One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


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
209 reviews completed so far this month
This month's reviews
Last month's reviews

NEW & RECENT ARTICLES

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

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

[New] Piano Trio Discography: "L" Composers by David Barker

Verdi's Don Carlo: A partial survey of the discography by Ralph Moore

Stanfordian Thoughts: 2. Chamber Music with Strings by Christopher Howell

The Verdi Requiem - Part II: A Partial Survey of the Mono Discography by Ralph Moore

Bax and the Veil of Enchantment by Ian Lace

Johann David Heinichen: Hidden Genius of the Baroque by Andrew Hartman

Classical Music on Stamps This week: Composers on Italian stamps Part 4

NOTICES

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. 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.


Friday June 29th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Homage Cantatas - Katja Stuber (soprano) Franz Vitzthum (alto) Daniel Johannsen (tenor) Deutsche Hofmusik/Alexander Grychtolik rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88985410522 [52:49] [JV] This is a disc no Bach lover should miss.

Heinrich BIBER (1644-1704) The Mystery Sonatas, Passacaglia - Christina Day Martinson (violin) Boston Baroque rec. 2017 LINN CKD501 [72:41 + 47:40] [RHa] Fine performances of Biber’s instrumental magnum opus, but lacking something for this listener.

Henryk GÓRECKI (1933-2010) String Quartet No.3 - Dafô String Qt rec. 2016 DUX 1302 [48:35] [BW]  A fine recording of an important late-twentieth-century work but short value.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Messiah - Le Concert Spirituel Ch & O/Hervé Niquet rec. 2016 ALPHA 362 [46:29 + 68:49] [MG] Niquet’s Messiah is a chameleon: sometimes beguilingly smooth, sometimes vividly raucous.

Jaroslav KRČEK (b. 1939) Instrumental Music - Musica Bohemica Prague/Jaroslav Krček, Slovak CO/Bohdan Warchal rec. 1986-2017 ARCO DIVA UP0201-2131 [55:00] [JW] A fine retrospective and a salutary reminder of Krček’s warmth and human sympathies in his music-making.

Rolf MARTINSSON (b. 1956) Presentiment - Lisa Larsson (soprano) Royal Stockholm PO/Andrew Manze, Sakari Oramo rec. 2015/17 BIS BIS-2133 SACD [73:17] [DC] A real treat.

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863–1945) Cavalleria rusticana Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1857–1919) Pagliacci - José Carreras (tenor) Montserrat Caballé, Renata Scotto (soprano) Ambrosian Opera Ch, Philharmonia O/Riccardo Muti rec. 1979 WARNER CLASSICS 7636502 [74:09 + 75:53] [RMo] Carreras in peak form.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La forza del destino – Alastair Miles (bass) Nina Stemme (soprano) Ch & O Wiener Staatsoper/Zubin Mehta rec. 2008 C MAJOR Blu-Ray 751104 [161 mins] [MC] This is a creative and very dramatic version of this problematic opera.

Passion & Polyphony Works by Martin & MacMillan - Sonoro/Neil Ferris rec. 2017 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10208 [66:31] [JQ] Sonoro’s debut release is a fine achievement.

Prague Symphony Orchestra Works by Dvořák, Kabeláč, Prokofiev, Ravel, Strauss & Walton - Peter Katin (piano) Zdeněk Košler, Václav Smetáček (conductors) rec. 1967/68 ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD2/2008 & CD10/2010 [71.12 & 63.19]  [DBi] Two CDs of parts of three exciting Prague Symphony Orchestra concerts recorded in the late 1960s.

Thursday June 28th

John ADAMS (b. 1947) Absolute Jest, Naive and Sentimental Music - Sean Shibe (steel-string guitar), Doric String Qt, Royal Scottish Ntl O/Peter Oundjian rec. 2017 CHANDOS SACD CHSA5199 [71:25] [LW] A worthy addition to the growing John Adams discography.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Pavel CHESNOKOV (1877-1944) Teach Me Thy Statutes - PaTRAM Institute Male Ch/Vladimir Gorbik rec. 2017 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-727 SACD [67:14] [JQ] This disc is a stunner.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Masses rec. 1992-2008 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC15017 [4 CDs: 304:33] [SSi] Musically this set is a bargain, with all the performances being at least good, but be prepared for no notes or texts.

Jaroslav KRČEK (b. 1939) Vocal Music - Czech Girls's Ch Jitro, Gentlemen Singers, Iuventus pedagogica, Musica Bohemica Prague/Jaroslav Krček, Slovak CO/Bohdan Warchal rec. 1986-2017 ARCO DIVA UP0202-2131 [59:00] [JW] Affords great pleasure and warm-hearted, communicative music-making.

Igor RAYKHELSON (b. 1961) Piano & Chamber Music Vol. 1 - Ekaterina Astashova (violin) Alexander Kniazev (cello) Konstantin Lifschitz (piano) Borodin Qt - rec. 2011/17 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0315 [78:18] [SG] Neoclassicism, late-Romanticism, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov and jazz all coalesce in these attractive and colourful scores.

Edmund RUBBRA (1901-1986) The Sacred Muse - James E. Jordan Jr. (organ) Gloria Dei Cantores/Elizabeth C. Patterson PARACLETE RECORDS GDCD130 [58:28] [WK] The choir has an enviable clarity to their singing, a truly reverential sense, and great beauty of sound.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Trios Nos 1 & 2, La Muse et le Počte - Gould Piano Trio rec. 2016 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD140 [79.51] [DBi] A CD worth anyone's money.

Dmitri TYMOCZKO (b. 1969) Rube Goldberg Variations - Flexible Music, Atlantic Brass Qnt, Amernet String Qt, Matthew Bengtson, John Blacklow (piano) rec. 2017 BRIDGE 9492 [51:15] [DC] A whole barrow-load of new-music seedlings on offer to anyone with a fertile imagination.

American Symphonies Works by Albert, Jones & Piston - London SO/Lance Friedel rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2118 SACD [78:08] [DM] A terrific trio, the LSO let off the leash at last; huzzahs all round!

20th Century Polish String Quartets Works by Bacewicz, Panufnik & Szymanowski - Diverso String Qt rec. 2017 RECART 0024 [47.59] [GH] Rather short measure, though the programme is well-balanced and pleasing, and the performances are good.

Wednesday June 27th

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas No. 5 & 6 - Nap de Klijn (violin), Alice Heksch (piano) rec. 1954 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1447 [48:27] [SG] Delightful performances by a duo that will not be on the radar of many.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis - Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2321 SACD [74:07] [JQ] A considerable performance of Beethoven’s mighty Mass.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No.3 - Munich PO/Valery Gergiev rec. 2017 MÜNCHNER PHILHARMONIKER MPHL0009 [55:28] [BW]  Not my first choice, even among recordings of the final 1889 version, but well worth considering.

Gerhard FROMMEL (1906-1984) Symphony No.1, Symphonic Prelude - Jena PO/Jürgen Bruns rec. 2017 CAPRICCIO C5338 [57:21] [NB] Others may find more to enjoy than I.

Joachim MENDELSON (1892-1943) Symphony No. 2, Quintet, Violin sonata, Chamber Symphony - Polish RSO/Jürgen Bruns, Tatiana Blome (piano), Ulrike Petersen (violin) rec. 2010/11 EDA 040 [67:16] [SFV] I rather enjoyed this; you might, too.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonata No. 21, Impromptus - Marc-André Hamelin (piano) rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68213 [81.51] [RBe] An exceptional recording, which deserves a place in the pantheon of great Schubert recordings.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Trio No. 2 Lera AUERBACH (b. 1973) Piano Trios 1 & 2 - Delta Piano Trio rec. 2017 ODRADEK ODRCD350 [63:30] [RHa] The recording career of a brilliant Dutch trio starts here.

Alexandre TANSMAN (1897-1986) Le Train de nuit, Sonate, Fantaisie, La Grande Ville - Duo d’Accord rec. 2017 SWR MUSIC SWR19053CD [55:00] [DC] Tremendous fun and searing, elusive expressiveness in one superb programme.

XXIV Fantasie per il flauto Tabea Debus (recorder) rec. 2017 TYXART TXA18105 [79:51] [JW] Never less than fluent and engaging.

Slava! Works by Stravinsky, Bartok, Kodaly, Bardos, Penderecki & Lukaszewski - Maîtrise de Toulouse/Mark Opstad, Jeremiah Stephenson (organ) rec. 2017 REGENT REGCD513 [69:53] [WH] A children’s choir to rival the finest in a splendid programme.

Tuesday June 26th

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) & Zoltan KODÁLY (1882-1967) Concertos for Orchestra - Berlin RSO/Jakub Hrůša rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186626 SACD [55.30] [DBi] Two fine works, extremely well performed and recorded.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 1-9 - NDR SO/Günter Wand rec. 1982-1988 RCA RED SEAL 19075818872 [5 CDs: 356:35] [DC] A superb cycle – certainly in the top tier for all-round reliably high quality.

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Arminio - Max Emanuel Cencic, Gaia Petrone, Armonia Atenea/George Petrou rec. 2017 C MAJOR 744504 Blu-ray [168 mins] [RWe] It is hard to imagine that a better-filmed Arminio production than this one will come along any time soon.

Michel-Richard de LALANDE (1657-1726) Grands Motets for the Sun King - Ensemble Aedes/Mathieu Romano; Le Poème Harmonique/Vincent Dumestre rec. 2017 ALPHA 968 [74:32] [MS] An enticing and thoughtful set of performances of music which ought to push this under-appreciated composer out of the shadows.

Thea MUSGRAVE (b. 1928) Mary, Queen of Scots - Ashley Putnam (soprano) Jake Gardner (baritone) Virginia Opera O & Ch/Peter Mark rec. 1979 LYRITA SRCD2369 [53:28 + 79:11] [JF] A lyrical, approachable and satisfying performance.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Adventlied; Ballade vom Pagen und der Königstochter, Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantata - Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Estonian Phil Chamber Ch, Helsinki Baroque O/Aapo Häkkinen rec. 2017 ONDINE ODE1312-2 [70:56] [SSi] An excellent disc of rare Schumann, with wonderful performances by all those involved.

Leone SINIGAGLIA (1868-1944) Violin Concerto, Romanza and Humoresque -  Laura Marzadori (violin), Fernado Caida Greco (cello) O Città di Ferrara/Marco Zuccarini rec. 2013 TACTUS TC861901 [55:06] [JW] The performances are polished and careful, but lacking a little adrenalin and passion.

Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-93) String Quartet No. 2 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-56) String Quartet No. 1 - Manfred Qt rec. 2016 PARATY 117152 [65:45] [PBW] I was very impressed by these fine players and shall look out for their future recordings.

John WILLIAMS (b. 1932) John Williams at the Movies - Christopher Martin (trumpet); Dallas Winds/Jerry Junkin rec. 2016 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-142 SACD [75:43] [DM] Quietly sensational; a must for movie fans and audiophiles alike.

Russian Piano Concertos rec. 1964-2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95520 [15 CDs: 945:21] [SG] A fascinating survey. I’ve made many new discoveries along the way.

Monday June 25th 

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 25171 [70:36] [JF] An interesting musical exploration that is both compelling and satisfying.

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.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH 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.

Carlo Ambrogio LONATI (c.1645-c.1712) Sonate da chiesa I-VI - Ars Antiqua Austria rec. 2017 PAN CLASSICS PC10387 [57:27] [DC] Admirable Baroque chamber music.

George PERLE (1915-2009) Orchestral Music (1965-1987) - Jay Campbell (cello), Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot rec. 2016-2017 BRIDGE 9499 [69:47] [MS] An appealing collection of varied instrumental works.

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.

Henri VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881) Viola sonatas - Christian Euler (viola), Paul Rivinius (piano) rec. 2017 MDG SACD 903 2063-6 [66:11] [RHa] Fine performances and truthful recordings of undemanding, at times rather undistinguished viola and piano repertoire.

The House of the Mind Ch Queen’s College Oxford/Owen Reese rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD491 [66:01] [GH] A very enjoyable and well planned collection of British sacred music.

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.

 

 




Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger