NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Autumn 2017-2 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan
Florent Schmitt on Timpani -
a survey by Rob Barnett
Russian and East European Adventures - a survey by Rob Barnett
Derek Bourgeois - An Obituary
by Kenneth Shenton
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Monday October 23rd
Vernon DUKE (1903-1969) Complete Works for Violin
Elmira Darvarova (violin)
ORF RSO Wien/Scott Dunn
rec. 2012/14 URLICHT AUDIOVISUAL UAV-5990 [78:59] [RB] Faithful to Duke and warmly affectionate to his starlit cantabile music.
Francesco DURANTE (1684-1755) Concertos for Strings
Ens Imaginaire/Cristina Corrieri rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95542 [45:25 + 52:40]
[CRo] Not the very best performances, but the completeness of this issue might recommend it to specialists.
Siegmund von HAUSEGGER (1872-1948) Barbarossa, Three Hymns - Hans Christoph Begemann (bass-baritone) Norrköping SO/Antony Hermus rec. 2011 CPO 777 666-2 [65:10] [RB] A vivid creative imagination at work but inspiration slides in and out of focus.
Roland LEISTNER-MAYER (b. 1945) String Quartets 5-7 - Sojka Qt rec. 2016 TYXART TXA17090 [77:15] [SG] Attractive and compelling scores, recommended without reservation.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
March, Haffner Serenade Othmar SCHOECK (1886-1957)
Serenade - Musikkollegium Winterthur/Roberto González Monjas rec.
2017 CLAVES 50-1710 [72.03] [MC] Two serenades written by young composers, provide light hearted enjoyment in spades.
Nikolay ROSLAVETS (1881-1944) Complete Works for Solo Piano - Olga Andryushchenko (piano) rec. 2016
GRAND PIANO GP743-44 [44:37 + 53:36] [RHa] A triumphant set from Grand Piano in performances that complement those on Hamelin’s legendary 1997 disc.
Philip SAWYERS (b. 1951) Orchestral Works Vol. 3 -
April Frederick (soprano) English String O, English SO/Kenneth Woods rec. 2015/17 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6353 [66.54] [GH] A composer new to me, whose work I am very glad to have encountered.
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Manfred Symphony - Czech PO/Semyon Bychkov rec. 2017 DECCA 483 2320 [59:19] [JQ] An extremely distinguished and very exciting account of Manfred.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Audrey Hepburn – A Touch of Music Music from films starring Audrey Hepburn MILAN 399 834-2 [71.01]
Sheer delight. An old-fashioned film music collection to savour.
Tippet Rise OPUS 2016 Domo
Works by Abril, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Scriabin & Stravinsky
rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186660 SACD [65:45] [BSt] Mostly extremely well recorded and worth hearing, not least for Subdin’s fabulous Scriabin Fifth Sonata.
Friday October 20th
Jean-Baptiste ARBAN (1825-1889)
Fantasies on Verdi Operas -
Angelo Cavallo (cornet)
Michele Fontana (piano)
rec. 2016 DYNAMIC CDS7784.02 [2 CDs: 120:01] [MR] These follow a predicable path which, given these technically secure but undemonstrative performances, is probably more interesting to the player than the listener.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Ich ruf’ zu Dir, Ich habe genug,
Orchestral Suite No. 2,
Passacaglia & Fugue -
Stephan Genz (baritone)
Russian Ntl O/Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev rec. 2015 PENTATONE PTC5186593 SACD [65:52]
[DHu] Tear off your hair shirt for some good old-fashioned, big-band Bach; the Passacaglia
& Fugue arrangement is a real blast.
BRAHMS (1833-1897), Karl
WEIGL (1881-1949) & Paul
HINDEMITH (1895-1963) Viola Sonatas
- Paul Doktor (viola) Nadia Reisenberg (piano)
rec. 1952-1963 ROMÉO RECORDS 7317
[76:01] [RB] This is a most agreeable listening
experience unless you must have a closer approach
to modern audio perfection.
Antonio CESTI (1623-1669)
L’Orontea - Monteverdi Continuo Ens,
Frankfurt Opera & Museum O/Ivor Bolton
rec. 2015 OEHMS CLASSICS OC965 [3 CDs: 175:21] [CRo] Listeners who like the grit of an animated performance in the theatre will warm to this recording.
(1886-1971) Complete Piano Works - François-Michel Rignol,
Lorraine Lacaze (piano) rec. 2017 SOLSTICE SOCD348
[66:12] [SG] François-Michel Rignol’s infectious enthusiasm and cultivated musicianship should win this wonderful music many new acquaintances.
Heinrich von HERZOGENBERG (1843-1900) Piano Trios Nos
1 & 2 -
Vienna Piano Trio rec. 2016 MDG 9422017-6 SACD [65:38] [BSt] An interesting and very well-produced release, which suggests that Herzogenberg was one of the more rewarding followers of Brahms.
KALOMIRIS (1883–1962) Complete
Works for Solo Piano - Olivier Chauzu
(piano) rec. 2016 GRAND PIANO GP748
[69:43] [RB] Folksy, Kodály-style, peacock-fan
brilliance and melody at play.
KARAYEV (1918-1982) The 7 Beauties,
Don Quixote, Leyla and Mejnun -
Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2017
CHANDOS CHSA5203 SACD [73.10]
[IL] Extremely colourful and evocative music,
brilliantly orchestrated; the ear is unfailingly
ROREM (b. 1923) Our Town -
Matthew DiBattista, Margot Rood, Monadnock
Music/Gil Rose rec. 2013 NEW WORLD RECORDS
807902 [55:00 + 68:25] [JQ]
An important release - Ned Rorem’s most
recent opera receives a committed first recording.
Fiery Genius Neopolitan
Instrumental Music for 1,2,3, & 4 violins
- Ens Aurora/Enrico Gatti (violin) rec. 2016
ARCANA A429 [68.35] [MW] A
fascinating and superbly played introduction
to little-known but splendid music from Naples.
Thursday October 19th
Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No. 6 - Bavarian
RSO/Bernard Haitink rec. 2017 BR KLASSIK 900147
Haitink may be in the late autumn of his life and career, but his new
Bruckner Sixth basks in the heat of high summer. A remarkable
achievement all round.
CORFIELD GODFREY (b.1950) Akallabêth and other Tolkien
Works - Tara McSwiney (soprano) Andrew Henley (tenor) Adam Jondelius
(baritone) Nicola Loten (flute) Niamh Ferris (viola) Immanuel Carl Maria
Vogt, Connor Fogel (piano) PRIMA FACIE RECORDS PFCD059 [67:32]
[GF] Accessible and captivating music that should appeal to a wide audience.
Charles Martin LOEFFLER (1861-1935)
Divertissement Espagnol, La Villanelle du Diable, Une Nuit de Mai,
Amy Dickson (saxophone)
Lorraine McAslan (violin)
BBC Concert O/Johannes Wildner
rec. 2013 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7313 [67:56] [RB] Opulently loquacious, lusciously orchestrated and a lavish cholesterol count.
Carl MILLÖCKER (1842-1899) Waltzes, Marches, Polkas
Nürnberger Symphoniker/Christian Simonis
rec. 2015 CPO 555 004-2 [65:21] [RB] If you are partial to the music of Vienna's golden decades … look no further.
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Virtuoso Arrangements by Earl Wild - Martin Jones (piano) rec. 2016 NIMBUS NI5965 [72:55] [SB] A range of delights that should be sampled one a time.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies 1-8 - Berliner Philharmoniker/Nikolaus Harnoncourt rec. 2003/06 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS BPHR150063 [5 SACDs: 273.00] [MC] A sense of spontaneity that carries the listener along on an enthralling
Józef ŚWIDER (1930–2014)
Music for Wind Instruments -
Maria Grochowska (flute) Piotr Pyc (oboe) Roman Widaszek (clarinet) Marek Barański (bassoon) Mariusz Ziętek (horn)
rec. 2016 CD ACCORD ACD228-2 [68:53] [JW] A vivid and often infectious sense of communication here.
Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Works for violin and piano - Ewelina Nowicka (violin) Milena Antoniewicz (piano) rec. 2012/13 RECART 0006 [43:25] [SG] The enthusiasm and commitment of these two young artists is compelling.
Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937)
Complete Works for Woodwind -
Thies Roorda (flute) Olivier Patey (clarinet) Alexei Ogrintchouk (oboe)
rec. 2014-16 NAXOS 8.573764 [62:16] [MR] Widor’s complete output for woodwind solo opens eyes to a largely overlooked area of the French repertory, and with such neat and committed performances, should also win more than a few converts.
Il Violoncello del Cardinale Accademia Ottoboni/Marco Ceccato (cello) rec. 2016 ALPHA 368 [63:26] [DJB] An interesting collection of music that is undermined by a lack of variety.
Wednesday October 18th
CHILCOTT (b. 1955)
All Good Things
- Sue Greenway (saxophone) Raphael Mizraki (double
bass) Alexander Hawkins (piano) Jon Scot (drums)
Commotio/Bob Chilcott, Matthew Berry rec. 2016
NAXOS 8.573383 [71:40] [JQ]
Buy this disc to blow away the cobwebs and
put a smile on your face.
String Quartet, Piano Trio, Piano Quintet
- Martinů Qt, Karel Košárek (piano)
rec. 2016-2017 SUPRAPHON SU42322
[68:33] [SSi] An excellent performance,
one which can only further the growing appreciation
of this wonderful music.
KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) String Quartets
Nos 1 & 2 - Stenhammar Qt rec. 2015 CPO
555 006-2 [62:58] Complete Piano Concertos
- Michael Korstick (piano) rec. 2010 CPO
777 658-2 [56:04 + 66:43] Cello Concertos
Nos 1 & 2, Colas Breugnon Suite
- Torleif Thedéen (cello) NDR Radiophilharmonie
Hannover/ Alun Francis, Eiji Oue, Adrian Prabava
rec. 2009 CPO 777 668 2 [68:53]
[RB] Aspects of a composer - predominantly
superior entertainment with a heart but in a
few cases subtle, oblique and chastening.
MÖLLER (b.1955)/Hans EK (b.1964)
The Nordan Suite
- Lena Willemark (vocals, fiddle) Ale Möller
(various), Rafael Sida Huizar (percussion) Västerås
Sinfonietta/Hans Ek rec. 2013 PROPHONE
PCD-153 [48:12] [RB] The presence
of folk instruments alongside the orchestra
and Lena Willemark's resinous voice lend
an ancient or timeless flavour to what we hear.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Flute Quartets - Aurèle Nicolet (flute) Munich String Trio rec. 1978 TUDOR 7501 [53:45] [TP] A few tiny recording niggles do not affect my enjoyment of these fine
Antoine REICHA (1770-1836) Complete Piano Music Vol. 2 - Henrik Löwenmark (piano)
rec. 2007/15 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0017 [68:05] [JW] Charming and full of panache.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Oboe Concerto, Sonatina No. 2 for 16 wind instruments, Serenade for 13 wind instruments - Andris Nelsons/Concertgebouw; Alexei Ogrintchouk (oboe) Winds of the Concertgebouw rec. 2014/16 BIS BIS-2163 SACD [74:12] [NB] Very fine performances from a star cast.
VERDI (1813-1901) Messa
da Requiem - Los Angeles
PO & Master Chorale/Gustavo Dudamel rec.
2013 C MAJOR 714804 Blu-ray
[116:00] [LW] A reissue of Dudamel’s
Verdi Requiem primarily serving as a memento
of a memorable occasion.
Ionisation Works by Cage, Chávez, Cowell, Harrison, Reich & Varèse - Tetraktis Percussion
rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95134 [54:22] [GPJ] A programme of percussion ‘classics’ superbly performed by this Italian ensemble.
Sequentia! Works by Dall'Abaco & Piatti - Joachim Eijlander (cello) rec. 2017 NAVIS CLASSICS NC17009 [77:41] [SG] A release that will appeal especially to cello players.
Tuesday October 17th
BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) String Trios
Op. 6 - The Lubotsky Trio rec. 2016 BRILLIANT
CLASSICS 95493 [56:37] [SSi] A
good introduction to Boccherini’s string
trios, but not the best recording on the market.
FURRER (b. 1954)
Works for Choir & Ensemble -
Helsinki Chamber Ch, Uusinta Ens/Nils Schweckendiek
rec. 2014 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0360 [65:44]
[SG] Adventurous scores, showcased at their
OF THE MONTH Louis
GLASS (1864-1936) Symphony No.
5, Fantasy - Marianna
Shirinyan (piano) Staatsorchester Rheinische
PO/Daniel Raiskin rec. 2013 CPO 777
494-2 [60:22] [RB] Played on song,
top-dead-centre, … frisson-inducing excitement
… "air-conducting" with abandon.
JACKSON (b. 1917) Choral works
- Ch York Minster/Philip Moore, John Scott
Whitley (organ) rec. 1997 PRIORY PRCD841
[72:16] [JQ] A very good overview of the
tremendous contribution which Francis Jackson
has made to the music of the English church.
MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony
No. 5, Des Knaben Wunderhorn songs,
Rückert-Lieder - Siegfried Lorenz
(baritone) Staatskapelle Berlin/Otmar Suitner,
Berlin SO/Günther Herbig
rec. 1982-84 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300922BC
[63:38 + 40:54] [RMo] The unaffected naturalness
of Suitner’s direction is so appealing.
MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Psalms
- Johanna Winkel (soprano) Hanne Weber (alto)
Münchner Rundfunk O & Ch/Howard Arman rec.
2016 BR KLASSIK 900519 [59.16]
[MC] This absorbing Mendelssohn album is
distinguished by outstanding performances that
are both convincing and revealing.
TSONTAKIS (b. 1951) Anasa,
True Colors, Unforgettable - David Krakauier
(clarinet) Eric Berlin (trumpet) Luosha Fang,
Eunice Kim (violins) Albany SO/David Alan Miller
rec. 2011-2013 NAXOS 8.559826
[63:12] [SB] A
trio of accessible and attractive concertos,
with touches of Cretan music, klezmer and jazz.
OF THE MONTH Let
Beauty Awake Ralph
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs, Romance Rebecca CLARKE
(1886-1979) Viola Sonata Benjamin
BRITTEN (1913-76) Cello Suite No. 3,
Lachrymae - Ellen Nisbeth (viola) Bengt
Forsberg (piano) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2182
SACD [80:18] [RHa] A superbly devised
and executed recital of haunting English viola
works, performed by a young Swedish virtuoso
with an uncanny feeling for this repertoire.
Rarities Edouard LALO (1823-1892)
Symphonie espagnole Felix MENDELSSOHN
(1809-1847) & Antonín DVOŘÁK
(1841-1904) Violin Concertos - Philadelphia
O/Eugene Ormandy, Phil-SO New York/Arturo Toscanini,
Leopold Stokowski rec. 1936-1945 PRISTINE
AUDIO PASC503 [66:15] [JW] This finely transferred disc has
done all it can for these concertos.
for Winds by Latvian Composers
rec. 1976-2008 SKANI LMIC016
[70:31 + 63:21] [RB] Plenty to challenge
the ear but even the more thorny choices offer
enclaves of melody or fascination.