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October 2013
233 reviews this month
 

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RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Works for keyboard and violin - Aline Zylberajch (tangent piano) Alice Piérot (violin) rec. 2012 ENCELADE ECL1201 [70:47] [JV] The many twists and turns in Carl Philipp Emanuel's music come off perfectly here.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Suites for Unaccompanied Cello - Mary Costanza (cello) rec. 2008 MSR CLASSICS MS 1450 [69:12 + 78:55] [SG] New recordings of the Cello Suites which augment a well-represented catalogue and provide the listener with an enriching experience. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis Marlis Petersen (soprano) Elisabeth Kulman (contralto) Werner Güra (tenor) Gerald Finley (bass) Netherlands Radio Ch, Royal Concertgebouw O/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 2012 C MAJOR 712704 [99:00] [LW] Harnoncourt’s Missa Solemnis is state of the art as video and audio… a special performance.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Les Troyens Bryan Hymel, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Fabio Capitanucci, Robert Lloyd - O & Ch Royal Opera House/Antonio Pappano rec. 2012 OPUS ARTE OA1097D [245:00: opera + 30:00: extra features] [ST] A triumph.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 7 - London PO/Stanisław Skrowaczewski rec. 2012 LPO LIVE LPO-0071 [68:56] [JQ] A profoundly satisfying performance which may well be one of the finest ever recordings of Bruckner’s Seventh.

Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713) Chamber Sonatas Opp.2 & 4 - The Avison Ensemble/Pavlo Beznosiuk rec. 2010/12 LINN RECORDS CKD413 [74:30 + 76:01] [DBi] A magnificent set in all respects - and an essential purchase for lovers of baroque music.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Der Schwanendreher; Trauermusik; Kammermusik 5; Konzertmusik - Tabea Zimmermann (viola) Deutsches SO Berlin/Hans Graf rec. 2012 MYRIOS CLASSICS MYR010 [79:59] [DC] A genuine winner.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsodies - Wiener Akademie O/Martin Haselböck rec. 2012 CPO 777797-2 [70:24] [RMay] I can only say OMG! This is amazing!

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 8 - Royal Concertgebouw O/Mariss Jansons rec. 2011 RCO LIVE RCO13002 [80:15] [ST] Jansons' Mahler 8 is a joy to have. 

Loïc MALLIÉ (b.1947) and Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Retour de Bayreuth - Onze improvisations dur des thèmes Wagnériens Loïc Mallié (organ) rec. 1998 EDITIONS HORTUS HOR917 [63:47] [HPR] A “where’s Wally” of Wagner themes and a truly interesting project.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Zauberflöte Kate Royal, Pavol Breslik, Michael Nagy, Ana Durlovski, Berliner Philharmoniker/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2013 MEZZO BD BPH 130012 [152:00] [MC] A triumph.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Sonatas 1 & 2; 3 Pieces from Romeo and Juliet Vadim Gluzman (violin) Angela Yoffe (piano) rec. 2012 BIS BIS-SACD-2032 [63:02] [DC] Simply the best.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Violin Concerto 3, La Muse et le Poète, Cello Concerto 1 - Renaud Capuçon (violin) Gautier Capuçon (cello) Radio France PO/Lionel Bringuier rec. 2013 ERATO 9341342 [65:48] [MC]  This all-French production is one of the finest discs I have heard this year.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Macbeth Kostas Paskalis (baritone) Josephine Barstow (soprano) James Morris (bass) Glyndebourne Ch, London PO/John Pritchard rec. 1972 ARTHAUS MUSIK 102 316 [146:00] [RJF] No producer gimmicks to mar this traditional production. Stage effects, singing and playing contribute a thrilling musical and visual performance worthy of the composer’s final version. 

Baroque oboe concertos Works by Albinoni, Handel & Telemann - Sarah Francis (oboe and oboe d’amore) London Harpsichord Ensemble rec. 1988-94 HERITAGE HTGCD400 [4 CDs: 270:21] [JWh] If you feel down in the dumps, give this a spin. A lovely set full of sunshine and at bargain price.

The Phoenix Rising Works by Byrd, Gibbons, Morley, Tallis, Taverner & White - Stile Antico rec. 2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU807572 [74:34] [ST] Yet another feather in Stile Antico’s already resplendent cap. 

De Profundis Sacred Music for Male Choir - Elin Rombo (soprano) Magnus Einarsson (percussion) Andrew Canning (organ) Orphei Drängar/Cecilia Rydinger Alin rec. 2013 BIS-SACD-2053 [66:22] [BR] I’m no choral music lover, but narrowing down my Recording of the Year list just got a lot harder.

Roger Woodward in Concert Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Préludes Book 2 Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Mazurkas Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partita 6 rec. 2007 CELESTIAL HARMONIES 133242 [80:23] [DC] A unique and remarkable concert. 

Carl Philip Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Prussian Sonatas - Susan Alexander-Max (piano) rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572674 [78:39] [Byz] Perfunctory accounts.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714 - 1788) Sonatas - Linda Nicholson (clavichord) rec. 1988 PHOENIX EDITION 451 [63:08] [JV] The clavichord helps to bring out the dramatic and expressive features of these pieces.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Transcriptions of Concertos by Vivaldi - Sophie Yates (harpsichord) rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHAN 0796 [76:28] [JV] Sophie Yates' performance does justice to the theatrical character of Vivaldi's concertos.

Johann Sebastian BACH The Italian Bach Andrea Bacchetti (piano) rec. 2013 SONY CLASSICAL 88883 751812 [77:03] [DC] A delight from beginning to end.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partitas 1-6 - Vladimir Feltsman (piano) rec. 1999 NIMBUS NI6207 [59:05 + 61:36] [OL] The macho Bach.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Kossuth, Concerto for Orchestra, Rumanian Folk Dances - ORF RSO Vienna/Cornelius Meister rec. 2011/12 CPO 777 784-2 [65:27] [NB] Not bad - simply not anywhere near being the best.

Jeremy BECK (b.1960) String Quartets - rec. 2001-10 INNOVA 867 [63:03] [Byz] Beck has the instant communicativeness that comes from structural clarity, rhythmic vitality and melodious tonality.   

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Triple Concerto, Piano Trio ‘Archduke’ - Storioni Trio, Netherlands SO/Jan Willem de Wriend rec. 2012 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72579 [71:15] [TB] Everyone’s performance is nuanced towards every detail of Beethoven’s phrasing and dynamic range. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 3 & 4 - New Queen’s Hall O/Henry Wood, Hallé O/Hamilton Harty rec. 1926 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 386 [73:45] [JW] This Pristine transfer effortlessly and embarrassingly outclasses the competition.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Songs - Hermann Prey (baritone) Pamela Coburn (soprano) Leonard Hokanson (piano) rec. 1987-1989 CAPRICCIO C5140 [3 CDs: 224:22] [Byz] Rather a perplexing mix of the good and the not so good.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 5 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony 25 - Verbier Festival CO/Gábor Takácz-Nagy rec. 2012 IDEALE AUDIENCE 3079948 [51:00] [RS] As chamber orchestra DVDs of Beethoven 5 go this is a strong contender. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 21 (Waldstein), 23 (Appassionata) & 27 - Sequeira Costa (piano) rec. 1998 CLAUDIO RECORDS CB55722 [63:53] [BR] In the category “good but not great”. Certainly worth your time. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 9 - London SO (?)/Albert Coates rec. 1923 & 1926 HISTORIC RECORDINGS HRCD00047/94 [62:10 & 64:31] [JW] Coates Completists now have free reign to indulge their passion. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 3 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ein Heldenleben - Mitsuko Uchida (piano) Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2011 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 683 [95:00] [JQ] An excellent concert with Jansons and his Bavarian Radio orchestra on top form.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa solemnis Marlis Petersen (soprano) Elisabeth Kulman (alto) Werner Güra (tenor) Gerald Finley (bass) Netherlands Radio Choir; Royal Concertgebouw O/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 2012 C MAJOR 712608 [99:00] [JQ] I think anyone acquiring this DVD will be very satisfied.

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) Beatrice di Tenda - Michele Kalmandi (baritone) Dimitra Theodossiou (soprano) Ch & O Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania/Antonio Pirolli rec. 2010 DYNAMIC 33675 [161:00] [RJF] There is not much competition in the visual media and although the set has little relationship with the story this provincially sung performance saves you reading the libretto as you listen.  

Paul BEN-HAIM (1897-1984) Chamber Works - ARC Ens rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHAN 10769 [77.05] [GH] A fascinating disc which begins to open up the world of a truly significant composer who should be much better known.

Wilhelm Georg BERGER (1929-1993) Viola Concerto 2; Symphony 4 - Nils Mönkemeyer (viola) Berlin RSO/Horia Andreescu rec. 2009/2010 CPO 777 756-2 [72:26] [NB] A very personal and powerfully individual symphony that deserves a far wider audience.

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Le docteur Miracle Marie-Bénédicte Souquet (soprano) Pierre-Yves Pruvot (baritone) Jérôme Billy (tenor) O Lyrique Région Avignon Provence/Samuel Jean rec. 2012 TIMPANI 1C1204 [58:15] [JS] A disc that will give pleasure even if it does not reveal an undiscovered masterpiece.

Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Viola Sonata Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Viola Sonata Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Suite - Christian Euler (viola) Paul Rivinius (piano) rec. 2012 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG SCENE 903 1796-6 [75:52] [GA] Brings less well-known works of the viola repertoire deservedly into the spotlight. 

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) A Colour Symphony, Introduction and Allegro, Music for Strings - London SO, Philharmonia O/Sir Arthur Bliss rec. 1954/5 HERITAGE HTGCD221 [66.43] [JWh] Fine transfers of some wonderful music.

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Symphony, Poems of the Sea - London SO/Dalia Atlas rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573241 [68.26] [PCG] This disc will win new admirers for Songs of the Sea and the Symphony is highly enjoyable too. 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 1 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sinfonia Concertante Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Capriccio Espagnol Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Leonore Overture 3 - Ilya Konovalov (violin); Roman Spitzer (viola) Israel PO/Zubin Mehta rec. 2012 NIMBUS NI6229 [117:00] [RS] The audience clearly had huge fun at this concert, and it makes for very satisfying watching.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 1, Liebesliederwalzer, Hungarian Dances - Swedish CO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2011 BIS BIS-SACD1756 [64:27] [DD] A fresh and accomplished rendition of a much loved Symphony, very well played and recorded. 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 1 Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Concerto for Orchestra - Rudolf Firkušný (piano) New York PO/Hans Rosbaud rec. 1960 ARCHIPEL ARPCD 0553 [60:07] [JW] The first port-of-call for Firkušný’s Brahms Concerto is the studio Steinberg but it’s important to have these two ancillary live performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Piano Trios - Smetana Trio, with Přemsyl Vojta (horn) & Ludmila Peterková (clarinet) rec. 2011/2012 SUPRAPHON SU 4072-2 [72:00 + 64:51] [ST] I enjoyed the Smetana Trio’s playing immensely and the acoustic serves the music very well indeed: close-up and warm with just the right level of bloom.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 1 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan Richard WAGNER (1813-1893) Wesendonck Lieder Nina Stemme (soprano) Vienna PO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2012 EUROARTS 2072628 [95:00] [RS]  The VPO are on fine form throughout, producing the sort of golden sound for which they are famous.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies 1 & 2, Tragic Overture, Haydn Variations - London SO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2012 LSO LIVE LSO0733 [63:35 + 61:43] [ST] Maybe Gergiev’s third and fourth will turn out better.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 1 - Hamburg PO/Simone Young rec. 2007 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 675 [49:46] [JQ] A good but not outstanding recording of the First Symphony. The niggardly playing time blunts its competitive edge.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies 3 & 4 - Philharmoniker Hamburg/Simone Young rec. 2009 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 677 [74:27] [JQ] Simone Young’s Brahms symphony cycle ends with two rewarding performances. 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem - Anna Lucia Richter (soprano) Stephen Genz (baritone) MDR Leipzig Radio Ch & SO/Marin Alsop rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.572996 [64:13] [LW] Collectors of Alsop’s Brahms recordings should not hesitate to add this.

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) Symphonies 22-24, English Suite 1 - New Russia State SO/Alexander Walker rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.572833  [65:26] [NB] One of the most rewarding and successful Naxos discs of the year. 

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Piano Sonata, Three Poems, The Hour Glass, Three Lyrics, Gargoyle, In Autumn - Pascal Sigrist (piano) rec. 2012 TALENT DOM 2911 113 [72:58] [JW] Unsentimental but intensely argued ... this major British sonata receives a fine reading.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Cello suites - Jamie Walton (cello) rec. 2011 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD336 [61:16] Cello suites - Saeunn Thorsteindottir (cello) rec. April 2010 CENTAUR RECORDS CRC3154 [62:55] [DC] Too easy a choice, alas. 

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem - Susan Gritton (soprano) John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Christopher Maltman (baritone) Gabrieli Consort & Players/Paul McCreesh rec. 2013 SIGNUM SIGCD 340 [37.20 + 46.45] [PCG] This fiftieth anniversary recording comes pretty well at the top of the modern list. 

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem Susan Gritton (soprano) John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Christopher Maltman (baritone) Wrocław Phil Ch, Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh rec. 2013 SIGNUM SIGCD340 [37:20 + 46:45] [ST] McCreesh’s unflinching sense of vision in the great arc of this music. 

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Owen Wingrave - Gerald Finley, Peter Savidge, Josephine Barstow, Martyn Hill - Choristers of Westminster Cathedral Ch, Deutsches SO Berlin/Kent Nagano rec. 2001 ARTHAUS 100 373 [92:00] [ST] Not an awful lot of choice but this DVD stands up very well alongside the competition.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem - Anna Netrebko (soprano) Ian Bostridge (tenor) Thomas Hampson (baritone) Ch & O dell’ Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma/Sir Antonio Pappano rec. 2013 WARNER CLASSICS 6154482 [80:07] War Requiem - Emily Magee (soprano) Mark Padmore (tenor) Christian Gerhaher (baritone) Tölzer Boy's Choir, Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2013 BR KLASSIK 900120 [48:20 + 39:02] [JQ] Two admirable additions to the discography of War Requiem.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem - Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano) Peter Pears (tenor); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Bach & Highgate School Choirs, London SO & Ch/Benjamin Britten rec. 1963 DECCA 478 5433 [CDs: 81:22 + 49:30; Blu-ray: 81:22] [DM] The re-mastered CD is a retrograde step; the Blu-ray, though, is a revelation. 

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Vocal works rec. 1942-2005 WARNER CLASSICS 0151642 [6 CDs: 411:03] [DC] Indispensable. 

Dave BRUBECK (1920-2012) Brubeck & American Poets Pacific Mozart Ensemble/Lynne Morrow rec. 2011 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92160 [61:10 + Blu-Ray Audio Disc] [JW] Certainly competent but I expected far more of a Milhaud student: far more iconoclasm and far more individuality.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 2 Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Euryanthe Overture, Invitation to the Dance - Vienna PO/Horst Stein rec. 1973/77 DECCA ELOQUENCE 442 8557 [77:06] [SV] The handsome playing and recording of the symphony and its forthright musicality have their undoubted appeal.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 7 Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) Songs Richard STRAUSS (1864 -1949) Befreit Renée Fleming (soprano) Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2012 OPUS ARTE OA1115D [106:00] [JQ] Christian Thielemann’s tenure with the Staatskapelle Dresden auspiciously launched. 

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Mass 3: excerpts and rehearsal sequences - Soloists, Munich PO/Sergiu Celibidache rec. 1993 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 678 [65.00] [PCG] Has decided attractions.

Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (c. 1643-1704) Musique sacrée - Ch of New College Oxford, Oxford Baroque/Edward Higginbottom (director) rec. 2012/13 NOVUM NCR 1387 [72:30] [MC] This release is of the highest quality and deserves particular praise.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Works - Samson François (piano) Pierre Barbizet (piano) Monte Carlo Opera O/Louis Frémaux ERATO 9847172 [10 CDs: c.13:00:00] [RBl] A fine memorial to an imaginative pianist.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Sonata 3, Preludes - Nick van Bloss (piano) rec. 2012 NIMBUS NI 6215 [70:21] [RBl] Chopin playing up there with the best. 

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etudes - Lukas Geniusas (piano) DUX DUX0834 [63:33] [GM] This Chopin playing is top of the league. 

Muzio CLEMENTI (1752-1832) Symphonies 1-4, Overtures - Rome SO/Francesco La Vecchia rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 8.573071/8.573112 [60:10 & 71:32] [Byz] Decent enough versions of these exciting and elegant symphonies.

Eric COATES (1886-1957) The Definitive Eric Coates - Eric Coates conducts his own compositions - rec. 1923-57 NIMBUS NI 6231 [7 CDs: 8:50:00] [JW] Nirvana for the dedicated Coates collector.

John CORIGLIANO (b. 1938) The Red Violin Jaakko KUUSISTO (b. 1974) Leika, Violin Concerto - Elina Vähälä (violin) Lahti SO/Jaakko Kuusisto rec. 2012 BIS BIS-SACD-2020 [77:04] [DBi] Two splendidly enjoyable modern concertos superbly performed and in the finest sound.

Gaspard CORRETTE (1671-1733) Messe à l'usage d'une abbaye royale Ensemble vocal Ad Limina, Régis Allard (organ) rec. 2008 HORTUS 961 [62:03] [JV] This is a well thought-out project which has been realised in a most convincing way.

Henry COWELL (1897-1965) Piano Music - Stacey Barelos (piano) rec. 2008 CENTAUR RECORDS CRC 3185 [53:14] [DC] Remarkable worlds created by a unique avant-garde voice.

Edward COWIE (b. 1943) Bell Bird Motet, The Soft Complaining Flute, Gesangbuch, Lyre Bird Motet - BBC Singers/Stephen Cleobury, Simon Joly; Stephen Preston (baroque flute) rec. 2003/12 SIGNUM RECORDS SIGCD331 [64:40] [DC] A stunning collection.

Alvin CURRAN (b. 1938) Shofar Rags Alvin Curran (shofar, sampler, electronics) rec. 2008/2012 TZADIK TZ 8176 [60:53] [DC] Too full of marvels to be ignored.

Hywel DAVIES Collection PRIMA FACIE PFCD016 [70:38] [Byz] Trundling minimalism, repetitive and conceptually naïve.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Cello Sonata Jean-Baptiste JANSON (1742-1803) Cello Concerto Claude PASCAL (b.1921) Cello Concerto - André Navarra (cello) Jean Doyen (piano) O l’Académie Internationale d’Été de Nice/André Amellér, Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française PO/Paul Paray rec. 1960/2 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 829 [56:53] [JW] Navarra - one of the Princes of the French cello school - in otherwise unheard live recordings.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Mélodies de jeunesse Donna Brown (soprano) Stéphane Lemelin (piano) rec. 1999-2000 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD2 2209 [54:04] Clair de lune Natalie Dessay (soprano) Philippe Cassard (piano) Le Jeune Choeur de Paris/Henri Chalet rec. November 2011 VIRGIN CLASSICS 7307682 [72:58] [JW] Brown the more penetrating Debussy stylist but Dessay’s programme is the more exploratory. 

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Orchestral music transcribed for two pianos - Volume 2: Paris - the Song of a Great City, Eventyr, Fantastic Dance, Song of the High Hills - Simon Callaghan & Hiroaki Takenouchi (pianos) rec. 2011 SOMM CD 0129 [79.35] [IL] A mostly successful clutch of Delius transcriptions especially the Percy Grainger.

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Sea Drift, Cynara Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Hymn of Jesus - Roderick Williams (baritone) Hallé Ch & O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2011/12 HALLE CD HLL 7535 [62:25] [GPJ] An outstanding CD, bringing together inspired performances of English masterpieces each of which is less well-known than it fully deserves to be. 

John DOWLAND (1563-1626) Lachrimae: Lute and vocal music - Thomas Dunford (lute and director) Ruby Hugues (soprano) Reinoud Van Mechelen (tenor) Paul Agnew (tenor) Alain Buet (bass) rec. 2012 ALPHA 187 [61:43] [ST] A fine introduction to the work of Dowland - one of those few composers whose music can conjure up an entire lost world within only a few bars.

Théodore DUBOIS (1837-1924) Concerto-capriccioso; Piano Concerto 2; Suite - Cédric Tiberghien (piano) BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Manze rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67931 [65:24] [JW] No marvels of invention but engaging music with some delightful features. 

Klaus EGGE (1906-1979) Violin Sonata, Duo Concertante, Trio - Einar Henning Sembye (piano) Tor Johan Bøen (violin) Bénédicte Royer (viola) Johannes Martens (cello) rec. 2011/12 SIMAX CLASSICS PSC1193 [70:52] Ketil HVOSLEF (b. 1939) Fartein VALEN (1887-1952) & Klaus EGGE (1906-1979) Piano trios - Valen Trio rec. 2011 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1037 [67:55] [Byz] Everyone with an interest in chamber music should have both discs in their collection.

Leo FALL (1873-1925) The Rose of Stambul - Kimberly McCord (soprano) Erich Buchholz (tenor) Alison Kelly (soprano) Chicago Folks Operetta/John Frantzen rec.2011 NAXOS 8.660326-27 [45:31 + 74:49] [JS] Overall an enterprising issue but likely to appeal only to diehard fans of Leo Fall or as a souvenir of these particular performances.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Thème et variations, Valses-caprices, Nocturnes, Ballade - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67875 [72:51] [AL] Pianism of the highest calibre faithfully captured with superb engineering. 

Jeremy FILSELL (b. 1964) If God build not the house, Te Deum David BRIGGS (b. 1962) Pange lingua, Messe pour Saint-Sulpice - Vasari Singers/Jeremy Backhouse, Jeremy Filsell, David Briggs (organ) rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573111 [79:54] [JQ] Superb performances of exciting church music by two British composers, best known as virtuoso organists. 

Friedrich GERNSHEIM (1839-1916) Symphonies 1 & 3 - Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz/Hermann Bäumer rec. 2012 CPO 777 758-2 [78:00] [JW] Thoroughly idiomatic and shows an appreciation of the composer’s clever orchestration. 

Carlo GESUALDO (c.1566-1613)/Ascanio MAIONE (c.1565-1627) Tribulationem Concerto Soave/Jean-Marc Aymes (organ & harpsichord) Mara Galassi (harp) rec. 2012 ZIG ZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT319 [51:26 + 67:50] [GH] A fitting tribute to Gesualdo.  

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Symphonies 5 & 7 - Moscow Large RSO/Nikolai Golovanov rec. 1950-52 HISTORIC RECORDINGS HRCD00034 [67:32] [JW] A real sense of dynamism and intoxication. 

Théodore GOUVY (1819-1898) Symphony 4, Symphonie brève, Fantaisie Symphonique - Deutsche Radio Phil/Jacques Mercier rec. 2010 CPO 777 382-2 [63.19] [GH] This disc has encouraged me to explore some other works by Gouvy and it might do the same for you. 

Johann Gottlieb GRAUN (1702/3-1771) Carl Heinrich GRAUN (1703/4-1759) Trios for 2 Violins & Basso - Les Amis de Philippe rec. 2006 CPO 777 423-2 [75:40] Trios for Violin or Viola & Clavier - Les Amis de Philippe rec. 2008 CPO 777 633-2 [68:24] [JV] These two discs include some of the best chamber music written in the mid-18th century.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Piano Concerto Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concerto 3 - Nikolai Lugansky (piano) Deutsches SO Berlin/Kent Nagano rec. 2013 NAÏVE AMBROISIE AM210 [59:19] [MC] Much better in the Prokofiev than the Grieg and pleasingly recorded.

Theodor GRIGORIU (b. 1926) Byzantium after Byzantium Trinity Concerto, The Great Passage, The Eternal Return Sherban Lupu (violin) Andrei Tanasescu (piano) Sinfonia da Camera/Ian Hobson rec. 1986-2005 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0131 [77.32] [GH] Heady and violent, beautiful and memorable ideas but what about consistent logical substance.

Christopher GUNNING (b.1944) Symphony 5, String Quartet 1 - Royal PO/Christopher Gunning, Juno Quartet rec. 2008-2011 DISCOVERY DMV105 [75:56] [JQ] Two impressive works in fine performances. 

Jesús GURIDI (1886-1961) String Quartets 1 & 2 - Bretón String Qt rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573036 [55.15] [GH] This is definitely worth exploring and at Naxos price you can afford it. 

George Frederick HANDEL (1685-1759) Timotheus oder Die Gewalt der Musik - Roberta Invernizzi (soprano) Werner Güra (tenor) Gerard Finley (bass-baritone) Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien/Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 2012 SONY CLASSICAL 88883 704812 [62:00 + 34:00] [RMo] What could have been a landmark recording and a real testament to “The Power of Music” becomes a might-have-been. 

Qunihico HASHIMOTO (1904-1949) Symphony 1, Heavenly Maiden and Fisherman Symphonic Suite - Tokyo Metropolitan SO/Ryusuke Numajiri rec. 2001 NAXOS JAPANESE CLASSICS 8.555881 [67:03] Symphony 2, Three Wasan, Scherzo con Sentimento - Akiya Fukushima (baritone) Tokyo Geidai Philharmonia/Takuo Yuasa rec. 2011 NAXOS JAPANESE CLASSICS 8.572869 [65:22] [Byz] Attractive, romantic music, much more European or even American than Japanese.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) The London Symphonies, The Seasons - Elsie Morrison (soprano) Alexander Young (tenor) Michael Langdon (bass) Beecham Choral Society/Denis Vaughan; Royal PO/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. 1956/59 WARNER CLASSICS 9846032 [6 CDs: 435:50] [SG]  Beecham’s Haydn recordings reissued - jewels from the past.

Josef HAYDN (1732-1809) Armida - Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo) Christoph Prégardien (tenor) Patricia Petibon (soprano) Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 2000 DAS ALTE WERK 2564 66047-1 [54:34 + 74:30] [ST] At a price like this there is no need to hesitate. 

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony 90, Trumpet Concerto - Roger Delmotte (trumpet) Vienna State Opera O/Hermann Scherchen rec. 1958 HIGH DEFINITION TAPE TRANSFERS HDTT HDCD292 [39:32] [JW] Not without vehemence, Scherchen makes good sense and brings vitality and energy. 

Hans Werner HENZE (1926-2012) Symphonies 1 & 6 - Berlin RSO/Marek Janowski rec. 2012 WERGO WER67242 [61:17] [MC] Henze’s music is splendidly served by this outstanding Wergo disc. 

HILDEGARD von Bingen (1098-1179) Ordo Virtutum - Ens Belcanto/Dietburg Spohr rec. 2010 ECM NEW SERIES 2219 [78:52] [DC] Rich and very strange. Buyers of gifts beware.

Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Violin Concerto, Violin sonatas - Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin) Enrico Pace (piano) Frankfurt Radio SO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2009 BIS BIS-SACD-2024 [68:18] [DC] Magnificent. Full-on performance and truly juicy Hindemith. 

Franz Anton HOFFMEISTER (1754-1812) Flute Concertos Vol. 2 - Bruno Meier (flute) Prague CO rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 8.573040 [74:08] [Byz] Even-paced grace and thoroughgoing tunefulness reflect the composer’s canny craftsmanship rather than the hand of artistic genius.

Gottfried August HOMILIUS (1714-1785) St Mark Passion - Monika Mauch (soprano) Ruth Sandhoff (mezzo) Basler Madrigalisten; L’arpa festante/Fritz Näf rec. 2012 CARUS 83.260 [78:11 + 52:26] [JW] If you have followed the Homilius Carus series you will find this world première recording an essential purchase. 

Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Viola sonatas, Potpourri Marcin Murawski (viola) Urszula Szyryńska (piano) Hummel Project O/Ryszard Handke rec. 2009 ACTE PREALABLE AP0226 [67:26] [Byz] Entertaining if not revelatory.

John IRELAND (1879-1962) My Song Is Love Unknown - Charles Harrison (organ) Lincoln Cathedral Ch/Aric Prentice rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573014 [77.05] [JQ] Rewarding and enjoyable church music, splendidly performed in Lincoln.

Charles IVES (1874-1954) ‘Concord Sonata’ Samuel BARBER (1685-1750) Piano Sonata - Nicholas Zumbro (piano) rec. 1992 KRITONOS 8 85767 06857 5 [67:21] [TB] Zumbro’s readings deserve better.

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Brumes d'Enfance - Raquel Magalhães (flute) Romain Champion (tenor) Lise Berthaud (viola) Alain Planès (piano) Accentus/Pieter-Jelle de Boer rec. 2013 NAÏVE V5330 [55:13] [DC] A must for Janáček fans.

JOSQUIN des Prés (c. 1440 - 1521) Missa Pange lingua; Missa La sol fa re mi; Missa L’homme armé - The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips rec. 1986/89 GIMELL CDGIM 206 [75:01 + 74:16] [JQ] This generous compilation of exquisite performances is an ideal way to discover Josquin’s music.

Rodolphe KREUTZER (1766 - 1831) La mort d'Abel - (soprano) Yumiko Tanimura (soprano) Choeur de Chambre de Namur, Les Agrémens/Guy Van Waas rec. 2010 EDICIONES SINGULARES ES 1008 [55:27 + 35:48] [JV] A generally convincing interpretation of an intriguing musical drama from the early 19th century.

Johann KUHNAU (1660-1722) Frische Clavier-Früchte - Jan Katzschke (harpsichord) rec. 2009 CPO 777 532-2 [58:50] Biblische Sonaten - Federico Caldara (harpsichord) Luciano Bertoli (narrator) CONCERTO CD2070 [76:54] Neue Clavier-Übung Vol. 1 - Gabriele Micheli (harpsichord) rec. 2000 DYNAMIC CDS265 [60:57] [Byz] Kuhnau's music is unfailingly urbane and colourful.

Fernand de LA TOMBELLE (1854-1928) Musique de Chambre -Windsor Chamber Ens rec. 2009-2011 AZUR CLASSICAL AZC 102 [67:00] Piano Trio, String Quartet - Lauren Martin (piano) Quatuor Satie rec. 2009-2011 LIGIA DIGITAL 302235 [61:40] [Byz] No two ways about it: both CDs belong in the collection of all music-lovers. 

Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948) Immer Nur Lächeln Original operetta highlights - rec. 1957-78 WARNER CLASSICS 9935272 [5 CDs: 321.55] [IL] A highly enjoyable Lehár operetta collection. 

György LIGETI (1923-2006) String Quartets 1 & 2 Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Molto adagio from String Quartet, Op. 11 - Keller Qt rec. 2007/11 ECM NEW SERIES 2197 [50:53] [DC] Second-nature Ligeti: superb stuff.

Alvin LUCIER (b. 1931) Vespers and other early works - Members of Brandeis U Chamber Ch/Alvin Lucier; Rees Archibald (shakuhachi) Ryuku Mizutani (koto) Charlie Looker (electric guitar) Matt Welch (accordion) Shawn Onsgard (piano) rec. 1961/2002 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80604-2 [65:10] Wind Shadows The Barton Workshop rec. 2003 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80628-2 [59:29 + 78:12] Orchestra Works - Charles Curtis (cello) Janáček PO, San Diego Symphony rec. 2001/11 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80755-2 [76:04] [DC] One of those composers who prevent our creative pools becoming stagnant ponds.

Witold LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994) Concerto for Orchestra, Chantefleurs et Chantefables, Paganini Variations, Cello Concerto, Piano Concerto, Symphony 4 - Olga Pasiecznik (soprano) Ewa Poblocka, Janusz Olejniczak (piano) Robert Cohen (cello) Varsovia SO/Jerzy Maksymiuk rec. 2004/13 BEARTON CDB029/052 [59:49 & 72:39] [DC] Strong releases entering an increasingly busy market.

Roman MACIEJEWSKI (1910-1998) Sonata, Notturno, Caprices - Maciej Łabecki (violin) Elżbieta Tyszecka (piano) rec. 2012 ACTE PREALABLE AP0275 [50:44] [Byz] For anyone wanting an introduction to Maciejewski's generally attractive music, once admired by Szymanowski. 

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das klagende Lied, Symphony 10 Adagio - Manuela Uhl (soprano) Lioba Braun (alto) Werner Güra (tenor) Czech Phil Ch Brno, Beethoven O Bonn/Stefan Blunier rec. 2012 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 937 1804-6 [68:40] [TB] Mahler’s earliest orchestral works and his last. 

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Kindertotenlieder, Rückert-Lieder - Christian Gerhaher (baritone) Montréal SO/Kent Nagano rec. 2012 SONY CLASSICAL 88883 701332 [54:43] [RMo] Less is more? Not if it’s less, it isn’t.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 6 - Bamberger SO, Bayerische Staatsphilharmonie/Jonathan Nott rec. 2008 TUDOR 7191 [80:34] [DM] A seriously disappointing Sixth; perhaps Nott will redeem himself in the Eighth.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 8 - Czech Philharmonic Ch, Windsbacher Knabenchor, Bamberger SO & Ch/Jonathan Nott rec. 2010 TUDOR 7192 [78:37] [DM] Notable for its detail and intimacy; refreshingly different.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 9 - Vienna PO/Bruno Walter rec. 1938 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC389 [71:00] [JQ] A new transfer of Bruno Walter’s remarkable 1938 Mahler Ninth brings mixed results.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde Sarah Connolly (mezzo) Toby Spence (tenor) London PO/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2011 LPO 0073 [64:05] [JQ] Much to admire in this, not least the singing of Sarah Connolly.

Tauno MARTTINEN (1912-2008) Piano Works - Jouni Somero (piano) rec. 2012 FC-RECORDS FCRCD-9748 [65:31] [Byz] A rare chance for those who do not mind pianistic gloom and clangorous excitement. 

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Danza esotica, Mein erster Walzer, Suite from The Eternal City - Luciano Ganci (tenor) Federico Giabella (flute) Sergey Galaktionov (violin) Filarmonica ’900 Teatro Regio Turino/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHAN 10789 [61:44] [JS] Useful and generally enjoyable but not of very great musical interest. 

Sir Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b. 1934) Strathclyde Concertos 5 & 6 - James Clark (violin) Catherine Marwood (viola) David Nicholson (flute) Scottish CO/Sir Peter Maxwell Davies rec. 1993 NAXOS 8.572354 [59.27] [PCG] Many thanks to Naxos for rescuing these unique recordings. A most valuable restoration to the catalogue. Roll on the final two releases.

Krzysztof MEYER (b.1943) String Quartets 1-4 - Wieniawski String Quartet rec. 2012/2013 NAXOS 8.573165 [75:18] [Byz] Undeniably modernist, not especially experimental, although not the place to look for flowing melodies or consonant harmonies.

Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864) Robert le Diable - Bryan Hymel (tenor) Marina Poplavskaya (soprano) O & Ch of the Royal Op Hse/Daniel Oren rec. 2012 OPUS ARTE OA1106D [2 DVDs: 211:00 + 11:00] [ST] If you want Robert le Diable then this is the version to get: you have very few alternatives. 

Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) The Four Seasons, Violin Sonata 2 - Robert Soetens, Szymon Goldberg (violin) Ernst Wallfisch (viola) Suzanne Roche, Geneviève Joy and Jacqueline Bonneau (piano) Maurice Suzan (trombone) Ensemble des soloists des Concerts Lamoureux/Darius Milhaud (seasons) rec. 1953/58 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR809 [59:26] [JW] A somewhat unusual but delightful coupling derived from good sounding LPs. 

Carl MILLÖCKER (1842-1899) Der Bettelstudent - Mirko Roschkowski, Erwin Belakowitsch, Linda Plech, Cornelia Zink, Mörbisch Festival Ch & O/Uwe Theimer rec. 2013 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 432 [77.03] [IL] A pleasing performance of Millöcker’s most successful operetta.

Carl MILLÖCKER (1842-1899) Gasparone Anneliese Rothenberger, Hermann Prey, Günter Wewel, Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Heinz Wallberg rec. 1981 EMI CLASSICS 6150672 [44.27 + 37.41] [IL] An enjoyable production.

Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950) Cello Concerto, Serenade, Lonely Waters, Whythorne’s Shadow - Guy Johnston (cello) Rebekah Coffey (soprano) Ulster O/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573034 [65:18] [JQ] An attractive Moeran anthology in excellent performances from Northern Ireland.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sonata for Two Pianos Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Concertino Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Suite 1 Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Scaramouche Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) La valse Martha Argerich, Gabriele Baldocci (pianos) rec. 2008 DYNAMIC CDS 7663 [76:16] [RBl] Sparkling performances of peaks of the two-piano repertoire.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Zauberflöte Felicity Lott (soprano) Leo Goeke (tenor); Benjamin Luxon (baritone) Glyndebourne Ch, London PO/Bernard Haitink rec. 1978 ARTHAUS MUSIK 102 311 [163:00] [RJF] This colourful production could be ideal for introducing children to opera and as light entertainment for more serious viewers, but for the real thing Salzburg 1982 takes some beating.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)  Complete Symphonies - English CO/Jeffrey Tate rec. 1984-93 WARNER CLASSICS 9846382 [12 CDs: 800:51] [DC] You should have a complete set, but which one? 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 12-14 - Gottlieb Wallisch (piano) Piatti Qt rec. 2012 LINN CKD424 [69:13] Piano Concertos 12-14 - Anne-Marie McDermott (piano) Calder Qt, David J. Grossman (bass) rec. 2012 BRIDGE RECORDS 9403 [75:52] [BW] Two very good recordings, with the Linn ahead by a small margin.

Gottlieb MUFFAT (1690-1770) Suites - Naoko Akutagawa (harpsichord) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.572610 [65:05] [JV] A nice introduction to the art of a composer who deserves to be better known.

John MUSTO (b. 1954) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, Regrets, In Stride - John Musto (piano) Odense SO/Scott Yoo; Greeley PO/ Glen Cortese rec. 2010/12 BRIDGE 9399 [68:27] [DM] Pyrotechnics aplenty; music of substance, too.

Leo ORNSTEIN (1893-2002) Piano Music Volume 2 - Arsentiy Kharitonov (piano) rec. 2012 TOCCATA TOCC 0167 [78:54] [JW] Kharitonov is an exemplary guide - witty, warm and splendidly recorded.

John Knowles PAINE (1839-1906) Overture As You Like It; Tempest; Symphony 1 - Ulster O/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2012 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559747 [70:38] [Byz] Paine’s symphonies deserve to be regularly heard not least when as here they are performed with committed affection.

Andrzej PANUFNIK (1914-1991) Concertino for Timpani, Percussion and Strings, Sinfonia di Speranza Konzerthausorchester Berlin/Lukasz Borowicz Michael Oberaigner (timpani), Christian Löffler (percussion) rec. 2011 CPO 777 685-2 [58:38] [DC] Richly rewarding.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) La fanciulla del West Nina Stemme, Aleksandrs Antonenko, John Lundgren, Royal Swedish Opera/Pier Giorgio Morandi rec. 2012 EUROARTS 2072598 [140.00] [PCG] Musically superior to the Met/Slatkin production and but for the stage design for the final Act it would deserve unqualified praise.

Kevin PUTS (b. 1972) If I Were a Swan, To Touch the Sky, Symphony 4 - Conspirare/Craig Hella Johnson Baltimore SO/Marin Alsop rec. 2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 907580 [60:02] [JQ] Attractive, accessible music from the USA in first rate performances. 

Johann Joachim QUANTZ (1697-1773) Flute Concertos - Les Buffardins/Frank Theuns (Baroque transverse flute) rec. 2011. ACCENT ACC24258 [58:42] Flute Concertos - Mary Oleskiewicz (Baroque transverse flute) Concerto Armonico Budapest/Miklós Spányi rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573120 [77:36] [Byz] More or less random digs into Quantz's concertos yet both come up with musical nuggets that are supremely lyrical, graceful and imaginative. 

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Preludes & Transciptions - Colin Horsley (piano) rec. 1954/1959? ATOLL ACD 442 [76:00] [JW] Horsley was an excellent technician and had good musical instincts. 

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 1, The Isle of the Dead Detroit SO/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573234 [66:20] [DM] Good, if not up there with the best; the Detroit band are splendid though.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 1, Prince Rostislav Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2013 WARNER CLASSICS 4095962 [59:18] [DM] Rachmaninov with plenty of brawn but very little brain; headbangers only need apply.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Bells, Symphonic Dances - Luba Orgonášová (soprano) Dmytro Popov (tenor) Mikhail Petrenko (bass) Rundfunkchor Berlin, Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2010-12 WARNER CLASSICS 9845192 [71:37] [MC] Under Rattle’s assured baton the playing on this Warner Classics release just glows with intensity.

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Zoroastre - Mark Padmore (haute-contre) Nathan Berg (tenor) Gaelle Mechaly (soprano) Matthieu Lecroart (bass) Les Arts Florissants/William Christie rec. 2001 ERATO 2564 658889 [3 CDs: 162:54] [BW] A strong entry at the new lower price.

Günter RAPHAEL (1903-1960) Volume 3: Chamber music after 1946 - rec. 1955-1999 QUERSTAND VKJK 1220 [75:36] [Byz] What a pity that Raphael died before hearing his work played with such panache and commitment.

Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (b. 1928) Missa a cappella, Canticum Mariae Virginis, Die erste Elegie - Latvian Radio Ch/Sigvards Kļava rec. 2012 ONDINE ODE 1223-2 [63:34] [JQ] Choral works by Rautavaara, including his impressive recent Mass, in superb performances. 

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) L’heure espagnole, L’enfant et les sortilèges - Glyndebourne Ch, London PO/Kazushi Ono rec. 2012 FRA MUSICA FRA008 [103:00 (operas) + 23:00 (extras)] [ST] Probably the most purely believable L’Enfant that I’ve seen. 

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Sonatine, Miroirs, Gaspard de la Nuit - Alessandra Ammara (piano) rec. 2012 ARTS MUSIC 47763-8 [76:21] [BR] She’s a compelling, irresistible artist and the playing is never generic. I’ll defend these gigantic, dramatic readings against any foe. 

Knudåge RIISAGER (1897-1974) The Symphonic Edition Vols. 1 & 2- Aarhus SO/Bo Holten rec. 2010/11 DACAPO 8.22614/7 [65:00 & 67:03] Orchestral Works - Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet) Ars Nova, Helsingborg SO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 1997 DACAPO 6.220584 [65:00] [Byz] Something of a maverick. His scores are melody-rich, harmonically consonant and lucidly structured though by no means unconventional.

Franz SCHMIDT (1874-1939) Notre Dame - Kurt Moll (bass) Dame Gwyneth Jones (soprano) Berlin RSO/Christof Perick rec. 1988 CAPRICCIO C5181 [70.29 + 55.22] [PCG] As the sole modern recording of Notre Dame this comes with high praise; pity about lack of libretto and translation.

Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Complete Original Works for Piano Duet and Duo Vol. 4 - Invencia Piano Duo rec. 2010/12 GRAND PIANO GP 624 [56:29] [Byz] The epitome of eloquent refinement and warmth.

Franz SCHREKER (1878-1934) Der Schatzgräber Josef Protschka (tenor) Gabriele Schnaut (soprano) Harald Stamm (bass) Hamburg State PO/Gerd Albrecht rec. 1989 CAPRICCIO C5175 [66.18 + 73.46] [PCG] Blemishes but still gives us a chance to hear a neglected score that is well worth hearing.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sonata 'Arpeggione' Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Cello sonata Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967) Sonatina - Wen-Sinn Yang (cello) Adrian Oetiker (piano) rec. 2012 OEHMS CLASSICS OC866 [75:36] [Byz] Something for everyone in a sense.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies 3 & 4 - Freiburger Barockorchester/Pablo Heras-Casado rec. 2012 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC902154 [54:33] [RS] Well worth a listen for its constant energy and infectious optimism.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) The Complete Etudes - Boris Bekhterev (piano) rec. 2012 CAMERATA CMCD-28281 [68:14] [SS] A unique and coherent view of the complete etudes which while involving the listener also reveals the composer’s essence of thought.

Chieh SHIH (b. 1950) Die Überquerung des Flusses, Ein Takt, Wanderschaft, Die Trennung - Anu Komsi (soprano) Anika Vavić (piano) Ens 'Die Reihe'/Georg Fritzsch; Ntl SO Taiwan/Chien Wen-Pin rec. 2010 CAPRICCIO C5111 [65:31] [Byz] An appreciation of the likes of Carter, Birtwistle or early Penderecki is a prerequisite for understanding Shih. Superbly responsive, empathetic musicianship.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 4 - Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573188 [64:59] [DM] Shostakovich-lite; Petrenko’s as perplexing as ever.

Wilhelm STENHAMMAR (1871-1927) String Quartets 3 & 4; Elegy; Intermezzo Stenhammar Qt rec. 2011/2012 BIS BIS-SACD-1659 [73:47] [JW] Rapt devotion and splendid tone make a very strong case.

Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) Die Fledermaus, Eine Nacht in Venedig, Der Zigeunerbaron, Simplicius, Wiener Blut rec. 1967-99 WARNER 9846642 [10 CDs: c.11:00:00] [JS] A convenient way to gather a selection of Strauss’s operettas or to fill gaps in your collection.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Lieder - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Gerald Moore (piano) rec. 1967-1970 WARNER CLASSICS 9847382 [6 CDs: 354:16] [RS] A handsome collection of classic recordings.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Stabat Mater, Harnasie - Lucy Crowe (soprano) Pamela Helen Stephen (mezzo) Robert Murray (tenor) Gábor Bretz (baritone) BBC SO & Ch/Edward Gardner rec. 2013 CHANDOS CHSA5123 [58:36] [DBi] A superb performance and recording of the Stabat Mater, coupled with an excellent but rarely heard ballet score.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Symphonies 1 & 2 - LSO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2012 LSO LIVE LSO0731 [47:27] [SG] Gergiev and his band certainly come out tops with their renditions of these opulent scores.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Symphonies 3 & 4, Stabat Mater - Sally Matthews (soprano) Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo) Toby Spence (tenor) Kostas Smorignas (bass-baritone) Denis Matsuev (piano) London SO & Ch/Valery Gergiev rec. 2012/13 LSO LIVE LSO0739 [69:53] [DBi] Excellent performances of three of Szymanowski's best works but a glance at the competition on Chandos will be needed.

Matthew TAYLOR (b.1964) String Quartets 5-7 - Dante String Qt, Allegri String Qt, Salieri String Qt rec. 2012 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0144  [54:22] Viola Concerto, Symphony 2 - Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola) BBC SO/Garry Walker rec. 2009/13 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0175 [59:00] [BW] Not easy or comfortable music but not deliberately difficult and well worth hearing in these idiomatic performances. 

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 5; Swan Lake suite - Arctic PO/Christian Lindberg rec. 2012/13 BIS BIS-SACD-2018 [70:47] [BR] Lindberg’s first pro orchestra concert was Tchaikovsky’s Fifth conducted by Svetlanov. That tells you a lot about this excellent CD. 

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Concerto 2 - Isaac Stern (violin)  Swiss Festival O/Lorin Maazel, Ernest Ansermet rec. 1956/8 AUDITE 95.624 [69:43] [SG] Two welcome additions to the Stern discography. I eagerly await other treasures from this source. 

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphonies 5 & 7 - Sheila Armstrong (soprano) London Philharmonic O & Ch/Bernard Haitink rec. 1984/94 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO-0072 [43:47 + 42:06] [DM] A Fifth of rare coherence and character; a sturdy but sporadic Seventh.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Aida - Susanna Branchini (soprano) Walter Fraccaro (tenor) Mariana Pentcheva (mezzo) Alberto Gazale (baritone) Carlo Malinverno (bass) O & Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma/Antonino Fogliani rec. 2012 C MAJOR 724808 [165:00] [RS] A strong and satisfying performance.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Traviata Svetla Vassileva, Massimo Giordano, Vladimir Stoyanov, Teatro Regio di Parma/Yuri Temirkanov rec. 2008 C MAJOR 723704 [133:00 + 11:00 (bonus)] [RJF] A traditional production, in mainly colourful and elegant sets and costumes, is graced by a very well acted and sung interpretation of one of opera’s most demanding title roles.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La forza del destino - Ziyan Atfeh (bass) Dimitra Theodossiou (soprano) Aquiles Machado (tenor) Ch & O Teatro Regio, Parma/Gianluigi Gelmetti rec. 2011 C MAJOR 724408 [2 DVDs: 178:00 + 11:00] [RJF] Not perfect. Out-pointed by Mehta’s Florence version. 

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello - Aleksanders Antonenko (tenor) Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano) Chicago SO & Ch/Riccardo Muti rec. 2011 CSO RESOUND CSOR901 1301 [66:57 + 69:06] [ST] While this set may not be perfect, it’s worth hearing for Antonenko and Stoyanova, and the budget price helps. 

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Un ballo in maschera - Massimiliano Pisapia (tenor) Chiara Tugi (soprano) Leipzig Op Ch & Children’s Ch; Leipzig Ballet Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2006 EUROARTS 2055107 [137.00] [PCG] The drama and musical passion are plentiful and the visual aspects are never unattractive. 

Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) Tenebrae Responsories - Tenebrae/Nigel Short rec. 2012 SIGNUM SIGCD344 [72:01] [ST] This disc confirms Victoria as one of the most important and gifted musical voices of the European counter-reformation and is well worth exploring.

Louis VIERNE (1870-1937) Cello Sonata, Les Angelus Alex CLAIRMON (b.1910) Trio - Geneviève Martinet, Jules Lemaire (cello) Jean Doyen (piano) Hélène Bouvier (mezzo) Maurice Duruflé (organ) Roland Charmy (violin) Lily Laskine (harp) rec. 1957-59 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 842 [48:33] [JW] Unusual, indeed odd, the original recordings are largely unexplored territory and thus of interest to collectors. 

Giovanni Battista VIOTTI (1755-1824) Flute Concertos - Mario Carbotta (flute) Orch i Pomeriggi Musicali/Pietro Mianiti rec. 2011 DYNAMIC CDS 727 [56:53]
François DEVIENNE (1759-1803)
Flute Concertos 2 & 7 Jean-Baptiste BRÉVAL (1753-1823) Symphonie Concertante - Marc Grauwels (flute) Alain De Reijckere (bassoon) Walloon CO/Bernard Labadie NAXOS 8.555918 [59:10]
Caspar FÜRSTENAU (1772-1819)
Works for flute & guitar Anton Bernard FÜRSTENAU (1792-1852) Serenades - Bent Larsen, Siro Cavalet (flutes) Jan Sommer (guitar) Lars Grunth (viola) Signe Haugland (bassoon) rec. 1997 CLASSICO CLASSCD 209 [59:10] [Byz] Flute to the fore. 

Dan VISCONTI (b.1982) Lonesome Roads - Horszowski Trio, Scharoun Ens Berlin/Members of the Berlin Phil O rec. 2009-2012 BRIDGE 9386 [66:37] [JW] A pluralist, vernacular turn of mind. 

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Catone in Utica - Topi Lehtipuu  (tenor) Roberta Mameli (soprano) Il Complesso Barocco/Alan Curtis rec. 2012 NAÏVE OP30545 [3 CDs: 160:59] [BW] [GM] A truly outstanding recording of one of Vivaldi’s finest works. 

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Catone in Utica - Topi Lehtipuu (tenor) Roberta Mameli (soprano) Ann Hallenberg (mezzo) Sonia Prina (alto) Il Complesso Barocco/Alan Curtis rec. 2012 NAÏVE OP 30545 [3 CDs: 158:00] [DBi] A magnificent recording of yet another splendid Vivaldi opera, the 18th in Naïve's great series.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Das Rheingold - René Pape (bass) Johannes Martin Kränzle (baritone) O Teatro alla Scala/Daniel Barenboim rec. 2010 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108 090 [163.00] [PCG] In terms of sheer musicality and drama this La Scala video is about the best around and it is not at all bad visually either.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Das Rheingold René Pape, Nikolai Putilin, Stephan Rügamer, Mariinsky O/Valéry Gergiev rec. 2010/2012 MARIINSKY MAR0526 [72:13 + 75:29] [DBi] An enjoyable Rheingold with sonorous sounds from the Mariinsky orchestra but not an essential purchase. 

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Rienzi - Torsten Kerl (tenor) Daniela Sintram (mezzo) Capitol Chorus; Ch of La Scala Academy, Milan, Capitol Nat O/Pinchas Steinberg rec. 2012 OPUS ARTE OA1110D [2 DVDs: 231.00] [PCG] Flawed but overall pretty good. 

Helmut WALCHA (1907-1991) Chorale Preludes Vol. 4 - Delbert Disselhorst (organ) rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.572913 [57:36] [Byz] A fine conclusion to a highly likeable cycle.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Der Freischütz Christine Brewer (soprano) Simon O’Neill (tenor) Lars Woldt (bass-baritone) London SO & Ch/Sir Colin Davis rec. 2012 LSO LIVE LSO0726 [64:20 + 58:23] [JQ] A concert performance of Der Freischütz that doesn’t quite hit the bull’s-eye. 

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Hunter's Bride (Der Freischütz) - Franz Grundheber, Benno Schollum, Juliane Banse, Rundfunkchor Berlin, London SO/Daniel Harding rec. 2010 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101692 [137:00 + 10:00 extras] This production sports an excellent cast and is well conceived. 

Stephen WHITTINGTON (b. 1953) Music for Airport Furniture Zephyr Qt rec. 2013 COLD BLUE MUSIC CB0038 [22:47] [DC] Music to take your mood down a few notches - but in the nicest possible way.

Joseph WOELFL (1773-1812) String Quartets - Quatuor Mosaïques rec. 2011 PALADINO MUSIC PMR 0023 [71:41] [BR] Everything’s good but the music. For specialists or those who love reading about historical instruments. 

Alexander von ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) String Quartet 1 Jean-Jacques DÜNKI (b. 1948) Madrigaux - Zemlinsky Qt rec. 2012 BMN 20131 [CD: 49:30; Blu-Ray: 81:02] [DBi] A good concept poorly mastered for issue. For the Zemlinsky look elsewhere.

The 20th Century Concerto Grosso Works by Schulhoff, Krenek & d'Indy - Maria Prinz (piano) Karl-Heinz Schütz (flute) Christoph Koncz (violin) Robert Nagy (cello) ASMF/Sir Neville Marriner rec. 2012 CHANDOS CHAN10791 [61:41] [DJB] An interesting mix then, well played and recorded throughout, with the Krenek being the undoubted highlight. 

Martha Argerich and Friends A Concert from the Munich Klaviersommer 1982 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 671 [85:00] [SG] Allowance being made for technical filming deficiencies this is very distinguished music-making. 

Sir John Barbirolli: New York Concerts 1962 Works by Beethoven, Brahms, Delius, Haydn & Milhaud - Gina Bachauer (piano) Aldo Parisot (cello) New York PO/Sir John Barbirolli rec. 1962 BARBIROLLI SOCIETY SJB 1067-68 [48:12 + 66:29] [JQ] A set of very good performances in which we hear Barbirolli happily reunited with the New York Philharmonic.

Begin Pacific Guitar Ensemble rec. 2010/2012 GSP RECORDINGS GSP1037CD [57:07] [OL] An interesting mix of old and new music, in inspired performances.

Leonard Bernstein: Historic Recordings 1941-1961 - Boston SO, New York PO/Leonard Bernstein WEST HILL RADIO ARCHIVES [JW] Vivacity and energy and there in abundance.

Beyond Schumann Improvisations on works by Schumann - Michael Gees (piano) rec. 2012 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72597 [56:04 + 40:46] [RBl] Heresy or a thought-provoking fantasy on Schumann? Listen and decide. 

Blackwattle Caprices William WALTON (1902-1983) Five Bagatelles Toru TAKEMITSU (1930-1996) Three Songs Ross EDWARDS (b.1943) Blackwattle Caprices Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Suite - Jacob Cordover (guitar) rec. 2013 CALA CACD77017 [68:41] [JW] A generally interesting recital mixing the unusual and the expected. 

Canta la Serenissima Music from 17th century Venice by Monteverdi, Grandi & Castello - Argo rec. 2012 ALBA ABCD 360 [65:58] [JV] The emotional and dramatic character of this repertoire is barely conveyed. 

Shura Cherkassky (piano)The Complete World Record Club Solo Recordings rec. 1958-63 GUILD GHCD 2398/99 [79:24 + 77:44] [JWh] An absolute must for serious collectors.

Blue Clavichord Verdehr Trio rec. 2012 HERITAGE HTGCD259 [78:04] [JF] A captivating exploration of some of the clavichord’s interesting musical byways. 

Come Again Dowland and his Contemporaries - Jan Kobow (tenor) Ulrich Wedemeier (lute) Hamburger Ratsmusik/Simone Eckert rec. 2013 CPO 777 799-2 [70.41] [GH] An interesting disc despite some caveats.

Sir Colin Davis - Staatskapelle Dresden rec. 1988-2003 PROFIL EDITION PH13032 [6 CDs: 376:08] [BR] An almost totally perfect tribute to Colin Davis’ work in Dresden.

Diabolo MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG 906 1757-7 [Blu-Ray: 108.28 + SACD: 78.14] [PCG] Intended for hi-hi purposes but the bits of performances we get to hear are fine and the recordings are excellent.

I Dodici Giardini - Cantico di Santa Caterina da Bologna (1413-1463) La Reverdie with Adiastema rec. 2010 ARCANA A367 [70:34] [GH] Esoteric disc … gorgeous clear voices … If it interests you then do snap this disc up now.

Down by the Sea A Collection of British Folk Songs - Blossom Street/Hilary Campbell rec. 2012 NAXOS 8.573069 [55:08] [JQ] A well sung disc containing some interesting arrangements of folk songs.

Früh Songs by Berg, Schönberg & Webern - Marianne Beate Kielland (mezzo) Nils Anders Mortensen (piano) rec. 2011 LAWO CLASSICS LWC 1033 [48:13] [DC] A gem filled with discovery. 

Great works for flute and orchestra Residentie O Den Haag/Neeme Järvi rec. 2007/8 BIS BIS-SACD-1679 [69:25] [DBi] A beautifully recorded and played recital of works for flute and orchestra, of which just the Nielsen concerto is a necessary purchase. 

Hollywood String Quartet Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quintet Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) String Quartet 1 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quintet Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) String Quartet 12 - Kurt Reher (cello) Victor Aller (piano) rec. 1951-55 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM 085 [67:13 + 68:31] [SG] Four of the staples of the chamber music repertoire in excellent new re-masterings.

I Want To Live Contemporary Music for female voices - The Crossing/Donald Nally rec. 2011 INNOVA 856 [69.25] [GH] Magical, pure, flexible, perfectly tuned and highly sensitive to the composer’s wishes.

Otto Klemperer - Sacred Music Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass in B minor; St Matthew Passion George Frederick HANDEL (1684-1759) Messiah Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis - Philharmonia Ch & O rec. 1960-67 WARNER CLASSICS 9935602 [7 CDs: 580:45] [PCG] Two indubitably great recordings but only Klemperer completists will want to invest in all of these discs.

Memento Mori Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Chi vol che m'innamorati Luigi ROSSI (c.1597-1653)? Disperar di se stesso, O Cecità del misero mortale - Les Cris de Paris/Geoffrey Jourdain rec. 2012 APARTÉ AP059 [63:41] [JV] Enthralling repertoire and overall good and expressive performances. 

Mexican Piano Concertos Works by Samuel ZYMAN (b.1956) & José ROLÓN (1876-1945) Claudia Corona (piano) Nuremberg SO/Gregor Bühl rec. 2013 TYXART TXA13024 [58:33] [NB] Reinforces the impression that there is an awful lot of very fine Latin-American music that is little-known and indeed neglected. 

Moura Lympany The HMV recordings 1947-1952 APR 6011 [79:10 + 79:05] [SG] An impressive tribute to a fine British pianist. 

Music cannot be learned (Claude Debussy) A film by Georges Gachot rec. 2000 EUROARTS 2066718 [74.00] [PCG] A brief overview of Debussy’s career illustrated with excerpts from some of his earlier scores. 

Musica Barocca a Due Hanna Annala (guitar) Mari Mäntylä (decacorde) rec. 2011 ALBA ABCD 358 [59:35] [DC] Want to hear a ‘decacorde’? 

My Own Country Songs by Elgar, Bridge, Parry & others - Felicity Lott (soprano), Graham Johnson (piano) rec. 2003 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD024 [70.12] [EM-L] Singing and accompaniment generally superb with musical intelligence, understanding and good communication. 

Night Sessions The Dowland Project - John Potter (tenor) John Surman (saxophones, bass clarinet, percussion) rec. 2001-06 ECM NEW SERIES 2018 [72:29] [DC] Fascinating? - yes, transcendent? - mwah … 

Nigunim Hebrew Melodies - Gil Shaham (violin) Orli Shaham (piano) rec. 2011 CANARY CLASSICS CC10 [57:07] [OL] Heartfelt and profound.

Nordic Spring Terje Tonnesen (violin) Lars Anders Tomter (viola) Norwegian Chamber O/Terje Tonnesen rec. 2012/13 SIMAX PSC1264 [61.57] [IL] An appealing concert of string music from a polished ensemble.

Romantic Piano Trios Works by Hurlstone, Hyde, d'Ollone & Wiren - Trio Anima Mundi rec. 2011 DIVINE ART DDA25102 [38:35 + 45:11] [JF] A fine debut release - extremely courageous in issuing a collection of ‘discoveries’.

Tanglewood Festival 75th Anniversary Concert rec. 2012 C MAJOR 713304 [112.00] [PCG] Maybe they’ll do better in five years’ time.

Teatro Alla Scala - The Opera Classics Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Le Nozze di Figaro Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Maria Stuarda Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Simon Boccanegra rec. 2006-10 ARTHAUS MUSIK 107535 [4 DVDs] [RJF] Despite the limitations of the Verdi opera compared with the competition this collection from La Scala is a good bargain at the price.

There is No Rose Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) A Ceremony of Carols & other works by Britten, Elgar, Holst, Ledger, O'Regan & Rutter - Les Sirènes/Andrew Nunn Pippa Tunnell (harp), Fionnuala Ward (piano), Hazel Collins, Ruth Tarr (violins) rec. 2013 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6249 [56:15] [GPJ] Whole-hearted and very full-blooded singing from this fine Scottish group, accompanied by talented young instrumentalists. 

Times Go By Turns New York Polyphony rec. 2013 BIS BIS-SACD-2037 [77:58] [JQ] An enterprising programme immaculately sung.

Ramón Vargas (tenor) Opera arias - Budapest SO/Riccardo Frizza rec. 2012 CAPRICCIO C5165 [48:00] [GF]  At premium price the playing time is pretty meagre. There are several good readings here but some that I could have done without.

Le Violon De Rothschild Lyonel Schmit (violin) Julien Guénebaut (piano) rec. 2010 FONDAMENTA FON1110009 [67:32 + 67:32] [TB] Two splendid performances of the two violin sonatas. 

The Virtuoso Recorder II Michael Schneider (recorder) Cappella Academica Frankfurt rec. 2011 CPO 777 316-2 [76:33] [JV] The inclusion of three first recordings make this disc an especially important release.

Michael Volle (baritone) - A Portrait Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Ralf Weikert rec. 2012 BR KLASSIK 900312 [70:58] [MC] An enjoyable and stimulating collection demonstrating the versatility of a truly splendid baritone.

The World of the Oboe Works by Bach, Ravel, MacMillan & others - varios artists OBOE CLASSICS CC2026 [60:43 + 61:15] [JW] This would make a pleasurable gift for the enquiring or potentially enquiring oboe lover.

Other reviews

David JENNINGS (b.1972) ‘Harvest Moon: A Suite for Piano' Goodmusic Publishing GM109 [JF]

Gracious Ladies: The Norbury Family and Edward Elgar by Kevin Allen. Published June 2013 [HPR] Well written and insightful, this book places Edward Elgar’s career and achievements within a larger context, as well as reading almost like a Jane Austen novel. 

Lost Chords and Christian Soldiers The sacred music of Arthur Sullivan by Ian Bradley. SCM Press [RW] This is a good reference volume to grace any bookcase.

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