> Classical CD Reviews February 2002 part 2 A-B: Classical MusicWeb (UK)






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If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


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


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ALPHABETICAL LISTING

John ADAMS (b. 1947) Short Ride in a Fast Machine (1986) Transcribed by Lawrence T. Odorn Grand Pianola Music (1982) David LANG (b. 1957) Are You Experienced? (1990)
Under Orpheus (1989-94) David Lang (narrator) Hendrik Jan Renes (tuba) Ellen Carver, Sepp Grotenhuis (pianos) Lindsay Wagstaff, Kym Amps, Ruth Holton (sopranos) Netherlands Wind Ensemble conducted by Stephen Mosko Recorded Muziekcentrum Vredenberg, Utrecht 9-11 November 1994 and St. Judes Church, London 12 February 1995 DDD CHANDOS CHAN 9363 [75:43] [CT]

The recording and performances of all four of these minimalist inspired works are as fine as we are ever likely to hear. A highly recommended disc. see Full Review

Tomaso ALBINONI (1671-1751) Adagio [8:45] J.S. BACH (1685-1750) Ei wie schmekt der Coffee [4:29] Cantata 144 – Genugsamkeit (arr. D.Golightly) [3:26] G. CACCINI (1545-1618) Amarilli mia bella (arr. N.Ingman) J.S. BACH (1685-1750) Magnificat – Quia respexit [2:28] Cantata 21 – Seufzer tranen Kummer (arr. D.Golightly) [3:45] Inessa GALANTE (soprano) Orchestra of Latvian National Opera/Aleksandrs Vilumanis London Musici/Mark Stephenson Rec Riga Recording Studio, Latvia 1995, St Silas Church, Kentish Town 1999 CAMPION RECORDS RRSP 8001 [26.08] [AT]

There is nothing here for a specialist collector, but it will tickle the ear of Auntie May. … see Full Review

Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (born 1921) The Collection A Grand, Grand Overture, Opus 57 Carnival of Animals, Opus 72 Concerto for 2 Pianos (3 Hands), Opus 104 Serenade, Opus 26 Larch Trees, Opus 3 English Dances, Opus 27 (arr for brass band) English Dances, Opus 33 (arr for brass band) Scottish Dances, Opus 59 (arr for brass band) Little Suite No. 1 for Brass Band, Opus 80 Cornish Dances, Opus 91 (arr for brass band) Little Suite No. 2 for Brass Band, Opus 93 The Padstow Lifeboat, Opus 94 Fantasy for Brass Band, Opus 114 Overture, Beckus the Dandipratt, Opus 5 Anniversary Overture, Opus 99 Guitar Concerto, Opus 67 Rec RCA 1959 (Guitar Concerto), RCA & Conifer 1992-97 (remainder) RCA-BMG 74321 88392-2 [2CDs: 75.36; 76.04] [TB]

A good collection but might have been better still. ... see Full Review

AVISON Concerti from Opus 9. Concerti: 1 in G; 9 in C minor; 7 in E flat; 8 in B flat; 4 in G minor; 6 in E minor The Georgian Consort (DDD) DIVINE ART 2-4108 [45.29] (mid price) [DW]

This group produces a rather unusual intimate sound. The playing is extremely good and the recording presents no problems. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) - Italian Concerto - Virtuoso Harpsichord Music by J. S. Bach [75 min.] 1. Toccata in D major BWV 912, 2-3. Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor BWV 903, 4-14. Aria variata in the Italian manner BWV 989, 15-17. Italian Concerto in F major BWV 971, 18. Aria from the Clavierbühlein for Anna Magdalena Bach BWV 988, 19. Prelude in C minor BWV 999, 20-21. Prelude and Fughetta in G major BWV 902, 22. Fantasia in C minor BWV 906 Terence Charlston, harpsichord - Rec: November 1999. DEUX-ELLES DXL 1017 [75.00] [KM]

This fine recording of some of Bach’s lesser known works - and the masterpiece Italian Concerto - stands out for its excellent sound and performance. A must-have recording. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas vol. 15 Cantata No.40, "Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes", BWV 40 - Cantata No.60, "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort", BWV 60 - Cantata No.70, "Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!", BWV 70
Cantata No.90, "Es reißet euch ein schrecklich Ende", BWV 90 - Yukari Nonoshita, soprano - Robin Blaze, countertenor - Gerd Türk, tenor - Peter Kooij, bass Bach Collegium Japan, Masaaki Suzuki - Rec: September 2000, Kobe Shoin Women’s University, Japan. BIS CD-1111 [67.35] [KM]

Masaaki Suzuki delivers yet another distinguished and enjoyable volume with a perfect balance between musicians and singers. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Orchestral Suites - Concertos (7 CDs)
Bath Festival Orchestra Menuhin Festival Orchestra Pro Arte Orchestra Yehudi Menuhin/Boris Ord directors Rec: 1956 to 1973, various locations. EMI CZS 5 74439 2 [7CDs approx. 8 hours.] Superbudget [KM]

Fine set. Menuhin’s relatively small forces and exuberant energy make most of these works essential recordings. Grab it up - you won’t regret it. … see Full Review

Leopold STOKOWSKI J S BACH (1685-1750) Symphonic Transcriptions by Leopold Stokowski Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565, Ein feste Burg, Mein Jesu BWV 487, Little Fugue in G minor BWV 578, Komm susser Tod BWV 478, Air on the G string - Orchestral Suite No 3 BWV 1068, Preludio in E Violin Partita BWV 1006, Arioso - Cantata 156, Prelude in E flat minor, Andante Sostenuto Violin Sonata BWV 1003, Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor BWV 582, The All-American Youth Orchestra Leopold Stokowski conductor Recorded 1940-41 CALA 0527 [70.49] [JW]

No matter how well you think you know Stokowski's Bach transcriptions this is still a disc to treasure. see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Art of Fugue BWV 1080 Gustav Leonhardt, harpsichord Rec: May 1953, Vienna. VANGUARD OVC 2011/12 [86.56] [KM]

Leonhardt here, at age 25, showed his courage and audacity, yet his performance was not up to his ideas. He recognized this by re-recording the work. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 Gustav Leonhardt, harpsichord Rec: June 1953, Konzerthaus, Vienna. VANGUARD OVC 2004 [54.19] [KM]

This recording has historical interest, since it was the first Goldberg Variations on harpsichord of the "modern era", yet Leonhardt is far from his prime, and the sound of the harpsichord is relatively disappointing. see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) English Suites Nos. 1-6, French Suites Nos. 1-6 Alan Curtis (harpsichord) Rec July 1979, Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg APEX 0927 40808 2 (Suites 1 & 2) [58.55] APEX 0927 40814 2 (Suites 3 & 4) [57.21] APEX 0927 40813 2 (Suites 5 & 6) [69.04] [TB]

All praise to Alan Curtis, since his interpretations really do bring out the potential of the music....see Full Review

J. S. BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concerto BWV 1042 Concerto for Two Violins BWV 1043 Violin Concerto BWV 1041 Piano Concerto No 1 BWV 1052 Adolf Busch, violin and director Eugene Istomin, piano Frances Magnes, violin Busch Chamber Players Recorded New York 1942-1945 PEARL GEMM CD 9298 [72.47] [JW]

A remarkable collection. Recorded in New York these 1940s performances never received proper currency in Britain … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Arleen Augér sings Bach Mein gläubiges Herze BWV 68 Bete aber auch dabei BWV 115 Ich esse mit Freuden mein weniges Brot BWV 84 Tief gebückt und voller Reue BWV 199 Wie zittern und wanken BWV 105 Höchster Tröster, Heilger Geist BWV 183 Ich bin herrlich, ich bin schön BWV 49 Meinem Hirten bleib ich treu BWV 92 Auch mit gedämpften, schwachen Stimmen BWV 36 Komm in mein Herzenshaus BWV 80 Ich wünschte mir den Tod, den Tod BWV 57 Die Seele ruht in Jesu Händen BWV 127 Wie freudig ist mein Herz BWV 199 Arleen Augér, soprano Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Helmut Rilling, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn Rec: 1983. HAENSSLER CD 94.035 [67.20] [KM]

An excellent disc, one that shows how much Arleen Augér was at home with Bach’s cantatas. The selection of arias she recorded with Helmut Rilling is very good. See Full review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV850
Prelude and Fugue in F sharp major, BWV857 Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV869 Italian Concerto in F major, BWV971
Youri Egorov (piano) Rec 1993, Studio Gravison PAVANE ADW 7029 2 [37.07] [TB]

A pity that the brevity and spectacularly poor production standards of this CD undermine it as a competitive commercial proposition. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Fantasia in C minor, BWV 906 Fifteen Two-Part Inventions, BWV 772-786 Fifteen Three-Part Sinfonias, BWV 787-801 Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, BWV 903 Angela Hewitt, piano Rec: January 1994, Beethovensaal, Hanover, Germany.. HYPERION CDA66746 [63.09] [KM]

You would be hard pressed to find a better piano recording of the Inventions and Sinfonias, and with the two Fantasias thrown in, this set is as close to perfect as they come. … see Full Listing

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Bach Cantatas Cantata No. 179, "Siehe zu, dass deine Gottesfurcht," BWV 179, Cantata No. 199, "Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut," BWV 199, Cantata No. 113, "Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut," BWV 113, Magdalena Kozená, soprano William Towers, alto Mark Padmore, tenor Stephan Loges, bass Monteverdi Choir English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner Rec: 2000, St. David's Cathedral, Dyfed, Wales. BBC OPUS ARTE OA 0816D [127.00] [KM]

This DVD is as good as it gets. Hearing and seeing Magdalena Kozená is a great pleasure, and the rest of the music is extraordinary as well. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas BWV 21: Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis BWV 38: Aus tiefer Not screi ich zu dir BWV 51: Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen BWV 56: Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen BWV 76: Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes BWV 79: Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild BWV 80: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott BWV 82: Ich habe genug BWV 93: Wer nor den lieben Gott laut walten BWV 106: Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit BWV 137: Lobe den Herren, den mächtgen König der Ehren BWV 140: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme BWV 149: Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg Arleen Auger, Nancy Amini, Eva Caspo (sopranos), Gabriele Schrekenbach, Julia Hamari, Helen Watts, Karen Hagermann, Ann Murray, Mechtild Georg, Hanna Schwarz (altos), Adalbert Kraus, Lutz-Michael Harder, Douglas Robinson, Aldo Baldin (tenors), Philippe Huttenlocher, Walter Heldwein, Sigmund Nimsgern, Wolfgang Schöne, Norman Anderson, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (basses) Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart, Indiana University Chamber Singers Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Würtemberg Chamber Orchestra Helmuth Rilling HÄNSSLER CLASSIC 94028 [4CDs: 73.13, 76.25, 78.19, 69.25] Superbudget [TB]

If you want to get to know this wonderful music - and the Bach cantatas are music's greatest treasure-trove - Rilling is a safe and reliable guide. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Glorious Bach - DVD Cantata BWV 61
Cantata BWV 147, Magnificat in D Major BWV 243, Christine Schäfer, soprano Anna Korondi, soprano Bernarda Fink, alto Ian Bostridge, tenor Christopher Maltman, baritone Concentus Musicus Vienna, Nikolaus Harnoncourt Arnold Scheonberg Choir, Erwin Ortner Rec: 2000, Kloster Melk Benedictine Monastery, Austria. TDK DV-ADCNH [82 min.] [KM]

This is a wonderful DVD, with three fine sacred works by Bach, featuring excellent musicians, choir and soloists. see Full Review.

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH Sonatas and Rondos 1-3 Sonata in g minor 14’15" 4 Rondo in A major 4’36" 5-7 Sonata in c minor 10’18" 8-10 Sonata in D major 4’50" 11-13 Sonata in f sharp minor 12’36" 14 Rondo in d minor 4’36" 15-17 Sonata in G major 7’56" 18 Rondo in c minor 4’41" 19-21 Sonata in e minor 6’57" 22 Andante con tenerezza 6’43" Recorded in Teldec-Studio, Berlin in October 1998. Mikhail Pletnev - Piano DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 459 614-2 [78.27] [PW]

A constant succession of drama, thought and beauty recorded with pearl drop beauty of sound and the clarity of Waterford crystal. … see Full Review

BACH FAMILY MOTETS Johann Christian BACH (1642 – 1703) 1. Lieber Herr Gott Johann Bach (1604 – 73) 2. Unser Leben ist ein Shatten Johann Michael BACH (1648 – 94) 3. Herr, du lässest mich erfahren 4. Nun hab’ich überwunden Johann Christoph BACH 5. Es ist nun aus 6. Der Gerechte, ob er gleich 7. Ich lasse dich nicht 8. Fürchte dich nicht Johann Michael BACH 9. Sei lieber Tag willkommen Johann Ludwig BACH (1677 – 1731) 10. Unserer Trübsal 11. Das ist meine Freude Choir of Clare College Cambridge/Timothy Brown. Liz Kenny (theorbo), Helen Gough (bass violin), Karl Dexter (organ) Recorded St.Bartholomews, Orford 1995 REGIS RRC 1045 [53:52] [GPJ]

Singing ‘well-mannered’, not bloodless, and instrumental support, though inconspicuous, always stylish. A fine issue. … see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Violin Concerto, Op. 14 (1941) Souvenirs Ballet Suite, Op. 28, (1952) Serenade for Strings, Op. 1 (1928) Music for a Scene from Shelley, Op. 7 (1935). James Buswell (violin), Royal Scottish National Orchestra Marin Alsop recorded 27/1/01 (Violin Concerto), 11-12/5/00 (Souvenirs), 3-4/5/00 (remainder) in the Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow. DDD NAXOS 8.559044 [64.20] [JP]

I am happy to recommend this disc wholeheartedly except for the minor niggle about the tone of the violin in the concerto. see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto in D major, Opus 61 Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto in E minor, Opus 64 - Monica Huggett (violin) Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Sir Charles Mackerras. Rec 24-25 Nov 1992, Henry Wood Hall, Southwark (Beethoven), 20-21 Oct 1992, Blackheath Concert Halls (Mendelssohn) CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE CFP 5 74878 2 [66.16] [TB]

Although one would hesitate to recommend this as a first choice recording, the performances do have many insights and abundant interest. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.5 in c minor op.67 (1804-8)
Symphony No.6 in F op.68 "Pastoral" (1808) Overtures Coriolan, Egmont, Prometheus, Leonore III, Consecration of The House Pro Musica Symphony, Vienna/Jascha Horenstein
(Mono recordings made between 1953 and 1958) VOX LEGENDS VOX2 7808 2 CDs [122.55] Superbudget

A fine collection of performances showing Horenstein’s Beethoven credentials very well indeed. Full of insights and interest and well worth investigating. … see Full Review

LEOPOLD STOKOWSKI Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No 6 Pastoral Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major K297b Marcel Tabuteau, oboe Bernard Portnoy, clarinet Sol Schoenbach, bassoon Mason Jones, horn Philadelphia Orchestra (Mozart) New York City Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven) Cond: Stokowski Recorded 1940 (Mozart) 1945 (Beethoven) CALA CACD 0523 [76.22] [JW]

Here’s one in the eye for those who think Stokowski was an inferior conductor of Mozart and Beethoven. … see Full Review

Maksym BEREZOVSKY (c1745-1777) Ukrainian Sacred Music Volume 1 Liturgy, Eucharistic Verses, Choral Concert – Let the Lord enthrone Vidrodzhennya Chamber Choir Mstyslav Yurchenko, Choirmaster Recorded Refectory Church of Kyiv 2000 CLAUDIO CB 4730-2 [63.39] [JW]

A revealing disc. A pity there are no texts. … see Full Review

Charles Auguste de BÉRIOT (1802-1870) Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op.16 Military Allegro moderato - Concerto No. 8 in D Major, Op.99 Allegro maestoso - Andantino Rondo - Concerto No. 9 in A Minor, Op.104 Allegro maestoso - Adagio Rondo: Allegretto moderato - Takako Nishizaki (violin) RTBF Orchestra/Alfred Walter - Rec. Maison de la Radio, Brussels, 1986 MARCO POLO 8.220440 [50.05] [RW]

The recording is well balanced with the violin forwardly placed to maximise the gifted playing and good tone of the instrument. The orchestra's support with warm ambience is delightful. … see Full Review

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Jeremiah (Symphony No 1) * The Age of Anxiety (Symphony No 2) + Divertimento Michelle DeYoung (mezzo-soprano) * James Tocco (piano) + BBC Symphony Orchestra Leonard Slatkin conductor Recorded Colosseum, Watford October 2000 CHANDOS CHAN 9889 [79.13] [JW]

This disc in excellent sound is a worthy alternative to the composer’s own. … see Full Listing

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Morning Heroes, Investiture Antiphonal Fanfare, Prayer of St Francis of Assisi, Brian Blessed (orator) East London Chorus, Harlow Chorus, Hertfordshire Chorus London Philharmonic Orchestra Michael Kibblewhite Rec 17-17 Nov 1991 & 26 Jan 1992, All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London CALA CACD 1010 [64.40] [TB]

A distinguished disc, which does credit to all concerned. see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Sextets: No. 1 in B flat, op. 18, no. 2 in G, op. 36 Yehudi Menuhin, Robert Masters (violin), Cecil Aronowitz, Ernst Wallfisch (viola), Maurice Gendron, Derek Simpson (violoncellos) - Recorded Sep. 1963, Dec. 1964, No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London EMI CLASSICS CDE 5 74957 2 [75.02] [CH]

The quite wonderful playing of no. 1, in particular, makes this an essential disc. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833 – 1897) Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73 Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98 Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam – Willem Mengelberg recorded 4/4/40 and 30/11/38, in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Holland. ADD NAXOS Historical 8.110158 [77.38] [JP]

Both of the Brahms symphonies recorded here are exciting in the extreme, with a warmth to the playing which transcends the recording quality. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No 2 in D major, Op.73* [37.07] Symphony No 4 in E minor, Op. 98** [40.32] Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam conducted by Willem Mengelberg Recorded in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on *April 4, 1940 and ** November 30, 1938 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110158 [JQ]

A disc that will not only be attractive to seasoned collectors of historic recordings but which should encourage others to dip their toes in the water: they will not regret doing so. see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Cello Sonata in E minor, Opus 38 Cello Sonata in F major, Opus 99 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Fantasiestücke, Opus 73 Arto Noras (cello) Juhani Lagerspetz (piano) Rec April 1996, Järvenpää Hall, Finland APEX 09274 05982 [66.16] [TB]

Noras and Lagerspetz respond sensitively- their performances deeply felt. Interpretations highly enjoyable. see Full Review

Leo BROUWER Music for Guitar Vol. 2 El Decamerón Negro, Preludios, Epigramáticos, Canticum, La Espiral eternal, Parabola, Tarantos, Variations on a Theme of Django Reinhardt, Paisaje cubano con tristeza Elena Papandreou – Guitar NAXOS 8.554553 [73:13][AD]

While it is doubtful this music will have a wide appeal, for enthusiasts of Leo Brouwer I would say this CD is invaluable. … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No.3 in D minor (Edition of 1877 with additions from 1889) Philharmonia Orchestra/Lovro Von Matacic (Recorded at a Promenade Concert, Royal Albert Hall, London, 23rd July 1983) BBC Legends BBCL 4079-2 [59.26] [TD]

A real gem from the archives giving us a fine performance of a problematic work in excellent sound. … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No.4 in E Flat "Romantic" (1874) (Nowak edition) Hallé Orchestra/Zdenek Mácal (Recorded in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, April 1984.) Classics for Pleasure 5 74942 2 [67.58] [TD]

Bruckner with a Manchester accent and none the worse for that. … see Full Review

SERGIU CELIBIDACHE AND BRUCKNER’S MASS IN F MINOR: A FILM BY JAN SCHMIDT-GARRE Margaret Price (sop) Doris Soffel (alto) Peter Straka (tenor) Matthias Holle (bass) Hans Sotin (bass) Münchner Philharmoniker conductor Sergiu Celibidache
Recorded 1993 in Munich and St Florian. ARTHAUS DVD 100 250, 60 min, region code 0. [MB]

Of interest only to people who have a fascination with the art of music making – or Celibidache himself. … see Full Review

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Piano Music, Vol. 2 J. S. Bach (transcribed Busoni): Chaconne for solo violin, B24, Etude en forme de variations, op. 17, K206, Variations on "Kommt ein Vogel geflogen", K222, Theme and Variations in C, K. 6, Inno Variations, K16, Variations and Fugue on Chopin’s Prelude in C minor, op. 22, K.213 Wolf Harden (pianoforte) Recorded 21-22.12.2000, St. Martin’s Church, East Woodhay, Hampshire (UK) NAXOS 8.555699 [68.55] [CH}

An interesting disc of early and very-early works in dedicated performances and rich sound, well worth having at the Naxos price. ...see Full Listing

 

[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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