NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] Second Thoughts & Short Reviews:
Summer 2019/1 by Brian Wilson, Dan Morgan and Simon Thompson
Bizet's Carmen - a survey by Ralph Moore
Piano Trio Discography:
Boccanegra - a survey by Ralph Moore
Verdi's Rigoletto - a survey by Ralph Moore
[New] Jazz Reviews
Mildred Bailey ~~
Red Allen ~~
Vadim Neselovsky Trio ~~
Sarah Gail Brand ~~
Early Hot Jazz & Ragtime
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Wednesday July 31st
(1854-1928) Piano works - Jan Bartoš (piano) rec. 2019
SUPRAPHON SU4266-2 [75:36]
Zoltán Fejérvári (piano) rec. 2018 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10176 [70:56]
Two new exponents of Janáček’s piano works provide much enjoyment, but do not displace Firkušny
Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Piano Trio
Piano Quartet -
Leonore Piano Trio,
Rachel Roberts (viola) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68276 [65:31]
Incandescent readings which will win over many to these captivating scores.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Piano Concerto No. 2; Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Piano Concerto No. 1 - Haochen Zhang (piano); Lahti SO/Dima Slobodeniouk
rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2381 SACD
Zhang’s Prokofiev is very good, his Tchaikovsky excellent; a bright new
star in the musical firmament.
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 7 -
Leningrad PO/ Evgeny Mravinsky
rec. 1953 VANGUARD CLASSICS OVC1030 [72.37] [DBi] An extraordinary and historic recording that should be in all collections of 20th century music.
Stuart Saunders SMITH (b. 1948)
Kyle Adam Blair (piano) rec. 2015-16 NEW WORLD RECORDS 80813-2 [62:35]
[RB] Music spare and lucid transmitting as a colloquy rather than an oration.
Leonardo Da Vinci: La Musique Secrète
Doulce Mémoire/Denis Raisin Dadre rec. 2018 ALPHA CLASSICS 456 [78:03]
A major issue, for intelligence of concept and for the beauty of the execution and presentation.
Elly Ney (piano)
The complete Brunswick & Electrola solo 78rpm recordings rec. 1922-38
APR 7311 [3 CDs: 232 mins] [JW] Valuable additions to Ney’s discography.
(tenor) Works by Mahler, Schumann & Wolf -
Michael Gees (piano) rec. 2005/6 HÄNSSLER HC19006 [63:20 + 66:33]
[GF] Superlative music making, but Spartan presentation.
Tuesday July 30th
La damnation de Faust - Mathias Vidal (tenor)
Louise, Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth rec.
2018 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES CVS010 DVD [127 mins]
A performance of La damnation de Faust that is worthy of Berlioz’s genius in every way - vraiment magnifique!
Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Poème de l’amour et de la mer,
Véronique Gens (soprano)
Lille Ntl O/Alexandre Bloch rec. 2018 ALPHA 441 [60.07] [PCG]
Gens and Bloch shed new light on the music.
Joseph MARX (1882-1964)
Romantisches Klavierkonzert, Castelli Romani
David Lively (piano)
Bochum SO/Steven Sloane rec. 2004 NAXOS 8.573834 [72:48]
[PRB] The most enjoyable CD I have had the pleasure of reviewing for some considerable time.
Of Light and Dust Mari Askvik (mezzo) Kammerkoret NOVA/Yuval Weinberg rec. 2018 LAWO LWC1168 [56:22] [SSi] A beautiful disc of unusual choral music on the themes of belief and doubt.
Edith Peinemann (violin) The SWR Studio Recordings rec. 1952-1965 SWR MUSIC SWR19074CD [5 CDs: 335:00] [SG] Considering Peinemann’s meagre discography, this wonderful collection is a valuable addition.
Songs of Late Summer Sami Luttinen (bass) Tuula Hällström (piano) rec. 2017 ALBA ABCD427 [54:52]
[GF] Two song cycles which require patience to draw out their secrets, but the effort is worth it.
Monday July 29th
Andrew ANDERSON (b. 1971) Piano Quartets Nos
1 & 2 -
Australia Piano Qt rec. 2018 NAVONA RECORDS NV6235 [65:01]
[PRB] Superb and totally committed performances.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Romeo & Juliet Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Études Tableaux -
Dzmitry Ulasiuk (piano) rec. 2017 CENTAUR CRC3698 [62:12]
A debut album which must be regarded as a major achievement.
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Pique Dame
Brandon Jovanovich (tenor) Evgenia Muraveva (soprano) Vienna PO/Mariss Jansons
rec. 2018 C MAJOR 801504 Blu-ray [183 mins] [DBi] Tchaikovsky's wonderful opera in another great musical performance and a sadly odd production.
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Missa & Cantatas for Countertenor - Alex Potter (alto), Michael Fuerst (organ), la dolcezza/Veronika Skuplik rec. 2017
CPO 555 192-2
Alex Potter delivers incisive and moving performances of these fine works by Telemann.
Johan Botha (tenor)
Italian Opera Arias rec. 1998-2007
[70:54 + 68:49] [GF]
Johan Botha’s many admirers should doubtless invest without delay.
The Grand Mogul Barthold Kuijken (baroque flute), Indiana Baroque O rec.
2013-18 NAXOS 8.573899
[BW] Outshines the competition in some of the music and is not far behind in
Ruggiero Ricci (violin)
Discovered Tapes: Showpieces rec. 1946-1986
RHINE CLASSICS RH-012
[4 CDs: 280:06] [SG]
Ricci, intrepid and daring, in the sort of music he excelled in.
Friday July 26th
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
2 & 4 -
Philadelphia O/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1929/33 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC562 [79:54]
[JW] Top-class transfers.
Françoise CHOVEAUX (b. 1953)
Orchestral & chamber works -
Rimsky-Korsakov String Qt,
St Petersburg CO/Yuri Serov rec. 2001/2 NORTHERN FLOWERS NF/PMA9909 [60:47]
[SG] On the evidence here, I look forward to hearing more of the composer's music.
Alessandro GRANDI (1590-1630)
Celesti Fiori -
Academia d’Arcania, UtFaSol Ens/Alessandro Rossi Lürig rec. 2018 ARCANA A464 [62.39]
[GH] A fascinating, well-engineered introduction to a composer whose reputation should be higher than it is at present.
(b.1973) Orchestral Works - Elvira Misbakhova (viola) Oksana Sushkova (harp)
Belarusian State CO/Evgeny Bushkov rec. 2018
CHANDOS CHAN20141 [59:33] [RB]
Unafraid of sentimentality … sweetened through tenderness … very easy to like.
Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951)
Verklärte Nacht Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955)
Symphony No. 2 -
Baltic CO/Leducq-Barôme rec. 2018 RUBICON RCD1043 [56.30]
[DBi] A superb disc which I would put into the essential category.
Simon O’Neill (tenor) Distant Beloved
Terence Dennis (piano) rec. 2015/16 DECCA 481 7905 [65:51]
[GF] A serious effort from a gifted singer, but overshadowed by some even better competitors.
Thursday July 25th
Gerald FINZI (1901-1956)
Choral works David BEDNALL (b. 1979) Nunc dimittis - Alexander Hamilton, Asher Oliver (organ), Trinity College Ch Cambridge/Stephen Layton rec. 2017-2018
Much to reward the listener.
Charles FUSSELL (b. 1938) Cymbeline
Boston Modern O Project/Gil Rose rec. 2016 BMOP SOUND 1059 [55:02]
[SB] The BMOP is much to be commended, but this work, though well played, was a disappointment.
Felice GIARDINI (1716-1796) Duets for Two Violins - Archimie Duo rec. 2018
Well-crafted music, a ‘galant’ musical conversation which makes for delightful home listening.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Symphony No. 6
- SWR SO/Michael Gielen
- rec. 1971/2013 SWR MUSIC SWR19080CD
[3 CDs: 172:51] [DM]
Gielen’s Salzburg Sixth crowns a distinguished career studded with
awards, honours and world premieres; its companion, recorded 42 years
earlier, is of passing interest only.
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Complete Solo Piano Works Live - Sergio Fiorentino (piano) rec. 1987
RHINE CLASSICS RH-006
[6 CDs: 429 mins] [JW]
A superbly realised cycle from a romantic lion of the keyboard.
Johann Joseph RÖSLER (1771-1812)
Symphony, Piano Concerto -
Alena Hönigová (fortepiano)
O Eisenberg/Jiří Sycha rec. 2018 KORAMANT RECORDS KR11003 [57:34]
[DJB] You need to be receptive to the authentic instrument sound, but the music is worth it.
Edvard Grieg Kor Sings Grieg Works by Grieg, Bull, Grøndahl & Lang rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5232 SACD [64:02]
[GF] Maybe not for purists but for everybody else.