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Thomas ADÈS (b.1971) America: A Prophecy, Op.19 (1999) The Fayrfax Carol, (1997) Fool’s Rhymes, Op.5 (1992) January Writ (1999) O Thou, who didst with pitfall and with gin, Op.3a (1990) The Love in Winter (1989) Life Story, Op.8 (1998) Cardiac Arrest (Foreman/Smyth, arr. Ades) (1995) Les Baricades mistérieuses (Couperin, transc. Ades) (1994) Brahms, Op.21 (2001) Claron McFadden (soprano), Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano); Robin Blaze (countertenor), Christopher Maltman (baritone); Huw Watkins (piano) Polyphony/Stephen Layton The Composers Ensemble City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and Orchestra/Thomas Adès Recorded in Symphony Hall, Birmingham (March, 2002), Temple Church, London (February, 2003) and LSO St. Luke’s, London (June and October, 2003) EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 57610-2 [59’38] [TH]

Absolutely authoritative performances … a highly recommendable disc of music by one of the UK’s most exciting young composers. … see Full Review

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Alwyn conducts Alwyn Derby Day, Overture (1960) [6’38]. The Magic Island, Symphonic Prelude (1952) [10’15]. Elizabethan Dances (1957) – Moderato e ritmico [2’48]; Waltz [2’38]; Poco allegretto e semplice [3’22]; Moderato [3’40]. Sinfonietta for Strings (1970) [26’24]. Festival March (1950) [8’20]. London Philharmonic Orchestra/William Alwyn. No rec. info ADD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD229 [64’06] [CC]

An infectious and varied compilation of shorter pieces and suites by the ever-approachable William Alwyn. The Sinfonietta is a substantial offering and reveals the depth and variety of Alwyn’s imagination. … see Full Review

Juan de ANCHIETA (1462-1523) Missa Sine Nomine; Salve sancta parens; Ave sanctissima Maria; Virgo est Mater; Salve Regina Josquin des PRES (1445-1521) Kyrie 1 (organ elaboration by Fernandez Palero) Francisco de PENALOSA (1470-1528) Sancta Mater istud agas Juan de URREDA (fl. c.1500) Hymn ‘Pange Lingua’ elaborated by Cabezon (1500-1566) ANON; L’homme arme; Beata Viscera; Benedicta et venerabilis es; Ave gratia plena; (Plainchants) Reyna muy esclarecida; Capilla Peñaflorida and the Ministriles de Marsias directed by Josep Cabre Recorded at the Villabuena, Alava, Uriona, Araba, October 2000 NAXOS 8.555772 [67.23] [GH]

I cannot find anything about the disc that I do not like and I can only advise you to find a fiver and enjoy it for yourself. … see Full Review

Juan Crisóstomo ARRIAGA (1806-1826) Overture, Los esclavos felice Symphony in D Carlos SEIXAS (1704-1742) Sinfonia in B Flat João de Sousa CARVALHO ((1745-1798) Overture L’amore industrioso António Leal MOREIRA (1758-1819) Sinfonia Marcos PORTUGAL (1762-1830) Overture: Il Duca di Foix Algarve Orchestra/Álvaro Cassuto Rec. University of the Algarve, Faro, Portugal. 16th – 22nd September 2002. NAXOS 8.557207 [57:36] [LB]

This disc would enrich any respectable collection and I certainly look forward to hearing more from the Algarve Orchestra. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) French Suites (BWV 812 – 817):- Suite nr 1 in d minor (BWV 812) [11’10] Suite nr 2 in c minor (BWV 813) [09:33] Suite nr 3 in b minor (BWV 814) [11:27] Suite nr 4 in E flat (BWV 815) [12:17] Suite nr 5 in G (BWV 816) [15:28] Suite nr 6 in E (BWV 817) [12:25] Bradley Brookshire, harpsichord Recorded in January 2001 in the Recital Hall, Purchase College Conservatory of Music, New York USA DDD PURCHASE RECORDS PC1575 [72:23][JV]

An imaginative, bold, even provocative interpretation, which makes you listen again to music you thought you knew ... see Full Review

Rosalyn Tureck plays Bach: The Great Solo Works - Volume 2 Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Well Tempered Clavier Book I Prelude and Fugue in C major BWV 846 Prelude and Fugue in C minor BWV 847 Well Tempered Clavier Book II Prelude and Fugue in C sharp minor BWV 872 Prelude and Fugue in G major BWV 884 English Suite No 3 in G minor BWV 808 Sonata in D minor BWV 964 [Violin Sonata in A minor BWV 1003] Italian Concerto BWV 971 Rosalyn Tureck (piano) Recorded [? 1990] VAI AUDIO VAIA1051 [71.02][JW]

One is compelled by the taut logic and elevation of Tureck’s readings … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations Barbara Harbach (harpsichord) Recorded c.1990 GASPARO GG 1018 [67.06] [JW]

This thoughtful performance has given me pause for constructive and serious thought. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) Lajos Rovatkay, harpsichord (Rainer Schütze, 1976, after Blanchet, 1737) Recorded June 2001. DDD QUERSTAND VKJK 0314 [78:32]

Another recording of the Goldberg Variations – not recommendable due to its rigidity and lack of variety … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonata for violin in G, BWV 1021 [8:28] Sonata for violin in C minor, BWV 1024 [12:10] Sonata for violin in E minor, BWV 1023 [11:39] Sonata for violin in G, BWV 1019a (with alternative movements) [15:52] Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Sonata for violin in B-flat, VW 77 [14:01] Sonata for violin in D, VW 71 [10:53] Jacqueline Ross, violin David Ponsford, harpsichord Richard Boothby, viola da gamba Recorded 11-13 November 2002, St. Andrew’s Church, Toddington DDD GAUDEAMUS CD GAU 345 [74:05] [KS]

Elegant and thoughtful performances… devoid of the often-pretentious affectations and mannerisms of much period instrument playing. A rich and warm tone and excellent sense of rhythm and line. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1695-1750) Disc 1: The Schübler Chorale Preludes, BWV 645-650 Pastorale in F major, BWV 590 Canonic Variations, BWV 769 * The Four Duets from Clavier-Übung III, BWV 802-805 * Manualiter Chorales from Clavier-Übung III * BWV 672-675, 677, 679, 681, 683, 685, 687, 689 Disc 2: Prelude in E flat, BWV 552/a Pedaliter Chorales from Clavier-Übung III BWV 672-675, 679, 681, 683, 685, 687, 689 Fugue in E flat, BWV 552/b Chorale Partita, BWV 767 * Dame Gillian Weir (organ) Recorded at Deer Park, United Church, Toronto, and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Fort Collins, Colorado * Organ Master Series, Volume 3 PRIORY PRCD 753 [2CDs: 155:52] [DS]

I have been hungry for a fine set of newly recorded Bach performances. With Gillian Weir’s new recording, my hunger is gone. … security and enlightenment … see Full Review

Transfigured Bach: The Bach Transcriptions of Bartók, Lipatti and Friedman Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 565) - transc. I. Friedman; Pastorale in F Major for organ (BWV 590) * - transc. D. Lipatti; Bouree from Partita No 1 in B minor for solo violin (BWV1002) - transc. I. Friedman; Sheep May Safely Graze from Cantata (BWV208) - transc. I. Friedman; Morgenlied from 6 Schubler Chorales (BWV645) * - transc. I. Friedman ; My Heart Ever Faithful from Cantata (BWV68) - transc. I. Friedman; First movement from Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (BWV1048) - transc. I. Friedman; Siciliano from Sonata No. 2 in E Flat Major for flute and Clavier (BWV1031) - transc. I. Friedman; Gavotte and Rondo from Partita No. 3 for solo violin (BWV1006) - transc. I. Friedman; Wachet auf, ruft uns die stimme from 6 Schubler Chorales (BWV645) - transc. I. Friedman; Nun kommt, der Heiden Heiland (BWV659a) - transc. I. Friedman; Sonata No. 6 in G major for Organ (BWV530) * - transc. B. Bartók Petronel Malan (piano) recorded in the Skywalker Sound Studio, Nicasio, California, U.S.A. January 12 - 15, 2001. DDD HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 98.424 [65’36"] [JPh]

This is a disc which will provide a good reminder of Miss Malan’s undoubted gifts and Hänssler is to be complimented on taking the risk with such repertoire with a new up and coming artist. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Vanessa. An opera in three acts (Revised Version) Vanessa: Ellen Chickering (soprano) Erika: Andrea Matthews (soprano) The Old Baroness: Marion Dry (contralto) Anatol: Ray Bauwens (tenor) The Old Doctor: Richard Conrad (tenor) Nicholas: Philip Lima (baritone) Ukrainian National Capella "Dumka" National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Gil Rose Rec. Concert Studio of Ukrainian Radio, Kiev, Ukraine, 25 May – 8 June 2002 DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.669140-41 [2 CDs 55’08" + 65’51"] [JQ]

Rejoice that such a significant opera has been done proud by this release. … a very fine achievement. Urgently recommended. … see Full Review

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) CD1 Music for strings, percussion and celesta [31.55] Divertimento for String Orchestra [25.15] CD2 The Wooden Prince - suite [26.28] Two Portraits [13.07] CD3 Violin Concerto No. 1 Op. Posth. [22.26] Violin Concerto No. 2 [40.01] CD4 Romanian Folk Dances [7.02] Dance Suite [18.14] Hungarian Pictures [12.53] Two Pictures [19.18] Romanian Dance [6.32] CD5 Concerto for Orchestra (1945) [31.47] The Miraculous Mandarin suite (1919) [21.32] Gerhart Hetzel (violin) Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra/Adam Fischer rec. 12 Sept 1989 - 5 Oct 1992, Haydnsaal, Eisenstadt, Austria. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 6488 [57.10+39.25+62.39+64.33+63.41] [RB]

Balancing coverage of repertoire, price and quality there is no better way to get to know the orchestral Bartók. ... see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) St Patrick's Breastplate for chorus and orchestra (1923) [14:49] Two Nocturnes for soprano and orchestra (Aufblick; Liebesode) (1911) [8:18] The Morning Watch for chorus and orchestra (1935) [16:50] To the Name above every Name for soprano, chorus and orchestra (1923) [20:03] Christine Bunning (soprano) Huddersfield Choral Society BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins Rec. Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 17 April 2003 (Nocturnes); Leeds Town Hall, 8-9 March 2003 (other works) DDD World premiere recordings CHANDOS CHAN 10164 [60:23] [RB]

Originality and patent conviction … impressively and fervently performed ... see Full Review

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 1-9 includes Norrington lecture CD on interpretation of Beethoven Camilla Nylund (sop) Iris Vermillion (alto) Jonas Kaufmann (ten) Franz-Josef Selig (bass) Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra/Roger Norrington Rec. Stuttgart, Germany August/September 2002 DDD HÄNSSLER CLASSICS 93.089 [6 CDs: 56.57 + 74.53 + 74.15 + 61.28 + 61.36 + 79.50] [RW]

Norrington's overall thumbprint is recognised by a focus on certain underlying elements in the score, encouraging a pulsing rhythm and taking the performances at a fast and lively pace. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 – 1827) Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op.21 (1800) recorded on October 8th 1988 Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op.36 (1801) recorded on December 11th 1988 Symphony No. 3 in E Flat, Op. 55, Eroica (1803) recorded on October 23rd 1983 Symphony No. 4 in B Flat, Op. 60 (1806) recorded on October 9th 1988 Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op.67 (1807) recorded on September 20th 1987 Symphony No. 6 in F, Op.68, Pastoral (1808), recorded December 15th 1986 Symphony No. 7 in A, Op.92 (1812) recorded on September 20th 1987 Symphony No. 8 in F, Op.93 (1812) recorded on October 22nd – 23rd 1983 Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op.125, Choral (1824) recorded October 18th & 19th 1985Leonore Overture No.3, Op. 72 (1806) recorded December 15th 1986 Carol Vaness (soprano), Janice Taylor, (alto) Siegfried Jerusalem, (tenor), Robert Lloyd (bass) Cleveland Chorus and Orchestra/Christoph von Dohnanyi. Recordings all made in the Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland, U.S.A. 6 discs, available as either a set or separately. DDD TELARC CD 80200 [6CDs: 358.12] [JPh]

Superbly efficient and sumptuous sounding in a believable acoustic but a very cold and dispassionate take on the Beethoven symphonies. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 – 1827) Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op.21 (1800) Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op.36 (1801) Symphony No. 3 in E Flat, Op. 55, Eroica (1803) Symphony No. 4 in B Flat, Op. 60 (1806) Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op.67 (1807) Symphony No. 6 in F, Op.68, Pastoral (1808) Symphony No. 7 in A, Op.92 (1812) Symphony No. 8 in F, Op.93 (1812) Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op.125, Choral (1824) Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 (1807) Eileen Farrell (soprano), Nan Merriman, (alto) Jan Peerce, (tenor) and Norman Scott (bass) Robert Shaw Chorale NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini. Recordings 21/12/51 {No.1), 7/11/49 and 5/10/51 (No.2), 6/12/53 (No. 3), 3/2/51 (No. 4), 22/3/52 (No. 5), 14/1/52 (No. 6), 9/11 and 10/11/ 51 (No. 7), 10/11/51 (No. 8) and 31/3 and 1/4/52 (No. 9) in Carnegie Hall, New York. ADD available either individually or as a set. RCA RED SEAL 82876-55702-2 [5 discs: 322.50] [JPh]

Very highly recommended in its new format, unless the highest of fi is a strong requirement. … see Full Review

Emil Gilels Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major Op. 15 (1797) Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major Op. 19 (1793 rev. 1794-95) Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor Op. 37 (? 1800) Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major Op. 58 (1805-06) Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major Op. 73 Emperor (1809) Piano Sonata No. 7 in D major Op. 10/3 (1797-98) Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor Op13 Pathétique (1798) Piano Sonata No. 12 in A flat major Op. 26 (1800-01) Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor Op. 27 No. 2 Moonlight (1801) Piano Sonata No. 16 in G Op. 31/1 (1802) Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor Op. 57 Appassionata (1804) Piano Sonata No. 25 in G major Op. 79 (1809) Piano Sonata No. 26 in E flat major Op. 81a Les Adieux (1809-10) Piano Sonata No. 27 in E minor Op. 90 (1814) Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat major Op. 106 Hammerklavier (1818) Emil Gilels (piano) State Symphony orchestra of the USSR/Kurt Masur Live recordings made between 1961 and 1984 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92132 [JW]

The price is absurdly cheap whatever the provenance and the set provides however imperfectly in places some semblance of Gilels’s greatness as a Beethovenian. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5 in E-flat major, op. 73, "Emperor" [36:50] Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in G major, op. 58 [33:03] Wilhelm Kempff, piano Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Peter Raabe (Op. 73) Orchestra of the German Opera House, Berlin, Paul van Kempen (Op. 58) No recording locations given. Remastered recordings from original 78 r.p.m. recordings from the collection of Dr. Jens-Uwe Völmecke, Erftadt, Germany. Remastered in 2003 by THS Studio, Holger Seidler, Dormagen, Germany. Recording dates: 1935 (Op. 73) and 1941 (Op. 58) ADD HÄNSSLER CLASSIC (MASTERPIECE SERIES) CD 94.045 [69:53] [KS]

Fine performances by a master in his youth, well worth a listen as an historical document. This is a good supplemental item for any library.… see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trio No. 5 in D major Op. 70/1 Ghost Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Piano Trio in G major K564 (1788) Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Piano Trio No. 2 (1928-29) Benjamin Britten (piano) Yehudi Menuhin (violin) Maurice Gendron (cello) Recorded at the 16th Aldeburgh Festival, Aldeburgh Parish Church, 24 June 1963 BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4134-2 [74.24] [JW]

Patchily played but Britten’s playing of the Bridge work makes this a valuable artefact. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 "Moonlight" [13:38] Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 "Pastoral" [21:15] Piano Sonata No. 16 in G major, Op. 31, No. 1 [24:01] Artur Schnabel, piano Recorded 10-11 April 1933 (Op. 27), 3 and 17 April 1933 (Op. 28), and 5-6 November 1935 (Op. 31) in EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 3, London. Transfers and remastering by Mark Obert-Thorn ADD NAXOS 8.110759 [58:54] [KS]

Recommended highly to lovers of historical recordings, and students of performance practice alike. … See Full Review

Concert Soloists of Wolf Trap Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major Op. 47 Kreutzer (1803) Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Cello Sonata (1932) Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Trio (1882) Oscar Shumsky (violin) Charles Curtis (cello) Earl Wild (piano) Recorded at Carnegie Hall November 19th 1979 except the Barber Sonata, a radio broadcast from 12th September 1979 IVORY CLASSICS 73003 [2 CDs 98.20] [JW]

lightness, powerful authority and a properly conclusive sense of triumph. A truly remarkable performance and I strongly recommend you hear it. … see Full Review

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Missa Solemnis op.123 (1824) Lori Phillips, soprano; Robynne Redmon, Mezzo-soprano; James Taylor, tenor; Jay Baylon, Bass-baritone, Mary Kathryn van Osdale, violin Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Kenneth Schermerhorn Recorded at Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, April 21st-22nd 2003 NAXOS 8.557060 [77:11] [GPJ]

There is massive competition in this work but at super-bargain price, this is a very acceptable offering. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis in D, op. 123 [78:58] Zinka Milanov, soprano; Bruna Castagna, contralto; Jussi Bjoerling, tenor, Alexander Kipnis, bass. The Westminster Choir, John Finley Williamson, director. NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini Recorded at a live radio broadcast on 28 December 1940 at Carnegie Hall, New York. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D, op. 61.[38:44] Jascha Heifetz, violin NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini Commercial recording from 11 March 1940 All recordings ADD GUILD GHCD 2248/9 [2CDs: 121:05] [KS]

Heifetz finds plenty of drama as well as, ample lyricism but this recording of the Missa is flawed. High time we dispelled the myth of infallibility attached to Toscanini … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Fidelio (1805) Leonore – Sena Jurinac Florestan – Jon Vickers Rocco – Gottlob Frick Don Pizarro – Hans Hotter Marzelline – Elsie Morrison Jacquino – John Dobson Don Fernando – Forbes Robinson The Covent Garden Chorus, The Covent Garden Orchestra/Otto Klemperer Recorded 24th February 1961 at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden mono recording. Full price. TESTAMENT SBT2 1328 [77’52+64’50]
Leonore – Anna Bathy Florestan – Endre Rosler Rocco – Mihaly Szekely Don Pizarro – Oszkar Maleczky Marzelline – Maria Matayas Jacquino – Gyula Angyl Nagy Don Fernando – Istvan Koszo Orchestra and Chorus of Hungarian State Opera/Otto Klemperer Recorded 18th November, 1948 in Budapest. second disc includes SCHUBERT Symphony No. 8 and BACH Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 Mono recording. Medium price. URANIA URN 22.246 [75’13+59’14] [MB]

The Testament discs are a thrillingly vivid reproduction of a great performance; the Urania discs are invaluable for giving us what was, at the time, a singular interpretation of this opera. Both are indispensable … see Full Review

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801 – 1835) I Puritani - Opera seria in three parts. Elvira…Maria Callas (soprano) Arturo…Giuseppe Di Stefano (tenor) Riccardo…Rolando Panerai (baritone) Giorgio…Nicola Rossi-Lemeni (bass) Bruno…Angelo Mercuriali (tenor) Gualtiero Valton…Carlo Forti (bass) Enrichetta…Aurora Cattelani (soprano) Chorus and Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, Milan/Tullio Serafin Recorded in the Basilica di Santa Eufemia, Milan 24/26/27/29/30/31 March and 1/3 April 1953 ADD NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110259-60 [69.09+73.19] [RM]

We should be in for a treat and within the limitations of any historical recording that is precisely what this is. … see Full Review

Jirí Antonín BENDA (1722-1795) Ariadne auf Naxos (1775) Jitka Molavcová, Alfred Strevcek (speakers) Czech Chamber Philharmonic orchestra/Jaroslav Krcek
Recorded 2000, Prague ARCO DIVA UP 0066-2 231 [38.39] ** [TH]

Abundant attractions …a performance full of interesting and sensitive responses … pacing and phrasing exemplary. Pity about playing time and documentation … see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) La Damnation de Faust (1854-56) Marguerite - Mona Laurena (soprano) Méphisto – Paul Cabanel (baritone) Georges Jouatte (tenor) Brander, le Récitant – André Pactat (bass) Grande Messe des Morts (Requiem) (1837) Georges Jouatte (tenor) Choeurs Emile Passani Grand Orchestre de Radio-Paris/Jean Fournet Includes interview with Fournet conducted in February 1998 Recorded in Paris 1943-44 MALIBRAN CDRG 107 [3 CDs: 205.24] [JW]

Stands as a fitting tribute to Fournet’s significant wartime achievement … see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Zaide, Opus 19 No. 1 (1845) La captive, Opus 12 (1848) La belle voyageuse (1843) Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Adagietto (Symphony No. 5)* (1902) Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Wesendonck Lieder (1858) Siegfried Idyll* (1870) Yvonne Naef (mezzo soprano) Capella Istropolitana Pilsen Radio Symphony Orchestra* David Heer Recorded 26-19 October 2002 (Berlioz, Wagner Wesendonck Lieder); Studio Radio Pilsen, February 2003 (Mahler, Wagner Siegfried Idyll CLAVES CD 50-2309 [65.46] [TB]

The colourful scoring has an edge of expressive intensity in Henze’s version … see Full Review

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990)Symphony No. 1 Jeremiah (1942) [25.06]: Prophecy [7.43]; Profanation [6.29]; Lamentation [10.54] Concerto for Orchestra Jubilee Games (1986) [29.58]: I Free-Style Events: Allegro con brio, giocoso [7.27]; II Mixed Doubles: Theme [1.26]; Variation 1 [1.01]; Variation 2 [0.26]; Variation 3 [0.39]; Variation 4 [1.17]; Variation 5 [0.33]; Variation 6 [2.18]; Variation 7 [1.15]; Coda [1.45]; III Diaspora Dances: Vivace [5.37]; IV Benediction: Moderato, invocando [6.13] Helen Medlyn, (mezzo-soprano); Nathan Gunn, (baritone) The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/James Judd Rec. 13-15 Aug 2002, The Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand. DDD NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559100 [55.04] [PW]

A welcome new look at Bernstein as a serious symphonic composer. The orchestra are undoubtedly a group to watch out for … see Full Review

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in B flat major (1939) [38’49"] Sonata for Piano* (1952) [21’54"] Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra** (1950) [12’16"] Peter Donohoe ** Martin Roscoe (piano) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones Rec. Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 12-13 Sept 2002; *Potton Hall, Suffolk, 17 Jan 2003. DDD NAXOS 8.557146 [72’59"] [JQ]

Limpid delicacy, innocence, nostalgic introspection, a fine rhythmic impulse and ultimately a touch of grandiloquence … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat, Op. 83 (1882). François-Frédéric Guy (piano); London Philharmonic Orchestra/Paavo Berglund.Live performance at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on May 31st, 2003. DDD NAÏVE V4944 [46’48]

I do not see the point of this product and I shall not be returning to it in a hurry. This is as lacklustre as they come. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Scherzo in E flat minor Op. 4 (1851) Klavierstücke Op. 76 (1878) Variations on a Theme by Paganini Op. 35 (1866) Ballades Op. 10 (1854) No. 1 in D minor No. 2 in D major No. 3 in B minor Joyce Hatto (piano) Rec. Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge 1994 and 2002 (Paganini Variations) The Works for Piano Volume 4 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9030-2 [72.30] [JW]

All in all this is a distinct achievement, conveyed with the minimum of ostentation, as indeed is the whole disc. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Works for Chorus and Orchestra Triumphlied (Song of Triumph), op 55*, for eight-part chorus, baritone solo and orchestra (organ ad libitum) (1878-71) Ave Maria, op.12, for womens chorus, organ and woodwind orchestra (1855 orch. 1859) Schicksalslied (Song of Fate/Song of Destiny), op. 54, for four-part chorus and orchestra (1868-71) Nänie (Lament/Threnody), op. 82, for four-part chorus and orchestra (harp ad libitum) (1880-81) Bo Skovhus (baritone)* Danish National Choir/DR Danish National Symphony Orchestra/Gerd Albrecht Recorded at the Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen 8-9 November 2001 (Schicksalslied; Nänie) and 25 to 27 November 2003 (Ave Maria; Triumphlied) DDD CHANDOS CHAN 10165 [54:28] [MC]

Magnificent works, magnificently recorded. Should be in the collection of every classical music lover. Indispensable! … see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879 - 1941) Orchestral Works Volume 3 Coronation March (1911) [6.46] Summer (1914) [10.42] Phantasm, Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra (1931) [24.21] There is a Willow Grows aslant a Brook (1927) [11.18] Vignettes de danse (1938) [11.20] Sir Roger de Coverley (A Christmas Dance) (1922) [4.41] Howard Shelley (piano) BBC National Orchestra of Wales (Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Gymreig y BBC)/Richard Hickox CD tracks in stereo. SACD tracks in 2 channel stereo and in surround sound. Recorded with the Royal College of Music Frank Bridge Bequest. Hybrid SACD playable on CD players and SACD players CHANDOS CHSA 5018 [69.55] [PSh]

English impressionistic music, unjustly neglected, beautifully performed and recorded … see Full Review

Dave BRUBECK (b. 1920) Chromatic Fantasy Sonata [29:05] Five Pieces from ‘Two-Part Adventures’ [5:50] Tritonis [13:04] The Salmon Strikes [3:06] Rising Sun [3:44] John Salmon, PianoRecorded at the School of Music, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA on 22 September and 13-14 October, 2002 DDD NAXOS 8.559212 [54:48] [PG]

Performances of highest caliber. truly excellent. The music is a joy. The performance is exquisite. Very highly recommended. … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No 9 in D minor, (1891-1896) Movts. 1-3 ed. Leopold Nowak Movt. 4 performing version by Nicola Samale, Giuseppe Mazzuca, John A. Phillips and Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs (1991, rev. 1996) New Philharmonic Orchestra of Westphalia/Johannes Wildner Recorded in the Schillertheater, Gelsenkirken, Germany 20-21 April, 12 May 1998. DDD NAXOS 8.555933-34 [2CDs: 82’43"] [JQ]

An interesting curiosity but no more than that … I’m more than happy to stick with three majestic movements that are indisputably as Bruckner intended them to be … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824 - 1896) Masses CD 1 Mass No.1 in D minor CD 2 Te Deum in C major, Psalm 150, Mass No. 2 in E minor, CD 3 Mass No. 3 in F minor, BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92002 [3CDs: 50.38+76.44+62.03] [MC]

Brilliant Classics offer superb value in this well presented triple Bruckner box-set. The performances are very fine and at super-bargain price there is every reason to explore these dramatic and rewarding choral works. Recommended without reservation. … see Full Review

Fritz BRUN (1878-1959) Symphony No. 3 in D minor Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Adriano Recorded at Mosfilm Studios Moscow in August 2003 STERLING CDS-1059-2 [60:55] [IL]

Adriano makes an eloquent and passionate case for this rather solemn epic symphony. Adventurous, persevering listeners will discover riches. … see Full Review

Gavin BRYARS (b.1943)/Juan MUŇOZ (1952-2001) A Man in a Room, Gambling (1992) Juan Muñoz (speaking voice) Yukio Fujishima (additional speaking voice) The Balanescu quartet Recorded February and March 1992 GB RECORDS BCGBCD04 [51.33] [JW]

What is fascinating are the little narrative incidents that lend this project its strange power. … 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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