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Monthly Listing
July 2021
160 reviews this month

Ernő DOHNANYI (1877-1960) Serenade for String Trio Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Septet - Kreisler Trio Wien, Andreas Wieser (clarinet) Michael Zottl (bassoon) Wolfgang Vladar (horn) Josef Niederhammer (double bass) rec. 2021 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0117 [61:25] [MR] Outstanding playing from all concerned.

Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Complete Organ Works - Thomas Trotter (organ) rec. 2020 KING’S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE KGS0053 [73:25] [JQ] Maurice Duruflé’s organ music has been exceptionally well served on this CD.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Rodelinda, Regina de’ Longobardi - Lucy Crowe, Iestyn Davies; The English Concert/Harry Bicket rec. 2020 LINN CKD658 [69:40 + 66:46 + 65:34] [GF] Should satisfy every lover of baroque opera!

More Honourable than the Cherubim PaTRAM Institute Male Choir/Vladimir Gorbik rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5287 SACD [71:25] [DM] A magnificent release, beautifully conducted, flawlessly sung and incredibly well recorded; it’s sure to be one of my Recordings of the Year.

Septem Dies Music at Prague University 1360-1460 - Schola Gregoriana Pragensis/David Eben, Corina Marti (clavisimbalum) rec. 2019 SUPRAPHON SU4282-2 [63:50] [JV] A superb disc.

Richard ADDINSELL (1904–1977) Orchestral Works - Philip Martin, Roderick Elms (piano), BBC Concert Orchestra/Kenneth Alwyn rec. 1994 NAXOS 8.555229 [68:16] [NB] A delightful reissue from first to last, entertaining and effective music idiomatically performed.

Anton ARENSKY (1861–1906) & Sergey TANEYEV (1856–1915) Piano Trios - The Brahms Trio rec. 2017 NAXOS 8574115 [68:55] [DJB] Competent but uninvolving accounts.

Thomas ARNE (1710–1778) Artaxerxes - Christopher Ainslie, The Mozartists/Ian Page rec. 2009/10 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD672 [68:06 + 69:38] [GF] A wholly recommendable recording of a milestone work in the history of English opera.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714–1788) Complete String Symphonies - Gli Incogniti/Amandine Beyer rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905321 [71:13] [JV] Amandine Beyer is known for her energetic playing, and this music fits her like a glove.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Trio Sonatas - Benjamin Alard (organ) rec. 2008 ALPHA 609 [79:58] [BW] Everything about this reissue is just right.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Homage to Bach The Solo Violin Sonatas (arr. for string quartet) - Brodsky Quartet rec. 2020 CHANDOS CHAN20162 [62:58] [DC] Takes a little initial adjustment, but appreciation soon increases.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Art of Fugue - Samuel Kummer (organ) rec. 2020 AEOLUS AE11291 SACD [48:00 + 57:51] [SG] A performance which brings the music to life with imagination and flair.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations - Claudio Arrau (piano) rec. 1942 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM086 [79:01] [SB] A historical version of great interest, very well restored.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Vol. 3 - Wilhelm Kempff (piano) rec. 1951 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM084 [2 CDs: 145:12] [PBW] One of the very greatest of Beethoven interpreters.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Variations - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68346 [79:43] [MG] Hewitt brings fun, but also authority, character, colour and emotional impact.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Fidelio - Christian Elsner, Lise Davidsen, Georg Zeppenfeld, Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden Dresdner Philharmonie/Marek Janowski rec. 2020 PENTATONE PTC5186880 SACD [66:10 + 43:09] [GF] No one investing in this recording will regret the purchase

Michał BERGSON (1820-1898) Concerto Symphonique - Jonathan Plowright (piano) Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2020 DUX 1704 [60:35] [EJW] Jonathan Plowright and colleagues do their best to bring the music of this little-known Pole to life.

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen - Anna Caterina Antonacci (soprano) Andrew Richards (tenor) Monteverdi Choir, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2009 NAXOS NBD0127V Blu-ray [169 mins] [RC] Antonacci's performance, Gardiner's conducting and Adrian Noble's production make this a top video choice for Carmen.

Léon BOELLMANN (1862-1897) Organ works - Piet van der Steen (organ) rec. 1977/2002 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96186 [76:12] [MR] Recordings that still seem fresh and vivid almost half-a-century on.

Jean BOYER (c.1592-1648) Chansons à boire et à danser, Airs de cour - Ratas del viejo Mundo/Floris de Rycker rec. 2019 RAMÉE RAM1910 [53:51] [JV] A disc to enjoy, despite some reservations.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Sextets, String Quintets - Pierre Fouchenneret (violin) Shuichi Okada (violin) Lise Berthaud (viola) Adrien Boisseau (viola) François Salque (cello) Yan Levionnois (cello) rec. 2018 B RECORDS LBM012 [59:03 + 54:06] [DMD] Performances that really get under the skin of these works.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897) Piano Concertos 1 and 2 - Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/András Schiff (piano) rec. 2019 ECM NEW SERIES 4855770 [46:58 + 47:35] [BW] This now becomes my version of choice.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No 3, Serenade No 2 - Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer rec. 2020 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS SA 43821 SACD [67:47] [CSa] Not ideal, but some magnificent moments, and the engineering is outstanding.

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) & Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) Piano Quintets - Raphael Terroni (piano) Bingham String Quartet rec. 1989 NAXOS 8.571355 [67:05] [SV] One is worth knowing; the other you can skip.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) String Quintet, String Quartet - Altomonte Ensemble rec. 2020 GRAMOLA 99241 [79:35] [RMo] A grand, spacious account of Bruckner’s chamber music in superb sound.

John CAGE (1912-1992) The Works for Piano II - Aki Takahashi (piano); Margaret Lancaster (flutes, piccolo); David Shively (glockenspiel) rec. 2016 MODE 327 [76:01] Enigmatic but intriguing.

Robert CARL (b. 1954) White Heron - Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose rec. 2017-19 BMOP SOUND 1076 SACD [59:52] [RHa] BMOP doing what it does best; making an eloquent case for a fine composer whose name is virtually unknown outside the States.

Elliott CARTER (1908-2012) Ballets - Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose rec. 2019/20 BMOP/SOUND 1077 SACD [65:45] [NC] Committed performances and a sonorous production of unjustly neglected music.

Tomaso CECCHINI (1580?-1644) Nebo i zemlja - Croatian Radiotelevision Choir, Concerto dei venti/Tomislav Fačini rec. 2019 HRT MUSIC DEPARTMENT HRT048 [51:52] [JV] Cecchini is definitely an interesting composer and I would like to hear more from him.

Christopher CERRONE (b. 1984) The Arching Path - Timo Andres (piano) Christopher Cerrone (electronics) Linsey Kessleman (soprano) Ian Rosenbaum (percussion) Mingzhe Wang (clarinet) rec. 2018/19 IN A CIRCLE RECORDS ICR021 [52:19] [ZT] A must for the initiated; for the neophyte a rewarding new adventure.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto No 2, Scherzi Nos 1-4 - Seong-Jin Cho (piano) London Symphony Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2021 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 486 0435 [78:57] [CCC] The performance of the concerto is admirable and rivals the best in spontaneous musicality and expressive vision.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Sonata No. 2, Rondo, Mazurkas, Nocturnes - Elia Cecino (piano) rec. 2020 ONCLASSICAL OC21024B [67:35] [SG] A natural Chopin player with a commanding style, offering consistently fine, idiomatic and rewarding performances.

Domenico CIMAROSA (1749-1801) Il Matrimonio Segreto - Renate Girolami (baritone) Donato Di Stefano (bass) Loriana Castellano (mezzo) O Academia Montis Regalis/Alessandro De Marchi rec. 2016 CPO 555295-2 [3 CDs: 197:33] [DC] A fine live recording of this comic masterpiece.

Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) Der Pianist im Klassischen Style, 48 Preludes & Fugues - Emanuele Delucchi (piano) rec. 2020 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10204 [69:55 + 63:31] [DC] Fascinating and unusual, and with built-in period charm.

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Orchestral works - Orchestra of Welsh National Opera/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. 1989-1991 DECCA 460 290-2 [68:05 + 77:08] [PCG] If Beecham gave us Delius in summer warmth, Mackerras gives us Delius in spring freshness.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No 9 Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Taras Bulba - Vienna SO, Berlin PO/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1952/1961 PRISTINE CLASSICAL PASC603 [68:41] [DD] Another excellent re-mastering of vintage Horenstein.

Roland DYENS (1955-2016) Guitar works - Anna Mnich (guitar) rec. 2019 Self published [42:13] [ZT] This disc deserves to be heard widely.

Philipp Heinrich ERLEBACH (1657-1714) Lieder - Le Banquet Céleste/Damien Guillon rec. 2020 ALPHA 725 [71:04] [JV] This disc is a treasure, because of the music and the performances.

Adam FALCKENHAGEN (1697-1754) Flute Concertos - Sabine Dreier (flute) Agustin Maruri (guitar) Michael Kevin Jones (cello) rec. 1996 EMEC E-014/015 [40:43 + 46:59] [DC] As a world première there are no complaints about having these amiable pieces available for discovery.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Cello Sonata Benjamin GODARD (1849-1895) Cello Sonata - Corinne Morris (cello), Petr Limonov (piano) rec. 2019 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0626 [64:25] [JQ] Franck and Godard have been extremely well served by these two highly talented musicians.

Jerzy GABLENZ (1888-1937) Piano Concerto Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941) Fantaisie polonaise sur des thèmes originaux - Jonathan Plowright (piano) BBC Scottish SO/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68323 [66:27] [PRB] An all-Polish programme makes for a fascinating addition to Hyperion’s iconic series.

Giovanni GABRIELI (1554/57-1612) Gloria a Venezia! - La Guilde des Mercenaires/Adrien Mabire rec. 2019 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS041 [53:47] [JV] Entirely idiomatic and often outright exciting performances.

Umberto GIORDANO (1867-1948) Il Re - Michele Porcelli (baritone), Irina Mouratbekova (soprano), Manuel Beltran Gil (tenor), St Petersburg Orchestra & Chorus/Stanislav Gorkovenko rec. 1998 STRADIVARIUS STR33466 [66:24] [RMo] Enjoyable enough, but some reservations about the soloists and the music itself.

Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893) Faust - Michael Fabiano (tenor), Erwin Schrott (bass-baritone), Irina Lungu (soprano), Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House/Dan Ettinger rec. 2019 OPUS ARTE OABD7285D Blu-Ray [186 mins] [PCG] A worthy revival of a 2004 staging does not quite match the excellence of the earlier production.

Johann GRAF (1688-1750) Sonatas for violin and basso continuo - Anne Schumann (violin) Klaus Voigt (viola da spalla) Sebastian Knebel (harpsichord) rec. 2020 GENUIN GEN21738 [67:40] [JV] It is a mystery why these sonatas have been so neglected.

Joseph HAAS (1879-1960), Max REGER (1873-1916) & Josef RENNER Jr (1868-1934) Works for Violin & Organ - Sreten Krstić (violin) Ludwig Schmitt, Norbert Düchtel (organ) rec. 2020 TYXART TXA19131 [51:50] [JW] Subtle works that trace the organ, and violin, in early twentieth-century German church music.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Concerti Grossi, Op 3 - Van Diemen’s Band/Martin Gester (organ) rec. 2019 BIS BIS-2079 SACD [62:20] [DC] Definitely a ‘keeper’.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 - Roman Rabinovich (piano) rec. 2016 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR071 [58:11 + 42:23] [DMD] My first choice in these underrated masterpieces

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Missa Cellensis Niccolò JOMMELLI (1714-1774) Te Deum, Mass - Lucia Popp (soprano) Kurt Moll (bass) Chor & Symphonieorchester des Bayerishchen Rundfunks/Rafael Kubelík, Prager Kammerchor & Virtuosi de Praga/Hilary Griffiths rec. 1982/97 ORFEO MP2101 [70.15 + 53.14] [MW] Great Haydn in a truly historic performance, not to be missed, with a fine coupling.

Johann David HEINICHEN (1683–1729) Dresden Concerti - Cologne Musica Antiqua rec. 1992 ARCHIV PRODUKTION 474 892-2 [70.45+66.04] [PCG] This award-winning set of Heinichen, now reissued, remains unchallenged.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895–1963) Wind Sonatas - Les Vents Francais rec. 2016 WARNER CLASSICS 9029504441 [61:37] [SB] A fine collection of Hindemith’s always attractive and varied wind sonatas.

Franz Anton HOFFMEISTER (1754–1812) 6 Flute Quartets - Andreas Blau (flute), Christoph Streuli (violin), Ulrich Knörzer (viola), David Riniker (cello) rec. 2019 TUDOR 7207 [62:15] [DC] A valuable addition to our view of this brilliant epoch of Viennese classicism.

Heinrich ISAAC (c.1450-1517) Missa Wohlauff gut Gsell von hinnen, Motets - Cinquecento rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68337 [78:03] [DC] A glorious illumination of sacred mysteries.

Tālivaldis ĶENIŅŠ (1919-2008) Symphonies Nos 4 & 6, Canzona Sonata - Santa Vižine (viola), Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Guntis Karma rec. 2021 ONDINE ODE1354-2 [52:40] [MW] Works of great beauty and significance – explore and enjoy.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Suite, Piano Quintet - Spectrum Concerts Berlin rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574019 [65:27] [SV] A severe Suite and an appealing Quintet.

Ganesh B. KUMAR (b. 1966) Symphony No 1, The Journey - Staatskapelle Halle Orchestra/Bernd Ruf rec. 2019 NAVONA RECORDS NV6292 [51:20] [MR] Musically bland and technically fragile works, elevated by very fine performances.

Paul LANSKY (b. 1944) Angles - Curtis Institute Guitar Quartet, Weiss Kaplan Strumpf Trio, Sō Percussion, Quattro Mani rec. 2019 BRIDGE 9532 [60:00] [DJB] That this is Bridge’s seventeenth volume of Lansky’s music speaks highly of their belief in him, but I can’t share it.

Magnus LINDBERG (b. 1958) Aura, Related Rocks, Marea - Emil Holmström, Joonas Ahonen (piano/keyboards) Jani Niinimäki, Jerry Piipponen (percussion) Finnish Radio SO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2019-2020 ONDINE ODE1384-2 [66:40] [LW] An attractive programme.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) The Complete Piano Music Vol 58: Music on National Themes - Domonkos Csabay (piano) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574147 [72:03] [JWe] Superbly played with a distinctly Hungarian edge to the playing

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Complete Soirées de Vienne - Alberto Ferro (piano) PIANO CLASSICS PCL10221 [75:50] [SB] A delightful collection of Liszt’s imaginative versions of Schubert waltzes.

Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Ballet Royal de la Naissance de Vénus - Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset rec. 2021 APARTÉ AP255 [71:43] [BW] Not essential Lully but thoroughly enjoyable.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No 4 Artur SCHNABEL (1882-1951) Lieder - Rachel Harnisch (soprano) Mythen Ensemble/Graziella Contratto rec. 2016 SCHWEIZER FONOGRAMM [69:34] [LD] Chamber-sized version of Mahler’s most approachable symphony.

Philippe MANOURY (b. 1952) Lab.Oratorium - SWR Vokalensemble, IRCAM/Nicolas Stemann, Gürzenich-Orchester Köln/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2019 WERGO WER73962 [78:44] [RHa] A fascinating, eclectic, challenging score in vivid sound, undermined for non-German speakers by the lack of a translation.

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Violin Concerto, Esquisse pour orchestre - Svetlin Roussev (violin) Orchestre de Chambre de Genève/Arie van Beek rec. 2020 CLAVES CD3017 [46:00] [HC] A most welcome release that will appeal to all lovers of Frank Martin's music but the total playing time is too short.

Colin MATTHEWS (b. 1946) The Great Journey, Fuga, Night’s Mask - David Wilson-Johnson (baritone) Patrizia Kwella (soprano) Nash Ensemble/Lionel Friend rec. 1990 NMC D033 [71:44] [JQ] The Great Journey is an enthralling work and this performance is superb.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Concert à quatre, Les Offrandes oubliées, Un Sourire, Le Tombeau resplendissant - Catherine Cantin (flute) Heinz Holliger (oboe) Yvonne Loriod (piano) Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) O l’Opéra Bastille/Myung-whun Chung rec. 1994 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 445 947-2 [64:51] [JQ] A valuable reissue.

Scott L MILLER (b.1966) 05 IX - Rarescale, Scott L. Miller (kyma) rec. 2020-21 RARESCALE RR06 [48:48] [DMD] A real sense of fun and adventure in challenging new music.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567–1643) L’Orfeo - Ensemble Lundabarock, Höör Barock; Ensemble Altapunta/Fredrik Malmberg (organ) rec. 2019 BIS BIS-2519 SACD [47:19 + 58:20] [GF] A worthy alternative to the competition and arguably more historically correct.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Ombra Compagna - Lisette Oropesa (soprano) Il Pomo d’Oro/Antonello Manacorda rec. 2020 PENTATONE PTC5186885 SACD [81:30] [SB] A superb collection of some of Mozart’s most brilliant and demanding arias.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concerto No. 5, Sinfonia concertante - Mikhail Pochekin (violin) Ivan Pochekin (viola) Stuttgarter Kammerorchester rec. 2020 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC20078 [57:46] [MC] Rewarding performances in a competitive field.

Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941) Symphony 'Polonia' - Lviv National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra/Bohdan Boguszewski rec. 2019 DUX 1636 [63:39] [WK] An exciting and moving version of Paderewski’s giant symphony.

Paul PARAY (1886-1979) Piano Works Vol. 1 - Eliane Reyes (piano) CIAR CLASSICS CC005 [62:00] [SG] Charming and melodious.

Ofer PELZ (b. 1978) Trinité - Meitar Ensemble rec 2011-2019 NEW FOCUS RECORDS FCR303 [52:05] [DMD] A marvellous introduction to a distinctive, appealing contemporary composer.

Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Los Pájaros Perdidos - Wiesław Przadka Quinteto Tango Nuevo, Gosha Kowalinska (mezzo) rec. 2021 DUX 1752 [50:59] [NB] An excellent collection of Piazzolla classics given new life by an all-star Polish New Tango Quintet.

Walter PISTON (1894-1976) Concerto for Orchestra and other works - Michael Norsworthy (clarinet); Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP)/Gil Rose rec. 2011-2015 BMOP/SOUND 1080 SACD [49:41] [NC]Performed with conviction and feeling.

Enno POPPE (b. 1969) Filz, Stoff, Wald - Tabea Zimmermann (viola) Ens Resonanz/Enno Poppe rec. 2020 WERGO WER73992 [71:22] [RHa] Weird, humane, refreshing new music from Hamburg, which is strangely touching and utterly involving.

Cipriani POTTER (1792-1871) Symphony No.1, Introduzione e Rondo, Overture to Cymbelene - Claire Huangci (piano) BBC Ntl O Wales/Howard Griffiths rec. 2019 CPO 555 274-2 [59.00] [MW] Wonderful and distinctive music, superbly performed.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet – Royal Ballet & Royal Opera House Orchestra/Pavel Sorokin OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7273D [149 mins] [RMay] New dancers assume the leading roles in one of the Royal Ballet’s signature productions.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La bohème - Sonya Yoncheva, Charles Castronovo, Chorus and Orchestra Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Emmanuel Villaume rec. 2020 OPUS ARTE OA1332D DVD [129 mins] [DJB] The wonderful sets can’t compensate for the lack of spark between the two leads.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Suite No. 1 Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Suites No. 1, 2 & 4 - Książek Piano Duo rec. 2020 DUX RECORDS 1720 [72:27] [RCh] A nice coupling of these appealing romantic suites.

Karol RATHAUS (1895-1964) Piano Trios - Karol Rathaus Ensemble rec. 2019 DUX 1712 [47:19] [SG] Two captivating and compelling scores performed with infectious zeal.

Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937) Ma Mère l'Oye, Une barque sur l'océan, Alborada del gracioso, Rapsodie Espagnole, Boléro - Berlin PO/Pierre Boulez rec. 1993 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 439859-2 [75:33] [RB] Shaped with affection and exultation.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il Turco in Italia - Maria Callas (soprano) Nicolai Gedda (tenor) La Scala Chorus & Orchestra/Gianandrea Gavazzeni rec. 1954 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO175 [77.15 + 35.42] [MP] Pristine’s stunning remastering is now the first choice to own this classic recording.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony No 3 ‘Organ’ Francis POULENC Organ Concerto Samuel BARBER Toccata Festiva - Olivier Latry (organ); Philadelphia Orchestra/Christoph Eschenbach rec. 2006 ONDINE ODE 1094-5 SACD [78:53] [DM] Unassailable performances, superbly recorded; a must for your desert island.

Carlos SÁNCHEZ GIL (b. 1977) Tangata - Carlos Sànchez Gil (guitar and melodica) Héctor Ríos (clarinet) Jeremy Thal (horn) Christopher Martianetti (accordion) Matias Gariazzo (guitar) Dúo Sánchez-Pochulutegui Trío Estepario rec. 2013/14 EMEC E-123 [63:50] [RHa] A captivating and deserved introduction to a composer-guitarist.

Erik SATIE (1866–1925) An Erik Satie Entertainment - Meriel Dickinson (mezzo-soprano), Peter Dickinson (piano) rec. 1975 HERITAGE HTGCD171 [68:09] [JW] A reissued but expanded Satie microcosm.

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Choir Concerto, Three Sacred Hymns Arvo PÄRT (b 1935) Seven Magnificat-Antiphons - Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir/Kaspars Putniņš rec. 2020 BIS BIS-2521 SACD [60:22] [JQ] An outstanding disc and an amazing demonstration of choral singing.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) The Complete Piano Sonatas Played on Period Instruments - Paul Badura-Skoda (fortepiano) rec. 1991-1996 ARCANA A205 [9 CDs: 545:07] [SG] Revelatory performances, informed by intelligent musicality and scholarship.

Otakar ŠEVČÍK (1852-1934) Seven Bohemian Dances Leopold AUER (1845-1930) Rhapsodie hongroise, Rêveries, Concert Tarantella - Gran Duo Italiano rec. 2009/20 BRILLIANT 96213 [62:26] [JW] Little-known concert pieces by two great violin pedagogues.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies Nos 1, 14 and 15; Chamber Symphony (Op 110a) - Kristine Opolais (soprano) Alexander Tsymbalyuk (bass) Boston Symphony Orchestra/Andris Nelsons rec 2018-2020 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4860546 [83:15+74:07] [DMD] The Boston orchestra shines but perhaps these performances lack a little in personality, with No 14 a notable exception

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Concertos, Piano Trio No. 2 - Simon Trpčeski (piano) Aleksandar Krapovski (violin) Alexander Somov (cello) Janáček PO/Cristian Macelaru rec. 2020 LINN RECORDS CKD659 [69:38] [DD] A wonderful set of three near-perfect performances of seminal 20th century works.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Luonnotar, Tapiola, Pelléas och Mélisande, Rakastava, Vårsång - Lise Davidsen (soprano), Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Edward Gardner rec. 2018/21 CHANDOS CHSA5217 SACD [72:51] [RMo] A fine compilation, but there are superior versions to be had of the three main works here.

Nikos SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949) Dances of the Waves - Athens State Orchestra/Stefanon Tsialis rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574182 [73.01] [PCG] Two contrasting faces of Skalkottas in Naxos’s ongoing series.

Alexei STANCHINSKY (1888-1914) A Journey into the Abyss - Witold Wilczek (piano) rec. 2020 DUX 1559 [56:27] [RHa] A useful overview of Stanchinsky, but there are more nuanced, imaginative and better recorded portraits out there.

Georg Christoph STRATTNER (1644/45-1704) Geistliche Konzerte - Les Escapades/Cosimo Stawiarski rec. 2020 CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77454 [60:20] [DC] Collectors of music from this period will not want to miss this one.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein Heldenleben; Burleske - Bertrand Chamayou (piano), Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Sir Antonio Pappano rec. 2018-2020 WARNER CLASSICS 9029502845 [67:04] [MC] If one requires a modern recording, this captivating new release will fit the bill.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Stravinsky Edition - Various Orchestras/Riccardo Chailly rec. 1980-2017 DECCA 4851367 [11 CDs: Limited Edition] [NC] [11CDs: 720:15] One comes away missing the days when Chailly recorded more than just the Austro-German classics.

Barbara STROZZI (1619-1677) Sacri Musicali Affetti - Aurata Fonte rec. 2019 TACTUS TC611990 [48.33+ 52.49] [GH] The more we hear Strozzi’s music, the more impressive it appears.

Satoshi TANAKA (b. 1956) Works for Piano - Satoko Inoue (piano) rec. 2012 EMEC E-112 [59:43] [RWe] Piano music like no other, compellingly performed - here silence is rendered audible.

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphonies Nos 2 & 4 - Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich/Paavo Järvi rec. 2019, 2020 ALPHA 735 [76:10] [MG] Stylish, well played, paced performances, full of character and nuance.

Sir Michael TIPPETT (1905–1998) Concerto for Orchestra, Triple Concerto - Gyorgy Pauk (violin), Nobuko Imai (viola), Ralph Kirshbaum (cello), London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis rec. 1964 Presto CD PHILIPS 476 7144 [65:01] [LW] A most welcome reissue of major Tippett orchestral works.

Henri TOMASI (1901-1971) Complete Solo Piano Works - Emilie Capulet (piano) rec. 2017/18 CALLIOPE CAL2069 [2 CDs: 87:25] [SG] Richly rewarding music, beautifully realized.

Harold TRUSCOTT (1914-1992) Piano Works - Peter Jacobs (piano) rec. 1980s HERITAGE HTGCD304 [3 CDs: 177:49] [SG] The piano sonatas have been for me a compelling first encounter.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) RVW from America - Forgotten Recordings of the 50s rec. 1950-53 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD048 [68:01] [JQ] A very rewarding compilation of American performances of Vaughan Williams.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Un ballo in maschera - Daniza Ilitsch, Pierrette Alarie (soprano), Margaret Harshaw (mezzo-soprano), Jan Peerce (tenor), Leonard Warren (baritone), Metropolitan Opera O & Chorus/Giuseppe Antonicelli rec. 1947 WALHALL WLCD0054 [57:58 + 69:05] [RMo] Weak performances from the female lead singers make this hard to endorse, despite the excellence of Warren’s singing and the conducting.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aida - Maria Callas (soprano) Richard Tucker (tenor) Tito Gobbi (baritone) Ch & O Teatro alla Scala, Milan/Tullio Serafin rec. 1955 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO178 [79:54 + 64:46] [RMo] Pristine does it again with a splendid remastering of a classic recording whose flaws are as nothing compared with its virtues.

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Façade Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Soldier’s Tale Roberto GERHARD (1896-1970) The Plague - Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Paul Scofield (reciters) London Sinfonietta/Sir William Walton rec. 1969-75 ELOQUENCE 484 2200 [66.19 + 77.07] [PCG] A most interesting compilation, although lack of texts may be a problem.

Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937) Symphony No 8 - Jean-Baptiste Dupont (organ) rec. 2019 AUDITE 97.774 [54:34] [MR] This oddly lopsided programme only partially fulfills the promise of great French Romantic music played on one of the great French Romantic instruments.

Xiaogang YE (b.1955) Mount E’mei, Scent of Green Mango, Lamura Cuo, The Silence of Mount Minshan - Royal Scottish Ntl O/Gilbert Varga, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Stefan Malzew, Franck Ollu rec. 2014-2018 NAXOS 8.579087 [63:51] [MR] Four very colourful and descriptive works.

Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931) Solo Violin Sonatas - Maxim Brilinsky (violin) rec. 2018/19 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC20087 [69:40] [MC] I would not exchange Maxim Brilinsky’s exceptional accounts for any alternative recording.

A 14th Century Salmagundi Blue Heron/Scott Metcalfe rec. 2010/14 BLUE HERON BHCD1011 [40.01] [GH] A useful, if brief, overview of the fourteenth century with the help of some beautiful performances.

American Quintets Works by Beach, Barber & Price - Matthew Rose (bass) Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective rec. 2020 CHANDOS CHAN20224 [63:58] [SSi] A marvellous disc - Florence Price’s quintet is worth the price alone.

The Art of Roberto Bolle rec. 2005-15 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7224 [3 discs: 369 mins] [MMB] These discs demonstrate the extraordinary quality of Roberto Bolle’s dancing as well as that of the leading ballerinas he partnered with.

Baroque Concertos by Francesco Geminiani and Antonio Vivaldi - Nicola Benedetti (violin); Benedetti Orchestra rec. 2020 DECCA 4851891 [52:24] [BW] Mostly intense performances that will find many admirers, but alternative recordings offer greater variety.

Baroque Bohemia and Beyond Vol VIII Music by Stamitz, Richter and Mysliveček - New Dutch Academy Chamber Orchestra/Simon Murphy rec. 2003-2016 ALTO ALC1443 [76:23] [BW] A change of personnel for this long-running series, but equally, if not more attractive.

Birdsong Songs by Brahms, Beamish, and Robert & Clara Schumann - Roderick Williams (baritone) Andrew West (piano) rec. 2020 SOMM RECORDNGS SOMMCD0633 [59:21] [JQ] A disc that should provide stimulating listening for all lovers of art song.

Bliss of Heaven Music of the New World - Daniel Rojas (piano) Stephen Cuttriss (bandoneon) Baldini Quartet DA VINCI CLASSICS C00379 [57:05] [DJB] Exceptional performances of very stylish and intelligent arrangements and original compositions – more please.

Hélène Boschi (piano) Portrait rec. 1958-60 HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH20075 [10 CDs: 550:35] [SG] Here’s a release that will be welcomed with open arms by adventurous pianophiles.

Lise Davidsen (soprano) Works by Beethoven, Verdi and Wagner - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2020 DECCA 485 1507 [63:28] [GF] A recording not to be missed by lovers of good singing.

Dialogo Cello Sonatas by Brahms, Ligeti & Shostakovich - John-Henry Crawford (cello) Victor Santiago Asuncion (piano) rec. 2019 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100166 [62:27] [LW] Crawford excels here in his debut.

Discovery of Passion Dmitry Sinkovsky (violin, counter-tenor) Dorothee Oberlinger (recorder) Ensemble 1700 rec. 2019 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 19439711162 [75:12] [JV] The performances fail to grip my attention.

Dreams Melting James Geer (tenor); Ronald Woodley (piano) rec. 2020 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0630 [67:59] [JQ] Much to admire and enjoy in terms of repertoire and performances.

English Song Collection rec. 1995-2014 NAXOS 8.502507 [25 CDs: 28.3 hrs] [RWe] A superb anthology of many of the finest English songs from the late Victorians to the present day.

Extravaganza Simon Borutzki (recorder) Lee Rahel Bader (cello) Magnus Andersson (lute, guitar) Daniel Trumbull (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2018 KLANGLOGO KL1528 [77:00] [JV] Not a dull moment, but some issues regarding performance and instruments.

Feed The Hound Doggy Tails for Narrator and Basset Horn - Jon Iles (narrator) Sarah Watts (basset horn) rec. 2020 CUILLIN SOUND MUSIC CUILL1007 [63:38] [DC] Immerse yourself in a musical canine menagerie.

Christian Ferras (violin) Concert Tours in Germany Concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky & Prokofiev rec. 1954-61 MELOCLASSIC MC2042 [77:26 + 61:37] [SG] Savour the very best attributes of the Franco-Belgian School.

First Light Works by Nico Muhly & Philip Glass - Nico Muhly (piano) Norwegian Chamber Orchestra/Pekka Kuusisto (violin) rec. 2020 PENTATONE PTC5186745 [47:49] [DC] The appearance of a brand-new violin concerto deserves everyone’s attention.

Evlyn Howard-Jones & Edward Isaacs Two Forgotten English Pianists - The Complete Solo Recordings rec. 1926-1928 APR 6035 [78:53 + 58:02] [RCh] Some glorious playing here, well worth exploring.

Enrique Jordá (conductor) The Decca Recordings 1950-51 ELOQUENCE 484 0403 [76:50 + 65:56] [JW] An excellent retrospective of the art of a colourful, vivid and exciting, but too-little remembered conductor.

Yvonne Lefébure (piano) Unissued Recordings Vol. 4 rec. 1949-1986 SOLSTICE SOCD389/90 [57:59 + 48:57] [SG] A valuable collection.

Letters Works by Fennessy & O'Regan - Chamber Choir Ireland, Irish Chamber O/Paul Hillier rec. 2018/19 NAXOS 8.574287 [68:20] [RHa] A pair of compelling and contrasting extended works for choir from Ireland.

Johanna Martzy (violin) & Michael Mann (viola) Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings - Jean Antonietti, Yaltah Menuhin, Dika Newlin (piano) Symphony O RIAS, Berlin/Ferenc Fricsay, Bavarian Radio Chamber O/Eugen Jochum rec. 1951-53 ELOQUENCE 484 3299 [72:11 + 74:09] [JW] Sparkling new transfers for some much-admired recordings.

One Hundred Years of British Song Vol. 2 James Gilchrist (tenor) Nathan Williamson (piano) rec. 2020 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0636 [63:37] [JF] A fascinating exploration of some highways and byways of British song.

One Movement Symphonies Works by Barber, Scriabin & Sibelius - Kansas City Symphony/Michael Stern rec. 2016 REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-149 [62:28] [NB] Better served elsewhere.

Opera Rarities rec. 1981-1998 ORFEO C200081 [10 CDs: 664 mins] [MP] This good value set offers some valuable performances of rare operas but with poor documentation.

L’Orgue Chambriste Quentin Guérillot (organ) Khrystyna Sarksyan (flute) Thibaut Reznicek (cello) rec. 2019 INITIALE INL07 [65:17] [MR] This lovely disc will appeal to anyone who likes sheer beauty in music, irrespective of whether or not the organ is to their taste.

Eugene Ormandy (conductor) The Early Years Vol 2 - Philadelphia Orchestra rec. 1937-41 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC605 [63:19 + 68:48] [DD] Tremendously impressive Sibelius which justifies this set even if the first CD is more for completists.

Ovni Baroque Emmanuele Dauvin (violin and organ) rec. 2020 HITASURA HSP007 [60:45] [DC] A recording that very much transcends its arguably ‘experimental’ nature.

Antonio Oyarzabal (piano) La Muse Oubliée rec. 2020 IBS CLASSICAL IBS52021 [73:17] [RCh] An exciting and imaginative collection of fascinating rarities.

The Piper and The Fairy Queen - David Power (uillean pipes) Camerata Kilkenny rec. 2018 RTÉ LYRIC FM CD156 [65.33] [MW] An original and fascinating programme of lovable music.

André Previn The Warner Edition - Complete HMV & Teldec Recordings rec. 1971-87 WARNER 9029506573 [96 CDs] [TPo] A valuable collection of Previn’s Warner recordings at a moderate price.

Quartetto Italiano The Complete Warner Recordings rec. 1946-1959 WARNER CLASSICS 9029673920 [14 CDs: 622:05] [MC] Admirers of the Quartetto Italiano, and chamber music in general, will appreciate this set.

Sviatoslav Richter (piano) In Sofia rec. 1958 PARNASSUS PACL95001 [72:50] [JW] Richter in famously inspiring and incendiary form in Sofia.

Daniil Shafran (cello) Concert Tours in Germany rec. 1957-73 MELOCLASSIC MC3015 [65:27 + 73:27] [SG] A cellist with a highly individual style.

Ruth Slenczynska (piano) Complete American Decca Recordings rec. 1956-1963 ELOQUENCE 4841302 [10 CDs: 445:00] [JW] A great pianist’s trove of overlooked Decca LPs triumphantly restored.

Isaac Stern (violin) & Pinchas Zukerman (violin, viola) Joint Recital, Massey Hall, Toronto rec. 1976 DOREMI DHR-8099 [74:14] [SG] A remarkable aural document of two wonderful artists, both on top form.

Joan Sutherland (soprano) In Performance 1957-1960 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9133 [68:58 + 45:46] [PSt] For anyone with an interest in this great singer, this is a fascinating and rewarding issue.

Three Suites for Two Pianos Works by Arensky, Rachmaninoff & Yuhao Guo - Anke Pan, Yuhao Guo (piano) rec. 2020 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38589 [55:49] [RCh] A gifted duo thrill in this exciting music.

To Anatolia Works by Saygun, Alnar, Erkin, Akses & Rey - Beyza Yazgan (piano) rec. 2020 BRIDGE 9549 [53:05] [GPu] An illuminating and thought-provoking programme from an impressive Turkish pianist.

La tradizione organistica Pugliese Margherita Sciddurlo (organ) rec. 2018 TACTUS TC670004 [52:37] [JV] Performed with flair and imagination, with the help of a splendid historical instrument.

Trios From the City of Big Shoulders Works by Bacon & Sowerby - Lincoln Trio rec. 2020 CEDILLE CDR90000203 [68:31] [SG] Two rarities embodying the spirit of America.

Twentieth Century Music for Horn and Piano Works by Hindemith, Fricker, Nielsen & others - Ifor James (horn), John McCabe (piano) HERITAGE HTGCD164 [71:47] [JF] Enjoyable, absorbing music for horn and piano, brilliantly played.

Lucienne Renaudin Vary (trumpet) Piazzolla Stories - Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo/Sascha Goetzel rec. 2020 WARNER CLASSICS 9029515563 [61:17] [MC] Very smooth and well played, but not for those wanting a more traditional tango sound.

Visions Maria Gabriella Mariani (piano) rec. 2020 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00377 [76:00] [DD] An inspirational recital of real imagination, splendidly conceived and executed.

Oksana Volkova (mezzo-soprano) Poison d'Amour - Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2019 DELOS DE3584 [63:50] [RMo] The vocalisation here is by no means consistent but this is a recital which decidedly improves and ends on a high.

Oksana Volkova (mezzo-soprano) Poison d'Amour - Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra/Constantine Orbelianrec. 2019 DELOS DE3584 [63:50] [PSt] Despite reservations, an enjoyable recital and a fine voice.

The Voxman Project Kirk O’RIORDAN (b. 1968) Concerto for Alto Saxophone Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) La création du monde Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Kleine Dreigroschenmusik - Kenneth Tse (alto saxophone), Chamber Ensemble/Richard Mark Heidel rec. 2020-2021 CRYSTAL RECORDS CD782 [57:23] [MR] Two classic works of the 1920s and a dark, new saxophone concerto in fine performances.

Alexandra Whittingham (guitar) My European Journey rec. 2020 DELPHIAN DCD34248 [65:47] [ZT] An impressive debut recording that will be a hard act to follow.

Haiou Zhang (piano) My 2020 Works by Bach & Beethoven rec. 2020 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC20079 [67:25] [MC] Zhang demonstrates a compelling affinity for Bach and Beethoven in this satisfying programme.

Articles and Notices

Summer Opera Festivals: Aix-en-Provence by Ralph Moore & Mike Parr

Piano Trio Discography - Mid 2021 Update

Composer David Lyon - an autobiography

Verdi's Il trovatore - a survey by Ralph Moore

Verdi's La Traviata - a survey by Ralph Moore



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