NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] Verdi's Don Carlo: A partial
survey of the discography by Ralph Moore
[New] 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
Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Spring 2018 Pt 3 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan
Classical Music on
Stamps This week: Composers on Italian stamps Part 3
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Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, other music); Friday: Articles.
Live performance reviews posted daily at
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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
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
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
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
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
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.
Friday June 22nd
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Calefax rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186696 SACD [70:08]
Brilliant wind playing and intelligent musicianship.
OF THE MONTH Liepāja
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.
OF THE MONTH Rawsthorne
& 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
Thursday June 21st
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996)
Piano Sonatas - Elisaveta Blumina (piano) rec. 2016
CPO 555 104-2
Three outstanding piano sonatas by Weinberg, in compelling performances.
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.
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.
Wednesday June 20th
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.
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
French Moments Piano trios by Debussy, Fauré & Roussel
CHANDOS CHAN10996 [70:08] [GPJ] Performances to cherish, especially the Fauré.
Rose Magnificat Gabrieli Consort/Paul
McCreesh rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD536
[77:52] [JQ] An absorbing addition to the
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.
Tuesday June 19th
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.
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.
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.
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.
OF THE MONTH Sergei
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
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.
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.
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.
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.