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Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear

vital imagination

A harum-scarum springboard

Always expect the unexpected

Berg Wozzeck
This is a triumph!

Bruckner Symphony 3
Revelatory and awe-inspiring

For immediate purchase!

Sibelius 3, 6, 7 Vanska
Outstanding performances

burns with a steady, beckoning light

Vadim Gluzman - A quite extraordinarily good disc

This impressed me mightily

Shostakovich 5, 8 9
Great concentration

Let me tell you
Stratospheric Barbara Hannigan
Birmingham and BBC Proms

Berkeley - Authenticity

Highly Expressive

NØRGÅRD Stunning

Superbly played

One to treasure

One of the finest American
choral-orchestral works

from strength to strength

inspired choice




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Alphabetical Listing


Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[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]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]

Jean CARTAN (1906-1932) String Quartets 1 & 2, Introduction and Allegro, Sonatine Ensemble Stanislas rec. 2010/11 TIMPANI 1C1187 [60:53] [RB]

Alive with the conflict between succulent melody and tense dissonance. 

Gaspar CASSADÓ (1897-1966) Piano Trio see GERHARD

Evencio CASTELLANOS (1915-1984) Santa Cruz de Pacairigua (1954) [17.02] El Río de las Siete Estrellas (1946) [14.55] Suite Avileña (1947) [24.26] Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela/Jan Wagner rec. 2010. DDD NAXOS 8.572681 [56.23] [GH]

Buy this and have some fun.

Niccolò CASTIGLIONI (1932-1996) Terzina see BRITTEN

Ignacio CERVANTES (1847-1905) 38 danzas cubanas [66:04] Álvaro Cendoya (piano) rec. 2010, NAXOS 8.572456 [66:04] [BR]

Cuban folk dances, two minutes long, with a saucy air and light-hearted charm.

Bob CHILCOTT (b. 1955) Requiem, Salisbury Motets, Downing Service, Jesus, springing Laurie Ashworth (soprano) Andrew Staples (tenor) Nash Ens, Jonathan Vaughn (organ) Worcester Cathedral Ch/Matthew Owens
rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA 67650 [79.39] [PCG]

A superbly performed collection of what are all first recordings.

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto 2 see BEETHOVEN

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Complete Waltzes and Impromptus Vladimir Feltsman (piano) rec. 2-3 June, 2010, DDD NIMBUS NI 6184 [70:28] [RMo]

This goes straight to the top of my list of favourite Chopin CDs.

Francesco CILEA (1866-1950) Adriana Lecouvreur see Italian Operas

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1906-1975) Complete Orchestral Works for track listing see end of review Orchestre National de Lyon/Jun Märkl rec. 2007-2011 NAXOS 8.509002 [9 CDs: 9:08.49] [PCG]

Important for its completeness but it has other claims to our attention as well.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Ariettes oubliées see Paysages

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Late Swallows see Bliss

Edison DENISOV (1929-1996) Clarinet sonata see clarinet sonatas

Erno DOHNÁNYI(1877-1960) The Complete Solo Piano Music: Volume 1 Martin Roscoe (piano) rec. 2011. DDD HYPERION CDA67871 [80:30] [JF]

All enthusiasts of romantic piano music will to demand to have Roscoe’s interpretation of these works.

Jonathan DOVE (b. 1959) The Passing of the Year Convivium Singers/Neil Ferris; Christopher Chromar (piano) rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572733 [69:23] [PCG]

Rejoice! Jonathan Dove has rediscovered the part-song, and he has done it proud.

Bohemian Rhapsody Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) (arrangements by Nicholas Ingman) Members of the Czech Nonet; Helena Hnykovà (violin); František Kuda (piano) Camerata Nova Prague/Josef Suk rec. Prague, 1988 (?) MUSICAL CONCEPTS MC114 [76:20][JS]

Very pleasant but adds little to our understanding or enjoyment of these wonderful works.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Anton EBERL (1765-1807) Trio, Potpourri en Trio, Grand Sextet Trio Van Hengel; Alida Schat (violin) Vappu Helasvuo (viola) Bart Aerbeydt (horn) rec. 2009/10 RAMEE RAM1103 [69:15] [Byz]

This really is excellent music: as deep as it is broad, brimming with vigour, poetry, harmony and brilliance.

Johannes ECCARD (1553-1611) Fröhlich will ich singen: Sacred and Secular Songs Staats-und Domchor Berlin/Lautten Compagney Berlin/Kai-Uwe Jirka rec. 2011 CARUS 83.449 [58:10] [JW]

Affirmatory and amusing, sacred and secular.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Variations on an Original Theme, “Enigma”, Cello Concerto André Navarra (cello) Hallé O/Sir John Barbirolli rec. 1956-57 IDIS 6624 [59:08] [WH]

Superb, vintage Barbirolli performances, but with some production problems.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Light out of darkness, O salutaris hostia 1-3 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me see Rise Heart

Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987) Piano and String Quartet Vicki Ray (piano) Eclipse Quartet rec. 2011 BRIDGE 9369 [79.13] [PCG]

Find time to sit back and let infinity wash over you.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Chamber music for cello and piano François Salque (cello) Eric Le Sage (piano) Paul Meyer (clarinet) rec. 2011 ALPHA 600 [67:11]  [GA]

If the rest of this series of Fauré’s chamber music is of this standard, it will be a compulsory acquisition for all lovers of this composer. 

Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997) Piano Music Martin Jones with *Richard McMahon, +Adrian Farmer (pianos) rec. 2011 NIMBUS NI 5880 [3 CDs: 59:23 + 64:48 + 66:54] [PCG]

Françaix’s music gives enjoyment and pleasure and this collection does just that.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata see French Impressions

Johann Jacob FROBERGER (1616-1667) Libro Quatro of 1656 Webb Wiggins (harpsichord, organ) rec. 2002 FRIENDS OF MUSIC FOM 10-027.28 [67:50 + 55:22] [DC]

Sensitively programmed and lovingly produced - will not disappoint. 

Hans GÁL (1890-1987) Symphony 2 see SCHUBERT

Roberto GERHARD (1896-1970) Piano Trio 1 Xavier MONTSALVATGE (1912-2002) Piano Trio Gaspar CASSADÓ (1897-1966) Piano Trio Trio Arriaga rec. 2010 NAXOS SPANISH CLASSICS 8.572647 [53:38] [Byz]

Piano Trios of Gerhard, Montsalvatge and Cassadó, linked by their Catalan identity rather than their musical styles.

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Piano Concerto in F (1925) [33:53]; Rhapsody No.2 (1931) [15:54]; I Got Rhythm Variations (1934) [8:53] Orion Weiss (piano) Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.559705 [58:39] [JWh]

Controlled, sophisticated virtuoso playing captured in fine sound.

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Rhapsody in Blue; Piano Concerto; Three Preludes; Bidin’ my Time Dorothy Lewis-Griffith (piano) rec. 1989/92 ETCETERA KTC 1176 [60:15] An American in Paris; Novelette in Fourths; Porgy and Bess; Second Rhapsody Dorothy Lewis-Griffith (piano) ETCETERA KTC 1419 [70:43] [DC]

Supplementary versions, but certainly of interest.

Ola GJEILO (b. 1978) Northern Lights Phoenix Chorale/Charles Bruffy rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHSA 5100 [59:43] [JQ]

Choral pieces in excellent performances, though the music itself is more variable.

Benjamin GODARD (1849-1895) Piano Music Jouni Somero (piano) world premiere recordings rec. 2011 FC RECORDS FCRCD-9738 [73:35] [RB]

Attractive music which runs the range from salon trifles to romantic tempest.

Charles GOUNOD (1818 – 1893) Faust Jussi Björling, Elisabeth Söderström, Cesare Siepi, Robert Merrill, Metropolitan Opera/Jean Morel rec. 1959 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO064 [77:20 + 79:23] [GF]

A must for Jussi Björling’s many admirers.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas, o Los majos enamorados (1909-1911) [52:08] Garrick Ohlsson (piano) rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67846 [64:09] [DM]

Exemplary musicianship that’s long on technique but a little short on temperament.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Music for String Orchestra Malmö SO/Bjarte Engeset rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572403 [71:13] [SV]

This will delight and comes up with splendid depth.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) String Quartets Arne NORDHEIM (1931-2010) Rendezvous Oslo Camerata/Stephen Barratt-Due rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572441 [76.45] [PCG]

Admirably precise playing that sparkles with electricity and brings a delightful warmth.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sofia GUBAIDULINA (b. 1931) The Lyre of Orpheus, The Canticle of the Sun Gidon Kremer (violin) Marta Sudraba (cello) Kremerata Baltica Nicolas Altstaedt (cello) Andrei Pushkarev, Rihards Zalupe (percussion) Rostislav Krimer (celesta) Riga Chamber Ch/Mãris Sirmaisrec. 2006-2010 ECM NEW SERIES 2256 [69.07] [GH]

No praise can be too high.

Bo HANSSON (b. 1950) Endless Border Royal Holloway Ch/Rupert Gough; William Baldry (organ) rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67881 [67:41] [JQ]

Recent Swedish choral music in excellent performances.

Sir Hamilton HARTY (1879 – 1941) Piano Quintet, String Quartets 1 & 2 Goldner String Qt; Piers Lane (piano) rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67927 [59:10 + 23:45] [BW]

No lost treasures but attractive works idiomatically performed – should win friends for Harty.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Violin Concertos Champs-Elysées O/Giuliano Carmignola (violin) rec. 2011 ARCHIV PRODUKTION 477 8774 [59:29] [MC]

Attractive concertos and worthy of interest. 

Hans Werner HENZE (b. 1926) Being Beauteous see BRITTEN

Louis-Ferdinand HÉROLD (1791-1833) Piano concertos 1-4 Angéline Pondepeyre (piano) Egor Grechisnikov (violin) WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln/Conrad van Alphen rec. 2010 TALENT DOM 3811 20+21 [49:50 + 39:03] [RMay]

Cheerfully exuberant and light-hearted scores.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Choral Works The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge/Stephen Layton Simon Bland and Jeremy Cole (organ) 2011, DDD Original texts and English translations included HYPERION CDA67914 [64:09][JQ]

A most distinguished release of glorious music by Herbert Howells, superbly performed.

Howells Requiem see A Song of Farewell

Leos JANACEK (1854-1928) V mlhách (In the mists) see Precipitando

André JOLIVET (1905-1974) Trumpet concerto 2, Concertino see Great French Concertos

Josquin des PRÉS (c. 1440-1521) Anonymous chanson: L’homme armé [0:37] Missa L’homme armé super voces musicales [40:23] Missa L’homme armé sexti toni [33:06] The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips rec. 1989. DDD Latin texts, English, French, German, Italian translations included GIMELL CDGIM 019 [74:16] [JQ]

A disc of Josquin Masses to savour

Douglas KNEHANS (b. 1957) Fractured Traces Jiři Hošek (cello) Douglas Knehans (computer) Jeffrey Krieger (electric cello, synthesizer, electronics) Susan Narucki (soprano) Paul York (cello, voice) Christian Wojtowicz (cello) Arabella Teniswood-Harvey (piano) rec. 2011 ABLAZE RECORDS AR-00003 [54:44] [Byz]

Outlandish, eerie and extravagant; in smaller doses it is also entertaining.

Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962) String Quartet Efrem ZIMBALIST (1890-1985) String Quartet Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931) Harmonies du Soir Fine Arts Qt; PO of Europe/Otis Klöber rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572559 [71:36] [Byz]

What an intriguing programme!

Edwin H. LEMARE (1865-1934) Organ Works - Vol. 2 Lars Rosenlund Norremark (organ) rec. 2011 CDKLASSIK CDK120 [51:27] [WK]

Convincing performances of major works from the symphonic organ tradition. Can we ask for more Lemare recordings? 

Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1857-1919) Pagliacci see MASCAGNI

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Totentanz, Petrarch Sonnets Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto 1 Sergio Tiempo (piano) Svizzera Italiana O/Alexandre Rabinovich-Barakovsky rec. 2004-11 AVANTI CLASSIC 10382 [66:21] [TB]

One of the leading pianists of our time. 

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) The Sound of Weimar: The Authentic Sound of Liszt’s Orchestral Works Vol 2 Les Préludes, Orpheus, Ce qu’on entend sur la Montagne NEW CLASSICAL ADVENTURE NCA60246 [56:34] Vol 3 Hunnenschlacht, Hungaria, Mazeppa Orch Wien Akademie/Martin Haselböck rec. 2011 NEW CLASSICAL ADVENTURE NCA60250 [58:07] [BW]

Liszt as he would have sounded in Weimar in the 1850s is an attractive proposition but there are less expensive rival recordings.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Via crucis BBC Northern Singers/Francis Jackson; Gordon Thorne (organ) rec.1959 JADE 6997402 [37.36] [PCG]

This recording really does ‘sell’ the music.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1826) Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Alexander SKRIABIN (1872-1915) Piano Music Andrea Vigna-Taglianti (piano) rec. 2009. DDD SHEVA COLLECTION SH027 [70:58] [Byz]

Vigna-Taglianti’s audiences for now at least should not waste their money on this product.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Tristia see BRAHMS

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano sonata see Precipitando

Leighton LUCAS (1903-1982) Film Music see BENJAMIN

Witold LUTOSLAWSKI (1913 – 1994) Symphonic Variations; Piano Concerto; Variations on a theme of Paganini; Symphony 4 Louis Lortie (piano) BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHSA 5098 [67:25] [MC]

A fine introduction to Lutoslawski’s music.

Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[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]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]



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