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Isidor ACHRON (1891-1948) Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor (1937) [16:35] Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major (1940) [24:09] Lazar SAMINSKY (1882-1959) The Vow: Rhapsodic Variations on a Dual Theme for piano and orchestra (1917-43) [11:32] Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Helvetia - The Land of Mountains and its People (1900-29) [20:55] Barry Goldsmith (piano) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/David Amos rec. 14-16 August 2003, Glasgow Concert Hall. DDD KLEOS CLASSICS KL5134 [50:31][RB]

An extremely attractive disc for the adventurous and all the more satisfying for the contrasts at play amongst the varied writing of Bloch, Saminsky and Achron. ... see Full Review

Giovanni Francesco ANERIO (c.1567–1630) Missa Pro Defunctis (publ. 1614) [39.32] Felice ANERIO (c.1560–1614) Vidi Speciosam [4.21] Ad te levavi [5.11] Christe redemptor omnium [8.12] Salve Regina III [4.37] Christus Factus est [2.36] Magnificat Quinti toni [7.15] Westminster Cathedral Choir/James O’Donnell rec. Westminster Cathedral, 13-16 February 1990 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55213 [72.23] [RH]

A fascinating disc of music in fine performances. In performances as passionate as this the works of the Anerio brothers make riveting listening. ... see Full Review

Samuel ARNOLD (1740-1802) Overture in B flat major, Op.8 No.1 (1771) [8:39] Overture in D major, Op.8 No.2 (1771) [6:37] Overture in F major, Op.8 No.3 (1771) [9:44] Overture in D major, Op.8 No.4 (1771) [7:25] Overture in G major, Op.8 No.5 (1771) [9:46] Overture in D major, Op.8 No.6 (1771) [10:41] Incidental Music to Macbeth (1778) [18:15] Overture: Polly (1777) [5:20] Toronto Camerata/Kevin Mallon rec. 5-8 January 2004, Grace Church on-the-Hill, Toronto. DDD NAXOS 8.557484 [76:27] [GPu]

This should be snapped up by anyone interested in the music – or larger cultural life – of eighteenth-century London, but it will delight non-specialists too ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Värmlands Rhapsody, Op. 36 (1951-52) [9:05] Violin Concerto, Op. 7 (1913) [37:03] Overture in a minor, Op. 4 (1910-11) [13:18] Ulf Wallin, violin Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin/Roger Epple rec. 2-4 November 2004  Jesus Christus Kirche, Berlin CPO 777 106-2 [59:26] [KS]

Any listener who would not be pleased by this superb music should take the next available appointment for a hearing examination. Not to be missed. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Works for Solo Keyboard Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828 [32:10] Partita No. 6 in E minor, BWV 830 [33:50] Freddy Kempf (piano) rec. Nybrokajen 11, Stockholm, July 2002 BIS-CD-1330 [66:03] [DS]

Kempf's new Bach recording adds little to the discography of the Partitas ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sacred 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 Orchestra/ Helmut Müller-Bruhl rec. Deutschland Radio, Sendesaal des Funkhauses Köln, Germany, October/November 2004 NAXOS 8.557621 [62:40] [DS]

A wonderful recording in all respects! Crisp attacks, minimal vibrato, buoyant rhythms, glowing warmth and beauty of form and tone inform these performances at every turn ... 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 Alonson-Crespo Rec. Sala Apolo, Seville, Spain, January-February 2005 NAXOS 8.557749 [63:29][HC]

Disparate elements clash to create tension and unease. This personal and idiosyncratic approach results from his earlier collaboration with Dalí and his liking for surreal art. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony no.5 in C minor, op.67 (1805) [31:40] Symphony no.6 in F, op.68 Pastoral (1809) [36:51] Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch rec. 2 May 1955 (no.5), 16 August 1955 (no.6), Boston Symphony Hall RCA RED SEAL LIVING STEREO (SACD) 8287667898 2 [68:45] [CH]

A grand Fifth and a warm-hearted Sixth suggest that Munch’s Beethoven has been underestimated. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony no.9 in D minor, Choral op. 125 (1825) [70:44] Annette Dasch (soprano); Daniela Sindram (mezzo); Christian Elsner (tenor); Georg Zeppenfeld (bass) Bavarian Radio Chorus Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra/Stanislaw Skrowazcewski rec. 23-26 May 2006, Kongreßhalle, Saarbrücken OEHMS CLASSICS OC 525 [70:44] [CH]

Here is the proof that Beethoven’s 9th is so multi-faceted that it can assume the sweet reasonableness of Jane Austen just as it can rise to the grandeur of Goethe or Tolstoy ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Triple Concerto in C major, Op. 56 (1803-04) [34:35]*; Septet in E flat major, Op. 20 (1799-1800) [39:23]† *Yefim Bronfman (piano); Gil Shaham (violin); Truls Mørk (cello); Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich/ David Zinman †Michael Reid (clarinet); Florenz Jenny (bassoon); Jakob Hefti (horn); Gil Shaham (violin); Michel Rouilly (viola); Truls Mørk (cello); Ronald Dangel (double-bass) rec. Zurich Tonhalle, *20-21, †30-31 October 2004. DDD ARTE NOVA CLASSICS 82876 64015 2 [74:21] [AOr]

Gracious melody, gracious playing, gracious recording ... at one with the composer’s vision ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata in G major, Op. 31, No 1 (1801-2) [24:39] Piano Sonata in d minor, Op. 31, No. 2 Tempest (1801-2) [24:31] Piano Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 31, No. 3 (1802) [24:24] Paul Lewis (piano) rec. April 2005, Teldex Studio, Berlin HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901902 [73:55] [DD]

A perfect record; a wonderful beginning to a Beethoven sonata cycle ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas: No. 30 in E, Op. 109 (1820) [19:52], No. 31 in A flat, Op. 110 (1821-2) [20:46], No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 (1822) [27:56] Mitsuko Uchida (piano) rec. Snape Maltings Concert Hall, 12-20 May 2005 PHILIPS 475 6935 [66:50] [CC]

Despite many moments of beauty, I still question Uchida's affinity with late-Beethoven. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) McLachlan plays the 32 Beethoven Sonatas: Vol. 2 Sonata No. 19 in g minor Op. 49 No. 1 (1796) [7:48] Sonata No. 20 in G Op. 49 No 2 (1796) [9:03] Sonata No. 21 in C Op. 53 Waldstein (1803) [24:57] Sonata No. 22 in F Op. 54 (1804) [12:16] Sonata No. 23 in f minor Op. 57 Appassionata (1806) [24:01] Murray McClachlan (piano) rec. summer 2003, Whitely Hall, Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester DUNELM DRD0202 [78:05] [DB]

The performances are solid, sensitive, and assured ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Piano Sonatas Vol. 2 Piano Sonata No.5 in C minor Op.10 No.1 (1795-7) [17:56] Piano Sonata No.6 in F major Op.10 No.2 (1796-7) [16:43] Piano Sonata No.7 in D major Op.10 No.3 (1797-8) [21:30] Piano Sonata No.8 in C minor Op.13 Pathétique (1797-8) [19:48] András Schiff (piano) rec. live, Tonhalle Zürich, 28 Nov 2004 ECM NEW SERIES 1942 476 3100 [76:52][TH]

Schiff is too good an artist to ignore, but I would strongly advise buyers to try and sample here; there’s loads of budget and mid-price rivals. ... see Full Review

Niels Viggo BENTZON (1919-2000) Piano Sonatas: Volume 2 Piano Sonatas: No. 2 Op. 42 (1946) [20:16]; No. 4 Op. 57 (1949) [27:35]; No. 7 Op. 121 (1959) [1959] Christina Bjørkøe (piano) rec. Carl Nielsen Academy of Music, Odense, 5-6 July 2004, 21-22 March 2005. DDD DACAPO 8.226030 [60:09] [RB]

From Rachmaninovian grandeur through to increasing experimentation ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14 (1830) [46:42] Roméo et Juliette, Op. 17 (1839) – Part II: Love Scene [13:20]. Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch rec. Symphony Hall, Boston, 14-15 November 1954 (Op. 14); 23-24 April 1961 (Op. 17). ADD RCA LIVING STEREO SACD 82876 67899 2 [60:11][CC]

A deluxe issue. The low playing time hardly matters – this is Berliozian gold. ... see Full Review

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Serenade (after Plato's 'Symposium') for violin and orchestra (1954) [29.37] Philip GLASS (b.1937) Violin Concerto (1987) [24.54] Ned ROREM (b.1984) Violin Concerto (1984) [23.38] Gidon Kremer (violin) Wiener Philharmoniker/Christoph Von Dohnanyi (Glass) New York Philharmonic Orchestra/ Leonard Bernstein, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein rec. Feb 1992, Großersaal, Musikverein, Vienna (Glass); Nov 1988, Avery Fisher Hall, New York (Rorem); Frederic R Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv, Oct 1979 (Bernstein). DDD apart from Bernstein ADD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 445 185-2 [78.30] [RB]

Nothing here that is avant-garde, atonal or serial. All represent the melodic stream with the Rorem being the more dissonant of the three. As for the Glass it will naggingly enter your whistling repertoire. ... see Full Review  

Franz BERWALD (1796-1869) Disc One Quartet in E flat major for piano and wind (1819) [23:07] Piano Trio No 2 in F minor (1851) [21:50] Grand Septet in B flat major (1828) [21:38] Disc Two Piano Quintet No 1 in C minor (1853) [22:33] Duo in D major for pianoforte and violin (c1858) [19:16] Piano Trio No 4 in C major (1853) [17:14] Susan Tomes (piano) The Gaudier Ensemble: Marieke Blankestijn (violin); Fiona McApra (violin); Iris Juda (viola); Christoph Marks (cello); Stephen Williams (double bass); Richard Hosford (clarinet); Robin O’Neill (bassoon); Jonathan Williams (horn) rec. All Saints Church, East Finchley, London, October, March 1995, December 1996 HYPERION DYAD CDD22053 [67:09 + 59:23] [TH]

Delightful, urbane music that any lover of 19th Century chamber music will revel in. ... see Full Review

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) Helvetia [23.43] Suite for viola and orchestra [33.23] Suite Hébraïque for viola and orchestra [14.47] Gérard Caussée (viola) Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Lior Shambadal rec. Victoria Hall, Geneva, 1-2 Sept 2002. DDD CASCAVELLE RSR 6170 [61.53][RB]

A highly attractive release, well designed and documented. Enthusiasts of Bloch, the viola and the mountain heights must not miss this. ... see Full Review

Theodor BLUMER (1882-1964) Sextet for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano op. 45 (1921) [17:44] Sextet for flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano Kammersinfonie (1941) [37:05] Aura Ensemble: Kathrin Troester (fl); Barbara Bode (ob); Udo Grimm (cl); Uwe Tessmann (hn); Sergio Giordano (bn); Christof Keymer (piano) rec. 5-8 Apr 2004, Funkhaus Berlin, Studio 4. DDD ANTES EDITION BM 31.9215 [54:49][RB]

Blumer: a pleasing craftsman rather than anything more. ... see Full Review

York BOWEN (1884-1961) Viola Concerto in C minor Op. 25 (1907) [35.33] Viola Sonata No. 2 in F major (1911) [26.07] Melody for the C string op. 51 No. 2 [4.48] Doris Lederer (viola) Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra/Paul Polivnick Bruce Murray (piano) rec. 19-20 Nov 2004, Prague Radio Studio 1; 7 June 2004, LSU Recital Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. DDD CENTAUR CRC 2786 [68.22] [RB]

Gritty immediacy - even ferocity - in the Concerto given the performance of its life. A salon-light sonata and a soulful Melody in C complete the picture ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Quintet in B minor (1891), op. 115 [36:02] Ernst von DOHNANYI ( 1877-1960) Sextet in C major (1934), op. 37 for string trio, clarinet, horn and piano [31:09] Gary Gray (clarinet); Richard Todd (horn); Robert Thies (piano); New Hollywood String Quartet rec. 4-5 March 2004, House of the Book, Brandeis-Bardin Institute, Brandeis, California. DDD CENTAUR CRC 2745 [67:12] [JuW]

Mainly of interest to those with specialised interests and collections rather than the general classical music listener. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Die Boten der Liebe George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) arr. Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Tanti strali al sen mi scocchi [09:13] BRAHMS Wir Schwestern zwei, op.61/1 [02:11], Die Meere, op.20/3 [02:36], Guter Rat [02:13], Phänomen, op.61/3 [01:53] HANDEL/BRAHMS Langue [05:49] BRAHMS Volkslieder: All mein Gedanken (soprano) [02:55], Da unten im Tale (contralto) [02:01], Hüt du dich, op.66/4 [02:50], Am Strande, op.66/3 [02:22] HANDEL/BRAHMS Se tu non lasci amore [06:19] BRAHMS Volkslieder: Dort in den Weiden steht ein Haus (soprano) [01:16], Soll sich der Mond nicht heller scheinen (contralto) [02:52], Klosterfräulein, op.61/2 [01:52], Die Boten der Liebe, op.61/4 [02:45] HANDEL/BRAHMS Beato in ver chi può [08:09] BRAHMS Volkslieder: So will ich frisch und fröhlich sein (contralto) [01:38], In stiller Nacht (soprano) [02:27], Jägerlied, op.66/4 [01:28], Klänge I, op.66/1 [01:41], Klänge II, op.66/2 [02:11] HANDEL/BRAHMS Fronda leggiera e mobile [07:03] Doerthe Maria Sandmann (soprano), Lydia Vierlinger (contralto), Russell Ryan (piano) Recorded February 2005 AMADEO CD 4763089 [74:46][CH]

Some interesting material, very well performed. ... 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] [DB]

Excellently recorded, very well performed, I side with the other reviewers of this disc in recommending it highly. ... see Full Review





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[Part 7 Misc M-Z]

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