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Monthly Listing
August 2019
198 reviews this month

John Luther ADAMS (b. 1953) Become Desert - Seattle SO/Ludovic Morlot rec. 2018 CANTALOUPE CA21148 CD/DVD [40:22] [RHa] Monumental music, thrillingly played, concealing a terrifying message.

Giovanni Stefano CARBONELLI (1694–1773) Sonate da Camera Nos. 7-12 - Illyria Consort/Bojan Čičić (violin) rec. 2019 DELPHIAN DCD34214 [78:18] [BW]  I defy anyone with the least degree of interest in baroque instrumental music not to enjoy this CD or its predecessor.

Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704) Histoires Sacrées - Ens Correspondances/ Sébastien Daucé rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902280.81 [2 CDs: 160:51 + DVD: 98:21] [SSi] I would have been happy to have either the CDs or the DVD, but both takes this recording to the heights of ‘recording of the year’ status.

Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) Die Kunst der Präludierens - Kolja Lessing (piano) rec. 2016-18 CPO 555 169-2 [58:01 + 58:25] [DC] Surprise of the month.

An English Coronation 1902-1953 Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD569 [81:18 + 78:03] [BW] As magnificent an achievement as the four coronations which it commemorates.

Hugo ALFVÉN (1872-1960) Bergakungen Orkestersvit, Symphony No.3, Uppsala Rhapsody - Deutsches SO Berlin/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2018 CPO 555 237-2 [65.24] [MW] An excellent addition to Borowicz’s splendid cycle of Alfvén symphonies.

Louis ANDRIESSEN (b. 1939) Chamber Music At Orlando rec. 2018 ETCETERA KTC1657 [69:55] [DC] Excellent live performances of rare repertoire.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Lute Suites - Franz Halász (guitar) rec. 2017/18 BIS BIS-2285 SACD [82:45] [DC] Might easily take the lead as a favourite in this repertoire.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Wo soll ich fliehen hin - Cellini Consort rec. 2017 RAMEE RAM1911 [65:44] [DC] Can only enhance our appreciation of Bach’s brilliance.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concertos - Isabelle Faust (violin) Bach-Collegium Stuttgart/Helmuth Rilling rec. 1999/2000 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC18054 [42:54 + 51:40] [NH] A good, at times very good, conspectus of Bach concertos, with execrable documentation.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations - Evgeni Koroliov (piano) rec. 1999 PIANO CLASSICS PCL0010 [39:11 + 45:41] [RMo] One of the very finest versions.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations - George Malcolm (harpsichord) rec. 1961 ELOQUENCE 482 8439 [79:19] [JW] This much-admired performance will prove ever life-enhancing and vividly, playfully, seriously human.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Keyboard works - Nils Anders Mortensen (piano) rec. 2019 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1174 [72:24] Keyboard works - Diana Boyle (piano) rec. 2018 DIVINE ART DDA25190 [36:53 + 47:35] [DJB] Two very different approaches to Bach on the modern piano; Mortensen’s is far more successful.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Well-Tempered Clavier Book I - Keith Jarrett (piano) rec. 1987 ECM NEW SERIES 2627/28 [50:42 + 53:39] [DC] Tempted? You should be.

Ernst BACHRICH (1892-1942) Piano works - Alexander Breitenbach (piano) Lola Rubio (violin) Anna Christin Sayn (soprano) rec. 2018 EDA EDA44 [70:04] [JW] The dedicated performers prove to be fine exponents of the different and difficult demands of the music.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Vol. 8 - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68220 [76:46] [MG] Illuminating, vibrant, intensely ‘in the moment’ performances.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Christus am Ölberge - Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis, Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573852 [64:07] [LW] Segerstam delivers a massive and monumental performance of Beethoven’s oratorio.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Les nuits d’été Joseph CANTELOUBE (1879–1957) Chants de France - Suzanne Danco (soprano), Lucie Daullčne (soprano), Joseph Canteloube (piano), Cincinnati SO/Thor Johnson rec. 1951 ELOQUENCE 4828586 [62:30] [RMo] Acquire this only if you value Danco in the Berlioz, or are a collector of freakish curiosities.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von BIBER (1644-1704) Fidicinium Sacro-Profanum - Duodecima Francesco Corti (organ) Harmonie Universelle/Florian Deuter and Mónica Waisman rec. 2018 ACCENT ACC24357 [76.05] [DBi] A first class set of lesser known string sonatas by Biber.

Lisa BIELAWA (b. 1968) Vireo - Deborah Voigt (soprano), Lisa Bielawa (musical director) ORANGE MOUNTAIN OMM7017 [2 CDs: 142:52 + DVD: 150 mins] [RHa] Anybody with an interest in the future of opera should give Vireo a whirl.

João Domingos BOMTEMPO (1771-1842) Complete Piano Sonatas - Luísa Tender (piano) rec. 2018 GRAND PIANO GP801-02 [68:53+79:17] [RB] All credit for bringing these lively sonatas into a courtyard lit by welcoming sunshine.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto, Double Concerto - Tianwa Yang (Violin) Gabriel Schwabe (Cello) Deutsches SO/Antoni Wit rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573772 [72:25] [RC] In every respect, these fresh and vital interpretations by Yang and Schwabe make this disc a complete success.

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) The Tinker’s Wedding, Symphonies Nos 7 & 16 - New Russia State SO/Alexander Walker rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573959 [61:58] [MC] Satisfactory levels of commitment and fine sonics, but the alternatives are preferable.

Jeffrey BROOKS (b. 1956) The Passion - Molly Netter, Lucy Dhegrae, Philippa Thompson (voices), Bang on a Can All-Stars and Contemporaneous, David Bloom rec. 2018 CANTELOUPE CA21146 [40:31] [RHa] A disc which utterly satisfies on both aesthetic and emotional levels.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies Nos 2, 8 & 9  - Münchner PO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2018 MÜNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS MPHIL0012/13/14  [55.32 & 80.44 & 62.43] MC] With these three recordings, Bruckner’s music continues to be remarkably well served. 

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No.3 - Frankfurt RSO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2014 RCA SICC-10278 SACD [51:54] [RMo] One of the fastest performances on record, but does not sound rushed.

Francesco CAVALLI (1602-1676) La Calisto - Teresa Kubiak (soprano) Ugo Trama (bass) Glyndebourne Festival Ch, London PO/Raymond Leppard rec. 1971 ELOQUENCE 4829400 [2 CDs: 119: 59] [RWe] This wonderful performance catches some great singers in their prime.

Charlie CHAPLIN (1889-1977) Chaplin’s Smile - Philippe Quint (violin) Marta Aznavoorian (piano) WARNER CLASSICS 9362490180 [55:20] [BMC] A mix of light-heartedness and tender passion with astonishing technique.

Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704) Les Plaisirs de Versailles, Les Arts Florissants - Teresa Wakim (soprano) Jesse Blumberg (baritone) Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ens/Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs rec. 2019 CPO 555 283-2 [73:27] [GH] The plots may be minimal but the performances are a joy.

Johann Baptist CRAMER (1771-1858) Piano Concerti Nos 4 &-5 - London Mozart Players/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68270 [60:52] [MR] Bridging Mozart and Beethoven, they are very much original and distinctive works in their own right.

Johann Baptist CRAMER (1771-1858) Piano Concerti Nos 4 & 5 - London Mozart Players/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68270 [60:52] [DJB] Another excursion into the byways for the indefatigable Howard Shelley.

Carl CZERNY (1791–1857) Piano Music Vol. 1 - Jingshu Zhao (piano) rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0020 [65:45] [RB] The last word in suave pleasantry disturbed by brilliance. It presents no obstacles to affection.

Jean-François DANDRIEU (1682-1738) & Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713) Sonatas - Le Consort/Justin Taylor rec. 2018 ALPHA CLASSICS 542 [61:43] [BW] Convincing accounts of the sonatas of a composer better known for his organ music.

Andrzej DOBROWOLSKI (1921-1990) Music for Orchestra - Polish National RSO/Wojciech Michniewski, Zdzisław Szostak, Stanisław Wisłocki rec. 1972-2011 DUX 1554 [48:52] [RHa] Interesting as it was to finally experience music by a composer whose name I have known for several years, it sounded just a little bit dated to my ears.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Gemma di Vergy - Louis Quilico (baritone) Montserrat Caballé (soprano) Schola Cantorum, Opera O of New York/Eve Queler rec. 1975 SONY 88985470342 [74:34 + 53:04] [RMo] Bel canto devotees and fans of Caballé will still find much to enjoy here.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Il castello di Kenilworth - Jessica Pratt, Carmela Remigio (soprano) O & Ch Donizetti Opera/Riccardo Frizza rec. 2018 DYNAMIC CDS7834.02 [73:17 + 57:22] [GF] Admirers of Donizetti – and we are many – should definitively give it a listen.

Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Piano Trio No. 3, Piano Quintet - Czech Trio, Ondříček Quartet, Jan Heřman (piano) rec. 1941/51 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1626 [69:50] [JW] Historically valuable and interpretatively convincing.

Luigi GATTI (1740-1817) Sonatas for Violin & Viola - Paolo Ghidoni (violin), Alfredo Zamara (viola) rec. 2009 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94145 [41:34+45:06] [GPu] These sonatas have charm and elegance, as well as a certain musical wit.

Friedrich GERNSHEIM (1839–1916) Piano Music Vol. 1 - Jens Barnieck (piano) rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0206 [60:45] [RB] Most sympathetically shaped and sounded out … very listenable.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) 50 Years of the Philip Glass Ensemble rec. 1971-75 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0136 [61:39 + 74:11] [DC] The Philip Glass time-capsule.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) The Not-Doings of an Insomniac - Robert Black (double bass, spoken texts) ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0137 [31:30] [DC] Worth exploring, if you are a double bass player.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Soundtracks Vol. II - Michael Riesman (piano) Chase Spruill (violin) rec. 2008-18 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0139 [73:09] [SSi] An enjoyable disc that no self-respecting Philip Glass fan will want to be without.

François-Joseph GOSSEC (1734-1829) Symphonies Op. 4 - Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Simon Gaudenz rec. 2018 CPO 555 263-2 [61:24] [MW] For anyone interested in the early development of the symphony, an essential release in sparkling performances.

Perttu HAAPANEN (b. 1972) Choral works - Helsinki Chamber Choir, Nils Schweckendiek rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2452 [65:06] [MR] Vocal antics aside, there is not much else to commend in this extremely peculiar display of quasi-musical experimentation.

Bengt Wilhelm HALLBERG (1824-1883) & Joseph DENTE (1838-1905) Symphonies - Malmö SO/Per Engström; Swedish RSO/Ola Karlsson rec. 1984/92 STERLING CDS1120-2 [55:04] [SSi] An interesting and most welcome release, with the Dente Symphony being a real find.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Concerti Grossi Op. 3 - Berliner Barock Solisten/Reinhard Goebel rec. 2019 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC19031 [69:06] [MC] Extremely well performed, but doesn’t displace favourite versions.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Brockes-Passion - NDR Ch, Festspiel O Göttingen/Laurence Cummings rec. 2017 ACCENT ACC26411 [2 CDs: 151:00] [DBi] A fine new recording of Handel's Brockes Passion that takes top place on the current list.

Truman HARRIS (b.1945) Chamber music - Laurel Bennert Ohlson (horn), Alice Kogan Weinreb (flute); Eclipse CO/Sylvia Alimena rec. 2006-2016 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559858 [75:33] [BW]  Those who yearn for tuneful and approachable contemporary music should check this one out.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Variations & Pieces for Piano - Ekaterina Derzhavina (piano) rec. 2016 PROFIL PH19027 [46:30 + 54:54] [MC] Outstanding piano playing of the highest integrity.

Joseph HAYDN (1732–1809) Symphony No. 97 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Symphony No. 34 Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Symphony No. 3 - London Mozart Players/Harry Blech, Royal PO/Sir Thomas Beecham, Philharmonia O/Rudolf Kempe FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR59 [81:41] [JW] Packed with good things.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphonies - Ivan Ilić (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20142 [68:42] [DC] Idiomatic transcriptions that are great fun in their own right.

Fini HENRIQUES (1867-1940) Piano works - Christina Bjřrkře (piano) rec. 2018 DACAPO 8.226150 [81:53] [JW] Henriques’ pieces make few real demands on the listener but offer good material for a pianist young in spirit.

Fini HENRIQUES (1867-1940) Works for Violin & Piano - Johannes Sře Hansen (violin) Christina Bjřrkře (piano) rec. 2018 DACAPO 8.226151 [77:12] [JW] Unpretentious warmth, allied to an engaging sense of character.

Victor HERBERT (1859-1924) Cello Concertos; Operetta Spectacular - Lynn Harrell (cello), ASMF/Neville Marriner, Kingsway SO/Camarata rec. 1975-94 ELOQUENCE 4827305 [66:54 + 43:16] [JW] Presents the two sides of Herbert’s oeuvre in performance that reflect those elements vividly.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Ludus Tonalis - Käbi Laretei (piano) rec. 1965 ELOQUENCE 484 0142 [54:04] [SB] A legendary recording receives its first CD issue and turns out to deserve its reputation.

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Planets Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Enigma Variations - Bergen PO/Andrew Litton rec. 2013/17 BIS BIS2068 SACD [82:42] [WH] This coupling of two standard English orchestral masterpieces in fine performances would make the perfect gift for a young music lover.

Svend HVIDTFELT NIELSEN (b. 1958) Ophelia Dances, Toccata, Symphony No. 3 - Ĺrhus Sinfonietta & Aarhus SO/Henrik Vagn Christensen, Ari Rasilainen rec. 2014-18 DACAPO 8.226581 [64:56] [WH] Attractive, challenging, compelling music and remarkable performances from all concerned.

Jacques-Martin HOTTETERRE (1674-1763) Complete Chamber Music Vol. 3 - Camerata Köln rec. 2012-15 CPO 555 038-2 [2.13:51] [JV] Enjoyable performances, but not always very imaginative and often rather restrained.

Gabriel JACKSON (b. 1962) Passion - Emma Tring (soprano) Guy Cutting (tenor) Merton College Ch, Oxford Contemporary Sinfonia/Benjamin Nicholas rec. 2018 DELPHIAN DCD34222 [69:01] [MR] A deeply impressive performance of a deeply moving work.

Leoš JANÁCEK (1854-1928) The Diary of One Who Disappeared; Moravian Folk Poetry In Songs - Václava Housková (mezzo-soprano), Voice, Victoria Samek (clarinet), Julius Drake (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68282 [62:21] [SSi] Wonderful performances of each works, and blessed with equally fine production values.

Prince JOHANN ERNST (1696-1715) Concerti - Gernot Süßmuth, David Castro-Balbi (violin), Rupprecht Drees (trumpet) Thüringer Bach Collegium rec. 2018 AUDITE 97.769 [63:37] [JV] Zestful and imaginative interpretation.

André JOLIVET (1905-1974) Flute Concerto, Suite Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Ballade, Sonate da chiesa - José-Daniel Castellon (flute), Jean-Jacques Balet (piano), Les Percussions Claviers de Lyon, Lausanne CO/Nicolas Chalvin rec. 2004 CLAVES 50-1818 [55:29] [SG] I can’t hesitate to give this release a resounding thumbs up.

Dmitri KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) Symphonies Nos 1 & 2, Colas Breugnon & Pathetique overtures - Malmö SO/Darrell Ang rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573859 [51:31] [WK] Ang makes a strong case for Symphony No. 2, but elsewhere the results are less successful.

Raul KOCZALSKI (1885-1948) Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 4 - Joanna Ławrynowicz (piano) Filharmonii im. Henryka Wieniawskiego w Lublinie SO/Wojciech Rodek rec. 2018 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0502 [56:11] [EJW] Like its predecessor, this CD has given me enormous pleasure.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Das Wunder der Heliane - Sara Jakubiak (soprano) Brian Jagde (tenor) Ch & O Deutsche Oper Berlin/Marc Albrecht rec. 2018 NAXOS 2.110584-85 DVD [2 discs: 167 mins] [PCG] A truly ground-breaking achievement, a magnificent set which deserves every success.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897–1957) Das Wunder der Heliane - Sara Jakubiak,  Brian Jagde, Ch & O Deutsche Oper Berlin/Marc Albrecht rec. 2018 NAXOS DVD 2.110584-85 [2 discs: 167 mins] [RC] Even if you possess the very fine earlier Naxos CD set, you’ll still want this superb new release.

Joseph Martin KRAUS (1756-1792) Amphitryon, Secular Cantatas, Symphonies & Chamber Music - Simone Kermes (soprano) Schuppanzigh Qt, Concerto Köln, L’Arte del Mondo/Werner Ehrnardt rec. 1991-2007 CAPRICCIO C7325 [5 CDs: 354 mins] [SSi] This entertaining set should win new converts to Joseph Martin Kraus and his music.

Siobhan LAMB (b. 1963) The Red Shoes - Copenhagen International Children’s Choir, Suoni Ensemble rec. 2016 DACAPO 8.224729 [51:17] [RHa] While there is much to admire, I suspect these Red Shoes will fit more comfortably when one can experience the visuals.

Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697-1764) Violin Concertos - La Cetra Barock O Basel/Leila Schayegh (violin) rec. 2018 GLOSSA GCD924202 [68:23] [GH] I cannot criticise any aspect of these performances.

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Die lustige Witwe - Iurii Samoilov (baritone) Marlis Petersen (soprano) Frankfurt Opera Ch & Museum O/Joana Mallwitz rec. 2018 OEHMS CLASSICS OC983 [32:29 + 64:04] [GF] A lot to admire here, in particular the singing of the leads.

Peter LINDROTH (b. 1950) The Wilfred Owen Songs - John Erik Eleby (bass-baritone), Mats Jansson & Yoriko Asahara (piano) rec. 2018/19 STERLING CDM3005-2 [53:25] [NH] Something of a winner.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Années de pélerinage - Italie, Légende No.1 - Francesco Piemontesi (piano) rec. 2017 ORFEO C982191 CD/DVD [62:15 + 79:49] [RWe] A superb follow up to Piemontesi’s first volume of Liszt’s great cycle.

Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Dies Irć, De Profundis, Te Deum - Chœur de Chambre de Namur;
Millennium O; Cappella Mediterranea/Leonardo García Alarcón rec. 2018 ALPHA 444 [82:50] [BW]  Now my prime recommendation for this glorious music.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 3, Kindertotenlieder, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen - Helen Watts (contralto) Norman Foster (baritone) London SO & Ch, Bamberg SO/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1954-1961 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC565 [2 CDs: 130:39] [SB] A live Horenstein performance of Mahler’s third symphony, earlier than his studio recording, and arguably more convincing, although with fluffs.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 4 - Sofia Fomina (soprano) London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2016 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO-0113 [59:07] [RMo] A glorious reminder of what a boon Jurowski has been to the orchestra.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 4 - London SO/Josef Krips, Suzanne Danco (soprano) rec. 1957 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9112 [60:24] [RMo] I don’t think Mahler was Krips’ forte.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 - Philadelphia O/Antal Doráti rec. 1974 ANTAL DORÁTI LIVE ADL266 [76:50] [RWe] A disc for the Doráti admirer, but the sonic limitations make it unsuitable for the general collector.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 7 - Stockholm PO/Antal Dorati rec. 1972 ANTAL DORATI LIVE ADL264 [79:30] [DBi] A very fine performance in old but decent stereo - one for the library.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 9 - Bamberg SO/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 2018 ACCENTUS ACC30477 [45:54 + 37:37] [DM] An outstanding Mahler 9, supremely well played and recorded; a very significant addition to the catalogue.

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Cavalleria rusticana - Alexia Voulgaridou (soprano) Angelo Villari (tenor) O & Ch del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Valerio Galli rec. 2019 DYNAMIC CDS7843 [72:36] [GF] A lot to offer, in particular the singing of Voulgaridou and Villari.

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Las vie d’une rose - Sally Silver (soprano) Christine Tocci (mezzo) Richard Bonynge (piano) rec. 2017 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0600 [71:41] [IL] Excellent throughout.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Octet César FRANCK (1822-1890) Piano Quintet - Medici & Alberni String Quartets, John Bingham (piano) rec. 1988 NIMBUS NI7108 [67:37] An outstanding performance of the Mendelssohn Octet paired with a sonically compromised Franck Quintet.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Overtures - City of Birmingham SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2013-18 CHANDOS CHSA5235 SACD [74:53] [SSi] An excellent disc of Mendelssohn’s overtures, to which I will often return.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Méditations sur le mystčre de la Sainte Trinité - Tom Winpenny (organ) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573979 [73:47] [DM] Winpenpenny’s finest Messiaen yet; superb sound, too.

Barry MILLS (b. 1949) Under the stars - Julian Elloway (piano) Corinne Shirman-Sarti (mezzo) Paul Gregory (guitar) Andrew Sherwood (violin) rec. 1993 CLAUDIO RECORDS CC4324-2 [75:02] [RB] The twinkling of stars and the interplay of direct and reflected light.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Piano Concertos Nos 20 & 21, Don Giovanni Overture - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) Manchester Camerata/Gábor Takács-Nagy rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20083 [65:08] [RC] My first choice for this coupling.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Horn Concertos - Felix Klieser (horn) Camerata Salzburg rec. 2018 BERLIN CLASSICS 0301188BC [52:31] [MR] Polished, pristine performances delivered with extraordinary fluency and flawless precision by the truly remarkable Felix Klieser.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonatas Nos 2, 3, 8 & 13 - Lars Vogt (piano) rec. 2016/19 ONDINE ODE1318-2 [73:53] [RHa] A well-planned Mozart recital from Lars Vogt in excellent sound.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Zauberflöte - Christiane Karg (soprano), Mauro Peter (tenor) Vienna PO & State Opera Ch/Constantinos Carydis rec. 2018 C MAJOR 749708 DVD [148 mins] [RJF] Neither this staging, production, nor cast will disturb the ranks of recordings of this ever-popular Mozart masterpiece.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-91) The Jupiter Project - David Owen Norris (piano), Katy Bircher (flute), Caroline Balding (violin), Andrew Skidmore (cello) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68234 [79:49 (CD), 108:05 (download)] I shall definitely return to these chamber-scale arrangements of K467 and the ‘Figaro’ Overture. I’m less sure about the ‘Jupiter’ Symphony but it’s all very well done.

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) La Périchole - Aude Extrémo, Stanislas de Barbeyrac, Ch L’Opéra Ntl Bordeaux, Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski rec. 2018 BRU ZANE BZ1036 [MC]  A fitting tribute in Offenbach’s 200th anniversary year.

John Knowles PAINE (1839-1906) Piano music - Christopher Atzinger (piano) rec. 2017 DELOS DE3551 [65:18] [JW] Atzinger locates the essentially relaxed and good humoured element in Paine’s writing.

Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Piano Trio No 2; Piano Quartet - Leonore Piano Trio, Rachel Roberts (viola) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68276 [65:31] [PRB] Plenty of heartfelt, melodious music and attractive harmony, well crafted and beautifully written.

Arvo PÄRT (b.1935) Stabat Mater and other works - Le Nuove Musiche/Krijn Koetsveld rec. 2008-16
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95807 [50:08] Pierre JALBERT (b.1967) Violin Concerto Arvo PÄRT Fratres - Margaret Batjer (violin), Los Angeles CO/Jeffrey Kahane rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2309 SACD [63:41] [BW]  Both are well worth considering but both come with reservations.

Hans PFITZNER (1869-1949) Complete Lieder Vol. 3 - Tanja Ariane Baumgartner (mezzo-soprano), Britta Stallmeister (soprano), Kinderkantorei der Christuskirche Freiburg. Klaus Simon (piano) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573081 [58:41] [SSi] Pfitzner’s Lieder in a good performance and sound.

Amilcare PONCHIELLI (1834-1886) La Gioconda - Anita Cerquetti, Mario Del Monaco, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Gianandrea Gavazzeni rec. 1957 ELOQUENCE 4828597 [74:29 + 75:47] [PSt] Undeniably well-sung, but distinctly under-characterised.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Concertos - Christian Ihle Hadland, Håvard Gimse (piano), Kåre Nordstoga (organ) Norwegian Radio O/Thomas Søndergård, Peter Szilvay rec. 2011 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1173 [58:57] [MR] Performances which have a slightly pedestrian feel to them.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Chamber Music for Winds - Ensemble Arabesques, Paul Rivinius (piano) rec. 2018 FARAO CLASSICS B108103 [72:48] [LW] This disc of Poulenc chamber works provides much enjoyment.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concerto No. 2 Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1841-1893) Piano Concerto No. 1 - Haochen Zhang (piano) Lahti SO/Dima Slobodeniouk rec. 2018 BIS BIS2381 SACD [66:29] [RBe] Soloist and orchestra excel.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Madama Butterfly - Olga Busuioc (soprano) Joshua Guerrero (tenor) Glyndebourne Ch, London PO/Omer Meir Welber rec. 2016 OPUS ARTE OABD7166D Blu-ray [151 mins] [DBi] A performance on Blu-ray video that deserves to be in everyone's collection.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Tosca - Laila Andersson-Palme (soprano) Rolf Björling (tenor) Ch & O Royal Swedish Opera/Carlo Felice Cillario rec. 1984 STERLING CDA1837/1838-2 [42:42 + 68:12] [GF] A valuable document of the event.

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) The Fairy Queen - Jennifer Vyvyan (soprano) Peter Pears (tenor) John Shirley-Quirk (bass) Ambrosian Opera Ch, English CO/Benjamin Britten rec. 1970 ELOQUENCE 482 5063 [79:12 + 58:09] [MG] A showcase of how baroque instrumental ensemble performance has changed, but also of the special qualities and insights of Vyvyan, Pears and Shirley-Quirk.

Sergey RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Complete Preludes - Boris Giltburg (piano) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574025 [79:55] [RC] Giltburg misses no aspect in these works, capturing every mood swing with imposing technical skills, delivering as fine an account of these difficult works as I’ve ever encountered.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony No. 3 Mily BALAKIREV (1837-1910) Russia - London SO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2014 LSO LIVE LSO0779 [56:30] [SV] Many listeners will enjoy this disc despite unconventional pacing.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) & Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Piano Trios - Vienna Piano Trio rec. 2019 MDG 9422130-6 SACD [59:05] [DBi] A highly recommended pairing.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Valses nobles et sentimentales; La Valse; Daphnis et Chloé Suites; Boléro - Lucerne Festival O/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2018 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC20451 DVD [87 mins] [RWe] Essential viewing for Ravel aficionados.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Complete Music for Solo Piano - Gordon Fergus-Thompson (piano) rec. 1990 ELOQUENCE 4829041 [71:37+68:07] [RWe] This issue restores to us a superb pair of discs from an outstanding artist.

Paul REALE (b. 1943) Music for Strings - Christopher Guzman (piano) Lynn Philharmonia/Guillermo Figueroa, Jon Robertson rec. 2019 MSR CLASSICS MS1703 [73:18] [DJB] If you like Stravinsky, Britten and Prokofiev, you should enjoy this.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Violin Sonatas Op. 42 - Renate Eggebrecht (violin) rec. 2000 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01422 [54:03] [SSi] A very fine release which all fans of Reger’s music will not want to be without.

Lula ROMERO (b. 1976) Ins Offene, Die Wanderung, Entmündigung - Zafraan Ens/Premil Petrovic rec. 2018 WERGO WER64292 [75:43] [RHa] An uncompromising new voice, creating novel, confrontational sounds in works that are designed to challenge rather than soothe.

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonatas - Julian Olevsky (violin), Fernando Valenti (harpsichord) rec. 1955 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1066 [55:52] [SG] Stylish and imaginative readings.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin - Roderick Williams (baritone) Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20113 [65:15] [JQ] A perceptive, deeply considered and poetically sung interpretation.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Works for Solo Piano Vol. 4 - Barry Douglas (piano) rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20086 [68.40] [RBe] Uneven performances which do not show Douglas at his best.

Robert SCHUMANN (1710-1856) Symphony No. 1 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No. 3 - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2015/18 BR KLASSIK 900176 [58.11] [MW] Masterful insights into works of genius, too rarely performed.

Gerard SCHURMANN (b. 1924) Chamber & Instrumental Music Vol. 4 - Randall Bills (tenor) Maxim Rubtsov (flute) Mark Robson, Mikhail Korzhev (piano) rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0520 [77.16] [RB] Implacable determination comes through in this fourth Volume of Schurmann chamber music.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies - Dresdner Philharmonie/Michael Sanderling rec. 2015–19 SONY CLASSICAL 19075872462 [11 CDs: 718:11] [MC] Michael Sanderling and the Dresdner Philharmonie have put heart and soul into this Shostakovich cycle - if I had to choose a single set it would be this.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Kullervo - Helena Juntunen (soprano) Benjamin Appl (baritone) Lund Male Ch, BBC Scottish SO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68248 [73:14] [PCG] A new and imaginative interpretation.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Kullervo - Lund Male Chorus, BBC Scottish SO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68248 [73:14] [EJW] A most desirable new recording which will satisfy most listeners who wish to become acquainted with Sibelius’ early mastery of large forces.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Lemminkäinen & Belshazzar's Feast Suites, Spring Song - BBC SO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20136 [71:34] [JQ] A very impressive disc.

Mira J. SPEKTOR (b. 1928) Summer & Winter Songs - Maeve Höglund (soprano) Jean-Paul Björlin (piano & tenor) rec. 2018 NAVONA RECORDS NV6236 [41:48] [SA] A selection of songs that makes you want to hear more.

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Clarinet Concerti Nos 1-4 - Karl Leister (clarinet), Stuttgart RSO/Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos rec. 1983 ORFEO MP1901 [47:26+52:44] [SB] Delightful works in now classic recordings.

Gaspare SPONTINI (1774-1851) Olimpie - Karina Gauvin, Kate Aldrich, Mathias Vidal, Josef Wagner, Patrick Bolleire, Philippe Souvagie, Flemish Radio Choir, Le Cercle de l’Harmonie, Jérémie Rhorer rec. 2016 BRU ZANE BZ1035 [58:24+76:08] [PCG] A handsome set.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Burleske, Duett-Concertino, Romanze, Violin Concerto - Michael McHale (piano), Julie Price (bassoon), Tasmin Little (violin), BBC SO/Michael Collins (clarinet) rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20034 [76:53] [SSi] An ideal recording of Richard Strauss concertos, even for a Strauss-sceptic like myself.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Salome - Asmik Grigorian, John Daszak, Wiener Philharmoniker/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2018 UNITEL EDITIONS 801704 Blu-Ray [112 mins] [RWe] Sets a new benchmark in the performance of the title role.

Heinrich SUTERMEISTER (1910-1995) Orchestral Works Vol. 1 - Royal PO/Rainer Held rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0420 [87.08] [PCG] Those for whom Sutermeister is just a name should certainly investigate further.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) & Roman MACIEJEWSKI (1910-1998) Kurpian Songs - Chopin University Chamber Ch/Krzysztof Kusiel-Moroz  DUX 1548 [26:31] [RHa] Fervent performances of interesting repertoire, but very poor value and each of these sets are better performed on a rival Dux issue.

Emil TABAKOV (b.1947) Complete Symphonies Vol. 4 - Bulgarian National RSO/Emil Tabakov rec. 1982/2011 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0530 [74:43] [RB] Takes you by the lapel and leaves no room to allow your concentration to slip out of focus.

Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 6 - Berliner PO/Kirill Petrenko rec. 2017 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER BPHR 190261 SACD [44:07] [RC] An utterly outstanding performance of a great symphony.

Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Pique Dame - Wiener Philharmoniker/Mariss Jansons rec. 2018 UNITEL EDITIONS 801408 DVD [183 mins] [RWe] An excellent account of one of the great operas.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Chameleon - New Collegium/Claudio Ribeiro (harpsichord) rec. 2018 RAMÉE RAM1904 [73:52] [DC] A Baroque feast for the ears.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Overture and Concertos for Darmstadt - Les Ambassadeurs/Alexis Kossenko (transverse flute) rec. 2014 ALPHA 499 [70:23] [BW]  Be prepared for this very fine reissue to lead you to discover more of Telemann’s music.

Livia TEODORESCU-CIOCĂNEA (b. 1959) Music for Piano Duo, Piano Duet & Piano Solo - Tamara Smolyar (piano), Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea (piano) rec. 2008/2010 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0448 [71:03] [RB] Stampede through a china shop and a breathlessly delicate examination of the finest Meissen and Satsuma.

Mark-Anthony TURNAGE (b.1969) A Constant Obsession - Nicky Spence (tenor) Chamber Domaine/Thomas Kemp rec. 2011 RESONUS RES10106 [59:27] [MR] A fine selection of Turnage’s chamber music and an eloquent song-cycle.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Song of Love - Kitty Whately (mezzo) Roderick Williams (baritone) William Vann (piano) rec. 2018 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD037 [68:52] [JQ] A fine disc, including a revelatory performance of The House of Life.

Alexander VEPRIK (1899-1958) Orchestral works - BBC Ntl O Wales/Christoph-Mathias Mueller rec. 2019 MDG 901 2133-6 SACD [74:51] [SG] A revelation, which I hope will win over many followers.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin - Lauritz Melchior (tenor) Elisabeth Rethberg (soprano) O & Ch Metropolitan Opera, New York/Erich Leinsdorf rec. 1940 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO160 [3CDs: 194:23] [RMo] There are sonic limitations but Melchior and Rethberg are superb.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Orchestral Music - MET O, Berlin PO/James Levine rec. 1991 ELOQUENCE 484 0636 [78:55 + 72:18] [JF] A perfect selection for those only wanting the orchestral highlights.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1966) Preludes - Gidon Kremer (violin) rec. 2017 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC30476 [47:21] [JW] Kremer’s violin arrangement represents a formidable commitment to perpetuating this repertoire for his own instrument.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996), Alexandre TANSMAN (1897-1986) & André TCHAIKOWSKY (1935-1982)  Piano Trios - Wajnberg Trio rec. 2018 CD ACCORD ACD247-2 [66:36] [SG] Performances of great enthusiasm, passion and fire, and an honest commitment to the music.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) String Quartets Nos 8-10 - Silesian Qt rec. 2016 CD ACCORD ACD241-2 [66:11] [SSi] A most welcome release.

Ermanno WOLF-FERRARI (1876-1948) Idillio, Serenata, Suite - Fabien Thousand (oboe); Valentino Zucchiatti (bassoon) Nueva O da Camera Ferruccio Busoni/Massimo Belli rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95875 [67:27] [RB] Neither tragic nor ecstatic but yielding charm, gentle mourning and enchantment.

William WORDSWORTH (1908-1988) Orchestral Music Vol. 2 - Arta Arnicane (piano), Kamila Bydlowska (violin), Liepāja SO/John Gibbons rec. 2019 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0526 [79:41] [BW]  If you enjoyed the first volume, you should obtain its successor

Marcin Józef ŻEBROWSKI (fl.1748-1780) Rorate coeli, Magnificat, Missa Pastoritia - NFM Ch, Wrocław Baroque O/Andrzej Kosendiak rec. 2018 CD ACCORD ACD258-2 [59:39] [JW] A little known Polish composer gets some deserved attention.

20th Century Harpsichord Concertos Jory Vinikour (harpsichord), Chicago Philharmonic/Scott Speck rec. 2015-2018 CEDILLE CDR90000188 [74:57] [RB] Very strong … serves pleasurably to transform the recorded harpsichord landscape.

About Every Hill and Valley Swedish songs, broadsides & ballads - Torsten Mossberg (tenor) Stina Hellberg Agback (harp) Jonas Isaksson (guitar) rec. 2018 STERLING CDA1834-2 [66:44] [GF] A kaleidoscope of poems in attractive settings.

Bach & Co Les Accents/Thibault Noally (violin) rec. 2017 APARTÉ AP206 [70:18] [JV] An enjoyable portrait of Bach and his contemporaries.

Kristian Benedikt (tenor) Tenore di forza - Lithuanian Ntl SO & Opera Ch/Modestas Pitrenas rec. 2018 DELOS DE3571 [68:10] [GF] Really good dramatic tenors are still in short supply - Benedikt is a valuable addition to that supply.

Erling Blöndal Bengtsson (cello) The Danish Recordings 1966-2002 - Claus Myrup (viola) Royal Danish O/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski DANACORD DACOCD844 [69:13 + 76:27] [JF] Danacord continues its tribute to this fine cellist.

The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue New Palais Royale O/Maurice Peress NIMBUS NI2584 [2 CDs: 118:01] [MR] This superlative recreation of the famous Paul Whiteman band concert of 1924 is an absolute must for all Gershwin fans and music historians.

William Boughton (conductor) A Celebration on Record rec. 1983-2018 NIMBUS NI1712 [4 CDs: 250:44] [MW] A useful tribute to Boughton’s career, but his talents could be better presented.

Anita Cerquetti (soprano) Recital - Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Gianandrea Gavazzeni rec. 1956/7 ELOQUENCE 4828601 [53:02] [PSt] One wonders sadly what a Cerquetti recital recorded at the age of 46 might have been like, but there is plenty here to enjoy.

Clair de Lune: Orchestral Favourites New SO London/Raymond Agoult, National PO/Douglas Gamley rec. 1957-74 ELOQUENCE 482 7339 [66:17 + 74:18] [RMay] Raymond Agoult’s admired recordings make a welcome return to the catalogue.

Clarinet Classics at Riversdale Robert DiLutis (clarinet) Mellifera Qt rec. 2017 DELOS DE3561 [60:22] [NH] Beautiful clarinet playing and beyond the standard repertory for the instrument.

Cobbett’s Legacy Berkeley Ens rec. 2015 RESONUS RES10243 [50.44] [GH] A fascinating disc, well programmed and played with splendid commitment.

Colour & Light Nathan Williamson (piano) rec. 2018 SOMM SOMMCD0196 [78:17] [SSi] An interesting and varied program - a worthy addition to any collection of twentieth century British music.

Lise Davidsen (soprano) Works by Strauss & Wagner - Philharmonia O/Esa-Pekka Salonen rec. 2018 DECCA 483 4883 [63:57] [RMo] The quality of Lise Davidsen's voice make me think that rumours of the demise of the diva are premature.

Antal Doráti (conductor) Works by Blomdahl, Rosenberg, Berwald, Pettersson - Erik Saedén (baritone), Stockholm PO/Antal Doráti rec. 1967 DORÁTI EDITION ADE079 [76:21] [JW] Good to have the Pettersson finally available on CD.

Jean Doyen (piano) Chopin, Liszt & Music from France - rec. 1930-43 APR 6030 [76:40 + 69:31] [SG] A quintessential French pianist.

Veronika Dzhioeva (soprano) Ritorna Vincitor! - Kaunas City SO/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2018 DELOS DE3575 [59:32] [MC] Dzhioeva is in marvellous voice - I am puzzled why she is not far better known.

Eden Works by Schönberg, Schreker, Ullmann & Webern - Eva Resch (soprano), Eric Schneider (piano) rec. 2018 GENUIN GEN19644 [64:12] [GF] A lot to offer the patient listener and Eva Resch and Eric Schneider are excellent guides.

Edvard Grieg Kor Works by Grieg, Bull, Grøndahl & Lang - Audun Iversen (baritone), Edvard Grieg Kor, Håkon Matti Skrede, Paul Robinson rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5232 SACD [64:02] [RHa] A bit of a mixed bag; in general the choir packs a bigger punch in its more intimate eight-voice form.

Elusive Affinity Anna Gourari (piano) rec. 2018 ECM NEW SERIES 2612 [62:44] [DC] From beauty to darkness and back into light - profound pianistic perfection.

L’esprit des six Works by Poulenc, Milhaud, Auric, Taillferre & Honegger - Davide Bandieri, Calogero Presti (clarinet) Guillaume Herpsberger (piano) Axel Benoit (bassoon) rec. 2018 CLAVES 50-1804 [69:24] [SB] A range of moods from five of Les Six – of particular appeal to clarinettists.

Fragile Phrases Works for flute & guitar - Duo Dēlinquō PROPRIUS PRCD2083 [55:29] [GF] This expertly played disc proves that there are a lot of thrilling things happening on the contemporary musical scene in Sweden.

La Fresque Ballet Preljocaj rec. 2017 NAXOS Blu-Ray NBD0094V [91 mins] [RMay] Contemporary dance that benefits from a strong storyline and won’t frighten the horses.

Bronislaw Gimpel (violin) Violin Concertos by Glazunov, Lalo & Paganini - SW German Radio SO/Rolf Reinhardt rec. 1956-57 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1620 [69:33] [JW] This restoration is very welcome.

Green & Pleasant Land Vol. 2 Kevin Bowyer (organ) rec. 2017 PRIORY PRCD1193 [79:36] [MR] Kevin Bowyer transforms even the most unenticing pieces into a captivating listening experience.

Bernard Haitink (conductor) The Early Years: Vols 1 & 2 - Concertgebouw O rec. 1958-63 BEULAH 1PS51/2PS51 [65:32 & 69:24] [BW] While not essential purchases, these downloads offer an interesting sidelight on the early part of Haitink’s career.

Fabiola Kim (violin) 1939: Violin Concertos by Bartók, Hartmann & Walton - Münchner Symphoniker/Kevin John Edusei rec. 2018/19 SOLO MUSICA SM308 [53:15+38:25] [JF] A splendid introduction to three important works and composers who were active at a time of great crisis.

Serge Koussevitzky (conductor) Works by Barber, Honegger & Sibelius - Ruth Posselt (violin) Boston SO rec. 1948-1949 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC561 [71:37] [JW] Familiar performances given the Pristine clean-up.

Wei-Wei Le (violin) Works by Bruch & Khachaturian - Pueblo SO/Jacob Chi rec. 2015/17 BLUE GRIFFIN BGR507 [62:43] [MR] Luscious violin playing from Wei-Wei Le compromised by a poor recording.

Lebanese Piano Music Vol. 2 Tatiana Primak-Khoury (piano) rec. 2017 GRAND PIANO GP812 [78:40] [RB] A generous ear-opening collection benefiting from sound that is powerful and clear.

Igor Markevitch Vol. 1 Works by Beethoven, Haydn, Rimsky-Korsakov & Nielsen - O Concerts Lamoureux, London SO, Royal Danish O rec. 1959-65 DOREMI DHR-8077/8 [73:24 + 75:25] [RC] Anyone unfamiliar with Markevitch’s work and wanting to explore it will find these performances an excellent introduction.

Frank Merrick (piano) & Henry Holst (violin) rec. 1950s-60s NIMBUS NI8826 [4 CDs: 278 mins] [JF] Essential listening to all who are interested in 20th century music and its performance history.

Messe du Roi Soleil Chœur et Ensemble Marguerite Louise/Gaétan Jarry (organ) rec. 2018 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS008 [53:11] Les Grandes Eaux de Versailles: Musique des Fętes Royales 2019 Sampler CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS700 [68:27] [BW] The ‘Messe du Roi Soleil’ is very worthwhile, but the sampler is too bitty – save your money for some of the complete recordings included.

The Music Treasures of Leufsta Bruk III Elin Rombo (soprano) Rebaroque rec. 2018 BIS BIS2354 SACD [61:18] [GF] Everything is worth a listen, and music archaeologists will rejoice.

Nordic Songs Ulla Ricklander (mezzo) Cathrine Pendrup (piano) rec. 2018 DANACORD DACOCD841 [44:25] [SSi] A fine disc of Nordic songs which offers the unusual as well as the well-known.

Organ Party Vol. 4 Kevin Bowyer (organ) rec. 2017 PRIORY RECORDS PRCD1192 [79:36] [MR] A wonderfully life-affirming release in Priory’s “Organ Party” series hosted by Kevin Bowyer.

Pavarotti Music from the Motion Picture DECCA 483 4894 [83 mins] [RB] There will always be Pavarotti.

Quasi Morendo Works by Brahms, Pesson & Sciarrino - Rete Bieri (clarinet) Meta4 rec. 2016 ECM NEW SERIES 2557 [58:15] [DC] An intriguingly framed canvas.

Tommy Reilly (harmonica) A Life in Music rec. 1945-88 CHANDOS CHAN20143 [77:20] [JW] A huge amount here to entertain the keen listener.

Resonating Colours 5 The Hong Kong Composers’ Guild rec. 1991-2017 NAVONA RECORDS NV6242 [73:35] [MR] Musical imagination and accomplished workmanship.

Ruggiero Ricci (violin) Discovered Tapes: Sonatas rec. 1952-84 RHINE CLASSICS RH-013 [4 CDs: 285:07] [SG] A worthy centenary tribute – a veritable feast.

Schumann Quartett Chiaroscuro rec. 2018 BERLIN CLASSICS 0301213BC [70:06] [DC] A bit of a mixed bag, but unified by excellence in performance.

Graziella Sciutti (soprano) A Portrait rec. 1960-1964 ELOQUENCE 482 9637 [59:07] [GF] A reminder of one of the best lyric sopranos of the 1950s and 1960s.

Songbook Jan Vogler (cello) Ismo Eskelinen (guitar) rec. 2019 SONY CLASSIC 19075959762 [54.50] [MC] Sparklingly played.

Songs & Sonnets From the reign of Queen Victoria - Belinda Williams (mezzo) Mark Wilde (tenor) David Owen Norris (piano) rec. 2016 EM RECORDS EMRCD054 [65:55] [MBu] Delicious!

Sound the Trumpets Hannes Läubin, Wolfgang Läubin, Bernhard Läubin, Don Smithers (trumpet) English CO/Simon Preston (organ) rec. 1968/85 ELOQUENCE 4828629 [80:17 + 80:26] [JW] A programme that is well balanced and attractive.

Sturm Works by Schleiermacher, Saariaho & Wertmüller - Ensemble Musikfabrik rec. 200-14 WERGO WER6868-2 [61:07] [RHa] Driving exotica from Schleiermacher and delicate word-setting from Saariaho are certainly worth one’s time; many will require a stronger stomach than mine for Wertmüller, though.

Towards the Light Works by Livorsi, Rautavaara & Wennäkoski - Helsinki Chamber Ch/Nils Schweckendiek rec. 2014 ICSM RECORDS CHRONOS ICSM013 [68:10] [BW]  Very much a recording of two halves, to which I shall probably turn in future only for the Rautavaara.

A Tribute to Danny Granados Works by Brahms, Golijov & Piazzolla - Danny Granados (clarinet) Fidelis String Qt rec. 2011 DELOS DE3562 [63:41] [MR] This disc is as musically enticing as it is personally affectionate.

Other Reviews

Conductor Willem Mengelberg, 1871-1951: Acclaimed and Accused by Frits Zwart publ. 2019 AMSTERDAM UNIVERSITY PRESS [1329 pp.] [GT] Should be read by everyone who is interested in the art of conducting, in musical performance, and the musical business in the 20th century.

Articles and Notices

Mozart's Die Zauberflöte - a survey by Ralph Moore

Peter Gammond - an obituary by Kenneth Shenton

Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer - a survey by Ralph Moore

“Untouchable” and ”Most Recommendable” Opera Recordings - a very personal guide by Ralph Moore

Second Thoughts and Short Reviews: Summer 2019/2 by Brian Wilson, Johan van Veen and Simon Thompson

What is the meaning behind the Castellucci production of Salome? - an interpretation by Len Mullenger

Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été - a survey by Ralph Moore

A portrait of the pianist Adolph Hallis by William Snedden

 



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