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100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Works for Voice by György Kurtág


Chopin Piano Concerto No.1


Schubert Piano sonata


Schubert symphony No. 9


Katherine Watson (Sop)


From Severn to Somme

Monthly Listing
November 2019
194 reviews this month

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique; Overture Les Francs-Juges - Les Sičcles/François-Xavier Roth rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902644 [65:45] [DM] C’est magnifique; a glowing tribute to composer and conductor alike.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) String Quartet No. 12, Piano Quintet - Joyce Yang (piano) Alexander String Qt rec. 2017/18 FOGHORN CLASSICS FCL2020 [66:22] [NB] I'm not sure when I got more pure pleasure from a disc in recent times.

Michael PRAETORIUS (1571-1621) Lutheran Mass for Christmas Morning - Gabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh rec. 2017 CHÂTEAU DE VERSAILLES CVS003 DVD [121 mins] [JQ] An outstanding and inspired musical reconstruction which brings the music of early seventeenth-century Germany vividly to life.

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) King Arthur - Mhairi Lawson, Carolyn Sampson (sopranos) Roderick Williams (baritone) Gabrieli Consort & Players/Paul McCreesh rec. 2019 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD589 [53:25 + 44:13] [ST] Another presentation of the highest quality.

Antonio SALIERI (1750-1825) Tarare - Cyrille Dubois, Jean-Sebastian Bou, Karine Deshayes, Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset rec. 2018 APART?AP208 [3 CDs: 164:13] [SSi] This intriguing work will bring hours of enjoyment.

John ADAMS (b. 1947) Common Tones in Simple Time, Harmonielehre, Short Ride in a Fast Machine - Montréal SO/Kent Nagano rec. 2017 DECCA 483 4938 [68:01] [JQ] An excellent John Adams album.

Johann Christoph ALTNICKOL (1720-1759) & Johann Christoph Friedrich BACH (1732-1795) Motets - Kammerchor Stuttgart/Frieder Bernius, Sonntraud Engels-Benz rec. 2018 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC18014 [56:17] [JV] If you like choral music, this disc is a must have.

George ANTHEIL (1900-1959) Symphony No. 1, Capital of the World - BBC Philharmonic/John Storgårds rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHAN20080 [70.26] [IL] Another wild, unruly, turbulent and brashly colourful Antheil collection.

Carl Philip Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Complete Original Works for Violin & Keyboard - Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violin), James Baillieu (piano) rec. 2018 SIGNUM SIGCD573 [3 CDs: 153:06] [BW]  Should appeal to all except the out-and-out advocates of period performance.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750), Johann Bernhard BACH (1679-1749) & Johann Ludwig BACH (1677-1731) Ouvertures - Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini (harpsichord) rec. 2018 NAĎVE OP30578 [2 CDs: 130:12] [DJB] Concerto Italiano have opened my ears afresh to these glorious works.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concertos - Kati Debretzeni (violin); English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2018 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG732 [70:17] [BW]  Coupling considerations aside, this recording is up there with the best.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ Works Vol. 1 - Peter Kofler (organ) rec. 2017-19 FARAO CLASSICS B108110 [5 CDs: 234:23] [SG] An auspicious start to what promises to be a compelling cycle.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier - Samuel Feinberg (piano) rec. 1958-1961 RUSSIAN CD RCD16231 [4 CDs: 221:154] [RMas] Engaging and thought-provoking.

Mili BALAKIREV (1837-1910) Complete Piano Works Vol. 5 - Nicholas Walker (piano) rec. 2018 GRAND PIANO GP811 [79:35] [RCh] Unfamiliar Balakirev transcriptions and original works in convincing performances.

Francisco BARBIERI (1823-1894) El barberillo de Lavapies - Bruce Boyce (baritone) Maria Perilli (soprano) Royal PO/BBC Chorus/Stanford Robinson rec. 1954 CAMEO CLASSICS CC9115 [32:17 + 51:51] [JW] Preserves a vibrant slice of life which must have served a happy musical and stylistic function for the listening audience in 1954.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Concerto No. 2; Rhapsodies No. 1 & 2 for Violin and Orchestra - Baiba Skride (Violin), WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln/Eivind Aadland rec. 2017 ORFEO C950191 [57:43] [RC] Very fine performances of all works.

Béla BARTOK (1881-1945) Bluebeard’s Castle - John Relyea, Michelle DeYoung, Bergen PO/Edward Gardner rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5237 SACD [58:56] [MR] A stunning recording and a riveting interpretation but it is the orchestra which steals the show here.

Mason BATES (b. 1977) Children of Adam Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Dona Nobis Pacem - Richmond SO & Ch/Steven Smith rec. 2017/18 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FRESH! FR-732 [61:17] [EJW] A somewhat bland piece by Bates coupled with a committed performance of a Vaughan Williams’ classic.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2, Rondo - Boris Giltburg (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko rec. 2019 NAXOS 8.574151 [73:51] [MG] While Petrenko supports with customary flair, it’s Giltburg’s playing that’s special. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 9 - London SO & Ch/Bernard Haitink rec. 2006 ALTO ALC1387 [68:05] [JQ] An excellent Beethoven Ninth from Bernard Haitink.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Egmont - Elisabeth Breuer (soprano) Helsinki Baroque O/Aapo Häkkinen rec. 2018/19 ONDINE ODE 1331-2 [52:26] [ECH] A fresh period-instrument recording of a rarely recorded work.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Choral works - Nicolai Krügel (piano) German Youth Chamber Ch/Florian Benfer rec. 2019 CARUS 83.502 [57:55] [GPJ] A delightful and important issue, timed to coincide with the publication of a new edition of Beethoven’s choral works.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas - Adolf Busch (violin) Rudolf Serkin (piano) rec. 1937-50 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM104 [63:28 + 71:59] [JW] Of particular interest to Busch admirers.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Complete Piano Variations, Bagatelles and Clavierstücke - Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano) rec. 2010-2015 BIS BIS-2403 SACD [6 discs: 409:23] [SSi] A wonderful set of the pieces from Beethoven’s piano output that is all too often overlooked.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Complete String Quartets - Belcea Qt rec. 2011-2012 ALPHA CLASSICS 469 [8 CDs: 518:17] [DC] An excellent recording of Beethoven’s string quartets, and very good value as well.

Jimmy López BELLIDO (b. 1978) Symphony No. 1, Bel Canto - Fort Worth SO/Miguel Harth-Bedoya rec. 2018/1918/19 MSR CLASSICS MS1737 [75:47] [RB] Draws you back for repeat hearings.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quartet No. 3, Piano Quintet - Hagen Quartet, Kirill Gerstein (piano) rec. 2014 MYRIOS CLASSICS MYR021 [80:17] [SG] This has to be one of the highlights of my listening year.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Songs Vol. 8 - Harriet Burns (soprano) Robin Tritschler (tenor) Graham Johnson (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDJ33128 [63:03] [GF] I look forward to hearing more from Harriet Burns.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies Nos 1 & 3 - Bergen PO/Edward Gardner rec. 2018 CHANDOS CHSA5236 SACD [81:25] [DD] Rugged and tender values combined in magnificently recorded performances of old favourites which should tempt new listeners.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem - Christiane Karg (soprano) Matthias Goerne (baritone) Swedish Radio SO & Ch/Daniel Harding rec. 2018 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM 902635 [70:32] [JQ] One reservation notwithstanding, this is otherwise a very fine account.

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941), Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) & Joseph HOLBROOKE (1878-1958) String Sextets Cologne String Sextet rec. 2018 CAVI-MUSIC 8553079 [60:07] [JW] A gratifyingly exploratory programme.

Dora BRIGHT (1862-1951) Piano Concerto No. 1, Variations Ruth GIPPS (1921-1999) Piano Concerto, Ambarvalia - Samantha Ward & Murray McLachlan (piano) Royal Liverpool PO/Charles Peebles rec. 2019 SOMM CÉLESTE SOMMCD273 [75:22] [PRB] SOMM should be applauded for making these undeservedly neglected works available to the wider listening public.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Death in Venice - John Daszak, Leigh Melrose, Tomasz Borczyk, O & Ch Teatro Real, Madrid/Alejo Pérez rec. 2014 NAXOS DVD 2.110577 [155 mins] [WH] Musically sound, fascinating view on the staging of Britten’s final operatic masterpiece.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824 -1896) The Nine Symphonies - Vienna PO/Claudio Abbado, Horst Stein, Karl Böhm, Lorin Maazel, Georg Solti, Zubin Mehta rec. 1964–74 ELOQUENCE 484 0204 [9 CDs: 567 mins] [RMo] Of great interest to the Bruckner enthusiast even if some of the performances here will divide judgement.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies Nos. 1 & 9 - Lucerne Festival O/Claudio Abbado rec. 2012-2013 ACCENTUS MUSIC ACC30489 [60.12 + 63.06] [MW] A characteristic Abbado interpretation of the 9th, both sustained and deeply moving, but there are significant question-marks over the choice of edition for the 1st.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 2 - Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2019 C MAJOR 730604 Blu-ray [63 mins] [RWe] Bruckner’s Second arrives on film, and in a very fine performance.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No. 6 - London SO/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 2019 LSO LIVE LSO0842 SACD [56:01] [RMo] A certain debilitating restraint or understatement.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 9 - Pittsburgh SO/Manfred Honeck rec. 2018 REFERENCE RECORDINGS SACD FR-733 [63:12] [NB] A recording that forces itself towards the top of the list.

Eric COATES (1886-1957) Orchestral Works Vol. 1 - BBC Philharmonic/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20036 [70.39] [NB] A stunning start to what will surely be a life-enhancing series.

Eric COATES (1886-1957) Orchestral Works Vol. 1 - BBC Philharmonic/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20036 [70.39] [IL] John Wilson shows his enduring love and empathy with the uncrowned king of Light Music.

Nancy DALBERG (1881-1949) String Quartets - Nordic String Quartet rec. 2018 DA CAPO SACD 6.220655 [71.08] [MW] Three superb and deeply moving quartets in outstanding performances.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Clair de lune, Préludes book 2, Pour le piano, Deux arabesques - Katie Mahan (piano) rec. 2019? KM CLASSIC [67:33] [RCh] A vividly coloured, imaginative recital.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Nocturnes Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Requiem - Magdalena Kožen?(mezzo-soprano), Rundfunkchor Berlin, Deutsches SO Berlin/Robin Ticciati rec. 2019 LINN CKD623 [65:01] [JQ] An unusual programme, but if the coupling appeals this disc is an attractive proposition.

Edison DENISOV (1929-1996) Symphony No. 1, Flute Concerto, Peinture - Dmitri Denisov (flute) USSR Ministry of Culture SO/Gennady Rozhdestvensky rec. 1990 MELODIYA MELCD1002604 [49:26 + 64:48] [SB] A useful collection of Denisov in authoritative performances.

Antonin DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) & Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959) Piano Concertos - Ivo Kahánek (piano) Bamberg SO/Jakub Hrůša rec. 2017/19 SUPRAPHON SU4236-2 [59.34] [MC] Compelling performances which feel fresh and exhilarating.

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Symphony No.2, Dramatic Overture, Overture to Armida - Deutsche Radio PO Saarbrüken Kaiserslautern/Pietari Inkinen rec. 2018 SWR MUSIC SWR19083CD [73:09] [NB] Too many others versions offer more character and personality.

Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987) Patterns in a Chromatic Field - Mathis Mayr (cello), Antonis Anissegos (piano) rec. 2016 WERGO WER73822 [79:42] [DC] Easily a desert-island choice.

Grigori FRID (1915-2012) Double Concerto, Symphony No. 3, Two Inventions - Isabelle van Keulen (viola) Oliver Triendl (piano) Georgian CO Ingolstadt/Ruben Gazarian rec. 2018 CAPRICCIO C5353 [68:31] [RHa] The Symphony is formulaic Soviet-era fodder but the Concerto is of an entirely different order however and well worth hearing.

Friedrich GERNSHEIM (1839-1916) Piano Quintets - Edouard Oganessian (piano) Art Vio String Quartet rec. 2009 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0099 [64:06] [RB] Strong-brewed romanticism.

Anthony GIRARD (b. 1959) Les Quatre Saisons - Jean-Luc Richardoz, Patricia Reibaud (violin) rec. 2014 AZUR CLASSICAL AZC148 [56:21] [SG] Imaginatively constructed compositions eschewing dissonance in favour of consonance.

Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Samurai Marathon - The City of Prague PO/Richard Hein ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM0135 [31.00] [MW] A poor value disc of tiny pieces from earlier works by Glass.

Christoph Willibald GLUCK (1714-1787) Orphée et Eurydice - Marianne Crebassa (mezzo) Helene Guilmette (soprano) Ch & O Ens Pygmalion/Raphaël Pichon rec. 2018 NAXOS DVD 2.110638 [99 mins] [SB] Despite some quibbles about the staging, this is generally a fine account of the Berlioz version of this great opera.

Antônio Carlos GOMES (1836-1896) Lo Schiavo Svetla Vassileva (soprano) Massimiliano Pisapia (tenor) O & Ch del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari/John Neschling rec. 2019 DYNAMIC Blu-ray 57845 [138 mins] [MMB] Opera lovers will be thrilled with this recording of Lo Schiavo and I for one hope that it will prompt many to discover other worthy pieces that Gomes composed.

Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893) Faust - Benjamin Bernheim (tenor) Veronique Gens (soprano) Andrew Foster-Williams (bass-baritone) Flemish Radio Ch, Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset rec. 2018 BRU ZANE BZ1037 [3 CDs: 174:28] [GF] A recording that should be in the collection of every admirer of this opera.

Hermann GRÄDENER (1844-1929) Violin Concertos - Karen Bentley Pollick (violin), National SO Ukraine / Gottfried Rabl rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0528 [74:32] [JW] Focused and communicative performances.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Samson - Joshua Ellicott (tenor) Sophie Bevan (soprano) Tiffin Boys’ Ch, Dunedin Consort/John Butt rec. 2018 LINN CKD599 [3 CDs: 204:14] [ST] The best Handel oratorio I’ve heard in years.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Water Music, Overtures Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Epistle Sonatas Nos. 10 and 13 - Philomusica of London/Thurston Dart; Boyd Neel O/Boyd Neel rec. 1954-61 ELOQUENCE 4828531 [76:14] [BW]  You really should hear Thurston Dart’s ‘Water Music’.

J.P.E. HARTMANN (1805-1900) Works for strings Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931) String Quintet - Emil Telmányi (violin) Ilona Telmányi (violin, viola) Annette Telmányi (piano) Anika Telmányi (violin) Annete Telmányi (viola) Mihalyka Telmányi (cello) rec. 1965/83 DANACORD DACOCD853 [74:39] [JW] I enjoyed this restoration immensely.

Karl Amadeus HARTMANN (1905-1963) String Quartets No. 1-2 Anton WEBERN (1883-1945) Langsamer Satz - Airis String Quartet rec. 2018 CD ACCORD ACD245-2 [63:09] [GH] I cannot recommend this disc too highly.

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Sonatas Vol. 2 - Leon McCawley (piano) rec. 2018 SOMM RECORDINGS SOMMCD0602 [77:02] [RMas] A sterling addition to an exciting new traversal of the complete Haydn sonatas.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) String Quartets Opp. 71 & 74 - London Haydn Qt rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68230 [77:10 + 78:42] [SSi] An excellent, if alternative, recording of Haydn’s London Quartets.

Hans Werner HENZE (1924-2012) Heliogabalus Imperator - Anssi Kartunen (cello) BBC SO/Oliver Knussen rec. 2014 WERGO WER73442 [72.11] [MC] First-class performances of four fascinating and compelling examples of Henze’s characteristic sound-world.

Carl HÖCKH (1707-1773) Violin Sonatas - Mikołaj Zg?#322;ka (violin), Jarosław Thiel (cello), Aleksandra Rupocińska (harpsichord) rec. not stated CD ACCORD ACD255-2 [70:24] [JV] Exciting stuff, brilliantly performed.

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Planets; The Perfect Fool - Kansas City Symphony/Michael Stern rec. 2015 REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-146 SACD [61:24] [NB] A rare miss for Reference.

Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854-1921) Hänsel und Gretel - Elisabeth Grümmer (soprano), Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano), Maria von Ilosvay (contralto), Philharmonia O/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1953 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO162 [2 CDs: 140:24] [GF] Retains its position as the “classic”, especially in its new sonic garb.

Leoš JAN?#268;EK (1854-1928) The Diary of One who Disappeared Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904) Biblical Songs Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884) Evening Songs - Vilém Přibyl (tenor) Libuše Márov?(mezzo) Milan M?#353;a, Josef Pálen?#269;ek (piano) Kühn Mixed Ch/Pavel Kühn rec. 1971-77 SUPRAPHON SU4269-2 [69:43] [JW] Outstanding performances which have withstood time’s scrutiny with the greatest authority.

Leoš JANÁCEK (1854-1928) The Diary of One Who Disappeared, Říkadla, Moravian folksongs - Václava Houskov?(mezzo) Victoria Samek (clarinet) Julius Drake (piano) Voice Ens rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68282 [62:21] [RHa] Another Hyperion winner, distinguished by the scintillating and insightful musicianship of all involved.

JOSQUIN des Prés (c. 1440–1521) Missa Mater Patris Noel BAULDEWEYN (fl 1509-1513) Missa Da pacem The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips GIMELL CDGIM052 [72:30] [JQ] A mandatory and self-recommending purchase for everyone who has been following the series.

JOSQUIN Des Prez (c.1445-1521) Funeral Motets and Deplorations - Capella Amsterdam/Daniel Reuss rec. 2018 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902620 [66:10] [ST] Fans of Renaissance polyphony need not hesitate.

JOSQUIN Des Prez (c.1450-1521) Adieu mes amours - Dulces Exuvi? rec. 2018 RICERCAR RIC403 [62:50] [BW] Attractive performances but they give a very limited idea of the music of this important composer.

Lydia KAKABADSE (b. 1955) Ithaka - Cecily Beer (harp) Clare McCaldin (mezzo) Paul Turner (piano) Sara Trickey (violin) Ch Royal Holloway/Rupert Gough DIVINE ART DDA25188 [67:56] [RB] Thoroughly approachable yet not facile.

Mieczysław KARLOWICZ (1876-1909) Complete Piano Music - Piotr Banasik (piano) rec. 2019 DUX 1579 [60:03] [WK] Worth acquiring both for its insight into the evolution of one of Poland’s greatest composers.

Reinhard KEISER (1674-1739) Croesus - Dorothea Röschmann, Roman Trekel, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/René Jacobs rec. 2000 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM931714.16 [3 CDs: 188:09] [ST] Investigate with confidence and find your curiosity rewarded.

Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967) Dances of Galánta, Háry János Suite, Peacock Variations, Dances of Marosszék -  Chicago SO, Minneapolis SO, Philharmonia Hungarica/Antal Doráti rec. 1956-59 ALTO ALC1394 [75:31] [RB] Anticipation heightened by nostalgia or first-time discoveries in recordings of good report.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Symphony, Theme & Variations, Straussiana - Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5220 SACD [59.17] [JQ] John Wilson’s excellent performance offers a refreshing and stimulating different perspective on Korngold’s fine symphony.

Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Symphony, Theme & Variations, Straussiana - Sinfonia of London/John Wilson rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5220 SACD [59.17] [IL] I hope that John Wilson will record more Korngold for Chandos.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Complete Piano Music Vol. 53 - Wojciech Waleczek (piano) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573773 [72:38] [MZ] Two rarely heard works get a first-rate presentation fit for every Liszt fan’s collection.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Sonata, Légendes, Aprčs une lecture du Dante - Joseph Moog (piano) rec. 2018 ONYX 4195 [63:44] [SG] Moog has a real affinity for Liszt, and I hope he will make a return journey in the future.

Dan LOCKLAIR (b. 1949) Symphony No. 2, Organ Concerto, Hail the coming day, PHOENIX - Peter Mikula (organ) Slovak Ntl SO/Kirk Trevor, Michael Rohac rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.559860 [63.03] [MW] Splendid, beautiful, approachable and continually fascinating music from a significant composer.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 1 - SO Bayerischen Rundfunks/Mariss Jansons rec. 2007 BR KLASSIK 900179 [54.25] [MC] Warm and appealing yet overall lacking in penetration.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 1 - Minnesota O/Osmo Vänsk?rec. 2018 BIS BIS2346 SACD [55:51] [RC] If you like your Mahler straight, bleached of emotional excess, you couldn’t find it better played or recorded.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5 - London SO/Jascha Horenstein rec. 1958 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC567 [76:55] [WH] A typical Horenstein performance: serious, solid and of great integrity.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin concertos - Solomiya Ivakhiv (violin), Antonio Pompa-Baldi (piano); Slovak National SO/Theodore Kuchar rec. 2017 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95733 [66:11] [BW]  Well worth considering at the price, but not my top recommendation.

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) String Symphonies Vol. 3 - Margot Oitzinger (alto), L’Orfeo Barockorchester/Michi Gaigg rec. 2017 CPO 555 202 [68:58] [RHa] Don’t let Michi Gaigg’s lovingly turned accounts of Mendelssohn’s youthful experiments pass you by.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Le Tombeau resplendissant; Les Offrandes oubliées; Un sourire; L'Ascension - Tonhalle-O Zürich/Paavo Järvi rec. 2019 ALPHA CLASSICS 548 [64.48] [MC] Certainly one of the most satisfying albums that I have heard so far this year.

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992) Méditations sur le mystčre de la Sainte Trinit?/em> - Tom Winpenny (organ) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573979 [73:47] [SB] The latest in Tom Winpenny’s Messiaen series offers a commanding performance on a splendid instrument.

Vasilije MOKRANJAC (1923-1984) Complete Piano Works - Ratimir Martinovic (piano) rec. 2018-2019 GRAND PIANO GP829-30 [71:24 + 76:16] [RB] Precision and ardent abandon; no half measures.

Bernhard MOLIQUE (1802-1869) Chamber Music Vol. 2 - Parnassus Akademie rec. 2019 MDG 3032132-2 [72:12] [PRB] A highly engaging disc.

Bernhard MOLIQUE (1802-1869) Chamber Music Vol. 2 - Parnassus Akademie rec. 2019 MDG 303 2132-2 [72:12] [SSi] A highly enjoyable disc of early Romantic chamber music, the Piano Quartet being a real find.

Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925) Johanna d'Arc - Sinfonia Varsovia/Ian Hobson rec. 2018 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0523 [59:26] [JW] Much to like in this well-drilled and responsive reading, though not all the music is convincing.

Alexander MOYZES (1906-1984) Gemer Dances; Down the River Vah; Pohronie Dances - Slovak RSO Bratislava/Ondrej Lenárd rec. 1989 NAXOS 8.555477 [71:12] [RB] Subtlety and fresh invention here but Slav dazzle and whirl are predominant.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) The Jupiter Project - David Owen Norris (piano); Katy Bircher (flute); Caroline Balding (violin); Andrew Skidmore (cello) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68234 [79:49] [DD] Stylish and original arrangements, skilfully performed and well recorded.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 21; Exultate Jubilate; Symphony No. 40 - John Lenehan (piano), Grace Davidson (soprano), National SO/Rimma Sushanskaya rec. 2018 GUILD GMCD7817 [78:45] [DD] A strong introduction to the joys of Mozart: splendid performances and recording.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quartets Nos 14 & 15, Divertimento - Van Kuijk Qt rec. 2019 ALPHA CLASSICS 551 [67:24] [DD] Superb performances, played with wit and aplomb.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto Nos 17 & 24 - English CO/Benjamin Hochman (piano) rec. 2019 AVIE AV2404 [59:18] [DD] First class performances of superb examples of Mozart’s supreme talent.

Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Boris Godunov - Alexander Tsymbalyuk, Göteborg Opera Ch, Gothenburg SO/Kent Nagano rec. 2017 BIS BIS-2320 SACD [62:24 + 62:50] [LW] Nagano’s Boris as Mussorgsky originally intended the opera.

Luys de NARVAEZ (c.1500-c.1550) Los Libros del Delphin - Xavier Diaz-Latorre (vilhuela) rec. 2017 PASSACAILLE PAS1049 [70.04] [GH] A disc of much variety.

Per NØRGÅRD (b. 1932) Spell, Suite from Babette’s Feast, Trio breve, Whirl’s World - Ensemble MidtVest rec. 2018 DACAPO 8.226136 [59:11] [SSi] Wonderfully nuanced and controlled performances.

Harry PARTCH (1901-1974) Music of Harry Partch Vol. 3 - PARTCH Ensemble, Ramon Zumi, Harry Partch rec. 1942-2018 BRIDGE RECORDS 9525 [75:07] [PSe] The recording of Sonata Dementia is revelatory, but pride of place rightly belongs to the Intrusions, by far the finest work on this disc.

Giuseppe PORSILE (1680-1750) Cantatas - Stefanie True (soprano), La Cicala Baroque Ensemble/Inês d’Avena (recorder) rec. 2019 PASSACAILLE 1061 [69:49] [DC] Rewarding Baroque exploration beyond the usual names.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Stabat Mater Alfred DESENCLOS (1912-1971) Messe de Requiem - Marion Tassou (soprano) François Saint-Yves (organ) Vlaams Radiokoor, Brussels PO/Herv?Niquet rec. 2018/19 EVIL PENGUIN EPRC0032 [60:08] [JQ] A highly desirable disc which offers magnificent performances of two wonderful and very different French choral works.

Hans PFITZNER (1869-1949) Piano Concerto Walter BRAUNFELS (1882-1954) Tag- und Nachtstücke - Markus Becker (piano) Berlin RSO/Constantin Trinks rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68258 [74:08] [RCh] Rich and rewarding late-flowering romanticism from two neglected composers.

Ferdinand PFOHL (1862-1949) Strandbilder, Suite Élégiaque, Hagbert - Jamina Gerl (piano) rec. 2016 GRAND PIANO GP784 [86:20] [EJW] Very enjoyable works from a forgotten name.

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Alexander Nevsky; Lieutenant Kij?/em> Suite - Alisa Kolosova (mezzo-soprano), Utah Symphony & Ch/Thierry Fischer rec. 2016 REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-735 SACD [60:06] [RMo] No compelling reason for recommending this new recording over established classic versions.

Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano concertos, Tzigane - François Dumont (piano) Jennifer Gilbert (violin) O Ntl de Lyon/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2012/15 NAXOS 8.573572 [52:02] [RC] All three works are given very convincing performances.

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936) Complete Piano Music Vol. 1 - Giovanna Gatto (piano) rec. 2017 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0405 [54:03] [JWe] Respighi’s style is quite unique.

Franz Xaver RICHTER (1709-1789) Flute Concerto, Trio sonata, Trios Johann STAMITZ (1717-1757) Flute Concerto - Jana Semerádová (transverse flute), Ensemble Castor rec. 2019 PAN CLASSICS PC10406 [79:57] [JV] The performances make the best possible plea for this forgotten repertoire.

Julius RÖNTGEN (1865-1932) Piano Concertos Nos 3, 6 & 7 - Oliver Triendl (piano) Kristiansand SO/Hermann Bäumer rec. 2017 CPO 555 055-2 [70:16] [RB] Smiling emotions rather than thunderclouds and storms.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Ricciardo e Zoraide - Pretty Yende, Juan Diego Flórez, O Nazionale della RAI/Giacomo Sagripanti rec. 2018 C MAJOR 752608 DVD [2 DVDs: 176 mins] [CRa] A feast of first-class singing lifts a forgotten opera to the heights.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Ricciardo e Zoraide - Pretty Yende, Juan Diego Flórez, O Nazionale della RAI/Giacomo Sagripanti rec. 2018 C MAJOR Blu-ray 752704 [176 mins] [RJF] A pleasure to see this staged with such a superb cast and without being subject to undue producer idiosyncrasies. 

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) L’italiana in Algeri - Ildar Abdrazakov (bass) Rebeca Olvera (soprano) Ens Matheus/Jean-Christophe Spinosi rec. May 2018 UNITEL DVD 801808 [162 mins] [RJF] While I would have preferred a more traditional production, I go along with, and greatly enjoy, the outstanding sung interpretations and some aspects of the staging.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Sigismondo – Hera Hyesang Park (soprano) Keneth Tarver (tenor) Bavarian Radio Ch, Munich Radio O/Keri-Lynn Wilson rec. 2018 BR KLASSIK CD 900327 [81:17 + 65:14] [MP] A splendid souvenir of a memorable musical event.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia - Riccardo Stracciari (baritone) Mercedes Capsir (soprano) Ch & O La Scala, Milan/Lorenzo Molajoli rec. 1927-1929 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO161 [64:49 + 60:59] [PSt] Essentially of historical interest, but there are things to enjoy, especially from Borgioli.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia - Dmitry Korchak (tenor) Leo Nucci (baritone) Nino Machaidze (mezzo) Ch & O Arena di Verona/Daniel Ores rec. 2017 BELAIR CLASSIQUES Blu-ray BAC469 [162 mins] [RJF] This appropriately costumed and conducted performance, in the world’s largest opera theatre, is graced by a commendable team of singers and set with singular imagination.

Giovanni SALVIUCCI (1907-1937) Serenade, String Quartet, Chamber Symphony - Ens Überbrettl/Pierpaolo Maurizzi rec 2017/18 NAXOS 8.574049 [83:05] [RHa] One gets the idea, but performances are serviceable at best and the sound is too dry.

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Symphony Urbs Roma, La jeunesse d'Hercule, Danse macabre - Malm?SO/Marc Soustrot rec. 2013 NAXOS 8.573140 [67:25] [SV] Splendid performances in fine sound, though the Urbs Roma symphony may not be everybody’s essential Saint-Saëns.

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) 52 Sonatas - Lucas Debargue (piano) rec. 2018 SONY 19075944462 [4 CDs: 235:06] [SG] A fusion of imagination, musicality, flair and technical prowess.

Friedrich SCHNEIDER (1786-1853) Symphony No.17 Felix MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY (1809-1947) Violin Concerto, Symphony No.1 - Hiro Kurosaki (violin), Cappella Coloniensis/Sigiswald Kuijken rec. 2002 CPO 999 932-2 [77:53] [WM] A valuable reissue, both for an interesting work by Schneider and wonderful insights into Mendelssohn.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Ian Bostridge (tenor), Thomas Adčs (piano) rec. 2018 PENTATONE PTC5186764 [72:26] [RC] An essential addition to your Winnterreise collection.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schwanengesang Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Vier ernste Gesänge - Gerald Finley (baritone), Julius Drake (piano) rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68288 [73:21] [JQ] A deeply satisfying disc.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Winterreise - Johannes Held (baritone), Daniel Beskow (piano) rec. 2018 ARS PRODUCTION ARS38562 [73:53] [GF] A very likeable performance.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Trout Quintet Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-47) Octet - Gerold Huber (piano) Alexandra Hengstebeck (double bass) Henschel Qt, Diogenes Qt rec. 2019 SOLO MUSICA SM332 [69:45] [MC] Perceptive performances of real maturity which have significant gravitas.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) & Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896) Piano Trios - Mannes-Gimpel-Silva Trio rec. 1951/53 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1601 [68:22] [SG] The recordings of a long-forgotten ensemble resurrected.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Symphonies Nos 2 & 4, Overture: Genoveva - London SO/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2018 LSO LIVE LSO0818 SACD [69:04] [JQ] A desirable release to initiate a Schumann series from Gardiner and the LSO.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1956) Fantasiestücke, Humoreske - Jörg Demus (pianoforte) rec. 1984 MDG 604 0150-2 [54:25] [SSi] Ideal performances on a Graf piano; a sound which is near to how Schumann would have heard it.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Complete Edition Vol. 20 - Dresdner Kammerchor & Instrumentalists/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. 2018 CARUS 83.278 [2 CDs: 138.55] [SSi] An excellent conclusion to the Carus complete Schütz edition.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Sonatas No. 1-2, 24 Preludes - Andrey Gugnin rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68267 [79:27] [GPJ] A simply stunning recital of this wonderful repertoire.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No. 10 - Bayerischen Rundfunks SO/Mariss Jansons rec. 2010 BR KLASSIK 900185 [53.48] [MC] Compelling.

Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) String Quartets Nos 2, 7 & 8 - Pavel Haas Qt rec. 2019 SUPRAPHON SU42712 [70:54] [RWe] If this launches a full cycle, it could become one to watch.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Kullervo - Johanna Rusanen (soprano), Ville Rusanen (baritone), Estonian National Male Ch, Finnish RSO/Hannu Lintu rec. 2018 ONDINE ODE1338-5 SACD [72:28] [JQ] A most impressive account of Kullervo in superb sound.

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Symphonia domestica - Ruggiero Ricci (violin) Boston SO/Charles Munch rec. 1959/60 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC568 [77:19] [JW] The Strauss is more successful than the Sibelius.

Dame Ethel SMYTH (1858-1944) Mass, The Wreckers Overture - BBC SO & Ch/Sakari Oramo rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5240 SACD [70:45] [JQ] Sakari Oramo finally brings Ethel Smyth’s Mass out of the shadows and reveals it as a work of accomplishment and stature.

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) The Travelling Companion - New Sussex Opera O & Ch/Toby Purser rec. 2018 SOMM CELESTE SOMMCD 274-2 [66:47 + 57:12] [NB] A committed performance, but the work seems fated to remain a foot-note in the history of British opera.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Salome - Birgit Nilsson (soprano)  Gerhard Stolze (tenor)  Grace Hoffman (mezzo)Wiener PO/Georg Solti rec. 1961  PRISTINE AUDIO PACO165 [78:35 + 66:55] [RMo] If the combination of Pristine’s enhanced sound and the Elektra bonus appeals, you need not hesitate.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Eine Alpensinfonie, Dance of the Seven Veils, Die Frau ohne Schatten - Kristina Blaumane (cello) London PO / Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2012 -2016 LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA LPO-0106 [44:48 + 56:45] [ST] Very fine playing and convinced conducting makes this whole set a winner.

Sergey TANEYEV (1856-1915) Chamber Music with Piano - Alessandro Deljavan (piano), Daniela Cammarano (violin), Paolo Castellitto (viola), Andrea Agostinelli (cello), Daniele Orlando (violin) rec. 2013 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95766 [3 CDs: 157:39] [MC] Enjoyable performances that yield to the competition in the two greatest works here.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Russian Impressions - Claudia Schellenberger (piano) rec. 2019 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC19007 [58:23] [MC] A captivating album that should have significant appeal to Tchaikovskians and admirers of Russian music.

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Nutcracker – Royal Ballet, ROH Covent Garden O/Barry Wordsworth rec. 2018 OPUS ARTE Blu-Ray OABD7259D [126mins] [RMay] A superb performance is badly let down in Blu-ray format by technical issues.

Avet TERTERIAN (1929-1994) Symphonies Nos 3 & 4 - Tigran Aleksanyan, Vahe Hovanesian, (duduks, zurna) Bournemouth SO/Kirill Karabits rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHSA5241 SACD [58:56] [RHa] An unmissable disc of unsettling symphonies by an inscrutable, singular and important Armenian figure.

Ferdinando Gasparo TURRINI (1745-1820) Sonatas - Michele Barchi (harpsichord) rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95522 [65:09 + 56:49] [PRB] Works from an unknown composer crammed full of great invention, real variety of design, pace, texture, dynamics and timbre.

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Orchestral Works - Royal Liverpool PO/Andrew Manze rec. 2017/19 ONYX 4212 [69:28] [BW]  Very idiomatic and sympathetic performances of beautiful music, very well played and recorded, but also consider other similar collections.   

Alexander VEPRIK (1889-1958) Orchestral works - BBC Ntl O Wales/Christoph-Mathias Mueller rec. 2019 MDG SACD 901 2133-6 [74:51] [JW] Both generosity and melancholy.

Fritz VOLBACH (1861-1940) Symphony, Es waren zwei Königskinder  - Münster SO/Golo Berg rec. 2019 CPO 777 886-2 [61:52] [RB] Accomplished and dedicated performances that carry conviction.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Siegfried Act III - Lise Lindstrom (soprano) Stefan Vinke (tenor) Deutsche Radio Philharmonie/Pietari Inkinen rec. 2018 SWR MUSIC SWR19078CD [59:12] [ECH] An enjoyable if bereft dramatic performance.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Der Freischütz - Andreas Schager (tenor), Lise Davidsen (soprano), MDR Leipzig Radio Ch, Frankfurt Radio Symphony/Marek Janowski rec. 2018 PENTATONE PTC5186788 SACD [77:01 + 38:51] [MC] Captivating.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Chamber music for flute - Kazunori Seo (flute), Makoto Ueno (piano), Shohei Uwamori (cello) rec. 2017 NAXOS 8.573766 [74:39] [MZ] Even if not all the flute pieces on this disc are authentic Weber, there is certainly much to like about them.

William WORDSWORTH (1908-1988) Orchestral Music Vol. 2 - Arta Arnicane (piano) Kamila Bydlowska (violin) Liepāja SO/John Gibbons rec. 2019 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0526 [79:41] [WK] More Wordsworth, and very welcome it is.

19th Century Russian Cello Music  Works by Tchaikovsky, Davidov, Liadov, Arensky & Rimsky-Korsakov - Dmitrii Khrychev (cello) Olga Solovieva (piano) rec. 2018 NAXOS 8.573951 [64:06] [SA] Nicely balanced performances and a great sound – so plaudits all round!

Advent Carols Michael Butterfield (organ) Ch of King’s College London/Joseph Fort rec. 2019 DELPHIAN DCD34226 [64.55] [GH] An ideal musical preparation for the Christmas season.

Affetti Barocchi Arias & Laments in 17th Century Italy - Gabriella Di Laccio (soprano) Capela Strumentale/Fernando Cordella rec. 2016 DRAMA MUSICA DRAMA006 [48:57] [JV] Despite the unmistakable qualities of the performances, I am not really satisfied.

Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano) The First Recordings rec. 1955-59 PROFIL EDITION PH19030 [4 CDs: 247:42] [RC] Not only will Ashkenazy’s admirers covet this set but other keyboard aficionados might want to consider acquiring it as well.

A Baroque Christmas rec. 1976-2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMX2908984.87 [4 CDs: 308:41] [ST] A bargain, but it’s more than just a stocking filler.

“B” Like Britain Works by Bax, Britten, Bowen & Bennett - Ludmilla Berlinskaya, Arthur Ancelle (pianos) rec. 2018 MELODIYA MELCD1002565 [59:43] [NB] A strong Record of the Year contender.

Lola Bobesco (violin) The SWR Recordings - Suddeutschen Rundfunks SO/ Hans-Muller-Kray rec. 1957-61 SWR MUSIC SWR19067CD [3 CDs: 185:01] [SG] Remastered archive recordings, well-served in this compilation.

British Cello Works Works by Smyth, Lutyens, Maconchy & Clarke - Lionel Handy (cello) Jennifer Hughes (piano) rec. 2018 LYRITA SRCD.383 [73:06] [JW] Malleable, sympathetic and stylistically assured performances.

Christmas at St George’s Windsor Luke Bond (organ), Ch St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle/James Vivian rec. 2018 HYPERION CDA68281 [70:23] [MR] A magical celebration of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, sung with great sensitivity.

György Cziffra (piano) The Besançon Recital in 1961 MELOCLASSIC MC1046 [75:12] [SG] Tumultuous virtuosity that sets the playing on fire.

Alfred Deller (countertenor) Works by Buxtehude, Milano, Campion & Purcell rec. 1953/55 ELOQUENCE 484 0518 [72:21] [JW] Faithful restorations of historically important LPs.

Desires: A Song of Songs Collection ORA Singers/Suzi Digby rec. 2016 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM905316 [71:20] [ST] A wonderful tour through the vast variety of musical responses that the Song of Songs has inspired.

Early Stereo Recordings Vol. 3 Jacques O/Reginald Jacques rec. 1954-56 FIRST HAND RECORDINGS FHR60 [84:47] [JW] Another attractive production in all respects, and offers valuable reclamations and restorations.

Evensong Live 2019 Ch King’s College, Cambridge/Sir Stephen Cleobury, Henry Websdale, Dónal McCann (organ) rec. 2018/19 KINGS’S COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE KGS0038 [78:44] [JQ] A very satisfying overview of Stephen Cleobury’s last academic year in charge of the music at King‘s College, Cambridge.

The Farinelli Manuscript Ann Hallenberg (mezzo-soprano) Stile Galante/Stefano Aresi rec. 2019 GLOSSA MUSIC GCD923521 [72.04] [MMB] If you admire beautiful singing and enjoy great performances of exceptional difficulty, this recording shouldn’t be missed.

A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols The Centenary Service - Ch King’s College, Cambridge/Sir Stephen Cleobury, Guy Johnston (cello), Henry Websdale (organ) rec. 2018 KING’S COLLEGE KGS0036 SACD [81:55 (SACD), 76:44 (CD) [JQ] A very fine souvenir of a memorable occasion.

Forgotten Treasures Works by Schmidt, Weiner, Martucci, Pizzetti & Tcherepnin - Buffalo PO/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2013-2017 BEAU FLEUVE RECORDS 605996-998531 [71:49] [RB] Sumptuous musical bouquet and an unpredictable choice of repertoire.

Four Works by Bozza, Françaix, Bennett, Ibert and Arrieu - London Myriad rec. 2014-2018 MÉTIER MSV28587 [55:31] [GPJ] Much delightful music, plus top class wind playing from this young ensemble.

Erick Friedman (violin) Live Performances in France rec. 1965-68 MELOCLASSIC MC2034 [67:22 + 74:06] [JW] High production standards for these memories of a Heifetz student.

From the Ground Up Luciana Mancini (mezzo) O/Modernt/Hugo Ticciati (violin) rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD574 [55:25] [ST] Plenty of things that are commendable, but a potential that is not quite fulfilled.

The Godfather Masters of the German & Italian Baroque - La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler rec. 2019 SIGNUM SIGCD602 [64:08] Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681–1767) Grand Concertos for Mixed Instruments Vol. VI - La Stagione Frankfurt/Michael Schneider rec. 2018 CPO 555239-2 [73:13] [BW] Very fine additions to the discography by two first-rate ensembles.  

Tauno Hannikainen (conductor) In Moscow: The Complete Melodiya Recordings - Moscow RSO rec. c.1957 MAESTRO EDITIONS ME007 [62:16 + 46:54] [JW] If you have not come across Hannikainen’s Moscow recordings, make haste to hear them.

Heroine Pauline Kim Harris (violin) Spencer Topel (electronics) rec. 2018 SONO LUMINUS DSL-92235 [71:43] [RHa] A winning collaboration between two artists at the cutting edge of genre crossing.

Her Voice Piano trios by Beach, Clarke & Farrenc - Neave Trio rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20139 [72:04] [JW] Instrumental finesse and a fine sense of colour.

Iberia y Francia Imogen Cooper (piano) rec. 2019 CHANDOS CHAN20119 [77:14] [RHa] Imogen Cooper is a wonderful guide to early twentieth century France and Spain.

In Nomine II Music for viol consort - Fretwork rec. 2017/18 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD576 [59:50] [BW]  Much more varied and enjoyable than you may expect from a series of sixteen ‘In Nomine’ settings.

Hugo Kolberg & Michel Schwalbé (violin) Legendary Concertmasters of the Berlin Philharmonic rec. 1952-65 MELOCLASSIC MC2039 [78:01 + 73:05] [JW] A valuable historical document.

Landscapes Works by Albéniz, Mompou, D Scarlatti & Schubert - Andrew Tyson (piano) rec. 2019 ALPHA 546 [61:55] [RHa] The seemingly bland title conceals a brilliantly conceived programme and pianism of flair and taste.

Magnificat Glen Dempsey (organ) Ch of St John’s College Cambridge/Andrew Nethsingha rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD588 [58:44] [ST] Utterly praiseworthy.

Music from the era of Rembrandt van Rijn ET'CETERA KTC1663 [4 CDs: 262:10] [JV] Some good performances, but rather unsatisfying overall.

Noëls français Daniel Meylan (organ) EDITIONS HORTUS 173 [71:58] [BW] An attractive selection of French Christmas organ works.

Nordic Music Works by Grieg, Berwald & Nielsen - Ana-Marija Markovina (piano) Schleswig-Holstein SO/Peter Sommerer rec. 2017/18 HÄNSSLER CLASSIC HC17027 [63:32] [RC] There are better performances of the Grieg but the Berwald makes this attractive.

Piccolo Concertos Jean-Louis Beaumadier (piccolo), Prague RSO/Vahan Mardirossian rec. 2019 SKARBO DSK3192 [75:15] [DC] Much to enjoy, and easy to recommend.

The Piano of the Opera Myron Romanul (piano) rec. 2010 EDITION HERA HERA02126 [79:50] [JWe] A superb technique and a wide musical appreciation.

Russian Piano Trios Works by Rachmaninov, Alyabyev & Babajanian - Julia Okruashvili (piano) Uliana Zhdanov (violin) Denis Zhdanov (cello) rec. 2018 PROFIL PH16092 [41:39 + 43:02] [MC] Worthy of notice for the two less well-known pieces.

Rosl Schmid (piano) German Radio Recordings rec. 1940-51 MELOCLASSIC MC1048 [77:42] [JW] Lucid, thoughtful, undemonstrative but affecting when needed.

Scintillate, amic?stell?/a> Christmas in the Convents of 16th- and 17th-Century Italy - Cappella Artemisia/Candace Smith rec. 2011 TACTUS TC280003 [79:12] [BW] Let this recording of music chiefly by female composers, for Christmas but enjoyable at any time, lead you to other similar collections by this ensemble.

Shqipëria N?Art Albanian Piano Works - Marsida Koni (piano) rec. 2018 AULICUS CLASSICS ALC0020 [68:53] [PRB] Well worth considering for something a little different.

Vladimir Sofronitsky (piano) Works by Beethoven, Schumann, Rachmaninoff & Prokofiev rec. 1952 RUSSIAN COMPACT DISC RCD16289 [60:37] [RMas] A mixed bag from Sofronitsky.

A Spanish Nativity Stile Antico rec. 2019 HARMONIA MUNDI HMM902312 [64:17] [ST] An indispensable addition to this year’s raft of Christmas releases.

Spring Forward Works by Schickele, Kernis & Danielpour - David Shifrin (clarinet) Mir?Qt, Dover Qt, Jasper String Qt rec. 2016 DELOS DE3528 [59:36] [SA] Thoroughly engaging and contrasting works.

Trio ?Cordes Français Vol. 1: Mozart rec. 1966-77 DOREMI DHR8091-4 [4 CDs: 296:00] [JW] A most enjoyable survey of this outstanding trio’s work.

Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer and the Recorder in the Low Countries Erik Bosgraaf (recorder) Francesco Corti (harpsichord) rec. 2018 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95907 [79:57] [JV] A delightful disc which will appeal not only to recorder aficionados.

A Walk with Ivor Gurney Works by Bingham, Gurney, Howells & Vaughan Williams - Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano), Simon Callow (narrator), Tenebrae, Aurora O/Nigel Short rec. 2018 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD557 [44:06 + 43:30] [ST] Something to say, not just to all music lovers, but to all humanitarians too.

Valdis Zariņš (violin) Concertos by Sibelius, Bartók, Pone & Kalsons -  Latvian Ntl SO/Vassily Sinaisky, Gundaris Pone rec. 1976-90 SKANI LMIC074 [2 CDs: 125:15] [SG] A fine tribute to a great violinist.

Other Reviews

Bow to Baton - A Leader's Life by John Georgiadis publ. 2019 CREATESPACE INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING PLATFORM [TF] A very entertaining read, providing a deep insight into the orchestral scene in London.

Articles and Notices

Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky - a survey by Ralph Moore

Rolando Panerai - An obituary by Ralph Moore

 



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