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Alphabetical Listing

PART 2
A-B

[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]

 

Price symbols (used in reviews from Friday 14th onwards)
Superbudget £5.99 or less Budget £6-7.99 Medium £8-10.99 Full price £11+


William ALWYN (1905-1985) Symphony 3 see Mozart

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Chamber Music and Songs Madeleine Mitchell (violin); Roger Chase (viola); Lucy Wilding (cello); Andrew Ball (piano); Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone); Iain Burnside (piano); Bridge String Quartet; John Turner (treble recorder) rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570340 [DW]

For lovers of post-romantic English music in general and of William Alwyn’s music is particular, this must be an indispensable issue … see Full Review

William ALWYN (1905-1985) CD 1 Mirages, A Song Cycle for Baritone and Piano (1970) [27:10] Divertimento for Solo Flute (1939) [13:35] Naiades, Fantasy-Sonata for Flute and Harp (1971) [12:53] CD 2 Fantasy-Waltzes (1956) [33:25]*† Sonata alla Toccata (1937) [11:38]*† Benjamin Luxon (baritone); David Willison (piano); Christopher Hyde-Smith (flute); Marisa Robles (harp); * Sheila Randell (piano) rec. ADD † mono recordings, 1959, 1971 2 CDs for the price of 1 originally issued on LP as SRCS 61 (CD1); RCS 16 (CD2) LYRITA SRCD.293 [53:43 + 45:11] [RB]

A neglected corner of the Alwyn heritage rewardingly explored ... see Full Review

Leroy ANDERSON (1908-1975) Orchestral Music Vol. 1 BBC Concert Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2006  NAXOS 8.559313 [61:55][JF]

This is a fine selection of Anderson’s compositions ... see Full Review

Johann Christian BACH (1735–1782) Keyboard Sonatas Op. 17 Alberto Nosè (piano) rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570361 [79:28] [GF]

Clarity, rhythmic poise and a light touch are keywords. Nosè lets the music speak ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Keyboard Works Includes Italian Concerto, Toccata and Fugue in D minor (trans. Busoni) Chaconne from Partita No 2 (trans. Busoni) Tatiana Nikolayeva (piano) rec. 1980 REGIS RRC1285 [JW]

Will enthral with its depth of expression or disappoint in its heaviness. Theoretically it could do both ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier Books I & II Angela Hewitt (piano) rec. 1997-99 HYPERION CDS44291/4 [4 CDs] [PB]

Highly sympathetic and rewarding performances of these magnificent creations ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Kaffeekantate; Bauernkantate Kammerorchester Berlin/Peter Schreier rec. 1977 BERLIN CLASSICS BASICS 0149182BC [60:48][BW]

If you don’t yet know these fun cantatas, Schreier’s recording will allow you to enjoy them ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage - Volume 27 Cantatas for Whit Tuesday BWV175 & 184, Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 Cantatas for Trinity Sunday BWV129, 165, 176 & 194 Lisa Larsson, Nathalie Stutzmann, Ruth Holton, Peter Harvey, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG138 [2 CDs] [JQ]

Collectors of this ever-impressive series should not hesitate to add this latest volume to their collection ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage - Volume 3 Cantatas for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity; Cantatas for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity The Monteverdi Choir; English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG141 [76:03 + 62:12][JQ]

This indispensable series goes from strength to strength ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Die Kunst der Fuge Albert-Jan Roelofs (harpsichord) rec. 2005 [71:29] [DC]

Convincingly valid harpsichord interpretations of BWV 1080 ... see Full Review

Don BANKS Violin Concerto see FRICKER

Colin BAYLISS (b. 1948) Six String Quartets The Lochrian Ensemble rec. no details given NEW CENTURY CLASSICS NCC2004/5 [RB]

In the company of Bartók and Shostakovich but by no means dwarfed by them. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.7 arr. composer; Fidelio: Overture arr. Wenzel Sedlak Octophoros rec. 1984 ACCENT ACC10034 [39:16][DW]

An interesting curiosity for those with a fascination for wind music and transcriptions but, for me, it did not stand up to repeated listening … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Symphonies 1-9, Egmont Overture Hungarian State O/János Ferencsik rec. 1969-76 HUNGAROTON HCD 41007 [6 CDs: 370:42] [TP]

There are moments of inspiration here, but much of the playing and conducting is merely good or adequate without attaining the heights of greatness ... see Full Review

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) I Puritani Ambrosian Opera Chorus; Philharmonia Orchestra/Riccardo Muti rec. 1979 EMI CLASSICS 5091492 [3 CDs: 39.05 + 62.43 + 70.31][RJF]

Demands the highest vocal quality but all the major singers here fail to meet those demands ... see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Te Deum Roberto Alagna, Marie-Claire Alain (organ of Madeleine, Paris) Choeur d’enfants de l’Union Européenne et Maîtrise d’Antony, Ch & O de Paris/John Nelson rec. 2000 VIRGIN CLASSICS 5034072 [IL]

A good reading which has the appeal of Alagna but which faces fierce competition ... see Full Review

Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Sextet for Clarinet, Horn and String Quartet Alan BUSH (1900-1995) Three Concert Studies for Piano Trio, Corentyne Kwe-Kwe Op. 75 (1972) [5:02] Alan RAWSTHORNE (1905-1971) Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Viola and Cello The Music Group of London, Members of the Aeolian Quartet; Thea King (clarinet) rec. 1970-74 LYRITA SRCD.256 [73:08] [RB]

Valuable - predominantly stern music in exemplary performances and recordings. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Lennox BERKELEY (1903–1989) String Quartets Nos. 1-3 Maggini Quartet rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570415 [63:02][HC]

Superb readings of these beautiful and hugely rewarding works ... see Full Review

William BOLCOM (b.1938) Capriccio (1988) [15:03]1 Cello Suite No.1 in C minor (1995) [16:44] Décalage (1961-2) [7:44]1 Dark Music (1970) [9:22]2 Cello Sonata (1989) [18:30]1 Norman  Fischer (cello); Jeanne Kierman (piano)1; Andrea Moore (timpani)2 rec. 2006. NAXOS 8.559348 [67:22]  [GPu]

Warmly recommended; inventive, eclectically various music in excellent performances and very good sound … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Daniel BÖRTZ (b. 1943) Hans namn var Orestes (His name was Orestes); En gycklares berättelser (A Joker’s Tales) Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Alan Gilbert rec. 2002-4 BIS CD-1653/54 [2 CDs] [GF]

I can’t remember when a contemporary composition made such a deep impression – and the performance is absolutely superb ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No.1; Academic Festival Overture Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Tristan und Isolde – Prelude to Act I; Siegfried Idyll Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. 1927-8 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111274 [80:28][RM]

Superb and responsive musicianship puts to shame a good number of well known orchestras making recordings today ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 4 Berlin SO/Günther Herbig BERLIN CLASSICS 0149192BC [CH]

A performance with an impressive ring of truth ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto Gioconda De Vito (violin); Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI/Wilhelm Furtwängler rec. 1952 ISTITUTO DISCOGRAFICO ITALIANO IDIS6532 [71:33][CH]

Fiery and incandescent performances but better wait till they are transferred properly ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No.2 Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto No.1 Arthur Rubinstein (piano) London Symphony Orchestra/Albert Coates, John Barbirolli rec. 1929-32 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111271 [71:12][RM]

A distinctive celerity and lightness of touch ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2 Jon Manasse (clarinet); Jon Nakamatsu (piano) rec. 2006 HARMONIA MUNDI USA HMU907430 [44:04][WK]

Mellow and genial interpretations of Brahms’ last chamber works ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) 3 Intermezzi, Klavierstücke, Fantasien Miquel Farré rec. 2007 COLUMNA MUSICA 1CM0177 [67:41] [CH]

Farré is a reasonable guide but you can do so much better ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) Symphony No. 6 Sinfonia Tragica (1948) [19:43] Symphony No. 16 (1960) [17:41] Arnold COOKE (1906-2005) Symphony No. 3 in D (1967) [22:59] London PO/Myer Fredman (Brian); Nicholas Braithwaite (Cooke) rec. Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, 10 April 1973 (Brian); 7 January 1974 (Cooke). ADD originally issued on LP as SRCS67 (Brian); SRCS78 (Cooke) LYRITA RECORDED EDITION SRCD.295 [60:26] [RB]

The cool Cooke contrasts with the epic-heroic business of the Brian symphonies. ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913–1976) String Quartet No. 2 see SHOSTAKOVICH

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Peter Grimes Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Felicity Lott, Thomas Allen, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden Ch & O/Bernard Haitink rec. 1992 EMI CLASSICS 5091562 [72:05 + 72:36] [JS]

Reveals aspects of the music and drama which are less obvious but still important ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 3 (original version, 1873) Philharmoniker Hamburg/Simone Young rec. live, Laeiszhalle, Hamburg, 14-16 October 2006 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 624 [68.38] [GH]

If I wanted only one recording then I might be tempted to look elsewhere ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) The Symphonies and Te Deum Württemberg Philharmonie Reutlingen/Roberto Paternostro rec. 1997-2006 ANTES EDITION SCH.3112 [11 CDs: 657:26] [DC]

May supplement your Bruckner shelves, but unlikely to replace any set you may already have. ... see Full Review

Alan BUSH (1900-1995) Three Concert Studies for Piano Trio Op. 31 (1947) [16:08] The Cruel Sea Captain, from Two Ballads of the Sea Op. 50 (1957) [2:29] Galiard, from Suite Op. 54 (1960) [1:01] Air, from Suite Op. 54 (1960) [2:45] Corentyne Kwe-Kwe Op. 75 (1972) [5:02] see BERKLEY

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Organ Music Vol. 7 Julia Brown (organ) rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570312 [72:33][CB]

I can’t help admitting that I have enjoyed Brown’s recent discs more than any of the other new Buxtehude recordings ... see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Vocal Music Vol. 2 Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir; The Dufay Collective/Ebbe Munk rec. 2000 NAXOS 8.570494 [51:02][GPu]

Not absolutely outstanding performances, but enjoyable readings of fine – and sometimes profound – music. Well worth hearing … see Full Review

Dietrich Buxtehude (c.1637-1707) Complete Chamber Music Volume 3: Six Sonatas without Opus Numbers Sonatas for violins, viola da gamba and basso continuo John Holloway, Ursula Weiss (violin); Jaap ter Linden, Mogens Rasmussen (viola da gamba); Lars Ulrik Mortensen (harpsichord and organ) rec. 1994 NAXOS 8.557250 [52:33] [BW]

Very attractive music, performances and recording – go out and buy this and the earlier volumes ... see Full Review

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Opera Omnia VI, Harpsichord Works II Ton Koopman rec. 2007 CHALLENGE CC72245 [62:02 + 35:02] [MS]

Style and perception … Collectors should not be the only ones not to hesitate to get this latest offering ... 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]




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