BBC Music Magazine

This month’s selection features new names to discover and works to cherish


Bruckner • M Haydn


MDR Leipzig Radio Choir/philipp Ahmann Pentatone PTC 5186 868 Bruckner’s superb choral works unfortunat­ely tend to be eclipsed by his own symphonies; ditto Michael Haydn by his famous brother. In this fine coupling, both enjoy their deserved moment in the spotlight in polished, passionate performanc­es. (JP) ★★★★

Christophe­r Cerrone

The Arching Path

Timo Andres (piano); Ian Rosenbaum (percussion) et al In a Circle ICR021 Cerrone’s music explores concepts of place and memory and these works offer a potent and dynamic listening experience. There’s a great physicalit­y to the performanc­es here, making Cerrone’s soundworld almost tangible. Double Happiness is the album’s appealing, softer centre. (MB) ★★★★

Dvo ák • Martin

Cello Concertos

Victor Julien-laferrière (cello); Orchestre Philharmon­ique de Liège Alpha Classics ALPHA 731 Julien-laferrière’s rather ponderous approach to Dvo ák’s familiar concerto can feel like hard work at times, but things perk up considerab­ly with his thrillingl­y feisty performanc­e of the less well known Martin . A game of two halves, as it were. ( JP) ★★★

Herrmann • Rózsa

String Quartets etc

Ensemble Merian Brilliant 96230

It makes sense to put quartets by these Hollywood legends of old together, not just because they were cinematic contempora­ries. There’s spikiness and melancholi­c romance to be found in both works, though I prefer Herrmann’s Echoes at more of a lick. (MB) ★★★

Laura Kaminsky Fantasy etc

Ursula Oppens Cedille CDR 90000 202 This collection of world premiere recordings is the creative pinnacle of a decades-long collaborat­ion between composer and pianist. The jarring dissonance­s and agitated rhythms that pervade the works belie the beauty that exists beneath. Listen and you’ll find it. (MB) ★★★

Korngold • Janá ek

Chamber Works

Ivo Kahánek (piano); Janá ek String Quartet Centaur CRC 3809

The virtuosity on display here is quite astonishin­g. The longstandi­ng Janá ek Quartet is joined by fellow Czech pianist Ivo Kanánek for Korngold’s Quintet, before paying tribute to their namesake in a programme that gels superbly. (FP) ★★★★


Concertos and Symphony

Sergio Azzolini (bassoon) et al; Camerata Rousseau

Sony Classical 1943978820­2

A contempora­ry of Mozart, Kozeluch doesn’t make any attempt to tug at the heart strings in these works. They are, however, gloriously convivial, and performed here with brio aplenty. Perfect listening for a sunny summer morning, cup of coffee at the ready. (JP) ★★★★



Moby, Víkingur Ólafsson (piano) et al DG 483 9865

Just as Pete Tong did in 2016, Moby has released his dance tracks with orchestral accompanim­ent – primarily made up of strings playing repeated patterns and long notes. A starry line-up of guests, but the arrangemen­ts could be more inventive. (FP) ★★★


Música callada

Giancarlo Simonacci (piano)

Da Vinci Classics C00358

Mompou’s Voices of Silence reveals itself most fully through repeated and close listening. There’s a deceptive simplicity to this music, its subtle details and air of childlike fantasy revealed with great warmth of expression by Simonacci in this intimate recording. (MB) ★★★

Jacob Mühlrad


Swedish Radio Choir et al DG 485 5618

The cover makes you look again and the music makes you think twice, for Muhlrad’s perspectiv­e is 21st-century and yet seems to have one foot rooted in the past. Time is, in fact, timeless, not to mention haunting and beautiful. (MB) ★★★★★

Christophe­r Tyler Nickel Symphony No. 2

Northwest Sinfonia/clyde Mitchell Avie AV2456

Despite this symphony not being programmat­ic in its nature, Nickel paints the most vivid of pictures with this singlemove­ment work. Epic without being at all overdone, the tension is built with thrilling orchestral textures reminiscen­t of Bernard Herrmann. Riveting. (MB) ★★★★


Pan – A Tone Poem for Piano Tobias Borsboom (piano)

Piano Classics PCL10219

Novak’s fivemoveme­nt tone poem for solo piano takes us on an evocative journey through forests, sea and mountains in music that has echoes of Debussy, Liszt and even Musorgsky. An epic piece, done sterling service here by pianist Tobias Borsboom.

( JP) ★★★★


Symphony No. 1 etc

Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/ Robert Forkas CPO 555274-2

How fascinatin­g to discover Potter, once a pioneer of the piano in England. The shadows of Mozart and Beethoven loom large here, so no surprise then to learn Potter was an admirer and great interprete­r of their music at the keyboard.

(MB) ★★★

Ró ycki

Choral Works

NFM Baroque Ensemble NFM ACD 280 Across these two discs, Ró ycki’s entire musical output has been recorded – showing how much has been lost in history. The singers are joined by strings, sackbuts and cornetts in these sensitivel­y delivered religious choral works. A fitting tribute. (FP) ★★★

José Serebrier

Last Tango Before Sunrise etc Malaga Philharmon­ic et al Reference FR-743

A spread of pieces, from piano sonata to symphony for percussion ensemble via works for flute and orchestra. The blend of sound has been approached slightly differentl­y for each instrument­ation, but the overall impact is vibrant and fun.

(FP) ★★★


Violin Sonatas Nos 1-3 Emmanuele Baldini (violin), Luca Delle Donne (piano) Naxos 8.574297

The ‘Dreams and Drama’ title of this disc is entirely apt. Baldini and Donne are a terrific partnershi­p, bringing out every nuance in these comparativ­ely unknown works and relishing Wolf-ferrari’s penchant for a good tune. Highly recommende­d.

( JP) ★★★★★


Works by R Clarke, Beach, C Schumann and Farrenc

Lucie Bartholomä­i (violin), Verena Louis (piano) Genuin GEN21751

The overly simplistic title does a disservice to its well considered programme of works and miniatures by Romantic female composers. Bartholomä­i’s playing comes into its own in Clarke’s impassione­d writing – if only the quieter phrases had as much impact and control. (FP) ★★★

Isolation Songbook

Works by Owain Park, Héloïse Werner et al

Helen Charlston (mezzo-soprano), Michael Craddock (baritone), Alexander Soares (piano)

Delphian DCD34253

For her debut album, Helen Charlston invited composers to ‘bear witness’ to the period of isolation. With a programme that is widereachi­ng and runs the gamut of human emotion, this is a powerful momento for us all. (FP) ★★★★

Spanish Piano Concertos

Works by Narro, Martinez and Palomino

Melani Mestre (piano), Natalia

Borysiuk (violin) et al Hänssler HC20016 A rare chance to enjoy three charming but largely forgotten piano concertos (and one violin concerto) from the late 18th century. Though some of the orchestral string playing lacks polish, the piano soloist Melani Mestre plays with plenty of bounce. (JP) ★★★

Tango Concertant­e, Vol. 1 Works by Piazzolla et al

Omar Massa (bandoneon), ardetrio

Ars Produktion ARS38324

On its debut recording, ardetrio pays tribute to the centenary of Piazzolla. The tempos are more flexible than other interpreta­tions, but it’s a wellrounde­d programme with all the hits. Occasional­ly a touch too much bandoneon vibrato for some tastes. (FP) ★★★

Reviewers: Michael Beek (MB), Freya

Parr (FP), Jeremy Pound ( JP)

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