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Monthly Listing
January 2021
192 reviews this month

Arno BABADJANIAN (1921-1983) Gayané CHEBOTARYAN (1918-1998) & Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Piano trios - Trio de L’Île rec. 2020 DIVINE ART DDA25211 [54:53] [DJB] Absolutely outstanding – previous favourites are swept aside.

Linda BUCKLEY (b. 1979) From Ocean’s Floor - Linda Buckley (electronics) Crash Ensemble, ConTempo Quartet rec. 2016-19 NMC D258 [78:17] [RHa] 'Ó Íochtar mara' is the unforgettable standout in a survey of fascinating electroacoustic pieces.

David MATTHEWS (b. 1943) Symphony No. 8, Toward Sunrise, Sinfonia, A Vision of the Sea - BBC Philharmonic/Jac van Steen rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD647 [67:47] [JQ] This splendid disc is a notable addition to David Matthews’ discography.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) The Fiery Angel - Ewa Vesin, Leigh Melrose - Rome Opera House Ch & O/Alejo Pérez rec. 2019 NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0113V [2:12:58] [RC] Clearly now my first choice.

Verklärte Nacht Works by Lehar, Schoenberg, Fried & Korngold - Stuart Skelton (tenor) Christine Rice (mezzo) BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2020 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5243 [63:36] [RWe] Recommended both for the excellent performances and valuable programme.

John Luther ADAMS (b. 1953) The Become Trilogy - Seattle SO & Chorale/Ludovic Morlot rec. 2013/2018 CANTALOUPE CA21161 [3 CDs: 97:32] [ST] Worth taking the plunge.

Eugene d’ALBERT (1864-1932) Tiefland - Heinz Hoppe (tenor) Hanne-Lore Kuhse (soprano) Chor der Staatsoper Dresden & Staatskapelle Dresden/Paul Schmitz rec. 1963 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95114 [2 CDs: 133:17] [RWe] An excellent vintage recording of d’Albert’s best-known opera.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Complete Cello Suites - Rohan de Saram (cello) rec. 2009-2016 CLAUDIO CR5995-2 [3 CDs: 151:17] [MS] A welcome addition - full of depth and colour.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites - David Watkin (cello) rec. 2013 RESONUS RES10146 [68:19 + 76:42] [RMo] This recording presents period practice at its best.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Complete Organ Works - David Goode (organ) rec. 2015-2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD640 [16 CDs: 1060 mins] [SG] Bach has been exceptionally well served through this release.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 (selection) - Piotr Anderszewski (piano) rec. 2019/20 WARNER CLASSICS 9029511875 [78:08] [MC] Playing of this elevated quality does not come along too often.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2 - Borbála Dobozy (harpsichord) rec. 2018 BMC CD 293 [2 CDs: 74:42 + 76:51] [DC] Up with the best for Bach’s WTC Book 2 on harpsichord.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 & 2, The Art of Fugue - Pietro Scarpini (piano) rec. 1961-76 RHINE CLASSICS RH-017 [6 CDs: 409:02] [JW] Scarpini’s touch is refined, his imagination alert.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Keyboard Works - Jill Crossland (piano) rec. 2003 DIVERSIONS DDV24169 [75:18] [JF] A satisfying and commanding performance.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano sonatas Nos 7, 23 & 31 - Naum Grubert (piano) NAVIS CLASSICS NC20010 [69:55] [DC] Can stand comparison with anyone.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Complete String Quartets – The 1982 Live Recordings - Juilliard String Quartet rec. 1982 SONY CLASSICAL 19075964442 [9 CDs: 533:02] [SSi] Some nice performances hampered by some recording issues.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trios No. 1-3, 5-7 - Trio Sōra rec. 2019/20 NAÏVE V7085 [3 CDs: 189:31] [SSi] An excellent introduction to the Trio Sōra, who do Beethoven justice.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony No. 4 - Zino Francescatti (violin), National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra/Antal Doráti rec. 1965/72 ANTAL DORÁTI LIVE ADL 228 [77:34] [JW] The Vaughan Williams is the better performance of this somewhat odd coupling.

Ed BENNETT (b. 1975) Psychedelia - RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra/David Brophy rec 2013-20 NMC D257 [78:13] [RHa] Yet more invigorating fare from Ireland; Bennett’s music oscillates seamlessly between the febrile and the subtle.

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Three Pieces For Orchestra; Three Fragments From Wozzeck; Violin Concerto - Bénédicte Tauran (soprano); Rahel Cunz (violin) Musikkollegium Winterthur/Pierre-Alain Monot rec. 2015 MDG 9011913-6 SACD [67:26] [RWe] An enterprising presentation of revealing arrangements of major Berg pieces.

Richard BLACKFORD (b. 1954) Blewbury Air - Raphael Wallfisch (cello), Adrian Farmer (piano) rec. 2020 NIMBUS RECORDS NI1570 [12:07] [DC] Well-crafted and accessible.

York BOWEN (1884-1961) Piano works - Nicolas Namoradze (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68303 [66:21] [JF] A most welcome release.

Joly BRAGA SANTOS (1924–1988) Complete Chamber Music Vol. 3 - Nuno Ivo Cruz (flute) Luis Pacheco Cunha (violin) Leono Braga Santos (viola) Irene Lima (cello) Olga Prats (piano) rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0588 [50:40] [HC] Immaculate playing and whole-hearted commitment do this warmly expressive music full justice.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Last Piano Pieces - Victor Rosenbaum (piano) rec. 2017/18 BRIDGE 9545 [65:17] [GPu] Profound readings from a mature pianist whose maturity of mind and heart is evident throughout.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Secular Vocal Quartets with Piano Vol. 2 - Haruhi Sato & Markus Bellheim (piano) Norddeutscher Figuralchor/Jorg Straube rec. 2014/15 MDG 9471920-6 SACD [65:41] [RWe] An excellent survey of this surprisingly varied repertoire.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 1; Four Pieces - Joseph Moog (piano) Deutsche Radio Philharmonie/Nicholas Milton rec. 2018-19 ONYX 4214 [62:12] [SG] Captivating Brahms playing.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1975) Choral Music - various performers rec. 1961-1978 ALTO ALC1433 [73:44] [GPJ] A very mixed bag, with some of the older tracks showing their age rather badly.

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto No.1; Scottish Fantasia - Kyung-Wha Chung (violin) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Rudolf Kempe rec. 1972 DECCA 4485972 [52:30] [DD] Mainly for lovers of Miss Chung’s playing – the concerto is not a success.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Mass No. 2, Te Deum - Hanna-Elisabeth Muller (soprano) Ann Hallenberg (alto) Maximilian Schmitt (tenor) Tareq Nazmi (bass) Collegium Vocale Gent, O des Champs-Élysées/Philippe Herrweghe rec. 2012/2019 PHI LPH034 [51:40] [WK] A very distinguished addition to the Bruckner recorded legacy.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 - Der Ring Tokyo O/Yoshinori Nishiwaki rec. 2019 FINE NF NF65809 SACD [63:51] [MB] The interest is more in how it is performed, rather than the performance itself.

René de CASTÉRA (1873-1955) Chamber Music Vol. 1 - Ensemble Joseph Jongen rec. 2007 AZUR CLASSICAL RCP075 [63:32] [SG] Intriguing scores, the product of a fertile, creative mind.

Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Concerto, String Quartet - Philharmonia Chamber Players, Gabriele Pieranunzi (violin), Jin Ju (piano) rec. 2018 AULICUS ALC0029 [73:76] [RMo] These two works could hardly be given better advocacy.

CHEN Yi (b. 1953) Suite for Cello & Chamber Winds, Woodwind Quintet - Carter Enyeart (cello) Texas Tech University Symphonic Wind Ensemble/Sarah McKoin rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.572838 [53:45] [RWe] A disc of fascinating contemporary wind band music that moves from celebration to tragedy.

Johannes de CLEVE (1528/29-1582) Missa Rex Babylonis Jacobus VAET (c1529-1567) Rex Babylonis - Cinquecento rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68241 [71:06] [JV] Superb performances.

Armand-Louis COUPERIN (1727-1789) Pièces de clavecin - Christophe Rousset (harpsichord) rec. 2017 APARTÉ AP236 [49:41+51:06] [SSi] A wonderfiul showcase for Armand-Louis Couperin’s music.

Francois COUPERIN (1688-1733) Leçons de Ténèbres Carlo GESUALDO (1566-1613) Tenebrae Responsories - Tenebrae/Nigel Short rec. 2019 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD622 [77:09] [JV] I rate this recording among the better in the catalogue.

Edward COWIE (b. 1943) Clarinet Concerto No. 2, Concerto for Orchestra - Alan Hacker (clarinet) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Howard Williams rec. 1983/84 MÉTIER MSV92108 [44:38] [RHa] A welcome return for this majestic coupling – superb performances of Cowie’s unique, topographically inspired music.

Johann Nepomuk DAVID (1895-1977) String Trios - David-Trio rec. 2020 CPO 555 412-2 [60:20] [SG] These compelling scores are a welcome addition to the catalogue.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Suite Bergamasque, Première Rhapsodie, Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, Cello Sonata, Violin Sonata - Messiaen Quartet Copenhagen rec. 2018 DANACORD DACOCD842 [59:47] [JF] Superb playing, but perhaps an opportunity missed.

Léo DELIBES (1836-1891) Coppélia - Royal Ballet & Royal Opera House Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth rec. 2019 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7275D [119 mins] [RMay] With one slight reservation, this is an expertly delivered and enjoyable performance.

Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 - Sofja Gülbadamova (piano) Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Ariane Matiakh rec. 2019 CAPRICCIO C5387 [79:54] [WK] Gülbadamova seems to have a great understanding of both the composer’s music and personality.

Samuel DUCOMMUN (1914-1987) Orchestral works - Lausanne Chamber Orchestra/Victor Desarzens rec. 1963-2019 CLAVES 50-3023 [78:34] [MR] The impact of these interesting works from a little-known Swiss composer is somewhat diminished by some poor recordings and uneven performances.

Jan Ladislav DUSSEK (1760-1812) Messe Solemnelle - Choir of the AAM, Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Egarr rec. 2019 AAM RECORDS AAM011 [60:14] [SSi] A superb release which should win Dussek some new converts.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 9 Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Taras Bulba - Vienna SO, Berlin PO/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1952/1961 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC603 [68:41] [PSe] Thoroughly intriguing and enjoyable alternative views, in sound that exceeds even the highest of expectations.

Stéfan ELMAS (1862-1937) Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 -Tasmanian SO/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68319 [73:55] [EJW] A fine addition to the Hyperion’s series of concerto recordings.

August ENNA (1859-1939) Kleopatra - Elsebeth Dreisig (soprano), Magnus Vigilius (tenor), Ruslana Kaval (soprano), Lars Møller (baritone), Jens Bové (bass), Kirsten Grøønfeldt (soprano), Danish National Opera Chorus, Odense Symphony Orchestra/Joachim Gustafsson rec. 2019 DACAPO 8.226708-09 [47:17 + 64:16] [PCG] An opera which, despite its dramatic deficiencies, well deserves its revival.

Péter EÖTVÖS (b. 1944) Gliding - Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet), Frankfurt RSO/Péter Eötvös rec. 2017/2019 BUDAPEST MUSIC CENTER BMCCD284 [67:49] [LW] Major Eötvös orchestral works that require concentrated listening.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Piano Quartets No. 1-2 etc. - Fauré Quartett rec. 2020 BERLIN CLASSICS 0301422BC [72:57] [SSi] The disc marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ensemble.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) & Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Trios Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Notturno - Trio Isimsiz rec. 2019 RUBICON RCD1048 [67:51] [DD] An enjoyable collection.

Richard FLURY (1896-1967) Piano Quintet; String Quartet; Lieder - Rosmarie Hofmann (soprano); Margaret Singer (piano); Ulrich Lehmann (violin); Urs Joseph Flury (violin); Erich Meyer (viola); Stefan Thut (cello) rec. 1996 GALLO CD-866 [78.25] [SG] Music lyrically appealing and shot through with lush romanticism.

Simone FONTANELLI (b. 1961) Once Upon A Time There Was A Piece Of Wood - Sarah Watts (clarinet) Jon Iles (narrator) rec. 2019 CUILLIN SOUND CUILL1005 [66:04] [BMC] The child in me loved it.

Alberto GINASTERA (1916-1983), Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) and Samy MOUSSA (b.1984) Violin Concertos - Andrew Wan (violin) SO Montréal/Kent Nagano rec. 2019 ANALEKTA AN28920 [77:12] [NB] A must for Ginastera collectors.

Karl GOLDMARK (1830-1915) Symphonic Poems Vol. 2 - Bamberg SO/Fabrice Bollon rec. 2017-2019 CPO 555 251-2 [76.07] [MW] Highly enjoyable recording of some neglected works – but don’t bother with the booklet.

Jorge Villavicencio GROSSMAN (b. 1973) From Afar - Talea Ens/James Baker, Kyle Ambrust (viola) Anna D’Errico (piano) Joshua Oxford (electronics) Mivos Qt rec. 2012-2020 KAIROS 0015072KAI [61:39] [RHa] A worthy introduction to an unfamiliar contemporary Peruvian figure.

Friedrich GULDA (1930-2000) Symphony in G, Piano works Fritz PAUER (1943-2012) Piano works - Friedrich Gulda (piano) Stuttgart Radio O, SW Radio Dance O/Friedrich Gulda rec. 1970-1971 SWR MUSIC SWR19096CD [68:48] [JW] The symphony is splendidly played, but it’s a pretty bewildering piece to listen to.

Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961) Music for Saxophones - Joyce Griggs (saxophones) Casey Gene Dieriam (piano) rec. 2013/14 NAXOS 8.573228 [49:48] [SV] Everything is brought off with accuracy and rhythmic alertness.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Songs for Soprano with Orchestra - Carole Farley (soprano), London Philharmonic O., Philharmonia O./José Serebrier rec. 1997-1998 SOMM ARIADNE 5001 [63:54] [JQ] Excellent performances of Grieg's songs in skilful and idiomatic orchestrations.

Reynaldo HAHN (1874-1947) L’île du rêve - Hélène Guilmette, Cyrille Dubois, Anaïk Morel, Artavazd Sargsyan, Ludivine Gombert, Thomas Dolié, Chœur du Concert Spirituel, Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Hervé Niquet rec. 2020 BRU ZANE BZ1042 [60:19] [PSt] Despite a few tiny caveats, I found the piece utterly enchanting.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Royal Handel - Eva Zaïcik (mezzo); Le Consort rec. 2020 ALPHA 662 [64:59] [BW]  This recording joins a select list of solo Handel recitals.

Vagn HOLMBOE (1909-1996) String Quartets Vol. 1 - Nightingale String Qt rec. 2017-2018 DACAPO 8.226212 [67:10] [JW] A valuable contribution to the composer’s discography.

Gustav HOLST (1874–1934) Alpha & Omega - Godwine Choir/Alex Davan Wetton & Edward Hughes rec. 2019 EM RECORDS EMRCD062 [82:42] [MR] Plenty of fascinating material for Holst lovers, but little to convince the less committed that Holst’s output for Christmas and for the organ is a treasure trove worth plundering.

Gustav HOLST (1872-1934) Alpha et Omega – Christmas Music - Godwine Choir/Alex Davan Wetton, Edward Hughes; John Wright, Richard Brasier, Tom Bell, Douglas Tang (organ) rec. 2019 EM RECORDS EMRCD062 [82:42] [PCG] Despite the eccentric programming, this is a most welcome release for all Holstians.

Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Piano Trios Vol. 2 - Gould Piano Trio rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573261 [61:30] [RWe] Hard to imagine better performances of these ingratiating works.

Frederick JACOBI (1891-1952) Violin Concerto, Concertino - André Gertler (violin) Irene Jacobi (piano) Orchestre de l’Institut National Belge de Radiodiffusion/Franz André rec. c.1952 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1673 [48:37] [SG] Music steeped in tonally orientated chromaticism.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Sonata 1.X.1905, On an Overgrown Path, In the Mists -Sanna Vaarni (piano) rec. July 2018 EMA VINCI RECORDS 70164 [58:04] [JW] Vaarni is a creative personality.

JOSQUIN Desprez (c.1450-1521) Le Septiesme Livre de Chansons (1545) - Ensemble Clément Janequin/Dominique Visse rec. 2020 RICERCAR RIC423 [61.14] [GH] Perhaps not my favourite Josquin disc, but I shall turn to it quite often.

Talivaldis KENINŠ (1919-2008) Violin Concerto, Concerto for Five Percussionists, Beatae voces tenebrae - Eva Bindere (violin) Perpetuum Ritmico (percussion ensemble) Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Andris Poga rec. 2020 SKANI LMIC088 [54:37] [HC] Very fine works in assured performances.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Piano Trio, String Sextet - Spectrum Arts Berlin rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574008 [65:20] [NB] Prodigious music played with passionate intensity.

Nicola LeFANU (b. 1947) The Crimson Bird & other orchestral works - BBC SO/Norman Del Mar, Ilan Volkov, RTÉ Ntl SO/Colman Pearce rec. 1973-2017 NMC D255 [76:28] [SSi] I hope that this excellent disc is just the first of a series dedicated to exploring the music of Nicola LeFanu.

Joseph LAUBER (1864-1952) Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 - Sinfonie Orchester Biel Solothurn/Kaspar Zehnder rec. 2020 SCHWEIZER FONOGRAMM [73:45] [JW] Lauber shows himself to be a highly competent symphonist in these two early examples.

Jonathan LESHNOFF (b 1973) Piano Concerto; Symphony No. 3 - Joyce Yang (piano); Stephen Powell (baritone) Kansas City Symphony/Michael Stern rec. 2016-2019 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-739 SACD [60:21] [JQ] A significant release which has increased my admiration for the music of Jonathan Leshnoff.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Schwanengesang, Quatre Valses oubliées - Can Çakmur (piano) rec. 2020 BIS BIS2530 SACD [80:12] [MZ] The young pianist Can Çakmur makes a vivid impression with thoughtful performances of Liszt obscurities, beautifully recorded.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Works for Two Pianos - Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov rec. 2013 CPO 7778962 [72:30] [RWe] A rare and valuable excursion into Liszt’s two piano music, superbly played and recorded.

Frank LOESSER (1910-1969) Hans Christian Andersen - Danny Kaye; Jane Wyman, Gordon Jenkins Chorus and Orchestra ELOQUENCE 4841361 [45:55] [MP] A pleasant retro trip down memory lane for musical film lovers thanks to Kaye’s engaging performances.

Guillaume de MACHAUT (c1300–1377) The Lion of Nobility - Orlando Consort rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68318 [61:01] [MS] A persuasive and beautifully-sung collection.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) Metamorphosen - New Philharmonia Orch./Sir John Barbirolli rec. 1967 WARNER CLASSICS 9029509030 [111:23] [MB] This remains one of the great Mahler performances.

Maria Gabriella MARIANI (b.1963) Pour Jouer - Maria Gabriella Mariani (piano) rec. 2017 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00038 [69:33] [RCh] Kaleidoscopic colours and bold pianism meet in virtuoso style.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2 Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Sonata for solo violin - Franz Peter Zimmermann (violin) Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Jakub Hrůša rec. 2018-2020 BIS BIS-2457 SACD [74:40] [RC] Splendid performances throughout.

Michele MASCITTI (1664-1760), Giacomo FORNACI (1598-?) & Fedele FENAROLI (1730-1818) Arie e Sonate - Labirinto Armonico rec. 2018 TACTUS TC660004 [56:06] [JV] A diverse programme, uneven performances.

Christian MASON (b. 1984) Zwischen den Sternen - Ensemble Recherche rec. 2020 WINTER & WINTER RECORDS 910 267-2 [39:09] [DC] A spatial revelation, or heavy on contemporary music cliché?

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Don Quichotte - Gábor Bretz, David Stout, Wiener Symphoniker/Daniel Cohen rec. 2019 C MAJOR Blu-ray 754104 [125 mins] [MP] Excellent casting and playing are the high spots of an enjoyable staging that doesn’t quite capture the full mood of Massenet's tender opera.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Concertos, Variations sérieuses, Rondo capriccioso - Jan Lisiecki (piano) Orpheus Chamber O rec. 2018 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4836471 [63:53] [RMo] An hour of delight, encompassing the essence of Mendelssohn’s pianistic oeuvre.

Ludwig MINKUS (1826-1917) La bayadère – Orchestra & Ballet Mikhailovsky Theatre/Pavel Sorokin rec. 2019 BELAIR CLASSIQUES BLU-RAY DISC BAC482 [110 mins] [RMay] A very well danced account and a fine calling-card for the Mikhailovsky company.

Alexander MOSOLOV (1900-1973) Symphony No 5, Harp Concerto - Taylor Ann Fleshmann (harp) Moscow SO/Arthur Arnold rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574102 [68.55] [PCG] The symphony may not provide much interest, but the concerto is a fine work.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 - Orli Shaham (piano) rec. 2019 CANARY CLASSICS CC19 [67:17] [DJB] This has the makings of a good series.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies Nos 25, 39 & 40 - Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. 1956 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC606 [74.32] [MW] Great Mozart insights from a master conductor in wonderful sound.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies Nos 29 & 41, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. 1954-1962 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC608 [72.33] [MW] Very fine performances captured in outstanding sound.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies Nos 29 & 41, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. 1954-62 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC608 [72.33] [DD] Testimony to Klemperer’s genius and showing that he had a special gift for Mozart.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) & Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concertos - Dinu Lipatti, Samson François (piano) Lucerne Festival O/Herbert von Karajan, New York PO/Leonard Bernstein rec. 1950-1962 SOLSTICE SOCD387 [64:20] [JW] This release should invite your curiosity.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART [1756-1791] Vesperae solennes de confessore, Requiem - Ch Bayerischen Rundfunks, Akademie Alte Musik Berlin/Howard Arman rec. 2020 BR KLASSIK 900926 [80:38 + 73:03] [MC] Interesting live performances on one disc accompany a German-only documentary on the other disc.

Luigi NONO (1924-1990) La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura - Marco Fusi (violin), Pierluigi Billone (sound direction) rec. 2020 KAIROS 0015086KAI [61:12] [RHa] A tough account of a tough work.

Nicolo Antonio PORPORA (1686-1768) Dalla Reggia di Flora - Mvsica Perdvta rec. 2019 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96077 [64:23] [JV] A very rewarding disc, but the lack of English translations of the lyrics is a serious omission.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) & Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997) Chamber Music - Sarah Rumer (flute) Joël Marosi (cello) Ulrich Koella (piano) rec. 2015 PROSPERO PROSP0006 [74:34] [SG] Blithe, sunny and imbued with charm and wit.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Il Tabarro - Melody Moore (soprano); Lester Lynch (baritone), Dresdner Philharmonie/Marek Janowski rec. 2019 PENTATONE PTC5186773 SACD [49:42] [ST] Falls well short of the best.

Alexander RAHBARI (b. 1948) Symphonic Poems No. 9-10 - Prague Metropolitan Orchestra/Alexander Rahbari rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574208 [57:10] [GPu] Two intriguing and enjoyable works in different idioms.

Steve REICH (b. 1936) Eight Lines, City Life & other works - Holst-Sinfonietta/Klaus Simon (piano) rec. 2006-10 NAXOS 8.559682 [73:24] [MR] An interesting Reich retrospective to mark the composer’s 85th birthday.

Aribert REIMANN (b. 1936) Lieder - Christiane Oelze (soprano) Leipzig String Quartet rec. 2015 MDG 30719212 [47:47] [RWe] An intriguing programme, given good, if slightly variable, performances.

Jake RUNESTAD (b. 1986) Choral music - Kantorei/Joel Rinsema rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.559892 [65:20] [BMC] A fine collection of contemporary choral works, elegantly performed.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Violin Sonata No. 1, Cello Sonata No. 1, Piano Trio No. 2 - Renaud Capuçon (violin), Edgar Moreau (cello), Bertrand Chamayou (piano) rec. 2020 ERATO 9029516710 [75:51] [MC] Eminently stylish playing.

Rebecca SAUNDERS (b. 1967) Still, Aether, Alba -Carolin Widmann (violin) Marco Blaauw (trumpet) Carl Rosman, Richard Haynes (bass clarinets) SO Bayerischen Rundfunks/Ilan Volkov, Peter Eövös rec. 2015-2018 BR KLASSIK 900635 [66:50] [GH] This may be the future of classical music.

Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) La Tragédie de Salomé, Musique sur l’eau, Oriane et le Prince d’Amour, Légende - Susan Platts (mezzo) Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2019/20 NAXOS 8.574138 [60.39] [PCG] Should surely make more converts for music that deserves to be much better known than it is.

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Cello Sonatas Nos 1 & 2, Suite in the Old Style - Carl-Oscar Østerlind (cello) Emil Gryesten (piano) rec. 2018-2019 DANACORD DACOCD878 [55:32] [JF] Schnittke enthusiasts will find this CD essential.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Pelleas und Melisande Alban BERG (1885-1935) Drei Stücke aus der Lyrischen Suite - Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1973/74 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 423 132-2 [60:22] [JQ] Performances that show the partnership of the Berlin Philharmonic and Herbert von Karajan at its formidable best.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin - Ian Bostridge (tenor) Saskia Giorgini (piano) rec. 2019 PENTATONE PTC5186775 [61:30] [ST] Worthy to set alongside Bostridge’s earlier performance with Uchida.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies No. 2 & 3 - B’Rock Orchestra/René Jacobs rec. 2020 PENTATONE PTC5186759 SACD [55:18] [MG] Fresh, distinctive, sometimes daring, in accounts of supercharged virtuosity.

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] [JQ] A very impressive release.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Asambura Ensemble rec. 2019 DECURIO 004 [77:29] [CSe] A high water-mark of German Romanticism is subsumed within a Persian deluge - the result is strange, disorientating and transformative.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sonata D960, Drei Klavierstücke, Moments Musicaux - Dina Ugorskaja (piano) rec. 2018-2019 CAVI-MUSIC 8553107 [80:05] [PBW] Much beautiful playing but a tendency to be over-deliberate, too considered.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Benjamin Hewat-Craw (baritone) Yuhao Guo (piano) rec. 2020 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38573 [71:26] [MZ] A bold effort gives mixed results, with some moments of very great beauty but too little emotion overall to be very satisfying.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schubertiade - Julian Prégardien (tenor, recitation) Marc Hantaï (transverse flute) Philippe Pierlot (baryton) Xavier Diaz-Latorre (guitar) rec. 2015 MYRIOS MYR018 SACD [74:51] [RWe] Evocative arrangements of some celebrated lieder, beautifully sung.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Quintet Fazil SAY (b. 1970) Ballades; The Moving Mansion - Fazil Say (piano); casalQuartett rec. 2019 SOLO MUSICA SM340 [55:18] [DJB] Two fine pieces by Say, with a solid but unspectacular Schumann quintet.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies No. 3-4, Manfred Overture - Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Rafael Kubelik rec. 1978/79 SONY SBK48270 [76:13] [MW] Superb performances, both poetic and zestful, from a great Schumann conductor.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies Nos 1 & 4 - Gürzenich-Orchester Köln/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2018/19 MYRIOS MYR028 SACD [55:16] [MC] Solidly played with the utmost sincerity, but cannot challenge the fiercest of the competition.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Sonata No. 1, Fantasy - Maurizio Pollini (piano) rec. 1973 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 423 134-2 [63:05] [SB] Classic performances available again.

Déodat de SÉVERAC (1872-1921) Piano Works - François-Michel Rignol (piano) rec. 2011 SOLSTICE SOCD306/8 [3 CDs: 190:29] [SG] Enticing, subtle and sophisticated.

Edward SMALDONE (b. 1956) Once and Again - Brno PO Strings/Mikel Toms rec. 2013-2019 NEW FOCUS RECORDINGS FCR258 [67:14] [RP] Works with structural integrity, aural brilliance and rhythmic vitality.

Dame Ethel SMYTH (1858-1944) Mass, The Wreckers Overture - BBC Symphony Chorus & Orchestra/Sakari Oramo rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5240 SACD [70:45] [RWe] An ideal disc for those wishing to explore Smyth’s larger-scale music.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Love's White Flame, Songs Vol. 1 - Elisabetta Paglia (mezzo) Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2018 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00304 [65:50] [JF] A remarkable disc.

Maximilian STEINBERG (1883-1946) Symphony No 1, Prélude symphonique, Fantaisie dramatique - Gothenburg SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 1996-1997 Presto CD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 457 607-2 [60:56] [JQ] A very worthwhile collection of music by Maximilian Steinberg, in fine performances.

Karlheinz STOCKHAUSEN (1928-2007) Stimmung Cyril DEACONOFF Our Time, String Quartet, Kontakion for Pascha, Canticles of Love, Despair and Hope - soloists, Voices of Silicon Valley, San Francisco Conservatory String Quartet, Indiana University chorus and orchestra rec. 2006-2018 ORPHEUS CLASSICAL OR2020-1579 [70:56] [DC] A collection of live souvenirs, and a well-performed ‘Stimmung’.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Also sprach Zarathustra, Tod und Verklärung, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche - San Francisco SO/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1994-1995 Presto CD DECCA 448 815-2 [72:24] [RMo] A disappointment given the pedigree of the conductor and orchestra.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein Heldenleben, Metamorphosen - San Francisco Symphony/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1992 DECCA 436 596-2 [73:18] [MB] Good but not among the towering greats.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Sleeping Beauty - Ballet & Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala/Felix Korobov rec. 2019 C MAJOR Blu-ray 756104 [158:00] [RMay] An enjoyable release that commemorates an important Nureyev production.

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Sleeping Beauty - Ballet Co & O La Scala, Milan/Felix Korobov rec. 2019 C MAJOR Blu-ray 756104 [158 mins] [MR] The great Rudolf Nureyev’s 1966 version of Sleeping Beauty is splendidly revived in this gorgeous video recording from La Scala Milan.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphony No. 5, Pilgrim’s Progress (Scenes) - BBC Singers Qt, BBC SO & Ch/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2018-2019 HYPERION CDA68325 [66:59] [MW] Probably the best recent version of the Symphony, and a lovely first recording.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs of Travel, Job – Neal Davies (bass-baritone), Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2019 HALLÉ CDHLL7556 [70:16] [JQ] This recording of Job is a singular achievement and a pinnacle in Elder’s Vaughan Williams cycle.

Pancho VLADIGEROV (1899-1978) Orchestral Works Vol. 1 - Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Vladigerov rec. 1970-75 CAPRICCIO C8050 [2 CDs: 160:33] [JW] Good news that Capriccio has begun to undertake a mass restoration of the composer’s works.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741) Il Tamerlano - Bruno Taddia (baritone), Filippo Mineccia (countertenor), Accademia Bizantina/Ottavio Dantone rec. 2020 NAÏVE OP7080 [3 CDs: 154:19] [SSi] Not Vivaldi’s best opera but well worth investigating.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Georg Zeppenfeld, Vitalij Kowaljow, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2019 PROFIL EDITION PH20059 [4 CDs: 274:20] [ST] This set left me feeling rather flat in comparison with the other bounty on offer elsewhere.

Matthias WECKMANN (c. 1616-1674] Complete Organ Works - Léon Berben (organ) rec. 2019-2020 AEOLUS AE-11261 SACD [72:27 + 78:29] [SG] For those who want a complete Weckmann organ works, this new release should do the trick.

Jaromír WEINBERGER (1896-1967) Frühlingsstürme (operetta) - Dancers and Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin/Jordan De Souza rec. 2020 NAXOS NBD0122V Blu-ray [154 mins] [DBi] An unusual operetta brilliantly sung, danced and staged, with a top-class recording.

Józef WIENIAWSKI (1837-1912) Piano Works Volume 5 - Agnieszka Schulz-Brzyska (piano) rec. 2020 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0474 [62:42] [RCh] An appealing addition to Józef Wieniawski's growing discography.

Earl WILD (1915-2010) The Complete Transcriptions Vol. 2: Rachmaninoff Songs - Giovanni Doria Miglietta (piano) rec. 2015 PIANO CLASSICS PCL0102 [60:31] [RWe] A worthy tribute to two great pianists.

… and … Ars Nova Copenhagen/Paul Hillier rec. 2019-2020 NAXOS 8.574281 [62:48] [MR] An intriguing programme.

Andrès Segovia and his Contemporaries - Vol 13 After Tárrega: The Guitar in Spain - Part 1 rec. 1927-30 DOREMI DHR-8079 [75:43] [ZT] For those interested in hearing obscure guitarists from the guitar’s recording infancy, this CD is a worthwhile investment.

The Art of Agony Viney-Grinberg Duo rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.579075 [50:40] [MR] Veers rather self-consciously between the naïve, the experimental and the pretentious.

Wilhelm Backhaus (piano) Works by Schubert & Grieg - International String Qt (members), Claude Hobday (double bass) New SO/John Barbirolli rec. 1927-36 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC607 [77:09] [MG] Admire the consistency of the directness of Backhaus’ approach and the clarity of his playing.

A Bag of Bagatelles Works by Beethoven & Birtwistle - Nicolas Hodges (piano) rec. 2019 WERGO WER68102 [59:11] [DC] A concept that has plenty to offer the open-minded listener.

Beethovens Welt 1799-1851 casalQuartett rec. 2017-2019 SOLO MUSICA SM283 [5 CDs: 311:52] [RMo] This programme elegantly and judiciously educates us in the development of the form.

La Bella Habana Camerata Romeu/Zenaida Romeu rec. 2019 CUGATE CLASSICS CLL003 [37:09] [BMC] A fine celebration of Havana’s musical heritage.

British Music for Strings I Works by Elgar, Jacob & Parry - Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim/Douglas Bostock rec. 2020 CPO 555 382-2 [71:05] [NB] To be welcomed for its innovative and very well played programme.

Anton Bruckner: Eleven Symphonies by William Carragan publ. 2020 Bruckner Society of America [SB] An authoritative work on the different versions of the Bruckner symphonies.

Buried Alive Works by Honegger, Mitropoulos & Schoeck - Michael Nagy (baritone), The Bard Festival Chorale, The Orchestra NOW/Leon Botstein rec. 2019 BRIDGE 9540 [78:43] [NB] A disc that enhances the reputations of all involved.

Pina Carmirelli (violin) Vol. 2: Concerto Recordings rec. 1963/67 MELOCLASSIC MC2044 [62:45] [SG] Playing distinguished by refinement, artful musicianship and polish.

Cavalieri Imperiali InAlto/Lambert Colson rec. 2019 RICERCAR RIC419 [65:49] [JV] Exciting performances of music that cannot fail to captivate an audience.

Contemporary Colours New Music by Maltese Composers - Malta PO/Sergey Smbatyan rec. 2020 NAVONA RECORDS NV6322 [60.24] [GH] A very worthy project.

Isabelle Demers (organ) The Chicago Recital rec. 2015 ACIS APL41752 [70:49] [MR] A perfect combination of magnificent organ, brilliant player, fine programme and top-notch recording.

Duende Music by Granados, Albéniz, Debussy, Ravel and Falla - Teo Gheorghiu (piano) rec. 2020 CLAVES RECORDS CD3021 [65:31] [RCh] A sunny recital vividly brought to life.

Alexandre Dumas et la Musique Karine Deshayes (mezzo) Kaëlig Boché (tenor) Marie-Laure Garnier (soprano) Alphonse Cemin (piano) Raphaël Jouan (cello) rec. 2020 ALPHA 657 [67:25] [MP] A pleasing recital of very charming and stylish music that is a welcome addition to the catalogue.

Echoes of Peace Leipzig Monument Choir/Philipp Goldmann rec. 2020 RONDEAU ROP6193 [62:29] [MR] A celebration as much of an extraordinary acoustic as of an excellent choir.

Edinburgh 1742 Works by Barsanti & Handel - Ensemble Marsyas/Peter Whelan rec. 2019 LINN RECORDS CKD626 [51:51] [JV] A very fine disc which breaks new ground and puts a composer on the map who deserves more attention.

Entente Musicale Works by Delius, Debussy & Ireland - Clare Howick (violin); Simon Callaghan (piano) rec. 2019 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0625 [80:35] [NB] A unique and successful combination of familiar repertoire given performances of the highest quality.

Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) 20th-Century British Treasures rec. 1946-53 SOMM ARIADNE 5010 [79:15] [SG] A disc to treasure.

Sergio Fiorentino (piano) Live in Germany 1993 APR 6034 [63:17 + 72:59] [JW] It’s very good to have these splendid recordings back in the catalogue.

Folias & Fantasias Works by Telemann & Marais - Cavatina Duo rec. 2019 BRIDGE 9541 [70:44] [GPu] Beautifully played, these adaptations illuminate the originals attractively and perceptively.

Foolish Heart Madrigals for 3 Sopranos - Galàn rec. 2013 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95995 [60:42] [JV] The expressive and dramatic features of the pieces included here come off to the full.

Jascha Horenstein (conductor) Horenstein in Gothenburg Vol. 1 - Works by Mozart, Saint-Saëns & Schubert - Philippe Entremont (piano) Gothenburg SO rec. 1969  PRISTINE AUDIO PASC610 [79:24] [JQ] This disc has whetted my appetite to hear more of Jascha Horenstein’s work in Gothenburg.

In the Age of Debussy Music by Lili Boulanger, Debussy, Dukas, Caplet and Fauré - Ransom Wilson (flute), François Dumont (piano) rec. 2019 NIMBUS NI6407 [64:50] [JF] An innovative take on Debussy.

Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) Mein Wien - PKF–Prague Philharmonia/Jochen Reider rec. 2019 SONY CLASSICAL Blu-ray 19439734029 [97 mins] [ST] Some lovely escapism, and a sympathetic window into the operetta tradition.

Krzysztof Komendarek-Tymendorf (viola) ReVIOLAtion - Music by Druzhinin, Weinberg, Vieuxtemps and Bacewicz rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.551432 [50:58] [PBW] Deserves a warm welcome, both for choice of repertoire and for the classy performances.

Ksenia Kouzmenko (piano) Vánoce: Christmas in Czech Piano Music rec. 2020 COBRA RECORDS 0079 [67:47] [JW] Kouzmenko is on notably fine form.

Lambada Ja Hsieh (vibraphone, drum set & percussion) Irene Yang (piano) rec. 2019 Private Release [32:43] [SA] Ja Hsieh and Irene Yang perform in a stunningly impressive way.

Legendary Violinists in Live Concert Performances - Guila Bustabo (violin), Michèle Auclair (violin), Lola Bobesco (violin) rec. 1960-1966 MELOCLASSIC MC2047 [68:35] [SG] Three female violinists, each a renowned performer, who for some reason have migrated off the radar.

Josef Lhévinne (piano) The Complete Josef Lhévinne rec. 1920-1942 MARSTON 53023-2 [3 CDs: 213:43] [SG] Stylish playing, phenomenal technique, unassailable musicality and passionate commitment – it’s all here.

Magical Russia Duo Natalia rec. 2019 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38571 [77:02] [RCh] Intonation problems mean that this is not a disc I shall be returning to.

Mahler’s Forgotten Conductor Heinz Unger and His Search for Jewish Meaning 1895-1965 by Hernan Tesler-Mabé publ. 2020 University of Toronto Press [SG] A worthy tribute to a long-forgotten conductor and devoted Mahlerite, whose evangelistic zeal did much to promulgate the composer's music.

Neujahrskonzert 2021 Wiener Philharmoniker/Riccardo Muti rec. 2021 SONY 19439840162 [2 CDs 104:38] [BW] This concert nearly didn’t happen; I’m very glad that it did.

New Music Choral Ensemble I Kenneth Gaburo (director) rec. 1967 NEUMA 124 [53.45] [GH] A guided tour of twentieth century choral music as it stood by the late 1960’s.

John Ogdon (piano) The Ludwigsburg Recital Works by J S Bach, Beethoven and Chopin rec. 1967 MELOCLASSIC MC1056 [79:45] [SG] Ogdon at the height of his powers.

Organs & Organists: Their Inside Stories by Jenny Setchell publ. 2017 Pipeline Press [BMC] An excellent introduction to the world of organs.

Pan + Apoll  Water Music for Flute & Harp - Alja Velkaverh (flute) Antonia Schreiber (harp) rec. 2020 HÄNSSLER HC20041 [75:23] [GPu] If the combination of instruments appeals to you, and you like to discover unfamiliar music, this will please you.

Murray Perahia (piano) Works by Schubert & Brahms - Radu Lupu, Sir George Solti (piano) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Amadeus String Qt rec. 1980-2010 SONY 194397883527 [8 CDs: 519:10] [SSi] A most welcome set which exemplifies Murray Perahia as an interpreter of Schubert and Brahms.

Per la Notte di Natale Italian Christmas Concertos - Concerto Copenhagen/Lars Ulrik Mortensen rec. 2020 NAXOS 8.574264 [48:17] [JV] The quality of the performances more than compensates for the lack of adventure and the short playing time.

Pioneers Piano Works by Female Composers - Hiroko Ishimoto (piano) rec. 2019 GRAND PIANO GP844 [77:30] [RCh] Lots to enjoy in this generous recital.

Puer Natus Est Christmas Day Mass from Buckfast Abbey - Matthew Searles (organ) Ch Buckfast Abbey/Philip Arkwright rec. 2020 AD FONTES AF005 [68:05] [MR] An atmospheric and beautifully-presented recording of a Christmas Mass.

Sviatoslav Richter (piano) Works by Debussy & Haydn rec. 1976-1984 PARNASSUS DVD PDVD1209 [85 mins] [JW] If you need to see and hear Richter in reasonable sound and vision, then this DVD might well fit the bill.

Rose & lys English and French music for two violas da gamba. Eleanor Lewis-Cloué, Olivier Gladhofer (violas de gamba) rec. 2019 HORTUS 187 [66:40] [GPu] An interesting programme, well-played and recorded.

Franz Schreker’s Masterclasses in Vienna & Berlin - Vol 4  Hugo HERRMANN (1896-1967) Violin Sonata, Seraphic Music Felix PETYREK (1892-1951) 6 Greek Rhapsodies - Kolja Lessing (violin, piano) Andreas Kersten (piano) rec. 2017-19 EDA 046 [69:06] [JW] Lessing proves an invaluable and infallible guide.

Smoke Encrypted Whispers Poetry by Samuel Wagan Watson with incidental music - Ron Haddrick (reader) Southern Cross Soloists rec. 2011/12 MELBA RECORDINGS MR301140 [79:57] [RHa] An imaginatively conceived presentation of musical miniatures linking a moving sequence of poems from a pioneering and powerful indigenous voice.

Staatskapelle Berlin Legendary Eterna Recordings - Otmar Suitner, Günther Herbig (conductors) rec. 1989 (?) BERLIN CLASSICS 0301606BC [5 CDs: 339:33] [SG] An admirable collection.

Isaac Stern (violin) Live Vol. 1 rec. 1950-69 DOREMI DHR8116-17 [72:10 + 72:17] [JW] Sift the repertoire here carefully to see if you need these ancillary live performances.

Isaac Stern (violin) Live Vol. 2 - Pinchas Zukerman (violin) Leonard Bernstein (piano) Concertgebouw Orchestra/Bernard Haitink rec. February 1953-68 DOREMI DHR-8128-29 [79:37 +79:19] [JW] Enough good things to tempt even the Sternist sated by the vast Sony box.

Isaac Stern (violin) Live Vol. 3 - Paul Tortelier (cello), Arthur Rubinstein (piano) rec. 1949-67 DOREMI DHR8131-2 [75:26 + 79:45] [JW] A valuable ancillary purchase for the Stern aficionado.

Stille Grender Tord Gustavsen (piano) Det Norske Jentekor/Anne Karin Sundal-Ask rec. 2020 2L 2L-164-SABD [57:21] [DC] An immersive Christmas recording that transcends and enhances the season. 

Joan Sutherland (soprano) My Favourites rec. 1962-1975 ELOQUENCE 482 6448 [80:47] [ST] Though very much of its time, it remains one of the greatest operatic recitals ever.

The Sweetest Songs Music from the Baldwin Partbooks III - Contrapunctus/Owen Rees rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD633 [67:23] [ST] Like balm for the soul.

Tame Cat and Other Songs by British Composers - Sylvia Eaves (soprano) Courtney Kenny (piano) Thea King (clarinet) rec. 1982 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9128 [46:43] [JW] A cannily selected programme.

Jean Ter-Merguerian (violin) The Soul of the Violin rec. 1961-1999 RHINE CLASSICS RH-016 [5 CDs: 368:33] [JW] Attractive to specialists in the field.

Végh and his Quartet Quartets by Beethoven, Bloch, Barber, Honegger, Jelinek & Berg - Végh String Qt rec. 1948-56 BMC CD261 [76:36 + 74:34] [JW] Offers much to the enquiring admirer of the quartet.

Visions of Childhood April Fredrick (soprano), English Symphony Orchestra/Kenneth Woods rec. 2020 NIMBUS NI6408 [79:30] [JQ] Rewarding and thought-provoking.

Walking on Waves Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne/Christopher Watson, Calvin Bowman (piano) rec. 2019 ACIS APL10178 [67:09] [MR] A programme dominated by American music, but all exquisitely sung by this Australian college choir.

Articles

Rossini’s Guillaume Tell - A survey by Ralph Moore

Piano Trio Discography: End of Year Update by David Barker

The Cello Concerto - A New Timeline: 1901-1940 by Patrick C Waller

Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea - A survey by Ralph Moore

The Cello Concerto - A New Timeline: 1941-1960 by Patrick C Waller



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Recordings of the Month

November


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali


Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4


French Cello Concertos

 

October


Shostakovich