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Isaac ALBENIZ (1860-1909) Piano Works (full track listing -see review) Esteban Sánchez, piano Recorded 1968-1974, Casino de l’Alianca del Poblenou, Barcelona, Spain BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92398 [3 CDs: 73 :10 + 71 :12 + 75 :05] [WH]

Can be confidently recommended to anyone wanting an extensive collection of Albéniz piano music, especially at the price, and the reading of Iberia is outstanding. ... 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][JW]

Full of colour and vigour and tremendous vitality. ... 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] [JW]

There’s really very little between the Naxos and the Chandos performances ... newcomers to the Alwyn canon can purchase with confidence. ... see Full Review

Dominick ARGENTO (b.1927) Shadow and Substance Six Elizabethan Songs (1962)* [17:11] Letters from Composers (1968)** [25:51} To be Sung upon the Water (1973)*** [28:53] Howard Haskin (tenor); *David Triestram (piano); ** Timothy Walker (guitar);*** David Triestram (piano) and Tansie Mayer (clarinet/bass clarinet) rec. The Wathen Hall, St. Paul’s School, London (dates not specified). DDD DEUX-ELLES DXL 1098 [72:00] [JQ]

Argento admirers and anyone with an interest in contemporary song should investigate this release. ... see Full Review

Malcolm ARNOLD (b. 1921) The Return of Odysseus op. 119 (1976) [28:20] Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Suite Française Op. 248b (1944) [15:57] (Normandie [1:46]; Bretagne [3:42]; Île de France [2:07]; Alsace-Lorraine [5:10]; Provence [3:12]) Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Toward the Unknown Region (1907) [13:17] Anne Taylor (sop) (Arnold) The City of Glasgow Chorus The Orchestra of Scottish Opera/Graham Taylor rec. Scottish Opera Centre, Glasgow, 21-22 October 2005. DDD premiere recording of Arnold’s The Return of Odysseus DIVINE ART 25035 [57:54] [PSe]

It is wonderful that Odysseus has returned – to his proper place before the music-loving public! ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Sinfonia per archi, Op.53 (1953 arr. 1960) [29:17] Adagio Amoroso for violin and orchestra (1967) [8:04] Intermezzo (1921) [8:26] Prelude and Fugue (1917 arr. 1933) [3:11] Suite No. 7 (after Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra), Op.29 (1926) [13:30] Camerata Nordica/Ulf Wallin (violin and conductor) rec. Virserum Kyrka, Sweden, March, Nov 2004. DDD CPO 777 156-2 [62:38] [RB]

Utterly unmissable. Beautiful coaxed and balanced dynamics, subtle and diaphanous textures contrast with resinous attack ... see Full Review

Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Complete Works for String Quartet: Vol. 1 String Quartet No. 4 (1951) [20:28] Piano Quintet No. 1 (1952) [24:06] String Quartet No. 7 (1965) [15:49] Amar Corde String Quartet (Barbara Stuhr (Violin 1); Boguslawa Ziegelheim (Violin 2); Beata Ploska (Viola); Agata Zając (Cello)) rec. January 1999, Filharmonia Krakowska, Poland. DDD ACTE PRÉALABLE APO019 [61:11][DB]

Well-recorded performance of music by an under-appreciated composer. Works of high quality and uncompromising nature. ... see Full Review

Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Complete Works for String Quartet Vol. 2 String Quartet No. 6 (1960) [15:54] Piano Quintet No. 3 (1947) [17:04] String Quartet No. 2 (1943) [23:45] Amar Corde String Quartet (Barbara Stuhr (Violin 1); Boguslawa Ziegelheim (Violin 2); Beata Ploska (Viola); Agata Zając (Cello)) rec. 2-4 July 1999, Sendzimir Ironworks concert hall, Nowa Huta, Poland ACTE PRÉALABLE APO020 [57:28][DB]

World-class performances of works that deserve a wider audience ... see Full Review

Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Complete Works for String Quartet Vol. 3 String Quartet No. 1 (mid-1930s) [15:21] String Quartet No. 5 (1955) [25:58] Piano Quintet No. 2 (1965) [16:57] Amar Corde String Quartet (Barbara Stuhr (Violin 1); Boguslawa Ziegelheim (Violin 2); Beata Ploska (Viola); Agata Zając (Cello)) rec. September 1999, Filharmonia Krakowska, Poland ACTE PRÉALABLE APO 0021 [58:33][DB]

It is my hope to hear far more of the Amar Corde quartet and also from Acte Préalable, which continues to impress with the quality of its releases. ... see Full Review

Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Complete Oboe Works Trio for Oboe, Harp, and Percussion (1965) [17:53] Sonatina for Oboe and Piano (1955) [9:07] Sonata for Oboe and Piano (1937) [10:22] Trio for Oboe, Violin, and Cello (1935) [9:48 Mariusz Pędzialek (oboe) Piotr Grodecki (piano) Barbara Stuhr (violin) Agata Zając (cello) Anna Sikorzak-Olek (harp) Jan Pilch (percussion) rec. 3-4 June 1999, Austrian Consulate, Cracow, Poland ACTE PRÉALABLE APO 043 [47:59] [DB]

The series of Bacewicz recordings continue with this disc of recordings for oboe. Performances well-done. ... see Full Review

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Sonata in D minor, H. 128 [11:01] Sonata in F sharp minor, H. 37 [11:45] Sonata in A major, H. 186 [13:24] Rondo in D minor, H.290 [4:07] Sonata in C major, H. 248 [7:53] Rondo in B flat major, H. 267 [4:52] Sonata in E major, H. 83 [7:30] Cantabile in B minor, from Sonata, H. 245 [3:04] Christopher Hinterhuber (piano) rec. Phoenix Studio, Budapest, 27 February-1 March 2004. NAXOS 8.557450 [63:46][KS]

I am thrilled that this splendidly crafted and colorful music has seen the sunlight. A definite must own for lovers of fine keyboard music. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas for Alto Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV 170 [20:22] Widerstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54 [11:23] Gott soll allein mein Herze haben,*BWV 169 [22:23] Bekennen will ich seinen Namen, BWV 200 [2:33] Schlage doch gewünschte Stunde, BWV 53 [5:49] Marianne Beate Kielland (alto) Cologne Bach Choir * Cologne Chamber Orhcestra/Helmut Müller-Brühl rec. Sendesaal de Funkhauses, Deutschlandradio, Cologne, October-November 2004. NAXOS 8.557621 [62:30] [KS]

First rate music-making and well deserving of your attention. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas for Alto Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV 170 [20:22] Widerstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54 [11:23] Gott soll allein mein Herze haben,*BWV 169 [22:23] Bekennen will ich seinen Namen, BWV 200 [2:33] Schlage doch gewünschte Stunde, BWV 53 [5:49] Marianne Beate Kielland (alto) Cologne Bach Choir * Cologne Chamber Orhcestra/Helmut Müller-Brühl rec. Sendesaal de Funkhauses, Deutschlandradio, Cologne, October-November 2004. NAXOS 8.557621 [62:30] [GF]

There is more inspiring Bach to be had but generally speaking these cantatas are in safe hands ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Pilgrim’s Progress. The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage: A Second Report Volume 14 Cantatas for Christmas Day and the Second Day of Christmas Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 91 Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, BWV 110 Dazu ist erscheinen der Sohn Gottes, BWV 40 Christum wir sollen loben schön, BWV 121 Katharine Fuge, Joanne Lunn (sopranos); William Towers, Robin Tyson (altos); James Gilchrist (tenor); Peter Harvey (bass) The Monteverdi Choir English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner. rec. St. Bartholomew’s, New York, 25 December 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG 113 [71:17] Volume 24 Cantatas for the Third Sunday after Easter (Jubilate) Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12 Ihr werdet weinen und heulen, BWV 103 Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal in das Reich Gottes eingehen, BWV 146 Brigitte Geller (soprano); William Towers (alto); Mark Padmore (tenor); Julian Clarkson (bass) The Monteverdi Choir English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner. rec. Schlosskirche, Altenburg, 14 May 2000 Cantatas for the Fourth Sunday after Easter (Cantate) Wo gehest du hin? BWV 166 Es ist euch gut, dass ich hingehe, BWV 108 Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut, BWV 117 (Occasion unspecified) Robin Tyson (alto); James Gilchrist (tenor); Stephen Varcoe (bass) The Monteverdi Choir English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner. rec. St. Mary’s, Warwick, 21 May 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG 107 [76:53 + 51:48][JQ]

Shaping up to be a series of considerable importance and, if it can be completed, it will have the distinction of being the first Bach cantata cycle to be composed entirely of live performances. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas Vol. 29: Cantatas from Leipzig, 1724 Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, BWV 135 [14:07] Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein, BWV 2 [17:04] Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid BWV 3 [22:14] Aus tiefer not schrei ich zu dir, BWV 38 [16:53] Dorothee Mields (soprano); Pascal Bertin (counter-tenor); Gerd Türk (tenor); Peter Kooij (bass) Bach Collegium Japan; Concerto Palatino/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 25-29 June 2004, Kobe Shoin Women’s University Chapel, Japan. DSD BIS-SACD-1461 [71:39][JQ]

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 Nos. 1-33 Irmgard Seefried (soprano) Hilde Rössl-Majdan (contralto) Julius Patzak (tenor) Evangelist Otto Wiener (baritone) Jesus Hans Braun (bass) Vienna Singverein/Vienna Sängerknaben Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. Vienna, April 1952 St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 Nos 1 and 8-46 Nilda Hoffmann (soprano) Margaret Klose (contralto) Anton Dermota (tenor) Evangelist Angelo Mattiello (baritone) Jesus Josef Greindl (bass) Choir of the Teatro Colón Orchestra of the Teatro Colón/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. Buenos Aires, April and May 1950 ARCHIPEL ARPCD 0286-2 [74.33 + 77.08][JW]

The only constituency for this will be Furtwängler completists who require every drop of his rare Bach. Others should invest in the 1954 performance. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Easter Oratorio: "Kommt, eilet und laufet" BWV 249 (1749) [41.45] Ascension Oratorio, "Lobet Gott in Seinem Reichen" BWV 11 (1735) [27.37] Yukari Noonoshita, (soprano); Patrick van Goethem, (counter-tenor); Jan Kobow, (tenor); Chiyuki Urano, (bass) Liliko Maeda, (transverse flute); Masamitsu San’nomiya, (oboe d’amore); Hidemi Suzuki, (cello); Naoya Otsuka (harpsichord); Naoko Imai, (organ). Bach Collegium Musicum Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. Kobe Shoin Women’s University Chapel, Japan, May 2004. dSd Notes in English, Deutsch, and Français. English translations of the German texts. CD tracks 2.0 stereo; SACD tracks 2.0 stereo and 5.0 surround. BIS SACD 1561 [70.28] [PSh]

Near perfection in a Bach recording, but there are still illustrious predecessors which should be in your collection, too. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) CD 1 [63:59) Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 BWV 846-869 (1722)  Rec. March 1949 in RCA Studio B, New York, New York and Feb 1951, Lakeville, Connecticut  CD 2 [68:42] Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 BWV 846-869 (1722) Rec. February 1951 in Lakeville, Connecticut CD 3 [54:30] Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 BWV 870-893 (1738-1742) Rec. June 1951 to March 1954, Lakeville, Connecticut CD 4 [64:08]  Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 BWV 870-893 (1738-1742) Rec. June 1951 to March 1954, Lakeville, Connecticut CD 5 [61:43]  Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 BWV 870-893 (1738-1742) Rec. June 1951 to March 1954, Lakeville, Connecticut CD 6 [64:40]Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 1(1741-1742) [48:44] Rec. New York, 5–12 June 1945; Concerto in D major after Vivaldi, BWV 972 (1708-1717) [8:43]  Rec. 2 July 1946, Lotus Club, New York City;  Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 906 (ca.1738) [3:43]  Rec. Lakeville, Connecticut, 1957; Prelude, Fugue and Allegro for Lute in E flat major, BWV 998 (ca.1740) [12:40]  Rec. 20 February 1946, Lotus Club, New York City  CD 7 [64:35] Two-Part Inventions BWV 772-786 (1723) Rec. Lakeville, Connecticut (1954 - 1955); Fantasie in C minor, BWV 919 (after 1712) [1:25]  Rec. 2 May 1946, Lotus Club, New York City;  Three-Part Inventions, BWV 787-801 (1723) Rec. Lakeville, Connecticut (1958 - 1959);
Capriccio in B flat major on the Departure of his Most Beloved Brother, BWV 992 (ca.1704) [11:12]  Rec. 11-12 September 1957, Lakeville, Connecticut; Partita for Keyboard no 2 in C minor, BWV 826 (1726-1731) [19:25] Rec. February and March 1957, Lakeville, Connecticut Wanda Landowska, harpsichord
ADD RCA RED SEAL 82876-67891-2 LC 00316 [7 CDs: 63:59 + 68:42 + 54:30 + 64:08 + 61:43 + 64:40 + 64:35] [DC]

At somewhere just under three pounds a disc this box comes in as something of a bargain, so, make the most of it! ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Praeludium, Trio et Fuga in G BWV 541 and 528/3 [10'21] Praeludium et Fuga BWV 533a [4'51] Praeludium et Fuga in g BWV 535a [5'57] Fantasia et Fuga in c BWV 562/1 and 546/2 [11'10] Praeludium, Trio et Fuga in C BWV 545 and 529/2 [11'31] Choralbearbeitung An Wasserfluessen Babylon a 5 parti con 2 tastiere e pedale doppio BWV 653b [5'26] Fuga BWV 532a [4'36] Praeludium, Trio et Fuga in B BWV 545b [11'59] Gerhard Weinberger (organ) rec. St Petri, Wandersleben, St Lukas Muehlberg, September 2004. DDD CPO 777 153-2 [65'59][CB]

If this isn't quite my thing Weinberger's playing on such beautiful and appropriate instruments will justifiably find admirers. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass in B minor, BWV 232 [132.03]; St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 – Have mercy, Lord, on me a [7.38]; Cantata No. 11(Praise Our God) BWV 11 – Ah, Tarry Yet b [8.17] Suzanne Danco (soprano); Kathleen Ferrier (contralto); Peter Pears (tenor); Bruce Boyce (baritone); Norman Walker (bass); George Malcolm (harpsichord); Charles Spinks (organ); Douglas Moore (horn) BBC Chorus; Boyd Neel Orchestra/George Enescu. a Kathleen Ferrier; New Symphony Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Sargent. b Kathleen Ferrier; The Jacques Orchestra/Dr Reginald Jacques. rec. Concert Hall, Broadcasting House, London, 17 July 1951; a Kingsway Hall, London, 6 February 1946; b Kingsway Hall, London, 1 November 1949. ADD mono ARIADNE 5000 [68.21 + 79.38] [ED]

The nearest to something spiritual in music. ... This release is obviously the preferable choice ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Concerto in d after Vivaldi BWV 596; Allegro - Grave - Fuga [5'14] Largo e spiccato [2'54] Allegro [3'14] Trio super 'Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend"' BWV 655 [3'54] Pièce d'Orgue BWV 572 [9'03] Partite diverse sopra il Corale 'Sei gegrusset, Jesu gutig' BWV 768 [19'55] Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Suite op 5: Prélude [8'06]; Sicilienne [5'56]; Toccata [8'22] Samuel Kummer (organ) Rec: Frauenkirche, Dresden, 16-20 September 2005 DDD CARUS 83.188 [67'05] [CB]

This organ-story generated much negative hype, but buy this and come to your own conclusions about the instrument and admire the excellent playing of Samuel Kummer! ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas and Partitas for unaccompanied violin (ca. 1720) Jaap Schröder (baroque violin) rec. village church of Oltingen, Canton of Basel, Switzerland, 1984-5 NAXOS 8.557563-64 [68:43 + 74:17] [JW]

Schröder’s traversal sometimes gives these works a becalmed and static introversion. ... see Full Review

Osvaldas BALAKAUSKAS (b. 1937) Symphony No.4 (1998) [33:02] Symphony No.5 (2001) [30:13] Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra/Juazas Domarkas rec. National Philharmonic Hall, Vilnius, May 2003 (Symphony No.4) and September 2004 (Symphony No.5) NAXOS 8.557605 [63:14][HC]

Ample proof of the composer’s tireless quest for new expressive means ... see Full Review

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Concerto for Orchestra, Sz.116a (1942-43, rev. 1945) [37.40] Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, Sz.110b (1937-38) [26.14] Improvisations on Hungarian Peasant Songs for solo piano, Op. 20, Sz.74c (1920) [10.50] Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandya Robert and Gaby Casadesus, pianosb Jean-Claude Casadesus and Jean-Paul Drouet, percussionb Charles Rosen, pianoc rec. Town Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 13 Oct 1963 (Concerto); Paris, France, Spring 1963 (Sonata); Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City, USA, 12-16, 18, 23 Dec 1963 (Improvisations). SONY CLASSICAL SK 94726 [74.49] [MC]

A desirable release that will provide much pleasure. Recommended. ... see Full Review

Marion BAUER (1882-1955) A Lament on an American Theme, Op. 20a (1927) [5:21] Concertino for Oboe, Clarinet and Strings Op. 32b (1939-43) [9:28] Trio Sonata No. 1 for Flute, Cello and Piano, Op. 40 (1944) [8:11] Symphonic Suite for Strings, Op. 33 (1940) [11:16] Duo for Oboe and Clarinet, Op. 25 (1932) [8:30] American Youth Concerto, Op. 36 (1943) [15:59] Ambache Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Diana Ambache (piano), Gabrielle Lester (violin), Ruth Ehrlich (violin), Jonathan Barritt (viola), Judith Herbert (cello), Jonathan Snowden (flute), Jeremy Polmear (oboe), Eli Eban (clarinet), Ambache Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble rec. St. Silas Church, Kentish Town, London, 21-22 October 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.559253 [58:45] [DC]

An interesting addition to a relatively neglected area ... I’ve enjoyed making this little foray into regions with which otherwise I would probably never have bothered ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 Pastoral (1808) [38.59] + Overtures: Fidelio, Op. 72, Act I [6.16]*; Leonore No. 3, Op. 72b [13.07] +; Coriolan Op. 62 [7.26] ^; The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43 [4.46] # BBC Symphony Orchestra * London Symphony Orchestra ^ Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra + British Symphony Orchestra # Bruno Walter rec. 1930-1938 NAXOS 8.111032 [70.35] [JW]

These overtures make an even greater case for Walter’s status as a powerful and incisive Beethovenian than the Pastoral, fine though it is. Welcome evidence of his earlier mastery ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets: Op.18 No.2 in G [21.36]; Op.18 No.3 in D [22.25]; Op.74 in E flat Harp [28.33] Budapest String Quartet Recorded 1935-38 BIDDULPH 80221-2 [73.32] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets: Op.59 No.2 [30.31]; Op.130 in B flat [33.29] Budapest String Quartet Recorded 1933-35 BIDDULPH 80222-2 [64.36][JW]

Not unattractive but significant noise reduction presents very smooth sounding transfers ... ones that are somewhat compromised by treble starvation. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Fidelio, Opera in two acts (1804-05, rev. 1814) CD 1 Leonore Overture No. 2, Op. 72 (1805) [15.46] Fidelio, Act 1 CD2 Fidelio, Act 2 Leonore Overture No. 1 in C major, Op. 138 (1807) [11.27] Leonore Overture No. 3 in C major, Op. 72 (1805-06) [15.26] Fidelio Overture, Op. 72 (1814) [06.54] Kwangchul Youn, bass - Don Fernando Falk Struckmann, bass-baritone - Don Pizarro Plácido Domingo, tenor - Don Florestan Waltraud Meier, mezzo - Leonore René Pape, bass - Rocco Soile Isokoski, soprano - Marzelline Werner Güra, tenor - Jaquino Klaus Häger, bass - second prisoner, Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper, Berlin Staatskapelle Berlin/Daniel Barenboim, rec. May/June 1999, Broadcasting Hall, main radio station in former East Germany, Berlin. DDD WARNER CLASSICS 3984 25249-2 [77.54 + 79.56] [MC]

A dramatic and exciting performance. One of the finest modern Fidelios on record. ... see Full Review

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Fidelio, Op. 72 (1814) (highlights) Hungarian Radio Chorus/Kalman Strausz Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia/Michael Halasz rec. Phoenix Studios, Budapest Hungary, 7-10, 14-18 Nov 1998 from complete recording on Naxos 8.660070-71 NAXOS 8.557892 [71:06] [DD]

A very good selection from a splendid performance of a great work. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Sonata No.24 in F sharp major, Op.78 (1809) [11’03] 33 Variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op.120 (1823) [58’37] Nikolai Demidenko (piano) rec. St. Paul’s School, London 17-18 Feb 2005 ASV GOLD GLD 4017 [69’40] [TH]

A release of outstanding interest to both pianophiles and lovers of this wild, occasionally wacky, astonishing masterpiece. ... see Full Review

Larry BELL (b. 1952) The Immortal Beloved Op.50 (1999)a [16:46] Four Sacred Songs Op.20 (1984)a [14:30] Songs of Time and Eternity Op.64 (2002)a [12:21] Songs of Innocence and Experience Op.55 (2000)b [21:25] D’Anna Fortunato (mezzo)a; Larry Bell (piano)a; New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and Children’s Chorusb/Benjamin Zanderb rec. NEC’s Jordan Hall, Boston, July 2004 (Songs) and November 2002 (Songs of Innocence and Experience) ALBANY TROY 741 [65:02][HC]

Generously filled ... Bell’s music is tuneful, colourful, expressive and inventive ... see Full Review

Luciano BERIO (1925-2003) Sequenza I for flute (1958) [6’28] Sequenza IV for piano (1966) [11’42] SequenzaVIII for violin (1975-76) [12’58] Sequenza IXa for clarinet (1980) [12’51] Sequenza XIV for cello (2002) [11’32] Due Pezzi for violin and piano (1951) [6’31] Musica Leggera for flute, viola, cello and basque drum [2’12] Les Mots son Alles, recitativo (1976-78) [3’31] Lied for clarinet (1983) [3’56] Ex Novo Ensemble (Daniele Ruggieri (flute); Davide Teodoro (clarinet and basque drum); Carlo Lazari (violin and viola); Carlo Teodoro (cello); Aldo Orvieto (piano)) rec. 3-4 May 2005, Chiesa di S.Maria Annunziata (Vicenza) and Silano Zanta Studio, Campoverardo (Padova) BLACK BOX BBM1105 [72’47] [TH]

If you close your eyes the players are there in the room with you, shuffling, breathing and all. Well worth getting though be prepared to end up wanting the rest. ... see Full Review

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Violin Concerto (1930-38) [32.41] Suite No. 1 for violin solo (1958 [9.17] Suite No. 2 for violin solo (1958) [9.48] Mischa Lefkowitz (violin) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Paul Freeman rec. 1984?, All Saints Cathedral, London, England, (concerto); 1989, Gilbert Recording Studio, Los Angeles California, USA (suites). ADD Violin Concerto first released in 1985 on Laurel LP-134. LAUREL RECORD LR-834CD [68.33] [RB]

No holds barred playing from Lefkowitz who is well inside the Bloch idiom ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Sonata for clarinet and piano no.1 in F minor, op.120, no.1 (1894) [24:40]; Sonata for clarinet and piano no.2 in E-flat major, op.120, no.2 (1894) [22:10]. Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Romances for clarinet and piano, op.94 (1849) [12:41]; Fantasy pieces for clarinet and piano, op.73 (1849) [11:12] Todd Levy (clarinet); Elena Abend (piano) rec. Helen Bader Concert Hall, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA, 22-25 May 2005. DDD AVIE AV2098 [70:47] [ED]

Careful yet not over-studied phrasing ... a strong lyrical gift ... unhurried and unforced performances. Warmly recommended. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Three pieces – piano, Op.117 (1892)
Panayiotis DEMOPOULOS (b.1977)
Farewells for piano (2004) Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Pictures at an exhibition (1874) (Original version edited by Paul Lamm) [30:55] Panayiotis Demopoulos (piano) rec. The Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, Music Dept., University of York, Heslington, York, 20-21 July 2005. DDD DUNELM DRD0251 [53:06] [KS]

A passionate and thinking player with tremendous promise. ... see Full Review

Sounds Thrilling David BRIGGS Symphony 'Missa pro defunctis'; (Prelude [8'27]; Arioso [7'52]; Intermezzo [3'25]; Toccata [3'31]; Agite [4'22]; Adagio [4'23]; Final [7'57]) Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902-1986) Prelude [8'42] Sicilienne [6'39] Toccata [8'27] Stephen Farr (organ) rec. Blackburn Cathedral, 13 April 2005. DDD LAMMAS LAMM 189D [63'50][CB]

This is worth buying, both for Farr's playing, and because you should judge David Briggs's new symphony for yourself. I am sure it will find many admirers. ... see Full Review

Margaret BROUWER (b.1940) Aurolucent Circles (2002)a [27:07] Mandala (2001) [11:55] Pulse (2003) [6:03] Remembrances (1996) [15:00] SIZZLE (2000) [4:58] Evelyn Glennie (percussion)a Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz rec. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, July 2004 NAXOS 8.559250 [65:05]
Margaret BROUWER
Lament (2002)a [19:04] Light (2001)b [16:15] Under the Summer Tree... (1999)c [17:57] Skyriding (1992)d [12:32] Demeter Prelude (1997)e [7:10] Laura Frautschi (violin)a; Jean Kopperud (clarinet)a; Donald McGeen (bassoon)a; Dominic Donato (percussion)a; Sandra Simon (soprano)b; Jeannette Sorrell (harpsichord)b; Sean Gabriel (flute)b; Amital Vardi (clarinet)b; Gabriel Bolkosky (violin)bd; Ida Mercer (cello)bd; Scott Christian (percussion)b; Kathryn Brown (piano)c; Alice Kogan Weinreb (flute)d; Mitsuko Morikawa (piano)d; Cavani String Quartete Recorded : Concordia College, Bronxville, New York, May 2003 (Lament); Kulas Hall, Cleveland Institute of Music, December 2001 (Light), December 1999 (Under the Summer Tree) and January 2002 (Demeter Prelude); and Gaertner Auditorium, Cleveland Museum of Art, June 2001 (Skyriding) NEW WORLD 80606-2 [73:07] [HC]

Excellent introductions to Brouwer’s personal sound-world and music-making. You will most likely want to hear more of it. ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 1 (1866) [46:39] Prelude and Fugue* (1847) [4:33] “Perger” Prelude* (1884) [2:05] Wiener Akademie/Martin Haselböck; *Martin Haselböck (organ). rec. 15 May 2005, Grosser Saal, Musikverein, Vienna;  *15 June 2005, Hofburgkapelle, Vienna. SACD disc, plays on all CD and SACD players. CAPRICCIO 71 063 [53:19][GPu]

A performance which may entice those whose main interests lie with Bruckner’s classical predecessors and may refresh the ears of more seasoned Brucknerians ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) String Quintet in F major (original 1878 version) [43.04] Franz SCHMIDT (1874-1939) Piano Quintet in G major (1926, arr. Wührer) [33.43] Vienna Philharmonia Quintet: Wolfgang Poduschka, Alfred Staar, violin I, II; Josef Staar, Helmut Weis (Bruckner only), violas; Wolfgang Herzer, cello; Eduard Mrazek, piano (Schmidt only) rec. Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria, April 1974. ADD DECCA ELOQUENCE 476 2455 [76.49] [MC]

Hidden gems of the late-Romantic chamber repertoire, marvellously performed and recorded. A thoroughly enjoyable release. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH On Photography Gavin BRYARS (b. 1943) And so ended Kant’s travelling in this world (1997) [7:50] Three poems of Cecco Angiolieri (1997) [14:00] On Photography (1983) [13:14] Arturs MASKATS (b. 1957) Da ispravitsja molitva moja (1936) [12:17] Valentin SILVESTROV (b. 1937) Diptychon (date of composition not given) [12:17] Janis Maleckis (piano); Gavin Bryars (harmonium); Edgars Saksons (percussion); Monta Martinsone (soprano); Gundars Dzilums (baritone), Ensemble Cosmos Latvian Radio Choir/Sigvards Klava (conductor), Kaspars Putnins (On Photography) rec. 10-14 January 2005, St. Johns Church; Riga Reformer’s Church, Riga Latvia. GBR RECORDS BCGBCD07 [70:39] [DB]

Stunning performances of new works. ... 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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