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Tuesday November 25th
163 reviews completed so far this month

Elfrida ANDRÉE (1841-1929) Tre tonbilder, Sonata, 4 Piano Pieces, Childhood Pieces - Oskar Ekberg (piano) rec. 2014 DAPHNE RECORDS [PRB] Adds little or nothing to Andrée's musical status, particularly outside her native Sweden.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Matthäus-Passion - Mark Padmore (tenor) Christian Gerhaher (baritone) Camilla Tilling (soprano) Magdalena Kožená (mezzo) Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2010 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER RECORDINGS DVD/Blu-ray [JQ] This ‘ritualization’ of the Matthäus-Passion by Peter Sellars, superbly performed, obliges you to think afresh about the work and about the story it tells.

Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924) Requiem, Cantique de Jean Racine, Messe Basse - Gerald Finley (baritone) Tom Pickard (treble) Douglas Tang, Tom Etheridge (organ) Ch of King’s College Cambridge, O Age of Enlightenment/Stephen Cleobury rec. 2014 KING’S COLLEGE SACD [GPJ] A fine performance of the famous Requiem, occasionally let down by poor choral diction and a congested recording.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Das Lied von der Erde - Christa Ludwig (mezzo) Waldemar Kmentt (tenor) Vienna SO/Carlos Kleiber rec. 1967 WIENER KONZERTHAUS [SG] For Carlos Kleiber fans and those wanting to admire the artistry of one of the greatest conductors of all time, this is essential listening.

Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (1525-1594) Il Primo Libro de’ Madrigale a quarto voci - Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini rec. 1992 TACTUS [GH] The only complete recording now available of Palestrina’s first book.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1875-1943) The Depth of the Unspoken Early Piano Works - Ekaterina Litvintseva (piano) rec. 2014 PROFIL [MC] A persuasive blend of immense technical proficiency, assurance and romantic expression.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphonies 1 & 2, Die Zauberharfe overture - Swedish CO/Thomas Dausgaard rec. 2013 BIS SACD [DBi] A quite lovely pair of symphonies beautifully performed and recorded, if not quite as sparklingly different to the competition as some would suggest.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Giovanna D’Arco - Francesco Meli (tenor) Plácido Domingo (baritone) Anna Netrebko (soprano) Munich Radio O/Paolo Carignani rec. 2013 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON [RJF] Variable casting among the soloists means that this does not replace Levine's forty-year-old EMI Classics recording with a great trio of Verdian singers in the main roles.

NEW & RECENT ARTICLES

[New] Arthur Butterworth (1923-2014) An obituary by Paul Conway

[New] Decca Phase 4 Stereo Concert Series boxset - Part 8 of reviews by Dan Morgan

[New] Download News 2014/14 by Brian Wilson & Geoffrey Molyneux

[New] Getting to Know … The Piano Concertos of Johann Hummel by David Barker

[New] A new review index: Johann Hummel

Balkan & East-Central European Concertos discography: Liszt by Mike Herman

Even chili peppers can't save Danish orchestra by Brian Reinhart

Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená in conversation with Michael Cookson

MWI Recommends - Mendelssohn symphony 3 & Vaughan Williams The lark ascending.

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