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NEW & RECENT ARTICLES

[New] Christa Ludwig - an obituary by Ralph Moore

[New] Whatever happened to ... Rawsthorne's Triptych by John France

Cello Concerto Project: 1981-90 - a new timeline by Patrick Waller

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Cello Concerto Project: 1971-80 - a new timeline by Patrick Waller

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Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben - a survey by Ralph Moore

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Friday April 30th

Alexander DARGOMYZHSKY (1813-1869) The Secret Garden - Anastasia Prokofieva (soprano) Sergey Rybin (piano) rec. 2019 STONE RECORDS 5060192780987 [62:02] [GF] Agreeable songs well worth investigating but some of the singing may not be to everybody’s liking.

JOSQUIN Des Prez (c.1450/55-1521) The Golden Renaissance - Stile Antico rec. 2020 DECCA 485 1340 [82:55] [DC] An immersive and joyous experience.

Charles KOECHLIN (1867–1950) Les Chants de Nectaire Vol. 3 - Nicola Woodward (flute) HOXA HS190207 [72:09] [SSi] A wonderful conclusion to the three-disc survey of Charles Koechlin’s music for solo flute.

John MAYER (1939–2004) Violin Concerto No. 2, Concerto for the Instruments of an Orchestra Jonathan MAYER (b. 1975) Sitar Concerto No. 2, Pranam - Soloists, BBC Ntl O Wales/Debashish Chaudhuri rec. 2020 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR88 [84:34] [JW] The Mayers, father and son, in passionate concertos and orchestral works.

Alberto POSADAS (b. 1967) Veredas - Ricard Capellino Carlos (saxophones) rec. 2019/20 KAIROS 0015034KAI [67:04] [RHa] Carlos’s riveting playing ensures that Alberto Posadas’ sax epic Veredas is a compelling journey from its first note.

Poul RUDERS (b. 1949) Dream Catcher - Bjarke Mogensen (accordion) Odense SO/Scott Yoo, Sebastian Lang-Lessing rec. 2020 BRIDGE 9553 [60.43] [GH] Three highly original works by one of Denmark’s greatest composers, superbly realised.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Joyce DiDonato (mezzo) Yannick Nézet-Séguin (piano) rec. 2019 ERATO 9029528414 [70:26] [MC] DiDonato and Nezet-Seguin perform with credit, but the competition is fierce.

The Cellist/Dances At A Gathering Royal Ballet, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House/Andrea Molino rec. 2020 OPUS ARTE Blu-Ray OABD7277D [147 mins] [RMay] Cathy Marston’s moving new ballet based on the life of Jacqueline du Pré is paired with classic Jerome Robbins.

Leningrad Concertos Works by Ustvolskaya, Yevlakhov, Uspensky & Korchmar rec. 1970-83 NORTHERN FLOWERS NF/PMA99139 [70:07] [RB] Imaginative, compact one-movement concertos largely by composers almost unknown in the West.

Le Plaintif Doleful Music of the French Grand Siècle - Cordevento rec. 2019 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95694 [66:57] [JV] A perfect demonstration of expression à la française.

Thursday April 29th

Franco ALFANO (1875-1954) Risurrezione - Anne Sophie Duprels, Matthew Vicker, Leon Kim and others, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Chorus and Orchestra/Francesco Lanzillotta, Rosetta Cucchi (director) rec. 2020 DYNAMIC DVD 37866 [119:00] [DCh] A welcome first video recording of a powerful opera derived from Tolstoy.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Symphonies & Serenades - Netherlands PO/Jaap van Zweden, Dresden PO/Heinz Bongartz, Berlin SO/Günter Herbig rec. 1962-2002 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 96147 [5 CDs: 278:36] [SV] A patchy collection rather superseded by the streaming/download era.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) The Dream of Gerontius, Enigma Variations - Jon Vickers (tenor), Constance Shacklock (contralto), Marian Nowakowski (bass), RAI Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Rome, RAI Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Turin/Sir John Barbirolli rec. 1957, 1960 BARBIROLLI SOCIETY SJB1105-06 [66:58 + 58:43] [JQ] A very valuable release of two notable Elgar performances by Sir John Barbirolli in very good transfers.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe, Trois Odes funèbres, Zwei Episoden aus Lenaus Faust - Glasgow Singers, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ilan Volkov rec. 2010 HYPERION CDA67856 [78:54] [RB] Music deadly serious, commensurate with the subject-matter, superbly performed and recorded.

Sunleif RASMUSSEN (b. 1961) Territorial Songs – Michala Petri (recorder), Ejsberg Ensemble, Aalborg SO/Henrik Vagn Christensen, Danish Nat Vocal Ens/Stephen Layton, Lapland Ch.O/Clemens Schuldt rec. 2011-20 OUR RECORDINGS 6.220674 SACD [72:31] [HC] This generously filled release confirms the importance of Rasmussen's unmistakable musical voice.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Amici e Rivali - Lawrence Brownlee, Michael Spyres, Xabier Anduaga (tenors), Tara Erraught (mezzo-sop), I Virtuosi Italiani/Corrado Rovaris rec. 2019 ERATO 9029526947 [79:02] [GF] A treat for fanciers of the tenor voice!

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphonies Nos 2 & 5 - Sinfonia of London/Tauno Hannikainen rec. 1959 MAESTRO EDITIONS ME.057 [72:59] [JW] New restorations of a classic Sibelius coupling.

En Masse Offspring Bites 3  Works by Pozniak, Harrison & Meadowcraft - Ensemble Offspring OFFSPRING BITES 3 [55:07] [DC] Excellence and discomfort - contemporary music in a nutshell.

Wednesday April 28th

Cecil COLES (1888-1918) & Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Piano Music - James Willshire (piano) rec. 2020 DELPHIAN DCD34209 [68:46] [JW] Cecil Coles’ piano works on disc for the first time.

Johann KUHNAU (1660-1722) Complete Sacred Works V - Opella Musica, camerata lipsiensis/Gregor Meyer rec. 2018 CPO 555 260-2 [67:33] [JV] This disc is of major importance, for historical and musical reasons.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Complete Multipiano Concertos - MultiPiano Ensemble, Tomer Lev, Berenika Glixman, Daniel Borovitzky, Alon Kariv (pianos) English Chamber O rec. 2014 HYPERION CDA68367 [58:39] [DC] A highly desirable prospect.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) String Quartets Vol 1 - Arcadia Qt rec. 2020 CHANDOS CHAN20158 [68:24] [SSi] If you do not know Weinberg’s music, this recording is the perfect place to start.

French Chamber Music for Winds and Piano - Les Solistes de l’Orchestre de Paris, Laurent Wagschal (piano) rec. 2020 INDESENS INDE142 [63:19] [SB] Charming short pieces making up a delightful entertainment.

Leningrad Symphonies II Vladimir TSITOVICH (1931-2012) Symphony No. 2 Sergei Mikhailovich SLONIMSKY (1932-2020) Symphonies Nos 8 & 9 - Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra/Arcady Schtenlucht, Timur Mynbaev Lithuanian Ch O/Saulius Sondeckis  rec. 1980-89 NORTHERN FLOWERS NF/PMA99138 [66:04] [RB] Three clear-speaking symphonies from the 1970s and 1980s.

Julian LLOYD WEBBER (Cello) The Singing Strad (A 70th Birthday Collection) rec. 1984-1999 DECCA 4851567 [3 CDs - 211:11] [DMD] A fitting tribute to one of the finest British cellists

Magnificat Vol 2 Sacred Choral Music - Glen Dempsey, James Anderson-Besant (organ) Ch St. John’s College, Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha rec. 2019 SIGNUM SIGCD667 [74:22] [JQ] A wide-ranging and highly stimulating collection of settings of the ‘Mag’ and ‘Nunc’, superbly performed.

Tuesday April 27th

Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Symphony No. 5 & other orchestral works - Munchner Symphoniker & Royal Aarhus Academy Symphony Orchestra/Douglas Bostock rec. 1999/2000 ALTO ALC1424 [78:30] [RB] A very good and well-stacked budget price collection with a Fifth Symphony to vie with the best.

Cecilia McDOWALL (b. 1951) Sacred Choral Music - Ch Trinity College, Cambridge/Stephen Layton rec. 2018-20 HYPERION CDA68251 [69:56] [JQ] Another fine addition to the discography of the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5 - Gothenburg SO/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1969 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC613 [75:17] [DD] A splendid achievement in very fine refurbished sound.

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567–1643) Il Delirio Della Passione - Anna Lucia Richter (soprano) Ens Claudiana/Luca Pianca rec. 2020 PENTATONE PTC5186845 [62:25] [SSi] Well performed but perhaps not for the purist.

Andreas ROMBERG (1767-1821) Der Messias - Rheinische Kantorei, Das Kleine Konzert/Hermann Max rec. 2007 CPO 777 328-2 [64:20] [DC] Worthy resurrection of a lost masterpiece.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919–1996) Complete Violin Sonatas Vol. 3 - Yuri Kalnits (violin), Michael Csanyi-Wills (piano) rec. 2015/2020 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0096 [60:36] [RWe] Another satisfying contribution to the large repertoire of Weinberg’s chamber music now on disc.

The Gramophone Shop Celebrity Series  Complete Danish Recordings 1948-1950 & Finn Viderø organ recordings 1937-1941 DANACORD DACOCD893-896 [4 CDs: 305:51] [JW] A rare cache of historic Danish Baroque and Renaissance recordings.

Serenades Works by Elgar, Mozart & Tchaikovsky - Zürcher Kammer O/Daniel Hope rec. 2020 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 9845 [63:11] [RMo] A very mixed bag.

Monday April 26th

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Bach Nostalghia: Original works and transcriptions - Francesco Piemontesi (piano) rec. 2019 PENTATONE PTC5186846 [52:14] [CSa] Some admirable playing on this album, but aspects of interpretation and playing prevent an unreserved recommendation.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Choral Songs, Part Songs - Max Hanft (piano), Radosław Szulc, Julita Smoleń (violins), Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Howard Arman rec. 2020 BR KLASSIK 900522 [65:37] [MC] There is much glorious choral singing to enjoy on this album of Elgar part-songs.

Johann Wilhelm HERTEL (1727-1789) Cello & Organ Concertos - Bettina Messerschmidt (cello) Merserburger Hofmusik/Michael Schönheit (organ) rec. 2019 CPO 555 203-2 [63:35] [JV] This disc can serve as a good introduction to Hertel's oeuvre.

Tõnu KÕRVITS (b. 1969) You Are Light and Morning - Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra/Risto Joost rec. 2019 ONDINE ODE 1363-2 [62:05] [WH] A moving and significant addition to the choral repertoire, superbly performed and recorded.

György LIGETI (1923-2006) The 18 Études - Danny Driver (piano) rec. 2019 HYPERION CDA68286 [57:52] [SB] This new version of Ligeti’s now classic études brings out their poetry and fun as well as the considerable virtuosity needed.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No 1, Nutcracker Suite - Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Claudio Abbado rec. 1991 Presto CD SONY SK48056 [65:59] [DD] One very familiar piece coupled with lesser-known Tchaikovsky, well worth exploring. A reissue to consider.

Pancho VLADIGEROV (1899-1978) Orchestral Works Vol 2 - Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Alexander Vladigerov rec. 1970-75 CAPRICCIO C8053 [2 CDs: 154:21] [RB] Orchestral miniatures with an unabashed folksy flair.

Lise Davidsen (soprano) Beethoven, Wagner, Verdi - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Mark Elder rec. 2020 DECCA 485 1507 [63:28] [JQ] If you haven’t heard Lise Davidsen before, this album will give you an insight into why she already has such a big reputation.

A Nice Conundrum - My Life in Two Worlds by Alan Poulton publ. 2020 Self published [MMB] Of most interest to musicians and musicologists, and also for aficionados of Malcolm Arnold.

 



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Recordings of the Month

April


The Well-Tempered Consort


The Rachmaninov Collection


Symphonies 4 & 6

 

March


piano music Vol 4


Charpentier


Songs of Love and Sorrow


Thomas Agerfeldt OLESEN
Cello Concerto


The female in Music

 

February

January


Linda BUCKLEY
From Ocean’s Floor