NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
Project: 1971-80 - a new timeline by Patrick Waller
Vocal Retrospective: 2. Trial of the Titos by Ralph Moore & Mike Parr
Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben
- a survey by Ralph Moore
AP0500 Ride to a
marvellous country - Katarzyna Dondalska, soprano
AP0479 Jerzy Gablenz - Songs 4
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Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Symphonies No 98 & 100 - Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Claudio Abbado rec. 1995
Presto CD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 439 932-2 [55:35] [DD]
Lithe and joyful Haydn performances in fine sound.
Ludomir RÓŻYCKI (1883-1953)
Phoenix Concerto Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto - Janusz Wawrowski (violin), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Grzegorz Nowak rec. 2019
WARNER CLASSICS 9029519170 [60:02] [NB]
Well played but underwhelming.
Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757)
20 Sonatas -
Margherita Torretta (piano)
rec. 2019 ACADEMY 2462 [50.19 + 49.56] [GH]
Thoughtful, scholarly, but highly involving performances of twenty great sonatas.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphonies Nos 9 & 10 - London Symphony Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2019, 2020
LSO LIVE LSO0828 SACD [79:05] [JQ]
An excellent account of the Ninth, but Noseda doesn’t shake my loyalties in the Tenth.
SIMPSON (1921-1997) Symphonies Nos 5 & 6 -
London Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis, London Philharmonic
Orchestra/Charles Groves rec. 1973-80 LYRITA SRCD389 [72:05]
[RHa] Unmissable: the first concrete souvenir of 2021’s most important centenary.
Pancho VLADIGEROV (1899-1978)
Six Exotic Preludes, Ten Impressions - Nadejda Vlaeva (piano) rec. 2019
HYPERION CDA68327 [79:52] [RB]
Music of aristocratic power and beauty softened, in the case of one set, by salon-like concessions.
Works by Duparc, de Castéra, Bonnal & Le Junter -
Patrick Le Junter (piano) rec. 2012 AZUR CLASSICAL AZC103 [60:04]
Charming and lyrical first encounters.
This Curious Harp
20th Century British Music for Solo Harp -
Eleanor Hudson (harp)
rec. 2020 MPR 110 [68:33] [JW] Venturesome British repertoire, much new to disc, spanning the twentieth-century.
Stéphan ELMAS (1862-1937) Piano Concertos
Nos 1 & 2 -
Tasmanian SO/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68319 [73:55]
[RHa] Sparkling playing and recording as ever, but plodding, clunky and surprisingly dreary concertos.
- Elsebeth Dreisig (soprano) Magnus Vigilius (tenor)
Danish Ntl Opera Ch, Odense SO/Joachim Gustafsson rec. 2019 DACAPO 8.226708-09 [47:17 + 64:16] [GF]
The work may be uneven, but Dacapo should be applauded for making it available for the general music public.
Brian FERNEYHOUGH (b. 1943)
Complete Piano Music 1965-2018 -
Ian Pace, Ben Smith (piano)
rec. 2005/2018 MÉTIER MSV28615 [2 CDs: 89:50]
The music began to grow on me after I listened to this album twice.
Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957)
& Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Piano concertos
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Variations on Là ci darem la mano
Orion Weiss (piano)
The Orchestra Now/Leon Botstein BRIDGE 9547 [59:58] [RMay]
A mixed bag of performances that do not displace their competitors.
Cecilia McDOWALL (b 1951) Organ
works - William Fox (organ)
Lucy Humphris (trumpet) rec. 2020 NAXOS 8.579077 [65:04] [JQ]
A fine and enjoyable disc which serves Cecilia McDowall’s organ music very well indeed.
Symphony No 2
- Tünde Szabóki (soprano) Nadine Weissmann
(alto) Ch Städtischer Musikverein Düsseldorf,
Düsseldorfer Symphoniker/Adam Fischer rec. 2019 CAVI-MUSIC 8553485 [81:01]
Too mixed for overall recommendation.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quintets Nos 1
& 2 - Melos Qt,
Franz Beyer (viola) rec. 1987
Presto CD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 423 697-2 [47:56] [DD] Two very fine performances of somewhat neglected works.
Pierrot Lunaire - Patricia Kopatchinskaja & ensemble rec. 2019
An enthralling Pierrot that may not be to every taste.
Antonio VALENTE (c1520-c1580)
Intavolatura de Cimbalo, Napoli 1576 - Paola Erdas (virginal, harpsichord)
rec. 2019 HITASURA HSP005 [67:52]
[JV] Paola Erdas's playing is a joy to listen to.
Clarinet and Piano Around the World.
Works by Cahuzac, Kovacs, Rezso, Lutoslawski,
Jacob & Schubert -
Eleanor Weingartner (clarinet)
Alfredo Isaac Aguilar (piano) rec. 2017 URTEXT JBCC315 [54:25]
[JW] Enticing clarinet repertoire.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Viola Trio, Viola Sonatas
- Miguel da Silva (viola) Xavier Phillips (cello) François-Frédéric Guy
(piano) rec. 2019
A very persuasive case for the viola versions of these works, played
with great poetry and nobility.
Józef ELSNER (1769–1854) String Quartets
- Mikołaj Zgółka,
Zbigniew Pilch (violins), Dominik Dębski (viola),
Jarosław Thiel (cello) rec. 2020 CD ACCORD ACD279 [63:39]
[DC] Delightful discoveries.
Frederick RZEWSKI (b. 1938)
Songs of Insurrection -
Thomas Kotcheff (piano) rec. 2020 COVIELLO COV92021 [70:42]
Disappointing: a sad come-down after The people united.
Guillaume SAINT-JAMES (b. 1967)
La Symphonie, Sketches of Seven -
Didier Ithusarry (accordion) O Victor Hugo Franche-Comté/Jean-François Verdier,
O Ntl Bretagne/Aurélien Azan Zielinski rec.
2019-2020 INDESENS RECORDS INDE147 [63:05]
[RB] Vitality and mood painting let loose in these two works bridging jazz to classical orchestra and back.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies No. 3 & 8
- Vienna Philharmonic/Carlos Kleiber rec. 1979 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 415 601-2 [45:30] [DD] A surprisingly charmless Schubert 3 coupled with a superb Unfinished.
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Nutcracker - Los Angeles PO/Gustavo Dudamel rec.
2013 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 6274
[45:39 + 44:05] [DM]
A dull, monochrome take on a bright and colourful classic; lacklustre
Emma Boynet (piano) The Complete Solo 78-rpm Recordings and Fauré LPs rec. 1933-1952 APR 6033 [82:42 + 82:15]
[JW] A valuable exponent of the august French School in an excellently compiled twofer.
French Works for Flute Works by Saint-Saens, Franck, Widor & Duruflé
Adam Walker (flute)
Timothy Ridout (viola)
James Baillieu (piano) rec. 2020 CHANDOS CHAN20229 [71:01]
Listeners will find every piece here captures their imagination from the first to the last bar.
Monday April 19th
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Symphonies Nos 5 & 6 -
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Erich Kleiber
rec. 1953 Presto CD DECCA 4176372 [73:09] [DD] Two classic performances from one of the 20th century’s great conductors.
Max BRUCH (1838-1920)
Piano Works - Christof Keymer (piano) rec. 2019
CPO 555 258-2 [66:43] [JW]
An accomplished look at Bruch’s small corpus of piano music.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No 6 in A minor ‘Tragic’
- Berlin PO/Kirill Petrenko rec. 2020 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER BPHR2003645
[77:12] [CCC] A performance of consummate musicality, perhaps not always reaching the level of the
MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Complete
Symphonies Nos 1-27 - USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra
of the Russian Federation/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. 1965-94 ALTO
ALC3141 [14 CDs: 21 hrs] [RB] A real blessing at an accessible price.
Valentin SILVESTROV (b. 1937)
Handsome Skies - Alessandro Stella (piano) rec. 2017
KHA RECORDS KHA019 [53:39] [DC]
A warm bath of soothingly sophisticated piano sounds.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Ein Heldenleben - Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1985
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 415 508-2 [46:47] [JF]
A splendid opportunity to revisit Herbert von Karajan’s 1985 recording of Strauss’ great tone poem.
Carl Maria von WEBER (1786—1826)
Piano Concertos Nos 1 and 2, Konzertstück
- Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano) Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens
rec. 2018 BIS-2384 SACD
[BW] For all but those who completely cannot abide the fortepiano, this is my version
Good night, beloved The Sixteen/Harry Christophers
rec. 2020 CORO COR16184 [68:48] [JQ]
A lovely, nicely varied album.
Antonio Oyarzabal (piano)
La Muse Oubliée rec. 2020
IBS CLASSICAL IBS52021 [73:17] [NB]
A wholly successful recital of high quality music, perceptively performed.
Ruta 100 Works by Piazzolla, Beytelmann & Ellington
Patagonia Express Trio
rec. 2017 BERLIN CLASSICS 0301569BC [70:08] [MR] The Piazzolla centenary is marked by a piano trio giving a most unusual take on his music along with pieces written in homage to him by a friend and musical partner.
Friday April 16th
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
The Well-Tempered Consort I
- Phantasm rec. 2019
LINN RECORDS CKD618
Revelatory performances uncover yet more treasures in Bach’s
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827)
Beethoven Odyssey -
BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis rec. 1962-85
ELOQUENCE 484 1728 [12 CDs: 7:50:03] [DC]
Revel in the “rough-hewn power and a lucidity of thought” of Sir Colin Davis’s London Beethoven recordings.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphony No. 4,
Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel -
Cleveland O/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 1992
Presto CD DECCA 436 853-2 [70:30] [DD] A
consummate version of Brahms’ epic final
Symphony with a surprising and substantial
Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941)
Complete Music for Piano - Peter Jacobs (piano)
rec. 1990-1991 CONTINUUM CCD1016 [3CDs: 229:20]
Well-crafted music in compelling performances.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 9
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
- Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin) Yo-Yo Ma (cello) West-Eastern Divan O/Daniel Barenboim (piano)
rec. 2019 UNITEL 803608 DVD [112 mins]
A video recording of a concert that really is something very special.
Sam HAYDEN (b.1968)
Ian Pace (piano)
rec. 2020 MÉTIER MSV28611 [46:46 + 42:45] [JW] Powerful contrasts in the work of a leading British modernist.
Jean-Paul-Égide MARTINI (1741-1816)
Requiem pour Louis XVI -
Le Concert Spirituel/Hervé Niquet rec. 2019 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS022 [61:25]
[JV] Niquet obviously enjoyed the large noise he was allowed to produce.
Joseph WÖLFL (1773–1812)
Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 3, Concerto da Camera -
Nataša Veljkovic (piano)
Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim/Johannes Moesus
rec. 2016 CPO 555 149-2 [70:34] [RB] Two piano concertos freshly brought out and delivered with sleight, conviction and splendour.
A Celebration of Conductor and Composer Stephen Wilkinson
John Powell (baritone)
BBC Northern Singers, William Byrd Singers/Stephen Wilkinson PRIMA FACIE PFCD147 [61:00]
This very fine disc of moving and accomplished choral music deserves every success.
Confessions of a Music Critic
by Christopher Morley publ. 2021 Brewin Books [JQ] An entertaining book, but it’s something of a missed opportunity.