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Soprano Angela Gheorghiu in conversation with Michael Cookson

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Live performance reviews posted daily at Seen and Heard

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Monday September 30th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mister Bach’s European Journey - Andrea Bacchetti (piano) rec. 2018 MUSIC MEDIA MM05 [77:34] [DC] An attractive package.

Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) An English Mass, Cello Concerto - Guy Johnston (cello), King’s College Ch Cambridge, Britten Sinfonia/Stephen Cleobury, Ben Parry, Christopher Seaman rec. 2018/19 KING’S COLLEGE KGS0032 SACD [48:58 + 54:39] [JW] A central recommendation for Howells admirers.

Witold JANIAK (b. 1974) Noesis - Witold Janiak (piano) Dominika Sznajder, Paulina Kołodziejczyk (violin) Monika Swiniarska (viola) Jakub Łemański (cello) rec. 2018 DUX RECORDS 1568 [56:18] [PRB] Certainly engaging and rarely tires on the ear, but it’s not really saying anything fundamentally new.

Dan LOCKLAIR (b. 1949) Symphony No. 2, Organ Concerto, Hail the coming day, PHOENIX - Peter Mikula (organ) Slovak Ntl SO/Kirk Trevor, Michael Rohac rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.559860 [63.03] [EJW] Very enjoyable; Locklair has a flair for orchestration.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Euryanthe - Norman Reinhardt (tenor), Jacquelyn Wagner (soprano), ORF Vienna RSO/Constantin Trinks rec. 2018 CAPRICCIO C5373 [77:23 + 83:18] [RJW] Strong competition for the Norman/Janowski recording.

Nordic Music Works by Berwald, Grieg & Nielsen - Ana-Marija Markovina (piano), Schleswig-Holsteinisches SO/Peter Sommerer HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC17027 [63:43] [RBe] The Grieg is not a contender, but the Berwald is certainly worth a listen.

Friday September 27th 

Rolf MARTINSSON (b. 1956) Garden of Devotion, A.S. in memoriam, Landscape, Kalliope - Lisa Larsson (soprano) Bas Treub (violin) Netherlands CO/Gordan Nikolić rec. 2018 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72754 SACD [78:06] [DC] Deeply satisfying late Romantic expressive richness.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos Nos 17 & 24 - Orli Shaham (piano) St Louis SO/David Robertson rec. 2017/18 CANARY CLASSICS CC18 [59:10] [JW] Well worth hearing.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Verdi Heroines rec. 1981-2014 ORFEO MP1904 [64:56 + 79:38] [GF] As with all compilations of this kind there are swings and roundabouts, but the general standard is high.

Sir Colin Davis (conductor) Anthology - London SO & Ch rec. 1999-2009 LSO LIVE LSO0766 CD/SACD/DVD [13 discs: 765 mins] [JQ] LSO Live has done Sir Colin proud with this handsome tribute and at a price which makes this set an outstanding bargain.

Piano Miniatures by Female Composers Viviane Goergen (piano) rec. 2017 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38559 [54:13] [SSi] Viviane Goergen champions the music of nine women in an interesting and engaging recital containing music of much beauty and interest.

Ruggiero Ricci (violin) Discovered tapes: Concertos rec. 1951-1978 RHINE CLASSICS RH-008 [6 CDs: 430:57] [SG] There's so much to treasure amongst this collection of immeasurable riches.

Thursday September 26th

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonatas Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Arpeggione Sonata, Sonatina - Pieter Wispelwey (cello), Paolo Giacometti (piano) rec. 2018 EVIL PENGUIN CLASSIC EPRC0030 [47:53 + 43:09] [DC] A fine collection.

Avner DORMAN (b.1975) Letters from Gettysburg, After Brahms, Nigunim - Gil Shaham (violin) Orli Shaham (piano) Tremolo Percussion Ens, Gettysburg College Ch/Robert Natter rec. 2011-15 CANARY CLASSICS CC17 [56:11] [JW] New and pertinent things to say and to share.

Alexander MOYZES (1906-1984) Symphonies Nos 11 & 12 - Slovak RSO/Ladislav Slovák rec. 1993/95 NAXOS 8.573655 [69:53] [MW] A welcome re-release of tuneful, accessible symphonies of real substance.

Stefan PRINS (b. 1979) Augmented - Yaron Deutsch (electric guitar), Stefan Prins (live electronics), Stephane Ginsbergh (piano and keyboards), Nadar Ensemble, Klangforum Wien/Bas Wieger rec. 2014/2018 KAIROS 0015044KAI [DVD: 203 mins & CD: 80:18] [RHa] Four and a half hours of challenging, confrontational, frequently ear-bleeding new music - not remotely for the faint-hearted.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Manon Lescaut - Hjördis Schymberg (soprano), Jussi Björling (tenor), Royal Swedish Opera Ch & O/Nils Grevillius rec. 1959 IMMORTAL PERFORMANCES IPCD1110-2 [77:18 + 78:27] [GF] Ample proof that Björling was at the top of his trade to the very end of his career.

Zwiegespräche Works by Holliger & Kurtág - Sarah Wegener (soprano) Ernesto Molinari (clarinet) Philippe Jaccottet (recitation) rec. 2018 ECM RECORDS 2665 [74:34] [DC] Tinged with melancholy, but fortified by affection.

Wednesday September 25th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) - Leo van Doesselaar, Erwin Wiersinga (organs) rec. 2019 MDG 9062137-6 SACD [73:54] [DC] Bach, organ and audiophile fans, please form an orderly queue.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) An die ferne Geliebte; Piano Trio No.7 James WRIGHT (b. 1959) Letters to the Immortal Beloved - David John Pike (baritone), James Parker (piano), Gryphon Trio rec. 2008 ANALEKTA AN29522 [70:33] [PCG] Well worth hearing, especially for the Beethoven songs.

Dora BRIGHT (1862-1951) Piano Concerto No. 1; Variations Ruth GIPPS (1921-1999) Piano Concerto; Ambarvalia - Samantha Ward, Murray McLachlan (piano), Royal Liverpool PO/Charles Peebles rec. 2019 SOMM SOMMCD273 [75:22] [JQ] A valuable and rewarding disc of neglected music, all of which is well worth hearing.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Mass No. 3, Symphonisches Praeludium, Postludium – Sigurd Øgaard (organ) Houston Symphony Ch, Moores School SO/Franz Anton Krager, Michelle Perrin Blair rec. 2013 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS  [78:43] [RMo] A tempting prospect for any committed Brucknerian.

Georg SCHUMANN (1866-1952) Lieder - Mary Nelson (soprano) Mark Ford (piano) rec. 2013 STONE RECORDS 5060192780796 [68:33] [JW] Those on the lookout for harmonically rich late Romantic songs might care to lend an ear to this body of music.

Fantasy Works by Telemann, Schubert, Lark, Kreisler & Ravel - Tessa Lark (violin), Amy Yang (piano) rec. 2016 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR86 [66:42] [PRB] This CD ticks virtually every box.

Tuesday September 24th

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 1 Vasily KALINNIKOV (1866-1901) Symphony No. 1 Indianapolis SO/Fabien Sevitzky rec. 1941/1946 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC560 [75:21] [JQ] Performances of freshness and sparkle in excellent transfers.

Magdalena Kožená (mezzo) Soirée - Sir Simon Rattle (piano) rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186671 SACD [73:24] [MC] Magdalena Kožená at her most engaging.

Morgen Works by Brahms, Schubert & R Strauss - Evgeni Bozhanov (piano) rec. 2017 AVANTICLASSIC 5414706 10592 [60:17] [DC] Romantic piano… very romantic.

Paths That Lead Away From Bach John Scott Whiteley (organ) rec. 2015 VISCOUNT CLASSICAL DVD SADVD002 [67:23] [JW] Another dedicated and thoughtfully conceived recital from Selby Abbey.

Silenced Voices Works by Kattenburg, Klein, Kuti, Krása, Hermann & Frid - Black Oak Ens CEDILLE CDR90000189 [67.00] [GH] Totally convincing performances, superbly recorded.

Worthweill Originals Works for wind band - Marine Band Royal Netherlands Navy/Major Arjan Tien rec. 2018 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS42019 [72:29] [GPJ] An enterprising and thoroughly enjoyable disc. 


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