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Friday July 19th 

Francesco LANDINI (ca.1330-1397) L’occhio del cor - La Reverdie, Christophe Deslignes (organetto) rec. 2018 ARCANA A462 [64:56] [GPu] There is much here that is ravishingly beautiful, most of it shot through with the poignant fact of Landini’s blindness.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Night on Bald Mountain, The Fair at Sorochyntsi, Khovanshchina - Philharmonia O/Walter Susskind rec. 1953 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR519 [52:05] SG] One for the Mussorgsky fans.

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Petite Messe solenelle - SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart/Rupert Huber rec. 1995 SWR MUSIC SWR19521 [79.33] [JQ] A reliable performance which is generally well sung.

Sir John TAVENER (1944-2013) Angels - George Castle (organ) Winchester Cathedral Ch/Andrew Lumsden rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68255 [70:03] [SB] Even if you already have discs of Tavener’s choral music you should consider this.

Michael Fabiano (tenor) Arias by Verdi & Donizetti - London Voices, London PO/Enrique Mazzola rec. 2018 PENTATONE PTC5186750 SACD [57:03] [GF] I’m certainly looking forward to hearing more of Michael Fabiano.

Frank Merrick (piano) & Henry Holst (violin) rec. 1950s-60s NIMBUS NI8826 [4 CDs: 278 mins] [JW] A splendid conspectus of their partnership.

Thursday July 18th

Sir George BENJAMIN (b. 1960) Lessons in Love and Violence - Stéphane Degout (baritone) Barbara Hannigan (soprano) Netherlands Radio PO/George Benjamin rec. 2018 NIMBUS NI5976 [2 CDs: 84:49] [SB] A different performance to the DVD, but still very fine.

Carlo FORLIVESI (b. 1971) Compositions - Kyoto CO/Carlo Forlivesi TACTUS TC970601 [71:10] [RHa] While the music has its moments, Tactus’ documentation is poor and listeners need to make allowances for the sound.

Joseph MARX (1882-1964) Orchestral Songs - Angela Maria Blasi (soprano) Stella Doufexis (mezzo) Bochum SO/Steven Sloane rec. 2003 NAXOS 8.573833 [56.35] [PCG] Mostly brief items, but the cycle Verklärtes Jahr is a major rediscovery.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Vespers - SWR Vokalensemble/Marcus Creed rec. 2004 SWR MUSIC SWR19522CD [59:06] [GPJ] Not the absolute best in a hugely competitive field but a very fine, heartfelt version that will not disappoint.

Iberia Les Éléments MIRARE MIR344 [56:06] [GH] A very fine choir, but not everything here works.

Pietro Scarpini (piano) Discovered Tapes: From Baroque to Contemporary rec. 1950-67 RHINE CLASSICS RH-010 [12 CDs: 14 hours] [JW] Another Rhine release that helps to build up an increasingly irrefutable case for Scarpini’s greatness as an interpreter of a wide swathe of the repertoire.

Wednesday July 17th

Martin Rane BAUCK (b. 1988) Through a network of illuminated streets - Ensemble neon, Heather Roche (clarinet), Ole Martin Huser-Olsen (guitar) rec. 2017 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1171 [53:36] [GPJ] A young Norwegian’s strange, hypnotic music is played with meticulous poise by these fine musicians.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn; Symphony No. 1 - Sinfonieorchester der Nordwestdeutschen Rundfunks/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1951, PRISTINE AUDIO PASC563 [68:44] [RMo] Brahms admirers should add this to their collection.

Prince JOHANN ERNST (1696-1715) Complete Violin Concertos - Thüringer Bach Collegium/Gernot Süssmuth rec. 2018 AUDITE 97.769 [63:37] [BW] Attractive accounts of music which Telemann admired and some of which Bach transcribed.

Bartłomiej PĘKIEL (d. 1670) Opera omnia - Octava Ens, Polish O 18th Century/Zygmunt Magiera rec. 2009-2017 DUX 1454-56 [3 CDs: 237:25] [JV] A worthy monument for a composer who deserves to be better known.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No.5 Aaron AVSHALOMOV (1894-1965) Hutongs of Peking - Maxim Vengerov (violin) Shanghai SO/Long Yu rec. 2017 ACCENTUS MUSIC DVD ACC20440 [110 mins] [JW] A classy product.

Il cembalo transalpino Keyboard Music from the Fitzwilliam Collection - Sophie Yates (harpsichord) rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN0819 [65:16] [SSi] A fascinating insight into the more neglected recesses of the Fitzwilliam Collection.

Complete Preludes Vol. 3 Works by L Boulanger, Fauré Á Messiaen - Alexandra Dariescu (piano) rec. 2018 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD149 [64.18] [RBe] A first-rate recital which combines a superb technique with a wonderful musicality.

Tuesday July 16th

Sir Richard Rodney BENNETT (1936-2012) Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano) BBC Scottish SO/John Wilson rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5230 SACD [64.34] [PCG] Well worth exploring, and not just for fans of the composer.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.8 - Tokyo Juventus PO/Kenshiro Sakairi rec. 2018 ALTUS 012/3 [82:00] [MB] All in all, a magnificent disc.

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Les Indes galantes - Véronique Gens (soprano), Purcell Ch, Orfeo O/György Vashegyi rec. 2018 GLOSSA GCD924005 [60:45 + 62:56] [GF] Lovers of baroque opera should invest in this issue without delay.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony No. 3 Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Organ Concerto Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1934) Organ Symphony - Christopher Jacobson (organ), Suisse Romande O/Kazuki Yamada rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186638 SACD [65:31] [JQ] An attractive programme that shows off the organ in Geneva’s Victoria Hall very effectively.

Stefan WOLPE (1902-1972) Music For Two Pianos - Quattro Mani (piano duo) rec. 2016/17 BRIDGE 9516 [67:11] [RHa] This fine two-piano disc easily matches previous instalments in terms of both quality of performance and sound.

Messes de Barcelone et d’Apt Ens Gilles Binchois/Dominique Vellard rec. 2018 EVIDENCE CLASSICS EVCD060 [63:35] [BW] Joins other recordings from this ensemble high in my esteem.

Rohan de Saram (cello) Works by Bax, Cassadó, Dallapiccola & Ligeti rec. 2015 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR49 [58:11] [JW] A credo of devotion, raptly played and recorded.

Monday July 15th

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) String Quartet, Piano Quintet - Martin Roscoe (piano) Brodsky Qt rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN10980 [67:10] [MG] These dramatic, edgy accounts give us the intensity of Elgar’s Indian summer in full measure.

Mikołaj GÓRECKI (b. 1971) Trios - Silesian Trio, Aukso CO Tychy/Marek Moś rec. 2017 DUX 1415 [50:49] [SSi] An intriguing, well-played disc.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Transcendental Études, Waldesrauschen, Gnomenreigen - Sheng Cai (piano) rec. 2018 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22783 [71:19] [RC] A talent to watch out for, even if this is outclassed by the best.

Igor SHAMO (1925-1982) Complete Piano Music - Dimitri Tchesnokov (piano) rec. 2017/18 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10152 [3 CDs: 196:46] [SG] Music whose rewards are plentiful.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I Lombardi - León de la Guardia (tenor), Ania Jeruc (soprano) Czech Philharmonic Ch Brno, Cappella Aquileia/Marcus Bosch rec. 2018 COVIELLO CLASSICS COV91901 SACD [62:20 + 47:21] [GF] Among some less than perfect singing, Ania Jeruc stands out.

Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House O/Martin Yates (conductor) rec. 2018 OPUS ARTE DVD OA1285D [133 mins] [RM] Another very welcome release of outstanding quality from the Royal Ballet.

Peter Schreier (tenor) Volkslieder - Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Thomanerchores Leipzig/Horst Neumann rec. 1975 BERLIN CLASSICS 030129BC [42:43] [RB] A singer in prime form: springy, green, sappy, direct and touchingly confident.

Welcome home, Mr Dubourg Works by Dubourg, Vivaldi & Corelli - Irish Baroque O/Peter Whelan rec. 2018 LINN RECORDS CKD532 [60:57] [DJB] AA forgotten British Baroque composer is given his time in the sun.


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