Classical Editor: Rob Barnett             Music Webmaster Len Mullenger:


[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc] 

see below

allow time to load


Editor Rob Barnett  

Search Previous Reviews


Editor Ian Lace

your CDs on-line and benefit this site


a CD
 New each month!

Win a subscription to International Record Review

Current Reviews New entries are indicated by a rotating symbol.
Full list of reviewers and contributors here




see compilation of ATHENE reviews here


[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc] 


The Beecham Collection (Somm) Smetana  The Bartered Bride - Overture, Polka & Dance of the Comedians Verdi  Macbeth *- Act IV La luce langue; Act IV Gran scena del Sonnambulismo Reznicek  Donna Diana - Overture Puccini  Manon Lescaut - Act II: Intermezzo Mozart  La Clemenza di Tito K621 -  Overture Tchaikovsky  Eugene Onegin Act II: Waltz; Act III: Polonaise Wagner  Tannhäuser - Act III: Introduction Das Rheingold †- Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla * Margherita Grandi (soprano), Vera Terry (mezzo-soprano); Ernest Frank (bass) † Edith Furmedge, Margaret Field-Hyde (sopranos); Gwladys Garside (mezzo-soprano), Nancy Evans (contralto); Parry Jones, George Chitty (tenors); Paul Schöffler (baritone)
Various Orchestras conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham SOMM-BEECHAM 9 Mono/ADD [73:45] [IL]

Thanks to Somm, this is an enterprising programme that has to be good news for Beecham enthusiasts.

The Celibidache Edition Dvorak: Cello Concerto, Franck: Symphony in D minor, Hindemith: Mathis der Maler Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 5, Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel, Don Juan Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Jacqueline du Pré Recorded 1965-1971 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 469 069-2 4 CDs [257' 14"] [CF]

Celibidache had an amazing capacity to make the listener come fresh to a work, however familiar it may appear to be, but in this instance we have the glorious playing of Du Pré as well.

FAIREST ISLE -English Song Barbara Bonney (soprano)  with Jacob Heringman (lute) Phantasm (viol quartet) & AAM Christopher Hogwood Decca 466 132-2 [62 mins] [PW]

A delightful sequence of English song from Byrd & Dowland to Purcell, finding Barbara Bonney in fine voice. A sure winner which should be a contender in the record of the year stakes.

Renée FLEMING Operatic Arias London Voices (chorus Master - Terry Edwards), London Philharmonic Orchestra - Sir Charles Mackerras recorded in The Colosseum, Watford, 3-9 July, 1999.
Decca 467 049-2 [64.53] DDD [JP]

This disc is a real gem. The performances, even the most hackneyed, are presented here with a clarity and warmth which may even bring tears to some of your eyes.

STARS OF ENGLISH ORATORIO Various artists Recorded 1928-1949 (Vol.1), 1926-1949 (Vol.2) DUTTON CDLX 7025 (Vol.1) [77' 05"] CDLX 7029 (Vol.2) [76' 07"] [CF]

Dutton Laboratories are performing a fine service in remastering 78rpm discs to a consistently high standard . Quality is superb, a minimum of (if any) hiss in this post-acoustic recording era, the standard of singing revelatory and a reminder of what and how it was done and what is often sadly lacking today. Diction is of the highest order, authenticity virtually non-existent.

CROSSING PATHS (Kreuzende Wege) WETTSTEIN Ritornello  KELLER Pentalog  BARTSCHI Feathertop  GASSER Pastaccio  SIGRIST Incrociando   Sinfonietta Wetzikon/Howard Griffiths Grammont Portrait CTS-M 54 [77.43] [PGW]

Five colleagues of the Zurich Composers' Group felt a need 'to expand their verbal dialogue into a musical one, by interaction on a compositional level'. The resulting project was a serious and demanding musical game. The outcome makes for a heady brew, and could be a basis here for an entertaining and educative contribution to a contemporary music festival such as Huddersfield's. You will never encounter a more unusual experiment, nor one completed with such remarkable success

du PRE :Johannes BRAHMS, Frédéric CHOPIN, César FRANCK Cello Sonatas Jaccqueline du Pré ('cello) Daniel Barenboim (piano) EMI double fforte CZS 5 74203 2 (2CDs) [111.39] [SF]

Collectors, du Pré fans and cello-fanciers who do not have these famous recordings in their collections should not hesitate to acquire this low-priced 2 CD set without delay.

FRENCH WIND BAND CLASSICS Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Dionysiaques, Op. 62. Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Orient et Occident, Op. 25. Eugene BOZZA (1905-1991) Children's Overture. Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Suite française, Op. 248. Hector BERLIOZ (1803-69) Grande Symphonie funèbre et triomphale, Op. 15. Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra/Timothy Reynish. Chandos CHAN9897 [DDD] [72'13] [CC]

Excellent, well-recorded disc - well worth investigating.

Piano Concertos (volume 1)
Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor (LPO, conducted by Landon Ronald)
Piano Concerto no 2 in F minor (an orchestra conducted by John Barbirolli)
NAXOS Historical Recordings 8.110612 [70:58]
Piano Concertos (volume 2)
Cesar Franck
Symphonic Variations (LPO, conducted by Landon Ronald)
Piano Concerto no 4 in C (an orchestra conducted by Charles Munch)
Piano Concerto for the Left Hand (Paris Conservatoire Orchestra conducted by Charles Munch)
NAXOS Historical Recordings 8.110613 [59:38]

These discs (dating from the 1930s) certainly capture the essence of his pianism - limpid phrasing, generally sure grasp of form and wonderfully articulated passage-work. All the more surprising to learn, therefore, that he was not greatly concerned about his liberal supply of wrong notes (especially in the left hand) in tutti passages....Overall, one strictly for the archives.

GUITAR RECITAL Federico Moreno Torroba Sonatina, Agustín Barrios Mangoré   La catedral, Manuel Ponce Sonatina meridional, Antonio José Sonata, Antonio Ruiz-Pipó 3 Estancias, Manuel de Falla Homenaje, pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy, Carlos Rafael Rivera Whirler of the dance, Denis Azabagic - Guitar   Naxos 8.554555 [AD]

Bosnian born Denis Azabagic, is the winner of numerous competitions including the much coveted Guitar Foundation of America Competition in 1998. Everything about this disc has a high entertainment factor; anyone buying it should not be disappointed.

Nikita Magaloff  Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-47) Piano Sonata in B flat, Op. 106. Luigi DALLAPICCOLA (1904-75) Sonata canonica sopra Capricci di Nicolò Paganini. Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57, 'Appassionata' Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Gaspard de la nuit. Nikita Magaloff (piano). Orfeo C531001B [mono] [ADD] [66'55] [CC]

This live recital from the Salzburg Festival (given in the Mozarteum on August 7th, 1969) presents a marvellously varied programme and an opportunity to revel in some truly magnificent pianism.

MAGIC Byrd, Sweelinck, des Prés, Bennet etc Flanders Recorder Quartet & Friends   Opus 111 OPS 30-272 [65'31] [PW]

- - as good as any recorder consort I have heard since the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet raised our standards and expectations - - predominantly 16 C. pieces, with a judicious cross-over input with percussion and improvisation different lutes including ud and p'i-p'a - - a pleasing programme, its compilation evidently a labour of love.

MINSTRELSY! Songs and Dances of the Renaissance & Baroque Minstrelsy - Nancy Froseth, David Hays, Carole Hofstad-Lee, David Livingston, Phillip Rukavina Lyrichord LEMS 8018 [48.59] [SF]

Here's a very entertaining collection of instrumental and vocal music, largely from the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, but also including a couple of excursions into eighteenth century baroque.

Music for Flute and Harp William ALWYN "Naiades". Henk BADINGS "Ballade" Benjamin BRITTEN "Suite for Harp", Op.83 Atli Heimir SVEINSSON Intermezzo from "Dimmalimm" Franz SCHUBERT Sonata in A minor, "Arpeggione"   Elisabet Waage, Harp. Peter Verduyn Lunel, Flute. AC Classics AC94001 [DDD 66:28] [CT]

An attractive disc which is most valuable for the inclusion of the two fine works by Alwyn and Badings.

PIANO MUSIC OF THE DARMSTADT SCHOOL Volume 1 Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-92) Cantéyodjaya. Karlheinz STOCKHAUSEN (born 1928) Klavierstücke Nos. I-V. Franco EVANGELISTI (1926-80)proiezioni sonore. Aldo CLEMENTI (born 1925) Composizione No. 1. Pierre BOULEZ (born 1925) Piano Sonata No. 3. Steffen Schleiermacher (piano). Dabringhaus und Grimm MDG613 1004-2 [DDD] [64'19] [CC]

Fascinating, gripping and indispensable. Schleiermacher has a belief in and a comprehension of this music that makes for riveting listening.

SYMPHONIC ORGAN MUSIC - Volume 1 Jean SIBELIUS Intrada, op.111a; Surusoitto, op.111b; Masonic Ritual Music, op.113: 1. Avvaushymni, 10. Surumarssi Antonin DVORAK Preludes in D, G, a, B flat; Fughetta in D; Fugues in D, g, D Alexander GLAZUNOV Prelude and Fugue in D, op.93; Prelude and Fugue in d, op.98; Fantasy, op.110 Hans-Ola Ericsson (organ) on the 1998 Gerald Woehl organ of St. Petrus Canisius, Friedrichshafen/Bodensee, Germany BIS-CD-1101 [74' 10"] [CF]

If you get this for Dvorak and Sibelius, be prepared to find it's the Glazunov that really turns you on.

TRACTS  Music for solo piano by British composers  BRIAN FERNEYHOUGH Lemma-Icon-Epigram JAMES ERBER You done torn your playhouse down * CHRISTOPHER FOX lliK-relliK * CHRIS DENCH Topologies * RICHARD BARRETT Tract * *=first recordings, from NMC Recordings Ian Pace (piano)   NMC D066 [80 mins] [PW]

Ian Pace is a powerful advocate for 'hard-edged' contemporary piano music, in which he is an acknowledged leader at the keyboard, and also a prolific writer. This programme is a personal choice devoted to music by British composers, with all of whom he has worked closely. Purchase this CD as an appetiser; try to get to Wigmore Hall for Ian Pace's A Portrait of John Ogdon

Introduction and Theme (1932)
Fantasy-Prelude (1900); Prelude in G (in memory of Parry) (1924)
Heathcote STATHAM
Rhapsody on a Ground (1944)
Prelude and Fugue in C minor (1908)
Rondo Capriccio (1910); Toccata and Fugue in D minor (1915)
Christopher STEEL
Variations, Toccata and Fugue on Two Croatian Carols (1988)
performed by ROGER FISHER (organ) St John's Church, Ranmoor, Sheffield
rec 3-4 May 2000 AMPHION PHI CD 165 [69.19] [RB]

Roger Fisher is an open-minded and skilled advocate for this music not all of which is likely to be familiar. The Steel is a highlight.

20th Century Music for solo flute  Salvatore Sciarrino - "Hermes" (1984)  James Dillon - "Sgothan" (1984)  Jesus Rueda - "Suspiria" (1988)  Isang Yun - "Sori" (1988)  Gyorgy Kurtag - "Doloroso" (1992)  Stefano Gervasoni - "Ravine" (2000)  Brian Ferneyhough - "Carceri d'Invenzione IIb" (1984)  Claude Debussy - "Syrinx" (1913)   played by Mario Caroli  SvaNa SVN001 [76 mins] [PW]

Recommended unreservedly and this will be one to come back to when playing the 'best in category' game towards the end of the year.

CAITRIONA O'LEARY AND DULRA.  I am stretched on your grave. Nineteen Irish laments.  DHM 05472 77393 2 (DDD) (69.01) [DW]

This disc is miserable. That is the only word for it and I am sorry that I pressed for the opportunity to review it.

Mikhail GLINKA
Russlan and Ludmilla - Overture
A Night on the Bare Mountain
Capriccio Espagnol, op 34 Russian Easter Festival Overture
Alexander BORODIN
In the Steppes of Central Asia Prince Igor - Overture

Hallé Orchestra - Vernon Handley. recorded in 1988 (DDD) EMI Classics for Pleasure 574 0062 [63.58] [JP]

A disc of Russian pieces played and recorded decently but unfortunately without that last bit of adrenaline which would have made all the difference.

The Ravi Shankar Collection
Six Ragas Ragas Jog, Ahir Bhairav and Simhendra Madhyaman (Disc 1) Ragas Bairgi, Nata bhairavi and Marwa (Disc 2). Ravi Shankar - Sitar, Chatur Lal - tabla, and Prodjot Sen - tamboura,(Disc 1) Alla Rakla - tabla, and Shyam Bul-Nagar - tamboura (Disc 2). Disc 1 recorded in mono in London in 1956, and Disc 2 in New York in 1968. EMI CDM567310-2 and CDM5 67311-2 [54.51] [46.04] [JP]

Two early LPs of performances by the foremost exponent of Indian Classical music for sitar - all in exciting "in your face recording" quality.

VENEZIA   Florian Uhlig (pianoforte) black box BBM 1054 [74' 02"] [CH]

In this album Uhlig shows himself to be a creative musician on several levels - performer, composer and (not least) programme-builder. I wish this warmly-recorded disc every success.

[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc] 

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,  Christopher Fifield, Lewis Foreman, Simon Foster, Colin France, Christopher Howell, John Phillips, Ailís Ní Ríain, Humphrey Smith, Philip Scowcroft, Colin Scott-Sutherland, Andrew Seivewright, Adrian Smith, Christopher Thomas, Richard Whitehouse, 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.

Return to Front page