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[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]


Komei ABE (1911-2006) Symphony No.1 (1957) [18:54] Divertimento for alto saxophone and orchestra (1951 orch. 1960) [19:58] Sinfonietta (1964) [25:43] Aleksey Volkov (alto saxophone) Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. 2005 NAXOS 8.557987 [64:35] [JW]

Exciting music energetically performed, not always subtle but torridly lyric ... see Full Review

John Luther ADAMS (b. 1953) Dark Waves; Among Red Mountains; Qilyuan; Red Arc/Blue Veil Stephen Drury – Yukiko Takagi (pianos); Scott Deal, Steve Gerber (vibraphone, crotales, bass drums) rec. 2004–7  COLD BLUE CB0026 [51:50][BBr]

Nothing and everything. Nowhere and everywhere ... see Full Review

Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909) Recuerdos de viaje; Espagne (Souvenirs); Azulejos; La Vega, ‘Fantaisie espagnole’; Navarra Guillermo González (piano) rec. 2004 NAXOS SPANISH CLASSICS 8.570553 [72:35][GPu]

An interesting juxtaposition of fairly early and (very) late works by Albéniz … see Full Review

Alfonso X of Castile ‘El Sabio (1221-1284) Cantigas of Santa María Martin Best Medieval Ensemble rec. All Saints’ Church, Tooting, 10-12 June 1984. DDD. Booklet with summaries and/or translations but not original texts. NIMBUS NI5081 [51:30] [BW]

Lively and approachable music in performances which should readily appeal to the modern listener ... see Full Review

Charles-Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Organ Works: Volume 2 Kevin Bowyer (organ) rec. Blackburn Cathedral, May 2005. DDD TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0031 [73:40] [RC]

This CD demands to be heard by a wide musical audience and not only by Alkan aficionados ... see Full Review

Leroy ANDERSON (1908-1975) Orchestral Music Vol.1 BBC Concert Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2006  NAXOS 8.559313 [61:54] [BBr]

The performances are all you could wish for … just like allowing yourself that second Mars Bar ... see Full Review

Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Oboe Quartet see REICHA

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) The Solo Keyboard Music - Volume 17 Miklós Spányi (clavichord) rec. 2003 BIS CD1424 [KM]

Another excellent recording in Spányi’s series of this Bach’s solo keyboard music played on clavichord ... see Full Review

Wilhelm Friedemann BACH (1710-1784) Keyboard Works Volume 1 Twelve Polonaises, Sonata, Fantasia Robert Hill (fortepiano) rec. 2005 NAXOS 8.557966 [GPu]

Good performances of music which offers difficulties both technically and interpretatively, given on a beautiful instrument and well-recorded … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concerto BWV in A minor 1041 (1717-23) [16:11] Violin Concerto BWV in E major1042 (1717-23) [18:08]Double Concerto for Two Violins in D minor BWV 1043 [15:31] Chaconne from the Violin Partita in D minor BWV 1004 [14:37] Yehudi Menuhin (violin) George Enescu (violin) (BWV 1043) Orchestre Symphonique de Paris/George Enescu Orchestre Symphonique de Paris/Pierre Monteux (BWV 1043) rec. Paris, 1932/3/4 EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 3 91963 2 [75:05] [JW]

The young Menuhin in seraphic form ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well Tempered Clavier - Books I and II Edwin Fischer (piano) rec. 1933-36 EMI CLASSICS 3919582 [3 CDs: 79:30 + 81:41 + 76:37][JW]

A tonally diffused, unrepresentative approximation of Fischer’s playing ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Italian Concerto in F major BWV971 (1735) [12:56] Toccata in C minor BWV 911 (1710s)[11:39] Four Duets BWV 802-805 [11:00] English Suite No.6 in D minor BWV 811 (c.1722) [26:03] Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. Le Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, October 1985 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON ELOQUENCE 442 9446 [62:01] [JW]

This DG has strong claims of its own ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas - Volume 37 Gott soll allein mein Herze haben, BWV169; Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV170; Geist und Seele wird verwirret, BWV35 Robin Blaze (alto) Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2005/6 BIS SACD1621 [DC]

Contains some of the richest and strangest jewels of J.S. Bach’s sacred cantatas ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) arr. Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856) St John Passion Rheinische Kantorei, Trebles of the Kölner Domchor, Das Kleine Konzert/Hermann Max rec. 2006 CPO 7770912 [62:00 + 51:24][JV]

This impressive recording sheds light on Schumann's role in the rediscovery of Bach's sacred music ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord BWV1027-29, Trios BWV583-4, Keyboard Sonatas BWV963 & 967 Mikko Perkola (viola da gamba), Aapo Häkkinen (harpsichord) rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570210 [JS]

Not a “safe” option; too idiosyncratic for that ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) Chaconne (arr. for piano) see BUSONI

Francis Edward Bache (1833-1858) Piano Concerto see STERNDALE BEnnett

William BAINES (1899-1922) Piano Music E. J. MOERAN (1894-1950)
Piano Music Eric Parkin (piano) rec. May 1971, April 1970, LYRITA SRCD266 [79.26] [JW]

Rich and evocative music, splendidly preformed and presented ... see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Songs Gerald Finley (baritone)/Julius Drake (piano) rec. 2005/7 HYPERION CDA67528 [JQ]

Those wanting a high quality single-disc selection of Barber’s songs need look no further ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Symphony No. 2 (1924-6) [37:39] Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor (1931-2)* [40:46] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Myer Fredman (2); Raymond Leppard* (5) rec. 1970,1971 LYRITA SRCD.233 [78.28] [RB]

Bax whirls the listener into the action and the call is irresistible. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Arnold BAX (1883–1953) String Quartet 1 Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) String Quartet Pavăo Quartet rec. 2007 DISCRETE RECORDINGS DISC0701 [BBr]

An unqualified success. A truly fabulous disk ... see Full Review

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Violin Sonata No.2; Ballad for Violin and Piano; Legend for Violin and Piano; Sonata in G minor; Sonata in F major (1928) Laurence Jackson (violin); Ashley Wass (piano) rec. 2004-5 NAXOS 8.570094 [73:30][MC]

Bax’s reputation can only gain from this superb second volume of violin sonatas from Naxos ... see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Music for Two Pianos Ashley Wass and Martin Roscoe (pianos) rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570413 [BBr]

Take your time and there’s much to admire here. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) (arr. Ulf-Guido Schäfer) Harmoniemusik for wind quintet: Incidental music to “Egmont”; Ballet music from “Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus”; Music for “Die Ruinen von Athen” Ma’alot Quintet rec. 2007 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG34514762 [58:41][JS]

Considerable and perhaps unexpected pleasure ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 1-5 Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim rec. 2007 EUROARTS 2056778 [MG]

Barenboim realizes the poetic aspects wonderfully but the powerhouse ones are understated … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Max BRUCH (1838 - 1920) Violin Concerto 1 Kyung-Wha Chung, Concertgebouw O, (Beethoven), London PO (Bruch)/Klaus Tennstedt rec. 1989/90 EMI CLASSICS 5034102 [JW]

Lacking the ultimate in romantic allure ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 28 & 29 Mitsuko Uchida rec. 2007 PHILIPS 4758662 [CC]

A mixed reception. Never less than fascinating, but these readings cannot sit in the pantheon of the greats ... see Full Review

Heinrich BIBER (1644-1704) Mensa Sonora, seu Musica instrumentalis, Sonata The Purcell Quartet rec. 2006 CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN0748 [MS]

Delightful, carefully conceived music with more to it than might at first appear played with style and insight ... see Full Review

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen - excerpts RIAS-Kammerchor & Symphonie-Orchester, Berlin/Ferenc Fricsay rec. 1951 AUDITE 95497 [GF]

Not for the general opera-lover but a must for admirers of Fricsay and many other collectors too ... see Full Review

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Music for Strings (1935) [26:36] Meditations on a Theme by John Blow (1955) [33:39] A Prayer to the Infant Jesus for unaccompanied women’s voices* (1968) [5:38] City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Hugo Rignold Ambrosian Singers/Philip Ledger* rec. January 1966, Kingsway Hall, London (except A Prayer to the Infant Jesus) LYRITA SRCD.254 [65:59] [JQ]

This is another wonderful Lyrita restoration ... see Full Review

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Violin Concerto, Baal Shem, Suite Hébraďque Zina Schiff (violin) Royal Scottish Ntl O/José Serebrier rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.557757 [JW]

For those who prefer red blooded Bloch, this is a viable, Biblical alternative ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 4, Hungarian Dances Nos. 2, 4-9 (arr. by Peter Breiner) London PO/Marin Alsop rec. 2005/6 NAXOS 8.570233 [JW]

A good, intelligent and thoughtful performance at a can’t-argue price bracket ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 1, Intermezzos Clifford Curzon, London SO/George Szell rec. 1962/3 LONDON 4176412 [TP]

As fierce and combative a reading as you will hear, yet shot through with Curzon's poetry ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 2 (w/rehearsal excerpts) see CHOPIN

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No.2 Stephen Hough (piano); BBC Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis rec. 1990 VIRGIN CLASSICS 3913662 [51:01][JW]

Not really a contender ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quartet Op.51/2 Felix Otto DESSOFF (1835-1892) String Quartet Op.7 Mandelring Quartett rec. 1998 AUDITE 97505 [60:21][JFL]

Worth a strong recommendation for Brahms A minor alone and the Dessoff is immediately and lastingly enjoyable ... see Full Review

Nicolae BRETAN (1887–1968) Songs Ruxandra Donose (mezzo); Julius Drake (piano) rec.2005 texts and English translations included NIMBUS NI 5809 [69:35] [GF]

I urge those interested in good songs and superlative singing to investigate this issue. ... see Full Review

Nicolae BRETAN (1887–1968) Songs Alexandru Agache (baritone), Martin Berkofsky (piano) rec. at 2005 texts and English translations included NIMBUS NI 5810 [74:20] [GF]

Another worthy collection of Bretan’s songs ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Dance Rhapsody (1908) [18:22] Dance Poem (1913) [15:38] Two Jefferies Poems: (1) The Open Air; (2) The Story of My Heart (1916) [7:44; 4:25] Overture Rebus (1940) [10:38] Allegro Moderato for string orchestra (1941) [14:47] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite rec. 1979. ADD LYRITA SRCD.243 [71:38] [EM]

Splendid pieces given the artists’ very best. A delight. ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Nocturnal after John Dowland see DOWLAND

Leo BROUWER (b. 1939) Guitar Music - Vol. 4 Graham Anthony Devine (guitar) rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570251 [70:24][GF]

Devine confirms through this disc his position as one of the most accomplished guitarists now before the public ... see Full Review

Max BRUCH (1838 - 1920) Violin Concerto 1 see BEETHOVEN

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Bernard Haitink rec. 2007 CSO RESOUND CSOR901704 [67:31][PCW]

Should be heard by all Brucknerians … see Full Revie

William BUSCH (1901-1945) Cello Concerto (1940/1941) [23:27] Piano Concerto (1937/1938) [28:18] Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Piers Lane (piano) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. details not supplied, 1994? DDD LYRITA SRCD320 [51.45] [JW]

Well worth the wait. ... see Full Review

Alan BUSH (1900-1995) Piano Sonata see ELGAR

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Seven Elegies Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) Chaconne (arr. for piano Busoni) David Rubinstein rec. 2007 MUSICUS 1001 [BBr]

Busoni’s most approachable piano works in the modern style in performances worthy of the music. ... see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Complete Works for Organ Vol. 6 Bine Bryndorf rec. 2007 Dacapo 6.220530 [BW]

A very fine conclusion to a valuable series: Bryndorf just has the edge over her Naxos rivals ... see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Organ Music Vol. 7 Julia Brown rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570312 [BW]

A good cross-section of Buxtehude’s music in good, unforced, performances, well recorded ... see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Vocal Music - 2 Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir; The Dufay Collective/Ebbe Munk rec. 2000 NAXOS 8.570494 [51:02][BW]

Fine music in measured performances, just slightly lacking in vitality and not quite the equal of Volume 1 ... 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]

h "far-out" ideas, I can’t really think of one. In fact, they are more on the lines of


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