Penguin Guide Rosette Winners

Composers - A-B

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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-32 (Complete)

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-32 (Complete)

(Recorded 1951-56)


“Wilhelm Kempff was the most inspirational of Beethoven pianists. Those who have cherished his earlier stereo cycle for its magical spontaneity will find Kempff's qualities even more intensely conveyed in this mono set, recorded between 1951 and 1956. Amazingly the sound has more body and warmth than the stereo, with Kempff's unmatched transparency and clarity of articulation even more vividly caught, both in sparkling Allegros and in deeply dedicated slow movements. If in places he's even more personal, some might say wilful, regularly surprising you with a new revelation, the magnetism is even more intense, as in the great Adagio of the Hammerklavier or the final variations of Op-111, at once more rapt and more impulsive, flowing more freely. The bonus disc, entitled 'An All-Round Musician', celebrates Kempff's achievement in words and music, on the organ in Bach, on the piano in Brahms and Chopin as well as in a Bachian improvisation, all sounding exceptionally transparent and lyrical. Fascinatingly, his pre-war recordings of the Beethoven sonatas on 78s are represented too. Here we have his 1936 recording of the Pathétique, with the central Adagio markedly broader and more heavily pointed than in the mono LP version of 20 years later.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

DG Collectors Edition - 4479662

(CD - 8 discs)

$66.75

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Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Bach, J S: St John Passion, BWV245

Sung in English


“Britten characteristically refuses to follow any set tradition, whether Baroque, Victorian or whatever, and, with greater extremes of tempo than is common (often strikingly fast), the result makes one listen afresh...A superb bargain.” Penguin Guide, 2010 ***

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Decca and DG 2-CD sets - Half Price

Decca - Double Decca - 4438592

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $16.25

Special: $8.12

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C.P.E. Bach - Sanguineus and Melanchilicus

C.P.E. Bach - Sanguineus and Melanchilicus


includes

Bach, C P E:

Quartet (Trio) for Flute, Viola, Cello and Keyboard in D major, Wq. 94 (H538)

Trio Sonata in G minor for viola da gamba and keyboard, Wq.88, H.510: Larghetto

Trio Sonata in C Minor 'Sanguineus & Melancholicus', Wq. 161/2 (H578)

Oboe Sonata in A minor, Wq. 132 (H562)


“More than half a century separates the earliest and the latest of the works here. The C major Trio Sonata was one of Bach's earliest compositions, written at the age of 17 more or less under his father's supervision, and the D major Quartet was composed in the last year of his life, while he was Music Director in Hamburg. The remaining items date from his time at the court of Frederick the Great. The C minor Sonata is extraordinary, a programmatic work 'portraying a conversation between a Sanguineus and a Melancholicus' who disagree throughout the first two movements, but the former's outlook prevails in the finale. The talented Florilegium players bring out to the full the bewilderingly diverse character of this sonata.
If the Sonata for unaccompanied flute was written for Frederick, as seems likely, he must have been quite skilled, able to cope with some virtuoso passagework. Ashley Solomon's performance is most persuasive. How far Carl Philipp developed is shown by the late quartet, an attractive composition which, besides promoting the keyboard (fortepiano here) from a mere continuo to prominent solo status, is already in the style of the Viennese classics in form, and links the first two movements. The whole disc is strongly recommended.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Building a Library

Highly Recommended - September 2005

Channel - CCS11197

(CD)

$16.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bach, C P E: Sonata and Rondos

Bach, C P E: Sonata and Rondos


GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2002

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

DG - E4596142

(CD)

$16.50

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Bach, J S: Violin Concertos

Bach, J S: Violin Concertos


Bach, J S:

Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV1041

Arthur Grumiaux (violin)

Les Solistes Romands, Arpad Gerecz

Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV1042

Arthur Grumiaux (violin)

Les Solistes Romands, Arpad Gerecz

Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, BWV1043

Arthur Grumiaux, Herman Krebbers (violins)

Les Solistes Romands, Arpad Gerecz

Concerto for Oboe & Violin in D minor, BWV1060

Arthur Grumiaux (violin), Heinz Holliger (oboe)

New Philharmonia Orchestra, Edo de Waart


Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Building a Library

First Choice - October 2012

Decca - 4207002

(CD)

$12.00

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Bach - Complete Violin Sonatas

Bach - Complete Violin Sonatas


Bach, J S:

Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord Nos. 1-6, BWV1014-1019

Sonata for Violin & Harpsichord No. 6 in G major, BWV1019a

Violin Sonata in G minor, BWV1020

Violin Sonata in G major, BWV1021

Violin Sonata in F major, BWV1022

Violin Sonata in E minor, BWV1023


Arthur Grumiaux (violin), Christiane Jaccottet (harpsichord), Philippe Mermoud (cello)

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Decca and DG 2-CD sets - Half Price

Decca Duo - 4540112

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $16.25

Special: $8.12

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In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bach, J S: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1

Bach, J S: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1


Here is Book 1 of Bach's immortal 'Forty-eight' played by Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt of whose recording of the Partitas Australia's Soundscapes magazine said: 'Only superlatives will do. My appreciation of this Canadian pianist is enormous; I classify her among the top performers of our time.' And Gramophone said of the same set: 'Hardline purists who baulk at the thought of Bach on the piano should put aside their convictions long enough to hear Angela Hewitt.' Angela Hewitt's '48' (Book 2 will be issued next year) is destined to join the small list of the very greatest recordings of Bach's incomparable masterpiece. The set is graced by her own absorbing and perceptive notes on each of the Preludes and Fugues, the subjects of which are all printed in the CD booklet.

'The first recorded performances by a pianist of Book I that have made me want to hear them many times over. Strongly recommended' (Gramophone)

“Admirers of Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt's lightly articulated and elegantly phrased Bach playing won't be disappointed by this recording.
These qualities characterise the playing of each and every one of these profoundly didactic yet sublimely poetic pieces. Her restrained use of the sustaining pedal, her consequently clearly spoken articulation, and the resultant lucidity of musical thought, bring to mind the recorded performances of Edwin Fischer. Hewitt certainly sounds more comfortable in a studio than Fischer ever did, and her technique is more consistently disciplined than his was under these circumstances. Her reflective view of the more inward-looking fugues, such as the lyrical one in E flat minor, is most attractive. Taut, but with a suppleness that's entirely devoid of stiffness, this is indeed cogent and gracefully beautiful playing of a high order. You may sense, from time to time, an overtly intense element of subjective thought in her understanding of the music, a quality which seems to be endorsed by occasional references in her lively, illuminating and detailed introduction, to Bach's 'sense of inner peace', and so on. However, to conclude on a thoroughly positive and enthusiastic note, these are performances of Book 1 that you'll want to hear many times over. The recording and instrument sound well, too.
Hewitt's Book 2 is a delight to both ear and mind. Everything is in the best taste and free of exhibitionism. There are subtle tonal nuances, natural rises and falls of dynamics, well-defined differentiation of contrapuntal lines and appreciation of the expressive implications of Bach's chromaticisms. Throughout her playing of these preludes and fugues – several longer, more mature and more demanding than those of Book 1 – there's a sense of unhurried poise, with flowing rhythm. The air of tranquillity is underlined by her frequent adoption of very quiet openings, many of which then take on a warmer tone towards the end – even the E major Fugue, which Landowska labelled 'combative', is handled quietly, yet she's able to sound contemplative (as in the E major Fugue) without lapsing into Tureckian reverentiality.
Just occasionally Bach's more intense movements tempt her into emotional rubatos which, though musically affecting, take Bach out of his century, and not everyone will care for the big allargandos she makes at the ends of some of the earlier movements. Otherwise these are musicianly and imaginative performances.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Hyperion - up to 25% off

Hyperion - Angela Hewitt Bach - CDA67301/2

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $33.25

Special: $27.26

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bach, J S: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2

Bach, J S: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2


This is the fifth release in Angela Hewitt's universally acclaimed series of Bach's keyboard music which is fast being seen as the definitive modern recording of this repertoire on the piano. Bach's Well-tempered Clavier ('The 48') consists of two books of 24 Preludes and Fugues in all the major and minor keys, and has been described as the pianist's 'Old Testament'. For over two hundred years these pieces have been the foundation of every pianist's repertoire.

'A delight to both ear and mind. I have nothing but enthusiasm for Angela Hewitt's musicianly and imaginative performances' (Gramophone)

“Admirers of Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt's lightly articulated and elegantly phrased Bach playing won't be disappointed by this recording.
These qualities characterise the playing of each and every one of these profoundly didactic yet sublimely poetic pieces. Her restrained use of the sustaining pedal, her consequently clearly spoken articulation, and the resultant lucidity of musical thought, bring to mind the recorded performances of Edwin Fischer. Hewitt certainly sounds more comfortable in a studio than Fischer ever did, and her technique is more consistently disciplined than his was under these circumstances. Her reflective view of the more inward-looking fugues, such as the lyrical one in E flat minor, is most attractive. Taut, but with a suppleness that's entirely devoid of stiffness, this is indeed cogent and gracefully beautiful playing of a high order. You may sense, from time to time, an overtly intense element of subjective thought in her understanding of the music, a quality which seems to be endorsed by occasional references in her lively, illuminating and detailed introduction, to Bach's 'sense of inner peace', and so on. However, to conclude on a thoroughly positive and enthusiastic note, these are performances of Book 1 that you'll want to hear many times over. The recording and instrument sound well, too.
Hewitt's Book 2 is a delight to both ear and mind. Everything is in the best taste and free of exhibitionism. There are subtle tonal nuances, natural rises and falls of dynamics, well-defined differentiation of contrapuntal lines and appreciation of the expressive implications of Bach's chromaticisms. Throughout her playing of these preludes and fugues – several longer, more mature and more demanding than those of Book 1 – there's a sense of unhurried poise, with flowing rhythm. The air of tranquillity is underlined by her frequent adoption of very quiet openings, many of which then take on a warmer tone towards the end – even the E major Fugue, which Landowska labelled 'combative', is handled quietly, yet she's able to sound contemplative (as in the E major Fugue) without lapsing into Tureckian reverentiality.
Just occasionally Bach's more intense movements tempt her into emotional rubatos which, though musically affecting, take Bach out of his century, and not everyone will care for the big allargandos she makes at the ends of some of the earlier movements. Otherwise these are musicianly and imaginative performances.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Hyperion - up to 25% off

Hyperion - Angela Hewitt Bach - CDA67303/4

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $33.25

Special: $27.26

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Murray Perahia - Songs Without Words

Murray Perahia - Songs Without Words


Bach, J S:

Chorales, arranged by Busoni

Liszt:

Piano Transcriptions of Schubert Songs

Mendelssohn:

Song without Words, Op. 19b No. 3 in A major 'Hunting Song'

Song without Words, Op. 67 No. 2 in F sharp minor

Song without Words, Op. 30 No. 4 in B minor

Song without Words, Op. 19b No. 1 in E major 'Sweet Remembrance'

Song without Words, Op. 19b No. 5 in F sharp minor

Song without Words, Op. 30 No. 6 in F sharp minor 'Venezianisches Gondellied No. 2'

Song without Words, Op. 38 No. 3 in E major

Song without Words, Op. 102 No. 5 in A major 'Childrens Piece'

Song without Words, Op. 38 No. 2 in C minor

Song without Words, Op. 30 No. 2 in B flat minor

Song without Words, Op. 67 No. 1 in E flat major

Song without Words, Op. 38 No. 6 in A flat major 'Duetto'

Song without Words, Op. 67 No. 4 in C major 'Spinning Song' or 'Bee's Wedding'

Song without Words, Op. 53 No. 4 in F major

Song without Words, Op. 62 No. 2 in B flat major


Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Sony - SK66511

(CD)

$14.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Barber: Orchestral Works Volume 1

Barber: Orchestral Works Volume 1


Barber, S:

Symphony No. 1, Op. 9

First Essay for Orchestra Op. 12

Overture to The School for Scandal, Op. 5

Symphony No. 2, Op. 19


“Under Marin Alsop's sensitive guidance, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra has found the heartbeat of this music.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2000

“That Marin Alsop is a musician of outstanding gifts is amply reinforced by this all-Barber anthology. In her red-blooded rendering of the wartime Second Symphony, she shows just what a powerfully inspired creation it is, extracting every ounce of sinewy logic from its fraught outer movements, while distilling wonder and atmosphere in the haunting central Andante, unpoco mosso. No less convincing is her reading of the magnificent First Symphony, always acutely responsive to the music's daring expressive scope and building climaxes of riveting cumulative intensity. In its unhurried authority, big heart and epic thrust, it's the kind of interpretation you could have imagined from Bernstein in his NYPO heyday. Elsewhere, she brings an aptly bardic quality to the outer portions of the First Essay, while few could fail to respond to the twinkling affection and gentle wit she lavishes on the irresistible School for Scandal Overture.
Were the orchestral contribution just a fraction more polished, this would be a world-beater.
Zinman's stylish 1991 anthology with the Baltimore SO tends to throw into sharper relief the relative shortcomings of Alsop's hard-working Scots (their fiddles especially lack something in silk-spun refinement and tone when playing above the stave). The expert engineering can't quite disguise the acoustical shortcomings of Glasgow's Henry Wood Hall, but the result is tonally truthful and conveys plenty of impact when required.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“the two Symphonies are played by the Scottish orchestra with passionate commitment and deep lyrical feeling.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Building a Library

Budget Choice - June 2006

Naxos American Classics - 8559024

(CD)

$8.75

(also available to download from $7.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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