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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]

 

Gregorio ALLEGRI (1582–1652) Miserere Mei; Missa ‘Vidi turbam magnam’; De ore prudentis; Repleti sunt omnes; Cantate Domino; Miserere Mei A Sei Voci/Berard Fabre-Garrus rec. 1993 NAIVE E8909 [61.37][RH]

As a fine exploration of Allegri’s talents this disc is highly recommendable. ... see Full Review

Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Symphonies 1 & 2, Variations on a theme of Tchaikovsky State Academic SO/Evgeny Svetlanov SVET 001031
Suites 1 & 2, Egyptian Nights suite State Academic SO/Evgeny Svetlanov SVET 002032
Suite 3, Fantasia, overtures State Academic SO/Evgeny Svetlanov SVET 003033 [JW]

Arensky and Svetlanov admirers will love these performances ... see Full Review

Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Piano Trio see RACHMANINOFF

Sir Malcom ARNOLD (1921-2006) Beckus the Dandipratt, Fantasy on a Theme of John Field, Concerto for Two Pianos, Concerto for Piano Duet Phillip Dyson, Kevin Sargent (pianos); Ulster O/Esa Heikkilä rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570531 [BW]

Two mainstream Arnold works and two little-known but worthwhile pieces.  The Three-hand Concerto comes close to rivalling the performance by its dedicatees and the whole CD is very worthwhile ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Brandenburg Concertos European Brandenburg Ensemble/Trevor Pinnock rec. Sheffield City Hall / Henry Wood Hall, London – December 2006 / September 2007 AVIE AV2119 [51:49 + 42:34] [JL]

A delight if you like the Pinnock approach and a distinct improvement over its predecessor. ... see Full Review

Johann Christoph Friedrich BACH (1732–1795) Trios & sonatas Camerata Köln rec. 2004 CPO 7770872 [JV]

JCF Bach - a slight reputation. He deserves better as this splendid chamber music disc shows ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) The Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin: Vol. 2 Jacqueline Ross (violin) rec. 2006 GAUDEAMUS CD GAU 359 [78:39][JV]

Overall an impressive interpretation of three of Bach's solos for the violin, despite some shortcomings ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass in B minor Johannette Zomer, Dorothee Mields (soprano) Matthew White (counter-tenor) Charles Daniels (tenor) Peter Harvey (bass) Netherlands Bach Society/Jos van Veldhoven rec. 2006 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA25007 [JV]

Good performance, but not top-notch due to some shortcomings and inconsistencies … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1785-1850) Mass in B minor Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2007 BIS SACD 1701/02 [52.58 + 54:33][JFL]

Among the handful of best recordings made, regardless of style ... see Full Review

Mily BALAKIREV (1837-1910) Grand Fantasia on Russian Folksongs; Thirty Songs of the Russian People Joseph Banowetz (piano) Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Konstantin Krimets rec. 2004-6 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0018 [79:28][RB]

Early bel canto Balakirev and folk music sung and played freshly with earthy resonance ... see Full Review

Sir Granville BANTOCK (1868–1946) Omar Khayyám - The Ruba’iyat according to Edward Fitzgerald set to Music for Three Solo Voices, Chorus, and Orchestra in Three Parts (1906-1909) cond.Vernon Handley
rec. 2005/2007 Three CDs for the price of two CHANDOS CHSA 5051(3) [3 CDs: 58:14 + 73:08 + 40:09] [JL]

A most rewarding joy ... see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Prayers of Kierkegaard Bela BARTOK (1881-1945) Cantata Profana Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Dona Nobis Pacem Atlanta SO & Ch/Robert Shaw rec. 1997 TELARC CD80479 [RB]

Three grand choral works - superb in the Barber and Bartok – a shade less so in the RVW ... see Full Review

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Duke Bluebeard’s Castle Gustáv Beláček, Andrea Meláth, Bournemouth SO/Marin Alsop rec. 2007 NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660928  [DM]

This outwardly restrained performance burns with a slow, steady flame that is impossible to ignore ... see Full Review

Bela BARTOK (1881-1945) Cantata Profana see BARBER

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Violin Sonata 2, Ballad, Legend, Sonata movements Laurence Jackson (violin) Ashley Wass (piano) rec. 2004 NAXOS 8.570094 [IL]

Committed and thoughtful performances of some of Bax’s most deeply-felt music ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897) Violin Concerto Jascha Heifetz (violin); New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra/Dmitri Mitropoulos & New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1936-56 IDIS 6528 [75:04][BBr]

This might not be the Beethoven and Brahms we are used to, but it is the fiddling we desire ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonatas Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 & 8 Arthur Grumiaux (violin); Claudio Arrau (piano) rec. 1975-6 PHILIPS ELOQUENCE 4428302 [60:21 + 66:45][JW]

Not a meeting of musical minds ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas op. 2 Maurizio Pollini rec. 2006 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4776594 [CH]

Vital and explosive but too one-sided to offer real competition ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Volume III John O’Conor rec. 1988 TELARC CD80185 [BW]

Straightforward performances, very slightly understated in places ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Fidelio - highlights Chorus of the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1970 CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 3933672 [58:55][GF]

Karajan’s dynamic extremes may be a little too much for some but the singing is first class ... see Full Review

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) La Sonnambula Orchestra and Chorus of the Lyon Opera/Evelino Pido rec. 2006 VIRGIN CLASSICS 3951382 [77.53 + 52.33][RJF]

A rare chance to hear contemporary opera singers in a well-balanced studio recording of the new critical edition ... see Full Review

Georges BIZET (1838–1875) Les Pêcheurs de Perles Annick Massis (soprano); Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro La Fenice di Venezia/Marcello Viotti rec. 2004 DYNAMIC 33459 [122:00][RM]

An Annick Massis gem ... see Full Review

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Morning Heroes Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem Royal Liverpool PO & Ch/Sir Charles Groves (Bliss), CBSO & Ch/Sir Simon Rattle (Britten) rec. 1974/83 EMI CLASSICS BRITISH COMPOSERS 5059092 [EMc]

Bliss: inspired, deeply-felt, memorable. Britten: a fascinating and fresh performance ... 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] [MC]

A dark and serious score with dense textures that are superbly brought out ... see Full Review

William BOLCOM (b.1938) Complete Works for Cello Capriccio; Cello Suite No.1; Décalage; Dark Music; Cello Sonata Norman  Fischer (cello); Jeanne Kierman (piano); Andrea Moore (timpani) rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.559348 [67:22][DC]

A straight and uncomplicated recommendation for fans of both Bolcom and the cello. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897) Violin Concerto see BEETHOVEN

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra; Clarinet Quintet Renaud Capuçon (violin); Gautier Capuçon  (cello); Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester/Myung-Whun Chung rec. 2007 VIRGIN CLASSICS 3951472 [72:21][KS]

There is but one word to describe this kind of music-making: perfect ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Variations on a Theme of Haydn see SCHUMANN

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Works for Piano Duo Sonata for Two Pianos, op.34b Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Quintet Begoña Uriarte; Karl-Hermann Mrongovius (pianos) rec. 2006 ARTS MUSIC 47597-2 [70:35][JFL]

A recording that was "dead on arrival" ... see Full Review

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) Symphony No. 2; Festival Fanfare Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Tony Rowe rec. 1996 NAXOS 8.570506 [55:12][DW]

Brian was a unique force in British music … connoisseurs of off-the-beaten-track music will find much to enthral them here … see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Suite for solo cello No. 3 see TAVENER

Leo BROUWER (b. 1939) La ciudad de las columnas, Viaje a la semilla, Nuevos estudios sencillos, Antigua Manuel SAUMELL (1817-1870) 8 Contradanzas (arr. Leo Brouwer) Joaquin CLERCH (b. 1965) Yemaya Graham Anthony Devine (guitar) rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570251 [BBr]

The Brouwer works are what matter on this disk – well worth investigating ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 5 Munich PO/Sergiu Celibidache rec. live 1993 EMI CLASSICS 5566912 [CH]

A timeless monument to two great musicians – Bruckner and Celibidache ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 9 (w/rehearsal extracts) Munich PO/Sergiu Celibidache rec. live 1995 EMI CLASSICS 5566992 [CH]

A unique but extreme example of Celibidache’s art in his final years ... see Full Review

Julius BURGER (1897-1995) Stille der Nacht for baritone and orchestra (c.1919) [10:55] ¹ Scherzo for strings (1939) [5:02] Cello Concerto (1938) [32:14] ² Variations on a Theme of Karl [Carl] Philipp Emanuel Bach (c.1945) [19:03] Legende for baritone and orchestra (c.1919) [12:43] ¹ Michael Krauss (baritone) ¹ Maya Beiser (cello) ² Radio Symphonie Orchester, Berlin/Simone Young rec. Jesus-Christus Kirche, Berlin, September 1994 TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0001 [78:23] [JW]

A composer well worth getting to know, especially in performances as expert as these ... see Full Review

George BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916) Two English Idylls, The Banks of Green Willow, A ‘Shropshire Lad’ Rhapsody Peter WARLOCK (1894-1930) An Old Song for small orchestra Patrick HADLEY (1899-1973) One Morning in Spring - Rhapsody for small orchestra Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Procession, Merry-eye, Elegy for viola, string quartet and string orchestra, Music for a Prince London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult * Herbert Downes (viola); Desmond Bradley, Gillian Eastwood (violins); Albert Cayzer (viola); Norman Jones (cello) New Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1975-1985 ADD LYRITA SRCD.245 [68.46] [EM]

Lush and passionate performances of the most wonderful English miniature masterpieces! ... see Full Review

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Die Choralfantasien Volume 1 Pier Damiano Peretti, organ, rec. 2006 IFO ORG7224.2 [46:05] Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Die Choralfantasien Volume 2 Pier Damiano Peretti, organ, rec. 2006 IFO ORG7224.3 [46:54][ME]

Among the most interesting, intelligent and beautiful recordings of the choral fantasies by Buxtehude available ... see Full Review

William BYRD (c.1540-1623) My Ladye Nevells Booke Elizabeth Farr (harpsichord) rec. August 2006 NAXOS 8.570139-41 [3 CDs: 78:01 + 76:04 + 70:46][GH]

Wonderful performances by Elizabeth Farr but she arpeggiates chords too often and to such an extent that this can on occasion compromise the pulse. ... see Full Review

William BYRD (1539/40-1623) The Tallis Scholars sing William Byrd Includes: Masses for 3, 4 & 5 voices, Tristitia et anxietas, The Great Service The Tallis Scholars/Peter Phillips rec. 1983-2002 GIMELL CDGIM208 [MG]

Beautifully sung, cleanly phrased, finely balanced, revealing spirituality and poignancy … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH William BYRD (1539/40-1623) Second Service & Consort Anthems The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford/Bill Ives. rec. 2006 HARMONIA MUNDI USA HMU907440 [71:05][MG]

This CD excels in many ways; most of all in the revelation that this is music of feeling ... 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]


e preferred the "nothing" option,



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