Aureole etc.

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John CAGE (1912 – 1992) Cheap Imitation (1969) Souvenir (1984) Dream (1948) Teodoro Anzellotti (accordion) Recorded: WDR, Funkhaus Köln, December 2000 (Cheap Imitation) and September 1992 (Dream); Hans-Rosbaud-Studio, Baden-Baden, December 1993 (Souvenir) WINTER & WINTER 910 080-2 [62:57] [HC]

Cage’s fans will need no further recommendation and will be delighted to hear these unusual, but quite successful transcriptions. … see Full Review

Joseph CANTELOUBE (1879-1957) Chants d’Auvergne Frederica von Stade (mezzo soprano) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Antonio de Almeida Recorded Abbey Road, London 1982 and 1985 SONY CLASSICAL SBK63063 [73.11] [JW]

For those who prefer their Canteloube rather tougher, edgier and less verdant than the norm. … see Full Review

Carolling: A Celebration for Walter CARROLL and Ida CARROLL
Piano Sonata in C minor and songs Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis Jubilate Dorothy PILLING Songs: Colours; Three Jolly Gentlemen; February; Jenny Kiss'd Me (soprano) Songs: Nod; The Splendour Falls; Silver point; Weathers (baritone) Vignettes for piano: Idyll; Mirages; Promenade. Recorder and Piano: Terence GREAVES Melancholy Piper Michael Zev GORDON Dolce John McLEOD Rainbow Michael BALL Carolling Jonathan Scott (piano); Alison Wells (soprano); Christopher Underwood (baritone); John Turner (recorder); Keith Swallow (piano) Jeremy Suter (organ) Cockermouth Harmonic Society/Michael Hancock Rec. 2003? FORSYTH FS004 [65.00] [CSS]

Illuminates a frequently overlooked corner … see Full Review

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1809-1847) The Waltzes – Complete Works for Piano: Volume 7 Joyce Hatto (piano) Recorded Concert Artist Studios January and March 1997 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9042-2 [69.54] [JW]

Lyrical and affecting … shines undimmably … upholds the fine standard set by this series. … see Full Review

Frederick CHOPIN (1810-1849) The Complete Works for Piano Vol. 1 The Études Joyce Hatto, piano Rec. March 1992, April 1997, Concert Artist Studios, Royston, Hertfordshire, England CONCERT ARTIST CACD 9035-2 [65.57] [PW]

Regrettably not easy to recommend. … see Full Review

Henri CHRISTINÉ (1867-1941) Dédé (1921) - Musical (abridged, with dialogue in French) Maurice Chevalier (bar) Robert; Marina Hotine (sop) Denise; Raymond Girerd (ten) André/Dédé; Andrée Grandjean (sop) Odette; Marcel Carpentier (bar) Leroydet. Orchestra conducted by Jacques-Henri Rys Rec. Universal (Decca) Studios, Antony, France. 1953 Mono 2 CDs for the price of one DISCOVERY/ACCORD OPERETTE SERIES 461 961-2 [85:31] [RW]

Flows breezily along, very clearly recorded, in fact outstandingly so for 1953. The mono mastering does not hinder one's enjoyment. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frederic CLIFFE (1857-1931) Symphony No. 1 in C minor Op. 1 (1889) [43.25] Orchestral Picture: Cloud and Sunshine (1890) [14.26] Malmö Opera Orchestra/Christopher Fifield rec. 6-8 May 2003, St. Johannes Church, Malmö, Sweden. DDD STERLING CDS-1055-2 [57.54] [RB]

Two virile and confident works in the Mendelssohn-Schumann tradition given splendidly engaged, life-imbued performances and audio to match. ... see Full Review

Gloria COATES (b.1943) String Quartet No. 2 (1972) String Quartet No. 3 (1975) String Quartet No. 4 (1976-77) String Quartet No. 7 ‘Angels’ (2000) String Quartet No. 8 ( 2001-02) Kreutzer Quartet Michael Finnissy (Conductor on String Quartet No. 7) Philip Adams (Organ on String Quartet No. 7) Recorded at the Church of St. John’s, Loughton, Essex on 18 September 2000 (Quartets 2, 3, 4) and the Church of St. Mary de Haura, New Shoreham, West Sussex on 30 June 2003 (Quartets 7, 8). DDD NAXOS 8.559152 [64.37] [MC]

I have been left with a plethora of complex feelings by this extremely challenging music. Will I be returning to these works? I doubt it somehow! … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Music for piano: Passacaglia (1921/22) [7’12]. Piano Variations (1930) [11’18]. Piano Sonata (1939-41) [24’43]. Piano Fantasy (1955-57) [33’20]. Raymond Clarke (piano) Rec. King’s Hall, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, September 1st, 2001. DDD DIVINE ART 25016 [76’52] [CC]

My recording of the month, without a shadow of a doubt. For anyone who has yet to experience the wonders of Copland’s music for piano, here is the place to start. … see Full Review


François COUPERIN (1668-1733) L’Apothéose de Corelli (1724) - L’Apothéose de Lully (1725) - La Sultane (1695) - La Steinerque (1692) London Baroque Ensemble/Charles Medlam - Rec. January 2001, St Martin’s, East Woodhay, Hampshire BIS CD 1275 [65.40] [TB]

The ebb and flow of the music is effortlessly inspired, endlessly imaginative … see Full Review

The Pupils of Beethoven Carl CZERNY (1791-1857) Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 214a [30’57].Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838)Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, Op. 55b [28’25]. Felicja Blumental (piano); aVienna Chamber Orchestra/Helmut Froschauer; bSalzburg Chamber Orchestra/Theodore Guschlbauer.Rec. aVienna in 1968, bKlessheim Palace, Salzburg in 1968. ADD BRANA RECORDS BR0005 [59’25] [CC]

Thanks to Brana for allowing us to enjoy the artistry of Felicja Blumental and explore a couple of the byways of the piano concerto repertoire. … see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Images, six pieces for solo piano (1905-07) Etudes, twelve pieces for solo piano (1915) Recorded at La Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds, France, 7-14 July 2002. DDD Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano) WARNER CLASSICS 8573 83940-2 [75:06] [MC]

Pass on this and opt for the Thibaudet … see Full Review

Michel-Richard De LALANDE (1657-1736) De Profundis; Regina Coeli; Ensemble Vocal et Instrumental de Lausanne/Michel Corboz Recorded in 1970 no further details given Sacris Solemnis Soloists unnamed Chorale Stephane Caillat Orchestre de Chambre/Jean-François Paillard Recorded in 1980 no further details given ERATO 2564 60240-2 [73.26] [GH]

I am convinced that De Lalande is a fine composer but for me this is not the recording to choose. … see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1868) An Introduction to ... L’Elisir d’Amore Background Introduction, The 'bel canto' era, Rossini and Bellini, Donizetti The Scottish connection, Johann Simon Mayr, Donizetti's first successes L'elisir d'amore Background to L'elisir d'amore, The opening: Adina and Nemorino, Sergeant Belcore, Dr Dulcamara, Act I finale, Act II opening: Adina and Belcore’s engagement, Nemorino's enlistment and Adina's discovery, 'Una furtiva lagrima' A happy ending Narrative written by Thomson Smillie and spoken by David Timson Musical extracts taken from complete Naxos recording (8.660045-46) conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi Bargain Price NAXOS EDUCATIONAL 8.558120 [77.59] [RF]

Erudite, informative and entertaining for the opera enthusiast or first timer. … see Full Review

The Pursuit of Illusion Conscious, The Pursuit of Illusion, Little Window, Floating World, A Bridge, Fragment, The Colour of the Door (Parts 1 and 2) Troy Donockley, voice, guitar, mandola, whistles, Uillean pipes, keyboards Joanne Hogg, voice York Cantores Choir The Emperor String Quartet Neil Drinkwater, piano Chris Redgate, oboe Terl Bryant, percussion Duncan Rayson, organ Nick Beggs, Chapman stick Peter Knight, violins Andy Duncan, darabuka, Tibetan drum, voice Recorded at The Chapel Studios, Lincolnshire and Waterworld, East Yorkshire. York Cantores recorded at The National Centre for Early Music, York. LANTERN LNTNCD1 [54.47] [NH]

Living proof that, in the right hands, crossover need not mean blandout. A brilliant fusion of classical, folk, rock etc. by a musician of no mean talent…….see Full Review

Roger DUMAS (1897-1951) Ignace operetta (1935) complete, with dialogue in French Fernandel (bar) Ignace Boitaclou; Robert Piquet (ten) Serge de Montroc; Eliane Varon (sop) Annette; Eliane Thibault (sop) Monique; Line May (sop) Loulette Orchestra and choir directed by André Grassi Rec. Universal (Decca) Studios, Antony, France 1967 2 CDs for the price of one DISCOVERY/ACCORD OPERETTE SERIES 472 877-2 [102:10] [RW]

Not really an operetta; more a series of revue numbers linked by dialogue. Strong rhythm, music of the easy going, easy listening variety … see Full Review

Henri DUTILLEUX (b.1916) Symphony No. 2 (1959) Métaboles * (1965) Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1956) Symphony No. 4 (1947) Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux * Orchestre National de l’ORTF conducted by Charles Münch Recorded in Paris in 1967 WARNER ERATO 2564 60575-2 [72:20] [IL]

Fine committed performances of very approachable modern music. The Dutilleux especially is very colourful, kaleidoscopic and quite addictive. … see Full Review

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1844-1908) Violin Concerto in A minor (1879) [29.32] Mazurek, op. 49 for violin and orchestra (1879) [6.00] Pablo de SARASATE (1841-1904) Zigeunerweisen, op. 20 for violin and orchestra (1878) [7.46] Carmen Fantasy, op. 25 for violin and orchestra (1879) [11.37] Akiko Suwanai (violin) Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer Recorded at the Italian Institute, Budapest, December, 1999 PHILIPS 289 464 531-2 [55.27] [EH]

Acute awareness and ability to dominate and accompany. Brilliant technical control and dynamic range … see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto in B minor, op.104Symphony no. 9 in E minor, op.95 – "From the New World" Ludwig Hoelscher (violoncello), Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg/Joseph Keilberth (concerto), Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie/Edouard Lindenberg (symphony)Recorded in 1958 and 1969, locations not given APEX 0927 49919-2 [79:17] [CH]

A version of the cello concerto which was well worth resurrecting, but the symphony is compromised by scrappy playing. … see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) String Quartet in F, Op. 96, American (1893) [25’44].Johannes BRAHMS (1833-97) String Quartet in C minor, Op. 51 No. 1 (1865-73) [31’04] Škampa String Quartet (Pavel Fischer, Jana Lukášova, violins; Radim Sedmidunský, viola; Jonáš Krejčí, cello)Rec Domovina Studio, Prague, on April 30th and June 28th-29th, 1998. DDD SUPRAPHON SU3380-2 [56’54] [CC]

The Škampa Quartet is quite an ensemble … Unhesitatingly recommended. … see Full Review

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) National Anthem (arr. Elgar) Coronation Ode Dame Felicity Lott (soprano), Alfreda Hodgson (contralto), Richard Morton (tenor); Stephen Roberts (bass) Cambridge University Musical Society Choir of Kings College Cambridge Band of the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall/Sir Philip Ledger rec. Chapel of Kings College, Cambridge, February 1977 The Spirit of England, O Hearken Thou (offertory) Dame Felicity Lott (soprano) London Symphony Chorus and Northern Sinfonia/Richard Hickox Rec. No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, October 1987 National Anthem (arr. Elgar) Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) I Was Glad Cambridge University Musical Society Choir of Kings College Cambridge Band of the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall/Sir Philip Ledger Rec. Chapel of Kings College, Cambridge, February 1977 EMI CLASSICS 5 85148 2 [74:21] [IL]

Grand ceremonial music that touches heart and spirit. … see Full Review

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) An Elgar Choral Collection CD1 [70.40] and CD2 [57.13]: Meditation (The Light of Life), Op.29* (1896) The Apostles, Op.49 (1903) Sheila Armstrong (soprano), Helen Watts (contralto), Robert Tear (tenor), Benjamin Luxon (bass), Clifford Grant (bass), John Carol Case (bass) Choir of Downe House School, London Philharmonic Choir London Philharmonic Orchestra*/Sir Adrian Boult Rec. October-December 1973 and 2 July 1974, Kingsway Hall, London (Apostles), February 1974, No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (Meditation) CD3 [57.38] and CD4 [72.19]: The Kingdom, Op.51 (1906) Margaret Price (soprano), Yvonne Minton (contralto), Alexander Young (tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (bass) London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult Coronation Ode, Op.44 (1902, revised 1911) Felicity Lott (soprano), Alfreda Hodgson (contralto, Richard Morton (tenor) Stephen Roberts (bass) Cambridge University Musical Society Choir of King’s College, Cambridge New Philharmonia/Philip Ledger Rec 16-22 December 1968, Kingsway Hall, London (Kingdom), 7-8 February 1977, Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge CD5 [38.49] and CD6 [59.26]: The Dream of Gerontius, Op.38 (1900) Richard Lewis (tenor), Janet Baker (mezzo soprano), Kim Borg (bass) Hallé Choir, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Ambrosian Singers Hallé Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli Rec 27-30 December, Free Trade Hall, Manchester CD7 [59.01]: The Banner of St George, Op.33 (1897) Great is the Lord, Op.67 (1913) Te Deum and Benedictus, Op.34 (1897) London Symphony Chorus Northern Sinfonia of England/Richard Hickox Rec 9-11 February 1986, Watford Town Hall CD8 [75.30] and CD9 [74.30]: Caractacus, Op.35 (1898) Imperial March, Op.32* (1897) Coronation March, Op.65* (1911) Enigma Variations, Op.36* (1899) Peter Glossop (baritone), Sheila Armstrong (soprano), Robert Tear (tenor), Bryan Rayner Cook (baritone), Malcolm King (bass) Richard Stuart (bass) Liverpool Philharmonic Choir Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves Rec 1971 (Imperial March, Coronation March), 1977 (Caractacus, Enigma Variations) CD10 [64.05]:The Light of Life, Op.29 (1896) Margaret Marshall (soprano), Helen Watts (contralto), Robin Leggate (tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (bass) Liverpool Philharmonic Choir Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves Rec 17-18 July 1980, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool CD11 [62.15]:The Music Makers, Op.69* (1912) Sea Pictures, Op.37 (1899) Felicity Palmer (contralto) London Symphony Chorus* London Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox CD12 [51.13]: The Spirit of England, Op.80* (1917) Give unto the Lord, Op.74 (1914) O Hearken Thou, Op.64 (1911) The Snow, Op.26 No. 1 (1894) Land of Hope and Glory (arr. Fagge, 1914) Felicity Palmer (contralto) London Symphony Chorus Northern Sinfonia of England/Richard Hickox Rec 11-12 May 1986, Watford Town Hall Rec 17-18 October 1977, No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London CD13 [76.10]: Ave Verum Corpus, Op.2 No. 1 (1887) Ave Maria, Op.2 No. 2 (1887) Ave maris stella, Op.2 No. 3 (1887) Vesper Voluntaries, Op.14 (1890) Angelus, Op.56 No. 1 (1909) Give unto the Lord, Op.74 (1914) O Hearken Thou, Op.64 (1911) Te Deum and Benedictus, Op.34 (1897) Organ Sonata, Op.28* (1895) Choir of Worcester Cathedral Harry Bramma (organ) Christopher Robinson Herbert Sumsion (organ)* Rec 6-8 March 1969, Worcester Cathedral, 4-6 January 1965, Gloucester Cathedral (Organ Sonata) EMI CLASSICS 5 75794 2 [13CDs] [TB]

To have these wonderful recordings collected ‘under one roof’, so to speak, is clearly something to treasure. For these discs will grace any library shelf, provided of course that there are not too many of them already there. … see Full Review

Bechara EL-KHOURY (b.1957) Orchestral Works CD1 Symphonic Works [76.35] Danse pour orchestra Op. 9 "Danse des Aigles" (1980); Image Symphonique Op. 26 "Les dieux de la Terre" (1982); Suite Symphonique Op. 29 (1982) "Les Nuit et le Fou"; Requiem for Orchestra Op. 18 (1980); Poème Symphonique No. 1 Op. 14 (1980); Poème Symphonique No. 2 "Le Regard du Christ" Op. 2 (1979) Orchestre Colonne/Pierre Dervaux
Recorded in the church of Notre-Dame, Paris, September 1983 CD2 Concertos [65.57] Meditation poètique for violin and piano Op. 41 (1986); Concerto for piano and orchestra Op. 36 (1984); ‘Poème’ for piano and orchestra No. 1 Op. 11(1980); Poème for piano and orchestra No. 2 Op. 22 (1981); Serenade for string orchestra No. 1 ‘Feuilles d’Automne’ Op. 10 (1980); Serenade for string orchestra No. 2 Op. 20 (1981) Orchestre Colonne/Pierre Dervaux Abdel Rahman El Bacha and David Lively (pianos); Gérard Poulet (violin) Recorded live at the Salle Pleyel, Paris, February and March 1986 FORLANE ARC 361 216762 [76.35+65.57] [GH]

Early pieces showing considerable competence. Sometimes inspired often sounding extremely mature. Masterly use of the orchestra - this fascinating composer … see Full Review

Einar ENGLUND (1916-1999) Piano Concerto No. 1 (1955) [21.43] Piano Concerto No. 2 (1974) [23.48] Epinikia (1947) [7.37] Matti Raekallio (piano) Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra/Eri Klas Rec. Tampere Hall, Finland, April 2002 ONDINE ODE 1015-2 [53.28] [RB]

Ondine remain on-song with another indispensable addition to the Englund discography. … see Full Review

Giles FARNABY (c1563-1640) "Farnaby’s Dreame" For two Virginals */*** [01:14] Muscadin * [01:16] Fantasia * (M.B., No. 5) [05:06] Meridian Alman * [01:42] Mal Sims * [01:28] Alman * (M.B., No. 22) [01:02] Rosseter’s Galliard * [02:16] Wooddy-Cock * [06:09] A maske * (M.B., No. 33) [01:49] Pawles Wharfe * [02:08] The Old Spagnioletta * [00:56] Fantasia * (M.B., No. 12) [03:52] His Humour * [01:28] A Maske * (M.B., No. 31) [02:11] The King’s Hunt * [02:06] Fantasia * (M.B., No. 7) [03:46] A Gigge * [01:17] Gallarda * [01:34] Tell mee Daphne * [01:54] Spagnioletta * [02:00] Fantasia * (M.B., No. 10) [03:42] A Maske ** (M.B., No. 32) [01:07] Alman (Johnson, set by Farnaby) ** (M.B., No. 23) [00:43] Fantasia ** (M.B., No. 6) [03:31] Pavana (Johnson, set by Farnaby) ** [05:45] Why aske you ** [01:59] Giles Farnaby’s Dreame ** [00:57] Quodling’s Delight ** [02:52] Lachrymae Pavan (Dowland, set by Farnaby) ** [08:01] A Toy ** [01:11] (M.B. refers to the series Musica Brittannica, in which a number of Farnaby’s compositions have been published) Pierre Hantaï, harpsichord (Italian harpsichord by F.A, 1677 *; Flemish harpsichord by Ruckers, Antwerp 1624 **); Elisabeth Joyé, spinet (French, 17th century ***) Recorded in February and March 1990 in the Museum of Chartres (*) and the Unterlinden Museum at Colmar (**), France DDD ACCORD 476 057-2 [76:27] [JV]

Farnaby may be a rather obscure composer of the Elizabethan era, his music is imaginative and often virtuosic – well worth hearing … see Full Review

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845 – 1924) Piano Trio in D minor Op.120 (1923) Claude DEBUSSY (1862 – 1918) Piano Trio in G major (1880) Joseph JONGEN (1883 – 1953) Deux Pièces en trio Op.95 (1931) Trio Grumiaux (Philippe Koch, violin; Luc Dewez, cello; Luc Devos, piano) - Recorded: Studio Toots, Brussels, November 2002 KLARA MMP 036 [62:40] [HC]

Beautifully poised performances by the members of the Trio Grumiaux. I thoroughly enjoyed this attractive release from first to last. Well worth having. … see Full Review

Friedrich Ernst FESCA (1789-1826) Symphony No. 2, op. 10 in D (ca. 1809) [25:26] Symphony No. 3, op. 13 in D (1816) [28:25] Cantemire Overture [7:13] NDR Radiophilharmonie/Frank Beermann Recorded 25-28 September and 6-9 November 2001 in Hanover DDD CPO 999 869-2 [61:04] [KS]

Fesca’s voice is certainly original, and his thematic material and structural devices are at once captivating. … see Full Review

Michael FINNISSY (b.1946) This Church Richard Jackson, baritone, Jane Money, mezzo-soprano Choir of Saint Mary de Haura Church The Saint Mary Handbell Ringers IXION/composer Rec. Church of St. Mary de Haura, Shoreham, Sussex, February 2003 METIER MSV CD92069 [65.30] [GH]

A fascinating piece which highlights an unusual facet of one of the most original and prolific composers of our time. … see Full Review

Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Song Cycles Farewell to Arms (mid 1920s and 1944) A Young Man’s Exhortation Op.14 (1926-29) Till Earth Outwears Op.19a (1927-56) Oh Fair To See (1929-56) Richard Brunner (tenor) Laurene Lisovich (piano) Recorded Rutgers University Camden NJ (1998?) GASPARO GSCD 335 [72.50] [JW]

For those who appreciate a little more pepper and less honey in their Finzi … see Full Review

Eduard FRANCK (1817-1893) Violin Concerto in E minor Op. 30 (1855) [34.08] Symphony in A major Op. 47 (1860?) [36.42] Christiane Edinger (violin), Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hans-Peter Frank rec. 13-14 Oct 1997, Studio 1, Saarländischer Rundfunk, Saarbrücken co-production with Saarländischer Rundfunk premiere recordings AUDITE 20.025 [71.54] [RB]

A curtain call for Audite for bringing this meritorious and highly attractive music out into the light of common day ... see Full Review

Eduard FRANCK (1817-1893) Violin Concerto in D major Op. 57 (1860) [27.42] Symphony in B flat major Op. 52 (1856) [32.09] Christiane Edinger (violin) Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hans-Peter Frank rec. 24-28 Jan 2000, Studio 1, Saarländischer Rundfunk, Saarbrücken co-production with Saarländischer Rundfunk premiere recordings AUDITE 20.034 [60.04] [RB]

Hans-Peter Frank makes hay with the many invitations to joyous exuberance that Franck has left throughout these scores. ... see Full Review

Eduard FRANCK (1817-1893) String Quartet in C minor Op. 55 (1855?) [34.06] String Quartet in E flat major Op. 54 (1847) [35.23] Edinger Quartet (Christiane Edinger (violin 1), Alexander Kortschmar (violin 2), Igor Budinstein (viola), Katharina Maechler (cello)) rec. 7-9 Mar 2000, Sendesaal des Funkhauses Köln co-production with Deutschland Radio premiere recordings AUDITE 20.032[69.29] [RB]

Two highly attractive quartets with alluring qualities of Olympian calm and fiery restlessness ... see Full Review

Eduard FRANCK (1817-1893) String Quartet in F minor Op. 49 (1855) [31.43] Piano Quintet in D major Op. 45 (1853) [35.02] James Tocco (piano) Edinger Quartet Christiane Edinger (violin 1), Alexander Kortschmar (violin 2), Igor Budinstein (viola), Katharina Maechler (cello)) rec. 9-11 Feb 2000, Sendesaal des Funkhauses Köln co-production with Deutschland Radio premiere recordings AUDITE 20.033 [67.41] [RB]

Civilised chamber music partaking of Schumann and Mendelssohn. ... see Full Review

Robert FUCHS (1847-1927) The Piano Quartets Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor Op. 15 (1876) [33.09] Piano Quartet No. 2 in B minor Op. 75 (1904) [34.52] Oliver Triendl (piano) Adorján Trio rec. 22-23 June 2000, 10-11 July 2000, Stadthalle Kirchheim, Teck. DDD THOROFON CTH2454 [68.01] [RB]

I recommend this disc very strongly to those with a passion for vintage romantically yearning classical era music. ... see Full Review

Armstrong GIBBS (1889-1960) Songs Geraldine McGreevy (sop) Stephen Varcoe (bar) Roger Vignoles (piano) Rec. 14-16 Mar. 2002 DDD HYPERION CDA67337 [79.19] [LF]

All lovers of English song will want this on their shelves … both singers have excellent diction and pretty well every word is heard. … see Full Review

Don GILLIS (1912-1978) Music Inspired by the American Southwest Symphony ‘X’ (‘The Big D’) [13.30] Shindig [22.32] Encore Concerto [17.52] Symphony 5½ [14.36] Alan Feinberg (piano) Albany Symphony Orchestra/David Alan Miller Rec. 2001. DDD ALBANY TROY 391 [67.58] [RB]

Unbuttoned music which not only sends up the various targets but does so with affection and an ambiguous wink. … see Full Review

Umberto GIORDANO (1867 – 1948) Andrea Chenier (1896) Maddalena di Coigny – Maria Caniglia (soprano) Andrea Chenier – Beniamino Gigli (tenor) Garlo Gerard – Gino Bechi (baritone) Countess di Coigny – Giulietta Simonato (mezzo-soprano) Madelon – Vittoria Palombini Bersi – Maria Huder Roucher – Italo Tajo Fouquier –Tinville – Giuseppe Taddei Mathieu – Leoni Paci Fleville - Giuseppe Taddei The Abbe – Adelio Zagonara L’Incredibile - Adelio Zagonara Majordomo – Gino Conti Dumas – Gino Conti Schmidt – Gino Conti Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala Opera House, Milan/Olivero de Fabritiis Recorded Milan November 1941 by La voce del padrone Umberto GIORDANO (1867 – 1948) Andrea Chenier (excerpts) Giacomo Lauri Volpi (tenor) Recorded 1941 Antonio Cortis
Recorded 1930 Cesare Formichi (baritone) Recorded 1927 Claudia Muzio (soprano) Recorded 1935 Francesco Merli (tenor) Recorded 1928 Aureliano Pertile (tenor) Recorded 1930 NAXOS 8.110275-76 [2CDs: 53.41+74.53] [RH]

A fine, dramatic performance with a superlative cast. … see Full Review

Alexander Konstantinovich GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Triumphal March, Op. 40 (1892) [9’46]. Serenades - No. 1 in A, Op. 7 (1883) [4’02]; No. 2 in F, Op. 11 (1884) [3’48]. Overtures on Greek Themes (1881-84) – No. 1 in G minor, Op. 3 [14’46]; No. 2 in D, Op. 6 [18’48]. Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Ziva.Rec. Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia, in February 2000. DDDOrchestral Works: Volume 17. NAXOS 8.555048 [70’33] [CC]

Dips in creative inspiration apart, this is a very enjoyable disc. … see Full Review

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Iphigénie en Tauride. Tragic opera in four Acts Iphigénie, Carol Vaness (sop); Thoas, Giorgio Surian (bass); Oreste, Thomas Allen (bar) Pylade; Gösta Windbergh (ten); Priestess, Anna Zoroberto (sop); Diane, Sylvie Brunet (sop) Chorus and orchestra of ‘Teatro alla Scala’ Milan/Riccardo Muti Recorded during live performances in La Scala, March 1992 SONY CLASSICAL SM2K90463 [2CDs: 69.24+47.10] [RF]

Muti is hard driven and furious at times … better than the nondescript placidity that is the downside of some later, supposedly more scholarly, interpretations. … see Full Review

Claude GOUDIMELL (1514 – 1572) Six Psaumes: Or sus tous humaine; Que Dieu se montre seulement; Laisse moi desormais; Mon Coeur rempli; O Seigneur; Du fons de ma pensee Messe Le bien que j’ay Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK (1562–1621) Ricercar en la Choral – Variations ‘Allein Gottin der Hoh sei Ehr’ Choral – Variations ‘Ons is gheboren een Kindekijn’ Toccata en la Xavier Darasse (organ) Ensemble Vocal et Instrumental de Lausanne Michel Corboz (conductor) Recorded 1975 ERATO 2564 60574-2 [72.49] [RH]

A useful re-issue of a disc mainly devoted to Goudimel, a composer under represented in today’s catalogue. But the performances are showing their age … see Full Review

Nicholas Zumbro plays de Falla and Granados Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas Book I El Pelele, Crepusculo, Los requiebros, Coloquio en la reja, El fandango de candil, Quejas ó la maja y el ruiseñor, Intermezzo Goyescas Book II El amor y la muerte; Balada, Epilogo; Serenata del espectro Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) El Amor Brujo, Pantomine, Scene-Chanson du feu-follet, Nicholas Zumbro (piano) Recorded at St Silas Church, London (1994?) CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9004 [72.24] [JW]

Zumbro shows fine affinities with Spanish music – its colour and rhythm … see Full Review

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Lyric Pieces: Bell-ringing, op.54/4, Cradle Song, op.38/1, Butterfly, op.43/1, Elegie, op.47/7, Melody, op.47[not 4 as given on the CD cover]/3, Secrecy, op.57/4, National Song, op.12/8, Home-Sickness, op.57/6, Brooklet, op.62/4, Valse-Impromptu, op,47/1, Grandmother’s Minuet, op.68/2, Vanished Days, op.57/1, March of the Dwarfs, op.54/3, Summer’s Eve, op.71/2, Elegie, op.38/6, Scherzo, op.54/5, Lonely Wanderer, op.43/2, Puck, op.71/3, Nocturne, op.54/4 Mikhail Pletnev (piano)No details of location or date, but recording copyrighted 1994. CDK MUSIC CDKM 1003 [67:44] [CH]

Keep clear of this one. … see Full Review

Bára GRIMSDÓTTIR (b.1960) Virgo Gloriosa My soul is beset with woes [4.42] Ad beatam virginem [21.17] Mary, maiden glorious [6.56] Mary, the Lord God’s lily [4.54] I will praise her and laud [3.36] In memoriam piissimae matronae [19.32] Hljómeyki Chamber Choir/Bernard Wilkinson Recorded at Skálholt Church, Iceland January 2001 Smekkleysa Records SMK 23 [50.31] [CF]

Grimsdóttir is an imaginatively skilled craftsman; hauntingly beautiful in its mix of modern and ancient harmonies and rhythms. I cannot recommend this disc too highly … see Full Review

Jesús GURIDI (1886-1961) Ten Basque Melodies (1941) [22.40] So the Boys Sing (1915) [13.34] An Adventure of Don Quixote (1916) [11.07] In a Phoenician Vessel (1927) [14.28] The Early Cock is Crowing (1942) [3.38] Isabel Álvarez (sop) Chorus of the Conservatory of Bilbao Choral Society Bilbao Symphony Orchestra/Juan José Mena rec. Euskalduna Concert Hall, Bilbao, 26-30 June 2000. DDD Spanish Classics series NAXOS 8.557110 [65.25] [RB]

A reasonably well filled and finely executed disc better than decently representative of the many attractions of Guridi's music ... see Full Review

Ernesto HALFFTER (1905-1989) Canciones: Dos canciones (1927), L'hiver de l'enfance (1928-1934), Señora (1938), Seis Canciones Portuguesas (1940-1941), Canción de Dorotea (1947), Canto Inca (1944), Pregón (1974), Seguidilla Caselera (1945), Canciones del niño de Cristal (1931-34), Cancao do Berço (1940-41), Elena Gragera (mezzo-soprano), Antón Cardó (piano), Recorded 18-19 September 2001 at L'Estudi Albert Moraleda COLUMNA MÚSICA ICM0086 [56:00]

Elena Gragera is a pleasure to hear, but only a few of the songs are of more than specialised interest … see Full Review

Ivar HALLSTRÖM (1826-1901) Duke Magnus and the Mermaid (Hertig Magnus) Romantic Operetta in 3 Acts (1867) With book by Frans Hedberg (1828-1908) Critical Edition: Anders Wiklund Duke Magnus, Lars Johansson (bar);Sten Åkeson, constable, Johan Rydh, (bar); Brynolf, his son, Mattias Ermedahl, (ten); Peder, an old fisherman, Staffan Alveteg, (bass); Ingrid, his wife, Eva Marklund, (m.sop); Anna, their daughter, Ingela Bohlin, (sop); Lisa, a fisherman's daughter, Emelie Sigelius, (sop);
Ulf, cook to the Duke, Jonas Olofsson, (ten); A monk, Marco Stella, (bar); A fisherman, Robin Svanvik, (bar) Vadstena Academy Choir Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Niklas Willén Rec. Louis De Geer Concert Hall, Norrköping, Sweden. August 2000 MARCO POLO 8.225214-15 [44.22+69.00] [RF]

Were Hallström to have operated in Paris he would have a significant following and many more recordings. I recommend this set to all lovers of operetta and romantic opera. … see Full Review

George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759) Ballet music Alcina (HWV 34) [25:47] Terpsichore (HWV 8b) [11:10] Il Pastor fido (HWV 8c) [10:22] English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner Recorded in March 1984 at St Luke’s Church, London DDD WARNER ELATUS 2564-60335-2 [47:21] [JV]

A recording of ballet music by Handel which isn’t often performed – almost 20 years old, it still sounds quite good, despite some shortcomings … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Water Music Giuseppe TORELLI (1658-1709) Trumpet Concerto in D * Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) 2-Trumpet Concerto in C, RV 537 *° HANDEL 2-Trumpet Concerto in D, HWV 335a *° Roger Delmotte (trumpet)*, Arthur Haneuse (trumpet)° Vienna State Opera Orchestra/Hermann Scherchen Recorded November 1960 in the Mozartsaal, Konzerthaus, Vienna WESTMINSTER: The Legacy 471 276-2 [73:26] [CH]

This performance sounded very odd in 1960 but now its time has come and it can be recommended if you want modern instruments and a challenging, anti-romantic approach. … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 – 1759) Music for the Royal Fireworks (a) Oboe Concerto No. 3 in G minor (a) Harp Concerto in B flat major (b) Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (c) Concerto Grosso Opus 6 No. 8 in C minor (d) Scottish Chamber Orchestra (a) Sir Alexander Gibson (conductor) (a) Robin Miller oboe (a) Janáček Philharmony (b) Hartmut Haenchen (conductor) (b) Maria Garfova (harp) (b) Orchestra of St. John’s Smith Square (c)
John Lubbock (conductor) (c) Lodz Chamber Orchestra (d) Zdislav Szostak (conductor) (d)
(a) Licensed from ASV BRILLIANT 99777-28 [62.58]
George Frideric HANDEL (1685 – 1759)
Water Music (1717) Suite No. 1 (Suite in F major, HWV 348) Suite No. 2 (Suite in G major, HWV 350) Trumpet Suite No. 3 (Suite in D major, HWV 349) Consort of London/Robert Haydon Clark Recorded 1989 (Originally issued on Collins Classics) BRILLIANT 99777-29 [61.37] [RH]

A rather mixed pair of performances of Handel’s perennial favourites, the best being the Water Music which has appeared before at super-budget price. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Arias for mezzo soprano Rinaldo: Or la tromba, Cara sposa, Venti, turbini, Cor ingrato, Lascia ch’io pianga, Serse: Frondi tenere – Ombra mai fu; Partenope: Furibondo spira il vento; Agrippina: Bel piacere; Orlando: Fammi combattere Marilyn Horne (mezzo soprano), I solisti Veneti/Claudio Scimone Recorded at the Villa Simes, Piazzola, Italy, April 1982 APEX 2564 60519-2 [43:59] [CH]

This music springs to life as Handel’s operatic music rarely does. Don’t miss this enthralling testament to one of the great voices of the late 20th Century. … see Full Review

George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759) Suites de Pieces pour le Clavecin (1720) CD 1 Suite No. 1 in A (HWV 426) [12:56] Suite No. 6 in f sharp minor (HWV 431) [09:41] Suite No. 5 in A (HWV 430) [13:46] Suite No. 7 in g minor (HWV 432) [23:04]
CD 2 Suite No. 2 in F (HWV 427) [09:18] Suite No. 8 in f minor (HWV 433) [14:35] Suite No. 4 in e (HWV 429) [14:46] Suite No. 3 in d minor (HWV 428) [25:53] Ludger Rémy, harpsichord (Bruce Kennedy, 2000, after Michael Mietke, Berlin, c1700)
Recorded in December 2001, February 2002, Studio, Radio Bremen, Germany. DDD CPO 999 940-2 [59:49+64:55] [JvV]

The most dramatic and most exciting recording of Handel’s Suites of 1720 I have ever heard – strongly recommended … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) Concerti Grossi Op. 3 Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt Rec. Casino Zögernitz, Vienna, December 1979, May 1980, January 1981 WARNER ELATUS 2564060328-2 [71.15] [RH]

A welcome return to Harnoncourt’s groundbreaking recording; not to everyone’s taste but a serious attempt to re-examine these fascinating works. … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) – Coronation Anthems Zadok the Priest, My Heart is Inditing, Let Thy Hand be Strengthened, The King Shall Rejoice, Organ Concerto Opus 7 No.1 in B flat major Rien Voskuilen (organ) Holland Boys Choir Dutch Baroque Orchestra/Sir David Willcocks Recorded 1996 BRILLIANT 99777-24 [58.23] [RH]

A rather disappointing recording in a rather crowded market. … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) Organ Concertos Ivan Sokol (organ)Slovak Chamber Orchestra/Bohdan Warchal BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99777-32/34 [3CDs: 76.24+55.16+58.44] [RH]

Enviably complete though this set is, the performances themselves are rather disappointing. … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) Acis and Galatea Galatea – Julianne Baird (soprano) Acis – Frederick Urrey (tenor) Damon – David Price (tenor) Polyphemus – Kevin Deas (bass) Ama Deus Ensemble/Valentin Radu Recorded 1996
Brilliant Handel Edition Volumes 17/18 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99777-17/18 [40.07+50.09]

A delightful Julianne Baird does not quite manage to rescue this rather mixed recording. … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) - Faramondo Faramondo – D’Anna Fortunato (mezzo-soprano) Clotilde – Julianne Baird (soprano) Gernando – Drew Minter (counter-tenor) Rosimonda – Jennifer Lane (mezzo-soprano) Adolfo – Mary Ellen Callahan (soprano) Gustavo – Peter Castaldi (bass) Childrico – Lorie Gratis (mezzo-soprano) Teobaldo – Mark Singer (bass) Brewer Chamber Orchestra/Rudolph Palmer Recorded 1996, licensed from Vox Classics BRILLIANT 99777-21/23 [3CDs: 63.48+49.29+56.57] [RH]

A re-issue of the only current recording of ‘Faramondo’. Not perfect, but it enables us to start to appreciate this under-rated work. … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) Imeneo - opera in three acts Imeneo – John Ostendorf (bass-baritone) Rosmene – Julianne Baird (soprano) Tirinto – D’Anna Fortunato (mezzo-soprano) Clomiri – Beverly Hoch (soprano) Argenio – Jan Opalach (bass) Brewer Chamber Orchestra and Chorus/Rudolph Palmer Recorded 1986: Licensed from Vox Classics Brilliant Handel Edition, Volumes 19 and 20 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99777-19/20 [57.48+54.51] [RH]

Until we have a modern recording, this re-issue of Handel’s penultimate opera makes an enjoyable substitute despite the faulty edition. … see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) The German Arias Arleen Auger (soprano) Peter Mirring (violin) Werner Tast (flute) Burkhardt Glaetzner (oboe) Matthias Pfaender (cello) Dieter Zahn (violone) Gunter Klier (bassoon) Walter Hein Bernstein (cembalo) Recorded 1980 BRILLIANT 99777-27 [52.45] [RH]

A fine, if rather short, disc of Handel’s nine miniature masterpieces in beautifully responsive performances. … see Full Review

Josef HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony No 50 in C major; Symphony No 51 in Bb major; Symphony No 52 in C minor Swedish Chamber Orchestra/Bela Drahos Recorded in the concert hall, Orebro, Sweden, August 2000 Haydn Symphonies series: Volume 27 NAXOS 8.555324 [63.33] [GH]

Good modern instrument performances of three of the ‘sturm and drang’ symphonies … see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Life and Works of Joseph HAYDN Written and narrated by Jeremy Siepmann With David Timson as Haydn Interactive booklet notes on the four CDs 28 musical examples from all genres of Haydn’s music from the Naxos catalogue Project compiled in 2003 NAXOS 8.558091-94 [4CDs: 4:40:06] [IL]

Absorbing, illuminating with a light and humorous treatment, this compilation will appeal to students and all Haydn lovers and as an invaluable lecturing tool. … see Full Review

E.T.A. HOFFMANN (1776-1822) Chamber Music Grand Piano Trio in E major (1809) 6 Italian Duets for Soprano, Tenor and Piano (1812) Harp Quintet in C minor (1805-1807) Beethoven Trio Ravensburg (Trio) Dorothee Mields, Soprano (Duets) Jan Kobow, Tenor (Duets) Wolfgang Brunner, Piano (Duets) Isabelle Moretti, Harp (Quintet) Parisii-Quartett (Quintet) Recorded at SWR, Hans-Rosbaud-Studio, Baden-Baden, November 1997 (Trio), November 2001 (Duets), February 1995 (Quintet) CPO 999309 [55:06] [DS]

Be surprised by the restraint and elegance of Hoffmann’s chamber music … see Full Review

Franz Anton HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812) String Quartet in F major, Op. 14 No.1 String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 14 No.2 String Quartet in D minor, Op. 14 No.3 Aviv Quartet: Sergey Ostrovsky (first violin); Evgenia Epshtein (second violin); Shuli Waterman (viola); Iris Jortner (cello) Rec. Phoenix Studio, Budapest, Hungary from 11-24 November, 2001 DDD NAXOS 8.555952 [59:23] [CC]

An interesting excursion into one of the byways of the string quartet repertoire. The recording is entirely acceptable. A joy from first to last. … see Full Review

York HÖLLER (born 1944) Piano Works: Five Piecesa (1964) [9’31]. Diaphonie for Two Pianos (1965) [10’48]. Piano Sonatas – No. 1, ‘Sonate informellea (1968) [12’37]; No. 2, ‘Hommage à Franz Lisztb (1986) [17’09]. Partita for Two Pianos Hommage à Bernd Alois Zimmermann’ (1996) [16’15]. aKristi Becker, bPi-hsiaen Chen (pianos). WDR recordings from Köln Funkhaus, Wallraffplatz, Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal, on December 5th-6th and 12th-13th, 2000. DDD CPO 999 954-2 [66’49] [CC]

This is eminently rewarding music. This disc should be investigated without delay. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gustav HOLST (1974-1934) Four Songs for voice and violin op. 35 (1917) [7.21] Six Songs op. 16 (1904) [13.02] Vedic Hymns op. 24 (1908) [24.26] Twelve Humbert Wolfe settings op. 48 (1929) [25.39] Margrete's Cradle Song Op. 4 No. 2 (1896) [2.38] The Heart Worships (1907) [3.14] Susan Gritton (sop) Philip Langridge (ten) Christopher Maltman (bar) Louisa Fuller (violin) Steuart Bedford (piano) rec. 5-7 May 1998, St Silas Church, St Silas Place, Chalk Farm, London first issued in 1997 on Collins Classics English Song Series - volume 6 NAXOS 8.557117 [76.21] [RB]

If you are at all interested in Holst or English song this is as attractive a buy as you are ever going to get. Don't delay ... buy today. ... see Full Review

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Beni Mora (1909-10) London Symphony Orchestra/Gustav Holst recorded February 1924 Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) The Sea (1910-11) London Symphony Orchestra/Frank Bridge recorded July 1923 Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Conversations (1920) The Symphony Orchestra/Arthur Bliss recorded February 1923 Ralph VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Overture - The Wasps (1909) The Aeolian Orchestra/Ralph Vaughan Williams recorded 1922 Hamilton HARTY (1879-1941) With the Wild Geese (1910) Hallé Orchestra/Hamilton Harty recorded March 1926 Ethel SMYTH (1858-1944) The Wreckers - Overture (1906) The British Symphony Orchestra/Ethel Smyth recorded May 1930 SYMPOSIUM 1202 [75.05] [JW]

These are documents of lasting value … see Full Review

Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955)
Symphony No. 1 (1931) [21.40] Symphony No. 2 (1942) [24.52] Symphony No. 3 Liturgique (1946) [30.27] Symphony No. 4 Deliciae Basilienses (1947) [28.22] Symphony No. 5 Di tre re (1948) [24.38] Pacific 231 (1924) [6.43] Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse/Michel Plasson Rec. 1977-1979, Halle-aux-Grains, Toulouse. ADD EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 7243 5 85516 2 1 [64.14+63.14] [RB]

Compact presentation. Good performances and great recording quality. I am not convinced that an even more searing effect could not have been achieved. … see Full Review

Richard HONOROFF Symphony No.1 Shoah (1994) Testament (1994) Symphony No.2 From Ashes Reborn (1995)a Moscow Chamber Chorusa; Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Mikhailov Recorded: Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, September 1994 (Symphony No.1, Testament) and November 1995 (Symphony No.2) CENTAUR CRC 2333 [57:31] [HC]

Clearly, no great masterpieces here but undoubtedly sincere, honest statements that deserve respect. … see Full Review


John IRELAND (1879-1962) Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor (1909) [29.29] Violin Sonata No. 2 in A minor (1917) [28.30] Bagatelle for violin and piano (1890s) [] Michael Davis (violin) Nelson Harper (piano) rec. Weigel Hall, Columbus, Ohio, Aug 1993. DDD VIENNA MODERN MASTERS VMM 2009 [61.18] [RB]

Red blooded performances of the two sonatas recorded up close and personal. ... see Full Review

Charles IVES (1874-1954) The String Quartets String Quartet No. 1, From the Salvation Army (c. 1898-1902) String Quartet No. 2 (c. 1911-13) Hymn * (c. 1904)
Hallowe’en ** (c. 1907, possibly revised 1911) Lydian String Quartet: Daniel Stepner, violin; Judith Eissenberg, violin; Mary Ruth Ray, viola; Rhonda Rider, cello Edwin Barker, string bass * Sally Pinkas, piano** Lee Hyla, bass drum ** Rec. September 17-18, 1988 at Slosberg Auditorium, Brandeis University. CENTAUR CRC 2069 [52.06] [SM]

The Lydian String Quartet offers excellent readings of Ives’ two strikingly different string quartets … see Full Review

Charles IVES (1874-1954) The Celestial Country (1898-99) Silence Unaccompanied a set of works that includes: "Adagio Sostenuto" (c. 1912); "Evening" (1921); "Afterglow" (1919); "The Collection" (1920); "Duty/Vita/Duty" (c. 1913); "Carol" (1894); "Sunrise" (1926); "Hymn" (c. 1904/1921); "Mists" (1910) Martha Hart, mezzo-soprano Dan Dressen, tenor Michael Jorgensen, baritone John Ferguson, organ Mark S. Johnson, piano Cynthia Stokes, alto flute String Quartet: Charles Gray, violin; Lucinda Marvin, violin; Annalee Wolf, viola; David Carter, cello The St. Olaf Choir and Chamber Ensemble/Anton Armstrong Recorded April 16-19, 2002 at Wooddale Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota LINN CKD 203 [60.38] [SM]

A serviceable account of Ives’ early sacred cantata "The Celestial Country," coupled with a selection of songs and other short works … see Full Review

Jeffrey JACOB (b.1948) At the Still Pointa Symphony No.2 (1996)b De Profundis (1996)c Piano Concerto No.1 (1991)d Jeffrey Jacob (piano)d; Moscow Symphony Orchestraa; Orquesta de Baja Californiab; Chamber Orchestra of the Rhinec; St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonicd; Joel Spiegelmana, Eduardo Garcia Barriosb, Heiner Frostc, Alexander Titovd Recorded: Moscow Radio Studios, January 1994 (At the Still Point); Centro Cultural Tijuana, Mexico, June 1996 (Symphony No.2); Stadthalle, Rees, Germany, May 1996 and St. Petersburg Radio Studios, April 1993 (Piano Concerto No.1) CENTAUR CRC 2346 [64:05] [HC]

Fairly straightforward, honest music making by all counts. The recordings, presumably of live performances, are all quite satisfying. Well worth investigating. … see Full Review

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Violin Sonata (1914-21) [16’03] Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Sonata No.1 in F minor, Op.80 (1946) [27’05] Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) 19 Preludes, from Op.34, transcribed for violin by Dmitri Tsiganov [23’19] Kai Gleusteen (violin) Catherine Ordronneau (piano) Recorded at Crear Studios, Scotland, 2-4 September 2002. DDD AVIE AV 0023 [67’00] [TH][JW]

Works well on its own terms as an enjoyable recital [TH]
This is an attractively programmed disc but it’s been badly recorded. [JW]… see Full Review

Kerstin JEPPSSON (b.1948) Impossibile (1977)a Embrio (1990)b String Quartet No.2 (1999/2000)c Kvinnosånger (1973)d De mörka änglarna: Tre motetter (1980/88)e Ingrid Tobiasson (mezzo-soprano)a; Katarina Dalayman (soprano)b; Lena Hoel (soprano)d; Bengt Forsberg (piano)d, Talekvartettenc; Gustaf Sjökvist’s Chamber Choire; Kam-marensembleNa; Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestrab; Joakim Unandera, Mats Rondinb, Gustaf Sjökviste Recorded: Berwald Hall, Stockholm, December 2002 (Embrio); Studio 2, Radiohuset, Stockholm, May 2001 (String Quartet No.2), June 2002 (Impossibile) and September 2001 (Kvinnosånger) and Stockholm Cathedral, January 2003 (Tre motetter) PHONO SUECIA PSCD 141 [79:58] [HC]

All the performances are very fine and well recorded, and serve the music well. I now look forward to hearing more of Jeppsson’s music soon. … see Full Review

Mauricio KAGEL (b.1931) Rrrrrrr... (1981/2)a Metapièce [Mimetics] (1961)b A deux mains (1995)b Episoden, Figuren (1993)a MM51 (1970)b Passé composé (1992/3)b Teodoro Anzellotti (accordion)a; Luk Vaes (piano)b Recorded: Hans-Rosbaud-Studio, Baden-Baden, January 1997a and March 1997b WINTER & WINTER 910 035-2 [67:43] [HC]

This beautifully produced disc provides for some interesting insight into Kagel’s protean music making. … see Full Review

Vítěslava KAPRÁLOVÁ (1915-1940) Songs Two Songs Op. 4 (1932) Op. 4 [5.02] Sparks from ashes Op. 5 (1932-33) [12.20] January for voice, piano, flute, two violins and cello (1933) [4.25] Apple from the Lap Op. 10 (1934-36) [8.53] Forever Op. 12 (1936-37) [7.43] Waving Farewell Op. 14 (1937) [6.07] Carol (1937) [0.50] Christmas Carol (1939) [1.13] Seconds Op. 18 (1936-39) [13.16] Sung into the distance Op. 22 (1939) [6.48] Letter (1940) [2.28] Dana Burešová (sop) Timothy Cheek (piano) Magda Časlavová (flute) Petr Zdvihal (violin) Jan Valta (violin) David Havelík (cello) rec. 13-20 July 2003, Domovina Studio, Prague. DDD SUPRAPHON SU3752-2 231 [70.13] [RB]

If you have a taste for the French school of chanson represented by Duparc, Poulenc and Fauré this needs to be on your Christmas list. Mesmeric, dreamy and expressive ... see Full Review

Charles KOECHLIN (1867-1950) La Course de printemps - poème symphonique Op. 95 (1925-27) [33.40] Le buisson ardent poème symphonique after an episode from 'Jean-Christophe' by Romain Rolland Op. 201 (Part I); Op. 171 (Part II) (1945, 1938) [12.44; 25.54] Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR/Heinz Holliger Christine Simonin (ondes martenot)
rec. Live concert recordings. Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Beethovensaal 23-25 Feb 2000 (Printemps); Stadthalle Sindelfingen, Konzertsaal (Buisson), 19-23 Feb 2001. DDD Faszinationmusik series HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.045 [72.30] [MC]

Koechlin’s growing number of admirers will relish this stellar release and this seems a perfect recording for those wishing to explore the unique orchestral sound-world of this wonderful composer for the first time. … see Full Review

Charles KOECHLIN (1867-1950) Danses Pour Ginger Rogers Danse lente from the five Danses pour Ginger for piano Op.163 (1937) Eight pieces selected from Les Heures Persanes for piano Op.65 (1913-19) La prière de l’homme from Album de Lilian Vol. 2, for piano Op.149 (1935) Quatre nouvelles sonatines for piano Op.87 (1923-24) Boaz Sharon (piano) Recorded in May 21, 1983 at Sprague Hall, New Haven, Connecticut, USA ARCOBALENO AAOC 94382 [53:06] [MC]

Koechlin admirers will relish this sterling release from Arcobaleno and I couldn’t think of a more perfect recording for those wishing to explore the sound-world of this wonderful composer for the first time. … see Full Review

Herman D. KOPPEL (1908-1998) Symphony No. 1 Op. 5 (1929-30) [27.56] Symphony No. 2 Op. 37 (1943) [40.43] Aalborg Symphony Orchestra/Moshe Atzmon rec. 11-13 June, 6 Oct 2001, Symphony Hall. Aalborg, Danmarks Radio Orchestral Works vol. 2 DACAPO 8.224205 [68.51]

Two symphonies withdrawn by Koppel; one with strong obeisance to Nielsen; the other striking and individual if with a flawed finale. ... see Full Review

Herman D. KOPPEL (1908-1998) Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet Op. 36 (1942) [17.27] Niels Viggo BENTZON (1919-2000) Wind Quintet No. 5 Op. 116 (1958) [16.36] Sextet for Piano and Wind Quintet Op. 278 (1971) [18.39] Nikolaj Bentzon (piano) Wind Quintet of the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra rec. 20-24 Nov 2000 DR Concert Hall DACAPO 8.224208 [52.42] [RB]

The Koppel is the easy winner but the two Bentzon pieces will reward persistence. ... see Full Review

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Music from the 1938 film score, The Adventures of Robin Hood Moscow Symphony Orchestra William Stromberg, conductor Score restorations by John Morgan Recorded at Mosfilm Studio, Moscow, Russia in February 2003 DDD MARCO POLO 8.225268 [78:27] [KS]

The composer captures the essence of the Robin Hood stories in music worthy of the Technicolor screen. … see Full Review

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) The Piano Music Disc One: Sonata No. 1 in D minor (1908/9) Don Quixote (1909) – six character pieces after Cervantes Der Schneemann (1909) (The Snowman – Pantomime in six scenes) Disc Two: Sonata No. 2 Op. 2 (1910) Mächenbilder Op. 3 (1910) – Seven fairy tale pictures for piano Vier kleine fröhliche Waltzer (1911) – Four Waltzes for piano Vier kleine Karikaturen für Kinder Op. 19 (1926) – Four little caricatures for children Was der Wald erzählt (1909) What the woods tell me Disc Three:Zwischenspiel Intermezzo (Akt III) (1927) aus der Oper Das Wunder der Heliane Piano Trio in D major Op. 1 (1910) (for piano four hands)* Potpourri aus der Oper Der Ring des Polykrates (1913) Aus der Musik zu Viel Lärmen un Nachts Op.11 (1918) - Much Ado About Nothing "Schach Brugge!" - Burleske Nachtszene am Minnewasser - Die Tote Stadt, Geschichten von Strauss Op. 21 (1927) Disc Four: Sonata No. 3 in C major Op. 25 (1931) Der Schneemann The Snowman - Four easy pieces Schauspiel - Overture Op. 4 (1911) (arr F. Rebay) for piano four hands.* Grosse FantasieDie Tote Stadt Op. 12 (1920) (arr. F. Rebay) Martin Jones (piano) with Richard McMahon (piano)*
Recorded at Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, UK, November 2000, May, August 2001. DDD NIMBUS 4-CDs NI 5705/8 [5 hrs] [IL]

An essential survey and I feel sure that they will derive much pleasure dipping into these four CDs. … See Full Review

Joseph Martin KRAUS (1756-1792) "Complete Piano Music" Rondo in F (VB 191) [09:00] Sonata in E flat (VB 195) [19:52] Scherzo con variazioni (VB 193) [11:59] Larghetto (VB 194) [00:42] Sonata in E (VB 196) [32:07] Swedish Dance (VB 192) [03:47] Zwei neue kuriose Minuetten (VB 190) [01:51] Jacques Després, piano (Steinway) Recorded in October 2000 in Convocation Hall, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada DDD NAXOS 8.555771 [79:19] [JV]

This first recording of the keyboard music by Kraus is a missed opportunity because of a bad choice of instrument … see Full Review

Ernst KŘENEK (1900-1991) Twelve-tone Miniatures Twelve Short Piano Pieces written in the Twelve-Tone Technique Op 83 (1938) Eight Piano Pieces Op 110 (1946) Twenty Miniatures Op 139 (1954) Robert Blumenthal (piano) Recorded at Allgood Productions, Atlanta, GA, undated (1997?) GASPARO GG-1016 [47.07] [JW]

With playing this understanding and adroit and with music that fuses technique, education and poetry with such distilled beauty one can only hope that this music will continue to educate and inspire. … see Full Review

Rudolf KUBÍN (1909-1973) String Quartet No 1 (1926) Humoresque for violin, viola, cello and clarinet, Concertino for double bass and octet Kubín Quartet Valter Vítek (clarinet) Květoslav Borovička (double bass) Akademia Quintet Recordings licensed by Czech Radio Ostrava, no dates ARCO DIVA UP 0051-2 131 [39.34] [JW]

manages to preserve an essentially youthful confidence, strong, sonorous and powerful and to contrast it with more expressive moments, especially in the opening movement... see Full Review

Lars-Erik LARSSON (1908-1986) God in Disguise (Förklädd Gud) Op. 24 (1940) [29.12] A Winter's Tale (En vintersaga) - four vignettes to Shakespeare's play Op. 18 (1937) [9.53] Little Serenade (Liten serenad) Op. 12 (1934) [10.34] Pastoral Suite (Pastoralsvit) Op. 19 (1938) [13.30] Sven Wollter (narrator) Jeanette Kohn (sop) Thomas Lander (bar) Jönköping Chamber Choir Jönköping Sinfonietta/Christopher Warren-Green rec. Dec 2001, Feb 2002, Jönköpings konserthuset, Sweden. DDD INTIM MUSIK IMCD 082 [63.00] [RB]

Confident feel-good music not afflicted with blandness or facile emotion. ... see Full Review

Orlandus LASSUS (1532-1594) Lagrime di San Pietro (1594) Capella Ducale Venetia: Dir.: Livio Picotti Recorded in November 2000 at the Chiesa San Giorgio, Ciostabissara/Vicenza, Italy DDD CPO 999 862-2 [56:53] [JvV]

Lassus’ swan song – his most personal and intimate composition – in an unsatisfying performance ... see Full Review

Franz LEHÁR (1870 - 1948)
Die lustige Witwe Overture (1940) Altenwiener Liebeswalzer (1911) Der Gottergatte Overture (1903) Wilde Rosen (Boston Waltz) (1921) Clo-Clo Overture (1924) Grutzner-Walzer (1895) Adria Walzer (1895) Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Michail JurowskiRec. Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 18-19 May 2000, 12-13 April 2002. DDD co-production between CPO and Deutschland Radio Berlin. CPO 999 891-2 [51.09] [JPh]

I enjoyed this disc very much and can recommend it without qualification. I have no qualms whatsoever about the interpretations, the playing or the recording. … see Full Review

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Paganini (1925) Romantic operetta (complete, with abridged dialogue in French) Robert Massard (ten) Paganini; Roméo Carles (bar) Pimpinelli; Colette Riedinger (sop) Anna-Elisa; Geori Boue (sop) Bella Henri Merckel (violin) Orchestre and choirs under the direction of Pierre Dervaux Rec. Universal (Decca) France Studios, Antony, France 1955 Mono 2 CDs for the price of one DISCOVERY/ACCORD OPERETTE SERIES 472 868-2 [82:51] [RW]

Sparkle and atmosphere … catchy rhythms and tender moments. … see Full Review

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Rose de Noël (1958) - Musical based on Lehár's material Nicole Broissin (sop) Vilma; André Dassary (ten) Count Michel; Rosine Bredy (sop) Totsi; Henri Chanaron (ten) Lieutenant Sandor; Henry Bedex (bar) Popelka Choir and Orchestra under the direction of Felix Nuvolone Rec. Universal (Decca) Studios, Antony, France 1959
Mono - 2 CDs for the price of one DISCOVERY/ACCORD OPERETTE SERIES 472 871-2 [90.22] [RW]

Includes are some fine numbers … more Kalman than Lehár … see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Aprés une Lecture de Dante (from "Années de Pèlerinage" II: Italie), Vallée d’Obermann (from "Années de Pèlerinage" I: Suisse), Sonata in B minor Zeynep Ucbasaran (piano) Recorded May 27-28 2003, Abravanel Hall, Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, California EROICA JDT3135 [65:29] [CH]

Summary: Anyone who picks up this disc will be left in no doubt that Liszt was a composer of lofty aims and noble inspiration, a fact which some still question...see Full Review


Franz LISZT (1811-1886) The Liszt Album Consolation No. 3 from Six Consolations, S172 (1850) Valse-Impromptu, S213 (1850-52) "Auf Flügeln des Gesanges" from Seven Mendelssohn Lieder, S547 trans. Liszt (1840) Die Forelle (The Trout), S564 after Franz Schubert trans. Liszt (second version – 1846) Schwanengesang, S560, No. 7 (Serenade) after Franz Schubert trans. Liszt (1838-39)
"Auf dem Wasser zu singen" from 12 Lieder, S558 after Franz Schubert trans. Liszt (1837-38) Transcendental Etude No. 3, "Paysage" (1851) Transcendental Etude No. 9, "Ricordanza" (1851) Transcendental Etude No. 12, "Chasse-neige" (1851) Sonata in B minor, S178 (1853) Stephanie McCallum, piano Recorded Eugene Goossens Hall, ltimo, Sydney, February/July 2002 ABC CLASSICS 472763 [78:42] [DS]

Although generally enjoyable, these performances do not stand out in a highly crowded field of alternative recordings … see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-86) Orpheus, S98 (1854) [11’03]. Richard WAGNER (1813-83) Der Ring des Nibelungen (fragments): Die Walküre (1870) – Ride of the Valkyries [3’58]; Siegfried (1876) – Forest Murmurs [9’35]; Götterdämmerung (1876) – Funeral March [7’33]. Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Horn Concerto No. 1 in E flat, Op. 11 (1883) [14’53]. Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No. 2 in B flat, D125 (1815) [24’37]. Victor Galkin (horn) Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio/Vladimir Fedoseyev. Rec. 1974 (Liszt), 1978 (Wagner), 1983 (Strauss), Schubert (1991). RELIEF CR991048 [71’40] [CC]

A fascinating disc from every angle. Even if none of the performances are definitive in themselves, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. … see Full Review

Albert LORTZING (1801-1851) Der Wildschütz. Excerpts Count Eberbach, Gottfried Hornik (bar); Countess, Doris Soffel (cont); Baron Kronthal, Peter Schreier (ten); Baronin Friemann, Edith Mathis (sop); Baculus, Hans Sotin, (bass); Nanette, Gertrud Von Ottenthal (m. Sop); Gretchen, Georgine Resick (sop) Chorus of Berlin Radio and the Orchestra of the Staatskapelle Berlin/Bernhard Klee Recorded Christuskirche Studio, Berlin, 1980-1982 Bargain Price BERLIN CLASSICS ETERNA COLLECTION 003267BC [59.15] [RF]

Vivacity aplenty … recording quality first rate with voices and orchestra well balanced in an open airy acoustic. … the voices blend and carry the plot along under Klee’s idiomatic and vibrant phrasing and tempi … see Full Review

Jean Baptiste LULLY (1632 – 1687) Isis, L’opera de musiciens (extracts): Prologue; Duo des nyumphes; Choeur des trembleurs; Act 5, scene 1: Rondeau ‘Plainte de lo’; Act 3, scenes 3-5; Act 3, scene 6 Armide, Lopera des Dames (extracts): Ouverture; Act 2, scene 2: Duo d’Armide et Hidraot; Act 2, scene 3: Le Sommeil de Renaud; Act 3, scene 5: Monologue d’Armide; Act 5, scene 2: Passacaille Michel-Richard DELALANDE (1657 – 1726) Premier Caprice ou Caprice de Villers Cotterets Chorale Caillard Orchestre Jean-Francois Paillard/Jean Francois-Paillard
Recorded 1972, 1985 ERATO 2564 60578-2 [71.47][RH]

A slightly disappointing disc, mainly for those who are interested in how styles have changed in the performance of 17th century French music. … see Full Review


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Orchestral Works Vol.8 Dance Preludes for Clarinet and Orchestra (1955) Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra (1980) Grave, Metamorphoses for Cello and String Orchestra (1981) Chain 1 for 14 Performers (1983) Two Children’s Songs for Voice and Chamber Orchestra (1948) Six Children’s Songs for Voice and Instruments (1947) Zbigniew Kaleta (clarinet), Arkadiusz Krupa (oboe), Nicolas Tulliez (harp) Rafal Kwiatkowski (cello), Urszula Kryger (soprano) Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Antoni Wit Rec. Grzegorz Fitelberg Concert Hall, Katowice, Jan and April 2001 NAXOS 8.555763 [57’34] [TH] [CC]

This is an excellent disc, and the performances are inspired and dedicated.[TH]
This is a very, very rewarding disc. Repeated playing has not only reinforced but has actually strengthened my admiration for this composer [CC]. … see Full Review

Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Symphony No. 3 (1972-83) Symphony No. 4 (1993) Les Espaces du sommeil (1975) * John Shirley-Quirk (baritone) * Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen Recorded Los Angeles 1993 (Symphony No. 4) and 1985 remainder SONY CLASSICAL SBK90480 [67.50] [JW]

If you missed the earlier opportunities to acquaint yourself with these towering statements you should do so now, without delay. … 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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