NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] The Surprising Breakthrough of
Everyone’s Third Symphony by John Caps
Unknown Pages from Nikolai
Myaskovsky’s Music by Elena V. Lobanova
The Other Franck: The Music of Eduard Franck By Andrew Hartman
Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Spring 2018 Pt 1 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan
and the first recorded cycle of Haydn symphonies by Christopher
Classical Music on
Stamps This week: French composers on French stamps - Part 2
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Friday March 30th
AMY (b. 1936) Chamber works - Juliette
Leroux, Raphaëlle Rubio (violins) Sergio Menozzi (clarinet, basset horn, saxophone)
Marwan Dafir (piano) HORTUS 150 [73:27] [SB]
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Motets - Norwegian Soloists’
Ch/Ensemble Allegria/Grete Pedersen rec. 2015-17
BIS BIS-2251 SACD [67:39] [JQ]
Stylish and very satisfying performances
of Bach’s motets.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 3
Philharmonie Festiva/Gerd Schaller
rec. 2017 PROFIL PH18002 [57:24] [RMo] When I want to hear Bruckner’s final version, it is to this striking modern recording that I will first return.
Dmitri KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) Complete Piano Sonatas & Rondos
Michael Korstick (piano) rec. 2014-17 CPO 555 163-2 [63:54]
[SA] A real gem that should delight all lovers of solo piano.
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Complete Symphonies
Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2014/15 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS BPHR150073 [5 SACDs: 236:31] [JWh]
Mixed results – there are better cycles available.
Maria Rex Coelorum
rec. 2017 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0403
[51:24] [RP] Fine voices and an excellent
pianist give a flavor of a traditional Polish
Grand Opening Concert -
NDR Elbphilharmonie O/Thomas Hengelbrock rec.
2017 C MAJOR DVD 741408 [2
DVDs: 165 mins] [JW] Musically and visually
The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book Vol. 5
Pieter-Jan Belder (harpsichord) rec. 2015 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95308 [2 CDs: 2.03:45]
[JV] This set of discs is another captivating portrait of the art of the English virginalists.
von Karajan Works
by Tchaikovsky, Mozart & Ravel - Clara Haskil
(piano) Philharmonia O rec. 1955/6 ICA CLASSICS
ICAC5142 [57:30 + 72:02] [MB] These
are important additions to Karajan’s Philharmonia
Regula Mühlemann (soprano)
Cleopatra arias - La Folia Baroque O/Robin Peter Müller rec. 2016 SONY CLASSICAL 88985407012 [58:11]
[MC] Baroque lovers need not hesitate with this outstanding album.
Thursday March 29th
Henry BRANT (1913-2008)
Northern Lights over the Twin Cities, A Plan of the Air rec. 1975/85
[2 CDs: 120:34] [PSe]
Brant’s “spatial music” is extraordinary by anybody’s standards.
Franz KROMMER (1759-1831)
Symphonies - O della Svizzera italiana, Howard Griffiths rec. 2013-17
Fascinating music from a Beethoven contemporary in strong-boned and committed performances.
Jean-Marie LECLAIR (1697-1764)
Trio Sonatas Nos 1-6 -
Musica Alta Ripa rec. 1992 MDG 309 0428-2 [70:20] [MC] Admirers of French Baroque will be in their element with this reissue.
Arvo PÄRT (b. 1935)
Works for Cello - Cello Octet Amsterdam rec. 2017
CELLO OCTET AMSTERDAM C8A1703
Writing for cello octet explored as only Pärt can.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Complete Piano Works
Gerhard Oppitz (piano) rec. 2007-09 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC16062 [12 CDs: 756:56]
[DC] Certainly not without quality, but outgunned by the alternatives.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Winterreise - Mark Padmore (tenor),
Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano) rec. 2017
HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902264
A fine second version of this great cycle from Padmore.
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
Songs of Travel, Six Studies in English Folk Song - James Gilchrist (tenor),
Anna Tilbrook (piano),
Philip Dukes (viola) rec. 2016
This very fine disc will surely be self-recommending to all devotees either of Vaughan Williams in particular or of English song in general.
Mirella Freni - Soprano
Assoluta! rec. 1959-62 ALTO ALC1233 [72:11]
[SV] The "new" material makes for rewarding listening.
A Garland of English Choral
Works Nicolai Chamber Ch/Christian Ljunggren,
Adolf Fredrik Madrigal Ch/Mark Falsjö
rec. 1979-2016 EM RECORDS EMRCD044 [78.30]
[GH] Not the most obvious source for performance of English choral music, but well done just the same.
Wednesday March 28th
OF THE MONTH Ludwig
van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony
No. 1, Piano Concerto No. 1 - Martha Argerich
(piano) Mito CO/Seiji Ozawa rec. 2017 DECCA
CLASSICS 4832566 [60:41]
[SG] Familiar repertoire given a fresh lease
EÖTVÖS (b. 1944) The
Sirens Cycle, Korrespondenz - Calder Qt,
Audrey Luna (soprano) rec. 2016 BUDAPEST
MUSIC CENTER BMCCD249 [51:36] [MS]
The Calder Quartet, with soprano Audrey
Luna, deliver precise, honed and thoughtful
Benjamin GODARD (1849 - 1895)
Munich Radio O/Ulf Schirmer rec. 2016 EDICIONES SINGULARES ES1029 [62:52 + 75:20]
[PS] It is hard to get excited about this largely-forgotten opera, and the
singers don’t really make a strong case for it.
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Ode for St Cecilia’s Day, Concerto Grosso - Cristina Grifone (soprano), Hans Jörg Mammel (tenor), Musica
rec. 2016. PAN CLASSICS PC10382 [59:41] [CR] Dubious
decisions about the size of the forces used mean that this cannot rank
amongst the best recordings of the Ode.
Hieronymus PRÆTORIUS (1560-1629)
Missa Tulerunt Dominum meum - Siglo de Oro/Patrick Allies
rec. 2017 DELPHIAN DCD34208
Music for Passiontide and Easter: an excellent place to get to know
Hieronymus Prætorius’ unjustly neglected music.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Violin Concertos 1 & 2 -
Lisa Batiashvili (violin), CO Europe/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2017
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 479 8529 [59:49] [JQ]
Pawel PUDLO War Horns rec. 2017 DUX 1440 [CD: 17:38 + DVD: 30
Frustrating in many ways, for all the worthiness of its sentiments and the excellence of the playing.
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Scheherazade Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrushka -
Tchaikovsky SO/Vladimir Fedoseyev
rec. 2003 & 2007 MELODIYA MELCD1002508 [74:43] [JW] Marred by a terrible flaw in Scheherazade.
de viento Works by Vazquez,
Friday, Mahoney, Yi & Jones - Duo Damiana:
Molly Alicia Barth (flute) Dieter Hennings (guitar)
INNOVA 982 [56:28] [DC] An
enthralling and cleverly constructed recital
of attractive and stimulating new music.
due alti Duets
by Marcello, Handel, Caresana, Steffani &
Bononcini - Filippo Mineccia, Raffaele Pe (counter
tenors) La Venexiana/Claudio Cavina rec. 2015
GLOSSA GCD920942 [79:29] [JW]
This first-class album explores the genre
imaginatively and vividly.
Tuesday March 27th
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ
works - Joseph Kelemen (organ) rec. 2017 OEHMS
CLASSICS OC465 [70:22] [ DC] An
attractive Bach recital, but be prepared to
suck a few intemperate lemons.
BLUNT (b.1947) Piano Concerto,
Bassoon Concertino, Symphony No.2 - Murray
McLachlan (piano) Lesley Wilson (bassoon) Manchester
Camerata/Stephen Threlfall rec. 2016 MÉTIER MSV28570 [63:21]
[SG] Orchestral music, tonally based, lyrically
romantic, embracing a modern idiom yet eminently
RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Suites
Nos 1 & 2, Morceaux - Charles Owen &
Katya Apekisheva (pianos) rec. 2017 AVIE
AV2381 [70:31] [TB] Vividly realised.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jean-Philippe RAMEAU
Christoph Willibald von GLUCK (1714-1787)
Enfers - Stéphane Degout (baritone), Pygmalion/Raphaël Pichon
rec. December 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902288
A must for newcomers to the wonderful world of baroque opera, who will
find it an excellent starting point, but equally valuable for the
Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Symphonies Nos 5 & 6, The Voyevoda -
London SO/Yondani Butt rec. 2012 NIMBUS
ALLIANCE NI7104 [62:27 + 49:20] [JWh]
An enjoyable albeit slightly controversial
TURINA (1882-1949) Sanlúcar
de Barrameda, Trilogía - Jordi Masó (piano)
rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573677 [62.06]
[MW] A splendid and valuable conclusion to
Jordi Masó’s complete survey of Turina’s
fascinating output for piano.
VERDI (1813-1901) Arias - Joseph
Calleja (tenor) O Comunitat Valenciana/Ramón
Tebar rec. 2016 DECCA 483 1539
[65.15] [MC] Calleja is on outstanding form,
demonstrating his progress as one of the finest
tenors on the stage today.
Clerkes of Oxenford The
Originals – Debut - David Wulstan
GCCD4083 [54:00] [JQ] Important
pioneering recordings by David Wulstan and the
Clerkes of Oxenford make their CD debut.
The Voice of the Cello in the 1920s
- Joseph Spooner (cello) Maureen Galea, Rebeca
Omordia (piano) rec. 2016 EM RECORDS
EMRCD042 [75:57] [BSt] A
very well-played and recorded programme of great
Leaves Works by Janáček,
Martinů & Páleníček - Lucie
Štěpánová (cello) Ksenia Kouzmenko
(piano) rec. 2017 COBRA 0069
[58:14] [JW] A well-recorded programme that offers interesting links and
cross-currents, but lacking energy in places.
Monday March 26th
Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835)
I Puritani - Diana Damrau (soprano) Javier Camarena (tenor) Ludovic Tézier
O & Ch Teatro Real de Madrid/Evelino Pidò rec. 2016 BELAIR CLASSIQUES BAC442 Blu-ray [181 mins]
[ST] A pretty conservative production, where far more goes right than goes wrong.
Jake HEGGIE (b. 1961)
It’s a Wonderful Life - Talise Trevigne (soprano) William
Houston Grand Opera Ch & O/Patrick Summers
rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186631 SACD [63:50 + 63:02] [JQ] A fine performance of a recent American opera that connects very directly with the listener.
Johann Peter PIXIS (1788-1874) Piano Trios - Leonore Piano Trio
The excellent Leonore Trio make a good case for these trios (possibly the best that is ever likely to be made) and they are very decently recorded.
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
The Bells, Symphonic Dances -
Tatiana Pavlovskaya (soprano) Oleg Dolgov (tenor) Alexey Markov (baritone)
Bavarian RSO & Ch/Mariss Jansons
rec. 2016/17 BR KLASSIK 900154 [74.19] [MC] Penetrating accounts of The Bells and Symphonic Dances that are worthy additions to any collection.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Trios Nos
1 & 2, Notturno, Trio movement - Beaux Arts Trio
rec. 1984 DECCA ORIGINALS 4757571 [46:55 + 51:09] [RMo] This recording remains the most satisfying option both for sound and
interpretation despite the short measure.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphonies 1-15 - Tatarstan National SO/Alexander Sladkovsky rec. 2016
[13 CDs: 703:13] [GT]
An all-round success.
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Symphonies Nos 8,
9 & 11 -
São Paulo SO/Isaac Karabtchevsky
rec. 2015/16 NAXOS 8.573777 [73:43] [JWh] Despite the composer’s obvious expertise in committing the notes to paper
the musical substance seems to be rather lacking.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Gottfried WALTHER (1684-1748)
Complete Organ Music - Simone Stella (organ) rec. 2013
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94730
[12 CDs: 658:35] [JV]
This is a splendid musical monument for one of the most important composers for the organ of the 18th century.
American Canvas Works by Clearfield, Higdon, Ran
& Tian - Lucy Shelton (soprano),
Dolce Suono Trio rec. 2016
Another Innova title that takes our awareness of new chamber music a quantum step further.
Isaac Stern (violin) Concertos by Haydn, Mendelssohn
& Tchaikovsky - Hollywood Bowl O/Serge Koussevitzky, P-SO New York/Leopold Stokowski, Philadelphia O/Pierre Monteux
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC519
Real rarity value to the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky.