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


Recordings of the Month


Che fai tù? - Villanelles

Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel

violin concertos - Ibragimova

Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov

The Complete Lotte Schöne


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos



Monthly Listing
August 2020

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Articles and Notices

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

Piano Trio Discography & Survey: Beethoven
Note - this completes the discography, which will be now updated every 6 months.

Masterwork Index: Schumann's Cello Concerto


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