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FRANZ SCHREKER (1878-1934) Der Ferne Klang (1909) opera in 3 acts Hagen PO/Michael Halasz rec 2-7 Jan 1989 NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660074-75 CD1 63.48 + CD2 68.46 [132.28] [RB]

An inexpensive way of getting to know a lost grand opera of late romantic stamp and to wonder yet again at the fickleness and lack of enterpise shown by 'the great' opera houses. Grigorescu and Harper in superb voice. Listen and dream.

SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Works for Violin and Piano. Sonata in A, D574. Rondo brillant in B minor, D895. Fantasie in C. D934. Pamela Frank (violin); Claude Frank (piano). Arte Nova 74321 72128-2 [DDD] [63'33] [CC]

Pamela Frank confirms her high standing amongst today's violin soloists with this stylish and considered disc, in which she is more than ably accompanied by her father, Claude Frank. Both are ardent advocates of this repertoire: Arte Nova's disc is eminently recommendable for their clear rapport.

CLARA SCHUMANN (1819-1896) Scherzo op. 14 Romanze op. 21 Toccatina op. 6 Two Romances op. 11 Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann op. 20 Three Romances for violin and piano Trio for violin, cello and piano op17 Micaela Gelius (piano) Sreten Krstiº (violin) Stephan Haack (cello) rec Sept 1999, Munich ARTE NOVA 74321 72106 2 [70.57] [RB]

An attractive collection of chamber music by Clara Schumann made even more so by budget price.

Thorkell SIGURBJORNSSON Te Deum. Sancta Maria. Koma. To Thee, Lord of Heaven and Earth. Benedicte. Verses to the Blessed Virgin. Psalm 121. Thou, God, all-knowing art , and kind. Hear, Heaven's Maker. Hijomeyki vocal ensemble. AC Classics SMK1 [DW]

This disc has it moments.. and very beautiful ones, too.

SJOGREN, Emil. Violin Sonata no. 2 in E minor Op.24 ; Two Lyric Pieces; Poeme for violin and piano, Op 40 ; Violin Sonata no. 1 Op 19. Per Enokson (violin) and Kathryn Stott (piano) BIS CD 995 (DDD) (67' 28) [DW]

What a find! This is a disc of charming violin music beautifully played and performed and a very pleasant surprise.

STANFORD Suite Op.32, Violin Concerto Op.74   Anthony Marwood (violin)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchesta/Martyn Brabbins Recorded 2000 HYPERION CDA 6720 8 [66.40]
The Romantic Violin Concerto - 2 [CF]

The works are right up Hyperion's street, and as a result of this fine disc the concerto at least should hopefully find its way back into the concert hall from which it had disappeared as long ago as 1918.

Richard Stoker
Complete Guitar Music Martin Vishnick
- guitar London Guitar Duo ASC CD15
Vocal Music & Piano Duos Jacqueline Fox -mezzo soprano Margaret Feaviour - soprano Richard Stoker - piano The Davies Piano Duo ASC CS CD10
Vocal Music, Duos, Folk Song arrangements, Realisations Jacqueline Fox Margaret Feaviour Richard Stoker ASC CS CD17 (2CD)

The main impression one gets from these discs is a personality of enormous energy - not unexpected in one who studied also with Harold Truscott.

Bernardo STORACE Selva di varie per cimbalo et organo   Francesco Cera (harpsichord & spinet) Tactus TC 60901 [69.30]

I found this an absorbing and inspiring CD. ....I played it straight through - which is unusual for me with collections of shorter pieces.

STRAUSS Der Rosenkavalier Sena Jurinac (Octavian), Hilde Gueden (Sophie), Maria Reining (Marschallin), Ludwig Weber (Baron Ochs), Alfred Poell (Faninal), Judith Hellweg (Marianne), Hilde Rössl-Majdan (Annina), Anton Dermota (Singer), Walter Berry (Police Commissioner), Peter Klein (Valzacchi), Vienna State Opera Chorus, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Erich Kleiber. Decca 467 111-2 [3 CDs, 197' 06"] [CH]

This was the first absolutely complete Rosenkavalier, made in 1954.....the legendary status of the performance itself has never been questioned.....this is due to Erich Kleiber's quite astonishing ear and mastery of the orchestra.

SULLIVAN (1842-1900) Symphony in E major "Irish", Suite from The Tempest, Overture: In Memoriam Richard Hickox conducting the BBC Philharmonic CHANDOS CHAN 9859 [75:11] [IL]

Sullivan's "Irish" Symphony brims with good tunes....It is interesting to note that when this work was composed, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Dvorák were all at the beginning of their symphonic careers.

Sir John TAVENER Selected choral works God is with us-Christmas Proclamation, Song for Athene, The Lamb, The Tiger, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, Funeral Ikos, Two Hymns to the Mother of God, Love bade me welcome, As One who has slept, The Lord's Prayer, Svyati-"O Holy One". Choir of St John's College, Cambridge-Christopher Robinson Naxos 8.555256 [69:58] [CT]

The hypnotic intensity reaches an impassioned climax before subsiding to a breathtakingly hushed conclusion. For me this work  [Svyati " O Holy One "] alone is worthy of the Naxos budget price tag.

TERZIAN Violin Concerto & Contrasting Movements.   Zurich Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Schweizer with Rafael Gintoli (violin) Disques DOM 1442 [49 mins] [PW]

Here is a violin concerto to give a great deal of pleasure to collectors who enjoy those of, say, Bartok, Berg and Prokofiev No.1.

SERGEI VASSILENKO (1872-1956) Chinese Suite No. 1 (1928) Indian Suite (1927)
Moscow SO/Henry Shek rec Moscow Nov 1994 MARCO POLO 8.223783 [69.42] [RB]

Not a major discovery but easily worth your time if you like Kalinnikov with a splash more objectively Oriental colour than normally offered by the Russians.

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Symphony No 4 in F minor BUTTERWORTH A Shropshire Lad
Symphony No 4
NBC Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski Cala CACD 0528 74:37 [LF]

A glorious survival....the thrust of the argument, the immediacy and the rhythmic bite, make this a valuable addition to the available discography not only of Stokowski but also of Vaughan Williams.

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS  Hickox conducts Vaughan Williams   Richard Hickox * Northern Sinfonia of England * Sinfonia Chorus * Bradley Creswick, violin * Stephen  Roberts, baritone * Roger Winfield, oboe EMI British Composers series EMI CZS5739862 [Total Time: 156: 51 * Disc One: 77:53 - Disc Two 78:58] [GD]

This is an exceptional anthology in every way, and the best new reissue collection I have heard this year.

VILLA-LOBOS COMPLETE MUSIC FOR SOLO GUITAR  Chôros No.1, Suite Populaire Brésilienne, Twelve Études, Five Préludes Norbert Kraft -Guitar Naxos 8.553987 [AD]

It is probably true that any disc of such well known works is open to hypercriticalness, but on the whole this recording ranks as one of the best available interpretations of this music. I can recommend it to anyone wanting the complete solo guitar works of Villa-Lobos on one disc.

Siegfried WAGNER (1869-1930) Scenes and Arias. Iris Vermillion (mezzo); Cologne West German Symphony Chorus and Orchestra/Werner Andreas Albert. CPO CPO999 651-2 (full price, 1 hour 7 minutes). [DDD] [66'53] [CC]

An unusual and fascinating insight into the world of one of Richard Wagner's sons, this disc acts as a fascinating taster of an obviously highly talented composer who, like his father, had a penchant for acting as his own librettist. Full marks all round, then: to CPO for their imaginative programming, and to the musicians for their obvious belief in this music.

WAXMAN (1906-67) Goyana - four sketches for piano, percussion and strings (1960) 12.33 Charm Bracelet (1949/90) 7.08 Sinfonietta for strings and timpani (1955) 22.13 Tristan and Isolde - Love Music for violin and piano (1947) 6.16 Introduction and Scherzo for cello and orchestra (1954) 4.00 Auld Lang Syne Variations for strings, violin and piano (1947) 13.51 Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1 for violin and orchestra (1947) 2.31 Carmen Fantasie for trumpet and orchestra (1947/90) 11.30. Cristina Ortiz (piano) Roxan Jurkevich (timpani) Mark Kaplan (violin) Vincent Ellegiers (cello) Rodney Mack (trumpet)  Orquesta Simfònica de Barcelona í Nacional de Catalunya/Lawrence Foster KOCH INTERNATIONAL CLASSICS 3-7444-2H1 [71:32] [RB]

Generous, warmly recorded collection sampling the concert work of a composer better known in the film world: a collation of sentiment, display and tougher modernity.

WENGLER  Batuque; Oboe Concerto; Symphony No.2 Luxembourg Percussion/Fabrice Mélinon (oboe)/Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra/ Radio-Tele-Luxembourg Symphony Orchestra, all directed by Marcel Wengler Editions LGNM 541 (Portrait Marcel Wengler)  [PW]

It  [2nd symphony] is a major statement, dark, rather expressionistic in manner, orchestrated with consummate skill and he fills the canvas with generous ideas.

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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett,  Reviewers: Rob Barnett, Ian Lace, Len Mullenger, and:  Richard Adams, Colin Anderson, Arthur Baker, Terry Barfoot,  Marc Bridle, Arthur Butterworth, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, Gary Dalkin, Andy Daly, Tony Duggan, Harry Downey,  Gerald Fenech,  Christopher Fifield, Lewis Foreman, Simon Foster, Christopher Howell, 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


Any opinions expressed in reviews or articles on this site are those of the author and  do not necessarily represent the views of the site owner, Len Mullenger or the Editors.  Reviewers and authors retain copyright in their work unless it has been paid for or commissioned by the site owner.

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