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2020
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TROUBADISC

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


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


 

Recordings of the Month

September


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


TAKEMITSU MESSIAEN


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Schubert Symphony 9

August


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE


Enescu Ravel Britten


Debussy Images etc.


53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)

 

 

 

Monthly Listing
August 2020
198 reviews this month

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Images, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune - Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2018/2019 HALLÉ CDHLL7554 [60:44] [GPJ] Elder’s empathy for Debussy, the Hallé’s fine playing and an excellent recording make this a disc to treasure.

Leopold GODOWSKY (1870-1938) 53 Studies on the Chopin Études Vol. 1 - Konstantin Scherbakov (piano) rec. 2019 MARCO POLO 8.225372 [79:00] [JWe] A magnificent feat of pianism, full of jaw dropping virtuosity and some lovely colouring throughout.

Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE (1751-1796) Phèdre - Judith van Wanroij (soprano) Julien Behr (tenor) Purcell Ch, Orfeo O/György Vashegyi rec. 2019 BRU ZANE BZ1040 [60:15 + 76:15] [MC] An exceptional new recording.

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Feste Romane, Fontane di Roma, Pini di Roma - Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5261 SACD [60:06] [NB] A genuine triumph.

Amatis Trio Piano trios by Britten, Enescu & Ravel rec. 2018 CAVI-MUSIC 8553477 [69:40] [CSe] A terrific debut disc: the Amatis Trio make this music feel truly alive.

Katy ABBOTT (b. 1971) The Peasant Prince - Li Cunxin (narrator) Tasmanian SO/Benjamin Northey rec. 2016-19 ABC CLASSICS 4817928 [67:44] [NH] A stylish and appealing piece.

Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Chamber Music - Samuli Peltonen (cello) Sonja Fräki (piano) Jaakko Kuusisto, Pekka Kuusisto (violin) rec. 2017/18 BIS BIS-2186 SACD [80:43] [SSi] An excellent, well thought out introduction to the chamber music of Kalevi Aho, expertly performed throughout.

Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Piano Works - Martin Jones (piano) rec. 1995/2020 NIMBUS RECORDS NI1711 [4 CDs: 234:25] [RCh] Jones is a convincing advocate of this colourful and imaginative music.

Bonaventura ALIOTTI (c.1640-c.1690) Il trionfo della morte per il peccato d’Adamo - Les Traversées Baroques/Étienne Meyer rec. 2019 ACCENT ACC24368 [50:13 + 44:39] [GPu] A powerful and beautiful oratorio, hitherto forgotten, gets a fine performance in excellent sound.

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Early String Quartets - Villiers Quartet rec. 2019 LYRITA SRCD.386 [73:35] [WK] Essential for all those interested in Alwyn.

Juan Crisóstomo de ARRIAGA (1806-1826) String Quartets - Aeolian Qt rec. 1954 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9117 [69:55] [JW] A perhaps unexpected but nevertheless very welcome restoration.

Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) String Quartets Nos 4, 6 & 7 - Fanny Mendelssohn Qt rec. 1991 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01404 [55:09] [SSi] Warrants room in the collection of any fan of twentieth century chamber music. 

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Complete Piano Trios - Linos Piano Trio rec. 2014 CAVI-MUSIC 8553480 [59:26 + 73:12] [PRB] More than two hours of music of great variety, enough to keep the listener totally engaged throughout.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites - Saša Večtomov (cello) rec. 1984 SUPRAPHON SU4275-2 [38:43 + 60:51] [SG] Be grateful that this glorious recording has finally made it to CD after 35 years.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier Book II - Dina Ugorskaja (piano) rec. 2015 CAVI-MUSIC 8553353 [3 CDs: 172:00] [SG] A cycle distinguished by elegance and refinement.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Die Kunst der Fuga - Accademia Strumentale Italiana/Alberto Rasi rec. 2019 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72842 [68:22] [DC] Certainly the best for an Art of Fugue with viols.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites - Yo-Yo Ma (cello) rec. 2019 C MAJOR 754504 Blu-ray [161 mins] [ZT] Some may describe this recording as a spiritual journey; others as a spiritual experience - I would disagree with neither.

Sir Edward BAIRSTOW (1874-1946) Our Father in the Heavens - Carleton Etherington (organ) Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum/Simon Bell rec. 2019 REGENT RECORDS REGCD543 [72:20] [JQ] A fine collection of music, well recorded.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) The Wooden Prince, Dance Suite - New York PO/Pierre Boulez rec. 1972-1975 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7375 SACD [71:19] [JQ] It’s good that these very good performances have been given a new SACD lease of life.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Early Quartets Vol. 1 - Léner Qt rec. 1926-36 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM106 [67:30 + 70:58] [JW] Something of a milestone in chamber performance on disc.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos 1-3 Gerald BARRY (b. 1952) Beethoven, Piano Concerto - Nicolas Hodges (piano) Britten Sinfonia/Thomas Adès rec. 2017/18 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD616 [74:21 + 67:48] [LW] Exhilarating Beethoven and puzzling Barry.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 5-7 Richard WAGNER (1811- 1883) Tristan und Isolde Prelude & Liebstod, Parsifal excerpts - NBC SO/Leopold Stokowski rec. live, 1942/43 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC591 [73:10 + 79:27] [DD] Superbly transferred recordings of special concerts when Stokowski was at the helm of NBC.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Works for Fortepiano & Cello - Nicolas Altstaedt (cello), Alexander Lonquich (fortepiano) rec. 2019 ALPHA 577 [74:03 + 70:58] [BW] It’s hard to choose between this and the Hyperion recording of these sonatas; both offer very fine period-instrument performances.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto, Romances - Bronislaw Gimpel (violin) Bamberg SO/Heinrich Hollreiser rec. 1955 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1728 [61:23] [SG] Sit back and enjoy.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Works for Guitar and Piano - Franz Halász (guitar); Débora Halász (piano) rec. 2018/19 BIS BIS-2505 SACD [74:40] [BW] Another interesting side-road on the Beethoven 250 journey, but hardly essential travel.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Missa Solemnis - Alison Hagley (soprano) Marjana Lipovšek (mezzo) Thomas Moser (tenor) Matthias Hölle (bass) Rudolf Scholz (organ) Wiener Singverein, ORF Vienna Radio SO/Michael Gielen rec. 1985 ORFEO C999201 [74:26] [NH] Not Gielen at his most inspired.

Kemal BELEVI (b.1954) Guitar Duos - Duo Tandem rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574081 [62:56] [GPu] This evocative disc is probably as close to a Mediterranean holiday as any of us will get this year.

Richard Rodney BENNETT (1936-2012) Orchestral Works Vol. 4 - Michael McHale (piano) BBC Scottish SO/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5244 SACD [65:52] [WH] Superbly performed and recorded, and an excellent introduction to the composer.

Esteban BENZECRY (b. 1970) Violin Concerto, Ciclo de canciones, Clarinet Concerto - Ayako Tanaka (soprano), Xavier Inchausti (violin), Mariano Rey (clarinet), Lviv National PSO/Pablo Boggiano rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574128 [72:57] [GPu] Not merely colourful, but music with substance and intelligence too.

Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Complete Piano Works - Douglas Stevens (piano) rec. 2017/18 HOXA HS180618 [59:19 + 53:32] [JF] Stevens is a splendid advocate for Berkeley’s piano music.

Stefano BERNARDI (1577-1637) Lux Æterna: Ein Salzburger Requiem - Voces Suaves, Concerto Scirocco rec. 2019 ARCANA A470 [68:15] [GPu] All who love the ‘school’ of Monteverdi should hear this.

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) String Quartets Nos 1 & 2 - Fanny Mendelssohn Qt rec. 1995/96 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01412 [57:48] [JQ] Estimable performances.

Giovanni Battista BONONCINI (1670-1747) La conversione di Maddalena - Emanuela Galli (soprano) Marta Fumagalli (alto) La Venexiana/Gabriele Palomba (theorbo) rec. 2019 GLOSSA GCD920944 [50:06 + 55:07] [MP] The first recording of an unusual Baroque oratorio receives a decent cast and excellent playing.

Joly BRAGA SANTOS (1924-1988) Chamber Music Vol. 2 rec. 2017/18 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0428 [71:29] [HC] Two of Braga Santos’ finest works plus some enticing rarities, played with assurance, commitment and deep musicality.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem - Valentina Farcas (soprano) Matthias Goerne (baritone) State Ch Latvia, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Paavo Järvirec. 2018 C MAJOR 753304 Blu-ray [71 mins] [RWe] A fine chamber scale centennial performance.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies No. 4 & 7 - Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1980/1 MDG 6502150-2 [2 CDs: 134:58] [LD] This two-fer is a welcome to the catalogue of one classic and one fine recording of perhaps the two most popular Bruckner symphonies.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) & Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Masses -  Berlin RSO & Ch/Gijs Leenaars rec. 2019 PENTATONE PTC5186774 [53:10] [MC] One of the most accomplished recordings of sacred choral music I have heard in some time.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concertos - Benjamin Grosvenor (piano), Royal Scottish Ntl O/Elim Chan rec. 2019 DECCA 485 0365 [70:24] [MG] Grosvenor is fluent, assured, charismatic, ebullient, fiery as appropriate: the complete player.

Tom CIPULLO (b. 1956) The Parting - Laura Strickling (soprano), Catherine Cook (mezzo-soprano), Michael Mayes (baritone), Music of Remembrance/Alastair Willis rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.669044 [65:11] [CSe] A meditative chamber opera in which art transfigures love and life and dreams.

Johannes de CLEVE (c.1528-1582) Missa Rex Babylonis & other works - Cinquecento rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68241 [71:06] [RHa] Cleve’s song may well have its merits, but ultimately it’s the five singers of Cinquecento which render this disc a must-have.

Arnold COOKE (1906-2005) Complete Works for Oboe, Sonata for Two Pianos - Pleyel Ensemble rec. 2017 MPR 108 [75:48] [CC] A fabulous disc, one of a very important series.

Edward COWIE (b. 1943) Clarinet Concerto No. 2, Concerto for Orchestra - Alan Hacker (clarinet) Royal Liverpool PO/Howard Williams rec. 1983/1984 MÉTIER MSV92108 [44:38] [JF] An amazing disc.

Geoff CUMMINGS-KNIGHT (b. 1947) Piano Sonata No.1, Russian Tableaux, 3 Preludes, Ballade - Duncan Honeybourne (piano) rec. 2019 PRIMA FACIE PFCD120 [57:00] [DJ] A splendid CD.

Geoff CUMMINGS-KNIGHT (b.1947) The Road Less Travelled - Duncan Honeybourne (piano) rec. 2019 PRIMA FACIE PFCD120 [57:00] [JF] Approachable and romantically tinged.

Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) 30 Études de Mécanisme - Nicolas Horvath (piano) rec. 2018 GRAND PIANO GP815 [47:00] [BMC] Perhaps of most interest to students studying these exercises.

Luigi DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975) Il Prigioniero - Anna Maria Chiuri (mezzo) Michael Nagy (baritone) Danish Ntl SO & Concert Ch/Ginandrea Noseda rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5276 SACD [55:46] [GPu] One of the twentieth-century’s greatest operas gets a superb recording.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Images, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune - Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2018/2019 HALLÉ CDHLL7554 [60:44] [NB] Another triumphant disc.

Stephen DODGSON (1924-2013) Chamber Music Vol. 5 - Magnard Ens rec. 2017 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0499 [80:00] [SSi] Very enjoyable wind chamber music in great performances.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Concerto; Sospiri; Salut d’amour; Chanson de nuit - Nicola Benedetti (violin), Petr Limonov (piano)  London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2019/20 DECCA 4850949 [58:45] [JW] Strong, richly textured, imaginatively phrased.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Sonata Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Violin Sonata & The Lark Ascending - Jennifer Pike (violin) Martin Roscoe (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20156 [67:05] [JW] Very fine and enlightening.

Juan ESQUIVEL (c 1560-before 1630) Missa Hortus Conclusus - De Profundis/Eamonn Dougan rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68326 [69:29] [RHa] Another splendidly performed and expertly produced Hyperion disc but Esquivel is no Victoria, alas.

Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987) Coptic Light, String Quartet and Orchestra - Arditti Qt, ORF Vienna RSO/Michael Boder, Emilio Pomàrico rec. 2010/18 CAPRICCIO C5378 [50:34] [DC] Fine performances of two Feldman masterpieces.

Carlisle FLOYD (b. 1926) Prince of Players - Keith Phares (baritone) Kate Royal (soprano) Florentine Opera Ch, Milwaukee SO/William Boggs rec. 2018 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-736 [41.40 + 54.01] [WK] A major addition to contemporary American opera.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) & Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Piano Quintets - Mami Shikimori (piano); Wihan Quartet rec. 2018 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6397 [68:21] [BW] Comes close to rivalling my top choices in both works; as a coupling, it works very well.

Hans GÁL (1890–1987) Music for Voices Vol. 1 - Borealis/Bridget Budge, Stephen Muir rec. 2019/20 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0509 [66:37] [JF] An ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ of singable, enjoyable, approachable, and well-written choral music.

John GARDNER (1917-2011) The Ballad of the White Horse, An English Ballad - Ashley Riches (baritone), City of London Ch, Paulina Voices, BBC Concert O/Hilary Davan Wetton rec. 2017 EM RECORDS EMR CD057 [64:30] [PCG] A worthwhile rarity.

Henryk Mikołaj GÓRECKI (1933–2010) Sanctus Adalbertus - Ewa Tracz (soprano) Stanislav Kuflyuk (baritone) Silesian Philharmonic Ch & SO/Mirosłav Jacek Błaszcyk rec. 2019 DUX 7651 [55:30] [HC] A very fine release that should appeal to admirers of Górecki's music.

Henryk Mikołaj GÓRECKI (1933-2010) Songs - Ursula Kryger (mezzo-soprano), Jadwiga Rappé (alto), Robert Gierlach (bass-baritone), Ewa Guz-Seroka (piano) rec. 2019 DUX 1592/93 [35:59 + 49:12] [GF] Admirers of Gorecki’s music should grab the opportunity to hear him in a less common genre.

Camargo GUARNIERI (1907–1993) Chôros, Seresta - Davi Graton (violin); Olga Kopylova (piano); Cláudia Nascimento (flute); Alexandre Silvério (bassoon) São Paulo SO/Isaac Karabtchevsky rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574197 [57:45] [RB] Guarnieri’s music is in an attractive idiom that expresses itself in direct-talking ways.

Louis-Gabriel GUILLEMAIN (1705-1770) Brilliance indéniable - Alana Youssefian (violin) Le Bien-Aimé rec. 2019 AVIE AV2412 [67:11] [JV] Alana Youssefian is a brilliant violinist, who explores the qualities of these sonatas to the full.

Reynaldo HAHN (1874-1947) L'heure exquise - Anastasia Prokofieva (soprano) Sergey Rybin (piano) rec. 2018 STONE 5060192780888 [60:55] [IL] Totally exquisite.

Hans HAUG (1900-1967) Guitar concertino, Wind Quintet Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1868) Guitar Quintet - Marisa Minder (guitar) Il piccolo o/Alexander Zemtsov; Basel Philharmonic Qnt rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.551426 [51:19] [GPu] Though the two pieces by Hans Haug are unexciting, the performance of the Quintet by Castelnuovo-Tedesco makes this disc worthwhile.

Joseph HAYDN (1732–1809) Cello Concertos - Natalie Clein (cello) Recreation–Großes O Graz/Michael Hofstetter rec. 2017 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1895 [56:58] [NH] A stimulating and wholly valid alternative view.

Swan HENNESSY (1866-1929) Complete String quartets, Sérénade, Petit Trio Celtique - RTÉ ConTempo Qt rec. 2017 RTÉ LYRIC FM CD159 [75:32] [HC] A marvellous release

Hans Werner HENZE (1926-2012) Der Prinz von Homburg - Štefan Margita (tenor); Helene Schneiderman (mezzo-soprano); Robin Adams (baritone); Staatsorchester Stuttgart/Cornelius Meister rec. 2019 CAPRICCIO C5405 [43:03 + 64:45] [SB] A workman-like performance of an important Henze opera, but there is no translation with the libretto.

Franz Anton HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812) Hoffmeister’s Magic Flute Vol. I - Boris Bizjak (flute), Lana Trotovšek (violin), Piatti Quartet rec. 2019 SOMM SOMMCD0620 [71:26] [BW]  Attractive, if hardly great, music, persuasively performed and well recorded.

Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Missa Sabrinensis - Bach Ch, BBC Concert O/David Hill rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68294 [71:32] [WH] A gripping Howells masterpiece, newly edited and superbly performed.

Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Piano Music Vol. 1 - Matthew Schellhorn (piano) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.571382 [66:01] [NB] Musically delightful and historically significant.

Airat ICHMOURATOV (b. 1973) Orchestral Works Vol. 2 - O de la Francophonie/Jean-Philippe Tremblay rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20172 [73:07] [MW] Unchallenging and undistinguished music - neatly performed – which neither offends nor inspires.

Vasily KALAFATI (1869–1942) Symphony, Légende, Polonaise - Athens University Music Dept Ch, Athens Philharmonia/Byron Fidetzis rec. 2017-18 NAXOS GREEK CLASSICS 8.574132 [81:48] [RB] Likeable music: full-on romantic, dancing lyricism, uproarious pomp, tortured longing ... ingenious and nicely textured.

Alexander KASTALSKY (1856-1926) Requiem - Cathedral Choral Society, Clarion Ch, St Tikhon Ch, Kansas City Chorale, O of St Luke’s/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574245 [63:57] [RB] The performers and Naxos have done well by Kastalsky in this hugely imposing work with its dignified tread and imperious ways.

Graham KEITCH (b. 1955) Guardian of Heaven - Cantate/Zoltán Pad rec. 2017/18 EM RECORDS EMRCD061 [78:52] [RHa] Expertly crafted and sung with commitment and love.

Frederick Septimus KELLY (1881-1916) Studies, Monographs - Alex Wilson (piano) rec. 2019 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0524 [79:30] [JW] A valuable release for extending appreciation of this area of Kelly’s compositional life.

KOMITAS (1869-1935) Divine Liturgy - Latvian Radio Ch/Sigvards Klava rec. 2019 DELOS DE3590 [79.47] [MW] Extraordinary and deeply affecting music, opening eyes to the beauty and devotion of the Armenian tradition in loving performances.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Violanta - Annemarie Kramer (soprano) Norman Reinhardt (tenor) Ch & O Teatro Regio Torino/Pinchas Steinberg rec. 2020 DYNAMIC 57876 Blu-ray [88 mins] [PCG] The real strength of this performance lies in the realisation of that orchestral score.

Ernst KRENEK (1900-1991) Piano Music Vol. 2 - Stanislav Khristenko (piano) rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0399 [81:31] [JF] An imaginative exploration.

Igor KULJERIĆ (1938-2006) Croatian Glagolitic Requiem Jakov GOTOVAC (1895-1982) Hymn to Freedom - Bavarian Radio Ch & Munich Radio O/Ivan Repušić rec. 2020 BR KLASSIK 900331 [61.20] [MW] A fascinating and highly enjoyable contribution to the repertoire.

Božidar KUNC (1903-1964), Fran LHOTKA (1883-1962) & Josip Štolcer SLAVENSKI (1896-1955) String Quartets - Sebastian String Quartet rec. 2018 CPO 555 297-2 [56:29] [JW] Played with fire and clarity.

Jonathan LESHNOFF (b. 1973) Four Dances, String Quartets Nos 3 & 4 - Carpe Diem String Quartet rec. 2016/17 MSR CLASSICS MS1765 [54:02] [RC] Accessible and appealing.

Malcolm LIPKIN (1932-2017) Recollections rec. 1984-2019 DIVINE ART DDA25202 [83:46] [JF] Varied, interesting and enjoyable.

Wojciech ŁUKASZEWSKI (1936-1978) Pieśni Księżyca rec. 1993-2005 DUX 1483 [76:00] [SB] A disc for those with a particular interest in Polish music, but it will help if they know the language.

Sir Alexander Campbell MACKENZIE (1847-1935) Complete Music for Solo Piano Vol. 2 - Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2017/18 SHEVA COLLECTION SH229 [64:52] [JW] Much to admire here.

Sir Alexander Campbell MACKENZIE (1847-1935) Complete Music for Solo Piano Vol. 2 - Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2017/18 SHEVA COLLECTION SH229 [64:52] [RCh] Well-crafted miniatures off the beaten path.

Sir Alexander Campbell MACKENZIE (1847-1935) Complete Music for Solo Piano Vol. 3 - Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2017 SHEVA COLLECTION SH251 [70:06] [JW] Howell is a wise and true guide to a variable but valuable portfolio of works.

Sir James MACMILLAN (b. 1959) Symphony No. 4, Viola Concerto - Lawrence Power (viola), BBC Philharmonic/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68317 [72:27] [WH] Two compelling recent works from the Scottish master in dazzling performances.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 - Minnesota O/Osmo Vänskä rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2266 SACD [86:48] [JQ] Other recorded performances penetrate much more deeply into this potent, disturbing symphony.

Michele MASCITTI (1664-1760) Violin Sonatas - Quartetto Vanvitelli rec. 2019 ARCANA A473 [68:43] [JV] In Mascitti's time, chamber music in France was expected to be a form of elegant conversation, and that is exactly what this recording offers.

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Thaïs - Erin Wall, Joshua Hopkins -Toronto SO & Mendelssohn Ch/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5258(2) SACD [72:37 + 59:31] [EJW] A well cast, finely conducted performance of one of Massenet’s most alluring scores

Fanny MENDELSSOHN-HENSEL (1805-1847) Chamber works - Fanny Mendelssohn Qt, Stefan Mickisch (piano) rec. 1994 TROUBADISC TROCD01408 [65:02] [SB] Well worth hearing.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) String Quartets - Cecilia String Qt rec. 2015 ANALEKTA AN29844 [52:22] [SV] Detailed and engaged interpretations.

Stanisław MONIUSZKO (1819-1872) Sacred Music - Musica Sacra Warsaw-Praga Cathedral Ch/Paweł Łukaszewski rec. 2019 DUX 1648 [48:38] [GF] A very attractive disc for those who want to widen their knowledge of one of the greatest Polish composers of the 19th century.

Stanisław MONIUSZKO (1819-1872) Paria - Katarzyna Hołysz (soprano) Yuri Gorodetski (tenor) Poznań PO & Ch/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2019 DUX 1622/3 [54:53 + 71:02] [MP] Some attractive voices are featured in a recording of an operatic curiosity that will mainly appeal to specialists.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) & Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Quintets - Eli Eban (clarinet), Alexander String Quartet rec. 2019 FOGHORN CLASSICS FCL2021 [71:26] [JW] Warmly conceived readings that marry eloquence with structural integrity.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) & Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concertos - Brigitte Huyghues de Beaufond (violin) O Radio d'Istambul/Djemal Rachid, O Radio d'Alger/Franz André rec. 1958-1960 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1610 [58:59] [SG] A mixed bag.

Thea MUSGRAVE (b.1928) Rorate Coeli, The Voices of Our Ancestors, Missa Brevis - New York Virtuoso Singers/Harold Rosenbaum, American Brass Quintet rec. 2018/19 LYRITA SRCD387 [63.54] [GH] Fills a gap in her burgeoning discography, but that might be the best that can said.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) La Valse - Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905282 [44:15] [JQ] Another highly stimulating album from Les Siècles and François-Xavier Roth.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Sorochyntsi Fair, Night on the Bare Mountain Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) Polovtsian Dances - Latko Koroshetz (bass), Bogdana Stritar (mezzo), Slovenian National Opera Ch & O/Samo Hubad rec. 1955 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO053 [60:46 + 54:14] [MP] Decent casting and a polished transfer make this issue worth investigating.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) The Mother - Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Philharmonic Ch, Odense SO/Andreas Delfs rec. 2020 DACAPO 6.220648 SACD [71:27] [EJW] A very fine performance of appealing, almost “easy listening” Nielsen.

Páll Ragnar PÁLSSON (b. 1977) Atonement - Tui Hirv (soprano) Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir (reciter) Caput Ens/Tui Hirv rec. 2019 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92241 BD-A/CD [44:11] [RHa] Pálsson’s delicate and shimmering vocal and chamber pieces are beguiling and compelling.

Pietro Domenico PARADISI (1706/07-1791) Sonatas - Anna Paradiso (harpsichord, clavichord & fortepiano) rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2415 SACD [87:57] [JV] If you don't know Paradisi's sonatas yet, this disc offers an excellent opportunity to get to know them.

Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Songs of Farewell & works by Stanford, Gray & Wood - Ch Westminster Abbey/James O’Donnell rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68301 [64:45] [WK] A worthy addition to the Westminster Abbey discography.

John PICKARD (b. 1963) The Gardener of Aleppo & other chamber works - Susan Bickley (mezzo) Nash Ens/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2018 BIS BIS2461 SACD [79.22] [PCG] A very impressive range of works in excellent performances.

Francis POTT (b. 1957) At First Light, Word - Joseph Spooner (cello) Christian Wilson (organ) Commotio/Matthew Berry rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.573976 [79:26] [JQ] The first recordings of two fine and significant contemporary choral works in first-rate performances.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Songs & Romances - Margarita Gritskova (mezzo) Maria Prinz (piano) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574030 [66:58] [GF] Further evidence of the versatility of Margarita Gritskova as a song interpreter.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Il Tabarro - Maria José Siri, Franco Vassallo, Angelo Villari, Ch & O Maggio Musicale Florence/Valerio Gallo rec. 2019 DYNAMIC DVD 37872 [54 mins] [CC] A fine performance but the disc is short on duration and long on price.

Roger QUILTER (1877-1953) The Complete Quilter Songbook Vol. 3 - Mark Stone (baritone) Stephen Barlow (piano) rec. 2007 STONE RECORDS 5060192780956 [77:16] [SSi] Thoroughly researched and well performed, which will give delight to any fan of English art songs.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) & Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Cello sonatas - Hee-Young Lim (cello) Nathalia Milstein (piano) rec. 2018 SONY CLASSICAL 80358118497 [68.14] [IL] Well contrasted sonatas performed with polished nuance and beauty.

Ferdinand REBAY (1880-1953) Complete Sonatas for Violin/Viola and Guitar - Laurence Kayaleh (violin/viola), Michael Kolk (guitar) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.573992 [68:13] [GPu] Pleasant and unchallenging.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Clarinet Quintet, String Sextet - Thorsten Johanns (clarinet), Roland Glassl (viola), Wen-Sinn Yang (cello), Diogenes Quartett rec. 2018/2019 CPO 555 340-2 [74:24] [RHa] A superb, measured account of Reger’s oft-recorded Clarinet Quintet, and a persuasive new view of the thornier Sextet.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Piano Quintet, Piano Trio - Wolfram Lorenzen (piano) Fanny Mendelssohn Qt rec. 1997 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01414 [64:33] [RHa] The quintet may pose a tougher challenge to potential Regerians than the trio but the performances make the effort worth it.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Piano Chamber Music Vol. 3 - Wolfram Lorenzen (piano) Fanny Mendelssohn Qt rec. 1998 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01415 [64:22] [SSi] Not competitive.

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Works for Piano Four Hands - Gabriele Baldocci, Francesco Caramiello (piano) rec. 2016 TACTUS TC871804 [79:48] [SSi] This enjoyable disc shows a little-explored aspect of Respighi’s music.

Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838]) Complete Works for Cello Vol. 2 - Martin Rummel (cello) Stefan Stroissnig (piano) Eric Lamb (flute) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573851 [70:48] [MZ] It’s time to bring Ferdinand Ries out of the shadows, and this solid release from Naxos is an excellent place to start.

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901–1999) Concierto de Aranjuez Manuel PONCE (1882–1948) Concierto del sur Gerald GARCIA (b. 1949) China Sings! - Junhong Kuang (guitar), Czech Chamber PO/Darrell Ang rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.579053 [57:39] [BW] Very decent Rodrigo and Ponce; the attractive new Garcia concerto clinches the deal.

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999) Fantasía para un Gentilhombre, Concierto de Aranjuez - Xianji Liu (guitar); Spanish Radio and TV O/Pedro Amaral IBS CLASSICAL IBS42020 [44:59] [BW]  No new insights, but if reissued with another concerto thrown in, this might be competitive.

Jean ROGER-DUCASSE (1873-1954) Piano Works Vol. 1 - Patrick Hemmerlé (piano) rec. 2018 MELISM MLS-CD-013 [68:13] [JF] Excellent music, expertly played.

Jean ROGER-DUCASSE (1873-1954) The Complete Piano Music - Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2013/2014 NIMBUS NI5927 [3 CDs: 185:37] [SJ] Performances that reveal Roger-Ducasse’s extraordinary, quiet gifts.

Bernhard ROMBERG (1767-1841) Sonatas for Harp and Cello - Zsuzsanna Aba-Nagy (harp) Zsuzsa Szolnoki (cello) rec. 2015 GRAMOLA 99216 [77.29] [IL] Pleasant and not without its charms; but not really consequential.

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) & Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Piano Concertos - Piers Lane (piano) The Orchestra NOW/Leon Botstein rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68297 [77:27] [NB] Poetic Rubbra is the headline grabbing work here.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concertos Nos 2, 4 & 5 - Jeanne-Marie Darré (piano) rec. 1953-65 SOLSTICE SOCD 363-64 [62:53 + 74:48] [SG] Darré, the ardent champion of Saint-Saëns.

Erik SATIE (1866-1925) Vexations - Noriko Ogawa (piano) rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2325 SACD [80:32] [DC] Vexations - monumental rather than meditative.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Lebensstürme and other works for piano duet - Duo Pleyel rec. 2019 LINN CKD593 [77:11] [BW]  A very worthwhile addition to the many fine recordings of this four-handed music.

Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896) Piano Trio Fanny MENDELSSOHN HENSEL (1805-1847) Piano Trio, String Quartet - Nash Ens rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68307 [71:49] [SSi] Performances that shed new light on these works.

Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896) Clara Schumanns Klavier - Eugenie Russo (fortepiano) rec. 2007 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0028 [64:23] [SSi] An excellent collection, expertly performed on an instrument that she herself is known to have played.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Arabesque, Kreisleriana, Carnaval - Klara Min (piano) rec. 2019/2020 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC19024 [78:07] [MC] A pleasing elegance and beauty, together with neatly achieved expressive detail.

Caroline SHAW (b.1982) Is a Rose, The Listeners - Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo) Avery Amereau (contralto) Dashon Burton (bass-baritone) Philharmonia Baroque O and Ch/Nicholas McGegan rec. 2019 PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE PBP12 [51:27] [GPJ] Beautifully performed works by this talented young American composer.

John SHEPPARD (c. 1515-1558) Media vita in morte sumus - Alamire/David Skinner rec. 2012 INVENTA RECORDS INV1003 [16:28] [DC] This reviewer was converted.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Cello Concerto No. 2 Nico MUHLY (b. 1981)/Sven HELBIG (b. 1968)/ZHOU Long (b. 1953) Three Continents - Jan Vogler (cello) WDR SO Köln/Cristian Măcelaru, Mariinsky O/Valery Gergiev rec. 2019/20 SONY CLASSICAL 19439774942 [62:26] [MC] This album delivers significant rewards.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 13 - Oleg Tsibulko (bass) Russian Ntl O/Kirill Karabits rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186618 SACD [58:13] [JQ] A valuable addition to the RNO’s Shostakovich cycle.

Roberto SIERRA (b. 1953) Cantares, Loíza, Triple Concerto - Trío Arbós, Cornell University Ch & Glee Club, Xalapa SO/Lanfranco Marcelletti rec. 2016/18 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559876 [62.32] [MP] A happy release of significant and colourful music that is sure to please anyone who is musically curious.

Constantin SILVESTRI (1913-1969) Complete Piano Works - Luiza Borac (piano) rec. 2020 PROFIL PH20028 [79:28 + 79:35] [SG] A valuable repository of intriguing scores.

Johannes Matthias SPERGER (1750-1812) Double Bass Concertos, Sinfonia No.30 - Roman Patkoló (double bass) Kurpfälzisches Kammer O Mannheim/Johannes Schlaefli rec. 2017 CPO 555 101-2 [69.24] [MW] Virtuoso performances of highly enjoyable repertoire.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) & Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1882) Remembered - Wayne Marshall (organ) Cambridge Singers/John Rutter rec. 1992 COLLEGIUM RECORDS CSCD524 [45:10 + 48:01] [JQ] Incorporating some welcome new material, this is a desirable reissue which will give a lot of pleasure.

Zygmunt STOJOWSKI (1870-1946) Songs - Magdalena Molendowska (soprano) Julia Samojło (piano) rec. 2018 DUX 7580 [62:20] [RCh] While there is nothing here to set the world on fire, it is a marvellously crafted collection of songs.

Oscar STRAUS (1870-1954) Piano Concerto, Serenade, Tragant-Walzer - Oliver Triendl (piano) German Radio PO Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern/Ernst Theis rec. 2018 CPO 555 280-2 [58:27] [JW] A rather unexpected look at Straus’ compositional life which offers insights into his early studies with Bruch.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Firebird, The Rite of Spring - New York PO/Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta rec. 1975/77 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7377 SACD [78:36] [JQ] This disc is well worth acquiring to hear Pierre Boulez in Firebird.

Emil TABAKOV (b.1947) Symphonies No. 2 & 6 - Bulgarian Ntl RSO, Plovdiv PO/Emil Tabakov rec. 1985/2002 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0562 [75:07] [GH] One austere symphony, another dramatic and gripping.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 4 Jonathan LESHNOFF (b. 1973) Double Concerto - Michael Rusinek (clarinet), Nancy Goeres (bassoon), Pittsburgh SO/Manfred Honeck rec. 2016/19 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-738 SACD [61:10] [LD] A misfiring performance of the Symphony, coupled with a bold and enjoyable contemporary work.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681–1767) The Colourful Telemann - Indianapolis Baroque O/Barthold Kuijken rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.573900 [64:41] [BW] Looks likely to become a perennial favourite.

Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) Viola Concerto, Symphony for Strings - Sinfonietta Rīga/Maxim Rysanov (viola) rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2443 SACD [65:44] [SA] Do not fail to give this disc a hearing for it will surely captivate you.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony No. 5 Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Clarinet Concerto - Philharmonia O/Michael Collins (clarinet) rec. 2019 BIS BIS-2367 SACD [68:30] [RC] Excellent renditions of each work.

Ian VENABLES (b.1955) Requiem - Jonathan Hope (organ) Ch Gloucester Cathedral/Adrian Partington rec. 2019 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0618 [59:01] [JF] Ian Venables’ transcendent Requiem surely takes its place with those of Fauré, Duruflé and Howells.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Il trovatore - Anna Netrebko (soprano) Luca Salsi (baritone) Arena di Verona O & Ch/Pier Giorgio Morandi rec. 2019 C MAJOR Blu-ray 754704 [157 mins] [RC] Despite some flaws, it would be my first recommendation for those wanting video.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I due Foscari – Vladimir Stoyanov (baritone) Stefan Pop (tenor) Maria Katzarava (soprano) Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, O Giovanile Via Emilia/Paolo Arrivabeni rec. 2019 DYNAMIC CDS7865.02 [69:29 + 44:45] [GF] Involvement and total conviction from the three main soloists.

Giovanni Battista VITALI (1632-1692) Partite & Sonate - Italico Splendore rec. 2017 TACTUS TC632204 [60:03] [JV] Vitali at his most unconventional.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Der Freischütz - Maximilian Schmitt (tenor) Jessica Muirhead (soprano) Aalto Theatre Ch, Essen PO/Tomáš Netopil rec. 2018/19 OEHMS CLASSICS OC988 [67:05 + 56:08] [NH] For all its qualities, this doesn’t really cut the mustard.

Leo WEINER (1885-1960) Divertimentos, Pastorale, Fantasy and Fugue - Ditta Rohmann (cello) Melinda Felletár (harp) Budapest SO MÁV/ Valéria Cśanyi rec. 2018/19 NAXOS 8.574125 [66:33] [NB] A useful addition to Naxos' expanding catalogue of Weiner’s music.

Juliusz WERTHEIM (1880-1928) Songs Vol. 1 - Krzysztof Bobrzecki (baritone) Anna Mikolon (piano) rec. 2018 ACTE PREALABLE AP0461 [52:10] [RB] The Wertheim portfolio is swelled to good purpose by this ardently sung and played programme.

Juliusz WERTHEIM (1880-1928) Songs Vol. 2 - Krzysztof Bobrzecki (baritone) Anna Mikolon (piano) rec. 2019 ACTE PREALABLE AP0462 [68:15] [RB] An ardently sung programme offering rewarding discoveries.

Adam WESOŁOWSKI (b. 1980) Industrially - Steven Mead (euphonium) Aleksandra Gajecka Antosiewicz (harpsichord) Łukasz Długosz (flute) Silesian CO/Robert Kabara, AUKSO/Marek Moś rec. 2019 DUX 1659 [68:03] [MR] An entertaining if peculiar collection.

Johann Wilhelm WILMS (1772-1847) Flute Sonatas - Helen Dabringhaus (flute) Sebastian Berakdar (piano) rec. 2019 MDG 903 2149-6 SACD [60:19] [DC] Superlatively performed classical frothiness.

Alexander von ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Der Zwerg - David Butt Philip (tenor), Ch & O Deutsche Oper Berlin/Donald Runnicles rec. 2019 NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0108V [95 mins] [ST] Fine performances by the musicians, but the staging is not convincing.

After Silence VOCES8 VOCES8 RECORDS VCM129 [62:47 + 65:28] [JQ] An enjoyable and distinguished celebration of VOCES8’s first fifteen years of singing.

Un' arpa straordinaria Italian music of the 17th century for arpa doppia - Das Kleine Kollektiv/Vera Schnider rec. 2018 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38568 [64:46] [JV] The harp is the perfect instrument to bring the world of the early 17th century to life.

Beethoven Project A ballet by John Neumeier - Michał Białk (piano) Deutsche Radio PO/Simon Hewitt rec. 2019 C MAJOR 753704 Blu-ray [134 mins] [MZ] A balletic reinterpretation of Beethoven that ties together disparate pieces into a highly moving and beautifully rendered.

Lucas Brunnert (violin) Gateway into the Beyond rec. 2014 ALDILÀ ARCD006 [79:47] [JW] A well recorded, brave and valuable, if necessarily specialised recording.

Agnelle Bundervoët (piano) Complete Recordings on Decca France rec. 1955-1957 ELOQUENCE 4841507 [2 CDs: 145:11] [SG] A significant and rewarding release.

Seong-Jin Cho (piano) The Wanderer - Works by Schubert, Berg & Liszt rec. 2019 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4837909 [64:21] [SG] Top drawer, in every respect.

Collegium Vocale Gent: 50th Anniversary Philippe Herreweghe PHI LPH033 [6 CDs: 353:42] [NH] A real treasure trove of delights.

Egregore+ Fábio Brum (cornets, trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo cornet), Kammerensemble Konsonanz/Pacho Flores rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574204 [58:28] [GPu] There’s no doubting Fábio Brum’s technique, but his playing at times lacks something emotionally.

Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord) Musique? rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68287 [79:52] [RHa] Harpsichord pandemonium – thrills and thought provocation for commoners and connoisseurs alike.

The Eton Choirbook Elizabethan Consort of Viols, Purcell Consort of Voices/Grayston Burgess rec. 1967/70 ELOQUENCE 4840250 [63:46 + 57:23] [MP] A very pleasant and welcome release of three recordings, first on CD.

Fantasies Works by Chopin, Mendelssohn & Schumann - Amit Yahav (piano) rec. 2019 GENUIN GEN20709 [64:56] [SB] An enterprising recital, very well played.

Flute and Cello Rarities Atsuko Koga (flute) Georgiy Lomakov (cello) rec. 2019 GENUIN GEN20700 [63:37] [MR] An intriguing programme eloquently played.

Gothic Toccata Calvin Bowman (organ) rec. 2006 MELBA PD70001 [72:19] [MR] An interesting programme of Australian organ music played with great panache and dazzling virtuosity.

Invitation au Voyage Don Quixote & French Songs - Giorgos Kanaris (baritone) Thomas Wise (piano) rec. 2019 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC19068 [67:36] [MC] An absorbing album of French melodies.

Sharon Isbin (guitar) Affinity - Maryland SO/Elizabeth Schultze rec. 2018/19 ZOHO ZM202005 [55:11] [GPu] There’s one work of wonder here but it’s a mixed bag taken whole.

Rudolf Kerer (piano) Vol 1: Concertos & Sonatas rec. 1961-84 DOREMI DHR-8086-90 [5 CDs: 380:24] [SG] A significant release that will, hopefully, put Kerer’s name back on the map.

Hugo Kolberg, Michel Schwalbé (violin) Legendary Concertmasters of the Berlin Philharmonic rec. 1952-1965 MELOCLASSIC MC2039 [78:01 + 73:05] [SG] Rare glimpses of two legendary concertmasters in solo roles.

The Komitas Legacy Works by Agoshian, Babajanian, Grigoryan & Komitas - Trio Aeternus rec. 2019 TOCCATA NEXT TOCN0006 [78:53] [DJB] A very welcome release – if you don’t know the Babajanian, you should. 

Dinu Lipatti (piano) The Complete Columbia Recordings rec. 1947-48 APR 6032 [2 CDs: 144:00] [JW] Breaks some new ground in the excellence of its restorations.

Tasmin Little (violin) The Best of Tasmin rec. 1992-2019 CHANDOS CHAN20185(2) [78:41 + 80:57] [BW] A useful reminder of Tasmin Little’s artistry, but be sure that you wouldn’t rather have the original albums.

Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia Cappella Romana/Alexander Lingas rec. 2016 CAPPELLA ROMANA CR420 [CD: 76:50 & Blu-ray: 80 mins] [MS] A beautifully compelling rendering of Byzantine chant reproduced with the ‘recreated’ acoustic of the Hagia Sophia.

Makedonissimo Simon Trpčeski (piano) Hidan Mamudov (clarinet, saxophone and kaval) Aleksandar Krapovski (violin) Alexander Somov (violoncello) Vlatko Nushev (percussion) rec. 2018 LINN RECORDS CKD636 [83:28] [DC] Groovy and eloquent chamber-music arrangements of Macedonian folk music.

Samuel Mariño (soprano) Care pupille - Händelfestspiel O Halle/Michael Hofstetter rec. 2019 ORFEO C998201 [71.36] [GF] I urge lovers of good singing to explore this superb singer.

Nothing Proved Kristin Norderval (soprano), Dashon Burton (bass-baritone) Parthenia rec. 2016/2017 MSR CLASSICS MS1635 [64:48] [GPu] Not everything comes off, but much fascinating music is created in this merging of ancient and modern.

Nun danket alle Gott Julie Roset (soprano) Clematis/Stéphanie de Failly & Brice Sailly rec. 2019 RICERCAR RIC415 [62:32] [JV] The expression of the affetti of the text comes of very well in these performances.

Peninsula Darko Nikčeviĉ (guitar, udu) Srdjan Bulatović (guitar) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574193 [61:02] [GPu] Pleasing music which makes one remember, or anticipate, the joys of Mediterranean life.

Edith Picht-Axenfeld (piano) German Radio Broadcast Recordings rec. 1952-56 MELOCLASSIC MC1043 [79:06 + 78:44] [SG] Valuable rarities dusted down and superbly restored and presented.

Postures Norwegian Harp Music - Sunniva Rødland (harp) rec. 2018 LAWO LWC1183 [61:40] [GPu] By no means an ‘ordinary’ harp recital, this enterprising disc surprises and fascinates.

Rarities of Piano Music at Schloss vor Husum 2019 DANACORD DACOCD849 [75:02] [JF] Always one of the highlights of my listening year.

Reawakened Concertos by Hamilton, Walthew, Gipps & Ireland - Robert Plane (clarinet) BBC Scottish SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2019 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD160 [77:43] [JW] Splendid and fully communicative performances.

Erik Rydberg (guitar) Guitarrista: Six Tales on Six Strings Private Release [44:40] [GF] Very assured playing.

Saint Louis Premieres The Saint Louis Chamber Ch/Philip Barnes rec. 2019 REGENT RECORDS REGCD541 [68:29] [JQ] A stimulating disc of recent high-quality choral pieces, expertly performed.

Ekaterina Siurina (soprano) Amour éternel - Kaunas City SO/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2019 DELOS DE3583 [76:11] [GF] Well considered readings.

Alexandra Sostmann (piano) Works by Bach, Byrd, Gibbons & contemporary composers rec. 2019 TYXART TXA20145 [57:15] [DC] A very fine, indeed transformative recital.

Spem in alium ORA Singers/Suzi Digby rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902669.70 [CD: 70:24 + DVD: 35 mins] [JQ] Simply terrific.

The Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music 2019 Vol. 1 Works by Moniuszko & Melcer-Szczawinski rec. 2019 DUX 1653 [72.26] [MW] Delightful and charming, these unfamiliar pieces will give enormous pleasure.

The Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music 2019 Vol. 5 Works by Elsner, Dobrzynski & Noskowski DUX 1657 [78:38] [DJB] That this is a record of competition performances does not lessen the enjoyment to be found.

The Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music 2019 Vol. 6 DUX 1658 [77:47] [GF] A valuable document.

Those Blue Remembered Hills Works by Gurney & Howells - Roderick Williams (baritone), Michael Dussek (piano), The Bridge Quartet rec. 2018 EM RECORDS EMRCD065 [80:52] [SSi] Gurney’s quartet is a real find, and the new edition of The Western Playland is a great improvement.

Volupté Works by Koechlin & Jongen - Roger Benedict (viola) Timothy Young (piano) Ben Jacks (horn) rec. 2009 MELBA MR301126 SACD [68:36] [JW] Generous and technically accomplished readings.

Women of Note A Century of Australian Composers Vol. 2rec. 1979-2019 ABC CLASSICS 481 9111 [71:07 + 67:39] [GH] A top-quality enterprise.

Other reviews

Granville Bantock: A Guide to Research by John C. Dressler publ. 2020 Clemson University Press [JF] A major tool for those interested in Bantock’s musical success.

The Harmonious Music of John Jenkins Volume Two: Suites, Airs and Vocal Music by Andrew Ashbee publ. 2020 Toccata Press [JW] A valuable follow-up.

Gallery: Piano Pieces Evoking a Visit to an Imaginary Exhibition by Gary Higginson publ. 2020 Fand Music Press [DJ] A richly rewarding cycle.

Poulenc: A Biography by Roger Nichols publ. 2020 Yale University Press [SG] Beautifully produced and meticulously researched.

Articles and Notices

Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos - a survey by Ralph Moore

Piano Trio Discography & Survey: Beethoven

Masterwork Index: Schumann's Cello Concerto

Terry Barfoot, MWI reviewer - obituaries by Roy Westbrook and Ian Lace

Mike Herman's National Discographies - a major update

Summer 2020 Retrospective by Brian Wilson

Massenet's Manon - a survey by Ralph Moore

Julian Bream - an obituary by Zane Turner

Anne Ozorio, MWI and S&H reviewer - obituaries by Marc Bridle and Mark Berry

Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades - a survey by Ralph Moore

Masterwork Index: Saint-Saëns' Cello Concertos

 



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