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

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Recordings of the Month


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Schubert Symphony 9


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)




Monthly Listing
October 2020

Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Symphony No. 5, Sieidi - Colin Currie (percussion) Lahti SO/Dima Slobodenoiuk rec. 2017/20 BIS BIS-2336 SACD [61.08] [PCG] Essential for Aho fans, and attractive for those who welcome the excitement of two approachable and comprehensible pieces of modern music.

Fikret AMIROV (1922-1984) Symphony, 1001 Nights Suite - Kyiv Virtuosi SO/Dmitri Yablonsky rec. 2018/19 NAXOS 8.573803 [57:22] [EJW] Fine playing, uninspired music.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations - Parker Ramsay (harp) rec. 2019 KING’S COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE KGS0049 [78:45] [ST] Despite the beauty of the playing, this doesn’t work for me.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Fantasias, Preludes and Fugues - James Johnstone (organ) rec. 2015 METRONOME METCD1095 [59:29] [MR] James Johnstone continues his Bach survey for Metronome with some glittering performances on a ravishing Danish instrument.

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Piano works - Natalia Williams-Wandoch (piano) rec. 2018 USK RECORDINGS USK1236CD [59:00] [JF] Bax has gained a highly competent and enthusiastic interpreter in Natalia Williams-Wandoch.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis - Regine Hangler (soprano), Elisabeth Kulman (alto), Christian Elsner (tenor), Franz-Josef Selig (bass) MDR Rundfunkchor, Leipzig RSO Berlin/Marek Janowski rec. 2016 PENTATONE PTC5186565 SACD [73:04] [ST] Perfectly fine but not enough to challenge favourites.

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Benvenuto Cellini - Michael Spyres (tenor) Sophia Burgos (soprano) Monteverdi Ch, O Révolutionnaire Romantique/John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2019 CHATEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACULAR CVS020 DVD [180 mins] [PCG] The best option for a staged version on video.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz BIBER (1644-1704) Requiem František Ignác Antonín TŮMA (1704-1774) Stabat mater - Pluto Ens/Marnix De Cat, Hathor Consort/Romina Lischka rec. 2019 RAMÉE RAM1914 [61:35] [JV] Profound performances.

Jean BOYER (c.1592-1648) Chansons à boire et à danser, Airs de cour - Ratas del viejo Mundo/Floris de Rycker rec. 2019 RAMÉE RAM1910 [53:51] [GH] Sensitive and characterful performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 1, Tragic Overture - Gewandhaus O Leipzig/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 2019 PENTATONE PTC5186850 [62:32] [ST] If this is the start of a cycle, then count me in for the rest.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 4, Tragic Overture, Hungarian Dances - Swedish CO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2018 BIS BIS-2383 SACD [72:50] [JQ] A fine conclusion to Dausgaard’s Brahms symphony cycle.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Peter Grimes - Stuart Skelton (tenor) Erin Wall (soprano) Bergen PO & Ch/Edward Gardner rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5250(2) SACD [82:39 + 55:37] [ST] The finest Peter Grimes yet.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies Nos 1-9 - NHK SO/Hiroshi Wakasugi rec. 1996-98 ALTUS ALT431/440 [10 CDs: 584:39] [RMo] A few minor quibbles aside, this is a really recommendable cycle.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 5 - Gewandhaus O Leipzig/Franz Konwitschny rec. 1961 BERLIN CLASSICS 0301621BC [81:15] [RMo] One of the three or four greatest Bruckner Fifth recordings I know.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 4 - Emanuel Ax (piano) Vienna PO/Bernard Haitink rec. 2019 UNITEL EDITION Blu-ray 802304 [116:00] [JQ] A memorable concert, preserved in excellent sound and vision.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 - Der Ring Tokyo O/Yoshinori Nishiwaki rec. 2019 FINE NF NF65809 SACD [63:51] [RMo] Left me largely unmoved.

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Early Masterpieces - Holger Groschopp (piano) rec. 2018 CAPRICCIO C5416 [3 CDs: 184:31] [RCh] An eye-opening traversal of the young Busoni's craft.

Huihui CHENG (b. 1985) Your Smartest Choice and other works - Ensemble Experimental, Ensemble uBu, Ensemble Mosaik, Neue Vocalsoliste rec. 2016-2019 WERGO WER6432-2 [66:27] [MR] Avant-garde music with a strong theatrical element.

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Études - Sonya Bach (piano) rec. 2018 RUBICON RCD1042 [64:12] [MG] Sonya Bach acquits herself pretty well in distinguished company.

Rebecca CLARKE (1886-1979) Viola Sonata and other works - Martin Ruman (viola), Alena Hučková (piano) rec. 2018 PAVLIK RECORDS PA0171-2-131 [51:11] [SG] Engaging playing casts a fascinating spell.

Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713) Concerti grossi, Op.6 - English Concert/Trevor Pinnock rec. 1987/88 ARCHIV 4749072 [2 CDs: 129:11] [BW]  Still a very competitive recording of these ground-breaking and attractive concertos.

Johann Baptist CRAMER (1771-1858) Piano Concerti Nos 1, 3 & 6 - London Mozart Players/Howard Shelley (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68302 [78:18] [JF] The Cramer Piano Concerto project is now completed.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Pelléas et Mélisande - Nicolai Gedda (tenor) Anna Moffo (soprano) Metropolitan Opera Ch & O/Ernest Ansermet rec. 1962 PRISTINE CLASSICAL PACO151 [157:06] [MP] Propulsive conducting from Ansermet combined with a starry cast that reveals a different twist on this fascinating opera.

John DOWLAND (1563-1626) A Fancy - Bor Zuljan (lute) rec. 2020 RICERCAR RIC425 [61:57] [GPu] Deserves a place on the shelves of anyone who values Dowland’s lute music.

Domenico Maria DREYER (17-18th C), Louis DÉTRY (17-18th C) & Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Sonatas - Renata Duarte (recorder, oboe) Aline Zylberajch (harpsichord) Ricardo Rapaport (bassoon) Annabelle Luis (cello) rec. 2019 CYBELE RECORDS SACD 231904 [50:43] [DC] Proof that obscure need not mean second-rate.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Cello Concerto - Kian Soltani (cello) Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim rec. 2018/20 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 6090 [62.28] [IL] A very fine concerto and the supporting programme for cello ensemble fascinates.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) From America Vol. 2 - Yehudi Menuhin (violin), NBC SO/Sir Malcolm Sargent, Arturo Toscanini rec. 1940/45 SOMM ARIADNE 5008 [69:27] [SG] Best possible restorations for these valuable historical audio documents.

Frédéric d’ERLANGER (1868-1943) & Thomas DUNHILL (1877-1946) Piano Quintets - Goldner String Qt, Piers Lane (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68296 [73:14] [NB] Many pleasures and rewards for the curious listener.

Alfonso FERRABOSCO (The Younger) Lessons for Solo Lyra Viol - Paolo Biordi (bass viol) rec. 2018 DYNAMIC CDS7852 [67:54] [GPu] Will appeal to lovers of English viol music, but is probably too specialized for others.

Richard FLURY (1896–1967) Works for Violin - Urs Joseph Flury (violin) O della Svizzera Italiana/Bruno Amaducci rec. 1970-75 VDE-GALLO CD-1624 [67:26] [SG] Music harmonically rich and rhythmically imaginative.

Herman GALYNIN (1922-1966) Complete Works for Strings - Anastasia Latysheva (violin), Academy of Russian Music/Ivan Nikiforchin rec. 2019 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0514 [65:12] [JW] An exemplary opportunity to consider this remarkable though little-known composer.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) & Tenzin CHOEGYAL The Last Dalai Lama? - Tenzin Choegyal (vocals, lingbu, dranyen, percussion) Philip Glass, Michael Riesman (piano) ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0146 [47.27] [MW] An interesting, if non-essential, release, let down by very poor presentation, which does no justice to either the music or the performers.

Olivier GREIF (1950-2000) Piano Quintet - Syntonia Quintet rec. 2020 CIAR CLASSICS CC002 [48:25] [SG] Not for the faint-hearted.

Launy GRØNDAHL (1886-1960) Legacy Vol. 2 - Danish RSO/Launy Grøndahl rec. 1954-57 DANACORD DACOCD882 [64:18 + 59:18] [JW] You could hardly ask for more authentic historic documents.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) 8 Early Sonatas - Tuija Hakkila (fortepiano) rec. 2019 ONDINE ODE1360-2D [66:49 + 69:07] [GPu] Lucid, intelligent and sensitive readings on two fine instruments which all lovers of Haydn should enjoy.

Jake HEGGIE (b. 1961) Unexpected Shadows - Jamie Barton (mezzo) Jake Heggie (piano) Matt Haimovitz (cello) rec. 2019 PENTATONE PTC5186836 [66:40] [MP] A not to be missed recital of immense artistry combined with exceptionally thoughtful musical selection.

Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Missa Sabrinensis - Bach Ch, BBC Concert O/David Hill rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68294 [71:32] [WK] A superlative disc in every regard.

Leoš JANÁCEK (1854-1928) The Diary of One Who Disappeared, Říkadla, Moravian folksongs - Nicky Spence (tenor) Václava Housková (mezzo) Victoria Samek (clarinet) Julius Drake (piano) Voice Ens rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68282 [62:21] [ST] Marvellous – a real winner.

JOSQUIN Des Prés (c.1450-1521) Masses - Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips rec. 2019 GIMELL CDGIM051 [71:36] [BW]  This crowning achievement of a superb cycle joins my short-list for Recordings of the Year.

Pete JUDGE Piano 2 - Pete Judge (piano) rec. 2020 PJM 002 [40:33] [JW] A richly recorded, charm-filled album.

Emanuel KANIA (1827-1887) Songs - Dawid Biwo (bass-baritone), Dominika Peszko (piano) rec. 2019 DUX 7603 [71:55] [MP] An attractive recital of a little-known composer, but the lack of translations reduces its appeal to non-Polish speakers.

Alexander KASTALSKY (1856-1926) Requiem for Fallen Brothers - Anna Dennis (soprano) Joseph Beutel (bass-baritone) O St Luke’s/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.574245 [63:57] [MW] A fascinating release of an extraordinary rarity, well worth exploring.

Charles KOECHLIN (1867-1950) Les chants de Nectaire - Nicola Woodward (flute) HOXA HS190206 [71:22] [GPu] This quietly powerful cycle offers an engaging way into Koechlin’s musical world.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Violanta - Annemarie Kremer, Michael Kupfer-Radecki, O & Ch Teatro Regio Torino/Pinchas Steinberg rec. 2020 DYNAMIC CDS7876 [79:28] [IL] Not a performance to treasure.

Michel LAMBERT (1610-1696) Leçons de Ténèbres - Monique Zanetti (soprano) Ens Les Temps Présents rec. 2018 AEOLUS AE-10113 [58:30] [CRo] Fine performances of rare but delightful repertoire.

Salvatore LANZETTI (1710-1780) Sonatas for Violoncello - Agnieszka Oszańca (cello), Maria Misiarz (cello), Gabriele Palomba (theorbo), Fabio Bonizzoni (harpsichord) rec. 2019 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72794 [68:55] [JV] Entertaining and compelling.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) & Sigismond THALBERG (1812-1871) Opera transcriptions & fantasies - Marc-André Hamelin (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68320 [75:04] [JWe] Well on the way to being my favourite disc of the year.

George LLOYD (1913-1998) Symphony No.10 Paul DRAYTON (b.1944) Nocturne, Antique Suite - Abbey Brass/Paul Drayton, Tony Hindley rec. 2020 FS RECORDS FSR201 [60:26] [JW] Everything about this release speaks of engaging vitality.

Duarte LOBO (c.1565-1646) Masses, Responsories & Motets - Cupertinos/Luís Toscano rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68306 [70:47] [GH] Thrilling.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No.4 - Essi Luttinen (soprano), Turku PO/Leif Segerstam rec. 2019 ALBA ABCD454 [61:38] [BW] You wouldn’t go too far wrong with this new recording, but there is better to be had from Szell, Tilson Thomas and Iván Fischer.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde - Het Collectief/Reinbert De Leeuw rec. 2020 ALPHA 633 [63:21] [BW] A chamber adaptation that is only partly successful.

Jaakko MÄNTYJÄRVI (b. 1963) Choral works - Ch Trinity College Cambridge/Stephen Layton rec. 2018-20 HYPERION CDA68266 [70:54] [MR] A fabulous disc in terms of performance, music, recording and accompanying documentation.

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Roma - Iano Tamar (soprano), Svetlana Arginbaeva (contralto), Warren Mok (tenor) Bratislava Chamber Ch; O Internazionale d’Italia/Marco Guidarini rec. 1999 DYNAMIC CDS267/1-2 [68:28 + 60:33] [RMo] More than 20 years on, it remains the only opportunity to hear this.

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Cendrillon - Danielle de Niese (soprano) Kate Lindsey (mezzo) Glyndebourne Ch, London PO/John Wilson rec. 2019 OPUS ARTE OABD7267 Blu-ray [148 mins] [PCG] As a thought-provoking approach to Massenet, this would appear to command the field.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Turangalîla-Symphonie - Nationaltheater O Mannheim/Alexander Soddy rec. 2019 OEHMS CLASSICS OC472 [78:25]  [DM] A revealing, very competitive Turangalîla; fine playing and superior sonics, too.

Michel Pignolet de MONTÉCLAIR (1667-1737) Beloved and Betrayed - Carrie Henneman Shaw (soprano) Leela Breithaupt (flute) Les Ordinaires rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573932 [64:30] [JV] Mixed feelings.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643) L’Orfeo - Emiliano Gonzalez Toro (tenor) Ens vocal de Poche, I Gemelli rec. 2020 NAÏVE V7176 [42.58 + 53.36] [GH] This should become a classic in due course.

Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925) Orchestral Music Vol. 2 - Sinfonia Varsovia/Ian Hobson rec. 2019 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0557 [68:00] [JW] Charming and uncomplicated.

Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925) Violin Concerto, Spanish Dances, Prelude & Fugue - Marcin Danilewski (violin) West Side Sinfonietta/Agnieszka Kreiner rec. 2019 CD ACCORD ACD273-2 [64:30] [JW] The other works can’t make up for the unconvincing performance of the Concerto.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Mass in C minor - Arleen Auger, Lynne Dawson (sopranos) John Mark Ainsley (tenor) David Thomas (bass) Winchester Cathedral Ch & College Quiristers, Academy Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood rec. 1988 DECCA 425 528-2 [51:25] [ST] More to enjoy in other accounts.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete String Trios - Jacques Thibaud String Trio rec. 2020 AUDITE 97.773 [82:00] [RHa] A splendidly performed account of Mozart’s late, rather underappreciated Divertimento.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies Nos 35, 36 & 38 - Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer rec. 1956/60 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC599 [72:37] [DD] Vintage Klemperer, splendidly restored.

Vitězslav NOVÁK (1870-1949) Piano Concerto, At Dusk, Toman and the Wood Nymph - Jan Bartoš (piano) Prague Radio SO/Jakub Hrůša rec. 2019/20 SUPRAPHON SU4284-2 [62:36] [JW] It’s excellent to hear this youthful concerto in a performance as well prepared and executed as this.

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880) Maître Péronilla - Véronique Gens, Antoinette Dennefeld, Ch Radio France, O Ntl France/Markus Poschner rec. 2019 BRU ZANE BZ1039 [44:06 + 56:34] [RWe] Another real discovery from this excellent Bru Zane series.

Krzysztof PENDERECKI (1933-2020) Concertos Vol. 8 - Maciej Frąckiewicz (accordion) Bartlomiej Duś (saxophone) Jerzy Semkow Polish Sinfionia Iuventus O/Krzysztof Penderecki, Maciej Tworek rec. 2018/19 DUX 1571 [44:14] [SB] Two concertos from Penderecki’s later period in authorised but unmemorable transcriptions.

Giovanni PICCHI (1572-1643) Canzoni da sonar con ogni sorte d’istromenti - Concerto Scirocco/Giulia Genini rec. 2018/2019 ARCANA A476 [71:29] [DC] A valuable recording of an undeservedly neglected collection.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin Concerto No. 2 Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978) Violin Concerto, Masquerade Suite - Leonid Kogan (violin) USSR State SO/Kirill Kondrashin, USSR Radio O/Samuel Samossoud rec. 1952-1956 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1757 [79:33] [SG] A violinist of stunning virtuosity and artful musicianship.

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924) Gianni Schicchi - Bruno de Simone (bass) Francesca Longari (soprano) O del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Valerio Galli rec. 2019 DYNAMIC 37874 DVD [54 mins] [GPJ] Sad to say, a damp squib of a Gianni Schicchi that never really takes off.

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) Royal Welcome Songs for King Charles II Vol. III - The Sixteen/Harry Christophers rec. 2018 CORO COR16182 [74:05] [JW] Christophers wins out over the opposition.

Carl REINECKE (1842-1910) Orchestral Works Vol. 1 - Munich Radio O/Henry Vaudales rec. 2014/16 CPO 555 114-2 [81.26] [MW] Well worth exploring, in admirable performances – I look forward to the next issue in the series.

Ferdinand RIES (1784-1838) Octet, Sextet, String Trio - Franz Ens rec. 2019 MDG 903 2136-6 SACD [70:10] [MZ] Works well worth rediscovering, presented in outstanding sound, with solid performances.

Christopher ROUSE (1949-2019) Symphony No. 5, Supplica, Concerto for Orchestra - Nashville Symphony/Giancarlo Guerrero rec. 2017-19 NAXOS 8.559852 [71:32] [WH] Three brilliantly performed works from a modern master of the orchestra.

Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Le Bal - Warren Lee (piano) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574216 [87:49] [JF] The playing is stunning and imaginative.

John RUTTER (b. 1945) Anthems, Hymns and Gloria for Brass Band - Sheffield Philharmonic Ch, Black Dyke Band/Nicholas Childs, Darius Battiwala rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574130 [62:22] [MR] Classic Rutter choral pieces arranged for Brass Band and given warm, polished and superbly sensitive performances.

Franz SCHMIDT (1874-1939) Complete Symphonies - Frankfurt RSO/Paavo Järvi rec. 2013-18 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4838336 [3 CDs: 180:43] [SG] As Schmidt symphony cycles go, this one ascends to the top of the leaderboard.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies No. 1 & 4 - Gürzenich-O Köln/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2018/19 MYRIOS MYR028 SACD [55:16] [JQ]Two estimable Schumann performances.

Kazimierz SEROCKI (1922-1981) Forte e piano, Pianophonie - Jerzy Witkowski, Szabolcs Esztényi (piano) Polish RSOs Krakow & Katowice/Stanisław Wisłocki rec. 1973/79 DUX 1287 [45:23] [HC] Hard nuts to crack but definitely well worth the cracking, especially when heard in such committed performances as those here.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 5 - Bavarian RSO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2014 BR KLASSIK 900191 [44:27] [ST] Not really competitive.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975) Symphony No.11 - London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2019 LPO LPO0118 [58:38] [BW] A knock-out performance of this searingly intense symphony.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Cello Concertos - Alban Gerhardt (cello) SWR SO/Jukka-Pekka Saraste rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68340 [57:22] [HC] Played with consummate assurance and deep understanding.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Cello Sonata, Viola Sonata - Anouchka Hack (cello) Katharina Hack (piano) rec. 2019 GENUIN GEN20701 [64:46] [CSe] Worth buying for the crystalline musical dialogues and interpretative vision of the Viola Sonata alone.

Michał SPISAK (1914-1965) Piano Suite, Violin Sonata, Concerto for two pianos - Anna Czaicka-Jaklewicz, Łukasz Trepczyński (pianos), Adam Mokrus (violin) rec. 2017 DUX 1615 [46:30] [JW] Compelling.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Eugene Onegin - Yevgeny Belov (baritone) Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano) Bolshoi Theatre Ch & O/Boris Khaikin rec. 1955 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO099 [68:56 + 73:03] [MP] Improved sound in a fine transfer of one of the twentieth century’s most impressive opera recordings.

Knut VAAGE (b. 1961) Svev, Bumerang, Rabalder - Einar Røttingen (piano) Valen Trio rec. 2019 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1199 [61:36] [RHa] A riveting trio of pieces - if listeners are yet to encounter Vaage’s singular music this is a fine place to start.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Songs of Travel, Job - Neal Davies (bass-baritone), Hallé/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2019 HALLÉ CDHLL7556 [70:16] [EJW] Job receives a very good performance, but you should sample the songs before purchase.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Folk Songs Vol. 1 - Mary Bevan (soprano), Nicky Spence (tenor), Roderick Williams (baritone), Jack Liebeck (violin), William Vann (piano) rec. 2020 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD042 [68:41] [JQ] An auspicious beginning to a series which will bring us all of RVW’s solo-voice folk song arrangements.

Giovanni Battista VITALI (1632-1692) Sonate a due violini - Italico Splendore rec. 2017 TACTUS TC632207 [77:17] [JV] This disc offers an excellent opportunity to get to know Vitali.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Träume - Jenufa Gleich (soprano) BBC Ntl O Wales/Fabrice Bollon rec. 2019 STONE RECORDS 5060 19278 1038 [59.15] [PCG] I cannot wait to hear Jenufa Gleich in some signficiant Wagnerian roles.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) The All-Wagner Concert, 22 February 1941 - Lauritz Melchior (tenor) Helen Traubel (soprano) NBC SO/Arturo Toscanini PRISTINE AUDIO PACO105 [55.15 + 73.29] [MP] Pristine’s excellent engineering refreshes an evening of Golden Age Wagner performance with most of the gilt still firmly attached.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Flute Concertos, Symphony No.7 - Łukasz Długosz (flute) Aleksandra Gajecka-Antosiewicz (harpsichord) Silesian CO/Robert Kabara rec. 2019 DUX 1589 [62.45] [MW] An affecting and valuable release – one to explore and enjoy.

John WILLIAMS (b. 1932) John Williams in Vienna - Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Vienna PO/John Williams rec. 2020 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 6373 [75:01] [EJW] A fine survey of the Williams canon.

20th Century Polish Chamber Music Works by Bacewicz, Panufnik & Szymanowski - Huberman Piano Trio, Huberman Duo rec. 2020 DIVINE ART DDA25206 [55:09] [JF] A worthy packaging of three vital works.

Claudio Abbado (conductor) Live Vol. 1: Haydn & Bruckner - Chicago SO, Vienna PO rec. 1972/80 DOREMI DHR-8070 [69:08] [RMo] Competent interpretations, mediocre sound – hard to see the point.

Classical Oboe Concertos Works by Ferlendis, Hofmann, Dittersdorf and Mozart - Andrius Puskunigis (oboe, oboe d'amore), St. Christopher CO/Donatas Katkus rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95218 [63:47] [SV] At the very least, it is worth getting to know the Ferlendis and Hofmann.

Favourite Marches Royal Norwegian Navy Band/Bjarte Engeset rec. 2019 NORWEGIAN ARMED FORCES FMK2001 [54:48] [RMay] First-rate performances, though the repertoire is perhaps of specialist interest.

From the Ground Up The Organ of Peterborough Cathedral - David Hill (organ) rec. 2019 REGENT REGCD539 [67:48] [JF] A magnificent instrument, brilliantly played.

Gorgeous Guitar Best Loved Classical Guitar Music NAXOS 8.578176 [75:25] [BMC] A fine collection of classical guitar music selections from the Naxos catalogue.

Le Grand Jeu French Baroque Organ Favorites - Gaétan Jarry (organ) rec. 2019 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES SPECTACLES CVS024 [65:19] [JV] Too much a collection of lollipops.

Great Classic Film Music Vol. II Philharmonic Promenade O/Iain Sutherland rec. 1988-95 SOMM ARIADNE 5009 [74:03] [IL] This very enjoyable second volume covers much ground.

Sofja Gülbadamova (piano) Hungarian Melody rec. 2017 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC19037 [63:43] [RCh] Some rare Brahms transcriptions make this an attractive prospect.

Sofja Gülbadamova (piano) Idylle rec. 2018 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC20047 [77:56] [RCh] A beautifully presented recital with some real gems to discover.

Hope@Home Daniel Hope (violin) Christoph Israel (piano) rec. 2020 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4839482 [77:00] [RWe] A perfect souvenir of the lockdown hit series, but with wider appeal as well.

Alexandre Kantorow (piano) Works by Bartók, Brahms & Liszt rec. 2019/20 BIS BIS-2380 SACD [66:28] [RC] Kantorow's consistency throughout all four compositions clearly sets this apart from most other such varied piano collections.

Dénes Kovács (violin) Vol. 2: Mozart & Schubert rec. 1959-82 DOREMI DHR8111-5 [5 CDs: 361:40] [SG] Performances notable for their freshness and spontaneity.

Lament Works by Asheim, Hagen & Nordheim - Norwegian Soloists’ Ch/Grete Pedersen, Ens Allegria rec. 2018/19 BIS BIS-2431 SACD [59:08] [DC] Excellent all round - new music and performances of real power and beauty.

La Mer Bleue Works by Gorton, Messiaen & Szymanowski - Roderick Chadwick (piano) Peter Sheppard Skærved, Shir Victoria Levy (violins) rec. 2019 DIVINE ART DDA25209 [65:27] [JF] Three splendid piano works, interspersed with three unnecessary violin pieces.

Stanisław Maryjewski (organ) The Organ of Cathedral of St. John Evangelist and St. John Baptist of Lublin rec. 2020 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0477 [76:02] [MR] Heavyweight and solid music which suits this weighty Romantic organ perfectly.

Midnight Stories Art’n’Voices DUX 1607 [48:15] [WH] A fascinating collection of contemporary Polish music, beautifully sung.

La Morte della Ragione Il Giardino Armonico/Giovanni Antonini rec. 2017 ALPHA 450 [73:07] [GPu] A musical statement, brilliantly played and recorded, of the powers - and dangers - of the imagination.  

Northern Dances Folk Music from Scandinavia and Estonia Gunnar Idenstam (organ), Erik Rydvall (nyckelharpa) rec. 2018 TOCCATA NEXT TOCN0004 [70:34] [MW] Unusual, genuinely exciting – a box of delights, perfect for late-night listening.

Palace Premières The Countess of Wessex’s String O/Major David B Hammond rec. 2019 MPR CWSO01 [75:49] [NB] An enterprising disc of wholly enjoyable music performed with sensitivity and commitment.

Rarities of Piano Music at Schloss vor Husum 2019 rec. 2019 DANACORD DACOCD849 [75:02] [RCh] Another winning collection from this feast of piano treasures.

Rendez-vous au Gaumont-Palace Raoul Gola (piano) Georges Ghestem (organ) O Gaumont-Palace/Georges Tzipine (violin) rec. 1929/1939 HORTUS 160 [63:18] [JW] A generous-spirited reminder of life in the 30s.

The Royal Ballet Concerto, Enigma Variations & Raymonda Act III - O Royal Opera House/Pavel Sorokin rec. 2019 OPUS ARTE Blu-ray OABD7272D [156 mins] [RMay] A most valuable addition to the catalogue.

Scelsi Revisited Klangforum Wien/Emilio Pomàrico, Sian Edwards, Johannes Kalitzke, Sylvain Cambreling rec. live, 2013-15 KAIROS 0015030KAI [66:37 + 79:17] [RHa] A superb homage to an underappreciated Italian master.

Other Reviews


Articles and Notices

Mahler's Symphony 4 - an update to Tony Duggan's survey by Brian Wilson

Between what opera is and how it is portrayed Composer Matthew Peterson in conversation with Ona Jarmalavičiūtė

Exploring Salzedo's Capriccio for brass quintet by John France


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