> Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (highlights). State Opera of South Australia, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and singers. Melba 2 CDs.
> Benaud Trio: Works by Australian composers. Melba CD
After their award-winning recording of the Striggio 40-part Mass, the expert forces of I Fagiolini, directed by Robert Hollingworth, return with more baroque music for huge forces.
> Messiaen: Visions de l'Amen. Debussy: En blance et noir. Ralph van Raat (piano 1), Hakon Austbo (piano 2). Naxos CD.
>"The Art of Renee Fleming". Renee Fleming (soprano). Decca CD.
Let us not beat about the bush. By and large, I spill the beans on Max Cryer's latest research results in Curious English Words and Phrases (Exisle, pbk.)
One of Iain Banks' previous novels (The Crow Road ) began with a memorable sentence: "It was the day my grandmother exploded."
Two books by New Zealand writers, with similar noir themes, arrived in my reading lap. They were juggled as hot potatoes but I found them rather unpalatable.
> "Release: The Mozart Fellowship". La Belle Alliance. Ode CD.
> "The Art of Nance Grant". Nance Grant (soprano). Melba 2 CDs.
> "Love and Longing". Magdalena Kozena (mezzo-soprano), Berliner Philharmoniker. Deutsche Grammophon CD.
> Sarasate: Bolero, Introduction et Fandango, etc. Tianwa Yang (violin), Markus Hadulla (piano), Naxos CD.
> Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 2 and 15. Royal Liverpool Orchestra and Choir. Naxos CD.
The Day of the Lie is the fourth novel by William Brodrick, winner of the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger. It puts his hero, the lawyer-turned-monk Father Anselm, in Poland with the difficult task of seeking restorative justice for some victims of communism - as well as the horrors of the Nazi invasion in World War 2.
> "Legacy". David Garrett (violin), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Decca CD.
> Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No1, Variations on a Theme of Chopin.Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano). Decca CD.
> Prokofiev: Sonata No 6, Liszt and Saint-Saens. Behzod Abduraimov (piano). Decca CD.
> Gershwin: Concerto in F, Rhapsody No.2, etc. Orion Weiss (piano), Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Naxos CD. Concerto in F (1925) is not as melodic as the more famous Rhapsody in Blue, but the two works are markedly similar. The concerto avoids programmatic content in many tunes to seem more serious.
Kristine Moffat traces the arrival of the first piano in New Zealand in her entertaining treatise Piano Forte (Otago University Press). It was a Broadwood grand on board the schooner Herald unloaded at Pahia in 1827.
> Salzburg Concerts. West Eastern Divan Orchestra. Unitel Classica C Major DVD.