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Monthly Listing

October 2022
142 reviews this month

Alban Berg (1885-1935) Violin Concerto, 3 Orchestral Pieces, Piano Sonata - James Ehnes (violin) BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2022 CHANDOS CHSA5270 SACD [66] [JF] An album that all Alban Berg enthusiasts should have.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Jeux, Prélude ŕ l’aprčs-midi d’un faune Albert Roussel (1869-1937) Bacchus et Ariane Act 2 Paul Dukas (1865-1935) La Péri - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Domingo Hindoyan rec. 2022 ONYX 4224 [68] [DMD] Liverpudlian concertgoers are in for a treat from the Phiharmonic’s new chief conductor.

Romantic Piano Masters Mariam Batsashvili (piano) rec. 2021 WARNER CLASSICS 9029629061 [70] [RCh] Glorious piano playing at its very best.

The Future is Female Volume 2: The Dance - Sarah Cahill (piano) No recording details given FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR132 [72] [SA] A revelation.

Impromptu Sarah O’Brien (harp) rec. 2020 AUDITE 97.807 [80] [JF] A revelatory recital stunningly played and beautifully recorded.

height=John Luther Adams (b. 1953) Sila: the Breath of the World - The Crossing, JACK Quartet, Musicians of The University of Michigan Department of Chamber Music, University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble rec. 2021 Reviewed as a digital download from a press preview CANTALOUPE CA21177 [57] [DMD] One of the genuine masterpieces of the twenty first century finally makes it on to record.

Hugo Alfvén (1872-1960) Symphony No 2, Swedish Rhapsody No 3 - Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2019 CPO 555354-2 [77] [DJB] Two substantial Romantic works, full of glorious melodies, and well played.

Hugo Alfvén (1872-1960) At Home with Hugo Alfvén - Elin Rombo (soprano), Peter Friis Johansson (piano) rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2575 SACD [67] [WK] Stands on its own as a collection of some the composer’s best songs and piano works.

Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969) A Portrait - Kinga Augustyn (violin), Alla Milchtein (piano) rec. 2021 CENTAUR CRC3971 [67] [JW] A selective appraisal of some compelling violin music includes two first recordings.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Violin Concertos - Ivry Gitlis (violin), Natalia Likhopoi (2nd violin), Louisiana Museum Art Ensemble rec. 1990/97 RHINE CLASSICS RH-024 [77] [SG] A worthy centenary tribute to a remarkable technician and distinguished interpreter.

Béla Bartók (1881–1945) Piano Concerto Nos 1 & 2, Two Portraits - Maurizio Pollini (piano), Shlomo Minz (violin), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra/ Claudio Abbado rec. 1977, 1983 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4579092 [63] [SA] Pollini is a match for all the difficulties Bartók’s music presents.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos 4 & 8 Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) Overture Lodoďska Etienne Nicolas Méhul (1763-1817) Symphony No 1 - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Bernhard Forck rec. 2022 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902448.49 [91] [IO] A thoroughly enjoyable, historically informed release in a fine series.

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] [RMo] Once again, Pristine revitalise a classic recording.

Paul Ben-Haim (1897–1986) Music For Strings - Talia Or (soprano), Bettins Aust (clarinet), Christine Steinbrecher (harp), Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie/Gabriel Adorján rec. 2021 AVI-MUSIC AVI8553497 [61] [SB] Attractive music by this German-Jewish refugee composer.

William Bolcom (b. 1938) The Complete Rags - Marc-André Hamelin (piano) rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68391/2 [2 CDs: 133] [SB] Bolcom’s inventive and attractive rags are delightful listening.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Piano Trios - Thomas Albertus Irnberger (violin, viola), Lilya Zilberstein (piano), David Geringas (cello) rec. 2021 GRAMOLA 99251 SACD [2 discs:112] [RWe] Probably a unique programme on SACD, and very good performances indeed.

Johannes Brahms (1833–97) Symphonies 1-4, Double Concerto - Gordan Nikolitch (violin), Tim Hugh (cello), London Symphony Orchestra/Bernard Haitink rec. live, 2003–2004 LSO LIVE LSO0570 [4 SACDs: 244] [RWe] Almost twenty years on, Haitink’s LSO cycle is enjoyable, but with a focus on form and integrity more than expression or engagement.

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) Symphony No. 3 - ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/Markus Poschner rec. 2022 CAPRICCIO C8086 [57] [RMo] Novelty at all costs results in disaster - what on earth was the conductor thinking?

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 - London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2021 LSO LIVE LSO0875 SACD [2 discs: 126] [RMo] A certain intermittent vagueness in the first three movements is partially redeemed by a splendid finale.

Anton Bruckner (1824–1896) Symphony No 5 - Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Christian Thielemann rec. 2021 SONY CLASSICAL 19658706142 [82] [RMo] A beautifully played performance compromised by excessive restraint and a botched finale.

Anton Bruckner (1824–1896) Symphony No 9 - Tokyo Symphony Orchestra/Takashi Asahina rec. 1991 ST LAURENT STUDIO YSL1246T [60] [MB] Of Asahina’s eight recordings of Bruckner’s Ninth this 1991 performance shows him only intermittently at his very best.

Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) Symphony No 9 - Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer rec. 2021 CHANNEL CLASSICS SACD CCSSA42822 [56] [RMo] A rushed and shallow performance, missing the sublimity of the music.

Nicolaus Bruhns (1665–1697) Cantatas and Organ Works Vol. 1 - Yale Institute of Sacred Music/ Masaaki Suzuki (organ) rec. 2016/2017 BIS BIS-2271 SACD [87] [JV] A good start to an important project.

William Busch (1901-1945) Songs - Diana Moore (mezzo) Roderick Williams (baritone) Robin Tritschler (tenor) John Reid (piano) rec. 2021 LYRITA SRCD409 [74] [JQ] Busch is a composer who certainly justifies his place in the tradition of English Song.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) Petite Suite de Concert, Ballade, Spirituals, Clarinet Quintet - Virginia Eskin (piano), Michael Ludwig (violin), Harold Wright (clarinet), Hawthorne String Quartet rec. 1990 ALTO ALC1468 [79] [RB] Strengths to be counted in beauty and sheer charm … not to be underestimated.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) The First Columbia Recordings - Walter Gieseking (piano) rec. 1931-1949 APR 6040 [2 CDs: 153] [RCh] Gieseking at the height of his powers in the music of Debussy that meant so much to him.

Fernande Decruck (1896-1954) Concertante Works - Carrie Koffman (alto saxophone) Amy McCabe (trumpet) Leelanee Sterrett (horn), Chen-Yu Huang (harp), Jackson Symphony Orchestra/Matthew Aubin rec. 2022 CLAVES 50-3046 [67] [RMar] An important release of music by a neglected, yet distinctive French composer.

Bernard van Dieren (1887–1936) Complete Music for Piano Solo - Christopher Guild (piano) rec. 2021 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10241 [54 + 47] [JF] Important for the ongoing reassessment of Van Dieren’s music.

Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) La fille du régiment - Sara Blanch, Adriana Bignagni Lesca, Donizetti Opera Orchestra/Michele Spotti rec. 2021 DYNAMIC 57943 Blu-ray [144] [RWe] An effective relocation and design of the full text of Donizetti’s opéra comique, very well performed.

Antal Doráti (1906–1988) Der Künder - Tomas Konieczny (baritone), Rachel Frenkel (mezzo-soprano), Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Cracow/ Martin Fischer-Dieskau rec. 2021 ORFEO C220313 [3 CDs: 160] [PCG] Doráti’s unknown opera receives a thoroughly worthwhile first recording, and has some highly impressive moments.

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) Symphony No 9, Slavonic Dances - Israel Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein rec. 1986, 1988 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4273462 [65] [LD] A mixed bag of late Bernstein, full of magic, glamour and bad taste.

Torben Enghoff (b. 1947) For All Ages - Christina Bjørkøe (piano) rec. 2022 DANACORD DACOCD947 [25] [JF] A modern-day album for the young: enchanting and charming.

Jacqueline Fontyn (b. 1930) Trios - Trio Spilliaert, Apolline Degoutte (flute) Raphaël Béreau (guitar) Karel Coninx (viola) rec. 2021 CYBELE SACD 362204 [60] [DC] Very much worth your time and effort.

Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) Musiche inedite dai 'Codici Chigi' - Ivana Valotti (organ) rec. 2019 TACTUS TC580609 [72] [JV] A perfect survey of the unpublished keyboard works of Frescobaldi.

Hans Gál (1890-1987) Piano Quartet, Suite, Piano Concertino - Gottlieb Wallisch (piano), Hartmut Rohde (viola), Aron Quartett, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra/Hartmut Rohde rec. 2019 CPO 555 276-2 [59] [SA] A showcase for some of Gál’s most beguiling works.

Ruth Gipps (1921-1999) Orchestral Works Vol. 2 - Juliana Koch (oboe) BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba rec. 2019/22 CHANDOS CHAN20161 [76] [NB] A genuinely revelatory collection of impressive scores in fine premiere recordings.

Philip Glass (b. 1937) Études, Mad Rush, Music in Similar Motion, Naqoyqatsi - Maya Beiser (cello, electronics) rec. 2021(?) ISLANDIA MUSIC RECORDS IMR009 [66] [DJB] Purists may baulk at the use of multi-tracking and loops, but the effect is so appropriate for Glass’s mesmerising music.

Philip Glass (b. 1937) Piano Solo - Kristina Socanski (piano) rec. 2021 OCLASSICA [73] [DJB] Some good performances, but very much in the shadow of a truly great competitor.

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) Sweet Stillness - Mary Bevan (soprano) Davina Clarke (violin) The Davina Clarke Ensemble rec. 2002 VOCES8 VCM148 [67] [JW] An accomplished recording of Handel’s still too-little known German Arias.

Howard Hanson (1896-1981) American Romantic - Roberts Wesleyan College Chorale/Robert Shewan, Rochester Chamber Orchestra/David Fetler rec. 1981 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDTT1475 [68] [JW] A fine Hanson restoration covers a swathe of his compositions.

Thomas de Hartmann (1884-1956) Orchestral music - Elan Sicroff (piano) Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine/Tian Hui Ng rec. 2021 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6429 [70] [LD] Newly discovered jewels from this neglected Ukrainian composer.

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Symphonies Nos 61, 66 & 69 Johann Michael Haydn (1737–1806) Toy Symphony - Basel Chamber Orchestra/Giovanni Antonini rec. 2020/21 ALPHA 690 [82] [SG] Antonini’s Haydn Symphony cycle goes from strength to strength.

Alberto Hemsi (1898-1975) Chamber works - ARC Ensemble rec. 2021-22 CHANDOS CHAN20243 [64] [RB] Admirable music-making and recording of works by a completely unknown composer in nomadic exile.

Ferdinand Hiller (1811–1885) Piano Quartet No 3, Piano Quintet - Oliver Triendl (piano), Minguet Quartett rec. 2010 CPO 555312-2 [77] [DJB] Collectors of unsung repertoire will find much to enjoy in this release.

Mary Howe (1882-1964) Music for two - Soloists, Pi-Ju Chiang (piano) rec. 2021 NAVONA NV6432 [66] [JW] Hairshirt presentation can’t disguise dedicated performances of Mary Howe’s music ‘a deux’.

Charles Ives (1874-1954) Symphony No 3 and other orchestral works - Gilbert Kalish (piano) Orpheus Chamber Orchestra rec. 1993 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 457 911-2 [66] [SB] A collection which emphasizes Ives’ compositional skill rather than his wildness.

Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) Jenůfa - Asmik Grigorian, Karita Mattila (soprano) Elena Zilo (contralto) Royal Opera Orchestra/Henrik Nánási rec. 2021 OPUS ARTE OA1351D DVD [136] [GT] A grippingly powerful, truthful staging of Jenůfa from Covent Garden.

Miloslav Kabeláč (1908-1979) Mystery of Time - Miroslav Sekera (piano) Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra/Marko Ivanović rec 2019-2021 SUPRAPHON SU4312-2 [76] [RHa] A long overdue digital recording of a long-forgotten Czech orchestral treasure, belatedly being rediscovered.

Tālivaldis Ķeniņš (1919-2008) Symphonies 2, 3 and 7 - Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Andris Poga rec. 2021 ONDINE ODE1401-2 [68] [HC] A superb, most convincing conclusion to Ondine's ear-opening, rewarding symphonic cycle.

Gustave Kerker (1847–1923) Musicals - NDR Radiophilharmonie/Howard Griffiths rec. 2009 CPO 777509-2 [2 CDs: 93] [MP] Kerker’s music struggles to come to life again, despite this enthusiastic and well-performed disc.

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 [75] [EJW] A presentation that is well up to label standards, but a slight question on the instrumentation in the slow movement of the Concerto.

Ülo Krigul (b. 1978) Choral works - Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra/Kaspars Putniņš rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2590 SACD [65] [HC] A superb survey of some of Krigul's taxing but often quite beautiful choral music.

Catherine Lamb (b 1982) Aggregate Forms - JACK Quartet rec. 2021 KAIROS 0018010KAI [2 CDs: 145] [RHa] In an incomprehensible world, there are surprising levels of solace and depth in Lamb’s unique and searching music.

Simon Laks (1901-1983) Piano Works - Holger Groschopp (piano) rec. 2020/2022 CYBELE SACD 162202 [66] [DC] Top notch release of rare repertoire.

Simon Laks (1901-1983) Works for Cello - Holger Groschopp (piano) Adele Bitter, Mischa Meyer (violoncello) rec. 2020/22  CYBELE 362203 SACD [60] [DC] All of Simon Laks’ music for cello on a single, excellent disc.

Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919) Zingari - Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano), Arsen Soghomonyan (tenor), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Carlo Rizzi rec. 2021 OPERA RARA ORC61 [64] [MC] Opera Rara has come up trumps with this heart-breaking verismo opera.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Symphony No. 4 - Sabine Devieilhe (soprano) Les Sičcles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2021 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905357 [55] [DM] An intriguing fin-de-sičcle Fourth; a must-hear for Mahlerians and Roth fans alike.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Symphony No 5 - Czech Philharmonic/Semyon Bychkov rec. 2021 PENTATONE PTC5187021 [72] [RMo] Superb sound and playing but lacking the emotional breadth of the finest accounts.

Emilie Mayer (1812–1883) Piano Trios - Hannover Piano Trio rec. 2021 GENUIN GEN22790 [81] [SA] Not lightweight music in any sense, and greatly enjoyable.

Nikolay Medtner (1880–1951) Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 3 - Paul Stewart (piano) rec. 1997/2021 GRAND PIANO GP888 [77] [SA] Medtner’s achievements are underpinned by superb interpretations of these amazing works.

Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) Les Offrandes Oubliées, Počmes pour Mi, Chronochromie - Sarah Leonard (soprano) ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/Michael Gielen rec. live, 1991/96, Konzerthaus & Musikverein, Vienna French texts with English and German translations included ORFEO C250131 [59] [SB] A valuable collection with a superb Chronochromie.

Albert Moeschinger (1897–1985) String Quartets Nos 3 & 5, Trauermusik für Frau Hanny Bürgi - Rasumowsky Quartet rec. 2021 MUSIQUES SUISSES NXMS7006 [58] [SG] Intriguing and imaginative scores from an overlooked Swiss composer.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) Maestrino Mozart - Marie-Eve Munger (soprano) Les Boréades de Montréal/Philippe Bourque rec. 2021 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22815 [65] [GF] Glorious singing - every Mozart fan should invest in this disc without delay.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) Violin Concertos Vol. 2 - Francesca Dego (violin), Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Sir Roger Norrington rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHAN20263 [67] [MG] Impeccable performances whose key elements are refinement and delicacy, but for more overt emotion and drama consider Skride and Aadland.

Per Nřrgĺrd (b. 1932) 8 Symphonies - Ulla Munch (alto) Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Danish National Concert Choir Danish National Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Dausgaard Vienna Philharmonic/Sakari Oramo Oslo Philharmonic/John Storgĺrds rec. 2007-15 DACAPO 8.204002 [4 CDs: 418] [GH] Discover these extraordinary symphonies in a brilliantly presented and recorded box set.

Aleksander Nowak (b. 1979) Syrena - Ewa Biegas (mezzo-soprano), Bartłomiej Duś (saxophones), AUKSO Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy/Marek Moś rec. 2020 ANAKLASIS ANA017 [68] [RHa] The unusual blend of marine allusion and human frailty in this haunting ‘eternal melodrama’ is most convincing.

Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) In Honor of the Master of Tone : Songs for voice and piano - rec. 2021 DUX 1810 [54] [RP] Enchanting and enticing songs from the pen of one of the greatest pianists of all time.

Józef Michał Poniatowski (1816-1873) Mass - Galician Chamber Choir, Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra/Sebastian Perłowski DUX 1830 [41] [MW] An interesting and rare 19th century Mass setting.

Sergei Prokofiev (1893-1953) The Love for Three Oranges, Romeo and Juliet Suites - London SO/Antal Doráti, Minneapolis SO/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski rec. 1957-1962 ALTO ALC1453 [72] [RB] Classic recordings from sixty years ago retain their detail and gripping effect.

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) Suite No 1, Fantaisie-Tableaux, Symphonic Dances - Nikita Fitenko, Katerina Zaitseva (pianos) rec. 2020 CLASSICAL RECORDS CR-183 [57] [MML] Performances that immediately sweep aside thoughts of comparison.

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) Pičces de clavecin en concerts (1741) - Accademia Strumentale Italiana/Alberto Rasi rec. 2021 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72905 [64] [SB] Rameau’s only collection of chamber music is delightful listening.

William Henry Reed (1875-1942) String Quartets Nos 4 & 5, Légende - Cirrus String Quartet rec. 2022 MIKE PURTON RECORDINGS MPR114 [67] [NB] Impressive quartets in powerful and accomplished performances.

Ferdinand Ries (1784–1838) Piano Trio & Sextets - The Nash Ensemble rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68380 [78] [DJB] Most successful when he is not trying to be Beethoven.

Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) The Golden Cockerel - Dmitry Ulyanov (bass) Nina Minasyan (soprano) Orchestra & Chorus of the Opéra National de Lyon/Daniele Rustioni rec. 2021 NAXOS NBD0150V Blu-ray [128] [MP] A darkly inventive production and mostly superb cast score a hit.

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) Messa di Gloria - Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Antonio Pappano rec. 2022 WARNER CLASSICS 5419723452 [61] [RMo] Pappano makes his case for music which often entertains but also skirts banality.

Frederic Rzewski (1938-2021) Unite! - Benyamin Nuss (piano) rec. 2021/2022 BERLIN CLASSICS 0302804BC [2 CDs: 113] [NB] Passionately committed and technically commanding performances – Rzewski’s demanding scores find an impressive advocate.

Francesco Santoliquido (1883-1971) Chamber Music - Gran Duo Italiano, Federica Del Bagno (cello) rec. 2021 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96589 [66] [RB] Rhapsodic-ecstatic … almost Delian.

Philipp Scharwenka (1847-1917) Piano Trios 1 & 2 - Trio Gustav rec. 2021 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96386 [45] [DJB] Two very fine trios make for a very pleasant surprise, but the short runtime is to be regretted.

Aloys Schmitt (1788-1866) Piano Concertos, Rondeau Brilliant - Ulster Orchestra/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68389 [76] [RCh] A worthy addition to a marvellous series.

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin - Gerald Finley (baritone) Julius Drake (piano) rec. 2021 HYPERION CDA68377 [67] [JQ] I have many versions of Die schöne Müllerin in my collection, but this one takes a place of honour among them.

Franz Schubert (1797–1828) String Quintet, Quartettsatz - Brodsky Quartet, Laura van der Heijden (cello) rec. 2022 CHANDOS CHAN10978 [67] [RMo] A dull, understated account of a supreme work which needs to be performed with much greater verve if it is to come alive.

Derek B. Scott (b. 1950) Symphonies 1 & 2, The Silver Sword - Liepāja Symphony Orchestra/Paul Mann rec. 2022 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0646 [58] [EJW] Delightful orchestral music, unique in its inspiration and sound-world.

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) Songs Vol. 2 - Elisabetta Paglia (mezzo-soprano), Christopher Howell (piano) rec. 2022 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00608 [76] [JF] There are many songs here to inspire, entertain, amuse and move.

Richard Strauss (1864-1949) Orchestral Works - Yuja Wang (piano), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Boston Symphony Orchestra/Andris Nelsons rec. 2017-2021 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4862040 [7 CDs: 511] [MB] Very little that is required listening, and none that displaces the top choices.

Karol Szymanowski (1882-1937) Lottery for Husbands - Wiesław Ochman (tenor), Marcin Bronikowski (baritone), Rafał Bartmiński (tenor), Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice/Michał Klauza rec. 2011 POLSKIE RADIO PRCD2039 [69] [EJW] Whilst not characteristic of his music in general, the work adds to this important composer’s discography.

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) Viola Concertos, Overtures, Fantasias - Antoine Tamestit (viola), Sabine Fehlandt (viola), Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Bernhard Forck rec. 2020 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902342 [69] [JV] An excellent performance of Telemann's ground-breaking viola concerto, but a poor decision elsewhere.

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) Trio Sonatas for Recorder and Viola da Gamba - Erik Bosgraaf (recorder, voice flute, alto chalumeau), Carl Rosman (tenor chalumeau), Lucile Boulanger, Robert Smith (treble & bass viol), Alessandro Pianu (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2020 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96393 [57] [JV] A jewel in any Telemann collection.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Four Hymns, The House of Life, On Wenlock Edge - Nicky Spence (tenor) Julius Drake (piano) Timothy Ridout (viola) Piatti Quartet rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68378 [70] [WH] A superb Vaughan Williams collection in the composer’s anniversary year - not to be missed.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) Serenade rec. 2018–2021 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD053 [67] [JF] Delightful birthday gifts in celebration of RVW’s sesquicentennial.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) Serenade rec. 2018–2021 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD053 [67] [JQ] A fitting 150th anniversary tribute to Vaughan Williams.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Boult – a Vaughan Williams Extravaganza - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1953-1956 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC672 [2 CDs: 154] [RMo] A cornucopia of RVW delights, expertly refurbished into Ambient Stereo.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) Thanksgiving for Victory, Serenade to Music, Job - BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Boston Symphony Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1943/46 SOMM RECORDINGS ARIADNE5018 [76] [NB] Important historical documents crowned by a stunning ‘Job’ from Boston.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5 - London SO/Sir Colin Davis, ASMF/Sir Neville Marriner rec. 1990/2008 ALTO ALC1470 [71] [RB] Readings of character that disregarded the warning ‘to mind the gap’ and fell undeservedly into a very dark place.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Symphonies 6 & 9 - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1953/58 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC673 [76] [RMo] A triumphant conclusion to Pristine’s tribute to a great English composer.

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] [JQ] Another very welcome instalment in Martyn Brabbins’ Vaughan Williams symphony cycle.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) Symphonies 7 & 9 - Hallé/ Sir Mark Elder rec. 2005–2021 HALLÉ CDHLD7558 [2 CDs: 107] [JQ] A fine conclusion to the Hallé’s Vaughan Williams cycle.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) The New Collector’s Edition rec. 1965-1995 WARNER CLASSICS 9029624537 [30 CDs: c.35hrs] [RB] Sound and imaginative choices for most of RVW’s works; all in one fell swoop.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) String Quartets Gustav Holst (1874-1934) Phantasy on British Folksongs - Tippett Quartet rec. 2022 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0656 [60] [JF] An often moving tribute for RVW’s 150th birthday.

Ian Venables (b. 1955) Requiem Herbert Howells (1892-1983) Anthems - Choir of Merton College, Oxford, Oxford Contemporary Sinfonia/Benjamin Nicholas (organ) rec. 2021 DELPHIAN DCD34252 [78] [JQ] This disc is outstanding in every respect.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) Aïda - Renata Tebaldi (soprano), Mario Del Monaco (tenor), Santa Cecilia Academy Chorus & Orchestra/Alberto Erede rec. 1952 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO194 [2 CDs: 143] [RMo] Once again, Pristine’s reincarnation brings enormous value-added quality to a classic recoding.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) Concerti per violino X ‘Intorno a Pisendel’ - Le Concert de la Loge/Julien Chauvin (violin) rec. 2021 NAĎVE OP7546 [61] [MS] A superb addition to Naďve’s outstanding Vivaldi Edition: six intriguing and captivating collection of violin concerti persuasively played.

William Walton (1902-1983) The Complete Façades - Hila Plitmann, Fred Child, Kevin Deas (narrators), Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Players/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2021 NAXOS 8.574378 [54] [PCG] Walton’s absolutely complete music for Façade brings unusual additions in this comprehensive recording.

Giaches de Wert (1535-1596) Versi d’Amore - Late Madrigals and Canzonette - Voces Suaves rec. 2021 ARCANA A536 [59] [GH] These wonderful performances of madrigals cast a new light on one of the greatest masters of the sixteenth century.

Isang Yun (1917-1995) Silla, Violin Concerto III, Chamber Symphony I - Sueye Park (violin), Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä rec. 2021 BIS BIS-2642 SACD [67] [HC] A superb release which is a must for all Yun admirers but others will also find much to enjoy.

Auf jenen Hoh'n Works by Brahms, Mahler & Martin - Hanno Müller-Brachmann (baritone), Hendrik Heilmann (piano) rec. 2021 MDG MDG9082231 SACD [62] [WH] A sombre programme, superbly performed and recorded.

Niek Baar (violin) Obsession - Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra rec. 2022 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS44822 [63] [JW] Colourful arrangements that are prone to constrict the soloist.

Best of Turkish Piano Music Idil Biret (piano) rec. 1965–2015 IBA 8504058 [4 CDs: 298] [RB] Biret immerses the listener in the very largely unknown world of Turkish music of the last century.

Una Bourne (piano) Australian Recording Pioneer: HMV Recordings rec. 1914-1926 - APR 6037 [2 CDs: 155] [RCh] A forgotten pianist in dazzling and charming performances.

Guido Cantelli (conductor) The Essence of Guido Cantelli - Philharmonia Orchestra rec. 1951-54 BEULAH 2PDR47 [70] [DMD] Beulah do a magnificent job refurbishing these essential recordings.

Cello Concertos from Northern Germany Works by Mara, Grauel, Hertel & Abel - Gulrim Choď (cello) Ensemble Diderot/Johannes Pramsohler rec. 2021 AUDAX ADX11200 [65] [JV] Interesting programme, engaging style of playing.

Charm, Passion and Acrobatics Misha Galaganov (viola), John Owings (piano) rec. 2018 NAVONA NV6434 [70] [JW] A valuable, repertoire-widening programme from two expressive interpreters.

The Cloud of Unknowing Kim Hellgren (viola) Markus Wargh, Aaron Sunstein (organ) Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble/Erik Westberg rec. 2019-21 SWEDISH SOCIETY DISCOFIL SCD1185 [60] [GF] Superior singing and thrilling new repertoire.

Dutch Hidden Gems Dana Zemtsov (viola), Anna Fedorova (piano) rec. 2021 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS41222 [65] [NB] Unfamiliar repertoire receiving impressively convincing performances well recorded.

Fanfaronade Works by Forqueray, Marais, Heudelinne & Sainte-Colombe - Juliane Laake (treble viol, bass viol) Ensemble Art d'Echo rec. 2021 QUERSTAND VKJK2110 [69] [JV] Fine performances of some highlights of French viol music and music by an unknown master.

Fantasie Fantasiestücke by Schumann and others - Georg Arzberger (clarinet) Julian Riem (piano) rec. 2022 FARAO CLASSICS B108117 [67] [LP] Hoffman inspired, Robert Schumann initiated - a musical subgenre entertainingly explored.

The Florentine Renaissance The Orlando Consort rec. 2020 HYPERION CDA68349 [73] [JV] An interesting and well-performed musical portrait of one of the main political and artistic centres in 15th-century Italy.

John Frandsen (conductor) The Danish Star Conductor - Eileen Joyce (piano) Royal Danish Orchestra, State Broadcast Orchestra rec. 1951-58 DANACORD DACOCD940 [79 + 75] [JW] A John Frandsen twofer that includes previously unissued discs and a strong, vitalising Nordic selection.

Les Funérailles Royales de Louis XIV - Céline Scheen (soprano) Lucile Richardot (mezzo soprano) Samuel Boden (haute contre) Marc Mauillon (baritone) Christian Immler (bass-baritone) Ensemble Pygmalion/Raphaël Pichon rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI HMD9909056.57 Blu-ray/DVD [101] [ST] Music for the funeral of Louis XIV, which isn’t a historical recreation, but still provides an opportunity to enjoy some wonderful French Baroque music

Jascha Heifetz (violin) The Legendary New York Concerts - Gregor Piatigorsky (cello), New York PSO/Efrem Kurtz, Detroit SO/Paul Paray rec. 1947-66 RHINE CLASSICS RH-025 [67 + 71] [JW] Heifetz live, spearheaded by the scintillating first broadcast of the Korngold Concerto.

Hollywood Soundstage Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2021 CHANDOS CHSA5294 SACD [61] [JQ] Demonstrates in spades the invention and craftsmanship of the musical heart of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Thomas Jensen (conductor) Legacy Vol 12 -  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra  rec. 1938-62 DANACORD DACOCD922 [79 + 75] [JW] Danish operatic vitality marshalled by Thomas Jensen.

Kaiju Crescendo An Evening of Japanese Monster Music Michiru Oshima, John Desentis (conductors) rec. 2019 SUPERTRAIN RECORDS STR024 [42 + 52] [MB] Terrific music, in very good performances, let down by lamentable production values.

The King’s Singers The Library Vol 4 rec. 2021 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD718 [29] [MP] The Singers give a mostly successful fresh treatment to some uncommon repertoire.

Frieda Kwast-Hodapp (piano) German Radio Recordings 1948 - RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester/Ewald Lindemann rec. 1948 MELOCLASSIC MC1059 [2 CDs: 157] [RCh] Kwast-Hodapp's recorded legacy is greatly enhanced by these treasures from German radio.

Léner Quartet Works by Debussy, Franck & Ravel - Olga Loeser-Lebert (piano)  rec. 1923-33 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM116 [63] [JW] Expressive density from a great quartet in a classic French quartet coupling.

Marguerite Long (piano) Vol. 2: Chopin, Debussy, Milhaud and Ravel rec. 1929-1952 APR RECORDINGS 6039 [72 + 72] [JW] Another Marguerite Long twofer that contains both her Ravel G major Concerto recordings.

Willem Mengelberg (conductor) The Telefunken Recordings Volume 2 - Concertgebouw Orchestra rec. 1937/38 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC664 [2 CDs: 152] [GT] Mark Obert-Thorn must be congratulated on his magnificent state-of-the-art remastering of these Mengelberg recordings.

Mirabilia Musica Echoes from late medieval Cracow - La Morra rec. 2020 RAMÉE RAM2008 [62] [JV] Fascinating survey of what was written and performed in late medieval Cracow.

The Mysterious Motet Book of 1539 Siglo De Oro/Patrick Allies rec. 2022 DELPHIAN DCD34284 [67] [GH] A unique and mysterious publication of fascinating pieces by rare composers from the early sixteenth century.

Vikingur Ólafsson (piano) From Afar rec. 2022 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4861681 [103] [DMD] A rare misfire from the great Icelandic pianist.

Rarities of Piano Music at Schloss vor Husum 2022 DANACORD DACOCD 949 [79] [JF] I always marvel at the piano music discoveries at the Husum Festival.

Hans Rosbaud conducts French Music Monique Haas (piano) Südwestfunk-Orchester Baden-Baden rec. 1950-62 SWR CLASSIC SWR19115CD [4 CDs: 310] [JW] A master technician brings verve and dynamism to French repertory.

Jesús María Sanromá An American 20th-Century Pianist by Alberto Hernández pub. 2008 Scarecrow Press [SG] A detailed and fascinating biography of a master pianist.

Sápmi Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble/Erik Westberg rec. 2018-21 SWEDISH SOCIETY DISCOFIL SCD1184 [58] [GF] Be transported to a faraway country without borderlines and a cultural and musical life of its own – you won’t regret it.

Sean Shibe (electric guitar) Lost & Found rec. 2021/22 PENTATONE PTC5186988 [70] [DMD] Shibe’s deeply contemplative collection is visionary in the best sense of the word.

Claudette Sorel (piano) Rediscovered rec. 1958-1962 SOREL CLASSICS SCCD018 [2 CDs: 128] [SG] If great pianism is your thing, then don’t hesitate.

Henryk Szeryng (violin) Rediscovered rec. 1962–67 RHINE CLASSICS RH-027 [74 + 67] [JW] Henryk Szeryng heard in (nearly) all previously unreleased broadcasts: bravura and eloquence.

Joseph Szigeti (violin) The European Columbia Records Vol. 2 - Kurt Ruhrseitz, Nikita Magaloff (piano), British Symphony Orchestra/Bruno Walter rec. 1926-1936 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC660 [74] [JW] Szigeti’s magnificent pre-war Beethoven Concerto in a fine new remastering.

Times of Unrest Works by Haydn, Jespersen & Britten - Nordic String Quartet rec. 2022 DANACORD DACOCD945 [69] [JF] Music that speaks of unrest, threat, hope and a vision of peace.

Violin Concertos by Black Composers through the Centuries - Rachel Barton Pine (violin) Encore Chamber Orchestra of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Hege Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Jonathon Heyward (Price) rec. 1997/2022 CEDILLE CDR90000214 [73] [JW] A rather sub-par reissue hitched to a good new recording of Florence Price’s Violin Concerto No 2.

Efrem Zimbalist (violin) The Auer Legacy Vol. 1 rec. 1911-1939 BIDDULPH 85018-2 [73] [JW] The crystalline, frustrating art of Leopold Auer’s patrician student.

Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin) The Complete Warner Recordings rec. 1984-2001 WARNER 9029631788 [30 CDs: ca.30 hrs] [JW] A Warner retrospective that encapsulates the refined art of one of the world’s leading violinists.

Articles and Notices

Vaughan Williams's Fifth Symphony - a survey update by William Hedley

The Cello Concerto Project - a new update



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