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Wednesday October 31st

Sarkis BARKHUDARIAN (1887–1973) Music for Piano - Mikael Ayrapetyan (piano) rec. 2017 GRAND PIANO RECORDS GP775 [73:51] [RB] Another accessibly welcoming world opens out for the curious.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Piano Trios Vol. 1 - Van Baerle Trio rec. 2017 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72765 SACD [79:50] [DJB] Overly safe and somewhat characterless.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 9 Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 13 - Mikhail Petrenko (bass) Dresdner Philharmonie/Michael Sanderling rec. 2017/18 SONY CLASSICS 19075874362 [67.24 + 63.53] [MC] Compelling performances bolstered by excellent sound.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848) Lucia di Lammermoor - Edita Gruberova (soprano) Ch & O Vienna State Opera/Giuseppe Patanč rec 1978 ORFEO C931182I [70:27 + 53:41] [GF] Gruberova’s many admirers will not need my persuasive powers to invest in this issue; others should at least give it a try.

Peter GRAHAM (b.1958) On the Shoulders of Giants; Radio City; New York Movie; Metropolis 1927 - Black Dyke Band/Nicholas Childs, Stephen Cobb rec. 2016-18 NAXOS 8.573968 [64:01] [NB] Something of a mixed bag.

Hieronymus PRAETORIUS (1560-1629) Missa in Festo Sanctissimae Trinitatis - Weser-Renaissance Bremen/Manfred Cordes CPO 777 954-2 [70.27] [GH] Some good aspects but a few issues with the sound.

Pierre WISSMER (1915-1992) Oeuvres Concertantes - Eva Zavaro (violin), Hungarian SO/Alain Pĺris rec. 2018 CLAVES CD1811 [77:54] [RB] The works here fall either side of the division between early hedonism and later neo-classicism and complication.

Advent Live Ch St John's College Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha rec. 2014-17 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD535 [60:19] [JQ] This disc gives a very good flavour of the excellent Advent music at St John’s.

Ŕ Portuguesa Iberian Concertos & Sonatas - O Barocca Casa da Música/Andreas Staier (harpsichord) rec. 2018 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902337 [64:55] [PRB] Superb playing and absorbing choice of repertoire.

Wandering Pathways Variations for Recorder and Strings - John Turner (recorders), Camerata Ens & The Manchester Chamber Ens/Richard Howarth, New World Ens/Andy Long PRIMA FACIE PFCD091 [69:27] [JF] A splendid collection.

Tuesday October 30th

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Henri DUTILLEUX (1916–2013) Symphony No.1, Métaboles, Les Citations - O Ntl Lille/Jean-Claude Casadesus rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573746 [61:27] [JF] A splendid addition to the Naxos survey of Dutilleux’s music.

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Orchestral Works Vol. 4 - Guy Johnston (cello) BBC PO/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5192 SACD [77:02] [RB] Davis is in truly excellent form for this collection while the orchestra and Chandos team most assuredly conspire in this.

Ketil HVOSLEF (b. 1939) Chamber Works No. V - Hvoslef Chamber Music Project rec. 2016 LAWO LWC1156 [48:08] [SSi] An ideal introduction to Hvoslef’s chamber music.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto, Octet - Chouchane Siranossian (violin) Anima Eterna Brugge/Jakob Lehmann rec. 2016/17 ALPHA 410 [59:46] [RHa] Evidence that in certain cases youth actually isn’t wasted on the young; the concerto is fine enough but the ‘original’ octet is revelatory.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphonies No. 4 & 10 - Russian Ntl O/Mikhail Pletnev rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186647 [2 SACDs: 132:30] [JQ] A lacklustre account of the Fourth makes it difficult to recommend this package with great enthusiasm.

Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899) Aschenbrödel - ORF RSO Wien/Ernst Theis rec. 2014 CPO 777 950-2 [2 CDs: 99:05] [RMay] An interesting and well-performed account of Strauss’s only ballet score as he intended it to be heard.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) A Sea Symphony - Elizabeth Llewellyn (soprano); Marcus Farnsworth (baritone) BBC SO & Ch/Martin Brabbins rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68245 [70:53] [PRB] Not a first choice, but certainly a good performance.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) Cello Concertino, Preludes - Marina Tarasova (cello) Musica Viva CO/Alexander Rudin rec. 2018 NORTHERN FLOWERS NF/PMA99131 [63:56] [RB] Super-vivid, red in tooth and claw and rippling with close-quarters voltage.

Rudolf Serkin (piano) Early & Unpublished Recordings - Adolf Busch (violin) London PO/Julius Harrison rec. 1936/1940 PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM077 [72:21] [JW] The rarity value of this disc is high.

Sonata Reminiscenza Anna Zassimova (piano) rec. 2009 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC18022 [72.46] [MC] Asimov is in irresistible form here, performing a fascinating selection of Russian piano.

Monday October 29th 

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Duke Bluebeard's Castle Francis POULENC (1899-1963) La Voix Humaine - John Relyea (bass) Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo) Barbara Hannigan (soprano) Paris Opera O/Esa-Pekka Salonen rec. 2015 ARTHAUS DVD 109364 [121 mins] [WH] An unexpected double bill: musically outstanding but the staging is perverse.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Gabriel DUPONT (1878-1914) La maison dans les dunes Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Images - Severin von Eckardstein (piano) rec. 2017 ARTALINNA ATL-A020 [73:50] [SG] One of the most satisfying piano recordings I have heard this year.

Valery Alexandrovich GAVRILIN (1939-1999) The War Letters, Theatre Divertimento, The Earth - Leningrad Radio & TV SO, Instrumental Ens & Children’s Ch/Stanislaw Gorkovenko & Feodor Kozlov rec. 1980/83 NORTHERN FLOWERS NFPMA99126 [63:14] [RB] Gavrilin steps forward with quantity and distinctive invention heedless of classical/pop boundaries.

Michele MASCITTI (1664-1760) Sonate a violino solo e basso Opera ottava - Gian Andrea Guerra (violin), Nicola Brovelli (cello), Matteo Cicchitti (violone), Luigi Accardo (harpsichord) rec. 2017 ARCANA A111 [76:11] [JV] An impressive monument to an unjustly neglected composer.

Řrjan MATRE (b. 1979) Konsert for Orkester - Peter Herresthal (violin) Oslo PO/Peter Szilvay rec. 2017 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1155 [62:58] [RHa] Immersive and enjoyable; more than “just” a Concerto for Orchestra.

Sir Charles Hubert Hastings PARRY (1848-1918) Complete Music for String Quartet - Archaeus Qt rec. 2017 MPR 102 [44:15 + 37:23] [JQ] A useful survey.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Works for Piano Trio - Trio Rafale rec. 2017 COVIELLO CLASSICS COV91808 [55:11 + 65:46] [RWe] While I can’t definitively recommend this newcomer above the established leaders, it is a most welcome addition.

Brahms The Progressive Works by Brahms, Berg & Webern - Pina Napolitano (piano) rec. 2017 ODRADEK ODRCD330 [64.13] [MC] A fascinating programme of solo piano music which despite a couple of caveats is worthy of attention.

Sir Dan Godfrey: A Sesquicentennial Salute rec. 1927-1934 PRISTINE CLASSICAL PASC534 [74:38] [RB] What better way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Dan Godfrey?

Sviatoslav Richter (piano) Richter in Brooklyn - Sviatoslav Richter (piano), Latvian National SO/Paul Mägi rec. 1965-93 PARNASSUS PACD96061-62 [67:49+70:33] [JW] No denying the ferocity and sensitivity of the performances.

Friday October 26th

Joly BRAGA SANTOS (1924-1988) Piano Concerto, Symphonic Overtures, Viver ou Morrer - Goran Filipec (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Álvaro Cassuto rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573903 [62.12] [BSt] A splendidly performed and recorded miscellany that usefully mops up some rarities from both main phases of the composer’s career.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) & György LIGETI (1923-2006) Horn Trios - André Cazalet (horn) Guy Comentale (violin) Cyril Huvé (piano) rec. 1989 CALLIOPE CAL1857 [51:39] [SB] A fine reissue of this now popular coupling.

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) The Vision of Cleopatra, Two Choral Pieces, Fantastic Variations, For Valour - Ch & O English Ntl Opera/Martyn Brabbins rec. 2017 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX7348 SACD [73:37] [NB] Not an entry-point disc for Brian but a valuable addition for the already converted.

Kyle GANN (b. 1955) Custer and Sitting Bull, So Many Little Dyings, Scenario - Kenneth Patchen, Martha Herr (voice) Kyle Gann (voice & electronics) rec. 2007/12 NEW WORLD 80801 [59:27] [RB] Progressive yes but touching off emotional reactions left and right.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) The Sound of Weimar: The Orchestral Works in Authentic Sound - Chorus Sine Nomine, O Wiener Akademie/Martin Haselböck rec. 2010-17 GRAMOLA 99150 [9 CDs: 602:13] [JWe] A wonderful set and essential buying for any Lisztian, but be aware it’s not the complete works.

Guillaume de MACHAUT (c.1300-1377) The Gentle Physician - Orlando Consort rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68206 [59.34] [GH] I do not find that the Orlando Consort are able to offer the variety required when listening to 14th Century music.

Vissarion SHEBALIN (1902–1963) Complete Music for Violin & Piano - Sergey Kostylev (violin) Olga Solovieva (piano) rec. 2010-15 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0327 [54:54] [RB] A traditionalist with a creative style that puts his music alongside that of Tchaikovsky: precise, witty, delicately pin-sharp and breathlessly darting.

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] [JQ] An extremely attractive and interesting Strauss anthology.

Antonio VALENTE (c1520 - c1580) Intavolatura de cimbalo - Fabio Falcone (harpsichord, virginal), Ens L' Amorosa Caccia rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95326 [73:43] [JV] Excellent performances by Falcone and his ensemble.

Alla Zingarese Civitas & Gipsy Way Ensembles rec. 2017 CEDILLE CDR90000179 [46:33 + 41:38] [JWe] An enjoyable meeting of musical minds.

Thursday October 25th

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein Deutsches Requiem - Matt Sullivan (baritone) Natasha Schnur (soprano) Yale Schola Cantorum & Ens/David Hill rec. 2017 HYPERION CDA68242 [66:21] [RHa] The arrangement may not be entirely successful, but there is outstanding singing and playing to enjoy.

Walter BRICHT (1904–1970) Orchestral Music Vol. 1 - Fort Wayne Philharmonic/Andrew Constantine rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0488 [58:04] [RB] Late-romantic, tonal with the accent, lisp and slur of Franz Schmidt's orchestral work.

Hans GÁL (1890-1987) Piano Trio Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Trio No. 2 - Briggs Piano Trio rec. 2018 AVIE AV2390 [63:05] [MC] The Gál Trio, a worthy work that deserves to be heard more often, comes with a splendid performance of the Shostakovich Second Trio.

Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Amphion, Pacific 231, Jour de fête suisse, Piano Concertino, Horace victorieux, Sérénade à Angélique - Andrée Honegger-Vaurabourg (piano), O SWR Baden-Baden/Arthur Honegger rec. 1949 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1497-98 [42:39 + 41:58] [JW] A wildly contrasting and vividly played concert and it’s good to have it made available.

Hans SOMMER (1837-1922) Ballads and Romances - Sebastian Noack (baritone), Manuel Lange (piano) rec. 2013 CAVI-MUSIC 8553389 [64:26] [RB] A lighter-complexioned voice that yet captures these songs' drama, darkness and sunnier pages.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Salome excerpts, Lieder Arrigo BOITO (1842-1918) Mefistofele excerpts - Montserrat Caballé (soprano), Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass), O Ntl France, Vienno PO/Leonard Bernstein rec. 1977 ELOQUENCE 476 2467 [66:32] [RMo] A general, wide appeal to admirers of Bernstein, the singer soloists and the two operas in general.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 3 Alexander SCRIABIN (1871-1915) Piano Concerto - Xiayin Wang (piano); Royal Scottish Ntl O/Peter Oundjian rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5216 SACD [75:08] [DM] Xiayin Wang just gets better and better; well worth your time and money.

Anton URSPRUCH (1850-1907) Complete Piano works - Ana-Marija Markovina (piano) rec. 2016 HÄNSSLER CLASSICS HC16015 [3 CDs: 171:47] [JWe] I really wish that Urspruch had written more solo piano music so that there would be more for Ana Marija-Markovina to record.

American Symphonies Works by Albert, Jones & Piston - London SO/Lance Friedel rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2118 SACD [78:08] [JQ] A most interesting and successful programme, marvellously played and in outstanding sound.

Martha Argerich (piano) The Successful Beginning rec. 1957-61 PROFIL PH18050 [4 CDs: 245:32] [RC] Young Argerich, sometimes errant Argerich, but mostly thrilling and thoroughly compelling.

 




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