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Conductor Omer Meir Wellber - an interview with Michael Cookson
of the Piano Trio Repertoire: Joseph Haydn by David Barker
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Thursday January 18th
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Christmas Oratorio
- Berlin Motet & RIAS Chamber Ch, Berlin PO/Fritz Lehmann & Günther
rec. 1955/56 ELOQUENCE 482 7637 [3CDs: 166:38] [RHa] A revelatory early recording of the Christmas Oratorio under a legendary Bach specialist who died tragically young.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 5 - Yomiuri Nippon SO/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski rec. 2008
Clarity and momentum are the hallmarks of Skrowaczewski’s interpretation.
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
The Essence of an Iron Will - Craig Sheppard (piano) rec. 2017
ROMÉO RECORDS 7322
A more sympathetic acoustic would have reflected Sheppard’s splendid playing better.
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)
Requiem, Messe basse - Robert Bennesh (organ),
Yale Schola Cantorum/David Hill rec. 2015
The real interest is the collection of delightful smaller pieces, despite a fine performance of Hill’s arrangement of the Requiem.
Nicolas de GRIGNY (1672-1703)
Premier Livre d'Orgue, Hymns - David Ponsford (organ)
L'ecole de Nivers/Deryck Webb, Russell Burton rec. 2016
NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6342
It is very satisfying that Grigny's complete output is now available in such fine performances on such a magnificent organ.
MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Works for Cello &
Piano - Christian Poltéra (cello) Ronald Brautigam (piano) rec. 2016
BIS BIS-2187 SACD [60:18] [GF] The playing of and rapport between Poltéra and Brautigam is extraordinary.
Gaetano PUGNANI (1731-1798)
Violin concertos - Roberto Noferini (violin),
Nuove Assonanze/Alan Freiles Magnatta rec. 2014
A valuable addition to the catalogue of eighteenth-century Italian concertos.
Robert VOLKMANN (1815-1883) Complete String Quartets,
Piano Trios -
Mannheim String Qt, Beethoven Trio Ravensburg
rec. 1992-94 CPO 5551822 [4 CDs: 216:34]
[SG] Neglected music making a welcome comeback.
Sir William WALTON (1902-1983)
& Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Violin Concertos
Lorraine McAslan (violin)
BBC Concert O/Martin Yates rec. 2015/16 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7342 SACD [72:11]
This would grace anyone’s shelves and I recommend it most warmly.
Sappho, Shropshire & Super-Tramp Modern English
Sarah Leonard (soprano)
Johnny Herford (baritone)
Nigel Foster (piano)
rec. 2015/16 DIVINE ART DDA21230 [77:36 + 79:05]
[JF] An excellent exploration of English art-song, proving that the genre is alive and well in the early 21st century.
Wednesday January 17th
AUBER (1782 – 1871)
Le Domino noir, Gustave III - Sumi Jo, Isabelle Vernet (sopranos)
London Voices, English CO/Richard Bonynge
rec. 1993/95 ELOQUENCE 482 7742
[74:47 + 69:14] [GF] Sumi Jo in sterling
form – and that is something not to be
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 7 - Royal Concertgebouw O/Mariss Jansons
rec. 2016 RCO LIVE RCO17006 SACD
A performance of pronounced character and contrast; is this a
game-changer for Jansons?
MUCHA (1917-2012) Macbeth Suite,
Piano Concerto, Variations on an Old Scottish
Song - Ivana Troupová (soprano) Patricia Goodson
(piano) Hradec Králové PO/Andreas Sebastian-Weiser
rec. 2013-15 ARCO DIVA UP0192 2231
[62:57] [JW] The standout work here is the
MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures
at an Exhibition Johannes BRAHMS
(1833-97) Intermezzi Panayiotis
DEMOPOULOS (b.1977) Farewells - Panayiotis
Demopoulos (piano) rec. 2005 DIVERSIONS
DDV24166 [53:06] [JF] A
well-produced and conceived CD.
Sándor VERESS (1907-1992)
String Quartets 1 & 2, String Trio - Doelen Quartet Rotterdam rec. 2012
CYBELE RECORDS SACD CYBELE3SACDKIG009 [222:03] [JW] A valuable set for its documentary nature, as well as the fine performances.
Leo WEINER (1885-1960)
Serende; Divertimenti 1-5 -
Estonian NSO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2015/16 CHANDOS CHAN10959 [83:05] [EJW]
An appealing recording of Hungarian works by this little-known composer.
Horowitz at Carnegie Hall – Volume 1 Works by Haydn, Schubert, Scriabin, Kabalevsky & Chopin - Vladimir Horowitz
(piano) rec 1948 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM071 [79:50] [DC] Fascinating window into a rather special Carnegie Hall concert.
Per Due Donne Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha (soprano)
Monika Korybalska (mezzo-soprano)
Krakow Opera O/Tomasz Tokarczyk
rec. 2016 DUX 1351 [71:09] [RMo] Despite the undoubted care invested in the recording, reviewing it has been an ungrateful exercise.
Medieval Music for Recorders
& Percussion - Duo Enßle-Lamprecht rec. 2016 AUDAX ADX13712
[52:54] [SG] Artful and imaginative - one
to dip into.
Variations on America – Organ Spectacular Simon Preston (organ)
rec 1988 ELOQUENCE 482 8101 [66:32] [RHa] A
second bite of the cherry for this exciting 1990 Argo issue of
transcriptions and show-stoppers.
Tuesday January 16th
BLUNT (b.1947) Piano Concerto,
Aspects of Saturn, Concertino, Symphony No.2
- Murray McLachlan (piano) Lesley Wilson (bassoon)
Manchester Camerata/Stephen Threlfall rec. 2016
[63:21] [JF] A fascinating retrospective
of Marcus Blunt’s orchestral music.
BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony
No. 9 Toru TAKEMITSU (1930-1996)
Ceremonial - Mayumi Miyata (Sho) Tonkünstler
SO/Yutaka Sado rec. 2017 TONKÜNSTLER
TON2004 SACD [69:20] [RMo] A combination
of superb sound and ideal interpretation makes
it an easy recommendation.
DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Piano Quartets
- Busch Trio, Miguel da Silva (viola) rec. 2016/17
ALPHA 288 [71:05] [RKr]
There are many fine recordings of these piano
quartets. This version stands with the best.
Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
The Handel Album
- Artaserse/Philippe Jaroussky (counter-tenor)
rec. 2017 ERATO 9029577445
[71:58] This disc will appeal unequivocally
to Jaroussky’s many admirers.
Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791)
Don Giovanni - James Pease (baritone) Sena Jurinac
(soprano) Royal PO/Glyndebourne Fest Ch/Georg
Solti rec. 1947-1954 NIMBUS PRIMA VOCE
NI7964 [4 CDs: 267:40] [GF] I
can’t be entirely enthusiastic about the
complete Don Giovanni, but the extras are very
Vasilievich RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
The Miserly Knight - Sergei Leiferkus,
Richard Berkeley-Steele - London PO/Vladimir
Jurowski rec. 2004 OPUS ARTE OA0919D
DVD [95 mins] [EJW] A superb, inexpensive
DVD of a neglected work.
The Lyrical Pickpocket
- Riverside Winds, Maria Jette (soprano) Merilee
Klemp (oboe) Sonja Thompson
(piano) rec. 2009-15 INNOVA 962
[67:09] [MW] A lively and varied introduction
to the music of a quirky, enjoyable composer.
Belkina (mezzo) Classic Vienna
Andrea Bacchetti (piano) Siegfried Schenner
(clarinet) Johannes Maria Bogner (harpsichord)
ORF Vienna Radio SO/Andrea Sanguineti rec. 2015
SONY CLASSICAL 88985441842
[64:14] [DC] Superb programme by a sublimely
Galpérine (violin) Works by Viotti,
Bach, Yaye, Paganini & Mefano rec. 2002-2004
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1361 [46:18]
[JW] A good souvenir of Galpérine’s
Shehori (piano) The Celebrated New York
Concerts - Vol. 8
rec. 2000 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD181
[48:52 + 48:44] [JW] The listener will have
decide if the aural compromises involved are
outweighed by the frequently fine playing.
Monday January 15th
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphony No. 1
Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Invitation to the Dance
(1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 - Philadelphia O/Leopold
Stokowski rec. 1926/7
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC500
The start of a vibrant and historically important cycle.
Thomas HYDE (b. 1978)
That Man Stephen Ward -
Damian Thantrey (baritone)
Nova Music Opera Ens/George Vass
rec. 2016 RESONUS RES10197 [62:57] [NH] Anyone who is the least bit interested in contemporary opera should hear this outstanding recording.
Mario PILATI (1903-1938)
Violin Sonata, Cello Sonata, Bagatelles Books 1 & 2 etc. - Francesco Manara (violin), Luca Signorini (cello), Dario Candela (piano) rec. 2016
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95352
[64:13 + 63:56] [JW]
A welcome and valuable release.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the
October Revolution -
Ernst Senff Ch, Staatskapelle Weimar/Kirill Karabits
rec. 2017 AUDITE 97.754 [41:55] [JQ] A very interesting Prokofiev rarity in a fervent and dynamic performance.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Der Ring des Nibelungen - Metropolitan Opera O & Ch/James Levine, Fabio Luisi rec. 2010-12
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON DVD 0734770
[8 discs: 18 hrs 31 mins] [SB]
A very satisfying production, especially for those who want a traditional Ring but with imaginative staging.
Juliusz ZARĘBSKI (1854-1885)
Complete Works for Piano - Piotr Sałajczyk (piano), Maria Szwajger-Kułakowska (piano
4 hands), rec. 2014
[4 CDs: 277:00] [SG]
The set has given me many hours of pleasure.
Bernd Alois ZIMMERMANN (1918-1970)
Late symphonic works - SWR RSO Stuttgart/Bernhard Kontarsky rec. 2012 CYBELE RECORDS SACD KiG008 [3 discs: 198:58]
[DC] Challenging but significant music in a usefully educational package.
Daniel Behle (tenor) Nostalgia
WDR RSO & Ch Cologne/Helmuth Froschauer
rec. 2016 CAPRICCIO C5317 [54:50][GF] Buy and enjoy!
Christmas at Westminster Abbey Ch Westminster Abbey/Simon Preston,
Christopher Herrick (organ) rec. 1984
ELOQUENCE 482 8564
The return of this celebrated recording to the catalogue is very welcome.
The Maryla Jonas Story
Complete piano recordings rec. 1946-51
SONY 88985391782 [4 CDs: 193:07] [JW]
Everything she recorded is stamped with individuality.
Richard RODGERS (1902-1979)
South Pacific, Oklahoma! -
Original 1943 Broadway Casts
rec. 1943/49 ALTO ALN1964 [77:59] [GF] Everyone with an interest in Broadway musicals should lend an ear to these classic recordings.
Friday January 12th
ADAMS (b. 1947) American Berserk - Liviu Neagu-Gruber,
Axel Hess (violin) Jens Brockman (viola) Michael
Hablitzel (cello) Holger Groschopp, Majella
Stockhausen (piano) rec. 2017 CRAGG
FOUNDATION CF003 SACD [77:08] [DC]
A fine programme from an interesting source.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 2
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Burleske -
Joseph Moog (piano)
Deutsche Radio Philharmonie/Nicholas Milton rec. 2016 ONYX 4169 [66:39]
[SG] A satisfying coupling.
Orlando GIBBONS (1583-1625)
Fancies for the Viols -
rec. 2017 RICERCAR RIC384 [74.07] [GH] An important addition to the catalogue.
Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Occasional
Oratorio - Bavarian Radio Ch, Alte Musik Akademie Berlin/Howard Arman
rec. 2017 BR KLASSIK 900520 [75:38 + 62:49] [CRo] This performance has an edge-of-the seat drama, but I suspect that many Handelians will remain committed to Robert King’s account on Hyperion.
HINDMAN (b. 1966)
Tightly Wound INNOVA
965 [67:17 + 68:41] [MW] Innovative,
lyrical and fascinating music from an exciting
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pierre
rec. 1908/9 MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW1683
[71:35 + 66:53] [JW] I can’t imagine
this being done any better.
Bazelaire (cello) Ses
78 tours rec. 1929-51
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1202/3 [2
CDs: 148:44] [JW] An outstanding release
in every way.
Beecham at the Royal Festival Hall Vols 1, 2 & 3 Frederick Riddle (viola) Royal PO rec. 1959 PRISTINE AUDIO
PASC502/4/7 [3 CDs: 185:14] [RWM] Beecham and the RPO mostly at their greatest – but expect no sonic revelations.
Ginzel (cello) Works by Brahms, Popper, Beethoven, Fauré, Martinů
& Suk - Annette Weisbrod (piano) rec. 2009
[76:05] [JW] A somewhat odd programme, played
with committed artistry.
Dame Nellie Melba (soprano) Melba’s Farewell rec. 1926
ELOQUENCE 4828093 [77:24] [GF] Important historically, but beware the sound.