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LATEST REVIEWS

Monday September 30th

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies 1-9 - Staatskapelle Dresden/Eugen Jochum rec. 1975-80 WARNER CLASSICS 9845832 [9 CDs: 550:06] [PCG] After nearly forty years Jochum is no bad guide through this music … a generally magnificent traversal of the cycle.

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] [RW] Allows us to chart the development of Coates’s career rather nicely.

Francisco CORSELLI (1705-1778) Music at the 18th-century Spanish court Nuria Rial (soprano) El Concierto Español/Emilio Moreno rec. 2002 GLOSSA GCD C80307 [62:33] [JV] Corselli is a most interesting composer and the performers serve him very well.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Piano Music - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67875 [72:51] [JW] Hewitt offers extrovert vitality and some personalised moments.

Kenneth FUCHS (b.1956) Falling Canons, Falling Trio, String Quartet 5 - Christopher O’Riley (piano) Trio21, Delray String Qt rec. 2011/12 NAXOS 8.559733 [57.24] [GH] There is an individuality about this music which makes one want to return to it.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde Mildred Miller (mezzo) Ernst Haefliger (tenor) New York PO/Bruno Walter rec. 1960 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO 094 [63:40] [JQ] An outstanding new transfer of Bruno Walter’s stereo recording of Das Lied von der Erde.

Fanny MENDELSSOHN-HENSEL (1805-1847) Das Jahr Hirotoshi Kasai (piano) rec. 2011 TALENT RECORDS DOM 2911 118 [59:10] [BR] Fanny Mendelssohn enthusiasts, unite! New recording of a major piano cycle.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quartets - Vienna Philharmonic Qt rec. 1961 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 4711 [47:42] [MG] Above all you feel the music really matters to these players. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sonata D.960 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Sonata 'Pathétique' Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Fantasy - Sarah Beth Briggs (piano) rec. 2013 SEMAPHORE SMLMP35 [75:44] [Byz] Technical prowess, crisp articulation, thoughtful, idiomatic phrasing, an elegant sense of expressive restraint, meticulous attention to dynamics, physical and mental strength, and above all a sense of awe. 

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlo - Giacomo Prestia (bass) Mario Malagnini (tenor) Simone Piazzola (baritone) O Regionale dell’Emilia Romagna/Fabrizio Ventura rec. 2012 C MAJOR 724608 724704 [215:00] [TB & DBi] A firm and enthusiastic welcome is in order. 

Friday September 27th

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem - Anna Lucia Richter (soprano) Stephan Genz (baritone) MDR Leipzig RSO & Ch/Marin Alsop rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.572996 [64:13] [JQ] A good performance of this great work; but several other recordings offer more.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Prélude ŕ l'aprčs-midi d'un faune; Fętes; La Mer Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Ma Mčre l’Oye; Rapsodie Espagnole Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Scherzo - Pascal Rogé and Ami Rogé (pianos) rec. 2011 ONYX 4117 [79:08] [RBl] A sparkling recital of French music with memorable moments.

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) Noches en los jardines de Espańa César FRANCK (1822-1890) Variations Symphoniques Joaquin TURINA (1882-1949) Rapsodia Sinfonica - Valerie Tryon (piano) Royal PO/Kenneth Woods rec. 2012 SOMM SOMMCD 250 [68:57] [TB] An imaginatively compiled programme - Tryon’s rhythmic intensity is particularly compelling. 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concertos 20 & 27 - Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano) Die Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2012 BIS BIS-SACD-2014 [53:34] [BW] The most satisfying in this series so far - if you want the fortepiano in these works, this is your best choice.

Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b.1933) Piano Concerto - Florian Uhlig (piano) Polish RSO/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2013 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 98.018 [37:50] [Byz] Those who can overlook Hänssler's abysmal running time need not hesitate to add this recording to their Penderecki or piano concerto collection, even if already in possession of the Naxos disc.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Walküre Act One - Johan Botha, Nina Stemme, Ain Anger, Vienna State Opera/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2007 ORFEO C875131B [61:35] [ST] Stemme is a Sieglinde of rare nobility and authority. 

Frederic Lamond (piano) Rare Broadcasts and Selected Recordings - Concertgebouw O/Eduard van Beinum rec. 1921-45 MARSTON 52071-2 [77:37 + 73:32] [JW] Invaluably expands our appreciation of Lamond’s art. 

Latino Gold - Miloš Karadaglić (guitar) Europäischen FilmPhilharmonie/Christoph Israel rec. 2011-2013 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 1421 [79:39] [OL] Devoted and persuasive, with evident good taste and style.

Thursday September 26th

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 2 Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) Glagolitic Mass - Tatiana Monogarova (soprano) Marina Prudenskaja (mezzo) Ludovít Ludha (tenor) Peter Mikuláš (bass) Iveta Apkalna (organ) Bavarian RSO & Ch/Mariss Jansons rec. 2012 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108 080 [88:00] [MC] Winning performances.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Préludes Books I & II - Craig Sheppard (piano) rec. 2012  ROMÉO RECORDS 7297 [79:42] [JQ] A very fine live traversal of Debussy’s Préludes.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Cello Concertos 1 & 2 Josef MYSLIVECEK (1737-1781) Cello Concerto - Wendy Warner (cello) Camerata Chicago/Drostan Hall rec. 2012 CEDILLE RECORDS CDR 90000 142 [72:36] [BR] Really terrific - if you don’t mind that it totally shuns period performance practices.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony 1, Piano Concerto 1 - Yevgeny Sudbin (piano) Singapore SO/Lan Shui rec. 2012 BIS BIS-SACD-2012 [70:58] [DC] Sudbin steals the show once more.

Maria SZYMANOWSKA 1789-1831) Complete piano works - Sławomir P. Dobrzański (piano) rec. 2011/12 ACTE PRÉALABLE APO281-83 [3 CDs: 233:39] [DC] A treasure of charming and graceful discoveries.

Sergey TANEYEV (1856-1915) Complete String Quartets Vol. 3 - Carpe Diem Qt rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.573010 [62:15] [Byz] The Carpe Diem Quartet's set is the one to have.

Choirbook For The Queen BBC Singers/Stephen Cleobury; Stephen Disley (organ) rec. 2013 PRIORY PRCD 1097 [66:32] [JQ] An important disc of significant new pieces of church music in expert performances.

Serge Koussevitzky & the New York P-SO Works by Corelli, Debussy, Ravel, Shostakovich & Tchaikovsky rec. 1942 WEST HILL RADIO ARCHIVES WHRA-6049 [66:48 + 74:22] [JW] Finely engineered, excellent repertoire and often magnificent performances.

Wednesday September 25th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas Vol. 16 - Gerlinde Sämann (soprano) Petra Nostaiova (alto) Christoph Genz (tenor) Jan Van der Crabben (bass) La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken rec. 2012 ACCENT ACC 25316 [70:07] [TB] If a smaller ensemble is the option you prefer, these performances would be hard to better.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Prélude ŕ l'aprés-midi d'un faune Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le sacre du printemps Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Boléro - O de l’Opéra National de Paris/Philippe Jordan rec. 2012 NAĎVE V 5332 [60:12] [DM] Lacklustre performances, poorly recorded; look elsewhere.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius - Arthur Davies (tenor) Gwynne Howell (bass) Roderick Elms (organ) London Symphony O & Ch/Richard Hickox rec. 1988 CHANDOS CHAN 241-46 [56:32 + 57:57] [JQ] A recording of Gerontius that has much to commend it but it doesn’t disturb the existing ‘pecking order’.  

Nicolas FLAGELLO (1928-1994) Odyssey, Symphony 2, Concerto Sinfonico Arnold ROSNER (b. 1945)
Symphony 8 - University of Houston Saxophone Qt & Wind Ens/David Bertman rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.573060 [74.37] [IL] Challenging music: Flagello - stark and uncompromising; Rosner - bold and intensely dramatic. For the adventurous. 

Thomas FORTMANN (b.1951) In Dust we Trust Piano TrioViolin Sonata, Four Pieces for Two Violins - Manrico Padovani, Natasha Korsakova (violins) Akemi Masuko (piano) rec. 2012 METIER MSV 28534 [60.56] [GH] I can’t say that I like this music but I greatly admire the energy, both musical and intellectual, that Fortmann has put into it.  

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Allan PETTERSSON (1911-1980) Symphony 6 - Norrköping SO/Christian Lindberg rec.2012 BIS BIS-SACD-1980 [59:50] [Byz] The always fundamentally tonal music is propelled constantly onwards by the sheer force of argument and expression … the listener's mind is unable to wander.

Ursula Bagdasarjanz Vol. 4 - Ursula Bagdasarjanz, Melanie Di Christino (violin) Raluca Stirbat, Fernane Kaeser, Bruno F. Saladin, Luciano Sgrizzi (piano) rec. 1960/2007 GALLO CD-1251 [54:46] [SG] Another welcome volume in the excellent Gallo retrospective of Ursula Bagdasarjanz’ historic recordings. 

Georg Solti: Charisma and Vitality rec. 1947-1958 DOCUMENTS 233588 [10 CDs: 475:41] [SV] All but enthusiasts will ultimately find the Mahler and the Verdi mere curiosities while the Beethoven, Bartók and Brahms performances are much more. 

Tuesday September 24th

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Daniel Francois Esprit AUBER (1782-1871) La Muette de Portici - Oscar de la Torre (tenor) Angelina Ruzzafante (soprano) Opernchor des Anhaltischen Theaters Anhaltische Philharmonie/Anthony Hermus rec. 2011 CPO 777 694-2 [65:47 + 69:32] [RW] A sensitive and admirable reading of Auber's score. 

Judith BINGHAM (b. 1952) Choral Music - Finn Lacey (treble) Jonathan Vaughn (organ) Wells Cathedral Ch/Matthew Owens rec. 2012 HYPERION CDA67909 [73:00] [JQ] This new recording is a notable and welcome addition to what I hope is a continuing series. 

From the New World Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 9 John ADAMS (b. 1947) Slonimsky’s Earbox Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le Chant du rossignol - Bavarian RSO/Andris Nelsons rec. 2010 C MAJOR 713504 [95:00] [MC] Exemplary, scrupulously prepared, colourful, committed and compelling. 

Alexander TCHEREPNIN (1899-1977) Complete Piano Music - Vol. 4 - Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2012 GRAND PIANO GP649 [58:01] [SA] Another adorable disc of scintillating music brilliantly played. 

Andrea Teodoro ZANI (1696-1757) Complete Cello Concertos - Martin Rummel (cello) Die Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2012 CAPRICCIO C5145 [64:17 + 66:03] [Byz] Fine performances and elegant, creative musicianship. 

The French Accent Works by Poulenc, Roussel & Jolivet - rec. 1928-1958 OBOE CLASSICS CC2025 [76:56] [JW] A cornerstone of both performance and repertoire and greatly to be welcomed. 

Music of the French Baroque Works by Rameau, Telemann & Marais - Il Gardino Armonico/Musica et Saltatoria/Kasper Mainz rec. 2002 ARTHAUS MUSIC 100 395 [60:00] [IL] An adventurous French Baroque programme that should appeal to devotees of the genre. 

The Seasons - 20th Century Music for Wind Quintet by Milhaud, Koechlin, Francais & others - Berlin Phil Wind Quintet rec. 1991-2002 BIS BIS2072 [4 CDs: 268:43] [DC] No need to try, just buy!

 


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