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Thursday March 22nd
Albert DIETRICH (1829-1908)
Einleitung und Romanze,
Klavierstücke - Alexander Will (cello), Friedrich Thomas (piano) rec. 2014
These committed performances can be the start of Dietrich’s rehabilitation.
Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967)
Music for Cello -
István Várdai (cello)
Klára Würtz (piano)
rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95574 [70:45] [TB] An important addition to the Kodály discography.
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Complete Symphonies - HeidelbergSO/Thomas Fey rec. 2002-09
HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC16098
[6 CDs: 402:15] [DC]
Driven, stylish and clear of vision - very much the set to have.
Martin PALMERI (b. 1965) Magnificat
Astrolabium Ch, Capella Bydgostiensis CO/Kinga Litowska
rec. 2015 DUX 1343 [46.19] [MW] Another enjoyable modern and instantly appealing recording of tuneful ecclesiastical music from Palmeri.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution
- Ernst Senff Ch Berlin, Erfurt; Staatskapelle
Weimar/Kirill Karabits rec. 2017 AUDITE 97.754
Karabits goes way over the top; his rivals, more measured, do greater
justice to the score.
Camille SAINT-SAENS (1835-1921) Orchestral Works - Basque
Ntl O/Jun Märkl rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573732 [67:04] [JWh]
Those who love the music of Saint-Saëns need not hesitate.
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
The Rite of Spring Anton WEBERN (1883-1945) Six Pieces for Orchestra Alban BERG (1885-1935) Three Fragments from Wozzeck György LIGETI (1923-2006) Mysteries of the macabre - Barbara Hannigan (soprano),
London SO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2015
LSO LIVE LSO3028 Blu-ray/DVD
A set of very fine performances.
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Rigoletto - Leonard Warren (baritone),
Bidú Sayão (soprano),
Jussi Björling (tenor),
Ch & O Metropolitan Opera/Cesare Sodero rec. 1945
[56:30 + 62:21] [GF]
You won’t hear the three central roles much better sung in more recent recordings, and in revitalised sound.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der Ring des Nibelungen
Bayreuth Festival Ch & O/Joseph Keilberth
rec. 1953 DOCUMENTS LC12281 [12 CDs: 855:53] [RMo]
It would be churlish not to welcome, praise and prize a Ring of this quality and provenance so competitively priced.
Pauline Sachse (viola),
Andreas Hecker (harpsichord) rec. 2016
C-AVI MUSIC 8553312
The performances are supple and thoughtful and make a good case for some little-known music.
Wednesday March 21st
Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990)
Dances from West Side Story, Fancy Free and On the Town; On the Waterfront
Suite - Royal Liverpool PO/Christian Lindberg rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2278 SACD
Very attractive alternatives to Bernstein or Alsop but
not a replacement for either.
Johann Evangelist BRANDL (1760-1837) Symphonies -
Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Kevin Griffiths
rec. 2017 CPO 555 157-2 [54.12] [MW] Well-constructed but not very distinctive music from a Beethoven contemporary in fine performances.
Thorsten ENCKE (b. 1966)
A Live Portrait rec 2012-16 C-AVI MUSIC 8553247 [70:02]
[RHa] Encke’s distinctive personality as a modernist with a lyrical heart is apparent in his most recent work.
Nikolai KAPUSTIN (b.1937) Cello Sonatas
1 & 2 - Robert Witt (cello), Clorinda Perfetto (piano) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT 95560 [52:07]
[JW] A competitively priced disc offering up-to-date sonics and lithe interpretations.
Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967)
Dances, Concerto for Orchestra, Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song -
Buffalo PO/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573838 [77:17]
[LW] Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic excel in Kodály’s colourful works.
Roman MACIEJEWSKI (1910-1998)
Piano works - Mariusz Ciołko (piano) DUX 1410 [42:20]
[EJW] An interesting recording of Maciejewski’s piano music.
ROSSINI (1792-1868) Complete
Overtures Vol. 3 - Prague SO/Christian
Benda rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 8.570935
[55:42] [SV] Agreeable music in excellent
sound, though Benda’s judgements of tempo
are sometimes a little odd.
SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies
1-4, Manfred overture- London SO/Yondani Butt
rec. 2011/12 NIMBUS NI7099
[78:08 + 73:28] [JWh] As a cycle at bargain
price this should do well despite its minor
WALSH (b.1948) Mass of the
Holy Trinity, Requiem, The Way of Love
- Antiphon &
the Antiphon Players/Matthew Cann rec. 2017
WILLOWHAYNE WHR049 [66.02]
[GH] The singers clearly know the music
well, communicating it with love and affection.
Psalms and Prayers Works by
Stravinsky, Bernstein, Schoenberg & Zemlinsky
- David Allsopp (countertenor) Tenebrae, BBC
SO/Nigel Short rec 2016/17 SIGNUM CLASSICS
SIGCD492 [60:28] [JQ] A
most interesting programme, superbly performed,
though the recorded sound may not be to all
Tuesday March 20th
BELLINI (1801-1835) Norma
- Sonya Yoncheva, Joseph Calleja, Royal Opera
Ch & O/Antonio Pappano rec. 2016 OPUS
ARTE OABD7225D Blu-ray
[169 mins] [ST] Not the best available, but
particularly cherishable for Yoncheva’s
thrilling first foray into this Everest of the
FRANCES-HOAD (b. 1980) Even You
Song - Peterborough Cathedral Ch/Steven Grahl,
David Humphreys (organ) rec. 2017 FIRST
HAND FHR61 [52:08] [RHa] Yet more
evidence of this composer’s boundless
imagination and talent.
LULLY (1632-1687) Dies Irae, Te
Deum - Allabastrina Ch & Consort/Elena Sartori
rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95592
[59:35] [CRo] An attractive release, other
than the skimpy notes.
NOVÁK (1870-1949) & Johannes
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Variations on a
theme by Schumann Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Symphonic Etudes - Patrick Hemmerlé (piano)
rec. 2015 ORPHEUS OR3012-9720
[72:19] [JW] The main focus here is the Novák
though its appeal is rather specialist.
RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concertos
Nos. 2 & 3 -Yevgeny Sudbin (piano) BBC SO/Sakari
Oramo rec. 2017 BIS BIS2338 SACD
[75:12] [RWe] This coupling of the two most
popular of the Rachmaninov concertos should
take its place among the best of recent times.
SAINT-SAENS (1835-1921) Symphonic
poems - O Ntl
Lille/Jun Märkl rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573745
[55:28] [JWh] The performances have a light
Gallic touch about them and the recorded sound
is first class.
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Violin Concerto, Rococo Variations - Nemanja Radulović (violin, viola),
Stéphanie Fontanarosa (piano), Borusan Istanbul PO/Sascha Goetzel; Double Sens, rec. 2016, 2017 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4798089
An enjoyable performance of the concerto is spoiled by a bizarre choice
WAGNER (1813 – 1883)
- Laila Andersson-Palme (soprano) Elliot Palay
(tenor) Aarhus SO, Ch Jutland Opera/Francesco
Cristofoli rec. 1987 STERLING
CDA1813/1816-2 [4 CDs: 248:06]
[GF] Much of the live thrill also comes over
to the listener via this atmospheric recording.
Music for Harp Works by Thomas,
Smetana, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Zabel &
Wagner - Pauline Haas (harp) rec. 2014 NAXOS
8.579015 [72:20] [IL] A most interesting
and enterprising collection.
Operatic Pianist II
Andrew Wright (piano) rec. 2016 DIVINE
ART DDA25153 [67:45]
[JWe] A marvellous disc; Andrew
Wright is an extremely talented and versatile
performer with a lovely tone and bagsful of
Monday March 19th
Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714 -1788) Complete Works for Keyboard & Violin
- Duo Belder Kimura rec. 2016 RESONUS RES10192 [69:32 + 62:51]
[RK] Excellent performances invite an exploration of the trajectory of CPE Bach’s career.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Six Cello Suites, Suite No. 1 Revisited - Toke Møldrup (cello),
Elisabeth Zeathen Schneider, Kristine Zeuthen Schneider (violins),
Viggo Mangor (chamber organ) rec. 2015/2017
[76:48 + 60:14] [ZT]
A very enjoyable, engaging rendition of the Cello Suites.
Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959)
Violin Sonatas No. 1-2, Piano Sonata - Nurit Stark (violin), Cédric Pescia (piano)
If the programme appeals, the performances should do so as well.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 3
Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Symphonic Minutes, Piano
Concerto No. 2 - Sofja Gülbadamova (piano) Wuppertal SO/Dmitri Jurowski
rec. 2017 HD KLASSIK 3D-801702 SACD [84:46] [DHu]
Fine concert, lovely sound, but not quite the binaural experience I was expecting.
William BYRD (1539/40-1623)
- King’s College Ch Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury
rec. 2017 KING’S COLLEGE KGS0024
A very successful record which makes a very fine introduction to Byrd’s
Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990)
Orchestral Works Volume 3 - BBC PO/John Wilson rec. 2016
CHANDOS CHSA5195 SACD
This third volume of John Wilson’s splendidly-shaped Copland series more than lives up to the standards set by its predecessors.
Henry Cotter NIXON (1842-1907)
Complete Orchestral Music Vol 2 - Ian Hobson (piano),
Kodály PO/Paul Mann rec. 2016
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0373
Toccata Classics continue their valuable exploration of the orchestral music of a little-known English composer.
Joseph SCHUSTER (1748-1812)
String Quartets Nos 1-6 - Joseph Joachim Qt rec. 2001 PAN CLASSICS PC10379 [59:30]
[DJB] These works were mistakenly attributed to Mozart; that should give an indication of their quality.
Genève au siècle des Lumières
O baroque de la HEM, Florence Malgoire,
Le Harmoniche Sfere rec. 2016
[2 CDs: 112:10] [JV]
This set gives much to enjoy.
The Gluepot Connection
Londinium Chamber Ch/Andrew Griffiths rec. 2017 SOMM SOMMCD0180 [75:26]
[NB] This is a very fine disc indeed, possibly one of Somm's finest.
Friday March 16th
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Johann
Christian BACH (1735-1782) & Carl
Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Magnificats
- Joélle Harvey (soprano) Olivia Vermeulen (mezzo)
Iestyn Davies (countertenor) Thomas Walker (tenor)
Thomas Bauer (baritone) Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen
rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68157
[76:48] [MR] A stimulating and hugely enjoyable
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas
for harpsichord & violin - Isabelle Faust
(baroque violin) Kristian Bezuidenhout (harpsichord)
rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902256.57
[39:30 + 48:05] [MC] This well-played set
has unbeatable competition.
Jacques BOYVIN (c.1649-1706)
Organ Music (Books I and II) - David Ponsford (organ) rec. 2017
NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6358
[79:00 + 78:20]
[BW] A very fine conclusion to a distinguished series.
HAYDN (1732-1809) Violin Concertos
Nos 1, 3 & 4 - Lisa Jacobs (violin) The
String Soloists rec. 2017 COBRA 0061
[68:02] [RK] This new set of Haydn violin
concerti is stylish, well-recorded, and rather
SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony
No. 5 - London PO/Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi rec.
2017 EXTON OVCL-00651 [52:00]
[MB] A highly individual take on this symphony
from a conductor who is never less than fascinating
Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Violin Concerto
No. 1, Violin Sonata Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Violin
David Oistrakh (violin)
Vladimir Yampolsky (piano)
Leningrad PO/Kurt Sanderling,
London SO/Paul Hindemith
rec. 1956-62 ALTO ALC1355 [73:48] [SB] Classic versions, admirably refurbished.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Der Fliegende Holländer - Samuel Youn (bass) Ingela Brimberg
O & Ch Teatro Real de Madrid/Pablo Heras-Casado
rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMD9809060.61 Blu-ray & DVD [144 mins]
[ST] One to listen to with the screen switched off.
The Grand Duo Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949),
Avner DORMAN (b. 1975) & Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Violin Sonatas
So Jin Kim (violin)
David Fung (piano) rec. 2017 GENUIN CLASSICS GEN18491 [64:34]
I look forward to future releases from this duo.
OF THE MONTH Eileen
Joyce (piano) The
Complete Studio Recordings rec.
1933-1958 ELOQUENCE 482 6291
[10 CDs: 762:20] [SG] This superb collection
will grace any historical piano recordings collection.
Wandy Tworek The Danish Violin Wizard -
Esther Vagning (piano) The Danish Broadcast Light Music O/Teddy Petersen
rec. 1946-53 DANACORD DACOCD787/8 [78:12+79:29] [JW]
Valuable and refreshing.