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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


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ALPHABETICAL LISTING

Leroy ANDERSON (1908-1975) Orchestral Favourites Serenata, The Syncopated Clock, The Penny Whistle Song, The Typewriter, Sarabande, Trumpeter’s Lullaby, Fiddle Faddle, Forgotten Dreams,Blue Tango, Jazz Legato, Jazz Pizzicato, The Phantom Regiment, Bugler’s Holiday, The Waltzing Cat, March of the Two left Feet, Promenade, Plink, Plank, Plunk! The Girl in Satin , Sandpaper Ballet, Belle of the Ball, Sleigh Ride Richard Hayman and his Orchestra Recorded February – June, 1989 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559125 [61.28] [JQ]

The whole programme is performed with gusto and polish by Richard Hayman and his eponymous players. This is a refreshing disc which will be self-recommending to fans of light music … see Full Review

Malcolm ARNOLD (b.1921) English Dances sets 1 and 2 (1950, 1951) Serenade for small orchestra (1950) Sinfonietta No 1 (1954) Sinfonietta No 2 (1958) Sinfonietta No 3 (1964) Four Cornish Dances (1968) Bournemouth SO/Charles Groves (English Dances); Bournemouth Sinfonietta (Serenade; Sinf 3); Philharmonia/Neville Dilkes (Sinfs 1/2); City of Birmingham SO/composer 12/13 July 1976 Guildhall, Southampton (English Dances); 10-11 April, 1 July 1979 (Serenade; Sinf 3); 8, 11 Aug 1977, Studio 1, Abbey Rd, London (Sinf 1/2); 13-14 June 1972 De Montfort Hall, Leicester (Cornish) ADD EMI CLASSICS CDZ 5 74780 2 [76.16] [RB]

A fruity and generous-souled Arnold collection in decent 1970s vintage sound. The Sinfoniettas add stiffening to the otherwise lyrical mix. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH C. P. E. BACH (1714 - 1788) Keyboard Sonatas E minor, W65,5/H13; B flat, W65, 20/H51; E minor, W62,12/H66; B flar, W65,44/H211; C, W65,47/H248; G, W65,48/H280. Carole Cerasi (harpsichord/fortepiano). Recorded at Forde Abbey, February 16th-18th, 2001. METRONOME METCD1032 [67.27] [CC]

It is a tribute to Cerasis artistry and understanding of C. P. E. Bach's idiosyncratic idiom that this recital grips the listeners attention from the very first note and refuses to let go. see Full Review

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites [63.12] No. 1 in G major BWV 1007 No. 2 in G major BWV 1008 No. 3 in G major BWV 1009 John Friesen, cello
Rec: September, October 1996, Mushroom Studios, Vancouver, Canada. SONO RECORDS SONO10562 [63.12] [KM]

Sadly little to be said for this disc. Listeners would be better of with Bylsma or Wispelwey. ...see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites Susan Sheppard, cello Rec: February, October, December 1998, Claydon House, Buckinghamshire, England. METRONOME MET 1034/35 [132.40] [KM]

Susan Sheppard plays some of these movements with rare vitality and energy. If all of them were as good as the best this set would be one of the finest recordings available. As it is these discs give an idea of what might have been. … see Full Review


Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Harpsichord Works Partita No.1, BWV825,6 Small Preludes from Johann Peter Kellner’s Collection, Fuga a Tre from Clavier Büchlein für W.F. Bach, 3 Minuets from Clavier Büchlein für W.F. Bach, 6 Preludes from Clavier Büchlein für W.F. Bach, French Suite No.5, Italian Concero BWV971 Richard Egarr, harpsichord
Rec: September 1995, Church of Maria Minor, Utrecht. EMI CDZ 569700 2 [77.37] [KM]

Egarr is very convincing and his style seems perfectly in tune with the music … see Full Review

J.S. BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations BWV 988 Markus Becker (piano) Recorded October 2000 CPO 999 831-2 [78'04"] [PQ]

In sum, your admiration may be quickly won: affection is likely to be more stubborn in showing itself. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Six Partitas Christopher Czaja Sager, piano Rec: July 1993, Doopsgezinde Kerk, Amsterdam. HAENSSLER CD 94.014 [136.09]
Midprice [KM]

The main problem with this set is that Sager takes a very uneven approach to the partitas. While each individual work is coherent, there is no overall vision. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Christmas Oratorio [198 min.] Claron McFadden, soprano Bernarda Fink, alto Christoph Genz, tenor Dietrich Henschel, bass Monteverdi Choir English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner Rec: 23 & 27 December, 1999, Herderkirche, Weimar, Germany. TDK DVD-BACHHO [198 min.] [KM]

Gardiner is one of the finest interpreters of Bach’s vocal music, and this DVD shows this very well. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass in B Minor BWV 232 Ruth Holton, soprano Matthias Rexroth, alto Christoph Genz, tenor Klaus Mertens, baritone Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Georg Christopu Biller, Thomaskantor, Thomanerchor Leipzig Rec: 28 July 2000, Thomaskirche, Leipzig, Germany. TDK DV-BAMBM [114.00] [KM]

All things considered, this is not an excellent recording. Since the choir has such a central place in this work, a weak choir, as is the case here, leaves the listener wanting more, much more. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. John Passion Marcel Beekman, Tenor (Evangelist) Robert Muuse, Baritone (Christ) Marjon Strijk, Soprano Bas Ramselaar, Bass Syste Buwalda, Alto Martinus Leusink, Tenor Holland Boys Choir, Netherlands Bach Collegium, Pieter Jan Leusink conductor Recorded January 2001, Grote Kerk Elburg BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99795 [105.47] [KM]

Given its budget price a worthy purchase but those seeking strong and moving choral parts will be disappointed…see Full review

J. S. BACH St Matthew Passion BWV 244 Irmgard Seefried (soprano) Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) Walther Ludwig - Evangelist (tenor) Otto Edelmann (bass) Paul Schöffler - Jesus Erich Kaufmann - Peter Hardal Pröglhöf - Judas Otto Wiener - Pilate Walter Berry - Pontifex Anny Felbermayer - Pilate’s wife Gisela Rathauscher - First maid Rosl Sterba - Second maid Magdalena Stowasser - First witness Friedrich Uhl - Second witness Alois Forer/Anton Heiler - organ Vienna Choral Society (Wiener Singverein) Vienna Symphony Orchestra Herbert von Karajan (conductor) Recorded live: Vienna 9 June 1950 URANIA URN 22.185 3CDs [207’56"] [CF]

The zenith of this performance is Ferrier’s ‘Erbarme dich’. Bach surely had Kathleen Ferrier in mind 200 years earlier when he wrote this miracle work. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas Volume 1 BWV1-64 Sopranos - Arleen Augér, Nancy Burns, Inga Nielsen, Maria Friesenhausen, Helen Donath, Ingeborg Reichelt, Edith Weins, Ulrike Sonntag, Barbara Rondelli, Constanza Cuccaro, Nancy Amini Altos - Julia Hamari, Helen Watts, Verena Gohl, Gabriele Schreckenbach, Hildegard Laurich, Else Paaske, Carolyn Watkinson, Martha Kessler, Gabriele Schnaut, Margit Neubauer, Marga Hoeffgen, Ann Murray, Karen Hagerman, Elisabeth Graf, Mechthild Georg Tenors - Aldo Baldin, Adalbert Kraus, Theo Altmeyer, Kurt Equiluz, Peter Schreier, Lutz-Michael Harder, Douglas Robinson, Frieder Lang Basses - Philippe Huttenlocher, Walter Heldwein, Siegmund Nimsgern, Hanns-Friedrich Kunz, Wolfgang Schöne, Niklaus Tüller, John Bröcheler, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Norman Anderson;Gächinger Kantorei, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Figuralchor der Gedächtniskirche Stuttgart, Helmut Rilling Rec: 1968-1985 (dates for the complete set). HAENSSLER 92.561 [approx 20 hours][KM]

While there are some low points - which is to be expected from any such enterprise - the high points are such that this is one of the essential sets of Bach’s vocal works. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas vol. 16 Cantata No.194, "Höschesterwünschtes Feudenfest", BWV 194 Cantata No.119, "Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn", BWV 119 Yukari Nonoshita, soprano (BWV 194) Yoshie Hida, soprano (BWV 119) Kirsten Sollek-Avella, alto (BWV 119) Makoto Sakurada, tenor Jochen Jupfer, baritone (BWV 194) Peter Kooij, bass Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki Rec: September 2000, Kobe Shoin Women’s University, Japan. BIS CD-1111 [67.35] [KM]

The two cantatas on this disc are among the best in Bach’s oeuvre, and they here receive recordings to match. … see Full Review

J S BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concerto in D Minor – reconstruction by K Linder-Dewan from Harpsichord Concerto BWV 1052, Brandenburg Concerto No 2 Jan Dismas ZELENKA (1679-1745) Sinfonia in A minor Kerstin Linder-Dewan, violin Fiori Musicali Penelope Rapson, director Recorded Stationers’ Hall, London 1997 METRONOME MET CD 1019 [54.10] [JW]

A disc of some pleasures assuredly worth investigating for the reconstruction and the enviably assured trumpeting of David Staff. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ Works Jean-Charles Ablitzer, organ: Christoph Treutmann, Goslar-Grauhof, Lower Saxony. Rec: June 1996, Sankt Georg Abbey Church. HARMONIC RECORDS H/CD 9557 [61.56] [KM]

This is a very satisfying recording of some of Bach’s finest works - the Schübler chorals represent perhaps the apex of this form … see Full Review

BACH's SONS C.P.E. BACH: Berliner Symphonien Kammerorchester C.P.E. Bach, Hartmut Maenchen C.P.E. BACH: Cello Concertos Balasz Mate, cello; Concerto Armonico C.P.E. BACH: Flute Concertos Machiko Takahashi, flute; Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH: Symphonies Concerto Armonico JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH: Sinfonia Concertante London Festival Orchestra, Ross Pople WILHELM FRIEDEMANN BACH: Orchestral works Kammerorchester C.P.E. Bach, Hartmut Haenchen JOHANN CHRISTOPH FRIEDRICH BACH: Symphonies Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum, Glaetzner Neues Bachisches ollegium Musicum, Burkhard Glaetzner Recording: Leipzig 1992 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99785 7CDs [approx. 7 hours 15 min.] [KM]

The main interest in purchasing this bargain set is to discover the sons of the great Bach and hear how their father’s music influenced them. CPE Bach was indeed an excellent composer, and his music is very interesting. … see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Violin Concerto, Op. 14 (1941) Souvenirs – Ballet Suite, Op. 28, (1952) Serenade for Strings, Op. 1 (1928) Music for a Scene from Shelley, Op. 7 (1935). James Buswell (violin), Royal Scottish National Orchestra – Marin Alsop recorded 27/1/01 (Violin Concerto), 11-12/5/00 (Souvenirs), 3-4/5/00 (remainder) in the Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow. DDD NAXOS 8.559044 [64.20] [RB]

A strong and inexpensive introduction to Barber with the voluptuous Souvenirs making it indispensable to Barber enthusiasts. … see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Overture to The School for Scandal (1931) [8.05] The Janssen Symphony of Los Angeles/Werner Janssen rec. 11 March 1942, Hollywood Adagio for Strings (from String Quartet Op. 11) (1932) [7.07] NBCSO/Toscanini rec. 19 March 1942, Carnegie Hall, New York Capricorn Concerto (1944) [14.08] Julius Baker (flute), Harry Freistadt (trumpet), Mitchell Miller (oboe), Saidenberg Little Symphony/Daniel Saidenberg rec. 1946, New York Dover Beach (1931) [7.45] Samuel Barber (baritone)/Curtis String Quartet rec. 13 May 1935, Church Studio No. 2, Camden, New Jersey Essay No. 1 (1938) [7.21] Philharmonic Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy rec. 20 Oct 1940, Philadelphia Academy of Music Cello Sonata (1932) [16.58] Raya Garbousova (cello)/Erich Itor Kahn (piano) rec. 1947, New York Symphony No. 1 (in one movement) (1936) [17.36] Philharmonic SO of New York/Bruno Walter rec. 23 Jan 1945, Carnegie Hall, New York PEARL GEM 0049 [79.37] [RB]

Pearl have in this disc and in GEM 0151 cornered the market in Barber archive material. A compelling historical survey in honest and unpretentious sound in performances lacking nothing in their power to move. ... see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Knoxville - Summer of 1915 (1947) Eleanor Steber (sop)/Dumbarton Oaks Orchestra/William Strickland rec 1950 mono Dover Beach (1931) Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (bar)/Juilliard Quartet rec 1967 Hermit Songs (1953) Leontyne Price (sop)/composer (piano) rec 1954 mono Andromache's Farewell (1962) Martina Arroyo (sop)/NYPO/Thomas Schippers rec 1963 AAD SONY Classical MPK 46727 [51.22] [RB]

A disc made memorable by Arroyo and Steber and by Price's faithful clarity and grip on the intimacy of her songs. … see Full Review

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Concerto for Orchestra Sz116 Witold LUTOSLAWSKI (1913-1994) Concerto for Orchestra Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis
Recorded at Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden, February and March 1996 DDD APEX 0927 40619 2 [66:27] [CT]

A useful, super-budget coupling of two twentieth century classics that are fascinating to listen to side by side. Ultimately however the competition is just too strong for the Royal Stockholm’s performances. … see Full Review

Bela BARTOK (1881 - 1945) Concerto for Orchestra Sz116 (1943) The Miraculous Mandarin (complete ballet) Sz 73 (1924) * Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Laurenscantorij Chor * - conducted by Riccardo Chailly recorded in Grotezaal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 22nd 23rd May 1995. DDD DECCA 458 841-2 [70.54] [JP]

Orchestral virtuosity at the service of music, and a conductor who understands cross rhythms leave us with a superb modern version of these works … see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Symphony No. 4 (1931) [39.28] Nympholept (1915) [16.02] Overture to a Picaresque Comedy (1930) [9.09] Royal Scottish National Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones - rec 24-25 Aug 2000, Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland
NAXOS 8.555343 [64.38] [RB]

An expansive approach to the Symphony and ideal interpretations of the overture and Nympholept. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Arnold BAX (1883-1953) String Quartet No. 1 (1918) String Quartet No. 2 (1925) Maggini Quartet rec 19-21 Dec 1999, Potton Hall, Suffolk NAXOS 8.555282 [54.00] [RB]

You must hear this! One of 2001's top ten classical discs. Roll on the Naxos/Maggini Third Quartet - a work of symphonic impact and scale. ...see Full Review

David BEDFORD (1937 -) "My Mother, My Sister and I" - Cantata for 3 Sopranos and Tape (1999) Lyrics by Allison Powell Evelyn Tubb, Jacqueline Barron, Mary Wiegold Synthesizer programming by the Composer Voiceprint Group: Classicprint CPVP003CD [26'41] [PS]

Marred by exorbitant cost, in relation to the running time and the use of a synthesiser instead of proper instrument, David Bedford and Alison Powell’s cantata, an account of the breakdown of the Pankhurst "Unity", is a richly rewarding piece of musical drama sung with consummate conviction by three superb sopranos. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Concerto in C major for piano, violin, cello and orchestra, Op 56 (1808) [37.23] Claudio Arrau (piano), Henryk Szeryng (violin), János Starker (cello) & New Philharmonia Orchestra, cond. Eliahu Inbal - ADD: recorded 1971 - Fantasy in C minor for piano, chorus and orchestra, Op 80 (1808) [20.45] Alfred Brendel (piano), London Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir, cond. Bernard Haitink - ADD: recorded 1977
PHILIPS ELOQUENCE 464 368-2 [58.08] [PJL]

A good opportunity to hear two fascinating and rewarding pieces which can only deepen our understanding of this always-complex and innovatory composer … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1839) Missa Solemnis in D major Op. 123 (1823) Luba Orgonasova, (sop), Anna Larsson (alt), Rainer Trost (ten), Franz-Joseph Selig (bass) with the Schweizer Kammerchor and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra – David Zinman.
recorded 7 - 10 May, 2001 in Tonhalle, Zürich, Switzerland. DDD ARTE NOVA 87074-2 [65.57] [JP]

There is absolutely no reason for you to put off buying this disc, even if you have another version in your collection – it will give you another view of Beethoven’s colossal work. … see Full Review

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony no. 3 in Eb, op.55, "Eroica" - Symphony no. 4 in Bb, op.60 Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Abbado - Recorded Berlin Philharmonie, Grosser Saal, Dec. 1999 (no.4), March 2000 (no.3) DG 471 488 [79:29] [GPJ]

Splendid - very strong coupling; though some may find Abbado’s Eroica light-weight, I do not, and would bracket it with Kleiber’s great VPO recording. … see Full Review

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.3 in E flat major "Eroica" Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester/Günther Herbig Rec 1982, Christuskirche, Berlin BERLIN CLASSICS 00 9462 BC [49.39] [TD]

A rich, vibrant performance by a neglected craftsman. Happy birthday, Günther Herbig ...see Full Review

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No 5 Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) A Midsummer Night’s Dream op 61; Scherzo and Nocturne Paul DUKAS (1865-1935) The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York Arturo Toscanini Recorded 1926-31 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110844 [66.44] [JW]

The fifth and final volume in their complete Toscanini/New York Philharmonic Symphony brings us the 1931 Beethoven fifth. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies no.7 in A major op.92 Symphony no.8 in F major op.93 Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Claudio Abbado (conductor) Recorded in the Philharmonie, Berlin, December 1999 (no.7) and March 2000 (no.8) DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 471 490-2 [63’22"] [PQ]

Apparently ‘the flourishing tradition of period performance’ is one of the influences on Abbado’s ‘approach to this new Beethoven cycle’. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas: No. 8 in C minor, op. 13 – "Pathétique", no. 14 in C sharp minor, op, 27/2 – "Moonlight", no. 23 in F minor, op. 57 – "Appassionata", no. 26 in E flat, op. 81a – "Les Adieux" Arthur Rubinstein (pianoforte) Recorded 1962 (opp. 13, 27/2, 81a), 1963 (op. 57), location not given BMG RCA RED SEAL 74321 68006 2 [75.34] [CH]

Beethoven speaks to all men in many ways, and there will be times when Rubinstein’s very human way will bring the music closer to you than any other. … see Full Review

Richard Rodney BENNETT (born 1936) Piano Concerto (1968)a Concerto for Stan Getz (1990)b Waltz from Murder on the Orient Express (1974)c Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)d Dream Sequence (1992)e Stephen Kovacevich (piano)a; John Harle (saxophone)b; BBC Symphony Orchestraab; Alexander Gibsona; Barry Wordsworthb; Hollywood Bowl Orchestracd; John Maucericd; Julian Lloyd Webber (cello)e; Richard Rodney Bennett (piano)e Recorded: Wembley Town Hall, January 1971a; BBC Hippodrome, Golders Green, London, March 1993b; Sony Studios, Culver City, USA, January 1993c; Hollywood, August 1995d and Henry Wood Hall, London, October 1993e DECCA 470 371-2 [59:42] [HC]

Good to have Kovacevich’s reading of the Piano Concerto back in the catalogue; a good introduction to or a timely reminder of Bennett’s varied but never indifferent music. A pity that this CD does not include either Spells, Aubade, Calendar or Commedia IV … see Full Review

Alban BERG (1885-1935) WOZZECK Opera in Three Acts Op.7 Cast Wozzeck ~ Carl Johan Falkman - Marie ~ Katarina Dalayman - Captain ~ Ulrik Qvale - Doctor ~ Sten Wahlund - Drum Major ~ Lennart Stregard - Andres ~ Klas Hedlund - Margret ~ Marianne Eklof- Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera, Stockholm Leif Segerstam (conductor) - Recorded live at Kungliga Teatern, Stockholm, February 2000 NAXOS 8.660076-77 [2 discs: 37:22; 58:41; super-budget] [TH]

Repeated listening has strengthened my admiration for this performance, and I think it is fair to conclude that this set is worth purchasing regardless of your current favourite. ...See Full Review

Leonard Bernstein conducts West Side Story Kiri Te Kanawa, José Carreras, Tatiana Troyanos, Kurt Ollmann pick-up orchestra Leonard Bernstein PCM Stereo 4:3 - full-frame conventional TV ratio * region 0 * DG DVD 073 017-9 [89 minutes] [GD]

This 1984 recording was the first to present the score complete. The DVD presents the programme exactly as shown on television. … see Full Review

Henry BISHOP (1786-1855) Lo Hear the gentle lark, Welcome to this place, Should he upbraid, Who is Sylvia?,That time of year, When that I was a little tiny boy, Come live with me and be my love, Hark, hark each Spartan hound, Oh! Never say that I was false of heart, Who is Sylvia (2), Sing Willow, It was a lover and his lass, Under the greenwood tree
Take oh! Take those lips away, Flower of this purple dye, Now the hungry lions roar, Orpheus with his lute, Come, thou monarch of the vine, Spirits advance
- Jeanette Ager, Joseph Cornwell, Simon Davies. Rachel Elliott, Julia Gooding, Simon Grant, Susan Gritton, Helen Groves, Andrew King, Joanne Lunn, Andrew Murgatroyd, William Purefoy, Christopher Robson, Mark Tucker, Roderick Williams Musicians of the Globe/Philip Pickett - Recorded All Saints, Tooting, London September 1996 DECCA 470 381-2 [67.09] [JW]

Bishop’s lyrical impulse – nicely orchestrated, harmonically alive, suitably lively. This disc will give you a lot of pleasure. … see Full Review

Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) String Quartet No. 1 (1941) String Quartet No. 2 (1950) Fanny Mendelssohn Quartet rec 23-24 July 1995, 4-5 Feb 1996, Bauer Studio, Ludwigsburg DDD - Dolby Surround - 20-bit technology TROUBADISC TRO-CD 01412 [57.48] [RB]

The First Quartet goes with a great sense of yearning passion and a swing while the hushed breathlessness of the sostenuto of the Second is remarkable. Hyperion's Delmé tend to take things more slowly. Terse and sensitive playing. ... see Full Review.

ERNEST BLOCH (1880-1959)Hiver-Printemps (1905) Poèmes d'Automne (1906) In the Night (1922) Deux Psaumes (1912-14) Psaume 22 (1913-14) Mireille Delunsch (sop) Brigitte Balleys (mezzo) Vincent Le Texier (bar) Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg/David Shallon rec Luxembourg, July and September 1999 TIMPANI 1C1052 [63.43] [RB]

The present disc is of substantial value as it makes easily accessible a collection of early Bloch works....see Full Review

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) String Quartets, Op 32 Nos 3-6 Quartetto Borciani: Fulvio Luciani (violin), Elena Ponzoni (violin), Roberto Tarenzi (viola) & Claudia Ravetto (cello) DDD: recorded 11-13 July 2000 in the Baroque Hall of the S.M.C. Studio, Ivrea, Italy NAXOS 8.555043 [78.58] [PL]

With exemplary sound quality and all of 79 minutes of music, there is much to enjoy here: and all for a fiver! … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonatas - Sonata No 1 in G major, Op 78 (1878) [28.19] - Sonata No 2 in A major, Op 100 (1886) [21.14] - Sonata No 3 in D minor, Op 108 (1888) [22.18] Ilya Kaler (violin) & Alexander Peskanov (piano) - recorded 27-29 December 2000 in the Toronto Centre for the Arts, Toronto DDD NAXOS 8.554828 [71.50] [PJL]

With recording as clean and as natural as any, this is an outstanding release. I give you my word that, if you put this disc on your shopping list, disappointment is unthinkable! … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS Academic Festival Overture, Op.* [11.08] Symphony No 1 in C minor, Op. 68 (3rd Movement only)** [4.27] Symphony No 3 in F major, Op. 90*** [35.13] Tragic Overture, Op. 81**** [14.36] Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, conducted by Willem Mengelberg Recorded in the Concertgebouw *30 May, 1930; ** 31 May, 1930; *** 10 May, 1931; **** 17 April, 1942 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110164 [65.24] [JQ]

This is a fascinating and highly stimulating CD. How fortunate we are that sixty years or more after these recordings were made they are once again widely available in fine transfers (and at such a ridiculously cheap price) … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Lieder Theo Adam (bass-baritone) Rudolf Dunckel (piano) Rec 1974 reissued 2002. BERLIN CLASSICS 0094582BC [53.32] [ME]

A worthy introduction to one of the greatest bass voices of our time, with some very fine singing … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1837-98) Ein deutsches Requiem op.45 (1865-8) Barbara Bonney (soprano), Bryn Terfel (baritone) Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Swedish Radio Choir Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Claudio Abbado (conductor) Recorded at the Musikverein, Vienna, 3 April 1997 TDK DVD TH 05020767 [80'] [PQ]

Even without watching the smile on Abbado's face you can tell he loves this work from the way every phrase is caressed and given its own weight. … see Full Review

THE ALFRED BRENDEL COLLECTION - Volume 1: Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto no. 9 in E flat, K. 271, Piano Concerto no. 14 in E flat, K. 449
with I Solisti di Zagreb/Antonio Janigro - Recorded Vienna 1966 - Volume 2: MOZART Sonata in A minor, K. 310, Fantasy in C minor, K. 396, Rondo in A minor, K. 511, Variations in D on a Minuet by Duport, K. 573. Recorded Vienna 1968 - Volume 3: Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Sonata in C minor, D. 958, Sonata in C, D. 840, Deutschestänze, D. 783 - Recorded Vienna 1968 - Volume 4: Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Phantasie in C, op. 17, Symphonic Studies, op. 13 - Recorded Vienna 1966 - Volume 5: Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) - Polonaise in A flat, op. 53, Polonaise in C minor, op. 40/2, Polonaise in F sharp minor, op. 44, Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat, op. 61, Andante spianato et Grande Polonaise brillante in E flat, op. 22 - Recorded Vienna 1968 - Volume 6: Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsodies: 2, 3, 8, 13, 15, 17, Csárdás obstiné - Recorded Vienna 1968 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99351 [6 CDs, 55’43", 51’03", 59’46", 57’49", 50’14". 45’32"] [CH]

The importance of these recordings cannot be overstated, for they give us a portrait of Brendel at the first peak of his career. ... see Full review

Max BRUCH (1865-1920) Swedish Dances Op.63, Serenade for String Orchestra op. Posth. Schön Ellen Op.24 Claudia Braun (soprano) - Thomas Laske (baritone) - Kantorei Barmen-Gemarke - Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra Conductor: George Hanson - Recorded at Wuppertal, Germany, July 2001 MDG 335 1096-2 [50’ 24"] [CF]

Hanson’s tempi are sometimes too fast, other times too slow, but his orchestra sounds fine, especially the woodwinds. Hanson does not sentimentalise the rich melodies but paces and phrases with care yet without losing forward drive … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 8 - Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde: Prelude to Act 1 - Wesendonck Lieder - Janet Baker (mezzo soprano) - BBC Symphony Orchestra Sir Reginald Goodall - Rec 3 September 1969, Royal Albert Hall, London (Bruckner), 3 November 1971, Royal Festival Hall (Wagner) BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4086-2 [2CDs: 62.13, 63.12] [TB]

Goodall's monumental approach has great benefit, and the conclusion is very powerful indeed, and worthy of Bruckner's great achievement. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony no 8 in C Minor (Original version, ed. Haas) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Günter Wand Recorded live in the Philharmonie, Berlin, 19-22 January 2001 BMG RCA Red Seal 74321 82866-2 [87’07"] [JQ]

This is a towering achievement and I think it is likely to be one of the most significant orchestral releases of 2002 … see Full Review

Norbert BURGMÜLLER (1810-1836) Symphony No. 1 in c minor Op. 2 (1833) [33.00] Hugo STAEHLE (1826-1848) Symphony No. 1 in c minor (1844) [44.30] Orchester des Staatstheater Kassel/Marc Piollet - rec 29 Aug - 1 Sept 2001, Opernhaus Kassel, Germany - World premiere recordings STERLING CDS-1046-2 [74.25] [RB]

Well worth your attention if you want to try extend your interest in Schumann (Burgmüller) or Mendelssohn (Staehle). ... see Full Review.

Geoffrey BURGON (b. 1941) Requiem Jennifer Smith (soprano), Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor) London Symphony Chorus, Wooburn Singers, City of London Sinfonia/ Richard Hickox (Recorded London 1981) Nunc Dimittis Thomas Hopkinson (treble), John Wallace (trumpet) Choir of King’s College Cambridge/ Stephen Cleobury (Recorded Cambridge 1996) DECCA (The British Music Collection) 470 380 2 [54:03] [JL]

A welcome addition to Decca's British Music Collection, coupling a fine, dramatic rendering of Geoffrey Burgon's substantial Requiem with one of his most popular pieces, the short Nunc Dimittis written for TV. … see Full Review

FERRUCCIO BUSONI (1866-1924) Brautwahl Suite (1913) 33.06 Geharnischte Suite (1895-1903) 28.14 Orchestre Philharmonique de Timisoara/Jean-Francois Antoniolirec Timisoara, September 1998 TIMPANI 1C1054 [64.16] [RB]

An easily recommendable disc and one that bids fair to remind us of a little considered corner of the musical treasury. ...see Full Review

 

[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc]    

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