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La Mer Ticciati

Eriks EŠENVALDS

Detlev GLANERT

Jaw-dropping

simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin


Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive


Cantatas for Soprano

 

Monthly Listing
September 2017

RECORDINGS OF THE MONTH

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Complete String Quartets - Heath Qt rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM907661.62 [76:50 + 80:44] [ST] The Heath Quartet is uniquely sensitive to Bartók’s changing moods.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Coriolan Overture, Symphony No. 3 - Berlin PO, Vienna PO/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1943/44 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC488 [62:07] [RWM] Perhaps the greatest recording of the greatest symphony – restored to remarkable standards of fidelity.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Ariettes oubliées, La mer Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Pénélope, Pelléas et Mélisande - Magdalena Kožená (mezzo) Deutsches SO Berlin/Robin Ticciati rec. 2017 LINN CKD550 [68:00] [MC] A quite outstanding album, with distinguished contributions from all concerned.

John DOWLAND (1563–1626) A Pleasing Melancholy - Emma Kirkby (soprano); Chelys Consort of Viols; James Akers (lute) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2283 SACD [72:13] [BW] The top recommendation for Lachrimć except for those who prefer an instrumental-only collection; even they may well be won over by Emma Kirkby’s contribution.

Joel ENGEL (1868-1927) Chamber Music & Folksongs - Rachel Calloway (mezzo) Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival Musicians rec. 2011/12 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0343 [58:42] [SG] A joy from start to finish.

Ēriks EŠENVALDS (b. 1977) The Doors of Heaven - Hannah Consenz (soprano) Portland State U String Ens & Chamber Ch/Ethan Sperry rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.579008 [58:37] [JQ] Anyone wanting to explore the extraordinary music of Ēriks Ešenvalds could start here.

Detlev GLANERT (b. 1960) Requiem for Hieronymus Bosch - Netherlands Radio Ch, Royal Concertgebouw O/Markus Stenz rec. 2016 RCO LIVE RCO17005 SACD [83:09] [JQ] A compelling and fascinating score in a performance that is surely definitive.

Edward GREGSON (b.1945) Dances & Arias - Richard Marshall (cornet) Black Dyke Band/Nicholas Childs, Edward Gregson rec. 2016 DOYEN DOYCD369 [73:27] [NB] A magnificent achievement by all concerned.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Clarinet Sonatas - Michael Collins (clarinet) Michael McHale (piano) rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10970 [71:49] [SSi] This excellent performance deserves to win Reger’s music many new converts.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Salome - Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Eberhard Wächter (baritone) Gerhard Stolze (tenor) Grace Hoffman (mezzo) Vienna PO/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1961 DECCA 483 1498 CD/BD-A [100:36] [JQ] This 1961 Salome still has the capacity to thrill – indeed shock – in 2017, especially in its remastered, high-res BD-A form.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Symphonies Nos 4 & 6 - Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2016 HALLÉ CDHLL7547 [64.55] [MC] Outstanding live accounts of this pair of symphonies.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Scenes and Arias - Michael Volle (baritone) Berlin RSO/Georg Fritzsch rec. 2016 ORFEO C904171A [65.48] [MC] With Michael Volle in such outstanding form this essential Wagner collection is a riveting experience.

Beyond Los Angeles Percussion Quartet rec. 2016 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92214 BD-A/CD [85:53] [DM] Jaw-dropping; the best thing I’ve heard all year.

The Ear of the Huguenots Huelgas Ens/Paul Van Nevel rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88985411762 [65:09] [JV] Paul Van Nevel always gets to the heart of the matter.

Hans ABRAHAMSEN (b. 1952) Preludes, Six Pieces Erik SATIE (1866-1925) Trois Gymnopédies Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Fantasy Pieces - Ens MidtVest rec. 2014-16 DACAPO 8.226091 [49:05] [LW] Early chamber works of Abrahamsen for those interested in the composer’s development.

John Luther ADAMS (b. 1953) Canticles of the Holy Wind - Amy Garapic (percussion), The Crossing/Donald Nally rec. 2016 CANTELOUPE CA21131 [66:28] [JQ] Not for me, but it’s brilliantly served by Donald Nally and his amazingly accomplished choir.

Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Piano Works - Andreas Skouras (piano) rec. 2009 NEOS 10915 [74:22] [SB] Skouras is a committed advocate of these mostly minor works.

Eyvind ALNAES (1872-1932) Symphony, Piano Concerto - Hĺvard Gimse (piano) Oslo PO/Elvind Aadland rec. 2016 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1112 [70.11] [RB] A companionably stirring listening experience after the Grieg Piano Concerto.

Andrea ANTICO (c.1475-c.1540) Frottole Intabulate Book 1 - Maria Luisa Baldassari (spinet, clavichord, clavisimbalum, harpsichord & organ) rec. 2015 TACTUS TC480101 [57.44] [GH] An intriguing disc, well put together and recorded, exploring repertoire which is little known.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ works Vol 2 - Masaaki Suzuki (organ) rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2241 SACD [70:47] [MR] Volume two of his Bach organ cycle finds Masaaki Suzuki on an organ which, with its fruity temperament, supports his interpretative personality singularly well.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) J. S. Bach from Durham - James Lancelot (organ) rec. 2016 PRIORY RECORDS PRCD1179 [74:14] [JF] I was impressed and moved by James Lancelot’s splendid recital on this superb Victorian organ.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750), Wilhelm Friedmann BACH (1710-1784) & Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Works for 2 harpsichords - Harpsichorduo rec. 2016 DUX 1337 [58:11] [DC] Nice recording, but not a world-changing release.

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Organ Works - Rudolf Innig (organ) rec. 2016 MDG 917 2010-6 SACD [65:04] [DC] The place to be for Samuel Barber’s organ works.

Woldemar BARGIEL (1828-1897) Orchestral Works - San Luis Potosi SO/José Miramontes Zapata rec. 2014 STERLING CDS1105-2 [64.14] [JW] Romantic but disciplined music with hints of Mendelssohn and Beethoven.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Complete Works for Piano Solo Vol. 4 - Andreas Bach (piano) rec. 2010 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC17009 [74:35] [SSi] Rare insight in Bach’s performance makes this recording of Bartók’s For Children a very valuable one indeed.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings, Percussion, & Celesta - Boston SO/Rafael Kubelik, Seiji Ozawa rec. 1973/6 PENTATONE SACD PTC5186247 [69:53] [LW] Those listeners for whom the Kubelik is gospel should be happy with this latest reincarnation.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 5 - Royal Northern Sinfonia/Lars Vogt (piano) rec. 2016/17 ONDINE ODE1292-2 [73:38] [MG] First-class performances with freshness and verve, muscularity and delicacy, plus appreciable rapport between soloist and orchestra.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 9 - Krassimira Stoyanova (soprano) Lioba Braun (alto) Michael Schade (tenor) Michael Volle (bass) Bavarian RSO & Ch/Mariss Jansons rec. 2007 BR KLASSIK 900156 [66:19] [SB] I am happy for this version to join my personal favourites.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 2 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony No. 34 Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Firebird Suite - Berlin PO/Karl Böhm rec. 1968 TESTAMENT SBT1510 [80:14] [DD] A brilliant “old style” concert, supremely well played. Not just for Böhm admirers.

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) Bianca e Gernando - Silvia Dalla Benetta (soprano) Maxim Mironov (tenor) Camerata Bach Ch, Virtuosi Brunensis/Antonio Fogliani rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.660417-18 [58:30 + 59:19] [RW] Generally well sung and played and the recording is good.

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Complete piano music - Andrew Cooperstock (piano) rec. 2015 BRIDGE RECORDS 9485A/B [44:09 + 60:13] [DC] Invest in confidence, enjoy at leisure.

Nimrod BORENSTEIN (b. 1969) Orchestral Works - Irmina Trynkos (violin) Oxford PO/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHSA5209 SACD [56:45] [RB] Joyous and seductively perfumed works which never lose touch with the need for movement.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto No. 1 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Quartet - Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin) Emmanuel Ax (piano) Royal Concertgebouw O/Bernard Haitink rec. 2010/16 RCO LIVE SACD RCO17001 [39:37 + 76:20] [JQ] A highly desirable collection.

 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 1 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Oberon overture - Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin) Staatskapelle Dresden/Bernard Haitink rec. 2002 PROFIL PH09036 [50:25 + 46:09] [JW] Care, refinement, and corporate sonority.

Henry BRANT (1913-2008) Hommage aux Frčres Marx, Any Era Any Time of Year, All Souls Carnival, Pathways to Security, Music for an Imaginary Ballet - Boston Musica Viva/Richard Pittman rec. 1998 PHOENIX USA PHCD174 [70:44] [RB] A man who revelled in never quite fitting, writing to his own tartly skewed agenda … well worth adding to your lexicon of styles.

Walter BRAUNFELS (1882-1954) Orchestral Songs Vols 1 & 2 - Klaus Florian Vogt (tenor) Michael Volle (baritone) Camilla Nylund, Valentina Farcas, Genia Kühmeier, Ricarda Merbeth (soprano) Staatskapelle Weimar, Konzerthaus O Berlin/Hansjörg Albrecht rec. 2015 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1846/7 [68:08 & 68:21] [JQ] Well worth hearing in generally excellent performances.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies 2, 3 & 7 - Bruckner O Linz/Dennis Russell Davies rec. 2011/16 ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM3002 [3 CDs: 220:23] [RMo] This collection represents as faithful a rendition of Bruckner’s spirit and intentions as one could desire.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 3 - Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2016 C MAJOR Blu-ray 740904 [67:05] [DHu] Another majestic performance which raises the stature of this sometimes maligned Bruckner masterpiece.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 8 - WDR SO Köln/Jukka-Pekka Saraste rec. 2010 PROFIL PH16061 [74.38] [MC] Bruckner’s Eighth is remarkably well served by this live 2010 recording.

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Orchestral Works - John Bradbury (clarinet) Nelson Goerner (piano) BBC PO/Neeme Järvi rec 2001/4 CHANDOS CHAN241-57 [70:08 + 64:42] [RHa] A real treat from Chandos – both of Neeme Järvi’s Busoni discs as a two-for-one package.

John A. CAROLLO (b. 1954) The Transfiguration of Giovanni Baudino - Moravian PO/Petr Vronský rec. 2016 NAVONA RECORDS NV6109 [77:09] [SG] Music with an atmospheric potency.

Alfredo CASELLA (1883-1947) Symphony No. 2, La donna serpente - Münster SO/Fabrizio Ventura rec. 2016 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38232 SACD [62:50] [MW] Faces tough competition, but invaluable for its insights into the world of Casella.

Mario CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO (1895-1968) Piano Works - Alfonso Soldano (piano) rec. 2016/17 DIVINE ART DDA25152 [74:28] [JF] I do hope there will be more from this composer and performer.

Cécile CHAMINADE (1857-1944) Callirhoë, Concertstück - Victor Sangiorgio (piano) BBC Concert O/Martin Yates rec. 2016 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7339 SACD [77.46] [IL] Callirhoë is charming, a real find, and the Concertstück is great fun.

Cécile CHAMINADE (1857-1944) Piano Trios, Morceaux - Trio Parnassus rec. 2016 MDG 3032002-2 [72:32] [DJB] The best readily available option for both trios, but by no means the best on record.

Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1643-1704) La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers - Ensemble Correspondances/Sébastien Daucé rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902279 [54:38] [BW] We now have three very fine recordings of this attractive music.

Erik CHISHOLM (1904-1965) Violin Concerto, From the True Edge of the Great World, Dance Suite - Matthew Trusler (violin) Danny Driver (piano) BBC Scottish SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68208 [62:27] [RB] Rowdy, strange, exultant, dissonant and wheezily non-conformist.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Fantasy, Sonatas, Mazurkas - Craig Sheppard (piano) rec. 2017 ROMEO RECORDS 7322 [72:49] [JQ] A very fine Chopin disc.

Muzio CLEMENTI (1752-1832) Keyboard works - Dominic Cheli (piano) rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573711 [70:38] [JF] For anyone who has ‘had’ to play Clementi as a piano student, this disc will come as a pleasant surprise.

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Symphony No. 3, Three Latin American Sketches - Detroit SO/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2013/15 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559844 [55:18] [JQ] A most enjoyable and very successful Copland disc.

Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990) Copland Before the LP - Aaron Copland, Leo Smit (piano) Ivor Karman, Jacques Gordon (violin) David Freed (cello) Ethel Luening (soprano) Louis Kaufman (violin) rec. 1928-49 PARNASSUS PACD96057 [76:29] [JW] A finely assembled, well annotated and excellently focused disc.

Louis COUPERIN (1626-1661) Suites, Pavane - Skip Sempé (harpsichord) rec. 2004 ALPHA 333 [78:42] [SSi] A welcome return to the catalogues and an apt introduction to the composer’s music.

Ingolf DAHL (1912-1970) Concerto for Alto Saxophone, Hymn, Music for Brass Instruments, The Tower of Saint Barbara - John Harle (saxophone) New World SO/Michael Tilson Thomas, New World Brass PHOENIX PHCD173 [71:53] [RB] Neither avant-garde nor neo-romantic. Music related to that of pastoral Copland, earnestly symphonic Rubbra and brilliantly expressive Hindemith.

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934), Robert Russell BENNETT (1894-1981), Quincy PORTER (1897-1966) & Camargo GUARNIERI (1907-1993) Violin Sonatas - Louis Kaufmann (violin) Theodore Saidenberg, Artur Balsam (piano) rec. 1947-49 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1284 [64:43] [JW] A well-realised and suitably whole-hearted tribute to Kaufman.

Leonid DESYATNIKOV (b.1955) Sketches to Sunset, Russian Seasons - Roman Mints (violin) Alexey Goribol (piano) Yana Ivanilova (voice) Brno PO, Lithuanian CO/Philipp Chizhevsky rec. 2014/6 QUARTZ QTZ2122 [58:50] [RB] One can almost see the dry grain husks and rising dust.

David DICHIERA (b. 1935) Letters & Fantasies - Angela Theis (soprano) Ivan Moshchuk (piano) rec. 2017 INNOVA 979 [40:09] [DC] Finely wrought ‘mini operas.’

Carl Ditters von DITTERSDORF [1739-1799]  Three ‘Ovid’ Sonatas - James Tibbles & Michael Tsalka (fortepiano) rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573740 [55:58] [SSi] An intriguing and interesting disc, one which can only further the growing appreciation of the music of Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, especially with a performance as good as this one.

Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Serenade Jean FRANCAIX (1912-1997) String Trio No. 1 Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) String Trio - Jean Pougnet (violin) Frederick Riddle (viola) Anthony Pini (cello) rec. 1954 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1172 [51:44] [SG] Performances of compelling musicianship and authority.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) String Quartets Nos 1-3 - Pleyel Qt Köln rec. 2013 CPO 777909-2 [55:19] [SG] Although there are no earth-shattering moments here, the music is both lyrical and charming in its own way.

Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971) Complete Piano Works - François-Michel Rignol, Lorraine Lacaze (piano) rec. 2017 SOLSTICE SOCD348 [66:12] [RB] The piano music of an organ habitué gets its place in the sun.

Louis DUREY (1888-1979) Durey Rediscovered - William Burden (tenor) Sidney Outlaw, Jesse Blumberg (baritone) Adriana Zabala (mezzo) Jocelyn Dueck (piano) NEW FOCUS RECORDINGS FCR184 [66:36] [RB] Concise, lyrical and tuneful songs: a patrimony revealed and one that further enriches the French mélodie genre.

Petr EBEN (1929–2007) String Quartet, Piano Trio, Piano Quintet - Martinů Qt, Karel Košárek (piano) rec. 2016/17 SUPRAPHON SU42322 [68:33] [SG] Gripping and polished performances of these wonderfully compelling scores.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Introduction & Allegro, Symphony No.1 - BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHSA5181 SACD [65:20] [IL] Gardner’s Elgar Symphony No. 1 recording is a very good near miss, but I will treasure his outstanding Introduction and Allegro reading.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Black Knight, Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands - London SO & Ch/Richard Hickox rec. 1995 CHANDOS CHAN10946X [61:24] [EJW] A highly desirable reissue of early choral music by Elgar.

Gabriel FAURE (1845-1924) & César FRANCK (1822-1890) Violin Sonatas - Tedi Papavrami (violin) Nelson Goerner (piano) rec. 2016 ALPHA CLASSICS 271 [74:58] [MR] Refreshingly muscular and assertive performances of repertory which is too often treated as delicate and introverted.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Piano works Vol. 1 - Louis Lortie (piano) rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10915 [75:01] [RWe] Lortie’s selection of pieces makes this a desirable stand-alone disc for anyone just wanting a sample of Faurė’s piano music.

Johann Jakob FROBERGER (1616-1667) Froberger’s Traces - Johannes Maria Bogner (clavichord) rec. 2016 FRA BERNARDO FB1703213 [53:40] [SSi] A recording mostly for those interested in the clavichord.

Johann Joseph FUX (1660-1741) Complete Music for Harpsichord - Filippo Emanuele Ravizza (harpsichord) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95189 [61:04 + 77:06] [RHa] Another complete harpsichord edition from Brilliant, worthily performed and recorded, but not necessarily the best introduction to this grand master of counterpoint.

Martin GEORGIEV (b.1983) Symphonic Triptych No. 1, Percussion Concerto No. 3 - Tatiana Koleva (marimba) Bulgarian Ntl RSO/Martin Georgiev rec. 2014 ICSM RECORDS ICSM010 [53:57] [RB] Music with an invitingly gruff and swirling strangeness that trumps and transcends its occasional avant-garde sounds.

Reinhold GLIČRE (1875-1956) Piano Music - Gianluca Imperato (piano) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95296 [70:22] [SA] I doubt very much if there are any listeners who will not be won over by the effortless charm of this music.

Émile GOUÉ (1904-1946) Piano Works Vol. 1 - Samuel Ternoy (piano) AZUR CLASSICAL AZC082 [69:18] [SG] Music that offers much to delight in and enjoy.

Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893) Faust - Piotr Beczała (tenor) Maria Agresta (soprano) Ildar Abdrazakov (bass) Vienna Philharmonia Ch & Vienna PO/Alejo Pérez rec. 2016 EUROARTS 2097034 Blu-ray [185 mins] [MC] Staging reservations aside, this is a Faust performance to cherish.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Arrangements for Strings - Concerto Málaga String O/José Serebrier rec. 2016 SOMM SOMMCD0171 [62.21] [IL] Might be appreciated best as late evening listening.

Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Orchestral Works - Frances Lucey (soprano) Nancy Fabiola Herrera (mezzo) O Filarmónica de Gran Canaria/Adrian Leaper rec. 2000 ALTO ALC1348 [69:20] [RB] Sumptuously late-romantic … caught between sultry tropics of Wagner and Delius.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Lyric Pieces - Janina Fialkowska (piano) rec. 2014 ATMA ACD22696 [64:50] [RB] Ideally strong on poetry and charm and sparing when it comes to drama.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Occasional Oratorio - Julia Doyle (soprano) Ben Johnson (tenor) Peter Harvey (baritone) Bavarian Radio Ch, Alte Musik Akademie Berlin/Howard Arman rec. 2017 BR KLASSIK 900520 [75:38 + 62:49] [MC] An appealing live recording of Handel’s rarely performed oratorio.

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno - Sabine Deveilhe (soprano)
Franco Fagioli (countertenor) Sara Mingardo (contralto) Michael Spyres (tenor) Le Concert d’Astrée/Emmanuelle Haïm rec. 2016 ERATO DVD 9029 581936 [138 mins] [CSe] Fantastic singing but a directorial concept that disrupts the musical truth of Handel’s wonderful score.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Handel in Italy - rec. 1988-2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95496 [14 CDs: 749:25] [RHa] Good value, with some spirited performances but also much that is workaday.

Amanda HARBERG (b.1973) Viola Concerto, Elegy Max WOLPERT (b.1993) Viola Concerto No.1 - Brett Deubner (viola) Southern Arizona SO/Linus Lerner rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.559840 [50:07] [EJW] A very good, interesting CD with both works meriting more than just an occasional listen. The Harberg concerto is particularly attractive.

Siegmund von HAUSEGGER (1872-1948) Aufklänge, Dionysische Phantasie, Wieland der Schmied - Bamberg SO/Antony Hermus rec. 2013/14 CPO 777 810-2 [68:34] [NB] For the already converted this is as impressive a disc as could be hoped.

Paul HENLEY (b. 1960) Complete Works for Cello and Piano - Ruth Henley (cello) ​Ilya Chetverikov (piano) rec. 2017 BRIDGES MUSIC BMCD01 [53:08] [RB] All very English and most approachable.

Helen HOPEKIRK (1856-1945) Piano Music - Gary Steigerwalt (piano) rec. 2016 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0430 [58:06] [EJW] A really splendid CD containing piano music that is both memorable and varied in style.

Robert HUGILL (b. 1955) Quickening - Anna Huntley (mezzo) Rosalind Ventris (viola) Johnny Herford (baritone) William Vann (piano) rec. 2016 NAVONA RECORDS NV6121 [64:16] [RB] In the central stream of English song … mournful beauty and sorrowing ecstasy.

John JOUBERT (b. 1927) Missa Wellensis, St Mark Passion - David Bednall (organ) Wells Cathedral Ch/Matthew Owens rec. 2017 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10198 [69:56] [JQ] A notable addition to the Joubert discography and a very fine 90th birthday tribute to him from Wells Cathedral.

Nikolai KAPUSTIN (b. 1937) Piano works - Sunhee You, Sukyeon Kim (piano) rec. 2014/15 PIANO CLASSICS PCL0082/98 [60:00 & 65:41] [RB] Sudden sunbursts … cooling and aerobically athletic jazz. A metropolitan spirit that projects engaging sophistication.

Rob KEELEY (b.1960) & Harrison BIRTWISTLE (b.1934) Twists and Turns - London Myriad, Pipers 3, Manchester Chamber Ens/Rob Keeley rec. 2013-16 MÉTIER MSV28568 [74:59] [JF] Music that is simultaneously modern, traditional, enjoyable and challenging.

Aaron Jay KERNIS (b. 1960) On Distant Shores - Susan Babini, Caroline Stinson (cello) Joseph Peters (oboe) Ayako Oshima (clarinet) Evelyne Luest (piano) Daedalus Qt/Aaron Jay Kernis rec. 2006/14 PHOENIX PHCD183 [56:30] [RB] Music that charms yet has intellectual fibre.

László LAJTHA (1892-1963) Symphony No 7, Suite No 3, Hortobágy suite - Pécs SO/Nicolás Pasquet rec. 1994 NAXOS 8.573647 [75:41] [PCG] An unchallenged but worthy recording of Lajtha’s impressive symphony.

László LAJTHA (1892–1963) Symphonies Nos 8 & 9 - Pécs SO/Nicolás Pasquet rec. 1996 NAXOS 8.573648 [64:57] [RB] There's magnificence and beauty among the blistering tragedy of these two symphonies of the last century.

Szymon LAKS (1901-1983) Chamber works - ARC Ens rec. 2016 CHANDOS CHAN10983 [83:04] [JW] Lissom, clean cut and enjoyable.

Szymon LAKS (1901–1983) String Quartets 3-5 - Messages Qt rec. 2016 DUX 1286 [53:56] [SG] Idiomatic performances of great authority and formidable musicianship. I would strongly urge chamber music lovers to give these captivating works a try.

Édouard LALO (1823-1892) Symphonie espagnole, Namouna: Suites Nos 1 & 2, Scherzo - Alexandre Da Costa (violin) RTVE SO/Carlos Kalmar rec. 2012 WARNER CLASSICS 2564 657114 [77:33] [SV] Da Costa proves a vivid soloist, but I'm less convinced by Kalmar's accompaniment.

Zara LEVINA (1906-1976) Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 - Maria Lettberg (piano) Berlin RSO/Ariane Matiakh rec. 2016 CAPRICCIO C5269 [58:01] [JW] A fine introduction to Zara Levina’s music.

Paul LEWIS (b.1949) Heritage and Landscape rec. 1970-93 EM RECORDS EMRCD039 [73:05] [DD] A wonderful selection by a very fine composer of TV themes, superbly played in excellent sound.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Sonata, Chapelle de Guillaume Tell, Vallée d’Obermann, Les cloches de Genčve, La Campanella Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Liebestod - Emil Gryesten (piano) rec. 2015 DANACORD DACOCD772 [70:01] [RWe] A very recommendable selection, with six essential pieces, contrasted in scale and character, expertly performed.

John MCCABE (1939-2015) Complete Piano Works Vol. 1 - Jane Ford (piano) rec. 2016 PRIMA FACIE PFCD054 [66:00] [JF] Ford is imaginative, inspiring and sympathetic: a perfect advocate for John McCabe‘s kaleidoscopic music.

Harl McDONALD (1899-1955) The Music Vol. 3 (1943-56) - Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy; Indianapolis SO/Fabien Sevitzky; Columbia CO/Harl McDonald PRISTINE AUDIO PASC491 [79:16] [WK] The opportunity to hear works by a composer who was important in his day.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2  - Chen Reiss (soprano), Karen Cargill (mezzo), Netherlands Radio Ch; Royal Concertgebouw O/Daniele Gatti rec. 2016 RCO LIVE RCO17003 [2 SACDs: 88:24] [DM] Daniele Gatti’s recording debut as chief conductor of the Concertgebouw promises a great deal, but does it deliver?

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 4 - Hanna-Elisabeth Müller (soprano); Düsseldorfer Symphoniker/Ádám Fischer rec. 2016 C-AVI 8553642 [56:48] [DM] Not a giant-killer, but not a pygmy either; a most enjoyable Mahler Fourth.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5 - Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Mariss Jansons rec. 2016 BR KLASSIK 900150 [73.30] [MC] A captivating live account - one of the finest in the catalogue.

Gian Francesco MALIPIERO (1882-1973) Piano Works - Sabrina Alberti (piano) rec. 2013 TACTUS TC881302 [65:00] [RB] Nothing bland … everything gently accessible.

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) The Complete Piano Trios - Trio Martinů rec. 2016/7 MUSICAPHON M56970 [75:20] [RB] This disc attests to the vigorous life in every DNA strand of Martinů's music.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphony No. 2 - Lucy Crowe & Jurgita Adamonytė (sopranos), Michael Spyres (tenor) Monteverdi Ch, London SO/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. live, 2016 LSO LIVE LSO0803 BD-A/SACD [64:03] [ST] A great performance on its own terms, and a triumphant climax to Gardiner’s LSO Live Mendelssohn series.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Symphony No. 2 - Lucy Crowe (soprano) Jurgita Adamonytė (mezzo) Michael Spyres (tenor) Monteverdi Ch, London SO/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2016 LSO LIVE LSO0803 BD-A /SACD [64:05] [JQ] A fine conclusion to Gardiner’s Mendelssohn cycle with the LSO.

Ann MILLIKAN (b. 1963) Millikan Symphony - Boston Modern O Project/Gil Rose rec. 2017 INNOVA 981 [46:55] [DC] Fascinating reflection of well spent but tragically curtailed life.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Requiem, Ave verum corpus - Salzburg Bach Ch, Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski rec. 2017 C MAJOR DVD 741808 [59 mins] [GPJ] Equestrian ballet to Mozart’s Requiem? It just made me giggle.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Serenades Nos. 6 and 13; Divertimenti - Camerata Nordica/Terje Třnnesen rec. 2015/6 BIS BIS-2326 SACD [65:02] [BW] Exaggerated performances which do Mozart little service.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) & Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Concertos & Divertimentos - Ens Castor rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88985432642 [65:50] [SSi] A most welcome addition to the catalogue.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) & Friederich GULDA (1930-2000) Piano works - Friederich Gulda (piano) Bavarian RSO/Leopold Hager rec. 1969/82 BR KLASSIK 900713 [54:36] [DC] Blessed by the spirit of Mozart.

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana - Penelope Walmsley-Clark (soprano) John Graham-Hall (tenor) Donald Maxwell (baritone) London SO & Ch/Richard Hickox rec. 1986 ALTO ALC1336 [63:30] [DHu] A reasonable budget choice, in early digital sound with some late analogue hangovers.

Charles Wilfred ORR (1893-1976) The Complete Songbook Vols. 1 & 2 - Mark Stone (baritone) Simon Lepper (piano) rec. 2010/11 STONE RECORDS 5060192780123/192 [62:07 & 59:52] [RB] Artistry, accomplishment and percipience – notable entries for a neglected English composer with a gift for songs.

Martin PALMERI (b.1965) Magnificat - Astrlabium Ch, Capell Bydgostiensis Ch O/Kinga Litowska rec. 2015 DUX 1343 [46.19] [GH] If this sounds your sort of bag then search it out. As for me, I may well consign it to the fascinating oddity category.

Norman PETERKIN (1886-1982) Songs - Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano) Adrian Farmer (piano) rec. 2016 LYRITA SRCD362 [68:53] [JQ] A collection of attractive songs by Norman Peterkin.

Mario PILATI (1903-1938) Chamber works - Francesco Manara (violin) Luca Signorini (cello) Dario Candela (piano) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95352 [64:13 + 63:56] [RB] Lyrically unleashed and charmingly characterful.

POLDOWSKI (Régine WIENIAWSKI) (1879–1932) Art Songs - Angelique Zuluaga (soprano) Gwendolyn Mok (piano) rec. 2016 DELOS DE3538 [65:28] [GF] Lovers of French melodies will be delighted.

Cipriani POTTER (1792-1871) Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 4, Rossini Variations - Tasmanian SO/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68151 [73:57] [JF] A treat that is to be relished.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concertos - Matthew Trusler (violin) BBC Ntl O Wales/Grant Llewellyn rec. 2016 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100070 [51:42] [RB] Despite the excellence of interpretation and sound this will struggle to make headway.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Alexander Nevsky Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Night on Bald Mountain, Songs & Dances of Death - Agunda Kulaeva (mezzo) Vladislav Sulimsky (bass-baritone) Gürzenich O Köln/Dmitri Kitayenko rec. 2015 OEHMS OC459 [74:56] [JQ] A good Alexander Nevsky but Abbado’s recording still takes some beating.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Aleko - Evgeni Nesterenko (bass) Alexander Fedin (tenor) USSR TV & Radio Large Ch, Moscow Philharmonic SO/Dmitri Kitaenko rec. 1987 ALTO ALC1342 [59:21] [RB] A most romantic opera and Kitaenko does nothing to soften the blow.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Trios - Daniil Trifonov (piano) Gidon Kremer (violin) Giedrė Dirvanauskaitė (cello) rec. 2015 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 6979 [67:03] [SB] A magical recording.

Sergey RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Piano Concerto No. 2, Études-tableaux - Boris Giltburg (piano) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Carlos Miguel Prieto rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573629 [66:57] Piano Concerto No. 2, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini - Anna Vinnitskaya (piano) NDR Elbphilharmonie O/Krzysztof Urbański rec. 2016 ALPHA 275 [56:19] [DM] Chalk and cheese; but which is which?

Joachim RAFF (1822-1882) Bernhard von Weimar, World's end - Judgement - New World Franz LISZT (1811-1886)/Joachim RAFF Prometheus Unbound Overture - Göteborg Opera O/Henrik Schaefer rec. 2012 STERLING CDS1099/1100-2 [2 CDs: 94:17] [RB] Enthusiasts for music of the period and specifically for Raff should not miss this.

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Pygmalion; Les Fętes de Polymnie: Suite - Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset rec. 2017 APARTÉ AP155 [71:46] [BW] We now have an embarrassment of choice between this very fine new recording of Pygmalion and the earlier one from Les Arts Florissants.

Santa RATNIECE (b.1977) Choral works - Latvian Radio Ch, Latvijas Radio kora grupa, Sinfonietta Rīga/Sigvards Kļava, Kaspars Putniņš, Normunds Šnē rec. 2006-10 SKANI LMIC024 [57:42] [RB] Strange worlds, hard-won by virtuoso voices.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Orchestral works rec. 1973-2009 ABC CLASSICS 481 4661 [60:11] [RB] Enjoy the ups and downs of this varied Ravel package.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) La valse, Ma mčre l'Oye, Pavane, Boléro - Berlin SO/Günther Herbig rec. 1979 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300886BC [52:16] [RB] Unglamorous sound meets a somewhat earthbound approach.

Franz Xaver RICHTER (1709-1789) La Deposizione - Czech Ens Baroque O & Ch/Roman Válek rec. 2016 SUPRAPHON SU4204-2 [2CDs: 112:00] [DC] Well worth seeking out, another genuine masterpiece revealed.

John ROBERTSON (b. 1943) Symphony No. 2, Vallarta Suite, Strut in - Janáček PO/Anthony Armoré rec. 2016 NAVONA RECORDS NV6117 [58:46] [SG] Self-assured, for the most part optimistic, generous on melody and colourfully scored, this is music guaranteed to lift the spirits.

Julius RÖNTGEN (1855-1932) String Quartets, Chinesische Lieder - Julia Bronkhurst (soprano) Hans Eijsacker (piano) Parkanyi Qt COBRA RECORDS COBRA0013 [60:09] Symphonies - Noord Nederlands O/Hans Leenders COBRA0017 [60:09] [RB] The symphonies are a good place to start your Röntgen exploration but a sure-fire winner is the bustling C minor string quartet - quite a discovery.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 – 1868) Adelaide di Borgogna - Margarita Gritskova (mezzo) Ekaterina Sadovnikova (soprano) Baurzhan Anderzhanov (bass-baritoen) , Virtuosi Brunensis/Luciano Acocella rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.660401-02 [75:12 + 47:31] [GF] A valuable addition to the Rossini discography.

Henri SAUGUET (1901-1989) Symphony No. 3, Les Forains - O Ntl de la Radiodiffusion Française/Pierre Dervaux; O des Concerts Lamoureux/Henri Sauguet rec. 1948/56 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR919 [56:27] Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Schelomo Henri SAUGUET Symphony No. 1 - Maurice Maréchal (cello) O Ntl de la Radiodiffusion Française/Ernest Bour rec.1948/52 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1229 [64:19] [SG] Valuable additions to the rather scant Sauguet discography.

Giacinto SCELSI (1905-1988) Piano Works - Rossella Spinosa (piano) rec. 2016 TACTUS TC901901 [55:35] [DC] Not ideal.

Franz SCHMIDT (1874-1939) Symphony No. 2 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Festival Prelude - Christoph Anselm Noll (organ) Beethoven O Bonn/Stefan Blunier rec. 2016 MDG 937 2006-6 SACD [62.33] [PCG] For those who have yet to make the acquaintance of these scores, this issue can be heartily recommended.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) String Quartets - Klenke Qt rec. 2012/13 GENUIN GEN15360 [65:13] [RWe] The Klenke remind us of the original intention of the classical quartet to provide music primarily to be enjoyed by the players, and perhaps a few fortunate friends.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Carnaval Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) 32 Variations Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) Chaconne - Elisabeth Nielsen (piano) rec. 2017 DANACORD DACOCD785 [52:14] [JF] An altogether satisfying album, Nielsen displays technical skill, imagination and a total sympathy with the sound world and style of each composer.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Symphony No. 1, Poem of Ecstasy - Larissa Avdeyeva (mezzo) Anton Grigoriev (tenor) Lev Volodin (trumpet) Republican Russian Ch, USSR SO/Evgeni Svetlanov rec. 1963/66 ALTO ALC1329 [71:13] [RB] Vivid, virile, vigorous … precious and exciting recordings of a possessed tradition.

Anatolijus ŠENDEROVAS (b.1945) Music for Strings - Indrė Baikštytė (piano) Art Vio, FortVio DREYER GAIDO DGCD21102 [54:07] [RB] Wild-eyed and intemperate as well as expressing passionate simplicity.

Déodat de SÉVERAC (1873-1921) Piano works - Billy Eidi (piano) rec. 2000 TIMPANI 1C1080 [69:53] [RB] Skilled and sensitive playing of Séverac's often subtle music.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 5; Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Adagio - Pittsburgh SO/Manfred Honeck rec. 2013 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-724 SACD [60:08] [DM] Remarkably dull performances of both works; the engineering is sub-par, too.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) & Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Cello Concertos - Christian Poltéra (cello) Deutsche SO Berlin/Gilbert Varga rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2257 SACD [64:16] [YJH] The stellar performance of the Martinů concerto alone makes this disc commendable. Both works are warmly recorded.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) & Georgy SVIRIDOV (1915-1998) From the Movies - Lithuanian Chamber O/Saulius Sondeckis; St Petersburg Camerata/Alexander Titov rec. 1995/2002 CUGATE CLASSICS CGC026-2 [75.56] [IL] Recommended for adventurous film music fans.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphonies Nos 1 & 6 - BBC Ntl O of Wales/Thomas Sřndergĺrd rec. 2014 LINN CKD502 [66:49] [JQ] A pretty successful pairing of two very different Sibelius symphonies.

Valentin SILVESTROV (b. 1937) Moments of Memory II -Iryna Starodub (piano) Kiev Virtuosi CO/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573598 [67:59] [RB] A sentimental, generous and easily accessible entrée to the world of Valentin Silvestrov.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Elektra - Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Regina Resnik (mezzo) Gerhard Stolze (tenor) Tom Krause (baritone) Vienna State Opera Ch, Vienna PO/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1966 DECCA 483 1494 CD/BD-A [107.50] [PCG] For those who don’t already have Solti's Elektra on their shelves, this reissue should spur them to rectify the omission.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Die Frau ohne Schatten - Matti Kastu (tenor) Siv Wennberg, Birgit Nilsson (soprano) Walter Berry (bass-baritone) Kungliga Hovkapellet Stockholm/Berislav Klobucar rec. 1975 STERLING CDA1696/98-2 [3 CDs: 176:10] [RMo] This live recording certainly satisfies and despite its deficiencies and cuts, is still worthy of consideration as a collector’s choice.

Georgy SVIRIDOV (1915-1998) Chamber Music - Beethoven Trio Bonn, Artur Chermonov (violin) Vladimir Babestiko (viola) rec. 2016 C-AVI MUSIC 8553375 [57:52] [RB] Sadness in triumph, joy twisted with loss. A happy energy with a hardhearted overlay.

Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937) & Mieczysław KARŁOWICZ (1876-1909) Violin Concertos - Tasmin Little (violin) BBC SO/Edward Gardner rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5185 SACD [73:18] [RB] An irresistibly compiled, performed and recorded CD of violin concertos from the late-romantic and folk-impressionist eras.

Emil TABAKOV (b. 1947) Complete Symphonies Vol. 2 - Alexander Zemtsov (viola) Bulgarian Ntl Radio SO/Emil Tabakov rec. 2009/14 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0410 [73:50] [SG] Definitely worth a punt.

Alexander TCHAIKOVSKY (b.1946) Etudes in Simple Tones, Concerto for two pianos - Yuri Bashmet (viola) Xenia Bashmet, Boris Berezovsky, Daria Tchaikovskaya (pianos) Moscow PO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2016 MELODIYA MELCD1002497 [53:26] [RB] An industrious composer who has the capacity to surprise.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphonies 3 & 5, The Sleeping Beauty & Swan Lake Suites, Marche slav - Vienna SO/Moshe Atzmon; London SO/Claudio Abbado; Warsaw Ntl PO/Witold Rowicki; Berlin PO/Ferdinand Leitner rec.1959/73 ELOQUENCE 482 6176 [2 CDs: 149:47] [IL] A mixed bag.

Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Complete Ballets - Bergen PO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2012/13 CHANDOS CHSA5204(5) [5 SACDs: 394:26] [RMay] Of particular appeal, perhaps, to those who prefer to listen to – rather than watch – ballet.

Randall THOMPSON (1899-1984) Symphony No. 2 Samuel ADAMS (b. 1985) Drift and Providence Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Symphony No. 1 - Ntl O Institute Phil/James Ross rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.559822 [JQ] Two valuable American symphonies, well served in these performances.

Heinz TIESSEN (1887–1971) Piano Music - Matthew Rubenstein (piano) rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0291 [68:39] [RB] Never a prisoner of tonality yet chose not to stray far from it.

George TSONTAKIS (b. 1951) Anasa, True Colours, Unforgettable - David Karkauer (clarinet) Eric Berlin (trumpet) Luosha Fang, Eunice Kim (violins) Albany SO/David Alan Miller rec. 2011-13 NAXOS 8.559826 [63.12] [GH] A valuable window into the music of George Tsontakis.

Galina USTVOLSKAYA (1919-2006) Chamber works - Mikhail Waiman (violin) Oleg Malov, Maria Karandashova (piano) Oleg Stolpner (cello) rec. 1961-1985 NORTHERN FLOWERS NF/PMA99122 [71:00] [RB] Nothing of the circus or the playground here.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlo - Michele Pertusi (bass) José Bros (tenor) Serena Farnocchia (soprano) Ch Teatro Regio Parma, Filharmonica Arturo Toscanini/Daniel Oren rec. 2016 DYNAMIC Blu-ray 57776 [182 mins] [RJF] This shows what can be achieved to give pleasure and realise complex plots on a restricted budget in smaller opera houses.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Don Carlo - Michele Pertusi, José Bros, Coro Teatro Regio di Parma/Martino Faggiani, Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini/Daniel Oren rec. 2016 DYNAMIC 57776 Blu-ray [183 mins] [MC] A model example of the high quality work that can be achieved by a regional opera house.

Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611) Motets - Nordic Voices rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA0402 SACD [55:40] [DC] There is always room for this kind of quality.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Folk Seasons - Kreeta-Maria Keniala (violin) Barocco Boreale rec. 2016 ALBA ABCD402 SACD [79:31] [DC] A definite keeper – fun, imaginative, and with a sprinkle of magic.

Sir William WALTON (1902-1983) Violin Concerto, Partita, Variations on a theme by Hindemith, Spitfire Prelude & Fugue - Anthony Marwood (violin) BBC Scottish SO/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2013/16 HYPERION CDA67986 [81:28] [NB] Marwood is a very impressive and intelligent performer but ultimately there is not enough consistent personality in the interpretations from Martyn Brabbins.

Judith WEGMANN Le soufflé du temps, X (Rétro-) Perspectives - Judith Wegmann (piano) rec. 2016 HAT[NOW]ART 202 [59:53] [DC] Does the Empress have any clothes?

Sylvius Leopold WEISS (1687-1750) Early Works - Joachim Held (lute) rec. 2017 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC16045 [69:40] [SSi] An excellent recording which serves to make you wish for more from the performer.

Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937) Organ Works - Joseph Nolan (organ) rec. 2013/14 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD438 [48:10 + 34:29] [SSi] Anyone interested in organ music should rush out and buy this attractively priced set.

Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937) Suite Latine, 3 Nouvelles Pičces, Bach’s Memento, Marche Americaine - Joseph Nolan (organ) rec. 2013-2015 SIGNUM RECORDS SIGCD438 [2CDs: 82:39] [DC] A fine jewel to top the crown of a superb Widor series.

20th Century Harpsichord Music Works by Baur, Garbal, Grunenwald, Hawel, Ligeti & Takemitsu - Aleksandra Garbal (harpsichord) Katarzyna Kwiatkowska (piano) Aleksandra Rogowska (percussion) rec. 1997/98 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0394 [69.21] [MW] An interesting addition to the catalogue.

After the Sabbath Ch of Birmingham Cathedral/Marcus Huxley, David Hardie (organ) rec. 2016 REGENT REGCD490 [73:51] [MR] A celebration of one of England’s less traditional cathedral choirs inspired both by a Heavy Metal guitarist and by the retirement of its long-serving Director of Music, Marcus Huxley.

Akoka Reframing Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time - David Krakauer (clarinet) Matt Haimovitz (cello) Jonathan Crow (violin) Geoffrey Burleson (piano) Socalled (electronics) rec. 2007/8 PENTATONE PTC5186560 SACD [63:45] [MR] A powerful and intuitive account of the Messiaen with some adventurous improvisations.

American Romantics - The Boston Scene Works by Foote, Chadwick, Paine, Whiting, Nevin & Ruthven Lang - Artem Belogurov (piano) rec. 2013 PIANO CLASSICS PCL0080 [69:24] [RB] A bouquet of American romantic piano music from the late nineteenth century.

Benjamin Appl (baritone) Heimat - James Baillieu (piano) rec. 2016/17 SONY CLASSICAL 88985393032 [66:54] [MC] An engagingly performed album from baritone Benjamin Appl that deserves considerable acclaim.

Après Un Rêve Works by Debussy, Fauré & Ravel - Christian Svarfvar (violin) Roland Pöntinen (piano) rec. 2014/15 BIS BIS-2183 SACD [61:08] [RWe] Does not displace favourite versions of the two sonatas, but the programme is attractive and the playing excellent so those looking for just this repertoire will not be disappointed.

Arias for All Ave Sol Ch, Latvian Opera O/Julian Reynolds SONY 88985 370282 [43:24] [GF] Those wanting to bask in well-known melodies sung by a classy choir will find plenty to appreciate here, though the playing time is rather parsimonious.

Karl Böhm (conductor) The Early Years 1935-49 - Staatskapelle Dresden, Vienna PO, Berlin PO, Philharmonia O WARNER CLASSICS ICON SERIES 9029588672 [19 CDs: ca 21 hrs] [MC] Although primarily of appeal to the specialist collector, this set provides an absorbing insight into the recording development of this great conductor.

The Book of Lovers Ottoman Classical Music of the 15th-19th centuries - Lâmekan Ens/Tristan Driessens; Derya Türkan (kemençe) Murat Aydemir (tanbur) Burcu Karadag (ney) Serdar Bisiren, Yusuf Tarik Günaydin rec. 2014 CYPRES CYP1677 [77:18 + 76:04] [RB] Western traditional tastes in need of some iconoclasm then try this luxuriously appointed set.

A British Promenade Sandrine Chatron (harp) Ophélie Gaillard (cello) Michael Bennett (tenor) rec. 2016 APARTÉ AP140 [78:25] [RB] The finest English harp music disc I know.

Carnevale 1729 Ann Hallenberg (mezzo) Il pomo d’oro/Stefano Montanari rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186678 SACD [52.23 + 46.17] [MC] A stunning studio album of showstopping late-baroque arias.

The Classical Elements Albert Tiu (piano) rec. 2015 CENTAUR CRC3503 [79:45] [MR] An imaginative and deeply perceptive programme delivered with profound understanding and great musical sensitivity.

Le Cœur & L’oreille Manuscript Bauyn - Giuia Nuti (harpsichord) rec. 2015 ARCANA A434 [74:24] [SSi] This is a lovely recording of part of one of the most important of all sources of French harpsichord music, one in which Giuia Nuti in both her playing and notes excels.

Crazy Girl Crazy Works by Berio, Berg & Gershwin - Ludwig O/Barbara Hannigan (soprano & conductor) rec. 2016 ALPHA 293 [57:23] [JQ] An imaginative programme concept and excellent performances, but the film is a disappointment.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg: Grand Opening Concert NDR Ch, Ch des Bayerischen Rundfunks, NDR Elbphilharmonie PO/Thomas Hengelbrock rec. 2017 C MAJOR Blu-ray 741504 [165 mins] [LW] A classy memento of the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie’s grand opening concert.

Episodi Works by Vasks, Cowell, Shchedrin & Schoenfield - AdAstra Piano Trio rec. 2016 CD ACCORD ACD231-2 [65:55] [RK] This diverse program of recent chamber music classics presents provocative yet accessible music, played with panache.

Explosive Classics rec. 1986-2016 CHANDOS CHAN10989 [82:04] [RB] The title is not wide of the mark … and we even escaped Tchaikovsky's 1812.

Four Hands Works by Edwards, Vine, Sculthorpe, Greenbaum & Kats-Chernin - Viney-Grinberg Piano Duo rec. 2015 ABC CLASSICS 4814592 [68:37] [RB] Strongly recorded, well projected and advocated … more than competently documented.

Flux Ferio Saxophone Quartet rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10987 [80:40] [RB] A kaleidoscopically varied recital, played with aplomb and affection.

Gaudent in Coelis Works by Beamish, Bingham & Marsh - Will Fairbairn, Alex Coplan (organ) Chs of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge/Edward Wickham rec. 2016 RESONUS RES10185 [69:08] [MR] An interesting disc which features some fine singing and intriguing music.

Walter Gieseking (piano) The 1950s Solo Studio Recordings APR 7402 [4 CDs: 280:05] [JW] An admirable package.

A Guitar for Segovia Works by Mudarra, De Murcia, Ohana, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Ponce & Martin - Javier Somoza (guitar) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95487 [68:47] [RB] Harmoniously documented, well filled and most enjoyable.

Heroic Proportions Works by Bach, Franck, Barber, Stewart & Willan - Felix Hell (organ) rec. 2014 MSR CLASSICS MS1542 [60:37] [MR] Musical heroism stifled by a killing acoustic and an almost clinically delivered virtuosity.

Dame Myra Hess (piano) Encores & Favourites rec. 1928/41 BIDDULPH LHW050 [79:06] [RW] Much to enjoy and admire.

The Complete Josef Hofmann Vol. 9 Josef Hofmann (piano) rec. 1895-1945 MARSTON 520582 [75:49 + 77:02] [SG] The ninth and closing volume of The Complete Josef Hofmann series, setting the seal on an astonishing achievement by Marston Records.

Idyll Works by Kalinnikov, Janáček & Elgar - Ferruccio Busoni CO/Massimo Belli rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95199 [53:08] [DHu] Neither idyllic, nor ideal.

William Kapell (piano) Three First Performances: Rachmaninov & Prokofiev - Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York/Artur Rodzinski; Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy; Boston SO/Richard Burgin rec. 1945/53 JSP RECORDS JSP684 [79:04] [GF] Collectors of Kapell recordings should snap this CD up without delay.

Lachrymae Revisited Works by Dowland, Britten, Porębski, Boyle, Higgins & Hosokawa - Duo van Vliet rec. 2014/15 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100069 [65:14] [JW] Much of the music here is meditative, counterbalanced by some more strenuous examples of modernism.

The Masque of Moments Theatre of the Ayre/Elizabeth Kenny, Salisbury Cathedral Ch, Lay Clerks rec. 2015 LINN CKD542 [68:18] [JW] An uncommonly well directed and documented programme, a counter-factual concert of wit, elegance, rustic bravura and nonchalant technical command.

Maudite Guerre Fionnuala McCarthy (soprano) Klaus Häger (baritone) Karola Theill (piano) rec. 2012 HORTUS 722 [65:40] [NB] As interesting a song recital as any I have heard in some time.

Yuri Mazurok (baritone) Arias & Scenes from Operas - Bolshoi Theatre O/Mark Ermler rec. 1966-80 MELODIYA MELCD1002393 [59:34] [RMo] An hour’s worth of great baritone singing.

Minimal Piano Collection Vols XXI-XXVIII - Jeroen van Veen (piano) rec. 2015/16 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95543 [8 CDs: 596 mins] [DC] Snap up this good stuff right away.

The Operatic Pianist II Andrew Wright (piano) rec. 2016 DIVINE ART DDA25153 [67:45] [JF] Wright’s playing is superb. The sound quality of the recording is ideally balanced: every detail is clear and undistorted.

Organs of the Lake District Ian Hare (organ) rec. 2016 PRIORY PRCD1177 [77:19] [JF] I look forward to further recordings from Ian Hare and the stable of splendid organs in the English Lake District.

Leff Pouishnoff (piano) The Complete 78 RPM and Selected Saga LP Recordings rec. 1922-1958 APR 6022 [73:49 + 75:32] [JW] Pouishnoff has hitherto been poorly represented on CD so this twofer is more than welcome.

Premier Pianists Vols 1 & 2 VAI DVD 4596/7 [76 & 75 mins] [JW] Given their age and the circumstances of recording, these performances are very variable in terms of image preservation, clarity, sound quality and colour.

Reformation 1517-2017 Nicholas Morris (organ) Ch of Clare College, Cambridge, Clare Baroque/Graham Ross rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902265 [73:25] [JQ] Another fine album from the Clare College choir and a most thoughtful way to mark the anniversary of the Reformation.

Reformation 1517-2017 Nicholas Morris (organ) Ch of Clare College, Cambridge, Clare Baroque/Graham Ross rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902265 [73:25] [ST] A thoughtful and intelligent mix.

Russian Favourites! Don Cossack Ch/Serge Jaroff, Red Army Ens/Vladimir Alexandrov rec. 1958-62 ALTO ALN1959 [77:28] [RB] A generously timed bargain collection of massed Russian choral singing.

Victor Schiřler (piano) The Great Danish Pianist Vol. 2 - Emil Telmányi, Henry Holst (violin) Erling Blondal Bengtsson (cello) Danish State Radio SO/Erik Tuxen rec. 1942-57 DANACORD DACOCD781-2 [77:35 + 78:18] [JW] Danacord is to be congratulated for its dedication to this outstanding pianist’s valuable and important legacy.

Solomon (piano) Concertos Vols 1 & 2: Works by Beethoven, Grieg, Liszt Schumann, Scriabin & Tchaikovsky - Philharmonia O/Herbert Menges, Walter Susskind, Issay Dobrowen rec. 1948-1956. BEULAH 1PS16/2PS16  [80:39 & 88:33] [BW] It’s good that these recordings are being made available again to a potentially new audience.

Think Subtilior Songs and Sounds - Santenay rec. 2014 RICERCAR RIC386 [51.13] [GH] An unusual but effective approach.

Toscanini conducts American Music Vols 1 & 2 Earl Wild (piano) Benny Goodman (clarinet) NBC SO rec. 1942/3 PRISTINE PASC495/7 [53:46] [54:03] [RB] Pristine have done wonderfully well and I hope they will not stop there.

ˇViva Segovia! Works by Haug, Scott, Berkeley, Desderi, Fornerod & Peyrot - Roberto Moronn Pérez (guitar) rec. 2015 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-723 [58:37] [RB] An hour of openly and intimately recorded music fresh to the repertoire and drawn from recently released works from the Segovia archive.

Walk in Beauty Piano works by American composers - Emanuele Arciuli (piano) rec. 2016 INNOVA 255 [2 CDs: 115:39] [DC] Broaden your horizons.

Fritz Wunderlich (tenor) Romantic Arias rec. 1957-65 SWR MUSIC SWR19032CD [72:48] [GF] If you love great singing – give this disc a listen!

Other Reviews

Andy Williams Four Classic Albums rec. 1958/62 AVID POP AMSC1247 [2 CDs: 141:48] [BMC] It doesn’t get any smoother.

Jerome Kern The Song Is You: His 51 Finest 1905-1962 RETROSPECTIVE RTS4310 [2 CDs: 158:34] [GF] From all points of view this is a great compilation.

Avital Meets Avital Avi Avital (mandolin/mandola) Omer Avital (bass/oud), Itamar Doari, (percussion), Yonathan Avishai (piano/keyboards), Uri Sharlin (accordion) rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 6523 [47:55] [DD] Exceptionally intriguing and enjoyable modern music. Not classical but well worth trying out.

Articles and Notices

Listening Studio Report by John Quinn

Second Thoughts and Short Reviews: Autumn 2017-1 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan

Discovering Erik Chisholm by John France

Streaming - Friend or Foe? by Patrick Waller

The Bernstein Centennial - Reflections, Events and Impressions by Rob Barnett




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