As the holiday season is upon us, it's time for the big box sets and complete cycles of music made for gift-giving to appear. This month we reviewed Frans Brüggen and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century's Mozart Recordings; Paul Hillier conducting the music of Arvo Pärt; historical and rare recordings of Sibelius; and the complete symphonies of Shostakovich by Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. There's a lot to choose from in the rest also, from a fusion of musical styles in Nigel Kennedy's New Four Seasons to an intriguing mix of Morton Feldman, Erik Satie, and John Cage; and a French adaptation of The Magic Flute.






Blair Sanderson
Diego Ares - Sol de mi fortuna: Antonio Soler - Harpsichord Sonatas from the Morgan Library
Markus Becker - Julius Reubke: Sonatas
Leonard Bernstein - Leonard Bernstein: Theatre Works
Andrea Bocelli - Cinema
James Boyd, Fitzwilliam String Quartet - Anton Bruckner: String Quintet; String Quartet
Frans Brüggen, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century - The Mozart Recordings
Teodor Currentzis - Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps
James Ehnes - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Iván Fischer, Budapest Festival Orchestra - Brahms: Symphony No. 4; Hungarian Dances 3, 7 & 11
Howard Griffiths, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana - Franz Anton Hoffmeister: Symphonies
Paul Hillier - Paul Hillier conducts Arvo Pärt
Manfred Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra - Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7
Alina Ibragimova, Jonathan Cohen, Arcangelo - Bach: Violin Concertos
Mariss Jansons, Dorothea Röschmann, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra - Mahler: Symphony No. 4
Jerusalem Quartet - Romantic Quartets & Quintets by Schubert, Schumann & Brahms
Dmitri Kitayenko, Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne - Tschaikowsky: Sämtliche Symphonien
Gérard Korsten, Gävle Symphony Orchestra - Joachim Nikolas Eggert: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3; Incidental Music to Svante Sture
Midori - Bach: Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin
Carlos Païta, London Symphony Orchestra- Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Rachel Podger - Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Rosary Sonatas
Jared Schwartz, Roy Howat - Gabriel Fauré: Songs for Bass Voice and Piano
Jos van Immerseel - Jos van Immerseel: The Accent Recordings, 1979-1986
Various Artists - Eleanor Cory: Things Are; String Quartet No. 3
Various Artists - Jean Sibelius: Historical Recordings and Rarities 1928-1948
Mario Venzago, Tapiola Sinfonietta - Bruckner 5

James Manheim
Friar Alessandro - Voice of Peace
Emanuel Ax, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas - Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3; Mass in C major
Rachel Barton Pine, Ars Antigua - Vivaldi: The Complete Viola d'Amore Concertos
Gautier Capuçon, Valery Gergiev - Shostakovich: The Cello Concertos
Cecilia String Quartet - Mendelssohn: Op. 44 Nos. 1, 2
Max Emanuel Cencic - Arie Napoletane
Le Concert Spirituel, Diego Fasolis - Mozart: Les Mystères d'Isis
Concerto Köln - Charles Avison: Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti
Martha Cook - Bach: Die Kunst der Fuge
Natalie Dessay, Philippe Cassard - Fiançailles pour rire
Emerson String Quartet, Renée Fleming - Berg: Lyric Suite; Wellesz: Sonnets by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, Op. 52
Ensemble La Fenice, Jean Tubéry - Natale in Italia: Frühbarocke eihnachtsmusik
Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Antonio Pappano - Verdi: Aida
Karl Jenkins - Still with the Music: The Album
Kim Kashkashian, Sarah Rothenberg, Steven Schick - Rothko Chapel: Morton Feldman, Erik Satie, John Cage
Mark Kirschenmann - Icosahedron: 20 Improvisations for Solo, Pitch-to-MIDI Trumpet
Latvian Radio Choir, Sigvards Kļava - Valentin Silvestrov: To Thee We Sing
Igor Levit - Bach, Beethoven, Rzewski
Nigel Kennedy - Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons
Kerenza Peacock, Grace Davidson, Trafalgar Sinfonia, Ivor Setterfield - Seasons: Oliver Davis; Antonio Vivaldi
Javier Perianes, Cuarteto Quiroga - Granados, Turina: Piano Quintets
Vasily Petrenko, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - Shostakovich: The Complete Symphonies
Dorothea Röschmann, Mitsuko Uchida - Schumann: Liederkreis; Frauenliebe und Leben; Berg: Sieben frühe Lieder
The Choir of Royal Holloway, Rupert Gough - Calm on the listening ear of night: Choral works by René Clausen & Stephen Paulus
Sasha Rozhdestvensky, Jeremy Menuhin - Shostakovich: The Two Violin Sonatas & Rare Chamber orks
Louis Schwizgebel - Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
Tenebrae, Nigel Short - A Very English Christmas
Tarja Turunen - Ave Maria en Plein Air
United Continuo Ensemble - Johann Hermann Schein: Musica boscareccia
Elizabeth Watts - Alessandro Scarlatti: Con eco d'Amore
Alisa Weilerstein, Inon Barnatan - Rachmaninov, Chopin: Cello Sonatas
Katrin Zenz - John Cage: Complete Works for Flute, Vol. 1