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Friday April 17th
141 reviews completed so far this month
Brian Couzens, Chandos founder
Died 17 April 2015, aged 82
An Interview With Brian and Ralph Couzens

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Art of Fugue - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2013 HYPERION RECORDS [DC] BWV1080 has been reset – this is now your new default reference (piano).

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Serenades 1 & 2 - Gewandhaus O Leipzig/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2014 DECCA [SB] If you want the serenades in a fine modern recording Chailly’s new version is now the one to go for.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH René de CASTÉRA (1873-1955) Concert, Sicilienne, Piano Trio - Linda Hall (piano), Samuel Magill (cello), Lucian Rinando (flute), Dean LeBlanc (clarinet), Elmira Darvarova (violin) rec. 2011 AZUR CLASSICAL [DJB] Only rarely does one uncover a gem such as that which has been unearthed here.

Francois COUPERIN (1668-1733) Ordres 24-27 - Katherine Roberts Perl (harpsichord) rec. 2013 MUSIC & ARTS [JW] Captures the many moods and textures with stylish but unselfconscious intimacy. A success from beginning to end.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH James MACMILLAN (b. 1959) St Luke Passion - Netherlands Radio Ch & PO/Markus Stenz rec. 2014 CHALLENGE CLASSICS SACD [JQ] A superb first recording of an important, gripping score by James MacMillan: a ‘must’ for all his admirers.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Daphnis et Chloé, Pavane pour une Infante défunte - Netherlands Radio Ch, Rotterdam PO/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2012/14 BIS BIS-1850 SACD [63:27] Doesn’t quite displace Monteux, Munch or Dutoit but it comes closer than any other recording that I know [BW] Everything about this is great except the conducting, which is adequate [BR].

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Danse macabre; Cyprès et Lauriers; Symphony 3 - Vincent Warnier (organ) Orchestre National de Lyon/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2013/2014 NAXOS [LW] Slatkin, the Lyon Orchestra, and organist Warnier excel in Saint-Saëns.

Comédie et Tragédie Vol. 1 Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Le Bourgeois gentilhomme suite Jean-Féry REBEL (1666-1747) Les Elémens Marin MARAIS (1656-1728) Alcyone suite - Tempesta di Mare/Gwyn Roberts, Richard Stone rec. 2014 CHANDOS [JV] Rather tame and bland, and not very theatrical.

I Musicisti dell' imperatore Works by Caldara, Piania, A Scarlatti & Vivaldi - Raffaella Milanesi (soprano) G.A.P. Ensemble rec. 2014 PAN CLASSICS [JV] In Milanesi's performances the dramatic and expressive qualities of these cantatas is perfectly conveyed.

Henryk Szeryng (violin) Concertos by Nardini, Schumann & Vieuxtemps - SWR SO Baden-Baden und Freiburg/Hans Rosbaud rec. 1955/57 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC [SG] This outstanding release should keep the memory of this great violinist before the listening public.


[New] Download News 2015/4 by Brian Wilson & David Barker

National Discographies: Central European & Balkan Concertos S-Z by Mike Herman

A to Z of the Piano Trio Repertoire by David Barker: "B" Composers Part 2

Pianist Martin Jones in Conversation with Robert Beattie

MWI Recommends - Mozart piano concerto 23 & Johann Strauss II waltzes etc.


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