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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett,  Reviewers: Rob Barnett, Ian Lace, Len Mullenger, and:  Richard Adams, Colin Anderson, Terry Barfoot,  Marc Bridle, Arthur Butterworth, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, Gary Dalkin, Andy Daly, Tony Duggan, Harry Downey,  Gerald Fenech,  Lewis Foreman, David Frieze, Malcolm Galloway,  Ian Marchant, John Phillips, Ailís Ní Ríain, Humphrey Smith, Philip Scowcroft, Colin Scott Sutherland, Andrew Seivewright, Richard Whitehouse, Reg Williamson, Peter Grahame Woolf, David Wright. A complete list of contributors can be seen here

2000 Reviews   [Dec]  [Nov]  [Oct]  [Sep]  [Aug]  [Jul]  [Jun]  [May]  [Apr]  [Mar]  [Feb]  [Jan]

Click here for 1999 reviews  1998 reviews


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[Part 3]  [Part 4

FIELD (1782-1837) Piano Music, Volume 2: Nocturnes and Sonatas. Benjamin Frith (piano).
Naxos 8.550762 [CC]
The Sonata Op. 1 No. 3 in C minor logically appears on this second volume, in a most successful performance.This piece alone justifies the modest outlay for this disc.

GLANVILLE-HICKS (1912-1990) Nausicaa (1961) Scenes from the opera in three acts Teresa Stratas; Athens Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/ Crlos Surinach COMPOSERS RECORDINGS INC CRI CD 695 [60.00] [RB]

Operatic buffs need this disc in their collection as do Stratas collectors. We can only hope that Glanville-Hicks' still unperformed opera Sappho (written for Callas) will attract the attention of a conductor and funding body.

GLINKA A Life for the Tsar - Suite, Valse-Fantasie, Kamarinskaya, Capriccio Brillante,
Souvenir d'une nuit d'ete a Madrid
Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Loris Tjeknavorian recorded 21 / 22 July 1999, Aram Khatchaturian Hall, Yerevan, Armenia (DDD). ASV CD DCA 1075 [70.39] [JP]

A colourful, excellently recorded disc dedicated to the works of Glinka. They are played for all they are worth on this ASV disc - wonderful stuff.

GRANADOS (1867-1916) Piano Music, Volume 3.  Preludio en re mayor. Danza lenta. Escenas románticas. Barcarola. Caprichio español. Libro de horas. Paisaje. Allegro  appassionato. Allegro de concierto. Douglas Riva (piano). Naxos 8.554628 [DDD] [67'02] [CC]

A mixed disc. Some beautifully spun sonorities vie with missed opportunities. The recording is adequate.

HALFFTER  Orchestral Works. Habanera, Cavatina, Al Amancer for violin and orchestra,
Esquisses Symphoniques, Sinfonietta in D.
Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria, Adrian Leaper. ASV CD DCA 1078 (DDD) [64.22] [DW]

Halffter's music is attractive, tonal and easy-going but lacks a vital ingredient, the ability to say something completely new. It is pleasant music but offers nothing of any real purport to remember.

HARTMANN Symphonies 1 - 8. Bamberg Symphony Orchestra I Ingio Metzmacher. EMI Classics. CDS5569112 . 3 CD set [DW]

This is wonderful music of intellectual and emotional intensity. Very, very special...... Music for which no adjectives exist and, even if they did, they would not suffice.

HAYDN Symphonies 88 and 89 plus Sinfonia Concertante for violin, cello, oboe and bassoon Lucy van Dael (violin), Wouter Muller (cello), Ku Ebbinge (oboe) and Danny Bond (bassoon).Orchestra of the 18th Century - Franz Bruggen Philips 462 602-2 [61.52] [JP]

Good, stylish, but a little earthbound performances of three of Haydn's mature symphonic works, in a first issue of a ten year old recording at full price.

HOLBORNE 'The Teares of the Muses'  Pavans, Galliards & Almaines   Hesperion XXI Jordi Savall.   Alia Vox AV9813 66m DDD.

HOLST (1874-1934) Savitri (1908) 31.20 Dream City a song cycle (orch Colin Matthews) (1929) 26.30 Felicity Palmer (mezzo/Savitri) Philip Langridge (ten/Satyavan) Stephen Varcoe (bar/Death) Patrizia Kwella (sop) (in song cycle) Richard Hickox Singers City of London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox. HYPERION Helios CDH55042 [57.49] [RB]

The bargain range catalogue is not what it was. It is so much better.
A strong recommendation. Well worth your fiver. Compelling for the songs.

HOVHANESS (1911-00) Symphony No. 3 (1956) 27.56 Mystery of the Holy Martyrs (1976) 38.11 Michael Long (guitar) KBS SO/Vakhtang Jordania rec June 1996, Seoul, Korea SOUNDSET RECORDINGS SR1004 [65.51] [RB]

Soundset are not exactly (or even vaguely) a company with a profile in the catalogue. In the circumstances it is all the more important that this disc is documented.
Music: sincere and of a gently ecstatic inclination. A true Baedecker of Hovhaness's palette; in the symphony conveying a stronger sense of linear development than in many of the less obscure symphonies. In the Martyrs it communictaes as a great tapestry of devotional serenity.

HOVHANESS (b. 1911) Armenian Rhapsody No. 1 (1944) 5.45 Armenian Rhapsody No. 2 (1944) 7.47 Armenian Rhapsody No. 3 (1944) 5.42 Symphony No. 38 (1978) 19.09 Concerto No. 10 for piano, trumpet and strings (1988) 22.11 Hinako Fujihara (coloratura soprano) in symphony Martin Berkofsky (piano) in concerto Chris Butler (trumpet) Seattle SO/Gerard Schwarz (composer in Symphony) rec (concerto and rhapsodies) Seattle, June 1996; (symphony) Seattle, May 1992 KOCH-SCHWANN 3-7422-2H1 [60.32] [RB]

This is music about which there is nothing of the parade ground, no circus and nothing kitsch.

JOSQUIN DES PREZ Sixteenth century lute settings Jacob Heringman - Renaissance Lute Discipline Global Mobile DGM0006 [AD]

Jacob Heringmans authentic sound and playing style suits this music perfectly.

KERNIS Before Sleep and Dreams (1990) Air (1995) Meditation (in memory of John Lennon) (1981) The Four Seasons of Futurist Cuisine (1991)  Evelyne Luest (piano) Composer (piano - Meditation) Andrea Schultz (violin) Michael Finckel (cello) Luest, Finckel, Schultz, Evan Spritzer (narrator and clarinet) - in Four Seasons PHOENIX PHCD 143  [65.26]

Kernis's reputation as a post-modernist not just in touch with sweet romanticism but in immersed communion with it is already secure....after hearing various violin sonatas by Benjamin Lees and Leon Kirchner I discovered this music with a sense of relief. It acts as benediction.

KHACHATURYAN (1903-1978) Film Music Pepo (1934) Undying Flame (1956) Secret Mission (1950) Admiral Ushakov (1953) Prisoner 217 (1945) Armenian PO/Loris Tjeknavorian
rec 22-23 Oct 1995, Yerevan, Armenia ASV CD DCA 966 [66.35] [RB]

A neon bright collection of garish rare Russian film music played and recorded with style to match.

KHACHATURYAN (1903-1978) Lermontov Suite (1944) Russian Fantasy (1944) Ode in Memory of Lenin (1948) Greeting Overture (1958) Festive Poem (1950) Armenian PO/Loris Tjeknavorian rec 28 Oct - 2 Nov 1994, Yerevan, Armenia ASV CD DCA 966 [66.06] [RB]

Vivid Russian music making - pleasurable if not always wildly inspired. Brightly recorded. Well annotated.

KOCH (b.1910) Lappland-Metamorfoser (1957) 12.49 Impulsi (1964) 11.35
Echi (1965) 13.03 Ritmi (1966) 11.43 Oxberg-Variationer (1956) 17.26 Stockholm PO/Stig Westerberg rec Stockholm Concert Hall, Jan-Sept 1977; 26 May 1960 (Oxberg) SWEDISH SOCIETY DISCOFIL SCD 1024 [66.36]

Clean, sharply delineated, folksy without kitsch and strongly rhythmic, von Koch's music has made small impact internationally. Time for reassessment.....The music 'feels' big and is often marked out by dance fragments stamping and flickering. The woodwind writing is notable for carrying the front-line interest. Too, however, Von Koch employs the percussion to dramatic effect as well as for colour.

KOECHLIN (1867-1950) Violin Sonata (1916) 32.22 Viola Sonata (1913-15) 32.08 Marie Viaud (violin)/Mireille Guillaume (piano) Michel Michalakakos (viola)/Martine Gagnepain (piano)
rec 1997 SKARBO SK 1985 [64.28] [RB]

Koechlin confessed to writing music of an escapist leaning in the violin sonata. The viola sonata looks the war in the eye for as long as the composer can bear it....This music is reflective with a heightened consciousness of tragedy and the washing away of old certainties.

LARSSON (1908-1986) Violin Concerto (1952) Violin Concertino (1952) Trombone Concertino (1955)  Double Bass Concertino (1957) LILLE BROR SODERLUNDH (1912-1957)
Oboe Concertino (1944) Leo Berlin (violin) Christer Torge (trombone) Luigi Ossoinak (double bass) Alf Nilsson (oboe) Stockholm PO/Stig Westerberg (violin works) Orebro  Kammarorkester Lennart Hedwall (trombone) Filharmonins Kammarensemble (double bass and Soderlundh) SWEDISH SOCIETY DISCOFIL SCD1056 [73.44] [RB]

The violin concerto is a work that breathes romance. From its breathing opening ostinato to the thunderous fantasy of the finale it proclaims its heritage tracing to the Tchaikovsky, the Sibelius (many reminders) and the concerto by William Walton. Its gentle dissonances echo Frankel but do not detract from its grown-up accessibility. A most heart-warming work to be counted with Prokofiev No. 2, the Barber and the Menotti.

YOUNG JO LEE (b. 1943) Korean Piano Music: Dance Suite; Five Korean Legends; Variations on a Theme of Schubert; Variations: "3B" My Kim (piano) ASV CD DCA 1088 [IL]

My Kim, one of Korea's top pianists, empathises with this lovely evocative music and brings it vividly to life with all the sensitivity and delicacy it demands. Clearly a young lady to watch.

LEMELAND (b. 1932) Three Concertos for violin and string orchestra: Concerto Funebre (1992) Concerto Op. 128 (1985) Concerto Op. 148 (1985) Marie-Annick Nicolas (violin)
Orchestra de Chambre National de Toulouse/Emmanuel Plasson SKARBO SK3922 [52.05] [RB]

Lemeland is a powerful composer and his concentration and that of Nicolas is palpable in the Adagio espressivo of Op. 128 and the two lentos of Op. 148. The closing pages are an 'abschied' of telling breathless enchantment....The shortish playing time doessn't seem to matter when you are engaged with this music.

LEWKOVITCH (b 1927) 3 Salmi. Op 9 (1952) [13.49] Anthems to the Blessed Virgin (1994) [7.26] Tre madrigali di Torquato Tasso. Op 13 (1955)* [8.27]  Via Stenonis (1987) [8.22]
Appollo's Art - Four English Madrigals (1993) [7.04] Three Passion Motess - ad honorem Tomàs Luis Da Victoria (1996) [7.22] Pater Noster (1983) [7.47] Det Jyske Kammerkor / The Jutland Chamber Choir Members of the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra/Mogens Dahl Recorded in Lystrup Church 16/20 Oct 1999 and 14/15 Sept 1996* DDD Dacapo 8.224152 [60.17] [HD]

Choral music devotees may like a "try before you buy" approach.

GYÖRGY LIGETI (b. 1923) Violin Concerto. PER NØRGÅRD (b. 1932) Helle Nacht: Violin Concerto. Sonata, 'The Secret Melody'. Christina Åstrand (violin); Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Dausgaard. Chandos CHAN9830 [DDD] [67'41] [CC]

This is a fascinating, thought-provoking coupling of two major late twentieth century additions to the violin repertoire.....Ligeti's Violin Concerto presents a fascinating, compulsive listening experience....Åstrand is sweet-toned and committed throughout.

Magnus LINDBERG Aura, Engine* BBC Symphony Orchestra, London  Sinfonietta*/Oliver Knussen DG 463 184-2   [51'22"] [CA] [PW] [LM]

This is music with a wide appeal with something to say and crosses boundaries saying it.

LISZT (1811-86) Complete Piano Music, Volume 14.  Bunte Reihe, S484/R149. Valerie Tryon (piano). Naxos 8.553507 [DDD] [72'09] [CC]

....That Liszt can hold the attention for nearly an hour and a quarter is all the more astonishing given the standard of David's music: the booklet notes state that, 'His music does not astonish, nor does it leave a lasting impression'. This hits the nail squarely on the head...There are some real surprises here ...

LUENING (1900-1996) The songs (30) of Otto Luening written between 1917 and 1993
Judith Bettina (sop) James Goldsworthy (piano) Susan Palma-Nidel (flute) rec Sept 1999, NYC

The songs be reckoned alongside those of Benjamin Britten, or, yet more directly, with Arthur Bliss's Seven American Poems. The songs set classic texts by Goethe, Hesse, Shelley, Blake, Joyce, Byron and Emily Dickinson. The Goethe and Hesse poems are set to the original German texts.

MACMILLAN, James. Tryst for orchestra, Adam's Rib for brass quintet (world premiere) , They saw that the stone had been rolled away, I (A Meditation on Iona) (world premiere recording).
Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Joseph Swenson  BIS-CD-1019 (DDD) [58.43] [DW]

In Tryst, the composer shows again his excellent gift for orchestral sonority and how he can successfully bridge the gap between the traditional and the modern. Adam's Rib is a work lacking coherence for this musician and stunted by the absence of a natural flow. The composer's religious faith is behind They saw that the stone had been rolled away. I is another good piece. Stark it may be but powerful it certainly is.

MAHLER Symphony No.2 in C minor "Resurrection" Ileana Cotrubas (Soprano) Christa Ludwig (Contralto) Vienna State Opera Chorus,Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Zubin Mehta Decca Legends 466 992-2 [81.11] [TD]

His Second is a contender in a very crowded market not least for this re-issue being at medium price on a single disc....The placing of Mahler's directional effects - offstage horn calls and band music - is brilliantly done in this movement with great care taken to create an aural stage between our speakers that adds lustre to Mehta's performance.

MAHLER Symphony No.2 in C minor "The Resurrection" György KURTAG
Stele op 33 for large orchestra Arnold SCHÖNBERG Kol Nidre op 39* for speaker, choir and orchestra James Johnson (Speaker)*  Juliane Banse (Soprano) Cornelia Kallisch (Alto) EuropaChorAkademie  SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiberg Conducted by Michael Gielen Hänssler Classic CD 93.001 [107.28]

For consistency of vision and for delivering his very modernist and individual view of Maher's Second Gielen has to be congratulated, even though this may not be most people's idea of how this work should be played. Ultimately it's just too cool and detached to endear itself. But if you are looking for an alternative to the more conventional conductor-involved ones, Gielen is your man.

MAHLER Symphony No.5 in c sharp minor Dallas Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Andrew Litton Dorian DOR-90193  [71.00] [TD]

This is a lacklustre, dull and pedestrian recording that should have been quietly forgotten about and from which no one emerges with much distinction.

DVD Review MAHLER Symphony No 5 in C sharp minor Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim Arthaus Musik 100 032, 75 minutes. [MB]

Daniel Barenboim is not the most natural of Mahler conductors, but this Chicago performance, caught on camera during the orchestra's visit to Cologne, is actually very fine.

MAHLER Symphony No.7 in E minor Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken
Conducted by Hans Zender CPO 999 478-2 [78.40] [TD]

A superb performance full of fascinating things. One which is excellently played and recorded and deserves to be considered alongside the very best versions such as those by Bernstein, Horenstein, Gielen, Scherchen and Abbado. Zender's Mahler Seventh is that good and I recommend it enthusiastically.

MAHLER Symphony No. 9 Franz SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8 Unfinished Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carlo Maria Guilini recorded 1977, Medinah Temple, Chicago (Mahler) and 1978, Orchestra Hall, Chicago, (Schubert). DGG Originals 463 609-2 (2 discs nas) [115.43] [JP]

A welcome return to the catalogue of this version of Mahler's 9th Symphony, now coupled with Schubert's 8th, magnificently performed and recorded.

MAHLER Das Lied Von Der Erde Waltraud Meier (Mezzo-soprano), Ben Heppner (Tenor)Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Lorin Maazel RCA Red Seal 74321 67957 2 [62.30] [TD]

Maazel's is a well recorded, played and sung account of Mahler's late masterpiece and you can certainly do worse. But you can also do a whole lot better and at a lower price.

MARTINU String Quartet No. 1 (1918) String Quartet No. 2 (1925) Tri jezdci (Three Horsemen) Martinu Quartet - Lubomir Havlak, Petr Macecek,(violins) Jan Jisa (viola) and Jitka Vlasankova (cello) recorded 23-25/6/97,(Quartet No. 1) and 18-19/2 1997 (remainder) in the Marinek Studio Prague. DDD Naxos 8.553782 [71.41]

An excellent, well performed disc of two of Martinu's String Quartets in an excellent recording at budget price. Roll on Volume Two.

MASSENET, Jules. WERTHER. A Lyric drama in four acts and five scenes after Goethe.
Sung in English in the translation by Norman Tucker. Recorded live by the BBC at the London Coliseum on 13 December 1977.English National Opera Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras. CHANDOS CHAN3033 (2 CDs) [DW]

The real star of this version is the silent contributor. Of course, I mean Sir Charles Mackerras. John Brecknock has a lyric, clear voice reminiscent of the finest British tenor of them all, Wilfred Brown. A truly great and moving experience. Not to be missed despite some flaws one expects from a live performance.

MONDONVILLE Venite exultemus, Regna terrae, In decachordo psalterio, De profundis, Benefac Domine.
Gillian Fisher, Charles Daniels, Stephen Varcoe, Choir of New College Oxford London Baroque Edward Higginbottom conductor/harpsichord
Hyperion Helios CDH55038 61m DDD. [GF]

These are straightforward compositions written just preceding the French Revolution. They breathe the celebratory pomp and pageantry evident in the grand courts of the French kings

MOZART (1756 - 1791) Symphony No 41 in C Major, K551. "Jupiter" [36.11] Symphony No 39 in E Flat Major. K543. [29.54] Si mostra la sorte. K209* [ 4.19 ] Per pieta, non ricercare, K420* [ 6.54 ] English Chamber Orchestra Peter Pears (tenor)* Benjamin Britten.
Recorded Blythburgh Church, Suffolk. 14 June 1966 (K551) BBC Studios June 10 1962 (K543, K209, K420) ADD K551 STEREO Rest of disc MONO  DECCA 466 820 - 2 [77.24]

This is a long way short of what we would expect from Britten and Mozart. The non-specialist collector should look elsewhere for versions of this pairing of two of the last three great Symphonies.

MOZART (1756 - 1791) Piano Concerto No 12 in A Major [25.01] Joseph HAYDN (1732 - 1809)
Symphony No 55 in E Flat Major "Schoolmaster" [21.47] Symphony No 45 in F Sharp Minor "Farewell" [24.14] Benjamin Britten (pno) Aldeburgh festival Orchestra Directed / Conducted Benjamin Britten Recorded Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh June 1956 (Live concert) ADD MONO Decca 458 869-2 [71.52]

The only reason not to buy this is the recording quality. Sample first - then buy!

MOZART: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K.525 (1) Serenade in D, K.320 - "Posthorn" (2) Serenade in D, K.239 - "Serenata Notturna" (2) Vienna State Opera Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult (1)
Lausanne Chamber Orchestra/Victor Desarzens (2) MCA MCD 80105 [73:41]

A disc that allows us to hear Sir Adrian Boult in Mozart

MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Duets, Volume 1. Sonatas - C, K521; D, K381; C, K19d.
Andante with Five Variations in G, K501. Fantasia in F minor for Mechanical Organ, K608.
Jenö Jándo, Zsuzsa Kollár (piano duet). Naxos 8.553518 [DDD] [68'58] [CC]

Doubts creep in during the D major Sonata, K381, however. Accents seem forced, the Andante is faceless and the finale is over-heavy.

MOZART 'Idomeneo'   Richard Lewis, Leopold Simoneau, Sena Jurinac, Lucille Udovick.
Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and Orchestra John Pritchard.   EMI Double Forte CZS5 73848-2. [GF]

It is a delight to see this once famous set available once again as the Glyndebourne magic of the Fifties has rarely been surpassed.

MUFFAT (1653-1704) Organ Works, Volume 1:  Apparatus musico-organistus (1690), Part 1 - Toccatas 1-8. Martin Haselböck (organ). Naxos 8.553917 [DDD] [54'31] [CC]

..... there is a heady mix of Italianate emotionalism, French sensibilité and German discipline that is most appealing.

NIELSEN (1865-1931) Complete Concertos:  Violin Concerto, Op. 33/FS61;  Clarinet Concerto Op. 57/FS129;  Flute Concerto, FS119. Jonathan Carney (violin); Kevin Banks (clarinet); Gareth Davies (flute); Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Kees Bakels.  Naxos 8.554189 [DDD] [78'59]

These performances (the only such coupling at super-budget price) are guaranteed to provide pleasure. The three Naxos soloists each capture the essence of their respective concertos and the orchestra throughout is idiomatically supportive, with particularly characterful woodwind contributions.

Ludolf NIELSEN Symphony No. 3 in C Major, Op. 22, Hjortholm, Tone Picture, Op. 53
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra - Frank Cramer recorded 19-23/7/99, in the Sinfonie an der Regnitz,Bamberg. DDD Dacapo 8.224098 [67.20] [JP]

World premiere recordings of two rarely played orchestral works by a forgotten Danish composer overshadowed by his well known namesake.

Maurice OHANA
Livre des prodiges; Anneau de Tamarit; Synaxis
Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg/ArturoTamayo with Anssi Kartunen (cello) & other soloists
timpani 1C1056 [66.10] [PW]

Recommended unreservedly.

PFITZNER (1869-1949)  Violin Sonata (1918) 28.45 Piano Trio (1896) 41.13 Benjamin Schmid (violin) Clemens Hagen (cello) Claudius Tanski (piano) rec 1-4 June 1999, Wuppertal   MDG GOLD MDG 312 0934-2   [69.58] [RB]

Here the MD&G 'regulars' turn back the dust-cloths on two thumpingly confident works. A recommendable disc for those wishing to open out their Pfitzner collection.

PISTON (1894-1976) Symphony No. 6 (1955) 25.34 Concertino for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1937) 12.34 Concerto for Orchestra (1933) 12.48 Concerto for String Quartet, Wind Instruments and Percussion (1976) 10.00 Moscow Radio SO/Alexander Gauk (rec 1962) Marjorie Mitchell (piano) Göteborg SO/William Strickland (rec 1963) Polish National Radio Orchestra/William Strickland (rec 1969) Emerson Quartet/Juilliard Orchestra/Sixten Ehrling (rec May 1978) all stereo recordings ADD CITADEL CTD 88134 [61.55] [RB]

You never hear that much about Citadel. I am not at all sure why that should be. Their catalogue is at ease in spanning both classical and film worlds. Much of their classical side comprises reissues of rare repertoire. The label hosts a high proportion of 'gold standard' Americana as this and other discs demonstrate.....Strongly recommended. Citadel and Tom Null have done an invaluable job in collecting together this Piston 'Reader'.

POULENC (1899-1963) Complete Chamber Music, Volume Three.  Capriccio d'après Le bal masqué. Sonata for two pianos. Elégie. L'embarquement pour Cynthère. Sonata for piano duet. Sonata for two clarinets. Sonata for clarinet and bassoon. Sonata for horn, trumpet and trombone. Alexandre Tharaud, François Chaplin (pianos); Ronald Van Spaendonck, André Moisan (clarinets), Laurent Lefèvre (bassoon); Hervé Joulain (horn); Guy Touvron (trumpet); Jaques Mauger (trombone). Naxos 8.553613 [DDD] [62'24]

Recorded in Poulenc's centenary year (1999), this disc provides a satisfying balance between well-known and more obscure works. It's a good idea to have an (almost) all-Gallic line up of musicians (the clarinettist André Moisan is French-Canadian) and as a result they feel fully at ease in Poulenc's attractive vernacular.

PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Ivan the Terrible*. Alexander Nevsky† *Irina Arkhipova (mezzo-soprano); Anatoly Mokrenko (baritone); Boris Morgunov (narrator), Ambrosian Chorus and Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Ricardo Muti † Anna Reynolds (mezzo-soprano) London Symphony Orchestra and

This is a very clever idea to package Prokofiev's two major film scores together in this budget presentation and I urge all adventurous lovers of film music who are unfamiliar with this music to invest in this 2CD album. However I would add one caveat. Budget prices often mean sacrifices; and the sweeping marketing policy of EMI to pare down the notes for their mid-price/budget albums is a grave mistake as far as this reissue is concerned for no librettos are given. Chorus conducted by André Previn.(with Sergei Rachmaninov's The Bells). Sheila Armstrong (soprano); Robert Tear (tenor); John Shirley-Quirk (baritone)
London Symphony Chorus; London Symphony Orchestra conducted by André Previn EMI double forte 2 CDs CZS5 73353 2 [152:23] [IL]

PROTO Double Bass Music of Frank Proto SONATA 1963 for Double Bass and Piano [13.04] FOUR ROGUES, a Mystery for Double Bass & Piano [18.00] Audition 1 / 20 / 87 [1.31]
CADENZA and DANCE [2.41] CAPRICE [4.27] DUETS for Double Basses [13.24] John Ebinger (double bass) Roy Hakes (piano) Recorded Arizona State University 1/ 94 - 6/ 94 DDD Soundset SR1003 [53.07]

Probably would appeal to a double-bassist - others may want to hear before deciding.


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