I’m in the plural again! It’s Six of the Best* of those recordings I reviewed during merry May, if not necessarily their month of release…

Mark Elder and the Hallé complete their Vaughan Williams Symphony Cycle with impressive accounts of Sinfonia antartica – awesome if inhospitable landscapes, comedic penguins, chilling winds, eruptive fortissimos, all part of Scott’s no-return icy adventure – coupled with the (in some quarters) underestimated Ninth, if not by Elder whose expansive conducting is very persuasive: http://www.colinscolumn.com/mark-elder-and-the-halle-complete-their-vaughan-williams-symphony-cycle-with-sinfonia-antartica-and-no-9-for-the-halles-own-label/.

A few decades ago, Jessye Norman and Klaus Tennstedt put on a memorable Richard Strauss show with the LPO, http://www.colinscolumn.com/column-post-4300-london-philharmonic-orchestra-releases-a-concert-of-richard-strausss-music-conducted-by-klaus-tennstedt-with-jessye-norman-as-salome/, which survives the time gulf from concert until now, but did the singer really start the evening or was it Bourgeois Gentilhomme?

Much joy at now having all of William Bolcom’s piano Rags collected together, urbane and delicious pieces played with devotion, esprit and affectionate rapport by Marc-André Hamelin, http://www.colinscolumn.com/marc-andre-hamelin-records-william-bolcom-the-complete-rags-for-hyperion/. Ripe for enjoyment.

I was delighted to catch up with music by Henri Dutilleux (either original or as orchestrated by Kenneth Hesketh), http://www.colinscolumn.com/john-wilson-records-henri-dutilleuxs-le-loup-for-chandos/, and there was another significant discovery, three works by Anders Eliasson, http://www.colinscolumn.com/bis-releases-music-by-anders-eliasson-in-premiere-recordings-gustavsson-lindberg-oramo-paulsson-gothenburg-stockholm/, each of gripping music, with the Fourth Symphony (conducted by Sakari Oramo) being particularly involving.

Finally, the Munich Philharmonic and Celibidache, http://www.colinscolumn.com/munich-philharmonic-celibidache-conducts-sibeliuss-fifth-symphony-and-stravinskys-1919-firebird-suite-on-the-munchner-philharmonikers-mphil-label/, a Sibelius Fifth Symphony that is astonishing and riveting, and a Suite from Stravinsky’s Firebird that is alluring and thrilling: my Desert Island choice if I had to rescue just the one disc.

*Whoops! It is in fact Seven of the Best, Neville Marriner’s Haydn Symphonies (added to this post on June 3):

Eloquence releases a collection of Haydn Symphonies conducted by Sir Neville Marriner with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.