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Robert ALLWORTH (b.1943) Visions of Mary Immaculate (1); Hymn to our Lady of Fatima – Salvation of the World and Saint Therese of Lisieux (1); 6 Voluntaries for Organ in Honour of Saint Catherine Laboure and the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1); Miracle in the Rain (4) PLAINCHANT/ Tomas Luis de VICTORIA (1546 – 1611) St. John Passion (2) Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835 – 1921) arr. Colin SAPSFORD Gospel Procession (3) Dom Gregory MURRAY Interlude XXI (3) Eric GROSS (b.1926) Prelude to Paradise (4) Recorded: November 1989, Church of Saint Michael, Vaucluse (1); Good Friday 1979, Christ Church Saint Laurence, Sydney – Live recording (2); 1979, Christ Church Saint Laurence, Sydney – Live recording (3); 1990, Church of Saint Michael, Vaucluse (4) JADE JADECD1099 [66.16] [RH]

New Australian organ music in an uneasy mixture with an historic Australian recording of the plainchant St. John Passion. ... see Full Review

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Miss Julie (1976) Jill Gomez (soprano), Miss Julie; Benjamin Luxon (baritone), Jean; Della Jones (mezzo), Kristin; John Mitchinson (tenor), Ulrik Philharmonia Orchestra/Vilem Tausky. Rec. No information available. ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD2218 [2CDs: 62’34 + 55’22=117’56] [CC]

The time is ripe for a re-evaluation of this opera. This Lyrita recording boasts an extremely strong line-up. Difficult to imagine a more focused or fervent performance ... see Full Review

Cataldo AMODEI (1649-1693) Su l’ore che l’aurora, Tra l’erbette il piè sciogliea, Colà dove il Sebeto, Lieve al piè, grave al passo (Cantata sacra per la Beatissima Vergine), Va’, ché l’hai fatto a me, Già col manto dell’ombre, Giovanni ZAMBONI Sonata in C minor for archlute (published 1718) Bernardo STORACE Passacagli sopra Alamire for harpsichord solo (published 1664) Emma Kirkby (soprano) Jakob Lindberg (theorbo/archlute) Lars Ulrik Mortensen (harpsichord) Recorded in Länna Church, Sweden, November 2002 BIS CD 1415 [78.37] [JW]

BIS have uncovered a notable composer and brought him back to sometimes startling life. ... see Full Review

Beth ANDERSON (b.1950)
March Swale (2000) [5.26] Pennyroyal Swale (1985) [9.41] New Mexico Swale (1995) [10.23] The Angel (1988) [13.52] January Swale (1996) [5.45] Rosemary Swale (1986) [7.45] Piano Concerto (1997) [13.30] Rubio String Quartet (all except New Mexico where they appear minus Dirk Van de Velde, first violin); Andrew Bolotowsky (fl/picc), David Rozenblatt (percussion); Gary M Schneider (conductor) (New Mexico); Jessica Narsten (sop) (Angel); Joseph Kubera (piano), Darren Campbell (string bass), David Rozenblatt (percussion); Gary M Schneider (conductor) (Concerto). rec. 20-21 Nov 2003, Studio C, Mirror Image, NYC. DDD NEW WORLD RECORDS 80610-2 [56.22] [RB]

This is a well-documented disc, authoritatively produced and rather warmly recorded but then warmth is characteristic of this music. ... see Full Review

Malcolm ARNOLD (b.1921) English Dances Set 1, Op. 27; Set 2 Op. 33 (1950; 1951) [8.32; 9.20] Four Scottish Dances Op. 59 (1957) [8.49] Four Cornish Dances Op. 91 (1966) [10.05] Four Irish Dances Op. 126 (1986) [7.50] Four Welsh Dances Op. 138 (1989) [10.02] Queensland Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Penny Rec. 11-15 Dec 1995, ABC, Queensland, Australia. DDD NAXOS 8.553526 [54.37] [RB][CC]

I had better not pull my punches though. If you are looking for one disc with all but one of the Arnold Dances then the Lyrita stands head and shoulders high. ... see Full Review
Also review by Colin Clarke
Easy to dismiss this music as mere well-crafted bon-bons under Penny, as opposed to the evergreen miniatures full of joy they become under the composer. ... see Full Review

Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Symphonies, Op. 6 (publ. 1769)– No. 2 in E flat [12’03]; No. 6 in G minor. Harpsichord Concerto in G, Op. 13 No. 4 (1777) [13’36]. Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Flute Concerto in D minor, Wq22 (1747) [22’04]. Raphael Alpermann (harpsichord); Christoph Huntgeburth (flute) Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin/Stephan Mai. Rec. Teldec Studio, Berlin, in October 2002. DDD HARMONIA MUNDI FRANCE HMC901803 [55’21] [CC]

A real success here, then, from all angles. The recording is exemplary, the performances ever involving. Strongly recommended. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Orchestral Suite No.1 in C major BWV1066 (1724) Orchestral Suite No.2 in B minor BWV1067 (1738) Orchestre de Chambre Jean-François Paillard/Jean-François Paillard.recorded in 1963 – no further details given. ADD WARNER APEX 2564 61257-2 [45’33"] [JPh]

Apex are to be congratulated on this release which I can recommend wholeheartedly ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)The French Suites Disc 1: Suite No. 1 in D minor, BWV 812 Suite No. 2 in C minor, BWV 813 Suite No. 3 in B minor, BWV 814 Suite No. 4 in E flat major, BWV 815 Disc 2: Suite No. 5 in G major, BWV 816 Suite No. 6 in E major, BWV 817 Suite in A minor, BWV 818a Suite in E flat major, BWV 819a Allemande, Alternative Version from BWV 818a Masaaki Suzuki, harpsichord Recorded at Kobe Shoin Women’s University Chapel, Japan, October 1999 (BWV 813-817), May 2001 (BWV 812), February 2002 (BWV 818a/819a) BIS-CD-1113-4 [2 CDs: 64’35+75’33][DS]

‘Bach is Beautiful’ is Suzuki’s calling card, and the set should be highly rewarding to those who place top priority on gorgeous music. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas for harpsichord and violin (BWV 1014-1019) CD 1 Sonata nr 1 in b minor (BWV 1014) [13:47] Sonata nr 2 in A (BWV 1015) [14:09] Sonata nr 3 in E (BWV 1016) [17:13] CD 2 Sonata nr 4 in c minor (BWV 1017) [17:15] Sonata nr 5 in f minor (BWV 1018) [17:55] Sonata nr 6 in G (BWV 1019) [18:00] Kay Johannsen, harpsichord; Christine Busch, violin (period instruments) Recorded in March 2002 at Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany. DDD CARUS 83.164 [45:27 + 53:28] [JV]

In this recording there is little that catches the listener’s attention ... see Full Review

Nicolas BACRI (b.1961)
Pièces pour Clarinet: Divertimento for clarinet, violin, viola and cello Op. 37b (1991-92) [12.20]; Concerto da Camera for clarinet and string orchestra Op. 61 (1999) [21.56]; Mondorf Sonatina No. 2 for clarinet Op. 58 (1997) [4.52]; Im Volkston for clarinet, violin and cell Op. 43 (1994) [12.49]; Night Music for clarinet and cello Op. 73 (2001) [8.03]; Deux petites rapsodies for clarinet Op. 21b (1979) [5.23] Florent Héau (clarinet) David Lefèvre (violin) Cyrille Mercier (viola) Thierry Amadi (cello) European Camerata/Laurent Quénelle rec. l'Eglise réformée d'Auteuil Paris XVI, 2-6, 27-29 Jan 2003. DDD ZIG-ZAG TÉRRITOIRES ZZT 040303 [64.56] [RB]

Bacri continues to please with his cool lyrical voice and his sometimes chilly-macabre tendency ... see Full Review

Tony BANKS (b. 1950) Seven: A Suite for Orchestra: Spring Tide; Black Down; The Gateway; The Ram; Earthlight; Neap Tide; The Spirit of Gravity London Philharmonic Orchestra/Mike Dixon Recorded at Air Studios (Lyndhurst) Ltd. July 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.557466 [57:39] [CT]

The former founder and keyboard player of the rock group Genesis in his first foray into orchestral music. ... see Full Review

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) The Wooden Prince, Op. 13, Sz60 (1917). New Symphony Orchestra of London/Walter Süsskind. Rec. Kingsway Hall, London, 1963. ADD BARTÓK RECORDS BR1308 [52’35] [CC]

Whatever the merits of individual moments it is the sheer vivacity of this performance that makes it so impressive. ... see Full Review

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Mikrokosmos Volume 3: Triolets; A trois voix; Petite Etude; Gamme pentatonique; Hommage à J.S.Bach; En errant; Accords brisé; Deux pentacordes majeur; Variations; Dou pour chalumeaux; Invention chromatique Volume 4: Chanson de style populaire; Quinte diminuée; Mineur et majeur; A travers les tonalités; Petit jeu; Chanson d’enfants; Lutte; Bourrée; Triolets à 9/8; Danse à trois temps; Etude à deux voix Volume 5: Accords joints et opposés; Staccato et legato; Staccato; Canotage; Danse paysanne; Burlesque rustique; Secondes majeurs, plaquées ou brisé; Perpetuum mobile; Gamme pour tons entiers;; A l’unison Cornemuse; Bouffon Volume 6: Variations libres; Ce que la mouche raconte; Arpèges divisés; Ostinato; Danse Bulgare no.2; Danse Bulgare no.3 Huguette Dreyfus, harpsichord Recorded April 1969 on a Neupert harpsichord HARMONIA MUNDI CURIOSITA HMX 290791 [44:42] [GPJ}

It really is remarkable how well this music suits the harpsichord ... see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Boult Conducts Bax Northern Ballad No. 1 (1927) [10’10]. Mediterranean (1920-22) [3’20]. Symphonic Poems: The Garden of Fand (1913-16) [16’37]; Tintagel (1917-19) [13’28]; November Woods (1917) [18’36]. London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult. No rec. info. ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD231 [62’14] [CC]

From an execution point of view, the Boult recordings on Lyrita seem head and shoulders above the rest, this despite the excellence of some of the other issues. ... see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Russian Suite (Gopak, Nocturne, In a vodka shop) (Nocturne orchestrated by Graham Parlett) [18:46] Four songs for tenor and orchestra (Glamour, Slumber song, Eternity, A lyke wake) [22:30] Golden Eagle: Incidental music to the drama by Clifford Bax [11:33]** Saga Fragment for piano and small orchestra [11:12]* Romantic Overture [13:21]**Martyn Hill (tenor) Margaret Fingerhut (piano)* Richard Nunn (piano) ** London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bryden Thomson Rec. All Saints’ Church, Tooting, London on 3-4 April, 1986 (Saga Fragment); 11-12 April, 1986 (Four songs); St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, London, 2-3 November, 1988 (Russian Suite); 23-25 June, 1991 (Golden Eagle and Romantic Overture) Orchestral Works: Volume 6 CHANDOS CLASSICS CHAN X10159 [77:39][SA]

This disc, at mid-price, is an excellent place to start for anyone wishing to dip their aural toe into Bax’s music. ... see Full Review

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953)
Symphonies: No. 1 in E flata (1921-22) [32’21]; No. 7b (1938-39) [45’34]. London Philharmonic Orchestra/aMyer Fredman, bRaymond Leppard. No rec. info. ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD232 [77’56] [CC]

Both performances do the scores justice and the recording is exemplary. ... see Full Review

Amy BEACH (1867-1944) The Solo Piano Music. Three Volumes
Volume 1 – By The Still Waters
Variations on Balkan Themes Op.60 (1904) Scottish legend Op.54 No.1 (1903) Gavotte fantastique Op.54 No.2 (1903) Scherzino; A Peterboro Chipmunk Op.128 No.1 Young Birches Op.128 No.2 A Humming Bird Op.128 No.3 Far awa’ (Transcription of Beach’s Song Op.43 No.4) Out of The Depths (Psalm 130) Op.130 (c.1928) Trois morceaux caractéristiques Op.28 (1894) By The Still Waters Op.114 (1925) Joanne Polk (piano) Recorded at The Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Centre, Purchase College, State University of New York, August 1996 ARABESQUE Z6993 [67.55]
Volume 2 – Under The Stars
Valse-Caprice Op.4 (c.1888) Prelude and Fugue Op.81 (1912) A Hermit Thrush at Eve Op.92 No.1 (1921) A Hermit Thrush at Morn Op.92 No.2 (1921) Ballad Op.6 A Cradle Song of the Lonely Mother Op.108 (1924) The Fair Hills of Éiré, O! Op.91 (1922) Les Rêves de Columbine; Suite Française Op.65 (1907) Joanne Polk (piano) Recorded at The Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Centre, Purchase College, State University of New York, April 1997 ARABESQUE Z6704 [67.03]
Volume 3 – Fire-Flies
Four Sketches Op.15 Fantasia fugata Op.87 (1923) Transcription of Richard Strauss’s Serenade Five Improvisations Op.148 (1938) Tyrolean Valse-fantasie Op.116 (1914) Eskimos, Four Characteristic Pieces Op.64 (1904) Nocturne Op.107 From Grandmother’s Garden Op.97 Joanne Polk (piano) Recorded at The Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Centre, Purchase College, State University of New York, October 1997 ARABESQUE Z6721 [69.38] [JW]

Polk proves herself to be as idiomatic an interpreter as could be imagined: subtle, nuanced, technically adroit and entirely inside the idiom. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Piano Concertos Gerard Willems (piano) Sinfonia Australis/Antony Walker Recorded at the Eugene Goossens Hall of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Ultimo Centre, Sydney, Australia, 26-27 October 2002, 2-3 November 2002, 27-29 March 2003, 3-5 April 2003, 26-27 July 2003. ABC CLASSICS 980 046-5 [3CDs: 68:30+70:20+39:48] [MC]

Willems’ endearing playing is compelling and satisfying and of a consistently high calibre. Well worth hearing and Beethoven fans will be in their element. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1826) Symphony No.6 in F major Op.68 Pastoral Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Zauberflöte; Overture Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) La Scala di seta; Overture Carl Maria WEBER (1786-1826) Invitation to the Dance - Rondo Brillant in D flat major Op.65 – orchestrated Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Tragic Overture BBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini Recorded London, 1937 and 1938 NAXOS 8.110877 [73.19] [JW]

Lean, fresh, lilting, driven by an imperturbable but flexible motor, what impresses more even than these is the sheer orchestral mastery. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) String Quartets complete Guarneri Quartet: Arnold Steinhardt, John Dalley, vv; Michael Tree; vla; Michael Soyer, vc. Notes in English, Deutsch, Français. Photo of artists. Music notation references. Recorded 1966-9, location not given. ADD BMG RCA 82876-55704-2[8 CDs: 68.58 + 55.34 + 63.40 + 68.28 + 55.14 + 64.59 + 77.57 + 65.05] [PSh]

My personal favourite version of these works. Prepare to weep, laugh, dance — and be startled by the beauty of the sounds ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Trios, Op. 9 (1796-98): Trio in G major, Op. 9, No. 1 [30:45] Trio in D major, Op. 9, No. 2 [24:54] Trio in c minor, Op. 9, No. 3 [20:44] Kandinsky String Trio: Kathrin Rabus, violin, Hartmut Rohde, viola, Nikolai Schneider, cello Rec. July 4-7, September 6-7, 2001, Landesfunkhaus, Hanover, Germany. DDD ARTE NOVA 74321 92776 2 [79:30] [KS]

These beautifully crafted works are full of grace, wit, charm and even some drama and romance ... ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas: No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31 No. 2, ‘Tempest’ (1802) [22’52]; No. 18 in E flat, Op. 31 No. 3 (1802) [21’13]; No. 21 in C, Op. 53, ‘Waldstein’ (1804) [24’07]. Artur Schnabel (piano) Complete Beethoven Sonata Society Recordings Vol. 6 Rec. Abbey Road Studio No. 3, London, on April 27th-28th, 1934 (No. 17); April 25th and May 7th, 1934 (No. 21). ADD NAXOS GREAT PIANISTS 8.110760 [68’35] [CC]

One can only extend gratitude to Naxos for this issue. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Moonlight" Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28, "Pastorale" Piano Sonata No. 16 in G major, Op. 31, No. 1 Artur Schnabel (piano) Sonata No. 14 recorded 10-11 April 1933, Sonata No. 15 recorded 3 and 17 February 1933 and Sonata No. 16 recorded 5-6 November 1935 and 15 January 1937 all at the EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 3, London. Naxos Historical - Great Pianists - Schnabel - Complete Beethoven Society Sonata Recordings Vol. 5 NAXOS 8.110759 [58:54] [MC]

Schnabel has certainly proved that his reputation as a consummate Beethoven interpreter is justified. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata in E major Op.109; Piano Sonata in A major Op.101 Alban BERG (1885-1935) Piano Sonata Op. 1 Andreas Klein (piano) rec. 22/23 December 1996, Stude Concert Hall, Houston, Texas. DDD EROICA JDT3137 [49'56] [RNB]

If the combination of works appeals, this is a heartily recommendable CD, especially if its Classical approach is as much to your taste as it was to mine. ... see Full Review

Sir Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Berkeley Conducts Berkeley Mont Juic, Op. 9 (with Britten, 1937) [11’04]. Serenade for Strings, Op. 12 (1939) [13’19]. Divertimento in B flat, Op. 18 (1943) [18’46]. Partita, Op. 66 (1964-54) [12’38]. Sinfonia concertante, Op. 84 – Canzonettaa(1973) [2’58]. Symphony No. 3, Op. 74 (1969) [15’17] aRoger Winfield (oboe). London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Lennox Berkeley No rec. info. ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD226 [73’57] [CC]

The disc’s programme has evidently been very carefully considered - it works supremely well as a straight listen-through …Berkeley’s Third Symphony is an impressive achievement, the crowning glory of this disc. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH The Berkeley Edition: Volume Four Michael BERKELEY (b. 1948) Concerto for Organ and Orchestra Viola Concerto (Revised version 1996) Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Voices of the Night Op. 86 Symphony No. 2 (Revised version 1976) Paul Silverthorne (viola) Thomas Trotter (organ) BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox Rec. St. David’s Hall, Cardiff, May 2003 (Organ Concerto) Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, May 2003 (other works) DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10167 [71:26] [CT]

Another fine addition to the ongoing Chandos Berkeley Edition ... see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Requiem, Op.5 (Grand Messe des Morts) (1837) Arrigo BOITO (1842-1918) Prologue to Mefistofele (1868) Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Te Deum (1894) John Aler (tenor) John Cheek (bass) Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Robert Shaw Rec. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Nov. 10-12, 1984 (Berlioz), April 28-29, 1979 (rest) TELARC CD 80109 [59’57+65’57] [TH]

A very satisfying reading, perhaps too ‘safe’ or cultured for some, but good for repeated listenings ... see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Te Deum Op 22 (1849) Alexander Young (tenor) Denis Vaughan (organ) London Philharmonic Choir/Dulwich College Boys Choir Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Harold in Italy (1834) William Primrose (viola) Le Corsaire Overture Op.21 Les Francs-juges Overture Op.3 Les Troyens – Overture; March Le Carnaval romain Overture Op.9 King Lear Overture Op.4 Waverley Overture Op.1 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham Recorded London, 1951-54. ADD SONY CLASSICAL RECORDINGS 515300 2 [2 CDs: 79.28 + 78.23] [JW]

Graham Melville-Mason in his ever-readable notes tells you all you need to know. Beecham meanwhile gives you all you need to hear. ... see Full Review

Georges BIZET (1838 - 1875) Carmen (1875) Carmen – Marguerite Mérentié (mezzo-soprano) Don José – Agustarello Affre (tenor) Choir and Orchestra of the Opéra-Comique/François Ruhlmann Recorded in Paris, 1911 Also includes three arias sung by Marguerite Mérentié made for G & T and Pathé from Ariane, Samson et Dalila and Marie-Magdeleine MALIBRAN MR 560 [2 CDs: 77.40 + 79.33] [JW]

The preservation of a distinguished but perhaps second-string operatic production ... the only pre-1950 example of the complete dialogue ... see Full Review

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Mêlée fantasquea (1921, rev. 1937 and 1965) [13’06]. Routb (1920) [7’24]. Adam Zero Suiteb – No. 2, Dance of Spring; No. 4, Bridal Chamber; No. 5, Dance of Summer (1946) [8’54]. bHymn to Apollo (1928, rev. 1964) [10’23]. Serenadec(1929) [25’52]. The World is charged with the grandeur of Godd (1969) [13’31]. bRae Woodland (soprano); cJohn Shirley-Quirk (baritone); dAmbrosian Singers; dLSO Wind and Brass Ensemble; abcLondon Symphony Orchestra/abSir Arthur Bliss, cBrian Priestman, dPhilip Ledger. No rec. info. given. ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD225 [79’13] [CC]

Given the authority of the composer’s accounts of three of the pieces, plus the undeniable advocacy of the rest, this is a mandatory purchase for all lovers of the music of Bliss. ... see Full Review

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) The Complete String Quartets Vol. 2 String Quartet No. 2 (1947) [32.40] String Quartet No. 3 (1953) [23.20] Portland String Quartet (Stephen Kecskemethy, violin; Ronald Lantz, violin; Julia Adams, viola; Paul Ross, cello) rec. CBS Studios, Studio B, New York, 13-15 Oct 1982; Congregation Emanuel of Westchester, Rye, New York, 17-19 Jan, 9-10 May 1983. DDD ARABESQUE RECORDINGS Z6626 [57.28]
Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) The Complete String Quartets Vol. 3 String Quartet No. 4 (1954) [28.42] String Quartet No. 5 (1956) [32.13] Portland String Quartet (Stephen Kecskemethy, violin; Ronald Lantz, violin; Julia Adams, viola; Paul Ross, cello) rec. CBS Studios, Studio B, New York, 13-15 Oct 1982; Congregation Emanuel of Westchester, Rye, New York, 17-19 Jan, 9-10 May 1983. DDD ARABESQUE RECORDINGS Z6627 [57.28] [RB}

These are intense and serious quartets, not a trace of the serenade or divertimento here. Let's not forget these indispensable Bloch recordings but celebrate them afresh ... see Full Review

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) The Complete Music for Violin and Piano - volume 1 Violin Sonata No. 1 (1920) [25.56] Abodah (1929) [5.28] Suite No. 1 for solo violin (1958) [11.15] Suite Hébraïque (1951) [10.41] The Weilerstein Duo rec. Eastman School of Music, 2-3 April, 10-12 Aug 1985. DDD ARABESQUE RECORDINGS Z6605 [55.23]
Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959)
The Complete Music for Violin and Piano - volume 2 Violin Sonata No. 2 Poème Mystique (1924) [20.05] Baal Shem (1923) [11.47] Suite No. 2 for solo violin (1958) [11.15] Nuit Exotique (1925) [7.41] The Weilerstein Duo rec. Eastman School of Music, 2-3 April, 10-12 Aug 1985. DDD ARABESQUE RECORDINGS Z6606 [51.39] [RB]

The recording is strong and clear and the Weilersteins fully engage with the music at emotional and technical levels ... see Full Review

Theodore BLUMER (1881-1964) Wind Chamber Music: volume 2 Schweizer Quintett (1953). Kinderspielzeug, Op.64 fur Blaserquintett. Sextett (Kammersinfonie) Op. 92 (1941). Moran Woodwind Quintet. Paul Barnes (piano). No recording venue or dates given CRYSTAL RECORDS CD755 [67.19] [NL]

Anyone who enjoys Strauss’s late works, such as the Oboe Concerto, is likely to enjoy this disc. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 (1858) Rhapsody in E flat, Op. 119/4 (1893) Rhapsody in B minor, Op. 79/1 (1879) Rhapsody in G minor, Op. 79/2 (1879) Joyce Hatto, piano National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra/René Köhler Recorded at St Mark’s Church, Croydon, United Kingdom, June 1995 and at Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, United Kingdom, September 1997 CONCERT ARTIST CACD8000-2 [70.13] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat, Op. 83 (1881) Klavierstücke, Op. 118 (1893) Joyce Hatto, piano National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra/René Köhler Recorded at Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, United Kingdom, March 1992 and May 1998 CONCERT ARTIST CACD8001-2 [74.04] [WH]

Playing of the very highest quality ... Hatto easily finds her place in the hallowed company of Serkin, Arrau and Backhaus ... see Full Review

Rudolf Serkin, pianist. The Art of Interpretation Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor Op.15 * Variations and Fugue for piano in B flat on a theme by Handel Rudolf Serkin (piano) Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell * Recorded April 1968 in Cleveland (Concerto) and January 1979 in Guilford, Vermont (Variations) SONY CLASSICS 5128752 [74.22] [JW]

The variations are noted as being a first CD release, which if so is even more of an incentive to acquire this august reissue. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quartet in C minor, Op. 51, No. 1 arranged for piano, 4 hands, String Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2 arranged for piano, 4 hands Silke-Thora Matthies (piano) Christian Kohn (piano) Rec. Clara-Wieck-Auditorium, Sandhausen, Germany, 7-9 August 1997 Four-Hand Piano Music Vol. 10 NAXOS 8.557056 [55.56] [MC]

A pleasing release that will find many supporters ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Sextet No. 2 in G, Op. 36 (1865) [37’11]. Arnold SCHÖNBERG (1874-1951) Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (original sextet version, 1889) [29’39]. London Concertante. Rec. St Edward the Confessor Church, Mottingham, on 9th-11th June 2003. DDD CMG CMG011 [66’50] [CC]

Not really a recommendable issue, then, despite some nice moments. Unless it is this specific coupling you require, it is best to look elsewhere. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Trio in B major, Op. 8 Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 15 Trio Bamberg Recorded at the Meistersingerhalle, Nürnberg, Kleiner Saal, 6-8 June 2002 (Brahms); 31 May - 1 June 2001 (Smetana) DDD THOROFON CLASSICS CTH 2447 [68:10] [MS]

This is a fine release well performed and recorded. The interpretation of the Smetana Piano Trio is especially satisfying. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) A Cappella Choral Works Chamber Choir of Europe/Nicol Matt Amadeus-chor/Nicol Matt (CD number four only) Recording 2003, Kloster Bronnbach, Wertheim; Schlosskirche Bad Dürkheim, Germany. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92179 CD1 [50:36+41:35+ 57:11 + 66:28 + 58:18 + 57:47 + 61:07 + 52:34] [RB]

A most attractive release of Brahms's complete unaccompanied choral works. At super-budget price this release represents marvellous value. These works are a joy to hear and exploration will bring the listener many discoveries and hours of pleasure. Highly recommended. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Orchestral Works, Volume 4 Rebus - Overture for Orchestra (1940) [10:44] (premiere recording on CD) Oration (Concerto elegiaco) for solo cello and orchestra (1930)* [29:16] Allegro moderato - Fragment of a symphony for string orchestra (1940-41) [13:24] (edited by Anthony Pople) Lament for string orchestra (Catherine, aged 9, 'Lusitania' 1915) (1915) [5:21] A Prayer for chorus and orchestra (1916-18)† [17:55] Alban Gerhardt (cello)* BBC National Chorus of Wales † BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox Rec. Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, 13-14 May 2003 CHANDOS CHAN 10188 [77:00] [RB]

An extraordinarily rewarding series now celebrated in a fourth volume placing the masterly tragic-elegiac Oration alongside the busily loquacious Rebus, the innocence of Lament and the transitional but still independent-minded A Prayer.... see Full Review

British String Quartets - Vol. 3 Frank BRIDGE (1879 – 1941)
String Quartet No. 4 (1937) Alan BUSH (1900 – 1995) Suite of Six Op.81 (1975) Henry PURCELL (1659 – 1695) Chacony in G minor (c.1690, ed. B. Britten) Bochmann String Quartet Recorded: The Downs School, Colwall, Worcs., July 2003 (Bridge, Purcell) and Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, Oxford, October 2003 (Bush) REDCLIFFE RECORDINGS RR 020 [55:33]

A most welcome and desirable release that may safely be recommended, the more so since the Bush piece has never been recorded before. ... see Full Review

Douglas BRILEY (b. 1971) Quintet for a Healing Nation (2002) [19:23] Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Phantasy piano quartet in f-sharp minor (1910) [13:19] Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano quartet no. 3 in c minor, Op. 60 (1875) [33:48] The Adkins String Ensemble: Elizabeth Adkins, Alexandra Adkins Wenig, Madaline Adkins, violin; Clare Adkins Cason, violin and viola; Anthony Adkins, Christopher Adkins, cello and Edward Newman, piano. Recorded 7-12 August, 2003 at the Mesquite Arts Center, Mesquite, Texas. DDD Also includes a bonus DVD in super audio formats. JABEZ PRESS JP98201[66:29] [KS]

A must-have for all lovers of chamber music. New stars in the musical firmament. ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Cello Suite No. 1, Op. 72 (1965) Cello Suite No. 2, Op. 80 (1968)Cello Suite No. 3 (1974) William Butt (cello) Rec 20-21 July 2003, Henry Wood Hall, London WARNER APEX 2564 60493 2 [2CDs: 57.12+27.36] [TB]

These excellent performances by Butt will do his career no harm at all. ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 3 ‘Wagner’ (1877 and 1889 versions) CD 1: 1877 version; Adagio (1876) CD 2: 1889 version. New Philharmonic Orchestra of Westphalia/Johannes Wildner Rec. Festspielhaus Recklinghausen, Germany, October 2001 - January 2002. DDD NAXOS 8.555928-29 [2CDs: 2:07:40] [MC]

Naxos are to congratulated: These are memorable performances and make for a fascinating Bruckner document. ... see Full Review

Geoffrey BUSH (1920-1998) Overture, Yoricka (1949) [8’32]. Music for Orchestrab (1967) [16’08]. Symphonies – No. 1c (1954) [27’38]; No. 2, ‘The Guildfordd (1957) [26’48] aNew Philharmonia Orchestra, bLondon Philharmonic Orchestra/abVernon Handley; cLondon Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite; dRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth. Rec. Kingsway Hall, London on aAugust 25th, 1976, cAugust 2nd-3rd, 1978, bWalthamstow Assembly Hall, on January 4th, 1972, dWatford Town Hall, on January 13th, 1994. ADD/dDDD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD252 [76.32] [CC]

There is a whole world of diversity on this disc. ... see Full Review

William BYRD (c.1539-1623) Playing Elizabeth’s Tune: The Tallis Scholars Sing William Byrd Mass for 4 voices; Ave Verum corpus; Diffusa est gratia; Magnificat (Great Service); Ne irascaris; Nunc dimittis (Gradualia); O Lord, make they Servant Elizabeth; Prevent Us, O Lord; Tristia et anxietas; Vigilate; Mass for 5 voices (*); Mass for 3 Voices (*); Tribue Domine (*) (*) Audio only Tallis Scholars/Peter Philips Recorded 2004, Tewkesbury Abbey GIMELL GIMDP901 [1 DVD 72.23, 69.16, 51.14] [RH]

Musically stunning, but with rather a disappointing visual content ... 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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