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

 

 

 

Recommended Recordings 2020

Those marked with the ROTM symbol were chosen at the end of each month as the five best.

Thomas ADČS (b. 1971) Piano Concerto, Totentanz – Kirill Gerstein (piano) Christianne Stotijn (mezzo) Mark Stone (baritone) Boston SO/Thomas Adčs rec. 2016/19 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 7998 [55:58] [LW] Two sides of Thomas Adčs brilliantly executed and stunningly recorded.

Coriún AHARONIÁN (1940-2017) Una carta - Ens Aventure, SWF SO Baden-Baden/Zoltán Peskó rec. 1993-2019 WERGO WER7374-2 [63:16] [RHa] I implore one and all – don’t miss this unique Uruguayan.

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.

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

Gregorio ALLEGRI (1582–1652) Miserere William MUNDY (c.1529–1591) Vox Patris cćlestis Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (c.1525–1594) Missa Papć Marcelli - Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips rec. 1980 GIMELL CDGIM639 [68:57] [BW] This remastering seems destined to be my reissue of the year.

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Miss Julie - Anna Patalong (soprano) Benedict Nelson (bass-baritone) BBC SO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5253(2) SACD [60:39 + 54:03] [JQ] A formidable achievement which all admirers of William Alwyn’s music should consider as a mandatory purchase.

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

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas & Partitas - Thomas Zehetmair (violin) rec. 2016 ECM NEW SERIES 2551/52 (4818558) [59:21 + 67:12] [DC] Grit, character and beauty – this set has it all.

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 Complete Well-Tempered Clavier - George Lepauw (piano) rec. 2017 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100107 [5 CDs: 274:35] [SG] This production has been a true labour of love for everyone involved.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Concertos for Organ and Strings - Les Muffatti/Bart Jacobs (organ) rec. 2018 RAMÉE RAM1804 [79:59] [JV] A model of creative programming and music-making.

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) Transcriptions for Piano Duet by Max Reger - Piano Duo Takahashi|Lehmann rec. 2016/19 AUDITE 23.445 [2 CDs: 128.12] [SSi] One of the finest recordings of transcriptions of Bach that I have heard in a very long time.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Italian Concerto, Partitas, Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue - Konstanze Eickhorst (piano) rec. 2019 GENUIN GEN20682 [60:58] [TB] An imaginatively conceived programme.

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

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I - Dina Ugorskaja (piano) rec. 2015 CAVI-MUSIC 8553350 [2 CDs: 137:09] [SG] Revelatory performances by a pianist with the Midas touch.

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) A Beethoven Odyssey Vol. 6 - James Brawn (piano) rec. 2018 MSR CLASSICS MS1470 [73:43] [RC] A fresh, often distinctive view of these sonatas.

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] [MC] This outstanding new album provides the strongest possible competition to my established favourites.

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.

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) Piano Sonatas Nos. 30-32 - Maurizio Pollini (piano) rec. live 2019 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4838250 [56:07] [BW]  Steven Osborne on Hyperion would be my ultimate choice, but Maurizio Pollini’s more objective accounts are very valuable.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Piano Concertos - Stephen Hough (piano) Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68291/3 [3 CDs: 172:18] [SB] A splendid new set of these inexhaustible works.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Piano Concertos - Stewart Goodyear (piano) BBC Ntl O of Wales/Andrew Constantine rec. 2018 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100127 [3 CDs: 2:52:44] [RC] A major achievement placing him among the foremost interpreters of these masterpieces.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5 - Stewart Goodyear (piano), BBC Ntl O Wales/Andrew Constantine rec. 2018 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100127 [3 CDs: 172:44] [DM]  Glorious, life-embracing performances, very well recorded; surely a high point of these sestercentennial celebrations.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trios 3 & 7 - Vienna Piano Trio rec. 2019 MDG 942 2155-6 SACD [73:35] [RMo] Impeccable performances of two favourite trios in first-rate sound.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas - Paul Badura-Skoda (fortepiano) rec. 1978-1989 ARCANA A203 [9 CDs: 606:09] [SSi] This wonderful addition to the catalogue in the anniversary year compares with performances on modern grand pianos.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa solemnis - Gundula Janowitz (soprano) Christa Ludwig (contralto) Fritz Wunderlich (tenor) Walter Berry (bass) Weiner Singverein, Berlin PO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1966 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 8221 CD/BD-A [86:05] [JQ] A really distinguished account of Missa solemnis, magnificently remastered.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Piano Concertos - Stephen Hough (piano) Finnish RSO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68291/3 [3 CDs: 172:19] [JQ] A deeply rewarding and distinguished set of the Beethoven piano concertos.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.6 Justin Heinrich KNECHT (1752-1817) Symphony - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Bernhard Forck rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902425 [66:14] [MR] A refreshing Pastoral, but the real interest lies in the Knecht, which served as Beethoven’s model, and bursts into life with an outstanding period-instrument performance.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Immortal Beloved - Chen Reiss (soprano) Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Egarr rec. 2019 ONYX 4218 [58:52] [GF] An ideal addition to many Beethoven enthusiasts’ collection.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 5 - MusicAeterna/Teodor Currentzis rec. 2018 SONY CLASSICAL 19075884972 [30:38] [MZ] A stunning new interpretation that is first rate in both its performance and recording quality.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String quartets Op. 130 & 132 - Tetzlaff Qt rec. 2019 ONDINE ODE1347-2D [42:41 + 44:16] [RMo] Peerless quartet-playing throughout.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Complete String Quartets Vol. III - Cuarteto Casals rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902406/08 [3 CDs: 165:03] [SSi] A wonderful set which brings the Cuarteto Casals’ excellent survey to a glorious conclusion.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 5 - MusicAeterna/Teodor Currentzis rec. 2018 SONY 19075884972 [30:34] [LD] A Fifth that blazes with considerable intensity and many ideas.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete String Quartets - Kuss Qt rec. 2019 RUBICON RCD1045 [8 CDs: 523:19] [SG] Thrilling performances, not to be missed.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Folk Songs - Paula Sophie Bohnet (soprano) Daniel Johannsen (tenor) Georg Klimbacher (baritone) Josef Herzer (violin) Bertin Christelbauer (cello) Bernadette Bartos (piano) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574174 [73:33] [GF] A wholly delightful programme, excellently performed.

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

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 1-9, Overtures, Mass - Michael Gielen (conductor) rec. 1967-2007 SWR MUSIC SWR19090CD [9 CDs: 608:11 & DVD: 47 mins] [GPJ] A remarkable set by this conductor whose brilliance is only now gaining the recognition it deserves.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet op. 18/1 Unsuk CHIN (b.1961) ParaMetaString Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Novelletten - Esmé Qt rec. 2019 ALPHA CLASSICS 590 [62:50] [MR] A triumphant debut from an exciting new string quartet.

Antonia BEMBO (1643-1720) Produzioni Armoniche - Armonia delle Sfere rec. 2017/2018 TACTUS TC640280 [3 CDs: 204:34] [GPu] The first-time appearance an important collection of Franco-Italian music.

Luciano BERIO (1925-2003) Coro, Cries of London - Norwegian Soloists’ Ch, Norwegian Radio O/Grete Pedersen rec. 2018/19 BIS BIS-2391 SACD [73:26] [LW] A major achievement in Berio choral music.

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Les Pęcheurs de perles – Julie Fuchs (soprano) Cyrille Dubois (tenor) Orchestra NtlLille/Alexandre Bloch rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186685 SACD [48:19 + 61:23] [ST] A new set that supplants previous favourites.

Victoria BORISOVA-OLLAS (b.1969) Angelus - Royal Stockholm PO/Andrey Boreyko, Martyn Brabbins, Sakari Aramo rec. 2016-19 BIS BIS-2288 SACD [82:08] [HC] Accessible, superbly crafted and strongly expressive contemporary music.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Final Piano Pieces - Stephen Hough (piano) rec. 2014/18 HYPERION CDA68116 [69:08] [JQ] A top-class survey of Brahms’ last compositions for solo piano.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Final Piano Pieces - Stephen Hough (piano) rec. 2014/18 HYPERION CDA68116 [69:08] [RWe] Now the top modern recommendation.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Songs Vol. 9 - Robin Tritschler (tenor) Harriet Burns (soprano) Graham Johnson (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDJ33129 [74:13] [GF] Singing of distinction that brings even the more obscure songs come to life.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833- 1897) The Complete Songs Vol. 9 - Robin Tritschler (tenor) Harriet Burns (soprano) Graham Johnson (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDJ33129 [74:13] [RWe] One of the great lieder discs.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein Deutsches Requiem - Valentina Farcas (soprano) Matthias Goerne (baritone) State Ch Latvija, Deutschekammerphilharmonie Bremen/Paavo Järvi rec. 2018 C MAJOR Blu-ray 753304 [71 mins] [RC] The best option on video and up there with the best on CD.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) The Wild Song - Marci Meth (soprano) Simon Russell Beale (reciter) Anna Tilbrook (piano) rec. 2016 MODERN POETICS MP001 [59:11] [RHa] Essential listening for anyone who loves Britten, or folksong, or the Suffolk countryside, or all three.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies Nos 1-9 - Berlin PO rec. 2009-19 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER BPHR190281 CD/BD-A [595 mins] Blu-ray [639 mins] [JQ] A set that will grace any Bruckner collection.

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. 1 - Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller rec. 2019 PROFIL PH19084 [50:30] [MC] A quite stunning account.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies Nos 4 & 7 - Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1980/81 MDG 6502150-2 [66:59 + 67:47] [ST] In short, a winner!

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 5 - Hiroshima SO/Tatsuo Shimono rec. 2019 BRAIN MUSIC OSBR-36033 [80:46] [RMo] Best of a whole batch of Bruckner recordings which recently came my way for review.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 5 - Matthias Giesen (organ) rec. 2018 GRAMOLA 99169 [84:40] [JWe] Full marks to all concerned for this remarkable recording.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No. 6 - Bergen PO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2404 SACD [53:21] [SG] The first in a Bruckner mini-series and the omens are good.

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637–1707) By Arrangement Meilin Ai (piano) rec. 2019 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0534 [83:31] [JWe] This is a disc that I look forward to returning to again and again.

William BYRD (1539/40-1623) Singing in Secret - The Marian Consort/Rory McCleery rec. 2019 DELPHIAN DCD34230 [60:14] [JQ] A highly impressive release.

Nigel CLARKE (b. 1960) Mysteries of the Horizon - Grimethorpe Colliery Band/Nigel Clarke, David Thornton, Sandy Smith rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574097 [69:14] [RHa] Four visually inspired works for band in outstanding performances.

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

Eric COATES (1886–1957) Orchestral Works Vol. 2 - BBC Philharmonic/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20148 [57:08] [BW]  A splendid follow-up to the first volume - more please.

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

Paul CORFIELD GODFREY (b.1950) The Children of Húrin - Volante SO PRIMA FACIE PFCD126/7 [78:11 + 56:21] [BW]  Another very fine music drama on themes from Tolkien.

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

Chiara Margarita COZZOLANI (1602-1676/1678) Vespro - I Gemelli/Emiliano Gonzalez Toro rec. 2019 NAĎVE V5472 [79:38] [CRo] A wonderful gem of early Baroque choral music.

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

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

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

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

Gustavo DÍAZ-JEREZ (b. 1970) Maghek - Royal Scottish Ntl O/Eduardo Portal rec. 2019 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD612 [69:37 + 68:10] [RHa] Seven big, bracing, and thoroughly contemporary works; riveting playing; demonstration-quality sound.

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

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.

Albert DUPUIS (1877-1967) & Vincent d'INDY (1851-1931) Violin Sonatas - Gaëtane Prouvost (violin), Eliane Reyes (piano) rec. 2018 EN PHASES ENP007 [75:44] [MC] This captivating album far exceeded my already high expectations.

Robert DUSSAUT (1896-1969) & Hélčne COVATTI (1910-2005) Mélodies - Adriana González (soprano) Ińaki Encina Oyón (piano) rec. 2019 AUDAX ADX13722 [70:11] [MP] An exciting CD debut for a major new artist in a fascinating unknown repertoire, captured in splendid sound.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Concerto, Sospiri, Salut d’amour, Chanson de nuit - Nicola Benedetti (violin) London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2019/20 DECCA 4850949 [58:45] [JQ] An outstanding version of Elgar’s great concerto.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) & Amy BEACH (1867-1944) Piano Quintets - Garrick Ohlsson (piano), Takács Quartet rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68295 [63:38] [SSi] Splendid performances of both works.

Ēriks EŠENVALDS (b. 1977) Translations - Portland State Chamber Ch/Ethan Sperry rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574124 [59:20] [JQ] Admirers of Ešenvalds’ music should not hesitate to acquire this outstanding disc, and others may find themselves converted.

Samuil FEINBERG (1890-1962) Piano Sonatas No 1-6 - Marc-André Hamelin (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68233 [74:28] [RHa] Extraordinary music, playing and sound - acquire without delay.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Rédemption - Eve-Maud Hubeaux (mezzo-soprano) Vlaams Radio Ch, Royal de Liège PO/Hervé Niquet rec. 2018 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW1994 [51:28] [MR] An excellent performance of Franck’s woefully overlooked masterpiece.

Detlev GLANERT (b. 1960) Oceane - Maria Bengtsson (soprano) Nikolai Schukoff (tenor) Ch & O Deutsche Oper Berlin/Donald Runnicles rec. 2019 OEHMS OC985 [44:31 + 50:57] [SB] A rare thing: a successful and enjoyable modern opera.

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

André Ernest Modeste GRÉTRY (1741-1813) Raoul Barbe-Bleue - Matthieu Lécroart (bass) Chantal Santon-Jeffrey (soprano) François Rougier (tenor) O Nord/Mike Fentross rec. 2018 APARTÉ AP214 [2 CDs: 87:01] [MP] An outstanding presentation of Grétry’s long-unperformed gothically-comic opera.

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.

Reynaldo HAHN (1874-1947) Complete Songs - Tassis Christoyannis (baritone) Jeff Cohen (piano) rec. 2018/19 BRU ZANE BZ2002 [4 CDs: 253.09] [SG] I cannot praise this whole venture too highly.

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

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Arias - Avery Amereau (contralto) Philharmonia Baroque O/Nicholas McGegan rec. 2019 PHILHARMONIA PBP-13 [76:09] [GPu] A remarkable debut solo album, and delight from beginning to end for any Handelian.

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.

Michael HAYDN (1737-1806) The Collection rec. 1972-2013 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95885 [28 CDs] [SSi] This is a wonderful set, which should win new friends for Michael Haydn and his music.

Pieter HELLENDAAL (1721-1799) "Cambridge" Sonatas - Johannes Pramsohler (violin) Gulrim Choď (cello) Philippe Grisvard (harpsichord) rec. 2018/19 AUDAX ADX13720 [68:40] [JV] A strong candidate for my list of recordings of the year.

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

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Kammermusik - Christopher Park (piano) Bruno Philippe (cello) Kronberg Academy Soloists, Schleswig-Holstein Festival O/Christoph Eschenbach rec. 2018 ONDINE ODE1341-2 [67:04] [GPJ] Fabulous music, played with style and wit by these predominantly young musicians.

Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Missa Sabrinensis - Bach Ch, BBC Concert O/David Hill rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68294 [71:32] [JQ] This highly impressive account of Missa Sabrinensis does full justice to the stature of the work.

Ketil HVOSLEF (b. 1939) Chamber Works Vol. 7 rec. 2018/19 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1200 [53:56] [SSi] One of the most rewarding of the seven volumes released so far.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854–1928) Piano Sonata, On An Overgrown Path, In the Mists - Thomas Adčs (piano) rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD600 [66:50] [RHa] Janáček’s great piano trilogy has never sounded fresher, or more contemporary.

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.

Jēkabs JANČEVSKIS (b. 1992) Aeternum - Mixed Ch of Riga Cathedral Choir School/Jurģis Cābulis rec. 2018/19 HYPERION CDA68328 [56:59] [DJB] Arrestingly beautiful and dramatic contemporary choral works that might make me a convert.

Giovanni Girolamo KAPSBERGER (1580-1651) Che fai tů? Villanelles - Les Kapsber'girls rec. 2017/18 MUSO MU-037 [64:55] [JV] The importance of this disc can hardly be overstated.

Reinhard KEISER (1676-1739) Der blutige und sterbende Jesus - Cantus Thuringia, Capella Thuringia/Bernhard Klapprott rec. 2018 CPO 555 259-2 [2 CDs: 128:54] [JV] A marvellous oratorio whose rediscovery has to be considered an event of major importance.

Jesper KOCH (b. 1967) Dreamscapes - Michaela Fukačová (cello) Eugen Tichindeleanu (violin) John Kruse (clarinet) Odense SO/Justin Brown rec. 2017 DACAPO 6.220579 SACD [67:41] [RHa] Three terrific new works in outstanding performances and sound.

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

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Violin Concerto, String Sextet - Andrew Haveron (violin) RTÉ Concert O/John Wilson, Sinfonia of London Ch Ens rec. 2015/19 CHANDOS CHAN20135 [56:32] [GPJ] An outstanding issue – marvellous music, superbly played and given top-notch Chandos recorded sound.

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.

Cyrillus KREEK [1889-1962) The Suspended Harp of Babel - Vox Clamantis/Jaan-Eik Tulve rec. 2018 ECM NEW SERIES 2620 [69:47] [WH] Buy this disc.

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

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

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Complete Piano Works Vol. 54 - Jenő Jandó (piano) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574059 [77:58] [RC] Lisztians and piano connoisseurs take note!

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.

Jan Antonín LOSY (c.1650-1721) Note d’oro - Jakob Lindberg (lute) rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2462 SACD [82:15] [GPu] Music, performer and instrument complement one another perfectly in a revelatory recording.

Nicholas LUDFORD (c.1490-1557) Heavenly Songes - Christophe Deslignes (portative organ); La Quintina/Jérémie Couleau (tenor) rec. 2019 PARATY PTY220191 [60:45] [BW]  An excellent example of the daily Lady Masses composed by a neglected master of Tudor church music.

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.

Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Symphonies Nos 2 & 3 - Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2018 ONDINE ODE1332-5 SACD [61:40] [SB] Splendid performances of these now well-established symphonies.

Sir James MACMILLAN (b 1958) Symphony No. 4, Viola Concerto - Lawrence Power (viola) BBC Philharmonic/Martyn Brabbins rec 2019 HYPERION CDA68317 [72:27] [RHa] Exhilarating, moving, elegant, demanding, inevitable, masterly and timely.

Sir James MacMILLAN (b. 1959) The Sun Danced, Symphony No. 5 - The Sixteen, Genesis Sixteen, Britten Sinfonia/Harry Christophers rec. 2019 CORO COR16179 [78:54] [JQ] This symphony is a new work of great importance and great conviction, and has been stunningly realised here.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 - Chen Reiss (soprano) Tamara Mumford (mezzo) Orfeó Catalŕ, Palau Música Catalana Chamber Ch, Munich PO/Gustavo Dudamel rec.  2019 UNITEL EDITION Blu-ray 802904 [91 mins] [RC] Great Mahler in any format.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 4 - Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Minnesota O/Osmo Vänskä rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2356 SACD [59:25] [MW] This performance belongs among the very finest Mahler 4th recordings, never routine in any way.

Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809–1847) Piano Concerto No. 1, Double Concerto - Lachezar Stankov (piano) Ivo Stankov (violin) Royal PO/Linus Lerner rec. 2019 MERIDIAN CDE84656 [64:06] [GF] A disc to treasure.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespro della Beata Vergine - Ensemble Pygmalion/Raphaël Pichon rec. 2019 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS018 DVD [117 mins] [RWe] This magnificent performance has an atmospheric aural and visual effect.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespro - La Tempęte/Simon-Pierre Bestion rec. 2018 ALPHA 552 [2 CDs: 142:07] [RHa] It’s Monteverdi’s Vespers, but not as we know it; a thoroughly life-enhancing experience.

Cristobal de MORALES (c.1500-1563) Super Lamentationes - Capella de Ministrers / Carles Magraner rec. 2019 CAPELLA DE MINISTRERS CDM2048 [59:34] [GH] A very special recording.

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.

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 Concertos 10, 11 & 23 - Robert Blocker, Peter Frankl (piano) Statera Qt, Yale Philharmonia/William Boughton rec. 2018 NIMBUS NI6394 [73:32] [DD] A highly enjoyable set of three Mozart piano concertos, in different forms, very well played and recorded.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concertos Nos 3 & 5 - Kurpfalz CO/So Jin Kim (violin) rec. 2019 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38295 SACD [52:47] [DD] A really magnificent achievement.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791), Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) & Édouard du PUY (1770-1822) Bassoon Concertos - Bram van Sambeek (bassoon) Swedish CO/Alexei Ogrintchouk rec. 2019 BIS BIS-2467 SACD [66:15] [GPJ] None shall sleep through this disc – what a winner!

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos Nos 5, 15 & 16 - Anne-Marie McDermott (piano), Odense SO/Kenneth Montgomery, Gilbert Varga, Andreas Delfs rec. 2017/18 BRIDGE 9523 [69:54] [RC] Simply excellent Mozart artistry.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Idomeneo - Eric Cutler (tenor) Anett Frisch (soprano) Teatro Real Ch & O/Ivor Bolton rec. 2019 OPUS ARTE OABD7276D Blu-ray [120 mins] [PCG] Singing, conducting, staging and directing all come together here.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) & Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet quintets - Eli Eban (clarinet) Alexander String Qt rec. 2019 FOGHORN CLASSICS FCL2021 [71:26] [GPu] Beautiful, deeply expressive performances of two of the greatest works in the canon of chamber music.

Nikolay MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Symphony No. 6, Slavonic Overture - Yurlov State Ch, USSR State SO/Kirill Kondrashin, Yevgeny Svetlanov rec. 1959/93 ALTO ALC1421 [77:06] [GT] A release that highlights one of the great 20th century symphonies.

Olga NEUWIRTH (b. 1968) Orchestral works - Hĺkan Hardenberger (trumpet) Antoine Tamestit (viola) Gustav Mahler Jugend O/Ingo Metzmacher, ORF RSO Wien/Susanna Mälkki, Vienna PO/Daniel Harding rec. 2009-15 KAIROS 0015010KAI [65:04] [RHa] Three superb examples of 21st century orchestral writing from the singular sonic and conceptual imagination of Olga Neuwirth.

Johannes OCKEGHEM (c.1420-1497) Complete Songs Vol. 1 - Blue Heron/Scott Metcalfe rec. 2018 BLUE HERON BHCD1010 [76.49] [GH] All quite brilliantly done and completed by a first-class recording.

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Les Contes d’Hoffmann - John Osborn, Irene Roberts, Ch Dutch Ntl Opera, Rotterdam PO/Carlo Rizzi rec. 2018 C MAJOR 752904 Blu-ray [165 mins] [RWe] A spectacular and effective updating, with an outstanding cast.

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.

Pietro Domenico PARADISI (1706/07-1791) Sonatas - Anna Paradiso (harpsichord, clavichord & fortepiano) rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2415 SACD [87:57] [DC] Excellent in every regard.

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.

Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736) Stabat Mater Nicola Antonio PORPORA (1686-1768) Salve Regina Leonardo LEO (1694-1744) Beatus vir qui timet - Sandrine Piau (soprano), Christopher Lowrey (countertenor), Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset rec. 2018 ALPHA 449 [66:11] [SSi] Piau and Lowry shine in this wonderful performance which surpasses Rousset’s earlier recording.

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

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Wind Music - Ens Confoederatio rec. 2019 MDG 903 2152-6 SACD [69:05] [GPJ] Brilliant performances of this delightful and entertaining music by this Swiss-based ensemble.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Sonatas Nos 6-8 - Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68298 [74:21] [DM] White-hot performances, straight from the forge; superlative sound, even by Hyperion’s stellar standards.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Sonatas Nos 6-8 - Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68298 [74:28] [LW] Steven 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) Suites from The Gambler & Tale of The Stone Flower - Lahti SO/Dima Slobodeniouk rec. 2016-18 BIS BIS-2301 SACD [62:42] [RC] A disc to covet, and not just for Prokofiev mavens.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Songs & Romances - Margarita Gritskova (mezzo) Maria Prinz (piano) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574030 [66:58] [RC] Quite outstanding.

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

Henry PURCELL (1659–1695) One Charming Night - David Hansen (countertenor) Oslo Circles rec. 2018 SIMAX CLASSICS PSC1367 [57:58] [GF] Excellent playing and singing, an interesting programme with several goodies, and a recording from the top drawer.

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.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Sonata No. 1, Moments Musicaux, Études-Tableaux - Alfonso Soldano (piano) rec. 2019 DIVINE ART DDA25155 [79:56] [RWe] If this coupling appeals, then Soldano’s very fine disc will certainly satisfy.

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.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Jeux de Miroirs - Javier Perianes (piano), O de Paris/Josep Pons rec. 2017/18 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902326 [81:05] [JQ] I loved this disc.

Antonín REJCHA (1770-1836) Wind Quintets - Belfiato Quintet rec. 2018 SUPRAPHON SU42702 [68:04] [SSi] A wonderful disc which left me longing for more from the Belfiato Quintet.

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

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879–1936) Roman Trilogy - Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5261 SACD [60:06] [JQ] A fabulous disc.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concertos Nos 2, 4  & 5 - Jeanne-Marie Darré (piano) rec. 1953-1965 SOLSTICE SOCD 363-64 [62:53 + 74:48] [JW] Darré’s inexhaustible sensitivity and éclat radiate from every bar of this invigorating release.

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.

Giuseppe SAMMARTINI (1695-1750) Sonatas for Recorder & Basso Continuo Vol. 1 - Andreas Böhlen (recorder) Daniel Rosin (cello) Pietro Prosser (lute) Michael Hell (harpsichord) rec. 2018 AEOLUS AE10306 SACD [73:20] [JV] These performances are compelling and often outright exciting.

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonatas Vol. 2 - Federico Colli (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20134 [62:42] [RHa] Yet more riveting Scarlatti from Colli – truly a disc in which to lose oneself.

Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Mélodies - Sybille Diethelm (soprano), Annina Haug (mezzo-soprano), Nino Aurelio Gmünder (tenor), René Perler (bass-baritone), Fabienne Romer, Edward Rushton (piano) rec. 2020 RESONUS RES10265 [72:33] [SSi] This disc, indispensable for all fans of the mélodie, shows Florent Schmitt as a master song composer.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Violin Concerto, Verklärte Nacht - Isabelle Faust (violin) Swedish RSO/Daniel Harding rec. 2018/19 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902341 [63:12] [ST] A sparkling treasure with the potential to change your understanding of Schoenberg’s music.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies Vol. 2 - City of Birmingham SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5245 SACD [74:11] [RC] I would be surprised if you could do significantly better with any other recordings.

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) Where Only Stars Can Hear Us - Karim Sulayman (tenor) Yi-heng Yang (fortepiano) rec. 2019 AVIE AV2400 [67:18] [GF] Exceptional sensitivity.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Impromptus, Moments musicaux, Klavierstücke - Jörg Demus (piano) rec. 1958 ELOQUENCE 4840777 [54:10 + 57:20] [DD] A very apt tribute to a piano craftsman - delightfully performed and re-mastered.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No.9 Ernst KŘENEK (1900-1991) Static and Ecstatic - Cleveland O/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2020 THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA TCO0002 SACD [77:03] [MJ] A fresh and charming performance of Schubert's Ninth.

Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896) Piano Trio Fanny MENDELSSOHN (1805-1847) Piano Trio, String Quartet - Nash Ens rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68307 [71:49] [SB] A rewarding coupling of early romantic chamber works.

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

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies Nos 2 & 3 - NBC SO/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1946/49 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC584 [66:20] [DD] Another Pristine triumph: inspirational Schumann by Toscanini and magnificently restored.

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 (1810–1856) Lieder - Marianne Beate Kielland (mezzo) Johannes Weisser (baritone) Nils Anders Mortensen (piano) rec. 2018 LAWO LWC1197 [59:44] [GF] Not to be missed!

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.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Concerto No. 1 Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 5 - Baiba Skride (violin) Gewandhaus O Leipzig/Andris Nelsons rec. 2019 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC20478 DVD [103 mins] [MG] A stunning performance of the Shostakovich by Baiba Skride.

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.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Concertos - Alina Ibragimova (violin) State Academic SO of Russia ‘Evgeny Svetlanov’/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68313 [71:29] [LW] Performances that are a cause for celebration.

Howard SKEMPTON (b. 1947) Preludes & Fugues, Nocturnes, Reflections, Images - William Howard (piano) rec. 2019 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100116 [72:28] [DC] A lovely recording of some superb piano music.

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.

Sir Arthur SOMERVELL (1863-1937) Maud, A Shropshire Lad - Roderick Williams (baritone) Susie Allan (piano) rec. 2019 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0615 [62:24] A disc which is a game changer in terms of our appreciation of Arthur Somervell’s songs.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) & Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1882) Remembered - Wayne Marshall (organ) Cambridge Singers/John Rutter rec. 1992 COLLEGIUM RECORDS CSCD524 [45:10 + 48:01] [GPJ] Beautiful music in quite exceptional performances - not to be missed!

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Die Frau ohne Schatten - Stephen Gould (tenor), Camilla Nylund (soprano), Nina Stemme (soprano), Wiener Staatsoper Ch & O/Christian Thielemann rec. 2019 ORFEO C991203 [3 CDs: 209:12] [ST] The finest live Frau we have on CD.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Also sprach Zarathustra Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony No. 3 - Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1973/75 DUTTON CDLX7379 SACD [68:55] [RMo] Two stunning recordings of orchestral blockbusters revitalised by superb remastering.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Tod und Verklärung, Don Juan, Sechs Lieder - Louise Alder (soprano) Deutsches SO Berlin/Robin Ticciati rec. 2019 LINN CKD640 [68:34] [ST] A great success.

Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK (1562-1621) Fantasias, Toccatas & Variations - Richard Egarr (harpsichord) rec. 2018 LINN CKD589 [76:13] [GPu] There is vibrancy and excitement in these committed performances.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Tchaikovsky 2020 -Tatarstan Ntl SO/Alexander Sladkovsky rec. 2019 SONY CLASSICS [10 CDs: 519:15] [GT] Highly recommended, and probably one of the finest releases of the year.

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

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Frankfurt Sonatas - Gottfried von der Goltz (violin), Annekatrin Beller (cello), Torsten Johann (harpsichord/positive organ), Thomas C. Boysen (theorbo) rec. 2018 APARTÉ AP217 [66:01] [MC] An album to treasure.

Erkki-Sven TÜÜR (b. 1959) Symphony No. 9, Sow the Wind - Estonian Phil Chamber Ch, Festival O/Paavo Järvi rec. 2018/19 ALPHA CLASSICS 595 [60:06] [HC] A superb release with much to offer; the Ninth Symphony is a must-hear.

Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) Viola Concerto, Symphony for Strings - Sinfonietta Rīga/Maxim Rysanov (viola) rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2443 SACD [65:44] [ST] Poignant, heartfelt, unforgettable.

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

Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) Violin concerto, Lonely angel, Plainscapes, Dona nobis pacem - Daniel Rowland (violin) Maja Bogdanović (cello) Consensus Vocalis, Stift Festival O rec. 2019 CHANNEL CLASSICS CC72830 [71:56] [SB] Distant Light is a modern classic and the other works here are also fine.

Pēteris VASKS (b.1946) Lonely Angel, Piano Trio, Plainscapes - Trio Palladio rec. 2019 ONDINE ODE13432 [62:05] [SSi] A splendid disc with a fantastic performance of Episodi.

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

Ian VENABLES (b. 1955) Love lives beyond the tomb - Mary Bevan (soprano), Allan Clayton (tenor), Carducci String Quartet, Graham J. Lloyd (piano) rec. 2019 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD617 [78:42] [JQ] An essential purchase for all collectors who appreciate English song.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Simon Boccanegra - Luca Salsi (baritone) Marina Rebeka (soprano) Vienna State Opera Ch Konzertvereinigung, Vienna PO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2019 UNITEL EDITION Blu-ray 802704 [142 mins] [RC] A most rewarding addition to the catalogue.

Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) Organ Symphonies Vol. 3 - Stephen Tharp (organ) rec. 2010/14 AEOLUS AE11191 SACD [86:06] [SG] If the previous volumes are pitched at the same level, the whole series becomes a reference cycle.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerti per violino VIII ‘Il teatro' - Le Concert de la Loge/Julien Chauvin (violin) rec. 2019 NAĎVE OP30585 [62:10] [MR] Mesmerising magic in the most gloriously invigorating manner.

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.

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.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walküre - Stuart Skelton (tenor) Emily Magee, Nina Stemme (soprano) Royal Opera House O/Sir Antonio Pappano rec. 2018 OPUS ARTE DVD OA1308D [254 mins] [RC] A tremendous performance!

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) & Constant LAMBERT (1905-1951) Façades - James Geer (tenor) Andrew West, Ronald Woodley (piano) rec. 2019 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0614 [63:56] [NB] An absolute gem of a disc in every regard.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Euryanthe - Jacquelyn Wagner (soprano), Norman Reinhardt (tenor), Arnold Schoenberg Ch, ORF Vienna RSO/Constantin Trinks rec. 2018 NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0107V [167 mins] [MP] A superlative cast and thoughtful, illuminating production make for a revelatory experience of an opera long known for its insurmountable difficulties.

Douglas WEILAND (b. 1954) Strinq Quartet Nos 4 & 5 - Melbourne Qt rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574028 [62:13] [RHa] Both these quartets are magnificent and quite merit the authoritative performances and sublime recording.

Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Street Scene - Patricia Racette, Paulo Szot, Ch & O Teatro Real Madrid/Tim Murray rec. 2018 BELAIR CLASSIQUES BAC162 DVD [160 mins] [MP] An excellent cast and illuminating production make the strongest case possible for Weill’s powerful score.

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.

Johann Samuel WELTER (1650-1720) Gott sey uns gnädig - ecco la musica/Heike Hümmer & Matthias Sprinz rec. 2018 CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77440 [73:37] [JV] A major contribution to our knowledge of German music of the late 17th century.

Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937) Complete Organ Works - Joseph Nolan (organ) rec 2011-14 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD596 [8 CDs: 458:52] [RHa] Widor’s coming home; both Nolan’s fastidious preparation and visionary playing raise the bar for this repertoire.

Ermanno WOLF-FERRARI (1876–1948) Die vier Grobiane - Christina Landshamer, Susanne Bernhard (soprano) Münchner Rundfunk O/Ulf Schirmer rec. 2014 CPO 555 140-2 [58:10 + 71:54] [MP] An effervescent cast and superb musical direction make for a truly entertaining recording.

Jānis ZĀLĪTS (1884–1943) Complete Choral Songs - Latvian Radio Ch/Sigvards Kļava rec. 2012-2019 SKANI LMIC077 [54:07 + 55:41] [SG] Songs which capture the listener with their freshness, colour and touching beauty.

Pedro Aguiar (guitar) Brazilian Guitar Music rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574069 [63:48] [GF] A must for guitar lovers and fans of Brazilian music.

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

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

Ambarabŕ sixty1strings rec. 2019 GENUIN GEN20694 [66:05] [CSe] Full of surprises and excitement: puffs of magic dust, mesmerising sonic sound-clouds, and hot sensuousness.

Anonimo Venexian Works by Vivaldi, Gasparini & Bigaglia - Inęs d'Avena (recorder) Claudio Ribeiro (harpsichord) rec. 2018 RAMÉE RAM1905 [72:02] [JV] On my list of recordings of the year.

Lydia Maria Bader (piano) Chinese Dreams rec. 2019 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38566 [63:08] [RCh] A welcome treasure trove of evocative piano music.

Baroque Violin Sonatas Elfa Rún Kristinsdóttir (violin) Sabine Erdmann (organ) Magnus Andersson (theorbo) rec. 2019 SOLAIRE RECORDS SOL1009 [61:33] [DC] Fans of Biber form an orderly queue please.

Benaud Trio Trios by Buc, Edwards, Hindson & Stanhope rec. 2010 MELBA MR301139 [64:30] [NB] Offers listening pleasure from first to last.

Blessed Art Thou Among Women PaTRAM Institute Singers/Peter Jermihov rec. 2018 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-737 [79:11] [MR] A heart-warming and inspirational programme of Russian orthodox music, sublimely performed.

Brillez, astres nouveaux! Chantal Santon-Jeffery (soprano) Purcell Ch, Orfeo O/György Vashegyi rec. 2017 APARTÉ AP223 [76:34] [SSi] Fans of French baroque opera, and opera in general, should rush to buy this outstanding disc!

British Violin Sonatas Vol. 3 Tasmin Little (violin), Piers Lane (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20133 [70:07] [JW] A tremendous disc, sadly the last in this series.

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

Pierre Cochereau (organ) Raretés et inédits rec. 1954-1984 SOLSTICE SOCD365/84 [19 CDs: 22 hrs + DVD: 2 hrs] [SG] A remarkable tribute to a great artist.

The Cleveland Orchestra & Franz Welser-Möst A New Century rec. 2017-19 THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA TCO0001-3 SACD [3 discs: 188:01] [MJ] This lovingly crafted box set is a treasure.

Clytemnestra Works by Berg, Mahler & Samuel - Ruby Hughes (soprano) BBC Ntl O Wales/Jac van Steen rec. 2018 BIS BIS2408 SACD [54:46] [RWe] Whether adding to your Mahler songs, exploring Berg, or investigating murder in Mycenae, this is highly recommended.

Concurrence Works by Thorvaldsdóttir, Tómasson, Sigfúsdóttir & Pálsson - Iceland SO/Daniel Bjarnason rec. 2018/19 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92237 CD & Blu-ray [55:21] [RHa] Literally awesome music of geophysical detail and visceral impact with outstanding Sono Luminus sound as ever - miss out at your peril!

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

Tabea Demus (recorders, voice flute) Ohrwurm - Alex McCartney (theorbo, baroque guitar) Jonathan Rees (viola da gamba) rec. 2020 DELPHIAN DCD34243 [70:28] [GPu] An irresistible collection of ‘earworms’ chosen, arranged and played superbly.

Digressions Tony Chen Lin (piano) rec. 2018 RATTLE RATD080 [66:06] [PSe] Listen to these deeply considered, vital and characterful performances, and wonder why you have never heard of Tony Chen Lin.

Discovering Berlioz - Essays, Reviews, Talks by David Cairns publ. 2019 Toccata Press [JQ] An indispensable treasure trove for Berlioz enthusiasts.

The Encounter at Lübeck Works by Bach & Buxtehude - Vincent Boucher (organ) rec. 2017/19 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22777 [62:57] [MR] Bach and Buxtehude heard side-by-side to their very best advantage in this absolute cracker of an disc.

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.

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

Escales Sinf London/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5252 SACD [79:05] [CRa] A disc full of enthusiasm and finesse, destined to become a classic.

Escales Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5252 SACD [79:05] [BW] Another very enjoyable and highly successful offering from this team.

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

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

Fading A meditative reflection around the ancient Office of Compline - The Gesualdo Six/Owain Park (bass) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68285 [63:59] [MP] Finely polished performances of a ravishingly atmospheric programme that is not to be missed.

Aldo Ferraresi (violin) The Gigli of the Violin rec. 1929-73 RHINE CLASSICS RH001 [18 CDs: 20 hours] [SG] No connoisseur of the art of violin playing would want to be without this remarkable collection.

Fin du Temps Works by Messiaen & Takemitsu - José Luis Estellés (clarinet) Aitzol Iturriagagoitia (violin) David Apellániz (cello) Alberto Rosado (piano) rec. 2019 IBS CLASSICS IBS72020 [61:42] [MR] Sublime performances of sublime music.

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

Andor Foldes (piano) Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings rec. 1951-63 ELOQUENCE 4841256 [19 CDs: 1279 mins] [SG] A magnificent and comprehensive collection, constituting a worthy tribute to a great artist, musician and pianist.

The French Romantic Experience rec. 2008-19 BRU ZANE BZ2001 [10 CDs: 732:54] [MBu] A music lover’s collection should not be without this set.

Ignaz Friedman (piano) Complete Recordings rec. 1923-1941 DANACORD DACOCD 861-864 [6 CDs: 335:49] [SG]  A magnificent set, indispensible for pianophiles with a passion for the Golden Age.

Galerie Dorée The Tercentenary Concert - Le Concert de la Loge/Julien Chauvin rec. 2018 BELAIR CLASSIQUES Blu-ray BAC571 [77 mins] [MP] A happy blend of beautiful performances in a beautiful Baroque setting makes for an immensely enjoyable release.

Karina Gauvin (soprano) Nuits Blanches: Opera Arias at the Court of Russia in the 18th Century - Pacific Baroque O/Alexander Weimann (fortepiano) rec. 2019 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22791 [57:04] [GF] Gauvin is simply superb.

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.

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.

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.

Heifetz & Piatigorsky - The Chamber Concerts Works by Mozart, Franck, Brahms & Mendelssohn rec. 1961 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM108 [61:23 + 57:42] [RMo] A triumphant remastering of superlative performances of four seminal works.

How Shostakovich Changed My Mind by Stephen Johnson publ. 2018 Notting Hill Editions [MW] A wonderful account of music and mind: an instant classic.

Hush! Papagena rec. 2019 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0608 [65:40] [JQ] Another winner from Papagena.

In Chains of Gold The English Pre-Restoration Anthem Vol. 2 - Magdalena Consort/Peter Harvey, Fretwork, His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts/William Hunt rec. 2019 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD609 [70:29] [BW] Even better than the first volume in this series.

Intermedi della Pellegrina: Firenze 1589 Coro Ricercare Ens, Compagnia Dramatoděa, Modo Antiquo/Federico Maria Sardelli rec. 2019 DYNAMIC CDS7856 [65:58] [CSe] The splendour of the Renaissance Florentine court with singing that is both wonderful and an embodiment of the wondrous.

Ermonela Jaho (soprano) Anima Rara - O Comunitat Valenciana/Andrea Battistoni rec. 2019 OPERA RARA ORR253 [70:04] [MC] Impossible to withstand the lure of this special soprano.

Jin Yin Yihan Chen (pipa), Cynthia Yeh (percussion), Emma Gerstein (flute and piccolo), Civitas Ensemble rec. 2018/2019 CEDILLE CDR90000193 [77:19] [MR] Five outstanding works combining Chinese and Western concepts and sounds, performed with exceptional intensity and commitment.

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

LA Phil 100 Centennial Birthday Gala - Zubin Mehta, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel rec. 2019 C MAJOR 753504 Blu-ray [137 mins] [LW] A hugely enjoyable celebration.

Little Things In Odd Shapes Works by Michael Haydn & Boccherini - Istante Period Instrument Collective rec. 2018 NOVANTIQUA NA35 [55:58] [GPJ] Unfamiliar but delightful music played with charm and style by this fine ensemble.

The Long 17th Century Daniel-Ben Pienaar (piano) rec. 2018 AVIE AV2415 [75:50 + 74:58] [GPu] My joy was virtually unalloyed and constant.

Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia Cappella Romana/Alexander Lingas rec. 2016 CAPPELLA ROMANA CR420 [CD: 76:50 & Blu-ray: 80 mins] [JQ] I’ve never experienced a disc like this but it’s a real ear-opener and a formidable achievement.

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

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.

The Mystery of the Natural Trumpet Krisztián Kováts (trumpet) L'arpa festante/Christoph Hesse, Rien Voskuilen rec. 2017 CPO 555 144-2 [66:57] [JV] An exciting disc, which deserves a special recommendation.

Nachtstücke Duo Amaris rec. 2019 PASCHEN RECORDS PR200060 [52:50] [ZT] A thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and luminous experience.

Ninna Nanna Lullabies from Baroque Italy - Pino De Vittorio (voice), Laboratorio ’600/Franco Pavan rec. 2019 GLOSSA GCDP33003 [78:34] [GPu] A quite wonderful recording.

Nun danket alle Gott Julie Roset (soprano), Clematis/Stéphanie de Failly, Brice Sailly rec. 2019 RICERCAR RIC415 [62:09] [BW] One of most uplifting recordings to have come my way recently.

Marlis Petersen (soprano) Dimensionen Innenwelt - Stephan Matthias Lademann (piano) rec. 2019 SOLO MUSICA SM316 [65:01] [MC] I feel a profound admiration for Petersen at having created such a compelling album.

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

Pictures at an Exhibition Martin Baker (organ) rec. 2019 AD FONTES AF001 [74:19] [MR] Shows off Buckfast Abbey's  new Ruffatti organ and its player, Martin Baker, to glorious effect, helped by a singularly well-chosen programme.

Asier Polo (cello) Concertos by Boccherini, Vivaldi & Haydn - O Barroca de Sevilla rec. 2019 IBS CLASSICAL IBS52020 [62:58] [DJB] Soloist and orchestra dazzle in all four works.

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.

Pričres pour Notre Dame Works by Boulanger, Dupré, Demessieux & Poulenc - Colin Walsh (organ), Senior Girls of Romsey Abbey Ch/George Richford rec. 2018 REGENT REGCD538 [67:27] [MR] That rare combination of outstanding performance, sumptuous recording and gorgeous music.

Marina Rebeka (soprano) Elle - St Gallen SO/Michael Balke rec. 2019 PRIMA CLASSIC PRIMA004 [72:35] [BRa] A soprano album that is actually memorable and distinctive.

Refuge Violin sonatas by Bach, Bartók & Ben-Haim - Liv Migdal (violin) rec. 2018 GENUIN GEN19656 [66:43] [PRB] Refuge is going to be a hard act to follow, and the actual transfer to disc is second to none.

Requiebros Rohan de Saram (cello) Junko Yamamoto (piano) rec. 2012 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR97 [62:09] [GPu] One of the very best recorded recitals of short pieces for cello and piano that I know.

Lotte Schöne (soprano) The Complete Lotte Schöne rec. 1921-1950 MARSTON 55002-2 [5 CDs: 349:05] [SG] A voice of captivating charm, purity, extensive range and flexibility. 

Grigory Sokolov (piano) Works by Beethoven, Brahms & Mozart rec. 2017-2019 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4836570 [CD: 47:52 + 79:03; DVD: 139 mins] [SG] Inspirational performances, created on the wing.

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.

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

The Spohr Collection Ashley Solomon (historical flutes) rec. 2019 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS43020 [69:45] [JV] Fascinating sounding documentation of some outstanding historical instruments and the art of their makers.

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.

Those Blue Remembered Hills Works by Gurney & Howells - Roderick Williams (baritone) Michael Dussek (piano) Bridge Qt rec. 2018 EM RECORDS EMRCD065 [80:52] [JQ] All lovers of Ivor Gurney’s music should consider this disc an obligatory purchase.

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.

Amy Yang (piano) Resonance rec. 2017 MSR CLASSICS MS1655 [76:14] [DD] Simply magnificent and wonderful playing from start to finish - more please … and soon.

 



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