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Wednesday September 20th

Leonid DESYATNIKOV (b.1955) Sketches to Sunset, Russian Seasons - Roman Mints (violin) Alexey Goribol (piano) Yana Ivanilova (voice) Brno PO, Lithuanian CO/Philipp Chizhevsky rec. 2014/6 QUARTZ QTZ2122 [58:50] [RB] One can almost see the dry grain husks and rising dust.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Handel in Italy - rec. 1988-2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95496 [14 CDs: 749:25] [RHa] Good value, with some spirited performances but also much that is workaday.

Helen HOPEKIRK (1856-1945) Piano Music - Gary Steigerwalt (piano) rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0430 [58:06] [EJW] A really splendid CD containing piano music that is both memorable and varied in style.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Trios - Daniil Trifonov (piano) Gidon Kremer (violin) Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė (cello) rec. 2015 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 6979 [67:03] [SB] A magical recording.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartets, D46, 703 & 804 - Klenke Qt rec. 2012/13 GENUIN GEN15360 [65:13] [RWe] The Klenke remind us of the original intention of the classical quartet to provide music primarily to be enjoyed by the players, and perhaps a few fortunate friends.

Kenneth YOUNG (b. 1955) Shadows and Light- New Zealand SO/Kenneth Young rec. 2014 ATOLL ACD216 [66:00] [RB] Glimmering music … lambent colours quietly expressed.

The Complete Josef Hofmann Vol. 9 Josef Hofmann (piano) rec. 1895-1945 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.

William Kapell (piano) Three First Performances: Rachmaninov & Prokofiev - Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York/Artur Rodzinski; Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy; Boston SO/Richard Burgin rec. 1945/53 JSP RECORDS JSP684 [79:04] [GF] Collectors of Kapell recordings should snap this CD up without delay.

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.

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 potentially new audience.

Tuesday September 19th

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.

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 rec. 2002 PROFIL PH09036 [50:25 + 46:09] [JW] Care, refinement, and corporate sonority.

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.

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Pygmalion; Les Fêtes de Polymnie: Suite - Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset rec. 2017 APARTÉ AP155 [71:46] [BW] We now have an embarrassment of choice between this very fine new recording of Pygmalion and the earlier one from Les Arts Florissants.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Orchestral works rec. 1973-2009 ABC CLASSICS 481 4661 [60:11] [RB] Enjoy the ups and downs of this varied Ravel package.

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.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Folk Seasons - Kreeta-Maria Keniala (violin) Barocco Boreale rec. 2016 ALBA ABCD402 SACD [79:31] [DC] A definite keeper – fun, imaginative, and with a sprinkle of magic.

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.

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.

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.

Monday September 18th 

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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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.

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.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Sonata, Chapelle de Guillaume Tell, Vallée d’Obermann, Les cloches de Genève, La Campanella Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Liebestod - 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.

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 day.

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.

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.

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.

Dame Myra Hess (piano) Encores & Favourites rec. 1928/41 BIDDULPH LHW050 [79:06] [RW] Much to enjoy and admire.

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.

Other reviews
Avital Meets Avital Avi Avital (mandolin/mandola) Omer Avital (bass/oud), Itamar Doari, (percussion), Yonathan Avishai (piano/keyboards), Uri Sharlin (accordion) rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 6523 [47:55] [DD] Exceptionally intriguing and enjoyable modern music. Not classical but well worth trying out.

Friday September 15th 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Aleko - 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.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphonies Nos 1 & 6 - BBC Ntl O of Wales/Thomas Søndergård rec. 2014 LINN CKD502 [66:49] [JQ] A pretty successful pairing of two very different Sibelius symphonies.

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.

Heroic Proportions 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.

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.

Thursday September 14th

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.

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.

Louis COUPERIN (1626-1661) Suites, Pavane - 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.

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.

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 challenging.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Idyll Works by Kalinnikov, Janáček & Elgar - Ferruccio Busoni CO/Massimo Belli rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95199 [53:08] [DHu] Neither idyllic, nor ideal.



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