NEW & RECENT ARTICLES
Manon Lescaut - a survey by Ralph Moore
Aida - a survey by Ralph Moore
Argento - an obituary by Kenneth Shenton
Off - Sound Effects in Opera Recordings by Paul Corfield Godfrey
Thoughts & Short Reviews - Spring 2019-3 by Brian Wilson,
Simon Thompson & Johan van Veen
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Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, jazz, other music); Friday:
Live performance reviews posted daily at
Seen and Heard
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Friday June 28th
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
Thursday June 27th
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gulli (violin) ReDiscovered rec. 1957-97
RHINE CLASSICS RH-005 [11 CDs: 774 mins] [JW]
A splendid and loving boxset.
Monday June 24th
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
York Minster Ch/Robert Sharpe, Benjamin Morris (organ)
rec. 2018 REGENT REGCD522 [73:02]
[JF] Imaginative repertoire and performances which cannot
Ruta de la Seda Capella de Ministrers/Carles
Magraner rec. 2016 CAPELLA DE MINISTRERS CDM1743
[56:56 + 62:44] [GPu] Abundant musical delights throughout.