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Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati







Monthly Listing
June 2018


Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Ascension Oratorio, Cantatas 34 & 37 - Gutenberg-Kammerchor, Neumeyer Consort/Felix Koch rec. 2016 RONDEAU ROP6154 [61:11] [SG] I have nothing but praise for this wonderful production.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 - Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin Prelude - Gewandhaus O Leipzig/Andris Nelsons rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4797577 [79:37] [RMo] One of the best accounts of this symphony ever recorded and certainly the finest of recent years.

Louis COUPERIN (c1626-1661) Dances from the Bauyn Manuscript - Pavel Kolesnikov (piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68224 [79:11] [SG] Music of excellence, well performed and fortified by carefully considered programming. 

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Sonatas for violin & basso continuo - Brook Street Band rec. 2018 AVIE AV2387 [80.00] [MC] Handel’s violin sonatas could hardly receive finer advocacy than these exceptional performances.

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Planets Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Also sprach Zarathustra - New England Conservatory Ch, Boston SO/William Steinberg, rec. 1970/71 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4798669 CD/BD-A [75:56] [JQ] Two tremendous performances, now in superb BD-A sound which wears its four decades and more lightly.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Complete Symphonies - ORF Vienna RSO/Cornelius Meister rec. 2011-17 CAPRICCIO C5320 [3 CDs: 182.04] [MC] I can’t praise this set highly enough.

Joseph RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Complete Organ Sonatas - Roger Sayer (organ) rec. 2015/16 PRIORY RECORDS PRCD1165 [6 CDs: 437:55] [SSi] This is a wonderful set, one that has already given me great listening pleasure.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1928) A Soprano’s Schubertiade - Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Joseph Middleton (piano) rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2343 SACD [77.32] [MW] One of the great recitals: sheer bliss.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Seliges Erwägen des bittern Leydens und Sterbens Jesu Christi - Freiburg Baroque O/Gottfried von der Goltz rec. 2017 APARTÉ AP175 [59:15 + 53:15] [DBi] Telemann continues to amaze and to belie his current lack of status: a must-hear recording.

Das ewige Rätsel Johannes Martin Kränzle (baritone), Hilko Dumno (piano) rec. 2017 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1887 [69:04] [GF] An utterly satisfying recital, which includes my find of the year.

Fanfares Onyx Brass/John Wilson rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5221 SACD [59:03] [NB] A superb disc, a collection distinguished by the brilliance of the music it contains and the exceptional manner in which it is played.

Pour la Duchesse du Maine Works by Bernier, Bourgeois & Mouret - Ens La Française rec. 2017 POLYMNIE POL503134 [55:01] [JV] By far the best disc with French cantatas that I have heard in recent years.

Samuel ADLER (b. 1928) One Lives but Once: A 90th Birthday Celebration rec. 2016/17 LINN CKD590 [3 CDs: 209:59] [SG] Well-crafted music with immense appeal.

Tor AULIN (1866-1914) Violin Concertos Nos 1-3 - Ulf Wallin (violin) Helsingborg SO/Andrew Manze rec. 2012 CPO 777 826-2 [76:19] [JW] Heartfelt lyrical music.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partitas - Menno van Delft (clavichord) rec. 2016 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10212 [59:21 + 73:49] [RHa] I strongly suspect this is something of an uncharacteristic misfire from Resonus.

Granville BANTOCK (1868-1946) Bantock Rediscovered - Maria Marchant (piano) rec. 2017 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0183 [73:43] [NB] Fine playing and recording of appealing music.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas Nos. 5 & 9 - Susanne Lautenbacher (violin) Reinhold Lampart (piano) rec. 1950s FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1459 [56:28] [SG] The remasterings are exemplary, but I have some reservations about the performances.

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) The Beatitudes, Introduction & Allegro - Emily Birsan (soprano) Ben Johnson (tenor) BBC SO & Ch/Sir Andrew Davis rec. May 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5191 SACD [66:31] [JQ] An important and highly significant addition to the Bliss discography.

Philippe BOESMANS (b. 1936) Pinocchio - Stéphane Degout (baritone) Vincent Le Texier (baritone) O de la Monnaie/Patrick Davin CYPRES CYP4647 [2 CDs: 123:37 + DVD: 77:16] [RHa] Boesmans has fashioned a colourful, absorbing and memorable operatic treatment of the Pinocchio story, albeit one with darker undercurrents than one might expect.

William BOLCOM (b. 1938) Piano Music - Constantine Finehouse, Estela Olevsky, Ursula Oppens, Christopher Taylor (pianos) rec. 2014/15 NAXOS 8.559832-34 [3 CDs: 172:19] [SG] On my first encounter with Bolcom’s music, I would offer a warm recommendation for this most enjoyable release.

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Concerto Symphonique, Concerto Grosso No. 1, Scherzo fantasque - Jenny Lin (piano), SWR Radio O Kaiserslautern/Jiřī Stárek rec. 2006 SWR MUSIC SWR19420CD [77:06] [EJW] An excellent CD, strongly recommended to anyone interested in the music of a still under-appreciated composer.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete symphonies - Scottish CO/Robin Ticciati rec. 2017 LINN CKD601 [78:09 + 74:07] [ST] I commend the playing and the vision of this set, but I can give it only a guarded welcome.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Sonatas Nos 1 & 2, Clarinet Trio - Robert Oberaigner (clarinet) Michael Schöch (piano) Norbert Anger (cello) rec. 2017 MDG SACD 903 2049-6 [66:13] [SB] Fine and idiomatic performances.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1975) War Requiem - Sabina Cvilak (soprano), Ian Bostridge (tenor), Simon Keenlyside (baritone), London SO & Ch/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2011 ALTO ALC2029 [46:33 + 37:11] [GPJ] A stunning and profoundly moving account of Britten’s great masterpiece.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Complete Symphonies - Hamburg PO/Simone Young rec. 2006 - 2015 OEHMS CLASSICS OC026 [12 CDs: 687:03] [RMo] One of the best modern sets of Bruckner symphonies at a budget price – but you must want to hear the less familiar, original versions.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 - Stuttgart SWR SO/Paul Hindemith rec. 1958 SWR CLASSIC SWR19417CD [59:16] Kőlner RSO/Hans Knappertsbusch rec. 1963 ORFEO C915181B [65:40] [RMo] Performances that are different and disparate despite their superficial links and neither represents the ideal.

William BYRD (1539/40-1623) Motets - King’s College Cambridge Ch/Stephen Cleobury rec. 2017 KING’S COLLEGE KGS0024 [56:12] [MG] Cleobury’s spirited, dramatic approach to Byrd’s motets proves both stimulating and frustrating.

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) El Salón México, Clarinet Concerto, The Tender Land suite - Benny Goodman (clarinet), Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Phil/Aaron Copland rec. 1974 NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0068V [59 mins] [JQ] An opportunity to see Aaron Copland as a very effective conductor of his own music.

Grant CUTLER Dust Jesse WHITNEY Aegis Modify Transformational Variances rec. 2016/17 ÆTHER TAPES ÆT001-3  [38 & 59 & 41 mins] Cassette/Download [DC] A new ambient label - on cassette.

Johann Nepomuk DAVID (1895-1977) Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4 - ORF Radio-SO Wien/Johannes Wildner rec. 2008 CPO 777 577-2 [72:29] [RHa] Imaginative and compelling.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) & Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Sonatas Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Partita - Karolina Piątkowska-Nowicka (violin) Piotr Nowicki (piano) rec. 2017 DUX 1358 [60:09] [WH] Three major works in very fine performances.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Rêveries de Bilitis - Duo Bilitis rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSSICS 95657 [59:07] [EJW] An intriguing recording.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857–1934) Symphony No. 2, Serenade for Strings - BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5197 SACD [66:43] [RMo] A fine, but not exceptional, reading which does not displace favourite recordings.

Louise FARRENC (1804-1875) Variations for piano - Biliana Tzinlikova (piano) rec. 2017 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0088 [52:29] [SSi] Full of character and colour and wonderfully performed.

Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987) Complete Violin/Viola & Piano Works - Christina Fong (violin, viola) Paul Hersey (piano) rec. 2003 OGREOGRESS PRODUCTIONS [58:36 + 70:00] [DC] Morton Feldman’s complete violin/viola and piano music – get it while you can!

Jerzy GABLENZ (1888-1937) Songs Vol. 1 - Barbara Lewicka (soprano) Beata Kosk (mezzo) Donata Zuliani (alto) Fr Robert Kaczorowski (baritone) Anna Mikolon (piano) rec. 2017/18 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0419 [78:10] [SSi] Acte Préalable once again shows that they are not shy of producing discs of forgotten and neglected composers.

Aleksandra GARBAL (b. 1970) Mysterious Garden of 20th and 21st Century Miniatures rec. 1997-2017 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0416 [78:15] [SSi] This is a welcome addition to the catalogue.

Larry GOVES (b.1980) The Rules - National Youth O of Great Britain/Paul Daniel rec. 2014 PRIMA FACIE PFNSCD008 [22:24] [RHa] Despite truly extraordinary playing from 160 teenagers, the work needs a little refinement.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas - Alexander Boyd (piano) rec. 2017 CLAUDIO BD-A CR6039-6 [53:35] [DBi] A fine recording and performance of a Spanish masterwork.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Arias - Franco Fagioli (countertenor), Il Pomo d'Oro, rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 7541 [79:43] [MC] The disc deserves to be included in any collection of Baroque music.

John HARBISON (b. 1938) Symphony No. 4 Carl RUGGLES (1876-1971) Sun-Treader Steven STUCKY (1949-2016) Concerto for Orchestra No. 2 - National Orchestra Institute Phil/David Alan Miller rec. 2017 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559836 [65:00] [DM]  Thoroughly modern Miller; plenty more, please.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Sonatas Nos 32, 40, 49 & 50 - Paul Lewis (piano) rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902371 [69:27] [MG] A splendid disc from Lewis, not effacing Brendel in masterly presentation of overall structure, but knocking some spots off him in sparkling articulation and spontaneity.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartets, Op.64 - Doric String Qt rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10971(2) [74:52 + 66:48] [TB] Excellent performances, which demonstrate why the Doric Quartet is regarded as one of the leading ensembles of our time.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Trios Nos 27, 32, 35, 40 & 41 - Trio Wanderer rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902321 [68:42] [DJB] Refined but rather unsmiling performances.

Heinz HOLLIGER (b. 1939) Choral Utopia - SWR Vokalensemble/Marcus Creed rec. 2006-2015 WERGO WER73332 [75:26] [DC] Hard work, but subtle rewards are there to be uncovered if you persist.

Salomon JADASSOHN (1831-1902) Symphony No. 1, Serenade for Flute and Strings, Serenades No. 1-3, Piano Concerto No. 1 - Valentina Seferinova (piano), Rebecca Hall (flute), Belarussian State SO, Malta PO, Karelia State SO rec. 2008-11 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9101 [77:36 + 68:14] [PRB] An underrated composer in serviceable performances.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) On an Overgrown Path, In the Mists - Czech Philharmonic Qt rec. 2017 ARCO DIVA UP0199-2131 [61:19] [NB] This disc leaves me in no doubt as to the value and quality of these arrangements.

Wojciech KILAR (1932-2013) Missa pro pace - Podlasie PO & Opera Ch/Miroslaw Jacek Blaszczyk rec. 2017 DUX 1413 [67:33] [GF] Kilar is definitely worth getting to know.

Arnold KRUG (1849-1904) String Sextet, Piano Quartet - Linos Ens rec. 2014 CPO 555 030-2 [66:57] [PRB] A ‘forgotten’ composer whose work, on this evidence, definitely deserves some renewed attention.

Christian LINDBERG (b. 1958) Steppenwolf, Tales of Galamanta, Peking Twilight - Rafael Altino (viola) Odense SO/Christian Lindberg rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2308 SACD [58:23] [DC] Accessible and superbly crafted works.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Années de pèlerinage: Suisse - Francesco Piemontesi (piano) rec. 2017 ORFEO C944182I [55:00] [RWe] A supremely accomplished version of a seminal work, beautifully played and recorded.

Guillaume de MACHAUT (1300-1377) Fortune’s Child - Orlando Consort rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68195 [60.40] [GH] While I have a few reservations, this disc can still be recommended as a good investment.

George MARTIN (1926-2016) The Film Scores & Original Orchestral Music - Berlin Music Ens & Ch/Craig Leon rec. 2017 ATLAS RÉALISATIONS ARCD008 [63:00] [JW] An enterprising and consistently enjoyable album.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Songs Vol. 5 - Jana Hrochovà (mezzo) Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573823 [55:44] [SA] Recommended to all those who regard Martinů’s works as a major contribution to 20th century music.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Concerto for two violins, Rhapsody–Concerto, Concerto for two pianos - Sarah and Deborah Nemtanu (violins), Magali Demess (viola), Maria and Momo Kodama (pianos), Marseille PO/Lawrence Foster, rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186658 SACD [62.52] [JW] More than acceptable performances, but better ones are out there.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) String Symphonies Nos 9-12, Octet - I Musici rec. 1961-70 ELOQUENCE 4825111 [76:52 + 58:20] [SG] I Musici bring freshness and vitality to these youthful scores.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Concerto for Violin & Piano, Violin Concerto - Lena Neudauer (violin), Matthias Kirschnereit (piano), Südwestdeutsches CO Pforzheim/Timo Handschuh rec. 2017 CPO 555 197-2 [56:51] [SSi] A very pleasing performance of these two early concertos.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony No. 31 Wayne PETERSON (b. 1927) Free Variations George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Porgy and Bess, A Symphonic Picture - Minneapolis SO/Antal Doráti rec. 1950-59 DORÁTI EDITION ADE012 [58:55] [WH] An interesting and satisfying disc.

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] [NB] Individual and impressive music, passionately performed and well presented.

Josef MYSLIVECEK (1737-1781) Violin Concertos, Sinfonia, Ouverture - Leila Schayegh (violin) Collegium 1704/Václav Luks rec. 2017 ACCENT ACC24336 [73:35] Excellent, sprightly, incisive and youthful performances balancing lyricism with excitement.

Feliks NOWOWIEJSKI (1877-1946) Symphonies Nos 2 & 3 - Poznań PO/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2017 DUX 1446 [73:19] [NB] These symphonies well deserve to be better known.

John OGDON (1937-1989) Sonata, Ballade, Kaleidoscope No.1, Variations & Fugue - Tyler Hay (piano) rec. 2017 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10132 [66:18] [RB] Granitic, freely dissonant, varied, serious, darkly-coloured, phantasmal and not short on grandeur.

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Symphonies Nos 1-4 - NFM Wrocław Philharmonic/Tõnu Kaljuste rec. 2015/16 ECM NEW SERIES 2600 [79:26] [DC] The obvious choice for anyone wanting all four of Pärt’s symphonies.

Louis PELOSI (b. 1947) A Triptych Memorial to My Rosemarie - Parts I-III rec. 2006-2011 KASP RECORDS 57701/02/21 [3 CDs: 234:23] [SG] As a newcomer to this music, I have found it an enriching and fascinating discovery.

John PICKARD (b. 1963) Binyon Songs, The Phoenix, The borders of sleep - Roderick Williams (baritone) Eve Daniell (soprano) Simon Lepper (piano) rec. 2017 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0413 [61.01] [PCG] This should be snapped up by all those who have an interest in the evolution of English song in the post-Britten era.

Almeida PRADO (1943-2010) Complete Cartas Celestes Vol. 4 - Aleyson Scopel (piano) rec. 2017 GRAND PIANO GP747 [62:10] [RH] A fine Brazilian pianist provides evangelical advocacy for the music of a little-known compatriot. To these ears, though, it owes too much to its obvious models.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo & Juliet - Ballet & O Teatro alla Scala/Patrick Fournillier rec. 2017 C MAJOR Blu-ray 743604 [151 mins] [RMay] Right up there with the very best filmed versions.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concerto No. 3 Miloslav KABELÁČ (1908-1979) Reflections Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Rapsodie Espagnole - Peter Katin (piano) Prague SO/Zdenék Košler, Václav Smetáček rec. 1967-1968 ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD2/2008 [71:12] [PSe] A few technical flaws, but very good performances and that uniquely realistic sound.

Josef RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Violin Sonatas - Thomas Schrott (violin), Piero Barbareschi (piano), rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95635 [45:21] [SS] A very welcome release.

Franz Xaver RICHTER (1709-1789) Sinfonia No. 52, Te Deum, Oboe Concerto - Luise Haugk (Baroque oboe) Czech Ens Baroque O & Ch/Roman Válek rec. 2017 SUPRAPHON SU42402 [49:29] [DJB] Splendid performances of enjoyable music, but the short run time is a distinct negative.

Nikolay RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Le Coq d'Or - Sheva Tehoval (soprano) Alexey Dolgov (tenor) Pavlo Hunka (bass) SO & Ch de la Monnaie/Alain Altinoglu rec. 2016 BEL AIR CLASSIQUES Blu-ray BAC447 [118 mins] [RWe] This recent production is a clear success musically and as a valid interpretation.

Pierre de la RUE (c.1450-1518) Masses - Beauty Farm rec. 2016 FRA BERNARDO FB1800751 [2 CDs: 129.07] [GH] A revelatory recording in some respects.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 7 - NBC SO/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1942 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC527 [79:34] [JQ] This deeply committed performance, excellently transferred, is an important element in the recorded history of the ‘Leningrad’ symphony.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Cello Concerto No. 1 Mats LIDSTRÖM (b. 1959) Rigoletto Fantasy - Mats Lidström (cello) Oxford PO/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2289 SACD [60:02] [DC] Fun Verdi, so-so Shostakovich.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie; Dance of the Seven Veils; Die Frau ohne Schatten suite - London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2012-16 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO0106 [44:48 + 56:45] [DM]  Full-fat Strauss, played, directed and recorded with aplomb; simply glorious.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Aus Italien Ermanno WOLF-FERRARI (1876-1948) Suite Veneziana - Berlin RSO/Ariane Matiakh rec. 2017 CAPRICCIO C5344 [61:50] [JF] Interesting and enjoyable.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Complete Music for Solo Piano - Oxana Shevchenko (piano) rec. 2017 DELPHIAN DCD34203 [55:52 + 60:03] [SB] Stravinsky’s piano works are a motley collection but contain some masterpieces, well played here.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Asrael Symphony - Brno PO/Jiří Waldhans rec. 1968 ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD7/2009 [60:37] [DB] A lovely performance of Suk’s Asrael and a recording to match.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs of Travel, Six Studies in English Folk Song, Romance, Four Hymns - James Gilchrist (tenor), Anna Tilbrook (piano), Philip Dukes (viola) rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10969 [71:31] [IL] Confidently recommended to RVW and English song enthusiasts.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) Aïda - Zinka Milanov (soprano) Mario Del Monaco (tenor) Metropolitan Opera O & Ch/Fausto Cleva rec. 1953 PRISTINE PACO147 [2 CDs: 144:33] [GF] So much good singing and such electricity in the conducting.

Paul VIARDOT (1857-1941) & Pauline VIARDOT-GARCIA (1821-1910) Works for Violin & Piano Vol. 2 - Reto Kuppel (violin) Wolfgang Manz (piano) rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573749 [84:37] [SSi] A wonderful disc of violin miniatures by mother and son.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Gloria, Nisi Dominus, Nulla in mundo pax sincera - Julia Lezhneva (soprano) Franco Fagioli (counter tenor) Ch Radiotelevisione svizzera, I Barocchisti/Diego Fasolis rec. 2016 DECCA 483 3874 [59:16] [JW] A strong entrant in a very crowded field.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Gloria, Stabat Mater, Lauda Jerusalem - Hanna Herfurtner (soprano) Joowon Chung (soprano) Andreas Scholl (alto) Salzburger Bach Ch, Bach Consort Wien/Rubén Dubrovsky rec. 2017 GRAMOLA 99165 [70:47] [DBi] A highly recommendable concert performance of some superb vocal and instrumental Vivaldi.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Concert & opera overtures - MDR Leipzig RSO/Jun Märkl rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 8.573414 [71.52] [RWM] A fine presentation of some of the composer’s earliest work and a respectably performed mature classic.

William WALTON (1902-1983) Viola Concerto, String Sonata, Partita - James Ehnes (viola), BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5210 SACD [65:50] [WK] This disc is a strong contender for library status.

Bill WHELAN (b.1950) Riverdance, Linen & Lace, Inishlacken - Helena Wood (violin) Zoe Conway (fiddle) James Galway (flute) RTÉ Ntl SO/David Brophy rec. 2016/17 RTÉ LYRIC FM CD155 [78.31] [MW] Highly enjoyable, substantial and accessible music.

Jörg WIDMANN (b 1973) Viola Concerto, 24 Duos, String Quartet No. 3 - Antoine Tamestit (viola) Marc Bouchkov (violin) Bruno Philippe (cello) Signum Qt, Bavarian RSO/Daniel Harding rec 2016/17 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902268 [49:02] [RHa] Yet more evidence that as a composer Widmann is a real force to be reckoned with.

Józef WIENIAWSKI (1837-1912) Complete Vocal Works - Katarzyna Dondalska (soprano), Ewa Filipowicz-Kosińska (mezzo-soprano), Tomasz Krzysica (tenor), Damian Chiliński (baritone), Michał Landowski (piano) rec. 2017/18 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0410 [72:37] [SSi] Often you hear of an “unjustly neglected” composer, but on the evidence of this disc, this epithet really does fit Józef Wieniawski.

Grace WILLIAMS (1906-1977) My Last Duchess - Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone) Rachel Kay Green (harp) Paula Fan (piano/harpsichord) rec. 2017 LORELT LNT140 [76.43] [PCG] Admirers of the composer will welcome the opportunity to investigate a field of her art which has been unfairly neglected.

Dag WIRÉN (1905-1986) Symphony No. 3, Serenade, Divertimento, Sinfonietta - Iceland SO/Rumon Gamba rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5194 SACD [70.18] [PCG] A valuable introduction for many listeners into the world of a composer who surely deserves to be better known.

Arias for Silvio Garghetti The Habsburg Star Tenor - Neue Wiener Hofkapelle/Markus Miesenberger (tenor) rec. 2017 PAN CLASSICS PC10372 [62:32] [CSe] A rather spurious concept, but competent performances of little-known repertory which deserves fuller investigation.

Eduard van Beinum (conductor) Works by Bartok, Stravinsky & Kodaly - Concertgebouw O rec. 1946-56 ELOQUENCE 482 5563 [82:45 + 75:10] [GPJ] Very much a mixed bag; some splendid recordings from the mid-1950s, but some very poor quality sound from those from the previous decade.

Berliner Philharmoniker The Asia Tour rec. 2017 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER BPHR180221 SACD & Blu-ray [210:31] [JQ] A very desirable package preserving the Berlin Philharmonic’s last tour to the Far East with Sir Simon Rattle.

Les Boys Works by Brubeck, Poulenc & Trotignon - Duo Jatekok rec. 2017 ALPHA 388 [65:22] [LW] A curious programme recommended for those following these performers.

British Orchestral Premieres rec. 2008-2011 LYRITA REAM2139 [4 CDs: 245:08] [GH] The quality of the recordings varies a little, but that is a small price to pay for a fascinating collection of works.

Deep Light Works by Weber, Finzi, Vaughan Williams, Schumann & Francaix - Cristo Barrios (clarinet) Andrew West (piano) rec. 2011 IBS CLASSICAL IBS42018 [62:23] [JF] An exciting, varied and enjoyable programme.

Michael Gielen Edition Vol. 7 SWR SO, Stuttgart RSO, Saarbrücken RSO rec. 1961-2006 SWR MUSIC SWR19061CD [8 CDs: 585 mins] [DM] There are some very desirable things here; alas, just not enough of them.

Hommage aux Demoiselles Eissler Jenny Broome (harp) Frances Mason (violin) rec. 2016 MUSIC & MEDIA MMC123 [75:17] [JF] A delightful and charming disc.

Stephen Hough (piano) Stephen Hough’s Dream Album rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68176 [79:52] [EJW] A very well filled CD that is a pleasure to relax to.

Kalev Kuljus (oboe d’amore) Works by Bach, Marcello, Telemann & Vivaldi - Lithuanian CO rec. 2015/16 ALBA ABCD411 [55:02] [SB] Mainly for oboe-fanciers.

Menahem Pressler (piano) Works by Debussy, Fauré & Ravel rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 8756 [66:51] [DC] Legendary artist at work: roll up and hear the magic.

Revolutionary Rhythms Works by Falla, Prokofiev & Stravinsky - Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern/Karel Mark Chichon rec. 2013-16 OEHMS CLASSICS OC464 [72:43] [RK] You can find more exciting, better played and better recorded versions of each.

A Rose Magnificat Tudor and post-1915 music in honour of Mary - Gabrieli Consort/Paul McCreesh rec. 2017 SIGNUM SIGCD536 [77:52] [BW] Those who know the Gabrieli Consort’s excellent earlier recordings will not be disappointed.

Sacrifice The Flowers of War rec. 2016 HORTUS 725 [72:13] [JW] Something of a niche prospect, but certainly well done.

Songs and Poems Trio Accanto rec. 2017 WERGO WER73642 [73:21] [SG] Potent sonorities from an intriguing instrumental line-up.

Nikolai Sokoloff (conductor) Cleveland Orchestra - Complete Recordings rec. 1924-1928 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC524 [3 CDs: 180:25] [JW] A valuable release.

20th Century Masterpieces for 2 Pianos & Orchestra - Vol. 1 Joshua Pierce and Dorothy Jonas (piano duo) Slovak State PO, National SO of Polish RTV/David Amos, Czech RSO/Carlos Piantini rec. 1992-97 MSR CLASSICS MS1651 [62:53 + 63:37] [NB] A pair of discs that retain their value and quality nearly 25 years after their original release.

The Passions of Vaughan Williams A film by John Bridcut rec. 2007/8 CRUX PRODUCTIONS CRUXGZ001DVD [90 mins] [IL] This film is a wonderful, practically perfect tribute to one of England’s greatest composers.

Viola and Organ Works by Skold, Bowen, Leitner & Martin - Bénédicte Royer (viola, viola d’amore), Bettina Leitner (organ), Katharina Teufel-Lieli (harp) rec. 2016 GRAMOLA 99168 [61:35] [JW] Several reasons to sit up and lend an ear.

Vivaldi Undercover  Works by Bach, Chédeville & Vivaldi - Passacaglia rec. 2014/16 BARN COTTAGE RECORDS BCR017 [70:07] [JV] A highly entertaining recital.


Other Reviews

Destiny: The Extraordinary Career of Pianist Eileen Joyce by David Tunley, Victoria Rogers and Cyrus Meher-Homji publ. 2017 Lyrebird Press [SG] Of particular interest to pianophiles, and as a handy supplement to Joyce’s recently released Complete Studio Recordings.

Articles and Notices

Johann David Heinichen: Hidden Genius of the Baroque by Andrew Hartman

The Verdi Requiem - Part II: A Partial Survey of the Mono Discography by Ralph Moore

Bax and the Veil of Enchantment by Ian Lace


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