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Jesus ARAMBARRI (1902-1960) Gabon Zar Sorgiñak - Preludio Orquestal (1930) [5.51] Ocho Canciones Vascas - for soprano and orchestra (1931) [12.10] Elegía - In Memoriam (1930) [11.10] Aiko-Maiko (ballet) - Symphonic Suite (1932) [51.39] Maria Bayo (sop) (Canciones) Basque National SO/Christian Mandeal rec San Sebastian, 11-15 Oct 1999 DDD CLAVES CD 50-2001 [78.24] [RB]

Arambarri has the charm and freshness of Guridi and Canteloube ... wonders courtesy of those guardian angels, Claves, the Basque Government and the Mondragon Cooperativa. . ... see Full Review

Anton ARENSKY (1861-1906) Suites – No. 1 in G minor, Op. 7 (1885) [28’58]; No. 2, Op. 23, ‘Silhouettes’ (1892) [17’17]; No. 3, Op. 33, ‘Variations in C’ (publ.1894) [30’08]. Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Dmitry Yablonsky. Rec. Mosfilm Studio, Moscow, in October 1995. DDD NAXOS 8.553768 [76’23] [CC]

For anyone who wishes to explore the output of this neglected composer, they need look no further for a sound starting point. … see Full Review

Kurt ATTERBERG (1887-1974) Symphony No.9 Op.54 Sinfonia Visionaria (1956) Älven – The River Op.33 Symphonic Poem (1929) Satu Vihavainen (mezzo soprano) Gabriel Suovanen (baritone) NDR Chor Prager Kammerchor NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra/Ari Rasilainen Recorded Grosser Sendesaal, Hannover, January 2003 CPO 999 913-2 [60.35] [JW]

The symphony dark, searing, complex and forbidding while The River is all bright primaries, perky, chattering winds, insistent percussion, wonderful drama and drive and orchestral confidence. … see Full Review

Robert AVALON (b.1955) Concerto for Piano and Orchestra Op.10 (1986)a Concerto for Flute, Harp and Strings Op.31 (1998)b Robert Avalon (piano)a; Megan Meisenbach (flute)b; Mary Golden (harp); Foundation for Modern Music Orchestra; Larry Rachleff Recorded: Stude Concert Hall, Rice University, Houston, September 1999 CENTAUR CRC 2484 [65:13] [HC]

In short, sincere, honest and superbly crafted music making, in excellent performances and good recording. Well worth hearing. … see Full Review

The Bach Family: Das Alt-Bachische Archiv (The Archives of J. S. Bach) Johann Michael BACH (1648-1694) Die Furcht des Herren ... - cantata - Ich weiß, dass mein Erlöser lebt - motet - Auf, lasset uns den Herrn loben - aria - Ach, wie sehnlich wart ich der Zeit - aria - Herr, wenn ich nur dich habe - motet - Nun hab ich überwunden - motet - Das Blut Jesu Christi - motet Johann Christoph BACH (1642-1703) Lieber Herr Gott, wecke uns auf - motet - Wie bist du denn, o Gott in Zorn ... - lamento - Unseres Herzens Freude - motet - Meine Freundin, Du ist schön - Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener ... - motet - Herr, wende dich ... - cantata - Der Gerechte, ob er gleich ... - motet - Mit Weinen hebt sichs an - aria - Ach, dass ich Wassers gnug hätte - lamento - Es ist nun aus mit meinem Leben - aria ANONYMOUS/Adam DRESE? (c. 1620-1701) Nun ist alles überwunden - aria - Weint nicht um meinen Tod - aria - Johann BACH: Unser Leben ist ein Schatten - motet Georg Christoph BACH: Siehe, wie fein und lieblich - cantata Johann BACH?/Jonas de FLETIN? Sei nun wieder zufrieden - motet Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Ich lasse Dich nicht - motet BWV Anh. III 159 Konrad Junghänel Cantus Cölln /Concerto Palatino (Director and Cornett: Bruce Dickey ) - Sopranos - Susanne Rydén ,Monika Mauch , Hedwig Westhoff-Düppmann; Altos - Elisabeth Popien , Henning Voss; Tenors – Hans Jörg Mammel, Wilfried Jochens, Henning Kaiser; Basses - Stephan Schreckenberger, Wolf Matthias Friedrich, Sebastian Noack - Rec: February 2002, St. Ostag church, Neustadt-Mandesloh HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 901783-84 [152 min.] [KME]

A compendium of works by Johann Sebastian Bach's ancestors. … see Full Review

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) Concerto in F major, H.454, W. 38 (1763) [21.26] Sonatina in D major, H. 456, W. 102 (1763) [17.15] Concerto in C major, H.423, W.20 (1746) [26.34] [all World Premier recordings] Miklós Spányi, tangent piano, built in 1998 by G. Potvlieghe, Ninove, Belgium, after B. Pastori, 1799. Concerto Armonico, Péter Szüts, leader - performing on period instruments Cadenzas: Concerto in F major, (2nd movement): original Concerto in C major, (2nd movement): improvised at the recording session. Recorded Phoenix Studio, Budapest, Hungary, November 1999 Notes in English, Deutsche, and Français. Photos of artists and instruments. The Complete Keyboard Concertos, Volume 12 BIS CD 1127 [66.12] [PSh]

An excellent continuation to a fine series. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Clavierübung III [123.16] CD 1 [63.14] Praeludium pro Organo Pleno BWV 552/1 Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit BWV 669 Christe, aller Welt Trost BWV 670 Kyrie, Gott heiliger Geist BWV 671 Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit alio modo BWV 672 Christe, aller Welt Trost BWV 673 Kyrie, Gott heiliger Geist BWV 674 Allein Gott in der Höh sei Her BWV 675 Allein Gott in der Höh sei Her BWV 676 Fughetta super Allein Gott in der Höh sei Her BWV 677 Dies sind die heilgen zehen Gebot BWV 678 Fughetta super Dies sind die heilgen zehen Gebot BWV 679 Wir glaüben all an einen Gott BWV 680 Fughetta super Wir glaüben all an einen Gott BWV 681 Vater unser im Himmelreich BWV 682 Vater unser im Himmelreich alio modo BWV 683 Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam BWV 684 Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam alio modo BWV 685 CD 2 [60.02] Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir BWV 686 Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir alio modo BWV 687 Jesus Christus, unser Heiland BWV 688 Fuga super Jesus Christus, unser Heiland BWV 689 Duetto I BWV 802 Duetto II BWV 803 Duetto III BWV 804 Duetto IV BWV 805 Fuga a 5 con pedale pro Organo Pleno BWV552/2 Partita diverse sopra Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig BWV 768 [20.28] David Ponsford at the organ of the Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh (Peter Collins, 1990) rec 13-15 February 2001, Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, Scotland GUILD GMCD 7262/3 [123.16] [PW]

Repays the most intense study and careful listening, at the same time surprisingly easy to enjoy, and even (heaven forbid!) appreciate in the background. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Violin Sonata No. 4 in C minor BWV 1017 Violin Sonata No. 5 in F minor BWV 1018 Violin Sonata No. 6 in G BWV 1019 Violin Sonata No. 2 in A – andante un poco BWV 1019 Toccata in C minor BWV 911 Toccata in E minor – Fugue BWV 914 Alfred Dubois (violin) Marcel Maas (piano) Recorded 1933 BIDDULPH BID 80171 [72.52] [JW]

Dubois deserves nothing but the best in restoration and he gets it handsomely in this excellent release. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord Igor Oistrakh (violin) Natalia Zertsalova (harpsichord) Recording dates and venue not provided. CDK MUSIC CDKM 2001 [2CDs: 1:40:49]

This recording although finely played is not the one that I would choose in this repertoire as the competition is far too tough for Oistrakh and Zertsalova. … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Cello Suites:- Richard Markson, cello Recorded 2002 (location not specified) MERIDIAN CDE84410/11 [153:26] [DS]

When good cheer and exuberance are called for, Markson is right on target, but he is reluctance to dive into Bach’s depth of expression … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cello Suite No. 1 in G arr Primrose, Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor arr Primrose, Cello Suite No. 3 in C arr Primrose, Cello Suite No. 4 in E flat arr Primrose, Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor arr Primrose Niccolo PAGANINI (1782-1840)
Caprice No. 5 Caprice No. 13 Caprice No. 17 * La Campanella * Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Ave Maria + Litanei < Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) None But The Lonely Heart ^ Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962) Liebesfreud TRADITIONAL
Londonderry Air + Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Komm, süsser Tod < Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Geistliches Sehnsucht > Geistliches Wiegenlied > Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) Elegie > Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) In stiller nacht > Antonín DVORAK (1841-1904) Humoresque # Ethelbert NEVIN (1862-1901) The Rosary # William Primrose (viola) with Harry Isaacs (piano) * Sidonie Goossens (harp) Unidentified pianist ^ Vernon de Tar (organ) < Marian Anderson (contralto) and Franz Rupp (piano) > Victor Symphony Orchestra/Charles O’Connell # Rec. 1934–41; the Bach Suites are previously unpublished and were recorded in Aug 1978 BIDDULPH LAB 131/2 [2CDs: 145.03] [JW]

More a collector’s release than one for the general listener. Production values are high and much here is currently unavailable. … see Full Review

Granville BANTOCK (1868-1946) The Song of Songs - Days 2, 3, 5 (1926) [41.00] (days 3 and 5: first recordings) Overture to a Greek Tragedy (1911) [17.54] Pierrot of the Minute (1908) [12.11] The Wilderness and the Solitary Place (1901) [6.19] (first recording) Elizabeth Connell (sop) Kim Begley (ten) William Prideaux (bar) RPO/Vernon Handley rec. 1-2 April 2003, Watford Colosseum, London. DDD HYPERION CDA67395 [77.58] [IL]

Full-blooded, romantic readings of more exotic Bantock. For those collecting this marvellous hedonistic series, this sixth album will not disappoint. … see Full Review

Violin Concerto Op. 14 (1939) Isaac Stern (violin) New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein, recorded 1964 Piano Concerto Op. 38 (1962) John Browning (piano) Cleveland Orchestra/George Szell, recorded 1964 Adagio for Strings Op. 11 (1938) Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy, recorded 1957 Essay for orchestra No. 2 Op. 17 The School for Scandal - Overture Op. 5 (1933) Stern, BrowningNew York Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Schippers, recorded 1965 SONY CLASSICAL SBK87948 [74.09] [JW]

An Essential Classic that preserves performances of outstanding commitment and understanding. … see Full Review

Augustin BARRIOS (1885-1944) Guitar Music, vol. 2: Invocación a Mi Madre (ca. 1929) [4:29] La Catedral (1921) [8:13] Confesion (1923) [4:35] Canción de la Hilandera (1933) [2:55] Oración (Plegaria) (no date available) [3:50] Madrecita (ca 1920) [2:06] La Samaritana (ca 1922) [5:00] El Sueño de la Muñequita (ca. 1920) [2:42] Contemplación (1922) [4:29] Oración Para Todos (no date available) [3:02] Minuet in B (1928) [3:20] Minuet in E (ca 1940) [2:05] Minuet in A (ca 1924) [2:05] Minuet in C (ca 1940) [1:24] Divagación en imitación al violin (ca 1914) [3:26] Variations on a theme of Tárrega (1939) [12:26] Enno Voorhorst, guitar Rec. 22-26 Feb 2001, St. John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. DDD NAXOS 8.555718 [66:57] [KS]

Fleet of finger, with a clean and forward rhythm at once compelling and soothing. Sound quality is of the first order … see Full Review

The Seven Symphonies (1921-1939)
Rogue's Comedy Overture (1936) [9:59] (dedicated to Julius Harrison) premiere recording Tintagel (1917-19) [15:13] (dedicated to Miss Harriet Cohen) Interview with Vernon Handley by Andrew McGregor BBC Philharmonic/Vernon Handley CHANDOS CHAN 10122 [5CDs: 74:03+77:24+73:41+69:37+60:43]
Reviews by
Richard Adams
A master conductor, at the absolute height of his powers interpreting music that he loves passionately - definitive … see Full Review
Rob Barnett
Bax the poet of the emotions does not shy from violence nor from whole-hearted celebration, ecstatic absorption in beauty, sorrow and drama. You could not have a better starting place and destination than this epochal set. … see Full Review
Graham Parlett
Vernon Handley’s Bax cycle has been a long time in coming, but it has proved well worth the wait. … see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Symphony No. 7 (1939) [42.20] Tintagel - tone poem (1919) [14.35] Royal Scottish National Orchestra/David Lloyd-Jones rec. 21-22 Aug 2002, Royal Scottish National Concert Hall, Glasgow, DDD NAXOS 8.557145 [56.55] [RB]

An impetuous and renewing version of the symphony and a very good Tintagel all at Naxos's usual bargain price ... see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Spring Fire (1913) Northern Ballad No. 2 (1934) Northern Ballad No. 3 (1933) Mediterranean (1920/22) * Symphonic Scherzo (1913) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bryden Thomson Rec. All Saints’ Church, Tooting, London; 1986 (Handley); 1986-1987 (Thomson) Digital remastering 2003 CHANDOS CHAN X10155 [67:11] [IL]

Inspired, hedonistic pagan … delicacy and spirited attack. … see Full Review

Arnold Bax (1883-1953) Early Chamber Works Quintet in G for two violins, viola and two cellos (1908) [38.17] String Quartet in A (1902) [31.28] Divertimenti Ensemble: Paul Barritt, Rachel Isserlis (vlns.), Jonathan Barritt (vla.), Josephine Horder, Sebastian Comberti (vlcs.) St Paul’s Church, Southgate, London, 4-6 March 2003. DDD DUTTON CDLX 7131 [69.48] [SP]

Highly recommended, not only to Bax enthusiasts but to anyone who feels like exploring some attractive, out-of-the-way English music … see Full Review

Sir Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Film Music of Sir Arnold Bax:- Oliver Twist, Malta GC BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba Recorded in Studio 7, New Broadcasting House Manchester, 24-25 September 2002 CHANDOS CHAN 10126 [73:06] [IL]

Bax’s discomfort with the medium of film music shows through and I much prefer to listen to his symphonic Oliver score as absolute music divorced from its screenplay. … see Full Review

Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Arnold Bax - First Recordings Fanfare for a Cheerful Occasion [00.49] Kneller Hall Musicians/Capt H.E. Adkins - rec. 17 June 1932 Mater Ora Filium (1922) [11.30] Leeds Festival Choir/Albert Coates - rec. 29 Oct 1925 Tintagel (1917-1919) [11.59] New Symphony Orchestra/Eugene Goossens - rec. 17 May 1928 Mediterranean (1921) [3.07] New Symphony Orchestra/Eugene Goossens - rec. 23 May 1928 Overture to a Picaresque Comedy (1934) [8.57] orch/Hamilton Harty - rec. 18 Apr 1935 Morning Song - Maytime in Sussex (1947) [8.22] Harriet Cohen (piano); orch/Malcolm Sargent - rec. 7 Feb 1947 Oliver Twist: Theme [7.40]; Pickpocketing [00.57]; Chase [1.33]; Fagin's Romp [1.48]; Finale (1948) [4.04] Philharmonia Orchestra/Muir Mathieson - rec. 1 Sept 1948 Malta GC: Quiet Interlude [1.56]; Gay March (1942) [1.24] London Symphony Orchestra/Muir Mathieson - rec. 1944? Fanfares for the Royal Wedding of T.R.H. Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh (1952) [00.56+1.33] Trumpeters Royal Military School of Music/Capt M Roberts - rec. 4 Dec 1947 Talk by Arnold Bax (1949) [10.05]
rec. 6 June 1949 BBC SYMPOSIUM RECORDS 1336 [78.24] [RB]

A fascinating and generous document of performances made within twenty years of the works’ premieres. A uniquely powerful Tintagel and a profound Mater Ora Filium. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Overtures [1] The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43 - Overture, Allegretto, Finale (1801) [2] Coriolan - Overture, Op. 62 (1807) [3] Leonora - Overture No. 1, Op. 138 (1805) [4] Leonora - Overture No. 3, Op. 72a (1806) [5] Egmont - Overture, Op. 84 (1809-10) [6] Symphony No. 8, Op. 93 - Second Movement: Allegretto (1812) [7] The Ruins of Athens, Op. 113 - Turkish March (1811) Franz SCHUBERT (1797 - 1828) [8] Marche Militaire, Op. 51 No. 1 (D.733, 1822) [9] Rosamunde - Overture (D.644, 1823) Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam/Willem Mengelberg Rec. Concertgebouw, [1] 1/Nov/42, [2] 1/Jun/31, [3] 2/Jun/31, [4] 30/May/30, [5] 2/Jun/31, [6] 10/Jun/27, [7] 1/Nov/42, [8] 17/Apr/42, [9] 30/Nov/38 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110864 [68'30] [[PSe]

At over a half-century’s remove, the partnership of Mengelberg and Obert-Thorn comes up trumps: articulate and exciting performances by a past master of one art prepared for a present-day audience by a master of another. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies – No. 1 in C, Op. 21 (1800) [25’20]; No. 2 in D (1803) [31’40]; No. 3 in E flat, Op. 66, ‘Eroica’ [43’46]; No. 4 in B flat [31’07]; No. 5 in C minor [33’29]; No. 6 in F, ‘Pastoral’ [40’38]; No. 7 in A [37’53]; No. 8 in F [23’35]; No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, ‘Choral’ [61’28]. Camilla Nylund (soprano); Iris Vermillion (mezzo); Jonas Kaufmann (tenor); Franz-Josef Selig (bass); Gächinger Kantorei, Stuttgart; South West German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart/Roger Norrington.
Recorded live at the Europäisches Musikfest, Stuttgart, 2002. Includes bonus disc (German only, including music examples) of Roger Norrington on the Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 1-8. HÄNSSLER CLASSIC FASZINATIONMUSIK 93.089 [five discs + bonus disc: 334’06 + 79’50] [CC]

Norrington, if nothing else, is guaranteed to provoke a reaction, good or bad. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Symphony No.2 in D major Op.36 (1802) Symphony No.7 in A major Op.92 (1812) Philharmonia Orchestra/Eduard van Beinum.Rec. Royal Festival Hall, London, 10 November 1958. ADD - mono BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4124-2 [73.06] [JPh]

A clear sense of line with phrasing made to sound so natural. …Van Beinum was the Bernard Haitink of the day. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, Choral (1824) [68’24]. Mari Anne Häggander (soprano); Alfreda Hodgson (contralto); Robert Tear (tenor); Gwynne Howell (bass) London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra/Klaus Tennstedt. Live performance from the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, September 13th, 1985. ADD BBC LEGENDS BBCL4131-2 [68’24] [CC]

Tennstedt was a remarkable conductor, and never less so than when caught live, as this disc amply demonstrates. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Violin Concerto in D major, Op.61 (1806) Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) Violin Concerto in E minor, Op.64 (1844) Viktoria Mullova (violin) Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique/John Eliot Gardiner Recorded in Watford Colosseum, 5-7 June, 2002 PHILIPS 473 872-2 [68’17] [TH]

Will irritate as many as it will thrill. I definitely fall into the latter camp. Recording quality superb, full and warm. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 ‘Emperor’ [36’50"] Piano Concerto No 4 in G major, Op. 58* [33’03"] Wilhelm Kempff (piano) Berliner Philharmoniker/Peter Raabe *Orchester des Deutschen Opernhauses, Berlin/Paul van Kempen Recorded in Berlin in 1935 and *1941 ADD HÄNSSLER CLASSIC MASTERPIECE CD94.045 [69’53"] [JQ]

Admirers of this great German pianist should certainly snap up this CD. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Sonatas: No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 (1801) [13’38]; No. 15 in D, Op. 28, ‘Pastorale’ (1801) [21’15]; No. 16 in G, Op. 31 No. 1 (1802) [24’01]. Artur Schnabel (piano) Rec. Abbey Road Studio No. 3, London, on April 10th-11th, 1933 (No. 14), February 3rd and 17th, 1933 (No. 15) and November 1935 and January 15th, 1937 (No. 16). ADD Complete Beethoven Sonata Society recordings vol. 5 NAXOS GREAT PIANISTS 8.110759 [58’54] [CC]

There is a wealth of experience on display here. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quintets Volume 1 – Transcriptions by Carl KHYM (c.1770-?) 1. String Quintet in G Major (Piano Trio in G Major, Op.1, No.2) [32:38] 2. String Quintet in B Flat Major (Clarinet Trio in B Flat Major, Op.11) [19:25] 3. String Quintet in F Major (Sonata for Horn and Piano in F Major, Op.17) [13:09] Metamorphosis Quintet (Violetta Eckhardt: Violin I; Yoshiko Hagiwara: Violin II; Barna Juhasz: Viola; Timea Ivan: Viola (1;2); Peter Szabo: Violoncello; Ivan Sztankov: Contrabass (3)) Rec. Phoenix Studio, Unitarian Church, Budapest, Hungary, 27-28 June; 24 Sept 1995. NAXOS 8.553827 [65:12] [SA]

Altogether a surprising and pleasing experience. … see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Fidelio (1814) Leonore (mezzo) – Angela Denoke Florestan (tenor) – Jon Villars Don Pizarro (baritone) – Alan Held Rocco (bass) – Laszlo Polgar Marzelline (soprano) – Juliane Banse Jaquino (tenor) – Rainer Trost Don Fernando (bass-baritone) – Thomas Quasthoff Arnold Schoenberg Choir Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle Recorded in concert at the Philharmonie, Berlin, 25-28 April, 2003 EMI CLASSICS 7243 5 57555-2 (2CDs: 65’58+44’17) [TH]

Difficult to see this version toppling existing recommendations. … see Full Review

Ralph BENATZKY (1884-1957) L’Auberge du Cheval Blanc (The White Horse Inn) operetta (1930) complete with dialogue, in French Luc Barney (ten) Léopold; Colette Riedinger (sop) Josépha; Simone Sully (sop) - Clara; Bernard Plantey (ten) Guy Flores; Jack Claret (bar) Célestin; Huguette Boulangeot (sop) Sylvabelle - Rec. Universal (Decca) Studios, Antony, France 1954. Mono - 2 CDs for the price of one DISCOVERY/ACCORD OPERETTE SERIES 465 880-2 [91:37] [RW]

Much of the score is devoted to duets and one is conscious that the right voices are provided to give an agreeable blend of harmony. … see Full Review

Jirí Antonín [Georg Anton] BENDA (1722 - 1795) Sonata #1 in Bb (1757) [12.33] Sonata #2 in G (1757) [11.01] Sonata #3 in d (1757) [11.23] Sonata #4 in F (1757) [11.20] Sonata #5 in g (1757) [11.16] Sonata #6 in D (1757) [8.19] Antonio Piricone, Steinway grand piano Notes in English. Photo of the artist. Recorded at the Royal Academy, Aarhus, Denmark, 4 August 2002 distributed by DI music, CLASSICO CLASSCD 488 [65.52] [PSh]

Ingratiating keyboard music from the very interesting Pre-Classical period, very sympathetically played … see Full Review

Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Music for solo piano and piano duet
Six Preludes, Op. 23 (1945) Sonata, Op. 20 (1941-45) Five Short Pieces, Op. 4 (1934) Sonatina for Four Hands, Op. 39 (1954) * Theme and Variations for Four Hands, Op. 73 (1968) * Palm Court Waltz for Four Hands, Op. 81 No. 2 (1971) * Raphael Terroni, piano Norman Beedie, piano * Recorded at the Great Hall of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, 7th-8th April 1993. BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY BMS416CD [58.13] [NH]

A fine introduction to a British composer of distinction in his centenary year … see Full Review

Sir Lennox BERKELEY (1903-1989) Symphony No. 4 (1977-78) Michael BERKELEY (b. 1948) The Garden of Earthly Delights (1998) Cello Concerto (1983) Alban Gerhardt (cello) BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox Recorded Brangwyn Hall, Swansea; 17 and 18 December 2002 DDD Berkeley Edition: Volume Three CHANDOS CHAN 10080 [65:09] [CT]

Another fine instalment in Chandos’s Berkeley Edition, with the promise of more to come. … see Full Review

Lennox BERKELEY (1903–1989) Sacred Music
Crux Fidelis, Op. 43 No. 1 Missa Brevis, Op. 57 Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, Op. 99 Three Latin Motets, Op. 83 No.1 The Lord is my shepherd Op. 91 No. 1 Mass for Five Voices, Op. 64 Look up, sweet babe, Op. 43 No. 2 A Festival Anthem, Op. 21 No. 2 Toccata (from Three Pieces Op. 72 No. 1) Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge Jonathan Vaughn (organ) Christopher Robinson (conductor) Recorded 20th, 21st, 23rd March 2003, Chapel of St. John’s College, Cambridge NAXOS 8.557277 [75.10] [RH]

An impressive and revealing disc; superb musicianship helps to shed light on an undeservedly neglected area of the repertoire. … see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803 - 1869) Herminie (1828) La Mort de Cléopâtre (1829) La Mort de Sardanapale (1830) La Mort d’Orphée (1827) Michele Lagrange (Soprano) - 1 Beatrice Uria-Monzon (mezzo soprano) - 2 Daniel Galvez Vallejo (tenor) – 3 & 4 Choeur Regional Nord / Pas de Calais Orchestre Nationale de Lille, Regional Nord / Pas de Calais, conducted by Jean-Claude Casadesus. Rec. Palais de Musique, Lille on 19th - 21st October 1994 (1 & 2) and 28th – 29th November 1995. NAXOS 8.555810 [60’45"] [JQ]

Any lover of the music of this brilliantly individual composer should investigate this issue without delay. … see Full Review

Sir Thomas Beecham conducts Berlioz, Grétry, Méhul and Massenet Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Harold in Italy (1834) * André-Ernest-Modeste GRÉTRY (1741-1813) Zémire et Azor – Pantomime (Air de Ballet) Etienne MÉHUL (1763-1817) Timoléon – overture Le Trésor Supposé – overture La Chasse du Jeune Henri – overture Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) La Vierge – The Last Sleep of the Virgin William Primrose (viola) * Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham Recorded 1951-54 SONY CLASSICAL SMK91167 [76.22] [JW}

Very much the Grand Seigneur, full of lyricism and swagger … see Full Review

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869) Zaïde, op.19/1, La captive, op.12, La belle voyageuse, op.2/4* Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony no.5: Adagietto° Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Wesendonck-Lieder (arr. Hans Werner Henze)*, Siegfried Idyll° Yvonne Naef (mezzo-soprano)*, Capella Istropolitana* Pilsen Radio Symphony Orchestra°/David Heer*° Rec. 26-29 Oct 2002, Moyzes Hall, Bratislava*, Feb 2003, Studio Radio Pilsen° CLAVES CD 50-2309 [65:46] [CH]

This disc offers a number of surprises, some more welcome than others. … see Full Review

Lord BERNERS (1883-1950) Polka (1941) Peter Dickinson (piano) Lieder Album; Three Songs in the German Manner (1913-18) Meriel Dickinson (mezzo soprano) and Peter Dickinson (piano) Fragments Psychologiques (1915) Peter Dickinson (piano) Dialogue between Tom Filuter and his Man, by Ned the Dog Stealer (1921) Bernard Dickerson (tenor) and Richard Rodney Bennett (piano) Three Songs (1920) Meriel Dickinson (mezzo soprano) and Peter Dickinson (piano) Le Poisson d’Or (1915) Susan Bradshaw (piano) Red Roses and Red Noses (c1941) Meriel Dickinson (mezzo soprano) and Peter Dickinson (piano) Trois Petites Marches Funèbres (1916) Susan Bradshaw (piano) Trois Chansons (1920) Meriel Dickinson (mezzo soprano) and Peter Dickinson (piano) Valses Bourgeoises (1919) Susan Bradshaw (piano) and Richard Rodney Bennett (piano) Dispute entre le Papillon et le Crapaud (c.1914) Susan Bradshaw (piano) Three Songs – Sea Shanties (1921) Bernard Dickerson (tenor) and Richard Rodney Bennett (piano) Come on Algernon (1944) Meriel Dickinson (mezzo soprano) and Peter Dickinson (piano) Fanfare; composed for the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund Kneller Hall Musicians conducted by Captain A E Adkins Nicholas Nickleby – incidental music from the film Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Ernest Irving Les Sirènes – ballet music Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Ernest Irving Les Sirènes – Prelude, Mazurka and Polka Lord Berners (piano) Recorded 1977 and originally released on Unicorn-Kanchana except Fanfare, recorded 1934, Nicholas Nickleby – incidental music and Les Sirènes – ballet music, recorded 1947, Les Sirènes – Prelude, Mazurka and Polka recorded c.1946 SYMPOSIUM 1278 [79.40] [JW]

All the performances are fine, the recorded sound sympathetic and the ethos of the disc warmly but professionally generous. … see Full Review

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918 - 1990) On the Waterfront - Symphonic Suite (1954) Chichester Psalms (1965) On the Town - Three Dance Episodes (1944) Thomas Kelly, Treble Elizabeth Franklin-Kitchen, Soprano Victoria Nayler, Alto Jeremy Budd, Tenor Paul Charrier, Bass Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra/Marin Alsop Recorded at Lighthouse, Poole Centre for the Arts, U.K., 14-15 April 2003 NAXOS 8.559177 [48'36] [PSe]

Lively, thoughtful and thought-provoking performances, top-notch recording and an excellent booklet - go forth and multi-buy! ...see Full Review

Georges BIZET (1838-1875) Carmen, Opera in 4 Acts (1875) Choudens Edition with spoken dialogue Bétrice Uria-Monzon (Carmen), Christian Papis (Don José), Vincent le Texier (Escamillo), Leontina Vaduva (Micaëla), Maryse Castets (Frasquita), Martine Olmeda (Mercédès), Lionel Sarrazin (Zúñiga), Olivier Lallouette (Moralès), Franck Leguérinel (la dancaïre), Therry Trégan (le remendado), Paul Renard (Lillas Pastias), Choeur des Enfants du Bordeaux, Choeur du Grand-Théâtre de Bordeaux, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine/Alain Lombard Recorded July 1994, Grand-Théâtre de Bordeaux NAÏVE V 4964 [2 CDs: 71:37+70:11] [CH]

No challenge to the established versions. … see Full Review

Karl-Birger BLOMDAHL (1916-68) Sisyphos: Dance with Death; Dance of Life (1954) Chamber Concerto (1950) Symphony No 3 Facetter (1950) Trio for clarinet, cello and piano (1955) Royal Orchestra, Stockholm/Varujian Kojian (Sisyphos) Hans Leygraf (piano), London SO/Sixten Ehrling (Chamber Concerto) Stockholm PO/Sixten Ehrling Thore Jansen (Clarinet), Erling Bløndahl Bengtsson (cello), Kjell Baekkelund (piano) Recorded Stockholm 1957-79 (except Concerto, Kingsway Hall, London, Feb 1965) SWEDISH SOCIETY DISCOFIL SCD1037  [64.33] [JW]

Blomdahl can sometimes be a hard nut to crack but his lyrical impulse is always attractive and sympathetic. … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Sylvie BODOROVÁ (b.1954) Terezin Ghetto Requiem for baritone and string quartet (1997) [16.11] Concierto de Estio for guitar and string quartet (1999) [16.01] Ronald STEVENSON (b.1928) String Quartet Voces Vagabundae (1989) [29.10] Nigel Cliffe (bar) María Isabel Siewers (guitar) Martinů Quartet rec. Domovina Sudio, Prague, June 2002, Jan 2003 ARCO DIVA UP 0052-2 131 [62.11] [RB]

Two composers unpredictably but stimulatingly matched; tonal music that has not lost its ability to surprise, delight and warn [RB]
Highly recommended for the Bodorová. [CC] see Full Review

Arrigo BOITO (1842-1918) Mefistofele (1868). Nazzareno de Angelis (bass) Mefistofele; Mafalda Favero (soprano) Margherita; Antonio Melandri (tenor) Faust; Giannina Arangi-Lombardi (soprano) Elena; Rita Monticone (mezzo) Pantalis; Giuseppe Nessi (tenor) Wagner; Emilio Venturini (tenor) Nereo; Ida Mannarini (mezzo) Marta Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan/Lorenzo Molajoli. Appendix: Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia (1816) – La calunnia [3’53]a. Mosè in egitto (1818) – Invocazione [4’29]b.
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Nabucco (1842) – Sperate o figli [3’48]c; Tu labbro dei veggenti [4’20]d. Don Carlo (1867) – Ella giammai m’amò [7’16]e. Mefistofele rec. Via San Antonio, Milan on November 19th-December 27th, 1931 and issued on Italian Columbia GQX1130/1163; a November 5th, 1927 (English Columbia D18042), b October 4th, 1959 (English Columbia GQX10207), October c 1st, d 2nd, 1928 (both English Columbia D18059), e November 7th-8th, 1927 (English Columbia L2071). ADD NAXOS GREAT OPERA RECORDINGS 8.110273/4 [153’57: 78’53 + 75’04]. [CC]

This is an unforgettable set which acts on the one hand as a monument to a great singer, and on the other as a reminder of how involving and expert Boito’s one masterpiece really is. … see Full Review

Christopher BOODLE (b.1952) Sounds Exuberant - Organ Music Neil Weston (Organ) Organ by M P Moller, 1991 Recorded at Spencerville Seventh Day Adventist Church, Maryland, USA LAMMAS RECORDS LAMM 143D [71.44] [CAnt]

Christopher Boodle’s organ music is relaxing and easy listening, accessible to all music lovers … see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Derek BOURGEOIS (b.1941) Apocalypse Op. 187 (2003) Sonata for Trombone and Brass Band Op. 156B (1998) Blitz Op. 65 (1981) Concerto Grosso for Brass Band Op. 61A (1983) Ian Bousfield (trombone) Yorkshire Building Society Band/Dr. David King Rec. Peer Hall, University of Salford, 14th-16th March 2003 DDD EGON SFZ113 [69:45] [CT]

A band and conductor at the very height of their considerable musical powers in music of unbridled excitement. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1933 - 1897) Symphony #4 in e Op 98 [37.50] Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732 - 1809) Symphony #104 in D, Hob. [25.47] Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch Recorded in Symphony Hall, Boston, USA, April 11, 1950 Restored by Pierre Paquin from RCA LPs LM 1086 (Brahms); LM 9034 (Haydn) mono SOUND DYNAMICS ASSOCIATES SDA 2001-147 [63.37] [PSh]

An interesting look at early Charles Munch recordings ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1933 - 1897) Symphony #1 in c Op.68 (1876) [47.35] - Symphony #2 in D Op.73 (1877) [45.27] - Symphony #3 in F Op.90 (1883) [37.00] - Symphony #4 in e Op.98 (1885) [40.24] - Academic Festival Overture, Op.80 (1880) [10.26] - Tragic Overture, Op.81 (1881) [14.20] - Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op.56a (1873) [18.18] Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Nikolaus Harnoncourt - Recorded live in Philharmonie Hall, Berlin, Germany, April 1997 - Notes in English, Deutsche, Français. Photos of conductor and composer TELDEC 0630-13136-2 [66.05+70.13+77.36] [PS]

A classic—no, legendary—set, a must have for every serious collector. If it doesn’t become your favourite for performance, it’ll be your favourite for sound … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony no. 2 in D, op. 73 Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Symphonia Domestica, op. 53 NDR Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg (Brahms), La Scala Orchestra, Milan (Strauss)/Carl Schuricht Recorded in Hamburg, January 8th 1953 (Brahms), Milan, November 1941 (Strauss) URANIA RM 11.905 [79:37] [CH]

Warm-hearted performance; the Brahms in particular is definitely worth knowing. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Piano Concerto no.2 in B flat, op.83 (1) Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Drei Klavierstücke, D.946 Claudio Arrau (piano)
Scottish National Orchestra/Sir Alexander Gibson (1) Recorded Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, 17 June 1963 (Brahms), BBC Studios, Maida Vale, London, 9 March 1959 (Schubert) BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4125-2 [76:38] [CH]

Compared with his sometimes avuncular studio recordings, Arrau plays Brahms here like a man possessed, and the conductor rises to the occasion. … see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833 - 1897) Piano Concerrto #1 in d, Op. 15 (1859) [53.19] Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80 (1881) [10.01] Silke-Thora Matthies, Christian Köhm, pianos Recorded at Clara Wieck Auditorium, Sandhausen, Germany, 7 September 1996 Notes in English and Deutsch. Biography of performers, no photos. Four Hand Piano Music Volume 9 NAXOS 8.554116[63.20] [PSh]

An unusual and mostly very worthwhile way to hear familiar favourites … see Full Review

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) String Quartet No. 1 (1906) [29.01] String Quartet No. 3 (1926) [30.35] Maggini Quartet rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, England, 18-20 June 2002 NAXOS 8.557133 [59.35] [MC]

The Magginis are in top form and go from strength to strength. Another sure-fire winner from the champion Naxos stable. … see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-76)
The Turn of the Screw (1954). Philip Langridge (tenor) The Prologue/Quint; Felicity Lott (soprano) Governess; Sam Pay (treble) Miles; Eileen Hulse (soprano) Flora; Phyllis Cannan (mezzo) Mrs Grose; Nadine Secunde (soprano) Miss Jessel Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble/Steuart Bedford. Rec. The Concert Hall, Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, UK, in October 1993. DDD NAXOS 8.660109 [106’23: 53’06 + 53’17] [CC]

All in all, then, a bargain. Britten’s own recording (with Pears) must, of course, remain the one to have, but the present Naxos version is highly recommended. … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 3 (1877 version) Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Daniel Barenboim Rec December 1995, Philharmonie, Berlin (live recording) WARNER ELATUS 2564 60533 2 [59.38] [TB]

Barenboim handles the intricacies of the structure with great cunning and true understanding … see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No 7 in E major (1881-3) Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Eugen Jochum Recorded 10-11 May 1939. ADD HÄNSSLER CLASSIC MASTERPIECE CD 94.043 [63’47"] [JQ]

All in all, I don’t feel I can really give much of a welcome to this issue. … see Full Review

Symphony #7 in E (Haas edition) (1883) [61.49] Manuel de FALLA (1876 - 1946) El sombrero de tres picos (1919): Danza de los vecinos [3.24]; Danza del molinero [2.58] Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839 - 1881) Khovanshchina (1880): Prelude, Dawn over the Moscow River [mono] [5.13] Philharmonia Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini Recorded Royal Albert Hall 19 July 1982 (Bruckner) 8 August 1963 (Falla) Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 7 September 1961 Mussorgsky) ADD Notes in English, Deutsch, and Français. Photos of the conductor. BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4123-2 [PSh]

An indispensably great performance and recording of the Bruckner Seventh, with some encores ... see Full Review

Cecil BURLEIGH (1885-1980) Music for Violin and Piano Impromptu (1911) * Nature’s Voices (1922) Five Indian Sketches (1913) Plantation sketches (1916) Characteristic Pieces (1910) Six Fancies (1917) Four Concert Pieces (1920) Boyhood Recollections (1925) Spanish Dance (1909) Cradle Song (1909) * Zina Schiff (violin) Mary Barranger (piano) Cherina Carmel (piano) * Recorded Warren Studios, University of California, San Diego, March 1998 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559061 [69.26] [JW]

The influence is along the Schumann-Dvořák-MacDowell line … plenty of dancing vigour, open-hearted warmth and some swashbuckle … see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Praeludium in F sharp minor, BuxWv 146, Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam, BuxWv 180, Der Tag der ist so freudenreich, BuxWv 182, Ciacona in C minor, BuxWv 159, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BuxWv 184, Erhalt uns Herr bei deinem Wort, BuxWv 185, Te Deum laudamus, BuxWv 218 Praeludium, Te deum laudamus, Pleni sunt coeli et terra, Te Martyrium, Tu devicto, Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BuxWv 183, Passacaglia in D minor, BuxWv 161, Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BuxWv 186, Praeludium in E minor, BuxWv 142, Wolfgang Rübsam, organ Rec. Brombaugh Organ, Central Lutheran Church, Eugene, Oregon, March 2002 Buxtehude Organ Music, Volume 3 NAXOS 8.555991 [70:32]

In conclusion, the new Rübsam disc deserves a strong recommendation ...see Full Review

William BYRD (c.1540-1623)
Thomas TALLIS (c.1505-1585) …in chains of gold… 1 BYRD Prelude in C [1:06] 2 TALLIS O nata lux [1:59] 3 BYRD Laententur coeli [2:59] 4 TALLIS Salvator mundi (I) [2:58] 5 TALLIS Organ hymn on "Veni Redemptor"(I) [1:24] 6 TALLIS Organ hymn on "Veni Redemptor"(II)[1:22] 7-16 BYRD Mass a 5 17 BYRD Organ hymn on "Clarifica me, Pater" [2:34] 18 BYRD Gaudeamus omnes [5:17] 19 TALLIS O sacrum convivium [3:22] 20 BYRD Justorum animae [2:44] Dunedin Consort: Susan Hamilton, soprano; Clare Williamson, Mezzo soprano; Ashley Turnell, Tenor; Warren Trevelyan-Jones, Tenor; Matthew Brook, Bass; John Kitchen, Organ Recorded at Crichton Collegiate Church, Midlothian on 19-23 January, 2003 DELPHIAN RECORDS DCD 34008 [51:53] [SA]

This is music to make the hair stand on end regardless of one’s religious convictions … see Full Review

Detailed listing (last two days)]
[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]

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