Penguin Guide Rosette Winners

Composers - A-B

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Byrd Edition Volume 5 - The Masses

Byrd Edition Volume 5 - The Masses


Byrd:

Fantasia MB46

Mass for four voices

Voluntary a3

Mass for three voices

Fantasia in C (Bk 25)

Mass for five voices


These intimate, dark, mystical settings are creations of great feeling, expressing the sorrow of deprivation. All three masses reach an intensity rarely equalled in Renaissance times, and culminating in Agnus Dei settings which are among the most poignantly beautiful in all music. These will remain definitive performances for many years to come. Each mass in preceded by an organ Fantasia. Suprisingly there is only one other modern issue currently to present all three masses on a single CD.

“The singing is technically polished, the tuning faultless and the overall sonority rounded and rich.” Choir & Organ

“This is incomparable music by one of the great est English composers and it was high time for someone to take a fresh look at these works in the light of more recent research and of changing attitudes to performance practice.
Byrd had composed his three settings of the Ordinary of the Mass in troubled times for the small recusant Catholic community that still remained in England in spite of persecution.
The settings would have been sung, in all probability, during festive, albeit furtive, celebrations of the old time-honoured Roman liturgy, in private chapels in the depths of the country, at places such as Ingatestone, the seat of Byrd's principal patron, Sir John Petre. Andrew Carwood has recorded them in the Fitzalan Chapel of Arundel Castle, a small but lofty building with a clear resonance that enables the inner voices of the part-writing to come through straight and clean. It hasn't the aura of King's College Chapel, but is probably easier to manage than, say, Winchester Cathedral or Merton College Chapel.
Carwood uses two voices to a part in all three Masses. In comparison with rival recordings he's alone in selecting high voices for the three-part Mass, transposed up a minor third, which introduces a note of surprising lightness and grace. He, too, is alone in taking the initiative of using an allmale choir for the four-part Mass – alto, tenor, baritone, bass. This close, low texture, together with the transposition down an augmented fourth, adds a fitting sense of gravity to the performance.
In particular, it heightens the poignancy of such passages as the 'dona nobis pacem' in the AgnusDei, with its series of suspensions in the drooping phrases leading to the final cadence.
That dimension of understanding is precisely what this recording by The Cardinall's Musick so keenly demonstrates. Theirs is a simplicity of style that belies simplistic criticism. Vibrato is used sparingly: 40 years on, some listeners might consider its constant use by a King's Choir of the late 1950s almost too overpowering. Carwood chooses his tempos with care, avoiding the modern tendency to speed everything up inordinately.
The interesting historical note on the whole background is a good pointer to what the listener may experience as the music unfolds.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Building a Library

First Choice - December 2003

Building a Library

First Choice - June 2013

Presto CD

20% off ASV & Gaudeamus

Gaudeamus Cardinall’s Musick Complete Byrd Edition - CDGAU206

(Presto CD)

Normally: $14.50

Special: $11.60

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67, etc.

Britten:

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34

Dame Edna Everage (narrator)

Poulenc:

L'histoire de Babar, le petit éléphant

Barry Humphries (narrator)

Prokofiev:

Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67

Dame Edna Everage (narrator)


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Naxos - 8554170

(CD)

$7.00

(also available to download from $7.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83, etc.

Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83

Tchaikovsky:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23


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Rosette Winner

Historical Recordings - up to 25% off

Naxos Historical Great Pianists - 8110671

(CD)

Normally: $7.00

Special: $5.95

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Mewton-Wood plays Twentieth Century Piano Concertos

Mewton-Wood plays Twentieth Century Piano Concertos


Bliss:

Piano Concerto in B flat major

Utrecht Symphony Orchestra

Shostakovich:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor for piano, trumpet & strings, Op. 35

with Harry Sevenstern (trumpet)

Concert Hall Symphony Orchestra

Stravinsky:

Concerto for Piano & Wind Instruments

Residentie Orchestra, The Hague


Noel Mewton-Wood (piano)

Walter Goehr

“…Mewton-Wood's hell-raising display is in a class of its own, elevating Bliss's extrovert rhetoric to new levels of musical excitement. So too is the Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Winds, especially the pile-driving syncopations towards the close of the first movement where Mewton-Wood's fearless attack and rhythmic control are breathtaking. All in all, a worthy commemoration of a significant artist, definitely not to be missed.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2009

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Rosette Winner

British Music Society - BMS101CDH

(CD)

$9.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Beethoven - Symphony No. 4

Beethoven - Symphony No. 4


Beethoven:

Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60

Strauss, R:

Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40

Leon Spierer (solo violin)


The concert which Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic gave in London’s Royal Festival Hall on the evening of Saturday 27 April 1985 was their first in England for four years. In May 1981 they had played Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony in the Royal Festival Hall and given an unforgettable concert of music by Bach, Mozart and Richard Strauss in Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre. London had not been included in the orchestra’s itinerary in its centenary year in 1982 and for much of 1983-84 Karajan and the orchestra had barely been on speaking terms. Since the centenary year had been something of a high water mark in this hitherto sensationally successful 27-year partnership, the breakdown in relations came as something of a shock to the musical world. There were times in 1984 when it looked as if the two parties would go their separate ways; finally, a reconciliation was effected in the late summer of that year ahead of a scheduled tour of Japan and South Korea. The Krach was ostensibly over the appointment of a new clarinettist but there were other factors too, not least Karajan’s advancing years and stirrings among a contingent of mainly younger players keen to assert their independence and exploit the financial strength which the orchestra’s sky-high reputation now conferred on them. Throughout his life, Karajan had been noted for his extraordinary mental and physical prowess. Now in his mid-70s, he was troubled by a painful and ultimately irreversible spinal condition that had nearly cost him his life in the winter of 1975-76. He had soldiered on but even his energies were finite. In April 1985, he had invited Klaus Tennstedt to share the conducting burden at the Salzburg Easter Festival. ‘It was good to have Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, happily reunited after a prolonged disagreement, pay their first visit to the Festival Hall – an event said to have caused prices of black market tickets to reach astronomical heights,’ wrote Peter Stadlen in the Daily Telegraph. The audience was clearly shocked to see how frail Karajan had become as he edged towards the rostrum. (He himself likened his experience of walking unaided in his later years to stepping on sheet ice.) The Times reported a slight stumble in the advance, at which point ‘the applause hiccupped in a breathless unison’. Yet once settled on the podium, Karajan was, as ever, fully in control, master of all he surveyed. Extract from the booklet note © Richard Osborne, 2008

“For anyone lucky enough to have secured a ticket few orchestral concerts have remained so vividly in the memory as the one given by Karajan's incomparable Berlin Philharmonic in London's Royal Festival Hall on April 27, 1985.
The surprises began with the conductor's own physical frailty. Edging unsteadily towards the rostrum and propping himself up against the railing, he adopted the peculiar posture that enabled him to remain upright and in command notwithstanding a debilitating spinal condition.
In truth the Beethoven was and is a gift to his many detractors. With the maestro unwilling or unable to lift his arms, the band turns in its patented imitation of a gramophone record. Surfaces are immaculate but it's like being trapped in a pudding without air in the texture. Phrases, even whole sections glide by with no intake of breath and the first two movements in particular may induce feelings of claustrophobia in younger listeners. They should persevere.
No superlatives can convey the inevitability, conviction and sweep of Karajan's Heldenleben which makes even this notoriously shrill-sounding venue resound in glory. The original BBC sound team of producer Misha Donat and balance engineer John McCulloch capture a paradoxical sonority, rich yet transparent, 'lambent in its beauty, never cloying or opaque' as described by Richard Osborne in his characteristically generous booklet-notes. The battle scene may be slow but was it ever more incisively chronicled? The Strauss at least is indispensable.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Karajan's Beethoven Fourth was recorded when the Berlin Philharmonic came to London in 1985. Its excellent speaks for itself and the coupling is equally memorable.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Testament - SBT1430

(CD)

$13.25

Usually despatched in 4 - 6 working days.

Albéniz: Iberia

Albéniz: Iberia


Albéniz:

Iberia, books 1-4 (complete)

Navarra

Suite española No. 1, Op. 47


The name of Alicia de Larrocha is synonymous with Spanish music and her substantial and wide-ranging discography for Decca includes several recordings of music by Albéniz and Granados which are regarded as definitive. Larrocha first recorded Iberia for Decca in 1972 and revisited the work in 1986. It is this second, multi award-winning recording which now appears in Decca "Originals", and for the first time at mid-price.

“A real meeting of minds, these CDs capture perfectly the insight and poetry that de Larrocha brings to this quintessentially Hispanic music, and Decca's warm but not oppressively close recording is ideal.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2008 *****

“In her digital Decca version, Alicia de Larrocha brings an altogether beguiling charm and character to these rewarding miniature tone-poems and makes light of their sometimes fiendish technical difficulties. The recording is among the most successful of piano sounds Decca has achieved” Penguin Guide

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Decca - Originals - 4780388

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.00

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45

Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45


“The chorus standing in (literally) serried ranks, singing from memory; rich, turbo-charged orchestral playing… it all seems more Cecil B de Mille than Brahms.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2008 ***

“Gundula Janowitz sings gloriously, matched by Jose van Dam's full tone and sense of drama...a performance of both fervour and fully revealed detail.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

DG Unitel - 0734398

(DVD Video)

$17.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Music for Wind Band

Music for Wind Band


Bach, J S:

Fantasia in G major, BWV572

Handel:

Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV351

Holst:

Suite No. 1 for Military Band in E flat major, Op. 28 No. 1, H105

Suite No. 2 for Military Band in F major, Op. 28 No. 2, H106


Cleveland Symphonic Winds, Frederick Fennell

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Telarc - CD80038

(CD)

$8.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Beethoven - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3

Beethoven - Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37


'For me Beethoven is like a god. I worship him, and I admire his music. It always produces very deep emotions in me when I'm conducting it or playing it on the piano.' (Mikhail Pletnev)

“…there were times when I genuinely wondered if even five stars wasn't insulting to playing of such glorious playful penetration. …the next minute Pletnev does something that makes you howl with disbelief.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2007 ***

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Presto CD

DG - 4776415

(Presto CD)

$14.50

(also available to download from $8.25)

Usually despatched in 1 - 2 working days. (Available now to download.)

Buxtehude - Harpsichord Works 1

Buxtehude - Harpsichord Works 1

Opera Omnia 1


Buxtehude:

La Capricciosa - 32 Variations on the ‘Bergamasca', BuxWV 250

Suite in C, BuxWV 230

Suite in F, BuxWV 238

Suite in D, BuxWV 233

Courant simble in A minor, BuxWV 245

Suite in E, BuxWV 235

Aria: More Palatino, Variatio 1 – 12, BuxWV 247

Suite in C, BuxWV 228

Gigue Suite in G, BuxWV 242

Suite in C, BuxWV 226

Suite in A, BuxWV 243

Suite in D, BuxWV 234

Suite in D, BuxWV 232

Suite in D [ed. E. Roger, 1710]

Suite in C, BuxWV 231

Prelude and Fugue in G minor, BuxWV163


Ton Koopman (harpsichord)

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

Challenge Classics Buxtehude Opera Omnia - CC72240

(CD - 2 discs)

$24.25

(also available to download from $20.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

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