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Alphabetical Listing

PART 2
A-B

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]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]

Superbudget £5.99 or less Budget £6-7.99 Medium £8-10.99 Full price £11+
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RECORDING OF THE MONTH Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Kysymysten kirja (The Book of Questions) Suite for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra (2006-2007)* [24:27] Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra (2006)** [24:13] Symphony No.14 'Rituaaleja' ('Rituals') for chamber orchestra, darabuka, djembe and gongs (2007]† [30:06] *Monica Groop (mezzo-soprano) **Anna Kreetta Gribajcevic (viola) †Herman Rechberger (darabuka & djembe), Jukka Koski (gongs & tam-tams) rec. November 2007, Rovaniemi Church, Finland Chamber Orchestra of Lapland/John Storgårds BIS CD1686 [79:34] [DM]

A very special disc indeed ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Tomaso ALBINONI (1671-1751) Sinfonie a cinque, Opera seconda Ensemble 415/Chiara Banchini rec. 2008 ZIGZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT090202 [54:11] [JV]

Original and expressive music in superior performances ... see Full Review 

Charles-Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Chamber and piano works Includes Grand duo concertant, Piano trio, Douze etudes dans tous les tons majeurs Sonate de concert James Clark (violin); Moray Welsh (cello); Ronald Smith (piano) rec. 1992/4 APR 7032 [57:21 + 65:12] [RB]

Romantic poise and a piano scattering smithereens of notes in all directions ... see Full Review 

Anton Stepanovich ARENSKY (1861-1906) Piano Concerto, Fantasia on Russian Folksongs,Pamyati Suvorova, Symphonic Scherzo Konstantin Scherbakov (piano) Russian PO/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570526 [49:06] [DM]

Excellent concerto; otherwise a hit-and-miss affair ... see Full Review

Attilio ARIOSTI (1666-1729) The Stockholm Sonatas Vols I-III Thomas Georgi (viola d'amore) Joëlle Morton (viola da gamba, great bass viol) Lucas Harris (archlute, guitar) Mime Yamahiro Brinkmann (cello) rec. 2005-7 BIS CD-1535/1555/1675 [69:14 + 56:33 + 63:57] [JV]

Interesting … sheds light on an uncommon instrument - exemplary ... see Full Review 

Carl Philippe Emmanuel BACH (1714-1788) Keyboard Concertos and Solo Keyboard Music - Volume 15 Miklós Spányi (clavichord); Ensemble Opus X/Petri Tapio Mattson rec. 2003-4 BIS CD1422 [67:22 + 73.38][GH] 

I cannot speak too highly of this double album … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Inventionen; Sinfonien; Französische Suite V Till Fellner (piano) rec. 2007 ECM NEW SERIES 2043 4766355 [68:11][DC]

Bach without doubt, and Fellner every time for me ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Musikalisches Opfer Members of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra/Ton Koopman rec. 2008 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72309 [57:03][MS]

Unostentatious and highly competent ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Actus Tragicus Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir/Ton Koopman rec. 1994 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72289 [61:01] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Whitsun Cantatas Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir/Ton Koopman rec. 1995 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72290 [68:42] Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) Weimar Cantatas II Emma Kirkby (soprano); The Purcell Quartet rec. 2007 CHANDOS CHAN0752(2) [49.04 + 38.55][JFL]

Koopman takes top honors … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Excerpts from the Well Tempered Clavier: Book I; Chorales by Bach (transc. Busoni) and Brahms Edna Stern (piano) rec. 2008 ZIG-ZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT090104 [65:40][JFL]

Great music intelligently and terrifically played ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Six Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, BWV 1001-1006 (c. 1720) Viktoria Mullova (baroque violin) rec. 2007, 2008, DDD ONYX CLASSICS 4040 [64:50 + 67:32] [MC]

A very special recording - one to treasure ... see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass in B Minor Chorus and Orchestra of Collegium Vocale, Ghent/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 1988 VIRGIN VERITAS 6931972 [54:30 + 52:09][MS]

An adequate, if not inspiring, performance ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations Martin Schmeding (organ) rec. 2009 CYBELE 030.802 [74:44] [DC]

A real treat - even for purists ... see Full Review  

Agustin BARRIOS (1885-1944) Intimate Barrios Berta Rojas (guitar) rec. 1998 ON MUSIC RECORDINGS 7488 [69:09] [ZT]

Not to be missed ... see Full Review 

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Violin Concerto No. 2 Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Violin Concerto No.1 Yossif Ivanov (violin); Royal Flemish Philharmonic/Pinchas Steinberg rec. 2008 AMBROISIE NAĎVE AM175 [78:10][LW]

The competition need not fear this newcomer ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3 in E flat major Op. 55 Eroica (1803) [45:03] Symphony No. 8 in F minor Op. 93 (1812) [24:08] German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen/Paavo Järvi rec. August 2005, Bremen BMG-RCA 713066 (88697006552) [79:11]  [JL]

Järvi takes a motorcycle ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Early String Quartets Opus 18 1-6 (1798-1800) Wihan Quartet rec. live, Convent of St Agnes, Prague, 18 October, 8 November, 6 December, 2007, 17 January, 7 February, 13 March 2008. DDD NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6105 [77:43 + 76:44] [BW]

Good performances, well recorded, but the competition is very strong ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano Jascha Heifetz (violin); Emanuel Bay, Benno Moisewitsch (pianos) rec. 1947-52 ISTITUTO DISCOGRAFICO ITALIANO IDIS6560/2 [3 CDs: 68:28 + 63:14 + 71:41][CC] 

An important document ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 3-5 Artur Pizarro (piano) Scottish CO/Sir Charles Mackerras rec. 2008 LINN CKD336 [67:34 + 35:48] [J-PJ]

For more excitement and daring turn elsewhere ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 16, 28 & 32 David Korevaar (piano) rec. 2006 IVORY CLASSICS 77004 [76:47] [CC]

Mixed reactions ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Quartets New Zealand Piano Qt rec. 2005 NAXOS 8.5709988 [64:13] [CC]

Interesting repertoire. Well worth exploring ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Lieder und Gesänge John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Iain Burnside (piano) rec. 2008 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD145 [77:43] [JQ]

Committed, sensitive performances ... see Full Review 

Sir Julius BENEDICT (1804-1885) Piano Concertos in C minor and E flat Walter MACFARREN (1826-1905)  Concertstück Howard Shelley (piano); Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Howard Shelley rec. 2008; The Romantic Piano Concerto, Vol. 48 HYPERION CDA67720 [70:50][RB] 

The energy behind this series shows no sign of flagging ... see Full Review

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Orchestral Works Geraldine McGreevy (soprano); Robert Murray (tenor); Isabelle van Keulen (violin) Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Mario Venzago rec. 2004/6/7 CHANDOS CHSA 5074(2) [79:35 + 77:45] [TH][RB]

A new slant on important repertoire in good performances and great sound. ... see Full Review

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Three Orchestral Pieces, Violin Concerto, Lulu-Suite, Sieben frühe Lieder, Piano Sonata, Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Lyric Suite Frank Peter Zimmermann, Peter Donohoe, Arleen Augér, CBSO/Simon Rattle, Alban Berg Qt EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 3817712 [79:46 + 66:51] [CC]

Worth investigating ... see Full Review 

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Wozzeck Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra/Herbert Kegel rec. 1973 BERLIN CLASSICS 0184422BC [37:25 + 47:37][PBW]

Should not be missed ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Alban BERG (1885-1935) Lyric Suite, String Quartet see SCHOENBERG

 

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique, Romeo et Juliette, Harold en Italie, Rêverie et caprice Yvonne Minton (mezzo); Francisco Araiza (tenor); Jules Bastin (bass) Paris O & Ch/Daniel Barenboim; Berlin PO/Lorin Maazel; Orpheus CO/Guillermo Figueroa rec. 1979-91 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON ELOQUENCE 480 0714 [3 CDs: 71:45 + 76:00 + 50:18] [RMo]

Leaves much to be desired ... see Full Review 

Maurice BLOWER (1894-1982) Symphony see HOWELL

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) String Quintet 91, String Sextet 4, String Quartet 56, String Trio 22 Europa Galante rec. 2008 VIRGIN CLASSICS 2121492 [74:08] [BW]

Dispels the image of Boccherini’s music as a fragile echo of Haydn ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 1 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto Jorge Bolet (piano) London PO/Klaus Tennstedt rec. 1984/90 BBC LEGENDS BBCL4251-2 [79:58] [JQ]

This enjoyable disc can be recommended with confidence ... see Full Review 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin and Viola sonatas Oscar Shumsky (violin and viola) Leonid Hambro (piano) rec. details not given (c1991) DDD reissued from the MusicMasters catalogue NIMBUS NI 2513/4 [64:47 + 39:07] [JW]

Not without faults but displays rapt wisdom and assurance ... see Full Review 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Alto Rhapsody see MAHLER

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Klavierstücke see SCHUMANN

Luis de Freitas BRANCO (1890-1955) Symphony 2, After a reading of Guerra Junqueiro, Artificial Paradises RTÉ Ntl SO/Álvaro Cassuto rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572059 [67.49] [GH]

Astonishingly individual and wonderfully orchestrated ... see Full Review 

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Piano Quintet etc. Bridge Quartet; Michael Dussek (piano) rec. 2008 SOMM SOMMCD087 [77:56][JF/RB]

All Bridge enthusiasts will insist on having this in their collections [JF] Faithful to Bridge's mercurial muse [RB] ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) War Requiem, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Serenade, Nocturne, Les Illuminations, Sinfonia da Requiem, Suite on English Folk Tunes, Diversions, Overtures, Ballads  Berliner Philharmoniker, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle EMI CLASSICS 2427432 [5 CDs: 337:00][ST]

Performances outstanding … Not to be missed ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Double Concerto for Violin and Viola, Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Les Illuminations Pieter Schoeman (violin); Alexander Zemtsov (viola); Sally Matthews (soprano); London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. live, 2006/8 LPO LIVE LPO0037 [70:00] [WH]

Very rich and sonorous ... see Full Review 

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Folksong Arrangements Steve Davislim (tenor); Simone Young (piano) rec. Friedrich-Ebert-Halle Hamburg, 19-22 August 2006 MELBA RECORDINGS MR 301120 [65:49]  [JF]

By and large, beautifully performed ... see Full Review 

Leo BROUWER (b.1939) Concerto Elegiaco; Tres Danzas Concertante; Quintet for guitar and string quartet Denis Sung-Hô (guitar); Chapelle Musicale de Tournai/Philippe Gérard; Quatuor Alfama rec. 2006 FUGA LIBERA FUG524 [51:14][RB] 

A refreshing take on the Latin-American classical guitar ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 2 Netherlands RPO/Jaap van Zweden rec. 2007 EXTON EXCL-00014 [62:01]  [TB]

The pacing and phrasing is ever sensitive to the music’s special qualities ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 5 Philharmonia O/Benjamin Zander + bonus CD: Benjamin Zander discusses Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5 rec. 2008 TELARC 2CD-80706 [68:58 + 79:56] [TB]

A sensitive flexibility that brings an ebb and flow to the symphonic journey ... see Full Review 

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Sonatas Op.1 L’Estravagante rec. 2006/7 ARTS 47731-8 [60:30]  [GPu]

Exhilarating performances of some remarkable music … see Full Review 

William BYRD (1539/40-1623) Hodie Simon Petrus: The Byrd Edition Volume 11 The Cardinall’s Musick/Andrew Carwood rec. 2007 HYPERION CDA67653 [67:54][MG]

Innate elemental toughness, rigour of articulation and sheer resonance  … see Full Review

 


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]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]


 



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