OF THE MONTH
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Cantatas 34 & 37 - Gutenberg-Kammerchor,
Neumeyer Consort/Felix Koch rec. 2016
I have nothing but praise for this wonderful production.
BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony
No. 4 - Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Lohengrin Prelude - Gewandhaus
O Leipzig/Andris Nelsons rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE
[79:37] [RMo] One of the best accounts of
this symphony ever recorded and certainly the
finest of recent years.
Dances from the Bauyn
Manuscript - Pavel Kolesnikov
(piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68224 [79:11]
[SG] Music of excellence, well performed
and fortified by carefully considered programming.
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Sonatas for violin & basso continuo
- Brook Street Band rec. 2018 AVIE AV2387 [80.00] [MC]
Handel’s violin sonatas could hardly receive finer advocacy than these exceptional performances.
George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759)
Acis and Galatea - Lucy Crowe (soprano),
Allan Clayton (tenor),
Early Opera Company/Christian Curnyn rec. 2017
CHANDOS CHACONNE CHSA0404 SACD
[37:38 + 49:10] [DBi]
A magnificent performance and recording of one of Handel's most delightful creations.
Gustav HOLST (1874-1934)
The Planets Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Also sprach Zarathustra - New England Conservatory Ch,
Boston SO/William Steinberg,
rec. 1970/71 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4798669 CD/BD-A [75:56]
[JQ] Two tremendous performances, now in superb BD-A sound which wears its four decades and more lightly.
(1890-1959) Complete Symphonies - ORF Vienna RSO/Cornelius
Meister rec. 2011-17 CAPRICCIO C5320 [3 CDs: 182.04]
[MC] I can’t praise this set highly enough.
Prokofiev for Two - Martha Argerich,
Sergei Babayan (pianos) rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE
GRAMMOPHON 479 9854
[55.71] [RBe] An outstanding disc, which
features world-class playing, exciting and delicate
Joseph RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Complete Organ Sonatas
Roger Sayer (organ) rec. 2015/16 PRIORY RECORDS PRCD1165 [6 CDs: 437:55]
[SSi] This is a wonderful set, one that has already given me great listening pleasure.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1928)
A Soprano’s Schubertiade -
Carolyn Sampson (soprano)
Joseph Middleton (piano)
rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2343 SACD [77.32] [MW] One of the great recitals: sheer bliss.
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Seliges Erwägen des bittern Leydens und Sterbens Jesu Christi - Freiburg Baroque O/Gottfried von der Goltz
[59:15 + 53:15] [DBi]
Telemann continues to amaze and to belie his current lack of status: a must-hear recording.
Das ewige Rätsel Johannes Martin Kränzle (baritone), Hilko Dumno (piano)
OEHMS CLASSICS OC1887
An utterly satisfying recital, which includes my find of the year.
Fanfares Onyx Brass/John Wilson rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5221 SACD [59:03]
[NB] A superb disc, a collection
distinguished by the brilliance of the music
it contains and the exceptional manner in which
it is played.
French Moments Piano trios by Debussy, Fauré & Roussel
CHANDOS CHAN10996 [70:08] [GPJ] Performances to cherish, especially the Fauré.
Concerti - Vol. I Works by Dubra, Smidbergs, Esenvalds,
Karlsons and Lacis - Liepāja SO/Atvars Lakstīgala
rec 2013-2016 ODRADEK RECORDS ODRCD362
[63:06 + 75:27] [RHa] An often thrilling
survey of new Latvian concertos brilliantly
performed and vividly recorded.
la Duchesse du Maine Works
by Bernier, Bourgeois & Mouret - Ens La Française rec. 2017 POLYMNIE
POL503134 [55:01] [JV] By far the
best disc with French cantatas that I have heard
in recent years.
& Other Rarities Clare
Wilkinson (mezzo) Harvey Davies (harpsichord)
John Turner (recorder, bamboo pipe) Peter Lawson (piano) Stephanie Tress
(cello) Solem Qt rec. 2017 DIVINE ART
DDA25169 [78:30] [JF] An
Samuel ADLER (b. 1928)
One Lives but Once: A 90th Birthday Celebration rec. 2016/17
[3 CDs: 209:59] [SG]
Well-crafted music with immense appeal.
Vyacheslav ARTYOMOV (b. 1940)
The Way to Olympus, Gurian Hymn, Preludes to Sonnets, Concert of the
13 - USSR State Academic SO/Gennady Rozhdestvensky rec. 1977-1990
DIVINE ART DDA25171
An interesting musical exploration that is both compelling and satisfying.
AULIN (1866-1914) Violin Concertos
Nos 1-3 - Ulf Wallin (violin) Helsingborg SO/Andrew
Manze rec. 2012 CPO 777 826-2 [76:19]
[JW] Heartfelt lyrical music.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Menno van Delft (clavichord) rec. 2016 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10212 [59:21 + 73:49]
[RHa] I strongly suspect this is something of an uncharacteristic misfire from Resonus.
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) French
& English Suites - Alexander Borovsky
(piano) rec. 1952/3 PRISTINE
AUDIO PAKM074 [3 CDs: 166:33] [JW]
I hope this will lead to more investigation
of Borovsky’s legacy.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass in B Minor
- Katherine Watson (soprano)
Tim Mead (counter-tenor)
Reinoud Van Mechelen (tenor)
André Morsch (bass)
Les Arts Florissants/William Christie
rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HAF8905293.94 [52:16 + 52:47] [DHu]
Not the first version I would reach for.
Granville BANTOCK (1868-1946)
Bantock Rediscovered -
Maria Marchant (piano)
rec. 2017 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0183 [73:43] [NB] Fine playing and recording of appealing music.
BARTÓK (1881-1945) Divertimento
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
String Quintet No. 2 - Amsterdam Sinfonietta/Candida
Thompson rec. 2016 CHANNEL CLASSICS
CCS37518 [55:26] [DC] Specialist
string orchestra playing – very fine indeed.
von BAUSZNERN (1866-1931) Quintet,
Acht Kammergesänge, String Trio - Maria
Bentsson (soprano) Berolina Ens rec. 2017 MDG
94820716 SACD [78:16] [SSi]
Not an attention-grabber initially, but
there is enough here to satisfy those who
enjoy the less-travelled musical paths.
van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin
Sonatas Nos. 5 & 9 - Susanne Lautenbacher
(violin) Reinhold Lampart (piano) rec. 1950s
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1459 [56:28]
[SG] The remasterings are exemplary, but
I have some reservations about the performances.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
& Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies No. 5 -
Dresdner Philharmonie/Michael Sanderling rec. 2016/17 SONY CLASSICAL 19075820802 [81.52]
I’m looking forward keenly to the next release in this series.
Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990)
Dances from West Side Story, Fancy Free and On the Town; On the Waterfront Suite - Royal Liverpool PO/Christian Lindberg
BIS BIS-2278 SACD
Lindberg and the RLPO have set the bar pretty high for any other recordings of Bernstein’s music that may come out in 2018.
Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) The
Beatitudes, Introduction & Allegro
- Emily Birsan (soprano) Ben Johnson (tenor)
BBC SO & Ch/Sir Andrew Davis rec. May 2017
CHANDOS CHSA5191 SACD [66:31]
[JQ] An important and highly significant
addition to the Bliss discography.
Philippe BOESMANS (b. 1936)
Pinocchio - Stéphane Degout (baritone) Vincent Le Texier (baritone)
O de la Monnaie/Patrick Davin CYPRES CYP4647 [2 CDs: 123:37 + DVD: 77:16] [RHa]
Boesmans has fashioned a colourful, absorbing and memorable operatic treatment of the Pinocchio story, albeit one with darker undercurrents than one might expect.
BOLCOM (b. 1938) Piano
Music - Constantine Finehouse, Estela
Olevsky, Ursula Oppens, Christopher Taylor (pianos)
rec. 2014/15 NAXOS 8.559832-34
[3 CDs: 172:19] [SG] On my first encounter
with Bolcom’s music, I would offer a warm
recommendation for this most enjoyable release.
Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959)
Concerto Symphonique, Concerto Grosso No. 1, Scherzo fantasque - Jenny Lin (piano),
SWR Radio O Kaiserslautern/Jiřī Stárek rec. 2006
SWR MUSIC SWR19420CD
An excellent CD, strongly recommended to anyone interested in the music of a still under-appreciated composer.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete symphonies
- Scottish CO/Robin Ticciati rec. 2017
LINN CKD601 [78:09 + 74:07]
[ST] I commend the playing and the vision
of this set, but I can give it only a guarded
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Sonatas Nos 1 & 2, Clarinet
Robert Oberaigner (clarinet) Michael Schöch (piano) Norbert Anger (cello)
rec. 2017 MDG SACD 903 2049-6 [66:13] [SB] Fine and idiomatic performances.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 7 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Siegfried's Funeral March -
Gewandhaus O Leipzig/Andris Nelsons
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 8494 [76:47] [MB] How can the orchestra play this beautifully when the performance is so dull?
Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1975)
War Requiem - Sabina Cvilak (soprano), Ian Bostridge (tenor), Simon Keenlyside (baritone),
London SO & Ch/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2011
[46:33 + 37:11] [GPJ]
A stunning and profoundly moving account of Britten’s great masterpiece.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Complete Symphonies
- Hamburg PO/Simone Young rec. 2006 - 2015 OEHMS CLASSICS OC026 [12 CDs: 687:03] [RMo] One of the best modern sets of Bruckner symphonies at a budget price – but you must want to hear the less familiar, original versions.
BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony
No. 7 - Stuttgart SWR SO/Paul Hindemith
rec. 1958 SWR CLASSIC SWR19417CD
[59:16] Kőlner RSO/Hans Knappertsbusch
rec. 1963 ORFEO C915181B [65:40]
[RMo] Performances that are different and
disparate despite their superficial links and
neither represents the ideal.
BYRD (1539/40-1623) Motets
- King’s College Cambridge Ch/Stephen
Cleobury rec. 2017 KING’S COLLEGE
KGS0024 [56:12] [MG] Cleobury’s
spirited, dramatic approach to Byrd’s
motets proves both stimulating and frustrating.
Britta BYSTRÖM (b 1977) Games for Souls Heinrich von BIBER (1644-1704) Battalia Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge
- Musica Vitae/Malin Broman (violin) rec. 2016 DAPHNE 1063 [63:57] [RHa]
An unusual programme with an appeal that is considerably enhanced by Byström’s sparkling new violin concerto.
Sonatas - Ann
Roux (violin) Marieanne Lee (cello) Lionel Desmeules
(harpsichord) rec. 2016 CLAVES
50-1809 [67:26] [JV] Ann
Roux delivers immaculate performances and deals
impressively with the challenges these sonatas
Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990)
El Salón México, Clarinet Concerto, The Tender Land suite - Benny Goodman (clarinet), Los Angeles Master
Chorale, Los Angeles Phil/Aaron Copland rec. 1974
NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0068V
[59 mins] [JQ]
An opportunity to see Aaron Copland as a very effective conductor of his own music.
Bernhard Henrik CRUSELL (1775-1838)
Concertos, Introduction et air suédois -
Swedish CO/Michael Collins (clarinet)
rec. 2017 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5187 [74:22]
[RHa] This may be the best Crusell collection out there.
Grant CUTLER Dust
Jesse WHITNEY Aegis Modify Transformational Variances rec. 2016/17 ÆTHER TAPES ÆT001-3
[38 & 59 & 41 mins]
Cassette/Download [DC] A new ambient label - on cassette.
Nepomuk DAVID (1895-1977) Symphonies
Nos. 2 & 4 - ORF Radio-SO Wien/Johannes
Wildner rec. 2008 CPO 777
577-2 [72:29] [RHa] Imaginative and
DEBUSSY (1862-1918) & Sergey
PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Sonatas
Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994)
Partita - Karolina Piątkowska-Nowicka (violin)
Piotr Nowicki (piano) rec. 2017 DUX
1358 [60:09] [WH] Three major works
in very fine performances.
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Rêveries de Bilitis - Duo Bilitis rec. 2017
BRILLIANT CLASSSICS 95657
An intriguing recording.
No. 2, Serenade for Strings - BBC SO/Edward
Gardner rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5197 SACD
[66:43] [RMo] A fine, but not exceptional,
reading which does not displace favourite recordings.
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Falstaff,
Grania & Diarmid, Songs - Roderick Williams (baritone) BBC
Philharmonic/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5188 SACD
A fine performance of Falstaff in refined but not ideally immediate sound is complemented by a distinguished recital of Elgar’s songs.
FARRENC (1804-1875) Variations
for piano - Biliana Tzinlikova (piano) rec. 2017
PALADINO MUSIC PMR0088
[52:29] [SSi] Full of character and colour
and wonderfully performed.
FELDMAN (1926-1987) Complete
Violin/Viola & Piano Works - Christina Fong
(violin, viola) Paul Hersey (piano) rec. 2003
OGREOGRESS PRODUCTIONS [58:36
+ 70:00] [DC] Morton Feldman’s complete
violin/viola and piano music –
get it while you can!
GABLENZ (1888-1937) Songs
Vol. 1 - Barbara Lewicka (soprano)
Beata Kosk (mezzo) Donata Zuliani (alto) Fr
Robert Kaczorowski (baritone) Anna Mikolon (piano)
rec. 2017/18 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0419
[78:10] [SSi] Acte Préalable once again
shows that they are not shy of producing discs
of forgotten and neglected composers.
Aleksandra GARBAL (b. 1970)
Mysterious Garden of 20th and 21st Century Miniatures
ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0416
This is a welcome addition to the catalogue.
Giacomo GORZANIS (c.1525-c.1575)
La Barca del mio Amore - La Lyra/Bor
Zuljan (lute) rec. 2017 ARCANA A450
La Lyra make a strong and enjoyable case for the vocal and instrumental
music of this little-known composer.
Larry GOVES (b.1980) The Rules -
National Youth O of Great Britain/Paul Daniel rec. 2014 PRIMA FACIE PFNSCD008 [22:24] [RHa] Despite truly extraordinary playing from 160 teenagers, the work needs a little refinement.
Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916) Goyescas
Alexander Boyd (piano) rec. 2017 CLAUDIO BD-A CR6039-6 [53:35] [DBi] A fine recording and performance of a Spanish masterwork.
Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787)
Orfeo ed Euridice - Philippe Jaroussky; Coro della Radiotelevisione svizzera; I Barocchisti/Diego Fasolis
rec. 2016 and 2017 ERATO 9029570794 [77:38] [BW]
Philippe Jaroussky shines in this male-soprano 1774 Naples version and
is very well supported all round.
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Arias
- Franco Fagioli (countertenor),
Il Pomo d'Oro, rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 7541 [79:43]
The disc deserves to be included in any collection of Baroque music.
John HARBISON (b. 1938)
Symphony No. 4 Carl RUGGLES (1876-1971)
Sun-Treader Steven STUCKY (1949-2016) Concerto for Orchestra No. 2 - National Orchestra Institute Phil/David Alan Miller
rec. 2017 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559836
[DM] Thoroughly modern Miller; plenty more, please.
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Piano Sonatas Nos 32, 40, 49 & 50 - Paul Lewis (piano) rec. 2017
HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902371
A splendid disc from Lewis, not effacing Brendel in masterly presentation of overall structure, but knocking some spots off him in sparkling articulation and spontaneity.
HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartets, Op.64 - Doric
String Qt rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10971(2)
[74:52 + 66:48] [TB] Excellent performances,
which demonstrate why the Doric Quartet is regarded
as one of the leading ensembles of our time.
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano Trios Nos 27,
32, 35, 40 & 41 -
Trio Wanderer rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902321 [68:42]
[DJB] Refined but rather unsmiling performances.
HOLLIGER (b. 1939) Choral Utopia
- SWR Vokalensemble/Marcus Creed rec. 2006-2015
WERGO WER73332 [75:26] [DC]
Hard work, but subtle rewards are there
to be uncovered if you persist.
Choral Music Vol. 2 & Complete Solo Songs
(mezzo) Marcus Farnsworth (baritone) Benjamin
Hulett (tenor) Simon Lepper (piano) Hertfordshire
Ch, London O da Camera/David Temple rec. 2017
LYRITA SRCD366 [72:07 + 39:45]
[JQ] Highly persuasive performances.
Salomon JADASSOHN (1831-1902)
Symphony No. 1, Serenade for Flute and Strings, Serenades No. 1-3,
Piano Concerto No. 1 - Valentina Seferinova (piano),
Rebecca Hall (flute),
Belarussian State SO,
Malta PO, Karelia State SO rec. 2008-11
CAMEO CLASSICS CC9101
[77:36 + 68:14] [PRB]
An underrated composer in serviceable performances.
Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928) On an Overgrown Path, In the Mists - Czech
Philharmonic Qt rec. 2017 ARCO DIVA UP0199-2131 [61:19] [NB] This disc leaves me in no doubt as to the value and quality of these arrangements.
Wojciech KILAR (1932-2013)
Missa pro pace -
PO & Opera Ch/Miroslaw Jacek Blaszczyk rec. 2017 DUX 1413 [67:33]
[GF] Kilar is definitely worth getting to know.
Arnold KRUG (1849-1904)
String Sextet, Piano Quartet - Linos Ens rec. 2014 CPO 555 030-2 [66:57]
[PRB] A ‘forgotten’ composer whose work, on this evidence, definitely deserves some renewed attention.
Christian LINDBERG (b. 1958) Steppenwolf, Tales of Galamanta,
- Rafael Altino (viola) Odense SO/Christian Lindberg rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2308 SACD [58:23] [DC] Accessible and superbly crafted works.
LISZT (1811-1886) Années de
pèlerinage: Suisse - Francesco Piemontesi (piano) rec. 2017
ORFEO C944182I [55:00] [RWe]
A supremely accomplished version of a seminal work, beautifully played and recorded.
Carlo Ambrogio LONATI (c.1645-c.1712) Sonate da chiesa
Ars Antiqua Austria rec. 2017 PAN CLASSICS PC10387 [57:27] [DC] Admirable Baroque chamber music.
Guillaume de MACHAUT (1300-1377)
Fortune’s Child - Orlando Consort
rec. 2016 HYPERION CDA68195 [60.40] [GH] While I have a few reservations, this disc can still be recommended as a good investment.
MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony
No. 1 - Düsseldorfer SO/Ádám Fischer rec.
2017 CAVI-MUSIC 8553390 [53.01]
[MC] A performance that feels fresh and distinctive
with a deeply intense atmosphere that is entirely
MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphonies Nos
1, 5 & 9 - Moscow PO/Kirill Kondrashin,
Tatarstan Ntl SO/Alexander Sladkovsky rec. 1967-2016
MELODIYA MELCD1002475 [7 CDs:
395:51] [GT] Performances that showcase two
quite different interpretations.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5
Düsseldorf SO/Ádám Fischer
rec. 2017 CAVI-MUSIC 8553395 [69.54] [MC] This perceptive new account gives the finest recordings I know a run for their money and I am certain to play it often.
MARTIN (1926-2016) The
Film Scores & Original Orchestral Music
- Berlin Music Ens & Ch/Craig Leon rec.
2017 ATLAS RÉALISATIONS ARCD008
[63:00] [JW] An enterprising and consistently
Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Songs Vol. 5
Jana Hrochovà (mezzo)
Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573823 [55:44] [SA] Recommended to all those who regard Martinů’s works as a major contribution to 20th century music.
Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Concerto for two violins, Rhapsody–Concerto, Concerto for two pianos -
Sarah and Deborah Nemtanu (violins),
Magali Demess (viola),
Maria and Momo Kodama (pianos),
Marseille PO/Lawrence Foster, rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186658 SACD [62.52]
[JW] More than acceptable performances, but better ones are out there.
Toshiro MAYUZUMI (1929–1997) Phonologie Symphonique; Bacchanale; Samsara
- Hong Kong PO/Yoshikazu Fukumura rec. 1984 NAXOS 8.573916 [43:06] Nirvana Symphony - Tokyo Choraliers;
NHK SO/Hiroyuki Iwaki rec. c.2014 NAXOS NYNN-0055 [37:39]
Ecstatic Drumbeats - Evelyn Glennie (percussion); Taipei Chinese
O/En Shao, Yiu-Kwong Chung rec. 2010 BIS-1599-SACD
The BIS recording offers the best introduction to Mayuzumi and does so
as part of an attractive programme.
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Symphonies Nos 9-12, Octet -
rec. 1961-70 ELOQUENCE 4825111 [76:52 + 58:20] [SG] I Musici bring freshness and vitality to these youthful scores.
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Concerto for Violin & Piano, Violin Concerto - Lena Neudauer (violin),
Matthias Kirschnereit (piano),
Südwestdeutsches CO Pforzheim/Timo Handschuh rec. 2017
CPO 555 197-2
A very pleasing performance of these two early concertos.
Édouard LALO (1823-1892) &
Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Piano Trios -
Petrof Piano Trio rec. 2012 NIMBUS ALLIANCE
NI6219 [70:43] [SV] I can make
no more than a qualified recommendation.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Symphony No. 31 Wayne PETERSON (b. 1927) Free Variations George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Porgy and Bess, A Symphonic Picture - Minneapolis SO/Antal Doráti
DORÁTI EDITION ADE012
An interesting and satisfying disc.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Don Giovanni - Simone Alberghini (baritone) Dmitry Korchak
(tenor) Irina Lungu (soprano)
Prague Ntl Theatre Ch & O/Plácido Domingo
rec. 2017 C MAJOR Blu-ray 745304 [182 mins] [RJF] Unless you were there, or are a Domingo disciple, there are many more dramatic, well staged and sung alternative recordings of this wonderful opera to tempt you.
(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] [NB] Individual and impressive music, passionately performed and well presented.
Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures from an Exhibition
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) La Valse; Ottorino RESPIGHI
Rossiniana - Suisse Romande O/Ernest Ansermet rec. 1958/67 ELOQUENCE 4824983
Not my first choice for Pictures but comparable with Ansermet’s 1959 recording.
Josef MYSLIVECEK (1737-1781) Violin Concertos, Sinfonia,
- Leila Schayegh (violin) Collegium 1704/Václav Luks rec. 2017 ACCENT ACC24336 [73:35] Excellent, sprightly, incisive and youthful performances balancing lyricism with excitement.
Feliks NOWOWIEJSKI (1877-1946)
Symphonies Nos 2 & 3 - Poznań PO/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2017
These symphonies well deserve to be better known.
John OGDON (1937-1989) Sonata,
Variations & Fugue -
Tyler Hay (piano) rec. 2017 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10132 [66:18]
Granitic, freely dissonant, varied, serious, darkly-coloured, phantasmal and not short on grandeur.
Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935) Symphonies Nos 1-4
NFM Wrocław Philharmonic/Tõnu Kaljuste rec. 2015/16 ECM NEW SERIES 2600 [79:26]
[DC] The obvious choice for anyone wanting all four of Pärt’s symphonies.
PELOSI (b. 1947) A
Triptych Memorial to My Rosemarie - Parts
I-III rec. 2006-2011
KASP RECORDS 57701/02/21 [3 CDs:
234:23] [SG] As
a newcomer to this music, I have found it an
enriching and fascinating discovery.
George PERLE (1915-2009)
Orchestral Music (1965-1987) - Jay Campbell (cello),
Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot rec. 2016-2017
An appealing collection of varied instrumental works.
PICKARD (b. 1963) Binyon Songs,
The Phoenix, The borders of sleep - Roderick
Williams (baritone) Eve Daniell (soprano) Simon
Lepper (piano) rec. 2017 TOCCATA CLASSICS
TOCC0413 [61.01] [PCG] This should
be snapped up by all those who have an interest
in the evolution of English song in the post-Britten
Almeida PRADO (1943-2010)
Complete Cartas Celestes Vol. 4 - Aleyson Scopel (piano) rec. 2017
GRAND PIANO GP747
A fine Brazilian pianist provides evangelical advocacy for the music of a little-known compatriot. To these ears, though, it owes too much to its obvious models.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Romeo & Juliet -
Ballet & O Teatro alla Scala/Patrick Fournillier
rec. 2017 C MAJOR Blu-ray 743604 [151 mins] [RMay] Right up there with the very best filmed versions.
PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Concerto
No. 3 Miloslav KABELÁČ (1908-1979)
Reflections Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Rapsodie Espagnole - Peter Katin (piano) Prague
SO/Zdenék Košler, Václav Smetáček
rec. 1967-1968 ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs
CD2/2008 [71:12] [PSe] A few technical
flaws, but very good performances and that uniquely
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Symphony No. 3 Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
Khovanshchina Prelude - Stuttgart RSO/Kurt Sanderling
rec. 1995 SWR CLASSIC SWR19050CD [49:21]
[JQ] Despite the short playing time these Sanderling performances are welcome additions to the catalogue.
Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Complete Solo Keyboard Works
Steven Devine (harpsichord) rec. 2013-17 RESONUS RES10214 [3 CDs: 219:39]
[SSi] Steven Divine’s playing may be at a slower tempo than most, but this serves to accentuate the differing aspects of Rameau’s wonderfully colourful music.
Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937)
George GERSHWIN (1898–1937)
Piano Concertos -
Denis Kozhukhin (piano)
Suisse Romande O/Kazuki Yamada
PENTATONE PTC5186620 SACD [74.55] [RBe] Some exceptionally fine playing here.
(1839-1901) Violin Sonatas -
Thomas Schrott (violin),
Piero Barbareschi (piano),
rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95635 [45:21] [SS] A very welcome release.
Franz Xaver RICHTER (1709-1789) Sinfonia No. 52,
Te Deum, Oboe Concerto - Luise Haugk (Baroque oboe) Czech Ens Baroque O & Ch/Roman Válek rec. 2017 SUPRAPHON SU42402 [49:29] [DJB] Splendid performances of enjoyable music, but the short run time is a distinct negative.
James Reese (tenor), Matt Sullivan (baritone), Molly Young (soprano)
Hasiao-Ying Lin, Ta Wei Tsai (piano)
ALBANY TROY1683 [64:13] [JW] If you enjoy the songs of Barber, Copland, Britten or Bolcom, you may find some echoes here in Rickelton’s thoughtful settings.
Nikolay RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Le Coq d'Or - Sheva Tehoval (soprano)
Alexey Dolgov (tenor) Pavlo Hunka (bass) SO & Ch de la Monnaie/Alain Altinoglu
rec. 2016 BEL AIR CLASSIQUES Blu-ray BAC447 [118 mins]
[RWe] This recent production is a clear success musically and as a valid interpretation.
Pierre de la RUE (c.1450-1518)
Masses - Beauty Farm
rec. 2016 FRA BERNARDO FB1800751 [2 CDs: 129.07] [GH]
A revelatory recording in some respects.
Heinrich SCHEIDEMANN (c1595 - 1665) Keyboard Music
- Joseph Rassam (organ, harpsichord, virginals) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95427 [2 CDs: 130:39] [JV]
A most enjoyable release and an ideal introduction to the art of Heinrich Scheideman.
Cyril SCOTT (1879-1970) Songs
- Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano) Adrian Farmer (piano) rec. 2017 LYRITA SRCD.365 [64:41] [JW] A journey into a decidedly under-explored area of Scott’s repertoire.
SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony
No. 7 - NBC SO/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1942
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC527 [79:34]
[JQ] This deeply committed performance,
excellently transferred, is an important element
in the recorded history of the ‘Leningrad’
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Cello Concerto No. 1 Mats LIDSTRÖM (b. 1959)
Rigoletto Fantasy -
Mats Lidström (cello)
Oxford PO/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2289 SACD [60:02]
[DC] Fun Verdi, so-so Shostakovich.
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
Orchestral Works - BBC Ntl O Wales/Thomas Søndergård rec. 2017/18 LINN RECORDS CKD566 [75:06] [RB] Recordings and readings that equate integrity with restraint.
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) & Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA (1928-2016) Violin Concertos
Tobias Feldmann (violin)
PO Royal de Liège/Jean-Jacques Kantorow
rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS 357 [58:28] [NB] The programming is logical and well balanced, and the result is very enjoyable.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Eine Alpensinfonie; Dance
of the Seven Veils; Die Frau ohne Schatten suite - London PO/Vladimir Jurowski
rec. 2012-16 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO0106
[44:48 + 56:45] [DM]
Full-fat Strauss, played, directed and recorded with aplomb; simply
STRAUSS (1864-1949) Aus Italien Ermanno
WOLF-FERRARI (1876-1948) Suite Veneziana - Berlin
RSO/Ariane Matiakh rec. 2017 CAPRICCIO C5344 [61:50]
Interesting and enjoyable.
Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949)
Macbeth, Don Juan, Tod und Verklärung,
Staatskapelle Weimar/Kirill Karabits
rec. 2017 AUDITE 97.755 [70:35] [NB]
Superb playing and engineering ensure this is never less than a pleasure
to listen to.
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Complete Music for Solo Piano
- Oxana Shevchenko (piano) rec. 2017 DELPHIAN DCD34203 [55:52 + 60:03] [SB] Stravinsky’s piano works are a motley collection but contain some masterpieces, well played here.
Josef SUK (1874-1935)
Asrael Symphony - Brno PO/Jiří Waldhans rec. 1968
ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD7/2009
A lovely performance of Suk’s Asrael and a recording to match.
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs of Travel, Six
Studies in English Folk Song, Romance, Four Hymns -
James Gilchrist (tenor),
Anna Tilbrook (piano),
Philip Dukes (viola) rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10969 [71:31]
[IL] Confidently recommended to RVW and English song enthusiasts.
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Serenade to Music,
Oboe Concerto, Flos Campi, Piano Concerto - Louis Lortie (piano),
Teng Li (viola),
Sarah Jeffrey (oboe),
Elmer Iseler Singers, Toronto SO/Peter Oundjian rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5201 SACD [82:21] [SSi]
Engaging and enjoyable performances of these masterpieces.
VERDI (1813 – 1901)
- Zinka Milanov (soprano) Mario Del Monaco (tenor)
Metropolitan Opera O & Ch/Fausto Cleva rec.
1953 PRISTINE PACO147 [2 CDs:
144:33] [GF] So much good singing and such
electricity in the conducting.
Paul VIARDOT (1857-1941) & Pauline VIARDOT-GARCIA
(1821-1910) Works for Violin & Piano Vol. 2 -
Reto Kuppel (violin)
Wolfgang Manz (piano) rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573749 [84:37] [SSi]
A wonderful disc of violin miniatures by mother and son.
Henri VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881)
Viola sonatas - Christian Euler (viola),
Paul Rivinius (piano) rec. 2017
MDG SACD 903 2063-6
Fine performances and truthful recordings of undemanding, at times rather undistinguished viola and piano repertoire.
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Gloria,
Nisi Dominus, Nulla in mundo pax sincera -
Julia Lezhneva (soprano)
Franco Fagioli (counter tenor)
Ch Radiotelevisione svizzera, I Barocchisti/Diego Fasolis rec. 2016 DECCA 483 3874 [59:16]
[JW] A strong entrant in a very crowded field.
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Gloria, Stabat Mater, Lauda Jerusalem -
Hanna Herfurtner (soprano) Joowon Chung (soprano) Andreas Scholl (alto)
Salzburger Bach Ch,
Bach Consort Wien/Rubén Dubrovsky
rec. 2017 GRAMOLA 99165 [70:47] [DBi] A highly recommendable concert performance of some superb vocal and instrumental Vivaldi.
WAGNER (1813-1883) Concert & opera
overtures - MDR Leipzig RSO/Jun Märkl rec. 2011/12 NAXOS
8.573414 [71.52] [RWM]
A fine presentation of some of the composer’s earliest work and a respectably performed mature classic.
William WALTON (1902-1983)
Viola Concerto, String Sonata, Partita - James Ehnes (viola), BBC SO/Edward Gardner
CHANDOS CHSA5210 SACD
This disc is a strong contender for library status.
Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996)
Piano Sonatas - Elisaveta Blumina (piano) rec. 2016
CPO 555 104-2
Three outstanding piano sonatas by Weinberg, in compelling performances.
Bill WHELAN (b.1950)
Riverdance, Linen & Lace, Inishlacken
Helena Wood (violin)
Zoe Conway (fiddle)
James Galway (flute)
RTÉ Ntl SO/David Brophy
rec. 2016/17 RTÉ LYRIC FM CD155 [78.31] [MW] Highly enjoyable, substantial and accessible music.
Jörg WIDMANN (b 1973) Viola Concerto,
String Quartet No. 3 -
Antoine Tamestit (viola)
Marc Bouchkov (violin)
Bruno Philippe (cello)
Bavarian RSO/Daniel Harding rec 2016/17 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902268 [49:02]
[RHa] Yet more evidence that as a composer Widmann is a real force to be reckoned with.
Józef WIENIAWSKI (1837-1912)
Complete Vocal Works - Katarzyna Dondalska (soprano), Ewa Filipowicz-Kosińska
(mezzo-soprano), Tomasz Krzysica (tenor), Damian Chiliński (baritone), Michał
Landowski (piano) rec. 2017/18
ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0410
Often you hear of an “unjustly neglected” composer, but on the evidence of this disc, this epithet really does fit Józef Wieniawski.
WILLIAMS (1906-1977) My Last Duchess
- Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone) Rachel Kay Green (harp) Paula Fan
(piano/harpsichord) rec. 2017 LORELT LNT140 [76.43]
[PCG] Admirers of the composer will welcome the opportunity to investigate a field of her art which has been unfairly neglected.
Dag WIRÉN (1905-1986) Symphony No.
3, Serenade, Divertimento, Sinfonietta -
Iceland SO/Rumon Gamba rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5194 SACD [70.18]
[PCG] A valuable introduction for many listeners into the world of a composer who surely deserves to be better known.
Arias for Silvio Garghetti The Habsburg Star Tenor
- Neue Wiener Hofkapelle/Markus Miesenberger (tenor)
PAN CLASSICS PC10372 [62:32] [CSe] A rather spurious concept, but competent performances of little-known repertory which deserves fuller investigation.
Beinum (conductor) Works by Bartok,
Stravinsky & Kodaly - Concertgebouw O rec. 1946-56 ELOQUENCE
482 5563 [82:45 + 75:10] [GPJ]
Very much a mixed bag; some splendid recordings
from the mid-1950s, but some very poor quality
sound from those from the previous decade.
The Asia Tour rec. 2017 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER BPHR180221 SACD & Blu-ray [210:31]
A very desirable package preserving the Berlin Philharmonic’s last tour to the Far East with Sir Simon Rattle.
Les Boys Works by
Brubeck, Poulenc & Trotignon - Duo Jatekok rec. 2017 ALPHA 388 [65:22] [LW] A curious programme recommended for those following these performers.
British Orchestral Premieres rec. 2008-2011
[4 CDs: 245:08] [GH]
The quality of the recordings varies a little, but that is a small price to pay for a fascinating collection of works.
Calefax Wind Quintet
Hidden Gems rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186696 SACD [70:08]
Brilliant wind playing and intelligent musicianship.
in New York - Vol. 3 Martha
Lipton (alto) Rudolf Firkušný (piano) Westminster
Ch, NY PSO/Guido Cantelli PRISTINE
AUDIO PASC523 [65:43 + 69:57] [JQ]
Another very welcome reminder of
Guido Cantelli’s tremendous gifts.
Deep Light Works by Weber,
Finzi, Vaughan Williams, Schumann & Francaix
- Cristo Barrios (clarinet) Andrew West (piano)
rec. 2011 IBS CLASSICAL IBS42018
[62:23] [JF] An exciting, varied and enjoyable
Michael Gielen Edition Vol. 7 SWR SO, Stuttgart RSO, Saarbrücken RSO rec.
1961-2006 SWR MUSIC SWR19061CD
[8 CDs: 585 mins] [DM] There are some very desirable things
here; alas, just not enough of them.
Hommage aux Demoiselles Eissler Jenny Broome (harp)
Frances Mason (violin)
rec. 2016 MUSIC & MEDIA MMC123 [75:17]
A delightful and charming disc.
Stephen Hough (piano)
Hough’s Dream Album rec. 2016 HYPERION
CDA68176 [79:52] [EJW] A very well
filled CD that is a pleasure to relax to.
The House of the Mind
Ch Queen’s College Oxford/Owen Reese rec. 2017
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD491
A very enjoyable and well planned collection of British sacred music.
Kalev Kuljus (oboe d’amore) Works by Bach, Marcello,
Telemann & Vivaldi - Lithuanian CO rec. 2015/16 ALBA ABCD411 [55:02]
[SB] Mainly for oboe-fanciers.
Learning About Gregorian Chant
Solesmes Abbey of St. Pierre Ch/Dom Jean Claire rec. 1995-2001
A passable compilation of earlier recordings.
Yo-Yo Ma (cello)
Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach and Boccherini rec. 1981-1998
[6 CDs: 347:37] [SSi]
A very enjoyable set that brings together many fine recordings, both in original form and in transcription.
Parts To Play Moonkyung Lee (violin)
Martha Locker (piano) rec. 2017 NAVONA NV6165 [54:53] [JW]
An enjoyable recital of largely contemporary music of great approachability and character.
Pressler (piano) Works by Debussy,
Fauré & Ravel rec. 2017 DEUTSCHE
GRAMMOPHON 479 8756 [66:51] [DC] Legendary
artist at work: roll up and hear the magic.
Works by Falla, Prokofiev & Stravinsky - Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern/Karel Mark Chichon
OEHMS CLASSICS OC464
You can find more exciting, better played and better recorded versions of each.
A Rose Magnificat
Tudor and post-1915 music in honour of Mary - Gabrieli Consort/Paul McCreesh
rec. 2017 SIGNUM SIGCD536
Those who know the Gabrieli Consort’s
excellent earlier recordings will not be
Rose Magnificat Gabrieli Consort/Paul
McCreesh rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD536
[77:52] [JQ] An absorbing addition to the
Sacrifice The Flowers of War
Something of a niche prospect, but certainly well done.
Songs and Poems Trio Accanto rec. 2017 WERGO WER73642 [73:21] [SG] Potent sonorities from an intriguing instrumental line-up.
Nikolai Sokoloff (conductor)
Cleveland Orchestra - Complete Recordings rec. 1924-1928
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC524
[3 CDs: 180:25] [JW]
A valuable release.
20th Century Masterpieces for 2 Pianos & Orchestra - Vol. 1 Joshua Pierce and Dorothy Jonas (piano duo) Slovak State PO, National SO of Polish RTV/David Amos,
Czech RSO/Carlos Piantini rec. 1992-97 MSR CLASSICS MS1651 [62:53 + 63:37] [NB] A pair of discs that retain their value and quality nearly 25 years after their original release.
The Passions of Vaughan Williams
A film by John Bridcut rec. 2007/8
CRUX PRODUCTIONS CRUXGZ001DVD
[90 mins] [IL]
This film is a wonderful, practically perfect tribute to one of England’s greatest composers.
Finn Viderø (organ)
The Legendary Danish Organist - Vol. 1 Works by JS Bach
rec. 1950-58 DANACORD DACOCD791/2 [72:03 + 73:33] [JF]
Some definitive playing here, in
surprisingly good sound.
Viola and Organ Works by Skold, Bowen, Leitner &
Bénédicte Royer (viola, viola d’amore),
Bettina Leitner (organ),
Katharina Teufel-Lieli (harp) rec. 2016 GRAMOLA 99168 [61:35]
[JW] Several reasons to sit up and lend an ear.
Vivaldi Undercover Works
by Bach, Chédeville & Vivaldi -
Passacaglia rec. 2014/16 BARN COTTAGE RECORDS BCR017 [70:07]
A highly entertaining recital.
Carlo Zecchi (piano)
The Complete Cetra Recordings 1937-1942 APR 6024
[73:38 + 78:55] [JW]
Zecchi was a superb technician and an interpreter of high distinction.
Destiny: The Extraordinary Career of Pianist Eileen Joyce
by David Tunley, Victoria Rogers and Cyrus Meher-Homji
Lyrebird Press [SG]
Of particular interest to pianophiles, and as a handy supplement to Joyce’s recently released Complete Studio Recordings.
Articles and Notices
Johann David Heinichen: Hidden
Genius of the Baroque by Andrew Hartman
The Verdi Requiem - Part
II: A Partial Survey of the Mono Discography by Ralph Moore
Bax and the Veil of Enchantment
by Ian Lace
Verdi's Don Carlo: A partial survey
of the discography by Ralph Moore
Stanfordian Thoughts: 2. Chamber
Music with Strings by Christopher Howell