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RECORDING OF THE MONTH John ADAMS (b. 1947) On the Transmigration of Souls Philip Smith, trumpet New York Choral Artists (Joseph Flummerfelt, director) Brooklyn Youth Chorus (Diane Berkun, director) New York Philharmonic Orchestra/Lorin Maazel Recorded at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC, 19-24 Sept 2002 NONESUCH 7559 79816-2 [25.03] [NH]

Quintessential Adams, evoking the artistically benevolent spirits of Ives, Whitman, Sibelius and Mahler all bound by a common devotion to humanity and universality. An absolutely essential disc. ... see Full Review

Beth ANDERSON (b. 1950) March Swale (a) Pennyroyal Swale (a)New Mexico Swale (b, c, d, e, f, g)The Angel (h, a, i, j, g)January Swale (a)Rosemary Swale (a)Piano Concerto (a, i, k, f) Jessica Marsten (soprano) (h) Rubio String Quartet (a) Andrew Bolotowsky (flute/piccolo) (b) Dirk Van den Hauwe (violin) (c)Marc Sonnaert (viola) (d) Ilia Laporev (cello) (e)David Rozenblatt (percussion, marimba) (f)Joseph Kubera (celeste, piano) (i) Andre Tarantiles (harp) (j)Darren Campbell (string bass) (k) Gary M. Schneider (conductor) (g) Recorded November 20th, 21st 2003, Studio C. Mirror Image, NYC NEW WORLD RECORDS 80610-2  [66.54] [RH]

Deceptively simple collages of sound by a contemporary American composer originally trained in modernist principles. ... see Full Review

Alexander ARUTIUNIAN (b. 1920) Violin Concerto Armenia 88 (1988) [23:09] Peteris VASKS (b. 1946) Violin Concerto Distant Light (1997) [28:41] Mikhail BRONNER (b. 1951?) Violin Concerto Heaven's Gates (2001) [20:16] Levon Ambartsumian (violin) ARCO Chamber Orchestra/Lewis Nielson rec. Hugh Hodgson Hall, University of Georgia Performing Arts Center, Athens, Georgia, USA. DDD PHOENIX PHCD 153 [72:06] [RB]

A collection that tells us, through the medium of the violin concerto, of the differing approaches to tonality among three contemporary composers ... see Full Review

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788) The Solo Keyboard Music ● 12 ; Sonatas and Petite Pièces ● 2 Sonata in B Minor, W.62/22 (H.132) La Prinzette, W.177/21 (H.91) L’Aly Rupalich, W.117/27 (H.95) La Gleim, W.117/19 (H.89) Sonata in E minor, W.65/30 (H.106) La Stahl, W.117/25 (H.94) La Bergius, W.117/20 (H.90) La Buchholz, W.117/24 (H.93) L’Herrmann, W.117/23 (H.92) Sonata in A minor, W.62/21 (H.131) Miklós Spányi (clavichord) Rec. House of the Lumijoki Youth Association, Finland in July 2000 DDD BIS-CD-1198 [66:00] [PCW]

Not just for specialists, this is a worthwhile disc in every way … see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) The Complete Keyboard Concertos Concerto No.1 in D minor BWV 1052 Concerto No.2 in E major BWV 1053 Concerto No.3 in D major BWV 1054 Concerto No.4 in A major BWV 1055 Concerto No.5 in F minor BWV 1056 Concerto No.7 in G minor BWV 1058 Concerto with two flutes No.6 in F major BWV 1057 Francesco Tristano Schlimé (piano and conductor) The New Bach Players Recorded live in the Arsenal in Metz, October 8th 2002 CD ACCORD ACD 127-2 [53.18 + 47.46] [JW]

Modern instruments but with awareness of baroque practice and what is referred to as an infusion of jazz spirit. ... see Full Review

RECORDING OF THE MONTH The Secret Bach Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue (Rust version BWV 903A) Hass [12.59] Adagio in G major BWV 968 Hass [3.48] Fugue in G minor (after BWV 1000) Hass [5.38] From the Clavier-büchlein für Wilhelm Friedmann Bach: Allemande in G minor BWV 836 Bodechtal [1.47] Menuet 1 BWV 841 Bodechtal [1.11] Menuet 3 BWV 843 Bodechtal [1.55] Partie diverse sopra il Corale ‘O Gott, du frommer Gott’ BWV 767 Schmahl [14.56] Partita in A minor after BWV 1004; arranged by Mortensen; Hass [29.30] Christopher Hogwood, clavichords Recorded in Newnham College, Cambridge and Challow Park, Berkshire in 2002 METRONOME MET CD 1056 [71.54] [JF]

A revelation that such a diminutive keyboard instrument as the clavichord can express such power, emotion and expressiveness. ... see Full Review

J. S. BACH (1685-1750) Christmas Organ Music Piece d’orgue BWV 572 [8’11] Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her BWV 700 [3’05] Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her BWV 738 [1’19] Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her BWV 701 [1’28] Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her BWV 606 [0’50] Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her (Canonic Variations) BWV 769 [12’40] In dulci jubilo BWV 608 [1’23] In dulci jubilo BWV 729 [2’16] Christum wir sollen loben schon BWV 696 [1’15] Christum wir sollen loben schon BWV 611 [2’24] Pastorella BWV 590 [12’25] Puer Natus in Bethlehem BWV 603 [1’41] Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar BWV 607 [1’13] Wir Christenleut BWV 710 [2’05] Wir Christenleut BWV 612 [1’12] Gelobet Seist du, Jesu Christ BWV 697 [0’55] Gelobet Seist du Jesu Christ BWV 604 [1’29] Gelobet Seist du Jesu Christ BWV 722 [1’19] Der Tag, der ist so Freudenreich BWV 605 [1’45] Jesu, meine Freude BWV 610 [2’25] Jesu, meine Freude BWV 713 [4’34] Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich BWV 609 [0’52] Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allzugleich BWV 739 [4’19] John O’Donnell (organ) Rec. Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 30 Sept-1 Oct 2003; 28 June 1996. DDD TALL POPPIES TP166 [73’44] [CB]

This CD is a well put-together collection of all Bach’s Christmas chorale preludes ... see Full Revie

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Ton Koopman plays Bach Organ Works, Harpsichord Pieces and Arias. (DVD) Great Organ Works Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 [3.32] Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 [4.29] Fugue in G minor BWV 578 [3.14] Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654 [7.20] Toccata in D minor, BWV 565 [2.19] Ton Koopman, organ Performed on the greater Silbermann organ (built in 1714-18) at St. Marien Cathedral, Freiberg, Saxony, 16 June 2000 At home with Bach ‘Dir, dir, Jehova, will ich singen,’ BWV 452 [1.26] Toccata in G major, BWV 916 [2.30] ‘Willst du dein Herz mir schenken,’ BWV 518 [1.17] ‘Vater unser im Himmelreich,’ BWV 683 [1.32] ‘So oft ich meine Tobackspfeife,’ BWV 515a [2.23] Amore traditore, BWV 203 [ 12.18] ‘Wer nur ben lieben Gott lässt walten’, BWV 691 [2.20] ‘Ich habe genug,’ BWV 82 ( extracts) [8.14] Toccata in G major, BWV 916 [3.14] ‘Schaff’s mit mir, Gott,’ BWV 514 [1.43] ‘Bist du bei mir,’ BWV 508 [3.03] Minuet in G major BWV Anh. II 116 [1.31] ‘Brunnquell aller Güter,’ BWV 445 [ 2.01] ‘Ihr Gestirn, ihr hohen Lüfte,’ BWV 476 [1.40] Toccata in G major, BWV 916 [3.29] ‘Jesus, unser Trost und Leben,’ BWV 475 [1.40] Minuet in G major (attributed to Christian Petzold) BWV ANH II 114 [1.19] ‘Ich freue mich in dir,’ BWV 465 [1.26] ‘Komm, süßer Tod,’ BWV 478 [3.29] Klaus Mertens, baritone and Ton Koopman, harpsichord and organ Recorded at the Gohliser Schlösschen, Leipzig, 6-8 January 2000 EUROARTS 2050349 DVD [80:00] [JF]

A great introduction to some popular and some little known works of the Master. Settings ‘in church’ and ‘at home’ provide a vivid contrast for this fine music. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1759) The Art Of Fugue Chamber Works by Gyorgy KURTAG Cello Suites Nos. 1 and 5 Keller Quartet Anner Bylsma (cello) Rec.: 2000, Mathematical Institute of the Academy of Science, Budapest (Art of Fugue); 2000, Bartholomaus-Kirche, Dornheim (Cello Suites). Sound format: PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 Picture format: 4:3 Picture standard: NTSCRegion code: 0
EUROARTS 2050759 [71 min. (Art of Fugue); 44 min. (Cello Suites)] [KM]

A must-have DVD for the performances by Anner Bylsma of two cello suites. The Art of Fugue, however, is bland and uninteresting ... see Full Review

Goldberg Variations BWV988 [47.19] Gustav Leonhardt - harpsichord
rec 1978, Haarlem, The Netherlands DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 82876601462 [47.19] [JL]

Gustav Leonhardt will always remain separate from mere ‘other’ harpsichordists. This really is sitting at the feet of the master. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685–1785) Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049 Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050 Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051 Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067 Jean-Pierre Rampal, flute Ton Koopman, harpsichord Monica Huggett and Roy Goodman, violins Ricardo Kanji and Reine-Marie Verhagen, flûtes à bec Wilbert Hazelzet, flute traversiere Jan Schlapp and Trevor Jones, violas Christophe Coin and Sarah Cunningham, violas da gamba Jaap Ter Linden, violoncello The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra Rec. no details given WARNER APEX 2564 61364-2 [73:12] [CM]

If you are looking for something that delves deeper, pulls out new discoveries about composers you thought you knew, then you might look elsewhere. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Complete Cantatas – Volume Six CD 1 [61.45] Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes BWV 76 [32.55] Die Elenden sollen essen BWV 75 [28.50] CD2 [61.23] Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied BWV 190 [16.18] Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei BWV 179 [13.55] Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten BWV 59 [10.48] Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele BWV 69 [20.21] CD3 [72.52] Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft BWV 50 (incomplete) [3.24] Ärgre dich, o Seele, nicht BWV 186 [29.23] Du Hirte Israel, höre BWV 104 [18.38] Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele BWV 69a [18.13] Nun ist das Heil un die Kraft BWV 50 (incomplete) [3.16] Ruth Ziesak – soprano; Elisabeth von Magnus – alto; Paul Agnew – tenor; Klaus Mertens – bass The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir/Ton Koopman rec April and September 1997, Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands ANTOINE MARCHAND CHALLENGE CLASSICS CC 72206 [PW]

Deeply satisfying performances of incomparable music. ... see Full Review

Johann Sebastian BACH Apocryphal Cantatas II: BWV 142 Uns ist ein Kind geboren (c.1711) (attrib. J Kuhnau: 1660-1722 ) BWV 141 Das ist je gewisslich wahr (c.1720) (attrib. G.P. Telemann: 1681-1767) BWV 15 Denn du wirst meine Seele nicht in der Hoelle lassen (c.1710) (attrib. Johann Ludwig Bach: 1677-1741) BWV 160 Ich weiss, dass mein Erloeser lebt (c.1700) (attrib. G. P. Telemann: 1681-1767) Dorothee Mields (soprano) Henning Voss (altus) Henning Kaiser (tenor) Ralf Grobe (bass) I Febiarmonici, Alsfelder Vokalensemble/Wolfgang Helbich Recorded 22–25 Feb, 6–7 June 2001, Radio Bremen Sendesaal CPO 999 985-2 [58.48] [JF]

These works are all so good that they could be by the master himself! Do not miss hearing these works out of some form of musical snobbery! They are tremendous. ... see Full Review

Leonardo BALADA (b. 1933) Guernica (1966) Homage to Sarasate (1975) Homage to Casals (1975) Symphony No.4 Lausanne (1992) Zapata: Images for Orchestra (1988) Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra/Salvador Mas Conde Recorded: Teatre-Auditori Sant Cugat, Barcelona, April-May 2003 NAXOS 8.557342 [69:25] [HC]

This is, I think, the third Balada disc that I have reviewed so far, and it must be the most immediately appealing of the three. ... see Full Review

Samuel BARBER (1910-1981) Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op. 24* [16’51"] Second Essay for Orchestra, Op. 17** [11’12"] Third Essay for Orchestra, Op. 47*** [14’28"] Toccata Festiva, Op. 36**** [14’24] * Karina Gauvin (soprano) **** Thomas Trotter (organ) Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Marin Alsop Recorded at Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow *27 October 2002;**3 May 1999;***18 March 2001; **** at Paisley Abbey, Glasgow 11 June 2002 DDD NAXOS 8.559134 [56’55"] [JQ]

A worthy successor to Alsop’s previous Barber. Very fine indeed .... Knoxville is a particularly conspicuous success. ... see Full Review

Arnold Bax (1883-1953) Piano Sonata No. 1 in F sharp minor (1910) GP127 (Rev. 1921 GP 240) [22.38] Piano Sonata No. 2 in G major (1919) GP217 (Rev 1920 GP225) [22.57] Dream in Exile: Intermezzo (1916) GP176 [11.50] Burlesque (1920) GP229 [03.02] Nereid (1916) GP177 [04.45] In a Vodka Shop (1915) GP162 [03.59] Ashley Wass, piano Recorded at Potton Hall, Suffolk, England 9th -11th October 2003. NAXOS 8.557439 [74.27] [JF]

The first CD of an exciting project to issue all Bax’s piano music. Wass’s playing is up there with Parkin, McCabe and Loveridge. Harriet Cohen herself would be impressed! ... see Full Review

Amy BEACH (1867-1944) Songs Katherine Kelton (mezzo-soprano) Catherine Bringerud (piano) Recorded at The Lodge in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 1999 NAXOS 8.559191 [77.39] [JW]

Performances are idiomatic and full of proselytising zeal. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) The Creatures of Prometheus, Op. 43: Overture [4’43"]; Allegretto [1’40"]; Finale [3’05"] Recorded: 1 November 1942 Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 [7’37"] Recorded 1 June 1931* Leonore Overture No. 1. Op. 138 [8’59"] Recorded 2 June 1931* Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72a [13’01"] Recorded 30 May 1930* Egmont Overture, Op. 84 [7’59"] Recorded 2 June 1931* Symphony No 8 in F major, Op. 93: II Allegro scherzando [3’56"] Recorded 10 June 1927* The Ruins of Athens, Op. 113: Turkish March [3’06"] Recorded 1 November 1942 Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Marche militaire in D major, Op. 51, No. 1 (D.733) [4’29"] Recorded 17 April, 1942 Rosamunde Overture (Die Zauberharfe) D.644 [9’15"] Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam/Willem Mengelberg All recordings made in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam by Telefunken and * by Columbia ADD NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.110864 [68’03"] [JQ]

Conveys a good impression of what Mengelberg, his orchestra and their concert hall must have sounded like. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) String Quartet No.14 Op.131 String Quartet No.16 Op.135 Philharmonia Quartett Berlin Recorded in the Andreaskirche, Berlin-Wannsee, 2001 THOROFON CTH 2466 [66.18] [JW]

Some might find the playing occasionally aloof, battles too easily won, but their clean-limbed approach makes for some stylish playing. ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Trio in C major Op.87 Variations on Là ci darem la mano from Mozart’s Don Giovanni WoO.28 Anton WRANITZKY (1761-1820) Trio in C major Marc Schachman (oboe - principal oboe in the Beethoven), John Abberger (oboe - principal oboe in the Wranitzky) and Lani Spahr (cor anglais) Recorded at St John’s Lutheran Church, Stamford, Connecticut, February 1999 NAXOS 8.554550 [59.20] [JW]

The three American oboists perform with expertise and flexibility ... see Full Review

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Music for Cello and Piano - Volume 3 Cello Sonata No. 4 in C Op.102/1 (1815) Cello Sonata No. 5 in D Op.102/2 (1815) Twelve Variations on "See here the conqu’ring hero comes" from Handel’s Judas Maccabeus WoO45 Duet in E flat for viola and cello WoO32 Duet with two obbligato eyeglasses Maria Kliegel (cello), Nina Tichman (Piano), Tabea Zimmermann (viola) Rec. Clara Wieck Auditorium, Sandhausen, Germany, February 2003; March 2004. DDD NAXOS 8.555787 [58:47] [PCW]

Maintains the highest artistic standards … should not be overlooked …see Full Review

Kristian BLAK (b. 1947) Úr Hólminum (1995)a Hogboy (1997)b Vienne la nuit (1997)c Shaman (2001)d Robert Sonne (double bass)b; Palle Schou-Nielsen (horn)c; Caputad; Det Jyske Ensemblebc; Guđmundur Óli Gunnarsson (conductor)ad Recorded: Viborg Musiksal, Denmark, February-April 2004 (Hogboy, Vienne la nuit); Borgarleikhúsiđ, Reykjavík, April 2004 (Shaman) and Viđistađakirkja, Hafnarfjřrđur, April 2004 (Úr Hólminum) TUTL FKT 22 [48:52] [HC]

Blak is one of the most versatile and gifted composers to have made his mark outside the North Atlantic archipelago. ... see Full Review

Manuel BLANCAFORT (1897-1987) Complete piano music Volume 2 6 Short Pieces (1918-19) Country Games and Dances (1918-20) Intimate Songs I (1918-20) 8 Piano Pieces (1920-21) Miquel Villalba (piano) Rec. 4-5 January 2003, L’Auditorium, Jafre, Spain NAXOS 8.557333 [61.29] [JW]

Owed much to impressionism and Ravel ... gives the music a sense of tension though never mocking romanticism ... see Full Review

Alexander BLECHINGER (b. 1956) Violin Concerto Op. 87 (1987) Piano Concerto Op. 35 ¹ (1995) Elisabeth Jess-Kropfitsch, violin Igo Koch, piano¹ Philharmonie Bohuslav Martinů/Paul Polivnick ORF-Symphonieorchester ¹/Paul Polivnick Recorded in the Konzertsaal, Zlina, Czech Republic January 31st and February 1st 1997, and in the ORF Grosser Sendesaal 1987 ¹. ANTES EDITION BM CD 31.9102 [53.09] [NH]

Effective rhythms pulsating with life - the sleeve-note says it all, Alex Blechinger in a nutshell ... see Full Review

Arrigo BOITO (1842 - 1918) Mefistofele, Opera in 4 acts (1868) [159.00] Text by the composer. Samuel Ramey - Mefistofele Gabriela Benacková - Margherita, Elena Dennis O’Neil - Faust Judith Christin - Marta Emily Manhart - Pantalis Daniel Harper - Wagner Douglas Wunsch - Nereo Chorus and Orchestra of the San Francisco Opera/Maurizio Arena ARTHAUS MUSIK 100 414 [159.00] [PSh]

A great classic performance and recording of this magnificent opera, one of the best shows you’ll ever see ... see Full Review

Claude BOLLING (b. 1930) Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio (1973) [35:26] Suite No. 2 for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio (1987) [51:11] Laurel Zucker, flute, alto flute, bass flute Joe Gilman, piano Jeff Neighbor, bass David Rokeach, percussion Rec. Skywalker Sound in San Rafael, California. DDD CANTILENA RECORDS 66025-2 [35:26 + 51:11] [PG]

About an hour and a half of refined West Coast jazz excellently composed and performed ... see Full Review

Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de SAINT-GEORGES (c.1745-1799) Violin Concertos - vol. 2 Violin Concerto in D Op. Posth. No. 2 Violin Concerto No. 10 in G (c. 1777) Violin Concerto in D Op. 3 No. 1 (1773) Qian Zhou (violin) Toronto Camarata/Kevin Mallon Rec. Grace Church on the Hill, Toronto, April 2003 DDD NAXOS 8.557322 [65:30] [PJW]

This music is certainly worth an airing ... it is beautifully played and a joyful listening experience ... an irresistible bargain ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Piano Concerto No.2 in B flat, op.83*, Sonata No.1, op.1 Sviatoslav Richter (piano), Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Erich Leinsdorf* Recorded October 17th 1960 in the Orchestra Hall, Chicago (Concerto), July 10th 1988, Hasselburg, Scheune (Sonata) BMG CLASSICS/RCA RED SEAL 82876 60860 2 [78:45] [CH]

A legendary, visionary version of the sonata, but don’t make this your only version of the concerto. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Complete Works for Piano Vol. 3 Sonata no.3 in F minor op.5, Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel op.24 Joyce Hatto (piano) Recorded in the Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge (UK), 2002 (op.5), 2002-3 (op.24) CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9029-2 [68:29] [CH]

A truly inspired Handel Variations and thought-provoking version of the Sonata. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Complete Works for Piano Vol. 4 Scherzo in E flat minor op.4, 8 Klavierstücke op.76, Variations on a Theme of Paganini op.35, 3 Ballades op.10 Joyce Hatto (piano) Recorded at the Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, 1994 (opp.4, 76, 10), 2002 (op.35) CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD9030-2 [72:30] [CH]

There is a wonderful "rightness" about Hatto’s Brahms. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) A German Requiem (sung in English) Herbert Janssen (baritone) Vivian Della Chiesa (soprano) Westminster Choir NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini Recorded 24 January 1943 – with broadcast commentaries GUILD GHCD 2290 [73.05] [JW]

Presentation is fine; sound, a real improvement. Performance – for me, uneven. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Lieder, Volume 7 Romanzen und Lieder, Opus 84 (1877-81) [9.48] Sechs Lieder, Opus 85 (1877-82) [12.27] Sechs Lieder, Opus 86 (1877-79) [18.17] Fünf Lieder, Opus 94 (1883-84) [12.23] Juliane Banse (soprano) Iris Vermillion (mezzo soprano) Andreas Schmidt (baritone) Helmut Deutsch (piano) Rec March 1996(Opus 84-85), October 1997 (Opus 86), September 1999 (Opus 94); Kleiner Sendesaal, Radio Berlin Brandenburg CPO 999 447-2 [53.04] [TB]

Andreas Schmidt is a master of this repertoire, affording due credit to a composer whose achievement in this field is too often overlooked. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Vier ernste Gesänge op.121 (Rec.17th July 1950), Sapphische Ode op.94/4, Botschaft op.47/1 (both rec.19th December 1949), Two Songs for contralto with viola obbligato op.91 (rec. 15th February 1949), Alto Rhapsody op.53 (rec. 18th-19th December 1947) Robert SCHUMANN (1810 1856) Frauenliebe und Leben op.42 (Recorded 12th-14th July 1950) Kathleen Ferrier (contralto), John Newmark (piano – Schumann, Brahms op.121), Phyllis Spurr (piano – other Brahms items with piano), Max Gilbert (viola – Brahms op.91), London Philharmonic Orchestra and Male Choir/Clemens Krauss (Rhapsody) Rhapsody recorded in Kingsway Hall, London, others at the Decca Studios, Broadhurst Gardens, London, dates as above. Transfer engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn NAXOS 8.111009 [71:12] [CH]

 Some great singing here and all music lovers should have some Ferrier on their shelves. ... see Full Review

Johannes BRAHMS (1833 -1897) Hungarian Dances for Piano, Books 3 and 4 (Nos. 11-21)Two Sarabandes for Piano, Two Gavottes for Piano, Two Gigues for Piano, Transcription of a Gavotte by Gluck, Study after an Impromptu by Schubert Op.90 No.2, Theme and Variations in D minor. Louis Demetrius Alvanis (piano) No recording information. DDD MERIDIAN CDE 84435 [72'56”][RNB]

All the music is well played and worth having for the Hungarian Dances and the D minor Variations. ... see Full Revie

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) The Complete Works for Piano Volume 5 Fantasien Op.116 Three Intermezzi Op.117 Six Klavierstücke Op.118 Four Klavierstücke Op.119 Joyce Hatto (piano) Recorded at the Concert Artist Studios, Cambridge, 1997, 1998 and 2004 CONCERT ARTIST/FIDELIO RECORDINGS CACD 9031-2 [72.40] [JW]

An impressively argued set of exceptionally taxing repertoire ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Quatre Chansons Françaises, op.posth. (1928)* [12:08] Our Hunting Fathers, op.8 (1936) [28:07] Les Illuminations, op.18 (1939)* [22:21] * Felicity Lott (soprano), Phyllis Bryn-Julson (soprano) English Chamber Orchestra/Steuart Bedford Recorded at Abbey Rd. Studios, London, UK in June/July 1990 (Our Hunting Fathers), and at Henry Wood Hall, London UK in July 1994 (other items) NAXOS 8.557206 [62:38] [GPJ]

These versions are quite fit to take their place alongside the finest available, and all is captured in vivid recordings of the highest standard. It’s great to welcome them back into the catalogue. ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) Les Illuminations, Op. 18, Simple Symphony Op 4, Frank Bridge Variations, Op 10. Franziska Hirzel (soprano) Kiev Chamber Orchestra/Roman Kofman recorded Bonn, 24-6th November, 2003 DDD MDG 601 1275-2 [68'26"] [AO]

Skilled ensemble players with a feel for the variety, imagination and colour of Britten's works for string orchestra ... see Full Review

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976) The foggy, foggy dew [2.32] Sally in our alley [4.10] Tom Bowling [4.28] A brisk young widow [2.01] O Waly Waly [3.32] Sweet Polly Oliver [2.28] Early one morning [2.57] The bonny Earl o’Moray [2.29] The ash grove [2.45] Come you not from Newcastle [1.13] Le roi s’en va-t’en chasse [3.21] La belle est au Jardin d’amour [2.4] The minstrel boy [1.55] How sweet the answer [2.07] The last rose of summer [3.54] Avenging and bright [1.26] Oft in the stilly night [2.34] The miller of Dee [1.44] Ca’ the yowes [3.50] The plough boy [2.05] Peter Pears (tenor), Benjamin Britten (piano) 1-4 recorded October, 5-21 recorded 1961, at Kingsway Hall, London DECCA BRITISH MUSIC COLLECTION 476 1973 [67.00] [EM]

A valuable addition to the fantastic British Music Collection series. This comes very highly recommended. ... see Full Review

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Dietrich Buxtehude (1637 -1707)
Sacred Cantatas
Was frag’ ich nach der Welt, BuxWV 104 [7.57] Jesu, meine Freud und Lust, BuxWV 59 [6.47] Sicut Moses, BuxWV 97 [7.55] Passacaglia, BuxWV 161 (arranged for strings by Kevin Mallon) [6.09] Wenn ich, Herr Jesu, habe dich, BuxWV 107 [8.31] In te, Domine, speravi, BuxWV 53 [2.11] Jubilate Domino, BuxWV 64 [9.06] Wie schmeckt es so lieblich und wohl, BuxWV108 [9.55] Matthew White, counter-tenor; Katherine Hill, soprano; Paul Grindlay, bass Arcadia Ensemble/Kevin Mallon Recorded at Grace Church on the Hill, Toronto, Canada, 13-16 May 2002. NAXOS 8.557041 [58.30] [JF]

A real eye opener. All of these works prove that there is much more to Buxtehude than organ music. One of two of these cantatas are true masterpieces and deserves recognition as such. ... see Full Review

Dietrich BUXTEHUDE (c.1637-1707) Complete Organ Works, Volume 2 Praeludium in E Minor, BuxWV 152 Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, BuxWV 178 Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam, BuxWV Praeludium in A Minor, BuxWV 153 Mensch, wiltu leben seliglich, BuxWV 206 Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BuxWV 221 Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BuxWV 220 Praeludium in C Major, BuxWV 136 Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, BuxWV 222 Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ, daß du gen Himmel gefahren bist, BuxWV 224 Praeludium in A Major, BuxWV 151 Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV 214 Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BuxWV 215 14. Praeludium in E Minor, BuxWV 142 Bine Bryndorf, organ Recorded on Buxtehude Organ at St. Mary's Church, Elsinore, Denmark, February 2003 DACAPO 8.226008[51:04] [DS]

I highly recommend this second volume from Bine Bryndorf. The playing is outstanding, and the use of the Buxtehude organ at Elsinore adds to the authenticity. I look forward to Volume 3 and hope that it is soon forthcoming. ... 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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