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100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)

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Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Haydn Scottish Songs

Choral Music

Liszt Sonata

Renaissance Bohemia


Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne

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[New] Completions and Reconstructions of Musical Works - Part 2 by Stephen Barber

Completions and Reconstructions of Musical Works - Part 1 by Stephen Barber

The first performance of Adam Pounds' Second Symphony by John France

Short Reviews & Second Thoughts: Winter 2019-20/2 by Brian Wilson, Dan Morgan & Johan van Veen

Fred Lax - An English flautist in America by Stuart Scott

National Discographies - a major update by Mike Herman


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Friday January 31st

To mark 2020, the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth

How Complete Was My Beethoven? by Mark Zimmer

A comparative review of the three new "complete" boxsets (DG, Naxos & Warner Classics).

Thursday January 30th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Six Partitas - Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA678271/2 [72:52 + 77:04] [DC] Angela Hewitt’s Bach Partitas, 20 years on.

Alexander BRINCKEN (b. 1952) Orchestral Music Vol. 1 - Alexander Brincken (piano) Royal Scottish Ntl O/Rainer Held rec. 2019 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0550 [75:45] [MR] A Soviet-era composer who writes in a style akin to what was around long before the creation of the Soviet Union, but does so with great self-confidence.

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Orphée et Eurydice - Marianne Crebassa (mezzo-soprano), Hélène Guilmette (soprano), Ensemble Pygmalion/Raphaël Pichon rec. 2018 NAXOS Blu-ray NBD0100V [99 mins] [MP] A stunning central performance by Marianne Crebassa.

Frederick William HOLLOWAY (1873-1954) Symphonic Organ Works - Markus Eichenlaub (organ) rec. 2019 AEOLUS AE11181 SACD [79:11] [SG] World première recordings of a long-forgotten English composer.

Rodolphe KREUTZER (1766-1831) Violin Concertos Nos 1, 6 & 7 - Laurent Albrecht Breuninger (violin) Südwestdeutsches CO Pforzheim/Timo Handschuh rec. 2014 CPO 555 206-2 [72:23] [PRB] Makes an excellent case for affording Kreutzer the real credit he deserves in his own right as a composer and performer.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 9 - Seoul PO/Myung-Whun Chung rec. 2013 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 481 110-9 [79:55] [SV] This Ninth immediately goes on my short list.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Complete Piano Sonatas - Vincenzo Maltempo (piano) rec. 2018/19 PIANO CLASSICS PCL10168 [60:16 + 73:50] [RWe] A sonata survey of high calibre, well worth exploring.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Cello Sonatas - Wojciech Fudala (cello) Michał Rot (piano) rec. 2017 DUX 1545 [59:20] [SA] Superlative playing.

Artur Rodziński (conductor) Complete Chicago Symphony Recordings rec. 1947/52 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC569 [64:27 + 70:33] [JW] A valuable record of Rodziński’s brief time in Chicago.

Violin Plus One Piet Koornhof (violin), Albie van Schalkwyk (piano) rec. 2016/18 DELOS DE3577 [67:01] [MZ] Piet Koornhof offers up a delightful encore compilation of Romantic violin transcriptions.

Wednesday January 29th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) French Suites - Alexandra Papastefanou (piano) rec. 2019 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR70 [66:20 + 75:09] [DD] Captivating playing.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quartet No. 3, Piano Quintet - Hagen Qt, Kirill Gerstein (piano) rec. 2014 MYRIOS CLASSICS MYR021 [80:17] [MC] Interpretations that breathe energy and satisfaction.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 5 - Yomiuri Nippon SO/Gennady Rozhdestvensky rec. 2017 ALTUS ALT411 [78:21] [RMo] This is a “saggy-waggy elephant” among Bruckner Fifth Symphony interpretations – yet occasionally the Jumbo sprints, too…

Krzysztof MEYER (b. 1943) Chansons d’un Rêveur Solitaire, Symphony No. 8 - Claudia Barainsky (soprano) Ch Karol Szymanowski PO/Teresa Majka-Pacanek, Polish Ntl Radio SO/Łukasz Borowicz rec. 2015/18 DUX 1569 [66:08] [RHa] Two contrasting recent scores which reinforce Meyer's burgeoning profile.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Thomas Oliemans (baritone), Paolo Giacometti (piano) rec. 2018 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS42119 [71:24] [GF] A very touching, very involved reading with a warm heart.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies 1 & 4, Concertos, Overture to Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ - Pierre Fournier (cello), Henryk Szeryng (violin), Annie Fischer (piano), Südwestfunk O Baden-Baden/Hans Rosbaud rec. 1957-61 SWR CLASSIC SWR19085CD [3CDs: 155:45] [JW] More of the art of this great conductor reclaimed.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Incidental Music - Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.506032 [6 CDs: 399:31] [RB] All in all this is a refreshing experience that is often pleasingly surprising.

Ronald STEVENSON (1928–2015) Piano Music Vol. 3 - Christopher Guild (piano) rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0403 [70:22] [JF] I look forward to succeeding volumes of this project with considerable enthusiasm. 

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Flute Concertos, Pieces - Claudia Stein (flute) Elizaveta Blumina (piano) Szczecin PO/David Robert Coleman rec. 2017/18 NAXOS 8.573931 [68:32] [SA] It includes some of the most gorgeous tunes any composer has given this most songlike instrument.

Roberto Alagna (tenor) Caruso 1873 - Yvan Cassar (piano), O National D’ Île-De-France/Yvan Cassar rec. 2019 SONY CLASSICAL 19075950482 [72:12] [MP] A unique and very worthy labour of love, best for listening to in short periods rather than in its entirety.

Tuesday January 28th

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos 4 & 6 - London SO/Bernard Haitink rec. 2005 ALTO ALC1388 [74:22] [DD] Very special live recordings, reissued at bargain price.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Intermezzi - Evgeni Koroliov (piano) rec. 2018/19 TACET 256 [2 CDs: 81:30] [RC] Highly individual, eminently worth hearing performances.

Ronald CENTER (1913-1963) Instrumental & Chamber Music Vol. 1 - Christopher Guild (piano) rec. 2013 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0179 [69.48] [JF] Considerable substance and variety.

Roger Sacheverell COKE (1912-1972) Cello Sonatas - Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Simon Callaghan (piano) rec. 2019 LYRITA SRCD384 [72:14] [RMas] Beautiful playing, but the music is no more than pleasant.

Peter EÖTVÖS (b. 1944) hallelujah, alle vittime senza nome - WDR SO & Rundfunkchor/Peter Eötvös; O dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma/Antonio Pappano rec. 2017 WERGO WER73862 [74:38] [MS] Excellent performances of stimulating and important music.

Herman D. KOPPEL (1908-1998) Piano Concerto No.3, Pastorale, Ten Piano Pieces Benjamin KOPPEL (b.1974) Nine Dialogical Responses - Rikke Sandberg (piano) Benjamin Koppel (saxophone) South Jutland SO/Bo Holten rec. 2019 DANACORD DACOCD856 [64:12] [JW] The Concerto is very successful, but the companion pieces seem an awkward fit.

Franco MARGOLA (1908-1992) Music for Mandolin & Other Chamber Music - Raffaele La Ragione (mandolin) Gabriele Zanetti (guitar) Daniele Richiedei (violin) Giacomo Ferrari (piano) rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96037 [50:12] [GPu] Margola was a belated ‘little master of the 18th century’, and his music is a source of constant and quiet delight.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 4 - London SO/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2018 LSO LIVE LSO0832 SACD [64:38] [WK] A powerful and very competitive performance.

New England Choirworks Yale Schola Cantorum/David Hill rec. 2016-18 HYPERION CDA68314 [75:16] [JQ] A most interesting and varied programme of contemporary choral music sung with great accomplishment.

Voix du Ciel Medieval Polyphony & Sacred Chants - Ens Gilles Binchois/Dominique Vellard EVIDENCE CLASSICS EVCD065 [62:04 + 68.18] [GH] An opportunity to discover the best of this outstanding ensemble.

Monday January 27th

Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Piano Trios - Münchner Klaviertrio rec. 1992 PROFIL PH19072 [58:11] [MC] The Münchner Klaviertrio is captured in fine form.

Bela BARTOK (1881-1945) & Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Piano Quintets - Piers Lane (piano) Goldner String Qt rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68290 [73:00] [EJW] Thoroughly enjoyable, with playing that is beyond reproach.

Anna BON (1738/1740-1767) Flute Sonatas - Vladimir Soares (recorders), Fabian Grosch (harpsichord) rec. 2018 DRAMA MUSICA DRAMA007 [74:02] [GPu] Bon’s enjoyably fluent sonatas – especially when played so well – raise questions which can’t yet be answered.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 - NDR Elbphilharmonie O/Alan Gilbert rec. 2019 SONY CLASSICAL 19075979532 [66:26] [RMo] No prospective purchaser is likely to be disappointed by this.

Carl ORFF (1895-1982) Carmina Burana Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Late Choral Music George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) An American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue - Cleveland O, New York PO/Michael Tilson Thomas rec. 1974-76 DUTTON EPOCH 2CDLX7369 SACD [76:52 + 68:13] [NB] A set of disparate delights.

Alwynne PRITCHARD (b. 1968) Rockaby rec. 2004-18 KAIROS 0015047KAI [76:00] [RHa] Unusual music that provokes, exhausts, enchants, frustrates, hypnotises, challenges, exasperates, fascinates and perhaps unexpectedly, moves.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 10 - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2010 BR KLASSIK 900185 [53.48] [WH] A magnificent Shostakovich 10 from the late and much lamented Jansons.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Grande Sonate, Meditation Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) Moments Musicaux - Barry Douglas (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20121 [68:08] [DD] Excellent performances of works that deserve greater recognition, and in splendid sound.

Maria Grinberg (piano) The Art of rec. 1946-76 SCRIBENDUM SC814 [34 CDs] [SG] One of the finest piano collections I've ever had the pleasure of reviewing.

Magnificat Glen Dempsey (organ) Ch of St John’s College Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD588 [58:44] [JQ] Choice examples of settings of the evening canticles, sung flawlessly and with great commitment.


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