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June 2009

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TUESDAY June 30th

Sir Julius BENEDICT (1804-1885) Piano Concertos in C minor and E flat Walter MACFARREN (1826-1905)  Concertstück Howard Shelley (piano); Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Howard Shelley rec. 2008; The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 48 HYPERION CDA67720 [70:50][RB] 

The energy behind this series shows no sign of flagging ... see Full Review

Adagio: Let the World Be Still Various artists Universal Classics and Jazz 4763377 [75:33 + 75:27][GPu]  

A real mixed bag of an album … see Full Review

Plácido Domingo - Live Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen (1875) Plácido Domingo (tenor); Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper/Carlos Kleiber rec. 1978 TDK DV-CLOPCAR [154:00] Umberto GIORDANO (1867-1948) Fedora Plácido Domingo (tenor); Coro & Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala/Gianandrea Gavazzeni rec. 1993 TDK DVWW-OPFED [113:00] Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Il trovatore Plácido Domingo (tenor); Chor & Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1978 TDK DV-CLOPIT (2 DVD) [151:00] TDK DV-GOLDBOX2 (4 DVD)[GF]

No opera lover is likely to be seriously disappointed with this ... see Full Review

Serenissime Sonate - Music by Giovanni ARRIGONI (1597-1665), Tarquinio MERULA (1594-1665), Biagio MARINI (1597-1665), Francesco CAVALLI (1602-1676), Marco FERRO, Martino PESENTI (1600-1648) and Massimiliano NERI (1615-1666) Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca rec. 2002 DIVOX CDX-70505 [71:47][DJB] 

Eureka: irresistible performances of sublime music from unknown composers … see Full Review

Stokowski Alan HOVHANESS (1911-2000) Symphony 1 Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Symphony 1 Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Symphony 2 José SEREBRIER (b.1938) Symphony 1 NBC SO, Houston SO/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1942-57 GUILD GHCD2347 [72:51][RB]

In-depth musical enjoyment ... see Full Review

MONDAY June 29th

Peggy GLANVILLE-HICKS (1912-1990) Etruscan Concerto etc. Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Richard Mills, Antony Walker rec. 1993-2007 ABC CLASSICS 4763222 [52:57][RB]

A rewarding collection from this Australian RVW pupil ... see Full Review

Karl Amadeus HARTMANN (1905-1963) Concerto funebre etc. SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserslautern/Paul Goodwin rec. 2004-7 WERGO WER67142 [70:39][HC]

A must for all admirers of Hartmann’s music … see Full Review

Fanny MENDELSSOHN-HENSEL (1805-1847) Piano works Heather Schmidt (piano) rec. 2007 NAXOS DIGITAL 8.570825 [67:18][BR]

Marvellously poetic and remarkably self-confident music … see Full Review

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Genoveva Ruth Ziesak (soprano); Arnold Schoenberg Choir; Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 1996 TELDEC 2564691261 [69:46 + 58:28][MC] 

A neglected opera with a fine cast featuring the excellent soprano Ruth Ziesak ... see Full Review

Bernardo STORACE (c.1637–c.1707) Works for Harpsichord & Organ Jörg Halubek (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2006 CPO 777444-2 [72:41][JV] 

Decent and stylish but lacks passion ... see Full Review


FRIDAY June 26th

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique, Romeo et Juliette, Harold en Italie, Rêverie et caprice Yvonne Minton (mezzo); Francisco Araiza (tenor); Jules Bastin (bass) Paris O & Ch/Daniel Barenboim; Berlin PO/Lorin Maazel; Orpheus CO/Guillermo Figueroa rec. 1979-91 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON ELOQUENCE 4800714 [3 CDs: 71:45 + 76:00 + 50:18] [RMo]

Leaves much to be desired ... see Full Review 

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Sonatas Op.1 L’Estravagante rec. 2006/7 ARTS 47731-8 [60:30]  [GPu]

Exhilarating performances of some remarkable music … see Full Review 

Baldassare GALUPPI (1706-1785) Keyboard Sonatas Andrea Bacchetti (piano) rec. 2007 BMG-RCA RED SEAL 88697 367932 [68:50] [MS]

Neglected keyboard sonatas played with sensitivity and depth ... see Full Review 

Luigi GATTI (1740-1817) Schöpfungmesse Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Schöpfungmesse Dresdener Kreuzkor & Philharmonie/Roderich Kriele rec. live, 2008 CARUS 83.245 [69:64] [DC]

Interesting, but not really top of the pile ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) The Complete Overtures Haydn Sinfonietta Wien/Manfred Huss rec. 1994 BIS BISCD1818 [60:55 + 57:05] 

One of life’s little gifts ... see Full Review 

Francisco de PEÑALOSA (c.1470-1528) The Complete Motets Pro Cantione Antiqua/Bruno Turner rec. 1991 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55357 [67:53] [BW]

The Helios catalogue goes from strength to strength ... see Full Review 

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Papillons, Waldszenen Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Klavierstücke Dejan Lazić (piano) rec. 2007 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA27609 [67:32] [DC]

Very good - a debatable first choice however ... see Full Review 

John STAINER (1840-1901) The Crucifixion Michael George (bass); James Griffett (tenor) Peterborough Cathedral Choir/Stanley Vann rec. 1978(?) REGIS RRC1307 [61:00] [RB]

Vann makes the best possible case for this sentimental ikon ... see Full Review

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The 'Four Seasons' & other concertos (arr. solo piano) Jeffrey Biegel (piano) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570031 [60:32] [BR]

Absent any compelling writing, all we can do is yearn for the originals … see Full Review 

The Celtic Viol Jordi Savall (treble viols & fiddle); Andrew Lawrence-King (Irish Harp & Psalterium) rec. 2008 ALIA VOX AVSA9865 [75:53] [BW]

Enjoyable but mainly of interest to specialists ... see Full Review 


THURSDAY June 25th

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Lieder und Gesänge John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2008 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD145 [77:43] [JQ]

Committed, sensitive performances ... see Full Review 

Elliot CARTER (b. 1908) 100th Anniversary Release Includes Mosaic, Dialogues & DVD: Interview New Music Concerts Ensemble/Robert Aitkin rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.559614 [64.50] & 2.110257 [51.07]

Testimony to an astonishing musical personality ... see Full Review

Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) In principio, La Sindone, Cecilia, vergine romana, Mein Weg, Für Lennart in memoriam Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Ch; Estonian Ntl SO; Tallinn CO/Tōnu Kaljuste rec. 2007/8 ECM NEW SERIES 2050 (4766990) [71:02] [HC]

ECM’s tireless and indefatigable championing of Pärt ... see Full Review 

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Anacréon, Le Berger fidèle Thierry Félix, Veronique Gens, Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski rec. live, 1995 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 93930 [56.30]  [RH]

A strong and affordable place from which to start your Rameau quest ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) String Quartets Anton WEBERN (1883-1945) Five Movements, String Quartets Alban BERG (1885-1935) Lyric Suite, String Quartet Margaret Price (soprano) LaSalle Qt rec. March 1968-70 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9016 [4 CDs: 72:41 + 62:41 + 57:00 + 45:48]  [MC][RB]

Outstanding playing from the LaSalle … a most welcome return to the catalogue [MC] ... An inexpensive and stylish way of becoming au fait with the chamber music of the Second Viennese School [RB] ... see Full Review 

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 15, Hamlet Russian Ntl O/Mikhail Pletnev rec. 2008 PENTATONE CLASSICS PTC5186331 [64:42] [DC]

Unexpectedly beige ... see Full Review 

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) String Quartets 1890-1922: Adagio, String Quartet, Voces Intimae, Andante Festivo Tempera Qt rec. 2004/5 BIS CD-1466 [78:50] [RB]

Vivid music-making and not a sniff of academic completism ... see Full Review 

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Symphonies 1 & 4, Concert Overture, Study Ewa Marczyk (violin) Warsaw PO/Antoni Wit rec. 2007/8 NAXOS 8.570722 [67:18] [DM]

A splendid addition to an indispensable cycle ... see Full Review 

Ermanno WOLF-FERRARI (1876-1948) La vedova scaltra Anne-Lise Sollied (soprano); Milord Runebif - Maurizio Muraro (bass) Ch & O Teatro La Fenice, Venice/Karl Martin rec. live, 2007 NAXOS 8.660225-26 [75:25 + 66:17] [GPu]

An engaging performance of an entertaining comic opera … see Full Review

Dedications Pehr Henrik NORDGREN (1944-2008) Solemnity-Euphony Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) Musica appassionata Anders ELIASSON (b. 1947) Sinfonia per archi Ostrobothnian CO/Juha Kangas rec. 2007 ALBA ABCD245 [70:27] [HC]

Another feather in Alba’s cap ... see Full Review 



Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin and Viola sonatas Oscar Shumsky (violin and viola) Leonid Hambro (piano) rec. details not given (c1991) DDD reissued from the MusicMasters catalogue NIMBUS NI 2513/4 [64:47 + 39:07] [JW]

Not without faults but displays rapt wisdom and assurance ... see Full Review 

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Piano Music by John Ireland - Volume 2 Mark Bebbington (piano) rec. CBSO Centre, Birmingham 18-19 January 2008 SOMM SOMMCD 088 [72:28] [JF][RB]

I suggest that you add this to your collection. [JF] A fine series takes another step forward [RB] ... see Full Review 

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Complete Organ Works Hans-Ola Ericsson (organ) rec. 1988-1990, Luleå Cathedral, Sweden and *November 2008, the Katharinenkirche, Oppenhein, Germany. BIS-CD-1770-72 [7 CDs: 64:28 + 61:37 + 67:31 + 75:40 + 78:29 + 76:18 + 81:03] [DC]

Consistently rewarding, and a must for Messiaen fans. ... see Full Review 

Franz SCHMIDT (1874-1939) Symphony No.1 in E (1896/1899) [45:31] Orchestral excerpts from the opera Notre Dame, op.2 (1904): Introduction, Interlude and Carnival Music [15:21] Malmö Symphony Orchestra/Vassily Sinaisky rec. 22-23 (Notre Dame), 27-30 (Symphony) August 2007, Malmö Concert Hall NAXOS 8.570828 [61:02] [JW]

Youthful, testosterone filled, sap-rising ... see Full Review 

Marko TAJCEVIC (1900-1984) Complete Piano Music: Seven Balkan Dances (1926); Five Preludes (1935); Songs from Mur Island (1938); Sonatina (1923); Serbian Dances (1937); Variations on a Theme in C minor (1948); For Children (1938); Sonatina (c. 1947); Two Little Suites (1937); For the Young (1935); Six Miniatures (1920); Music Box (1930) Radmila Stojanovic-Kiriluk (piano) rec. January 2004, Omni Classic Recording Studio, Tempe, Arizona TOCCATA TOCC0041 [79:13] [RB]

Pastoral nationalist piano solos ripe for exploration ... see Full Review 

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Das Rheingold (1869) Staatskapelle Weimar/Carl St. Clair. Directed by Michael Shulz. rec. Deutsches Nationaltheater, Weimar, 2008. DVD ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 353 [166:00] [TD]

Intense concentration and new insight ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Choral Songs in Honour of Queen Victoria A.M. GOODHART (1866-1941) Lady on the silver throne (Edmund Gosse) [4:31] Arthur SOMERVELL (1863-1937) With still increasing benefits (Marquis of Lorne) [2:23] C.H. LLOYD (1849-1919) A thousand years, by sea and land (Henry Newbolt) [5:01] Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) To her beneath whose steadfast star (Frederic W.H. Myers) [5:16] C.V. STANFORD (1852-1924) Out in the windy West (Arthur C. Benson [5:07] Sir Frederick BRIDGE (1844-1924) For all the wonder of thy regal day (Earl of Crewe) [2:58] Sir John STAINER (1840-1901) Flora's Queen (J.F.R. Stainer) [5:34] Charles WOOD (1866-1926) A Century's Penultimate (Arthur C. James) [5:03] Sir A.C. MACKENZIE (1847-1935) With wisdom, goodness, grace (Alfred Austin) [3:42] Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Who can dwell with greatness! (Austin Dobson) [3:05] H. Walford DAVIES (1869-1941) Hark! The world is full of thy praise (Robert Bridges) [4:44] Sir George MARTIN (1844-1916) The seaboards are her mantle's hem (John Davidson) [3:35] Sir Walter PARRATT (1841-1924) The Triumph of Victoria (T.H. Warren) [2:20] Spiritus Chamber Choir/Aidan Oliver rec. 5-7 August 2002 Challow Park Recital Room, Wantage, Oxfordshire TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0012 [53:20] [JF]

A supremely confident high-water mark ... see Full Review 

Piano Works during and after Russian Futurism - Volume 1 Nikolaj OBUCHOV (1892-1954) Invocation (1916) [5:33] Deux Pièces (1915) [6:42] Conversion (1916) [5:00] Icône (1915) [3:35] Création de l'Or (1916) [4:50] Ivan WYSCHNEGRADSKY (1893-1979) Deux Préludes pour Piano (1916) [3:40] Sergey PROTOPOPOV (1893-1954) II Sonate op.5 (1924) [13:01] Ivan WYSCHNEGRADSKY Etude sur le Carré Magique Sonore op.40 (1957) [8:22] Nikolaj OBUCHOV Aimons-nous les uns les autres (1942) [1:51] La paix pour les réconciliés - vers la source avec le calice (1948) [2:49] Le Temple est mesuré, l'Esprit est incarné (1952) [2:59] Adorons Christ - Fragment du troisième et dernier Testament (1945) [8:09] Thomas Günther (piano)rec. 1-4 November 2008, Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Köln. CYBELE SACD 160.404 [66:39] [DC]

A remarkable document. ... see Full Review 

Svetlanov Anthology of Russian Symphony Music  Nikolay Andreevich RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Complete Orchestral Works. Complete track-list at end of review The State Academic Symphony Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. c. 1969-1993 SVET 57-009-1/6 [6 CDs: 67:03 + 63:19 + 70:03 + 76:16 + 58:51 + 72:37]   [NB]

A magnificent legacy ... see Full Review 

Svetlanov Anthology of Russian Symphony Music  Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Anatoly LIADOV (1855-1914)
Complete track-list at end of review USSR Symphony Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov
rec. 1963-1983 SVET 10-14-5 [5 CDs: 76:04 + 76:22 + 75:15 + 75:53 + 62:07]  [NB]

A magnificent legacy ... see Full Review 

... and for something a little different!

Julie Feeney 'pages': 1. Love Is A Tricky Thing; 2. Impossibly Beautiful; 3. Grace; 4. Valentine's Song; 5. One More Tune; 6. Myth; 7. Mr. Roving Eye Guy; 8. Stay; 9. Life's Nudge; 10. Monster; 11. Nothing to Declare; 12. Knock Knock Julie Feeney (vocals) Unnamed orchestra MITTENS label No Number [c.62:00] [RB]

Hear it - surprise yourself ... see Full Review 


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