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Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Complete Organ Music played by Christopher Herrick (organ) Trio Sonatas (CDA66390) - 'Great' Fantasias, Preludes and Fugues (CDA66791/2) - Toccatas and Passacaglia (CDA66434) - Organ Miniatures (CDA67211/2) - The Italian Connection (CDA66813) - Organ Cornucopia (CDA67139) - Orgelbüchlein (CDA66756) - Schübler, Leipzig and Kirnberger Chorales (CDA67071/2) - Clavierübung and other 'Great' Chorales (CDA67213/4) - Partitas and Canonic Variations (CDA66455) - Neumeister Chorales (CDA67215) - Attributions (CDA67263) Christopher Herrick (organ) Rec 1989-1999 DDD - Full details listed at end of review HYPERION CDS44121/36 [16 CDs: 19 hrs, 34'35] [TB]

Undoubtedly ranks among the finest achievements of recorded music in recent times. At such an attractive price, and economically gathered in beautifully designed packaging, any collector who does not already possess recordings of this wonderful music should seek to acquire it. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080 József Eötvös, guitar - Rec: 2002, Budapest Self-published EJ-06WZ [89.11] [KM]

You have never heard the Art of Fugue like this. A revelation. … see Full Review

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750) The Toccatas [68.55] Angela Hewitt, piano Rec: January 2002, Henry Wood Hall, London. HYPERION CDA67310 [68.55] [KM]

Another excellent recording by Angela Hewitt, who shows her mastery of Bach’s keyboard music, and especially gives a unique insight into what are some of his freest keyboard works. ...see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Music for Harpsichord - French Ouverture, BWV 831 - Chorale Christum wir sollen loben schön BWV 696 - Four Duetti BWV 802-805 - Chorale In dulci jubilo BWV 729 - Toccata in E minor BWV 914 - Toccata in G major BWV 916 - Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor BWV 903 David Cates (harpsichord) - Rec: May 1999, Kirkland, Washington WILDBOAR WLBR9902 [73.15] [KM]

A very attractive recital of Bach's harpsichord music, played on a beautiful instrument... See full review. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (1741-42) Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor BWV 903 (c1720 rev c1730) Fantasia and Fugue in A minor BWV 904 (c1725) Joyce Hatto (piano) Recorded Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge 1990 and 1998 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9068-2 [75.01] [JW]

Tremendously attractive, animated by a generous romanticism … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Orgelwerke (Organ Works) Prelude and Fugue in E minor BWV 548 (1-2)Trio Sonata No.4 in E minor BWV 528 (3-5) Chorale Prelude 'Es ist das Heil uns kommen her' BWV 638 (6) Chorale Prelude 'Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich' BWV 605 (7) Trio Sonata No.5 in C major BWV 529 (8-10) Prelude & Fugue in C major BWV 547 (11-12) Prelude and Fugue in E minor BWV 546 (13-14) Hans Helmut Tillmanns, organ [1]-[5], [8]-[10] At the Hammer Organ of Marktkirche in Eschwege Germany; [6]-[7] At the Johann Berenhard Klausing Organ (1714-1717) of Kloster Oelinghausen, Germany; [11]-[14] At the Bruno Christensen Organ of Søndre Sogns Kirke, Viborg Denmark. Tracks 1-10 March 2002; Tracks 11-14 September 1999 DANACORD DACOCD 599 [65.01] [JF]

Good introduction to the works of JSB - finely played, good sound, interesting repertoire that avoids pot-boilers. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Peace Be With You: Cantatas, Motets and Organ Works Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus Tragicus) (S.106) (1707) [17.18] - Prelude and Fugue in G (S.550) (1706-08) [7.25] - Der Friede sei mit dir (S.158) (date unknown) [10.38] - Toccata, Adagio and Fugue (1708-17) [16.42] - Jesu meine Freude (S.227) (1723) [23.14] - Jesu, der du meine Seele (S.78) (1724)[24.03] - Singet dem Herrn (S.225) (1726/27) [13.39] - Prelude and Fugue in Eb (S.552) (1739) [18.20] Gloriae Dei Cantores - Gloriae Dei Instrumental Ensemble - David Chalmers (organ) - Sharon Rose Pfeiffer (organ) - Elizabeth Patterson (conductor) - rec Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Methuen, Massachussetts, USA in October 1999 GLORIAE DEI CANTORES GDCD 028 [2CDs: 75.17+56.02] [CF]

The standard of both playing and choral singing is mostly creditable, but disappointment in the solo arias in which technically taxing melismas are threatened with loss of control, while high notes are too often unsettlingly strained. The playing of the string and woodwind instrumentalists is highly satisfying; confidently assured. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. John Passion BWV 243 (1723) - John Mark Ainsley tenor, Evangelist. Stephen Richardson, Christus, Catherine Bott - soprano. Michael Chance, alto. Paul Agnew, tenor. Stephen Varcoe bass, Pilate King’s College Choir Cambridge - The Brandenburg Consort/Stephen Cleobury - No recording details given BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99050 [2CDs: 72.58+65.14][GH]

At its price it could act as a second version for your library to put alongside your tried and tested first preference. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. John Passion BWV 245 (1724-5) - James Gilchrist, Evangelist; John Bernays, Christ; Eamonn Dougan, Pilate; Joe Littlewood, soprano; James Bowman, countertenor; Matthew Beale, Tenor and Colin Baldy, bass The Choir of New College, Oxford Collegium Novum/Edward Higginbottom - Recorded in New College Oxford July/ September 2001 NAXOS 8.557296-97 [2CDs: 35.25+74.52][GH]

Wonderfully and sensitively played. This kind of Bach performance is ‘de rigueur’ nowadays and I will be happy to play and use this recording with alacrity. … see Full Review

Carlos BAGUER (1768-1808) Sinfonias Sinfonia in B flat major Sinfonia in E flat major Sinfonia in E flat major Orquesta de Camera Reina Sofía/Gonçal Comellas Recorded Madrid 1985 ENSAYO CD 9741 [55.19] [JW]

Nothing shatteringly novel about these works but they do shed light on a Catalan who sought inspiration in classic central European models. … see Full Review

Edgar BAINTON (1880 – 1956) Epithalamion (1929) An English Idyll (1946)a - Hubert CLIFFORD (1904 – 1959) A Kentish Suite (1935) The Casanova Melody (1949) Five English Nursery Tunes (1941) Shanagolden (1953) Paul Whelan (baritone)a; BBC Philharmonic; Martyn Brabbins Recorded: Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, October 2001 CHANDOS CHAN 10019 [76:02][HC]

No need for any reservations. Committed readings of unjustly neglected works from the forgotten byways of the British Musical Renaissance … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Sonata No. 1, Sz75 (1921). Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Violin Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 21 (1912). Cecilia Zilliacus (violin); Bengt-Åke Lundin (piano). Rec. Studio 3, Swedish Broadcasting Corporation, Stockholm, 26-28 Nov 2001. DDD CAPRICE CAP21612 [56’33] [CC]

The Dohnányi … is performed with the fire and enthusiasm of youth. A triumph all round. … see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Symphony No. 6 (1934) Into the Twilight (1908) Summer Music (1920) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones rec. Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 3-4 August 2002 NAXOS 8.557144 [57.46] [TH

The best version now before the public. … see Full Review

David BEDFORD (b.1937) Praeludium (1990) - Sun Paints Rainbows on the Vast Waves (1982) - Canons and Cadenzas (1996) - Sea and Sky and Golden Hill (1985) - Ronde for Isolde (1985) Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra/Clark Rundell Recorded at RNCM Concert Hall, Manchester, Autumn 1997 DDD DOYEN DOY CD 082 [58:40] [CT]

An anthology of David Bedford’s music for symphonic wind band in committed performances by students from The Royal Northern College of Music … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Sonata in F for horn and piano, opus 17 (arranged for cello) [14:24] - Sonata in F for cello and piano, opus 5, nr. 1 [23:44] - Seven variations on the duet "Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen" from Mozart’s Die - Zauberflöte, WoO 46.[9:31] - Sonata in g minor for cello and piano, Opus 5 Nr. 2 [28:38] Maria Kliegel, cello - Nina Tichman, piano - Recorded in Sandhausen, Germany, 6-9 March 2002 DDD NAXOS 8.555785 [76:17] [KS]

A delightful foray … outstanding first instalment of Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony no. 3 in E flat, op. 55 – "Eroica" (1), Symphony no. 4 in B flat, op. 60 (2) Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (1), London Philharmonic Orchestra (2)/Felix Weingartner Recorded 22nd-23rd May 1936 in the Grosser Musikvereinsaal, Vienna (1), 13th-14th November 1933 in EMI Abbey Road Studio no. 1, London (2) CD transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110956 [75:27] [CH]

The vitality and humanity of the music-making in this first recorded Beethoven cycle continue to shine brightly. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony no. 5 in c, op. 67 (1), Symphony no. 6 in F – "Pastoral" (2), 11 Viennese Dances, WoO.17 (3) British Symphony Orchestra (1), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2), London Philharmonic Orchestra (3)/Felix Weingartner Recorded 17th-18th March 1932 in Central Hall, Westminster, London (1), 18th-19th January 1927 in the Scala Theatre, London (2), 7th-8th October 1938 in EMI Abbey Road Studio no. 1, London (3) CD transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110861 [75:33] [CH]

This instalment of the first complete recorded cycle of Beethoven Symphonies is no mere historical document; it has life and illumination to match the best of its successors. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony no. 6 in F, op. 68 – "Pastoral" (1), Prometheus, op. 43: Overture (2), Coriolan, op. 62 (3), Egmont, op. 84 Overture (4), Die Trommel gerühret, Freudvoll und leidvoll (5), Klärchens Tod bezeichnend (6) Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer, with Birgit Nilsson (soprano, 5) Recorded 7th-8th October (1), 25th November (2), 21st October (3), 21st and 25th October (4), 21st and 25th November (5, 6) 1957, Kingsway Hall, London EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 5 67965 2 [77:20] [CH]

This is Beethoven you must have. As long as you don’t have only this Beethoven. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony no. 7 in A, op. 92 (1), Symphony no. 8 in F, op. 93 (2), Egmont: Overture (3), Entr'acte no. 2 (4), Clärchens Tod (5) - Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (1, 2, 3) London Philharmonic Orchestra (4, 5)/Felix Weingartner - Recorded 24th-26th February 1936 in the Grosser Musikvereinsaal, Vienna (1), 26th February 1936 in the Grosser Musikvereinsaal, Vienna (2), 19th October 1937 in the Mittlerer Konzerthaussaal, Vienna (3), 7th October 1938 in EMI Abbey Road Studio no. 1, London (4, 5) CD transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110862 [73:32] [CH]

I have an idea that, the next time I listen to one of these symphonies purely for pleasure, these are the versions I will play. … see Full Review

RECORTDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major, Op. 55, Eroica (1803) Symphony No. 9 in D Minor Op. 125 Choral (1824) Karita Mattila (soprano), Violetta Urmana (mezzo-soprano), Thomas Moser (tenor) and Eikke Wilm Schulte (bass) with the Swedish Radio Choir and the Eric Ericsson Chamber Choir. Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Claudio Abbado Directed by Bob Cole. recorded in February 2001 live at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome (Eroica) and May, 2000, also live, in the Philharmonie, Berlin. (DVD). TDKDV BPAB39 [122.00] [JP]

Well up to the standard of the earlier releases in the series. You should be delighted. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Op. 37 (? 1800) Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Op. 58 (1805-06) Arthur Rubinstein (piano) with Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York /Eugene Ormandy recorded 27 June 1943 (No 3) Josef Hofmann (piano) with Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York /Dimitri Mitropoulos recorded 22 August 1943 (No 4) MUSIC & ARTS CD 1114 [63.54] [JW]

This has been a most rewarding if occasionally infuriating listen. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas - No. 1 in D major Op. 12/1 (1797-98) - No. 2 in A major Op. 12/2 (1797-98) - No. 3 in E flat major Op. 12/3 (1797-98) - No. 4 in A minor Op. 23 (1800) - No. 5 in F major Op. 24 Spring (1801) - No. 6 in A major Op. 30/1 (1801-02) - No. 7 in C minor Op. 30/2 (1801-02) - No. 8 in G major Op. 30/3 (1801-02) - No. 9 in A major Op. 47 Kreutzer (1803) - No. 10 in G major Op. 96 (1812) Fritz Kreisler (violin) - Franz Rupp (piano) - Recorded 1935-36 NAXOS 8.110969-71 [3 CDs: 207.35] [JW]

These transfers do the performances justice in the most generous way imaginable. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN - An Introduction to … Fidelio Written by Thomson Smillie; Narrated by David Timson. Rec Motivation Sound Studios, London. No date given. [DDD] NAXOS OPERA EXPLAINED 8.558077 [79’33] [CC]

Recommendable to anyone who wishes to be initiated into one of the greatest hymns to love and humanity ever penned. Then all you need to do is buy the opera itself. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Coriolan Overture and rehearsal Quartet No. 13 Op. 130 – Cavatina (1825-26) Quartet No. 9 Op. 59 No. 3 – Fugue (1805-06) Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major Op. 58 (1805-06) – two versions Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Concerto No. 27 in B flat major K595 (1791) Rudolf Serkin (piano) NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini Recorded 23 February 1936 (Beethoven Concerto No 4 and Mozart) and 26 November 1944 (remainder - bar the Coriolan rehearsal, 1946) GUILD GHCD 2228/9 [2 CDs: 132.22] [JW]

Transfers and notes are to a high level and the release keeps up the standard set by Guild. I'm less happy about some of the performances. … see Full Review

Piano Concertos: 1 in C op.15, 2 in B flat op.19, 3 in c op.37, 4 in G op.58, 5 in E flat op.73 Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano) - Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt - Recorded live in the Stefaniensaal, Graz (1, 3-5) and the Musikverein, Vienna (2) - 23rd-26th June 2001 (1) - 21st-23rd September 2001 (2) - 28th-30th June 2000 (3) - 26th-28th June 2002 (4) - 21st-24th June 2002 (5) TELDEC CLASSICS 09274 7334-2 [3 CDs: 70:24, 37:50, 75:09] [CH]

If you think you know these works well and are prepared to reassess your reactions to them you can look forward to many hours of illumination. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major Op. 47 Kreutzer Sonata Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) Rhapsody No. 1 for Violin and Piano (1928)Violin Sonata No. 2 (1922)Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata
Joseph Szigeti, violin Bela Bartók, piano Recorded Library of Congress, Washington April 13th 1940 HUNGAROTON CLASSIC HCD 12330 [70.02][JW]

My own preference is for the unvarnished Vanguard but I can imagine that there are those who respond better to the cleaned up middle frequency boosts of the Hungaroton. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The late String Quartets Quartetto Italiano Rec. ADD Philips 50 Great Recordings series PHILIPS 464-684-2 [3CDs: 215.45] [DW]

I cannot recommend this set. The Italians have a Mediterranean sound ... so sophisticated and warm; so unlike Beethoven the man and musician. … see Full Review

Arthur BERGER (b.1912) Complete works for solo piano Episodes (1933) [4.32] Fantasy (1942) [4.42] Rondo (1945) [3.30] Partita (1947) [7.34] Four Two-Part Inventions (1948-49) [9.25] Three One-Part Inventions (1954) [9.10] Five Pieces for Piano (1969) [12.11] Birthday Cards - suite assembled by Geoffrey Burleson (1980-1994) [9.17] Geoffrey Burleson (piano) rec. 7, 11 Jan 1999, Little Center, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts. 6 July 27 Dec 2001, Patrych Sound Studios, Bronx, New York. DDD CENTAUR CRC 2593 [66.37] [RB]

Toughly expressed music though not rigidly so. Berger yields to the need to leaven the mix ... see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803 - 1869) Symphonie Fantastique Op. 14 (1830) -
Le Corsaire Op.21 (1844) Orchestre de Paris/Herbert von Karajan (Op.14) - Hallé Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli (Op. 21) - Directed by Roger Benamou (Op. 14) and Walter Todds (Op.21) - recorded in Paris 25th June 1970, (Op. 14), and in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester 17th January, 1962 EMI CLASSIC ARCHIVE DVA 490 112-9 [1DVD: 62.51] [JP]

The playing of the French band does not have the tonal splendour of their German competitors, but there is more spontaneity present. … see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Inbal Berlioz Edition Symphonie Fantastique, Opus 14 (1830) Harold en Italie, Opus 16 (1834) Yuri Bashmet (viola) La Damnation de Faust (1845-6) Maria Ewing (soprano), Dues Gulyas (tenor), Robert Lloyd (baritone), Manfred Volz (bass) Kölner Rundfundchor, Südfunkchor Stuttgart, Chor des NDR Hamburg Roméo et Juliette, Opus 17 (1839) Nadine Denize (mezzo soprano), Vinson Cole (tenor), Robert Lloyd (baritone) Südfunkchor Stuttgart, RIAS Kammerchor Berlin L'Enfance du Christ (1854)
Margarita Zimmermann (soprano), Eike Wilm Schulte (baritone), Stanford Dean (bass), John Aler (tenor), Philip Kang (bass) Kölner Rundfundchor, Chor des NDR Hamburg Te Deum, Opus 22 (1849) Keith Lewis (tenor) Matthias Eisenberg (organ) Vokalensemble Frankfurt, Bachchor und Currende der Christuskirche Mainz, Kinder und Jugendchor des Hessischen Rundfunks Requiem, Opus 5 (1837) Keith Lewis (tenor) Chor des NDR Hamburg, Konzertvereinigung ORF-Chor Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra Eliahu Inbal
Recorded: 24-25 Sept 1987 (Symphonie Fantastique), 24-25 March 1988 (Harold en Italie), 16-18 February 1988 (La Damnation de Faust), 3-6 January 1988 (Roméo et Juliette), 31 May-3 June 1989 (L'Enfance du Christ), 25-26 February 1988 (Te Deum), 1988 (Requiem), Alte Oper Frankfurt DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99999 [11CDs: 56.05 (Symphonie Fantastique), 40.22 (Harold en Italie), 58.06 and 69.01 (Faust), 50.32 and 44.33 (Roméo et Juliette), 39.28 and 51.54 (L'Enfance du Christ), 47.31 (Te Deum), 46.36 and 35.55 (Requiem)] [TB]

At the bargain asking price this set is well worth considering, since the performances are satisfying, the recorded sound is beautifully balanced and the production standards are high. … see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique, op.14 (1830) (1), "Le Corsaire", Overture, op. 21 (2), Les Troyens: Marche troyenne (3), Chasse royale et orage (4) French National Radio Orchestra (1), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (2-4), Beecham Choral Society (4)/Sir Thomas Beecham Recorded 30th November, 1st-2nd December 1959, Salle Wagram, Paris (1), 7th November 1958 (2), 19th November 1959 (3), 23rd March 1957 (4), No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London EMI CLASSICS 5 67971 2 [75:10] [CH]

One of the classic performances of the Fantastique", rich in steady musicianship with no playing to the gallery. … see Full Review

Franz BERWALD (1796-1868) - The Battle of Leipzig - musical painting (1828) [18.46] - Concerto for two violins and orchestra (1817) [12.52] - Theme and Variations for violin and orchestra (1816) [13.18] - The Queen of Golconda (1864) [17.25] - Estrella de Soria (1841, 1848) [11.24] Malmö SO/Niklas Willén rec. Rosenbergsalen, Malmö musikhögskola, Malmö, Sweden, 11-14 June 2002. DDD STERLING CDS-1051-2 [75.17] [RB]

A must for Berwald fans out to fill lacunae ... see Full Review

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743 - 1805) Flute Quintet Op.19 #5 in Bb, G 429 (1774) [10.07] Flute Quintet Op.17 #6 in Eb, G 424 (1773) [7.42] Flute Quintet Op.19 #2 in g, G 426 (1774) [12.31] Flute Quintet Op.17 #5 in G, G 423 (1773) [8.34] Flute Quintet Op.19 #4 in D, G 429 (1774) [8.51] Flute Quintet Op.17 #1 in D, G 419 (1773) [10.08] Beatrice Jaermann-Degix, flute Quatuor Sine Nomine: Patrick Genet, François Gottraux, vv; Hans Egigi, va; Marc Jaermann, vc. Recorded at Kirche Blumenstein, Blumenstein, Switzerland, 2 November 2002 Liner notes in English, French, and German. CLAVES CD 50-2202 [58.24] [PS]

A disk (almost) every music lover will cherish and play over and over again. … see Full Review
You may sample, download or purchase this disc

François Adrien BOIELDIEU (1775-1834) La Dame Blanche (1825) - Opéra-comique in 3 acts Georges Brown - Rockwell Blake (tenor) Gaveston - Laurent Naouri (bass) Dickson - Jean-Paul Fourchécourt (tenor) Anna - Annnick Massis (soprano) Jenny - Mireille Delunsch (soprano) Marguerite - Sylvie Brunet, (contralto) Choir of Radio France Ensemble Orchestral de Paris/Marc Minkowski Rec. Studio of Radio France, Paris. 1996-7 EMI CLASSICS CDS 556 355-2 [2CDs: 68.16+68.29] [RW]

We owe it to EMI France for having the initiative to release an important contribution by this composer to add to EMI's Operetta series … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Four Hand Piano Music, Vol. 8 Symphony No. 4 in E minor Op. 98 [40.22] - Tragic Overture Op. 81 [13.54] Silke-Thora Matthies; Christian Köhn (pianos) - Recorded at the Clara Wieck Auditorium, Sandhausen, Germany, September 1996 NAXOS 8.554117 [54.16] [RDB]

One can but admire the skill of the transcription and the subtlety of the pianists who play it, but a feeling of loss for the originals is unavoidable. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto in D major Op.77 (1878) [41.30] Brigitte Lang (violin) Baden-Baden ilharmonic/Werner Stiefel Sonata in F minor for Viola and Piano Op.120 No.1 (1894) [23.08] Simone Jandl (viola) Barbara Uszynska (piano) Part of a concert sponsored by Lions Club International on 1 November 2002 in the Kurhaus Weinbrennsaal, Baden-Baden, Germany, on 1 November 2002 5th Carl Flesch Academy Lions Prizewinners’ Concert. (in collaboration with the Carl Flesch Academy International Master Course, Baden-Baden, Germany) Insert booklet in German only BELLA MUSICA BM31.2361 [61.04] [RDB]

It would be unfortunate if this German-made CD does not reach the major catalogues and receive the wider distribution it richly deserves. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat Op. 83 – First and Second Movements only Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor Op. 15 Intermezzi: Op. 76 Nos. 3 in A flat and 4 in B flat, Op. 116 No. 4 in E, Op. 118 No. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 119 No. 2 in E minor, Klavierstucke Op. 76; Capriccio in B minor No. 2, Walter Gieseking (piano) Recorded live in 1944 (Concerto), 1948 (Sonata), 1956 (Capriccio). The Intermezzi derive from a commercial 78 set recorded in 1939 ARBITER 103 [76.10] [JW]

Fiery and dramatic … dropped notes aplenty … remarkable power … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Trio in B Op. 8 (1853-54 rev 1889) Violin Sonata in G Op. 78 (1878-79) Violin Sonata in A Op. 100 (1886) Artur Schnabel (piano) Joseph Szigeti (violin) Pierre Fournier (cello) Recorded live in Edinburgh and London, August and September 1947 ARBITER 121 [78.03] [JW]

Fine, dramatic and strongly etched … a performance of all-embracing wisdom. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Piano Trios - No.1 in B major, Op. 8, revised version (1889) [38.10] - No.2 in C major, Op.87 (1882) [29.41] - No.3 in C minor, Op.101 (1886) [22.27] - Trio in A major, Op. posth, attrib. Brahms (published 1938) [40.14] - No.1 in B major, Op. 8, first version (1853-54) [19.20] Macquarie Trio: Nicholas Milton (violin); Michael Goldschlager (cello); Kathryn Selby (piano) - Recorded between October 2001 and April 2002 in the Eugene Goossens Hall of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Sydney, Australia ABC CLASSICS 472 668-2 [3 CDs: 67.49+62.37+45.03] [RDB]

Magnificent … crisp, accurate playing and close attention to the syncopated rhythms and chromatic texture … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Trio in A minor for clarinet, cello and piano, Op. 114 (1891) Hugh WOOD (b.1932) Trio for clarinet, cello and piano, Op. 40 (1891) Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 -1827) Trio in Bb for clarinet, cello and piano, Op. 11 (1797) Trio Gemelli: John Bradbury, clarinet; Adrian Bradbury, cello; Emily Segal, piano Rec. St, George’s, Brandon Hill, Bristol, UK, 3 June 1998 DDD THE DIVINE ART 25009 [59.30] [PS]

Good performances and recording of traditional favorites and a fine modern work. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano pieces Four Ballades,Op.10 Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79 Eight piano pieces, Op.76 Seven Fantasies, Op.116 (1892) Three Intermezzi, Op.117 Six piano pieces Op. 118 Four piano pieces, Op.119 Håkon Austbø (piano) Recorded 18-20 March, 1-3 July 2002 at the Remonstrantse Doopsgezinde Gemeente, Deventer, Netherlands STEMRA BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99941 [2 CDs: 62.14+77.09] [RDB]

A most satisfying set, nicely recorded, beautifully played and highly recommended to anyone who may yet think of Brahms as an old, bearded German symphonist. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete works for clarinet Trio for clarinet, cello and piano in A minor, Op.114 (1891) [25.42] Quintet for clarinet and string quartet in B minor, Op. 115 (1891) [35.15] Sonata for clarinet and piano in F minor, Op.120 No.1 (1894) [23.18] Sonata for clarinet and piano in E flat major, Op.120 No.2 (1894) [21.38] Deborah de Graaff (clarinet) Len Vorster (piano) Georg Pedersen (cello) Members of the Mozart Piano Quartet: Natalie Chee and Hannah Perowne (violins), Hartmut Hartmut Rohde (viola), Peter Hoerr (cello); (Quintet) Recorded January 2001 (Trio), May 2001 (Sonata No. 1), October 2001 (Quintet), January 2002 (Sonata No. 2) at Studios 301, Sydney, Australia ABC CLASSICS 472 672-2 [2CDs: 60.57+44.56] [RDB]

On these discs the potential is there, but too many golden opportunities are missed for me to rate them highly. … see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) String Quartet No. 1 (1906) [28.48] String Quartet No. 4 (1937) [23.58] The Bridge String Quartet rec. Great Hall, Eltham Palace, 21-23 May 1997, DDD MERIDIAN CDE 84369 [52.44] [RB]

Much to stimulate and enjoy here - rich sound, warmly and succulently recorded. A work from each of Bridge’s phases: romantic and chill. ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) String Quartet No. 2 (1915) [32.43] String Quartet No. 3 (1926) [25.23] The Bridge String Quartet rec. London, 20-22 May 1996, DDD MERIDIAN CDE 84311 [58.02] [RB]

Warm and close recordings … utterly committed performances. Bridge's chilliest quartet matched with one of denser romantic fibre ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Piano Trio No. 1 Phantasie Trio (1907) [17.21] Piano Trio No. 2 (1929) [30.08] Miniatures (1907) [23.37] Dussek Piano Trio rec. St Olave's School, Orpington, 1994. DDD MERIDIAN CDE 84290 [71.23] [RB]

A good collection of Bridge's music for piano trio with two works from his romantic phase ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Violin Concerto, Op.15 (revised version) (1939 rev. 1961) William WALTON (1902-1983) Viola Concerto (1927, 1961 version) Maxim Vengerov (violin) London Symphony Orchestra/Mstislav Rostropovich Britten recorded March 2002, Walton recorded December 2002, Abbey Road, London. Full price EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 57510 2 7 [64’29] [MB]

An outstanding disc that gives us the best recording yet of Britten’s concerto and a performance of the Walton that is only bettered by William Primrose’s second recording. … see Full Review

RECORD OF THE MONTH Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Sacred Cantatas - Ich habe Lust abzuscheiden, BuxWV 47 - Salve, Jesu, Patris gnate unigenite, BuxWV 94 for two sopranos, two violins and basso continuo - Jesu dulcis memoria, BuxWV 56 for two sopranos, two violins, violone and basso continuo - Mein Herz ist bereit, BuxWV 73* for bass, three violins, violone and basso continuo - Fuga, BuxWV 174 in C major - Cantate Domino, BuxWV 12 for two sopranos, bass and basso continuo - Ich halte es dafür, BuxWV 48† for soprano, bass, violin, viola, violone and basso continuo - Herr, wenn ich nur dich hab, BuxWV 38† for soprano, two violins, violone and basso continuo - Jesu, meine Freude, BuxWV 60 for two sopranos, bass, two violins, violone and basso continuo - Suzie Le Blanc, soprano † Emma Kirkby, soprano - Peter Harvey, bass - Purcell Quartet - with Claire Salaman, violin* - Rec: February 2002, St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, London CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN 0691 [75:33] [KM]

An excellent recording of some beautiful sacred music by Buxtehude. … see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c. 1637-1707) Organ Music Volume 2- The Organ Encyclopedia - Praeludium in C major, BuxWv 137 [6.05] - Komm heiliger Geist, BuxWv 199 [4.14] - Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BuxWv 221 [2.44] - Vater unser im Himmelreich, BuxWv 207 [6.57] - i. Versus I [2.39] - ii. Versus II [1.24] - iii. Versus III [2.54] - Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist, BuxWv 208 [2.42] - Toccata in G major, BuxWv 164 [3.14] - Nun lob mein Seel, BuxWv 212 [4.17] - In dulci jubilo, BuxWv 197 [2.17] - Fuga in C major, BuxWv 174 [3.33] - Ciaccona in E minor, BuxWv 160 [5.46] - Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BuxWv 75 [7.47] - i. Contrapunctus I [1.30] - ii. Evolutio I [1.25] - iii. Contrapunctus II [1.29] - iv. Evolution II [1.25] - v. Klag-Lied [1.58] - Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BuxWv 223 [7.39] Praeludium in A minor, BuxWv 153 [6.55] Julia Brown (organ) - Brombaugh organ, 1976 Op. 19, Central Lutheran Church, Eugene, Oregon, USA - Recorded at the Central Lutheran Church, Eugene, Oregon, USA, March 2001 NAXOS DDD 8.555775 [64.11] [CA]

Fluent and confident Buxtehude performances … surely to be enjoyed … see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Organ Music: Volume 2 - Praeludium in C major; Komm heiliger Geist; Von Gott will ich nicht lassen; Vater unser im Himmelreich; Nun bitten wir den heilegen; Toccata in G major; Nun lob mein Seel; In dulci jubilo; Fuga in C major; Ciacconna in E minor; Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin; Wie schon leuchtet de Morgenstern; Praeludium in A minor Julia Brown on the Organ, Central Lutheran Church, Eugene, Oregon - Recorded in March 2001 NAXOS 8.555775 [64.11] [GH]

Buxtehude’s is not straightforward to interpret. Praise then goes to Julia Brown who uses the organ to its fullest extent. Beautifully captured too in this vivid recording. … see Full Review

[Detailed listing (last two days)]
[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] 
[Part 7 Misc M-Z]

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