl
Böhm at Bayreuth, more valuable for historical
interest than anything insightful or profound.
CARRILLO (1875–1965) Orchestral
Works - San Luis
Potosi SO/José Miramontes Zapata rec. 2015 STERLING
CDS1107-2 [62:48] [JW] The
performances are all committed and strong and
certainly worth a listen or three.
Requiem, Marche funèbre, Chant sur la
mort de Joseph Haydn
- Frauenkirche Dresden Ch, Altenburg-Gera
Grünert rec. 2017 RONDEAU PRODUCTION
ROP6142 [76:25] [LW] Cherubini
works make for an enticing programme.
Racine FRICKER (1920-1990) Symphonies
1-4 - BBC Northern SO/Bryden Thomson, Albert
Rosen, Sir Edward Downes, Maurice Handford rec.
1980 LYRITA REAM.2136 [77:51
+ 73:34] [SG] Rewarding scores – I
am glad to have made their acquaintance.
KOECHLIN (1867-1950) Chamber
Music rec. 1980-2009 SWR MUSIC
SWR19047CD [7 CDs: 509:04] [SSi] A
wonderful set, one which I cannot praise highly
enough, an ideal way to experience the chamber
music of this neglected composer.
Works for Cello &
Piano - Christian Poltéra (cello)
Ronald Brautigam (piano) rec. 2016 BIS
BIS2187 SACD [60:18] [RHa] Poltéra
and Brautigam produce probing and accomplished
accounts of Mendelssohn’s delightful cello
works in glorious BIS sound.
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete
Violin Sonatas - Dmitry Sitkovetsky
(violin) Antonio Pappano, Konstantin Lifschitz
(piano) rec. 2006-2009 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC
HC17013 [4 CDs: 295:31] [DC] Very
fine, but maybe not definitive Mozart.
Sigismondo - Margarita Gritskova
(mezzo) Maria Aleida (soprano) Virtuosi Brunensis/Antonino
Fogliani rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.660403-4
[70:27 + 78:45] [GF] The target group is
primarily Rossini-lovers, but general opera
lovers should also derive a lot of pleasure
from this set.
Presence The King’s
Singers rec. 2015 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD497
[52:50] [ST] It’s perhaps not the most
original or brilliant of Christmas discs, but
King’s Singers fans will love it.
Violoncello del Cardinale
Accademia Ottoboni/Marco Ceccato (cello)
rec. 2016 ALPHA CLASSICS 368
[63:27] [CRo] Lovers of Baroque music should
find this unusual programme as pleasurable as
it is stimulating and edifying.
Monday December 11th
Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968) Piano Works - Alfonso
Soldano (piano) rec. 2016/17 DIVINE ART DDA25152
[74:28] [IL] Another entrancing Castelnuovo-Tedesco piano music collection.
Stephen DODGSON (1924-2013)
Guitar Chamber Works -
Mēla Guitar Qt rec. 2015/16 NAXOS 8.573762 [66:21] [SSi] An interesting disc that can only further the growing reputation of Stephen Dodgson.
OF THE MONTH Lūcija GARŪTA (1902-1977) Music for Piano - Reinis Zariņš (piano) Liepāja SO/Atvars Lakstīgala SKANI 056 [74:01] [SG] Richly rewarding music. A revelation!
George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue, Catfish Row - Claron McFadden (soprano) Bart van Caenegem (piano) Anima Eterna Brugge/Jos van Immerseel rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS 289 [86:12] [NB] Unidiomatic, poorly documented, dull.
Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Die Juxheirat - Gerhard Ernst, Maya Boog, Alexander Kaimbacher, Sieglinde Feldhofer, Chor des Lehár Festivals Bad Ischl, Franz Lehár-Orchester/Marius Burkert rec. 2016 CPO 555 049-2 [63:12 + 59:42] [GF] Those who have followed this extended series of Lehár operettas will find much to enjoy in this issue.
OF THE MONTH Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Trittico Botticelliano, Il tramonto, Vetrate di chiesa -
Liège Royal PO/John Neschling rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2250 SACD [66:26] [DM] The highpoint of Neschling’s cycle thus far; the rarely heard Il
tramonto is a real find.
Roderick WILLIAMS (b.1965) Sacred Choral Works
Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Chapel Ch/Ralph Allwood,
Jonathan Eyre (piano) rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASICS SIGCD517 [80:12]
[JQ] This disc shows another, equally distinguished side to one of the UK’s leading singers. It’s very well worth hearing.
Azul Works by Golijov, Stevens,
Aghaei/Jacobson, Dvorak, Stockhausen - Yo-Yo Ma (cello), The Knights rec. 2015
WARNER CLASSICS 9029587521 [58:43] [SA]
The whole listening experience is as joyful as it is involving.
Erling Blöndal Bengtsson (cello) A SR Tribute: Swedish
Radio Recordings 1957-1980 DANACORD DACOCD778
[74:38 + 59:45] [JW] I hope that there is much more from the radio archives to augment this already quite extensive series.
Thys Yool A Medieval Christmas - Martin Best Ens rec. 1988 NIMBUS NI7103 [64:07] [BMC] A timely reissue of holiday tunes performed centuries ago.
Friday December 8th
Ketil HVOSLEF (b. 1939) Chamber Works IV
Hvoslef Chamber Music Project
rec. 2015 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1130 [59:02] [SSi] An important release, the finest so far in the series, one in which the character and music of Ketil Hvoslef is brought to life.
MACONCHY (1907-1994) Héloïse
and Abelard - Hannah Francis (soprano)
Tom McDonnell (baritone) Philip Langridge (tenor)
Croydon Philh Ch/English SO/James Gaddarn rec.
1979 LYRITA REAM.1138 [72:04]
[MR] An obscure choral work from a largely
forgotten British composer performed with such
intensity and commitment.
Leopold MOZART (1719-1787) Peasant Wedding
& Toy Symphony Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Symphony No.1 - Amsterdam Baroque O/Ton Koopman
rec. 2006 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72266 [59:42] [DBi] A lively programme of Mozart, father and son, with period instruments and toys making a merry racket.
PAPANDOPULO (1906-1991) Piano Concerto
No. 3, Violin Concerto - Oliver Triendl (piano)
Dan Zhu (violin) Rijeka Opera O/Ville Matvejeff
rec. 2016 CPO 555 100-2 [67:31]
[JW] These concertos are full of infectious
rhythmic brio and exciting melodic and lyric
Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (1928-2016)
Fantasia Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Violin
Concerto No. 1 Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Tzigane
Anne Akiko Meyers (violin) Philharmonia O/Kristjan Järvi rec. 2016 AVIE AV2385 [48:09] [MC] If the programme appeals, there is no reason to baulk at Anne Akiko Meyers’s outstanding new album.
(1792-1868) Amor fatale - Marina
Rebeka (soprano) Münchner Rundfunk O/Marco Armiliato rec. 2016/17
BR KLASSIK 900321 [68.43] [RMo] Everything is
neatly executed but, accomplished as she is, much of what Rebeka does is
for me devoid of interest.
Lagrime e Sospiri
- Chantal Santon Jeffery (soprano) Galilei Consort/Benjamin
Chénier rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS 297
[58:05] [CRo] Fans of Baroque vocal music
should hear this, both for the singer and the
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Salome rec. 1961 DECCA 483 1498 CD/BD-A [100:36]
Elektra rec. 1966 DECCA 483 1494 CD/BD-A [107.50]
Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Vienna PO/Sir Georg Solti [DHu] There’s really nothing more that can be said about these legendary performances, but what about the sound?
STRAUSS (1864-1949) The Complete
Songs Vol. 8 - Nicky Spence
(tenor) Rebecca Evans (soprano) Roger Vignoles
(piano) rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68185
[64:23] [GF] A glorious finale to this series!
Thursday December 7th
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Cello Sonatas
- DuoLeonore rec. 2016 SOLO MUSICA SM269 [53.51] [MC]
Impressive performances throughout, stylish and unexaggerated but the competition in the record catalogue is fierce and firmly established.
Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
& Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs -
Claire-Louise Lucas (mezzo) Jonathan Darborough (piano)
rec. 2002 CLAUDIO CB5258-2 [60.55] [PCG] The ‘Sea Pictures’ don’t work well in this version for voice and piano, rather than voice and orchestra, but some of the other songs are interesting.
MAHLER (1864-1911) Symphony
No.4 - Genia Kühmeier (soprano) Munich
PO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2017 MÜNCHER
PHILHARMONIKER MPHIL0005 [56:44] [RMo]
Gergiev carries through his thoroughly consistent,
coherent vision of this symphony, abetted by
simply exquisite orchestral playing of the greatest
delicacy and virtuosity.
OF THE MONTH Per
NØRGÅRD (b. 1932) The Organ Book,
Canon - Jens E. Christiensen (organ) rec. 2017
DACAPO SACD 6.220656 [70:54]
[SSi] This is an excellent disc, one that
displays the differing aspects of Per Nørgård’s
organ style. A must for all organ enthusiasts
Christmas Gambols & The Musical Tour of Mr Dibdin
Simon Butteriss (baritone)
Stephen Higgins (fortepiano) rec. 2017 RETROSPECT OPERA RO003 [74:40]
[RBl] Good fun, and Gambols are not just for Christmas.
Renardy (violin) The Complete
Remington Recordings Niccolò PAGANINI
(1782-1840) 24 Caprices César FRANCK (1822-1890)
& Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Violin Sonatas - Eugene List, Eugene Helmer
(piano) rec. 1953 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM103
[67:09 + 42:17] [JW] A rounded view of a tragically
Stille Works by
Christou, Haas & Johnson -
Ens Musikfabrik rec. 2010-14 WERGO WER6865 2 [77:59] [DC] An intriguing collection of modern music.
Elisabet Strid (soprano) Leuchtende
Liebe Arias by Beethoven
& Wagner - Bulgarian
National Radio SO & Mixed Ch /Ivan Anguélov
rec. 2016 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1882
[53:46] [GF] An attractive disc with the latest
link in the long chain of outstanding Scandinavian
Wednesday December 6th
Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
& Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Violin Concertos -
Arabella Steinbacher (violin) Berlin RSO/Vladimir Jurowski
rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186625 SACD [65.47] [MC] This is a special release, worthy of acclaim; Steinbacher combines technical proficiency with an abundance of poetry and is recorded in clear, detailed and well-balanced sound.
RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) All-night
Vigil - Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo) Adam
Tunnicliffe (tenor) Vasari Singers/Jeremy Backhouse
rec. 2017 VASARI MEDIA VIMACD003
[58:23] [MR] A disc more concerned with the
joy of choral singing than anything particularly
insightful in interpreting Rachmaninov’s
glorious choral masterpiece.
SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas
D 959 & 960 -
Krystian Zimerman (piano) rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE
GRAMMOPHON 479 7588 [82:08] [DC] Schubert:
up close and personal.
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Kinderszenen,
Waldszenen, Piano Sonata No.4 Santiago MANTAS (b.1949) Poppy
Santiago Mantas (piano) rec. 2014/15 CLAUDIO RECORDS BD-A CR6033-6 [76.11]
[DBi] Two of Schumann's well known piano cycles, but mainly a completion of the sketches for the 4th Piano Sonata, make for an issue worth investigating.
Alexander von ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942)
Die Seejungfrau, Es war einmal: Prelude & Interlude -
ORF RSO Vienna/Cornelius Meister
rec. 2010/12 CPO 777 962-2 [5.34] [PCG] The performance and recording of ‘Die Seejungfrau’ deserve qualified
praise, but Ondine’s version under Storgårds is probably the better option.
Music for Piano Duet - Alan
Lawson, Gavin Sutherland (piano)
rec. 1994/2015 HERITAGE HTGCD202
[77:00] [JW] A varied and well-played recital.
Schubert’s Company Works by Schubert,
Desyatnikov, Akhunov & Tabakova - Yakov
Katsnelson (piano) Riga Sinfonietta/Maxim Rysanov
(viola) rec. 2016 ONYX 4183
[50:43 + 65:00] [GF] A fascinating programme
with excellent sonics.
A Russian Journey
Works by Cui, Lyapunov, Glazunov, Slonimski, Shaversaschvili &
Gail Archer (organ)
rec. 2016 MEYER MEDIA MM17035 [58:11] [SA] This disc makes it clear as to why Gail Archer’s recitals are so highly
thought of and successful.