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John ADAMS (b 1947) Fearful Symmetries (1988) ** Chamber Symphony (1992) ** Four songs from I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky (1995) * Song about the bad boys and the news - A sermon on romance - Leila’s song - Earthquake - Christian zeal and Activity (1973) **+ Virginie Pesch (Leila), Odile Fargère (Consuelo) and Emilie Simon (Tiffany) * Emmanuel Djob (David and the Preacher) *+ Ensemble Diagonales * Orchestre Philharmonique de Montpellier ** René Bosc - Recorded in Montpellier between 1996-98 ACTES SUD AD 085 [77.07] [JW]

Prime Adams in fine performances, with eclectic flavouring served up in imaginative and committed performances. … see Full Review

Franco ALFANO (1876-1954) Cyrano de Bergerac - Comédie héroïque en quatre actes (cinq tableaux) (1936) Manuela Uhl (sop) - Roxane Jennifer Arnold (mz) - La Duègne et Soeur Marthe Susanna Bernhard (sop) - Lisa et une soeur Roman Sadnik (ten) - Cyrano Wolfgang Newerla (bar) - De Guiche Simon Pauly (bar) - Carbon, De Valvert, l'officer Espagnol Paul McNamara (ten) - Christian Matthias Kelin (bass-bar) - Ragueneau Bernd Gebhardt (bass-bar) - Le Bret Konstantin Heintel (bar) - Lignière Kiel Opera Chorus Kiel PO/Manuel Frank Deutschland Radio live, Kiel Opera House, 12, 30 May 2002 DDD CPO 999 909-2 [2CD: 121.22] [RB]

Not quite the masterpiece it might have been but an overflowingly opulent lyric tragedy suffused by romantic-impressionism and memorable ideas ... see Full Review

Charles-Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888) Grande Sonate Op. 33 Les Quatre Ages (1848) [43.26] Quatre Etudes from Douze Etudes dans tous les tons mineurs Op. 39 (1850) [26.09] La Chanson de la Folle au bord de la mer from the Préludes Op. 31 (1857) [4.21] Allegro barbaro from Douze Etudes dans tous les tons majeurs Op. 39 (1857) [2.33] Sonatine Op. 61 (1861) [18.16] Trois Grandes Etudes pour les deux mains séparées et réunies Op. 76 (1838) [38.41] Trois Etudes de bravoure Op. 16 (1838) [19.41] Ronald Smith (piano) rec Dec 1973, Jan 1977, March 1971, June 1987, Studio 1, Abbey Road, London. ADD/DDD EMI CLASSICS DOUBLE FFORTE 5 75649 2 [76.57+76.16] [RB]

Smith's Alkan adventures: a delight that he has recorded so much of this composer's music … two and half hours here. ... see Full Review

Claudio Arrau. The Early Years. The Complete Pre-War Recordings. Claudio Arrau (piano) Recorded 1921-39 MARSTON 52023-2 [2 CDs 75.14 and 69.18] [JW]

No Arrau admirer would want to be without it. … see Full Review

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714 - 1788) Concerto in d for flute and strings, Wq 22 (22.22) (1747) Concerto in A for flute and strings, Wq 168 (19.53) (1753) Concerto in G for flute and strings, Wq 169 (24.05) (1755) Jennifer Stinton, flute John Lubbock, Orcherstra of St. John’s, Smith Square Recorded at All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, UK, September 1992 Liner notes in English only REGIS RRC-1117 [66.33] [PS]

A worthy addition to the growing list of fine C.P.E. Bach recordings, worth considering if you do not already own a recording of this music. … see Full Review

JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH (1735-1782) Complete Keyboard Concertos [6 CDs] The Hanover Band Anthony Halstead, harpsichord, pianoforte and direction Rec: 1994 to 1999, Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead, England. CPO 999 930-2 [371.19] [KM]

While the music is not the most interesting, the fine performance and recording make this an interesting set for fans of Mozart and other music of the time… See full review.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1759) Motets - Fürchte dich nicht BWV 228 - Komm, Jesu, komm! BWV 229 - Der Gerechte kommt um BWV deest - Ich lasse dich nicht, Du sengest mich den BWV Anh. 159 - Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf BWV 226 - O Jesu Christ, mein Lebens Licht BWV 118 - Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227 - Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied BWV 225 - Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt BVW Anh. 160 - Lobet den Herrn alle Heiden BWV 230 - Bach Collegium Stuttgart - Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart Helmut Rilling - Rec.: 1990 Stiftskirche at Oberkaufungen. ARTHAUS 101 169 [97 min.] [KM]

A disappointing DVD of Bach's motets, marred by poor sound and flat performances… See Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (1741-42) - Partita No 5 BWV 829 Craig Sheppard (piano) - Recorded live at the Philharmonie, Berlin on 25 April 1999 (Goldberg Variations) and at the Meany Theatre, University of Washington, Seattle, on 26 November 1996 (Partita) AT 00-00341 [64.15] [JW]

Sheppard’s is a Goldberg of colour and animation and it’s one to which I know I shall return. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (1741-42) Jean Louis Steuerman (piano) - Recorded Wathen Hall, St Paul’s School, London December 2001 ACTES SUD AT 34112 [73.12] [JW]

I wish I could be more admiring … he is a notable musician; others may well like his deliberation and concentratedness more than I … see Full Review

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750) - Partitas for Harpsichord - Partita no. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825 - Partita no. 3 in A minor, BWV 827 - Partita no. 4 in D major, BWV 828 - Partita no. 2 in C minor, BWV 826 - Partita no. 5 in G major, BWV 829 - Partita no. 6 in E minor, BWV 830 Masaaki Suzuki, harpsichord - Rec: October 2001, Kobe Shoin Women’s University Chapel BIS CD-1313/1314 [161.20] [KM]

One of the finest harpsichord versions of these works… See Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Brandenburg Concertos Concerto No. 1 in F major BWV 1046 [22:12] Concerto No. 2 in F major BWV 1047 [12:45] Concerto No. 5 in D major BWV 1050 [21:33] Karl Richter and his chamber orchestra Recorded between 1956 and 1958, location unspecified, ADD APEX 0927 48993 2 [56:58] [PB]

For Richter completists only…see Full Review

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750) Italian Concerto in F major BWV971 Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue BWV904 Duet in E minor, BWV802 Duet in F major, BWV803 Duet in G major, BWV804 Duet in A minor, BWV805 French Overture in B minor BWV831 Lucy Carolan, harpsichord Rec: August 2000, St. Paul’s School, Hammersmith, England. SIGNUM SIGCD030 [67.43] [KM]

A disappointing recording by an otherwise promising harpsichordist… See full review.

JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750) The Toccatas [72.09] Ursula Dütschler, harpsichard Rec: November 2000, Maria Minor, Utrecht. CLAVES CD 50-2011 [72.09] [KM]

A fine recording of Bach’s Toccatas, played on an attractive harpsichord… See Full Review.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (1742) The complete 1955 and 1981 Columbia recordings with a third CD containing an August 1982 interview between Gould and Tim Page and out-takes from the 1955 recording. Glenn Gould (piano) Recorded June 1955 and April-May 1981 SONY CLASSICAL LEGACY SM3K87703 [3 CDs: 153.07] [JW]

These discs grant sometimes baffling greatness in Bach interpretation. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Piano Transcriptions - Three Pieces from the Partita No. 3 for Unaccompanied Violin, BWV 1006 - Transcribed and played by Sergei Rachmaninov - Aria (Largo) from Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056 - Transcribed and played by Alfred Cortot. - Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 Transcribed by Carl Tausig, adapted by Emanuel Moór, played by Winifred Christie - 'Sheep may Safely Graze' (Birthday Cantata), BWV 208 - Transcribed by Mary Howe, played by Ethel Bartlett and Rae Robertson. - Fugue in G minor from the Little Organ Book, BWV 578 - Transcribed and played by Olga Samaroff - 'Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn', from Easter Cantata No. 4, BWV 4 - Transcribed by Walter Rummel, played by George Copeland. - 'Sanctify us by Thy Goodness', Chorale from Cantata No. 22, BWV 22 - Transcribed and played by Harriet Cohen. - 'Fervent is my Longing', Organ Chorale Prelude, BWV 727. - Transcribed and played by Alexander Kelberine. - 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' from Cantata No.147 - Transcribed by Myra Hess, played by Walter Gieseking. - Pastorale, from Weihnachts-Oratorium (Christmas Oratorio), BWV 248 - Transcribed by Clarence Lucas, played by Wilhelm Backhaus. - Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 643 - Transcribed by Franz Liszt, played Byron Janis - Toccata in C major (Prelude, Intermezzo and Fugue), BWV 564 - Transcribed by Ferruccio Busoni, played by Artur Rubinstein - recorded 1925-47 NAXOS 8.110658 [67.39] [JW]

Their sensitivity and depth fully deserve to live once again in such glorious company. … see Full Review

J.S. BACH AND CONTEMPORARIES Organ Works by: Johann KRIEGER (1652-1735): 1.Toccata C-dur, 2. Fuga a. Fuga b., 3. Preludio-Ricercar-Fuga-Passacaglia,
(1660-1722): 4. Präludium und Fuge B-dur, 5. Choralvorspiel ‘Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder’, 6. Präludium und Fuge G-dur, 7. Choralvorspiel ‘Auf meinen lieben Gott’, 8. Toccata A-dur, J.S.BACH (1685-1750): Orgelchörale aus der Rudorff-Sammlung:9. Herzlich tut mich verlangen BWV Anh. II 47/Anh III 172 von Johann Peter Kellner, 10. Herr Jesu Christ, wahr Mensh und Gott, 11. Herr Jesu Christ, wahr Mensch und Gott, 12. Es spricht der Unweisen Mund, 13. Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, 14.Ach was ist doch unser Leben, BWV 743 (Variante): variatio 1-variatio 2, 15. Partita: Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen, Johann Friedrich FASCH (1688-1758): Triosonate c-moll: 16. largo, 17. Allegro un poco, 18. Largo, 19. Allegro, Johann Christoph ALTNICKOL (1719-1759): 20. Ricercar C-dur. Luc Ponet, Organist Organ by: Thomas, 1996, Abbey Church, Leffe, Belgium. Recorded: 27-28 May 1997 at Abbey Church, Leffe, Belgium. PAVANE ADW 7413 [72’35] [ChA]

The drive and excitement of the performances earn this recording a strong recommendation. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ Works Vol. 13 Third Part of the Clavier Übung (pub. 1739)
Praeludium in E flat BWV 552/1 [9:15] Chorale Preludes with pedal: Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigweit BWV 669 [4:19] Christe, aller Welt Trost BWV 670 [6:01] Kyrie, Gott heiliger Geist BWV 671 [5:25] Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr BWV 676 [5:53] Dies sind die heilgen zehn Gebot BWV 678 [6:13] Wir glauben all an einem Gott BWV 680 [3:16] Vater unser im Himmelreich BWV 682 [12:19] Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam BWV 684 [4:21] Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir BWV 686 [6:19] Jesus Christ, unser Heiland BWV 689 [3:58] Fugue in E flat BWV 552/2 [7:09] Gerhard Weinberger (organ) Recorded October 2001 on the Christoph Treutmann organ (built 1734-1737) at the Monastery Grauhof (near Goslar) CPO 999 867-2 [72:02] [CH]

Despite some successes and a very fine instrument there is too much that is heavy and plodding for a strong recommendation … see Full Review

Walter BAER (b.1928) - The Sunpainter's Delight - Passagen I (1996) - Passagen II (1997) - Passagen III (1998) - Erscheinungen (2000) - Sequenzen für Klavier (1968) - Zwei Klavierstücke (1968) Andrew Zolinsky, piano - Recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk, December 2001 GUILD GMCD 7241 [71:13] [NH]

Piano music from Switzerland that is interesting but ultimately lacking in individuality … See Full Review

Granville BANTOCK (1868-1946) Songs from the Chinese Poets (1917-33): A Feast of Lanterns (Yuan Mei) (1917); The Ghost Road (Tu Fu); A Dream of Spring (Ts'En Ts'An); Adrift (Li Po); Desolation (Kao-Shih). Captain Harry Morgan (John Marley) (1928) Jester Songs (Helen Bantock): In Tyme of Olde; Serenade (1921) Drinking Song: Hafiz to the Sultan Timour (Helen Bantock) Celtic Songs (Fiona Macleod): At the rising of the moon; In the hollow of quiet places The Singer in the Woods (Fiona Macleod) (1920) Song to the Seals (Harold Boulton) (1920) Ghazals of Hafiz (translated Sir Edwin Arnold): Álá ya! Send the Cup Round; Oh! Glory of Full-mooned Fairness (1907) Pippa Passes (Browning) (1922) A Woman's Last Words (Browning) (1922) I Go to Prove my Soul (Browning) (1922) Invocation to the Nile (Helen Bantock) The Moon Maiden's Song (Dowson) (1921) The Bluebell Wood (Alfred Hayes) (1919) Ozymandias (Shelley) (1924) Jean Rigby (mezzo) Peter Savidge (bar) David Owen Norris (piano) rec. 1-3 Sept 2001, Henry Wood Hall, London. DDD DUTTON CDLX 7121 [77.19] [RB]

A fulsome collection of unrestrainedly romantic songs often the equal of Strauss, Korngold and Zemlinsky. ... see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1960-62) [27:05] Die Natali, opus 37 (1960) [17:00] Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance (1955) [12:41] Commando March (1943) [3:07] Stephen Prutsman, piano Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Marin Alsop Recorded in the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, 10-11 May 2000, March 4,6,18 2001 and March 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.559133 [60:32] [KS]

A series of recordings that has gone from unusual and interesting to groundbreaking and formidable … see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Violin Concerto, Op. 14 (1939-40) ¹ Piano Concerto, Op. 38 (1962) ²³ Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 (1938) ² Let Down the Bars, O Deathº; Heaven Havenº; The Virgin Martyrsº; God's Grandeur (1938) º Itta Shapira, violin¹ Russian Philharmonic Orchestra¹/Thomas Sanderling¹ Tedd Joselson, piano³ London Symphony Orchestra²/Andrew Schenck² Joyful Company of Singersº/Peter Broadbentº Recorded in Studio 5, DSS, Moscow 21st-25th July 2001¹, All Saints, Tooting, London²³ (date not given), Angel Studios, London, 19th-21st May 1995º ASV PLATINUM PLT 8501 [74.07] [NH]

A disc that is worth the money but sells the composer short by its choice of material, rather than the performances, which are very good … See Full Review

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) String Quartet No. 3 in F major (1936) - Lyrical Interlude for string quartet (published in 1923) - Adagio ma non troppo ‘Cathleen-ni-Hoolihan’ (from String Quartet in E major of 1903) Maggini Quartet - Recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk, England, 12th-14th June 2001 NAXOS 8.555953 [56:59] [IL]

Virile and uneasy music played with a nice nervous edge … see Full Review

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) String Quartet No. 3 in F major (1936) - Lyrical Interlude for string quartet (published in 1923) - Adagio ma non troppo ‘Cathleen-ni-Hoolihan’ (from String Quartet in E major of 1903) Maggini Quartet - Recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk, England, 12th-14th June 2001 NAXOS 8.555953 [56:59] [RB]

A fascinating neglected work from Bax's high-tide of creativity ... fire and tenderness ... see Full Review

Antonio BAZZINI (1818-1897) Complete String Quartets: 1 in C, 2 in d, 3 in E flat, 4 in G, 5 in c, 6 in F (1880s?) Quartetto d’archi di VeneziaRecorded at Dynamic’s, Genoa, December 2001-March 2002 DYNAMIC CDS 418/1-2 [3 CDs: 54’32"+56’36"+50’01"] Midprice [CH]

The Third Quartet is a very fine work, but the cycle taken as a whole is more for specialists. … see Full Review

Jean-Jacques BEAUVARLET-CHARPENTIER (1734-1794) Journal d’Orgue (?-1784): 1. Grand Choeur-Pastorale, 2. Elévation, 3. Trio de grosse Tierce, 4. Récit de Nazard, 5. Quartetto, 6. Duo, 7. Rondeau, 8. Récit de Tierces, 9. Grand Choeur-Carillon des morts pour le gloria patri au Magnificat de la Toussaint, 10. Dialogue de flûte et Cor qui se fait sur les Echôs, 11. Offertoire Conceto de hautbois ou flutte, 12. Dialogue pour le hautbois et la flûte, 13. Récit de voix humaine, 14. Marce pour les rentrées de processions, 15. Offertoire en simphonie Concertante, 16. Récit de Flûte, 17. Duo, 18. Récit de Cromorne, 19. Grand Choeur en Dialogue, 20. Noël-Duo, 21. Noël- Récit de flûte, 22. Noël-Tambourin, 23. Noël-Muzetto, 24. Noël-Récit de Voix, 25. Noël, 26. Offertoire-Rondo. Jan Van Mol, Organist - Organ by: Christoph Moucherel, 1725/Restoration by Bartolomeo Formantelli, 1991, Monastery Church of Mouzon, Ardennes, France. Recorded: November 1996 PAVANE ADW 7385 [76’53] [CA]

A sparkling and humorous music that suffers from Van Mol’s rather stolid playing. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827)
Concerto for violin, piano, and cello, Op 56 (1804) (35.02) - Fantasy for piano, chorus, and orchestra, Op 80 (1808) (19.32) - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Berlin State Opera Choir; Ernst Stoy, chorus director - Itzhak Perlman, violin; Yo-Yo Ma, cello - Daniel Barenboim, piano, and conductor - Recorded at Philharmonie Hall, Berlin, February 1995 - PAL 4:3 Colour No region code. Disk format: DVD-5 EMI DVD 7243 4 91473 3 [59.00] [PS]

An absolute must have. If you don’t have a DVD player, go out and buy one just to see/hear this disk.… see Full Review


Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Cello Sonata in F major, Op.5 No.1 Cello Sonata in G minor, Op.5 No.2 Cello Sonata in A major, Op.69 Cello Sonata in C major, Op.102 No.1 Cello Sonata in D major, Op.102 No.2 Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Variations sérieuses in D minor, Op.54* Mstislav Rostropovich, cello Sviatoslav Richter, piano* Recorded Edinburgh Festival, August 1964; *Moscow 1966 EMI CLASSICS DVB 4928489 [128:37] [JL]

A live recital by two great twentieth century soloists work … important and inspirational. A privilege to watch and hear. … see Full Review


Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Thirty-Three Variations on a waltz of Diabelli (The Diabelli Variations) Op 120 (1822-23) Alexander SCRIABIN (1872-1915)
Sonata No 5 in F sharp Op 53 (1907) Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Impromptu in G flat D899 No 3 Craig Sheppard (piano) Recorded live in the Meany Theatre, University of Washington, Seattle in May 1995 (Beethoven) and in February 1994 (remainder) AT 00-00239 [66.50] [JW]

A strong recommendation then for this splendidly astute and affectionate disc. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies (complete) Sharon Prero, soprano; Elizabeth Campbell, mezzo-soprano; Keith Lewis, tenor; Bruce Martin, baritone; Opera Australia Chorus (Symphony 9) Fortepiano continuo: Geoffrey Lancaster Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Porcelijn Recorded between April 1999 and October 2000 at the Federation Concert Hall, Hobart, Tasmania; City Recital Hall, Sydney, Australia; Llewellyn Hall, Canberra School of Music, Australia; Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Southbank Centre, Melbourne, Australia; Adelaide Town Hall, Australia; Newcastle Conservatorium, New South Wales, Australia. ABC CLASSICS 461917-21-2 [WH]

There are many good things in this set. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No 1 in C Op. 21 (1800) Symphony No 6 in F Op. 68 Pastoral (1808) Berlin Staatsoper Orchestra [No 6] Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra [No 1] Hans Pfitzner Recorded 1928-30 NAXOS 8.110927 [63.50] [JW]

The Pastoral was one of the best, if not the best, of Pfitzner’s Beethoven; full of insight, affection and detail … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No 2 in D major Op 36 (1801-02) Symphony No 4 in B flat major Op 60 (1806) Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra conducted by Erich Kleiber (No 2) Hans Pfitzner (No 4) Recorded 1928-29 in Berlin NAXOS 8.110919 [62.39] [JW]

The clean-limbed, well-sprung performance by Kleiber contrasts well with the more gruff and obviously romanticised Pfitzner. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36 (1807) Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (1802) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Claudio AbbadoDirected by Bob Cole.recorded in February 2001 live at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome (DVD). TDK DV BPAB 25 [75 minutes] [JP]

Anyone choosing this release is in for a very rewarding experience. … see Full Review

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) Norma (1831) Gina Cigna (Norma, soprano), Tancredi Pasero (Oroveso, bass), Giovanni Breviario (Pollione, tenor), Emilio Renzi (Flavio, tenor), Ebe Stignani (Adalgisa, mezzo-soprano), Adriana Perris (Clotilde, soprano), Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro dell’EIAR di Torino/Vittorio Gui Rec: Teatro Nuovo, Turin, 25th August-7th September 1937 WARNER FONIT "CETRA OPERA COLLECTION" 0927 43646-2 [2 CDs: 70:08+69:55] [CH]

Despite dated sound opera specialists will value this for the performances of three out of four principals, and also for the conductor. … see Full Review

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801 - 1835) La Sonnambula – complete opera (1831)
libretto by Felice Romani Maria Callas (Amina), Giuseppe Modesti (Il conte Rodolfo), Gabriella Carturan (Teresa), Cesari Valletti (Elvino), Eugenia Ratti (Lisa), Pierluigi Latinucci (Alessio), Giuseppe Nessi (Un notaro)Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala, Milan conducted by Leonard Bernstein.recorded live in La Scala, Milan, 5th March, 1955. EMI CMS5 67906-2 [2CDs 140.51] [JP]

Anyone contemplating purchase of this set will be buying it for Maria Callas, and it is well worth while for this alone … see Full Review

William BERGSMA (b.1921) The Complete Piano Music - Tangents (1951) [31.21] - Three Fantasies (1943 rev 1983) [6.15] - Piano Variations (1984) [16.54] Jill Timmons (piano) - rec. 1990?, Laurel Studio, Los Angeles, DDD LAUREL RECORD LR-852CD [55.23] [RB]

Bergsma always has something strong and melodic to communicate. ... see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803 - 1869) Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14 - (1830) (1) - Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17 (1839) (1,2) - Harold en Italie, Op. 16 (1834) (3, 4) - Benvenuto Cellini Overture, Op.23 (1838) (4) - Waverley Overture, Op. 1. (1828) (4) - Le Corsaire Overture Op.21 (1844) (4) - La Damnation de Faust Op. 24 (1856) (5) - La Mort de Cléopâtre (1829) (6) - Philadelphia Orchestra, Riccardo Muti – (1) - Jessye Norman (Soprano) - Simon Estes (bass) - John Aler (tenor) - The Westminster Choir – (2) - Gérard Causse (viola) – (3) - Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson – (4) - Janet Baker (mezzo) - Marguérite - Nicolai Gedda (tenor) – Faust - Gabriel Bacquier (baritone) – Mephistopheles - Pierre Thau (bass) – Brander - Choeurs du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris Orchestra de Paris, Georges Prêtre – (5) - Janet Baker (mezzo) - London Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Gibson - recorded Philadelphia, Memorial Hall, November 1984 (1), and January 1986 (2), recorded Toulouse, Halle-aux-Grains, March 1991 (3), and November 1989 (4), recorded Paris, October 1969 (5) and recorded London, September 1970 EMI CLASSICS (JP)

A disappointing release, primarily because of its re-cycling provenance … see Full Review

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) West Side Story (1957) - Betsi Morrison (soprano) - Maria; Marianne Cooke (soprano) - Anita; Mike Eldred (tenor) - Tony; Robert Dean - Riff; Jeff Whiting - Action; Billy Ditty - Baby John; A-Rab - Jeff Lewis; Big Deal - Greg Schanuel; Joanna Chozen - Rosalia; Michael San Giovanni - Bernardo; Nandita Shenoy - Francisca; Winter Gabriel - Consuelo; Michelle Prentice - ‘Somewhere’; Neal Richard Lee - Diesel Nashville SO/Kenneth Schermerhorn - Rec Ocean Way Studios, Nashville, Tennessee, 17-18 Dec 2001. DDD NAXOS 8.559126 [75.16] [RB]

The choice of the Bernstein aficionado. Voices in their prime, vitality and heart. … see Full Review

Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) CD1 Introduction and Allegro (1929) [12.10] Cello Concerto (1970) [28.07] Meditations on a Theme by John Blow (1955) [31.25] CD2
Antiphonal Fanfare for three brass choirs [1.34] Flourish - Greetings to a City for two brass orchestras (1958) [6.29] Fanfare for the Lord Mayor of London [1.44] Things to Come - Suite (1936) [14.58] Welcome to the Queen (1960) [6.31] Theme and Cadenza for violin (1949) [6.15] Introduction and Allegro (1929) [11.28] Robert Cohen (cello) Alfredo Campoli (violin) RPO/Barry Wordsworth (Concerto, Blow, Introduction and Allegro - Wordsworth) Philip Jones Brass Ensemble (brass works) National PO/Bernard Herrmann LSO/composer (Queen) LPO/composer (Introduction and Allegro, Theme and Cadenza) rec 1955 (Theme and Cadenza, Introduction and Allegro - Bliss); 1959 (Welcome to the Queen); 1970 (Antiphonal, Flourish); 1975 (Things to Come); 1994 (Concerto, Blow, Introduction and Allegro - Wordsworth). CD1: DDD; CD2: ADD DECCA The British Music Collection 470 186-2 [75.06+49.04] [RB]

Splendid vainglory ... leers, rattles and shudders ... firmamental violins skeletal and regretful appearance all resolved in contentment. ... see Full Review

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Quintet No 1 for Piano and Strings (1923) Quintet No 2 for Piano and Strings (1957) Suite No 1 for solo Cello (1956) Pro Arte Quartet Parry Karp (cello) Recorded 1984-1991 (?) LAUREL LR-848CD [70.39] [JW]

I strongly recommend this Laurel Bloch series … the Pro Arte are strongly expressive interpreters … works very well worth getting to know. … see Full Review

Ernst BOEHE (1880-1938) Symphonic Poems Vol.1 - Tragische Ouvertüre Op.10 [18.38] - Aus Odysseus’ Fahrten Op.6 Nos.1-3 (1903-1905) [55.51]: Episodes for large orchestra: Ausfahrt und Schiffbruch (Departure and Shipwreck) [17.13]; Die Insel der Kirke (The Island of Circe) [19.03]; Die Klage der Nausikaa (Nausicaa’s Lament) [19.35] Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Werner Andreas Albert - rec Ludwigshafen Philharmonie, Germany, November 2001 and May 2002 CPO 999 875-2 [74.29] [CF]

Lushly tuneful, densely orchestrated and harmonically ‘safe’ … see Full Review

BONHOEFFER-TRIPTYCHON Hermann BERLINSKI (born 1910) Das Gebet Bonhoeffers (1992)a Heinz Werner ZIMMERMANN (born 1930) Neujahrslied (1992)b Robert Maximilian HELMSCHROTT (born 1938) Cross and Freedom (1992)c Nancy Gibson (soprano)ac; Frieder Aurich (tenor)c; Matthias Weichert (bass)ac; Manfred Ball (speaker)c; Anett Baumann (violin)c; Olaf Georgi (flute)a; Bernhardt Hentrich (cello)a; Holger Miersch (celesta)a; Mathias Bohrig (double bass)b; Robert Helmschrott (organ)c; Hermann Berlinski (organ)a; Martin Homann (percussion)ac; Münchner Posaunenquartettc; Dresdner Kammerchor; Hans-Christoph Rademann Recorded: (live) Bayerisches Rundfunk, no date, published 1994 VIENNA MODERN MASTERS VMM 3027 [60:39] [HC]

All in all, a worthwhile release and a musically satisfying experience, and – above all – a splendid tribute to a man who lived and died for his deepest beliefs. … see Full Review

York BOWEN (1884-1961) Violin Sonata (1945) [19.46] - Cello Sonata (1921) [14.22] - Suite for Violin and Piano (1909) [28.25] Krysia Osostowicz (violin) - Jane Salmon (cello) - Michael Dussek (piano) - rec. Henry Wood Hall, London, 16-18 Nov 2001 DDD DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7120 [75.14] [RB]

An out and out romantic. The English Korngold with insurgent elements from Tchaikovsky and Delius. Highly recommended. ... see Full Review

Antonio Francisco BRAGA (1868 - 1945) Cauchemar (1895) (7.06) - Jupyra opera in one act, sung in Italian (1899) (70.26) - Eliane Coelho, Rosana Lamosa, sopranos; Mario Carrara, tenor; Phillip Johl, baritone. Coro da orquestra de São Paulo, Naomi Munakata, director Orquestra de São Paolo/John Neschling - Notes in English, Portuguese, and French. Opera text in Italian, no translation. Recorded at Sala São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, February and October 2001 BIS CD-1280 [78.20] [PS]

A "new" romantic composer somewhere between Puccini and Massenet. Committed performances beautifully recorded … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No 2 in B flat Op 83 (1878-81) - Klavierstücke (Six Pieces) Op 118 (1892) - Joyce Hatto (piano) National Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra/René Köhler - Recorded March 1992 and May 1998 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 8001-2 [74.04] [JW]

I didn’t feel they should have engaged in false heroics but this is a big work and it needs a commensurately big profile. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Orchestral Works conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch - recorded 1989-1996 - CD1: Symphony No. 1 (1868) [44.50] - Haydn Variations (1873) [12.37] - Tragic Overture (1880) [18.39] - CD2: Symphony No. 2 (1869) [35.34] - Symphony No. 3 (1883) [38.32] - CD3: Symphony No. 4 (1885) [41.36] - Schicksalslied (1868) [15.53] - Academic Festival Overture (1880) [9.53] - CD4: Piano Concerto No. 1 (1859) [47.54] - Two Songs Op. 91 [5.54+5.17] - CD5: Piano Concerto No. 2 (1881) [47.30] - Five Songs Op. 105 [13.32] - CD6: Violin Concerto (1877) [37.45] - MOZART Violin Concerto No. 3 K216 (1775) [21.28] - CD7: Double Concerto (1887) [32.43] - Horn Trio (1864) [27.26] - Stephen Kovacevich (piano) - Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin) - Heinrich Schiff (cello) - Marie Luise Neunecker (horn) - Ann Murray (mz) - Nobuko Imai (viola) - Ambrosian Singers London Philharmonic Orchestra/Wolfgang Sawallisch - Berliner Philharmoniker/Wolfgang Sawallisch - rec. Abbey Rd, Studio 1, June 1989 (2,4); Apr 1990 (Variations, Tragic), Apr 1991 (1 Acad, Schicksalslied), Dec 1991 (3, Cto 1), Mar 1992 (Op. 91), Dec 1993 (Cto 2), Jan 1994 (Op. 105), Apr 1996 (Double); Jan 1995, Philharmonie, Berlin (Violin Cto), July 1996, Bavaria Studios, Munich (trio) DDD EMI CLASSICS 7 75502 2 [7CDs: 76.02+78.53+67.58+59.28+62.04+59.36+60.17] [RB]

A sound set at bargain price. Will be favoured by those who prefer a more relaxed Brahms. Outstanding versions of the Fourth, the Tragic, the First Concerto and the Violin Concerto; otherwise good versions to live with ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833 - 1897) Symphony No. 3 in F, Op 90 (1883) (32.18) - New York Philharmonic Orchestra - Recorded live from NewYork, New York, USA, 20 April 1952 - Alexander BORODIN (1833 - 1887) - Symphony No. 2 in b "Bogatyr" (1876) (26.58) - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra - Recorded at Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, 7 December 1941 Dimitri Mitropoulos, conductor - Notes in Italian, French, and English URANIA URN 22. 219 [59.20] [PS]

Some truly exceptional classic performances lovingly restored!. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor Op. 15 (1854-58) - Four pieces for piano; No. 4 Rhapsody in E flat Op. 119 No. 4 (1892) - Rhapsody in B minor Op. 79 No. 1 (1879) - Rhapsody in G minor Op. 79 No. 2 (1879) Joyce Hatto (piano) - National Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra/René Köhler - Recorded St Mark’s Church, Croydon, June 1995 (Concerto) and Concert Artist Studios, September 1997 (remainder) CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 8000-2 [70.13] [JW]

A reading of some considerable distinction … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Cello Sonata in E minor, Opus 38 (1865) - Cello Sonata in F major, Opus 99 (1886) Claude Starck (cello) - Christoph Eschenbach (piano) - Rec. October 1989, Temple St Jean, Paris DDD CLAVES CD 50-9005 [58.35] [TB]

An excellent cellist with strong technique and many insights … a partnership of equals. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Piano Sonata no. 3 in f, op. 5, Intermezzo in b flat, op. 117/2, Ballade in g, op. 118/3, Intermezzo in C, op. 119/3, Intermezzo in A, op. 76/6, Intermezzi in e, op. 119/2, Rhapsody in g, op. 79/2, Variations on a Theme by Paganini, op. 35 (Books I & II) Earl Wild (piano) Locations: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Buffalo, NY (Sonata), Columbus, Ohio (Short pieces), Salle Gaveau, Paris (live) (Variations) Dates: 5th-6th May 2002 (Sonata), 21st September 2000 (Short pieces), 22nd March 1982 (Variations) IVORY CLASSICS CD-72008 [77’ 52"] [CH]

You won’t always want to hear Brahms played this way, but if you care about the composer, or about the piano, you’ve got to have this. … see Full Review

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) CD 1 [63:14]: The Tinker’s Wedding - Comedy Overture (1947-48) [7:18] - Symphony No. 31 (1967-68) [13:23] - Symphony No. 7 in C (1948) [42:16] - CD2* [52:28]: Symphony No. 8 in B flat minor (1949) [24:40] - Symphony No. 9 in A minor (1951) [27:34] - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (leader: Malcolm Stewart) Conductors: Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir Charles Groves* - Recorded in the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 3-4 May 1987 and No.1 Studio*, Abbey Road, London, 25-26 July 1977 - CD1 digital recording; CD2 digitally remastered EMI CLASSICS (BRITISH COMPOSERS SERIES) 7243 5 75782 2 6 [115:42] [RB]

Determination is the order of the day but there are rewards here. ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Enter Spring - rhapsody (1927) [21.22] The Sea - suite for orchestra (1910) [20.43] - Summer - tone poem (1914) [9.37] - Cherry Ripe (1916) [3.23] - Lament (1915) [4.27] Royal Liverpool PO/Charles Groves - rec Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 14-15 July 1975 ADD EMI CLASSICS CDM 5 66855 2 [59.53] [RB]

A classic of the gramophone. Enter Spring is on a world stage a dazzling masterpiece of the twentieth century. No need for any modesty ... see Full Review

Arthur BUTTERWORTH (b. 1923) Three Impressions for Brass (1968) [11.00] - Passacaglia on a Theme of Brahms (1978?) [11.55] - Sinfonia Concertante (2001) [8.57] - Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel (Johannes BRAHMS transc. Arthur BUTTERWORTH) (1975?) [21.05] Lesley Howie (tenor horn) - Robert Blackburn (baritone horn) - Black Dyke Brass Band/Nicholas J Childs - rec. Morley Town Hall, 2001. DDD DOYEN Master Series DOYCD130 [61.13] [RB]

A smashingly virtuosic disc with a Nordic clarity and volcanic energy ... see Full Review

William BYRD (c.1535/40 - 1623)
Cantiones Sacrae (1589) Vigilate - Motet: 5vv [4.32] In resurrectione tua - Motet: 5vv [1.36] Aspice Domine de seda - Motet: 5vv [5.42] Ne irascaris Domine - Motet: 5vv [8.36] O quam gloriosum - Motet: 5vv [5.00] Tribulationes civitatum - Motet: 5vv [8.14] Domine secundum multitudinem - Motet: 5vv [3.15] Laetentur caeli - Motet: 5vv [3.42] Propers for the Feast of the Purification Senex puerum portabat -Antiphon: 4vv [1.49] Adorna thalamum - Processional: 3vv [3.35] Suscepimus - Introit & Gradual: 5vv [6.11] Senex puerum - Alleluia: 5vv [1.35] Nunc dimittis - Tract: 5vv [4.22] Diffusa est gratia - Offertory: 5vv [1.22] Responsum accepit - Communion: 5vv [3.00] Hodie beata Virgo - Antiphon: 4vv [2.22] Ave regina caelorum - Antiphon: 4vv [3.11] The Cardinall’s Musick/Andrew Carwood Recorded in 13-15 February 2001, 17 February 2000, 15 November 2000 and 1 March 1999 at the Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle. ASV GAUDEAMUS CDGAU 309 [70.35] [JPO]

Intonation nigh perfect, nicely graduated alterations in dynamics, excellent diction. … 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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