MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Monthly Listing
May 2022
152 reviews this month

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] [GPu] 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.

Ralph 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) Undersong - Works by Francois Couperin, Robert Schumann, Glass & Satie rec. 2020 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0156 [73:28] [MSJ] 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) Klag-Lied - 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] [SG] 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] [RB] 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) Symphony No.9 - Ch & O Bayreuth Festival/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1951 BIS BIS-9060 SACD [82:45] [MB] Stick with Orfeo unless you particularly want to feel as if you are sitting in front of a radio in 1951.

Ludwig van 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 caution.

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] [GH] 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] [MR] 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 - I Musicanti, Leon Bosch (double bass) rec. 2021 SOMM SOMMCD0645 [77:22] [GPu] 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] [JQ] 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) Faust - 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] [JQ] 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] [RMay] 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] [GH] 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] [RCh] A valuable disc bringing these three rewarding works together.

Jonathan DOVE (b.1959) Judith WEIR (b.1954) & Matthew MARTIN (b.1976) Choral works - 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.

George ENESCU (1881-1955) Piano Trio, Piano Quartet No 1 - Stefan Tarara (violin) Molly Carr (viola) Eun-Sun Hong (cello) Josu De Solaun (piano) rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.573616 [58:18] [LW] Enescu chamber music in spirited and persuasive performances.

George ENESCU (1881-1955) Violin Concerto, Phantasy - 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] [HC] 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] [MC] Those who enjoy the verismo tradition and rarely recorded operas should savour this. 

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] [NB] 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] [SB] 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] [PCG] 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) Messiah - Eboracum Baroque/Chris Parsons rec. 2020 EBORACUM BAROQUE [2 CDs: 132:08]  [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] [JF] The performance of this novel musical byway is committed and expressive.

Thomas Alexandrovich de HARTMANN (1885-1956) Orchestral Music - Bülent Evcil (flute) Lviv Ntl PO Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0633 [65:55] [EJW] 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.

Mary HOWE (1882-1964) Songs and Duets - Courtney Maina (soprano) Christopher A. Leach (tenor) Mary Dibbern (piano) rec. 2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0634 [69:24] [WK] 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] [DBi] Urgent performances of supremely good Motets by a master of the French Baroque.

Thomas LUPO (1571-1627) Fantasia - 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) Symphony No.4 - Chen Reiss (soprano) Czech PO/Semyon Bychkov rec. 2020 PENTATONE PTC5186972 [56:49] [DMD] 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] [RMo] 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] [JF] 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] [JW] 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 Orchestra/Kirill Kondrashin rec. 1959-63 ALTO ALC1454 [75:23] [RB] A heartfelt entry-price contender in strong 1960s mono.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Serenades - Berliner Barock Solisten/Reinhard Goebel rec. 2021 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC21013 [51:29] [PBW] 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] [NB] 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] [LW] 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] [JQ] 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] [EJW] 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] [GF] 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) Jazz 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] [NB] 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.

Roman STATKOWSKI (1859-1925) Piano Works 3 - Anna Paras (piano) rec. 2021 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0536 [53:21] [PRB] 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.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Metamorphosen Franz SCHREKER (1878-1934) Intermezzo Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Symphonic Serenade - Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHSA5292 SACD [64:22] [ST] A total treat: you’ll have a whale of a time while you listen.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Metamorphoses - Le OFF rec. 2019 NOMADMUSIC NMM100 [58:34] [RMo] Something of an odd hodgepodge which is nonetheless beautifully played.

Igor 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.

Alfons SZCZERBIŃSKI (1858-1895) Complete Piano Works 2 - Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2021 GRAND PIANO GP884 [61:52] [SA] 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] [GPJ] 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 (1872-1958) A Sea Symphony - Isobel Baillie (soprano) John Cameron (baritone) London Philharmonic Ch & O/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1953-1954 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC658 [67.20] [PCG] 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] [NB] 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] [SV] 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] [SV] Pleasing if short-winded Classical concerti.

David YARDLEY (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] [HC] 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] [GPJ] 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.

Dumka 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] [DBi] 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] [MC] 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] [JW] 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] [SG] 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 performers.

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 succeeding.

Sir Eugene Goossens (conductor) Cincinnati Symphony, Vol. 1 Works by Delius, Walton & Vaughan Williams rec. 1941/46 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC654 [76:18] [MSJ] Restorations of sensual and atmospheric performances by Goossens in Cincinnati.

Jugendstil Arrangement of works by Mahler & Schoenberg - Beatrice Berrut (piano) rec. 2021 LA DOLCE VOLTA LDV100 [67:33] [DMD] Mahler and Schoenberg as though transcribed by Liszt with magical results.

Kaiju Crescendo 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] [SG] Long’s recordings, greatly enhanced by the superb restorations of Mark Obert-Thorn.

Lux Aeterna 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] [GPu] 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.

Salve Regina 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.

Slavic Roots 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.

Grigory 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.

Solo 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.

Specchio Veneziano Works by Reali, Vivaldi & Bach - Le Consort 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] [JQ] 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.

Stylus luxurians Works by Weckmann, Tunder, Froberger & Ritter - Yoann Moulin (harpsichord) 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] [MR] 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] [GF] Not a single well-known work within eyesight, but a life-enhancing excursion off the beaten track that should appeal to every baroque enthusiast.

Syncopated Musings 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.

Three Generations 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.

Violin Sonatas Works by Freitas Branco, Ravel & Villa-Lobos - Bruno Monteiro (violin), Joao Paulo Santos (piano) rec. 2021 ETCETERA KTC1750 [69:23] [PRB] Passionately-entertaining and original music, lovingly presented in a powerfully-successful reading from both performers.

Violin Unlimited 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] [RMo] 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 selective survey by Ralph Moore

An interview with composer David Jennings by John France

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing