NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
- a survey by Ralph Moore
[New] Second Thoughts & Short Reviews Winter
2019-2 by Brian Wilson & Dan Morgan
[New] Martin Dalby - an obituary by Kenneth
Berlioz's Les Troyens
- a survey by Ralph Moore
Wagner's Ring cycle - a survey by Ralph Moore
A revival of Parry's Judith by John Quinn
Stanfordian Thoughts 9: His
most played work by Christopher Howell
Acte Préalable: Zygmunt Noskowski - Complete Songs Vols 1-3;
Otton Mieczyslaw Zukowski - Opera Omnia Secularia vols 1-2; Romuald
Twardowski - In the Night's Stillness
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Thursday February 21st
Arnold BAX (1883-1953)
Piano Sonata, In the Night, Four Pieces, Legend Harriet COHEN (1895-1967) Russian Impressions - Mark Bebbington (piano)
One for both the dedicated Bax collector and the yet-to-be converted.
Marco Antonio CAVAZZONI
(c1490-c1560) Complete Works -
Glen Wilson (harpsichord) rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.572998 [79:34] [JV]
A disc of great importance.
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Overture In Nature's Realm, Cello Concerto Josef SUK (1874-1935)
A Fairy Tale - Saša Večtomov (cello),
Central Bohemia SO/Miloš Zelenka rec. 1973
ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD9/2009
The Dvořák concerto must be heard - a remarkable concert captured with moderate fidelity.
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924), Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899)
& Erik SATIE (1866-1925) Piano Trios -
Fidelio Trio rec. 2018 RESONUS CLASSICS RES10232 [56:05]
[DJB] Short measure in both runtime and expression.
Michael FINE (b. 1950)
Seasons - Igor Gruppman, Vesna Stefanovich-Gruppman (violins), Royal Scottish Ntl O/Philip Mann
Well performed and beautifully recorded, but unvarying and unengaging, musical wallpaper.
Roberto GERHARD (1896-1970)
Federico MOMPOU (1893-1987) Complete Music
for Solo Guitar -
Marco Ramelli (guitar) rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95679 [53:40]
[JF] A wonderful CD of lovely music, much of it rarely heard, very well played and in brilliant sound.
Konstantia GOURZI (b. 1962)
Warchild - Ensemble Oktopus/Konstantia Gourzi (piano) rec. 2006
An interesting, intensely atmospheric and often deeply moving recording.
Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
What Men Live By, Symphony No. 1 -
Czech Philharmonic/Jiří Bělohlávek
rec. 2014/16 SUPRAPHON SU 4233-2 [75:57] [MC] A world premičre recording of Martinů’s one-act opera and a first-rate performance of the First Symphony.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas Nos
19-21, Klavierstücke -
Alexander Lonquich (piano) rec. 2017 ALPHA CLASSICS 433 [84:03 + 67:00]
[RWe] A set of individual interpretations, well worth a place in the catalogue.
Marcin Kuźniar (guitar)
Song Without Words rec. 2017
Convincing performances and a perceptive choice of works.
Wednesday February 20th
Family Complete Organ Music
- Stefano Molardi, Luca Scandali, Filippo Turri
(organ) rec. 2013-18 BRILLIANT CLASSICS
95803 [24 CDs] [SSi] A largely
enjoyable survey of the organ music of the family
Bach, which whilst definitely not ‘complete’,
is certainly quite comprehensive.
Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Ode
for Saint Cecilia's Day, Concerto Grosso
- Ian Bostridge (tenor) Carolyn Sampson (soprano)
Polish Radio Ch/Dunedin Consort/John Butt (harpsichord)
rec. 2018 LINN RECORDS CKD578
[61.15] [MC] An outstanding performance
crammed with vitality and colour.
Emmerich KÁLMÁN (1882 – 1953)
Kaiserin Josephine - Vincent Schirrmacher, Miriam Portmann, Franz Lehár
O/Marius Burkert rec. 2017 CPO 555 136-2 [71:58 +73:43]
[GF] One for the operetta collector – not Kálmán at his best.
NEMESCU (b 1940) Symphonies Nos 5 & 6 - Romanian
Radio Ntl O/Horia Andreescu DUX 1520
[62:21] [RHa] Not for the faint-hearted.
Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941) &
Miroslaw GASIENIEC (b.1954)
Violin Sonatas - Jacek Ropski (violin) Miroslaw
Gasieniec (piano) rec. 2016 WRATISLAVIA
WRP0104 [63:07] [BSt] A fine Paderewski
violin sonata with an interesting coupling –
well worth exploring.
Manuel PONCE (1882-1948)
Orchestral works Vol. 1 - San Luis Potosí SO/José Miramontes Zapata
rec. 2015/18 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0502 [70:54] [JW] A most auspicious start to the Ponce series.
Steve REICH (b. 1936)
Colin Currie Group, Synergy Vocals rec. 2017 COLIN CURRIE RECORDS CCR0001 [55:09]
[ST] Valuable, interesting and often very exciting.
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphony No. 1;
En Saga -
Gothenburg Symphony/Santtu-Matias Rouvali rec. 2018 ALPHA 440 [58:44]
A truly superb disc, in excellent sound.
Dream Tryst Choral works by
Dyson & Holst - Godwine Ch/Alex Davan Wetton & Edward Hughes)
rec. 2017 EM RECORDS EMRCDR049 [51:48] [JQ]
Collectors who like English part songs should definitely investigate this release.
Sara Ott (piano) Nightfall
rec. 2018 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON
4835187 [66.10] [RBe] A
disappointing recording: the main works are
not in the premier league.
Tuesday February 19th
Dan GEORGESCU (b. 1938) Model
Mioritic - Soloists, Ch & O Opera Stat
Cluj/Petru Zbarcea, Emil Maxim DUX 1521
[44:26] [RHa] An unexpectedly moving and
somewhat unique musical experience.
HAYDN (1732-1809) Piano & Cello
Concertos Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Cello Suites - Martha Argerich (piano) Mischa
Maisky (cello) Amadeus CO/Agnieszka Duczmal
rec. 1992/93 FRYDERYK CHOPIN INSTITUTE
NIFCCD052 [63:11] [SG] Haydn lovers
2 - Ivan Ilić (piano) rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20033 [62:35]
[CC] Fascinating music … a fabulous
SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies
Nos 1 & 6 - B’Rock O/René Jacobs rec.
2018 PENTATONE PTC5186707
SACD [57:39] [MG] Very
fresh performances with dance and drama often
to the fore that challenge you to think again
about Schubert’s approach in its historical
Felix WOYRSCH Symphonies No. 4 & 5 NDR Radiophilharmonie/Thomas Dorsch rec. 2015 CPO 555 063-2 [60:44] [RB] Documenting Woyrsch's musical legacy, making it live and shine again.
Stephen Costello (tenor) A te, o cara
- Kaunas City SO/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2017 DELOS DE3541 [49.57]
[MC] This will complement any opera collection.
El Grial Medieval Music and literature on the theme of the Holy Grail
- Capella de Minstrers/Carlos Magraner
rec. 2018 LICANUS CDM1845 [67.44] [GH] If you like your medieval music colourful and various then this disc will offer hours of ‘fun’.
Halfway Reflections Ryszard Żołędziewski (saxophone),
Marek Werpulewski (piano),
Jacek Ropski (violin) rec. 2012-15 WRATISLAVIA WRP0103 [57:20] [JW]
A well programmed and most attractive selection.
(harpsichord) - French, Italian & Czech
works rec. 2016 ARCODIVA UP0207-2131
[60:23] [SA] Martin Hroch plays with a commanding
presence, bringing with it refinement as well
So Many Stars
Fenella Humphreys (violin),
Nicola Eimer (piano) rec. 2016 STONE RECORDS 5060192780826 [75:18] [JF] A fascinating CD.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Speculation on J. S. Bach: Reconstructed Chamber Music and Chorals - Michael Form (recorder),
Marie Rouquié (violin),
Étienne Floutier (viola da gamba),
Dirk Börner (harpsichord) rec. 2017
PAN CLASSICS PC10384
Every Bach lover will enjoy this disc.
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Flute Sonatas
Dorothea Seel (flute)
Luca Guglielmi (harpsichord) rec. 2009
HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC16005 [48.07] Johann Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837) Flute Sonatas
Dorothea Seel (flute)
Christoph Hammer (fortepiano) rec. 2018 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC18103 [58.41]
[MC] Two interesting albums from flautist Dorothea Seel, who plays exquisitely throughout.
John HARBISON (b. 1938)
Requiem - Nashville SO & Ch/Giancarlo Guerrero rec. 2017
NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559841
John Harbison has been well served by this recording.
PUCCINI (1858-1924) Madama Butterfly
- Ermonela Jaho (soprano) Marcelo Puente (tenor) Royal Opera House Ch &
O/Sir Antonio Pappano rec. 2017 OPUS ARTE OABD7244D Blu-ray
[150 mins] [RC] This is now my choice for this opera on video, particularly for the work of Ermonela Jaho.
Valentin SILVESTROV (b. 1937)
Touching the Memory -
Alexei Lubimov (piano) Ens
Musiques Nouvelles/Jean-Paul Dessy rec. 2008 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95765 [78:01]
[JW] An excellently played selection.
Alexandre TANSMAN (1897-1986)
Piano Music -
Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2018 GRAND PIANO GP788 [66:21]
The playing is radiant and comes to us through the fingers of an artist of the highest integrity.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Siegfried - Hans Hopf (tenor), Birgit Nilsson (soprano), George London (baritone), Metropolitan Opera O/Erich Leinsdorf
[3 CDs: 226:19] [PCG]
A most enjoyable rendition, all the more so because of the unexpected success of some of the casting.
A Certain Slant of Light Songs on Poems by Emily Dickinson - Lisa Delan (soprano), Marseille
PO/Lawrence Foster rec. 2017
PENTATONE PTC5186634 SACD
A mixed bag, but performed with dedication.
Venera Gimadieva (soprano)
Momento Immobile -
Natalia Brzezińska (mezzo)
Alberto Sousa (tenor) Hallé O/Gianluca Marcianň rec. 2018 RUBICON CLASSICS RCD1021 [77:44]
[GF] A sameness in expression in these readings diminishes the pleasure.
The Topping Tooters of the Town Music of the London Waits 1580-1650
- The City Musick rec. 2015
A thoroughly enjoyable disc – I only wish it were longer.
Friday February 15th
Samuel ANDREYEV (b. 1981)
Music With No Edges -
HANATSUmiroir rec 2016/18 KAIROS KAI0015025 [77:47] [RHa] Andreyev’s music is communicative yet challenging; it’s also rather unusual.
AUBERT (1877-1968) Works for violin
& piano - Stéphanie Moraly (violin)
Romain David (piano) rec. 2018 AZUR
CLASSICAL AZC166 [74:59] [SG]
Captivating scores by a neglected composer.
(b. 1951) To the Northeast -
Mornington Singers/Orla Flanagan rec. 2018 DIVINE ART DDA25187 [59:29]
It is already shaping up to be one of my major discoveries of the year.
Nepomuk HUMMEL (1778-1837)
rec. 1995-2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95792
[20 CDs:] [SSi] An excellent collection which
is sure to bring anyone interested in this period
of music many hours of enjoyment.
LUTOSŁAWSKI (1913-1994) Cello
Concerto Henri DUTILLEUX (1916-2013)
Tout un monde lointain - Johannes Moser
(cello) Rundfunk-SO Berlin/Thomas Sřndergĺrd
rec. 2017/18 PENTATONE PTC5186689
SACD [53:52] [LW] Superb
accounts of Lutosławski and Dutilleux cello
concertos on a disc of short measure.
MONIUSZKO (1819-1872) Songs
-Leszek Skrla (baritone) Anna Mikolon (piano)
rec. 2018 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0435
[60:45] [GF] The programme is pleasing, but
I am less enthusiastic about the singing.
SHERWOOD (1866-1939) Suite &
Sonata for 2 pianos Hubert PARRY (1848-1918)
Grosses Duo - Parnassius Piano Duo rec. 2018
LYRITA SRCD.368 [79:01] [JW]
There’s nothing to dislike here and
much to admire.
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Gun-Brit Barkmin (soprano) Daniel Brenna (tenor)
Hong Kong Philharmonic Ch & O/Jaap van Zweden
rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.660428-31 [4 CDs: 263:42] [PCG] At its super-budget price, it has much going for it, though some shortcomings in the singing means that it is not competitive against the best.
Alexander von ZEMLINSKY (1872-1942)
Eine florentinische Tragödie - Heidi Brunner (soprano) Wolfgang
Koch (baritone) Charles Reid (tenor) ORF Vienna RSO/Bertrand de Billy
rec. 2010 CAPRICCIO C5325 [52.18] [MC] A dramatic and suitably decadent depiction.
Grand Organ of Temple Church -
rec. 2018 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100090 [74:15] [MR] Roger Sayer has achieved the near-impossible of rendering this heavyweight programme accessible.