August 2000 CLASSICAL CD REVIEWS INDEX
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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett,  Reviewers: Rob Barnett, Ian Lace, Len Mullenger, and:  Richard Adams, Colin Anderson, Terry Barfoot,  Marc Bridle, Arthur Butterworth, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, Gary Dalkin, Andy Daly, Tony Duggan, Harry Downey,  Gerald Fenech,  Lewis Foreman, David Frieze, Malcolm Galloway,  Ian Marchant, John Phillips, Ailís Ní Ríain, Humphrey Smith, Philip Scowcroft, Colin Scott Sutherland, Andrew Seivewright, Richard Whitehouse, Reg Williamson, Peter Grahame Woolf, David Wright. A complete list of contributors can be seen here


2000 Reviews   [Dec]  [Nov]  [Oct]  [Sep]  [Aug]  [Jul]  [Jun]  [May]  [Apr]  [Mar]  [Feb]  [Jan]

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  COMPETITION: WIN a CD

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LATEST ADDITIONS
EMI Great Recordings of the Century: Advance information on the September release

A Survey of the Mahler
Tony Duggan completes his series of comparative reviews of recordings of the Mahler:
Song Cycles


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH

Ruth Crawford SEEGER  Chamber Works  String Quartet; Suites for Wind Quintet, Wind Quintet & Piano & for Piano & Strings; Diaphonic Suites 1-4. Pellegrini Quartet & Ensemble Aventure CPO 999 670-2 [63.15] [PW]
Crotchet
 (special low price)  Amazon UK  Amazon USA

This is a valuable and comprehensive collection of forthright, clear-headed music, arranged well in a sequence which varies the instrumentation between wind and strings, and from one voice to six.


RECORDS OF THE MONTH

CHAUSSON  Piano Quartet in A, Op.30.SAINT-SAËNS Piano Quartet in B flat Op 41. Touchwood Piano Quartet. ASV CD QS 6241 (DDD) [67.05] [DW]

The performances are exquisite, technically secure, stylistically correct, very warm and mellow. There is a compelling innocence and open-air feel about them.The recording and balance is also exemplary.

HARTMANN Symphonies 1 - 8. Bamberg Symphony Orchestra I Ingio Metzmacher. EMI Classics. CDS5569112 . 3 CD set [DW]

This is wonderful music of intellectual and emotional intensity. Very, very special...... Music for which no adjectives exist and, even if they did, they would not suffice.

Magnus LINDBERG Aura, Engine* BBC Symphony Orchestra, London  Sinfonietta*/Oliver Knussen DG 463 184-2   [51'22"][CA] [PW] [LM]

This is music with a wide appeal with something to say and crosses boundaries saying it.

MAHLER Symphony No.7 in E minor Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken
Conducted by Hans Zender CPO 999 478-2 [78.40] [TD]

A superb performance full of fascinating things. One which is excellently played and recorded and deserves to be considered alongside the very best versions such as those by Bernstein, Horenstein, Gielen, Scherchen and Abbado. Zender's Mahler Seventh is that good and I recommend it enthusiastically.

PROSPICE Songs with quartet. Piano. H Walford Davies: Prospice; George Butterworth: Love Blows as the Wind Blows; Arthur Somervell: A Broken Arc; Geoffrey Bush: Farewell, Earth's Bliss; Ralph Vaughan Williams: Five Mystical Songs.   Martin Oxenham (baritone); Bingham String Quartet; Katharine Durran (piano). Meridian. Duo DUOCD 89026 75' 12" [LF]
Every so often one comes across a recording which has long been available but has somehow failed to attract much notice or be widely subscribed by record stores, and yet on investigation proves to be a complete revelation.

DVD Review: Strauss Elektra Eva Marton, Brigitte Fassbaender, Cheryl Studer, Franz Grundheber & James King Chorus & Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, Claudio Abbado Arthaus Musik, 100048 109 minutes  [MB]

For this is a great performance, one of the finest you will ever hear with a near-perfect cast and playing by the Vienna Philharmonic that is shattering.


ALPHABETICAL LISTING

ANTHEIL Symphony No.4 (1944) 31.36 AARON COPLAND Statements (1935) LSO/Eugene Goossens (Antheil): Copland (Copland) rec 1958, Walthamstow Town Hall, London
EVEREST EVC 9039 [49.41] [RB]

A nice disc though short on playing time.

ANTHEIL Symphonies 1 & 6; Archipelago Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt/Hugh Wolff CPO 999 604-2 [62.35] [PW] [MB]

If you question whether Antheil deserves to be taken seriously (his Bad Boy tag has stuck firmly) try the slow movement of No 6; an extremely beautiful Larghetto, Prokfievian obviously, but good music which Prokofiev himself might have been proud to have conceived and orchestrated so movingly. On this showing the larger works of Antheil are unfairly neglected, fully deserving discovery or rediscovery.

Paul ARCHBOLD; Fabrice FITCH WIND-UP Chamber Music  Peter Hill (piano) Hugh Webb (harp) Bridget Carey (viola) Francesca Hanley (flute) Barry Webb (trombone) with Julian Warburton (percussion). Ensemble Exposé/Roger Redgate Metier MSV CD92042 [70.40] [PW]

A good CD for the tough-minded.

ARNOLD: Symphony No. 5,  Divertimento No. 2, Symphonic Study: 'Machines', Sarabande and Polka, The Belles of St. Trinians. Munich Symphony Orchestra Douglas Bostock. Classico CLASSCD294 61m DDD. [CC]

The best possible case is put forward by the Munich Symphony Orchestra and Bostock, complementing rather than displacing the composer himself in 1972 Bostock importantly avoids unnecessary melodrama so that the music flows eloquently and naturally.

AURIC (1899-1983)  Film Music: Lola Montez. Notre-Dame de Paris. Farandole. Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adriano   Marco Polo 8.225070 [63:33] [IL]

An outstanding album; heartily recommended.

BACH Toccata in C Minor BWV 911 Partita No. 2 BWV 826 English Suite No. 2 in A minor BWV 807 Martha Argerich, piano DG The Originals 463-604-2. 50m ADD. [GF] [HD]

The superb and rare artistry of Martha Argerich is demonstrated in this technically watertight collection of Bach recordings that appeared in the middle of the 80's on a now legendary DG LP..... DG's recording is slightly dry but the new transfers have refurbished the sound moderately well. But that is indeed a small price to pay in the light of such fantastic music making.

BACH Art of Fugue, BWV1080 Concerto Italiano - Rinaldo Alessandrini  OPUS 111 OPS 30-191 [74.27] recorded digitally in Frascati, Italy, June 1998. [JP]

A reissue of a superb recording which will bring new light to bear on a difficult work. A period performance of the best kind.

BACH Goldberg Variations, BWV988 Pierre Hantai (harpsichord)
Instrument made by Bruce Kennedy, Amsterdam 1985, after Michael Mietke, Berlin 1702 - 1704?
recorded digitally in Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem, Netherlands, 9-11 June 1992. OPUS 111 OPS 30-84 [77.26] [JP]

A reissue of an award winning recording which has lost nothing of its attraction.

BACH (1685 - 1750) Goldberg Variations John Metz (harpsichord) 20 bit recording.Recording date not available.DDD Soundset Recordings SR1013 [69.02] [HD]

A decent enough Goldberg but there's lots of opposition.

J.S. BACH  The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 also including Toccata in F-sharp minor, BWV 910 & Musical Offering: The two ricercres, BWV 1079 Andrew Rangell   Dorian -DOR90138  [73:00][GD]

...a recording for which I can find little enthusiasm.

J.S. BACH  Sonatas for Viola da Gamba, BWV 1027-28-29-30a  Markku Luolajan-Mikkola, viola da gamba / Miklós Spányi, tangent piano  BIS CD 1061    [63:39][GD]

It all adds up to an unusual but outstanding Bach recital.

BACH A Musical Offering, BWV1079 , Canons BWV 1072 - 1078, 1086 14 Canons BWV 1087
Hanssler Edition CD92.133 [57.55] [JP]

A fascinating issue in superb recording quality which will bring the listener great pleasure. A period performance of the best kind.

BACH (1685 - 1750) Cantatas for Ascension Day Gott fähret auf mit Jauchen BWV 43 [18.02] Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein BWV 128* [16.30] Wer da gläubet und getauft wird BWV 37 [15.30] Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen BWV 11 [28.13] Oratorio for Ascension Day Nancy Argenta (soprano) Michael Chance, Robin Blaze* (counter-tenors)
Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Christopher Genz* (tenors) Stephen Varcoe, Reinhard Hagen* (basses)
The Monteverdi Choir, The English Baroque Soloists, Sir John Eliot Gardiner DDD Recorded 10/93 (BWV 11,37,43). 4/99 (BWV 128) Archiv 463 583-2 [78.30]

There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to whom the works appeal not to buy this splendid disc.

BACH  Cantatas BWV 102 & 151 PURCELL Celebrate this Festival   ECO/Britten with soloists Decca 466 819-2 79 mins

Bach's Susser Trost cantata brought me up with a surprised shock. The heavy vibrato of Heather Harper & Helen Watts, and too that of Richard Adeney in what Philip Reed cites as his 'exceptionlly liquid flute-playing', now sounds anachronistic..... I find Britten's rather heavy manner with the English Chamber Orchestra has been completely eclipsed by the likes of Robert King and his King's Consort....I do not feel able to recommend this CD as a whole to the general collector.

BACH (1695-1750) (recomposed Jirásek after an idea by Carl Orff). St. Luke Passion.
Marc Clear (tenor) Evangelist; Furio Zanasi (bass) Jesus; Ulrik Cold (bass) Pilatus; Steven Kronauer (tenor) Petrus; Rüdiger Ballhorn (tenor) Servus; Miyuki Matsui Eichhorn (soprano) Anclla; Mathias Banholzer (bass) Poenitens, Hauptmann; Boni Pueri Bors' Choir; Munich Oratorio Choir and Symphony Orchestra/Douglas Bostock. Classico CLASSCD278 [DDD] [70'47] [CC]

Bach purists will find plenty to outrage them here and should perhaps give this disc a wide berth, but those endowed with open minds may well emerge uplifted after hearing this thought provoking CD.

BACH St. Matthew Passion arr. Mendelssohn Wilfried Jochens (tenor), Peter Lika (bass), Angela Kazimierczuk (soprano), Alison Browner (Alto) Markus Schaefer (tenor) and Franz-Joseph Selig, (bass). Chorus Musicus and Das Neue Orchester - Christoph Spering
OPUS111 OPS 2022-23 [132.25] recorded digitally in 1993 [JP]

Wonderful opportunity to hear a stylish performance of a little heard version of a masterpiece in a shortened version which was instrumental in widening our appreciation of Bach's music.

BACH TRANSCRIPTIONS BBC Philharmonic Orchestra Leonard Slatkin CHANDOS CHAN 9835 [73' 03"] [CA] [LF]

.this is a super CD - one thoughtfully planned regarding key and mood which encourages continuous listening. This `Bach through the ages' release eloquently testifies to Bach's incorruptible invention and how successfully successors have illuminated his music through the orchestral medium...

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