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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]

 

Anatoly ALEXANDROV (1888-1982) Piano Music Hamish Milne (piano) rec. 2001 HYPERION CDA67328 [75:25][RB] 

A sadly and surprisingly overlooked disc from a composer lost from sight ... see Full Review

William ALWYN (1905-1985) CD 1 Mirages, A Song Cycle for Baritone and Piano (1970) [27:10] Divertimento for Solo Flute (1939) [13:35] Naiades, Fantasy-Sonata for Flute and Harp (1971) [12:53] CD 2 Fantasy-Waltzes (1956) [33:25]*† Sonata alla Toccata (1937) [11:38]*† Benjamin Luxon (baritone); David Willison (piano); Christopher Hyde-Smith (flute); Marisa Robles (harp); * Sheila Randell (piano) rec. ADD † mono recordings, 1959, 1971 2 CDs for the price of 1 Originally issued on LP as SRCS 61 (CD1); RCS 16 (CD2) LYRITA SRCD.293 [53:43 + 45:11]

Vital to any understanding of Alwyn’s musical and poetic career ... see Full Review

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Piano Music - Volume 1 Includes Sonata alla toccata, Harvest Home, Fancy Free, Fantasy Waltzes Ashley Wass rec. 2006/7 NAXOS 8.570359 [74:14] [JW]

Alwyn admirers can welcome this disc gratefully ... see Full Review

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Symphonies 1 & 2 BBC SO, Hallé O/John Barbirolli rec. 1952/3 DUTTON CDSJB1029 [62:46] [RB]

Alwyn advocates should lose no time and acquire these fascinating retrievals ... see Full Review

William Alwyn (1905-1985) Symphony 3 see Mozart

Anton ARENSKY (1861–1906) Piano Trio see RACHMANINOV

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Complete Keyboard Concertos Vol.16 Miklós Spányi (tangent piano and harpsichord); Opus X Ensemble/Petri Tapio Mattson; Miklós Spányi rec. 2006 BIS BISCD1587 [67:34][BW]

The latest volume in this epic project is as good a place as any to start and may be approached with confidence ... see Full Review

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Selected Fortepiano Works Sharona Joshua (fortepiano) rec. 2004 RUBATO RECORDS RRLA1104U [75:09] [JV]

Spoilt by wrong instrument and by an interpretation which fails to explore the emotional depth of the music ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Lecture and Performance of Partita No. 4; Italian Concerto; Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue Angela Hewitt (piano) HYPERION DVDA68001 [148:00 + 60:00][JFL]

As an admirer of Angela Hewitt, I cannot and must not recommend this DVD ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) English Suites Carole Cerasi (harpsichord) rec. 2005 METRONOME METCD1078 [70:15 + 70:40][JV] 

Offers much to enjoy, but the rhythmic pulse is often severely under-exposed and the emotional depth isn't fully revealed ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Well Tempered Clavier, Book 1 Jill Crossland (piano) rec. 2003 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD113 [62:12 + 66:44][GMH]

A searching look at these major and scholarly works of Bach ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations Burkard Schliessmann (piano) rec. 2007 BAYER RECORDS BR100326 [38:06 + 45:00][DC]

Below par Bach ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas Hansgeorg Schmeiser and Jan Ostrý (flutes) Ingomar Rainer (harpsichord) Othmar Müller (cello) rec. Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, UK, 20-23 September 2006 NIMBUS NI 5817 [60:47] [DC]

Classy Bach by a crack team. ... see Full Review

Nicolas BACRI (b. 1961) String Quartet No.3 Op.18 (1985/8, rev. 1989) [8:04] String Quartet No.4 Op.42 (1989/95) [23:03] String Quartet No.5 Op.57 (1997) [24:51] String Quartet No.6 Op.97 (2005/6) [13:24] Psophos Quartet rec. Saint-Marcel Lutheran Church, Paris, 11-14 April 2007 AR RE-SE 2007-1 [70:15] [HC]

Much to admire and enjoy here … a compelling expressive strength that is hard to resist ... see Full Review

Brian BANKS Piano Sonata No.1 (2000) [14:37] Five Pentatonic Preludes (1999) [7:28] Piano Sonata No.2 ("Sequesto è un uomo") (2005) [22:34] Piano Sonata No.3 ("Sonata for the Rainy Season") (2005) [14:38] Port Townsend Preludes (2001) [7:14] Geoffrey Burleson (piano) rec. 2001-2006, Patrych Sound Studios, New York City CENTAUR CRC 2893 [66:44] [DC]

Depending on your expectations, this will either enthuse you, or drive you up the wall. ... see Full Review

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) String Quartets 1-6 Belcea Quartet rec. 2007 EMI CLASSICS 3944002 [76:40 + 79:47] [MC]

Decently recorded and splendidly performed ... see Full Review

Sally BEAMISH (b. 1956) Viola Concerto 2 “The Seafarer”, Whitescape, Sangsters Tabea Zimmermann (viola) Swedish CO/Ola Rudner rec. 2003/5 BIS BISCD1241 [58:47] [CT]

BIS continues to champion Sally Beamish, with an impressive fifth disc wholly dedicated to her evocative music ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) The Nine Symphonies Philharmonia O/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1951-55 EMI CLASSICS 5158632 [5 CDs] [DC]

Interesting and largely satisfying, but unlikely to replace anything you already have ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos. 8 & 6 London Philharmonic Orchestra/Klaus Tennstedt. rec. 1985-6 EMI CLASSICS ENCORE 5089932 [69:19]

Big-boned, unashamedly ‘romantic’ performances ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto; Violin sonata No. 7 Min-Jin Kym (violin); Ian Brown (piano); Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2006 SONY CLASSICAL 88697144422 [73:15][RM]

A superb disc that will give much pleasure to anyone looking for a modern recording of these works ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Triple Concerto Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Double Concerto Christian Ferras (violin); Paul Tortelier (cello) (Beethoven); Eric Heidsieck (piano) (Beethoven); Janos Starker (cello) (Brahms); Orchestre National de Radio France/Jean Martinon (Beethoven); Orchestre National de Radio France/Charles Bruck (Brahms) rec. 1969-70 DOREMI LEGENDARY PERFORMANCES DHR7716 [66:55][RM] 

Nondescript material probably best consigned to the ether for ever ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Six Bagatelles, Op. 126; Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 Piotr Anderszewski, (piano and conductor); Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen rec. 2007 VIRGIN CLASSICS 5021112 [58:37][KS]

Out of control playing cause the downfall of what should have been a fine performance ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets Op. 18 Nos. 2 & 3 Quatuor Mosaďques rec. 2005 NAĎVE E8902 [51:34][SV] 

Clear yet alluringly warm sonics complement the performances nicely ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete String Trios Adaskin String Trio rec. 2001 MUSICA OMNIA mo0106 [69:38 + 76:35][BW]

Don’t be fooled by the low opus numbers, this is mature music, well played and recorded ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Nos. 14, 21, 26 & 31 Nelson Freire (piano) rec. 2006 DECCA 4758155 [69:25][CC]

Freire: one of the best-kept secrets of recent years ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Late String Quartets Nos 11-16 Busch Quartet rec. 1932-41  EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 5096552 [3 CDs] [MC]

Performances that are superb and reveal insights on a level rarely encountered ... see Full Review

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) Norma Chorus Lyrico Marchigiana; Orchestra Regionale delle Marche/Paola Arrivabeni rec. 2007 DYNAMIC 33561 [2 DVDs: 165:00][RJF]

This Norma does not fill the bill … poor singing from the men and inadequate stage direction ... see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Les nuits d’été see MASSENET

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Wozzeck Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper, Berlin; Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim rec. 1994 WARNER CLASSICS 2564697427 [97:00][TH] 

A mixed bag overall ... see Full Review

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Schelomo – Hebraic Rhapsody (1916) see From Jewish Life

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743–1805) Sonatas for keyboard with string accompaniment Galimathias Musicum rec. 1989-91 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 93363 [73:26 + 63:30][JV]

Two neglected collections of music by Boccherini presented here in splendid interpretations ... see Full Review

Edvard Fliflet BRĆIN (1924-1976) Symphonies Nos. 1-3 Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Peter Szilvay rec. 2005 SIMAX PSC1227 [64:03][RB] 

Three forgotten symphonies in Shostakovich style crossed with folk innocence and Beethovenian exultation ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 1; Academic Festival Overture Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde – Prelude to Act 1; Siegfried Idyll Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. Berlin 1927-28 NAXOS 8.111274 [80:28][JS] 

I greatly enjoyed the whole of this very generously filled disc ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Concerto Album Piano Concerto s 1 & 2, Violin Concerto, Double Concerto, Tragic Overture, Haydn Variations Claudio Arrau, David Oistrakh, Pierre Fournier, Philharmonia O/Carlo Maria Giulini & Alceo Galliera, Radiodiffusion Française O/Otto Klemperer rec. 1956-62 EMI CLASSICS 5094212 [64:39 + 69:15 + 73:39] [RM]

An extremely well thought out and produced reissue ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Double Concerto see BEETHOVEN

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Academic Festival Overture see WAGNER

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Sonata for Piano and Cello see BRITTEN

Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897) Violin Concerto see LALO

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quartet 1 see MAHLER

Henry BRANT (b. 1913) The Henry Brant Collection - Volume 8 rec. 1964-95 INNOVA 415 [75:12] [DC]

Great fun ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Nicolae BRETAN (1887–1968) Sacred Songs Requiem etc. see review for details Ludovic Konya (baritone) Phyllis Bryn-Julson (soprano) rec. 1973/74 Texts with English and French translations and German summaries enclosed. NIMBUS NI 5584 [76:06] [GF]

A strong candidate for my Recordings of the Year – for the quality of the music as well as the accomplished singing ... see Full Review

Nicolae BRETAN (1887–1968) My Lieder-Land - The Songs of Nicolae Bretan Vol. 1 Ludovic Konya (baritone) Ferdinand Weiss (piano)(1-6, 15-22), Martin Berkofsky (piano)(7-14) rec. live, Sung in Romanian and Hungarian Texts and translations enclosed NIMBUS NI 5637 [73:16] [GF]

A resounding success. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Nicolae BRETAN (1887–1968)
My Lieder-Land: The Songs of Nicolae Bretan - Vol. 2
Ludovic Konya (baritone), Ferdinand Weiss (piano); Martin Berkovsky (piano) rec. live, 1973-1976 Texts and translations enclosed NIMBUS NI 5640 [75:10] [GF]

Marvellous songs, melodious and expressive, congenially executed by the eloquent Ludovic Konya. ... see Full Review

Nicolae BRETAN (1887–1968) Horia - Opera in seven scenes. Libretto by the composer (1937) Gheorghe Crăsnaru (bass-baritone) – Horia Orchestra and Chorus of the Romanian Opera, Bucharest/Cornel Trăilescu rec. live, Romanian Opera, Bucharest, July 1980. MONO Sung in Romanian. Full libretto and translations into English, German and French enclosed NIMBUS NI 5513/4 [65:59 + 68:03] [GF]

If you want to widen your operatic horizons give this a try. I don’t think anyone will be disappointed, either on musical or dramatic grounds. ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Rejoice in the Lamb; A Wedding Anthem; Festival Te Deum; A Boy was Born Corydon Singers/Matthew Best, Westminster Cathedral Choristers/David Hill rec. 1984 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55307 [66:12][EM] 

Splendid – superb performances of excellent works, well worth getting hold of ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Folk Songs with Harp Peter Pears (tenor); Osian Ellis (harp); The Wilbye Consort/Peter Pears rec. 1976 AUSTRALIAN ELOQUENCE 4429448 [64:51 + 62:22][EMc] 

A worthwhile reissue which fans of Britten - and Pears - will want to snap up ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Peter Grimes Christopher Ventris, Emily Magee, Alfred Muff, Ch & O Opernhaus Zürich/Franz Welser-Möst rec. 2005 EMI CLASSICS 5009719 [150:00] [AOz]

Infinitely better had it been more attuned to Britten’s inner world, where childhood, nature and fragility symbolize so much ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Sonata for Cello and Piano György LIGETI (1923-2006) Cello Sonata Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Sonata for Piano and Cello Jakob Koranyi (cello); Peter Friis Johansson (piano) rec. 2006 CAPRICE CAP21767 [53:59] [LW]

One for all lovers of cello music and anyone interested in these particular works ... see Full Review

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Kol Nidrei – Adagio on Hebrew Melodies Op.47 see From Jewish Life

John BULL (1563-1626) Dr. Bull’s Jewell Keyboard Works Kathryn Cok (harpsichord) rec. 2006 LYRICHORD LEMS-8060 [68.56] [GH]

A very fine disc with a wise and fascinating choice of pieces, nicely recorded and beautifully prepared ... see Full Review


[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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