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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    




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ALPHABETICAL LISTING

 

Tomaso ALBINONI (1671-1751) 6 Sonate da chiesa Op.4 (1708) 12 Trattenimenti armonici per camera Op.6 (1711) The Locatelli Trio: Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin), Richard Tunnicliffe (cello), Paul Nicholson (harpsichord [Op.6], organ [Op.4]) rec. November 1991 and January 1992, Gewölbkeller am Römertum, Cologne. HYPERION DYAD CDD22048 [79:40 + 79:40] [GPu]

A valuable set of Albinoni’s chamber music, which offers a coherent vision of this elegant, polite music ... 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] Macbeth: Incidental Music (1778) [18:15] Polly (Opera) – Overture (1777) [5:20] Toronto Camerata/Kevin Mallon rec. Grace Church on the Hill, Toronto, Canada, 5-8 January 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557484 [76:27][JW]

No epoch thundering masterpieces but their reclamation from the shelves is to be admired ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Passion According to St. John, BWV 245 (1724, rev. 1749) [108.49] Gerd Türk, tenor; Midori Suzuki, soprano; Robin Blaze, counter-tenor; Chiyuki Urano, bass-baritone; Stephan MacLeod, bass; Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 28 July 2000, Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Video direction by Shokichi Amano. Notes in English, Deutsch, and Français. Complete track list. Menus in English and Deutsch. Subtitles in English, Deutsch, Français. Sound 48kHz 16 bit PCM 2.0; Dolby Surround 5.1.; 16:9 anamorphic NTSC DVD 9 region 0 [all regions] Previews of other DVDs of Bach’s music [5.00] EUROARTS INVITATION 2050396 [117.00] [PSh]

The finest recorded version of this work, performance and recording, setting a standard for the future that may be equalled, but could not be surpassed.  If you don’t have a DVD player, buy one just to play this disk. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Six Sonatas and Partitas
CD 1 Sonata no 1 in G minor (Adagio [3.58]; Fuga (allegro) [4.45]; Siciliano [2.53]; Presto [3.40]) Partita no. 1 in B minor (Allemanda [5.40]; Double [2.40]; Corrente [3.23]; Double (Presto) [3.26]; Sarabanda  [3.22]; Double [2.25]; Tempo di Bourree [3.25]; Double [3.17]) Sonata no. 2 in A minor (Grave [4.17]; Fuga [7.37]; Andante [5.01]; Allegro [5.53]) CD 2 Partita no 2 in D minor (Allemanda [4.44]; Corrente [2.39]; Sarabanda [3.43]; Giga [3.57]; Ciaccona [13.07]) Sonata no. 3 in C major (Adagio [4.15]; Fuga [10.19]; Largo [3.04]; Allegro Assai [5.13]) Partita no. 3 in E major (Preludio [3.37]; Loure [3.48]; Gavotte en Rondeau [3.00]; Menuet I [1.55]; Menuet II [1.42]; Bourree [1.36]; Giga [1.56]) Tedi Papavrami (violin) rec. August-September 2004, Studio Tibor Varga - Grimisuat (Switzerland). DDD AEON AECD 0535 [67.14 + 70.03] [EM]

Papavrami has a wonderful feel for these works ... elegant, noble and graceful ...great musicality  ... Definitely a disc to look out for! ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 [90:24] Fourteen Canons on the Ground from the Goldberg Variations, BWV 1087 [8:43] Richard Egarr (harpsichord) rec. Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente, March 2005 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU 907425.26 [43:26 + 55:41][DS]

Elegance, beauty and elasticity in Bach. Personally, I find the interpretations rather soft-grained with a very low excitement/drive quotient. Not one of the great recorded performances of the Goldbergs ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Organ Works Prelude and fugue in D (BWV 532)* [10:49] Partita 'Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen' (BWV 770)* [14:38] O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß (BWV 622) [04:41] Prelude and fugue in d minor (BWV 539) [07:07] Nun komm', der Heiden Heiland (BWV 659) [03:15] Nun komm', der Heiden Heiland (BWV 661) [03:56] Meine Seele erhebt den Herren (BWV 648) [02:01] Puer natus in Bethlehem (BWV 603) [01:00] Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her (BWV 606) [00:43] Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar (BWV 607) [01:08] Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein (BWV 734) [02:31] Prelude and fugue in g minor (BWV 535)* [07:29] Hans Helmut Tillmanns (organ, Marcussen) rec. January 2005, Christianskirken, Søderborg, Danmark (*);Margaretenkirche, Methler, Germany. DDD DANACORD DACOCD 620 [59:51][JV]

These interpretations ignore the insights of historical performance practice and the technical quality of this disc is unacceptable ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas Volume 30Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen! BWV51 [17:01]; Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn BWV1127 [48:30]; Spielet, ihr beseelten Lieder (from O Holder tag, BWV210) [7:37] Carolyn Sampson (soprano) Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. Kobe Shoin Women’s University Chapel, September 2005 BIS BIS-SACD-1471 [73:08][DJB]

The new Bach work on this recording will make it indispensable for completists, those collecting this series will have bought it already for both works, but for everyone else, it is an optional purchase, despite the outstanding quality of the performances ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas Volume 31 (1724): Gelobet  seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV91  (1724) [15.32] Nimm von uns Herr, du treuer Gott, BWV101  (1724) [26.15] Christum wir sollen loben schon, BWV121 (1724) [16.42] Ich freue mich in dir, BWV133 (1724) [17.35] Kukari Nonoshita (soprano), Robin Blaze (counter-tenor), Gerd Turk (tenor), Peter Kooij (bass) Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec.  September 2004, Kobe Shoin Women’s University Chapel, Japan BIS SACD-1481 [77.25] [TB]

A perfect introduction to this wonderfully rich repertoire, truly music’s greatest treasure trove. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Art of Fugue BWV 1080a (1742-1748) [68:33] Sébastien Guillot (harpsichord) rec. Chapelle Notre-Dame de Bon Secours, Paris, 21-25 April 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.557796 [68:33] [TP]

Decent, affordable and well-played. Will suit anyone coming to this piece for the first time, or anyone wanting a harpsichord version to compare to their preferred arrangements of this mesmerising work. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Suites Nos. 1 - 4 BWV 1066 - 1069 Overture (Suite) No. 3 in D (BWV 1068) [16:48] Overture (Suite) No. 2 in b minor (BWV 1067) [17:26] Overture (Suite) No. 1 in C (BWV 1066) [18:27] Overture (Suite) No. 4 in D (BWV 1069) [17:43] I Barocchisti/Diego Fasolis rec. May 2001, Auditorium 'Stello Moro' RSI, Lugano, Switzerland. DDD ARTS 47649-8 [70:24] [JV]

A disappointing and superfluous addition to the large number of recordings of Bach's Overtures ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage   Volume 19: Cantatas for the Second Sunday after Epiphany Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange?  BWV155, Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid I, BWV3, Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen, BWV13 Joanne Lunn (soprano); Richard Wyn Roberts (alto); Julian Podger (tenor); Gerald Finley (bass); The Monteverdi Choir; English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner. rec. Old Royal Naval Chapel, Greenwich, 16-17 January 2000 Cantatas for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig, BWV26 (For the Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity) Jesus schläft, was soll ich hoffen? BWV81, Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, BWV14, Motet: Jesu, meine Freude, BWV227. Joanne Lunn, Katharine Fuge (sopranos); William Towers (alto); Paul Agnew (tenor); Peter Harvey (bass); The Monteverdi Choir; English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. Romsey Abbey, Hampshire, 30 January 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG 115 [59:28 + 68:05]
Volume 21: Cantatas for Quinquagesima Sunday
Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe, BWV22, Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn, BWV23, Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott, BWV127, Sehet! Wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem, BWV159 Ruth Holten (soprano); Claudia Schubert (alto); James Oxley (tenor); Peter Harvey (bass); The choirs of Clare College and Trinity College, Cambridge; The Monteverdi Choir; English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner. rec. King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, 5 March 2000 Cantatas for the Annunciation/Palm Sunday/Oculi Himmelskönig, sei willkommen BWV182, Widerstehe doch die Sünde, BWV54, Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV1. Malin Hartelius (soprano); Nathalie Stutzmann (alto); James Gilchrist (tenor); Peter Harvey (bass) /The Monteverdi Choir/English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner. rec. Walpole St. Peter, Norfolk, 26 March 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG 118 [74:50 + 60:14] [JQ]

This is turning out to be an important and distinguished series and I recommend these latest issues very strongly. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Luciano BERIO (1925 – 2003) Sequenzas I – XIV 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, 1998-2004 NAXOS 8.557661-63 [3 CDs: 63:02 + 60:09 + 58:48] [HC]

Splendid - a thirty-four year musical odyssey that will remain as one of the peaks of 20th century instrumental music. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 (1803) [33:50] Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 (1806) [33:21] Sinfonietta Cracovia/Rudolf Buchbinder (piano. conductor) rec. Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic Hall, Cracow, 26 March 2002. DDD CD ACCORD ACD 156-2 [68:33] [MG]

A vibrant and absorbing third concerto followed by a concentrated, but rather sober, fourth … 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 + and * British Symphony Orchestra # Bruno Walter rec. 5 December 1936 +; 21 May 1936*; 21 May 1934**; 12 September 1938^; 16 May 1930# NAXOS 8.111032 [70.35][JQ]

These Beethoven recordings all pre-date Bruno Walter’s emigration to the USA and they are very well worth hearing. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet No. 8, Op. 59 No. 2 in e (1806) [39.21] String Quartet No. 9, Op. 59 No. 3 in C [30.48] Brodsky Quartet: (Andrew Haveron, Ian Belton, violins; Paul Cassidy, viola; Jacqueline Thomas, cello). rec. Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, UK, 12 November 2005. DDD Notes in English. Photos of artists, picture of composer BRODSKY RECORDS BRD 3502 [70.48] [PSh]

Cool, crisp Beethoven, as viewed from the end of his journey. Does that work for No. 9 the most vividly emotional and passionate of all the quartets? ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet in B flat major Op. 130 (1826) [41.59] String Quartet in C sharp minor Op. 131 (1826) [37.20] Shanghai Quartet rec. live, Grand Hall, Royal Castle, Warsaw, 4 April 2004. DDD CD ACCORD ACD 158-2 DDD [79.54] [DD]

Two late classics of Beethoven splendidly played and recorded live. ... see Full Review

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Trio in B flat major for clarinet, cello and piano, Op. 11 (1797-98) [20:41] Quintet in E flat major for piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, Op. 16 (1796) [25:22] Serenade in D major for flute, violin and viola, Op. 25 (1800-01) [24:46] The Gaudier Ensemble: (Marieke Blankestijn, violin; Iris Juda, viola; Christoph Marks, cello; Jaime Martin, flute; Douglas Boyd, oboe; Richard Hosford, clarinet; Robin O:Neill, bassoon; Jonathan Williams, French horn; Susan Tomes, piano) rec. Henry Wood Hall, Trinity Church Square, London, England, 19-21 May 2005. DDD HYPERION CDA67526 [71:07] [MC]

An enjoyable release in which the Gaudiers provide performances of discernment and character. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trio in B flat, Op. 97, Archduke (1811) [43’04]. Jean Fournier (violin); Antonio Janigro (cello); Paul Badura-Skoda (piano). Recording originally released in 1952 on Westminster. ADD PRISTINE AUDIO PACM028 [43:04] [CC]

The Westminster catalogue remains to this day eternally fascinating … the present performance is always musical and well worth exploring. ... see Full Review

Niels Viggo BENTZON (1919-2000) Symphony No. 8 Sinfonia Discrezione Op. 113 (1957) [44.20] Symphonic Variations Op. 92 (1952) [17.55] Gothenburg-Aarhus Philharmonic/Douglas Bostock rec. Artisten, Goteborg, 23-24 Jan 2005. world premiere recording (8); first CD recording (Variations). DDD CLASSICO CLASSCD 622 [62.15] [RB]

Superbly performed, recorded and documented Bentzon’s thorny Symphonic Variations alongside a fine Danish symphony of the 1950s ... see Full Review

Georg VON BERTOUCH (1668-1743) Trio Sonatas Georg VON BERTOUCH
Sonata No. 8 in G (2 violins, bc) [06:53] anon March* (recorder, bc) [01:34] Aria* (with variations by Bergen Barokk) (recorder, bc) [02:36] Georg VON BERTOUCH Sonata No. 15 in f minor (2 violins, bc) [06:05] anon Paspie de la Compertanje* (harpsichord) [02:09] Georg VON BERTOUCH Sonata No. 11 in F (recorder, violin, bc) [07:16] anon Menuetto* (recorder, bc) [01:58] Gavotte alternativement* (viola da gamba, harpsichord) [03:13] Georg VON BERTOUCH Sonata No. 21 in B flat minor (harpsichord, recorder) [07:24] Sonata No. 17 in E flat (harpsichord) [05:26] Sonata No. 12 in d minor (2 violins, bc) [09:49] anon Allegro et trio* (recorder, bc) [02:22] Georg VON BERTOUCH Sonata No. 14 in g minor (recorder, transverse flute, bc) [09:00] (*) Pieces from the Music-Book of Jacob Mestmacher Bergen Barokk: (Frode Thorsen (recorder), Kjersti Sellevåg (transverse flute), Peter Spissky, Bjarte Eike (violin), Markku Luolajan-Mikkola (cello, viola da gamba), Hans Knut Sveen (harpsichord)) rec. September 2001, June 2003, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, Oslo, Norway DDD TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC 0006 [65:50] [JV]

A musically highly entertaining and historically very interesting recording of baroque music from Norway ... see Full Review

Joseph Bodin de BOISMORTIER (1689-1755) Sonatas for two bassoons and continuo: no.1 in E minor, op.50 [7:55]; no.3 in G, op.26 [7:35]; no.1 in D minor, op.40 [6:24]; no.5 in G minor, op.26 [7:20]; no.3 in D minor, op.14 [10:41]; no.2 in G, op.50 [10:39]; no.5 in G minor, op.40 [5:58]; no.6 in C, op.14 [8:31]; no.2 in A minor, op.26 [6:33]; Rondeau in A minor, op.40 [1:58]; Chaconne in A, op.66 [3:05] Musica Franca: (Mathieu Lussier (solo bassoon); Nadina Mackie Jackson (bassoon); Fraser Jackson (contrabassoon); Sylvain Bergeron (theorbo); Richard Paré (harpsichord and organ)) rec. 17-19 May 2005, St.Anne’s Anglican Church, Toronto. DDD MSR CLASSICS MS 1170 [75:15] [GPJ]

I urge you to try this – delightful music played with consummate skill, and recorded to perfection. ... see Full Review

Mel BONIS (1858-1937) L'oeuvre vocale: 23 mélodies Pourriez-vous pas me dire?; Sur la plage; Viens; Vilanelle; Viola; Sauvez-moi de l'amour; Songe (vers le pur amour); Le chat sur le toit; MadrigalEpithalame; Le ruisseau; Dès l'aube; Mirage; Chanson d'amour; Sorrente; La mer; Reproche tendre; Immortelle tendresse; Elève-toi mon âme; Noël Pastorale; Regina Coeli; A Suzanne; L'oiseau bleu Brigitte Balleys (mezzo); Valérie Gabail (soprano); Eric Cerantola (piano); Astrid Pfarrer (mezzo, violin); Marc Jaermann (cello) rec. Studio Guy Fallot, Lausanne, 5-7 Sept 2005. DDD DORON DRC 5026 [68:04] [RB]

Certainly one for adventurous lovers of French song but a mixed bag with some extremely fine songs in the company of Chausson and Duparc. ... see Full Review

York BOWEN (1884-1961) Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 33 (1913) [37.42] Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat, Op 11 (1903) [26.07] Lorraine McAslan (violin) Michael Dussek (piano) BBC Concert Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. 5-6 December 2005, The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford, England. DDD DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7169 [64.09][MC]

Music of eloquent beauty that will lift the spirits. A valuable release that will be one of my ‘Records of the Year’. ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Piano Music: Volume 1 Suite, A Fairy Tale (1917): [11.19] (The Princess: Allegretto con moto [2.49]; The Ogre: Allegro deciso [1.27]; The Spell: Adagio e sostenuto [4.12]; The Prince: Allegro giocoso [2.52]) The Hour Glass (1919-20): [14.15] (Dusk: Molto moderato [4.59]; The Dew Fairy: Allegretto moderato e rubato [3.48]; The Midnight Tide: Molto lento [5.58]) Miniature Pastorals (Set 1) (1917): [6.09] (Allegretto con moto [2.17]; Tempo di valse [2.09]; Allegretto ben moderato [1.44]) Three Lyrics (1921-24): [8.30] (Heart's Ease: Andante tranquillo – Lento [2.34]; Dainty Rogue: Molto allegro e vivo [1.53]; The Hedgerow: Allegretto moderato [4.02]) Three Pieces (1912) [8.56] (Columbine: Poco lento - Tempo di Valse [2.55]; Minuet: Tempo di Minuetto [2.04]; Romance: Andante molto moderato [3.57]) In Autumn (1924): [8.19] (Retrospect: Adagio ma non troppo [5.37]; Through the Eaves: Allegro moderato e rubato [2.41]) Three Poems (1914-15): [11.55] (Solitude: Poco adagio e molto espressivo [3.25]; Ecstasy: Lento e sostenuto - Allegro con moto [4.38]; Sunset: Adagio e sostenuto [3.51]) Ashley Wass (piano) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 19-21 April 2005. DDD NAXOS 8.557842 [70.06] [EM]

Wass demonstrates a tremendous feel for the whole range of Bridge’s piano music: delicacy on the one hand and power on the other ... see Full Review

Also a contrasting review by Christopher Howell

An issue like the present can do no good at all. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.26 (1864-68) [25.21] Konzertstück for violin and orchestra in F sharp minor, Op. 84 (1910) [17.53] Romance for violin and orchestra in A minor, Op. 42 (1874) [10.13] Maxim Fedotov, violin Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. Studio 5, Kultura TV and Radio Company, Moscow, Russia, 28 Nov-3 Dec 2004.  DDD NAXOS 8.557689  [53.27] [MC]

An excellently performed and recorded release from Naxos that will provide considerable pleasure. ... see Full Review

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto No.1 Op.26 (1868) [25.21] Konzertstück Op.84 (1910) [17.53] Romanze Op.42 (1874) [10.13] Maxim Fedotov (violin) Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. Studio 5, KULTURA TV and Radio Co., Moscow, 28 November-3 December 2004 NAXOS 8.557689 [53.27][CF]

Fedotov’s playing ... full-blooded and passionately committed. Bruch would have approved. ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Major Romantic [68:44] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Leonora Overture No. 3, Op. 72a [15:12] NDR Sinfonieorchester/Günter Wand rec. live, the Dom, Lübeck, 24 June 1990, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival TDK DVD DVWW-COWAND5 [87:00] [KS]

Merits repeated viewing, and stands as a fine testament to the work of a great master conductor at the height of his powers and in the core of his literature. ... 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, 15-17 June 2005 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7164 [56:06] [EM]

I was delighted to come across such tuneful and tonal works from a contemporary composer, and such accomplished and suave playing. ... 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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