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Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

REFERENCE RECORDINGS

Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Anderson Choral music


colourful and intriguing


Artyomov
Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble


one of Berlioz greatest works


Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances


An attractive Debussy package


immaculate Baiba Skride


eloquent Cello Concerto


tension-filled work


well crafted and intense


Laangaard
another entertaining volume


reeking of cordite


Pappano with a strong cast


imaginatively constructed quartets


the air from another planet


vibrantly sung


NOT a budget performance


very attractive and interesting


finesse and stylistic assurance

Monthly Listing
March 2019

Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Trombone & Trumpet Concertos - Jörgen van Rijen (trombone) Alain De Rudder (trumpet) Antwerp SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2196 SACD [64:18] [SB] Rewarding pieces, superbly played.

Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Barocco, Double Concerto, Sinfonia per archi - Amus Kerstin Andersson (violin) Mats Levin (cello) Örebro Ch O/Thord Svedlund rec. 1995 DANACORD DACOCD836 [65:47] [JF] A valuable contribution to the growing catalogue of Atterberg’s music currently available.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Italian Concerto, Partita IV, Chaconne - Federico Colli (piano) rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20079 [59:42] [RHa] Colli’s second Chandos disc is an hour long; its emotional impact far exceeds that.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concerti, Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 - David Oistrakh, Igor Oistrakh (violin), Vienna PO, Royal PO/Eugene Goossens, Moscow CO/Rudolf Barshai rec. 1957/62 ALTO ALC1399 [68:51] [MW] A wonderful reminder of Oistrakh’s glorious Bach and poetic insight.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Leipzig Christmas Cantatas - Collegium Vocale Gent/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 2001/2 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM931781.82 [55:32 + 61:49] [SG] An uplifting experience – Herreweghe coaxes the very best from all participants.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Beautiful Bach from Selby Abbey - Michael Overbury (organ) rec. 2017 SELBY ABBEY ORGAN MASTERS SAOM001 [79:03] [JW] This is an auspicious start to what one hopes will be a long-running series.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Sonatas - Alexandra Ivanova (harpsichord) Anaïs Chen (violin) ES-DUR ES2073 [39:30 + 45:53] [SSi] A good performance which does not challenge my favourite versions.

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Piano Sonata, In the Night, 4 Pieces, Legend Harriet COHEN (1895-1967) Russian Impressions - Mark Bebbington (piano) rec. 2017 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0193 [79.20] [IL] An auspicious start to what one hopes will be a complete recording on Somm of Bax’s piano music.

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Nympholept, Sonatas, Hungarian Dances, The Happy Forest - Natalia Williams-Wandoch (piano) rec. 2018 USK RECORDINGS USK1236CD [59:00] [NB] An excellent debut recital.

Amy BEACH (1867-1944) & Ethel SMYTH (1858-1944) Violin Sonatas Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896)  Romances - John Lenehan (piano) rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20030 [71:27] [JW] A valuable disc, resonantly played and recorded.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 1-5 - Mitsuko Uchida (piano) Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2010 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER BPHR180241 CD/BD-A/Blu-ray [215 mins] [JQ] Worth the outlay for a set of top-quality Beethoven performances, expertly presented in both sound and vision.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Piano Trios Vol. 3 - Van Baerle Trio rec. 2017/18 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72781 SACD [72:20] [DC] Amongst the top rank in this oft-recorded repertoire.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonata No. 9 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Sonata K296 - Ma Si-hon (violin), Tung Kwong-Kwong (piano) rec. c. 1959 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1530 [48:21] [SG] An intriguing rarity.

Michael BERKELEY (b. 1948) Winter Fragments - Fleur Barron (mezzo) Berkeley Ens/Dominic Grier rec. 2018 RESONUS RES10223 [59.03] [MC] Tense and melancholic with a winter chill never far away.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Berlioz Odyssey: Complete Recordings - London SO/Sir Colin Davis LSO LIVE LSO0827 CD/SACD [16 discs: 1127:54] [PCG] A most worthwhile collection.

Georges BIZET (1830-1875) La jolie fille de Perth Suite, L'Arlésienne Suite, Carmen Suite George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) An American in Paris - NBC SO/Arturo Toscanini, rec. 1943/45 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC431 [72:34] [SV] Recommended especially for the Bizet.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein Deutsches Requiem - Carolyn Sampson (soprano) André Morsch (baritone) Cappella Amsterdam, O 18th Century/Daniel Reuss rec. 2018 GLOSSA GCD921126 [70:26] [JQ] A good account of Ein Deutsches Requiem but not a market leader.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Late Piano Music - Charles Owen (piano) rec. 2017/18 AVIE AV2397 [2 CDs: 116:03] [TB] A splendid survey of the late piano music.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 3 Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 9 - Philadelphia O/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1927/28 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC540 [78:34] [JW] A welcome advance in sound restoration.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Billy Budd - Jacques Imbrailo, Toby Spence, Ch & O Teatro Real Madrid/Ivor Bolton rec. 2017 BEL AIR CLASSIQUES BAC554 Blu-ray [175 mins] [RC] A most compelling account of one of the great operas of the 20th century.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Choral Dances from Gloriana, Hymn to St. Cecilia, Flower Songs, A.M.D.G. - RIAS Kammerchor/Justin Doyle rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902285 [53:42] [LW] Excellent performances with superb characterisation of the settings.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 - Philharmonia Zürich/Fabio Luisi rec. 2018 PHILHARMONIA PHR0110 [77:44] [RMo] The least satisfactory recording of this symphony in my experience.

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Piano Concerto - Kirill Gerstein (piano); Tanglewood Festival Ch, Boston SO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2017 MYRIOS MYR024 [71:29] [DM]  Overblown performance and sound; a major disappointment.

Placidus von CAMERLOHER (1718-1782) Solo per La Gallichone - Christopher Eglhuber (lute) rec. 2017 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1894 [74:32] [GPu] An unfamiliar figure of the baroque who deserves to be better known.

Manuel CARDOSO (1566-1650) Requiem, Magnificat, Lamentations - Cupertinos/Luís Toscano rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68252 [69:34] [RHa] Hyperion’s excellent new Portuguese choir shine in this fine recital of works by a ‘local’ Renaissance hero.

Giacomo CARISSIMI (1605-1674) Oratorio di Daniele Profeta - Weser-Renaissance Bremen/Manfred Cordes rec. 2009 CPO 777489-2 [73:50] [JV] A substantial addition to the discography.

Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968) Piano Music - David Witten (piano) rec. 2016/17 ALBANY RECORDS TROY1732 [65:38] [SSi] This wonderful disc highlights Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s importance as a composer for the piano.

Pietro Francesco CAVALLI (1602-76) Missa 1660 - Galilei Consort/Benjamin Chénier rec. 2018 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS006 [68:58] [BW] Uplifting music by Monteverdi’s principal successor in very fine performances.

Maurizio CAZZATI (1616-1678) Secular and Sacred Vocal Music - Eridanus/Paolo Giorgi rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95586 [2 CDs: 115:08] [JV] The performers turn out to be the perfect advocates for the music of this neglected composer.

Alfred CELLIER (1844-1891) Dorothy - Victorian Opera Ch & O/Richard Bonynge rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.660447 [70.52] [PCG] A work which still has the power to charm and delight after a century of neglect.

Rebecca CLARKE (1886-1979) Viola Sonata Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Cello Sonata Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Six Studies in English Folk Song - Natalie Clein (cello),  Christian Ihle Hadland (piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68253 [60:07] [RHa] Intense and assertive readings that become a little too confrontational in the sonatas.

Eric COATES (1886-1957) Songs - Kathryn Rudge (mezzo) Christopher Glynn (piano) rec. 2018 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0192 [66:05] [NB] A valuable reminder that Coates’ songs are an enduringly appealing and significant part of his musical legacy.

Francesco Bartolomeo CONTI (c.1681-1732) Missa Sancti Pauli - Purcell Ch, Orfeo O/György Vashegy rec. 2017 GLOSSA GCD924004 [67:23] [BW]  Accomplished performances and recording of music by an unjustly neglected composer.

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Grohg, Billy the Kid - Detroit SO/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2014 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559862 [62:45] [DM] An already promising cycle just got a whole lot better; super sonics from Soundmirror, too.

Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713) Solos and Concertos Fitted for the Flutes - Estro Cromatico rec. 2016 ARCANA A112 [57:38] [JV] Recorder aficionados will love these performances.

Jean CRAS (1879-1932) Complete works for violin & piano - Marie-Annick Nicolas (violin) Jean-Pierre Ferey (piano) rec. 1993-1995 SKARBO DSK4128 [61.15] Piano works - Jean-Pierre Ferey (piano) rec. 2015 SKARBO DSK1153 [70:44] [SG] Generously lyrical, with a taste of the Orient, and garnished with sea-spray and Breton folklore. 

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Études Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Fauvettes de l’Hérault - Roger Muraro (piano) rec. 2017/18 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905304 [73:06] [SSi] A wonderful, committed performance and a fitting conclusion to Harmonia Mundi’s marking of the Debussy centenary.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Mélodies - Lorna Windsor (soprano) Antonio Ballista (piano) rec. 2018 BRILLIANT 95741 [51:39 + 50:10] [GF] You may wish to sample before buying, so as to find whether Lorna Windsor’s voice is to your liking.

Stephen DODGSON (1924-2013) Piano Sonatas - Bernard Roberts (piano), rec. 1994 CLAUDIO RECORDS CC4431-2 [59:10] [SSi] An excellent addition to anyone’s collection of Stephen Dodgson’s music.

Andrew DOWNES (b. 1950) Chamber works - Rupert Marshall Luck (violin, viola), Duncan Honeybourne (piano) rec. 2017 EM RECORDS EMRCD056 [67:20] [SSi] A lovely disc, which will be enjoyed greatly by all followers of English music.

Andris DZENĪTIS (b. 1978) Sinfonietta Anitra TUMŠEVICA (b. 1971) Die Stimme Linda LEIMANE (b. 1989) Guesstimations - Sinfonietta Rīga/Normunds Šnē rec. 2017 SKANI LMIC059 [63:34] [SG] Exciting, yet challenging, scores, each reflecting the unique style of the individual composer.

Philipp Heinrich ERLEBACH (1657-1714) Complete Trio Sonatas - L’Achéron/François Joubert-Caillet rec. 2018 RICERCAR RIC393 [69:02] [DC] A hard one to beat.

Louise FARRENC (1804-1875) Variations brillantes, Air Russe Varié, Grandes Variations, Variations op. 10 - Biliana Tzinlikova (piano), rec. 2017 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0088 [52:29] [JWe] Fine advocacy of neglected but memorable music.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) & Maurice DURUFLE (1902-1986) Requiems - Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal, Ch de l’Eglise St. Andrew et St. Paul Montreal/Jean-Sébastien Oldengarm rec. 2018 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22779 [75:48] [WH] An excellent, organ-accompanied Duruflé coupled with a less sympathetic Fauré.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) & Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) Violin Sonatas Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931) Poème élégiaque - Alina Ibragimova (violin) Cédric Tiberghien (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68204 [78:29] [JW] Refined performances which demand attention, no matter how many recordings of the Franck you may have.

Géza FRID (1904-1989) Orchestral Music: Historical Recordings - Het Brabants O/Michel Tabachnik, Radio PO/Willem van Otterloo, Jean Fournet rec. 1952-2001 ET'CETERA KTC1633 [77:23] [SG] Music melodically gifted, rooted in Hungary and its folklore, and occasionally spiced with neoclassicism.

René GERBER (1908-2006) & Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) String Quartets - Terpsycordes Qt rec. 2017 GALLO CD-1500 [72:33] [SG] The Gerber works are a wonderful discovery, but potent readings all round.

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Porgy, Preludes and Paris - Piano à Deux rec. 2018 DIVINE ART DDA25183 [63:52] [JF] A ‘show-biz’ feel and certainly none the worse for that.

Christoph Williband GLUCK (1714-1787) Orphée et Euridice – Juan Diego Flórez, Christiane Karg, Fatma Said, Coro & O Teatro alla Scala/Michele Mariotti rec. 2018 BELVEDERE BVE08053 Blu-ray [129 min] [SSi] Flórez dominates the stage with a performance of great stature.

Paul GRAENER (1872-1944) Orchestral Works Vol. 4 - Uladzimir Sinkevich (cello); Henry Raudales (violin); Christiane Dohn (flute) Münchner RO/Ulf Schirmer rec. 2014 CPO 777 965-2 [56:20] [RB] Three unfamiliar concertos combining eloquence and fervour in clear and honest sound.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Discover - Martin Jones (piano) rec. 1995/2000 NIMBUS NI7729 [72:33] [SB] Pleasant but minor Granados, fluently played.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas Waldo GEUNS (b.1981) Amor a primera vista - Waldo Geuns (piano) rec. 2017 ANTARCTICA RECORDS AR007 [59:38] [JW] A worthy effort, but it lags well behind the best.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas Frederico MOMPOU (1893-1987) Variations on a Theme of Chopin - Sofya Melikyan (piano) rec. 2017 ETCETERA KTC1607 [77.55] [RBe] Uneven in Goyescas, much better in the Mompou.

Nicolas de GRIGNY (1672-1703) Premier Livre d'Orgue - André Isoir (organ) rec. 1992 RADIO FRANCE TEMPERAMENTS TEM316061/62 [60:18 + 48:28] [SG] A collection organ enthusiasts won't want to miss.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Johannes-Passion - La Capella Ducale, Musica Fiata/Roland Wilson, rec. 2017 CPO 5551732 [77:34] [JV] Superior performance of a Passion, whose authorship is still not established, but which deserves much more attention.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) 3 Stücke Bernhard HEIDEN (1910-2000) Sonata, Siena Walter SKOLNIK (b. 1943) Sonata, Bagatelles - Cécile Grüebler (cello) Tamara Chitadze (piano) rec. 2018 CYBELE RECORDS CYBELE SACD 361804 [72:08] [DC] An unusual and intriguing programme.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Sonatas for solo viola - Luca Ranieri (viola) rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95413 [69:25] [SSi] Ranieri’s good performances are badly let down by the reverberant acoustic.

Charles IVES (1874-1954) & Henry COWELL (1897-1965) The Dream Bridge - Aylish Kerrigan (mezzo) Vladimir Valdivia (piano) rec. 2016 MÉTIER MSV28577 [69:35] [JF] My suggestion is to take these songs a few at a time, follow the texts and enjoy.

Pascal JUGY (b. 1964) Des brumes au zénith - Johannes Hustedt (flute), Andreas Hiller (guitar) rec. 2013 ANIMATO ACD6166 [57:10] [JW] Music of gentle, appealing warmth.

Paul JUON (1872-1940), Max BRUCH (1838-1920) & Friedrich Wilhelm VOIGT (1833-1894) Trios - Soren Birkelund (clarinet) Ulrikke Host-Madsen (cello) Merete Westergaard (piano) rec. 2017 DANACORD DACOCD838 [59:25] [JF] Enjoyable, autumnal music.

Raul KOCZALSKI (1885-1948) Violin & Cello Concertos - Agnieszka Marucha (violin), Łukasz Tudzierz (cello), Filharmonii Lubelskiej SO/Wojciech Rodek rec. 2018 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0504 [47:43] [JW] The violin concerto comes across as the better work here.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Années de pèlerinage, troisième année & other late piano works - Cédric Tiberghien (piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68202 [80:15] [SB] A masterful introduction to the strange world of late Liszt.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Songs - Jared Schwartz (bass) Mary Dibbern (piano) rec. 2017 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0441 [68:07] [NH] Both performers emerge as serious, highly intelligent and sophisticated artists of no little resource and versatility.

Torbjörn Iwan LUNDQUIST (1920-2000) Suites for Orchestra - Bel Canto Kören/Royal Stockholm PO/Torbjörn Iwan Lundquist rec. 1962-66 STERLING CDS1117-2 [72:48] [SG] Tuneful, unpretentious and appealing.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 - Ruby Hughes (soprano) Sasha Cooke (mezzo) Minnesota Chorale & O/Osmo Vänskä rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2296 SACD [84:38] [JQ] Despite some reservations, there’s much about Osmo Vänskä’s traversal of ‘Resurrection’ that’s highly commendable.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5 - Swedish RSO/Daniel Harding rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902366 [73:23] [TB] A performance that offer many insights into this wonderful and wide-ranging score.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 7 - Budapest Festival O/Iván Fischer rec. 2015 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA38019 SACD [74:45] [DM]  Iván Fischer follows his revitalising Third with a similarly talented Seventh; as before, the engineering is first rate.

Johann Simon MAYR (1763–1845) Motets Vol. 2 - Simon Mayr Ch, Concerto de Bassus, Virtuosi Italiani/Franz Hauk rec. 2014/17 NAXOS 8.573909 [70:29] [GF] More reasons to be grateful to Hauk and his co-workers for their Mayr revival.

Gian Carlo MENOTTI (1911-2007) The Medium, The Telephone - Julija Samsonova-Khayet (mezzo) Lorenzo Grante (baritone) Elizabeth Hertzberg (soprano) O Filarmonica Italiana/Flavio Emilio Scogna rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95361 [65:13 + 24:58] [NH] A number of caveats, but it’s been very good to hear some Menotti again.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Orchestral Works - SWR SO Baden-Baden und Freiburg/Sylvain Cambreling rec. 1999-2008 SWR MUSIC SWR19421CD [8 CDs: 542:14] [SB] Fine performances, with the advantage of a single conductor, but incomplete.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria - Furio Zanasi (baritone), Monteverdi Ch, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2017 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG730 [3 CDs: 185:10] [RHa] A superb performance and terrific recording of Monteverdi’s late opera.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin Vol. 1 - Isabelle Faust (violin); Alexander Melnikov (fortepiano) rec 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902360 [65:50] [RHa] An auspicious start to Faust and Melnikov’s new Mozart project.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 - Jean Muller (piano) rec. 2016/17 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC18068 [70:44] [MC] This constitutes a promising start to a new cycle of the Mozart piano sonatas.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Discovered Tapes - Pietro Scarpini (piano) rec. 1953-75 RHINE CLASSICS RH-014 [65:28 + 72:30] [SG] Buried treasures revealed.

Poul Rovsing OLSEN (1922-82) The Planets - Signe Asmussen (mezzo) rec 2017 DACAPO 8.226128 [65:22] [RHa] Elegant and exciting performances in a full-blooded Dacapo recording.

Boris PAPANDOPULO (1906-1991) Piccolo & Harpsichord concertos, Orchestral Songs - Miljenko Turk (baritone) Südwestdeutsches CO Pforzheim/Timo Handschuh rec. 2015/16 CPO 777 941-2 [60:50] [RHa] A third volume of Papandopulo from CPO brings two unusual concertos, while the song-cycle is unquestionably the highlight.

Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Piano Trios & Partita - Leonore Piano Trio rec. 2017/18 HYPERION CDA68243 [69:33] [JW] Colour-conscious, energising and subtle playing.

Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736) La serva padrona Aldo TARABELLA (b. 1948) Il servo padrone - Erika Liuzzi (soprano), O “V. Galilei”/Flavio Emilio Scogna rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95360 [45:21+35:06] [GF] Infectious entertainment, borderless, all-embracing - and Erika Luizzi is magnificent.

Jenni PINNOCK Cracked Voices - Miles Horner (baritone), Donna Lennard (soprano), Sue Pettitt (clarinet, bass clarinet), Ralph Woodward (piano and narration) rec. 2018 Private Release [72:01] [JW] Loyally supportive performances which convey both text and music with understanding.

Florence Beatrice PRICE (1887-1953) Symphonies Nos 1 & 4 - Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.559827 [69:04] [SG] Music steeped in the European tradition, embodying an American idiom and revealing the composer’s Southern roots.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet - Stuttgart Ballet, State Theatre Stuttgart O/James Tuggle rec. 2017 C MAJOR Blu-Ray 801104 [220 mins] [RMay] A very welcome addition to choreographer John Cranko’s representation on film.

Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Elégie: A Heart in Exile - Lucy Parham (piano) Henry Goodman (narrator) rec. 2017 DEUX-ELLES DXL1178 [56:16 + 48:47] [IL] An altogether attractive compilation.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concertos 1-4, Paganini Rhapsody - Sergei Rachmaninov (piano) Philadelphia O/Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy rec. 1929-41 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC544 [2 CDs: 137:25] [EJW] An astonishing remastering of these legendary recordings.

Terry RILEY (b. 1935) In C - Musiquette A rec. 2018 BÔŁT BR1049 [62:47] [SSi] A wonderful version of Terry Riley’s seminal work, one which makes you listen to it anew.

Arnold ROSNER (1945-2013) Orchestral Music Vol. 3 - London PO/Nick Palmer rec. 2017 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0469 [59:23] [EJW] Toccata Classics and the performers are to be congratulated and praised for this release.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Maometto II - Mirco Palazzi (bass), Elisa Balbo (soprano), Virtuosi Brunenses/Antonino Fogliani rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.660444-46 [3 CDs: 175:18] [GF] The opera is highly attractive and the singing surpasses anything I could have expected.

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) & Franz Anton HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812) Sonatas Vol. 2 - Minna Pensola (violin) Antti Tikkanen (violin/viola) Tuomas Lehto (cello) Niek de Groot (double bass) rec. 2017 BIS SACD BIS2318 [76.38] [DBi] An unusual and entertaining coupling suited to musical explorers.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Trois tableaux symphoniques d’après, Bacchanale, Symphony No. 3 - Paul Jacobs (organ) Utah SO/Thierry Fischer rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68201 [75:15] [NB] The rare Tableaux are the main reason for getting this – the well-known works are good but not quite up there with the best.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Cello Concerto, 5 Pieces in Folk Style, Adagio & Allegro, Fantasiestücke - Sol Gabetta (cello) Bertrand Chamayou (fortepiano) Kammer O Basel/Giovanni Antonini rec. 2016/18 SONY CLASSICAL 88985352272 [58.16] [MC] Passionate playing from Gabetta.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Complete Preludes - Dmitri Alexeev (piano) rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95651 [56:51 + 63:43] [SB] A splendid new set of these demanding works.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) & Dmitri KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) Cello Sonatas - Steven Isserlis (cello) Olli Mustonen (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68239 [76:33] [SSi] Performances of real integrity and understanding.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 5, Four Romances - James Platt (bass), The Hallé, Mark Elder rec. 2018 HALLÉ CDHLL7550 [63:08] [MC] A moderately enjoyable but not particularly inspiring release.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Complete String Quartets, Piano Quintet - Borodin Quartet, Alexei Volodin (piano), rec. 2014-2018 DECCA 483 4159 [7 CDs: 456 mins] [RWe] A very fine set well worthy to join previous line-ups of this group in this great cycle.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) & Sulkhan TSINTSADZE (1925-1991) Cello Concertos - Maximilian Hornung (cello), Deutsches SO Berlin/Andris Poga rec. 2017 MYRIOS CLASSICS MYR023 [60.19] [MC] In the challenging emotional cross-currents of both scores Hornung radiates assurance.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No.1; En Saga - Gothenburg SO/Santtu-Matias Rouvali rec. 2018 ALPHA 440 [58:44] [BW]  Strong claims to be considered a top recommendation in a very competitive field.

Andrew SMITH (b. 1970) Requiem Ståle KLEIBERG (b. 1958) Hymn to Love, The Light - Nidarosdomens jentekor, TrondheimSolistene/Anita Brevik rec. 2017/18 2L 2L150SABD SACD/Blu-ray [70:44] [DC] A moving and effective memorial.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Histoire du soldat - Didier Sandre, Denis Podalydès, Michel Vuillermoz, Instrumental Ens/Jean-Christophe Gayot HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902354 [58:08] [NH] In most important respects this has a good deal going for it.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le Sacre du printemps Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La Mer - New York Philharmonic/Jaap van Zweden rec. 2018 DECCA GOLD 4817981 [59:52] [JQ] An excellent account of La Mer but there are more compelling versions of Le Sacre on the market.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Iolanta; The Nutcracker - Ch et O de l’Opéra National de Paris/Alain Altinoglu rec. March 2016 BELAIR CLASSIQUES Blu-ray BAC445 [240 mins] [SSi] Good singing in Iolanta, but a very odd Nutcracker.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 4 Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition - London SO/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2017-2018 LSO Live SACD LSO0810 [74:18] [ST] Perfectly fine but overall pretty vanilla.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Queen of Spades - Natalia Datsko (soprano) Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone) Moscow RSO/Vladimir Fedoseyev rec. 1989 MELODIYA MELCD1002549 [3 CDs: 161:12] [RMo] Admirers of Hvorostovsky and this opera in general will not be disappointed by this one.

Romuald TWARDOWSKI (b. 1930) Spanish Fantasia, Serenade, Violin Concerto, Niggunim, Capriccio in Blue - Kinga Augustyn (violin) Toruń SO/Mariusz Smolij rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.579031 [62:21] [RC] Twardowski’s eclectic music is well served by the brilliant Kinga Augustyn.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Messa da Requiem - Sächsischer Staatsopernchor, Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2014 PROFIL PH16075 [43.43 + 37.37] [MC] This deserves to be placed in the elevated company of the classic Giulini.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Messa da Requiem - Bolshoi Theatre Ch, St Petersburg PO/Yuri Temirkanov rec. 2017 DELOS DE3563 [49:52 + 40:28] [RMo] This joins my select list of half a dozen favourite recordings.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello - Mario del Monaco (tenor) Victoria de los Angeles (soprano) O & Ch Metropolitan Opera/Fausto Cleva rec. 1958 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO154 [2 CDs: 123:32] Mario del Monaco’s performance is a revelation.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Götterdämmerung - Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Hans Hopf (tenor) Metropolitan Opera Ch & O/Erich Leinsdorf rec. 1962 PRISTINE PACO156 [4 CDs: 246.02] [PCG] By no means everything is perfect, but if I had been in the audience, I would certainly have been one of the cheering customers.

Thomas WILSON (1927-2001) Symphonies no.3 & 4; Carillon - Royal Scottish Ntl O/Rory Macdonald rec. 2018 LINN CKD616 [73:20] [HC] A magnificent release from a major Scottish composer.

Dag WIRÉN (1905-1986) String Quartets Nos 2-5 - Wirén Quartet rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573588 [70:36] [RC] Enjoyable 20th century string quartets of a mostly accessible expressive language.

William WORDSWORTH (1908-1988) Orchestral Music Vol. 1 - Liepāja SO/John Gibbons rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0480 [80:38] [JQ] A very worthwhile disc of music by a composer who had much to say.

Bernd Alois ZIMMERMANN (1918-1970) Die Soldaten, Photoptosis, Violin Concerto - Leila Josefowicz (violin) Finnish RSO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2016/18 ONDINE ODE1325-2 [73.45] [GH] An outstanding release, in terms both of music and performance and, indeed, recorded sound.

1717: Memories of a Journey to Italy  Scaramuccia rec. 2018 SNAKEWOOD EDITIONS SCD201801 [62:19] [JW] Consistently persuasive and full of flair and sensitivity.

Le bal des Animaux Sophie Karthäuser (soprano), Dominique Visse (counter-tenor), Eugene Asti (piano) rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902260 [71:19] [GF] One of the most charming thematic recitals I’ve come across.

Baltic Concerti Works by Juzeliūnas, Šenderovas & Vasks - Džeraldas Bidva (violin), Lithuanian CO/Modestas Pitrėnas, Adrija Čepaitė rec. 2014/16 ODRADEK ODRCD369 [71:21] [JW] Three very different and demanding works in fine performances.

Julien Behr (tenor) Confidence - Lyon Opera O/Pierre Bleuse rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS 401 [65.37] [MC] A captivating collection, beautifully sung and recorded.

The Coronation of George II King’s Consort & Ch/Robert King rec. 2018 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES CVS005 DVD [98 mins] [JQ] By any standards this is a pretty spectacular show.

Dos Estrellas Le Siguen Musica Ficta rec. 2010 CENTAUR CRC3501 [70.24] [GH] A highly colourful and enjoyable mixture of pieces idiomatically performed and brilliantly recorded.

Dreams of Freedom Carion Wind Quintet rec. 2018 ODRADEK ODRCD373 [58:55] [SSi] This welcome disc brings together old favourites and new arrangements for wind quintet.

Elsa Dreisig (soprano) Miroir(s) - O Ntl de Montpellier Occitanie/Michael Schønwandt rec. 2018 ERATO 9029563413 [70.22] [MC] Dreisig shows tremendous promise with this engaging and well-chosen opera aria collection.

Devy Erlih (violin) Legendary Treasures Vol. 2 rec. c. 1973 DOREMI DHR-8071-72 [70:59 + 71:35] [JW] It’s good to know that Erlih is not being forgotten.

Extravagantes Seicento Girandole Armoniche rec. 2017 ARCANA A113 [57:17] [JV] Great stuff, excellently performed.

Sergio Fiorentino (piano) Live in Taiwan rec. 1998 RHINE CLASSICS RH-009 [71:47] [JW] This release also makes an immediate appeal to the senses.

French Music for String Orchestra Ciconia Consort/Dick van Gasteren rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95734 [79:45] [MC] Compelling.

Fro bin ich dein Musical treasures from 16th century Basel - Ensemble Canti B rec. 2015 COVIELLO CLASSICS COV91708 [59:32] [JV] A very entertaining disc with a mixture of familiar and little-known pieces.

Gloriosus Franciscus Anonima Frottolisti rec. 2016 TACTUS TC250001 [73:48] [JV] A compelling disc of pieces from sources which are seldom explored for performances and recordings.

Marianna Henriksson (harpsichord) Frammenti del discorso amoroso - rec. 2017 SIBA RECORDS SRCD1020 [57:25] [GPu] An outstanding recital which exploits to the full the early baroque idea of musical rhetoric.

Wolfgang Holzmair (baritone) Chansons Françaises - Maria Belooussova (piano) rec. 2012 ELOQUENCE 4817502 [70:32] [GF] A singer with all the attributes for singing the French repertoire.

 In a Strange Land Stile Antico rec. 2018 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902266 [71:34] [JQ] A very thoughtfully constructed programme containing wonderful music, marvellously sung.

Neeme Järvi (conductor) A Lifetime on Chandos CHANDOS CHAN20088 [25 CDs: 30 hours] [JW] A deserved tribute to almost 40 years with the label.

Leningrad Violin Concertos Works by Nagovitsyn, Slonimsky & Uspensky - Marina Yashvili, Sergey Stadler, Maxim Vengerov, Arkady Gutnikov (violin) Leningrad PO rec. 1983-89 NORTHERN FLOWERS NFPMA99128 [71:35] [RB] A provocative collection that continues the process of shaking up the classical 'scene'.

Lichtwechsel Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) String Quartet No. 6, Capriccio Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Fantasias - Alinde Qt rec. 2018 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC18031 [43.14] [MC] A commendable debut album.

Lignes Parallèles Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony No. 49 Dinu LIPATTI (1917-1950) Piano Concertino Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 27 - Julien Libeer (piano) Les Métamorphoses/Raphaël Feye rec. 2018 EVIL PENGUIN RECORDS EPRC0029 [64:42] [DC] Refreshingly unpretentious and highly enjoyable.

Musica Incognita Ian Zook (horn) Eric Ruple (piano) rec. 2016 MSR CLASSICS MS1676 [58:13] [SSi] A must for all fans of the horn.

Nature’s Solace Songs by Schumann, Brahms & Kilpinen - Stephan Loges (bass-baritone) Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2013/17 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD554 [53:25] [GF] I hope Signum will give Loges and Burnside further opportunities to investigate the German Lied repertoire.

L’Opéra des Opéras Katherine Watson (soprano) Karine Deshayes (mezzo) Reinoud van Mechelen (counter-tenor) Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS 442 [74:10] [SSi] This recording represents one of the finest recordings of French baroque musical drama that I have heard in a long time.

L'orgue des jardiniers Works by Walther, Böhm & Bach - Jérôme Mondésert (organ) HORTUS 158 [61:58] [JV] Of more interest for the instrument than the performances.

Ossesso Ratas del Viejo Mundo/Flois de Rycker rec. 2018 RAMÉE RAM1808 [53.40] [GH] Some wonderfully expressive, as well as energetic and agile, singing here, and some fine music making all round.

Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano) A Simple Song - Bengt Forsberg (organ) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2327 SACD [69:01] [GF] A disc for overwhelming sonic and musical rapture.

Güher & Süher Pekinel (pianos) Treasures ARTHAUS MUSIK Blu-ray/DVD/CD 109366 [13 discs: 1034 mins] [RC] A most welcome tribute to two rare talents who have few if any peers in their category.

Marina Rebeka (soprano) O Teatro Massimo di Palermo/Jader Bignamini rec. 2018 PRIMA CLASSIC PRIMA001 [77:57] [GF] This is a splendid album, for the repertoire as well as for the singing.

Rostropovich: The Indomitable Bow A film by Bruno Monsaingeon NAXOS NBD0082V Blu-ray [167 mins] [RWe] One of the best films about a musician that even Bruno Monsaingeon has ever given us.

Sailing By Concert O/Iain Sutherland rec. 1983-88 ALTO ALC1392 [79:30] [RB] One of light music's grandees delivers results red in tooth and claw.

Salut d’amour Sueye Park (violin), Love Derwinger (piano) rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2382 SACD [58:43] [GF] Totally convincing.

Silver Voice Katherine Bryan (flute) O Opera North/Bramwell Tovey rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5211 SACD [65:07] [SA] The disc passes a pleasant hour, but doesn't offers much more.

Si vous vouliez un jour Les Arts Florissants/William Christie rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HAF8905306 [73:44] [SSi] This is a wonderfully engaging and interesting release and a worthy companion to the first volume.

Stuart Skelton (tenor) Shining Knight - West Australian SO/Asher Fisch rec. 2018 ABC CLASSICS 481 7219 [65:18] [GF] Skelton knows his Wagner inside out and is as reliable as ever.

Songs of Renewal Bath Camerata/Benjamin Goodson rec. 2018 SOMM CÉLESTE SOMMCD0195 [61:34] [JQ] If you enjoy twenty-first-century choral music then you’ll find this excellent disc very rewarding.

Streya Olivia De Prato (violin) Samson Young, Missy Mazzoli (electronics) NEW FOCUS RECORDINGS FCR193 [45:08] [JW] A fearless and sensitive performer of cutting-edge contemporary music.

Variations sérieuses Works by Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bizet & Szymanowski - Lilit Grigoryan (piano) rec. 2018 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100088 [73:01] [RBe] A very good recital.

Vive la Différence Anthony Robb (flute), Jeremy Polmear (oboe), Michael Bell (piano) rec. 2018 OBOE CLASSICS CC2035 [61:00] [RB] Personably played and persuasively recorded.

John Scott Whiteley (organ) SELBY ABBEY ORGAN MASTERS SAOM002 [75:55] [JW] A particularly valuable addition to the contemporary Selby catalogue.

Other Reviews

Now Jazz & Renaissance Improvisations - Axel Wolf (lute, theorbo) Hugo Siegmeth (saxophones, bass-clarinet) rec. 2015-17 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 1897 [72:56] [GPu] Not remotely akin to crossover, but two accomplished musicians building something distinctive and fascinating.

Articles and Notices

The Music of Hermann Goetz by Andrew Hartmann

Verdi's Otello - a survey by Ralph Moore

Cherubini's Medea - a survey by Ralph Moore

Listening Studio Report by John Quinn

Gerald Larner - an obituary by Kenneth Shenton

Second Thoughts & Short Reviews - Spring 2019-1 by Brian Wilson

Verdi's Falstaff - a survey by Ralph Moore

 



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