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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]

Emmanuel CHABRIER (1841-1894) Orchestral Works rec. 1936-59 MAGDALEN RECORDINGS METCD8015 [76:58] [PB-W]

You will have great fun exploring this well chosen vintage selection.

Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643 - 1704) Leçons de Ténèbres Stephan MacLeod (baritone) Arte dei Suonatori/Alexis Kossenko rec. 2011 ALPHA 185 [65:40] [JV]

A disc to treasure.

Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Poème see Israel Philharmonic

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto 1, Scherzo 2 see Israel Philharmonic

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Ballade 3; Scherzo 3; Fantasy Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 23 & 32 Van Cliburn, Claudio Arrau (piano) rec. 1959/60 ICA CLASSICS ICAD 5073 [83:15] [JW]

Van Cliburn admirers can enjoy this for its near concurrence with the piano competition that made him a star. 

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Ballades 1-4, Scherzo 4, Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante Mordecai Shehori (piano) rec. 2011 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD160 [62:49] [JW]

Shehori has recorded a challenging set of the Ballades.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Mazurkas Russell Sherman (piano) rec. 2007 AVIE AV2262 [66:43 + 59:08] [BR]

Are these eccentric readings of the Chopin mazurkas interesting? Yes, they are. Are they good? I can’t be sure.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Cello Sonata, Violin Sonata, Première rhapsodie, Suite bergamasque André Lévy (cello) Marie-Claude Theuveny (violin) Jacques Lancelot (clarinet) Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute) Geneviève Joy, Franck Theuveny, Robert Veyron-Lacroix, Marie-Thérèse Fourneau (piano) rec. 1953-57 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 142 [56:47] [JW]

Much of this interesting collection has been forgotten in the intervening years, which makes its reinstatement here so valuable. 

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Sonata for flute, viola and harp Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Introduction and allegro Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Flute sonata, Trio Pierre Pasquier (viola) Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute) Francis Poulenc (piano) Pierre Jamet (harp) rec. 1952-59 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 733 [63:57] [JW]

Cleverly compiled and well transferred … some important recordings that will appeal strongly to collectors. 

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) La Mer, Nocturnes, Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune see Gary Bertini

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) A Mass of Life, Prelude and Idyll Janice Watson (soprano) Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo) Andrew Kennedy (tenor) Alan Opie (baritone) The Bach Choir/Bournemouth SO/David Hill rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572861-62 [47:31 + 70:48] [WK]

A stirring and excellently recorded version of Delius’ choral masterwork. Fine singing by the Bach Choir and a stand-out reading by David Hill.

Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Requiem, motets & complete organ works Bo Skovhus (baritone) Randi Stene (soprano) Kristian Krogsøe (organ) Henrik Brendstrup (cello) Aarhus Cathedral Ch, Vocal Group Concert Clemens/Carsten Seyer-Hansen rec. 2010-2012 DANACORD DACOCD 726 [62:17 + 58:21] [JW]

Duruflé presented in a thoughtful way, even though the Requiem will certainly divide opinion.

Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Violin Concerto Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Nocturne and Tarantelle Johanna Martzy (violin) Berlin RIAS SO/Ferenc Fricsay Jean Antonetti (piano) rec. 1951/53, FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 717 [53:45] [JW]

One of the most assured and accomplished violinists of her generation.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 8, The Golden Spinning Wheel, Scherzo Capriccioso Malaysian PO/Claus Peter Flor rec. 2010-2011 BIS BIS-SACD-1976 [79:28] [TB]

With imaginatively chosen couplings, this strong performance of Dvořák's Symphony No. 8 is well worth hearing. 

Antonin DVORÁK (1841-1904) Biblical Songs see BRAHMS

Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Romance see FUCHS

Petr EBEN (1929-2007) Job Olivier d’Ormesson (organ) Hervé Lamy (chant) rec. 2008/9 PSALMUS PSAL006 [72:18] [JW]

I was impressed by the concept and execution.

Jean-Frédéric EDELMANN (1749 - 1794) Sonatas Sylvie Pécot-Douatte (harpsichord, fortepiano) rec. 1998 PHAIA MUSIC PHU012.14 [3 CDs: 213:27] [JV]

Edelmann's sonatas are well worth investigating but this set has serious production errors.

Werner EGK (1901-1983) Die Zaubergeige (highlights); La Tentation de Saint Antoine rec. 1956 MAGDALEN RECORDINGS METCD8018 [74:09] [RB]

If you are looking to challenge your preconceptions and widen your knowledge of the deep treasure chest of 20th century music then this disc is for you.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)  The Starlight Express Simon Callow, Elin Manahan Thomas, Roderick Williams, Scottish CO/Andrew Davis rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHSA5111 [58:03 + 80:05] [WK]

Sir Andrew’s version is the one to get.


Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Sonata see GURNEY

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Variations on an Original Theme see VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Enigma Variations see VAUGHAN WILLIAMS

Duke ELLINGTON (1899-1974) Harlem, Black, Brown, and Beige, Three Black Kings, The River &dagger Sal Andolina (clarinet, alto saxophone) Tony Di Lorenzo (trumpet) Amy Licata (violin) Buffalo PO/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.559737 [78:30] [RB]

A vital and very generous collection showcasing a concert Ellington who loved his commercial roots yet had more to give and gave it. 

George ENESCU (1881-1955) Cello Sonatas 1 & 2 Alexandre Dmitriev (cello) Alexandre Paley (piano) rec. 2009 SAPHIR PRODUCTIONS LVC 1170 [67:03] [JW]

A cautious recommendation.

Óscar ESPLÁ (1889-1976) Music for Piano Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2012. NIMBUS RECORDS NI 5889 [78:02 + 69:11] [DC]

A Spanish holiday – surprising and unforgettable for all the right reasons.

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) La Vida Breve: Interlude & Dance see TCHAIKOVSKY

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Pelléas et Mélisande Suite Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Capriccio italien Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet Excerpts Dresdner Philharmonie/Michael Sanderling GENUIN CLASSICS GEN12238 [62:59] [MC]

This release will have a wide appeal.

Eduard FRANCK (1817-1893) Piano Trio, Cello Sonata, Violin Sonata Shmuel Ashkenasi (violin); Yehuda Hanani (cello); James Tocco (piano) rec. 2009/10 NAXOS 8.572480 [79:51] [IL]

Not earth-shaking but quite delightful. It is shameful that it has been so neglected.

Robert FUCHS (1847-1927) Viola Sonata, Six Phantasy Pieces Joseph JOACHIM (1831-1907) Variations on an Original Theme Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Romance Patricia McCarty (viola) Eric Larsen (piano) rec. 2007/9/10 ASHMONT MUSIC 1012 [79:49][JW]

Fine performances so viola lovers yet to encounter Fuchs might usefully discover this disc.

Vivian FUNG (b.1975) Violin Concerto, Glimpses, Piano Concerto Kristin Lee (violin) Conor Hanick (piano, prepared piano) Metropolis Ensemble/Andrew Cyr rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573009 [57:11] [Byz]

Understated but brilliant … technically demanding but musically riveting.

Roberto GERHARD (1896-1970) Clarinet sonata, Dos apunts, Andantino Joaquim HOMS (1906-2003) Soliloquy, Impromptu, Inventions, Violin sonata, Clarinet trio David Ballasteros (violin) Cristo Barrios (clarinet) Gustavo Díaz-Jerez (piano) rec. 2011 COLUMNA MÚSICA 1CM0283 [53:34] [JW]

Discreet but not evasive chamber works. 

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) A Damsel in Distress & other works Johannette Zomer (soprano) Haags Saxophone Quartet, Michel Ponsioen (percussion) The Gents/Béni Csillag rec. 2011 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA33312 [56:42] [DM]

Much to enjoy here.

Jan van GILSE (1881-1944) Symphony 4, Concert Overture, Funeral Music on the Death of Uilenspiegel Netherlands SO/David Porcelijn rec. 2010 CPO 777 689-2 [62.33] [GH]

Well served by these highly polished and committed performances and by a wonderfully rich and clear recording. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Peggy GLANVILLE-HICKS (1912–1990) Sappho Gulbenkian O/Jennifer Condon rec. 2012 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0154-55 [61:21 + 66:48] [JS]

An important discovery in a very individual style with the emphasis on texture and tone, melody and heterophony.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Einstein on the Beach (highlights) Documentary: The Changing Image of Opera Philip Glass Ensemble rec. 1984 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0083 [77:00 + DVD 58:00] [KM]

If you care about Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach you simply must get this if only for the DVD documentary.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Tara Hugo sings Philip Glass Tara Hugo (mezzo) various accompanists, Trevor Gureckis (conductor/pianist) rec. 2012 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM 0084 [50:41] [MC]

Those who enjoy the music of Philip Glass should not hesitate. 

Reinhold GLIÈRE (1875 - 1956) Concerto for Coloratura Soprano see Coloratura

Mikhaďl GLINKA (1804-1857) Treasures for the Pianoforte Tatiana Loguinova (pianoforte) rec. 2011 PHAEDRA CLASSICS 292026 [52:33] [SA]

Perfectly showcases these charming and delightful pieces.

Alexander GOEHR (b.1932) When Adam Fell, Two Pastorals, Marching to Carcassonne Peter Serkin (piano) BBC SO, London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen rec. 2003-12 NAXOS 8.573052 [63:06] [RB]

A milky dissonance yet with a sense of line and continuity. Finely calculated performances.

Jewish Spirits Osvaldo GOLIJOV (b.1960) The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Jewish Life, Abodah Michel Lethiec (clarinet) Itamar Golan (piano) Artis Quartet rec. 2008-2011 SAPHIR PRODUCTIONS LVC 1175 [47:32] [SA]

An opportunity to get to know the magic of klezmer in a classical music framework. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937) Violin Sonata Lionel SAINSBURY (b. 1958) Soliloquy Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Violin Sonata Rupert Marshall-Luck (violin) Matthew Rickard (piano) rec. 2012 EM RECORDS EMR CD011[68:31] [JQ]

An important disc which unveils Ivor Gurney’s Violin Sonata to a worldwide audience.

Ivor GURNEY (1890-1937) Songs Susan Bickley (mezzo) Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572151 [71:36] [JQ]

A very fine recital containing many first rate Gurney songs. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Finest Arias for Base Voice Christopher Purves (bass) Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67842 [70:54] [BW]

Worthy of comparison with the great Handel basses of the past.

Georg Friedrich HANDEL (1685-1759) Concerti Grossi Op.6 Combattimento Consort Amsterdam/Jan Willem de Vriendrec. 2010 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72570 [3 CDs: 153:25] [DC]

Snap this one up while you can. 

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Organ Concertos Vol. 2 Paolo Grazzi (oboe) La Davina Armonia/Lorenzo Ghielmi (organ) rec. 2012 PASSACAILLE PAS990 [74:16] [BW]

This impressed me greatly right out of the box. 

Joseph HAYDN (1732 - 1809) Die Jahreszeiten, Die Schöpfung Helen Donath (soprano) Adalbert Kraus (tenor) Kurt Widmer (bass) Süddeutsches Madrigalchor, Ludwigsburger Festspiele O/Wolfgang Gönnenwein BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94384 [4 CDs: 248:08] [GF]

As a first recording of the two oratorios one could feel satisfied with Gönnenwein but others are to be preferred. 

Erdem HELVACIOĞLU (b.1975)/Ulrich MERTIN (b.1977) Planet X Erdem Helvacıoğlu (TogaMan GuitarViol, electric guitar, drum programming, electronics); Ulrich Mertin (viola, 5-string electric violin, vocals) INNOVA 798 [44:22] [Byz]

For those interested in American-flavoured electronica this is an interesting if stark destination.

Kenneth HESKETH (b. 1968) Dei Destini Incrociati, Aphorisms, Three Pieces in the Shape of a Shoe, Theatre of Attraction Psappha/Nicholas Kok Private Issue [64:38] [CT]

Emotionally compelling and driven … an illuminating cross-section of the composer’s chamber output.

Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Pacific 231, Rugby see STRAVINSKY

Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778 - 1837) Violin Sonatas Michael Jarvis (fortepiano), Paul Luchkow (violin, viola) rec. 2011 MARQUIS MAR 81419 [62:53] [JV]

Intimate and sensitive performances of three sonatas by Hummel. 

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Piano Music - Vol. 4 Mark Bebbington (piano) rec. 2011 SOMM SOMMCD 0115 [74:54] [JW]

This newcomer has much to commend it. 

Andrés ISASI (1890-1940) String Quartets 0 & 2 Isasi Qt rec. 2010 NAXOS SPANISH CLASSICS 8.572463 [55:00] [Byz]

Elegance, wistfulness, folk influences, memorable melodies, minor keys and a lack of pretentiousness. 

Nicholas JACKSON (b. 1934) Mass for a Saint’s Day, Requiem and other choral works Soloists; David Goode/Jeremy Filsell (organ) The Rodolfus Choir/Ralph Allwood rec. 2006/07 NAXOS 8.570959 [75:50] [JQ]

Nicholas Jackson’s liturgical music is impressive and it’s been splendidly served here.

David JENNINGS (b.1972) Piano Sonata, Sonatinas 1-3, Prelude and Fugue, Three Lyrical Pieces, Miniature Suite, Harvest Moon Suite James Willshire (piano) rec. 2012 DIVINE ART DDA 25110 [78:10] [JW]

A composer admirably equipped in writing for the piano. 

Joseph JOACHIM (1831-1907) Variations on an Original Theme see FUCHS

Mary Ann JOYCE-WALTER (b.1937) Cantata for the Children of Terezín, Aceldama Oxnaya Oleskaya (soprano), King Singers of Kiev, Kiev PO/Robert Ian Winstin rec. 2007 RAVELLO RR7845 [50:40]   [OL]

Music with a message. 

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Concerto-Rhapsody, Sonata-Monologue Sergei LYAPUNOV (1859-1924) Violin Concerto Hideko Udagawa (violin) Royal PO/Alan Buribayev rec. 2011 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD312 [57:49] [NB]

Not a disc I will return to. 

Edouard LALO (1823-1892) Le Roi d’Ys Giuseppina Piunti, Guylaine Girard, Sébastien Guèze, Werner van Mechelen, Royal Wallonian Opera/Patrick Davin rec. 2008 DYNAMIC CDS 592/1-2 [58.46 + 44.11] [PCG]

Little more than a stop-gap until the Erato set re-appears.

Mario LAVISTA (b.1943) Complete String Quartets Cuarteto Latinoamericano rec. 2007 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0106 [75:27] [Byz]

This disc should be part of any serious music lover's collection.

Ernesto LECUONA (1895-1963) Piano music - Clara Rodríguez (piano) rec. 2004 NIMBUS NI6214 [66:54] [JW]

Clara Rodríguez’s Lecuona selection is as fine as anyone’s.

Giovanni LEGRENZI (1626 - 1690) Il Sedecia Francesca Lombardi, Lisa Serafini (sopranos) Oficina Musicum/Riccardo Favero rec. 2010 DYNAMIC CDS 711 [61:39] [JV]

A welcome release although the interpretation falls short of fully exploring the oratorio's dramatic character. 

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, Totentanz, Fantasy on Hungarian Folk Tunes Nareh Arghamanyan (piano) Berlin RSO/Alain Altinoglu rec. 2012 PENTATONE CLASSICS PTC 5186 397 [72:24] [MC]

Keen concentration and splendid musicianship.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Sonata, Three Petrarch Sonnets Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas: El amor y la muerte Domenico Codispoti (piano) rec. 2011 ODRADEK 855317 003035 [62.10] [PCG]

An excellent pianist one would look forward to encountering in different repertoire which could be enjoyed without invidious comparisons. 

Witold LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994) Symphony 2, Cello Concerto, Mała Suite, Grave Paul Watkins (cello) BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHSA 5106 [70:04] [MC]

Compelling music-making.


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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