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Monthly Listing
June 2017


Jean-Baptiste BARRIÈRE (1707-1747) & Bernard de BURY (1720-1785) Sonates et Suites pour le clavecin - Luca Quintavalle (harpsichord) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95428 [79:43 + 79:56] [JV] The brilliance of Barrières pieces and the different features of Bury's harpsichord works is convincingly conveyed.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis - Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Mariann Beate Kielland (alto) Thomas Walker (tenor) David Wilson-Johnson (bass) Capella Amsterdam, O of the Eighteenth Century/Daniel Reuss rec. 2016 GLOSSA GCD921124 [75.03] [MW] A triumphant performance of Beethoven’s superhuman masterpiece.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 - Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2015 PROFIL PH16064 [73.06] [MC] Unquestionably one of the finest Bruckner recordings I have heard.

César FRANCK (1822-1890), Francis POULENC (1899-1963) & Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1836-1921) Violin sonatas - Carlock-Combet Duo rec. 2016 SOMM SOMMCD0169 [75.42] [IL] An imaginative and intelligent programme:, all three works performed with style, panache and polish.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Liszt Transfigured – Operatic Fantasies - Chiyan Wong (piano) rec. 2014 LINN CKD561 [70:00] [JWe] This really is a stupendous recording.

Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Armide - Marie-Adeline Henry, Antonio Figueroa, Ch Chambre de Namur, Les Talens Lyrique/Christophe Rousset rec. 2015 APARTE AP135 [2 CDs: 147:16] [ST] Another feather in Rousset’s cap, but also a very welcome addition to our musical knowledge.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespro della Beata Vergine - La Compagnia del Madrigale, Cantica Symphonice La Pifarescha/Giuseppe Maletto rec. 2016 GLOSSA GCD922807 [64:58 + 58:46] [ST] The finest, most joy-inducing recording of the Vespers to have come my way in many years.

Michael PRAETORIUS (1571/2-1621) Lutheran Choral Concerts - Weser-Renaissance Bremen/Manfred Cordes rec. 2016 CPO 555 064-2 [74:04] [JV] This disc is an impressive testimony of Praetorius's brilliance as a composer of sacred music.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 3 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 23 - Grigory Sokolov (piano) Mahler CO/Trevor Pinnock, BBC Philharmonic/Yan Pascal Tortelier rec. 1995/2005 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 7015 [71:43 + DVD: 58:52] [SG] I’m certain that all, like myself, who follow Sokolov’s career with interest, will find much to admire in this absorbing release.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Daphnis et Chloé - Ens Aedes, Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905280 [54:49] [ST] Perhaps the most important Daphnis to come out since Charles Dutoit’s very different version from Montreal.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) The Piano Concertos Vols 1 & 2 - Romain Descharmes (piano) Malmö SO/Marc Soustrot rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573476/7 [58:22 & 57:16] [DM] A winning partnership in every way; roll on Volume 3!

Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725) Opera omnia per tastiera Vol. V - Francesco Tasini (organ) rec. 2014 TACTUS TC661915 [75:37] [JV] A splendid disc because of the music, the performance and the organ.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 10 Adagio - European Union Youth O/James Judd rec. 1991/2 ALTO ALC1346 [78:27] [RMo] Judd presides over a truly cohesive narrative.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Concertos - Akademie Alte Musik Berlin rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902261 [72.20] [MC] One of the finest albums of Baroque music I have encountered for some time.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin - Klaus Florian Vogt (tenor) Camilla Nylund (soprano) Netherlands Radio Ch, Ch of Dutch Ntl Opera, Royal Concertgebouw O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2015 RCO LIVE RCO17002 [3 SACDs: 210:45] [MC] A Lohengrin to live with and treasure.

Graham WHETTAM (1927-2007) Complete Cello Works - Martin Rummel (cello) Sinfonia de Camera/Ian Hobson; Woolaston Festival O/Graham Whettam rec. 2000/2011 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0041 [79:23] [JF] I cannot rate this CD too highly, and Martin Rummel’s playing is superb.

Ein Feste Burg is Unser Gott Luther & the Music of the Reformation - Vox Luminis/Lionel Meunier Bert Jacobs (organ) rec. 2016 RICERCAR RIC376 [70:50 + 79:17] [ST] An all-round winner.

Flux Ferio Saxophone Qt rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10987 [80:40] [DM] What a fabulous foursome; bar-raising musicianship and sound.

Walter Gieseking (piano) The 1950s Solo Studio Recordings - rec. 1951-56 APR 7402 [4 CDs: 280:05] [SG] Piano aficionados will find plenty to savour.

Plays & Operas For The Radio Works by Haas, Hindemith, Gronostay, Weill, Grosz & Sutermeister - O & Ch Staatsoperette Dresden/Ernst Theis rec. 2007-2011 CPO 777 839-2 [2 CDs: 137:02] [NB] Both historically important and fascinating, enjoyable listening. A candidate for Recording of the Year.

Carl Friedrich ABEL (1723‒1787) Six Symphonies - La Stagione Frankfurt/Michael Schneider rec. 2015 CPO 777 993-2 [62:02] [NH] An utterly charming, life-enhancing and, above all, impeccably civilized issue.

Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Iberia - Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1956 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC262 [70:47] [SV] This has its musical and technical drawbacks, but it is well played, and quicker tempos allow it to fit on a single CD.

George ANTHEIL (1900-1959) Over the Plains, Symphonies Nos 4 & 5 - BBC PO/John Storgĺrds rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10941 [65:45] [SG] Storgĺrds’ finely chiselled performances make a strong case for this imaginative and colourfully scored music.

Thomas ARNE (1710-1778), Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) & Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Harpsichord Concertos - George Malcolm (harpsichord) ASMF/Neville Marriner rec. 1967-68 ELOQUENCE 482 5117 [74:23] [JW] Another thoughtfully compiled tribute to Malcolm, Marriner and the ASMF.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Works for harpsichord Vol. 1 - Richard Lester (harpsichord) NIMBUS RECORDS NI5946/7 [78:19 + 74:40] [DC] Like many others will, I am happy to find a space for Richard Lester's Bach.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Concertos & sonatas for violin - Peter Rybar, Anton Fietz (violin)Winterthur SO/Clemens Dahinden  FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1170 [79:29] [SG] Much to enjoy.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Motets - La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken rec. 1992 ACCENT ACC24331 [64:51] [ST] Kuijken provides a very welcome alternative in good sound and excellent diction.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Bach Mirrored: Parallel Preludes, Fantasias & Fugues - Maurizio Croci (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2016 FRA BERNARDO FB1611911 [66:04] [JV] A most interesting and musically compelling recital.

Woldemar BARGIEL (1828-1897) Symphony, Intermezzo, Overtures - San Luis Potosí SO/José Miramontes Zapata rec. 2015 STERLING CDS1105-2 [64:14] [NB] Deeply underwhelming in every respect - mediocre music subjected to the bish-bash-bosh school of interpretation.

Jerzy BAUER (b.1936) Music for Cello - Andrzej Bauer (cello) Jan Krzysztof Broja (piano) Aukso Tychy CO/Marek Mos rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0385 [58:02] [RB] A Polish modernist, but not a garrulous one, and certainly a fine craftsman.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 4 & 5, Piano Sonatas Nos 30 & 32 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Impromptus - Artur Schnabel (piano) Chicago SO/Frederick Stock rec. 1942 RCA 88985389712 [70:03 + 73:18] [JW] A valuable release.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Piano Sonatas - Eduardo del Pueyo (piano) rec. 1976-77 PAVANE RECORDS ADW7073/81 [9 CDs: 653:17] [SG] On the basis of this compelling release, I hope some of del Pueyo’s deleted discography will make a comeback to the catalogues. He’s certainly a pianist worthy of more attention.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto No. 1 - Salvatore Accardo (violin) Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Kurt Masur rec. 1977 PENTATONE PTC5186237 SACD [71:22] [DHu] It’s good that these 1970s recordings are now sounding at their best, but particularly for the Beethoven, it remains a lesser recommendation.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie Fantastique - La Chambre Philharmonique/Emmanuel Krivine rec. 2014 ALPHA 714 DVD [125:05] Concertgebouw O/Bernard Haitink rec. 1979 ARTHAUS MUSIK 109166 DVD [59:00] [MG] Krivine for a well-oiled stylishness and precision, Haitink for more evident emotion and excitement.

Nadia BOULANGER (1887-1979) Mademoiselle - Première Audience - Nicole Cabell (soprano) Alek Shrader (tenor) Edwin Crossley-Mercer (baritone) Amit Paled (cello) François-Henri Houbart (organ) Lucy Mauro (piano) rec. 2015/16 DELOS DE3496 [54.12 + 54.15] [GH] I heartily recommend this fascinating release.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 1 - Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Franz Konwitschny rec. 1962 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300839BC [48:04] [RWM] A great performance without great sound.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quintets Nos 1 & 2 - WDR SO Cologne Chamber Players rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186663 SACD [58.56] [DBi] Skilful and exciting playing of two masterly quintets.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies Nos 1-4, Tragic Overture, Haydn Variations Arnold SCHÖNBERG (1874-1951) Five Pieces, Variations Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Funeral Music, Livre - Berlin SO/Günther Herbig rec. 1978-83 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300911BC [4 CDs: 269:43] [NB] An overview which makes a virtue out of superb musicianship and an essentially traditional approach.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Die Schöne Magelone - Christian Gerhaher (baritone) Gerold Huber (piano) rec. 2014 SONY CLASSICAL 88985413122 [53:56] [ST] A very fine release that deserves to win more friends for the work as well as more admiration for the artists.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Sextets - Cypress String Qt, Barry Shiffman (viola) Zuill Bailey (cello) rec. 2016 AVIE AV2294 [76:50] [JQ] The Cypress String Quartet have ended their recording career on a high.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ballades, Fantasies, Theme & Variations - Denis Kozhukhin (piano) rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186568 SACD [56:48] [RK] An immensely satisfying disc.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies Nos 1-4 - Boston SO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2016 BSO CLASSICS 1701/03 [3CDs: 168:43] [JQ] A Brahms cycle which confirms that the relationship between Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony is flourishing.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Die schöne Magelone, Vier Ernste Gesänge - Roderick Williams (baritone) Roger Vignoles (piano) rec. 2014 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD108 [80:37 + 72:57] [JQ] An admirable Brahms recital, made all the more attractive by the imaginative presentation of Die schöne Magelone.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quintet Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) String Quartet No.1 - Pacifica Qt, Menahem Pressler (piano) rec. 2014/16 CEDILLE CDR90000170 [71:39] [MR] The Pacifica Quartet provide a potent demonstration of outstanding chamber music partnership.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Haydn variations, Alto Rhapsody, Piano Concerto No 1, Requiem - Clifford Curzon (piano) Hollywood Bowl O, New York PSO, Rome SO/Bruno Walter rec. 1941-1952 PRISTINE CLASSICS PASC494 [73:41 + 77:56] [PSt] Never less than interesting and at times provokes questions about contemporary orthodoxies.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto, Violin Sonata No. 1 - Vadim Gluzman (violin) Angela Yoffe (piano) Lucerne SO/James Gaffigan rec. 2013/15 BIS BIS-2172 SACD [72:48] [DC] Imaginative programme and very fine production.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No.3 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser Overture - Gewandhaus O/Andris Nelsons rec. 2016 DG 4797208 [75:51] [BW] A disappointing first movement spoils an otherwise very fine performance.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 3 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser Overture -Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Andris Nelsons rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 7208 [75:51] [JQ] An auspicious launch to Andris Nelsons’ Bruckner cycle.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 6 - Oberősterreichisches Jugend SO/Rémy Ballot rec. 2016 GRAMOLA 99127 SACD [69:08] [RMo] I look forward to Ballot’s completion of the whole Bruckner symphonic cycle.

Antonio CALDARA (c.1671-1736) Missa dolorosa, Motets - Ens La Silva/Schaap rec. 2000-2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95482 [73.17] [DBi] An excellent disc of rarely heard baroque choral music.

Luigi CHERUBINI (1760-1842) & Charles-Henri PLANTADE (1764-1839) Requiems - Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet rec. 2016 ALPHA CLASSICS 251 [69:14] [MR] Two fascinating requiems which not only provide a rare glimpse into a peculiar moment in French history but open up an area of the repertory all too often relegated to the shadows.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano works - Naum Grubert (piano) NAVIS CLASSICS NC17005 [45:31 + 37:23] [SG] A deeply satisfying and well-conceived programme.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Nocturnes - Clare Huangci (piano) rec. 2016 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300905BC [58:38 + 57:58] [DC] Pricelessly expressive playing.

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] [DM] A heady, hyper-bold account of Copland’s original score, superbly recorded; go for it.

Gordon CROSSE (b. 1937) Elegy, Concerto for chamber orchestra, Concertino, Violin Concerto No. 2 - Manoug Parikian (violin) Budapest SO/György Lehel, Melos Ens, BBC SO/Norman Del Mar, Colin Davis rec. 1965-1970 LYRITA REAM.1133 [67:36] [JF] This is another splendid example of Lyrita Recorded Edition’s partnership with the BBC.

Alberto CURCI (1886-1973) Violin Concertos 1-3, Suite italiana in stile antico - Franco Gulli (violin) Studio O/Franco Capuana rec. 1963/64 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR53 [72:04] [JW] Gulli is an unflagging guide to Curci’s undemanding muse.

Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) Piano Concertos, Rondo brillant - Tasmanian SO/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68138 [73:02] Franz Xaver MOZART (1791–1844) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 Muzio CLEMENTI (1752–1832) Piano Concerto in C [20:45] St. Gallen SO/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68126 [71:31] [BW] Erstwhile piano pupils need fear Czerny no more: this recording rehabilitates him.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) & Toshio HOSOKAWA (b. 1955) Etudes - Momo Kodama (piano) rec. 2016 ECM NEW SERIES 2509 [79:20] [DC] Very fine indeed - embracing two types of 'modern'.

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) & Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Choral works - The Carice Singers/George Parris rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573695 [71:40] [JF] A wonderful CD of choral music.

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) & Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) String Quartets - Villiers Qt rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573586 [71:24] [JF] Sympathetic performances of quartets by Delius and Elgar, including a fascinating early version of Late Swallows.

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) & Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) String Quartets - Villiers Qt rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573586 [71.24] [MC] A desirable coupling of English string quartets.

Claude DELVINCOURT (1888-1954) Piano Works Vol. 1 - Diane Andersen (piano) rec. 2015-2016 AZUR CLASSICAL AZC152 [60:00] [SG] These deliciously melodic pieces offer plenty to enjoy.

Stephen DODGSON (1924-2013) Piano Quintets Nos 1 & 2, String Quintet - Tippett Qt, Emma Abbate (piano) Susan Monks (cello) rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0357 [81:32] [BSt] A very worthwhile and welcome addition to the discography of an unjustly neglected composer.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797 – 1848) Olivo e Pasquale - Bruno Taddia (baritone) Laura Giordano (soprano) Coro Donizetti Opera, O Academia Teatro alla Scala/Federico Maria Sardelli rec. 2016 DYNAMIC CDS7758.02 [72:51 + 70:07] [GF] Not everything is top-drawer Donizetti, but quite a lot is.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Lucrezia Borgia - Dame Joan Sutherland (soprano) Alfredo Kraus (tenor) O & Ch of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden/Richard Bonynge rec. 1980 OPUS ARTE OA1237D DVD [147:00] [PCG] Despite some reservations, this DVD is a must-have for all Sutherland fans.

Henri DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Symphony No. 2, Timbres, espace, mouvement, Mystère de l’instant -
Françoise Rivalland (cimbalom) O Ntl de Lille/Darrell Ang rec. 2015/16 NAXOS 8.573596 [62:38] [LW] Vivid accounts of Dutilleux orchestral music by Darrell Ang and the Orchestre National de Lille.

Henri DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Musique de chambre - Magali Mosnier (flute) Nora Cismondi (oboe) Sébastien Vichard (piano) Alexis Descharmes (cello) rec. 2016 LABEL-HÉRISSON LH15 [54:09] [LW] An ideal starting point for anyone curious about Dutilleux’s remarkable chamber works.

Balys DVARIONAS (1904-1972) Complete works for violin & piano - Justina Auškelytė (violin) Cesare Pezzi (piano) rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573673 [64:24] Baltic & Beyond Works by Dvarionas, Kancheli, Vasks & Part - Piet Koornhof (violin) Thomas Hecht (piano) rec. 2015 DELOS PRODUCTIONS DE3529 [62:28] [SA] Both discs exemplify all that is best in music from the Baltic and beyond.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) The Spectre’s Bride - Simona Šaturová (soprano) Pavol Breslik (tenor) Adam Plachetka (bass-baritone) Wiener Singakademie, ORF Vienna Radio SO/Cornelius Meister rec. 2016 CAPRICCIO C5315 [78:27] [JW] This well recorded Capriccio release is certainly attractive.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Introduction & Allegro, Symphony No.1 - BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHSA5181 SACD [65:20] [NB] There is enough here to merit hearing another volume but not enough to suggest that previous favourite versions will be supplanted.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Cello Concerto Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Rococo Variations, Nocturne, Andante Cantabile, Pezzo Capriccioso - Johannes Moser (cello) O Suisse Romande/Andrew Manze rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186570 SACD [64:46] [DHu] In the top echelon for both major works and, as a combination, probably unbeatable when the sound is also factored in.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius - Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo) Andrew Staples (tenor) Thomas Hampson (baritone) Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim rec. 2016 DECCA 4831585 [35:39 + 58:18] [JQ] A deeply considered and superbly performed account of The Dream of Gerontius.

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) El amor brujo, El sombrero de tres picos - Esperanza Fernández (mezzo) O Ntl d'Île-de-France/Enrique Mazzola rec. 2015 NOMADMUSIC NMM041 [52.30] [MC] Brilliantly played, this is an impressive release featuring two of de Falla's finest works.

Louise FARRENC (1804-1875) Chamber works - Linda di Carlo (piano) OperaEns rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95319 [27:26 + 54:30] [SSi] Whilst this two CD set is short measure, the performances and the beauty of Louise Ferrenc’s music more than make up for it.

Ernst Helmuth FLAMMER (b. 1949) String Quartets Nos 4 & 5 - Jade Qt rec. 2016 NEOS 11618 SACD [74:53] [SSi] A good bold CD of contemporary string quartets, but not for the faint-hearted.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Romance Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Violin Sonata, Romance, Notturno e Tarantella - Tasmin Little (violin), Piers Lane (piano) rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10940 [76:47] [JW] This disc continues the fine legacy of recordings made by this outstanding duo.

Amante FRANZONI (c1575-c1630) Vespro per la festa di Santa Barbara - Accademia degli Invaghiti, Concerto Palatino, Cappella Santa Barbara/Francesco Moi rec. 2010 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95344 [63:04] [JV] Those who like Monteverdi should certainly investigate this disc.

Niels GADE (1817-1890) Piano works - Marianna Shirinyan (piano) rec. 2016-2017 DACAPO 8.226122 [64:09] [SSi] This is an attractive and well planned disc that presents the piano music of Niels Gade at its best.

Niels GADE (1817-1890) Chamber Works Vol. 3 - Ens MidtVest, Danish String Qt rec. 2013/15 CPO 555077-2 [55:58] [SSi] An excellent recording which is, for me, let down by the omission of the extant music of the third movement of the F major quartet.

Detlev GLANERT (b. 1960) Requiem for Hieronymus Bosch - Netherlands Radio Ch; Royal Concertgebouw O/Markus Stenz rec. 2016 RCO LIVE RCO17005 SACD [83:09] [DM] A garden of earthly – and heavenly - delights; superb singing, playing and sound.

Orlando GOUGH (b. 1953) The World Encompassed - Fretwork, Simon Callow (narrator) rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD453 [41:19 + 41:56] [ST] A fascinating project and a very noble endeavour, though I must confess that it didn’t hold me gripped throughout.

Charles GOUNOD (1818–93) Faust – Giuliano Romagnoli (tenor) Gemma Bosini (soprano) Ch & O La Scala, Milan/Carlo Sabajno rec. 1920 DIVINE ART DDH27810 [72:29 + 70:09] [NF] Historically significant acoustic recording but …

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Lyric Pieces - Paul Crossley (piano) CRD 3525 [78:54] [SB] A well-characterized selection in excellent sound.

Jean GUYOT (?1520-1588) Te Deum laudamus & other sacred music - Cinquecento rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68180 [63:31] [DC] A rich and sublime musical cake just waiting to be relished.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) The Creation - Ida Falk Winland (soprano) Andrew Staples (tenor) Musica Saeculorum/Philipp von Steinaecker rec. 2012 FRA BERNARDO FB1701429 [DVD: 108:00] FB1301272 [CD: 53:40 + 48:37] [JQ] A very enjoyable performance of The Creation which lifts the spirits.

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Chamber works - Soojin Anjou (piano) Ens Arabesques rec. 2016 FARAO CLASSICS B108098 [79:55] [NB] Minor music very well played.

Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Le Roi David - Ens Vocal de Lausanne, O de la Suisse Romande/Daniel Reuss rec. 2016 MIRARE MIR318 [71:37] [ST] Reuss embraces the strangeness of the piece, aided by fine performances.

Michael HURD (1928-2006) Choral Music Vol. 1 - Martin Ford (organ) Vasari Singers/Jeremy Backhouse rec. 2016 LYRITA SRCD363 [70:47] [JQ] The Vasari Singers are enthusiastic advocates for choral pieces by Michael Hurd that deserve to be better known.

Charles IVES (1874-1954) Orchestral Set No.2, Symphonies Nos 3 & 4 - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) Melbourne SO & Ch/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2014-2016 CHANDOS CHSA5174 SACD [71.04] [SB] Convincing performances of some of Ives’s most ambitious works.

Charles IVES (1874-1954) Three Places in New England; Orchestral Set No.2; New England Holidays - Seattle Symphony & Ch/Ludovic Morlot rec. 2016/7 SEATTLE SYMPHONY MEDIA SSM1015 [78:03] [DM] Not at all what I expected; something of a let-down after such a promising start.

Liz JOHNSON (b.1964) Intricate Web - Fitzwilliam String Qt rec. 2014-16 MÉTIER MSV77206 [78:14+79:27] [JF] All the works are approachable, sometimes challenging, musically vibrant, and ultimately satisfying.

Mieczysław KARŁOWICZ (1876-1909) Violin Concerto, Preludes to Eternity, Lithuanian Rhapsody - Bartłomiej Nizioł (violin) Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic SO Szczecin/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2016 DUX 1377 [55:59] [SG] Superlative performances. Karłowicz is a composer well-worth getting to know.

Mieczysław KARŁOWICZ (1876-1909) Violin Concerto, A Sorrowful Tale, Lithuanian Rhapsody - Bartłomiej Nizioł (violin) Mieczysław Karłowicz PSO, Szczecin/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2016 DUX 1377 [55:59] [SSi] An ideal introduction to the music of Mieczysław Karłowicz, with excellent performers proving to be wonderful advocates for the composer.

Antoni KĄTSKI (1817-1899) Piano Works Vol. 1 - Dobrzański Sławomir (piano) rec. 2016 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0388 [61:23] [RB] Not the most striking or original chapter in Poland's musical annals but still with the capacity to charm.

Stĺle KLEIBERG (b. 1958) Mass for Modern Man - Mari Eriksmoen (soprano) Johannes Weiser (baritone) Trondheim SO & Ch/Eivind Gullberg Jensen rec. 2016 2L 2L-136-SABD [67:59] [DC] Looking for juicy musical content and depth of message? Step right in…

Raul KOCZALSKI (1885-1948) Chamber Works Vol. 1 - Monika Dondalska (violin) Krzysztof Figiel (piano) rec. 2016 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0383 [58:41] [SSi] This is wonderful music; Raul Koczalski is truly an unjustly neglected composer, one whose music is for anyone who loves that of the Romantic movement.

Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967) Duo, Serenade Ernő DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Serenade - Simon Smith, Clare Hayes (violins) Paul Silverthorne (viola) Katherine Jenkinson (cello) rec. 2013 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10181 [70:19] [OL] Very English readings of very Hungarian music.

Tőnu KŐRVITS (b. 1969) Moorland Elegies - Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Ch, Tallin CO/Risto Joost rec. 2015 ONDINE ODE1306-2 [54:02] [DC] Sparks the poet in all of us.

Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962) Hommage À Fritz Kreisler - Barnabás Kelemen (violin) Zoltán Kocsis (piano) rec. 2016 BUDAPEST MUSIC CENTRE BMCCD250 [75:20] [JW] Kocsis' unexpected swansong is a splendid recital in its own terms.

László LAJTHA (1892-1963) Symphonies Nos 3-6, Suite No. 2 - Pécs SO/Nicolás Pasquet rec. 1995-1996 NAXOS 8.573645/6 [74:15 & 68:11] [SA] I look forward to further issues in this series.

György LIGETI (1923-2006) Le Grande Macabre - London Sinfonietta Voices, Philharmonia O/Esa-Pekka Salonen rec. 1998 SONY CLASSICS S2K62312 [43:12 + 59:15] [GH] An exceptional and extraordinary work, but extreme, surreal, even ugly at times.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) A Faust Symphony Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) A Faust Overture - Ferdinand Koch (tenor) O & Ch of the Southwest German Radio/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1957 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC453 [77:46] [JQ] Horenstein brings thrust and urgency to Liszt’s symphony.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Faust Symphony - Steve Davislim (tenor) Ch Sine Nomine, O Wiener Akademie/Martin Haselböck rec. 2014/16 ALPHA 475 [68:20] [RK] A caring and energetic performance of Liszt’s Faust Symphony.

Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Persée 1770 - Mathias Vidal, Hélčne Guilmette, Ch & O Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet rec. 2016 ALPHA 967 [54:05 + 53:39] [SSi] A wonderful, enjoyable performance, even if not so much a Lully opera as an adaptation.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde - Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) Wiener PO/Jonathan Nott rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 88985389832 [61:06] [ST] I can, at least, admire Kaufmann's ambition, but ultimately this isn't a success.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphonies 1, 5 & 9 - Moscow PO/Kirill Kondrashin; Tatarstan Ntl SO/Alexander Sladkovsky rec. 1967-2016 MELODIYA MELCD1002475 [7 CDs: 395:51] [SG] Rewarding comparisons of recordings set down fifty years apart.

Claus-Steffen MAHNKOPF (b. 1962) Hommage ŕ Daniel Libeskind, Vols I-III - Ens SurPlus/Peter Veale rec. 2016 NEOS 11616 [54:57] [CC] Mahnkopf is a clearly important composer and certainly deserves investigation.

Witold MALISZEWSKI (1873-1939) String Quartets Nos 1 & 3 - Four Strings Qt, Artur Cimirro (piano) rec. 2015-2017 ACTE PRELABLE AP0376 [68:19] [JWe] A distinctive and interesting voice which deserves to be heard more frequently.

Albert MARKOV (b. 1933) Works for Violin - Jean-Luc Richardoz (violin) rec. 2012 AZUR CLASSICAL AZC126 [58:46] [SG] Jean-Luc Richardoz’s dazzling virtuosity is impressive on all counts.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) The Greek Passion - Rolf Romei (tenor) Dshamilja Kaiser (soprano) Graz PO & Opera Ch/Dirk Kaftan rec. 2016 OEHMS CLASSICS OC967 [68.40 + 68.23] [PCG] Mackerras’s Supraphon set remains the most recommendable version for the general purchaser.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphonies Nos 1 & 3 - NDR Radiophilharmonie/Andrew Manze rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186595 SACD [70:48] [DHu] Mendelssohn played with vitality and classical rigour, but sometimes lacking warmth and charm.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2 - Jonathan Gilad (piano) Julia Fischer (violin) Daniel Müller-Schott (cello) rec. 2006 PENTATONE PTC5186609 SACD [59:04] [DC] Still up near the top of the pile.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Octet, Variations Concertantes - Ens Explorations, Roel Dieltiens (cello) Frank Braley (piano) rec. 2004 HARMONIA MUNDI MUSIQUE D’ABORD HMA1951868 [49:37] [ST] At near budget price, however, this really deserves your attention.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Arias - Pavol Breslik (tenor) Munich Radio O/Patrick Lange rec. 2014/15 ORFEO C889161A [55:26] [MC] A most desirable collection, showing Pavol Breslik to be an insightful Mozartian.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies 35, 38 & 41 Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 - NHK SO/Hiroshi Wakasugi rec. 1986/95 KING INTERNATIONAL KKC2108 [73:23 + 75:37] [RMo] Highly satisfying in its unfussiness and replete with the Schwung the music demands.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies Nos. 39-41 - Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2013 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER BPHR17032 [88:57] [BW] Mackerras and the SNO remain my overall recommendation but this digital-only release would make a very fine adjunct to it.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonatas Vol. 4 - William Youn (piano) rec. 2016 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1856 [79:10] [YJH] Mozart playing which should attract both newcomers and veterans of Mozart’s piano sonata alike.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809 - 1847) Symphonies Nos 1 & 4 - Kammerakademie Potsdam/Antonello Manacorda rec. 2015 SONY CLASSICAL 88985338792 [62:22] [YJH] There are things to enjoy and admire here, though not uniformly.

Nikolai MIASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Cello Sonatas - Luca Magariello (cello) Cecilia Novarino (piano) rec. 2015/16 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95437 [47:02] [SB] A fine new version of Miaskovsky’s two cello sonatas.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) L’Orfeo - Emanuela Galli (soprano) Mirko Guadagnini (tenor) La Venexiana/Claudio Cavina rec. 2006 GLOSSA GCD920941 [52:34 + 62:18] [SSi] A wonderful re-issue; one of the most important recordings released to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the composers birth.

Eduard NÁPRAVNIK (1839-1916) Piano Trios, Mélancolie - Spyros Piano Trio rec. 2016 MDG 9031996-6 SACD [69:32] [DJB] Sometimes one finds an unsung composer whose obscurity is undeserved; sadly, that seems not to be the case here.

Sigismund NEUKOMM (1778-1858) Requiem ŕ la memoire de Louis XVI - Namur Chamber Ch, La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy/Jean-Claude Malgoire rec. 2016 ALPHA CLASSICS 966 [61:43] [MR] A forgotten composer who found himself at the heart of great European events is celebrated in this opulent and stately recording.

Ludvig NORMAN (1831-1885), Ture RANGSTRÖM (1884-1947) & Adolf WIKLUND (1879-1950) Works for piano and orchestra - Maria Verbaite (piano) NorrlandsOperan SO/B. Tommy Anderson rec. 2011 STERLING CDS1095-2 [55:40] [DJB] There is much to enjoy here.

Poul Rovsing OLSEN (1922-1982) Songs - Bruun Hyldig Duo rec. 2016 DACAPO 8.226078 [67:08] [GF] Fine performances of interesting songs by a composer who may be an unknown to many.

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Arvo Pärt Live - Hilliard Ens, Bavarian RCh, Munich RO/Robert King, Peter Dijkstra, Ulf Schirmer, Marcello Viotti rec. 2000/2011 BR KLASSIK 900319 [70:08] [MC] A highly desirable collection.

Norman PETERKIN (1886-1982) Songs - Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano) Adrian Farmer (piano) rec. 2016 LYRITA SRCD.362 [68:53] [JW] Despite caveats this is a quietly rewarding collection.

Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942) Arnljot - Erland Hagegĺrd (baritone) Karin Langebo (soprano) Stockholm PO & Male Ch/Okko Kamu rec. 1973 STERLING CDO-1082-2 [53:14] [WK] Until such time as a complete CD recording is available this disc is a worthy substitute.

Allan PETTERSSON (1911-1980) Symphony No. 14 - Norrköping SO/Christian Lindberg rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2230 SACD [52:38] [SG] Powerful and deeply rewarding.

Werner PIRCHNER (1940-2001) Piano Trios Nos 1-3 - Eggner Trio rec. 2016 GRAMOLA 99121 [57:07] [DC] A great place to get off the beaten path and discover a refreshingly honest voice.

Giovanni Benedetto PLATTI (1697 - 1763) Sonatas - Elaine Funaro (harpsichord, fortepiano) rec. 1997/98 WILDBOAR WLBR9901 [77:20] [JV] I have greatly enjoyed Elaine Funaro's playing and her fine handling of both instruments.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concertos 1 & 3, Overture on Hebrew Themes - Simon Trpčeski (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2016 ONYX 4140 [52:23] [ST] The most satisfying performances of these concertos I’ve heard in a long while.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 3 Nikolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) Piano Concerto No. 2 - Marc-André Hamelin (piano) London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68145 [82:09] [DC] Excellent stuff.

Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (1928-2016) Rubáiyát, Into the Heart of Light, Balada, Songs from Rasputin - Gerald Finley (bass-baritone) Mika Pohjonen (tenor) Helsinki Music Centre Ch, Helsinki PO/John Storgĺrds rec. 2015 ONDINE ODE12742 [59:29] [JQ] Four rewarding works by Rautavaara but the exceptional Rubáiyát, magnificently performed by Gerald Finley, is alone worth the price of the disc.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) L’Enfant et les sortilèges Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) L’Enfant prodigue, Symphony - Nathalie Stutzmann (alto) Karina Gauvin (soprano) Roberto Alagna (tenor), O Phil Radio France/Mikko Franck rec. 2016 ERATO 9029 589692 [43:16 + 45:38] [LW] Disappointing Ravel accompanied by early, uncharacteristic Debussy.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) L’enfant et les sortilčges, Ma Mčre l’Oye - Stuttgart SWR Vocal Ens, Karlsrühe Youth Ch, Stuttgart SWR RSO/Stéphane Denčve rec. 2013/15 SWR MUSIC SWR19033CD [62.21] [PCG] Conductor and his players show a lively awareness of the internal balance of Ravel's instrumentation.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Concertos Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) Noches en los jardines de Espańa - Steven Osborne (piano) BBC Scottish SO/Ludovic Morlot rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68148 [63:03] [JQ] This disc is a winner.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) L’heure espagnole Emmanuel CHABRIER (1841-1894) Espańa - Munich RSO/Asher Fisch rec. 2016 BR KLASSIK 900317 [56.11] [MC] No reason to hesitate with this impressive live recording.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Maximum Reger FUGUE STATE FILMS FSFDVD011 [6 DVDs: ca 15 hrs] [TPo] A handsome tribute to Reger.

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) The Golden Cockerel - Vladimir Feliauer (bass) Aida Garifullina (soprano) Mariinsky Ch & O/Valery Gergiev rec. 2014 MARIINSKY MAR0596 DVD/Blu-ray [119 mins] [ST] Fine singing, but the production values are poor.

Jeffrey RODEN Chamber works Vol. 2 - Sandro Ivo Bartoli (piano) Jakub Fišer (violin) Szymon Marciniak (double bass) Wolfgang Fischer (timpani) Tobias Fischer (organ) rec. 2016 SOLAIRE RECORDS SOL1004 [53:30] [DC] Allow yourself to be drawn in.

Kaija SAARIAHO (b. 1952) Chamber Music for Strings Vol. 2 - Meta4 rec. 2015 ONDINE ODE1242-2 [60:04] [RWe] A surprisingly varied programme, mostly of works extracted from larger works and adapted from other instrumentations, but featuring a major original work for string quartet.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Mélodies avec Orchestre - Yann Beuron (tenor) Tassis Christoyannis (baritone) O della Svizzera Italiana/Markus Poschner rec. 2016 ALPHA 273 [58:05] [MC] This rewarding collection of rarely heard orchestral songs deserves to be heard.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, Allegro Appassionato - Romain Descharmes (piano) Malmö SO/Marc Soustrot rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573476 [58:22] [MR] Intelligent and neat performances of Saint-Saëns’s first two concertos show this cycle has much to offer.

Franz SCHMIDT (1874-1939) Symphony No. 2 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Intermezzo: Symphonic Interlude - Vienna PO/Semyon Bychkov rec. 2015 SONY CLASSICAL 88985355522 [55:04] [RB] A gorgeous single-disc introduction to Franz Schmidt's music.

Othmar SCHOECK (1886–1957), Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) & Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911) Lieder - Britta Glaser (soprano) Matthias Veit (piano) rec. 2016 TYXART TXA17089 [63:07] [GF] Wonderful singing of wonderful songs!

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Verklärte Nacht, Chamber Symphony No. 1 Alban BERG (1885-1935) Altenberglieder - O SW German Radio; Írma Kolássi (mezzo) O Ntl Radiodiffusion Française/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1953/57 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC445 [67:11] [JQ] Another important addition to Jascha Horenstein’s representation on CD.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Complete Original Piano Duets - Anthony Goldstone, Caroline Clemmow (piano) rec. 1998/99 DIVINE ART DDA21701 [7 CDs: 9 hrs] [SSi] A fitting memorial to Anthony Goldstone.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Complete Works Vol. 15: Becker-Psalter - Dresdner Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph Dademann rec. 2016 CARUS 83.276 [73:15] [SSi] Congregational psalm settings by Schütz in fine performances by the Dresdner Kammerchor.

Salvatore SCIARRINO (b. 1947) Un’ imagine de Arpocrate, Giorno velato presso il lago nero - Tamara Stefanovich (piano) Carolin Widmann (violin) Bavarian RSO/Susanna Mälkki, Jonathan Nott rec. 2013/14 NEOS 11626 [65:42] [DC] A contemporary music experience well worth seeking out.

Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2, String Quartet No. 8 - Boris Giltburg (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573666 [69.47] [MC] Boris Giltburg provides fierce competition to Dmitri Alexeev in the Shostakovich piano concertos.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) 24 Preludes & Fugues - Peter Donohoe (piano) rec. 2014 SIGNUM RECORDS SIGCD396 [72:05 + 75:68] [DC] Hesitate not.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Fragments Vol. 1 - Alexander Qt, Roger Woodward (piano) rec. 2005/6 FOGHORN CLASSICS CD1988 [3 CDs: 222:41] [DC] Remastered and once again ready to take on all-comers.

John Philip SOUSA (1854-1932) Music for Wind Band Vol. 14 - Central Band of the RAF/Keith Brion rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.559730 [64:54] [SV] If you just want to dip into the Naxos Sousa series, this brightly recorded installment is as good a place as any to do so.

John Philip SOUSA (1854-1932) A Sousa Celebration - Royal Scottish Ntl O/Kristjan Järvi rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHSA5182 SACD [68.26] [ST] So this is great fun, something to make you reassess Sousa as a composer.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan, Ein Heldenleben - Münchner Philharmoniker/Valery Gergiev rec. 2016 MÜNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS MPHL0003 [65.29] [MC] Virtuoso Strauss performances from Gergiev in Munich.

Sir Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) Songs - Mary Bevan (soprano) Ben Johnson (tenor) Ashley Riches (bass-baritone) David Owen Norris (piano) rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10935(2) [80:54 + 65:43] [GF] Variable singing, fine accompaniment and an impeccable recording.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Piano Music - Barbara Karaśkiewicz (piano) rec. 2016 DIVINE ART DDA25151 [67:05] [JF] A splendid introduction to the piano music of Karol Szymanowski.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphonies 3, 4 & 6 - Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2015 ONYX 4162 [59.55 + 58.09] [MC] With this trio of Tchaikovsky symphonies Vasily Petrenko and his Liverpool players display remarkable form.

Francesco Paolo TOSTI (1846 – 1916) The Song of a Life Vol. 1 - rec. 2014/15 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95201 [5 CDs: 346:10] [GF] At super-budget price this should be a tempting proposition for admirers of Tosti’s songs.

Colin TWIGG (b. 1960) Chamber works - Hiroaki Takenouchi (piano) Bridge Qt, Montpellier Trio -
rec. 2006/16 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0387 [77:11] [SG] This delightful release explores some of the uncharted by-ways of the chamber music repertoire.

Orazio VECCHI (1550-1605) Requiem George de LA HČLE (1547-1586) Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei - Graindelavoix/Björn Schmelzer rec. 2016 GLOSSA MUSIC GCDP32113 [67:00] [DC] Stunning rarities in striking performances.

Wenzel Heinrich VEIT (1806-1864) Complete String Quartets Vol. 1 - Kertész Qt rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0335 [62:23] [JW] No masterpieces, but the disc shines light on the early Bohemian string quartet.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello - Stuart Neill (tenor) Jessica Nuccio (soprano) Fondazione O Regionale delle Marche/Riccardo Frizza rec. 2016 DYNAMIC 57767 Blu-ray [146.00] [MC] A most enjoyable production of Otello from Paco Azorín with the drama compellingly timed from start to finish.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Un Ballo in Maschera - Plácido Domingo (tenor) Katia Ricciarelli (soprano) O & Ch Royal Opera House/Claudio Abbado rec. 1975 OPUS ARTE OA1236D DVD [138 mins] [ST] Very much a niche Ballo, and only you will know if it will suit you.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Parsifal - Lars Cleveman, Katarina Dalayman, Sir John Tomlinson, Hallé O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2013 HALLÉ CDHLD7539 [4 CDs: 258:57] [ST] One for those who are collecting Elder’s ongoing Wagner cycle, as the singing means that this can’t be a first choice.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Parsifal - Lars Cleveman (tenor) Katarina Dalayman (soprano) Sir John Tomlinson (bass) Hallé O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2013 HALLÉ CDHLD7539 [4 CDs: 258:57] [PCG] A performance one would be extremely happy to encounter live, perhaps less so on repeated hearings.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Overtures & Preludes - Baden-Baden SW RO/Hans Rosbaud rec. 1955/59 SWR MUSIC SWR19036CD [72:01] [RMay] A disc very well worth a listen, even if not necessarily "historic".

Romanus WEICHLEIN (1652-1706) Sonatas Georg MUFFAT (1653-1704) Passacaglia - Ens Masques/Olivier Fortin (harpsichord) rec. 2014 ALPHA 212 [61:01] [JV] Weichlein deserves to be better known and this disc does its part.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) Violin Sonatas Nos 1-6, Violin Sonatina - Grigory Kalinovsky (violin) Tatiana Goncharova (piano) rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572320-21 [62:11 + 66:28] [BSt] Strong performances, slightly lacking in subtlety, in a rather dry acoustic – but very acceptable at bargain price.

Charles WUORINEN (b. 1938) Symphony No. 8, Piano Concerto No. 4 - Peter Serkin (piano) Boston SO/James Levine rec. 2005/07 BRIDGE 9474 [59:39] [YJH] A recording I foresee myself returning to regularly in the future.

Anthem Huddersfield Ch Soc/Aidan Oliver, Thomas Trotter (organ) rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD465 [69:05] [MR] A massive choir superb in its comfort zone of big, traditional English classics, but dangerously cumbersome in music which is really the preserve of a weekday evensong.

Bohemia Works by Haas, Janáček, Foerster & Zemlinsky - Acelga Quintett rec. 2016 GENUIN GEN17460 [54:54] [SSi] A most enjoyable release. The Acelga Quintett overcome in their stride the difficulties that these four works pose.

Erling Blöndal Bengtsson (cello) A SR Tribute: Swedish Radio Recordings 1957-1980 DANACORD DACOCD778 [74:38 + 59:45] [JF] Recommended to all lovers of the cello.

Sebastian Bohren (violin) Op. 2 - Works by Hartmann, Mendelssohn, Respighi & Schubert - Chaarts Chamber Aartists rec. 2016 RCA RED SEAL 88985 39497-2 [76:50] [JW] Given the fine recording and the decent notes it only remains to see if the programme appeals.

British Legends Works by Bliss, Elgar, Kelly, Lennon & Vaughan Williams - St George Quintet rec. 2016 PAVANE RECORDS ADW7584 [55:46] [JF] For some listeners this CD may well serve as an introduction to a selection of splendid British music.

British Tone Poems Vol. 1 Works by Alwyn, Austin, Balfour Gardiner, Bantock, Gurney & Vaughan Williams - BBC Ntl O Wales/Rumon Gamba rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10939 [76:45] [PCG] Lovers of British music of the early twentieth century need not even begin to hesitate before purchase.

Celebrating 40 Years Australian CO/Richard Tognetti rec. 1996-2015 ABC CLASSICS 481 4571 [71:45 + 72:20][DHu] A timely celebration of the ACO, but if you want to hear the best of them, look elsewhere.

Cifras Imaginarias Ariel Abramovich, Jacob Heringman (vilhuelas) rec. 2014 ARCANA A428 [53.21] [GH] As they say in restaurants nowadays ... enjoy.

Codex Speciálník Polyphony in Prague c.1500 - Cappella Mariana/Vojtčch Semerád rec. 2016 ETCETERA KTC1571 [62.31] [GH] I’m not too sure how interesting this music really is but one can hardly fault the performers, the recording or the presentation.

Czech Viola Sonatas Works by Martinů, Husa, Kalabis & Feld - Kristina Fialová (viola) Igor Ardašev (piano) rec. 2016 SUPRAPHON SU4211-2 [61:27] [JW] A fine disc.

Peter Damm (horn) Hornmusik rec. 1961-87 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300930BC [6 CDs: ca 6 hours] [JW] This box certainly fulfills its objective well.

Enigmas Works by Bowen, Elgar, Leighton, Rubbra & Sackman - Elspeth Wyllie (piano) Catherine Backhouse (mezzo) Claire Overbury (flute) Hetti Price (cello) Alexa Beattie (viola) rec. 2016 DIVINE ART DDA25145 [77:40] [JF] Superb performances of an eclectic selection of English music.

Entrez dans la Danse Anne Queffélec (piano) rec. 2016 MIRARE MIR320 [82:23] [MR] Anne Queffélec offers an intelligent and enticing survey of dance-inspired piano pieces which is in danger of suffocating under its own utter niceness.

An Eventful Morning in East London Concertos by Doolittle, Fokkens, Matthews Patterson & Pritchard - Harriet Mackenzie, Philippa Mo (violin) English String O; English SO/Kenneth Woods rec. 2014/17 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6295 [69:41] [NH] This entirely excellent issue deserves to attract many listeners.

Yuri Favorin (piano) Works by Prokofiev, Popov, Shostakovich, Rebikov & Feinberg rec. 2016 MELODIYA MELCD1002459 [67:04] [RK] A stimulating and brilliantly played collection of Russian piano experimentation in the years before the hegemony of socialist realism.

Formosa Mea Tone Wik (soprano) Johan Nicolai Mohn (recorder) Karolina Radziej (violin) Vegard Lund (lute) Christian Kjos (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2015 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1109 [59:55] [JV] These performances are rather short on expression.

Louis Frémaux (conductor) The Complete CBSO Recordings rec. 1970-1977 WARNER CLASSICS ICON 9029588673 [12 CDs: ca 14 hrs] [JQ] A very rewarding compilation of the recorded legacy of Louis Frémaux and the CBSO.

Aida Garifullina (soprano) ORF Radio-SO Wien/Cornelius Meister, Osipov State Russian Folk O/Vitaly Gnutov rec. 2015-2016 DECCA 4788305 [58:53] [PSt] I very much enjoyed this CD, but I think it is to be seen as work in progress.

Guitarra Mía Tangos by Gardel & Piazzolla - Franz Halász (guitar) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2165 SACD [63:43] [JW] An altogether elegant and nostalgic recording, one that transforms but never betrays the roots of the tango.

Jascha Heifetz (violin) The Legendary Los Angeles Concerts - Gregor Piatigorsky (cello) Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Donald Voorhees rec. 1950-64 RHINE CLASSICS RH-004 [45:12 + 50:08] [JW] This is a valuable addition to the discography.

Horn Concertos rec. 1979-2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95412 [10 CDs: ca 11 hrs] [SSi] This set succeeds in placing the horn alongside the violin and piano as an important solo instrument; a set to cherish.

In the Light of Ravel Rachel Talitman (harp) Akhtamar Qt HARP & CO. CD5050-39 [58.41] [MW] World premiere recordings in outstanding performances – essential for anyone who loves the harp.

Louis Kaufman (violin) Works by J. S Bach, Mattheson, Tartini & Telemann - Antoine Geoffroy-Dechaume (harpsichord) Bach Chamber Symphony Group/Jacques Rachmilovich rec. 1950/52 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1234 [55:20] [SG] A mixed bag in several respects.

The King of Instruments A Voice Reborn - Stephen Cleobury (organ) rec. 2017 KING’S COLLEGE KGS0020 SACD [63:37] [ST] For anyone who loves the organ, or who loves the sound of King’s, this disc is pretty much essential.

Lotte Lehmann (soprano) Acoustic Recordings 1914-1926 MARSTON 54006-2 [4 CDs: 316:29] [JW] Once again, Ward Marston’s restorations are outstanding.

Oscar Levant (piano) Works by Grieg, Khachaturian, Liszt, Rubinstein & Tchaikovsky - Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy; New York PO/Efrem Kurtz, Dmitri Mitropoulos rec. 1947/55 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR416/7 [69:38 + 70:03] [JW] Stimulating, highly individual performances.

Wanda Luzzato (violin) Unreleased Recordings rec. 1955/79 RHINE CLASSICS RH-002 [8 CDs: ca 510:00] [JW] Bravo to all concerned for this loving, extensive and rewarding box.

Maestro Corelli's Violins Collegium Musicum 90/Simon Standage rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN0818 [68.57] [DBi] Six lively string concerti by lesser-known members of the Italian baroque.

Maestro Corelli’s Violins Collegium Musicum 90/Simon Standage rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN0818 [68:57] [DC] High standards all round.

George Malcolm (harpsichord) The World of George Malcolm - rec. 1959-69 ELOQUENCE 482 5181 [75:19] [JW] Malcolm’s broad repertoire brought to the fore in a captivating selection of items.

Many Are The Wonders Contemporary works inspired by Tallis - ORA/Suzy Digby rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905284 [70:25] [ST] Suzi Digby is blazing a trail with ORA and she is doing it with exceptional intelligence.

Mind Music Elizabeth Jordan (clarinets/basset horn) Lynsey Marsh (clarinet) Northern CO/Stephen Barlow rec. 2016 DIVINE ART DDA25138 [47.25 + 40.58] [MW] An outstanding and unusual collection to explore – and to support a worthy cause.

Louis Moyse (flute/conductor) Volumes 1-7 rec. 1958/76 LYRICHORD CLASSICAL LYRCD6031-37 [7 CDs: 8.5 hours] [JW] These seven discs chart a near two-decade sequence of flautist Louis Moyse’s performances with esteemed colleagues, played in front of small admiring audiences.

A New Heaven Ch Queen’s College, Oxford/Owen Rees, David Bednall & Rebecca Baker (organ) rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD475 [78:17] [JQ] A fine disc - a programme that has been selected with discernment.

Pange lingua Music for Corpus Christi - Ch Clare College, Cambridge/Graham Ross Michael Papadopoulos (organ) rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU907688 [75:19] [JQ] Another fine addition to the Clare College discography.

Passaggio A Baroque Alpine Crossing - Georg Kallweit (violin) Björn Colell (theorbo, chitarrone, guitar) rec. 2016 ALPHA 540 [66:44] [JV] A compelling programme which makes one long for more.

Gervase de Peyer (clarinet) Works by Weber, Schmitt, Debussy, Horovitz, Benjamin & Martinu - Cyril Preedy (piano) rec. 1960 ELOQUENCE 482 2851 [45:59] [JW] Just tribute to a great clarinettist.

The Piano at the Ballet Vol. II Anthony Goldstone (piano) rec. 2016 DIVINE ART DDA25148 [79:54] [JF] An outstanding disc that introduces the listener to a wide conspectus of French ballet music.

Leff Pouishnoff (piano) The complete 78 rpm & selected Saga LP recordings rec. 1922-58 APR 6022 [73:49 + 75:32] [SG] Thanks to APR, Leff Pouishnoff finally gets the attention he deserves.

Sacred Salterio Lamentations of the Holy Week - Miriam Feuersinger (soprano) Jonathan Pesek (violoncello) Deniel Perer (organ) Il Dolce Conforto/Franziska Fleischanderl (salterio) rec. 2016 CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77408 [61.08] [MW] A historical and musical delight.

Victor Schiřler (piano) The Great Danish Pianist Vol. 2 - Emil Telmányi, Henry Holst (violin) Erling Blondal Bengtsson (cello) Danish State Radio SO/Erik Tuxen rec. 1942-1957 DANACORD DACOCD781-2 [77:35 + 78:18] [JF] A superb double-CD; I am most grateful to have heard these excellent historical recordings.

Set upon the Rood rec. 2016 DELPHIAN DCD34154 [68.20] In Praise of Saint Columba Ch Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge/Geoffrey Webber rec. 2013 DELPHIAN DCD34137 [76.15] [JQ] Two fascinating and complementary programmes of music from the Celtic age and our own time, expertly performed.

Short Stories Mark Schumann (cello) Martin Klett (piano) rec. 2016 GENUIN CLASSICS GEN17458 [60:05] [MMB] An accomplished, mature recording from two young, enthusiastic performers.

Sřlvguttenes Favoritter Sřlvguttene/Fredrik Otterstad rec. 2015 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1113 [58.54] [MW] An enjoyable window on Norwegian musical life.

Stravaganza d’Amore The Birth of Opera at the Medici Court 1589-1608 - Pygmalion/Raphaël Pichon rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902286.87 [52:14 + 50:31] La Storia di Orfeo Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor); Emőke Baráth (soprano); I Barocchisti/Diego Fasolis rec. 2016 ERATO 9029585190 [64:09] [BW] The Erato is very desirable, though it will leave you wanting Monteverdi’s Orfeo complete; the Harmonia Mundi, though enjoyable is very piecemeal.

Triptych Works by Beach, Klouda & Clara Schumann - Monte Piano Trio rec. 2016 GENUIN GEN17449 [54:44] [SSi] The Monte Piano Trio excel on this CD, and Natalie Klouda proves to be a composer to look out for in the future.

Viva Italia Sacred Music in 17th Century Rome - Duke Vespers Ens/Brian Schmidt, Washington Cornett & Sackbut Ens; Mallarmé Ch Players rec. 2015 MSR CLASSICS MS1580 [58:28] [JV] An interesting release which leaves something to be desired from a stylistic point of view.

Vocalise Sinf Varsovia, New Seasons Ens/Albrecht Mayer (oboe, oboe d’amore, cor anglais)  rec. 2003-13 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 6843 [76:33] [OL] You’ll hear great oboe playing in a lot of beautiful music.

Bruno Walter Rarities Vol. 2 - Works by Berlioz, Mozart, Wagner, Weber & Handel rec. 1923-38 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC492 [72:28] [JW] Walter’s pre-war legacy has now been given the respect it most certainly deserves.

Fritz Wunderlich (tenor) Immortal Beloved - Lieder by Beethoven, Haydn & R. Strauss - Heinrich Schmidt (piano) Walter Weller (violin) Ludwig Beinl (cello) Bavarian RSO/Jan Koetsier rec. 1962/63 DECCA ELOQUENCE 482 6526 [47:50] [JQ] A precious reminder of a great and tragically short-lived artist.


Other Reviews

The Funny Side of Saydisc SAYDISC CDSDL444 [78:25] [JW] I hope this encourages readers to explore the catalogue of this entertaining and valuable label.

Annette Hanshaw The Personality Girl rec. 1926-34 RETROSPECTIVE RTS4304 [79:32 + 79:55] [JW] Elegant and relaxed singing.

Articles and Notices

National Discography updates by Mike Herman

Piano Trio Survey: Joseph Haydn Discography & Review Index by David Barker

Malcolm Lipkin - An obituary by Paul Conway

Discovering Richard Rodney Bennett’s Calendar by John France

Second Thoughts and Short Reviews: Early Summer 2017 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan


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