NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
Short Reviews & Second Thoughts:
Winter 2019-20/1 by Brian Wilson & Johan van Veen
Listening Studio Report
by John Quinn
Discography: "R" Composers - compiled by David Barker
MWI Recordings of the Year 2019
[New] MusicWeb International will be having a two week recess and
will resume updates on January 6. The site will still be available as
usual. Click on the MWI logo on the Christmas greetings page to get to
the normal home page.
New Jazz Reviews
New Orleans Clarinets ~~
Rimington & Bissonnette ~~
John Handy ~~
For over 20 years MusicWeb International has never operated a
PayWall. We can keep it free if you can be persuaded to make a donation.
Click the Donate button top right for more details.
Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, jazz, other music); Friday: Articles
Live performance reviews posted daily at
Seen and Heard
Shopping on-line? Help us by doing it through the
MusicWeb sales page...
Friday December 20th
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Christmas Oratorio - Thomanerchor,
Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Gotthold Schwarz
rec. 2018 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC30469 [75:24 + 68:47] [GPJ]
A simply magnificent performance of Bach’s great masterpiece, straight from the heart of Leipzig and the composer’s own church.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) & Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concertos -
Ayla Erduran (violin) Paulette Zanlonghi (piano) O
Suisse Romande/Richard Beck, Armin Jordan rec.
1970-79 GALLO CD-1087 [75:21]
Recordings which pad out the discographic legacy of Ayla Erduran.
Stuart HANCOCK (b. 1975)
Raptures, Violin Concerto -
Jack Liebeck (violin)
BBC Concert O/Levon Parikian rec. 2019 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100111 [60:24]
An enjoyable collection in passionately committed performances.
Charles IVES (1874-1954) Symphonies Nos
3 & 4, American Hymns - San Francisco Symphony Ch & O/Michael Tilson
rec. 2017 SFS MEDIA SACD 8219360076-2 [68.53] [MC] One feels that Tilson Thomas and his San Francisco Symphony are completely at home with Ives’ soundworld.
Joseph JONGEN (1873-1953)
Mélodies Vol. 1 -
Sarah Defrise (soprano)
Craig White (piano) rec. 2019 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW1993 [64:54] [MR] A very important and welcome new release.
William PERRY (b.1930) Toujours Provence
- Michael Chertock (piano)
Richard Hayman (harmonica)
Slovak Philharmonic Ch & O/Paul Phillips, William Perry rec. 1982-2019 NAXOS 8.573954 [74.26]
[MW] Blameless, amiable music in more than decent performances.
Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
& Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)
Gert von Bűlow (cello)
Merete Westergaard (piano) rec. 1982 DANACORD DACOCD843 [57:17] J.P.E. HARTMANN (1805-1900)
Character Pieces nos. 1-3, Suite Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931)
Quintet - The Telmányi family rec. 1983 DACOCD853 [74:39] Leif KAYSER (1919-2001)
Albert Linder (horn)
Wincent Lindgren (oboe) Viva Holmstrand (bassoon) Leif Kayser (piano)
Gothenburg SO/Doron Salomon rec. 1983 DACOCD857 [78:39] Anton Grigorevich RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894)
Cello Sonatas, Piano Trio No. 5 -
Gert von Bülow (cello) José Ribera (piano) Péter Csaba (violin) rec. 1984
DACOCD858 [61:20+38:43] [JF]
An imaginative series of re-releases.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Piano Trio No. 2, Notturno -
Trio Hamlet rec. 2018 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS41719 [58:29]
[DD] Very fine performances of two cornerstones of the piano trio repertoire; more please.
Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY(1840-1893)
Nutcracker & Mouse King
Philharmonia Zürich/Paul Connelly rec. 2018 ACCENTUS MUSIC DVD ACC20449 [110 mins]
An interesting and enjoyable remodelling of an old favourite.
György Cziffra (piano)
Besancon Recital rec. 1961
MELOCLASSIC MC1046 [75:12]
[JW] This notably fine recital shows the fire and the poetry at the heart of Cziffra’s art.
Thursday December 19th
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trios Nos
1 & 3 -
George Malcolm Piano Trio
rec. 1976 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR96 [56:45] [DD] Two charming and dedicated performances by fine musicians in unfamiliar territory. Worthy of reissue.
Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Symphony No. 1,
Symphonic Minutes -
Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Roberto Paternostro rec. 2019 CAPRICCIO C5386 [69.34]
[MW] Charming performances of interesting but perhaps not essential works.
Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880)
Le Royaume de Neptune - Deutsches SO Berlin/Howard Griffiths rec.
2019 CPO 555301-2 [60:25] [RW]
Captivating from start to finish with bubbles of champagne popping throughout the music.
Flor PEETERS (1903-1986)
Organ Music - Roberto Marini (organ) rec. 2017
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95637
A valuable compendium of a surprisingly versatile and flexible composer whose knowledge of the organ and its potential was as vast as his own output.
Max REGER (1873-1916)
Variations and Fugue, Four Tone Poems after Arnold Böcklin - Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester/Ira Levin rec. 2016
A splendid introduction for those who have thought Reger as too forbidding, and packed with insights for those who love him.
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Myrten - Christian Gerhaher (baritone),
Camilla Tilling (soprano),
Gerold Huber (piano) rec. 2017-2019
This new instalment in Gerhaher’s Schumann series is outstanding.
Graham WHETTAM (1927-2007)
Radiant with Celestial Fire -
Rupert Marshall-Luck (violin) rec. 2018 EM RECORDS EMRCD058-059 [44:03 + 50:34]
[JF] An excellent contribution to Graham Whettam’s slowly evolving discography.
Works by Bergeron & Maret -
Folias Duo rec. 2019 FOLIAS MUSIC FM-02 [55:09] [JW] This enjoyable album gives a strong taste of the duo’s musical and literary interests and enthusiasms.
Jean Doyen (piano)
Chopin, Liszt and Music from France rec. 1930-1943
[76:40 + 69:31] [JW]
Unruffled technical brilliance and nonchalant refusal to exaggerate.
Mitteleuropa Jean-Louis Beaumadier (piccolo), Jordi Torrent (piano), Pierre-Henri Xuereb (viola), Gjorgji Cincievski (double bass) rec. 2012
Genuinely collaborative music-making of the highest standard.
Wednesday December 18th
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Orchestral Suites Nos. 1-4 Johann Bernhard BACH (1676-1749)
& Johann Ludwig BACH (1677-1731) Ouvertures
- Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini NAĎVE OP30578
[2 CDs: 129:52]
This could well become my version of choice for Johann Sebastian’s
Suites, with the music of his cousins an attractive bonus.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Septet
Anton REICHA (1770-1836) Grande Symphonie de Salon No. 1 -
Le Concert de la Loge rec. 2019 APARTÉ AP211 [74.48] [CRa]
A delightful disc of popular Beethoven and a Reicha work rediscovered after 200 years.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Choral Works - Antonio Adriani
(horn) Elsie Bedleem (harp) Rundfunkchor Berlin,
Deutsches SO/Gijs Leenaars rec. 2018 SONY CLASSICAL 19075940722 [53:53]
Glorious choral works in captivating performances.
Francesco CAVALLI (1602-1676)
L’Ipermestra - Emanuella Galli (Mezzo), Elena Monti (Soprano), Sergio Foresti (Bass),
La Sfera Armonica/Mike Fentross rec. 2006 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72774 [3 CDs: 166:09]
[MP] A pleasant discovery for both Cavalli enthusiasts and lovers of early music in general.
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Impromptus, Waltzes and Mazurkas - Pavel Kolesnikov (piano) rec. 2018
HYPERION CDA68273 [76:40] [MG]
Kolesnikov conjures many magical moments.
Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Organ Concertos
Iain Quinn (organ)
Sophie Gent (violin)
Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20118 [69:41]
[MR] Intelligent and affectionate performances which help support the assertion that these works were intended all along for the organ.
Juris KARLSONS (b 1948)
Oremus, Adoratio, Le lagrime dell’anima, Ora pro nobis
Vestards Šimkus (piano)
Sinfonietta Riga, Latvian Radio Ch/Sigvards Kļava rec. 2014-19 ONDINE ODE1342-2 [61:30]
[RHa] Another exemplary release from the matchless Latvian Radio Choir.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Winterreise - Peter Mattei (baritone),
Lars David Nilsson (piano) rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2444 SACD [69:07]
[GF] A truly valuable addition to the Winterreise discography.
Jascha Spivakovsky (piano)
Bach to Bloch Vol. 9 rec. 1953-61 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM081 [78:09] [JW]
More from this refined colourist.
Vintage Soundscapes and More Ken Perlman (banjo), Arthur Campbell (clarinet), Rocco Parisi (bass clarinet), North/South
CO/Max Lifchitz rec. 2011/16 NORTH/SOUTH NSR1064 [75:59] [JW]
A beguilingly played selection of attractive new music.
Tuesday December 17th
Roy AGNEW (1891-1944) Piano Music
- Stephanie McCallum (piano) rec. 2019 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0496 [77:42]
Variable in quality, but given very sympathetic performances.
Isaac ALBENIZ (1860-1909)
Sonatas Nos. 3-5,
Suites Ancienne Nos. 1 & 2 -
Sebastian Stanley (piano) rec. 2019 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10194 [68:34]
Perttu HAAPANEN (b. 1972)
Compulsion Island, Ladies’ Room, Flute Concerto
Helena Juntunen (soprano)
Yuki Koyama (flute)
Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu, Dima Slobodeniouk rec. 2016-18 ONDINE ODE1307-2 [62:41]
[RHa] Major composer alert: three bright new works from an invigorating, original voice.
Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687)
Isis - Čve-Maud Hubeaux, Ambroisine Bré
(mezzo) Bénédicte Tauran (soprano) Ch
Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset rec. 2019 APARTÉ AP216 [77.00 + 79.00]
[MC] Plenty to relish and the performance could hardly be bettered.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6
- Oslo PO/Jukka-Pekka Saraste rec. 2010 SIMAX CLASSICS PSC1316 [80:20] [SV] A very fine, no-nonsense account.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Nannerl Mozart - Helga Váradi (harpsichord & fortepiano)
Jörg-Andreas Bötticher (harpsichord) Plamena Nikitassova (violin)
rec. 2018/19 CLAVES 50-1908 [61:22]
[MR] A life-affirming disc of Mozart played with unusual intimacy and a sense of real involvement with the music, by performers who themselves seem to be transported back to 1780s Salzburg.
Julius RÖNTGEN (1865-1932) Piano Concertos Nos. 3,
6 & 7 -
Oliver Triendl (piano)
Kristiansand SO/Hermann Bäumer rec. 2017 CPO 555 055-2 [70:16]
[JW] Personable, light, deft and charming.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise
- Pavol Breslik (tenor),
Amir Katz (piano) rec. 2018 ORFEO C934191 [74:35] [RWe] A fine live account of the greatest of all song cycles.
Fritz Busch: The Hamburg Concert
Works by Berlioz, Reger & Schumann - NWDR SO/Fritz Busch
rec. 1951 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC576 [79:38] [DD] Very fine transfers of epic and vital historic performances.
Franco Gulli (violin) ReDiscovered rec. 1957-97 RHINE CLASSICS RH-005 [11 CDs: 774 mins] [SG] An amalgam of engrossing repertoire, refined musicianship and passionate commitment.
Daniel François Esprit AUBER (1782-1871)
Le Maçon - Walter Anton Dotzer (tenor),
Franz Fuchs (baritone),
Tonkünstler-O Niederösterreich/Kurt Tenner rec. 1950
Performances are very acceptable, and the orchestra is particularly well rehearsed.
Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893)
La nonne sanglante -
Michael Spyres (tenor) Vannina Santoni (soprano)
Accentus Chamber Ch,
Insula O/Laurence Equilbey rec. 2018 NAXOS NBD0097V Blu-ray [143 mins]
[PCG] Let us welcome a chance to hear this rarity.
Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Complete Symphonic Works
WDR SO/Eivind Aadland
rec. 2009-14 AUDITE 21.439 SACD [5 discs: 327:16]
[NB] Beautiful music, well played but ultimately uncompetitive.
Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
Pictures at an Exhibition Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Spartacus - Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2019
Don’t judge the book by its cover – some fascinating Russian music, gloriously played.
The deeper the blue…
Works by Vaughan Williams, Hesketh, Dutilleux and Ravel - Janet Sung (violin), Simon Callaghan (piano), Britten Sinfonia / Jac van Steen rec. 2018
SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD275
An unusual but highly successful programme.
A Fearful Fairy Tale Helena Basilova (piano)
Basilova proves a thoughtful and sensitive guide.
Voice Works by Beach, Clarke & Farrenc - Neave Trio
rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20139 [72:04] [SG]
Three trios, each displaying a unique voice and distinct style.
Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) Wien
- Vienna PO/Ádám Fischer rec. 2019 SONY 19075950412 [77:57]
[GF] Kaufmann even in less than mint condition is still worth a listen.
Nowell Synge We Bothe Al And Som Gothic Voices
rec. 2018 LINN CKD591 [77.10] [GH] Enough here to enjoy and some very fine singing indeed.
CRYSTAL RECORDS CD961
An organ and trumpet duo which has inspired five original and distinctive pieces by contemporary American composers.