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100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Bruno Monteiro (violin)


More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)


Gloriæ Dei Cantores


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Recordings of the Month

April

Feinberg Piano Sonatas


Schoenberg Violin Concerto


Early Keyboard


Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God

March


Haydn Scottish Songs


Choral Music


Liszt Sonata


Renaissance Bohemia

February


Hahn Complete Songs


Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne

Monthly Listing
April 2020
224 reviews this month

Samuil FEINBERG (1890-1962) Piano Sonatas No 1-6 - Marc-André Hamelin (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68233 [74:28] [RHa] Extraordinary music, playing and sound - acquire without delay.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Violin Concerto, Verklärte Nacht - Isabelle Faust (violin) Swedish RSO/Daniel Harding rec. 2018/19 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902341 [63:12] [ST] A sparkling treasure with the potential to change your understanding of Schoenberg’s music.

The Long 17th Century Daniel-Ben Pienaar (piano) rec. 2018 AVIE AV2415 [75:50 + 74:58] [GPu] My joy was virtually unalloyed and constant.

Nun danket alle Gott Julie Roset (soprano), Clematis/Stéphanie de Failly, Brice Sailly rec. 2019 RICERCAR RIC415 [62:09] [BW] One of most uplifting recordings to have come my way recently.

Amy Yang (piano) Resonance rec. 2017 MSR CLASSICS MS1655 [76:14] [DD] Simply magnificent and wonderful playing from start to finish - more please … and soon.

Thomas ADČS (b. 1971) Piano Concerto, Totentanz – Kirill Gerstein (piano) Christianne Stotijn (mezzo) Mark Stone (baritone) Boston SO/Thomas Adčs rec. 2016/19 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 7998 [55:58] [LW] Two sides of Thomas Adčs brilliantly executed and stunningly recorded.

Coriún AHARONIÁN (1940-2017) Una carta - Ens Aventure, SWF SO Baden-Baden/Zoltán Peskó rec. 1993-2019 WERGO WER7374-2 [63:16] [RHa] I implore one and all – don’t miss this unique Uruguayan.

Jehan ALAIN (1911-1940) Organ Works - Thomas Monnet (organ) HORTUS 180 [60:39] [MR] Magnificently recorded and very well played; shame about the booklet.

Gregorio ALLEGRI (1582–1652) Miserere William MUNDY (c.1529–1591) Vox Patris cćlestis Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (c.1525–1594) Missa Papć Marcelli - Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips rec. 1980 GIMELL CDGIM639 [68:57] [BW] This remastering seems destined to be my reissue of the year.

Lera AUERBACH (b. 1973) 72 Angels - Netherlands Chamber Ch/Peter Dijkstra, Raschčr Saxophone Qt rec. 2019 ALPHA 593 [83:59] [RHa] A vision touched by ambition and imagination, a triumph of Auerbach’s craftsmanship, but a tough nut to crack.

Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Chamber works - Jaga Klimaszewska (violin) Mateusz Rettner (piano) rec. 2019 DUX 1561 [66:46] [JW] A cleverly selected programme given youthful, invigorating performances.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Complete Original Works for Violin & Keyboard - Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin) James Baillieu (piano) rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD573 [3 CDs: 153:12] [SSi] A first-rate performance, even if not quite to my taste.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 - Colin Booth (harpsichord) rec. 2018 SOUNDBOARD RECORDS SBCD218 [59:31 + 62:12] [RMas] A thoughtful and convincing performance.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas and Partitas - Alexander Schneider (violin) rec. 1949 BIDDULPH LAB2055 [2 CDs: 143:38] [JW] A real rarity.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St Matthew Passion - Ch King’s College, Cambridge, Academy of Ancient Music/Sir Stephen Cleobury rec. 2019 KINGS COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE KGS0037 SACD [3 discs: 163:36] [JQ] A fine memorial to Sir Stephen Cleobury, and an excellent performance in its own right of the St Matthew Passion.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites - Alisa Weilerstein (cello) rec. 2019 PENTATONE PTC5186751 [78:43 + 82:07] [RMo] The cello suites are tolerant of interpretative diversity and there is certainly room for Weilerstein’s on my shelves.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Keyboard Concertos - Francesco Corti (harpsichord); Il Pomo d’Oro rec. 2019 PENTATONE PTC5186837 [64:06] [BW]  If you like Bach fast but not too furious, this new recording could be for you.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Passacaglia and Fugue, Toccata and Fugue, Toccata, Adagio and Fugue, Fantasia and Fugue, Prelude and Fugue - Ashley Grote (organ) SELBY ABBEY ORGAN MASTERS SAOM006 [73:44] [DD] An excellent Bach organ recital, wonderfully played and recorded; best played loud.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Keyboard Concerti Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Cello Concerti - Einar Steen-Nøkleberg (piano), Alexander Zagorinsky (cello), Vologda Philharmonic Society CO/Alexander Loskutov rec. 2018 MELODIYA MELCD1002592 [67:00] [DD] Played with consummate aplomb and excellently recorded.

Franck BEDROSSIAN (b. 1971) Twist; Edges, Epigram Donatienne - Michel-Dansac (soprano) Duo Links, SWR SO/Alejo Pérez; Klangforum Wien/Emilio Pomàrico rec 2008-18 KAIROS 0015042KAI [56:08] [RHa] Bedrossian contrives angular, confrontational sounds which are most certainly not for the faint-hearted.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trios 3 & 7 - Vienna Piano Trio rec. 2019 MDG 942 2155-6 SACD [73:35] [RMo] Impeccable performances of two favourite trios in first-rate sound.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Piano Concertos - Stewart Goodyear (piano) BBC Ntl O Wales/Andrew Constantine rec. 2018 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100127 [3 CDs: 2:52:44] [RC] A major achievement placing him among the foremost interpreters of these masterpieces.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas - Paul Badura-Skoda (fortepiano) rec. 1978-1989 ARCANA A203 [9 CDs: 606:09] [SSi] This wonderful addition to the catalogue in the anniversary year compares with performances on modern grand pianos.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Nos. 30-32 - Maurizio Pollini (piano) rec. live 2019 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4838250 [56:07] [BW]  Steven Osborne on Hyperion would be my ultimate choice, but Maurizio Pollini’s more objective accounts are very valuable.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa solemnis - Gundula Janowitz (soprano) Christa Ludwig (contralto) Fritz Wunderlich (tenor) Walter Berry (bass) Weiner Singverein, Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1966 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 8221 CD/BD-A [86:05] [JQ] A really distinguished account of Missa solemnis, magnificently remastered.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Piano Concertos - Stephen Hough (piano) Finnish RSO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68291/3 [3 CDs: 172:19] [JQ] A deeply rewarding and distinguished set of the Beethoven piano concertos.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis - Leeds Festival Ch, Philharmonia O/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1958 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO168 [77:01] [JQ] Jascha Horenstein leads a memorable interpretation of Beethoven’s towering choral masterpiece.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Leonore - Zürcher Sing-Akademie, Freiburger Barockorchester/René Jacobs rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902414.15 [70:10 + 69:57] [MZ] Despite a few shortcomings, this Leonore is a very welcome addition to a Beethoven library.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Piano Concertos Nos 1, 3 & 4, Triple Concerto - Inon Barnatan (piano) Stefan Jackiw (violin), Alisa Weilerstein (cello) ASMF/Alan Gilbert rec. 2015/17 PENTATONE PTC5186817 [74.56 + 70.40] [CRa] The Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields makes its first foray into the complete Beethoven piano concertos with the classy Inon Barnatan.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto, Romances - Lena Neudauer (violin) Cappella Aquileia/Marcus Bosch rec. 2018 CPO 777 559-2 [56:26] [TB] A satisfying entry in a crowded market.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Die Ruinen von Athen - Ch Cathedralis Aboensis, Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574076 [81:54] [RMo] A rather strange and ultimately slightly amateurish project.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 5 - MusicAeterna/Teodor Currentzis rec. 2018 SONY 19075884972 [30:34] [DD] Just Beethoven 5 on its own at full price; interesting in parts but too cold-blooded to challenge the greats.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.3, Egmont overture - Klangkollektiv Wien/Rémy Ballot rec. 2019 GRAMOLA 99210 [58:45] [DC] Very admirable, but hard to recommend over others.

Natanael BERG (1879-1957) Symphony No. 4, Piano Concerto, Birgitta Suite - Jacob Moskopvicz (piano) Royal Stockholm PO/Per Borin, Swedish RSO/Stig Westerberg, Goran W. Nilson rec. 1976-91 STERLING CDS1019-2 [75:15] [EJW] It gives me pleasure to bring this unusual CD to your attention.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique, Ręverie et caprice, La mort d’Ophélie, Sara la baigneuse - Philippe Quint (violin) Utah SO & Ch/Thierry Fischer rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68324 [80:33] [SB] A very decent performance of the symphony, and some excellent couplings.

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Mass - Vojtěch Dyk (baritone) Wiener Singakademie, Company of Music, ORF Vienna RSO/Dennis Russell-Davies rec. 2018 CAPRICCIO C5370 [64:26 + 47:21] [NB] I cannot give this an unequivocal recommendation, but it is certainly a valuable addition to the Bernstein discography.

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 - Anna Larsson (mezzo) Roland Pöntinen (piano) Arctic Philharmonic/Christian Lindberg rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2298 SACD [59:43] [JQ] Christian Lindberg is a fine and convincing guide to Bernstein’s first two symphonies.

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen Suite No. 1,  Symphony No. 1 Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893) Petite Symphonie - Scottish CO/François Leleux (oboe) rec. 2019 LINN CKD624 [63:30] [MC] A quite delightful release.

Joseph Bodin de BOISMORTIER (1689-1755) Sonates - Olivier Brault (violin), Sonate 1704 rec. 2018 ANALEKTA AN28769 [65:16] [JV] Lovers of the baroque violin should not hesitate to add this disc to their collection.

Francesco Antonio BONPORTI (1672-1749) Sonatas for 2 violins - Labirinti Armonici rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95966 [60:43] [JV] The players of Labirinti Armonici are skilled and enthusiastic advocates of Bonporti's oeuvre.

Nadia BOULANGER (1887-1979) & Lili BOULANGER (1893-1918) Mélodies - Cyrille Dubois (tenor) Tristan Raës (piano) rec. 2018 APARTÉ AP224 [66 mins] [MC] Dubois and Raës make a compelling case for these Boulanger mélodies which deserve to be heard far more often.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Symphony No. 2 - Berlin PO, London PO/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1930-50 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC585 [66:50] [DD] Pristine magic restores some wonderful performances from Furtwängler.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Final Piano Pieces - Stephen Hough (piano) rec. 2014/18 HYPERION CDA68116 [69:08] [WH] Brahms’s farewell to the piano in performances of great subtlety and style.

Johann Evangelist BRANDL (1760-1837) Symphonie Concertante, Symphony - David Castro-Balbi (violin) Alexandre Castro-Balbi (cello) Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Kevin Griffiths rec. 2018 CPO 555 227-2 [63:26] [RB] There is much to be enjoyed here; not least the attentive and fervent attentions of the performers.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No. 6 - Bergen PO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2404 SACD [53:21] [SG] The first in a Bruckner mini-series and the omens are good.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies No. 3, 4, 5 & 8 - Munich PO, Vienna PO/Hans Knappertsbusch rec. 1954-63 ELOQUENCE 4828800 [4 CDs: 260:26] [RMo] Kna transcends the limitations of playing Bruckner’s symphonies in now discredited versions to produce performances of cosmic splendour.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Böck liest Bruckner I - Briefe und Musik - Wolfgang Böck (speaker), Elizabeth Wimmer (soprano), Daniel Linton-France (piano) rec. 2018 GRAMOLA 99195 [82.42] [MW] Well-performed, but probably more valuable for researchers.

William BYRD (1539/40-1623) Singing in Secret - The Marian Consort/Rory McCleery rec. 2019 DELPHIAN DCD34230 [60:14] [JQ] A highly impressive release.

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etudes - Radoslav Kvapil (piano) rec. 1997 RUSSIAN COMPACT DISC RCD30109 [66:23] [DD] Wonderful, life-affirming music played with panache by a pianistic veteran.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Ballades, Berceuse, Barcarolle, Fantaisie - Rafal Luszczewski (piano) rec. 2016/17 DUX 1627 [61:26] [DD] A very fine and highly enjoyable Chopin recital.

Nicolas CLÉRAMBAULT (1676-1749) Chamber Music from the Brossard Collection - The Bach Players rec. 2018 COVIELLO COV91928 [58:49] [SSi] This will give great pleasure, and it adds to our understanding of the composer’s music.

Edward COWIE (b. 1943) String Quartets Nos 1, 2 & 6 - Kreutzer Qt rec. 2017-19 MÉTIER MSV28603 [71:32] [JF] Let us hope that this is really an ongoing project.

Jean CRAS (1879-1932) La Flûte de Pan, Quintets - Sophie Karthäuser (soprano), Oxalys rec. 2018 PASSACAILLE 1067 [69:00] [SG] Exotic, colourful and harmonically refined music.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) The Unknown Debussy - Nicolas Horvath (piano) Florient Azoulay (narrator) rec. 2019 GRAND PIANO GP822 [84:48] [JF] Essential listening for all Debussy enthusiasts.

Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) The Veil of Pierrette - ORF Vienna RSO/Ariane Matiakh rec. 2019 CAPRICCIO C5388 [80:48] [JF] As the first complete recording of one of Dohnányi’s most vibrant and interesting works, it is an essential project.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Enrico di Borgogna - Anna Bonitatibus (mezzo-soprano), Academia Montis Regalis/Alessandro De Marchi rec. 2018 DYNAMIC Blu-ray 57833 [160 mins] [RJF] This early Donizetti work shows the composer’s potential. It is delightfully realised via costume and staging, along with excellent solo and choral contributions.

Albert DUPUIS (1877-1967) & Vincent d'INDY (1851-1931) Violin Sonatas - Gaëtane Prouvost (violin), Eliane Reyes (piano) rec. 2018 EN PHASES ENP007 [75:44] [MC] This captivating album far exceeded my already high expectations.

Pascal DUSAPIN (b. 1955) Penthesilea - Natascha Petrinsky (mezzo) Georg Nigl (baritone) O & Ch La Monnaie/Franck Olli rec. 2015 CYPRES CYP4654 [55:18 + 34:33] [SB] A recent opera by the French master in a recording of its premiere.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) String Quartets Nos 8 & 10 - Albion Spring Qt rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD597 [57:24] [TB] Coming of age works for Dvořák, given attentive performances.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Elgar Remastered rec. 1919-1934 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD 261-4 [4 CDs: 278:53] [JQ] A very valuable supplement to EMI’s Elgar Edition.

Ēriks EŠENVALDS (b. 1977) Translations - Portland State Chamber Ch/Ethan Sperry rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574124 [59:20] [JQ] Admirers of Ešenvalds’ music should not hesitate to acquire this outstanding disc, and others may find themselves converted.

Juan ESQUIVEL (c.1560-before 1630) Missa Hortus conclusus - De Profundis/Eamonn Dougan rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68326 [69.29] [GH] This could well be a disc that will achieve awards.

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) Piano works - Martin Jones (piano) rec. 1996/97 NIMBUS NI7731 [72:50] [JF] Varied and often exciting music in fine performances.

Luis de FREITAS BRANCO (1890-1955) Violin Sonatas Nos 1 & 2 - Nuno Soares (violin) Youri Popov (piano) rec. 2019 MPMP 07 [51:40] [JW] Well-considered and honest readings.

Jakov GOTOVAC (1895-1982) Symphonic Poems Marko TAJČEVIĆ (1900-1984) Balkan Dances - NDR Radiophilharmonie/Moshe Atzmon rec. 1999 CPO 999 724-2 [66:38] [JW] Spicy folkloricisms with colour and drama.

Morton GOULD (1913-1996) Symphonettes Nos 2-4, Spirituals - ORF Vienna RSO/Arthur Fagen rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.559869 [65:45] [NB] To experience the music’s full genius, look elsewhere.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas - Jean-Philippe Collard (piano) rec. 2019 LA DOLCE VITA LDV73 [53:55] [SB] Collard is fully in command of these delightful but demanding pieces and provides a worthy alternative to de Larrocha.

Carl Heinrich GRAUN (1704-1759)/Johann Gottlieb GRAUN (1703-1771) Apollo & Dafne - Hannah Morrison (soprano) Main-Barock O rec. 2019 ACCENT ACC 24362 [68:03] [JV] There is little wrong with the playing and singing, but the dramatic aspects are seriously underexposed.

André Ernest Modeste GRÉTRY (1741-1813) Raoul Barbe-Bleue - Matthieu Lécroart (bass) Chantal Santon-Jeffrey (soprano) François Rougier (tenor) O Nord/Mike Fentross rec. 2018 APARTÉ AP214 [2 CDs: 87:01] [MP] An outstanding presentation of Grétry’s long-unperformed gothically-comic opera.

Reynaldo HAHN (1874-1947) Piano Quintet Reinhold GLIČRE (1874-1956) & Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) String Octets - Byol Kang, Yura Lee (violin) Hanna Weinmeister (viola) Tanja Tetzlaff (cello) Arturo Pizarro (piano) rec. 2018 C-AVI MUSIC 8553102 [63:36] [JWe] A fascinating disc with some very fine playing by all concerned.

Sir William HARRIS (1883-1973) The Complete Organ Works - Daniel Cook (organ) rec. 2017/19 PRIORY PRCD1187 [78:43 + 79:54] [WK] A magnificently performed and recorded set of music that does full justice to the composer.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartets Vol. 11 - Leipzig String Qt rec. 2019 MDG 3072141-2 [65:51] [DD] A pleasant surprise: early Haydn in fine performances.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Organ Concertos - Iain Quinn (organ) Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20118 [69:41] [SSi] Engaging performances.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Missa Cellensis - RIAS Kammerchor, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Justin Doyle rec. 2018 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902300 [65:43] [NH] This version of Missa Cellensis has a lot going for it.

James HEWITT (1770-1827) Complete Piano Works - Kirsten Johnson (piano) rec. 2017-18 CENTAUR CRC3736-39 [4 CDs: 302:45] [GH] Very fine performances, but the music is rather forgettable.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Kammermusik - Kronberg Academy Soloists & Schleswig-Holstein Festival O/Christoph Eschenbach rec. 2018 ONDINE ODE1341-2 [67:04] [RC] If you are an admirer of Hindemith's music, you certainly won't be let down by this rather unique disc.

Franz HUMMEL (b. 1939) Hercher Variations - Christoph Preiss (piano) rec. 2019 TYXART TXA19134 [44:30] [DC] Full of fun and verve.

Jacques IBERT (1890-1962) Miniatures - Jean-Yves Sebillotte (piano) rec. 2000 SKARBO DSK1057 [68:39] [HC] This beautifully produced disc could prove a formidable remedy in these unhappy times.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) The Diary of One Who Disappeared - Pavol Breslik (tenor) Robert Pechanec (piano) rec. 2019 ORFEO C989201 [52:29] [RWe] An excellent performance of the main work, but there is no English translation of the texts.

Jēkabs JANČEVSKIS (b. 1992) Aeternum - Mixed Ch of Riga Cathedral Choir School/Jurģis Cābulis rec. 2018/19 HYPERION CDA68328 [56:59] [DJB] Arrestingly beautiful and dramatic contemporary choral works that might make me a convert.

Paul JUON (1872-1940) Orchestral Works Vol. 1 - Moscow SO/Christof Escher rec. 2011 STERLING CDS1103-2 [61:28] [EJW] Strong Russian and German influences in very enjoyable music from the byways.

Paul JUON (1872-1940) Symphony, Suite - O della Svizzera Italiana, Moscow SO/Christof Escher rec. 2004/2011 STERLING CDS1104-2 [63:07] [EJW] Most enjoyable.

Paul JUON (1872-1940) Violin Sonatas - Charles Wetherbee (violin) David Korevaar (piano) rec. 2014-16 NAXOS 8.574091 [77:14] [RHa] Attractive and fluent music; decent performances and sound.

Mieczysław KARŁOWICZ (1876-1909) Symphonic Poems Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Allegro de concert - Konrad Binienda (piano), Royal PO/ Grzegorz Nowak rec. 2019 DUX 1621 [66:45] [JW] Well-recorded, finely paced, and astutely directed.

Johann Erasmus KINDERMANN (1616-1655) Opitianischer Orpheus - Ina Siedlaczek (soprano) Jan Kobow (tenor) United Continuo Ens. rec. 2016 CPO 555 123-2 [66:57] [JV] Kindermann's songs are very fine pieces, and the singers deliver pretty much ideal performances.

August KLUGHARDT (1847-1902) Symphony No. 2 Friedrich GERNSHEIM (1839-1916) Zu einem Drama - Anhaltische PO/Manfred Mayrhofer, SWR Radiofunk O Kaiserslauten/Klaus Arp rec. 1995/2002 STERLING CDS1096-2 [51:07] [EJW] Enjoyable examples of late German Romanticism.

Raul KOCZALSKI (1885-1948) Piano Concertos Nos 5 & 6 - Joanna Ławrynowicz (piano) O Symfoiczna Filharmonii Henryka Wieniawskiego Lublinie/Wojciech Rodek rec. 2019 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0503 [60:28] [EJW] These often subtle concertos repay repeated listening, helped by excellent performances and recording.

KOMITAS (1869-1935) Légende Arménienne Eugénie ALÉCIAN (b. 1952) Un quatuor arménien - Akhtamar Quartet rec. 2019 CYPRES RECORDS CYP1681 [54:54] [SA] Finely nuanced performances that bring out every ounce of feeling the music seeks to express.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Violin Concerto, String Sextet - Andrew Haveron (violin) RTÉ Concert O/John Wilson, Sinfonia of London Ch Ens rec. 2015/19 CHANDOS CHAN20135 [56:32] [GPJ] An outstanding issue – marvellous music, superbly played and given top-notch Chandos recorded sound.

Nicolas LEBČGUE (c1631-1702) Les Pičces de Clavessin, Books I & II - Agustín Álvarez (harpsichord) rec. 2018/19 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95671 [190:10] [JV] This production offers lovers of the harpsichord the perfect opportunity to add a substantial oeuvre to their collection.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Transcendental Études, Études de Concert - Sheng Cai (piano) rec. 2019 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22783 [71:19] [JWe] A lot to praise, but a few reservations as well.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Études, Réminiscences de Don Juan - Amir Katz (piano) rec. 2018/19 ORFEO C990202 [73:48 + 62:29] [RCh] Liszt playing with real dramatic flair.

Henry Charles LITOLFF (1818-1891) Piano Trios, Serenade - Leonore Piano Trio rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68305 [70:00] [RCh] Richly joyful music played to the highest standard.

Pawel ŁUKASZEWSKI (b. 1968) Daylight Declines - Tenebrae/Nigel Short rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD521 [69:45] [SB] Łukaszewski’s choral music is now well established and this is a useful collection, expertly sung.

Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Symphonies Nos 2 & 3 - Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2018 ONDINE ODE1332-5 SACD [61:40] [SB] Splendid performances of these now well-established symphonies.

Sir James MacMILLAN (b.1959) The Sun Danced; Symphony No. 5 - Mary Bevan (soprano); The Sixteen; Britten Sinfonia/Harry Christophers rec. 2019 CORO COR16179 [78:54] [BW] Not as essential as some MacMillan recordings, but well worth obtaining.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 1 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser Overture Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Der Rosenkavalier Suite - Royal PO, London SO & Ch/Erich Leinsdorf rec. 1969/71 ELOQUENCE 484 0184 [53:50 + 41:16] [TB] Orchestral music-making of real distinction.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 - Essener Philharmoniker/Tomáš Netopil rec. 2019 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1716 [2 CDs: 85:10] [RMo] Nothing in particular about this reading beyond its excellent sound which gives it any great advantage over any of the standard recommendations.

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Cavalleria rusticana Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1857-1919) Pagliacci - Ezgi Kutlu (mezzo) Aldo Di Toro (tenor) Aurelia Florian (soprano) Grazer PO/Oksana Lyniv rec. 2019 OEHMS CLASSICS OC987 [71:39 + 73:02] [GF] Wholehearted involvement, though the solo singing is a bit varied.

Ludwig MINKUS (1826-1917) La bayadère - Marianela Nuñez, Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House O/Boris Gruzin rec. 2019 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7263D [136 mins] [RMay] A very enjoyable release with a great deal to offer even if you already own another version.

Ernest MOERAN (1894-1950) Violin Concerto, Rhapsody No. 2, Piano Rhapsody - John Georgiadis (violin) John McCabe (piano) London PO/Sir Adrian Boult, London SO/Vernon Handley, New Philharmonia O/Nicholas Braithwaite rec. 1970-79 LYRITA SRCD248 [67:21] [EJW] An excellent CD which has given me much pleasure.

Stanislaw MONIUSZKO (1819-1872) Cantatas - Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Ch, Poznan PO/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2019 DUX 1640 [48:15 + 31:11] [MP] Beautiful performances and accomplished sound engineering feature in the premiere recordings of two beguiling works.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791), Franz DANZI (1763-1826) & Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Quintets for piano & winds - Christian Ihle Hadland (piano) Oslo Kammerakademi rec. 2018 LAWO LWC1187 [75:00] [DD] A lovely recital of classic chamber works and a discovery - beautifully played and recorded.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) & Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas - Thomas Leininger (fortepiano) rec. 2018 TALBOT RECORDS TR1901 [78:14] [DD] Familiar piano works performed with varying degrees of success on the fortepiano.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Music for Two Pianos - Paul Badura-Skoda, Jörg Demus (fortepianos) rec. 2010 GRAMOLA 99214 [66:22] [DD] A first-rate recital played by two masters of their art.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies No. 39-41 - Ensemble Resonanz/Riccardo Minasi rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902629.30 [66:43 + 39:40] [DC] Supremely exciting or too hard-hitting?

Alfredo NAPOLEĂO (1852-1917) Solitude - Daniel Cunha (piano) rec. 2018 DECURIO DEC-002 [69.09] [RCh] The ghosts of Chopin and Mendelssohn hover over these pleasant piano solos.

Olga NEUWIRTH (b. 1968) Orchestral works - Hĺkan Hardenberger (trumpet) Antoine Tamestit (viola) Gustav Mahler Jugend O/Ingo Metzmacher, ORF RSO Wien/Susanna Mälkki, Vienna PO/Daniel Harding rec. 2009-15 KAIROS 0015010KAI [65:04] [RHa] Three superb examples of 21st century orchestral writing from the singular sonic and conceptual imagination of Olga Neuwirth.

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Un mari ŕ la porte - Patrizio La Placa (baritone) Marina Ogii (mezzo) O Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Valerio Galli rec. February 2019 DYNAMIC Blu-ray 57844 [47 mins] [MMB] A welcoming, entertaining treat that will give you some laughs.

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Pomme d’Api Ernest L’ÉPINE (1826-1893)/Jacques OFFENBACH Sur un volcan - Magali Léger (soprano), Florian Laconi (tenor), Marc Barrard (baritone) Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2018 CPO 555 268-2 [82:23] [GF] Operetta lovers at large should lend an ear to this disc.

Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Judith - Sarah Fox (soprano) Kathryn Rudge (mezzo) Crouch End Festival Ch, London Mozart Players/William Vann rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5268 SACD [61:40 + 69:32] [JW] Many memorable moments and characteristic elements that are worthy of repeated listening, but lacking a consistency of tone.

Marcus PAUS (b. 1979) The Beauty That Still Remains Maja S.K. RATKJE Asylos - Schola Sanctae Sunnivae/Anne Kleivset, Det Norske Jentekor/Anne Karin Sundal-Ask rec. 2018/19 2L RECORDS 2L157SABD SACD/BD-A [72:15] [DC] Very fine, innovative and often moving choral music.

Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736) Stabat Mater Nicola Antonio PORPORA (1686-1768) Salve Regina Leonardo LEO (1694-1744) Beatus vir qui timet - Sandrine Piau (soprano), Christopher Lowrey (countertenor), Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset rec. 2018 ALPHA 449 [66:11] [SSi] Piau and Lowry shine in this wonderful performance which surpasses Rousset’s earlier recording.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano sonatas Nos 1 & 6, Cinderella, Etudes - Stefania Argentieri (piano) rec. 2019 DIVINE ART DDA25156 [79:39] [RC] A new talent who has much to say in Prokofiev's brilliant music.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Turandot - Rebeka Lokar, Jorge de Léon, Erika Grimaldi, Ch & O Teatro Regio Torino/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2018 C MAJOR DVD 748108 [115 mins] [WH] A fascinating staging of Puccini’s final opera, well sung and performed without Alfano’s completion.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La bohčme – Jussi Björling (tenor) Victoria de los Ángeles (soprano) RCA Victor Ch & O/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. 1956 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO164 [53:43 + 53:31] [MP] A classic recording gets a magical sonic makeover in this new transfer by Pristine Audio.

Joseph Joachim RAFF (1822-1882) Complete Violin Sonatas Vol. 1 - Laurence Kayaleh (violin) Jean-Fabien Schneider (piano) rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573841 [72:47] [SSi] A welcome addition to any collection of Raff’s music, and of romantic violin sonatas as a whole.

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Les Indes Gallantes - Claron McFadden, Sandrine Piau (soprano) Les Arts Florissants/William Christie rec. 1990 HARMONIA MUNDI HAX8901367.69 [3 CDs: 193:07] [MBu] A necessary addition to any collection of French baroque music.

Sunleif RASMUSSEN (b. 1961) Andalag - Jákup Lützen (viola) Aldubáran rec. 2018 DACAPO 8.226133 [53:17] [RHa] Armed with singular Faroese experience and influence, Rasmussen consistently fashions novel and attractive music.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Introduction and Allegro Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937) Sérénade Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Suite en Rocaille, Clavecin obtempérant - Quintette Marie-Claire Jamet, Marcelle de Lacour (harpsichord) rec. 1957/60 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1574 [57:12] [SG] A selection of French music with captivating appeal.

Arnold ROSNER (1945-2013) Missa L’homme armé, Missa In nomine - Blossom Street/Hilary Campbell rec. 2018 CONVIVIUM CR053 [72:11] [JQ] Two impressive and accessible mass settings in excellent performances.

Ludomir RÓŻYCKI (1883-1953) Violin Concerto & works for violin and piano - Ewelina Nowicka (violin) Pola Lazar, Michał Krężlewski (piano) Polish Ntl RSO Katowice/Zygmunt Rychert rec. 2001/10 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0219 [49:31] [EJW] Will appeal to anyone who loves the romantic violin.

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Symphony No. 6, Don Quixote - Philharmonia Hungarica/Gilbert Varga, Slovak PO/Michael Halász rec. 1985/86 NAXOS 8.555394 [63:39] [SV] Two works with major structural faults, in at best competent performances.

Ryuichi SAKAMOTO (b. 1952) For Mr Lawrence - Jeroen van Veen (piano) rec. 2019 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95389 [5 CDs: 344:05] [SSi] An enjoyable exploration of most aspects of Sakamoto’s music.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concertos Nos 2, 4  & 5 - Jeanne-Marie Darré (piano) rec. 1953-1965 SOLSTICE SOCD 363-64 [62:53 + 74:48] [JW] Darré’s inexhaustible sensitivity and éclat radiate from every bar of this invigorating release.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony No. 3 Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Organ Concerto - Iveta Apkalna (organ) Bayerischen RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2019 BR KLASSIK 900178 [60:47] [MG] Apkalna and Jansons excel in the lyricism of both works but lack the bite of Zamkochian and Munch in the dramatic elements.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) & Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concertos - Jack Liebeck (violin) BBC SO/Andrew Gourlay rec. 2019 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100129 [77:15] [RC] Two performances rather special in their very different ways.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies Vol. 2 - City of Birmingham SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5245 SACD [74:11] [RC] I would be surprised if you could do significantly better with any other recordings.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas Nos 16 & 17 - Sviatoslav Richter (piano) rec. 1956-1957 ALTO ALC1415 [78:54] [RMo] Indispensable to Richter devotees.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Alain Buet (baritone) Quatuor les heures du jour rec. 2018 MUSO MU-035 [73:47] [GF] A period instrument alternative to the outstanding Johan Reuter recording.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies Nos 2 & 3 - NBC SO/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1946/49 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC584 [66:20] [DD] Another Pristine triumph: inspirational Schumann by Toscanini and magnificently restored.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) & Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonatas - Christian Poltéra (cello) Kathryn Stott (piano) rec. 2019 BIS BIS2167 SACD [65:17] [DD] A very well performed recital of transcriptions.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 11 - BBC Philharmonic/John Storgårds rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5278 SACD [66:45] [JQ] There is much to commend Storgårds's vividly recorded account of the Eleventh Symphony.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies Nos 5 & 15, Incidental Music to Hamlet Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1957) Háry János - Suite - Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy, Boston Pops O/Arthur Fiedler rec. 1968-1975 DUTTON EPOCH 2CDLX7370 SACD [72:07 + 63:22] [JQ] Well worth your attention.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Complete String Quartets - Shostakovich Quartet rec. 1978-1988 ALTO ALC5002 [5 CDs: 378:57] [RWe] Brings us close to the Russian wellspring of this great music. 

Nikos SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949) Piano Concerto No. 3 - Daan Vandewalle (piano), Blattwerk/Johannes Kalitzke rec. 2018 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0106 [54:20] [RHa] Not for everybody, but I love Skalkottas and this is a blistering account of a challenging score.

Nikos SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949) Sinfonietta; Classical Symphony; Four Images; Ancient Greek March - Athens State O/Stefanos Tsialis rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574154 [73:41] [HC] A most welcome addition to Skalkottas’s discography.

Howard SKEMPTON (b. 1947) Preludes & Fugues, Nocturnes, Reflections, Images - William Howard (piano) rec. 2019 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100116 [72:28] [DC] A lovely recording of some superb piano music.

Dame Ethel SMYTH (1858-1944) Songs and Ballads - Lucy Stevens (contralto) Elizabeth Marcus (piano) Berkeley Ens/Odaline de la Martinez rec. 2019 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0611 [65:00] [MC] Much to enjoy in this collection and I will certainly return to it.

Kaikhosru Shapurji SORABJI (1892-1988) Sequentia Cyclica - Jonathan Powell (piano) rec. 2015 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10206 [7 CDs: 503:15] [JW] A massive work performed with unremittingly massive conviction.

Robin STEVENS (b. 1958) String Quartets & String Quintet - Timothée Botbol (cello) Behn Qt rec. 2019 DIVINE ART DDA25203 [76:20] [JF] A splendid recording.

Ronald STEVENSON (1928-2015) Piano Music Vol. 2 - Kenneth Hamilton (piano) PRIMA FACIE PFCD107 [73:55] [SSi] This rewarding disc shows Stevenson to be a major player in the world of twentieth century British piano music.

Richard STÖHR (1874-1967) Chamber Music Vol. 4 - Conor Nelson (flute) Mary Siciliano (piano) Velda Kelly, Priscilla Johnson, Judith Teasdle (violin) Susan Schreiber (viola) Stefan Koch (cello) rec. 2014-19 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0536 [66:39] [JW] Lyrically generous, well-proportioned and backward looking.

Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) Blindekuh - Robert Davidson (bass-baritone), Kirsten Kunkle (soprano), Sofia PO & Ch/Dario Salvi rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.660434-35 [49:55 + 55:16] [GF] I had a very nice couple of hours in the company of this score.

Hermann SUTER (1870-1926) Symphony Hans JELMOLI (1877-1936) Three Pieces for Orchestra - Moscow SO/Adriano rec. 2002/3 STERLING CDS1052-2 [61:15] [EJW] Contrasting works make for an intriguing programme.

Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770) Violin Concerti - Chouchane Siranossian (violin), Venice Baroque O/Andrea Marcon rec. 2019 ALPHA 596 [79:22] [TB] A worthy 250th anniversary tribute.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 6, Francesca da Rimini - Boston SO/Serge Koussevitzky rec. 1946 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC550 [72:16] [SV] A worthwhile document for students of Koussevitzky.

Johann THEILE (1646-1724) St Matthew Passion - Weser-Renaissance Bremen/Manfred Cordes rec. 2019 CPO 555 285-2 [61:09] [DC] A Passion that still communicates with its own poetic power.

Francesco Paolo TOSTI (1846-1916) The Song of a Life Vol. 4 rec. 2017/18 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95499 [5 CDs: 298:03] [GF] All concerned can feel proud of the result.

Erkki-Sven TÜÜR (b. 1959) Symphony No. 9, Sow the Wind… - Estonian Phil Chamber Ch, Festival O/Paavo Järvi rec. 2018/19 ALPHA CLASSICS 595 [60:06] [DC] A significant addition to the Tüür discography.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Suite Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Rhapsody-Concerto Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Trauermusik Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Lachrymae - Timothy Ridout (viola), Lausanne CO/Jamie Phillips rec. 2019 CLAVES 50-3000 [69:05] [JW] Ridout’s crisp, youthful take on the quartet of viola works is very welcome.

Ian VENABLES (b. 1955) Love lives beyond the tomb - Mary Bevan (soprano), Allan Clayton (tenor), Carducci String Quartet, Graham J. Lloyd (piano) rec. 2019 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD617 [78:42] [JQ] An essential purchase for all collectors who appreciate English song.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Traviata - Ermonela Jaho (soprano); Charles Castronovo (tenor); Placido Domingo (baritone) O Royal Opera House London/Antonello Manacorda rec. 2019 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7260D [149 mins] [MP] A mostly well-cast revival of a valuable staging severely undermined by flawed audio engineering.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Rigoletto - Riccardo Stracciari (baritone) Mercedes Capsir (soprano) O & Ch Teatro alla Scala/Lorenzo Molajoli rec. 1927-1930 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO169 [49:17 + 57:05] [RMo] Pristine’s renovation of this great recording only enhances its status.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello - Mario del Monaco (tenor); Victoria de los Ángeles (soprano); Ch & O Metropolitan Opera/Fausto Cleva rec. 1958 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO154 [2 CDs: 123:32] [MP] A recording that generally lives up to the name “historic” in a beautiful sounding transfer by Pristine Audio.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I Vespri Verdiani – Olga Mykytenko (soprano) Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20144 [74:04] [GF] Very satisfying.

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Piano Works - Flavio Varani (piano) rec. 2017 AZUR CLASSICAL AZC175 [56:21] [SG] Spicy and exotic, with ear-catching rhythms.

Giovanni Battista VITALI (1632-1692) Suonate a due violini - Italico Splendore rec. 2015 TACTUS TC632203 [63:26] [JV] An interesting project makes a good start.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) & Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Double Concertos - Giuliano Carmignola (violin), Mario Brunello (violoncello piccolo); Accademia dell’Annunciata/Riccardo Doni rec. 2018 ARCANA A472 [69:57] [BW]  Music of infinite variety that works well in these very enjoyable adaptations.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin - Piotr Beczała (tenor) Anja Harteros (soprano) Ch & O der Bayreuther Festspiele/Christian Thielemann rec. 2018 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 0735616 DVD [209 mins] [MC] Beczała and Harteros give exceptional performances but the staging is staid and often ludicrous.

Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Street Scene - Patricia Racette, Paulo Szot, Ch & O Teatro Real Madrid/Tim Murray rec. 2018 BELAIR CLASSIQUES BAC162 DVD [160 mins] [MP] An excellent cast and illuminating production make the strongest case possible for Weill’s powerful score.

Judith WEIR (b. 1954) Airs from Another Planet - Ailish Tynan (soprano) Hebrides Ensemble rec. 2019 DELPHIAN DCD34228 [73:13] [SSi] An excellent disc, which would prove an excellent introduction to the colourful music of Judith Weir.

Józef WIENIAWSKI (1837-1912) Complete Chamber Works Vol. 1 - Tono Quartet, Iwona Kalinowska-Grohs (violin), Barbara Pakura (piano), Szczepan Kończal (piano), Łukasz Tudzierz (cello) rec. 2016-2019 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0468 [80:19] [PRB] An interesting selection with the Cello Sonata as the highlight.

Arlene ZALLMAN (1934-2006) Sei la terra che aspetta rec. 1998-2008 BRIDGE 9323 [59:12] [GPu] Much well-made and inventive music of distinctive beauty.

Jan Dismas ZELENKA (1679-1745) Missa 1724 - Collegium & Vocale 1704/Václav Luks rec. 2018 ACCENT ACC24363 [54:28] [JW] Welcome but lower on one’s list of priorities than the genuine masses.

20th Century Oboe Sonatas by Bowen, Eben, Dutilleux, Bozza, Poulenc & Saint-Saens - Alex Klein (oboe) Phillip Bush (piano) rec. 2018 CEDILLE CDR90000186 [79:24] [SSi] A perfect partnership, providing enjoyment from start to finish.

Alle menschen werden brüder  Uwaga!, Folkwang Kammer O/Johannes Klumpp rec. 2018 ARS PRODUCTION ARS38266 SACD [62:19] [GF] Rather impertinent treatment of Beethoven’s music executed with total professionalism.

Isabel Bayrakdarian (soprano) The Other Cleopatra - Kaunas City SO/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2019 DELOS DE3591 [64:06] [RC] Rare yet rewarding repertory.

Belle Époque Daniel Hope (violin), Lise de la Salle, Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano), Jane Berthe (harp), Zürcher Kammerorchester rec. 2019 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 7244 [2 CDs: 144.50] [IL] A wide selection which is mostly successful.

British Violin Sonatas Clare Howick (violin) Simon Callaghan (piano) rec. 2019 SOMM SOMMCD0610 [72:00] [SG] A fascinating collection, well worth your attention.

British Violin Sonatas Vol. 3 Tasmin Little (violin), Piers Lane (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20133 [70:07] [JW] A tremendous disc, sadly the last in this series.

Concerti Galanti Elena Pinciaroli, David Boldrini (piano) O Rami Musicali/Filippo Conti rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95260 [3 CDs: 167:19] [DJB] As a collection of off-the-beaten-track Mozart era piano concertos, you could hardly go wrong with this, but be prepared for less than ideal orchestral contributions.

George Copeland (piano) Récital rec. 1950-53 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1655 [74:59] [JW] Perfectly acceptable monos which continue to weave their spell.

Dora Deliyska (piano) Alles Walzer, einmal anders!  rec. 2019 CHALLENGE RECORDS CC72841 [63:06] [RCh] A well planned and executed waltz programme with some surprises.

Erbe Works by Haapamäki, Smolka & Bauckholt - Ens Musikfabrik/Sian Edwards, Clement Power rec. 2015/18 WERGO WER6870-2 [59:03] [RHa] The beautiful instruments of the immortal Harry Partch in strange new garb.

Escales Sinf London/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5252 SACD [79:05] [CRa] A disc full of enthusiasm and finesse, destined to become a classic.

Escales Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5252 SACD [79:05] [BW] Another very enjoyable and highly successful offering from this team.

Estonian Orchestral Works Triin Ruubel (violin) Mikhel Poll (piano) Estonian Ntl SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2017/18 CHANDOS CHAN20150 [73:23] [MW] A most enjoyable CD, firmly in the Romantic tradition, of interesting and attractive Estonian composers.

Exiles in Paradise Emigré Composers in Hollywood - Brinton Averil Smith (cello) Evelyn Chen (piano) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.579055 [66:18] [IL] An interesting collection well performed and presented.

Fading The Gesualdo Six/Owain Park rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68285 [63:59] [BW] This music for, and associated with, Compline across the centuries is well worth choosing.

Family Connections Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano) Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 1993 NIMBUS NI6395 [64:14] [MBu] A charming idea.

Max Fiedler (conductor) German Radio Recordings Vol. 2 - Carl Steiner (violin) Adolf Steiner (cello) Alfred Hoehn (piano) O Reichsenders Berlin rec. 1936 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC582 [63:10 + 64:59] [DD] Fascinating historic live performances from a Brahms acolyte, very well recorded and restored.

The French Romantic Experience rec. 2008-19 BRU ZANE BZ2001 [10 CDs: 732:54] [MBu] A music lover’s collection should not be without this set.

Erick Friedman (violin) Live Performances in France rec. 1965-68 MELOCLASSIC MC2034 [67:22 + 74:06] [SG] A violinist strongly influenced by Jascha Heifetz.

Ignaz Friedman (piano) Complete Recordings rec. 1923-1941 DANACORD DACOCD 861-864 [6 CDs: 335:49] [SG]  A magnificent set, indispensible for pianophiles with a passion for the Golden Age.

Fuoco di gioia! Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Ivan Repušić rec. 2019 BR KLASSIK 900329 [79:55] [MC] This well-filled album of famous choruses is a treat for opera lovers.

Galerie Dorée The Tercentenary Concert - Le Concert de la Loge/Julien Chauvin rec. 2018 BELAIR CLASSIQUES Blu-ray BAC571 [77 mins] [MP] A happy blend of beautiful performances in a beautiful Baroque setting makes for an immensely enjoyable release.

Elīna Garanča (mezzo-soprano) Soly y Vida - O Filarmónica de Gran Canaria/Karel Mark Chichon rec. 2018 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 6217 [65:37] [GPu] The singing is a delight, full of vitality and warmth, but the documentation and presentation leave a lot to be desired.

Reginald Goodall (conductor) Works by Dukas, Messiaen & Schumann - Royal Opera House O rec. 1961 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC581 [75:43] [DD] A lovely surprise … three excellent performances, very well restored by Andrew Rose.

Sir Hamilton Harty (conductor) Music of the British Isles - London PO, Hallé O rec. 1926-35 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC592 [74:52] [JW] This Harty series is moving on with considerable distinction.

Heavy Weather Works by Botti, Gryc & Turner - Carrie Koffman (saxophone) Scott Mendoker (tuba) Marc Goldberg (bassoon) Hartt Wind Ens/Glen Adsit rec. 2013-18 NAXOS WIND BAND CLASSICS 8.574087 [62:11] [GPJ] Three impressive wind concertos, with fine soloists and excellent accompaniment.

Simon Höfele (trumpet) Standards - BBC Scottish SO, BBC Ntl O Wales/Duncan Ward rec. 2019 BERLIN CLASSICS 0301314BC [58:17] [DD] A good selection of trumpet concertos, well played and recorded … with one surprise.

Sunhae Im (soprano) Didone abbandonata - Teatro del monto/Andreas Küppers rec. 2018 CPO 555 243-2 [59:08] [GF] A disc to savour for everyone who loves vocal baroque music.

Antonio Janigro (cello) The Rare Cello Recordings rec. 1953-61 PROFIL PH20002 [4 CDs: 293 mins] [JW] Something of a hodge-podge of cello and ensemble and commercial and concert performances.

Jin Yin Yihan Chen (pipa), Cynthia Yeh (percussion), Emma Gerstein (flute and piccolo), Civitas Ensemble rec. 2018/2019 CEDILLE CDR90000193 [77:19] [MR] Five outstanding works combining Chinese and Western concepts and sounds, performed with exceptional intensity and commitment.

Mateusz Kowalski (guitar) Classical Guitarist rec. 2018 CD ACCORD ACD251-2 [56:08] [GF] Lovers of guitar music should invest without delay.

Landmarks of Recorded Pianism Vol. 2 rec. 1912-1955 MARSTON 52075-2 [78:58 + 79:54] [SG] Collectors following this series need not hesitate.

The Leipzig Circle Works by Gade, Mendelssohn & Schumann - Phoenix Piano Trio rec. 2016 STONE RECORDS 5060192780949 [72:55] [DJB] A very fine performance of the Schumann, but the Mendelssohn was less convincing.

The Lyrical Clarinet Vol. 3 Michael Collins (clarinet) Michael McHale (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20147 [70:07] [GF] For clarinettists and lovers of the clarinet this should be obligatory listening.

Natalia: Force of Nature OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7269D [82 mins] [RMay] An often enlightening portrait of a hitherto somewhat enigmatic dance superstar.

Pictures at an Exhibition Martin Baker (organ) rec. 2019 AD FONTES AF001 [74:19] [MR] Shows off Buckfast Abbey's  new Ruffatti organ and its player, Martin Baker, to glorious effect, helped by a singularly well-chosen programme.

Quartet Quintet LSO Percussion Ensemble rec. 2018/19 LSO LIVE LSO5090 [79:31] [DM] A varied and vibrant programme, impeccably played and recorded; percussion albums don’t come much better than this.

Victor Schiřler (piano) The Great Danish Pianist Vol. 4 rec. 1941-66 DANACORD DACOCD867-68 [79:53 +79:58] [JW] Another excellently compiled and transferred volume.

Singing Oboe Trygve Aarvik (oboe) Norwegian Radio O/Ingvar Bergby rec. 2018 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1186 [66:29] [DJB] Not a whole lot of singing by the oboe in these serious but approachable modern works.

Souvenirs of Spain and Italy Works by Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Vivaldi, Turina & Boccherini - Sharon Isbin (guitar) Pacifica Qt rec. 2019 CEDILLE CDR90000190 [61:36] [NH] A highly appealing product.

Stations of the Cross McNeil Robinson (organ) rec. 2006 DELOS DE3549 [73:03] [WK] This should delight all devotees of organ music.

Leopold Stokowski (conductor) Conducts French Music - NBC SO/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1943/1944 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC583 [79:26] [DD] A very fine selection of live broadcasts from Stokowski’s time in New York.

Ton sur ton Vlaams Radiokoor/Bart van Reyn rec. 2019 EVIL PENGUIN CLASSICS EPRC0033 [56:09] [JQ] The singing on this disc is absolutely exemplary in every respect.

Treasures of Devotion European Spiritual Song ca. 1500 - The Boston Camerata/Anne Azéma rec. 2017 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1296 [53:14] [JV] Quite fascinating.

Gillian Weir (organ) French Virtuoso Organ Music rec. 1976 ELOQUENCE 481 8742 [52:47] [JF] Exciting, technically demanding and imaginative.

Whither must I wander Will Liverman (baritone) Jonathan King (piano) rec. 2017/18 ODRADEK RECORDS ODRCD389 [50:29] [JF] Excellent performances, but a short programme which lacks structure.

Winter Corina Marti (recorder, clavisimbalum, organetto) Marie Nishiyama (harp) Roger Helou (organetto) rec. 2016 AYROS CD04 [61.42] [GH] A very interesting and imaginative collection.

Other Reviews

How Shostakovich Changed My Mind by Stephen Johnson publ. 2018 Notting Hill Editions [MW] A wonderful account of music and mind: an instant classic.

Ibn Battuta: The Traveler of Islam Hesperion XXI/Jordi Savall rec. 2014/16 ALIA VOX AVSA9930 SACD [78.49 + 68.15] [EML] Beautifully produced and presented, with wonderful music-making.

Articles and Notices

Beethoven's Missa Solemnis - a survey by Ralph Moore

Masterwork Review Index: Beethoven's Missa Solemnis

Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius - a survey by John Quinn (updated)

Piano Trio Discography: Dmitri Shostakovich

A Peter Dickinson Concert – Stateside, 1959 by John France

A survey of Shostakovich string quartet cycles by Jens F Laurson

Piano Trio Discography: Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Short Reviews & Second Thoughts: Spring 2020/2 by Brian Wilson, Simon Thompson & Johan van Veen

Some thoughts on E.J. Moeran’s Theme and Variations by John France

Piano Trio Discography: "S" Composers

 



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