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The Complete Martini & Rossi Concerts 1952-1956 see review for details Ebe Stignani (mezzo), Giuseppe Di Stefano (tenor), Margherita Carosio (soprano), Giulietta Simionato (mezzo) rec. 1950-56 GREAT OPERA PERFORMANCES GOP 66.361 [69.53 + 62.37] [RM-O]

There are many examples of Di Stefano's artistry to enthuse over in this album ... see Full Review

Measure For Measure: The Music of Shakespeare’s Plays Thomas MORLEY (1557-1602) O Mistress Mine [1.36]; La Volta; [0.52] It was a lover and his lass [3.45]; William CORKINE (fl.1610-29) Walsingham; How should I your true love know [3.40]; Come live with me [3.20]; John DOWLAND (1563-1626) Fortune my foe [4.26]; If music and sweet poetry agree [4.20] Richard SUMARTE (c.1590-c.1630) Whoope do me no harm [1.09] Richard FARNABY (1594-1623) Jog On [2.19] Robert JOHNSON (1580-1634) Hark, Hark the lark [4.00]; Satyrs Dance [2.10]; Two Maids wooing a man [1.13]; Full Fathom Five [1.35]; Where the bee sucks [1.34]; The First Witches Dance [1.25]; The Second Witches Dance [1.06]; Come Away, Hecate [3.01] ANON Bonny Sweete Robin[ 3.01]; Go from my window [4.00]; Take o take those lips away [2.04]; The Tempest [1.21] Greensleeves [3.29] Callino Casturame [2.36]; Lawne as white as driven snow [1.09] Pamela Dellal (mezzo) Ensemble Chaconne rec. St. John’s Church, Beverly Farms, Massachusetts; 24, 28 May 2004. DDD AMERICAN MASTERWORKS AMCD1594 [66.21][GH]

Not a strong recommendation but the disc throws a fascinating light on some aspects of the music Shakespeare expected to have been heard in the first productions of his plays. ... see Full Review 

Medieval Carols English 15th Century Anonymous Ave Maria [2:53]; What tidings bringest thou? [4:08]; Deo gracias Anglia [3:58]; Be merry be merry [2:34]; There is no rose [4:35]; Eya mater Stephane [2:38]; Hail Mary full of grace [3:44]; Now may we singen [4:23] English Traditional Gaudete Christus est natus [1:43] Hildegard of Bingen O viridissima virga [4:46] Anonymous Alma redemptoris mater [6:26] Spanish Traditional Riu riu chiu [2:23] Anon, French (c.1090) Planctus Guillelmus [6:48] Peter Abelard Nowell sing we [3:21]; Planctus David [15:31] Oxford Camerata (Rebecca Outram; Deborah Mackay; Philip Cave; Jeremy Summerly)/Jeremy Summerly rec. Chapel of Hertford College Oxford, 15-17 December 1992. DDD NAXOS 8.550751 [69:51] [RB]

You can almost see the breathy cold condensation rising from each singer’s mouth. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH The Mystery of Christmas Arr. R. ANDERSON The Huron Carol [2:40] Robert EVANS Ring-a the News* [3:09] Trad. Arr. Noel EDISON O Come All Ye Faithful* [4:04] Harold DARKE In the Bleak Midwinter* [5:37] Healey WILLAN The Three Kings [2:59] Trad. Dutch King Jesus hath a Garden [2:29] Franz GRUBER Silent Night [3:10] Trad. English arr. David WILLCOCKS Tomorrow Shall be my Dancing Day [2:07] Arthur HONEGGER Laudate Dominum* [2:22] Francis POULENC Quatre Motets pour le temps de Noël [11:45] Trad. French arr. David WILLCOCKS Ding-Dong Merrily on High* [2:09] Elizabeth POSTON Jesus Christ the Apple Tree [3:46] John RUTTER What Sweeter Music* [5:00] Trad. German The Linden Tree Carol [1:43] Benjamin BRITTEN A Hymn to the Virgin [3:17] Trad. Polish arr. Sir Malcolm Sargent Star in the South [3:20] MENDELSSOHN arr. Noel EDISON Hark the Herald Angels Sing* [3:14] John TAVENER God is with Us – A Christmas Proclamation* [5:03] The Elora Festival Singers/*Michael Bloss (organ)/Noel Edison rec. The Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto. June 1997. DDD NAXOS 8.554179 [66:52][JQ]

This will make an excellent Christmas present for a musical friend. Better still, buy two copies and treat yourself too.  ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Viktoria Mullova - Recital - Katia Labèque Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Suite Italienne (transcribed in 1933 for violin and piano by Stravinsky and Samuel Dushkin from ballet Pulcinella, 1919-20) [15:06] Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Fantasy for violin and piano in C major, D934 (1827) [24:26] Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Sonata for violin and piano (1923-27) [16:51] Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896) Romance No. 1 in D flat major (Andante molto) from the Three Romances for violin and piano, Op. 22 (1853) [2:29]   Viktoria Mullova (violin) Katia Labèque (piano) rec. 10-13 April, 2005, IRCAM, Paris, France. DDD ONYX 4015 [59:25][MC]

This is an excellently performed and recorded recital worthy of considerable attention. ... see Full Review

The Night before Christmas Leopold MOZART (1719-87) Divertimento in F major, "Die musikalische Schlittenfahrt" (The Musical Sleigh-ride) [3:11] Samuel COLERIDGE-TAYLOR (1875-1912) arr. Sydney Baynes (1879-1938) The Forest of Wild Thyme, Op. 74: Christmas Overture [5:53] Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) La vierge: The Last Sleep of the Virgin (1880) [4:49] Philip LANE (b.1950) Overture on French Carols (2003) [5:05] The Night before Christmas* (2005) [6:10] Otto NICOLAI (1818-49) Weihnachts-Ouverture uber Vom Himmel hoch** [11:26] John CARMICHAEL (b.1930) orchestrated by Philip Lane Sleighride to Thredbo Frans LISZT (1811-86) arr. Anthony Collins Weihnachtsbaum, S613/R307 (1874-76, excerpts) [10:35] Doreen CARWITHEN (1922-2003) On the 12th Day** (1955) [20:24] Stephen Fry (narrator)* BBC Singers** BBC Concert Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth rec. The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford, 11-12 September 2006 NAXOS 8.570331 [69:30][DC]

Plaudits to Naxos for combining commercial attractiveness with a net cast wide, catching all kinds of unusual repertoire for our seasonal entertainment. ... see Full Review

Noël Gustav NORDQVIST (1886-1949) Jul, jul strålande jul [2:00] Ivar WIDÉEN Gläns över sjö och strand [1:42] TRADITIONAL Pris vare gud [1:52] Agathe Ursala BACKER GRONDAHL (1847-1907) Melodi [2:35] Anne Sofie von Otter, Bengt Forsberg Sergei Mikhaylovich LYAPUNOV (1859-1924) Chanteurs de Noels [2:05] Bengt Forsberg Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Nu sa kommer julen, Op.1, No.2 [2:00] Giv mig ej glans, Op.1, No.4 [3:02] Anne Sofie von Otter, Bengt Forsberg Five Pieces, Op.75 for piano: The Spruce [2:23] Bengt Forsberg Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Julens Vuggesang [2:16] Anne Sofie von Otter, Bengt Forsberg Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961) Blithe Bells [4:00] Bengt Forsberg Roger QUILTER (1877-1953) The Cradle in Bethlehem [2:24] Michael HEAD (1900-1976) The Three Mummers [3:09] Anne Sofie von Otter, Bengt Forsberg Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961) Sussex Mummers Christmas Carol [2:06] Bengt Forsberg TRADITIONAL So Blest a Sight [2:54] Cécile CHAMINADE (1857-1944) Le Noel des oiseaux [2:37] Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893) Noel [2:56] Anne Sofie von Otter, Bengt Forsberg Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Luonnoksia, Op. 114; Talvikuva [1:44] Bengt Forsberg Max REGER (1873-1916) Marias vaggsång (org.Mariae Wiegenlied) [2:21] Peter CORNELIUS (1824-1874) 6 Weihnachtslieder Opus 8 1. Christbaum [1:31] 2. Die Hirten [2:20] 3. Die Könige Anne Sofie von Otter, Bengt Forsberg Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, Cantata BWV 147 Jesu bleibet meine Freude (Arranged by Bengt Forsberg) Bengt Forsberg Joaquin NIN Y CASTELLANOS (1879-1949) Villancicos españolas: Villancico Vasco [1:46]; Villancico Castellano [1:20]; Villancico de Córdoba [2:04]; Villancico Andaluz [1:50] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier, BWV 469 [1:39] Anne Sofie von Otter, Bengt Forsberg Nun Komm Der Heiden Heiland Bwv 659 [4:22] Bengt Forsberg Anne-Sofie von Otter (mezzo) Bengt Forsberg (piano) rec. Munich, Residenz, Herkulessal, August 2005 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 572-5 [66:50] [RB]

Von Otter and Forsberg ring the seasonal changes in this silvery celebration of a recital. ... see Full Review

Great Norwegian Performers: 1945-2000 - Volume 1 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ständchen Op.17/2 (1885-87) [2:21] Zueignung Op.10/1 (1885) [1:34] Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Dich, teure Halle – Tannhäuser (1845) [3:04] Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Stride la vampa! – Il Trovatore (1853) [2:46] Condotta ell'era in ceppi – Il Trovatore (1853) [4:54] Sigurd LIE Norwegian Dance No. 2 [2:57] Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Serenade (1932) – arranged Joseph Szigeti [2:39] Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) Spanish Dance No. 1 from La vide breve (1914) arranged Fritz. Kreisler [3:17] Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962) La Gitana [3:16] Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925) Guitarre Op.45/2 arranged Pablo de Sarasate [3:05] TRADITIONAL Turkey in the Straw [1:51] Ludvig Mathias LINDEMAN (1812-1887) Variations on the Choral: “Hvo ene lader Herren raade” [9:34] Johan KVANDAL (1919-1999) Concerto for Flute and Strings Op.22 (1963) [13:36] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D Minor BWV903 (1709) [11:22] Sicilienne from the Sonata for flute and harpsichord in E flat major BWV1031 (c.1731) [2:24] Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925) Etude Caprice arranged Marcel Moyse [1:26] Performers: Marit Isene (mezzo)/Ernst Glaser (violin), Kari Aarvoll, Johan Øian, Robert Riefling (piano), Arild Sandvold (organ), Ørnulf Gulbransen (flute) Orchestras: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra Conductors: Herbert Blomstedt, Arvid Fladmoe, Sverre Bruland rec. live in concert and studio broadcasts, 1946-73 SIMAX CLASSICS PSC 1830 [70:16]

These are musicians we should hear. And let’s hear more of them and the others to come in this valuable series. ... see Full Review

Opera Night for the German AIDS Foundation – Live Concert from the Opera Cologne 2005 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Einzug der Gaste (Tannhauser) Chorus of the Opera Cologne [7.57] Lied an den Abendstern (Tannhauser) Thomas Quasthoff (baritone) [8.15] Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Una furtiva lagrima (L'elisir d'amore) Saimir Pirgu (tenor) [4.54] Leonore viens (La Favorita) Carlos Alvarez (baritone) [7.30] Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Nacqui all'inffanno (La Cenerentola) Vivica Genaux (mezzo) [10.09] Bell raggio lusinghier (Semiramide) Isabel Bayrakdarian (soprano) [9.07] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Dove sono i bel momenti (Marriage of Figaro) Tamar Iveri (soprano) [7.31] Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Pace Pace mio Dio (Force of Destiny) Michele Crider (soprano) [7.50]; 10. Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Recondita armonia (Tosca) Neil Shicoff (tenor) [6.50] E lucevan le stelle (Tosca) Neil Shicoff [4.33] Chi il bel sogno di Doretta (La Rondine) Tamar Iveri [5.07] Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Marie Theres! Hab' mir's gelobt (Der Rosenkavalier) Edda Moser, Claudia Rohrbach, Regina Richter (sopranos) [6.04] George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Introduction [1:07], Summertime Michele Crider [5.50](Porgy and Bess) [1.07] Jeronimo GIMENEZ La tarantula e un bicho mu malo (La Tempranica) Vivica Genaux [5.54] Albert LORTZING (1801-1851) O sancta justitia (Zar und Zimmermann) Thomas Quasthoff [10.57] Ernesto de CURTIS Non ti scordar di me, Saimir Pirgu [4.06] Gene de PAUL Bless your beautiful hide (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) Carlos Alvarez [4.37] Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Tonight (West Side Story) Complete Cast and Chorus [3.59] Gurzenich Orchestra Cologne/Markus Stenz Konrad Beikircher, narrator and presenter rec. 2 July 2005, Cologne. Picture Format 16.9; Region Code: 0 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101105 [125:00] [RM-O]

A mixed bag recital in an admirable cause ... see Full Review

Parry’s Barrel Organ John Longman’s New Invented Patent Barrel Organ with bells, drum and triangle From Barrel No. 4 God Save the King, March in Blue Beard, Duke of York’s March, Minuet by Vandermere [5:10] Lady Montgomery’s Reel, Miss Murray’s Strathspey, Paddy O’Rafferty, The Chartreuse  [4:54] From Barrel No. 3 De’il Amongst the Taylors, Fife Hunt, Lord McDonald’s Reel, Mrs. Gordon of Troop) [3:52] La Conservatoire, Ramah Droog, Speed the Plough [2:55] From Barrel No. 5 Two unidentified titles [1:52] From Barrel No. 2 100th Psalm, Morning Hymn, Sicilian Mariners, Portuguese, Adeste Fideles [5:54] From Barrel No. 1 Stowr Lodge, Mdm. Hillingbury, Lord Howis Reel, Highlandman-Reel, Polly Put the Kettle On  [4:50] From Barrel No. 2 Evening Hymn, German Hymn, 36th Psalm, 104th Psalm [5:33] From Barrel No. 5 Three unidentified tunes [2:56] SAYDISC CD-SDL 234 [38:01][PG]

An interesting disc and the surest proof that everyone living in a modern age should be glad for the invention of the portable music player. ... see Full Review

Marina Piccinini - works for flute and piano Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Flute Sonata in D major Op.94 (1943) [23:51] Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Syrinx (1913) [3:17] Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde (1859) (arr. Liszt) [8:39] Cesar FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata in A major (1886) (arr. for flute M. Piccinini) [37:55] Marina Piccinini (flute) Andreas Haefliger (piano) rec. Reistadel-Neumarkt/Oberpfalz November 2004 and May 2005 AVIE AV2087 [64:08] [JW]

Recording captures sonority with clarity and warmth; playing first class. Very much a question of whether the programme has sufficient balance to appeal. ... see Full Review

20th Century Polish Music for Violin & Piano Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Violin sonata in D minor, op. 9 (1904) [19.17] Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Violin sonata no. 4 (1949) [16.55] Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Partita for violin and piano (1984) [13.55] Patrycja Piekutowska (violin) Beata Bilińska (piano) rec. May 2006, Studio S-1, Polish Radio, Warsaw. DDD DUX 0544 [50:49] [ED]

Overall, an interesting trio of works in recommendable performances, supported by lucid and informative documentation. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH The Tallis Scholars - Renaissance Giants CD 1 Thomas TALLIS (c.1505-1585) Spem in alium [9:58] John TAVERNER (c.1490-1545) Western Wind Mass [32.18] Josquin DES PRÉS (c.1440-1521) Missa Pange lingua [29:47] CD 2 Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (c.1525-1594) Missa Brevis [21:38] William BYRD (1543-1623) Mass for four voices [22:06] Tomás Luis da VICTORIA (1548-1611) Requiem [35:26] The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips (director) rec. Merton College Chapel, Oxford:1985 Tallis, 1986 des Prés, 1986 Palestrina, 1984 Byrd. Salle Church, Norfolk: 1993 Taverner. St.John, Hackney, London: 1987 Victoria GIMELL CDGIM207 [72:03 + 79:10] [DC]

Programming, performance and production are well-nigh faultless. ... see Full Review

Romantic Russia: The Rosette collection Mikhail Ivanovich GLINKA (1804-1857) Ruslan and Lyudmila: (1842) Overture [4.58] Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Khovanshchina: (1880) Prelude (arr. Rimsky Korsakov) [4.59] Sorochintsy Fair: (1867) Night on the Bare Mountain (arr. Rimsky-Korsakov) [11.08] Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) Prince Igor: Overture (arr. Glazunov) [10.46] Polovtsian Dances (arr. Rimsky-Korsakov) [13.42] London Symphony Chorus/John Alldis, London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Georg Solti rec. Kingsway Hall, London, UK, September 1966. ADD DECCA 476 5310 [45.33]

Great Polovtsian Dances, excellent everything else, at a bargain price. ... see Full Review

Sacred Bridges Salomone ROSSI (1570-c1630) Psalm 124 (1622) [02:27] Ali UFKÎ (Wojciech BOBOWSKI) (1610-1675)/Claude GOUDIMEL (1514/20-1572) Psalm 9 [06:17] Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK (1562-1621) Psalm 6 (1604) [04:01] Ali UFKÎ/Genevan Psalter Psalm 6 [13:22] trad Jewish Psalm 113 [01:44] Salomone ROSSI Psalm 118 (1622) [04:49] Sarband Instrumental improvisation on Psalm 2 [06:08] Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK Psalm 7 (1604) [04:36] Ali UFKÎ/Genevan Psalter Psalm 2 [09:02] Jan Pieterszoon SWEELINCK Psalm 2 (1604) [03:07] Ali UFKÎ/Claude GOUDIMEL Psalm 5 [12:06] Salomone ROSSI Psalm 128 (1622) [03:54] The King's Singers: David Hurley; Robin Tyson (alto); Paul Phoenix (tenor); Philip Lawson; Christopher Gabbitas (baritone); Stephen Connolly (bass) Sarband: Mustafa Doģan Dikmen (voice); Celaleddin Biçer (ney); Ahmed Kadri Rizeli (kemānçe ī-rūmī); Safinaz Rizeli (kanūn); Vladimir Ivanoff (bendir) rec. May 2005, St Andrews Church, Toddington, UK. DDD SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD065 [71:36] [JV]

An interesting look at the way three different religions have dealt with the Book of Psalms ... see Full Review

Scandinavian Serenade Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Holberg Suite, op.40 1. Praeludium [2:40] 2. Sarabande [4:30] 3. Gavotte [3:23] 4. Air [6:03] 5. Rigaudon [3:41] Elegiac Melodies, op.34 6. Hjerterar [3:26] 7. Våren [5:28] Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) 8. Valse Triste, op.44 [4:34] Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Little Suite, op.1 9. Praeludium [2:55] 10. Intermezzo [4:52] 11. Finale [6:04] Dag WIRÉN (1905-1983) Serenade, op.11 12. Praeludium [3:00] 13. Andante espressivo [3:38] 14. Scherzo [2:50] 15. Marcia [6:04] Jean SIBELIUS Rakastava, op.14 16. The Lover [3:58] 17. The path of the lover [2:04] 18. Good night, my beloved, farewell [4:45] Academy of St. Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner rec. Kingsway Hall, London, UK, May 1970 (Holberg Suite), May 1977 (tracks 6-18) DECCA ELOQUENCE 442 8196 [73:22][GPJ]

In its way, this is a very special recording, impossible to recommend too strongly.  Snap it up and enjoy! ... see Full Review

The Sheba Sound – Crossing Musical Boundaries: Two oboes, bassoon and harpsichord CD1 - Kaleidoscope - Rocked Baroque to Folk Music [58:28] BACH, arr. LANGFORD, Gigue; HEFTI, arr. LANGFORD, The Odd Couple; MÜLLER, Zwei Freunde - Polka de Concert; BULL, arr. LESTER, The King's Hunt; TRADITIONAL ARABIC SONG, arr. LANGFORD, On the Palm Tree; BOYCE, Allegro from Sonata no 10 in E minor; ASHLYN, The Bassoon Song; ANON, arr. LESTER, Can Shee Forgive?; Two BEATLES songs, arr. HYMAS, Here Comes the Sun, Obladi Oblada; PURCELL, arr. DODS, Chaconne & Sinfonie; RUNSWICK, Hawkeye; BYRD, arr. LESTER, The Earl of Salisbury's Pavane; Henry VIII arr. RICHARDSON, Greensleeves; LANGFORD, Folk Song Suite; COUPERIN, arr. LANGFORD, Les Baricades Mistérieuses; LANGFORD, The Carnival of Venice CD2 - Reflections - Baroque and Contemporary Works [56:47] Georg Friedrich HANDEL, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba; Giuseppe San MARTINI, Trio Sonata no 5 in G; David MATTHEWS, Toccatas and Pastorals Op 13; François COUPERIN, Suite L'espagnole; Elizabeth MACONCHY, Trittico; Michelangelo JERACE, Sinfonia no 2 in E minor; Jean-Michel DAMASE, Suite pour Quatre The Sheba Sound: Catherine Smith, Deirdre Lind; Sandra Mackay, Valerie Taylor (oboes); Deirdre Dundas-Grant, Nicholas Hunka, Robin Kennard (bassoon); Harold Lester, Alastair Ross, David Owen Norris, John Alley (harpsichord) rec. Pye REC 277 LP, All Saints Church, Petersham, 1977; Pye 1981; BBC, 1987; Sheba Sound recording 1980, St James Church Clerkenwell; Live Wigmore Hall, 1984; BBC recording, 1985. ADD OBOE CLASSICS CC 2014 [58:28 + 56:47] [RB]

A winner and not just for cross-over children of the seventies and eighties. ... see Full Review

Shostakovich and his Comrades – A Centenary Celebration Dmitri KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) Sonata No.3 in F major Op.46 (1945) [13:55] Nikolai MIASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Song and Rhapsody Op.58 (1942) [11:32] Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH  (1906-1975) Piano Sonata No.1 Op.12 (1926) [12:36] Piano Sonata No.2 in B minor Op.61 (1942) [27:05] Ronald STEVENSON (b.1928) Recitative and Air (DSCH) (1975) [5:35] Rodion SCHEDRIN (b.1932) Tschastuschki – concerto for piano solo Naughty Limericks (1963 revised for solo piano 1999) [9:00] Murray McLachlan (piano) Rec. at the Sixth Chetham’s International Summer School and Festival for Pianists, Whitely Hall, Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, August 2006   DUNELM RECORDS DRD0264 [79:44][JW]

Test the early Shostakovich sonata first to see if you’re prepared to allow the pianist this level of incineration ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Leopold Stokowski - Orchestral Transcriptions Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582 Overture (Suite) No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068: II. Air, Air on a G String Was mir behagt, BWV 208, "Hunt Cantata": Aria: Sheep may safely graze Fugue in G minor, BWV 578, Little Fugue Komm süsser Tod, BWV 478 Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4: Jesus Christus Gottes Sohn St. John Passion, BWV 245: Aria: Es ist vollbracht! Clavierubung III: Wir glauben all' an einem Gott, BWV 680 ‘Giant’ Fugue Orgelbuchlein: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599 ANONYMOUS Two Ancient Liturgical Melodies George Frederic HANDEL (1865-1759) Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: Pastoral Symphony, "Pifa" Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626: When I am laid in earth, "Dido's Lament" All arrangements by L. Stokowski Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/José Serebrier rec. Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK, 29-30 June 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557883 [67:51] [IL]

Sheer magnificence. Heartily recommended. ... see Full Review

Three Piano Concerti -Three Great Virtuosi Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat major G124 (1849) [16:17] Simon Barere (piano) New York Philharmonic Orchestra/David Broekman rec. Carnegie Hall, May 17, 1946 Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor Op. 22 (1868) [22:15] Reginald Paul (piano) Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra/Stanley Chapple rec. Stoll Theatre, London early 1930 Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941) Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 17 (1888)  [31:34] Jesús Mariá Sanroma (piano) Boston Promenade Orchestra/Arthur Fiedler rec. 1939 SYMPOSIUM 1353 [70:16] [JW]

Fascinating mix: one klaviertiger of ravenous divinity, the great Barere, one pianist whose star has waxed and waned, Sanroma – and one almost unknown, Reginald Paul. ... see Full Review

Barry Tuckwell - Horn Sonatas Ignaz MOSCHELES (1794-1870) Thème varié for horn and piano, Op. 138b ‘Feuillet d’album de Rossini’(Rossini’s Album Leaf) (c.1861) [8:14] Duo for horn and piano in F major, Op. 63 (Introduction and Rondo écossais) (c.1821) [8:36] Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Horn Sonata in E-flat major (1943) [10:32] Horn Sonata in F major (1939) [17:16] Joseph Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Horn Sonata in E flat major, Op. 178 (1894) [21:39] Barry Tuckwell (French horn) Daniel Blumenthal (piano) rec. April 1997, Miriam A. Friedberg Concert Hall, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. DDD ABC CLASSICS ABC 476 5254 [66:17][MC]

This release from ABC Classics of non-mainstream repertoire serves as richly enjoyable evidence of the performing talents of French horn player Barry Tuckwell. ... see Full Review

Twenty Great Pianists Claudio Arrau, Simon Barere, Robert Casadesus, Shura Cherkassky, Sviatoslav Richter, Alfred Cortot, Guiomar Novaes, Walter Gieseking, Emil Gilels, Moura Lympany, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Leopold Godowsky, Egon Petri, Myra Hess, Vladimir Horowitz, Wilhelm Kempff, Alicia de Larrocha, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Artur Rubinstein, Rudolf Serkin LIVING ERA CLASSICS AJC 8563 [77:15] [JW]

The disc makes no silly pretensions for the greatest this or the greatest that but those transfers! ... see Full Review

Twenty Great Violinists Adolf Busch, Mischa Elman, Zino Francescatti, Fritz Kreisle, Ida Haende, Jascha Heifetz, Bronislaw Huberman, Leonid Kogan, Georg Kulenkampff, Yehudi Menuhin, Nathan Milstein, Erica Morini, Ricardo Odnoposof, David Oistrakh, Ruggiero Ricci, Albert Spalding, Isaac Stern, Josef Szigeti, Efrem Zimbalist - see review for perfomance details LIVING ERA CLASSICS AJC8562 [75:30] [JW]

Personalised tones and aural characteristics compromised. Newcomers should regard with considerable caution. ... see Full Review

At Twilight Choral Music by Percy Grainger and Edvard Grieg Percy GRAINGER (1882-1961) Irish Tune from County Derry [3:41] Dollar and a half a day [3:32] Shenandoah [1:49] Stormy [1:27] The Gypsy's Wedding Day [1:53] Brigg Fair [2:54] Mo nighean dubh [4:53] O mistress mine [1:50] Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Four Psalms, Op. 74 How fair is Thy face [5:18] God's Son hath set me free [6:18] Jesus Christ our Lord is risen [7:18] In heav'n above [5:37] Ave, maris stella [3:36] Percy GRAINGER Soldier, soldier [3:27] Mary Thomson [2:31] Ye banks and braes [2:48] Dalvisa [0:59] Australian Up-Country Song [2:03] Near Woodstock Town [2:34] The Sussex Mummers' Carol [1:46] A Song of Varmeland [2:38] At twilight [4:19] David Wilson-Johnson (baritone); Paul Agnew (tenor)/Polyphony/Stephen Layton rec. Church of St. John-at-Hackney, London, 10-11 October 1994. DDD HYPERION HELIOS CDH55236 [75:13][JQ]

I thoroughly enjoyed this disc and I hope that many other collectors will derive equal pleasure from it. ... see Full Review

Vocal Rarities Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser - Dir töne Lob! [1:58] Tannhäuser - Dir, Göttin der Liebe! [0:59] Siegfried Schmiede mein Hammer [2:38] Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello - Ora e per sempre addio [1:40] Ivan Vasilievich Ershov [St. Petersburg ?1903] Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni - Finch'han dal vino [with encore] [3:20] Giacomo ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il Barbiere di Siviglia - Largo al factotum [4:11] Guillaume Tell -  Sois imobile [3:30] Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) L'Elisir d'Amore - Vien Leonora [3:26] Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser - O du mein holder Abendstern [3:55] Francisco d'Andrade  recorded ?Berlin c.1907 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Zauberflöte - Ach, ich fühl's [3:48]  Ernani (Verdi) Ernani, rette mich [4:21] Il Trovatore (Verdi) In deines Kerkers tiefer Nacht [4:30] Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aïda - O Vaterland [4:27] Luise Perard-Petzl, recorded Berlin 1-XII-13 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tannhäuser - Dir töne Lob! [2:14] Stets soll nur dir [1:57] Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aïda - Holde Aïda [3:20] Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Cavalleria Rusticana – aria [1:39] Francis MacLennan, recorded Hamburg 1908 Jacques Fromental HALÉVY (1799-1862) La Juive - Er kehrt zurück [3:06] Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Cavalleria Rusticana - Als euer Sohn [3:18] Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Der Freischütz - Und ob die Wolke [3:53] Mignon (Thomas) Kennst du das Land [2:56] Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) Zigeunerbaron - So elend und so treu [3:10] Roxy King recorded Berlin 1905 TRADITIONAL Unaccompanied Folk Songs Ekh, you, Van'ka [3:19] Nochen'ka - Ah, you, night, dark night  [3:50] Luchinushka - A wooden splinter, my little one [3:44] Feodor Chaliapin, recorded Milan X-1907 SYMPOSIUM 1350 [79:38][JW]

Unfiltered transfers that allow one a privileged eyrie on some indisputably great singing. ... see Full Review

Wind Music Franz KROMMER (1759-1831) Octet-Partita in F, op.57 (1807-10) (1. Allegro vivace [5:13]; 2. Menuetto: Presto [4:25]; 3. Adagio [4:13]; 4. Alla polacca [4:36]) Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Mládí (Youth) – Septet for wind ensemble (1924) (5. Allegro [3:28]; 6. Andante sostenuto [5:13]; 7. Vivace [3:45]; 8. Allegro animato [4:37]) Mátyás SEIBER (1905-1960) Serenade for two clarinets, two bassoons, and two horns (1925) (9. Allegro moderato [4:29]; 10. Lento [3:46]; 11. Allegro vivace [5:37]) Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Octet-Partita n E flat for wind ensemble (1803) (12. Allegro con spirito [6:24]; 13. Andante [3:47]; 14. vivace assai [2:48]) Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Slavonic Dances, opp. 46; 72 (1878; 1886): 15. No.8 in G minor [4:01]; 16. No.9 in C major, op.72 no.1 [4:19]; 17. No. 15 in C major, op.72 no.7 [3:15] Wind Soloists of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe rec. 1989? COE RECORDS CD COE 812 [75:18][GPJ]

A truly outstanding disc - another happy addition to the list of recent reissues of the CoE’s recordings. ... see Full Review

Your Sweetest Notes - new music from Norwich Charles V. Stanford (1852-1924) Ye Choirs of new Jerusalem (1910) [5:01] William Byrd (1543-1623) Prevent us, O Lord [2:34] David Cooper Come my way [2:28]Patrick Hadley (1899-1975) My Beloved Spake (1936) [2:52] Michael Nicholas A Song of Hosea [3:09]Carl Rutti (b. 1949) St. Peter and St. Paul (1997) [5:44] Peter Aston (b. 1938) If Ye Love Me [3:24]; How Lovely is thy Dwelling Place [3:28]Herbert Howells (1892-1983) O pray for the peace of Jerusalem (1941) [5:18] Matthew Cann (b. 1972) I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes (2000) [3:14] Edward C. Bairstow (1874-1946) If the Lord Had Not Helped Me (1910) [6:05] Spencer Mitchell O Sacrum Convivium [3:44] Heathcote Statham (1889-1973) Ye that know the Lord is gracious [3:06] Edgar L. Bainton (1880-1956) And I saw a New Heaven [4:48] Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943) O Magnum Mysterium (1994) [5:31] Andrew Simpson (b. 1968) Dixit Dominus (2000) [5:12] The Choir of Norwich Cathedral/David Dunnett Julian Thomas (Organist) rec. Norwich Cathedral, 26-28 June 2006. DDD GRIFFIN RECORDS GCCD 4055 [65:47][WK]

A variable collection that is notable for its large number of new works ... see Full Review




Edvard Grieg in England by Lionel Carley [CF]

Dr Carley’s highly enjoyable book is a compelling read, not only providing a revealing insight into the private and public life of the composer, but also a detailed account of concerts of the day between 1888 and 1906 in England ... see Full Review

Wrong Sex, Wrong Instrument by Maggie Cotton [RB]

A weird old hag hitting things? I think not! Plenty to interest, provoke and reveal – precious it ain’t. A perfect Christmas-New Year read. ... see Full Review

Detailed listing (last five 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]
[Recommended recordings]

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