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Marie SAMUELSSON (b.1956) Lufttrumma III (1999)a I vargens öga (1997)b Krom (1994)c I Am – Are You? (2001)d Flow (2000)e Ö (2002)f Rotationer (1997, rev. 2003)g Den natten (1992)h Norrköping Symphony Orchestraa; Jörgen Pettersson (alto saxophone)b; Stockholm Chamber Brassc; Sören Hermansson (horn)d; KammarensembleNe; Anna Lindal (violin)f; Helsingborg Symphony Orchestrag; Ensemble Notush; Tuomas Ollilaa, Joakim Unandere, Hannu Lintug, Olof Bormanh Recorded: Studio 2, Radiohuset, Stockholm, May 2002 (I vargens öga, Flow, Krom, Ö, Den natten); Louis de Geer Concert Hall, Norrköping, May 2002 (Lufttrumma III); Uppenbarelsekyrkan i Hägersten, May 2002 (I Am – Are You?) and Helsingborg Concert Hall, April 2003 (Rotationer) PHONO SUECIA PSCD 147 [64:58] [HC]

By turns disarmingly simple or overtly complex … well served here by performers of high calibre. I would like to hear more of this composer in the future.… see Full Review

Simon SARGON (b 1938) Divertimento for Piano and Chamber Orchestra Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Little Threepenny Music (1928-29) Robert KURKA (1921-1957) The Good Soldier Schweik Suite (1956) David Karp (piano) with The Meadows Symphony Orchestra/Paul Phillips (Sargon) The Meadows Wind Ensemble/Jack Delaney (Weill and Kurka) Recorded in Caruth Auditorium, Southern Methodist University (2002?) GASPARO GSCD 357 [61.26] [JW]

Blowsiness of the Schweik finale well suits this outfit whose determined tattoos and defiant ending rounds off a really attractive disc. … see Full Review

Emil von Sauer (1862-1942) Suite Moderne (1906) Aus lichten Tagen (Date of composition not known) Drei Konzertetuden (1910) Galop de Concert in E flat minor (1911) Oleg Marshev (piano) Rec. Mantzius Garden, Birkerod, Denmark, Feb 2003, Steinway Model D piano. Suite and Galop de Concert (Volume 5 of complete works) DANACORD DACOCD 595 [61.25]

Extremely attractive music in late-romantic style. Played with great conviction and technical perfection by Danacord's exclusive pianist. … see Full Review

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonatas: K.90 in D minor; K.87 in A minor; K.9 in D minor; K.30 in F minor; K.159 in C; K.8 in G minor; K.513 in Bb; K.208 in F#; K.58 in C minor; K.96 in C; K.200 in Ab; K.89 in D minor Copenhagen Saxophone Quartet: Michala Petri, recorder, Kjell-Åke Andersson, zink, Viggo Mangor, baroque organ continuo No date or location given CLASSICO CLASSCD 489 [50:12] [GPJ]

An unusual but extremely rewarding musical experience. … see Full Review

Josef SCHELB (1894 – 1977) Klaviermusik Nr.2 (1943) Partita ritmica (1951)a Fünfzehn kleine Stücke (1954) Vier Klavierstücke (1962) Sontraud Speidel (piano); Ruben Meliksetian (piano)a Recorded: Schloss Gottesaue, Karlsruhe, September 2002 ANTES EDITION BM 31.9188 [75:01] [HC]

Time may now be ripe for a proper re-assessment of such finely crafted music that clearly deserves respect. Well worth looking for. … see Full Review

Franz SCHREKER (1878-1934) Das Spielwerk und die Prinzessin (The Music Box and the Princess) (1913) Opera in a prologue and two acts Master Florian – Thomas L. Mayer (baritone) The Princess – Julia Henning (soprano) Bursch – Hans-Jürgen Schöpflin (tenor)
Wolf – Matthias Klein (bass-baritone) Graben-Liese – Anne-Carolyn Schlüter (mezzo) Steward – Hans Georg Ahrens (bass) Kiel Opera Chorus Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra/Ulrich Windfuhr Recorded live in the Opera House, Kiel, 25, 29 January 2003 DDD CPO 999 958-2 [2CDs: 48’22+51’28] [TH]

Recommended heartily to those fond of exploration, albeit needing something of a sweet tooth. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828) The Symphonies plus An interview with Yehudi Menuhin (In German – translations in English and French). Sinfonia Varsovia/Yehudi Menuhin Rec. 20–29 Jan 1997, Studio 1, Polish Radio, Warsaw. DDD APEX 2564 60530-2 [236.47], excluding talk [33.13] ~£15

Highly recommended, particularly at the low price. … See Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartets: No. 6 in D, D74 (1813) [21’37]; No. 11 in E, D353 (1816) [20’41]; No. 2 in C, D32 (1812) [17’27]. Kodály String Quartet (Attila Falvay, Tomás Szabó, violins; János Fejérvári, viols; György Éder, cello).Rec. Phoenix Studio, Budapest, on December 12th-15th, 2001. DDDComplete String Quartets, Volume 5 NAXOS 8.557107 [60’10] [CC]

The Kodály’s musicality shines through this delightful selection of three earlier works. … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin, D.795 Christian Gerhaher (baritone), Gerold Huber (piano) Recorded 7-11 February 2003 in Studio 2 of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich ARTE NOVA 82876 53172 2 [66:01] [CH]

This can take its place among the finest versions. … see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Disc 1 Seventeen Ländler, D. 366 (1816-1824) - Four Impromptus, D. 899 (1827) - No. 1 in C minor - No. 2 in E flat major - No. 3 in G flat major - No. 4 in A flat major - Sonata in A minor, D. 845 (1825) - Moderato - Andante, poco mosso - Scherzo and Trio - Rondo: Allegro vivace Disc 2 Allegretto in C minor, D. 900 (1823?) - Diabelli Variation, D. 718 (1821) - Sonata in C major, D. 840 (1825) - Moderato - Andante - Menuetto: Allegretto - Allegro - Sonata in D major, D. 850 (1826) - Allegro vivace - Con moto - Scherzo: Allegro vivace - Rondo: Allegro moderato (completions by Anthony Goldstone) - Anthony Goldstone, piano - Recorded at the parish church of St. John the Baptist, Alkborough, N. Lincs., 2002 - The Piano Masterworks, Vol. 3 DIVINE ART 2-1204 [2CDs: 148:2] [DS]

I heartily recommend that Schubert piano enthusiasts find a spot in their music libraries for Mr. Goldstone....see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828) Winterreise: Gute Nacht (transcribed Godowsky) Der Lindenbaum (transcribed Liszt) Winterreise: Der stürmische Morgen – Im Dorfe (transcribed Liszt) Waltzes (transcribed Prokofiev) Die schöne Müllerin: Morgengruss (transcribed Godowsky) Erlkönig (transcribed Liszt) Overture in D major (transcribed Busoni) Leopold GODOWSKY (1870 – 1938) Passacaglia Anttii Siirala (piano) Recorded at Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, 4th/5th October 2001 NAXOS 8.555997 [62.56] [RH]

A fine debut recital from this young Finnish pianist, exploring the tricky and rarely performed field of Schubert transcriptions. … see Full Review

Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797 -1828) "Sonatinas" (1816) Sonata for Piano and Violin in D, D384, Op. Posth. 137 #1 [15.18] Sonata for Piano and Violin in a, D385, Op. Posth. 137 #2 [26.25] Sonata for Piano and Violin in g, D408, Op. Posth. 137 #3 [22.52] David Grimal, violin; Valery Afanassiev, piano Recorded at Espace de Projection l’IRCAM, Paris, France, 1 April 2003 Notes in English, Français, Deutsch. Photos of the artists. ÆON AECD 0317 [65.60] [PSh]

A unique, very personal viewpoint on Schubert, one that not everyone will like ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) An Introduction to SCHUBERT’S Piano Quintet in A major ‘Trout’ D667 Performed by the Kodály Quartet with Jenó Jandó (piano) and István Tóth (double-bass) Written and narrated by Jeremy Siepmann recorded at Motivation Sound Studios, London, 2002 Naxos Educational Classics Explained Series 120 page booklet NAXOS 8.558075-76 [2CDs: 2:24:32] [IL]

Siepmann’s absorbing narration is delivered with the lightest of touches … easy-to-grasp and vividly graphic explanations of technical terms. The performance of the Quintet is very good. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ervin (Erwin) SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) 1-5 Divertimento for String Quartet Op.14 (1914) [21:24] 6-9 String Sextet, for two violins, two violas and two cellos (1920-24) [21:52] 10-13 Duo for violin and cello (1925) [17:08] Kocian Quartet (Pavel Hula (first violin) tracks 1-13; Jan Ostrcil (second violin) tracks 1-9; Zbynek Padourek (viola) tracks 1-9; Vaclav Bernasek (cello) tracks 1-13; Jan Talich (viola) tracks 6-9; Evzen Rattay (cello) tracks 6-9) Recorded March – October 1994, Domovina Studio, Prague. DDD Chamber Works Vol. 2 SUPRAPHON 11 2167-2 131 [61:04] [MC]

Repeated listening to these Schulhoff scores offers revelatory rewards. In fact I strongly and confidently feel that we have discovered a major twentieth century composer here.… see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Kinderszenen, op.15, Album für die Jugend, op.68: Melodie, Soldatenmarsch, Ein Choral, Armes Waisenkind, Jägerliedchen, Volksliedchen, Fröhlicher Landmann, Sizilianisch, Kleine Studie, Kleiner Morgenwanderer, Frühlingsgesang, Erster Verlust, Mai, lieber Mai, Ländliches Lied, Kleine Romanze, Schnitterliedchen, Figurierte Choral, Langsam und mit Ausdruck zu spielen, Silvesterlied, Ernteliedchen, Fremder Mann, Sehr langsam, Sheherazade, Rundgesang, Nicht schnell, hübsch vorzutragen, Erinnerung (4 November 1847), Winterszeit, Mignon Carlo Zecchi (piano) Recorded in Rome, 4 July 1942 (op.15) and Lugano (Swiss-Italian Radio), 1 May 1967 (op.68) AURA AUR 186-2 [68:09] [CH]

A classic "Kinderszenen". Zecchi was a fascinating figure and collectors of pianists on record can hardly ignore him… see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1849) Kinderscenen Op.15 (1839); Gesange der Frühe Op.133 (1845); Davidsbundlertänze Op.6 (1838) Franz Vorraber (piano) Recorded May and July 2001, Venue not given Piano Music Volume 7 THOROFON CTH 2519 [72.15] [GH]

Not for the faint-hearted. I cannot really recommend it but I will add, totally unhelpfully, that it is also fascinating. … see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Carnaval, Op. 9 Papillons, Op. 2 Kinderszenen, Op. 15 Arabeske, Op. 18 Nelson Freire, piano Recorded at Auditorio Massimo, Lugano, December 2002 DECCA 4739022 [59:57] [DS]

Freire enthusiasts should love the performances, sound deficiencies or not. … see Full Review

Sir Thomas Beecham conducts Schumann Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Manfred Op 115 (1852) Singers:- Song of the Spirits – Gertrude Holt, Claire Duchesneau and Niven Miller Incantation – Niven Miller, Glyndwr Davies and Ian Billington Actors:- Manfred – Laidman Browne Witch of the Alps and the Phantom Astarte – Jill Balcon Nemesis and the Spirit Genius of Manfred – Raf de la Torre A Spirit and Abbot of St Maurice – Laidman Browne A Young Chamois Hunter and Servant to Manfred – David Enders BBC Chorus Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham Recorded 1954-56 SONY CLASSICAL SMK91169 [78.31] [JW]

Wonderful news that this Manfred is available once more … for all its quirks it still has the power to move. … see Full Review

Anton SCHWEITZER (1735-1787) Alceste libretto by Christoph Martin Wieland (1733-1813) Alceste: Ursula Targler; Parthenia: Syvlia Koke; Admetus: Christian Voigt; Hercules: Christophe Wendel Erfurt Theatre Opera Chorus Erfurt Philharmonic Orchestra/Stephen E.Wehr Rec. Erfurt, May 2001 DDD MARCO POLO 8.225261-62 [61.09+73.04] [GH] [BK]

A fascinating document of a rather overlooked genre in a little known category … gives a clearer view of the origins of the Mozart singspiel[GH]
Devotees of opera from this period will not be disappointed by this landmark performance [BK]… see Full Review

Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Suite on Finnish Themes - (1939) – World premiere recording Symphony for Strings Op. 118a – arr. Rudolf Barshai from String Quartet No. 10 – (1964) Chamber Symphony Op. 110a – arr. Rudolf Barshai from String Quartet No. 8 - (1960) Anu Komsi (soprano), Tom Nyman (tenor) Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra/Juha Kangas. Rec. Oct 2001 at the Kaustisen Folk Art Centre Finland (Suite), Kaustinen Church, Finland (Symphonies). DDD BIS CD-301256 [58’20"] [JPh]

Can hold its own with any of the competitive versions and BIS’s recording is the model of naturalness. I would be happy to recommend this recording to anyone. … see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 7 in C, Op. 60, Leningrad (1941). WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne/Semyon Bychkov. Rec. Kölner Philharmonie in February 2003. DDD AVIE AV0020 [72’30] [CC]

The Bychkov/Cologne partnership is clearly one to watch. … see Full Review

Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93 (1953) [51’03]. The Gadfly, Op. 97 (1955) – The Gadfly [8’02]. Mikhail Shestakov (violin, Gadfly). Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio/Vladimir Fedoseyev Rec. 1998. DDD RELIEF CR991047 [60’20]. [CC]

Very highly recommended indeed. The Tenth receives a rendering whose integrity is never once in doubt … The coupling is a bit strange. … see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) CD1 [75.40] Spring Song; Lemminkainen Legends; Romance; The Dryad; Dance Intermezzo; Pan and Echo. CD2 [78.26] In memoriam; Canzonetta; Valse romantique; Suite mignonne; Suite champetre; The Tempest: prelude, Suites 1 and 2; Andante Festivo Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves Rec. Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 1973-75. ADD EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 7243 5 85532 2 2 [64.14+63.14]

An exceptionally well recorded collection showcasing Groves' Sibelius adventure with the RLPO and EMI Classics in the early 1970s - good but not special ... see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) CDl [75'37] 1 Andante Festivo [4.33] Helsingin Juniorijouset/Csaba and Geza Szilvay rec. 2002 2. Finlandia, Op. 26 [8.16] Helsingin kaupunginorkesteri/Okko Kamu rec. 1988 3 Valse triste, Op. 44/3 [5.15] Norjan radio-orkesteri/Ari Rasilainen rec. 1995. 4 Serenade no 1, Op. 69a [7.11] Jaakko Kuusisto, viulu; Kuopion kaupunginorkesteri/Atso Almila rec. 1999 5 Mazurka, Op. 81/1 [2.19] Kaija Saarikettu, viulu and Raija Kerppo, piano rec. 1993 6 Romance, Op. 78/2 [2.51] Kaija Saarikettu, viulu and Raija Kerppo, piano rec. 1993 7 Berceuse [Kehtolaulu], Op. 4015 [1.55] Kuopion kaupunginorkesteri/Atso Almila [sov. Curt Goldman] rec. 1999 8 Etude, Op. 76/2 [1.16] Izumi Tateno, piano rec. 1992 The Flowers, Op. 85: 9 No. 1 Bellis [1.27]; 10 No. 2 Oeillet [2.02]; 11 No. 3 Iris [3.00]; 12 No. 4 Aquileja [1.57]; 13 No. 5 Campanula [2.04]; Marita Viitasalo, piano Rec. 1993 14 Wedding march [1911] [3.55] Kuopion kaupunginorkesteri/Atso Almila rec.1999 15 The Swan of Tuonela, Op. 22/2 [9.01] Toronton Sinfoniaorkesteri/Jukka-Pekka Saraste rec. 2000 16 Sydämeni laulu, Op. 18/6 [2.07] Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat [YL]/Matti Hyökki Sanat: Aleksis Kivi; rec. 2003 17 Finlandia-hymn [1940] [2.08] Ylioppilaskunnan.Laulajat [YL]/Matti Hyökki Sanat: V.A. Koskenniemi; rec. 2003 18 Symphony No. 2 Op. 43 - IV Finale: Allegro molto [13.01] Euroopan kamariorkesteri [Chamber Orchestra of Europe]/Paavo Berglund rec. 1998 CD2 [64'37] 1 Karelia-suite, Op.11. - Alla marcia Helsingin kaupunginorkesteri/Okko Kamu rec. 1988 2 Symphony No. 1., Op.39 I Andante ma non troppo - Allegro energico Radion sinfoniaorkesteri/Jukka-Pekka Saraste rec. 1995 3 Romanssi, Op. 42 [4.34] Keski-Pohjanmaan kamariorkesteri rec. 1996 4 Kurkikohtaus, Op. 44/2 [5.04] Finlandia Sinfonietta/Pekka Helas rec 1986 5 Rondino, Op. 81/2 [2.06] Arto Noras, cello and Tapani Valsta, rec. 1977 6 Elegia, Op. 27/1 [3.57] [sov. Georg Schneeyoigt] Erkki Rautio, cello and Izumi Tateno, rec. 1992 Puu-sarja, Op. 75: 7 No. 1. Kun pihlaja kukkii [1.54]; 8 No.2 Yksinäinen honka [2.45]; 9 No. 3 Haapa [2.44]; 10 No. 4 Koivu [1.44]; 11. No. 5 Kuusi [3.32] Eero Heinonen, piano Rec. 2000 12 Impromptu [1893] [6.28] Keski-Pohjanmaan kamariorkesteri/Juha Kangas 1996 13 Musette, Op. 27/2 [2.09] Tapiola Sinfonietta/Seppo Hovi rec. 1996 14 Symphony No. 1, Op. 39 - IV Finale: Andante - Allegro molto [11.35] Euroopan kamariorkesteri (Chamber Orchestra of Europe)/Paavo Berglund rec.1998 rec. 1977-2003 Stereo DDD/ADD WARNER FINLANDIA 0927 49912 2 [75.37+64.37] [RB]

Recommendable for the cautious soul who has no qualms about hearing detached parts of symphonies and who wishes a sampling of the more overtly romantic Sibelius. A classy collection with performances to match. … see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Piano Works
Five Characteristic Impressions, Op. 103: The Village Church; The Fiddler; The Oarsman; The Storm; In Mournful Mood Kyllikki (Three Lyric Pieces), Op. 41: Largamente; Andantino; Commodo Five Esquisses, Op. 114: Landscape; Winter Scene; Forest Lake; Song in the Forest; Spring Vision Piano Sonata, Op. 12: Allegro moderato; Andantino; Allegro pochettino moderato Five Pieces (The Flowers), Op. 85: Bellis; Oeillet; Iris; Aquileja; Campanula Rondinos, Op. 68: Rondino No. 1; Rondino No. 2; Finlandia, Op. 26/7 Eero Heinonen, piano Recorded 1995-2000 WARNER APEX 2564-60114-2 [78:45] [DS]

An excellent bargain price representation of the piano music of Sibelius. … see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Complete Piano Trios, Volume 1 Trio in G minor for 2 violins & piano (1883)* Menuetto in D minor (1885) Menuetto in F major for 2 violins and piano (1883)* Andante – Adagio – Allegro maestoso (1885) Piano Trio in A minor (1884) Moderato in A minor (1885) Allegro in C major (1885) Allegro in D major (1886) Andantino in A major (1886) Piano Trio in A minor (1886) Jaakko Kuusisto (violin), Satu Vänstä (violin)*, Marko Ylönen (cello), Folke Gräsbeck Rec 5-7 April 2002, Danderyd Gramar School, Sweden BIS CD-1282 [72.18] [TB]

No hope of uncovering a major and neglected masterpiece here … the best that can be said of this music is that it is charming and entertaining. … see Full Review

Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) Má vlast (My Fatherland) (1872-9) Symphonic poems:- Vysehrad [Myth] Vltava (The Moldau) [Nature] Sarka [Myth] From Bohemia's Woods and Fields [Nature] Tábor [History] Blaník [History] Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Nikolaus Harnoncourt Rec. Musikverein, Vienna, Austria, November 2001, DDD RCA RED SEAL/BMG CLASSICS 82876 54331 2 [2CDs: 39.32+43.46] [RW]

An orthodox, leisurely and light reading brought to life with sparkling brass and clear melodic lines. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ethyl SMYTH (1858-1944) String Quartet in E Minor: Allegretto lirico [12:10]; Allegro molto leggiero [5:48]; Andante [12:51]; Allegro energico [10:26] Amy Marcey BEACH (1867-1944) Quartet in one movement [14:57]: Grave - Piu animato - Allegro molto - Grave Susan SPAIN-DUNK (1880-1962) Phantasy Quartet in D Minor [13:11]: Allegro con fuoco - Andante moderato – Allegro con fuoco – Piu tranquillo Archaeus Quartet: Anne Hooley: Violin, Bridget Davey: Violin, Elizabeth Turnbull: Viola, Martin Thomas: Cello Recording location and dates not given. LONTANO RECORDS LORELT LNT 114 [69:23] [SA]

I cannot remember a record I’ve enjoyed more this year or one I felt compelled to listen to time after time – a fabulous disc! … see Full Review

Padre Antonio SOLER (1729-1783)Sonatas for Harpsichord, Volume 10 Gilbert Rowland (harpsichordist) Rec. Epsom College Concert Hall, Surrey from 10th to 12th July, 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.557137 [73:51] [AN]

A well-rounded CD overall, encompassing a wide range of moods, keys and structures. Possibly not the strongest opening, but don’t let that put you off. … see Full Review

Fernando SOR (1778-1839) "My Careless Eyes – Songs & Guitar Music" Evelyn Tubb, soprano *; David Parsons, guitar (Louis Panormo, 1843) Recorded in February 2003 in the Chapel of Ashburham Place, near Battle, UK DDD ASV GAUDEAMUS CD GAU 344 [63:31] [JV]

There is more to Sor than the couple of guitar pieces which he is known for in our time – but this recording doesn’t make it easier to fully appreciate his art ... see Full Review

Pablo SOROZÁBAL (1897-1988)
Euskalerria for chorus and orchestra (1963, instr. 1978) [3.45] Suite Vasca (1923) [12.49] Maite, Eguzki Eder (1954, instr. 1978) [3.23] Gernika (1976) [5.13] Dos Apuntes Vascos (1925) [7.08] Siete Lieder (1929 instr. 1956) [18.30] Variaciones Sinfónicas (1927) [25.02] Maite Arruabarrena (mezzo) Bilbao Choral Society Basque National Orchestra/Cristian Mandeal rec. San Sebastian, 13-15 June, 2-6 Sept 2002. DDD Basque Music Collection Vol. 6 CLAVES CD 50-2205 [71.33] [RB]

Claves merit praise for their steadfast commitment, exalted production values and for perceptive choices. Another fascinating volume in the Basque series. ... see Full Review

Max STEINER (1888-1971) All This And Heaven Too (1940) A Stolen Life (1946) Music for Bette Davis films, restorations by John Morgan Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Choir/William Stromberg Rec. Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, February-March 2002 MARCO POLO 8.225218 [71.08] [JW]

Most enthusiastically recommended to Steiner admirers. … see Full Review

Alessandro STRADELLA (1644 – 1682) San Giovanni Battista - Oratorio in two parts Erodiade la Figlia – Catherine Bott (soprano) Erodiade la Madre – Christine Batty (mezzo-soprano) San Giovanni Battista – Gérard Lesne (alto) Consigliero – Richard Edgar-Wilson (tenor) Erode – Philippe Huttenlocher (bass) Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski Recorded 1992 (Erato) WARNER ELATUS 2564-60444-2 [75.54] [RH]

Welcome re-issue for a lively and involving recording of Stradella’s oratorio with a brilliant Catherine Bott in the key role of Salome. … see Full Review

Johann STRAUSS (1825-1899) and Oscar STRAUS (1870-1954) Le Trois Valses (Drei Walzer) (The Three Waltzes) (1935) Suzy Delair (sop) Fanny, Yvette, Irene; Jean Desailly (ten) Octave, Phillipe, Gérald; Robert Pisani (bar) Father Brunner; Robert Piquet (bar) Brunner's Son. Choir and Orchestra under the direction of Richard Blareau Rec. Universal (Decca) Studios, Antony, France 2 CDs for the price of one DISCOVERY/ACCORD OPERETTE SERIES 461 958-2 [125:23] [RW]

Stirring music, well played … a warm and lilting style that blends well with the waltz theme. … see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Orchestral works Disc 1: Aus Italien, Opus 16 (1886) Macbeth, Opus 23 (1888) Disc 2: Ein Heldenleben, Opus 40 (1899) Tod und Verklärung, Opus 24 (1889) Disc 3: Don Juan, Opus 20 (1888) Till Eulenspiegel, Opus 28 (1895) Also Sprach Zarathustra, Opus 30 (1896) Disc 4: Eine Alpensinfonie, opus 64 (1915) Festliches Präludium, Opus 61 (1913) Disc 5: Metamorphosen (1944) Vier letzte Lieder (1949) (Melanie Diener, soprano) Oboe Concerto (1945) (Simon Fuchs, oboe) Disc 6: Sinfonia Domestica, Opus 53 (1903) Parergon, Opus 73 (1925) (Roland Pöntinen, piano) Disc 7: Don Quixote, Opus 35 (1897) (Thomas Grossenbacher, cello) Romance in F major (1883) (Thomas Grossenbacher, cello) Serenade in E flat major, Opus 7 (1881) Recorded: CD1: January 2000 CD2: January 2001 CD3: January-February 2001 CD4: February 2002 CD5: May 2002 CD6: May 2002 CD7: January 2000 (Serenade), February 2003 (Don Quixote & Romance) Venue: Tonhalle Zurich ARTE NOVA 74321 98495-2 [7CDs: CD1=65.27, CD2=74.28, CD3=65.48, CD4=52.36, CD5=76.25, CD6=65.29, CD7=59.05] [TB]

Romantic music, expressively and sensitively performed, will inevitably brings its rewards … well worth having. … see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine Symphony) Op. 64 (1915) In pictures: concept and photographs by Tobias Melle Tonhalle Orchestra, Zürich/David Zinman Recorded 11-12 February 2002, Tonhalle, Zurich RCA 82876 50663 9 [54.00] [KS]

Purchase recommended for diehards or technophiles who get their jollies from showing off their home theatre systems. … see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Capriccio (1940-41) A conversation piece in one act. Libretto: Clemens Krauss and Richard Strauss Setting: The château of Countess Madeleine near Paris during the 1780s The Countess…Kiri Te Kanawa The Count…Håkan Hagegård Clairon…Tatiana Troyanos La Roche…Victor Braun Flamand…David Kuebler Olivier…Simon Keenlyside Monsieur Taupe…Michel Sénéchal Major Domo…Dale Travis Italian soprano…Maria Fortuna Italian tenor…Craig Estep Young dancers…Shannon Lilly and David Justin Violin: Leonid Igudesman; Cello: David Budd San Francisco Opera Orchestra/Donald Runnicles Filmed during the 1993 San Francisco Opera season ARTHAUS MUSIK 100 354 [144 mins] [IL]

A witty, intellectually satisfying production with winsome performances especially Braun's La Roche. Kiri enchants but a little more expressive singing would not have gone amiss. … see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864 - 1949) Don Quixote Op.35 (1897) Romance in F major for cello and Orchestra, Op.13 (1883) Serenade in E Flat major for 13 Wind Instruments, Op.7 (1882) Thomas Grossenbacher (cello), Michel Rouilly (viola) Tonhalle Orchestra, Zurich/David Zinman. Rec. Tonhalle, Zurich 6 Jan, 2000 (Serenade); 10-11 Feb 2003 (Don Quixote and Romance). DDD ARTE NOVA 74321 98496-2 [59.05] [JPh]

My over-riding impression of this performance was of gentleness. … puts many full price issues to shame. … see Full Review

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Oedipus Rex (1927 rev. 1948) [51.47] Symphony of Psalms (1930 rev. 1948) [21.27] Jean Desailly - Le speaker Ivo Židek - Oedipe Vera Soukupová - Jocaste Karel Berman - Créon Eduard Haken - Tirésias Zdeněk Kroupa - Le messager Antonín Zlesák - Le berget Prague Philharmonic Choir/Josef Veselka Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl rec. 1963, 1965, Prague. ADD Karel Ančerl Gold Edition vol. 14 SUPRAPHON SU 3674-2 211 [73.31] [RB]

Two fixtures from the 1960s indispensable to an appreciation of Stravinsky’s grip on the imagination of the musical public ... see Full Review

Hermann SUTER (1870-1926) Symphony in D minor (1914) First stereo recording and first CD recording Hans JELMOLI (1877-1936) Three Pieces for Orchestra from the Lyrical Comedy ‘His Legacy’ World premiere recording Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Adriano Rec. Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, August 2002 STERLING CDS-1052-2 [61:15] [IL]

Suter is here bombastic melodrama, sometimes teetering on the edge of banality. Adriano gives it a powerful and enthusiastic reading … The Jelmoli is charming. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Violin Concerto No. 1 (1916) [25.49] Violin Concerto No. 2 (1932) [22.25] Mandragora (1926) [25.48] Stabat Mater (1926) [25.55] Litania do Marii Panny (1933) [9.29] Demeter (1924) [7.53] Kazimierz Pustelak (ten); Zdzislaw Lapinski (cello) (Mandragora) Jadwiga Gadulanka (sop); Jadwiga Rappé (alto); Andrzej Hiolski (bar) (Stabat Mater) Jadwiga Gadulanka (sop) (Litania) Jadwiga Rappé (alto) (Demeter) Polish Radio National SO/Polish Radio SO Kraków (only Mandragora)/Jerzy Maksymiuk (concerti); Antoni Wit (all other Szymanowski) Henryk GÓRECKI (b.1933) Three Pieces in the Old Style (1963) [9.47] Tadeusz BAIRD (1928-1981) Colas Breugnon Suite (1953) [14.40] Polish CO/Jerzy Maksymiuk rec. Warsaw School of Music, Aug-Sept 1976 (Baird, Gorecki); Polish RTV Studios, Katowice, Sept 1978, Mar 1981, Mar 1983 ADD/DDD EMI CLASSICS DOUBLE FFORTE 7243 5 75670 2 2 [72.52+69.32] [RB]

For all of my allegiance to the Rowicki set this generous and extremely inexpensive coupling is well worth getting. ... see Full Review

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) String Quartet No. 1 in C major Op. 37 (1917) String Quartet No. 2 Op. 56 (1927) Camerata Quartet Rec. Concert Hall, Karol Szymanowski State Music School, Warsaw, April 2000 DUX 0366 [35.34] [JW]

I admired the Camerata’s playing – if timing considerations are against them I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by the performances. … see Full Review

Toru TAKEMITSU ( 1930-1996) Chamber Music And Then I Knew ’twas Wind, for Flute, Viola and Harp. Rain Tree, for Three Percussion Players. Toward the Sea, for Alto Flute and Guitar. Bryce, for Flute, Two Harps, Marimba and Percussion. Itinerant, for Solo Flute. Voice, for Solo Flute. Air, for solo Flute. Rain Spell, for Flute, Clarinet, Harp, Piano and Vibraphone. Toronto New Music Ensemble Robert Aitken (Flute) Recorded at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Toronto, Canada and St. John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Canada, June and August 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.555859 [71:28] [MC]

Sheer pleasure for Takemitsu lovers with ideal performances and handsomely recorded too. … see Full Review

Helen TAYLOR (1915-1950) The Collected Works Symphony (1950) [27.54] Sonata for two flutes unaccompanied (1950) [18.14] Piano Sonata (1945) [13.20] Violin Sonata (1942) [11.13] LA East Studio Orchestra/Ralph Laycock (symphony) Kelly Clark Parkinson (violin) Grant Johannesen (piano) Sally Humphreys; Jane Lyman (flutes) rec. 2000 DDD TANTARA RECORDS TCD 0900DHT-HS [65.25] [RB]

Long overdue justice has now been done to the mid-Western music of Helen Taylor ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 - 1893)
Capriccio Italien, op. 45 (1880) Fantasy Overture: Romeo and Juliet (1869-80) Dance of the Tumblers, from Incidental Music: "The Snow Maiden", op. 12 (1873) Marche Slav, op. 31 (1876) Festival Overture "1812", op. 49 (1880) National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar
Recorded at Grand Concert Studio of Nat. Radio Co., Kyiv, Ukraine, 19-22 August 2001
NAXOS 8.555923 [65'51]

Not recommendable for its recording quality, especially for headphone listeners - but worth hearing for some good playing, and sometimes very insightful conducting. … see Full Review

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Concert Fantasy Op. 56 [27.52] Piano Concerto No. 1 Op. 23 [36.04] Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 44 [46.47] Piano Concerto No. 3 Op. 75 [27.52] Peter Donohoe (piano) Nigel Kennedy (violin) (2) Steven Isserlis (cello) (2) Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Rudolf Barshai Rec. 1986-1989, Wessex Hall, Poole Arts Centre, Dorset ADD EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 7243 5 85540 2 1 [64.14+63.14] [RB]

A bold collection. Treasure for sure in the case of the Second Concerto but good readings otherwise. The magnetic factor here is Second. Not to be missed. … see Full Review

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893) Swan Lake suite from the Ballet (1876) The Nutcracker suite from the Ballet (1892) USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra: Evgeni Svetlanov. No details supplied ADD CDK CDKM 1002 [65.29] [JPh]

I enjoyed this issue immensely and its appearance is the cause for rejoicing, particularly amongst those of us who enjoy these classic Russian recordings. … see Full Review

Pyotr Ilych TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1896) Symphony No 6 in B minor, Op. 74 (1893) [44’51"] Overture and Dances of the Hay Maidens from Voyevoda, Op. 3 (1867-8) [15’30"] Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio/Vladimir Fedoseyev
Recorded in 1999 DDD RELIEF CR 991060 [60’45"] [JQ]

I enjoyed this. It would not be a first choice but it is well worth investigation as an antidote to more high-octane readings. … see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893) Symphony "Manfred" Opus 58 Symphonic Fantasy "The Tempest" Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio/Vladimir Fedoseyev Recorded Live 1999 RELIEF CR 991061 [70.10] [RH]

An interesting document, recorded in adequate sound from the 1990s, but the performances are less than ideal. … see Full Review

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893) Rococo Variations for cello and orchestra Op. 33 (1876) Souvenir de Florence sextet for strings, chamber version (1892) Mstislav Rostropovich, cello Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky Borodin String Quartet. No date or location given. ADD CDK CDKM 1001 [53.19] [JPh]

Superb … performances highly recommended.… see Full Review

Alexander TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977) Symphonic Prayer, Op.93 (1959) Piano Concerto No.2, Op.26 (1923), Piano Concerto No.4 (Fantasie), Op.78 (1947),Magna mater, Op.41 (1926/27) Norika Ogawa (piano) Singapore Symphony Orchestra/Lan Shui Recorded at the Victoria Hall, Singapore, Jan-Feb 2001 (concertos) and August 2001 BIS CD 1247 [63'48] [TH]

A very entertaining disc, worthy of any serious music lover's attention. … see Full Review

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) ‘Recorder sonatas and fantasias’ Frans Brüggen (recorder), Anner Bijlsma (cello), Gustav Leonhardt (harpsichord) Recorded 1963-1972 ADD WARNER APEX 2564 60368 2 [74:48] [JvV]

Most works on this CD are well-known, but this is first and foremost a worthy testimony to the art of Frans Brüggen ... see Full Review

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) ‘Trio Sonatas’ Parnassi musici (on period instruments): Margaret MacDuffie, Matthias Fischer (violin), Stephan Schrader (cello), Sergio Azzolini (bassoon), Martin Lutz (harpsichord, organ) Recorded January, February 2002 at the Studio of the Südwestrundfunk Karlsruhe (Germany) DDD CPO 999 934-2 [68:37]

A collection of lesser known chamber music by Telemann which demonstrates once more the composer’s endless creativity … see Full Review

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Don Quixote Suite (Burlesque de Quixotte) [17:48] (Overture, The Awakening of Quixotte, This Attack on the Windmills, Sighs of Love for the Princess Dulcinee, Sancho Panza Mocked, Rosinante’s Galloping, The Galloping of Sancho’s Donkey, Don Quixotte’s Sleep) Overture in D minor [23:45]
(Overture, Minuets I and II, Gavotte, Courante, Air, Loure, Hornpipe, Canarles, Gigue)
Suite in E-flat major "La Lyra" [17:32] (Overture, Minuets I and II, La Vielle, Sicilienne avec Cadenze, Rondeau, Bourées I and II, Gigue) Northern Chamber Orchestra/Nicholas Ward Recorded at Victoria Hall, Bolton, UK, 22-23 July 1996. DDD
NAXOS 8.554019 [57:08] [KS][CC]

Pure delight, this. Buy it.[KS]
Thoroughly enjoyable fare. This is a most approachable coupling. [CC] see Full Review

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) 24 theils ernsthafte, theils scherzende Oden (1741) (TWV 25:86-109) Klaus Mertens, baritone; Ludger Rémy, harpsichord [Bruce Kennedy, 2000, after Michael Mietke, Berlin, c1700] Recorded in October 2001 at the Studio of DeutschlandRadio, Cologne, Germany DDD CPO 999 816-2 [69:08] [JvV]

Secular songs by Telemann – unknown repertoire, very well interpreted by two top-class artists from the German baroque scene ... see Full Review

Leifur THÓRARINSSON (1934-1998) The Eternal Quest In Cyprus: Concerto for Chamber Orchestra (1993)[12.02] Rent for string orchestra (1976) [9.46] Spring in my heart: Chamber concerto for 12 instruments (1993) [18.41] A Dream of the ‘House’ for harp and strings (1972) [6.24] Angelus Domini for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra (1975) [13.14] Styr - Notturno capriccioso: Concerto for piano and chamber orchestra (1988) [12.14] Gudrún Edda Gunnarsdóttir (mezzo-soprano) Anna Gudný Gudmundsdóttir (piano) Reykjavik Chamber Orchestra/Bernard Wilkinson Recorded at Vidistadakirkja, Iceland, January, February, September 2001 SMEKKLEYSA RECORDS SMK 27 [73.01]

Elements not only from Schoenberg but also Stravinsky and jazz. … music well worth the effort of getting to know. … see Full Review

Will TODD (b.1970) The Blackened Man (2000) - an opera - two extracts libretto by Ben Dunwell Isabella - Moira Harris Jobling/Boak - Mark le Broq Minister Hepburn - Philip Bell Armstrong/Clarke - Graeme Danby Judge Parke/Murray - Roddy Williams Chorus: Bibbi Heel (sop); Debra Skeen (sop); Valerie Reid (mezzo) Hallé Orchestra/Christopher Austin rec. Studio 7, Manchester and Copthorne Studios, 2001 DDD TYALGUM PRESS BMCD1 01 5 [11.10] [RB]

If you are at all drawn to modern opera in its lyrical tradition then you must hear this ... see Full Review

Will TODD (b.1970) Saint Cuthbert - oratorio (1995) words by Ben Dunwell Patricia Rozario (sop) - Angel John Hudson (ten) - Cuthbert Graeme Danby (bass) - Man Durham Singers; Hallé Choir; Northern Sinfonia Chorus Hallé Orchestra cond. Christopher Austin rec. 2-4 June 2001, Studio 7, BBC Manchester DDD THE NORTHUMBRIAN ANTHOLOGY MWM CDSP56 [79.02] [RB]

The consummation of homecoming ... a bright sunburst of resounding hosannas. ... see Full Review

Antonín TUČAPSKÝ (b.1928) Violin Concerto (1993) [27.03] Viola Concerto (1996) [29.16] Víteszlav Kuzník (violin) Pavel Peřina (viola) Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra/Petr Vronský (violin concerto) Prague Symphony Orchestra/Elli Jaffe (viola concerto) Recorded Smetana Hall, Prague, 28 March 1999 (Violin); 28 Jan 2000 live (Viola) SOMM RECORDING SOMMCD 221 [56.34] [JW]

Vitality, sensitivity and accomplishment … an exciting, engaging and life-affirming coupling of two splendid concertos. … see Full Review

Percy TURNBULL (1902-1976) Piano Music: Character Sketches; Miniatures; Pasticcio on a Theme of Mozart; Sonatina; Dances; Fantasy Suite; Preludes; Three Winter Pieces Peter Jacobs, piano Rec. 1993 SOMM SOMMCD 015 CD [69:35] [JW]

Jacobs has just the right weight for Turnbull's pictorial and disarming miniatures. Brings out the delicacy, shade and puckish wit. A delightful disc. … see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aida. Opera in 4 Acts Aida, Renata Tebaldi (sop); Radames, Mario del Monaco (ten); Amneris, Ebe Stignani (m.sop); Amonasro, Aldo Protti (bar); Il Re, Fernando Corena (bass); Ramfis, Dario Caselli (bass); Messenger, Piero de Palma (ten) Chorus and Orchestra of the Academia di Santa Cecilia, Rome/Alberto Erede Rec. Academia di Santa Cecilia, August 1952 ADD Bargain Price NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110129-30 [2CDs: 67.52+76.41] [RF]

It is Tebaldi that makes this a must for lovers of great singing. Her voice is distinctly lighter and fresher than in 1959. It encompasses the many demands of the part with ease, fluency and good depth of characterization. … see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlos. Opera in Five Acts (sung in Italian) (1886 Modena and 1867 Paris versions) Philip (King of Spain), Jaakko Ryhänen (bass); Don Carlos (Infante of Spain), Lars Cleveman (ten); Rodrigo (Marquis of Posa), Peter Mattei (bar); The Grand Inquisitor, Bengt Rundgren (bass); Elisabeth de Valois (Philip's Queen), Hillevi Martinpelto (sop); Princess Eboli (Elisabeth's lady-in-waiting), Ingrid Tobiasson (m.sop); Tebaldo (Elisabeth's page), Iwa Sörenson, (sop); The Count of Lerma (A Royal Herald), Klas Hedlund (ten); An Old Monk, Martti Wallén (bass); A Voice from Heaven, Hilda Leidland (sop)
Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm/Alberto Hold-Garrido Recorded at the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm on 18th December 1999 and 22nd and 27th January 2000 Bargain Price NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660096-98 [3CDs: 78.51+70.18+45.40] [RF]

Other than Mattei’s singing, I regrettably find little to recommend in this issue, particularly now the price is matched by better sung versions elsewhere. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Giuseppe VERDI (1813 - 1901) La Traviata – Opera in 3 Acts Libretto – Francesco Maria Piave, Violetta Valery - Tiziana Fabbricini, Flora Bervoix - Nicoletta Curiel, Annina - Antonella Trevisan, Alfredo Germont - Roberto Alagna, Giorgio Germont - Paolo Coni, Gastone, Visconte de Letorières - Enrico Cossutta, Barone Douphol - Orazio Mori, Marchese d’Obigny - Enzo Capuano, Dottor Grenvil - Francesco Musini, Giuseppe - Ernesto Gavazzi, Domestico di Flora - Ernesto Panariello, Commissionario - Silvestro Sammaritano, Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala, Milan/Riccardo Muti Rec. La Scala, Milan: March 29, 31, April 2, 7, 1992. SONY CLASSICAL SM2K 90457 [2 CDs: 61’49+74’29] [LB]

This recording has the potential to transform the indifferent listener into a passionate devotee of Italian Opera. … see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) An Introduction to Il trovatore Written by Thomson Smillie and narrated by David Timson With musical excerpts from the Naxos production of Il trovatore – Naxos 8.660023-24 With Daniela Longhi as Leonora, Irina Tschistiakova as Azucena, Maurizio Frusoni as Manrico and Roberto Servile as the Count di Luna Budapest Festival Chorus and Hungarian State Opera Orchestra/Will Humburg NAXOS 8.558079 [79:18] [IL]

Recommended to those eager to know more about Il trovatore. An ideal sampler for Naxos’s splendid 1996 recording. … see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Jerusalem, Opera in four Acts (1847) Libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaez Chorus of the Teatro Carlo Felice/Ciro Visco Orchestra of the Teatro Carlo Felice/Michel Plasson Recorded at the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genova, November 2000 Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo. Region Code All, PAL, Aspect Ratio 4:3 TDK DV-OPJER [2 DVDs: 166.00] [DB]

Looks and sounds very good … singers generally more than capable … Michel Plasson drives things along at a lively pace. There’s not likely to be another Jerusalem along any time soon. … see Full Review

Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) Carillon de Westminster, from Pièces de Fantasie, Op. 54 [6:16]§ Andantino from Pièces de Fantasie, Op. 51 [3:40] § Impromptu from Pièces de Fantasie, Op. 54 [2:56] Final de la Symphonie No. 3, Op. 28 [6:00] Charles TOURNEMIRE (1870-1939) Choral-Improvisation sur le "Victimae paschali laudes" [9:29] Fantasie-Improvisation sur l’Ave Maris Stella [10:05] Cantilène [4:12] §Petite Rhapsodie [4:43] § Maurice DURUFLÉ (1802-1986) Prelude, Adagio et Choral Varié sur le "Veni Creator" [21:21] § Maurice Duruflé (§) and Marie-Madeleine Duruflé-Chevalier, organ Rec. Grand Organs of: Cathédral de Soissons; St. Etienne-du-Mont, France, 1963 ADD ERATO 256460593-2 [67:46]

Played with supreme authority and command, they are overwhelming to listen to, nothing short of one thrill per measure of music. … see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Kyrie RV 587 Gloria in D major RV 589 Credo RV 591 Magnificat RV 610 Karla Urb and Vilve Hepner (sopranos) Anna Zander (alto)
Mati Turi (tenor) Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir Tallinn Chamber Orchestra/Tōnu Kaljuste Recorded Tallinn Methodist Church October 2002 CARUS 83.403 [58.56] [JW]

A disjunction between the rhythmic attention of the band and the overly legato phrasing of the choir … see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1675 -1741) Opera Overtures: Dorilla in Tempe [5.43] Farnace [1.25] Giustino [7.48] Ottone in Villa [5.12] L’Incoronazione di Dario [6.00] Griselda [6.22] La verità in cimento [6.38] Armida al campo d’Egitto [5.08] Bajazet (Tamerlano) [7.40] L’Olimpiade [7.16] Arsilda Regina di Ponto (Orlando furioso) [5.29] I solisti Veneti/Claudio Scimone Rec. Piazzola sul Brenta in the Villa Simes Contarini, Venice, Italy, July 1978. ADD Notes in English, Français, and Deutsch. No photos. Previously released on Erato. WARNER APEX 2564 60537-2 [65.39] [PSh]

A real treasure, some NEW and EXCELLENT Vivaldi. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) Der Fliegende Holländer. Excerpts Holländer, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (bar); Daland, Gottlob Frick (bass); Erik, Rudolf Schock (ten); Steersman, Fritz Wunderlich (ten); Senta, Marianne Schech (sop). Chorus and Orchestra of the Staatsoper Berlin/Franz Konwitschny Recorded Grunewaldkirche Berlin. 1960 Bargain Price BERLIN CLASSICS ETERNA COLLECTION 003264BC [78.16] [RF]

A very welcome reissue of a vividly recorded and well sung version of Wagner’s most popular and accessible opera. … see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Scenes from Lohengrin and Siegfried Lohengrin, Act 3, Scenes 1 and 2 (1850) [33’33] - Siegfried, Act 1, Scene 3 (1876) [25’48] John Horton Murray (tenor, Lohengrin, Siegfried); Margaret Jane Wray (soprano, Elsa); Adam Klein (tenor, Mime); Bolshoi Opera Chorus (Lohengrin); Russian State Symphony Orchestra/John McGlinn - Rec. Studio No. 5, Moscow Film Studios, on May 28th-June 1st, 2001. [DDD] NAXOS 8.555788 [59’17] [CC]

A mixed bag with impressive moments unfortunately not adding up to any sort of impressive totality … may be advisable to look elsewhere. … see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868) Friedrich Schorr (bass-baritone) Hans Sachs; Elisabeth Rethberg (soprano) Eva; Rene Maison (tenor) Walther; Eduard Habich (bass) Beckmesser; Karin Branzell (contralto) Magdalene; Emanuel List (bass) Pogner; Hans Clemens (tenor) David; Arnold Gabor (bass) Night Watchman; Julius Huehn (baritone) Kothner; Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera House, New York/Artur Bodanzky. ‘Schorr as Hans Sach’s: Was duftet der Fliedera; Wahn! Wahn!b; Abendlich Glühendc; Sieh, Evchen!d; Aha! Streicht die lenee; Selig wie die Sonne meines glückes lachtf. aLondon Symphony Orchestra/Albert Coates; bBerlin Symphony Orchestra/Leo Blech; cfLauritz Melchior (tenor); cefLondon Symphony Orchestra/cRobert Heger, eAlbert Coates, fSir John Barbirolli; dElisabeth Rethberg (soprano); dorchestra; fElisabeth Schumann (soprano); fBen Williams (); fGladys Parr (). Rec. Metropolitan Opera House, New York on February 22nd, 1936 (complete Meistersinger); aMay 1930, b1925, cMay 1931, dDecember 1925, eMay 1930, fMay 1929. GUILD IMMORTAL PERFORMANCES GHCD2244/7 [4CDs: 263’00: 71’04 + 50’15 +69’41 + 72’00 ] [JW]

No doubting whom the star is here. The booklet cover declares this is ‘FRIEDRICH SCHORR in Richard Wagner’s …’. … see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813 – 1883). Das Rheingold. Excerpts Loge, Helmut Melchert (ten); Wotan, Ferdinand Frantz (bar); Fricka, Johanna Blatter (cont); Alberich, Benno Kusche (bar); Erda, Rut Siewart (m. sop); Donner, Josef Metternich (bass) Orchestra of the Staatskapelle Berlin/Rudolf Kempe Recorded Grunewaldkirche, Berlin. 1959 BERLIN CLASSICS ETERNA COLLECTION 0032622BC [47.29] [RF]

This is the least successful of the recent issues in this series from Berlin Classics. Only Wagner addicts, or Kempe enthusiasts, will find much enjoyment or interest. … see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walküre (1850) Acts I and II Sieglinde – Lotte Lehmann (soprano) Brünnhilde – Marta Fuchs (soprano) Brünnhilde – Ella Flesch (soprano) Act II Scene 5 only Fricka – Margarete Klose (mezzo soprano) Siegmund – Lauritz Melchior (tenor) Wotan – Hans Hotter (baritone) Wotan – Alfred Jerger Act II Scene 5 only Hunding – Emanuel List Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Bruno Walter, recorded Vienna 1935 – the whole of Act I and parts of Act II Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Bruno Seidler-Winkler, recorded September 1938 – parts of Act II NAXOS 8.110250/51 [2CDs: 144.03] [JW]

Excellent engineering, low level surface noise and fine quality Victor pressings … almost uninterrupted pleasure. And what a performance! … see Full Review

Siegfried WAGNER (1869 – 1930)
Die Heilige Linde op. 15 (1927) Arbogast, king of a German tribe – John Wegner (baritone) Hildegard, his wife – Dagmar Schellenberger (soprano) Sigrun, his sister – Ksenija Lukic (soprano) Gundelind, his cousin – Mechthild Georg (mezzo-soprano) Fritigern, a king’s son from a neighbouring tribe – Thorsten Scharnke (tenor) Ekhart, a count – Adam Kruzel (baritone) Philo, a minion of the Roman emperor - Volker Horn (tenor) Caius, his messenger - Hein Heibuchel (tenor) Autonoe - Katalin Ilalmai (mezzo-soprano) Antenor – Roman Trekel (baritone) A soldier – Soon-Dong Kwon (bass) Knight – Josef Otten (bass) WDR Rundfunkchor Köln WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln/Werner Andreas Albert Recorded October 8-19, 2001, Philharmonie Köln CPO 999 844-2 [3CDs: 50.01 + 50.53 + 48.13] [RH]

The first recording of the 14th opera by the son of the more famous Richard; this story of sparring Saxons and Romans is well performed but opera itself rarely grips. … see Full Review

John WARD (ca.1589-1638)
Upon a Bank with Roses - Consort Music The Rose Consort of Viols John Bryan, Alison Crum, Sarah Groser, Ray Marks, Susanna Pell, Peter Wendland, viols. John Bryan, organ Rec: Ford Abbey, April 7-10 1998. DDD CPO 999 928-2 [71:38] [KS]

A fine recording of a little known English composer. … see Full Review

Kurt WEILL (1900-1950) Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny) (1930) Opera in 3 Acts. Text by Bertolt Brecht Jenny, Lotte Lenya (mezzo); Jimmy, Heinz Sauerbaum (ten); Mrs. Begbick, Gisela Litz (mezzo); Fatty, Peter Markwort (ten); Trinity Moses, Horst Günther (bar); Joe, Sigmund Roth (bass) Orchestra and Choir of North German Radio/Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggerberg Recorded in Hamburg, Germany. 1956 SONY CLASSICAL SM2K 91184 [2CDs: 61.42+74.18] [RF]

This issue has an authenticity that makes it essential listening for those interested in the genre. … see Full Review

Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844 - 1937) Organ Symphony No.3 in E Minor, Op.13/3 (excerpts) Prelude, Adagio and Finale (1872 rev. 1872, 1887, 1901, 1927) Organ Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.13/4 (1876)Organ Symphony No.9 in C minor, Op.70 The Gothic (1895) Marie-Claire Alain (organ)The organ of the Eglise St. Germain, St. Germain-en-Laye, Nov 1977. ADD WARNER ELATUS 2564 60341-2 [71’50"] [JPh]

Excellent analogue recordings … Erato reflect the immense power of this organ with consummate skill. … see Full Review

Margaret Lucy WILKINS (b.1939) Musica Angelorum (1991) [11.03] - Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemble/Plamen Djurov - Struwwelpeter (1973): Struwwelpeter; Cruel Frederick; Harriet and the matches; Augustus; The Inky Boys; Flying Robert [15.35] - Burnt Sienna: Etude for string trio (1974) [10.49] - FIREBIRD String Trio (Mieko Kanno (violin); Bridget Carey (viola); Zoe Martlew (cello) - 366" for solo trombone (1986) [6.38] - Barrie Webb (trombone) - Symphony (1989): Exposition; Juxtaposition; Opposition [22.20] Timįsoară Symphony Orchestra/Barrie Webb - rec. Sofia, 16 June 1999 (Musica); Sala Liceuluide Muzică 'Ion Vidu', Timįsoară, Romania, 10 Oct 1999 (Symphony); St Paul's Hall, Huddersfield University, 20, 22 June 2002. DDD VIENNA MODERN MASTERS VMM 3055 [67.10] [RB]

Wilkins proves to be a provocative composer. ... see Full Review

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872 – 1958) A Sea Symphony Symphony No. 1 – based upon texts by Walt Whitman.Joan Rodgers (soprano), Christopher Maltman, (baritone) Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra/Paul Daniel Rec. 8–10 February 2002, Poole Arts Centre. DDD NAXOS 8.557059 [63.54] [JPh]

If you are looking for a brand new recording of this fascinating symphony, this Naxos release will fill the bill admirably, provided the soloists’ vibrato does not trouble you … see Full Review

Tomás Luis DE VICTORIA (1548-1611) Motets
Victoria Voices and Viols:
Andrew Hope (tenor and direction), Rebecca Hickey, Anna Stéphany (soprano), Samir Savant, Simon Lillystone (alto), JJ Barnes, Tony Purves (tenor), Chris Hunter, James Robinson (bass), Sarah Roberts (treble viol), Frances Eustace (treble, tenor and bass viol), Barbara Wyatt (tenor viol), Ilana Cravitz, Richard Partridge (bass viol), Emma Hope (double harp), Taro Takeuchi (theorbo) Recorded in November 2001 at All Saints Church, Tudeley, England DDD ASV GAUDEAMUS CD GAU 338 [66:08] [JvV]

De Victoria’s motets are characterised by "passion, drama, intensity and radiance" – qualities which are absent in this recording ... see Full Review

John R WILLIAMSON (b.1940s) Music for Piano - volume 2 Song of Nature (1993) [4.20] Twelve Palindromic Studies - set 5 (2000) [26.46] Piano Sonata No. 4 - The Palindromic (1998) [20.49] Seven Interval Studies (2001) [18.21] Lament for Sarah (1998) [2.41] Murray McLachlan (except last item which is played by composer) rec. 17 Dec 2002, 19 Jan 2003, Whiteley Hall, Chetham's School of Music, Manchester. DDD DUNELM DRD0176 [74.06] [RB] [HC]

For those with a taste for lyrical British piano music - a tradition that evidently yet has plenty of breath[RB]
If you respond to piano music of Debussy, Ravel or John Ireland, you cannot but respond to Williamson’s idiomatic, often impressionistic, expressive music. [HC] ... see Full Review

Maurice YVAIN (1891-1965) La-Haut operetta (1923) (complete, with abridged dialogue in French) Maurice Chevalier (ten) Evariste; Marina Hotine (sop) Emma; Roméo Carles (bar) Frisotin; André Balbon (sop) Saint-Pierre Rec. Universal France (Decca) Studios, Antony, France 1953 Mono 2 CD set for the price of one DISCOVERY/ACCORD OPERETTE SERIES 461 967-2 [2CDs: 84:51] [RW]

This 1953 recording was lucky to catch the younger Maurice Chevalier … elegant and engaging. … 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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