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Monthly Listing
April 2022
143 reviews this month

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano works - Bruce Liu (piano) rec. 2021 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4861555 [64:37] [MB] Bruce Liu’s Chopin disc might very probably come to represent a new age in Chopin performance.

Marc’Antonio INGEGNERI (c. 1535-1592) Missa Voce mea a 5 - Historic Brass of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama/Jeremy West, Ch Girton College, Cambridge/Gareth Wilson rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0630 [62:44] [GH] A little-known but outstanding Renaissance master.

Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de MONDONVILLE (1711-1772) Titon et L’Aurore - Reinoud van Mechelen (tenor) Gwendoline Blondeel (soprano), Les Arts Florissants/William Christie rec. 2021 NAXOS NBD0131V Blu-ray [127 mins] [MP] Highly rewarding for both the staging and the musical accomplishments – it should be at the very top of one’s shopping list.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) French Annual Cycle 1714/15 Cantatas Vol. 1 - Gutenberg Soloists, Neumeyer Consort/Felix Koch rec. 2020/21 CPO 555 436-2 [2 CDs: 133:43] [DBi] A fascinating first volume of Telemann’s French Annual Cycle of church cantatas, excellently recorded and beautifully performed.

The Myth of Venice 16th-century music for cornetto & keyboards - Gawain Glenton (cornett) Silas Wollston (virginal, organ) rec. 2021 DELPHIAN DCD34261 [61:50] [JV] A joy to listen to.

Hans ABRAHAMSEN (b. 1952) Schnee - Lapland Chamber Orchestra/John Storgårds rec. 2020 DACAPO 6.220585 SACD [54:18] [SB] A compelling performance of this strange and haunting work.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Keyboard Concertos Nos 1, 3 & 4 - Warren Mailley-Smith (piano) The Piccadilly Sinfonietta rec. 2021 SLEEVELESS RECORDS SLV1033 [49:39] [RMo] Skilled, modern and uplifting accounts of some of the most cheerful music in the repertoire - but short measure.

Pēteris BARISONS (1904-1947) Symphony No. 2, Three Preludes - Liepāja Symphony Orchestra/Gintaras Rinkevičius rec. 2021 SKANI LMIC132 [57:38] [SG] Music bathed in late romantic luxuriance.

Amy BEACH (1867-1944) Complete Works for Piano Duo - Piano Duo Genova & Dimitrov rec. 2021 CPO 555453-2 [63:51] [WK] A most enjoyable disc that should find a wide audience.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Diabelli Variations - Mitsuko Uchida (piano) rec. 2021 DECCA 4852731 [59:08] [DMD] The glorious fruits of experience.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto - Daniel Lozakovich (violin) Münchner Philharmoniker/Valery Gergiev rec. 2019 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 8946 [48:09] [MB] Daniel Lozakovich’s most exceptional disc to date.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 16-18 - Andreas Haefliger (piano) rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2607 SACD [70:28] [MG] Finely conceived and smoothly accomplished accounts with some surprises.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 0 & 5 - Boris Giltburg (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2019/20 NAXOS 8.574153 [62:40] [RC] Excellent performances of the Emperor and the rarely heard Concerto No. 0.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Works for Cello & Piano - Mischa Maisky (cello) Martha Argerich (piano) rec. 1990-1992 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 439 934-2 [65:37 + 73:23] [SB] A classic set of Beethoven’s cello works, now available again.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos, Choral Fantasy - Rudolf Serkin (piano) Bavarian Radio SO/Rafael Kubelík rec. 1977 ORFEO C220043 [3 CDs: 194:33] [JW] Serkin and Kubelík’s humane and beautiful Beethoven cycle restored.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Nos 30-32 - Gerardo Teissonnière (piano) rec. 2021 STEINWAY & SONS STNS30188 [69:06] [DMD] Olympian Beethoven from a mature, thoughtful artist.

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Symphony No. 3, Dybbuk Suite No. 2 (1974) - Montserrat Caballe (soprano), Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein rec. 1975 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 423 582-2 [56:03] [SB] Surely the version to have of this problematic symphony.

Sir Harrison BIRTWISTLE (b. 1934) Chamber Works - Nash Ensemble rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2561 SACD [64:44] [SB] A mixed bag, but the Trio and Oboe Quartet, at least, are fine works.

Marcin BŁAŻEWICZ (1953-2021) Double Concerto & Sonata for Violin & Accordion - Iwo Jedynecki (accordion) Karolina Mikołajczyk (violin) Orkiestra Filharmonii Śląskiej/Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk rec. 2019 DUX 1729 [51:21] [PRB] A fascinating composer, two formidable works, and a fabulous Duo all in one.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Sonatas 2 & 3, Scherzo - Oleg Marshev (piano) rec. 2021 DANACORD DACOCD900 [77:03] [JF] A supremely rewarding exploration of Brahms’s early piano music.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies & Orchestral Works - Anna Larsson (alto) Johan Reuter (baritone) Swedish Chamber O & Radio Choir/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2011-2018 BIS BIS-2556 SACD [4 discs: 291:46] [NB] A generous and interesting collection well worth consideration.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies, Tragic Overture - Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/William Steinberg rec. 1961, 1962, 1965 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 486 1815 [3 CDs: 166:47] [MSJ] One of the great Brahms cycles returns to the catalogue in properly restored sound.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897) String Sextets - Tabea Zimmerman (viola), Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello), Belcea Quartet rec. 2021 ALPHA 792 [75:54] [RMo] Two centrally important chamber works, adroitly and sensitively played.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) & Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Quintets - Olga Kern (piano), Dalí Quartet rec. 2019 DELOS DE3587 [71:51] [NC] Long-breathed sweep in Brahms, and a sparklingly revelatory, refreshing reading of a Shostakovich chamber classic.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 9 - Berliner Philharmoniker/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1944 GRAND SLAM RECORDS GS-2220 [57:31] [MB] An important addition to the Furtwängler discography of one of the greatest of all Bruckner Ninths.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No. 4 - Philharmonie Festiva/ Gerd Schaller rec. 2021 PROFIL PH22010 [73:24] [MC] Bruckner admirers will find this original 1874 version of the Fourth hard to resist.

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Doktor Faust - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) American Opera Society Chorus & Orchestra/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1964 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO188 [71.33 + 54.39] [PCG] Busoni’s masterpiece in a challenging and superlative performance – but a shame about the cuts.

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) & Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ music - Manuel Tomadin (organ) rec. 2019 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95941 [72:04] [JV] An instructive comparison of Buxtehude and Bach, played on a magnificent organ.

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810–1849) Piano Works - Thomas Prat (piano) rec. 2020 DUX 1687 [65:09] [RCh] Elegant and enjoyable playing though I want more flights of fancy.

Samuel COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1879-1912) Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, Symphony - Richard Lewis (tenor) Philharmonia O/Sir Malcolm Sargent, Aarhus SO/Douglas Bostock rec. 1961/2005 ALTO ALC1462 [68.10] [PCG] A welcome reissue and coupling for two major works by a composer whose reputation is belatedly rising once again.

Samuel COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912) Orchestral works - RTÉ Concert Orchestra/Adrian Leaper rec. 1993 NAXOS 8.555191 [71:15] [MR] Reissued in the Naxos British Light Music series, these recordings of Coleridge-Taylor orchestral music show a composer of some substance and high quality.

Nicolò CORRADINI (d. 1646) Ricercari Fr Mattia VENDI (early 17th C) Canzoni - Federico Del Sordo (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2019 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96136 [64:39] [JV] What a joy it is to listen to the organ of the Basilica of Mantua.

Jean-François DANDRIEU (1681-1738) Magnificats - Jean-Baptiste Robin (organ) rec. 2019 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS023 [70:52] [JV] A disc that no organ lover should miss.

Jean-François DANDRIEU (1681-1738) Vol. 2: Offertoires & Sonates en trio - Jean-Baptiste Robin (organ) Ensemble Il Caravaggio/Camille Delaforge rec. 2019 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS045 [73:09] [JV] The combination of the trio sonatas and their transcriptions as Offertoires makes this disc particularly interesting.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Pelléas et Mélisande - Vannina Santoni (soprano) Julien Behr (tenor) Chorus of Opéra de Lille, Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2021 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905352.54 [157:55] [JQ] An inspired recording of Pelléas et Mélisande.

François DIEUPART (1676-1751) Suites de clavecin - Marie van Rhijn (harpsichord) Héloïse Gaillard (recorder, oboe) Tami Troman (violin) Myriam Rignol (viola da gamba) Pierre Rinderknecht (theorbo) rec. 2020 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS060 [64:58] [JV] Well played, but just not my cup of tea.

Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Variations on a Nursery Song, Harp Concertino, Konzertstück - Sofja Gülbadamova (piano) Silke Aichhorn (harp) Andrei Ioniţă (cello) Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Modestas Pitrėnas rec. 2021 CAPRICCIO C5463 [68:14] [LW] More enjoyable Dohnányi from Capriccio.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Concerto, Piano Quintet No. 2 - Sviatoslav Richter (piano) Borodin Quartet, Prague SO/Václav Smetáček rec. 1966/1983 ALTO ALC1460 [79:15] [RMo] Superior in both sound and performance to the studio recording of the concerto and matched with a brilliant account of the quintet.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Legends, Notturno, Miniatures, Prague Waltzes - Budapest Festival Orchestra/Ivan Fischer rec. 1999 PHILIPS 476 2179 [68:11] [SB] Brilliant performances of some of Dvořák’s lighter works.

Hanns EISLER (1898-1962) Couplets & Ballads, Orchestral Suites 2-4, Die letzte Nacht - Klangforum Wien, Ensemble die reihe/HK Gruber rec. 1996 CAPRICCIO C5434 [66:30 + 60:42] [GT] An important release of one of the 20th century’s most significant German composers.

George ENESCU (1881-1955) Piano Trio, Piano Quartet No 1 - Stefan Tarara (violin) Molly Carr (viola) Eun-Sun Hong (cello) Josu De Solaun (piano) rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.573616 [58:18] [PRB] Fine French wine infused with pure Romanian spirit.

Auguste FAUCHARD (1881-1957) Complete Organ Works - Friedhelm Flamme (organ) rec. 2014/2021 CPO 555506-2 SACD [3 discs: 197:13] [SG] Music restored to circulation in compelling performances.

Edmund FINNIS (b. 1984) Shades - Manchester Collective rec. 2020/22 BEDROOM COMMUNITY HVALUR42 [29:42] [DMD] These ethereal quartets sing shy, reticent love songs.

Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997) Divertissement, Quatuor, Sixtuor, Trio - Karolina Stalmachowska (oboe, cor anglais) rec. 2017-2020 DUX 1808 [59:59] [MR] Fun, enjoyment and unalloyed pleasure permeate this delightful wind music.

Andrea GABRIELI (1533-1585) Motets & Organ Works - Edoardo Bellotti (organ), Weser-Renaissance Bremen/Manfred Cordes rec. 2018 CPO 555 291-2 [69:07] [JV] Pretty much ideal interpretations of music by the less well-known Gabrieli.

Baldassare GALUPPI (1706-1785) Piano Sonatas - Fernanda Damiano (piano) rec. 2020 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96346 [67:00] [PRB] La Tarantella takes on Il Buranello and everyone’s a winner.

Armstrong GIBBS (1899-1960) The Songs - Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano) Nathan Vale (tenor) Adrian Farmer (piano) rec. 2020/2021 LYRITA SRCD2400 [4 CDs: 220:12] [PCG] This magnificently recorded set provides us with a survey of Gibbs' song output that will satisfy for many years to come.

Umberto GIORDANO (1867-1948) Siberia - Sonya Yoncheva (soprano) Giorgi Sturua (tenor) Coro e O Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2021 DYNAMIC CDS7928.02 [51:11 + 43:43] [RMo] An enjoyable, if vocally flawed, performance of an understandably neglected opera.

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865–1935) Symphony No. 7, Stenka Razin, Lyric Poem, Carnival Overture - Niederrheinischen Sinfoniker/Mihkel Kütson rec. 2021 MDG 952 2235-6 SACD [74:18] [NC] Glazunov’s music finds good friends here.

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Enchantresses - Sandrine Piau (soprano), Les Paladins/Jérôme Correas rec. 2020 ALPHA CLASSICS 765 [67:20] [MC] Sandrine Piau’s accomplished performances in a collection of Handel’s opera arias.

Thomas de HARTMANN (1885-1956) Orchestral Music - Bülent Evcil (flute) Lviv Ntl Philharmonic SO/Theodore Kuchar rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0633 [65:55] [LD] A major late-romantic voice celebrating Ukraine.

Thomas de HARTMANN (1885-1956) Orchestral Works - Bülent Evcil (flute) Lviv Ntl PO Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0633 [65:55] [CL] First in a projected series rediscovering the orchestral music of a talented Ukrainian composer.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Complete Symphonies Vol .25 - Heidelberger Sinfoniker/Johannes Klumpp rec. 2020 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC21035 [68:16] [MC] This huge Haydn project, outstandingly begun by Thomas Fey, is successfully continued by Johannes Klumpp.

Swan HENNESSY (1866-1929) Viola and Piano Works Vol. 2 - Marin Murawski (viola), Hanna Holeksa (piano) rec. 2021 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0524 [53:58] [JW] More fragrant Irish charm from the expatriate American, Swan Hennessy.

Armas JÄRNEFELT (1869–1958) Complete Piano Works - Janne Oksanen (piano) rec. 2021 ALBA RECORDS ABCD506 [65:34] [RCh] Attractive miniatures that make me want to hear more of both composer and pianist.

Karol KĄTSKI (1815-1867) String Quartets, String Quintet - Tono Quartet, Aleksander Mazanek (double bass) rec. 2021 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0512 [75:06] [SA] You will be delighted that these works have been recorded.

Tālivaldis ĶENIŅŠ (1919-2008) Symphonies Nos 5 & 8, Aria per corde - Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Andris Poga rec. 2021 ONDINE ODE 1388-2 [52:32] [DC] Often spectacular and always fascinating.

Raul KOCZALSKI (1885-1948) Violin Sonatas - Agnieszka Marucha (violin); Jakub Tchorzewski (piano) rec. 2021 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0520 [54:09] [PRB] An unjustly neglected composer, while still celebrated as one of the piano greats of his time.

Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967) Works for cello - Marc Coppey (cello) Barnabas Kelemen (violin) Matan Porat (piano) rec. 2020 AUDITE 97.794 [81:03] [SB] Superb recordings of Kodály’s masterpieces for the cello.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897–1957) Much Ado About Nothing; Der Vampir - Holst-Sinfonietta and Chorus/ Klaus Simon rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573355 [64:36] [MR] Despite a first recording, this offers very little of interest to any but the most obsessive Korngold-ist.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Die tote Stadt - Klaus Florian Vogt, Camilla Nylund, Finnish Natl Opera Ch & O/Mikko Franck rec. 2010 OPUS ARTE OACD9050D [72:12 + 71:30] [NB] As ever, the music impresses but the actual performance is bettered elsewhere.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 4 - Chen Reiss (soprano) Czech Philharmonic/Semyon Bychkov rec. 2020 PENTATONE PTC5186972 [56:49] [JQ] An auspicious launch for Semyon Bychkov’s Mahler cycle with the Czech Philharmonic.

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Requiem Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Otčenáš - JORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir/Leif Segerstam rec. 1979/87 CAPRICCIO C5454 [60:59] [MR] Two early 20th century composers’ little-heard choral works brought out of hiding from the archives of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Sonatas - Alina Ibragimova (violin) Cédric Tiberghien (piano) rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68322 [67:04] [DC] Stunning recording and flawless musicianship.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) String Quintets Nos. 1 & 2 - Doric String Qt, Timothy Ridout (viola) rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20218 [61:31] [SB] A polished version of Mendelssohn’s two rewarding string quintets.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Lieder ohne Worte Vol. 1 - Peter Donohoe (piano) rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20252 [79:56] [NC] Donohoe’s Mendelssohn hits the gym, trading elfin grace for beefy brawn.

Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925) Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - Sinfonia Varsovia/Ian Hobson rec. 2019/21 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0598 [60:27] [JWe] More wonderful Moszkowski – excellent playing, well worth a listen!

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Violin Concertos Nos 3 & 5; Symphony No 29 - Sebastian Bohren (violin), CHAARTS Chamber Artists/ Gábor Tákacs-Nagy rec. 2018/20 AVIE AV2459 [74:43] [MG] Bohren excels in a quiet, intimate, reflective approach, offered with beautiful, pure tone.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Next Generation Mozart Soloists Vols. 1 & 2 - Camerata Schweiz, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg/Howard Griffiths rec. 2021 ALPHA 794/795 [57:32 & 61:40] [RMo] Sparkling performances of predominantly youthful Mozart works played by equally youthful soloists.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891–1953) The Fiery Angel - Arnold Schoenberg Choir, ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/Constantin Trinks rec. 2021 UNITEL EDITION 806004 Blu-ray [122 mins] [RC] On purely musical grounds this is superb, but the production is problematic.

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Dido and Aeneas - Malena Ernman (mezzo) Christopher Maltman (baritone) Les Arts Florissants/William Christie rec. 2008 NAXOS NBD0140V Blu-ray [66 mins] [DBi] A wonderfully convincing performance and a first-class production full of imaginative touches.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Liturgy of St John Chrysostom - Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir/Haspars Putniņš rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2571 SACD [58:53] [MR] Music of the Russian Orthodox Church has rarely sounded so utterly beautiful as it does here.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 2 Arno BABADJANIAN (1921-1983) Heroic Ballad - Jean-Paul Gasparian (piano) Berner Symphonieorchester/Stefan Blunier rec. 2021 CLAVES RECORDS 50-3004 [55:11] [RCh] Big passions and virtuosity on display in fabulous performances.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 2, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini - Martino Tirimo (piano), London Philharmonic Orchestra/Yoel Levi rec. 1982 ALTO ALC1447 [59:00] [RMo] Fine performances marred by a certain restraint in the big moments; for me, Rubinstein’s bravura still rules.

Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937) Piano Concertos, Mélodies - Cédric Tiberghien (piano) Stéphane Degout (baritone) Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2020/21 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902612 [73:49] [NC] Further confirmation that Roth is the most interesting conductor active today.

Silvestre REVUELTAS (1899-1940) Redes Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) The City - PostClassical Ensemble/Angel Gil-Ordóñez rec. 2007/14 NAXOS 8.574350 [68:27] [NC] Revueltas unleashed, and joined by a Copland curiosity, on this essential Naxos disc.

Giedymin RODKIEWICZ (1834-1891) Poet of the Piano rec. 2021 DUX 1790 [60:46] [RCh] Decent enough Chopinesque pieces but nothing to write home about.

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) La Cenerentola - Teresa Berganza (mezzo) Luigi Alva (tenor) Scottish Opera Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra/Claudio Abbado rec. 1971 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 459 448-2 [73.57 + 71.00] [PCG] A historic and pioneering recording of Rossini now available once again, but time has moved on.

Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937) Le Testament de la Tante Caroline - Marie Lenormand (mezzo) Marion Gomar (soprano) Orchestre des Frivolités Parisiennes/Dylan Corlay rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.660479 [79:00] [NB] A curio of limited interest – but idiomatically and well performed.

Camille SAINT-SAENS (1835-1821) Works for Piano 4 Hands - Marco Sollini, Salvatore Barbatano (piano duet) rec. 2021 DA VINCI C00492 [61:25] [MR] Charming, witty, and dramatic music for piano duet by Saint-Saëns, superbly played and brilliantly recorded.

Esa-Pekka SALONEN (b. 1958) Cello Concerto Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Sonata for Violin and Cello - Nicolas Alstaedt (cello), Pekka Kuusisto (violin), Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra/Dima Slobodeniouk rec. 2018/19 ALPHA 627 [57:22] [HC] Salonen’s magnificent concerto repays repeated hearings, but the occasionally idiosyncratic performance of Ravel’s sonata may not appeal to everyone.

Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725) Opera omnia per tastiera vol. VII - Francesco Tasini (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2015-2019 TACTUS TC661991 [73:52] [JV] This disc marks the conclusion of one of the major recording projects of recent times.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Michael Wilmering (baritone) Daan Boertien (piano) rec. 2021 TRPTK TTK0078 [76:00] [DMD] Takes a lyrical path to an interpretation of great profundity.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas - Larissa Dedova (piano) rec. 2018-2020 CENTAUR CRC3896-3900 [5 CDs: 362:04] [DMD] A calm, wise approach pays rich dividends.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Arttu Kataja (baritone) Pauliina Tukiainen (piano) rec. 2021 ALBA ABCD509 [72:33] [RMo] A thoroughly satisfying rendition of the greatest song cycle, beautifully sung in the best Finnish tradition.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856) The Complete Works for Cello & Piano - Nathaniel Rosen (cello), Doris Stevenson (piano) HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS 12581 [43:05] [GF] An admirable disc.

Salvatore SCIARRINO (b. 1947) Musiche per il Paradiso di Dante - Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto/Marco Angius rec. 2021 KAIROS 0015119KAI [76:15] [RWe] Those curious about the most distinctive voices within contemporary classical music should investigate Sciarrino.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975) The Symphonies - Netherlands Radio Choir, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales/ Mark Wigglesworth rec. 1996–2010 BIS BIS-2593 SACD [10 discs: 7300:04] [JQ] My first choice for a Shostakovich symphony cycle.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1964-84 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4860651 CD/BD-A [5 CDs: 271:12 & BD-A: 196:47] [JQ] Karajan was a notable interpreter of the Finnish master and these recordings will make a distinguished addition to any Sibelius collection.

Tilman SILLESCU (b. 1969) Symphony No. 1 - Staatskapelle Weimar/Christian K. Frank rec. 2019/21 GENUIN GEN22788 [41:58] [CL] An intelligent and accessible contemporary tonal symphony from a composer of film and video game music.

Antonio SOLER (1729-1783) Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 10 - Evgeny Konnov (piano) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574344 [70:24] [DJB] If you enjoy Scarlatti and Haydn on the piano, you will be charmed by these fine works. 

Mischa SPOLIANSKY (1898-1985) Orchestral Music - Liepāja Symphony Orchestra/Paul Mann rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0626 [73:43] [NB] An impressive survey including a symphony of real stature prepared and performed with care and insight.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Metamorphosen Franz SCHREKER (1878-1934) Intermezzo Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Symphonic Serenade - Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHSA5292 SACD [64:22] [RMo] A trio of superb string masterpieces, impeccably executed.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan, Metamorphosen, Till Eulenspiegel - Berliner Philharmoniker/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1943/47 GRAND SLAM RECORDS GS-2266 [56:33] [MB] A chance to hear Furtwängler conduct Richard Strauss in unpublished test pressings made in stereo.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Sonatina No.2, Serenade - Carnegie Mellon Wind Ens/George Vosburgh rec. 2019 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-745 [50:33] [NB] A valuable record for the talented student performers but not competitive in the wider marketplace.

Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme suite, Five Songs & Scenes from Salome - Jessye Norman (soprano), London Philharmonic Orchestra/Klaus Tennstedt rec. 1986 LPO LPO0122 [77:12] [MB] Not everything here is really Richard Strauss but this disc is a superb reminder of two artists in inspirational form.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring - London SO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2017 LSO LIVE LSO5096 SACD [47:26 + 69:07] [RWe] A superb coupling of Stravinsky’s three epoch-defining ballets.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882–1971) Piano Conversations - Luigi Palombi (piano) rec. 2021 DYNAMIC CDS7947 [78:49] [NC] A thought-provoking exploration of Stravinsky’s multi-faceted art and its reception.

Martin SUCKLING (b. 1981) The Tuning & other chamber works - Marta Fontanals-Simmons (mezzo) Christopher Glyn (piano) Francis Leviston (reader) Aurora O principals rec. 2020 DELPHIAN DCD34235 [75:39] [GPu] Suckling is a composer of subtlety and substance, at his very best when responding to poetry.

Freda SWAIN (1902-1985) Piano Music Vol. 1 - Timon Altwegg (piano) rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0579 [77:34] [JW] From clotted to clarity-conscious, the elusive art of Freda Swain.

Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770) The Last Violin Sonatas - Duo Tartini rec. 2019 MUSO MU-040 [79:45] [JV] This disc may well give us a good idea of Tartini's aesthetic ideals at the closing stage of his life.

Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770) & Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Concertos & Sonatas - Mira Glodeanu (violin) Frédérick Haas (harpsichord) Ausonia rec. 2019 HITASURA HSP006 [81:04] [JV] Some programming issues but I have nothing but praise for the performances.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) On Wenlock Edge, Four Hymns, The House of Life - Nicky Spence (tenor) Julius Drake (piano) Piatti Quartet rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68378 [69:50] [EJW] A welcome new recording of Vaughan Williams’ vocal works.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Four Seasons - Victoria Sayles (violin), The Piccadilly Sinfonietta rec. 2021 SLEEVELESS RECORDS SLV1032 [38:51] [RMo] A thoroughly enjoyable account, but poor value at only 39 minutes.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der fliegende Holländer - George London (baritone) Leonie Rysanek (soprano) Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House/Antal Dorati rec. 1960 HDTT 12220 [3 CDs: 143:07] [GF] Despite being recorded over sixty years ago, this newly refurbished Flying Dutchman can now make claims to be the recommended version.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Violin Sonatas - Arnold Steinhardt (violin), Seymour Lipkin (piano) rec. 1995 BIDDULPH 85010-2 [43:47] [JW] The primarius of the Guarneri Quartet on a rare solo outing with an expert colleague.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919–1996) Cello Concertino, Fantasy, Chamber Symphony No. 4 - Pieter Wispelwey (cello), Jean-Michel Charlier (clarinet), Les Métamorphoses/Raphaël Faye rec. 2021 EVIL PENGUIN EPRC0045 [68:27] [NC] Pieter Wispelwey and Les Métamorphoses prove charismatic proselytizers of Weinberg’s sub-Shostakovich melos

Philip WILBY (b. 1949) An English Passion according to Saint Matthew - Belfast Cathedral Choir/Matthew Owens rec. 2021 RESONUS RES10298 [67:44] [JQ] Philip Wilby’s Passion setting is a fine achievement, given an excellent debut recording.

Mortimer WILSON (1876–1932) The Thief of Baghdad - Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Mark Fitz-Gerald rec. 2019 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR126 [74:45] [NC] A lovely recording of Wilson’s score for a Douglas Fairbanks epic.

Riccardo ZANDONAI (1883–1944) Francesca da Rimini - Sara Jakubiak (soprano), Berlin Deutsche Opera Chorus & Orchestra/Carlo Rizzi rec. 2021 NAXOS NBD0142V Blu-ray [140 mins] [DBi] A splendid performance of Zandonai’s best opera in an awkward, modern production.

American Art Quartet Works by Beethoven, Haydn & Mozart - Benny Goodman (clarinet) rec. 1951-53 BIDDULPH 85011-2 [75:47] [JW] The only standard repertoire recordings ever made by this eminent string quartet.

Bassoon Steppes Lola Descours (bassoon), Paloma Kouider (piano) rec. 2021 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100190 [62:47] [DMD] This collection will change your mind about the instrument – just ignore the title.

The Beatles Cristina García Banegas (organ) rec. 2019 DRAMA MUSICA DRAMAM012 [40:49] [MR] Cristina García Banegas’ second foray into playing Beatles hits on the organ is as uninspiring as her first.

British Piano Concertos Works by Addison, Benjamin, Machonchy, Searle, Rubbra & Bush - Simon Callaghan (piano) BBC Ntl O Wales/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2021 LYRITA SRCD407 [68:33] [GH] Revelatory British concertos, realised with style and character, well worth exploring.

Marcel Ciampi (piano) Live in Concert – Paris 1955-56 - Orchestre de l'Association des Concerts de Chambre de Paris/Fernand Oubradous SOLSTICE SOCD395 [80:02] [SG] Musical testimonies restored and dusted down.

A Contemporary Ukulele Giovanni Albini (ukulele) rec. 2021 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00506 [59:17] [SW] A novel and interesting album that makes an argument for the ukulele as a contemporary classical instrument.

Early Italian Cello Concertos Works by Sammartini, Vivaldi, Tartini & Leo - Elinor Frey (cello) Rosa Barocca/Claude Lapalme rec. 2021 ANALEKTA AN29163 [56:11] [DJB] A substantial disappointment, based on a musical proposition that I didn’t buy.

Eastertide Evensong James Anderson-Besant & Glen Dempsey (organ) Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha rec. 2018-21 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD707 [57:07] [JQ] A fine celebration of Evensong for Eastertide.

Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) Sings Bach & Handel - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1946–1952 ALTO ALC1457 [78:30] [RMo] A classic recital reissued on a bargain label in good sound with attractive fillers.

Flowering Jasmine Liepāja Symphony Orchestra/Guntis Kuzma rec. 2021 SKANI LMIC127 [75:43] [DJB] An interesting and enjoyable mix of mostly lyrical music from Latvia.

Flow of Music Works by Dvořák, Rosauro & Zöllner - Alexej Gerassimez (percussion) Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie/Wolfgang Hentrich rec. 2021 GENUIN GEN22778 [57:01] [CL] A calling card for this young ensemble and an excellent performance of Rosauro’s first marimba concerto.

Hail Caledonia - Scotland in Music City of Glasgow Pipe Band, Chorus & Philharmonic Orchestra/Iain Sutherland rec. 1995-96 SOMM ARIADNE 5014 [79:32] [MR] Scottish-themed light music in performances ranging from the scrappy to the superb.

Bernard Haitink (conductor) The Early Years Vol. 1: Works by Diepenbrock & Mahler - Concertgebouw Orchestra rec. 1958/62 BEULAH IPS51 [65:26] [DMD] Beulah work their usual magic on the sound.

Harmonium vs Organ Works by Saint-Saëns & Vierne - Giulio Mercati (harmonium, organ) DYNAMIC CDS7924.02 [2 CDs: 124:07] [MR] Not quite what it says on the tin, but essential listening nonetheless of some of Vierne’s most inventive creations.

Les Six: Merci et Adieu, Claude Sérgio Pires (clarinet), Kosuke Akimoto (piano) rec. 2021 CAVI-MUSIC 8553038 [62:03] [GT] Enlightening performances by two outstanding young virtuosi.

Frédéric Lodéon (cello) Le Flamboyant - The Complete Erato & EMI Recordings rec. 1973-86 ERATO 9029654625 [21 CDs: 18 hrs] [SG] A remarkable seventieth birthday tribute.

Marguerite Long (piano) Volume 1: Fauré and d’Indy rec. 1930-1957 APR RECORDINGS 6038 [74:31 +80:33] [RCh] A comprehensive and well-presented collection from this close acquaintance of Fauré and d'Indy.

Magician of Sound Ravel and the Aesthetics of Illusion by Jessie Fillerup publ. 2021 University of California Press [NC] Fillerup takes her reader behind the curtain of Ravel’s musical magic act.

Melancolía Spanish courtly songs - Música Temprana/Adrián Rodriguez van der Spoel rec. 2020 PENTATONE PTC5186294 [74:03] [JV] A perfect marriage of concept, music and performance.

Music for the Eyes Masques and Fancies - Concerto Scirocco/Giulia Genini rec. 2021 ARCANA A523 [63:59] [JV] Another jewel in the crown of Concerto Scirocco.

David Nadien (violin) Works by Schubert, Franck, Fauré, Debussy & Ravel - David Hancock (piano) rec. 1958 BIDDULPH 85012-2 [77:32] [JW] New remasterings of a familiar LP with previously unreleased Schubert.

Neujahrskonzert 1987 & Silvesterkonzert 1988 Kathleen Battle (soprano), Evgeny Kissin (piano) Wiener/Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1987/1988 C MAJOR Blu-ray 759704 [157 mins] [MP] Lighthearted and enjoyable throughout.

David Oistrakh (violin) Recorded Rarities from Melodiya - Alexander Goldenweiser, Zara Levina (piano) rec. 1947-59 BIDDULPH 85013-2 [78:02] [JW] Rare solo Bach from David Oistrakh in a Melodiya exploration.

Passion: An Imaginary Opera Véronique Gens (soprano), Ensemble Les Surprises/Louis-Noël Bestion de Camboulas rec. 2020 ALPHA 747 [57:12] [GF] Veronique Gens enchants in a cornucopia of fine music from the 17th century.

Poems and Rhapsodies Solomiya Ivakhiv (violin), National Symphony of Ukraine/Volodymyr Sirenko rec. 2019 CENTAUR CRC3799 [78:37] [MSJ] A distinguished, rewarding, and worthwhile document.

Russian Roots Katharina Konradi (soprano) Trio Gaspard rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20245 [73:51] [LW] Intelligent programming in splendid performances and recording.

Andrés Segovia and his Contemporaries Vol. 14 The Guitar in Spain Part 2 rec. 1928-1957 DOREMI DHR 8139 [52:33] [ZT] Legendary treasures not to be missed.

Blanche Selva: Transcriptions for Piano Works by Franck, d'Indy & de Séverac - Christophe Petit (piano) rec. 2021 CIAR CLASSICS CC011 [60:52] [RMo] Engaging piano transcriptions celebrate four important French musicians.

Fabien Sevitzky (conductor) Indianapolis Symphony Vol. 5 - Works by Grieg & Haydn rec. 1941-45 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC650 [73:28] [JW] The penultimate volume of Sevitzky and the Indianapolis Orchestra in fine wartime form.

Grigory Sokolov (piano) At Esterházy Palace rec. 2018 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4861849 [2 CDs: 124:49] [DMD] Consummate pianism but never quite achieves lift off.

Symphonies of the Bach Family Berliner Barock Solisten/Reinhard Goebel rec. 2021 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC21029 [63:37] [DJB] Performances that sparkle with wit and style.

Tenebrae Responsories: Feria Quinta The Gesualdo Six/Owain Park rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68348 [70:30] [ST] A disc that draws you in and won’t let go.

Things in Pairs Audrey Wright (violin), Yundu Wang (piano) rec. 2021 NAVONA RECORDS NV6392 [65:00] [DMD] An attractive programme from a perceptive violinist.

Articles and Notices

British Film Music Historian John Huntley by William Snedden

Composer Greg Caffrey in conversation with Robert Beattie

Ukrainian Music on Record by Gregor Tassie

The Cello Concerto Project - an update by Patrick Waller & Renate Dehmer

My Birtwistle Journey by Jayne Lee Wilson



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