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Monday August 28th


Hoffnung At Large
double CD lasting 2 hours of Gerard Hoffnung from the BBC.
Full details here

£14 postage included world-wide

Hoffnung Music Festivals 1956,58,61
2CDs:£17 postage included World-Wide [mono/stereo]
This is a must for all Hoffnung enthusiasts.
Purchase here    see review

Available for the FIRST TIME
- a DVD of 7 animated Hoffnung cartoons as shown on the BBC in the 1960s in FULL COLOUR plus animated Gilbert and Sullivan Ruddigore. £14.99 Details
NOTE: Region 0 but PAL only

Hoffnung - A Last Encore
On 2 CDs lasting 1 hour 45min, this contains all the recordings of Hoffnung preserved in the BBC archives. They include the famous and hilariously funny Bricklayer story from the Oxford Union. [mono]
£14 postage included world-wide Purchase

See a new Hoffnung Cartoon every day


An obituary of Michael Hurd by Geoffrey Peck

An interview with Christopher Nupen by Anne Ozorio

The nature of music as a meaningful language …… Arthur Butterworth

Tributes to the late Elisabeth Schwarzkopf by Göran Forsling and Anne Ozorio
Further tribute by Evan Dickerson

HOLST – An Enigmatic Variation by John France

Mahler Symphony 5 by Tony Duggan - update

The Solo Violin Music of Ivan Khandoshkin by Anastasia Khitruk


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MESSIAEN Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus

A 2CD set available for delivery after September 1st. £25 postage paid world wide.

Anthony Collins Sibelius Cycle
- see review

TESTIMONY - The Story of Shostakovich Directed by Tony Palmer. Region 0 PAL only
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LATEST CD REVIEWS (last five days)

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Julian Lloyd Webber and the BBC Concert Orchestra will open the first annual English Music Festival in October with performances of works by Holst, Vaughan Williams, Sullivan and Bridge. Conducted by David Lloyd Jones, the concert at Dorchester Abbey, Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on Friday October 20, will be broadcast on Radio 3. It is the first of 18 events over five days, celebrating five centuries of English music, with a particular focus on the early twentieth century. The Festival will also include an exciting new commission - Prayerbook.

Festival director (and regular musicweb contributor) Em Marshall said that the Festival will give audiences “a rare opportunity to experience some of the most beautiful and evocative music ever written - works of beauty, power and inspiration, which are all too often overlooked.” Artists range from the Dufay Collective to Endymion and Tonus Peregrinus, with soloists including countertenor Michael Chance, Paul Silverthorne, James Gilchrist, Peter Savidge and David Owen Norris. The Festival programme includes the complete Britten Canticles, Finzi’s Intimations of Immortality, Bridge’s Oration, Lambert’s Piano Concerto, Sullivan’s Irish Symphony, Holst’s First Choral Symphony and Vaughan Williams’s Oxford Elegy and Flos Campi. Other composers featured include Elgar, Delius, Dowland, Purcell, Campion, York Bowen, Moeran, Armstrong Gibbs, Orr, Bax, Dunhill, Ireland and Bliss. For details, log onto www.englishmusicfestival.org.uk, call 0207 834 5743, or email em.marshall@btinternet.com

Musicweb (CD Reviews) is taking a break this week.
Normal service will resume on Monday September 4th.
Seen & Heard is operating as usual.


Friday 25th

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3, Twelve Contredanses, Funeral March from the incidental music to Leonore Prohaska, Romances 1 & 2 Katarina Andreasson (violin) Swedish Chamber Orchestra Örebro/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2002 SIMAX PSC 1281 [71:34] [MG]

This performance of the Eroica symphony lets you see it in a new light and in a context that is itself fresh and illuminating … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Triple Concerto, Septet Yefim Bronfman (piano); Gil Shaham (violin); Truls Mørk (cello); Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich/ David Zinman (concerto) rec. 2004 ARTE NOVA CLASSICS 82876 64015 2 [74:21] [DRD]

A splendid bargain and one I’ll be returning to often! ... see Full Review

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Serenade for strings, Serenade for wind instruments Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Alexander Schneider rec. 1984 COE RECORDS CDCOE 801 [54:54] [GPJ]

Without sacrificing any of their charm, Schneider’s finely paced performances gives these works a little more weight and substance than they sometimes receive. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No. 9, The Water Goblin Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 1999 WARNER CLASSICS 3984 25254-2 [64:13] [TP]

Harnoncourt has something to tell even the most seasoned collector about this music, and in a warhorse like this, that is no mean feat! ... see Full Review

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Daphnis et Chloé, Rapsodie espagnole, Pavane pour une infante défunte London Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Monteux rec. 1959 & 1961 DECCA - THE ORIGINALS - 475 7525 [73:42]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Daphnis et Chloé Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur de Radio France/Myung-Whun Chung rec. 2004 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 5706 [55:25] [MC]

Superbly performed and recorded the Decca Daphnis with Monteux is beyond criticism. The newly released account from Myung-Whun Chung on Deutsche Grammophon does not inspire and with only one work included represents poor value ... see Full Review

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony no. 2; Overture in F major; Festive Overture on the Danish National Anthem; The Storm Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi rec. 2004 BIS SACD-1418 [72:27] [BB]

Järvi lets the music eloquently speak for itself ... see Full Review

A Requiem for Biber Heinrich Ignaz Franz VON BIBER (1644-1704) Missa, Requiem Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh rec. 2004 ARCHIV 474 7142 [81:06] [JV]

Uneven performances of two religious works by Biber ... see Full Review

Süddeutsche Orgelmeister Vol. 3 Works by J.S. BACH (1685-1750) Georg MUFFAT (1653-1704) Johann Kaspar KERLL (1627-1693) Domenico ZIPOLI (1688-1726) Johann Jacob FROBERGER (1616-1667) Heidrun Hensel (organ) rec. 2005 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 542 [63:29] [CB]

Mostly manualiter music … neat, tidy well controlled…..I miss a little freedom and vocabulary of expression … the quality of Ahrend’s instrument ensures that the ear never tires. ... see Full Review

Violino oder Geige Sonatas and other instrumental works by David POHLE (1624-1695) Johann Jacob LÖWEN (1629-1703) Carlo FARINA (ca. 1600-ca. 1640) J Wilhelm FURCHHEIM (ca. 1635-1682) August KÜHNEL (1645-1700) Clamor Heinrich ABEL (1634-1696) Johann Heinrich SCHMELZER (ca. 1623-1680) Heinrich Ignaz Franz BIBER (1644-1704) Johann Jacob WALTHER (ca. 1650-1717) Ricercar Consort rec. 1988-90 RICERCAR RIC232 [74:24 + 73:48] [DB]

A very well thought-out collection of early string music, engagingly played ... see Full Review

The Virgin Mary’s Journey Salisbury Cathedral Choir rec. 2006 GRIFFIN GCCD 4054 [63:35] [JF]

This is a profound meditation on The Virgin Mary, one of the great ‘icons’ of mankind’s religious progress ... see Full Review

Thursday 24th

Giovanni BOTTESINI (1821-1889) Melodie, Concerto in B minor, Introduction and Gavotte, Gran duo concertante for violin and double bass (1880) Wolfgang Harrer (double bass) rec. 1983-7 VMS 607 [43.29] [CF]

If you want to hear a double bass play as you have probably not heard it do so before, this is the disc for you. ... see Full Review

William BYRD (1539/40-1623) Playing Elizabeth’s Tune Vigilate, Tristitia et anxietas, Ne irascaris Domine, Prevent us O Lord, O Lord make they Servant Elizabeth, Magnificat, Mass for four voices, Ave Verum Corpus The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips rec. 2004 GIMELL CDGIM 992 [65:54] [DC]

The Tallis Scholars produce sublime and moving performances in a beautifully balanced recording. ... see Full Review

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Lucia Di Lammermoor Lucia - Maria Callas (soprano) Edgardo - Giuseppe Di Stefano (tenor) Enrico - Tito Gobbi (baritone) Raimondo - Raffaele Arié (bass) Arturo - Valiano Natali (tenor) Chorus and Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Tullio Serafin rec. 1953 Appendix (on CD 2): Highlights from Lucia di Lammermoor performed by legendary singers (1910-1952) NAXOS 8.110131-32 [69:01 + 76:30] [AB]

A well-engineered set of a famous historic set that made Maria Callas famous. Strong singing by the entire cast, well conducted and well presented ... see Full Review

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Rinaldo (1711) Opera in Concert, The Aradia Ensemble/Kevin Mallon rec. 2004 NAXOS 8.660165-67 [3 CDs: 78.47 + 52.15 + 48.44] [RH]

A performance that fails to live up to its promise; enthusiasts might want to have it, for completeness but if you are unfamiliar with Handel’s opera seria, save up and get a better recording ... see Full Review

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) A Portrait - His Works, His Life, His Words NAXOS 8.558191-92 [79.21 + 71.30] [RH]

This is an excellent introduction to Maxwell Davies’s music. ... see Full Review

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1758-1791) Violin Sonatas K301-306 Gil Shaham (violin); Orli Shaham (piano) rec. 2005 EUROARTS 2055188 [99:00] [GPu]

Grand surroundings for enjoyable performances of some marvellous music … see Full Review

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Film Music - Volume II Clowns und Kinder (1976), Der Walzer (1969), Die Glasharmonika (1968), Der Aufstieg (1976) rec. 2002-4 CAPRICCIO 71061 [55:30] [DB]

Interesting and often very exciting new aspects of Schnittke’s output. ... see Full Review

Janet Baker - Full Circle: Her last year in opera Extracts from Alceste and Orfeo ed Euridice, Mary Stuart and Dream of Gerontius rec. 1981-2 WARNER MUSIC DIVISION 50-51011-4855-2-7 [72:00] [CF]

She has about her an abundance of warmth, affection and sensitivity, not only as a human being but particularly as a consummate artist. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH The Art of the Lindsays Quartets by Mozart, Schubert, Ravel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Dvořák, Beethoven, Borodin, Janáček, Tippett, Bartók and Brahms The Lindsays SANCTUARY CLASSICS RESONANCE CDRSB404 [5 CDs: 72:22 + 72:18 + 76:33 + 76:11 + 77:53] [DRD]

I really can’t recommend this highly enough. It was a source of joy on our recent holiday and will make excellent Christmas presents. A really great advertisement for chamber music. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Thomas Quasthoff: The Voice Works by Schubert, Lortzing, Weber, Wagner, R Strauss, Mahler, JS Bach, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, LIszt and Loewe DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 6159 [67:22 + 67:11] [AOz]

A perfect set for anyone new to Quasthoff, or who wants an introduction to German art song ... see Full Review

Wednesday 23rd

Do you have a copy of this LP? BAX Piano Sonata No.1 in F sharp minor, (Rev.1921) Piano Sonata No.4 in G Major, (1932) Toccata (1913), Water Music, (1920) Joyce Hatto, piano
Concert Artist would like to reconstruct this recording from the original tape with patching from LP to cover tape damage. If you own a copy and are willing to help please get in touch

Thomas CRECQUILLON (c.1505-1557) Mort m’a privé The Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice rec. 2004. DDD HYPERION CDA 67596 [66:11] [GPu]

A fascinating disc both historically and aesthetically; well planned and well performed, it makes an enticing introduction to Crecquillon’s work … see Full Review

Charles DAVIDSON (b.1929) A Singing of Angels (1967) [26:30] ... And David Danced Before the Lord (1966) [37:54] Baroque Suite (excerpts) (1974) [8:55] rec.1999 and 2001. DDD NAXOS 8.559436 [73:29] [GPu]

Music of real intelligence, charm and high competence which draws creatively on several different idioms ... see Full Review

HERVÉ (Florimond RONGER) (1825-1892) Mam’zelle Nitouche (1883) Fernandel (baritone) – Célestin/Floridor; Elaine Thibault (soprano) – Denise; Aimé Doniat (tenor) – Champlâteaux; Line May (soprano) – Corinne Decca Studio Orchestra/André Grassi rec. 1968. ADD ACCORD OPÉRETTE 476 9999 [66:19 + 40:24] [RW]

Fresh and appealing ... see Full Review

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Le Comte de Luxembourg (The Count of Luxemburg) (extracts) (1909) Frasquita (extracts) (1922), La Veuve Joyeuse (The Merry Widow) (extracts) rec. 1955, 1958 ACCORD OPÉRETTE 476 9992 [69:22 + 79:30] [RW]

Blareau's vivacious pace releases the energetic scintillations of this music ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony No. 40 in G minor K550 (1788) Symphony No. 41 in C major Jupiter K551 (1788) Manchester Camerata/Douglas Boyd rec. 2006 AVIE AV 2107 [63:50] [DC]

Looking for a top notch performance of two of the greatest classical symphonies ever written? Your money will be very well spent with this issue. ... see Full Review

Tadeusz SZELIGOWSKI (1896-1963) Wind Quintet (1953) [18:03] Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Wind Quintet (1932) [10:53] Incrustations for horn and chamber ensemble (1965) [15:47] (World Premiere Recording) Wojcieh KILAR (b.1932) Wind Quintet (1952) [15:58] Cracow Philharmonic Wind Quintet: rec. 1999 ACTE PRÉALABLE POLISH MUSIC AP0044 [61:43] [GPJ]

Not a spectacular disc, but an immensely worthwhile one, which I find has repaid many repeated hearings. ... see Full Review

Ermanno WOLF-FERRARI (1876-1948) Idillio Concertino for oboe, strings and two horns, Op.15 (1932) [18:51]Concertino for English horn, strings and two horns, Op.34 (1947) [24:33]Suite Concertino for bassoon, strings and two horns, Op.16 (1933) [19:24] Piet van Bockstal (oboe, English horn) Luc Loubry (bassoon) West Saxony Symphony Orchestra /Hans Rotman rec. 2003, TALENT RECORDS SACD DOM 2929 90 [63:30] [MC]

Talent Records label should be proud of this wonderfully performed and recorded release. Lovers of late-Romantic music who are looking for something different are well advised to investigate these rewarding scores. ... see Full Review

Credo - John Paul II Andrea Bocelli (tenor) Orchestra and Choir of Santa Cecilia National Academy/Myung-Whun Chung WARNER DVD 2564 63367-2 [63:00] [DC]

If you are looking for a tastefully compiled reminder of John Paul II’s long and influential career accompanied by appropriate and movingly performed sacred vocal music than you need look no further. ... see Full Review

Das Partiturbuch: Instrumental Music at the Courts of 17th Century Ensemble Echo du Danube/Christian Zincke rec. 2002. NAXOS 8.557679 [62:28] [BB]

Hear the sounds of German court music in the 1600s, stuff that led courtiers from a good meal to an evening of toe-tapping and dancing. Check out this well-done disc. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH L’invitation au voyageMélodies from La belle époque John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano) rec. All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, 2-4 August 2004. DDD HYPERION CDA67523 [78:14] [DC]

There isn’t a dull moment in this long recital. Good songs need not be masterpieces to be enjoyed, especially when performed this well ... see Full Review

Tuesday 22nd

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 [90:24] Fourteen Canons on the Ground from the Goldberg Variations, BWV 1087 [8:43] Richard Egarr (harpsichord) rec. Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente, March 2005 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 907425.26 [43:26 + 55:41][PB]

Outstanding sensitivity, superbly recorded, but lacking in energy and drive. ... see Full Review

P.D.Q. BACH (1807-1742)? Oedipus Tex & Other Choral Calamities Oedipus Tex: Dramatic Oratorio for Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra (S. 150) Classical Rap (S. 1-2-3) Knock, Knock, choral cantata (S.4/1) Birthday Ode to “Big Daddy” Bach (S. 100) Pamela South (soprano) Dana Krueger (mezzo) Frank Kelley (tenor) The Greater Hoople Area Off-Season Philharmonic and the Okay Chorale/Newton Wayland Professor Peter Schickele rec. 22, 24-25 April 1990, no recording location given. TELARC CD-80239 [64:29][DC]

All lovers of good parody can find much to enjoy here. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68 (1855/76) [39:32] Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73 (1877)^* [34:39] Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90 (1883)^ [29:18] Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98 (1884/5) [36:41] Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80 (1880)* [9:22] London Symphony Orchestra/^London Philharmonic Orchestra/Felix Weingartner rec. Abbey Road Studio London/*Kingsway Hall, London, 16, 18 February 1939 (Op. 68); 26 February 1940 (Op. 73); 6 October 1938 (Op. 90); 14 February 1938 (Op. 98); 29 February 1940 (Op. 80). ADD LIVING ERA CLASSICS AJD 2009 [74:18 + 75:52][JQ]

This is an intriguing set that adds significantly to our knowledge and appreciation of the interpretative history of these four symphonic masterpieces ... see Full Review

George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759) Solomon (1748) Ewa Wolak (mezzo) – Solomon; Elizabeth Scholl (soprano) – Pharoah’s Daughter, Queen/Second Woman; Nicola Wemyss (soprano) – Nicaule, Queen of Sheba/First Woman; Knut Schoch (tenor) – Zadok/Attendant; Matthias Vieweg (bass) – Levite Junge Kantorei Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra/Joachim Carlos Martini rec. live, Kloster Eberbach, Rheingau, Germany, 30 May 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557574-5 [81:06 + 79:01][GPu]

One of Handel’s greatest oratorios, but in a performance which falls short of the very high standards set by some other recordings ... see Full Review

Amilcare PONCHIELLI (1834-1886) La Gioconda - Lyric drama in four acts (1876) La Gioconda, a street singer, Andrea Gruber (soprano); Enzo Grimaldi, exiled Genoese prince in love with Laura, Marco Berti (ten); Barnaba, sadistic spy who lusts after Gioconda, Alberto Mastromarino (bar); Laura Adorno, wife of Alvise and loved by Enzo, Eildiko Komlosi (mezzo); Alvise, one of the Heads of the State Inquisition, Carlo Colombara (bass); La Cieca, blind mother of Gioconda, Elisabetta Fiorillo (alto) Orchestra, Chorus and Corps de Ballet of the Arena Di Verona/Danato Renzetti rec. live, Arena di Verona, Italy, June 2005 Director, set and costumes by Pier Luigi Pizzi Video Director Tiziano Mancini Recorded in High Definition. dts digital surround sound, Linear PCM 2.0. Vision 16:9 Colour. NTSC Menu language: English. Subtitles in Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese. Notes and synopsis in Italian, English, German, French DYNAMIC DVD 33500 [2 DVDs: 162:00][RJF]

Pier Luigi Pizzi’s simple yet evocative sets, and some brilliant lighting effects, make excellent use of the large Verona stage. Although there are some limitations in the singing, the conductor ensures Ponchielli’s opera gets a good outing. ... see Full Review

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Bianca e Falliero. Operatic melodrama in two acts (1819) Bianca, the daughter of Contareno, María Bayo (sop); Falliero, a Venetian general, Daniela Barcellona (mezzo); Contareno, Bianca’s father and a Venetian senator, Francesco Meli (ten); Capellio, a Venetian senator in love with Bianca, Carlo Lepore (bass); Costanza, Bianca’s nurse, Omellia Bonomellia (sop); Priuli, Doge of Venice, Danio Benini (bass); Pisani, a member of The Council of Three, Stefan Cifolelli (ten); Chorus Da Camera di Praga Orchestra Sinfonica de Galicia/Renato Palumbo rec. live, Teatro Rossini, Pesaro Festival, Italy, August 2005 Performed in the Critical Edition of the Rossini Foundation in collaboration with Casa Ricordi and Gabriele Dotto Director, Jean-Louis Martinoty. Sets by Hans Schavernoch. Costumes by Daniel Ogier. Video Director Tiziano Mancini Recorded in High Definition. Presented in dts digital surround sound, PCM 2.0. Vision 16:9 Colour. NTSC Menu language English. Subtitles in Italian (original language), English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese. Notes and synopsis in Italian, English, German, and French DYNAMIC DVD 33501 [2 DVDs: 183:00][RJF]

Some of the finest Rossini singing to be heard today, particularly from Daniela Barcellona as Falliero. One or two production quirks apart, it is an excellent portrayal of one of the composer’s rarely performed works. ... see Full Review

Marietta VEULENS Piano Cubano - De Algunas zonas del alma, Pieza No.I (De algunas zonas del alma) Música de los niños invisibles Parte I Música de los niños invisibles Parte II Pieza No.II (De algunas zonas del alma) Campanas consonantes La música de la No guerra Desde la ventana (devastación) Parte I Desde la ventana (devastación) Parte II Tambores de invierno Marietta Veulens (piano) rec. no date given. Huntwood Farm Studios, London. UK. DDD LORELT LNT 123 [58:06][GH]

An interesting attempt at serious cross-over held between the music of Cuba filtered through the eyes and ears of a willing exile in London. ... see Full Review

Conciertango Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992) Double Concert (Hommage à Liége) (1985) [18:08] Oscar Emilio (Cacho) TIRAO (*1941) Conciertango Buenos Aires (1985) [22:57] Oliviero LACAGNINA (*1951) Concerto Serenata (Omaggio a Astor Piazzolla) (1994) [27:33] Edoardo Catemario (guitar)  Michael Zisman (bandoneon) Orchestra Vincenzo Galilei/Nicola Paszkowski rec. October 2005, Auditorium Latani, Fiesole, Italy ARTS 47728-8 SACD HYBRID [68:50][DC] 

An interesting release containing much good music: there is much to enjoy here, but it could all have been just that little bit better. see Full Review

First Impression: The Band Of Oboes Rob ROGERS 1. The Key to Happiness [2:51] 2. Mr Cheesy Smiles [2:25] 3. El Gato Inglès [3:02] 4. Dalyan [6:37] 5. Desiderata [4:44] 6. Inside Out [4:14] Onomatopoeia - 7. Ba-ba-diddly doo-dah [0:52] 8. Doo…..doo-wah [2:12] 9. Ma-na, ma-na [1:30] 10. Lost Cause – a ballad [3:03] 11. Reel motivation [3:18] Tell me, man – A minor sonata - 12. Cool breeze from Sicly [1:55] 13. …..enthusiastically spirited [2:05] 14. Walking calmly [2:18] 15. Swingin’ vivaciously [1:36] 16. Reed all about it [3:36] The Band of Oboes: Rob Rogers (oboes, oboe d’amore, cor anglais); Steve Lock (bassoon, contra); Mark Robinson (guitar); Adrian Knight (piano); Brian Strong (bass); Will Rogers (drums and percussion) rec. Mill Farm Studio, May–November 2005. DDD ZEN ZZCD9823 [47:19][GPJ]

Rogers has brought together a superb band of highly talented players, and there’s the promise of more CDs in this vein.  This really is something different, unassuming, yet pulled off with aplomb. ... see Full Review

Flute Waves Georg Friedrich HÄNDEL (1685-1759) Entrance of the Queen of Sheba [3:00] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Le Tombeau de Couperin [11:18] Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Traviata: preludio [3:28] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Le nozze di Figaro: Overture [4:22] Felix MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Ein Sommernachtstraum: Scherzo [4:44] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Concerto BWV 1060 C minor [13:19] Siegfried MATTHUS (b. 1934) Des Meeres und der Flöten Wellen [6:08] Grigoras DINICU (1889-1949) Hora Staccato [2:29] Henry MANCINI (1924-1994) The Pink Panther Suite [10:34] Die 14 Berliner Flötisten (Thomas Beyer, Wolfgang Dasbach, Rudolf Döbler; Wolfgang Dünschede, Christina Fassbender, Jochen Hoffmann, Christiane Hupka, Hiko Iizuka, Frauke Leopold, Robert Lerch, Ulf-Dieter Schaaff, Beate-Gabriela Schmitt, Werner Tast, Birgit Roth (special guest))Andreas Blau (music director) rec. 20-22 June 2005, Christuskirche, Berlin-Oberschöneweide MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 908 1393-6 [60:18][DC]

This is a warmly recommended issue for everyone interested in flutes of all shapes and sizes. ... see Full Review 

Monday 21st

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, op.60 [33:17] (1. Adagio – Allegro vivace [11:26]; 2. Adagio [9:22]; 3. Allegro vivace [5:44]; 4. Allegro ma non troppo [6:45]) Symphony No. 7 in A major, op.92 [42:09] (5. Poco sostenuto – vivace [14:11]; 6. Allegretto [8:48]; 7. Presto [9:38]; 8. Allegro con brio [9:32]) Royal Flemish Philharmonic/Philippe Herreweghe rec. De Roma, Antwerp, no date given DOMUSIC TALENT DOM 2929100 [75:42][GPJ]

For anyone looking for this particular pairing of symphonies, I would have to recommend this issue very positively.  It will be fascinating to see this cycle unfold. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37 (1800) [33:51] Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58* (1805) [32:23] Leon Fleisher (piano) The Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell rec. Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio, 14 April 1961; *10 January 1959 DSD SONY CLASSICAL GREAT PERFORMANCES 82876 78767 2 [66:28][JQ]

On this occasion I think we should put aside comparisons and just be glad that these very fine performances by Fleisher and Szell are once again available. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) CD 1 Symphony No 1 in C Minor, Op. 68 (1876) [46:02] CD 2 Symphony No 2 in D, Op. 73 (1877) [44:29]; Tragic Overture, Op. 81 (1881) [13:02] CD 3 Symphony No 3 in F, Op. 90 (1876) [35:36]; Variations on a Theme by Haydn Op. 56a (1876) [17:16] CD 4 Symphony No 4 in E minor Op. 98 (1885) [41:37]; Academic Festival Overture Op. 80 (1880) [9:58] Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Marek Janowski rec. 1984-1986, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. DDD SANCTUARY CLASSICS CD RSB 405 [46:02 + 57:31 + 52:52 + 51:35][JWi]

May not be the best or the ideal introduction or only recording of these excellent works to have, but it is good and worthwhile. ... see Full Review

Edward ELGAR (1857-1943) Falstaff: Symphonic Study, Op. 68 (1913)* [34:11] Introduction and Allegro for string quartet and string orchestra, Op. 47 (1904-5) ^ [13:37] Serenade in E Minor, Op. 20 (1892)^ [11:05] Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D, Op. 39, No. 1 (1901) # [7:12] Imperial March, Op. 32 (1897) # [4:30] Pomp and Circumstance March No.4 in G, Op. 39, No. 4 (1907) # [5:24] *London Symphony Orchestra/Anthony Collins; ^Strings of the New Symphony Orchestra/Anthony Collins; # London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Sargent rec. Kingsway Hall, London *12-15 February 1954; ^31 March, 1 April 1952; # 2 March 1953. ADD BEULAH 4PD12 [76:05][JQ]

This is a valuable CD, which reminds us of Anthony Collins’ significant credentials as an Elgar conductor and its restoration to general circulation is to be welcomed ... see Full Review

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat, S124 (1849, rev. 1853, 1856) [19:06] Piano Concerto No. 2 in A, S125 (1839, numerous revs., pub. 1863) [21:48] Totentanz, Paraphrase on the Dies Irae, S126 (1849) [15:58] Hungarian Fantasia, S123 (1852) [15:14] Oleg Marshev (piano) Aalborg Symphony Orchestra/Matthias Aeschbacher rec. Aalborg, Denmark, 6-10 February 2006. DDD DANACORD DACOCD 651 [72:06][PSe]

Although a bit let down by the recording, Marshev’s alternative, musically more thoughtful, view of these virtuosic war-horses is truly fascinating. Definitely worth a listen! ... see Full Review

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1875-1935) La Sensitiva (1914-15) [31:16] La Pentola Magica (1920) [26:01] Aretusa (1910-11) [12:06] Damiana Pinti (mezzo) Orchestra Sinfonica del Teatro Massimo di Palermo/Marzio Conti rec. Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Italy, April 2003 CPO 777 071-2 [69:40][IL]

Brightly-coloured and involving performances of not-so-well-known Respighi works. Recommended to Respighi enthusiasts. ... see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Quintet in E flat major Op. 44 (1842) [31:05] Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 47 (1842) [28:25]   The Schubert Ensemble rec. 14-16 November 2005, Potton Hall, Suffolk ASV GOLD GLD 4021 [60:35][TB]

Schumann’s creative personality is well captured by the beautifully judged tempi and phrasing of the Schubert Ensemble. ... see Full Review

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walküre - music drama in three acts (1870) Astrid Varnay (soprano) … Brünnhilde Ramón Vinay (tenor) … Siegmund Gré Brouwenstijn (soprano) … Sieglinde Josef Greindl (bass) … Hunding Hans Hotter (bass-baritone) … Wotan Georgine von Milinkovic (mezzo) … Fricka, Maria Graf (mezzo) ... Rossweisse Hilde Scheppan (soprano) … Helmwige Gerda Lammers (soprano) … Ortlinde Hertha Wilfert (soprano) … Gerhilde Elisabeth Scheppan (soprano) … Waltraute Jean Watson (mezzo) … Siegrune Georgine von Milinkovic (mezzo) … Grimgerde Maria von Ilosvay (contralto) … Schwertleite Bayreuth Festival Orchestra/Joseph Keilberth rec. live, Festival House, Bayreuth, 18 November 1955 TESTAMENT SBT4 1391 [4 CDs: 63:41 + 60:50 + 25:48 + 67:25][DH]

This vivid Testament recording, for its principal singers and theatrical revelations, now becomes my favourite stereo Walküre. ... see Full Review

Da Vinci - Music From His Time Josquin DESPREZ (c.1440-1521) 1 Tu solus qui facis mirabilia (motet) [3:26]; 2 Intrada [1:17] Serafino DALL’AQUILANO (1466-1500) 3 Quanus è misero l’uom [1:31] Philippe VERDELOT (c1500-1552) 4 Italia mia (madrigal) [3:34] ANONYMOUS 5 Pavana [2:43] Costanzo FESTA (c.1490-1545) 6 Frottola: Quando ritrovo la mia pastorella [3:11]; 7 Madrigal: Madonna oymè [4:32] Filippo DE LURANO (c.1475-1520) 8 Instrumental Frottola [2:25] ANONYMOUS (or Josquin DESPREZ) 9 Frottola: El grillo* [1:39]; 10 Frottola: In te, Domine, speravi* [2:51] Josquin DESPREZ 11 Ave Mariat (muter) [6:49] ANONYMOUS (Gregorian Antiphon with Falsobordone Psalm) 12 Venite adoremus/Venire exultemus [3:57]  Josquin DESPREZ 13 Inviolata, integra et casta es Maria (motet) [4:32]; 14 Doleo super te (motet) [2:36]; 15 Miserere mei, Deus (Psalm 50) (motet) [12:24]; 16 Gloria from Missa La sol fa re mi [4:18] Alexander AGRICOLA (1446-1506) 17 Sanctus from Missa Re fa mi re fa [3:46]; 18 Virgo sub ethereis (cantus super librum) [2:17] Johannes OCKEGHEM (c.1410-1497) 19 36-Voice Canon: Deo Gratias [2:09] Huelgas Ensemble/Paul van Nevel (2-8, 17-19); The Waverly Consort/Michael Jaffee (9-11); Capella Antiqua München/Konrad Rühland (1, 13-16); Niederaltaicher Scholaren/Konrad Rühland (12) SONY CLASSICAL 82876 82813 2 [70:00][JL]

An enjoyable, cleverly assembled anthology of 15th century music culled from some old recordings by four ensembles ... see Full Review

The Musical Treasures of Leufste Bruk Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Violin Concerto in B flat Major, La Caccia RV 362 [7.27] Christoph SCHAFFRATH (1709-1763) Duetto IV for cello and harpsichord [12.56] Benedetto MARCELLO (1686-1739) Sonata VI for cello and harpsichord [8.36] Johann Christoph PEPUSCH (1667-1752) Concerto 1 for two Flutes, two oboes and continuo [9.05] William CORBETT (1675-1748) Sonata No. 4 for two Violins, and continuo [6.22] Conrad Friedrich HURLEBUSCH (c.1695-1765) Ouverture for solo harpsichord [11.55] Giuseppe TARTINI (1692-1770) Concerto in G minor for solo violin, strings and continuo [15.51] From a Collection of Boere Danssen for various instruments and harpsichord Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble rec. Leufste Church, Leufste Bruk, Sweden, September 2005 BIS-CD-1526 [79.29][GH]

A well selected, unique collection of pieces demonstrating an eclectic and aristocratic taste of the early 18th Century. Superbly performed. ... see Full Review







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Detailed listing (last two days)]
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