One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider


.
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

 

Reviews from the last week
223 reviews completed so far this month
This month's reviews
Last month's reviews

NEW & RECENT ARTICLES

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

Streaming - Friend or Foe? by Patrick Waller

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

Discovering Erik Chisholm by John France

Listening Studio Report by John Quinn

NOTICES

[New] The Sterling label is offering a free sampler CD - see here for details.

For over 20 years MusicWeb International has never operated a PayWall. We can keep it free if you can be persuaded to make a donation. As an inducement we are giving away CDs for donations of Ł15 (Ł20 outside the EU) or more. Click the Donate button top right for more details.

Publishing schedule
Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, other music); Friday: Articles.
Live performance reviews posted daily at Seen and Heard
Jazz reviews posted weekly

Shopping on-line? Help us by doing it through the MusicWeb sales page.


Daily batches for printing (pdf) Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

LATEST REVIEWS

Friday September 29th 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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.

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.

Thursday September 28th

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Wednesday September 27th

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.

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.

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.

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?

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) 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.

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.

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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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.

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.

Tuesday September 26th

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: 48:10 + 34:29] [DC] A fine jewel to top the crown of a superb Widor series.

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.

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.

Monday September 25th 

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Other reviews
RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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.

 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger