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RECORDING OF THE MONTH William ALWYN (1905-1985) Elizabethan Dances (6) (1956-57) [17:34] The Innumerable Dance - An English Overture (1933) [10:37] Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Strings (1943-44) [18:51] Aphrodite in Aulis - An Eclogue for small orchestra after George Moore (1932) [05:09] The Magic Island (1952) [10:53] Festival March (1951) [08:05] Eleanor Hudson (harp) Jonathan Small (oboe) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones rec. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 19-22 January 2006. DDD. world premiere recordings (The Innumerable Dance; Aphrodite in Aulis) NAXOS 8.570144 [71:09] [RB]

Recording is natural without being distanced and performances evince commitment and sympathy. The unique experience of hearing more than sixteen minutes of previously unrecorded Alwyn. ... see Full Review

Georges APERGHIS (b. 1945) Storm beneath a skull A film by Catherine Maximoff [59:16] Little Red Ridng Hood A film by Jean-Baptiste Mathieu featuring Ensemble Reflex.[61:34] rec. Paris, 2006. DVD all regions NTSC IDEALE AUDIENCE DVD9DS18 [102:00] [AOz]

Shatteringly intense music, performed with extreme commitment … with Aperghis there’s too much inherent subversion and inventiveness to fit any formula. ... see Full Review

Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Handley Conducts Arnold Beckus the Dandipratt, overture for orchestra (1943) [08:40] Suite: The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (London Prelude; Romantic Interlude; Happy Ending) (1958) [14:34] Flourish for a 21st Birthday (1953) [03:32] Symphony No.6 (1967) [25:56] Philharmonic Concerto (1976) [16:26] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. live, Royal Festival Hall, London, 24 September 2004, DDD LPO LIVE LPO 0013 [69:08] [RB]

LPO Live have chosen well in selecting this concert for issue. I hope they have more Handley/Arnold material for issue as this is most impressive. ... see Full Review

Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) The Sound Barrier, Op. 38 (1952) [7:09] Eight English Dances, Opp. 27 and 33 (1951) [8:17, 9:22] Homage to the Queen, Op. 42 (1953) [42:42] Four Scottish Dances, Op. 59 (1957) [8:40] Philharmonia Orchestra/Robert Irving Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Malcolm Arnold (Sound Barrier) rec. Royal Festival Hall, London, 16 January 1957 (Sound Barrier); Kingsway Hall, London, 11-12 June 1953 (Homage to Queen, English Dances), 18 June 1957 (Scottish Dances) British Composers series EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 66120 2 0 [76:58][RB]

With a fascinatingly inventive major ballet score and rapturously performed recordings of the dances this is ranks high in the Arnold treasury. ... see Full Review

Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Piano Sonata in B minor (1942) [11:59] Two Piano Pieces (1943): (i) Prelude [3:27]; (ii) Romance [2:30] Variations on a Ukrainian Folk Song Op.9 (1944) [14:45] Constant LAMBERT (1905-1951) Piano Sonata (1929) [23:20] Elegy (1938) [4:52] Suite in Three movements (1925) [11:40] Elegiac Blues (1927) [2:56] Mark Bebbington (piano) rec. Symphony Hall, Birmingham, August 2005 SOMM CD 062 [76:54] [JW]

Bebbington is an expert guide to Arnold’s piano works and casts a very personal eye on Lambert as well. ... see Full Review

Attilio ARIOSTI (1666-1729) The Stockholm Sonatas 1: Lezione I in E flat major [10.10]; Lezione II in A major [8.44]; Lezione III in E minor [12.59]; Lezione IV in F major [11.17]; Lezione V in E minor [8.25]; Sonata 6 in D major [8.37]; Sonata 7 in D major [8.02] Thomas Georgi (viola d’amore); Lucas Harris (theorbo, archlute, baroque guitar); Joelle Morton (viola da gamba, great bass viol) rec. May 2005, Grace Church on the Hill, Toronto, Canada. DDD BIS CD 1535 [69:14][GH]

Beautiful, well-shaped and authentically-aware performances captured in an excellent recording but at the end of the day this second-rate music; at best suitable for a sleepy late evening with a bottle of Chianti to hand. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I BWV 846-869 [144.36] Peter Watchorn (pedal harpsichord) rec. 20-22 October 2005, St. Mary of the Hills, Milton, MA. MUSICA OMNIA 0201 [144.36][KM]

Perhaps the finest harpsichord recording of this monumental work ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage - Volume 15: Cantatas for The Third Day of Christmas Sehet, welch eine Liebe hat uns der Vater erzeiget, BWV 64 (1723) [17:39] Süsser Trost, mein Jesus kömmt, BWV 151 (1725) [17:07] Selig ist der Mann, BWV 57 (1725) [22:56] (For the Second Day of Christmas)Ich freue mich in dir, BWV 133 (1724) [18:15]  Katharine Fuge, Gillian Keith, 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, 27 December 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG 127 [76:15] [JQ]

A delight from start to finish. This unfolding series goes from strength to strength ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Mass in B minor BWV 232 (1733-1738) CD 1: I. Kyrie II. Gloria CD 2: III. Credo IV. Sanctus Agnes Giebel (soprano), Janet Baker (alto), Nicolai Gedda (tenor), Hermann Prey (baritone), Franz Crass (bass) BBC Chorus New Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. October and November 1967, Kingsway Hall, London. ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 4768142 [67.32 + 68.13] [EM]

A performance full of  radiance, beauty and nobility ... see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Viola Sonata  (1922) [22:37] Concert Piece for viola and piano (1904) [12:30] Legend for viola and piano (1929) [9:26] Trio in one movement for violin, viola and piano Op.4 (1906) [16:29] Martin Outram (viola) Laurence Jackson (violin) Julian Rolton (piano) Rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, February 2005  NAXOS 8.557784 [61:03][JW]

As a single disc Bax viola selection you couldn’t do much better than this. ... see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Violin Sonata No.1 in E major (1910-15 revised 1920, 1945) [32:08] Violin Sonata No.3 (1927) [20:12] Original second and third movements of the First Sonata (1910): (Slow and sombre [11:43]; Allegro molto vivace [11:47]) Laurence Jackson (violin) Ashley Wass (piano) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, December 2004  NAXOS 8.557540 [75:50] [JW]

Naxos continues its devotion to Bax with oustanding results. The performances are eloquent and impressive ... see Full Review

Leopold Stokowski conducts the NBC Symphony Orchestra Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.6 in F major Op.68 Pastoral (1808) [43:39] Sounds of Nature – illustrated discussion by Leopold Stokowski [5:51] Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Three Hungarian Rhapsodies: No.1 in F minor – orchestrated Doppler and Liszt [8:38]; No.2 in C sharp minor – orchestrated Muller-Berghaus [8:37]; No.3 in D major - orchestrated Doppler and Liszt [7:41] NBC Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski rec. Manhattan Center, New York, March 1954 (Beethoven) and January-February 1955 (Liszt) CALA CACD 0545 [74:28][JW]

Stokowski’s Pastoral: latitude will prove necessary but those attuned to his sensibility will find him a most humane and generous guide. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 (1805) [32:50] Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 (1812) [36:10] Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela/Gustavo Dudamel rec. Aula Magna, Ciudad Universitaria, Caracas, February 2006 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 6228 [69:07][DRD]

Jaded with Beethoven? This will clear away the cobwebs! ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Late String Quartets CD 1 String Quartet No. 12 in E flat major, Op. 127 (1824-25) [36:59] String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130 (1825-26) [35:43] CD 2 Große Fuge in B flat major, Op. 133 (1825-26) [15:28] String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131 (1826) [36:40] CD 3 String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132 (1825) [42:14] String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135 (1826) [25:10] Alban Berg Quartet: (Günter Pichler, violin; Gerhard Schulz, violin; Thomas Kakuska, viola; Valentin Erben, cello) rec. live performances, July 1989, Mozartsaal, Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria. DDD EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 4768202 [3 CDs: 72:47 + 52:13 + 67:29] [MC]

These are truly Great Recordings of the Century. I would be completely content to have these performances of Beethoven’s late string quartets as the only set in my collection. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) CD 1 Sonata for Piano No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 Waldstein (1803-1804) [24:15] Sonata for Piano No. 22 in F major, Op. 54 (1804) [10:26] Sonata for Piano No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 Appassionata (1804-1805) [22:14] Sonata for Piano No. 24 in F sharp major, Op. 78 (1809) [9:41] Sonata for Piano No. 25 in G major, Op. 79 (1809) [8:33] CD 2 Sonata for Piano No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90 (1814) [12:31] Sonata for Piano No. 30 in E major, Op. 109 (1820) [20:36] Sonata for Piano No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110 (1821-2) [18:35] Sonata for Piano No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 (1822) [26:02] Artur Schnabel (piano) rec. 1932 (Op. 78, 90, 109, 110, 111); 1933 (Op. 54, 57); 1934 (Op. 53); 1935 (Op. 79), Studio No. 3, Abbey Road, London. EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 5 62880 2 [75:11 + 77:46][MC]

Imperious interpretations … certainly one of the ‘Great Recordings of the Century’. Beethoven lovers and those fascinated by historical recordings from the greatest performers will be in their element. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) CD1: Piano Sonata No.28 in A major, op.101 (1816) [23:01] Piano Sonata No.29 in B flat major, op.106 "Hammerklavier" (1818) [43:38] CD2: Piano Sonata No.30 in E major, op.109 (1820) [20:23] Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat major, op.110 (1821) [20:43] Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor, op.111 (1822) [27:39] Malcolm Binns (fortepianos) rec. The Colt Clavier Collection, Bethersden, Kent, November 1978 (op.110); April 1979 (op.106); June 1979 (opp.101, 109, 111). ADD EXPLORE EXP0001/2 [66:31 + 69:25] [TP]

As a supplement … Binns’ set is instructive, and one to which I will return. ... see Full Review

Luciano BERIO (1925–2003) Sequenzas I – XIV: I for flute (1958) [5:16] II for harp (1963) [9:28] III for female voice (1966) [7:37] IV for piano (1966) [10:56] V for trombone (1965) [5:34] VI for viola (1967) [14:53] VIIa for oboe (1969) [9:17] VIII for violin (1976) [12:32] IXa for clarinet (1980) [14:01] X for trumpet in C and pianoresonance (1984) [17:08] XI for guitar (1987-88) [16:28] XII for bassoon (1995) [16:18] XIII for accordion (chanson) (1995) [8:16] XIV for cello (2002) [13:09] VIIb for soprano saxophone (1995) [7:15] IXb for alto saxophone (1981) [13:50] Nora Shulman (flute); Erica Goodman (harp); Tony Arnold (soprano); Boris Berman (piano); Alain Trudel (trombone); Steven Dann (viola); Matej Šarc (oboe); Jasper Wood (violin); Joaquin Valdepeñas (clarinet); Guy Few (trumpet); Pablo Sáinz Villegas (guitar); Ken Munday (bassoon); Joseph Petric (accordion); Darrett Adkins (cello); Wallace Halladay (saxophones) rec. St John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, June 1998-May 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557661-63 [3 CDs: 63:02 + 60:09 + 58:48] [GPu]

An eminently recommendable set of some of the most remarkable music of our own time, at a knock-down price … see Full Review

Franz BERWALD (1796-1868) Piano Quintet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 5 (1853) [22:38] Piano Quintet No. 2 in A, Op. 6 (1857) [28:20] Vienna Philharmonia Quintet rec. Sofiensaal, Vienna, September 1973. ADD EXPLORE EXP0003 [51:11] [CC]

This is absolutely gorgeous music … It is difficult to imagine more musical and more musically recorded accounts than the present ones. ... see Full Review

Hermann BISCHOFF (1868-1936) Symphony No. 1 (1906) [62:23] Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Werner Andreas Albert rec. Ludwigshafen, Philharmonie, 11-15 June 2004 CPO 777 111-2 [62:23][PC]

Bischoff is still worth a listen. ... see Full Review

BOULEZ Le Domaine musical: 1956-1967 Volumes 1&2 - see review for details ACCORD 476 9209 [4 CDs plus bonus CD: 66:54 + 62:32 + 59:46 + 73:15. Bonus CD: 79:42], ACCORD 476 8862 [4 CDs: 62:14 + 65:04 + 74:30 + 70:04] [GR]

When Boulez started the Domaine Musical concerts in January 1954 he let off the equivalent of a small nuclear device in the moribund world of post-war Parisian music. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Tragic Overture Op.81* (1880) [13:16] Variations on a theme by Haydn Op.56a (1873) [18:51] Symphony No.4 in E minor Op.98 (1885) [43:00] Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra*/Carlo Maria Giulini rec. 12 November 1962, Kingsway Hall, London (Overture); 25-27 January 1961, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (Variations); 13-15 May 1969, Medinah Temple, Chicago (Symphony). Bonus CD – Carlo Maria Giulini – A Profile EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 5628822 [75:15 + 76:38] [DC]

Giulini’s Brahms interpretations have every bit as much to tell us today as when they first appeared. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No.1 in C Op. 68 (1876) [41:33] Symphony No.2 in D Op. 73 (1877) [41:18] Symphony No.3 in F Op. 90 (1883) [38:18] Symphony No.4 in E Op. 98 (1885) [41:25] Variations on a Theme of Haydn Op. 56a (1873) [18:12] Academic Festival Overture Op. 80 (1880) [11:19] Tragic Overture Op. 81 (1881) [12:40] Alto Rhapsody Op. 53 (1869) [14:10] * Lucretia West (contralto) * Staatskapelle Dresden (Symphony No.1) Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Haydn Variations, Academic Festival Overture, Tragic Overture, Alto Rhapsody) Munich Philharmonic Orchestra (Symphony No.2) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (Symphony No.3) Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra (Symphony No.4) Hans Knappertsbusch rec.1950-57. ADD ANDROMEDA ANDRCD5066 [3 CDs: 71:36 + 78:30 + 68:02] [JW]

Critically speaking reviewing Knappertsbusch’s Brahms is the equivalent of kicking a blind man or a dog ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77 (1878) [38:38] JEAN SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 (1903, rev. 1905) [32:34] Ginette Neveu (violin) Philharmonia Orchestra/Issay Dobrowen (Brahms); Walter Süsskind (Sibelius) rec. 16-18 August 1946 (Brahms); 21 November 1945 (Sibelius), Studio No. 1, Abbey Road, London, England. ADD. EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 4 76830 2 [71:45][MC]

A fascinating release … Neveu, a performer whose life was tragically cut short. Nothing remarkable here to trouble the extremely fierce competition in these two masterworks. ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Latin Motets Pange lingua [3:53] Afferentur regi virgins [1:21] Vexilla regis [5:17] Christus factus est [4:38] Locus iste [2:30] Os justi meditabitur [4:51] Inveni David [1:29] Libera me, Domine [4:11] Ave Maria [3:18] Tota pulchra es [4:18] Virga Jesse [4:07] Ecce sacerdos [5:07] Oly Pfaff, (tenor) Manfred Hug, (organ) Wolfgang Czelusta, Klaus Bäuerle, Peter Redwig, Fritz Resch, (trombones) Philharmonia Vocalensemble Stuttgart/Hans Zanotelli rec. 6-7 April 1979, Tonstudio Mauermann. Originally issued on Calig Records. PROFIL PH07002 [45:56][KS]

Painful lack of intonation, bizarre articulations and poorly shaped phrases mar this performance irreparably. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH William BYRD (1539/40-1623) Laudibus in sanctis - The Byrd Edition: Volume 10 Quis est homo? CS 3-4 [6:19] Tribulatio proxima est, CS 8-9 [5:28] Apparebit in finem, CS 12 [2:33] Salve sancta parens [4:37] Alleluia, Ave Maria … Virga Iesse [3:39] Beata es, virgo Maria [2:06] Beata viscera [1:48] Regina caeli [4:48] Salve regina, CS 6-7 [7:07] Fac cum servo tuo, CS 5 [4:41] Ecce quam bonum [3:41] In manus tuas, Domine [2:14] Unam petii a Domino [3:50] Visita quaesumus, Domine [3:19] Domine, exaudi orationem meam, inclina, CS 10-11 [6:26] Laudibus in sanctis, CS 1-2 [5:44] The Cardinall’s Musick/Andrew Carwood rec. Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle, 10-12 May 2006. DDD HYPERION CDA67568 [69:45] [MG]

“The style and character are true to the text”, a comment that serves well for Carwood’s consistently excellent performances of Byrd’s motets … see Full Review


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