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Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear

vital imagination

A harum-scarum springboard

Always expect the unexpected

Berg Wozzeck
This is a triumph!

Bruckner Symphony 3
Revelatory and awe-inspiring

For immediate purchase!

Sibelius 3, 6, 7 Vanska
Outstanding performances

burns with a steady, beckoning light

Vadim Gluzman - A quite extraordinarily good disc

This impressed me mightily

Shostakovich 5, 8 9
Great concentration

Let me tell you
Stratospheric Barbara Hannigan
Birmingham and BBC Proms

Berkeley - Authenticity

Highly Expressive

NØRGÅRD Stunning

Superbly played

One to treasure

One of the finest American
choral-orchestral works

from strength to strength

inspired choice




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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+

Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909) Piano Music Vol. 6: Rapsodia Espańola, Navarra, Piano Sonata 5, 3rd Suite Ancienne, Azulejos, Piano concerto 1 Miguel Baselga (piano), Tenerife SO/Lü Jia, rec. 2007/9 BIS-CD-1743 [75:43] [JF]

Stunning playing that characterises the music with sympathy and understanding.

Jean-Henry d'ANGLEBERT (1635-1691) Chaconne de Phaeton see RAMEAU

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Charles AVISON (1709-1770) Sonatas Gary Cooper (harpsichord) Pavlo Beznosiuk, Caroline Balding (violins) Robin Michael (cello) rec. 2008 DIVINE ART DDA21215 [65:33 + 46:36] [JW]

Recording quality (first class), performances and music come together in a wholly splendid way in this disc, one which advances Avison’s cause still further. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas - Vol. 46: BWV17, 19, 45 & 102 Hana Blažíková (soprano), Robin Blaze (counter-tenor), Gerd Türk (tenor), Peter Kooij (bass); Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki rec. 2009 BIS BIS-SACD-1851 [76:24] [PB]

Now on the home straight this is perhaps the finest of all Suzuki’s recordings of Bach’s cantatas released so far.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage - Vol. 12 Monteverdi Ch, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner. rec. 2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG 171 [68:13 +72:40] [JQ]

The penultimate volume is another mandatory purchase for all those who have been collecting this series.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage - Vol. 18 The Monteverdi Ch, English Baroque Soloists/Sir John Eliot Gardiner. rec. 1999/2000 SOLI DEO GLORIA SDG174 [78:53 + 52:16] [JQ]

The final, excellent instalment of Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s epic Bach Cantata Pilgrimage.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Complete Works Helmuth Rilling 172 CDs, CD ROM & 2 books HÄNSSLER 098.620.000 [c. 178 hrs] [KM]

An excellent bargain, containing 178 hours of Bach. For completists or casual Bach fans, this set is full of great recordings.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I Vardo Rumessen (piano) rec. 2009 ESTONIAN RECORD PRODUCTIONS ERP 3620 1/2 [64:36 + 62:50] [DC]

Another new perspective on WTC Bk 1.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Complete Keyboard Concertos András Schiff (piano) Peter Serkin (piano) CO Europe, Camerata Bern rec. 1989-93 DECCA 478 2363 [4 CDs: 53:02 + 52:46 + 62:18 + 55:53] [DC]

Largely enjoyable, but not without flaws. 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St John Passion Charles Daniels, Stephen Varcoe, Stephan Logue Yorkshire Baroque Soloists/Peter Seymour rec. 2010 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD0209 [33:22 + 73:16] [GD]

A coherent, articulate and engaging performance that balances well the work's twin identities as narrative and contemplation. 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) A Bach Book for Harriet Cohen and other British transcriptions Jonathan Plowright (piano) rec. 2008 HYPERION CDA67767 [79:03] [JW]

Plowright proves to be an interpreter of marvellous tonal resources. This series continues to impress in every way.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Concerto for 2 violins see Menuhin & Enescu

Samuel BARBER (1910–1981) Complete Orchestral Works Royal Scottish Ntl O/Marin Alsop NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.506021 [6 CDs] [BBr]

Enjoy a master composer at work. This will not disappoint.

Béla BARTÓK (1881–1945) Piano Concertos 1-3 Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2009 CHANDOS CHAN10610 [73:28] [DC]

Electric synergy, more please!

String Quartet 3 see BEETHOVEN

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Eroica Variations, Variations on themes by Haibel, Wranitzky, Salieri & Süssmayr Ian Yungwook Yoo (piano) rec. 2008 NAXOS 8.572160 [74:18] [BR]

The birth of Beethoven, before our ears. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 2 & 3 Rudolf Serkin (pno) Roma della RAI SO/Ferruccio Scalia, “Alessandro Scarlatti” O di Napoli della RAI/Franco Caracciolo rec. 1958 IDIS 6597 [62:05] [KS]

Skilfully played and even more skilfully accompanied, these recordings will be of interest to collectors. Sound quality is the main drawback in what is otherwise a fine release.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete Works for Solo Piano - Vol. 9 Kurfürsten Sonatas, Leichte Sonatinen, Zwei Stücke Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano) rec. 2008 BIS BISSACD1672 [60:54]  [GD]

Repertoire-wise, this wouldn't be my first choice from the Brautigam Beethoven cycle, but in terms of performance and recording it is the equal of any of its predecessors. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 5 George ENESCU (1881-1955) Suite 2 Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Polonaise Mindru Katz (piano), Hallé O/John Barbirolli rec. 1958/9 CEMBAL D’AMOUR CD148 [71:51] [JW]

Usefully documents Katz’s highly persuasive musicianship on the grandest and most intimate of scales.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1828) Symphony 5, Performance Professor Wulf Konold (speaker), Berlin PO/Claudio Abbado, rec. 2001 EUROARTS 2056028 [67:00] [JS]

Even if the documentary may not work for the newcomer in introducing the greatness of the work then this performance certainly will.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete music for cello and piano Sonatas 1-5, Variations, Behind the Beethoven Project Laurence Lesser (cello); HaeSun Paik (piano) rec. 2009 BRIDGE 9329A/C [CDs: 75:12 + 61:03 & DVD: 50:58] [JS]

Immensely satisfying and enjoyable, and worth hearing for its sheer musicianship and obvious devotion to the music itself. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 28 & 29 Vladimir Feltsman (piano) rec. 1998 NIMBUS NI2561 [64:33] [JW]

I find Feltsman’s playing here frustrating and awkward, and, in a word, inhibited.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 15, 18, 21 & 30 Wilhelm Backhaus (piano) rec. 1969 AUDITE 23.420 [68:15 + 17:41] [JW]

The last testament of this eminent musician.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets 1 & 12 Artemis Qt rec. 2010 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6286590 [60:05] [MC]

Remarkable rapport, impressive technical prowess and flawless intonation.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet ‘Harp’ Arne NORDHEIM (1931-2010) String Quartet Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) String Quartet 3 Engegĺrdkvartetten rec. 2009 2L RECORDS 2L71 [66:29] [DC]

A shining jewel in 2L’s already richly studded crown.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Violin Concerto 5 Josef Wolfsthal (violin), Berlin PO/Manfred Gurlitt, Berlin State Opera O/Frieder Weissmann rec. 1928-29 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC239 [67:21] [JW]

Wolfsthal’s tone is neither big nor especially variegated, but it is very sweet and is applied intelligently throughout.

Alban BERG Lulu Suite see Second Viennese School

Michael BERKELEY (b. 1948) For You Alan Opie (baritone) Christopher Lemmings (tenor) The Music Theatre Wales Ens/Michael Rafferty rec. 2008 SIGNUM SIGCD208 [56:23 + 65:28] [MS]

A study expanded with music of conviction and compulsion in a felicitous marriage libretto and music.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz BIBER (1644-1704)
Violin sonatas see A Virtuoso Faceoff

Ernest BLOCH (1880-1959) From Jewish Life see reVISIONS

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) String Quartets see MENDELSSOHN

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) Cello Sonata 3 see Portrait

David BOWERMAN A Fantasy Idyll Gould Trio, Felicity Lott (soprano), Graham Johnson, Benjamin Frith (piano) Alice Neary (cello) rec. 2007-9 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD005 [72:44] [EM]

Assured works and Bowerman must be commended for his efforts.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833 – 1897) Symphonies, Haydn Variations, St Antoni Chorale, Academic Festival Overture, Tragic Overture London SO/Yondani Butt NIMBUS NI 6130 [3 CDs: 66:29 + 79:48 + 67:37] [BBr]

Not for repeated hearings … they lack personality and strength.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Symphonies and Concertos Claudio Arrau (pno) Henryk Szeryng (violin) János Starker (cello) Royal Concertgebouw O/Bernard Haitink, rec. 1969-80 DECCA 4782365 [7 CDs: 491:43] [RB]

Overall excellence and a total identity of integrity in the coincident visions of Haitink and Brahms.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin sonatas Genevičve Laurenceau (violin) Johan Farjot (piano) rec. 2010 ZIG ZAG TERRITOIRES ZZT100802 [GD]

A good recording, and is worth hearing simply for the quality of the violin playing.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Fantasien, Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel see SCHOENBERG

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Cello Sonata 1 see Portrait

Johannes BRAHMS Klavierstücke see SCHUMANN

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Orchestral Works Vols 1-6 BBC Ntl O Wales/Richard Hickox rec. 2000-4 CHANDOS CHAN9950, 10012, 10112, 10188, 10246 & 10310 [RB]

This splendidly conceived, presented and executed Chandos series treats Bridge with authoritative style and sensitive musicianship.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Unknown Britten Realisation and orchestrations of Britten works by Colin Matthews Sandrine Piau (soprano) Michael Collins (clarinet) Northern Sinf/Thomas Zehetmair rec. 2008/9 NMC D140 [78:12] [MG]

Brilliant orchestrations and realizations which enhance our appreciation of Britten’s creative potential.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Cello sonata see Cello Rhapsody

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Winter Words see LEIGHTON

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1895) Symphony 4 Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt DAL SEGNO DSPRCD045 [67:03] [BBr]

Would grace any record shelf. 

Ole BULL (1810 - 1880) Violin Concerto, Concerto Fantastico, La Verbena de San Juan, A Mountain Vision Annar Follesø (violin) Norwegian Radio O/Ole Kristian Ruud rec. 2009 2L 067SABD [69:23] [AB]

Recently rediscovered, interesting and attractive substantial works. 

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Piano Concerto, Berceuse élégiaque, Turandot Suite, Sarabande and Cortège, Sonatinas 3 & 6, Chopin Variations, John Ogdon, Thomas Adès (piano) Royal PO/Daniell Revenaugh, New PO/Frederick Prausnitz, PO della Scala/Riccardo Muti rec. 1967-1993 EMI CLASSICS 4563242 [76:56 + 71:11] [J-PJ]

This bumper set will go a long way towards restoring Busoni’s reputation. 

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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