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Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
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Nothing but Praise

BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set

Telemann continues to amaze

A superb disc

Performances to cherish

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rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition

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match any I’ve heard

An outstanding centenary collection

personable, tuneful, approachable

a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.

music that will be new to most people

telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded

hitherto unrecorded Latvian music


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[New] The Verdi Requiem - A partial survey of the discography by Ralph Moore

[New] Jeremy Dale Roberts - an obituary by Kenneth Shenton

Second Thoughts and Short Reviews: Autumn 2017-2 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan

Florent Schmitt on Timpani - a survey by Rob Barnett

Forgotten Records: Russian and East European Adventures - a survey by Rob Barnett

Derek Bourgeois - An Obituary by Kenneth Shenton


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Tuesday October 31st

Günther BECKER (1924-2007) Complete piano works - Benjamin Kobler, Laura Alvarez (piano) rec. 2010 CYBELE RECORDS KiG006 [3 SACDs: 183:55] [DC] Uncompromisingly modernist marvels from a modest man.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem - Felicity Lott (soprano) David Wilson-Johnson (bass-baritone) Roderick Elms (organ) London SO & Ch/Richard Hickox rec. 1990 CHANDOS CHAN10945X [74:25] [MW] Does not quite challenge the classic Klemperer recording, but has much to offer and is an admirable tribute to a fine musician, so much missed.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Silent Woods, Cello concerto Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Schelomo - Marc Coppey (cello) Deutsches SO Berlin/Kirill Karabits rec. 2016 AUDITE 97.734 [68.30] [MC] Accomplished and engaging performances, but the competition is fierce.

Jesse JONES (b. 1978) Abraxas, Ephemera, Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses, Unisono, The Mystery which Binds me Still - Argento Chamber Ens, Xak Bjerken (piano) Sharon Harms (soprano) INNOVA 980 [70:33] [DC] A very fine collection of works.

Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (1934-2016) The Last Island - Hebrides Ens rec. 2017 DELPHIAN DCD34178 [76:51] [MS] An important and welcome round up of music from Maxwell Davies’ last decade of smaller-scale music played with great style and conviction.

Guillaume de MACHAUT (c.1300-1377) Messe de Nostre Dame Pierre de la RUE (c.1460-1518) Magnificat Josquin DESPREZ (c.1445-1521) Ave Maria virgo serena - Vienna Vocal Consort KLANGLOGO KL1412 [65.31] [GH] A strange programme and the performances are problematic.

Flute Concertos rec. 1975-2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95490 [12 CDs: 13 hrs] [SSi] This is a very worthwhile set, and one to invest in, as in return it will give hours of enjoyment, one which contains performances which are at least very good.

I Love My Love The English Singers, Glasgow Orpheus Ch/Hugh Roberton rec. 1919-1947 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD032 [74:22] [JQ] A fascinating collection of recordings that take us back to a lost, much gentler era.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Lost is my quiet: Duets & Solo Songs by Mendelssohn, Purcell, Quiltr & Schumann - Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Iestyn Davies (countertenor) Joseph Middleton (piano) rec. 2016 BIS SACD BIS-2279 [79:04] [DBi] The tagline ‘Wow’ is appropriate.

Modern Soul Ignacy ZELEWSKI (b.1990), Mikołaj MAJKUSIAK (b.1983), Marcin MARKOWICZ (b.1979) & Aleksander NOWAK (b.1979) Violin Sonatas - Agata Szymczewska (violin) Marek Bracha, Grzegorz Skrobiński (piano) Maciej Frąckiewicz (accordion) Łukasz Kuropaczewski (guitar) rec. 2016 CD ACCORD ACD223-2 [71:38] [JW] The soul of the disc may be modern but it has deep roots.

Monday October 30th 

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Violin Sonatas - Amandine Beyer (violin) Edna Stern (fortepiano) rec. 2005 ALPHA 329 [61:46] [DBi] Fine performances of splendid music but with reservations.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) French Suites - Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano) rec. 2017 DECCA 483 2150 [82:52] [DC] Mediocre at best.

Ned BIGHAM (b. 1966) Archipelago Dances, Sets 1 & 2, Two Nightscapes, Staffa - Royal Scottish Ntl O/Jean-Claude Picard rec. 2016/17 ARUNA CD002 [57:01] [RHa] A fresh voice from a truly eclectic musical background. Ned Bigham conjures a sense of place, be it real or imaginary, through skilful use of a rich palette of vivid orchestral colours.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Nimrod BORENSTEIN (b. 1969) Orchestral works - Irmina Trynkos (violin) Oxford PO/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHSA5209 SACD [56:45] [MW] A superb introduction to wonderfully enjoyable music - treat yourself!

György LIGETI (1923-2006) Requiem, Lux aeterna & other choral works by Debussy, Mahler & Ravel - Kammerchor Stuttgart, Danubia O Óbuda/Frieder Bernius rec. 1996-2006 CARUS 83.283 [56:16] [LW] An enterprising programme.

Beyond Contemporary works for percussion quartet - Los Angeles Percussion Quartet rec. 2016 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92214 BD-A/CD [85:53] [JQ] A fascinating, ear-opening experience.

Des Cordes Marines Works by Bonnal, Cras & Roussel - Ens Des Équilibres rec. 2016 ARION ARN68836 [58:58] [SG] Captivating scores delivered with enthusiasm, musicality and devotion. Full marks!

Eternamente The Verismo Album - Angela Gheorghiu (soprano) PKF–Prague Philharmonia/Emmanuel Villaume rec. 2016/17 WARNER CLASSICS 9029578024 [59:53] [MC] This rewarding collection of verismo opera arias is hard to ignore.

Music for Troubled Times The English Civil War & Siege of York - Ebor Singers/Paul Gameson rec. 2015 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10194 [76:47] [JV] I enjoyed the singing of the ensemble, but am less enthusiastic about the contributions of members of the ensemble in the solo parts.

Russian Visionaries: From Glinka to the Firebird rec. 1927/60 ARBITER 164 [78:00 + 78:18] [JW] Some real rarities in this set which will make a very direct appeal to collectors.

Friday October 27th 

Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Six Quartettos op. 8 - Go Arai (oboe) Daniel Deuter (violin) Thomas Fritzsch (viola da gamba) Inka Döring (cello) rec. 2017 COVIELLO CLASSICS COV91712 [75:23] [JV] A good argument in favour of Johann Christian Bach's chamber music.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis - Regine Hangler (soprano) Elisabeth Kulman (alto) Christian Elsner (tenor) Franz-Josef Selig (bass) MDR Radio Ch Leipzig, Berlin RSO/Marek Janowski rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186565 SACD [73.04] [DC] Very good, but can we find better?

Joonas KOKKONEN (1921-1996) Requiem, Hääsoitto, Surusoitto, Lux aeterna, Iuxta crucem - Suvi Väyrynen (soprano) Joose Vähäsöyrinki (baritone) Jan Lehtola (organ) Klemetti Institute Chamber Ch/Heikki Liimola rec. 2013/17 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0434 [55:50] [YJH] Tonality harmonized with serialism.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1831) Winterreise - Florian Boesch (baritone) Roger Vignoles (piano) rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68197 [70:55] [JQ] A probing and truly excellent listening experience.

Leo WEINER (1885-1960) Serenade, Divertimentos Nos 1-5 - Estonian Ntl SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2015/16 CHANDOS CHAN10959 [83:05] [RB] Revel in Järvi's advocacy ... energy undimmed, folksy music that is not long-winded or ponderous.

Martin-Pierre DALVIMARE (1772-1839) Sonatas - Paola Perrucci (harp) rec. 2017 DYNAMIC CDS7791 [58:44] [MW] Indispensable and stunningly beautiful for anyone who loves the harp.

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974) Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke - Okka von der Damerau (contralto) Philharmonia Zurich/Fabio Luisi rec. 2016 PHILHARMONIA RECORDS PHR0108 [59.38] [RP] Take an hour and listen to this excellent performance of an extraordinary work.

Philipp SCHARWENKA (1847-1917) Aria, Violin Sonata, Suite for Violin & Piano - Oriana Masternak (violin) Sławomir Cierpik (piano) rec. 2016 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0395 [60:18] [JW] The performances are creditably sensitive.

Åke UDDÉN (1903-1987) String Quartets Nos 1 & 2, String Trio - Charlotte Hellekant (mezzo-soprano) Upsala Chamber Soloists rec. 2017 DAPHNE 1060 [64:24] [RB] A connoisseur's composer constantly questing for subtlety, Sober and testing rather than blindingly colourful.

Rarities of Piano Music at Schloss vor Husum 2016 rec. 2016 DANACORD DACOCD789 [78:31] [BSt] Nothing here really made me catch my breath, but this is still a rewarding disc.

Thursday October 26th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin - Christian Tetzlaff (violin) rec. 2016 ONDINE ODE1299-2D [62:30 + 68:20] [DC] In the highest echelon for this repertoire.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3, Overtures PRISTINE AUDIO PASC505 [66:20] Symphonies Nos 5 & 6 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC508 [73:46] Symphony No. 9 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC293 [66:02] SWDR O, Vienna SO & Pro Musica SO/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1953-58 [RWM] Classically conceived Beethoven performances – a mixed feast with at least one outstanding recording.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) & Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Arrangements for chamber orchestra - Taschenphilharmonie/Peter Stangel rec.2013/14 SOLO MUSICA ETP008 [58:33] [MC] A fascinating take on an expanded quintet and a greatly pared-down symphony.

Daniel JONES (1912-1993) Symphonies 2 & 11 - BBC Welsh SO/Bryden Thomson rec. 1990 LYRITA SRCD.364 [62:08] [JQ] Two more symphonies by Daniel Jones appear on CD for the first time in committed performances.

László LAJTHA (1892–1963) Symphonies Nos 8 & 9 - Pécs SO/Nicolás Pasquet rec. 1996 NAXOS 8.573648 [64:57] [BSt] If you feel like taking the plunge – and bearing in mind the lack of competition – this release can be given the usual qualified welcome.

Adolf Fredrik LINDBLAD (1801-1878) Selected Piano Pieces - Oscar Ekberg (piano) rec. 2016 DAPHNE 1059 [63:48] [RB] Fluency of invention … mildly melancholy, chimingly nonchalant, murmurously plangent, thoughtfully musing, ripplingly idyllic.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) Vespro della Beata Vergine - Cantar Lontano/Marco Mencoboni rec. 2009 PAN CLASSICS PC10371 [2 SACDs: 89:07] [JV] This recording is not my first choice, but it has something to offer which is at least interesting and thought-provoking.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Horn Concerto No. 3, Horn Quintet, Divertimento No. 15 - Han Xiaoming (horn) Saarbrücken RSO/Joseph Swensen rec. 1993-99 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1805 [71:49] [MR] Recordings which are thoroughly imbued with the sheer pleasure of making music and unencumbered by notions of stylistic authority.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Complete Preludes - Moura Lympany (piano) rec. 1941/42 DECCA ELOQUENCE 482 6266 [76:42] [PRB] A fitting testament to Moura Lympany’s epic achievement.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1958) Piano works - Leif Ove Andsnes (piano) rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 88985408502 [65:24] [RB] Moist-eyed sentimentality and charm … nothing wrong with that but this is modest stuff treated to elite playing.

Wednesday October 25th

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Rusalka - Magdalena Polkowska, Tadeusz Szlenkier, O Ch & Ballet Opera Nova Bydgoszcz/Maciej Figas rec. 2015 DUX DVD 8178 [2:13:30] [RK] I would not make this Bydgoszcz production my first choice, but it gives much pleasure.

Peter Racine FRICKER (1920-1990) Symphonies 1-4, Rondo Scherzoso, Comedy Overture - BBC Northern SO/Bryden Thomson, Albert Rosen, Edward Downes, Maurice Handford LYRITA REAM.2136 [77:51 + 73:34] [NB] This release should be snapped up by all admirers of British symphonic music in the 20th century.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Partitas Nos 1 & 2 for Solo Cello - Matt Haimovitz (cello) rec. 2016 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0117 [68:41] [DC] A worthwhile première in unusual sound.

Tommie HAGLUND (b. 1959) Flaminis Aura, Il regno degli spiriti, Sollievo (Dopo la tempesta), Serenata per Diotima - Ernst Simon Glaser (cello) ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen Trio, Julia Kretz-Larsson (violin II) Gothenburg Symphony/David Afkham; Malmö SO/Joachim Gustafsson rec. 2012/15 BIS BIS-2025 SACD [83:46] [RHa] An original and compelling Nordic voice.

Selim PALMGREN (1878-1951) Piano Concertos 4 & 5, A Pastorale in Three Scenes, Exotic March - Janne Mertanen (piano) Pori Sinfonietta/Jan Söderblom rec. 2016 ALBA ABCD400 SACD [63:21] [RB] Two decorative feel-good concertos - not deep but brightly coloured and entertaining.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The 4 Seasons Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concerto No. 5 - Südwestdeutsches CO Pforzheim/Henryk Szeryng (violin) rec. 1969 SWR MUSIC SWR19041CD [68:49] [JW] Szeryng's Mozart is always worth hearing, especially in this fine restoration.

Duo Virtuoso II Works by Honegger, Ravel & Schulhoff - Elaris Duo rec. 2016 MSR CLASSICS MS1526 [49:52] [SSi] This disc offers three “remarkable jewels”, works completed within ten years of each other and all of which contain music of intensity and interest.

Norge, Mitt Norge - Christiania Mannskor; Royal Norwegian Air Force Band/Leif Arne Pedersen rec. 2015 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1121 [71:45] [DM] There are good things here, just not enough of them; splendid singing, though.

Royal Air Force - 100th Anniversary Royal Air Force Bands rec. 2005-17 CHANDOS CHAN10973(2) [56:16 + 64:50] [RB] Crackingly performed and recorded. Mostly serious but with occasional flecks of pop nostalgia.

The Rhythm Of Life Ulmer Spatzen Ch/Hans de Gilde rec. 2016 CARUS 83.484 [54:43] [BMC] An interesting and varied collection.



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