Nicolaus BRUHNS (1665-1697)
Cantatas & Organ Works Vol 1 - Dann Coakwell, James Taylor (tenor) Paul Max Tipton (bass-baritone)
Yale Institute of Sacred Music/Masaaki Suzuki (organ) rec. 2016/17 BIS BIS-2271 SACD [86:14]
By any standards, an inspired and inspiring disc, and the perfect
introduction to Nicolaus Bruhns.
Fernand de LA TOMBELLE (1854-1928) Organ Works 2
Stanislaw Maryjewski (organ) rec. 2021 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0517/18 [2 CDs: 150:35]
[MR] Stanislaw Maryjewski convinces us that this is a composer whose neglect is thoroughly unjustified.
Allan PETTERSSON (1911-1980) Complete Songs
Peter Mattei (baritone)
Bengt-Ĺke Lundin (piano)
rec. 2021 BIS BIS2584 SACD [71:35] [GF] If you have to limit yourself to only one recording of these songs, this is the one to go for.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Earth’s
Wide Bounds - Leah Jackson (soprano) Joshua Ryan (organ) Chapel
Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea/William Vann rec. 2020/21 ALBION
RECORDS ALBCD051 [78:05] [JQ]
A marvellous disc in every respect.
Simone Dinnerstein (piano)
Works by Francois Couperin, Robert Schumann,
Glass & Satie
rec. 2020 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0156 [73:28]
Dinnerstein's trilogy of intimate home-recorded albums concludes with a compelling mix of ever-shifting music from across three centuries.
Hans ABRAHAMSEN (b. 1952)
Schnee - Lapland Chamber Orchestra/John Storgĺrds rec. 2020
DACAPO 6.220585 SACD [54:18] [LW]
Fascinating work in an excellent performance with sound to match.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Complete Lute Works
Evangelina Mascardi (lute)
rec. 2020/21 ARCANA A529 [60:11 + 50:41] [SW]
A superb recording of Bach’s varied and enthralling lute works.
Johann Sebastian BACH
(1685-1750) Cantatas Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (c1637-1707)
Iestyn Davies (countertenor) Carolyn Sampson (soprano) John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Neal Davies (bass-baritone)
Tom Foster (organ)
Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68375 [65:12]
Radiant performances, immensely satisfying.
Samuel BARBER (1910–1981)
Orchestral Works - Molly McGurk (soprano), London Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra/ David Measham rec. 1973–76 ALTO ALC1463 [78:04]
Vintage Barber recordings … superheated radiance … penetrating poignancy.
Woldemar BARGIEL (1828-1897) Piano Trios Nos
1 & 2 -
Leonore Piano Trio rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68342 [73:31] [DJB]
Two works that fit very well into the Schumann-Brahms soundworld.
Samuel BARBER (1910-1981)
The Complete Songs - Fleur Barron (mezzo-soprano), Louise Kemény, Soraya Mafi
(sopranos), Jess Dandy (contralto), Julien Van Mellaerts (baritone), William Thomas (bass), Dylan Perez (piano) rec. 2021
RESONUS RES10301 [78:14 + 80:26] [GF]
A valuable addition to the Barber discography, not least due to 19 first recordings.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets Nos 4-6
- Chiaroscuro Quartet
rec. 2019 BIS BIS-2498 SACD [79:55] [DBi]
The most stimulating disc of Beethoven Quartets I have heard in a very long time - essential listening.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Ch & O Bayreuth Festival/Wilhelm Furtwängler
rec. 1951 BIS BIS-9060 SACD [82:45]
Stick with Orfeo unless you particularly want to feel as if you are
sitting in front of a radio in 1951.
BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Piano
Concertos - Krystian Zimerman (piano) London Symphony Orchestra/Sir
Simon Rattle rec. 2020 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4839971 [3
CDs: 172:40] [JQ] I enjoyed and admired this set very much - it’s well worth hearing.
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]
[LD] Probably for Honeck’s admirers only – and even they should proceed with some
Lord BERNERS (1883–1950)
Le Carrosse Du Saint-Sacrement, Caprice péruvien - Ian Caddy (baritone), Alexander Oliver (tenor), RTÉ Sinfonietta/David Lloyd Jones, BBC Symphony Orchestra/ Nicholas Cleobury rec. 1983/95 NAXOS 8.660510 [78:47]
A re-issue of the composer’s only opera in a lively and strongly characterised presentation.
Marco Enrico BOSSI (1861–1925)
Complete Organ Works Vol. 15 - Andrea Macinanti (organ) rec. 2002–21 TACTUS TC862791 [2 CDs: 110:59]
The final volume of this long-running complete Bossi organ music series, comprises an odd assortment of trifles ranging from the sublime to the vaguely ridiculous.
Giovanni BOTTESINI (1821-1889) String Quintets
Nos 1-3 -
Leon Bosch (double bass) rec. 2021 SOMM SOMMCD0645 [77:22]
Shows that there was more to Bottesini than being “the Paganini of the double bass”.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphonies Nos 3 & 4 -
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 2021 PENTATONE PTC5186852 [80:38]
Interpretations and playing of great distinction.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
String Sextets - Belcea Quartet, Tabea Zimmermann (viola), Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello) rec. 2021
ALPHA 792 [75:54] [MC]
The warm generosity of spirit and compelling character of these works, very successfully captured.
Havergal BRIAN (1876–1972)
- Peter Hoare (tenor), David Soar (bass-baritone), Chorus and Orchestra of English National Opera/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2019/21 DUTTON EPOCH SACD 2CDLX7385 [76:55 + 58:25]
All admirers of Havergal Brian’s music should add this important release to their collection.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 4 -
Bruckner Orchestra Linz/Markus Poschner
rec. 2021 CAPRICCIO C8083 [83:16] [RMo]
As fine an account of Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony as you could wish to encounter.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 4 - Altomonte Orchester St Florian/Rémy Ballot rec. 2021
GRAMOLA 99261 SACD [79:27] [RMo]
Ballot’s leisureliness in Bruckner is controversial as always but with its own interest and insights.
Fortunato CHELLERI (1690-1757)
6 Sonate di Galanteria -
Luigi Chiarizia (harpsichord) rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96308 [70:49]
[JV] Pleasant sonatas by a little-known composer.
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810–1849)
Piano Concertos (chamber arrangements) - Emmanuel Despax (piano), Chineke! Chamber Ensemble rec. 2021 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD700 [75:09]
Attractive new accounts of the Chopin concertos in chamber versions.
Edward COWIE (b. 1943)
Where Song Was Born - Sara Minelli (flute), Roderick Chadwick (piano)
rec. 2021 MÉTIER MSV28620 [67:12]
Twenty-four highly original miniatures inspired by Antipodean birds.
Frederic CURZON (1899-1973)
Orchestral Music - Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Adrian Leaper rec. 1991
NAXOS 8.555172 [66:25] [PCG]
A reissue of Frederic Curzon's music, still unchallenged in the catalogue.
Robert DOCKER (1918-1992)
Three Contrasts & other orchestral works - RTÉ Concert Orchestra/Barry Knight rec. 1995
NAXOS 8.574322 [78:38] [JF]
Delightful, committed playing by all the performers.
Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877–1960)
Concertos, Variations On A Nursery Song - Sofja Gülbadamova (piano), Silke Aichhorn (harp), Andrei Ionita (cello), Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/ Modestas Pitrenas rec. 2021 CAPRICCIO C5463 [68:14]
A valuable disc bringing these three rewarding works together.
Jonathan DOVE (b.1959) Judith WEIR (b.1954)
& Matthew MARTIN (b.1976) Choral
Peter Holder (organ) Westminster Abbey Ch/James O’Donnell rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68350 [70:16]
[MR] English church music by three living British composers exquisitely performed by the choir and organists of Westminster Abbey.
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Cello Concerto, Serenade for Strings - Petr Nouzovský (cello), Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice/Stanislav Vavřínek rec. 2021
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95696 [74:34] [WH]
A very fine reading of a favourite concerto.
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 [79:47] [JF]
An ideal survey of Elgar’s choral music.
Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Elgar Reimagined - Raphael Wallfisch (cello), English Symphony Orchestra/Kenneth Woods rec. 2020
LYRITA SRCD 394 [69:27] [JQ]
An excellent re-imagining of Elgar’s String Quartet.
Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Elgar from America Vol. 3 - rec. 1953-59
SOMM ARIADNE 5015-2 [69:50+ 58:03] [PCG]
Barbirolli’s live New York Dream of Gerontius is something of a revelation.
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]
Enescu chamber music in spirited and persuasive performances.
George ENESCU (1881-1955) Violin Concerto,
Carolin Widmann (violin) Luiza Borac (piano)
NDR Radiophilharmonie/Peter Ruzicka
rec. 2021 CPO 555 487-2 [53:33] [SB] Early works, beautifully unearthed and presented, but really only for Enescu completists.
Einar ENGLUND (1916-1999) Complete Music for Solo Piano
- Laura Mikkola (piano) rec. 2017
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0356 [71:44]
A fine exploration of Englund’s piano music.
Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987)
For Bunita Marcus, Palais de Mari, Triadic Memories - Alfonso Gomez (piano) rec. 2021
KAIROS KAI0015106 [3 CDs: 187:00] [DMD]
An ideal way into the magical world of Feldman’s music.
Ignacy FRIEDMAN (1882-1948) Complete Songs
Şen Acar (soprano),
Szymon Chojnacki (bass-baritone),
Jakub Tchorzewski (piano) rec. 2021 ACTE PRĖALABLE AP0523 [79:41]
[RCh] It is a real pleasure to hear the beautiful songs of this famous pianist.
Umberto GIORDANO (1867-1948)
Siberia - Sonya Yoncheva (soprano) Giorgi Sturua (tenor)
O e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2021 DYNAMIC CDS7928.02 [51:11 + 43:43]
Those who enjoy the verismo tradition and rarely recorded operas should savour
Edward GREGSON (b. 1945)
Chamber Music -
Alison Teale (cor anglais)
Rob Buckland (alto saxophone)
Navarra String Quartet
rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.574223 [67:04] [JF]
Five premiere recordings reveal great depth, vision and technical assurance.
Camargo GUARNIERI (1907–1993)
Choros Vol. 2 -
Săo Paulo Symphony Orchestra/Roberto Tibiriçá rec. 2020/21 NAXOS 8.574403 [70:13]
Spirited and compelling performances of instantly attractive music.
Sofia GUBAIDULINA (b. 1931)
Orchestral Works - Radiophilharmonie Hannover des NDR/ Johannes Kalitzke, Bernard Klee rec. 1991–1993 CPO 999164-2 [57:42]
A valuable collection of this fine composer’s work.
Louis Gabriel GUILLEMAIN (1705-1770)
12 Caprices, Amusement -
Gilles Colliard (violin) rec. 2001/02 EMEC RECORDS
E-048/054 [64:08 & 78:04] [JV] Impressive performances of music by Guillemain who was Leclair's equal.
George Frederick HANDEL (1685-1759)
Saul - Florian Boesch (bass-baritone) Jake
Arditti (counter-tenor) Anna Prohaska (soprano)
Arnold Schoenberg Ch,
Freiburg Baroque O/Christopher Moulds rec. 2021 UNITEL 805604 Blu-ray [158 mins]
A superb performance of Handel’s oratorio, but concerns about aspects of the production.
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
La Resurrezione - Sophie Bevan, Lucy Crowe (soprano) Iestyn Davies (countertenor),
The English Concert/Harry Bickett
rec. 2021 LINN CKD675 [64:48+52:30] [RMo]
A faithful, atmospheric recreation of Handel’s youthful showpiece, compromised by some indifferent singing.
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Eboracum Baroque/Chris Parsons rec. 2020 EBORACUM BAROQUE [2 CDs:
[JD] Despite the sense of joy here, significant flaws prevent this recording from being a contender.
Emil HARTMANN (1836-1898)
Scandinavian Folk Music –
Cathrine Penderup (piano) rec. 2021 DANACORD DACOCD 936-937 [2 CDs: 116:26]
The performance of this novel musical byway is committed and expressive.
Thomas Alexandrovich de HARTMANN (1885-1956)
Bülent Evcil (flute) Lviv Ntl PO Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0633 [65:55]
Enjoyable, unusual orchestral music by a little-known composer.
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Complete Symphonies Vol. 26 - Heidelberger Sinfoniker/Johannes Klumpp rec. 2020
HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC22019 [68:16] [MC]
Johannes Klumpp and the Heidelberger Sinfoniker make a strong case for these early symphonies.
(1882-1964) Songs and Duets
- Courtney Maina (soprano) Christopher A. Leach (tenor)
Mary Dibbern (piano) rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0634 [69:24]
Wonderful interpretations of works by an important American voice.
Charles IVES (1874-1954)
& Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) String Quartets -
Emerson String Quartet
rec. 1990/91 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 435 864-2 [64:40] [PBW]
These are superb performances – an essential purchase in every way.
John JENKINS (1592-1678)
Four-Part Consorts - Phantasm
rec. 2012 LINN RECORDS CKD677 [76:15]
[JV] Consort playing of the highest level.
Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Die Tote Stadt
- Klaus Florian Vogt (tenor) Camilla Nylund (soprano)
Finnish National Opera Chorus & Orchestra/Mikko Franck
rec. 2010 OPUS ARTE OACD9050D [2 CDs: 143:42] [DBi]
This is a perfectly decent recording of Korngold’s lovely opera but there are others that include librettos and are better recorded.
Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Grands Motets Vol. 2
Les Épopées/Stéphane Fuget rec. 2021 CHATEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS059 [66:20]
Urgent performances of supremely good Motets by a master of the French Baroque.
Thomas LUPO (1571-1627)
Fretwork rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD716 [64:06] [DMD]
The Rolling Stones of the viol world make an irresistibly charismatic case for a lesser known composer.
Bruno MADERNA (1920-1973)
Hyperion - Annette Meriweather (soprano), Carmelo Bene (reciter), Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro della RAI di Milano/Marcello Panni rec. 1981
TACTUS TC920290 [52:30 + 31:25] [GH]
A highly original, avant-garde work of the 1960s unlikely to appeal to most modern listeners.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Chen Reiss (soprano)
Czech PO/Semyon Bychkov rec. 2020 PENTATONE PTC5186972 [56:49]
Deserves to be added to the list of recent outstanding versions of this much recorded symphony.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 8
London Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra/Vladimir Jurowski
rec. 2017 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO-0121 [83:25]
Initial sound issues soon give way to reveal a stupendous performance, even if the some of the solo singing has been bettered.
Johann Simon MAYR (1763-1845)
Alfredo il Grande - Marie-Luise Dressen (mezzo), Concerto de Bassus/Franz Hauk rec. 2019
NAXOS 8.660483-84 [87:08 + 69:16] [MP]
An honorable effort to breathe life into a long lost operatic curiosity.
Fanny MENDELSSOHN HENSEL (1805-1847)
A Woman’s Hand
- Helen Cawthorne (piano) rec.
2021 PRIMA FACIE PFCD172 [61:20]
Technically and interpretively perfect – a voyage of delight from end to end.
Ernest J MOERAN (1894–1950)
Chamber Music - Fidelio Trio, Nicky Sweeney (violin) rec. 2021 RESONUS RES10296 [66:27]
A rare, and successful, outing for an all-Moeran chamber disc.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos Nos
22 & 23 -
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano)
Manchester Camerata/Gábor Takács-Nagy rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20166 [64:34]
[MG] Bavouzet and Takács-Nagy provide fresh insights in their ongoing exploration of Mozart.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
(1756-1791) Cosě fan tutte -
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Lisa Otto (soprano) Nan
Merriman (mezzo) Philharmonia Ch & O/Herbert von Karajan
rec. 1954 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO189 [3 CDs: 160:33]
[RMo] This classic performance is now revealed in new glory.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concertos Nos
1 & 3, Sinfonia Concertante -
David Oistrakh (violin), Rudolf Barshai (viola), Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic
rec. 1959-63 ALTO ALC1454 [75:23] [RB] A heartfelt entry-price contender in strong 1960s mono.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Berliner Barock Solisten/Reinhard Goebel rec. 2021 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC21013 [51:29]
As Goebel's way with Mozart is very individual, its appeal undoubtedly will be a matter of personal taste.
Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931)
& Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concertos -
Johan Dalene (violin)
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgĺrds
rec. 2021 BIS BIS2620 SACD [73:32] [RWe]
The only SACD choice for this coupling, in fine performances, especially the Nielsen.
Fernando PALATÍN (1852-1927)
Violin Virtuoso -
Rafael Muńoz Torrero (violin)
Julio Moguer (piano) rec. 2020 IBS CLASSICAL IBS222021 [68:13]
[JW] An attractive exploration of the art of a little-remembered virtuoso of the violin.
Dora PEJAČEVIĆ (1885-1923) Piano Concerto, Symphony -
Peter Donohoe (piano)
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHSA5299 SACD [70:57]
A sweepingly impressive symphony overshadows a less individual concerto.
Hieronymus PRAETORIUS (1560-1629)
Organ Works - Léon Berben (organ) rec. 2021
AEOLUS AE-11311 SACD [78:46 + 78:29] [SG]
Once again, Aeolus mines attractive rarities.
Florence PRICE (1887-1953)
Ethiopia’s Shadow in America, Piano
Concerto Valerie COLEMAN (b. 1970)
Umoja: Anthem of Unity Jessie MONTGOMERY (b. 1981)
Soul Force -
Michelle Cann (piano)
New York Youth Symphony/Michael Repper rec. 2020 AVIE AV2503 [52:51]
A celebration of Black American women composers.
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858–1924)
La bohčme - Celine Byrne (soprano) Merūnas
Vitulskis (tenor) Irish Ntl Opera Ch & O/Sergio Alapont
rec. 2021 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD702 [2 CDs: 107:03]
[GF] Not a frontrunner but has a great deal to offer even so.
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Orchestral Works - Royal Stockholm PO/Sakari Oramo
rec. 2020/21 BIS BIS-2438 SACD [68:43]
A highly enjoyable Ravel collection.
Silvestre REVUELTAS (1899-1940)
Redes Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990)
The City -
PostClassical Ensemble/Angel Gil-Ordóńez rec. 2007/14 NAXOS 8.574350 [68:27]
[NB] Fine and important complete recreations of two seminal film scores.
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792–1868)
Il barbiere di Siviglia -
Maria Callas (soprano) Luigi Alva (tenor) Tito Gobbi (baritone)
Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus/Alceo Galliera
rec. 1957 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO191 [59:44 + 70:04] [RMo]
Anyone new to this timeless and perennial favourite is urged to go for
the Pristine option - it is as good as it gets.
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Ermione, La donna del lago, Bianca e Falliero - rec. 2000-2009
OPERA RARA CLASSICS ORB2 [8 CDs: 614 mins] [MC]
Bel canto enthusiasts should not hesitate to acquire these opera recordings.
Albert ROUSSEL (1869-1937)
Le Testament de la Tante Caroline -
Marie Lenormand, Marion Gomar, Lucile Komitčs,
Orchestre des Frivolités Parisiennes/Dylan Corlay rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.660479 [79:00]
[SB] Roussel’s comic opera is workmanlike but lacks fizz.
Poul RUDERS (b. 1949)
Harpsichord Concerto -
Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)
Aarhus Symphony Orchestra/Leif Segerstam
rec. 2020 OUR RECORDINGS 9.70896 [20:58] [PRB]
A delicious Danish delight, with more than enough tang to tantalize anyone’s taste buds.
Claudio SANTORO (1919–1989)
Symphony Nos. 5 & 7 - Goiás Philharmonic Orchestra/Neil Thomson rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574402 [70:58]
20th Century Brazilian music, well recorded and performed, but ultimately lacking memorability or any notable ‘personal voice’.
Erik SATIE (1866-1925)
Piano Music Vol. 5: Ésoterik Satie
- Noriko Ogawa (piano) rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2345 SACD [76:04]
[SB] Intense but rather limited pieces from Satie’s involvement with occultism.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828)
The Fair Maid of the Mill - Nicky Spence (tenor), Christopher Glynn (piano) rec. 2020 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD711 [63:25]
Nicky Spence’s theatrical reading should be a natural choice for those wanting an English language version, but also an interesting alternative for already well-stocked collectors.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Complete Symphonies & Fragments - L’Orfeo Barockorchester/Michi Gaigg rec. 2018
CPO 555228-2 [4 CDs: 277:25] [JLW]
Schubert’s symphonies in the moment of creation.
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Arabeske, Kreisleriana, Fantasie - Stephen Hough (piano) rec. 2020
HYPERION CDA68363 [70:07] [PBW]
Admirers of Stephen Hough's artistry should first listen to this, rather
than automatically buying; for me it is a mismatch.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
& Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996)
Piano Trios & Songs -
Kateryna Kasper (soprano)
Trio Vivente rec. 2020 CPO 555 367-2 [77:37] [SA]
A most intelligent reading of all the works; Weinberg’s piano trio is the highlight.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Concerto No. 1, Symphony No. 9
Yefim Bronfman (piano)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Mariss Jansons
rec. 2011/12 BR KLASSIK 900202 [46:17] [WH] Superb live performances of two of Shostakovich’s most mercurial works.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Suite No.1, The Age of Gold &
The Limpid Stream suites, Suite for Variety Orchestra
Singapore SO/Andrew Litton rec. 2019 BIS BIS-2472 SACD [69:14]
Sophisticated performances of entertaining music.
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
Symphonies 1-7 - Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Klaus Mäkelä rec. 2021
DECCA 4852256 [4 CDs: 264:23] [DMD]
The young Finn shows he is much more than a wunderkind.
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
The Complete Symphonies - Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Klaus Mäkelä rec. 2021
DECCA 485 2256 [4 CDs: 265:13] [RWe]
An impressive debut recording – no allowance required for the conductor’s youth.
(1859-1925) Piano Works 3
- Anna Paras (piano) rec. 2021 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0536 [53:21]
Yet another new name with something of true merit to say.
Roman STATKOWSKI (1859-1925) Works for Violin and Piano
Natan Dondalski (violin),
Anna Paras (piano)
rec. 2021 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0537 [49:15] [PRB]
A composer of charming miniatures, but with a disproportionately large talent and heart.
(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]
A total treat: you’ll have a whale of a time while you listen.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Le OFF rec. 2019 NOMADMUSIC NMM100 [58:34] [RMo]
Something of an odd hodgepodge which is nonetheless beautifully played.
STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Firebird,
Petrushka, The Rite of Spring - London Symphony
Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2017 LSO LIVE LSO5096 SACD [47:26
+ 69:07] [NB]
Rattle calling cards played with assured brilliance by the LSO.
Alfons SZCZERBIŃSKI (1858-1895)
Complete Piano Works Vol. 2 - Giorgio Koukl (piano)
rec. 2021 GRAND PIANO GP884 [61:52]
[RCh] More elegant piano music from this forgotten Pole.
(1858-1895) Complete Piano Works 2
- Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2021
GRAND PIANO GP884 [61:52]
Hopefully Koukl’s excellent performances of these extremely enjoyable works will bring the composer’s compositional talents to a wider audience of lovers of piano music.
Jenö TAKÁCS (1902-2005)
Piano Concerto & other orchestral works - Oliver Triendl (piano) Nina Karmon (violin)
Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt/Evan-Alexis Christ
rec. 2020 CAPRICCIO C5438 [65:59] [CL] Presents the serious and not-so-serious sides of the globe-trotting composer, pianist, and pedagogue.
Germaine TAILLEFERRE (1892–1983)
Her Piano Works, Revived Vol. 1 - Nicolas Horvath (piano) rec. 2021 GRAND PIANO GP891 [83:21]
A fine disc which displays the enormous breadth of Tailleferre’s achievement, and celebrates her outstanding musical gifts.
Evert TAUBE (1890-1976)
Out There So Quiet & other songs -
Torsten Mossberg (tenor) rec. 2020/21 STERLING CDA1857-2 [73:44]
[GF] This recording is another feather in Torsten Mossberg’s cap.
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Chamber Music - Rainer Seidl (bassoon), Daniel Valentin Marx (guitar) rec. 2021
NAXOS 8.551433 [51:15] [GPJ]
An enjoyable disc of music for this unusual but highly successful combination of instruments.
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
A Sea Symphony
Isobel Baillie (soprano) John Cameron (baritone) London Philharmonic Ch & O/Sir Adrian Boult
rec. 1953-1954 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC658 [67.20]
The remastering of a historic recording, nearly seventy years old, which still justifies its place in the catalogue.
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
Symphonies Nos 5 & 6 - BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1975, 1972
ICA CLASSICS ICAC5164 [69:06] [JW]
A critically penetrating interpreter with new things to say about the music.
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
Pan’s Anniversary -
Britten Sinfonia/William Vann rec. 2021 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD054 [71:48]
Dependably fine recordings of unknown Vaughan Williams, the arrangement of The Fantasia is more a curio than convincing.
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
La mia letizia infondere -
Héctor Sandoval (tenor)
Philharmonie Baden-Baden/Pavel Baleff rec. 2007 GRAMOLA 99233 [52:36]
A worthy heir to the Pavarotti style, but technical lapses intrude.
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
La Senna Festeggiante - Gwendoline Blondeel (soprano), Lucile Richardot (mezzo-soprano), Luigi De Donato (bass), Orchestre del’Opéra Royal/Diego Fasolis rec. 2021
CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES CVS064 [80:49] [DBi]
Perhaps Vivaldi’s best secular vocal music in a performance which might be equalled elsewhere but is very enjoyable.
Mortimer WILSON (1876–1932)
The Thief of Bagdad -
Frankfurt Radio Symphony/Mark Fitz-Gerald
rec. 2019 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR126 [74:45] [WK]
Even if you do not know the film, this is very fine music in its own right.
Paul WRANITZKY (1756-1808) Works for oboe -
Vilém Veverka (oboe)
Wranitzky Kapelle/Marek Štilec rec. 2021 ARCODIVA UP0235 [56:35]
Pleasing if short-winded Classical concerti.
(b. 1978) The Lost Codex of Avalon
- David Yardley (alto)
Chloe Lankshear (soprano)
Cristina Alís Raurich (portative organ)
The Song Company,
Sydney Chamber Choir/Sam Allchurch,
Pastance TALISMAN [57:30] [MP] Enjoyably performed Medieval pastiche that will especially appeal to the re-enactment crowd.
Bach before Bach
Chouchane Siranossian (violin)
Balász Máté (bass violin, cello) Leonardo García Alarcón (harpsichord) rec.
2020 ALPHA 758 [64:22] [JV] A fine disc, which will give every lover of the violin much pleasure.
British Piano Concertos Simon Callaghan (piano) BBC National
Orchestra of Wales/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2021 LYRITA SRCD407 [68:33]
Lesser-known works for piano and orchestra, played with highly communicative enthusiasm.
Les caractčres de la danse
Works by Lully, Rebel, Rameau, Gluck and Mozart - Orchestre de l'Opéra Royal/Reinhard Goebel rec. 2021
CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS055 [70:06] [JV]
The more recently the music was written, the better the performances are.
Marcel Ciampi (piano)
Live in Concert – Paris 1955-56
L’Association des Concerts de chambre de Paris/Fernand Oubradous SOLSTICE SOCD395 [80:04]
[JW] A great French pianist in previously unreleased live concerts from the mid-50s.
Cool Tunes for the Big Bassoon
Susan Nigro (contrabassoon),
Mark Lindeblad (piano) rec. 2021 CRYSTAL RECORDS CD980 [59:32]
An excellent introduction to this diffident and often neglected instrument.
I Diporti della Villa in ogni Stagione, Venezia 1601
Gruppo Vocale Ŕrsi & Tčsi/Tony Corradini
rec. 2019 TACTUS TC590005 [65:06]
[JV] Very enjoyable, even without understanding the texts.
Jasmina Kulaglich (piano) rec. 2021
CALLIOPE CAL2194 [69:23] [RCh]
An attractive collection with some nice surprises but lacking in passion.
Dutch Hidden Gems
Works for viola by Badings, Werkman, Koetsier
& Bosmans -
Dana Zemtsov (viola)
Anna Fedorova (piano)
Phion, Orchestra of Gelderland & Overijssel/Shizuo Kuwahara rec. 2021
CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS41222 [65:10]
For once we really do have a hidden gem - the Badings Viola Concerto is a valuable discovery and worth the price of this excellent CD.
Oksana Dyka (soprano)
In Questa Reggia - Kaunas City SO/Constantine Orbelian
rec. 2019 DELOS DE3586 [68:05]
Despite some caveats, this collection of Puccini and Verdi arias provides many electrifying moments.
Christian Ferras (violin)
Violin Recitals in Germany 1953-1965 - Pierre Barbizet (piano)
MELOCLASSIC MC2048 [78:17 + 74:55]
[JW] Recital favourites but also works new to Ferras’ legacy enliven this twofer from Meloclassic.
Christian Ferras (violin)
Concert Tours in Europe 1961-74 MELOCLASSIC MC2049 [77:54 + 76:47]
Ferras in warhorses but also in repertoire new to his discography.
Norma Fisher (piano)
At the BBC Vol. 3 - Works by Brahms,
Chopin & Schumann rec. 1984/92 SONETTO CLASSICS SONCLA006 [62:21]
For technically wonderful pianism and musically informed interpretations, look no further.
From Dennis Brain’s Library Stephen Stirling (horn)
Tony Halstead, Kathron Sturrock (piano)
Christian Halstead (violin)
rec. 2021 MPR 112 [78:21] [JD] A treat not for only for
horn enthusiasts but anyone who enjoys listening to excellent
Bronislaw Gimpel (violin)
Live Vol. 1 rec. 1937-1967
DOREMI DHR-8163-64 [75:26 + 79:14] [JW]
The vivid and communicative Bronislaw Gimpel, charted over three decades.
Bronislaw Gimpel (violin)
Live Vol. 1 rec. 1930s-1967 DOREMI DHR-8163/4 [75:24 + 79:12] [SG]
A player who never achieved the fame he deserved.
Global Wagner – From Bayreuth to the World
A film by Axel Brüggemann NAXOS 2.110708 DVD
[97 mins] [DJB] There’s an interesting
story in here, trying hard to get out but not
Sir Eugene Goossens (conductor)
Cincinnati Symphony, Vol. 1 Works by Delius, Walton & Vaughan
rec. 1941/46 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC654 [76:18] [MSJ]
Restorations of sensual and atmospheric performances by Goossens in Cincinnati.
Arrangement of works by Mahler & Schoenberg
Beatrice Berrut (piano) rec. 2021 LA DOLCE VOLTA LDV100 [67:33]
Mahler and Schoenberg as though transcribed by Liszt with magical results.
An Evening of Japanese Monster Music - John
DeSentis, Michiru Oshima (conductors) rec.
2019 SUPERTRAIN STR024 [43:45 + 50:07]
[CL] The title says it all: an evening of Japanese monster music both literally and figuratively for the fans.
Legendary Soviet Violinists
Concerts in Germany 1950-1977 - Boris Goldstein (violin), Igor
Bezrodny (violin), Julian Sitkovetsky (violin)
MELOCLASSIC MC2050 [62:16 + 66:13] [JW]
Three great Soviet violinists burnish their reputations in German broadcast performances.
Marguerite Long (piano)
The Complete Fauré & d'Indy Recordings rec. 1930–1957 APR 6038 [74:31 + 80:33]
Long’s recordings, greatly enhanced by the superb restorations of Mark Obert-Thorn.
Choral works by Kodály & Ligeti - Danish National Vocal Ensemble/Marcus Creed rec. 2020, 2021
OUR RECORDINGS 6.220676 SACD [50:30] [WH]
Superbly sung repertoire that ranges from the delightful to the truly challenging.
Mandolin on Stage
Concertos by Vivaldi, Paisiello, Lecce & Hummel -
Raffaele La Ragione (mandolin)
Il Pomo d'Oro/Francesco Corti rec. 2021 ARCANA A524 [66:56]
[JV] This disc should convince every sceptic, that the mandolin is an instrument which fully deserves a place on the stage.
Mirages: The Art Of French Song Roderick Williams (baritone)
Roger Vignoles (piano)
rec. 2019 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD159 [73:06] [GF]
A fascinating and refreshing promenade in a poetic French landscape with the best imaginable guides.
Dimitri Mitropoulos (conductor)
The Complete RCA and Columbia Album Collection rec. 1946-1957
RCA 19439888252 [69 CDs] [RCo]
Music’s mighty Athenian.
The Myth of Venice
Gawain Glenton (cornettos), Silas Wollston (Metal-pipe organ, Organo di legno, virginals) rec. 2021 DELPHIAN DCD34261 [61:50]
Intriguing and beautifully played.
Now the Green Blade Riseth Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Daniel Hyde rec. 2021
KING’S COLLEGE KGS0065 [77:05] [MR]
Daniel Hyde’s unfailingly perceptive and inspired direction in a truly sumptuous demonstration of choral singing.
Ombres: Women Composers of the Belle Époque
Laetitia Grimaldi (soprano), Ammiel Bushakevitz (piano), Talia Erdal (cello) rec. 2019
BIS BIS-2546 SACD [69:03] [MP]
A wealth of long forgotten songs worthily exhumed and luminously performed.
Motets by Hasse & Porpora - Clint van der Linde (alto),
Les Muffatti rec. 2021 RAMÉE RAM2102 [69:07] [JV] Expressive and stylistically convincing performances by Clint van der Linde.
Works by Tabakova & Vladigerov -
Marina Staneva (piano) rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20251 [83:38]
[RCh] A rich feast of romantic piano from this enterprising young artist.
Sokolov (piano) At Esterházy Palace rec. 2018 DEUTSCHE
GRAMMOPHON 4861849 [2 CDs: 122:52 + Blu-ray: 127:33] [SG]
Worthy of a plethora of superlatives - without doubt, a recording of the year.
Works by Abel & JS Bach -
Lucile Boulanger (viola da gamba) rec. 2020 ALPHA 783 [2 CDs: 90:44]
[JV] A convincing case for Bach on the viola da gamba.
Works by Reali, Vivaldi & Bach -
rec. 2021 ALPHA 771 [68:00] [JV] Reali could not have wished for better advocates of his forgotten sonatas.
Stella Renaissance Gems and their Reflections Vol. 3 - ORA Singers/Suzi Digby
rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905341 [74:36]
Another impressive and illuminating addition to the ORA Singers’ discography.
Frederick Stock (conductor)
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Vol. 1
rec. 1916-26 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC657 [74:53 + 75:43] [GT]
Historic recordings reveal the glory of Stock’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Works by Weckmann, Tunder, Froberger & Ritter - Yoann Moulin
rec. 2020 RICERCAR RIC433 [56:20] [JV] A very interesting and highly enjoyable recital.
The Sweet and Merry Month
Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford/Mark Williams
rec. 2021 OPUS ARTE OACD9049D [72:17]
May Day celebrations from Magdalen College Oxford have rarely sounded so lovely.
Symphonies of the Bach Family Berliner Barock Solisten/Reinhard Goebel
rec. 2021 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC21029 [63:37]
Not a single well-known work within eyesight, but a life-enhancing excursion off the beaten track that should appeal to every baroque enthusiast.
Works by Scott Joplin and others -
Marilyn Nonken (piano)
rec. 2021 DIVINE ART DDA25220 [67:57] [JW] A reflective, somewhat serious look at Scott Joplin and his collaborators.
Works by Alexander, Nikolai & Ivan Tcherepnin -
Quan Yuan (violin), Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin (flute), Ian Greitzer (clarinet), David Witten, Donald Berman (piano)
rec. 1997-2019 TOCCATA NEXT TOCN0012 [63:40] [SA]
Three highly talented and individual composers whose music is both
fascinating and genuinely different.
Works by Freitas Branco, Ravel & Villa-Lobos - Bruno Monteiro (violin), Joao Paulo Santos (piano) rec. 2021 ETCETERA KTC1750 [69:23]
Passionately-entertaining and original music, lovingly presented in a powerfully-successful reading from both performers.
Works by Schulhoff, Hindemith, Jarnach & Erdmann - Baiba Skride (violin) rec. 2020
ORFEO C210051 [57:48] [JW]
Baiba Skride digs into solo violin sonatas from the 1920s.
Vous avez dit Brunettes? Les Kapsber'girls
rec. 2020 ALPHA 761 [63:05]
[JV] Very good singing and playing, but some aspects of the performance are less satisfying.
Mikhail Waiman (violin)
Concerts in East Germany 1950-1963
MELOCLASSIC MC2051 [77:31 + 76:07]
[JW] A judicious selection advances the claims of Mikhail Waiman, a perceptive romantic.
Rachel Willis-Sřrensen (soprano)
Rachel - Opera arias & scenes rec.
2021 SONY CLASSICAL 19439968352 [77:31]
A fine, big voice of no special distinction or individuality in a diverse debut recital.
Articles and Notices
Haydn’s The Seven Last Words - A
by Ralph Moore
An interview with composer David
Jennings by John France