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[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+ Download

John Luther ADAMS (b. 1953) Four Thousand Holes [32:51] … And Bells Remembered … [10:06] Stephen Drury (piano) Scott Deal (percussion) The Callithumpian Consort/Stephen Drury John Luther Adams, electronic “aura” rec. no date provided. COLD BLUE MUSIC CD 0035 [42:57] [KM]

New ambient-influenced music from a composer with much to say. Many may dislike this album, others may love it. Which will you be?

William ALWYN (1905-1985) Symphony No. 1 (1949) [41:13] Symphony No. 4 (1959) [35:14] London Philharmonic Orchestra/William Alwyn recording data not given LYRITA SRCD.227 [76:33] [SV]

All told devotees of the British symphonists should find this worthwhile.

William ALWYN (1905-1985) The Fairy Fiddler see JOUBERT

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Flute Sonatas Eckart Haupt (flute) Siegfried Pank (viola da gamba) Armin Thalheim (harpsichord) rec. 1982 PHOENIX EDITION 452 [48:39] [CR]

Playing consistently of a high standard in uncomplicated interpretations of well written music.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations Steven Devine (harpsichord) rec. 2010 CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN 0780 [79:21] [DC]

No surprises, but certainly guaranteed high grade Goldbergs.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Goldberg Variations Colin Booth (harpsichord) rec. 2010 SOUNDBOARD RECORDS SBCD 210 [73:58] [DC]

So, you thought you knew the Goldberg Variations ...

Johan Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partita No.5 , Concerto in F major in the Italian Style Prelude and Fugue No.7, 9, 14, 22 Concerto in D minor for keyboard and strings Glenn Gould (piano) Toronto Symphony Orchestra/Sir Ernest MacMillan* rec. radio, 1952-1955 ISTITUTO DISCOGRAFICO ITALIANO IDIS 6614 [70:24] [DC]

They haven’t bothered, so why should we?

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Concerto No.1-5 Ramin Bahrami (piano) Gewandhausorchester/Riccardo Chailly rec. 2009 DECCA 478 2956 [74:42] [DC]

The one to have.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Christmas Oratorio Barbara Schlick, Michael Chance, Howard Crook, Peter Kooy, Ch & O of Collegium Vocale Ghent/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 1989 VIRGIN CLASSICS 0963342 [78:09 + 71:33] [GD]

Herreweghe marshals his impressive forces to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 - 1750) Thomanerchor Leipzig - The Great Bach Tradition Excerpts from: St Matthew Passion, St John Passion, Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio Thomanerchor Leipzig, Dresdner Kreuzchor/Rudolf Mauersberger; Gewandhausorch Leipzig, Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum BERLIN CLASSICS 0300224BC [77:02] [JV]

An interesting disc documenting the interpretation of Bach's music by his 'own' choir during the 20th century.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St John Passion Ula Graf (soprano) Marga Hoeffgen (alto) Julius Patzak (tenor) Gérard Souzay (baritone) Walter Berry (bass) Vienna SO & Singakademie/Fritz Lehmann rec. 1955 MUSIC & ARTS CD-1238 [63:24 + 56:50] [DC]

Interesting, but ultimately one for the specialists.

Samuel BARBER (1910 - 1981) Concerto for Violin and Orchestra see WALTON

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Piano Concertos 1-3 András Schiff (piano) Budapest Fest Orch/Iván Fischer rec. 1996 WARNER APEX 2564 67437-8 [76:04] [DM]

Peerless performances, alert, alive, astounding.

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) Rhapsodies 1 & 2 see KHATCHATURIAN

Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) The Miraculous Mandarin see BRITTEN

Amy BEACH (1867-1944) Piano Music Volume 3 – The Mature Years Kirsten Johnson (piano) rec. 2010, GUILD GMCD 7351 [74:43] [JW]

If you prefer a more carefree, light-hearted, beautifully deft Beach, go for Johnson.

Jeremy BECK (b.1960) In Flight Until Mysterious Night, Cello Sonata 2, Gemini, Slow Motion, September Music, IonSound Project, Margaret Andraso (soprano) rec.2009 INNOVA 797 [69:21] [Byz]

Not an essential purchase, then, but of those who do commit, few are likely to find themselves feeling short-changed by this quality product.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Fidelio Nina Stemme, Jonas Kaufmann, Mahler CO, Lucerne Festival O/Claudio Abbado rec. 2010 DECCA 478 2551 [68:37 + 46:25] [JQ]

This Fidelio will surely be one of the most important releases of 2011. I urge you to hear it.

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 5 Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Der fliegende Hollander Overture Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Don Juan Royal Opera House O, BBC SO/Sir Georg Solti rec. 1963-85 ICA CLASSICS ICAD5024 [96:20] [AM]

Solti’s Strauss impresses most among these three BBC TV broadcasts. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 9, The Creatures of Prometheus Overture Wilma Lipp, Ursula Boese, Fritz Wunderlich, Franz Crass, Wiener Singverein, Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer rec. 1960 IDIS 6615 [76:06] [RMo]

The Testament version is to be preferred.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 4 & 7 Royal Flemish Philharmonic/Philippe Herreweghe rec. 2004 PENTATONE CLASSICS PTC 5186 315 [75:40] [DC]

Not bad, but better can be had. 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 8, 17 & 23 Ingrid Fliter (piano) rec. 2011, EMI CLASSICS 094573 2 [72:58] [WH]

Outstanding performances of three favourite minor-key Beethoven sonatas.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Thirty-three variations on a Waltz by Diabelli Paul Lewis (piano) rec. 2009 HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 902071 [52:46] [JQ]

A very fine reading of the ‘Diabelli’ Variations, which enhances still further Paul Lewis’s reputation as a leading Beethoven interpreter.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Complete works for Solo Piano - Vol. 10
Bagatelles Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano) rec. 2010 BIS-SACD-1882 [71:07] [DC]

Staggering in its range, this is a recording to treasure.

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartets 3, 5 and 16 Artemis Qt rec. 2010/11 VIRGIN CLASSICS 0708342 [78:34] [MC]

Admirable rapport, remarkable technical prowess, near flawless intonation. Outstanding.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 4 & 5 Emil Gilels (piano) Philharmonia O/Leopold Ludwig rec. 1957 REGIS RRC1367 [72:09] [WH]

Magnificent performances from Gilels and Ludwig, but the sound is a problem in one of the concertos.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto Gidon Kremer (violin) ASMF/Sir Neville Marriner rec. 1980 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802064 [44:28] [RMo]

A light, attractively played account but those incongruous Schnittke cadenzas!

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Fidelio Bernd Aldenhoff, Christel Goltz, Chor der Staatsoper Dresden, Staatskapelle Dresden/Joseph Keilberth rec. live, 1948 HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH10033 [70:44 + DVD] [MC]

Defying its sixty-six years the sound quality of Keilberth’s Fidelio is certainly remarkable for its age.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 1 see Arrau with Szell

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 2 see Martha Argerich

Ed BENNETT (b.1975) Stop-Motion Music, Slow Down, Cartoon Music, Monster, for JF, My Broken Machines, Ghosts Decibel, Fidelio Trio, Paul Roe (bass clarinet) ConTempo Qtet, Garth Knox (viola d’amore) rec. 2006-2010 NMC RECORDINGS D169 [73:32] [DC]

Very good, but I’m still dry all over.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Roméo et Juliette Olga Borodina (mezzo) Thomas Moser (tenor) Alastair Miles (bass) Bayerischen Rundfunks Ch, Vienna PO/Sir Colin Davis rec. 1993 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802046 [53:12 + 43:07] [JQ]

If you haven’t got a recording of this Berlioz masterpiece in your collection, you really can’t do better than this.

Gustavo BEYTELMANN (b.1945) Encuentro, Otras voces, El desaparecido see PIAZZOLLA

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen see Domingo

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Symphony see Martha Argerich

York BOWEN (1884-1961) Miniature Suite see DALE

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet Sonatas 1 & 2 Joseph Gabriel RHEINBERGER (1839-1901) Clarinet Sonata Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer (clarinet) Hans Eijsackers (piano) rec. 2010 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72505 [65:43] [OL]

The shortcoming of this disc is the piano sound.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Clarinet trio, Clarinet sonatas 1 & 2 Karl Leister (clarinet) Ferenc Bognár (piano) Wolfgang Boettcher (cello) rec. 1997 NIMBUS NI 5600 [72:10] [LW]

The performances and recording of these Brahms clarinet works are top-notch.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Liebeslieder Walzer, Neue Liebeslieder Stephen HOUGH (b.1951) Other Love Songs The Prince Consort, Philip Fowke, Stephen Hough (piano) rec. 2010 LINN CKD382 [62:55] [GD]

An attractive, fun and well executed album, not to mention an adventurous programme. 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Cello Sonata 1 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Cello Sonata Ludwig Hoelscher (cello) Hans Richter-Haaser (piano) rec. 1953 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 504 [47:34] [JW]

Hoelscher’s tonal resources are hardly the acme of variety; all too one-dimensional, at least as recorded. 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 2 Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) German Dances, Contredances Max REGER (1873-1916) Variations and Fugue on a theme of Mozart Stuttgart State Theatre O, Dresden State O/Fritz Busch rec. 1919 -51 GUILD GHCD2371 [77:01] [JW]

A necessarily specialised programme of broadcasts and acoustic recordings. 

Johannes BRAHMS (1840-1893) Violin sonatas 1-3 Albert Spalding (violin) Erno Dohnányi (piano) rec. 1951 PRISTINE AUDIO PACM 078 [67:21] [GA]

These historic recordings of the Brahms violin sonatas are warm and communicative, with a strong sense of spontaneity.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Serenade in D, Op. 11 see FARRENC

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Piano Music - Volume 3 Mark Bebbington (piano) rec. 2010 SOMM SOMMCD0107 [75:46]

Presents a number of remarkable and important works. A worthy part of what is a major, important project in British recorded music. [JF] Admirable. [RB]

RECORDING OF THE MONTH  Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Phaedra, A Charm of Lullabies, Lachrymae, Two Portraits, Sinfonietta Sarah Connolly (mezzo) Maxim Rysanov (viola) BBC Symphony Orchestra/Edward Gardner rec. 2010 CHANDOS CHAN 10671 [73:18] [MG]

A wonderful collection which succeeds because of the excellence of the performances.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) The Prince of the Pagodas Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945) The Miraculous Mandarin London Sinf/Oliver Knussen, London PO & Ch/Franz Welser-Möst (Bartók) rec. 1989/92 EMI CLASSICS 9 49829 2 [77:59 + 70:03] [LW]

Superb performance and sound make this reissue of Britten’s ballet unmissable.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Death in Venice Marlin Miller, Alessandro Riga, Scott Hendricks, La Fenice/Bruno Bartoletti rec. 2008 DYNAMIC 33608 [154:00] [WH]

Very fine singing and acting in a rather grey staging of Britten’s late masterpiece.

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1973) Young Apollo; Double Concerto; Two Portraits; Sinfonietta Gidon Kremer (violin) Yuri Bashmet (viola) Nikolai Lugansky (piano) Hallé O/Kent Nagano rec. 1998 WARNER CLASSICS APEX 2564 67391-7 [58:38] [MC]

Four splendid early scores that aptly demonstrate Britten’s precocity - this is a must for all his admirers.

Anton BRUCKER (1824-1896) Symphony 7 Orch de la Suisse Romande/Marek Janowski rec. 2010 PENTATONE PTC 5186 370 [66:04] [GD]

It is all just a bit too reverential for my taste.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony 7 see HAYDN

Helen BUCHHOLTZ (1877-1953) Barcarolle, Vier Menuette, Ballade, Vier Tänze, Nocturno Sonate Marco Kraus (piano) rec. 2009 CPO 777 635-2 [55:46] [DC]

Good ‘Grade 8’ sight-reading fodder.

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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