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Monthly Listing
November 2022
140 reviews this month

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Orchestral Suites - Dunedin Consort/John Butt rec. 2021/22 LINN CKD666 [2 CDs: 101] [ST] A joyous, celebratory performance of Bach’s Orchestral Suites that ends the Dunedin’s Bach series in great style.

Ermenegildo Del Cinque (1701-1773) Sonatas for 3 Cellos - Ludovico Minasi, Cristina Vidoni, Teodoro Baů (cello) Simone Vallerotonda (archlute, guitar) Andrea Buccarella (harpsichord) rec. 2021 ARCANA A528 [64] [JV] Highly important and interesting recording of music by a hitherto unknown master.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Complete Piano Sonatas - Mao Fujita (piano) rec. 2021 SONY 19658710762 [5 CDs: 301] [SG] It will certainly qualify as one of my Recordings of the Year.

Marcin Stańczyk (b 1979) Acousmatic Music - Marco Blaauw (trumpet) Agata Zubel (mezzo) Marcin Stańczyk (electronics) rec. 2015-2020 ANAKLASIS ANA015 [48 + 56] [RHa] Four substantial works from a composer I have previously championed on this site.

Lisette Oropesa (soprano) French Bel Canto Arias - Dresdner Philharmonie/Corrado Rovaris rec. 2021 PENTATONE PTC5186955 SACD [65] [GF] A winner in every respect and a strong candidate for my Recording of the Year.

Tomaso Albinoni (1671–1751) Violin Sonatas - Federico Guglielmo (violin), L'Arte dell'Arco rec. 2019 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96402 [2 CDs: 102] [JV] An important contribution to the knowledge of Albinoni’s oeuvre.

Hugo Alfvén (1872-1960) Papillon Works for mixed choir a cappella - Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble/Erik Westberg rec. 2022  SWEDISH SOCIETY DISCOFIL SCD1187 [47] [GF] The best of Alfvén’s standard works and a good handful of premiere recordings in superlative readings, should make this an obligatory buy.

Alfredo d’Ambrosio (1871-1914) Dedicato a … - Lucilla Rose Mariotti (violin), Zsuzsanna Homor (piano) ACHORD PICTURES DVD [58] [JW] The works of a once-famous salon exponent heard in a filmed performance.

Alexander Arutiunian (1920-2012) & Mieczysław Weinberg (1919-1996) Trumpet Concertos Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975) Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Strings - Paul Merkelo (trumpet), Jae-Hyuck Cho (piano), Russian National Orchestra/Hans Graf rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.579117 [61] [SA] Very tuneful playing makes the most of some brilliant writing for the trumpet.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 - Schaghajegh Nosrati (piano) rec. 2021 AVI-MUSIC 8553509 [2 CDs: 102] [DMD] A wholly convincing conception of Book One illuminated with dancing grace and joy.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations - Tianqi Du (piano) rec. 2018 NAĎVE V7566 [2 CDs: 88] [RMo] Limpid, lyrical playing, somewhat compromised by a lack of contrast and the pianist’s vocalise.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Italian Concerto, French Overture, Duets, Capriccios - Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord) rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68336 [74] [DC] Goes straight into my collection of Bach favourites.

William Baines (1899-1922) Pictures of Light - Duncan Honeybourne (piano), Gordon Pullin (tenor) rec. 2022 DIVINE ART DDA25234 [78] [JF] A notable new release.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos 1-9 Gerald Barry (b. 1952) Beethoven, Piano Concerto, Viola Concerto, The Conquest of Ireland, The Eternal Recurrence - Britten Sinfonia Voices, The Choir of Royal Holloway, Britten Sinfonia/Thomas Adčs rec. 2017-19 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD687 [6 CDs: 420] [GT] An important addition to the catalogue of Beethoven symphonic cycles.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Jakov Gotovac (1895-1982) Kolo Symphonique, Koleda - Igor Ozim (violin) Orchestre Philharmonique de Zagreb/Milan Horvat rec. 1958/1961 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR2079 [68] [SG] A welcome restoration of Igor Ozim’s Beethoven.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) & Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Violin Concertos - Vilde Frang (violin) Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Pekka Kuusisto rec. 2021 WARNER CLASSICS 9029667740 [65] [DC] A magnificent achievement.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) Wind Octet Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) Serenade - MIB Wind Ensemble rec. 2021 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS44122 [51] [DC] Excellence all round.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) Cello Sonatas - Alisa Weilerstein (cello), Inon Barnatan (piano) rec. 2020 PENTATONE PTC5186884 [110] [DC] Technically admirable and musically enjoyable.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) The Lark Ascending - Sinfonietta Riga/Thomas Gould (violin) rec. 2014 EDITION EDN1058 [60] [RMo] A refreshingly different take on two seminal works.

Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) La sonnambula - Maria Callas (soprano), Nicola Zaccaria (bass), Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano/Antonino Votto rec. 1957 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO193 [2 CDs: 120] [MP] Pristine Audio gives Callas’ sleepwalker a thoroughly successful refurbishment.

Josef Beneš (1795-1873) String Quartets - Martinů Quartet rec. 2021 SUPRAPHON SU4320-2 [56] [JW] A splendid premiere recording for two unknown string quartets.

Leo Blech (1871–1958) Alpenkönig und Menschenfeind - Ronan Collett (baritone), Hrólfur Saemundsson (baritone), Sonja Gornik (soprano), Aachen Opera Symphony Orchestra/Christopher Ward rec. 2021 CAPRICCIO C5478 [2 CDs: 125] [PCG] An extremely valuable and well-presented first recording of a neglected work which by no means deserves its obscurity.

Jacques-Jules Bouffil (1783-1868) Clarinet Chamber Music - Luigi Magistrelli, Laura Magistrelli, Cristina Romanň (clarinets) Claudia Bracco (piano) rec. 2021 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96611 [71] [GPu] Subtle and interesting chamber music - an unexpectedly rewarding discovery.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Lieder - Anna Lucia Richter (mezzo) Ammiel Bushakevitz (piano) rec. 2022 PENTATONE PTC5186986 [58] [GF] The whole album is a gem and a valuable addition to the Brahms discography.

Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) Serenade Nos 1 & 2 - Linos Ensemble rec. 2020 CAPRICCIO C5447 [75] [SB] These alternative versions on a smaller scale make a valid alternative to the usual scoring.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Symphonies Nos 1 & 3 - Philharmonia Orchestra/Guido Cantelli rec. 1953/55 BEULAH 3PDR47 [77] [DMD] Cantelli’s lean, dynamic Brahms sounding surprisingly modern in Beulah’s reissue.

Johannes Brahms (1833–1897) Symphony No 1, Hungarian Dances Antonin Dvořák (1841–1904) Symphony No 6 - Bamberger Symphoniker/Jakub Hrůša rec. 2020/21 TUDOR 1741 SACD [2 discs: 110] [RWe] Another fine pair of symphonies completes this admirable series.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Symphony No 2 Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) Symphony No 7 -  Bamberger Symphoniker/Jakub Hrůša rec. 2019/2020 TUDOR 1742 SACD [45 + 39] [RMo] Two superb performances of linked, seminal symphonies given weighty, sonorous accounts without any loss of charm or propulsion.

Johannes Brahms (1833–1907) & Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897–1957) Piano Trios - Feininger Trio rec. 2020 AVI-MUSIC 8553513 [60] [DJB] Not remotely competitive.

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 - Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra/Tatsuya Shimono rec. 202 BRAIN MUSIC OSBR39005 [64] [RMo] Yet another fine Bruckner recording from a superb Japanese team.

Anton Bruckner (1824–1896) Symphony No 9 - Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer rec. 2021 CHANNEL CCSSA42822 SACD [55] [RWe] A modern view (so not unwelcome), enjoyable on its own terms - terms which include its cool objectivity.

Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) Trio Eugčne Ysaÿe (1858-1931) Počme élégiaque, Meditation - Bruno Monteiro (violin) Miguel Rocha (cello) Joăo Paulo Santos (piano) rec. 2021 ET’CETERA RECORDS KTC1729 [60] [DC] A heart-on-sleeve, perhaps even slightly blowsy performance of an ‘unsung’ piano trio.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) Violin Concerto & other orchestral works - Elena Urioste (violin), Chineke! Orchestra rec. 2020–22 DECCA 4853322 [75 + 67] [JW] Indifferent performances and recordings.

Edward Cowie (b. 1943) Streams and Particles - Peter Sheppard Skćrved (violin), Spectrum Guitar Quartet, Christopher Redgate (oboe) rec. 2016-2021 MÉTIER MSV28612 [82] [JF] Whatever the theoretical underpinnings of this music, it can be enjoyed abstractly.

Pedro de Cristo (c.1550-1618) Magnificat, Missa Salve Regina, Marian Motets - Cupertinos/Luis Toscano rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68393 [75] [GH] Wonderful and little-known sacred works performed with character and sensitivity by a superb choir.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Early & Late Piano Pieces - Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68390 [74] [LW] Steven Osborne excels in familiar and not-so-familiar Debussy.

Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934) Organ Works - Tom Winpenny (organ) rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.574366 [87] [NB] A generous, well-played and comprehensive survey of Elgar’s organ music performed in a cathedral he knew well.

Józef Elsner (1769-1854) Septet Józef Krogulski (1815-1842) Octet Ignacy Dobrzyński (1807-1867)
Sextet rec. 2021 DUX 1822 [79] [RCh] Engaging Polish chamber music that is well worth exploring.

Maurice Emmanuel (1862-1938) Symphony No.2 & Chamber Works - Maurice Maréchal (cello), Jean Hubeau (piano), Parrenin Quartet, Strasbourg RSO/Charles Bruck rec. 1959/62 SOLSTICE SOCD397 [74] [SG] This welcome release certainly gets my appreciative thumbs up.

Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (c1670-1746) 8 Suites of 1698 - Colin Booth (harpsichords) rec. 2021 SOUNDBOARD RECORDS SBCD222 [74] [DC] Rarely heard Baroque repertoire, and well worth acquiring.

Christoph Förster (1693–1745) Concertos & Cantata - Concert Royal Köln/Karla Schröter (oboe) rec. 2018 MUSICAPHON M56982 [72] [JV] An interesting survey of Förster's stylistic development as a composer of instrumental music.

César Franck (1822-1890) String Quartet, Piano Quintet - Eliot Quartett, Dmitry Ablogin (piano) rec. 2021 GENUIN GEN22784 [82] [SB] Splendid performances of two Franck’s late chamber works.

Charles Hubert Gervais (1671-1744) Grands Motets Pour Louis XV - Choeur du Concert Spirituel, Les Ombres/Sylvain Sartre, Margaux Blanchard rec. 2021 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES CVS073 [57] [MP] A very welcome disc from a composer whose works are receiving their premiere recordings.

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) Utrecht Te Deum & Jubilate - Gaechinger Cantorey/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2018 CARUS 83.310 [80] [JV] Admirable singing and playing in this live performance.

Ronald Hannah (b. 1945) Chamber works - CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE PGM2102-2 [56] [JW] A creative traditionalist whose chamber works exude lyricism and dance.

Johann David Heinichen (1683-1729) Two Passion Oratorios - Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2021 CPO 555 507-2 [75] [SV] An air of gracious formality seems appropriate for these interesting works.

Pieter Hellendaal (1721-1799) Six Grand Concertos - La Sfera Armoniosa/Mike Fentross rec. 2021 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72911 [80] [DJB] Very fine performances of stylish works, each a valuable addition to the concerto grosso genre.

Alberto Hemsi (1898–1975) Chamber Works - ARC Ensemble rec. 2021/22 CHANDOS CHAN20243 [63] [JW] Hemsi’s Sephardic-inspired chamber music heard in premiere recordings.

Gustav Holst (1874-1934) Choral Music - Joshua Ryan (organ), Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital Chelsea/William Vann rec. 2021 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD279 [76] [NB] A unique and valuable collection, performed with skill and insight.

Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) Jenůfa - Asmik Grigorian, Karita Mattila, Nicky Spence, Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden/Henrik Nánási rec. 2021 OPUS ARTE OABD7302D Blu-ray [138] [RWe] A persuasive production, intense and musically compelling.

Matthew Kaner (b. 1986) Chamber Music - Goldfield Ensemble, Mark Simpson (basset clarinet), Guy Johnston (cello) rec. 2022 DELPHIAN DCD34231 [70] [DJB] Music that I found easier to admire than enjoy.

Tālivaldis Ķeniņš (1919-2008) Symphonies 2, 3 & 7 - Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Andris Poga rec. 2021 ONDINE ODE14012 [68] [SA] A superb disc of music by a less well known composer.

Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978) Piano Concerto,  Masquerade Suite, Concerto-Rhapsody - Iyad Sughayer (piano) BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Andrew Litton rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2586 SACD [76] [NB] Khachaturian with the edges smoothed.

Anders Koppel (b. 1947) Chamber Music - Alon Sariel (mandolin), Nightingale String Quartet, Airis String Quartet, Kegelstatt Trio rec. 2022 DANACORD DACOCD946 [72] [JF] Worth the price for the concerto alone; everything else is a bonus.

Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857–1919) Zingari - Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano), Arsen Soghomonyan (tenor), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Carlo Rizzi rec. 2021 OPERA RARA ORC61 [64] [RMo] The ingredients for verismo are here but fail to cohere and the singing is mostly disappointing.

Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) Symphony No 5 - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov rec. 2021 PENTATONE PTC5187021 [71] [DM] A refreshing take on a much performed symphony delivered with panache and commitment.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Symphony No 9 - Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Sir Simon Rattle rec. live 2021 BR KLASSIK 900205 [79] [RC] Rattle and the Bavarian RSO deliver a stunning Mahler Ninth in fine sound.

David Matthews (b. 1943) Complete String Quartets Vol. 5 - Kreutzer Quartet, Rebecca Lea (soprano), Jess Dandy (contralto), James Robinson (tenor), Will Dawes (baritone) rec. 2017-2021 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0554 [63] [GH] Perhaps the most important series of string quartets written in the last two decades reaches its fifth volume.

Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791–1864) Robert Le Diable - Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine/ Marc Minkowski rec. 2021 BRU ZANE BZ1049 [3 CDs: 217] [MC] In this striking new Bru Zane recording, Meyerbeer’s ‘Robert le Diable’ is a must for opera lovers.

Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) Robert le Diable (1831) - Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Chœur de l’Opéra National de Bordeaux/Marc Minkowski rec. 2021 BRU ZANE BZ1049 [3 CDs: 216] [PSt] A very fine first studio recording of a historically very important work.

Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) Overtures & Stage Music - Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice/Dario Salvi rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.574316 [76] [RMay] Convincing performances of some delightful – and hitherto largely unknown – scores.

Hélčne de Montgeroult (1764-1836) Études - Clare Hammond (piano) rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2603 SACD [71] [NB] Remarkably innovative piano music given impressively insightful performances.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Complete Piano Sonatas - Mao Fujita (piano) rec. 2021 SONY 19658710762 [5 CDs: 301] [MB] Mao Fujita’s impressively fresh and joyous Mozart sonatas are a superb achievement.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Don Giovanni Overture, Piano Concerto No. 23, Symphony No. 40 - Andreas Staier (fortepiano), Le Concert de la Loge/Julien Chauvin (violin) rec. 2021 ALPHA 875 [56] [MG] Spirited, intensely dramatic, but could be more melting at times.

Olli Mustonen (b. 1967) String Quartet No 1, Piano Quintet - Engegĺrd String Quartet, Olli Mustonen (piano) rec. 2021, Oslo LAWO LWC1243 [43:48] [GPJ] Challenging yet attractive music from the Finnish composer, brilliantly performed.

Eduard Nápravník (1839-1916) Piano Quartet, Violin Sonata - Oliver Triendl (piano) Nina Karmon (violin) Diyang Mei (viola) Justus Grimm (cello) rec. 2020 CPO 555405-2 [63] [SG] Rare repertoire in plush, deep-pile sound – definitely worth becoming acquainted with.

Anthoni van Noordt (c1619-1675) Complete Organ Music - Manual Tomadin (organ) rec. 2020 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95895 [2 CDs: 141] [JV] Pretty much ideal performances, with the help of a magnificent instrument.

Niccolň Paganini (1782–1840) Chamber Music For Strings and Bassoon - Andrea Bressan (bassoon), Giovanni Guzzo, Gabrielle Shek (violin), Dana Zemtsov (viola), Pau Codina (cello) rec. 2021 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS44022 [79] [DC] You will be glad to have heard it, may be delighted to own it, and its divertingly pure and honest entertainment make it something that can raise your spirits.

Paul Paray (1886–1979) Works for Piano Vol 2 - Katia Krivocochenko (piano) rec. 2020/21 CIAR CC006 [71] [RMo] A second volume of delights showcasing Paray’s melodious invention.

Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) Stabat Mater - Aleksandra Kurzak (soprano) Andreas Scholl (countertenor) Roberto Alagna (tenor) Morphing Chamber Orchestra/Christian Erny rec. 2021 APARTÉ AP277 [79] [GF] For newcomers to Arvo Pärt, this could quite likely be a gateway to his unique magic world.

Lubomir Pipkov (1904-1974) Complete Piano Music Volume One - Dobromir Tsenov (piano) rec. 2022 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0656 [73] [SA] A truly great set of interpretations which meet the huge demands made on the pianist and reflect all the nuances of this brilliant music.

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) Sinfonietta, Ballets - BBC Concert Orchestra/Bramwell Tovey
rec. 2022 reviewed in surround sound CHANDOS CHSA5260 SACD [75] [RWe] An excellent disc of some lesser-known Poulenc, very well performed and splendidly recorded.

Francis Poulenc (1899–1963) Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953) & Benjamin Britten (1913–1976) Sinfoniettas - Lahti Symphony Orchestra/ Dima Slobodeniouk rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2601 SACD [63] [LW] Sinfoniettas characteristic of their respective composers in impressive accounts.

Uģis Praulinš (b. 1957) L'homme armé - Jānis Pelše (organ), Pēteris Vaickovskis (conductor, voice), Ars Antiqua Riga rec. 2020 SKANI LMIC142 [72] [DC] Ambitious but frustrating.

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) The Isle of the Dead, Vocalise, Symphony No. 3, - Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHSA5297 SACD [67] [RMo] A delectable trio of Rachmaninov works played by a virtuoso orchestra ideally conducted.

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) Piano Concertos 2 & 4 - Anna Fedorova (piano) Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen/Modestas Pitrenas rec. 2021 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS42522 [64] [DC] Exceeds expectations - Fedorova is a real star.

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) Grands motets - Choeur & Orchestre Marguerite Louise/Gaétan Jarry rec. 2020/21 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS052 [78] [JV] Recording of seldom-performed works by Rameau with some interesting novelties.

Poul Ruders (b. 1949) Chamber Works - Rudersdal Chamber Players rec. 2020/21 OUR RECORDINGS 6220680 SACD [59] [SB] Some challenging chamber works from the Danish master.

Georg Abraham Schneider (1770–1839) Flute Concertos - Gaby Pas-Von Riet (flute), Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, Heilbronn/Johannes Moesus rec. 2020 CPO 555390-2 [75] [SV] Intermittently enjoyable music, given very good performances.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Works for Solo Piano Vol 6 - Piano Sonata D845, Impromptus - Barry Douglas (piano) rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20253 [82] [MG] Douglas’ focus is ever clear yet the works’ variety is vibrantly revealed.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin - Michael Kelly (baritone), David Leisner (guitar) rec. 2020 BRIGHT SHINY THINGS BSTC-0175 [73] [GF] An immensely touching, intimate and relaxed Müllerin with guitar accompaniment.

Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) Dafne - Marie Luise Werneburg (soprano) Musica Fiata, La Capella Ducale/Roland Wilson rec. 2021 CPO 555494-2 [75] [MS] A pleasing reconstruction of a lost opera by Heinrich Schütz on the ever-enterprising cpo label does it full justice - somewhat against the odds.

Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) The Poem of Ecstasy, Piano Sonata No 5, Prometheus - Yevgeny Sudbin (piano), Singapore Symphony Chorus & Orchestra/Lan Shui rec. 2006/17 BIS BIS-2362 SACD [56] [SG] Chromatic, fragmentary and rhythmically complex scores impressively conveyed.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 -1975) Symphonies Nos 4 & 11 - BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic/Gennady Rozhdestvensky rec. 1978 ICA CLASSICS ICAC5169 [62 + 64] [RMo] Powerful, authentic performances but studio recordings deliver both preferable sound and better pacing.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) Orchestral Songs - Marianne Beate Kielland (mezzo) Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Petr Popelka rec. 2021 LAWO LWC1239 [44] [RMo] This brief recital will open up a new world for many a Sibelius enthusiast unfamiliar with these lovely songs.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) Complete Symphonies, Tapiola - Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Klaus Mäkelä rec. 2021 DECCA 4852256 [4 CDs: 264] [JQ] A notable Sibelius cycle, excellently played and recorded.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) Symphonies 1 & 2 - London Symphony Orchestra/Anthony Collins rec. 1952/53 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC671 [75] [RMo] A superb remastering of two famous recordings which are driven hard – and there is more to come.

Jean Sibelius (1865–1957) Symphony Nos 3 & 5, Pohjola's Daughter - Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Santtu-Matias Rouvali rec. 2018–22 ALPHA CLASSICS 645 [76] [RC] Rouvali and the Gothenburg players deliver an excellent Sibelius Third and a somewhat restrained though still convincing Fifth.

Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) & Frederick Delius (1862-1934) String Quartets - Villiers Quartet rec. 2022 NAXOS 8.574376 [66] [NB] Underwhelming Smyth and fascinating Delius, well played and recorded.

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) Songs Vol. 2 - Elisabetta Paglia (mezzo-soprano), Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2018/21 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00608 [76] [JW] More song cycles by Stanford fuse merriment with melancholy.

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) Greeting Prelude, Symphony in C, Divertimento, Circus Polka, Symphony in 3 Movements - BBC Philharmonic/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2019/2020 CHANDOS CHSA5315 SACD [83] [RWe] An outstanding programme, superlatively played and recorded.

Franz von Suppé (1819–1895) Die Reise Um Die Erde in 80 Tagen - Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra/Dario Salvi rec. 2021 NAXOS 8574396 [50] [RB] Agreeable music receiving its recording premiere - triumphantly stylish.

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) Piano Works - Krystian Zimerman (piano) rec. 1994/2022 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4863007 [70] [DMD] Zimerman at his dazzling, fantastical best.

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767) Fantasias for solo violin - Alina Ibragimova (violin) rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68384 [66] [DC] Telemann given an almost effortless feel.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) String Quartets Gustav Holst (1874-1934) Phantasy - Tippett Quartet rec. 2022 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0656 [60] [NB] Excellent performances and recordings let down by an underwhelming Holst work.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) A London Symphony, Symphony No 5, Dona Nobis Pacem - London SO, London PO, BBC SO/Ralph Vaughan Williams rec. 1936-1952 SOMM RECORDINGS ARIADNE5019-2 [2 CDs: 146] [NB] The composer as conductor triumphantly revealed in revelatory interpretations.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Symphonies Nos 6 & 8, English Folk Songs, England, my England - Roderick Williams (baritone) BBC Symphony Chorus & Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2019/21 HYPERION CDA68396 [74] [NB] An impressive addition to this eagerly anticipated cycle.

Ian Venables (b.1955) Requiem, God be merciful, Rhapsody Herbert Howells (1892-1983) Anthems - Choir of Merton College Oxford, Oxford Contemporary Sinfonia/Benjamin Nicholas (organ) rec. 2021 DELPHIAN DCD34252 [78] [NB] Familiar Howells in beautiful new versions coupled with impressive and moving Venables.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) Le Quattro Stagione Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteńas - Les Dissonances/David Grimal (violin) rec. 2010 APARTÉ LD002 [67] [DJB] A mixed bag: very good Piazzolla, but only fair-to-middling Vivaldi.

Siegfried Wagner (1869-1930) An allem ist Hütchen Schuld! - PPP Music Theatre Ensemble, Munich, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra/David Robert Coleman rec. 2019 MARCO POLO 8.225378-80 [3 CDs: 161] [PCG] First audio recording of Siegfried Wagner's opera worthy of musical attention despite annoying stage noises.

Sir William Walton (1902-1983) Complete Façades - Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Players/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.574378 [54] [NB] A fine modern version of a unique and enduringly entertaining work.

Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996) Die Passagierin - Dshamilja Kaiser, Will Hartmann, Grazer Philharmoniker/Roland Kluttig rec. 2021 NAXOS NBD0144V Blu-ray [143] [RWe] A very good case for a powerful and important work.

John Williams (b. 1932) Violin Concerto No 2, Film Themes - Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Boston Symphony Orchestra/John Williams rec. 2021 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4861698 [51] [SB] John Williams’ second violin concerto is a real concerto and a rewarding work.

Hugo Wolf (1860–1903) Orchesterlieder, Penthesilea - Benjamin Appl (baritone), Jena Philharmonic Orchestra/Simon Gaudenz rec. 2020 CPO 555380-2 [60] [PCG] An interesting collection of orchestral songs by Wolf will appeal to devotees of the singer, despite a lack of ideal romantic richness.

17th-Century Sonatas from the Düben Collection Spiritato/Kinga Ujszászi rec. 2021 DELPHIAN DCD34276 [75] [DJB] Refined playing that needs a little more verve to help lift some fairly run-of-the-mill works.

1948 Works by Bacewicz, Sugár, Szervánsky & Weinberg - Erdödy Chamber Orchestra/Zsolt Szefcsik (violin) rec. 2021 DUX 1802 [73] [GPJ] A fascinating compilation of four fine works, all premiered in 1948, in excellent performances.

African American Voices Works by Dawson, Still & Walker - Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Kellen Gray rec. 2022 LINN RECORDS CKD699 [61] [NB] Significant music in underwhelming performances.

Arc II Works by Brahms, Ravel & Schumann - Orion Weiss (piano) rec. 2018 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR128 [77] [DC] A very fine programme.

Sir Adrian Boult (conductor) Boult and the BBC Symphony: The Pre-War Recordings Vol. 1 rec. 1932-1937 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC670 [77 + 77] [JW] A complete pre-war Boult/BBC Symphony series, off to a terrific start.

Les caractčres d'Ulysse Works by Boismortier & Rebel - Loris Barrucand, Clément Geoffroy (harpsichords) rec. 2019 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS021 [74] [JV] A most enjoyable production.

Christmastide Traditional Christmas Carols arranged for harp - Harriet Adie (harp) rec. 2022 MPR 113 [48] [JW] Dextrous colour irradiates a Christmas harp disc.

Jodie Devos (soprano) Bijoux Perdus - Flemish Radio Choir, Brussels Philharmonic/Pierre Bleuse rec. 2022 ALPHA CLASSICS 877 [65] [MC] Jodie Devos breathes new life into these rarely encountered airs.

Fairytales Nordic Light Duo rec. 2022 ARS PRODUCTIONS ARS38354 [57] [GF] A wholly enchanting disc for both ear and eye.

Sergio Fiorentino (piano) Early live & unissued takes rec. 1947-1962 RHINE CLASSICS RH-026 [78] [SG] Pianism of the finest order.

Glňria Christmas Music - MDR Radio Choir/Philipp Ahmann rec. 2022 GENUIN GEN22797 [59] [GH] A fine German choir performs a wide variety of Christmas music from around Europe.

Grand Tour a Venezia Zefiro/Alfredo Bernadini (oboe) rec. 2021 ARCANA A534 [66] [DJB] A marvellous album - how has it taken me so long to catch up with Zefiro?

Hilary Hahn (violin) Eclipse -  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Andrés Orizco-Estrada rec. 2021 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 486 2383 [77] [JW] A concerto disc of two parts; excellent Ginastera, but weak Dvořák.

The Hibernian Muse Works by Purcell & Cousser - Maria Keohane (soprano), Anthony Gregory (tenor), Sestina, Irish Baroque Orchestra/Peter Whelan rec. 2021 LINN RECORDS CKD685 [71] [JV] A most welcome insight into the music scene in Ireland around 1700.

The History of the Russian Guitar: Vol. I - Mĺrten Falk (guitar) rec. 2020 DB PRODUCTIONS DBCD206 [54] [SW] A superb introduction to this neglected nineteenth-century repertoire.

I, A.M. - Artist Mother Project - Olivia de Prato (violin) Pamelia Stickney (theremin) Zosha Di Castri (piano) rec. 2020-22, Vienna; 2021, Brooklyn, USA. Reviewed as a digital download from a press preview NEW WORLD RECORDS NW80838 [57] [DMD] Combining motherhood with writing music, the composers on this disc serve up a bracing, diverting feast.

Intercourse of Fire and Water Works by Tan, Bax, Bloch and Dusapin - Idlir Shyti (cello) rec. 2021 COVIELLO CLASSICS COV92215 [55] [NB] An impressive debut recital – technically assured and musically exploratory.

In the Stillness - A Merton Christmas - The Girl Choristers and Lower Voices of Merton College, Oxford/Benjamin Nicholas (organ solo); Simon Hogan (organ); Catrin Meek (harp) rec. 2021, Merton College Chapel, Oxford. Texts included DELPHIAN DCD34262 [70] [JQ] A Christmas disc that stands out from the crowd.

Into Madness Sonatas by Achron, Bartók & Enescu - Tassilo Probst (violin), Maxim Lando (piano) rec. 2021 BERLIN CLASSICS 0302767BC [2 CDs: 85] [DC] Superb recording and classy performances of unusual repertoire.

In Winter’s House Tenebrae/Nigel Short Camilla Pay (harp) Joshua Davidson (treble) rec. 2022 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD690 [79] [JQ] A Christmas disc to savour.

Julian von Károlyi (piano) Piano Recitals in Germany rec. 1954-1956 MELOCLASSIC MC1062 [70] [RCh] Larger than life playing from this romantic specialist.

Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) & Ludovic Tézier (baritone) Insieme - Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Sir Antonio Pappanorec. 2021 SONY CLASSICAL 19439987002 [74] [MC] Kaufmann and Tézier are in their element with this collection of opera duets.

Fritz Kreisler (violin) The Bell Telephone Hour Recordings Volume 1 - Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra/Donald Voorhees rec. 1944-50 BIDDULPH 85019-2 [75] [JW] Kreisler’s radio broadcasts bring a glorious career to a poignant close.

Fritz Kreisler (violin) The Bell Telephone Hour Recordings Vol 2 - Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra/Donald Vorhees rec. 1944–48 BIDDULPH 85020-2 [77] [JW] A second helping of Kreisler’s Bell Telephone Hour broadcasts.

Tonny Landy (tenor) Danish Songs - Friedrich Gürtler (piano), Kaja Bundegaard (piano), Ingolf Olsen (guitar) rec. 1966–69 DANACORD DACOCD938 [65] [GF] Undemanding but agreeable songs, sung with taste and warmth.

Marguerite Long (piano) Vol. 2 - Chopin, Debussy, Milhaud & Ravel rec. 1929–1952 APR RECORDINGS 6039 [2 CDs: 145] [RCh] Vibrant, colourful and individual playing in the latest volume of APR's well planned French Piano School series.

Lost in Venice Infermi d'Amore rec. 2022 EUDORA EUDDR2206 [66] [JV] An interesting collection of Venetian music, with some first recordings and reconstructions.

A Pembroke Christmas Choirs of Pembroke College, Cambridge/Anna Lapwood rec. 2022 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD724 [71] [JQ] An enterprising disc which will give a lot of pleasure at Christmas.

Pyeonji - Letters Works by Schubert, Clara & Robert Schumann - Hoechan Lee (cello), Sangwook Park (piano) rec. 2022 SOLAIRE RECORDS SOL1013 [48] [DC] Very high quality – a desert island pick for this repertoire.

Artur Rodziński (conductor) At the NBC Vol 3 - NBC Symphony Orchestra rec. 1937 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC669 [76] [GT] Obligatory for all who are attracted to historical recordings of this glorious period in American music.

Russian Ballads Works by Kissin, Prokofiev & Shostakovich - Gabriel Schwabe (cello) Roland Pöntinen (piano) rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.574377 [78] [SA] The well-chosen pieces on this delightful disc show the cello in all its majesty.

Randall Scotting (countertenor) The Crown: Heroic Arias for Senesino - Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Laurence Cummings rec. 2021 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD719 [74][GF] Unknown Baroque gems in riveting performances – not to be missed!

A Shropshire Lad - Roderick Williams (baritone) Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2022 Texts included HALLÉ CDHLL7559 [73] [JQ] New, perceptive light has been shone on these poetic English songs.

A Shropshire Lad Roderick Williams (baritone) Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2022 HALLÉ CDHLL7559 [73] [NB] A richly rewarding recital – superb repertoire skilfully orchestrated and beautifully performed.

Sixteen Seasons Works by Glass, Piazzolla, Richter & Vivaldi - Alessandro Quarta, Dino de Palma (violin), Concerto Mediterraneo/Gianna Fratta rec. 2021 ARCANA A530 [2 CDs: 149] [DJB] A unique programme, with mixed results, but the best is very good indeed.

Three Christmas Cantatas Works by Britten, Bush & Dyson - RCM Chamber Choir, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir David Willcocks rec. 1986 HERITAGE HTGCD151 [68] [JF] It is good to have these British cantatas back in the catalogue.


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