Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concertos
Kati Debretzeni (violin) English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec.
2018 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG732 [70:15] [DD] Superb renditions of familiar and unfamiliar Bach violin concertos; sheer joy from start to finish.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Cantata No. 63;
- Hana Blažíková (soprano), La Chapelle Harmonique/Valentin Tournet rec. 2018 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS009 [59:13]
[JV] One of the best performances of the E flat version of Bach's Magnificat available right now.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 9 -
Ann-Helen Moen (soprano),
Marianne Beate Kielland (alto),
Allan Clayton (tenor),
Neal Davies (bass),
Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2019 BIS BIS2451 SACD [66:28]
[ST] A good but ummemorable performance.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Symphonies
Danish Ntl Concert Ch,
Danish CO/Ádám Fischer rec. 2016-19 NAXOS 8.505251 [5 CDs: 328:56]
[ST] Not perfect, but certainly a talking point.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN
(1770-1827) Works for flute & Piano
- Duo FlautoPiano rec. 2018 MDG 903 2135-6 SACD [75:29] [DC]
Beethoven-lite, but enjoyable nevertheless.
Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique;
Overture Les Francs-Juges - Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth rec.
2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902644 [65:45] [JQ]
There’s only one possible verdict on this disc: like the symphony itself, it’s fantastique!
Sir Arthur BLISS (1891–1975)
The Enchantress, Meditations on a Theme by John Blow, Mary of Magdala
- Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo) James Platt (bass)
BBC SO & Ch/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2019
CHANDOS CHSA5242 SACD [76:58]
An excellent disc and a significant addition to the Bliss discography.
Jean CRAS (1879-1932) La Flûte de Pan, Quintets
Sophie Karthäuser (soprano)
Oxalys rec. 2018 PASSACAILLE 1067 [69:00] [JW] Cras’ allure proves difficult to resist.
Carl CZERNY (1791-1857)
Concertino; Second Grand Concerto; Rondino -
Rosemary Tuck (piano), English CO/Richard Bonynge rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573998 [82:19]
[PRB] This release could accord Czerny a higher ranking in the history of music than he currently enjoys.
Charles DIBDIN (1745-1814)
The Jubilee, Datchet Mead, Queen Mab
Soraya Mafi (soprano) Heather Shipp (mezzo) Robert Murray (tenor) Stephen
Higgins (piano) rec. 2018 RETROSPECT OPERA RO006 [68:37]
[JW] A slice of eighteenth-century theatrical history is brought happily to life.
Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Piano Quintets
Nos 1 & 2,
String Quartet No. 2 -
Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Takács Qt rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68238 [80.58] [CRa]
A splendid recording of undervalued, infrequently played music.
Egidio Romualdo DUNI (1708-1775)
Trio Sonatas - DuniEnsemble rec. 2018
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96023 [48:20]
[JV] These pieces are nice to listen to but probably more fun to play.
Fritz HART (1874-1949)
Violin Sonatas No. 1-3 - Susan Collins (violin), Stephanie McCallum (piano) rec. 2017
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0470
A noteworthy sense of form and structure and a propensity for singing lyricism and compression too.
JOSQUIN des Prés (c.1450/55-1521)
Missa Mater Patris Noel BAULDEWEYN (c.1480-1530) Missa Da pacem
- The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips GIMELL CDGIM052
[BW] Well up to the
very high standard of earlier Josquin recordings in this
Aaron Jay KERNIS (b. 1960) Flute Concerto,
Symphony No. 2 -
Marina Piccinini (flute)
Peabody SO/Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.559830 [65:38]
[RHa] An engaging, unusual flute concerto and a rather grim symphony constitute a surprising and at times unsettling programme.
Alexander KREIN (1883-1951) Chamber Music
- Musicians of the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival rec. 2012/18 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0546 [69:23] [JW] There is valuable work going on here, but one should sample the music judiciously.
Josef LABOR (1842-1924)
Nina Karmon (violin) Pauline Sachse (viola) Justus Grimm (cello) Niek de Groot (double-bass)
Oliver Triendl (piano) rec. 2018 CAPRICCIO C5390 [67:18]
[PRB] If you appreciate good tunes, rich invention, and well-honed musicianship, then Josef Labor is well worth getting to know.
(1908-1992) Le Tombeau resplendissant, Les
Offrandes oubliées, Un sourire, L'Ascension -
Tonhalle-O Zürich/Paavo Järvi rec. 2019 ALPHA CLASSICS 548
A collection of Messiaen’s shorter orchestral works in fine performances which would make an admirable introduction to the composer.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
- Youth Symphonies, Contredanses - Freiburger Barockorchester/Gottfried von der Goltz rec. 2019
APARTÉ AP215 [64:38] [BW] A very enjoyable
release; no masterpieces, but youthful Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Flute Quartets -
Karel Valter (traverse flute),
Pablo Valetti (violin), Peter Biely (viola), Petr Skalka (cello) rec. 2018 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38285 SACD [63:14]
Very fine indeed - a ‘winner’.
Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941)
& Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concertos - Claire Huangci (piano), Deutsche Radio Philharmonie/Shiyeon Sung rec. 2018
BERLIN CLASSICS 0301096BC
This account of the Chopin First is not to be missed, and even if you’re not a fan of the Paderewski Concerto, you’ll have to admire Huangci’s thrilling performance.
Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (1525/6-1594) Lamentations Book 2
Cinquecento rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68284 [72:11]
Offers the best of worlds in Palestrina’s immersive Lamentations.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Romeo & Juliet, Piano Pieces -
Stanislav Khristenko (piano) rec. 2015-17 STEINWAY & SONS 30114 [56:38]
[RC] Khristenko impresses greatly.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Tales of an old Grandmother, Études,
Visions fugitives, Piano Sonata No. 6
Florian Noack (piano) rec. 2019 LA DOLCE VOLTA LDV74 [72:13]
Classic Prokofiev played with exemplary pianism.
Josef Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839-1901)
Symphony No. 1 - Liechtenstein SO/Florian Krumpöck
rec. 2019 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38284 SACD [49:50] [NB] An enjoyable discovery for those of Romantic disposition.
(1797-1828) Symphony No. 9 -
Scottish CO/Maxim Emelyanychev rec. 2019 LINN CKD619 [54:30]
[ST] Take a bow, everyone involved.
Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924)
The Travelling Companion - David Horton (tenor),
Julien Van Mellaerts (baritone),
Kate Valentine (soprano),
New Sussex Opera O & Ch/Toby Purser
SOMM RECORDINGS CÉLESTE SOMMCD274-2
[66:47 + 57:12] [JQ]
A release that Stanford admirers need to hear.
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY
(1840-1893) Serenade Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Chamber Symphony
- Amsterdam Sinfonietta/Candida Thompson rec. 2014/15 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS37119 [57:10] [DD] A lovely disc with a very well-loved piece and a fresh discovery, beautifully realised.
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
& Arno BABAJANIAN (1921-1983) Piano trios
Vadim Gluzman (violin) Johannes Moser (cello) Yevgeny Sudbin (piano) rec. 2017 BIS BIS2372 SACD [73:21]
A disc of the highest standards of recording and performance; a less known but interesting work is a bonus.
Avet Rubeni TERTERIAN (1929-1994) Symphonies No. 3 & 4
- Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5241 SACD [58:56] [EJW] Tremendous aural impact, but difficult, even startling music at times.
Cello Works Works by Smyth, Lutyens, Maconchy & Clarke
- Lionel Handy (cello) Jennifer Hughes (piano) rec. 2018 LYRITA
SRCD.383 [73:06] [GH]
Consistently superb performances with spacious but immediate recording of four little-known but very fine works.
Robert Casadesus (piano) The Complete French Columbia Recordings rec. 1928-39 APR 7404 [4 CDs: 281 mins] [JW] Vital and athletic performances.
Reine Gianoli (piano)
Recitals in France 1962-1966
[78:36 + 79:15] [JW]
At her best an artist of probity and emotional candour, and capable of witty characterisation.
Like to the Lark Maria Forsström (mezzo-soprano), Jennifer Pike (violin), Swedish Chamber Ch/Simon Phipps rec. 2019
CHANDOS CHSA5255 SACD
A highly approachable disc, with a lovely alternative version of The Lark Ascending.
Routes du café
Ensemble Masques/Olivier Fortin
rec. 2018 ALPHA 543
A concept album that works well – but don’t overlook the classic Emma
Kirkby ‘Coffee’ cantata.
The Soldier: From Severn to Somme
Christopher Maltman (baritone), Joseph Middleton (piano) rec. 2018
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD592
An outstanding release, rewarding in every way.
Yuja Wang (piano); Wiener Philharmoniker/Gustavo Dudamel
rec. 2019 SONY CLASSICAL 19075943542
A very fair idea of an occasion that must have been more enjoyable to
attend than to watch or to hear.
Sung Hee Park (soprano)
Birds and Love - Yuki Koyama (flute), Jean-Pierre Ferey (piano) rec. 2017
A different programme might suit better.
The Symphonic Euphonium II
David Childs (euphonium), BBC Philharmonic/Ben Gernon rec. 2019
So much here that is approachable and finely done.
Articles and Notices
MWI Recordings of the Year 2019