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John Luther ADAMS (b.1953) Earth and the Great Weather (1990-93): The Place Where You Go To Listen [8:05] Drums of Winter [6:51] Pointed Mountains Scattered All Around [7:25] The Circle of Suns and Moons [8:00] The Circle of Winds [7:04] Deep and Distant Thunder [13:05] River With No Willows [7:08] One That Stays All Winter [8:34] Drums of Fire, Drums of Stone [7:25] Where the Waves Splash, Hitting Again and Again [2:10] Robin Lorentz (violin, percussion); Ron Lawrence (viola); Michael Finkel (cello, conductor); Robert Black (double bass, percussion); Amy Knoles (percussion); John Luther Adams (percussion; conductor); James Negeak, Doreen Simmonds, Lincoln Tritt, Adeline Peter Raboff, Dave Hunaker (speakers). rec. 8-11 March 2004, Charles W. Davis Concert Hall, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. NEW WORLD RECORDS 80459-2 [75:47] [GPu]

A fascinating and rewarding piece, demanding stamina from the listener but rewarding that stamina with much that is striking and beautiful ... see Full Review

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Symphony No. 1 (1949) [38:29] Symphony No. 3 (1956) [30:21] Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones rec. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 2-4 Aug 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557648 [68:50] [JQ]

Wholly recommendable, irrespective of price but if fall under the spell then you’ll certainly want to investigate the composer’s own versions, which have a unique distinction and authority. ... see Full Review

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Symphony No. 4 (1959) [32:13] Sinfonietta for Strings (1970) [22:51] Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones
rec. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 2-4 Aug 2004, 4 Jan 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557649 [55:04] [JQ]

A fine disc and a worthy conclusion to the Naxos Alwyn symphony cycle. ... see Full Review

Enrique Fernandez ARBOS  (1863-1939) Chamber Works Tres piezas originales en stilo espanol Op.1 (c.1886) [18.03] Tango Op.2 (c.1890) [7.22] Seis rimas de Gustavo Adolfo Becquer Op.3 (1882) [12.30] Cuatro canciones para la marquesa de Bolanos Op.4 (1889) [12.34] Pieza de concurso (1920) [13.40] Trio Bellas Artes (Tres piezas originales en stilo espanol) Ara Malikain (violin) and Serouj Kradijian (piano) (Tango) Emilio Sánchez (tenor) and Fernando Turina (piano) (Seis rimas and Cuatro canciones) Rafael Ramos (cello) and Miguel Angel Ortega Chavaldas (piano) (Pieza de concurso) rec. Estudios Cezanne, Madrid, April and May 2004 VERSO VRS 2017 [64.15][JW]

I’m well disposed toward Arbós’s uneven chamber and vocal works but stronger performances are needed ... a very hit and miss affair ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard ARNELL (b. 1917) Symphony no.3 op.40 (1944-45) [62:07] The New Age – Overture op.2 (1939) [9:38] Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Martin Yates rec. Glasgow, 4-5 September 2005 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7161 [72:10] [RB]

The Arnell Third Symphony: a most impressive work of epic symphonic weight, circumstance and moment. ... see Full Review

Samuel Arnold (1740-1802) Overture in B flat major Op.8 No.1 -6 (1771) Macbeth: Incidental Music (1778) Polly (Opera) – Overture (1777) Toronto Camerata/Kevin Mallon rec. Grace Church on the Hill, Toronto, Canada, 5-8 January 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557484 [76:27] [JF]

A fine CD that introduces the listener to virtually the entire corpus of surviving orchestral music by Samuel Arnold. ... see Full Review

Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) A Värmland Rhapsody, Op. 36 (1933) [9:05] Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 7 (1913) [37:03]. Concert Overture in A minor, Op. 4 (1910) [13:18]. Ulf Wallin (violin) Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Roger Epple rec. Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany, 11 Feb 2004-11 June 2004. DDD CPO 777106-2 [59:26][RB]

Yet more irresistible Atterberg. My recommendation is irrelevant if you have already caught the bug. If the music is still unfamiliar to you let me commend it. You will need this disc. ... see Full Review

Georges AURIC (18991-1983) Phèdre – ballet (1950) [41.19] Le Peintre et son modèle (1949) [13.18] Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra/Arturo Tamayo rec. Conservatoire, Luxembourg, February 2005 TIMPANI 1C1090 [54.50] [JW]

Very fine performances indeed and lovely, decadent cover art work – all diaphanous, shimmering and decidedly coital ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St Matthew Passion BWV 244 (1727) Nico van der Meel (tenor) – Evangelist; Raimund Nolte (bass-baritone) – Jesus; Locky Chung (bass) – Petrus/Judas/Pilatus/Pontifex; Claudia Couwenbergh (soprano); Marianna Beate Kielland (alto); Markus Schäfer (tenor); Hanno Müller-Brachmann (bass) Dresden Chamber Choir; Cologne Cathedral Boys’ Choir; Cologne Chamber Orchestra/Helmut Müller-Brühl rec. DeutschlandRadio, Sendesaal des Funkhauses Köln, May 2005 NAXOS 8.557617-19 [67:45 + 49:47 + 43:35][GF]

Bottom line: nobody acquiring this set will go far wrong, whatever basic attitude to baroque practice one will have. The impecunious beginner will get a recording to live with for many years. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (1741) [60.44] Italian Concerto BWV 971 [13.42] Trevor Pinnock (harpsichord) rec. Henry Wood Hall, May 1979 (Goldberg Variations) and at the Paris Conservatoire, April 1980 (Italian Concerto) ARCHIV 00289 477 5902 [74.34] [JW]

Pinnock’s Bach recordings will always have an honoured place in the Pantheon. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Partita No. 4 in D, BWV 828 (1728) [32.10] Partita No. 6 in e, BWV 830 (1725 - 1731) [33.50] Freddy Kempf (Steinway D piano) Stefan Olsson, technician rec. Nybrokajen 11 (former Academy of Music) Stockholm, Sweden, July 2002. Notes in English, Deutsch, Français. Photos of artist. BIS CD-1330 [66.03] [PSh]

Profoundly emotional Bach, lyrical, richly felt and sculptured. Purists may have a bit of a problem at first. ... see Full Review

Edgar BAINTON (1880-1956) String Quartet in A major (1915 rev. 1920) [25:13] Hubert CLIFFORD (1904-1959) String Quartet in D (1935) [28:35] Locrian Ensemble: (Rita Manning (violin); Patrick Kiernan (violin); Morgan Goff (viola); Justin Pearson (cello)) rec. St Martin’s Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, 4-5 October 2005 First recording on CD (Bainton); World premiere recording (Clifford) DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7163 [54:08] [RB]

Two lyrical and light-filled English quartets for enthusiasts of the chamber music of Howells, Vaughan Williams, McEwen and Moeran played with total engagement and enjoyment. ... see Full Review

Leonardo BALADA (b.1933) Symphony No.5 American (2003) [23.39] Prague Sinfonietta (2003) [10.56] Divertimentos (1991) [17.34] Quasi un Pasodoble (1981) [11.20] Seville Royal Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Alonso-Crespo rec. Sala Apolo, Seville, January-February 2005 NAXOS 8.557749 [63.29] [JW]

Teeming with commitment and energy, approachable, indeed positively engagingly ... see Full Review

Sally BEAMISH (b. 1956) String Quartet No. 1 (1999) [18:35] String Quartet No. 2 Opus California (2000) [10:48] Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet in C Minor Op. 18 No. 4 1798-1800) [23:19] Emperor String Quartet rec. June 2004, Weston Church, Hertfordshire. DDD BIS CD-1511 [53:42] [CT]

BIS further extend their dedication to the music of Sally Beamish with fine recordings of her two recent String Quartets. ... see Full Review

Great Conductors: Bruno Walter Conducts Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 Pastoral [38:59] Leonore Overture No. 3 in C, Op. 72a [13:07] Fidelio Overture, Op. 72 [6:16] Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 [7:26] The Creatures of Prometheus Overture Op.43 [4:46] Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (6, Leonore 3); London Symphony Orchestra (Fidelio); BBC Symphony Orchestra (Coriolan); British Symphony Orchestra (Prometheus) Bruno Walter, conductor rec. 5 December 1936 Musikvereinsaal (6); 21 May 1936 Musikvereinsaal (Leonore 3); 12 September 1938, Abbey Road (Fidelio); 21 May 1938, Abbey Road (Coriolan); 16 May 1930, Central Hall Westminster (Prometheus). ADD NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111032 [70:35][DRD]

Great performances of life affirming music under a master conductor, very well restored ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 (1808) [33.01] Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58* (1806) [30.28] Romance No. 2 in F major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 50+ (1798) [8.43] * Josef Páleníček (piano) + David Oistrakh (violin) Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Karel Ančerl rec. Rudolfinum Studio, Prague, February, *October 1953; +Domovina Studio, Prague, April 1954 SUPRAPHON SU 3685-2 001 KAREL ANČERL GOLD EDITION [72.30] [SV]

A pleasing program, but none of the performances quite stands out in its own right ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin concerto in D, op.61 (1806) [41:01]; Romance no.1 in G, op. 40 (1803) [6:20]; Romance no.2 in F, op.50 (1805) [8:18] Christian Tetzlaff (violin) Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich/David Zinman. rec. Tonhalle Zurich, 30-31 May 2005. DDD BMG ARTE NOVA 82876 76994 2 [55:46] [ED]

Edge of the seat playing. Rhythmically alert, dramatic, lithe and often joyful but it is to Furtwängler/Menuhin that I will return most often. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets (complete) (1798-1827) The Borodin Quartet Volume 1: String Quartet Opp. 59 No. 1 (1806) [39.57] and No. 3 (1806) [32.58] CHANDOS CHAN 10178 [72.59] Volume 2: String Quartet Op. 59 No. 2 (1806) [44.50] and Op. 74 (1809) [33.26] CHANDOS CHAN 10191 [78.30] Volume 3: String Quartets Op. 95 (1810) [22.18], Op. 131 (1826) [38.01] and Op. 133 (1826) [16.52] CHANDOS CHAN 10268 [77.24] Volume 4: String Quartets Op. 127 (1824) [37.22], Op. 130 (1826) [42.11] CHANDOS CHAN 10292 [79.39] Volume 5: String Quartet No. 15 Op. 132 (1825) [46.13], String Quartet No. 16 Op. 135 (1826) [26.24] CHANDOS CHAN 10304 [72.48] Volume 6: Quartets 1 - 6, Op. 18 (1798 - 1801) [31.44] No. 2 [24.01] No. 3 [26.12] No. 4 [24.41] No. 5 [32.14] No. 6 [28.03] CHANDOS CHAN 10381(3) [55.58 + 51.06 + 60.30] Borodin Quartet (2005): Ruben Aharonian (violin); Andre Abramenkov (violin); Igor Naidin (viola); Valentin Berlinsky (cello) rec. Small Hall, and Great Hall, Conservatory, Moscow, Russia, 2003 - 2006. Notes in English, Deutsch, Français. [PSh]

For my money the best set of Beethoven quartets ever produced. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa solemnis (1818-23) Bozena Harasimowicz (soprano); Monica Groop (mezzo); Jerry Hadley (tenor); Franz-Josef Selig (bass) London Philharmonic Choir; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Gilbert Levine. rec. World Youth Day, Cologne, Germany, 2005. Includes speech by the Pope DVD 16:9 Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1. Picture format 16:9 ARTHAUS MUSIK 102 061 [85:00] [CC]

A performance that is merely good and after all this is the Missa solemnis ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) McLachan Plays the 32 Beethoven Sonatas, Volume 2 Sonata No. 19 in G minor, Op. 49, No. 1 [7:48] Sonata No. 20 in G major, Op. 49, No. 2 [9:03] Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, ‘Waldstein’ [24:57] Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54 [12:16] Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57, ‘Appassionata’ [24:01] Murray McLachan (piano) rec. Whiteley Hall, Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, Summer 2003 DUNELM DRD0202 [78:05] [GPu]

No admirer of Beethoven is likely to regret finding room for it on his or her shelves,  But, in a field so competitive, it isn’t a CD one could put quite at the top of the list. ... see Full Review

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Violin Concerto, To the Memory of an Angel (1935) [25:22] Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Violin Concerto (1931) [22:44] Christian Ferras (violin) Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet rec. live, Victoria Hall, Geneva, 3 April 1957 (Berg), 5 October 1966 (Stravinsky). DDD CLAVES 50-2516 [48:24] [DC]

Despite sonic drawbacks and brevity this represents two historical documents of a renowned artist at the top of his form ... see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803 – 1869) Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17 (1839) Hanna Schwarz (alto) Philip Langridge (tenor) Peter Meven (bass) Bavarian Radio Orchestra and Chorus/Sir Colin Davis. rec. live, Kulturzentrum Gasteig, Munich, 1985 Sound format PCM Stereo ARTHAUS MUSIK 102 017 DVD [102:00] [JPh]

This live concert performance DVD is highly recommended, particularly for Berlioz and Davis fans. Judging by the reception from a capacity audience they were also in agreement. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Grande Messe des Morts (Requiem) op. 5 (1837) [102:00] Keith Lewis (tenor) Bavarian Radio Symphony Chorus/Herwig Saffert Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis Rec.: live, Regensburg Cathedral, Germany, 1989 Directed for TV by Klaus Lindemann Produced in association with Bavarian Radio and Digital Classics Distribution ARTHAUS MUSIK 102 027 [102:00] [IB]

No, you can’t go back ... but then again ... you can get pretty close ... ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH William BOLCOM (b. 1938) Complete Violin Sonatas First Sonata (1956, revised version) [21:54] Second Sonata (1978) [17:59] Third Sonata (Sonata Stramba) (1993) [21:46] Fourth Sonata (1994) [15:13] Solomia Soroka (violin); Arthur Greene (piano) rec. Britton Recital Hall, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, January 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.559150 [76:52][PCW]

An imaginatively varied and powerful series ... see Full Review

Pierre BOULEZ (b. 1926) Eclat, A Lesson with Pierre Boulez, Sur Incises Ensemble Intercontemporain, Nieuw Ensemble, Ed Spanjaard (conductor) Directed by Frank Scheffer and Andy Sommer). Recorded 1994, 2000. DVD-all regions IDEAL-AUDIENCE DVD9DS15 [142:00] [AO]

An essential and illuminating work for anyone who wants to understand Boulez and New Music. Wonderful. ... see Full Review

York BOWEN (1884-1961) Viola Concerto in C minor (1907) [35:55] Cecil FORSYTH (1870-1941) Viola Concerto in G minor (1903) [26:25] Lawrence Power (viola) BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins rec. Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland, 11-12 Dec 2004. DDD HYPERION CDA 67546 [62:28] [RB]

Two painfully neglected viola concertos brought out into the sunlight by Hyperion. If you enjoy your Dvořák, Coleridge-Taylor and Tchaikovsky you should snap up this disc without delay. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor Op.15 (1854-58) [51.21] Krystian Zimerman (piano) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle
rec. Berlin, September 2003 and December 2004 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 6021 [51.21] [JW]

A strong, personalised reading but one that will divide opinion. The orchestral accompaniment lacks a true sense of inevitability and tension. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel, Op. 24 (1861) [26:30]; Variations [Studies] on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35, Books I, II (1862-1863) [11:52 + 9:37] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Études symphoniques, Op. 13 (1834-1837) [24:15]* Julius Katchen (piano) rec. London, March 1958; *May 1953 ADD Mono DECCA AUSTRALIA ELOQUENCE 476 8484 [72:22] [AOr]

Katchen’s mono Brahms and Schumann for the first time on CD ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Four Hand Piano Music: Vol. 15 Symphony No 3 in F Op.90 (arr. two pianos) [34:43] Symphony No 4 in E minor Op.98 (arr. two pianos) [40:33] Silke-Thora Matthies, Christian Köhn (pianos) rec. Clara Wieck Auditorium, Sandhausen, Germany, October, November 2000. DDD NAXOS 8.557685 [75:17] [PCW]

Performances of stature which time and again will leave you marvelling afresh at the music ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Music Opp. 116-119 Seven Fantasies for piano (Sieben Fantasien) Sets 1 and 2, Op. 116 (1891-92) [24.49] Three Intermezzi for piano (Drei Intermezzi) Op. 117 (c. 1892) [16.25] Six Pieces for piano (Sechs Klavierstücke) Op. 118 (1892-93) [24.28] Four Pieces for piano (Vier Klavierstücke) Op. 119 (c. 1893) [15.31] Elisabeth Leonskaja, piano rec. 2-4 December 2004, Furstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen, Germany. DDD MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM SACD MDG 943 1349-6 [81:22][MC]

Outstanding playing from Elisabeth Leonskaja. ... see Full Review

Margaret BROUWER (b. 1940) Aurolucent Circles1 (2002) [27:07] Mandala2 (2001) [11:55] Pulse: a 50th Anniversary Fanfare (2003) [6:05] Remembrances (1996) [15:00] SIZZLE (2000) [4:58] Evelyn Glennie (percussion)1; Kevin Price (trombone)2; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz rec. 12-14 July 2004, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. DDD NAXOS 8.559250 [65:05] [GPu]

A vividly recorded collection of very rewarding music, in an idioms which is readily accessible to any open-minded listener but which is simultaneously distinctive and personal. ... see Full Review

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor Op.26 (1868) [22.11] Scottish Fantasy Op. 46 (1880) [25.55] Henri VIEUXTEMPS (1820-1881) Violin Concerto No.5 in A minor Op.37 (1858) [17.27] Jascha Heifetz (violin) New Symphony Orchestra of London/ Malcolm Sargent rec. Walthamstow Town Hall, 1961 and 1962 BMG-RCA RED SEAL SACD 82876 716 222 [65.20] [JW]

By 1962 the trademark Heifetz devices were firmly in place and little that he does will surprise admirers ... glamorous and succulent playing all the same ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major (Romantic), WAB 104 (original version, 1874) [67.19] Bruckner Orchestra, Linz/Dennis Russell Davies rec. live concert, Brucknerhaus Linz, Austria, September 2003 BMG ARTE NOVA 82876-60488-2 [67.19][SV]

This original version holds listener interest as a satisfying symphonic construction in its own right. ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 8 in C minor (Haas Edition) (1884-90) [80:00] Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Pierre Boulez rec. live, Stiftskirche St. Florian, Linz, 21-22 September 1996 International Brucknerfest 1996, DDD Directed for video by Brian Large EUROARTS INVITATION 2012756 [80:00][TH]

Hard to recommend over the CD, especially with that higher price tag. It will probably be of most interest to real Bruckner aficionados ... see Full Review

Arthur BUTTERWORTH (b. 1923) Piano Trio No.1 Op.73 (1983) [21:06] Viola Sonata Op.78 (1986)a [18:26] Piano Trio No.2 Op.121 (2004) [16:13] The Terroni Piano Trio (John Trusler, violin; Fiona Murphy, cello; Raphael Terroni, piano); Morgan Goff (viola)a rec. All Saints Church, Durham Road, East Finchley, June 2005 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7164 [56:06] [HC]

Three fine pieces played with conviction and commitment. ... 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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