> Summary of New Classical CD Reviews - August 2002 part 1- (last two days): MusicWeb: Len Mullenger
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ReviewsAugust 2002

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Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
The Royal College of Music will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Stanford on Wednesday 6 November, with a day devoted to his music. The programme will be:

1.05 Recital of church music and part songs by the RCM Chamber Choir, conducted by Paul Spicer
2.00 Masterclass on songs by Stanford and his contemporaries with Roger Vignoles
5.15 Stanford’s Chamber Music – a lecture by Dr Jeremy Dibble
7.00 Recital of chamber music by Stanford:
3 Intermezzi for Clarinet and Piano, op. 13
String quartet no. 2 in A minor, op. 45
3 Rhapsodies after Dante for piano solo, op. 92
Piano quintet in D minor, op. 25
All the events are open to the public and no tickets are required. For further information, please contact Peter Horton at the Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS (020 7591 4324 or phorton@rcm.ac.uk).
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GUY-ROPARTZ A Brief Introduction by Dr David C F Wright


THE ROBIN MILFORD CENTENARY: A Cause for Celebration by Martin Anderson

ELIZABETH HARWOOD (1938-1990) On the 13th of July 2002 a plaque was dedicated in the Church of St Mary the Virgin at Fryerning in memory of Elizabeth Harwood Royle, the English Soprano. The text of the eulogy given by Revd. Patrick Sherring is available by clicking here.

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Malcolm ARNOLD (born 1921) Guitar Concerto Op.67 (1959)a English Dances Op.27 & Op.33 (1950/1951)b Symphony for Brass Instruments Op.123 (1978)c Quintet for Brass Op.73 (1961)d Eduardo Fernández (guitar)a; English Chamber Orchestraa; Barry Wordswortha; London Philharmonic Orchestrab; Sir Adrian Boultb; Philip Jones Brass Ensemblecd; Howard Snellc; Elgar Howarthd Recorded: 1954 (English Dances); 1970 (Brass Quintet); 1979 (Symphony for Brass) and 1990 (Guitar Concerto) DECCA 468 803-2 [75:03] [HC]

A miracle of economy, clarity and efficiency. Arnold at his best … see Full Review

Cecil COLES (1888-1918) Music From Behind The Lines: Overture: The Comedy of Errors, Fra Giacomo, Scherzo in A minor, Four Verlaine Songs: "Fantastic in appearance", "A slumber vast and black", "Pastoral: The sky above the roof", "Let’s dance the jig", From the Scottish Highlands, Behind the Lines Sarah Fox, soprano, Paul Whelan, baritone. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins Rec. City Hall, Glasgow on 12 and 13 December 2001 DDD HYPERION CDA67293 [62'44] [PB][IL]

Music that is solemn, poignant and majestic. Coles died in the Great War but unlike Butterworth, Kelly and Farrar he had no committed champions to keep his music before the public.[PB]
A penchant for the dramatic and a gift for writing evocative, atmospheric music.[IL] … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ken Russell’s ELGAR The classic BBC TV 100th ‘Monitor’ Programme broadcast on 11 November 1962 - together with a separate showing of the film with commentary by Ken Russell and Michael Kennedy. Plus Michael Kennedy introduces "home movie" footage of Elgar at the Three Choirs Festivals of 1929, 1930 and 1932 and film of Elgar conducting a recording of his Land of Hope and Glory at Abbey Road Studios black and white bfi (British Film Institute) BFIVD 524 [56 mins – extra material 15 mins] [IL]

Despite its few flaws this is a wonderful film and it is highly recommended to all Elgarians … see Full Review

Impression. French Chamber Music Masterpieces Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924): Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor* Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937): Piano Trio Juno’s Band (Jacqueline Shave (violin); Paul Watkins (cello); Ian Brown (piano); Roger Chase (viola)*) Recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk 20-21 June 2000 Metronome MET CD 1048 [57’ 22"] [JQ]

Good, sensitive and idiomatic performances … see Full Review
You can sample, download tracks or purchase this disc


Reynaldo HAHN (1874-1947) Sonata for Violin and Piano Quintet for Strings and Piano Denis Clavier (violin) Dimitris Saroglou (piano) Quatuor Denis Clavier Recorded in the Esplanade Hall, Metz in September 1997 MAGUELONE MAG 111.107 [63.27] [IL]

Beautifully melodic, here are riches in abundance for the unashamedly romantic. Impeccably played, this music deserves to be much better known. … see Full Review

Roy HARRIS (1898-1979) Symphony No. 7 (1952, revised 1955) Symphony No. 9 (1962) Epilogue to Profiles in Courage - JFK (1964) National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar Recorded in the Grand Concert Studio, National Radio Company of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine, 19th - 27th June 1999. NAXOS 8.559050 [57.49] [NH]

Serious but highly listenable music from an under-recorded American giant.….. see Full Review

Jón LEIFS (1899-1968) Baldr Op. 34 - A Choreographic Drama in Two Acts (1943-47) Gunnar Guðbjörnsson (ten) ... Óðin Schola Cantorum/Hörður Áskelsson Iceland SO/Kari Kropsu rec Jan 2001, Halgrim's Church, Reykjavik, DDD BIS-CD-1230/1231 [40.05+49.37] [RB]

Tough, tonal, uncompromising music, rhythmically emphatic, not without melodic softness, hewn out of granite and adversity. ... see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 6 in A minor "Tragic" (1903-4) Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken/Günter Herbig Recorded "live" at the Congresshalle, Saarbrücken on 26th November 1999 BERLIN CLASSICS 0094612BC [75:38]

One of the very best recordings of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony available … see Full Review


RACHMANINOV Sergei (1873-1943) Variations on a Theme of Chopin, op. 22 SCHUMANN Robert (1810-1856) Carnaval, op. 9 SCHULZ-EVLER Andrei (1852-1905) Arabesken über Themen des Walzers An der schönen blauen Donau von Johann Strauss Mauricio Vallina (pianoforte) Recorded May and June 2001, Henry Wood Hall, London EMI CLASSICS CDM 5 67936 2 [69’ 53"] [CH]

It’s a long time since I heard a new artist who holds out such hope for the future and I shall follow his career with the greatest interest. ...see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1907-1975) Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11 in G minor Op. 103, The Year 1905 (1957) London Symphony Orchestra/Mstislav Rostropovich Recorded live March 2002, Barbican, London. LSO LIVE LSO0030 [72’24"] [MB]

A remarkable disc of a remarkable concert. World class playing allied with incredible musicianship. Certainly the finest recording of the modern era. … see Full Review

Zygmunt STOJOWSKI (1870-1946) Piano Concerto No 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 3 [35.01] Piano Concerto No 2 in A flat major (Prologue, Scherzo and Variations), Op. 32 [33.01] Jonathan Plowright (piano) BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins Recorded in the Caird Hall, Dundee, 6-7 June 2001 The Romantic Piano Concerto: Volume 28 HYPERION CDA67314 [68.12] [JQ]

Two marvellous, scandalously neglected romantic piano concertos. Rush out, buy it – and enjoy! … see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)12 Sonatas for Violin and Continuo Opus 2 Cordaria, Walter Reiter, violin.Rec: May and August, 1998. SIGNUM SIGCD014 [106.34] [KM]

An excellent recording of some of Vivaldi's earliest works. Far from being immature works, these sonatas take on a new dimension in this performance. Highly recommended. ...see Full Review [KM]
An enjoyable disc which encourages interest in the work and should prompt further and more varied recorded interpretations. … see Full Review [AR]
You can sample, download tracks or purchase this disc



Bernd Alois ZIMMERMANN (1918-70) Die Soldaten, an opera in four acts after the play by Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz; Mark Munkittrick (Wesener); Nancy Shade (Marie Wesener); Milagro Vargas (Charlotte, her sister); Grace Hoffmann (Wesener’s mother); Michael Ebbecke (Stolzius, her betrothed); Elsie Maurer (Stolzius’s mother); William Cochran (Desportes); Alois Treml (Obrist); Gregor Brodocz (Gamekeeper); Guy Renard (Pirzel); Karl-Friedrich Dürr (Eisenhardt); Klaus Hirte (Haudy); Raymond Wolansky (Major von Mary); Ursula Koszut (Countess de la Roche); Jerrold van der Schaaf (the young Count); Johannes Eidloth, Robert Wörle, Helmut Holzapfel (Young Officers); Stuttgart State Opera Chorus, Staatsorchester Stuttgart/Bernhard Kontarsky Harry Kupfer (director) Wolf Münzner (sets and costumes) Hans Hulscher (video director) ARTHAUS DVD 100 270 [111’] [PQ]

Die Soldaten - the only game in town – and its dark message and unsettling music demand to be heard. … see Full Review

NOS SOUVENIRS Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931) Rêve d’enfant, Op. 14 Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Sonata for violin and piano No.1 in A major, Op.13 Ernst CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Nos souvenirs Cécile CHAMINADE (1857-1944) Sérénade espagnole César FRANCK (1822-1890) Sonata for violin and piano in A major Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Beau soir Laurent Korcia (violin) Jean-Marc Luisada (piano) Recorded in Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh, 19-23 April, 2001 RCA RED SEAL 74321 877622 [69.00] [TH]

Subtlety and understatement, saving the virtuosic swagger and panache for the suitable climactic points. … see Full Review




BARGAIN OF THE MONTHLudwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.1 in C major Op.21 (1800), Symphony No.2 in D major Op.36 (1801), Symphony No.3 in E flat major Op.55 "Eroica" (1804), Symphony No.4 in B flat major Op.60 (1806), Symphony No.5 in C minor Op.67 (1808), Symphony No.6 in F major Op. 68 "Pastoral"(1808), Symphony No.7 in A major Op. 92 (1812), Symphony No.8 in F major Op.93 (1812), Symphony No.9 in D minor Op.125 "Choral" (1824), Staatskapelle Dresden, Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Herbert Blomstedt, conductor - Recorded 1975-1980, Lukaskirche, Dresden. (Licensed from Edel Classics) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99927/1-5 [5CDs: 76.52+72.25+78.55+69.06+72.18] [NH]

A masterly and visionary cycle offered at a ridiculously low price….See Full review

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) THE PIANO WORKS Various performers[Contents listed complete at foot of review] 13 CD set DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99802-1-13 [GPJ]

It represents almost unbelievable value and musically, it is simply a gold-mine. … see Full Review

Benjamin FRANKEL (1906-1973) Symphony No. 1 (1958) [25.33] Symphony No. 2 (1962) [35.36] Symphony No. 3 (1964) [17.24] Symphony No. 4 (1966) [25.02] Symphony No. 5 (1967) [18.03] Symphony No. 6 (1969) [28.21] Symphony No. 7 (1970) [28.03] Symphony No. 8 (1971) [24.14] Overture: May Day (1948) [9.26] Mephistopheles Serenade and Dance (1952) [6.09] Overture to a Ceremony (1971) A Shakespeare Overture (1956) The composer introducing his symphonies 2 and 3 - Queensland SO/Werner Andreas Albert - rec ABC Studio 420, Ferry Road, Brisbane, Australia, May 1993, Apr 1994, Oct 1994, Sept 1995, April 1999 - CPO 999 661-2 [4CDs: 53.24+59.18+60.03+70.27=243.12] [RB]

Frankel stands with Hartmann and Vermeulen - different but just as rebellious; given to melody, distilled by serial technique, malleably emotional, lambently orchestrated and flooded with light. … see Full Review

Benjamin FRANKEL (1906-1973) Complete String Quartets Nomos-Quartett rec 7-9 Feb 1996, 14-16 June 1996, Zentralsaal Bamberg DDD CPO 999 420-2 [2CDs: 52.55+37.53] [RB] [HC]

Frankel's credo was melody and its magnetic communicative power … rapt and saturatedly lyrical... [RB]
Excellent readings from the Nomos playing with utmost conviction and commitment. [HC] … see Full Review

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