NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
Forgotten Artists: Maryla Jonas by
[New] Gareth Glyn's Anglesey Sketches – Revisited
by John France
The Operas of Charles
Gounod by Nick Fuller (4 MB pdf file)
Some Independent Label Recordings: January-February 2017
by Brian Wilson
An A to Z of the Piano Trio Repertoire: "G” Composers Part
2 by David Barker
English Music Festival 2017 programme
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Thursday February 23rd
Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959)
Cello suites Luigi DALLAPICCOLA (1904-1975)
Ciaccona, Intermezzo e Adagio
György LIGETI (1923-2006)
sonata - Natalie Clein (cello) rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68155 [64:29] [DBi] A lovely disc of 20th century music for solo cello.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
(1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 - Vienna SO/Yakov Kreizberg rec.
2004 PENTATONE PTC5186051 SACD
Bruckner Sevenths don’t come much better than this; one for the desert
(1874-1934) At the Boar's Head Ralph VAUGHAN
WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Riders to the Sea - Warsaw
Chamber Opera Sinfonietta/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2016 DUX 1307-08
[55:11 + 38:29] [NB] Decent performances but they don’t seriously challenge the existing versions.
Pierre de MANCHICOURT (c.1510-1564) Sacred works - Ch of St. Luke in the Fields, New York/David Shuler rec. 2016 MSR CLASSICS MS1632 [65.44] [GH] Music that has been much overlooked, presented here in often moving performances.
William MATHIAS (1934-1992) Choral works - St. Albans Abbey Girls Ch,Lay Clerks of St Albans Cathedral Ch/Tom Winpenny (organ) Michael Papadopoulos (organ and piano secondo) Peter Foggitt (piano primo) O Nova rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573523 [71:44] [JQ] A fine collection of music by William Mathias, expertly performed.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) String Quartets Nos
1 & 3 - Heath Qt
rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU907665 [66:24] [ST]
The performance is outstandingly assured, and speaks of artists who have already attained a remarkable degree of maturity.
Daniel Behle (vocals) Mein Hamburg
- Schnyder Trio
rec. 2015/16 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300826BC [66:19] [GF] A wonderful disc that all admirers of Daniel Behle and of good singing should allow themselves to own.
Lachen und Weinen Songs by Hindemith, Schubert & Weill - Katja Stuber (soprano) Boris Kusnezow (piano)
rec. 2014 CONDITURA CONREC005 [54:07] [SG] A varied programme that works well.
Mandala 3 Works by
LeFanu & Lumsdaine - Gemini/Ian Mitchell
rec. 1995/2015 MÉTIER MSV28565 [76:34] [JF] A fascinating release, exploring the work of two of Britain’s leading
Les Sirènes Female Chamber Ch/Andrew Nunn ALBION RECORDS ALBCD030 [67:55] [JQ] A thoroughly attractive disc in every respect from a superb choir.
Wednesday February 22nd
LIGETI (1923-2006) Bagatelles,
Chamber Concerto, Pieces for Wind Quintet
- Les Siècles/François-Xavier
Roth rec. 2016 MUSICALES ACTES SUD ASM26
[44:01] [LW] Excellent accounts of Ligeti
chamber works, though the CD could have accommodated
Oskar LINDBERG (1887-1955)
Requiem & other choral works - Stockholm University College of Music
O/Hans Kyhle rec. 1980/86 STERLING CDS1013-2 [61:36] [SG] A release that makes a compelling case for Lindberg's music.
Pietro LOCATELLI (1695-1764) Concerti Grossi - Freiburger Barockorchester /Gottfried von der Goltz rec. 2004 HARMONIA MUNDI HMA1951889 [61:03] [DC] A real ear-opener.
MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) A Midsummer
Night’s Dream Overture & Incidental
Music - Monteverdi Ch/London SO/Sir John Eliot
Gardiner rec. 2016 LSO LIVE LSO0795
[55:09] [ST] With a film of the concert included,
this is an excellent package.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Arias - Maria Bengtsson (soprano) Lausanne
CO/Bertrand de Billy rec. 2016 MDG 9401973-6 SACD [67:09] [GF] One of the loveliest Mozart recitals I have heard in a long time.
Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
Pictures at an Exhibition
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Grand Piano
Sonata, The Seasons - Sviatoslav Richter (piano) rec. 1954/56 PRAGA DIGITALS PRD/DSD 350076 SACD [79:01] [JW] There is nothing new or startling here and most collectors of Richter will
have this material already.
OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Piano Concertos 1 & 2, String Quartet No. 8 - Boris Giltburg (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573666 [69:47] [ST] Snap this up! Giltburg and Petrenko work superbly together. Great value for
SPINEI (b. 1984) Music
For Dance - Voxare String Qt,
St Michel Strings/Jose Serebrier rec. 2009-16
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0371 [63:15]
[DJB] Hypnotically rhythmic and melodically
STIMPSON (b.1948) Jesse Owens,
Preludes in our time - Abigail Kelly
(soprano) Jolhnny Herford (baritone) Philharmonia O/Stuart
Stratford rec. 2014 STONE
RECORDS 5060192780659 [65.41] [PCG]
This has to be thought of as a sampler from
from what is clearly an expertly constructed
and well-written score. It is to be hoped that
performances and recordings of the full work
Tree of Life Choral works
for Advent and Christmas - The Trinity Ch/Daniel
Taylor rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 88985387302
[56:01] [JQ] It’s a joy to hear music
such as this sung by so expert a consort of
Tuesday February 21st
Symphonies Nos 1 & 2 - Latvian National
SO/Terje Mikkelsen rec. 2008 STERLING
CDS1084-2 SACD [78:14]
[JW] Both these symphonies are highly enjoyable,
though the First is the more structurally convincing
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass
in B minor - Ch Bayerischen
Rundfunks, Concerto Köln/Peter Dijkstra rec.
2016 BR KLASSIK 900910 [3 CDs:
178.48] [MC] Peter Dijkstra
conducts an achingly beautiful live performance.
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partitas - Jory Vinikour (harpsichord) rec. 2014
SONO LUMINUS DSL-92209 [3 CDs:
153:07] [SSi] This recording
may not be a first choice, but it is safe and
steady one which presents the music well but
without a flourish.
OF THE MONTH Alban
BERG (1885-1935) Wozzeck
- Roman Trekel (baritone) Anne Schwanewilms
(soprano) Houston SO/Hans Graf rec. NAXOS
8.660390-91 [36:22 & 61:30] [GPJ]
A fine and very powerful Wozzeck from Houston,
with Anne Schwanewilms magnificent and moving
- Mariella Devia (soprano) Stefan Pop (tenor)
O & Ch Teatro Carlo Felice/Francesco Lanzillotta
rec. 2016 DYNAMIC Blu-ray 57755
[138 min] [RJF] Without the distractions
of Regietheater or intrusive producer concepts,
this performance and staging gets to the heart
of Donizetti’s last Elizabethan opera.
Gerald FINZI (1901-1956),
Arnold BAX (1883-1953) &
John IRELAND (1879-1962) Choral
Daniel Cook (organ), Ch Westminster Abbey/James
O’Donnell rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68167
[73.35] [EJW] Fine performances from all
involved in this recording of English church
MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphonies
Nos 1 & 4 - London SO/Sir John Eliot
Gardiner rec. 2014-16 LSO LIVE LSO0769
[62:11] [ST] Delightful performances.
Laurel & Hardy: The Original Piano Music
- Alessandro Simonetto (piano) rec. 2016 AEVEA
AE16024 [66:48] [RMay] Evocative
and quite delightful.
Marianne Crebassa (mezzo) Oh,
Mozarteum O Salzburg/Marc Minkowski rec. 2016
ERATO 9029592762 [72:36] [MR]
A wide-ranging programme of mezzo-soprano
“trouser-roles” sung with wonderful
vibrancy by this most impressive French singer.
Works by Tarrega, Moller, Piazzola,
Brookshire, Falla & Nordgren - Athens Guitar
2015 CLAUDIO RECORDS DVD-A CR6037-6
[60:23] [DBi] Another spectacularly well
Monday February 20th
ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Orchestral
Works Vols 4 & 5 -
Gothenburg SO & Ch/Neeme Järvi rec. 1997-2015
CHANDOS CHAN10894 [62.23]
CHSA5166 SACD [63.17] [JQ]
The final instalments in Neeme Järvi’s
Atterberg symphony cycle.
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg
Variations - Beatrice Rana (piano) rec.
2016 WARNER CLASSICS 9029 588018
[77.45] [MC] Beatrice Rana is a pianist who
makes you sit up and take notice.
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
for 2 Violins Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741)
Violin Concerto César
FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonata -
David Oistrakh & Igor Oistrakh (violins)
Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Franz Konwitschny, Anton
Ginsburg (piano) rec. 1957/58 BERLIN
CLASSICS 0300841BC [59:33] [JW] Well
presented but there’s
nothing here that is new to disc.
Guido Alberto FANO (1875-1961) & Silvio OMIZZOLO (1905-1991) Works for cello and piano - Rocco Filippini (cello) Andrea Bacchetti (piano) rec. 2013 TACTUS TC870001 [63:00] [DJB] Fano is definitely worth exploring, but the choice of discmate is a mystery.
Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Sonata in B minor, Concert Études 1 & 2 - Daria Telizyn (piano) rec. 1987 CLAUDIO DVD-A CR3705-6 [53:53] [DBi] A remarkable pianist superbly recorded at the peak of her all-too-short career.
Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (1934-2016) Chamber works - Duccio Ceccanti (violin) Vittorio Ceccanti (cello) Matteo Fossi, Bruno Canino (piano) rec. 2009/16 NAXOS 8.573599 [63:10] ]JF] All fans of Max will require
Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (1846-1909) Orchestral works - National Polish Radio SO/Gabriel Chmura, Slawek A. Wróblewski, Zygmunt Rychert rec. 2001/2004 STERLING CDS1083-2 [64:35] [JW] This is the best of Noskowski I’ve yet encountered.
PAPINEAU-COUTURE (1916-2000) String
Quartets, String Trio - Quatuor Molinari rec. 2016 ATMA CLASSIQUE
ACD22751 [60:01] [SG] Attractive
quartets, stylishly performed. An immensely
Howard SHORE (b. 1946) A Palace Upon the Ruins, Peace, The Garden, Six Pieces, Catania - rec. 2016
HOWE RECORDS HWR-1020 [50:10] [MMB] Pleasant, solid work with some enchanting moments.
Dominus Choral works by Vivaldi,
Mozart & Handel - La Capella Reial de Catalunya,
Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall rec. 2015
ALIA VOX AVSA9918 SACD [68:45]
[ST] Very well done and definitely worth
a listen, particularly for the marvellous Handel.
The Household Troops Band of the Salvation Army/Carl Saunders rec. 2016
SP&S SPS398CD [66:27] [BMC]
Fine songs and performances ... serenity and exuberance beautifully captured.
Friday February 17th
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Works for Oboe -
Frank de Bruine (oboe)
O of the Eighteenth Century/Kenneth Montgomery
rec. 2015 GLOSSA GCD921123 [72:56] [MR] A witty and elegant exploration of Mozart’s relationship with the oboe.
RAVEL (1875-1937) Daphnis et
Chloë, Une barque sur l’océan
- Spirito, Lyon Ntl O/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2011-2015
NAXOS 8.573545 [65.43] [PCG]
High on the list of currently available
Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725) Opera Overtures
& Concertos -
Concerto de’ Cavalieri/Marcello Di Lisa
rec. 2015 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88985 370012 [54:03] [DJB]
A fine production that presents these orchestral works in a very good light.
- Gothenburg SO, Bergen PO/Edward
Gardner rec. 2015 CHANDOS CHSA5172(2)
SACD [56:12 + 46:46] [JQ] This new
Gurre-Lieder has a lot going for it
and is well worth hearing.
SJÖGREN (1853–1918) Songs
- Katarina Pilotti (soprano) Kristina Balstedt
Tyrenius (piano) rec. 2009/10 STERLING
CDA1669-2 [71:37] [GF] Excellent
… should win new admirers for these songs
and please all who like first-class ‘romanser’.
WOELFL (1773-1812) Piano
Music Vol. 1 - Adalberto Maria Riva
(piano) rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0383
[73:05] [JW] This looks like being an intriguing
Natalie Dessay (soprano) Pictures of America
- Paris Mozart O/Claire Gibault
rec. 2015/16 SONY 88985342842 [49:50 + 42:58] [ST] This set left me feeling baffled and actually slightly duped.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Emotions Works by
Franck & Ravel -
Kirill Troussov (violin) Alexandra Troussova (piano)
rec. 2016 MDG 903 1984-6 SACD [65:29] [DBi]
A magnificent disc of great music, superbly played and recorded.
Le Dréau (organ) Works by Faure,
Delvincourt, Rabaud, Emmanuel, Roger-Ducasse &
Schmitt rec. 2016 FORGOTTEN
RECORDS FR37LD [65:55] [SG] The
inclusion of relatively unknown repertoire by
lesser known composers is a compelling factor.
It’s a release I cannot fault.
Made in Britain Royal Liverpool PO/John Wilson
rec. 2010 AVIE AV2194 [72:39] [RB] This is a nicely filled fresh disc standing as enthusiastic and communicative testimony to John Wilson's gifts as an English music practitioner.