NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Autumn 2018/3 by Brian Wilson and Dan Morgan
- a survey by Ralph Moore
Strauss' Four Last Songs
- a survey by Ralph Moore
A Selection Box from Rachel
Talitman's Harp & Co. - a survey by Rob Barnett
George Walker - an obituary by
National discography update:
Finnish & Baltic Symphonies ~
Scandinavian Concertos ~
Stanfordian Thoughts: 7.
Not-Quite-Concertos by Christopher Howell
Classical Music on
Stamps This week: Spain
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Friday November 30th
Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Brandenburg
Concertos - Concerto Copenhagen/Lars Ulrik Mortensen
rec. 2017 CPO 555 158-2
[2 SACDs: 41:36 + 52:50] [DC] Very good,
but just one of very many indeed.
BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Grande Messe des
Morts - Bror Magnus Třdenes (tenor) Bergen PO & Ch/Edward Gardner
rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5219 SACD [80:54] [JQ]
Something of a missed opportunity.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Hungarian
Dances - Sabrina-Vivian
Höpcker (violin) Fabio Bidini (piano) rec. 2017
DELOS DE3558 [60:14] [RMo]
Perhaps best appreciated in more than one
Ernő DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960)
Ruralia Hungarica, Humoresken, Pastorale -
Valentina Tóth (piano) rec. 2018 CHALLENGE RECORDS CC72775 [63:10] [EJW] A very attractive CD of piano music by this underappreciated composer.
MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony
No. 3 - Anna Larsson (alto) Düsseldorfer
SO/Ádám Fischer rec. 2017 CAVI -MUSIC
8553399 [33.50 + 62.01] [MW] A wonderful
recording to rival brother Iván's account -
in an ideal world, buy both for contrasting
Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Great Mass
in c - Ch Bayerischen Rundfunks, Akademie
Alte Musik Berlin/Howard Arman rec. 2018 rec.
2018 BR-KLASSIK WISSEN 900917
[50.53 + 73.10] [MC] Less bold and resolute,
far less dramatic although perhaps more devotional
than you might be used to.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
& Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Quintets for
piano and winds -
rec. 2015 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905296 [51:03] [RHa] It is a real delight to hear this coupling so thoughtfully and lovingly played on period instruments and recorded in deluxe sound.
Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941)
Piano works -
Kevin Kenner (piano) rec. 2017 FRYDERYK CHOPIN INSTITUTE NIFCCD057 [70:10]
A really most enjoyable CD of piano playing of the highest order.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
La Bohčme -
Michael Fabiano (tenor) Nicole Car (soprano)
Royal Opera House Ch & O/Sir Antonio Pappano
rec. 2017 OPUS ARTE OABD7248D Blu-ray [122 mins]
[DBi] Simply superb in every way - unmissable.
Works by Takemitsu, Gilbert &
Dufay - Lorelei Ens/Beth Willer rec. 2016 SONO
CD/BD-A [48:27] [JW] A disc
with cross-currents and lineages, sung in a
way that reflects on both simultaneously.
Thursday November 29th
John CAGE (1912-1992)
Guitar works -
Aaron Larget-Caplan (guitar) rec. 2017/18 STONE RECORDS 50601927 80833 [54:03]
[RB] A blend of delicacy, complexity and amiable simplicity.
Antoine de FÉVIN (c.1470-1511/1512)
Missa Ave Maria, Missa Salve Sancta parens - Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice
Rare music, well worth exploring.
Gustav MAHLER (1869-1911) Symphony No. 9
Essen PO/Tomáš Netopil rec. 2018 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1890 [82:33]
[RC] A few tame sections aside, this is a strong entrant into formidable competition.
MATRE (b. 1979) Konsert for Orkester
- Peter Herresthal (violin) Oslo PO/Peter Szilvay rec. 2017 LAWO
CLASSICS LWC1155 [62:58] [DC] Unconventional, but tremendously exhilarating.
Francis POULENC (1899-1963)
Piano & Organ concertos, Stabat Mater - Alexandre Tharaud (piano),
James O'Donnell (organ),
Kate Royal (soprano),
London PO & Ch/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2013/14
Each work receives a special performance.
Wolfgang RIHM (b. 1952)
Das Gehege Jean-Pascal BEINTUS (b. 1966) Le Petit Prince - Rayanne Dupuis (soprano),
Eva-Christina Schönweiss (violin),
Kirsten Ecke (harp),
Deutsches SO Berlin/Kent Nagano rec. 2011
Excellent performances of quite different works.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Fantasiestücke, Fantasie -
Severin von Eckardstein (piano) rec. 2016 CAVI-MUSIC 8553366 [69:53]
[SG] Intuitive understanding, poetic insights and refined pianism coalesce into some of the most ravishing Schumann playing one is ever likely to encounter.
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Petrushka, Jeu de cartes - Mariinsky O/Valery Gergiev
rec. 2009/14 MARIINSKY MAR0594 SACD [57.51]
[DBi] Thrilling performances very well played and beautifully recorded.
Emil TABAKOV (b. 1947)
Concert Piece, Symphony No. 4 - Bulgarian Ntl RSO/Emil Tabakov
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0467
Two intense works that are hard to admire or to like.
Leopold Stokowski (conductor)
Wartime NBC Premières - Eduard Steuermann (piano), NBC SO
[64:52 + 72:03] [RB]
An insight into 1940s radio listening as well as giving voice to a series of often deeply enjoyable music experiences.
Wednesday November 28th
OF THE MONTH Béla
BARTÓK (1881-1945) Complete String Quartets - Arcadia
Qt rec. 2017/18 CHANDOS CHAN10992(2)
[2 CDs: 160:06] [SSi] Quickly becoming my
go-to recording of the works.
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Wand
of Youth Suites, Nursery Suite - Hallé/Sir Mark
Elder rec. 2015/17 HALLÉ CDHLL7548
[71.18] [MC] Those looking for a collection
of lighter Elgar have no reason to hesitate
with this outstanding Hallé album.
(1705-1770) Flute Quartets - Wilbert Hazelzet (transverse flute),
Fantasticus rec. 2017 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10222 [2 CDs: 87:00]
Highly entertaining music, which receives excellent performances.
Toivo KUULA (1883-1918) Violin Sonatas;
Five Pieces -
Nina Karmon (violin),
Oliver Triendl (piano) rec. 2017 CPO 555 148-2 [69:02] [RB]
The masterful Kuula cherished the violin and this is evident here as is his avoidance of the shallows.
Mark John MCENROE
My Symphonic Poems -
Janacek PO/Anthony Armore
rec. 2016-18 NAVONA RECORDS NV6189 [2 CDs: 107:15] [EJW]
McEnroe has a pleasant melodic style; his pieces are nice, quite unassuming works, honestly composed and presented which plumb no great heights or depths of emotion.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Serenades in E flat
& C minor;
La Clemenza di Tito - Overture and arias -
Oslo Kammerakademi/David Friedemann Strunck rec. 2015 LAWO LWC1141 [79:57]
A slightly strange choice of repertoire; nevertheless a highly enjoyable disc, full of charm and musicianship.
VERDI (1813-1901) Messa
da Requiem - Bolshoi Theatre
Ch, St. Petersburg PO/Yuri Temirkanov rec. 2017
DELOS DVD DV7012 [93 mins]
[RJF] A fine performance, in a magnificent
auditorium, of Verdi’s great choral work, given
as a fitting tribute in memory of a great Verdi
VIVALDI (1678-1741) The
Four Seasons -Joseph Silverstein
(violin) Boston SO/Seiji Ozawa rec. 1981 TELARC
TEL00004 LP [38:19] Peter Ilyich
TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) 1812
Overture, Capriccio Italien - Cincinnati
SO/Erich Kunzel rec. 1978 TELARC TEL00009
LP [35:11] Igor STRAVINSKY
(1882-1971) The Firebird Suite
Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887)
Prince Igor Overture & Polovtsian
Dances rec. 1978 TELARC TEL00005 LP
[43:17] Carl ORFF (1895-1982)
Carmina Burana Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963)
Symphonic Metamorphosis Of Themes by Carl Maria
Von Weber - Judith Blegen (soprano) Hakan
Hagegard (baritone) William Brown (tenor) Atlanta
SO & Ch/Robert Shaw rec. 1980 TELARC
TEL00006 [2 LPs: 60:29] [SG] Four
reissues from Telarc which will be welcomed
with open arms by vinyl enthusiasts.
WOLFF (b.1934) Two
Orchestra Pieces - SWR
SO Baden-Baden Freiburg/Lothar Zagrosek; Ostravská
banda/Roland Kluttig, Peter Rundel, Petr Kotík
rec. 2009-12 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80796
[51:57] [RHa] An important issue introducing
one of the last surviving members of John Cage’s
The Golden Age: Cello 1925
Works by Hindemith, Ibert, Martinů & Toch -
Christoph Heesch (cello),
Eroica Berlin/Jakob Lehmann rec. 2018 GENUIN GEN18613 [70:14]
Assured performances of a well-planned and interesting programme.
Tuesday November 27th
Sebastian BACH (1685 – 1750)
Variations Henning KRAGGERUD
(b. 1973) Topelius Variations - Henning
Kraggerud (violin) Arctic PO rec. 2017 SIMAX
PSC1353 [74:20] [GF] A feather in
the cap for the orchestra and Kraggerud himself.
BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonatas
- Leila Schayegh (violin) Jan Schultsz (piano)
rec. 2017 GLOSSA GCD924201
[69:42] [SSi] Revelatory once you have become
used to the nineteenth century sensibilities
Edward ELGAR (1857–1934)
The Music Makers, The Spirit of England
- Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo) Andrew Staples
(tenor) BBC SO & Ch/Sir Andrew Davis rec.
2018 CHANDOS CHSA5215 SACD
[61:56] [JQ] The prime recommendation for
each of these important Elgar scores.
Wojciech KILAR (1932-2013) The Very Best of Kilar
DUX 0906-07 [56:22 + 46:22]
[RB] Much more than just a Kilar taster.
Olavi SALMENHAARA (1941-2002) Symphonies
Nos 2-4 - Finnish Radio SO/Paavo Berglund, Petri
Komulainen, Ulf Söderblom rec. 1966-2008 FINLANDIA
CLASSICS FINCLA27 [79:18] [RB] From
avant-garde tough to music that speaks to those
who value melodic resilience.
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Giovanna D’Arco - Luciano Ganci (tenor), Vittoria Yeo
(soprano), I Virtuosi Italiani/Ramón Tebar rec. 2016 C MAJOR Blu-ray 745704 [127 mins] [RJF] The tension, cohesion and vibrancy of the opera are lacking in this performance.
Johann WALTER (1496 - 1570) Geystliches Gesangk Buchleyn - Martin Luther's Lieder
- Weser-Renaissance Bremen/Manfred Cordes rec. 2016 CPO 555 134-2 [72:04] [JV] An important contribution to the commemoration of the Reformation; Walter’s contribution is given the attention it deserves.
Little Child Christmas Carols by Mold & Baldwin -
Simon Hogan (organ/piano) Antony Baldwin (organ)
Lynne Hope (recorder) Southwell
Minster Ch/Paul Provost rec. 2017 HERITAGE
HTGCD185 [70:25] [JWh] A
warm welcome for a compilation that offers something
different to the usual Christmas fare.
Praise My Soul Jesus College Ch Cambridge/Richard Pinel rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD545 [66:32] [MR] A good selection of hymns ancient and modern, familiar and unfamiliar, robustly sung in good-to-honest straightforward arrangements which will appeal to all lovers of traditional hymnody.
The Versailles Revolution
Works by Lully, Marais & Muffat
- Indianapolis Baroque O/Barthold Kuijken rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573868
[BW] The second very fine release from this source – more, please.
Monday November 26th
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concertos,
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 -
David Oistrakh, Igor Oistrakh (violin), Eugene Goossens,
rec. 1957/62 ALTO ALC1399 [68:51] [RB] Lively and well attuned to Bach's sprightly writing to which the musicians pay delightful court.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Complete Piano Trios Vol. 2 -
Van Baerle Trio rec. 2017 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72778 SACD [72:37]
Fine playing - worth looking out for.
Harald GENZMER (1909-2007) Concertos - Oliver Triendl (piano),
Patrick Demenga (cello),
Jörgen van Rijen (trombone),
Berlin RSO/Ariane Matiakh rec. 2017
A moderately cool but prolific adherent of the Hindemith school heard via three concertos.
Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907)
Violin Sonatas (orch.) - Henning Kraggerud (violin),
Tromsø CO rec. 2013
If you like this sort of thing, it’s mostly done well here.
Bo HOLTEN (b. 1948)
Gesualdo Shadows - Gert Henning-Jensen (tenor),
Musica Ficta, Concerto Copenhagen/Bo Holten rec. 2016
DACAPO 2.110428 DVD
[114 mins.] [RWe]
A fascinating operatic exploration of Gesualdo’s dramatic life, making much use of his music.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Wanderer - André Schuen (baritone),
Daniel Heide (piano) rec. 2016
This programme feels very satisfying and should be an attractive buy for the many lovers of Schubert.
Albanian Piano Music Marsida Koni (piano) rec. 2017
PIANO CLASSICS PCL10149 [68:57] [PRB] A most enjoyable and enlightening CD.
Works by Bridge, Britten, Phibbs & Turnage - Piatti Qt rec. 2017/18
CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD145
A very well performed disc that presents quartets from different generations, which sit together very well indeed.
Estrellita Elena Urioste (violin)
Tom Poster (piano) rec. 2017 BIS BIS2428 SACD [69:40]
[JW] A pleasing selection of arrangements.
Lest We Forget
Chichester Cathedral Ch/Charles Harrison
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD562 [64:56] [ST]
It isn’t the finest choral CD to have come my way this year but it’s still worthwhile, and
for a good cause.
Notorious RBG in Song Patrice Michaels (vocals)
Kuang-Hao Huang (piano) rec. 2017/18 CEDILLE RECORDS CDR90000178 [56:30]
[MB] Music that is affecting and the singing more than
hits the mark.