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Some items
to consider


16th-19th November


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 

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

NEW & RECENT ARTICLES

[New] In Search of Sibelius Six by Christopher Howell

[New] Stanfordian Thoughts: 4. Irish Rhapsody No. 5 by Christopher Howell

[New] Review index: Kalevi Aho

Listening Studio Report - July 2018 by John Quinn

Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro: A review of the discography by Ralph Moore

[Seen & Heard] Premiere of a major Stanford work

Mozart's Cosi fan tutte: A review of the discography by Ralph Moore

Bartók's Duke Bluebeard: A partial survey of the discography by Ralph Moore

Second Thoughts and Short Reviews: Summer 2018 Pt 1 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan

Classical Music on Stamps This week: Unsung composers Pt 1

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

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Tuesday July 31st

John ADAMS (b. 1947) American Berserk - Liviu Neagu-Gruber, Axel Hess (violins), Jens Brockman (viola), Michael Hablitzel (cello), Holger Groschopp, Majella Stockhausen (piano) rec. 2017 CRAGG FOUNDATION CF003 SACD [77:08] [SB] An enterprising collection of Adams’s chamber and piano works.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin sonatas Nos 7 & 9 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Scherzo - Max Rostal (violin) Franz Osborn (piano) rec. 1949/52 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1394 [69:58] [SG] A welcome return to the catalogue.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pavel CHESNOKOV (1877-1944) Teach Me Thy Statutes - PaTRAM Institute Male Ch/Vladimir Gorbik rec. 2016 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-727 SACD [67:14] [SSi] An exceptional disc that any fan of choral music, and the Russian choral tradition in particular, would love.

Vincent PERSICHETTI (1915-1987) Solo Piano Works Vol. 1 - Myron Silberstein (piano) rec. 2015 CENTAUR RECORDS CRC3632 [71:35] [RB] Delightful that this music is in such sympathetic hands.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No. 9 Luciano BERIO (1925-2003) Rendering - Solistes Européens Luxembourg/Christoph König RUBICON RCD1025 [78:31] [LW] Eloquent Berio and spirited Schubert.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Quintet, String Quartet No.3 - Piotr Anderszewski (piano), Belcea Qt rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS 360 [69:13] [BW]  Well worth considering if the coupling appeals.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681 - 1767) Wind Overtures Vol. 1 - L'Orfeo Bläserensemble/Carin van Heerden
rec. 2016 CPO 555 085-2 [61:22] [JV] This is a delighful disc, which no Telemann lover, nor any lover of wind music, should miss.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH In Sorrow’s Footsteps Works by Jackson, Palestrina, Allegri & Macmillan - The Marian Consort/Rory McCleery rec. 2018 DELPHIAN DCD34215 [63:19] [JQ] The Marian Consort’s splendid celebration of ten years of music-making.

Monday July 30th 

Ghiselin DANCKERTS (1510-1567) Missa de Beata Virgine - Cantar Lontano/Marco Mencobani rec. 2009 PAN CLASSICS PC10327 [51:05] [RHa] An uneven recording fails to dent my enthusiasm for the quasi-improvisatory ecstasies of this peculiar work.

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Orfeo ed Euridice - Philippe Jaroussky, Amanda Forsythe, I Barocchisti, Diego Fasolis rec. 2016/17 ERATO 9029566023 [77:38] [SSi] A very well performed recording of Gluck’s most famous opera, but the drastic cuts made in this 1774 version make it very difficult for me to recommend it.

Henry LAWES (1602-1645) Complete Music for Solo Lyra Viol - Richard Boothby (lyra viol) rec. 2015 HARMIONA MUNDI HMU907625 [59.37] [EML] Quite intense and introspective to listen to all the way through, but very rewarding.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Flute Concertos Nos. 1 and 2; Josef MYSLIVEČEK (1737-1781) Flute Concerto - Ana de la Vega (flute), English CO rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186723 SACD [62:58] [BW] Very fine performances of the Mozart made even more attractive by the addition of the Mysliveček.

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) Symphonies No. 2 & 4 - BBC SO/Sir Adrian Boult, Edmund Rubbra rec. 1942/54 SOMM CÉLESTE SOMMCD0179 [72:33] [JQ] An important historical addition to the Rubbra discography.

Wilhelm STENHAMMAR (1871-1927) Symphony No. 2; Music for ‘A Dream Play’ - Antwerp SO/Christian Lindberg rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2329 SACD [58:23] [DM] A rare misstep for Lindberg/BIS.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Der Rosenkavalier - Renée Fleming (soprano) Elina Garanca (mezzo) Günther Groissböck (bass) Metropolitan Opera O & Ch/Sebastian Weigle rec. 2017 DECCA Blu-ray 0743945 [227 mins] [RJF] The two main singers here inhabit their roles superbly.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 4 Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Rêverie Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Symphony No. 1 - Philharmonia O/Thomas Schippers, Pro Arte O/Sir Eugene Goossens rec. 1956-58 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR16 [64:24] [RB] Performances of Russian music that will more than hold the attention.

Friday July 27th

Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Wind Quintets - BPO Wind Quintet rec. 2014 BIS BIS-2176 SACD [54:42] Timpani Concerto, Piano Concerto No.1 - Ari-Pekka Mäenpää (timpani), Sonja Fräki (piano), Turku PO/Erkki Lasonpalo; Eva Ollikainen rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2306 SACD [60:17] Soprano Saxophone Concerto, Piano and Wind Quintet, Solo I - Anders Paulsson (soprano saxophone), Jaakko Kuusisto (violin), Lapland CO/John Storgårds rec. 2015/17 BIS BIS-2216 SACD [58:41] [DM]  Music that’s finely crafted and unfailingly accessible; the timpani concerto is a real treat.

Sir Granville BANTOCK (1868-1946) Bantock Rediscovered - Maria Marchant (piano) rec. 2017 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0183 [73:43] [IL] Another CD of great interest to all admirers of Bantock.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Complete String Quartets Vol. 1 - Cuarteto Casals rec. 2015/2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902400.02 [181:22] [SSi] This is a wonderful beginning to what promises to be an insightful cycle of the Beethoven string quartets.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) & Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies No. 1 - Dresdner Philharmonie/Michael Sanderling rec. 2017 SONY CLASSICAL 88985492782 [60.27] [MC] These performances of these first symphonies of Beethoven and Shostakovich make an exhilarating listening experience.

Peter CROSSLEY-HOLLAND (1916-2001) Symphony Eugene GOOSSENS (1893-1962) Variations on ‘Cadet Rousselle’ John IRELAND (1879-1962) Orchestral works - Royal Scottish Ntl O/Martin Yates rec. 2008 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7215 [72:03] [RB] A disc of world premieres most eloquently done.

Heino ELLER (1887-1970) Complete Piano Music Vol. 6 - Sten Lassmann (piano) rec. 2014 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0475 [64:53] [PRB] Estonian pianist Sten Lassman’s superb playing shows great empathy with the work of his compatriot.

Joseph RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Violin Sonatas - Thomas Schrott (violin) Piero Barbareschi (piano) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95635 [45:21] [BSt] This disc’s short measure turns out to be a virtue of sorts.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Fantasias for solo violin - Kinga Augustyn (violin) rec. 2015 CENTAUR CRC3607 [71:37] [DBi] Kinga Augustyn's performance of Telemann's lovely pieces make for splendid listening.

Thursday July 26th

Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Solo I, Violin sonata, In Memoriam Per Henrik Nordgren Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (1928-2016) Variétude Per Henrik NORDGREN (1944-2008) Violin sonata - Renate Eggebrecht (violin) rec. 2017 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01452 [59:39] [SSi] A must for all devotees of modern Finnish music.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 3 - Munich PO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2017 MÜNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER 9305211251 [55.29] [MC] An outstanding recording that I find both satisfying and compelling.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1907) Piano Quintets, Bagatelles - Busch Trio, Maria Milstein (violin) Miguel da Silva (viola) rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS 403 [80:41] [PRB] Well worth considering, if not perhaps quite the best around.

Enjott SCHNEIDER (b. 1950) Magic of Irreality - Siberian State SO Krasnoyarsk/Vladimir Lande rec. 2012 WERGO WER51182 [59:35] [DC] Massively entertaining, or corny as…?

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) String concertos III; Viola d'amore concertos - Alessandro Tampieri (viola d’amore); Accademia Bizantina/Ottavio Dantone rec. 2017 NAÏVE OP30570 [66:21 + 47:57] [BW]  I may prefer other recordings in places, but overall, I’m very happy to add this to my sizeable Desert Island Vivaldi assemblage.

Claudio Abbado - The Last Concert Works by Berlioz & Mendelssohn - Berlin Philharmonic rec. 2013 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS BPHR160089 SACD [40:11 + 55:46] [MG] Late Abbado here offers live performances emotionally more engaged and dramatic than those of illustrious contemporaries, repackaged at an attractive price.

Jiří Bělohlávek (conductor) Recollection rec. 1980-2006 SUPRAPHON SU4250-2 [8 CDs: 584 mins] [JW] A fair and thoughtful summation of Bělohlávek’s studio legacy that demonstrates the high level of interpretative control and consistency he displayed throughout his career.

Tossy Spivakovsky (violin) Live Performances rec. 1943-69 DOREMI DHR-8025-8 [4 CDs: 300:57] [SG] A valuable addition to the Spivakovsky discography.

Wednesday July 25th

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Dialogkantaten - Sophie Karthäuser (soprano) Michael Volle (bass) RIAS Kammerchor, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Raphael Alpermann rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902368 [64:38] [SSi] One of the best Bach cantata discs I have heard for some time.

Mauro GIULIANI (1781-1829) Opere solistiche per voce e chitarra - Rossana Bertini (soprano) Davide Ficco (guitar) rec. 2013 TACTUS TC780703 [69:16] [JV] Not only guitar aficionados but also lovers of early 19th-century Italian opera will enjoy this disc.

Ildebrando PIZZETTI (1880-1968) Songs - Hanna Hipp (mezzo soprano), Emma Abbate (piano) rec. 2017 RESONUS RES10209 [55:20] [JW] This latest Resonus disc has certainly fulfilled its brief.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Music for Piano Duo and Duet, Volume 2 - Martin Jones and Adrian Farmer (pianos) rec. 2015/16 NIMBUS NI5941 [68:47] [JWe] I hope this duo go on to record more volumes of these works.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Symphoniæ sacræ II - Dorothee Mields (soprano) Instrumental Ens/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2017 CARUS 83.274 [68:36 + 65:10] [BW] The eighteenth recording in this Carus series maintains the very high standards established to date.

Kurt Masur (conductor) Works by Beethoven, Haydn, Dessau & Mahler - Annelies Burmeister (contralto) Berlin Staatskapelle rec. 1967 ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD13/2011 [68.36] [DBi] More memorable performances restored from the archive, including a rare piece by Dessau.

The Organ of St Bavo, Haarlem Joseph Nolan (organ) rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD546 [70:08] [DC] A uniquely special venue and a fine recital.

Romance de Guerre Works by Elgar, Fairchild & Gaubert - Ambroise Aubrun (violin), Steven Vanhauwaert (piano) rec. 2017 HORTUS 726 [71:15] [JQ] An excellent disc of violin sonatas from the era of the Great War.

 

 




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