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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


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  Reviews for October


DAILY CD REVIEWS - No other web-site offers as many new reviews as MusicWeb

HAROLD MOORES SEPTEMBER SALE Sept 20th

Hoffnung Music Festivals 1956,58,61
$31 £19 World $33 £21 post free
This is a must for all Hoffnung enthusiasts.
Purchase here    see review

Hoffnung - A Last Encore
On 2 CDs lasting 1 hour 45min, this contains all the recordings of Hoffnung preserved in the BBC archives. They include the famous and hilariously funny Bricklayer story. $22 £14 post free world-wide Purchase

Music Books for sale Elgar's Oratorios, Michael Tippet, Malcolm Arnold,etc.

MusicWeb SPECIAL OFFER From Stock: ERIK CHISHOLM Piano Music Murray McLachlan Piano. Olympia OCD 639 £10 P&P free Worldwide. See review for how to purchase.

 

251 Reviews completed for October
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NEW and RECENT ARTICLES

Cecil Armstrong Gibbs A Brief Discography John France

ARNOLD BAX By Greg Barns

BORIS BLACHER A Centenary Sketch by Dr David C F Wright

Morag Chisholm on the first UK performance of The Trojans by Berlioz (scroll to footnote on review)

JOHN RUSSELL F.R.C.M. (1916-1990) A personal memoir of a friend and teacher, with reference to his friendship with Gerald Finzi by ADRIAN WILLIAMS

An Age of Anxiety by Arthur Butterworth

Bernard Herrmann - Anglophile - Editings by Ian Lace from Steven C. Smith's biography A Heart At Fire's Center - The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann

MUSIC INSPIRED BY SHERLOCK HOLMES by PHILIP L. SCOWCROFT

STANFORD, EDMOND HOLMES AND "THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE"

STANFORD AND MUSICAL QUOTATION

STANFORD'S COUPLES

MALCOLM WILLIAMSON: 1931-2003 by Antony Gray

Celebratory concerts for Arnold Bax and Arthur Butterworth Marking the 50th Anniversary ofthe death of Arnold Bax and Arthur's 80th Birthday

British Music Society CDs can now be bought on-line from MusicWeb. You do not need to be a member of the BMS

The Brook Street Band perform at the Wigmore Hall on Saturday 27th September 2003.

If you wish to flip between this page and the latest reviews use the button marked "Return to previous page" to get back to here


 

BOOK REVIEWS

BRITISH SOLO SONG: a guide for for singers, teachers, librarians and the music trade of songs currently available. By Michael Pilkington Thames/Elkin Publications, 2003: xii, 308pp, inc. three indices. ISBN 0 905210 78 6 £19.99 paperback

Previous editions of this valuable book are now completely superseded. This is an indispensable purchase for lovers of the British solo art song....see Full Review

BRITTEN, Voice and Piano: Lectures on the Vocal Music of Benjamin Britten By Graham Johnson (Guildhall Research Studies 2) Ashgate/Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 2003: x, 270pp, plus two CDs. ISBN 0-7546-3872-3 £29.95 paperback

Much additional and unique interest pertains to the volume in the extent of Johnson's personal contribution to his text.... see Full Review

HENRY FOTHERGILL CHORLEY (1808-72) Victorian Journalist By Robert Bledsoe pp384 hardback 2 illustrations Ashgate, October 1998 ISBN 1-84014-257 [RW]

The book is a very interesting one to dip into to widen one's knowledge of the Victorian theatre scene. … see Full Revie

Elgar’s Oratorios: the creation of an epic narrative By Charles Edward McGuire Ashgate 2002 339pp £45.00 ISBN 0754602710 [JW]

We have cause to admire the resolute, sometimes dogged, work McGuire has carried out. Succeeds best in analysis of compositional directions, balancing of text and source material … see Full Review

LETTERS AND DIARIES OF KATHLEEN FERRIER Edited by Christopher Fifield The Boydell Press, 2003:xii, 333pp, inc. Bibliography, Personalia, three indices. 16 Plates. ISBN 1-84383-012-4 £25 hardback

Anyone interested in Kathleen Ferrier's life and art and the milieu of the Second World War years and their aftermath by which they were embraced, will find this welcome book required reading. It is above all, and despite the final descent, a celebration of living...see Full Review

PARROTTICISMS: The Autobiography of Ian Parrott British Music Society – Monograph No.5 ISBN 1 870534 24 X [HC]

This is a fine tribute to a very distinguished composer whose music is all too rarely heard and that definitely deserves to be better known....see Full Review

Charles Villiers Stanford: Man and Musician by Jeremy Dibble (Oxford 2002, 535 pp) £65
Charles Villiers Stanford by Paul Rodmell (Ashgate 2002, 495 pp) £57.50 [CH]

ERRORS AND DISCREPANCIES IN TWO RECENT BOOKS ON STANFORD

Vaughan Williams and the Symphony by Lionel Pike Toccata Press 352pp including indices (1. works; 2. technical; 3. general) Symphonic Studies No. 2 ISBN 0907689 54 X (case bound) ISBN 0907689 55 8 (paper)

An extremely well presented, intricately analytical dissection and commentary on the Vaughan Williams' nine ... see Full Review


RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Piano Quartet (1915) [15:38] Sonata for Viola and Piano (1933) [24:25] Oboe Quintet (1927) [22:03] Maggini Quartet: Lawrence Jackson and David Angel, violin; Martin Outram, viola; Michael Kaznowski, cello. Peter Donohoe, piano. (Quartet) Julian Rolton, piano. (Sonata) Nicholas Daniel, oboe. Recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 18-20 December 2001 DDD NAXOS 8.555931 [62:07] [KS]

Bliss is a composer who strikes the perfect balance between sheer aural pleasure and intellectual challenge … see Full Review

Hanns EISLER (1898-1962) String Quartet (1937) Anton WEBERN (1883-1945) Five Pieces for String Quartet Op.5 (1909) Alexander von ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) String Quartet No.2 Op.15 (1915) Quatuor Johannes: Frederic Angleraux (violin); Jerome Meunier (violin); Nicholas Mouret (viola); Jean-Sebastien Barbet (cello) - No recording information provided in English. DDD MECENAT MUSICAL 222472 [65:30] [MC]

The Webern and Zemlinsky scores are indispensable in any chamber music collection and these performances are out of the top-drawer. … see Full Review

Francisco GUERRERO (1951 – 1997) Complete Orchestral Works Coma Berenices (1996) Ariadna (1984) Sáhara (1991) Oleada (1993) Antar Atman (1980) Orquesta Sínfonica de Galicia/José Ramón Encinar Recorded: Auditorio, Teatro Rosalia de Castro, La Coruña, April and September 1999 and March 2000 COL LEGNO WWE 1CD20044 [54:53] [HC]

Complex, demanding, often gripping, powerfully expressive and ultimately rewarding … see Full Review

Matthew LOCKE (c.1622-1677) Complete Keyboard Works William GREGORY (1651-1687) Almain, Corant and Saraband from Suite in D minor (Melothesia 1673). Terence Charlston (harpsichord, virginals and organ) Recorded at St.Martin’s Church, East Woodhay, September 2001 and Trinity Collage Chapel, Cambridge, December 2001. DDD DEUX-ELLES DXL 1047 [MC]

Performances could hardly be bettered; this release is one to be treasured. … see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) La Boutique Fantasque (ballet to music of Rossini) P120 (1919) - La pentola magica P129 (1920) - Prelude and Fugue in D major, P158 (1901) BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda - Rec. Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 2nd, 5th and 6th October 2002 DDD CHANDOS CHAN-10081 [79’35"] [JP]

I can thoroughly recommend this superb example of technical and musical skill and wonderful performances by the BBC Phil and their new chief conductor. More please!!! … see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 6 (1923) [27.01] Symphony No. 7 (1924) [21.19] Tapiola (1926) [15.42] City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sakari Oramo rec. Birmingham Symphony Hall, 6-8 Jan 2003 WARNER ERATO 0927 49144 2 [64.22] [RB]

If you like your Sibelius served ablaze rather than cool then Oramo is certainly the man for you. I loved this. I think you will too. Magnificent ... see Full Review

Prague String Quartets Luboš FIŠER (1935-1999) String Quartet (1986) Sylvie BODOROVÁ (b 1954) Shofarot-String Quartet No 4 (2000) Otmar MÁCHA (b 1922) String Quartet No 2 (1987) Zdeněk LUKÁŠ (b 1928) String Quartet No 4 Op 213 (1987) - Jupiter Quartet Recorded Domovina Studios, Prague, June and July 2001 ARCO DIVA UP 0044-2 131 [63.40] [JW]


A very strong recommendation. Likeable, winning and effective works receiving committed advocacy … see Full Review

 


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1917-1990) On the Waterfront – Symphonic Suite from the Film,Chichester Psalms, On the Town – Three Dance Episodes Thomas Kelly, treble Elizabeth Franklin-Kitchen, soprano Victoria Nayler, alto Jeremy Budd, tenor, Paul Charrier, bass Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Marin Alsop Recorded at Lighthouse, Poole Centre for the Arts, UK on April 14th-15th 2003 NAXOS 8.559177 [48:36] [GPJ]

Naxos have produced another winner here; wonderful playing and singing, and a recording which is crystal clear and atmospheric … see Full Review

Mikhail GLINKA (1804-1857) Ruslan and Lyudmila: Overture and Chernamor’s March (1842)* Overture: A Life for the Tsar (1836) Waltz-Fantasia (1856) Spanish Overtures Nos. 1 and 2 (1845) Incidental Music: Prince Kholmsky (1841) Polka in B flat major (1840) (orchestrated Balakirev) USSR Symphony Orchestra/Yevgeni Svetlanov *Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra/Yevgeni Svetlanov Rec 1963 (Ruslan and Lyudmila), 1967 (Waltz, Overtures), 1977 (A Life for the Tsar), 1984 (Prince Kholmsky, Polka) REGIS RRC 1142 [75.55] [TB]

Colourful musicmaking … all Svetlanov’s performances have an authentic feel … see Full Review

George Frederick MCKAY (1899-1970) Caricature Dance Suite (1924) * From My Tahoe Window - Summer Moods and Patterns (1965) * Americanistic Etude, Op. 27 (1924)* An April Suite, Op. 3 (1924) * Dance Suite No. 2 (1938) * Dancing in a Dream (1945) * ² Excerpts from Five Songs for Soprano (1964) * ¹ Every Flower That Ever Grew (1969) * ¹ Suite for Viola and Piano (1948) ³ º William Bolcom, piano * Joan Morris, mezzo-soprano ¹ Logan Skelton, piano ² Sanford Margolis, piano ³ Mahoko Eguchi, viola º Recorded at The Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan, July 1999-February 2001. NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559143 [64.00] [NH]

Another Naxos American Classics gem - understated but beautiful folk-and jazz-inflected 20th century music … see Full Review

 

Hallé: English Rhapsody George BUTTERWORTH* (1885-1916) A Shropshire Lad: Rhapsody for Orchestra (1911) - Two English Idylls (1910-1911) - The Banks of Green Willow (1914) - Frederick DELIUS * (1862-1934) Irmelin: Prelude (1931) - The Walk to the Paradise Garden (1907) - Brigg Fair: An English Rhapsody (1907) Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961) Brigg Fair (1906) - Trad. Brigg Fair (1908) James Gilchrist, tenor, Joseph Taylor, singer Hallé Choir - Hallé Orchestra/Mark Elder - Recorded 11-12th October 2002, BBC Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, UK (*), 17th October 2002, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (†) PASSIONATE HALLE CD HLL 7503 [62:47] [GPJ]

A thoughtfully compiled programme, finely recorded, and containing really impressive

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Cello Concerto No.1 (1985-86) - ‘Sounding Letters’ for solo cello (1988) - Four Hymns for cello and instrumental ensemble (1974-77) Torlief Thedéen (cello) - Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Leif Segerstam - Recorded at the Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2-3 Nov. 1989 - (concerto) and Danderyd Grammar School, Sweden, 15-16 Sept, 1990 (rest) BIS CD 300507 [70’35] [TH]

This is another clear recommendation for this repertoire and anyone fancying any of the music need not hesitate. … see Full Review


MusicWeb is planning its first recording of previously unrecorded orchestral pieces by Arthur Butterworth. If you would wish to part-sponsor that recording please contact len@musicweb-international.com

Did you know you could help sponsor a new recording for as little as £10 - a symphony for £25? such as this one  now reviewed here: GRAHAM WHETTAM  Sinfonia Intrepida   BBCSO/Sir Charles Mackerras.   Redcliffe Recordings RR016 (44' 11'') [PC] Read on

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MusicWeb is now part of the ClassicAll network. Our partner site within the ClassicAll network is www.ludwigvanWeb.com You will now be able to hear extract from reviews of any of our partner labels which you can identify from the special samplebutton.

Whilst MusicWeb and much of LudwigvanWeb will remain free, the ClassicAll network will also offer you a great-value subscription service. You will be offered a package of a dozen CDs a year plus downloading facilities at a special rate for MusicWeb visitors. The offer will become available through the portal site and combines the best features of a high quality classical music magazine and all the convenience of your local record shop with the many real advantages of the Internet.

Through this service MusicWeb will no longer have to bombard you with advertisements as we did all last year but it does depend upon our subscription package being attractive enough that visitors will actually desire to take out a subscription. Once the details of the package become available please e-mail any comments and I will pass them on to those at ClassicAll.

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MusicWeb - The International Web Site Founder: Len Mullenger [UK], Classical Editor: Rob Barnett [UK],  Regular Reviewers:   Steve Arloff [UK], Guy Aron [Australia], Tony Augarde [UK], Terry Barfoot [UK], Melinda Bargreen [USA], David J. Barker [Australia], Rob Barnett [UK], Nick Barnard [UK], Robert Beattie [UK], Dave Billinge [UK], Peter Bright [UK], Byzantion [UK], Colin Clarke [UK], Dominy Clements [Netherlands], Michael Cookson [UK], Hubert Culot [Belgium], Evan Dickerson [UK], Gavin Dixon [UK], Robert J. Farr [UK], Christopher Fifield [UK], Göran Forsling [Sweden], John France [UK], Patrick Gary [USA], Pierre Giroux [CAN], Paul C. Godfrey [UK], Michael Greenhalgh [UK], William Hedley [France], Gary Higginson [UK], Neil Horner [UK], Robert Hugill UK], David Jennings [UK], Bill Kenny [UK], William S Kreindler [USA], Ian Lace [UK], Em Marshall-Luck [UK], Oleg Ledeniov [USA]Rob Maynard [UK], David A McConnell [USA], Kirk McElhearn [France], Robert McKechnie [UK], Ralph Moore [RMo] [UK], Dan Morgan [UK], Margarida Mota-Bull [UK], Glyn Pursglove [UK], John Quinn [UK], Carla Rees [UK], Brian Reinhart [USA], Donald Satz [USA], Mark Sealey [USA], John Sheppard [UK], George Stacy, Kevin Sutton [USA], Bert Thompson [USA], Simon Thompson [UK], Zane Turner [Australia], Steve Vasta [UK], Johan van Veen [Netherlands], Raymond Walker [UK], Derek Warby [UK], Brian Wilson [UK], Jonathan Woolf [UK] Leslie Wright [USA]. A complete list of contributors can be seen here




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