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RECORDING OF THE MONTH - Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Henry Clifford - opera in three acts (1893-95) Aquiles Machado (Henry Clifford); Alessandra Marc (Lady Clifford); Carlos Álvarez (Sir John Saint John); Jane Henschel (Lady Saint John); Ana Maria Martínez (Annie Saint John); Christian Immler (Colin); Ángel Rodríguez (Messenger) - Escolanía de la Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos - Madrid Symphony Chorus and Orchestra/José de Eusebio - Rec. Madrid, 2003. DDD DECCA 473 937-2 [2CDs: 67: 08+72:29=139:37] [LF]

Recommended for explorers, for dipping, and for good conservatoire opera courses looking for a vivid unfamiliar score to get their teeth into. … see Full Review

Johann Christian BACH (1735 - 1782) Sonata Op 15 #5 for two keyboards in G (1778) [12.08] - Sonata Op 15 #6 for two keyboards in C (1778) [13.33] - Sonata Op 18 #5 for two keyboards in A (1780) [12.36] - Sonata Op 18 #6 for two keyboards in F (1780) [11.28] Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst BACH (1759 - 1845) Sonata for Piano four hands in C [6.01] - Duet #1 for Piano four hands in D [9.49] - Duet #2 for Piano four hands in G [9.08] [Aglika] Genova and [Liuben] Dimitrov piano duo - Recorded at Hans Rosbaud Studio, Baden-Baden, Germany, 11 September 2001 - Notes in Deutsch, English and Français CPO 999 848-2 [75.53] [PS]

Excellent performances of familiar pre-classical keyboard works … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Keyboard Concerto #3, BWV 1054 (1738) [15.44] - Keyboard Concerto #5, BWV 1056 (1738) [9.17] - Keyboard Concerto #6, BWV 1057 (1738) [15.39] - Keyboard Concerto #7, BWV 1058 (1738) [13.19] Murray Perahia, Steinway piano #539525, and conducting the Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields - David Miller, Lute continuo; Michael Cox, Leonore Smith, flutes - Piano technician, Ulrich Gerhartz - Recorded at Air Studios, Lindhurst Hall, London, UK, May 13 2001 2.0 stereo only Notes in English, Deutsch, Français Photo of artist SUPER AUDIO CD (PLAYABLE ONLY ON SACD PLAYERS) SONY SACD SS 89690 [54.02] [PS]

Superb, lyrical performances of these familiar keyboard concertos in stunningly rich and clear sound. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) French Overture and French Suites French Overture BWV 831 (?date) [31:30] - French Suites (c.1722) - No.1 in D Minor BWV 812 [15:05] - No.2 in C Minor BWV 813 [15:18] - No.3 in B Minor BWV 814 [16:10] - No.4 in E Flat BWV 815 [14:16] - No.5 in G BWV 816 [17:38] - No.6 in E BWV 817 [17:07] - Prelude and Fugue in A Minor BWV 894 [10:57] Paul Parsons: harpsichord - Rec. North Transept, Priory Church of Our Lady and St.Cuthbert, Worksop, England, March 2001 GUILD GMCD 7258/9 [2:18:42] [SA]

Refined playing of these brilliant works makes this a set that will please all lovers of the harpsichord. … see Full Review

  Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Bach Festival – Prades 1950 The Brandenburg Concertos No. 1 in F major - No. 2 in F major - No. 3 in G major - No. 4 in G major - No. 5 in D major - No. 6 in B flat minor - Das Musikalische Opfer [The Musical Offering] - Sonata a tre voci in C minor - Ricercare a sei voci The Prades Festival Orchestra conducted by Pablo Casals (The Brandenburg Concertos) Soloists - Alexander Schneider (violin), Laila Thevet and G Coursier (horns), Marcel Tabuteau, L Storch and John Mack (oboes) M Allard (bassoon) in No. 1 - Alexander Schneider (violin), Marcel Mule (saxophone), John Wummer (flute), Marcel Tabuteau (oboe) and Paul Tortelier (cello) in No. 2 - Alexander Schneider (violin), John Wummer and Bernard Goldberg (flutes) in No. 4 - Eugene Istomin (piano), Joseph Szigeti (violin) and John Wummer (flute) in No. 5 - Leopold Mannes (piano) (Das Musikalische Opfer) - Alexander Schneider (violin), John Wummer (flute), Leopold Teraspusky (cello) and Leopold Mannes (piano) (Sonata a tre voci in C minor) - Alexander Schneider and Orrea Pernel (violins), Milton Thomas and Karen Tuttle (violas), Leopold Teraspusky (cello) and Daniel Saidenburg (cellos) and June Rotenburg (double-bass) - Recorded, Prades, June 1950 PEARL GEMS 0200 [2 CDs: 137.46] [JW]

Weighty and idiosyncratic, these Brandenburg Concertos are complexly moving documents … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas for solo violin No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001 - No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003 - No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005 James Greening-Valenzuela (violin) - Recorded December 2002 at Holdcraft Studios, Pleasant Hill, California, USA CON BRIO CBR-231 [no timings given] [RBr]

Not my choice for this inexhaustible music but makes for interesting comparisons with more historically based performances. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sounds of Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565 - 1.Toccata [2.41] - 2. Fugue [6.14] - Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier BWV 731 [2.31] - 4. Chorale [1.14] - Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott BWV 720 [3.20] - Pedalexercitium in G minor BWV 598 [1.52] - Fantasia and Fugue in G minor BWV 542 - 7. Fantasia [5.46] - 8. Fugue [5.59] - Vater unser im Himmelreich BWV 737 [2.15] - O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig [2.29] - 11. Chorale [1.58] - Prelude, Trio and Fugue in C major BWV 545 and 529 - 12. Prelude [1.47] - 13. Trio [5.23] - 14. Fugue [3.38] - Pastorella in F major BWV 590 (Tamburini Organ) - 15. Pastorella [2.27] - 16. Allemanda [2.20] - 17. Aria [2.39] - 18. Giga [3.12] - Von Himmel hoch da komm ich her BWV 738 (Tambourini Organ) [1.16] - Herzlich tut mich verlangen BWV 727 [2.21] - Fantasia in G major (Pièce d’orgue) BWV 572 - 21. Très vitement [1.40] - 22. Gravement [5.41] - 23. Lentement [1.45] Terence Charlston (Organ) - Organs by: K. Tickell and Co, Northampton, 1994 and G. Tamburini, Crema, 1978 - Recorded in Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Reading, England on 16-17September 2002 LAMMAS RECORDS LAMM 150D [70.37] [CAnt]

This CD is of highly demonstrative quality. You need to buy it now … … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Brandenburg Concerto #3, BWV 1048 (1721) [12.27] - Brandenburg Concerto #5, BWV 1050 (1721) [21.53] - Suite #3 in D, BWV 1068 (1727?): #2, Air ("on the G String") [5.33] Nicolae Licaret, harpsichord - Soloists from the "George Enescu" Philharmonic Orchestra - Christian Mandeal, conductor - Recorded at the Atheneum, Bucharest, Romania, 31 August 2001. Four audio tracks: MLP 5.1 Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 "Audience" Mix; DTS "Stage" Mix, PCM Stereo - Technical notes in English. No photos or comments on the music or performers - - Mark Waldrep, producer, recording and mastering engineer, and artistic direction - playable on DVD players and DVD Audio players. Not playable on CD players AIX IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT DVD AUDIO/VIDEO 1338 AX [39.53] [PS]

An overwhelming experience to a Bach lover. If you don’t have a DVD or DVD-Audio player go out and buy one just to hear this disk … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas for Alto - Cantata 35, Geist und Seele wird verwirret, BWV 35 - Cantata 82, Ich habe genug, BWV 82 - Cantata 53, Schlage doch, gewunschte Stunde, BWV 53 (spurious) René Jacobs, alto - Ensemble 415/Chiara Banchini - Rec: September 1987, Saint-Martin-du Méjan, Arles, France HARMONIA MUNDI HMA 1951273 [59.03] [KM]

A disappointing recording, but a curiosity … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantata No. 65, Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen, BWV 65 Cantata No. 81, Jesus schläft, was soll ich hoffen, BWV 81 Cantata No. 83, Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde, BWV 83 Cantata No. 190, Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 190 Robin Blaze, counter-tenor James Gilchrist, tenor Peter Kooij, bass Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki Rec: February 2002, Kobe Shino Women’s University, Japan Cantatas vol. 21 BIS CD-1311 [69.32] [KM]

Yet again, a fine recording of Bach cantatas from Maasaki Suzuki … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) and Anton WEBERN (1883 - 1945) BACH/WEBERN Ricercar WEBERN: Streichquartett (1905), version for chamber orchestra BACH: Cantata No. 4 "Christ lag in Todesbanden" BWV 4 WEBERN: Fünf Sätze op. 5, version for string orchestra BACH/WEBERN: Ricercar The Hilliard Ensemble Münchener Kammerorchester/Christoph Poppen Rec: January 2001, Himmelfahrtskirche Sendling, Munich ECM NEW SERIES 1774 [69.06] [KM]

A curious disc, featuring a unique performance of a Bach cantata in one-voice-per-part … see Full Review

Ernst BACON (1898-1990) Violin Sonata (1983) [24’50]. David DIAMOND (b. 1915) Chaconne for Violin and Piano (1948) [15’49] James Greening-Valenzuela (violin); John Walker (piano) CON BRIO RECORDINGS CBR234 [39’49] [CC]

Works in an immediately approachable idiom … most appealing. Despite short playing time a fascinating disc, especially for the Diamond. … see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Overture, Elegy and Rondo (1927) [23.44] - Sinfonietta (1932) [22.00] Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth - rec. Concert Hall, Slovak Philharmonic, Bratislava, 8-12 June 1987 NAXOS 8.555109 [45.44] [RB]

Not the place to start your Bax exploration but two peripheral quasi-symphonic works crackingly performed and audaciously recorded. ... see Full Review

Amy BEACH (1867-1944) Piano Concerto in C-sharp minor, Op. 45 (1898-99) [36:40] - Symphony in E minor, Op. 32 "Gaelic" (1894-96) [42:19] Alan Feinberg, piano - Nashville Symphony Orchestra - Kenneth Schermerhorn - Recorded at Andrew Jackson Hall of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, 13-15 April, 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.559139 [79:02] [KS]

Recommended only for the deserved attention of the repertoire. … see Full Review

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trio No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 1/1 - Piano Trio No. 2 in G major, Op. 1/2 - Piano Trio No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 11 Gassenhauertrio Trio Fontenay - Recorded at Teldec Studio, Berlin, Germany, March 1991 (Op.1 /1), December 1991 (Op.1 /2) and June 1992 (Op.11) DDD WARNER CLASSICS APEX 2564 60364 2 [73:35] [MC]

Well played performances but cannot compete with the Beaux Arts who impart far more depth and insight. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Symphony No. 4 in B Flat Major, Op. 60 (1806) - Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 67 (1812) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Claudio Abbado - Directed by Bob Cole - recorded in February 2001 live at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome DVD TDK10 5117-9 DV BPAB 47 [107 mins] [JP]

A wonderful rapport with his orchestra, clearly thoroughly enjoying himself, edge of the seat playing and complete commitment … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN Beethoven Explored, Vol.1 (1770-1827) Sonata in G major Op.96 [26.58] - Rondo in G major WoO 41 [5.12] - 12 Variations in F major Se vuol ballare (Mozart) WoO 40 [11.18] - Erherzog Rudolph: Variations in F major (1810)on a Minuetto (Prince Ferdinand] (18.54) Peter Sheppard Skaerved (violin); Aaron Shorr (piano) - Recorded in St. John’s Smith Square, London, October 2000 and February 2001 METIER MSV CD2003 [62.22] [RBr]

A highly desirable addition to any Beethoven archive. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.3 Eroica in E flat, Op.55 (1803) [46’55]. Recorded 1954 - Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67 (1807) [31’15] Recorded 1955 - Symphony No.6 Pastoral in F, Op.68 (1808) [40’46] Recorded 1961 - Symphony No.7 in A, Op.92 (1812) [42’34] Recorded 1959 Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner RCA RED SEAL ARTISTES ET REPERTOIRES 74321 88681-2 [2CDs: 78.10+83.10] [JPo]

In Eroica Reiner is in his element; full of power, hard driven very exciting , but not so hard as to be unacceptable. Seventh: the other big success of these performances. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 (1808) [37’11];Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68, Pastoral (1808) [39’48]. Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt Rec. Lukaskirche, Dresden, 1977. ADD BRILLIANT CLASSICS - CLASSIC COLLECTION 99868 [78’49] [CC]

Definitely not recommended. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies: 1 in C, op. 21, 2 in D, op. 36, 3 in E flat, op. 55 – "Eroica", 4 in B flat, op. 60, 5 in c, op. 67, 6 in F, op. 68 – "Pastoral", 7 in A, op. 92, 8 in F, op. 93, 9 in d, op. 125 – "Choral"* *Charlotte Margiono (soprano), Birgit Remmert (contralto), Rudolf Schasching (tenor), Robert Holl (bass), Arnold Schoenberg Choir Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt Recorded live, June 29th 1990 (4, 5), July 1st 1990 (8, 6), July 3rd 1990 (1, 3), July 5th (2, 7), June 21 1991 (9) in the Stefaniensaal, Graz TELDEC CLASSICS 0927 49768-2 [5 CDs: 74:52, 71:18, 70:31, 74:43, 66:44] [CH]

Not a cycle I can recommend in its entirety. No. 5 is very fine and the Pastoral is sublime. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Music for Cello and Piano, Volume 2 Variations (12) in F on "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen" from Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte, Op.66 (1796) Sonata in E flat major for cello and piano, Op.64 (Arrangement of String Trio, Op.3) Sonata No.3 in A major for cello and piano, Op.69 (1807-08) Maria Kliegel, cello Nina Tichman, piano Recorded Clara Wieck Auditorium, December 2001 NAXOS 8.555786 [77:09] [DS]

Once Kliegel and Tichman have fully traversed the music for cello and piano, their recordings will likely be among the best on record. … see Full Review

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801 – 1835) I Puritani - Melodramma serio in three parts Elvira Valton…Stefania Bonfadelli (soprano) Lord Arturo Talbo…Stefano Secco (tenor) Sir Riccardo Forth…Vladimir Chernov (baritone) Sir Giorgio…Michele Pertusi (bass) Enrichetta di Francia…Annamaria Popescu (mezzo-soprano) Lord Gualtiero Valton…Angelo Nardinocchi (bass) Sir Bruno Roberton…Mario Bolognesi (tenor) Coro del Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania / Tiziana Carlini Orchestra del Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania/Kuhn Recorded at Catania, 17/22/26/28 April 2001 DDD ARTE NOVA CLASSICS 74321 87081 2 [3CDs 61.31+66.15+38.23] [RMK]

A disappointing recording which does not merit inclusion in your collection. … see Full Review

Jirí Antonín BENDA (1722 - 1795) Harpsichord Sonatas Tamara Franzová, 2 manual harpsichord by Sheer & Vogel after Stehlin 1760 Notes in English, German, French, and Czech. Photos of the composer, artist, and harpsichord. Recorded at Domovina Studio, Prague, Czech Republic, 16 April 1999 SUPRAPHON SU 3745-2 131 [73.16] [PS]

Ingratiating keyboard music from the very interesting Pre-Classical period, very sympathetically played … see Full Review

Neils Viggo BENTZON (1919-2000) Chôro Daniensis * Op. 548 (1990) [7.31] - September Moods 1-6 (1997) [15.34] - Six Variations over an Original Theme Op. 17 (1942) [9.03] - Pyramid * Op. 572 (1993) [5.19] - Cabaret Voltaire - Three Dadaistic Studies for tenor and guitar * Op. 551 (1990) [5.43] - Mosaïque Musicale Op. 54 (1950) [11.57] - Violin Sonata No. 1 Op. 4 (1939) [6.09] - Tsetse Fly * Op. 604 (1995) [5..45] Niels Viggo Bentzon (piano) - Jan Lund (tenor) - Ricardo Odriozola (violin) - Ensemble Nord (works written for them indicated *) :Karen Skriver (fl) - Peter Lindegaard (cl) - Otto Aandersson (vc) - Curt Kollavik-Jensen (guitar) - Torsten Folke Pedersen (perc) - Sven Birch (pf) - Ricardo Odrizola (vn) - Jan Lund (ten) - composer (piano) - rec 1997 DDD KONTRAPUNKT 32265 [66.46] [RB]

Quirky, piercing, regretful (deliciously so at 8.23) and capricious. ... see Full Review

Neils Viggo BENTZON (1919-2000) Piano Works: Partita Op. 38 (1945) [20.50]; Sonata No. 7 Op. 121 (1959) [13.51]; Woodcuts Op. 65 (1951) [17.48]; Hoffmann Sonata Op. 248 (1969) [17.14] Per Salo (piano) rec. Feb 1992. DDD KONTRAPUNKT 32111 [70.07] [RB]

Bentzon - one of the giants of the twentieth century piano repertoire brilliantly represented by Per Salo ... see Full Review

Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989)A Centenary Tribute Sonatina for Piano Duet, Op. 39 (1954) [8’03]. Diversions, Op. 63 (1964) [17’54]. Sextet, Op. 47 (1955) [16’42]. Oboe Quartet, Op. 70)1967) [14’38]. Palm Court Waltz, Op. 81 No. 2 [3’17]. The Nash Ensemble (Gareth Hulse, oboe; Michael Collins, clarinet; Brian Wightman, bassoon; John Pigneguy, horn; Marcia Crayford, Ruth Crouch, violins; Roger Chase, viola; Christopher van Kampen, cello; Ian Brown, piano) with Kathryn Stott (piano)Rec. June 13th-14th, 1983, location unspecified. AAD HYPERION HELIOS CDH55135 [61’47] [CC]

This is a disc that will yield many pleasures. … see Full Review

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) West Side Story ( 1957) Lyrics (Stephen Sondheim); Story (Arthur Laurents) Barbara Bonney (Maria) Michael Ball (Tony) La Verne Williams (Anita) Christopher Howard (Riff) Mary Carewe (Rosalia) Jenny O’Grady (Francisca) Lee Gibson (Consuela) Derek Chessor (Action) Lindsay Benson (Diesel) James Graeme (A-Rab) Andrew Busher (Baby John) Michael Pearn (Bernardo) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth Recorded at Angel Studios, London, Jan 1993, DDD WARNER CLASSICS 2564 60423-2 [71:48] [MC]

Thoroughly committed and enjoyable performances from all concerned in Bernstein’s masterwork. … see Full Review

Heinrich BIBER (1644-1704) Sonatas for Strings from "Sonatae tam Aris quam Aulis servientes" (1676) "Die Pauernkirchfahrt" ("the peasants’ church procession") Sonata V a sei in E Minor [5:41] - Sonata IX a cinque in B-flat [5:44] - Sonata a sei in B-flat "Die Pauernkirchfahrt" [6:27] - Anonymous keyboard partite in D Minor (from the Göttweig manuscript) [11:04] - Sonata XI a cinque in A [4:08] - Sonata VIII a cinque in G [6:27] - Anonymous keyboard partite in G (from the Göttweig manuscript) [8:51] - Sonata VI a cinque in F [4:56] - Sonata III a sei in G Minor [5:54] - Sonata II a sei in D [4:21] Ingrid Matthews, David Greenberg, violins - Stephen Cresswell, violin and viola - Mary Manning, Kim Zabelle, violas - Margriet Tindemans, viola da gamba - John Schneiderman, archlute and baroque guitar - Byron Schenkman, harpsichord - Seattle Baroque /Ingrid Matthews (Music Director) - Byron Schenkman (Artistic Director) - Recorded 26-28 March 2001 at Benaroya Hall, Seattle, USA. DDD CENTAUR CRC 2615 [64:55] [PB]

Some of Biber’s finest ensemble music, engagingly played and warmly recommended … see Full Review

Hildegard Von BINGEN (1098 - 1179) ‘Songs of Ecstacy’ CD 1: ‘’Voice of the blood’ O nubor sanguinis [02:01] - Favus distillans [08:29] - Laus trinitati [01:36] - In matutinis laudibus [09:53] - O ecclesia [07:56] - Instrumental piece [06:33] - O aeterne deus [02:12] - O dulcissime amator [06:46] - Rex noster promptus est [06:25] - O cruor sanguinis [01:35] - Cum vox sanguinis [06:31] - Instrumental piece [02:59] - O virgo ecclesia (instrumental) [07:48] - Nunc gaudeant materna [02:26] - O orchis ecclesia [03:36] - CD 2: ‘O Jerusalem’ O Jerusalem [10:26] - Qui felix pueritia – magnifica [05:27] - O felix apparitio [02:43] - O beatissime ruperte [02:23] - Instrumental piece [05:46] - O tu illustrata [07:46] - Cum erubuerint [02:49] - O frondens virga – gloria patri; Ave generosa [05:55] - O quam preciosa [07:05] - O ignee spiritus [06:49] -Instrumental piece [05:41] - O quam magnum miraculum est [04:44] Sequentia, Ensemble for medieval music: (Vox feminae) Barbara Thornton (dir), Gundula Anders, Pamela Dellal, Elizabeth Glen, Heather Knutson, Nancy Mayer, Lucia Pahn, Consuelo Sañudo, Carol Schlaikjer, Janet Youngdahl - (Sons of Thunder) Benjamin Bagby (dir), Stephen Grant, Peter Halpern, Eric Mentzel, Peter Schmitz, Bernhard Schneider - (Instrumental ensemble) Elizabeth Gaver (medieval fiddles), Benjamin Bagby (medieval harp, portative organ, organistrum), Joachim Kühn (organistrum, symphonia), Na'ama Lion (medieval flute), Barbara Thornton, positive organ recorded in October and November 1994 (CD 1) - October 1995 at St Panthaleon in Cologne (CD 2) RCA RED SEAL 47321 886 892 [2CDs: 76:55 + 67:30] [JvV]

Some of the best recordings of works by Hildegard of Bingen are reissued here in a budget series: if you don’t have them already, don’t miss them! … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Chants du Rhin Nocturne (médit) Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849) Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11 (piano and string quintet version) * Grande Valse Brillante in E flat major, Op.18 Mazurka in A flat major, Op.17, no.3 Mazurka in A minor, Op.17, no.4 Mazurka in C major, Op.24, no.2 Fantaisie in F minor, Op.49 Nocturne in D flat major, Op.27, no.2 Scherzo No.2 in B minor, Op.31 Prélude No.17 in A flat major, Op.28 Prélude No.22 in G minor, Op.28 Ballade No.3 in E flat major, Op.47 Nocturne in B major, Op.62, no.1 Étude in C minor, Op.10, no.12 Prélude No.7 in A major, Op.28 Jean-Marc Luisada, piano Benjamin Berlioz, double-bass * Talich Quartet * recording dates and locations not specified Artistes + Répertoires series BMG FRANCE/RCA 74321 886782 [2CDs: 144:32] [DS]

Highly individualized performances … essential … intimacy, exploration, improvisation and articulation … one of the great Chopin recordings … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Mewton-Wood plays Twentieth Century Piano Concertos Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Piano Concerto (1938-39) [37.36] Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Concerto for piano and wind instruments (1924) [20.06] Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Concerto for piano, trumpet and strings Op. 35 (1933) [21.08] Noel Mewton-Wood (piano) Harry Sevenstern (trumpet) (Shostakovich) Utrecht Symphony Orchestra (Bliss); Residentie Orchestra, The Hague (Stravinsky); Concert Hall Symphony Orchestra Walter Goehr (conductor) rec. 1952 (Bliss, Stravinsky); 1953 (Shostakovich). mono. ADD Transferred by Bryan Crimp from LPs drawn from the collection of Robert Milnes Financial assistance from the Bliss Trust Originally issued as Concert Hall LPs: CHS1167 (Bliss); CHS1160 (Stravinsky); CHSH4 (Shostakovich) BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY HISTORIC BMS101CDH [79.00] [JQ]

I strongly recommend this disc and hope that through it many more people will get an opportunity to sample the phenomenon that was Noel Mewton-Wood. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor, Op.15 (1854-58) Four Ballades, Op.10 (1854) Rudolf Buchbinder (piano) Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Nikolaus Harnoncourt Recorded live in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, October 1999 (Concerto) and Teldec Studio, Berlin, March 2000 (Ballades) WARNER APEX 2564 60371 2 [75’30] [TH]

Rest assured you will get musicianship of a thrilling order. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Fest- und Gedenksprüche, Op. 109 [10’06]. Motetten, Op. 110 [9’39].Anton BRUCKNER (1833-1896)Locus iste [3’02]. Os justi [4’40]. Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Ave Maria in B [5’29]. Ave verum corpus [4’17]. Salve Regina [4’54]. In Nativitate Domini ad Matutinam (arr. Huber) [12’12].Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Deutsche Messe, D872 [21’42]. South German Radio Choir, Stuttgart/Rupert Huber HAENSSLER MASTERPIECE COLLECTION CD94.004 [76’01] [CC]

This is a peaceful and beautiful hour and a quarter’s listening … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833 - 1897) Sonata for cello and piano in E, Op 38 (1865) [23.15] Sonata for violin and piano in D, Op 78 (1890s) [28.57] (arr. Markson/Osorio) Sonata for cello and piano in F, Op 100 (1886) [27.16] Richard Markson, cello; Jorge Federico Osorio, piano Notes in English. Recorded at St Paul’s Boys’ School, London, UK, May 2001 REGIS RRC 1098 [79.32] [PSh]

As good a performance and recording of this magnificent music as you’ll ever hear. If you have them all, you need this one, too. If you don’t have any, you can’t do any better … see Full Review

Johann Evangelist BRANDL (1760-1837) Quintets Vol. 2 Quintet in F major Op.13 (63) for violin, viola, bassoon, cello and piano (1798) [21:03] - Quintet in c major Op.61 for violin, viola, bassoon, cello and piano (1800) [25:27] - Quintet in F major Op.62 for violin, viola, bassoon, cello and piano (circa. 1800) [21:55] Calamus Ensemble: Rainer Schottstadt (bassoon) - Sigrid Althoff (piano) - Torsten Janicke (violin) - Mile Kosi (viola) - Joachim Griesheimer (cello) - Recorded at Furstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen, Germany, 28-30 October 2002 - DDD MUSIK DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG-603-1175-2 [68:53] [MC]

 Melodic, appealing and rewarding Classical piano quintets … predominantly Haydn influenced; with a hint of Mozart. … see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Albert Herring (1947) Albert Herring - Christopher Gillett (ten) - Lady Billows - Josephine Barstow (sop) - Florence Pike - Felicity Palmer (mezzo-sop) - Superintendent Budd - Robert Lloyd (bar) - Vicar, Mr Gedge - Peter Savidge (bar) - Sid - Gerald Finley (bar) - Nancy - Ann Taylor (mezzo-sop) - Mrs Herring - Della Jones (mezzo-sop) - Miss Wordsworth - Susan Gritton (sop) - Mayor, Mr Upfold - Stuart Kale (ten) - Northern Sinfonia /Steuart Bedford - Recorded Newcastle upon Tyne, 1996 NAXOS 8.660107-08 [2CDs: 64:10 + 77:09] [JF]

A great work, well presented and finely recorded. A must for all Britten opera enthusiasts. … see Full Review

Britten, Voice and Piano Lectures on the Vocal Music of Benjamin Britten by Graham Johnson, senior professor of accompaniment, GSAMD Guildhall School of Music and Drama Research Studies 2 ISBN 0-7546-3872-3 Paperback with 2CDs 254pp plus 15pp index; ix pp foreword Co-published by The Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Ashgate Publishing Limited. [RB]

Does Graham Johnson ever sleep, I wonder? An invaluable further addition to the Britten library. ... see Full Review

Leo BROUWER (1939-) Guitar music Volume 3 Sonata (1990) (15.32) Latin American Pieces (3) (11.44) Hika (7.24) Suite #2 (6.14) An Idea ‘Passacaglia for Eli’ (2.52) Paisaje Cubano con campañas (6.25) Rito de los Orishas (15.56) Un dia de Noviembre (4.27) Graham Anthony Devine (guitar) Notes in English, Deutsch, and Français. Recorded St. John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, 24 June 2000 Volume 1:Naxos 8.553630. Volume 2: Naxos 8.554553 NAXOS 8.554195 [70.34] [AD]

A fine disc with masterly playing … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824 - 1896): Masses Mass No.1 in D minor
Isabelle Müller-Kant (soprano) Eibe Möhlmann (mezzo-soprano) Daniel Sans (tenor) Christof Fischesses (bass) Chamber Choir of Europe Württemburgische Philharmonic Reutlingen/Nicol Matt Recorded 20-25 January 2003, Württemberg, Germany Te Deum, Psalm 150, Mass No. 2 in E minor Pamela Coburn (soprano) Ingeborg Danz (alto) Christian Elsner (tenor) Franz-Josef Selig (bass) Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart Bach Collegium Stuttgart/Helmuth Rilling Recorded 7th-9th September 1996, Beethovensaal, Stuttgart Mass No. 3 in F minor Verena Schweizer (soprano) Elisabeth Glauser (alto) Uwe Heilmann (tenor) Matthias Goerne (baritone/bass) Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart/Helmuth Rilling Recorded December 1992, Süddeutscher Rundfunk, Stuttgart. BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92002 [3CDs: 50.38, 76.44, 62.03] [RH]

A useful compendium of Bruckner’s mature masses and the Te Deum, but the performances don’t quite get the best out of these lovely works … see Full Review

Busoni recalled. The 1941 New York commemorative concert Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Idomeneo Overture arranged by Ferruccio Busoni in 1918 Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Indian Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra (1915) Sarabande and Cortège Op 51 (1918-19) Violin Concerto in D Op 35a (1896-97) Josef Szigeti recalls Busoni (from a talk given at Harvard University in 1965) Egon Petri (piano) Josef Szigeti (violin) Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York/Dimitri Mitropoulos Recorded live at Carnegie Hall, New York 28 December 1941 MUSIC AND ARTS CD 1052 [72.49] [JW]

It has a historical frisson, manages to transcend mere associative allegiances and I found it exceptionally persuasive listening. … see Full Review


[Detailed listing (last two days)]
[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]

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