December 2022

zwilich orchestral de3596

Zwilich: Orchestral Works (Delos)

Beautifully crafted and entertaining music, showing the composer’s stylistic evolution [DJB]

Milford organ PRCD1246

Milford: Organ Works (Priory)

A very valuable survey establishing the quality and beauty of Milford’s sensitive compositions [NB]

Beethoven concertos BIS2581

Beethoven: Piano Concertos (BIS)

Astonishing virtuoso playing in a highly empathic partnership – the best modern accounts I know [RMo]

Baines pictures DDA25234

Baines: Pictures of Light (Divine Art)

Baines’ piano music always impresses and is well performed here, the songs less so [NB]

Askenase Germany MC1065

Stefan Askenase (piano) Concerts (Meloclassic)

Finesse and elegance in these richly recorded recitals [RCh]

RimskyKorsakov Christmas 2110738

Rimsky-Korsakov: Christmas Eve (Naxos)

Captivating performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s enchanting Christmas opera [CRo]

Mahler’s Seventh Symphony

A major survey of the discography by Lee Denham

Oropesa french PTC5186955

Lisette Oropesa (soprano) Arias (Pentatone)

A delight from start to finish [MC]

Szymanowski stabat C210311

Szymanowski: Stabat Mater (Orfeo)

Penderecki’s Dies Irae is frighteningly powerful, but Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater is given an underwhelming performance [SW]

Schulhoff shapeshifter DE3566

Schulhoff: Shapeshifter (Delos)

A great introduction to the achievement of an unjustifiably less well-known composer [JF]

Rameau zoroastre 891

Rameau: Zoroastre (Alpha)

The original version of Zoroastre, substantially different from the usually performed revision, superbly presented here [RWe]

Mozart Martini 7211

Classical Piano Concertos (Tudor)

A staple Mozart concerto joined by two rarities [JW]

Kapsberger tedesco HMM902645

Kapsberger: Il Tedesco (Harmonia Mundi)

Kapsperger’s vocal oeuvre is very well served here [JV]

Handel Messiah Eboracum

Handel: Messiah (Eboracum)

Overall, an accomplished and enjoyable performance of Messiah [JQ]

Tudor church 7210

Tudor Church Music (Tudor)

A reissue devoted to a director and choir less well remembered for their early music recordings [JW]

Paray piano CC006

Paray: Piano Works Vol. 2 (Ciar)

Attractively conceived music, well played [SG]

Mozart Salieri requiem CVS078

Mozart & Salieri: Requiem (Chateau Versailles)

A very interesting pairing on a single CD but the performance achieves mixed results [MP]

Mendelssohn jahr DACOCD957

Fanny Mendelssohn: Das Jahr (Danacord)

A powerful work of considerable creative strength and technical proficiency [JF]

Mahler symphonies 900719

Mahler: Symphonies 1-9 (BR Klassik)

Clarity, flexibility, detail and beautiful playing here but inconsistent as a set; some symphonies are superlative, others lack excitement [RMo]

Wolf Christmas 5555242

Wolf: Christmas Cantatas (CPO)

Another major step towards a reassessment of Wolf’s oeuvre [JV]

Cliburn Moscow 09026626952

Van Cliburn in Moscow (RCA)

Fine performances somewhat compromised by indifferent sound [RMo]

Humperdinck: Der Blaue Vogel (Capriccio)

A premiere recording of an incandescent lost score [MP]

Holst choral SOMMCD279

Holst: Choral Works (Somm)

A significant release of Holst’s sacred choral music [JF]

Handel ballo 7197

Handel: Ballo per Orchestra (Tudor)

Instrumental ‘highlights’ culled from Handel’s oratorios and operas [JW]