NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
[New] Puccini's Manon Lescaut - a survey by Ralph Moore
Verdi's Aida - a survey by Ralph Moore
Dominick Argento - an obituary
by Kenneth Shenton
Noises Off - Sound Effects in
Opera Recordings by Paul Corfield Godfrey
Second Thoughts & Short Reviews - Spring 2019-3 by Brian Wilson,
Simon Thompson & Johan van Veen
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Friday June 28th
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Magnificat,
Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) Vienna PO/Volkmar Andreae rec. 1949/50 SOMM ARIADNE 5004 [77:41]
[JW] The Magnificat will be of interest to all Ferrier enthusiasts.
Marc BLITZSTEIN (1905-1964) Music For Solo Piano
- Leonard Lehrman (piano) rec. 2005 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0438 [74:21]
[JW] A broad sweep of styles and quality.
Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Caractacus - Elizabeth Llewellyn
(soprano) Elgan Llŷr Thomas (tenor) Huddersfield
Ch Soc, O Opera North/Martyn Brabbins rec 2018
HYPERION CDA68254 [58:05 + 38:12]
[RHa] A full-blooded performance in fine sound which certainly matches the legendary Hickox recording.
(1830-1904), Ludwig Philipp
SCHARWENKA (1847-1917) & Rued LANGGAARD (1893-1952)
Violin Concertos - Linus Roth (violin) BBC Scottish SO/Antony Hermus
rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68268 [76:39] [EJW] The usual thorough documentation, and excellent recording and performances.
Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911)
Symphony No. 5
- SWR Radio SO Stuttgart/Roger Norrington rec.
2006 SWR MUSIC SWR19517CD [68:05]
[RC] A fine option if you prefer a leaner, more objective approach.
(1797-1828) Piano Sonatas
Michael FINNISSY (b. 1946)
completion Jörg WIDMANN (b. 1973)
Idyll und Abgrund -
Yehuda Inbar (piano) rec. 2018 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1712 [71:36]
Schubert-plus: superbly performed as well as being daring and exploratory.
Gerard SCHURMANN (b.1924) Film Music
BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN10979 [77:23]
[RB] Music that can be loud and spectacular, but often quiet, gentle and emotive.
John McCormack (tenor)
A Patrician Artist
- Complete Electrical Recordings, Broadcasts
& Early Recordings rec. 1904-42 MARSTON 51601-2 [16 CDs] [SG]
Miraculous transfers - no afficionado of the ‘Golden Age of Singing’ will want to be without this set.
Thursday June 27th
Henry BRANT (1913-2008) Collection Vol. 4
Wesleyan University O/Roger Solie rec. 1982 INNOVA 411 [70:15]
[PSe] The less-than-perfect recording fails utterly to dampen the mind-blowing impact of Brant’s cosmically inspired, extravagant pæan to multiculturalism.
(1876-1972) Symphonies Nos 7 & 16, Tinker's Wedding Overture -
New Russia State SO/Alexander Walker rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573959
[61:58] [EJW] Great contrasts across the three works, presented with enthusiastic and accuracy.
Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918)
Piano Trio No. 2, Piano Quartet - Leonore Piano Trio, Rachel Roberts (viola) rec. 2018
A fine companion to the earlier release.
Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933)
Bartłomiej Nizioł (violin), Katarzyna Budnik-Gałązka (viola),
Piotr Przedbora (guitar), Polska SO Iuventus/Krzysztof Penderecki, Maciej Tworek rec. 2018
An intriguing programme, and a good one to add to any Penderecki collection.
Giuseppe TORELLI (1658-1709) Concerti grossi Op. 8 - Reinhold Barchet, Will Beh (violins), Pro Musica Stuttgart/Rolf Reinhardt rec. 1954
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1562-63
Admirable transfers of old school performances with many qualities.
Works by Yevlakhov, Falik & Slonimsky -
Leningrad PO/Arvids Jansons, Alexander Dimitriev, Israel Gusman rec. 1973-87 NORTHERN FLOWERS NFPMA99133 [75:33]
[RB] An unexpected and welcome collection from the USSR’s Cold War depths.
Works by Van der Roost, Hyldgaard, Stephenson & Clarke -
Brett Baker (trombone)
Middle Tennessee State University Wind Ens/Reed Thomas rec. 2016/18 TOCCATA NEXT TOCN0003 [76:37]
[RHa] Trombone heaven – a quartet of fresh, diverse and colourful works for soloist and wind ensemble.
Works by Arensky, Prokofiev, Scriabin & Tchaikovsky - Ostrobothnian CO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2017
BIS BIS2365 SACD
A delightful collection for string orchestra of some byways of the Russian repertoire.
Wednesday June 26th
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897),
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) &
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Piano Quartets - Skride Piano Qt rec. 2018 ORFEO C946191 [71.27]
An auspicious debut recording from the Skride Quartet.
David MATTHEWS (b 1943)
Symphony No. 9, Variations for Strings, Double
Concerto - Sara Trickey (violin) Sarah-Jane Bradley
English SO/Kenneth Woods rec. 2018 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6382 [63:55]
[RHa] David Matthews is arguably the greatest living English symphonist, and his Ninth is more than worthy of its number.
Giovanni Benedetto PLATTI (c1697 - 1763)
Sonate à tre - Radio Antiqua rec. 2018 RAMÉE RAM1801 [72:32]
One of the best chamber music recordings I have heard in recent times.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Elsa Grether (violin)
David Lively (piano) rec. 2018 FUGA LIBERA FUG749 [69:37]
Fine performances, though not quite at the level of the very best.
Paul REALE (b. 1943)
Children’s Palace - Borealis Wind Quintet
rec. 2018 MSR CLASSICS MS1715 [63:48] [JW] Plenty to enjoy in this whimsical, and sometimes beguiling selection.
Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585–1672)
Madrigale und Hochzeitsmusiken
- Dresdner Kammerchor &
Instrumentalists/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2018 CARUS 83.277
[78:42] [BW] The latest volume in the Carus Schütz series maintains the
standard and is well worth having.
Karl WEIGL (1881-1949)
Cello Concerto; Cello Sonata -
Raphael Wallfisch (cello),
John York, Edward Rushton (piano),
Konzerthaus O Berlin/Nicholas Milton rec. 2017/18 CPO 555 189-2 [63:16]
A sterling achievement, allowing these captivating scores, of immense historical significance, to live on.
The Golden Violin
Music of the 20s - Daniel Röhn (violin),
Württembergisches CO Heilbronn/Case Scaglione
rec. 2018 BERLIN CLASSICS 0301190BC [55:54] [JW]
Röhn is a thoughtful, imaginative and colourful player.
Tuesday June 25th
René de BOISDEFFRE (1838-1906) Works for
- Pawel Kukliński (violin); Tadeusz Samerek (cello); Anna Mikolon (piano) rec. 2018 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0446 [80:43]
[PRB] Attractive and undemanding music, but question marks over the performances.
Pehr Henrik NORDGREN (1944-2008) As in a Dream
- Marko Ylönen (cello); Lilli Maijala (viola);
Olivier Thiery (double bass) Ostrobothian Chamber O/Juha Kangas rec. 2018 ALBA RECORDS ABCD435 SACD [71:08] [DC] Powerful, dark, multi-layered beauty.
(d. ca 1666) Choral Works Vols 1 & 2
- Wrocław Baroque Ens/Andrzej Kosendiak
rec. 2015-2016 CD ACCORD ACD2222/2402 [66:18 & 61:03]
There is much of interest on these discs, one in the high renaissance style, the other in the early baroque style.
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Minnespiel, Spanisches Liederspiel, Spanische Liebeslieder
Anna Palimina (soprano) Marion Eckstein (contralto) Simon Bode (tenor) Matthias Hoffmann (bass-baritone)
Ulrich Eisenlohr, Stefan Irmer (piano) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573944 [60:22]
Recommended for the exceptionally high quality of the singing and playing.
Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 6
- Berlin PO/Kirill Petrenko rec. 2017 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER BPHR 190261 SACD [44:07] [JQ] An auspicious appetiser for the Petrenko era at the Berlin Philharmonic.
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Attila
- Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (bass), Ch & O Teatro Communale Di Bologna/Michele Mariotti rec. 2016 C MAJOR Blu-ray 748804 [116 mins] [RF] The conducting and choral singing are of the highest order, the whole being somewhat marred by an incongruous change in period in the costumes.
John WILLIAMS (b. 1932)
- Los Angeles PO/Gustavo Dudamel rec. 2019 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 6647 [49:11 + 46:18]
[GF] A worthy alternative to the composer’s own recordings.
Franco Gulli (violin)
rec. 1957-97 RHINE CLASSICS RH-005 [11 CDs: 774 mins] [JW]
A splendid and loving boxset.
Monday June 24th
Krzysztof BACULEWSKI (b. 1950)
String Quartets No. 1-4 - Tana Quartet rec. 2017
An excellent disc of modern string quartet music which makes me want to hear more Baculewski.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 8 - Concertgebouw O/Eduard van Beinum rec. 1956 BEULAH 6PD17
A very fine version of this symphony in very decently refurbished
Joe CUTLER (b. 1968)
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire SO/Mirga Gražinytè-Tyla rec. 2008-18 NMC D246 [59:53]
[SB] A useful follow-up to Cutler’s first recording, now over ten years old.
Ståle KLEIBERG (b. 1958)
Mezzotints - Marianne Thorsen (violin),
Øyvind Gimse (cello),
Bård Monsen (violin),
Ole Wuttudal (viola),
Jørgen Larsen (piano) rec. 2015
2L 2L-115-SABD BD-A/SACD
Another fine addition to Ståle Kleiberg’s recorded catalogue.
Friedrich KUHLAU (1786-1832)
& Otto MALLING (1848-1915) Piano Quartets -
Copenhagen Piano Qt
rec. 2015/16 DACAPO 6.220591 SACD [64:22] [PRB] Exceedingly well-crafted, highly enjoyable works given excellent performances.
Giuseppe MARTUCCI (1856-1909)
Piano Trios - Trio Vega rec. 2014
Committed playing and excellent recorded sound, but I have reservations about the music itself.
Paul REALE (b. 1943)
Concerto 'Dies Irae', Piano Sonatas Nos 7 & 8 - Paul Reale (piano), Walter Ponce (piano), Mirecourt Trio rec. 1982-2013
Engaging and enjoyable.
Beatam York Minster
Benjamin Morris (organ) rec. 2018 REGENT REGCD522 [73:02]
[JF] Imaginative repertoire and performances which cannot be criticised.
La Ruta de la Seda
Capella de Ministrers/Carles Magraner rec. 2016 CAPELLA DE MINISTRERS CDM1743 [56:56
+ 62:44] [GPu] Abundant musical delights throughout.