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Outstanding performances

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Shostakovich 5, 8 9
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Alphabetical Listing


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+

Adolphe ADAM (1803-1856) Giselle Riccardo DRIGO (1846-1930) Le Corsaire Ludwig MINKUS (1826-1917) La Bayadère Act IV London Festival Ballet O/Terence Kern, Sydney SO/John Lanchbery rec. 1972/83 EMI CLASSICS 9682052 [72:50 + 69:58] [RMay]

Plenty to stir the widest range of emotions and jerk the feet into motion ... see Full Review 

John ADAMS (b. 1947) Nixon in China – an opera in three acts (1987) [154:53] Richard Nixon: - Robert Orth Henry Kissinger: - Thomas Hammons Mao Tse-tung: - Marc Heller Opera Colorado Chorus/Douglas Kinney Frost, Colorado Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. live, Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver, Colorado, 6-14 June 2008. DDD NAXOS AMERICAN OPERA CLASSICS 8.669022-24 [3 CDs: 66:22 + 51:04 + 36:27] [JZ]

A convincing performance in excellent sound, affordably priced, easy to obtain … see Full Review

Tomaso ALBINONI (1671-1751) Complete oboe concertos, op. 7 & 9 Thomas Indermühle (oboe); Jacques Tys (oboe) I Solisti di Perugia/Paolo Franceschini rec. 2006/7 CAMERATA CM-20097-8 [75:14 + 50:29] [J-PJ]

Measured elegance … immediately attractive … graceful … charming ... see Full Review

Hugo ALFVÉN (1872-1960) Swedish Rhapsody 1 see SIBELIUS

Thomas ARNE (1710–1778) Artaxerxes – An English Opera (1762) (Reconstructed and edited by Peter Holman) Artaxerxes - Christopher Robson (counter-tenor) The Parley of Instruments/Roy Goodman rec. The Warehouse, Waterloo, London, March 1995. DDD.
Texts included. HYPERION DYAD CDD22073 [72:26 + 67:50] [BW]

An excellent introduction to a neglected composer; follow up with my other Arne recommendations ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) Ballet Music Homage to the Queen - suite op. 42 (1953) [19:43] Rinaldo and Armida - dance-drama in one act op. 49 (1954) [20:57] Sweeney Todd - concert suite op. 68a (1959) (prepared 1984, David Ellis with composer) [20:16] Electra - ballet in one act op. 79 (1963) [14:49] BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba rec. Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 9-10, December 2008 CHANDOS CHAN 10550 [76:14] [JQ][RB]

A disc that no admirer of Arnold’s music will want to be without. [JQ] A splendid collection [RB] ... see Full Review

Sir Malcolm ARNOLD (1921-2006) English Dances see Boult

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Italian Concerto, Partitas 1, 5 & 6 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata 17 Walter Gieseking (piano) rec. 1931-40 NAXOS 8.111353 [79:15] [JW]

A notably fine selection, finely engineered ... see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Suites for unaccompanied cello (c.1721) Angela East (baroque cello, England, 1725; 5-stringed cello after Amati, 2000) rec. François-Bernier Concert Hall, Le Domaine Forget, Saint-Irénée, Canada, May, 2001 (nos.1, 3, 5 and 6) and Troy Savings Bank Concert Hall, New York, February 2004 (nos. 2 and 4). DDD. RED PRIEST RECORDINGS RP006 [70:35 + 78:07] [BW]

Interesting performances, even where they differ from the norm, but hardly a first choice ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) & Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Preludes and Fugues for Piano Bernd Glemser (piano) rec. 2009 OEHMS CLASSICS OC738 [81:11] [JFL]

I very much like the Shostakovich but surely this disc wasn’t meant to be attractive just for four Shostakovich Prelude & Fugue pairs … see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1750) Concertos for Solo Harpsichord Elizabeth Farr (harpsichord) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572006-7 [76:26 + 74:09] [BW]

Reservations about the instrument and some tempi aside, this is an enjoyable set ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Magnificat see MENDELSSOHN

Nicolas BACRI (b. 1961) Concerto amoroso, Flute concerto, Concerto nostalgico, Symphony 4 Lisa Batiashvili (violin) Sharon Bezaly (flute) Riita Pesola (cello) François Leleux (oboe) Tapiola Sinfonietta/Jean-Jacques Kantorow rec. 2006 BIS BIS-CD-1579 [58:54] [HC]

A fine selection from Nicolas Bacri’s varied output in excellent readings and recording … See Full Review 

Mily BALAKIREV (1837-1910) Islamey see Shehori

Claude-Bénigne BALBASTRE (1727–1799) Music for Harpsichord Elizabeth Farr (harpsichord) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572034-35 [74:41 + 75:30] [BW]

An enterprising and convincing set of performances; Naxos rescues another neglected composer ... see Full Review

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Tintagel see Boult

Albert BECKER (1834-1899) Bleibe, Abend will es werden - Romantische Chormusik Kammerchor CONSONO/Harald Jers rec. 2009 CARUS 83.438 [73:00] [JQ]

Rather conservative choral music by a minor German Romantic composer ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No.1 in C major Op.21 (1800) [24:27] Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959) Concerto for oboe and Small Orchestra H 353 (1954-55) [18:10] Miloslav KABELAC (1908-1979) Symphony No.4 in A Camerata Op.36 (1954-58) [25:46] Vilem Veverka (oboe) Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice/Marko Ivanovic rec. Pardubice House of Music, 2-4 September 2009. DDD ARCODIVA UP 01232 131 [68:42] [RB]

A very varied feast of accomplished musicmaking ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 3 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Symphony 29 Royal Stockholm PO, Bavarian RSO/Otto Klemperer rec. 1956/8 MEDICI MASTERS MM037-2 [78:09] [JW]

Reinforces the changeable quality of Klemperer’s interpretations forcibly and movingly ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Egmont Overture Zoltán KODALY (1882-1967) Dances of Galánta Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 1 Hungarian State SO/János Ferencsik rec. 1966 ORCHESTRAL CONCERTS CD5/2009 [73:03] [JW]

A powerful reading of the Brahms graced by a powerful dark bass line ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Missa Solemnis (1818-23) Robert Shaw Chorale, NBC SO/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1953 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO034 [79:27] [RMo]

Toscanini’s famed combination of discipline, rhythmic precision and overt emotionalism ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 2 Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quintet Glenn Gould (piano) Columbia SO/Leonard Bernstein Montreal String Qt rec. 1957 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111341 [65:19] [JW]

One for Gouldians ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata 17 see BACH

Franz BENDA (1709-1786) Flute concerto, Violin concerto Georg Anton BENDA (1722-1795) Keyboard concertos Jan De Winne (transverse flute); Ryo Terakado (violin); Shalev Ad-El (harpsichord); Il Gardellino rec. 2008 ACCENT ACC24215 [76:42] [JV]

A fine introduction to the music of the highly gifted Benda brothers - their compositions are served well by Il Gardellino ... see Full Review 

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Benvenuto Cellini (1834-38) [163:35] Benvenuto Cellini – Soloists Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna State Opera Chorus/Valery Gergiev rec. Salzburg Festival, Großes Festspielhaus, Salzburg, 5, 10, 15 August 2007. NAXOS 2.110271 [164:00] [JPJ]

Good but hardly inspired ... see Full Review

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918 – 1990) Mass Jubilant Sykes, Peabody Children’s Ch, Baltimore SO/Marin Alsop rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.559622-23 [65.11 + 38.50] [RH]

You can’t help but admire the commitment and intensity … a diverse but cohesive whole. … terrific value ... see Full Review

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Wonderful Town Kim Criswell (mezzo) Audra McDonald (soprano) Thomas Hampson (baritone) London Voices; Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Sir Simon Rattle rec. 1998 EMI CLASSICS 9671362 [66:44] [ST]

If you give it a chance then I’m sure you’ll want to come back to it. ... see Full Review 

Harrison BIRTWISTLE (b. 1934) The Mask of Orpheus (1973-1986) [162:17] Soloists BBC Singers BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis rec. live, Royal Festival Hall, London, 11-12 April 1996. NMC D050 [3 CDs: 67:29 + 48:21 + 46:27] [DC]

Definitive and superlative recording and performance. ... see Full Review

Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Film Music Christopher Columbus, Seven Waves Away, Men of Two Worlds Slovak RSO/Adriano rec. 1990 NAXOS 8.572226 [60:11] [JW]

Admirers of quality film music, and Bliss’s in particular, need no second invitation ... see Full Review 

Arthur BLISS (1890 - 1975) Viola Sonata see English Viola

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) String Quartet see Birth

Felipe BOERO (1884-1958) El Matrero see MENDELSSOHN

York BOWEN (1884-1961) The Piano Sonatas Danny Driver (piano) rec. August 2008, Henry Wood Hall, London HYPERION CDA67751/2 [68:47 + 49:55] [MC]

A splendid set that should broaden York Bowen’s appeal still further. ... see Full Review

Brian BOYDELL (1917 - 2000) Elegy and Capriccio see Clarinet Variations

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Ein deutsches Requiem Elisabeth Grümmer (soprano); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) Ch St. Hedwig’s Cathedral Berlin; Berlin PO/Rudolf Kempe rec. 1955 NAXOS 8.111342 [76:53] [WH]

A marvellous performance from 1950s Berlin … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 1 see BEETHOVEN

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Variations on a Theme by Haydn see Argerich

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin concerto see MOZART

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quintet see BEETHOVEN

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jan Josef Ignác BRENTNER (1689 - 1742) Arias Šimon BRIXI (1693-1735) Graduale Pro Dominica Quinquagesimae proprium in a minor 'Tu es Deus' [03:34] Hana Blažíková (soprano) Collegium Marianum/Jana Semerádová rec. June 2003, September 2005, May 2009, Church of Our Lady Queen of Angels, Prague, Czech Republic. DDD SUPRAPHON SU 3970-2 [60:42]

Spirited and stylish performances of music by a Czech composer of the early 18th century ... see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879 - 1941) Short works see English Viola

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) The Beggar’s Opera, Op. 43 (1948), Ballad Opera (after John GAY, 1728) [117:52] Susan Bickley (mezzo) - Mrs Peachum; Jeremy White (bass-baritone) - Mr Peachum; Leah-Marian Jones (mezzo) - Polly Peachum; Tom Randle (tenor) - Captain Macheath; Robert Anthony Gardiner (tenor) - Filch; Donald Maxwell (baritone) - Lockit; Sarah Fox (soprano) - Lucy Lockit; Frances McCafferty (mezzo) - Mrs Diana Trapes. City of London Sinfonia/Christian Curnyn rec. Blackheath Halls, London, 1-4 February 2009. Booklet incl. spoken and sung texts. CHANDOS CHAN 10548(2) [52:43 + 65:09] [MG]

Must now be first choice for this work … see Full Review

Šimon BRIXI (1693-1735) Graduale Pro Dominica Quinquagesimae proprium in a minor 'Tu es Deus' see BRENTNER

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 6 in A (1879-81) [57:35] Munich Philharmonic/Günter Wand rec. Munich, June 1999 HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH06047 [57:35] [SV]

Wand’s cohesive, gripping renditions of the outer movements represent a considerable achievement … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 Staatsoper Berlin/Oskar Fried (acoustic rec 1924) see Oskar Fried Volume 4

George BUTTERWORTH (1885-1916) A Shropshire Lad, The Banks of Green Willow see Boult

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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