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Monthly Listing
October 2021
142 reviews this month

Joseph CANTELOUBE (1879-1957) Chants d'Auvergne - Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Tapiola Sinfonietta/Pascal Rophé rec. 2020 BIS BIS-2513 SACD [69:02] [JQ] Every track on this new recording is a treat.

Giovanni Battista FONTANA (1589-1630) & Angelo NOTARI (1566-1663) Early baroque music from the Basilica Palatina Mantova - Julia Fritz (recorder) Johannes Hämmerle (organ) Magdalena Harer (soprano) Reinhild Waldek (harp) rec. 2020 AUDITE 97.797 [71:43] [JV] This disc is as exciting as I was hoping it would be.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Mathis der Maler - Wolfgang Koch (baritone) Manuela Uhl (soprano) Slovak Philharmonic Choir, Wiener Symphoniker/Bertrand de Billy rec. 2012 NAXOS NBD0130V Blu-Ray [190 mins] [PCG] A performance and recording that finally convinces the listener that this really is an inspired masterpiece.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) 24 Preludes and Fugues Ronald STEVENSON (1928-2015) Passacaglia on DSCH - Igor Levit (piano) rec. 2020 SONY 19439809212 [3 CDs: 232:41] [DMD] A landmark recording of both these mighty works.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Messa da Requiem - Jessye Norman (soprano) Agnes Baltsa (mezzo) José Carreras (tenor) Yevgeny Nesterenko (bass) Ch & SO Bayerischen Rundfunks/Riccardo Muti rec. 1981 BR KLASSIK 900199 [46:25 + 37:36] [RMo] Perhaps the finest available live performance of the Verdi Requiem.

Károly AGGHÁZY (1855-1918) Works for Piano - Sławomir Dobrzański (piano) rec. 2021 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0511 [62:56] [PRB] Entertainment, erudition, and enlightenment – all neatly rolled into one.

Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Complete Symphonies and Dances - Ireland National SO, Queensland SO/Andrew Penny rec. 1995-2000 NAXOS 8.506041 [6 CDs: 358:05] [BW] Well worth having at any time, not just in Arnold’s centenary year.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714–1784) Quartets & Sonatas - Nevermind rec. 2020 ALPHA 759 [57:26] [JV] The four members of Nevermind are all outstanding artists and well versed in the style of CPE Bach's time.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) Cantatas Nos. 82, 32 and 106 - Dunedin Consort/John Butt rec. 2020 LINN CKD672 [66:24] [BW] Among my top two or three recommendations for each of these three cantatas.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) Cantatas Nos 82, 32 & 106 - Dunedin Consort/John Butt rec. 2020 LINN CKD672 [66:24] [RWe] Fine accounts of three splendid works from this leading ensemble.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Brandenburg Concertos - Akademie für Alte Musik/Isabelle Faust (violin), Antoine Tamestit (viola) rec. 2021 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902686.87 [38:28 + 48:58] [DMD] Warm, humane Bach from top drawer performers.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Horn Concertos (reconstructions) - Radek Baborák (horn), Berlin Barock Solisten rec. 2020 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC21000 [49:37] [MC] Radek Baborák’s performances to savour of Bach’s three ‘reconstructed’ horn concertos.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Keyboard works - Carl Seemann (piano) rec. 1953-1958 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 8049 [59:34] [GL] Carl Seemann brings bright, clear energies to his Bach program.

Samuel BARBER (1910–1981) & Charles IVES(1874–1954) String Quartets - Escher String Quartet rec. 2019 BIS BIS-2360 SACD [74:15] [SB] Rewarding performances of quartets by very different composers.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) String Quartets Nos 1-6 - Lindsay String Qt rec. 1981 ELOQUENCE 484 3693 [3 CDs: 162:36] [DC] 40 years on, and the Lindsay String Quartet can still prove its leading status.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Fidelio - Christian Elsner (tenor) Lise Davidsen (soprano) Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden, Dresdner Philharmonie/Marek Janowski rec. 2020 PENTATONE PTC5186880 SACD [66:10 + 43:09] [MC] This new Fidelio, while praiseworthy, does not match Klemperer’s classic 1962 recording.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 3 & 4 - Wilhelm Kempff (piano) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Paul van Kempen rec. 1953 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC638 [68:59] [DD] A magnificent re-mastering of magisterial recordings from two masters and a superb orchestra.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 4, Piano Sonatas - Pietro Scarpini (piano) RAI Roma/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1952-1978 RHINE CLASSICS RH-020 [74:56 + 79:37] [JW] Scarpini’s under-the-radar legacy continues to expand and impress.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas Nos 1-4 - Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin) Martin Helmchen (piano) rec. 2019 BIS BIS-2517 SACD [73:12] [MG] Vibrant, engaging, approachable accounts delivered with exemplary clarity.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas Nos. 1, 5 & 10 - Adolf Busch (violin) Rudolf Serkin (piano) rec. 1951 BIDDULPH 85004-2 [69:56] [JW] Two sonatas on CD for the first time and a first ever release of Adolf Busch’s 1951 Spring sonata.

Georg BENDA (1722-1795) Piano Concertos - London Mozart Players/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68361 [80:41] [PRB] Four highly-entertaining novelties in first-rate performances.

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Candide - Leonardo Capalbo (tenor) Jane Archibald (soprano) Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo) Sir Thomas Allen (baritone) London Symphony Chorus & Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. 2018 LSO LIVE LSO0834 SACD [73:13 + 43:30] [JQ] A highly entertaining account.

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Piano Trio, 4 Pieces, Romance, String Quartet No 2 - Nash Ens. rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68343 [72:32] [DC] The Nash Ensemble do Bruch proud.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Bruckner 4: The 3 Versions - Bamberger Symphoniker/Jakub Hrůša rec. 2020 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC30533 [4 CDs: 274:09] [RMo] A fascinating survey tracing the evolution of Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony through its three major versions.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No 6 - BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHAN 20221 [59:50] [MW] An interesting recording, with moments of great beauty, which does not displace the best.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 6 - Bruckner Orchestra Linz/Markus Poschner rec. 2021 CAPRICCIO C8080 [55:03] [RMo] Some rushing and heavy-handedness prevent this from displacing the likes of Karajan, Schaller and Haitink in my preferences.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No 7 - Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Haitink rec. 2019 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72895 SACD [68:10] [RMo] Indubitably fine but haunted by a sense of deja vu and even a certain sense of redundancy.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No 9 - Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra/Tadaaki Otaka rec. 2021 FONTEC FOCD9851 [59:12] [RMo] Otaka and Osaka Philharmonic show themselves to be true Brucknerians.

Pierre-Gabriel BUFFARDIN (1693–1768) Sonates & Concerto - Olivier Riehl (flute), Le Petit Trianon rec. 2020 RICERCAR RIC428 [75:48] [JV] Another very fine recording by Le Petit Trianon.

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Piano works - Peter Donohoe (piano) rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20237 [70:57] [SB] Serviceable performances making a good introduction to the composer, but there are better elsewhere.

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (1637/1639?-1707) Complete Chamber Music - Catherine Manson, David Rabinovich (violin) Paolo Pandolfo, Jonathan Manson (viola da gamba) Mike Fentross (lute) Christine Sticher (violone) Ton Koopman (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2010/11 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72890 [3 CDs: 191:10] [DC] Very fine indeed.

William BYRD (c.1540-1623) & John BULL (c.1562-1628) The Visionaries of Piano Music - Kit Armstrong (piano) rec. 2020 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 486 0583 [70:56 + 64:12] [DC] A warm welcome for this fine recording.

John Alden CARPENTER (1876-1951) Violin Sonata, String Quartet, Piano Quintet - Paul Posnak (piano), Sergiu Schwartz (violin), Vega Quartet rec. 2001 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559103 [74:20] [RB] A well-filled disc answering handsomely to the Carpenter heritage.

Francesco CAVALLI (1602-1676) Hymns and Psalms - Coro & Ensemble C. Monteverdi di Crema/Bruno Gini rec. 2020 DYNAMIC CDS7902 [74:45] [JV] If you have little or none of Cavalli's sacred music in your collection, this is an excellent opportunity to fill that gap.

Thibaut de CHAMPAGNE (1201-1253) Le Chansonnier du roi: Courtly love and chivalry in the Thirteenth Century - Alla Francesca/Brigitte Lesne rec. 2011 AEON AECD1221 [64:28] [BW] Of several worthwhile recordings of the music of this period, this is one of the best.

Erik CHISHOLM (1904-1965) Songs - Mhairi Lawson (soprano) Nicky Spence (tenor) Michael Mofidian (bass) Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2020 DELPHIAN DCD34259 [67:50] [JQ] A most rewarding collection of songs.

Théodore DUBOIS (1837-1924) Chamber Music - Lajos Lencses (oboe), Quatuor Parisii rec. 2010-2020 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0362 [78:45] [MC] Appealing if you like to explore the highways and byways of French chamber music.

Henri DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Métaboles Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Les Offrandres oubliées, Un sourire Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No 2 - Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal/Julia Jones rec. 2018, 2019 HD-KLASSIK 3D-862101 [54:04] [DC] Crack out your good headphones and get immersed.

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) Noches en los jardines de Espańa & works for solo piano - Alicia de Larrocha (piano) O Conciertos de Madrid/Jesús Arámbarri rec. 1958/59 ALTO ALC1437 [73:40] [GL] The Andalusian spirit is well served in this historic reissue.

Louise FARRENC (1804-1875) Symphonies Nos 1 and 3 - Insula Orchestra/Laurence Equilbey rec. 2021 ERATO 9029669852 [64:51] [MW] Two fascinating and immensely enjoyable Beethovenian symphonies.

Arthur FARWELL (1872-1952) Songs, Choral & Piano Works - Dakota String Qt, William Sharp (baritone) Emanuele Arciuli (piano) Univ of Texas Chamber Singers/James Morrow rec. 2013-2020 NAXOS 8.559900 [54:01] [CCa] A long overdue and most welcome addition to the Farwell discography.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Mythes, Songs  - Kaja Danczowski (violin) Krystian Zimerman (piano) rec. 1980 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 431469-2 [58:15] [JW] A classic coupling lives up to its high reputation.

Andrea GABRIELI (1533-1585) Motets & Organ Works - Weser-Renaissance/Manuel Cordes rec. 2018 CPO 555291-2 [69.07] [GH] Despite some caveats, there is some very fine singing heard here and some wonderfully warm and nimble instrumental work.

Jannik GIGER (b. 1985) Krypta - XASAX, thélčme, unorthodoxjukebox o. rec. 2019-20 KAIROS 0015085KAI [61:37] [RHa] Four intriguing collage-like pieces comprising samples of pre-existing recordings - Orchester proves to be unexpectedly sublime.

Michael GORDON (b. 1956) ‘8’ - Cello Octet Amsterdam rec 2019 CANTALOUPE CA21159 [53:23] [RHa] A mesmerising cello-fest from the Bang on a Can scion.

Gerhard HAMM (1835-1904) & Karel HAMM (1876-1937) Rediscovered: Bagatellen and Clavierstücke - Camiel Boomsma (piano) rec. 2021 CHALLENGE RECORDS CC72811 [44:25] [RCh] Restrained romanticism from this Dutch father and son.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Sonatas - Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2018 SHEVA SH236 [75:03] [JF] A refreshing take on accomplished piano works.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Complete Paris Symphonies - Orchestre de chambre de Paris/Douglas Boyd rec. 2018/20 NOMADMUSIC NMM078 [69:15 + 66:18] [MG] A refreshing focus on rhythmic clarity and interplay between instruments.

Joe HISAISHI (b.1950) The Essential Joe Hisaishi Vol. 2 rec. 1989-2021 DECCA 3555634 [63:00 + 67:48] [MR] Generous fodder for fans of the Japanese phenomenon, Joe Hisaishi, but probably more than enough for whom, so far, his magic has failed to touch.

Josef HOLBROOKE (1878-1958) Late Piano Music - Simon Callaghan (piano) rec. 2020 LYRITA SRCD.395 [69:51] [JW] Holbrooke was irascible in life but generous and romance-drenched in his piano music.

Karel HUSA (1921-2016) Symphony No 2, Three Frescoes, Music for Prague 1968 - Prague Symphony Orchestra/Tomáš Brauner rec. 2020/2021 SUPRAPHON SU4294-2 [68:12] [JW] A perceptively programmed anniversary salute to an impressive Czech modernist.

Clara IANNOTTA (b. 1983) MOULT - Wilhelm Latchoumia (piano) WDR SO Köl/Michael Wendeberg  rec 2018-2019 KAIROS 0018004KAI [58:32] [RHa] An outstanding disc of challenging new music.

Jānis IVANOVS (1906-1983) Symphonies Nos 15 & 16 - Latvian Ntl SO/Guntis Kuzma rec. 2021 SKANI LMIC126 [62:11] [RB] A purposeful step forward in the stop-start rehabilitation of this determined Latvian symphonist.

Charles IVES (1874-1954) Piano Sonata No. 1, Three-page Sonata Bernhard GANDER (b. 1969) Peter Parker - Joonas Ahonen (piano & celesta) rec. 2019 BIS BIS-2409 SACD [61:27] [DM] The shorter pieces come off best here; fine sonics all round.

Frederick JACOBI (1891-1952) String Quartet No 3, Ballade, Fantasy - Lyric Art Quartet, Fredell Lack (violin), Louise Rood (viola), Irene Jacobi (piano) rec. 1960 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1775 [46:24] [SG] Music best described as tonally orientated chromaticism.

Aaron Jay KERNIS (b. 1960) Elegy (For Those We Lost) - Yolanda Kondonassis (harp), Michael Sachs (trumpet) rec. 2021 AZICA RECORDS 71341 [7:07] [RP] This arrangement is a beautiful and profoundly moving tribute to those who died from COVID-19.

Stĺle KLEIBERG (b. 1958) Violin Concerto No 2, DOPO, Viola Concerto - Marianne Thorsen (violin) Eivind Ringstad (viola) Fredrik Sjölin (cello) Trondheim SO rec. 2020 2L 2L-166-SABD [58:08] [DC] Superbly crafted and highly satisfying.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897–1957) Die tote Stadt - Jonas Kaufmann (tenor), Marlis Petersen (soprano), Bavarian State Opera Orchestra/Kirill Petrenko rec. 2019 BAYERISCHE STAATSOPER RECORDINGS BSOREC2001 Blu-ray [143 mins] [JQ] A compelling and all-round excellent account of Korngold’s operatic masterpiece.

David LANG (b. 1957) The Village Detective - Frode Andersen (accordion), Shara Nova (voice) rec. 2020 CANTALOUPE CA21164 [53:46] [RHa] Bill Morrison’s odd conceit gets a whimsical soundtrack from the Bang on a Can stalwart.

Elisabeth LUTYENS (1906–1983) Piano Works Vol. 1 - Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2021 RESONUS RES10291 [67:39] [GH] A rare chance to meet the piano music of a misunderstood and neglected composer.

Graham LYNCH (b.1957) Seria Ludo - Paul Sánchez, Albert Kim (piano) rec. 2020 DIVINE ART DDA25221 [76:27] [JF] All the music here is accessible, well-written and rewarding.

Sir Alexander Campbell MACKENZIE (1847-1935) Complete Music for Solo Piano Vol. 1 - Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2016/2017 SHEVA COLLECTION SH221 [65:44] [JWe] Fascinating piano works by a sadly neglected British composer, very well played and recorded.

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Thaďs - Nicole Chevalier (soprano) Josef Wagner (baritone) Arnold Schoenberg Chor, ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien/Leo Hussain rec. 2021 UNITEL EDITION 805004 Blu-ray [111 mins] [EJW] A vigorous, well-sung modern production, let down by excisions and other changes to the original text and by some baffling staging.

Stanisław MONIUSZKO (1819-1872) Halka - Dominik Sutowicz (tenor) Magdalena Molendowska (soprano) Poznań Opera House Chorus & Orchestra/Gabriel Chmura rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.660485-86 [60:26 + 56:32] [PSt] A good way to get to know a delightful opera at a very reasonable price.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Sonatas - Oscar Shumsky (violin) Leopold Mittman (piano) rec. 1951 BIDDULPH 85003-2 [73:40] [JW] The decades strip away as Shumsky and Mittman play Mozart with fervour.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies Nos 32, 33, 35 & 36 - Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1965-77 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 435 070-2 [72:14] [RMo] Old School Mozart played with enormous verve and refinement by a partnership in its prime.

Nikolay MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Vocal Works Vol. 1, Violin Sonata - Tatiana Barsukova, Elizaveta Pakhomova (soprano) Marina Dichenko (violin) Olga Solovieva (piano) rec. 2007-20 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0355 [68:27] [GT] A very valuable release.

Laura NETZEL (1839-1927) Chamber Portrait - Malin Broman (violin) Sabina Bisholt (soprano) Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano) Musica Vitae Chamber Orchestra rec. 2021 DB PRODUCTIONS DBCD200 [60:30] [RCh] Sumptuous, romantic chamber music from this accomplished Scandanavian.

Per NŘRGĹRD (b. 1932) & Kaija SAARIAHO (b. 1952) Cello Concertos - Jakob Kullberg (cello), BBC Philharmonic/Michael Francis, John Storgĺrds; Sinfonia Varsovia/Szymon Bywalec rec. 2015/16 BIS BIS-2602 [83:28] [CCC] An illuminating programme exploring individuality in concerto form.

Jan Ignacy PADEREWSKI (1922-1984) Songs & Melodies -Alina Adamski (soprano) Agata Schmidt (mezzo) Capella Bydgostiensis/Marius Smolij rec. 2020 NAXOS 8.579085 [71:19] [EJW] A welcome disk of previously unrecorded works, mainly in arrangements that are very well performed and recorded. 

Krzystof PENDERECKI (1933–2020) Complete Quartets - Silesian String Quartet, Piotr Szymyślik (clarinet) rec. 2012–2021 CHANDOS RECORDS CHAN20175 [54:25] [DC] A hard act to beat.

Manuel PENELLA (1880-1939) El gato montes - Juan Pons (baritone) Plácido Domingo (tenor) Verónica Villarroel (soprano) Ch Zarzuela Theatre, Madrid SO/Miguel Roa rec. 1991 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 459 427-2 [56.33 + 55.33] [PCG] A valuable and unique recording, but with unfortunate deficiencies in presentation for the listener.

Goffredo PETRASSI (1904-2003) & Luigi DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975) Complete piano works - Andrea Molteni (piano) rec. 2020 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10222 [45:04 + 37:51] [HC] A most welcome survey of Petrassi's and Dallapiccola's piano works in affectionate readings.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphonies Nos 6 & 7 - Cleveland O/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 1993 DECCA 443 325-2 [67:47] [LW] Superb Prokofiev from Cleveland and Ashkenazy.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La bohčme – Giacinto Prandelli (tenor) Renata Tebaldi (soprano) Coro e O Accademia St Cecilia, Roma/Alberto Erede rec. 1951 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO179 [52:02 + 52:30] [MP] A welcome reissue of this lesser-known but finely wrought historic recording.

Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 4 - Tamás Vásáry (piano) London SO/Yuri Ahronovitch rec. 1976-1977 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 419 061-2 [65:26] [GL] Tamás Vásáry pours refreshed wine into old Rachmaninoff bottles, well done.

Karol RATHAUS (1895-1954) Heinz TIESSEN (1887-1971) & Paul ARMA (1905-1987) Violin Sonatas - Judith Ingolfsson (violin) Vladimir Stoupel (piano) rec. 2020 OEHMS CLASSICS OC491 [71:04] [JW] Weimar asperity and post-war melancholia in two disc premiere recordings.

Jacobus REGNART (c.1540-1599) Missa Christ ist erstanden & other works - Cinquecento rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68369 [64:45 [DC] Exquisite performances of exquisite music - to be snapped up without delay.

Anthony RITCHIE (b. 1960) Symphony No 5 - Christchurch SO/Kenneth Young rec. 2020 RATTLE RAT-D109 2021 [41:13] [NB] Accessible and rewarding, yet complex and sophisticated, from New Zealand’s leading symphonist.

Arnold ROSNER (1945-2013) The Chronicle of Nine: The Tragedy of Queen Jane - Boston Modern Opera Project, Odyssey Opera/Gil Rose rec. 2020 BMOP/SOUND 1081 [131:05] [DMD] An immensely likeable oddity.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony in A, Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 - Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Ličge/Jean-Jacques Kantorow rec. 2019, 2020 BIS RECORDS BIS-2460 SACD [75:36] [SB] Accomplished performances of oddly unmemorable music.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Joyce DiDonato (mezzo) Yannick Nézet-Séguin (piano) rec. 2019 ERATO 9029528414 [70:26] [JQ] An absolutely compelling traversal of Winterreise.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Schwanengesang; String Quintet - Julian Prégardien (tenor), Martin Helmchen (piano); Christian Tetzlaff, Florian Donderer (violins) Rachel Roberts (viola), Tanja Tetzlaff, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker (cellos) rec. 2020 ALPHA 748 [61:22 + 51:52] [GF] Anyone who wants these two works together can safely invest in this twofer.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Works Vol. 7 - Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano) rec. 1995 DECCA 452 855-2 [67:22] [GL] Ashkenazy masterfully extends his exploration of the Schumann piano repertory.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No.1, Scčnes historiques - Royal PO/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. 1947/1952 SOMM ARIADNE 5013 [78:00] [RB] A performance that is remarkable for presenting the Symphony as if imagined anew.

Dame Ethel SMYTH (1858-1944) String Quartet, String Quintet - Mannheimer Streichquartett, Joachim Griesheimer (cello) rec. 1990, 1994 CPO 999 352-2 [68:29] [WK] A perfect introduction to Smyth’s music.

Leo SOWERBY (1895-1968) The Paul Whiteman Commissions & Other Early Works - Winston Choi (piano) Alexander Hanna (double bass) Avalon String Qt, Andy Baker O/Andrew Baker rec. 2020-2021 CEDILLE CDR90000205 [79:11] [JW] Sowerby’s Jazz Age scores in all their unpredictable and theatrical drama.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie - Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2019 PENTATONE PTC5186 802 SACD [48:58] [CCC] Grandeur at the summit but lack of direction - a mountaineer stumbling upon occasional beauty without a map.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) & César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonatas - Brieuc Vourch (violin) Guillaume Vincent (piano) rec. 2020 FARAO CLASSICS B108112 [53:24] [DD] A highly enjoyable début disc from two very fine young musicians in harmony.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Mazurkas, Polish Songs & Dances - Marek Szlezer (piano) rec. 2020 DUX 1680 [78.29] [GH] Rare couplings offering a different slant on this significant but little-known repertoire.

Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No 6 - Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1976 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 419 486-2 [45:57] [RMo] Sumptuous playing and intense emotionalism surpassed only by the same team’s earlier recording.

Federico Moreno TORROBA (1891-1983) Puertas de Madrid - Agustín Maruri (guitar) rec. 2008 EMEC E-076 [62:12] [GPu] Maruri is a perceptive interpreter of Torroba in this well-planned programme.

Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) Oboe Concerto, Vēstijums, Lauda - Albrecht Mayer (oboe) Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Andris Poga rec. 2020 ONDINE ODE1355-2 [68:41] [SB] Rewarding works by the veteran Latvian composer.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis - London SO/Sir Antonio Pappano rec. 2020 LSO LIVE LSO0366 [15:41] [BW] Not quite the equal of Pappano’s LSO recording of Symphonies Nos. 4 and 6.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872–1958) An Oxford Christmas, Arrangements from The Oxford Book of Carols - Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea/William Vann rec. 2020–21 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD050 [68:32] [JQ] A richly enjoyable collection of VW’s carol arrangements, beautifully performed.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Songs - Margaret Price (soprano) Geoffrey Parsons (piano) rec. 1986 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 419 621-2 [57:24] [ST] A welcome window into some underexplored repertoire, in the company of two magnificent artists who give it their all.

Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) Complete Piano Works Vol. 1 - Sergio Monteiro (piano) rec. 2020 NAXOS 8.574296 [59:59] [RB] A promising start to a project that is more than worthy – full of music to delight and please.

Eugčne WALCKIERS (1793-1866) String Quintets No 2 & 4 - fabergé-quintett rec. 2020 ES-DUR ES2084 [52:27] [SG] Attractive rarities, lyrically invested.

Christian WOLFF (b. 1934) Trio IX, Exercises - Trio Accanto rec. 2020 WERGO WER74002 [73:05] [DC] Widen your horizons...

Eugčne YSAŸE (1858-1931) Discoveries - Sherban Lupu (violin), Henri Bonamy (piano), Liepāja Symphony Orchestra/Paul Mann rec. 2019 DIVINE ART DDA25222 [67:17] [JW] Detective work and restoration in largely premiere Ysa˙e recordings.

'1942' Violin sonatas by Copland, Poulenc & Prokofiev - Benjamin Baker (violin) Daniel Lebhardt (piano) rec. 2020 DELPHIAN DCD34247 [64:27] [MR] Three radically different violin sonatas begun in the same year receive really outstanding performances.

Andare Trio Works for oboe, bassoon & piano by Head, Hope, Baldwin & Previn rec. 2019 DUX 1719 [52:19] [GPJ] Delightful music, played with wit and style by this outstanding trio.

Appena chiudo gli occhi Cantatas for solo voice with violin - Giuseppina Bridelli (mezzo) Quartetto Vanvitelli rec. 2020 ARCANA A487 [76:57] [JV] Despite some issues, I am quite happy with these performances.

Nicola Benedetti (violin) Baroque - Benedetti Baroque O rec. 2020 DECCA 485 1891 [52:26] [JV] Benedetti seems to feel at home in this repertoire.

Leo Blech (conductor) 150th Anniversary Album - Berlin State Opera Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra rec. 1919-30 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC627 [79:10 + 68:05] [JW] Rigour and eccentricity: a doughty Wagnerian’s Beethoven and Schubert on 78.

Adolf Busch (violin & director) The Mozart Orchestral Recordings - Orquesta de cámara de la Asociación Amigos de la Música, Busch Chamber Players rec. 1937-51 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC639 [78:11 + 69:51] [JW] Busch’s Mozart in studio and live concert recordings.

Chamber Music from the Court of Frederick the Great Augusta McKay Lodge (violin) Georgina McKay Lodge (viola) Eva Lymenstull (cello) David Schulenberg (harpsichord) rec. 2019 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96289 [79:39] [JV] A most enjoyable disc, which whets the appetite for more music by members of Frederick’s chapel.

Chants Populaires Works by Bartók, Desyatnikov and Tchaikovsky - Lukas Geniušas (piano) rec. 2019 MIRARE MIR440 [65:18] [DMD] A folk-inspired treasure trove brilliantly played.

Moye Chen (piano) Four Worlds rec. 2018 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4817037 [77:03] [MR] Moye Chen’s debut disc for DG is a big disappointment, not for the playing or the recording, but for the inappropriate choice of repertory.

The Complete Pianist: From healthy technique to natural artistry by Penelope Roskell publ. 2020 Edition Peters [558 pp.] [RMas] An extremely handy and practical resource for piano teachers and serious students of the piano.

De Profundis Clamavi Piano works - Duncan Honeybourne (piano) rec. 2020 EM RECORDS EMRCD070/71 [75:58 & 77:48] [WH] Brilliant performances of fascinating repertoire that will be new to many.

Ivry Gitlis (violin) In memoriam "inédits et introuvables" rec. 1937-2010 RHINE CLASSICS RH-019 [9 CDs: 662:00] [SG] A handsome tribute.

Grischuns dal cor (collection) Raffaele D’ALESSANDRO (1911-1959) Symphony No 2 Paul JUON (1872-1940) Burletta Gion Antoni DERUNGS (1935-2012) Tre poeme Oliver WAESPI (b. 1971) La Partenza - Sebastian Bohren (violin), Kammerphilharmonie Graubünden/Philippe Bach rec. 2021 CLAVES RECORDS 50-3031 [79:22] [RHa] An unusual orchestral anthology from eastern Switzerland - much to enjoy and nothing to frighten the alpine goats.

Images Anna Lapwood (organ) rec. 2021 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD688 [68:22] [DMD] An imaginative programme vividly showcases an enormous talent.

The Imaginary Music Book of J.S. Bach Works by JS Bach, CPE Bach and Mozart - Café Zimmermann rec. 2020 ALPHA 766 [74:33] [BW] One of the best of Café Zimmermann’s very fine recordings.

Kartulia: New Georgian Ethno Folk Shara rec. 2019 MEMO MUSIC MM6167 [49:31] [PRB] Music where East meets West.

Rafael Kubelïk (conductor) The Mercury Masters - Chicago Symphony Orchestra rec. 1951–53 ELOQUENCE 4843028 [10 CDs: 459:10] [JW] Kubelïk in Chicago in epochal Mercury recordings – plus tantalising stereos.

Lamento Iestyn Davies (alto), Hugh Cutting (alto), Fretwork, Silas Wollston (virginals, organ) rec. 2020 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD684 [64:39] [JV] An interesting and compelling disc which attests to the spiritual depth of German music of the 17th century.

The Mad Lover (recital) Théotime Langlois de Swarte (violin), Thomas Dunford (lute) rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902305 [80:24] [JV] The two artists have done a fine job by putting together this compelling programme.

Nikolay Myaskovsky: The Composer and his Time by Patrick Zuk publ. 2021 Boydell Press [GT] A major, if flawed, new biography.

Mysteries Works by Bacri & Myaskovsky - Sabine Weyer (piano) rec. 2020 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38313 SACD [77:33] [PBW] Tremendously convincing performances of outstanding but unfamiliar repertoire.

Ginette Neveu (violin) in America Works by Beethoven, Chausson & Ravel - Boston Symphony Orchestra/Serge Koussevitzky, Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York/Charles Munch rec. 1947-49 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC630 [77:17] [SG] A valuable addition to the Neveu discography.

New Lullaby Fourteen enchanting ways to fall asleep - Aaron Larget-Caplan (guitar) rec. 2009 SIX STRING SOUND 888 01 [52:46] [DD] A collection of adult lullabies which achieves its aim of tranquillity.

Nightlight Cordelia Williams (piano) rec. 2020 SOMM SOMMCD0639 [72:30] [DMD] Truly exceptional Schubert crowns a stunning recital.

Northern Lights Christopher Herrick (organ) rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68376 [71:58] [JF] A well thought out recital – discoveries and old favourites.

One Hundred Years of British Song Vol. 2 James Gilchrist (tenor), Nathan Williamson (piano) rec. 2020 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0636 [63:37] [JQ] An enterprising programme, expertly performed.

Alex Park (guitar) Classical Guitar rec. 2019 Private Release 194171647703 [41:21] [ZT] Much enjoyable listening offered on this disc.

Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) Concerti by Boccherini, Vivaldi and Tartini - Collegium Musicum Zurich/Paul Sacher rec. 1977 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 429098-2 [51:03] [JW] Rostropovich proves an elevated exponent of the Baroque concerto repertoire.

Harold Samuel (piano) The Complete Solo Recordings rec. 1923-35 APR 6036 [79:28 + 78:24] [JW] New transfers for the 78s of a great pioneer Bach pianist.

See, See, the Word is Incarnate Works by Gibbons, Tomkins and Weelkes - Chapel Choir of Trinity Hall, Cambridge/Andrew Arthur rec. 2019 RESONUS RES10295 [70:51] [BW] A very worthwhile compilation of three important late Elizabethan and Stuart composers.

Sisters Lili BOULANGER (1893-1918) & Nadia BOULANGER (1887-1979) Complete works for piano - Johan Farjot (piano) Karine Deshayes (mezzo) rec. 2020 KLARTHE KLA124 [49:31] [SG] A delight to bask in these captivating scores.

Cyril Smith (piano) The Complete Solo Recordings rec. 1929-52 APR 7313 [3 CDs: 217:53] [RCh] It is wonderful to hear Smith's exciting pianism in excellent sound.

Sol & Pat Patricia Kopatchinskaja (violin) Sol Gabetta (cello) rec. 2014-2018 ALPHA 757 [80:17] [DMD] A heavenly duo making magical music.

Michael Spyres (baritenor) BariTenor - Chœur d’hommes de l’Opéra national du Rhin, Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg/Marko Letonja rec. 2020 ERATO 9029515666 [84:30] [MC] Singing repertoire spanning three centuries, Michael Spyres is in compelling form.

Michael Spyres (baritenor) BariTenor - Chœur d’hommes de l’Opéra national du Rhin, Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg/Marko Letonja rec. 2020 ERATO 9029515666 [84:30] [PCG] A novel and exciting recital, full of artistry and promise and well presented.

Stolen Music Transcriptions for Piano Trio - Linos Piano Trio rec. 2021 CAVI-MUSIC 8553035 [65:04] [PRB] Musical reincarnations – not perfunctory adaptations.

Henryk Szeryng (violin) Live in USA - Boston Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Louis Lane rec. 1974/87 RHINE CLASSICS RH-022 [78:48] [JW] Two works new to Szeryng’s studio discography makes this an appetising release.

Béatrice Uria-Monzon (soprano) Assoluta - Orchestra of Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste/Fabrizio Maria Carminati rec. 2019 APARTÉ AP221 [59:00] [MC] Opera enthusiasts may wish to explore Béatrice Uria-Monzon’s album of great assoluta arias.

Júlia Várady (soprano) The Orfeo Recordings rec. 1981-99 ORFEO C210086 [10 CDs: 619:51] [PSt] A wonderful set of recordings of a great soprano who never received the acclaim she deserved.

Very British Works by Elgar, Britten, Warlock and Jenkins - Metamorphosen Berlin/Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt rec. 2019/20 SONY G0100045460061 [78:07] [BW] Idiomatic performances of an eclectic selection of British music.

Virtuoso Pianists of the Sydney International Piano Competition rec. 1992-2016 ELOQUENCE 4819497 [11 CDs: 855:22] [RCh] There is a lot to enjoy in this tribute to a world class piano competition.

Oksana Volkova (mezzo) Poison d’amour - Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2019 DELOS DE3584 [63:50] [SV] A gorgeous voice and program, with a mild technical hitch.

Articles and Notices

Vocal Retrospective: Les Introuvables du Chant Français - Vol. 2 by Ralph Moore & Mike Parr

Beulah Reissues - Summer and Autumn 2021 Update by Brian Wilson

Bernard Haitink - an obituary by John Quinn

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