NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
- a survey by Ralph Moore
[New] Second Thoughts & Short Reviews Winter
2019-2 by Brian Wilson & Dan Morgan
[New] Martin Dalby - an obituary by Kenneth
Berlioz's Les Troyens
- a survey by Ralph Moore
Wagner's Ring cycle - a survey by Ralph Moore
A revival of Parry's Judith by John Quinn
Stanfordian Thoughts 9: His
most played work by Christopher Howell
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Friday February 15th
Samuel ANDREYEV (b. 1981)
Music With No Edges -
HANATSUmiroir rec 2016/18 KAIROS KAI0015025 [77:47] [RHa] Andreyev’s music is communicative yet challenging; it’s also rather unusual.
AUBERT (1877-1968) Works for violin
& piano - Stéphanie Moraly (violin)
Romain David (piano) rec. 2018 AZUR
CLASSICAL AZC166 [74:59] [SG]
Captivating scores by a neglected composer.
(b. 1951) To the Northeast -
Mornington Singers/Orla Flanagan rec. 2018 DIVINE ART DDA25187 [59:29]
It is already shaping up to be one of my major discoveries of the year.
Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837)
rec. 1995-2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95792
[20 CDs:] [SSi] An excellent collection which
is sure to bring anyone interested in this period
of music many hours of enjoyment.
LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Cello
Concerto Henri DUTILLEUX (1916-2013)
Tout un monde lointain - Johannes Moser
(cello) Rundfunk-SO Berlin/Thomas Sřndergĺrd
rec. 2017/18 PENTATONE PTC5186689
SACD [53:52] [LW] Superb
accounts of Lutosławski and Dutilleux cello
concertos on a disc of short measure.
MONIUSZKO (1819-1872) Songs
-Leszek Skrla (baritone) Anna Mikolon (piano)
rec. 2018 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0435
[60:45] [GF] The programme is pleasing, but
I am less enthusiastic about the singing.
SHERWOOD (1866-1939) Suite &
Sonata for 2 pianos Hubert PARRY (1848-1918)
Grosses Duo - Parnassius Piano Duo rec. 2018
LYRITA SRCD.368 [79:01] [JW]
There’s nothing to dislike here and
much to admire.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Gun-Brit Barkmin (soprano) Daniel Brenna (tenor)
Hong Kong Philharmonic Ch & O/Jaap van Zweden
rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.660428-31 [4 CDs: 263:42] [PCG] At its super-budget price, it has much going for it, though some shortcomings in the singing means that it is not competitive against the best.
Alexander von ZEMLINSKY (1872-1942)
Eine florentinische Tragödie - Heidi Brunner (soprano) Wolfgang
Koch (baritone) Charles Reid (tenor) ORF Vienna RSO/Bertrand de Billy
rec. 2010 CAPRICCIO C5325 [52.18] [MC] A dramatic and suitably decadent depiction.
Grand Organ of Temple Church -
rec. 2018 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100090 [74:15] [MR] Roger Sayer has achieved the near-impossible of rendering this heavyweight programme accessible.
Thursday February 14th
DODGSON (1924-2013) Chamber Music with
Harp and Guitar - Karolos rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573857
[81:57] [WH] Finely crafted music in performances that could not be bettered.
Jan Ladislav DUSSEK (1760-1812)
The Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 4 - Tuija Hakkila (fortepiano) rec. 2017
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95604
Well-played accounts of sonatas encompassing the under-rated Dussek’s entire career.
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-47)
& Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-76) Violin Concertos Peter Ilich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-93)
Sérénade mélancolique -
Sebastian Bohren (violin)
Royal Liverpool PO/Andrew Litton rec. 2017 RCA RED SEAL 19075871142 [70.21]
[PCG] Admirers of the soloist will rush to acquire such a superb representation of his art.
Thea MUSGRAVE (b. 1928)
Phoenix Rising, Loch Ness, Poets in Love - BBC Ntl O Wales/William Boughton
The whole disc is rewarding but Phoenix Rising is something special.
Franz REIZENSTEIN (1911-1968)
& Berthold GOLDSCHMIDT (1903-1996) Cello Concertos -
Raphael Wallfisch (cello)
Konzerthausorchester Berlin/Nicholas Milton rec. 2016/17 CPO 555 109-2 [56.06]
[MC] Definitely worth exploring; the Reizenstein is a real discovery.
Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958), Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937)
& André PRÉVOST (1934-2001) Violin Sonatas -
Hélčne Collerette (violin)
Anne Le Bozec (piano) rec. 2016 RADIO FRANCE SIG11107 [64:11]
Convincing performances of remarkable works.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
A Lost World - Susanna Phillips (soprano), Shenyang (bass), Brian Zeger (piano)
Both singers have good insights but neither of them have really attractive voices.
Jennifer Pike (violin)
The Polish Violin - Petr Limonov (piano) rec. 2018
Remarkable variety and quality from both composers and performers.
George Szell Conducts Czech Music
Works by Dvořák & Smetana - NBC SO George Szell
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC543
This exciting but uneven concert preserves Szell’s virtues as well as his occasional weaknesses.
The Wagon of Life
Mark Rowlinson (baritone)
Peter Lawson (piano) rec. 2003 DIVERSIONS DDV24168 [79.24]
[JF] This reissue will be of great interest to all those enthusiasts of song who missed this disc first time around.
Wednesday February 13th
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin - Dénes
Zsigmondy (violin) rec. 1995 PALADINO
PMR0093 [68:01+77:26] [SG] A
thoroughly enriching experience.
BRAUNFELS (1882-1954) Works for
piano & orchestra - Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie
Rheinland-Pfalz/Gregor Bühl rec. 2017/18 CAPRICCIO
C5345 [65:35] [JQ] Admirers
of the composer should not hesitate.
Orazio COLOMBANO (c1554-after 1595)
Psalms for six voices - Cappella Musicale della Cattedrale di Vercelli/Denis Silano
rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95839 [77:48] [JV] Very fine music, very well performed.
DONIZETTI (1797 – 1848) Messa di
Requiem - Ch &
O Donizetti Opera/Corrado Rovaris rec. 2017
DYNAMIC CDS7813 [69:59] [GF]
An attractive work that should be heard more
often, and given an excellent performance here.
Erik Gustaf GEIJER (1783-1874)
& Andreas RANDEL (1806-1864) String Quartets
- Norrköpingskvartetten rec. 1977 STERLING CDA1829-2 [65:55] [SSi] Let us hope that Sterling mine Swedish Radio’s archives further to come up with more gems like this.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5
Swedish RSO/Daniel Harding rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902366 [73:23]
[ST] Very good, but not quite up there with the best.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Symphonies, Concertos & Serenades - Südwestfunk-O Baden-Baden/Hans Rosbaud rec. 1951-62 SWR MUSIC SWR19066CD [9 CDs: 570 mins]
[JW] A successful and valuable collection.
NIELSEN (1865-1931) Woodwind Quintet
György LIGETI (1923-2006) Bagatelles
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
String Quartet No. 12 -
Ens Ouranos rec. 2018 NOMADMUSIC
NMM056 [61:55] [MC] One
of the finest albums of wind music I
have had the pleasure of hearing for some time.
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphonies
No. 2 & 3 -
London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2016 LPO LPO0109 [77:03]
[RC] Here’s a case where live performances clearly stand with the best studio efforts.
- Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Hans Hopf (tenor)
Metropolitan Opera Ch & O/Erich Leinsdorf
rec. 1962 PRISTINE CLASSICAL
PACO156 [4 CDs: 245:15] [RMo]
The cycle closes with what is in many ways
the best performance of all.
Tuesday February 12th
Antonio BAZZINI (1818-1897) Complete Opera Transcriptions
- Anca Vasile Caraman (violin),
Alessandro Trebeschi (piano) rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95674 [5 CDs: 307:06]
[SSi] A lot here to enjoy.
DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Quartets
- The Dvořák Piano Qt rec. 2018 SUPRAPHON
SU42572 [72:48] [NB] For all its
undoubted qualities, it would be hard to suggest
that this supplants other versions in either
Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) La Nativité du Seigneur
- Richard Gowers (organ) rec. 2017 KING’S COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE KGS0025 [67:40] [ST] This marvellous recording has helped me become a Messiaen convert.
MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Il ritorno
d'Ulisse in patria -
Furio Zanasi, Lucile Richardot, Monteverdi Ch
& English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner
rec. 2017 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG730 [3
CDs: 185:10] [SG] Music-making of the highest
PÄRT (b. 1935) & Johann
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Fratres - Hein Wiedijk (clarinet) Camerata
RCO/Jörgen van Rijen (trombone) rec. 2016/17
BIS BIS-2316 SACD [58:32] [RHa]
Fine playing, if perhaps somewhat niche appeal.
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony No.2, The Isle of the Dead
- Castilla y León SO/Andrew Gourlay rec. 2017/18 OSCYL OSCLY001 [75:12] [NB] A really excellent calling card for this orchestra and their talented musical director.
I Lombardi alla prima crociata - Giuseppe
Gipali (tenor) Lavinia Bini (soprano) O &
Ch Teatro Regio, Parma/Michele Mariotti rec.
2018 DYNAMIC Blu-ray 57826
[140 mins] [RJF] Fine singing from the principals
and good orchestral support, but there are problems
Thomas Athanaselos (guitar) In
Memoriam rec. 2017 Private
release [51:02] [JW] Plenty of enjoyable
things on board.
Messa per Rossini Ch
& O del Teatro alla Scala/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2017 DECCA 483 4084 [59:48 + 40:56] [JQ] An ideally red-blooded Italian performance of a work that is anything but a musical curiosity.
Elisa Netzer (harp) Toccata rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573835 [51.49] [MW] An outstanding debut recital from an exciting young Swiss artist: a must-buy for lovers of the harp.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Cantata No. 21 - Bach Ch of Bethlehem, Bach Festival O/Greg Funfgeld rec. 2018
Comfortable, relaxed and affectionate.
Pascal DUSAPIN (b. 1955)
Wenn du dem Wind, Aufgang, À quia - Natascha Petrinsky (mezzo soprano), Nicolas Hodges (piano), Carolin Widman (violin), O Ntl de Pays de la Loire/Pascal Rophé
BIS SACD BIS2262
The experience of hearing this disc lives with you for some time afterwards.
Miriam HYDE (1913-2005)
Songs - Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano), Adrian Farmer (piano) rec. 2018
These songs require a greater variety of delivery to realise their strengths.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos Nos 15
& 16, Piano & Wind Quintet -
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano)
Manchester Camerata/Gábor Takács-Nagy rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20035 [71:03]
[RBe] Worthy to sit alongside the great Mozart concerto recordings.
RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concertos
Nos 2 & 4 - Daniil Trifonov (piano) Philadelphia O/Yannick Nézet-Séguin
rec. 2015/18 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 5335 [70:17] [MC]
This has been a near permanent fixture in my CD player.
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]
[DBi] A lovely performance, beautifully recorded, but there is strong competition from Bergen and Jarvi on Chandos.
Jörg WIDMANN (b. 1973)
Arche - Hamburg State Opera Ch, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg/Kent Nagano
Provocative, sometimes diffuse, often overwhelming, always absorbing.
Devy Erlih (violin) Volume
2: Works by Paganini, Bartok, Jolivet & Stravinsky -
rec. 1973 DOREMI DHR-8071/2 [70:57 + 71:33]
[SG] Violin fanciers will welcome these wonderful, musically informed performances back to the calatogue.
French Music for String Orchestra Ciconia Consort/Dick van Gasteren
rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95734 [79:45]
[SB] A valuable collection of lesser-known works.
Carla Maffioletti (voice and guitar)
Sentimental rec. 2017
A calling card for nice arrangements, deft performances and genial stylistic breadth.