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RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 1 in D (1884-96) Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Rafael Kubelik
Recorded "live" in Herkules-Saal in der Residenz, Munich, 2nd November 1979 AUDITE 95.467 [51.33] [TD]

This is a top recommendation. It supersedes Kubelik’s studio recording on DG and surpasses Horenstein and Barbirolli which must now be thought of as alternatives to this Audite release. Simply indispensable. … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No 5 in C sharp minor Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Markus Stenz Rec. Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Melbourne, February 2002. DDD ABC CLASSICS ABC 476 102-4 [71’52"] [JQ]

Evidently very well prepared … Stenz clearly has something to communicate about this symphony. An excellent souvenir of the partnership between this fine young German conductor and his Australian orchestra … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No 6 in A minor [81’07"] St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Sanderling Recorded: Big Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, 2-4 July 1995. DDD RS REAL SOUND RS 052-0186 [2 CDs 35’54" + 45’13"] [JQ]

I should like to hear Sanderling in more Mahler but for now this excellent recording will do to be going on with … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 9 in D (1909-10) Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Rafael Kubelik Recorded live in Bunka Kaikan Concert Hall, Tokyo, 4 June 1975. ADD AUDITE 95.471 [79’09"] [JQ]

Kubelik’s is perhaps the closest to Walter’s version. The Ninth was not intended by Mahler to be his last symphony. He adopts a sift and flowing tempo … see Full Review

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Kindertotenlieder* [24’39"] Adagio from Symphony No 10** [22’14"] Anton WEBERN (1883-1945) Passacaglia, Op. 1*** [10’56"] "Im sommerwind"**** [13’14"] *Cornelia Kallisch (mezzo-soprano) SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg/Michael Gielen Recorded: *Hans Rosbaud-Studio, Baden-Baden, 25-26 June 1998; ** Hans Rosbaud-Studio, Baden-Baden, 16-17 November 1989; *** Hans Rosbaud-Studio, Baden-Baden, 12-14 November 1992; ****Konzerthaus, Freiburg, 3 September 1998 DDD HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.062 [71’30"] [JQ]

A fine and stimulating CD. Thoroughly prepared, well played, thoughtfully executed. The performances have a serious claim on the attentions of all devotees of this endlessly fascinating composer and the Webern performances are first rate. … see Full Review

You may sample, download or purchase this disc

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Piano Concerto No. 3 H316 (1947-48) [28.21] Bouquet of Flowers - A Cycle of Compositions to Folk Texts for Mixed and Children's Choirs, soli and small orchestra H260 (1937) [47.39] Josef Palenicek (piano) Libuše Domanínská (sop) Sona Cervena (alto) Lubomir Havlak (ten) Ladislav Mraz (bass) Prague Philharmonic Choir Kuhn's Children's Choir/Jan Kuhn Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl rec. stereo (concerto); mono (Flowers). Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum, Prague. ADD Karel Ančerl Gold Edition Vol. 12 SUPRAPHON SU3672-2 901 [76.13] [RB]

A concerto played brilliantly but overall being rather severe. A disarming folk serenade acting as a lode from which the style of many later works was drawn. ... see Full Review

John McCABE (b. 1939) Piano Music: Variations Op. 22 (1963); Aubade (Study No. 4) (1970); Gaudi (Study No. 3) (1970); Five Bagatelles (1964); Mosaic (Study No. 6) (1980); Haydn Variations (1983) John McCabe (piano) Recorded at Bishopsgate Hall, London, March 1998. DDD BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY BMS424CD [76:08] [CT]

Undoubted definitive performances of several of McCabe’s finest works for piano…. an important recording. … see Full Review

Erkki MELARTIN (1875-1937) The Six Symphonies Symphony No. 1 in c minor, Opus 30/1 (1902) [25.50] Symphony No. 2 (1904) [28.05] Symphony No. 3 in F major, Opus 40 (1906-07) [34.54] Symphony No. 4, Opus 80, Summer Symphony (1912) [41.33] Symphony No. 5, Opus 90, Sinfonia Brevis (1916) [32.46] Symphony No. 6, Opus 100 (1925) [35.11] Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonid Grin Recorded at Tampere Hall, May 1994 (Symphonies 1 and 3); November 1993 (Symphonies 2 and 4); March 1992 (Symphony No. 5); and October 1992 (Symphony No. 6). rec. 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1999 (Boxed set) ONDINE CD ODE 931-2 [3 CDs: 60.54+ 69.48 + 68.07] [LN]

Melartin does what a painter does, but in sound. These are symphonies worth looking into. … see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto in E minor, op. 64 Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto no. 1 in G minor, op. 26 Alban BERG (1885-1935) Violin Concerto Josef Suk (violin) Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl Recorded at the Rudolfinum, Prague, March 25-26, 1964 (Mendelssohn), September 11-12, 1963 (Bruch), January 18-19, 1965 (Berg) Karel Ančerl Gold Edition Volume 3 SUPRAPHON SU 3663-2 011 [79:24] [CH]

The Mendelssohn/Bruch coupling still stands high as a bargain recommendation; the Berg will be your ideal if you want above all a seraphic reading. … see Full Review

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Piano Trio in D minor Op. 49 Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Trio in A minor Op. 50 Czech Trio (Dana Vlachová (violin) Miroslav Petráš (cello) Milan Langer (piano)) Recorded in St Vavřinec Church, Prague, July 2003 ARCO DIVA UP 0064-2 131 [76.37] [JW]

A conventional programme with few idiosyncrasies or annoying quirks. … see Full Review

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Historic Recordings: Visions de l'Amen for two pianos (1943) [43.40] Quatre Etudes de Rhythme (1951) [15.29] Yvonne Loriod (piano) (1 Visions) Olivier Messiaen (piano) (2 Visions and solo in Etudes) rec. 1949 (Visions); 1951 (Etudes) ADD FMR RECORDS FMRCD120-L0403 [59.09] [RB]

The brittle brilliance and rude intensity of creative discovery. ... see Full Review

Nikolai MIASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Violin Concerto in D minor Op. 44 (1938) [38.06] Mieczyslaw VAINBERG (1919-1996) Violin Concerto in G minor Op. 67 (1959) [28.43] Ilya Grubert (violin) Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitri Yablonsky rec. Studio 5, Moscow State Broadcasting and Recording House, Russia, 27 Feb - 5 Mar 2003 NAXOS 8.557194 [66.49] [RB]

One of Naxos's successes. An audacious partnership of artists and of grand concertos from adjoining generations ... see Full Review

Léon (Ludwig) MINKUS (1826-1917) Don Quixote - Ballet in Three Acts - original version (1869) Sophia National Opera Orchestra/Nayden TodorovRec. National Palace of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria, 1st to 7th April, 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.557065-66[137:01] [PG]

The Sofia National Opera Orchestra, along with Nayden Todorov, has produced a gem and should be proud. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Vienna Philharmonic 1972-1981:
Piano Concertosa – No. 12 in A, K414 (1782) [25’34]; No. 14 in E flat, K449 (1784) [22’14]; No. 20 in D minor, K466 (1785) [31’50]. Sinfonia concertante in E flat, K364/320db (1779) [31’49]. Symphony No. 41 in C, K551, ‘Jupiterc (1788) [32’11]. Requiem in D minor, K626d (compl. Süssmeyer) (1791) [56’53]. bIgor Oistrakh (violin); dLucia Popp (soprano); dMargarita Lilowa (mezzo); dAnton Dermota (tenor); dWalter Berry (bass); dSingverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/ aMaurizio Pollini (piano/director), David Oistrakh (bviola/director; cconductor), dJosef Krips. Live recs. Austrian Radio (ORF) in the aWiener Konzerthaus on November 15th, 1981, Grosser Saal, Musikverein, Vienna, on bcMay 28th, 1972, dDecember 8th, 1973. ADD ANDANTE 4992 [3CDs: 200’38: 79’41 + 64’04 + 56’53] [CC]

The first two discs contain treasures to return to regularly. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Les Plus Belles Symphonies CD1 Symphony no.25 Symphony no.26 Symphony no.28 Recorded Amsterdam Concertgebouw, June 1983 (K.183), Jan./Feb. 1988 (K.184 and K.200) CD2 Symphony no.35 in D, K.385 "Haffner" Symphony no.36 in C, K.425, "Linz" Recorded Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Nov. 1980 (K.385), Nov. 1984 (K.425), CD3 Symphony no.38 in D, K.504, "Prague" Symphony no.39 in Eb, K.543 Recorded Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Sept. 1981 (K.505), June 1984 (K.543) CD4 Symphony no.40 in G minor, K.550 Symphony no.41 in C, K.551, "Jupiter" Recorded Amsterdam Concertgebouw, June 1983 (K.550), March 1982 (K.551) Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Nikolaus Harnoncourt TELDEC CLASSICS 5046 68288-2 [75:00+62:18+68:29+74:03] [GPJ]

A truly stunning set which made me listen to these great works in a totally new way … hugely enjoyable, too … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Late Symphonies Symphony No. 31 - 41 Orchestra of Padova and Venice/Peter Maag Recorded at the Auditoriums Modigliani and Pollini, Padova, 1996-97 ARTS 47650-2 [4 CDs 256.26] [JW]

Performances by one of the undersung conductors of the century just passed. Maag’s ear for texture and balance pays rich and lasting rewards. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Sonatas, Fantasias and Rondos CD 1 [73:09] Sonatas in G, K.283, A, K.331, F, K.332, B flat, K.333 Rec. 9-11 December 1989 CD 2 [65:00] Sonatas in B flat, K.281, E flat, K.282, C, K.545, D, K.284 Rec. 26-29 June 1990 CD 3 [70:39] Sonatas in C, K.309, A minor, K.310, D, K.311, C, K.330 Rec. 27 August 1990 (K.309), 7-9 September 1989 (K.310, K.311), 5 August 1991 (K.330) CD 4 [73:38] Sonata in C, K.279, Fantasia in D minor, K.397, Sonata in F, K.280, Rondo in D, K.485, Fantasia in C minor, K.475, Sonata in C minor, K.457 Rec. 21-24 and 27 August 1990 CD 5 [67:29] Sonatas in F, K.533, B flat, K.570, D, K.576, Rondo in A minor, K.511 Rec. 8-9 November 1990 (K. 533, K.570), 6-7 March 1991 (K. 576, K.511) Alicia de Larrocha (piano) Recorded at the American Academy Institute of Arts and Letters, New York City (K.330), University Music School Concert Hall, Cambridge, England (K. 310, K.311), all others in BMG Studio A, New York City, dates as above BMG CLASSICS RCA RED SEAL 82876-55705-2 [5 CDs] [CH]

An ideal buy; warmly recorded performances that express everything that is in the music while remaining wholly without idiosyncrasies. … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Das Veilchen, K576 Die Verschweigung, K518 Un moto di gioia, K579 An Cloé Abendempfindung, K523 Als Luise die Briefe, K520 An die Einsamkeit, K391 Das Lied der Trennung, K519 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Der blinde Knabe, D833 Lied der Anne Lyle, D830 An Sylvia, D891 Ellens Gesand I, D837 Ellens Gesang II, D838 Ellens Gesang III, D839 Heiß mich nicht redden, D877 No. 2 So lasst mich scheinen, D877 No. 3 Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt, D877 No. 4 Anselm HÜTTENBRENNER (1794-1868) Die Seefahrt Der Hügel Lerchenlied Die Sterne Sibylla Rubens (soprano); Irwin Gage (piano) Recorded 22-26 July, Kammermusikstudio, SWR Stuttgart HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.076 [71.58] [TB]

A recital worthy of the highest praise … the quality of the recording too … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Das Veilchen, K576 Die Verschweigung, K518 Un moto di gioia, K579 An Cloé Abendempfindung, K523 Als Luise die Briefe, K520 An die Einsamkeit, K391 Das Lied der Trennung, K519 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Der blinde Knabe, D833 Lied der Anne Lyle, D830 An Sylvia, D891 Ellens Gesand I, D837 Ellens Gesang II, D838 Ellens Gesang III, D839 Heiß mich nicht redden, D877 No. 2 So lasst mich scheinen, D877 No. 3 Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt, D877 No. 4 Anselm HÜTTENBRENNER (1794-1868) Die Seefahrt Der Hügel Lerchenlied Die Sterne Sibylla Rubens (soprano); Irwin Gage (piano) Recorded 22-26 July, Kammermusikstudio, SWR Stuttgart HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.076 [71.58] [TB]

A recital worthy of the highest praise … the quality of the recording too … see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) An Introduction to Don Giovanni Background The beginning of Don Giovanni, Mozart's genius, Other operas, Mozart and Da Ponte - The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, Don Giovanni: historical context Don Giovanni The opening: Leporello, Donna Anna, Don Giovanni and the Commendatore, The death of the Commendatore, Donna Elvira and the 'Catalogue' Aria, Masetto, Zerlina and Don Giovanni, The murderer is identified, Don Giovanni's villa and the 'Champagne' Aria Act I. Finale Act II beginning. Don Giovanni, Leporello, Donna Elvira and her maid, Tenor arias, The churchyard: Don Giovanni, Leporello and the statue, The final scene: supper at Don Giovanni's, Epilogue. Musical illustrations taken from Naxos 8.660080-82 conducted by Michael Halász Narrative written by Thomson Smillie and spoken by David Timson Bargain Price NAXOS EDUCATIONAL 8.558115 [78:59] [RF]

An enjoyable journey for both newcomer and even the seasoned enthusiast who may have seen the work many times. Strongly recommended. … see Full Review

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819 -80) Les contes d'Hoffmann Placido Domingo, Agnes Baltsa, Ileana Cotrubas, Luciana Serra, Geraint Evans, Nicolai Ghiuselev Royal Opera House Chorus and Orchestra/Georges Prêtre; dir. John Schlesinger (ROH, 1981) NTSC 4:3 format; Dolby Stereo. WARNER DVD 0630-19392-2 [150 mins] [AB]

A very enjoyable performance of a fascinating opera with marvellous singing and acting which is let down by mediocre colour and sound recording. … see Full Review

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Orphée aux Enfers Aristée/Pluton – Andrée Dran (tenor) Jupiter – Bernard Demigny (baritone) Orphée – Jean Mollien (baritone) John Styx – Jean Hoffmann (baritone) Mercure/Morphée – Andre Jonquères Mars – Lucien Mans (baritone) Eurydicé – Claudine Collart (soprano) Diane – Janine Lindenfelder (mezzo-soprano) L’Opinion Publique – Violette Journeaux (mezzo-soprano) Vénus – Monique Chalot (soprano) Cupidon – Simone Prébordes (soprano) Junon/Minerve – Anne Marie Carpentier (mezzo-soprano) Paris Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra/Rene Leibowitz Recorded 1951 Au mont Ida (from La Belle Hélène) Jussi Björling (tenor) Nils Grevillus (conductor) Recorded 1936 Pif, Paf, Pouf (from La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein) Louis Musy (baritone) Recorded 1931 Ah! quel diner je viens de faire (from La Périchole) Claudia Novikova (soprano) Recorded 1932 Je t’adore brigand (from La Périchole) Maggie Teyte (soprano) Recorded 1934 Charbonniers et fariniers (from La Boungère des Ecus) Que voulez-vous faire? (from La Boungère des cus)
Reynaldo Hahn (vocals and piano) Recorded 1928 Dites lui qu’on l’a remarque (from La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein) Yvonne Printemps (mezzo soprano) Henri Busser (Piano) Recorded 1934 Ma mère aux vignes m’envoyit (from Madame Favart) Germaine Corney Recorded 1933 Ah! vivre deux! (from Les Contes d’Hoffmann) Miguel Villabella Gustave Cloez (conductor) Recorded 1932 Barcarolle: Belle nuit, o nuit d’amour (from Les Contes d’Hoffmann) Lucrezia Bori (soprano) Lawrence Tibbet (baritone) Rosario Bourdon (conductor) Recorded 1927 Elle a fui, la tourterelle (from Les Contes d’Hoffmann) Eide Norena (soprano) Pierre Coppola (conductor) Recorded 1930 C’est un chanson d’amour (from Les Contes d’Hoffmann) Emma Luart (soprano) Gaston Micheletti (tenor) Gustave Cloez (conductor) Recorded 1928 REGIS RRC 2063 [3 CDs: 56.05+72.14+44.33] [RH]

Essential listening for anyone who loves this opera; a welcome reissue on CD for this stylish historic performance which has achieved iconic status. … see Full Review

Carolina OLIPHANT (Lady Nairne) (1766-1895) White Rose O' June -The songs of Carolina Oliphant (Lady Nairne) The Auld Hoose; Chairlie is my darling; The Land o' the Leal; The County Meeting; White Rose o' June; The Banks o' the Earn; Wha'll be King but Chairlie; Caller Herrin'; The women are a' gaen wud; The Rowan Tree; The Pleughman; The attainted Scottish Nobles; The Laird o' Cockpen; The Lady Grange; Wi' a hunndred pipers an' a'; The Scottish Regalia; Bonny Gascon Ha'; The Fife Laird; Will ye no come back again? Anne Lorne Gillies (vocals, keyboard) Alistair McCulloch (violin, fiddle)
Marc Duff (recorder, cittern, bodhram) Rhona MacKay (clarsach) Gordon Cree (keyboards)
Stuart Forbes (flute, clarinet) Lindsey McCulloch (cello) Rick Standley (acoustic bass) Duncan McColl (bagpipes, guitar, electric bass) BRIGH PRODUCTIONS DUNLOP BR002 [54.26] [CSS]

Anne's voice is perfectly clear in the quieter moments … raises a lump in the throat. I recommend this disc for lifting the spirits … see Full Review

BARGAIN DISCOVERY OF THE MONTH Julian ORBÓN (1925 – 1991) Danzas sinfónicas (1957) Concerto Grosso (1958) Tres versiones sinfónicas (1954) Asturias Symphony Orchestra/Maximiano Valdés Recorded: Casa Municipal de Cultura, Avilés, 1998 NAXOS 8.557368 [66 :17] [HC]

This still underrated composer unquestionably deserves serious consideration. Recommended. … see Full Review

Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) 24 Caprices Op. 1 Sonig Tchakerian (violin) Recorded Oratorio San Bovo, Padova, December 2002 ARTS 47693-2 [79.38] [JW]

A thoughtful and musical account … see Full Review

Krzyzstof PENDERECKI (b.1933) St Luke Passion (1962-66) Izabella Kłosińka (soprano) Adam Kruszewski (baritone) Romuald Tesarowicz (bass) Krzyzstof Kolberger (Evangelist) Jaroslaw Malanowicz (organ) Warsaw Boys Choir Warsaw National Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra/Antoni Wit Recorded Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, August and September 2002 NAXOS 8.557149 [76.24] [JW]

Tone clusters, vocal wails, sudden accumulation of sonorities, unstoppable instrumental eruptions, microtones … blazing light, nobility and fervour. … see Full Review

Walter PISTON (1894-1976) Symphony No. 2 (1943), [Moderato, 10.07 +Adagio, 10.48 +Allegro 4.27] Symphony No. 6 (1955) [Fluendo espressivo, 6.42 +Scherzo, Leggerissimo vivace, 3.38 + Adagio sereno, 11.19 +Allegro energico, 3.51] Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz Recorded at Seattle Center Opera House, Seattle, Wash., Nov. 23, 1988 (No. 2); Dec. 6, 1989 (No. 6). NAXOS 8.559161 [50.56] [LN]

It's one of the good things Naxos did for Piston - issuing at budget price a 1988 recording of the Symphony No. 2. It is paired with No. 6 but it's No. 2 that is the star of the show. … see Full Review
Walter PISTON (1894-1976) Symphony No. 2 (1943) Symphony No. 6 (1955) Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz Recorded Seattle Centre Opera House, Seattle, November 1988 (Symphony No. 2) and December 1989 (Symphony No. 6) NAXOS 8.559161 [50.56] [JW]

A highly distinguished release back in 1990 and now over a decade later, in its new incarnation, its merit burns just as brightly. … see Full Review

Quincy PORTER (1897-1966) Symphony No. 1 (1934) [23.53] Symphony No. 2 (1962) [26.52] Poem and Dance (1932) [9.43] Sinfonia Varsovia/Ian Hobson rec. 3-4 Nov 2002, Witold Lutosławski Studio, Polish Radio. DDD ALBANY TROY 574 [60.23] [RB]

Stylishly done and recorded with resounding impact and transparency. Another gap in the catalogue falls victim ... see Full Review

John POWELL (1882-1963) Symphony in A major Virginia Symphony (1945 rev. 1951) [54.40] Trad arr. Carmen DRAGON (1914-1984) Shenandoah ([3.24] Virginia Symphony/JoAnn Falletta rec. 7-8 Sept 2001, Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, Virginia. DDD ALBANY TROY589 [58.06] [RB]

Music with a spring in its heel and a folksy character ... see Full Review

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony No. 1 Op. 25 Classical (1917) [12.40] Piano Concerto No. 1 in D flat major Op. 10 (1911) [13.38] Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor Op. 16 (1912-13) [33.38] Sviatoslav Richter (piano) (1) Dagmar Baloghová (piano) (2) Prague Symphony Orchestra/Karel Ančerl (2) Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl (1) rec. 1956, Domovina, Prague (Classical), 1953 (1), 1964 (2) Rudolfinum, Prague, . ADD Karel Ančerl Gold Edition Vol. 10 SUPRAPHON SU3670-2 011 [60.14] [RB]

Grainy … Ančerl clearly prizes the abrasion and the tartness of the music. No evidence of a temptation to over-romanticise. … see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
Gianni Schicchi - opera in one act: Gianni Schicchi, aged 50…Alberto Rinaldi (baritone) Lauretta, his daughter, aged 21…Tatiana Lisnic (soprano) Zita (‘La Vecchia’), cousin of Buoso Donati, aged 60…Mabel Perelstein (contralto) Rinuccio, Zita’s nephew, aged 24…Stefano Secco (tenor) Gherardo, Buoso’s nephew, aged 40…Gerardo Lopez (tenor) Nella, Gherardo’s wife, aged 34…Sara Galli (soprano) Betto di Signa, Buoso’s brother-in-law (of uncertain age)…José A. Garcia Quijada (bass) Simone, cousin of Buoso, aged 70…Felipe Bou (bass) Marco, Simone’s son, aged 45…Celestino Varela (baritone) La Ciesca, Marco’s wife, aged 38…Claudia Marchi (mezzo-soprano) Maestro Spinelloccio, a doctor…Carlos Ruiz (bass) Ser Amantio di Nicolao, a notary…Javier Zorilla (baritone) Pinellino, a cobbler…Antonio Torres (bass) Guccio, a dyer…Antonio Torres (bass) Málaga Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Rahbari Recorded at the Sala Carranque, Malaga, 5 and 8 April 2002 DDD NAXOS 8.660111 [48.20] [RM]

Whilst not perfect, there is much to enjoy – and at less than £5 (or your super-budget price equivalent) you really cannot go wrong. … see Full Review

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Madama Butterfly - opera in two acts Madama Butterfly, Renata Scotto (sop). Pinkerton, Placido Domingo (ten). Suzuki, Gillian Knight (mezzo). Sharpless, Ingvar Wixell (bar). Goro, Florindo Andreolli (ten). Il Bonze, Malcolm King (bass) Kate Pinkerton, Ann Murray (mezzo) Ambrosian Opera Chorus Philharmonia Orchestra/Lorin Maazel No venue or recording dates given, but believed recorded 1975. SONY CLASSICAL SM2K 91135 [2CDs: 68.24+60.30] [RF]

Maazel’s strength ere is in drama … no lingering. It is good to have the young Domingo in virile voice and Scotto is even better than in the Barbirolli version … see Full Review

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Come, ye sons of art – Ode for the Birthday of Queen Mary (1694), *Music for the funeral of Queen Mary (1695), * Felicity Lott (soprano), Charles Brett and John Williams (counter-tenors), Thomas Allen (bass), Equale Brass Hail! Bright Cecilia – Ode for St Cecilia’s Day (1692), Jennifer Smith (soprano), Ashley Stafford and Brian Gordon (counter-tenors), Paul Elliott (tenor), Stephen Varcoe (baritone), David Thomas (bass), The Indian Queen (1695), Rosemary Hardy (soprano), Martyn Hill (tenor), John Elwes (tenor), Ashley Stafford (counter-tenor), David Thomas (bass-baritone), Stephen Varcoe (baritone), Gillian Smith, Dinah Harris and Jennifer Smith (sopranos), The Tempest *
David Thomas and Roderick Earle (basses), Carol Hall (mezzo-soprano), Rosemary Hardy and Jennifer Smith (sopranos), Stephen Varcoe (baritone), and John Elwes (tenor), Monteverdi Choir Monteverdi Orchestra * English Baroque Soloists John Eliot Gardiner Recorded 1976-82 ERATO 5046682812 [4 CDs: 217.13] [JW]

The recordings always sounded excellent and they do so still. Warmly impressive recordings … fixtures on my turntable for many years. Strongly recommended. … see Full Review

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Orchestral Works ANDANTE 1978 [3 CDs: 76:46; 77:24; 78:47] [CH]

This set induces the comforting thought that, by and large, modern interpreters of Ravel have got it about right. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937) Boléro (1928) [17.22] La Valse (1920) [12.25] Rapsodie Espagnole (1907) [16.14] Pavane pour une infante défunte (1905) [6.55] Daphnis et Chloé Suite #2 (1912) [17.13] Daphnis et Chloé Suite #2, "Chloé is accosted" [4.33] Minnesota Orchestra/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski Recorded in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, November 1974. All CD tracks are in 2.0 stereo, without any mixdown of the rear channels. All SACD tracks in discrete 4.0 Surround Sound, except the final track which is in discrete derived 5.0 Surround Sound. Digitised and restored by Paul Stubblebine Playable on SACD players and on all compact disk players Hybrid SACD ORIGINAL MASTERS RECORDING UDSACD 4002 [73.21] [PSh]

The best sounding recording of this music ever made, and, perhaps surprisingly, one of the very best played as well. An absolute must-have for anyone who loves Ravel, no matter how many recordings of this music you already have...see Full Review

Alan RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971) Prison Cycle (1939) (with Alan BUSH); Tzu-Yeh (1928-29); Precursors; Three French Nursery Songs for soprano and piano Scena Rustica for soprano and harp Two Songs (1940); Carol (1948); Two Fish; for tenor and piano Valse; Ballade in G sharp minor for piano John McCABE (b.1939) Three Folk Songs for soprano, clarinet and piano Alison Wells (sop) Martyn Hill (ten) Keith Swallow (piano) Judith Buckle (sop) Lucy Wakeford (harp) Martin Hindmarsh (ten) Nicholas Turner (clarinet) Alan Cuckston (piano) rec. St Thomas Church, Stockport, 27-28 Sept 1999. DDD British Composer Series CAMPION CAMEO 2021 [51.26] [RB]

Campion have done us proud. While I could have wished for more music this is easily recommendable. Rawsthorne can be severe but these pieces show a lyrical vein ... see Full Review

Max REGER (1873-1916) Organ Works Vol. 4 Chorale Fantasia on "Wie schön leucht uns der Morgenstern", Op 40, No. 1 (1899) [18:08] Organ Pieces, Op. 59, Nos. 7-9 (1901) [14:02] Introduction and Passacaglia in F minor, Op. 63 (1902) [14:16] Organ Pieces, Op. 59, Nos. 10-12 (1901) [14:32] Chorale Fantasia on "Halleluja! Gott zu loben ‘bleibe meine Seelenfreud’!", Op 52, No. 3 (1900) [15:35] Josef Still (organ)Recorded in Trier Cathedral, Germany, on 21st and 22nd October, 2001. DDD NAXOS 8.555905 [76:33] [PG]

An excellent introduction to the organ works. Not overly-intellectual or difficult to approach … Reger’s brilliance is beautifully showcased … see Full Review

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901 - 1999)
Retablo de Navidad, for soprano, bass, chorus and orchestra (1952) 15 Himnos de los neófitos de Qumrán, for three sopranos, male chorus and chamber orchestra (1965-74) 234 Música para un códice salmantino, for bass solo, mixed chorus and orchestra (1953) 5 Cántico de San Francisco de Asis, for chorus and orchestra (1982) Raquel Lojendio (Sop) 1 María Jesús Prieto (Sop) 2 Victoria Marchante (Sop) 3 Ada Allende (Sop) 4 David Rubiera (bar) 5 Chorus of the Comunidad de Madrid Orchestra of the Comunidad de Madrid/José Ramún Encinar rec. Sede de la Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid, Hortaleza, Madrid, 9-12 July 2002 NAXOS 8.557223 [71'48] [PSe]

An admirable and surprising issue that could well get you cheering "Viva Rodrigo!" … see Full Review

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999) Concierto pastoral for flute and orchestra (1978) Dos miniatures andaluzas for string orchestra (1929) Adagio para instrumentos de viento (1966) Fantasía para un Gentilhombre (1978) arranged for flute by James Galway Joanna G’froerer (flute) Asturias Symphony Orchestra/Maximiano Valdés Recorded at the Auditorio Principe Felipe, Asturias, June 2002 Complete Orchestral Works Volume 8 NAXOS 8.557801 [62.36] [SA]

A delightful disc that will repay repeated listening. … see Full Review

Sigmund ROMBERG (1887-1951) Romberg Conducts Romberg, vol. 2 My Maryland: Your Land And My Land [2:58]; Silver Moon [3:28]; Mother [3:06]; Boys In Grey [4:40] The New Moon: Softly As In A Morning Sunrise [3:46]; Lover, Come Back To Me [3:21]; Stout-hearted Men [3:00]; Wanting You [3:36]; One Kiss [3:23] Viennese Nights: I Bring A Love Song [5:01]; You Will Remember Vienna [5:00]; Viennese Nights Waltzes [2:50] May Wine: Dance, My Darlings [4:35]; Just Once Around The Clock [5:07]; Something New Is In My Heart [5:18] Sunny River: Lordy [4:23] Up In Central Park: Close As Pages In A Book [4:40]; April Snow [5:04]; The Big Back Yard [4:09] Jean Carlton, Shirlee Emmons, Lois Hunt, Genevieve Rowe, Sopranos Jo Cameron, Lillian Cornell, Mezzo-Sopranos Eric Mattson, Richard Wright, Tenors Larry Douglas, Lawrence Brooks, William Diehl, Warren Galjour, Baritoes RCA Victor Chorus The Robert Shaw Chorale/Robert Shaw Sigmund Romberg Orchestra/Sigmund RombergAll tracks recorded in New York between November 1945 and October 1950 ADD NAXOS 8.110886 [77:26] [PG]

The value of having Romberg conduct his own works is what gives this recording a special place in the collector’s prizes … see Full Review

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Six String Sonatas CD1 Sonata No.1 in G Major [14:11] Sonata No.2 in A Major [14:53] Sonata No.3 in C Major [12:46] Sonata No.4 in B flat Major [16:09] CD2 Sonata No.5 in E flat Major [16:51] Sonata No.6 in D Major [18:31] Prelude, theme and variations for horn and piano [11:51] Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Larghetto, theme and variations for violin and piano [16:18] Simone Baroncini (horn) Massimo Belli (violin) Victoria Terekiev (piano) Haydn Philharmonia Soloists/Ezio Rojatti Rec. Chiesa di S. Maria della Fratta, San Daniele del Friuli, Italy, 26 Aug-2 Sept 1991. DDD licensed from Nuova Era Records, Italy. BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92116 [57.59+63.31] [SA]

Full of sparkle and a feeling of life-enhancing well-being. … see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Tancredi, ‘Di tanti palpiti’ Semiramide, ‘Ah quell giorno’ Maometo II, ‘Non temer d’un basso affetto’ La donna del lago, ‘Mura felici’ Il barbiere di Siviglia, ‘Overture; ‘Una voce poco fa’ L’Italiana in Algeri, ‘Pensa alla Patria’. ‘Cruda sorte’ Ewa Podles (contralto) Orkiestra Kamerlana/Chamber Orchestra ‘Leopoldium’, and musicians of National Philharmonic/Wojciech Michniewski Recorded live on 13th September 1998 at Polish Radio Hall in Wroclaw, Poland, during the concert of the 33rd International Festival ‘Wratislavia Cantans’ of Music and Fine Arts DUX 0124 [60.24] [RF]

Rich-toned with the nut-brown centre intensely sonorous and steady, the low notes of the voice being part of her very wide range … I have spent some happy time comparing her Tancredi, Calbo and Malcom with the redoubtable Marilyn Horne. Podles emerges even higher in my estimation … see Full Review

Josep Maria RUERA (1900-1988) Empuries - Four Symphonic Poems for orchestra and coplas (1977) [40.52] Ambients for string quartet (1929) [25.47] Meditacio for flute and piano (1925) [4.00] Orquestra i Cobla Ciutat de Barcelona/Antoni Ros Marba (poems) Quartet Talia (Ambients) Jordi Maso (piano) Claudi Arimani (flute) rec. Barcelona, Empuries (1977) other works 1990s. COLUMNA MUSICA 1CM01058 [72.39] [RB]

While Ruera is on this showing no symphonist he is a most fastidious and resourceful melodist and orchestrator whose music will be well appreciated in today's more accommodating climate. ... 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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