NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] An Unsung Hero of Minimalist
Miking by Paul Serotsky
[New] Vaughan Williams - The Symphonies
by Ian Lace
Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Winter 2017/18 Pt 2 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan
Listening Report by John Quinn
Peter Evans, musicologist - an
obituary by Kenneth Shenton
Classical Music on
Stamps This week: Bach, Handel & Schütz anniversaries (world)
MWI needs your help - see
here for details
For over 20 years MusicWeb International has never operated a
PayWall. We can keep it free if you can be persuaded to make a donation.
Click the Donate button top right for more details.
Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, other music); Friday: Articles.
Live performance reviews posted daily at
Seen and Heard
Shopping on-line? Help us by doing it through the
MusicWeb sales page.
Monday February 26th
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphonies Nos 2-9 - SWRSO Baden-Baden/Hans Rosbaud rec. 1955-1962
SWR MUSIC SWR19043CD
[8 CDs: 507:23] [YJH]
Rosbaud’s interpretations rarely fail to be intriguing.
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Dixit Dominus Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Vox Luminis/Lionel Meunier rec. 2017 ALPHA 370 [61.22] [MC] Top quality historically-informed performances.
Gottfried HUPPERTZ (1887-1937)
Metropolis - Berlin RSO/Frank Strobel rec. 2010
PAN CLASSICS PC10365
[2 CDs: 144:03] [IL]
A most interesting and instructive album of one of the first original film scores.
Josef SCHELB (1894-1977) Orchestral Music Vol. 1
Liepāja SO/Paul Mann,
Philharmonie Baden-Baden/ avel Baleff
rec. 2014/17 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0426 [65:37] [SG] An auspicious start to what promises to be compelling orchestral cycle.
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Rite of Spring, Petrushka -
Paris Conservatoire O/Pierre Monteux
rec. 1956 ELOQUENCE 4808903 [67:42] Rite of Spring, Petrushka,
Firebird Suite - Cleveland O, NY Phil, BBC SO/Pierre Boulez
rec. 1967-71 SONY CLASSICAL 88497759030 [2 CDs: 92:01]
[JFL] Recordings which seem almost (but not quite) to have been accorded the epithet ‘classic’.
Grace WILLIAMS (1906-1977)
My Last Duchess - Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone)
Paula Fan (piano/harpsichord)
Rachel Kay Green (harp)
rec. 2017 LORELT LNT140 [76.43] [GH] This demonstrates Lorelt’s promotion of music by female composers.
Andreas WILLSCHER (b. 1955)
Organ Symphonies No. 19 & 20, Die Seligpreisungen - Carson Cooman (organ) rec. 2017
DIVINE ART DDA25162
An interesting if undemanding addition to the organ repertoire and invaluable as an introduction to the fine Schulze organ in Leeds.
L'Occitanie baroque des Pénitents Noirs Ensemble Antiphona/Rolandas Muleika
The performers are enthusiastic and convincing advocates of this repertoire, which is either little known or even completely unknown.
The Organ of Coventry Cathedral David M Patrick (organ)
rec. 2015/17 GUILD GMCD7801 [75:21]
[JF] Thoroughly enjoyable from end to end.
Works by Carr, Lewis, Pantcheff, Pott & Sainsbury - Rupert Marshall-Luck
(violin), Em Marshall-Luck (reciter) rec. 2016
EM RECORDS EMRCD045-46
[72:00 + 34:39] [JW]
Commissions that yield frequently intriguing results.
A Gay Cabellero rec. 1925-35
RETROSPECTIVE RTR4317 [79:32] [JW]
A collection that can be warmly recommended.
Friday February 23rd
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Complete Symphonies (transcr. Liszt) -
Yury Martynov (piano)
rec. 2011-15 ALPHA 374 [6 CDs: 366:34] [RHa] A monumental achievement.
OF THE MONTH Claude
DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Images, Children’s
Corner, Suite Bergamasque, L’isle joyeuse
- Seong-Jin Cho (piano) rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE
GRAMMOPHON 4798308 [72:49] [SG]
Seong-Jin Cho is a natural Debussy player, his
myriad pastel shades and artful musicianship
Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Music for Chorus
& Orchestra -
Brighton Festival Ch,
BBC Concert O/Barry Wordsworth rec. 2016 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD267 [77:07]
For a unique and valuable programme of Elgar that is sometimes vintage and never less than impressive this is a disc hard to resist.
Peter KELLNER (1705-1772)
- Cantus Thuringia, Capella Thuringia/Bernhard
Klapprott rec. 2015 CPO 555 159-2
[72:07] [JV] This disc offers the first
opportunity to hear Kellner's cantatas,
and I am quite impressed by their quality.
Robin de RAAFF (b.1968) Violin Concerto,
Symphony No. 1 –
Tasmin Little (violin)
Radio Filharmonisch O/Jaap van Zweden ET’CETERA KTC1593 [63.53]
[MW] A major contribution to the violin concerto repertoire, performed with insight and commitment.
VERDI (1813-1901) Rigoletto
- Leonard Warren (baritone) Bidù Sayão (soprano)
Jussi Björling (tenor) - O & Ch Metropolitan
Opera/Cesare Sodero rec. 1945 PRISTINE
AUDIO PACO143 [56:24 + 62:20] [RMo]
Truly a souvenir of a bygone age.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Nina Stemme (soprano) Ch & O Wiener Staatsoper/Franz Welser-Möst & Seiji Ozawa
rec. 2003-13 ORFEO C937171B [76:17] [ST] A collection of great Wagner singing done the way it should be.
to the Future Works by Bach
and transcriptions by Busoni, Siloti & Saint-Saens
- Sabine Weyer (piano) rec. 2017 ARS
[61:38] [SSi] An interesting juxtaposition
of Bach with three of his transcribers performed
well by Sabine Weyer.
A Garland for John McCabe Linda Merrick (clarinet)
John Turner (recorder) Alistair Vennart (viola) Peter Lawson (piano)
rec. 2017 DIVINE ART DDA25166 [79:35]
[JF] McCabe would have been delighted with this heartfelt tribute from his friends, fellow composers and former pupils.
Luctus Dorota Całek (soprano)
Marietta Kruzel-Sosnowska (organ) rec. 2014-16
ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0378 [51:19]
[GPu] An accomplished recital by soprano
and organ which testifies to the flourishing
state of sacred music in post-communist Poland.
Thursday February 22nd
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonatas No. 30-32 - Mitsuko Uchida rec. 2005
PHILIPS 475 6935
Steely fingering and rhythmic buoyancy serve Beethoven’s propulsiveness well.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Triple Concerto, Symphony No. 5 -
Isabelle Faust (violin)
Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello)
Martin Helmchen (piano)
Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Herbert Blomstedt
rec. 2017 ACCENTUS ACC20411 DVD [78:15] [ST]
It’s perfectly fine, but is that really enough?
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805)
Stabat mater Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String
Quartet No. 16 Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Salve
Dorothee Mields (soprano)
Miriam Shalinsky (double bass) rec. 2016 CARUS 83.470 [72:08]
[JV] Even if you already have a good performance of Boccherini's Stabat mater, this will surpass it.
Péter EÖTVÖS (b. 1944)
Seven, Levitation, CAP-KO - Akiko Suwanai (violin), Richard Hosford (clarinet), John Bradbury (clarinet), Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano), Gothenburg SO,
BBC SO/Péter Eötvös rec. 2001-8
BUDAPEST MUSIC CENTER BMCCD170
A varied programme of Eötvös concertos recommended especially for fans of the composer.
Charles KOECHLIN (1867-1950)
Violin Sonata, Piano Quintet - Quintette Syntonia rec. 2016 TIMPANI 1C1241 [72:40]
[SG] The Quintette Syntonia’s performances of these alluring scores are fired with enthusiasm and consummate musicianship.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992)
María de Buenos Aires - Valentina Montoya Martinez (soprano), Nicholas
Mulroy (tenor), Victor Villena (bandoneon) Mr McFall’s Chamber, rec. 2016
[44:27 + 43:45] [RH]
A fabulous outing for Piazzolla’s ambitious operita in an inspired collaboration between Scottish and South American forces.
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
Complete Piano Works - Sandro Ivo Bartoli (piano) rec. 2017
SOLAIRE RECORDS SOL1007
A curious disc with considerable musical and technical merit, but will it get multiple listens?
SCHERBER (1907-1974) Symphony No. 1,
Lieder - Thomas Heyner (tenor) Bratislava SO/Adriano rec. 2009/16 STERLING
CDS1113-2 [71:05] [MW] A sub-Bruckner Symphony, not without interest, but the real joy of this recording is in the wonderful miniatures of Scherber’s exquisite songs.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Parsifal - Christopher Ventris, Petra Lang, Royal Concertgebouw O/Iván
Fischer rec. 2012
CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72619 DVD/Blu-ray
[248 mins] [ST]
A production which will really give you something to get your teeth into.
Rolando Villazon (tenor) &
Ildar Abdrazakov (bass)
Duets - O Métropolitain de Montréal/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 6901 [61:22]
[GF] Despite some reservations, this is an attractive recital.
Wednesday February 21st
The Complete Chamber Music for Oboe
- Mark Baigent (oboe) Eva Cabellero (flute)
Michael Jones (piano) Sophie Barber (violin)
Chian Lim (viola) Stephen Orton (cello) rec.
2017 OBOE CLASSICS CC2034
[57:00] [JF] A beautifully recorded and
played exploration of Rutland Boughton’s
contribution to chamber music for the oboe.
BRUCKNER (1824 – 1896) Complete
Symphonies, Mass No. 3, Psalm 146, Organ
Works - Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller rec.
2007-16 PROFIL MEDIEN PH17024
[18 CDs: ca 17 hrs] [RMo] Worth hearing and
buying whether you're a Bruckner tyro
DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Préludes Books
1 & 2, L’isle joyeuse - Angela Brownridge
(piano) rec. 2016 CHALLENGE CLASSICS
CC72727 SACD [77:16] [DC] Very
highly recommended indeed.
MAYR (1763 – 1845) Miserere,
Litaniae Lauretanae - Concerto de Bassus, I
Virtuosi Italiani/Franz Hauk rec. 2014 NAXOS
8.573782 [57:45] [GF] Readers who
have followed this series can with confidence
invest in this latest addition.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony
No.1 Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937)
No.4 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
No.4 - Jan Ekier (piano), Warsaw PO/Witold
Rowicki rec. 1967 ORCHESTRAL
CONCERT CDs CD15/2016 [71.46] [DBi]
A live recording of a superbly exciting concert
from 1967; the sound is remarkably good.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Maurice Lammerts van Bueren (piano) rec. 2017 ETCETERA KTC1592 [73:53]
[RWe] No matter how many recordings of this work of you have, this one is worth investigating.
Mady Mesplé (soprano) - A Portrait rec. 1967-89
ERATO 9029577098 [4 CDs: 296:45] [PSt] Mady Mesplé is undoubtedly well worth getting to know; this compilation gives a very comprehensive cross-section of her work.
Modinha Pauline Oostenrijk (oboe/oboe d’amore),
Enno Voorhorst (guitar)
rec. 2017 COBRA RECORDS COBRA0060 [60.30]
Elegant, charming arrangements – perfect late-night listening.
Sappho, Shropshire and Super-Tramp: A Collection of Modern English Art-Song
Sarah Leonard (soprano),
Johnny Herford (baritone),
Nigel Foster (piano)
rec. 2015/6 DIVINE ART DDA21230 [77:36 + 79:05]
[EJW] An interesting and enterprising set, celebrating English Art Songs by less well-known composers.
Viola Appassionata Ensemble Art d’Echo
rec. 2017 QUERSTAND VKJK1710 [61:10] [SG] A programme which offers so much variety in terms of mood, emotion and instrumental focus makes for a most enjoyable release.
Tuesday February 20th
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 6-8 - O de Paris, Vienna PO, Cleveland O/Rafael Kubelik rec. 1973/75 PENTATONE PTC5186250 SACD [45.42 + 65.31] [MW] An opportunity to hear Kubelik’s masterly Beethoven in state-of-the art sound.
Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Symphony No.1, Dance Symphony, Statements -
BBC Phil/John Wilson rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHSA5195 SACD
Don’t overlook Marin Alsop on Naxos in the two main works here but SACD
and 24-bit download add to the strong appeal of the new Chandos.
Jean CRAS (1879-1932)
Violin sonata No.1,
Marie-Christine Millière (violin), Chantal Riou (piano),
Catherine Michel (harp), Thomas Prevost (flute)
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR18M [70:19] [SG] French chamber music with a seafaring flavor.
OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Pelléas et Mélisande - Christian Gerhaher, Magdalena Kožená, Gerald Finley, Franz-Josef Selig, Bernarda Fink, Joshua Bloom, Elias Mädler, London SO & Ch/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2016 LSO LIVE LSO0790 SACD/BD-A [165:47] [ST] Worthy to stand alongside any Pelléas of the stereo era.
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Complete Piano Music Vol. 5 - Michael Korstick (piano) rec. 2016 SWR MUSIC SWR19044CD [76:32] [RWe] Those collecting Korstick’s Debussy series will surely want this final disc.
Christopher FOX (b.1955)
Heather Roche (clarinets)
METIER MSV28573 [74:02] [JF] Fox’s musical vocabulary is largely modernist deriving from the post-war Darmstadt movement.
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) & Franz Anton HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812) Sonatas Vol. 1 - Minna Pensola (violin) Antti Tikkanen (violin/viola) Tuomas Lehto (cello) Niek de Groot (double bass) rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2317 SACD [68:33] [JWh] A lovely disc, well played and naturally recorded.
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Manfred Overture, Symphony No. 4
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Symphony No.3 - Swiss Festival O/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1953 AUDITE 23.441 [66:10 + 30:39] [JW] A substantial sonic improvement on previous releases of this material.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphony No. 10 -
Prague SO/Václav Smetáček
ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD14/2011 [47.44] [DBi] An exciting performance recorded at a particularly tense time in East-West relations.
Vladimir Horowitz: Live
At Carnegie Hall Vol. 2
PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM072 [79:27] [DC]
Hesitate not – another unique Carnegie Hall date.