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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]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]

Superbudget £5.99 or less Budget £6-7.99 Medium £8-10.99 Full price £11+
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Jean ABSIL (1893 – 1974) Flemish Rhapsody, op.4 see Flemish Rhapsodies

Anton ARENSKY (1861–1906) Violin Concerto Sergey TANEYEV (1856–1915) Suite de Concert Ilya Gringolts (violin) BBC Scottish SO/Ilan Volkov rec. 2008 HYPERION CDA67642 [60:18] [MC]

Gringolts plays with a marvellous tone ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard ARNELL (b.1917) Violin Concerto see CREITH


Juan Crisóstomo de ARRIAGA (1806-1826) String Quartets Nos. 1-3 Prima Vista Quartet rec. 2006 DUX 0577 [76:37][JW]

Convincing and highly effective, clearly affectionate ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage - Volume 20: Cantatas for Septuagesima & Sexagesima: BWV18, 84, 92, 126, 144 & 181 Monteverdi Ch, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG153 [53:18 + 42:07] [JQ]

Gardiner’s cantata cycle continues its impressive progress ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Brandenburg Concertos 1-6, Orchestral Suites 1-4 Busch Chamber Players/Adolf Busch rec. 1935/6 EMI CLASSICS GREAT RECORDINGS OF THE CENTURY 2126992 [3 CDs: 59:56 + 66:40 + 62:09]
Johann Sebastian BACH
(1685-1750)
Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Egarr rec. 2008 HARMONIA MUNDI 807461.62 [44:04 + 52:16] [JFL]

Historically informed recordings from the noughties and the thirties ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) English Suites Nos. 2 & 3; Italian Concerto etc. Friedrich GULDA (1930-2000) Prelude und Fuge Friedrich Gulda (piano) rec. 1955-70 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4778020 [71:48][JFL]

Does not quite live up to its promise ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well Tempered Clavier Book II Craig Sheppard (piano) rec. 2008 ROMÉO RECORDS 7269-70 [73:24 + 79:45] [JW]

A sense of rightness and unselfconscious warmth ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partita No. 2 in D minor see Essentials

Edward BAIRSTOW (1874-1946) Evening Song see Romantic and Virtuoso Works for Organ, Vol.3

Mily Alexeyevich BALAKIREV (1837-1910) Piano Concertos 1 & 2, Grande Fantaisie on Russian Folksongs Anastasia Seifetdinova (piano) Russian PO/Dmitry Yablonsky rec. 2006 NAXOS 8.570396 [69:27] [DM]

The Grande Fantaisie alone makes this a good buy ... see Full Review

Michael William BALFE (1808-1870) Falstaff Marcel Vanaud, Majella Cullagh, National Chamber Ch Ireland RTÉ Concert O/Marco Zambelli rec. 2008 RTÉ LYRIC FM CD119 [75:52 + 67:27] [EM]

Quite frankly, up there with Rossini ... see Full Review

Vytautas BARKAUSKAS (b. 1931) Sun for symphony orchestra op. 69 (1983, 1995) [8:41] Concerto for viola and chamber orchestra Op. 63 (1981) [24:09] Symphony No. 5 Op. 81 (1986) [34:50] Konzertstück für Orchester No. 2 op. 103 (1994, 1996) [8:15] Yuri Bashmet (viola) Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra/Robertas Šervenikas; Juozas Domarkas rec. 2001, 2007 DDD  AVIE AV 2163 [75:55] [RB]

Tough originality from Barkauskas ... see Full Review

Béla BARTÓK (1881–1945) First Rhapsody see Europa

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Sonata for Solo Violin see Essentials

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Symphonic Variations, Concertante for Piano (Left Hand) Ashley Wass (piano) Bournemouth SO/James Judd rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570774 [68:11] [RB]

A fine disc including rarely recorded Bax ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Amy BEACH (1867-1944) Piano Music Vol. 2: The Turn of the Century Includes Variations on Balkan Themes, Children’s Album, Eskimos Kirsten Johnson (piano) rec. 2007/8 GUILD GMCD7329 [60:48] [DM]

Heart-warming, grace and character. A hidden gem ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3; Leonore Overtures Nos. 1 & 3 Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer rec. 1954-5 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111303 [71:33][JW]

Power, weighty architecture and care over delineation of wind choirs ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 3 & 4 Clara Haskil (piano) Boston SO/Charles Munch, Studio-Orchester Beromunster/Erich Schmid rec. 1956/9 TAHRA TAH634 [69:49] [JW]

Adds something important … worthy of note ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Late String Quartets Wihan Quartet rec. 2007/8 DDD NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6100-2 [3 CDs: 74:45 + 46:49 + 70:32] [PW]

Technically highly assured performances which communicate Beethoven’s vision well … see Full Review

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801–1835) La sonnambula Maria Callas, Nicola Monti, Ch & O La Scala, Milan/Antonino Votto rec. 1957 NAXOS 8.111284-85 [77:40 + 65:17] [GF]

Few other recordings where Callas is so free from blemish ... see Full Review

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801–1835) La sonnambula (highlights) Natalie Dessay (soprano); Orchestre et Choeurs de l’Opéra de Lyon/Evelino Pidň rec. 2006 VIRGIN CLASSICS 2647362 [74:01][ST] 

Lack of support from Dessay’s co-stars lets it down ... see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Roméo et Juliette; Les Nuits d’Été Philadelphia Orchestra/Riccardo Muti; Janet Baker (mezzo); New Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli rec. 1969-86 EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 2176402 [59:40 + 67:41][BW] 

Good value, decent performances, but only Baker’s contribution is special ... see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Love Scene from Romeo and Juliet see WAGNER

William Thomas Best (1826-1897) Grande Mouvement de Danse see English Piano Works

Hildegard of BINGEN (1098–1179) Lilium Stephanie Haas (voice); Chrisoph Haas (tambura, frame drums, aeolian harp, percussion) rec. 2001 ANIMATO ACD6061 [59.08][RH]

Hildegard’s music in dialogue with contemporary percussion ... see Full Review

August de BOECK (1865 – 1937) Dahomeyan Rhapsody see Flemish Rhapsodies

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphonies 1-4, Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Tragic Overture, Academic Festival Overture, Nänie, Rhapsody for Alto, Chorus and Orchestra, Ein deutsches Requiem, Helen Watts (contralto) [CD3]; Agnes Giebel (soprano), Hermann Prey (baritone) [CD 4] ; Chśur de la Radio Suisse Romande; Chśur Pro Arte de Lausanne L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet rec. 1963/65/66 ADD. Booklet with notes but no texts. Decca Eloquence 480 0448 [4 CDs: 77:32 + 74:26 + 75:44 + 72:28] [BW]

No revelations, but no real problems either ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Organ Works Anne Horsch (organ) rec. 2005-7 CPO 777384-2 [68:22][ST] 

Well done to all involved ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 2 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Piano Concerto Artur Rubinstein (piano) Torino della RAI SO/André Cluytens, A Scarlatti di Napoli della RAI O/Franco Caracciolo rec. 1962/4 ARTS ARCHIVES 43081-2 [69:39] [RB]

Lyrical grandeur … playful too ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) String Quartet 1, String Quintet 2 Belcea Qt, Thomas Kakushka (viola) rec. 2003 EMI CLASSICS ENCORE 2357122 [62:19] [CC]

Do not hesitate ... see Full Review

Tomás BRETÓN (1850-1923) Escenas andaluzas etc. Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid/Miguel Roa rec. 2004-5 NAXOS 8.572076 [64.14][GH]

An enjoyable disc well worth the modest financial outlay ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Phantasm see IRELAND

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Double Concerto for violin and viola, Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, Les Illuminations Pieter Schoeman (violin); Alexander Zemtsov (viola); Sally Matthews (soprano) London PO/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2006/8 LPO LIVE LPO0037 [65:48] [SR]

The Double Concerto is revealed as a masterpiece ... see Full Review

Carlo BROSCHI or FARINELLI (1705-1782) Il Quaderno dell’Imperatrice arie per soprano di Farinelli dedicate a Maria Theresa d’Austria (1753) [50:31] Angelo Manzotti (sopranist/male soprano) Ensemble Isabella Leonardo/Maurizio Schiavo rec. Chiesa di S.Albino, August 2007  CONCERTO CD 2007 [50:31] [JW]

Best to pass by this one. ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 7 Sinfonia Varsovia/Jerzy Semkow rec. 2005 DUX 0668 [65:26] [TB]

A natural Brucknerian … long-term vision … well worth hearing ... see Full Review

Fritz BRUN (1878-1959) Symphony No.8 etc. Studio Orchester Beromünster/Fritz Brun rec. 1946 GUILD GHCD2351 [79:13][JW]

A heavyweight contribution to the symphonic literature ... see Full Review

Michel BRUSSELMANNS (1886 – 1960) Flemish Rhapsody (1931) see Flemish Rhapsodies

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Arthur BUTTERWORTH (b. 1923) Symphonies 1 & 4, Viola Concerto, Talk by composerArthur Butterworth Royal Scottish Ntl O/Arthur Butterworth, Hallé O/Sir John Barbirolli rec. 1958/2008 DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7212 [70:40 + 73:07] [RB][PC]

Butterworth’s music casts a potent spell that looks to the North. ... 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]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]


 



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