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Wednesday February 28th
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The
Art of Fugue - Accademia Bizantia/Ottavio Dantone
(harpsichord) rec. 2017 DECCA 4832329
[76:57] [DC] Not a world-shaker, but nice
enough to have around.
Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Piano
Concertos Vol. 5 - Michael Rische
(piano) Berliner Barock Solisten rec. 2017 HÄNSSLER
CLASSICS HC17034 [56:28] [DJB] A
little more verve would have served these works
better, but they seem to be the only game in
town if you want a modern piano.
van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Music for Winds -
Scottish CO Wind Soloists rec. 2016 LINN
CKD572 [55:13] [ST] You couldn’t
hope for more masterful, affable guides.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 2,
Haydn Variations, Hungarian Dances, Academic Festival Overture -
Swedish CO/Thomas Dausgaard
rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2253 SACD [75:56] [RHa] Fresh and detailed Brahms from Dausgaard and his fine Swedish band.
Richard DANIELPOUR (b. 1956) String Quartets
No. 5, 6 & 7 -
Hila Pitmann (soprano),
Delray String Qt rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.559845 [75:55] [SSi]
This excellent introduction to the music of Richard Danielpour can only win his music more converts.
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Quartets
No. 1 & 2 - London Bridge Piano Trio, Guy Pomeroy (viola)
rec. 2014 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD107 [67:20] [CC] Enjoyable accounts.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Die Zauberflöte - Helge Roswaenge (tenor), Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender (baritone), Jarmila Novotná (soprano),
Vienna PO/Arturo Toscanini
rec. 1937 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO146 [79:49 + 75:44]
[RMo] Will I want to listen to this very often? Not really.
Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Antoine et Cléopâtre Suites;
Symphony No. 2 - BBC SO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5200
Rewarding music, well played and recorded; some competition in the
Bolet (piano) The RIAS
Recordings Vol. 1 rec.
1962-73 AUDITE 21.438
[3 CDs: 186:26] [JW] Bolet aficionados should
not hesitate and neither should lovers of great
Ruggiero Ricci (violin) &
Martha Argerich (piano)
Leningrad Recital II rec. 1961 DOREMI DHR-8053 [81:55]
[SG] Something of a mixed bag.
Tuesday February 27th
GLYN (b. 1951) Songs - Annette
Bryn Parri (piano/keyboards) Owen Lloyd-Evans
(bass) Graham Land (drums) Rhys Meirion, Elgan
Llŷr Thomas, Rhodri Prys Jones (tenors)
rec. 2017 SAIN SCD2768 [43:31]
[JF] Songs which are all approachable, enjoyable,
and by turns both exciting and moving.
Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Theodora - Katherine Watson, Philippe Jaroussky,
O & Ch Les Arts Florissants/William Christie
rec. 2015 ERATO 9029588990
[182:00] [CRo] Not one for purists perhaps,
but the production does keep closer to the spirit
of Handel’s original than other recent
Queen Katherine Parr
& Songs of Reformation - Alamire,
Fretwork/David Skinner, OBSIDIAN CD716
[75:36] [JQ] An absorbing release.
Works by Bach & Hasse - Benno
Schachtner (alto) Stefan Temmingh (recorder)
The Gentleman's Band rec. 2015 ACCENT
ACC24315 [62:33] [JV] This
original programme of music for voice and recorder
will give you much pleasure.
Bibileishvili (piano) Works by Prokofiev,
Ravel, Sibelius & Bartók rec. 2017 FARAO
CLASSICS B108099 [78.10] [MC] A
name which we are certainly going to
hear a lot more in the future; Lika Bibileishvili
is in irresistible form on this debut album.
Dolce Duello Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo) Sol Gabetta (cello)
Cappella Gabetta/Andrés Gabetta rec. 2017 DECCA
4832473 [76:46] [JW] The musical
virtues of this disc are rock solid and utterly
Pérez Floristán (piano) Works by Liszt,
Beethoven & Schumann rec. 2016 NAXOS
8.573792 [81:01] [SSi] A very good
recital that introduces Juan Pérez Floristán
to the piano world and says sit up and listen.
Time Works by Susteck, Cage & Hokosawa
- Dominik Susteck (organ) rec. 2015
WERGO WER73682 [77:31] [DC]
Rare and unique – both instrument
Ney performs Works
by Mozart & Beethoven; a film by Alfred
Braun rec. 1961-1965 ARTHAUS
MUSIK 109336 [DVD: 76 mins & 2
CDs: 125 mins] [SG] The set will appeal
especially to aficionados of great Beethoven
performance. It helps fill a major lacuna in
the pianist’s somewhat slender discographical
The Danish Violin Wizard
- Esther Vagning (piano) The Danish Broadcast
Light Music O/Teddy Petersen rec. 1946-53
[78:12+79:29] [JF] A great collection of
music, masterfully played, beautifully restored
and well presented.
Monday February 26th
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphonies Nos 2-9 - SWRSO Baden-Baden/Hans Rosbaud rec. 1955-1962
SWR MUSIC SWR19043CD
[8 CDs: 507:23] [YJH]
Rosbaud’s interpretations rarely fail to be intriguing.
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Dixit Dominus Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Vox Luminis/Lionel Meunier rec. 2017 ALPHA 370 [61.22] [MC] Top quality historically-informed performances.
Gottfried HUPPERTZ (1887-1937)
Metropolis - Berlin RSO/Frank Strobel rec. 2010
PAN CLASSICS PC10365
[2 CDs: 144:03] [IL]
A most interesting and instructive album of one of the first original film scores.
Josef SCHELB (1894-1977) Orchestral Music Vol. 1
Liepāja SO/Paul Mann,
Philharmonie Baden-Baden/ avel Baleff
rec. 2014/17 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0426 [65:37] [SG] An auspicious start to what promises to be compelling orchestral cycle.
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Rite of Spring, Petrushka -
Paris Conservatoire O/Pierre Monteux
rec. 1956 ELOQUENCE 4808903 [67:42] Rite of Spring, Petrushka,
Firebird Suite - Cleveland O, NY Phil, BBC SO/Pierre Boulez
rec. 1967-71 SONY CLASSICAL 88497759030 [2 CDs: 92:01]
[JFL] Recordings which seem almost (but not quite) to have been accorded the epithet ‘classic’.
Grace WILLIAMS (1906-1977)
My Last Duchess - Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone)
Paula Fan (piano/harpsichord)
Rachel Kay Green (harp)
rec. 2017 LORELT LNT140 [76.43] [GH] This demonstrates Lorelt’s promotion of music by female composers.
Andreas WILLSCHER (b. 1955)
Organ Symphonies No. 19 & 20, Die Seligpreisungen - Carson Cooman (organ) rec. 2017
DIVINE ART DDA25162
An interesting if undemanding addition to the organ repertoire and invaluable as an introduction to the fine Schulze organ in Leeds.
L'Occitanie baroque des Pénitents Noirs Ensemble Antiphona/Rolandas Muleika
The performers are enthusiastic and convincing advocates of this repertoire, which is either little known or even completely unknown.
The Organ of Coventry Cathedral David M Patrick (organ)
rec. 2015/17 GUILD GMCD7801 [75:21]
[JF] Thoroughly enjoyable from end to end.
Works by Carr, Lewis, Pantcheff, Pott & Sainsbury - Rupert Marshall-Luck
(violin), Em Marshall-Luck (reciter) rec. 2016
EM RECORDS EMRCD045-46
[72:00 + 34:39] [JW]
Commissions that yield frequently intriguing results.
A Gay Cabellero rec. 1925-35
RETROSPECTIVE RTR4317 [79:32] [JW]
A collection that can be warmly recommended.
Friday February 23rd
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Complete Symphonies (transcr. Liszt) -
Yury Martynov (piano)
rec. 2011-15 ALPHA 374 [6 CDs: 366:34] [RHa] A monumental achievement.
OF THE MONTH Claude
DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Images, Children’s
Corner, Suite Bergamasque, L’isle joyeuse
- Seong-Jin Cho (piano) rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE
GRAMMOPHON 4798308 [72:49] [SG]
Seong-Jin Cho is a natural Debussy player, his
myriad pastel shades and artful musicianship
Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Music for Chorus
& Orchestra -
Brighton Festival Ch,
BBC Concert O/Barry Wordsworth rec. 2016 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD267 [77:07]
For a unique and valuable programme of Elgar that is sometimes vintage and never less than impressive this is a disc hard to resist.
Peter KELLNER (1705-1772)
- Cantus Thuringia, Capella Thuringia/Bernhard
Klapprott rec. 2015 CPO 555 159-2
[72:07] [JV] This disc offers the first
opportunity to hear Kellner's cantatas,
and I am quite impressed by their quality.
Robin de RAAFF (b.1968) Violin Concerto,
Symphony No. 1 –
Tasmin Little (violin)
Radio Filharmonisch O/Jaap van Zweden ET’CETERA KTC1593 [63.53]
[MW] A major contribution to the violin concerto repertoire, performed with insight and commitment.
VERDI (1813-1901) Rigoletto
- Leonard Warren (baritone) Bidù Sayão (soprano)
Jussi Björling (tenor) - O & Ch Metropolitan
Opera/Cesare Sodero rec. 1945 PRISTINE
AUDIO PACO143 [56:24 + 62:20] [RMo]
Truly a souvenir of a bygone age.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Nina Stemme (soprano) Ch & O Wiener Staatsoper/Franz Welser-Möst & Seiji Ozawa
rec. 2003-13 ORFEO C937171B [76:17] [ST] A collection of great Wagner singing done the way it should be.
to the Future Works by Bach
and transcriptions by Busoni, Siloti & Saint-Saens
- Sabine Weyer (piano) rec. 2017 ARS
[61:38] [SSi] An interesting juxtaposition
of Bach with three of his transcribers performed
well by Sabine Weyer.
A Garland for John McCabe Linda Merrick (clarinet)
John Turner (recorder) Alistair Vennart (viola) Peter Lawson (piano)
rec. 2017 DIVINE ART DDA25166 [79:35]
[JF] McCabe would have been delighted with this heartfelt tribute from his friends, fellow composers and former pupils.
Luctus Dorota Całek (soprano)
Marietta Kruzel-Sosnowska (organ) rec. 2014-16
ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0378 [51:19]
[GPu] An accomplished recital by soprano
and organ which testifies to the flourishing
state of sacred music in post-communist Poland.
Thursday February 22nd
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonatas No. 30-32 - Mitsuko Uchida rec. 2005
PHILIPS 475 6935
Steely fingering and rhythmic buoyancy serve Beethoven’s propulsiveness well.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Triple Concerto, Symphony No. 5 -
Isabelle Faust (violin)
Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello)
Martin Helmchen (piano)
Leipzig Gewandhaus O/Herbert Blomstedt
rec. 2017 ACCENTUS ACC20411 DVD [78:15] [ST]
It’s perfectly fine, but is that really enough?
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805)
Stabat mater Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String
Quartet No. 16 Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Salve
Dorothee Mields (soprano)
Miriam Shalinsky (double bass) rec. 2016 CARUS 83.470 [72:08]
[JV] Even if you already have a good performance of Boccherini's Stabat mater, this will surpass it.
Péter EÖTVÖS (b. 1944)
Seven, Levitation, CAP-KO - Akiko Suwanai (violin), Richard Hosford (clarinet), John Bradbury (clarinet), Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano), Gothenburg SO,
BBC SO/Péter Eötvös rec. 2001-8
BUDAPEST MUSIC CENTER BMCCD170
A varied programme of Eötvös concertos recommended especially for fans of the composer.
Charles KOECHLIN (1867-1950)
Violin Sonata, Piano Quintet - Quintette Syntonia rec. 2016 TIMPANI 1C1241 [72:40]
[SG] The Quintette Syntonia’s performances of these alluring scores are fired with enthusiasm and consummate musicianship.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992)
María de Buenos Aires - Valentina Montoya Martinez (soprano), Nicholas
Mulroy (tenor), Victor Villena (bandoneon) Mr McFall’s Chamber, rec. 2016
[44:27 + 43:45] [RH]
A fabulous outing for Piazzolla’s ambitious operita in an inspired collaboration between Scottish and South American forces.
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
Complete Piano Works - Sandro Ivo Bartoli (piano) rec. 2017
SOLAIRE RECORDS SOL1007
A curious disc with considerable musical and technical merit, but will it get multiple listens?
SCHERBER (1907-1974) Symphony No. 1,
Lieder - Thomas Heyner (tenor) Bratislava SO/Adriano rec. 2009/16 STERLING
CDS1113-2 [71:05] [MW] A sub-Bruckner Symphony, not without interest, but the real joy of this recording is in the wonderful miniatures of Scherber’s exquisite songs.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Parsifal - Christopher Ventris, Petra Lang, Royal Concertgebouw O/Iván
Fischer rec. 2012
CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72619 DVD/Blu-ray
[248 mins] [ST]
A production which will really give you something to get your teeth into.
Rolando Villazon (tenor) &
Ildar Abdrazakov (bass)
Duets - O Métropolitain de Montréal/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 6901 [61:22]
[GF] Despite some reservations, this is an attractive recital.