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Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, other music); Friday: Articles.
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Daily batches for printing (pdf) Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday


Wednesday July 26th

Paul CORFIELD GODFREY (b.1950) Akallabęth and other Tolkien Works - Tara McSwiney (soprano) Andrew Henley (tenor) Adam Jondelius (baritone) Nicola Loten (flute) Niamh Ferris (viola) Immanuel Carl Maria Vogt, Connor Fogel (piano) PRIMA FACIE RECORDS PFCD059 [67:32] [BW] Persuasive performances of approachable and often profound contemporary music.

Osvaldo GOLIJOV (b. 1960) The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind Christian LINDBERG (b. 1958) The Erratic Dreams of Mr Grönstedt - Emil Jonason (clarinet) Vamlingbo Qt, Norrköping SO/Christian Lindberg
rec. 2015/16 BIS BIS-2188 SACD [59:57] [RHa] A dazzling new concerto from Christian Lindberg unleashed by a flamboyant young Swedish virtuoso.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Ludus Tonalis Hugo WEISGALL (1912-1997) Sonata for Piano - Martin Perry (piano) rec. 2016 BRIDGE RECORDS 9487 [69:43] [DC] Excellent disc: an adventurous and satisfying feast of piano.

John IRELAND (1879-1962), Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) & Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Cello sonatas - Lionel Handy (cello) Jennifer Hughes (piano) rec. 2016 LYRITA SRCD.361 [70:52] [JF] An essential purchase for all cello music enthusiasts as well as advocates for the three composers represented.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete Flute Quartets - Lisa Friend (flute), Brodsky Qt rec. 2016  CHANDOS CHAN10932 [59:07] [MG] These well-crafted accounts can take their place alongside those of William Bennett and the Grumiaux Trio.

Giovanni Alberto RISTORI (1692-1753) Cantatas, Oboe Concerto - Maria Savastano (soprano) Jon Olaberria (oboe) Ens Diderot/Johannes Pramsohler rec. 2016 AUDAX ADX13711 [68:12] [SG] These world premiere recordings should help win Ristori many new friends.

Józef ZEIDLER (1744-1806) Missa - Sinfonia Varsovia, The Katowice Singers, Ensemble Camerata Silesia/Jerzy Maksymiuk rec. 2015 DUX 1314 [60:40] [DC] A fine discovery from a largely forgotten composer.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Enlightened Virtuoso Works by Khandoshkin, Paganini, Roman & Rust - Zbigniew Pilch (violin) rec. 2015 CD ACCORD ACD232-2 [70:13] A most intriguing recital of pieces which are seldom played, if at all.

Tuesday July 25th 

Giuseppe Antonio BRESCIANELLO (1690-1758) Concerti ŕ 3 Vol. 1 - Der musikalische Garten rec. 2016 COVIELLO CLASSICS COV91705 [67:27] [JV] Energetic and expressive performances.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert FRANZ (1815-1892) Songs - Robin Tritschler (tenor) Graham Johnson (piano) rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68128 [77:24] [SSi] This disc is a must for all lovers of the art of lieder, both musically and performance-wise this is a real winner.

Adam GORB (b. 1958) Dancing in the Ghetto - Royal Liverpool Phil 10/10 Ens/Clark Rundall; Royal Northern College of Music Wind Ens/Mark Heron, Timothy Renish; Manchester Camerata/Mark Heron rec. 2014/15 PRIMA FACIE PFCD047 [67:54] [DC] A very well balanced and at times thought-provoking programme from one of the UK’s leading composers.

Michael HURD (1928-2006) Choral Music Vol. 1 - Martin Ford (organ) Vasari Singers/Jeremy Backhouse rec. 2016 LYRITA SRCD363 [70:47] [WK] Jeremy Backhouse and the Vasari Singers are especially attuned to the skill with which Hurd sets his texts.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Salzburg Marian Mass - NFM Ch, Wrocław Baroque Ens/Andrzej Kosendiak rec. 2014 CD ACCORD ACD215-2 [46:33] [PCG] The sense of occasion could have been more readily conveyed by a performance more “grandiose” than this reconstruction proposes.

Georgy SVIRIDOV (1915-1998) Russia Cast Adrift, The Virgin in the City - Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone) St. Petersburg State SO/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2016 DELOS DE1631 [36:34] [EJW] An interesting and unusual CD of superbly sung vocal music by a Russian master of the idiom.

Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Die Seejungfrau, Sinfonietta - Helsinki PO/John Storgĺrds rec. 2014 ONDINE ODE12375 SACD [69:25] [EML] Highly recommended: luscious, passionate and radiant.

Brigitte Huyghues de Beaufond (violin) Works by Kiyose, Mozart, Rebel & Villa-Lobos - Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française CO/Pierre Capdevielle, Jacqueline Dussol, Norihiko Wada (piano) rec. 1957-62 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1279 [68:16] [SG] Long forgotten, these live recordings make a welcome appearance.

Monday July 24th 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.7 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No. 8, Moment Musicale, Rosamunde - Philadelphia O/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1927 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC483 [73:43] [RWM] Superb vintage performances of Viennese classics, including a Schubert 8th restored to remarkable sonic standards.

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Symphony No. 3, Three Latin American Sketches - Detroit SO/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2013/15 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559844 [55:18] [LW] Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony shine in Copland.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Keyboard Concertos - Viviane Chassot (accordion) Kammerorchester Basel rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 88985407452 [74:29] [DC] Yet another highly effective platform for accordion appreciation.

Giuseppe Saverio MERCADANTE (1795-1870) Francesca da Rimini - Leonor Bonilla (soprano) O Internazionale d’Italia/Fabio Luisi rec. 2016 DYNAMIC 37753 [2 DVDs: 200:13] [RK] Probably for bel canto enthusiasts only, but for those who enjoy lesser-known Rossini and Donizetti operas, Mercadante’s Francesca di Rimini will be a treat.

Johann Kaspar MERTZ (1806-1856) The Last Viennese Virtuoso - Frank Bungarten (guitar) rec. 2015 MDG 905 1954-6 SACD [67:10] [DC] Revelatory sounds from 19th-century Vienna.

Kent OLOFSSON (b. 1962) Champs D’étoiles - Lipparella DB PRODUCTIONS DBCD178 [71.01] [MW] A fascinating and enjoyable example of contemporary music from an electroacoustic specialist.

Giovanni Battista SOMIS (1686-1763) Nostalgia - Wolfram Schurig (recorder) Johannes Hämmerle (harpsichord) rec. 2016 FRA BERNARDO FB1711192 [55:37] [JV] You don't need to be a recorder aficionado to enjoy this disc.

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Violin Concerto, Partita, Hindemith Variations, Spitfire Prelude and Fugue - Anthony Marwood (violin); BBC Scottish SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2013 and 2016 HYPERION CDA67986 [81:26] [BW] A very strong contender in all the individual works and my overall choice for the coupling.

Other reviews
Delius and Norway by Andrew J. Boyle, publ. 2017 The Boydell Press [SG] Boyle’s book provides a fascinating insight into the spiritual and inspirational influences Norway and its artists had on Frederick Delius, both the person and his music.

Friday July 21st 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Sextets Nos 1 & 2 - Roland Glassl (viola) Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt (cello) Mandelring Qt rec. 2016 AUDITE 97.715 [71:41] Renaud Capuçon, Christoph Koncz (violins) Gérard Caussé, Marie Chilemme (violas) Gautier Capuçon, Clemens Hagen (cellos) rec. 2016 ERATO 9029 588837 [76:49] [RK] Two fine recordings, though that on Erato is surely the most likely to give lasting pleasure.

Claudio DALL’ALBERO Polyphonia in Excelsis - Ch Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge/David Skinner rec. 2016/17 RESONUS RES10190 [72:39] [RHa] Ancient modes and contemporary harmonies converge in attractive sacred choral works from a new Roman master.

Christoph GRAUPNER (1683-1760) Das Leiden Jesu - Solistenensemble Ex Tempore, Barockorchester Mannheimer Hofkapelle/Florian Heyerick rec. 2016 CPO 555 071-2 [68:41] [DC] Significant discoveries even for Graupner fans.

Betty ROE (b.1930) Songs - Sarah Leonard, Anne Marie Sheridan (sopranos) Robin Tritschler (tenor) Stephen Varcoe (baritone) Nigel Foster (piano) rec. 2014-16 MÉTIER MSV28566 [65:52] [JF] Convincingly performed, this is a well-produced retrospective of the songs of Betty Roe.

Camilla SÖDERBERG (b. 1953) Endless Games - Johannes Thorell (saxophone) Magnus Sköld (piano) Sverrir Guđjónsson (voice) Camilla Söderberg (tenor recorder) rec. 2007 DB PRODUCTIONS DBCD181 [71.24] [MW] An excellent example of electronic music with some striking compositions.

Elgar and his Peers Works by Elgar, Beecham, O'Donnell & Vaughan Williams - London Symphonic Concert Band/Tom Higgins rec. 2016 SOMM SOMMCD0170 [74:33] [JQ] This disc is valuable, especially for the welcome light it sheds on a less familiar side of Elgar’s output.

Medieval Songs and Dances St George’s Canzona/John Sothcott CRD 3421 [49:47] Merry it is while Summer lasts St George’s Canzona/John Sothcott rec. 1982 CRD 3412 [47:22] New Fashions Cries & Ballads of London - Red Byrd/Nancy Hadden rec. 199 CRD 3487 [66:22] [EML] All three discs can be recommended despite the outdated presentation and slightly unprofessional appearance of the booklets.

El teatro del arpa Sara Águeda (harp) Adriana Mayer (mezzo) Víctor Sordo (tenor) Calia Álvarez (vihuela de arco) Daniel Garay (percussion) rec. 2016 DUX 1359 [70:17] [JV] This disc is the best possible case for the harp.

Thursday July 20th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 & 2 - Frédéric Desenclos (organ) rec. 1998-2001 ALPHA 819 [4 CDs: 249:15] [DC] New clothes for the ‘Old-Testament’.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Life: A Journey Through Time - The Hague Philharmonic/Carolyn Kuan ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0116 [58.36] [MW] An enjoyable introduction to the wonderful world of Glass.

Orlande de LASSUS (1532-1594) Requiem a 5 - Ch of Girton College, Cambridge/Gareth Wilson, Historic Brass of the Guildhall, London; Lucy Morrell (organ) rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0397 [60.48] [GH] A compelling disc.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Great Mass - Kammerch & Hofkapelle Stuttgart/Frieder Bernius rec. 2016 CARUS 83.284 [56:06] [RK] A good and rewarding performance, though not the very finest around.

Paul PARAY (1886-1979) Chamber works - Eliot Lawson (violin) Samuel Magill (cello) Diane Andersen (piano) rec. 2016 AZUR CLASSICAL AZC155 [66:29] [SG] Paray’s gift for melody permeates these delightful scores.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Rare Piano Transcriptions - Julia Severus (piano) rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573468 [73:26] [NB] Admirers of this composer really need not delay - this is an excellent recital in every respect.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882 – 1971) Rarities - Igor & Soulima Stravinsky (piano) Beecham SO/Thomas Beecham; Royal Albert Hall O/Eugene Goossens; Berlin State Opera O/Oskar Fried; Philadelphia O/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1916/38 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC496 [78:13] [GPJ] Fascinating early performances make this a ‘must’ for Stravinsky enthusiasts.

Vale Richard Craig (flutes) Cora Schmeiser (soprano) Distractfold Ens rec. 2011/14 MÉTIER MSV28540 [60:51] [JF] An interesting exploration of modern music for flute, voice and other instruments; the performances appear to me to be brilliant.


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