NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Autumn 2017-2 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan
[New] Florent Schmitt on Timpani -
a survey by Rob Barnett
Russian and East European Adventures - a survey by Rob Barnett
Derek Bourgeois - An Obituary
by Kenneth Shenton
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Wednesday October 18th
CHILCOTT (b. 1955)
All Good Things
- Sue Greenway (saxophone) Raphael Mizraki (double
bass) Alexander Hawkins (piano) Jon Scot (drums)
Commotio/Bob Chilcott, Matthew Berry rec. 2016
NAXOS 8.573383 [71:40] [JQ]
Buy this disc to blow away the cobwebs and
put a smile on your face.
String Quartet, Piano Trio, Piano Quintet
- Martinů Qt, Karel Košárek (piano)
rec. 2016-2017 SUPRAPHON SU42322
[68:33] [SSi] An excellent performance,
one which can only further the growing appreciation
of this wonderful music.
KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) String Quartets
Nos 1 & 2 - Stenhammar Qt rec. 2015 CPO
555 006-2 [62:58] Complete Piano Concertos
- Michael Korstick (piano) rec. 2010 CPO
777 658-2 [56:04 + 66:43] Cello Concertos
Nos 1 & 2, Colas Breugnon Suite
- Torleif Thedéen (cello) NDR Radiophilharmonie
Hannover/ Alun Francis, Eiji Oue, Adrian Prabava
rec. 2009 CPO 777 668 2 [68:53]
[RB] Aspects of a composer - predominantly
superior entertainment with a heart but in a
few cases subtle, oblique and chastening.
MÖLLER (b.1955)/Hans EK (b.1964)
The Nordan Suite
- Lena Willemark (vocals, fiddle) Ale Möller
(various), Rafael Sida Huizar (percussion) Västerås
Sinfonietta/Hans Ek rec. 2013 PROPHONE
PCD-153 [48:12] [RB] The presence
of folk instruments alongside the orchestra
and Lena Willemark's resinous voice lend
an ancient or timeless flavour to what we hear.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Flute Quartets - Aurèle Nicolet (flute) Munich String Trio rec. 1978 TUDOR 7501 [53:45] [TP] A few tiny recording niggles do not affect my enjoyment of these fine
Antoine REICHA (1770-1836) Complete Piano Music Vol. 2 - Henrik Löwenmark (piano)
rec. 2007/15 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0017 [68:05] [JW] Charming and full of panache.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Oboe Concerto, Sonatina No. 2 for 16 wind instruments, Serenade for 13 wind instruments - Andris Nelsons/Concertgebouw; Alexei Ogrintchouk (oboe) Winds of the Concertgebouw rec. 2014/16 BIS BIS-2163 SACD [74:12] [NB] Very fine performances from a star cast.
VERDI (1813-1901) Messa
da Requiem - Los Angeles
PO & Master Chorale/Gustavo Dudamel rec.
2013 C MAJOR 714804 Blu-ray
[116:00] [LW] A reissue of Dudamel’s
Verdi Requiem primarily serving as a memento
of a memorable occasion.
Ionisation Works by Cage, Chávez, Cowell, Harrison, Reich & Varèse - Tetraktis Percussion
rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95134 [54:22] [GPJ] A programme of percussion ‘classics’ superbly performed by this Italian ensemble.
Sequentia! Works by Dall'Abaco & Piatti - Joachim Eijlander (cello) rec. 2017 NAVIS CLASSICS NC17009 [77:41] [SG] A release that will appeal especially to cello players.
Tuesday October 17th
BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) String Trios
Op. 6 - The Lubotsky Trio rec. 2016 BRILLIANT
CLASSICS 95493 [56:37] [SSi] A
good introduction to Boccherini’s string
trios, but not the best recording on the market.
FURRER (b. 1954)
Works for Choir & Ensemble -
Helsinki Chamber Ch, Uusinta Ens/Nils Schweckendiek
rec. 2014 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0360 [65:44]
[SG] Adventurous scores, showcased at their
OF THE MONTH Louis
GLASS (1864-1936) Symphony No.
5, Fantasy - Marianna
Shirinyan (piano) Staatsorchester Rheinische
PO/Daniel Raiskin rec. 2013 CPO 777
494-2 [60:22] [RB] Played on song,
top-dead-centre, … frisson-inducing excitement
… "air-conducting" with abandon.
JACKSON (b. 1917) Choral works
- Ch York Minster/Philip Moore, John Scott
Whitley (organ) rec. 1997 PRIORY PRCD841
[72:16] [JQ] A very good overview of the
tremendous contribution which Francis Jackson
has made to the music of the English church.
MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony
No. 5, Des Knaben Wunderhorn songs,
Rückert-Lieder - Siegfried Lorenz
(baritone) Staatskapelle Berlin/Otmar Suitner,
Berlin SO/Günther Herbig
rec. 1982-84 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300922BC
[63:38 + 40:54] [RMo] The unaffected naturalness
of Suitner’s direction is so appealing.
MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Psalms
- Johanna Winkel (soprano) Hanne Weber (alto)
Münchner Rundfunk O & Ch/Howard Arman rec.
2016 BR KLASSIK 900519 [59.16]
[MC] This absorbing Mendelssohn album is
distinguished by outstanding performances that
are both convincing and revealing.
TSONTAKIS (b. 1951) Anasa,
True Colors, Unforgettable - David Krakauier
(clarinet) Eric Berlin (trumpet) Luosha Fang,
Eunice Kim (violins) Albany SO/David Alan Miller
rec. 2011-2013 NAXOS 8.559826
[63:12] [SB] A
trio of accessible and attractive concertos,
with touches of Cretan music, klezmer and jazz.
OF THE MONTH Let
Beauty Awake Ralph
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs, Romance Rebecca CLARKE
(1886-1979) Viola Sonata Benjamin
BRITTEN (1913-76) Cello Suite No. 3,
Lachrymae - Ellen Nisbeth (viola) Bengt
Forsberg (piano) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2182
SACD [80:18] [RHa] A superbly devised
and executed recital of haunting English viola
works, performed by a young Swedish virtuoso
with an uncanny feeling for this repertoire.
Rarities Edouard LALO (1823-1892)
Symphonie espagnole Felix MENDELSSOHN
(1809-1847) & Antonín DVOŘÁK
(1841-1904) Violin Concertos - Philadelphia
O/Eugene Ormandy, Phil-SO New York/Arturo Toscanini,
Leopold Stokowski rec. 1936-1945 PRISTINE
AUDIO PASC503 [66:15] [JW] This finely transferred disc has
done all it can for these concertos.
for Winds by Latvian Composers
rec. 1976-2008 SKANI LMIC016
[70:31 + 63:21] [RB] Plenty to challenge
the ear but even the more thorny choices offer
enclaves of melody or fascination.
Monday October 16th
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Piano works -
Sviatoslav Richter (piano)
rec. 1957-88 PRAGA PRD/DSD 350081 SACD [79:28] [RWe] This is an outstanding recital of great music by a very great artist.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Horn Concertos Nos 1-4, Horn Rondo, Bassoon Concerto -
Louis-Philippe Marsolais (horn)
Mathieu Lussier (bassoon)
Les Violins du Roy/Lussier
rec. 2016 ATMA ACD22743 [76:34] [GPJ] The recorded sound takes a little getting used to, but these are superbly accomplished performances.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concertos - Rudolf Koelman (violin) Musikkollegium Winterthur/Douglas Boyd rec. 2016 CHALLENGE RECORDS CC72736 SACD [49:50] [DC] Very fine indeed, but the competition is stiff.
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
Kajanus conducts Sibelius Vol. 3: Symphonies 3 & 5 - London SO, Helsinki PO/Robert Kajanus rec. 1928/32 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111395 [62:44]
Première Recordings 1932-34: Symphonies 4, 6 & 7 - Philadelphia O/Leopold Stokowski; Finnish Ntl O/Georg Schnéevoigt; BBC SO/Serge Koussevitsky rec. 1932/34 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111399 [79:40] [RB] Pioneering recordings ... renowned but not often played.
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) & Claude ARRIEU (1903-1990) Violin Concertos - Jeanne Gautier (violin) O Ntl Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française/Jacques Pernoo, Eugène Bigotrec July 1956/59 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR981 [44:20] [JW] It’s good that French violinist Jeanne Gautier’s relatively slim
commercial legacy has been expanded with off-air examples of her art.
Istanpitta Florentine Dances of the
14th Century -
Henri Agnel (cistre, cethera, ud) Michael Nick (quinton) Henri Tournier (flute/bansura) Diamchid Chemirani (zarb) Idriss Agnel (udu)
rec. 2003 ALPHA CLASSICS 336 [57.09]
[GH] Well worth investigating and very ear-catching.
Janowitz (soprano) The Last Recital: In Memoriam Maria
Callas - Charles Spencer (piano) rec. 1999
FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR56 [82:38] [PSt] Janowitz was in
remarkable fine fettle in this recital.
OF THE MONTH Nature and The Soul Latvian Choral Classics - Latvian Radio Ch/Kaspars Putniņš rec. 2016 SKANI 054 [58:48] [SG] For the performers this is a 'love letter to Latvia' and a homecoming - music of timeless appeal.
One Hundred Years of the Estonian Symphony ESTONIAN RECORD PRODUCTIONS ERP6004 [70:49 + 70:08] [RB] A varied Estonian orchestral selection with the emphasis lying away from the avant-garde.
Works by Soriano, Aichinger, Haller & Palestrina -
Regensburg Vocal Soloists, Motet Ch & Men's Cathedral Ch/Josef Kohlhäufl
rec. 1998/2000 TYXART TXA15058 [68:55] [JV] An interesting display of Palestrina's influence in his own time and in the late 19th century.
Friday October 13th
Claude BAKER (b. 1948) Piano Concerto,
Aus Schwanengesang -
Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Indianapolis SO/Juanjo Mena & Gilbert Varga
rec. 2009/11 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559804 [50:00] [RB]
Dissonance, fine craftsmanship, imaginative promontories and processed collage.
BURNEY (1726-1814) Sonatas
for Piano (4 Hands) - Anna Clemente, Susanna
Piolanti (square piano) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT
CLASSICS 95447 [38:31 + 43:24] [JV]
Burney's sonatas are served well by
interpreters and instrument.
JENEY (b 1943) Orchestral,
instrumental & chamber works - MR SO & Ch/Zoltán
Kocsis, Gábor Csalog (piano) rec 2013 BUDAPEST
MUSIC CENTRE BMCCD240 [59:14] [RHa]
A varied, if rather arbitrary conspectus
of work from a modern composer little-known
outside Hungary. Melancholic in the main
one for the specialist, perhaps.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphonies Nos 1
& 3 -
Helen Watts (contralto) Wandsworth School Boys &
London SO/Sir Georg Solti
rec. 1964/68 ELOQUENCE 4827177 [74:43 + 73:23] [DHu] A still estimable First, and a Third hitherto regarded for die-hard Solti fans only that is well worth a second hearing.
PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) - Symphonies
Nos 1 & 5 - Netherlands Radio SO/James Gaffigan
rec. 2014/15 CHALLENGE RECORDS CC72732
SACD [58:33] [DC] Turn up the volume
RAVEL (1875-1937) String Quartet,
Violin Sonata, Introduction & Allegro -
Pascal Qt, Louis Kaufman (violin) Artur Balsam
(piano) Parrenin Qt rec. 1949-1951 FORGOTTEN
RECORDS FR610 [56:13] Maurice
RAVEL & Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
String Quartets - Pascal Qt rec. 1955-1956 FORGOTTEN
RECORDS FR1282 [60:55] [JW] The
studio performance of the Ravel works better
of the two.
OF THE MONTH Joseph-Guy
ROPARTZ (1864-1955) Complete
Organ Works - Markus Eichenlaub (organ)
rec. 2006-7 AEOLUS AE10391 SACD
[75:39 + 75:15] [SG] Music that certainly
deserves a wider currency. Ropartz enthusiasts
and organ buffs, especially, will find much
Maria Callas (soprano)
Remastered Live Recordings rec. 1949–64 WARNER CLASSICS 9029 584470 [42 CDs; 3 Blu-ray discs]
[RMo] While there are few miracles here, there are also a good few
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Music For Five Winds
Works by Taffanel, Zemlinsky, Mower, Bozza & Francaix -
rec. 2016 COVIELLO COV91714 [70:28] [GPJ] A truly outstanding CD from this young British quintet; the Mike Mower piece is a major addition to the repertoire.
rec. 1972-2004 SKANI LMICCD2005-5/6 [77:02 + 72:50]
[RB] A primer in Latvian orchestral music with the emphasis on diversity of style in the second half of the last century.
Thursday October 12th
Dace APERĀNE (b.1953)
Sounds and Echoes -
Diāna Zandberga (piano)
rec. 2015 SKANI LMIC044 [60:15] [RB] Lambent, idyllic, eloquent and silver-tongued.
OF THE MONTH Elliott CARTER (1908-2012) Late Works - Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano) Colin Currie (percussion) Isabelle Faust (violin) Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello) Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, BBC SO/Oliver Knussen rec. 2015/16 ONDINE ODE1296-2 [74:42] [LW] Astounding late works of Elliott Carter in exceptional performances.
Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968) Complete Music for Soprano
& Guitar -
Joanna Klisowska (soprano)
Giulio Tampalini (guitar)
rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95282 [45.04] [IL] The material appeals strongly and it is outstandingly presented by Klisowska and Tampalini.
Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986)
Requiem Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Concerto
Okka von der Damerau (mezzo) Ljubomir Puškaric (baritone) Henry Raudales (violin)
Bavarian Radio Ch, Munich Radio O/Ivan Repušic
rec. 2017 BR KLASSIK 900320 [72:10] [MC] It is hard to find fault with these performances of works inspired by Gregorian chant.
Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas - José Menor (piano) rec. 2016 IBS CLASSICAL IBS82017 [77:10] [RB] Estimable, but fearlessly forward sound.
Tigran MANSURIAN (b. 1939) Requiem - Anja Petersen (soprano) Andrew Redmond (baritone) RIAS Kammerchor, Münchner
CO/Alexander Liebreich rec. 2016 ECM NEW SERIES 2508 [45:23] [DC] Be moved, seek solace, hold hands with the rest of humanity…
Henri VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881) Cello Concertos Nos
1 & 2, Hommage à Paganini -
Wen-Sinn Yang (cello)
Evergreen SO/Gernot Schmalfuss rec. 2014 CPO 777 922-2 [53:42]
[DHu] Perhaps not the best representation of these rarely recorded works, but it will still draw you back to enjoy again.
Works by Barsanti & Handel - Alec Frank-Gemmill, Joseph Walters (horns)
Ens Marsyas/Peter Whelan rec. 2016 LINN CKD567 [68:00] [MR]
The music is hugely enjoyable and the performances beautifully crafted, but the most impressive thing about this disc is Michael Talbot’s excellent and absorbing booklet notes.
OF THE MONTH Gamba Concertos Works by Abel, J. C. Bach, Johan Carl
I, Milling & Raetzel - Thomas Fritzsch (viola da gamba) Michael Schönheit (fortepiano) Merseburger Hofmusik rec. 2017 COVIELLO CLASSICS COV91710 [66:06] [JV] A disc with exclusively world première recordings, played with imagination and flair.
Les Grandes Eaux Musicales de Versailles 2017 Edition ALPHA 969 [72:23] [JW] An enjoyable sequence which does its signposting job well.