OF THE MONTH
van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin
Concerto, Romances Franz SCHUBERT
(1797-1828) Rondo - James Ehnes (violin)
Royal Liverpool PO/Andrew Manze rec. 2016 ONYX
4167 [71:21] [ST] If you’re
looking for a recent digital version of the
Beethoven concerto, then I think this could
well now be first choice.
Joseph Bodin de BOISMORTIER (1689-1755) Flute Sonatas & Suites - Musica ad Rhenum rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95366 [3 CDs: 180:37] [JV] Boismortier’s music needs outstanding and compelling performances, and that is exactly what we get here.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 8 - Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2009 PROFIL PH10031 SACD [58:46 + 24:51] [MC] Awe-inspiring.
Giovanni Stefano CARBONELLI (1694-1773) Sonate da camera - Bojan Čičić (violin) Illyria Consort rec. 2016 DELPHIAN DCD34194 [63:46] [JV] Exciting music and exciting performances.
Sacheverell COKE (1912-1972) Piano
Concertos Nos 3, 4 & 5 - Simon Callaghan
(piano) BBC Scottish SO/Martyn Brabbins rec.
2016 HYPERION CDA68173 [69:09]
[SG] Simon Callaghan's championing
of this richly rewarding music is commendable.
Arturo FUENTES (b. 1975) Broken mirrors, Liquid crystals, Ice reflection, Glass distortion - Quatuor Diotima rec. 2015 KAIROS 0015015KAI [59:58] [RHa] Fuentes’s unusual quartet cycle fascinates, challenges and caresses the ear in equal measure.
Charles IVES (1874-1954) Concord Sonata,
Violin Sonata No. 4 - Joonas Ahonen (piano) Pekka Kuusisto (violin, viola) Sharon Bezaly (flute) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2249 SACD [58:51] [RHa] Brilliant young Finn’s revelatory Concord in superb sound. Unmissable.
Songs & Piano
Music - Helene Wold (soprano)
Eugene Asti (piano) rec. 2015 LAWO CLASSICS
LWC1119 [66:30] [SSi] A wonderful
disc, one in which Helene Wold and Eugene Asti
give first rate performances, whilst demonstrating
that Grieg was not alone in his search for a
Norwegian national music.
PACHELBEL (1653-1706) Keyboard
Works - Márton Borsányi (harpsichord,
organ) rec 2016 KLANGLOGO KL1519
[64:04] [JV] An excellent opportunity to
get to know Pachelbel's keyboard music,
and the choice of instruments is thought-provoking.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas D959, D960 - Krystian Zimerman (piano) rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 7588 [82:08] [SG] Top-drawer performances by any standards.
Alexey Wladimirowich STANCHINSKY (1888-1914) Piano Works - Ekaterina Derzhavina (piano) rec. 2004/5 PROFIL EDITION PH17003 [59:47] [SG] For those drawn towards Russian romanticism, tonal yet harmonically bold and pushing the boundaries, this one is for you.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der Ring des Nibelungen - Metropolitan Opera O & Ch/James Levine, Fabio Luisi rec. 2010/12 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON Blu-ray 0734771 [5 discs: 18 hrs 31 mins] [ST] If you want a broadly traditional, mythical Ring then this is definitely worth exploring.
Between the Seasons Works by Kraggerud & Vivaldi - Henning Kraggerud (violin) Arctic Philharmonic CO, Knut Johannessen (harpsichord) Petter Richter (guitar, theorbo) rec. 2016 SIMAX PSC1356 [63:20] [GF] Things couldn’t be better!
Celebrating English Song Roderick Williams (baritone) Susie Allan (piano) rec. 2017 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0177 [72:42] [JQ] This is, quite simply, an exemplary recital of English song.
Mallorca Edition Historic Organs Martin Schmeding (organ) rec. 2011 CYBELE RECORDS 001404 [6 SACDs: 458:29] [DC] Breathtaking organ sounds – as much a lifetime investment as a luxury purchase.
for the Queen of Heaven Contemporary Marian Motets
- The Marian Consort/Rory McCleery rec. 2017
[59:31] [JQ] An outstanding, memorable disc.
of Miles Works by Weill, Alma Mahler, Korngold
& Zemlinsky - Kate Lindsey (mezzo) Baptiste
Trotignon (piano & arrangements) rec. 2016
ALPHA CLASSICS 272 [63:45]
[GF] This is a recital to return to over
and over again and find new insights and revelations
Tribute to Gilbert Duprez
Arias by Verdi, Donizetti, Berlioz & Rossini
- John Osborn (tenor) Kaunas City SO & State
Ch/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2016 DELOS
DE3532 [61:31] [MC] This outstanding
recording should win both French Grand Opera
and tenor John Osborn many new admirers.
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Preludes,
fantasias & minuets - Sandro Ivo Bartoli
(piano) rec. 2016 SOLAIRE RECORDS SOL1006
[74:02] [DC] One of my favourite Bach piano
releases of 2017.
Sebastian BACH (1685-1759) Gloria in
Excelsis Deo - Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki
rec. 2013 BIS BIS2201 Blu-ray [93:00] [JQ] A film that serves as a fine and deserving tribute to one of the most remarkable recording projects of the last fifty years.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin - Julia Fischer (violin)
rec. 2004 PENTATONE PTC5186682 SACD [73:08 + 76:52] [DC] Fancy a little SACD royalty?
Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Symphony No. 2, Winter Legends - John McCabe (piano) BBC SO/Sir Eugene Goossens; BBC Northern SO/Raymond Leppard LYRITA ITTER BROADCAST COLLECTION REAM1137 [79:41] [JQ] An important Bax issue.
von BEECKE (1733-1803) Piano Concertos
- Nataša Veljković (piano) Bayerisches
Kammer O Bad Brückenau/Johannes Moesus rec.
2013 CPO 777827-2 [62:13] [DJB]
The beautiful singing qualities in these
works mark them out as being well above the
norm for the “lesser” composers
of this era.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 1 & 3 - Vienna SO/Philippe Jordan rec. 2017 SOLO MUSICA WS013 [72.01] [MC] Creditable performances but the competition is extremely fierce.
Lulu - Marlis Petersen (soprano) Bo Skhovus
(baritone) Bayerisches Staats O/Kirill Petrenko
rec. 2015 BELAIR BAC129 [2
DVDs: 182 mins] [MS] A wonderful binding
of everything to the score.
BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie
Fantastique,Le Carnaval Romain, La Damnation
de Faust (excpts) - Amsterdam Concertgebouw
O/van Beinum rec. 1951/2 ELOQUENCE
4825569 [67:37] [GPJ] Great
conductor and orchestra clearly relishing Berlioz’s
BLANCAFORT (1897-1987) Complete
Songs Vol. 1 - Anna Alas i Jove (mezzo)
Miquel Villalba (piano) rec. 2015 NAXOS
8.579012 [61:08] [RWe] If this
first volume of the Catalan composer Blancafort’s
complete songs is truly representative, the
series will be well worth following.
Oskar Gottlieb BLARR (b. 1934) Organ Works - Martin Schmeding (organ) rec. 2017 CYBELE RECORDS SACD 061701 [66:45] [DC] Well-crafted and entertaining – something of an eye-opener.
de BOISDEFFRE (1838-1906) Works
for Viola & Piano Vol. 1
- Marcin Murawski (viola) Urszula Szyryńska
(piano) rec. 2017 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0401
[58:46] [EJW] An interesting an unusual
CD of original works and transcriptions for
viola by an almost forgotten French composer.
Light and tuneful, they form a most enjoyable
Joseph Bodin de BOISMORTIER (1689-1755)
Winds in Versailles - I fiori musicali rec. 2014/16 URANIA RECORDS LDV14026 [51:56]
[JV] An important release, even though the performances are not entirely satisfying.
David BRAID (b. 1970) Songs, Solos & Duos - Emily Gray (mezzo) Claire Overbury (flute) Elena Zucchini (guitar) Peter Cigleris (clarinet) Sergei Podobedov, Rossitza Stoycheva (piano) David Braid (archtop guitar) rec. 2014/16 MÉTIER MSV28575 [76:35] [JF] The music is interesting, often captivating, never too challenging, and always enjoyable.
Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) Symphonies Nos 8,
21 & 26 -
New Russia State SO/Alexander Walker rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573752 [70:27]
[RB] An Odyssean feat completed … Brian's disorientatingly glorious world brought vividly to continuing life.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No. 6 - Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Bernard Haitink rec. 2017 BR KLASSIK 900147 [55:15] [MC] This is a performance of the Sixth that can stand comparison with the finest recordings in the catalogue.
Bob CHILCOTT (b. 1955) In Winter’s Arms - Classical Brass Quintet, Canto Primo Youth Ch, Choralis/Gretchen Kuhrmann rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD512 [65:55] [JQ] Welcome premiere recordings of seasonal scores by Bob Chilcott.
CHILCOTT (b. 1955) All Good Things
- Commotio/Bob Chilcott, Matthew Berry
rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573383 [71:40] [GPJ] More attractive and often beautiful choral music from Chilcott, much of it in jazz idiom, with some fine instrumental playing.
Artur CIMIRRO (b. 1982) Piano Works Vol. 1 - Artur Cimirro (piano) rec 2016/17 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0400 [75:31] [EJW] Largely Romantic or Late Romantic in style, I have found listening to the music to be an enjoyable experience.
DAVID (1810-1876) Portrait
rec. 2014-16 EDICIONES SINGULARES ES1028
[3 CDs: 234:35] [SSi] The recording, like
others in this series, successfully furthers
our knowledge of an unjustly neglected composer.
DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Jeux,
Khamma, La Boîte ŕ Joujoux
- Singapore SO/Lan Shui rec. 2014/15 BIS
BIS-2162 SACD [75:18] [NB] A truly
excellent disc that uniquely couples Debussy’s
three late ballet scores.
Michael DENHOFF (b. 1955)
Bach Variations -
Birgitta Wollenweber (piano) rec. 2017 CYBELE RECORDS 161702 SACD [60:22]
Not ‘easy’ but certainly rewarding if you are prepared to seek intellectual rapport with the composer.
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Symphony No. 1 -
Nuremburg State Philharmonic/Marcus Bosch
rec. 2016 COVIELLO COV91718 SACD [51:09]
[MR] Magnificent orchestral playing in vivid sound, but a performance which is unlikely to endear it to those who have not experienced this early Dvořák Symphony before.
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 9 Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
Chineke!/Kevin John Edusei
rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD515 [49:33] [CC] A remarkable testament to a remarkable orchestra.
DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) & Josef SUK (1874-1935)
Piano Quartets - Josef Suk Piano Qt rec. 2016 SUPRAPHON SU4227-2
[60:44] [JW] I hope Supraphon keeps on with an exciting programme of recording for this excellent ensemble.
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Trios Nos
1 & 2 - Tempest Trio rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573723 [67.15]
[DBi] As good a disc as you can hope to find of these lovely works.
Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Black Knight, Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands - London SO & Ch/Richard Hickox rec.1995 CHANDOS CHAN10946X [61:24] [SSi] A very fine recording of early Elgar by one of the best Elgarians.
Ferenc FARKAS (1905-2000)
Orchestral Music Vol. 5 - Gábor Farkas (piano), MÁV SO/Gábor Takács-Nagy rec.
2016/17 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0286
Not the best album in the series, but Farkas fans will want it; close,
somewhat variable sound.
FAURÉ (1845-1924) The Complete
Songs Vol. 2 - Malcolm Martineau (piano)
rec. 2013-15 SIGNUM CLASSICS
SIGCD472 [68:53] [GF] Readers
who bought the first volume need not hesitate.
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845–1924) Music for Cello & Piano
Andreas Brantelid (cello)
Bengt Forsberg (piano) rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2220 SACD [70:13]
[GF] This is a disc to return to, over and over again.
Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987)
For Bunita Marcus -
Marc-André Hamelin (piano) rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68048 [72:38]
[JW] A performance that is both absorbed and absorbing.
Bohuslav FOERSTER (1859-1951),
Pavel HAAS (1899-1944) &
Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928)
Wind quintets - Belfiato Quintet, Jindřich
Pavliš (bass clarinet) rec. 2017 SUPRAPHON
SU4230-2 [50:56] [JW] This
disc offers pure unadulterated pleasure.
GOMÓLKA (c. 1535 – 1591)
Psalms of the Golden Age - Paulina Ceremuzynska
(soprano) Fernando Reyes (vihuela, Renaissance
guitar) Carlos Castro (percussion) rec. 2014 ACCORD
ACD214-2 [60:23] [GF] Not
only specialists can derive a lot of pleasure
from this historically important recording.
Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893)
- Charles Castronovo (ten) Irina Lungu (sop)
O & Ch Teatro Regio Turin/Gianandrea Noseda
rec. 2015 C MAJOR DVD 735108
[2 DVDs: 180 mins] [RJF] Sometimes the excesses
and idiosyncrasies of the director, in all
his guises as set, costume and lighting
designer, go over the top. However, much is
redeemed by the musical and sung performance.
Heinrich GRAUN (1704-1759)
München, Baroque O L'arpa festante/Thomas
Gropper rec. 2016 OEHMS OC1876
[77:11] [JV] A production which is musically
largely convincing and sheds light on a very
fine work, which deserves more attention.
Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Arias
ELOQUENCE 482 4759 [82:34 +
62:34] [JW] An interesting compilation of
Handel singing in the 50s and 60s.
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
The Handel Album -
Ens Artaserse/Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor & direction) rec. 2017 ERATO 9029577445 [71.58]
[MC] Jaroussky is in his element bringing the music to life with engagement and considerable aplomb.
HILDEGARD von Bingen (1098-1179)
Choral works - Tiburtina Ens/Barbora Kabátková
rec. 2015 RICERCAR RIC383
[64:17] [MR] Hildegard von Bingen presented,
not in historically-informed, dispassionate
performances, but as beautiful, manicured, musical
candy designed to entice our 21st
Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Works for Saxophones - clair-obscur Saxophonquartett, Barbara Buntrock (viola) Robert Kolinsky, Florian von Radowitz (pianos) rec. 2016 WERGO WER73532 [69:15] [SG] For anyone who loves the saxophone, as I do, there’s much to relish in this enjoyable disc.
HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Complete
string quartets - Amar Qt rec. 2009/10 NAXOS
8.503290 [3 CDs: 203:15] [SB] Those
who enjoy twentieth century quartets will be
well rewarded by this excellent cycle.
Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Orchestral Works - Andrew Watkinson, Nicholas Ward (violin) Stephen Tees (viola) Duke Dobbing (flute) Christopher Hooker (oboe) City of London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox rec. 1993 CHANDOS CHAN10948X [64:04] [SB] An attractive collection of Holst’s smaller orchestral works.
Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Orchestral Works - Andrew Watkinson, Nicholas Ward (violin) Stephen Tees (viola) Duke Dobing (flute) Christopher Hooker (oboe) City of London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox rec. 1993 CHANDOS CHAN10948X [64:04] [LW] A generally attractive proposition for less familiar works of Holst.
Jacques Martin HOTTETERRE le Romain (1673-1763) Flûte de la chambre du roy - La Simphonie du Marais rec. 2015 MUSIQUES A LA CHABOTTERIE 605016 [69:50] [JV] A compelling recital which shows the music and the recorder in their full glory.
Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983)
Howell’s Clavichord Books 1 & 2 -
Julian Perkins (clavichord)
rec. 2016 PRIMA FACIE PFCD065/66 [56:11+31:16]
[JF] A splendid version of Howells’ synthesis of old and new music in his clavichord ‘albums’.
Hans HUBER (1852-1921) Violin Concerto No.
2 Paul JUON (1872-1940)
Violin Concerto No. 1 -
Maria Solozobova (violin)
Collegium Musicum Basel/Kevin Griffiths rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 80358 118320 [55:15]
[BSt] A very worthwhile addition to the catalogue.
IBERT (1890-1962) & Henriette
RENIÉ (1875-1956) Trios - Antoine Bareil (violin) Stéphane
Tétreault (cello) Valérie Milot (harp) rec.
2017 ANALEKTA AN29888 [64:16]
[DJB] The quality of the two trios makes
one wish that there were more works of substance
for this combination.
JACKSON (b. 1917) Sacred
Choral Works - The Exon Singers/Mathew
Owens, David Bednall (organ) rec. 2006 DELPHIAN
DCD34035 [70:18] [JQ] A varied
selection of Francis Jackson’s church
music, excellently performed and recorded.
David Hackbridge JOHNSON (b. 1963) Orchestral Works Vol. 1 - Royal Liverpool PO/Paul Mann rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0393 [68:09] [NB] For the listener seeking the unusual and unknown this is a rewarding disc.
Paul JUON (1872-1940) Piano Music Vol.
Rodolfo Ritter (piano) rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0290 [74:53]
[JW] An auspicious start to the series.
KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) String Quartets
Nos 1 & 2 - Stenhammer Qt rec. 2015 CPO
555 006-2 [62:58] [BSt] A disc
of unfairly neglected quartets which is well
worth a listen.
KARAYEV (1918-1982) Orchestral
Works - Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2017 CHANDOS
CHSA5203 SACD [73:10]
[RB] Elite treatment … makes a confident
step beyond the unknown region.
Édouard LALO (1823-1892) Piano Trios Nos 1-3
- Leonore Piano Trio rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68113 [79:16]
[MC] An engaging and beautifully played album from the Leonore Piano Trio, guaranteed to delight chamber music lovers.
LEHÁR (1870-1948) Giuditta
- Christiane Libor (sop) Nikolai Schukoff (tenor)
Ch Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Rundfunk
O/Ulf Schirmer rec. 2012 CPO
777749-2 [64:31 + 78:03] [ST]
In safe hands.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 9 - London SO/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1967 ELOQUENCE 482 7163 [80.03] [PCG] While Solti’s Mahler divides opinion, there is no doubt that this represented the best of Decca engineering at the time.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 9
London SO/Georg Solti rec. 1967 ELOQUENCE 482 7163 [80:03]
[RWM] Solti’s ‘perfection’ is no compensation for his relative emotional coolness.
Marin MARAIS (1656-1728)
Folies d’Espagne, Suite en Mi, Le Labyrinthe, Pičces de Violes
II & IV -
rec. 2005 ALPHA CLASSICS 338 [61:10] [SSi] An excellent reissue, one that can only strengthen Marin Marais’s cause.
Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Mount of Three Lights, Hymn to St James Petr ŘEZNÍČEK (b.1938)
Dies Irae Petr FIALA (b.1943) Regina coeli laetare
- Czech Philharmonic Ch, Brno/Petr Fiala rec. 2017 ARCO DIVA UP0188-2 [67:41] [DBi] A very impressive disc for Martinů enthusiasts with some excellent new music to enjoy as well.
Damijan MOČNIK (b. 1967) ... et Lux perpetua - St Jacobs Kammarkör/Gary Graden, Anders Åstrand, Henrik Ståhlberg (percussion) Strings of Royal College of Music, Stockholm rec. 2010/16 CARUS 83.487 [68:01] [SG] Music tonally accessible and melodically bountiful.
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos Nos
14 & 19, Divertimentos - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
(piano) Manchester Camerata/Gábor Takács-Nagy
rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10958
[69:34] [PRB] The perfect successor of an
excellent volume 1 in a most promising series.
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin
Sonatas Vol. 3 - Alina Ibragimova
(violin) Cédric Tiberghien (piano) rec. 2015
HYPERION CDA68143 [48:26 +
55:56] [MG] The rounded, mellow approach
honours Mozart in an elegant, balanced yet also
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies
& Concertos - Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute)
Dora Wagner (harp) Pierre Pierlot (oboe) Paul
Hongne (bassoon) Sarre CO/Karl Ristenpart
rec. 1954-56 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1332/33
[73:58 + 78:48] [JW] If Ristenpart made bad
recordings I’ve certainly not heard them.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791), Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
& Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Piano Quartets -
Berlin Piano Qt rec. 2017 RCA RED SEAL 88985432572 [63:09]
[MC] An impressively clear and reasonably well balanced account of popular pieces for piano quartet.
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Litanies - Jennifer Vyvyan (soprano) St. Anthony
Singers, Boyd Neel O/Anthony Lewis rec. 1954
ELOQUENCE 482 5041 [70:12]
Scenes & Arias
by Haydn & Mozart - Jennifer Vyvyan
(soprano) Haydn O/Harry Newstone, London PO/Peter
Maag rec. 1956-1958 ELOQUENCE 482 5049
[63:01] [HPR] Exciting
and flawless performances of Classical masterpieces
by Jennifer Vyvyan.
Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
at an Exhibition Josef
Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Organ
Concerto No. 2 - Jörg Endebrock,
Susanne Rohn (organs) Konrad Graf (percussion)
rec. 2017 HD-KLASSIK 3D-001701
[60:31] [DC] Spectacular sound, but something
of a niche release.
NÁPRAVNÍK (1839-1916) Piano Trios
- Spyos Piano Trio
rec. 2016 MDG SACD 9031996-6
[69:32] [JW] Not profound examples of the
piano trio genre, but they’re played with
String Quintets Vol.
2 - Elan Quintet rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573689
[65:48] [RHa] A second helping of Onslow’s
string quintets goes down very nicely in the
youthful Elan Quintet’s performances brimming
Marcus PAUS (b. 1979) Odes
& Elegies - Norwegian Radio O/Ingar Bergby, Oslo Camerata/Stephan Barratt-Due,
Arctic CO SHEVA CONTEMPORARY SH174 [43:18] [DC] Something of a ‘portrait’ disc, but with some very fine works indeed.
Wayne PETERSON (b.1927]
Boston Modern O Project/Gil Rose
rec. 2010-15 BMOP SOUND 1053 SACD [57:08] [RHa] Another BMOP Sound winner featuring a colourful and challenging trio of works from an eloquent, if little known voice. Approachable maximalism for adventurous ears.
François-André PHILIDOR (1726-1795) Six Parisian Quartets - Ars Antiqua/Elizabeth Wallfisch (baroque violin) rec. 2016 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6347 [65:07] [MW] Delightful music and an interesting alternative to the Camerata Köln recording.
Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Organ Concerto Joseph JONGEN (1873-1953) Symphonie Concertante Nicolas BACRI (b. 1961) Symphony No. 6
- Robert Bates (organ) U Houston Moores School SO/Franz Anton Krager, Kris Chapman rec. 2017 HDTT BD-A [DBi] A surround spectacular but not always helpfully so.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concertos 2 & 5 - Olli Mustonen (piano) Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2016/17 ONDINE ODE1288-2 [57:58] [EJW] A technically excellent recording of these two concertos. The performances are somewhat idiosyncratic, though.
Roger QUILTER (1877-1953) Songs - Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano) Adrian Farmer (piano) rec. 2014 NIMBUS NI5930 [63:32] [MR] Some beautiful music making here, but there is an underlying sense that Charlotte de Rothschild’s pure refined soprano voice is not quite the right one.
RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 2, Études-tableaux
- Boris Giltburg (piano) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Carlos Miguel Prieto
rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573629 [66:58] [RWe] Rachmaninov’s music
for piano is being superbly well served on
disc nowadays, and this Naxos CD is yet another notable example.
Dance Suites &
Sonatas - Eco dell'Anima:
Jeanne Johnson (violin) Brent Wissick (viola
da gamba) Peter Marshall (harpsichord) rec.
2010 CENTAUR CRC3430
[76:56] [JV] An important release, for historical
and musical reasons.
RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Roman
Festivals, The Fountains of Rome, The Pines
of Rome - Texas Music Festival O/Franz
Anton Krager rec. 2016 HDTT BD-A [DBi]
For those seeking fine performances and a
great demo disc, this will do nicely alongside
your Chicago/Reiner Living Stereo.
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Scheherazade Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) Polovtsian Dances
- Amsterdam Concertgebouw O, London PO & Ch/Eduard van Beinum
rec. 1956 ELOQUENCE 4825511 [54:09] [JW] Even those seemingly sated with both works will enjoy these vintage performances.
Alec ROSE (b.1959) Unturned
Stones, Il Ritorno - Peter Sheppard
Skćrved (violin) Diana Mathews (viola) rec.
2016 MÉTIER MSV28574
[57:01] [JF] Rose is a composer who can
develop and maintain interest using the slenderest
of instrumental resources.
Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) Orchestral works - Endré Wolf (violin) Edmund Rubbra (piano) City of Birmingham SO/Hugo Rignold; BBC SO/Rudolf Schwarz LYRITA ITTER BROADCAST COLLECTION REAM1134 [72:47] [JQ] These performances are of great interest and value to all those who appreciate the art of this very fine English composer.
SAWYERS (b.1951) Symphony No.3,
Songs of Loss & Regret - April Fredrick
(soprano) English SO/Kenneth Woods rec. 2015-2017
NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6353 [66:54]
[NB] Nimbus Alliance continue to make available
the very impressive music of Philip Sawyers.
Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonatas Vol. 2 - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68184 [79:14] [RBe] A major addition to the current Scarlatti discography by one of the great Baroque keyboard interpreters.
Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) String Quartets 2 & 4 - Gringolts Qt, Malin Hartelius (soprano) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2267 SACD [64:59] [DBi] An urgently recommendable SACD. Brilliant in all respects.
SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) String Quartets
Nos 2 & 4 - Gringolts Qt, Malin Hartelius
(soprano) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2267 SACD
[64:59] [SSi] A very good recording - I hope
that BIS give the Gringolts Quartet the opportunity
to record the rest.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2 - Peter Donohoe (piano), Hugh Davies (trumpet),
Orchestra of the Swan/David Curtis rec. 2015 and 2016 SIGNUM RECORDS SIGCD493
[DM] Excellent sonatas and disappointing concertos; variable sound.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Concerto No. 1 Sofia GUBAIDULINA (b. 1931) In tempus praesens - Simone Lamsma (violin) Netherlands Radio PO/James Gaffigan, Reinbert de Leeuw rec. 2011/16 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72681 SACD [73:21] [DC] Magnificent performances.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 5 Samuel BARBER (1910-1981)
Pittsburgh SO/Manfred Honeck rec. 2013 REFERENCE RECORDINGS SACD FR-724 [60:17] [NB] Honeck conducts an interpretation of Shostakovich’s Symphony full of deeply personal power and insight. The playing of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is exemplary.
SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Tapiola,
En Saga, Songs - Anne
Sofie von Otter (mezzo) Finnish RSO/Hannu
Lintu rec. 2016 ONDINE ODE1289-5 SACD
[54:58] [JQ] A fine Sibelius disc; the song
orchestrations by Sallinen are well worth hearing.
Wayne SIEGEL (b. 1953)
Celebration rec. 2014 DACAPO 8.226595 [60:18]
While this work is based on a uniquely fascinating premise, I found it overlong and underwhelming.
Eric STOKES (1930-1999)
The Lyrical Pickpocket -
rec. 2009-16 INNOVA RECORDINGS 962 [67:09] [DC] An all-American Malcolm Arnold – excellent stuff.
Die Liebe der Danae
- Krassimira Stoyanova, Tomasz Konieczny, Wiener
Welser-Möst rec. 2016 EUROARTS 4297028
[2 DVDs: 160 mins] [PSt] I find myself in
the only-too-common position of having to praise
the musical side of an issue whilst bemoaning
the visual one.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Die Frau ohne Schatten - Birgit Nilsson, Siv Wennberg (soprano) Royal Stockholm Hovkapellet/Berislav Klobukar rec. 1975 STERLING CDA-1696/1698-2 [3 CDs: 176:10] [PCG] Sterling should be thanked for rescuing this from obscurity and making it readily available.
STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein
und Verklärung - Gothenburg SO/Kent
Nagano rec. 2016 FARAO CLASSICS B108092
[70:43] [SG] The performances compete favourably
with the very best in the catalogue.
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Music for Violin Vol. 1 - Ilya Gringolts (violin) Peter Laul (piano)
rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2245 SACD [60:48] [DBi] A gripping disc full of good things from a 20th-century master.
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Le Rossignol, Pribaoutki, Deux Poęmes de Paul Verlaine
Mojca Erdmann (soprano) WDR Radio Ch & SO Cologne/Jukka-Pekka Saraste rec. 2012 ORFEO C919171A [52:05]
[SB] Good performances but without texts or translations.
Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1883-1937) Litany to the Virgin Mary, Stabat Mater, Symphony No.3 - Warsaw PO & Ch/Jacek Kaspszyk rec. 2015 WARNER CLASSICS 9029586450 [61:07] [RWe] Despite some small reservations, these are superb performances.
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Piano works -
Nicola Meecham (piano) rec. 2012 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0173 [73:36]
[PRB] Performances and production values which do their utmost to promote the
Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
& Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907)
Piano Concertos - Denis Kozhukin (piano) Berlin
RSO/Vassily Sinaisky rec. 2015 PENTATONE
PTC5186566 SACD [64:37] [CC] The
competition is just too fierce in this repertoire
for this disc to flourish.
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Music for Flute - Barthold Kuijken (transverse flute) Sigiswald Kuijken
(violin, viola da gamba) Wieland Kuijken (viola da gamba, cello) René Jacobs (alto)
rec. 1978-94 ACCENT ACC24322 [4CDs: 229:00]
[JV] A strongly-commended tribute to both Telemann and the flautist Barthold
TOGNI (1922-1993) Works
for Flute - Roberto Fabbriciani (flute)
rec. 1980-2016 NAXOS 8.573731
[53:02] [RWe] I enjoyed getting to know this
elusive music, and suspect many an adventurous
collector will do the same.
John TURNER (b. 1943)
Christmas Card Carols -
Intimate Voices/Christopher Stokes
rec. 2017 DIVINE ART DDA25161 [56:44] [JF] These imaginative carols are beautifully sung (and played).
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) A London Symphony,
Sound Sleep, Orpheus with his Lute, Variations for
Brass Band -
RCM Brass Band, BBC SO/Martyn Brabbins
rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68190 [72:22] [JQ] This splendid performance is now the best way to hear the 1920 version of A London Symphony.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
Dona nobis pacem
Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990)
Chichester Psalms - Britten Sinfonia, The Ch King’s College,
Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury rec. 2017 KINGS
COLLEGE KGS0021 SACD
[51:20] [JQ] This new orchestration of Vaughan
Williams' work doesn’t measure up to other
Overtures & Preludes
- Philharmonia Zurich/Fabio Luisi rec. 2017
PHILHARMONIA RECORDS PHR0109
[62:97 + 64:47] [RP] This recording delivers
the full impact of Verdi the dramatist without
a single note being sung.
Sándor VERESS (1907-1992) String Quartets Nos
1 & 2, String Trio -
Doelen Qt Rotterdam rec. 2012 CYBELE RECORDS CYBELE KiG009 [3 SACDs: 222:03]
[DC] Excellent music and performances, and further material on the composer’s life and researches.
Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) Works for six voices - Nordic Voices rec. 2016/17 CHANDOS CHSA0402 SACD [55:40] [JV] If you have nothing of Victoria in your collection, it is a perfect way to get a good impression of his oeuvre.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Scenes & Arias - Michael Volle (baritone) Berlin RSO/Georg Fritzsch rec.
2016 ORFEO C904171A [65.48] [YJH] A montage of
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Concert and opera overtures - MDR Leipzig Radio SO/Jun Märkl rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 8.573414 [71.52] [PCG] Superior playing and recording and the presence of the two early concert overtures should appeal to all Wagnerophiles.
Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Symphonies Nos
1 & 2 -
Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2016 ONYX CLASSICS 4168 [73:50]
[JQ] A fine coupling of the Walton symphonies from Bournemouth in sound that is robust, punchy and detailed.
WEILL (1900 – 1950)
- Dagmar Pecková, Jiri Hájek (vocals) Epoque
Qt & O/Miroslav Hloucal Jazz Band/Jan Kucera
(piano) rec. 2016 SUPRAPHON SU4226-2
[75:07] [GF] Lovers of Kurt Weill’s
music should find a lot to admire on this well-filled
YOUNG (b. 1955) Shadows
& Light -
New Zealand SO/Kenneth Young rec. 2014 ATOLL
ACD216 [66:00] [RHa] Gripping, colourful
and deserving of the widest currency.
Wladyslaw ZELENSKI (1837-1921)
Songs, Duets - Marta Trybulec (soprano) Witold Wrona (tenor) Wiktoria Zawistowska (mezzo) Elzbieta Konopczak (piano) rec. 2016 ACTE PREALABLE AP0384 [57:43] [GF] It is good to have these songs recorded, and Acte Préalable should be applauded for their ambitions.
The RIAS Recordings Vol. 5: Romanticism - Cecil Aaronowitz
(viola) Heinrich Geuser (clarinet) Conrad Hansen
(piano) rec. 1950-69 AUDITE 21.425
[6 CDs: 375:21] [JW] A richly valuable box.
Aprčs un ręve Works
by Fauré, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Falla, Ravel, Schubert & Casals -
Petr Nouzovský (cello)
Miriam Rodriguez Brüullová (guitar)
rec. 2015 ARCO DIVA UP0189-2 131 [57:56]
[JW] A genial, somewhat old-fashioned recital.
Music for Violin & Piano
Clare Howick (violin) John Paul Ekins (piano)
rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573790 [79:56]
[SSi] An attractive disc of English chamber
music that should appeal to any Anglophile.
Cantelli In New York Vol. 2 Wilhelm Backhaus, Walter Gieseking (piano) New York PSO/Guido Cantelli rec. 1951/56 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC510 [71:46 + 71:50] [GPJ] More memorable recordings of Cantelli’s work brought to us by Pristine. His Don Juan in particular is sensational.
Ann Hallenberg (mezzo) Il pomo d’oro/Stefano Montanari rec. 2016
PENTATONE PTC5186678 SACD [52.23 + 46.17] [JW] Hallenberg is a tremendous artist perfectly attuned to the milieu.
Chorale Masses & Sacred Concertos Works
by Schein, Bernhard, Zachow & Fischer -
Rheinische Kantorei/Hermann Max
rec. 1985 MDG 6020169-2 [44.27] [GH] An odd but interesting selection, well-performed and recorded.
Girl Crazy Luciano BERIO (1925-2003)
Sequenza III Alban BERG (1885-1935)
Lulu Suite George
GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Girl Crazy Suite
- Ludwig O/Barbara Hannigan (soprano) rec. 2016
ALPHA 293 [57:23]
[IL] Talented and versatile Barbara Hannigan
delivers an adventurous and enterprising programme,
if rather dark and wild. Repeated hearings advised.
Marianne Crebassa (mezzo) Secrets
- Fazil Say (piano)
Bernhard Krabatsch (flute) rec. 2017 ERATO
9029576897 [69.23] [MC] Crebassa
is in remarkable form with this well-chosen
collection of French songs.
In Holland Concertgebouw
O, Het Residentie O rec. 1952-59 ELOQUENCE
482 5659 [2 CDs: 156:11] [RMay]
Shines a useful light onto an arguably pivotal
stage of Doráti's career.
Antiqua Neapolitan Villanellas
- Letizia Calandra (soprano) Ens Arte Musica/Francesco
Cera (harpsichord) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT
CLASSICS 95448 [60:48] [SSi] A
wonderful disc, one that clearly shows the origin
of the madrigal, whilst being less formal than
its better known descendant, and one which matched
by the quality of the performance.
un tempo Chamber cantatas
by Bononcini, Legrenzi & D Scarlatti
- Paper Kite rec. 2016
COVIELLO CLASSICS COV91719
[61:18] [JV] This disc is Paper Kite’s
debut, and it is a very good one.
Works by Onslow, Debussy & Poulenc - Piano ŕ Deux
rec. 2015 DIVINE ART DDA25132 [73:33] [JF] A vibrant and imaginative programme.
Beethoven to Present – The Sound of the
Horn Works by Beethoven, Schumann
Widmann & Brahms - Mischa Greull (French
horn) Seung-Yeun Huh (piano) Andreas Janke (violin)
rec. 2017 SOLO MUSICA SM268
[62.04] [MC] Quite outstanding playing in
a judiciously chosen and engaging selection
& Monsters 19th Century
German Narrative Lieder - Nicholas Phan (tenor)
Myra Huang (piano) rec. 2016 AVIE AV2368
[64:27] [RK] A very satisfying recital.
The Golden Age Works by Gade, Schubert & Schumann - Copenhagen Piano Duo rec. 2017 DANACORD DACOCD786 [63:00] [JF] These brilliantly executed works are hugely enjoyable.
Grima Jón Bernharosson
(horn) Una Svenbjarnardóttir (violin) Reykjavik
CO/Bernhardur Wilkinson rec. 2000-13
SMEKKLEYSA SMK91 [54.53
+ 52.05] [GH] One cannot fault the recording
or the discipline of the ensemble.
Franco Gulli (violin) Works by Mendelssohn & Schubert - Enrica Cavallo (piano) O of the Fenice Theatre, Venice/Ettore Gracis rec. 1956/59 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1338 [71:37] [SG] Performances distinguished by profound and assured musicianship.
Hungerford (piano) Beethoven
Sonata Recital 1965 KASP
RECORDS 57741 [36:17 + 59:37] The
Last Recital 1976 - Works by Mozart,
Schubert & Beethoven KASP
RECORDS 57761 [55:33 + 36:57] [SG]
On the strength of the compelling musicianship
found in these performances, Hungerford is a
pianist that deserves to be better known.
Pilar Lorengar (soprano) Spanish Romances -
Siegfried Behrend (guitar) Alicia de Larrocha (piano)
rec. 1966/77 ELOQUENCE 482 5944 [44:39 + 40:34] [GF] This is a great recital and it should serve as a timely reminder of the talent of Pilar Lorengar.
The Voice of Pilar Lorengar
London PO, Suisse Romande O/Jesús López-Cobos
rec. 1978/83 ELOQUENCE 4807840 [76:07] [GF]
This is an admirable disc that should win the Spanish soprano many new admirers.
O Holy Night A Merton Christmas
- Merton College Ch,
Oxford PO/Benjamin Nicholas rec. 2016 DELPHIAN DCD34192 [68:19]
[JQ] This excellent and highly enjoyable disc has definitely put me in a Christmas mood.
Olga Peretyatko (soprano) Russian
Light - Arias by Glinka,
Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky &
Shostakovich - Ural
PO/Dmitry Liss rec. 2016 SONY
88985352232 [54:52] [GF] Highly
attractive programme and classy singing!
Pierrou (violin) Recital
- Works by Aulin, Gibbs, Grieg & Ysaÿe - Karl Bergemann (piano) rec. 1978-81
OAK GROVE CD2035 [57:15] [GF]
Lovers of great violin playing should have
Prague–Vienna: Journey in Songs Martina Janková (soprano)
Barbara Maria Willi (fortepiano) rec. 2006 SUPRAPHON SU4231-2 [53:34]
More than a few loose ends with this disc, no matter how accomplished the performances.
Rarities of Piano Music at Schloss vor Husum 2016 rec.
2016 DANACORD DACOCD789 [78:31] [EJW] A very fine CD of short, rare piano works recorded live, beautifully performed and presented.
Works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Borodin &
Jamal Aliyev (cello)
Anna Fedorova (piano) rec. 2015 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD127 [80:15]
[DHu] Less than optimal mains, but the substantial fillers make for a satisfying dessert.
The Sound of Hamburg
Works by Baltzar, Schop, Telemann & Weckmann - La Porta Musicale rec.
2016 GENUIN GEN17462 [69:39] [JV] The two members of La Porta Musicale are eloquent advocates of the interesting pieces recorded here.
The Tudors – I love, alas Robert Spence (lute) Jeremy Brett (reader) Purcell Consort of Voices/Grayston Burgess rec. 1969 ELOQUENCE 482 2570 [48:42] The Tudors – Lo, country sports James Tyler (lute) John Neville (reader) Purcell Consort of Voices/Grayston Burgess rec. 1969/70 ELOQUENCE 482 2562 [44:58] [ST] These two discs give you a window into a lovingly crafted historical experience.
Mundi Splendor Ens Oktoechos/Lanfranco
Menga rec. 2016 TACTUS TC390001 [79:55]
[GH] A disc worth exploring if taken in
Virtuoso Arrangements for Piano by Earl Wild Vol. 2 Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2016 NIMBUS NI5965 [72:55] [NB] As a tribute to the art of Earl Wild as well as another memorable recital by the indefatigable Martin Jones this disc gives repeated pleasure.
Pomeranorum Vol. 2
Consortium Sedinum rec. 2015 RECART
0018 [58:34] [JV] This is a disc
curious minds should investigate.
Walter in Vienna, London & New York
Works by Haydn, Schumann & Wagner - Vienna PO, London SO, New York PO
rec. 1935-41 OPUS KURA OPK2120 [70:55]
[SG] Valuable historical documents, brought
vividly to life.
Fritz Wunderlich sings Operetta Arias rec. 1954-65
SWR MUSIC SWR19038CD [51.38 + 67.15] [MC]
The extraordinary voice of Fritz Wunderlich is at its sparkling best.
Arthur Sullivan - A Musical Reappraisal
by Benedict Taylor
ROUTLEDGE [RJW] The latest addiiton to a commendable
Les Feuilles Mortes - His 26 Finest
rec. 1947-1952 RETROSPECTIVE RTR4313 [75:27] [BMC] A choice collection of seldom-heard French popular songs.
Fascinating Jane Morgan The Days the Rains Came rec. 1956-62
RETROSPECTIVE RTS4314 [79:39 + 78:42] [JW] Her
enduring legacy is the sequence of Kapp LPs and singles that she made in
her heyday on disc and they sound excellent here.
Articles and Notices
Forgotten Artists - 24.
Tibor Paul by Christopher Howell
Adriano: In his 30th Year of
Recording - an interview by Jim Westhead
Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Autumn 2017-3 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan
Sir John Manduell - an
obituary by Kenneth Shenton