2020
53,674 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

a

 

 



selling Internationaly

 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider


Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


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

August


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE


Enescu Ravel Britten


Debussy Images etc.


53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)

 

July


KAPSBERGER
Che fai tù? - Villanelles


Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel


SHOSTAKOVICH
violin concertos - Ibragimova


Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov


The Complete Lotte Schöne

 

 

 

Monthly Listing
March 2020
153 reviews this month

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Tullochgorum: Arrangements of Scottish Songs - The Poker Club Band  rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2471 SACD [61:38] [RHa] A delightful hour’s listening.

Jēkabs JANČEVSKIS (b. 1992) Aeternum - Mixed Ch of Riga Cathedral Choir School/Jurģis Cābulis rec. 2018/19 HYPERION CDA68328 [56:59] [MR] An arresting beauty, with an immensity of imagery and emotional intensity which demands repeated listening.

Tőnu KŐRVITS (b. 1969) Hymns to the Nordic Lights - Estonian Ntl SO/Risto Joost rec. 2015-19 ONDINE ODE1349-2 [57:42] [DC] Substantial and satisfying: sharpen your senses and dive in.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Between Heaven & Hell - Joseph Moog (piano) rec. 2018 ONYX 4195 [63:44] [JWe] I’ve run out of superlatives for this disc.

Praga Rosa Bohemiae Cappella Mariana/Vojtěch Semerád rec. 2018 SUPRAPHON SU4273-2 [62:56] [JV] A perfect combination of an interesting programme and superb singing.

George ANTHEIL (1900-1959) Serenades, Dreams - Württembergische Philharmonie/Fawzi Haimor rec. 2018 CPO 555196-2 [74:05] [JF] Imaginative and varied works given superb performances.

Carl ARNOLD (1794-1873) Piano Concerto, Piano Sextet - Torleif Torgersen (fortepiano) Bergen PO/Rinaldo Alessandrini rec. 2018/19 SIMAX CLASSICS PSC1344 [60:20] [GF] Lovers of virtuoso pianism will find a lot to enjoy.

Daniel-François-Esprit AUBER (1782-1871) Le Cheval de Bronze - Franz Fuchs, Tino di Costa, Kurt Equiluz, Niederösterreichischer Tonkünstlerchor, Grosses Wiener Rundfunkorchester/Kurt Richter rec. 1953 ORFEO C986192 [34:51 + 51:39] [GF] A good picture of the work, but with plenty of deficiencies.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St Matthew Passion - Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2019 BIS BIS2500 SACD [2 discs: 162:00] [MS] An outstanding St Matthew Passion conceived and performed in ways that bring new insight and ensuing fresh levels of enjoyment.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Complete Harpsichord & Violin Concertos - Concerto Copenhagen/Lars Ulrik Mortensen rec. 2002-13 CPO 555 299-2 [5 CDs: 265:57] [SG] Intoxicating performances, not to be missed.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Johannes-Passion - Maximilian Schmitt (tenor) Krešimir Stražanac (bass) Dorothee Mields (soprano) Collegium Vocale Gent/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 2018 PHI LPH031 [33:29 + 73:39] [JQ] A stylish and compelling performance.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Art of Fugue - Tatyana Nikolayeva (piano) rec. 1993 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR95 [87:58] [DC] A poignant late concert by a Titan of the keyboard.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ works - Ashley Grote (organ) SELBY ABBEY ORGAN MASTERS SAOM006 [73:44] [MR] Grand, often monumental performances of five of Bach’s most majestic organ works, all captured in fine recorded sound.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas & Partitas - Tomás Cotik (violin) rec. 2019 CENTAUR CRC3755/6 [57:43 + 60:50] [RMas] Lithe and efficient Bach.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Concerto No. 2, Rhapsodies Nos 1 & 2 - Baiba Skride (violin) WDR SO Köln/Eivind Aadland rec. 2017 ORFEO C950191 [57:45] [SSi] Even if this is not my first choice, it is a welcome and enjoyable performance which I will be revisiting.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) & Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Piano Quintets - Goldner String Qt, Piers Lane (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68290 [73:00] [SG] A fascinating blend of music representing very different 20th century stylistic traditions.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Nos 30-32 - Maurizio Pollini (piano) rec. 2019 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4838250 [56:07] [SG] After a lifetime’s experience, the pianist has ‘discovered new riches in every detail’ in these sublime sonatas.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete String Quartets - Quatuor Schäffer rec. 1957-1959 FORGOTTEN RECORDS [10 CDs: 568:07] [SG] The cycle may not be a first choice for those seeking a place to start, but it should certainly appeal to seasoned listeners.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trios Vol. 1 - ATOS Trio rec. 2015 WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLIVE0094/2 [2 CDs: 109:37] [RWe] The level of execution is so good that you would think these are studio made – until the applause bursts in.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trios Vol. 2 - ATOS Trio rec. 2016 WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLIVE0095/2 [2 CDs: 101:58] [RWe] Completes an outstanding live series from a very accomplished group.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quintets - WDR SO Chamber Players rec. 2019 ALPHA 585 [66:26] [RHa] Lissom accounts which are beautifully coloured in glowing Alpha sonics.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 5 - Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano) Freiburger Barock O/Pablo Heras-Casado rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902411 [60:03] [ST] If you like the sound of a fortepiano, this may appeal greatly to you.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets - Juilliard String Quartet rec. 1964-1970 SONY CLASSICS 19075992332 [9 CDs: 505:33] [RMo] Much to offer.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie Fantastique - London SO/Sir Colin Davis rec. 2000/06 ALTO ALC1370 [69:20] [DD] Davis’s fourth Fantastique … a reliable companion through this extraordinary work.

Nadia BOULANGER (1887-1979) & Lili BOULANGER (1893-1918) Clairičres - Nicholas Phan (tenor) Myra Huang (piano) rec. 2019 AVIE AV2414 [53:17] [NB] The music is important but the style of singing suggests a try-before-you-buy approach.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 1, Ballades - Royal Northern Sinfonia/Lars Vogt (piano) rec. 2018 ONDINE ODE1330-2 [72:14] [MG] A triumphant vindication of Vogt’s courage in taking on the role of piano-conductor.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Choral works - Westminster Cathedral Ch, London SO & Ch/George Malcolm, Purcell Singers/Benjamin Britten rec. 1957-61 ELOQUENCE 484 0658 [71.19] [PCG] Historically important recordings.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 6 - London SO/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1961 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC574 [56:29] [JQ] A very good performance of Bruckner’s Sixth and a valuable addition to the Horenstein discography.

Antoine BRUMEL (1460-1513) The Lamentations of Jeremiah - Musica Secreta/Deborah Roberts & Laurie Stras rec. 2019 OBSIDIAN CD719 [73:42] [BW] This first recording of Brumel’s complete Lamentations, newly restored, supersedes earlier versions.

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Complete Organ Works - Harald Vogel (organ) rec. 1986-1993 MDG 314 2148-2 [7 CDs: 484:44 & DVD] [SG] An inviting makeover to an outstanding cycle.

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Songs, op. 74 - Henryka Januszewska (soprano), Marek Drewnowski (fortepiano) rec. 1988 DUX 1497 [46:57] [CSe] The pleasures of this release far exceed its brevity.

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Symphony No. 3 - San Francisco Symphony rec. 2018 SFS MEDIA SFS0078 [42:33] [DM]  A deceptively easeful yet quietly commanding performance that goes right to the heart of this great symphony; exemplary sound, too.

Aaron COPLAND (1900-90) Billy the Kid Suite Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No.9 - National SO/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2019 NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA NSO0001 SACD [62:29] [BW]  This first release on a new label has much to offer in Copland, but there are so many even better recordings of the New World Symphony.

Alma DEUTSCHER (b. 2005) From My Book of Melodies - Alma Deutscher (piano) rec. 2019 SONY CLASSICAL 19075990192 [50:36] [MBu] Confirms her undoubtedly rightful footing in the serious, contemporary classical music world.

Auguste DUPONT (1827-1890) Piano Concerto No. 3 Peter BENOIT (1834-1901) Symphonic poem - SO St Gallen/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68264 [62:49] [JWe] A superb addition to the series, showcasing two composers who really should be better known.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphonies Nos 7 & 8 - London SO/Sir Colin Davis rec. 1999-2001 ALTO ALC1406 [79:08] [JQ] Fine performances of two masterly symphonies.

Ēriks EŠENVALDS (b. 1977) There will come soft rains - Pacific Lutheran University Ch/Richard Nance rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD603 [71:07] [JQ] An enjoyable and well-executed anthology of music by one of the most interesting of today’s choral composers.

Juan ESQUIVEL (c.1560-before 1630) Missa Hortus conclusus - De Profundis/Eamonn Dougan rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68326 [69:29] [BW]  Makes me hope to hear more of Esquivel’s music and more from De Profundis and Eamonn Dougan.

Samuil FEINBERG (1890-1962) Piano Sonatas No. 1-6 - Marc-André Hamelin (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68233 [74:33] [JW] Hamelin powerfully resolves all the technical complications and dramatic conflicts embedded in these intense works.

Samuil FEINBERG (1890-1962) & Hanuš WINTERBERG (1901-1991) The Lost Works - Nina Pissareva Zymbalist (violin), Christophe Sirodeau (piano) rec. 2001/18 MELISM MLSCD011 [59:44] [JW] We can be grateful to the performers for the resurrection of these fascinating works.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Musical Offering - Feico Deutekom (piano) rec. 2019 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM6052 [69:55] [DC] A significant extension of the Philip Glass piano repertoire.

Christopher GUNNING (b. 1944) Symphonies No. 2, 10 & 12 - BBC Ntl O Wales/Kenneth Woods rec. 2019 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD593 [78.07] [WH] Three very fine, and very different, symphonies in outstanding performances.

Tibor HARSÁNYI (1898-1954) Complete Piano Works Vol. 1 - Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2019 GRAND PIANO GP806 [70:13] [RHa] The slow movements have the best music but I rather suspect this disc has been conceived more with the completist than the general listener in mind.

Hans Werner HENZE (1926-2012) San Biagio 9 Agosto ore 12.07, Concerto, Serenade, Trauer-Ode - Daniele Roccato (double bass), Ludus Gravis, Abruzzese SO/Tonino Battista rec. 2015-2019 WERGO WER73912 [52:11] [DC] Top-notch recording and performances of rarely heard Henze.

Ed HUGHES (b. 1968) Time, Space and Change - O of Sound & Light/Ed Hughes, New Music Players/Nicholas Smith rec. 2018 MÉTIER MSV28597 [71:35] [JF] Ed Hughes’s music comes as a refreshing change.

Mikhail IPPOLITOV-IVANOV (1859-1935) Piano Transcriptions - Maria Ivanova, Alexander Zagarinskiy (pianos) rec. 2019 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC19039 [54:21] [RCh] Attractive four hand versions of vibrant orchestral works.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) From the House of the Dead - Bavarian State Opera Ch, Bavarian State O/Simone Young rec. 2018 BEL AIR CLASSIQUES BAC573 Blu-ray [97 mins] [RC] Challenging, but an overall success.

Emile JAQUES-DALCROZE (1865-1950) La Veillée, Lyric Suite - Sophie Graf (soprano) Annina Haug (alto) Le Chant Sacré, O Ch Genčve/Romain Mayor rec. 2018 CLAVES CD 501905/6 [44:54 + 39:52] [WK] Admirers of the composer will certainly want to have one of his “signature” works.

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Violin Concerto, Concerto Rhapsody - Antje Weithaas (violin) Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie/Daniel Raiskin rec. 2016/17 CPO 555 093-2 [62:37] [SV] Up against some strong competition, but certainly worth considering.

Morten LAURIDSEN (b. 1943) Madrigali, Les Chansons des Roses, Nocturnes - Anna Rocławska-Musiałcszyk (piano) Chamber Ch Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy/Błażej Połom rec. 2014/15 STUDIO MTS CD-029 [53:01] [SB] Good performances of some of Lauridsen’s best-known works but no texts or translations.

Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697-1764) Complete Violin Concertos - Ens Violini Capricciosi/Igor Ruhadze (violin) rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95290 [3 CDs: 199:20] [SA] A welcome addition for those of us who adore Vivaldi, Corelli, Locatelli.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) The Complete Songs Vol. 6 - Julia Kleiter (soprano), Julius Drake (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68235 [60:49] [GF] A series which more and more stands out as one of the most valuable surveys of the song repertoire.

Henry Charles LITOLFF (1818-1891) Piano Trios, Serenade - Leonore Piano Trio rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68305 [70:00] [RHa] Music of style and more unexpectedly substance in vivacious performances and outstanding sound.

Paolo LITTA (1871-1931) Concert Trilogy - Ilona Then-Bergh (violin) Michael Schäfer (piano) rec. 2019 GENUIN GEN20690 [82:18] [JW] Fiercely committed performances.

Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Isis - Ève-Maud Hubeaux (mezzo-soprano), Bénédicte Tauran (soprano), Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset rec. 2019 APARTÉ AP216 [77:00 + 79] [SSi] A valuable addition to the growing catalogue of Lully’s music on disc.

Gustav MAHLER (1869-1911) Symphony No. 6 - Essener Philharmoniker/Tomáš Netopil rec. 2019 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1716 [2 CDs: 85:10] [RC] An excellent alternative to your favourites, and in very good sound.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 8 - Westminster Symphonic Ch; Choral Arts Society of Washington; Philadelphia O/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4837871 [82:54] [LD] Disappointingly, a long way down the list of recommendable versions.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 8 - Westminster Symphonic Ch, Philadelphia O/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4837871 [82:54] [JQ] Other recordings come much closer to realising Mahler’s audacious vision.

Marin MARAIS (1656-1728) & Antoine FORQUERAY (1672-1745) Chamber works - Anton Birula (theorbo) Julia Karpeta, Krzysztof Karpeta (viola da gamba) Maurycy Raczyński, Marta Niedźwiecka (harpsichord) rec. 2018 CD ACCORD ACD259 [53:32] [JW] An engaging and enjoyable reflection on the French gamba tradition.

Nicholas MAW (1935-2009) Spring music, Voices of Memory, Sonata for Solo Violin - Harriet Mackenzie (violin) BBC Ntl O Wales/William Boughton rec. 2019 LYRITA SRCD385 [72.45] [GH] Another enterprising Lyrita release of premiere recordings.

Emil MŁYNARSKI (1870-1935) Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2 - Piotr Pławner (violin), Arthur Rubinstein PO/Paweł Przytocki rec. 2019 DUX 1606 [53:55] [JW] Committed and sensitive performances.

Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925) Piano Works - Etsuko Hirose (piano) rec. 2019 DANACORD DACOCD866 [72:15] [JF] A superb introduction to Moszkowski’s solo piano music.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Piano Concertos Vol. 5 -Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) Manchester Camerata/Gábor Takács-Nagy rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20137(2) [60.49 + 64.22] [CRa] These are discs to treasure, and play often.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Quartets No. 1 & 2 - Finghin Collins (piano), Rosanne Philippens (violin), Máté Szücs (viola), István Várdai (cello) rec. 2019 CLAVES CD3002 [67:41] [DD] Two fine performances of works which are still not fully appreciated.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Entführung aus dem Serail - Lenneke Ruiten (soprano) Mauro Peter (tenor) O & Ch Teatro Alla Scala, Milan/Zubin Mehta rec. 2017 C MAJOR Blu-ray 752104 [155 mins] [MP] Two stunning performances by the sopranos and Mehta’s deeply affectionate performance are shadowed by the filming challenges of this legendary production.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Flute Concertos, Symphonies - Hubert Barwahser (flute), London SO/Sir Colin Davis rec. 1961-63 ELOQUENCE 482 9374 [80:46 + 78:38] [DD] First-class performances of memorable Mozart, and a fine testament to a great conductor.

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Maître Péronilla - Véronique Gens, Antoinette Dennefeld, Ch Radio France, O Ntl France/Markus Poschner rec. 2019 BRU ZANE BZ1039 [44:06 + 56:34] [MC] A fitting homage in Offenbach’s anniversary year.

Johann PACHELBEL (1653-1706) Complete Organ Works III - Michael Belotti, Christian Schmitt, James David Christie (organ) rec. 2009-13 CPO 777 558-2 SACD [3 discs: 189:34] [SSi] A very fine conclusion to this survey.

Sir Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918) Judith - Sarah Fox (soprano) Kathryn Rudge (mezzo) London Mozart Players/William Vann rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5268 SACD [61:40 + 69:32] [JQ] A major and distinguished addition to the Parry discography.

Ildebrando PIZZETTI (1880-1968) Tre Canti, Cello Sonata Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968) Cello Sonata, Figaro - Amedeo Cicchese (cello), Barbara Panzarella (piano) rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95812 [68:47] [RCh] Committed performances of late-romantic Italian lyricism.

Adam PORĘBSKI (b. 1990) First Command – Adam Porębski (electronics) Hashtag Ens/Lilianna Krych rec. 2019 DUX 1059 [55:13] [RHa] Porębski’s music is carefully designed, hypnotically repetitive, and neatly shared between the eight instruments and the composer’s atmospheric washes of electronica.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Les Biches, Litanies à la Vierge Noire de Rocamadour, Organ Concerto, Gloria -  Maurice Duruflé (organ), RTF Ch & O, Paris Conservatoire O/Georges Prętre rec. 1961/62 ALTO ALC1411 [77:54] [JQ] Good performances in the authentic French style and sound that Poulenc would have known and expected.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Piano Concerto, Concert Champętre, Trio, Oboe Sonata - Mark Bebbington (piano) John Roberts (oboe) Jonathan Davies (bassoon) Royal PO/Jan Latham-Koenig rec. 2019 RESONUS RES10256 [72:32] [MR] The concertos are a little leaden, but the chamber works are given luscious performances.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Sonatas Nos 6-8 - Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68298 [74:28] [LW] SSteven Osborne demonstrates a real affinity for Prokofiev piano sonatas.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Sonatas Nos 6-8 - Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68298 [74:28] [TB] Magnificently assured yet highly sensitive performances of this uncompromising music.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphonies Nos 1 & 5 - Royal Scottish Ntl O/Thomas Sřndergĺrd rec. 2019 LINN CKD611 [56:28] [MR] Fine and highly polished performances.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Concerto, Le Tombeau de Couperin - Javier Perianes (piano), Paris O/Josep Pons rec. 2017/18 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902326 [81:05] [DM] A gorgeous album, pianist, conductor and orchestra at their beguiling best; fine sound, too.

Julius RÖNTGEN (1855-1932) Orchestral, Choral & Chamber Music - Viotta Ens, Roberta Alexander (soprano) Netherlands Radio SO/Jac van Steen rec. 1993-2000 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96104 [74:43 + 62:10] [TB] Some rewarding introductions to a composer who was immensely skilled at handling different musical genres.

Poul RUDERS (b. 1949) Piano Concerto No. 3, Cembal d’amore, Kafkapriccio - Anne-Marie McDermott (piano) Odense SO/Benjamin Shwartz, Andreas Delfs rec. 2016/18 BRIDGE 9531 [59:34] [RHa] Credit to Bridge for annotating Ruders’ every move.

Camille SAINT-SAENS (1835-1921) Symphonies No. 1 & in A, The Carnival of the Animals - Utah SO/Thierry Fischer rec. 2017/18 HYPERION CDA68223 [82:05] [MG] Reveals Symphony No. 1 as a work worthy of more performances - but not the Symphony in A major.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony No. 3 Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Organ Concerto - Iveta Apkalna (organ) Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2019 BR KLASSIK 900178 [60.47] [MC] Iveta Apkalna performs with sparkle and resolve.

Antonio SALIERI (1750-1825) Strictly Private - Diana Tomsche (soprano) Esther Valentin (mezzo) Heidelberger Sinfoniker/Timo Jouko Herrmann rec. 2019 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC19079 [55:30] [MC] Worth investigating.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Gurrelieder Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937) Symphony No. 3 - BBC Singers & Choral Society, BBC SO, New York PO/Pierre Boulez rec. 1974/75 DUTTON EPOCH 2CDLX7367 SACD [69:37 + 70:04] [JQ] Boulez’s Gurrelieder is a fine achievement and it defies belief that the analogue recording is 46 years old.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) & Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concertos - Jack Liebeck (violin) BBC SO/Andrew Gourlay rec. 2019 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100129 [77:15] [RWe] The Brahms could burn brighter at times, but the Schoenberg has a fine new champion on disc.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schubertiade on Piano - Julia Rinderle (piano) rec. 2018 ARS PRODUKTION SACD ARS38283 [64:49] [JWe] Some brilliant playing by a very talented young pianist.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas Vol. 6 - Vladimir Feltsman (piano) rec. 2014/19 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6392 [76:30 + 73:15] [DD] Delightful works by the Viennese master in first class performances, an apt ending to the cycle.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) 'Trout' Quintet Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonie concertante - Nap de Klijn (violin) Paul Godwin (viola) Amsterdam Piano Quintet, Vienna SO/Bernhard Paumgartner rec. 1953/55 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1718 [66:58] [JW] The usual high standard transfer from this source.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Quintet, Piano Quartet - Nils Anders Mortensen (piano), Engegĺrd Quartet rec. 2018 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1189 [53:30] [DD] Impressive performances of two of Schumann’s supreme chamber works.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Myrten - Sylwia Burnicka-Kalischewska (soprano), Michał Landowski (piano) rec. 2019 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0455 [50:59] [PBW] A case of a big, primarily operatic voice not scaling down well to Lieder.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies Nos 1 & 3 - London SO/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2019 LSO LIVE LSO0844 SACD [71:40] [JQ] Gardiner equals the achievement of the first instalment of his Schumann cycle with the LSO.

Vissarion SHEBALIN (1902-1963) Orchestral Works Vol. 2 - Siberian SO/Dmitry Vasiliev rec. 2012/2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0164 [70:30] [JW] Colourful music given ardent performances.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 2, King Christian II Suite - Gothenburg SO/Santu-Matias Rouvali rec. 2019 ALPHA CLASSICS 574 [70:43] [RMo] Masterly Sibelius, alternately refined and red-blooded.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphonies Nos 4 & 6 - Hallé O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2018/19 HALLÉ CDHLL7553 [70:03] [TB] Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra complete their Sibelius cycle.

Nikos SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949) Orchestral works - Athens Philharmonia O/Byron Fidetzis rec. 2017/18 BIS SACD BIS2434 [69:53] [JW] Orchestrations that bring the works powerfully to life.

Nikos SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949) World Premiere Recordings rec. 1949-2019 MELISM MLSCD025 [78:58] [JW] This discriminating label has done its subject proud with this release.

Leo SOWERBY (1895–1968) Selected Solo and Duo Piano Works - Gail Quillman, Julia Tsien (pianos) rec. 1997 ÇEDILLE RECORDS CDR7006 [62:48] [WK] Essential for all Sowerby devotees as well as those of American piano music.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) String Quartets Nos 1, 2 & 6 - Dante Qt rec. 2019 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0607 [79:17] [MC] Three fine works, and a premičre recording of no. 6, in performances that breathe vitality and enthusiasm.

Ronald STEVENSON (1928-2015) Piano Music Vol. 4 - Christopher Guild (piano) rec. 2017/19 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0555 [75:17] [JF] Thoroughly enjoyable.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie, Tod und Verklärung - Oslo PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2017 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1192 [75:51] [RMo] Not an absolute first choice recording but one which will hardly disappoint.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Also Sprach Zarathustra, Burleske - Danil Trifonov (piano), Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2017 BR KLASSIK 900182 [60:51] [ST] Buy this for the Burleske.

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Symphony No. 2 Asrael - Bavarian RSO/Jakub Hrůša rec. 2018 BR KLASSIK 900188 [62:43] [MC] A first-rate recording.

John SYKES (1909-1962) Fearful Symmetry - Rowan Pierce (soprano), Gareth Brynmor John (baritone), Iain Farrington & William Vann (piano) rec. 2019 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD040 [79:00] [JQ] John Sykes’ music deserves its moment in the sun and Albion Records have done him proud.

Aleksander TANSMAN (1897-1986) Piano Concerto No. 1 Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Piano Concerto - Julia Kociuban (piano), Arthur Rubinstein PO/Paweł Przytocki rec. 2019 DUX 1612 [43:46] [JW] Fine performances, but another concerto wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 5 - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2009 BR KLASSIK 900104 [45:38] [ST] Warmly enjoyable, though not as good as his earlier Oslo performance.

Pyo’tr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Swan Lake - O Ntl Opera Ukraine/Mykola Dyadura rec. 2019 BELAIR CLASSIQUES Blu-ray BAC574 [129 mins] [RMay] Engaging performances in a somewhat lacklustre and disappointingly presented production.

Nikolai TCHEREPNIN (1873-1945) Narcisse et Echo, La princesse lointaine - Moon Yung Oh (tenor), Bamberger Symphoniker/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2018 CPO 555 250-2 [5:54] [SB] Thoroughly committed and convincing performances.

Auguste TOLBECQUE (1830-1919) Hommage - Christophe Coin (cello) Jean-Luc Ayroles (piano) Jan Willem Jansen (organ) rec. 2019 PASSACAILLE PAS1068 [77:54] [JW] Light in style and a gift for songfulness.

Thomas TOMKINS (1572-1656) O Give Thanks unto The Lord - Ch Her Majesty's Chapel Royal/Carl Jackson, Rufus Frowde (organ) rec. 2019 RESONUS RES10253 [74:25] [MS] An excellent and persuasive survey.

José de TORRES (c. 1670-1738) Amoroso señor - Aurora Peña (soprano), Concerto 1700 / Daniel Pinteño rec. 2018 1700 CLASSICS 170001 [58:04] [JV] These passionate performances are the best possible way to become acquainted with the oeuvre of José de Torres.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphonies Nos 3 & 4, Saraband ‘Helen’ - Elizabeth Watts (soprano) David Butt Philip (tenor) BBC SO & Ch/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68280 [80:57] [PCG] In many ways the symphony performances form a modern counterpart to the old Boult recordings, and there’s a fascinating novelty.

Francesco Maria VERACINI (1690-1768) Overtures & Concerti Vol. 2 - L'Arte dell'Arco/Federico Guglielmo (violin) rec. 2018 CPO 555 220-2 SACD [56:22] [JV] A perfect opportunity to get an impression of Veracini's oeuvre.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I Vespri Verdiani – Verdi Arias - Olga Mykytenko (soprano) Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20144 [74:04] [RC] A fine effort all around.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Attila - Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (bass) Ch & O Teatro Communale Di Bologna/Michele Mariotti rec. 2016 C MAJOR Blu-ray 748804 [116 mins] [MC] A valuable addition to any Verdi collection.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerti per Violoncello III - L'Onda Armonica/Christophe Coin (cello) rec. 2018 NAÏVE OP30574 [58:29] [SSi] One of the most enjoyable hours in the company of Vivaldi that I have had in a long time.

Claude VIVIER (1948-1983) Chamber Music & Music for Solo Piano - Alessandro Soccorsi (piano) Thies Roorda (flute) Joseph Puglia (violin) Sietse-Jan Weijenberg (cello) Niels Meliefste, Pepe Garcia (percussion) rec. 2019 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96082 [57:29] [RHa] A fine introduction to an overlooked genius.

Karl WEIGL (1881-1949) String Quartets Nos 7 & 8 - Thomas Christian Ens rec. 2017 CPO 555 201-2 [54:45] [JW] Richly rewarding readings.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) Chamber Symphonies No. 2 & 4; Sinfonietta No. 2; Flute Concerto No. 2 -  Łukasz Długosz (flute) Amadeus CO Polish Radio/Anna Duczmal-Mróz rec. 2015-2019 DUX 1632/3 [61:38 + 38:01] [SSi] Well-played and welcome performances; an ideal foil to Gidon Kremer’s recording.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) Cello Concerto, Fantasy, Concertino - Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Kristiansand SO/Lukasz Borowicz rec. 2018 CPO 555234-2 [67:02] [DC] A fine programme and a Cello Concerto that everyone should hear.

Eric WHITACRE (b. 1970) Marimba Quartets - Joby Burgess, Sam Wilson (marimba & vibraphone), Calum Huggan, Rob Farrer (marimba) rec. 2019 SIGNUM RECORDS SIGCD625 [21:29] [SA] If you are a marimba fan you will love this sumptuous sounding disc.

James WHITBOURN (b. 1963) The Seven Heavens, Ada, The Voices Stilled, Canticles - Cor Cantiamo/Eric A. Johnson rec. 2017 DIVINE ART DDA25192 [65:34] [JF] Cor Cantiamo performs superbly.

Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) The Complete Songs Vol. 10 - Louise Alder, Fflur Wyn (soprano) Rowan Hellier, Katarina Karnéus (mezzo) Adrian Thompson (tenor) Roderick Williams (baritone) Neal Davies (bass) Sholto Kynoch (piano) rec. 2013 STONE RECORDS 5060192780918 [65:26] [RMas] I look forward to the final installment.

Julien-François ZBINDEN (b. 1917) Works for Piano - Julien-François Zbinden (piano) Lausanne CO/Victor Dezarzens; Radio Suisse Romande O/Jean-Marie Auberson rec. 1951-98 GALLO CD-1403 [70:14] [SG] An opportunity to luxuriate in Zbinden's imaginative scores.

Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Der Traumgörge - Pamela Coburn, Janis Martin (soprano), Josef Protschka (tenor), Hartmut Welker (baritone), Frankfurt RSO/Gerd Albrecht rec. 1987 CAPRICCIO C5395 [48:19 + 62:39] [PCG] A reissue of a well performed Zemlinsky rarity but with woefully lacking documentation.

Ad Fontes Works by Dvořák, Moniuszko & Matuszczak - Robert Kaczorowski (baritone), Anna Mikolon (piano), Andrzej Szadejko (organ) rec. 2009-19 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0466 [61:41] [GPu] A CD which should please all who have a serious interest in Christian music.

D'Amor mormora il vento La Boz Galana rec. 2019 RAMÉE RAM1909 [69:42] [JV] A lovely disc that brings music to our attention that is little-known but very entertaining.

Aspects of America: Pulitzer Edition Works by Piston, Gould & Hanson - Oregon Symphony/Carlos Kalmar rec. 2017/18 PENTATONE PTC5186763 [71:08] [JQ] A fine and stimulating collection of American orchestral music.

Come, Let Us Make Love Deathless Works by Holst & Holbrooke - James Geer (tenor), Ronald Woodley (piano) rec. 2018 EM RECORDS EMRCD060 [75:26] [JW] Ardent performances.

Concertos From 19th Century Denmark Works by Barth, Gade & Kuhlau - Lisa Maria Cooper, Flemming Aksnes (French horn) Oliver Nordahl (oboe) Ian van Rensburg (violin) Aarhus SO/Jean Thorel rec. 2018 DACAPO SACD 6.220664 [53:56] [DJB] Elegant and tuneful music, the non-concerto Overture being the pick.

Concurrence Víkingur Ólafsson (piano), Sćunn Thorsteinsdóttir (cello), Iceland SO/Daniel Bjarnason rec. 2018/19 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92237 [55:21] [DM] An intriguing and immersive follow-up to ‘Recurrence’; and, as expected, it’s all superbly played and recorded.

The Contrast: English Poetry in Song Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Joseph Middleton (piano) rec. 2018 BIS BIS2413 SACD [81:06] [PCG] Huw Watkins’s Larkin settings are the main reason to invest in this recital.

Cornhill Visions Ch St Michael’s Cornhill/Jonathan Rennert rec. 2019 REGENT REGCD550 [66:03] [MR] A deftly handled celebration of choral music written for an historic London church.

The Early Horn Ursula Paludan Monberg (horn) Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68289 [78:32] [MR] Early examples of the horn in a concertante role, expertly delivered by a leading exponent of the natural horn.

The English Cathedral Series: Exeter Timothy Parsons (organ) rec. 2018 REGENT REGCD523 [64:49] [MR] A well-chosen, nicely varied and confidently played programme.

Escales Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5252 SACD [79:05] [SB] A delightful collection and a real winner.

The Eton Choirbook Elizabethan Consort of Viols, Purcell Consort of Voices/Grayston Burgess rec. 1967/70 ELOQUENCE 4840250 [2 CDs: 140:25] [BW] Worth having, but more recent recordings of all this music bring us closer to the spirit of the composers.

Ex Tenebris Lux Les Zippoventilés/Benoit Dumon rec. 2018 SOLSTICE SOCD354 [59:27] [JV] A very fine addition to the discography of music for Passiontide.

Firenze 1350: A Medieval Florentine Garden Sollazzo Ens/Anna Danilevskaia AMBRONAY AMY055 [57:21] [GH] Excellent all around.

Folk Roots Maia Cabeza (violin) Zoltán Fenjévári (piano) Alexandras Giovanos (percussion) rec. 2019 GENUIN GEN20689 [61:17] [TB] An imaginatively planned recital.

French Violin Sonatas Works by Debussy, Franck & Ravel - Kristóf Baráti (violin); Klára Würtz (piano) rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95576 [56:37] [BW]  If the coupling appeals, this inexpensive recording is well worth obtaining.

Ignaz Friedman (piano) Complete Recordings 1923-1941 DANACORD DACOCD861-864 [6 CDs: 336 mins] [JW] All pianophiles must know they need Friedman’s discs.

Ivana Gavrić (piano) Origins - Southbank Sinfonia/Karin Hendrickson rec. 2015-19 RUBICON RCD1038 [64:21] [RHa] The concept is unusual and stimulating, and it works as well in reality as it must have looked on paper.

Bartosz Głowacki (accordion) Genesis rec. 2018 DUX 1585 [66:30] [GF] Much of the music here makes you think.

Reginald Goodall (conductor) Works by Dukas, Messiaen & Schumann - Royal Opera House O rec. 1961 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC581 [75:43] [JQ] Reginald Goodall giving good accounts of music that one would not normally expect to hear from him.

Italian Guitar Concertos Works by Vivaldi, Giuliani, Sollima & Boccadoro - Emanuele Segre (guitar) I Pomeriggi Musicali O/Carlo Boccadoro rec. 2018 DELOS DE3546 [67:58] [ZT] A rather disjointed programme which does not work particularly well.

Jonny Asya Fateyeva (saxophone), Florian Donderer (violin), Emma Yoon (violin), Yuko Hara (viola), Tanja Tetzlaff (cello), Shirley Brill (clarinet), Stepan Simonian (piano) rec. 2019 BERLIN CLASSICS 0301312BC [72:28] [JW] An interesting mix of Weimar-era works.

The King’s Singers Finding Harmony rec. 2019 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD607 [67:31] [MR] A must-have for all their fans.

Barbora Kolářová (violin) Imp in Impulse FURIOUS ARTISANS FACD6822 [46:23] [JW] A well recorded, vitalising disc with the only drawback being its short running time.

Latin Duo Lontano rec. 2019 GENUIN CLASSICS GEN20685 [65:58] [RCh] An entertaining recital covers many sides of the Latin character.

Tibor de Machula (cello) Works by Boccherini, Saint-Saëns, Schumann & Tchaikovsky - Pierre Reinards, Karl Böhm, Hans Rosbaud, Hans Müller-Kray rec. 1944-1952 MELOCLASSIC MC3014 [77:57] [SG] These broadcasts add significantly to de Machula's recorded legacy.

Karl Münchinger (conductor) The Classical Legacy - Vienna PO, Stuttgart CO rec. 1952-68 ELOQUENCE 4840170 [8 CDs: 573 mins] [JW] Much to admire and appreciate in this set.

Neujahrskonzert 2020 Vienna PO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2020 SONY 19439702362 [62:34 + 45:40] [BW] Not quite a classic New Year’s Day concert, but a very enjoyable one.

La Passione Works by Grisey, Haydn & Nono - Ludwig Orchestra/Barbara Hannigan (soprano) rec. 2019 ALPHA 586 [72:43] [BW]  Not the top recommendation for the Haydn, and the other works fit incongruously with it.

Requiem Musiques pour les Funérailles Royales Espagnoles - La Maîtrise de Toulouse, Les Sacqueboutiers/Mark Opstad rec. 2019 REGENT REGCD551 [61:34] [MP] A refreshing look at a much recorded piece of Spanish polyphony.

Royal Brass Music Maurice André & Jean Pirot (trumpets), Thurston Dart (director), Robert Veyron-Lacroix (harpsichord continuo), Ensemble Orchestral de L’Oiseau Lyrique/Pierre Colombo rec. 1956/58 ELOQUENCE 482 8527 [73:29] [RMas] A pleasant listening experience.

Chantal Santon-Jeffery (soprano) Brillez, astres nouveaux! - Purcell Ch, Orfeo O/György Vashegyi rec. 2017 APARTÉ AP223 [76:34] [MC] A performance to savour.

Jascha Spivakovsky (piano) Bach to Bloch Vol. 10 - San Francisco SO/Pierre Monteux, BBC Northern O/Stanford Robinson rec. 1927-56 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC579 [57:59] [RCh] Enormously satisfying playing from this neglected master.

Paul Tortelier (cello) RIAS Recordings rec. 1949-64 AUDITE 21.455 [207:13] [JW] Richly rewarding listening.

Other Reviews

All My Life’s Buried Here The Story of George Butterworth prod. 2019 HADJUKINO PRODUCTIONS Blu-ray [97 mins] [JQ] An outstanding film portrait.

Dearest Lenny Letters from Japan and the Making of the World Maestro by Mari Yoshihara publ. 2019 OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS [MMB] Charming and delightful.

Piano Lessons: Reflections from a Life in Music by Vladimir Feltsman publ. 2019 BookLocker.com [MMB] Beautifully written and providing great insights.

Jón Leifs and the Musical Invention of Iceland by Árni Heimir Ingólfsson publ. 2019 Indiana University Press [DBi] Of importance because there is so little else published on Leifs.

Articles and Notices

Beethoven 250, Philharmonia 75 and Decca 90: some recent Beulah reissues by Brian Wilson

Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi - A survey by Ralph Moore

Listening Studio Report by John Quinn

Piano Trio Discography: Franz Schubert ~ Updates

Short Reviews & Second Thoughts: Spring 2020/1 - Part A ~ Part B by Brian Wilson & Johan van Veen

Piano Trio Discography: Robert Schumann



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