NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
Piano Trio Discography:
Short Reviews & Second Thoughts: Spring 2020/1 -
Part A ~
Part B by Brian Wilson & Johan van Veen
Beethoven 250, Philharmonia 75
and Decca 90: some recent Beulah reissues by Brian Wilson
Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi - A survey by Ralph Moore
Listening Studio Report by John Quinn
and Reconstructions of Musical Works by Stephen Barber (full
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Jozef Wieniawski - Complete Chamber Works Vols 1&2 AP0472
Colours of the Harpsichord AP0443
Zukowski Secular works 3
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Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas &
- Tomás Cotik (violin) rec. 2019 CENTAUR CRC3755/6 [57:43 + 60:50]
[RMas] Lithe and efficient Bach.
Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Concerto No. 2,
Rhapsodies Nos 1 & 2 -
Baiba Skride (violin) WDR SO Köln/Eivind Aadland rec. 2017 ORFEO C950191 [57:45]
[SSi] Even if this is not my first choice, it is a welcome and enjoyable performance which I will be revisiting.
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets
- Juilliard String Quartet rec. 1964-1970 SONY CLASSICS 19075992332 [9 CDs: 505:33]
Much to offer.
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 1, Ballades
- Royal Northern Sinfonia/Lars Vogt (piano) rec. 2018 ONDINE ODE1330-2 [72:14]
[MG] A triumphant vindication of Vogt’s courage in taking on the role of piano-conductor.
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791) Piano Concertos
Vol. 5 -Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano)
Manchester Camerata/Gábor Takács-Nagy rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20137(2) [60.49 + 64.22]
[CRa] These are discs to treasure, and play often.
Josef SUK (1874-1935) Symphony No. 2 Asrael
- Bavarian RSO/Jakub Hrůša
rec. 2018 BR KLASSIK 900188 [62:43] [MC] A first-rate recording.
Concertos From 19th Century Denmark
Works by Barth, Gade & Kuhlau - Lisa Maria Cooper, Flemming Aksnes (French horn)
Oliver Nordahl (oboe)
Ian van Rensburg (violin)
Aarhus SO/Jean Thorel
DACAPO SACD 6.220664 [53:56] [DJB] Elegant and tuneful music, the non-concerto Overture being the pick.
The Early Horn Ursula Paludan Monberg (horn)
Arcangelo/Jonathan Cohen rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68289 [78:32]
[MR] Early examples of the horn in a concertante role, expertly delivered by a leading exponent of the natural horn.
Ignaz Friedman (piano)
Complete Recordings 1923-1941
DANACORD DACOCD861-864 [6 CDs: 336 mins]
[JW] All pianophiles must know they need Friedman’s discs.
Monday March 30th
Nadia BOULANGER (1887-1979)
& Lili BOULANGER (1893-1918) Clairičres
Nicholas Phan (tenor)
Myra Huang (piano) rec. 2019 AVIE AV2414 [53:17] [NB] The music is important but the style of singing suggests a try-before-you-buy approach.
Alma DEUTSCHER (b. 2005)
From My Book of Melodies -
Alma Deutscher (piano) rec. 2019 SONY CLASSICAL 19075990192 [50:36]
[MBu] Confirms her undoubtedly rightful footing in the serious, contemporary classical music world.
Samuil FEINBERG (1890-1962)
Piano Sonatas No. 1-6 - Marc-André Hamelin (piano) rec. 2018
HYPERION CDA68233 [74:33] [JW]
Hamelin powerfully resolves all the technical complications and dramatic conflicts embedded in these intense works.
(b. 1949) Piano Concerto No. 3, Cembal d’amore,
Kafkapriccio - Anne-Marie McDermott (piano) Odense SO/Benjamin
Shwartz, Andreas Delfs rec. 2016/18 BRIDGE 9531 [59:34]
[RHa] Credit to Bridge for annotating Ruders’ every move.
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony No. 3
Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Organ Concerto -
Iveta Apkalna (organ) Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons
rec. 2019 BR KLASSIK 900178 [60.47] [MC]
Iveta Apkalna performs with sparkle and resolve.
Eric WHITACRE (b. 1970)
Marimba Quartets -
Joby Burgess, Sam Wilson (marimba & vibraphone), Calum Huggan, Rob Farrer (marimba)
SIGNUM RECORDS SIGCD625 [21:29] [SA]
If you are a marimba fan you will love this sumptuous sounding disc.
Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942)
Der Traumgörge - Pamela Coburn, Janis Martin (soprano), Josef
Protschka (tenor), Hartmut Welker (baritone), Frankfurt RSO/Gerd Albrecht rec. 1987
CAPRICCIO C5395 [48:19 + 62:39] [PCG]
A reissue of a well performed Zemlinsky rarity but with woefully lacking documentation.
Escales Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2019
CHANDOS CHSA5252 SACD [79:05] [SB]
A delightful collection and a real winner.
Royal Brass Music Maurice André & Jean Pirot (trumpets), Thurston Dart (director), Robert Veyron-Lacroix (harpsichord continuo),
Ensemble Orchestral de L’Oiseau Lyrique/Pierre Colombo
ELOQUENCE 482 8527 [73:29] [RMas]
A pleasant listening experience.
Jón Leifs and the Musical Invention of Iceland by Árni Heimir Ingólfsson
publ. 2019 Indiana University Press [DBi] Of importance because there is so little else published on Leifs.
Friday March 27th
Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Choral works - Westminster Cathedral Ch, London
SO & Ch/George Malcolm,
Purcell Singers/Benjamin Britten
rec. 1957-61 ELOQUENCE 484 0658 [71.19] [PCG] Historically important recordings.
Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990)
Symphony No. 3 - San Francisco Symphony rec. 2018 SFS MEDIA SFS0078
[DM] A deceptively easeful yet quietly commanding performance that goes right to
the heart of this great symphony; exemplary sound, too.
Tőnu KŐRVITS (b. 1969)
Hymns to the Nordic Lights -
Estonian Ntl SO/Risto Joost rec. 2015-19 ONDINE ODE1349-2 [57:42]
Substantial and satisfying: sharpen your senses and dive in.
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Piano Sonatas Nos 6-8
Steven Osborne (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68298 [74:28]
Magnificently assured yet highly sensitive performances of this uncompromising music.
Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951)
& Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concertos -
Jack Liebeck (violin)
BBC SO/Andrew Gourlay rec. 2019 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100129 [77:15]
The Brahms could burn brighter at times, but the Schoenberg has a fine new champion on disc.
Nikos SKALKOTTAS (1904-1949)
World Premiere Recordings rec. 1949-2019 MELISM MLSCD025 [78:58]
[JW] This discriminating label has done its subject proud with this release.
Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) The Complete Songs Vol.
Louise Alder, Fflur Wyn (soprano)
Rowan Hellier, Katarina Karnéus (mezzo)
Adrian Thompson (tenor)
Roderick Williams (baritone)
Neal Davies (bass)
Sholto Kynoch (piano) rec. 2013 STONE RECORDS 5060192780918 [65:26]
[RMas] I look forward to the final installment.
Reginald Goodall (conductor) Works by
Dukas, Messiaen & Schumann - Royal Opera House
rec. 1961 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC581 [75:43] [JQ]
Reginald Goodall giving good accounts of music that one would not normally expect to hear from him.
Thursday March 26th
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Organ works - Ashley Grote (organ) SELBY ABBEY ORGAN MASTERS SAOM006 [73:44]
[MR] Grand, often monumental performances of five of Bach’s most majestic organ works, all captured in fine recorded sound.
Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896)
Symphony No. 6 - London SO/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1961
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC574 [56:29] [JQ]
A very good performance of Bruckner’s Sixth and a valuable addition to the Horenstein discography.
Hans Werner HENZE (1926-2012) San Biagio 9 Agosto ore 12.07, Concerto, Serenade, Trauer-Ode - Daniele Roccato (double bass), Ludus Gravis, Abruzzese
SO/Tonino Battista rec. 2015-2019
WERGO WER73912 [52:11] [DC]
Top-notch recording and performances of rarely heard Henze.
Adam PORĘBSKI (b. 1990)
First Command –
Adam Porębski (electronics)
Hashtag Ens/Lilianna Krych rec. 2019 DUX 1059 [55:13] [RHa]
Porębski’s music is carefully designed, hypnotically repetitive, and neatly shared between the eight instruments and the composer’s atmospheric washes of electronica.
Vissarion SHEBALIN (1902-1963)
Orchestral Works Vol. 2 - Siberian SO/Dmitry Vasiliev rec. 2012/2018
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0164 [70:30] [JW]
Colourful music given ardent performances.
The Contrast: English Poetry in Song Carolyn Sampson (soprano)
Joseph Middleton (piano) rec. 2018 BIS BIS2413 SACD [81:06]
Huw Watkins’s Larkin settings are the main reason to invest in this recital.
Italian Guitar Concertos
Works by Vivaldi, Giuliani, Sollima & Boccadoro -
Emanuele Segre (guitar)
I Pomeriggi Musicali O/Carlo Boccadoro
rec. 2018 DELOS DE3546 [67:58] [ZT]
A rather disjointed programme which does not work particularly well.
Praga Rosa Bohemiae Cappella Mariana/Vojtěch Semerád rec. 2018
SUPRAPHON SU4273-2 [62:56] [JV]
A perfect combination of an interesting programme and superb singing.
Wednesday March 25th
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Concertos Nos 2 & 5 -
Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano)
Freiburger Barock O/Pablo Heras-Casado rec. 2017 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902411 [60:03]
[ST] If you like the sound of a fortepiano, this may appeal greatly to you.
(1637-1707) Complete Organ Works
- Harald Vogel (organ)
rec. 1986-1993 MDG 314 2148-2 [7 CDs: 484:44 & DVD]
An inviting makeover to an outstanding cycle.
(1811-1886) Between Heaven &
Joseph Moog (piano) rec. 2018 ONYX 4195 [63:44] [JWe] I’ve run out of superlatives for this disc.
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Symphony No. 8
- Westminster Symphonic Ch, Philadelphia
O/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2016 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4837871 [82:54]
Other recordings come much closer to realising Mahler’s audacious vision.
Marin MARAIS (1656-1728) &
Antoine FORQUERAY (1672-1745) Chamber
works - Anton Birula (theorbo)
Krzysztof Karpeta (viola da gamba)
Maurycy Raczyński, Marta Niedźwiecka (harpsichord) rec. 2018 CD ACCORD ACD259 [53:32]
[JW] An engaging and enjoyable reflection on the French gamba tradition.
(1928-2015) Piano Music Vol. 4
- Christopher Guild (piano)
rec. 2017/19 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0555 [75:17]
[JF] Thoroughly enjoyable.
Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996)
Raphael Wallfisch (cello)
Kristiansand SO/Lukasz Borowicz rec. 2018 CPO 555 234-2 [67:02]
A fine programme and a Cello Concerto that everyone should hear.
The King’s Singers
Finding Harmony rec. 2019
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD607 [67:31]
[MR] A must-have for all their fans.