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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


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ALPHABETICAL LISTING

Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Iberia (Books One and Two) España Daniel Barenboim (piano) Teldec Studio Berlin December 1999/February 2000 TELDEC 8573-81703-2 [62:25] [GB]

How refreshing to hear such delightful Spanish music played so sensitively and with such style.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St Matthew Passion [161.02] King's College Choir, Jesus College Choir , Rogers Covey-Crump, tenor (evangelist) , Michael George, bass (Jesus), Emma Kirkby, soprano, Michael Chance, alto Martyn Hill, tenor David Thomas, bass Brandenburg Consort, Roy Goodman Direction: Stephen Cleobury Rec: 1994, King's College Chapel. REGIS RRC 3001 [161.02] [KM]

A solid performance of one of the greatest works of western music. While not one of the best, its low price makes it a great value

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Six Partitas Angela Hewitt, piano Rec: June 1996 (CD1) and January 1997 (CD2), Beethovensaal, Hanover, Germany. HYPERION CDA67191/2 [143.22] [KM]

Another excellent recording by Angela Hewitt, who shows her mastery of Bach's keyboard music. If you like Bach on piano, this is for you.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Complete Solo Piano Music, Volume 7 Dance Suite,
Rhapsody, Opus 1 (long version) Rhapsody, Opus 1 (shortened version), Four Piano Pieces, Marche funebre (Kossuth)*
Zoltan Kocsis Rec 3-4 August 1998*, 21-24 August 1999, Friedrich Ebert Halle, Hamburg PHILIPS 464 639-2 [76.38] [TB]

Performances exemplary, but this is a disc for the specialist, or for the collector who likes things to be absolutely complete.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Solo Piano Music Sonata, Out of Doors, Two Rumanian Dances, Three Hungarian folk dances from Csik, Rumanian Christmas Carols; Fourteen Bagatelles, Sonatina Zoltan Kocsis PHILIPS 464 676-2 [78.37] [DW]

I do not think Kocsis has the right style or approach.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis in D major, Opus 123 Amanda Halgrimson (soprano), Cornelia Kallisch (mezzo soprano), John Aler (tenor), Alastair Miles (bass) NDR Chorus, SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart South-West German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Roger Norrington Rec 21-23 July 1999, Liederhalle Stuttgart HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 93.006 [72.58] [TB]

This new recording of one of music's major works is a mixed success, although there are undoubtedly some visionary and compelling moments.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas - No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, 'Pathétique'; No. 21 in C, Op. 53, 'Waldstein'; No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57, 'Appassionata'. Artur Rubinstein (piano). Recorded in Webster Hall, New York City on December 28th and 30th, 1954. RCA RED SEAL Rubinstein Edition 09026 63033-2 [ADD] [66'08] [CC]

It is difficult to muster great enthusiasm for Rubinstein's Beethoven on this disc and it is better to go to some of the other volumes for evidence of his undoubted genius.

Harrison Birtwistle Refrains and Choruses Richard Shaw (piano) The Galliard Ensemble;
Recorded December 2000 at Leighton Park School, Reading. DEUX-ELLES DXL1019 [73 mins] [GH]

A well planned disc with a wide variety of music demonstrating Birtwistle's ability to write in different styles, some of which would not be readily associated with him.

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) arranged Rodion SHCHEDRIN (1932- ) Carmen Ballet (choreography Mats Ek) The Cullberg Ballet, Swedish TV 1991 ARTHAUS MUSIK 100 182, DVD Format 4:3, PCM Stereo, 51mins [AB]

At only 50 minutes the disc may seem poor value for money but the force and power of this production makes this a truly memorable artistic experience. Recommended.

Joly BRAGA SANTOS (1924 - 1988) Symphony No.3 in C Op.15 (1948) London Symphony Orchestra; Alvaro Cassuto Recorded: Henry Wood Hall, London, June 1986 STRAUSS SP 4182 [38:32] [HC]

The composer's confidence blends his numerous influences into a wholly satisfying symphony.

Joly BRAGA SANTOS (1924 - 1988) Symphony No.4 in E minor Op.16 (1949) "George Enescu" Choir, Rumanian Radiotelevision Symphony Orchestra; Silva Pereira Recorded: Rumanian Radio Studios, Bucarest, November 1978 STRAUSS SP 4059 [47:31] [HC]

Silva Pereira secures a very fine performance and gets committed support from his Rumanian forces who sing and play with utmost conviction.

Joly BRAGA SANTOS (1924 - 1988) Symphony No.5 "Virtus Lusitaniae" Op.39 (1965/6) RDP Symphony Orchestra; Silva Pereira Recorded: November 1968 STRAUSS SP 4043 [33:16]

Silva Pereira has the full measure of this virile, forward thriving music and conducts a wonderful reading of this powerfully dramatic piece of music.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-97) Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat, Op. 83a. Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16b. Artur Rubinstein (piano); aBoston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch; bRCA Victor Symphony Orchestra/Antal Dorati. Recorded at aSymphony Hall, Boston on August 11th, 1952, bRepublic Studios, Hollywood on August 22nd, 1949. RCA RED SEAL Rubinstein Edition 09026 63022-2 [ADD] [70'00]. [CC]

This is a remarkably successful coupling and one which, despite some reservations, is well worth the outlay.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Seven sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22 , Canticle 1, Op. 40 Four folksong settings: Down by the Salley Gardens, The trees they grow so high, Little Sir William, O Waly, Waly, Winter words, Op. 52 Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Graham Johnson (piano) rec 5 - 6 July 1985 HYPERION CDH55067 [59.29] [CG]

A convincing collection of Britten songs, well-sung, played and recorded.

Anton BRUCKNER Symphony No. 9 in D minor Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Carl Schuricht (Recorded in the Herkulessaal, Munich. 8th March 1963) ORFEO D'OR C 548 001 B [56.57] [TD]

An interesting performance of Bruckner's final work from a conductor of "the old school."

 

[Part 1 New]  [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc]   


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