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Erik CHISHOLM (1904-1965) Straloch Suite (1933) [15:59] Scottish Airs for Children (1940s) [27:54] Sonata in A An Riobain Dearg (abridged version, 2004) (1939) Murray McLachlan, piano Rec. Whiteley Hall, Chethams School, Manchester, 5-7 April 2004. DDD DUNELM RECORDS DRD0222/LC-12952 [77:24] [RB]

If you warm to Vaughan Williams’ Lake in the Woods, Grainger's Hill Songs, Bax's Toccata or Maxwell Davies’ Farewell to Stromness you will like this ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849) Ballade in G minor, Op. 23 Ballade in F major, Op. 38 Ballade in A flat major, Op. 47 Ballade in F minor, Op. 52 Fantaisie in F minor, Op. 49 Barcarolle in F sharp minor, Op. 60 Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat major, Op. 61 Burkard Schliessmann, piano Recorded Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg, April 2002 Hybrid SACD playable on SACD players and standard CD players BAYER RECORDS BR 100 348 CD [70:54] [DS]

An essential acquisition for piano enthusiasts ... challenges our perceptions of the great classical piano works and gives us illuminating performances of exceptional pianism ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810 - 1849) Twelve Études, Op. 10 (1833) Twelve Études, Op. 25 Murray Perahia, piano Piano Technicians: Andrew Granger, Jake Jackson. Recorded in 2.0 DSD stereo 4 July 2001 Lyndhurst Hall, Air Studios, London, UK. SACD 2.0 stereo Playable only on SACD players Also available on regular CD, Sony MK 61885 SONY SS 61885 [55.54] [PSh]

Revelatory performances of some of the very greatest of keyboard music ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Waltzes opp.18, 34, 42, 64, 69, 70, posth. in E minor, Impromptus opp. 29, 36, 51, 66 Arthur Rubinstein (piano) Dates and locations not given BMG CLASSICS RCA RED SEAL 82876 59422 2 [70:22] [CH]

Seventy minutes of some of the greatest pianism committed to disc – don’t miss it. ... see Full Review

James COOK (b. 1969?) The Way to Heaven - Choral Music Diptych: The Way to Heaven & Beyond the movable Heavens, Body of Divinity: When death cuts asunder, 12 Spheric Anthems: That which we call death is not death, Cantiones Ecclesiasticae: The lap of eternity, Cantiones Spiritualis: O lovely heaven, Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs: All loves excelling, Hymn-songs: He was most lovely - Christ's matchless love - In the primrose of my days, Requiems and Placebo Songs: I give to the eternal life, Triptych: Christ's blood is heaven's key, Lachrymae: Run sweet babe - if this be dying, Gradualia, book 3: We shall meet in comfort at our journey's end, Enchiridion: Heavenly death Voces Oxonienses/Rufus Frowde Iestyn Evans (organ) rec. St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, 27 Aug 2003; 26 Feb 2003. DDD THE DIVINE ART 25027 [60:05] [RB]

Sincere, moving, unglamorous settings within the accommodating embrace of the English Cathedral tradition. Sung with total professional commitment ... see Full Review

Vinceç CUYÀS (1816-1839) La Fattucchiera – Opera in Two Acts [1838] Simon Orfila - basso cantante – Ulrico, baró de Sant Pari;Ofèlia Sala - soprano – Ismalia, filla d’Ulrico; José Sempère - tenor – Oscar, de Romelia; Claudia Marchi -mezzo-soprano – Azila, fetillera, sota el nom d’Argea; Javier Franco - baritone – Blondello, trobador; Montserrat Benet - soprano - Bruixa Chorus and Orchestra of the Gran Teatro del Liceu/Josep Pons Live rec 26, 28 October 2001, Gran Teatro del Liceu, Barcelona, Spain COLUMNA MUSICA 1CM0101 [73.39 + 67.33] [PW]

With a performance committed and dramatic this work of Vinceç Cuyàs must rate as a discovery well worth exploring. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1862 - 1918) Abbado in Lucerne: 2003 Suite from Le Martyr de Saint Sebastien (1911) La Mer - three symphonic sketches (1905)Rachel Harnisch and Eteri Gvazava (sopranos) and the Schweizer Kammerchor Lucerne Festival Orchestra/Claudio Abbado. recorded live in the Concert Hall of the Culture and Convention Centre, Lucerne, 14th August 2003. Video directed by Michael Beyer and produced by Paul Smaczny. With documentary on the history of the Lucerne Festival and its orchestra. EUROARTS DVD 2053469 [119.00] [JPh]

An absolutely stunning performance of La Mer ... tingles with excitement from start to finish ... conjures up the fury of the sea like no other performance ... see Full Review

David DIAMOND (b.1915) Psalm, for orchestra (1936) Kaddish for Cello and Orchestra* (1987) Symphony No. 3 (1945) Janos Starker (cello)* Seattle Symphony Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz Recorded at the Seattle Center Opera House, Seattle, WA, USA on September 11 & 12, 1990 (Psalm and Symphony No.3 and January 6, 1991 (Kaddish) DDD NAXOS 8.559155 [50:33] [MC]

This Naxos disc at super budget price will undoubtedly win Diamond many new admirers. ... see Full Review

Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986) Complete Organ Works Suite Op. 5 (1933) [20.45] Chant Donné – Hommage à Jean Gallon (1949) [1.25] Méditation (1964) [3.24] Prélude sur l’introït de l’Épiphanie Op.13 (1961) [2.15] Scherzo Op.2 (1926) [5.47] Fugue sur le thème du Carillon des Heures de la Cathédrale de Soissons Op. 12 (1962) [2.59] Prélude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le thème du ‘Veni Creator’ Op.4 (1930) [18.32] Prélude et fugue sur le nom d’Alain Op.7 (1942 [11.32] Friedhlem Flamme, organist Rec. Mühleisen Organ (2000) Stiftskirche Bad Gandersheim 23rd-25th October 2003 (Surround Sound) CPO 777 042-2 [66.48] [JF]

A fine performance by Flamme of the Complete Organ Works of Duruflé. These are essential listening for all organ buffs and enthusiasts of French music alike. ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) 100th Anniversary Edition – The Concertos, Serenades, Slavonic Dances and Requiem Mass CD1 Cello Concerto in B minor, op.104 B191 (1896) [38:52] Mstislav Rostropovich (cello), Boston Symphony Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa
Recorded at Symphony Hall, Boston, USA, December 1985 Violin Concerto in B minor, op.53, B.108 (1883) [33:16] Maxim Vengerov (violin), New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Kurt Masur Recorded at Avery Fisher Hall, New York, January 1997 CD2 Piano Concerto in G minor op.33 B63 (1878) [39:24] Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano), Royal Concertgebouw orchestra/Nicholas Harnoncourt Live recording, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, October 2001 Romance in F minor for violin and orchestra, op.11 B39 (1879) [11:35] Thomas Zehetmair (violin), Philharmonia Orchestra/Eliahu Inbal Recorded Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, UK, December 1989 Silent Woods for cello and orchestra, op.68 no.5 B182 [6:03] Arto Noras (cello), Kuopio Symphony Orchestra/Markus Lehtinen Recorded at Kuopio Music Centre, Kuopio, Finland, April 2003 Slavonic Rhapsody in D, op.45 no.1 B86 (1878) [12:57] Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Vaclav Neumann Recorded Prague 1972 CD3 Serenade for Strings in E, op.22 B52 (1875) [29:27] Serenade in D minor for 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, double bassoon, 3 horns, cello and double bass op.44 B77 (1878) [25:00] The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra/Hugh Wolff Recorded at Ordway Music Centre, St. Paul, Minnesota, September 1990 Arias from ‘Rusalka, op.114, B203 (1901): Měsíĉku na nebi hlubokém (Act 1) – Song to the Moon [6:20]; Necitelná vodni moci (Act 3 Scene 1) [6:32] Eva Urbanová (soprano), Prague Symphony Orchestra/Ondrej Lenárd Recorded ?? CD4 Slavonic Dances, op.46 B83 (1878) [36:59] Slavonic Dances, op.72 B147 (1886) [36:15] Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt Recorded at Stefaniesaal, Graz, June 2000 (op.72) and June 2001 (op.46) CD5 Requiem Mass, op.89 B165 (1891) Part 1 [52:57] CD6 Requiem Mass Part 2 [46:14] Teresa Zylis-Gara (soprano), Stefania Toczyska (mezzo-soprano), Peter Dvorský (tenor), Leonard Mróz (bass), Chœur de Radio France, Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Armin Jordan Recorded at Studio 103, Radio France, January 1981 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61528-2 [6CDs: 72:34 + 70:14 + 68:14 + 73:25 + 52:57 + 46:14] [GPJ]

A pity to end on a negative note; but I have to say that I couldn’t recommend this set as a purchase – there are too many items that are mediocre or worse. Only the Violin Concerto and the Slavonic Dances (and perhaps the two serenades) are worthy to rank with the best versions that are available. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) 100th Anniversary Edition: Chamber Music CD1 (60.01) Piano Trio in B flat major, Opus 21 (1875) Piano Trio in G minor, Opus 26 (1876) CD2 (71.48) Piano Trio in F minor, Opus 65 (1883) Piano Trio in E minor, Opus 90 ‘Dumky’ (1891) Trio Fontenay Rec Nov 1987 (Opus 65); Sept 1988 (Opus 21), Sept 1990 (Opus 26, Opus 90), Teldec Studio Berlin CD3 (68.47) String Quartet in F major, Opus 96 ‘American’ (1893) String Quintet in E flat major, Opus 97 (1893) Cypresses Keller Quartet (Opus 96, 97), with Anna Deeva (viola) (Opus 97) New Helsinki Quartet (Cypresses) Rec Jan 1994 (Opus 96), June 1994 (Opus 97), Salle de Musique de la Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland; Aug 1996 (Cypresses), Sigyn Hall, Turku, Finland D4 (64.36) String Quartet in D minor, Opus 34 (1877) String Quartet in E flat major, Opus 51 (1879) American String Quartet Rec Oct 1985, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letter CD5 (72.13) String Sextet in A major, Opus 48 (1878) String Quartet in G major, Opus 106 (1895) Boston Symphony Chamber Players (Opus 48) Alban Berg Quartet (Opus 106) Rec July 1983 (Opus 48), Trinity Parish Church, Lenox, Massachusetts; Sept 1975 (Opus 106), Casino Zögernitz, Vienna CD6 (72.27) Piano Quintet in A major, Opus 81 (1887) Piano Quartet in E flat major, Opus 87 (1889) András Schiff (piano) Panocha String Quartet Rec Sept 1997, Teldec Studio, Berlin WARNER CLASSICS 2564 64527-2 [6CDs, as above] [TB]

Excellent collection of chamber music by this Czech master. ... see Full Review

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No 8 in G major, Op. 88 [35’42"] Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104* [42’03"] *Gregor Piatigorsky (cello) Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch Recorded in 1961 and 1960 (precise dates and venue not specified) ADD BMG RCA RED SEAL 82876 55302 2 [77’55"] [JQ]

This coupling of two greatest masterpieces has the benefit of convenience ... I doubt that anyone buying these fine performances is likely to be disappointed. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Rusalka - a lyric fairy-tale in three acts Op.114 (1900) Libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil - (sung in Czech) Prince - Peter Dvorsky (tenor) Foreign Princess - Eva Randova (mezzo soprano) Rusalka - Gabriele Benackova-Cap (soprano) Water Goblin - Evgeny Nesterenko (bass) Witch - Eva Randova (mezzo soprano) Hunter - Alexander Maly (tenor) First Naiad - Noriko Sasaki (soprano) Second Naiad - Gabriele Sima (soprano) Third Naiad - Margareta Hintermeier (mezzo soprano) Chorus and Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera/Vaclav Neumann A live performance from the Vienna State Opera recorded by Austrian Radio on 10 April 1987 ORFEO C638 0421 [64.32 + 75.21] [CF]

One cannot get away from the fact that it is a glorious experience to re-live such a memorable evening as that of 10 April 1987. ... see Full Review

Dennis EBERHARD (b. 1943) Shadow of the Swan: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Prometheus Wept (August 6, August 9, 1945) for Solo Bass and String Orchestra Halida Dinova (piano) Piotr Migunov (bass) St. Petersburg Cappella Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Tchernoushenko Recorded at the St. Petersburg Recording Studio, St. Petersburg, 25–27 Nov 2002 DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559176 [56:07] [CT]

A Piano Concerto on a major scale that collapses under the weight of its own eclecticism. ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Sea Pictures [22:37] William WALTON (1902-1983) Coronation Te Deum [10:33] Arnold BAX (1883-1953) November Woods [19:44] Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra [16:48] Catherine Wyn-Rogers, mezzo soprano Choristers of Winchester Cathedral Winchester College Quiristers Members of the Eton College Chapel Choir BBC Singers BBC Symphony Chorus BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis Recorded 30 July 2003 at the Royal Albert Hall, London in the presence of HM The Queen. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564 61550-2 [69:42] [KS]

Despite some really rather strong performances rises only to the level of ‘acceptable alternative’ or ‘good document of what must have been a nice concert.’ ... see Full Review

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Sacred Choral Music Give unto the Lord (Psalm XXIX), Op. 74 [7’52"] Ave verum corpus, Op. 2, No. 1 [2’44"] Ave Maria, Op. 2, No. 2 [2’25"] Ave maris stella, Op. 2, No. 3 [4’03"] O hearken Thou, Op. 64 [3’33"] Te Deum laudamus, Op. 34, No. 1 [11’01"] Benedictus, Op. 34, No. 2 [7’03"] O salutaris hostia [2’53"] Great is the Lord (Psalm XLVIII), Op. 67 [9’39"] The Spirit of the Lord is upon me (from The Apostles) [6’53"] Go, Song of Mine, Op. 57 [4’44"] Seek Him that maketh the seven stars (from The Light of Life, Op. 29) [6’45"] Light of the World (from The Light of Life, Op. 29) [4’26"] Choir of St, John’s College, Cambridge/Christopher Robinson Jonathan Vaughn (organ) Recorded in St. John’s College Chapel, Cambridge, 8 – 10 July, 2003 DDD NAXOS 8.557288 [74’20"] [JQ]

Those unfamiliar with Elgar’s smaller-scale choral music will find this an excellent and inexpensive introduction. ... see Full Review

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) La vida breve (1905) - Lyric Drama in two acts and four tableaux Libretto by Carlos Fernández Shaw Salud, Ana Maria Sánchez (soprano) Paco, Vincente Ombuena Valls (tenor), La Abuela, Alicia Nafé (mezzo-soprano) El Tio Sarvaor, Alfonso Echeverria (bass), Manuel, Enrique Baquerizo (tenor) Carmela, Maria José Suárez (soprano) La Voz de la Fragua, Manuel Cid (tenor) Cantaor, Pedro Sanz (tenor) Prince of Asturias Foundation Choir Asturias Symphony Orchestra/Maximiano Valdés Recorded Oviedo, Spain, 2002 NAXOS 8.660155 [63:31] [JL]

A new and very welcome bargain version of Falla’s short, under recorded opera. Splendidly idiomatically Spanish. No English libretto. Go for the De Los Angeles on EMI ... see Full Review

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Chamber Music CD1 Piano Quintets Nos: 1 in D minor Op. 89 (1906); 2 in C minor Op. 115 (1921) Quintetto Fauré di Roma Rec.: Oct 1985, Kirche Wohlen, Bern Originally issued on Claves CD2 Piano Quartets Nos: 1 in C minor Op. 15 (1879); 2 in G minor Op. 45 (1886) Ames Quartet Rec.: Feb 1990, Troy Savings Bank Musical Hall, Troy, NY Originally issued on Dorian CD3 La Bonne Chanson Op. 61 (1892-94) Piano Trio in D minor Op. 120 (1923) Sarah Walker (mezzo); Nash Ensemble Rec.: 1980, Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead, London Originally issued on CRD CD4 Cello Sonatas Nos.: 1 in D minor Op. 109 (1917); 2 in G minor Op. 117 (1921) String Quartet in E minor Op. 121 (1923) Elégie for cello and piano Op. 24 (1880) Thomas Igloi (cello); Clifford Benson (piano) Amati Quartet
Wladislav Warenberg (cello); Sara Crombach (piano) Rec.: 1975 Church of St George in the Martyr, Queen Square, London; 1 June 1990 Kirche Blumenstein, Bern; 10 Mar 1999, Hervormde Kerk Rhoon, Nederlands Originally issued on CRD; Divox CD5 Violin Sonatas Nos.: 1 in A major Op. 13 (1875); 2 in E minor Op. 108 (1917) Krysia Osostowicz (violin); Susan Tomes (piano) Rec. 25-26 Aug 1987 Originally issued on Hyperion BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92337 [5CDs: 63:21 + 66:05 + 43:52 + 64:37 + 49:47] [RB]

The performance aesthetics are excellent and the price is stunningly inexpensive ... see Full Review

Gabriel FAURE (1845-1924) Requiem, op.48 (1888) [35:02] Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Chichester Psalms (1965) [17:41] Aled Jones (treble), Stephen Roberts (baritone) John Birch (organ) London Symphony Chorus Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Richard Hickox Recorded at Henry Wood Hall, London, UK, July 1986 GRIFFIN GCCD 4044 [53:20] [GPJ]

To sum up, a great bargain issue for anyone looking for this coupling; Hickox draws disciplined, stylish performances from his forces, and the re-mastered recording does them full justice. ... see Full Review

Valentino FIORAVANTI (1764-1837) Le cantatrice villane – Opera buffa in two acts (1798) Aldo Noni (Rosa), Ester Orell (Agata), Fernanda Cadoni (Giannetta), Sesto Bruscantini (Don Bucefalo), Franco Calabrese (Don Marco Bomba), Agostino Lazzari (Carlino), Orchestra di Napoli dell’Associazione "Alessandro Scarlatti"/Mario Rossi Recorded 11 October 1951 at the Teatro di Palazzo Reale, Caserta WARNER FONIT CETRA OPERA COLLECTION 5050467-1200-2-0 [51:46] [CH]

An interesting peep into Italian opera in the late 18th Century, and into the manner of its revival some fifty years ago. ... see Full Review

Lukas FOSS (b. 1922) Griffelkin (1960) [31.03] 23+ Soloists, Back Bay Chorale, Boston Children’s Opera Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose Recorded at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, 2 April 2002 Notes in English, Deutsch, and Français. Photos of conductor. CHANDOS CHAN 10067 [31.03 + 62.35] [PSh]

An engaging entertainment allegedly for children, but without the visual element I doubt if they could follow the story ... see Full Review

Robert FUCHS (1846-1927) Piano Concerto in B flat minor, Op. 27 (1879/80) [40:37] Serenade No. 5 in D major, Op. 53 (1895) [22:04] Franz Vorraber, piano
Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra/Alun Francis Recorded Villa Louvigny, Luxembourg, June 2003 CPO 999 893-2 [62:56] [DS]

Melodic and well constructed, although thoroughly derivative ... delves intensely into the dark and heroic side of the human condition. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Philippe GAUBERT (1879-1941) Complete works for flute, Volume 2 Sonata for flute and piano (1917) [15:32] Second Sonata (1924) [15:27] Third Sonata (1934) [12:39] Sonatine Quasi Fantasia (1937) [11:59] Fenwick Smith (flute), Sally Pinkas (piano) Recorded in the Sonic Temple, Roslindale, Massachusetts, Feb. 16th 2001 (Sonata), Sept. 30th 2002 (Third Sonata), and Jan.25th 2003 (Second Sonata and Sonatine) NAXOS 8.557306 [55:38] [GPJ]

Fenwick Smith is a very distinguished performer ... his tone is very beautiful, his technique unobtrusively flawless. The way he shapes phrases is a joy and a lesson in itself. ... see Full Review

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue (1924) Michael Tilson Thomas (piano/conductor) New World Symphony Orchestra An American in Paris (1928) Concerto in F for piano and orchestra (1925) Garrick Ohlsson (piano) New World Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas Recorded 26-7 January 1997 (Rhapsody), Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; 30 June 1998 (An American in Paris and Concerto), Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco BMG-RCA RED SEAL 82876 60862 2 [69.18] [TB]

MTT is a major Gershwin talent whose performances of Gershwin have been an important force on the international musical scene for some time. A valuable addition. ... see Full Review

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Gershwin For Trumpet: arrangements for trumpet and piano But Not for Me [5:04] They Can’t Take That Away From Me [5:34] The Man I Love [4:39] How Long Has This Been Going On? [6:06] Embraceable You [5:07] A Foggy Day [8:31] It Ain’t Necessarily So [4:56] Love is Here to Stay [2:47] By Strauss [6:05] But Not for Me [1:26] Juraz Bartos, Trumpet Peter Breiner, Piano Rec. Glenn Gould Studio, C.B.C., Toronto, Canada, 3-5 June 1996 DDD NAXOS 8.554302 [50:15] [PG]

A fine collection of familiar songs arranged and performed in unsurprising but very competent ways ... see Full Review

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Symphony No. 5 in B flat major Op. 55 (1895) [35:28] Symphony No. 7 in F major Op. 77 (1901-02) [34:12] BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Tadaaki Otaka rec. Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, 28 Apr 1995 (5); 5 Feb 1998 (7) BIS BIS-CD-1388 [70:21] [RB]

Glazunov is a composer well able to delight but the spirit rather like that in the symphonies of Bax and Miaskovsky can be elusive. It is captured only intermittently by Otaka. ... see Full Review

Mikhail GLINKA (1804-1857) Ivan Susanin (1836) A patriotic, heroic-tragic opera in four acts with an epilogue Libretto by Sergei Gorodetsky (sung in Russian) Ivan Susanin - Maxim Mikhailov (bass) Antonida, his daughter - Natalia Spiller (soprano) Vanya - Yelizaveta Antonova (mezzo soprano) Bogdan Sobinin - Georgi Nelepp (tenor) A Russian soldier - Alexander Hosson (bass) A Polish messenger - Ivan Skobtsov (tenor) Sigismund - Fyodor Svetlanov (bass) Chorus and Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre/Alexander Melik-Pashaev/Vassily Nebolsin (Epilogue) (conductors) Recorded in Moscow in 1947 GREAT HALL MVT CD 012-013 [2CDs: 153.23] [CF]

Only the Gubbay-like jamboree finale disappoints in what is otherwise a largely stylish performance ... see Full Review

Edvard GRIEG (1843 - 1907) Piano Concerto in A Minor (1868), Op. 16 In Autumn Concert Overture, Op. 11. Symphonic Dances, Op. 64. Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Bjarte Engeset.recorded in Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, 13–15 May 2003. Hybrid SACD NAXOS 6.110060 [71’47"] [JPh]

When there are many bland offerings around these days, it pleases me to be able to welcome this disc with all enthusiasm. ... see Full Review

George Frederick HANDEL (1685-1759) Gideon – An Oratorio in Three Parts complied by John Christopher Smith (1712-1795) Barbara Hannigan, Linda Perillo, Nicola Wemyss – Sopranos David Cordier – Countertenor, Knut Schoch – Tenor, Stephen MacLeod - Bass Junge Kantorei Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra/Joachim Carlos Martini Live rec 8 June 2003, Kloster Eberach, Rheingau, Germany DDD NAXOS 8.557312-13 [75.27 + 76.26] [PW]

An enjoyable performance of (often) familiar music, given an interesting new flavour. ... see Full Review

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732 - 1806) String Quartets Op 50, No. 1, Hob 111:44 (1787) [19.28] String Quartets Op 50, No. 2, Hob 111:45 (1787) [19.09] String Quartets Op 50, No. 3, Hob 111:46 (1787) [20.14] Amati String Quartet: Willi Zimmerman, Katarzyna Nawrotek, violins; Nicolas Corti, viola; Claudius Herrmann, cello. Recorded at Radiostudio Zürich, Switzerland, July 1, 1999 Notes in Deutsch, English, and Français. Images of artists, composer, and dedicatee. DIVOX CDX-29810 [58.51] [PSh]

A dazzling display of virtuoso polish and precision playing. A little more heart would have been nice ... see Full Review

Jennifer HIGDON (b. 1962) Concerto for Orchestra (2002) [34.58] Cityscape (2002) [30.51] Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Robert Spano Rec. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia, 12, 14 Sept 2003. DDD TELARC SACD-60620 [66.17] [GR]

Higdon’s music: straightforward style .... broader artistic horizons and a harmonic language that is developed and subtle ... invigorating and appealing ... see Full Review

Franz Anton HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812) Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in B Flat major: Allegro con spirito [8.05], Poco Adagio [6.53], Rondo [3.39] Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in D major: Allegro [8.11], Adagio [7.01], Rondo [3.48] Twelve studies for Solo Viola: Etude No. 1 [4.33], Etude No. 2 [1.39], Etude No. 3 1.22], Etude No. 4 [4.42], Etude No. 5 [3.30], Etude No. 6 [4.06], Etude No. 7 [2.54], Etude No. 8 [3.29], Etude No. 9 [2.21], Etude No. 10 [1.31], Etude No. 11, Etude No. 12 [2.57] Ashan Pillai (viola) Gulbenkian Orchestra/Christopher Hogwood Recorded at the Gulbenkian Hall, Lisbon, 3-5 September 2003.DDD OEHMS CLASSICS OC 334 [76’13"][EM]

Would that the concert promoters would wrench themselves from their obeisance and obsession with the so-called ‘leading lights’ and allow us occasionally to hear works such as these! ... see Full Review

Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Symphony No. 3 'Liturgique' (1945) Pacific 231 (1923) Mouvement Symphonique No. 3 (1933) Rugby (1928) Pastorale d’été (1920) New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa Recorded 23-25 January 2002, Wellington Town Hall, New Zealand NAXOS 8.555974 [65.04] [TB]

Honegger is one of the great composers of the 20th century and his cause is an important cause. He is well served here. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Klaus HUBER (b. 1924) Tenebrae (1966/7) Kammerkonzert Intarsi (1994)a Protuberanzen (1985/6) James Joyce Chamber Music (1966/7)b Michael Wendeberg (piano)a; Giovanna Reitano (harp)b; Miklós Nagy (horn)b; Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg/Arturo Tamayo Recorded: Conservatoire, Luxembourg, January and July 2003 TIMPANI 1C1075 [61:45] [HC]

Superb recorded sound, and another splendid release from Timpani. Recommended. My recording of the month ... see Full Review

Charles IVES (1874-1954) Violin Sonata No. 1 (1902-08) Violin Sonata No. 2 (1902-09) Violin Sonata No. 3 (1905-14) Violin Sonata No. 4 (1906-15) Curt Thompson (violin) Rodney Waters (piano) Recorded at Duncan Recital Hall, Rice University Shepherd School of Music, Houston, Texas, January, May and December 1998 NAXOS 8.559119 [76.47] [JW]

Newcomers to Ives’ unique Violin Sonatas will find much to enjoy here ... see Full Review

Scott JOPLIN (1868-1919) Piano Rags Maple Leaf Rag [3:11] Heliotrope Bouquet: ‘A Slow Drag Two-Step’ [4:30] Pine Apple Rag [3:42] Solace: "A Mexican Serenade" [6:55] Paragon Rag [3:59] Pleasant Moments: "Ragtime Waltz" [4:05] Elite Syncopations [3:59] Original Rag [4:32] Fig Leaf: ‘A High-class Rag’ [4:34] The Entertainer: ‘A Ragtime Two-Step’ [4:42] The Easy Winners [4:12] Country Club Rag [3:59] The Strenuous Life [5:16] Bethena: ‘A Concert Waltz’ [7:53] Alexander Peskanov, piano Rec. Performing Arts Centre, Country Day School, King, Ontario, 22-24 July, 2002 DDD NAXOS 8.559114 [65:29] [PG]

A good collection of ragtime music or a launching place for further exploration of the music of Joplin ... see Full Review

Otto KLEMPERER (1885-1973) Symphony No. 1 Symphony in Two Movements (1960) [18:20] Symphony No. 2 (1967-68) [23:58] Merry Waltz [7:42] Marcia Funebre [4:36] Recollections [7:05] Scherzo [4:04] Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Alun Francis rec. Ludwigshafen, Philharmonie, 16-21 June 2003. DDD CPO 999 987-2 [65:45] [RB]

Music that has the power to surprise and leave you pensive. ... see Full Review

Herman D. KOPPEL (1908-1998) Prelude to a Symphony Op. 105 (1981) [5.30] Symphony No. 5 Op. 60 (1956) [32.10] Piano Concerto No. 3 Op. 45 (1948) [33.47] Nina Kavtaradze (piano) Aalborg Symphony Orchestra/Moshe Atzmon rec. 22-24 Aug 2000, 20-21 June 2003, Symphony Hall. Aalborg, Danmarks Radio Orchestral Works vol. 4 DACAPO 8.226027 [75.20] [RB]

A symphony and a most entertaining concerto by Koppel ... see Full Review

Erich Wolfgang von KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Violin Sonata Op.6 (1912) Much Ado About Nothing - Suite for Violin and Piano Op.11 (1918) Ich ging zu ihm – from Das Wunder der Heliane Serenade – from Der Schneemann Tanzlied des Pierrot – from Die tote Stadt Op.12 (1920) Caprice Fantastique (Wichtelmännchen from Märchenbilder Op.3 (1910 arr. 1932) Mariettas Lied – from Die tote Stadt Op.12 (1920) Joseph Lin (violin)
Benjamin Loeb (piano) Rec. Performing Arts Centre, Country Day School, King City, Ontario, August 2002 NAXOS 8.557067 [72.06] [JW]

Just too well groomed and lacking in ardency ... I prefer a little pepper with my Korngold ... see Full Review

Friedrich Daniel Rudolph KUHLAU (1786-1832) Three Duos for Two Flutes, Opus 10 [39.25] Laurel Zucker, flute 1; Renee Siebert, flute 2 Five Divertimenti for solo Flute, Op 68 [45.18] Laurel Zucker, flute Three Virtuoso Duets for Two Flutes, Opus 102 [41.59] Renee Siebert, flute 1; Laurel Zucker, flute 2 Recorded at Concordia College, Bronxville, New York, USA, 28 May 2004 Notes in English, photos and bios of the artists. No composer information. CANTILENA 66018-2 [70.05+ 56.37] [PSh]

A remarkable journey through the many sounds of the flute via the brilliant mind of an unappreciated early Romantic composer ... see Full Review

Guillaume LEKEU (1870-1894) Piano Quartet (1894) [24.40] Molto Adagio for string quartet (1887) [11.45] String Quartet (1887) [35.27] Jan Michiels (piano) Spiegel String Quartet rec. Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen, 8-10 Dec 2003. DDD MUSIKPRODIUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 644 1266-2 [71.45] [RB]

If you enjoy Chausson, early Fauré and Max d'Ollonne you need to hear this. ... see Full Review

Jon LEIFS (1899-1968) Works for Voices and Orchestra Viking's Answer - Intermezzo for wind ensemble, percussion, violas and double basses Op. 54 (1962) [3:47] The Lay of Helgi the Hundingslayer for alto, bass and small orchestra Op. 61 (1964) [8:32] Groa's Spell for alto, tenor and orchestra Op. 62 [18:38] Jonas Hallgrimsson - in memoriam for mixed choir and orchestra Op. 48 (1961) [6:48] Spring Song for mixed choir and orchestra Op. 46 [4:48] Landfall - Overture for male chorus and orchestra Op. 41 (1945) [9:50] Iceland Cantata for mixed choir and orchestra Op. 13 (1930) [19:07] Gudrun Edda Gunarsdottir (alto) Finnur Bjarnason (ten) Olafur Sigurdarson (bass) Hallgrimskirkja Motet Choir and Schola Cantoruum/Hordur Askelsson Frostbraedur Male Choir/Arni Hardarson Karnesskoli boys's choir/Dorunn Bjornsdottir Iceland SO/Hermann Baumer BIS BIS-CD-1080 [73:15] [RB]

Not for the first time Leifs explorer ...confirmed fans need look no further. ... see Full Review

Miguel LLOBET (1878-1938) Guitar Music: Scherzo Vals; Estudio Capricho Mazurka; 13 Catalan Folksongs; Respuesta (Impromptu); 5 Preludes; Mazurka for Federico Bufaletti; 4 Folksongs; Study in E Major; Romanza; Variations on a theme by Sor Lorenzo Micheli (guitar) NAXOS 8.557351 [73:42] [AD]

A fine addition to the catalogue ... see Full Review

Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Divertissements I-III Guillemette Laurens (mezzo-soprano) Capriccio Stravagante/Skip Sempé rec. May 1990, Église Allemande, Paris DDD DHM 82876601542 [61'18] [RNB]

If you are a wholly committed Lullian, and you liked the abrasion of baroque violins and you can bear to play just a few numbers at a time, then you might like this CD. ... 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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