NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
Second Thoughts & Short Reviews - Spring 2019-2 by Brian Wilson
Debussy's Pelleas et
Melisande - a
survey by Ralph Moore
John Langdon - an obituary by
Onegin - a
survey by Ralph Moore
Romance in The Land of
Heart’s Desire by Ben Janken
Listening Studio Report by
Acte Préalable: Zygmunt Noskowski - Complete Songs Vols 1-3;
Otton Mieczyslaw Zukowski - Opera Omnia Secularia vols 1-2; Romuald
Twardowski - In the Night's Stillness
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Tuesday April 30th
Jacques BOYVIN (c1649 - 1706) Suites from the Premier and Second livres d'orgue
- David Ponsford (organ)
rec. 2017 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6358 [2 CDs: 158:40]
[JV] Both the playing and the recording are outstanding; no organ aficionado should miss this.
BUSONI (1866-1924) Elegien,
An die Jugend - Carlo Grante (piano) rec.
2013 MUSIC AND ARTS CD-1300
[61:00] [SB] The exploratory Elegies and
the rare An die Jugend in a rewarding recital.
César CUI (1835-1918) Preludes
- Jouni Somero (piano) rec. 2018 FC RECORDS FCRCD-9759 [70:48] SSi] A good recording which is superior to the only other version.
GRIEG (1843-1907) Incidental Music
to Peer Gynt, Piano
Concerto - Jean-Efflam
Bavouzet (piano) Bergen PO & Ch/Edward Gardner
rec. 2016/17 CHANDOS CHSA5190 SACD [83:12]
[ST] Stacks up well against lots of fierce
LESHNOFF (b.1973) Symphony No.
4, Guitar Concerto, Starburst - Jason
Vieaux (guitar) Nashville SO/Giancarlo Guerrero
NAXOS 8.559809 [RB] Blitzes along and does not set out to
Stanislaw RADWAN (b. 1939) Theatre and Film Music
- Beethoven Academy O/Rafał Jacek Delekta rec. 2017 DUX 1535 [61:53] [MW] A most enjoyable introduction to a most accomplished composer, in suitably theatrical performances.
Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924)
Mass Via Victrix, At the Abbey
Gate - BBC Ntl Ch & O Wales/Adrian
Partington rec. 2018 LYRITA
SRCD382 [79:57] [JQ] After
99 years, Stanford’s Mass Via Victrix
has finally emerged from the shadows in this
splendid and important recording.
Muse Von Zemlinsky bis Gershwin
- Ildikó Raimondi (soprano) Junge Philharmonie
Wien/Michael Lessky rec. 2016 GRAMOLA
99173 [53:23] [GF] A truly delicious
One Note Away Works by
Destenay, Goepfart & Loeffler - Juliette Bausor (flute),
Daniel Bates (oboe),
Matthew Hunt (clarinet),
Adam Newman (viola),
Olga Jegunova (piano) rec. 2017 STONE 5060192780840 [58:43] [JW] A splendidly played, sensitive recital.
Opera Overtures, Choruses and Duets rec. 1959-1993 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95414 [3 CDs: 184:59] [NH] Best to enjoy it for what it is, rather than fretting too much about what it isn’t.
Monday April 29th
Max BRUCH (1838-1920)
Die Loreley - Michaela Kaune (soprano) Thomas Mohr (tenor)
Prague Philharmonic Ch,
Munich Radio O/Stefan Blunier rec. 2014 CPO 777 005-2 [3 CDs: 143:06]
[JW] There’s no doubting the vitality of the music, the generosity of the writing, and the theatricality of the result.
Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Caractacus - Huddersfield Choral Society, O Opera North/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2018
[2 CDs: 96:16] [PCG]
A welcome release, but does not supplant the Groves version.
Johann Simon MAYR (1763–1845)
I Cherusci - Markus Schäfer (tenor) Yvonne Prentki (soprano) Simon Mayr
Ch, Concerto de Bassus/Franz Hauk rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.660399-400 [71:38 + 81:24]
[GF] Collectors of this series can invest with confidence in this latest issue.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies Vol. 1
City of Birmingham SO/Edward Gardner
rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5234 SACD [74:11] [MG] These spirited, state-of-the-art accounts are crowned by the most sensitive and satisfying account of the Unfinished I have ever heard.
Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphony No. 1 Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
& works Amirov & Kurka - New York P-SO/Leopold Stokowski
GUILD HISTORICAL GHCD2415
Enjoyable, but nothing that represents a significant contribution to the discography.
Galina USTVOLSKAYA (1919-2006)
Complete Works for Violin and Piano - Evgeny Sorkin (violin), Natalia Andreeva (piano)
DIVINE ART DDA25182
Nothing of glamour or neon.
Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1966)
Gidon Kremer (violin) rec. 2017 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC30476 [47:21]
[CC] Kremer’s virtuosity is on full display, and also in absolute resonance with Weinberg’s language.
Blue Hour Works
by Brahms, Mendelssohn & Weber - Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet), Yuja Wang (piano), Berlin
PO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2018
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4836069
Ottensamer and Wang’s programme of clarinet and piano works disarms criticism.
Abdel Rahman El Bacha (piano)
Queen Elisabeth Competition rec. 1978 MUSO MU013 [60:16]
[RC] El Bacha’s many fans will want to hear these historic
performances, which catapulted him to international success.
Polish Choral Music Polish Chamber Ch/Jan Łukaszewski
An intriguing and excellently sung disc of attractive modern Polish choral music.
The Rite of Spring by Gillian Moore
Head of Zeus [JQ]
An excellent introduction to a truly seminal work in twentieth-century music.
Friday April 26th
Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897–1957)
Das Wunder der Heliane - Annemarie Kremer, Ian
Storey, PO Freiburg/Fabrice Bollon rec. 2017
NAXOS 8.660410-12 [3 CDs: 161:33]
[WK] For those new to the opera, this is
the obvious choice.
Josef MYSLIVEČEK (1737-1781) Complete Music for Keyboard
Clare Hammond (piano)
Scottish CO/Nicolas McGegan
rec. 2018 BIS SACD BIS2393 [76:18] [CC] Hammond’s Mysliveček is as refreshing as a well-timed sorbet.
debut) - O & Ch Teatro Municipale
Reggio Emilia/Francesco Molinari-Pradelli rec.
1961 REVITALIZED CLASSICS [105.00]
[MMB] A curiosity, but a compelling one, as it gives the listener a
measure of the range, beauty and clarity of
Pavarotti’s voice at the beginning of
Dominique SCHAFER (b. 1967)
Vers une présence réelle -
ens proton bern/Matthias Kuhn rec 2018 KAIROS 0015036KAI [66:05]
[RHa] Absorbing pieces by yet another contemporary figure seemingly known only to the cognoscenti.
Richard STRAUSS (1846-1949)
Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben -
Oslo PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2016 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1166 [79.56]
[MC] Beautifully played readings that don’t quite challenge the finest.
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Swan Lake - State Academic SO of Russia "Evgeny Svetlanov"/Vladimir
Jurowski rec. 2017/18 PENTATONE PTC5186640 SACD [2
discs: 151.46] [RC] A spirited and thoroughly idiomatic account.
French Music for Ballet
Works by Sauget, Massenet & Ibert -
Estonian Ntl SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20132 [68:19]
[NB] Not the finest disc from this label or conductor that I have heard.
Heifetz (violin) Concertos by
Mozart, Prokofiev & Mendelssohn - Boston
SO/Serge Koussevitzky, Bell Telephone O/Donald
Voorhees rec. 1947/1949 PRISTINE AUDIO
PASC558 [68:30] [JW] Nothing
new to the Heifetz discography here, and some
of the transfers are less successful than usual
for this label.
Soir Berceuses (mais pas que…)
Eugénie Warnier (soprano) Marine Thoreau La
Salle (piano) Quatuor Les Heures du Jour rec.
2016 MUSO MU027 [60:28] [SSi]
This is a lovely disc, one for all lovers
of art song.
Polyphony Works by
Hildegard, Striggio & Tallis - Armonico
Consort/Christopher Monks, Ch Gonville &
Caius College, Cambridge/Geoffrey Webber rec.
2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD560
[61:37] [ST] The performances are excellent,
but it’s the structure of the programme
that really makes this disc a winner.
Thursday April 25th
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Nos
Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68219 [65:09]
A stunning release, Osborne’s readings will, beyond doubt, move you.
Richard Rodney BENNETT (1936-2012)
Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano),
BBC Scottish SO/John Wilson rec. 2018
CHANDOS CHSA5230 SACD
Fluttering, delicate, steely, playful and mercurial.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto,
Double Concerto -
Tianwa Yang (violin),
Gabriel Schwabe (cello),
Deutsches SO Berlin/Antoni Wit rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573772 [72:25]
[RB] Very fine performances of both works.
Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Complete Choral
Houston Chamber Ch/Robert Simpson, Ken Cowen (organ) rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD571 [68.42]
[GH] Richly luxuriant.
Stanisław MONIUSZKO (1819-1872)
Straszny dwór - Ch & SO Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk/Zygmunt Rychert
[78:23 + 66:14] [GF]
Worth any opera lover’s acquaintance.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concerti Nos 20 & 24 - Denis Matthews (piano),
O Vienna State Opera/Hans Swarowsky rec. 1958
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1591
All concerned are in fine, authoritative form.
Carl REINECKE (1824-1910)
String Quartets -
rec. 2017/18 CPO 555184-2 [2 CDs: 123:33] [SG] Although they don't reach inspirational heights, these quartets do offer the listener a positive experience.
As You Like It
Patrizio Mazzola (piano) Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz/Kevin Griffiths
rec. 2016/18 ORLANDO RECORDS OR0040 [63:42]
If you’re prepared to give this CD the time, then you should ultimately find it as rewarding as I have.
Music of Arundel and Brighton in Lourdes - Michael Carver (keyboard), Arundel & Brighton Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes/Anne Ward rec. 2017
An accomplished introduction to interesting and consoling contemporary Catholic music.
Double Trouble David Huang, Bengt Forsberg (piano
4 hands) rec. 2018
DB PRODUCTIONS DBCD189
An interesting and delightful recording.
Wednesday April 24th
The Late Works - Svetlana Belsky (piano) rec. 2018 RAVELLO
RECORDS RR8007 [54:52]
[SSi] A good choice for those who would
prefer just a single disc selection of Busoni’s
late piano music.
LISZT (1811-1886) Via Crucis,
Vater unser - Collegium Vocale
Gent/Reinbert de Leeuw (piano), Marnix de Cat
(organ) rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS 390
[50:12] [RHa] Via Crucis is never an easy
listen, but this absorbing account gets close
to Liszt’s expressive and artistic aims.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 9
Essen PO/Tomáš Netopil rec. 2018 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1890 [82:33]
A deeply satisfying reading of Mahler’s masterpiece that earns its place in any collection.
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano
Quartets - Joyce Yang (piano) Alexander String
Qt rec. 2017 FOGHORN CLASSICS CD2018 [64:09]
[JW] Technically accomplished and expressively
Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (1846 – 1909) Complete
Songs Vol. 3 -
Bogumila Tarasiewicz (mezzo-soprano), Karol Schmidt (piano) rec. 2015-18
ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0423 [55:34] [GF] Completion of the series with some very recent discoveries.
Joseph-Nicolas-Pancrace ROYER (1703-1755)
Premiere Livre de Pièces de Clavecin - Mie Hayashi (harpsichord) rec.
2018 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10236 [65:11] [JV]
The more lyrical, 'tender' pieces come off best in Hayashi's performances.
John TAVERNER (c.1490-1545)
Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas; Gaude plurimum - Ch of the Queen’s College Oxford,
Contrapunctus/Owen Rees rec. 2018 SIGNUM SIGCD570 [76:16]
[JQ] Taverner’s wonderful music is brought vividly to life in assured and skilled performances.
Isang YUN (1917-1995)
Isang Yun und das Cello - Adele Bitter (cello),
Holher Groschopp (piano) CYBELE RECORDS 4SACD KiG011 [4 SACDs: 315:12]
Another valuable volume from this source.
Tour Cicerone Ens rec. 2018 GENUIN
GEN19648 [72.33] [MW] A
fascinating and enjoyable programme, superbly
and sensitively performed.
String Quartets by Basner,
Okunev, Slonimsky, Chernov & Prigozhin -
Taneyev Qt rec. 1966-73 NORTHERN FLOWERS
NFPMA99129 [71:10] [RB] Clean and
vivid … holding nothing back in advocating
this very unfamiliar music.