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[New] Strauss's Sinfonia domestica - a survey by Ralph Moore

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Tuesday November 30th

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto - Oscar Shumsky (violin) Philharmonia Hungarica/Uri Segal rec. 1984 BIDDULPH 85007-2 [42:10] [JW] The great Oscar Shumsky in an unreleased Brahms concerto recording from 1984.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) The Turn of the Screw - Rhian Lois (soprano) Robert Murray (tenor) Sinfonia of London/John Wilson OperaGlass Works rec. 2020 CHANDOS CHDVD5290 [112 mins] [ST] A laudable lockdown effort from the performers and creative team, but I don’t think I’ll be coming back to it.

Arthur FARWELL (1872-1952) Songs, Choral & Piano Works - William Sharp (baritone) Emanuele Arciuli (piano) Dakota String Quartet, Texas University Chamber Singers/James Morrow rec. 2013-20 NAXOS 8.559900 [52:41] [RB] Much startlingly fresh writing here and well recorded too.

Liza LIM (b.1966) Singing in Tongues – Operas and Vocal Works 1993-2007 - Elision rec. 2003-08 HUDDERSFIELD CONTEMPORARY RECORDS HCR25CD [3CDs: 175:19] [DMD] By any estimation this is great music.

Anton Edvard PRATTÉ (1796-1875) Grand Concert, Theme and Variations, Souvenir de Norvčge - Delphine Constantin-Reznik (harp) Norrköping SO/Daniela Musca rec. 2020 BIS BIS-2570 SACD [73:35] [DC] Another unknown composer emerges, and is very welcome indeed.

The Performance Style of Jascha Heifetz by Dario Sarlo pub. 2020 Routledge [SG] For ardent devotees of the art of Jascha Heifetz.

A Virtuoso Double Bass Works by Hindemith, Lasoń & Rota - Kamil Łomasko (double bass), Karina Komendera (piano)rec. 2018/21 ACTE PREALABLE AP0497 [48:59] [WH] Short playing time, but well worth the attention of an adventurous music lover.

Monday November 29th

Giuseppe Antonio BRESCIANELLO (c.1690-1758) Concerti and Sinphonias - La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler (violin) rec. 2020 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD693 [69:37] [RHa] La Serenissima plays, with customary good taste and elan, the graceful and spirited music of a Bavarian-based Bolognese.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No 1, Scčnes historiques - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. 1947/52 SOMM ARIADNE 5013 [78:00] [JQ] This is a most important release, both for Beecham devotees and Sibelians.

Imogen Cooper (piano) …Le temps perdu… Works by Ravel, Liszt, Fauré & Respighi rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20235 [83:21] [RMas] An excellent Fauré Theme and Variations, but there are reservations about the remainder of the program.

English Music for Viola and Piano Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola) John Lenehan (piano) rec. 2020 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7390 [82:42] [JW] Small-scale viola sonatas and suites from a little-known cohort of generously lyrical English composers.

Leipzig 1723 Works by Graupner, Fasch, Bach & Telemann - Stefan Temmingh (recorder) Capricornus Consort Basel/Péter Barczi rec. 2020 ACCENT ACC24375 [66:15] [DC] A glimpse into music history and a veritable musical tonic for those darker days.

The Music of the Temporalists by André Pogoriloffsky publ. 2011 CreateSpace Publishing [BMC] A fictional music-theory tale told as a first-person account…

Jakub Józef Orliński (countertenor) Anima Ćterna - Orchestra and Chorus of Il Pomo d’Oro/Francesco Corti rec. 2020 ERATO 9029674390 [80:21] [MC] One of the finest countertenors I have encountered since the prime of the outstanding Andreas Scholl.

Friday November 26th

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali - Patrizia Ciofi (soprano) Charles Rice (baritone) Chorus & Orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon/Lorenzo Viotti rec. 2017 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7289D [114:00] [MP] Utterly delightful and not to be missed.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonatas arranged for Guitar Duo - Duo Morat-Fergo rec. 2020 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72867 [75:13] [ZT] Novel but stay with the original instrument.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Luonnotar, Tapiola, Pelléas och Mélisande, Rakastava, Vĺrsĺng - Lise Davidsen (soprano) Bergen PO/Edward Gardner rec. 2018/21 CHANDOS CHSA5217 SACD [72:51] [RWe] None of these performances let the release down, but there is much distinguished competition in the two major items.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan, Eine Alpensinfonie - San Francisco Symphony/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1988 DECCA 421 815-2 [70:12] [JQ] The continued availability of these fine Strauss recordings is a cause for celebration.

Celebrating Women! Works by Hyde, Smith, Smyth & Wegener - The Hague String Trio rec. 2021 COBRA 0083 [60:01] [JW] A variety of string trios from women composers, in world premiere recordings.

Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor) Ŕ sa guitare - Thibaut Garcia (guitar) rec. 2020-2021 ERATO 9029500570 [69:03] [MC] An irresistible collection of songs, beautifully performed and recorded.

Lockdown Blues Peter Dickinson (piano) rec. 2021 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0644 [68:37] [JF] This recital is lugubrious, often cool and always captivating.

Thursday November 25th

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No 4 James MACMILLAN (b. 1959) Larghetto - Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Manfred Honeck rec. 2017/18 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-744 SACD [54:00] [RC] The excellence of the Brahms Fourth and the high artistic quality of the new MacMillan work make this disc a standout.

Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) Romantic Piano Fantasies on Sir Walter Scott’s Novels - Pei-I Wang and Samuel Gingher (piano duet) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.579099 [79:59] [RCh] Czerny responding to Scott's writing in dramatic, sparkling fashion.

Vanessa LANN (b. 1968) Moonshadow Sunshadow - various artists & ensembles ATTACCA PRODUCTIONS 2015146 [63:42] [JW] Transformation and synchronization; a compilation of the music of the American-Dutch Vanessa Lann.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonatas Vol. 3 - Peter Donohoe (piano) rec. 2018 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0613 [64:38] [MG] Donohoe is magnificently alert to the dramatic potential of these sonatas.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Un ballo in Maschera - Piotr Beczała (tenor), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone), Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano), Orchester & Chor der Wiener Staatsoper/Jesús López-Cobos rec. 2016 ORFEO C210062 [2 CDs: 135:03] [MC] This live performance will remain close to my treasured recordings by Leinsdorf, Bartoletti and Votto.

Christmas Carols with The King’s Singers rec. 2020 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD683 [68:20] [MR] Cleobury would have loved it all; The King’s Singers have done his memory proud.

Like a Phoenix from the Ashes - An Organ Portrait - Gdansk Organ Landscape Vol. 1 - Andrzej Mikołaj Szadejko (organ) rec. 2019 MDG 906 2157-6 SACD [68:07] [JV] Kristian Wergscheider has done a brilliant job with the building of this very fine instrument.

Wednesday November 24th

Gustavo DÍAZ-JEREZ (b.1970) Metaludios Books 4 & 5 - Gustavo Diaz-Jerez (piano) rec. 2020 IBS CLASSICAL IBS172021 [70:00] [DMD] More ear tickling delights from the Canary Islands

Désiré PÂQUE (1867-1939) Piano Trios, Adagio Sostenuto, Lento Cantabile -Trio Spilliaert rec. 2020 CYPRES CYP8609 [72:46] [HC] Superb performances of Pâque's all-too-rarely heard trios.

Serge PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Complete Piano Sonatas - Dinara Klinton (piano) rec. 2019/20 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10191 [3 CDs: 170 mins] [RWe] Sensitive and often impressively virtuosic accounts of these splendid works.

Ermanno WOLF-FERRARI (1876–1948) Complete Overtures and Intermezzi - Oviedo Filarmonia/Friedrich Haider rec. 2009/10 NAXOS 8573582 [62:31] [GH] A delightful collection, representing the best of the composer’s orchestral works.

Discovering the Classical String Trio Vol. 3 The Vivaldi Project rec. 2020 MSR CLASSICS MS1623 [77:25] [DJB] Plenty to enjoy with one genuine discovery, but don’t expect Mozart or Haydn.

Ecco la primavera Florentine Music of the Fourteenth Century - Early Music Consort of London/David Munrow rec. 1969 DECCA 4362192 [50:00] [SB] Munrow’s early music performances still sound exciting and fresh.

Igor Markevitch (conductor) The Deutsche Grammophon Legacy rec. 1953-1965 ELOQUENCE 4841659 [21 CDs: c. 23hrs] [JW] Markevitch, a favourite of collectors, splendidly served in a 21-CD DG retrospective.


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Recordings of the Month


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos