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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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John ADAMS (b.1947) Gnarly Buttons see American Clarinet

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Thomas ADÈS (b. 1971) Tevot, Violin Concerto, Three Studies from Couperin, Powder Her Face Berlin PO/Sir Simon Rattle, Anthony Marwood, CO Europe/Thomas Adès rec. 2007/9 EMI CLASSICS 4578132 [66:43] [LW]

An important disc of remarkable contemporary music … see Full Review 

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

George ANTHEIL (1900-1959) His Carnegie Hall Concert of 1927 A Jazz Symphony (original version, 1925) [12:32] with Ivan Davis (pianist) Sonata for violin, piano and drum No. 2 (1923) [8:06] Charles Castleman (violin); Randall Hodgkinson (piano) String Quartet No. 1 (1924) [12:59] The Mendelssohn String Quartet (Ida Levin (violin); Nicolas Mann (violin); Katherine Murdock (viola); Marcy Rosen (cello)) Ballet Mécanique (original version 1925) [26:55] Rex Lawson (pianolist), Leslie Amper, David Close, Stephen Harlos, Randall Hodgkinson, Joseph Joubert, Morey Ritt (piano), Jim Baker, Andy Bowman, David Carey, Cliff Hardison, Steve Little, Mark Sherman (xylophone), Gordon Gottlieb, Sue Evans and Alan Raff (percussion) The New Palais Royale Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble/Maurice Peress rec. 1990, DDD NIMBUS NI 2567 [60:46] [RB]

A dazzling conflagration of machine-age, ragtime, avant-garde and sentimentality. ... see Full Review

Hans Erich APOSTEL (1901-1972) String Quartets, Six Epigrams, 18 Variations on an Original Theme, Interviews and conversations (in German) DoelenKwartet rec. 2009 CYBELE 3SACD KiG 002 [3 CDs: 64:14 + 74:33 + 60:42]  [DC]

A virtually untrodden path from the Second Viennese School ... see Full Review 

Thomas ARNE (1710-1778) Artaxerxes Catherine Bott, Philippa Hyde (sop.), Patricia Spence (mezzo), Christopher Robson (c-ten.), Ian Partridge, Richard Edgar-Wilson (ten.), Charles Gibbs (bass), Chorus/Colin Campbell, Parley of Instruments/Roy Goodman, rec. 1995 HYPERION DYAD CDD22073 [72:26 + 67:50] [EM]

A seminal recording of one of the most important operas composed in the eighteenth century … should be in every opera lover’s collection. … see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Malcolm ARNOLD (1921 - 2006) Viola Sonata see English Viola Sonatas

Johann Christoph Friedrich BACH (1732-1795) The Sons of Bach - Vol. III Sinfonias, Concerto Grosso Christine Schornsheim (fortepiano) Freiburger Barockorchester/Gottfried von der Goltz rec. 2009 CARUS 83.306 [77.35]  [GH]

Will add considerably to your musical knowledge and enjoyment ... see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) St Matthew Passion Ex Cathedra Choir and Baroque Orchestra/Jeffrey Skidmore rec. live 10 April 2009, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK. DDD ORCHID CLASSICS ORC 100007 [79:58 + 77:45] [JV]

The English text and Bach's music are a mismatch and the performance has hardly anything going for it ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage - Volume 2: Cantatas for the Second & Third Sundays after Trinity Monteverdi Ch; English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner rec. 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG 165 [73:11 + 73:43]  [JQ]

Another impressive addition to this important series ... see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas Christine Schäfer (soprano); Julia Kleiter (soprano); Bernarda Fink (alto); Werner Güra (tenor); Kurt Streit (tenor); Christian Gerhaher (baritone); Gerald Finlay (bass); Anton Scharinger (bass); Arnold Schoenberg Choir; Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolas Harnoncourt rec. 2006/7 DDD DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88697602662 [63:33] [GD]

If you liked Harnoncourt’s original recordings of cantatas 140, 61 and 29, you’ll like these ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Motets Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2009 BIS BISSACD1841 [75:28]

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Motets Domkantorei St. Pölten; Cappella Nova Graz Solamente Naturali Bratislava/Otto Kargl rec. 2008 ORF 3052 [56:00] [MC]

Suzuki provides immaculate performances of the Bach Motets on BIS; Kargl directs splendid performances of the Motets on ORF ... see Full Review 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St Matthew Passion Thomas Quasthoff (bass) Thomanerchor Leipzig; Tölzer Knabenchor Gewandhaus O/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2009 DECCA 478 2194 [80:31 + 79:39] [DC]

Blows away a few cobwebs - very high quality.... see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin Oscar Shumsky (violin) rec. 1979, UK? ADD NIMBUS NI2557 [72:48 + 74:19] [MS]

A dependable and highly competent account of the Sonatas and Partitas … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Six Suites for Solo Cello Pablo Casals (cello) rec. 1936-9 EMI CLASSICS MASTERS 9659212 [56:46 + 72.34] [RMo]

Historical and aesthetic claims to be on the shelves of any moderately serious collector ... see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Orchestral Transcriptions (many arr. Eugene Ormandy) Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 211 [79:52]

A decade’s worth of Ormandy’s investigation of the hyphenated world of Bach arrangements. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Voices of Bach - Works for oboe, choir and orchestra Trinity Baroque/Julius Podger The English Concert/Albrecht Mayer (oboe) rec. 2009 DECCA 478 1517 [65:20] [ST]

A good one to try, then, but go into it with your eyes open ... see Full Review 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations Joanna MacGregor (pno), rec. 2007 WARNER CLASSICS & JAZZ 2564 68393-3 [61:04] [DC]

Enjoyable and fascinating, but not definitive. ... see Full Review

J. S. BACH (1685 – 1750) Prelude & Fugue "St. Anne" see BUSONI

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Cantata see ZELENKA

Leonardo BALADA (b. 1933) Cristóbal Colón José Carreras, Montserrat Caballé, Ch & O Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona/Theo Alcántara, rec. 1989 NAXOS 8.660237-38 [64:52 + 47:45] [GP]

Some striking music in an interesting, if flawed, work … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770–1827) Symphony No. 9 in D minor Choral Op.125 (1825) Barbara Bonney (soprano); Birgit Remmert (alto); Kurt Streit (tenor); Thomas Hampson (baritone) City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus/Simon Halsey; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle rec. 2002 EMI CLASSICS 9 65924 2 [69:57] [GD]

Personally, I’d sooner listen to this than Karajan or Furtwängler… see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Ctos 4 & 5 Till Fellner (pno) Montréal SO/Kent Nagano, rec. 2008 ECM NEW SERIES 2114 [72:40] [DC]

Utterly convincing ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Egmont - incidental music, Ah! perfido Madeleine Pierard (soprano) New Zealand SO/James Judd rec. 2003/7 NAXOS 8.557264 [55:15] [GF]

Those curious for some not too often heard music by Beethoven can safely invest in this well played disc ... see Full Review 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) The Premiere Recordings Symphonies 3 & 5 New Queen’s Hall O/Henry Wood, Odeon SO/Friedrich Kark rec. 1910/22 HISTORIC RECORDINGS HRCD0001 & HRCD0010 [52:20] [JW]

Very decent sounding transfers of very rare historic material ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas see Perspectives

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet see Virtuoso Quartet

Carl Michael BELLMAN (1740 – 1795) Songs Martin Best (tenor, cyster, guitar) rec. Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, 14-15 June 1982 NIMBUS NI 5174 [45:01] [GF]

Best is certainly as strong an advocate for Bellmann in English as it is possible to find ... see Full Review


BARGAIN OF THE MONTH
Lennox BERKELEY
(1903 - 1989) Viola Sonata see English Viola Sonatas

 

Keeping Score Hector BERLIOZ (1803–1869) Symphonie Fantastique, Documentary San Francisco Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas SFS MEDIA 8 21936-0022-9-2 [116:00] [ST]

As an educational venture it deserves to do well… see Full Review 

Vincenzo BELLINI (1801–1835) La Sonnambula Melodrama in two acts (1831) Amina - Natalie Dessay (soprano); Elvino - Juan Diego Florez (tenor) Orchestra and Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera, New York/Evelino Pido rec. March 2009 DECCA DVD VIDEO 074 3357 DH [138:00 + bonus] [RJF]

Wonderful performance from the main soloists and from the chorus, orchestra and conductor. Pity about the production see Full Review


Hector BERLIOZ
(1803-1869)
Les Troyens Marisa Ferrer (mezzo) BBC Theatre Cho, Royal PO/Sir Thomas Beecham rec. 1947 SOMM BEECHAM26-8 [3 CDs: 79:40 + 75:30 + 73:54] [JS]

No enthusiast for Les Troyens should be without this set … see Full Review 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Howard BLAKE (b.1938) The Passion of Mary, Four Songs of the Nativity, London Voices, Royal PO/Howard Blake rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572453 [76:25] [BB]

Far too good to miss … see Full Review

Sir Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Meditations on a Theme by John Blow (1955) [33:46] Metamorphic Variations (1972) [38:49] Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones rec. 11-12 May 2009 The Concert Hall, The Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset. DDD NAXOS 8.572316 [72:36] [JF]

Demanding, searching and ultimately moving. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH York BOWEN (1884-1961) Piano Works - Vol. 4 Partita, Suite Mignonne, Third Suite, Three Sketches, Sonatina, Three Novelettes, Polonaise, A Whim Joop Celis (pno), rec. 2009 CHANDOS CHAN10593 [79:35] [JF]

A fantastic CD ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 3 (after Violin Concerto) Two Rhapsodies, Scherzo Dejan Lazic (piano) Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Robert Spano rec. 2009, CHANNEL CLASSICS CD CCS SA 29410 [66:10] [JZ]

Made persuasive by its idiomatic writing for piano … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Pno Concerto 3, 2 Rhapsodies, Scherzo Dejan Lazić (pno), Atlanta SO/Robert Spano, rec. 2009 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA29410 [66:10] [RMay]

Pleasurable surprise and sheer enjoyment ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 1, Haydn Variations Budapest Festival O/ Iván Fischer rec. 2009 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA28309 [67:28] [LW]

Though well played I cannot recommend this performance of Brahms First … see Full Review 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Romances from Ludwig Tieck’s ‘Die schöne Magelone’ Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Lieder Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) *Sviatoslav Richter (piano); Benjamin Britten (piano) rec. 1965/72 BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4255-2 [76:17]

A superb lieder disc; definitely one for the connoisseur. ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Four Sea Interludes from the opera Peter Grimes, op. 33a (1945) [15:40] Suite on English Folk Tunes, ‘A time there was …’, op. 90 (1974) [14:23] The Courtly Dances from the opera Gloriana, op. 53a (1953) [9:59] The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, op. 34 (1947) [16:42] English Symphony Orchestra/William Boughton rec. Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 11-12 April 1991. DDD NIMBUS NI 5295 [57:43] [MG]

Performances and recording of a high standard … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824–1896) Symphony No. 4 in E flat Major (1874) SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg/Sylvain Cambreling rec. 2003 GLOR CLASSICS GC09231 [62:37] [GD]

Tight control combined with a keen sense of the dramatic… see Full Review 

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 6 SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden & Freiburg/Sylvain Cambreling, rec. 1998 GLOR CLASSICS GC09241 [52:45] [GD]

A distinctive and passionate Sixth ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No.9 in D Minor (1894) SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg/Sylvain Cambreling rec. Konzerthaus, Freiburg, 12-13 November 2005. DDD GLOR CLASSICS GC09251 [60:08] [GD]

Not the best Bruckner 9 on the market but has its moments, ... see Full Review

Gavin BRYARS (b.1943) Epilogue from Wonderlawn (1994) [7:49] Eight Irish Madrigals (2004) [26:49] The Church Closest to the Sea (2007) [15:18] Susan Hamilton (soprano); Nicholas Mulroy (tenor); Rick Standley (double-bass); Mr McFall’s Chamber rec. 12-13 January 2009, St Mary’s Parsdih Church, Haddington. DDD DELPHIAN DCD 34058 [50:02] [BBr]

Bryars at his very best … see Full Review

Gavin BRYARS (b. 1943) Three Canadian Songs, Violin Concerto, The Porazzi Fragment, By The Vaar Holly Cole (voice); Gwen Hoebig (violin); Gavin Bryars (double-bass solo) CBC Radio Orchestra/Owen Underhill GB RECORDS BCGBCD12 [73:42] [DC]

Slow'n low ... see Full Review 

Gavin BRYARS (b.1943) I Send You This Cadmium Red, The Island Chapel John Christie and John Berger (speakers) Roger Heaton (clarinets), James Woodrow (electric guitar), Bill Hawkes (viola), Gavin Bryars (double-bass, electric keyboard). Melanie Pappenheim (voice) Sophie Harris (cello) rec. 1997/2002 GB RECORDS BCGBCD06 [61:21] [DC]

Filled with food for the imagination … see Full Review 

Geoffrey BURGON (b. 1941) Ghosts of the Dance, Merciless Beauty, Cello Concerto Sarah Connolly (mezzo), Philip Dukes (viola), Josephine Knight (cello), City of London Sinfonia/Rumon Gamba, rec. 2009 CHANDOS CHAN10592 [62:43] [RB]

Coast around the boundaries of night, sleep and dream … most beautifully and lovingly recorded ... see Full Review

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866 – 1924) Piano Music - Volume 5 6 Études, 6 Stücke, 10 Variationen uber ein Präludium von Chopin J. S. BACH (1685 – 1750) Prelude & Fugue "St. Anne" Wolf Harden (pno), rec. 2007 NAXOS 8.570891 [73:28] [BBr]

Too good to miss … 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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