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Monthly Listing
January 2018
212 reviews this month


Caspar DIETHELM (1926-1997) Symphonies - Royal Scottish Ntl O/Rainer Held rec. 2016 GUILD GM3CD7808 [68:17] [MR] Outstanding playing, perceptive direction, superlative recording, but most of all, absolutely amazingly good music from a seriously-overlooked Swiss symphonist.

Joel ENGEL (1868-1927) Chamber Music & Folksongs - Rachel Calloway (mezzo) Musicians Pittsburgh Jewish Festival rec. 2011-15 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0343 [58:42] [SA] A brilliant disc of magical repertoire which you won’t find elsewhere; seek it out and you’ll be completely won over.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Kindertotenlieder Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Tod und Verklärung - Brigitte Fassbaender (mezzo) Munich Phil/Sergiu Celibidache rec. 1979/83 MÜNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER MPHIL0006 [60:49] [RMo] I am captivated every time I listen to this.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata Nos 13 & 14 Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Piano Sonata No. 2 - Lucas Debargue (piano) rec. 2017 SONY 88985465632 [67:47] [SG] Playing of freshness and spontaneity; Debargue certainly breaths new life into these works.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Trio No. 2, Arpeggione Sonata - Antje Weithaas (violin) Marie-Elizabeth Hecker (cello) Martin Helmchen (piano) rec. 2014/17 ALPHA 284 [73:24] [MW] Extraordinary, insightful performances.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Bo Skovhus (baritone) Stefan Vladar (piano) rec. 2016 CAPRICCIO C5291 [66:37] [GF] No single recording can give the whole truth about it, but this gets as close as possible.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882–1971) Le Sacre du printemps Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918 Printemps Serge RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Vesna - Rodion Pogassov (baritone) Royal Liverpool PO & Ch/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2016 ONYX 4182 [66:51] [ST] The best Rite of Spring in years.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Fantasias - Paolo Pandolfo (viola da gamba) rec. 2017 GLOSSA GCD920417 [56:05 + 44:53] [SSi] An excellent conclusion to the commemoration of the anniversary of the composer’s death.

Pierre d’Assy (bass) Airs & melodies rec. 1908/9 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW1683 [71:35 + 66:53] [JW] I can’t imagine this being done any better.

Mallorca Edition Historic Organs Martin Schmeding (organ) rec. 2011 CYBELE RECORDS 001404 [6 SACDs: 458:29] [SG] For connoisseurs of historical instruments and distinguished organ playing this set is indispensable.

John ADAMS (b.1947) & Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Violin Concertos - Ilya Gringolts (violin) Copenhagen Philharmonic/Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Julien Salemkour rec. 2013/15 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100066 [SA] [56:31] The apparently odd coupling of works by two seemingly disparate composers makes for a very pleasing disc indeed.

John ADAMS (b. 1947) American Berserk - Liviu Neagu-Gruber, Axel Hess (violin) Jens Brockman (viola) Michael Hablitzel (cello) Holger Groschopp, Majella Stockhausen (piano) rec. 2017 CRAGG FOUNDATION CF003 SACD [77:08] [DC] A fine programme from an interesting source.

Franco ALFANO (1875-1954) Piano Works - Orazio Maione (piano) rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573754 [68:57] [PRB] It’s surely worth putting some of Alfano’s piano works to the test.

Daniel-François-Esprit AUBER (1782 – 1871) Le Domino noir, Gustave III - Sumi Jo, Isabelle Vernet (sopranos) London Voices, English CO/Richard Bonynge rec. 1993/95 ELOQUENCE 482 7742 [74:47 + 69:14] [GF] Sumi Jo in sterling form – and that is something not to be missed.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Christmas Oratorio - Berlin Motet & RIAS Chamber Ch, Berlin PO/Fritz Lehmann & Günther Arndt rec. 1955/56 ELOQUENCE 482 7637 [3CDs: 166:38] [RHa] A revelatory early recording of the Christmas Oratorio under a legendary Bach specialist who died tragically young.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Bach in Black - La Voce Strumentale/Dmitry Sinkovsky (violin, countertenor) rec. 2016 NAĎVE OP30567 [61:23] [CP] A fresh and intoxicating period-instrument take on some very well-known works.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Missa in F, Magnificat, Cantata 151 - Monteverdi Ch/English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2016 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG728 [73:53] [JQ] A most welcome addition to Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach discography.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partitas Nos 1-6 - Jean-Léon Cohen (piano) rec. 2015-17 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR40-41C [71:20 + 77:44] [JW] Unmannered and direct.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1675-1750) Violin Concertos Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Piano Concertos Vol. 4 - Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin), Serge Zimmermann (violin), Michael Rische (piano), Berliner Barock Solisten rec. 2017 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC17046/HC17034 [61:14 + 56:28] [MC] The Berliner Barock Solisten excels with these winning period informed concerto recordings of Bach father and son.

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Organ works - Rudolf Innig (organ) rec. 2016 MDG 9172010-6 SACD [65:04] [WK] This disc is a must for organ fans.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) et la virtuosité - Takuya Otaki (piano) rec. 2017 SOLSTICE SOCD350 [67:49] [EJW] A sonically superb recording of a selection of Bartók’s piano music in splendid performances, demonstrating the evolution of his style as he matured.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Edition rec. 1961-2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95510 [85 CDs] [SSi] On the whole this is a very worthwhile set, with only a few duds.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) & Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Fantasias Fryderyk CHOPIN (1809-1847) Fantasy - Mordecai Shehori (piano) rec. 1999 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD182 [62:41] [JW] As a whole the programming works well and reflects Shehori’s direct and unruffled musicianship.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 1-5 - Hannes Minnaar (piano) Netherlands SO/Jan Willem de Vriend rec. 2014-16 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72763 [3 SACDs: 169:58] [RWe] An excellent cycle on SACD, straightforward in interpretation and yet fresh in its approach.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Nos 8, 14, 26 & 32 - Jascha Spivakovsky (piano) rec. 1955-6 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM070 [76:02] [JW] An exponent of unsentimental individuality.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets - Schäffer Qt rec. 1959 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1358-59 [61:20 + 74:27] [JW] An enriching experience from musicians deeply immersed in the syntax of the music.

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) Norma - Maria Josč Siri, Sonia Ganassi, Rubens Pelizzari, O Filarmonica Marchigiana & Coro Lirico Marchigiano 'V. Bellini’/Michele Gamba rec. 2016 DYNAMIC DVD 37768 [144 mins] [RWe] Those seeing this live would have had an excellent evening, and this DVD is an excellent souvenir.

Marcus BLUNT (b.1947) Piano Concerto, Aspects of Saturn, Concertino, Symphony No.2 - Murray McLachlan (piano) Lesley Wilson (bassoon) Manchester Camerata/Stephen Threlfall rec. 2016 MÉTIER MSV28570 [63:21] [JF] A fascinating retrospective of Marcus Blunt’s orchestral music.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 1 Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Invitation to the Dance  Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - Philadelphia O/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1926/7 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC500 [70:01] [JW] The start of a vibrant and historically important cycle.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 3 Ernst van DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Symphonic Minutes, Piano Concerto No. 2 - Sofja Gülbadamova (piano) Wuppertal SO/Dmitri Jurowski rec. 2017 HD KLASSIK 3D-801702 SACD [81:19] [DC] A fine programme superbly performed, with the recording delivering a real concert-hall experience.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) & Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concertos - Janine Andrade (violin) Hamburg Pro Musica/Hans-Jürgen Walther rec. c.1959 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1370 [76:20] [JW] This concerto brace rather reinforces my view of Andrade as a good technician but a rather neutral interpreter.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 2 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Burleske - Joseph Moog (piano) Deutsche Radio Philharmonie/Nicholas Milton rec. 2016 ONYX 4169 [66:39] [SG] A satisfying coupling.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Piano Trios and Quartets - Gould Piano Trio rec. 2004-16 CHAMPS HILL CHRCD129 [6 CDs: 410:14] [DJB] If you want a one-stop shop for the trios and quartets at a good price, then this won’t disappoint, but there are better options for the individual works.

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) Symphonies Nos 8, 21 & 26 - New Russian SO/Alexander Walker rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573752 [70.26] [GH] The works are dramatic and well contrasted and wonderfully played.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) & Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Violin Concertos - Arabella Steinbacher (violin) Berlin RSO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186625 SACD [65:47] [DBi] A lovely disc and a very valuable pairing of lesser-played works.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 5 - Yomiuri Nippon SO/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski rec. 2008 DENON COCQ-85385 [71:16] [RMo] Clarity and momentum are the hallmarks of Skrowaczewski’s interpretation.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No. 6 - Bavarian RSO/Bernard Haitink rec. 2017 BR KLASSIK 900147 [55:15] [RMo] The intensity and purposefulness of Haitink’s direction throughout make this a recording to esteem highly.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 9 Toru TAKEMITSU (1930-1996) Ceremonial - Mayumi Miyata (Sho) Tonkünstler SO/Yutaka Sado rec. 2017 TONKÜNSTLER TON2004 SACD [69:20] [RMo] A combination of superb sound and ideal interpretation makes it an easy recommendation.

Ferrucio BUSONI (1866-1924) Piano Music Vol. 9 - Wolf Harden (piano) rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573751 [72:00] [SB] The latest in this valuable continuing series, with Busoni’s earliest piano works.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) The Essence of an Iron Will - Craig Sheppard (piano) rec. 2017 ROMÉO RECORDS 7322 [71:16] [JW] A more sympathetic acoustic would have reflected Sheppard’s splendid playing better.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Chopin’s Last Waltz - Robert Silverman (piano) ISOMIKE 5606 [50:42] [DM] IsoMike continue the search for hi-fi’s Holy Grail; but have they found it?

David COLLINS (b.1953) Violin Sonatas, Sette Invenzione, Oriental Fantasy - Duo Ardoré rec. 2017 SHEVA CONTEMPORARY SH175 [61.02] [GH] A fascinating selection of music by a composer with a very personal approach and voice.

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - BBC Philharmonic/John Wilson rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHSA5195 SACD [68:17] [IL] Uncomfortable works, but delivered with verve and panache by Wilson and the BBC Philharmonic.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Debussy Centenary 2018 - Vincent Larderet (piano) rec. 2017 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38240 SACD [79:52] [SG] Larderet's sensitive brush strokes and impressionistic sonorities are alluring.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Ariettes oubliées, La mer Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Pénélope, Pelléas et Mélisande - Magdalena Kožená (mezzo) Deutsches SO Berlin/Robin Ticciati rec. 2017 LINN CKD550 [68:00] [SB] The first recording of the orchestrated Debussy songs and fine performances of the other works.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Jeux, Khamma, La Boîte ŕ joujoux - Singapore SO/Lan Shui rec. 2014/15 BIS BIS2162 SACD [75:18] [DBi] Another winner from the Singapore Orchestra and Lan Shui.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Lucia di Lammermoor - Joan Sutherland (soprano), Richard Tucker (tenor) Metropolitan Opera O & Ch/Silvio Varviso rec. 1951 PRISTINE PACO141 [54:50 + 60:45] [SG] Readers with an interest in opera history, opera nostalgia, Joan Sutherland or just live opera have a goldmine here.

Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Requiem Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Requiem Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Valiant-for-truth - Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, Fifth Avenue, New York/John Scott rec. 2010 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10200 [63:14] [JQ] Another set of very successful performances from St Thomas Fifth Avenue led by John Scott.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Chamber works - Takács Qt, Lawrence Power (viola) rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68142 [64:59] [LW] Good performances of Dvořák chamber works, but there are better options.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 5, Scherzo Capriccioso - Czech PO/Karel Šejna rec. 1943-52 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1342 [53:17] [JW] If you’ve not yet caught up with the first, and in many ways, still one of the greatest realisations of the Fifth Symphony, here’s another chance to do so.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Quartets - Busch Trio, Miguel da Silva (viola) rec. 2016/17 ALPHA 288 [71:05] [RKr] There are many fine recordings of these piano quartets. This version stands with the best.

Hanns EISLER (1898-1962) Lieder Vol. 1 - Holger Falk (baritone) Steffen Schleiermacher (piano) MDG 613 2001-2 [76:13] [SA] Holger Falk has the perfect voice for this repertoire.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Requiem, Messe basse - Robert Bennesh (organ), Yale Schola Cantorum/David Hill rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68209 [58:05] [MW] The real interest is the collection of delightful smaller pieces, despite a fine performance of Hill’s arrangement of the Requiem.

Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987) Triadic Memories, Piano - John Snijders (piano) rec. 2000 HAT[NOW]ART 205-1/2 [62:42 + 52:33] [DC] Urtext Feldman, superbly played and nicely presented.

Joseph-Hector FIOCCO (1703-1741) Petits Motets Vol. 2 - Scherzi Musicali/Nicolas Achten rec. 2016 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW1682 [73:38] [JW] Fiocco is earning his most deserved place in the musical sun.

Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997) & Jean-Michel DAMASE (1928-2013) Quintets for flute, harp & string trio Jean-Yves DANIEL-LESUR (1908-2002) Suite Médiévale - Quintette Instrumental Paris rec. 1961 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR773 [43:12] [SG] Although relatively lightweight fare, there’s much pleasure to be had here.

Orlando GIBBONS (1583-1625) Fancies for the Viols - L’Achéron/François Joubert-Caillet rec. 2017 RICERCAR RIC384 [74.07] [GH] An important addition to the catalogue.

Benjamin GODARD (1849-95) Dante - Edgaras Montvidas (tenor) Véronique Gens (soprano) Bavarian Radio Ch, Munich Radio O/Ulf Schirmer rec. 2016 EDICIONES SINGULARES ES1029 [65.52 + 75.20] [PCG] Exceptional performances across the board.

Nicolas de GRIGNY (1672-1703) Premier Livre d'Orgue, Hymns - David Ponsford (organ) L'ecole de Nivers/Deryck Webb, Russell Burton rec. 2016 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6342 [58:05] [JV] It is very satisfying that Grigny's complete output is now available in such fine performances on such a magnificent organ.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Occasional Oratorio - Bavarian Radio Ch, Alte Musik Akademie Berlin/Howard Arman rec. 2017 BR KLASSIK 900520 [75:38 + 62:49] [CRo] This performance has an edge-of-the seat drama, but I suspect that many Handelians will remain committed to Robert King’s account on Hyperion.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Parnasso in Festa - David Hansen (countertenor) Robin Johannsen (soprano) La Cetra Barock O & Vokalens Basel/Andrea Marcon rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186643 SACD [44:12 + 72:23] [CRo] Handelians who do not already know this work will be amply rewarded in investigating it through this new recording.

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) The Handel Album - Artaserse/Philippe Jaroussky (counter-tenor) rec. 2017 ERATO 9029577445 [71:58] This disc will appeal unequivocally to Jaroussky’s many admirers.

George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759) Works for Keyboard - Philippe Grisvard (harpsichord) rec. 2016 AUDAX ADX13709 [68:03] [SG] An intelligently planned debut album.

Hans Werner HENZE (1926–2012) Neue Volkslieder und Hirtengesänge, Kammermusik 1958 - Andrew Staples (tenor) Jürgen Ruck (guitar) Markus Weidmann (bassoon) Scharoun Ens Berlin/Daniel Harding rec. 2013-16 TUDOR 7198 [60:46] [NH] Expert, beautifully recorded performances.

Dorothy HINDMAN (b. 1966) Tightly Wound INNOVA 965 [67:17 + 68:41] [MW] Innovative, lyrical and fascinating music from an exciting contemporary composer.

Cat HOPE (b. 1966) Ephemeral Rivers rec. 2011-15 HAT[Now]ART 200 [55:53] [SSi] An enjoyable disc of music which is both challenging and enthralling.

Hans HUBER (1852-1921) Violin Concerto No. 2 Paul JUON (1872-1940) Violin Concerto No. 1 - Maria Solozobova (violin) Collegium Musicum Basel/Kevin Griffiths rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 80358 118320 [55:15] [EJW] An unusual and intriguing disc.

Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854-1921) Hänsel und Gretel - Katrin Wundsam (mezzo-soprano) Alexandra Steiner (soprano) Berlin RSO/Marek Janowski rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186605 SACD [56:24 + 38:48] [NB] Despite its undoubted qualities, a few earlier versions of the opera are preferable to this performance.

Thomas HYDE (b. 1978) That Man Stephen Ward - Damian Thantrey (baritone) Nova Music Opera Ens/George Vass rec. 2016 RESONUS RES10197 [62:57] [NH] Anyone who is the least bit interested in contemporary opera should hear this outstanding recording.

Manolis KALOMIRIS (1883–1962) Complete Works for Solo Piano - Olivier Chauzu (piano) rec. 2016 GRAND PIANO GP748 [69:43] [SSi] A fine disc which makes me want to hear more by this neglected composer.

Bjřrn KRUSE (b. 1946) Chronotope - Frederik Fors (clarinet) Oslo PO/Christian Eggen rec. 2016 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1129 [45:31] [DC] Contemporary music with substance and value.

Orlandus LASSUS (1530/32 -1594) Responsories for Holy Week - Ars Cantica/Marco Berrini rec. 2003 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0404 [53:13] [JV] For those who would like to expand their horizons in this area of music for Passiontide, this fine production is not to be missed.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 1 - Hungarian Ntl PO/Zoltán Kocsis rec. 2004 BMC BMCCD188 [54:47] [RMo] Serviceable at best.

Ludwig MINKUS (1826-1917) Don Quixote - Wiener Staatsballet, O Wiener Staatsoper/Kevin Rhodes rec. 2016 C MAJOR Blu-ray 742504 [122 mins] [RMay] If Nureyev's concept of Don Quixote-lite appeals to you, this version will do very well.

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 SACD [22:40 + 65:44] [DC] Glorious sound but perhaps not the ‘hit’ for which we’d hoped.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 4, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Das Lied von der Erde, - Eugenia Zareska, Nan Merriman (mezzo) Margaret Ritchie (soprano) Ernst Haefliger (tenor) London PO, Concertgebouw O/Eduard van Beinum rec. 1946-1956 PRISTINE CLASSICAL PASC498 [69:06 + 76:44] [JQ] Eduard van Beinum’s fine Mahler recordings presented in excellent transfers.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 7 - Royal Concertgebouw O/Mariss Jansons rec. 2016 RCO LIVE RCO17006 SACD [79:55] [DM] A performance of pronounced character and contrast; is this a game-changer for Jansons?

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Complete Symphonies - ORF Vienna RSO/Cornelius Meister rec. 2011-17 CAPRICCIO C5320 [3 CDs: 182.04] [MW] Interesting performances in a Germanic tradition, but no match for the glorious recordings by Bělohlávek or Thomson.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Works for Cello & Piano - Christian Poltéra (cello) Ronald Brautigam (piano) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2187 SACD [60:18] [GF] The playing of and rapport between Poltéra and Brautigam is extraordinary.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Psalm settings - Ch des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Howard Arman rec. 2016 BR KLASSIK 900519 [59:16] [SB] Good performance, but no texts or translations.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) The Argo Organ Recordings - Simon Preston (organ) rec August 1962-9 ELOQUENCE 482 4917 [2 CDs: 138:30] [RHa] A welcome return to the catalogue for these pioneering Messiaen recordings from the old Argo label; perhaps not a first choice but of uncommon historical interest.

Tobias MICHAEL (1592-1657) Sacred Madrigals - Weser-Renaissance Bremen/Manfred Cordes rec. 2014 CPO 777 935-2 [65:35] [JV] This is an excellent disc, establishing Michael as a composer of stature.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 11, 12 & 13 - Marie Kuijken/Veronica Kuijken (fortepiano) La Petite Band/Sigiswald Kuijken rec. 2016 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72752 SACD [74:34] [PB] A chance to hear these concertos in a more intimate form, well played and in excellent sound.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Concerto for flute & harp, Bassoon Concerto Carl STAMITZ (1745-1801) Bassoon Concerto - Archie Camden (bassoon) Richard Adeney (flute) Osian Ellis (harp) London Mozart Players/Harry Blech rec. 1956-1958 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1371 [62:22] [JW] Stylish and lively performances by Camden.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Don Giovanni - Jean-Sébastien Bou (baritone) Robert Gleadow (bass) Myrtň Papatanasiu (soprano) Ch de Radio France, Le Cercle de L’Harmonie/Jérémie Rhorer rec. 2016 ALPHA CLASSICS 379 [3 CDs: 175:47] [GF] There are several other recordings that are safer recommendations.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Il Sogno di Scipione - Stuart Jackson (tenor) Klara Ek (soprano) Classical Opera Ch & O/Ian Page rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD499 [58:17 + 49:57] [DC] Collectors of this series need not hesitate, but this isn’t the greatest opera ever written.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Don Giovanni - James Pease (baritone) Sena Jurinac (soprano) Royal PO/Glyndebourne Fest Ch/Georg Solti rec. 1947-1954 NIMBUS PRIMA VOCE NI7964 [4 CDs: 267:40] [GF] I can’t be entirely enthusiastic about the complete Don Giovanni, but the extras are very worthwhile.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) La clemenza di Tito - Werner Hollweg (tenor) Carol Nesbitt (soprano) Ch Wiener Staatsoper/Vienna PO/James Levine rec. 1977 ORFEO C938172I [63:09 + 71:13] [RMo] The Colin Davis studio recording remains supreme.

Geraldine MUCHA (1917-2012) Macbeth Suite, Piano Concerto, Variations on an Old Scottish Song - Ivana Troupová (soprano) Patricia Goodson (piano) Hradec Králové PO/Andreas Sebastian-Weiser rec. 2013-15 ARCO DIVA UP0192 2231 [62:57] [JW] The standout work here is the Piano Concerto.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition Johannes BRAHMS (1833-97) Intermezzi Panayiotis DEMOPOULOS (b.1977) Farewells - Panayiotis Demopoulos (piano) rec. 2005 DIVERSIONS DDV24166 [53:06] [JF] A well-produced and conceived CD.

Johann Gottfried MÜTHEL (1728-1788) Complete Fantasies & Choral Preludes - Léon Berben (organ) rec. 2017 AEOLUS AE11131 SACD [67:22] [SG] Another fine addition to the Aeolus/Léon Berben collaboration.

Vitězslav NOVÁK (1870-1949) Pan Dimitri TCHESNOKOV (b. 1982) La Neige – Deux Études - Patrick Hemmerlé (piano) rec. 2016 INDÉSENS INDE097 [66:34] [SSi] Another slant on a major work in twentieth century Czech piano music.

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Overtures - O Ntl de Lille/Darrell Ang rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573694 [65:40] [NB] A serviceable selection of these hugely enjoyable overtures given energetic if not particularly nuanced performances.

Niccolň PAGANINI (1782-1840) 24 Caprices - Sueye Park (violin) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2282 SACD [82:41] [NB] Technical perfection but a musical disappointment.

Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Legacy - Tomás Cotik (violin), Tao Lin (piano) rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573789 [68:17] [BMC] Classical or jazz? It doesn’t matter – just enjoy it.

Mario PILATI (1903-1938) Violin Sonata, Cello Sonata, Bagatelles Books 1 & 2 etc. - Francesco Manara (violin), Luca Signorini (cello), Dario Candela (piano) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95352 [64:13 + 63:56] [JW] A welcome and valuable release.

Johann Peter PIXIS (1788-1874) Piano Trios, Trio Concertant - Leonore Piano Trio rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68207 [64:54] Johann Peter PIXIS & Sigismond THALBERG (1812-1871) Piano Concertos - Tasmanian SO/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67915 [70:07] [DJB] Pixis may not be a lost genius, but there is plenty of lovely music to be found in these two discs.

David POPPER (1843-1913) High School of Cello Playing - Martin Rummel (cello) rec. 2003/4 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0085 [50:50 + 62:02] [JW] Sensible and sensitive playing, but lacking something.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Gloria, Christmas Motets Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Messe ŕ quatre voix - Ch & O de la Suisse Romande/Jesús López-Cobos, Ch of Christ Church Cathedral Oxford/Simon Preston, Worcester Cathedral Ch/Donald Hunt rec. 1973 ELOQUENCE 482 8798 [81:36] [RHa] A rather strange admixture of repertoire extracted from three separate Argo originals; proceed with caution.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891 – 1953) Violin Concerto No. 2, Violin Sonata, Melodies - Rosanne Philippens (violin) Julien Quentin (piano) SO St. Gallen/Otto Tausk rec. 2016 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS39517 [65:23] [GF] If the programme is to your taste it is definitely worth the investment.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution - Ernst Senff Ch, Staatskapelle Weimar/Kirill Karabits rec. 2017 AUDITE 97.754 [41:55] [JQ] A very interesting Prokofiev rarity in a fervent and dynamic performance.

Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Childhood Manuscripts - Alexandre Dossin (piano) rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573435 [79:53] [SSi] An interesting disc that any self respecting Prokofiev fanatic will want.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Fanciulla del West - Carol Neblett (soprano) Sherrill Milnes (baritone) Placido Domingo (tenor) Ch & O Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Zubin Mehta rec. 1977 PENTATONE PTC5186243 SACD [59:20 + 70:36] [GF] This recording has stood the test of time artistically and musically and in this remastered version it has state-of-the-art sonics as well.

Gaetano PUGNANI (1731-1798) Violin concertos - Roberto Noferini (violin), Nuove Assonanze/Alan Freiles Magnatta rec. 2014 TACTUS TC731601 [58:05] [JW] A valuable addition to the catalogue of eighteenth-century Italian concertos.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Miserly Knight - Sergei Leiferkus, Richard Berkeley-Steele - London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2004 OPUS ARTE OA0919D DVD [95 mins] [EJW] A superb, inexpensive DVD of a neglected work.

Max REGER (1873-1916) String Trios Nos 1 & 2, Piano Quartet No. 2 - Trio Lirico, Detlev Eisinger (piano) rec. 2017 AUDITE 97.714 [83:31] [SG] For the uninitiated, especially, this is a highly recommended Reger chamber music primer.

Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838) Flute Quartets Vol. 1 - Ardinghello Ens rec. 2015 CPO 555 051-2 [72:09] [SV] Excellent recorded sound, enjoyable music and performances.

Terry RILEY (b.1935) The Palmian Chord Ryddle, At the Royal Majestic - Tracy Silverman (electric violin) Todd Wilson (concert organ) Nashville SO/Giancarlo Guerrero rec. 2012/17 NAXOS 8.559739 [69.21] [MW] A highly enjoyable disc of accessible and continually interesting music.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Guillaume Tell - Gerald Finley (baritone) John Osborn (tenor) Malin Byström (soprano) Ch & O Royal Opera House/Antonio Pappano rec. 2015 OPUS ARTE OA1205D [2 DVDs: 216 mins] [RJF] This abysmal updated staging does no justice whatsoever to Rossini’s final operatic masterpiece.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Works for Violin & Orchestra - Tianwa Yang (violin) Gabriel Schwabe (cello) Malmö SO/Marc Soustrot rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573411 [67:07] [NB] Delightful in every respect.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Rare Piano Works - Mario Patuzzi (piano) rec. 2016 DYNAMIC CDS7796 [66:22] [PRB] An hour’s worth of the composer’s music you are unlikely to have encountered before.

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Complete Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 5 - Carlo Grante rec. 2016 MUSIC AND ARTS CD-1294 [5 CDs: 382:15] [JW] This volume lives up to the high standards set in the preceding four.

Martin SCHERBER (1907-1974) Symphony No. 1, Lieder - Thomas Heyner (tenor) Lars Jönsson, Hedayet Djeddikar (piano) Laura Cromm (violin) Bratislava SO/Adriano rec. 2009/16 STERLING CDS1113-2 [71:05] [EJW] An interesting and rather surprising recording of a symphony and songs by this little known German composer.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Violin Sonatas Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Double Concerto - Mischa Mischakoff (violin) Ernő Balogh (piano) Frank Miller (cello) NBC SO/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1948-50 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1392 [68:39] [JW] The sonatas show both Mischakoff and Balogh in confident form.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Liederkreis, Lieder und Gesänge aus Wilhelm Meister Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen - Florian Boesch (baritone), Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 2014 LINN CKD511 [61:46] [GF] Performances are very good, but the sound and the parsimonious running time are disappointing.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No.11 - London SO/Mstislav Rostropovich rec. 2002 LSO LIVE LSO0535 SACD [72:24] [DM] Rostropovich’s London Eleventh: how does it compare with his Washington one?

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975) Chamber Symphony, From Jewish Folk Poetry Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Cantus Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919–1996) Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes - Staatskapelle Dresden/Michail Jurowski rec. 2010-13 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300935BC [66:31] [GF] If the repertoire is attractive this disc is well worth closer acquaintance.

Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) The Gadfly - Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Bachchor Mainz, Mark Fitz-Gerald rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573747 [61:46] [RK] Performances don't match those of the competition.

Ādolfs SKULTE (1909-2000) Symphonies Nos 5 & 9 - Latvian Ntl SO/Aleksandrs Viļumanis rec. 1976/1989 SKANI LMIC021 [70:11] [SG] Two compelling Latvian symphonies that can be enthusiastically recommended.

Eric STOKES (1930-1999) The Lyrical Pickpocket - Riverside Winds, Maria Jette (soprano) Trudy Anderson Merilee Klemp (oboe) Sonja Thompson (piano) rec. 2009-15 INNOVA 962 [67:09] [MW] A lively and varied introduction to the music of a quirky, enjoyable composer.

Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) Der Rosenkavalier - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Sena Jurinac (soprano) Kurt Böhme (bass) Covent Garden Opera O & Ch/Georg Solti rec. 1959 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO142 [3 CDs: 196:59] [RMo] Solti’s fine Covent Garden debut.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Die Liebe der Danae - Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano) Tomasz Konieczny (baritone) Vienna PO/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2016 EUROARTS Blu-ray 4297024 [176 mins] [PCG] Those who do not know this opera, or do not know it well enough, should certainly take advantage of this recording to encounter some spectacularly good music.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphonies Nos 4 & 5, Romeo & Juliet, Serenade for Strings - Concertgebouw O/Willem Mengelberg rec. 1927-30 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC511 [60:01 + 68:38] [JW] These recordings belong in any historic collection of the Tchaikovsky symphonies.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) String Quartets - Anton Quartet rec. 1993 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1297-98 [69:13 + 50:40] [JW] An accomplished set, technically adroit and with a sure sense of the music’s architecture.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Quatuors Parisiens - Ens Nevermind rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS 299 [64:08] [DC] A must for Telemann fans, and those intrigued by this German import to fashionable French salons.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) A Telemann Companion - Akademie Alte Musik Berlin/René Jacobs rec. 1998-2006 HARMONIA MUNDI HMX2908781/87 [7 CDs: 520 mins] [JW] This box proves to have numerous attractions.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (16811767) Tafelmusik - Schola Cantorum Basiliensis/August Wenzinger rec. 1964/5 ELOQUENCE 482 5864 [4 CDs: 276:15] [NH] The performances are distinguished in their own way, and remain enjoyable. Whether they are truly competitive in 2017 is another matter.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681 - 1767) Complete Trio Sonatas With Recorder And Viol - Da Camera rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN0817 [77:16] [JV] A pleasing and attractive addition to the Telemann discography.

Augusta Read THOMAS (b. 1964) Ritual Incantations NIMBUS NI6355 [77:59] [SSi] A fine introduction to the many aspects of the music of Augusta Read Thomas, all of which are given excellent performances.

Henri TOMASI (1901-1971) Concertos - Trio d’anches Hamburg, German Strings/Olivier Tardy rec. 2010 FARAO CLASSICS B108062 [65:43] [SG] Music of satisfying and imaginative appeal.

Galina USTVOLSKAYA (1919-2006) Trio, Piano Sonata No. 5, Duet - Reinbert de Leeuw (piano) Vera Beths (violin) Harmen de Boer (clarinet) rec 1991 HAT(NOW)ART 194 [58:37] [RHa] A welcome return to the catalogue for this pioneering disc of Ustvolskaya in a fresh remastering.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Beyond my Dream: Music for Greek Plays - Heather Lowe (mezzo) Joyful Company of Singers, Britten Sinfonia/Alan Tongue rec. 2017 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD033 [62:44] [JQ] An important release of hitherto unknown music by Vaughan Williams.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Il trovatore - Marco Caria (baritone) Anna Pirozzi (soprano) Fondazione O Regionale delle Marche/Daniel Oren rec. 2016 DYNAMIC CDS7769.02 [66:32 + 62:06] [GF] This latest offering also has a lot to offer, in particular Anna Pirozzi’s Leonora.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) Don Carlo - Michele Pertusi (bass) José Bros (tenor) Serena Farnocchia (soprano) Coro Teatro Regio Parma/Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini/Daniel Oren rec. 2016 DYNAMIC CDS7776.03 [3 CDs: 172:55] [GF] More ups than downs, but can’t challenge the best.

Sándor VERESS (1907-1992) String Quartets 1 & 2, String Trio - Doelen Quartet Rotterdam rec. 2012 CYBELE RECORDS SACD KIG009 [222:03] [JW] A valuable set for its documentary nature, as well as the fine performances.

Robert VOLKMANN (1815-1883) Complete String Quartets, Piano Trios - Mannheim String Qt, Beethoven Trio Ravensburg rec. 1992-94 CPO 5551822 [4 CDs: 216:34] [SG] Neglected music making a welcome comeback.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der Ring des Nibelungen - Metropolitan Opera O & Ch/James Levine, Fabio Luisi rec. 2010-12 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON DVD 0734770 [8 discs: 18 hrs 31 mins] [SB] A very satisfying production, especially for those who want a traditional Ring but with imaginative staging.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) The Wagner Project - Matthias Goerne (baritone), Swedish RSO/Daniel Harding rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902250.51 [62:56 + 59:12] [ST] This might even qualify as a Wagnerian guilty pleasure.

Richard WAGNER (1813-83) Der Ring des Nibelungen - Badische Staatskapelle/Günter Neuhold rec. 1993-95 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99801 [14 CDs: 844:40] [RMo] A highly recommendable introduction to the tetralogy for the novice, given the price.

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) The Bear - Della Jones (mezzo-soprano), Alan Opie (baritone), John Shirley-Quirk (bass), Northern Sinfonia, Richard Hickox rec. 1993 CHANDOS CHAN10947X [53:26] [CSe] Hickox draws every ounce of drama from Walton’s incisive, deftly drawn musical vignette.

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Symphonies 1 & 2 - Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2016, The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset ONYX 4168 [73:50] [NB] An impressive and wholly enjoyable recording, but doesn’t quite displace favoured performances.

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) & Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Violin Concertos - Lorraine McAslan (violin) BBC Concert O/Martin Yates rec. 2015/16 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7342 SACD [72:11] [NH] This would grace anyone’s shelves and I recommend it most warmly.

Leo WEINER (1885-1960) Serende; Divertimenti 1-5 - Estonian NSO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2015/16 CHANDOS CHAN10959 [83:05] [EJW] An appealing recording of Hungarian works by this little-known composer.

Roderick WILLIAMS (b. 1965) Sacred Choral Works - Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Chapel Ch/Ralph Allwood, Jonathan Eyre (piano) rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD517 [80:12] [ST] Those who are already Williams’ admirers on the stage will find that there’s a whole new side of him to admire here.

Georg Hendrik WITTE (1843-1929) Piano Quartet, Horn Quintet - Mozart Piano Qt, Radovan Vlatkovic (horn) Cornelia Gartemann (violin) rec. 2017 MDG 943 2046-6 SACD [69:58] [SG] For enthusiasts of the unsung, this is definitely a must-have.

Juliusz ZARĘBSKI (1854-1885) Complete Works for Piano - Piotr Sałajczyk (piano), Maria Szwajger-Kułakowska (piano 4 hands), rec. 2014 DUX 1181/84 [4 CDs: 277:00] [SG] The set has given me many hours of pleasure.

Bernd Alois ZIMMERMANN (1918-1970) Late symphonic works - SWR RSO Stuttgart/Bernhard Kontarsky rec. 2012 CYBELE RECORDS SACD KiG008 [3 discs: 198:58] [DC] Challenging but significant music in a usefully educational package.

Altri canti d’amor 17th Century Instrumental Works - L’Estro d’Orfeo/Leonor de Lera rec. 2016 CHALLENGE RECORDS CC72760 [50:02] [GH] With much exquisite playing of rare and magical music, this is warmly recommended, unless the short playing time troubles you.

Ancient Greece: Musical Inspirations Works by Athenios, Lynch, Partch, Ravel & Whittall - Rody Van Gemert (guitar) Assi Karttunen (harpsichord) rec. 2015 PILFINK JJVCD182 [63:13] [JF] An exceptional CD of imaginative music, perfectly performed.

Assassini, Assassinati Works by Albertini, Castaldi, Marini, Pandolfi Mealli & Stradella - Repicco rec. 2017 AMBRONAY AMY308 [60:43] [JV] The very first disc of Repicco is a winner in every respect.

Auf dem Wasser… Works by Schubert, Pfitzner, Mahler & Strauss - Artur Rożek (baritone), Anna Mikolon (piano) rec. 2016 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0407 [65:42] [RP] A commendable debut recording.

Juliane Banse (soprano) Im Arm der Liebe - Münchner Rundfunk O/Sebastian Weigle rec. 2015 BR KLASSIK 900322 [54:40] [MC] Those with an interest in late-Romantic orchestral lieder should not hesitate to get the album.

Paul Bazelaire (cello) Ses 78 tours rec. 1929-51 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1202/3 [2 CDs: 148:44] [JW] An outstanding release in every way.

Beecham at the Royal Festival Hall Vols 1, 2 & 3 Frederick Riddle (viola) Royal PO rec. 1959 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC502/4/7 [3 CDs: 185:14] [RWM] Beecham and the RPO mostly at their greatest – but expect no sonic revelations.

Daniel Behle (tenor) Nostalgia - WDR RSO & Ch Cologne/Helmuth Froschauer rec. 2016 CAPRICCIO C5317 [54:50] [GF] Buy and enjoy!

Lena Belkina (mezzo) Classic Vienna - Andrea Bacchetti (piano) Siegfried Schenner (clarinet) Johannes Maria Bogner (harpsichord) ORF Vienna Radio SO/Andrea Sanguineti rec. 2015 SONY CLASSICAL 88985441842 [64:14] [DC] Superb programme by a sublimely talented mezzo.

Bohemia Works by Dvořák, Janáček & Suk - Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin) Huw Watkins (piano) rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD510 [74:06] [NH] A cherishable disc; anyone who buys it will surely be pleased with it.

Christmas at Westminster Abbey Ch Westminster Abbey/Simon Preston, Christopher Herrick (organ) rec. 1984 ELOQUENCE 482 8564 [57:12] [RHa] The return of this celebrated recording to the catalogue is very welcome.

Régine Crespin (soprano) A Tribute rec. 1960-76 WARNER CLASSICS 9029588671 [10 CDs: 544:14] [GF] Buy this box at once but perhaps ration the listening to a couple of discs at a time.

Cromatica Marcin Świątkiewicz (harpsichord) rec. 2015 CPO 555142-2 [73:38] [JV] A disc every lover of early keyboard music should add to his collection, despite a debatable choice of instruments.

Fait pleurer les songes Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Sonate Posthume Francis POULENC (1899-1963) & Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Sonatas - Guro Kleven Hagen (violin) Marianna Shirinyan (piano) rec. 2016 SIMAX PSC1354 [58:46] [NH] Performances which are very fine without leading the field.

Vilde Frang (violin) Homage - José Gallardo (piano) rec. 2017 WARNER CLASSICS 9029580532 [54:51] [JW] Frang has selected an attractive programme that will appeal to violin fanciers who don’t expect or want expressive devices associated with the originals.

Alexis Galpérine (violin) Works by Viotti, Bach, Yaye, Paganini & Mefano rec. 2002-2004 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1361 [46:18] [JW] A good souvenir of Galpérine’s artful musicianship.

Maurice Gendron (cello) Works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin & Schumann - Madeleine Lipatti (piano) rec. 1953 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1355 [68:33] [JW] No hint of ennui in the performances.

Angela Gheorghiu (soprano) Eternamente - PKF–Prague Philharmonia/Emmanuel Villaume rec. 2016/17 WARNER CLASSICS 9029578024 [60:00] [RMo] Not the way to remember Gheorghiu.

Walter Gieseking (piano) His first concerto recordings rec. 1932-39 APR 7308 [3 CDs: 206:26] [SG] Gieseking’s early inscriptions of repertoire staples, in warm, vibrant transfers.

Walter Gieseking (piano) His first concerto recordings rec. 1936-1939 APR 7308 [3 CDS: 206:26] [JW] The box matches the high standards set by the recent Gieseking trawl on this label.

Reiner Ginzel (cello) Works by Brahms, Popper, Beethoven, Fauré, Martinů & Suk - Annette Weisbrod (piano) rec. 2009 TYXART TXA17088 [76:05] [JW] A somewhat odd programme, played with committed artistry.

Slava Grigoryan (guitar) Songs Without Words - Leonard Grigoryan (guitar) rec. 2017 ABC CLASSICS 4815101 [53:34] Migration - Australian String Qt rec. 2016 ABC CLASSICS 4815428 [58:24] [DHu] The Grigoryan art in ordinary and outstanding guises, but which would you listen to more?

Great Hymns from Liverpool Liverpool Cathedral Ch/David Poulter, Ian Tracey (organ) rec. 2016 PRIORY RECORDS PRCD1180 [78:08] [MR] Great English hymns and Great English hymn singing, with the added bonus of simply spectacular sound.

Thomas Hampson (baritone) Serenade - Maciej Pikulski (piano) rec. 2015 PENTATONE PTC5186681 SACD [57:36] [GF] A wonderful programme, excellently performed by one of the great communicators in the world of performing arts.

Horowitz at Carnegie Hall – Volume 1 Works by Haydn, Schubert, Scriabin, Kabalevsky & Chopin - Vladimir Horowitz (piano) rec 1948 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM071 [79:50] [DC] Fascinating window into a rather special Carnegie Hall concert.

Im Hellen Harald Kimmig (violin) Daniel Studer (bass) Alfred Zimmerlin (cello) rec. 2015 HAT(NOW)ART 201 [45:28] [SSi] This disc is not for the faint-hearted, but give it a chance and the remarkable sounds produced by the Trio will amaze.

The Italian Job  Works by Caldara, Vivaldi, Corelli, Tartini, Albinoni & Torelli - La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler (violin) rec. 2016 AVIE AV2371 [76:23] [JV] This disc offers food for thought as far as the repertoire is concerned, but also from the perspective of performance practice.

Julian Jacobson & Mariko Brown (piano duo) Works by Busoni, Casella, Debussy, Herschel-Hill, Poulenc & Satie rec. 2016 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0178 [79:18] [IL] Rewarding for the adventuresome listener.

The Maryla Jonas Story Complete piano recordings rec. 1946-51 SONY 88985391782 [4 CDs: 193:07] [JW] Everything she recorded is stamped with individuality.

Kinship Works by JS, CPE & WF Bach, Müthel & Reincken - Sigrun Stephan (clavichord) rec. 2017 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72764 [72:44] [JV] Because of the variety of the programme and the two different instruments this disc is an excellent case for the clavichord.

Dame Nellie Melba (soprano) Melba’s Farewell rec. 1926 ELOQUENCE 4828093 [77:24] [GF] Important historically, but beware the sound.

Madeleine Mitchell (violin) Violin Muse - Nigel Clayton (piano) BBC Ntl O Wales/Edwin Outwater rec. 2016/17 DIVINE ART DDA25160 [76.15] [PCG] An enchanting disc.

Elly Ney Performs Works by Beethoven & Mozart - Elly Ney (piano) 1961/65 ARTHAUS MUSIK 109336 [DVD: 76 mins & 2 CDs: 125 mins] [TPo] A varied package documenting a performer made controversial by political events.

The Norwegian Flute Works by Brćin, Kvandal, Hovland & Mortensen - Tom Ottar Andreassen (flute) Norwegian Radio O/Ingar Bergby rec. 2014 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1127 [71:18] [DC] An admirable taste of Norway’s post-war contemporary music scene.

Per Due Donne Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha (soprano) Monika Korybalska (mezzo-soprano) Krakow Opera O/Tomasz Tokarczyk rec. 2016 DUX 1351 [71:09] [RMo] Despite the undoubted care invested in the recording, reviewing it has been an ungrateful exercise.

Pescodd Time Works by Byrd, Bull & Philips - Bertrand Cuiller (harpsichord, virginals) rec. 2005 ALPHA 319 [58:58] [JV] An outstanding introduction to the world of the English virginalists.

Simon Preston (organ) The Argo Organ Recordings: At Westminster Abbey rec. 1963-65 ELOQUENCE 482 4933 [2CDs: 95:24] [RHa] A curious compilation but the performances and recordings withstand the test of time pretty well.

Sappho, Shropshire & Super-Tramp Modern English art-song - Sarah Leonard (soprano) Johnny Herford (baritone) Nigel Foster (piano) rec. 2015/16 DIVINE ART DDA21230 [77:36 + 79:05] [JF] An excellent exploration of English art-song, proving that the genre is alive and well in the early 21st century.

Secret History Works by Victoria & Josquin - Ariel Abramovich, Jacob Heringman, Lee Santana, Anna Maria Friman, John Potter (voices) Hille Perl (viola da gamba) rec. 2011 ECM NEW SERIES 2119 [68:18] [RHa] A typically pioneering ECM programme of successful and intimate re-imaginings of sacred works from either end of the Renaissance.

Fabian Sevitzky (conductor) Works by Glazunov, Dubensky, Cesana & Gershwin - Indianapolis SO rec. 1941-45 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC509 [69:09] [JW] Pristine’s dedication to Sevitzky continues.

Mordecai Shehori (piano) The Celebrated New York Concerts Vol. 8 rec. 2000 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD181 [48:52 + 48:44] [JW] The listener will have decide if the aural compromises involved are outweighed by the frequently fine playing.

Silence & Music Robert Murray (tenor) Neal Davies (baritone) Tim Roberts (harmonium) Gabrieli Consort/Paul McCreesh rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD490 [67:42] [ST] Some may well be surprised at this group turning to such repertoire, and even more surprised that they do it so well.

Silence & Music Partsongs by British composers - Robert Murray (tenor) Neal Davies (baritone) Tim Roberts (harmonium) Gabrieli Consort/Paul McCreesh rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD490 [67:42] [MG] The Gabrieli Consort reveal just how lovely so many of these partsongs are.

Single Reed Expressions Volumes 1-8 Ronald L. Caravan (clarinet, saxophones) Sar Shalom Strong (piano) rec. 1999-2009 MARK RECORDS 51601-8-MCD [8 CDs: 569 mins] [HP] A monumental undertaking which will help to put the under-appreciated saxophone and its exciting repertoire on the map.

Sounds of Transcendence Works by Griffes, Scriabin & Franck - Reed Tetzloff (piano) rec. 2017 ROMÉO RECORDS 7323 [72:10] [JW] Mature playing but a somewhat unbalanced programme.

Tesserae Medieval Music for Recorders & Percussion - Duo Enßle-Lamprecht rec. 2016 AUDAX ADX13712 [52:54] [SG] Artful and imaginative - one to dip into.

Tivoli Garden - Dedicated Tivoli Youth Guard Band/David Palmquist rec. 2017 DANACORD DACOCD776 [73:36] [JF] Full of attractive and entertaining music, played with great enthusiasm, passion and care.

Daniil Trifonov (piano) Chopin Evocations - Mahler CO/Mikhail Pletnev rec. 2016/17 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 7518 [62:18 + 77:43] [SB] A mixed bag: dazzling solo playing but disappointing concertos.

Unheard Works by Kahn, Susskind, Hauer, Jokl & Gruenberg - Ebony Quartet rec. 2016/17 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS40517 [69:28] [RK] The Ebony Quartet performs this intense music with passion and precision.

Variations on America – Organ Spectacular Simon Preston (organ) rec 1988 ELOQUENCE 482 8101 [66:32] [RHa] A second bite of the cherry for this exciting 1990 Argo issue of transcriptions and show-stoppers.

Fritz Wunderlich (tenor) Classical Arias rec. 1956-59 SWRMUSIC SWR19048CD [66:24 + 58:12] [GF] The original tapes have been carefully remastered and the end product is utterly attractive.

The Art of Svetlana Zakharova at The Bolshoi Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadčre, La Fille du Pharaon rec. 2003-15 BEL AIR CLASSIQUES BAC615 [4 DVDs: 519 mins] [RWe] This issue is essential for those wanting a comprehensive view of the work of a great company, and of a great dancer’s astonishing gifts.


Other Reviews

Richard RODGERS (1902-1979) South Pacific, Oklahoma! - Original 1943 Broadway Casts rec. 1943/49 ALTO ALN1964 [77:59] [GF] Everyone with an interest in Broadway musicals should lend an ear to these classic recordings.

Peter Dawson The Floral Dance: His 49 Finest rec. 1925-39 RETROSPECTIVE RTS4306 [77:44 + 77:51] [JW] The lighter side of his repertoire.

Articles and Notices

Classical Music on Stamps - a new weekly column

Revisiting Anthony Milner's Chamber Symphony by John France

An interview with composer John Pickard by Richard Adams

Bruckner's Sixth Symphony - Some thoughts by Christopher Howell

 Reissues from Ricercar, Eloquence and Beulah by Brian Wilson



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