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Thursday December 18th
150 reviews completed so far this month

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Christmas Oratorio - Monteverdi Ch, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 1999 EUROARTS DVD 2045098 [2 DVDs: 142:00  + bonus 56:00] [JQ] A splendid and very satisfying account of Bach’s great Christmas present to music-lovers.

Leoš JANACEK (1854-1928) Sinfonietta, Capriccio, The Cunning Little Vixen suite - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) Bergen PO/Edward Gardner rec. 2014 CHANDOS CHSA5142 SACD [64:05] [DC] More Hollywood than Moravian woods, but still superb.

Antonin DVORAK (1841-1904) Symphony 8 Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Overture to Oberon Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Concerto 1 - Hilary Hahn (violin) Berlin PO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2000 EUROARTS DVD 2050448 [99:00] [JWh] Will bring enormous delight ... a pleasure to see the great Mariss Jansons in action.

Anders KOPPEL (b. 1947) Marimba concertos 1-4 - Marianna Bednarska (marimba) Aalborg SO/Henrik Vagn Christensen rec. 2012/13 DACAPO 6.220595 SACD [78:51] [JW] Marimba fans, apply within.

Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (c.1525-1594) Missa Hodie Christus natus est, O magnum mysterium, Christe redemptor omnium, Magnificat primi toni - Westminster Cathedral Ch/Martin Baker rec. 2003 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55367 [78:20] [ST] A sense of swing and ebullience matched with moments of serious contemplation. Hyperion have done a very good job of capturing the live-ness of this acoustic.

Stephen PAULUS (1949-2014) Veil of Tears, Concerto for String Quartet, Grand Concerto for Organ - Nathan J. Laube (organ) Nashville SO/Giancarlo Guerrero rec. 2012/2013 NAXOS 8.559740 [57:21] [GPJ] Terrific performances of music by an excitingly gifted American composer who deserves to become well-known further afield.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Impromptus, Piano Sonata 21 - Nami Ejiri (piano) rec. 2014 GENUIN CLASSICS GEN14327 [78:58] [RWe] A satisfying late Schubert programme ... excellent sound and playing.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Pietà Sacred works - Ens Artaserse/Philippe Jaroussky (director, counter-tenor) rec. 2014 ERATO 2564 625750 [CD: 78.30 + DVD: 20.00] [MC] Admirable.

Dormi Jesu A Caius Christmas - Ch Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge/Geoffrey Webber rec. 2011 DELPHIAN DCD34152 [63.28] [GH] A super ensemble moulded to deliver a specific and warm sound.

Lux de caelo Music for Christmas - Ch Clare College, Cambridge; The Dmitri Ensemble/Graham Ross rec. 2013 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU907615 [68:05] [ST] Plenty here to celebrate.

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