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Bruno MADERNA (1920-1973) Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Ensemble No.1 (1962) [19:27] Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra No.2 (1967) [19:33] Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra No.3 (1973) [16:53] Fabian Menzel (oboe) Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken/Michel Stern rec. Funkhaus auf dem Halberg, Saarbrücken - Großer Sendesaal, live; 20 September 1996 (Concerto No.1), 24 September 1996 (Concerto No.2), Live; 15 May 1994 (Concerto No.3) COL LEGNO WWE 20037 [55:54] [DC]

Col Legno are to be applauded for bringing these radio recordings to a greater public, with a set of concertos very much representative of one of the grand masters of the last century. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) The Symphonies CD1 Symphony No. 1 (1884-96) [54:32]* Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection" (1888-94): I [21:35] CD2 Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection" (1888-94): II-V [60:57] + CD3 Symphony No. 3 (1895-6): I-IV [65:22] CD4 Symphony No. 3 (1895-6): V-VI [30:04] ^ Symphony No. 4 (1899-1901): I-III [48:43] CD5 Symphony No. 4 (1899-1901): IV [9:09] # Symphony No. 5 (1901-2) [67:49] CD6 Symphony No. 7 (1908) [78:48] CD7 Symphony No. 6 (1903-05): I-III [53:53] CD8 Symphony No. 6 (1903-05): IV [29:22] Symphony No. 9 (1909) I-II [44:12]* CD9 Symphony No. 9 (1909) III-IV [42:28]* Symphony No.10: Adagio (1910) [26:04] CD10 Symphony No.8 (1909) [78:50]* $ CD 11 Das Lied von der Erde (1909) [61:55]* Kristina Laki (soprano)+, Lucia Popp (soprano)#, Julia Varady (soprano)$, Marianne Haggander (soprano)$, Maria Venuti (soprano)$, Florence Quivar (mezzo)+$, Ann Howells (mezzo-soprano)$, Maria Lipovšek (mezzo-soprano)%, Gwendolyn Killebrew (contralto)^, Paul Frey (tenor)$, Ben Heppner (tenor)%, Alan Titus (baritone)$, Siegfried Vogel (bass)$; Kölner Rundfunkchor +$, Südfunk-Chor Stuttgart +$, Knabenchor des Collegium Josephinium, Bonn ^, Frauenchor des Bayerischen Rundfunks und des Westdeutschen Rundfunks ^, The Little Singers of Tokyo $, Prager Philharmonischer Chor $; Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester/Gary Bertini rec. 21, 23 November 1991, Suntory Hall Tokyo (Symphony No.1); 29 April - 4 May 1991, Philharmonie, Köln (Symphony No.2); 25-27 March 1985, Studio Stollberger-Strasse, Köln (Symphony No.3); 30 November and 4 December 1987, Philharmonie, Köln (Symphony No.4); 29 January - 3 February 1990, Philharmonie, Köln (Symphony No.5); 21 September 1984, WDR Studios, Köln (Symphony No.6); 9-15 February 1990, Philharmonie, Köln (Symphony No.7); 12-14 November 1991, Suntory Hall Tokyo (Symphony No.8); 20 February 1991, Suntory Hall Tokyo (Symphony No.9); 1-3 July 1991, Philharmonie, Köln (Symphony No.10: Adagio); 16-17 November 1991, Suntory Hall Tokyo (Das Lied von der Erde); Live recordings *. DDD EMI CLASSICS 0946 3 40238 2 5 [11 CDs: 76:07 + 60:57 + 65:22 + 78:47 + 77:32 + 78:48 + 53:53 + 73:34 + 68:32 + 78:50 + 61:55][TP]

This cycle is an essential purchase for all Mahlerians and the best possible set for beginners ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 in C minor Resurrection (1888-94) [82:18] Lisa Milne (soprano) Birgit Remmert (mezzo) The Hungarian Radio Choir Budapest Festival Orchestra/Ivan Fischer rec. Palace of Arts, Budapest, September 2005. DDD CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS SA 23506 [31:50 + 50:28] [MG]

Fischer ponders over the detail, keenly appreciative. Finely crafted and superbly recorded, this yields some wonderful results ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1869-1911) Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor (1901) London Symphony Orchestra/James DePreist rec. Abbey Road Studios, London, 29-30 April 2005. DDD. NAXOS 8.557990 [72:43] [TD]

In a fiercely competitive list, this very ordinary performance is completely ruled out of consideration by a plodding Scherzo that just bores ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 in A minor (1904) [84:11] - Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein Heldenleben (1899) [50:34] London Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra/John Barbirolli rec. Studio No. 1, Abbey Road 1969 (Strauss); Kingsway Hall, London 1967 (Mahler) EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 3652852 [72:04 + 62:49] [TP]

Compulsory for Mahlerians, though they may not love it, and essential for Barbirolli fans, who undoubtedly will. ... see Full Review

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Messa di Gloria (1888) [55:34] Stefano Secco (tenor) Cosimo Diano (baritone) Tölzer Knabenchor St. Petersburg Chamber Choir St. Petersburg "Optina Pustyn" Choir I Solisti Veneti/Claudio Scimone rec. Chiesa di San Francesco, Schio, May 2003 WARNER FONIT 5050467-1202-2-8 [55:34][SV]

I can imagine this being improved upon, but don't hold your breath. Recommended for now, anyway. ... see Full Review

Simon MAYR (1763-1845) L'Armonia - dramatic cantata for soloists, chorus and orchestra (1825) [44:06]; Cantata sopra la morte di Beethoven per soli, coro ed orchestra (Cantata for the Death of Beethoven for soloists, chorus and orchestra) (1827) [15:24] Talia Or (soprano); Altin Piriù (tenor); Nikolay Borchev (bass); Simon Mayr Choir Ingolstadt Georgian Chamber Orchestra/Franz Hauk rec. Asamkirche Maria de Victoria, Ingolstadt, 15-18 September 2005 NAXOS 8.557958 [59:30][GF]

Entertaining and attractive music by a forgotten master, well performed and with three excellent young singers showing their ability ... see Full Review

Eddie MCGUIRE (b. 1948) Music for flute, Guitar and Piano Harbour of Harmonies (2000) [8:08] Fountain of Tears (1992) [6:06] Prelude 13 (1994) [5:21] Dark Cloud (1991) [12:40] Caprice (1999) [2:16] Celtic Knotwork (1990) [4:36] Resistance Movement (2006) [5:30] Amazonia (1987) [10:19] Dancing Memories (2001) [5:30] Twelve White-Note Pieces (1971) [12:54] Nancy Ruffer (flute, piccolo) Abigail James (guitar) Dominic Saunders (piano) rec. 19-20 June 2005, Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh DELPHIAN DCD34029 [73:22] [DC]

This recording should bring Eddie McGuire's work to a wider public - this is surely what it deserves. ... see Full Review

Gian Carlo MENOTTI (b. 1911) Missa - O Pulchritudo for soli, chorus and orchestra (1979) [43:22] Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) Messe Solenelle op. 16 (1899) [29:12] Joan Gibbons (sop); Deborah Fair (mezzo); John Vorrasi (tenor); Thomas Sillitti (bass); William Ferris Chorale; Composer Festival Orchestra/William Ferris (Menotti) Thomas Weisflog (grand organ) Dexter Bailey (choir organ) William Ferris Chorale/William Ferris (Vierne) rec. in concert, 12 December 1982, St James Cathedral, Chicago in composer's presence (Menotti); 20 May 1988, Mount Carmel Church, Chicago (Vierne). ADD/DDD CEDILLE CDR 7001 [72:47][RB]

Two masses - modern, operatic-dramatic but backward looking; the other subdued, fervent but dignified. ... see Full Review

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (1638) [17:53] Interrotte speranze, eterna fede (7th Book of Madrigals) (1619) [2.41] Ecco di dolci raggi il raggi il sol armato (Scherzi Musicali) (1632) [2.15] Si dolce e'l tormento (Quarto scherzo delle ariose vaghezze) (1624) [7.33] Ohime ch'io cado, ohime (Quarto scherzo delle ariose vaghezze) (1624) [4.23] Et e pur dunque vero (Scherzi Musicali) (1632) [6.08] Quel sguardo sdegnosetto (Scherzi Musicali) (1632) [2.44] Maledetto sia l'aspetto (Scherzi Musicali) (1632) [1.21] Piu lieto il guardo (Arie de diversi) (1634) [5.06] Tempro la cetra (7th Book of Madrigals) (1619) [7.21] Tornate, o cari baci (7th Book of Madrigals) (1619) [2.42] Eri gia tutta mia (Scherzi Musicali) (1632) [2.54] Rolando Villazon (tenor) Topi Lehtipuu (tenor) Patrizia Ciofi (soprano) Le Concert d'Astrée/Emanuelle Haim (organ, harpsichord; direction) rec. Paris, Eglise Notre Dame du Liban, 18, 29-23 November 2005; Chapelle Notre Dame de Bon Secours, 19 May 2006 VIRGIN CLASSICS 0946 3 63350 2 5 [67.28][RH]

You get to hear how one of the 21st century's loveliest voices sounds in this music, providing you can get beyond the vexed issue of performance style. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Piano Sonatas Joyce Hatto (piano) rec. Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, 1995 - 2005 CONCERT ARTISTS IPO01052 [re-edited and re-mastered] (5CDs packaged together in slim-line case with a booklet - German booklet available on request. 5 discs for the price of 3) [CH]

A cycle consistently illuminated by an inner spirituality. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Piano Sonatas, Rondo in D K.485 Fantasia in C minor K.475 Lili Kraus (piano) rec. 1967-1968, location not given SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT 82876-88808 LC 06868 [4 CDs] [CH]

An uneven set, magnificent at its best but to be approached with caution. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Le nozze di Figaro, comic opera in four acts K.492 (1786) [165:20] Heinz Blankenburg (baritone) - Figaro; Rita Streich (soprano) - Susanna; Bianca Maria Casoni (mezzo) - Cherubino; Renata Cesari (basso) - Conte; Marcella Pobbe (soprano) - Contessa; Fernanda Cadoni (mezzo) - Marcellina; Vito Susca (basso) - Bartolo; Nicola Monti (tenor) - Don Basilio; Elvina Ramella (soprano) - Barbarina; Amilcare Blaffard (tenor) - Don Curzio; Leonardo Monreale (tenor) - Antonio; Nelly Pucci, Vera Presti - two contadine; Coro del Teatro San Carlo di Napoli Orchestra Alessandro Scarlatti di Napoli della RAI/Peter Maag rec. live, 22 September 1959, Teatrino di Corte del San Carlo di Napoli, Naples, Italy ARTS ARCHIVES 43070-2 [3 CDs: 43:15 + 46:08 + 76:57][CH]

No other recording known to me brings to life the characters and events in the Count's household as this one does. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Masonic Funeral Music (Maurerische Trauermusik) in C minor for orchestra, K. 477 (K. 479a) (1785) [5:26] New Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. 14 November 1964, No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, England. ADD Requiem in D minor for soloists, chorus and orchestra, K. 626 (1791) [54:17] Edith Mathis (soprano); Grace Bumbry (contralto); George Shirley (tenor); Marius Rintzler (bass) New Philharmonia Chorus/Wilhelm Pitz New Philharmonia Orchestra/Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos rec. 3-4 February and 17, 19-20 May 1967, Kingsway Hall, London, England. ADD EMI CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 3759342 [59:48][MC]

These excellent performances are a match for any rivals in the catalogue. One feels swept along on a spiritual journey. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat, K271 ('Jeunehomme') (1777) [33:10]; Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K491 (1786) [30:57] Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie/Mikhail Plentev (piano) No rec. dates given. DDD VIRGIN CLASSICS VIRGO 3654672 [64:19] [CC]

Disappointing on every single level. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Le nozze di Figaro (1786) Tom Krause (baritone) - Count Almaviva; Arlene Saunders (soprano) - The Countess; Heinz Blankenburg (baritone) - Figaro; Edith Mathis (soprano) - Susanna; Elisabeth Steiner (mezzo) - Cherubino; Maria von Ilosvay (mezzo) - Marcellina; Kurt Marschner (tenor) - Basilio; Jürgen Förster (tenor) - Don Curzio; Noël Mangin (bass) - Bartolo; Karl Otto (bass) - Antonio; Natalie Usselmann (soprano) - Barbarina; Members of Hamburg State Opera Ballet Chorus of the Hamburg State Opera Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra/Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt Historical studio production from the Hamburg State Opera, 1967 Choreography: Gustav Blank; Set Design: Ita Maximowna; Production director: Gyula Trebitsch; Directed for TV by Joachim Hess Sound format: Mono; Picture format: 4:3 Colour ARTHAUS 101263 [170:00] [GF]

Technically dated and sung in German, but with a cast that sing and act this eternal master-piece to the manner born. Mozart conducting of the highest order. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Zauberflöte (1791) Hans Sotin (bass) - Sarastro; Nicolai Gedda (tenor) - Tamino; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) - Speaker; Kurt Marschner (tenor) - First Priest; Herbert Flirther (baritone) - Second Priest; Cristina Deutekom (soprano) - Queen of the Night; Edith Mathis (soprano) - Pamina; Leonore Kirschstein (soprano) - First Lady; Paula Page (mezzo) - Sedond Lady; Cvetka Ahlin (contralto) - Third Lady; William Workman (baritone) - Papageno; Carol Malone (soprano) - Papagena; Franz Grundheber (baritone) - Monostatos; Kurt Moll (bass) and Helmut Melchert (tenor) - Two Men in Armour; Chorus of the Hamburg State Opera Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra/Horst Stein; Direction: Peter Ustinov; Directed for TV by Joachim Hess; Produced by Polyphon Film- und Fernsehgesellschaft for NDR, 1971; Sound Format: Mono; Picture Format: 4:3, Colour ARTHAUS 101265 [156:00] [GF]

You may need some indulgence as far as the technical side is concerned but this is made up for by the singing. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Horn Concerto No.1 in D, K. 412 (1791?) [8:53] Horn Concerto No.2 in E-flat, K. 417 (1783) [13:04] Horn Concerto No.3 in E-flat, K. 447 (1784-7) [14:37] Horn Concerto No.4 in E-flat, K. 495 (1786) [15:39] Concert Rondo in E-flat, K. 371 (1781?; completed by Fritz Beyer) [6:07] Xiao-Ming Han (horn) English Chamber Orchestra/Jia Lu rec. Rosslyn Hill Chapel, London, January 1996 RESONANCE CDRSN3071 [58:20] [SV]

For an off-the-rack impulse purchase the newcomer could do worse than this. Veteran collectors interested in Han can decide whether the Fourth Concerto and Rondo make this worth the low price. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 17 in G, K453 (1784) [28:57] Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, K467 (1785) [28:18] Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Maurizio Pollini (piano). rec. live, Grosser Saal, Musikverein, Vienna, May 2005. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 5795 [57:15] [CC]

A wonderful disc in many ways. This is tremendous, life-affirming Mozart playing, marking Pollini's welcome return to this territory. ... see Full Review

Nikolai MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Symphony no. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 23 Revolutionary (1922-1923) [61:38] Symphony no. 10 in F minor, Op. 30 (1927) [16:40] Domestik Choir of Ekaterinburg Ural State Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Liss rec. 25-28 February 2006, Philharmonia Great Hall, Ekaterinburg. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 63431-2 [78:18] [RB]

A gripping and urgent Myaskovsky 6. A reading of elemental spontaneity coupled with the darkly fascinating Tenth ... see Full Review

Arne NORDHEIM (b.1931) Draumkvedet (The Dream Ballad) (1994)  Olav Åsteson - Njål Sparbo, (bass-baritone) Kvinna/Urkvinna - Unni Løvlid, (vocal) St Peter, Priest, St Jakob - Carl Høgset, (counter-tenor) Engel - Rasmus Høgset, (counter-tenor) Guds Heilage Moder Torunn -Ølstrem Ossum, (mezzo) Grutte Grøskjegg, Sante Sølemikkjel Engel - Frank Havrøy, (baritone) Jesus, Lucifer - Sigve Bøe, (tenor) Ein gut - Benjamin Isaksen, (boy soprano) Jesus - Sigmund Sæverud (spoken) Grutte Grøskjegg, Sante Sølemikkjel, Engel - Paul Ottar Haga (spoken) Åshild Breie Nyhus (Hardanger fiddle) Mats Claesson. Electroacoustic material (NoTam) Grex Vocalis Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Ingar Bergby rec. NRK Store Studio, Oslo, 21 February 2002-2 March 2002. DDD SIMAX PSC1169 [40:00 + 41:00] [LK]

Well worth hearing, and has an unusual richness and depth. ... see Full Review

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Romantique Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld) - Overture (1874) [8:47] Concerto militaire - grand concerto for violoncello and orchestra (Allegro maestoso; Andante; Allegretto. cadenza: Jérôme Pernoo) (1847) [43:10] Les Fées du Rhin (The Rhine Nixies) (Overture; Ballet; Grande Valse) (1864) [14:51] Ballet des Flocons de neige (Ballet of the Snowflakes) from Le Voyage dans la Lune (The Voyage to the Moon) (Introduction, Moderato - Vivo; The Blue Swallows, Scherzando; The Snowman, Allegro moderato; Animated Snowflakes, Andante; Polka, Allegro; Mazurka, Allegro non troppo; Variations, Maestoso; Galop final, Allegro vivo) (1875) [11:01] Jérôme Pernoo (cello) Les Musiciens du Louvre, Grenoble/Marc Minkowski rec. La Maison de la Culture, Grenoble, France, January 2006 ARCHIV 00289 477 6403 [78:24][RW]

This delightful collection of Offenbach works is interesting because it includes some lesser-known material ... see Full Review

Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) Chamber Works With Guitar Vol. 1 Trio Concertante in D major for viola, guitar and cello (1833) [24:39] Cantabile for violin and guitar (1822-24) [3:57] Quartet No. 7 in E major for violin, viola, cello and guitar (c.1818-20) [24:55] Siegbert Remberger, guitar Offenburger String Trio: (Frank Schilli, violin; Rolf Schilli, viola; Martin Merker, cello) rec. 1998, Bayerische Musikakademie in Hammelburg, Schweinfurt, Germany. DDD AMBITUS AMB97977 [53:45] [MC]

There are hidden gems to be unearthed in these Paganini chamber scores on Ambitus. This is a recording to cherish. ... see Full Review

Polish Fantasy Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941) Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 17a (1888) [33:34] Fantaise Polonaise, Op. 19b (1893) [22:37] Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933) Partitac (1971) [19:17] Felicja Blumental (abpiano/ charpsichord); aVienna Symphony Orchestra/Helmut Froschauer; bInnsbruck Symphony Orchestra/Robert Wagner; cPolish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Krzysztof Penderecki. rec. cPolish Radio Studio, Katowice, Poland, 1972. ADD BRANA RECORDS BR0028 [75:31] [CC]

An interesting coupling, this. The value of this disc lies primarily in the Penderecki - the work is dedicated to Blumenthal. ... see Full Review

Ferdinando PAER (1771-1839) Sofonisba - dramma serio per musica in two acts (1805) - Highlights Sofonisba, daughter of the Carthaginian general Asdrubale, wife of Siface and formerly betrothed to Massinissa, a bitter enemy of Romani - Jennifer Larmore (mezzo); Siface, Sofonisba's husband - Paul Nillon (ten); Massinissa, Sofonisba's earlier lover - Rebecca Evans (sop); Scipione, the Roman consul in Africa - Mirco Palazzi (bass); Lilio, Scipione's lieutenant - Colin Lee (ten); Osmida, Sofonisba's confidante - Lucy Crowe (sop) Geoffrey Mitchell Choir Philharmonia Orchestra/Marco Guidarini rec. Henry Wood Hall, London. July 2005. DDD OPERA RARA ORR237 [73.10][RJF]

This wholly admirable performance and recording is a very worthwhile addition to the catalogue and enables us to hear the music of a significant opera composer who was active in Europe in the period immediately before Rossini. ... see Full Review

Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736) Stabat Mater (1736) [33.18] Salve Regina in F minor (1736) [13.04] (1) Salve Regina in A minor (1736) [10.22] (2) Dorothea Röschman (soprano) (2) David Daniels (counter-tenor) (1) Europa Galante/Fabio Biondi (violin and direction) rec. 6-9, 11-14 August 2005, Studio Flagey, Brussels VIRGIN CLASSICS 0946 3 63340 2 8 [57.13][RH]

A fine new version, perhaps mainly for David Daniels lovers, but if you don't have a recording then consider this one. ... see Full Review

George PERLE (b. 1915) A Retrospective CD 1 Nine Bagatelles (1999) [7:51]* Horacio Gutiérrez (piano) Three Inventions for Solo Bassoon (1962) [5:14] Steven Dibner (bassoon) Adagietto con affetto from Chansons Cachées (1997) [1:58] Shirley Perle (piano) Two French Christmas Carols (arr. 1958) [4:27] The New York Virtuoso Singers/Harold Rosenbaum Triptych for Solo Violin and Piano (2002) [9:28] Curtis Macomber (violin); Christopher Oldfather (piano) Brief Encounters (String Quartet No. 9) (1998) [27:14] DePaul String Quartet Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra (1992) [19:27] Michael Boriskin (piano) Utah Symphony/Joseph Silverstein CD 2 Serenade No. 3 for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1983) [19:49] Richard Goode (piano) Music Today Ensemble/Gerard Schwarz Solo Partita for Violin and Viola (1965) [12:53] Curtis Macomber (violin and viola) Six Celebratory Inventions (1981-95) [8:40] Molly Morkoski (piano) Bassoonmusic (2004) [5:47] Steven Dibner (bassoon) Quintet for Strings (1957-58) [28:55] Chicago String Quartet; Baird Dodge (viola) rec. 2005, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters; Piano Concerto No. 2: 7 February 1993, Maurice Abravanel Hall, Salt Lake City, Utah; Serenade No. 3, 15 November 1983, Rutgers Church, NYC. USA. DDD BRIDGE 9214A/B [76:58 + 76:45][RB]

Accessible and communicative dissonant music. A generous conspectus of Perle's work ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Peter and the Wolf Op. 67 (1936) Philharmonia Orchestra/Mark Stephenson Suzie Templeton (director) Special features: The Musical Themes; The Story - Picture Gallery; The Making of Peter & The Wolf; A Day on the Film Set; Director's Commentary Language versions: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian (Bonus Material) Subtitle Languages GB for the Bonus Material Sound format: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 Region Code: 2.5 Breakthru Films 2006 ARTHAUS-MUSIK 101 804-GB [movie: 35:00; bonus: 75:00][DC]

A wonderful production, richly deserving of any and all awards which must surely come its way. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Bohème (1896) Rodolfo, Aquiles Machado (ten); Mimi, Inva Mula (sop); Marcello, Fabio Maria Capitanucci (bar); Musetta, Laura Giordano (sop); Schaunard, David Menendez (bar); Colline, Felipe Bou (bass); Alcindoro, Alfredo Mariotti (ten); Benoit, Juan Tomás Martinez (bass); Parpignol, Gonzalo Fernández de Terán Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real, Madrid (Madrid Symphony Orchestra and Chorus)/Jesus Lopez-Cobos rec. live, Teatro Real, Madrid, March 2006 Stage director, Giancarlo del Monaco. Set and Costume Designer, Michael Scott Television Director, Robin Lough Plus bonus of interviews and cast gallery Picture format: 16/9 Anamorphic. Recorded in High Definition Sound formats: LPCM Stereo. DTS 5.1 Sung in Italian with subtitles in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish OPUS ARTE OA0961D [2 DVDs: 149:00] [RJF]

The realistic sets provide an ideal framework for Inva Mula's detailed and poignant portrayal of Mimi's brief life and also for the realisation of the director's cinematographic aspirations for the work. ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) CD1 Symphony No. 1 in D minor op. 13 (1896) [50:01]Caprice Bohémien op. 12 (1894) [18:09]Scherzo in D minor [5:02] CD2 Symphony No. 2 in E minor op. 27 (1907) [64:11]The Rock op. 7 (1893) [14:03] CD3 Symphony No. 3 in A minor op. 44 (1936) [44:17]The Isle of the Dead op. 29 (1907) [22:53] State Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. Grand Radio Hall, Moscow, 2-7 October 1995. DDD Evgeny Svetlanov Official Edition. No. 1 (volumes 8-10) WARNER MUSIC FRANCE 5101 12238-2 [3 CDs: 73:31 + 78:30 + 67:27] [RB]

There's no escaping it; who would want to - Svetlanov is an exciting conductor and you either love his Stokowskian glare and sumptuous textures or you will regard it is as vulgar. I love it! ... see Full Review

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 (1940) [31:59] Suite No. 2, Op. 17 (1900) [22:43] Suite No. 1, Op. 5, Fantaisie-tableaux (1893) [22:58] Peter Donohoe and Martin Roscoe (pianos) rec. Henry Wood Hall, London, 24-25 September 2004; Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 5 April 2002 (Suite No. 1). DDD NAXOS 8.557062 [77:40][TP]

More delicate and finely nuanced readings of these pieces are very hard to find. ... see Full Review

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Keyboard Suites Suite in E minor (Pièces de Clavecin, 1724, rev. 1731) [21:35] Suite in G Minor (Nouvelles suites Pièces de Clavecin c. 1729-30) [28:26] Suite in A minor (Nouvelles suites Pièces de Clavecin, c. 1729-30) [28:17] Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. Das Kulturzentrum Grand Hotel, Dobbacio, Italy, 1-4 June 2006. DDD HYPERION CDA67597 [78:18][PCW]

A qualified welcome - if Rameau on the piano appeals there are no serious reservations ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) The Complete Piano Works Volume 1 Jeux d'eau (1901) [5:46] Sonatine (1905) [11:04] Miroirs (1905) [27:46] Gaspard de la nuit (1908) [22:23] Volume 2 Sérénade grotesque (1893) [3:27] Menuet antique [5:44] Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899) [6:02] Menuet sur le nom de Haydn (1909) [1:42] A la manière de Borodine (1913) [1:31] A la manière de Chabrier (1913) [1:41] Prélude (1913) [1:25] Valses nobles et sentimentales (1911) [14:13] Le Tombeau de Couperin (1917) [35:36] La Valse (1920) [11:30] Joyce Hatto (piano) rec. 17-18 May 2005, Concert Artist Studios CONCERT ARTIST CACD20042 (9138/9139) [67:09 + 71:35] [DC]

With a lifetime of living with these works, Joyce Hatto records them with the advantage of knowing their every wrinkle and secret like few others. ... see Full Review

Max REGER (1873-1916) Variations and Fugue on an Original Theme in F sharp minor, Op. 73 (1903) [43:54]. Willem TANKE (b. 1959) Zwei Wind-Fantasien (2002) [28:21] Willem Tanke (organ) rec. Adema Organ, St Bavo-Kathedrale, Haarlem, 7 June 2003 (Reger), Marcussen Organ, Grote of Sint Laurenskerk, Rotterdam, 21 February 2003 (Tanke). DDD CYBELE RECORDS SACD 060.302 [72:15][CC]

This is a beautifully recorded organ disc; if it is a tester for your hi-fi you are after, look no further. ... see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Complete Songs for Voice and Piano, Vol. 3 Quattro Liriche su parole di poeti armeni P132 (1921) [11:25] a Due Liriche P123 (1919) [6:41] a Cinque Liriche P108 (1917) [18:39] a Quattro Liriche dal Poema Paradisiaco di Gabriele d'Annunzio P125 (1920) [15:46] c La donna del sarcofago P121 (1919) [2:56] c La statua P122 (1919) [3:43] c Quattro arie scozzesi P143 (1924) [13:29] b a Elisabetta Scano (soprano); b Andrea Catzel (soprano); c Leonardo de Lisi (tenor); a-c Reinild Mees (piano) rec. August 2003, Philips Muziekcentrum Eindhoven CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS 14998 [74:48] [GPu]

A rewarding, if not always perfect, programme of interesting songs, which reaches a splendid climax in Respighi's version of four traditional Scottish Airs ... see Full Review

Julius RÖNTGEN (1855-1932) Symphony No. 3 in C minor (1910) [32:46] Suite Aus Jotunheim (1892 orch. 1893) [25:10] Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/David Porcelijn rec. Ludwigshafen, Philharmonie, 6-9 September 2005. DDD CPO 777 119-2 [58:02][RB]

CPO will be recording all the symphonies by Röntgen on ten CDs. This pathfinder does not disappoint; quite the contrary. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Tancredi - opera in two acts (1813) Tancredi, a Knight and son of the deposed king of Syracuse - Daniela Barcellona (mezzo); Argirio, ruler of Syracuse and father of Amenaide - Raul Giménez (ten); Orbazzano, leader of a powerful family faction in Syracuse - Marco Spotti (bass); Amenaide, daughter of Argirio in love with Tancredi - Darina Takova (coloratura soprano); Roggiero, Tancredi's friend - Nicola Marchesini (male falsettist); Isaura - Barbara Di Castri (mezzo) Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Riccardo Frizza rec. live, Teatro Communale, Florence, 21 October 2005 Stage Director and Set and Costume design by Pier Luigi Pizzi Sets and Costumes made by the Rossini Opera festival in Pesaro in collaboration with the Teatro Communale, Florence Sound format, DD 5.1. DTS 5.1. LPCM stereo. Picture format 16:9 anamorphic Introductory essay in English, German and French Subtitles in Italian (original language), English, German, French and Spanish TDK DVWW-OPTANC [155:00] [RJF]

This finely sung, acted and staged performance is a welcome addition to the burgeoning number of quality Rossini opera performances available on DVD. ... see Full Review

Albert ROUSSEL (1868-1937) Symphonies 2-4, Le Festin de L'Araignée, Sinfonietta for string orchestra, Bacchus et Ariane Suites 1 & 2 George Prêtre, Pierre Dervaux, André Cluytens rec. 1963-81 EMI CLASSICS 3 71487 2 [77:07 + 73:49] [JW]

More than a Roussel starter pack. The Cluytens-Prêtre team is formidable and allied to the lesser known but still ardent Dervaux you have as incisive a trio of conductors as you could wish at this price range. ... see Full Review


Detailed listing (last five days)]
[Part 1 New]  
[Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L][Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[Recommended recordings]

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