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Chopin Edition 17CDs
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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


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)



Che fai tù? - Villanelles

Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel

violin concertos - Ibragimova

Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov

The Complete Lotte Schöne




Reviews from the last week
143 reviews completed so far this month
This month's reviews
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[New] Listening Studio Report: Britten's Peter Grimes by Len Mullenger

Exploring Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's Anniversaries by John France

Hanna Hedman, record producer - an obituary by Göran Forsling

Gerhard's Wind Quintet - An Early Recording by John France

Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades - a survey by Ralph Moore

Masterwork Index: Saint-Saëns' Cello Concertos


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AP0474 Józef Wieniawski (1837-1912) Piano Works 5
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Tuesday September 22nd

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 4 - Martin Helmchen (piano) Deutsches SO Berlin/Andrew Manze rec. 2018/19 ALPHA 575 [69:38] [MG] These stylish, insightful accounts belong to the top rank.

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Nocturnes; Mazurkas; Ballades; Etude - Jan Smeterlin (piano) rec. 1946-1954 ELOQUENCE 4841308 [70:54 + 67:22] [JW] Here is a Chopinist you should on no account overlook.

Charles IVES (1874-1954) Songs and Chamber Music - Julia Sophie Wagner (soprano) Steffen Schleiermacher (piano) Ens Avantgarde rec. 2019 MDG 613 2178-2 [71:17] [LW] An enjoyable disc, but there are better options.

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.

Henrique OSWALD (1852-1931) & Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concertos Alberto NEPOMUCENO (1864-1920) Suite Antiga - Clélia Iruzun (piano) Royal PO/Jac van Steen rec. 2019 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD276 [71:56] [SG] Two piano concertos overflowing with captivating lyricism.

Sir John Barbirolli (conductor) Broadcast Concert 1965 Works by Franck, Rimsky-Korakov, Bruch & Suppé - David Wilde (piano) Jacqueline du Pré (cello) Hallé O rec. 1965 BARBIROLLI SOCIETY SJB1100 [57:32] [JQ] Another highly enjoyable example of Barbirolli’s podium mastery.

Polonaises Urszula Bartkiewicz (harpsichord) rec. 2020 DUX 1665 [73:37] [JV] These polonaises are something like the 'missing link' between the baroque polonaises and those by Chopin.

Le Rappel des Oiseaux Luc Beauséjour (harpsichord) rec. 2019 ANALEKTA AN28797 [56:46] [GPu] This well performed and recorded musical aviary, both delights and stimulates thought.

Monday September 21st

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.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Piano Quintets - Régis Pasquier (violin), Sachiko Segawa (violin), Mozart Piano Quartet rec. 2019 MDG 943 2162-6 SACD [58:09] [SV] Expert and insightful playing.

Jules MASSENET (1842–1912) Cendrillon - Danielle de Niese (soprano) Kate Lindsey (mezzo) Glyndebourne Ch, London PO/John Wilson rec. 2019 OPUS ARTE DVD OA1303D [148 mins] [MP] Some fine voices redeem a disappointing production of Massenet’s magical opera.

Antonio RUIZ-PIPÓ (1934-1997) Works with Guitar Vol. 2 - Wolfgang Weigel (guitar) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574167 [56:47] [GPu] A useful addition to the Naxos Guitar collection, which should help to revive interest in a largely neglected composer.

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.

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.

King Frederik IX Conducts Royal Danish O, Danish Ntl SO rec. 1942-69 DACAPO 8.204001 [4 CDs: 270 minutes] [JW] A release that treads off the beaten path, but it does so with purpose, discrimination and expertise.

Uta Weyand (piano) 1892 Reflections - Works by Debussy, Albéniz, Grieg & Brahms rec. 2019 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38308 SACD [74:02] [RCh] Uta Weyand plays these contrasting composers with affection.

Friday September 18th

Daniel-François-Esprit AUBER (1782-1871) Overtures Vol. 2 - Czech Chamber PO/Dario Salvi rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574006 [61:06] [GH] Delightful.

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.

George CRUMB (b. 1929) Metamorphoses Book 1 - Marcantonio Barone (piano) rec. 2019 BRIDGE RECORDS 9535 [37:26] [DC] A major new work by one of today’s most significant composers.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Sea Pictures, Falstaff - Elīna Garanča (mezzo) Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim rec. 2019 DECCA 4850968 [58:58] [ST] A very fine Sea Pictures, but a Falstaff which is a little too clinical.

Frédéric d’ERLANGER (1868-1943) & Thomas DUNHILL (1877-1946) Piano Quintets - Goldner String Qt, Piers Lane (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68296 [73:14] [JW] The Goldners and Lane continue their fine collaboration.

Pierre HENRY (1927-2017) La Dixième Symphonie - Orchestras and choirs/Marzena Diakun, Bruno Mantovani, Pascal Rophé rec. 2019 ALPHA 630 [74:08] [BW]  I just don’t see the point of this pseudo-Beethoven mish-mash.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 - Chen Reiss (soprano) Tamara Mumford (mezzo) Munich PO/Gustavo Dudamel rec. 2019 UNITEL EDITION Blu-ray 802904 [91 mins] [JQ] A memorable performance.

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 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72830 [71:56] [SB] Distant Light is a modern classic and the other works here are also fine.

Thursday September 17th

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) String Quartet Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Serenade for Strings - NFM Leopoldinum O./Joseph Swensen rec. 2019 CD ACCORD ACD271-2 [54:56] [GPJ] This arrangement of the Debussy String Quartet is a brilliant new addition to the repertoire of the string orchestra.

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.

Niccolò JOMMELLI (1714-1774) Requiem - Ch & O Ghislieri/Giulio Prandi rec. 2019 ARCANA A477 [55:15] [DC] Superb performance of a Requiem that was a hit in its day, and long thereafter.

Vasily Pavlovich KALAFATI (1869-1942) Symphony, Légende - Ch Music Department of Athens Unversity, Athens PO/Byron Fidetzis rec. 2017/18 NAXOS 8.574132 [81:28] [EJW] An extremely generously filled CD which brings a forgotten composer to light.

Duarte LOBO (c.1565-1646) Masses, Responsories and Motets - Cupertinos/Luís Toscano rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68306 [70:47] [BW] Very fine performances of spirit-raising music, almost all recorded for the first time.

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.

John WILLIAMS (b. 1932) John Williams in Vienna - Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Vienna PO/John Williams rec. 2020 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 6373 [75:01] [NB] A richly deserved tribute from a great orchestra to a great composer.

Songs for Sir John A Tribute to Sir John Manduell - Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano) Richard Baker (narrator) Keith Swallow (piano) rec. 2005/19 DIVINE ART DDA25210 [72:52] [JF] An album to savour.

Wednesday September 16th

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) & Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Works for string trio - Jascha Heifetz (violin) William Primrose (viola) Gregor Piatigorsky (cello) rec. August 1957-60 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM107 [76:16] Superbly executed performances that have been so expertly revitalised by Pristine.

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891–1975) The Decca Originals - Eileen Joyce (piano) Alfredo Campoli (violin) Griller Qt, National SO/Muir Mathieson, London SO, London PO/Sir Arthur Bliss rec. 1946-57 ELOQUENCE 484 0215 [71:58 + 75:14] [JW] An excellently produced twofer.

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.

Kjell HABBESTAD (b. 1955) Quattro stazioni - Björn Nyman (clarinet) Sveinung Bjelland (piano) Vertavo String Qt rec. 2018/19 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1193 [71:46] [SSi] A disc and a composer well worth investigating.

Franz LISZT (1811–1886) Complete Piano Music Vol. 55: Transcriptions - Andrey Ivanov (piano) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574149 [81:02] [JWe] A marvellously recorded disc by a superb pianist.

Franco MARGOLA (1908-1992) Chamber Music & Concertos rec. 2012/13 TACTUS TC901390 [79:36 + 79:04] [GPu] Beautifully crafted works from one of the quiet voices in Italian music of the twentieth century.

Karlheinz STOCKHAUSEN (1928-2007) Unbegrenzt - Catherine Christer Hennix (recitation, percussion & electronics) Hans Isgren (bowed gong) rec. 1974 EMPTY EDITIONS EE007 [51:50] [DC] A discomforting snapshot of a particular period in 20th century music.

Music for Stage and Screen rec. 1923-58 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD041 [65:53] [JQ] A disc that is as enjoyable as it is enterprising.

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