OF THE MONTH
BARTÓK (1881-1945) Complete
String Quartets - Heath Qt rec. 2016
HARMONIA MUNDI HMM907661.62
[76:50 + 80:44] [ST] The Heath Quartet is
uniquely sensitive to Bartók’s changing
John DOWLAND (1563–1626)
A Pleasing Melancholy - Emma Kirkby (soprano); Chelys Consort of Viols; James Akers (lute)
rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2283 SACD
The top recommendation for Lachrimć except for those who prefer an
instrumental-only collection; even they may well be won over by Emma
ENGEL (1868-1927) Chamber
Music & Folksongs - Rachel Calloway
(mezzo) Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival Musicians
rec. 2011/12 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0343
[58:42] [SG] A joy from start to finish.
Ēriks EŠENVALDS (b. 1977) The Doors of Heaven - Hannah Consenz (soprano) Portland State U String Ens & Chamber Ch/Ethan Sperry rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.579008 [58:37] [JQ] Anyone wanting to explore the extraordinary music of Ēriks Ešenvalds could start here.
Detlev GLANERT (b. 1960) Requiem for Hieronymus Bosch - Netherlands Radio Ch, Royal Concertgebouw O/Markus Stenz rec. 2016 RCO LIVE RCO17005 SACD [83:09] [JQ] A compelling and fascinating score in a performance that is surely definitive.
REGER (1873-1916) Clarinet Sonatas - Michael Collins
(clarinet) Michael McHale (piano) rec. 2017
CHANDOS CHAN10970 [71:49] [SSi]
This excellent performance deserves to win
Reger’s music many new converts.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Salome - Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Eberhard Wächter (baritone) Gerhard Stolze (tenor) Grace Hoffman (mezzo) Vienna PO/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1961 DECCA 483 1498 CD/BD-A [100:36] [JQ] This 1961 Salome still has the capacity to thrill – indeed shock – in 2017, especially in its remastered, high-res BD-A form.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Scenes and Arias -
Michael Volle (baritone)
Berlin RSO/Georg Fritzsch
ORFEO C904171A [65.48] [MC]
With Michael Volle in such outstanding form this essential Wagner
collection is a riveting experience.
Beyond Los Angeles Percussion Quartet
rec. 2016 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92214 BD-A/CD
[DM] Jaw-dropping; the best thing I’ve heard all year.
Hans ABRAHAMSEN (b. 1952) Preludes, Six Pieces Erik SATIE (1866-1925) Trois
Gymnopédies Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Fantasy Pieces -
Ens MidtVest rec. 2014-16 DACAPO 8.226091 [49:05] [LW] Early chamber works of Abrahamsen for those interested in the composer’s development.
John Luther ADAMS (b. 1953)
Canticles of the Holy Wind -
Amy Garapic (percussion),
The Crossing/Donald Nally
rec. 2016 CANTELOUPE CA21131 [66:28] [JQ] Not for me, but it’s brilliantly served by Donald Nally and his amazingly accomplished choir.
Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Piano Works - Andreas Skouras (piano) rec. 2009 NEOS 10915 [74:22] [SB] Skouras is a committed advocate of these mostly minor works.
(1872-1932) Symphony, Piano Concerto - Hĺvard Gimse (piano)
Oslo PO/Elvind Aadland rec. 2016 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1112
[70.11] [RB] A companionably stirring listening experience after the Grieg Piano Concerto.
Andrea ANTICO (c.1475-c.1540)
Frottole Intabulate Book 1 -
Maria Luisa Baldassari (spinet, clavichord, clavisimbalum, harpsichord & organ)
rec. 2015 TACTUS TC480101 [57.44] [GH] An intriguing disc, well put together and recorded, exploring repertoire which is little known.
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ
works Vol 2 - Masaaki Suzuki (organ) rec. 2016
BIS BIS-2241 SACD [70:47] [MR]
Volume two of his Bach organ cycle finds
Masaaki Suzuki on an organ which, with its fruity
temperament, supports his interpretative personality
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) J. S. Bach from Durham - James Lancelot (organ) rec. 2016 PRIORY RECORDS PRCD1179 [74:14] [JF] I was impressed and moved by James Lancelot’s splendid recital on this
superb Victorian organ.
Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Complete Works for Piano Solo Vol. 4
Andreas Bach (piano)
rec. 2010 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC17009 [74:35] [SSi] Rare insight in Bach’s performance makes this recording of Bartók’s For Children a very valuable one indeed.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 1
& 5 -
Royal Northern Sinfonia/Lars Vogt (piano)
rec. 2016/17 ONDINE ODE1292-2 [73:38] [MG] First-class performances with freshness and verve, muscularity and delicacy, plus appreciable rapport between soloist and orchestra.
Nimrod BORENSTEIN (b. 1969) Orchestral Works - Irmina Trynkos (violin) Oxford PO/Vladimir Ashkenazy
rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHSA5209 SACD [56:45] [RB] Joyous and seductively perfumed works which never lose touch with the need for movement.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto No. 1
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Quartet -
Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin)
Emmanuel Ax (piano) Royal Concertgebouw O/Bernard Haitink
rec. 2010/16 RCO LIVE SACD RCO17001 [39:37 + 76:20] [JQ] A highly desirable collection.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphony No. 1 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Concerto Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)
Oberon overture -
Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin)
Staatskapelle Dresden/Bernard Haitink
PROFIL PH09036 [50:25 + 46:09] [JW] Care,
refinement, and corporate sonority.
Henry BRANT (1913-2008)
Hommage aux Frčres Marx, Any Era Any Time of Year, All Souls Carnival,
Pathways to Security, Music for an Imaginary Ballet -
Boston Musica Viva/Richard Pittman rec. 1998 PHOENIX USA PHCD174 [70:44]
[RB] A man who revelled in never quite fitting, writing to his own tartly skewed agenda … well worth adding to your lexicon of styles.
Songs Vols 1 & 2 - Klaus
Florian Vogt (tenor) Michael Volle (baritone)
Camilla Nylund, Valentina Farcas, Genia Kühmeier,
Ricarda Merbeth (soprano) Staatskapelle Weimar,
Konzerthaus O Berlin/Hansjörg Albrecht rec.
2015 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1846/7
[68:08 & 68:21] [JQ] Well worth hearing
in generally excellent performances.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies 2, 3 & 7 - Bruckner
O Linz/Dennis Russell Davies rec. 2011/16 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM3002 [3
CDs: 220:23] [RMo] This collection represents as faithful a rendition of Bruckner’s spirit and intentions as one could desire.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 8 - WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln/Jukka-Pekka Saraste rec. 2010 PROFIL PH16061 [74.38] [MC] Bruckner’s Eighth is remarkably well served by
this live 2010 recording.
Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Orchestral Works - John Bradbury (clarinet) Nelson Goerner (piano) BBC PO/Neeme Järvi rec 2001/4 CHANDOS CHAN241-57 [70:08 + 64:42] [RHa] A real treat from Chandos – both of Neeme Järvi’s Busoni discs as a two-for-one package.
John A. CAROLLO (b. 1954) The Transfiguration of Giovanni Baudino - Moravian PO/Petr Vronský rec. 2016 NAVONA RECORDS NV6109 [77:09] [SG] Music with an atmospheric potency.
Alfredo CASELLA (1883-1947) Symphony
No. 2, La donna serpente - Münster SO/Fabrizio
Ventura rec. 2016 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38232
SACD [62:50] [MW] Faces tough competition, but invaluable for its insights into the world of Casella.
Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968) Piano Works - Alfonso Soldano (piano) rec. 2016/17 DIVINE ART DDA25152 [74:28] [JF] I do hope there will be more from this composer and performer.
Cécile CHAMINADE (1857-1944)
Callirhoë, Concertstück -
Victor Sangiorgio (piano)
BBC Concert O/Martin Yates
rec. 2016 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7339 SACD [77.46] [IL] Callirhoë is charming, a real find, and the Concertstück is great fun.
Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704) La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers
- Ensemble Correspondances/Sébastien Daucé rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902279
[BW] We now have three very fine recordings of this attractive
CHISHOLM (1904-1965) Violin Concerto,
From the True Edge of the Great World, Dance
Suite - Matthew Trusler (violin) Danny
Driver (piano) BBC Scottish SO/Martyn Brabbins
rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68208
[62:27] [RB] Rowdy, strange, exultant, dissonant
and wheezily non-conformist.
Muzio CLEMENTI (1752-1832)
Keyboard works -
Dominic Cheli (piano)
rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573711 [70:38] [JF] For anyone who has ‘had’ to play Clementi as a piano student, this disc
will come as a pleasant surprise.
Louis COUPERIN (1626-1661) Suites,
Skip Sempé (harpsichord) rec. 2004 ALPHA 333 [78:42] [SSi]
A welcome return to the catalogues and an apt introduction to the composer’s music.
DAHL (1912-1970) Concerto for Alto
Saxophone, Hymn, Music for Brass
Instruments, The Tower of Saint Barbara
- John Harle (saxophone) New World SO/Michael
Tilson Thomas, New World Brass PHOENIX
PHCD173 [71:53] [RB] Neither avant-garde
nor neo-romantic. Music related to that of pastoral
Copland, earnestly symphonic Rubbra and brilliantly
DELIUS (1862-1934), Robert
Russell BENNETT (1894-1981), Quincy
PORTER (1897-1966) & Camargo
GUARNIERI (1907-1993) Violin Sonatas
- Louis Kaufmann (violin) Theodore Saidenberg,
Artur Balsam (piano) rec. 1947-49 FORGOTTEN
RECORDS FR1284 [64:43] [JW] A well-realised
and suitably whole-hearted tribute to Kaufman.
Leonid DESYATNIKOV (b.1955)
Sketches to Sunset,
Russian Seasons -
Roman Mints (violin) Alexey Goribol (piano) Yana Ivanilova (voice)
Lithuanian CO/Philipp Chizhevsky
QUARTZ QTZ2122 [58:50] [RB] One can almost see the dry grain husks and rising dust.
DICHIERA (b. 1935)
Letters & Fantasies -
Angela Theis (soprano) Ivan Moshchuk (piano) rec. 2017 INNOVA
979 [40:09] [DC] Finely wrought
Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960)
Jean FRANCAIX (1912-1997)
String Trio No. 1
Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989)
String Trio -
Jean Pougnet (violin) Frederick Riddle (viola) Anthony Pini (cello)
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1172 [51:44] [SG]
Performances of compelling musicianship and authority.
Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Complete Piano Works -
François-Michel Rignol, Lorraine Lacaze (piano) rec. 2017 SOLSTICE SOCD348 [66:12] [RB] The piano music of an organ habitué gets its place in the sun.
Petr EBEN (1929–2007) String Quartet,
Piano Trio, Piano Quintet -
Karel Košárek (piano)
rec. 2016/17 SUPRAPHON SU42322 [68:33] [SG] Gripping and polished performances of these wonderfully compelling scores.
FAURE (1845-1924) & César
FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonatas -
Tedi Papavrami (violin) Nelson Goerner (piano)
rec. 2016 ALPHA CLASSICS 271
[74:58] [MR] Refreshingly muscular and assertive
performances of repertory which is too often
treated as delicate and introverted.
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)
Piano works Vol. 1 -
Louis Lortie (piano) rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10915 [75:01]
[RWe] Lortie’s selection of pieces makes this a desirable stand-alone disc for anyone just wanting a sample of Faurė’s piano music.
Johann Jakob FROBERGER (1616-1667)
Froberger’s Traces -
Johannes Maria Bogner (clavichord)
rec. 2016 FRA BERNARDO FB1703213 [53:40] [SSi] A recording mostly for those interested in the clavichord.
Martin GEORGIEV (b.1983)
Symphonic Triptych No. 1,
Percussion Concerto No. 3 -
Tatiana Koleva (marimba)
Bulgarian Ntl RSO/Martin Georgiev
ICSM RECORDS ICSM010 [53:57] [RB] Music with an invitingly gruff and swirling strangeness that trumps and transcends its occasional avant-garde sounds.
GLIČRE (1875-1956) Piano
Music - Gianluca
Imperato (piano) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT
CLASSICS 95296 [70:22] [SA] I doubt
very much if there are any listeners who will
not be won over by the effortless charm of this
Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893)
Faust - Piotr Beczała (tenor) Maria Agresta (soprano) Ildar Abdrazakov (bass)
Vienna Philharmonia Ch & Vienna PO/Alejo Pérez
rec. 2016 EUROARTS 2097034 Blu-ray [185 mins] [MC]
Staging reservations aside, this is a Faust performance to cherish.
GRANADOS (1867-1916) Arrangements
for Strings - Concerto Málaga String O/José
Serebrier rec. 2016 SOMM SOMMCD0171
[62.21] [IL] Might be appreciated best as
late evening listening.
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Occasional Oratorio -
Julia Doyle (soprano) Ben Johnson (tenor) Peter Harvey (baritone) Bavarian
Radio Ch, Alte Musik Akademie Berlin/Howard Arman
rec. 2017 BR KLASSIK 900520 [75:38 + 62:49]
[MC] An appealing live recording of Handel’s rarely performed oratorio.
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno - Sabine Deveilhe (soprano)
Franco Fagioli (countertenor) Sara Mingardo (contralto) Michael Spyres (tenor) Le Concert d’Astrée/Emmanuelle Haïm rec. 2016 ERATO DVD 9029 581936 [138 mins] [CSe] Fantastic singing but a directorial concept that disrupts the musical truth of Handel’s wonderful score.
Amanda HARBERG (b.1973)
Max WOLPERT (b.1993)
Viola Concerto No.1 -
Brett Deubner (viola)
Southern Arizona SO/Linus Lerner
NAXOS 8.559840 [50:07] [EJW]
A very good, interesting CD with both works meriting more than just an occasional listen. The Harberg concerto is particularly attractive.
Siegmund von HAUSEGGER (1872-1948) Aufklänge,
Dionysische Phantasie, Wieland der Schmied -
Bamberg SO/Antony Hermus rec. 2013/14 CPO 777 810-2
[68:34] [NB] For the already converted this is as impressive a disc
as could be hoped.
Paul HENLEY (b. 1960) Complete Works for Cello and Piano - Ruth Henley (cello) Ilya Chetverikov (piano) rec. 2017 BRIDGES MUSIC BMCD01 [53:08] [RB] All very English and most approachable.
Rob KEELEY (b.1960)
& Harrison BIRTWISTLE (b.1934) Twists and Turns
- London Myriad, Pipers 3, Manchester Chamber Ens/Rob Keeley rec.
2013-16 MÉTIER MSV28568 [74:59] [JF]
Music that is simultaneously modern, traditional, enjoyable and
Aaron Jay KERNIS (b. 1960) On Distant Shores -
Susan Babini, Caroline Stinson (cello) Joseph Peters (oboe) Ayako Oshima (clarinet) Evelyne Luest (piano) Daedalus Qt/Aaron Jay Kernis rec. 2006/14 PHOENIX PHCD183 [56:30] [RB] Music that charms yet has intellectual fibre.
LAKS (1901-1983) Chamber
works - ARC Ens
rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10983
[83:04] [JW] Lissom, clean cut and enjoyable.
Szymon LAKS (1901–1983) String Quartets 3-5 - Messages Qt rec. 2016 DUX 1286 [53:56] [SG] Idiomatic performances of great authority and formidable musicianship. I would strongly urge chamber music lovers to give these captivating works a try.
Édouard LALO (1823-1892)
Symphonie espagnole, Namouna: Suites Nos
1 & 2, Scherzo -
Alexandre Da Costa (violin)
RTVE SO/Carlos Kalmar
rec. 2012 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 657114 [77:33] [SV] Da Costa proves a vivid soloist, but I'm less convinced by Kalmar's
Paul LEWIS (b.1949)
Heritage and Landscape rec. 1970-93 EM RECORDS EMRCD039 [73:05]
[DD] A wonderful selection by a very fine composer of TV themes, superbly played in excellent sound.
Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Sonata,
Chapelle de Guillaume Tell, Vallée d’Obermann,
Les cloches de Genčve, La Campanella Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Emil Gryesten (piano) rec. 2015 DANACORD DACOCD772 [70:01]
[RWe] A very recommendable selection, with six essential pieces, contrasted in scale and character, expertly performed.
John MCCABE (1939-2015) Complete Piano Works Vol. 1
Jane Ford (piano)
rec. 2016 PRIMA FACIE PFCD054 [66:00] [JF] Ford is imaginative, inspiring and sympathetic: a perfect advocate for John McCabe‘s kaleidoscopic music.
Harl McDONALD (1899-1955) The Music Vol. 3 (1943-56) - Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy; Indianapolis SO/Fabien Sevitzky; Columbia
CO/Harl McDonald PRISTINE AUDIO PASC491 [79:16] [WK] The opportunity to hear works by a composer who was important in his
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 - Chen Reiss (soprano), Karen Cargill (mezzo),
Netherlands Radio Ch; Royal Concertgebouw O/Daniele Gatti rec. 2016 RCO LIVE RCO17003
SACDs: 88:24] [DM]
Daniele Gatti’s recording debut as chief conductor of the Concertgebouw
promises a great deal, but does it deliver?
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Symphony No. 4 - Hanna-Elisabeth Müller (soprano); Düsseldorfer Symphoniker/Ádám Fischer
rec. 2016 C-AVI 8553642
Not a giant-killer, but not a pygmy either; a most enjoyable Mahler
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5 - Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Mariss Jansons rec. 2016 BR KLASSIK 900150 [73.30] [MC] A captivating live account - one of the finest in the catalogue.
Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
The Complete Piano Trios
MUSICAPHON M56970 [75:20] [RB] This disc attests to the vigorous life in every DNA strand of Martinů's music.
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Symphony No. 2 -
Lucy Crowe & Jurgita Adamonytė (sopranos), Michael Spyres (tenor)
London SO/Sir John Eliot Gardiner
rec. live, 2016
LSO LIVE LSO0803 BD-A/SACD [64:03] [ST] A great performance on its own terms, and a triumphant climax to
Gardiner’s LSO Live Mendelssohn series.
Ann MILLIKAN (b. 1963)
Millikan Symphony -
Boston Modern O Project/Gil Rose rec. 2017 INNOVA 981 [46:55]
[DC] Fascinating reflection of well spent but tragically curtailed life.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Requiem, Ave verum corpus
- Salzburg Bach Ch, Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski rec. 2017 C MAJOR DVD 741808 [59 mins] [GPJ] Equestrian ballet to Mozart’s Requiem? It just made me giggle.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
(1756-1791) Serenades Nos. 6 and 13; Divertimenti - Camerata
Nordica/Terje Třnnesen rec. 2015/6 BIS BIS-2326 SACD
[BW] Exaggerated performances which do Mozart little service.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) &
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Concertos & Divertimentos - Ens Castor rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88985432642 [65:50] [SSi] A most welcome addition to the catalogue.
Carl ORFF (1895-1982)
Carmina Burana -
Penelope Walmsley-Clark (soprano)
John Graham-Hall (tenor)
Donald Maxwell (baritone)
London SO & Ch/Richard Hickox rec. 1986 ALTO ALC1336 [63:30]
[DHu] A reasonable budget choice, in early digital sound with some late analogue hangovers.
Charles Wilfred ORR (1893-1976) The Complete Songbook Vols. 1 & 2 - Mark Stone (baritone) Simon Lepper (piano) rec. 2010/11 STONE RECORDS 5060192780123/192 [62:07 & 59:52] [RB] Artistry, accomplishment and percipience – notable entries for a neglected English composer with a gift for songs.
PALMERI (b.1965) Magnificat
- Astrlabium Ch, Capell
Bydgostiensis Ch O/Kinga Litowska rec. 2015
DUX 1343 [46.19] [GH] If
this sounds your sort of bag then
search it out. As for me, I may well consign
it to the fascinating oddity category.
PETERKIN (1886-1982) Songs
- Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano) Adrian Farmer
(piano) rec. 2016 LYRITA SRCD362
[68:53] [JQ] A collection of attractive
songs by Norman Peterkin.
Mario PILATI (1903-1938)
Chamber works -
Francesco Manara (violin)
Luca Signorini (cello) Dario Candela (piano) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95352 [64:13 + 63:56]
[RB] Lyrically unleashed and charmingly characterful.
POLDOWSKI (Régine WIENIAWSKI) (1879–1932) Art Songs
Angelique Zuluaga (soprano)
Gwendolyn Mok (piano) rec. 2016 DELOS DE3538 [65:28] [GF]
Lovers of French melodies will be delighted.
Cipriani POTTER (1792-1871) Piano Concertos Nos
2 & 4, Rossini Variations -
Tasmanian SO/Howard Shelley (piano)
rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68151 [73:57] [JF]
A treat that is to be relished.
PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concertos
- Matthew Trusler (violin) BBC Ntl O Wales/Grant
Llewellyn rec. 2016 ORCHID CLASSICS
ORC100070 [51:42] [RB] Despite the
excellence of interpretation and sound this
will struggle to make headway.
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Evgeni Nesterenko (bass) Alexander Fedin (tenor)
USSR TV & Radio Large Ch,
Moscow Philharmonic SO/Dmitri Kitaenko rec. 1987 ALTO ALC1342 [59:21]
[RB] A most romantic opera and Kitaenko does nothing to soften the blow.
Joachim RAFF (1822-1882)
Bernhard von Weimar, World's end - Judgement - New World Franz LISZT (1811-1886)/Joachim RAFF
Prometheus Unbound Overture - Göteborg Opera O/Henrik Schaefer rec. 2012 STERLING CDS1099/1100-2 [2 CDs: 94:17] [RB] Enthusiasts for music of the period and specifically for Raff should not miss this.
Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Pygmalion; Les Fętes de Polymnie:
Suite - Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset
rec. 2017 APARTÉ AP155
We now have an embarrassment of choice between this very fine new
Pygmalion and the earlier one from Les Arts Florissants.
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
rec. 1973-2009 ABC CLASSICS 481 4661 [60:11] [RB] Enjoy the ups and downs of this varied Ravel package.
John ROBERTSON (b. 1943) Symphony No. 2, Vallarta Suite, Strut in - Janáček PO/Anthony Armoré rec. 2016 NAVONA RECORDS NV6117 [58:46] [SG] Self-assured, for the most part optimistic, generous on melody and colourfully scored, this is music guaranteed to lift the spirits.
RÖNTGEN (1855-1932) String Quartets, Chinesische
Lieder - Julia Bronkhurst (soprano) Hans
Eijsacker (piano) Parkanyi Qt COBRA
RECORDS COBRA0013 [60:09] Symphonies - Noord Nederlands
O/Hans Leenders COBRA0017 [60:09]
[RB] The symphonies are a good place to start
your Röntgen exploration but a sure-fire winner
is the bustling C minor string quartet - quite
ROSSINI (1792 – 1868)
Adelaide di Borgogna - Margarita Gritskova
(mezzo) Ekaterina Sadovnikova (soprano) Baurzhan
Anderzhanov (bass-baritoen) , Virtuosi Brunensis/Luciano Acocella
rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.660401-02
[75:12 + 47:31] [GF] A valuable addition
to the Rossini discography.
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Symphony No. 1, Poem of Ecstasy - Larissa Avdeyeva (mezzo) Anton Grigoriev (tenor) Lev Volodin (trumpet) Republican Russian Ch, USSR SO/Evgeni Svetlanov rec. 1963/66 ALTO ALC1329 [71:13] [RB] Vivid, virile, vigorous … precious and exciting recordings of a possessed tradition.
ŠENDEROVAS (b.1945) Music
for Strings - Indrė Baikštytė
(piano) Art Vio, FortVio DREYER GAIDO
DGCD21102 [54:07] [RB] Wild-eyed
and intemperate as well as expressing passionate
Déodat de SÉVERAC (1873-1921)
Piano works -
Billy Eidi (piano)
rec. 2000 TIMPANI 1C1080 [69:53] [RB] Skilled and sensitive playing of Séverac's often subtle music.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 5; Samuel BARBER (1910-1981)
Pittsburgh SO/Manfred Honeck rec. 2013 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-724 SACD
Remarkably dull performances of both works; the engineering is sub-par,
SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) &
Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Cello Concertos - Christian Poltéra (cello)
Deutsche SO Berlin/Gilbert Varga rec. 2016 BIS
BIS-2257 SACD [64:16] [YJH] The stellar
performance of the Martinů concerto alone
makes this disc commendable. Both works are
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) & Georgy SVIRIDOV (1915-1998) From the Movies -
Lithuanian Chamber O/Saulius Sondeckis; St Petersburg Camerata/Alexander Titov rec. 1995/2002 CUGATE CLASSICS CGC026-2 [75.56] [IL] Recommended for adventurous film music fans.
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
Symphonies Nos 1 & 6 -
BBC Ntl O of Wales/Thomas Sřndergĺrd rec. 2014 LINN CKD502 [66:49]
[JQ] A pretty successful pairing of two very different Sibelius symphonies.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Elektra - Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Regina Resnik (mezzo) Gerhard Stolze (tenor) Tom Krause (baritone) Vienna State Opera Ch, Vienna PO/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1966 DECCA 483 1494 CD/BD-A [107.50] [PCG] For those who don’t already have Solti's Elektra on their shelves, this reissue should spur them to rectify the omission.
Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937)
& Mieczysław KARŁOWICZ (1876-1909) Violin Concertos -
Tasmin Little (violin)
BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5185 SACD [73:18]
[RB] An irresistibly compiled, performed and recorded CD of violin concertos from the late-romantic and folk-impressionist eras.
Randall THOMPSON (1899-1984) Symphony No.
2 Samuel ADAMS (b. 1985) Drift and
Providence Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Symphony
No. 1 - Ntl O Institute Phil/James Ross rec.
2016 NAXOS 8.559822 [JQ]
Two valuable American symphonies, well served in these performances.
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlo
- Michele Pertusi (bass) José Bros (tenor) Serena Farnocchia (soprano) Ch Teatro Regio
Filharmonica Arturo Toscanini/Daniel Oren
rec. 2016 DYNAMIC Blu-ray 57776 [182 mins]
[RJF] This shows what can be achieved to give pleasure and realise complex plots on a restricted budget in smaller opera houses.
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
The Folk Seasons
Kreeta-Maria Keniala (violin)
ALBA ABCD402 SACD [79:31] [DC]
A definite keeper – fun, imaginative, and with a sprinkle of magic.
Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Violin Concerto, Partita, Variations on a theme by Hindemith, Spitfire Prelude & Fugue - Anthony Marwood (violin) BBC Scottish SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2013/16
HYPERION CDA67986 [81:28] [NB] Marwood is a very impressive and intelligent performer but ultimately there is not enough consistent personality in the interpretations from Martyn Brabbins.
Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937) Organ Works
Joseph Nolan (organ)
rec. 2013/14 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD438 [48:10 + 34:29] [SSi] Anyone interested in organ music should rush out and buy this attractively priced set.
20th Century Harpsichord Music Works by Baur, Garbal, Grunenwald, Hawel, Ligeti & Takemitsu - Aleksandra Garbal (harpsichord) Katarzyna Kwiatkowska (piano) Aleksandra Rogowska (percussion) rec. 1997/98 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0394 [69.21] [MW] An interesting addition to the catalogue.
After the Sabbath Ch of Birmingham Cathedral/Marcus Huxley,
David Hardie (organ) rec. 2016 REGENT REGCD490 [73:51] [MR]
A celebration of one of England’s less traditional cathedral choirs inspired both by a Heavy Metal guitarist and by the retirement of its long-serving Director of Music, Marcus Huxley.
Reframing Messiaen’s Quartet for the
End of Time - David
Krakauer (clarinet) Matt Haimovitz (cello)
Jonathan Crow (violin) Geoffrey Burleson (piano)
Socalled (electronics) rec. 2007/8 PENTATONE
PTC5186560 SACD [63:45]
[MR] A powerful and intuitive account of
the Messiaen with some adventurous improvisations.
Après Un Rêve Works by Debussy, Fauré & Ravel -
Christian Svarfvar (violin) Roland Pöntinen (piano) rec. 2014/15 BIS BIS-2183 SACD [61:08] [RWe] Does not displace favourite versions of the two sonatas, but the programme is attractive and the playing excellent so those looking for just this repertoire will not be disappointed.
Arias for All
Ave Sol Ch,
Latvian Opera O/Julian Reynolds SONY 88985 370282 [43:24]
[GF] Those wanting to bask in well-known melodies sung by a classy
choir will find plenty to appreciate here, though the playing time is
Karl Böhm (conductor)
The Early Years 1935-49 - Staatskapelle Dresden, Vienna PO, Berlin
PO, Philharmonia O WARNER CLASSICS ICON SERIES 9029588672 [19 CDs: ca 21 hrs]
[MC] Although primarily of appeal to the specialist collector, this set provides an absorbing insight into the recording development of this great conductor.
The Book of Lovers Ottoman Classical Music of the 15th-19th centuries - Lâmekan Ens/Tristan Driessens; Derya Türkan (kemençe) Murat Aydemir (tanbur) Burcu Karadag (ney) Serdar Bisiren, Yusuf Tarik Günaydin rec. 2014 CYPRES CYP1677 [77:18 + 76:04] [RB] Western traditional tastes in need of some iconoclasm then try this luxuriously appointed set.
A British Promenade Sandrine Chatron (harp)
Ophélie Gaillard (cello)
Michael Bennett (tenor)
rec. 2016 APARTÉ AP140 [78:25] [RB] The finest English harp music disc I know.
The Classical Elements Albert Tiu (piano) rec. 2015 CENTAUR CRC3503 [79:45] [MR] An imaginative and deeply perceptive programme delivered with profound understanding and great musical sensitivity.
Le Cœur & L’oreille Manuscript Bauyn
Giuia Nuti (harpsichord)
rec. 2015 ARCANA A434 [74:24] [SSi] This is a lovely recording of part of one of the most important of all sources of French harpsichord music, one in which Giuia Nuti in both her playing and notes excels.
Classics rec. 1986-2016
CHANDOS CHAN10989 [82:04] [RB] The
title is not wide of the mark … and we
even escaped Tchaikovsky's 1812.
Ferio Saxophone Quartet rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10987 [80:40]
[RB] A kaleidoscopically varied recital, played with aplomb and affection.
Gaudent in Coelis Works by Beamish, Bingham & Marsh -
Will Fairbairn, Alex Coplan (organ) Chs of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge/Edward Wickham rec. 2016 RESONUS RES10185 [69:08] [MR] An interesting disc which features some fine singing and intriguing music.
A Guitar for Segovia
Works by Mudarra, De Murcia, Ohana, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Ponce & Martin
Javier Somoza (guitar) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95487 [68:47]
[RB] Harmoniously documented, well filled and most enjoyable.
Works by Bach, Franck, Barber, Stewart & Willan -
Felix Hell (organ) rec. 2014 MSR CLASSICS MS1542 [60:37] [MR]
Musical heroism stifled by a killing acoustic and an almost clinically delivered virtuosity.
Dame Myra Hess (piano) Encores & Favourites rec. 1928/41 BIDDULPH LHW050 [79:06] [RW] Much to enjoy and admire.
The Complete Josef Hofmann Vol. 9
Josef Hofmann (piano)
MARSTON 520582 [75:49 + 77:02] [SG] The ninth and closing volume of The Complete Josef Hofmann series, setting the seal on an astonishing achievement by Marston Records.
Idyll Works by
Kalinnikov, Janáček & Elgar - Ferruccio Busoni CO/Massimo Belli rec.
2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95199 [53:08] [DHu] Neither idyllic, nor ideal.
Works by Dowland, Britten, Porębski,
Boyle, Higgins & Hosokawa -
Duo van Vliet rec. 2014/15 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100069 [65:14]
[JW] Much of the music here is meditative, counterbalanced by some
more strenuous examples of modernism.
Masque of Moments Theatre of the Ayre/Elizabeth Kenny,
Salisbury Cathedral Ch, Lay Clerks rec. 2015 LINN CKD542
[68:18] [JW] An uncommonly well directed
and documented programme, a counter-factual concert of wit, elegance, rustic
bravura and nonchalant technical command.
Maudite Guerre Fionnuala McCarthy (soprano) Klaus Häger (baritone) Karola Theill (piano) rec. 2012 HORTUS 722 [65:40] [NB] As interesting a song recital as any I have heard in some time.
The Operatic Pianist II Andrew Wright (piano)
rec. 2016 DIVINE ART DDA25153 [67:45] [JF] Wright’s playing is superb. The sound quality of the recording is ideally balanced: every detail is clear and undistorted.
Organs of the Lake District Ian Hare (organ) rec. 2016 PRIORY PRCD1177 [77:19] [JF] I look forward to further recordings from Ian Hare and the stable of splendid organs in the English Lake District.
Leff Pouishnoff (piano)
The Complete 78 RPM and Selected Saga LP Recordings rec. 1922-1958
APR 6022 [73:49 + 75:32] [JW] Pouishnoff has
hitherto been poorly represented on CD so this
twofer is more than welcome.
Pianists Vols 1 & 2
VAI DVD 4596/7 [76 & 75 mins]
[JW] Given their age and the circumstances
of recording, these performances are very variable
in terms of image preservation, clarity, sound
quality and colour.
Reformation 1517-2017 Nicholas Morris (organ) Ch of Clare College, Cambridge, Clare Baroque/Graham Ross rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902265 [73:25] [JQ] Another fine album from the Clare College choir and a most thoughtful way to mark the anniversary of the Reformation.
Reformation 1517-2017 Nicholas
Morris (organ) Ch of Clare College, Cambridge,
Clare Baroque/Graham Ross rec. 2017 HARMONIA
MUNDI HMM902265 [73:25] [ST] A
thoughtful and intelligent mix.
Russian Favourites! Don Cossack Ch/Serge Jaroff,
Red Army Ens/Vladimir Alexandrov
rec. 1958-62 ALTO ALN1959 [77:28] [RB] A generously timed bargain collection of massed Russian choral singing.
Solomon (piano) Concertos Vols 1 & 2:
Works by Beethoven, Grieg, Liszt Schumann, Scriabin & Tchaikovsky -
Philharmonia O/Herbert Menges, Walter Susskind, Issay Dorbrowen
rec. 1948-1956. BEULAH 1PS16/2PS16 [80:39 & 88:33] [BW]
It’s good that these recordings are being made available again to a
Think Subtilior Songs and Sounds
rec. 2014 RICERCAR RIC386 [51.13] [GH] An unusual but effective approach.
conducts American Music Vols
1 & 2 Earl Wild (piano)
Benny Goodman (clarinet) NBC SO rec. 1942/3
PRISTINE PASC495/7 [53:46] [54:03] [RB]
Pristine have done wonderfully well and I hope
they will not stop there.
Works by Haug, Scott, Berkeley, Desderi, Fornerod & Peyrot -
Roberto Moronn Pérez (guitar) rec. 2015 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-723 [58:37]
[RB] An hour of openly and intimately recorded music fresh to the repertoire and drawn from recently released works from the Segovia archive.
in Beauty Piano works by American
composers - Emanuele Arciuli (piano) rec. 2016
INNOVA 255 [2 CDs: 115:39] [DC]
Broaden your horizons.
Fritz Wunderlich (tenor) Romantic Arias
rec. 1957-65 SWR MUSIC SWR19032CD [72:48]
[GF] If you love great singing – give this disc a listen!
Andy Williams Four Classic Albums rec. 1958/62 AVID POP AMSC1247 [2 CDs: 141:48] [BMC] It doesn’t get any smoother.
Jerome Kern The Song Is You: His 51 Finest 1905-1962 RETROSPECTIVE RTS4310 [2 CDs: 158:34] [GF] From all points of view this is a great compilation.
Avital Meets Avital
Avi Avital (mandolin/mandola)
Omer Avital (bass/oud), Itamar Doari, (percussion), Yonathan Avishai (piano/keyboards), Uri Sharlin (accordion)
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 6523 [47:55] [DD] Exceptionally intriguing and enjoyable modern music. Not classical but well worth trying out.
Articles and Notices
Listening Studio Report by John
Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Autumn 2017-1 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan
Discovering Erik Chisholm
by John France