NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] Louis Frémaux obituary by Rob
Forgotten Artists: Ferruccio
Scaglia by Christopher Howell
John Joubert at 90 by John Quinn
Kurt Moll obituary by Ralph Moore
English Music Festival 2017 programme
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Friday March 31st
Symphony No. 1, Cloud and Sunshine - Malmö
Opera O/Christopher Fifield rec. 2003 STERLING CDS1055-2 [57.54]
[JW] Cliffe can certainly stand proudly in
the tradition of late nineteenth-century British
GOUÉ (1904-1946) Piano
Works Vol. 2 - Diane Andersen (piano)
AZUR CLASSICAL AZC083 [74:44]
[SG] It has been gratifying to encounter
this rarely performed music.
(1851-1931) Symphony No. 2, Souvenirs, Istar - Royal Scottish
Ntl O/Jean-Luc Tingaud rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573522
[80:03] [DJB] For those new to d’Indy’s music, this is an excellent place to start.
František JIRÁNEK (1698-1778) Concertos
Collegium Marianum/Jana Semerádová
rec. 2016 SUPRAPHON SU4208-2 [69:09] [JW] This series hasn’t seemed like faltering at any stage and I’m glad to say
it hasn’t done so here.
Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643)
Il Sesto Libro de Madrigali -
Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini
rec. 1992 ARCANA A425 [72:50] [SSi] This enjoyable recording deals with Monteverdi’s music on the theme of loss. I find it easy to recommend.
Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840)
Complete Works for Violin/Viola, Cello
& Guitar -
Nils-Erik Sparf (violin/viola) Andreas Brantelid (cello) David Härenstam (guitar)
rec. 2016 PROPRIUS PRCD2078 [61:11] [GF] This music may be a bit off the beaten track but it is charming and well worth anyone’s acquaintance, and also eminently well executed.
OF THE MONTH
- Nina Stemme, Aleksandrs Antonenko, Ch &
O Teatro alla Scala Milano/Riccardo Chailly
DECCA 074 3938 Blu-ray [136
mins] [DBi] Puccini's final opera
with Berio's well judged completion.
A top recommendation.
STRAUSS (1864-1949) Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier
suites - Pittsburgh SO/Manfred
Honeck rec. 2016 REFERENCE RECORDINGS
FR-722 SACD [58.33]
[NB] An impressive disc.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Don Juan, Ein Heldenleben -
NHK SO/Paavo Järvi
rec. 2015 RCA 88985391762 [61:29] [MB] A sensational Don Juan but a Heldenleben that only
occasionally reaches the heights.
Munch The Complete New York
Philharmonic Recordings - P-SO New York rec. 1947/48 PRISTINE AUDIO
PASC448 [56:00 + 76:58] [JQ] An
enjoyable set which includes some useful additions
to the Munch discography.
Thursday March 30th
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
String Quintets -
Mandelring Qt, Roland Glassl (viola)
rec. 2016 AUDITE 97.724 [54.55] [MC] These masterclass performances of the String Quintets from Mandelring Quartett with Roland Glassl bear comparison with the finest accounts.
David GORTON (b.1978)
Variations on Dowland - Longbow/Peter Sheppard Skærved; Stefan Östersjö (guitar)
A recording of two halves, well worth considering for the more
approachable of them.
Armas JÄRNEFELT (1869-1958) Orchestral works - Gävle SO/Hannu Koivula rec. 1996 STERLING CDS1021-2 [62:53] [RB] A cleverly balanced cross-section of Järnefelt's orchestral music.
Robert KAHN (1865-1951)
Works for Violin & Piano -
Elina Vähälä (violin)
Oliver Triendl (piano)
rec. 2012 CPO 777 785-2 [64:52 + 73:04] [JW] Attractive works in good performances.
Michael KIMBER (b. 1945) Music for viola Vols. 4 & 6 - Marcin Murawski (viola) Boczniewicz Sisters (vocals) Mariusz Siejko
(double-bass) Kameralna Concertino O/Marek Siwka; O dia Dyplomantów/Eugeniusz Dabrowski rec. 2014/15 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0335/349 [73.25
& 50.56] [PCG] Modern, but very accessible.
Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Complete Works for Piano Duet
& Duo - Invencia Piano Duo
rec. 2010-12 GRAND PIANO GP730X [4 CDs: 229:41] [SSi] This is a wonderful set, one in which The Invencia Piano Duo deserves our
gratitude for their research, dedication and performance.
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Sonata
Nikolai MEDTNER (1880-1951) Sonata-Ballada -
Risa Iwai (piano) rec. 2016 SHEVA SH165 [52:09] [SB] An interesting choice of works for a debut recital.
(1813-1883) Die Walküre - Matthias
Goerne (baritone) Petra Lang (soprano) Hong Kong PO/Jaap van Zweden rec.
2016 NAXOS 8.660394-7 [4 CDs: 236:32] [GF] Your first Walküre? Look no further. A jaded collector? Then you will find this a valuable addition to your collection.
Beneath The Northern Star The Rise of English Polyphony 1270-1430 - Orlando Consort rec. 2015 HYPERION CDA68132 [72.13] [GH] Trusted performers in this repertoire, but there are some reservations.
Carmirelli (violin) Works by Franck, Schubert, Brahms,
Beethoven, Mozart & Pizzetti - Friedrich Wilhelm Schnurr, Lothar
Broddack, Maria Bergmann (piano) rec. 1966-69 MELOCLASSIC MC2031
[79:53 + 78:19] [SG] A treat for collectors.
Wednesday March 29th
van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies
1-9, Overtures - Gewandhaus
O Leipzig/Franz Konwitschny rec. 1959-61 EDEL
CLASSICS 0002672CCC [6 CDs: 428:08]
[RMo] An outstanding set, the performances
being natural, unforced, released and redolent
of the untamed creative energy which evidently
imbued the being of the composer.
Ermend BONNAL (1880-1944) Organ works - Vincent Grappy (organ) Christophe Giovaninetti (violin) HORTUS 132 [71:19] [JW] Revealing a largely unknmown name.
Doreen CARWITHEN (1922-2003) & Thomas
PITFIELD (1903-99) Violin Sonatas & works by Berkeley, Delius,
Ireland, Scott & Young - Fenella Humphreys (violin) Nathan Williamson (piano) rec. 2016 LYRITA SRCD359 [75:34] [BSt] A few minor quibbles do not seriously undermine this
richly recorded and interesting selection.
DUTILLEUX (1916-2013) Symphony
No.2, Timbres, espace, mouvement, Mystère de
l’instant - Françoise Rivalland (cimbalom)
O Ntl Lille/Darrell Ang rec. 2015-2016 NAXOS
8.573596 [62:38] [JF] A splendid
CD that presents the listeners with three undoubted
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Symphonies Nos 12, 60 and 70 -
Il Giardino Armonico/Giovanni Antonini
rec. 2016 ALPHA 674
[BW] Despite a
new Alpha recording is well worth considering, especially by those who
have been collecting the series so far.
OF THE MONTH Max REGER (1873-1916) Works for Men's Choir Vol. 1 - Ens Vocapella Limburg/Tristan Meister rec. 2016 RONDEAU ROP6126 [79:32] [SSi] This is one of the finest discs of Max Reger’s choral music that I have heard; I look forward to volume two.
Dondalska (soprano) Love:
Heaven on Earth - Natan & Monika Dondalska
(violin) Malgorzata Niemiec (viola) Wiktor Cisoń
(cello) rec. 2015 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0348
[60:36] [GF] Lovers of coloratura sopranos
will have their fill here.
Sacra of the Wawel Cathedral
The Royal Rorantists/Stanislaw Galonski rec. 2016 DUX 1334
[59:32] [JV] Interesting repertoire and
nice performances but poorly documented.
Lumen: Light of the East St Ephraim Male Ch/Tamás Bubnó rec. 2012 BUDAPEST
MUSIC CENTER RECORDS BMCCD208 [52:39]
[JW] One can enjoy the music's inspiring
depth and breadth in this compelling disc.
Overtures, Preludes & Intermezzi Filarmonica della Scala/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2016 DECCA 4831148 [76.35] [MC] It’s hard to imagine these works receiving finer advocacy than this.
Tuesday March 28th
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies Nos
3 & 4 - NDR Elbphilharmonie O/Thomas Hengelbrock
rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 88985405082
[75:49] [ST] A good disc, from its resident
orchestra, to mark the opening of a new concert
BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony
in F minor - Hamburg PO/Simone Young rec.
2013 OEHMS CLASSICS OC686 [41:59]
[SV] I have reservations, but this will
do for the moment.
(1877-1960) & Sergei TANEYEV
(1856-1915) Piano Quintets - Wu Han (piano) Alexander
Sitkovetsky, Nicolas Dautricourt, Arnaud Sussmann,
Sean Lee (violin) Paul Neubauer (viola) David
Finckel (cello) rec. 2014/16 MUSIC@MENLO
[70:45] [RK] Either performance is well worth
having for its own sake.
GINASTERA (1916-1983) Orchestral
Works Vol. 2 - Xiayin Wang (piano) Manchester Chamber Ch,
BBC PO/Juanjo Mena rec. 2015/16 CHANDOS
CHAN10923 [69:07] [NB] Juanjo
Mena and the BBC Phil are getting into their
stride with Ginastera.
MAHLER (1860-1911) Lieder eines
fahrenden Gesellen, Das Lied von der Erde
(arr. Schoenberg) - Susan Platts (mezzo) Charles
Reid (tenor) Roderick Williams (baritone) Attacca
Qt, Virginia Arts Fest Ch Players/JoAnn Falletta
rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573536 [81:08]
[JQ] If the chamber version
of Das Lied von der Erde appeals, then this
disc is well worth your attention.
Les Contes d’Hoffmann
- Kerstin Avemo, Mandy Fredrich,
Daniel Johansson, Vienna SO/Johannes
Debus rec. 2015 C MAJOR 735604 Blu-ray
[174.44] [MC] This is a production where
one senses a group of performers totally at
one with the director’s vision.
REGER (1873-1916) Songs - Susanne
Langner (mezzo) Ullrich Böhme (organ) rec. 1988-2016
RONDEAU ROP6133 [67:03] [SSi]
A most valuable addition to the Reger catalogue,
one which presents unusual music in excellent
Ivanovich TANEYEV (1856-1915)
String Trios Nos 2 & 3 - Lubotsky Trio rec. 2015 MELODIYA
MELCD1002456 [51:00] [JW] Performances
that don't challenge the best in these works.
Mieczysław ŻUKOWSKI (1867-1942)
Opera Omnia Religiosa
Vols 2, 3 & 4 - Podkarpacki Ch Męski,
Strzyżowski Ch Kamaralny/Grzegorz Oliwa rec. 2014/15
ACTE PRÉALABLE APO343/47/54
[3 CDs: 164:16] [MW] Little-known works of enormous
beauty in committed performances; ones to treasure.
Recitals & Home Solo Performances -
Galimir & Budapest String Qts, David Glazer
(clarinet) David Soyer (cello) rec. 1951-80
ROMÉO 7318/19 [78:20 + 74:50]
[JW] Performances that attest to her superior
Monday March 27th
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 2 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 14
Mindru Katz (piano)
Jerusalem PO/Mandi Rodan
rec. 1967/71 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD180 [64:09] [JW] It’s good to know that the Katz archive is still yielding such treasures.
(b. 1926) Orchestral Works - Norwegian Radio O, Fort Worth
SO/Miguel Harth-Bedoya rec. 2010-16 NAXOS 8.573759
[54:14] [MW] An excellent, colourful introduction to a fine composer too little known and recorded.
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Sonata, Après une lecture du Dante
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921)
Danse Macabre - Ludmila Berlinskaya & Arthur Ancelle (pianos) rec. 2016 MELODIYA MELCD1002463 [61:55] [JWe] This is my favourite Liszt disc of the year so far, and I award full
marks to all concerned!
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Organ works - Anders Eidsten Dahl (organ) rec. 2015 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1108 [69:51 + 36:25] [SSi] Dahl proves a consummate interpreter of Mendelssohn’s music, with this recording soon becoming a firm favourite of mine.
Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736)
Adriano in Siria - Yuriy Mynenko, Franco Fagioli (counter
tenors) Romina Basso (contralto)
Capella Cracoviensis/Jan Tomasz Adamus
rec. 2015 DECCA 483 0004 [3 CDs: 177:59] [JW] An opera which is uneven in inspiration and weighted toward some
virtuoso flourishes for the star turn, Fagioli in this case.
Philipp SCHARWENKA (1847-1917) Works for Violin & Piano -
Natalia Prishepenko (violin) Oliver Triendl (piano) rec. 2015
TYXART TXA16075 [65:50] [RK] Old-fashioned even at the time of composition, but well-worth a listen.
Giovanni SGAMBATI (1841-1914) Piano concerto, Cola di Rienzo, Berceuse-Rêverie - Francesco Caramiello (piano) Nürnberger Philharmoniker/Fabrizio Ventura rec. 2000 TACTUS TC841908 [70:29] [SV] A pleasing reissue.
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Works for piano - Mark Bebbington, Rebecca Omordia (pianos) rec. 2016 SOMM CD0164 [70:55] [NB] A valuable if not
The Cardinal King
Music for Henry Benedict Stuart in Rome, 1740–91
Harmonia Sacra/Peter Leech
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0300 [73:07]
Yet again Toccata bring us convincing performances of music which
has languished in undeserved obscurity.
Queen Mary’s Big Belly
Hope for an heir in Catholic England -
rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD464 [77:42] [ST] A programme of wonderful music from singers of the highest order.
Of Gods and Kings Foden's Band/Michael
DOYEN DOYCD367 [62:02] [NB]
Music-making worthy of Gods and Kings, brilliantly played
and superbly recorded.