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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

Carl Friedrich ABEL (1723 - 1787) Six concerti for harpsichord or fortepiano with two violins and cello, Opus 11. # 1 in F (9.47); #2 in Bb (8.58); #3 in Eb (10.12); #4 in D (9.32); #5 in G (9.40); #6 in C (10.15) (early 1770s) (all cadenzas by Sabine Bauer) Sabine Bauer, pianoforte (1, 2, 3, 6) and Harpsichord (4, 5) Michael Schneider conducting La Stagione, Frankfurt - Notes in Deutsch, English, and French. Recorded Salle des Hessischen Rundfunks, Frankfurt, Germany, 23 March 2001 CPO 999 892-2 [59.08] [PS]

Strongly recommended for admirers of the Bach sons, students of the history of the keyboard concerto and preclassical music in general … see Full Review

Gregorio ALLEGRI (1582-1652) Miserere Mei (1638?) [12’08] - Antonio LOTTI (1667-1740) Crucifixus (1730?) [3’16] - Giovanni Pierluigi da PALESTRINA (1525-1594) Stabat Mater (1589?) [8’19] - Missa Papae Marcelli (1555?) [31’14] The Sixteen/Harry Christophers - Recorded at St. Jude’s Church, London, Nov. 1989 CORO COR16014 [56’26] [TH]

Those famous tumbling high Cs in the Allegri are piercing in their exaltation … tonal splendour and vocal blend a joy throughout. … see Full Review

Jesús ARÁMBARRI (1902 – 1960) Preludio Gabon-zar sorgiñak (1930s) - Cuatro impromptus para orquesta (1930s) - Ocho canciones vascas (1932)a - Im memoriam (1939) - Ofrenda (1946) - Viento sur – Intermedio (1952) - Fantasía española - Itxaro Mentxaka (soprano)a Bilbao Symphony Orchestra/Juan José Mena - Recorded: Euskalduna Concert Hall, Bilbao, October 2000 NAXOS 8.557275 [57:40] [HC]

Remarkable orchestral mastery … Excellent performances, fine recorded sound. One of the loveliest and most enjoyable discs I have heard recently. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 - Evangelist - Rogers Covey Crump (tenor); Jesus - Michael George (bass); Emma Kirkby (soprano); Michael Chance (counter-tenor); Martyn Hill (tenor); David Thomas (bass); The Choir of King's College, Cambridge - The Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge (soprano in ripieno) The Brandenburg Consort (leader, Roy Goodman)/Stephen Cleobury BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99676 [3CDs 67.14+40.52+52.26] [RH]

Whilst not perfect, this is a fine recording with the advantage of the King's College Choir along with some fine soloists. … See Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ works Toccata and Fugue in d minor, BWV 565 [8.25] Fantasia in G major, BWV 572 (Pièce d’orgue) [7.30] Canonic variations on the Christmas hymn ‘Von Himmel hoch, da komm ich her’, BWV 769 [7.30]
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532 [9.21] Pastorale in F major, BWV 590 (Pastorella) [10.41] Prelude and Fugue in E flat major, BWV 552, ‘St Anne’ [14.17] Simon Preston (organ) Organ by Klais, Kreuzbergkirche, Bonn, Germany. Recorded at Kreuzbergkirche, Bonn, Germany, September 1988 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 471 734-2 [61.58] [CAnt]

A recommended re-mastered release featuring some of the most famous organ pieces written by Bach … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Attributed - Lukas Passion BWV 246 - Evangelist - Georg Jelden(tnoer); Jesus - Ulrich Schaible (bass); Charlotte Lehmann (soprano); Gudrun Schmid (soprano); Elisabeth Kunstler (alto); Graeme Nicolson (tenor); Wolfgang Herrlitz (bass); Balinger Kantorei Kammerorchester Collegium Musicum Tubingen/Gerhard Rehm - Licensed by courtesy of Bayer Records BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99051 [2 CDs: 58.26+59.18] [RH]

A passion that is probably not by Bach, but worth investigating anyway, though the performance leaves something to be desired. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) - Markus Passion, BWV247 - Reconstruction by Dr. Simon Heighes - Evangelist - Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor); Jesus - Gordon Jones (baritone); Connor Burrowes (treble); David James (alto); Paul Agnew (tenor); Teppo Tolonen (bass) - The Ring Ensemble European Union Baroque Orchestra/Roy Goodman - Rec. 2002 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99049 [2CDs: 53.50+47.11] [RH]

A fine performance of a speculative reconstruction of Bach's lost passion, using some of his finest music from the cantatas. … 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). Rec. DDD CON BRIO RECORDINGS CBR234 [39’49] [CC]

Both works on this short CD are written in an immediately approachable idiom that is most appealing. A fascinating disc, especially for the Diamond. … see Full Review

Amy BEACH (1867-1944) Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, Op. 45 (1898/9) [36’40] - Symphony in E minor, Op. 32, ‘Gaelic’ (1896-6) [42’19]. Alan Feinberg (piano); Nashville Symphony Orchestra/Kenneth Schermerhorn. Rec. Andrew Jackson Hall, Tennesee Performing Arts Centre, Nashville, USA on April 13th-15th, 2002. DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559139 [79’02] [CC]

The Nashville orchestra plays with all the commitment one could desire, and Tim Handley’s recording is clear and atmospheric. A bargain. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 9 in D minor Op. 125 Choral - The Consecration of the House Overture Op. 124 +, Luise Helletsgruber (soprano), Rosette Anday (contralto), Georg Maikl (tenor) and Richard Mayr (bass) - Vienna State Opera Chorus and Orchestra - London Philharmonic Orchestra +
Felix Weingartner - Recorded 1935 and 1938 NAXOS 8.110863 [74.04] [JW]

Perennially sagacious, a compound of youth and wisdom. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH - Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony no. 3 in E flat Eroica - Symphony no. 4 in B flat Radio Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart/Sir Roger Norrington. Rec. 1999? SWR HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD93.085 [74.53] [DCFW]

If you do not add it to your collection you will be missing something of unequalled excellence and will be all the poorer! … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3 in E flat Eroica Overture Leonore No.3; Overture: The Creatures of Prometheus. Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt Rec. 1999 DDD ELATUS (WARNER CLASSICS) 2564-60034-2 [69 22] [DW]

If the Norrington version did not exist I would be happy with Harnoncourt. Even so, I will play the Harnoncourt again. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto in D, op. 61 (1) Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto in e, op. 64 (2) Yehudi Menuhin (violin), Philharmonia Orchestra (1), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (2)/Wilhelm Furtwängler Recorded 7th-8th April 1953, Kingsway Hall, London (1), 25th-26th May 1952, Jesus Christus Kirche, Berlin (2) EMI CLASSICS CDM 5 66975 2 [71:31] [CH]

If you don’t know these two performances, they’ll probably leave you marvelling anew at the music itself. … see Full Review

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Septet in E flat major Op. 20 for violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, horn and bassoon - Quintet in E flat major Op. 4 arranged for 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, horn and bassoon Ensemble Acht - Recorded at the Studio of North Hanover Radio, May 2002 THOROFON CTH 2440 [67.43] [GH]

Fine ensemble playing though I wondered about the tempi. Beethoven for chamber ensemble … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony no. 4 in B flat - Symphony no. 5 in C minor Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Rec. 1999 DDD ELATUS (WARNER CLASSICS) 2564-600012-2 [79.48]

Totally unacceptable if you love your Beethoven! … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 – 1827) Violin Sonata No.8 in G major, Op.30, No.3 - Franz SCHUBERT (1797 – 1828) Violin Sonata No.5 in A major, D.574 - Edvard GRIEG (1843 – 1907) Violin Sonata No.3 in C minor, Op.45 Fritz Kreisler (violin) - Sergey Rachmaninov (piano) - Recorded 1928 - Victor Studios, Camden New Jersey. Victor Studios, New York City and Electrola Studios, Berlin. NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110968 [72:50] [LB]

No serious music lover, or indeed professional violinist, should be without this recording. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Five Piano Concertos Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano) Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Nikolaus Harnoncourt WARNER CLASSICS 0927 47334-2 [3CDs: 183.24] [RBr]

A revelation of how far we have moved towards a synthesis between what we expect from the music and what can still be revealed by dedicated musicians. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 – 1827) Works for Cello and Piano, Volume 2 Variations on "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen" from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for cello and piano Op.66 Sonata in E Flat Major for cello and piano Op.64 Sonata in A Major for cello and piano Op.69 Maria Kliegel (Cello) Nina Tichman (Piano) Rec. Clara–Wieck-Auditorium, Sandhausen, Germany, 6-9 December 2001 NAXOS 8.555786 [77:09] [LB]

Another triumph for Naxos and Kliegel … bears favourable comparison with any of the treasured, landmark interpretations of the ‘big names’ … see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14 (1830) [56.05] - Harold en Italie, Op. 16 (1848) [40.22] - Yuri Bashmet, viola La Damnation de Faust Légende Dramatique en 4 parties (1846) [127.07] - Maria Ewing, soprano; Denes Gulyas, tenor; Robert Lloyd, baritone; Manfred Volz, bass; Christiane Oelze, soprano; Kölner Rundfunkchor; Sudfunkchor, Stuttgart; Chor des NDR Hamburg - Roméo et Juliet Symphonie Dramatique, Op. 17 (1839) [95.05] Nadine Denize, mezzo-soprano; Vinson Cole, tenor; Robert Lloyd, baritone - Kölner Rundfunkchor; Sudfunkchor, Stuttgart; RIAS-Kammerchor, Berlin. L’Enfance du Christ, Op. 25 (1854) [91.22] Margarita Zimmermann, soprano; Elke Wilm Schulte, baritone; Stanford Dean, bass; John Aler, tenor; Philip Kang, bass. Te Deum, Op. 22 (1849) [47.31] Keith Lewis, tenor; Matthias Eisenberg, organ; Vokalensemble Frankfurt; Bachchor and Currende der Christuskirche, Mainz; Kinder- und Jugenchor des Hessischen Rundfunks - Grande Messe des Morts, Op. 5 (1867) [82.31] Keith Lewis, tenor; Chor des NDR, Hamburg; Konzertvereinigung ORF-Chor. Eliahu Inbal conducting the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra - Notes in English. Texts in original languages, no translations - Recorded in Frankfurt 1987 - 1989 - Licensed from Denon-Nippon Columbia Ltd, Japan - Hector Berlioz Edition BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99999-01/11 [11 CDs: 540.03] [PS]

First rate performances of frequently heard music, brilliantly recorded, performed with careful attention to the composer’s intentions. For a lot more money you could do just a little bit better here and there … see Full Review

Sir Thomas Beecham conducts Berlioz and Franck Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Te Deum Op. 22 (1849) César FRANCK (1822-1890) Le Chasseur maudit – Symphonic Poem (1882) Alexander Young (tenor) London Philharmonic Choir/Dulwich College Boys Choir Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham Recorded: London, December 1953 and April 1954 (Te Deum) and March 1951 (Le Chasseur maudit) SONY CLASSICAL SMK87964 [60.34] [JW]

Marvellously done - panache, drive, virtuosity, wit - purists will be weeping into their hair shirts. … see Full Review

Georges BIZET (1838-1975) Carmen: Highlights (sung in Italian) Pia Tassinari (Carmen), Franco Corelli (Don José), Margherita Benetti (Micaëla), Gian Giacomo Guelfi (Escamillo), Turin RAI Chorus and Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Basile Recorded 18th April 1957, Turin Cetra Opera Collection WARNER FONIT 5050466-3294-2-4 [56:38] [CH]

Not a disc for a general recommendation. Fans of Franco Corelli will want it, and it offers a snapshot of how Carmen used to be performed in Italy. … see Full Review

Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Premiere recordings of the music of Arthur Bliss: Volume 1 - Piano Concerto (1938-39) [34.33] - Adam Zero (1946) [26.03] - Solomon (piano) New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra/Adrian Boult - Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden/Constant Lambert - recorded in Carnegie Hall, New York, 10 June 1939 (piano concerto); world premiere broadcast on 9 May 1946 (Adam Zero) APR 5627 [56.27]

A thoroughly satisfying disc ... see Full Review

John BLOW (1649-1708) Music for Harpsichord and Spinet Prelude in G; (KL 158); Prelude in G (KL157); Sett No.1 in D minor; Sett No.2 in D minor; Sett No.4 in C; Sett No.5 in G minor; from ‘A Choice Collection of Lessons for harpsichord, Spinet etc’ (1698); Sett in G minor (from The Second Book for the harpsichord, spinet etc’ (1700); Ground in G (KL5); Ground in C (KL16); Chacone in F (KL146); Chaconne in G minor (KL71); Overture in G minor (KL169); Theatre Tunes from ‘Mr.Mountford’s Delight (1689); Morlake Ground (KL60) Robert Woolley (keyboards) Recorded at Eltham College Music School, Oct 81 and April 82 MERIDIAN CDE 84464 [75.36] [GH]

Faithful performances although the edition issue remains open … see Full Review

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) String Quartet Op.32 #1 in Eb, G 201 (1780) [13.41] String Quartet Op.32 #2 in e, G 202 (1780) [16.06] String Quartet Op.32 #3 in D, G 203 (1780) [13.31] String Quartet Op.32 #4 in C, G 204 (1780) [15.38] String Quartet Op.32 #5 in g, G 205 (1780) [17.29] String Quartet Op.32 #6 in A, G 206 (1780) [14.07] Esterházy Quartet (Jaap Schröder, Alda Stuurop, vv; Wiel Peters, va; Wouter Moeller, vc) Recorded at Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem, The Netherlands, October 1976 ADD Formerly released on Teldec Das Alte Werk 95988 and Teldec 85566-2 (#’s 3-6) ELATUS 2564-60028-2 [2 CD: 88.57] [PS]

Disks (almost) every chamber music lover will cherish and play over and over again. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-97) Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77 (1878) [40’46]. Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108 (1888) [23’59]. David Oistrakh (violin) Cleveland Orchestra/Georg Szell (Concerto) Vladimir Yampolsky (piano) (Sonata). Rec. Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio, on May 13th and 16th, 1969 (Concerto) and May 19th, 1955 (Sonata) ADD stereo (Concerto) Great Recordings Of The Century EMI CLASSICS 5 67973-2 [65’05]. [CC]

The marriage of Oistrakh and Szell and his Clevelanders is magic. Szell was well known for his telepathic abilities as accompanist … a great recording of the Brahms, a multitude of insights. Strongly recommended. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonatas: No. 1 in G, Op. 78 (1879) [27’02]; No 2 in A, Op. 100 (1886) [20’56]; No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108 (1888) [21’27]. Itzhak Perlman (violin); Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano). Rec. Studio No. 1, Abbey Road, London, on April 20th-23rd, 1983. DDD Great Recordings of the Century EMI CLASSICS CDM5 66893-2 [69’02] [CC]

As a collection of the three violin sonatas on one disc, this disc has an enormous amount to recommend it … it remains a version to return to on a regular basis. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Vier Zigeunerlieder, Opus 112 Nos. 3-8 (1891) Rosmarin, Opus 62 No. 1 (1874) O süsser Mai, Opus 93 No. 3 (1884) In stiller Nacht (Deutsche Volkslieder No. 8) Quartette, Opus 112 Nos. 1-2 (1891) Funf Gesänge, Opus 104 (1888) Gesänge fur Frauenchor 2 horns and harp, Opus 17 (1860) All meine Herzgedanken, Opus 62 No. 5 (1874) Waldesnacht, Opus 62 No. 3 (1874) Abschiedlied (Deutsche Volkslieder No. 9) Quartette, Opus 92 (1884) Trinitatis Kantorei/Per Enevold Ellen Refstrup (piano), Susanne Skov and Irene Lewis (horns), Sofie Guillois (harp) Recorded 2001-2, Songenfri Kirke, Virum CLASSICO CLASSCD 438 [68.42] [TB]

With good, well-balanced, sound these performances make up an unusual and distinctive programme that serves this great composer well. … see Full Review

Herbert BREWER (1865-1928) Choral Music - Let the People Praise Thee (1921) - As the Hart Pants (1917) - Blessing, Glory, Wisdom and Thanks (1909) - Magnificat in B flat (1894) - Nunc Dimittis in B flat (1894) - O Death, where is thy Sting - God is our Hope and Strength (1917) - Prevent us, O Lord (1900) - Magnificat in C (1895) - Nunc Dimittis in C (1895) - O Lord God - A Solemn Prayer (1904) - God Within (1928) - Bow down thine ear, O Lord (1916) - Magnificat in D (1927) - Nunc Dimittis in D (1927) Laudate with Joseph Nolan (organ)/ directed by Howard Ionascu - Recorded St John's Church, Holland Road April 2002 PRIORY PRCD 797 [76.58] [JW]

Attractive if slight is probably a harsh verdict but I'd put the accent on attractive. … 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] [JL]

This outstanding 1996 recording rivals the equally excellent Chandos production of two years ago. If it’s a bargain you want, Naxos must swing it. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) The Turn of the Screw – opera in 2 Acts (1954) - The Prologue - Philip Langridge, tenor; The Governess - Felicity Lott, soprano; Miles - Sam Pay, treble (young child in her charge); Flora - Eileen Hulse, soprano (young child in her charge); Mrs.Grose, the housekeeper - Phyllis Cannan, mezzo-soprano; Quint, a former manservant - Philip Langridge, tenor; Miss Jessel, a former governess - Nadine Secunde, soprano Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble, Brindisi Quartet/Steuart Bedford. Recorded in October 1993 in The Concert Hall, Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, UK NAXOS OPERA CLASSICS 8.660109 [2CDs: 53:06+53:17] [GPJ]

As soon as I’d finished listening to this, I immediately wanted to hear it again … an exceptionally powerful musical and dramatic experience. … 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] [PS]

Anyone who loves modern guitar sound is bound to love this disk. Strongly recommended … see Full Review

John BULLER (b.1927) Proença (1977)a - The Theatre of Memory (1981) - Sarah Walker (mezzo-soprano)a; Timothy Walker (electric guitar)a; BBC Symphony Orchestra/Mark Elder - Recorded: BBC Studio 1, Maida Vale, London, November 1979 (Proença) and January 1985 (The Theatre of Memory) NMC ANCORA D 081 [70:58] [HC]

Two major works by a distinguished composer who still has not been given his due … well served by exceptional performances. … see Full Review

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Works for Piano and Orchestra - Concerto for Piano and String Quartet Op.17 (1878) - Concertstück for Piano and Orchestra Op.31a (1890) - Indian Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra Op.44 (1913-15) Carlo Grante (piano) - I Pomeriggi Musicali/Marco Zuccarini - No recording details given MUSIC AND ARTS CD 1047 [64.39] [JW]

Grante is impressive, enthusiastic, comprehensive, technically eloquent and idiomatic. … a most enthusiastic welcome. … 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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