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

Adolphe Charles ADAM (1803-1856) Giselle see Invitation to the Dance

John ADAMS (b.1947) Road Movies, John’s Book of Alleged Dances, Shaker Loops Angčle Dubeau (violin) Louise Bessett (piano) La Pietŕ rec. 2010 ANALEKTA AN28732 [60:26] [DC]

A potent anti-depressant – fab stuff.

Gheorghi ARNAOUDOV (b. 1957) The Way of the Birds, Footnote (...und Isolde/ns Winkfall Lassen...) Various artists rec. March 1991, August 1995, August 1996 LABOR RECORDS LAB 7068 [57:31] [RB]

Arnaoudov’s pursuit of materials from ancient folk sources has certainly not produced desiccated academic results. That’s for sure.

Concert Arias by Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) & Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1759-1791) Hiroko Kouda, Hjördis Thébault (sopranos) Gustáv Belácek (bass-baritone) Solamente Naturali/Didier Talpain rec. 2008 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94116 [64:56] [JV]

An interesting programme of concert arias with obbligato instruments - the vocal performances are uneven.

Johann Christian BACH (1735-1782) Symphonies Netherlands CO/David Zinman rec. 1974-6 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802065 [74:44 + 70:55] [JS]

Much enjoyment to be had here; charm certainly, but much more than that. 

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites 1-6 Luigi Piovano (cello) rec. 2008 ELOQUENTIA AL 1021 [80:30 + 78:00] [GA]

A stunning recording of the Six Cello Suites of Bach. It has it all: beauty of sound, musical intelligence and emotional depth.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suites 1-6 Tanya Tomkins (cello) rec. 2010 AVIE AV2212 [79.01 + 73:42] [DC]

Confusing... beautiful in many ways, but ... 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Six suites for unaccompanied cello Hekun Wu (cello) rec. 2008 MSR CLASSICS MS 1385 [71:44 + 76:03] [GA]

This recording of the Bach Cello Suites is lacking in tonal and rhythmic variety.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin (ca. 1720) David Juritz (violin) rec. 2009, NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6142 [66:03 + 68:03] [DC]

Tremendous achievement, and worthy of serious consideration.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Partitas 1 & 2 Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Three Preludes and Fugues for Organ (arr. Liszt) David Theodor Schmidt (piano) rec. 2010 HäNSSLER PROFIL PH11025 [67.26] [RBe]

Overall, this was a good recital but there is scope for this talented artist to up his game further.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Magnificat; Missa Brevis(4 masses) Barbara Bonney (soprano) Brigit Remmert (mezzo) Rainer Trost (tenor) Olaf Bär (baritone) RIAS Kemmerchor/Kammerorch CPE Bach/Peter Schreier rec. 1993 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802057 [55:59 + 77:02] [JS]

A handy package from which to get to know the music, all of superb quality.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St. Matthew Passion Soloists, The Netherlands Bach Society/Jos van Veldhoven rec. 2010 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCSSA32511 [3 CDs: 165:25] [GD]

A distinctive Matthew Passion and one that sheds fresh light on much of the music.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas for the Complete Liturgical Year - Vol. 13 Easter Oratorio, Cantata BWV6 Yeree Suh (soprano) Petra Noskaiová (alto) Christoph Genz (tenor) Jan Van der Crabben (bass) La Petite Bande/Sigiswald Kuijken rec. 2009 ACCENT ACC25313 [59:36] [GD]

At its best this combines spontaneity with a sense of intimacy. 

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Complete flute sonatas Lisa Beznosiuk (flute) Richard Tunnicliffe (cello) Paul Nicholson (harpsichord) rec. 2000/01 HYPERION DYAD CDD22077 [58:53 + 62:45] [DC]

Still a top choice for these pieces.

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1759) Chorales see Stokowski

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Brandenburg Concerto 2, Passacaglia and Fugue see Toscanini

BACH Family Chamber music for two flutes Hansgeorg Schmeiser (flute); Jan Ostrý (flute); Eszter Haffner (viola); Othmar Müller (cello); Ingomar Rainer (harpsichord) rec. 2008 NIMBUS NI 5869 [79:22] [Byz]

Seventy-nine minutes of 24-carat music very ably performed.

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Winter Legends Morning Song ‘Maytime in Sussex’ Saga Fragment Ashley Wass (piano) Bournemouth SO/James Judd rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572597 [56:13] [JF]

Naxos have given Chandos a run for their money.

Antonio BAZZINI (1818-1897) Violin Sonata, Novellette, Morceaux Luigi Alberto Bianchi (violin) Aldo Orvieto (piano) rec. 1999 DYNAMIC DM 8018 [67:14] [JW]

Absolutely charming … a rapport that is a joy to hear. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Late String Quartets Vol. 2 Cypress String Qt CYPRESS PERFORMING ARTS ASSOCIATION CSQ2010 [44:00] [BW]

Joins the great recordings of these wonderful works.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony 3, Overtures: The Creatures of Prometheus, Fidelio, King Stephen, Consecration of the House London SO/Yondani Butt NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6144 [79:50] [Byz]

Intelligent, relaxed, neutral, even if the LSO at times sound more professional than passionate.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) 'Razumovsky' Quartet Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) String Quartet 16 Anton WEBERN (1883-1945) Fünf Sätze, Sechs Bagatellen Hagen Qt rec. 2010 MYRIOS CLASSICS MYR006 [75:36] [MC]

Beautifully played and recorded this recital is characteristic of the Hagen Quartet.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concertos 1 & 2 Felicja Blumental (piano) Vienna SO/Robert Wagner BRANA BR0034 [68:48] [CH]

Tempi sound spontaneously right, the phrasing natural and musical. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trios (arrangements) Beethoven Project Trio rec. 2009 CEDILLE RECORDS CDR90000118 [59:57] [BW]

For all who know and love the ‘regular’ Beethoven Piano Trios.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto 5, Piano Sonata 28 Robert Casadesus (piano) Concertgebouw O/Hans Rosbaud rec. 1961/4 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802050 [55:31] [JW]

A mixed bag but at its best it alerts one to Casadesus’s stature. 

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 1, 2, 3 & 5 Philharmonia O/Otto Klemperer rec. live, 1960 ISTITUTO DISCOGRAFICO ITALIANO IDIS6610/2 [77:09 & 71:46] [JS]

These discs are an essential adjunct to more recent and better recorded versions, and I look forward with great eagerness to the remaining volumes in the series. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonata 17, 21 & 31 David Wilde (piano) rec. 2010, DELPHIAN DCD34090 [71:45] [BR]

A huge surprise — superb Beethoven in the romantic mode, with great color and poetry.

Ludwig Van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trio Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) Piano Trio Robert SCHUMANN (1810-56) Piano Trio 1 Vienna Piano Trio rec. 2010 MDG 342 1685-2 [75:27] [MC]

A wonderful heavyweight recital played with natural assurance.

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Sonatas 16-18 Thomas Sauer (piano) rec. 2009 MSR CLASSICS MS1284 [69:05] [BW][GM]

Everything is in place but other players bring something extra to these sonatas. 


Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Egmont Overture see BRAHMS

Music of Tribute - Vol. 6: Alban Berg Giacinto SCELSI (1905-1988) Poema No. 4: Passage du počte (A la mémoire d’Alban Berg) (1936-39) [8:58] Alban BERG (1885-1935) Sonata for piano, Op. 1 (1908) [12:56] Franghiz ALI-ZADEH (b. 1947) Sonata for piano No. 1 in memoriam Alban Berg (1970) [12:59] Alban BERG 4 Songs, op. 2 for voice and piano (Schlafen, schlafen (Friedrich Hebbel) [2:58]; Schlafend trägt man mich [1:11]; Nun ich der Riesen stärksten überwand [0:58]; Warm die Lüfte [3:09] (Alfred Mombert)) Ross Lee FINNEY (1906-1997) Variations on a theme by Alban Berg (1952) [7:47] Jacob GILBOA (1920-2007) Reflections on Three Chords of Alban Berg (1979) [7:07] Alban BERG/Hans Erich APOSTEL (1901-1972) Variations from Berg’s opera Lulu for piano four hands (1935) [2:46] Ieva Jokubaviciute (piano); Marjorie Dix (mezzo) rec. 2009, . DDD LABOR LAB 7086 [60:53] [RB]

A tangy Berg tribute which also serves to introduce a formidable young pianist in her recording debut.

Alban BERG (1885-1935) String Quartet see SCHUBERT

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) Symphony 3, Chichester Psalms Karita Mattila, Joseph Mills, Yehudi Menuhin (speaker) Maîtrise/Chśur/Orch Phil de Radio France/Yutaka Sado rec. 1998 WARNER APEX 2564 67717-9 [61:56] [BW]

A more approachable Kaddish than Bernstein’s own versions, at a very attractive price.

Howard BLAKE (b.1938) Spieltrieb, for string quartet, op.594 (2008) [14:10] A Month in the Country, op.611 (2010) [13:53] Leda and the Swan, op.249a (1977) [9:37] String Trio, op.199 (1975/2010) [11:41] Walking in the Air (from: The Snowman Suite for string quartet, op.615) (2010) [6:24] Edinburgh Quartet rec. 2010. DDD NAXOS 8.572688 [55:44] [Byz]

Coherent if restless … serious as well as exciting and often quite beautiful.

Arthur BLISS (1891-1975) Sonata for Piano and Violin* [11:00] Henry WALFORD DAVIES (1869-1941) Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano* (1893 rev 1895) [21:56] York BOWEN (1884-1961) Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 112 [20:10] Rupert Luck (violin); Matthew Rickard (piano) rec. 16 August 2010, Wyastone Concert Halls, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth. DDD *world premičre recordings EM RECORDS EMR CD001 [53:06] [JW]

A most enjoyable disc.

Alexander BORODIN (1833-1887) Cello sonata see RACHMANINOV

York BOWEN (1884-1961) Violin Sonata see BLISS

David W. BOWERMAN (b. 1936) Favoured Fantasies Bridget McCrae (cello) Julian Milford (piano) Bronte Qt CHAMP HILL RECORDS CHRCD015 [76:55] [PK]

The music is easy to listen to, and rouses one’s interest in hearing his first CD.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904) Symphony 9 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Egmont Overture Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Overture The Sicilian Vespers Gil Shaham (violin) Berlin PO/Claudio Abbado rec. 2002 EUROARTS 2051954 [108:01] [DBi]

A superb concert containing a top recommendation for the Dvorák New World. As great a performance as has ever been given.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Violin Concerto Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto Henryk Szeryng (violin) Concertgebouw O/Bernard Haitink rec. April 1973/1976 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802053 [70:06] [JW]

Whatever one’s view on the matter, Szeryng was an outstanding player.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) A German Requiem Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Serenata notturna Elisabeth Grümmer (soprano) Hermann Prey (baritone) Cologne RSOa/Otto Klemperer rec. 1954/6 ICA CLASSICS ICAC5002 [78:02] [JW]

An invigorating reading that adds an exciting new vista to the conductor’s performances of the German Requiem. 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto 2, Rhapsody Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Nocturne Arthur Rubinstein (piano) Cologne RSO/Christoph von Dohnányi rec. 1963/6 ICA CLASSICS ICAC5003 [74:39] [JW]

A treasurable disc, offering lasting virtues, and performances of subtlety, warmth and humanity.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Schumann & Handel Variations Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Kinderszenen Sheila Arnold (piano) rec. October 2008/2010 DDD C-AVI MUSIC 8553215 [64:32] [OL]

Pages of intimate diaries. I just can’t stop listening to this disc.

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony 3 see SCHUBERT

Johannes BRAHMS (1833 1897) Symphony 2 see Stokowski

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Billy Budd John Mark Ainsley (tenor) Jacques Imbrailo (baritone) The Glyndebourne Ch, London PO/Mark Elder rec. live, 2010 OPUS ARTE OA1051D [86:00 + 87:00] [ST]

For my money this is the best opera DVD of the year so far, and quite possibly the best in a considerably greater time period.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Max BRUCH (1838-1920) Violin Concerto 1, Romance, String Quintet Vadim Gluzman, Sandis Šteinbergs (violin) Maxim Rysanov (viola) Ilze Klava (viola) Reinis Birznieks (cello) Bergen PO/Andrew Litton rec. 2009 BIS-SACD-1852 [58.04] [CF]

Quite the finest performance of the Bruch concerto I have ever heard.

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) String Quintet Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Capriccio Prelude Raphael Ens rec. 1993 HYPERION HELIOS CDH55372 [57:37] [RMo]

The Raphael Ensemble play superbly.

Gavin BRYARS (b.1943) After Handel’s Vesper, Ramble on Cortona, Piano Concerto (The Solway Canal) Ralph van Raat (piano) Capella Amsterdam, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic/Otto Tausk rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572570 [52:42] [KM]

Bryars’ compositions for piano are few, and, while they didn’t grab this reviewer, others may appreciate them.

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1639 - 1707) Opera Omnia XIII Chamber Music Vol. 2 - Trio sonatas Ton Koopman (harpsichord, organ) Catherine Manson (violin) Paolo Pandolfo (viola da gamba) Mike Fentross (lute) rec. 2010 CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC72252 [59:53] [MS]

Truly beautiful, inspiring and original - the latest in an excellent series.


William BYRD
(1643-1623) Motets see Cantiones Sacrae 1575

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