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Tuesday July 16th

Sir Richard Rodney BENNETT (1936-2012) Orchestral Works Vol. 3 - Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano) BBC Scottish SO/John Wilson rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5230 SACD [64.34] [PCG] Well worth exploring, and not just for fans of the composer.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.8 - Tokyo Juventus PO/Kenshiro Sakairi rec. 2018 ALTUS 012/3 [82:00] [MB] All in all, a magnificent disc.

Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764) Les Indes galantes - Véronique Gens (soprano), Purcell Ch, Orfeo O/György Vashegyi rec. 2018 GLOSSA GCD924005 [60:45 + 62:56] [GF] Lovers of baroque opera should invest in this issue without delay.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony No. 3 Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Organ Concerto Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1934) Organ Symphony - Christopher Jacobson (organ), Suisse Romande O/Kazuki Yamada rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186638 SACD [65:31] [JQ] An attractive programme that shows off the organ in Geneva’s Victoria Hall very effectively.

Stefan WOLPE (1902-1972) Music For Two Pianos - Quattro Mani (piano duo) rec. 2016/17 BRIDGE 9516 [67:11] [RHa] This fine two-piano disc easily matches previous instalments in terms of both quality of performance and sound.

Messes de Barcelone et d’Apt Ens Gilles Binchois/Dominique Vellard rec. 2018 EVIDENCE CLASSICS EVCD060 [63:35] [BW] Joins other recordings from this ensemble high in my esteem.

Rohan de Saram (cello) Works by Bax, Cassadó, Dallapiccola & Ligeti rec. 2015 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR49 [58:11] [JW] A credo of devotion, raptly played and recorded.

Monday July 15th

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) String Quartet, Piano Quintet - Martin Roscoe (piano) Brodsky Qt rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN10980 [67:10] [MG] These dramatic, edgy accounts give us the intensity of Elgar’s Indian summer in full measure.

Mikołaj GÓRECKI (b. 1971) Trios - Silesian Trio, Aukso CO Tychy/Marek Moś rec. 2017 DUX 1415 [50:49] [SSi] An intriguing, well-played disc.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Transcendental Études, Waldesrauschen, Gnomenreigen - Sheng Cai (piano) rec. 2018 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22783 [71:19] [RC] A talent to watch out for, even if this is outclassed by the best.

Igor SHAMO (1925-1982) Complete Piano Music - Dimitri Tchesnokov (piano) rec. 2017/18 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10152 [3 CDs: 196:46] [SG] Music whose rewards are plentiful.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) I Lombardi - León de la Guardia (tenor), Ania Jeruc (soprano) Czech Philharmonic Ch Brno, Cappella Aquileia/Marcus Bosch rec. 2018 COVIELLO CLASSICS COV91901 SACD [62:20 + 47:21] [GF] Among some less than perfect singing, Ania Jeruc stands out.

Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House O/Martin Yates (conductor) rec. 2018 OPUS ARTE DVD OA1285D [133 mins] [RM] Another very welcome release of outstanding quality from the Royal Ballet.

Peter Schreier (tenor) Volkslieder - Rundfunkchor Leipzig, Thomanerchores Leipzig/Horst Neumann rec. 1975 BERLIN CLASSICS 030129BC [42:43] [RB] A singer in prime form: springy, green, sappy, direct and touchingly confident.

Welcome home, Mr Dubourg Works by Dubourg, Vivaldi & Corelli - Irish Baroque O/Peter Whelan rec. 2018 LINN RECORDS CKD532 [60:57] [DJB] A forgotten British Baroque composer is given his time in the sun.

Friday July 12th 

Pierre BENOIT (1834-1901) Religious Tetralogy - Namur Chamber Ch, Octopus Symphony Ch, Antwerp SO/Jan Willem de Vriend, Martyn Brabbins, Edo de Waart rec. 2015-17 ROYAL FLEMISH PHILHARMONIC RFP013 [60:24 + 61:51] [WK] Recommended for all admirers of 19th century choral music.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies Nos 6 & 9 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Siegfried Idyll, Parsifal Prelude - Gewandhaus O Leipzig/Andris Nelsons rec. 2018 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 6659 [80:33 + 71:25] [JQ] Anyone following this Andris Nelsons Bruckner cycle can invest with confidence.

Francesco CAVALLI (1602-1676) L’Ormindo - Glyndebourne Opera, London PO/Raymond Leppard rec. 1968 ELOQUENCE 4829382 [73:35 + 60:02] [BW]  Purists should shun; otherwise this much-cut version is worth considering for some fine singing.

Eduard LASSEN (1830-1904), Philipp SCHARWENKA (1847-1917) & Rued LANGGAARD (1893-1952) Violin Concertos - Linus Roth (violin) BBC Scottish SO/Antony Hermus rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68268 [76:37] [JW] An out-of-the-way sidelight on the repertoire.

Franz LISZT (1811–1886) Lisztomania Vol. 1 - Hando Nahkur (piano) HN PRODUCTIONS [79:40] [JWe] A splendid Liszt recording, clearly designed to show the pianist’s range of technique. 

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an Exhibition Maurice RAVEL (1875-1939) Miroirs Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Cantéyodjayâ - Peter Donohoe (piano) rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SICGD566 [73:18] [RBe] Not Peter Donohoe at his best.

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Petite Messe Solennelle - Wiener Singakademie, Luxembourg PO/Gustavo Gimeno rec. 2018 PENTATONE PTC5186797 SACD [81:52] [MR] A reading that is more theatrical than intimate, but never too overtly operatic.

Friedrich SCHNEIDER (1786–1853) Das Weltgericht - Gewandhaus Ch, camerata lipsiensis/Gregor Meyer rec. 2016 CPO 555 119-2 [58:50 + 35:57] [GF] The find of the year.

Thursday July 11th

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Sonatas No. 30-32, Bagatelles - Paul Badura-Skoda (piano) rec. 2017 GRAMOLA DVD 20002 [81:22] [JW] Still remarkable mechanism, and still more musically developed imagination and reach.

Esprit Joseph Antoine BLANCHARD (1696-1770) & François COLIN DE BLAMONT (1690-1760) Te Deums - Choeur Marguerite Louise, Stradivaria/Daniel Cuiller rec. 2018 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS007 [66:38] [JV] I have greatly enjoyed the performances, although they are not without flaws.

Karl KLINGLER (1879-1971) Violin Concerto, Viola Sonata - Ulf Hoelscher (violin) Karl Klingler (viola) Michael Raucheisen (piano) Bavarian RSO/Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach rec. 1979 MDG 642 2103-2 [82:31] [SG] Rich rarities, for which I’m immensely grateful.

Jón LEIFS (1899-1968) Edda, Part II - Schola Cantorum, Iceland SO/Hermann Bäumer rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2420 SACD [64:38] [DM] Not a neglected masterpiece, perhaps, but well worth hearing nonetheless; also, the inspired playing and singing are superbly rendered.

James MACMILLAN (b. 1959) Psalms, Poems and Folksongs - Alexandra Caldon (violin), The Elysian Singers, Sam Laughton rec. 2017 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD575 [64:19] [SSi] The Elysian Singers rise to every challenge that James MacMillan poses in his music.

Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Piano Trio No. 2, Piano Quartet - Leonore Piano Trio, Rachel Roberts (viola) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68276 [65:31] [JQ] A second fine disc of Parry’s chamber music from the Leonore Piano Trio.

Carl RÜTTI (b.1949) Harp & Piano - Duo Praxedis rec. 2019 ARS PRODUCTION ARS38557 [70:18] [MR] Full of musical and spiritual intensity.

Karl Böhm (conductor) His Farewell Concert - Staatskapelle Dresden rec. 1942/79 PROFIL EDITION PH19023 [46:12 + 75:18] [MC] Admirers of Karl Böhm, Schubert and the Staatskapelle Dresden should relish this engaging Profil release in equal measure.

Wednesday July 10th

Johanna SENFTER (1879-1961) Works for violin - Friedemann & Alexia Eichhorn (violin) Paul Rivinius (piano) rec. 2007 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0101 [90:07] [SSi] On this evidence, Senfter is unjustly neglected.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Michaelis-Oratorium - Kölner Akademie/Michael Alexander Willens rec. 2018 CPO 555 214-2 [71:40] [JV] The first recording of a magnificent work; the performance is nearly ideal.

Duel Porpora & Handel in London - Giuseppina Bridelli (mezzo) Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu/Franck-Emmanuel Comte rec. 2018 ARCANA A461 [65:50] [GF] Singing of the highest order.

Veronika Dzhioeva (soprano) Ritorna Vincitor! - Kaunas City SO/Constantine Orbelian rec. 2018 DELOS DE3575 [59:32] [RMo] I thoroughly enjoyed this recital which is like an homage to voices of a vanished age.

Elly Ney (piano) The complete Brunswick & Electrola solo 78rpm recordings rec. 1922-1938 APR 7311 [3 CDs: 232:00] [SG] A bounty of recorded treasures.

Sandrine Piau (soprano) Si J’ai Aimé - Le Concert de la Loge/Julien Chauvin rec. 2018 ALPHA 445 [59:25] [RWe] A very fine recital disc in terms of both repertoire and performance.

Voyage à Venise: A Venetian Journey Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Georg Kallweit; Gli Incogniti/Amandine Beyer; Concerto Palatino rec. 1998-2014 HARMONIA MUNDI HMX2908798.00 [3 CDs 3:37:49] [BW] This set can be strongly recommended at its new super-low price.

Western Moods Ensemble Esperanza rec. 2018 ARS PRODUCTION ARS38274 [71:27] [MR] Staggeringly vivacious and vibrantly alive playing.


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