August 2000 CLASSICAL CD REVIEWS INDEX
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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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  COMPETITION: WIN a CD

[Part 1]  [Part 2]
[Part 3]  [Part 4 



PUCCINI
La Bohème
Mimi…………………………………………Mirella Freni
Rodolfo………………………………………Luciano Pavarotti
Musetta…… ……………………..………… Sandra Pacetti
Marcello…………………………....……… .Gino Quilico
Colline……………………………………….Nicolai Ghiaurov
chaunard………………………….....……… Stephen Dickson
Chorus and Orchestra of the San Francisco Opera conducted by Tiziano Severini Recorded at the San Francisco Opera in 1988. ARTHAUS 1000 046 [116 mins]
[IL]

In short, a splendid production which in this DVD format is a feast for the ear and the eye.

Antoine REICHA (1770-1836) Wind Quintets - C minor, Op. 91 No. 6; F, Op. 88 No. 6.
Michael Thompson Wind Quintet. Naxos 8.554228 [DDD] [68'41] [CC]

The Michael Thompson Wind Quintet relish the virtuosity of these pieces (Thompson himself is jaw-droppingly agile in the Minuetto of Op. 88 No. 6). Most importantly, they maintain interest throughout by careful attention to the inner parts, which always have a good deal of life to them.

REIMANN Lear   Fischer-Dieskau, Bayerisches Chor & Staatsorchester/Albrecht Deutsche Grammophon 463 480-2 [PW]

.....The idiom is dodecaphonic and prevailingly dissonant and harsh, more so than any other opera which comes to mind; or harshly beautiful, depending upon your ears. Reimann builds massive climaxes, using microtones and clusters, and long passages for the singers are not precisely notated. According to Fischer-Dieskau, who found it necessary in his introduction to refute 'a number of biased critics', these are 'of a flawlessness rarely achieved in the history of recitative'.

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV  Antar - Symphonic Suite (1868) 29.19 IPPOLITOV-IVANOV  Caucasian Sketches (1894) 22.02 GLIERE  Russian Sailors' Dance (1927) 3.26 Utah SO/Maurice Abravanel rec 1967, Salt Lake City, Utah   VANGUARD CLASSICS USA SVC 8 [55.00] [RB]

Abravanel is very good in this music - crackling with energy tempered with a tender way with the great melodies.....The orchestra is brilliant, hoarse and visceral in the brass, flighty and impetuous wind section and only among the strings which could have benefited from a shade more warmth and tonal allure are there the slightest reservations....As an inexpensive single disc collection of less obvious Russian repertoire this is difficult to top. I recommend it strongly.

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844 - 1908) Scheherazade. Op 35*a [46.29] Peter TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 - 1893) Capriccio italien Op.45b [16.51] Overture 1812. Op 49c [15.29]
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Michael Schwalbé (violin)* Herbert von Karajan Recording details. Berlin. Jesus-Christ-Kirche Jan 1967a, Oct 1966b, Dec 1966c ADD DG The Originals 463 614-2 [79.05]
[HD] [AB]

Just two stars for Karajan? Sadly, not one of his best says Harry but Arthur thinks more highly of it.

ROTARU Flute Concerto No.1 Symphony No. 2 Concerto for Saxophone(s).   Pierre-Yves Artaud (flutes)/Emil Sein (saxophones) University of Huddersfield New Music Ensemble & Symphony Orchestra Barrie Webb (conductor). MPS CD007 55'21" [PW]

This extremely interesting and successful CD emanates from Barrie Webb's association with Romania and the leading Romanian composer Doina Rotaru, who was featured in the Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music in 1990. These are excellent professional productions and you would be hard put to it to suspect that they are student forces.

RÓZSA  Concertos for Violin and Cello   Robert McDuffie, violin / Lynn Harrell, cello  Yoel Levi conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra   TELARC CD-80518 [71:52] [GD] [CA]
If you love the film music of Miklós Rózsa you will be thoroughly at home here.

SAEVERUD Cello Concerto; Symphony No.8 Truls Mork (cello)/Stavanger Symphony Orchestra/Ole Kristian Ruud BIS CD-972 [64' 21"] [CA]

Melody is the root of Saeverud's invention; his expression is personal and communicative and requires concurrent appreciation of its organic development and emotional release.

SCHUBERT (1797 - 1828) Octet in F Major, D 803 [53.07] Ludwig SPOHR (1784 - 1859)
Octet in E Major [24.56] The Vienna Octet  Recorded March 58 (Schubert) and March 59 (Spohr) Sofiensaal, Vienna ADD   DECCA Legends 466 580-2 [78.03] [HD]

Some vintage Chamber music from Decca. The Schubert Octet is a welcome back and the Spohr a welcome addition.

SCHUBERT Lieder.   Edith Wiens (soprano); Rudolf Jansen (pianoforte); Joaquin Valdepeñas (clarinet)* CBC MVCD 1053 65:51m [CH]

.... when the singer enters a miracle happens and the piano glistens and shimmers around the voice in a way it so often just fails to. Many a more famous version seems earthbound after this.

SCHUBERT Winterreise Peter Pears (tenor) Benjamin Britten (piano) Decca 466 382-2 [70.07] [PW]

It is good to have this classic 1963 account of Winterreise back in the catalogue.... An indispensable acquisition. 

SCHUBERT Piano Duets Fantasy D940; Variations D813; Grand Duo D812 Sviatoslav Richter/Benjamin Britten (piano) Decca 466 822-2 [75.27] [PW]

A gem quarried from the BBC recordings at the Aldeburgh Festivals of 1964/65 at the Aldeburgh Parish Church (Variations) and Jubilee Hall (Fantasy & Duo). Not a lot needs to be said. The intimate venues were conducive to superb 'domestic' music making, ideally exemplified by the coming together of these great musicians year after year.

WILLIAM SCHUMAN (1910-1992) Judith (1949) 23.41 Eastman Philharmonia/David Effron Night Journey (1947) 21.28 Endymion Ensemble/Jon Goldberg In Sweet Music (1978)  Rosalind Rees (soprano)/Orpheus Trio 24.54 rec 1983, 1981, 1980. COMPOSERS RECORDINGS INC CRI CD791 [70.16] [RB]

Schuman's 'hand' is unmistakable. The haunted, whispering and attentuated strings, the tension built and held, the gale-blown or breezily strident sassy woodwind, the explosive energetic brass barks and towering monoliths, the counterpoint of lean and slow-moving lyrical ideas against quicker material....An imperative addition for anyone captivated by the violin concerto or third symphony.

SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A minor. op 54 BRAHMS Piano Concerto in D minor, op 15 Ivan Moravec, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Mata Dorian Records, DOR-90172, 79 minutes, Full-Price [MB]

Ivan Moravec is a name that might not be familiar to many, yet he is one of the last of a legendary generation of great pianists that demands comparison with Richter, Gieseking and Solomon.

Both the Schumann and the Brahms recordings on this disc, from live performances, are in their own ways fascinating insights into a world of pianism you hardly ever hear nowadays. This disc is indispensible for this reason alone, even if the performances will generate some controversy.

Ruth Crawford SEEGER  Chamber Works  String Quartet; Suites for Wind Quintet, Wind Quintet & Piano & for Piano & Strings; Diaphonic Suites 1-4. Pellegrini Quartet & Ensemble Aventure CPO 999 670-2 [63.15] [PW]
Crotchet
 (special low price)  Amazon UK  Amazon USA

This is a valuable and comprehensive collection of forthright, clear-headed music, arranged well in a sequence which varies the instrumentation between wind and strings, and from one voice to six.

SHOSTAKOVICH Cello sonata; Blok romances JANACEK Pohadka BRIDGE
Phantasie
Rostropovich/Vishneskaya/Benjamin Britten,  with Brainin/Schidlof/Lovett.
Decca 466 823-2 [74.22] [PW]

I found this one of the most interesting and valuable of the recent batch BBC live recordings at the Aldeburgh Festivals, which display Britten's versatility & prowess at the piano.... Another splendid Aldeburgh Festival recital compilation, impeccably remastered to vivid, nostalgic effect for those of us who attended some of these performances, and equally recommendable to younger collectors.

STENHAMMAR (1871-1927) Symphony No. 2 (1915) Serenade (1913 rev 1919)
Stockholm PO Tor Mann (Symphony) Rafael Kubelik (Serenade) stereo rec Stockholm Concert Hall 15-16 Aug 1959 (symphony) 22-24 Sept 1964 (serenade) SWEDISH SOCIETY DISCOFIL SCD1114 [78.56]
[RB]

Do not be too quick to dismiss this generous coupling on account of age. The recording quality is decent, solid and honest. The coupling is outstandingly generous and the performances are of great virtue.....The generous repackaging of the series was an inspired stroke.

DVD Review: Strauss Elektra Eva Marton, Brigitte Fassbaender, Cheryl Studer, Franz Grundheber & James King Chorus & Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, Claudio Abbado Arthaus Musik, 100048 109 minutes  [MB]

For this is a great performance, one of the finest you will ever hear with a near-perfect cast and playing by the Vienna Philharmonic that is shattering.

STRAVINSKY Shadow Dances. Tangoa. Suitesa - No. 1; No. 2. Concerto in Db. Concertinob. Octetb. Three Pieces for String Quarteta. Praeludiuma. Ragtimea. Duetc. Fanfare for a New Theatrec. Scherzo à la Russea. Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Producer Christian Gansch. Engineer Wolf-Dieter Katwatky. Date aApril 1996, bDecember 1995, cDecember 1996.
DG 453 458-2 (full price, 1 hour 7 minutes).
 

Guest review from INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW

TAKEMITSU (1930-1996) I Hear the Water DreamingToward the Sea (versions for flute and guitar; for flute, harp and string orchestra†;and for alto flute and harp) Le Fils des Étoiles
And then I knew 'Twas Wind* Air
Patrick Gallois (wooden flute) and Fabrice Pierre (Salvi harp and Camac* harp) BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Davis † Deutsche Grammophon 20/21 - 453459 -2 [IL]

Takemitsu's primary inspiration was the natural world and the flute was the instrument that came closest to capturing its essence through its many possible variations of tone-production and fingering to allow extraordinary subtle colouring of phrases and even individual notes......A colourful collection of slow moving, mostly serene and dreamlike music most sympathetically played.

TCHAIKOVSKY String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11, String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, OP. 22 New Haydn Quartet, Budapest - Janos Horvath, Peter Sarosi,(violins) Gyorgy Porzolt,(viola) and Gabor Magyar (cello) recorded 2-5/10/95, in the Unitarian Church Budapest. DDD
Naxos 8.550847 [66.35]

An excellent, well performed disc of two of Tchaikovsky's best loved chamber works in an excellent recording at budget price

TELEMANN Der Tod Jesu Dorothee Mields   Britta Schwarz   Klaus Mertens   Jan Kobow   
Magedburg Chamber Choir/Telemann Chamber Orchestra Michaelstein/Ludger Remy   CPO 999 720-2[76.12] [PGW]

This may surprise listeners who are more familiar with Telemann's voluminous instrumental music. The text is vivid and refreshingly unfamiliar. The recitatives are dramatic and expressive and the sequence of reflective arias is accompanied by a variety of obligatto instruments, which maintains interest and pleasure.

TURINA Sonatas 1 Op.51 & 2 Op.82; Sonata espagnola; Homenaje a Navarra; Variaciones clasicas; Euterpe   Roland Roberts (violin) Miyako Hashimoto (piano) Meridian CDE 84430 70 mins [PW]

Roland Roberts is a reasonably accomplished violinist, though perhaps with limited imagination, and his intonation is slightly suspect at times. More seriously (perhaps related to the recording) his tone sounds wiry and harsh - the CD benefits from playing with some top cut. The notes by the violinist need proof-reading.

VERDI (1813 - 1901) La Traviata Victoria de los Angeles, Germont Carlo del Monte, Germont Mario Sereni, Rome Opera Chorus and Orchestra Serafin
EMI double fforte CZS 5 73824 2 2CD's [ 119.02 ] [HD]

If you want a Traviata that won't break the bank and you will continue to enjoy after repeated playings - this is the one to buy.

VOGLER (1749 - 1814)
Requiem in E Flat Major (arr. Dr. Joachim Veit) [57.00] Chor der Staatlichen Musikhochschule Mannheim Kurpfalzisches Kammerorchester. Sabine Goetz (soprano), Barbara R. Grabowski (alto),
Christopher Wittmann (tenor), Rudolf Piernay (bass). Gerald Kegelmann (conductor). DDD Recorded July 16/17 1999. SWR Studio Kaiserslautern ARTE NOVA Classics 74321 71663 2 [57.00] [HD]

A most interesting disc that brings back to life a lost piece.

WESLEY Five Symphonies.   London Mozart Players Matthias Bamert.   Chandos CHAN9823 71m DDD.[GF]

Mathias Bamert's 'Contemporaries of Mozart' series now tackles Wesley, an English composer chiefly remembered for his sacred music . These five symphonies are full of colour and imagination and resemble Ditterdorsf's 'Ovid' Symphonies for their range of flair and advanced orchestration.

YARDUMIAN (1917-1985) Armenian Suite (1937) Symphony No. 2 Psalms (1947, 1964)
Lili Chookasian (contralto) Utah SO/Varujan Kojian rec 1981? PHOENIX PHCD 112 [38.14] [RB]

The music strikes some well defined dramatic attitudes along the way but is a work of evident sincerity which generally avoids the obvious. The tender and movingly quiet ending bespeaks a composer with no shortage of artistic valour.


MISCELLANEOUS

The 50th Anniversary of Stereophonic Tape Recording

A remarkable record of one of the best kept secrets in the history of audio engineering; the development of tape recording.

AMERICAN WORKS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO
Charles IVES
Violin Sonata No. 4 (1936) [10.26] AARON COPLAND Violin Sonata (1942-43) [18.17] BENJAMIN LEES Violin Sonata No. 2 (1973) [19.67] LEON KIRCHNER Sonata Concertante (1952) [19.35] Ives and Copland: Jaime Laredo (violin) Ann Schein (piano)
Lees: Rafael Druian (violin) Ilse von Alpenheim (piano) Kirchner: Jaime Laredo (violin) Ruth Laredo (piano) PHOENIX PHCD 136  [68.20]

The Ives Sonata is one of his most probingly exploratory. It slips and slides as if memories were focusing and blurring all the time - not exactly intimidating just rather leading edge. It echoes with strained memories of children's summer camp meetings in the 1870s-1890s. It has its moments of ecstasy as in the largo - a swelteringly soporific version of 'Yes, Jesus Loves You' - Delian in its irresistible decay.

MUSIC FOR SOLO CELLO
BACH; BERIO; HENZE; WALTON
  Antonio Lysy (cello) Pelleas 0106 [70 min] [PW]

this CD will have a local appeal, particularly for people who had enjoyed the recital.

Works for solo viola
BERIO; DILLON; DUSAPIN; KURTAG; LIGETI; SCIARRINO
Garth Knox Naïve  (Montaigne-Auvidis) MO782082 [66.02]

Nothing naïve about this co-production with Auvidis Montaigne -WDR! It is the best solo viola CD I have come across and I recommend it strongly - even to those who have been put off by the list of composers and might not have intended to read further?

AWARD WINNING BRITISH MUSIC
CHANDOS BRIT 0014 [75.55]. Bargain Price

A collection of bits and pieces superbly recorded and performed advertising Chandos's catalogue of British Music. Formerly supplied as a free disc attached to magazine fronts. This issue should be so supplied and not charged for.

CASAVOLA; SAVINIO; MIX; CASELLA; SCELSI; MORTARI; GIUNTINI; CHESIMO; NAPOLETANO; MALIPIERO; BIROT; STRAVINSKY Futuris music (piano anthology 1) Daniele Lombardi (piano)
col legno WWE 20076 [76.44] [PGW]

This is a thoroughly invigorating and entertaining collection of music related to the Futurism movements in Italy and Russia

CHINOISERIE
ROSSINI
Petite Polka chinoise. CHASINS Rush Hour in Hong Kong. GRAINGER Beautiful Fresh Flower. ARENSKY Atude sur un thème chinois. TCHEREPNIN Five 'Chinese' Concert Etudes. SCOTT Lotus Land. BUSONI Turandot's Frauengemach. GOULD Pieces of China. WEBER-DIAZ Imporvisation on a Chinese Folk Song. ADAMS China Gates. ORNSTEIN A la Chinoise. MARTINU The Fifth Day of the Fifth moon. KETELBY In a Chinese Temple Garden.
Jenny Lin (piano).
BIS CD1110 [DDD] [79'45] [CC]

Enthusiastically recommended. A veritable treasure trove of delights!!

CONTEMPORARY SPANISH CHAMBER MUSIC
CASABLANCAS; GUZMAN; PLADEVALL; CASAS; GUINJOAN
Chamber Orchestra Works London Sinfonietta/Edmund Colomer Ensayo Perspectives ENY-2001 [50.05]

This is an attractive collection, apparently of fairly recent Spanish music from the Barcelona area, but I am hesitant because the documentation is sparse in the extreme, with no information about the composers nor dates of their works.....It is a pity not to know more about the genesis of this CD, but there is plenty of accessible, enjoyable music for listeners curious about the Spanish scene, which remains relatively obscure in UK.

The English Kreisler. The Violin Music of Albert Sammons. Paul Barritt (violin)/Catherine Edwards (piano) Hyperion CDA 67096 66' 55"

We are all familiar with the celebrated violinist Fritz Kreisler's activities as a composer, writing encores and salon piece which he at first attributed to various eighteenth century names. Less well known is the fact that the great English violinist Albert Sammons was also an expert turner of such delightful trifles....This is a beautifully presented discovery.

French Saxophone Concertos Pierre DUBOIS (1930-95) Saxophone Concerto No. 2. Jean RIVIER (1896-1987) Concerto for Saxophone, Trumpet and String Orchestra. Patrice SCIORTINO (b1922) Sonances. Daniel Gremelle (saxophone); Antoine Curé (trumpet); Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra/Bystrík Rezucha. Marco Polo 8.225127 [DDD] [53'55]. [CC]

Daniel Gremelle is a convincing exponent of his chosen repertoire.....There are plenty of opportunities for Gremelle's virtuosity to shine....

THE GOLDEN AGE OF SINGING Volume two 1910-1920 Complete track listing and artist rosta below NIMBUS NI7052-3 2CD [2hr 30m]

It has been a pleasure to refresh my memories of the miraculously alive sounds of voices from the early days of recording in my Prima Voce collection. The standard in this new compilation is enviably high, reflecting the vast collection of mint-quality ancient 78s upon which Nimbus can draw for their unique processing method, which is a model of discretion, with strictly limited remastering interference.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau sings Lieder Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Aribert Reimann & Hermann Reutter (piano) EMI Classics CMS5 67349 2 [76.12, 73.44,73.53] [PW]

So this is an uncommon collection, of uncommon interest, and if it does not sell well it will presumably soon disappear for ever.

VOICE OF THE CARNYX  Music for trombone.  John Kenny The Voice of the Carnyx  David Home Sonata for trombone and piano Edward McGuire Zephyr for trombone and string quartet  John Purser Skyelines for trombone and organ  David Dorward 0 how I love Thee Tom Bancroft Bone Tone Poem  John Maxwell Geddes Leo Dreaming   John Kenny (trombone) with David Home (piano) John Kitchen (organ) Tom Bancroft (drums) John Whiting (sound projection) Chamber Group of Scotland.   British Music Label BML 016 [DW]

The carnyx was a long Celtic trumpet known throughtout Europe as long ago as 200BC. Romans used it to terrify enemies and in John Kenny's piece for four carnyxs we are impressed, alarmed and excited by primitive, blood-curdling sounds of bellicose pageantry.

PROSPICE Songs with quartet. Piano. H Walford Davies: Prospice; George Butterworth: Love Blows as the Wind Blows; Arthur Somervell: A Broken Arc; Geoffrey Bush: Farewell, Earth's Bliss; Ralph Vaughan Williams: Five Mystical Songs.   Martin Oxenham (baritone); Bingham String Quartet; Katharine Durran (piano). Meridian. Duo DUOCD 89026 75' 12" [LF]
Every so often one comes across a recording which has long been available but has somehow failed to attract much notice or be widely subscribed by record stores, and yet on investigation proves to be a complete revelation.

MUSICA DIVINA Works by: Schutz, Scheine, Bach, Draeske, Bruckner etc.   Dresdner Kreuzchor Roderich Kreile.   DG 453-484-2 76m DDD.[GF]

This well filled CD contains a host of beautiful music from the 16th century Schutz onto the relatively modern Reger.....a must for the choral enthusiasts who should have this splendid boy's choir in their collection.

O SACRUM CONVIVIUM Leeds Cathedral Boys Choir. Leeds Cathedral Choir.  Julie Crosby (organ) Joseph Cullen (director).   Foxglove Audio F0X036.[DW]

This collection of 19 items is a curious mixture of a programme and quality. The organ is a superb instrument and the inadequate CD notes should have told us about it.


THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE RUSSIAN GUITAR. Volume II  
1. Ovchinnikov: Piano's Melancholy Sound 2. Kushenov-Dmitrievsky: Cosaque 3. Sychra: Divertissement sur des Airs Russes 4. Cavos-Sychra: "My Dear Friend" (aria from the opera-ballet The National Guard, or Love to the Fatherland) 5. Gornostaev: Caprice Militaire 6. Ladyzhensky: Grande Fantaisie
7. Ladyzhensky: Valse 8. Vetrov: Elegy 9. Vetrov: You Won't Believe 10. Liakhov: I'll Go Scythe the Grass
Oleg Timofeyev (Russian seven string guitar) DORIAN DOR-93203

A chance, for we guitar enthusiasts familiar with those western European guitar composers of the late 18th and 19th century's such as Fernando Sor (1786-1838) of Spain and the Italian Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829), to hear that there existed a parallel tradition of guitar playing complete with its own composers and rich repertoire of music.

THE SONG OF THE NEY (Persian Classical Music) Hossein Omoumi (ney) Sima Bina (vocal) Madjid Khaladj (tombak, daf) Madjid Derakhshani (tar) Nimbus NI 7060/1 [70.03+57.28] [PW]

the effect is often of a conversation between passages in the breathy lower register answered with the more liquid tone of the higher. It is seductive and compelling music, with melodies elaborated in some dozen modes.

NETANIA DAVRATH (1931-87) sings RUSSIAN, YIDDISH, ISRAELI FOLKSONGS
42 songs in orchestral arrangements VANGUARD CLASSICS OVC 8058/9 [70.02+66.08] [RB]

....Her voice is tender, strong, nasal, arch, shy, abandoned, free from vibrato, pure and clean and distinctly un-operatic. She has that platinum quality of voice that is unsophisticated and girlishly innocent..... A splendid and generous collection or all admirers of Davrath's art and the crystal stream of folk music.

KING FREDERIK IX (of Denmark) (1899 -1972) conducts The Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in:- Wagner: Overture: Tannhäuser. Overture: Rienzi Beethoven: Symphonies 3 and 7 Grieg: Last Spring Gade: Echoes of Ossian Børresen: Prelude to the Royal Guest dacapo 8.224158-59 2CDs [146:20] [IL][HD]

Probably King Frederik IX of Denmark was unique in the annals of royal patronage, in extending his love of music to a passion for conducting, as his favourite pastime....An intriguing release

LEGENDS - PODIUM KNIGHTS
Sir John Barbirolli
Haydn:
Symphony 83 "The Hen"; Johann Strauss II: Selection of pieces; Richard Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier - Suite; Lehar: Gold and Silver Waltz Halle Orchestra (9 August 1969, Royal Albert Hall, London) BBCL 4038-2 [76' 28"]

Sir Adrian Boult
Schubert:
Unfinished Symphony; Bizet: Jeux d'enfants - Suite; Ravel: Daphnis & Chloe - Suite 2  (30 July 1964, Royal Albert Hall); Sibelius: Symphony 7* (8 March 1963, Royal Festival Hall, London) Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra* BBCL 4039-2 [73' 56"]

I shall not belittle either conductor by giving marks. Both CDs enjoy good stereo sound, Boult's is a minute shorter than stated (the above timing is correct) and I prefer the order of Sibelius, Bizet, Schubert and Ravel for continuous (programmed) listening. If, on this occasion, the Barbirolli issue is a souvenir (with the Haydn considerably more than that), Boult's CD is an immensely important release.

PLAYGROUNDS FOR ANGELS:  Works by Rautavaara, Sibelius, Grieg and Nystedt.
Brass Partout Hermann Baumer.   BIS CD 1054 72m DDD. [GF]

...a splendidly vivid interpretation by Brass Partout. This group is a top-class brass ensemble and their sheer musical prowess is never in doubt.

A SOUTHWEST CHRISTMAS Ed HENDERSON (b1932) Milagros de Navidad [18.38] Jon WASHBURN (b1942) Noel Sing We! [11.14] Lo, how a rose e'er blooming [3.04] The Star [8.52] Hernando FRANCO (1532 - 1585) Magnificat secundi toni [9.35] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Weihnachlieder [6.19] Phoenix Bach Choir Robert Tree Cody. Native American flute. Frank Koonce. Classical Guitar. Mark Sunkett. Percussion. Jon Washburn. Narrator. Conductor Jon Washburn Recorded Jan 17 - 20 1997 All Saints Episcopal Church, Phoenix. DDD Soundset Recordings SR1005 [58.22] [HD]

This CD might appeal for Christmas if sampling in the shop is possible.

BOOK REVIEW
Gustav Mahler: Vienna - Triumph and Disillusion (1904-1907) by Henry-Louis de La Grange
Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-315160-X Hardback, 1,024 pages, 32 black and white plates, £35.00

This is the third volume of Henry-Louis de La Grange's magisterial biography of Gustav Mahler, one of the greatest literary undertakings of the last century.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

DANTE: La Divina Commedia.
'The Inferno', 'Purgatory', 'Paradise'.
Read by Heathcote Williams. Naxos Audiobooks 3 volumes. 9 discs DDD.
Inferno: NA309912 237m Purgatory: NA314312 257m Paradiso NA317912 237m [GF]

A truly great project and one to treasure in the audiobook field.


[Part 1]  [Part 2]
[Part 3]  [Part 4   

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