Nick Barnard

Shostakovich: Symphonies 12 & 15 (Chandos)

Well played and well engineered but lacking character [NB]

Schubert symphony 14076

Schubert: “Death and the Maiden” Symphony (High Definition Tape Transfers)

Enthusiastic but flawed performances by student orchestras [NB]

Bonds choral works Avie AV2589

Bonds: Choral Works (Avie Records)

Music of Protest and Pride fervently performed [NB]

vaughan williams somm

Vaughan Williams: Live Vol. 4 (SOMM Recordings)

More treasures lovingly restored – but without the revelations of the earlier volumes [NB]

Matthew-Walker Bebbington Somm CD0662

Matthew-Walker: A Bad Night in Los Angeles (SOMM Recordings)

Engaging and wide-ranging music played with style and conviction [NB]

Sutermeister: Orchestral Works Vol. 2 (Toccata Classics)

First recordings of impressive song cycles, authoritatively performed [NB]

Chants garnier lbm048

Chants nostalgiques (B Records)

A well programmed and well performed recital of French song from La Belle Époque [NB]

Schönberg, Berg: Transfigurations (Alpha Classics)

Intelligently programmed and well played key works of the Second Viennese School [NB]

Mahler Turina Symphony No 2 Afkham Orquesta y Coro OCNE 8436552740095

Mahler: Symphony 2 (INAEM)

The premiere recording of a skilful reduced orchestration of practical value in the concert hall but not for home listening [NB]

Howells: Piano Music Vol. 2 (Naxos)

An important survey played with skill, insight and care [NB]

Arnold orchestral CHAN20152

Arnold: Orchestral Works (Chandos)

A superb overview of Arnold’s music from light to dark with a definitive concerto performance [NB]

Balakirev: Orchestral Works (MDG)

Attractive but undemanding scores performed with care and well recorded [NB]

Rauchenecker Sym1 5554162

Rauchenecker: Symphony No 1 (CPO)

Forgotten works by a forgotten composer may not be masterpieces but certainly worth a listen [NB]

Mayer Symphonies 3 and 7 CPO 5555511-2

Mayer: Symphonies Nos 3 and 7 (CPO)

Two little-known symphonies prove to be interesting but not essential listening [NB]

Pianos martin 857380

Pianos & Orchestra (Naxos)

A unique programme very well played and recorded but of variable musical value [NB]

Bernstein dow 63581

Bernstein: How Now, Dow Jones (RCA)

A Broadway flop takes a bow [NB]

de Hartmann: Orchestral Works (Toccata)

Fascinating music written on an epic scale played with skill and conviction – an exciting discovery [NB]

Milford organ PRCD1246

Milford: Organ Works (Priory)

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

Baines pictures DDA25234

Baines: Pictures of Light (Divine Art)

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