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Wednesday June 28th

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

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.

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.

Victor Schiøler (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.

Tuesday June 27th 

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 DECCA 482 5117 [74:23] [JW] Another thoughtfully compiled tribute to Malcolm, Marriner and the ASMF.

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.

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.

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.

Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Persée 1770 -Mathias Vidal, Hélène 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.

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.

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.

Wilhelm PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942) Arnljot - Erland Hagegård (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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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.

Monday June 26th 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Friday June 23rd 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Thursday June 22nd

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.

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.

Niels W. 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.

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.

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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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.

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 Storgårds 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.

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.


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