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Friday March 29th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier - Heidrun Holtmann (piano) rec. 2016 MUSICAPHON M56922 [4 CDs: 232:56] [DC] Skilfully crafted, but will you be transfixed and transformed?

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Wozzeck - Christopher Maltman (baritone), Netherlands PO/Marc Albrecht rec. 2017 NAXOS NBD0081V Blu-ray [107 mins] [DBi] A very fine performance of Berg's great music drama but one that needs to be watched at least twice before coming to judgement.

Gabriel JACKSON (b 1962) Passion - Emma Tring (soprano) Guy Cutting (tenor) Merton College Ch, Oxford Contemporary Sinfonia/Benjamin Nicholas rec. 2018 DELPHIAN DCD34222 [69:01] [JQ] An exceptional contemporary Passion setting in a marvellous first recording.

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Violin Concerto - Louis Kaufman (violin) Paul Ulanowsky (piano) Santa Monica SO/Jacques Rachmilovich rec. 1945/1952 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1557 [60:42] [JW] Kaufman admirers will enjoy this seductive bipartite disc.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Transcendental Études, Rigoletto Paraphrase, La leggierezza - Boris Giltburg (piano) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573981 [79:30] [RC] Giltburg is in the running for one of the top spots in the Liszt 'Transcendental' sweepstakes.

Emil von REZNIČEK (1860-1945) Symphonic Suite No.1, Traumspiel & Karneval Suites - Weimar Staatskapelle/Stefan Solyom rec. 2012 CPO 555 056-2 [69:25] [EJW] A very welcome release.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Chant Funèbre, The Firebird, Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 12 - Radio-SO Wien/Cornelius Meister rec. 2017/18 CAPRICCIO C5352 [69:22] [RWe] Especially valuable for someone looking to be persuaded that the maligned 12th is worth another hearing.

Revolution Janoska Ens rec. 2018 DG 7725932 [63:20] [JW] Spirited and generous music-making.

Seven Last Words from the Cross Skylark/Matthew Guard rec. 2017 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92219 CD/BD-A [48:52] [NH] Much to enjoy and to reflect upon.

D’Arcy Trinkwon (organ) The Viscount Organ of Selby Abbey rec. 2015 VISCOUNT CLASSICAL DVD SADVD001 [88:10] [JW] A valuable, creative and imaginative recital.

Thursday March 28th

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Sardanapalo, Mazeppa - Joyce El-Khoury (soprano), Airam Hernández (tenor), Oleksandr Pushniak (bass-baritone), Opera Chorus Nationaltheater Weimar, Staatskapelle Weimar/Kirill Karabits rec. 2018 AUDITE 97.764 [67:01] [EJW] Specialists will certainly want (need?) this recording.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) & Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concertos - Bronislav Gimpel (violin), Bamberg SO/Johannes Schüler rec. c. 1961 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1556 [61:02] [JW] A true romanticist, and a tonalist of beguiling colour and warmth.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphonies Nos 4 & 5 - Tonkünstler O/Andrés Orozco-Estrada rec. 2014 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1834 [55:43] [SV] If you want a fine modern coupling of these two symphonies, look no further.

Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937), Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) & Enchaînées, André PRÉVOST (1934-2001) Violin Sonatas - Hélène Collerette (violin), Anne Le Bozec (piano) rec. 2016 RADIO FRANCE SIG11107 [64:11] [BSt] A splendid recital of unusual violin sonatas.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony No. 3, Romance, Tarantella - Anne Freitag (flute) Francesco Negrini (clarinet) Ulrich Meldau (organ) Capriccio Baroque O/Karel Valter rec. 2017 AEOLUS AE10097 SACD [53:25] [SG] A familiar work presented in an attractive new light.

20th Century French Flute Concertos Ransom Wilson (flute), BBC Concert O/Perry So rec. 2017 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6375 [63:46] [RHa] Much of this music may well brighten your day and the performances are well-turned and congenial.

Jewels of French Ballet ROH Covent Garden O/Georg Solti & John Lanchbery, Berlin PO & Vienna PO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1960-62 ALTO ALC1386 [79:00] [RMay] Ignore the shoddy presentation and enjoy some very fine performances.

Love is come again Music for the Springhead Easter Play - Monteverdi Ch, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2018 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG731 [67:37] [JQ] A fine and thoughtful musical celebration of Easter – and of a local community.

New Year’s Concert 2019 Vienna PO/Christian Thielemann rec. 2019 SONY CLASSICAL 19075902822 [56.00 + 54.08] [MC] Performances that feel spontaneous with such judicious and subtle use of colour and nuance.

A Walk with Ivor Gurney Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo) Simon Callow (narrator) Tenebrae, Aurora O/Nigel Short rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD557 [44:06 + 43:30] [MG] The programme has an illuminating quality; add Sarah Connolly in glorious voice and the whole product is special.

Wednesday March 27th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Six Suites for Solo Cello - Jean de Spengler rec. 2018 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1575/7 [3 CDs: 163:52] [SG] Those who prefer this music performed on a modern instrument will not be disappointed.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1705) Magnificat in D, BWV243 Robert Maximilian HELMSCHROTT (b.1938) Lumen - Simon Mayr Ch, Concerto de Bassus/Franz Hauk rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.579049 [65:57] [MC] Lumen is a powerful choral work reflecting on issues which trouble our world, but the Bach is disappointing.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Septet Joseph KÜFFNER (1777-1856) Introduction, Theme & Variations - Emma Johnson (clarinet) Carducci String Qt, Chris West (double bass) Philip Gibson (bassoon) Peter Francombe (horn) rec. 2017 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMM0190 [57:38] [JW] Engaging performances.

Torbjörn Iwan LUNDQUIST (1920-2000) Nils Holgerssons underbara resa, Gösta Berlings saga - Royal Stockholm PO, Bel canto kören/Torbjörn Iwan Lundquist rec. 1962/63 STERLING CDS 1117-2 [72.48] [MW] A marvellous reissue of big themed and attractive scores: enjoyment guaranteed.

August Eberhard MÜLLER (1767-1817) Flute Concertos - Tatjana Ruhland (flute) SW German CO Pforzheim/Timo Handschuh rec. 2014 CPO 777956-2 [73:54] [RW] Sensitive and polished interpretations.

Åke PARMERUD (b 1953) Zeit aus Zeit, Mirage, Rituals - Kenneth Karlsson (piano), Bjørn Rabben (percussion), Cikada/Christian Eggen rec 2015 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1161 [59:54] [RHa] Interesting electroacoustic fare from Sweden featuring the fine musicians of Cikada.

Julius RÖNTGEN (1855-1932) Piano Music Vol. 4 - Mark Anderson (piano) rec. 2018 NIMBUS NI5975 [57:38] [SSi] This is an interesting and worthy addition to any collection of late romantic piano music.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies Nos 6 & 7, King Lear Suite, Festival Overture - Boston SO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 6728 [53:38 + 78:24] [JQ] Another significant addition to what is fast becoming a notable Shostakovich series.

Enchanted (works for cello & piano) - Duo Arnicans rec. 2017 SOLO MUSICA SM288 [71.04] [MC] Top drawer performances of beauty and sincerity.

Fenêtre sur le jardin Ksenia Kouzmenko (piano) rec. 2018 COBRA 0070 [61:43] [JW] Well-shaped and lively performances of Czech classics.

Tuesday March 26th

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 2, Triple Concerto - Maria João Pires, Lars Vogt (piano) Gordan Nikolitch (violin) Tim Hugh (cello) London SO/Bernard Haitink rec. 2005/13 LSO LIVE SACD LSO0745 [66:52] [RC] These are reissues, but if you haven’t heard the Pires, do so because it is outstanding.

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Piano Concerto - Kirill Gerstein (piano) Tanglewood Festival Ch, Boston SO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2017 MYRIOS CLASSICS MYR024 [70.22] [MC] A penetrating and persuasive performance.

Gary HIGGINSON (b. 1952) Scenes and Messages - Patricia Auchterlonie (soprano), Oliver Brignall, Laura Cioffi (flute), Jonathan Hyde (baritone), Alessandro Viale (piano) rec. 2018 SHEVA SH209 [67:47] [JF] An absorbing and rewarding collection, beautifully performed and presented

Gustav Albert LORTZING (1801-1851) Opera Overtures - Malmö Opera O/Jun Märkl rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573824 [66:53] [RW] Interesting music decently performed and recorded.

Johanna SENFTER (1879-1961) Violin sonatas, Suites for 2 violins - Friedemann & Alexia Eichhorn (violins) Paul Rivinius (piano) rec. 2007 PALADINO PMR0101 [54:26 + 35:41] [SG] Here’s hoping this recording will kick-start a renewed interest in this long forgotten composer.

Sir Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) & Michael THOMSON (1949-2016) Organ works - John Kitchen (organ) rec. 2018 DELPHIAN DCD34212 [69:52] [MR] An enjoyable romp, but one which misses out on its full potential to entertain the masses.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) & Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas - Paul Lewis (piano) rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902324 [57:34] [RBe] Lewis’ performances compare well with the very best in the catalogue.

Locus iste Ch St John’s College Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD567 [73:51] [JQ] It would be hard to imagine a finer celebration of the 150th anniversary of St John’s College Chapel.

Madrigali Diminuiti Doulce Mémoire/Denis Raisin Dadre rec. 2016 RICERCAR RIC371 [67:20] [JV] A model of sound music making.

Maria Yudina (piano) The Art Of rec. 1936-1970 SCRIBENDUM SC813 [26 CDs: 29 hours] [JW] Shortcomings in documentation and sound quality, but this currently the most effective way to acquire the bulk of her legacy on disc.

Monday March 25th 

Juan Crisóstomo de ARRIAGA (1806-1826) Herminie, Overture, Symphonie à grand orchestre - Berit Norbakken Solset (soprano), BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20077 [68:09] [MW] A most useful compendium of Arriaga’s music, lovingly performed in excellent sound.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Johannes-Passion - Moscow State Choral School Ch, Leningrad CO Old and Modern Music/Eduard Serov rec. 1981 MELODIYA MELCD1002379 [64:16+66:05] [RMo] I can think of no reason why anyone would be drawn to this stylistically anachronistic, sonically inferior and artistically deficient recording.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924), Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) & Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Violin Sonatas - Bomsori Kim (violin) Rafał Blechacz (piano) rec. 2018 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4836467 [62:54] [SG] A stunning recording just too good to miss.

Raul KOCZALSKI (1885-1948) Piano Concerti Nos 3 & 4 - Joanna Ławrynowicz (piano), Filharmonii im. Henryka Wieniawskiego w Lublinie SO/Wojciech Rodek rec. 2018 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0502 [56:11] [JW] Thoroughly committed and sensitive performances.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Années de pèlerinage, troisième année & other late piano works - Cédric Tiberghien (piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68202 [80:15] [RWe] One of the very best discs of these late works now in the catalogue.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 - Ruby Hughes (soprano), Sasha Cooke (mezzo), Minnesota Chorale, Minnesota O/Osmo Vänskä rec. 2017 BIS BIS2296 SACD [84:38] [DBi] Impressive and suitably tumultuous.

André MESSAGER (1853-1929) Les P’tites Michu - Ch d’Angers Nantes Opera, O National des Pays de la Loire/Pierre Dumoussaud rec. 2018 BRU ZANE BZ1034 [59:25+43:30] [SSi] This wonderful presentation of a lovely humorous work will delight anyone who has been enamoured by Messager’s Véronique.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Cello Concerto, Fantasiestücke, Stücke im Volkston, Adagio & Allegro - Gautier Capuçon (cello) Martha Argerich (piano) Renaud Capuçon (violin) CO of Europe/Bernard Haitink rec. 2009-15 ERATO 9029563421 [78:19] [MC] First class performances and sound.

Iannis XENAKIS (1922-2001) Pléïades - DeciBells rec. 2018 GENUIN GEN19633 [48:24] [JF] Just sit back and enjoy.

Association for Private Musical Performances Chamber Music Arrangements - Linos Ens rec. 1999-2011 CAPRICCIO C7265 [8 CDs: 519:44] [RHa] A hugely desirable set of treasures which go way beyond historical interest.


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