NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] National Discography updates by Mike Herman
British & Commonwealth Concertos
British Orchestral Works
[New] Second Thoughts
and Short Reviews: Spring 2017-2 by Brian Wilson & Dan Morgan
Forgotten Artists: Carlo Vidusso by Chris Howell
Report April 2017 by John Quinn
English Music Festival 2017 programme
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Wednesday May 24th
Olivo e Pasquale
- Bruno Taddia, Filippo Morace, O Teatro alla Scala, Coro Donizetti Opera/Federico
Maria Sardelli rec. 2016 DYNAMIC 37758
DVD [ 83:45+ 67:11] [RK] Donizetti
enthusiasts will find this recording to be a
lively and enjoyable performance of a virtually
unknown work from the Master’s second
tier. As such it should be celebrated and cherished.
Paul JUON (1872-1940) Rhapsodische Symphonie, Sinfonietta Capricciosa - Bamberg
SO/Graeme Jenkins rec. 2015 CPO 777908-2 [72:38] [RB] Unlikely to conquer your respect and affection at first but attractive and even magical episodes draw you back to explore and deepen your pleasure.
Pierre RATEZ (1851-1934) Chamber
Music Vols 1 & 2 - Ewa Murawska
(flute) Marcin Murawski (viola) Hanna Holeska
(piano) rec. 2015-2016 ACTE PRÉALABLE
[EJW] Attractive music from a little-known
composer, though none of it is especially cerebral
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No.1; Theme and Variations;
Five Fragments; Scherzos - Luxembourg PO/Gustavo Gimeno rec. 2016. PENTATONE PTC5186622 SACD
[DM] Gimeno makes amends for a dull symphony with some terrific fillers;
caveats aside, this could be the start of a most rewarding partnership.
SORO (1884-1954) Tres aires
chilenos, Sinfonía romántica - Chile SO/José
Louis Domínguez rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573505
[56.15] [MW] Exciting repertoire in outstanding
Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Façade - Carole Boyd, Zeb Soames (reciters) ensemble/John Wilson rec. 2015 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100067 [64.44] [PCG] Something of an also-ran.
the Ending of the Day Music
for Choral Evening Prayer - The Exon
Singers/Richard Wilberforce Jonathan Vaughn
(organ) rec. 2016 RUBICON CLASSICS RCD1004
[60:47] [JQ] A fine way for the Exon Singers
to mark their first five decades.
Quartet Choreography: The Soundtrack Kreutzer Qt rec. 2007/8 MÉTIER MSVCD92105 [72:34] [SB] Modernist string quartets which all make unusual physical and visual demands.
- Musique à Sanssouci Dorothee
Oberlinger (recorder) Axel Wolf (lute) Ensemble
1700 rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI
88875134062 [79:05] [JV] Recorder
aficionados won't hesitate to add this
disc to their collection, but you don't
need to be one of them to really enjoy it.
OF THE MONTH Rostropovich: Cellist of the Century
The Complete Warner Recordings WARNER CLASSICS 9029589230 [40 CDs + 3 DVDs: 40hrs] [SG] A sterling tribute to a great artist.
Tuesday May 23rd
Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788)
Organ Sonatas - Iain Quinn (organ) rec. 2014
NAXOS 8.573424 [77:29] [MR]
Bright and cheerful organ music from Bach’s
second son given spring-like freshness and vitality
by Quinn’s delightfully articulate fingers.
Ignaz Franz BIBER (1644-1704) Rosary
Sonatas - Alice Piérot (violin) Les Veilleurs
de Nuit rec. 2002 ALPHA 038
[51:36 + 68:08] [RK] Listeners who enjoy
a more fevered approach should look elsewhere,
but many will find satisfaction in her even-tempered
take on this music.
COUPERIN (1668-1733) L'Apothéose
de Lully, Leçons de Ténèbres - Katherine
Watson, Anna Dennis (sopranos) Arcangelo/Jonathan
Cohen (harpsichord) rec. 2013/14 HYPERION
CDA68093 [70:35] [SSi] An excellent
recording of the chamber version of the L'Apothéose
de Lully, with a recording of the Leçons de
Ténèbres, which whilst it may not be my favourite,
is very good.
GOSSEC (1773-1829) Symphonies -
Andrea Keller (violin) Martin Sandhoff (flute)
Concerto Köln/Werner Ehrhardt rec. 2003 CAPRICCIO
ENCORE C8019 [64:13] [RB] Lively
music and lively music-making drawing on an
amiable personality able to mine serene dignity
and regal grace.
LASSUS (1530/1532-1594) Magnificat
- Die Singphoniker rec. 2014 CPO 777
957-2 [64:16] [JV] Like the first
Lassus disc of the Singphoniker, this new release
deserves a positive reception.
Lieder und Gesänge
Patrizia MONTANARO (b. 1956)
Canto di Penelope - Catharina Kroeger (soprano)
Monica Lonero (piano) rec. 2014 BRILLIANT
CLASSICS 95469 [63:45] [GF] Good
to have Alma Mahler’s songs available
at an affordable price.
RACHMANINOFF (1873-1973) Piano
Concertos Nos 2 & 3 - Khatia Buniatishvili
(piano) Czech PO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2016 SONY
88985402412 [70:19] [NB] This disc
was less challenging or remarkable than I had
Decades - A Century of Song
Vol. 2: 1820-1830 -
John Mark Ainsley(tenor) Sarah Connolly (mezzo)
Christopher Maltman (baritone) Malcolm Martineau
(piano) rec. 2015/16 VIVAT 114
[79:36] [JQ] The second instalment in a perceptively
assembled and uncommonly interesting survey
of art songs.
Harnoncourt - Opera Collection Ludwig
van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Fidelio
Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)
Der Freischütz Robert SCHUMANN
(1810-1856) Genoveva - O &
Ch Zurich Opera House rec.
1999-2008 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108129 Blu-ray
[439 mins] [ST] All told this makes for
an economical way of collecting these three
productions, and you could have far worse unifying
figures than Harnoncourt.
OF THE MONTH
Camilla Tilling (soprano) Loves me … loves me not
Musica Saeculorum/Philipp von Steinaecker rec. 2015 BIS BIS-2234 SACD
One of the finest albums of its kind and
has my highest possible endorsement.
Monday May 22nd
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848)/Johann Simon MAYR (1763-1845)
Messa di Gloria & Credo -
Simon Mayr Ch, Bavarian State Opera Ch, Concerto de Bassus/Franz Hauk
rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573605 [86:19] [MR] A compendium of isolated sacred pieces formed into a somewhat dubious Mass setting but performed with insouciant charm by some youthful performers under a firmly committed conductor.
Michel LEGRAND (b.1932)
Piano Concerto, Cello Concerto -
Michel Legrand (piano) Henri Demarquette (cello) Radio France PO/Mikko Franck
rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 88985393722 [63:53] [RB] Contemporary romantic concertos should draw in both Legrand fans, cinema music enthusiasts and those who like their contemporary classical music to have some sweet give and take.
Juliusz LUCIUK (b. 1927) Songs - Bozena Harasimowicz (soprano) Krystyna Pyszkowska (piano) rec. 2014 ACTE PREALABLE AP0357 [41:42] [EJW] An interesting CD of music by a little known living Polish composer.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concertos 1-5 - Mozart Anniversary O/James Ehnes (violin) rec.2005 ONYX 4164 [64:57 + 78:14] [JW] An attractive set.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Gran Partita -
LSO Wind Ens
rec. 2015 LSO LIVE LSO5075 SACD [47:43] [ST] A performance that doesn't really have enough to make it stand out,
and dangerously uncompetitive without a coupling.
Johann Georg PISENDEL (1687-1755)
Violin Sonatas Silvius Leopold WEISS (1687-1750) Lute Sonatas
Thomasz Aleksander Plusa (violin)
Earl Christy (lute)
Ere Lievonen (harpsichord)
rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95432 [79:20] [SSi] An interesting and attractive disc, which introduces the possible link between the music of Vivaldi and Bach.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Concertos Nos 1
& 2, Suite from Alone -
David Oistrakh (violin)
Leningrad PO/Yevgeny Mravinsky,
Moscow Philharmonic SO/Kirill Kondrashin,
USSR State SO/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
rec. 1956-70 ALTO ALC1337 [79:00] [JQ] Indispensable recordings of the Shostakovich violin concertos.
Madrigale Ens Voces Suaves rec. 2016 AMBRONAY AMY306 [62:24] [JV] Voces Suaves deserve much praise for their first recording.
Minimalist Dream House Katia & Marielle Labèque (pianos) David Chalmin (vocals, guitars, bass & electronics) Raphaël Séguinier (drums, percussion & electronics) Nicola Tescari (keyboards, electronics) rec. 2012 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 481 4468 [61:06 + 68:09] [DC] A curate's egg of a collection.
Poetic and Romantic Songs Iwa Sörenson (soprano) Lennart Hedwall (fortepiano, piano) rec. 1982/86 STERLING CDA1819-2 [74:05] [GF] This should appeal to everyone with even the slightest interest in Swedish art songs.
John WILLIAMS (b. 1932)
Star Wars Suite & other film music -
ROVEN RECORDS RR10017 [54:36] [NB] Further prooof that
the standard of brass playing around the world
has never been higher.
Friday May 19th
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
St John Passion
Fire/Jeannette Sorrell rec. 2016 AVIE
AV2369 [33:08 + 74:34] Les Musiciens du
Louvre/Marc Minkowski rec. 2014 ERATO
9029585405 [39:34 + 71:08]
Crouch End Festival Ch, Bach Camerata/David Temple
rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHSA5183(2) SACD
[34:33 + 75:44] [ST] Three excellent recordings;
if forced to pick just one, I’d go for
Minkowski because I found his overall vision
so compellingly convincing.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos
1 & 2 -
Yevgeny Sudbin (piano)
Tapiola Sinfonietta/Osmo Vänskä
rec. 2014/15 BIS BIS-2078 SACD [63:16] [DHu] A disappointing end to the cycle ... or is it?
Barbara HARBACH (b. 1946) Orchestral Works Vol.
London PO/David Angus MSR CLASSICS MS1614 [62:54] [DJB] Stirring and well-crafted music.
László LAJTHA (1892-1963) Symphonies Nos
5 & 6, Lysistrata: Ouverture prestissimo -
Pécs SO/Nicolás Pasquet
rec. 1996 NAXOS 8.573646 [68:11] [RB] The Naxos Lajtha symphony project takes another confident step forward.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
La clemenza di Tito - Kurt Streit (tenor) Karina Gauvin
Ens Aedes, Le Cercle de L’Harmonie/Jérémie Rhorer
rec. 2014 ALPHA 270 [62:54 + 70:41] [GF] Although the competition is fierce, this recording by Jérémie Rhorer has a lot in its favour.
RÖNTGEN (1855-1932) Symphonies
Nos 9 & 21, Serenade - Brandenburgisches
Staats O/David Porcelijn rec. 2005 CPO
777 120-2 [55:37] [RB] A sympathetic
and inspired guide through so much otherwise
Philip SOUSA (1854-1932)
A Sousa Celebration - Royal Scottish
Ntl O/Kristjan Järvi rec. 2016 CHANDOS
CHSA5182 SACD [68.26]
[DBi] A highly recommendable pot pourri of
Virgil THOMSON (1896‒1989)
Four Saints in Three Acts,
Capital Capitals ‒ Boston Modern O Project/Gil Rose, Linda Osborn (piano)
rec. 2013/15 BMOP SOUND 1049 SACD [55:40 + 51:48] [NH] Four Saints
is a fascinating one-off worth reviving, but I’m afraid I found Capital
Capitals just plain tedious.
for the 100 Years' War
The Binchois Ens/Andrew Kirkman rec. 2016
HYPERION CDA68170 [76.35] [GH]
A very fine release; beautifully recorded and
Jan Paderewski (piano) The American Recordings rec. 1914-1931
APR 7505 [5 CDs: 311:12] [JW]
There is a huge amount to discover and admire,
as well as occasionally to vex, in this generous
Thursday May 18th
Walter BRAUNFELS (1882-1954)
Marc Horus (tenor)
Christa Ratzenböck (mezzo)
EntArteOpera Ch, Israel CO/Martin Sieghart
rec. 2014 CAPRICCIO C9006 DVD [129 mins] [SSi] Give this production time, and the fine singing and the musicality of Braunfels’s score will win you over.
Sir Nicholas JACKSON (b. 1934) The Rose and the Ring - William Morgan (tenor) Robyn Parton (soprano) Katherine Crompton (mezzo) Concertante of London/Sir Nicholas Jackson rec. 2016 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6339 [68.51] [PCG] A curious mix of text and music; not to be considered as a contribution to the realm of modern British opera.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 - Anne Schwanewilms (soprano) Olga Borodina (mezzo)
Münchner Phil & Ch/Valery Gergiev rec. 2015 MÜNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS MPHL0001 [80:56] [MC] Gergiev underlines his credentials as a Mahlerian of some stature with this entirely compelling live account of the Resurrection Symphony.
Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931)
Flute Concerto, Clarinet Concerto, Aladdin Suite -
Samuel Coles (flute) Mark van de Wiel (clarinet)
Philharmonia O/Paavo Järvi
rec. 2015/16 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD477 [69:22] [LW] Outstanding accounts of the concertos, but the coupling detracts.
Ildebrando PIZZETTI (1880-1968) Symphony,
Harp Concerto -
Margherita Bassani (harp) National SO/Damian Iorio
rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573613 [65:14] [RB] Unusual, provocative and satisfying ... a step into the open air.
WEINBERG (1919-1996) Chamber symphonies Nos 1-4, Piano
quintet - Yulianna Avdeeva (piano) Kremerata Baltica/Gidon Kremer
(violin) Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla rec. 2015 ECM NEW SERIES 2538/39
[79:42 + 79:33] [DC] Very good indeed.
Władysław ŻELEŃSKI (1837-1921) Secular Choral Works - Zespół Wokalny Simultaneo/Karol Kisiel; Art'n'Voices, Podkarpacki Chór Męsk/Grzegorz Oliwa rec. 2016 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0363 [68:32] [JW] The choral forces are on fine form and are excellently drilled and
directed in a pleasing acoustic.
Works by Debussy, Milhaud, Ravel & Samazeuilh rec. 1946/48 MELOCLASSIC MC4005 [79:43] [SG] I may be a first-timer to the Calvet Quartet’s playing, but I now count myself a convert.
Heimat Benjamin Appl (baritone)
James Baillieu (piano)
rec. 2016/17 SONY CLASSICAL 88985393032 [66:54] [ST] This comes as a slight disappointment after the singer’s previous recording.
Limelight and Limestone: A Singing Journey - Margareta Dellefors (soprano) STERLING CDA1693-2 [79:15] [GF] A very enjoyable retrospect of the art of Margareta Dellefors.