There were fewer new CDs this month than usual, so rather than a full review, here’s a quick roundup.
On Naxos there are new recordings of William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 2 and 3; Paul Moravec’s A Franklin Fantasy, Vita Brevis and Characteristics; Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 4 and 5, Elegy and Dies Natalis; Ernesto Cordero’s Carribbean Concertos for guitar; Braga Santos’s Alfama Suite, Symphonic Overture No. 3 and Elegia a Viana da Mota; and Krzysztof Meyer’s String Quartets No, 9. 11 and 12. Nimbus have released a disk that includes works for String Quartet by Britten, Bliss, Delius and Purcell and also a disk of George Benjamin’s Ten Short Pieces for Solo Piano. Nonesuch has issued a recording of four works by Vladimir Martynov played by the Kronos Quartet. Hyperion, finally, has issued a recording of the performance of Havergal Brian’s gargantuan Gothic Symphony that was given at this year’s Proms. I caught this when it was broadcast live. Ironically I found the first half of the work, before the massed forces join in, much more engaging than the second, which, especially in its massively layered counterpoint, sometimes came over as a confused wash of sound. Despite this, the ambitious and epic nature of the work makes it a worthwhile addition to any music collection.