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TROUBADISC

A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

REFERENCE RECORDINGS

Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Anderson Choral music


colourful and intriguing


Artyomov
Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble


one of Berlioz greatest works


Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances


An attractive Debussy package


immaculate Baiba Skride


eloquent Cello Concerto


tension-filled work


well crafted and intense


Laangaard
another entertaining volume


reeking of cordite


Pappano with a strong cast


imaginatively constructed quartets


the air from another planet


vibrantly sung


NOT a budget performance


very attractive and interesting


finesse and stylistic assurance

Reviews from the last week
179 reviews completed so far this month
This month's reviews
Last month's reviews

NEW & RECENT ARTICLES

 An interview with conductor Ádám Fischer by Michael Cookson

Strauss' Elektra - a survey by Ralph Moore

 Listening Studio Report by John Quinn

National discography update
Balkan and East-Central European Concertos ~ Balkan and East-Central European Symphonies

Piano Trio Discography - "M" composers

Wagner's Die Meistersinger - a survey by Ralph Moore

Christmas Music Past and Present - a short survey by Brian Wilson

Stanfordian Thoughts: 8. Part-songs by Christopher Howell

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a very happy Christmas and New Year.

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Publishing schedule
Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, jazz, other music); Friday: Articles.
Live performance reviews posted daily at Seen and Heard

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Monday December 31st 

Bela BARTÓK (1881–1945) Complete String Quartets - Arcadia String Quartet rec. 2017/18 CHANDOS CHAN10992 [2 CDs: 158:32] [RWe] A compelling and very beautiful cycle that elbows its way to a place at the crowded top table.

Toivo KUULA (1883-1918) Complete Works for Solo Piano - Adam Johnson (piano) rec. 2017, South Creake, UK GRAND PIANO GP780 [80:17] [EJW] A lot of memorable music, finely played and recorded.

Star of Heaven The Eton Choirbook Legacy - The Sixteen/Harry Christophers rec. 2018 CORO COR16166 [66:53] [BW]  A timely reminder of The Sixteen’s earlier recordings from the Eton Choirbook and very enjoyable in its own right.

Friday December 28th

Ruth GIPPS (1921-1999) Symphonies Nos 2 & 4, Knight in Armour, Song for Orchestra - BBC Ntl O Wales/Rumon Gamba rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20078 [69:20] [JQ] Splendid advocacy for attractive music that deserves to be better known.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde - Magdalena Kožená (mezzo-soprano) Stuart Skelton (tenor) Bavarian RSO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2018 BR KLASSIK 900172 [64:14] [RHa] A striking, singular, sumptuous and strange performance that demands repeated listening.

Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) String Quartet No. 1, Clarinet Sonatine Joaquín TURINA (1882-1949) La Oración del Torero Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Clarinet Sonata - WXQR Quartet, Herbert Tichman (clarinet), Ruth Budnevich (piano) rec. c. 1951-55 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1466 [55:57] [SG] Satisfying performances - the Bernstein is an absolute gem – and warmly restored.

Thursday December 27th

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Wonderful Town  - Danielle de Niese, London SO & Ch/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2017 LSO LIVE LSO0813 SACD [70:19] [JWh] Sir Simon Rattle delivers the music with marvellous swagger – a winner.

Michael DAUGHERTY (b.1954) Trail of Tears, Dreamachine, Reflections on the Mississippi - Amy Porter (flute) Dame Evelyn Glennie (percussion) Carol Jantsch (tuba) Albany SO/David Alan Miller rec. 2015/16 NAXOS 8.559807 [78:20] [SA] A very human and humane composer’s work.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Music Makers, The Spirit of England - Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano) Andrew Staples (tenor) BBC SO & Ch/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5215 SACD [61.56] [PCG] Those who are not convinced that these are great scores will find Davis’s symphonic approach illuminating and refreshing.

Wednesday December 26th

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Planets Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 - Royal PO/Mike Batt rec. 1993 GUILD GMCD7814 [59:14] [JWh] A very good rather than outstanding Planets.

Frank NORDENSTEN (b. 1955) Organ Concertos Nos 2 & 3 - Dan René Dahl (organ), Norwegian Wind Ensemble/Tore Erik Mohn, Domkirkens Jentekor, Borg Vokalensemble rec. 2013 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1142 [70:12] [SSi] An interesting and engaging recording which makes me want to hear more by this composer.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) String Quartets Nos 3, 4 & 7 - Dante Quartet rec. 2017/18 SOMM CÉLESTE SOMMCD0185 [76:15] [JQ] Three very impressive quartets by Stanford in excellent premiere recordings.

Tuesday December 25th

Die schönsten Weihnachtslieder Peter Schreier, Semper Brass Dresden, Concerto Köln, Ludwig Guttler, Thomanerchor Leipzig BERLIN CLASSICS 0301171BC [4 CDs: 222:27] [RW] A fine collection some really beautiful singing.

Peter Schreier singt Weihnachtslieder Peter Schreier (tenor), Thomanerchor Leipzig/Hans Otto, Statskapelle Dresden/Hans-Joachim Rotzsch BERLIN CLASSICS 0301169BC [42:07] [GPJ] A highly enjoyable re-mastering of these splendid Christmas songs; Schreier was clearly near his prime.

A Song for Christmas Mantovani and his Orchestra rec. 1958/63 ELOQUENCE 484 0268 [42:07 + 40:58] [JW] Sophisticated grown-up delights to be enjoyed in this pleasing restoration.

Monday December 24th 

Born on a New Day Christmas Music from Belfast Cathedral - Ch Belfast Cathedral/David Stevens rec. 2017 PRIORY RECORDS PRCD 1195 [66:10] [ST] There’s plenty here to satisfy the curious.

Folkjul II A Swedish Folk Christmas - Ulrika Boden (vocal/fipple flute), St Jacobs Kammarkor/Gary Graden rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2334 SACD [73.21] [EML] An exceptional, truly unusual and thoroughly enjoyable disc for Christmas.

Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht Virtuosi Saxoniae/Ludwig Güttler (trumpet and corno da caccia) BERLIN CLASSICS 0301165BC [76:41] [GPJ] Superb playing and singing, and a beautifully conceived programme of seasonal music, as unpredictable as it is lovely.

 




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Seen & Heard
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