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Thursday August 31st

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations, English Suite No. 5 - Millicent Silver (harpsichord) rec. 1957 HERITAGE HTGCD194 [73:00] [JW] Valuable because there are so few recordings of Silver.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St John Passion - Ch of King’s College Cambridge, Academy of Ancient Music/Stephen Cleobury rec. 2016 KING’S COLLEGE KGS0018 SACD [54:03 + 55:20] [JQ] Uniformly distinguished solo singing but the choral contribution disappoints.

Jane Antonia CORNISH (b. 1975) Into Silence - Anna Elashvili (violin) Caitlin Sullivan, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, Claire Bryant, Hamilton Berry (cellos) Vicky Chow (piano) INNOVA 976 [31:49] [DC] A wondrous space but with specific boundaries.

Nikolaus FHEODOROFF (1931-2011) & Mikhail KOLLONTAY (b.1952) Violin concertos - Elena Denisova (violin) Collegium Musicum Carinthia & RTV O Moscow/Alexei Kornienko rec. 1995/2013 TYXART TXA17093 [62:20] [SG] Challenging scores, in electrifying performances.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartets Op. 20 - Chiaroscuro Qt rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2168 SACD [74:34] [CSe] Marked by independence of thought and a spirit of exploration, this recording does full and satisfying justice to the limitless variety of Haydn’s invention.

Tauno MARTTINEN (1912-2008) Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto No. 1, Phantasy - Philippe Graffin (violin) Ralph van Raat (piano) Marko Ylönen (cello) Turku PO/Ari Rasilainen, Tampere PO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2012/13 COBRA RECORDS COBRA0041 [55:03] [RB] Cutting his own swathe self-guided by tradition-softened modernity.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Songs Without Words - Ania Dorfmann (piano) rec. 1955/56 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM069 [66:46 + 65:38] [JW] It’s rewarding to see Ania Dorfmann’s discography yet more widely available on CD.

Hans PFITZNER (1869-1949) Die Rose vom Liebesgarten - Erin Caves (tenor) Astrid Weber (soprano) Ch Oper Chemnitz & Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie/Frank Beermann rec. 2009 CPO 777 500-2 [3 CDs: 165:08] [PCG] A real discovery.

Siècle Works by Dutilleux, Messiaen, Debussy, Ravel & Saint-Saëns - Leonard Elschenbroich (cello) Alexei Grynyuk (piano) BBC Scottish SO/John Wilson, Stefan Blunier rec. 2016 ONYX CLASSICS 4173 [69:44] [MR] A fascinating tour through a century of French music, led with confidence and a clear sense of focus by the young German cellist Leonard Elschenbroich.

Summer Night Concert 2017 Renée Fleming (soprano) Vienna PO/Christoph Eschenbach rec. 2017 SONY 88985425932 [75:44] [GPJ] An attractive if disparate programme superbly performed by the VPO and Renée Fleming.

Wednesday August 30th

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas 5 & 9 - Georg Kulenkampff (violin) Siegfried Schultze (piano) rec. 1940 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1143 [54:29] [JW] Good performances and fine transfers.

Hanns EISLER (1898-1962) Lieder Vol. 1: Songs & Ballads 1929-1937 - Holger Falk (baritone) Steffen Schleiermacher (piano) MDG 613 2001-2 [76:13] [SSi] This excellent introduction to a proposed series adds greatly to our appreciation of both the man and his music.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphonies 1 & 7, Lieutenant Kije Suite - Deutsches SO Berlin/Tugan Sokhiev rec. 2014/16 SONY 88985 419432 [70:17] [SB] Decent but not quite idiomatic performances of the symphonies; the Lieutenant Kijé is very good.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Le Tombeau de Couperin, Daphnis et Chloé Henri DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) L’arbre des songes, Métaboles Maurice DELAGE (1879-1961) Quatre poèmes hindus - Leonidas Kavakos (violin) Julia Bullock (soprano) London SO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2016 LSO LIVE LSO3038 Blu-ray/DVD [96:00] [JQ] Further evidence that the partnership of Simon Rattle and the LSO is going to be formidable.

Alexandre TANSMAN (1897-1986) Piano Music Vol. 2 - Danny Zelibor (piano) rec. 2015 TOCCATA TOCC0265 [60:00] [JW] The level of invention is variable, but the generous affability and rhythmic vivacity of the music is never in doubt.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin - Georg Zeppenfeld (bass) Piotr Beczała (tenor) Anna Netrebko (soprano) Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 073 5322 Blu-ray [215 mins] [MC] This Lohengrin an essential addition to any collection.

Concertos Parlando Works by Dvarionas, Prokofiev, Shchedrin & Tchaikovsky - Philippe Graffin (violin) Martin Hurrell (trumpet) Ntl PO of Lithuania/Robertas Servenikas; BBC SO/Mikhail Agrest rec. 2008/12 COBRA RECORDS COBRA0040 [77:38] [RB] A disc that sings ardently for its supper.

Fin de Siècle Lawrence Power (viola) Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano) rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68165 [61:26] [DJB] No viola jokes please; this is a glorious recital.

Nature and The Soul Latvian Choral Classics - Latvian Radio Ch/Kaspars Putniņš rec. 2016 SKANI 054 [58:48] [RB] Gentle music touchingly sung and introducing non-Latvian listeners to some lustrous delights.

Stokowski in Philadelphia Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 5 Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Alborada del gracioso Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrushka rec. 1962 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC379 [79:20] [SV] Sturdy and powerful Beethoven, characterful Stravinsky, but an earthbound Alborada.

Tuesday August 29th

Cécile CHAMINADE (1857-1944) Piano Trios, 3 Morceaux -Trio Parnassus rec. 2016 MDG 3032002-2 [72:32] [EJW] A first-rate CD which is a splendid effort by all involved in its production.

Carson COOMAN (b.1982) Exordium: Music for Organ Vol. 5 - Erik Simmons (organ) rec. 2016 DIVINE ART DDA25154 [77:13] [BW] Enjoyable but not an urgent recommendation.

Mieczysław KARŁOWICZ (1876-1909) Violin Concerto, Smutna opowieść Rapsodia Litewska - Bartłomiej Nizioł (violin) Filharmonii M. Karłowicza Szczecinie SO/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2016 DUX 1377 [55:59] [RB] Choppy waters in a market that will expect to have more music included. Individual performances and recordings are very good though.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 8 - Ricarda Merbeth, Juliane Banse, Anna Lucia Richter (sopranos) Ch Bayerischen Rundfunks, Lucerne Festival O/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2016 ACCENTUS ACC20390 DVD [92:56] [JQ] A very fine traversal of Mahler’s hugely ambitious Eighth Symphony.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 - 1791) Piano Sonatas Vol. 5 - William Youn (piano) rec. 2016 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1857 [77:04] [RMo] This last issue in Youn’s survey of the complete Mozart sonatas puts the seal on a highly desirable set in exemplary sound.

Giovanni PAISIELLO (1740-1816) Concerto No.5 Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Sonatas for Strings Nos 1 & 5 Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) Oboe Concerto - Renato Zanfini (oboe) Virtuosi di Roma/Renato Fasano rec. c.1958 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1341 [49:27] [JW] Fully representative of the high standards of playing to be encountered in this ensemble in the 50s and 60s.

Guy SACRE (b.1948) Works for Piano Vol. 2 - Billy Eidi (piano) rec. 2008 TIMPANI 1C1163 [73:27] [RB] The gentlest twists and swerves of subtle dissonance …. a touching and chiming Gallic impressionism.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Sonate à flauto solo - Tripla Concordia: Lorenzo Cavasanti (recorders) Sergio Ciomei (harpsichord Caroline Boersma (cello) ARCANA A433 [56:14] [CC] A most enjoyable release.

Furatus Works by Grieg, Yamada, Shostakovich, Tveitt & Nielsen - Ole Edvard Antonsen (trumpet) Wolfgang Plagge (piano) rec. 2012/13 2L 2L130SABD SACD & Blu-ray [52:00] [DD] Superb arrangements, beautifully played and magnificently recorded.

The King of Instruments – A Voice Reborn Stephen Cleobury (organ) rec. 2017 KING’S COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE KGS0020 [63:37] [MR] A demonstration of a famous organ sounding again after a major renovation, but going beyond that to offer some impressive interpretations of familiar repertory.

Monday August 28th 

Jerome de BROMHEAD (b.1945) Orchestral Music - RTÉ Ntl SO/Colman Pearce rec. 2014 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0422 [75:28] [RB] An interesting prospect, well organised and efficient, encompassing neon-lit dream textures and imposingly statuesque brass writing.

Hans Leo HASSLER (1564-1612) Organ Works - Joseph Kelemen (organ) rec. 2014/16 OEHMS OC658 SACD [79:51] [JV] A perfect introduction to Hassler's art as a keyboard player and composer of keyboard music.

Daniel JONES (1912-1993) Symphonies Nos 2 & 11 - BBC Welsh SO/Bryden Thomson rec. 1990 LYRITA SRCD.364 [62:08] [BW] Most recommendable – admirers of Jones’ music will snap it up; others should find this a good place to get to know his symphonies.

Jeajoon RYU (b. 1970) Cello Concerto, Marimba Concerto, Il Nome Della Rosa Overture - Arto Noras (cello) June Moon Kyung Hahn (marimba) Royal PO/Grzegorz Nowak rec. 2016 ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA RPOSP056 [67:48] [RB] Tonal, subtle and moody.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Choral works - Ch of Trinity College, Cambridge/Stephen Layton; Trinity Brass, Owain Park & Alexander Hamilton (organ) rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68174 [81:02] [RHa] The Stanford revival continues apace with a generous dollop of his church music, splendidly performed by Stephen Layton’s Premier League choir and vividly recorded.

Stephen WILKINSON (b. 1919) Dover Beach - The Choir/Stephen Wilkinson rec. 2009 DEUX-ELLES DXL1148 [66:12] [JQ] Challenging but rewarding choral music.

Paul Bazelaire (cello) Ses 78 tours rec. 1929/51 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1202/3 [2 CDs: 148:44] [SG] Cello aficionados will find plenty to savour. A labour of love by all concerned.

The Edge of Time Anna Friederike Potengowski (bone flutes) Georg Wieland Wagner (percussion) rec. 2016 DELPHIAN DCD34185 [64:32] [MS] A fascinating set of accessible pieces exploring how very ancient instruments (from the European Stone Age) might have been played.

Humoresque Kristina Nouzovská Fialová (viola) Petr Nouzovský (cello) rec. 2017 ARCO DIVA UP0178 2 131 [48:23] [JW] Attractive, uncontentious, and warmly human music.

Gundula Janowitz (soprano) The Last Recital: In Memoriam Maria Callas - Charles Spencer (piano) rec. 1999 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR56 [82:38] [RMo] More than just a sentimental tribute, but rather a thoroughly rewarding recital from a beloved performer.

Other reviews
Saudade Renato Braz (tenor) Paul Winter Consort, Dimitri Pokrovsky Ens LIVING MUSIC LMU-48 [72:10] [BMC] Ballads from some of Brazil’s finest song writers.

Friday August 25th 

Rory BOYLE (b.1951) Music for clarinet - Fraser Langton (clarinet) Rosalind Ventris (viola) James Willshire (piano) rec. 2016 DELPHIAN DCD34172 [60:08] [MR] A long-established if reserved Scottish composer, much influenced by Lennox Berkeley, makes a rare but welcome appearance on disc with some well-crafted music for clarinet.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Rosmonda d’Inghilterra - Jessica Pratt, Eva Mei (sopranos) Dario Schmunck (tenor) O Donizetti Opera/Sebastiano Rolli rec. 2016 DYNAMIC CDS7757.02 [2 CDs: 144:10] [GF] A very well-sung performance with lots of wonderful music, and except for a rather mediocre Enrico, it should appeal to all Donizetti lovers.

John JOUBERT (b.1927) Organ Music - Tom Winpenny (organ) rec. 2016 TOCCATA TOCC0398 [55:39] [JQ] An important addition to the Joubert discography.

Paul KLETZKI (1900-1973) & Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) Violin Concertos Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Partita - Robert Davidovici (violin) Royal PO/Grzegorz Nowak rec. 2013 ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA RPOSP045 [75:16] [RB] Three Polish violin concertos, in substance if not name, and one of them in a world premiere recording.

Szymon LAKS (1901–1983) Chamber works - ARC Ens rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10983 [83:04] [SG] A deeply rewarding and stimulating release.

Marin MARAIS (1656-1728) Premier livre de pièces de viole - François Joubert-Caillet (bass viol) L’Achéron rec. 2014/15 RICERCAR RIC379 [4 CDs: 256 mins] [CS] A beguiling collection, characterised by astonishing freedom and range of expression, and executed with dexterity and delicacy in equal measure.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto Nos 21 & 23 - Simone Dinnerstein (piano) Havana Lyceum O/José Antonio Méndez Padrón rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 88985382442 [56.25] [MC] A sheer delight from start to finish, this Simone Dinnerstein/Havana partnership is a richly rewarding one and deserves to be heard.

Jan VIČAR (b.1949) Orchestral works - Barbora Polášková (mezzo) Jiří Přibyl (bass) Czech Children’s Ch Jitro, Moravian PO/Petr Vronsky, Marek Štilec rec. 2016 ARCO DIVA UP0187-2 [76:30] [JW] Vičar is part of the Moravian musical heritage but has forged his own valuable path too.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Funeral Music from Gottorf Works by Förtsch, G & M Österreich - Weser-Renaissance Bremen/Manfred Cordes rec. 2015 CPO 555 010-2 [68:26] [JV] One of the most impressive recordings of Lutheran sacred music which have been released recently.

Warmth Trevor Babb (electric guitars) INNOVA 972 [60:50] [DC] Soft profundity and character with a subtle edge.


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