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GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959) Capital of the World - complete ballet (1953) [32.23] Symphony No. 5 The Joyous (1948) [23.28] Archipelago (1933) [5.40] Slovak State PO/Barry Kolman rec 10-13 Oct & 4-5 Dec 1995 at the House of Arts, Kosice, Slovakia CENTAUR CRC 2293 [61.27]  [RB]

A worthwhile Antheil compendium not to be forgotten amid the satisfying flood of novel cycles from CPO and Naxos. These are excellent performances and the recording is really good.

Malcolm ARNOLD Chamber Music - Vol 2 Flute Sonatina op.19. Clarinet Sonatina op.29. Oboe Sonatina op.28. Recorder Sonatina op.41. Fantasy for Clarinet op.87. Fantasy for Bassoon op.86. Fantasy for Horn op.88. Trio for flute viola and bassoon op.6. Fantasy for Oboe op.90. Fantasy for flute op.89. The Nash Ensemble Helios CDH55072 [PW]

These are chips off the main blocks and are best taken separately for easy listening. They should fit well into radio miscellany programmes. I have been glad to play the pieces through, but would not anticipate returning to them. Better give your time to the symphonies.

ARNOLD The Chamber Music of Malcolm Arnold - 3 Quintet for Flute, Violin, Viola, Horn and Bassoon Opus 7 (1944) Duo for Flute and Viola Opus 10 (1946) Divertimento for Flute, Oboe and Clarinet Opus 37 (1952) Oboe Quartet Opus 61 (1957) Flute Sonata Opus 121 (1977) Three Shanties for Wind Quintet Opus 4 (1943) The Nash Ensemble Rec 14/18 December 1984 HYPERION Helios CDH55073 [63:55] [JF]

All these three CDs are worthy of re-release and should be in all 'Malcolm Arnold' enthusiasts' collections - if they are not already there. Let us hope that this reissue will secure a large number of new fans.

BACH The Four Orchestral Suites Camerata Academica Salzburg/Sándor Végh ORFEO C 537 002 B (2 CDs) [90.39] [TB]

Compelling performances, acoustic spacious and clear, string sound warm and full, Végh is a real master, phrasing and tempi absolutely appropriate.

BACH Four Suites for Orchestra - BWV 1066-1069 arranged for Guitar Quartet Suite No.3 BWV 1068, Suite No.2 BWV 1067, Suite No.1 BWV 1066, Suite No.4 BWV 1069, The Brazilian Guitar Quartet
Delos DE 3254  [AD]

This Brazilian Guitar Quartet recording proves that Bach'smusic can be presented in more than an acceptable and entertaining way.

BACH Italian Concerto; Two Capriccios; Four Duets; French Overture in B minor Angela Hewitt (piano) Hyperion CDA67306 [PW]

Angela Hewitt makes as good a case for playing Bach on the modern piano as anyone, and this collection of mainly lesser-known pieces is commended in every respect.

BACH. The Well-tempered Clavier, Book two. Diana Boyle (piano). Metier MSVCD2002. Two CDs.[DW]

I value these recordings but more for teaching purposes than anything else. The recording is clean and sharp and also commendable.

BACH The Well-Tempered Clavier  Book 2: Preludes and Fugues, Nos.1-24 Edwin Fischer, Piano Naxos 8.110653-54 [ADD 125:53] [CT]

Fischer allows the music to breath in a beautifully natural way with the voices always clear and the harmony transparent. It is good to have these recordings available.

J.S. BACH Cello Suites Heinrich Schiff EMI Double Fforte CZS 57417921 [Total: 124:59 * Disc One: 55:12 * Disc Two: 69:47] [GD]

Even so, I doubt very much that this is ever going to be regarded as one of the great versions of this music, and there are far too many rivals equally worthy of attention. On the other hand, at 2-1 price this set does offer good value, and may serve as a worthwhile introduction to the Suites for anyone wary of buying a full-price double of someone playing a cello for over two hours.

BAX Symphony No. 5 The Tale the Pine-Trees Knew Royal Scottish National Orchestra - David Lloyd-Jones recorded 31st May and 31st June 1996 at the Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, Scotland. Naxos 8.554509 [57.51] DDD [JP]

A superb recording of Bax's Fifth Symphony as cheap a single disc as you can buy, in a performance which will thrill and gladden you.

BEETHOVEN Complete String Quartets Volume 8 String Quartet in B flat major, opus 130 Grosse Fuge, opus 133 Kodaly Quartet Naxos 8.554593 (55.26 minutes) [TB]

There is great tension here, but above all a real sense of line. At the Naxos bargain price, whether you know the music or not, there is no need to hesitate. This is great music performed with great conviction.

BLOCH The Chamber Music with Viola Suite Hebraique Concertino for flute, viola and piano
Suite for viola Suite for viola and piano
Paul Cortese (viola) Michel Wagemans (piano) Maarika Jarvi (flute)    ASV CDDCA 1094 [70.28 ] [TB]

Bloch is one of those composers one only encounters occasionally, but each time the effect is the same: he ought to be better known. Of the other items collected here, the Suite Hebraique of 1951 is particularly fine, both as music and as performance. In many ways this piece makes an ideal introduction to this under-rated composer.

BRAHMS Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor Op. 15 Robert SCHUMANN Introduction and Concert Allegro Idil Biret, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra - Antoni Wit recorded 29th to 31st August 1996 in Katowice, Poland. Naxos 8.554088 [66.15] DDD [JP]

A somewhat sleepy version of Brahms masterpiece coupled with an adequate performance of the Schumann concertante work.

BRAHMS Lieder, Complete Edition Vol.3:  "Die Schöne Magelone" - Romances, op.33 Andreas Schmidt (baritone), Helmut Deutsch (pianoforte) CPO 999 443-2 [55' 26"] [CH]

Andreas Schmidt has an enviable reputation as one of the finest baritone lieder-singers of the post-Fischer-Dieskau age. The complete Brahms lieder edition master-minded by Helmut Deutsch is an important series

Anton BRUCKNER Mass No.2 in E Minor, Mass in C Minor, O du liebes Jesu Kind, In jener letzten der Nachte Ludmilla Kuznetzova (Mezzo), Ludmilla Golub (organ) Russian State Symphonic Capella and Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Valeri Polyansky Chandos CHAN 9863 [59.09] [TD]

Magnificent singing recorded in an ideal acoustic with voices and instruments matched perfectly.

ALAN BUSH To all a future world may hold The Artsong Collective Recorded 1999/2000 MUSAEUS MZCD102 [61'] [CF]

For those unacquainted with the music of the neglected Alan Bush this is an excellent introduction and a commendable tribute to the work of The Artsong Collective.

BUSONI  Fantasia Contrappuntistica for two pianos  REGER  Variations and Fugue on a theme of Beethoven Op. 86  MOZART  Fugue in C minor K.426 and Sonata in D major K.488/375a   Andras Schiff and Peter Serkin (two pianos) ECM 1676/77 465 062-2 [92.17]  [PW]

I cannot recall for a long time another two piano recording which has given comparable pleasure, and recommend it unreservedly as one not to be missed.

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[Part 4 M-R]  [Part 5 S-Y] [Part 6 Misc] 

Classical Editor: Rob Barnett,  Reviewers: Rob Barnett, Ian Lace, Len Mullenger, and:  Richard Adams, Colin Anderson, Arthur Baker, Terry Barfoot,  Marc Bridle, Arthur Butterworth, Colin Clarke, Paul Conway, Gary Dalkin, Andy Daly, Tony Duggan, Harry Downey,  Christopher Fifield, Lewis Foreman, Simon Foster, Colin France, Christopher Howell, John Phillips, Ailís Ní Ríain, Humphrey Smith, Philip Scowcroft, Colin Scott-Sutherland, Andrew Seivewright, Adrian Smith, Christopher Thomas, Richard Whitehouse, Peter Grahame Woolf, David Wright. A complete list of contributors can be seen here


Any opinions expressed in reviews or articles on this site are those of the author and  do not necessarily represent the views of the site owner, Len Mullenger or the Editors.  Reviewers and authors retain copyright in their work unless it has been paid for or commissioned by the site owner.

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