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Alphabetical Listing


[Click here for a list of reviews from the last five days]

Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
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[This month's Recommended recordings]


John ADAMS (b. 1947) Complete Piano Music Phrygian Gates (1977-78) [24:37] American Berserk (2001) [6:04] China Gates (1977) [5:15] Hallelujah Junction (1996)* [16:05] Ralph van Raat, Maarten van Veen* (pianos) rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 7-8 January 2006. DDD NAXOS 8.559285 [52:01] [LW]

For someone interested in Adams’ piano works, then, this disc can be safely recommended ... see Full Review

Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Symphony No.5 (1975-1976) [29:05] Symphony No.7 Insect Symphony (1988) [43:40] Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra/Max Pommer rec. 1991. DDD ONDINE ODE765 [72:45] [TP]

Unfailingly inventive, bold, colourful and well constructed. Not “difficult” for a listener to appreciate, nor does it pander to the masses ... see Full Review

Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Recuerdos de viaje (1886-7) (I. En el mar [04:30]; I. Leyenda [04:17]; III. Alborada [04:48]; IV. En la alambra [04:14]; V. Puerta de tierra [03:47]; VI. Rumores de la caleta [04:01] VII. En la playa [04:23]) Espagne (Souvenirs) (1896-7) (I. Prélude [06:47]; II. Asturias [03:53]) Azulejos (completed by Granados) (1909) [10:06]La Vega, "Fantaisie espagnole" (1897) [15:32] Navarra (fragment, completed by D. de Séverac) (1909) [06:16] Guillermo González (piano) rec. Real Conservatorio de Música de Madrid, 14-17 November 2004. NAXOS SPANISH CLASSICS 8.570553 [72:35] [JF]

I look forward to subsequent Albéniz releases and am confident that Guillermo González is the man to do them. ... see Full Review

Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Symphonies Concertantes Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Volume 1 Symphonies Concertantes:- Eb major with Two Violins and oboe C33a [18.02]; G major with Two Violins and cello (C32) [19.29] Eb major with Two Violins and Cello C40 [19.48] The Hanover Band/Anthony Halstead rec. Rosslyn Hill Chapel, December 1995 CPO 999 348-2 [57.21] Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Volume 2 Symphonies Concertantes:- in Bb major with Violin and Cello (C46) [21.40] F major with oboe and bassoon C38 [11.40] D major with Two violins C35 [18.29] The Hanover Band/Anthony Halstead rec. Rosslyn Hill Chapel, 3-9 July 1997 CPO 999 537-2 [52.26]  Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Volume 3 Symphonies Concertantes:- E major with Two Violins, cello and flute C44 [14.06] Eb major with two clarinets, Bassoon, Two Horns and flute (C41) [16.50] A major with violin and cello (C79) [14.07] Flute Concerto in D major - Larghetto -1st movement (C34) [6.54] The Hanover Band/Anthony Halstead rec. Rosslyn Hill Chapel, 3-9 July 1997 CPO 999 538-2 [52.37] Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Volume 4 Symphonies Concertantes:- C major with Two Violins and Cello (36b) [14.47] Eb major with flute, oboe and bassoon (C37) [11.59] G major (C inc 5) with two Violins, cello and flute (C76b) [16.45] Violin Concerto in C major (76b) [21.23] The Hanover Band/Anthony Halstead rec. Rosslyn Hill Chapel, 9-11 July 1998 CPO 999 627-2 [65.42] Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Volume 5 Symphonies Concertantes:- C major with Two Violins and Cello (36a) [25.15] D major with Two flutes, two violins and cello (C39) [13.54] Eb major with Two Oboes, Two horns, two Violins and Two Violas (C40) [14.53] The Hanover Band/Anthony Halstead rec. Rosslyn Hill Chapel, 22-24 September 1999 CPO 999 628-2 [54.47] Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Volume 6 Symphonies Concertantes:- Bb major with Oboe, Violin, Viola and cello and fortepiano (C48) [25.57] C major with Flute, Oboe, Violin, cello and orchestra (C43) [19.24] Fortepiano Concerto with two violins and cello (C60 B) [20.31] Cadenza in Major (attrib to J.C.Bach) for Oboe, violin and Cello [2.57] The Hanover Band/Anthony Halstead rec. Rosslyn Hill Chapel, 3-5 September 2001 CPO 999 845-2 [69.33] Box of the above six CPO CDs: CPO 777 292-2 [GH]

J.C. Bach – music that is charming, easy on the ear, cleverly composed and beautifully performed ... see Full Review

Johann Christoph Friedrich BACH (1732-1795) Trio in D major for pianoforte, cello and transverse flute [15:09] Sonata in A for cello and continuo [13:26] Sonata in e minor for Transverse flute, viola and continuo [14:19] Sonata in G for cello and continuo [8:32] Trio in G for pianoforte, violin and viola [15:13] Works published between 1770-1785, exact dates not given. Camerata Köln (Karl Kaiser (flute); Ingeborg Scheerer (violin and viola); Andreas gerhardus (viola); Rainer Zipperling (cello); Julianne Borsodi (cello); Sabine Bauer (pianoforte and harpsichord)) rec. Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, 12-14 January 2004. DDD CPO 777087-2 [66:58][KS]

Well executed and rather elegant music from a composer content to stay at home and play ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Bach to Cuba Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (1st Movement) [4.15] Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (1st Movement) [3.14] Suite No. 3 BWV 1068 (Aria) [4.01] Suite No. 2 BWV 1067 (Badinerie) [1.20] Brandenburg Concerto No.3 (3rd Movement) [5.40] Brandenburg Concerto No.5 (3rd. Movement) [5.30] Suite No 2 BWV 1067 (Rondeau) [1.34] Brandenburg Concerto No 4 (3rd Movement) [5.11] Suite No 3 BWV 1068 (Gavotte) [4.57] Tenerife Symphony Orchestra/Emilio Aragon  rec. live, Juan Ramos, Auditorio de Tenerife, 14-17 June 2006 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 7031GH [41.00][LB]

An interesting and worthwhile project which becomes rather tedious at times. However a good 'fun' treatment of Bach. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 [78.02] Simone Dinnerstein (piano) rec. March 2005, Academy of Arts and Letters, New York. TELARC CD80692 [78.02][KM]

An excellent recording of the Goldbergs, by a “new” pianist … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (1741) Andrea Bacchetti (piano) rec. Villa Trissoni-Marzotto (Vicenza), Italy, 2006 (DVD) and Teatro Chiabrera, Savona, 17 January 2007 (CD) Picture Format: NTSC 16:9 performance, 4:3 documentary Sound Format: PCM Stereo Dolby Digital 5.1 Region Code: 0 ARTHAUS MUSIK 101 447 [DVD: 106:00 + CD: 77:30][DC]

This is something about which all Bach and piano fans can get a little excited. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas 39, 73, 93, 105, 107, 131 Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir BWV 131 (1707) [21:49] Herr, wie du willt, so schicks mit mir BWV 73 (Epiphany III, 1724) [13:49] Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht BWV 105 (Trinity IX, 1723) [22:03] Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot BWV 39 (Trinity I, 1726) [23:15] Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten BWV 93 (Trinity V, 1724) [19:50] Was willst du dich betrüben BWV 107 (Trinity VII, 1724) [18:05] Barbara Schlick (soprano); Agnès Mellon (soprano); Gérard Lesne (alto); Charles Brett (alto); Howard Crook (tenor); Peter Kooy (bass) Chorus and Orchestra of Collegium Vocale, Ghent/Philippe Herreweghe rec. Minderbroederskerk, Ghent, Belgium, December 1990 (CD1) and October 1991 (CD2) VIRGIN VERITAS 5 62025 2 [57:55 + 61:10][BW]

An excellent introduction to Bach’s cantatas.  Even those collecting complete sets such as those by Suzuki or Koopman would find this inexpensive set an excellent pendant … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin and Cello Suites (played on lute) Nigel North (lute) rec. July 1993, March 1994, October 1995, March 1996, St Martin’s Church, East Woodhay CDs also available separately as: CDK013; CDK029; CDK049; CDK055. LINN CKD 300 [4 CDs: 69.15 + 67.33 + 63.50 + 71.30] [KMc]

A lovely must-have set for fans of Bach or the lute … a huge pleasure to listen to … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Italian Concerto see SCARLATTI

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Italian Concerto see MOZART

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Erbarme dich, mein Gott (from St Matthew Passion) see PURCELL

Sir Granville BANTOCK (1868-1946) Overture to a Greek Tragedy: Oedipus at Colonus (1911) [15:40] Josef HOLBROOKE (1878-1958) The Birds of Rhiannon [15:50] Cyril ROOTHAM (1875-1938) Symphony No. 1 (1932) [30:57] (Adagio – Allegro ritmico [7:45]; Adagio molto (alla Marcia) [8:40]; Scherzo Allegro molto [7:08]; Allegro con spirito [7:24]) Philharmonia Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite (Bantock) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley (Holbrooke, Rootham) rec. Kingsway Hall, London, January 1979 (Bantock), Henry Wood Hall, London September 1976 (Holbrooke, Rootham). ADD LYRITA SRCD.269 [62:30] [EM]

Bantock and Holbrooke: excellent … fascinating to hear the Rootham, of which the LPO and Handley give a top-rate performance ... see Full Review

Michel de la BARRE (1675–1745) Music for Louis XV – Ten Suites for two flutes [7e Livre, 1721] 10e Suite in d minor [05:36] 11e Suite in G [06:32] [9e Livre, 1722] 1er Sonate in B flat [06:35] 2e Sonate in G [06:11] [10e Livre, 1722] 16e [Suite] in F [07:09] 17e [Suite] in C [05:14] [11e Livre, 1724] 18e Suite in g minor [06:44] 19e Suite in B flat [07:53] [12e Livre, 1725] 20e Suite in b minor [08:28] 21e Suite in D [05:55] John Solum, Richard Wyton (transverse flute) rec. August 2006, parish hall, St Matthew's Church, Bedford, N.Y., USA. DDD MSR CLASSICS MS 1191 [66:23] [JV]

A missed opportunity to show the qualities of La Barre's duets for two flutes ... see Full Review

Agustín BARRIOS (1885–1944) Guitar Music – Volume 3 Caazapá – Aire popular Paraguayo (arr. McFadden) [3:15] Don Pérez Freire (tango) [3:13] Medallon Antiguo [2:59] Vals Tropical [2:46] Arabescos (Estudio No. 4) [1:25] Escala y Preludio [1:43] Estudio Vals [1:34] Estudio in A [2:00] Estudio inconcluso [0:57] País de Abanico [4:26] Fabiniana [2:27] Tango No. 2 [3:21] Tua imagem – Vals [3:35] Leyenda de España [4:09] Capricho Español [2:54] Alegro Sinfonico [2:37] Luz Mala [1:34] Minuet en la [2:50] Estilo Uruguayo [2:57] Danza Guaraní [1:34] Tarantella (arr. McFadden) [3:35] Jeffrey McFadden (guitar) rec. 2-5 February 2006, St John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada NAXOS 8.557807 [55:54] [GF]

Barrios’s music is always agreeable to listen to and the playing here is deeply assured ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Belá BARTÓK (1881-1945) Concerto for Orchestra (1945) [38:49] The Miraculous Mandarin (1919) [31:36]* Laurenscantorij Rotterdam Choir*, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly rec. May 1995 and May 1997*, Great Hall, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. DDD DECCA 458 841-2 [70:54][TP]

An individual and essential Bartók album ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta (1936) (I: Andante tranquillo [6:51]; II: Allegro [7:38]; III: Adagio [6:12]; IV: Allegro molto [6:40]) Concerto for Orchestra (1944) (I: Introduzione-Andante non troppo-Allegro vivace [10:54]; II: Giuco delle coppie- Allegro vivace [7:15]; III: Elegia –Andante non troppo [8:34]; IV: Intermezzo interrotto-Allegro [4:38]; V: Finale – Pesante-Presto [9:53]) Boston Symphony Orchestra (Music), NBC Symphony Orchestra (Concerto)/Guido Cantelli rec. 27 March 1954 (Music); 29 January 1949 (Concerto). ADD Pristine Audio XR remastering by Andrew Rose June-July 2007 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC081 [68:36] [SH]

You must have this CD. It’s the very reference model of the works in sound so close to real that it’s truly amazing. Simply essential ... see Full Review

Bela BARTOK (1881-1945) Divertimento for String Orchestra see STRAVINSKY

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 9 in D Minor Op.125 Choral (1824) [67:05]The British National Anthem [3:53] Sylvia Fisher (soprano), Nan Merriman (mezzo), Richard Lewis (tenor), Kim Borg (bass) Edinburgh Festival Chorus Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Beecham rec. live, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 19 August 1956 BBC LEGENDS BBCL4209-2 [71:35] [JW]

The constituency for this will be Beecham admirers and the like. The performance is memorable in places but strongly flawed as well ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major Op. 73 Emperor (1810) [38:17] Piano Sonata No.21 in C major Op. 53 Waldstein (1804) [22:19] Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Etudes Op.25 (1832-36): No.1 in A flat major [2:09]; No.2 in F minor [1:27]; No.3 in F major [1:50]; No.6 in G sharp minor [2:04]; No.8 in D flat major [1:08]; No.9 in G flat major [1:07]; No.5 in G flat major [1:44] Wilhelm Backhaus (piano) Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra/Georg Solti rec. Funkhaus, Saal 1, WDR Cologne, June 1956 (Concerto); Beethovenhalle, Bonn, September 1959 (Sonata); Lugano, June 1953 (Etudes) MEDICI ARTS MM006-2 [72:33] [JW]

An exciting and important concerto performance and the Chopin conforms to all that we know about Backhaus’s invariable slowing up and withdrawal in his playing of the Études ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61 (1806) [45:49] Violin Sonata No. 9 in A, Op. 47 “Kreutzer” (1802) [38:18] Vadim Repin (violin) Martha Argerich (piano) Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Riccardo Muti rec. Vienna Musikverein, Grosser Saal, February 2007; Lugano, Auditorio “ Stello Molo” RSI, June 2007. DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 6596 [45:49 + 38:18][KS]

Repin has thought this music through completely and put his own stamp on it, a stamp that stands to become more and more collectible as this fine artist matures! One of the most satisfying Beethoven recordings to hit the shelves in some time ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Sonata for piano and violin in G major, Op.96 (1812) [19:21] Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Fantasia for piano and violin in C major "Sei mir gegrüsst" D 934 (Op. posth. 159) (1827) [29:31] Sei mir gegrüsst, D 741 (Op.20, No.1) (1822) [3:56] Liza Ferschtman (violin), Inon Barnatan (piano) rec. 13-15 September 2006, Suny Purchase Collage, New York, USA. DDD CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72174 [52:48] [TP]

This disc is a delight. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Overture: Egmont, Op. 84 (1809) Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 (1806) Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108* (1888) Wolfgang Schneiderhan (violin) London Symphony Orchestra/Istvan Kertész Carl Seeman* (piano) rec. 13 March 1964, Royal Festival Hall (Beethoven), 5 September 1956, Usher Hall, Edinburgh (Brahms) BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4217-2 [75:59][TB]

Egmont and the concerto recordings feature some of the best sound to be encountered in this important series. All credit to the original recording engineers. It seems scarcely credible that the performances took place 43 years ago. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major Op.12 No.1 (1798) [21:20] Violin Sonata No. 3 in E flat major Op.12 No.3 (1798) [18:32] Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Op. 96 (1812) [27:14] David Oistrakh (violin), Sviatoslav Richter (piano) rec. Moscow, 6 May 1970 DOREMI DHR7800 [67:14] [JW]

Without doubt as a formidable meeting of colleagues this has specialist appeal ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Sonata No.5 in F major Op.24 'Spring' (1801) [25:08] Violin Sonata No.7 in C minor Op.30 No.2 (1802) [28:17] Violin Sonata No. 9 in A minor Op.47 ‘Kreutzer’ (1803) [35:53] Violin Sonata No.10 in G major Op.96 (1812) [29:01] Yehudi Menuhin (violin), Jeremy Menuhin (piano) rec. No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London,  October 1985, July 1986 (7 & 10) EMI CLASSICS 3817562 [61:04 +57:26] [JW]

Deeply humane and musically rewarding … failing to summon up the tonal glories of youth but conferring instead accumulated wisdom and perception  ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet No.12 see MOZART

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Mass in C major, Op.86 (1807) [47:27] Elegisher Gesang, Op. 118 (1814) [7:31] Meeresstille und Glückliche Fahrt, Op. 112 (1815) [7:38] Henriette Schellenberg (soprano); Marietta Simpson (mezzo); Jon Humphrey (tenor); Myron Myers (bass) Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Robert Shaw rec. 6-7 November 1989; 7-8 May 1990, Symphony Hall, Atlanta, Georgia Texts and translations into English included. DDD TELARC CD-80248 [63:17][LW]

Anyone who cares about Beethoven or nineteenth-century choral music should at least hear one of these versions of the Mass in C ... see Full Review

Paul BEN-HAIM (1897-1974) Violin Concerto (1960) see CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO

Richard Rodney BENNETT (b. 1936) Piano Concerto (1968) [24:19] Five Studies for Piano (1962-4) [10:29]Capriccio for Piano Duet (1968) [6:50]Commedia IV (two trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba) (1973) [13:45] Stephen Kovacevich (piano, Concerto), Richard Rodney Bennett (piano, Studies, Capriccio), Thea Musgrave (piano, Capriccio) London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Alexander Gibson (Concerto) Philip Jones Brass Ensemble (Philip Jones (trumpet); Elgar Howarth (trumpet); Ifor James (horn); John Iveson (trombone); John Fletcher (tuba): Commedia) rec. September 1971, Kingsway Hall (5 Studies; Capriccio); 12-13 January 1971. Wembley Town Hall (concerto); December 1974 (Commedia IV). ADD Piano Concerto first issued on LP with Jazz Calendar, recorded with the London Jazz Ensemble. LP: (March 1972) 6500 301; CD: (May 1999) 456 880.2PM2 and on CD again (February 2002) Decca 470 371.2 LYRITA SRCD.275 [55.28] [RB]

Emblematic of Bennett and of the metropolitan 1960s. Magnificently played, documented and recorded ... see Full Review

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Concerto for violin and orchestra (1935) see TIPPETT

Charles-Auguste De BÉRIOT (1802-1870) Violin Concerto No. 7 in G major, Op. 73 (1851) [20:53] Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Op. 32 (1841) [31:56] Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor, Op. 46 (1844) [11:47] Laurent Albrecht Breuninger (violin) Northwest German Philharmonic/Frank Beermann rec. Herford, Schützenhof, October 2004 CPO 777 167-2 [64:29][SV]

This is beautiful music. So why don't we hear it more frequently? ... see Full Review

Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Piano Concerto in B flat Op.29 (1947) [26:13] Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra Op.30 * (1948) [32:17] David Wilde (piano) New Philharmonia Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite Garth Beckett, Boyd McDonald (pianos) * London Philharmonic Orchestra/Norman Del Mar rec. 1975 and 1978 (Concerto in B flat) LYRITA SRCD.250 [58.33] [JW]

Berkeley holds the serious and the lighter sides of his musical nature in fine equipoise in these valuable, indeed laudable readings ... see Full Review

Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Symphony No. 1 (1940) [30:59] Symphony No. 2 (1956-57 rev. 1976) [1957 rev. 1976] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Norman Del Mar (1); Nicholas Braithwaite (2) rec. 1975 and 1978 ADD LYRITA SRCD.249 [62:03] [JW]

Norman Del Mar and Nicholas Braithwaite are the heroes of the hour, energizing their orchestras in the idiom with flair and introspective intensity ... see Full Review

Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) Four Episodes (1926) [15:06] (Humoresque macabre [3:04]; Obsession [3:23]; Calm [4:53]; Chinese [3:47]) Two Poems (Winter-Spring) (1905) [13:59] (Winter [6:16]; Spring [7:43]) Concertino for Flute, Viola and Strings (1948) [9:20] Suite Modale for Flute and Strings (1956) [14:04] Noam Buchman (flute) (Concertino; Suite); Yuri Gandelsman (viola) (Concertino); Soloists of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra/Dalia Atlas (Four Episodes) Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Dalia Atlas (Two Poems); Atlas Camerata Orchestra/Dalia Atlas (Concertino; Suite) rec. 31 October 2005, Yaffo Tel Aviv Music Center (Episodes); 28-29 June 2006, Concert Hall of Slovak Radio (Two Poems); 31 October 2001, Bloch Concert Hall, Haifa (Concertino; Suite). DDD Naxos 8.570259 [52:29][WK]

Lesser known works conducted by the current doyenne of Bloch’s music. ... see Full Review

Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) In the Steppes of Central Asia (1880) [7:02] Symphony No.1 in E flat major (1862-1867) [35:01] Symphony No.2 in B minor (1869-1876) [26:57]* Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. London, May 1991*, April-May 1992. DDD DECCA LONDON 436 651-2 [69:35][TP]

If you appreciate the picturesque and lyrical qualities of Borodin's music, then this disc is for you. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) CD1 Symphony No. 1 (1868) [44.50] Schicksalslied (1868) [15.53] Academic Festival Overture (1880) [9.53]CD2 Symphony No. 2 (1869) [35.34] Symphony No. 3 (1883) [38.32] CD3 Symphony No. 4 (1885) [41.36] Haydn Variations (1873) [12.37] Tragic Overture (1880) [18.39] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Wolfgang Sawallisch rec. Abbey Rd, Studio 1, June 1989 (2, 4); Apr 1990 (Variations, Tragic), Apr 1991 (1, Academic, Schicksalslied), Dec 1991 (3). DDD EMI CLASSICS TRIPLE 5009132 [3 CDs: 70:33 + 78.53 + 72:52] [RB]

Sawallisch emerges from this set undemonstrative but with honours high ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No.3 in F Op.90 (1883) [35:46] Symphony No.4 in E Op.98 (1885) [38:05] Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen/Daniel Harding rec. Studio Stollberger Strasse, Cologne, November 2000 (Symphony No.4) and June 2001 (Symphony No.3) VIRGIN CLASSICS 3913302 [73:58] [JW]

An idiosyncratic coupling that can’t merit a more obviously general recommendation ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No.1 in C minor, op.68 (I. Poco sostenuto - Allegro [13.12]; II. Andante sostenuto [8.06]; III. Un poco allegretto e grazioso [4.30]; IV. Adagio - Allegro ma non troppo [16.13]) Boston Symphony Orchestra/Guido Cantelli rec. 27 March 1954, WGBH-FM Boston broadcast. ADD PRISTINE AUDIO PASC083 [42:01] [BB]

I could not live without this performance. I wouldn’t want it as my sole recording but alongside Boult and Horenstein it can certainly hold its own ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Sonata No. 3 see BEETHOVEN

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) Symphony No. 2 in E minor (1930-31) [53:28]Festival Fanfare (1967) [1:44] Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Tony Rowe. DDD rec. Mosfilm Studio, Moscow, May 1996 NAXOS 8.570506 [55:12] [CC]

I keep on asking myself is there no end to Brian's invention? We are privileged to be able to hear these scores at all, and it is good that the Moscow Orchestra gives its all. We need much more of the same ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Dance Rhapsody (1908) [18:22] Dance Poem (1913) [15:38] Two Jefferies Poems (1916): The Open Air [7:44]; The Story of My Heart [4:25] Overture Rebus (1940) [10:38] Allegro Moderato for string orchestra (1941) [14:47] London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite rec. 1979. ADD LYRITA SRCD.243 [71:38] [JW]

Lyrita’s Bridge recordings of 1979, with the LPO and Nicholas Braithwaite on rhythmically vital form, return to the current of things in this first class restoration ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Oration - Concerto elegiaco for cello and orchestra H180 (1930) [31:07] Phantasm for piano and orchestra H182  (1931) [27:19] Julian Lloyd Webber (cello);  Peter Wallfisch (piano) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite rec. Southwark, October 1976 (Oration) and Kingsway Hall, November 1975 (Phantasm) LYRITA SRCD.244 [58:32] [WK]

Two standard-bearing recordings of the Bridge revival re-released in improved sound ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Rosemary, Suite for string orchestra, Sally in our Alley, Cherry Ripe, Lament for string orchestra see IRELAND

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 3 in D minor (version 1888-9 ed. Nowak) [66:42] ((i) Mehr langsam, Misterioso [25:07] (ii) Adagio, bewegt, quasi Andante [16:38] (iii) Ziemlich schnell [7:46] (iv) Allegro [15:04]) Münchner Philharmoniker/Sergiu Celibidache rec. live, Philharmonie am Gasteig, München, Germany, 19-20 March 1987. DDD EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 56689 2 9 [66:42]
Symphony No. 6 in A (1879-81) Ed. Haas ((i) Majestoso [17:02] (ii) Adagio. Sehr feierlich [22:01] (iii) Scherzo. Nicht schnell – Trio. Langsam [8:18] (iv) Finale. Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell [15:08]) Münchner Philharmoniker/Sergiu Celibidache rec. live, Philharmonie am Gasteig, München, Germany, 29 November 1991. DDD EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 56694 2 1 [65:46][PCW]

Magnificence in Munich … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Aequalis Nos. 1 and 2 (1847) [4.02] Libera Me (1854) [7.20] Mass in E minor (1866) [41.48] Corydon Singers Colin Sheen, Roger Brenner, Phillip Brown (trombones) Thomas Martin (double bass) John Scott (organ) English Chamber Orchestra Wind Ensemble/Matthew Best rec. 29-30 March, 1 April 1985. DDD HELIOS CDH55277 [53.12][RH]

These are fine performances which have stood the test of time. Perhaps not quite blemish free, but pretty near perfect given the taxing nature of Bruckner’s writing. ... see Full Review

Martin BUTLER (b. 1960) American Rounds (1998) [13:20] Siward’s River Song (2001)a [5:43] Suzanne’s River Song (1999)b [4:46] Nathaniel’s Mobile (1995)c [9:07] Funérailles (2005)c [16:03] Two Scarlatti Sonatas (arr. Butler, 2005) Sequenza Notturna (2003) [11:37] Walden Snow (2004)d [3:17] The Schubert Ensemble (William Howard (piano)bcd; Simon Blendis (violin)b; Douglas Paterson (viola)d; Jane Salmon (cello)a; Peter Buckoke (double-bass)) rec. Champs Hill, Pulborough, West Sussex, June 2006. DDD Notes in English NMC D120 [72:03][DW]

The playing and musicianship are faultless and the recording is superb to match, making this a highly recommendable disc for anyone remotely interested in 20th and 21st century chamber music… see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Membra Jesu nostri BuxWV 75 (?1680) [56:21] Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit BuxWV 102 [4:07] Walts Gott, mein Werk ich lasse BuxWV 103 [7:44] Christina Kaiser, Astrid Werner, Anja Zügner (soprano); Alexander Schneider (alto); Tobias Hunger (tenor); Matthias Lutze, Marek Rzepka (bass); Daniel Deuter, Margaret Baumgartl (violin); Juliane Laake, Benjamin Dreßler, Katharina Schlegel, Renate Pank (viola da gamba); Matthias Müller (viola da gamba; violone); Michaela Hasselt (organ); Michael Dücker (theorbo); Dresdener Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph Rademann rec. live, 11 February 2007, Lukaskirche, Dresden Texts and translations included CARUS 83.234 [69:01][GPu]

An accomplished performance of a fascinating work, but perhaps not one which claims a place at the very top of the tree … see Full Review


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