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[New] John Joubert at 90 by John Quinn

Kurt Moll obituary by Ralph Moore

Nicolai Gedda - In Memoriam by Göran Forsling


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English Music Festival 2017 programme

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Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, other music); Friday: Articles.
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Thursday March 23rd

Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Symphonies 7 & 8 - Malmö SO/Michail Jurowski rec. 1998 STERLING CDS1026-2 [68:42] [WK] Jurowski leads the Malmö orchestra in a fine Seventh and an exemplary Eighth.

Adolf BUSCH (1891-1952) Complete Music for Solo Piano - Jakob Fichert (piano) rec. 2015/16 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0245 [87:05] [JW] A niche acquisition.

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) & Virgil THOMSON (1896-1989) Sacred & Secular Choral Music Appalachian Sketches Gloriae Dei Cantores/Elizabeth C. Patterson rec. 2000/01 GLORIAE DEI CANTORES GDCD029/031 [68:12 + 60:47] [NB] Valuable introductions into the rich tradition of American Choral music. 

Johann Caspar Ferdinand FISCHER (1656-1746) Harpsichord Suites - Tony Millán (harpsichord) rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95294 [79:13] [RK] The playing is clear and thoughtful and the recorded sound is good.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartets Nos. 1, 29 and 66 - Goldmund Qt rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573701 [56:26] [BW] Particularly recommended to those not yet familiar with Haydn’s string quartets but equally worthwhile for others.

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Planets Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Also sprach Zarathustra - CBSO Youth Ch, NYOGB/Edward Gardner rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHSA5179 SACD [79:53] [JQ] Top-quality Strauss and Holst in superb sound.

Daniel JONES (1912-1993) Symphonies 1 & 10 - BBC Welsh SO/Bryden Thomson rec. 1990 LYRITA SRCD358 [69:44] [MC] These two fine symphoniesdemonstrate that the music of Daniel Jones merits wider circulation.

Paul KLETZKI (1900-1973) Symphony No. 2 Czesław MAREK (1891-1985) Sinfonia - Polish National RSO/Thomas Rösner rec. 2016 MUSIQUES SUISSES MGBCD6289 [73:02] [SG] A disc that will appeal to the more adventurous.

György LIGETI (1923-2006) Piano Concerto, Cello Concerto, Chamber Concerto, Melodien - Christian Poltéra (cello) Joonas Ahonen (piano) BIT 20 Ens/Baldur Brönnimann rec. 2014/15 BIS BIS-2209 SACD [71:30] [JF] There is much here to fascinate and enjoy.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Complete Music for Solo Piano Vol. 3 - Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2013/16 SHEVA SH160 [72:04 + 75:53] [SSi] A splendid set, one which can only further the concept of Stanford as a composer of piano music.

Wednesday March 22nd

Bernard van DIEREN (1887-1936) Symphony No. 1, Introit, Elegie - Rebecca Evans (soprano) Catherine Wyn-Rogers (contralto) Raphael Wallfisch (cello) BBC Ntl O & Ch of Wales/William Boughton rec. 2016 LYRITA SRCD357 [69:21] [JW] An adventurous and successful release.

Richard DUBUGNON (b. 1968) Arcanes Symphoniques, Triptyque, Le Songe Salinas - Ntl O de France/Laurent Petitgerard, Debora Waldman, Fabien Gabel rec. 2001-09 NAXOS 8.573687 [62.32] [MW] Works to savour and enjoy – a fine composer.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Cello Concerto, Symphony No. 4 Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Concert Overture - Gautier Capuçon (cello) Polish Ntl Radio SO/Alexander Liebreichrec. 2016 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC30388 [59:33] [LW] An unmissable account of Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto and a fine Fourth Symphony as well.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) La Clemenza di Tito - Carlo Allemano (tenor) Nina Bernsteiner (soprano) Ch & O Academia Montis Regalis/Alessandro De Marchi rec. 2013 CPO 777 870-2 [72:00 + 70:57] [GF] A very interesting proposition.

Andrés SEGOVIA (1898-1987) Guitar Music - Alberto La Rocca (guitar) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95369 [69.33] [ZT] Miniature masterpieces by the grand Maestro of the guitar.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Nutcracker - Stewart Goodyear (piano) rec. 2015 STEINWAY & SONS STNS 30040 SACD [82:21] [DM] Stewart Goodyear is a prodigious talent and, despite minor caveats, his Nutcracker arrangement must be counted a resounding success; factor in superior sonics and this becomes a very desirable issue indeed.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerti per fagotto IV - Sergio Azzolini (bassoon) L'Onda Armonica rec. 2014 NAÏVE OP30551 [68:40] [JV] Another splendid addition to Naïve's admirable Vivaldi project.

Emma Johnson (clarinet) Clarinet Goes To Town - John Lenehan (piano) Paul Clarvis (percussion) Carducci String Qt rec. 2016 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6335 [75:14] [SB] An attractive programme of jazz-influenced works in new arrangements. A winning disc.

The Kreisler Story Daniel Röhn (violin) Paul Rivinius (piano) rec. 2014 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300784BC [74:02] [JW] A nice package with a decent booklet and very well recorded.

Something Blue Christiania Mannskor/Marius Skjřlaas rec. 2015-2016 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1107 [66:18] [SSi] A wonderful disc that will leave the listener anything but blue.

Tuesday March 21st 

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 - Jennifer Johnson Cano (mezzo-soprano) Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano) Baltimore SO/Marin Alsop rec. 2013/14 NAXOS 8.559790 [59:32] [LW] Two excellent performances.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) The Seasons - Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Gabrieli Consort & Players, Ntl Forum Music Ch, Wrocław Baroque O/Paul McCreesh rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD480 [67:42 + 65:26] [JQ] A signal achievement.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) A Midsummer Night's Dream - BBC SO & Women's Ch/Sir Malcolm Sargent rec. 1954 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO133 [70:10 + 74:13] [JW] An interesting historical document.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Arias - Anett Fritsch (soprano) Münchner Rundfunk O/Alessandro De Marchi rec. 2015 ORFEO C903161A [61.29] [MC] An attractively sung programme, but not quite on a par with the very best.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concertos - Isabelle Faust (violin) Il Giardino Armonica/Giovanni Antonini rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902230.31 [67:53 + 61:24] [DC] Rather magical.

Steve REICH (b. 1936) The ECM Recordings rec. 1976-81 ECM 2540-42 [3 CDs: 134:29] [SB] Classic recordings of early Reich … a good place to start exploring minimalism.

Ronald STEVENSON (1928-2015) Piano Music Vol. 2 - Christopher Guild (piano) rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0388 [66:37] [JF] The playing on this disc is superb. Ronald Stevenson's music deserves to be in the public domain.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Recorder Sonatas - Erik Bosgraaf (recorder) Francesco Corti (harpsichord) rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95247 [66:16] [JV] A fine demonstration of the art of the recorder and of Telemann's almost limitless creativity.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Four Seasons - Concerto Köln/Shunske Sato (violin) rec. 2016 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300829BC [51:07] [BW] New Seasons from Concerto Köln and Barocco Boreale have much to offer but don’t displace my top choices.

Splendeurs de Versailles Le Počme Harmonique, Café Zimmermann, Capriccio Stravagante/Skip Sempé rec. 1999-2013 ALPHA CLASSICS 260 [10 CDs: 10:47:14] [SSi] A wonderful and most valuable box set.

Monday March 20th 

To mark John Joubert's 90th birthday, we are publishing reviews of two new recordings.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH John JOUBERT (b. 1927) Jane Eyre - April Fredrick, David Stout, English SO/Kenneth Woods rec. 2016 SOMM SOMMCD263-2 [58:19 + 66:56] [JQ] Joubert's 90th birthday celebrated with a superb recording of his rich, inventive opera.

John JOUBERT (b. 1927) South of the Line - Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir/Paul Spicer rec. 2016 SOMM SOMMCD0166 [79:30] [JQ] A diverse collection of choral pieces by a master composer.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Keyboard Music - Giovanni Togni (tangent piano) rec. 2013 DYNAMIC CDS7762 [66:44] [JV] Nice cross section of CPE Bach's keyboard music played on a fascinating instrument.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 1 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 3 - Mindru Katz (piano) Israel PO/Josef Krips rec. 1964/71 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD175 [76:55] [JW] This brace of performances shows Katz’s authoritative musicianship at work.

Louis-Ferdinand HÉROLD (1791-1833) Le Pré Aux Clercs - Marie-Čve Munger (soprano) Michael Spyres (tenor) O & Ch Gulbenkian/Paul McCreesh rec. 2015 EDICIONES SINGULARES ES1025 [71:52 + 49:59] [PSt] An opera famous and much-performed for a hundred years, but largely ignored since 1949 gets a well-performed and well-documented revival on disc.

Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-1988) Complete Organ Works - Stephen Farr, John Butt (organ) rec. 2015/16 RESONUS RES10178 [3 CDs: 208:06] [JF] The performance of all this music is ideal.

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (1934-2016) Chamber works - Duccio Ceccanti (violin) Vittorio Ceccanti (cello) Matteo Fossi, Bruno Canino (piano) rec. 2009/16 NAXOS 8.573599 [63:10] [SB] A rewarding disc of Maxwell Davies’s chamber works, mostly from his last years.

Leo ORNSTEIN (1893-2002) Chamber works - Francesco Parrino (violin) Stefano Parrino (flute) Maud Renier (piano) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95079 [71:38] [BSt] This makes a fine case for further exploration of Ornstein’s music.

Robert RADECKE (1830-1911) Piano Trios - Trio Fontane rec. 2014 CPO 777 996-2 [73:16] [SG] A delight from start to finish.

Wolfgang Schneiderhan (violin) Works by Mozart, Henze & Martin - Swiss Festival O/Paul Hindemith, Ferdinand Leitner, Bernard Haitink rec.1952/68 AUDITE 95.644 [65:07] [JW] This valuable triptych of performances shows Schneiderhan in the round in Lucerne.

Other reviews
Josef Gingold: Exclusive Interview His Life, his Playing, his Teaching rec. 1990 ATLANTIC CROSSING RECORDS ACR0003 [48:23] [JW] This summons up the man in all his humanity and endearing warmth.

Friday March 17th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier - Mordecai Shehori (piano) rec. 2014/15 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD176-79 [4 CDs: 252:55] [JW] This is a most unusual and personalised traversal of the Well-Tempered Clavier.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Alfred Deller, Jennifer Vyvyan, English Opera Group O/Benjamin Britten rec. 1960 TESTAMENT SBT21515 [71:09 + 66:40] [JQ] All Britten enthusiasts should seek out this set as a matter of urgency.

Rhona CLARKE (b.1958) Piano Trios 2-4 - Fidelio Trio rec. 2016 MÉTIER MSV28561 [63:17] [JF] The composer has managed to create an exciting and often challenging personal voice that is always interesting.

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) At the Boar's Head Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Riders to the Sea - Warsaw Chamber Opera Sinfonietta/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2016 DUX 1307-08 [55:11 + 38:29] [MW] A good recording of the Holst, but for Vaughan Williams’ masterly work, look elsewhere.

Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925) Suite Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Sonata for 2 violins & piano Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Sonatina - Trio Koch ETCETERA KTC1543 [48:58] [JW] Some would want more on the programme.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie, Tod und Verklärung - Bavarian Radio SO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2014-2016 BR KLASSIK 900148 [75:10] [RMo] Magnificent performances for the devotee of Big Band Strauss.

Johan SVENDSEN (1840-1911) & Peter Erasmus LANGE-MÜLLER (1850-1926) Violin Concertos - Lars Bjřrnkjćr (violin) Aarhus SO/Giordano Bellincampi rec. 2007 DANACORD DACOCD662 [64:57] [SV] Lovers of Romantic violin music will want this.

La Grande Guerre en Marseillaises Jean-Philippe Lafont (baritone) Cyrille Lehn (piano) rec. 2016 HORTUS 140 [68.05] [PCG] A really odd disc.

Mother of Light Armenian hymns & chants - Isabel Bayrakdarian (soprano) Coro Vox Aeterna/Anna Hamre rec. 2015 DELOS DE3521 [61:58] [SA] These Armenian voices will weave their magic just as powerfully translating into a heady brew that will keep you spellbound.

So höret meinen Gesang Music on Klopstock texts by Telemann & Rolle - Leipziger Concert/Siegfried Pank rec. 2015 RAUMKLANG RK3502 [68:04] [JV] This disc deserves much attention considering the character and quality of the repertoire.


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