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Some items
to consider


16th-19th November


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 

Monthly Listing
July 2018

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Brian FERNEYHOUGH (b.1943) Liber Scintillarum, Plötzlichkeit, Missa Brevis, La terre est un homme - ens recherche, Olivia Robinson, Jennifer Adams-Barbaro (sopranos) Cherith Millburn-Fryer (alto) EXAUDI/James Weeks, BBC SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2006-12 NMC D231 [68:05] [MB] A clear record of the year, I think.

Henryk GÓRECKI (1933-2010) String Quartet No. 3 - Dafô String Qt rec. 2016 DUX 1302 [48:37] [SSi] A wonderful recording that any self-respecting enthusiast of string quartets and the composer’s music should have.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Transcendental Studies - Kirill Gerstein (piano) rec. 2015 MYRIOS CLASSICS MYR019 SACD [64:00] [DM]  Extraordinary pianism that strikes a perfect balance between impetuosity and insight; bar-raising sonics, too.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies Nos 4 & 11 - Boston SO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2017/18 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 5220 [2 CDs: 127:04] [DM] Performances of great strength and stature, peerlessly played and recorded; the pinnacle of Nelsons’ cycle thus far.

Carlo Zecchi (piano) The Complete Cetra Recordings rec. 1930-1942 APR 6024 [72:38 + 76:13] [SG] One of the most compelling historical piano recordings that has ever come my way.

John Luther ADAMS (b. 1953) Everything That Rises - JACK Qt rec. 2017 COLD BLUE MUSIC CB0051 [56:21] [DC] Remarkable concept, and superhuman control from the players.

Kalevi AHO (b.1949) Solo 1, Sonata, In Memoriam Pehr Henrik Nordgren Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (1928-2016) Variétude Pehr Henrik NORDGREN (1944-2008) Sonata - Renate Eggebrecht (violin) rec. 2017 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01452 [59:38] [SG] Fearless command of a brave choice of repertoire.

Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Piano Quintets 1 & 2; Quartets - Silesian Qt, Wojciech Świtała (piano),  Polish Cello Qt rec. 2010/17 CHANDOS CHAN10976 [63:30] [SG] Well-recorded, gripping and exhilarating.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) The Solo Keyboard Music Vol. 36 - Miklós Spányi (tangent piano) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2263 [80:00] [SSi] Another excellent addition to this important edition.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Mono Tapes - Friedrich Gulda (clavichord) rec. 1978/79 BERLIN CLASSICS 0301063BC [60:17] [SG] My own feelings are that this release, while having much to savour, will be restricted mainly to the niche market, appealing especially to aficionados and Gulda completists.

Johann Sebastien BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations - Quatuor Ardeo rec. 2017 IBS CLASSICAL IBS112018 [79:08] [SSi] Not just for the curious, but one that all Bach and string quartet fans should enjoy.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Duke Bluebeard's Castle Francis POULENC (1899-1963) La Voix Humaine - John Relyea (bass) Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo) Barbara Hannigan (soprano) Paris Opera O/Esa-Pekka Salonen rec. 2015 ARTHAUS 109365 Blu-ray [121 mins] [DBi] Two of the best one-act operas of the 20th century, superbly recorded and performed in a typically odd production.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas No. 3, 21 & 29, Piano Concerto No. 5 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 2 - Wilhelm Backhaus (piano), SWR RSO Stuttgart/Joseph Keilberth, Hans Müller-Kray rec. 1953-62 SWR CLASSIC SWR19057CD [3 CDs: 169:57] [JW] A valuable record of three Backhaus broadcasts.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto, Coriolan & Leonora III Overtures - Franco Gulli (violin) O Concerts Lamoureux, Munich PO/Rudolf Albert rec. 1950s FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1468 [68:23] [SG] This is a delightful disc offering much to savour.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser: Overture and Venusberg Music - Wuppertal SO/Julia Jones rec. 2018 HD-KLASSIK 3D-801801 [74:56] [DC] Very fine performances, excellent binaural recording.

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) A Quiet Place - Montreal SO & Ch/Kent Nagano rec. 2017 DECCA 483 3895 [38:23 + 54:41] [MC] If the Bernstein opera appeals, then it’s hard to fault the quality of this beautifully performed and presented set.

Richard BLACKFORD (b. 1954) Niobe - Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin), Czech PO/Ben Gernon rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD539 [23:09] [MW] A very short disc of attractive and thoughtful music, magnificently performed.

Alexandre BOËLY (1785-1858) Piano Music Vol. 1 - Stephanie McCallum (piano) rec. 2017 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0471 [79:08] [PRB] The excellence of the playing, the fidelity of the recording and perfect piano sound, to say nothing of the erudition of the sleeve notes, all make this CD hard to resist.

Arrigo BOITO (1842–1918) Mefistofele: Great Scenes - Cesare Siepi (bass) Giuseppe Di Stefano (tenor) Renata Tebaldi (soprano) Ch & O Santa Cecilia Academy, Rome/Tullio Serafin rec. 1958 ELOQUENCE 482 4757 [73:55] [GF] Di Stefano’s many admirers should definitely hear this.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 1 - Munich PO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2017 MÜNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER 9305211250 [50.48] [MC] A recording which unquestionably bodes well for this ongoing Bruckner cycle.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 - Berlin Staatskapelle/Kurt Masur rec. 1967 ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD6/2009 [63:30] [DBi] Bruckner enthusiasts will want this fine performance despite the somewhat old sound.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Siegfried's Funeral March - Gewandhaus O Leipzig/Andris Nelsons rec. 2018 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 8494 [76:49] [JQ] Persuasively conducted, superbly played and expertly recorded.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 8 - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2017 BR KLASSIK SACD 900166 [80:07] [MB] The performance seems unrooted in anything at all profound or elemental, although the orchestra has been beautifully recorded.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 8 Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Couleurs de la Cité Celeste - Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano) London SO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2016 LSO LIVE LSO3042 DVD/Blu-ray [104 mins] [TB] Musically very fine, but less so in video presentation.

Ignaz BRÜLL (1846-1907) Symphony, Violin Concerto, Serenades Nos 1 & 2, Macbeth Overture - Ilya Hoffmann (violin) Malta PO/Michael Laus, Belarusian State SO/Marius Stravinsky rec. 2007/11 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9103 [58.18 + 67.11] [MW] Melodic, charming and generous music from a composer who deserves greater renown.

Eric CRAVEN Entangled States - Mary Dullea (piano) rec. 2017 MÉTIER MSV28571 [56:41 + 56:14] [JF] This is an impressive and often quite beautiful production, but don’t allow the musical philosophy of the piece to detract from your enjoyment.

Giovanni CROCE (c1557 - 1609) Motetti & Sacrae Cantiones - Voces Suaves, Concerto Scirocco/Francesco Saverio Pedrini (organ) rec. 2015/17 ARCANA A439 [52:24] [JV] There is every reason to be thankful for this disc, which gives us a fairly good impression of Croce’s style.

Jean-François DANDRIEU (1682 - 1738) Pièces de Caractère Marouan Mankar-Bennis (harpsichord) rec. 2017 ENCELADE ECL1702 [71:16] [JV] Mankar-Bannis deserves much praise for his original approach to Dandrieu's oeuvre and the way he presents the programme.

Peter DICKINSON (b. 1934) Translations -Peter Dickinson, Joseph Havlat, Peter Lawson (piano) Lydia Hillerudh (cello) rec. 2017 PRIMA FACIE PFNSCD009 [60:58] [JF] A welcome addition to several important recordings devoted to Dickinson’s music.

Erno DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Serenade, String Quartet No. 3, Sextet - Nash Ensemble rec 2017 HYPERION CDA68215 [76:08] [RHa] I cannot believe there is a better single disc survey of this composer.

Franz DOPPLER (1821-1883) & Carl DOPPLER (1826-1900) The Complete Flute Music Vol. 6 - Claudi Arimany (flute), Barcino Horn Qt, Ciudad de Elche SO/L. Martínez rec. 2007-2016 CAPRICCIO C5300 [70:03] [MBu] All in all, this is a very good release.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857–1934) Symphony No. 2, Serenade for Strings - BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5197 SACD [66:43] [JQ] A very impressive traversal of the Second symphony.

Roberto ESPOSITO (b. 1984) Piano Concerto No. 1, Piano Sonata No. 1 - Roberto Esposito (piano), Michele D’Elia (electronics), Budapest Scoring SO/Eliseo Castrignano rec. 2017 GRAND PIANO GP781 [56:34] [PRB] Difficult to decide whether this is fully satisfying, but worth the effort to find out.

Sebastian FAGERLUND (b. 1972) Drifts, Stonework, Transit - Ismo Eskelinen (guitar) Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2016-17 BIS BIS2295 SACD [50:00] [WH] Three powerful works from the Concertgebouw composer-in-residence, superbly performed and recorded.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) The Complete Songs Vol. 3 - Lorna Anderson (soprano), Sarah Connolly, Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano), Iestyn Davies (counter-tenor), Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 2013-15 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD483 [58:56] [RHa] A delectable third helping of Fauré from Martineau and his hand-picked company.

Grigory FRID (1915-1912) Clarinet Sonatas Nos 1-3 - John Finucane (clarinet) Elisaveta Blumina (piano) rec. 2017 MDG 903 2069-6 SACD [57:16] [SSi] Interesting and exhilarating – a real discovery.

Alberto GINASTERA (1916-1983) Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - Xiayin Wang (piano) BBC PO/Juanjo Mena rec. 2016/17 CHANDOS CHAN10949 [66:08] [NB] Fine performances, vividly recorded.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Complete Études for Solo Piano - Sally Whitwell (piano) rec. 2017 ABC 4816952 [2 CDs: 147:56] [SSi] This is a wonderful recording and a must for all fans of Philip Glass’ piano music.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Piano Works - Maria Luisa Cantos (piano) rec. 2016 MDG 904 2003-6 SACD [65:44] [DHu] Masterly playing of a great Spanish composer.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Sonatas for Violin & Basso Continuo - Brook Street Band rec. 2018 AVIE AV2387 [80:00] [PRB] I felt as if I was there right in the front row along with the other members of an eighteenth-century audience.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Trios - Trio Wanderer rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902321 [68:42] [SSi] One of the finest discs of the composer’s trios.

An-lun HUANG (b. 1949) Piano Trios - Bin Huang (violin), Alexander Suleiman (cello), Yubo Zhou (piano) rec. 2017 MDG 903 2065-6 SACD [73:13] [MR] A curious but attractive mix of mid-20th century styles.

Johann Gottlieb JANITSCH (1708-1762/1763) Rediscoveries from the Sara Levy Collection - Tempesta di Mare/Gwyn Roberts, Richard Stone rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN 0820 [67:28] [JV] A compelling disc which every lover of baroque music should add to their collection.

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Cello Concerto Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933) Cello Concerto No. 2 - Astrig Siranossian (cello), Sinfonia Varsovia/Adam Klocek rec. 2017 CLAVES 50-1802 [70:01] [SSi] A very fine recording of these two twentieth century cello concertos.

Charles KOECHLIN (1867-1950) Orchestral Works - SWR Stuttgart RSO & Vocal Ens/Heinz Holliger rec. 2000-10 SWR MUSIC SWR19046 CD [7 CDs: 470:22] [MC] Beautifully performed and well recorded, this set is recommended without any hesitation.

Guillaume de MACHAUT (c.1300–1377) Fortune’s Child - The Orlando Consort rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68195 [60:40] [RHa] The fifth helping of the Orlando Consort’s life-enhancing survey of Machaut’s polyphonic songs easily maintains the standards set in the previous four.

John McLEOD (b. 1934) Out of the Silence, Percussion Concerto, Shostakovich Connection, Hebridean Dances - Evelyn Glennie (percussion) Royal Scottish Ntl O/John McLeod, Holly Mathieson rec. 2017 DELPHIAN DCD34196 [66:04] [JF] An excellent place to begin to acquaint yourself with McLeod’s music.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 4, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen - Margaret Ritchie (soprano) Concertgebouw O, London PO/Eduard van Beinum rec. 1947-56 ELOQUENCE 482 8147 [69:41 + 76:35] [WH] Classic performances that every Mahler collector should acquire.

Henri MARTEAU (1874-1934) String Quartet No.2; Melodies - Karine Deshayes (mezzo-soprano), Isasi Quartet rec. 2016/17 CPO 555 128-2 [57:38] [JW] This is the first volume in a CPO series and I, for one, want to hear more.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Early Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - Sinfonia Varsovia/Ian Hobson rec. 2014/17 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0414 [76:12] [JW] This latest release in the series has strong claims to being the most important yet.

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Complete Piano Works - Maurizio Zaccaria (piano) rec. 2013 AEAVA AE16003 [80:12] [JWe] An excellent disc, containing some really rather charming and interesting music.

Marc MELLITS (b. 1969) Smoke - New Music Detroit INNOVA 004 [65:35] [DC] A highly entertaining alchemy.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Hebrides Overture, Symphony No. 3 Jörg WIDMANN (b. 1973) 180 Beats per Minute, Fantasie - Irish CO/Jörg Widmann rec 2014-17 ORFEO C945181A [62:04] [RHa] Likeable, thoughtful performances of captivating music.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Monteverdi in San Marco - Odhecaton, La Pifarescha/Paolo Da Col rec. 2017 ARCANA A447 [60:38] [JV] Monteverdi's music is always exciting, and that is well conveyed here.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 23 Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto No. 1 - Jascha Spivakovsky (piano), Royal PO/Clarence Raybould, Victorian SO/Bernard Heinze rec. 1949/53 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC530 [58:22] [JW] The most revealing release so far in the Spivakovsky trail.

Thea MUSGRAVE (b. 1928) Mary Queen of Scots - Ashley Putnam (soprano) Virginia Opera Ch & O/Peter Mark rec. 1978 LYRITA SRCD2369 [53:28 + 79:11] [PCG] We could do with a modern revival and recording; in the meantime this reissue will have to do.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Piano Works rec. 1949-2017 MELODIYA MELCD1002541 [68:18] [SSi] A very desirable disc, one which explores an area of Mussorgsky’s music that may be new to many readers, but which deserves to be known by all.

Peter NAVARRO-ALONSO (b. 1973) Le Quattro Stagioni, Concerto in Si minore - Alpha, Ekkozone/Mathias Reumert rec. 2015/17 DACAPO 8.226591 [42:50] [RHa] Clever, entertaining, well-played and recorded but also a somewhat empty experience.

Joseph RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Piano Concerto Bernhardt SCHOLZ (1835-1916) Piano Concerto, Capriccio - Simon Callaghan (piano) BBC Scottish SO/Bern Gernon rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68225 [71:16] [EJW] None of the music here is particularly memorable, but no criticism can be levelled at the performers.

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade, Russian Easter Overture - Philadelphia O/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1927-39 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC529 [71:55] [JW] All Stokowskians should welcome the chance to compare and contrast between the two shellac versions of Scheherazade.

Solomon ROSOWSKY (1878-1962) Chamber Music & Yiddish Songs - Sari Gruber (soprano) Rachel Calloway (mezzo) Musicians Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival rec. 2011/12 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0479 [63:19] [JW] Another fine release in a valuable series.

Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Antoine et Cléopâtre, Suites 1 & 2; Symphony No. 2 - BBC SO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5200 SACD [77:57] [JQ] Florent Schmitt has been very well served by this release.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No. 9 - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2018 BR KLASSIK 900169 [60.22] [MC] This is great music-making of unshakable conviction.

Gerard SCHURMANN (b.1924) Chamber Music Vol. 3 - Lyris Qt, Martin Beaver (violin) Mikhail Korzhev (piano) rec. 2015-17 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0336 [73.20] [GH] An enjoyable and accessible collection of works by a composer too often overlooked in Britain.

Margarete SCHWEIKERT (1887-1957) Im bitteren Menschenland - Bernhard Berchtold (tenor), Jeannette La-Deur (piano) rec. 2013 TYXART TXA16086 [74:33] [GF] A renaissance for Schweikert’s music is well-deserved.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865 – 1957) & Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 – 1943) Songs - Jacques Imbrailo (baritone) Alisdair Hogarth (piano) rec. 2016 LINN RECORDS CKD482 [59:19] [GF] A very attractive survey of the songs of both composers.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 2 Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Symphonic Dance, Elegiac Melodies -  Gürzenich O Köln/Dmitrij Kitajenko rec. 2015/17 OEHMS CLASSICS OC457 [63:27] [NB] Fifty minutes of lumberingly dull Sibelius; I am not sure quite when a performance has disappointed me more.

Tomasz SIKORSKI (1939-1988) Twilight - Szábolcs Esztényi, Ewa Guziolek-Tubelewicz (piano) Warsaw PO/Zsolt Nagy rec. 2006-2017 DUX 1466 [65:29] [RHa] An absorbing portrait of a forgotten Polish 20th century pioneer.

Leone SINIGAGLIA (1868-1944) Romanza & Humoresque, Violin Concerto, Characteristic Pieces - Laura Marzadori (violin) Fernando Caida Greco (cello) O City of Ferrara/Marco Zuccarini rec. 2013 TACTUS TC 861901 [55:00] [WK] Hopefully this presages further recordings of Sinigaglia’s orchestral music and greater attention to his music in general.

Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) Festive Symphony, Bartered Bride: overture & dances - Berlin RSO/Darrell Ang rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573672 [63:58] [MW] Not major Smetana, but an enjoyable and historically interesting release nevertheless.

Bent SŘRENSEN (b. 1958) Mignon - Lapland CO/John Storgĺrds (violin) rec. 2014/5 DACAPO 8.226134 [76:06] Rosenbad, Fantasia Appassionata, Pantomime - Katrina Gislinge (piano) Stenhammar Qt, Esbjerg Ens rec. 2016/7 DACAPO 8.226135 [63:29] [SB] The complete Papillons trilogy from a contemporary Danish master.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Concert Overture, Violin & piano concertos - Leon McCawley (piano) Sergey Levitin (violin) Royal Northern Sinf/Martin Yates rec. 2017 DUTTON VOCALION CDLX7350 [70:06] [JW] Nothing subversive in the music – but engaging and direct pleasures.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Piano works - Jonathan Plowright (piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68198 [76:38] [SG] A sheer delight!

Sir Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) The Sorcerer, Utopia Limited  - New SO, O Royal Opera House/Isidore Godfrey rec. 1953/63 ELOQUENCE 482 5363 [48:29 + 52:34] [RJW] The Utopia filler gives this an advantage over previous issues.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No.6 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No.4 - Takahiro Sonoda (piano) NHK SO Tokyo/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1954 KING INTERNATIONAL KKC2152 [2 CDs: 82:43] [MB] The Beethoven is the main interest here.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Quartets - Ens Ventus Iucundus/Reinhard Czasch rec. 2014 GRAMOLA 99152 [52:12] [JV] A fine introduction to the quartet repertoire in Telemann's oeuvre.

David TOUB (b. 1961) Pieces for electronic organ - David Toub, Glenn Freeman rec. 2012 OGREOGRESS no number [79:45] [DC] Intriguing, unpretentious minimalism.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Verdi Heroines - Elena Moșuc (soprano), Zagreb PO/Ivo Lipanović rec. 2015 SOLO MUSICA SM279 [77:00] [MC] Soprano Elena Moșuc is in quite outstanding form in this recommendable collection.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Messa da Requiem - Ch & O La Scala, Milan/Carlo Sabajno rec. 1929 PRISTINE PACO148 [77:34] [PSt] This is historically important as the first ever recording of the Requiem, but is not a great performance.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aida - Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Franco Corelli (tenor) Ch & O Teatro dell'Opera Roma/Zubin Mehta rec. 1966-67 WARNER CLASSICS 7776322 [78:32 + 62:10] [RMo] One of Mehta’s finest efforts; opinions may be divided over the lead roles.

Henri VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881) Works for viola - Christian Euler (viola) Paul Rivinius (piano) rec. 2017 MDG 90320636 SACD [66:11] [DC] Very fine indeed, but with some stiff competition.

Richard WAGNER (1813 – 1883) Das Rheingold - Sarah Tynan (soprano) Madeleine Shaw (mezzo) Iain Paterson (bass-baritone) The Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2016 HALLÉ CDHLD7549 [3 CDs: 166:20] [GF] A Rheingold well worth adding to anyone’s collection.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde - Robert Dean Smith, Iréne Theorin, Bayreuth Festival Ch & O/Peter Schneider rec. 2009 OPUS ARTE OACD9033D [4 CDs: 245:06] [SSi] A very fine performance of Wagner’s masterpiece, with strong characterisation and very good singing.

Pascal ZAVARO (b. 1959) Into the Wild, La Bataille de San Romano, Pastorale, La Machine de Trurl – Monte Carlo PO/Julien Masmondet rec. 2017 CLAVES 50-1813 [72:00] [RHa] Entertaining and memorable, splendidly played and recorded.

The Bach Circle Emanuele Cardi (organ) rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95649 [73:59] [JV] The performances are pretty good, but the programme could have been a little more adventurous.

Teresa Berganza (mezzo-soprano) 18th-Century Portraits rec. 1960-81 ELOQUENCE 482 5836 [80:55 + 56:21] [GF] Berganza admirers will need no coaching to buy this set but friends of good singing at large should also add it to their collections.

Leonard Bernstein (conductor) The 1940s Vol 2: His Debut - Joseph Schuster (cello) William Lincer (viola) PSO New York rec. 1943 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC533 [74:26] [JQ] A genuine moment of musical history.

Karl Böhm (conductor) Overtures & Entertaining Concert Pieces - Staatskapelle Dresden rec. 1935-40 PROFIL EDITION PH18035 [76:16 + 75:43] [MC] Not just appealing to the specialist collector.

British Music For Viola And Orchestra Works by Vaughan Williams, Howells, Walton & Bowen - Helen Callus (viola) New Zealand SO/Marc Taddei rec. 2005 NAXOS 8.573876 [78.15] [MW] A warm welcome back to the catalogue.

The Music of Lucien Cailliet Vol. 2 Transcriber, Arranger, Composer rec. 1935-54 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC532 [69:12] [JW] Some previously unissued material make this a valuable release.

Confluences Works by Bruckner, Franck, Liszt, Rousseau & Wagner - Maurice Clement (organ) rec 2017 AEOLUS AE11141 SACD [79:08] [SG] A well-recorded and thoughtfully curated recital, which gets my enthusiastic endorsement.

Dans les temps de révolutions Nicolas Bucher (organ) rec. 2017 HORTUS 149 [68:24] [JV] Noëls from this period in French music history are seldom recorded, and therefore this disc fills a gap in the discography.

Dedications Alberto Bologni (violin) rec. 2017 SHEVA CONTEMPORARY SH184 [63:17] [MR] A release that offers some intriguing additions to the repertory and some really worthwhile musical ideas.

Christian Ferras (violin) Complete HMV & Telefunken Recordings rec. 1953-68 WARNER 9029576308 [13 CDs: 812 mins] [JW] A distinguished, penetrating and thoughtful artist.

Norma Fisher (piano) At The BBC Vol. 1 Works by Brahms & Scriabin rec. 1972/79 SONETTO CLASSICS SONCLA003 [63:43] [JW] An auspicious opening to this series.

Flores espańolas Maria Ferré (guitar), Les Escapades rec. 2017 CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77418 [62:30] [JV] A highly entertaining disc which sheds an interesting and different light on Spanish music of the 16th and 17th centuries.

40 Years of Contemporary Music Grupo Encuentros/Alicia Terzian rec. 2008 NAVONA RECORDS NV6172 [71:39] [GH] A good overall view of some aspects of the period can certainly be gained and enjoyed.

French Sonatas for Harpsichord & Violinn Philippe Grisvard (harpsichord) Johannes Pramsohler (baroque violin) rec. 2016 AUDAX RECORDS ADX13710 [58.38 + 51.45] [MC] A first-class addition to any collection of Baroque chamber music.

Clara Haskil (piano) 1953 Recital SWR CLASSICS SWR19052CD [75:48] [JW] Incisive and vivid musicianship full of rhythmic subtlety.

Stephen Hough’s Dream Album Stephen Hough (piano) rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68176 [79:52] [DM] Something to tickle every taste-bud; bon appétit!

Constance Keene (piano) Works by Chopin, MacDowell & Rachmaninov rec. 1995 KASP RECORDS 57732 [79:37] [SG] Superb playing from a little-known pianist.

Joseph Keilberth (conductor) The Romantic Aspect in German & Austrian Classics rec. 1940-1962 PROFIL EDITION PH18019 [10 CDs: 609.24] [MC] Rather a mixed bag, although there are some fine performances.

Renée Anne Louprette (organ) Une Voix Française rec. 2016 ACIS APL01609 [69:58] [JF] This is a great introduction to some lesser-known French organ works.

Mandolino e Violino in Italia Anna Torge (mandolin), Mayumi Hirasaki (violin), Il cantino rec. 2015 CPO 555 050-2 [61:34] [JV] One doesn't need to have a special liking of the mandolin to thoroughly enjoy this disc.

New Music for New Oboe Vol. 2 Christopher Redgate (oboe) Stephen Robbings (piano) Coull Qt, Paul Archbold (electronics) rec. 2012-17 METIER MSV28531 [80:31] [JF] This may not feature my preferred oboe sound-world, nevertheless there are many captivating and interesting moments.

Northwind Works by Zemzaris, Plakidis & Vasks - Carion Quintet rec. 2016 SKANI LMIC050 [55:03] [SG] I've nothing but praise for these invigorating scores.

Revolutionary Rhythms Works by Falla, Prokofiev & Stravinsky - Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern/Karel Mark Chichon rec. 2013-16 OEHMS CLASSICS OC464 [72:43] [NB] A very impressive achievement by all concerned.

Romantic Serenades for Strings rec. 1981-2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95655 [5 CDs: 298:09] [WH] A varied collection made more interesting by the inclusion of lesser-known works.

Songs of the Sea & Folk Benjamin Luxon (baritone) Owen Branningan (bass) David Willison (piano) Climax Male Voice Ch/Edgar Kessell GRIFFIN GCCD4084 [78:53] [JW] Good transfers of hearty material.

Il violino Boemo Works by Benda, Jiranek & Gurecky - Lenka Torgersen (violin) Václav Luks (harpsichord) Libor Mašek (cello) rec. 2003 SUPRAPHON SU4151-2 [62:41] [CC] Quite simply one of the best recordings of Baroque violin music I have come across.

Fritz Wunderlich (tenor) Mozart Contemporaries rec. 1957–1962 SWR MUSIC SWR19059CD [74:20] [GF] A self-recommendable issue for Fritz Wunderlich-fans but worth attention also for the unhackneyed repertoire.

 

Other Reviews

 

Articles and Notices

Mozart's Cosi fan tutte: A review of the discography by Ralph Moore

Stanfordian Thoughts: 3. The Second Violin Concerto by Christopher Howell




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