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Monthly Listing
January 2020
195 reviews this month

Charles-Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Symphony, Concerto - Paul Wee (piano) rec. 2017/2018 BIS BIS-2465 SACD [78:32] [JWe] Magnificent performances, recommended to anyone who enjoys superb pianism.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos Nos 20 & 21 - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) Manchester Camerata/Gábor Takács-Nagy rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20083 [65:08] [RHa] This is rapidly becoming THE modern instrument cycle of choice.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde - Stuart Skelton (tenor) Gun-Brit Barkmin (soprano) West Australian SO & Ch/Asher Fisch rec. 2018 ABC CLASSICS 4818518 [3 CDs: 222.01] [PCG] A very real contender to be one of the great recordings of Tristan und Isolde.

English Piano Trios Trio Anima Mundi rec. 2017 DIVINE ART DDA25158 [77:53] [JF] Each one of these five ‘trios’ is special and deserves our attention.

European Organ Music Colin Walsh (organ) rec. 2019 PRIORY PRCD1223 [77:55] [MR] Truly stupendous organ music, organ playing and organ sound.

Isaac ALBENIZ (1860–1909) Complete Works for Voice & Piano - Magdalena Llamas (mezzo) Guillermo González (piano) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574072 [72:46] [GF] Totally unsatisfactory singing – this shouldn’t have been issued at all.

Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Piano Trios - Münchner Klaviertrio rec. 1992 PROFIL PH19072 [58:11] [MC] The Münchner Klaviertrio is captured in fine form.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Six Partitas - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68271/2 [2 CDs: 149:56] [SG] The greater clarity provided by the Fazioli piano gives this new version a slight edge.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Six Partitas - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA678271/2 [72:52 + 77:04] [DC] Angela Hewitt’s Bach Partitas, 20 years on.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) French Suites - Alexandra Papastefanou (piano) rec. 2019 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR70 [66:20 + 75:09] [DD] Captivating playing.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Edition NAXOS 8.500250 Complete Works WARNER CLASSICS 539882 & New Complete Edition DG 4836767 [MZ] A comparative review of the three new "complete" boxsets.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2, Rondo - Boris Giltburg (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574151 [73:51] [RC] Performances to rank with the best, but also the bonus of the splendidly played Rondo.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano concertos 1, 3 & 4 - Ania Dorfmann, Artur Rubinstein, Myra Hess, Rudolf Serkin (piano), NBC SO/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1944-46 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC577 [67:12 + 67:20] [DD] Varying results but one real gem; very well re-mastered.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) & Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concertos - Christian Tetzlaff (violin) Deutsches SO Berlin/Robin Ticciati rec. 2018 ONDINE ODE1334-2 [71:22] [JL] Lots of competition, even from Teztlaff himself.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Creatures of Prometheus - Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573853 [76:37] [RC] Very well played and interpreted.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 5 - Martin Helmchen (piano) Deutsches SO Berlin/Andrew Manze rec. 2018/19 ALPHA CLASSICS 555 [66:25] [MC] An impressive start to Martin Helmchen’s projected survey of the Beethoven piano concertos

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Egmont, Tarpeja, Leonore Prohaska - Matti Salminen (narrator) Kaisa Ranta (soprano) Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573956 [74.24] [MW] Musical and muscular, these are strong performances of some great Beethoven.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Works for Piano and Cello - Ori Epstein (cello), Omri Epstein (piano) rec. 2018 LINN RECORDS CKD627 [84:42 + 70:50] [DRD] Enjoyable and highly proficient renditions of one of the cornerstones of the chamber repertoire.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Quartets - Klaviertrio Hannover, Konstantin Sellheim (viola) rec. 2019 GENUIN GEN19673 [76:25] [PRB] Highly enjoyable.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos 4 & 6 - London SO/Bernard Haitink rec. 2005 ALTO ALC1388 [74:22] [DD] Very special live recordings, reissued at bargain price.

Bela BARTOK (1881-1945) & Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Piano Quintets - Piers Lane (piano) Goldner String Qt rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68290 [73:00] [EJW] Thoroughly enjoyable, with playing that is beyond reproach.

Paul BEN-HAIM (1897-1984), Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) & Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Cello Concertos - Raphael Wallfisch (cello) BBC Ntl O of Wales/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2018 CPO 555273-2 [67:34] [SG] More riches, constituting an excellent addition to this increasingly impressive series.

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) The Enchantress, Meditations on a theme by John Blow, Mary of Magdala - Sarah Connolly (mezzo) James Platt (bass) BBC SO & Ch/Andrew Davis rec. 2019 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5242 [76:58] [JW] Bliss adherents will need to add this to their roster of necessary discs.

Kristin BOLSTAD (b. 1981) Tomba sonora - Stemmeklang rec. 2018 2L 2L155SABD SACD/BD-A [49:46] [DC] Hear it to believe it.

Anna BON (1738/1740-1767) Flute Sonatas - Vladimir Soares (recorders), Fabian Grosch (harpsichord) rec. 2018 DRAMA MUSICA DRAMA007 [74:02] [GPu] Bon’s enjoyably fluent sonatas – especially when played so well – raise questions which can’t yet be answered.

Joly BRAGA SANTOS (1924-1988) Complete Chamber Music Vol. 1 - Quarteto Lopes-Graça, Leonor Braga Santos (viola), Irene Lima (cello) rec. 2017/2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0207 [78:48] [JW] I can’t really imagine anyone being impervious to Braga-Santos’s warmth and wisdom.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quartets Nos 1-3 - Primrose Piano Qt rec. 2018 MERIDIAN CDE84650/1-2 [74:37 + 49:10] [MG] Delicate and fastidious period strings, and luminous and glowing tone from the period pianos.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete symphonies - Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Paavo Järvi rec. 2018 C MAJOR 734908 DVD [3 discs: 267 mins] [RWe] A filmed Brahms cycle of splendid performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)  Clarinet Sonatas & Trio - Marie Ross (clarinet) Petra Somlai (piano) Claire-Lise Démettre (cello) rec. 2018 CENTAUR RECORDS CRC3760 [79:53] [DC] Brahms as he would have heard it?

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies No. 1 & 3 - Bergen PO/Edward Gardner rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5236 SACD [81.25] [RC] Fine, convincing performances that just fail to join my favourite versions

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Intermezzi - Evgeni Koroliov (piano) rec. 2018/19 TACET 256 [2 CDs: 81:30] [RC] Highly individual, eminently worth hearing performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quartet No. 3, Piano Quintet - Hagen Qt, Kirill Gerstein (piano) rec. 2014 MYRIOS CLASSICS MYR021 [80:17] [MC] Interpretations that breathe energy and satisfaction.

Alexander BRINCKEN (b. 1952) Orchestral Music Vol. 1 - Alexander Brincken (piano) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Rainer Held rec. 2019 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0550 [75:45] [MR] A Soviet-era composer who writes in a style akin to what was around long before the creation of the Soviet Union, but does so with great self-confidence.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem, Nocturne, Our Hunting Fathers - Heather Harper (soprano) Peter Pears (tenor) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) City of Birmingham SO/Meredith Davies, Aldeburgh Fest O, London SO/Benjamin Britten rec. 1959-62 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO166 [63:01 + 77:19] [JQ] Anyone who admires War Requiem and is inspired by it should hear this recording in a fine new transfer.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 1 - Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller rec. 2019 PROFIL PH19084 [50:30] [RMo] Makes the strongest possible case for the symphony’s consideration – or even its rehabilitation.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 5 - Matthias Giesen (organ) rec. 2018 GRAMOLA 99169 [84:40] [RMo] Makes one appreciate the extent to which Bruckner’s musical imagination was predicated upon the capabilities and repertoire of the organ.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 5 - Yomiuri Nippon SO/Gennady Rozhdestvensky rec. 2017 ALTUS ALT411 [78:21] [RMo] This is a “saggy-waggy elephant” among Bruckner Fifth Symphony interpretations – yet occasionally the Jumbo sprints, too…

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 6 - London SO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2019 LSO LIVE LSO0842 SACD [56.01] [MW] A fine performance, in wonderful sound, splendidly captured, and nearly a very great one.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 - NDR Elbphilharmonie O/Alan Gilbert rec. 2019 SONY CLASSICAL 19075979532 [66:26] [RMo] No prospective purchaser is likely to be disappointed by this.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 9 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Parsifal Prelude & Good Friday Spell - Royal Concertgebouw O/Daniele Gatti rec. 2018 RCO LIVE RCO18008 SACD [80:34] [RMo] Lovely, if not flawless, performances.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Requiem - RIAS Kammerchor, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2018 ACCENTUS ACC30474 [56:13] [RMo] A disc to intrigue and engage the Bruckner aficionado.

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Complete Organ Works - Harald Vogel (organ) rec. 1986-93 MDG 314 2148-2 [7 CDs: 484:44 & DVD] [MC] This set should have great appeal to both those familiar with and new to Buxtehude.

Ronald CENTER (1913-1963) Instrumental & Chamber Music Vol. 1 - Christopher Guild (piano) rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0179 [69.48] [JF] Considerable substance and variety.

CHANG Ping (b. 1972) Oriental Wash Painting - Ji Wei (guzheng), Yu Hongmei (erhu), Zhang Qiang (pipa), Yuan Feifan (zhudi) China National SO/Lin Tao rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.570627 [81:16] [MR] Some very heavy-going music here but each of the four concertos has much to offer the inquisitive listener.

Eric COATES (1886-1957) Orchestral Works Vol. 1 - BBC Philharmonic/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20036 [70.39] [JW] This has all the makings of a top-class Coates’ series.

Roger Sacheverell COKE (1912-1972) Cello Sonatas - Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Simon Callaghan (piano) rec. 2019 LYRITA SRCD384 [72:14] [JW] I can’t imagine greater advocates for this music.

Roger Sacheverell COKE (1912-1972) Cello Sonatas - Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Simon Callaghan (piano) rec. 2019 LYRITA SRCD384 [72:14] [RMas] Beautiful playing, but the music is no more than pleasant.

Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) Concertino; Second Grand Concerto; Rondino sur un Thème favori de l’Opera ‘Le Maçon’ d’Auber - Rosemary Tuck (piano), English CO/Richard Bonynge rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573998 [82:19] [JF] The Concertino is delightful, the Concerto harder going, but the Tuck/Bonynge partnership is marvellous.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Nocturnes, Première rapsodie, Marche Écossaise, La Damoiselle élue - Sergio Castelló López (clarinet) Sophie Bevan (soprano) Anna Stéphany (mezzo) Hallé O & Ch/Mark Elder rec. 2018/19 HALLÉ CDHLL7552 [64:56] [RHa] Yet more ravishing Debussy from Sir Mark and his revitalised Hallé.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Piano works - Idil Biret (piano) rec. 2018/19 IDIL BIRET ARCHIVE 8.571401-02 [79:05 + 79:09] [JF] I was inspired, moved and entertained.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) & Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Violin Concertos - Rachel Barton-Pine (violin) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Teddy Abrams rec. 2018 AVIE AV2411 [73:22] [NB] More individual and nuanced orchestral accompaniments exist elsewhere.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Cello Concerto & works by Bloch, Bridge, Fauré & Klengel - Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello) London SO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2019 DECCA 4850241 [68.55] [MW] A fine, if not yet great, rendering of Elgar’s astonishing concerto, but the real treasures are among the smaller pieces.

Peter EÖTVÖS (b. 1944) hallelujah, alle vittime senza nome - WDR SO & Rundfunkchor/Peter Eötvös; O dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma/Antonio Pappano rec. 2017 WERGO WER73862 [74:38] [MS] Excellent performances of stimulating and important music.

Nicolás Ruiz ESPADERO (1832-1890) Piano Music Vol. 1 - José Raúl López (piano) rec. 2018/19 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0544 [71:52] [RCh] Attractive echoes of the 19th century Parisian piano salons from a sunny Caribbean island.

Gottfried FINGER (1655-1730) A Bohemian in London - Duo Dorado rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN0824 [78:00] [JW] Performances that show Finger’s is a voice that deserves to be heard.

Gottfried FINGER (c. 1655-1730) Music for European Courts and Concerts - The Harmonious Society of Tickle-Fiddle Gentlemen/Robert Rawson rec. 2018 RAMÉE RAM1802 [66:47] [JV] Fascinating and musically compelling portrait of a composer, whose oeuvre fully deserves to be explored.

Carlo GESUALDO DA VENOSA (1566-1613) Sacrarum Cantionum, Book I - Odhecaton; Ensemble Mare Nostrum/Paolo Da Col rec. 2013 RICERCAR RIC343 [63:27] [BW]  Unaccompanied recordings of this intense music are preferable.

Alberto GINASTERA (1916-1983) Harp Concerto, Variaciones concertantes - Sidsel Walstad (harp) Norwegian Radio O/Miguel Harth-Bedoya rec. 2017/18 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1182 [48:50] [DC] Impressive performances – shame about the niggardly playing time.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Symphony No.5 - Downtown Voices, NOVUS NY/Julian Walchner rec. 2017 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0143 CD/DVD [94:17] [MW] Glass not at his finest, in an enthusiastic production insufficiently attentive to the text.

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Orphée et Eurydice - Marianne Crebassa (mezzo-soprano), Hélène Guilmette (soprano), Ensemble Pygmalion/Raphaël Pichon rec. 2018 NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0100V [99 mins] [MP] A stunning central performance by Marianne Crebassa.

Antônio Carlos GOMES (1836–1896) Lo schiavo - Svetla Vassileva (soprano) Massimiliano Pisapia (tenor), Ch & O del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari/John Neschling rec. 2019 DYNAMIC CDS7845.02 [63:27 + 68:50] [GF] A worthwhile acquisition for readers with an inquisitive mind.

Eugene GOOSSENS (1893-1962) Phantasy Concerto, Symphony No.2 - Tasmin Little (violin) Melbourne SO/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2018/19 CHANDOS CHSA5193 SACD [68:21] [JW] Preparation and execution alike are admirable.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Lyric Music - Claire Booth (soprano), Christopher Glynn (piano) rec. 2018/19 AVIE AV2403 [71:59] [GF] This very attractive programme works eminently as a tightly knit unity.

Robert GROSLOT (b. 1951) Concertos - Jan Michiels (piano) Ilia Yourivitch Laporev (cello) Eline Groslot (harp) Brussels Philharmonic/Robert Groslot rec. 2017/18 NAXOS 8.579057 [65:04] [RHa] The second disc in Naxos’s Groslot series offers three attractive new works in committed performances and fine sound.

Friedrich GULDA (1930-2000) Concerto for Myself Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony No. 1 Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Concerto for Two Pianos - Mischa Cheung, Yulia Miloslavskaya (pianos) Giraud Ensemble CO/Sergey Simakov rec. 2019 SOLO MUSICA SM325 [69:58] [GP] A mixed bag of music, but the disc is totally worth having for the Poulenc Concerto.

George Frederick HANDEL (1685-1759) Messiah Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Magnificat - London PO & Ch/Sir Adrian Boult, Kalmar O/Pierre Colombo rec. 1954/55 ELOQUENCE 484 0411 [3 CDs: 200.47] [PCG] This Messiah may have been superseded by later versions in more ways than one, but it was never a mis-hit.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Samson - Joshua Ellicott (tenor), Sophie Bevan (soprano), Tiffin Boys’ Ch, Dunedin Consort/John Butt (harpsichord) rec. 2018 LINN CKD599 [3 CDs: 204:14] [RWe] The older Samson by The Sixteen is not eclipsed, but we now have another superb recording to place alongside it.

Emil HARTMANN (1836-1898) Piano Quintet, String Quartets, Andante and Allegro - Elisabeth Zeuthen Schneider (violin), Nicolas Dupont (violin), Tony Nys (viola), Justus Grimm (cello), Daniel Blumenthal (piano) rec. 2018 DACAPO 8.226183 [76:17] [JW] The amalgam of obvious models and Hartmann’s own generosity of spirit proves enlivening.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphonies Nos 80 & 81, Piano Concerto - Lucas Blondeel (fortepiano) Le Concert d’Anvers/Bart Van Reyn rec. 2016 FUGA LIBERA FUG755 [62:06] [SSi] Fine performances which are only a little let down by the lack of some repeats.

Lupus HELLINCK (1493/94-1541) Missa Surrexit pastor bonus Johannes LUPI (c.1506-1539) Te Deum - Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68304 [70:39] [BW]  If only the diction had been clearer, I would have had no reservations.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Violin Concerto, Clarinet Quartet, Cello Sonata - Henry Merckel (violin) Guy Deplus (clarinet) Robert Gendre (violin) Enrico Mainardi (cello) Fritz Lehmann (piano) Lamoureux O/Roger Désormière rec. 1948-53 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1568 [73:49] [SG] Much food for thought.

Frederick William HOLLOWAY (1873-1954) Symphonic Organ Works - Markus Eichenlaub (organ) rec. 2019 AEOLUS AE11181 SACD [79:11] [SG] World première recordings of a long-forgotten English composer.

Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854-1921) Hänsel und Gretel - Elisabeth Grümmer, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Philharmonia O/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1953-55 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO162 [63:00 + 77:10] [MP] Definitely worth purchasing even if you already own a previous issue of the set.

Joachim KACZKOWSKI (1789-1829) Violin Concertos - Marucha Agnieszka (violin), SO Filharmonii Lubelskiej im. Henryka Wieniawskiego/Rodek Wociechh rec. 2019 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0470 [70:45] [JW] Another unknown brought to life by this enterprising label.

Mikhail KOLLONTAY (b. 1952) Viola Concerto & Piano Concerto No. 1 - Nai-Yueh Chang (viola), Alexei Kornienko (piano) RTV SO Moscow/Alexei Kornienko, Mikhail Kollontay rec. 2015/18 TYXART TXA19129 [61:55] [RHa] Underwhelming.

Herman D. KOPPEL (1908-1998) Piano Concerto No.3, Pastorale, Ten Piano Pieces Benjamin KOPPEL (b.1974) Nine Dialogical Responses - Rikke Sandberg (piano) Benjamin Koppel (saxophone) South Jutland SO/Bo Holten rec. 2019 DANACORD DACOCD856 [64:12] [JW] The Concerto is very successful, but the companion pieces seem an awkward fit.

Ernst KRENEK (1900-1991) Orchestral works - Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Karl-Heinz Steffens rec. 2019 CAPRICCIO C5379 [76:42] [JW] This is worth consideration if the combination of works appeals.

Rodolphe KREUTZER (1766-1831) Violin Concertos Nos 1, 6 & 7 - Laurent Albrecht Breuninger (violin) Südwestdeutsches CO Pforzheim/Timo Handschuh rec. 2014 CPO 555 206-2 [72:23] [PRB] Makes an excellent case for affording Kreutzer the real credit he deserves in his own right as a composer and performer.

Fernand de LA TOMBELLE (1854-1928) Musique de chambre, chorale et symphonique - Flemish Radio Ch, Brussels Philharmonic/Hervé Niquet rec. 2017/18 BRU ZANE BZ1038 [3 CDs: 199:45] [MC] Well-crafted and entirely agreeable works, ideal for those wanting to explore the byways of French Romantic music.

Frédéric LEDROIT (b. 1968) La Passion selon Saint-Jean - Chamber Ch Europe, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Robert Reimer rec. 2018 SKARBO DSK2194 [77:15] [RHa] A fervent account of a rather relentless, though earnest and approachable, piece.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Kaleidoscope - Shin-Haea Kang (piano) rec. 2019 OEHMS OC1713 [72:53] [JWe] Buy this disc!

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 9 - Seoul PO/Myung-Whun Chung rec. 2013 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4811109 [79:55] [SV] This Ninth immediately goes on my short list.

Yardani Torres MAIANI (b. 1988) Asterias – Yardani Torres Maiani (solo violin), Armande Galloway (violin), Raïlo Helmstetter (guitar), Elisabeth Geiger (harpsichord), Natalie Forthomme (cello) HARMONIA MUNDI HMN916116 [59:01] [RHa] A commendable project which blends any number of southern European styles.

Franco MARGOLA (1908-1992) Music for Mandolin & Other Chamber Music - Raffaele La Ragione (mandolin) Gabriele Zanetti (guitar) Daniele Richiedei (violin) Giacomo Ferrari (piano) rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96037 [50:12] [GPu] Margola was a belated ‘little master of the 18th century’, and his music is a source of constant and quiet delight.

Saverio MERCADANTE (1795-1870) Didone Abbandonata - Viktorija Miškūnaitė (soprano), Katrin Wundsham (mezzo-soprano), Carlo Vincenzo Allemano (tenor), Academia Montis Regalis/Alessandro De Marchi rec. 2018 NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0095V [146 mins] [MP] An operatic rarity, with excellent singing but bizarre and exaggerated directorial approach.

Krzysztof MEYER (b. 1943) Chansons d’un Rêveur Solitaire, Symphony No. 8 - Claudia Barainsky (soprano) Ch Karol Szymanowski PO/Teresa Majka-Pacanek, Polish Ntl Radio SO/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2015/18 DUX 1569 [66:08] [RHa] Two contrasting recent scores which reinforce Meyer's burgeoning profile.

Alexander MOYZES (1906-1984) Dances from Gemer; Down the River Váh; Pohronie Dances - Slovak RSO/Ondrej Lenárd rec. 1989 NAXOS 8.555477 [71.12] [MW] A highly enjoyable reissue of lovely symphonic dances from Slovakia.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Divertimento K.563 - TrioTaus rec. 2017 2L RECORDS 2L148SACD [42:51] [DC] Very good, but does it dislodge any of the competition?

Michael NYMAN (b. 1944) Yamamoto Perpetuo - Chase Spruill (violin) rec. 2018 SUPERTRAIN RECORDS STR008 [41:28] [MW] A lovely birthday tribute to Michael Nyman – a rarely heard piece in a superb performance.

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Cello Duos - Xavier Phillips, Anne Gastinel (cellos) rec. 2019 LA DOLCE VOLTA LDV71 [69:44] [GPu] An unexpected side of Offenbach which should prove enjoyable for far more than the audience of cello students for which the music was originally written.

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Late Choral Music George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) An American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue - Cleveland O, New York PO/Michael Tilson Thomas rec. 1974-76 DUTTON EPOCH 2CDLX7369 SACD [76:52 + 68:13] [NB] A set of disparate delights.

Niccolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) Sonatas for guitar & violin Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Violin Sonatas - Kim Sjøgren (violin) Lars Hannibal (guitar) Anne Øland (piano) DANACORD DACOCD850 [79:49] Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Works for Harpsichord - Ulla Kappel (harpsichord) János Sebestyén (organ) DANACORD DACOCD852 [73:31] New Nordic Piano Music Elisabeth Klein (piano) DANACORD DACOCD854 [74:08] [JF] More welcome reissues.

Enno POPPE (b. 1969) rundfunk - ens mosaik rec. 2019 WERGO WER7388-2 [57:19] [RHa] Enno Poppe gives the synthesiser a HIP workover – it’s not for the faint hearted.

Alwynne PRITCHARD (b. 1968) Rockaby rec. 2004-18 KAIROS 0015047KAI [76:00] [RHa] Unusual music that provokes, exhausts, enchants, frustrates, hypnotises, challenges, exasperates, fascinates and perhaps unexpectedly, moves.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Sonatas Nos 3, 8 & 9 - Freddy Kempf (piano) rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2390 SACD [56:06] [DC] Very fine indeed – Freddy Kempf and Prokofiev fans need not hesitate.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Alexander Nevsky, Lieutenant Kijé Suite - Alisa Kolosova (mezzo) Utah SO & Ch/Thierry Fischer rec. 2016 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-735 SACD [60:06] [RC] This expansive, but driven and energetic, Nevsky ranks among the finest.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La bohème - Montserrat Caballé (soprano), Plácido Domingo (tenor), London PO/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1973/74 DUTTON 2CDLX7365 SACD [75:08 + 73:40] [RMo] A satisfying La bohème, made especially desirable by the beauty of Caballé’s Mimì, with an attractive bonus.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924) Tosca – Zinka Milanov (soprano) Jussi Björling (tenor) Leonard Warren (baritone) Rome Opera House O & Ch/Erich Leinsdorf rec. 1957 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO163 [2 CDs: 113:29] [GF] Andrew Rose has worked miracles on the sound to illustrate how good a set this is.

Emilio PUJOL (1886-1980) Estudios - Frank Bungarten (guitar) rec. 2018 MDG 9052131-6 SACD [68:48] [ZT] An important contribution.

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) King Arthur - Mhairi Lawson, Carolyn Sampson (sopranos) Roderick Williams (baritone) Gabrieli Consort & Players/Paul McCreesh rec. 2019 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD589 [2 CDs: 97:38] [JW] A loving, beautifully balanced and subtle performance.

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) The Purcell Album - Alfred Deller & Consort ALTO ALC1402 [79:20] [RMas] A compilation which provides significant evidence of Deller’s abilities as a singer and conductor, but the documentation is awful.

Johann Joachim QUANTZ (1697-1773) Flute Concerti - Greg Dikmans (transverse flute), Elysium Ensemble rec. 2018/2019 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10252 [70:73] [JV] This disc is a fine illustration of Quantz's aesthetic ideals.

Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (1928-2016) Vigilia - Niall Chorell (tenor), Tuukka Haapaniemi (bass), Helsinki Chamber Choir / Nils Schweckendiek rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2422 SACD [70:34] [JQ] A wonderful new recording of a composition of great sincerity and eloquence.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Organ Works Vol. 6 - Gerhard Weinberger (organ) rec. 2018 CPO 7775392 SACD [64:20 + 63:00] [SG] Weinberger's Reger pilgrimage continues to go from strength to strength.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Sigismondo – Hera Hyesang Park (soprano) Keneth Tarver (tenor) Bavarian Radio Ch, Munich Radio O/Keri-Lynn Wilson rec. 2018 BR KLASSIK CD 900327 [81:17 + 65:14] [MC] A very engaging performance.

Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937) Le Festin de l’Araignée; Paul DUKAS (1865-1935) Polyeucte; L’Apprenti Sorcier - Pays de la Loire National O/Pascal Rophé rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2432 SACD [59:46] [DM] Rophé’s Dukas is understated, yet quietly rewarding, his Roussel fine spun, if a little short on contrast and character; splendid playing and sound.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Carnival of the Animals Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Mother Goose Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Peter & the Wolf Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra - Britten-Pears O/Marin Alsop (narrator) rec. 2017/18 NAXOS NBD0102V Blu-ray [98 mins] [RC] Alsop does a marvelous job in both roles.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Ascanio, Les Barbares - Malmö SO/Jun Märkl rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574033 [73:38] [RMay] Rarely encountered scores, expertly delivered.

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) & Muzio CLEMENTI (1752-1832) Sonatas - John McCabe (piano) rec. 1981 DIVINE ART DDA21231 [57:55 + 58:30] [RMas] Splendid Clementi but less effective Scarlatti.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Thomas Oliemans (baritone), Paolo Giacometti (piano) rec. 2018 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS42119 [71:24] [GF] A very touching, very involved reading with a warm heart.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Mathias Hedegaard (tenor) Tove Lønskov (piano) rec. 2018 DANACORD DACOCD865 [75:45] [JF] Hedegaard is brilliant at capturing the massive mood swings inherent in this song cycle.

Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) Ironien - Monica Gutman (piano), Erika Le Roux (four hands piano) rec. 2019 WERGO WER73852 [70:46] [JW] The performances capture Schulhoff’s various selves with great perception.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Dichterliebe, Lenau-Lieder und Requiem Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Wesendonck Lieder - Christoph Prégardien (tenor) Michael Gees (piano) rec. 2018 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72788 SACD [63:36] [GF] Full marks.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-56) Violin Sonatas - Eriikka Maalismaa (violin), Emil Holmström (piano) rec: 2018 ALBA ABCD438 [73:06] [RHa] A truly unexpected find; fascinating, probing accounts of all three of Schumann’s late violin sonatas.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-56) Complete Music for Piano 4-Hands - Roberto Plano, Paola Del Negro (piano duet) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95675 [2 CDs 129:12] [PBW]  This excellently performed and recorded collection is an outstanding bargain.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1867) Violin Concerto Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Double Concerto - Antje Weithaas (violin), Maximilian Hornung (cello), NDR Radiophilharmonie/Andrew Manze rec. 2017 CPO 555172-2 [63:25] [PRB] An attractive and rare coupling of concertos.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies 1 & 4, Concertos, Overture to Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ - Pierre Fournier (cello), Henryk Szeryng (violin), Annie Fischer (piano), Südwestfunk O Baden-Baden/Hans Rosbaud rec. 1957-61 SWR CLASSIC SWR19085CD [3CDs: 155:45] [JW] More of the art of this great conductor reclaimed.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Complete Piano Sonatas - Vincenzo Maltempo (piano) rec. 2018/19 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10168 [60:16 + 73:50] [RWe] A sonata survey of high calibre, well worth exploring.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 4 - London SO/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2018 LSO LIVE LSO0832 SACD [64:38] [WK] A powerful and very competitive performance.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) String Quartets No. 13-15 - Fitzwilliam String Quartet rec. 2018/2019 LINN CKD612 [48:13 + 37:48] [RW] This gives you the full head-in-hands experience of these demanding pieces.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 10 - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2010 BR KLASSIK 900185 [53.48] [WH] A magnificent Shostakovich 10 from the late and much lamented Jansons.

Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) The Bedbug; Love & Hate - Mannheim Opera Ch, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Mark Fitz-Gerald rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574100 [58:54] [NB] One for the enthusiast rather than the general collector.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Incidental Music - Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.506032 [6 CDs: 399:31] [RB] All in all this is a refreshing experience that is often pleasingly surprising.

Dame Ethel SMYTH (1858-1944) Fête Galante; The Boatswain’s Mate, Entente Cordiale Liza LEHMANN (1862-1918) The Happy Prince - Charmian Bedford (soprano) Carolyn Dobbin (mezzo) Lontano Ens/Odaline de la Martinez, Light SO/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1939/2018 RETROSPECT OPERA RO007 [76:34] [JW] Warmly committed and winning performances.

Alexey STANCHINSKY (1888-1914) Complete Piano Works Vol. 1 - Olga Solovieva (piano) rec. 2018 GRAND PIANO GP766 [72:20] [PRB] A real find.

Ronald STEVENSON (1928–2015) Piano Music Vol. 3 - Christopher Guild (piano) rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0403 [70:22] [JF] I look forward to succeeding volumes of this project with considerable enthusiasm. 

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1959) Der Rosenkavalier - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Christa Ludwig (mezzo) Eberhard Waechter (baritone), Philharmonia Ch & O/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1956 PRISTINE PACO167 [3 CDs: 190.58] [PCG] This remains one of the great Rosenkavaliers on disc, and contains one of the best casts ever assembled either on stage or in the studio.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) & Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Works for cello & piano - Norbert Anger (cello) Michael Schöch (piano) rec. 2017 OEHMS OC1701 [78:54] [CSe] A generous recording, comprising both the unfamiliar with the familiar in new guises, and offering much enjoyment and discovery.

Peter Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Opera and Song Transcriptions for Piano - Julia Severus (piano) rec. 2018/2019 GRAND PIANO GP795 [73:33] [RCh] An interesting collection of Tchaikovsky’s songs without words.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Eugene Onegin - Mariusz Kwiecien, Tatiana Monogarova, Bolshoi Theatre Ch & O/Alexander Vedernikov rec. 2008 BEL AIR CLASSIQUES Blu-ray BAC446 [177 mins] [RC] Highly inventive, albeit slightly flawed.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Nutcracker - Septura rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574157 [65:24] [MP] An original and very welcome presentation of traditional Holiday confection.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Nutcracker - State Academic SO of Russia  "Evgeny Svetlanov"/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2019 PENTATONE PTC5186761 SACD [86:25] [NB] Skilled and technically impressive but disappointingly literal.

Pyotr Ilych TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) & Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Violin Concertos - Johan Dalene (violin) Norrköping SO/Daniel Blendulf rec. 2019 BIS SACD BIS2440 [58:47] [WH] A new, young virtuoso shines in an unusual coupling.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Grande Sonate, Meditation Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Moments Musicaux - Barry Douglas (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20121 [68:08] [DD] Excellent performances of works that deserve greater recognition, and in splendid sound.

Galina USTVOLSKAYA (1919-2006) Suites & Poems - Leningrad PO/Yevgeny Mravinsky, Arvids Jansons; Leningrad Radio Youth SO/Igor Borisoglebsky; Moscow Boys’ Ch/Bogdan Petrenko rec. 1950s-2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96084 [37:50 + 42:51] [RB] Early and often easily and surprisingly accessible.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Le Trouvère - Giuseppe Gipali (tenor), Franco Vasallo (baritone), Marco Spotti (bass), Ch & O Teatro Communale di Bologna/Roberto Abbado rec. 2018 DYNAMIC CDS7835.02 [79:54 + 79:52] [GF] Always fascinating to encounter alternative versions of standard works.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Traviata - Ermonela Jaho (soprano), Placido Domingo (baritone), O Royal Opera House, London/Antonello Manacorda rec. 2019 OPUS ARTE DVD OA1292D [149 mins] [RJF] Even if this performance lacks some vitality in Act One, the total impact of the final Act has great strength and shows Ermonela Jaho at her best.

Pancho VLADIGEROV (1899–1978) Bulgarian Suite, Symphonic Dances, Vardar Rhapsody - Rousse PO/Nayden Todorov rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573422 [74:25] [RB] Attractive, colourful pieces from a Bulgarian composer who deserves to be better known.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I Due Foscari - Leo Nucci (baritone) Guanqun Yu (soprano) Rundfunk O & Ch/Ivan Repušic rec. 2018 BR KLASSIK 900328 [73:00 + 28:40] [MC] Led by baritone Leo Nucci, this is an excellent recording of I Due Foscari.

Georg Joseph VOGLER (1749-1814) Gustaf Adolf och Ebba Brahe - Laila Andersson (soprano), Jonny Blanc (tenor), Royal Swedish O & Ch/Charles Farncombe rec. 1973 STERLING CDO1121/2-2 [73:42 + 52:36] [GF] Musically and historically important.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde - Andreas Schager, Rachel Nicholls, O & Ch of Teatro Opera of Rome/Daniele Gatti rec. live, 2016 C MAJOR 752208 DVD [3 discs: 239 mins] [RWe] More than respectable, if not one to leap to the top of the rankings.

Karl WEIGL (1881-1949) Symphonies Nos 4 & 6 - Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Jürgen Bruns rec. 2019 CAPRICCIO C5385 [72.23] [MW] A useful and enjoyable addition to the catalogue of late Romantic symphonies, but perhaps not individual enough to be an essential purchase.

Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Street Scene - Patricia Racette, Paulo Szot, O & Ch Teatro Real Madrid/Tim Murray rec. 2018 BELAIR CLASSIQUES BAC562 Blu-ray [160 mins] [PCG] A thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1995) Violin Sonatas Nos 4-6 - Agnès Pyka (violin) Dimitri Vassilakis (piano) rec. 2019 ARION ARN68842 [54:52] [SG] Music of great beauty and imagination.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Flute Concertos, Pieces - Claudia Stein (flute) Elizaveta Blumina (piano) Szczecin PO/David Robert Coleman rec. 2017/18 NAXOS 8.573931 [68:32] [SA] It includes some of the most gorgeous tunes any composer has given this most songlike instrument.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Cello Sonatas - Wojciech Fudala (cello) Michał Rot (piano) rec. 2017 DUX 1545 [59:20] [SA] Superlative playing.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) & Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Trios - Trio Marvin rec. 2019 GENUIN GEN19678 [57:15] [WK] Power and drive that perfectly fits this music.

Roberto Alagna (tenor) Caruso 1873 - Yvan Cassar (piano), O National D’ Île-De-France/Yvan Cassar rec. 2019 SONY CLASSICAL 19075950482 [72:12] [MP] A unique and very worthy labour of love, best for listening to in short periods rather than in its entirety.

Claudio Arrau (piano) Concertos by Brahms, Schumann & Beethoven - SWR SO Baden-Baden/Ernest Bour, Stuttgart RSO/Eliahu Inbal & Gary Bertini rec. 1969-80 SWR MUSIC SWR19084CD [3 CDs: 211:24] [JW] No revelations then – just excellence.

Erling Blöndal Bengtsson (cello) A Tribute: The Danish Radio Recordings 1958-1998 Vol. 2 rec. 1958-1998 DANACORD DACOCD845 [75:09 + 70:40] [JW] Another finely restored example of this cherished artist’s radio discography.

Erling Blöndal Bengtsson (cello) The Danish Recordings 1962-1987  DANACORD DACOCD846 [79:36 + 76:50] [JF] Another major addition to the Bengtsson discography.

Lucretia Borgia Capella de Ministrers/Carles Magraner rec. 2018 LICANUS CDM1946 [66:39] [GPu] This richly enjoyable and well-planned programme makes a serious historical point and gives delight.

Robert Casadesus (piano) The Complete French Columbia Recordings rec. 1928-39 APR 7404 [4 CDs: 228:30] [SG] A highly desirable release in top notch restorations.

The Centenary Service Ch King’s College, Cambridge/Sir Stephen Cleobury, rec. 2018 KING’S COLLEGE KGS0036 SACD [81:55] [RC] A tribute to the impressive career of Sir Stephen Cleobury.

A Circle in the Water Capella de Minstrers/Carles Magraner LICANUS CDM1947 [63.54] [GH] Music pervaded by melancholy but with much to charm the listener.

Come, Let Us Make Love Deathless Songs by Holst & Holbrooke - James Geer (tenor), Ronald Woodley (piano) rec. 2018 EM RECORDS EMRCD060 [75:26] [PCG] Rare Holbrooke settings, and an amiable performance of Holst’s Wolfe Songs.

Decades - A Century of Song Vol. 4 Anush Hovhannisyan (soprano) Ida Eveline Ränzlöv (mezzo) Nick Pritchard (tenor) Florian Boesch (baritone) Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 2017/18 VIVAT 119 [72:02] [JQ] This interesting and enterprising art song series continues the high standards established in previous releases.

Einsamkeit, O Stilles Wesen German Cantatas of the Baroque - L‘arpa festante/Christoph Hesse rec. 2017 CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77437 [67:13] [DJB] An interesting programme on paper, but the overall effect is one of lack of contrast.

Sergio Fiorentino (piano) Live in Taiwan rec. 1988 RHINE CLASSICS RH-009 [71:47] [SG] A live recital with added poignancy as the pianist sadly died three months later.

Samson François (piano) The Salle Pleyel Recital rec. 1965 MELOCLASSIC MC1045 [79:18] [JW] A valuable reclamation from the vaults.

Walter Gieseking (piano) At the Hollywood Bowl rec. 1955-56 MELOCLASSIC MC1041 [78:50 + 79:44] [JW] With two nuggets never before recorded, this will be a tempting release for his admirers.

The Godfather Masters of the German & Italian Baroque - La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler rec. 2019 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD602 [64:08] [CRa] Another first-class collection from the people who put the rock into baroque.

Maria Grinberg (piano) The Art of rec. 1946-76 SCRIBENDUM SC814 [34 CDs] [SG] One of the finest piano collections I've ever had the pleasure of reviewing.

Hidden Treasures Romantic Finnish Piano Music - Risto-Matti Marin (piano) rec. 2018 ALBA SACD ABCD446 [82:14] [EJW] An interesting selection of little known Finnish music; the Hannikainen is the standout.

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] [JW] It's splendid to have these recordings back in expanded form.

Erich Kleiber and Jean Martinon (conductors) The Decca 78s - London PO rec. 1947-1949 ELOQUENCE 482 9386 [64:10 + 63:34] [JW] A valuable twofer.

Xenia Löffler (oboe) The Oboe in Dresden rec. 2018 ACCENT ACC24361 [78:00] [JV] Another fine disc by the incomparable oboist Xenia Löffler.

Magnificat rec. 1970-2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95928 [14 CDs: 880:10] [SSi] This is a highly interesting and engaging set, with much to recommend it.

Magnificat Glen Dempsey (organ) Ch of St John’s College Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD588 [58:44] [JQ] Choice examples of settings of the evening canticles, sung flawlessly and with great commitment.

Johanna Martzy (violin) Swiss Radio Broadcast Recordings rec. 1947-69 MELOCLASSIC MC2035 [60:56] [SG] These add considerably to Martzy's slender discographical legacy.

Minimal Works Alessandro Viale, Assunta Cavallari (piano) Rebecca Raimondi (violin) rec. 2018 KHA RECORDS KHA018 [47.42] [GH] Worth exploring.

Charles Munch (conductor) Works by Auber, Bridge & Nielsen - Boston SO rec. 1953-56 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC572 [67:50] [JQ] A very interesting addition to the Munch discography.

Music For My Love Vol. 3 Ukrainian Festival O/Paul Mann rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0504 [70:45] [WH] Music of the highest quality in performances to match.

New England Choirworks Yale Schola Cantorum/David Hill rec. 2016-18 HYPERION CDA68314 [75:16] [JQ] A most interesting and varied programme of contemporary choral music sung with great accomplishment.

Now may we singen Music for Advent & Christmas - Ben Bloor (organ) Ch Westminster School/Timothy Garrard rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD595 [67:15] [WH] A delightful collection of seasonal music to enjoy all the year round.

Edith Picht-Axenfeld (piano) German Radio Broadcast Recordings rec. 1952-56 MELOCLASSIC MC1043 [79:06 + 78:44] [JW] A musician who has been largely forgotten but who deserves to be remembered.

Margaret Price (soprano) In Recital - James Lockhart, Geoffrey Parsons (piano), LSO/Claudio Abbado rec. 1969-87 ELOQUENCE 4825237 [2 CDs: 139:43] [PSt] A number of first CD issues which will give it great appeal to fans of the soprano.

Remember me, my dear…  Jan Garbarek (saxophone) David James (countertenor) Rogers Covey-Crump, Steven Harrold (tenor) Gordon Jones (baritone) The Hilliard Ens rec. 2014 ECM NEW SERIES 2625 (4817971) [77:40] [DC] A poignant farewell.

Artur Rodziński (conductor) Complete Chicago Symphony Recordings rec. 1947/52 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC569 [64:27 + 70:33] [JW] A valuable record of Rodziński’s brief time in Chicago.

Song’s First Cycle Robin Tritschler (tenor) Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD587 [82:31] [GF] Every lover of art song should invest in this issue to earn a deeper understanding of the development of art song.

Songs for Courtiers & Cavaliers Helen Watts (alto) Philomusica London/Thurston Dart (harpsichord, chamber organ) Desmond Dupré (viola da gamba) Bernard Richards (cello) Granville Jones (violin) rec. 1956/57 ELOQUENCE 482 8578 [77:13 + 55:34] [GPu] Though some of the performances predictably sound ‘dated’, there are things to enjoy and admire here.

Jascha Spivakovsky (piano) Bach to Bloch Vol. 10 rec. 1952-56 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC579 [57:59] [JW] Enough here to warrant interest for the piano collector.

Stories Concertos by Beamish, Jolas & Neuwirth - Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet) Roger Muraro (piano) National Youth O Scotland, Malmö SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2014/17 BIS BIS2293 SACD [61:00] [RWe] Three fine contemporary trumpet concertos, immaculately played by the virtuoso for whom they were written.

String Quartets Works by Morawski, Stojowski, Tarnowski & Wagner - Tono Qt, Four Strings Qt rec. 2014/19 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0459 [64.59] [MW] Unfamiliar and deeply rewarding music, wonderfully performed.

Arturo Toscanini (conductor) Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York: Complete Recordings - Vol. 1 rec. 1929-36 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC575 [3 CDs: 213:15] [DD] Some of the greatest orchestral recordings ever, magnificently restored.

A Tribute to Ysaÿe rec. 2009-2019 FUGA LIBERA FUG758 [5 CDs: 355 mins] [JW] A valuable and dedicated undertaking.

Thomas Trotter (organ) From Palaces to Pleasure Gardens rec. 2018 REGENT REGCD526 [71:20] [JV] Lively and colourful interpretations.

Simon Trpčeski (piano) Tales from Russia rec. 2018 ONYX CLASSICS 4191 [66:40] [RCh] Grand tales brought to vivid life by a master storyteller.

Violon au féminin Music by Viardot, Bonis, L Boulanger, Marchand, Chaminade and Tailleferre - Sara Chenal (violin), Jean-Pierre Ferey (piano) rec. 2014 SKARBO DSK4150A CD/DVD [72:33 + 49:17] [NB] A very impressive and successful disc.

Violin Plus One Piet Koornhof (violin), Albie van Schalkwyk (piano) rec. 2016/18 DELOS DE3577 [67:01] [MZ] Piet Koornhof offers up a delightful encore compilation of Romantic violin transcriptions.

Voix du Ciel Medieval Polyphony & Sacred Chants - Ens Gilles Binchois/Dominique Vellard EVIDENCE CLASSICS EVCD065 [62:04 + 68.18] [GH] An opportunity to discover the best of this outstanding ensemble.

Articles and Notices

National Discographies - a major update by Mike Herman

Short Reviews & Second Thoughts: Winter 2019-20/2 by Brian Wilson, Dan Morgan & Johan van Veen

Fred Lax - An English flautist in America by Stuart Scott

Completions and Reconstructions of Musical Works - Part 1 by Stephen Barber

The first performance of Adam Pounds' Second Symphony by John France


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