NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
Soprano Angela Gheorghiu in conversation with Michael Cookson
“Untouchable” and ”Most
Recommendable” Opera Recordings - a very personal guide by Ralph
Second Thoughts and Short Reviews:
Summer 2019/2 by Brian Wilson, Johan van Veen and Simon Thompson
What is the meaning behind the Castellucci production of Salome?
- an interpretation by Len
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Thursday September 19th
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
& Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) String Quartets Charles TOURNEMIRE (1870-1939) Musique Orante - Quatuor Stanislas rec. 2008/2013
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1598
Flexibility and sensitivity.
DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Il castello di
Kenilworth - Jessica Pratt, Carmela Remigio (soprano) Xabier
Anduaga (tenor) O & Ch Donizetti Opera/Riccardo Frizza rec. 2018 DYNAMIC Blu-ray 57834 [139
min] [RJF] A simple staging, superbly costumed, and sung by coloratura specialists, bring this operatic rarity to the fore.
Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893)
La Nonne Sanglante -
Michael Spyres (tenor)
Vannina Santoni (soprano) Accentus,
Insula O/Laurence Equilbey
rec. 2018 NAXOS NBD0097V Blu-ray [139 mins]
[RC] A stunning account.
Peter LINDROTH (b. 1950)
The Wilfred Owen Songs - John Erik Eleby (bass-baritone), Mats Jansson (piano), Yoriko Asahara (piano) rec. 2018/2019
Those interested in settings of English poetry will find this CD both enlightening and rewarding.
Federico PEROTTI (b. 1993)
Franca di Vitalta - Coro Vox Silvae, Coro Kyronomia/Federico Perotti rec. 2018
Performed with real commitment, although the lack of a libretto leaves the listener guessing, and an over-resonant recording ultimately jars.
Merrick (piano) & Henry Holst (violin) rec. 1950s-60s
NIMBUS NI8826 [4 CDs: 278 mins] [SG]
An inspired partnership. For me, the experience has been an interesting and worthwhile journey of discovery.
Wednesday September 18th
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Symphony No. 9; Carnival Overture -
RSO Stuttgart des SWR/Sir Roger Norrington
rec. 2008 SWR MUSIC SWR19515CD [52:56] [MG]
Norrington’s unusually cool reading illuminates Dvořák’s skill in the scoring and dovetailing of melodies.
César FRANCK (1822-1890)
& Johannes BRAHMS (1833-97) Violin Sonatas -
Fumiaki Miura (violin),
Nobuyuki Tsujii (piano) rec. 2017-18 AVEX CLASSICS AVCL25991 [56:02]
This is the duo’s debut album, and I sincerely hope it will be the start of many recording collaborations.
Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD
(1852-1924) Overture in the style of a tragedy, Verdun, Fairy Day, A Song of Agincourt
Ulster O/Howard Shelley rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68283 [65:32]
Excellent performances of long-neglected but worthwhile music by Stanford.
Ronald STEVENSON (1928-2015)
Piano works Vol. 2
- Kenneth Hamilton (piano) PRIMA FACIE PFCD107 [73:55]
[JF] Wonderful performances.
Andrade, Jeanne Gautier (violin)
Legendary French Violinists - Leipzig Gewandhaus
O/Franz Konwitschny, SW German Radio O, O
Reichssenders Frankfurt/Hans Rosbaud rec.
1937-1959 MELOCLASSIC MC2038 [74:43]
[JW] Admirers will want to add this disc to their shelves.
Ars longa Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo) rec.
2018 LINN CKD603 [75:34] [GPu]
This conclusively affirms both the quality of the best music written for the theorbo in the seventeenth century and the instrument’s modern potential.
Tuesday September 17th
Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893)
Faust - Benjamin Bernheim, Véronique Gens,
Flemish Radio Ch,
Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset rec. 2018 BRU ZANE BZ1037 [3 CDs: 174:28]
An essential purchase.
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 [66:29]
[RC] Further evidence of Zhang’s superior gifts.
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Symphonia domestica Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto -
Ruggiero Ricci (violin)
Boston SO/Charles Munch rec. 1959/60 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC568 [77:19]
[RMo] Performances of timeless appeal.
Will TODD (b. 1970) Mass in Blue
- Nonsuch Singers/Tom Bullard CONVIVIUM RECORDS CR047 [67:16] [JQ] An entertaining disc.
William Murdoch (piano) The Complete Columbia Solo Electrical Recordings rec. 1925-1931
APR 6029 [76:09 + 77:37] [JW]
Clarity-conscious but brilliantly articulated.
South Of The Circle Siggi String Qt rec. 2018 SONO LUMINUS DSL92232 [59:55] [RHa] Persuasive accounts; Fair Flowers is the standout.
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Toccatas - Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord) rec. 2018
A wonderful disc.
Fritz BRUN (1878-1959)
Complete Orchestral Works - Moscow SO, Bratislava SO/Adriano rec. 2003-15
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95784
[11 CDs: 716:50] [SSi]
A real labour of love reflecting Adriano’s desire to bring the music of his compatriot Fritz Brun to a wider listening public.
HOLST (1874-1934) The Planets Sir
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Enigma Variations - Bergen PO/Andrew
Litton rec. 2013/17 BIS BIS2068 SACD [82:42] [RC] Litton with this fine orchestra would be my first choice in these works, hands down.
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Il barbiere di Siviglia - Riccardo Stracciari (baritone), Ch & O/La Scala, Milan, Lorenzo Molajoli rec. 1927/29
PRISTINE AUDIO PACO161
[2 CDs: 125:49] [RMo]
A gem of a historical recording.
Dobrinka TABAKOVA (b.1980)
Choral works -
Truro Cathedral Ch,
BBC Concert O/Christopher Gray rec. 2018 REGENT REGCD530 [70.37]
[MW] Immensely enjoyable – a disc to treasure.
Robin WALKER (b 1958)
Turning Towards You -
Manchester Camerata String Qt,
Manchester Sinfonia/Richard Howarth rec. 1999 DIVINE ART DDA25180 [75:16]
[RHa] A tender and moving double concerto is the large-scale highlight of an exceptional composer portrait.
Friday September 13th
Johann Baptist CRAMER (1771-1858)
Piano Concertos Nos. 4 and 5 - London Mozart Players/Howard Shelley (piano)
rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68270
Impossible to choose between this and the same team’s earlier
recordings of three more Cramer concertos – go for both.
Philip GRANGE (b. 1956)
Gemini/Ian Mitchell rec. 2019 METIER MSV28591 [71:25]
A thoroughly enjoyable programme.
Symphony No. 5
London SO/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1958 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC567
[76:55] More buried Horenstein treasure: a fine performance of Mahler’s Fifth.
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Eduardo e Cristina - Kenneth Tarver (tenor) Silva Dalla Benetta (soprano)
Camerata Bach Ch Poznań, Virtuosi Brunensis/Gianluigi Gelmetti rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.660466-67 [74:02 + 67:22]
[GF] Rossinians should be satisfied with this recording.
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
A Sentimental Moment -
Duo Morat-Fergo rec. 2018 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72791 [62:06]
[DC] Old favourites in new, and very attractive garb.
Vox Feminina St.
Mary's Pro-Cathedral Girls' Ch, Continuum Youth Ch/Blánaid Murphy,
David Grealy (organ) rec. 2019 ST MARY'S PRO CATHEDRAL no number [49:17]
A fine celebration of choral music from a polished young choir.