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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]

John McCABE (b. 1939) Visions Iain Farrington (organ) BBC Singers/David Hill rec. 2009/10 NAXOS 8.573053 [71:49] [JF]

An eye-opening exploration of a facet of McCabe’s music otherwise little represented.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphonies 1 & 2 Nadine Conner (soprano) Mona Paulee (mezzo) Westminster Ch, PS-O New York/Bruno Walter rec. 1942 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1264 [73:28 + 58:49] [JW]

Major finds brought to fruition with great care and thought.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 6 Hamburg PO/Simone Young rec. 2007 OEHMS CLASSICS OC413 [40:59 + 44:11] [JQ]

A distinguished Mahler Sixth which can stand comparison with most recordings in a crowded field. 

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 9 Los Angeles PO/Gustavo Dudamel rec. 2012 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 0924 [45:57 + 40:05] [JQ]

A Mahler Ninth that is worth hearing but which doesn’t challenge the best in a field where competition is white hot.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Kindertotenlieder, Des knaben Wunderhorn see Gary Bertini

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Violin Concerto see STRAVINSKY

Michael MAULDIN (b.1947) The Last Musician of Ur Moravian PO/Petr Vronský rec. 2012 NAVONA RECORDS NV5891 [6:58] [RB]

Very approachable … delicately blends components of Hollywood epic exotica, Hovhaness, Griffes, Ravel and Debussy.

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b.1934) Symphony 6; Time and the Raven; An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise George McIlwham (bagpipes) RPO/Peter Maxwell Davies rec. 1991/96 NAXOS 8.572352 [76:16] [Byz]

A generous helping of stirring, striking orchestral music from one of Britain's greatest living composers.

Simon MAYR (1763-1845) Samuele Andrea Lauren Brown (soprano) Susanne Bernhard (soprano) Rainer Trost (tenor) Simon Mayr Ch, Ingolstadt Georgian CO/Franz Hauk rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572721-22 [34:28 + 60:02] [GF]

A valuable addition to the growing catalogue of Mayr’s works. 

Jānis MEDIŅŠ (1890–1966) 24 Dainas (Preludes) Jonathan Powell (piano) rec. 2006 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0097 [72:27][RB]

Estimable, dramatic, grandly poetic and touching pieces written across four decades.

Peter MENNIN (1923-1983) Concertato Moby Dick, Symphonies 3 & 7 Seattle SO/Gerard Schwarz rec. 1994/95 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559718 [57:37] [Byz]

Visceral primal energy coupled with sophisticated lyricism. 

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Elijah Helen Donath (soprano), Jard van Nes (contralto) Leipzig MDR Ch, Israel PO/Kurt Masur rec. 1992 WARNER APEX 2564 659391 [54.27 + 55.18] [PCG]

If you want a crisp modern Elijah in Mendelssohn’s original German this may well be a satisfactory bargain. 

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Overture A Midsummer Night’s Dream see BRAHMS

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria Vesselina Kasarova (mezzo) Dietrich Henschel (tenor) Malin Hartelius (soprano) O La Scintilla of the Zurich Opera House/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 2002 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101660 [155:00] [BW]

Worth considering but the Virgin DVD set with William Christie is preferable. 

Michael MORPURGO (1943-) The Mozart Question Michael Morpurgo (narrator) Jack Liebeck (violin), London PO/Nicholas Collon rec. 2012 LPO 0067 [75.32] [PCG]

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this, and so will many adults as well as the children for whom the story was originally written. It will make them think too.

Leopold MOZART (1719-1787) Keyboard sonatas and trios Christine Schornsheim (fortepiano) Rüdiger Lotter (violin), Sebastian Hess (cello) rec. 2011/12 OEHMS OC 860 [50:52 + 29:53] [JV]

Musical entertainment of good quality. 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Concertos for two and three pianos, Divertimenti 8 & 9 Duo Schnabel (pianos) Ilse von Alpenheim (piano) Vienna SO/Bernhard Paumgartner rec. 1953/55 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 346 [71:40] [JW]

An enjoyable restoration of interest to a rather specialised audience.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Don Giovanni see Deutsche Oper Berlin

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

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony 1 London PO/Kurt Masur rec. 1990 WARNER APEX 2564 65938-9 [48.03] [PCG]

Nice to hear an alternative Pictures once in a while. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Otto NICOLAI (1810 - 1849) Psalms Kammerchor Stuttgart/Frieder Bernius rec. 2009-11 CARUS 83.299 [50:30] [JV]

Adventurous programming, superb singing: need I say more?

Michael NYMAN (b.1944) String Quartets 1-3 Balanescu Qt rec. 1990 MN RECORDS MNRCD 124 [63:15] [JW]

Readings of structural and rhythmic lucidity and tonal breadth. 

Alla PAVLOVA (b.1952) Symphonies 7 & 8 Saule Rinkeviciute (violin) Lithuanian State Symphony/Gintaras Rinkevičius rec. 2012 NAXOS 9.70183 [54:19] [RB]

Have you given up on modern symphonies as sources of melodic reward? Pavlova will restore your faith. 

Paul PELLAY (b.1965) Thesaurus of Violinistic Fiendishness, Books I – VII Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin) rec. 2010 MÉTIER MSV 28527 [67:40 + 43:28] [JW]

Skærved plays like a man possessed. Maybe he is.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Flute sonata, Trio see DEBUSSY

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Organ Concerto see RÜTTI

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concertos 1 & 2, Sonata for Solo Violin Arabella Steinbacher (violin) Russian Ntl O/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2012 PENTATONE CLASSICS PTC 5186 395 [64:27] [MC]

Steinbacher is engaging and stylish as ever and is complemented by sensitive support from Petrenko.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concerto 2, Sonata for Two Violins, Violin Sonata 1 Janine Jansen (violin) Itamar Golan (piano) London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2012 DECCA 478 3546 [72:58] [MC]

This fine Prokofiev release is gratifying played. 

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet Excerpts see FAURÉ

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony 1 see MUSSORGSKY

Daniel PURCELL (c.1670-1717) The Unknown Purcell - Sonatas David Pollock (harpsichord) Hazel Brooks (violin) rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN 0795 [75:32] [JV]

This project of putting Daniel Purcell into the spotlight has turned into a rather tame affair. 

Veli-Matti PUUMALA (b. 1965) Chainsprings; Seeds of Time Roland Pöntinen (piano) Tampere PO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2009/10 ALBA ABCD319 [64:34] [HC]

Two substantial works by an endearing Finnish composer.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 2, Three Dances from Aleko Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2011 EMI CLASSICS 9 15473 2 [73:05] [JQ]

A very fine reading of Rachmaninov’s great symphony, which stands up pretty well against strong competition.

Günter RAPHAEL (1903-60) Smetana Suite, Jabonah, Sinfonia Breve, Zoologica NDR SO/Leopold Stokowski, Stuttgart RSO/Carl Schuricht rec. 1952-65 QUERSTAND VKJK1221 [61:06] [JW]

Fine works in excellent and authoritative readings, historically significant too, and well transferred and annotated.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Introduction and allegro see DEBUSSY

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Daphnis et Chloé - Suite 2, Piano Concerto, La Valse see Gary Bertini

Johann Georg von REUTTER (1708-1772) Arie et Sinfonie Olivia Vermeulen (mezzo) Nuovo Aspetto rec. 2011 ACCENT ACC24275 [65:15] [BW]

Attractive, if unmemorable music, well worth trying. 

Jean RICHAFORT (c.1480-after 1547) Requiem Huelgas Ensemble/Paul van Nevel HARMONIA MUNDI HMA1951730 [60:53] [BW]

An attractive reissue at an attractive price.

Max RICHTER (b.1966)/Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Recomposed: The Four Seasons Daniel Hope (violin) Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin/André de Ridder rec. 2012 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 481 0044 [43:58] [DC]

Great fun, but then, so is the original. 

Kurt ROHDE Chamber Music Axel Strauss (violin) Genevieve Feiwen Lee (piano) Ellen Ruth Rose, Kurt Rohde (violas) Left Coast Chamber Ens/Matilda Hofman, Empyrean Ens/Mary Chun INNOVA 839 [76:28] [DC]

Comes up with the goods. 

Carl RÜTTI (b.1949) Organ Concerton, Tongues of Fire Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Variations on a theme of Tchaikovsky Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Organ Concerto Martin Heini (organ) Mario Schubiger (percussion and timpani) State Phil CO Novosibirsk/Rainer Held rec 2012 GUILD GMCD 7386 [74:08] [JW]

An outstandingly exciting new organ concerto joins the contemporary repertoire.

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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