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Monthly Listing
July 2022
133 reviews this month

John Luther Adams (b. 1953) Houses of the Wind - John Luther Adams (computer) rec. 2022 COLD BLUE MUSIC CB0063 [52] [DMD] John Luther Adams pays back his debt to nature with spellbinding results.

Christian Frederik Emil Horneman (1840-1906) Aladdin - Danish National SO & Concert Choir/Michael Schønwandt rec. 2020 DA CAPO 6.200007 SACD [3 discs: 179] [PCG] A superb performance of an almost totally unknown Danish romantic opera in an ideal presentation will reward listeners.

Zygmunt Stojowski (1870-1946) Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 - Marek Szlezer, Witold Wilczek (piano) Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra/Marek Wroniszewski, Zofia Guz rec. 2021 DUX 1773 [69] [RCh] Terrific performances of these glorious romantic concertos.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Vaughan Williams on Brass - Tredegar Town Band/Ian Porthouse, Martin Brabbins rec. 2021/22 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD052 [79] [NB] A unique and comprehensive programme receiving definitive performances.

Yi Lin Jiang (piano) Dualis I - Works by Janáček , Meyers, Prokofiev & Ravel rec. 2019 SOLARIS RECORDS SOL19011 [67] [DC] World class in every regard.

Alfonso X El Sabio, King of Castile (1221-1284) Cantigas de Santa Maria - Early Music Ensemble ‘Scandicus’/Piotr Flis rec. 2018 CD ACCORD ACD285 [63] [GH] Lively and apparently authentic performances of some of the earliest of European songs.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu - Vlaams Radiokoor, Il Gardellino Baroque Orchestra/Bart van Reyn rec. 2021 PASSACAILLE PAS1115 [69] [DF] An invaluable recording of a seldom-performed key work of the late eighteenth century.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Cantatas - Krešimir Stražanac (baritone) Dorothee Mields (soprano) Staatskapelle Dresden/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 2021 PROFIL PH21024 [2 CDs: 124] [MC] Exemplary performances of two J.S. Bach cantatas. 

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations - Burkard Schliessmann (piano) rec. 2007 DIVINE ART DDC25754 SACD [2 CDs: 83] [RMo] Wilful, erratic playing lacking the requisite steady, underlying pulse.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) Ouvertures-Suites - Ensemble Masques/ Olivier Fortin (harpsichord) rec. 2021 ALPHA 832 [77] [MG] Excellent performances and initiative, but as a supplement to, rather than replacement of, Bach’s revisions.

Maria Bach (1896-1978) Piano Quintet, String Quintet, Cello Sonata - Akiko Shiochi, Yukie Takai (piano) Christine Busch, Elene Meipariani (violin) Klaus Christa (viola) Mathias Johansen, Conradin Brotbek (cello) rec. 2019/20 CPO 555341-2 [75] [DJB] A totally unexpected pleasure – the Piano Quintet is not far short of a masterpiece.

Maria Bach (1896-1978) Piano Quintet, Cello Sonata, Cello Suite - Marina Grauman, Nina Karmon (violin) Öykü Canpolat (viola) Alexander Hülshoff (cello) Oliver Treindl (piano) rec. 2020/21 HÄNSSLER HC21051 [65] [JW] Expressively charged performances of a rediscovered Viennese composer.

Mily Balakirev (1837-1910) Symphony No.2, In Bohemia, Overture on 3 Russian Songs, Suite - USSR State Symphony Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. 1977 ALTO ALC1429 [78] [RB] The Suite has pallid charms but the other works are given the hothouse Svetlanov treatment.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1829) Symphony No. 5 Robert Schumann (1810-1856) Andante & Variations Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) Variations on a Theme by Beethoven - Tessa Uys, Ben Schoeman (piano duet) rec. 2020/21 SOMM SOMMCD0650 [65] [JWe] A magnificent recording in all respects; full marks to all concerned.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphony No. 6 Steven Stucky (1949-2016) Silent Spring - Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Manfred Honeck rec. 2017/18 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-747 SACD [58:02] [NB] Convincing Beethoven and powerful Stucky make for an enthralling listening experience.

Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) I Capuleti e i Montecchi - Sonia Ganassi (mezzo) Jessica Pratt (soprano) Orchestra & Chorus of Teatro La Fenice/Omer Meir Wellber rec. 2015 NAXOS NBD0149V Blu-Ray [136] [MP] Minor flaws don’t detract from a generally enjoyable performance.

Arrigo Boito (1842-1918) Nerone - Rafael Rojas (tenor) Alessandra Volpe (mezzo) Prague Philharmonic Choir, Vienna SO/Dirk Kaftan rec. 2021 C MAJOR Blu-ray 761304 [149] [PCG] A rare chance to hear an almost forgotten opera of considerable musical and dramatic merit.

William Bolcom (b. 1938) The Complete Rags - Marc-André Hamelin (piano) rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68391/2 [2 CDs: 133] [PBW] A delightful and varied collection of pieces, stunningly performed.

Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877-1952) Piano works - Sławomir Wilk (piano) rec. 2021 DUX 1775 [64] [RCh] Glorious romantic piano music played with panache.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Serenades - Linos Ensemble rec. 2020 CAPRICCIO C5447 [75] [RMo] A beautifully played and engineered recording making the strongest possible case for Brahms’ first thoughts in these youthful works.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Piano Quintet, String Quintet No. 2 - Boris Giltburg (piano) Pavel Nikl (viola) Pavel Haas Quartet rec. 2021 SUPRAPHON SU4306-2 [72] [JLW] Spectacular playing, but comparisons offer intriguing insights.

Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) Concerto for Violin & Cello - Zino Francescatti (violin), Pierre Fournier (cello), The Columbia Symphony Orchestra/Bruno Walter rec. 1960 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDTT3131 [33] [RMo] Supposedly a prime choice but to my ears only intermittently absorbing, somewhat lethargic and prone to intonation issues compared with Ferras and Tortelier.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Piano Sonata No. 1 Leone Sinigaglia (1868-1944) Piano works - Edoardo Turbil (piano) rec. 2021 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00550 [70] [RCh] Playing full of zest brings Sinigaglia's piano music to sparkling life.

Margaret Brouwer (b. 1940) Songs and Chamber Music - Sarah Beaty (mezzo-soprano), Brian Skoog (tenor), Eliesha Nelson (viola), Shuai Wang (piano), Mari Sato (violin) rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.559904 [56] [GF] Very accessible music from the 21st century, with a message, and performed with great commitment.

William Byrd (1543–1623) & Bob Chilcott (b. 1955) O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth our Queen - ORA Singers/Suzi Digby rec. 2022 HARMONIA MUNDI [6] [JQ] A fine musical celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

John Cage (1912–1994) Choral Works - Latvian Radio Choir/Sigvards Kļava rec. 2007/20 ONDINE ODE1402-2 [67] [NC] Sublime performances of some of Cage’s most beautiful later works, but watch out for the album’s close.

Nicolas Champion (c.1475-1533) Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena - Capella Pratensis/Stratton Bell rec. 2021 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72879 SACD [76] [GH] Plainsong extemporisations and a rare Mass make this a fascinating venture into a new way of presenting renaissance sacred music.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) Piano Works - George Banhalmi (piano) rec. 1957 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1956 [53] [SG] Well-groomed performances from a pianist who seems no longer to be on the radar.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) Nocturnes - Nelson Goerner (piano) rec. 2017 ALPHA 359 [2 CDs: 108] [MG] Goerner’s Nocturnes have admirable consistency in focus and logical, clear progression, though sometimes this can seem a little too clinical.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) La mer Richard Strauss (1864-1949) Don Juan - Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner rec. 1960, 1961 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDTT2976 [41] [RMo] Two treasurable recordings of orchestral masterpieces, as fine as any in the catalogues, in spectacular remastered sound.

Théodore Dubois (1837-1924) Dixtuor Vincent d’Indy (1851-1931) Chanson et Danses André Caplet (1878-1925) Suite Persane - Polyphonia Ensemble Berlin rec. 2020 OEHMS CLASSICS OC493 [61] [DJB] Three delightful fin de siècle French wind ensemble works make for a very welcome release.

Lionel Daunais (1901–1982) Mélodies - Jacqueline Woodley (soprano) Annina Haug (mezzo) Pierre Rancourt (baritone) Michel Bellavance (flute) Marc Bourdeau (piano) rec. 2021 CENTREDISCS CMCCD30122 [76] [RB] A moving and entertaining sequence - the product of careful choice, sequencing and stylish singing.

Trevor Duncan (1924–2005) Orchestral Works - Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/ Andrew Penny rec. 1993 NAXOS 8.555192 [68] [NC] Trevor Duncan’s bejeweled miniatures bring out the best from the Slovak RSO in this delightful Naxos reissue.

Steve Elcock (b. 1957) Orchestral Music Vol. 3 - Marina Kosterina (piano), Siberian Symphony Orchestra/Dmitry Vasiliev rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0616 [76] [CL] Compositionally dense and emotionally wide-ranging symphonies by a living Anglo-French composer.

Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) The Reeds by Severn Side - Joshua Ryan (organ), Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea/William Vann rec. 2021 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD278 [80] [GPJ] A well performed and cunningly devised selection of Elgar’s smaller choral works, with examples from all phases of his career.

Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) Elgar in America Vol. 3 - Richard Lewis (tenor), Maureen Forrester (mezzo-soprano), Mormon Tabernacle Choir, New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli rec. 1953-59 SOMM ARIADNE 5015-2 [2 CDs: 129] [JQ] The latest instalment in SOMM’s fascinating series of Elgar recordings in the USA.

Juan del Encina (1468-1529) Todos los bienes del mundo - ContrArco Consort rec. 2020 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00526 [58] [GH] Pleasing performances of delightful songs and instrumental works by one of Spain’s most significant early renaissance masters.

Robert Farnon (1917-2005) Orchestral Works - Slovak Radio SO/Adrian Leaper rec. 1991 NAXOS 8.574323 [63] [RB] A stylish and feelingly executed collection of music drawn from the late golden age of British light music.

Richard Flury (1896-1967) Die Helle Nacht - Julia Sophie Wagner, Stephanie Bühlmann (soprano) Magnus Vigilius (tenor) Göttingen Symphony Orchestra/Paul Mann rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0580 [2 CDs: 106] [SG] Both a remarkable achievement and a labour of love.

César Franck (1822-1890) Orchestral Works - Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine/Francisco Varela rec. 2021 GUILD GMCD7830 [72] [SB] A fine new collection of Franck’s rewarding shorter orchestral works.

César Franck (1822-1890) Complete Songs & Duets - Tassis Christoyannis (baritone) Véronique Gens (soprano) Jeff Cohen (piano) rec. 2021 BRU ZANE BZ2003 [2 CDs: 105] [MC] Beautifully performed, recorded and presented, this album is an appealing addition to the catalogue.

Felice Giardini (1726-1796) Sonatas for Flute & Harpsichord - ConSerto Musico rec. 2020 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95625 [67] [JV] Good performances and creative interpretation.

Alessandro Grandi (1590-1630) Laetatus sum - Vesper Psalms - Accademia d'Arcadia, UtFaSol Ensemble/Alessandra Rossi Lürig rec. 2019 ARCANA A525 [74] [JV] Once again Ms Lürig and her colleagues demonstrate that Grandi was a true master of his art.

Thomas de Hartmann (1884-1956) Piano Concerto, Symphonie-Poème No. 3, Scherzo-fantastique - Elan Sicroff (piano), Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine/Tian Hui Ng rec. 2021 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6429 [70] [DC] Further discoveries from a mid-20th century master.

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Symphonies Nos 82-87 - L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet rec. 1962 DECCA 470 062-2 [2 CDs: 140] [RMo] Pleasant performances whose blandness combined with cumulative little flaws disqualify them from being among the best.

John Ireland (1879-1962) Orchestral Works - Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHSA5293 SACD [67] [NB] Stunning playing that on occasion could benefit from a more nuanced approach.

Jānis Ivanovs (1906-1983) Symphonies No. 17 & 18 - Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Guntis Kuzma rec. 2022 SKANI LMIC141 [67] [SG] Compelling and soul-searching performances.

Daniel Jones (1912-1993) Rediscovered Piano Works - Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2019-21 LYRITA SRCD2396 [4 CDs: 240] [SG] Music finally seeing the light of day.

Paul Juon (1872-1940) Chamber Music for Viola - Basil Vendryes (viola), Igor Pikayzen (violin), William David (piano) rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0389 [67] [RB] The viola sonatas will have the listener sitting bolt-upright.

Dmitry Kabalevsky (1904-1987) Preludes - Raphaël Epstein (piano) rec. 2021 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38611 [64] [NC] Luscious performances of piano music by a still underappreciated Soviet classic.

Dmitry Klyuchevskiy (b. 1973) Music for Headphone Listening rec. 2022 Private Release [57] [DMD] A lively and diverse self-taught composer.

Charles Koechlin (1867–1950) The Seven Stars' Symphony - Sinfonieorchester Basel/ Ariane Matiakh rec. 2021 CAPRICCIO C5449 [56] [GF] Koechlin may not be a household name, but this disc is well worth getting to know.

Michel-Richard de Lalande (1657-1726) Grands Motets - Ensemble Correspondances/Sébastien Daucé HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902625 [81] [JV] Better than any other comparable recording I have heard recently.

Fernando Lopes-Graça (1906-1994) Orchestral works - Portuguese Symphony Orchestra/Bruno Borralhinho rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.574373 [63] [HC] One of Lopes-Graça's supreme masterpieces is a most welcome addition to his discography.

Thomas Lupo (1571-1627) Fantasia - Fretwork rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD716 [64] [SB] A delightful collection of viol consort music and the only current disc dedicated to Thomas Lupo.

Boris Lyatoshynsky (1895–1968) Complete Symphonies - Ukrainian State Symphony Orchestra/ Theodore Kuchar rec. 1993–94 NAXOS 8.503303 [3 CDs: 189] [RB] Performances and sound breathe full emotional engagement.

Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) Symphony No. 4 - Sabine Devieilhe (soprano), Les Siècles/ François-Xavier Roth rec. 2021 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905357 [55] [JQ] A thought-provoking rendition of the Fourth which all Mahlerians should hear.

Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882-1973) Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2, Per una favola cavalleresca - Paolo Chiavacci (violin) Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma/Francesco La Vecchia rec. 2012/13 NAXOS 8.573075 [69] [RB] A Malipiero genre admirably tackled and most agreeably performed and recorded.

Gian Francesco Malipiero (1882-1973) Violin Concertos Nos 1 & 2, Per una favola cavalleresca - Paolo Chiavacci (violin) Orchestra Sinfonica de Roma/Francesco La Vecchia rec. 2012/13 NAXOS 8.573075 [69] [SA] Plaudits are due all round.

Frank Martin (1890–1974) Requiem Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) Otčenáš - ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir/ Leif Segerstam rec. 1979/87 CAPRICCIO C5454 [60] [WK] A powerful performance from the ORF Archives.

Žibuoklė Martinaitytė (b. 1973) Ex Tenebris Lux - Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra/Karolis Variakojis rec. 2121 ONDINE ODE1403-2 [75] [RB] These works demand concentration and occupy a pianissimo littoral.

Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) L’Étoile du nord - Elizabeth Futral (soprano), Vladimir Ognev (bass), Darina Takova (soprano), National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 1996 NAXOS 8.660498-500 [3 CDs: 174] [NF] Not ideal for several reasons, but the best we have at the moment.

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) L’Orfeo - Krystian Adam (tenor) Hana Blažiková (soprano) Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2017 OPUS ARTE OABD7298D Blu-Ray [119] [PCG] Monteverdi from Venice under Gardiner falls not altogether comfortably between two stools.

Rudolf Moser (1892-1960) Works for string orchestra - Marc Lachat (oboe) Chamber Orchestra I Tempi/Gevorg Gharabekyan rec. 2020/21 GENUIN GEN22773 [68] [JW] Comfortable neo-baroque charm from a twentieth-century Swiss.

Jean Mouton (c.1459–1522) Missa Faulte d'argent & Motets - Brabant Ensemble/ Stephen Rice rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68385 [73] [GH] The Brabant ensemble strike gold again with a fine disc by a composer who deserves to be more highly regarded.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) String Quartets Vol. 4 - Armida Quartett rec. 2020/21 CAVI-MUSIC 8553205 [62] [DF] Captivating new interpretations of familiar string quartets.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Don Giovanni - Erwin Schrott, Roberto Tagliavini, Malin Byström, Orchestra and Chorus Royal Opera House Covent Garden/Hartmut Haenchen rec. 2019 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7295D [187] [RWe] A flawed text, a variable cast, but a terrific staging.

Jan Novák (1921-1984) Orchestral Music Vol. 1 - Alice Rajnohová (piano), Vilém Veverka (oboe), Lucie Schinzelová, Kristýna Znamenáčková (piano duet), Ensemble Opera Diversa/Gabriela Tardonová rec. 2015/2019 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0551 [75] [JW] The energising music of Jan Novák, briefly but significantly Martinů’s New York pupil.

Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020) Theatre and Film Music - ABeethoven Academy Orchestra/Maciej Tworek rec. 2020 DUX 1864 [80] [NC] Minor caveats notwithstanding, this is a very welcome collection of Penderecki’s music for stage and screen.

Lorenzo Perosi (1872-1956) Piano Quintets Nos 1 & 2, String Trio No.2 - Matteo Bevilacqua (piano) Roma Tre Orchestra Ensemble rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.574375 [59] [RB] Not breaking new ground but all involve a deep lunge into the vigour of life.

Giovanni Picchi (1571/2-1643) Complete Harpsichord Music - Simone Stella (harpsichord) rec. 2020 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95998 [74] [JV] This recording of Giovanni Picchi's oeuvre is as good as one may wish.

Florence Price (1887-1953) Scenes in Tin Can Alley - Josh Tatsuo Cullen (piano) rec. 2022 BLUE GRIFFIN BGR615 [51] [GF] Ragtime, spirituals and boogie woogie rub shoulders with European Romanticism and Impressionism and create a personal conglomerate that is very agreeable.

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) Tosca - Renata Tebaldi (soprano) Giuseppe Campora (tenor) Enzo Mascherini (baritone) Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus & Orchestra/Alberto Erede rec. 1952 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO192 [2 CDs: 106] [RMo] An attractive sonic refurbishment from Pristine but it does not displace the classic Callas-de Sabata recording.

Sergey Rachmaninov (1873-1943) All-Night Vigil (Vespers) - State Academic Russian Choir/Aleksander Sveshnikov rec. 1965 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDTT9865 [66] [RMo] A classic recording of unearthly beauty newly remastered by HDTT to reveal its excellence even more vividly.

Carl Reinecke (1824-1910) Complete Piano Trios - Hyperion Trio rec. 2019 CPO 555 476-2 [2 CDs: 122] [SV] Mainstream, pleasing Romantic fare, plus an unexpected arrangement.

Ottorino Respighi (1879–1936) Pini di Roma, Impressioni brasiliane & Belkis - London Philharmonic Orchestra/ Alessandro Crudele rec. 2021 LINN CKD692 [67] [NB] Well played and well recorded but ultimately unexceptional.

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) La scala di seta - Remy Burners (tenor) Claudia Urru (soprano) Kraków PO/José Miguel Pérez-Sierra rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.660512-13 [2 CDs: 88] [GF] Too much undistinguished singing for a general recommendation.

Guy Sacre (b. 1948) Works for Piano - Billy Eidi rec. 2021 PALAIS DES DÉGUSTATEURS PDD028 [71] [RB] There is nothing of the obvious showman about Sacre.

Josef Schelb (1894–1977) Chamber Music Vol. 2 - Stéphane Réty (flute), Nicolas Cock-Vassiliou (oboe), Jean-Eric Soucy (viola), Denis Zhdanov (cello), Roglit Ishay (piano) rec. 2019 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0548 [60] [RB] Schelb, the unequivocal impressionist, has a voice that is distinctive and attractive.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Sonata No. 21, Klavierstücke - Ayako Ito (fortepiano) rec. 2019 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72892 [68] [MG] Ayako Ito demonstrates well the distinctive and attractive qualities of the fortepiano for Schubert, but András Schiff offers more variety and nuance.

Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) Prometheus: the Poem of Fire, Poèmes - Chitose Okashiro (piano) rec. 2017/2019 CHÂTEAU C20003 [55] [SB] A curiosity, but an interesting one.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Complete Piano Works Vol. 2 - Eugenio Catone (piano) rec. 2021 STRADIVARIUS STR37224 [57] [NC] Eugenio Catone trades combustion for calm in his readings of Shostakovich’s two piano sonatas.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) Symphony No. 7, The Swan of Tuonela - Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra/Evgeny Mravinsky rec. 1965 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDTT7392 [31] [RMo] A conductor out of his element in a raucous, ill-tuned performance.

Carlos Simon (b. 1986) Requiem for the Enslaved - Marco Pavé (speaker) MK Zulu (trumpet) Carlos Simon (piano) Hub New Music rec. 2021/22 DECCA 4852939 [55] [RP] A searing, transcendent memorial to past sins and hopes.

Roman Statkowski (1859-1925) Piano Works Vol. 3 - Anna Paras (piano) rec. 2021 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0536 [54] [RCh] Beautifully crafted miniatures played with grace and conviction.

Franz von Suppé (1819-1895) Mozart Incidental music, Die Afrikareise Overture - Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra/Dario Salvi rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.574383 [57] [RMay] Well-performed world premiere recordings offer a fuller picture of Suppé’s output.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) Symphony No. 1, Italian Capriccio, & Waltz from Eugene Onegin - Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich/Paavo Järvi rec. 2019–21 ALPHA CLASSICS 838 [65] [GT] A fine account of Tchaikovsky’s rarely heard Winter Daydreams symphony, but there are better.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Francesca da Rimini, Hamlet Fantasy Overture - Stadium Symphony Orchestra of New York/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1958 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDTT10058 [42] [RMo] A great recording revitalised.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Symphony No. 3 - Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich/Paavo Järvi rec. 2019-2021 ALPHA CLASSICS 839 [54] [GT] A fine addition to Paavo Järvi’s Tchaikovsky symphonic cycle.

Boris Tishchenko (1939–2010) The Twelve, Variations on 3 Themes by Shostakovich - Leningrad PO/Pavel Bubelnikov, Estonian SSR State SO/Peeter Lilje, St. Petersburg PO/Alexander Titov rec. 1976-2006 NORTHERN FLOWERS NF/PMA 99149 [56] [NC] A bold early work by the young Tishchenko finally makes its appearance on CD.

Boris Ivanovich Tishchenko (1939–2010) The Twelve & Shostakovich Variations - Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra/Pavel Bubelnikov, Alexander Titov, State Estonian Symphony Orchestra/Peeter Lilje rec. 1976–2006 NORTHERN FLOWERS NFPMA99149 [56] [RB] A deep dive into music from a composer deflected to the second rank by the century’s great names.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1972-1958) Pan’s Anniversary - Choir of Clare College, Cambridge/Graham Ross, Britten Sinfonia/William Vann rec. 2021 ALBION ALBCD054 [72] [GPJ] A great issue for VW’s 150th anniversary; unusual repertoire meticulously prepared and presented by talented young musicians.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Sinfonia antartica, Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1, Symphony No. 9, The Lark Ascending - Lyn Fletcher (violin) Sophie Bevan (soprano) Hallé O & Choir/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2005-2021 HALLÉ CDHLD7558 [2 CDs: 107] [SB] A worthy conclusion to Mark Elder’s Vaughan Williams cycle.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Symphonies Nos 2 & 3 - Margaret Ritchie (soprano), London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1952 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC662 [79] [RMo] Pristine’s remastering gives these great recordings a new lease of life.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Symphonies Nos 4 & 5 - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1953 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC665 [72] [RMo] Superb remasterings of recordings which are rightly famed for the authenticity and sincerity.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) Falstaff - Nicola Alaimo (bass-baritone) Alice Ford, Aylin Pérez (soprano) Orchestra and Chorus Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2021 DYNAMIC DVD 37951 [143] [SB] I know this will be going into my records of the year.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) Don Carlo - Luis Lima (tenor), Ileana Cotrubas (soprano), Chorus and Orchestra of Royal Opera Covent Garden/Bernard Haitink rec. 1985 OPUS ARTE OA1340D DVD [204] [PCG] A time-honoured and famous Covent Garden production once again available in an excellent performance.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) Prima Verdi - Francesco Meli (tenor) Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Marco Armiliato rec. 2020 WARNER CLASSICS 5419711545 [57] [MC] Meli is both committed and sincere in this enjoyable Verdi album.

Pancho Vladigerov (1899-1978) Orchestral Songs - Roumiana Valcheva-Evrova, Maria Ventsislavova, Evelina Stoitseva (sopranos), Pavel Gerdjikov (bass), Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Vladigerov rec. 1970-1975 CAPRICCIO C8070 [2 CDs: 88] [RB] Often folk-inflected songs with a nationalist edge on occasion slip into operatic splendour.

Pancho Vladigerov (1899-1978) Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Vladigerov, Bulgarian Chamber Orchestra/Pancho Vladigerov rec. 1970-1975 CAPRICCIO C8056 [3 CDs: 199] [JW] Vladigerov’s expansive, colourful music in a long-running and expert reissue series.

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) Parsifal - Wolfgang Windgassen (tenor) Martha Mödl (soprano) Orchestra & Chorus of the Bayreuth Festival/Hans Knappertsbusch rec. 1951 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO190 [4 CDs: 269] [MP] Knappertsbusch’s earlier Parsifal recording remains endlessly fascinating in Pristine’s magnificent new edition.

George Walker (1922-2018) Piano Sonatas No. 1-5 - Steven Beck (piano) rec. 2021 BRIDGE 9554 [53] [SB] Bold and rewarding American piano sonatas.

Mieczyław Weinberg (1919-1996) Light in Darkness - José Gallardo (piano) Danjulo Ishizaka (cello) Linus Roth, Janusz Wawrowski (violin) rec. 2020/21 EVIL PENGUIN EPRC0044 [60] [SA] This disc will never be far from my player.

Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996) Cello Concertino, Fantasy, Chamber Symphony No. 4 - Pieter Wispelwey (cello), Jean-Michel Charlier (clarinet), Les Métamorphoses/Raphaël Feye rec. 2021 EVIL PENGUIN EPRC0045 [68] [SA] A true joy from start to finish.

Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996) String Quartets Nos. 1, 7 & 11 - Arcadia Quartet rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20174 [69] [SA] The obvious reverence the players have for the music shines through in these beautifully nuanced performances.

1919 Viola Sonatas Hillary Herndon (viola), Wei-Chun Bernadette Lo (piano) rec. 2020 MSR CLASSICS MS1701 [64] [JW] Trends in viola composition from some seldom encountered composers.

Antico Tastame Giovan Battista Vaglica (organ) TACTUS TC720003 [63] [GPu] A disc for lovers of the organ, for those who enjoy its music or who love Sicily.

Adolf Busch (violin) Concertos in Wartime New York - New York Philharmonic/William Steinberg, National Orchestral Association/Léon Barzin rec. 1942-44 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC661 [73] [SG] Andrew Rose’s XR remasterings have yielded spectacular results.

Guido Cantelli (conductor) Cantelli at the NBC - NBC Symphony Orchestra rec. 1949 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC663 [57] [GT] Guido Cantelli’s remarkable New York radio debut.

Freddie De Tommaso (tenor) Il Tenore - Philharmonia Orchestra/Paolo Arrivabeni rec. 2021 DECCA 485 2945 [51] [RMo] A pleasing, if unadventurous, programme permitting us to hear the best of these formidably talented young singers.

Eclogue Chamber Ensemble of London/Peter Fisher rec. 2009-2020 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0653 [75] [JW] Originals and arrangements of lighter British music in fine performances.

The Fabulous Sir John A tribute to Sir John Manduell - Victoria String Quartet rec. 2021 DIVINE ART DDA25235 [65] [RB] Variously sweet and severe.

The Fair Hills of Éire Irish Airs and Dances - David Quigley (piano) rec. 2022 HERITAGE RECORDS HTGCD152 [63] [JF] An evocative musical portrait of the island of Ireland.

Fastes de la Grande Écurie Syntagma Amici, Giourdina rec. 2021 RICERCAR RIC439 [70] [JV] I can't imagine a better demonstration of the activities of the Grande Écurie than is delivered here.

Christian Ferras (violin) The SWR Recordings - Pierre Barbizet (piano) Radio-SO Stuttgart des SWR/Hans Müller-Kray, Michael Gielen, SWR SO Baden-Baden und Freiburg/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1952-1972 SWR CLASSIC SWR19114CD [4CDs: 266] [RMo] Testimony to the brilliance of one of the 20th century’s great violinists in surprisingly fine sound.

Edwin Fischer (piano) The complete Brahms, Schubert & Schumann studio recordings rec. 1934-50 APR 7314 [3 CDs: 209] [SG] Supreme musicianship - uniformly first-class.

French Ballet Music Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. 1957-1959 WARNER CLASSICS 6790012 [70] [RMay] Beecham in characteristic form with an often stylish collection.

French Trumpet Concertos Works by Tomasi, Jolivet, Schmitt & Jolas - Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet), Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Fabien Gabel rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2523 SACD [70] [HC] A splendid release: two well-loved classics and two worthwhile rarities.

Girolamo Frescobaldi - A Variety of Inventions by Richard Lester publ. 2022 Peacock Press [MMB] A didactic book, written with clarity and affection.

Véronique Gens & Sandrine Piau (sopranos) Rivales - Le Concert de La Loge/Julien Chauvin rec. 2021 ALPHA 824 [63] [MP] A beautiful recital disc that is seriously let down by total absence of documentation for such unknown repertoire.

The Great Violins Vol. 3 The Klagenfurt Manuscript - Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin) rec. 2018 ATHENE ATH23206 [2 CDs: 143] [JV] Sheppard Skærved’s performances are an excellent way to get to know this collection of pieces for solo violin.

The Great Violins Vol. 4 Girolamo Amati, 1629 - Partias by Johann Vilsmaÿr - Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin) rec. 2020 ATHENE ATH23210 [82] [JV] Peter Sheppard Skærved delivers excellent and stylish performances, with the help of the magnificent Amati violin.

Thomas Jensen (conductor) Legacy Vol. 11 rec. 1939-62 DANACORD DACOCD921 [78 + 70] [JW] Recycling and first appearances in a two-for-one Danacord release.

Yi Lin Jiang (piano) Dualis II - Sonatas by Beethoven & Schubert rec. 2020 SOLARIS RECORDS SOL21012 [61] [DC] Piano fans owe it to themselves to hear these superbly recorded performances.

Julius Katchen (piano) Piano Recitals 1946-1965 MELOCLASSIC MC1061 [71 + 75] [JW] Katchen recitals span two decades of superior music making.

Ferenc Kiss (violin/concertmaster) Portrait rec. 1953-2009 BELLA MUSICA BM312473 [79] [JW] A portrayal of a devoted and stylish concertmaster.

Love is Like a Violin Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library - Simon Blendis (violin) Saoko Blendis (piano) rec. 2021 NIMBUS NI6428 [76] [JW] Max Jaffa’s legacy reconsidered by a dextrous modern exponent.

Kerstin Meyer (mezzo-soprano) Memorial Edition 1956-1980 STERLING CDA1862/3-2 [2 CDs: 148] [GF] A great singer whom record companies tragically neglected in her heyday.

Nathan Milstein (violin) The U.S. Armed Forces Studio Recordings rec. 1944-50 BIDDULPH 85015-2 [77] [JW] Milstein’s wartime U.S. Armed Forces discs spring some discographic surprises.

Nostalgica Korros Ensemble rec. 2021 CONVIVIUM RECORDS CR071 [59] [SB] A charming programme of works for this unusual combination of instruments.

David Oistrakh (violin) Recorded Rarities from Melodiya - Alexander Goldenweiser, Zara Levina (piano) rec. 1947-1959 BIDDULPH 85013-2 [78] [GT] David Oistrakh’s rarely-heard Bach and neglected Russian works.

Outcast String Quartets by Schnittke, Shostakovich & Silvestrov - Matangi Quartet rec. 2021 MATANGI MUSIC MTM04 [69] [GT] An outstanding survey of three outsiders from the former USSR.

Blanche Selva: Transcriptions for Piano Works by Franck, d’Indy & Séverac - Christophe Petit (piano) rec. 2021 CIAR CLASSICS CC011 [60] [RCh] Selva's skilful transcriptions given warm-hearted performances.

Timeless Tanja Zapolski (piano), Aarhus Symphony Orchestra/Magnus Fryklund rec. 2021 DANACORD DACOCD876 [69] [JF] A wide-ranging exploration of soloist Tanja Zapolski’s musical dreamworld.

Tiroirs secrets French organ rarities - Lucile Dollat (organ) Michael Metzler (percussion) rec. 2020 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS057 [73] [JV] The interesting programme and the fine playing are compromised by the participation of percussion.

Trace of Lament Audun Sandvik (cello) Norwegian Radio O/Thomas Klug, Norwegian Chamber O/Per Kristian Skalstad rec. 2018/20 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1234 [55] [DJB] Fine concertante works which uphold the Western tradition, while still being recognisably modern.

Versailles Westminster Constance Taillard (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2020 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS056 [79] [JV] Fine playing, but the way the programme concept has been worked out is not unproblematic.

Violin Odyssey Itamar Zorman (violin) rec. 2021 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR119 [76] [SA] This should spark interest in several lesser-known composers: a job well done!

The Year That Never Was Matei Varga (piano) rec. 2021 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92258 [55] [GF] Readers who appreciate an hour of easy-to-digest quality piano music – some of it a bit off the beaten track – should be deeply satisfied with this issue.

Articles and Notices

Stanfordian Thoughts - 12. To the soul by Christopher Howell

RVW 150 - A Personal Odyssey & Some Rambling Reflections By Rob Barnett

Alternative Bruckner Recordings of transcriptions of his symphonies by Patrick C Waller

Stanfordian Thoughts - 13. Songs of Faith by Christopher Howell

Stanfordian Thoughts - 14. Songs of a Roving Celt by Christopher Howell



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July 2022

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