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John CARMICHAEL (b.1930) Piano Quartet Sea Changes [18.40] Fantasy Sonata for flute and piano [16.09] Aria and Finale for soprano saxophone and piano [15.49] Fêtes Champêtres Suite for clarinet and piano [8.48] A Little Night Music for flute and piano [9.50] Antony Gray (piano) (Sea Changes); Belinda Macfarlane (violin); Morgan Goff (viola); Matthew Lee (cello); Roger Armstrong (flute); John Carmichael (piano) (flute works and Fêtes); Kyle Horch (sax); Pamela Lidiard (piano) (Aria and finale); Marc Naylor (clarinet) rec. St John's Smith Square, London, 30 Oct 1990, 21 Dec 1999, 19, 23 Jan 2001. DDD ABC CLASSICS 476 156-1 [69.16] [RB]

If you have ever been put off the ‘moderns’ let this blissfully accessible and sheerly beautiful music restore your confidence. ... see Full Review

Ferdinand CARULLI (1770-1841) Complete Works for Guitar and Pianoforte Leopoldo Saracino (guitar) Massimo Palumbo (fortepiano) Recorded in August 2002 in the Assunta Church, Milan, Italy. Massimo Palumbo plays an original fortepiano: Felix Gross, Wien 1812. Leopoldo Saracino plays an original guitar: Gaetano Guadagnini, 1820. BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92269 [8CDs: 66:50 +58:33 +67:11 +67:33 +44:50 +57:28 +49:52 +58:41] [MC]

I was so captivated by the music and the performances that it was a joy to complete the set in its entirety from start to finish. Full of character in near faultless performances of works that are packed with quality and interest. … see Full Review

Francesco CAVALLI (1602 – 1676) Statira, Principessa di Persia Plutone – Giuseppe Naviglio (bass) Maga – Roberta Andalo (soprano) Mercurio – Stefano di Fraia (tenor) Statira – Roberta Invernizzi (soprano) Cloridaspe – Dionisia di Vico (mezzo-soprano) Ermosilla/Usimano – Maria Ercolano (soprano) Elisenna – Giuseppe de Vittorio (tenor) Nicarco – Giuseppe Naviglio (bass) Dario– Giuseppe Naviglio (bass) Floralba – Maria Grazia Schiavo (soprano) Brimonte – Daniela del Monaco (contralto) Vaffrino – Rosario Totaro (tenor) Eurillo – Roberta Andalo (soprano) Brisante – Stefano di Fraia (tenor) Messo – Valentina Varriale (soprano) Cappella de’ turchini/Antonio Florio Rec. July 2003, Centro di Musica Antic di Napoli, Chiesa Santa Catarina di Sienna OPUS 111 OP30382 [70.50+67.45] [RH]

An all-Italian cast give a dramatically vivid performance of the Neapolitan version of Cavalli’s opera. … see Full Review

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Ballades: No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 (1836) [9’28]; No. 2 in F, Op. 38 (1840) [7’44]; No. 3 in A flat, Op. 47 (1842) [7’16]; No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52 (843) [11’29]; Préludes, Op. 28 (1836-38) [35’57] Stefan Vladar (piano) Rec. Teldex Studio Berlin in February 2002. DDD HARMONIA MUNDI FRANCE HMC905260 [74’15] [CC]

A mixed disc, then and not one to displace any favourites on the shelf. ... see Full Review

Fryderyk Chopin (1810 – 1849) Piano Concerto No. 1 (b) Piano Concerto No. 2 (a) Artur Rubinstein (piano) (a) Martha Argerich (b) National Philharmonic Orchestra – Warsaw/ (a) Sinfonia Varsovia (b) Witold Rowicki (conductor) (a) Grzegorz Nowak (b) Recorded: Feb 22 1960, live at Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall (a) April 12 1992, Polish Radio Studio S1 Warsaw (b) CD ACCORD ACD 080 [68.33] [RH]

Fine live recordings, rather oddly coupling Rubinstein with Martha Argerich and recorded some thirty years apart. ... see Full Review

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Favourites vol. 2 Waltz No. 14 in E minor, Op. posth. [2:52] Nocturne No. 5 in F sharp major, Op. 15, No.2 [3:49] Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60 [8:44] Prelude No. 17 in A flat major, Op 28, No. 17 [3:16] Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, Op. 47 [7:45] Prelude No. 20 in C minor, Op. 28, No. 20 [1:56] Berceuse in D flat major, Op. 57 [4:43] Etude No. 13 in A flat major, Op. 25, No. 1 (Aeolian Harp) [2:43] Impromptu No. 1 in A flat major, Op. 29 [4:38] Mazurka No. 13 in A minor, Op. 17, No. 4 [4:40] Nocturne No. 20 in C sharp minor, Op. posth. [4:05] Scherzo No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 31 [11:05] Etude No. 21 in G flat major, Op. 25, No. 9 (Butterfly) [1:18] Waltz No. 5 in A flat major (Grande Valse), Op. 42 [3:50] Fantasie in F minor, Op. 49 [13:40] Idil Biret (piano)Rec. July-September 1991, Clara Wieck Auditorium, Heidelberg, Germany, March, November, December 1990, March, September 1991, Tonstudio van Geest, Heidelberg, Germany. DDD NAXOS 8.555799 [79:03] [PG]

These performances are among the best on the market. ... see Full Review

Muzio CLEMENTI (1752-1832) Piano Sonatas for two Aglika Genova and Piuben Dimitrov (pianos) Recorded 19-22 December 2002, Bayerische Rundfunk CPO 999 935-2 [71.58] [TB]

Music that moves along with vibrant momentum … well judged and eminently civilized. … see Full Review

James COHN (b. 1928) Concerto da Camera Op.60 (1982) Quintet No.2 for Winds Op.10/70 (1947/1992)a Serenade Op.68 (1990) Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello Op.66 (1988)b Mount Gretna Suite Op.69 (1991) The Leonardo Triob; The Quintet of the Americasa; The XLNT Sinfonietta Recorded: Auditorium, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, September 1992 XLNT MUSIC CD 18007 [69:48]
James COHN (b. 1928) Little Overture for Wind Quartet Op.59 (1982)a Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano Op.56 (1981)b Sonata Romantica Op.18 (1952)c Quintet for Winds Op.36b (1981)d Sonata Robusta Op.55 (1980)e Sonata for Flute and Piano Op.52 (1974)f The Goldfinch Variations Op.61 (1984)g Marina Piccinini (flute)adf; Matthew Dine (oboe)ad; Jon Manasse (clarinet)abd; Michael Finn (bassoon)ade; Joel Tarpley (horn)d; Nami Akamatsu (double bass)c; Seann Alderking (piano)bcef Recorded: Vanguard Studio, New York, May 1985 XLNT MUSIC CD 18006 [72:06]
James COHN (b. 1928) Homage Op.31 (1959) Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Op.79 (2000) Concerto for Trumpet and Strings Op.76 (1996) Concerto for Concertina and Strings Op.44 (1966) Evocations – Clarinet Concerto No.2 Op.75 (1996) A Song of the Waters Op.53 (1976) Miriam Conti (piano); Manon Lafrance (trumpet); Wim Wakker (concertina); Jon Manasse (clarinet); Latvian National Symphony Orchestra; Vakhtang Jordania Recorded: Riga Recording Company, October 2001 XLNT MUSIC CD 18010 [73:46]
James COHN (b. 1928) Concerto for Clarinet and Strings Op.62 (1986) Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791) Clarinet Quintet KV 581 (1789 Louis SPOHR (1784 – 1859) Fantasy and Variations Op.81 (1814) George GERSHWIN (1898 – 1937) Three Piano Preludes (1926, arr. James Cohn) Jon Manasse (clarinet); The Shangai Quartet; The XLNT Sinfonietta Recorded: Rutgers Presbyterian Church, New York City, October 1993 XLNT MUSIC CD 18009 [62:52][HC]

Cohn: neo-classical with an American touch. Close to the Gallic tradition of Poulenc, Ibert and Sauguet. Fine works deserving wider exposure. Performances and recordings excellent ... musically satisfying listening. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Samuel COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912) Violin Concerto in G minor Op. 80 (1911) [31:25] * Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Violin Concerto in A minor Op. 53 (1882) [31:02] Philippe Graffin, violin Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra/Michael Hankinson * world premiere recording rec. studio, 19, 23 Oct 2003 (Coleridge-Taylor), live at dress rehearsal and concert 17 Oct 2003 (Dvořák), Linder Auditorium, University of the Witwatersrand Education Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa. DDD AVIE AV 0044 [62:43] [RB]

Powerfully memorable store of whistleable tunes sweetly sung and set down by Avie .... see Full Review

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BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Paul CRESTON (1906-1985) Toccata Op. 68 (1957) [13:42] Symphony No. 5 Op. 64 (1955) [25:34] Out of the Cradle Op. 5 (1932) [10:32] Partita Op. 12 (1935) [16:35] Invocation and Dance Op. 58 (1953) [13:17] Scott Goff (flute) Ilkka Talvi (violin) Seattle Symphony Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz Rec. Seattle Center Opera House, 1991-1992 NAXOS 8.559153 [79:42] [RB]

A cracking disc - combining exuberant high optimism with triumphantly lyrical tenderness. Creston’s generosity of spirit sings its lyrical heart out … see Full Review

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La Mer Nocturnes Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Alborada del gracioso Daphnis et Chloë – Suite No.2 Philharmonia Choir (women’s voices) Philharmonia Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini Rec. 11-14, 19, 25-26 April 1962 (Debussy), and 4, 8-10 June 1959 (Ravel), Kingsway Hall, London EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 5 62746 2 [76:57] [GPJ]

I have never heard textures with such cloud-like softness and insubstantiality, and the Philharmonia’s playing indicates why it was up there as one of the world’s very top orchestras at the time. ... see Full Review

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Marche Caprice; Three Small Tone Poems: I. Summer Evening; II. Winter Night (Sleigh Ride); III. Spring Morning; American Rhapsody ;The Walk to the Paradise Garden (from ‘A Village Romeo and Juliet’); Two Pieces for Small Orchestra: I. On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring; II. Summer Night on the River; A Song before Sunrise; Fantastic Dance Royal Scottish National Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones Recorded at the Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, 21st-22nd August 2002 NAXOS 8.557143 [63:38] [GPJ]

This is a fine CD; beautifully played and recorded. It has plenty for the Delius connoisseur, yet would make a great introduction for somebody wishing to become acquainted with the composer’s work. ... see Full Review

David DIAMOND (b. 1915) Symphony No.1 (1941) Violin Concerto No.2 (1947) The Enormous Room (1948) Ilkka Talvi (violin); Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz Recorded : Seattle Center Opera House, Seattle, June 1992 (Symphony No.1), September 1991 (Violin Concerto No.2) and October 1992 (The Enormous Room) NAXOS 8.559157 [71:01] [HC]

Poignant music ... a deeply moving masterpiece ... this most welcome release is indispensable. ... see Full Review

David DIAMOND (b.1915) Suite from the ballet TOM (1935) [23.11] This Sacred Ground (1963) [15.30] Symphony No. 8 (1960) [30.13] Erich Parce (baritone) Seattle Girls' Choir; Northwest Boychoir; Seattle Symphony Chorale Seattle Symphony Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz. Rec, Seattle Center Opera House, 13 Feb 1994 (Sacred); 10 June 1992 (TOM); 24-26 May 1993 (8). DDD Recorded in association with National Endowment for the Arts. First issued by Delos on DE3141 in 1995 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559156 [68.54] [RB]

Confidently conceived and realised recordings presented at an extremely accessible price. ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797 – 1848) L’elisir d’amore - Opera comica in due atti Adina…Katia Ricciarelli (soprano) Nemorino…José Carreras (tenor) Belcore…Leo Nucci (baritone) Dulcamara…Domenico Trimarchi (bass) Giannetta…Susanna Rigacci (soprano) Orchestra sinfonica e coro della RAI di Torino/Claudio Scimone Recorded: July 1984, Teatro Nuovo, Turin, Italy PHILIPS DUO 475 442-2 [2CDs: 71.01+55.51] [RM]

A somewhat disappointing performance from stars who normally offer smooth sparkle. ... see Full Review

Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Works for Organ, Volume 13 1. Zephyrs [5.26] Improvisation on a theme by Leopold Stokowski, reconstructed by Rollin Smith Six Antiennes pour les temps de Noël, Op.48 (1952) [14.31] 2. I Ecce Dominus veniet [2.56] 3. II Omnipotens sermo tuus [3.03] 4. III Tecum principium, in die virtutis tuae [2.31] 5. IV Germinavit radix Jesse [1.38] 6. V Stella ista [1.53] 7. VI Lumen ad revelationem [2.30] Seventy-Nine Chorales, Op.28 (1931) [5.56] 8. No.21 Through Adam’s fall is the world defiled [1.12] 9. No.22 A mighty fortress is our God [0.48] 10. No.23 Have mercy upon me, O Lord, my God [1.09] 11. No.36 In Thee, O God, have I put my trust [0.56] 12. No.37 Unto Thee I cry, O lord Jesus [1.51]13. Vision, Op.44 (Poème symphonique) ‘…Et la lumière luit dans les ténèbres.’ (1948) [17.00]Seventy-Nine Chorales, Op.28 (1931) [6.02]14. No.38 In Thee, lord, have I hoped [1.01]15. No.39 In Thee, Lord, have I hoped [1.11]16. No.40 In Thee is joy [0.55]17. No.41 In quiet joy [1.47]18. No.66 Farewell [1.08]Deuxième Symphonie, Op.26 (1929) [18.34]19. I Preludio: Allegro agitato [7.46]20. II Intermezzo: Très modéré [4.16]21. III Toccata : Très animé [6.32] George Baker (organ) Organ by: Aeolian-Skinner/ Schudi/ J-F Dupont pipe organ, 2000 Recorded at the Perkins Chapel, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA on 23rd November 2001 DDD NAXOS - THE ORGAN ENCYCLOPEDIA 8.554542 [67.29] [CAnt]

Very clean and superbly rhythmic playing … a CD of high musical standard at a great price … see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Wand of Youth Suites No. 1, Op. 1a (1907); No. 2, Op. 1b (1907); Dream Children, Op. 43 (1902); Nursery Suite (1930) New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/James Judd Rec. Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand, 11-15 November 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.557166[66:47] [MC]

Lacklustre performances not assisted by a rather washed-out sound quality. Elgar has been far better served in these works elsewhere in the catalogues. ... see Full Review

Einar ENGLUND (1916-1999) Symphony No. 2, The Blackbird (1948) [Allegro moderato, 11.57 +Andante molto sostenuto, 11.00 +Finale (Allegro deciso), 7.12] [30.09] Piano Concerto No. 1 (1955) [Moderato, 9.43 +Larghissimo, 6.31 +Allegro ma non troppo, 6.13] [20.27] Symphony No. 4, Nostalgic (1976) [Prelude, 6.17 +Tempus fugit, 4.34 +Nostalgia, 6.46 +Intermezzo - Epilogue, 5.51] [23.28] Niklas Sivelov (piano) (Piano Concerto No. 1) Turku Philharmonic Orchestra/Jorma Panula. Recorded at Turku Concert Hall, Finland, Aug. 29-31, Sept. 2-3, and Nov. 28, 1996. NAXOS CD 8.553758 [74.04]

The sense of moments fleeing away, irrevocably. … about time lost, and remembering. … costs less than half what you'd pay for these works on a full-priced CD. … see Full Review

Ferenc ERKEL (1810-1893) Bánk Bán (1860) Kolos Kováts: The King of Hungary Eva Marton: The Queen, Honvéd Men’s Chorus; Hungarian National Chorus Orchestra of the Hungarian Millennium/Támás Pál Rec. 13-19 March 2001, Phoenix Studio, Budapest WARNER MUSIC HUNGARY 0927 44606 2 [2CDs: 51.56+69.33] [TB]

A considerable improvement on its Hungaroton predecessor ... full commitment and beautifully controlled tone from the cast ... see Full Review

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata (1886) Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Violin Sonata No. 1 op.75 (1885) Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Violin Sonata (1923-27) Sarah Chang (violin) Lars Vogt (piano) Recorded at Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, May 2003. DDD EMI CLASSICS 5 57679 2 [68:46] [MC]

A passionate and sumptuously Romantic ... A first-class and highly enjoyable recording. ... see Full Review

Christian GEIST (c.1650-1711)
Royal Concertos Quis hostis in coelis (1672) Exaudi Deus orationem (1672) Io, Musae, novo Sol rutilat (1671) Zitto hoggi Faune (1674) Dixit Dominus (1673) Domine qui das salutem I (1670) Domine qui das salutem II (1672) Domine qui das salutem III (1675) Domine in virtue tua (1672) Capella Rediviva/Boo Peter Tillberg Recorded at Svartsjö Castle, October-November 2003 DAPHNE 1020 [65.03] [JW]

Capella Rediviva acquit themselves with attractive engagement. ... see Full Review

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) String Quartets Volume 1 String Quartet No. 3 Op. 26 (1886-1888) String Quartets No. 5 Op. 70 (1898) Utrecht String Quartet Recorded Doopsgezinds Church, Haarlem, March 2003 MDG 603 1236-2 [56.33] [JW]

Elegant and precise playing … the Utrecht have made a fine start in their welcome cycle. … see Full Review

Enrique GRANADOS [y Campiña] (1867 - 1916) Escenas Románticas, DLR V:7 (1904) [24.33] Valses Poéticos, DLR VII:8 (1894) [14.23] Allegro de Concierto, DLR V:8 (1903) [8.15] Domenico SCARLATTI (1685 - 1759) 26 Keyboard Sonatas (transcribed by Granados as DLR VI:1); "VI" K540 [2.21]; "IX" K190 [4.54]; "XVIII" K547 [2.40] Uta Weyand, piano Recorded at Schlossbergsaal des SWR Studios, Freiberg, Germany. 10 January 2003 Notes in Castellano, English, and Deutsch. Small portrait of the artist. HÄNSSLER CD 98.414 [48.51] [PSh]

Granados portrayed as a student of the elder Liszt? Sure, why not ... see Full Review:

Edvard GRIEG (1843 – 1907) Holberg Suite Op. 40 Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841 – 1904) Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22. Edward ELGAR (1857 – 1934) Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20. Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra/Conrad van Alphen. recorded in MCO Studio 1, Hilversum, Netherlands, 5-8 March 2003 DDD TELARC CD-80623 [59.36] [JPH]

This is a very attractive programme, superbly recorded, and as such, highly recommended. … see Full Review

Charles Tomlinson GRIFFES (1884-1920) The White Peacock (1915) [5.37] Three Poems of Fiona McLeod: The Lament of Ian the Proud; The Dark Eyes to Mine; The Rose of the Night (1918) [10.33] * Bacchanale (1912-1919) [3.59] Clouds (1916-1919) [4.08] Three Tone Pictures: The Lake at Evening; The Vale of Dreams; The Night Winds (1915) [8.27] Poem for Flute and Orchestra (1918) [9.58] ** The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan (1912-16) [12.29] Barbara Quintiliani (sop) * Carol Wincenc (flute) ** Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta rec. Kleinhans Music Hall. Buffalo, NY, Feb 2002. NAXOS 8.559164 [56.08] [IL]

A delightful, exotic, musical picture, story book. ... see Full Review

Camargo GUARNIERI (1907-1993): Symphony No. 1* (1944) [33’02"] Abertura Festiva (1971) [6’15"] Symphony No 4, ‘Brasilia’* (1963) São Paulo Symphony Orchestra/John Neschling * World Première Recording Recorded: Sala São Paulo, Brazil, February 2002 DDD BIS-CD-1290 [58’06"] [JQ]

I wholeheartedly recommend this disc to all collectors with a taste for the colourful and extrovert in music and I look forward to more encounters with the music of Camargo Guarnieri. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Trio Sonatas op. 2 Sonata in g minor, op. 2, 6* (HWV 391) [09:09] Sonata in F, op. 2, 4* (HWV 389) [12:02] Sonata in g minor, op. 2, 5* (HWV 390) [10:47] Sonata in b minor, op. 2, 1** (HWV 386b) [11:29] Sonata in g minor, op. 2, 2* (HWV 387) [10:25] Sonata in B flat, op. 2, 3* (HWV 388) [11:14] Sonnerie: Monica Huggett, Emilia Benjamin*, violin; Joseph Crouch, cello; Matthew Halls, harpsichord, organ; Wilbert Hazelzet**, transverse flute Recorded October 2002 at Saint Silas Church, Kentish Town, London, UK. DDD AVIE AV0033 [65:56] [JV]

I strongly recommend this excellent performance of some of Handel’s greatest chamber music ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1750)
Ode for St Cecilia’s Day (1739) Dorothee Mields (soprano) Mark Wilde (tenor) Alsfelder Vokalensemble Concerto Polacco/Wolfgang Helbich Recorded August 1999 in the Maria Magdalenen Kirche, Templin NAXOS 8.554752 [48.44] [JW]

Not an easy work successfully to bring off. It’s to this performance’s credit that so much is neat and stylish and well thought through – although it won’t dislodge primary recommendations. ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Handel in London – Works for Organ Judas Maccabaeus (HWV 63): overture; allegro; andante; marche** [10:25] Eight Tunes for Mr. Clay’s musical clock* [09:09] Salomon (HWV 67): overture; allegro; allegro*** [07:29] Arrival of the Queen of Sheba*** [[03:38] Nine Pieces for a musical clock* [06:48] Two Voluntaries* [02:31] Concerto for organ and orchestra in F (nr 13) ‘Cuckoo and Nightingale’ (HWV 295), arr for organ solo** [13:44] Dettingen Te Deum (HWV 283): We praise Thee, O God (chorus)**** [02:50] Messiah (HWV 56): He shall feed his flock (aria)**** Zadok the Priest (Coronation Anthem no 1) (HWV 258) [04:17] (*: original compositions by Handel; **: arrangements by Handel; ***: arrangements by contemporaries of Handel; ****: arrangements by John Marsh) Johannes Geffert, organ [John Byfield, 1765] Recorded in March 2001 at St Mary’s, Rotherhithe London, UK DDD QUERSTAND VKJK 0115 [65:59] [JV]

These arrangements of Handel’s music by himself and others prove his popularity during his life and after – stylishly played on a historical English organ ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Saul, oratorio in 3 acts (HWV 53) Nancy Argenta (Michal), Laurie Reviol (Merab), soprano; Michael Chance (David), alto; Michael Berner (Abner, Amalekite, High Priest, Witch), Marc LeBrocq (Jonathan), tenor; Steffen Balbach (Doeg, Samuel), Stephen Varcoe (Saul), bass Maulbronner Kammerchor, Die Hannoversche Hofkapelle (on period instruments) Director: Jürgen Budday Recorded live 28-29 September 2002 at the Convent Maulbronn, Germany. DDD K&K VERLAGSANSTALT ISBN 3-930643-83-9 [77:50+79:27] [JV]

This live recording of Handel’s oratorio Saul is marred by mediocre singing and a lack of drama ... see Full Review

George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759) Semele, a secular choral work (1744) with text from William Congreve after Ovid. Semele - Anna Ryberg (soprano) Jupiter - Angus Wood (tenor) Ino/Juno - Sally-Anne Russell (mezzo-soprano) Cadmus/Somnus - Stephen Bennett (bass) Athamas - Tobias Cole (counter-tenor) Priest - Craig Everington (bass) A Deity - Shelli Gilhome (soprano) Apollo - Paul McMahon (tenor) Iris - Belinda Montgomery (soprano) Cantillation/Antony Walker Sirius Ensemble Rec. live 4, 5, 6 ,7, 9 December 2002 in the City Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney, Australia. DDD ABC CLASSICS 980 047-0 [3CDs: 42:40+49:21+58:56 = 150:57] [MC]

Overall a very fine live performance ... gives much pleasure. Well worth consideration ... I look forward to hearing more from Pinchgut ... see Full Review

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Sonata No. 46 in E major, Hob. XVI: 31 (1776) Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major, D850 (1825) Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Variations and fugue on a theme of Handel, Op. 24 (1861) Bernard Roberts, piano Recorded at the Third Chetham’s International Summer School and Festival for Pianists, August 29, 2003 DUNELM RECORDS DRD0212 [79:56] [DS]

Essential for loyal fans of the Brahms ... Roberts enthusiasts must also hear this disc; they will be stunned by the differences from his studio efforts. ... see Full Review

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartets: D, Op. 64 No. 5, ‘The Lark’ (1790) [19’47]; D minor, Op. 76 No. 2, ‘Fifths’ (1796) [22’24]; G, Op. 77 No. 1, ‘Lobkowitz’ (1799) [23’43]. Jerusalem Quartet (Alexander Pavlovsky, Sergei Bresler, violins; Amichai Grosz, viola; Kyril Zlotnikov, cello) Rec. Vereenidge Doopsgezinde Gemeente, Haarlem, The Netherlands, Apr 2003. DDD HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901823 [66’15][CC]

This is a magnificent disc from a young quartet that surely has a glowing future ahead of it. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlosers am Kreuze, H.XX: 2 (1786) (The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross) - oratorio for soloists, chorus and orchestra Arnold Schoenberg Choir Concentus musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt Recorded at the Casino Zogernitz, Vienna, Austria in October 1990, DDD WARNER CLASSICS ELATUS 2564 60808-2 [62:43] [MC]

This Elatus release is one of the finest recordings of any choral works in the catalogues. Indispensable Haydn, indispensable music! ... see Full Review

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Die Schopfung (The Creation), oratorio for solo voices, choir and orchestra, Hob.XXI:2 (1798) Dorothea Röschmann (Soprano) as Gabriel and Eve Michael Schade (tenor) as Uriel Christian Gerhaher (baritone) as Raphael and Adam Arnold Schoenberg Choir Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt Recorded live at the Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, Austria 26-30 March 2003. DDD DHM DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 82876 58340 2 [2 CDs: 38:30+67:42] [MC]

Harnoncourt admirer’s will be in their element with this release. A very fine performance of one of Haydn’s true masterworks. ... see Full Review

Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983)
Rhapsodic Quintet for clarinet and string quartet (1919) [11.31] Clarinet Sonata (1946) [21.03] Prelude for Harp (1915) [5.58] A Near-Minuet for clarinet and piano (1946) [2.42] Violin Sonata No. 3 in E minor (1923) [24.24] Mobius: Robert Plane (clarinet); Alison Nicholls (harp); Sophia Rahman (piano); Phillippe Honoré (violin); Lucy Gould (violin); Ashan Pillai (viola); Josephine Knight (cello) rec. St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Hampshire, UK 1 Dec 2002 (5tet); Potton Hall, Suffolk, 26-27 Oct 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.557188 [66.05] [RB]

Essential for existing fans and attractive as a classy and generous bargain price introduction for Howells newbies. ... see Full Review

Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Te Deum (1805-06) Missa Solemnis in C major (1806) Patricia Wright (soprano) Zan McKendree-Wright (alto) Patrick Power (tenor) David Griffiths (bass) Donald Armstrong (violin solo in Sanctus of the Missa Solemnis) TOWER Voices New Zealand New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Uwe Grodd Recorded Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, February 2003 NAXOS 8.557193 [56.59] [JW]

Works that leap from the pages with really defiant and arresting momentum. A palpable sense of anticipation is always with us. ... see Full Review

William Yeates HURLSTONE (1876-1906) Variations on an Original Theme (1896) [20’50]. The Magic Mirror, Suite (1900) [24’44]. Variations on a Hungarian Air (c.1899) [10’38]. London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite. No rec. info. DDD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD208 [56’14] [CC]

One of the unsung glories of the Lyrita catalogue, this programme of Hurlstone is recommended with the utmost enthusiasm. ... see Full Review

Charles IVES (1874-1954) Emerson Concerto for piano and orchestra* (reconstructed by David G. Porter) [24’53"] Symphony No. 1 [45’36"] *Alan Feinberg (piano) National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland/James Sinclair Recorded: RTE Concert Hall, Dublin, Eire, 25 September 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.559175 [70’29"] [JQ]

After the Dvořákian symphony comes the knotty, disturbing and difficult Piano Concerto ... see Full Review

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854 - 1928) Glagolitic Mass, Taras Bulba Libuse Domaninska (soprano) Vera Soukupová (contralto) Beno Blachut (tenor) Eduard Haken (bass) Jaroslav Vodrazka (organ) Prague Philharmonic Choir Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ancerl Recorded April 16-20, 1963 (Glagolitic Mass) and May 22-24, 1961 (Taras Bulba) in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum, Prague Karel Ancerl Gold Edition - 7 SUPRAPHON SU 3667-2 911 [62.34] [RH]

Fine re-mastering of a tremendous historic performance of Janáček’s tricky choral masterpiece. … see Full Review

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Otcenáš (The Lord’s Prayer) (1906) [16’08"] Ave Maria (1904) [5’20"] Elegie on the death of daughter Olga (1903-04) [7’27"] Exaudi Deus (1875) [1’33"] Chorale Fantasie (organ) [7’30"] Zdrávas Maria (Ave Maria) [4’04"]
Constitues (1903) [1’56"] Veni Sancte Spiritus [2’18"] Varyto (organ) [4’00"] Mass after Liszt’s Messe pour orgue (1901) [16’34"] Andrew Carwood (tenor) Clive Driskill-Smith (organ, piano) Aline Nassif (violin) Victoria Davies (harp) Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford/Stephen Darlington Recorded: Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, May 2003 DDD GRIFFIN GCCD 4042 [66’57"] [JQ]

An enterprising release … expertly illuminates a less prominent but worthwhile area of Janáček’s output. … see Full Review

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) The Makropulos Case Emilia Marty - Anja Silja (soprano) Albert Gregor - Kim Begley (tenor) Baron Prus - Victor Braun (baritone) Dr. Kolenatý - Andrew Shore (bass-baritone) Vítek - Anthony Roden (tenor) Kristina - Manuela Kriscak (soprano) Janek - Christopher Ventris (tenor) Hauk-Šendorf - Robert Tear (tenor) Chambermaid - Susan Gorton (alto) Stage Hand - Henry Waddington (bass) Cleaner - Menai Davies (alto) Celeste - Jonathan Hinden (non-singing role) The Glyndebourne Chorus London Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Davis Recorded Glyndebourne Opera House 1995(?) WARNER MUSIC VIDEO 0630-14016-2 [95:00] [GPJ]

A memorable dramatic and musical experience. … see Full Review

Daniel JONES (1912-1993) Symphonies: No. 6a (1964) [29’14]; No. 9b (1974) [19’31]. The Country Beyond the Starsc (1958) [30’48]. cWelsh National Opera Chorus; acRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves; bBBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra/Bryden Thomson Rec. aBishopsgate Institute, London, on January 15th-16th, 1969 (originally issued on Pye Virtuoso TPLS13023), bBBC Llandaff on February 10th-11th, 1979 (from BBC REGL359) and cAfan Lido, Port Talbot, Glamorgan, on May 22nd-23rd, 1971 (from HMV ASD2739). ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD326 [79’35] [CC]

Daniel Jones’ music does not deserve its neglect, and this disc shows why. Nothing short of revelatory. ... see Full Review

Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967) CD1 Háry János - suite (1926-27) [25.22] Peacock Variations (1939) [28.29] CD2 Psalmus Hungaricus (1923) [20.16] Dances of Marosszék (1930) [12.31] Dances of Galánta (1933) [15.34] András Molnár (ten) (Psalmus) Hungarian State Chorus (Psalmus) Bartók Béla Children's Choir of Györ Hungarian State Symphony (Psalmus) Orchestra/Adam Fischer (CD1) Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer (CD2) rec. 1990, Haydnsaal, Eisenstadt, Austria (CD1); June 1990 (CD2) BRILLIANT CLASSICS 6514 [54.01+48.36] [RB]

With this set and the Bartók Brilliant have satisfyingly completed their Hungarian corner. Where next? ... see Full Review

Edouard LALO (1823 – 1892) Concerto in D minor for cello and orchestra, (1877) Camille SAINT SAENS (1835 – 1921) Concerto in D minor for cello and orchestra, (1872) André Navarra (cello) Lamoureux Orchestra/Charles Munch. recorded April 1965 in the Église Notre Dame, Paris. ADD WARNER APEX 2564 60709-2 [45.49] [JPh]

Navarra digs into the melodies to maximum impact. … similarly passionate playing by the Lamoureux under Munch. … see Full Review

Frederic LAMOND (1868-1948) Symphony in A major Op. 3 (1889) [31.24] Ouvertüre Aus Dem Schottischen Hochlande Op. 4 (1890?) [9.17] Sword Dance from Eine Liebe im Hochlande (1890s?) [6.14] Eugen d'ALBERT (1864-1932) Overture to Esther Op. 8 [12.30] BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins rec. 4-5 Sept 2003, Usher Hall, Edinburgh. DDD HYPERION CDA67387 [59.51] [RB]

Music of the 19th century Scots renaissance with a strong Germanic accent performed with vigour and engagement. ... see Full Review

Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929-1988) Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis ‘Collegium Magdalenae Oxoniense ‘ (1959) [8’18"] Give me the wings of faith (1962) [4’52"] An Easter Sequence* (1969) [13’44"] Veni Creator Spiritus** (1987) [5’03"] What love is this of thine? *** (1985) [6’17"] Crucifixus pro nobis**** (1961) [15’21"] Rockingham: Chorale Prelude on ‘When I survey the wondrous Cross’** (1975) [3’12"] Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis (The Second Service) (1971) [10’30"] * Crispian Steele-Perkins (trumpet); Gareth Jones (baritone) ** Christopher Whitton (organ) ***Benjamin Durrant (treble) **** James Oxley (tenor) The Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge/Christopher Robinson Recorded in St. John’s College Chapel, Cambridge, 9 – 11 July 2002 DDD NAXOS 8.555795 [67’25"] [JQ]

An excellent installment in a fine and enjoyable series. I strongly recommend this CD to all those who love the music of the English church. … see Full Review

Kenneth LEIGHTON (1929 – 1988) Piano Quintet Op.34 (1959) Piano Trio Op.46 (1965) Piano Quartet "Contrasts and Variants" Op.63 (1972) Robert Markham (piano); Edinburgh Quartet Recorded: no info provided, published 2003 MERIDIAN CDE 84465 [75:27] [HC]

Excellent performances by artists who clearly have the full measure of the music … I cannot but give the warmest recommendation to this most welcome and really superb release that no Leighton fan will want to miss … see Full Review

Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1858-1919) Pagliacci - Opera in Two Acts Canio, Jussi Björling (ten); Nedda, Victoria de los Angeles, (sop); Tonio, Leonard Warren (bar); Silvio, Robert Merrill (bar); Beppe, Paul Franke (ten) The Columbus Boychoir. The Robert Shaw Chorale. RCA Victor Orchestra/Renato Cellini Recorded January 1953, Manhattan Center, New York NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110258 [68.54] Bargain Price EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 85650 2 3 [69.30] Bargain Price [RJF]

Whichever version you choose (EMI or Naxos) you will enjoy a worthwhile and well sung performance well realised at a price unthinkable even a few years ago. ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811 - 1886) Sonata in b, S178 (1853) [28.54] Lecture "Liszt and the Cross" with musical examples by Paul Barnes (34.40) Victoria BOND (b.1945) Potirion Sotiriu "The Cup of Salvation" (2000?) [12.02] Dulces Voces: Laura Waldman, Kim Lauritsen, Holly A. Heffelbower, Curt Butler, L. Evan Rail, Benjamin C. Whitener. Paul Barnes, piano Recorded at Kimball Recital Hall, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, September 1996 (Liszt) and May 2000 (Bond) Notes in English. Small photos of performer, composer, ikon, chant notation. LISZT DIGITAL LD 101 [75.44] [PSh]

A particularly committed performance accompanied by intriguing analytical investigation of the dramatic structure of the Liszt Piano Sonata ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Zwei Konzert-Etuden, S. 145/R6: a) Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Gnomes); b) Waldesrauchen (Forest Murmurs) Trois éudes de concert, S. 144/R5: a) Il lamento; b) La leggierezza; a) Un sospiro Etude en douze exercices, S. 136/R1Morceau de salon, étude de perfectionnement, S. 142/R4a Ab irato, grande étude de perfectionnement, S. 142/R4b Mazeppa, S. 136/R2c William Wolfram (piano) Rec. Performing Arts Centre, Country Day School, King, Ontario, Canada, 30 Jan - 2 Feb 2003 DDD NAXOS 8.557014 [63:06] [MC]

Top-drawer playing from William Wolfram who is an inspired choice in this repertoire. ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Two Episodes from Lenau’s Faust (1860): Dance in the Inn,Nocturnal Procession Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Faust Overture (1840) Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Eight Scenes from Faust (1828) Angelika Kirschlager, mezzo-soprano (Marguérite) Jean-Paul Fouchécourt, tenor (Méphistophélès) Frédéric Caton, bass, (Brander) Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur de Radio France/Yutaka Sado Recorded live at the Salle Pleyel, Paris from 18-20 February 2000 WARNER ELATUS 2564 60801-2 [76:53] [IL]

Less familiar musical versions of the Faust legend in stylish performances … see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811 - 1886) St. Stanislaus (excerpts) (1874-86) [60.05] [Critical edition by Paul Munson] Kristine Jepson, mezzo-soprano; Donnie Ray Albert, baritone; Teresa Bucholz, Liza Forrester, Stacy Rishoi, mezzo-sopranos; William McGraw, baritone; Gustav Andreassen, bass. Michael Chertock, organ Cincinnati May Festival Chorus/Robert Porco Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/James Conlon Notes in English. Photos of performers. Texts and translations. Recorded utilising the DSD system May 26, Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Also available on SACD TELARC CD-80607 [60.05] [PSh]

Some fine dramatic choral music, an intriguing look at Liszt’s last music. It would have been his second major oratorio ... 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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