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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]

Gustav MAHLER (1869-1911) Symphony 5 Pittsburgh SO/Manfred Honeck live 2011 EXTON OVCL-00460 [73:38] [RMo]

Very fine but without anything especially striking to say. 

Gustav MAHLER (1860 – 1911) Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen; Kindertotenlieder Alma MAHLER (1879 – 1964) Fünf Lieder Julie Boulianne (mezzo) Ensemble Orford/Jean-François Rivest, Marc Bourdeau (piano) rec. 2011 ATMA ACD2 2665 [56:43] [GF]

This is a valuable disc.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 2; A Portrait of Mariss Jansons Ricarda Merbeth (soprano) Bernarda Fink (mezzo) Netherlands Radio Choir; Royal Concertgebouw O/Mariss Jansons rec. 2009 UNITEL CLASSICA 709708 [51:37 + 90:08] [JZ]

A revealing documentary matched with a dramatically charged interpretation of Mahler 2.

Tomás MARCO (b.1942) Tarots, Sonata de Fuego Marcello Fantoni (guitar) rec. 2010-2011 DYNAMIC CDS708 [79:24] [Byz]

An irresistible recital that should appeal to most tastes. 

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Cello concerto Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Cello concerto Othmar SCHOECK (1886-1957) Cello concerto Christian Poltéra (cello) Malmö SO/Tuomas Hannikainen rec. 2006-2007 BIS BIS-CD-1737 [72:39] [MC]

The Honegger is concise yet marvellously melodic in Poltéra’s firmly focused and expressive performance. 

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Five Madrigal Stanzas see 135 Years of Czech Composers

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Symphony 2, St Thomas Wake BBC Philharmonic/Peter Maxwell Davies rec. 1991/3 NAXOS 8.572349 [76:40] [WH]

Two important works from the Master of the Queen’s Music in authoritative, reissued performances.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Domenico MAZZOCCHI (1592-1665) La Catena d'Adone, Favola boschereccia Scherzi Musicali/Nicolas Achten rec. 2010 ALPHA 184 [57:56 + 74:13]  [JV]

If you like 17th-century operas, don't miss this one. A jewel. 

John McCABE (b.1939) Movements; Clarinet sonata; Fauvel’s Rondeaux; Clarinet Quintet Linda Merrick (clarinet) Peter Sheppard Skaerved (violin) Neil Heyde (cello) Aaron Shorr (piano) Kreutzer Qt rec. 2011 GUILD GMCD7369 [63:20] [JF]

I enjoyed every work on this CD.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (William Shakespeare (1564-1616)) Overture, Op.21 [11.44]; Incidental music, Op.61 [100.08] (with play adapted by Adrian Farmer) Eirian James and Judith Howarth (sopranos): Scottish Philharmonic Singers; Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Jaime Laredo rec. 1985 NIMBUS NI 5041/2 [54.42 + 57.10] [PCG]

This is very much a set which stands unchallenged in the catalogue

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto see TCHAIKOVSKY

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Clarinet Sonata in E flat (1824) [19:57] see BRAHMS

DOWNLOAD OF THE MONTH Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Turangalîla-Symphonie Steven Osborne (piano) Cynthia Millar (ondes martenot) Bergen PO/Juanjo Mena rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67816 [77:07] [DM]

C’est vraiment parfait; this new Turangalîla sweeps the board.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum (1964)* [32.31] Le tombeau resplendissant (1931) [18.13] Hymne (1932) [15.11] Orchestra National de Lyon/Jun Märkl rec. 2008* / 2010 NAXOS 8.572714 [65.55] [PCG]

Bloated and inflated in a way that does Messiaen no favours at all.

Adolf MIŠEK (1875-1955) Double Bass Sonatas and Miniatures 1 Szymon Marciniak (double bass) Joanna Lawrynowicz (piano) rec. 2011, ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0257 [57:22] [JW] Adolf MIŠEK (1875-1955) Double Bass Sonatas and Miniatures 2 Szymon Marciniak (double bass) Joanna Lawrynowicz (piano)
rec. 2011, ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0258 [53:42] [JW]

This is a most pleasant revival, engagingly played, and well recorded.

Michal MOC (b.1977) Stuntmen's Relay, eMotion, Chordalians & Chordaliens, Betelgeuse Michal Moc (accordion) AUKSO CO of Tychy/Marek Mos' rec. 2008-2011 DUX 0756 [56:03] [Byz]

The more adventurous listener should find in Moc a voice of some considerable originality.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Masses and madrigals Complesso Vocale Polifonia & I Solisti di Milano/Angelo Ephrikian rec. 1966-1967-1969 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802117 [3 CDs: 46:00 + 43:59 + 42:42] [BW]

Too dated in style and recording quality to be of much value.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) L'Incoronazione di Poppea Birgitte Christensen, Jacek Laszczkowski, Patricia Bardon, Norwegian National Opera O/Alessandro De Marchi rec. 2010 EUROARTS 2058928 [180:00] [KM]

A stark, empty performance, with some decent singers, but distracting sound and staging. 

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567 - 1643) Missa in illo tempore Giaches DE WERT (1535 - 1596) Ascendente Jesu Odhecaton/Paolo da Col rec. 2011 RICERCAR RIC322 [64.35] [RH]

Strong, well shaped performances, naturally placed and performed by an interesting ensemble. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Apollo et Hyacinthus Sophie Bevan (soprano) Lawrence Zazzo (counter-tenor) The Orchestra of Classical Opera/Ian Page rec. 2011 LINN CKD398 [76:38] [JS]

I cannot imagine a better start to Linn’s intended series of recordings of Mozart’s operas by Classical Opera. 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Missa Solemnis,Regina caeli, Vesperae solennes de Dominica Lynda Russell (soprano); Lina Markeby (mezzo); James Oxley (tenor); David Wilson-Johnson (baritone); St Paul’s Cathedral Choir; Simon Johnson (organ); St Paul’s Mozart O/Andrew Carwood rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA 67921 [69.19] [PCG]

These genial performances are perfectly in scale and will be welcome to many.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete sacred choral works Chamber Ch Europe/Nicol Matt rec. 2001-2 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94264 [11 CDs: 805:17 + CD-ROM] [TB]

Musical rewards galore. 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Last 8 Piano Concertos Berlin PO/Daniel Barenboim (conductor and piano) rec. 1986/89 EUROARTS 2066094 [255:00] [KM]

The video quality of this “historic” recording is excellent, and the performances delightful.

Meetings with the Professor - Volume 1: Mozart Professor Andrzej Jasiński lecturing on and performing Sonatas K330 & 457 rec. 2009 DUX 9870 [88.30] [DMcC]

For anyone studying Mozart’s piano works, watching this is a must. 

Wolfgang MOZART Piano Concerto No.9 in E flat, K271 Jeunehomme see SCHUMANN

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 1791) Rondos see VIOTTI

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony 35 see Toscanini

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Boris Godunov Nicolai Ghiaurov, Sena Jurinac, Vienna State Opera Ch, Vienna PO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1966 OPERA D’ORO OPD7084 [3 CDs: 154:42] [RMo]

I do not see a strong case for preferring this live Salzburg version over the later studio recording.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition see DEBUSSY

Johannes OCKEGHEM (c.1410-1497) Missa pro defunctis Bengt SØRENSEN (b.1958) Fragments of Requiem Ars Nova Copenhagen/Paul Hillier rec. 2005/11 DACAPO 6.220571 [61:32] [DC]

Shoots straight into the soul and lingers long in the mind.

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Un mari à la porte, Les fables de la Fontaine Gabrielle Philiponet (soprano) Stéphane Malbec-Garcia (tenor) Nicolai Krügel (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2008 LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC LPOFFCD00211 [71.13] [PCG]

Charming, cheeky and lively.

Norman O’NEILL (1875-1934) Chamber Works for Strings and Piano Michael Dussek (piano); The Bridge Quartet rec. 2012 EM RECORDS EMR CD005 [69:26] [MC]

Rare and appealing English chamber scores.

Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY Lady Radnor's Suite see BUTTERWORTH

Nick PEROS (b. 1963) Soliloquies Linda Shumas (piano) Virginia Markson (flute) Simon Fryer (cello) PHOENIX RECORDS PHX 01201 [31:00] [Byz]

Attractive enough in a low-key way.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Half Monk/Half Rascal Sept Chansons, Quatre petites prières de Saint François d’Assise, Laudes de Saint Antoine de Padoue, Chansons françaises Danish National Vocal Ensemble/Stephen Layton rec. 2008/9 OUR RECORDINGS 8.226906 [56:13] [WH]

A Danish choir and English conductor in an outstanding collection of unaccompanied Poulenc. 

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Flute Sonata see British Flute Concertos


Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Cello Sonata see SHOSTAKOVICH

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto 3 Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Piano Concerto 4 Nicholas Moog (piano) Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Nicholas Milton rec. 2011 ONYX CLASSICS 4089 [69:49] [BR]

Good but not essential Rachmaninov, though the main appeal is a barnstorming performance of the Rubinstein.

Maurice RAVEL La Valse see Darknesse Visible

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Violin Sonata see FRANCK

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) La valse see DEBUSSY

Nikolay RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade see BEETHOVEN

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Le Comte Ory Juan Diego Flórez, Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Metropolitan Opera 0 & Ch/Maurizio Benini rec. 2011 VIRGIN CLASSICS 0709599 [2 DVDs: 153:00] [ST]

Will give hours of pleasure.

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Piano Concerto 4 see RACHMANINOV

Poul RUDERS (b.1949) Symphony 4, Songs and Rhapsodies Flemming Dreisig (organ) Frode Andersen (accordion) Odense SO/Robert Minczuk, Athelas Sinf Copenhagen rec. 2011 BRIDGE RECORDS 9375 [60:48] [Byz]

Tumultuous, surprisingly approachable, highly memorable.

Alejandro RUTTY (b. 1967) The conscious sleepwalker Moravian PO/Petr Vronsky; 4mil Saxophone Qt; Mayan City Sinfonietta/Alejandro Rutty; Red Clay Saxophone Qt; Kiev PO/Robert Ian Winstin rec. 2005/11 NAVONA RECORDS NV 5870 [59:45] [PCG]

Playing absolutely flawless and a proper sense of fun.

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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