NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
and Reconstructions of Musical Works - Part 5 by Stephen Barber
[New] Puccini's Suor Angelica
- a survey by Ralph Moore
Short Reviews & Second Thoughts:
Winter 2019-20/3 by Brian Wilson, Dan Morgan, Simon Thompson & Johan van Veen
Peter Serkin - an
appreciation by Rick Masters
and Reconstructions of Musical Works - Part 4 by Stephen Barber
Mirella Freni - an obituary by Ralph Moore
Jozef Wieniawski - Complete Chamber Works Vols 1&2 AP0472
Colours of the Harpsichord AP0443
Zukowski Secular works 3
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Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
The Complete Well-Tempered Clavier - George Lepauw (piano)
rec. 2017 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100107 [5 CDs: 274:35]
This production has been a true labour of love for everyone involved.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies No. 1 & 5
- Budapest Festival O/Iván Fischer rec. 2017 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA39719 SACD [61:47]
[MG] Stylishly played with a refreshing emphasis on Beethoven’s elegance and finesse, albeit that his boisterous side is a little understated.
Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
Messe Solennelle -
Adriana Gonzalez (soprano) Julien Behr (tenor) Andreas Wolf (bass)
Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet rec. 2019 ALPHA 564 [51:19]
An important and fascinating, if uneven, early Berlioz score receives exceptional advocacy from Hervé Niquet.
Richard BLACKFORD (b. 1954)
Pietŕ, Canticle of Winter - Jennifer
Johnston (mezzo) Stephen Gadd (baritone) Amy Dickson (soprano saxophone)
Bournemouth SO & Ch/Gavin Carr rec. 2019 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6396 [47.30]
[PCG] Music of high quality in performances to match.
Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987)
For Bunita Marcus - Aki Takahashi (piano) rec. 2007 MODE 314 [74:18] [DC]
Overdue release of something that delivers a magical connection with the composer.
Lars Petter HAGEN (b. 1975)
Harmonium Repertoire - Cikada/Christian Eggen
rec. 2019 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1190 [48:21] [RHa] The quietness of this extraordinary disc and its spare means of production
are in completely inverse proportion to its impact.
Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Chamber Music
- Mariam Kharatyan (piano), Adam Grüchot (violin), Leonardo Sesenna (cello), Stig Nordhagen (clarinet) rec. 2018 SIMAX PSC1373 [58:36] [GF] Deeply committed performances.
Henri LITOLFF (1818-1891)
Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2; Violin Sonata - Leonore Piano Trio rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68305
Not an essential purchase, but an appealing one, especially for lovers
of romantic piano music.
Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)
Der Freischütz - Lise Davidsen (soprano)
Andreas Schager (tenor)
MDR Leipzig Radio Ch, Frankfurt SO/Marek Janowski rec. 2018 PENTATONE PTC5186788 SACD [77:01+38:51]
An excellent performance and a strong contender if you can cope with a narration instead of the dialogue.
Eugene Ormandy (conductor) The Philadelphia Orchestra: The Early Years Vol. 1 rec. 1936-42 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC578 [66:34 + 69:26] [JW] A rousing start to this series.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Concerti for Two Harpsichords - Emmanuel Frankenberg (harpsichord), Ensemble Masques/Olivier Fortin
(harpsichord) rec. 2018 rec. 2018
ALPHA CLASSICS 572 [59:46] [DC]
Excellent performances and a fine recording.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Symphony No. 9 - Bavarian RSO & Ch/Bernard Haitink rec. 2019
BR KLASSIK 900180 [71:58] [WH]
A big, impressive performance of the Ninth which Haitink’s admirers will not want to miss.
Auguste DUPONT (1827-1890) Piano Concerto No. 3 Peter BENOIT (1834-1901) Symphonic poem for piano and orchestra - St Gallen
SO/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2018
HYPERION CDA68264 [62:49] [PRB]
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
& Carl STAMITZ (1745-1801) Concertos - Ana de la Vega (flute), Ramón Ortega Quero (oboe), Trondheim Soloists rec. 2019
PENTATONE PTC5186823 [64:38] [MW]
Interesting works with two fine soloists, but the accompaniment needed more loving care.
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Piano Sonata No.1, Moments Musicaux, Études-Tableaux
Alfonso Soldano (piano) rec. 2019 DIVINE ART DDA25155 [79:56]
[JF] Soldano’s playing left me both impressed and amazed.
Camille SAINT-SAЁNS (1835-1921)
Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 5, Rhapsodie d’Auvergne, Allegro
Louis Lortie (piano)
BBC Philharmonic/Edward Gardner rec. 2018/19 CHANDOS CHAN20038 [66.51]
An exciting and dramatic record of under-appreciated music, but there are now many competitors.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Mathias Hedegaard (tenor)
Tove Lřnskov (piano) rec. 2018 DANACORD DACOCD865 [75:45]
[GF] An honest and deeply felt reading.
Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924)
String Quartet Nos 1, 2 & 6 - Dante Quartet rec. 2019
SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0607 [79:17] [JW]
The cycle of Stanford’s Quartets has now been completed in excellent style.
Francesco Paolo TOSTI (1846-1916)
Romanza da Salotto Italiana -
Stanisław Daniel Kotliński (baritone)
Marco Balderi (piano) rec. 2018 DUX 1482 [77:00] [RMas]
Sensitive performances of Italian parlor songs.
Swing A Benny Goodman Story
Pierre Genisson (clarinet)
BBC Concert O/Keith Lockhart rec. 2018 APARTÉ AP218 [54:50]
[MC] Genisson is on unerringly fine form.
Beethoven: The Man Revealed by John Suchet publ.
2020 Elliott and Thompson [RMo]
A thoroughly readable, digestible and entertaining biography.
Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Complete Violin Sonatas
Annabelle Berthomé-Reynolds (violin)
Ivan Donchev (piano) rec. 2018 MUSO MU-032 [54:04 + 71:15]
[SB] A rewarding collection.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies
Nos 5 & 6 -
O Wiener Akademie/Martin Haselböck rec. 2018/19 ALPHA 479 [80.16]
[MW] As exciting as anyone could wish: thrilling, musical period performances in a venue Beethoven knew so well.
Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
Les Troyens - Ben Heppner (tenor) Michelle DeYoung (mezzo)
London SO & Ch/Sir Colin Davis
rec. 2000 ALTO ALC4006 [4 CDs: 239:28] [GF]
A set that should satisfy even the most discriminating connoisseur, especially at Alto’s price.
Ernő DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Piano Quintets,
String Quartet No. 2 -
Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Takács Qt rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68238 [80.58] [DJB] Underappreciated works in performances that surely won’t be bettered.
George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Rhapsody in Blue, Second Rhapsody, Piano Concerto,
Variations on I got Rhythm -
Cecile Licad (piano)
South Denmark PO/Gerard Salonga rec. 2019 DANACORD DACOCD869 [75:48]
A classically valid interpretation.
(1883-1918) Complete Piano Works
- Janne Oksanen (piano) rec. 2019
ALBA ABCD445 [80:03] [SSi] A most welcome disc, which has spent a lot of time in my CD player and has given me much enjoyment.
Fernand de LA TOMBELLE (1854-1928)
Chamber, Choral & Symphonic Music & Melodies
- Flemish Radio Ch,
Brussels PO/Hervé Niquet rec. 2017/18 BRU ZANE BZ1038 [3 CDs: 199 mins]
[JW] I can’t imagine a fairer or finer case being made for a little-known
composer such as La Tombelle.
José SEREBRIER (b.
1938) Orchestral Works -
Alexandre Kantorow (piano)
Sharon Bezaly (flute)
RTÉ Ntl SO, Barcelona SO/José Serebrier, Australian Chamber O/Richard Tognetti
rec. 2003-18 BIS BIS-2423 SACD [76:40]
Substantial concertos and stunning musicianship.
Be Still My Soul Jason Bergman (trumpet)
Jared Pierce (piano) rec. 2019 MSR CLASSICS MS1740 [56:00]
[DD] Smooth, skilful arrangements of hymns and songs; just the thing after a hectic day.
Ton Koopman (organ) Grandes orgues 1710: Chapelle Royale Versailles
rec. 2019 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS016 [57:49]
[JV] Under Koopman's hands the splendour of this great instrument is fully displayed.
Allan Gravgaard MADSEN (b 1984)
Nachtmusik Pelle GUDMUNDSEN-HOLMGREEN (1932-2016)
For Violin and Orchestra -
Christina Ĺstrand (violin)
Danish Ntl SO/Ryan Bancroft, Nicholas Collon rec. 2017/19 DACAPO 8.226138 [60:25]
[RHa] The Madsen did not engage me, but Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s For Violin and Orchestra was utterly compelling in this outstanding performance.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Piano Sonatas Nos 6-8 - Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68298
White-hot performances, straight from the forge; superlative sound,
even by Hyperion’s stellar standards.
Joachim RAFF (1822-1882)
Benedetto Marcello - Detlef Roth (baritone) Melba Ramos
SWR Radio O Kaiserslautern/Grzegorz Nowak rec. 2002 STERLING CDO-1123/24-2 [36:28 + 68:34]
[JW] A hugely welcome release.
Hans WINTERBERG (1901-1991) Piano Music Vol. 1 - Brigitte Helbig (piano) rec. 2018
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0531 [63:21] [SG]
Energy, humour and chromatic complexity rolled into one.
British Classics for Wind Orchestra Andreas Martin Hofmeir (bass tuba), Sächsische Bläserphilharmonie/Thomas Clamor rec. 2018
GENUIN GEN20658 [71:14] [NB]
The Vaughan Williams tuba concerto is the stand-out success.
Angela Gheorghiu (soprano)
Plaisir d’amour - Alexandra Dariescu (piano) rec. 2018
DECCA 483 4999 [67:19] [GF]
This should be a disc for the wish list of Angela Gheorghiu’s many admirers.
rec. 2019 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0608 [65:40]
Another winner from Papagena.
Kate Lindsey (mezzo)
Arianna - Works by Handel, Haydn & A
Scarlatti - Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen rec. 2019 ALPHA 576
[BW] Beautifully varied and dramatic singing of passionate music of loss.
Percy & Friends Richard Masters (piano)
rec. 2019 HERITAGE HTGCD179 [67:49] [JF]
A splendid CD.
The Sea Between The Lands
Italy and Spain: Five Centuries of Mediterranean Music - Salvatore Foderà (guitar) rec. 2019
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95862 [52:07] [ZT]
An excellent performance combined with an entertaining and enjoyable programme.
George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759)
L'Apothéose rec. 2018 IBS CLASSICAL IBS162019 [58:55]
[JV] This is the ensemble's debut disc, and it is a very fine one.
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
String Quartets Vol. 11 - Leipzig String Qt rec. 2019
MDG 307 2141-2 [65:51] [MR] Clarity and sharp focus are the hallmarks of the Leipzig Quartet’s approach.
Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809–1847)
Piano Concerto No. 1, Double
Lachezar Stankov (piano)
Ivo Stankov (violin)
Royal PO/Linus Lerner rec. 2019 MERIDIAN CDE84656 [64:06]
[GF] A disc to treasure.
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Complete Solo Piano Works Live - Sergio Fiorentino (piano) RHINE CLASSICS RH-006 [6 CDs: 429 mins]
[SG] Rachmaninoff fans will not be disappointed with the complete solo works, captured with the spontaneity and freshness of the live recital.
Camillo SCHUMANN (1872-1946) Works
for horn & piano -
Leo Halsdorf (horn)
Kae Shiraki (piano) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.579051 [64:02] [WK] A fine disc with which to make the acquaintance of this composer.
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Rigoletto - Stephen Costello (tenor), Wiener Symphoniker/Enrique Mazzolarec. 2019 C MAJOR Blu-ray 751704 [154 mins]
An unusual but gripping version of a favourite opera, musically first-rate and with eye-opening staging.
Jenö Hubay & His Pupil Emil Telmányi Gerald Moore
(piano), Budapest O/Ferenc Fricsay, Royal O Copenhagen/Thomas Jensen
rec. 1928-59 DANACORD DACOCD851 [77:21] [JF]
Style, enthusiasm and technical wizardry - enthusiasts of music in the Kreisler style will find this essential listening.
Nicola Meecham (piano) Works by
Enescu, Janáček & Kodály rec. 2006 SOMM SOMMCD081 [71:03]
[DD] A very auspicious debut that presents unusual repertoire, excellently executed and recorded; a stirring experience.
Hanna-Elisabeth Müller (soprano) Reine de cœur -
Juliane Ruf (piano) rec. 2018 PENTATONE PTC5186810 [66:24]
Full marks to both artists for this thoroughly enjoyable recital album.
Karl Münchinger: The Baroque Legacy
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande & Stuttgarter Kammerorchester rec. 1951-75
ELOQUENCE 484 0160 [8 CDs: 752 mins] [JW] Eloquence continues its excellent retrieval work on behalf of Karl Münchinger.