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Monthly Listing
June 2022
150 reviews this month

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Vol. 9 - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68374 [79] [JQ] An outstanding conclusion to Angela Hewitt’s Beethoven sonata cycle.

John Ireland (1879-1962) Orchestral Works - Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHSA5293 SACD [67] [EJW] An absolutely outstanding disc in superb sound.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) The Fair Maid of the Mill - Nicky Spence (tenor), Christopher Glynn (piano) rec. 2020 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD711 [63] [RMo] A captivating English translation of this beloved song cycle.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) String Quartets Vol. 1 - Quartetto Noûs rec. 2021 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96418 [2 CDs: 126] [DMD] A freshly compelling, lyrical approach to these masterpieces.

Freddie De Tommaso (tenor) Il Tenore - Philharmonia O/Paolo Arrivabeni rec. 2021 DECCA 4852945 [51] [GF] If you have been longing for a new recital from De Tommaso, it’s here now and it’s great.

Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909) Iberia - Nelson Goerner (piano) rec. 2021 ALPHA CLASSICS 829 [83] [SB] Goerner brings an immaculate technique and a fine poetic sensibility.

Hugo Alfvén (1872–1960) At Home with Hugo Alfvén - Elin Rombo (soprano), Peter Friis Johansson (piano) rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2575 SACD [67] [GF] The fact that there is only a 35-year old recording as alternative makes this an even more appealing release.

Georgios Axiotis (1875-1924) Orchestral Music - New Festival Opera-Symphony Orchestra Sofia/Byron Fidetzis rec. 2003 NAXOS 8.574353 [78] [RB] Axiotis has a beguiling relaxed way about him.

Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969) Piano Quintets 1 & 2 Aleksander Tansman (1897-1986) Musica a cinque - Julia Kociuban (piano), Messages Quartet rec. 2021 DUX 1792 [61] [JW] Attractive and attentive performances of Polish piano quintets.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Violin Sonatas Nos 4-6 - Aleksandra Bryła (violin) Maria Banaszkiewicz-Bryła (harpsichord) rec. 2021 PRELUDE CLASSICS [52] [JW] Scrupulous, intelligent performances that can lack variation of colour.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Nos 15, 19, 30 & 32 - Annie Fischer (piano) rec. 1971-87 ICA CLASSICS ICAC5165 [76] [PBW] Great musicianship - some of the finest Beethoven one will ever hear.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 1-5 - Margarita Höhenrieder (piano) rec. 2008-2020 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC70551 DVD [3 discs: 197] [MZ] A thoughtful and delightful set of live performances, with over an hour of bonus materials.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) String Quartets Opp. 132 & 135 - Ehnes Quartet rec. 2020 ONYX 4227 [68] [DMD] A fine Op. 132 partners a superb Op. 135.

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) Roméo et Juliette, Les nuits d’été - Jessye Norman (soprano), Janet Baker (mezzo), Philadelphia O/Riccardo Muti, New Philharmonia O/Sir John Barbirolli rec. 1967/1986 WARNER CLASSICS 2176402 [2 CDs: 127] [RMo] A sublime account of one of Berlioz’ most original and engaging works paired with an established classic.

Lord Berners (1883–1950) Ballet Music - Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland, RTÉ Sinfonietta/ David Lloyd-Jones rec. 1994/99 NAXOS 8.574370 [61] [SB] Berners’ last two ballet scores complete the reissue of his works.

Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) Stabat Mater, String Quintets - Dominique Labelle (soprano) Sarasa Ensemble rec. 2014/15 NAXOS 8.573958 [78] [GPu] Makes a strong case for recognising Boccherini as a serious and subtle composer.

Arrigo Boito (1842-1918) Nerone - Rafael Rojas (tenor) Alessandra Volpe (mezzo) Prague Philharmonic Choir, Wiener SO/Dirk Kaftan rec. 2021 C MAJOR Blu-ray 761304 [149] [EJW] The performances and production captured on these Blu-ray discs are excellent.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Symphonies 3 & 4 - Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 2021 PENTATONE PTC5186852 [81] [DMD] A gloriously autumnal end to a triumphant Brahms symphony cycle.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1896), Amanda Maier (1853-1894) & Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) Violin Concertos -  Cecilia Zilliacus (violin) Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Västerås Sinfonietta/Kristiina Poska DB PRODUCTIONS DBCD202 [79] [SV] The side dishes outshine the main course.

Grégoire Brayssing (fl. 1547-60) Complete Music For Renaissance Guitar - Federico Rossignoli (Renaissance guitar) rec. 2021 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96448 [60] [SW] Excellent playing of this neglected, sixteenth-century guitar music.

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) Symphonies Nos 1-9 - Berlin Phiharmonic Orchestra rec. 2009-19 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER BPHR190281 CD/BD-A [595] Blu-ray [639] [RMo] A superb assemblage of first-rate recordings with nary a dud among them, played by an orchestra in finest form, inspired by some great conductors.

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 - Altomonte Orchester St Florian/Rémy Ballot rec. 2021 GRAMOLA 99261 SACD [79] [GT] A fine addition to this series of Bruckner symphonies.

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) Symphony No. 5 - Tokyo City PO/Ken Takaseki rec. 2021 BRAIN MUSIC OSBR-38006 [76] [RMo]  While there is nothing – apart, perhaps from the conductor’s vocal obbligato – objectionable about this performance, nor is it in any sense especially distinctive or memorable.

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 - Gürzenich-Orchester Köln/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2019 MYRIOS MYR030 [57] [JQ] Roth presents a refreshing, individual view of this symphony, but other conductors offer more.

Bob Chilcott (b. 1955) Circlesong - Treble Choir of Houston/Marianna Parnas-Simpson, Houston Chamber Choir/Robert Simpson rec. 2020 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD703 [56] [JQ] A most enjoyable disc of choral music.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) Scherzi Nos. 1-4 & other works - Valentina Lisitsa (piano) rec. 2021 NAÏVE V7700 [66] [GT] Revelatory readings in one of the finest piano recitals to come my way for a very long time.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) Ballades & Impromptus - Charles Richard-Hamelin (piano) rec. 2018 ANALEKTA AN29145 [59] 4 Ballades, 4 Impromptus - Anna Vinnitskaya (piano) rec. 2020 ALPHA 728 [57] [MG] Plenty to admire on both CDs, but go to Richard-Hamelin for power, to Vinnitskaya for poetry.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) Nonet, Piano Trio, Piano Quintet - Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20242 [64] [NB] Confident large-scale scores performed with panache and conviction.

Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) & Alessandro Melani (1639-1703) Trionfo Romano - Emmanuelle de Negri (soprano), Ensembles EXIT & Hemiolia/Emmanuel Resche-Caserta rec. 2021 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS071 [64] [JV] This disc sheds light on a performance practice that is partly documented, but seldom practised.

Edward Cowie (b. 1943) 24 Preludes for piano - Philip Mead (piano) rec. 2007 MÉTIER MSV28625 [71] [JF] A splendid addition to the cycles of Preludes by Bach, Chopin, Debussy and Messiaen.

Léo Delibes (1836-1891)/Ludwig Minkus (1826-1917) La source - Ballet & Orchestra of the Paris Opéra/Koen Kessels rec. 2011 NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0145V [120] [RMay] A generally commendable performance of a ballet of great historical interest.

Jonathan Dove (b. 1959), Judith Weir (b. 1954) & Matthew Martin (b. 1976) Choral music - Peter Holder (organ), The Choir of Westminster Abbey/James O’Donnell rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68350 [70] [JQ] Terrific examples of twenty-first century British liturgical music in excellent performances.

Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) The Reeds by Severn Side - Joshua Ryan (organ) Chapel Choir Royal Hospital Chelsea/William Vann rec. 2021 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD278 [80] [JQ] This fine disc is a must-have for devotees of Elgar’s music.

César Franck (1822-1890) Complete Orchestral Works - Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège rec. 2009-21 FUGA LIBERA FUG 791 [4 CDs: 272] [RMay] The Liège orchestra does its city’s native son proud in his bicentenary year.

Maya Fridman (b.1989)/Maarten van Veen (b.1971) Nuït - Maya Fridman (cello) Maarten van Veen (piano) rec. 2021 TRPTK TTK0081 SACD [50] [DMD] An instant modern classic – go and buy it!

Carl Frühling (1868-1937) Piano Quintet, Piano Quartet - Oliver Triendl (piano) Daniel Giglberger, Nina Karmon (violin) Roland Glassi (viola) Floris Mijnders (cello) rec. 2020-21 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC21062 [61] [JWe] Fascinating, unknown works by a sadly neglected figure, excellently played and recorded.

Umberto Giordano (1861-1948) Siberia - Sonya Yoncheva, Giorgi Sturua, George Petean, Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2021 DYNAMIC CDS7928.02 [2 CDs: 95] [PSt] A decent performance of a rare bit of verismo.

Umberto Giordano (1867-1948) Siberia - Sonya Yoncheva (soprano) Giorgi Sturua (tenor) Coro e O del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2021 DYNAMIC Blu-ray 57928 [104] [MP] The soprano’s passionate performance trumps any other slight reservations in this opera’s first video release.

George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) Organ Concertos, Salve Regina & Saeviat Tellus - Chiara Skerath (soprano), Ensemble Marguerite Louise/ Gaétan Jarry (organ) rec. 2020 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS049 [72] [JV] I can't really warm to these performances.

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) Rodelinda - Anna Dennis (soprano) Christopher Lowrey (countertenor) FestspielOrchester Göttingen/Laurence Cummings (harpsichord) rec 2021 ACCENT ACC26416 [3 CDs: 197] [GF] Though it can’t quite compete with Harry Bicket’s recent studio recording, this live recording is excellent in its own right.

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Piano Sonatas - Sviatoslav Richter (piano) rec. 1984-86 DECCA 436455-2 [75] [PBW] Richter's Haydn performances are the greatest ever recorded - this is unmissable.

Pál Hermann (1902-1944) Complete Surviving Music Vol. 2 - Marko Komonko (violin), Theodore Kuchar (viola), Denys Lytvynenko (cello), Myroslav Drahan (piano) rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0585 [62] [JW] The second volume in Toccata’s Hermann series investigates the Hungarian’s chamber music.

Ed Hughes (b.1968) Music for the South Downs - New Music Players, Primrose Piano Quartet rec. 2021 MÉTIER MSV28623 [69] [RB] Witchery spun out of complexity.

Emile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865-1950) Works for Violoncello & Piano - Pi-Chin Chien (cello) Bernhard Parz (piano) rec. 2021 TYXART TXA22167 [42] [RB] Short-playing time but there’s an amiable talent at work here.

Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) Jenůfa - Camilla Nylund (soprano), Staatskapelle Berlin/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2021 C MAJOR 760504 Blu-ray [126] [LW] Admirable performance, debatable staging.

Gunnar Johansen (1906–1991) Piano Works - Solon Pierce (piano) rec. 2020 DANACORD DACOCD908 [68] [JF] Even a quick listen shows a soloist clearly smitten by this music.

Josquin Desprez (c.1440/3–1521) Tant vous aime - Doulce Mémoire/ Denis Raison Dadre rec. 2021 RICERCAR RIC436 [64] [GH] A slightly different slant on Josquin’s secular works including some otherwise unknown songs.

Antoni Kątski (1816-1899) Romances and Songs - Magdalena Molendowska (soprano), Donata Zuliani (mezzo-soprano), Anna Mikolon (piano) rec. 2021 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0534 [74] [GF] Lovely songs but the singing is variable – sample before buying.

Mihkel Kerem (b. 1981) Symphony No.3, Lamento, String Sextet - Estonian National SO, Tallinn Chamber O/Mikk Murdvee (viola) Tallinn Ens rec. 2012 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0173 [65] [LD] Shostakovich's 16th Symphony?

Claude Le Jeune (c1530-1600) Motets pour le culte catholique et Psaumes protestants - Les Pages et les Chantres du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles/Olivier Schneebeli rec. 2002 ALPHA 616 [59] [JV] A welcome reissue of a disc with little-known music by Claude Le Jeune.

Juliusz Łuciuk (1927-2020) Vesperae In Assumptione Beatae Mariae Virginis - Collegium Cantorum of the Częstochowa Philharmonic/Janusz Siadlak rec. 2021 DUX 1795 [52] [GPu] A powerful yet subtle work, supremely sung and well recorded.

Elisabeth Lutyens (1906-1983) Organ works - Tim Winpenny (organ), Philippa Boyle (soprano), Dewi Rees (organ) rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0639 [71] [DMD] Another terrific addition to the still sadly diminutive Lutyens discography.

Žibuoklė Martinaitytė (b. 1973) Ex Tenebris Lux - Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra/Karolis Variakojis rec. 2121 ONDINE ODE1403-2 [75] [DMD] Martinaitytė revealed as one of the most exciting composers writing today.

Giovanni Battista Martini (1706-1784) Azione Teatrale 1726 - Coro da camera Euridice, Ensemble di Strumenti Antichi Circe/Pier Paolo Scattolin rec. 2017 TACTUS TC701307 [61] [JV] A nice acquaintance with a little-known side of 'Padre Martini'.

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) & Max Bruch (1838-1920) Violin Concertos - Mikhail Pochekin (violin) Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen/Sebastian Tewinkel rec. 2021 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC21058 [52] [MC] No reason to hesitate if the coupling appeals.

Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) Violin Sonatas - Alina Ibragimova (violin) Cédric Tiberghien (piano) rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68322 [67] [ST] This lovely disc confirms how well Ibragimova and Tiberghien work together.

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) Quatuor pour la fin du temps - Ib Hausmann (clarinet), Amatis Trio rec. 2018 C-AVI MUSIC 8553042 [46] [JF] A welcome recording of one of Messiaen’s undoubted and abiding masterworks.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) String Quartets Vol. 1 - Doric String Quartet rec. 2020 CHANDOS CHAN20249(2) [2 CDs: 90] [MG] The Doric’s witty and engaging playing lends a spontaneous feel to these beautifully organized works.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) Lucio Silla - Olga Pudova (soprano), Franco Fagioli (countertenor), Alessandro Liberatore (tenor), Chiara Skerath (soprano), Ilse Eerens (soprano), Insula Orchestra/ Laurence Equilbey rec. 2021 ERATO 9029637734 [2 CDs: 126] [DF] A valuable, albeit abridged, addition to the Lucio Silla discography.

Edward Nesbit (b.1986) Sacred Choral Music - Choir of King’s College, London/Joseph Fort rec. 2021 DELPHIAN DCD34256 [67] [GH] Fascinating and superbly performed new choral works by a new voice in contemporary British music.

Olga Neuwirth (b. 1968) Orlando - Kate Lindsey, Wiener Staatsoper/ Matthias Pintscher rec. 2019 C MAJOR 760708 DVD [2 discs: 181 mins] [SB] Neuwirth’s 'Orlando' was a sensational success but it has its problems.

Jesper Nordin (b. 1971) Vicinities - Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Harding, Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble Intercontemporain/Lin Liao rec. 2011-20 KAIROS 0015101KAI [78] [JLW] Very powerful yet intensely expressive music for orchestra, soloists and electronics.

Pierre Danican Philidor (1681-1731) Suites for Flute and B.C. - Musica ad Rhenum rec. 2019 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96032 [2 CDs: 110] [JV] Twelve excellent suites, apparently very nice to play but also entertaining for the listener.

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) Complete Chamber Music rec. 1995-97 NAXOS 8.505258 [5 CDs: 310] [DJB] A very broad definition of chamber music in a bargain box.

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) Les Fêtes d’Hébé - Chantal Santon Jeffrey, Marie Perbost (soprano) Purcell Choir, Orfeo Orchestra/György Vashegyi rec. 2021 GLOSSA GCD924012 [3 CDs: 176] [GF] Admirers of Rameau, or baroque opera at large, can safely invest in this issue.

Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016) Lost Landscapes - Simone Lamsma (violin), Malmö Symphony Orchestra/Robert Trevino rec. 2021 ONDINE ODE1405-2 [58] [SB] A collection of late Rautavaara violin concertante works, conveniently coupled.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) & Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) Piano Trios - Sitkovetsky Trio rec. 2019 BIS BIS2219 SACD [61] [DJB] Everything about this release speaks of quality.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Orchestral Works - SWR Vokalensemble, Cantus Juvenum Karlsruhe, Radio-SO Stuttgart SWR/Stéphane Denève rec. 2012-15 SWR CLASSIC SWR19428CD [5 CDs: 338] [NB] Ravel given the detached objective approach.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Complete Solo Piano Music Vol. 1 - Oleg Marshev (piano) rec. 2021 DANACORD DACOCD 903 [76] [GT] Oleg Marshev opens his complete series of Ravel with a revelatory recording.

Ottorino Respighi (1879–1936) Crepuscolo - Timothy Fallon (tenor), Ammiel Bushakevitz (piano) rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2632 SACD [74] [GF] A valuable disc that shows Respighi’s too seldom heard songs in a very good light.

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia - Ettore Bastianini (baritone) Giulietta Simionato (mezzo) Orchestra e Coro de Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Alberto Erede rec. 1956 URANIA WS121398 [2 CDs: 141] [GF] Anyone interested in a good studio recording from the 1950s of Il barbiere di Siviglia with star singers should derive a lot of pleasure from this issue.

Jacek Różycki (c1635-1703/1704) Opera omnia - Wrocław Baroque Ensemble/Andrzej Kosendiak rec. 2020 CD ACCORD ACD280 [2 CDs: 89] [JV] In the Wrocław Baroque Ensemble, Różycki has found his best possible advocate.

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745–1799) Six Concertante Quartets - Arabella String Quartet rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.574360 [52] [GPJ] Alert, lively performances of music by this remarkable French 18th century composer.

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) Henry VIII - Michael Chioldi (baritone), Ellie Dean (soprano), Hilary Ginther (mezzo-soprano), Odyssey Opera Orchestra & Chorus/Gil Rose rec. 2019 ODYSSEY OPERA 1005 [4 CDs: 224] [RMo] Indifferent solo singing compromises what should have been a more attractive revival.

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921) Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 - Alexandre Kantorow (piano), Tapiola Sinfonietta/Jean-Jacques Kantorow rec. 2018–2021 BIS BIS-2400 SACD [85] [RCh] Vivid virtuosity and gripping drama in these bold recordings.

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) Phryné - Florie Valiquette (soprano) Choeur du Concert Spirituel, O l'Opéra de Rouen Normandie/Hervé Niquet rec. 2021 BRU ZANE BZ1047 [65] [MC] Disappointingly, Saint-Saëns’ opéra-comique just doesn’t hold my interest.

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) String Quartets Nos 1 & 3 - Gringolts Quartet rec. 2021 BIS BIS2567 SACD [80] [DBi] Like the other release in this series, this is an essential purchase.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2 - Felix Galimir (violin) László Varga (cello) István Nádas (piano) rec. 1957 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1913 [66] [SG] Performances which warrant your attention.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin - Gerald Finley (baritone) Julius Drake (piano) rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68377 [67] [RMo] A subtle, sincere account of high artistry from a superb story-telling team.

Robert Schumann (1810-1856) Novelleten, Gesänge der Frühe Clara Schumann (1819-1896) Soirées Musicales - Martin Helmchen (piano) rec. 2021 ALPHA 857 [70] [DMD] Good rather than great performances of some of the black sheep in Schumann’s flock.

Yuri Shaporin (1887–1966) Complete Piano Music - Kirill Kozlovski (piano) rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0621 [83] [SA] Kirill Kozlovski is an admirer of Shaporin’s piano works, and his playing is revelatory.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Symphonies 6 & 9 - BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Steven Lloyd-Gonzales rec. 2021 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR120 [60] [DMD] A witty Ninth and an exceptional Sixth.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Symphony No. 7 - London SO/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2019 LSO LIVE LSO0859 SACD [75] [NB] Lacks the immediacy and visceral documentary conviction of the best.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Piano Concerto No. 1 Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996) Trumpet Concerto André Jolivet (1905-1974) Trumpet Concertino - Selina Ott (trumpet), Maria Radutu (piano) , ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra /Dirk Kaftan rec. 2020 ORFEO C220011 [71] [JD] An outstanding young trumpet virtuoso and a fine pianist in 20th century concertante repertoire.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Jazz & Variety Suites - Singapore Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Litton rec. 2019 BIS BIS-2472 SACD [69] [GF] Light music, perhaps, but there is nothing cheap about it – it’s only entertaining!

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) Symphony No. 7, King Christian II & Pelléas et Mèlisande Suites - Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Collon rec. 2021 ONDINE ODE1404-2 [72] [RMo] Fine, competent playing which sometimes seems reluctant to plumb the emotional depths of the music.

Tilman Sillescu (b. 1969) Symphony No. 1 - Staatskapelle Weimar/Christian K. Frank rec. 2019/21 GENUIN GEN22788 [41] [RMay] Sillescu’s accomplished and enjoyable first symphony is a welcome addition to the catalogue.

Zygmunt Stojowski (1870-1946) Symphony, Suite - Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Antoni Wit rec. 2021 CAPRICCIO C5464 [66] [JW] The Polish and Central European Stojowski is in good hands.

Bernardo Storace (c. 1637-1707) In Modo Pastorale - Marouan Mankar-Bennis (organ & harpsichord) rec. 2020 ENCELADE ECL2101 [76] [SW] A strange but compelling musical journey through 17th century Sicilian keyboard music.

Richard Strauss (1864-1949) Macbeth, Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche - Cleveland Orchestra/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2021 CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA TCO0004 SACD [46] [JQ] A disc that shows the Cleveland Orchestra’s Strauss tradition is very much alive.

Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) Piano Conversations - Luigi Palombi (piano) rec. 2021 DYNAMIC CDS7947 [79] [SB] Some trifles, some little gems and one major discovery.

Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) Vago Desio - Elissa Edwards (soprano) Richard Kolb (theorbo, archlute) rec. 2018 ACIS APL90277 [58] [JV] One of the best recordings of Strozzi's music that I have heard in a long time.

Jenő Takács (1902–2005) Orchestral Works - Nina Karmon (violin), Oliver Triendl (piano), Georgian Chamber Orchestra/Evan-Alexis Christ rec. 2020 CAPRICCIO C5438 [66] [SB] Takács is a minor contemporary of Bartók but he has left some interesting works.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) The Nutcracker, Serenade for Strings - London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Hungarica/Antal Dorati rec. 1958/62 MERCURY 432 750-2 [2 CDs: 111] [ST] A crucial part of this work’s recorded history.

Sigismond Thalberg (1812-1871) Fantasies on Operas by Donizetti - Francesco Nicolosi (piano) rec. 1991 NAXOS 8.555502 [55] [JF] A fantastic way to enjoy the obvious glories of Gaetano Donizetti’s operas.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) A Sea Symphony - Isobel Baillie (soprano) John Cameron (baritone) London Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1953/54 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC658 [67] [RMo] Its superb remastering into Ambient Stereo by Pristine now makes this vintage recording a first choice.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1, Sinfonia Antartica, Symphony 9, The Lark Ascending - Lyn Fletcher (violin) Sophie Bevan (soprano) Hallé O & Ch/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2005-2021 HALLÉ CDHLD7558 [2 CDs: 107] [MC] These exceptional recordings conclude their complete cycle of the Vaughan Williams symphonies in exemplary style.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Complete Symphonies - Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2010-2021 HALLÉ CDHLD7557 [5 CDs: 366] [NB] Good value box hampered by reticent recordings and occasionally cautious interpretations.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1972-1958) Pan’s Anniversary - Choir of Clare College, Cambridge/Graham Ross, Britten Sinfonia/William Vann rec. 2021 ALBION ALBCD054 [72] [JF] Five first recordings on this disc make a fitting 150th birthday gift to Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Folk Songs Vol. 4 - Mary Bevan (soprano) Nicky Spence (tenor) Roderick Williams (baritone) William Vann (piano) rec. 2018/20 ALBION ALBCD045 [60] [JQ] A worthy and highly enjoyable conclusion to an important series.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) La Traviata - Lisette Oropesa (soprano), René Barbera (tenor), Lester Lynch (baritone), Dresdner Philharmonie/Daniel Oren rec. 2021 PENTATONE PTC5186956 SACD [2 discs: 135] [GF] This latest Traviata doesn’t sweep the board, but every lover of the opera should hear Lisette Oropesa’s Violetta.

Louis Vierne (1870-1937) Complete Organ Music - Wolfgang Rübsam (organ) rec. 1992-1994 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96398 [8 CDs: 577] [SG] Wolfgang Rübsam proves a persuasive advocate of these masterly scores.

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) Siegfried - Matti Kastu (tenor) Laila Andersson-Palme (soprano) Royal Swedish Opera O/Sixten Ehrling rec. 1987 STERLING CDA-1847/1849-2 [3 CDs: 224] [MP] This Siegfried loses the battle against other, more notable recordings.

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) Parsifal - Wolfgang Windgassen (tenor) Martha Mödl (soprano) George London (bass) Orchestra & Chorus of the Bayreuth Festival/Hans Knappertsbusch rec. 1951 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO190 [4 CDs: 269] [RMo] Yet again, Pristine give us what is by far the best remastering of this classic performance.

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde - Peter Seiffert (tenor) Nina Stemme (soprano) Chorus & Orchestra of the Wiener Staatsoper/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2013 ORFEO C210123 [3 CDs: 224] [RMo] Nobody here emerges with much credit - this would have been better left in the vaults.

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] [MC] This winning Weinberg album presents three compelling works.

Paul Wranitzky (1756-1808) Orchestral Works Vol. 4 - Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice/Marek Štilec rec. 2020 NAXOS 8.574290 [73] [GT] Very welcome first recordings of works by a Moravian composer at the heart of the Viennese court.

Isang Yun (1917-1995) Music for Cello and Piano - Luigi Piovano (cello) Aldo Orvieto (piano) Japan Philharmonic Orchestra/Tatsuya Shimono rec. 2018-21 KAIROS 0015090KAI [68] [GT] A fine release devoted to Korea’s greatest composer.

All That Our Mothers Have Fought Kammerkoret Aurum/Eva Holm Foosnæs rec. 2019/20 2L 2L-167-SACD [52] [DC] Tackles at times confrontational themes, but will widen your horizons.

Amarcord d’un Tango Marco Albonetti (soprano saxophone), Daniele di Bonaventura (bandoneón), Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20259 [59] [ST] Other tango discs are out there, but Albonetti and Bonaventure’s contributions make this one really distinctive.

As the leaves fall Works by Darke & Duruflé - Chameleon Arts Orchestra, Guildford Cathedral Choir/Katherine Dienes-Williams rec. 2019 REGENT REGCD563 [66:02] [JQ] Welcome recordings of two little-known works by Harold Darke.

Isabel Bayrakdarian (soprano) La Zingarella - Mark Fewer (violin) Juan-Miguel Hernandez (viola) Gryphon Trio rec. 2021 AVIE AV2506 [67] [GF] A delightful journey through Romany Songland!

British Music for Strings III Works by Gipps, Smyth, Spain-Dunk & Warren - Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim/Douglas Bostock rec. 2020 CPO 555 457-2 [64] [WK] A fine introduction to five unjustly neglected pieces for strings.

British Piano Concertos Works by Addison, Benjamin, Maconchy, Rubbra, Searle & Bush - Simon Callaghan (piano) BBC Ntl O Wales/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2021 LYRITA SRCD.407 [69] [JW] Balancing drama and delight in largely lightweight British fare.

Lars Cleveman (tenor) Heat of the Moment - Royal Swedish Orchestra rec. 1999-2020 STERLING CDA1858 [2 CDs: 139] [GF] A bit uneven, but there are highlights enough to reward curious listeners.

Oksana Dyka (soprano) In questa reggia - Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra/ Constantine Orbelian rec. 2019 DELOS DE3586 [68] [GF] All is not perfect in this recital, but the overall impression is that of a great singer who wants to communicate.

Early Stereo Recordings Vol. 5 Works by Vivaldi, Cimarosa, Haydn & Mozart - Gina Bachauer (piano) Amedeo Baldovino (cello) Renato Zanfini (oboe) rec. 1956 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR82 [82] [JW] More stereo treasures rescued from the vaults.

Eclogue Chamber Ensemble of London/Peter Fisher rec. 2009-2020 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0653 [75:54] [JF] A rewarding cornucopia of British music.

English Choral Premieres & Rarities Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir/Douglas Bostock rec. 2002 GRIFFIN GCCD4086 [77] [GH] Outstanding but overlooked English choral works with orchestra, finely performed and recorded.

Fantasiebilder aus Wien Works by Clara & Robert Schumann, Brahms, Liszt & Godowsky - Anna Zassimova (piano) rec. 2020/21 MELISM MLS-CD-033/034 [2 CDs: 98] [RCh] A warm hearted and intelligently constructed recital.

José Fernández Bardesio (guitar) Works by Bach & Barrios rec. 2020 HANSSLER CLASSIC HC21047 [74] [ZT] Superior guitar playing, more at home with Barrios than Bach.

The Film Music of Malcolm Arnold Compiled by Alan Poulton and David Dunstan publ. 2021 Malcolm Arnold Society [RB] The Arnold film music documented in gleeful detail … glowingly attractive.

Gems from Armenia Aznavoorian Duo rec. 2021 ÇEDILLE CDR90000209 [76] [JW] An Armenian salute seen through a sequence of evocative miniatures and a strong sonata.

Il gioco della cieca Concerto di Margherita rec. 2019 ARCANA A498 [47] [JV] A fine demonstration of the various ways Italian madrigals from around 1600 can be performed.

Sir Eugene Goossens (conductor) Cincinnati Symphony Vol. 1 - Works by Delius, Walton & Vaughan Williams rec. 1941/46 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC654 [76] [GT] Enlightening historic recordings of 20th century English music by a neglected English conductor.

Humanos y Divinos Cancionero de Uppsala - Baltazar Zúñiga (tenor) Accademia degli Imperfetti rec. 2020 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00442 [56] [JV] I appreciate the singing and playing, but I am not sure that this is the way these songs should be performed.

Thomas Jensen (conductor) Legacy Vol. 9 - Leo Hansen (violin) Alberto Medici (cello) Danish Radio SO, Copenhagen PO, Tivoli Concert Hall O rec. 1938-61 DANACORD DACOCD919 [2 CDs: 148] [JW] Thomas Jensen, in studio and concert performances, directs music both light and stormy.

Thomas Jensen (conductor) Legacy Vol. 10 - Charles Senderovitz (violin), Erling Blöndal Bengtsson (cello), Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra rec. 1957–62 DANCORD DACOCD920 [2 CDs: 151] [JW] A twofer with a difference: first-ever performances coupled with already-reissued material.

Koncepcja (saxophone/piano duo) Works by Waignein, Still, Schulhoff & Kopczyński rec. 2021 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0538 [42] [PRB] Koncepcja simply oozes Sax-appeal in abundance.

Frieda Kwast-Hodapp (piano) German Radio Recordings 1948 MELOCLASSIC MC1059 [2 CDs: 156] [JW] The dedicatee of Reger’s Piano Concerto heard in late performances of real importance.

Samuel Mariño (male soprano) Sopranista - La Cetra Barockorchester Basel/Andrea Marcon rec. 2021 DECCA 4852943 [58] [GF] Samuel Mariño lives up to expectations with his new album.

John Matthew Myers (tenor) Desiderium - Myra Huang (piano) rec. 2020 AVIE AV2512 [64] [GF] Myers can feel satisfied with his debut album, and Myra Huang gives excellent support.

Laura Newell (harp) The Philharmonia Recordings - Stuyvesant String Quartet rec. 1951/1953 ARTEK AR-0067-2 [78] [JW] Excellent LP restorations from the 50s.

David Oistrakh (violin) Recorded Rarities from Melodiya - Alexander Goldenweiser, Zara Levina (piano) rec. 1947-1959 BIDDULPH 85013-2 [78] [SG] This release is an essential purchase, not only for Oistrakh devotees, but more generally for violin mavens.

Opus 1 Feminin  Kathrin Schmidlin (piano) rec. 2021 CLAVES RECORDS 50-3051 [58] [RCh] It is fascinating to hear these composer's first steps on their compositional journeys.

Paths Works by Janáček, Schulhoff, Klein & Martinů - Josef Špaček (violin) Tomáš Jamník (cello) rec. 2021 SUPRAPHON SU4304-2 [66] [JW] Resonant Czech duos and a Janáček novelty.

Prussian Blue Flute Music at the Court of Frederick the Great - Sophia Aretz (flute), Alexander von Heißen (harpsichord) rec. 2021 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC22024 [56] [MC] The special sense of the intimacy and joy of the music-making here is very rewarding.

Rarities of Piano Music at Schloss vor Husum 2021 DANACORD DACOCD939 [75] [JF] This rewarding selection of largely romantic piano music covers a considerable stylistic diversity.

Artur Rodziński (conductor) At the NBC Vol. 2 - Works by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky & Shostakovich - NBC Symphony Orchestra rec. 1937 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC655 [79] [GT] A brilliant all-Russian concert in a superb restoration.

Rooted in Northampton The Arnolds and the Haweses - Malcolm Arnold’s family tree by Alan Poulton publ. 2021 Malcolm Arnold Society [RB] A book that was waiting to be written - recondite but satisfying to out-and-out Arnold devotees.

Ruutsu: The Girls in the Magnesium Dress Valentina Ciardelli (double bass), Anna Astesano (harp) rec. 2021 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00553 [61] [JW] Evocative Japanese watercolours from an unlikely instrumental combination.

A Saami Requiem Ola Stinnerbom (yoik), Gunnar Idenstam (organ), Henrietta Wallberg (vocalist), Erik Weissglass (guitars), Rafael Sida Huizar (percussion) rec. 2019 TOCCATA NEXT TOCN0017 [64] [CL] A surprisingly and enjoyably effective coming-together of wildly different musical worlds.

Schwarze Messe Works by Lourié, Staude, Scriabin & Wyschnegradsky - Asasello Quartet rec. 2019-21 GENUIN GEN22745 [71] [GT] An outstanding recording celebrating the Asasello Quartet’s twentieth anniversary.

Blanche Selva: Transcriptions for Piano Works by Franck, d’Indy & Séverac - Christophe Petit (piano) rec. 2021 CIAR CLASSICS CC011 [60] [SG] Christophe Petit’s championing of these obscure scores is deserving of the highest praise.

The Sweet and Merry Month Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford/Mark Williams rec. 2021 OPUS ARTE OACD9049D [72] [JF] There is something here for everyone for May Day.

Three Generations Music of Alexander, Nikolay and Ivan Tcherepnin - Quan Yuan (violin), Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin (flute), Ian Greitzer (clarinet), David Witten, Donald Berman (piano) rec. 1997-2019 TOCCATA NEXT TOCN0012 [64] [GT] An intriguing insight into three generations of a Russian musical family.

Violin Odyssey Itamar Zorman (violin) Ieva Jokubaviciute, Kwan Yi (piano) rec. 2021 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR119 [76] [JW] A geographical and stylistic trip worth taking.

When Sleep Comes Evening Meditations for Voices & Saxophone - Christian Forshaw (saxophone) Tenebrae/Nigel Short rec. 2021 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD708 [62] [ST] This is one I think I’ll be dipping into again and again, and not just on sleepless nights.

When There Are No Words … Alex Klein (oboe) Phillip Bush (piano) rec. 2021 ÇEDILLE CDR90000208 [76] [JW] Authoritative performances drawn from the twentieth century oboe repertoire.

 

Articles and Notices

Stanfordian Thoughts - 10. A Child’s Garland of Songs by Christopher Howell

Stanfordian Thoughts - 11. God and the Universe by Christopher Howell

 An Interview with Eduardo Chibás by Marc Medwin

 



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