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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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Charles AVISON (1709-1770) CD1 [47:21] Six Sonatas for two violins and a bass,CD2 [49:48] Six Sonatas for harpsichord, with accompaniments for two violins and a violoncello, The Avison Ensemble rec. 2005. DDD. 2 CDs for price of one Divine Art dda21214 [47:21 + 49:48] [BW]

Unfailingly enjoyable music, performance and recording ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Concertos Julia Fischer (violin); Academy of St Martin in the Fields rec. 2008 DECCA 4780650 [58.51][DC]

This is now the one to beat ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Inventions and Sinfonias Christiano Holtz (clavichord) rec. 2008. DDD. EDITIONS HORTUS 052 [68:11] [BW]

Rather too laboured for enjoyment ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) French Suites Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Suite for Piano Andrew Rangell (piano) rec. 2007 BRIDGE 9281A/B [59:08 + 47:40][PPLL] 

Fresh insights into the Bach and Schoenberg suites ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas Natalie Dessay (soprano); Le Concert d’Astrée/Emmanuelle Haïm rec. 2008 VIRGIN CLASSICS 5193142 [63:35][JW]

Sometimes individual singing … excellent ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Complete Organ Works Gerhard Weinberger (organ) rec. 1997-2008 CPO 777 363-2 [22 CDs: 1414:25] [DC]

Big, chunky, satisfying, but not necessarily everyone’s favourite ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) Non sa che sia dolore see HANDEL

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Orchestral Works Vol. 9 The Truth About the Russian Dancers, From Dusk till Dawn London PO/Bryden Thomson rec. 1990 CHANDOS CLASSICS CHAN10457X [67.12] [EM]

Of great interest to those familiar with Bax’s work ... see Full Review

Amy Cheney BEACH (1867-1944) Piano Quintet Alan Louis SMITH (b.1955) Vignettes: Covered Wagon Woman Anne-Marie McDermott (piano); Escher Quartet; Stephanie Blythe (mezzo); Warren Jones (piano); rec. 2008 CMS STUDIO RECORDINGS 8252427 [67:28][TH]

Very heartfelt and superbly played ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 7 George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) An American in Paris Boston Symphony Orchestra & RCA Victor Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein rec. live, Boston 1947-57 IDIS 6556 [51.04][GH]

If you’re a Bernstein fan you know what to do ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8 etc. RIAS Symphony Orchestra, Berlin/Ferenc Fricsay rec. 1952-4 AUDITE 95.593 [75:22][CC] 

The Fricsay collector should not hesitate ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 9, Leonore III Overture Kerstin Lindberg-Torlind (soprano); Else Jena (mezzo); Eric Sjöberg (tenor); Holger Byrding (bass); Danish RSO & Ch/Fritz Busch rec. 1949/50 GUILD HISTORICAL GHCD2343 [77:15] [CC]

Stands magnificently on its own merits despite occasional caveats ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Piano Concertos Evgeny Kissin (piano); London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis rec. 2007 EMI CLASSICS 2063112 [3 CDs: 62:44 + 74:20 + 41:48][PPLL]

Do try this highly rewarding set ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos Nos 1-5 etc. Cor de Groot (piano); Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Hague Philharmonic Orchestra/Willem von Otterloo rec. 1950-4 DOREMI DHR79379 [3 CDs: 70:52 + 72:21 + 67:45][CC] 

Of vital interest to pianophiles ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 Idil Biret (piano); Bilkent Symphony Orchestra/Antoni Wit rec. 2008 IBA/BMP 8.571253 [67:38][BBr] 

You won’t be disappointed with Biret’s pianism ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 5 George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Piano Concerto in F Shura Cherkassky (piano); BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ronald Zollman; BBC Symphony Orchestra/Vernon Handley rec. 1985-92 BBC LEGENDS BBCL42312 [74:53][CC] 

If it is Cherkassky’s Gershwin you are after, this is a rewarding choice ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets Op. 18, No. 4 & Op. 59, No. 2 Artemis Quartet rec. 2008 VIRGIN 3802682 [59:43][MSJ] 

Well-sprung accounts go awry in the finales ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Nos. 1, 2, 19 & 20 Idil Biret (piano) rec. 2002 IBA 8.571251 [69:06] Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas Nos. 3, 5 & 18 Idil Biret (piano) rec. 2001 IBA 8.571254 [69:06][JS] 

The beginning of an important addition to the catalogue ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Fidelio - opera in two acts (1804-5) Leonore - Gabriele Schnaut (soprano); Florestan - Josef Protschka (tenor);Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor Wiener Philharmoniker/Christoph von Dohnányi rec. 1991, Konzerthaus, Vienna. DDD BRILLIANT CLASSICS 93921 [70.20 + 47.06] [RMk]

A strong recording that sometimes loses focus. ... see Full Review

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) La Sonnambula Maria Callas (soprano); Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano/Antonino Votto rec. 1957 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111284-85 [77:40 + 65:17][RMo]

Worth buying: economically, artistically and historically ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Vincenzo BELLINI (1801-1835) I Capuleti e I Montecchi Elina Garanca (mezzo); Anna Netrebko (soprano); Wiener Symphoniker/Fabio Luisi rec. 2008 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4778031 [76.10 + 51.26][RJF]

It will be a long time before this recording is bettered ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Les nuits d’été see MASSENET


Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Grande Messe des Morts Paul Groves, EuropaChorAkademie, SWR SO Baden-Baden und Freiburg/Sylvain Cambreling rec. 2004 GLOR CLASSICS GC08034 [47:34 + 35:02] [DM]

A pallid performance that disappoints at every turn ... see Full Review

Judith BINGHAM (b.1952) Remoter Worlds - Choral Music BBC Singers/David Hill rec. 2008 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD144 [71:21][JWi] 

A talented and interesting composer who writes successfully for the voice ... see Full Review

Ernest BLOCH (1894-1959) Music for Viola Karen Elaine (viola); London Symphony Orchestra/David Amos rec. 1990 LAUREL RECORDS LR864 [63:52][JWi] 

A little quaint but has its own distinctive charm ... see Full Review

Seóirse BODLEY (b. 1933) A small white cloud drifts over Ireland; Chamber Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2 RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra/Robert Houlihan rec. 2001-3 RTÉ LYRIC FM CD121 [78:51][HC]

Far too good to be ignored ... see Full Review

Pietro Gaetano BONI (c.1686-after 1741) Sonatas for Cello and basso continuo Andrea Fossá (solo cello) Anna Fontana (harpsichord) Francisco Gato (archlute) Andrea de Carlo (viola da gamba) Renato Criscuolo (cello) rec. 2006 DYNAMIC CDS584 [62.33] [GH]

Full of attractive and often very beautiful music ... see Full Review

Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) Symphony No. 2 in B minor, Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Prince Igor : I. Overture ; II. Polovtsian Dances ,In the Steppes of Central Asia L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet rec. October 1954,60,61 ADD DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 0048 [73:24] [DM]

Vintage Decca and vintage Ansermet. A must for your collection ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 [40:11] Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60 [33:33]
Xiayin Wang (piano); Amity Players rec.2007 MARQUIS 81377 [73:47]
The Nash Ensemble rec. 2007 ONYX 4029 [74:03]

No rave but the Nash gets an ever so slightly stronger recommendation ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833 - 1897) CD 1 Sonata in F minor for clarinet/viola and piano, op. 120 no. 1, Violin Sonata no. 1 in G Major op. 78, Trio in E flat major for horn/viola, violin and piano op. 40, Maxim Rysanov (viola); Katya Apekisheva (piano); Boris Brovstyn (violin) CD 2 Sonata in E flat major for clarinet/viola and piano, op. 120 no. 2 ,Trio in A minor for clarinet/viola, cello and piano op. 114 Maxim Rysanov (viola); Jacob Katnelson (piano); Kristine Blaumane (cello) rec. 2007/2008 ONYX CLASSICS ONYX 4033 [77:35 + 47:09] [JWi]

Has whetted my appetite for other Rysanov recordings ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897) Volkslieder (arr. Kraler/Schett) Franui rec. 2008 COL LEGNO WWE1CD20302 [70:41] [GF]

Something for practically every taste ... see Full Review

Tomás BRETÓN (1850-1923) Escenas andaluzas; Opera Preludes; En la Alhambra Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid/Miguel Roa rec. 2004-5 NAXOS 8.572076 [64:14][JS]

Full of colour and textures that non-Spaniards associate with Spain ... see Full Review

Frank Bridge (1879-1941) Piano Trios Phantasie Trio in C minor, Piano Trio No.2, Nine Miniatures for Piano Trio Jack Liebeck (violin); Alexander Chaushian (cello); Ashley Wass (piano) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.570792 [72:57] [JF]

Sparkles from first to last ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) The Piano Music: Volume 2 Mark Bebbington (piano) rec. 4-5 January 2007, CBSO Centre, Birmingham. DDD SOMM SOMMCD 082 [77:38] [JF]

An excellent investment! ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg - Act I Prelude Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Sinfonica di Torino della RAI/Otto Klemperer rec. 1956 MEDICI ARTS MM0302 [70:09][EM]

Interesting and certainly worth a listen ... see Full Review

A History of the Requiem, Part III Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Requiem Maurice DURUFLÉ (1902–1986) Requiem Laudantes Consort/Guy Janssens rec. 2006-7 CYPRES CYP1654 [72.59][RH]

Creditable even if not ideal ... see Full Review

Antoine BUSNOIS (c.1430-1492) Missa L’homme armé; Anima mea liquefacta est Petrus de Domarto (fl.1450-1450) Missa Spiritus almus Antoine Busnois Gaude celestis domina Jean Pullois (?-1478) Flos de spina The Binchois Consort/Andrew Kirkman rec. June 2001 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55288 [77:38][BW]

Inexpensive price, emphatically full-price quality ... see Full Review

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Busoni Piano Music: Volume 4 Wolf Harden (piano) rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570543 [64:17][CC] 

The Naxos Busoni series continues in enduringly fascinating fashion ... 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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