NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
Stanfordian Thoughts 6: Fairy Day
by Christopher Howell
[New] Piano Trio Discography & Review Index:
Ernst Maerzendorfer and the First
Recorded Cycle of Haydn Symphonies II by Christopher Howell
Second Thoughts and Short Reviews: Autumn
2018/1 by Brian Wilson
& Dan Morgan
Wagner's Tristan und Isolde - a survey of recordings
by Ralph Moore
Alpha Classics reissues and
other Outhere releases - a survey by Brian Wilson
Classical Music on
Stamps This week: The Mozart bicentenary in 1991
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Wednesday September 19th
ARNELL (1917-2009) & Stanley
BATE (1911-1959) Violin Sonatas - Patrick
Wastnage (violin) Elizabeth Dunn (piano) rec.
2017 TOCCATA TOCC0492
[64:57] [JW] These are all premiere commercial
recordings and as such are warmly welcomed.
OF THE MONTH Mason
BATES (b. 1977) The (R)evolution
of Steve Jobs - Kelly Markgraf, Edward
Parks (baritone) Sasha Cooke (mezzo) The Santa
Fe Opera O/Michael Christie rec. 2017 PENTATONE
SACD PTC5186690 [47:34 + 46:41] [RHa]
Thrillingly recorded, Mason Bates’s
and Mark Campbell’s imaginative and coherent
opera is a must-hear.
BERSA (1873-1934) Complete
Piano Music Vol. 1 - Goran Filipec
(piano) rec. 2016 GRAND PIANO GP767
[56:12] [RB] Stormy headlong romanticism
and pensively cooling fragility.
BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony
No. 8 - Royal Danish O/Hartmut Haenchen
rec. 2017 GENUIN GEN18622 [69:20]
[RMo] I cannot get excited about a recording
which evinces so little cognisance of the mystery
and transcendence inherent in the music.
Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916)
Goyescas, Ochos valses poéticos -
Xiayin Wang (piano), rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHAN10995 [70:00] [CSe]
Wang’s power and virtuosity conjure both the yearning of late-nineteenth-century Romanticism and the gorgeous colours, textures, scents and sentiments of Spain.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1956-1791) Piano Concerto No. 23; Symphonies Nos 35
& 41 ‘Jupiter’ -
Michal Roll (piano), London Mozart Players/Harry Blech, rec. 1973/74 HERITAGE HTGCD209 [75:39]
A very timely reminder of a truly committed conductor.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Romeo and Juliet -
Baltimore SO/Marin Alsop, rec. 2015 NAXOS 8.573534-35 [2 CDs: 144:14]
Alsop’s Romeo and Juliet ranks with the best.
Trains of Thought
Works by Cuong, Françaix, Poulenc, Rossini & Shostakovich -
Poulenc Trio, rec. 2016 DELOS DE3543 [58:31]
[MR] Immense musical fun from an ensemble who bring so much life that one’s only reaction is to want to hear more of it.
Tuesday September 18th
DVORAK (1841-1904) Symphony
No. 9 Franz SCHUBERT
(1797-1828) Symphony No.8 - Munich
PO/Sergiu Celibidache rec. 1985/88 MÜNCHNER
[74:08] [JWh] Some will find it controversial,
but I will stick my neck out and say
that this is one of the great recordings of
the ‘New World’.
The Red Poppy - St Petersburg State SO/André
Anichanov rec. 1994 NAXOS 8.553496-7
[50:21 + 57:50] [RB] Tawdry gaud and corn
among golden acres that offer much to enjoy.
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Cello Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Verklärte Nacht - Trondheim Soloists/Alisa Weilerstein (cello)
rec. 2018 PENTATONE PTC5186717
[73:00] [BW] Oddities of coupling apart, a very fine first recording for Alisa
Weilerstein for Pentatone with her Trondheim Soloists.
STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) The Soldier’s
Tale - Malcolm Sinclair (narrator) LSO Chamber
En/Roman Simovic (violin) rec. 2015 LSO
LIVE LSO5074 SACD
[55:36] [RWe] A superbly recorded and magnificently
Vivaldi x2 - La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler
(baroque violin) rec. 2018 AVIE AV2392
[75.32] [MC] A sure-fire winner.
Anna Fedorova (piano) Four Fantasies rec. 2018 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS41318
[DM] Accomplished playing, undermined by expressive reticence; odd programme,
The English Flute Unheard James Dutton (flute) Oliver Davies (piano)
rec. 2017 MPR 101 [75:14] [JW]
A wisely selected programme, with stylistically
Lamond (piano) The Liszt recordings
& Electrola electrical recordings
rec. 1919-1941 APR 7310 [3
CDs: 238:12] [SG] A handsome 150th anniversary
Monday September 17th
Julius BELICZAY (1835-1893)
Symphony No. 1, Serenade - Budapest Concert Orchestra-MÁV/Tamás Gál
Music that gently stirs the emotions from a composer whose obscurity is agreeably disrupted by this disc.
Henry BRANT (1913-2008)
Wind, Water, Clouds and Fire; Litany of Tides; Trinity of Spheres rec. 1979/83
If you’re adventurous but getting short of adventures, Brant’s spatialism could be right up your street.
Arthur LOURIÉ (1892-1966) Piano Works
Christian Erny (piano) rec. 2018 ARS PRODUCTION ARS38248 SACD [54:12]
[SB] For the really curious: music by Stravinsky’s assistant in the 1920s.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Octet - Dresdner Oktett rec. 2017
A performance to treasure.
VERDI (1813-1901) Nabucco -
George Gagnidze (baritone) Susanna Branchini (soprano) O & Ch Arena
Verona/Daniel Oren rec. 2017 BELAIR CLASSICS Blu-ray BAC448
[137 mins] [SSi] This production suffers from a confusing staging and lacks any truly world class solo singing, although the chorus and orchestra are in fine form.
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958)
Piano Concerto, Oboe Concerto, Serenade to Music, Flos Campi - Louis
Lortie (piano) Teng Li (viola) Sarah Jeffrey (oboe) Elmer Iseler
Singers, Toronto SO/Peter Oundjian rec. 2017 CHANDOS CHSA5201
SACD [82:21] [WH] An unusual and beautifully delivered
Vaughan Williams programme - not to be missed.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883), Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)
& Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) Orchestral works - Suisse Romande
O, Vienna PO/Horst Stein rec. 1973/77 ELOQUENCE 4825207 [67:35 + 81:26]
This set is worth buying for the Viennese Weber & Wagner, rather less so for the Swiss Wolf.
Leopold Stokowski Works by
Arnold, Enescu, Glière & Tchaikovsky - Ilse Hollweg (soprano), BBC SO,
International Festival Youth O rec. 1954/73
CAMEO CLASSICS CC9107
Jorge Andrés BOSSO
Tangos at an Exhibition
Jorge Andrés Bosso (cello)
LIMEN DVD096CD096 [CD & DVD: 62:53] [SB]
The tango has been reinvented almost unrecognizably here, and not successfully
Friday September 14th
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos 4
& 5 -
Vienna SO/Philippe Jordan
rec. 2017 WIENER SYMPHONIKER WS014 [66:25] [RC] If not revelatory, still very fine.
(1889-1967) Orchestral works - Benjamin Baker (violin)
Nadège Rochat (cello) BBC Concert O/Ronald Corp rec. 2017 DUTTON
VOCALION CDLX7352 SACD [83:53] [JW] It’s a pleasure to welcome so interesting a disc as this.
BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony
No. 5 - Internationale Junge O Akademie/Matthias
Foremny rec. 2018 ORCHESTRA CD 2018
[75:31] [RMo] If not the ultimate in individuality,
this is still a splendidly executed and wholly
PAGANINI (1782-1840) Works for
violin and orchestra - Mario Hossen (violin)
Vienna Classical Players/Martin Kerschbaum rec.
2017 DYNAMIC CDS7797
[51:23] [JWh] Hossen’s playing is
fabulous but the CD is probably primarily of
interest to lovers of violin virtuosity and
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Piano works Vol. 1 -
Bernard Roberts (piano) rec. 2003 CLAUDIO RECORDS CR5362-2 [71.51]
[DBi] An enjoyable disc, played with great dignity and a high degree of skill.
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Symphonies Nos
1 & 5 -
Kirill Gerstein (piano)
Alisa Kolosova (mezzo)
Alexey Dolgov (tenor)
Oslo PO & Ch/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2017 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1160 [69.38]
[MC] Top-drawer performances that round off a valuable Scriabin series.
Clarinet & Friends A
- Ian Mitchell (bass clarinet) Gemini &
friends rec. 2017/18 MÉTIER
MSV28579 [39:39 + 49:38] [JF]
Thoroughly enjoyable from the first track
to the last.
& Co Originals Russian
Music for Military Band - Marine Band Royal Netherlands
Navy/Major Arjan Tien rec. 2017/18 CHANNEL
CLASSICS CCS40818 [61:25] [RB] A
superb project … virile and vital.
Thursday September 13th
BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Broadway to
Hollywood - Hannover Philharmonie/Iain Sutherland rec. 1993
SOMM ARIADNE 5002 [75:20] [MC] Undoubtedly an entertaining live concert, but on record the competition is fierce.
Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Violin Concerto Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 4 - Wanda Wilkomirska (violin),
Warsaw PO/Witold Rowicki rec. 1967
ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD12/2011
A remarkable performance of the Britten Violin Concerto which alone is worth the price of the CD.
Robert GROSLOT (b.1951) Violin Concerto,
Concerto for Orchestra -
Joanna Kurkowicz (violin)
Brussels PO/Robert Groslot rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573808 [60:00]
[RB] An impressive, indeed magical, violin concerto.
David LANG (b.1957) writing on water
London Sinfonietta/Jurjen Hempel CANTALOUPE CA21139 [64:42]
Excellent performances and recordings of four uncompromising pieces by the Bang on a Can stalwart.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Cello Concerto No. 1 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto - Paul Tortelier (cello),
Endre Wolf (violin),
London SO/Norman Del Mar, Walter Goehr, Philharmonia O/Herbert Menges
FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR58
The first in an enticing series of early stereo recordings.
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Messa da Requiem - Christine Brewer (soprano), Karen Cargill (mezzo-soprano), Stuart Neill (tenor), John Relyea (bass),
London SO & Ch/Sir Colin Davis rec. 2009
LSO LIVE LSO0683 SACD
[45:38 + 36:26] [JQ]
A very fine and very satisfying performance.
Concertgebouw O Amsterdam rec. 1950-68
For Concertgebouw fans this is a real bargain.
Fragments The Juniper Project
rec. 2017/18 DIVINE ART DDA25179 [52:59]
Superb playing, in a programme which explores many delightful byways of
music that surely deserve discovery.