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[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
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[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]

Superbudget £5.99 or less Budget £6-7.99 Medium £8-10.99 Full price £11+

John ADAMS (b. 1947) Nixon in China - Opera in three acts. Colorado Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop rec. live, 2008 Libretto enclosed NAXOS 8.669022-24 [3 CDs: 66:22 + 51:04 + 36:27] [GF]

A new unexpected friend for life. ... see Full Review

Miguel del AGUILA (b. 1957) Charango Capriccioso, Presto II, Salón Buenos Aires, Life is dream, Clocks Ertan Torgul; Karen Stiles (violins); Emily Watkins Freudigman (viola); Kenneth Freudigman; David Mollenauer (cellos); Kristin Roach (piano), Vivienne Spy (in piano four-hands); Tallon Sterling Perkes (flute); Ilya Shterenberg (clarinet); Bryn Jameson (narrator) rec. 2008 BRIDGE 9302 [64.49] [GH]

Played with great enthusiasm ... see Full Review 

Franco ALFANO (1875-1954) Cyrano de Bergerac Plàcido Domingo, Sondra Radvanovsky, Valenciana Community Ch & O/Patrick Fournillier rec. 2007 NAXOS 2.110270 [141:00] [RJF]

A rare post-verismo Italian opera gets an excellent performance in convincing sets and costumes ... see Full Review 

Richard ARNELL (b.1917) Prelude ‘Black Mountain’ see BATE

Louis AUBERT (1877-1968) Piano Works Cristina Ariagno (piano) rec. 2005 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 9064 [56:13] [RB]

Fine interpretations of deeply impressive music ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, BWV 846-869 Book II, BWV 870-893 Roger Woodward (piano) rec. 2008 CELESTIAL HARMONIES 19922-5 [5 CDs: 59:15 + 60:41 + 46:53 + 56:23 + 56:44] [DC]

Such a fine release, you may feel the need to bequeath it as a separate item in your will ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) J.S. Bach in the Italian Style James Tibbles (harpsichord) Jenny Thomas (harpsichord) (BWV 1061a) rec. Music Theatre, School of Music, The University of Auckland, February, July 2008. Stereo. DDD ATOLL ACD 509 [75:25] [GD]

James Tibbles has a distinctive take on this repertoire ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas for Bass Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen (Gladly I bear the cross), Der Friede sei mit dir (Peace be with you), Ich habe genug (I have enough), Thomas Quasthoff, bass-baritone Albrecht Meyer (oboe) Members of the RIAS Kammerchor/Daniel Reuss Berliner Barock Solisten/Rainer Kussmaul (violin) rec. 2004, DDD DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 00289 477 5326 474 505-2 [50:05]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas for Bass Ich habe genug (I have enough), Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen (Gladly I bear the cross), Der Friede sei mit dir (Peace be with you), Peter Kooy (bass) La Chapelle Royale/Philippe Herreweghe.
rec. 1991, DDD HARMIONIA MUNDI MUSIQUE D’ABORD, HMA 1951365 [52:20] [MC]

The sacred music of Bach is extremely well served by this pair of outstanding recordings ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas BWV22, 23, 127 & 159 Dorothee Mields (soprano); Matthew White (alto); Jan Kobow (tenor); Peter Kooy (bass) Collegium Vocale Gent/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 2007 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901998 [63:47] [MC]

This is an outstanding Bach release in all respects ... see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)/ Leopold STOKOWSKI (1882 - 1977) Transcriptions Vol. 2 Various orchestras/Leopold Stokowski rec. 1929-50 NAXOS 8.112019 [77:26] [JW]

Stokowskized wizardry - and sometimes less than wizardry ... see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Preludes, Toccatas and Fugues for Organ Lionel Rogg (organ) rec. 1975/6 EMI CLASSICS GEMINI 2642892 [73:49 + 78:04]
Johann Sebastian BACH
Organ Masterpieces Marie-Claire Alain (organ) rec. 1983-5. DDD. WARNER CLASSICS MAESTRO 2564 68975-5 [73:31 + 67:33] [BW]

Both are excellent bargains, with Marie-Claire Alain having a slight edge ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas - Vol. 45 BWV 39, 129 & 187 Robin Blaze (counter-tenor); Yukari Nonoshita (soprano); Peter Kooij (bass); Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2009 BIS BIS-SACD-1801 [65:42] [MC]

Suzuki really is a master of his art directing impeccable vocal and instrumental performances ... see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1739) Weihnachts Oratorium Kurt Equiluz (tenor) Barbara Schlick (soprano) Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne, Lausanne CO/Michel Corboz rec. 1984 WARNER APEX 2564 686217 [73.51 + 75.23] [RH]

This intelligent modern instrument performance has much to recommend it … see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sacred Cantatas for Soprano BWV 51, 52, 84 & 199 Siri Thornhill (soprano); Cologne Bach Vocal Ens, Cologne CO/Helmut Müller-Brühl rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570453 [70:36] [GD]

Doesn’t quite have what it takes ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 Gewandhaus O/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2007 DECCA 478 2191 [43:17 + 51:11] [DC]

Worth the asking price, and then some ... see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Art of Fugue BWV 1080 Vladimir Feltsman (piano) rec. American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, 12-14 March 1996 NIMBUS NI 2549/50 [52:04 + 43:59] [GD]

Intellect, discipline and emotion true to the spirit of Bach’s often nebulous intentions. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue, Partitas 2 & 6 Roger Woodward (piano) rec. 2007 CELESTIAL HARMONIES 13280-2 [70:34] [DC]

Remarkably powerful ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello suites 1-6, Viola da Gamba sonatas 1-3 Karine Georgian (cello); Gary Cooper (harpsichord) rec. 2007/8 SOMM SOMMCD090-2 [3 CDs: 76:41 + 79:14 + 40:45] [JS]

Wise, companionable and mature ... see Full Review

Celebrating Bach J.S. BACH (1685-1750) Oboe Concerto in D minor BWV 1059; Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Concerto in E flat - Dumbarton Oaks; Tim GARLAND (b.1951) Fantasia in Two Movements – The Stream, Concerto for Soprano Saxophone – Homage to Father Bach; J.S. BACH (1685-1750) Double Concerto in C minor BWV 1060 Tim Garland (soprano saxophone) Northern Sinfonia/Bradley Creswick (violin) rec. 2008/9, DDD AUDIO-B ABCD 5025 [68:47] [CR]

Wilhelm Friedemann BACH (1710-1784) 12 Polonaises, Fantasia, Sonata Siegbert Rampe (harpsichord, tangent piano) rec. 2009 MUSIKPRODUKTION DABRINGHAUS UND GRIMM MDG3411592-2 [67:51] [J-PJ]

Startlingly complex and expressive ... see Full Review 

Richard BARRETT (b. 1959) Negatives ELISION rec. 1992-2007 NMC D143 [79:24] [CR]

Barrett’s music is imaginative and often challenging ... see Full Review 

Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) Contrasts for violin, clar. & pno, Rhapsody 1 for violin & pno, Mikrokosmos (excerpts) Béla Bartók (pno), Joseph Szigeti (violin), Benny Goodman (clar.) rec. 1940 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111343 [71:35] [DC]

We now have our best cake, and can eat it at bargain price ... see Full Review

Stanley BATE (1911-1959) Symphony no.3 (1940) [28:26] Richard ARNELL (b.1917) Prelude ‘Black Mountain’ op.46 (1946) [2:50] Robert Flaherty Impression op.87 (1958) [20:43] Erik CHISHOLM (1904-1965) Pictures from Dante (after Doré) (1948) [21:51] Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Martin Yates rec.2009 World premiere recordings DUTTON EPOCH CDLX 7239 [74:15] [RB]

Four glorious revivals, superbly performed, recorded and documented. Unmissable. ... see Full Review

Mason BATES (b. 1977) Digital Loom: Intro: BLUES7 [2:43]; Digital Loom (2005) [17:04]; Siren Music [2:36]; From Amber Frozen (2004) [12:55]; Amber [3:22]; Red River (2007) [19:35]; Outro: Rhombus [5:32] Mason Bates (electronica); Isabelle Demers (organ); Chanticleer; Baiva Quartet; Antares DDD MSR CLASSICS MS1342 [63:55] [CR]

Bates’s music is well constructed and has a wide appeal - A considerable imagination. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1826) Symphony 6 NBC SO/Arturo Toscanini rec. 1944 PRISTINE AUDIO XR PASC178 [39:11] [JW]

The sound is really first class ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto in D major, op. 61 (1806) Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Violin Concerto, op. 15 (1939, rev. 1958) Janine Jansen (violin) Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, London Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi rec. 2009. DDD DECCA 478 1530 [73:21] [MG]

Two really fine performances in quite different styles … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Erich KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Violin Concerto Renaud Capuçon (violin) Rotterdam PO/Yannick Nézet-Séguin rec. 2009 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6945890 [70:45] [ST]

A disc worth exploring, especially if you want the Korngold ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 Artur Schnabel (piano) London SO, London PO/Malcolm Sargent rec. 1932/5 PRISTINE AUDIOXR PASC197 [66:12] [JW]

In this version the music can be better appreciated ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 Johann Sebastian BACH Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582 (arr. Stokowski) Felix MENDELSSOHN A Midsummer Night's Dream: Scherzo Christoph Willibald von GLUCK Armide: Sicilienne (arr. Stokowski) Paul BEN-HAIM From Israel - Suite for Orchestra Various Orchestras/Leopold Stokowski CALA CACD0551 [77:16] [SV]

This program affords much sheer musical enjoyment … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Triple concerto Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Double concerto Trio Poseidon, Gothenburg SO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2004/7 CHANDOS CHAN10564 [69:41] [RB]

Artistic insight, poignancy and exciting performance values ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 8 see HAYDN

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Quartet 3 see CHOPIN

Luciano BERIO (1925- 2003) Coro Kölner RSO & Ch /Luciano Berio rec. 1979

Will certainly appeal if you are sympathetic to the headily dionysiac avant-garde ... see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) The Ultimate Berlioz – The Essential Masterpieces: Choral and Orchestral Music Hazel Holt (soprano), Sarah Walker (mezzo), Gillian Hull (contralto), Ryland Davies, Kenneth Riegel (tenors), Nobuko Imai (viola); Peter Smith (harmonium); Jeffrey Budin (trombone); John Alldis Choir; Montreal Chorus; Cleveland Chorus; Heinrich Schütz Choir and Chorale/Roger Norrington; New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Zubin Mehta: London Symphony Orchestra/Colin Davis: Montreal Symphony Orchestra/Charles Dutoit: Cleveland Orchestra/Lorin Maazel rec.1969-1997 DECCA 478 1746 [5 CDs: 329:14] [CF]

A mixed bag of goodies making an ideal and economic start for anyone wanting to get to know Berlioz’s music. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) L'Enfance du Christ Jean Rigby (mezzo) Gerald Finley (baritone) St. Paul's Cathedral Choristers, Corydon Singers & O/Matthew Best rec. 1994 HYPERION DYAD CDD22067 [44:04 + 56:48] [SV]

One to love and to cherish … see Full Review 

François-Adrien BOIELDIEU (1775-1834) La Dame Blanche Rockwell Blake (tenor) Annick Massis (soprano) Ensemble Orchestral de Paris/Marc Minkowski rec. 1996 EMI CLASSICS 3951182 [68:16 + 68:29] [JS]

Charming, well-crafted and memorable … see Full Review

Alexander BORODIN (1833 - 1887) Complete Piano Music Marco Rapetti (piano) rec. 2008 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 93894 [79:12]  [NB]

Worth buying at the price for the rarities as long as the paraphrases are cordoned off with a health warning … see Full Review 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833 – 1897) arr. Joseph JOACHIM (1831 – 1907) 21 Hungarian Dances Oscar Shumsky (violin); Frank Maus (piano) rec. no recording dates or venues given; MusicMasters Inc. 1998 NIMBUS NI 2552 [51:24] [NB]

For anyone who loves this composer a compulsory purchase and for connoisseurs of the art of playing the violin. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Quartets 1 & 2 Trio Santoliquido, Bruno Giuranna (viola) rec. 1958 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM067 [79:53] [JW]

An eminently worthwhile undertaking ... see Full Review

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

The grandest and noblest of perspectives ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Double concerto see BEETHOVEN

RECORIDNG OF THE MONTH Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphonies 1-9, Te Deum Vienna SO/Volkmar Andreae rec. 1953 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1227(9) [9 CDs: 527:02] [JW]

Among historic cycles this one now ranks high indeed. ... see Full Review 

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Oration, Concerto elegiaco (1930) [32:02] Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Cello Concerto in E minor op.85 (1919) [26:34] Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Invocation (1911) [10.32] Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Richard Dickins rec. Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 29-30 March 2005. NIMBUS NI 5763 [69.11] [NB][RB]

The star is the recording as much as the inspired playing and the repertoire … see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Violin Concerto see BEETHOVEN

Dirk BROSSÉ (b. 1960) The Circle of Nature (2004): Summer [17:35]a; Autumn [10:54]b; Winter [13:15]c; Spring [11:50]d Viviane Spanoghe (cello)acd; Eddy Vanoosthuyse (clarinet)abc Brussels Philharmonic/Dirk Brossé TALENT DOM 2910 905 SP [54:19]

Superbly crafted music of great charm and warm melodic appeal … see Full Review

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707) Opera Omnia XI - Vocal Works 4 Bettina Pahn, Miriam Meyer, Siri Thornhill, Johannette Zomer (soprano); Patrick van Goethem, Bogna Bartosz (alto); Jörg Dürmüller, Andreas Karasiak (tenor); Klaus Mertens (bass); Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir; Ton Koopman rec. 2006-8 DDD CHALLENGE CC72250 [67:00 + 64:03] [MS]

Outstanding … full of rich, sonorous and decidedly beautiful choral music. … see Full Review

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