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Wednesday May 31st
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Two-Part Inventions, Three-Part Sinfonias - Karin Kei Nagano (piano) rec. 2016 ANALEKTA AN28771 [54.15] [DC] Worth checking out.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Orchestral &
choral works - John Corigliano (violin) Leonard
Rose (cello) Dame Myra Hess (piano) Erica Morini
(violin) Hollywood Bowl O, P-SO
New York/Bruno Walter PRISTINE AUDIO
[4 CDs: 300:55] [JQ] Brahms
performances of great stature in expert transfers.
Madrigali et Ricercari a quattro voci
- Speculum Ens, Tastar de Corde rec. 2010-2011
CENTAUR CRC3471 [76:22] [JV]
Fine performances by singers and instrumentalists.
Franz KROMMER (1759-1831) Symphoniies 1-3 - O della Svizzera Italiana/Howard Griffiths rec. 2013/14 CPO 555099-2 [77:26] [RK] Griffiths delivers crisp performances, which present the abundant
strengths and pleasures of these works in best view.
LAJTHA (1892-1963) Symphonies Nos
3 & 4, Suite No.2 - Pécs SO/Nicolás Pasquet
rec. 1995 NAXOS 8.573645 [74.15]
[MW] A useful and attractive addition to
the recorded repertoire of twentieth century
Oskar LINDBERG (1887-1955) Orchestral works - Örebro SO/Stig Westerberg rec. 1994 STERLING CDS1015-2 [56:12] [SG] If you like Sibelius, you will enjoy this music.
MARTINŮ (1890-1959) The
Complete Piano Trios - Trio Martinů
rec. 2016/17 MUSICAPHON M56970
[75:20] [JW] The Musicaphon team offers unvarnished
and dedicated readings but in all honesty, they
are eclipsed by the Smetana Trio.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Romeo and Juliet - Maria Kochetkova, Davit Karapetyan, Pascal Molat, Luke Ingham, San Francisco Ballet & O/Martin West rec. 2015 C MAJOR Blu-ray 739104 [128:00] [RMay] A very fine and well filmed performance that now joins other top recommendations.
SANTUCCI (1921-2010) Sacred works
- Schola Cantorum Paolo Guglielmetti/Antonio
Quero, I Solisti Laudensi/Fabio Merlini rec. 2015/16 TACTUS
TC921980 [3 CDs: 190:40] [MR] Genuinely
affectionate performances of music by a hitherto
overlooked Italian composer whose music exudes
religious conviction and artistic sincerity.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Die schöne Müllerin - Bo Skovhus (baritone) Stefan Vladar (piano) rec. 2016 CAPRICCIO C5290 [59:13] [GF] Skovhus and Vladar are a safe bet in this cycle.
Tuesday May 30th
Sebastian BACH (1685-1759)
Gloria in Excelsis
Deo - Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2013 BIS
BIS2201 Blu-ray [93:00] [DBi] A
moving video celebration of a landmark recording
BLACKFORD (b. 1954)
The Better Angels of Our Nature, Goodfellow
Maria Gajdosova (violin), David Campbell (clarinet), Solstice Qt; Emily
Brno Phil/Richard Blackford; BBC SO/Martyn Brabbins
NIMBUS NI6338 [67:21]
[JWh] A really enjoyable disc containing
four memorable and entertaining pieces.
David GORTON (b. 1978) Lachrymae Variations, Forlorn Hope - Stefan Östersjö (eleven-string alto guitar) Longbow/Peter Sheppard Skærved rec. 2015/16 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0396
[62:22] [JW] An
engagement with the music of John Dowland’s
Lachrimae and the results are two very different
structures that pay homage and yet also offer
a strong and personal compositional slant on
HVOSLEF (b. 1939) Chamber Works
III - Ricardo Odriozola (violin)
Einar Rřttingen (piano) Hilde Haraldsen Sveen
(soprano) Frode Thorsen (recorder) rec. 2014
LAWO CLASSICS LWC1117 [64:45]
[SSi] This disc is a worthy successor to
the previous two volumes of this interesting
and rewarding series. I look forward to future
OF THE MONTH Sir
James MacMILLAN (b. 1959) Stabat
Mater - The Sixteen/Britten Sinfonia/Harry Christophers
rec. 2014 CORO COR16150 [59:47]
[JQ] A masterpiece which should be heard
by anyone who values eloquent contemporary music.
RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano
Concerto No. 2, Corelli Variations - Vanessa Benelli Mosell (piano) London
PO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2015 DECCA 4814393
[54:16] [ST] Most Rachmaninov fans will already
have a better recording of the concerto and,
fine as the Corelli Variations are, they seem
scant reason to buy a disc that’s already
under an hour’s running time.
RAFTERY (b.1951) Chamber works
- Heath Qt, Berkeley Ens, Animare Ens rec. 2013
MÉTIER MSV28569 [66:13] [JF]
I cannot fault this CD.
The Late String Trios
- Offenburg String Trio rec. 2013 NAXOS
8.573384 [73:07] [SV] A wonderful
variety of sonorities conjured from just three
Claudio Arrau in Germany
- Pre-War recordings Works
by Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn & Liszt
- Radio O/Hans Rosbaud rec. 1929-39 MUSIC
& ARTS CD-1060 [67:34 + 56:07]
[JW] A commanding retrieval.
rec. 1958-72 MELOCLASSIC MC1037
[79:51 + 78:23] [SG] A must-have for pianophiles.
Monday May 29th
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations
Pietro De Maria (piano)
rec. 2016 DECCA 4815087 [78:55] [SG] An impressive sequel to the Well-Tempered Clavier.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3 Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 10 - Dresdner Philharmonie/Michael Sanderling rec. 2015/16 SONY CLASSICAL 88985408842 [48:45 + 56:05] [MC] Characteristically stylish and entirely compelling.
Ernst KRENEK (1900-1991)
Complete Piano Concertos Vol. 2 -
Mikhail Korzhev (piano),
Eric Huebner (piano),
English SO/Kenneth Woods rec. 2016
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0392
[DM] Another indispensable instalment in this important series; kudos to all
Johann Simon MAYR (1763-1845)
Mass, Stabat Mater - Orpheus Vocal Ens, Concerto Köln/Florian Helgath
rec. 2015 CARUS 83.480 [77:51] [GF]
A very valuable addition to the growing
TISHCHENKO (1939-2010) Symphony No. 8, Concerto for Violin
& Piano, Three Songs to Poems of Marina Tsvetayeva - Chingiz Osmanov
(violin) Nikolai Mazhara (piano) Mila Shkirtil (mezzo) St Petersburg
State SO/Yuri Serov rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573343 [59:51]
[SA] Showcases Tishchenko’s broad range of styles.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Lohengrin - Klaus Florian Vogt, Camilla Nylund, Dutch Ntl Opera
Ch, Royal Concertgebouw O/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2015 RCO LIVE RCO17002 [3 SACDs:
210:45] [ST] Not a first choice, but a very good one.
Cello Stories The Cello in the 17th
& 18th Centuries -
Bruno Cocset (cello) Les Basses Réunies rec. 1998-2013
ALPHA 890 [5 CDs: ca 6 hrs] [TPo] A package that
arouses pleasurable anticipation which is only partially fulfilled.
Dialoge Michael Sieg (cor anglais)
Angelika Merkle (piano)
rec. 2016 GENUIN GEN17454 [57:37] [JW] The playing is
technically eloquent if on the cool side but the programming is not
always beyond reproach.
Enigmas Works by Bowen, Elgar, Leighton, Rubbra & Sackman - Elspeth Wyllie (piano) Catherine Backhouse (mezzo) Claire Overbury (flute) Hetti Price (cello) Alexa Beattie (viola) rec. 2016 DIVINE ART DDA25145 [77:40] [RB] A natural voice demands to be heard. Well worth your listening contemplation.
Hic Et Nunc Capella de Ministrers/Carlos Magraner rec. 2016 LICANUS CDM1641 [63.45] [GH] A pleasing hour of escapism.
Friday May 26th
ANTHEIL (1900-1959) Over the Plains,
Symphonies Nos 4 & 5 - BBC PO/John Storgĺrds
rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10941
[65.45] [IL] A promising start to what one
would hope to be a new Antheil series.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin -
James Ehnes (violin)
rec. 1999/2000 ANALEKTA AN28772-3 [73:52 + 76:25] [ST] Ehnes shows that modern Bach still reaps rewards and that the
“authentic” brigade doesn’t necessarily have the whole market to itself.
Svart är vitt – sa kejsaren - Sven Nilsson (bass)
Gunilla Slättegĺrd (soprano)
Andersson rec. 1965 STERLING CDO1111/2-2
[47:40 + 43:38] [GF] A valuable addition
to the catalogue of Swedish opera on CD.
Giacomo CARISSIMI (1605-1674) Motets
Consortium Carissimi/Garrick Comeaux
rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573258 [65:38] [JV] From the angle of repertoire this disc has to be welcomed, but the
interpretations give only a glimpse of what Carissimi's music is about.
Giacomo MEYERBEER (1791-1864)
Grand Opera -
Diana Damrau (soprano) Ch & O l’Opéra National de Lyon/Emmanuel Villaume
rec. 2015 ERATO 9029584899 [81.27] [MC] Diana Damrau is in remarkable form, and it is hard to imagine Meyerbeer’s cause receiving greater advocacy.
Jaan RÄÄTS (b. 1932) Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 1
Nicholas Horvath (piano)
rec. 2016 GRAND PIANO GP765 [51:29] [RB] Masterly command of these dark yet gleaming materials whether in propulsion or in hypnotic doldrums.
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Concertos for mixed instruments -
La Stagione Frankfurt/Michael Schneider
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902261
[BW] Go for both of these very enjoyable recordings if you can.
Works for wind ensemble by Grieg, Hartmann,
Reinecke & Svendsen - Oslo Kammerakademi rec. 2012 LAWO
CLASSICS LWC1058 [69:18] [SV] A
delightful wind program.
Era Works for clarinet by
Stamitz, Mozart & Danzi - Emmanuel Pahud
(flute) Albrecht Mayer (cor anglais) Kammerakademie
Potsdam/Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet) rec. 2016
DECCA 4814711 [71:58] [ST]
While the music is all pleasant it isn’t
quite top drawer enough to grip consistently.
Les Vendredis String Quartet
Pieces from Belaieff’s Friday Concerts - Szymanowski Qt
rec. 2015 SWR MUSIC SWR19034CD [77:35] [SSi] A wonderful collection of miniature pieces for string quartet, some light, short and perhaps best as encores, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Thursday May 25th
Eyvind ALNAES (1872-1932)
Symphony, Piano Concerto -
Hĺvard Gimse (piano)
Oslo PO/Elvind Aadland
rec. 2016 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1112 [70.11] [GH] For any one searching for an Alnaes disc to add to their library, I can see no reason why this disc could not make a natural starting point.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934)
& Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Choral Music -
Carice Singers/George Parris
rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573695 [71:40] [RB] A stunning disc in every aspect.
Felix DRAESEKE (1835-1913) Quintets,
Scene for violin & piano -
Soloists Ens Berlin,
rec. 2009 CPO 555107-2 [75:44] [SG] Music too good to miss.
César FRANCK (1822-1890)
Violin Sonata Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)
Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937)
Notturno e Tarantella -
Tasmin Little (violin), Piers Lane (piano)
rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10940 [76:47] [SB] I greatly enjoyed this recital.
Salomone ROSSI (c1570-c1630) The Songs of Solomon - Profeti della Quinta rec. 2008 PAN CLASSICS PC10343 [58:35] [JV] An interesting and enjoyable disc.
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
The Collection rec. 1964-2002 WARNER CLASSICS 9029586013 [13 CDs: ca 14 hrs]
A Portrait rec. 1983-2013 RICERCAR RIC375 [8 CDs: ca 10 hrs] [SSi] The question which of these box sets to go for is answered simply: both. Each of them offer a fine collection of Telemann’s music in excellent performances.
French Piano Concertos Works by Boulanger, Françaix, Poulenc, Ravel & Tailleferre - Florian Uhlig (piano)
Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern/Pablo González rec. 2015 SWR MUSIC SWR19027CD [71:30] [LW] A curate’s egg, but recommended to those who want these particular works.
Martin Luther and Music Bach-Chor Siegen, Johann Rosenmüller-Ens/Ulrich Stötzel rec. 2011 CPO 555 098-2 [70:59] [ST] The performances are good, but the historical documentation leaves much to be desired, so the disc can’t be wholeheartedly recommended.
Poems & Pictures
Works by Ravel, Schubert & Mussorgsky -
Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano) ARS PRODUKTION 38224 SACD [68:09]
[GPJ] Thoughtful yet fully realised performances of two of the greatest and most challenging masterpieces for the piano, played by this brilliant Mexican artist.
Silence On Joue - Take 2 La Pieta/Angele Dubeau (violin) rec. 2016 ANALEKTA AN28743-4 [60:36 + 45:31] [BMC] An interesting collection of music taken from film scores, arranged for a string ensemble.