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BARGAIN OF THE MONTH - Gustav MAHLER (1860 – 1911) Symphony No. 1 in D Titan (1898) [54.39] - Symphony No. 2 in C Minor Resurrection (1896) [33.54+51.05] - Symphony No. 3 in D Minor (1906) [32.31+65.32] - Symphony No. 4 in G (1910) [56.35] - Symphony No. 5 in C# Minor (1902) [72.22] - Symphony No. 6 in A Minor (1904) [39.10+44.36] - Symphony No. 7 in E Minor (1906) [77.39] - Symphony No. 8 in D Symphony of a Thousand (1906) [77.55] - Symphony No. 9 in D (1909) [44.48+36.11] - Symphony No. 10 in F# Minor (Adagio) (1910) [22.56] - Symphony No. 10 in F# Minor completed by Deryck Cooke (1976) [70.49] - Das Lied von der Erde (1909) [61.20] Helen Donath (soprano) Doris Soffel (alto), Chorus of NDR Hamburg and the Dale Warland Singers, (No. 2) - Doris Soffel (alto) Limburger Domsingknaben and Women’s Chorus of the Frankfurter Kantorei, (No. 3) - Helen Donath (No. 4) - Faye Robinson, Teresa Cahill, Hildegarde Heichele (sopranos), Livia Budai, Jane Henschel (alto), Kenneth Riegel, Herman Prey, Harald Stamm (bass), with the Choir of Bavarian Radio, NDR Choir, WDR Choir, RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, Limburger Domsingknaben and Children’s Chorus of Hess Radio, plus Fritz Walter-Lindqvist, (organ) (No. 8) - Jaard van Ness (alto), Peter Schreier (tenor), Das Lied von der Erde. Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Eliahu Inbal Recorded as follows, all at Alte Oper Frankfurt: No. 1 – 28th February – 1st March 1985, No.2 28th –29th March 1985, No.3 18th – 19th March 1985, No.4 – 10th - 11th April 1985 No.5 – 23rd – 25th January 1986, No.6 – 24th – 26th April 1986, No. 7 – 14th – 17th May 1986 No.8 – 14th 18th October 1986 No.9 – 24th – 27th September 1986 No.10 (Cooke) 15th – 17th January 1992, Das Lied 24th – 25th March 1988. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92005 [15CDs: 54.39+33.54+51.05+32.31+65.32+56.35 +72.22+39.10+44.36+77.39+77.55+44.48+36.11+22.56+70.49+61.20] [JP]

A highly recommendable issue for impecunious Mahler fans. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860 - 1911) Symphony No. 1 in D (piano transcription by Chitose Okashiro) Langsam. Schleppend. Wie ein Naturlaut [14'38"] Kräftig bewegt [07'39"] Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen [12'06"] Stürmisch bewegt [21'12"] Chitose Okashiro (piano) Rec. Mechanics Hall, Worcester MA, 22-23 January 2002 DDD CHÂTEAU C10001 [55'39] [PSer]

Astonishingly audacious! Okashiro’s carefully considered arrangement and formidable musicianship rip open and compel re-appraisal of this all-too-familiar masterpiece. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.10 (1910-11) Orchestrated and completed by Clinton A. Carpenter Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Litton Recorded in McDermott Hall, Dallas, 3-6 June 2001 DELOS DE 3295 [78.45] [TD]

If you must have this curio in your collection then this is clearly the recording for you as it is the only recording available. I hope it stays that way. … see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Cello Concerto No. 1 (1930, 1939, 1955) [27.32] Cello Concerto No. 2 (1944-45) [36.27] Angelica May (cello) Czech PO/Václav Neumann rec Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum, 2-3 Nov 1981, DDD SUPRAPHON SU 3543-2 031 [64.12]

May and Neumann tear into both concertos with a vivid and unshakably confident will that brooks no blandness. ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Cello Concerto No. 1 (1930, 1939, 1955) [27.44] Cello Concerto No. 2 (1945) [36.36] Concertino for cello, wind instruments and percussion (1924) [13.35] Michaela Fukačová (cello) Odense SO/Peter Csaba rec. May 1996 KONTRAPUNKT 32256 [78.17]

Obstinately natural balances, poetically introspective interpretations by Fukacova, good background notes, generous playing time. ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Cello Concerto No. 1 (1930, 1939, 1955) [26.01] Cello Concerto No. 2 (1945) [35.58] Concertino for cello, wind instruments and percussion (1924) [13.52] Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Czech PO/Jiří Bĕlohlávek rec. Spanish Hall, Prague Castle, 24-28 June 1991, DDD CHANDOS CHAN 9015 [76.05]

The Chandos disc is first choice for the Martinu Cello Concertos. ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959) The Three Cello Sonatas - Cello Sonata No. 1 (1939) [18.29] - Cello Sonata No. 2 (1941) [21.58] - Cello Sonata No. 3 (1952) [20.33] Jirí Hanousek (cello) - Paul Kaspar (piano) - rec. 26 Oct, 4-5 Nov 1992, Meistersingerhalle, Nürnberg. DDD - co-production with Bavarian Radio CENTAUR CRC 2207 [60.57] [RB]

Jazzily syncopated ... yet finds time for the plangent singing lyricism that is such a Martinu trademark ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959) Concertino for Piano Trio and String Orchestra (1933) [19.48] - Piano Trio No. 1 Cinq Pièces Brèves (1930) [13.00] - Piano Trio No. 2 (1950) [15.16] - Duo No. 2 for violin and cello (1958) [8.52] Trio Tulsa (Derry Deane, violin; Diane Bucchianeri, cello; Anna Norberg, piano) - Czech National SO/Paul Freeman - rec. 20 Mar 1997, Prague Domovina (Concertino), 14-15 Dec 1997, LSU Recital Hall, School of Music, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. USA. DDD CENTAUR CRC 2415 [57.29] [RB]

While the Cinq Pièces are rather dry the other works reap rich rewards - Trio No. 2 and the Duo are outstanding ... see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959) String Quartets Volume 3 Quartet No. 4 (1937); Quartet No. 5 (1938) Quartet No. 7 (1947). Martinů Quartet Recorded in the Martinek Studios, Prague, November/ December 1995 NAXOS 8.553784 [71.09]

Czech dances never seem to be far away … rollicking and suspense laden … see Full Review

Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959) The Violin Sonatas Violin Sonata No. 1 (1930) [17.07] - Violin Sonata No. 2 (1932) [15.43] - Violin Sonata No. 3 (1944) [26.40] - Sonata for Two Violins and Piano (1933) [12.58] Fredell Lack (violin) -
Timothy Hester (piano) - Leon Spierer (violin II) - rec. 18-20 Aug 1993, Dudley Recital Hall, University of Houston School of Music, USA. DDD CENTAUR CRC 2276 [69.27] [RB]

Parisian Martinů immersed in desiccation, then finding his Czech self afresh … finally in full flood in the Third Sonata ... bright with the conviction of all the artists involved. ... see Full Review

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Cavalleria Rusticana - Melodrama in one act. Santuzza, Lina Bruna Rasa (soprano). Turridu, Antonio Melandri (tenor). Alfio, Afro Poli (Baritone). Lola, Maria Meloni (soprano). Mamma Lucia, Rina Gallo-Toscani (m. soprano). Chorus and Orchestra of the Opera d’Olanda Dutch Royal Theatre, The Hague, Holland. Conducted by the composer, Pietro Mascagni. Recorded live 7th November 1938 GUILD HISTORICAL GHCD 2241 [78.36] [RF]

A vibrant, well sung, dynamic performance but there are downsides … see Full Review

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Éclairs sur l’Au-delà (Illumination of the beyond) (1987-91) SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden Baden and Freiburg/Sylvain Cambreling Recorded in the Konzerthaus, Freiburg 25.02 & 19.09 2002 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.063 [76’29] [TH]

Unless you want two recordings of this wonderful work (not as daft as it sounds) Chung will ultimately offer more rewards … see Full Review

Arthur MEULEMANS (1884 – 1966) Kermisfantasie (1930) - Twee Movimenti (1927) - Twee Idyllen (1927) - Overture to Adriaen Brouwer (1935) - Concerto voor hobo en orkest (1942) - Rhapsodie (1932) - Twee Dansen (1911/3, orch. 1930) Ludmilla Peterková (clarinet) - Jindřich Pazdera (violin) - Pier van Bockstal (oboe) - Hradec Králové Philharmonic Orchestra/Herman Engels - Recorded: Concert Hall, Philharmony Hradec Králové, August 2002 PHAEDRA 923031 [57:53] [HC]

Well-crafted and superbly scored works in which Meulemans’ orchestral flair and mastery are clearly displayed. … see Full Review

Nikolai MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Symphony No. 24 (1943) [35.08] - Symphony No. 25 (1947) [30.58] Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky - Rec. 18, 22-23 Oct 2000, Radio House, Moscow, DDD NAXOS 8.555376 [66.07] [RB]

Two symphonies wondrously well recorded and beautifully performed ... not a difficult decision at this price ... see Full Review

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespro della beata vergine (1610) Ann Monoyios, Marinella Pennicchi, Michael Chance, Mark Tucker, Nigel Robson, Sandro Naglia, Bryn Terfel, Alastair Miles, His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts The Monteverdi Choir, The London Oratory Junior Choir,The English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner Rec: 1989, the Basilica di San Marco, Venezia. Sound format: PCM stereo - DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 Subtitle languages: GB, D, F, SP, CH Picture format: 4:3 Picture standard: NTSC Region code: 0 ARCHIV 073 035-9 [110 min.] [KM]

A fine performance and excellent recording of one of the masterpieces of the Italian baroque … see Full Review

Xavier MONTSALVATGE (1912 - 2002) Complete works for Piano Tres Divertimentos (1940): Con decisión (2.46); Muy dulce (2.05); Vivo (2.10) Marta Zabaleta, piano Divagación (1950)(3.22) Carlota Garriga, piano Quatre Diàlegs: Siciliana (1998) (3.48) Raimon Garriga, piano; Impromptu (1998) (2.26); Milonga (1998) (2.26); Ritmos (1942) (4.24) Dagmar Muñiz, piano Sketch (1966) (2.46) Dagmar Muñiz, piano Shubertiada (1993) (2.29) Pastoral D'áutome (1.55) Carlota Garriga, piano El Arca De Noé (1990): La oveja (1.07); El gallo (0.33); El elefante (1.22); La pulga (0.35); El gato (1.10); El canguro (0.47); El vals (1.02) Alfredo Armero, piano Sonatina Para Yvette (1962): Vivo e espiritoso (3.26); Moderato molto (3.36); Allegretto (2.12) Berceuse a la memoria de Òscar Esplà (1987) (4.36) Elegia A Ravel (1945) (2.00) Mac McClure, piano Tres Piezas Para La Mano Izquierda: Sí a Mompou (1983) (3.25) Katia Mitchell, piano Una pagina para Rubinstein (1987) (4.18) EmiliBrugalla, piano Alborada En Aurinx (1999) (6.34) Improviso Epilogal (1.48) Alegoria A Turina (1982) (3.46) Raimon Garriga, piano Program notes in Catalá, Castellano, English COLUMNA MUSICA 1CM0036 [79.53] [PS]

As if Debussy had lived ten years longer and moved to Vienna to study with Berg … see Full Review

Ignaz MOSCHELES (1794-1870)
Piano Concerto No. 1 (1818) [22.18] Piano Concerto No. 6 Fantastique (1834) [16.59] Piano Concerto No. 7 Pathétique (1835) [22.17] Howard Shelley (piano) Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra rec. ABC Odeon, Hobart, Tasmania, 30 Aug-2 Sept 1999 DDD Romantic Piano Concerto vol. 32 HYPERION CDA67385 [61.49] [RB]

Vintage romantic concertos ... freshly performed and directed ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Arias and Orchestral Music Teddy Tahu Rhodes, bass-baritone Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Ola Rudner Recorded Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, Tasmania, June, October 2002 ABC CLASSICS 472826 [66:57] [DS]

An eminently pleasant voice, but characterisation …. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Oratorios La Betulia Liberata Azione sacra in due parte, KV 118 Ozia - Ernesto Palacio (tenor) - Giuditta - Gloria Banditelli (mezzo-soprano) - Amital - Lynda Russell (soprano) - Achior - Petteri Salomaa (baritone) - Cabri - Caterina Trogu Röhrich - Carmi - Sabina Macculi - Coro del Centro di Musica Antica di Padova - Orchestra da Camera di Padova e del Veneto/Peter Maag - Recording 15-21 June 1991, Palazzo Giusi, Padova (Licensed from Denon) Die Schuldigkeit des Erstens Gebots Erster teil eines geistlischen Singspiels, KV 35 Weltgeist - Arleen Augér (soprano) - Gerechtigkeit- Krisztina Laki (soprano) - Barmherzigkeit - Sylvia Geszty (soprano) - Christgeist - Werner Hollweg (tenor) - Christ - Claes H. Ahnsjö (tenor) - Berliner Domkapelle/Roland Bader - Recording 1980, Licensed from Koch International Die Freimaurermusiken (Freemasons Music) - Cantata "Laut verkünde unsre Freude", for 2 tenors, bass, men's chorus and orchestra KV 623 "Zerfliest heut' geliebte Brüder", for tenor, men's chorus and organ KV 483 "Lobesgesang auf die feierlich Johannisloge", for tenor, men's chorus and piano KV 148 "Ihr unsre neuen Leiter" for tenor, men's chorus and organ, KV 468 Cantata "Die Maurerfreude" for tenor, men's chorus and orchestra, KV 471 Mauerische Treuermusic KV477 Cantata "Die ihr des unermesslichen Weltalls Schöpfer ehrt" for tenor and piano, KV 619 Cantata "Dir, Seel des Weltalls, O Sonne" for 2 tenors, bass, men's chorus and orchestra KV 429 Christoph Prégardien (tenor) - Helmut Wildhaber (tenor) - Gottfried Hornik (bass) - Peter Schneyder (bass) - Chorus Viennensis - Wiener Akademie/Martin Haselböck - Recording 1991, Bratislava Grabmusik, Cantata for Soprano, bass, choir, organ and orchestra, KV42 (a) Davidde Penitente, Cantata for 2 sopranos, tenor, choir and orchestra KV 469 (b) Edith Wiens (soprano) (a) - Thomas Hampson (baritone) (a) - Gertraud Landwehr-Herrmann (soprano) (b) - Susanne Johns (soprano) (b) - Hermann Fischer (tenor) (b) - Concentus Vocalis (a) - Wiener Akademie (a) Choir and Orchestra Collegium Musicum of the University of Tübingen (b) Martin Haselböck (conductor) (a) - Wilfried Fischer (conductor) (b) - Recorded 1990, Bratislava (a) - Licensed from Bayer Records (b) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99944 [6CDs 76.33, 69.15, 44.55, 45.41, 61.25, 69.35] [RH]

Lesser known works by Mozart in creditable performances, an ideal starting point for those wishing to explore this neglected repertoire … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor, KV.466 (1785) Piano Concerto No.22 in E flat major, KV.482 (1785) Fantasy in D minor, KV.397 (1782) Michel Dalberto, Steinway Piano D274 Ensemble Orchestral de Paris/John Nelson Recorded at Maison de l’Orchestre National d’lle de France, Alfortville, August/September 2000 RCA BMG 74321844792 [69:00] [DS]

Although fine performances, the readings are not superior to most of the alternative recordings made in recent years. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, singspiel in three acts, K.384 (1782) - Konstanze (soprano) – Eva Mei ; Belmonte (tenor) – Rainer Trost ; Osmin (bass) – Kurt Rydl ; Blonde (soprano) – Patrizia Ciofi ; Pedrillo (tenor) – Mehrzad Montazeri ; Pasha Selim (speaker) – Markus John Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Zubin Mehta - Recorded at the Teatro della Pergola, Florence, May 2002 - Directed for the stage by Eike Gramms - Directed for television by George Blume TDK Rai Trade DV-OPEADS 007905 [136 minutes] [TH]

An eminently sensible way to get the opera, given such first-rate singing and playing. Recommended. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto no. 22 in E flat, K.482, Piano Concerto no. 24 in c, K.491 Fou Ts’ong (piano/conductor)/Sinfonia Varsovia Recorded in the Warsaw Concert Hall of the Fryderyk Chopin Conservatory of Music, date not given MERIDIAN CDE 84486 [64’ 46"] [CH]

This performance will be prized by those who value Mozart for the combination of resigned sadness and Olympian calm that lie beneath his rococo surface. … see Full Review

Thea MUSGRAVE (born 1928) Memento Vitae (1969/70)a Helios (1994)b Night Music (1969)c The Seasons (1988)d Nicholas Daniel (oboe)b; Scottish Chamber Orchestrabcd; BBC Symphony Orchestraa; Nicholas Kraemerbcd, Jac van Steena
Recorded: Studio 1, BBC Maida Vale, London, May 1998 (Memento Vitae) and City Hall, Glasgow, May 1998 (Helios, The Seasons, Night Music) NMC ANCORA D 074 [79:34] [HC]

Gripping and colourful … utmost sincerity and honesty, and deep inner turmoil. … see Full Review

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Symphony No.5, Op.50 (1922) Flute Concerto (1926) Entrance March (Aladdin Incidental Music) (1919) Andrew Nicholson, flute Hallé Orchestra/Mark Elder Recorded in Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 27th - 28th May and 17th October 2002. Hallé CD HLL 7502 [60.08] [NH]

Brilliant performances of brilliant music, in other words a great buy! … see Full Review

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-80) A Concert of Music by Offenbach - La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein (a) Ah, Que j'aime les militaires; Dites-lui; Chanson militaire - Souvenirs D’Aix-les-Bains - Fantasio: Ballade à la lune (a); Duo fantasio (ab) - Le carnaval des revues (g) Symphonie de l'avenir - Madame l'archiduc (adefgh) Sextuor de l'Alphabet. Les Contes d'Hoffmann (ac) Entr’acte et Barcarole. La belle Hélène Choeur des prêtresses d’Adonis (i); Amours divins! (a) - Barbe-Bleue Y'a des bergères dans le village (a). Ouverture à Grand Orchestre Lischen et Fritzchen (ag) - Je suis alsacienne/Je suis alsacien. La vie parisienne (adfg) Nous entrons dans cette demeure. La fille du tambour-major (a) Que m'importe un titre eclatant. La Périchole (a) Ah! quel diner je viens de faire. Orphée aux Infers Galop infernal (all) - (a) Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo) - (b) Magali Leger, (c) Stéphanie d'Oustrac (sopranos); (d) Gilles Ragon, (e) Jean-Christophe Keck, (f) Jean-Christophe Henry (tenors); (g) Laurent Naouri (baritone);(h) Christophe Grapperon (bass); (i) Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski - Recorded: live performance, Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, Dec 2001 - Producer: Arend Prohmann - Ratio=4:3; LPCM Stereo/Dolby 5.1/DTS 5.1 DVD TDK DV-OPJOF [87minutes] [AB]

Good singing in a live Offenbach concert. Several rarities. An irresistible live theatre experience. … see Full Review

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) La Belle Hélène: André Dran (Paris), Roger Giraud (Menelaus), Jacques Linoslas (Agamemnon), Lucien Mans (Valchas), Jean Mollien (Achilles), Loly Valdarini (Orestes), Armand Duval (Ajax 1), Jean Hoffman (Ajax 2), Janine Linda [Linda Felder?] (Hélène), Janine Weishardt (Bacchis), Jacqueline Vitry (Leona), Anette Martineau (Parthonis), Paris Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra/René Leibowitz - Recorded in 1952 - Emmanuel CHABRIER (1841-1894) L’Etoile: Highlights: Fanély Revoil (Lazuli), Lucie Thelin (Princess Laoula), René Bonneval (Tapioca), Jeanne Mattio (Aloès), René Hérent (Ouf 1), André Balbon (Sirocco), Alban Derroja (Hérisson), Paris Opéra Comique Chorus and Orchestra/Roger Désormière - Recorded in 1941 REGIS RRC2062 [2 CDs 74:14, 59:14] [CH]

Not for nothing has this set of La Belle Hélène been counted among the five all-time great recordings of French opera. … see Full Review

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819 - 1880) Les Contes d'Hoffmann (1881) Hoffmann - Nicolai Gedda (tenor) Olympia - Gianna d'Angelo (soprano) Giulietta - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) Antonia - Victoria de Los Angeles (soprano) Choeurs René Duclos Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire/André Cluytens Recorded 1-5, 9-11, 21-23 September, 22 October, 22 December 1964, 19 February 1965 Salle Wagram, Paris; 26, 27 May 1965, Barcelona EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 7243 5 67979 2 5 [2CDs: 76.29+75.47] [RH]

Never really adds up, too often less than the sum of its parts. Individual moments are fine, but does not warrant inclusion in the great voices of the century. … see Full Review

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Passio (Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem) (1982) - Robert McDonald, bass (Jesus) - Mark Anderson, tenor (Pilate)
Tonus Peregrinus/Anthony Pitts - Recorded 15-18, 28 May 2001 at the Abbey Church of St. Peter and St. Paul - Dorchester-on-Thames, UK. DDD NAXOS 8.555860 [61:50] [KS]

Spotless intonation, and a clear sense of the rhythmic ebb and flow, world class … see Full Review

Paul PATTERSON (b. 1947) Hell’s Angels (1998) Mass of the Sea (1983) Helen Meyerhoff (soprano) Striking Sounds The Goldberg Quartet Crouch End Festival Chorus/David Temple Ann Mackay (soprano) Christopher Keyte (bass) Brighton Festival Chorus Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Geoffrey Simon Hell’s Angels recorded in All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, November 2001 Mass of the Sea recorded in All Saints church, Mitcham, December, 1986 DEUX–ELLES DXL 1050 [76:00] [CT]

Two entertaining large-scale choral works by an accomplished British composer. … see Full Review

Mogens PEDERSØN (1585-1623) Madrigali a cinque voci, Libro primo (1608): Ecco la primavera - Se nel partir - Morirò, cor mio - T’amo mia vita - O che soave baccio - Son vivo e non son vivo - Care lagrime mie - Se del mio lagrimare - Come esser può - S’io rido et scherzo - Nell’ apparir dell’ amorosa Aurora - Tutti presero all’ hora - Tra queste Verdi fronde - Amor, per tua mercè - Donna. Mentr I’vi miro - Non voglio più sevire - Dimmi, caro ben mio - Io non credea gia mai -
Lascia, semplice, Lascia - Madonn’, Amor ed io - Et ella all’hor spiegò
Musica Ficta/Bo Holten - Recorded Torpen Kapel, Humlebæk, November 2001 and February 2002 DACAPO 8.224219 [57.42] [JW]

Holten directs his excellent forces - seven singers - with fluidity and acumen. This is a most enjoyable dic all round....see Full Review

Manuel PONCE (1882 - 1948) Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1943) -
Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897 - 1957) - Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major Op. 35 (1937-39) Miranda Cuckson (violin) - Czech National Symphony Orchestra/Paul Freeman - Recorded at ICN Polyart, Prague, October 9 and 10, December 1 and 2, 1999 CENTAUR CRC 2513 [57. 52] [JW] [RB]

An attractive if, again, unusual coupling of two mid-century works that embody entirely differing musical aesthetics to make their points [JW]see Full Review
Two American concertos one with a foot in Old Europe. Ponce a superb alternative to Szeryng on ASV and the Korngold bright new wine [RB]…see full review

Lucien POSMAN (b.1952) The Book of Los (2000)a - Ten Songs of Experience (1996) - To the Evening Star (2000) - To Morning (2000) Els Crommen (soprano)a; Goeyvaerts Consort; Marc Legros (flute)a; Bart Meynckens (piano)a: Marc Michael De Smet - Recorded: Chapel of Bijloke Abbey, Gent, April 2002 CYPRÈS CYP 4616 [57:55] [HC]

Music of great beauty and lyrical appeal … much to relish in this beautifully simple but superbly crafted music … see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) The Tale of the Stone Flower Op. 118 (1948-53) A ballet in four acts and nine scenes to a scenario by Mira Mendelson and Leonid Lavrovsky from the book The Malachite Box by Pavel Bazhov BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 21-22, 24, 28 Jan 2003, New Broadcasting House, Manchester. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10058(2) [72.39+75.40] [RB]

Chandos, the BBCPO and Noseda give the fillip of intensity that this music deserves and make many moments rise up as classic Prokofiev. ... see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Bohème - Renata Tebaldi (Mimì), Giacinto Prandelli (Rodolfo), Hilde Gueden (Musetta), Giovanni Inghilleri (Marcello), Fernando Corena (Schaunard), Raphaël Arie (Colline), Piero de Palma (Parpignol), Melchiorre Luise (Benoit/Alcindoro), Ildebrando Santafé (Sergeant), Coro e Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma/Alberto Erede - Recorded July 1951 in the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome - First issued as Decca LXT 2622-3 - Also highlights (Che gelida manina, Sì, mi chiamano Mimi*, O soave fanciulla, Quando m’en vo, Donde lieta uscì*, Dunque è proprio finita? In un coupè? ... O Mimì, tu più non torni, Sono andati?) with the following performers: Licia Albanese (Mimì), Giuseppe di Stefano (Rodolfo), Patrice Munsel (Musetta), Leonard Warren (Marcello), George Cehanovsky (Schaunard), Nicola Moscona (Colline), RCA Victor Orchestra/Renato Cellini, Victor Trucco* - Recorded 31.3.1949, 21.12.1950, 23-24.3.1951 in the Manhattan Center, New York City - First issued as RCA Victor LM-1709 - CD transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110252-53 [2 CDs: 76:22, 66:46] [CH]

Tebaldi’s 1959 Bohème is well-known, but this 1951 version has a lot going for it too. … see Full Review

Opera Double Pack DVD - Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La Bohème (1896) - Mimi (sop) – Mirella Freni; Rodolfo (tenor) – Luciano Pavarotti; Musetta (sop) – Sandra Pacetti; Marcello (bar) – Gino Quilico; Colline (bass) – Nicolai Ghiaurov; Schaunard (bar) – Stephen Dickson; Benoit (bass) – Italo Tajo; Alcindoro (bass) – Italo Tajo Chorus and Orchestra of San Francisco Opera/Tiziano Severini - Recorded San Francisco Opera House, 1988 ARTHAUS DVD 1000 056 [116 minutes] - Madama Butterfly (1904) Cio-Cio San (sop) – Yasuko Hayashi; Suzuki (mezzo) – Hak-Nam Kim; Pinkerton (tenor) – Peter Dvorsky; Sharpless (bar) – Giorgio Zancanaro; Kate Pinkerton (mezzo) – Anna Caterina; Goro (tenor) – Ernesto Gavazzi Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan/Lorin Maazel - Recorded La Scala, Milan. 1986 ARTHAUS DVD 1000 110 [144 minutes] [TH]

This double pack is hard to beat for value, and the lack of extras has to be set against its cheap price ...see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Turandot. Opera in 3 acts as completed by Franco Alfano. Princess Turandot, Giovanna Cassolla (sop). Prince Calaf, Lando Bartolini (ten). Liu, Masako Deguci (sop). Timur, Felipe Bou (bass). Emperor Altoum, Francisco Heredia (ten). Ping, Armando Ariostino (bar). Pong, Vincenç Esteve (ten). Pang, Javier Más (ten). Choral Society of Bilbao Escalonia Santa Maria de la Victoria Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra/ Alexander Rahbari. Recorded 26th – 27th October 2001 in the Teatro Municipal de Crvantes, Madrid, Spain. Bargain Price NAXOS 8.660089-90 [2CDs: 52.14 +53.34 min] [RF]

On record the gold standard is set by Decca’s 1972 Kingsway Hall recording with Sutherland and Pavarotti supported by Caballé, no less, as Liu and Ghiaurov as Timur. Other recordings that have followed, including this one, have been less successful ... see Full Review

Jan RÄÄTS (b.1932) Symphony No. 8 Op. 74 (1989) [20.36] - Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Concerto for Orchestra (1943) [40.54] Magdeburgisches Philharmonie/Christian Ehwald - rec. live 21-22 March 2002, Großen Haus des Theaters der Landeshauptstadt. DDD ANTES EDITION BM-CD 31.9183 [61.35] [RB]

Rääts as provocative as ever but never loses contact with the wider audience. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Joachim RAFF (1822-1882) Works for Violin and Piano, Volume 1. First Grand Sonata, Op. 73 (1853/4) [27’53]. Duo, Op. 59 (1848, rev. 1852) [14’04]. Two Fantasy Pieces, Op. 58 (1850, 1852) [18’08: 8’48 + 9’16]. Duo on Motifs from Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Op. 63 No. 2 (1853) [11’31]. Ingolf Turban (violin); Jascha Nemtsov (piano)Rec. Chamber Music Studio of South West German Radio, Stuttgart, on June 20th, 21st and 23rd, 2000. DDD CPO 999 767-2 [71’53] [CC]

Wholeheartedly recommended. This disc is a box of life-affirming delights waiting to be opened. … see Full Review

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683 - 1764) Zoroastre (1749) Zoroastre - Mark Padmore (haute-contre) Abramane - Nathan Berg (basse) Amelite - Gaelle Mechaly (dessus) Erinice - Anna Maria Panzarella (dessus) Zopire - Matthieu Lecroart (basse) Narbanor - Francois Bazola (basse) Oromases - Eric Martin Bonnet (basse) Cephie - Stephanie Revidat (dessus) La Vengeance - Matthieu Lecroart (basse) Ariman - Eric Martin Bonnet (basse) Les Arts Florissants/William Christie (director) Recorded 28 August - 10 September 2002, Theatre de Poissy, Poissy ERATO 0927 43182-2 [3CDs: 68.08+55.51+38.35] [RH]

Rameau's opera returns to the catalogue in an outstanding performance from Les Arts Florissants. … see Full Review

Alan RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971) Piano Concerto No.1 (1939, rev.1942) - Piano Concerto No.2 (1951) - Improvisations on a theme of Constant Lambert (1960) Peter Donohoe (piano) - Ulster Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa - Recorded in Usher Hall, Belfast, 20-24 November 2001. DDD NAXOS 8.555959 [56’19] [TH]

Readily accessible, with fairly short movements that have plenty of life and colour. … Donohoe revels in the textures … see Full Review

Emil Von REZNICEK (1860-1945) Ritter Blaubart - A Fairy-Tale Opera in Three Acts (1915-1917) - Ritter Blaubart - David Pittman-Jennings (baritone); Count Niklaus - Arutjun Kotchinian (bass); Werner, his son - Robert Wörle (tenor); Judith, his daughter - Celina Lindsley (soprano); Agnes, his daughter - Andion Fernandez (soprano); Josua, Blaubart’s blind servant - Victor Sawaley (tenor); The Pastor - Carsten Sabrowski (bass); Hinz, a grave robber - Johannes Schmidt (bass); Ratte, a grave robber - Peter Maus (tenor) Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Michail Jurowski - Rec. Grosser Sendesaal, Berlin, Germany, 4, 5, 12-16 March 2002 CPO 999 899-2 [2CDs: 132.39] [CF]

Melodramatic though this all is, the musical result is impressive, and the performance here under Michail Jurowski utterly convincing. … see Full Review

Ned ROREM (born 1923) End of Summer (1985) - Book of Hours (1975) -
Bright Music (1987) The Fibonacci Sequence - Recorded: Potton Hall, Suffolk, October 2001 NAXOS 8.559128 [59:59] [HC]

Music to take you by surprise, delight or irritate … the players enjoy the music and respond with zestful, committed readings of these sometimes enigmatic works. … see Full Review

Arnold ROSNER (1945-) Sextet for Strings Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland Op. 47 (1970 rev. 1997) [24.53] - Besos sin cuento (Kisses without number) Op. 86 (1980s?) [20.03] - Trombone Sonata Op. 106 (1996) [17.08] Sestetto Agosto (Sextet); Pinotage (Besos); Gregory Erickson (trombone); Angelina Tallaj (piano) (Sonata) - rec. Northminster Presbyterian Church, Evanston, Illinois, 15-16 Aug 1999 (sextet), 12 June 2000 (Besos); Patrych Sound Studios, Bronx, NY, 1 Dec 2000 (sonata) DDD ALBANY TROY553 [63.19] [RB]

Heartfelt and soulful music that puts the agreeable superficialities that pass for popular profundity into perspective. It is long past time that this music was discovered ... see Full Review

Francis ROUTH (b.1927) Piano Music Bretagne - Scenes for Piano IV Op.68 (1998)a Angels of Albion – Scenes for Piano III Op.64 (1995)a Elegy (1986)b Celebration Op.45 (1984)b Lora Dimitrova (piano)a; Jeffrey Jacob (piano)b Recorded: Moor Park, Ludlow, May 1999 (Bretagne); The Downs School, Colwall, November 2000 (Angels of Albion) and BBC Maida Vale Studio 2, London, May 1986 (Elegy, Celebration) REDCLIFFE RECORDINGS RR 018 [61:10] [HC]

Carefully prepared, immaculate, committed readings pay a well-deserved tribute to a most distinguished composer whose music is regrettably too rarely heard. … see Full Review

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) The Sacred Muse Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in A flat, Op. 65* (1948) [7’23"] - Tenebrae First Nocturn Op. 72 (1951): ‘In monte Oliveti’ [2’21"] - ‘Tristis est anima mea’ [3’12"] - ; ‘Ecce vidimus eum’ [4’14"] -
Tenebrae Second Nocturn Op. 72 (1961): ‘Amicus meus’ [2’42"] - ‘Judas mercator pessimus’ [2’22"] - ‘Unus ex discipulis’ [2’31"] - Tenebrae Third Nocturn Op. 72 (1961): ‘Eram quasi agnus innocens’ [3’22"] - ‘Una hora non potuistis’ [2’18"] - ‘Seniores populi’ [2’58"] - Salutation Op. 82 [3’23"] - Missa in Honorem Sancti Dominici Op. 66 (1948) [16’17"] - Festival Gloria Op. 94 (1957) [5’27"] *James E. Jordan Jr. (organ) - Gloria Dei Cantores/Elizabeth C. Patterson - Recorded in the Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts GLORIA DEI CANTORES GDCD 024 [58’28"] [JQ]

Do hear this fine disc… Gloria Dei Cantores’ finest achievement to date. Enterprise in their choice of repertoire and their expertise in execution. … see Full Review

Poul RUDERS (b.1949) - Violin Concerto No.1 (1981)a - Etude and Ricercare (1994)b - The Bells (1993)c The Christmas Gospel (1994)d - Rolf Schulte (violin)a; David Starobin (guitar)b; Lucy Shelton (soprano)c; Riverside Symphonya; Speculum Musicaec; Malmö Symphony Orchestrad; George Rothmana, David Starobinc, Ola Rudnerd - Recorded: SUNY Purchase, Theatre C, November 1994 (Violin Concerto No.1); MasterSound Astoria, June 1995 (Etude and Ricercare); American Academy of Arts and Letters, April 1994 (The Bells) and Malmö, October 1994 (The Christmas Gospel) BRIDGE BCD 9057 [61:46] [HC]

A composer in full command of his aims and means, no longer afraid to give his lyrical nature full rein. … see Full Review

Poul RUDERS (b.1949) - Paganini Variations (1999/2000)a - The City in the Sea (1990)b - Anima (1993)c Mette Ejsing (contralto)b; Michaela Fukacova (cello)c; David Starobin (guitar)a; Odense Symphony Orchestra; Jan Wagner - Recorded: Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense Koncerthus, Odense, May 2002 BRIDGE 9122 [57:37] [HC]

A convinced lyricist. … a composer who enjoys writing for large forces and who relishes the many expressive possibilities of present-day orchestra. … see Full Review

[Detailed listing (last two days)]
[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] 
[Part 7 Misc M-Z]

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