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Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835 - 1921) Violin Sonata in d Op. 75 (1885) [24.25] Violin Sonata #2, Op. 102 in Eb (1895) [22.54] Violin Sonata #3] "Triptique," Op. 136 (1910) [13.27] Elégie, Op. 160 (1920) [4.54] Ulf Wallin, violin; Roland Pöntinen, piano Recorded Studio 10 Deutschland Radio [Lübeck, Germany?] November 2002 Notes in Deutsch, English, Français. Photos of performers and composer. CPO 999 946-2 [65.42] [PSh]

A violinist in the Heifetz class gives us singing, virtuoso performances of this passionate yet well structured music ... see Full Review

Aulis SALLINEN (b. 1935) A Solemn Overture (King Lear) Op.75 (1997) Symphony No.1 Op.24 (1972) Chorali Op.22 (1970) Symphony No.7 "The Dreams of Gandalf" Op.71 (1995/6) Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Ari Rasilainen Recorded: Philharmonie, Ludwigshafen, June 2002 CPO 999 918-2 [62:58] [HC]

Highly idiomatic … has an unmistakable ring of authenticity … see Full Review

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Sonatas: complete Keyboard Sonatas, Volume 6 Evgeny Zarafiants (piano) Rec 1-4 November 1999, Phoenix Studio, Budapest NAXOS 8.554793 [77.32] [TB]

This imaginatively planned disc serves Scarlatti’s music well … see Full Review

Heinrich SCHEIDEMANN (ca. 1595-1663) Organ Music Kyrie summum * Jesu, wollst uns weisen Magnificat 8 Toni Canzon [ex F] O Lux beata Trinitas * Toccata [ex G] O Gott wir dancken deiner güte, vs. 1-2 Kom Heyliger Geist Erbarm dich meiner o Herre Gott, vs. 1-2 Fantasia ex G Magnificat 6 Toni * Præambulum ex D Galliarda ex D Alleluja, laudem dicite Deo nostro Gwendolyn Toth, organ Jessica Tranzillo, chant * Recorded on the Meantone Organ in the Jacobuskerk, Zeerijp, Holland, August 1995 ZEFIRO RECORDINGS ZR102 [78:29] [DS]

You will only find the birds and sublime chant on this recording. I recommend it highly ... see Full Review

Heinrich SCHEIDEMANN (1595 - 1663) Magnificat I Toni,Benedicam Domino, after Lassus) Jeus Christus, unser Heiland (III) Preambulum in F major, Canzona in F major, Nun bitter wir den heiligen Geist, Preambulum in D minor, Mensch, willst du leben seliglich, In dich hav ich gehoffed, Herr (II), Preambulum in G minor, O Gott, wir danekn deiner Gut, Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn (II), De ore prudentis procedit mel (after Lassus), Magnificat V Toni, Julia Brown (organ) Rec. 17-18 September 1999, Central Lutheran Church, Eugene, Oregon, USA NAXOS 8.555876 [79.02] [RH]

A fine selection of Scheidemann’s organ music played on a modern organ with mechanical action organ and unequal temperament. ... see Full Review

Jean-Claude SCHLAEPFER (b. 1961) Exil (1994/5)a Motets (1992)b Ascensus (1995)c Missa Brevis (1997)d Chant de lune (1995)e Trio à Karin (1999)f Visibili et Invisibili (1994)g Linda Wittauer (soprano)b; Notburga Puskas (harp)b; Daniel Gobet (viola da gamba)b; Olivier Theurillat (trumpet)c; Magali Schwarz (mezzo-soprano)d; Quatuor Ortysd; Trio a Piaceree; Choir of New College, Oxford (Edward Higginbottom, director)g; Orchestre de la Suisse Romandea; Orchestre de Chambre de Lausannec; Ensemble Opus Novum Luzerne; Armin Jordana, Alan Gilbertc, Dominik Blume Recorded: Radio Suisse Romande-Espace 2 and Schweizer Radio DRS2 MGB CTS-M 72 [73:22] [HC]

Schlaepfer’s music - the expression of a sincere and honest artist. … see Full Review

Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Goethe Lieder Vol.3 Johannes Kalpers (tenor) Burkhard Kehring (piano) Rec. Sudwestrundfunk, Karlsruhe, Germany, 22-23 Oct, 7-8 Nov 2002. Deutsche Schubert-Lied-Edition-16 NAXOS 8.554667 [71:45] [MC]

Kalpers passionately feels every word and expresses every nuance ... a wealth of lyricism and an authentic sense of drama. A young singer with a marked scarcity of vibrato Kehring accompanies with sensitivity and keen imagination. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise Matthias Goerne (baritone) Alfred Brendel (piano)8 and 10 October 2003 (Live concerts) Wigmore Hall, London DECCA CLASSICS 467 092-2 [75.32] [ME]

This performance is as close to perfection as any human creation can possibly be. ... see Full Review

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise Ralph Kohn (baritone), Graham Johnson (piano) Recorded in London, June 2003 OPERA OMNIA OP3869 [68:43] [GPJ]

Despite the honesty and sincerity of Kohn’s singing, there is a whole dimension of experience entirely missing. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) The Four Symphonies Symphony No. 1 Spring (1841) [30.40] Symphony No. 2 (1846) [34.38] Symphony No. 3 Rhenish (1850) [31.51] Symphony No. 4 (1841 rev. 1851) [29.27] Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim rec. 12-14 March 2003, Studio 1 NLG, Berlin. DDD TELDEC CLASSICS 2564 61179-2 2 [72.39+67.14] [JPh]

Very, very attractive, and played superbly. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) String Quartet no 1 in A minor, opus 41 no. 1 (1842) String Quartet in F major, Opus 41 No. 2 (1842) String Quartet no. 3 in A major, opus 41 no. 3 (1842) Quatuor Ysaÿe Recorded 28-30 March 2003 (No. 1), 21-24 October 2003 (Nos. 2 & 3), Abbé de l’Epau, France AEON AECD 0418 [79.05] [TB]

A compelling combination of good performances and the completeness of all three quartets. ... see Full Review

Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) Symphony No. 3, ‘The Musesa (1937) [34’45]. Piano Concerto No. 2b (1958) [20’16]. Neptune (1933, rev. 1935) [24’22]. bHoward Shelley (piano); aHuddersfield Choral Society BBC Philharmonic/Martyn Brabbins. DDD No rec. info. available. CHANDOS CHAN10211 [79’32] [CC]

It would appear that Cyril Scott is a composer who has just been sat waiting to be discovered. Superb performances and a recording of demonstration quality … This is an essential purchase. ... see Full Review

Déodat de SEVERAC (1872 – 1921) Cerdaña (1908/11) En Languedoc (1903/4) Jordi Masó (piano) Recorded: Auditorium, Jafre, Spain, October 2001 NAXOS 8.555855 [67:58] [HC]

Jordi Masó plays beautifully throughout, with much subtlety and tonal variety, and is superbly recorded. ... see Full Review

Yuri SHAPORIN (1889-1966)The Decembrists - opera in four acts (1953) Moscow, 1954, Historic Recording. Mono. AAD PREISER 90574 [2CDs: 78.53+78.52] [RB]

Shaporin’s grand opera continues the exalted Russian lyric-heroic tradition. Hardly a beat is skipped in the lineage from Glinka to Mussorgsky to Tchaikovsky to Prokofiev. Shaporin has a superb gift for melody with the lightest spicing from Prokofiev. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 - 1975) Symphony #7, Op 60 "Leningrad" Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitri Yablonsky Recorded Studio 5, State Broadcasting House, Moscow, Russia, February 2003. Notes in English and Deutsch. DVD-Audio playable on DVD players and DVD Audio players. 48kHz/24 bit 5.1 surround sound, DTS surround sound, and 5.1 AC-3 Dolby stereo. Also available on hybrid SACD. NAXOS 5.110020 [75.12] [PSh][CC]
A superb performance with the realistic recording this brilliantly colourful work has always demanded, always deserved[PSh]
Well worth hearing. The recording triumphs in the finale [CC]... see Full Review

and regular CD:
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 - 1975) Symphony No. 7 Leningrad (1942) Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky.Rec. Studio 5, Moscow State Broadcasting and Recording House, February 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557256 [75’17"] [JPh]
More a gentle stroll than an intensive drama ... A great pity. ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65 (1943) Gürzenich-Orchester Köln/Dmitri Kitajenko [Kitaienko] [Kitaenko]. Live rec. from the Philharmonie, Köln, on June 28th-July 2nd, 2003. DDD CAPRICCIO 71013 [69’21] [CC]

The symphonic edifice that is Shostakovich’s Eighth Symphony seems to become more and more impressive on every hearing – especially in as dedicated an account as this one. ... see Full Review

Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 - 1975) Symphony No. 10 in E minor Op. 93 (1953) Beethoven Orchester Bonn/Roman Kofman.Rec. Heilige-Kirche Bad Godesberg, Germany, March 28-30, 2003. DDD MD&G 337 1201-2 [55’26"] [JPh]

A note-perfect performance and the recording is stunningly good … at times is really thrilling but it all sounds way too comfortable. … see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 - 1975) Piano Sonata #2, Op 61 (1942) [27.27] Three Fantastic Dances, Op 5 (1922) [3.51] Five Preludes (1921) [6.30] Dances of the Dolls: Lyric Waltz (1952) [1.41] The Gadfly, Op 97: Short Piece; Spanish Dance (1955) [2.03] The Limpid Stream, Op 39: Nocturne (1935) [2.17] Aphorisms, Op 13 (1927) [13.30] The Golden Age: Polka (1930) [1.54] Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano) Steinway Piano supplied by Steinway & Sons. Notes in English, Français, and Deutsch. Photo of composer. Recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk, UK, 24 April and 12 September 2003 CD Stereo 2.0 and SACD Stereo 2.0, and surround 4.0 PCM recording Hybrid SACD playable on SACD players and CD players DECCA 470 649-2 [61.43]

The first credible performance of these magnificent works, in brilliant sound, a milestone in the Shostakovich discography ... see Full Review

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Film Music: Volume II The Golden Mountains, The Gadfly, Volochayev Days BBC Philharmonic/Vassily Sinaisky Rec. New Broadcasting House, Manchester; 8-9 April 2003. DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10183 [66:08] [IL]

Arresting, exciting and accessible, first class Shostakovich film music performed with great style and attack. Another Chandos triumph ... see Full Review

Bettina SKRZYPCZAK (b. 1962) Scene for violin and cello (2001) Noemi Schindler (violin) and Christophe Roy (violoncello) – recorded 14/12/2001, in the Temple St. Marcel, Paris. Miroirs for mezzo-soprano and Ensemble (2000) Mireille Capelle (mezzosoprano), Ensemble Contrechamps Geneve/Susanna Malkki – recorded 22-23/4/2002 at Radio Suisse Romande Geneva Fantaisie for oboe solo (1997) Matthias Arter (oboe) – recorded 1998 at Swiss Radio DRS 2. SN 1993 J for orchestra (1995) Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonie Zlin/Monica Buckland – recorded 5/5/2000 in Zlin. Toccata sospesa for flute and two percussionists (1998) Verena Bosshart (flute), Riccardo Bologna, Eduardo Leandro (percussion) – live recording 10/11/2001 in Radiostudio, Zurich. Concerto for piano and orchestra (1998) Massimiliano Damerini (piano) Swiss Philharmonic Orchestra/Mario Venzago – Live recording in Victoria Hall, Geneva. Co-production: Swiss Radio DRS2 and Radio Suisse Romande-Espace2. DDD MUSIKSZENE SCHWEIZ MGB CTS-M78 [73.07] [JPh]

Listen carefully but this is still pretty incomprehensible. The big disappointment for me was the absolute absence of any discernible tunes. I wont be listening to these again for a while. ... see Full Review

Roger SMALLEY (b.1943) Oboe Concerto (1995-6) [20.41] Kaleidoscope (2003) [9.39] Concerto for Cello and Seventeen Players (1995-6) [16.57] Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) transc. Roger SMALLEY Ten Poems for Chamber Orchestra (1989-90) [14.34]: Prélude Op. 45. No. 3; Prélude Op. 48. No. 1; Prélude Op. 48 No. 2; Enigme Op. 52 No. 2; Désire Op. 57 No. 2; Caresse Dansé Op. 57 No. 2; Prélude Op. 59 No. 2; Prélude Op. 67 No. 1; Prélude Op. 67 No. 2; Poème Op. 69 No. 2. Joel Marangella (oboe) Raphael Wallfisch (cello) West Australian Symphony Orchestra/Roger Smalley 15-16 Apr 2003, Perth Concert Hall; 20 Feb 1997, Studio 620, ABC, Perth. DDD ABC CLASSICS 980 047-5 [RB]

Rewarding music ... Approachable yet far from anodyne. Don't miss this. ... see Full Review

John Philip SOUSA (1854-1932) Music for Wind Band 4 Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (1922) Sesqui-Centennial Exposition (1926) Tales of a Traveler (1911) Riders for the Flag (1927) Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co. (1924) Coeds of Michigan (1925) Pathfinder of Panama (1915) The Glory of the Yankee Navy (1909) Bride Elect Selections (1898) The Aviators (1931) The Stars and Stripes Forever (1896) Royal Artillery Band/Keith Brion
Recorded Woolwich Town Hall, London, November 2000 NAXOS 8.559093 [59.02] [JW]

Grandiose antiquaries … quasi-impressionistic Kiplinesqueries … the bold, brassy swagger … local colour … big and Imperial-sounding … see Full Review

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Irish Rhapsody No. 4 in A minor, Op. 141a (1913) [18’52]. Becket, Op. 48 (1893) - Funeral March, ‘The Martyrdomb [6’45]. Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 126c (1911) [37’32]. cMalcolm Binns (piano); abLondon Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult; cLondon Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite;. No rec. info. Rec. of Piano Concerto No. 2 made in association with RVW Trust. ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD219 [63’20] [CC]

This is an invaluable Stanford collection. ... see Full Review

Ronald STEVENSON (b.1928-) Passacaglia on DSCH Murray McLachlan (piano) Recorded at King’s Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 15-16 July 1999 THE DIVINE ART CD 25013 [74.59] [CSS]

A committed performance – only slightly quicker than the composer’s own. Stevenson has suggested that the Passacaglia spans a lifetime ... a living organism. ... see Full Review

Derek STRAHAN Past Life Recall: Verse and music by Derek Strahan Lucifer Dialogues from "Eden in Atlantis" [40.37] London Letters [5.41] First Encounter with the Devil [9.40] Past Life Recall [9.44] Experiences with the Anima [9.42] read by Derek Strahan and Amanda Holdsworth "Soundscaping" by Sean Peter and Bob Scott. Notes in English with colour photos of the artists. Recorded 2003 in Marrickville, NSW, Australia REVOLVE RDS 005 [77.45] [PSh]

Verse spoken to music, far-out entertainment of an Anglo-Australian sixties-ish sort ... see Full Review
You can purchase this disc through MusicWeb for £10 postage paid World-Wide

The Strauss Album
Johann STRAUSS I (1804-1849)
Zampa Galop, Opus 62 (1832) Radetzky March, Opus 228 (1848) Josef STRAUSS (1827-1870) Nightshade Polka, Opus 229 (1867) Jockey Polka, Opus 278 (1870) Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) Perpetuum Mobile, Opus 257 (1862) Emperor Waltz, Opus 437 (1889) Champagne Polka, Opus 211 (1858) Overture: Die Fledermaus (1874) Polka: Im Krapfenwald’l, Opus 336 (1870) Tritsch-Tratsch Polka, Opus 214 (1858) Waltz: On the Beautiful Blue Danube, Opus 314 (1867) Thunder and Lightning Polka, Opus 324 (1868) Memories of Covent Garden, Opus 329 (1867) Johann STRAUSS II and Josef STRAUSS Pizzicato Polka (1870) Eduard STRAUSS (1835-1916) Polka: Burning and Yearning (1895) The Johann Strauss Orchestra/Christopher Warren-Green Recorded 7-9 November 2000, Angel Studios, London ASV WHITE LINE CD WHL 2157 [67.48] [TB]

Crisply articulate performances by an authentically small(ish) band … see Full Review

Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) Die Fledermaus (1873-4) Libretto by Haffner and Genée Rosalinde (soprano) – Kiri Te Kanawa; Adele (soprano) – Hildegard Heichele; Eisenstein (baritone) – Hermann Prey; Dr. Falke (baritone) – Benjamin Luxon; Alfred (tenor) – Dennis O’Neill; Prince Orlofsky (mezzo) – Doris Soffel; Dr. Blind (tenor) – Paul Crook; Col. Franke (bass) – Michael Langdon Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Placido Domingo Recorded (New Year’s Eve?) 1984 at Covent Garden, London Directed for the stage by Leopold Lintberg and Richard Gregson Directed for video by Humphrey Burton NVC ARTS 4509-99216-2 [approx. 176 minutes] [TH]

Good value at 3 hours on one disc, but buyers should bear in mind the technical problems … see Full Review

Richard STRAUSS (1864 – 1949)
Eine Alpensinfonie Op. 64, (1915) Richard WAGNER (1813 – 1883) Orchestral excerpts from Götterdämmerung, (1876): Siegfried’s Rhine Journey Siegfried’s Funeral March Brunhilde’s Immolation Scene Bavarian State Opera Orchestra/Franz Konwitschny. Recorded 1952 in Munich. ADD URANIA URN 22.247 [65.02] [JPh]

Revelatory. Readings that are absolutely straight with no attempt at "interpretation". The orchestra are obviously in their element. I enjoyed this disc very much indeed. … see Full Review

Der Rosenkavalier - opera in three acts libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal The Feldmarschallin, Princess Werdenberg: Maria Reining (soprano) Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau: Jaro Prohaska (baritone) Octavian: Jarmila Novotná (soprano) Herr von Faninal: Georg Hann (baritone) Sophie, his daughter: Hilde Güden (soprano) Marianne, Sophie’s duenna: Stefanie Holeschofsky (soprano) Valzacchi, an intriguer: Peter Klein (tenor) Annina, his partner: Dagmar Hermann (contralto) The Major-Domo to the Feldmarschallin: William Wernigk (tenor) An Attorney: Alfred Muzzarelli (bass) An Italian Singer: Helge Rosvaenge (tenor) Police Inspector: Georg Monthy (bass) Innkeeper: William Wernigk (tenor) Choir of the Vienna State Opera Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/George Szell Recorded by Sendergruppe "Rotweissrot" at a performance in the Festspielhaus, Salzburg 29 August 1949 (Archive of Austrian Radio ORF) Der Rosenkavalier: excerpts Excerpts from Act 1: Introduction [3’04"]; "Wie du warst! Wie du bist!" [3’45"]; "Warum ist Tag?" [4’31"]; "Der Feldmarschall sitzt im krowatischen Wald…" [6’32"]; "Da geht er hin…"[4’27"]; "Ach, du bist wieder da!" [1’59"]; "Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding." [10’28"] Excerpts from Act 2: "im dieser feierlichen stunde…" [3’21"]; "Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren…" [7’56"]; "Wart, i hau’ dich z’samm…" [6’41"] Excerpts from Act 3: "Weiss bereits nicht…" [5’32"]; "Mein Gott, es war nicht mehr als eine Farce." [6’30"]; "Marie Theres’!" [8’31"]; "Ist ein Traum, kann nicht wirklich sein…" [3’01"] The Feldmarschallin, Princess Werdenberg; Lotte Lehmann (soprano) Baron Ochs auf Lerchenau: Richard Mayr (baritone) Octavian: Maria Olszewska (soprano) Herr von Faninal: Victor Madin (baritone) Sophie, his daughter: Elisabeth Schumann (soprano) Marianne, Sophie’s duenna: Anne Michalsky (soprano) Valzacchi, an intriguer: Hermann Gallos (tenor) Annina, his partner: Bella Paalen (contralto) Choir of the Vienna State Opera Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Robert Heger Recorded in the Konzerthaus, Vienna 20-24 September 1933 Source: HMV DB2060/72 Matrix: 2WX581/606 ANDANTE AND 3985 [4 CDs: 65’53"+53’55"+54’56"+76’18"] [JQ]

Recommended wholeheartedly to all who love the music of Richard Strauss and this wonderful opera in particular ... a marvellous, human and glorious score ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH John TAVENER (b.1944) - A Portrait CD1 In Alium – Section A (1968) To a Child Dancing in the Wind (1983) - Movement 1: He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven The Lamb (1982); The Tyger (1987) Ikon of Light (1984): Movement 1: FOS 1, DOXA Movement 2: Piu Intensita, Mandelion for organ (1981) (extract) Chant for guitar (extract) (1984) Ikon of St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (extract) The Protecting Veil (1989), Section 1 Mary of Egypt (1991) – Act III: Bless Duet, Akhmatova Songs, Diódia for string quartet (1997) (extracts) Song for Athene (1993) CD2 Zodiacs for piano (1997) Prayer of the Heart (1999) Ikon of Eros (2000): Movement 2: Eρωη (Eros) Mother and Child (2002) (extract) John Tavener Reflects………A Recorded Interview NAXOS 8.558152-53 [79:31+75:55] [GPJ]

Of incalculable value to those wanting to come to terms with this sometimes perplexing yet undeniably significant figure in the world of modern music. … see Full Review

George Philippe TELEMANN (1681-1767) Tafelmusik: Ouverture and Suite in D major; Quartet in D minor for two flutes, recorder and continuo; Concerto in F major for three violins and continuo; Conclusion in E minor for two flutes, strings and continuo Musica Amphion/Pieter-Jan Belder Recorded at Maria Minor, Utrecht, 2003 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92213 [61.13] [GH]

Exciting, often driving performances and bright recording ... well worth the modest outlay. ... see Full Review

Peter Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 (1888) [45’09]. Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture (1870, rev. 1880) [20’39]. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Daniele Gatti. Rec. Abbey Road Studios, London, on July 31st-August 1st, 2003 (Op. 64) and Watford Colosseum on May 6th-7th, 1998 (Romeo). DDD HARMONIA MUNDI USA HMU907381 [65’56] [CC]

This is a memorable account of the Fifth – no matter how many versions you have on your shelves, there should be space for this one. … see Full Review

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893) Mazeppa, opera in 3 acts, libretto by Viktor Burenin (1884) [169.00] Mazeppa Nikolai Putilin Kochubey Sergei Alesashkin Lyubov Larissa Diadkova Mariya Irina Loskutova Andrey Viktor Lutsiuk Orlik Viacheslav Luhanin Kirov Opera Orchestra, Chorus, and Ballet/Valey Gergiev Recorded at the Marinsky Theater, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1996 Video direction, Brian Large. Stage Producer, Irina Molostova Booklet in English, Français, Deutsch. Synopsis, no texts. Photos of the staging. Originally recorded in two channel stereo, DRSS reprocessed for surround sound. Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese. Menus in English. DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. NTSC anamorphic 16:9 region 0 [all-regions] No PAL version available. DVD [format 9] PHILIPS EUROARTS 074 194-9 [174.00] [PSh]

A brilliant production of an under-rated epic dramatic masterpiece, an absolute must for all opera lovers, and a good choice for those who are just getting to know the form ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY: A Naxos Musical Journey Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy Overture (1880) [20’16]. Souvenir de Florence Op. 70 (1890-92) [35’01]. Capriccio italien, Op. 45 [14’50]. Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/Stephen Gunzenhauser; Vienna Chamber Orchestra/Philippe Entremont (Souvenir). Aspect Ratio 1.33:1; Dolby Digital and DTS Surround. NTSC – No Region Coding. DVD INTERNATIONAL NAXOS DVDI1029 [70’00] [CC]

So, some fun and some eyebrow-raising watching the ‘slide-show’ to the accompaniment of some glorious music in generally mediocre performances. … see Full Review

Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998) The Midsummer Marriage (1955) Joan Carlyle (soprano) Jenifer; Elizabeth Harwood (soprano) Bella; Elizabeth Bainbridge (mezzo) She-Ancient; Helen Watts (contralto) Sosostris; Alberto Remedios (tenor) Mark; Stuart Burrows (tenor) Jack; Raimund Herincx (baritone) King Fisher; Stafford Dean (bass) He-Ancient; David Whelan (baritone) Half-Tipsy Man; Andrew Daniels (tenor) Dancing Man Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Colin Davis. No rec. info. ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD2217 [76’07 + 77’27] [CC]

Rarely will you hear an uncompromising twentieth-century work such as this one sung and played with such almighty belief. The sheer standard of orchestral playing almost beggars belief … No opera-lover should be without this set. ... see Full Review

Veljo TORMIS (b. 1930) Two Songs after Ernst Enno (1948, 1998) Three Songs from the Estonian epos Kalevipoeg (1960) Three Setu Work Songs (1976) Four Sangaste Game Songs (1981) Six Estonian Children Songs (1989) Thirteen Estonian Lyric Folk Songs (1972) Heaps of Songs (1973) Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir/Tōnu Kaljuste Recorded: Concert Hall, Tallinn, June 1998 and June 1999 CARUS CV 83.400 [76:02] [HC]

Performances that are all highly idiomatic, superbly sung with much tonal variety. Be ready for much musical pleasure. … see Full Review

Rena VALI (b. 1952) Concerto for flute and orchestra (1998) Folk Songs (Set No. 10) for soprano and orchestra (1992): a) Love song; b) Song for Luristan; c) Lament, In Memoriam Olivier Messiaen; d) Popular song from Tehran Deylámân for flute, oud and orchestra (1995) Alberto Almarza (flute) Janna Baty (soprano) George Mgrdichian (oud) Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose Rec. Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, Boston, Massachusetts / Houghton Chapel, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, 14 February 1998, 25 March 1999, 19-21 December 2000. DDD NAXOS 8.557224 [64:27] [MC]

If you want something different to the usual fare yet remaining approachable then this release may be for you. Certainly worth exploring! ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Macbeth. Opera in 4 Acts. (Original 1847 version) Macbeth, Peter Glossop (bar); Lady Macbeth, Rita Hunter (sop); Banquo, John Tomlinson (bass); Macduff, Kenneth Collins (ten); Malcolm, Richard Greager (ten); Lady in Waiting, Ludmilla Andrew (sop); Doctor, Christian du Plessis (bar) BBC Singers BBC Concert Orchestra/John Matheson First broadcast by the BBC on 15 April 1979 OPERA RARA ORCV 301 [2CDs: 76.08+56.47] [RF]

Hunter’s richness and insight as well as vocal clarity and agility matched with Glossop’s characterisation and Matheson’s feel for Verdian line make this a fascinating and for Verdians an unmissable issue ... see Full Review

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Simon Boccanegra - Melodrama in a Prologue and Three Acts (1857 ‘Original’ version) Simon Boccanegra, Corsair and Doge of Genoa, Sesto Bruscantini (bar); Maria Boccanegra, Simon’s daughter known as Amelia Grimaldi, Josella Ligi (sop); Jacapo Fiesco, Gwynne Howell (bass); Gabrielle Adorno, André Turp (ten); Paola Albiani, William Elvin (bar); Pietro, Paul Hudson (bass) BBC Singers BBC Concert Orchestra/John Matheson Rec. Golders Green Hippodrome, London, before an invited audience
First broadcast by the BBC on 1st January 1976 Full Price OPERA RARA ORCV 302 [2CDs: 71.39+49.29] [RF]

Countless hours of pleasure ... A big gap in the catalogue filled at last and with a good all-round performance. ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Mottetti Longe mala, umbrae, terrores** (RV 629) [15:27] O qui coeli terraeque serenitas* (RV 631) [14:41] Vestro Principi divino** (RV 633) [08:58] Canta in prato, ride in monte* (RV 623) [07:30] Invicti, bellate** (RV 628) [09:27] Nulla in mundo pax sincera* (RV 630) [13:29] Anke Herrmann, soprano (*); Laura Polverelli, contralto (**) Academia Montis Regalis/Alessandro De Marchi Recorded in October 2001 Istituto di Musica Antica Academia Montis Regalis, Mondovi, Italy DDD OPUS 111 OP 30340 [69:33] [JV]

An uneven recording of six of Vivaldi’s motets – the orchestral playing is brilliant, but the singers are not always on the same level ... see Full Review

Wladimir VOGEL (1896 – 1984)
Wagadus Untergang durch die Eitelkeit (1930/1948)a Worte (1962)b Abschied (1973)c Hanneke Van Bork (soprano)a; Lydia Vintura (alto)a; Derrick Olsen (baritone)a; Martina Bovet, Karin Maria Krauer (speakers)b; Kammersprechchor Züricha; Belgian Radio Choira; Belgian Saxophone Ensemblea; Festival Strings Lucernebc; Léonce Grasa, Rudolf Baumgartnerbc Recorded: Belgian Radio and Nederlands Omroep Stichting Hilversum, 1968 and Radio Studio, Zürich, November 1995 (Worte, Abschied) MGB CD 6128 [40:28 + 53:41] [HC]

Provides for a badly needed re-assessment of Vogel’s achievement. … see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868). Sir Donald McIntyre (bass-baritone) Hans Sachs; Helena Doese (soprano) Eva; Paul Frey (tenor) Walther; John Pringle (bass) Beckmesser; Rosemary Gunn (mezzo) Magdalene; Donald Shanks (bass) Pogner; Christopher Doig (tenor) David; Robert Allman (baritone) Kothner; David Hibbard (bass) Hans Foltz; Arend Baumann (bass) Hans Schwarz; Stephen Bennett (bass) Hermann Ortel; Christopher Dawes (tenor) Augustin Moser; Gerald Sword (tenor) Kunz Vogelgesang; John Miley (tenor) Ulrich Eisslinger; Lawrence Allen (tenor) Balthasar Zorn; Neville Wilkie (bass) Konrad Nachtigall; Australian Opera Chorus; The Elizabethan Philharmonic Orchestra /Sir Charles Mackerras. Live at the Sydney Opera House. PCM Stereo. Picture format 4:3. Region Code 2,5. Rec. ARTHAUS MUSIK 100 122 [2 DVDs: 277’00] [CC]

A highly recommendable Meistersinger, the whole of which is greater than the sum of its parts. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Das Rheingold (1854) Staatsorchester Stuttgart/Lothar Zagrosek Recorded live at the Staatsoper, Stuttgart, 28-29 December, 2002 Directed for the stage by Joachim Schlomer Directed for video by Janos Darvas and Thorsten Fricke TDK 10 5206 9 (Running time 152 minutes)
Die Walküre (1851-6) Staatsorchester Stuttgart/Lothar Zagrosek Directed for the stage by Christoph Nel Directed for TV by Janos Darvas and Thosten Fricke Recorded live at the Staatsoper Stuttgart, 29 Sept. and 2 January 2003 TDK Euroarts 10 5207 9 DV-OPRDNW [2 discs: running time 229 minutes] [TH]

Presentation, camera work and sound quality are all good but on this evidence it’s hard to see why this particular Ring was picked for posterity. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde Jon Vickers (tenor) Tristan; Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Isolde; Ruth Hesse (mezzo) Brangaene; Bengt Rundgren (bass) Marke; Walter Berry (baritone) Kurwenal; Stan Unruh (tenor) Melot; Horst Laubenthal (tenor) Shepherd/Young Sailor; Paul Taillefer (baritone) Steersman; New Philharmonia Chorus ORTF National Orchestra/Karl Böhm. Théâtre Antique, Orange, France, 7 July, 1973 PAL. 4:3. Region 0. Live HARDY CLASSIC VIDEO HCD4009 (240’00) [CC]

An experience to treasure. If only we could hear more of the orchestral detail … We should be eternally grateful we have this at all. It should be in every Wagnerian’s collection. … see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813 - 1883) Tristan und Isolde (1859) [255.48] Kirsten Flagstad, soprano; Ludwig Suthaus, tenor; Blanche Thebom, mezzo-soprano; Josef Greindl, bass; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Rudolf Schock, tenor; Edgar Evans, tenor; Rhoderick Davies, baritone. Chorus of the Royal Opera House Coven Garden/Douglas Robinson Philharmonia Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler Recorded Kingsway Hall, London, UK, 10 through 23 June 1952 Digitally remastered 2001 by Douglas Lareter at Abbey Road Studios. Mono. ADD Notes in English. Photo of the conductor. Track list and Synopsis. No texts. "Libretto and English/French translations are available on EMI Classics website"" EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 85873 2 6 [67.03 + 68.14 + 64.26 + 56.05] [PSh]

A newly restored classic, a must have for any opera lover, one of the half dozen greatest opera recordings ever made ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813 - 1883) Tristan und Isolde (1859) Isolde - Kirsten Flagstad, soprano; Tristan - Ludwig Suthaus, tenor; Brangäne - Blanche Thebom, mezzo-soprano; King Mark - Josef Greindl, bass; Kurwenal - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Sailor - Rudolf Schock, tenor; Chorus of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden/Douglas Robinson Philharmonia Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler Recorded Kingsway Hall, London, UK, June 1952 Wesendonck Lieder with Flagstad and Moore, recorded 1948 REGIS RRC 4004 [4CDs: 56’05+77’15+73.30+67.17] [MB]

Furtwängler remains a yardstick in Tristan and if you don’t yet have it EMI’s budget priced re-mastering will be unmatchable value for money. The Regis offers no musical or commercial value beside it ... see Full Review

David WARD-STEINMAN (b.1936) Concerto No. 2 for Chamber Orchestra (1. Moderately Fast 2. Very Slow 3. Fast and Vigorous) (1960-62) [17:15] Paul TUROK (b.1929)Threnody, op. 54 (1980) [06:01] Norman DELLO JOIO (b.1913)Lyric Fantasies for viola and strings (1975) (Adagio, Molto Sostenuto, Amabile; Allegro con Spirito) [14:18] Henry COWELL (1897-1963) Hymn for String Orchestra (1946) [05:05] Paul CRESTON (1906-1985)Partita for flute, violin and string orchestra, op. 12 (Preamble; Sarabande; Burlesk; Air; Tarantella) (1937) [16:35] Karen Elaine, (viola) (Dello Joio) Yossi Aranheim (flute); Nicholas Ward (violin) (Creston) City of London Sinfonia/David Amos Rec. Oct 1990, Angel Studios, London. DDD KLEOS CLASSICS KL5128 [59:31] [RB]

Likely to open new casements for the listener with a taste for the melodic yet not bland in 20th century music. Dello Joio well worth getting to hear. At bargain price a very welcome return to the catalogue. ... see Full Review

Grace WILLIAMS (1906-1977) Balladsa (1968) [17’12]. Fairest of Starsb (1973) [14’09]. Symphony No. 2c (1956) [37’51]. bJanet Price (soprano); acBBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra/Vernon Handley; bLondon Symphony Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves. Rec. acBBC Studio One, Llandaff on March 24th-25th, 1979 (originally released on BBC Artium REGL381); bAbbey Road Studios, London, on November 22nd, 1973 (originally HMV ASD3006). ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD327 [73.23] [CC]

Do explore this music. Before handling this disc I had not heard any of Grace Williams’ music, so all three pieces came as something of a revelation ... Who out of the currently active record companies will now take up her cause? ... see Full Review

Grace WILLIAMS (1906-1977) Fantasia on Welsh Nursery Tunesa (1940) [11’03]. Carillons for Oboe and Orchestrab (1965, rev. 1973) [10’31]. Penillionc (1955) [15’49]. Trumpet Concertod (1963) [13’27]. Sea Sketchese (1944) [18’55]. bAnthony Camden (oboe); dHoward Snell (trumpets); abdLondon Symphony Orchestra, cRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves; eEnglish Chamber Orchestra/David Atherton.
Rec. abdAbbey Road Studios, London on November 21st-22nd, 1973 (originally issued on ASD3006), cAfan Lido, Port Talbot, Glamorgan, on May 22nd-23rd, 1971 (ASD2739), eKingsway Hall, London, in January 1970 (Decca SXL6468). ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD323 [69’45] [CC]

If this disc does not quite have the pulling power of SRCD327, it remains fully worthy of investigation. The clarity of the recording is simply marvellous ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH William Brocklesby WORDSWORTH (1908-1988) Symphonies: No. 2 in D, Op. 34 (1947/8) [43’45]; No. 3 in C, Op. 48 (1948) [27’20]. London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite. No rec. info given. DDD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD207 [71’05] [CC]

The performances are eloquent in the extreme and represent a most persuasive document. Much of this music is either lively or lovely (sometimes both) … Do try to hear this disc. … see Full Review

Alexander WUSTIN (b. 1943) Memoria 2 (1978)a Song from Tchevengur (1995)b Hommage à beethoven (1984)c Agnus Dei (1993)d Sine Nomine (2000)e Mark Pekarski Percussion Ensembleacd; Kiril Umanski (organ)bc; Nikolai Danilin (organ)d; Armenian Chamber Choir of Moscowb; New Moscow Choir (Elena Rastvorova, conductor)d; Moscow Classical Orchestraabce; Yuri Nikolaevitchabce Recorded: Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, May 1995 (Agnus Dei) and December 2002 THOROFON CTH 2486 [65:32] [HC]

Wustin’s music was entirely new to me. Highly personal, often gripping woks made a deep impression of earnestness, honesty and sincerity which I find most endearing. … see Full Review

Kôsçak YAMADA (1886-1965) Overture in D major (1912) * Symphony in F major "Triumph and Peace" (1912) The Dark Gate - Symphonic Poem (1913) Madara No Hana - Symphonic Poem (1913) Ulster Orchestra New Zealand Symphony Orchestra * Takuo Yuasa Rec. Wellington Town Hall January 2002 (Overture) Ulster Hall, Belfast 2000-01 (remainder) NAXOS 8.555350 [58.21] [JW]

The fine performers make out a case for this music and for an under-explored area of musical engagement. … 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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