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Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor (1894) [31:23] Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Piano Trio in D major (1909) [32:45] Escher Trio: Jeroen Bal (piano); Sonja van Beek (violin); Johann van Iersel (cello) rec. Maria Minor Kerk, Utrecht, The Netherlands, March 2002 CHALLENGE CLASSICS FL72407 [64:13] [IL]

The Escher’s Arensky Trio offers lots of attack but lacks warmth. ... see Full Review

Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (b. 1921) English Dancesa (1950s): Set 1, Op. 27 [10’11]; Set 2, Op. 33 [7:13] Solitaire (1956) – Sarabande [5:39]; Polka [2:46] Irish Dances, Op. 126 (1986) [9:28] Scottish Dances, Op. 59a (1957) [10:33] Cornish Dances, Op. 91a (1966) [12:40] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Arnold. No rec. info. aADD/DDD LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD201 [60:51] [OW]

Vintage Arnold. An absolute must for anyone interested in the composer, the repertoire or English music in general ... see Full Review

Malcolm ARNOLD (b. 1921) Symphony No. 4, Op. 71 (1960) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Malcolm Arnold rec. no info supplied. DDD (1990) LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD200 [54:11] [DC]

The whole thing is like a Rembrandt etching engraved on a block of gold: weighty, richly colourful, but its lines uniquely Arnold. ... see Full Review

Lera AUERBACH (b. 1973) Preludes and Dreams 24 Preludes for piano Op. 41 (1999) [45.22] Ten Dreams Op. 45 (1999) [21.19] Chorale, Fugue and Postlude Op. 31 (1994/2003) [12.20] Lera Auerbach (piano) rec. Nybrokajen 11 (The former Academy of Music), Stockholm, July 2004. BIS-CD-1462 [80.05] [GH]

Towering pianistic fireworks by a young and original composer. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Orgelwerke Live Heinz Wunderlich (organ) rec. St Jacobi, Hamburg, 1976-1982 ADD ORGANUM OGM 253017 [3 CDs: 72:19 + 73:06 + 76:40] [CB]

The recordings featured here are of huge interest on so many levels. ... see Full Review

Grażyna BACEWICZ (1909-1969) Complete Works for String Quartet String Quartets 1-7, Piano Quintets 1&2 Amar Corde Quartet: Barbara Stuhr (violin); Bogusława Ziegelheim (violin); Beata Poska (viola); Agata Zając (cello); Waldemar Malicki (piano) Vol 1 Acte PréAlable APO019 [61:11] Vol.2 Acte PréAlable APO020 [57:28] Vol.3 Acte PréAlable APO021 [58:33][GPu]

A valuable set of chamber works by a modern Polish composer who hasn’t yet had all the attention she deserves … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonata BWV 1027 in G major: Sonata BWV 1028 in D major: Sonata BWV 1029 in G minor: Sonata BWV 1019 in G major (transcription of the Sonata for violin and harpsichord): Juan Manuel Quintana (viola da gamba), Celine Frisch (harpsichord) rec. February 2000, Salle du Reitstadel, Neumarkt DDD HARMONIA MUNDI HMA 1951712 [57:27]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Sonata in G minor, BWV 1029: Sonata in G major, BWV 1027: Sonata in D major, BWV 1028: Sonata in G minor, BWV 1030b Jonathan Manson (viola da gamba), Trevor Pinnock (harpsichord) rec. 11-15 September 2005, CREAR, Argyll, Scotland. DDD AVIE AV2093 [59:21] [EM]

More fire and spirit, blood and guts with Manson and Pinnock (Avie) whilst Quintana and Frisch (HM) are more delicately sensitive and relaxed. Both discs are excellently played, however ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Six Suites for Violoncello, BWV 1007-1012. DVD 1: Suite No.1 in G Major; Suite No.2 in D Minor; Suite No.3 in C Major DVD 2: Suite No 4 in E Flat Major; Suite No.5 in C Minor; Suite No. 6 in D Major. CD1: Music only from DVD 1; CD2: Music only from DVD 2 Wen-Sinn Yang. (cello) rec. Servatiuskirche Auf Dem Streichen - (no date given) Sound Supervisor: Wilhelm Meister Executive Producer: Korbinian Meyer Director of TV and Video: Ruth Käch. Region Code 0; NTSC ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 419 [2 DVDs: 76:49 + 96:54] [ZT]

Only physical presence could transcend the musical epiphany bestowed by this superb presentation. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas: Volume 20 CD1 Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinge, BWV120a (1729) [29:18] Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe, BWV156 (1729) [13:40] Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn, BWV1127 (1713) [16:52] CD2 Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg, BWV149 (1728) [17:50] Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, BWV14 (1735) [15:18] Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, BWV29 (1726) [20:40] Nun danket alle Gott, BWV192 (1730) [10:57] CD3 Gott, mein lobet dich in der Stille, BWV120 (1731) [19:32] Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen, BWV11 (1735) [26:16] Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BWV9 (1732) [17:56] Der Herr ist mein getrener Hirt, BWV112 (1731) [11:21] Sandrine Piau, Johannette Zomer (BWV14), Lisa Larsson (BWV1127) (soprano) Bogna Bartosz, Nathalie Stutzman (BWV120a) (alto) James Gilchrist, Christoph Prégardien (BWV112, 149) (tenor) Klaus Mertens (bass) Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir/Ton Koopman rec. June 2001 – September 2005, Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam ANTOINE MARCHAND CC72220 [3 CDs: 60:02 + 65:00 + 75:20] [TB]

Bach’s cantatas are full of wonderful discoveries, particularly in the hands of a musician as sensitive and knowledgeable as Ton Koopman. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas: Volume 32 (Cantatas from Leipzig, 1725) Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit, BWV111 (1725) [16:40] Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen, BWV123 (1725) [20:05] Meinem Jesum laß ich nicht, BWV124 (1725) [13:05] Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BWV125 (1725) [23:17] Yukari Nonoshita (soprano), Robin Blaze (counter-tenor), Andreas Weller (tenor), Peter Kooij (bass) Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. February 2005, Kobe Shoin Women’s University Chapel, Japan BIS SACD-1501 [74:28] [TB]

With the highest presentation standards and an informative and well organised booklet, this is another top quality issue in Suzuki’s cantata series for BIS ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 (1750) [81.30] Terje Winge (Gloger organ) rec. 30 September 2001 Kongsberg Kirche, Kongsberg, Norway. SIMAX PSC 1243 [81.30] [PSh]

A lively, attractive performance on an attractive instrument, beautifully recorded. As usual, the final fugue is left incomplete. ... see Full Review

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Mikrokosmos (Complete: Books I-VI) (1926-1939) Jenõ Jando (piano); Balázs Szokolay (piano); Tamara Takács (mezzo) rec. Phoenix Studio, Budapest, 7-10 February (Books I-III), 27-30 April, 2005 (Books IV-VI) NAXOS 8.557821-22 [72:28 + 75:09] [GPu]

Not for beginning-to-end listening, but a very useful set, containing many attractive miniatures and full of interesting insights into Bartók’s musical imagination … see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano in B flat (1946) [20:59] Clarinet Sonata in D (1934) [13:44] Folk-Tale for Cello and Piano (1918) [8:00] Clarinet Sonata in E (1901) [9:00] Romance for Clarinet and Piano (1901) [7:48] Trio in One Movement for Piano, Violin and Clarinet (1906) [17:12] Robert Plane (clarinet) The Gould Trio – Lucy Gould (violin), Alice Neary (cello) Benjamin Frith (piano) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 21-23 December 2004 NAXOS 8.557698 [76:51][TH]

All in all, a Bax chamber recital to cherish ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) 12 Contredanses WoO 14 (Kaspar Karl van BEETHOVEN (1774-1815) No. 8 & 12) (?1801/2) [9:15] 12 German Dances WoO 8 (1795) [20:37] 6 Minuets WoO 9 (c.1795) [13:17] 11 Mödlinger Tänze WoO 17 (?1819) [19:50] L’Orfeo Barockorchester/Michi Gaigg rec. Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität, Linz 1-3 November, 2004. DDD cpo 777 117-2 [66:30] [GPu]

Outstanding performances, on period instruments, of charming music from the lighter end of the Beethovenian spectrum … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No 6 in F major, Op. 68, “Pastoral” (1807-1808)* [41:32] Symphony No 2 in D major, Op. 36 (1799-1802) [34:25] London Symphony Orchestra/Bernard Haitink rec. live, 21-22 November 2005; *26-27 November 2005, The Barbican, London. DSD LSO LIVE LSO 0582 [76:02] [JQ]

A self-recommending issue that make me impatient to hear the rest of the cycle ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No 7 in A major, Op. 92 (1811-1812) [38:40] Triple Concerto in C major for piano, violin and cello, Op. 56* (1803-1803) [35:53] *Gordan Nikolitch (violin); Tim Hugh (cello); Lars Vogt (piano) London Symphony Orchestra/Bernard Haitink rec. live, 16-17 November 2005, *26-27 November 2005, The Barbican, London DDD LSO LIVE LSO0078 [74:36] [JQ]

Haitink’s Beethoven cycle is shaping up to be a considerable addition to the catalogue and the Seventh is a worthy part of the set.  ... see Full Review

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Leonard Bernstein’s New York: The celebration of a city immortalised through music On the Town (1944): New York, New York; Ya got me; Come up to my place; Lonely town; Some other time Wonderful Town (1953): What a waste; A quiet girl; Wrong note rag; Story of my life; A little bit in love West Side Story (1957): One hand, one heart; Balcony scene (Tonight) Dawn Upshaw; Mandy Patinkin; Donna Murphy; Audra McDonald; Judy Blazer; Richard Muenz; Orchestra of St.Luke’s/Eric Stern. Spoken contributions from Eric Stern; Harold Prince; Frank Rich; Jonathan Schwartz; Sono Osato; George Gaynes; Allyn Ann McLerie; Humphrey Burton rec. various locations in New York WARNER MUSIC VISION DVD 0630-17103-2 [55:00] [GPJ]

I’m thrilled at having been introduced to the work of Judy Blazer, an exceptional talent.  And for aficionados of the Broadway stage, this will be an enjoyable enough package, though most will eventually, I imagine, tire of the overwhelmingly reverential tone. ... see Full Review

Georges BIZET (1838–1875) The Fair Maid of Perth - Opera in four acts sung in English (1866) Catherine Glover … Gwen Catley (soprano) Mab, Queen of the Gypsies … Lorely Dyer (soprano) Harry Smith … Richard Lewis (tenor) Duke of Rothsay … Trefor Jones (baritone) Ralph … Norman Walker (bass) Simon Glover … Owen Brannigan (bass) A Nobleman … David Holman (tenor) Major-Domo … George Stern Scott (bass) BBC Theatre Chorus Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. broadcast, 5-6 June 1949, BBC Studio 1, Maida Vale, BBC Third Programme BEULAH 12PD23 [73.08 + 61.25] [RM]

Hugely enjoyable for its own sake and for the delights of nostalgia ... see Full Review

Marc BLITZSTEIN (1905-1964) The Marc Blitzstein Centennial Concert Song (1925) [1:48] 1 * What’s the Matter with Me? (1929) [2:59] 2 The Way You Are (1935) [2:34] 3 Hard to Say (from Reuben, Reuben(1955)) [1:37] 3 Lovely to Get Back to Love (1945) [1:37] 4 * War Song (1945) [2:05] 1 * from Idiots First (1962): Under the Sky [1:11] 5 * Who Will Close the Door? [2:37] 5 * How I Met My New Grandfather [2:53] 5 * From Nine Whitman Songs (1926-7): As if a Phantom Caress’d Me [1:43] 5 After the Dazzle of Day [1:30] 5 As Adam [1:24] 5 From Sacco and Vanzetti (1959/2001): Memorial Day [1:37] 5 * With a Woman To Be [4:40] 5 *Torremaggiore-Villafalletto Trio [1:45] 3 * I’ve Got the Tune (1937): Prologue [0:25] 6 Scene 1, The Street [5:06] 2, 3, 6 Scene 2, The Salon [5:27] 3 Scene 3, The Meeting [9:30] 2, 5 Scene 4, The Neighbor [3:47] 5,6 Scene 5, The Street [5:36] 5 The Nickel Under the Foot (1936) [2:55] 7 * Music completed by Leonard Lehrman Helen Williams (soprano); Victoria Tralongo (soprano); Cameron Smith (tenor); Bill Castleman (baritenor); Joshua Minkin (baritenor); Lars Woodul (baritone); Robert Osborne (bass-baritone); John Craven (piano); Leonard Lehrman (piano); David Hessney (piano); Don Levine (percussion); Katya Brous (speaker); The Solidarity Singers of the New Jersey Industrial Union Council; The Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus; The Workmen’s Circle Chorus / Leonard Lehrman rec. (1)  9 October, 2004, American Music Research Center, Boulder, Colorado; (2) 5 March, 2005, People’s Voice Cafe, New York City; (3) 27 February, 2005, Great Neck House, New York; (4) 3 April, Long Beach Public Library, Long Beach, New York; (5) 6 March, 2005, Queens College, New York; (6) 8 December, 1970, Lowell House, Harvard; (7) probably 1938 ORIGINAL CAST RECORDS OC 6127 [66:46] [GPu]

Somewhat patchy as regards both performance and recording quality, but invaluable as a conspectus of Blitzstein’s very individual music … see Full Review

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743–1805) Quartet in G minor Op. 24, no.6 (G194) (1777) [16:37] Stabat Mater (G194) (1781) [42:26]* Sophie Karthauser (soprano)* Les Folies Françoises (Patrick Cohën-Akenine (violin), Leonor de Recondo (violin), Michel Renard (viola), François Poly (cello), Hervé Douchy (cello)) rec. May 2005, Church of Saint-Apollinaire, Bolland RICERCAR RIC 244 [59:03] [RH]

If the performances don’t completely plumb the depths of the works, they display a fine musicality and balance, which can’t be bad. ... see Full Review

William BOLCOM (b. 1938) Violin Concerto in D (1983) [23:21] Fantasia Concertante for viola, violoncello and orchestra (1985) [15:03] Symphony No. 5 (1989) [22:48] Sergiu Luca (violin) Janet Lyman Hill (viola) Eugene Moye (cello) American Composers Orchestra/Dennis Russell Davies rec. New York State University Performing Arts Center, October 1990. DDD. Licensed from Decca - first released in 1992 as Argo 433 077-2ZH PHOENIX PHCD164 [55:04] [RB]

If you’ve caught the Bolcom bug do confirm the addiction with this nicely varied collection and let’s thank Phoenix for rescuing yet another Argo deletion. ... see Full Review

New Polish Music Panorama VI: Master and His Pupils Vol. 2 Marian BORKOWSKI (b. 1934) Vox per uno strumento ad ottone (1977) [6:02]* Dram for orchestra (1966) [4:57]** Piotr SPOZ (b. 1977) Sonata for Violin and Piano (1997) [9:55]*** Grażyna PACIOREC-DRAUS (b. 1967) Muzyka Napotkana for oboe and accordion (1990) [4:12] # Aldona NAWROCKA (b. 1977) Molecules for piano (2000) [10:55] ## Bartosz KOWALSKI-BANASEWICZ (b. 1977) Epizod for Orchestra (2001) [7:56] ### Mi-Jin LEE (b. 1973) Fala for clarinet and piano (2001) [6:29] † Slawomir ZAMUSZKO (b. 1973) Three Organ Preludes (2001) [7:30] †† Ryszard OSADA (b. 1972) E-motion for 2 accordions and stereo track (2001) [8:59] ††† Boris ALVARADO (b. 1962) Pazzanti for piano (2003) [5:41] ‡ Dariusz LAPIŃSKI (b. 1977) Les Jeux for clarinet, bassoon, cello, and piano (1998) [5:06] ‡‡ Zdzislaw Piernic (tuba)*, Patrycja Piekutowska (violin)***, Piotr Spoz (piano)***, Tytus Wojnowicz (oboe)#, Zbigniew Kożlik (accordion)#, Szabolcs Esztenyi (piano)##, Orchestra of the Jozef Elsner Music School in Warsaw ###, Michal Nizynski (conductor) ###, Michal Szubarga (clarinet) †, Irena Wiselka-Cieslar (organ) ††, Radislaw Toporowski (accordion) ††† , Grzegorz Toporowski (accordion) †††, Maria Paz Santibanez (piano) ‡, Piotr Filip (clarinet) ‡, Katarzyna Piotrowska (bassoon) ‡, Mariusz Domanski (cello) ‡ , Robert Morawski (piano) ‡, Symphony Orchestra of the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw**, Piotr Borkowski (conductor)** Recording venues not indicated. ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0109 [77:53] [DB]

Volume two covering the legacy of one of Poland’s influences on contemporary music. Wide-ranging in style and substance ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 (1881) [46:09] Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119 (1891-93) [15:25] Marc-André Hamelin (piano) The Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Litton rec. 12-15 January 2006, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, TX; 11 February 2006 at the Poston Hall, Suffolk, England. HYPERION CDA 67550 [61:41] [KS]

Very satisfying all round … particularly rewarding to hear this piece played at just the right tempo ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat, op.83 (1881)* [47:28] Jaan RÄÄTS (b. 1932) Symphony No. 5 op. 28 (1967) [29:33] Peter Rösel (piano)* Anhaltische Philharmonie Dessau/Golo Berg rec. Grossen Has des Anhaltischen Theaters Dessau, 27-28 May 2004, (live recording). DDD ANTES BM-CD 31.9204 [77:12] [TP]

Not essential listening, but certainly interesting. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Chamber Music for Clarinet CD 1 Sonata No. 1 in F minor for clarinet and piano, Op.120, No. 1 (1894) [22:41] Sonata No. 2 in E flat major for clarinet and piano, Op.120, No. 2 (1894) [20:21] CD 2 Trio in A major for clarinet, cello and piano, Op.114 (1891) [25:29] Quintet in B minor for clarinet and string quartet, Op.115 (1891) [27:38] Hans Christian Bræin (clarinet); Håvard Gimse (piano); Atle Sponberg (violin); Per Kristian Skalstad (violin); Nora Taksdal (viola); Anne Britt Sævig Årdal (cello); Bjørg Værnes Lewis (cello) (Op. 114) rec. March 2003, December 2004, Sofienberg Church, Oslo, Norway. DDD SIMAX CLASSICS PSC 1259 [43.02 + 53.07] [MC]

Simax can be justly proud of this release. For those looking for a collection that includes all of Brahms’s music for clarinet this Simax set would now be my preferred choice. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102 (1887) [32:06] Jean Fournier (violin); Antonio Janigro (cello) Vienna State Opera Orchestra/ Hermann Scherchen rec. 1952. ADD PRISTINE AUDIO PASC042 [32:06] [CC]

This Brahms Double serves primarily as a reminder of the stature of the conductor Hermann Scherchen ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Four-Hand Piano Music - Vol. 16 (Arrangements) Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47 (1842) [28:11] (arranged by Brahms in 1855 for piano duet) Joseph JOACHIM (1831-1907) Hamlet Overture, Op. 4 (1853) [16:35] (arranged by Brahms in 1853/54 for piano duet) Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Sixteen Ländler for solo piano, D.366 (1816-24) [12:51] (arranged by Brahms for piano duet) Four Ländler for piano duet, D.814 (1824) [03:39] (arranged by Brahms for piano duo, two pianos) Silke-Thora Matthies (piano); Christian Köhn (piano) rec. 25-27 May, 2001, Clara-Wieck-Auditorium, Sandhausen, Germany. DDD NAXOS 8.555848 [61:16] [MC]

Matthies and Köhn provide commendable performances that give considerable pleasure. A most attractive release. A credit to Naxos. Much to enjoy in this assortment of arrangements ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Liebeslieder Walzer (Love Song Waltzes), 18 songs for chorus 4 part voices and piano 4-hands, Op. 52, No. 1-18 (1868-69) Gächinger Kantorei/Helmuth Rilling Martin Galling (piano) Michael Leuschner (piano) rec. April 1977, Stuttgart, Germany. ADD. 24 bit/96 kHz remastering. ARTS ARCHIVE 43126-2 [67:10] [MC]

A real joy from start to finish. Engaging and warm-hearted music-making that walks on the bright side of the street. ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Phantasie Quartet (1905) [10:55] Novelletten (1904) [11:00] Three Idylls (1906) [13:41] An Irish Melody – The Londonderry Air (1908) [7:41] Sir Roger de Coverley (1922) [4:30] Sally in Our Alley (1916) [4:06] Cherry Ripe (1916) [3:29] Three Pieces: Allegretto [0.48]; Moderato [1:24]; Allegro marcato [2:11] Maggini Quartet rec. All Saints, East Finchley, London, 16–17 December 1994. DDD NAXOS 8.553718 [59:55] [JW]

Balance and voice leading are thoughtful and considered; dynamics are assured … a classy contribution to the discography ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1973) Young Apollo for piano and string orchestra, Op. 16 (1939) [7:36] Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Le Carnaval d'Aix, fantasy for piano and orchestra (1926) [17:57] (Le Corso [1:16]; Tartaglia [1:19]; Isabelle [1:19]; Rosetta [2:12]; Le bon et le mauvais tuteur [1:53]; Coviello [0:34]; Le Capitaine Cartuccia [2:19]; Polichinelle [0:28]; Polka [1:29]; Cinzio [1:32]; Souvenir de Rio [2:02]; Final [1:39]) Gerald FINZI (1901-1956) Eclogue for piano and string orchestra, Op. 10 (c. 1920, rev. 1940s) [8:56] Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme - Orchestral Suite Op. 60 (1920) [34:33] (Ouverture to Act 1 [3:57]; Minuet [1:32]; The Fencing Master [1:51]; Entrance and Dance of the Tailors [4:52]; Lully's Minuet [2:06]; Courante [2:47]; Entrance of Cleonte [4:16]; Prelude to Act II, intermezzo [3:02]; The Dinner [10:08]) Joshua Pierce (piano) Slovak State Chamber Orchestra, Zilina/Kirk Trevor Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra of Bratislava/Kirk Trevor (Finzi: Eclogue) rec. Britten, 27 Jan 2004; Milhaud, 26 Jan 2004; Finzi, 31 March 2005; Strauss, 24 Jan 2004. DDD KLEOS CLASSICS KL5137 [69:03] [MC]

A fascinating and well performed collection that I feel sure I will return to. ... see Full Review

War Requiem, Op. 66 (1961) [81:24] Rehearsing War Requiem: recordings made during session rehearsals* [49:34] Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano); Peter Pears (tenor); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) The Bach Choir; London Symphony Chorus; Highgate School Choir Melos Ensemble Simon Preston (organ) London Symphony Orchestra/Benjamin Britten rec. Kingsway Hall, London, 3-5, 7, 8, 10 January 1963 Stereo/*mono DECCA - THE ORIGINALS 475 7511 [54:52 + 76:50] [JQ]

This superb recording, definitive in so many ways, speaks to us as powerfully today as it ever did. ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913–1976) Serenade for tenor, horn and strings, Op. 31 (1943) [24:32] Les illuminations, Op. 18 (1939) [21:51] Nocturne for tenor, seven obbligato instruments and strings, Op. 60 (1958) [26:25] Peter Pears (tenor), Dennis Brain (horn) (Serenade), New Symphony Orchestra/Eugene Goossens (Serenade and Les illuminations) Barry Tuckwell (horn), Willie Anthony Waters (bassoon), Osian Ellis (harp), Denis Blyth (timpani), Roger Lord (cor anglais), Alexander Murray (flute), Gervase de Peyer (clarinet), London Symphony Orchestra/Benjamin Britten rec. Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, November 1953 (Serenade, Les illumination); Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, UK, September 1959 (Nocturne) DECCA ELOQUENCE 476 8470 [73:00] [GF]

Historic recordings of importance finally available again. Something for both the beginner and the jaded Britten collector ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Gloriana, op.53 (1953): Phyllida Lloyd’s adaptation for film [100:43] Josephine Barstow (soprano) – Queen Elizabeth I; Tom Randle (tenor) – Essex; Emer McGilloway (mezzo) – Lady Essex; David Ellis (baritone) – Lord Mountjoy; Susannah Glanville (soprano) – Lady Rich; Eric Roberts (baritone) – Sir Robert Cecil; Clive Bayley (bass) – Sir Walter Raleigh; Chorus of Opera North, English Northern Philharmonia/Paul Daniel. Video Director: Phyllida Lloyd. Also includes interviews with Josephine Barstow, Phyllida Lloyd, Tom Randle, Paul Daniel in brief features Gloriana at Opera North [9:08]; Elizabeth and Essex [9:40]; The idea of the film [8:00]; Gloriana, a film [10:13] NTSC 16:9; Colour; Region Code: All; LPCM Stereo; Digital DTS Surround. Subtitles English, French, German, Spanish, Italian OPUS ARTE OA 0955 D [138:00] [MG]

A blend of the controversial, the regrettable and the magnificent … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Norbert BURGMÜLLER (1810-1836) Piano Sonata in F minor Op.8 (1826) [27:58] Waltz in E Flat major (1827) [03:45] Mazurka in E flat major [03:59] Rhapsodie in B minor Op.13 (1834) [04:58] Polonaise in F major Op.16 (1832) [05:56] Felix MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY (1809-1847) Marcia funebre in A minor Op.103 (1836) [06:54] Frédéric BURGMÜLLER (1806-1874) Rêveries fantastiques Op.41 (1838) [05:53] L’arabesque (25 Études Op.100, No.2) (1851) [00:44] Innocence (25 Études Op.100, No.5) (1851) [00:54] Ballade (25 Études Op.100, No.15) (1851) [01:19] Valse brillante Op.106 (1851) [06:16] Tobias Koch (piano) rec. Schloss Kremsegg, Kremsmünster, Austria, 16-18 November 2005 GENUIN GEN 86061 [68:44] [GPu]

An outstanding, well-nigh revelatory disc, fascinating music played exceptionally well, with two early pianos very well-recorded … see Full Review

Geoffrey BUSH (1920-1998) Overture, Yorick (1949) [8:32]. Music for Orchestra (1967) [16:08] Symphony No. 1 (1954) [27:38] Symphony No. 2 The Guildford (1957) [26:48] New Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley (Yorick); London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley (Music for Orchestra); London Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite (1st Symphony); Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth. (2nd Symphony) rec. Kingsway Hall, London, 25 August 1976 (Yorick); Walthamstow Assembly Hall, 4 January 1972 (Music for Orchestra); Kingsway Hall, London, 2-3 August 1978 (1st Symphony); Watford Town Hall, 13 January 1994 (2nd Symphony) ADD/DDD (2nd Symphony only) LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD252 [76.32] [JF]

A fine re-release. Geoffrey Bush’s music is long overdue being reappraised. This is an excellent start. ... see Full Review




Detailed listing (last five 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]
[Recommended recordings]

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