2020
53,674 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

a

 

 



selling Internationaly

 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider


Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


TROUBADISC

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


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


 

Recordings of the Month

August


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE


Enescu Ravel Britten


Debussy Images etc.


53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)

 

July


KAPSBERGER
Che fai tù? - Villanelles


Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel


SHOSTAKOVICH
violin concertos - Ibragimova


Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov


The Complete Lotte Schöne

 

 

 

Monthly Listing
September 2020

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Miss Julie - Anna Patalong (soprano) Benedict Nelson (bass-baritone) BBC SO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5253(2) SACD [60:39 + 54:03] [JQ] A formidable achievement which all admirers of William Alwyn’s music should consider as a mandatory purchase.

Samuel ANDREYEV (b. 1981) Iridescent Notation - Maren Schwier (soprano), Dina Pysarenko (piano), Ukho Ensemble Kyiv/Luigi Gaggero rec. 2018 KAIROS 0015002KAI [59:54] [RHa] More attractive yet thought-provoking fare from Kairos’s impressive Canadian discovery.

Daniel-François-Esprit AUBER (1782-1871) Overtures Vol. 2 - Czech Chamber PO/Dario Salvi rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574006 [61:06] [GH] Delightful.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I - Dina Ugorskaja (piano) rec. 2015 CAVI-MUSIC 8553350 [2 CDs: 137:09] [SG] Revelatory performances by a pianist with the Midas touch.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas and Partitas - Atilla Aldemir (viola) rec. 2019 CYBELE RECORDS 2SACD321903 [69:11 + 71:33] [DC] A superb and surprisingly rare Bach recording on viola.

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Piano Works- Yesuel Moon, Hardy Rittner (piano) rec. 2019 MDG 904 2177-6 SACD [66:42] [SB] An enterprising debut disc with all Samuel Barber’s piano music.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Canons and Musical Jokes - Ens Tamanial, Cantus Novus Wien/Thomas Holmes rec. 2018/19 NAXOS 8.574176 [54:53] [NH] Not essential but entertaining, interesting, and instructive.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Works for Guitar & Piano - Franz Halász (guitar) Débora Halász (piano) rec. 2018/19 BIS BIS-2505 SACD [74:40] [DC] The kind of disc to cheer you up on a rainy weekend.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Serenade Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Introduction and Variations on ‘Trockne Blumen’ Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Romances, Lieder - Ransom Wilson (flute); Peter Frankl (piano) rec. 2014 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6309 [63:53] [SJ] Ideal summer music.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Nos 23 & 30, Bagatelles - Katie Mahan (piano) rec. 2017 STEINWAY & SONS STNS30161 [69:14] [RC] The consistency of style, solid interpretations and technical skills are very convincing.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Flautopiano - Helen Dabringhaus, Vukan Milin (flute) Fil Liotis (piano) rec. 2018 MDG 903 2135-6 SACD [75:29] [MZ] This selection of flute and piano arrangements of varying authenticity contains a few real gems, with solid performances.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) & Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Works for string trio - Jascha Heifetz (violin) William Primrose (viola) Gregor Piatigorsky (cello) rec. August 1957-60 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM107 [76:16] Superbly executed performances that have been so expertly revitalised by Pristine.

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Les Pêcheurs de perles – Julie Fuchs (soprano) Cyrille Dubois (tenor) Orchestra NtlLille/Alexandre Bloch rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186685 SACD [48:19 + 61:23] [ST] A new set that supplants previous favourites.

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891–1975) The Decca Originals - Alfredo Campoli (violin) Griller Qt, National SO/Muir Mathieson, London SO, London PO/Sir Arthur Bliss rec. 1946-57 ELOQUENCE 484 0215 [71:58 + 75:14] [JW] An excellently produced twofer.

Victoria BORISOVA-OLLAS (b.1969) Angelus - Royal Stockholm PO/Andrey Boreyko, Martyn Brabbins, Sakari Aramo rec. 2016-19 BIS BIS-2288 SACD [82:08] [HC] Accessible, superbly crafted and strongly expressive contemporary music.

Nadia BOULANGER (1887-1979) Songs and Chamber Music - Melinda Paulsen (mezzo-soprano), Angela Gassenhuber (piano), Friedemann Kupsa (cello) rec. 1993 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01407 [72:22] [GPJ] An absorbing disc of works in fine performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Organ Works - Andreas Etlinger (organ) rec. 2017 TYXART TXA16084 [78:26] [MR] Serious and solid performances.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Quintet Alexander ZEMLINSKY (1871-1942) Clarinet Trio - Emma Johnson (clarinet) John Lenehan (piano) Michelangelo String Qt rec. 2013 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6310 [67:15] [SJ] Worth buying for the Zemlinsky trio alone, though the Brahms performance is also very rewarding.

Henry BRANT (1913-2008) Autumn Hurricanes - Vocalists & Instrumentalists of Stetson University/Henry Brant rec. 1986 INNOVA 412 [58:42] [PSe] Intriguing if not quite top-drawer Brant given a fervently committed performance, which is let down by a seriously flawed recording.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) The Wild Song - Marci Meth (soprano) Simon Russell Beale (reciter) Anna Tilbrook (piano) rec. 2016 MODERN POETICS MP001 [59:11] [RHa] Essential listening for anyone who loves Britten, or folksong, or the Suffolk countryside, or all three.

Eric COATES (1886–1957) Orchestral Works Vol. 2 - BBC Philharmonic/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20148 [57:08] [BW]  A splendid follow-up to the first volume - more please.

Paul CORFIELD GODFREY (b. 1950) Beren and Lúthien rec. 2019 PRIMA FACIE PFCD110/1 [67:47 + 72:51] [MP] An interesting calling card for a work that should eventually receive full measure in a live performance.

George CRUMB (b. 1929) Metamorphoses Book 1 - Marcantonio Barone (piano) rec. 2019 BRIDGE RECORDS 9535 [37:26] [DC] A major new work by one of today’s most significant composers.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) String Quartet Pyotr TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Serenade for Strings - NFM Leopoldinum O/Joseph Swensen rec. 2019 CD ACCORD ACD271-2 [54:56] [GPJ] This arrangement of the Debussy String Quartet is a brilliant new addition to the repertoire of the string orchestra.

François DEVIENNE (1759-1803) Trios - Le Petit Trianon rec. 2019 RICERCAR RIC416 [71:31] [JV] The members of Le Petit Trianon are the best possible advocates of Devienne’s music.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848) Lucia di Lammermoor - Joan Sutherland (soprano) João Gibin (tenor) Covent Garden Opera Ch & O/Tullio Serafin rec. 26 February 1959 OPUS ARTE OADA8000DI [62:06 + 63:27] [RMo] Sutherland’s first big triumph.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Elgar from America Vol. II - Yehudi Menuhin (violin), NBC SO/Sir Malcolm Sargent, Arturo Toscanini rec. 1940, 1945 SOMM ARIADNE 5008 [69:27] [JW] Another historically valuable slice of New York concert life.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Sea Pictures; The Music Makers - Kathryn Rudge (mezzo-soprano) Royal Liverpool PO and C/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2019 ONXY CLASSICS 4206 [60:26] [JQ] Much to enjoy in the latest instalment of Petrenko’s Elgar series on Merseyside.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Sea Pictures, Falstaff - Elīna Garanča (mezzo) Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim rec. 2019 DECCA 4850968 [58:58] [ST] A very fine Sea Pictures, but a Falstaff which is a little too clinical.

Frédéric d’ERLANGER (1868-1943) & Thomas DUNHILL (1877-1946) Piano Quintets - Goldner String Qt, Piers Lane (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68296 [73:14] [JW] The Goldners and Lane continue their fine collaboration.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Piano Quintets - Régis Pasquier (violin), Sachiko Segawa (violin), Mozart Piano Quartet rec. 2019 MDG 943 2162-6 SACD [58:09] [SV] Expert and insightful playing.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Piano Works - Alexandra Matvievskaya (piano) rec. 2018 ARTALINNA ATL-024 [63:20] [RCh] A well played (with one exception) and characterised recital.

Richard FLURY (1896–1967) Violin Concerto No. 2, Symphony No. 1, Casanova (Orchestral Pieces) - Ulf Hoelscher (violin) Bieler SO/Urs Joseph Flury VDE-GALLO CD-1385 [73:33] [SG] Attractive late-Romantic music, suffused with captivating lyricism.

Christophe FRIONNET (b. 1968) Piano Works - Martine Vialatte, Jérémie Favreau (piano) rec. 2004 CIAR CLASSICS CC001 [56:28] [SG] Challenging scores, of interest to those willing to push the boat out and explore wider horizons.

Henryk Mikolaj GÓRECKI (1933-2010) Complete String Quartets - Molinari Qt rec. 2019 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD22802 [2 CDs: 105:14] [SSi] Nuanced performances.

Kjell HABBESTAD (b. 1955) Quattro stazioni - Björn Nyman (clarinet) Sveinung Bjelland (piano) Vertavo String Qt rec. 2018/19 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1193 [71:46] [SSi] A disc and a composer well worth investigating.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Arias - Avery Amereau (contralto) Philharmonia Baroque O/Nicholas McGegan rec. 2019 PHILHARMONIA PBP-13 [76:09] [GPu] A remarkable debut solo album, and delight from beginning to end for any Handelian.

Pierre HENRY (1927-2017) La Dixième Symphonie - Orchestras and choirs/Marzena Diakun, Bruno Mantovani, Pascal Rophé rec. 2019 ALPHA 630 [74:08] [BW]  I just don’t see the point of this pseudo-Beethoven mish-mash.

Bernard HERRMANN (1911-1975) At The Gates Of The Twilight Zone - Esecutori di Metallo su Carta/Marcello Corti rec. 2017 19’40” RECORDS [40:58] [SA] Of definite appeal to fans of 'science fiction music’ but I am uncertain as to whether there will be wider appeal.

Ketil HVOSLEF (b. 1939) Chamber Works Vol. 7 rec. 2018/19 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1200 [53:56] [SSi] One of the most rewarding of the seven volumes released so far.

Gustav JENNER (1865-1920) Piano Works - Solvejg Henkhaus (piano) rec. 2017 CPO 555 306-2 [60:28] [RB] A most gentle and appositely recorded recital where even the storms do not intimidate and the smiles are affectionate.

Niccolò JOMMELLI (1714-1774) Requiem - Ch & O Ghislieri/Giulio Prandi rec. 2019 ARCANA A477 [55:15] [DC] Superb performance of a Requiem that was a hit in its day, and long thereafter.

Vasily Pavlovich KALAFATI (1869-1942) Symphony, Légende - Ch Music Department of Athens Unversity, Athens PO/Byron Fidetzis rec. 2017/18 NAXOS 8.574132 [81:28] [EJW] An extremely generously filled CD which brings a forgotten composer to light.

Frederick Septimus KELLY (1881-1916) Orchestral Works - Tasmanian SO/Benjamin Northey, Johannes Fritzsch rec. 2014-19 ABC CLASSICS 481 8890 [48:31 + 47:39] [JW] Devoted and accomplished performances.

Aaron Jay KERNIS (b. 1960) Color Wheel, Symphony No. 4 - Nashville SO/Giancarlo Guerrero rec. 2016-19 NAXOS 8.559838 [52:13] [RHa] Guerrero’s triumphant debut recording of Kernis’s recent Fourth Symphony is unquestionably the highlight here.

Franz LISZT (1811–1886) Complete Piano Music Vol. 55: Transcriptions - Andrey Ivanov (piano) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574149 [81:02] [JWe] A marvellously recorded disc by a superb pianist.

Duarte LOBO (c.1565-1646) Masses, Responsories and Motets - Cupertinos/Luís Toscano rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68306 [70:47] [BW] Very fine performances of spirit-raising music, almost all recorded for the first time.

Sir James MACMILLAN (b 1958) Symphony No. 4, Viola Concerto - Lawrence Power (viola) BBC Philharmonic/Martyn Brabbins rec 2019 HYPERION CDA68317 [72:27] [RHa] Exhilarating, moving, elegant, demanding, inevitable, masterly and timely.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony no. 1 - Residentie O den Haag/Antal Doráti rec 1951 ANTAL DORÁTI LIVE ADL279 [50:58] [BRa] A fascinating glimpse into Doráti's Mahler.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 1 - Festspiel O Gustav Mahler Fest Kassel/Adam Fischer rec. 1989 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38259 SACD [58.15] [LD] A highly distinctive reading which just falls short of established favourites – quite a surprise.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 2 - Chen Reiss (soprano) Tamara Mumford (mezzo) Munich PO/Gustavo Dudamel rec. 2019 UNITEL EDITION Blu-ray 802904 [91 mins] [JQ] A memorable performance.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde - Gerhild Romberger (alto), Robert Dean Smith (tenor); Budapest Festival O/Iván Fischer rec. 2017 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA40020 SACD [61:23] [BW]  An otherwise first-class performance and superb recording fall slightly short of the ideal tenor soloist.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde - Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano), Robert Dean Smith (tenor), Berlin RSO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2018 PENTATONE PTC5186760 SACD [62:43] [JQ] A fine achievement.

Franco MARGOLA (1908-1992) Chamber Music & Concertos rec. 2012/13 TACTUS TC901390 [79:36 + 79:04] [GPu] Beautifully crafted works from one of the quiet voices in Italian music of the twentieth century.

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Don César de Bazan - Laurent Naouri (baritone), Elsa Dreisig (soprano), Marion Lebègue (mezzo), O de Frivolités Parisiennes/ Mathieu Romano rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.660464-5 [74:18 + 37:47] [MP] A welcome first recording of an opera from Massenet’s youthful prime that had undeservedly vanished.

Jules MASSENET (1842–1912) Cendrillon - Danielle de Niese (soprano) Kate Lindsey (mezzo) Glyndebourne Ch, London PO/John Wilson rec. 2019 OPUS ARTE DVD OA1303D [148 mins] [MP] Some fine voices redeem a disappointing production of Massenet’s magical opera.

Fanny MENDELSSOHN-HENSEL (1805-1847) Piano Chamber Music - Céline Dutilly (piano) Friedemann Kupsa (cello) Renate Eggebrecht (violin) Fanny Mendelssohn Qt rec. 1988-2003 TROUBADISC TROCD01428 [54:18] [SSi] Snap this disc up whilst you can.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphonies Nos 35, 36 & 38 - Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer rec. 1956-1960 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC599 [72.37] [MW] Not for period purists, but deeply musical, wonderfully executed and profound in their insights.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) & Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet quintets - Eli Eban (clarinet) Alexander String Qt rec. 2019 FOGHORN CLASSICS FCL2021 [71:26] [GPu] Beautiful, deeply expressive performances of two of the greatest works in the canon of chamber music.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Clarinet Concerto, Symphony No. 35, Don Giovanni & Magic Flute Overtures - Anima Musicae CO/Jonathan Cohler (basset clarinet) ONGAKU 024-128 [61:22] [RMo] As an introduction to these works, this compilation could hardly be bettered.

Giovanni PICCHI (1572-1643) Canzoni da sonar con ogni sorte d'istromenti - Concerto Scirocco/Giulia Genini rec. 2018/19 ARCANA A476 [71:29] [JV] The first complete recording of Picchi's Canzonas in pretty much ideal performances.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) & Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin sonatas - Natalia Prishepenko (violin) Dina Ugorskaja (piano) rec. 2016 CAVI-MUSIC 8553425 [59:17] [SB] If the coupling suits, this will do very well.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) The Bells Sergei TANEYEV (1856-1915) John of Damascus - Anna Samuil (soprano), Dmitri Popov (tenor), Vladislav Sulimsky (baritone) Czech Philharmonic Ch; Brno Gürzenich O Cologne/Dmitri Kitajenko rec. 2018 OEHMS OC470 [64:44] [MR] Highly detailed and crisply controlled performances.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) & Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Piano Trios - Vienna Piano Trio rec. 2019 MDG 942 2130-6 SACD [59:05] [SV] Incisive playing.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Trio Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Piano Quartet - Trio Machiavelli rec. 2019 BERLIN CLASSICS 0301417BC [61:13] [SG] Life-enhancing performances.

Max REGER (1873-1916) Preludes & Fugues, Chaconne - Renate Eggebrecht (violin) rec. 2001 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01425 [59:37] [SSi] Renate Eggebrecht’s impressive, nuanced recording shows understanding of Reger’s musical style.

Dilermando REIS (1916-1977) Guitar Music - Salvatore Fortunato (guitar) rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95939 [56:00] [GPu] Though there are more consistently sympathetic recordings of Reis, this album offers a pleasant introduction to his work.

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879–1936) Roman Trilogy - Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5261 SACD [60:06] [JQ] A fabulous disc.

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Capriccio Espagnol, Russian Easter Festival Overture, Scheherazade - Elise Båtnes (violin) Oslo PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2019 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1198 [74:57] [MP] Well played with superlative engineering which doesn’t quite displace the giants of the past.

Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999) Chamber Orchestra Works - O Comunidad Valenciana/Joan Enric Lluna rec. 2019 IBS CLASSICAL IBS82020 [52:38] [MP] Enjoyable performances of mostly forgotten music receive their recording debuts.

Christopher ROUSE (1949-2019) Symphony No. 5, Supplica, Concerto for Orchestra - Nashville SO/Giancarlo Guerrero rec. 2017-19 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559852 [71:32] [RC] Contemporary music of an accessible yet quite individual character.

Jean ROGER-DUCASSE (1873-1954) Piano Quartet Maurice JAUBERT (1900-1940) Trio italien - Jean Doyen (piano) Trio Pasquier rec. 1955/60 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1220 [53:39] [SG] Both works would benefit from some modern-day advocacy.

Antonio RUIZ-PIPÓ (1934-1997) Works with Guitar Vol. 2 - Wolfgang Weigel (guitar) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574167 [56:47] [GPu] A useful addition to the Naxos Guitar collection, which should help to revive interest in a largely neglected composer.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Le Timbre d’argent - Accentus, Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2017 BRU ZANE BZ1041 [76:46 + 70:43] [MC] A valuable and captivating recording.

Florent SCHMITT (1870-1958) Mélodies - Sybille Diethelm (soprano), Annina Haug (mezzo-soprano), Nino Aurelio Gmünder (tenor), René Perler (bass-baritone), Fabienne Romer, Edward Rushton (piano) rec. 2020 RESONUS RES10265 [72:33] [SSi] This disc, indispensable for all fans of the mélodie, shows Florent Schmitt as a master song composer.

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) Collection rec. 1977-90 MELODIYA MELCD1002630 [145:09] [SSi] An interesting, valuable and well performed historical document.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No.9 Ernst KŘENEK (1900-1991) Static and Ecstatic - Cleveland O/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2020 THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA TCO0002 SACD [77:03] [MJ] A fresh and charming performance of Schubert's Ninth.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas D894 & 958 - Adam Laloum (piano) rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902660 [73:56] [ST] Pianism that makes one sit up and take notice.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Impromptus, Moments Musicaux - Ingrid Carbone (piano) rec. 2019 DA VINCI CLASSICS C00253 [60:10] [GPu] There is both poetry and a strong formal sense in this fine recording of some of Schubert’s greatest ‘miniatures’.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Violin Sonatas - Peter Sheppard Skærved (violin) Julian Perkins (square piano) rec. 2015 ATHENE 23208 [58:38] [CSe] Playing with confident individuality, Skærved and Perkins reveal the Schubert of the later chamber music and lieder.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schubert’s Four Seasons - Sharon Carty (mezzo) Jonathan Ware (piano) rec. 2019 GENUIN GEN20697 [64:35] [BRa] Sharon Carty’s light, agile mezzo-soprano is an asset.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856) Lieder - Marianne Beate Kielland (mezzo) Johannes Weisser (baritone) Nils Anders Mortensen (piano) rec. 2018 LAWO LWC1197 [59:44] [GF] Not to be missed!

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915) Couleurs Sonores - Konstantin Semilakovs (piano) rec. 2019 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38572 [69:12] [RCh] A very satisfying recital of Scriabin's varying piano worlds.

Kurt SCHWERTSIK (b. 1935) The Piano Works - Aya Klebahn (piano) rec. 2013/19 GRAMOLA 99209 [75:01] [GPu] Not everyone will like Schwertsik’s quirky approach as much as I do, but I find his compositions for piano distinctive and intelligently witty.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 13 - Oleg Tsibulko (bass); Russian Ntl O/Kirill Karabits rec. 2017 PENTATONE PTC5186618 SACD [58:13] [DM]  A thoughtful, quietly compelling ‘Babi Yar’, studded with good things; stellar sonics, too.

Leone SINIGAGLIA (1868-1944) Complete Works for String Quartet Vol. 1 - Archos Qt rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574183 [64:26] [WK] Plenty of things to make one look forward to a second volume.

Halldór SMÁRASON (b.1989) Stara - Siggi String Qt & guests rec. 2019 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92242 CD/BD-A [49:02] [GPu] Perhaps best experienced and judged by being physically present to witness its performance.

Dame Ethel SMYTH (1858-1944) The Prison - Dashon Burton (bass-baritone) Sarah Brailey (soprano) Experimental Ch & O/James Blachly rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5279 SACD [64:00] [JQ] An important release that significantly expands our knowledge of the music of Dame Ethel Smyth.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) & Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1882) Remembered - Wayne Marshall (organ) Cambridge Singers/John Rutter rec. 1992 COLLEGIUM RECORDS CSCD524 [45:10 + 48:01] [GPJ] Beautiful music in quite exceptional performances - not to be missed!

Karlheinz STOCKHAUSEN (1928-2007) Unbegrenzt - Catherine Christer Hennix (recitation, percussion & electronics) Hans Isgren (bowed gong) rec. 1974 EMPTY EDITIONS EE007 [51:50] [DC] A discomforting snapshot of a particular period in 20th century music.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Also sprach Zarathustra Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony No. 3 - Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1973/75 DUTTON CDLX7379 SACD [68:55] [RMo] Two stunning recordings of orchestral blockbusters revitalised by superb remastering.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Tod und Verklärung, Don Juan, Sechs Lieder - Louise Alder (soprano) Deutsches SO Berlin/Robin Ticciati rec. 2019 LINN CKD640 [68:34] [ST] A great success.

Germaine TAILLEFERRE (1892-1983) Chamber Music - Fanny Mendelssohn Qt rec. 1992 TROUBADISC TRO-CD01406 [66:42] [BRa] A good starting point for discovering the female Poulenc.

Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Swan Lake - Philharmonia O/Santtu-Matias Rouvali rec. 2019 SIGNUM SIGCD648 [43:00] [BW] A rather odd and short selection; nothing to get excited about by comparison with Rouvali’s recent Sibelius recordings.

Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681–1767) The Colourful Telemann - Indianapolis Baroque O/Barthold Kuijken (flute) rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.573900 [64:41] [NH] Perhaps a bit too laid-back, but it certainly doesn’t stop the disc being a consistently enjoyable and rewarding listen.

Luís TINOCO (b. 1969) Archipelago - Drumming Group de Percussão/Miquel Bernat, Quarteto de Matosinhos rec. 2018/19 ODRADEK ODRCD398 [68:19] [GPu] The skill and beauty of this music confirms Tinoco’s emergence as a major composer.

Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946) Violin concerto, Lonely angel, Plainscapes, Dona nobis pacem - Daniel Rowland (violin) Maja Bogdanović (cello) Consensus Vocalis, Stift Festival O rec. 2019 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72830 [71:56] [SB] Distant Light is a modern classic and the other works here are also fine.

Ian VENABLES (b.1955) Requiem - Gloucester Cathedral Ch/Adrian Partington rec. 2019 SOMM SOMMCD0618 [59:01] [BW] Lovers of British choral music should not hesitate to obtain this.

Pancho VLADIGEROV (1899-1978) Piano Concertos Nos. 1-5, Silhouettes - Teodor Moussev, Ivan Drenikov, Krassimir Gatev, Pancho Vladigerov (piano) Bulgarian National RSO/Alexander Vladigerovrec. 1964-78 CAPRICCIO C8060 [3 CDs: 184:54] [RB] Romantic fantasy and folk spirit with performances to match.

John WILLIAMS (b. 1932) John Williams in Vienna - Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Vienna PO/John Williams rec. 2020 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 6373 [75:01] [NB] A richly deserved tribute from a great orchestra to a great composer.

All Things are Quite Silent Pembroke College Girls’ Ch & Chapel Ch, Cambridge/Anna Lapwood rec. 2019 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD642 [56:46] [JQ] A most auspicious recording debut by Anna Lapwood and the Pembroke College choirs.

The Beethoven Connection Vol. 1 Works by Clementi, Dussek, Hummel & Wölfl - Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20128 [82:34] [RCh] A wonderful recital of excellent sonatas by Beethoven's contemporaries.

Chant dans la nuit Flute Music in the Belle Époque - Filippo Mazzoli (flute), Nathalie Dang (piano) rec. 2019 DYNAMIC CDS7862 [64:36] [BRa] High-class perfume in musical form.

Dirty Minds Olivia Vermeulen (mezzo soprano) Jan Philip Schulze (piano) rec. 2019 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72835 [64:18] [BRa] An intimate, playful programme, beautifully performed.

Albert Ferber (piano) Decca Recordings 1945-51 ELOQUENCE 482 9390 [76:45] [JW] A fitting restoration of Ferber’s ‘Early Years’ on disc.

Fin du Temps Works by Messiaen & Takemitsu - José Luis Estellés (clarinet) Aitzol Iturriagagoitia (violin) David Apellániz (cello) Alberto Rosado (piano) rec. 2019 IBS CLASSICS IBS72020 [61:42] [MR] Sublime performances of sublime music.

Andor Foldes (piano) Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings rec. 1951-63 ELOQUENCE 4841256 [19 CDs: 1279 mins] [SG] A magnificent and comprehensive collection, constituting a worthy tribute to a great artist, musician and pianist.

King Frederik IX Conducts Royal Danish O, Danish Ntl SO rec. 1942-69 DACAPO 8.204001 [4 CDs: 270 minutes] [JW] A release that treads off the beaten path, but it does so with purpose, discrimination and expertise.

Emil Gilels (piano) Legacy Vol. 11 - Concertgebouw O/Eugen Jochum, Philadelphia O/Eugene Ormandy rec. 1966, 1968 DOREMI DHR-8100 [73:08] [JW] On magnificent form in both works, and with the classiest of support.

Great Classic Film Music Vol. II Philharmonic Prom O/Iain Sutherland rec. 1988-95 SOMM ARIADNE 5009 [74:03] [BW]  Both this and the earlier volume are very enjoyable.

Heifetz & Piatigorsky - The Chamber Concerts Works by Mozart, Franck, Brahms & Mendelssohn rec. 1961 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM108 [61:23 + 57:42] [RMo] A triumphant remastering of superlative performances of four seminal works.

Homage to Godowsky Alexander Gugnin (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68310 [80:31] [JWe] Some magnificent playing here as well as some very neglected works which deserve to be better known.

Ermonela Jaho (soprano) Anima Rara - O Comunitat Valenciana/Andrea Battistoni rec. 2019 OPERA RARA ORR253 [70:04] [MC] Impossible to withstand the lure of this special soprano.

Eugen Jochum (conductor) The Orchestral Recordings on Philips rec. 1951-69 ELOQUENCE 484 0600 [15 CDs: 16 hours] [JW] A wealth of orchestral music that reveals once again what a cultured, refined and eloquent musician Jochum was.

Kete - Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora William Chapman Nayaho (piano) rec. 2018 MSR CLASSICS MS1708 [58.34] [GH] Skilfully composed and worthy of scrutiny and exposure.

Lamento Damien Guillon (countertenor); Café Zimmermann rec. 2019 ALPHA 626 [69:06] [BW] Music which speaks to the soul, in performances to match.

Light & Shade Nicola Hands (oboe, cor anglais) Jonathan Pease (piano) rec. 2019 Private Release [59:00] [CSe] Offers some old favourites, some new discoveries and sustained fine playing.

Liszt to Milhaud: A Journey with Piano Four Hands Zeynep Ucbasaran & Sergio Gallo (piano) rec. 2016 DIVINE ART DDA25208 [64:40] [JF] I look forward to reviewing further recitals from this talented pair.

Love and Death Navarra String Qt rec. 2019 ORCHID CLASSICS ORC100135 [80:29] [LW] The Navarra Quartet demonstrate real versatility on this well-programmed CD.

Music for Stage and Screen rec. 1923-58 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD041 [65:53] [JQ] A disc that is as enjoyable as it is enterprising.

Orfeo 40th Anniversary: Legendary Conductors rec. 1951-91 ORFEO C200011 [10 CDs: 684:29] [SG] A collection of significant historical importance.

Paris – Los Angeles Works by Milhaud, Mozart & Zeisl - Ambroise Aubrun (violin) Steven Vanhauwaert (piano) rec. 2019 HORTUS 189 [59:33] [JW] A somewhat unusual but enjoyable selection.

Passions - Venezia 1600-1750 Les Cris de Paris/Geoffroy Jourdain rec. 2018 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902632 [75:56] [JV] Geoffroy Jourdain and his singers and players deliver truly passionate performances.

Slavic Soul Works by Afanas'yev, Glière & Shostakovich - Oberton String Octet rec. 2019 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38305 SACD [59:26] [CSe] Some youthful and little-known essays in the octet genre that will intrigue those with a taste for esoteric chamber music.

Solitude Works by Purcell, Schubert, Dove & Barber - James Gilchrist (tenor) Anna Tilbrook (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20145 [66:19] [JQ] A most rewarding recital which I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I have.

Songs for Sir John A Tribute to Sir John Manduell - Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano) Richard Baker (narrator) Keith Swallow (piano) rec. 2005/19 DIVINE ART DDA25210 [72:52] [JF] An album to savour.

The Spohr Collection Ashley Solomon (historical flutes) rec. 2019 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS43020 [69:45] [JV] Fascinating sounding documentation of some outstanding historical instruments and the art of their makers.

The Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music 2019 - Vol. 2 DUX 1654 [78:38] [DJB] Another enjoyable, if occasionally frustrating, dip into the world of lost Polish chamber music.

The State Opera NAXOS NBD0110V Blu-ray [89 mins] [RWe] A fascinating film, full of insight.

Magda Tagliaferro (piano) Complete 78-rpm Solo & Concerto Recordings rec. 1928-54 APR 7312 [3 CDs: 232:00] [SG] These early 78s capture Tagliaferro at her best.

Those Blue Remembered Hills Works by Gurney & Howells - Roderick Williams (baritone) Michael Dussek (piano) Bridge Qt rec. 2018 EM RECORDS EMRCD065 [80:52] [JW] An impressive reading of Gurney’s cycle.

Biliana Tzinlikova (piano) Works by Auric, Durey & Tailleferre rec. 2019 PALADINO MUSIC PMR0103 [54:36] [BRa] How the other half of Les Six composed for the piano.

Violins of Hope Niv Ashkenazi (violin) Matthew Graybil, Sharon Farber (piano) Tony Campisi (narrator) rec. 2019 ALBANY TROY1810 [58:37] [JW] A finely programmed disc.

Uta Weyand (piano) 1892 Reflections - Works by Debussy, Albéniz, Grieg & Brahms rec. 2019 ARS PRODUKTION ARS38308 SACD [74:02] [RCh] Uta Weyand plays these contrasting composers with affection.

Sarah Willis (horn) Mozart y Mambo - Havana Lyceum O/José Antonio Méndez Padrón rec. 2020 ALPHA 578 [54:45] [LW] Provides a great deal of pleasure.

Other Reviews

 

Articles

Gerhard's Wind Quintet - An Early Recording by John France

Exploring Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's Anniversaries by John France

Hanna Hedman, record producer - an obituary by Göran Forsling



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