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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]

Cristian CARRARA (b. 1977) Liber Mundi & other orchestral works Francesco d’Orazio (violin) Angela Nisi (soprano) Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini/Mathieu Mantanus rec. 2011 ARTS 47759-8 [54:25] [DM]

Dull and dispiriting. 

Aaron CASSIDY (b. 1976) The Crutch of Memory Elision Ens NEOS 11201 [56:40]  [PCG]

Only for listeners whose devotion to the Darmstadt school and their followers is unbounded. 

Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968) Piano Concerti 1 & 2, Four Dances from Love’s Labour’s Lost, Alessandro Marangoni (piano) Malmö SO/Andrew Mogrelia rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572823 [76:43] [GH]

If you fancy piano concerto by-ways then at Naxos prices you can’t go far wrong with this disc. 

René CLAUSEN (b. 1953) Life and Breath Kansas City Chorale/Charles Bruffy rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHSA5105 [62:25] [JQ]

Beautifully crafted, accessible music performed by a flawless choir.  

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Nocturnes Marisa Montiel (piano) rec. 2011 COLUMNA MUSICA 1CM0271 [51.48 + 59.23] [GH]

Montiel’s dolce e legato touch is absolutely perfect.

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Preludes, Mazurkas, Polonaise see The Lost Art of Jacob Lateiner

David DIAMOND (1915-2005) Elegy in memory of Maurice Ravel see BERNSTEIN

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La Mer; Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune; Images France Ntl O/Daniele Gatti rec. 2011 SONY CLASSICAL 88697 974002 [68:42] [DMC]

No matter how many versions you have of this repertoire, do add this to your shelves. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Orchestral Works Women of the RSNO Chorus (Nocturnes) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Stéphane Denčve rec. 2011/2012 CHANDOS CHSA 5102(2) [78:04 + 68:22] [ST]

An outstanding release and a praiseworthy contribution to Debussy anniversary year. Invest with confidence.

Claude DEBUSSY (1906-1975) Complete Orchestral Works Orchestre National de Lyon/Jun Märkl rec. 2007-2011 NAXOS 8.509002 [9 CDs: 9:08.49] [DM]

Despite early miscalculations, this box deserves to do well.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La mer Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) La valse Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition Suisse Romande O, Paris Conservatoire O/Ernest Ansermet rec. 1951/53 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 289 [67:41] [SV]

This dazzling 1953 Pictures testifies to what the Decca engineers could do even working in monaural.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Suite bergamasque see Darknesse Visible

Leo DELIBES (1836-1891) Lakmé Joan Sutherland, Henri Wilden, Huguette Tourangeau, Australian Opera Ch, Elizabethan SO/Richard Bonynge rec. 1976 OPERA AUSTRALIA OPOZ56012CD [77.35 + 71.34] [RH]

Probably for Sutherland completists and AO supporters only. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Orchestral music transcribed for two pianos - Vol. 1 Simon Callaghan and Hiroaki Takenouchi (pianos) rec. 2011. SOMM SOMMCD0112 [68:04] [IL]

A splendid recording. 

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Sonatas, Overtures and Waltzes for Piano Elisabetta Dessě, Franco Calabretto, Eddi de Nadai (piano) rec. 1993/96 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802107 [55:15 + 61:21] [Byz]

A double CD of great geniality that should appeal to music-lovers of all persuasions.

Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 9, Slavonic Dances Brussels PO/Michel Tabachnik rec. 2010/11 BRUSSELS PHILHARMONIC RECORDINGS BPR002 [73:53] [JWh]

An amiable New World that’s well worth a listen.

Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) piano pieces Orion Weiss (piano) rec. 2010 BRIDGE 9355 [77:46] [SA]

Orion Weiss - a name to keep an eye out for.

Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Symphonies, Symphonic Variations, Overtures & Symphonic Poems Czech PO/Vacláv Neumann rec. 1968-1980 SUPRAPHON SU 4090-2 [8 CDs: 511:46] [CH]

This set has broadened my knowledge and love of the composer

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto Nicolai MIASKOVSKY (1881-1950) Cello Concerto Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) Czech PO/Václav Talich, Philharmonia O/Malcolm Sargent rec. 1952/6 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 321 [67:38]
Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Konzertstück Raphael Wallfisch (cello) London SO/Charles Mackerras rec. 1988 CHANDOS CHAN10715X [64:17] [WH]

A very fine and thoroughly recommendable modern Dvořák Cello Concerto, and an indispensable historic reading. 

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Four Romantic Pieces, Sonatina see 135 Years of Czech Composers

Edward ELGAR Serenade for Strings in E minor, for piano duet

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Enigma Variations see Toscanini

Mohammed FAIROUZ (b.1985) Critical Models ad hoc wind Qt, Lydian String Qt rec. 2011 DORIAN SONO LUMINUS DSL-92146 [59:05]  [Byz]

Fairouz's polystylism with its 'old-fashioned' structure, tonality and melody means that he is likely to reach bigger and better audiences. 

Julian FONTANA (1810-1869) Complete Piano Works Volume 3 Philippe Devaux (piano) rec. 2011 Includes Appendix CD [5:00] with a performance of Nocturne Op.20 performed by Joanna Lawrynowicz (piano) ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0262 [43:22] [JW]

Seldom without interest, often replete with exciting melodies

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Violin Sonata Ossy Renardy (violin) Eugene List (piano) rec. 1953 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR484 [42:11] [JW]

A sophisticated approach to portamenti coupled with super-fast finger vibrato. 

Girolamo FRESCOBALDI (1583-1643) Stylus Fantasticus and the art of variation Luca Gugliemi (harpsichord and organ) rec.2008, ACCENT ACC 24226 [61:53] [DC]

A very good place to linger in long-lost Italy.

Robert FUCHS (1847-1927) Serenades 3-5 Cologne Chamber O/Christian Ludwig rec. 2009-10 NAXOS 8.572607 [68:45] [BR]

After the joy of Fuchs’ first two serenades, the fact that these three are so boring is a bit of a surprise.

Hans GÁL (1890-1987) Symphony 4 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphony 2 Orchestra of the Swan/Kenneth Woods rec. 2011, AVIE AV2231 [73:09] [CH]

If you like late Strauss, give the Gál a try.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Aleksandr GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Raymonda Olesia Novikova, Friedemann Vogel, Mick Zeni, Ballet & O Teatro alla Scala/Michail Jurowski rec. 2011 ARTHAUS 101630 [154:00] [I&GL]

A lavish production; a feast for the eye; with awesome dancing from the principals. 

Louis Moreau GOTTSCHALK (1829-1869) Piano music for two and four hands *Alan Marks, Nerine Barrett (piano) **Alan Marks (piano) rec. 1984 and 1991, NIMBUS NI 7045/6 [46:35 + 60:07] [DM]

Energetic and entertaining; a must for Gottschalk groupies.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) String Quartet 1, Two Elegiac Melodies, Holberg Suite Australian CO/Richard Tognetti rec. 2010 BIS BISSACD1877 [63:30] [DC]

A disc to covet.

Agostino GUERRIERI (c.1630-c.1662) Violin sonatas Parnassi musici rec. 2008 CPO 777 543-2 [59:58] [JV]

Anyone who likes to broaden his musical horizon should consider this disc. 

Ernesto HALFFTER (1905-1989) The Piano Music Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2006/7 NIMBUS NI5894 [79:23] [OL]

Martin Jones is a perfect advocate for this beautiful music.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1739) Alceste Lucy Crowe, Benjamin Hulett, Andrew Foster-Williams, Early Opera Company/Christian Curnyn rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN0788 [63.16] [RH]

If you haven't yet made the acquaintance of Handel's personable score, then this is the time to do so and this is the recording to go for. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Howard HANSON (1896-1981) Symphonies 6 & 7; Lumen in Christo Seattle Chorale, Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz rec. 1989-94 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559704 [60:19] [DM]

Works of distinction and delight, winningly played. 

Barbara HARBACH (b.1946) Music for strings London PO/David Angus rec. 2011 MSR CLASSICS MS1258 [67:39] [BR]

Immediately attractive new music doesn’t have to be simple; in other words, this is both very appealing and very good. 

Joseph HAYDN (1732 - 1809) Complete Keyboard Sonatas - Vol. 3 Geoffrey Lancaster (fortepiano) rec. 2010 TALL POPPIES TP216 [66:22] [MG]

At his best Lancaster fully absorbs you in his intensity.

Erdem HELVACIOGLU (b. 1975) Eleven Short Stories Erdem Helvacioglu (prepared piano) INNOVA 245 [47:47] [DC]

Superb sound - atmospheric but, alas, also rather full of wind. 

Alfred HILL (1869-1960) String Quartets 10 & 11, Quintet for Piano and Strings The Dominion Quartet, 8 Vocalists/Mark Dorrell (conductor) rec. 2009-2011 NAXOS 8.572844 [79:40] [WK]

Imaginative, energetic, moving and well-played.

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Cotswolds Symphony, A Winter Idyll, Walt Whitman Overture, Indra, Japanese Suite Ulster O/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572914 [65.55] [PCG]

Some really worthwhile and rewarding music. I wish this disc all possible success. 

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Five Pieces for violin and piano see VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Elegy, The Planets for piano duet

Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Cello concerto see MARTIN

Othmar SCHOECK (1886-1957) Cello concerto see MARTIN


Charles IVES
(1874-1954) The Unanswered Question see Music for a Time of War

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gabriel JACKSON (b.1962) Sacred Choral Works - Volume II: Beyond the Stars Choir St. Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh/Duncan Ferguson, Nicholas Wearne (organ) rec. 2011 DELPHIAN DCD34106 [68:38] [JQ]

A splendid disc that further enhances the reputation of Gabriel Jackson. 

Leos JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Taras Bulba, Lachian Dances, Moravian Dances Warsaw PO/Antoni Wit rec. 2010/11 NAXOS 8.572695 [54.38] [PCG]

You will definitely want this for the best performance currently available of the Moravian Dances.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Violin Sonata see 135 Years of Czech Composers

Charles KOECHLIN (1867-1950) Les heures persanes Ralph van Raat (piano) rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572473 [56:43] [DM]

Richly rewarding; an ideal gateway to Koechlin’s fascinating soundscapes.

Andrzej KOSZEWSKI (b.1922) Trio for violin, cello and piano (1950)* [28:49] Tadeusz SZELOGOWSKI (1899-1963) Trio for piano, violin and cello* [22:57] Andrzej PANUFNIK (1914-1991) Piano Trio [16:46] Poznan Piano Trio (Laura Sobolewska (piano), Anna Ziólkowska (violin), Dagny Czarnecka (cello)) rec. 2009 *World Premičre recordings ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0243 [68:35] [SA]

Highly successful and enjoyable piano trios, very well recorded and beautifully played.

Keith KRAMER (b.1970?) Emerge Joseph Satava, David LaVorgna, Jessica Hanel Satava, George Weremchuk, Allam Ngim, Hye-jung Hong, Keith Kramer, Helen Garner, Charles P. Richardson Various ensembles DDD NAVONA RECORDS NV5859 [76:12 + 64:15] [Byz]

Relatively approachable but unequivocally modernistic, making much use of extended or experimental techniques, atonality, serialism and microtonality.

Friedrich KUHLAU (1786-1832) William Shakespeare Overture see Music inspired by Shakespeare and Hamlet

Edouard LALO (1823-1892) Symphonie espagnole; Rapsodie norvégienne Devy Erlih (violin) London PO/Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht rec. 1956 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 132 [45:47] [JW]

Often exciting, frequently elastically phrased, but not always tonally seductive.

Giovanni LEGRENZI (1626-1690) Testamentum Lia Serafini (soprano) Roberta Giua (soprano) Oficina Musicum/Riccardo Favero rec. 2009-12 DYNAMIC CDS 710 [58:42] [MS]

Splendid music: well-conceived, well performed and well projected in almost every way.

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Der Graf von Luxembourg Eberhard Wächter, Lilian Sukis, Kurt Graunke SO, Munich/Walter Goldschmidt rec. 1972 ARTHAUS 101 626 [96:00] [IL]

An enchanted evening of romance and comedy. 

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Années de Pèlerinage Books I & II Craig Sheppard (piano) rec. 2011 ROMÉO RECORDS 7289/90 [46:43 + 47:22] [CH]

Either Sheppard is not attuned to Liszt or I am not attuned to his way of seeing Liszt. 

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hamlet see Music inspired by Shakespeare and Hamlet

The LOEILLET Family The Submission: Suites, Concertos & Sonatas Les Goűts-Authentiques/Jan Devlieger rec. 2010 ETCETERA KTC 1434 [66:33] [JW]

Splendid authority and sonority, full of colour and command, passion and precision.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Fernando LOPES-GRAÇA (1908-1993) Suite Rústica 1, December Poem, Festival March, Symphony Royal Scottish Ntl O/Álvaro Cassuto rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572892 [66:30] [HC] 

A superb selection of some of Lopes-Graça's finest works.

Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) Ouvertures: Phaëton, Atys, Armide Capriccio Barockorchester/Dominik Kiefer rec. 2011 TUDOR 7185 [63:06] [JV]

I have greatly enjoyed these performances which bring out the splendour and colourful nature of these suites.

Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Musique funèbre Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Rumanian Folk Dances, Divertimento, Seven Songs Hungarian Radio Children’s Ch, Stuttgart CO/Dennis Russell Davies rec. 2010 ECM NEW SERIES ECM 2169 [60:45] [DC]

Good place for a Lutosławski/Bartók fix - albeit a slightly disjointed one.

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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