Issue 38:1
Sept/Oct 2014
Magazine Contents

Classical Recordings Pg. 4

In the course of my reviewing career I’ve heard a great many modern American composers, some of whom combine jazz elements with classical structure, whose music...

This disc, given the title After the Rain, is a much earlier effort than the other Clare Fischer disc reviewed in this issue (see above). It...

Franck’s first opera poses questions, and its production—onstage and as a CD album—raises more. Joël-Marie Fauquet assigns Stradella to “c. 1841”—Franck’s 19th year. The vocal score...

It will most likely come as a surprise to many classical music mavens to learn that César Franck wrote no less than four operas: Stradella

An opera by César Franck, the famed organ and instrumental composer? Why, yes. As it turns out, Stradella (1841–42) was the first of four operas he...

By now, readers should be somewhat familiar with Eduard Franck (1817–1893), following half-a-dozen or so appearances he has made here on recordings mainly of his chamber...

This CD combines the immortal clarinet quintet of Johannes Brahms with the unmistakably Brahmsian—but of course lesser—quintet of Robert Fuchs. Fuchs’s Quintet is very Viennese, charming,...

Hans Gál must have seemed a counter-revolutionary in 1927 Vienna with the appearance of his First Symphony. An unpretentious, light-hearted work in Classical four-movement form, it...

Having issued virtually all of Philippe Gaubert’s orchestral music on three previous CDs, along with one disc of the composer’s mélodies , Timpani is now turning...

Two large issues have attached themselves to Porgy and Bess for its entire 79-year history. The first is the question of genre. What is Porgy and...

In another publication, I recently reviewed a new DVD of Glass’s 25th opera, The Perfect American , a fictionalized account of the last days of Walt...

The question as to whether or not one should listen to Gluck’s Iphigénia in Aulis in its original form or in this recasting of the work...

For almost 30 years, I carried the information about Nathan Milstein’s LP of Carl Goldmark’s Violin Concerto (actually, his Concerto No. 1, but always referred to...

Up until about 20 years ago, the name Théodore Gouvy would likely have elicited a shrug and a “who?” from even the professor with a Ph.D....

According to Leonard Bernstein, “BACH” is “a colossal syllable” that “makes composers tremble” and “brings performers to their knees.” Musicologists may have an equivalent reaction to...

Alexander Gretchaninov had a very long life (1864–1956). He was born in Russia, but fled shortly after the Revolution, leaving for Paris in 1925, and then...

Finnish pianist Janne Mertanen has established a reputation over the past 20 years or so as a sensitive and capable musician with a special knack for...

In a lost form of communication known as the handwritten letter, Wagner wrote to Liszt after hearing the B-Minor Sonata for the first time, “I have...

Violinist Svetlin Roussev and pianist Frédéric D’Oria-Nicolas combine drive and sensibility in the first movement of Grieg’s Violin Sonata No. 3—the same qualities in just about...

Jorge Grundman is a Spanish composer, born in 1961, who writes what he himself describes as tonal, accessible music. It is definitely in a neo-Romantic vein,...

I am hereby putting CD companies on notice: Any release that forces me to turn on my 150-watt record grading light in order to read any...

In Fanfare , 33:5, I reviewed Minds , an SACD released by Non Profit Music (0091) featuring violinist Ara Malikian and pianist Daniel del Pino and...

Louis Gabriel Guillemain’s Caprices form the second section of his op. 16 (I urgently recommended violinist Gilles Colliard’s reading of the first one, the multifarious

In Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (Glossa 921515), Fabio Bonizzoni gave a sentimental sendoff to the last release in his series dedicated to Handel’s Italian cantatas, and...

Listening to this CD immediately after Richard Egarr’s horrific performance of the Bach St. John Passion, I was initially concerned that it was more of the...

Recordings and performances of Handel’s Messiah have used just about every conceivable combination of performing forces, ranging from the somewhat infamous Thomas Beecham recording originally released...

This is for the most part a very subdued account of the so-called Eight Great Suites, plus two further suites, and the Chaconne in G Major....

Minassi gives us in this release the 1731 version of the opera, which means shorter recitatives and the inclusion of the aria “Nel mondo e nell’abisso,”...

Taken from a live performance, this generously timed disc presents jewels from a piece that is itself a jewel in the Handelian canon. Teseo is, of...

Karl Amadeus Hartmann is much admired for his complete withdrawal from society during Hitler’s reign, and his eight symphonies are generally regarded as the strongest German...

It is good to have a new edition of the complete symphonies of Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905–1963), especially one as well played and committed as this....

Christos Hatzis (b. 1953) is a very talented and creative Canadian composer (born in Greece) whose work I have had several opportunities to admire since I...

Conductor Amaury du Closel is everywhere these days; I seem to get at least one of his CDs for each issue. This is an ensemble he...

I just love these foreign CDs that get issued with liner notes and texts only in foreign languages. Apparently, Karussell hasn’t gotten the memo that English...

The title of this disc sounds like an Eric Ambler spy novel: Postcard from Nalchik . That town is in the Kabarda region of the northern...

The present-day Schuppanzigh Quartet of course takes its name from the ensemble of Beethoven’s time that gave the premiere performances of many of that master’s quartets....

There is much to recommend here. The sound of the quartet is beautiful and it is recorded well, with resonance but without exaggerated stereo effects. Especially...

In 1785 or 1786, Haydn received a request from a mid-level cleric at Spain’s Cádiz Cathedral to provide music for the Church’s Good Friday service. In...

Late in life, Haydn received several commissions to write settings for hundreds of English, Scottish, and Welsh folk songs, both real and ersatz (the term “folk...

This CD completes Marek Janowski’s recorded cycle of the 10 Henze symphonies—the first complete set. Not all the performances have been the preferred ones, due to...

One of Michael Hersch’s pieces, The Vanishing Pavilions , impressed me back in 2009 (see Fanfare 32:9). Back in 2000, Hersch had been inspired by Michael...

Right off the bat, I was prepared to like this CD, as I love the string quartet medium. Besides, the headnote was just about the quickest...

For a composer who came out of the puerile musical background of rock music (when he was 12, he owned “a stack of Van Halen records”),...

I have always been convinced that Hindemith’s late-life revisions of some of his (successful) early works were misguided; in attempting to make some avant-garde works more...

Violinist Eliot Lawson writes in the booklet that he and his sister Jill “were struck by how beautiful and emotional” the music of Hindemith’s op. 11/2...

The great Swiss oboist-composer Heinz Holliger was born in 1939, making him 73 and 74 when this disc was recorded in 2012 and 2013. His musicianship,...

Except for No. 1, Honegger’s symphonies were all composed during the decade of the 1940s and, inevitably, were presumed to reflect the perils of wartime––particularly Nos....

Judging from the present CD, music director Ludovic Morlot is enjoying a love affair with his musicians in the Seattle Symphony. Gone is the acrimony between...