At the switch of a second 2018 has become 2019. This column is unchanging though, a simple formula, yours truly choosing a few recommendable releases from those reviewed the previous month. This time it’s an all-British affair, something purely coincidental, but, that said, do please take a look in Features for my review of José Serebrier’s survey of Glazunov’s complete Symphonies and Concertos, a budget box of considerable musical quality. In Features there is also my Eloquence Goes Dutch round-up: please don’t miss Eduard van Beinum’s Brahms 1, Boléro and La valse (all from Amsterdam), the latter ends up being deranged, to borrow a friend’s apt description, and other treasures include Eugen Jochum’s Mozart. I am returning again and again to these beauties with the greatest of pleasure.
Of the Brits, Andrew Davis’s latest volume for Chandos of Gustav Holst’s Orchestral Works takes us rewardingly beyond The Planets; Bob Matthew-Walker details why in his five-star review. As for my own scribbles, Stephen Dodgson’s Chamber Music with Harp and Guitar repays attention, and the Ninth Symphony of David Hackbridge Johnson is a major discovery; the review of the latter was prompted to coincide with the Symphony’s public premiere (see Concerts, December 15, for Tony Hodgson’s critique). There is also NMC’s collection of three opuses by Huw Watkins, each very gratifying, with particular kudos for his own take on the Symphony.
May I mention that my previous Choice editorials are now available to (re-)read. As one follows another so the previous example has been archived, sleeping peacefully, hidden from viewers. Each has been transferred to CS Recommends, an option available on our new-look pages (not this one, though, the homepage). So, if you fancy taking a gander at my previous Choices, simply click on CS Recommends wherever you find it. Thanks.
The Classical Source
1 January 2019
***As a postscript, just to clarify how Classical Source uses stars for its reviews. Since April 2016 a star-rating is mandatory for anything generally available (a recording, a book…) and when there is a run of performances (an opera, a ballet…). Stars are not required for a concert unless a reviewer is of the opinion that something is exceptional (five stars) or quite the opposite (one); either is rare … ultimately it is the words that matter.***