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[New] Second Thoughts and Short Reviews: Autumn 2018/2 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan

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[New] Giordano's Andrea Chenier  - a survey by Ralph Moore

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Tuesday October 23rd

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Triple Concerto, Clarinet Trio - Anne Gastinel (cello), Gil Shaham (violin), Nicholas Angelich (piano), Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet) Frankfurt RSO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2015/17 NAÏVE V5418 [55:08] [RC] A highly successful effort by all concerned, in clear and well-balanced sound.

Jan Ladislav DUSSEK (1760-1812) Piano Concertos - Ulster O/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68211 [73:39] [BSt] Dussek was not an also-ran – and the real value of this splendid release is that it amply demonstrates that.

Karl August HERMANN (1851–1909) Complete Piano Music - Nicolas Horvath (piano) rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0418 [59:00] [RB] Placid and amiable - a sure hand when creating miniatures for salon charm.

Peter Joseph von LINDPAINTNER (1791-1856) Il Vespro Siciliano - Camerata Bach Ch Poznań, Virtuosi Brunensis/Federico Longo rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.660440-43 [4 CDs: 201:25] [MBu] This has definitely stirred my curiosity in this forgotten composer and his output.

Arnold MENDELSSOHN (1855–1933) Complete Piano Works - Elżbieta Sternlicht (piano) rec. 2016/17 HÄNSSLER HC17088 [62:50 + 58:24] [RB] Good to know and know about but not revolutionary, not disturbing, not rattling any cages.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Entführung aus dem Serail - Sally Matthews (soprano) Edgaras Montvidas (tenor) O Age Enlightenment/Robin Ticciati rec. 2015 OPUS ARTE DVD OA1215D [180 mins] [RJF] One of the most enjoyable operatic performances that has come my way over the last thirty years or so, and worth every penny of its cost.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Solos and Fantasias without bass - Matteo Gemolo (baroque flute), Patrizio Germone (baroque violin) rec. 2017 ARCANA AD110 [53:52] [BW]  Not an essential purchase, but very enjoyable in the right mood.

American Landscapes Cecile Licad (piano) rec. 2018 DANACORD DACOCD800 [76:30] [JF] I look forward to the next volume of this splendidly imaginative retrospective of American Music.

For You, Anne-Lill Agata Kielar-Długosz (flute) Andrzej Jungiewicz (piano) rec. 2015/18 DUX 1475 [54:37] [SSi] A must for all devotees of flute and Polish music alike.

Through the eyes of Yuja rec. 2016 C MAJOR 745504 Blu-ray [89:00] [DBi] A watchable documentary and a couple of satisfactory performances.

Monday October 22nd 

RECORDING 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. RICERCAR RIC392 [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.

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.

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’.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Glagolitic Mass, Sinfonietta, Taras Bulba, The Fiddler’s Child - Prague Philharmonic Ch, Czech Phil/Jiří Bělohlávek, rec. 2013-2017 DECCA 4834080 [64:27+35:51] [LW] Thrilling Janáček performances make a fitting tribute to Bělohlávek.

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.

Sir Charles Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) With Harmony of Soul and Song - Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone), Paula Fan (piano) rec. EM RECORDS EMRCD 053 [65:55] [SSi] An interesting disc of Parry’s songs let down by a wobbly singer.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) 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 [46:16] [DM]  Two very different accounts of the Fifth; only one is a keeper, though.

Josef TAL (1910-2008) Suite, Perspective, Viola Sonata, Duo - Hartmut Rohde (viola), Christian Seibert (piano), rec. 2014 AVI MUSIC 8553144 [40:02] [JW] Rohde’s eloquent, tonally sensitive playing make a fine case for Tal.

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.

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.

Other reviews
Netania Davrath (soprano)
Russian, Yiddish, Israeli Folk Songs - rec. 1960/62 VANGUARD CLASSICS OVC8058/9 [70:02+66:08] [RB] Artless, lissom, free from vibrato and distinctly un-operatic.

Friday October 19th

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.

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.

Hans 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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Louis COUPERIN (1629-1661) 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.

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.

Robert SCHUMANN (1801-1856) Piano Concerto Norbert BURGMÜLLER (1810-1836) Symphony No. 2 - Colibrì 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.

Percy 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.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The 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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH as 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.

Thursday October 18th

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) Cello Sonatas Vol. 2 - Bruno Cocset (cello); Les Basses Réunies rec. 2017 ALPHA 409 [67:23] [BW] Good enough to make me hope for a reissue of Volume 1 and the release of a third volume a.s.a.p., please.

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.

Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Cello Concerto, Eclogue, Nocturne, Grand Fantasia and Toccata - Paul Watkins (cello), Louis Lortie (piano), BBC SO/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2018 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5214 [70:40] [JW] The cello concerto emerges powerfully in the glorious sound.

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.

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.

Kara KARAYEV (1918-1982) Piano works - Elnara Ismailova (piano) rec. 2011/2017 C-AVI MUSIC 8553398 [65:54] [RB] 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.

Jaromir WEINBERGER (1896-1967) Wallenstein - 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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wilhelm STENHAMMAR (1871-1927) Symphony No. 2, Musik till August Strindbergs "Ett Drömspel" - Antwerp SO/Christian Lindberg rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2329 SACD [58:23] [MW] A great symphony, magnificently performed and recorded – quite superb!

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Double Concertos - La Serenissima, Adrian Chandler rec. 2018 AVIE AV2392 [75:32] [DBi] Another superb set of Vivaldi from La Serenissima - utterly essential.

Wednesday October 17th

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.

Michael 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] [JV] There are certainly things to enjoy here, but little that makes a lasting impression.

Toivo 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.

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.

Andrea 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.

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’ Josquin series.

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.

Michael Gielen Edition Vol. 7 rec. 1961-2006 SWR MUSIC SWR19061CD [8 CDs: 585 mins] [SG] A splendid bargain.

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.


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