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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]

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Leroy ANDERSON (1908-1975) Orchestral Music - Volume 5 BBC Concert Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.559382 [52:16][IL] 

Goldilocks strikes gold ... see Full Review

Charles AVISON (1709-1770) 12 Concerti Grossi (1744) after Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) The Avison Ensemble/Pavlo Beznosiuk rec. 2007 DIVINE ART DDA21213 [78:14 + 76:38][JW]

Technically first class and thoroughly enjoyable ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Brandenburg Concertos Orchestra Mozart/Claudio Abbado rec. 2007 MEDICI ARTS 2056738 [100:00][DC]

A joyful experience ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier: Books I and II Vladimir Feltsman (piano) rec. 9-11, 16 December 1992 (Book I); 28-29 June, 1 July 1995 (Book II); American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York City. DDD NIMBUS NI2516/9 [4 CDs: 62:10 + 65:14 + 74:44 + 78:31] [PL]

A welcome addition to the Well-Tempered Clavier discography. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Six Suites for solo cello (1717-1723) Wolfgang Boettcher (cello) rec. Wyastone, Monmouth, October 2001 NIMBUS NI 5834/5 [59.58 + 79.48] [GH]

Little in the way of ‘wow’ factor ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Bach on the Italian Lute (Gottfried) Heinrich STÖLZEL (1690-1749) Bist du bei mir from Clavier-Büchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach (arranged for solo lute by Peter Croton) [3:18] Peter Croton (lute) rec. Basel City Studios, Switzerland, 23-26 January 2008. DDD. GUILD GMCD7321 [61:57 ] [BW]

Good performances but outshone by very strong competition ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Matthew Passion Marcus Ullmann, Tölz Boys Choir, KlangVerwaltung O/Enoch zu Guttenberg rec. 2003 (?) FARAO B108035 [3 CDs: 158:39]
Johann Sebastian BACH
(1685-1750) Matthew Passion
Nicholas Mulroy, Dunedin Consort & Players/John Butt rec. 2007 LINN RECORDS CKD313 [3 CDs: 161:16] [JFL]

Maybe not first choices, but both are essential listening ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations, Chaconne (arr. Busoni) DongHyek Lim (piano) rec. 2008 EMI CLASSICS 2159782 [65:35] [DC]

A must for piano collectors ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen BWV51, Ich habe genug BWV82a, Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut BWV199 Natalie Dessay (soprano) Le Concert d’Astrée/Emmanuelle Haïm rec. 2008 (includes bonus DVD from recording sessions) VIRGIN CLASSICS 5193142 [63.55; DVD: 52:00] [MM-B]

A mature artist who patently comprehends the beauty and purity of the music ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1739) Erschallet, ihr Lieder BWV172, Himmelskönig, sei willkommen, BWV182, Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, BWV21 Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance, Charles Daniels, Peter Harvey, Purcell Qt rec. 2007 CHANDOS CHAN0752(2) [49.04 + 38.55] [RH]

There is much to enjoy on this set ... see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910–1981) The Complete Solo Piano Music John Browning (piano) rec. c.1993. DDD NIMBUS NI 2528 [54:31] [BBr]

Essential listening ... see Full Review

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Piano Concerto No. 3 see PROKOFIEV

Jeremy BECK (b. 1960) Shadows & Light, Four Piano Pieces, Violin sonata 2, Never Final, Never Gone, Flute sonata, Kopeyia Nevsky String Quartet; Heather Coltman (piano); Tatiana Razoumova (violin); Maria Kolaiko (piano) University of Northern Iowa Concert Chorale/Bruce Chamberlain, Diane Beane (piano); Cynthia Ellis (flute); Roberta Garten (piano); University of Northern Iowa Percussion Ensemble/Randy Hogancamp rec. 1997-2003 INNOVA 696 [51:38] [MSJ]

Vital, relevant music from a modern American tonal composer ... see Full Review

HISTORICAL RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 3, Leonore Overtures 1 & 3 Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer rec. 1954/5 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111303 [71:33] [CC]

An interpretation of giant stature and nobility ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Nos. 29 & 31 Rudolf Serkin (piano) rec. 1968-71 BBC LEGENDS BBCL42412 [65:44] [CC]

The sheer dignity of Serkin’s Beethoven ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1828) Piano Sonatas Nos. 9, 23 & 32 Vassily Primakov (piano) rec. 2006 BRIDGE 9251 [64:47][MM] 

A sense of discovery permeates these highly charged performances ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Vol. 1 Piano sonatas 7, 8, 12, 23, 24 & 32 Christian Leotta (piano) rec. 2005/6 ATMA CLASSIQUE ACD2 2486 [73:02 + 69:14] [TP]

Beethoven thought through and on the expansive side ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 4 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 2 Wilhelm Backhaus (piano) Vienna SO & PO/Karl Böhm rec. 1967/70 EUROARTS 2072058 [c.73:00] [CH]

A precious glimpse of Backhaus … unusually volatile Brahms from Böhm ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 1 & 2 (Liszt transcriptions) Idil Biret (piano) rec. 1985/6 IDIL BIRET ARCHIVE 8.571252 [64:25] [JS]

Riveting … marvellous transcriptions … imaginative performances ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 9, 10, 12 & 15 Murray Perahia (piano) rec. 2008 SONY/BMG 88697 326462 [71:04] [MC]

A splendid achievement and deserves to be in every Beethoven collection ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Favourite Piano Sonatas Stephen Kovacevich (piano) rec. 1992-2003 EMI CLASSICS 2153142 [3 CDs: 76:54 + 73:58 + 79:12][JW]

Exceptional pianism ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 Idil Biret (piano) Bilkent SO/Antoni Wit rec. 2008 IDIL BIRET ARCHIVE 8.571253 [67:38] [JS]

Real alternative insights ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) La Sonnambula Melodramma in two acts (2004 Critical Edition by Alessandro Roccataglia and Luca Zappelli) (1831) Cecilia Bartoli (mezzo); Juan Diego Florez (tenor); Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (bass); Liliana Nikitenau (mezzo); Gemma Bertagnolli (soprano); Peter Kálman (bass) Chorus of Zurich Opera House; Orchestra La Scintilla/Alessandro De Marchi rec. June-July 2007, September 2008, Evangelisch-Reformierte Kirchemeinde Zurich-Oberstrass. DDD DECCA 478 1087 DH02 Limited Edition [59:10 + 75:01] [RJF]

Bellini’s lovely melodies into a new perspective. ... see Full Review

George BENJAMIN (b.1960) Into the Little Hill (2006) [36:58]; Dance Figures (2004) [16:01]; Sometime Voices (1996) [10:09] Anu Komsi (soprano); Hilary Summers (alto); Dietrich Henschel (baritone) Ensemble Modern, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Rundfunkchor Berlin, Franck Ollu (conductor), Kent Nagano (conductor), Oliver Knussen (conductor) rec. 9-11 November 2007, Bockenheimer Depot, Frankfurt Opera; 29 March 2008, Barbican, London; 13 February 2005 Philharmonie, Berlin. DDD NIMBUS NI5828 [67:14] [CR]

Unmissable ... see Full Review

Alban BERG (1885-1935) Chamber Concerto see MOZART

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Symphonie fantastique etc. Concertgebouw Orchestra/Eduard van Beinum and others rec.1935-51 BEULAH 1PD30 [78:55][JW]

Exciting and attractive ... see Full Review 

Georges BIZET (1838–1875) The Pearl Fishers (Highlights: sung in English) London Philharmonic Orchestra/Brad Cohen rec. 2007 CHANDOS CHAN3156 [79.00][AS]

One of the most enjoyable highlights CDs I have heard for a long while ... see Full Review

York BOWEN (1884-1961) Piano Works - Volume 3 Ballade 2, Three Songs without Words, Three Preludes, Short Sonata, Three Miniatures, Three Serious Dances, Toccata, Three Pieces Joop Celis (piano) rec. 2008 CHANDOS CHAN10506 [79:20] [JF]

A great CD ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quartet 1 (orch. Schoenberg) Clarinet Sonata (orch. Berio) Karl-Heinz Steffens (clarinet) Rhenish State PO (Koblenz)/Daniel Raiskin rec. 2006/7 CPO 777 356-2 [61:46] [JFL]

Worth seeking out ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Trios 1 & 2 Storioni Trio rec. 2007/8 PENTATONE PTC5186 328 [64:09] [KS]

Fine robust performances of gorgeous music ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Sonatas and trios for viola Maxim Rysanov (viola); Katya Apekisheva (piano) Boris Brovtsyn (violin) Jacob Katsnelson (piano); Kristine Blaumane (cello) rec. 2007/8 ONYX 4033 [77:35 + 47:09] [PB-W]

Completely inspired music-making ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 1 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Leonore Overture No. 3 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Salome Dance of the seven veils Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam/Herbert von Karajan rec. 1943 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111298 [69:18][RMay]

Irresistible ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897) Eight Songs Robert SCHUMANN (1810–1856) Four Lieder from Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, Frauenliebe und –leben, Claude DEBUSSY (1862–1918) Fantoches George Frideric HANDEL (1685– 1759) Angels, ever bright and fair Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (mezzo) Julius Drake (piano) rec. live, 1999 WIGMORE HALL LIVE WHLIVE0024 [69:31] [JQ]

Demands to be heard by all who prize great singing ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Alto Rhapsody, Symphony 2 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Gesang der Geister über den Wassern, Gruppe aus dem Tartarus, An Schwager Kronos Nathalie Stutzmann (contralto) Monteverdi Ch, O Révolutionnaire et Romantique/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. live, 2007 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG703 [73:59] [JQ]

As provocative, perceptive and exciting as its predecessor ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem Edinburgh Festival Chorus; London Philharmonic Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini rec. 1978 BBC LEGENDS BBCL42462 [74:21][JQ]

A performance of stature ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 2 see BEETHOVEN

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 (Original Version) Philharmoniker Hamburg/Simone Young rec. 2007 OEHMS CLASSICS OC629 [70:01][JQ]

A splendid performance of a fascinatingly different version ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH William Byrd (1539/40-1623) The Cardinall’s Musick Byrd Edition: Vols 10 & 11 - Laudibus in sanctis & Hodie Simon Petrus The Cardinall’s Musick/Andrew Carwood rec. 2006/7 HYPERION CDA67568 [68:20] CDA67653 [67:47] [BW]

If you already have Byrd’s Masses, these are the next priority purchases ... 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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