Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice

January 2007

Editor's Choice

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Julian Bream - My Life in Music

Julian Bream - My Life in Music

My Life in Music is a marvellous portrait of Julian Bream, a first-rate overview of the great guitarist’s life and career, with over three hours of material including one hour of complete musical performances.

With remarkable selfawareness, Julian Bream retired gracefully from performing when he felt his fingers losing their old adeptness. But he’s still one of the more fascinating talkers about music. Here, Bream’s enjoyable opinions and anecdotes are interspersed with some predictably fine footage of his performing days. Absorbing stuff.

“(Julian Bream is) an outstanding musician with a fascinating life story, and I much admire the way he set about making this DVD regardless of whether any company would take it on.” Peter Dickinson, Gramophone

“This makes it into the top five on several counts: the film was made without the constraints of television schedules and take full advantage of the new medium; it has a generous three hours of material; its subject is as entertaining on his life and career as he is illuminating about the music he plays. It appeals as much to the specialist as to the general viewer.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

GGramophone Awards 2007

Best of Category - DVD

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - January 2007

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: PAL

Avie - AV2109

(DVD Video)


Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Paër: Sofonisba (highlights)

Paër: Sofonisba (highlights)

Jennifer Larmore (Sofonisba), Paul Nilon (Siface), Rebecca Evans (Massinissa), Mirco Palazzi (Scipione), Colin Lee (Lelio), Lucy Crowe (Osmida)

Geoffrey Mitchell Choir & Philharmonia Orchestra, Marco Guidarini

This is the fourth opera in the Essential Opera Rara series and once again a vivid impression of the opera is captured on a single disc, accompanied by a complete libretto and article by the eminent 19th century musical scholar, Jeremy Commons.

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2007

Opera Rara - ORR237



(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Rachmaninov: Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op. 31

Rachmaninov: Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op. 31

Flemish Radio Choir, Kaspars Putninsh

Recorded at Jezuïetenkerk, Heverlee, Belgium, in March 2006

An endlessly fascinating disc, this. Rachmaninov’s Liturgy – in a deeply atmospheric rendition by the Flemish Radio Choir – plunges you right into the heart of an ancient Russian church tradition. It breaths devotion, mystique and faint menace. It’s one of those seldom-recorded works that not only grabs the interest; it’s actually extremely hard to stop listening to it. - Gramophone Magazine

“Rachmaninov's Liturgy is less well known than his Vigil ('Vespers'), but has nevertheless gained in popularity with western choirs as a concert item in recent years, though the double-choir setting of the Lord's Prayer has always enjoyed a certain renown, often being sung in an English paraphrase. It is far more than a mere sketch for the more famous work, too, though the links are clear – anyone hearing the opening psalm, 'Blagoslovi, dushe moya', for the first time will immediately make the connection.
The Flemish Radio Choir's rendition is very fine indeed, reverent, well paced and at the same time electrically atmospheric (and also including sufficient of the celebrant's petitions that it comes across neither as an artificial celebration nor a concert suite) and the magnificent SACD sound is just what such a riveting performance merits. The only criticism is of their very light 'l' sound, which truly gives them away as non-Russians.
There is strong competition but, curiously, none is Russian; indeed, the King's College recording is as unrepentantly and beautifully English as you could wish for. In an ideal world one would have to have all of them, and if you have room on your shelves for one more, do add this new recording to your collection. There is one aspect in which the other three score, however – they include full texts and translations, while for the new disc they must be downloaded.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“The earlier of Rachmaninov's two large-scale choral works, the Liturgy is sometimes regarded as just a trial-run for the mighty Vespers. True, the musical language is similar, but it is a compelling work in its own right. This performance by the Flemish Radio Choir, conducted by Kaspars Putninsh, is perhaps not quite as Slavic in its diction as one might desire; but it is nevertheless engaging.” David Smith, Presto Classical

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2007

Super Audio CD


Hybrid Multi-channel

Glossa - GCDSA922203



(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Organ Spectacular from St Paul’s Cathedral

Organ Spectacular from St Paul’s Cathedral


Sonata in E-flat

Bovet, G:

Trois Preludes Hambourgeois

No. 3

Clarke, Jeremiah:

Trumpet Voluntary 'Prince of Denmark's March'

(arr: Desmond Radcliffe)

Dubois, T:



Nimrod (from Enigma Variations)

(arr: W. H. Harris)


Pièces (10) pour orgue, 1892: Scherzo (No. 8)


Interlude, Op.19


Pieces (6): Master Tallis's Testament




Sortie in E flat major




Le prophète: Coronation March

(arr: Bryan Hesford)



Praetorius, M:

Ballet des Matelotz (280)

(arr: NoelRawsthorne)


Rondeau from Abdelazer

(arr: Christopher Gower)


Elegy for Organ

Vaughan Williams:

Prelude on 'Rhosymedre'

Whitlock, P:

Five Short Pieces: Folk Tune


Toccata from Organ Symphony No. 5 in F minor, Op. 42 No. 1

Huw Williams (organ)

“If, as the disc’s title seems to suggest, the organ is the star first and foremost here, it’s apt. The St Paul’s organ has got guts and fire in its belly – despite being scheduled for a major overhaul. But then there’s attack and a sense of scale to the whole of this recital, with Huw Williams delivering organ playing writ large (I’m not sure, having said that, any organ could deliver music writ small)” Gramophone Magazine

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2007

20% off Guild

Guild - GMCD7304


Normally: $15.25

Special: $12.20

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Usually despatched in 4 - 6 working days. (Available now to download.)

Harris Goldsmith plays Beethoven

Harris Goldsmith plays Beethoven


Piano Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10 No. 1

Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 'Waldstein'

Piano Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110

Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2 'Tempest'

Bagatelles (6), Op. 126

Harris Goldsmith (piano)

These recordings were made between 1970 and 1981

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - January 2007

Brilliant Classics - 93092

(CD - 2 discs)


Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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