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Alphabetical Listing

Misc. A-L

[Click here for the most recent reviews (last five days)]
Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[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]

A Baroque Festival George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Solomon: The arrival of the Queen of Sheba; Harp Concerto op. 4 no. 6 Henry PURCELL (1659-1695) ‘Three Parts upon a Ground’; A Suite of Theatre Music Johann PACHELBEL (1653-1706) Canon and Gigue Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Wir danken dir, Gott, BWV 29: Sinfonia; Ich steh’ mit einem Fuss im Grabe, BWV 156: Sinfonia; Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubilieret, BWV 31: Sonata; Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248: Part 2 Sinfonia; Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106: Sonatina; Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesus bleibet meine Freude; Ich liebe den Hochsten von ganzem Gemute, BWV 174: Sinfonia Taverner Consort, Taverner Players/Andrew Parrott rec. 1987 VIRGIN CLASSICS 3913402 [60:22][JW]

A well compiled selection that is finely nuanced, and finely played.... see Full Review

Baroque Chamber Music Johann Wilhelm HERTEL (1727-1789) Concerto ŕ 5 in D major Francesco MARINI (1672-1732) Sinfonia in D major PRENTZEL (fl.c.1670) Sonata in C major Giuseppe TORELLI (1658-1709) Sinfonia in D major Gottfried FINGER (c.1660-1730) Sonata No.3 Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Quintetto in G major Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767) Concerto in D major Leipziger Bach-Collegium/Ludwig Güttler rec. 1994 BERLIN CLASSICS 0013892 [59:25][GPu]

A pleasant CD, with some interesting music represented, and worth acquiring if the repertoire is of interest, but one which fails quite to convince or satisfy ... see Full Review

Ute Beckert singt und spricht Theodor Fontane Ute Beckert (soprano and narration), Frank Wasser (piano) ANTES EDITION BM319225 [62:19][GF]

To say that this music off the beaten track is an understatement, but readers interested in German Lied from a wider perspective during the latter half of the 19th century will find a lot of interest. ... see Full Review

Best of Broadway - Original 1940–1955 Recordings excerpts from Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, Show Boat, Kismet, Porgy and Bess, Girl Crazy, Call Me Madam, Annie Get Your Gun, High Button Shoes, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Brigadoon, On the Town, Wonderful Town, Kiss Me, Kate, The Boy Friend, Where’s Charley? and Guys and Dolls. Alfred Drake, Ezio Pinza, Mary Martin, Gertrude Lawrence, Yul Brynner, Todd Duncan, Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, George Gaynes and others. For full details at end of review NAXOS 8.120873-74 [76:44 + 79:32] [GF]

2˝ hours’ of sheer nostalgia … the prospect of hours of fascinating comparison ... see Full Review

The British Double Bass  Gordon JACOB (1895-1984) A Little Concerto Elizabeth MACONCHY (1907-1994) Music for Double Bass and Piano Thomas PITFIELD (1903-1999) Sonatina Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Introduction and Allegro David ELLIS (b. 1933) Sonata for Unaccompanied Double Bass John WALTON (b. 1947) A Deep Song Alan BUSH (1900-1995) Meditation and Scherzo John McCABE (b. 1939) Pueblo for Solo Double Bass Elisabeth LUTYENS (1906-1983) The Tides of Time Alfred REYNOLDS (1884-1969) Hornpipe Leon Bosch (double bass); Sung-Suk Kang (piano); I Musicanti MERIDIAN CDE84550 [79:13][RB]

Ideal and ingratiating - a generous recital of contrasts. I hope Bosch goes on to uncover more treasures of interest far beyond the habituées of this gentle giant of an instrument ... see Full Review

Browns in Blue The 5 Browns RCA RED SEAL 88697 113222 [JW]

Spruce and elegant quintet produce an enjoyable album geared to the younger market ... see Full Review

By Arrangement 1946-2006 Leyland Band/Russell Gray rec. 2006 EGON CDSFZ135 [TP]

If the programme appeals, this is worth a listen ... see Full Review

Maria Callas - The Complete Studio Recordings EMI CLASSICS 3959182 [RF]

All the studio recordings in one bargain price box enabling a new generation to make their own judgement on her singing and vocal characterisation ... see Full Review

Maria Callas Opera Highlights Maria Callas (soprano) rec. 1953-64 EMI CLASSICS 3971042 [8 CDs: 60:03 + 61:11 + 59:49 + 53:36 + 55:33 + 52:12 + 58:18 + 55:50][GF]

A bargain for Callas-hunters content with extracts … They will find a lot to admire on this bargain-priced set. ... see Full Review

Christmas Carols CD 1: Festive Music from Europe and America CD 2: Nine centuries of seasonal music CD 3: The Carol Album I: Seven centuries of Christmas music CD 4: The Carol Album II: Seven centuries of Christmas music The Taverner Consort, Choir and Players/Andrew Parrott rec. 1987-1995 VIRGIN CLASSICS 503680 2 [4 CDs: 63:04 + 63:10 + 62:44 + 61:37] [JV]

A model of good taste, creative programming and generally outstanding performances - a good alternative to conventional Christmas repertoire ... see Full Review

Christmas In The Holy Land Ancient Christian Liturgies rec. 1967 ARCHIV 4776653 [MM]

Liturgical traditions and their authentic expression - a historic treasure … see Full Review

Alfred Cortot - Encores Franz SCHUBERT (1798-1827) Litanei auf das Fest aller Seelen Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Impromptu No. 2; Etude No. 13; Waltz No. 7; Ballade No. 1; Berceuse Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Wiegenlied (Lullaby) Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Hungarian Rhapsodies Nos. 2 & 11 Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Aufforderung zum Tanze (Invitation to the Dance) George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Keyboard Suite No. 5 IV. Air and Variations, "The Harmonious Blacksmith" Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Chant d'Espagne Op. 232: III. Sous le palmier Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)/Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Rigoletto: Paraphrase de concert Alfred Cortot (piano) rec. 1925-26 NAXOS 8.111261 [79:02][JW]

Naxos has been restoring Cortot’s acoustic and electric recordings with commendable assiduity. Memorable listening. ... see Full Review

Divertimentos & Sinfoniettas by Tippett, Rawsthorne, Britten, Berkeley & Arnold English CO/Norman Del Mar rec. March 1977/8 LYRITA SRCD257 [MG]

Food for thought as well as fun in these mettlesome performances and matchingly vivid recordings … see Full Review

Face to Face Stephen PLEWS (b. 1961) The Future of an Illusion Geoffrey KIMPTON (b. 1927) Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra Kevin MALONE (b. 1958) Eighteen Minutes New World Ensemble/Alan Cuckston, Kevin Malone rec. 2006 CAMPION CAMEO 2049 [62:55][HC]

This is an unusual but highly rewarding release ... see Full Review

French and Italian 18th Century Flute Music Barthold Kuijken rec. 1979/91 ACCENT ACC30009 [CR]

If you only ever buy one recording of baroque flute music, this should be it. …see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Gabriel’s Greeting - Medieval English Christmas Music Sinfonye rec. 1993 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55151 [BW]

Another excellent Helios reissue – a Christmas recording with a difference which won’t break the bank, so it should also inspire you to purchase Sinfonye’s other CDs ... see Full Review

The Golden Age of Light Music: Light Music While You Work - Volume 2 rec. 1940-1946 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5137 [JS]

Taken a few tracks at a time it has an appeal all its own for the curious and the nostalgic ... see Full Review

The Golden Age of Light Music - Light Music for All Seasons GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5138 [JF]

Much of this disc I find largely uninteresting and uninspiring. It is what I call ‘Aunty Irene’ music ... see Full Review

The Golden Age of Light Music: Musical Kaleidoscope - Volume 1 rec. 1933-56 GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5139 [MC]

Lovers of Light Music will be in their element – an eclectic and generous collection ... see Full Review

The Invitation: Saxophone Quartets of the 20th Century Philip GLASS (b. 1937) Concerto for saxophone quartet Frank REINSHAGEN (b. 1961) The Invitation Barbara THOMPSON (b. 1944) Saxophone Quartet No. 2 ‘From darkness into light’ in six movements Zdenek LUKÁŠ (b. 1928) Rondo per 4 sassofoni Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Fugue No. 20 in A minor ŕ 4 voci BWV 865, The Well-tempered Clavier Vol. I Tetraphonics Saxophone Quartet rec. 2005 CYBELE RECORDS 261.001 [67:41][DM]

Adventurous listeners and sax fiends will surely welcome this stimulating disc; even the more timorous should find plenty to enjoy as well ... see Full Review

Louis Kentner (piano) William WALTON (1902-1983) Façade (1922) – Valse Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Csárdás macabre; Venezia e Napoli – 1. Gondoliera III. Tarantella; En Ręve (Nocturne); Dante Sonata Mili BALAKIREV (1837-1910) Sonata in B minor Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Bolero Louis Kentner (piano) rec. 1938-51 NAXOS 8.111223 [76:59][JW]

Superb performances, fascinating release, very poor transfers ... see Full Review

Lyrita Classics rec. 1970s-1990s LYRITA SRCD336 [RB]

19th century ebullience to a sombre spiritual exaltation - has its intrinsic satisfactions ... see Full Review


[Click here for the most recent reviews (last five days)]
Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[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]

Over a period of three years from December 2003, I have spent a lot of time in the company of Harry Partch – not literally, of course, as he died in 1974, but working my way though an article and some eight reviews that can all be found on MusicWeb. Then, at the MusicWeb annual lunch (January 2007), the name of John Cage caught my ear. For reasons that my subconscious was not prepared to divulge, my curiosity was tickled. Partch and Cage have on occasion been paired off, as a sort of American "Debussy and Ravel" – was there any real connection between them?

This may come as a bit of an anticlimax but, other than them both being American originals with "far-out" ideas, I can’t really think of one. In fact, they are more on the lines of diametric opposites: with my tongue ever-so-slightly in my cheek, I could say that Partch was a seminal genius who got branded as a crackpot, and Cage was a crackpot who got branded as a seminal genius.

John Cage (1912-92) was nothing if not controversial. With his rise to prominence, an obliging World split into two opposing camps. His supporters saw him as a prime mover in the fields of experimental and electronic music, with abiding interests in "chance music", new ways of using traditional instruments, and practical application of his Zen Buddhist beliefs.

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