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Tomaso ALBINONI (1671-1751) Twelve Concertos, Op. 10 (1736)
Giuliano Carmignola, Piero Toso (violins) I Solisti Veneti/Claudio Scimone Rec. September 1979, Villa Simes, Piazzola sul Brenta, Italy. DDD
WARNER APEX 61136-2 (Nos. 1-6) [52.16] WARNER APEX 61296-2 (Nos. 7-12) [55.5 0] [TB]

The strengths of these performances can be found in their rich and pleasing string tone, and their abundant rhythmic vitality. ... see Full Review

Robert ALLWORTH (b. 1943) (A) Prelude for the Most Holy Name of St. George and The Dragon (1990). Meditations of Early English Saints (1990). Saint Giles and Saint Chad, Saint Richard of Chichester and Saint Thomas of Hereford, Saint Dunston and Saint Cuthbert, Saint Charles of Glastonbury and Saint Alban, Saint Joseph of Arimathaea and Saint William of Norwich, Saint Robert of Newminster and Saint Peter of Salisbury Carson P. COOMAN (contemporary) (A) Tenebrae Canticle (2001) Dawning (2002) Thomas Luis de VICTORIA (1548 – 1611) (B) Kyrie Eleison and Gloria in Excelsis Deo from Missa O Magnum Mysterium GOOD FRIDAY HYMN – "The Royal Banners Forward Go" (C) Lawrence BARTLETT (contemporary) (D) Ceremonial Te Deum (1988) Eric GROSS (contemporary) Rondino Pastorale, Op. 33 (1962) (E)
Prefatory Sonnet Op. 139/1 (1984) – poem by Henry Kendall (F) Derek STRAHAN (contemporary) Atlantis Variations for solo piano Part 2 (1992) (G) Female Magic
Ann CARR-BOYD Fandango (1982) (H) Maladies of Love (1992) (I) (A) played by Carson Cooman on the Organ at Harvard University Memorial Church U.S.A. 17/05/2002 (B) Diana Sapsford / Lynn Moffat / Charles Dale / Neil McEwan with the Choir of Christ Church Saint Laurence, Sydney, conducted by Colin Sapsford.(1979) (C) Christ Church Saint Laurence Choir and Congregation, Sydney conducted by Colin Sapsford. (1962)
(D) Bransby Byrne (organ) with the Choir of Saint Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney conducted by Michael Deasey. (1988) (E) Adrian and Paul Hooper (mandolins), Joyce Bootsma (mandola), Barbara Hooper (guitar), Michael Hooper (bass guitar) and Michael Scott (flute) 2/9/95 (F) Anthony Walker (tenor), Ingrid Pearson (clarinet) and Peter Maddox (piano) 8/8/91 (G) Derek Strahan (piano) 8/6/2002 (H) Sydney Mandolins Large Ensemble conducted by Adrian Hooper (1982) (I) Ann Carr-Boyd, (piano) 10/02/93 DDD JADE RECORDS JADCD-1095 [64.09] [JPh]

This disc will do much less for Australia than their football, rugby or cricket teams are capable of doing. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Well Tempered Clavier: Book I, BWV 846-869 Till Fellner, piano Rec. Jugendstiltheater, Vienna, September 2002 ECM NEW SERIES 1853/54 B0002285-02 [54’05 + 60’41] [DS]

The set will receive serious consideration as one of my Records of the Year 2004, and I strongly urge readers to consider its acquisition. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, No. 2 in F Major, No. 3 in G major, Concerto for Flute in E minor Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute) Orchestre de Chambre Jean-François Paillard, Jean-François Paillard (conductor) Recorded 1972, 1985 Erato Disques ADD/DDD WARNER CLASSICS APEX 2564 61363-2 [59.22] [EM]

If gentility and clarity are what you are after, this reissue provides them at a bargain price. ... see Full Review

J. S. BACH (1685-1750) Six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord BWV 1014-1019 Christine Busch, violin with Kay Johannsen harpsichord Rec. Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, March 2002 CARUS VERLAG 93.164 [45.27 + 53.28] [GH]

I have my reservations about Busch and Johannsen but on the whole I shall be listening again to their recordings and hopefully enjoying much about them ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Cantatas: Volume 24 Cantatas from Leipzig, 1724: Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben, BWV8ab [17’06]; Allein zu dir, Herr, Jesu Christ, BWV33b [19’11]; Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gott,BWV113 (ab) Appendix: Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben, BWV8 - Chorus, Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben (second version, 1746/7?) [5’35]. (a)Yukari Nonoshita (soprano); (b )Robin Blaze (counter-tenor); (b)Gerd Türk (tenor); (b)Peter Kooij (bass); Bach Collegium Japan/Masaaki Suzuki Rec. Kobe Shoin Women’s University Chapel, Japan, 6, 10 Oct 2002. DDD Texts and translations included. Sponsored by NEC BIS CD-1351 [67’37]

In short, this is a very special disc .. There is much to delight. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) St Matthew Passion (abridged) Evangelist - Karl Erb (tenor) Jesus – Willem Ravelli (bass) Jo Vincent (soprano) Ilona Durigo (alto) Louis van Tulder (tenor) Herman Schey (bass) Piet van Egmond (organ) Johannes den Hertog (harpsichord) Louis Zimmermann (violin) G. Blanchard (oboe d’amore) W. Peddemors (oboe da caccia) Hubert Barwahser (flute) Amsterdam Toonkunst Choir "Zanglust" Boys’ Choir Concertgebouw Orchestra/Willem Mengelberg Recorded on Psalm Sunday, 2nd April 1939 in the Concertgebouw Suite No.2 in B minor BWV 1067 Concerto in D minor for Two Violins BWV 1010 Louis Zimmermann and Ferdinand Helman (violins) Air from Suite No.3 in D major BWV 1068 (arr. Telico) Concertgebouw Orchestra Air from Suite No.3 in D major BWV 1068 (arr. Mahler) Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York Willem Mengelberg Recorded 1929-38 NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110880-82 [71.42 + 62.46 + 72.58] [LF]

An astonishing survival of a cherishable tradition, bringing unique insights and the lifetime’s experience of a great conductor, played and sung by some of the leading performers of their day. Wonderful. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15 Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19 chamber versions: world premiere recording of arrangements by Uli Schneider Fumiko Shiraga, piano Bremer Streichersolisten (The Bremen String Soloists): Florian Donclerer, violin I; Konstanze Lerbs, violin II; Anja Manthey, viola; Marc Froncoux, cello; Matthias Beltinger, double bass Recorded Germany 2000 BIS-CD-1177 [66:04] [JL]

Two repertory concertos in very fine performances that in these unfamiliar chamber arrangements may be given a new lease of life for some listeners ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37a (1800) [32’59]. Triple Concerto, Op. 56b (1903) [35’36]. aMarguerite Long, bAngelica Morales (pianos); bRicardo Odnoposoff (violin); bStefan Auber (cello); aParis Conservatoire Orchestra, bVienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Felix Weingartner. From Columbia aLX581/4, bLX671/5. Rec. aThéâtre Pigalle, Paris, on June 10th, 1939, bMittlerer Konzerthaussaal, Vienna, on October 20th-21st, 1937. ADD NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110878 [68’35] [CC]

Long seems more super-sensitive than ever, Weingartner the attentive accompanist .. (Triple Concerto) ... this Weingartner .. remains essential listening. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Piano Trios: Trio in D major Op. 70 No. 1; Trio in E flat major Op.70 No. 2 The Peabody Trio Recorded at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City, March 2003 ARTEK AR 0018-2 [65.44] [JW]

Pleasing tonal blend ... neither reverence nor casualness. ... well calibrated accents and sprung rhythm. ... fine, even playing – flexible and light. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1828) Piano Trios Piano Trio No. 1 in E flat Major, op. 1 no. 1 [25.89] Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 1 No. 3 [23.95]Piano Trio No. 4 in B flat major, op. 11 "Gassenhauertrio" [20.24] Haydn-Trio, Wien: Heinz Medjimorec (piano), Michael Schnitzler (violin), Walter Shulz (cello) rec. 1985, 1986 Teldec Classics, International GmbH DDD WARNER CLASSICS APEX 2564 61366-2 [72’12"] [EM]

At bargain price, the version by the Haydn-trio, Wien will certainly not disappoint and is an excellent all-round recording, so comes highly recommended! ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Piano Sonatas, Volume 1 Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique" (1798) Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14, No. 1 (1799) Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 14, No. 2 (1799) Sonata No. 24 in F sharp minor, Op. 78 (1809) Sonata No. 26 in E flat major, Op. 81a "Les adieux" (1809-10) Bagatelle WoO 56 (1804) Murray McLachlan, piano Recorded at Whiteley Hall, Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, Summer 2003 DUNELM RECORDS DRD0201 [78:33] [DS]

Nothing astounding or revelatory but highly idiomatic performances without any of the perfume often possessed by other pianists in this repertoire ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies – No. 2 in D, Op. 36a (1802) [33’01]; No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67b (1808) [35’02] Manchester Camerata/Douglas Boyd. Rec. live, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, aFebruary 14th; bOctober 19th, 2002. DDD AVIE AV0040 [68’12] [CC] SPECIAL OFFER £4.99 post-free world-wide

Nice to see the Manchester Camerata on disc. This orchestra has long seemed undervalued to me .. This bodes very well indeed, if there are to be more discs from this orchestra on this label. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN String Quartets Opus 18 The Sharon Quartet: Gil Sharon, Rodica Ciocoiu (violins), Georg Haag (viola), Alexander Hülshoff (’cello)
rec 1998, Rotterdam, The Netherlands BRILLIANT CLASSICS 92083 [54.17 + 50.53 + 55.04] [PW]

For a complete set of the Opus 18 quartets at a very reasonable price it becomes hard to justify not getting a set such as this. Highly recommendable. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827) Missa Solemnis in D, Op. 123 (1823) [84.32] Tina Kiberg, sop; Waltraud Meier, mezzo; John Aler, ten; Robert Holl, bass. Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Daniel BarenboimRecorded Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois, USA, May 1993 Notes in English, Français, Deutsch. Latin text, no translations. [No SPARS code, but presumed DDD] Previously released on Erato 4509 91731 WARNER ELATUS [2CDs: 84.32]

As fine a performance of Missa Solemnis as you’ll ever hear ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Fidelio (1814) Leonore - Kirsten Flagstad (soprano) Florestan – René Maison (tenor) Rocco – Alexander Kipnis (bass) Pizzaro – Julius Huehn (bass) Marzelline – Marita Farell (soprano) Jacquino – Karl Laufkötter (tenor) Don Fernando – Herbert Janssen (baritone) Prisoners – Emery Darcy and John Gurney Chorus and Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera/Bruno Walter Recorded from a broadcast on 22 February 1941 GUILD GHCD 2269/70 [2 CDs: 72.19 + 78.20] [JW]

You should lose no opportunity to acquaint yourself with Walter’s fast-moving humanity and his intense identification a work that bore more than usual weight and resonance at the time. ... see Full Review

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805) Cello concerto in G major (No.7), G. 480 Sinfonia in B flat major, G. 497 Cello concerto in D major (No.10), G. 483 Sinfonia in D minor, ’La casa del diavolo’ G. 506 Tafelmusik/Jean Lamon (director and baroque violin) Anner Bylsma (baroque cello) Recorded 25-27 November 1988 at Kirche der Karlshohe, Ludwigsburg, Germany. DDD

Boccherini’s undoubted gift for lyricism can be heard to great advantage ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-97) Cello Sonata No.1 in E minor, Op.38 (1862-65) Cello Sonata No.2 in F major, Op.99 (1886) Yo-Yo Ma (cello) Emanuel Ax (piano) Recorded c. 1985 (no other details) DDD RCA RED SEAL CLASSIC LIBRARY 82 876 59415 2 [56’52] [TH]

Consider this budget disc alongside other, more fleet-of-foot readings ... there’s no doubting the star quality on offer here ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Complete Piano Works: Volume 3 Piano Sonata No.3 in F minor Op.5 (1853) Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel Op.24 (1861) Joyce Hatto (piano) Recorded at the Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge 2002 and 2003 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9029-2 [68.29] [JW]

Another splendid contribution to the literature from Joyce Hatto ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833 – 1897) Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 (London version) (1869) Sandrine Piau (soprano), Stephane Degaut (baritone) Brigitte Engerer and Boris Berezovsky (pianos) Accentus/Laurence Equilbey.recorded in the Cite de la musique in Paris in June and July 2003. DDD. NAIVE V 4956 [64’54"] [JPh]

It gives me much pleasure to be able to thoroughly recommend this disc ... see Full Review

Havergal BRIAN (1876-1972) Symphony No. 1 The Gothic (1919-1927) Eva Jenisová (sop), Dagmar Pecková (alto), Vladimir Dolezal (ten), Peter Mikulás (bass) Slovak Philharmonic Choir, Slovak National Opera Chorus, Slovak Folk Ensemble Chorus, Bratislava City Choir, Lucnica Choir, Bratislava Children’s Choir, Youth 'Echo' Choir CSR Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava), Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/Ondrej Lenard rec. Concert Hall, Czechoslovak Radio, Bratislava, 29-31 March, 16-22 Oct 1989. DDD NAXOS 8.557418-419 [59.11+54.56] [RB] [JF]

A work of staggering scale and substance superbly recorded [RB]
A great work. A triumph for the composer, the performers and all concerned. This is one of the great works in the repertoire, in spite of its massiveness and eclecticism.[JF] ... see Full Review


Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Cello Symphony, Op. 68a (1963) [32’33]. Second Suite for solo cello, Op. 80 (1967) [20’01] Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat, Op. 107b (1959) [25’54] Mstislav Rostropovich (cello); Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra/aBenjamin Britten, bGennadi Rozhdestvensky Live performances in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire on aMarch 12th, 1964 (world premiere) and February 10th, 1961. mono ADD EMI CLASSICS GREAT ARTISTS OF THE CENTURY 5 62827-2 [79.33] [CC]

There is no doubt, of course, that Rostropovich occupies a place as a great artist of the last century. These recordings are proof, if proof be needed. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Max BRUCH (1838 - 1920) Violin Concerto No.1 in G Minor, Op. 26 (1868) Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46 (1880)Akiko Suwanai (violin) The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields/Sir Neville Marriner.recorded in St. John’s Smith Square, London in July 1996. DDD PHILIPS 454 180-2 [52’59"]. [JPh]

Akiko Suwanai has a glorious-toned instrument and she knows how to play it to its maximum effect. The accompaniment is superb and there is a recording quality to match. ... see Full Review

Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1896) Symphony No. 4 in E flat Romantic (1878-1880 ed. Nowak) Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Siegfried Idyll Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer Rec. Kingsway Hall, London 1963 (Bruckner), 1961 (Wagner) ADD EMI CLASSICS 562 815 2 [79:01] [PCW]

An interesting disc but not a general recommendation for Bruckner’s 4th Symphony ... see Full Review

Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924) Violin Sonatas: No. 0 in C major (1876) [12:36]; No. 1 in E minor Op. 29 (1890) [22:51]; No. 2 in E minor Op. 36a (1898) [30:12] Lara Lev (violin); Matti Raekallio (piano) rec. Kuusaa Hall, Kuusankoski, Finland, 28-30 July 2003 FINLANDIA 2564 61078 2 [65:39] [RB]

Singing classicism ... ringingly performed ... see Full Review

William BYRD (1543-1623) Consort Songs Rejoice unto the Lord; Ah silly Soul; An aged dame; O dear life, when may it be; Cone to me grief forever; Who likes to love; O that most rare breast; All as a sea; Ye sacred muses; Constant Penelope; O God that guides the cheerful sun; Lullaby: My sweet little baby; How vain the toils. Robin Blaze (counter-tenor) Concordia Recorded at All Saint's Church East Finchley, London, May 2003 HYPERION CDA 67397 [67.21][GH]

The whole disc is absolutely delightful. ... 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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