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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

PART 2
A-B

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]

Superbudget £5.99 or less Budget £6-7.99 Medium £8-10.99 Full price £11+
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Adolphe ADAM (1803-1856) Giselle Alina Cojocaru, Johan Kobborg, The Royal Ballet Royal Opera House O/Boris Gruzin rec. 2006 OPUS ARTE OA0993D [112.00] [MM-B]

A delightful example of how to stage a romantic ballet ... see Full Review

John ADDISON (1920–1998) Divertimento for brass quintet see MAW

Kalevi AHO (b. 1949) Symphony No. 9, for trombone and orchestra (1993-94) see Arabenne

Mikahil ARKADIEV (b.1958) Sonata brevis, Eine Kleine Zaubermusik see MUSSORGSKY

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Magnificat Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Gloria Academy and Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields/Neville Marriner rec. 1990  EMI CLASSICS 2081252 [55:19][JW]

Engaging, enjoyable; modern instruments employed with crispness and bite ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas - Vol. 39 Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2007 BIS BISSACD1641 [72:42][PB] 

Another satisfying offering in this landmark project ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas, Vol. 40 Lobe den Herren, den Machtigen Konig der Ehren, BWV137, Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort, BWV168, Gott der Herr ist Son und Schild BWV79, Ihr, die ihr euch von Christo nennet, BWV164 Yukari Nonoshita (soprano); Robin Blaze (counter-tenor); Makoto Sakurada (tenor); Peter Kooij (bass) Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2007 BIS BIS-SACD-1671 [57:22] [PB]

One of Suzuki’s finest yet ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Actus Tragicus Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir/Ton Koopman rec. 1994 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72289 [61:01][TB]

Koopman in performances well judged and sensitively drawn ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Stokowski Transcriptions Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1927-1929 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111297 [75:33][IL]

An essential purchase for all Stokowski fans ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) Cantata BWV11 & arias from Passions and Mass George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759) Arias from Samson, Messiah & Judas Maccabeus Kathleen Ferrier (contralto) London PO/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1949/52 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111295 [73.49] [RH]

Profoundly moving performances, strong musicality and emotional truth ... see Full Review

Judith BAILEY (b. 1941) Instrumental music String Quartet Op. 31, Clarinet Quintet for B flat clarinet and string quartet Op. 47, The Towers of San Gimignano for solo piano Op. 51, Egloshayle Nightingale Trio for violin, viola and cello Op. 59, Aquamarine Waltz for cello and piano Op. 65, Microminiature No. 1 for violin, cello and piano Op. 68, Microminiature No. 2 for violin, viola and cello Op. 70, Visions of Hildegard for B flat clarinet, violin, cello and piano Op. 72, Light for violin, viola and piano Op. 76 Davey Chamber Ensemble (Juliet Davey, Prunella Sedgwick (violins); Lucy White (viola); Catherine Wilmers (cello); Jane Plessner (clarinet); Nicola Grunberg (piano)) rec. Michael Tippett Centre, Bath Spa University, 19-21 December 2007 METIER MSVCD92101 [77:24] [JW]

A fine and stimulating conspectus ... see Full Review

Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) Music for violin and piano Elise Bĺtnes (violin); Hĺvard Gimse (piano) rec. 2005 SIMAX PSC1174 [71:24][KS] 

Superb performances of wonderfully romantic and passionate music ... see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883 -1953) The Piano Music Iris Loveridge (piano) rec. 1959-1963. mono ADD LYRITA REAM 3113 [3CDs 3:44:55] [JF]

Technical brilliance, interpretive skill, spirit and inspiration ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt rec. 1977 BERLIN CLASSICS SCHÄTZE DER KLASSIK 0014232BC [78:55][TP]

Generous, comfortable beautiful music-making – perhaps too beautiful for some ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Trios Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin); Bruno Giuranna (viola); Mstislav Rostropovich (cello) rec. 1988 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4777430 [66:24 + 73:12][MC]

A most rewarding and invigorating experience ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Works for Solo Piano Vol. 6 Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano) rec. 2007 BIS BISSACD1573 [73:04][TH]

Familiar music re-invented as new before your very ears ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas - Volume 4 Nos 5-7, 15, 19, 20, 29 & 30-32 Paul Lewis (piano) rec. 2008 (?) HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901909-11 [3 CDs: 59:30 + 60:30 + 64:13] [DJB]

A triumphant completion of a Beethoven cycle for the ages … see Full Review

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) La straniera Patrizia Ciofi (soprano) Mark Stone, (baritone) Darío Schmunck (tenor) Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, London PO/David Parry OPERA RARA ORC38 [61.56 + 69.58] [RJF]

A warm welcome for this first studio recording of Bellini’s fourth opera ... see Full Review

Alban BERG (1885–1935) Sieben frühe Lieder see Richard STRAUSS

Luciano BERIO (1925–2003) Chemins IV, Fourteen Duos, RécitPierre BOULEZ (b. 1925) Dialogue de l’ombre doubleAnton WEBERN (1883 – 1945) Quartett Vincent David (saxophones); Ensemble Quaerendo Invenietis/Renaud Déjardin (Chemins, Recit) rec. 2007 AEON AECD0860 [56:32] [HC]

An agreeably varied release … first rate playing and musicality ... see Full Review

Charles-Auguste de BÉRIOT (1802-1870) Violin Concertos Nos. 2, 3 & 5 Philippe Quint (violin); Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Kirk Trevor rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570360 [70:56][JW]

Fireworks and songful concertos ... see Full Review

Charles-Auguste de BÉRIOT (1802-1870) Piano Trio No.1 Op.58 (1847) [17:58] Grand Trio Op.64 (published 1850) [22:50] Trio Op.4 [11:57] Nocturne Plaintes de jeune fille [Piano Trio Op.34] (1841) [9:04] Kuniko Nagata (violin); Mark Drobinsky (cello); Hirotoshi Kasai (piano) rec. no details given TALENT DOM 2911 127 [62:44] [JW]

Big-boned and assertive ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Howard BLAKE (b. 1938) Piano Concerto, op.412 (1990) [25:52] Diversions, op.337 (1984) [20:45] Toccata – A Celebration of the Orchestra, op.386 (1988) [21:44] Howard Blake (piano), Robert Cohen (cello) Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir David Willcocks (Concerto), Howard Blake (Diversions and Toccata) rec. 1990, DDD reissue SONY CLASSICS 88697376972 [68:21]  [BBr]

Once heard, you’ll not want to be without this marvellous music ... see Full Review

Howard BLAKE (b 1938) Violin Sonata, op.586 (1973 – 2007) [23:41] Penillion, op.571 (1975/2005) [9:32] Piano Quartet, op.179 (1974) [27:14] Jazz Dances, op.520a (1976/2008) [13:48] Madeleine Mitchell (violin), Jack Rothstein (violin), Kenneth Essex (viola), Peter Willison (cello), Howard Blake (piano) rec. 9 1974, (Quartet), 2008 DDD NAXOS 8.572083 [74:15] [BBr]

We deserve to hear more of this endlessly fascinating composer ... see Full Review

Pierre BOULEZ (b. 1925) Dialogue de l’ombre double see BERIO

Giovanni BOTTESINI (1821-1889) Concertino for double-bass and strings etc. Thomas Martin (double-bass); London Symphony Orchestra/Franco Petracchi rec. 1994 NAXOS 8.570398 [62:24][BW]  Nothing to dislike but very little that is memorable ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies Nos. 1-4 etc. London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult rec. 1954 NAXOS CLASSICAL ARCHIVES 9.80228-31 [56:43+49:24+48:44+56:40][CH]

A great Brahms First … playing of extraordinary fervour ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Violin Concerto Ilya Kaler (violin); Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Pietari Inkinen rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570321 [72:13][TP] 

Another wonderful disc from Ilya Kaler ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Complete Chamber Music Various artists HYPERION CDS44331/42 [12 CDs: 805:15][JFL]

This Hyperion set is my pick among the bunch ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quintet see SCHUMANN

 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quartet 3 see VASKS

Tomás BRETÓN (1850-1923) Piano Trio; Four Spanish Pieces LOM Piano Trio rec. 2006-7 NAXOS 8.570713 [53.26][GH] 

Not earth-shattering but extremely civilized ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Peter Grimes The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus/Donald Runnicles rec. 2008 EMI CLASSICS 2174149 [168:31][ST]

Very successful though buy it for what you hear rather than what you see ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Billy Budd (1951) Ian Bostridge, Nathan Gunn, Jonathan Lemalu, London SO & Ch/Daniel Harding rec. 2007 VIRGIN CLASSICS 5190392 [3 CDs: 23:00 + 63:01 + 79:41] [JF]

Sheer brilliance … an essential recording ... see Full Review

Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto No. 1 Niccolň PAGANINI (1782-1840) Violin Concerto No. 1 Alexandra Soumm (violin); Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz/Georg Mark rec. 2007  CLAVES 502808 [61:43][JW]

A serious entrant … Romantic affiliations and technical armoury ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 5 Orchestre National de France/Lovro von Matacic rec. 1979 NAĎVE V5000 [77:07][SV] 

Not basic library choice but the occasional insights are worth studying ... see Full Review

Norbert BURGMÜLLER (1810-1836) Symphony 1 Hugo STAEHLE (1826-1848) Symphony 1 Staatstheaters Kassel O/Marc Piollet rec. 2001 STERLING CDS1046-2 [74:25] [SV]

Are we so jaded that we can't appreciate such well-crafted, expressive music ... see Full Review

Antoine BUSNOIS (c. 1430-1492) Missa L’homme armé, Gaude celestas domina, Anima mea liqufactor Petrus de DOMARTO (fl. 1450) Missa Spiritus almus Jean PULLOIS (d. 1478) Flos de spina The Binchois Consort/Andrew Kirkman rec. 2001 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55288 [79.07] [GH]

Wonderfully expressive and superbly prepared ... see Full Review

 

 


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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