OF THE MONTH
Jacques ARCADELT (c.1505-1568)
Madrigali, Chansons, Motetti - Cappella Mediterranea, Choeur de Chambre de
Namur/Leonardo Garcia Alarcón, Doulce memoire/Denis Raison Dadre rec.
[3 CDs: 187:10] [GH]
This unique and superbly produced boxed set tells you all you need to know about the composer of some of the most beautiful madrigals in the repertoire.
Nouvelles suites de clavecin - Christophe
Rousset (harpsichord) rec. 2018 HARMONIA
MUNDI HMM902501.02 [79:12 + 67:22]
[SG] This release stands tall and would grace
any Baroque collection.
Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992)
La Nativité du Seigneur - Richard Gowers (organ)
rec. 2017 KINGS COLLEGE KGS0025
A remarkably perceptive and profoundly moving performance; superlative
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Études-Tableaux - Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2017
Deeply satisfying accounts of Rachmaninov’s exploratory, atmospheric masterpieces from a master pianist.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Octet - Isabelle Faust (violin) & ensemble rec. 2017
HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902263
I get the impression the performers must have had a wonderful time making the disc; it certainly gave me huge pleasure to listen to.
Wilhelm STENHAMMAR (1871-1927)
Symphony No. 2, Musik till August Strindbergs "Ett Drömspel" - Antwerp SO/Christian Lindberg
BIS BIS-2329 SACD
A great symphony, magnificently performed and recorded – quite superb!
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Double Concertos - La Serenissima, Adrian Chandler rec. 2018
Another superb set of Vivaldi from La Serenissima - utterly essential.
Ntl Vocal Ens/Bo Holten rec. 2018 OUR
RECORDINGS 8.226911 [67.44] [MW] A
wonderful introduction to traditional Danish
song, gloriously performed.
if the mesh of words were broken
Lieder in the late 20th century and beyond - Clare Lesser (soprano) David Lesser (piano)
rec. 2016/17 MÉTIER MSV28567
[63:13] [JF] An outstanding CD,
brilliantly performed by both artists.
Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano)
Come to me in my dreams - Joseph Middleton (piano) rec. 2017/18
A wonderful selection of English song in performances from Connolly and Middleton of exemplary commitment and luminosity.
Joseph Nolan (organ)
The Organ of St Bavo, Haarlem rec. 2017
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD546
Brilliant sound, brilliant playing, brilliant instrument: has Joseph Nolan has created the organ disc of the decade?
Rare Treasure of Faith Selections
from the hymnal of Hans Adolph Brorson - Phemius
Consort rec. 2017 DACAPO 8.226123
[74:05] [SSi] An excellent disc which introduces
the world of eighteenth-century Pietism through
the hymnal of one of the movement’s leading
Walk with Ivor Gurney Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo) Simon Callow (narrator)
Tenebrae, Aurora O/Nigel Short rec. 2018 SIGNUM
CLASSICS SIGCD557 [44:06 + 43:30] [JQ]
An imaginatively conceived and superbly
executed programme which does the memory of
Ivor Gurney proud.
Andrés ALÉN (b. 1950)
Cuban Memoirs -
William Villaverde (piano) rec. 2012 DELOS DE3535 [53:52]
[DC] An enjoyable and rewarding blend of sentiment and sophistication.
Richard ALLAIN (b. 1965) Choral Music
Ch of Merton College Oxford/Benjamin Nicholas rec. 2017 DELPHIAN DCD34207 [64:08][JQ] A collection of eminently approachable and very worthwhile music in excellent performances.
George ANTHEIL (1900-1959)
Specter - Duo Odéon rec. 2017
SONO LUMINUS DSL-92222
This fascinating album of Antheil’s music for violin and piano engaged me from the first note to the last.
George ANTHEIL (1900-1959)
Piano Music Vol. 1: Late Works 1939-1955 - Judy Pang (piano)
rec. 2017 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0447 [68:47] [SS]
This excellent disc brings us an unexplored aspect of the work of the original ‘bad boy’ of American music.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Secular Cantatas X - Bach Collegium Japan / Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2017
BIS BIS2351 SACD
A most attractive disc well worthy of bringing a fine series to its close.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 4 - Rudolf Firkušný, Wilhelm Backhaus
(piano), Concertgebouw O/Rafael Kubelík, Karl Böhm rec. 1959
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1521
Very fine accounts.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Concerto - Léo Marillier (violin), Antoine de Grolée (piano), Ensemble A-letheia/Jacob Bass
An imaginatively constructed programme.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.3
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Horn Concerto No.1 -
William Caballero (horn)
Pittsburgh SO/Manfred Honeck
rec. 2012/17 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-728 SACD [65:17] [NB] All in all, another triumph for this magnificent musical, creative and technical team.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Symphonies 1–9 - Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2015
BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS BPHR160093
[5 SACDs: 343 mins] [MC]
Performances and recorded sound are to an elevated standard.
van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) &
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin
concertos - Sayaka Shoji (violin) St. Petersburg
PO/Yuri Temirkanov rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE
GRAMMOPHON UCCG-1811 [76:53] [SG]
This is the sort of release you can just
sit back and enjoy.
Richard Rodney BENNETT (1936-2012) Orchestral Works Vol. 2
- Howard McGill (tenor saxophone),
Scott Dickinson (viola) BBC Scottish SO/John Wilson rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5202 SACD [68:25]
A very impressive addition to both this series of Bennett's orchestral music and Wilson's rapidly expanding discography.
Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Grande Messe des Morts - Bror Magnus Třdenes (tenor);
Bergen PO & Ch/Edward Gardner rec. live 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5219 SACD
[80:54] [DM] Gardner’s Requiem lacks scale, character or ambition; disappointing sound, too.
Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805)
Cello Sonatas Vol. 2 - Bruno Cocset (cello); Les Basses Réunies rec. 2017 ALPHA 409
Good enough to make me hope for a reissue of Volume 1 and the release
of a third volume a.s.a.p., please.
BOUGHTON (1878-1960) For Joyance:
Complete Chamber Music for Oboe - Mark Baigent (oboe) rec. 2017 OBOE CLASSICS CC2034
[57:00] [RB] Predominantly affectionate music that is light on drama but intense on good-hearted undulating lyrical contours.
Rutland BOUGHTON (1878-1960) & Edgar BAINTON (1880-1956) Orchestral Tone Poems
- Royal Scottish National O/Martin Yates rec. 2010 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7262 [76:47]
The brakes are off and the accelerator is full on for these unknown and rip-roaring tone poems.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concertos
- Vincenzo Maltempo (piano) Mitteleuropa O/Marco Guidarini
rec. 2018 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10145 [2 CDs: 97:08] [RBe] Moments of greatness from Maltempo, though he is not in the same league as Fleisher, Gilels or Kovacevich.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Symphonies
- Berlin Staatskapelle/Daniel Barenboim rec.
2017 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483
5251 [4 CDs: 179:38] [MB] Sprawling
performances that will not be for everyone.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Horn Trio Giovanni
Horn Quartet - Arthur Grumiaux (violin) James
Stagliano, James Stagliano(horn) Gregory Tucker
(piano) rec. 1953 FORGOTTEN RECORDS
FR1524 [43:17] [JW] An uncommon
disc and it’s good to have it available
so well transferred.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Sextets
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Rondo
Brillante - Stanislas Sextet rec. 2006-16
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1418/9 [2
CDs: 102:37] [SG] All told, these vibrant
readings are well worth your attention.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphony No. 3, Hungarian Dances Nos 11-16, Alto Rhapsody Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Orchestrations by Brahms - Anna Larsson (alto),
Johan Reuter (baritone),
Swedish Radio Ch,
Swedish CO Örebro/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2016/17
BIS BIS-2319 SACD
A most attractive Brahmsian package.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphonies Nos 1-4 -
Vienna PO/Rafael Kubelik
rec. 1956/57 ELOQUENCE 482 4969 [81:29 + 76:54] [MG] Kubelik’s Brahms is accessible and attractive aided by the sensitivity of his interpretation and the quality of the Vienna Philharmonic’s playing.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Fantasies,
Klavierstücke - Timothy Ehlen (piano) rec. 2016-2017
Ehlen is impressive in his own multi-faceted way.
BRONSART von SCHELLENDORFF (1830-1913)
& Anton URSPRUCH (1850-1907)
Piano Concertos - Emmanuel Despax (piano) BBC
Scottish SO/Eugene Tzigane rec. 2017 HYPERION
CDA68229 [75:25] [EJW] Recommended
with enthusiasm, especially for the Bronsart.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Symphony No. 41 - Vienna PO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1962 ICA CLASSICS ICAC5102 [29:29 + 63:07] [SFV] Enjoyable Bruckner, but the Mozart is a musically informed racket.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 8 - Vienna PO/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1944
MUSICAL CONCEPTS MC-109
Surely the best of Furtwängler’s wartime recordings and here presented in the best possible sound.
Alfred BRUNEAU (1857-1934) Suite
& Preludes - Barcelona Symphony & Catalonia Ntl O/Darrell Ang rec. 2017
Warm grandeur … a master of orchestration and romantic mood.
Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968)
Exotica - Eleonora Turtur (violin),
Angelo Arciglione (piano) rec. 2018
DIGRESSIONE MUSIC DCTT83
A most desirable recording, including belated premieres.
Michael DAUGHERTY (b. 1954)
Trail of Tears, Dreamachine, Reflections on the Mississippi - Amy Porter (flute), Dame Evelyn Glennie (percussion), Carol Jantsch (tuba), Albany SO/David Alan Miller
If you have an interest in new and accessible music, this is definitely a worthwhile acquisition.
Brett DEAN (b. 1961) Hamlet
- Allan Clayton, Sarah Connolly, Barbara Hannigan, London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2017 OPUS ARTE OABD7231D Blu-ray [185 mins] [RWe] Every opera lover should see and hear this brilliant disc of a fascinating composition caught in the white-hot moment of its creation.
Ida Henriette D'FONSECA (1806-1858) Complete Works
Helene Hvass Hansen (soprano)
Cathrine Penderup (piano)
Kammerkoret Musica rec. 2018 DANACORD DACOCD777 [65:10]
[JF] An attractive CD which will demand the attention of all who enjoy the lieder tradition.
Sylvain DUPUIS (1856-1931) Symphonic Works
& Concertos -
David Cohen (cello)
Richard Piéta (violin) PO de Ličge et de la Communauté Wallonie-Bruxelles/Jean-Pierre Haeck
rec. 2004 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW0421 [75:41] [RB] A composer of music having feet planted either side of the last two centuries and here superbly presented and luminously recorded.
Jan Ladislav DUSSEK (1760-1812) Piano Concertos
Ulster O/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68211 [73:39] [SSi]
Transitional works between the classical and romantic periods, in convincing performances.
Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
The Hills of Dreamland - Kathryn Rudge (mezzo-soprano),
Henk Neven (baritone),BBC Concert O/Barry Wordsworth rec. 2017
The sustained excellence of Barry Wordsworth’s interpretations and Kathryn Rudge’s singing make this a collection worth owning.
Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987) Atlantis
- Frankfurt RSO/Lucas Vis rec. 1997 HAT[NOW]ART 206 [54:26]
[RB] Little insectoid cells that flitter and flicker … sparse and uninterrupted corteges.
Francesco FEO (1691-1761)
San Francesco di Sales -
Stuttgart CO/Fabio Biondi
rec. 2017 GLOSSA GCD923409 [2 CDs: 137:52]
A nice addition to the discography of Neapolitan music of the 18th century, but the performance has some shortcomings.
Michael FINNISSY (b.1946)
Six Sexy Minuets Three Trios & other works -
Linda Merrick (clarinet) Kreutzer Qt rec. 2017 MÉTIER MSV28581 [68:21]
[JF] Whatever one’s response to these works, the listener is likely to feel that they are most definitely in the presence of a ‘Singular Voice’.
Gerald FINZI (1901-1956)
Cello Concerto, Eclogue, Nocturne, Grand Fantasia and Toccata - Paul Watkins (cello), Louis Lortie (piano), BBC SO/Sir Andrew Davis
CHANDOS SACD CHSA5214
The cello concerto emerges powerfully in the glorious sound.
Gordon GETTY (b.1933) Beauty Come Dancing
- Netherlands Radio PO & Ch/James Gaffigan
rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186621 SACD [57.32]
Those who have enjoyed Getty’s earlier discs of choral music will find these settings irresistible.
Ruth GIPPS (1921-1999)
Symphonies Nos 2 & 4 - BBC Ntl O Wales/Rumon Gamba rec. 2018
An infusion of kinetic excitement but also unassertive pastels rather than bright primaries.
Reinhold GLIČRE (1875-1956) Twelve Album Leaves, Ballade Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Cello sonata - Maja Bogdanović (cello),
Maria Belooussova (piano) rec. 2017 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100078 [71:03] [MC] If the repertoire suits, do not hesitate.
GORDON (b. 1956) The Unchanging
Sea, Beijing Harmony - Tomoko Mukaiyama
(piano) Seattle SO/Pablo Rus Broseta rec. 2016/17
CANTALOUPE MUSIC CA21141 [CD: 43:34
+ DVD: 30:00] [RB] Unusual - mesmerising
music and images.
Johann Jeremias du GRAIN (? - 1756)
Sacred Cantatas -
Goldberg Vocal & Baroque Ens/Andrzej Szadejko rec. 2017 MDG 902 2060-6 SACD [71:02]
There are certainly things to enjoy here, but little that makes a lasting impression.
Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Sonatas Vol. 7
- Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10998 [72:42] [TB] Bazouzet's Haydn project has played an important part in reassessing the
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Concerti per Esterházy -
Amandine Beyer (violin)
Marco Ceccato (cello)
Gli Incogniti rec. 2018 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902314 [58:01]
[DJB] New life breathed into the violin concertos, but the cello concerto is driven into the ground.
Gustav HOLST (1874-1934)
The Planets Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Pomp
& Circumstance March No. 1 -
Royal PO/Mike Batt
rec. 1993 GUILD GMCD7814 [59:14] [RB] From left-field comes this fresh and unstodgy Planets … plenty of detail, thunderous impact and atmosphere.
Karel HUSA (1921-2016) Cello
Concerto, Pastorale, The Trojan Women -
Paul York (cello)
Louisville University SO/Kimcherie Lloyd
rec. 1982-89 ABLAZE RECORDS AR00008 [59:22] [RB] Two torridly demanding major works hem in the more sweetly tempered Pastorale.
Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928)
Glagolitic Mass, Sinfonietta, Taras Bulba, The Fiddler’s Child - Prague Philharmonic Ch,
Czech Phil/Jiří Bělohlávek, rec. 2013-2017
Thrilling Janáček performances make a fitting tribute to Bělohlávek.
Émile JAQUES-DALCROZE (1865-1950)
Tragédie d’amour, Suite pastorale, Overture - Elena Moşuc (soprano), Bratislava SO/Adriano
Admirers of Jaques-Dalcroze will certainly want to acquire this disc, though I have reservations about one aspect of the performances.
Thomas JENNEFELT (b. 1954)
Four Opera Choruses - Jessica Bääcklund (soprano),
Eric Ericson Chamber Ch,
Swedish RSO & Ch/Andrew Manze,
Royal Swedish Navy Band/Fredeik Malmberg rec. 2010-16
Jennefelt’s abilities emerge most clearly in the Four Opera Choruses.
JOSQUIN des Prés (c. 1440-1521) Missa
Gaudeamus, Missa L’ami Baudichon
- The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips GIMELL
CDGIM050 [66:48] [JQ] Another
memorable issue in The Tallis Scholars’
Johannes KALITZKE (b. 1959)
Story Teller; Figuren am Horizont - Johannes Moser (cello); Ivana
Pristašová (violin), Deutsches SO Berlin, œnm/Johannes Kalitzke rec 2012/17 KAIROS 0015038KAI [54:20] [RHa]
Kalitzke is somewhat under-represented in the catalogue as a composer; these two impressive concertante works suggest that might be about to change.
Kara KARAYEV (1918-1982)
Piano works - Elnara Ismailova (piano) rec. 2011/2017
C-AVI MUSIC 8553398
Not at all difficult or harsh ... otherworldly enough to fascinate and yet very accessible.
Johann Sigismund KUSSER (1660-1727) Six French Overtures
Musica Aeterna Bratislava,
Les Menus Plaisir/Peter Zajicek rec. 1993 CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77429 [76:01]
[JV] A disc that will cheer you up.
KUULA (1883–1918) Complete
Works for Solo Piano - Adam Johnson
(piano) rec. 2017 GRAND PIANO GP780
[80:17] [RB] Cut-glass gentle, racing shrapnel,
very romantic and calculated.
Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948)
Das Land des Lächelns -
Piotr Beczała (tenor) Julia Kleiter (soprano) Opera Zürich Ch,
Philharmonia Zürich/Fabio Luisi
rec. 2017 ACCENTUS MUSIC DVD ACC20435 [103 mins] [MC] Entertaining from start to finish with Piotr Beczała in magnificent form.
Paul LEWIS (b. 1943)
Gabriella Dall’Olio (harp) rec. 2014/17 EM RECORDS EMRCD048 [54:27]
[JW] A relaxing, delightful slice of his repertoire.
LINDBERG (b. 1958) Tempus fugit,
Violin Concerto No. 2 - Frank Peter Zimmermann
(violin) Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2017
ONDINE ODE1308-5 SACD
[58:27] [SB] Two splendid new works from
one of the most fascinating of contemporary
Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Dances
- Goran Filipec (piano) rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573705 [69:24] [RC] Goran Filipec is clearly a talent to watch.
Edward James LODER (1809-1865)
Raymond and Agnes - Mark Milhofer (tenor), Majella Cullagh (soprano), Retrospect Opera Ch, Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Richard Bonynge
RETROSPECT OPERA RO005
Raymond and Agnes may not be a masterpiece, but it certainly merits resurrection.
Torbjörn Iwan LUNDQUIST (1920-2000) Symphonies Nos 3
& 4 -
Gothenburg SO/Torbjörn Iwan Lundquist, Sixten Ehrling rec. 1982/85 STERLING CDM3004-2
There’s a dearth of recordings available of Lundquist’s music, so this release should go some way to redressing the balance.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2
Anja Harteros (soprano) Bernarda Fink (mezzo) Bavarian RSO & Ch/Mariss Jansons
rec. 2011 BR KLASSIK 900167 [80.56] [MC] Everything feels remarkably right – an exceptional performance.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphonies No. 9
& 10 (Adagio) -
Gürzenich-O Köln/Markus Stenz rec. 2011/14 OEHMS CLASSICS OC654 SACD [78:12 + 23:21]
[SV] It's all thoughtful and musicianly, but ultimately disappointing.
Frank MARTIN (1890-1974)
Concertos, Études, In terra pax -
Wolfgang Schneiderhan (violin)
O de la Suisse Romande/Ernst Ansermet
rec. 1951-63 ELOQUENCE 482 4997 [57:53 & 76:50] [SB] Some of the Swiss master’s best works in authoritative performances by the conductor who worked most closely with him.
MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Complete
works for cello & orchestra - Petr Nouzovský
(cello) Pilsen PO/Tomáš Brauner rec. 2014
MDG 6012041-2 [2 CDs: 114:26]
[RC] Scrupulous musicianship make this a
Jules MASSENET (1842–1912)
Kim-Lillian Strebel (soprano) Anat Czarny (mezzo) Juan Orozco (baritone) Freiburg
PO/Fabrice Bollon rec. 2017 NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0079V [139 mins]
[DBi] This bizarre mixture of fairytale and circus act looks and sounds good,
but there are better options.
Eric MOE (b 1954) Uncanny Affable Machines
- Eric Moe (keyboard, piano) rec. 2013-18 NEW FOCUS RECORDINGS FCR212 [55:26] [RHa]
Mostly well-crafted and enjoyable works, but this listener finds a negative correlation between the quality of the pieces and the originality of their titles.
MOYZES (1906-1984) Symphonies Nos
5 & 6 - Slovak Radio SO/Ladislav Slovák
rec. 1994/5 NAXOS 8.573652
[61:54] [RB] A relaxed and good-hearted spirit
… nothing of torment or conflict.
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Grabmusik, Bastien und Bastienne
- Jacques Imbealio (baritone) Anna Lucia Richter
(soprano) The Mozartists/Ian Page rec. 2018
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD547 [66:24]
[DC] Very much the one to have.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos Nos
Katrine Gislinge (piano)
rec. 2016 ALBA ABCD418 [72:35] [RBe] There is some very fine playing here but the modernist cadenzas do not fit.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Concertos for 2 & 3 Pianos - Murray Perahia, Radu Lupu (pianos)
English CO rec. 1988 SONY CLASSICAL SK44915 [62:08] [RMo] If you seek a wholly recommendable version of the two piano concerto, here it is.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Symphonies No. 40
& 41 -
Bavarian RSO/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 2013/17 BR KLASSIK 900164 [72.39] [MC] The orchestra plays impressively but the partnership doesn’t quite get to the heart of these two great works.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Masonic Works - Ch & O
Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens
rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2294 SACD [73:52] [TB] Willens and the Kölner Akademia prove once again that they have impeccable Mozartean credentials.
Boris Godunov - Miroslav
Belgrade Ntl Opera Ch & O/Krešimir
Baranović rec. 1955 ELOQUENCE
4826883 [75:00 + 81:34] [RMo]
Some good things but not enough to make it
competitive with the many others in better sound
with a more consistently arresting cast.
Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (1846-1909)
Piano Works Vol. 4 - Anna Mikolon and Anna Lisewska (piano) rec. 2017
ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0415
I really hope there is another volume for this outstanding pair to record.
Michael NYMAN (b. 1944)
McQueen MN RECORDS MNRCD145 [70:43 + 68:01]
A useful anthology of Nyman’s musical world.
PADOVA (b.1962) Ballads
& Prayers - James Houlik (saxophone)
Andrea Padova (piano) rec. 2017 LIMEN
CDVD102C102 [47:14] [JW] Best to
savour this one track at a time.
Roxanna PANUFNIK (b. 1968)
Celestial Bird -
Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD543 [56:33]
[JQ] A fine and nicely varied birthday gift from Ex Cathedra to Roxanna Panufnik.
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918)
With Harmony of Soul & Song - Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone)
Paula Fan (piano) rec. 2018 EM RECORDS EMRCD053 [65:55]
An enjoyable CD.
Sir Charles Hubert PARRY (1848-1918)
With Harmony of Soul and Song - Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone), Paula
Fan (piano) rec.
EM RECORDS EMRCD 053
An interesting disc of Parry’s songs let down by a wobbly singer.
Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918)
Symphony No.4, Proserpine, Suite
moderne - BBC Ntl Ch Wales/Adrian Partington,
BBC Ntl O Wales/Rumon Gamba rec. 2017 CHANDOS
CHAN10994 [74:59] [RB] Limpid, almost
air-brushed and dancingly rendered.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Semyon Kotko - Viktor Lutsuk,
Mariinsky Ch & O/Valery Gergiev rec. 2014 MARIINSKY Blu-ray/DVD MAR0592 [148 mins]
[ST] As the only version of the opera on video, this is self-recommending, despite some problems.
Sergey RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Vespers
- Agnieszka Rehlis (mezzo-soprano); Rafał Bartmiński (tenor); Krzysztof Drugow (bass); Ch of Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic/Violetta Bielecka rec. 2017 DUX 1404 [55:13] [WH]
A superb Polish choir does homage and justice to Rachmaninov’s masterpiece.
RAVEL (1875-1937) Daphnis et
Menuet antique, Une Barque sur l’océan,
La Valse - Indrč Petrauskaitė (piano)
rec. 2017 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0508
[73:57] [SSi] The Daphnis et Chloé
suite is well-constructed and quite convincing.
RESPIGHI (1879-1936) La Campana
Sommersa - Valentina Farcas, Angelo Villari,
Thomas Gazheli, Cagliari Teatro Lirico Ch & O/Donato
Renzetti rec. 2016 NAXOS Blu-ray
NBD0072V [144 mins] [RC] An
Alan RIDOUT (1934-96)
String Quartets 1-6 -
Coull Qt rec. 2017 OMNIBUS CLASSICS CC5014 [76:18] [CS]
The Coull Quartet show that brevity is no barrier to profundity, potency and poetry.
Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838) Complete Works for Cello Vol. 1
Martin Rummel (cello)
Stefan Stroissnig (piano) rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573726 [75.59]
Ries’ sonatas are not in the standard repertoire, but this recording has yet again very clearly shown that they ought to be.
Wolfgang RIHM (b. 1952)
Das Gehege Jean-Pascal BEINTUS (b. 1966) Le Petit Prince
- Rayanne Dupuis (soprano)
Eva-Christina Schönweiss (violin) Kirsten Ecke (harp)
Deutsches SO Berlin/Kent Nagano rec. 2011 CAPRICCIO C5337 [53.43]
[MC] This coupling of two contemporary, yet widely dissimilar, works is worthy of attention.
Arnold ROSNER (1945–2013) Orchestral Music
Vol. 2 -
London PO/Nick Palmer rec. 2017 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0465 [72:09]
[RB] Incessant persistence, cool limpidity, gaunt, statuesque and imposing.
Poul RUDERS (b. 1949)
Occam’s Razor -
David Starobin (guitar)
rec. 2007-18 BRIDGE 9500 [52:28] [SSi] David Starobin is the backbone of this recording, which proves to be an important and entertaining addition to the growing catalogue of Poul Ruders music on disc.
SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concertos
Nos 4 & 5 - Romain Descharmes (piano) Malmö SO/Marc Soustrot rec. 2015
NAXOS 8.573478 [55:21] [RC]
If this repertoire is of interest, these fine performances will not disappoint.
Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856)
Arrangements for Piano Duet Vol. 4 -
Eckerle Piano Duo rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.572880 [75:58]
A very good recording, by two accomplished pianists, of well-known pieces in an alternative form.
Robert SCHUMANN (1801-1856) Piano Concerto
Norbert BURGMÜLLER (1810-1836) Symphony No. 2 -
Colibrě Ens/Alexander Lonquich (piano) rec. 2017 ODRADEK ODRCD355 [63:04]
[DJB] Even putting the substantial sound issues aside, the Schumann is simply up against too much competition, but the Burgmüller has definite appeal.
SHERWOOD (1866–1939) Double
Concerto Frederic Hymen COWEN (1852–1935)
Symphony No.5 - Rupert Marshall-Luck (violin)
Joseph Spooner (cello) BBC Concert O/John Andrews
rec. 2016 EM RECORDS EMRCD047 [77:49]
[JW] This is a really excellent and exploratory
release in every way.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 5
NDR Elbphilharmonie O/Krzysztof Urbánski rec. 2017 ALPHA 427 [46:16] [LW]
Urbánski’s excellent Shostakovich Fifth occupies a disc of short measure.
Symphony No. 5; Suite - Tonkünstler O/Yutaka Sado
rec. 2017 TONKÜNSTLER TON1005
[72:06] Symphony No. 5 - NDR Elbphilharmonie O/Krzysztof Urbański rec. 2017 ALPHA 427
Two very different accounts of the Fifth; only one is a keeper, though.
Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924)
String Quartet Nos 3, 4 & 7 - Dante Qt rec. 2017/18 SOMM CÉLESTE
SOMMCD0185 [76.09] [NB] These are superb performances of interesting and enjoyable but ultimately rather conservative music.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Also Sprach Zarathustra, Don Quixote - Isang Enders (cello),
Frankfurter Opern- und Museum O/Sebastian Weigle rec. 2018
OEHMS CLASSICS OC893
Competent, stylish performances rather than outstanding ones, not true contenders in a highly competitive field.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Duet-Concertino Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Clarinet Trio Mikhail GLINKA (1804-1857) Trio
pathétique - Laurence Perkins (bassoon) Sarah Watts (clarinet) Martin
Roscoe (piano) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Sian Edwards rec. 2014/15
HYPERION CDA68263 [76:14] [MW] Not indispensable but lovely nonetheless.
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Andrew Staples (tenor)
Pauline Cheviller (speaker)
Finnish Ntil Opera Ch & O/Esa-Pekka Salonen
rec. 2017 PENTATONE SACD PTC5186688 [51:03] [TB] Salonen conducts this live performance with complete authority.
Dr Lakshminarayana SUBRAMANIAM (b. 1947)
Journey - Lakshminarayana Subramaniam (Indian violin)
Řystein Baadsvik (tuba)
Trondheim SO/Jaakko Kuusisto rec. 2016/17 BIS BIS2273 SACD [58:35]
[RHa] East meets North – an appealing oddity in truly spectacular sound.
Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937)
Early piano music - Marek Szlezer (piano) rec. 2016/17
An excellent recording of Szymanowski’s early piano music.
Josef TAL (1910-2008)
Suite, Perspective, Viola Sonata, Duo - Hartmut Rohde (viola),
Christian Seibert (piano), rec. 2014
AVI MUSIC 8553144
Rohde’s eloquent, tonally sensitive playing make a fine case for Tal.
Thomas TALLIS (c. 1505-1585)
The Votive Antiphons -
The Cardinall’s Musick/Andrew Carwood rec. 2005-14 HYPERION CDA68250 [77:39]
[SB] A convenient compilation of Tallis’s votive antiphons in splendid performances.
Deems TAYLOR (1885-1966) Lost Music Vol. 1 DEEMS TAYLOR SOCIETY [64:07] Lost Music Vol. 2:
Three Century Suite -
Moravian PO/Petr Vronský rec. 2016 NAVONA NV6066 [15:42] Deems Taylor: A Biography
- James A. Pegolotti pub. 2003 NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY PRESS [RB] Deems Taylor's music - a rising reputation.
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Fantasias for solo violin -
Kinga Augustyn (violin) rec. 2015 CENTAUR CRC3607 [71:37]
[RC] Augustyn offers compelling readings of these Fantasias, and the sound quality is ideally vivid.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) A
Sea Symphony - Elizabeth Llewellyn (soprano)
Marcus Farnsworth (baritone) BBC SO & Ch/Martyn
Brabbins rec. 2017 HYPERION
CDA68245 [70:53] [JQ] Brabbins’
recording of A Sea Symphony has a lot going
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
A Vaughan Williams Christmas -
Hugh Rowlands (organ)
Chapel Ch of the Royal Hospital Chelsea/William Vann rec. 2018 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD035 [70:22]
There’s a lot of less than familiar material here but all of it is well worth hearing, especially in such expert performances.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
Lark Ascending, Fantasia on Greensleeves,
Job - David Juritz (violin) Philharmonia
O/Barry Wordsworth, Consort of London/Robert
Haydon Clark rec. 1990/1 ALTO ALC1384
[66:38] [RB] A very fine Job with
many rewarding pages and details that will reach
out to gratify the listener.
VIVALDI (1678-1741) Flute Concertos
- Vincent Lucas (flute) Toulouse Ch O/Gilles
Colliard rec. 2017 INDESENS INDE109
[45.42] [DBi] Great fun but rather short
Huw WATKINS (b.1976)
Flute Concerto, Violin Concerto, Symphony -
Alina Ibragimova (violin),
Adam Walker (flute),
BBC SO/Edward Gardner &
Hallé/Ryan Wigglesworth rec. 2010/17 NMC RECORDINGS D224 [67:02] [RB] Well-wrought music of the twenty-first century.
Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1995) Violin
Sonatas - Agnès Pyka (violin),
Laurent Wagschal (piano)
rec. 2017 ARION ARN68839 [64:32] [SG] Persuasive performances that augur well for the rest of the cycle.
Jaromir WEINBERGER (1896-1967)
Roman Trekel (baritone) Martina Welschenbach (soprano)
Wiener Singakademie, Austrian RSO/Cornelius Meister
rec. 2012 CPO 777963-2 [65.32 + 65.01] [PCG] Those with an interest in the evolution of twentieth century opera will need no further encouragement.
WESLEY (1766-1837) Confitebor
tibi, Domine - Claire Seaton (soprano)
Nicholas Sharratt (tenor) Portsmouth Choral
Union, Southern Pro Musica/David Gostick rec.
2017 PRIORY RECORDS PRCD1186
[58:59] [RB] Wesley considered this his masterpiece
and such is its quality I am not at all surprised.
Józef WIENIAWSKI (1837-1912)
Piano works Vol. 4 - Artur Cimirro (piano) rec. 2017
ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0406
A really splendid disc of wonderful neglected repertoire, played by a pianist who is clearly very at home in this sound world.
Sergei ZHUKOV (b. 1951)
Piano & Violin Concertos -
Eleonora Bekova (piano),
Elvira Bekova (violin),
Karelia State SO/Marius Stravinsky,
Moscow State SO/Konstantin Krimets
CAMEO CLASSICS CC9105
A reissue of a gem of a disc that went completely under the radar last time; do not miss it now.
Vivaldi, Geminiani, Locatelli, Durante and others -
Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini rec. 2017 NAĎVE OP30568
Lively performances and recordings, likely to encourage the listener to
explore this repertoire further.
Aimer et mourir Works by Duparc & Ravel - Magdalena Kožená (mezzo-soprano), Deutsches SO Berlin/Robin Ticciati
Both Kožená and Ticciati excel in this French repertoire and both benefit from a beauiifully balanced recording.
Gielen Edition Vol. 7 rec.
1961-2006 SWR MUSIC SWR19061CD [8
CDs: 585 mins] [SG] A splendid bargain.
Barbara Hannigan (soprano) Vienna:
Fin de Sičcle - Reinbert
de Leeuw (piano) rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS
393 [77.41] [MC] Beautiful late-Romantic
Lieder, superbly performed by Hannigan and Leeuw
to make this a special album.
In Remembrance Chapel Ch of the Royal Hospital Chelsea/William Vann
rec. 2018 SOMM CÉLESTE SOMMCD0187 [80:30] [JQ]
A fine way to mark the centenary of the Armistice.
Lost Saxophone Concertos Olli-Pekka Tuomisalo (saxophone)
& his O rec. 2016/17 NAXOS 8.579038 [79:04] [RB] Spot-on and radiating élan and slow-oozing romance.
Marches from the Russian Empire Admiralty Band of the Leningrad Naval Base/Valentin Lyashchenko
rec. 2016/18 NORTHERN FLOWERS NF/PMA99125 [63:12] [RB]
Swerving humour, crump and bluster amid bristling swagger.
Camille Maurane (baritone) The
Art Of - Lily Bienvenu (piano) Lamoureux O/Jean Fournet
rec. 1954/55 ELOQUENCE 482 4947
[45:37 + 37:47] [GF] Anyone at all interested
in French melodies should acquire this set.
Anne Akiko Meyers (violin)
Mirror in Mirror rec. 2016/18 AVIE AV2386 [63:49]
[DJB] Magnificent playing by Meyers in an interesting though not essential programme.
Janine Micheau (soprano) The Art of - O des Concerts Lamoureux/Paul Sacher, O de la Société
des Concerts du Conservatoire/Jean Fournet rec. 1952 & ? ELOQUENCE 482 4769 [74:04]
[GV] A highly attractive disc with one of the best lyric sopranos of a couple of generations ago.
of French Masters - Music of the Warsaw
Castle Works by Lully, Couperin,
Marais, Corrette & Campra - Orkiestra Historyczna/Martyna
Pastuszka (violin) rec. 2015/16 DUX
1382 [64:57] [SSi] An excellent
recording of French baroque orchestral music
that manages to capture all of the excitement
of the live concerts.
Polish Miniatures Piotr Plawner (violin),
Piotr Sałajczyk (piano) rec. 2016 HÄNSSLER HC18049 [57:44] [JW] A few demerits here, but the performances are fine.
Rosa Mystica Magnificats by Scheidemann, Schildt, Strungk
& Weckmann - Manuel Tomadin (organ) rec. 2016/17 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95506 [77:19]
[JV] A very fine disc, which impressively demonstrates the brilliance of the North German organ composers and their instruments.
Rose Magnificat Marian motets
- Gabrieli Consort/Paul McCreesh rec. 2017 SIGNUM
CLASSICS SIGCD536 [77:52] [ST]
Another triumph for Paul McCreesh.
Romance and Drama London
SO/Yuri Ahronovitch rec. 1981 ALTO ALC1371
[79:07] [RB] Eleven Russian lollipops and
firecrackers at bargain price and lengthy duration.
Kevin Short (bass)
Mephistopheles and Other Bad Guys - Male Chorus of the Opéra de Marseille,
O. Philharmonique de Marseille, Lawrence Foster rec. 2016
PENTATONE PTC5186585 SACD
A great deal of excellent singing here, but also a kind of sameness about the readings.
Solitary Cello Works by Kodály, Dutilleux & Britten -
Oren Shevlin (cello) rec. 2000 CLAUDIO RECORDS CC5046-2
[64.07] [DBi] An outstanding recital of three very important masterworks from the 20th century.
of Thought Works by Poulenc,
Cuong, Shostakovich, Francaix & Rossini
- Poulenc Trio rec. 2016 DELOS DE3543
[58.31] [MC] These are eminently stylish
and alert performances, captured with brightness
Trio Sonata through Two Centuries London Baroque rec. 2002-12 BIS
BIS9050 [8 CDs: 568:25] [SG] If
you like Baroque music you’re in for a
Dénes Várjon (piano) De la nuit
Works by Bartók, Ravel & Schumann -
rec. 2016 ECM 2521 [66:06] [DC] Very fine indeed.
Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy
When I’m Calling You rec. 1930-42
No record collection of light music or film music from days gone by is really complete without these classic recordings.
The Beauty of Bells SAYDISC CDSDL448
A well-compiled anthology combines to make an enjoyable musical experience.
Netania Davrath (soprano) Russian, Yiddish, Israeli Folk Songs - rec. 1960/62
VANGUARD CLASSICS OVC8058/9
Artless, lissom, free from vibrato and distinctly un-operatic.
Articles and Notices
The musical careers of the Sedgwick & Bridge families of Bury - a
timeline prepared by Frank Rutherford
National discography update:
Russian, Soviet & Post-Soviet Symphonies
Montserrat Caballé - an obituary by Ralph Moore
Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Autumn 2018/2 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan
Thoughts on Evaluating
Unfamiliar Music by Walter Simmons
- a survey by Ralph Moore
Naresh Sohal - an obituary by
- a survey by Ralph Moore