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May 2022


Hans ABRAHAMSEN (b. 1952) Schnee - Lapland Chamber Orchestra/John Storgårds 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Così 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.

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) & Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concertos - Johan Dalene (violin) Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/John Storgårds rec. 2021 BIS BIS2620 SACD [73:32] [RWe] The only SACD choice for this coupling, in fine performances, especially the Nielsen.

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.

Silvestre REVUELTAS (1899-1940) Redes Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) The City - PostClassical Ensemble/Angel Gil-Ordóñez rec. 2007/14 NAXOS 8.574350 [68:27] [NB] Fine and important complete recreations of two seminal film scores.

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 Komitès, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphonies No. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I Diporti della Villa in ogni Stagione, Venezia 1601 Gruppo Vocale Àrsi & Tèsi/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) 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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