NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
From now on, all articles will only available in pdf format.
[New] Mozart 225 Part 2 by Michael Greenhalgh
[New] Second Thoughts
and Short Reviews: Spring 2017 by Brian Wilson
Three articles by Stuart Scott: The Piccolo Soloists ~
A Flute for the Tsar ~
Flautists of the Royal
Forgotten Artists: Luigi Toffolo by Christopher Howell
The Music of Johann Rufinatscha by Andrew Hartman
Life and Music by Nick Fuller (pdf)
English Music Festival 2017 programme
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Friday April 28th
Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Piano Trios Nos
1 & 2 - Wilkomirski Trio
rec. 2016 DUX 1320 [65:58] [DJB] Not perfect by any means, but provides a very viable option for the second trio.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concertos
- Sunwook Kim (piano) Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec.
2016 HALLÉ CDHLD7546 [48.13
+ 50.54] [MC] Fine accounts of the Brahms
FRANÇAIX (1912-1997) Works for
clarinet - Dmitri Ashkenazy (clarinet) Ada Meinich
(viola) Yvonne Long, Bernd Glemser (piano) Cincinnati
PO/Christoph-Matthias Mueller rec. 1992-2016
PALADINO MUSIC PMR0074 [55:58]
[MR] A true feel-good CD in which bubbly,
enjoyable music is played with infectious enthusiasm
by one of today’s greatest clarinettists.
IRELAND (1879-1962) Orchestral
works - City London Sinf/Richard Hickox rec.
1994 CHANDOS CHAN10912X [63:50]
[JWh] English romantic music at its very
KIMBER (b.1945) Music for
Viola Vol. 5 - Marcin Murawski (viola)
rec. 2014/2015 ACTE
PREALABLE AP0346 [56:14] [SA] This
will be readily received by viola lovers everywhere.
Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Zaide - Sophie Bevan
(soprano) Allan Clayton (tenor) O Classical Opera/Ian Page rec. 2016
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD473 [77:54] [ST] If ultimately
this is a mixed bag for the singers, then unarguably the most
consistently rewarding stars are the orchestra.
Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme Suite, Ariadne
auf Naxos Symphony-Suite - Buffalo PO/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2014-16
NAXOS 8.573460 [75:34] [JWh]
A fine addition to the Strauss discography.
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto,
Méditation, Sérénade mélancolique -
Moonkyung Lee (violin)
London SO/Miran Vaupotić
rec. 2016 NAVONA NV6079 [57:44] Violin Concerto, Sérénade mélancolique,
Valse-Scherzo, Souvenir d’un lieu cher -
Jennifer Koh (violin)
Odense SO/Alexander Vedernikov
rec. 2015 CEDILLE CDR90000166 [74:20] [DHu] Tchaikovsky
twice played well, but competitive in such a crowded field? Not really.
Classics on Marimba
Works by Bach, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Chopin, Thompson & Waxman -
Fumito Nunoya (marimba)
Momoko Shano (piano)
rec. 2015/16 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1859 [64:42] [GF] If you are a marimba fan, this disc should be obligatory listening; if you are not, you might well become one after hearing it.
Forgotten Treasures of the Ukrainian Soul
rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2222 SACD [76:18] [DC] A real portrait of Ukrainian classical music from the last century.
Thursday April 27th
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Four Preludes and Serious Songs, Clarinet Sonata (arr. Berio) Detlev GLANERT (b. 1960) Weites land - Michael Nagy (baritone) Kari Kriikku (clarinet) Helsinki PO/Olari Elts rec. 2014/16 ONDINE ODE1263-2 [59:12] [SB] A programme which will reward the adventurous Brahmsian.
Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Cello Suites - Noémi Boutin (cello) rec. 2016 NOMADMUSIC NMM039 [74:05] [SG] Up there with the best.
Philip GLASS (b. 1937)
Piano Works -
Víkingur Ólaffson (piano)
rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 6918 [79:39] [DC] One in which to wallow deliciously.
Leopold KOŽELUCH (1747-1818) Complete
Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 7 -
Kemp English (fortepiano)
rec. 2012 GRAND PIANO GP731 [68:22] [RK] Another fine set of Koželuch piano sonatas.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 3 - Gerhild Romberger (contralto)
Bavarian RSO & Ch/Bernard Haitink rec. 2016 BR KLASSIK 900149 [35.49 + 65.39] [JQ] Despite reservations over the first movement this is a distinguished reading of Mahler’s Third.
Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de MONDONVILLE (1711-1772)
Katherine Watson (soprano)
Reinoud Van Mechelen (tenor)
Purcell Ch, Orfeo O/György Vashegyi
rec. 2016 GLOSSA GCD924001 [3 CDs: 173:24] [SSi]
This is a marvellous and highly recommendable recording, especially to those who love the splendour of the French baroque music.
Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto No. 2,
Concert Fantasia - Eldar Nebolsin (piano) New Zealand SO/Michael Stern
rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573462 [72:20] [JWh] Another winner from Naxos offering quality music
making and great value for money.
rec. 2016 C MAJOR Blu-ray 738904 [104:00]
[RMay] A skillfully danced, well directed and highly enjoyable version of Carmen.
Bologna 1666 Basel
CO/Julia Schröder (violin) rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88985 315592 [66:35] [DJB] Fine music from the Italian baroque that you won’t know, beautifully played.
Ouverturer å Kongl. Theatern Works by Berwald, Foroni, Kraus, Norman, Randel & Söderman - St. Petersburg Hermitage O/Mats Liljefors; Kung. Hovkapellet/Stig Westerberg rec. 1985/95 STERLING CDS1009-2 [61:10] [GF] A very interesting survey – well played and recorded – of music connected with The Royal Opera in Stockholm.
Wednesday April 26th
George Frideric HANDEL
(1685-1759) Arias - Sonya
Yoncheva (soprano), Karine Deshayes
(mezzo) Academia Montis Regalis/Alessandro de
Marchi (harpsichord) rec. 2016 SONY
88985302932 [63.45] [MC] Strikingly
performed and recorded - a sheer delight.
KOŽELUCH (1747-1818) Symphonies
Vol. 1 - Czech Ch PO/Marek Štilec
rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573627 [76:55]
Piano Concertos Nos 1, 5 & 6 - London Mozart
Players/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2015 HYPERION
CDA68154 [75:41] [DJB] Graceful
and effortlessly pleasing.
David LUMSDAINE (b. 1931) Mandala 3 Nicola LeFANU (b. 1947) Invisible pieces, Trio 2: Song for Peter - Sarah Leonard (soprano) Gemini/Ian Mitchell (clarinet) rec. 1995/2015 MÉTIER MSV28565 [76.34] [PCG] A slightly uneven collection, though never less than interesting.
OF THE MONTH Józef NOWAKOWSKI (1800-1865) Piano Quintet Józef KROGULSKI (1815-1842) Piano Octet - Nelson Goerner (piano); Lena Neudauer (violin) Marcin Zdunik (cello) Jan Krzeszowiec (flute) Radosław Soroka (clarinet) rec. 2014 FRYDERYK CHOPIN INSTITUTE NIFCCD105 [61:25] [PRB] The most enjoyable chamber music offering and the most fascinating find
I have encountered for some considerable time.
Turandot - Sun Xiuwei (soprano) Dai Yuqiang
(tenor) China Ntl Centre Perf Arts Ch & O/Daniel
Oren rec. 2013 ACCENTUS MUSIC DVD
ACC20338 [140 mins] [RJF] This
Beijing staging is spectacular in its visual
impact and sheer opulence. Sung by a cast of
indigenous singers, none less than adequate,
is well supported by the recording and filming.
Well worth seeing.
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) The 10 Piano Sonatas - Garrick Ohlsson (piano) rec. 2014/15 BRIDGE 9468A/B [76:23 + 71:23] [SB] These are plainer readings than those of Hamelin and some may prefer them
for that reason.
Ronald STEVENSON (1928-2015) Piano Music Vol. 2 - Christopher Guild (piano) TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0388 [66:37] [JW] Another fine addition to the ever-expanding discography of Ronald Stevenson’s music.
Heartfelt Romantic Works for Horn - Rob van de Laar (French horn) Thomas Beijer (piano) Mathieu van Bellen (violin) Karin Strobos (mezzo) rec. 2016 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72745 SACD [72:35] [DC] Good recording of Brahms’s Horn Trio in a sympathetic programme.
to Build an Orchestra - Thomas
Hull, Ruth Rogers, Julian Lloyd-Webber, Chipping
Campden Fest Academy O rec. 2015 CHIPPING
CAMDEN MUSIC FESTIVAL CCMF004 DVD [47:00]
[JQ] An attractive film, offering an enjoyable
introduction to the Chipping Campden Music Festival
and its excellent resident orchestra.
Vol. 1: Liederkonzert
- Jan Eyron (piano) rec. 1986 STERLING
CDA1689-2 [63:42] [GF] Musically
there is much that is exquisitely done, but
the recorded sound leaves a great deal to be
Tuesday April 25th
van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies
Nos 3, 5 & 7 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Symphony No. 5 - Vienna PO, Israel PO/Sir
Georg Solti rec. 1958/9 DECCA ELOQUENCE
4806596 [78:11 + 69:25] [JWh] This
is highly recommended.
FAURÉ (1845-1924)/André MESSAGER (1853-1920)
Messe des pêcheurs de Villerville Johann
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)/Giovanni Battista
PERGOLESI (1710-1736) Psalm 51 - Mädchenchor Hannover/Gudrun Schröfel rec.
2015/16 RONDEAU ROP6119 [53:46]
[MR] Two works, four composers and performances
which elevate this music beyond mere historical
OF THE MONTH Paul
Complete String Quartets
- Amar Qt
rec. 2009/10 NAXOS 8.503290
[3 CDs: 203:15] [SSi] A recording
which Hindemith’s string quartets have
waited for and deserved. The Amar Quartet effortlessly
prove that there is a lot more than counterpoint
to this composer’s music.
LISZT (1811-1886) 15
Songs - Timothy Fallon (tenor)
Ammiel Bushakevitz (piano) rec. 2015 BIS
BIS-2272 SACD [65:56] [GF] The
interest in Liszt’s songs is apparently
on the increase this disc should win many new
admirers of them.
MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) I 7
Peccati Capitali - Cappella Mediterranea/Leonardo
García Alarcón rec. ALPHA 249
[72:24] [DC] Superb all round - Monteverdi
in a glittering new garment.
PETERSON-BERGER (1867-1942) Symphonies
Nos 1 & 5 - Royal Opera O/Leif Segerstam
rec. 1997 STERLING CDS-1006-2
[72:48] [WK] Great feeling for this music.
SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) 24 Preludes
& Fugues - Craig Sheppard (piano) rec. 2015
ROMÉO RECORDS 7315-16 [63:34
+ 78:01] [JQ] A rewarding and very fine
Garifullina (soprano) Songs &
Arias - ORF Radio-SO Wien/Cornelius Meister,
Osipov State Russian Folk O/Vitaly Gnutov rec.
2015/2016 DECCA 478 8305 [58.53]
[MC] A ravishingly sung album of soprano
songs and arias.
Kentner (piano) Works by
Balakirev, Liszt & Lyapunov rec. 1939-1949 APR 6020 [70:41
+ 72:19] [JW] Fine examples of Louis Kentner
at his considerable peak.
Wunderlich (tenor) Radio Recordings
- Ch Bayerischen Rundfunks & Münchner Rundfunk
O/Kurt Eichhorn, Siegfried Köhler, Willy Mattes,
Hans Moltkau, Meinhard von Zallinger rec. 1959-66
BR KLASSIK 900315 LP [45.49]
[DBi] An excellent new LP of what might be
called 'The One Tenor'.
Monday April 24th
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 2,
Beethoven O Bonn/Stefan Blunier
rec. 2016 MDG 937 1977-6 SACD [66:29] [ST] Enjoyable Beethoven, often exciting.
Richard BLACKFORD (b. 1954)
Violin Concerto, Clarinet Quintet, The better angels of our nature,
Goodfellow - Maria Gajdosova (violin) David Campbell (clarinet) Emily Pailthorpe (oboe) Solstice Qt, Brno PO/Richard Blackford; BBC SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2008/15 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6338 [67.21] [PCG] A welcome addition to Richard Blackford’s growing representation on disc.
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Requiem - Saint Thomas Ch of Men & Boys, O of St Luke’s/John Scott RESONUS CLASSICS RES10174 [58:13] [JQ] A most desirable release of Fauré’s choral music from New York.
Friedrich Wilhelm RUST (1739-1796)
Der Clavierpoet -
Jermaine Sprosse (clavichord, fortepiano)
rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88985369272 [75:58] [DC] A composer of flair and originality, brought to light.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartet
No. 15 Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartet Op. 20/3 -
rec. 2015 ONDINE ODE1293-2 [73:51] [RMo] A pairing that succeeds so
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
(1797-1828) Winterreise - Johan Reuter (bass-baritone)
Copenhagen String Qt rec. 2014 DANACORD DACOCD759
[76:00] [GF] I urge every Schubert enthusiast to give this disc a listen.
Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899)
Strauss in St Petersburg -
SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHAN10937
Swift, almost cursory performances of second-rate Strauss; one to
STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie -
Gothenburg SO/Kent Nagano rec. 2014 FARAO CLASSICS B108091
[51:03] [JWh] A well-engineered disc with immaculate orchestral playing and a tasteful
concept of the work as a whole.
Fairy Tales Works by Liszt, Mussorgsky & Tchaikovsky - Katherine Nikitine (piano, organ) Véra Nikitine (organ)
rec. 2016 HORTUS 554 [67:37] [MR] Unusual arrangements for organ and piano, including a particularly fine version of Pictures at an Exhibition, but suffering badly from tuning discrepancies.
Maryla Jonas (piano) Vol. 1: The 78 RPM Recordings / Volume 2: The LP Records rec. 1946/51 ST-LAURENT STUDIO YSL78-219 [47:35 + 53:34] / YSL78-223 [56:01 +37:38] [SG] Essential listening for pianophiles.
Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello)
Works by Bloch, Cohen & Fauré DECCA Promotional [9:18] [SA]
This little ‘sampler’ is part of history in the making.
Nacio Herb Brown
Singin' In The Rain: His 27 Finest
rec. 1927-1951 RETROSPECTIVE
RTR4299 [78:19] [BMC]
Brown was a unique and talented composer, and these songs represent the
many sides to his musical ingenuity.<.