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Some items
to consider


16th-19th November


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


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
September 2018

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Mason BATES (b. 1977) The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs - Kelly Markgraf, Edward Parks (baritone) Sasha Cooke (mezzo) The Santa Fe Opera O/Michael Christie rec. 2017 PENTATONE SACD PTC5186690 [47:34 + 46:41] [RHa] Thrillingly recorded, Mason Bates’s and Mark Campbell’s imaginative and coherent opera is a must-hear.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Sonatas Vol. 7  - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10998 [72:42] [MG] There’s no better interpreter of Haydn today than Bavouzet: he has the secret of unlocking both his individuality and sheer quality.

Alexander KASTALSKY (1856-1926) Memory Eternal to the Fallen Heroes - Clarion Ch/Steven Fox rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573889 [55:34] [SG] I shall have no hesitation in nominating this stunning recording as one of my choices of the year.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Octet - Dresdner Oktett rec. 2017 PROFIL PH18034 [64:44] [MC] A performance to treasure.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Quintet, String Quartet No.2 - Dmitri Shostakovich (piano) Beethoven String Qt rec. 1955/6 VANGUARD CLASSICS OVC8077 [62.05] [DBi] A very important disc, essential for all devotees of this great composer.

Improvisations for Two Organs The Catedral Metropolitana, Mexico City -Jürgen Essl, Jeremy Joseph (organs) rec. 2018 CYBELE RECORDS SACD061801 [60:08] [DC] Stunning in every regard.

John ADAMS (b. 1947) Absolute Jest, Naďve and Sentimental Music - Royal Scottish Ntl O/Peter Oundjian rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5199 SACD [71:25] [ST] Definitely worth exploring.

Richard ARNELL (1917-2009) & Stanley BATE (1911-1959) Violin Sonatas - Patrick Wastnage (violin) Elizabeth Dunn (piano) rec. 2017 TOCCATA TOCC0492 [64:57] [JW] These are all premiere commercial recordings and as such are warmly welcomed.

Sergio ASSAD (b. 1952) Concerto Fantasia, Five World Dances - Thanos Mitsalas (guitar), Simos Papanas and David Bogorad (violins), Hara Seira (viola), Angelos Liakakis (cello), Yiannis Hatzis (double bass) rec. 2010 CLEAR NOTE 74651 [52:21] [JW] A very satisfying disc.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2 - Christian Tetzlaff (violin) Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2017 ONDINE ODE1317-2 [60:41] [RC] A definite front runner.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 1-9 - Pocket PO/Peter Stangel rec. 2012-17 SOLO MUSICA ETP010 [6 CDs: 307 mins] [JWh] A completely new and refreshing experience.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos 4 & 5 - Vienna SO/Philippe Jordan rec. 2017 WIENER SYMPHONIKER WS014 [66:25] [RC] If not revelatory, still very fine.

Julius BELICZAY (1835-1893) Symphony No. 1, Serenade - Budapest Concert Orchestra-MÁV/Tamás Gál rec. 1995 STERLING CDS11152 [64:50] [RB] Music that gently stirs the emotions from a composer whose obscurity is agreeably disrupted by this disc.

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Broadway to Hollywood - Hannover Philharmonie/Iain Sutherland rec. 1993 SOMM ARIADNE 5002 [75:20] [MC] Undoubtedly an entertaining live concert, but on record the competition is fierce.

Blagoje BERSA (1873-1934) Complete Piano Music Vol. 1 - Goran Filipec (piano) rec. 2016 GRAND PIANO GP767 [56:12] [RB] Stormy headlong romanticism and pensively cooling fragility.

Boris BLACHER (1903-1975) Orchestral works - Berlin RSO/Johannes Kalitzke rec. 2017 CAPRICCIO C5349 [57.23] [DBi] A fine disc which should be heard by lovers of Hindemith, Martinů and neo-classical Stravinsky. You will not regret it.

René de BOISDEFFRE (1838-1906) Choral Works - Chór Insieme/Monika Bachowska rec. 2017 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0414 [77:32] [RP] An interesting collection of late-Romantic French choral music.

Ina BOYLE (1889-1967) Orchestral works - Benjamin Baker (violin) Nadčge Rochat (cello) BBC Concert O/Ronald Corp rec. 2017 DUTTON VOCALION CDLX7352 SACD [83:53] [JW] It’s a pleasure to welcome so interesting a disc as this.

Joly BRAGA SANTOS (1924-1988) Symphonic Overtures No. 1 & 2; Viver ou Morrer Prelude; Piano Concerto - Goran Filipec (piano), Royal Liverpool PO/Álvaro Cassuto rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573903 [61:26] [RB] For those already well attuned to the different soundworlds of Braga Santos.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonatas, Rhapsodies, Intermezzi, Ballades - Egon Petri (piano), Joseph Szigeti (violin), Samuel Lifschey (viola) rec. 1937/41 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM076 [76:59] [JW] All attest to Petri’s continuing significance as a Brahms exponent.

Henry BRANT (1913-2008) Wind, Water, Clouds and Fire; Litany of Tides; Trinity of Spheres rec. 1979/83 INNOVA 410 [73:41] [PSe] If you’re adventurous but getting short of adventures, Brant’s spatialism could be right up your street.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Violin Concerto Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 4 - Wanda Wilkomirska (violin), Warsaw PO/Witold Rowicki rec. 1967 ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD12/2011 [73:03] [DBi] A remarkable performance of the Britten Violin Concerto which alone is worth the price of the CD.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 5 - Internationale Junge O Akademie/Matthias Foremny rec. 2018 ORCHESTRA CD 2018 [75:31] [RMo] If not the ultimate in individuality, this is still a splendidly executed and wholly successful recording.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 8 - Royal Danish O/Hartmut Haenchen rec. 2017 GENUIN GEN18622 [69:20] [RMo] I cannot get excited about a recording which evinces so little cognisance of the mystery and transcendence inherent in the music.

Joseph CALLAERTS (1830-1901) Organ Works - Peter Van de Velde (organ) rec. 2018 AEOLUS AE11151 SACD [81:19] [SG] A first-class recording that successfully fills a niche.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Mazurkas - Eugene Mursky (piano) rec. 2015/16 PROFIL PH16100 [72:39 + 69:24] [RC] On this evidence, Mursky is one of the finest Chopin players before the public today.

Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) Piano Trios - Sun-Young Shin (violin) Benjamin Hayek (cello) Samuel Gingher (piano) rec. 2016/17 NAXOS 8.573848 [70:12] [PRB] Entertainingly undemanding to listen to, while offering some further insight into the development of the piano trio itself.

Stephen DODGSON (1924-2013) String Trios, Sonatina, Caprice, Partita - Karolos rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573856 [78:30] [SSi] An interesting disc of late twentieth century English tonal string music.

Antonín DVORAK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 9 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No.8 - Munich PO/Sergiu Celibidache rec. 1985/88 MÜNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER 9305211237 [74:08] [JWh] Some will find it controversial, but I will stick my neck out and say that this is one of the great recordings of the ‘New World’.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Hills of Dreamland - Kathryn Rudge (mezzo) Henk Neven (baritone) BBC Concert O/Barry Wordsworth rec. 2017 SOMM SOMMCD271-2 [53.30 + 37.00] [MC] Some good things here, but overall, not entirely satisfactory.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) The Organ Works - Ben Van Oosten (organ) rec. 2017 MDG 3162080 [4 CDs: 292:06] [SG] Captivating performances, captured in glorious sound.

Gara GARAYEV (1918-1982) Violin Sonata, Preludes - Vadim Repin (violin) Murad Huseynov (piano) rec. 2014 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0255 [61:14] [SA] Both musicians are powerful advocates for these enthralling works.

Robert GIBSON (b. 1950) Flux and Fire - James Stern (violin), Audrey Andrist (piano), Aeolus Qt rec. 2001-16 INNOVA 993 [60:54] [DC] Distinctive and memorable.

Reinhold GLIČRE (1875-1956) The Red Poppy - St Petersburg State SO/André Anichanov rec. 1994 NAXOS 8.553496-7 [50:21 + 57:50] [RB] Tawdry gaud and corn among golden acres that offer much to enjoy.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas, Ochos valses poéticos - Xiayin Wang (piano), rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10995 [70:00] [CSe] Wang’s power and virtuosity conjure both the yearning of late-nineteenth-century Romanticism and the gorgeous colours, textures, scents and sentiments of Spain.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Flagstad Sings Grieg - Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) BBC SO/Sir Malcolm Sargent rec. 1957 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC528 [77:29] [GF] Indispensable first and foremost for Flagstad’s admirers.

Robert GROSLOT (b.1951) Violin Concerto, Concerto for Orchestra - Joanna Kurkowicz (violin) Brussels PO/Robert Groslot rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573808 [60:00] [RB] An impressive, indeed magical, violin concerto.

Fromental HALÉVY (1799-1862) La Reine de Chypre - Véronique Gens (soprano) Cyrille Dubois (tenor) Flemish Radio Ch, Paris CO/Hervé Niquet rec. 2017 EDICIONES SINGULARES ES1032 [75:37 + 79:09] [PSt] A piece which deserves to have a place in the repertoire.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Cello Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Verklärte Nacht - Trondheim Soloists/Alisa Weilerstein (cello) rec. 2018 PENTATONE PTC5186717 SACD [73:00] [BW] Oddities of coupling apart, a very fine first recording for Alisa Weilerstein for Pentatone with her Trondheim Soloists.

John JOUBERT (b.1927) Piano Concerto, Symphony No. 3 - Martin Jones (piano) BBC NOW/William Boughton rec. 2017 LYRITA SRCD397 [65.16] [GH] Approachable, emotional and sincere, full of richness and marvellously performed.

Dmitry KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) Violin Concerto, Rhapsody, Colas Breugnon - Yury Revich (violin), Magda Amara (piano), Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Karl-Heinz Steffens rec. 2018 CAPRICCIO C5347 [59:32] [NB] Serviceable, but there are better options for each work.

Eduard KÜNNEKE (1885 – 1953) Herz über Bord - Annika Boos, Linda Hergarten (soprano) Martin Koch (tenor) Julian Schulzki (baritone) WDR Rundfunk Ch & O/Wayne Marshall rec. 2017 CAPRICCIO C5319 [64:15] [GF] OOperetta lovers with a taste for some interesting byways shouldn’t miss this charming and entertaining work.

David LANG (b.1957) writing on water - Synergy Vocals, London Sinfonietta/Jurjen Hempel CANTALOUPE CA21139 [64:42] [RHa] Excellent performances and recordings of four uncompromising pieces by the Bang on a Can stalwart.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Souvenirs - Aleksandra Mikulska (piano) rec. 2017 GENUIN GEN18494 [83:23] [RC] A young pianist with rare talent in a very generous program of solid Liszt.

Arthur LOURIÉ (1892-1966) Piano Works - Christian Erny (piano) rec. 2018 ARS PRODUCTION ARS38248 SACD [54:12] [SB] For the really curious: music by Stravinsky’s assistant in the 1920s.

Torbjörn Iwan LUNDQUIST (1920-2000) Symphonies Nos 3 & 4 - Gothenburg SO/Torbjörn Iwan Lundquist, Sixten Ehrling rec. 1982/85 STERLING CDM 3004-2 [74:20] [RB] Faithful and brilliant servants in bringing these two symphonies to our ears and minds.

James MACMILLAN (b. 1959) String Quartets - Royal String Qt rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68196 [71:00] [MR] Powerful, intense and no-holds-barred performances, which suits this often highly charged music.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 1 - Royal Flemish PO/Edo de Waart rec. 2012 ROYAL FLEMISH PHILHARMONIC RFP004 [54:11] [SFV] Tentatively recommended.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 1 - Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2015 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC10335 Blu-ray [86 mins] [RC] It would be hard to find any significant fault with this release.

Luca MARENZIO (1553/4-1599) Il Pastor Fido - La Pedrina/Francesco Saverio Pedrini rec. 2017/18 CLAVES CD50-1814 [52.30] [GH] The concept and the whole project is commendable.

Federico MOMPOU (1893-1987) Cançons i danses - Eden Stell Guitar Duo rec. 2013-2017 BGS RECORDS BGS129 [53:51] [RH] Worry not that these are arrangements; they are superbly done, with playing of the highest order.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Cosi Fan Tutte - Corinne Winters, Angela Brower (soprano) Daniel Behle (tenor) Alessio Arduini (bass) Ch & O Royal Opera House/Semyon Bychkov rec. 2016 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7237D [192 mins] [RC] If you aren’t put off by Bychkov’s sometimes leisurely tempos, this imaginative production, with first-rate singing, may well be a top choice.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1956-1791) Piano Concerto No. 23; Symphonies Nos 35 & 41 ‘Jupiter’ - Michal Roll (piano), London Mozart Players/Harry Blech rec. 1973/74 HERITAGE HTGCD209 [75:39] [JWh] A very timely reminder of a truly committed conductor.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Grabmusik, Bastien und Bastienne - Anna Maria Richter (soprano) Alessandro Fisher (tenor) Classical Opera/Ian Page rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSCS SIGCD547 [66:24] [CC] The music is simply beautiful, and performed at the highest level.

William MUNDY (c.1529-1591) Sacred Choral Music - Ch St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh/Duncan Ferguson rec. 2016/17 DELPHIAN DCD34204 [65:15] [SB] All those who love English Renaissance church music should hear this.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Khovanshchina - Žarko Cvejić (bass), Alexander Marinković (tenor), Drago Starc (tenor), Belgrade National Opera Ch & O/Krešimir Baranović rec. 1955 ELOQUENCE 4826893 [3 CDs: 176:16] [RMo] A decent but not especially inspired performance.

Feliks NOWOWIEJSKI (1877-1946) Symphonic Works - Józef Elsner Opole PSO/Przemysław Neumann rec. 2017 DUX 1425 [77.51] [MW] A superb introduction to a significant but neglected composer in an exciting release.

Morfydd Llwyn OWEN (1891-1918) Portrait of a Lost Icon - Elin Manahan Thomas (soprano), Brian Ellsbury (piano) rec. 2016 TŶ CERDD TCR014 [74:59] [PB] Well-recorded, informative, and most entertaining.

Nicolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) Works for violin and orchestra - Mario Hossen (violin) Vienna Classical Players/Martin Kerschbaum rec. 2017 DYNAMIC CDS7797 [51:23] [JWh] Hossen’s playing is fabulous but the CD is probably primarily of interest to lovers of violin virtuosity and Paganini completists.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Les biches & Les animaux modčles Suites, Sinfonietta - RTÉ Ntl SO/Jean-Luc Tingaud rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573739 [65:13] [WK] A satisfactory, if not perfect, account of three intriguing works.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet - Baltimore SO/Marin Alsop, rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573534-35 [2 CDs: 144:14] [RC] Alsop’s Romeo and Juliet ranks with the best.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) & Leonid NIKOLAYEV (1878-1942) Violin sonatas Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Suite (Sonata) in the Old Style - Chavdar Parashkevov (violin), Natasha Kislenko (piano) rec. 2010 CHAVDAR MUSIC [60:25] [JW] An attractive production, well recorded, and with really good performances.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Rock, Prince Rostislav, Scherzo, Caprice bohémien, The Isle of the Dead - Russian State SO/Valeri Polyansky rec. 2001 CHANDOS CHAN10104 [79.42] [IL] I cannot recommend this album too highly to all Rachmaninov devotees.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Études-tableaux - Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68188 [61:39] [RWe] The catalogue holds quite a few excellent discs of these pieces, but none is unequivocally superior to this account.

Sergey RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 3, Variations on a Theme of Corelli - Boris Giltburg (piano), Royal Scottish Ntl O/Carlos Miguel Prieto rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573630 [61:59] [WH] Splendid performances in demonstration sound - if the coupling appeals, don’t hesitate.

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Le Temple de la Gloire - Les Agrémens; Chœur de Chambre de Namur/Guy Van Waas rec. 2014 RICERCAR RIC363 [57:09 + 67:28] [BW] Not the most urgent Rameau recommendation, but well worth at least streaming.

Joseph RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) & Bernhardt SCHOLZ (1835-1916) Piano Concertos - Simon Callaghan (piano) BBC Scottish SO/Bern Gernon rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68225 [71:16] [SG] For those keen to push the boat out a little to discover something new, I would urge them to give these concertos a try.

John ROBERTSON (b. 1943) Symphony No. 1, Suite, Variations - Janáček PO/Anthony Armoré rec. 2016 NAVONA RECORDS NV6167 [77:02] [RHa] An impressive symphony that many listeners will want to seek out in a committed performance, although the couplings seem rather inconsequential by comparison.

Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660–1725) La Giuditta - Rosita Frisani (soprano) Marco Lazzŕra (alto) Mario Nuvoli (tenor) Alessandro Stradella Consort/Estévan Velardi rec. 1995 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95536 [78:38] [GF] Those with an interest in early baroque oratorios should be able to find a lot to enjoy on this disc.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano works Vol. 1 - Bernard Roberts (piano) rec. 2003 CLAUDIO RECORDS CR5362-2 [71.51] [DBi] An enjoyable disc, played with great dignity and a high degree of skill.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No. 5 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Serenade No. 2 - O Révolutionnaire et Romantique/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2016 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG729 [59:45] [JQ] A most enjoyable pairing.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Symphonies Nos 1 & 5 - Kirill Gerstein (piano) Alisa Kolosova (mezzo) Alexey Dolgov (tenor) Oslo PO & Ch/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2017 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1160 [69.38] [MC] Top-drawer performances that round off a valuable Scriabin series.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) New York Memorial Concert 1957 - Jussi Björling (tenor), Kirsten Flagstad (soprano), New York PO/Martti Similä, London SO/Øivin Fjeldstad rec. 1957/8 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC518 [61:23+67:17] [JQ] A collection of fine Sibelius performances in excellent transfers.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Orchestral works - BBC Ntl O Wales/Thomas Sřndergĺrd rec. 2017/18 LINN RECORDS CKD566 [75:06] [JWh] Some minor reservations but The Oceanides is a highlight.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) & Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Violin Concertos Lu PEI 4 Fantasies on Chinese Folk Tunes - Zhi-Jong Wang (violin), Philharmonia O/Thomas Sanderling rec. 2017 ACCENTUS ACC30430 [62:57] [JW] Those who prefer a daredevil virtuoso approach to their Sibelius should look elsewhere.

Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) Má Vlast - Czech PO/Jiří Bělohlávek rec. 2014 DECCA 483 3187 [76:45] [JQ]
There’s a good deal to enjoy in this performance but other versions offer more.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) String Quartet Nos 3, 4 & 7 - Dante Qt rec. 2017/18 SOMM CÉLESTE SOMMCD0185 [76.09] [MC] Chamber music lovers looking for works outside the standard repertoire should be delighted with these three engaging quartets.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Duet-Concertino Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Trio Op. 38 Mikhail GLINKA (1804-1857) Trio pathétique - Laurence Perkins (bassoon), Sarah Watts (clarinet), Martin Roscoe (piano), Royal Scottish Ntl O/Sian Edwards rec. 2014-2015 HYPERION CDA68263 [76:14] [DC] Easy to recommend.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Cello Concerto No. 1 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto - Paul Tortelier (cello), Endre Wolf (violin), London SO/Norman Del Mar, Walter Goehr, Philharmonia O/Herbert Menges rec. 1954/55 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR58 [74:19] [JW] The first in an enticing series of early stereo recordings.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Soldier’s Tale - Malcolm Sinclair (narrator) LSO Chamber En/Roman Simovic (violin) rec. 2015 LSO LIVE LSO5074 SACD [55:36] [RWe] A superbly recorded and magnificently performed account.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) & Claude ARRIEU (1903-1990) Violin Concertos - Jeanne Gautier (violin), O  Ntl de la Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française/Jacques Pernoo, Eugène Bigot rec. 1956/59 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR981 [44:20] [SG] A worthy effort to raise the profile of a sadly neglected violinist.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Asrael Iša KREJČI (1904-1968) Serenata - Südwestfunk O Baden-Baden/Karel Ančerl rec. 1967 SWR CLASSIC SWR19055CD [74:54] [JWh] A very welcome addition to the Ančerl catalogue.

Sir Arthur SULLIVAN (1842 – 1900) Princess Ida, A Gilbert and Sullivan Spectacular - D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, New SO/Isidore Godfrey, Royal PO/Sir Malcolm Sargent rec. 1954 ELOQUENCE 482 5349 [67:50 + 62:18] [JWh] Princess Ida is very enjoyable, but the “Spectacular” is ruined by very unspectacular sound and conducting.

Alexandre TANSMAN (1897-1986) Symphonies Vol. 1 - Melbourne Chorale, Melbourne SO/Oleg Caetani rec. 2005 CHANDOS CHSA5041 SACD [64:37] [RB] Rich in rising emotional sap.

Svend Erik TARP (1908-1994) Orchestral Works Vol. 1 - Lena Kildahl (flute), Stanislav Pronin (violin) Aarhus SO/Tobias Ringborg rec. 2016 DACAPO SACD 6.220668 [54:44] [JW] Very rewarding neo-classical fare.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphonies Nos 5 & 6, The Voyevoda - London SO/Yondani Butt rec. 2012 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI7104 [2 CDs: 112:47] [RC] Good efforts all around then and a steal as a bargain offering.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Pique Dame - Misha Didyk (tenor) Svetlana Aksenova (soprano) Royal Concertgebouw O/Mariss Jansons rec. 2016 C MAJOR Blu-ray 744004 [180 mins] [RC] Highly recommended then, despite some reservations.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Manfred Symphony Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) A Midsummer Night's Dream - Lucerne Festival O/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2017 ACCENTUS ACC20438 DVD [99:32] [JQ] Delectable Mendelssohn and a magnificent performance of Manfred.

Luís TINOCO (b 1969) The Blue Voice of the Water - Seattle SO/Ludovic Morlot rec 2014-17 ODRADEK RECORDS ODRCD365 [61:07] [RHa] Quirky and colourful, often inspired and superbly recorded, the orchestral music of Luis Tinoco is well worth an hour of any curious listener’s time.

Sir Donald TOVEY (1875–1940) Chamber Music Vol. 2 - Ormesby Ens rec. 2015 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0226 [69:48] [JWe] A lovely clear recording and fine work by the Ormesby Ensemble make a strong case for Tovey’s chamber music.

Joaquin TURINA (1882-1949) Complete Music for Violin and Piano - Macarena Martínez (violin), Juan Escalera (piano) rec. 2016/17 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95626 [46:22+41:24] [JWh] There is much to enjoy in this undemanding music, especially with playing that is so committed and musically satisfying.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Mass, Te Deum - Joseph Wicks (organ), David Blackadder (trumpet), Ch St John’s College Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD541 [67:32] [ST] Another golden string to St John’s’ bow.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Piano Concerto, Oboe Concerto, Serenade to Music, Flos Campi - Louis Lortie (piano) Teng Li (viola) Sarah Jeffrey (oboe) Elmer Iseler Singers, Toronto SO/Peter Oundjian rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5201 SACD [82:21] [WH] An unusual and beautifully delivered Vaughan Williams programme - not to be missed.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) - Symphony No. 6, Dona nobis pacem -Blanche Christiansen (soprano) William Metcalf (baritone) University Utah Civic Chorale, Utah SO/Maurice Abravanel rec. 1966 VANGUARD CLASSICS SVC7 [72.30] [RB] An astonishingly good bargain coupling which still sounds good despite the depredations of time.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Messa da Requiem - Christine Brewer (soprano), Karen Cargill (mezzo-soprano), Stuart Neill (tenor), John Relyea (bass), London SO & Ch/Sir Colin Davis rec. 2009 LSO LIVE LSO0683 SACD [45:38 + 36:26] [JQ] A very fine and very satisfying performance.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Nabucco - George Gagnidze (baritone) Susanna Branchini (soprano) O & Ch Arena Verona/Daniel Oren rec. 2017 BELAIR CLASSICS Blu-ray BAC448 [137 mins] [SSi] This production suffers from a confusing staging and lacks any truly world class solo singing, although the chorus and orchestra are in fine form.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Vivaldi x2 - La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler (baroque violin) rec. 2018 AVIE AV2392 [75.32] [MC] A sure-fire winner.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883), Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) & Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) Orchestral works - Suisse Romande O, Vienna PO/Horst Stein rec. 1973/77 ELOQUENCE 4825207 [67:35 + 81:26] [JWh] This set is worth buying for the Viennese Weber & Wagner, rather less so for the Swiss Wolf.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der fliegende Holländer - George London, Leonie Rysanek, Bayreuth Festspiele CH & O/Wolfgang Sawallisch rec. 1959 ORFEO C936182I [49:10 + 77:42] [SSi] I enjoyed the singing but the orchestra sounds a little under-recorded at times.

Richard WAGNER (1813-83) Orchestral Highlights - London SO/Yondani Butt rec. 2011 NIMBUS RECORDS NI7101 [46:43 + 45:33] [RWM] Excessively understated performances which are not assisted by disappointing sound quality.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) The Passenger - Nadezhda Babintseva, Vladimir Cheberyak, Ch & O Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre/Oliver von Dohnányi rec. 2016 DUX 8387 DVD [160:34] [SSi] A very good production which has a greater sense of it being an ensemble piece than its competitor.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) Symphony No. 13, Serenade - Siberian State SO/Vladimir Lande rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573879 [53:04] [RB] A first recording for the symphony alongside a work from the populist aspect of the composer's persona.

Douglas YOUNG (b.1947) The Hunting of the Snark - Leicestershire Chorale, Leicestershire Schools SO/Peter Fletcher rec. 1982 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9106 [53.21] [GH] With an excellent narrator and good orchestral playing, this reissue can be recommended.

Eugene ZÁDOR (1894-1977) Fantasia Hungarica; Variations on a Merry Theme; Rhapsody - Zsolt Féjervári (double bass), Kálmán Balogh (cimbalom), Budapest SO/Marius Smolij - rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573800 [77:51] [EJW] Another welcome disk in this enjoyable series.

Adria Harp Quartet Musica per Quartetto d'Arpe rec. 2016 TACTUS TC960003 [61:52] [CSe] Fascinating creative expression and experimentation, opening up new, sometimes strange but always intriguing sound-worlds.

Adrian Aeschbacher (piano) Works by Beethoven, Schubert & Schumann rec. 1950s KASP RECORDS 57671/57722 [69:38 & 66:00] [SG] These two releases have been a labour of love, and a wonderful discovery for me.

Grace Alves (piano) Keys to Rio rec. 2014/15 SOREL CLASSICS SCCD010 [60:53] [JW] An attractive proposition.

Art-I-Shock Contemporary Chamber Music From Latvia rec. 2017 SKANI LMIC057 [62:20] [SG] There's plenty to entice the listener willing to push the boat out.

Bass Clarinet & Friends A Miscellany - Ian Mitchell (bass clarinet) Gemini & friends rec. 2017/18 MÉTIER MSV28579 [39:39 + 49:38] [JF] Thoroughly enjoyable from the first track to the last.

Bespoke Works by Wachner, Ruehr & Friedman - New O of Washington/Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez rec. 2014 ACIS APL00442 [56:37] [JW] Enjoyable, engaging and very listenable.

Ray Chen (violin) The Golden Age - London PO/Robert Trevino, Made in Berlin Qt rec. 2017 DECCA 4833852 [53:23] [BW] Heart and soul Bruch and very enjoyable Heifetz and Kreisler arrangements, but do the two halves hang together?

Concertgebouw Lollipops Concertgebouw O Amsterdam rec. 1950-68 ELOQUENCE 4825650 [82:05+78:02] [JWh] For Concertgebouw fans this is a real bargain.

Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo) Come to Me in My Dreams - Joseph Middleton (piano) rec. 2017/18 CHANDOS CHAN10944 [77:18] [JQ] Lovers of English song should hasten to hear this fine recital.

Anna Fedorova (piano) Four Fantasies rec. 2018 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS41318 [72:50] [DM] Accomplished playing, undermined by expressive reticence; odd programme, too.

Jean Fournet (conductor) The Concertgebouw Recordings rec. 1959 ELOQUENCE 482 4959 [79:28] [RMay] Generally undemanding fare, but these well executed accounts demonstrate some of the conductor’s notable strengths.

Fragments The Juniper Project rec. 2017/18 DIVINE ART DDA25179 [52:59] [JF] Superb playing, in a programme which explores many delightful byways of music that surely deserve discovery.

Gesänge des Orients Works by Ullmann, Einem, Haas, Wellesz, Strauss & Gál - Simon Wallfisch (baritone) Edward Rushton (piano) rec. 2017 NIMBUS NI5971 [67:19] [JW] Wallfisch brings plenty of character and colour to these works, but the production values leave something to be desired.

Idyll - The English Flute Unheard James Dutton (flute) Oliver Davies (piano) rec. 2017 MPR 101 [75:14] [JW] A wisely selected programme, with stylistically astute playing.

Frederic Lamond (piano) The Liszt recordings & HMV & Electrola electrical recordings rec. 1919-1941 APR 7310 [3 CDs: 238:12] [SG] A handsome 150th anniversary tribute.

Luther - The noble art of music Utopia rec. 2017 ET'CETERA KTC1577 [57:23] [JV] A substantial contribution to the commemoration of the Reformation.

The Three Ososkins in Latvian Piano Music rec. 2017 SKANI LMIC060 [77:23] [SA] If you enjoy being exposed to music off the beaten track, you will find plenty to enjoy here.

Karol A. Penson Transcriptions Cyprien Katsaris (piano) rec. 2008-13 PIANO 21 P21058N [78:10] [JW] This release doesn’t lessen my admiration of Katsaris in any way.

Rimsky & Co Originals Russian Music for Military Band - Marine Band Royal Netherlands Navy/Major Arjan Tien rec. 2017/18 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS40818 [61:25] [RB] A superb project … virile and vital.

Phyllis Sellick & Cyril Smith (piano duo) Works by Mozart, Milhaud, Rachmaninov, Bax, Arensky & Bach rec. 1948-56 GUILD GHCD3501 [72:06] [JW] TThis admirably compiled disc has brought a raft of material new to CD in attractive transfers.

Janos Starker (cello) Works by Hindemith, Prokofiev & Rautavaara - RSO Stuttgart des SWR/Andreas von Lukacsy, SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg SO/Ernest Bour, Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1971-75 SWR CLASSIC SWR19418CD [74:46] [JW] Starker proves an admirable guide to these three concertos.

Leopold Stokowski (conductor) Works by Arnold, Enescu, Glière & Tchaikovsky - Ilse Hollweg (soprano), BBC SO, International Festival Youth O rec. 1954/73 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9107 [75:09] [JW] Vintage Stokowski.

Trains of Thought Works by Cuong, Françaix, Poulenc, Rossini & Shostakovich - Poulenc Trio, rec. 2016 DELOS DE3543 [58:31] [MR] Immense musical fun from an ensemble who bring so much life that one’s only reaction is to want to hear more of it.

Tribute Thanos Mitsalas (guitar) rec. 2015 CLEAR NOTE 75681 [65:07] [JW] An attractive programme, splendidly played.

Other Reviews

Hubert Parry - A Life in Photographs by Michael Trott publ. 2018 Brewin Books [JQ] An ideal introduction to one of the most generous figures in British musical history.

Jorge Andrés BOSSO Tangos at an Exhibition - Jorge Andrés Bosso (cello) Bosso Concept rec. 2016 LIMEN DVD096CD096 [CD & DVD: 62:53] [SB] The tango has been reinvented almost unrecognizably here, and not successfully either.

The Art of Brass Cory Band/Philip Harper rec. 2018 DOYEN RECORDINGS DOYCD382 [77:31] [JWh] A perfect CD to play to people who are a bit “sniffy” about brass bands.

Articles and Notices

Ernst Maerzendorfer and the First Recorded Cycle of Haydn Symphonies II by Christopher Howell

Stanfordian Thoughts 6: Fairy Day by Christopher Howell

Piano Trio Discography & Review Index: Mozart

Bellini's Norma - a survey of recordings by Ralph Moore

Piet Kee, Dutch organist - an obituary by Kenneth Shenton

The start of a new round of national discography updates by Mike Herman

 




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