Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral



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[New] Puccini's Manon Lescaut - a survey by Ralph Moore

Verdi's Aida - a survey by Ralph Moore

Dominick Argento - an obituary by Kenneth Shenton

Noises Off - Sound Effects in Opera Recordings by Paul Corfield Godfrey

Second Thoughts & Short Reviews - Spring 2019-3 by Brian Wilson, Simon Thompson & Johan van Veen



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Publishing schedule
Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, jazz, other music); Friday: Articles
Live performance reviews posted daily at Seen and Heard

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Friday June 28th 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Magnificat, Cantatas - Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) Vienna PO/Volkmar Andreae rec. 1949/50 SOMM ARIADNE 5004 [77:41] [JW] The Magnificat will be of interest to all Ferrier enthusiasts.

Marc BLITZSTEIN (1905-1964) Music For Solo Piano - Leonard Lehrman (piano) rec. 2005 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0438 [74:21] [JW] A broad sweep of styles and quality.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Caractacus - Elizabeth Llewellyn (soprano) Elgan Llŷr Thomas (tenor) Huddersfield Ch Soc, O Opera North/Martyn Brabbins rec 2018 HYPERION CDA68254 [58:05 + 38:12] [RHa] A full-blooded performance in fine sound which certainly matches the legendary Hickox recording.

Eduard LASSEN (1830-1904), Ludwig Philipp SCHARWENKA (1847-1917) & Rued LANGGAARD (1893-1952) Violin Concertos - Linus Roth (violin) BBC Scottish SO/Antony Hermus rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68268 [76:39] [EJW] The usual thorough documentation, and excellent recording and performances.

Gustav MAHLER (1860–1911) Symphony No. 5 - SWR Radio SO Stuttgart/Roger Norrington rec. 2006 SWR MUSIC SWR19517CD [68:05] [RC] A fine option if you prefer a leaner, more objective approach.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas Michael FINNISSY (b. 1946) Schubert Sonata completion J鰎g WIDMANN (b. 1973) Idyll und Abgrund - Yehuda Inbar (piano) rec. 2018 OEHMS CLASSICS OC1712 [71:36] [DC] Schubert-plus: superbly performed as well as being daring and exploratory.

Gerard SCHURMANN (b.1924) Film Music - BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN10979 [77:23] [RB] Music that can be loud and spectacular, but often quiet, gentle and emotive.

John McCormack (tenor) A Patrician Artist - Complete Electrical Recordings, Broadcasts & Early Recordings rec. 1904-42 MARSTON 51601-2 [16 CDs] [SG] Miraculous transfers - no afficionado of the ‘Golden Age of Singing’ will want to be without this set.

Thursday June 27th

Henry BRANT (1913-2008) Collection Vol. 4 - Wesleyan University O/Roger Solie rec. 1982 INNOVA 411 [70:15] [PSe] The less-than-perfect recording fails utterly to dampen the mind-blowing impact of Brant’s cosmically inspired, extravagant p鎍n to multiculturalism.

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) Symphonies Nos 7 & 16, Tinker's Wedding Overture - New Russia State SO/Alexander Walker rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573959 [61:58] [EJW] Great contrasts across the three works, presented with enthusiastic and accuracy.

Sir Hubert PARRY (1848-1918) Piano Trio No. 2, Piano Quartet - Leonore Piano Trio, Rachel Roberts (viola) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68276 [65:31] [JW] A fine companion to the earlier release.

Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b. 1933) Concertos - Bartłomiej Nizioł (violin), Katarzyna Budnik-Gałązka (viola), Piotr Przedbora (guitar), Polska SO Iuventus/Krzysztof Penderecki, Maciej Tworek rec. 2018 DUX 1537 [57:08] [DC] An intriguing programme, and a good one to add to any Penderecki collection.

Giuseppe TORELLI (1658-1709) Concerti grossi Op. 8 - Reinhold Barchet, Will Beh (violins), Pro Musica Stuttgart/Rolf Reinhardt rec. 1954 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1562-63 [56:57+66:34] [JW] Admirable transfers of old school performances with many qualities.

Leningrad Symphonies Works by Yevlakhov, Falik & Slonimsky - Leningrad PO/Arvids Jansons, Alexander Dimitriev, Israel Gusman rec. 1973-87 NORTHERN FLOWERS NFPMA99133 [75:33] [RB] An unexpected and welcome collection from the USSR’s Cold War depths.

Outrageous Fortune Works by Van der Roost, Hyldgaard, Stephenson & Clarke - Brett Baker (trombone) Middle Tennessee State University Wind Ens/Reed Thomas rec. 2016/18 TOCCATA NEXT TOCN0003 [76:37] [RHa] Trombone heaven – a quartet of fresh, diverse and colourful works for soloist and wind ensemble.

Russian Masquerade Works by Arensky, Prokofiev, Scriabin & Tchaikovsky - Ostrobothnian CO/Sakari Oramo rec. 2017 BIS BIS2365 SACD [59:27] [RWe] A delightful collection for string orchestra of some byways of the Russian repertoire.

Wednesday June 26th

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897), Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) & Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Piano Quartets - Skride Piano Qt rec. 2018 ORFEO C946191 [71.27] [RBe] An auspicious debut recording from the Skride Quartet.

David MATTHEWS (b 1943) Symphony No. 9, Variations for Strings, Double Concerto - Sara Trickey (violin) Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola) English SO/Kenneth Woods rec. 2018 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6382 [63:55] [RHa] David Matthews is arguably the greatest living English symphonist, and his Ninth is more than worthy of its number.

Giovanni Benedetto PLATTI (c1697 - 1763) Sonate ?tre - Radio Antiqua rec. 2018 RAM蒃 RAM1801 [72:32] [JV] One of the best chamber music recordings I have heard in recent times.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Violin sonatas - Elsa Grether (violin) David Lively (piano) rec. 2018 FUGA LIBERA FUG749 [69:37] [RC] Fine performances, though not quite at the level of the very best.

Paul REALE (b. 1943) Children’s Palace - Borealis Wind Quintet rec. 2018 MSR CLASSICS MS1715 [63:48] [JW] Plenty to enjoy in this whimsical, and sometimes beguiling selection.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585–1672) Madrigale und Hochzeitsmusiken - Dresdner Kammerchor & Instrumentalists/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2018 CARUS 83.277 [78:42] [BW]  The latest volume in the Carus Sch黷z series maintains the standard and is well worth having.

Karl WEIGL (1881-1949) Cello Concerto; Cello Sonata - Raphael Wallfisch (cello), John York, Edward Rushton (piano), Konzerthaus O Berlin/Nicholas Milton rec. 2017/18 CPO 555 189-2 [63:16] [SG] A sterling achievement, allowing these captivating scores, of immense historical significance, to live on.

The Golden Violin Music of the 20s - Daniel R鰄n (violin), W黵ttembergisches CO Heilbronn/Case Scaglione rec. 2018 BERLIN CLASSICS 0301190BC [55:54] [JW] R鰄n is a thoughtful, imaginative and colourful player.

Tuesday June 25th

Ren? de BOISDEFFRE (1838-1906) Works for Piano Trio - Pawel Kukliński (violin); Tadeusz Samerek (cello); Anna Mikolon (piano) rec. 2018 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0446 [80:43] [PRB] Attractive and undemanding music, but question marks over the performances.

Pehr Henrik NORDGREN (1944-2008) As in a Dream - Marko Ylönen (cello); Lilli Maijala (viola); Olivier Thiery (double bass) Ostrobothian Chamber O/Juha Kangas rec. 2018 ALBA RECORDS ABCD435 SACD [71:08] [DC] Powerful, dark, multi-layered beauty.

Bartłomiej PĘKIEL (d. ca 1666) Choral Works Vols 1 & 2 - Wrocław Baroque Ens/Andrzej Kosendiak rec. 2015-2016  CD ACCORD ACD2222/2402 [66:18 & 61:03] [SSi] There is much of interest on these discs, one in the high renaissance style, the other in the early baroque style.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Minnespiel, Spanisches Liederspiel, Spanische Liebeslieder - Anna Palimina (soprano) Marion Eckstein (contralto) Simon Bode (tenor) Matthias Hoffmann (bass-baritone) Ulrich Eisenlohr, Stefan Irmer (piano) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573944 [60:22] [RBe] Recommended for the exceptionally high quality of the singing and playing.

Piotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony No. 6 - Berlin PO/Kirill Petrenko rec. 2017 BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER BPHR 190261 SACD [44:07] [JQ] An auspicious appetiser for the Petrenko era at the Berlin Philharmonic.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Attila - Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (bass), Ch & O Teatro Communale Di Bologna/Michele Mariotti rec. 2016 C MAJOR Blu-ray 748804 [116 mins] [RF] The conducting and choral singing are of the highest order, the whole being somewhat marred by an incongruous change in period in the costumes.

John WILLIAMS (b. 1932) Celebrating - Los Angeles PO/Gustavo Dudamel rec. 2019 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 483 6647 [49:11 + 46:18] [GF] A worthy alternative to the composer’s own recordings.

Franco Gulli (violin) ReDiscovered rec. 1957-97 RHINE CLASSICS RH-005 [11 CDs: 774 mins] [JW] A splendid and loving boxset.

Monday June 24th

Krzysztof BACULEWSKI (b. 1950) String Quartets No. 1-4 - Tana Quartet rec. 2017 DUX 1238 [74:56] [SSi] An excellent disc of modern string quartet music which makes me want to hear more Baculewski.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 8 - Concertgebouw O/Eduard van Beinum rec. 1956 BEULAH 6PD17 [72:21] [BW]  A very fine version of this symphony in very decently refurbished sound.

Joe CUTLER (b. 1968) Elsewhereness - Royal Birmingham Conservatoire SO/Mirga Gražinyt?Tyla rec. 2008-18 NMC D246 [59:53] [SB] A useful follow-up to Cutler’s first recording, now over ten years old.

Ståle KLEIBERG (b. 1958) Mezzotints - Marianne Thorsen (violin), Øyvind Gimse (cello), Bård Monsen (violin), Ole Wuttudal (viola), Jørgen Larsen (piano) rec. 2015 2L 2L-115-SABD BD-A/SACD [70:18] [DC] Another fine addition to Ståle Kleiberg’s recorded catalogue.

Friedrich KUHLAU (1786-1832) & Otto MALLING (1848-1915) Piano Quartets - Copenhagen Piano Qt rec. 2015/16 DACAPO 6.220591 SACD [64:22] [PRB] Exceedingly well-crafted, highly enjoyable works given excellent performances.

Giuseppe MARTUCCI (1856-1909) Piano Trios - Trio Vega rec. 2014 NAXOS 8.573438 [74:42] [SFV] Committed playing and excellent recorded sound, but I have reservations about the music itself.

Paul REALE (b. 1943) Concerto 'Dies Irae', Piano Sonatas Nos 7 & 8 - Paul Reale (piano), Walter Ponce (piano), Mirecourt Trio rec. 1982-2013 MSR MS1693 [56:33] [JW] Engaging and enjoyable.

Beatam York Minster Ch/Robert Sharpe, Benjamin Morris (organ) rec. 2018 REGENT REGCD522 [73:02] [JF] Imaginative repertoire and performances which cannot be criticised.

Other reviews
La Ruta de la Seda Capella de Ministrers/Carles Magraner rec. 2016 CAPELLA DE MINISTRERS CDM1743 [56:56 + 62:44] [GPu] Abundant musical delights throughout.


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