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Alphabetical Listing

PART 2
A-B

[Click here for the most recent reviews (last five days)]
Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[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]
[Recommended recordings]

 

Carl Friedrich ABEL (1723-1787) Mr Abel's Fine Airs Susan Heinrich (viola da gamba) rec. 24-26 October, St. Andrew’s church, Toddington, Gloucestershire HYPERION CDA67628 [77:48] [GPu]

Specialists in the instrument or the period will surely not hesitate to get hold of this disc; others may be pleasantly surprised by the subtle, expressive music to be heard on it … see Full Review

John ADAMS (b. 1947) Harmonium Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943) The Bells Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Robert Shaw rec. 1995 TELARC CD-80365 [73:52][DC]

Enjoyable, but lacking just a little sparkle and grit ... see Full Review

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Chamber Music and Songs Madeleine Mitchell rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570340 [WK]

Given the all-round excellence no admirer of Alwyn should hesitate to purchase this disc ... see Full Review

Richard ARNELL (b. 1917) Lord Byron: a Symphonic Portrait see DUNHILL

Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Complete Symphonies Symphonies Nos.1-9; Sir Malcolm Arnold in conversation with Andrew Penny National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland/Andrew Penny rec. 1995-2000 NAXOS 8.505221 [5 CDs: 55:41 + 69:07 + 57:17 + 63:55 + 57:34][DW]

This is an excellent survey of the Malcolm Arnold symphonies from a conductor obviously very much in tune with the music and its messages … see Full Review

Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Beckus the Dandipratt, Fantasy on a Theme of John Field, Concerto for two pianos (three hands), Concerto for piano duet Phillip Dyson (piano), Kevin Sargent (second pianist) Ulster O/Esa Heikkilä rec. 1997 NAXOS 8.570531 [BBr]

A fine disc … well thought out and well played performances of some very interesting music missing from our concert halls …a valuable addition to the growing Arnold catalogue ... see Full Review

Will AYTON (b. 1948) A Reliquary for William Blake Parthenia (viol consort), Alexandra Montano (mezzo) rec. 2005 MSR CLASSICS MS1216 [JS]

Overall, all too often, the music seems to subside into a kind of grayness ... see Full Review

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) St Mark Passion Claudia Barainsky, Europa Chor Akademie, Mendelssohn Sinfonia/Joshard Daus rec. live 2006 CAPRICCIO 60132 [JW]

Essentially aria-less the Passion may strike one as too desiccated and plain but it reveals then-contemporary taste in Hamburg ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 (1734) Malin Hartelius (soprano)/Kristina Hammarström (alto)/Jörg Dürmüller (tenor)/Detlef Roth (bass)/Capella Amsterdam/Combattimento Consort Amsterdam/Jan Willem de Vriend rec. 24-30 September, 15 October 2006, Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC 76607 [JQ]

Displays understanding and affection for the music … a consistently satisfying and invigorating account of this wonderful music. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas, Vol. 36 Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats; Ihr werdet weinen und heulen; Es ist euch gut, daß ich hingehe; Bleib bei uns Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2006 BIS-SACD-1611 [75:31][TB]

The closing chorale movements are simply delivered … another splendid achievement by Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 -1750) Goldberg Variations, Chromatic Fantasia, Italian Concerto Maria Tipo (piano) rec. 1986/90 EMI CLASSICS 3817452 [JW]

No holds barred … Tipo approaches these works in true romanticist fashion … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage: Volume 16 - Cantatas for the Sunday after Christmas Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV225; Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn, BWV152; Das neugeborne Kindelein, BWV122; Gottlob! Nun geht das Jahr zu Ende, BWV28; Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied! BWV190 Monteverdi Choir/English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG137 [JQ]

Another splendid disc in this important series ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) 2 & 3-part Inventions, Partita 2 Janine Jansen (violin); Maxim Rysanov (viola); Torleif Thedeén (cello) rec. 2007 DECCA 4759081 [DC]

Gorgeous, through and through ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) Cantatas BWV 56, 82 & 158 Gotthold Schwarz (bass) Thomanerchor Leipzig, La Stagione Frankfurt/Michael Schneider rec. 2004/6 CAPRICCIO 67190 [JV]

One-dimensional and bland interpretations of some of Bach's most popular cantatas - superfluous ... see Full Review

Francis Edward BACHE (1833-1858) Piano Concerto op. 18 see BENNETT

William BAINES (1899-1922) & E. J. MOERAN (1894-1950) Piano music Eric Parkin LYRITA SRCD266 [RB]

Apt and generous, reflecting the magical folk and impressionistic sides of 20th century British music ... see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Symphony No. 6, Overtures New PO/Del Mar, Royal PO/Handley rec. 1976-96 LYRITA SRCD296

Of interest to Baxians for the overtures but the Symphony is not the best on the market [EM] This superb Del Mar account is a necessary adjunct to any of the complete cycles [JQ] ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.9 The Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus/Franz Welser-Möst. rec. 2007 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 7132 [66:07][TP]

This is not a terrible performance, but at full price it is not at all competitive ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No.3 Carl Maria Von WEBER (1786-1826) Konzertstück Op.79; Piano Sonata No.1 Claudio Arrau (piano); Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy & Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Désiré Defauw rec. 1941-7 NAXOS 8.111263 [72:37][JW]

Playing that is vital and communicative ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 3, Egmont Overture Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Te Deum Symphony of the Air (Eroica), New York PO (Egmont, Bruckner)/Bruno Walter rec. 1953-57 ARCHIPEL ARPCD0370 [JW]

Walter at something near his very best ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 9 Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Hans Hotter, Wiener Singverein Vienna PO/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1947 EMI CLASSICS 4768782 [SV]

Given Karajan's subsequent re-recordings of the Ninth I'd not pay this one any special mind ... see Full Review

William Sterndale BENNETT (1816-1875) Piano Concerto No. 4; Caprice op. 22 Francis Edward BACHE (1833-1858) Piano Concerto op. 18 Howard Shelley (piano/conductor), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra rec. 2006 HYPERION CDA67595 [65:19][CH]

Sterndale Bennett’s Fourth Piano Concerto, a work of some strength and substance which was widely admired in the composer’s day, re-enters the CD catalogue. ... see Full Review

Michael BERKELEY (b. 1948) Or Shall We Die? see PATTERSON

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Te Deum (1855) [57.40] Roberto Alagna (tenor) Marie-Claire Alain (Cavaillé-Coll grand orgue, La Madeleine) Choeur d'enfants de l'Union Européene et Maîtrise d'Antony Choeur et Orchestre de Paris/John Nelson rec. 19-20 February 2001, Salle de la Mutualité, Paris; EMI CLASSICS 5034072 [57.40] [RH]

A highly recommendable recording, which captures something of the large scale of Berlioz's creation. ... see Full Review

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918–1990) A Place for Us – A Tribute to 50 Years of West Side Story SONY/BMG MASTERWORKS BROADWAY 88697 12161 2 [46:10] [GF]

A disc that provides agreeable easy listening and some highly inspired improvisational music making ... see Full Review

Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Morning Heroes Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem Liverpool Philharmonic Choir Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves (Morning Heroes) CBSO Chorus; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Simon Rattle (War Requiem) rec. 1974 & 1983 EMI CLASSICS BRITISH COMPOSERS 5059092 [69:37 + 73:30][RB]

You would do well to track this set down before it too disappears from the scene. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Violin Concerto, Baal Shem, Suite Hébraïque Zina Schiff, Royal Scottish Ntl O/José Serebrier rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.557757 [TH]

Bloch’s major works for violin and orchestra in thrilling performances and demonstration sound ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 4; Hungarian Dances Nos. 2 and 4-9 London Philharmonic Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. 2005-6 NAXOS 8.570233 [64:39][LW]

Alsop’s Brahms 4 is a top budget choice and receives a firm recommendation ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto; Academic Festival Orchestra; Tragic Overture; Rhapsody for alto Arthur Grumiaux (violin); Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam/Eduard van Beinum rec. 1958 PHILIPS ELOQUENCE 4429788 [TP]

With an hour and a quarter of excellent music-making, intelligently coupled and priced at the bottom of the market, how can you possibly pass this up? ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet trio, Clarinet sonatas 1 & 2 Arthur Campbell (clarinet) rec. 2005 AUDITE 92554 [TP]

If you prize the autumnal beauty of these pieces above their latent passion, these accounts will give you pleasure ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quintet, String Quartet 2 Stephen Hough, Takács Quartet rec. 2007 HYPERION CDA67551 [LW]

Exciting music-making in evidence from this latest release ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) CD 1 String Quartet No. 3 (1927) [29:58] String Quartet No. 4 (1937) [22:27] CD 2 Piano Trio No. 2 (1929) [30:36] Phantasy Piano Quartet (1910) [12:45] Miniatures for Piano Trio (Set 3) (c. 1907 pub. 1915) [8:42] Allegri Quartet (Hugh Maguire (violin); David Roth (violin); Patrick Ireland (viola); Bruno Schrecker (cello)) Tunnell Trio (John Tunnell (violin); Charles Tunnell (cello); Susan Tunnell (piano)); Brian Hawkins (viola) rec. Kingsway Hall, London, December 1971 (CD 1); hrist Church, Chelsea December 1976 (CD 2). ADD 2CDs for the price of one LYRITA SRCD.302 [52:29 + 52:08] [JF]

Lyrita have to be congratulated for reissuing these fine 1970s recordings. ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Oration see BRITTEN

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Cello Symphony Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Oration Steven Isserlis, City London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox rec. 1987 EMI CLASSICS BRITISH COMPOSERS 5059162 [RB]

Two masterly British cello scores, well recorded and in fine performances ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem see BLISS

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Peter Grimes Peter Grimes – Christopher Ventris (tenor); Chorus and Orchestra of Zürich Opera/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2005 EMI CLASSICS 5009719 [2 DVDs: 150:00][TH]

Emerges with very mixed honours ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 7  Grand Montréal Met O/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2006 ATMA CLASSIQUE SACD22512 [TB]

A dedicated performance, with sensitive awareness of Bruckner’s idiom and musical characteristics ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Te Deum see BEETHOVEN

William BUSCH (1901-1945) Cello Concerto, Piano Concerto Raphael Wallfisch, Piers Lane, Royal PO/Vernon Handley LYRITA SRCD320 [BBr]

Buy and cherish. Don’t let this fine composer disappear from our sights ever again ... see Full Review

Alan BUSH (1900-1995) Piano Sonata see ELGAR

 


[Click here for the most recent reviews (last five days)]
Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[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]
[Recommended recordings]


 

 

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