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  Weekend November 30th

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

STOP PRESS: The Gerard Hoffnung Oxford Union (Bricklayer) speech is at last available on CD
                     "Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations.
                     "There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects."


New EMI British Collections:
Britten (8CD) Elgar Orchestral (7CD) Elagr Choral and Vocal (13CD) Vaughan Williams (9CD) Barbirolli collection (13CD) Best of British (13CD) See Christmas Boxed Sets


GORDON DALE 1935-2001 by Paul Conway

Wallingford Riegger - a thumbnail sketch by David Wright

Drum Composers by Richard Phillips

BEETHOVEN by Marion Scott - complete book in preparation

Artistry, Craftsmanship or Drudgery? Writing an orchestral score by Arthur Butterworth

William Lloyd Webber: An impressionistic view by John France

TIMPANI A personal pilgrimage by Rob Barnett

What is a mezzo-soprano ? Chris Howell part (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7),(8),(9)]

Elgar's Baritone by Charles A. Hooey

Jane Stirling by David Wright

Frederick Chopin by David Wright

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LATEST CD REVIEWS (last two days)

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David Rattray Masterpieces of Italian Violin Making; Important stringed instruments from the collection at the Royal Academy of Music Balafon Books £75 ISBN 187154792X [JW]

Explores the subject with clarity and elegance, details individual histories, reflects upon construction techniques with acuity and presents the instruments in photographic glory. … see Full Review



Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony no.5 in c minor op.67 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony no.8 in b minor D.759, ‘Unfinished’ London Philharmonic Orchestra Recorded at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, 8 September 1969 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Prelude to Act I of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Prélude a l’après-midi d’un faune London Symphony Orchestra Leopold Stokowski (conductor) Recorded at the Royal Festival Hall, London, 14 June 1972 Paul DUKAS (1865-1935) The Sorcerer’s Apprentice London Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Monteux (conductor) Recorded in London in 1961 EMI CLASSICS DVA 492842-9 [93’57"] [PQ]

A paean of joy and colour. … see Full Review

York BOWEN (1884-1961) Quintet in C minor for horn and string quartet op.85 (1927) [26:02] Rhapsody Trio in A minor for violin, cello and piano op.80 (1926) [14:22] Trio in Three Movements, for violin, cello and piano op.118 (1945) [23:21] Endymion Ensemble Krysia Osostowicz: violin Fiona McCapra: violin (op.85 only) Catherine Manson: viola (op.85 only) Jane Salmon: cello Stephen Stirling: horn (op.85 only) Michael Dussek: piano (op.80 and op. 118 only) Recorded at the All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, U.K. 24-26 April 2001 DDD DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7115 [63:53] [MC]

Passionate, glorious ethereal lyricism, searing emotions … See Full Review


Alan BUSH (1900-1995) Three Concert Studies for piano trio (1947) Two Easy Pieces for cello and piano (1951) Two Melodies for viola and piano (1957) Viola Sonatina (1978) Concert-Piece for cello and piano (1936) Summer Valley for cello and piano (1988) Adam Summerhayes (violin/viola) Catherine Summerhayes (piano) Joseph Spooner (cello) rec 2001 DDD MERIDIAN CDE 84458 [66.33] [RB]

An engaging anthology illustrating Bush's styles from restrained pastoralism to tragic intensity. ... see Full Review

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) String Quartet No. 1 Op. 35 (1933/1946) - String Quartet No. 3 Op. 112 (1964) - Improvisation for Unaccompanied cello Op. 124 (1967) - Sonata for Cello and Piano Op. 60 (1946) Dante Quartet - Pierre Doumerge (cello) and Michael Dussek, (piano) - Recorded at the Henry Wood Hall, London, April 2002 DUTTON LABS CDLX 7123 [71.41] [GH]

These performances rank at a very high level and the disc, especially at medium price is a must for lovers of twentieth century British music. … see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) The Early Chamber Music Piano Quintet in C minor for piano, violin, viola, cello and double bass (1903) [30'30] Nocturne and Scherzo for string quintet (1906) [10'18] Suite de Ballet for flute and piano (edited Roy Douglas) (1913-1924?) [5'50] Romance and Pastorale - for violin and piano (c1914) [8'59] Romance for viola and piano (c1914) String Quartet in C minor (1898) [25'27] Quintet in D major for clarinet, horn, violin, cello and piano (1898) [24'50] Scherzo for string quintet (1904) [5'57] Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn Tunes (Household Music) for string quartet (1940/41) The Nash Ensemble: Philippa Davies flute, Richard Hosford clarinet; Richard Watkins horn; Marianne Thorsen violin; Elizabeth Wexler violin (string quintet; Preludes); Simon Blendis violin (String Quartet in C minor); Lawrence Power, Garfield Jackson viola (string quintet) Recorded in Henry Wood Hall on 25-27 June; 15-18 July 2002. DDD HYPERION CDA67381/2 [2CDs: 134'16: 62'09+72'16] [RB]

The performers meet the music full on and play as if the young composer was in the room with them. One of Hyperion's most commanding productions. ... see Full Review

Iannis XENAKIS (1922-2001) Works for Large Orchestra Vol.3 Synaphaï, for Piano and Orchestra (1969) [16’26] Horos (1986) [15’48] Eridanos (1972) [11’10]
Kyania (1990) [20’22] Hiroaki Ooï (piano) Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra
Arturo Tamayo (conductor) Recorded in the Luxembourg Conservatoire, March and May, 2002 DDD TIMPANI 1C 1068 [64’18]

The hallmark of a great composer … the torment, the contradictory side of the creative impulse. … see Full Review


"Miniatures for Flute and Guitar" Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Allegro, from BWV 1033 (2.30) Siciliano, from BWV 1031 (2.30) Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Rondo in G Major, from Wq 133 (2.44) Niccolo PAGANINI (1782-1840) Polacca in F Major (6.51) François Joseph GOSSEC 1734-1829 Tambourin (l.26)
Wolfgang Amadeus
MOZART (1756-1791) Alla turca, from K. 331 (3.04) Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Variations on a Theme by Rossini (6.58) (1924) Scott JOPLIN (1868-1917) Original Rags (4.17) Pjotr I. TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Valse sentimentale, Op.51/6 (2.17) Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 (4.56) (1945) Jacques IBERT (1890-1962) Entr’acte (3.25) (1937) Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Pièce en forme de Habanera (2.58) (1908) Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Three Dances from "Gayaneh" (1943) Allegro (No.17) (2.33) Andante (No.23) (5.54) Allegro vivace (No.6) (2.40) Peter-Lukas Graf, Flute; Konrad Ragossnig, Guitar Recorded at Evangelische Kirche, Steinen-Endenburg, April 1986 CLAVES CD 50-2013 (56.20) [PSh]

Brilliant in every way, a perfect gift, a recording to cherish and hear over and over again… see Full Review


Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 1 in C minor (1855-76) - Symphony No. 2 in D major (1877) - Symphony No. 3 in F major (1883) - Symphony No. 4 in E minor (1884-5) - Violin Concerto in D major * (1878) - Variations on a Theme by Haydn (‘St Anthony Chorale’) (1873) - Academic Festival Overture (1880) - Tragic Overture (1880 rev. 1881) - Alto Rhapsody † (1869) - Hungarian Dances (No. 1 in G major; No. 3 in F major; and No. 19 in B minor orch. by Dvorak) (1873) - *Bernadette Greevy (contralto) with the Hallé Choir - † Maurice Hasson (violin) Hallé Orchestra conducted by James Loughran - Recorded in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester in 1974 and 1975 and digitally remastered at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in 1992 and 2002 CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 5 75753 2 [4 CDs: 278:56] [IL]

Excellent performances, critically acclaimed in their day and now gathered together in an irresistible super-bargain 4 CD box set. Why pay more? … see Full Review

Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Poème de l’amour et de la mer op. 19 (1), Chanson perpétuelle op. 37 (2), Mélodies op. 2 (3): 2. Le Charme, 3. Les Papillons, 4. La dernière feuille, 5. Sérénade italienne, 7. Le Colibri Jessye Norman (soprano), Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra/Armin Jordan (1), Michel Dalberto (pianoforte) (2, 3), Ronald Patterson (violin) (2), Salvatore Sansalone (violin) (2), Jean-Pierre Pigerre (viola), Lane Anderson (violoncello) (1, 2) Dates and locations not given Warner Classics Apex 0927 48992 2 [44’ 46"] [CH]

A super disc and a Chausson collection for the general listener whereas the Hyperion complete Chausson mélodies is more specialised. … see Full Review

Frederick Delius (1862-1934) A Village Romeo and Juliet (1899-1901) Wendy Eathorne (sop) Vrenchen - girl Elizabeth Harwood (sop) Vrenchen Corin Manley (treble) Sali - boy Robert Tear (ten) Sali Benjamin Luxon (bar) Manz Noel Mangin (bass) Marti John Shirley-Quirk (bar) The Dark Fiddler John Alldis Choir Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Meredith Davies Talk by Eric Fenby [27.20] Recorded in the Kingsway Hall, London 18th -22nd October 1971 Originally issued on LP in 1973 EMI CLASSICS 5757852 [2CDs: 68.10+68.46] [JF]

A stunning reissue. One of the very best. Perhaps this is Frederick Delius's masterpiece. A historic, moving and sheerly magical performance with an all star cast at superbudget price. Well done EMI! … see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Symphonic Poems Complete (see listing below) Budapest Symphony Orchestra/Árpád Joó - Recorded Budapest 1984/5 DDD - Super bargain price! - also available on HUNGAROTON HCD1267781 at full price BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99938 [5CDs: 297.16] [PS]

The best overall full set ever, both sound and performance, (at the best price ever!) achieves authentic fervour and a Wagnerian grandeur reminiscent of the best of Solti. But if all you want is Les Préludes and a couple others … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni (1787) Don Giovanni (baritone) Eberhard Wächter Donna Anna (soprano) Joan Sutherland Leporello (bass) Giuseppe Taddei Il Commendatore (bass) Gottlob Frick Donna Elvira (soprano) Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Don Ottavio (tenor) Luigi Alva Masetto (bass) Piero Cappuccilli Zerlina (soprano) Graziella Sciutti Philharmonia Chorus, Philharmonia Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini Recorded 7th-15th October, and 23rd-24th November 1959, No.1 Studio, Abbey Rd. London UK EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 7243 5 67869 2 9 [3 CDs: 61:39+64:52+35:49] [GPJ]

One of the greatest musical and dramatic experiences available on disc, then, and one that I personally will always treasure. … see Full Review

Dame Margaret Price (soprano): Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Lieder: Geheimnis D.491, Die Forelle D.550, Der Künig in Thule D.367, Gretchen am Spinnrade D.118, Der Hirt auf dem Felsen D.965*, Auf dem Riesenkoppe D.611, Du bist die Ruh’ D.776, La Pastorella al Prato D.528, Heidenröslein D.257, Schwanengesang D.744, Wehmut D.404, Der blinde Knabe D.833b - Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Frauenliebe und Leben, op. 42 - Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Songs (sung in Russian): None but the lonely heart, op. 6/5, Do not believe, my friend, op. 6/1, At the ball, op. 38/3 - Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Lieder: O lieb’, so lang du lieben kannst! S.298, Die Lorelei S.273, Die stille Wasserrose S.321, Es muss ein Wunderbares sein S.314, Kling leise, mein Lied S.301 Dame Margaret Price (soprano), James Lockhart (pianoforte), Jack Brymer (clarinet)* - Locations: St. Dunstan’s, Cheam, GB (Schubert), Barking Town Hall, GB (others) Dates: April 1971 (Schubert), August 1973 (others) EMI CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 575 7732 [CH]

Some of the most beautiful singing you’re ever likely to hear. … see Full Review

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Petite Symphonie Concertante for Harp, Harpsichord, Piano and Double String Orchestra (1945) - 6 Monologues aus ‘Jedermann’ (1943) - Concerto for 7 Wind Instruments, Timpani, Percussion and Strings (1949) - Eva Guibentif (harp), Christiane Jaccottet (harpsichord), Ursula Ruttimann (piano), Jean-Claude Hermenjat (flute), Jerome Capeille (oboe), Michel Westphal (clarinet), Roger Birnstingl (bassoon), Bruno Schneider (horn), Yves Guigou (trombone), Stephen Jeandheur (trumpet), Yves Brustaux (timpani), Gilles Cachemaille (baritone) Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Armin Jordan - Recordings made between December 1989 and June 1991 DDD WARNER APEX 0927 48687 2 [62’42] [TH]

Lovers of central European music in the war-torn years of the last century should find much to stimulate and enjoy. … see Full Review

Music for Trumpet and Organ - Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK (arr. Thomas/Balsom) (1562-1621) Variations on "Mein junges Leben hat ein End" - Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Allemande from Partita II, BWV 1004 - Henry PURCELL (1659-95) Musike from "King Arthur" - Traditional (arr. Thomas) Shenandoah - George THALBEN-BALL (1896-1987) Elegy - Henri TOMASI (1901-71) Semaine Sainte a Cuzco (1960) - Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-92) Vocalise-Etude, pour voix élevées - Petr EBEN (1929-) Windows, after Marc Chagall (1980) Alison Balsom (trumpet) Quentin Thomas (organ) - Recorded at Paisley Abbey, Scotland, June 2002 DDD EMI CLASSICS "DEBUT" 7243 5 75683 2 6 [57:46] [CT]

An impressive debut disc by young trumpeter Alison Balsom, particularly worthwhile for an atmospheric performance of Eben’s Windows, after Marc Chagall … see Full Review





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