Classical Music Daily — Tuesday 22 October 2019


Featured today

Piquant Contrasts — A cello and violin recital by Katherine Jenkinson and Ning Kam, heard by Mike Wheeler


Alessandro Scarlatti (1725); Franz Liszt (1811); Louis Spohr (1859); Hikaru Hayashi (1931); Paul Zukofsky (1943); Pau Casals (1973); Nadia Boulanger (1979); Terezija Broka (2018)

Today's concert

ETHEL string quartet (Clinton, United States of America)

Today's festivals

Hong Kong International Piano Competition and Joy of Music Festival (Hong Kong, China); Reate Festival (Lazio, Italy)

Today's background image

Cloud patterns generated by Gimp

Recent Articles

Ensemble. Tremendous and Sublime — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Berlioz's 'Grande Messe des morts'

Classical music news. Obituary — Alicia Alonso (1920-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Hossein Dehlavi (1927-2019)

Classical music news. Martín García García — The young Spanish pianist will give a recital in New York city

CD Spotlight. To Be or Not To Be — Franco Faccio's opera 'Amleto', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A must for all opera lovers, particularly those interested in nineteenth century Italian repertoire.'

Profile. Spectacular Productions — George Colerick explores the rise and decline of French composer Charles Gounod

Portraits. Zoltán Kodály: Part II — by Anett Fodor

CD Spotlight. Something of Rare Beauty — Twentieth century oboe sonatas by York Bowen, Petr Eben, Henri Dutilleux, Eugène Bozza, Francis Poulenc and Camille Saint-Saëns, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'What a fantastic and inspiring team Alex Klein and Phillip Bush make.'

Astonishing Control — Mike Wheeler experiences a completely transfixed audience at Chinese-born pianist Ji Liu's recital of music by Stephen Hough, Debussy, Ji Liu, Beethoven, York Bowen and Stravinsky

Classical music news. 2023 World Symposium of Choral Music — Qatar wins the bid to host this prestigious musical event expected to attract between 2,000 and 4,000 delegates

A Vivid Sense of Theatricality — Mike Wheeler listens to Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Khachaturian from Peter Donohoe and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Simonov

Ensemble. Alternative Energy — San Diego Symphony's new music director Rafael Payare conducts music by Mason Bates and Gustav Mahler, heard by Ron Bierman

Ensemble. 'New Music' in Palermo — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Ludovico Einaudi's opera 'Winter Journey'

CD Spotlight. An Introspective Reflection — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music created by Australian composer Mark John McEncroe. '... beautiful music is currently in demand, and there are listeners for Mark John McEncroe's emotional platform.'

Classical music news. Obituary — Marcello Giordani (1963-2019)

CD Spotlight. Impressive and Delightful — Geoff Pearce listens to Martin Setchell playing the Christchurch Town Hall Rieger organ in New Zealand. '... a wide range of organ music that I am sure will delight lovers of fine organ playing.'

Classical music news. Rich with Music and Human Kindness — The Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival Hartford announces winners of the Young Professional Division (US) national competition - Alexander Pattavina, Joseph Russell and Elena Baquerizo

Ensemble. Don Giovanni's Forefather — Giuseppe Pennisi writes about a performance of 'L'empio punito' by Alessandro Melani

Classical music news. Obituary — Giya Kancheli (1935-2019)

Ensemble. Take A Sabbatical — Giuseppe Pennisi has some advice for Graham Vick, based on the latter's latest production of 'Don Giovanni'

CD Spotlight. Vintage Rossini — A Munich recording of the early opera 'Sigismondo', heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Keri Lynn Wilson paces the work with an uncanny tempo that strikes an ideal balance between the psychological and musical aspects of the opera, and her conducting is consistently sensitive to the nuanced phrasing and textures of the score.'

Classical music news. Obituary — Jessye Norman (1945-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Martin Wesley-Smith (1945-2019)

Ensemble. Hausmusik in the Palatine Hall — by Giuseppe Pennisi

Classical music news. Obituary — Paul Badura-Skoda (1927-2019)

Classical music news. Mortality and Loss — Carolina Eyck releases 'Elegies for Theremin & Voice' on Butterscotch Records on 27 September 2019

Profile. An Innate Songster — On George Gershwin's birthday, George Colerick takes a critical look at the composer of 'Rhapsody in Blue'

Classical music news. Obituary — Christopher Rouse (1949-2019)

CD Spotlight. A Stupendous Disc — Roderic Dunnett listens to countertenor duets by Purcell and Blow. 'The music is sensationally beautiful and touching - and so are the performances.'

Portraits. Zoltán Kodály: Part I — From the Academy to His First Success, by Anett Fodor

CD Spotlight. The Connection that Musical Depth Provides — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė writes about a new CD of music by Peruvian composer Jimmy López Bellido

Classical music news. The Prometheus Revolution — Composer Keith Burstein showcases his subversive opera about revolution alongside the UK Labour Party's annual conference

Glorifying Finnish History — On the birthday of Jean Sibelius, George Colerick discusses the Finnish composer and his music in the light of the politics of the time

Ensemble. Blaringly Unusual — Maria Nockin listens to Pittance Chamber Music's opening concert

Ensemble. In the Vatican Basilicas — Giuseppe Pennisi reviews a special concert

Ensemble. Germanic Gravitas? — Adam J Sacks marks the opening of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra's new season

CD Spotlight. Uplifting and Inspired — Dvořák's 'Saint Ludmila' impresses Gerald Fenech. 'A piece for the ages, passionately performed and recorded.'

Classical music news. Just Listening — John Morrison's shared listening workshop creates a sound haven which awakens compassion for ourselves and others

French Romanticism — George Colerick discusses orchestral music by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, Delibes, Lalo, d'Indy, Debussy, Ravel, Honegger, Poulenc, Milhaud and others

CD Spotlight. Truly Lovely — Music by Petr Eben for girls' choir impresses Geoff Pearce. 'This great disc of an exceptional girls' choir performing the work of one of Bohemia's most important voices does not disappoint in any way ...'

Ensemble. Back to the Future — Giuseppe Pennisi attends a gala evening in Rome dedicated to two experimental works

Classical music news. Learn to Conduct in London — Learn to conduct orchestras on a one-year course based in London

Ensemble. Lieder with Harp — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a world tour by Diana Damrau and Xavier de Maistre

A Subtle Approach — Mike Wheeler listens to organ music by Leighton, Franck, J S Bach and Henri Mulet, played by Edward Turner at Derby Cathedral

Dvořák and Brahms — George Colerick explores the folk music and other connections between Antonín Dvořák and his friend Johannes Brahms

Ensemble. A Star is Born — Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed by Enkeleda Kamani as Gilda in Verdi's 'Rigoletto' at La Scala, Milan

CD Spotlight. Understated Sensuousness — Symphonies by Nikolay Myaskovsky intrigue Geoff Pearce. '... the Ural Youth Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Alexander Rudin) plays very well indeed, especially considering the age of the players. I am particularly impressed by the woodwind and brass, which never fail to impress.'

Ensemble. Orpheus in Limbo — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Offenbach's 'Orpheus in the Underworld' at the Salzburg Festival

Classical music news. The Crossing — Donald Nally's professional chamber choir is featured on the New York Philharmonic's new recording of Julia Wolfe's 'Fire in my mouth'

Classical music news. Oxford Lieder Festival 2019 — Tales of Beyond - Magic, Myths and Mortals

A Call to Action — George Colerick discusses early Romanticism, with particular reference to Schubert, the piano, Schumann and the development of the symphony orchestra

CD Spotlight. Absolutely Exhilarating — Gerald Fenech discovers Friedrich Schneider's oratorio 'The Last Judgement'. 'Gregor Meyer keeps the drama moving briskly, and his forces respond brilliantly to the kaleidoscopic sequence of emotions coursing through the three sections.'

Classical music news. September 2019 Newsletter — 'Myths and Modernity', Classical Music Daily's September 2019 Newsletter has just been published

Ensemble. Packed With Good Things — Roderic Dunnett reports from the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester

All Reeds Blazing — Roger Sayer at the Derby Cathedral organ console impresses Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. An Engrossing 'Simon' — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on one of Verdi's 'cursed' operas at the Salzburg Festival

Simultaneous Beethoven — Endre Anaru listens to all the Beethoven symphonies simultaneously

Classical music news. STEIM 50 Years — Amsterdam's STudio for Electro-Instrumental Music celebrates its fiftieth birthday

Ensemble. German Majesty — Patrick Maxwell listens to Bach and Bruckner from Michael Schönheit, Andris Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

Ensemble. Myths and Modernity — Giuseppe Pennisi sends his first report from the 2019 Salzburg Festival

CD Spotlight. Considerable Appeal — Music by Peter Lieuwen, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'Peter Lieuwen appeals on many different levels, and this offering demonstrates his recognisable and accessible style.'

CD Spotlight. Triumphant Splendour — Gerald Fenech commends the reissue of Roger Norrington's recording of Elgar's Symphony No 1 with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. '... Norrington conveys the sweep of the score spontaneously in one breath and takes his players on a headlong ride to the finish which is simply spinetingling.'

Vividly Projected — Mike Wheeler listens to J S Bach, Gustav Holst, George Dyson, David Bednall, Edward Bairstow, César Franck, Purcell Mansfield, Judith Weir and Marcel Dupré, played by organist Sachin Gunga

CD Spotlight. Very Colourful — Geoff Pearce recommends music by Manuel de Falla. '... superb performances by all concerned.'

CD Spotlight. Hauntingly Beautiful — Rachmaninov's Vespers, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Although the choir is not Russian, performances are as passionately devotional as one can expect, particularly the soprano and bass sections, who capture the wide range of dynamics with astounding clarity and vision.'

CD Spotlight. Sound Pallette from Hong Kong — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music by members of the Hong Kong Composers' Guild

CD Spotlight. Imaginative Touches — Rossini's 'Eduardo e Cristina', recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... sensitively dramatic singing, invigorating playing and some glowing conducting from Gianluigi Gelmetti ...'

Ensemble. Young Rossini's 'Comedy for Adults' — Giuseppe Pennisi sends his final report from Pesaro

CD Spotlight. Thoroughly Engaging — Piano quartets by Andrew Anderson, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... compelling and unique.'

Ensemble. Rossini's Adolescent Opera — Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Pesaro on 'Demetrio e Polibio'

Classical music news. Plácido Domingo — The Spanish tenor has been accused of multiple sexual harrassment

Ensemble. Sex and Power in Pesaro — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a new production of 'Semiramide' at the Rossini Opera Festival

Ensemble. In Many Respects a Success — Longborough Festival Opera's wacky production of Cavalli's 'La Calisto', reviewed by Roderic Dunnett

Classical music news. Obituary — Barrington Pheloung (1954-2019)

Classical music news. Barlow Winners — The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University Announces Commission Winners for 2019

CD Spotlight. Full of Surprises — Michael Hofstetter's recording of Weber's 'Oberon', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Recommended ... if only for the magical sound world created by Hofstetter.'

Lost Music for Lost Souls — Richard Meszto tells the story of the re-discovery of Allan Rae's music for 'Charles Manson AKA Jesus Christ', a play by Fabian Jennings

Ensemble. A Double Bridge — Giuseppe Pennisi attends 'Sarang è Amore' at the Korean Cultural Institute in Rome

Profile. Only the Screen — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to the Belgian singer and conductor Tore Tom Denys

Bright and Clear — Alexander Binns plays organ music by Alfred Hollins, Harrison Oxley, Reginald Goss-Custard, Maurice Duruflé, Joseph Bonnet and César Franck, heard by Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Quite Unusual — Orchestral storytelling by Jon Deak, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances here are very good, the music colourful and inventive, and I can imagine that this disc may appeal more to people with children than to adult listeners.'

Classical music news. A Warm Day in Winter — Naxos has released a CD of chamber music by American composer and bassoonist Truman Harris, written for his orchestral colleagues

Classical music news. ROF at Forty — Giuseppe Pennisi looks forward to the Rossini Opera Festival, 11-23 August 2019, and explains why investing in Rossini can be profitable

Classical music news. Adrian Williams — The English Symphony Orchestra announces Adrian Williams as its John McCabe Composer-in-Association for 2019/20

Ensemble. Magnificent Symphonies — Beethoven, Shostakovich and Musorgsky from Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra impress Patrick Maxwell

Ensemble. Magisterial Creativity — Patrick Maxwell visits London to hear Haydn's 'The Creation' at the BBC Proms

Ensemble. Breathless Excitement — In the last of his reports from the 2019 Buxton Festival, Mike Wheeler listens to music by Jean-Féry Rebel, Telemann, Marco Ucellini, J S Bach, and an improvisation on 'La Folìa', played by Improviso

CD Spotlight. Bold Simplicity — Patrick Maxwell listens to music from Wadham College Chapel, Oxford. 'The choral sound is well produced, if at times lacking in cohesion, and the interpretations at the hands of Katharine Pardee are well handled.'

Classical music news. Giovanni Sollima — The first performance of Giovanni Sollima's 'Tarantulae Cadenzas' took place at the Küstendorf Klasik Russian Music Festival in July 2019

Ensemble. Fierce Commitment — Gillian Moore talks about her book 'The Rite of Spring. The Music of Modernity' and then Philip Moore and Hugh Watkins play Stravinsky's 'Le Sacre du printemps', preceded by John Adams' 'Hallelujah Junction', all reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Very Sensual — Giuseppe Pennisi steps up to Caetani Castle to listen to madrigals by Gesualdo

An Elitist Dance? — George Colerick writes about the tango

Ensemble. An Irresistible Challenge — Mike Wheeler listens to an operatic rarity - 'Lucio Papirio Dittatore' by Antonio Caldara

Ensemble. Mastery and Versatility — Giuseppe Pennisi attends three Tokyo Ballet performances in Rome

CD Spotlight. A Timely Resurrection — Music by Kurt Weill, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Recorded seventeen years ago, this reissue retains its freshness remarkably well, and the performance of both works is delivered with great elegance and elan.'

Ensemble. Ballet of Sheep — Opera Della Luna's 'Orpheus in the Underworld' at the Buxton Festival, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Airborne Twice — Giuseppe Pennisi attends a cello and piano recital unexpectedly

Ensemble. A Local Heroine/Antiheroine — Mike Wheeler experiences the pasticcio 'Georgiana' at the Buxton Festival

Ensemble. Baroque Oratorios in Rome — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to selections of music by Alessandro Scarlatti, Bernado Pasquini and George Frideric Handel

Ensemble. Vintage Buxton — Mike Wheeler reports on the current production of 'Eugene Onegin'

CD Spotlight. An Impassioned Account — Seldom-performed Beethoven, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... excellent performances by all concerned.'

Ensemble. In a Pleasure Garden — Music by Michele Dall'Ongaro and Verdi in a chamber music format, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

Ensemble. A Neat Idea — A song recital by James Gaughan and David Hammond, heard by Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Hard to Resist — Johann Strauss Junior's 'Eine Nacht in Venedig', arranged by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Marius Burkert and his fine team of soloists and chorus exude a performance that has subtlety and charm, and the vivid freshness of Korngold's arrangement is brought out with a wistful elan ...'

Ensemble. Out of Nature — Giuseppe Pennisi was at the opening concert of the 2019 Chigiana International Festival

Jerome Rose — In the build-up to New York's International Keyboard Institute and Festival, Richard Meszto writes about the festival's founder

Ensemble. A Different 'Aida' — Denis Krief's new production in Rome, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. Jollity Ultimately Triumphs — Orchestral music by Dmitri Kabalevsky, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'I am pleased to see this interesting disc, as it showcases an important composer from the Soviet era.'

CD Spotlight. Evolution of a Spirit — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė reviews the latest CD from Donald Nally and The Crossing

Ensemble. 'Proserpine' in Spoleto — An opera by Italian composer Silvia Colasanti, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi

Classical music news. Argument for Strings — British artist Dan Michaelson's 'first work for string quartet' also contains parts for piano and bell

Ensemble. Simply Exhilarating — Music for violin and piano by César Franck and Camille Saint-Saëns from Hungarian duo Boglárka György and Brigitta Sveda impresses Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Lost Gems Unearthed — Gerald Fenech listens to music by contemporaries of the Strauss family. 'John Georgiadis deserves immense credit not only for his painstaking research and wonderful arrangements, but also for his vibrant and energetic conducting that breathes new life into an era that once celebrated life with an unparalleled exuberance.'

Ensemble. Joyful Combinations — Patrick Maxwell listens to Britten, McDowall, Horovitz and James Bassi, performed by Janet Lincé and The New Choir

CD Spotlight. His Music Glows — Richard Meszto listens to works by Leonard Bernstein. 'Iain Sutherland leads the Hannover Philharmonic in these fine and well thought out performances.'

Profile. Crafting a Musical Life — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to Austrian composer Eva Reiter

Ensemble. San Francisco's Starry Rusalka — James Sohre sends the last of three reports from San Francisco Opera

Ensemble. Italian Operas in Miskolc — Anett Fodor sends her final report from the 2019 Bartók Plus Opera Festival

Ensemble. 'Orlando' Fights World War II In San Francisco — James Sohre describes an evening of considerable Handelian beauty

Classical music news. Voice of the Lake — Margaret Brouwer's new environmental oratorio is now available on DVD and at YouTube

Classical music news. The Month of June — A new painting by Jeromyah Jones honours American singer June E Townes, founder of 'Gospera'

Ensemble. Lack of Originality — Anett Fodor has some reservations about Albin Fries' new opera 'Nora', which was given its first performance recently at the Bartók Plus Opera Festival

Ensemble. A Repertory 'Tosca' — Giuseppe Pennisi considers Puccini's opera as a real orchestral masterpiece

Ensemble. 'Carmen' Redeemed — James Sohre reports from San Francisco

Classical music news. Obituary — Franco Zeffirelli (1923-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Sven-David Sandström (1942-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Ib Nørholm (1931-2019)

Ensemble. Three Operas in Three Different Styles — Anett Fodor reports from Miskolc on La bohème, The Golden Dragon, Duke Bluebeard's Castle and a symphonic work by Scriabin

Sacred and Secular — Rossini's 'Petite Messe Solennelle' from Derby Bach Choir, Richard Roddis and friends, appreciated by Mike Wheeler

Pleasingly Eclectic — Mike Wheeler listens to James Curnow, J S Bach, Andrew Downes, Simon Lesley, Randy Newman, Lennon and McCartney, and Irving Berlin from Curzon Brass

CD Spotlight. From Russia with Love — Musorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Liadov orchestral music from Dmitry Kitajenko and the Gurzenich Orchestra, Cologne, impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Kitajenko draws some gorgeous playing from his Cologne forces, and dynamic and tempo markings are observed with fidelity. Also, orchestral textures are both warm and revealing of inner detail.'

Ensemble. Passion and Enthusiasm — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to an all-Beethoven programme from Gustavo Dudamel and the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

A Charming Touch — Mike Wheeler listens to Beethoven, Brahms, Granados and Mompou, played by Ingrid Cusidó

Ensemble. 'Music Makes a Town' — Anett Fodor reports from the opening gala of the 2019 Bartók Plus Opera Festival

Ensemble. A Mechanical Toy Box — Giuseppe Pennisi experiences the revival in Rome of Rossini's 'La Cenerentola'

Fun and Frolics — Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg and Mahler from Benjamin Grosvenor, the Hallé Orchestra and Gergely Madaras, heard by Mike Wheeler

Classical music news. Bartók Plus — A short preview of the Bartók Plus Opera Festival in Miskolc, Hungary

CD Spotlight. A Fine Start — American recordings of Elgar, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... considering today's technological excellence, this issue is strictly for collectors with a nostalgia for the past.'

Microtonal Trills and Tremolos — Luca Luciano pushes the boundaries of clarinet playing, impressing Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Particularly Thrilling — Music for strings by Alfonso Romero Asenjo intrigues Geoff Pearce. 'It showcases the composer's skill in writing for strings, and at the same time one can sense his development as a composer.'

Ensemble. On the High and Open Sea — Giuseppe Pennisi samples Italy's 2019 Ravenna Summer Festival

CD Spotlight. The Darling of Hamburg — Gerald Fenech listens to songs by Louise Reichardt. 'Amy Pfrimmer's singing is supremely warm and refreshing, and the innocent beauty of these songs is brought out in bright, luminous textures.'

CD Spotlight. Lauded all over Europe — Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... performances are passionately committed, resonating continuously the collective emotion that is mystical and festive, painful and joyous, surprising and disturbing.'

Classical music news. Stanisław Moniuszko Competition — The deadline for applications to take part in a new Polish music competition is 23 June 2019

CD Spotlight. Seldom Recorded — Music for horn and piano, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... two superb musicians enjoying themselves in music which is not well-known ...'

Ensemble. From the Poignant to the Zany — Russian-born musicians Yulia Northridge and Ekaterina Shetliffe, heard by Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Novel Sounds and Experimentation — Havergal Brian's Symphonies Nos 7 and 16, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Alexander Walker and his Russian forces give passionately committed performances, highly idiomatic and bursting with excitement.'

Profile. Music Speaks for Itself — An interview with the composer Paul Carr, by Anett Fodor

Ensemble. Mahler's 'Resurrection' — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on an Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia performance in Rome

Classical music news. Totally Tchaikovsky — The Milton Keynes City Orchestra gives its farewell concert

Classical music news. Obituary — François-René Tranchefort (c1933-2019)

CD Spotlight. Crossing Boundaries — Chamber music by Nigel Osborne, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... beguiling and vivid performances ...'

Ensemble. Nothing but Praise — Opera North's concert-staged 'Aida', reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Interpretation and Aporias — Richard Meszto considers Michael Kieran Harvey's recent doctoral dissertation

Ensemble. Sheer Exuberant Fun — J S Bach's four orchestral suites played by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment thoroughly impress Mike Wheeler

Profile. In Search of Musical Text — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to Austrian-Czech composer Šimon Voseček

Ensemble. A Supernatural Glow — Giuseppe Pennisi describes the Fiery Angel that hangs over Rome

CD Spotlight. Sheer Musicianship — Geoff Pearce listens to music for viola, played by Matthew Lipman. '... a delight for the listener and aficionados of the viola.'

Ensemble. An Impressive Joint Local Debut — Alex Binns and Dora Chatzigeorgiou step in with a Derby Cathedral recital, following a sudden last-minute cancellation, heard by Mike Wheeler

Classical music news. Obituary — Alfred Janson (1937-2019)

Ensemble. In Full Swing — Bellini's 'La Straniera' at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

Classical music news. Olympic Voices — A new competition for baroque voices will be held in Vicenza, Italy, from 1-7 November 2019

Ensemble. Tradition and Passion — Giuseppe Pennisi reviews a revival of Wagner's 'Die Walküre' in Naples

CD Spotlight. Spiritual and Emotional Depth — Piano trios from the Delphi Trio by Beethoven, Brahms and Bolcom, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'An invigorating mixture of past and present, brilliantly executed and sumptuously recorded, which is truly worth investigating.'

Classical music news. Obituary — Étienne Perruchon (1958-2019)

CD Spotlight. The Spirit of Tango — Piazzolla's 'María de Buenos Aires', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Bouncy yet thought-provoking stuff.'

CD Spotlight. An Emotional Journey? — Geoff Pearce listens to music for solo instruments and orchestra. 'The performance is very tight and exciting.'

Ensemble. Cunningly Put Together — Debussy, Bartók and Stravinsky from Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, plus music by Kate Whitley and Eric Satie, heard by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. The Best Buy — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on the last 2018-19 subscription concert of Rome's Istituzione Universitaria dei Concerti, given by Giuliano Carmagnola and Concerto Köln

Profile. Bartók: The Inspired Collector — Anett Fodor discusses the Hungarian composer's love of both folk music and nature

Classical music news. Obituary — Arif Melikov (1933-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Georg Katzer (1935-2019)

Ensemble. Heavenly Sex — Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed by Handel's 'Semele' from John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi ensembles

Ensemble. A Triumph — Alice McVeigh was at Covent Garden for the last performance of Gounod's 'Faust'

Classical music news. Chagall Quartet Tour — The Chagall String Quartet from Italy will tour China in October 2019

Classical music news. Christopher Gabbitas Appointment — Former King's Singers member Christopher Gabbitas is to become Phoenix Chorale's next Artistic Director

CD Spotlight. An Invaluable Addition — Kathleen Ferrier sings the Bach Magnificat, impressing Gerald Fenech. 'A masterstroke by SOMM and an invaluable addition to the Ferrier discography that will grace any music collection.'

Ensemble. Bravado and Introspection — Mike Wheeler listens to Rachmaninov and Shostakovich from Daniel Kharitonov, Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia Orchestra

Ensemble. A Superb Mix of Music and Visuals — 'Snow White' danced to music by Gustav Mahler, experienced by Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. A Sense and Taste for the Infinite — Choral music by Rautavaara, Wennäkoski and Livorski impresses Gerald Fenech. 'For those who love contemporary choral singing, this disc should prove a real revelation ...'

Ensemble. Exemplary Clarity — Haydn, Glass and Beethoven from the Marmen Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler

Classical music news. Obituary — Alejandro Planchart (1935-2019)

Ensemble. A Rather Peculiar Opera — The new production of 'Ariadne auf Naxos' at La Scala Milan, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. Freshness and Imagination — Rhapsodies for Piano and Orchestra by Matej Meštrović, heard by Geoff Pearce. '... lovers of music that is tuneful and that does not require deep thought will really enjoy this disc.'

Ensemble. Venus Unwrapped — Keith Bramich is impressed by Noriko Ogawa, Kenneth Woods and the strings of the English Symphony Orchestra

Ensemble. Slavic Melancholy — Chris Swann, the strings of Sinfonia Viva and Frank Zielhorst perform Mozart, Arensky, Finzi and Tchaikovsky in a new performance space, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Fully Engaged — Richard Dacey steps down from his post as musical director of Derby Choral Union with a concert of Mozart, Vivaldi and Beethoven, heard by Mike Wheeler

Classical music news. Obituary — Heather Harper (1930-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Atli Heimir Sveinsson (1938-2019)

Ensemble. Easter Mozart — Ton Koopman conducts the Mass in C and the Jupiter Symphony, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

Ensemble. A Work of Great Integrity — Mike Wheeler listens to 'Lauda Creatoris' by Richard Roddis, plus choral music by Handel, Parry, André Caplet, Alessandro Costantini, Nancy Telfer and Dan Miller

CD Spotlight. Brilliantly Executed — John Kitchen plays British Light Music by Arthur Sullivan and Michael Thomson, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'A gem of a disc full of wit, warmth and colour ...'

CD Spotlight. Great Performances — Music for oboe and cor anglais by Phil Salathé, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This composer is technically assured, and has a unique perspective and voice.'

CD Spotlight. A Quintessentially French Bestiary — French songs by various composers, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Ducks, peacocks, pigs, butterflies, dromedaries, carp, cicadas and owls are just some of the creatures in the menagerie assembled for this recording.'

Ensemble. A Not so Merry Widow — Damiano Michieletto's joint venture with La Fenice is not a success in Rome, as described by Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. A Thrilling Musical Discovery — Violin Concertos by Giovanni Giornovich, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Bojan Čičić has this repertoire in his blood, and this shows in performances of exhilarating beauty.'

CD Spotlight. A Compelling Disc — Schoenberg piano music, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'Yoko Hirota's performances here are truly exceptional ...'

Book review. A Multi-art Extravaganza — Ron Bierman reads Gillian Moore's 'The Rite of Spring, the Music of Modernity'

Ensemble. Three Premieres in Rome — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Ivan Fidele, Taneyev, Scriabin and Stravinsky

Ensemble. Near-miraculous — Bach, Copland, Gibbons, Ramsey, Tomkins, Walton, Weelkes and Whitacre from Richard Roddis and the Derwent Singers, heard by Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. A True Czech Operatic Masterpiece — Gerald Fenech listens to Janáček's 'The Cunning Little Vixen'. 'This performance from Frankfurt has everything going for it ...'

Classical music news. Obituary — Ruth-Margret Pütz (1930-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Marilyn Mason (1925-2019)

Ensemble. A Timeless Composition — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to interweaved movements from Beethoven and Ligeti, played by Herbert Schuch

Classical music news. Call to Action — ICSOM is supporting the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the fifth week of their strike

Classical music news. Le Poisson Magique — Resonus issues John McCabe's complete organ music on CD to mark the composer's eightieth birthday year

Ensemble. A Powerful Experience — Rimsky-Korsakov and Messiaen from Ensemble Mirage, heard by Mike Wheeler

Classical music news. International Keyboard Institute and Festival — The application deadline for this year's New York-based event is 15 April 2019

Ensemble. Petrenko's Highly Dramatic 'Ninth' — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on a special concert in Rome

CD Spotlight. Deeply Emotional — Alice McVeigh listens to music by the late John Joubert. 'William Boughton conducts with great sensitivity, and the orchestra excels.'

Ensemble. Perfect for the Role — Ginger Costa-Jackson in Bizet's 'Carmen' at San Diego Opera, reviewed by Ron Bierman

Classical music news. Music Mountain — The Connecticut-based concert series celebrates ninety continuous years

Ensemble. Roads of Genius — Mike Wheeler listens to Bohuslav Martinů's Fourth Symphony

Opera Phantoms — George Colerick takes a light-hearted look at Ken Hill's influence on the old tale of 'The Phantom of the Opera'

Ensemble. Aptly Hallucinatory — Janáček's 'Katya Kabanová' from Opera North, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Classical music news. Obituary — Peter Hurford (1930-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Heinz Winbeck (1946-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Geoff Harvey (1935-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Victor Hochhauser (1923-2019)

CD Spotlight. Truly Sublime — Mariss Janssons conducts Bruckner's Symphony No 9, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The precision, attention to detail, warmth and depth of sound really set this recording apart from the pack.'

Ensemble. An Ambitious Conceit — Mike Wheeler is impressed by James Brining's production of Mozart's 'The Magic Flute'

Profile. Convincing Performances — Ron Bierman talks to American mezzo Ginger Costa-Jackson

Classical music news. Obituary — Wolfgang Meyer (1954-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Michael Gielen (1927-2019)

Classical music news. Obituary — Jacques Loussier (1934-2019)

CD Spotlight. A Beacon of God's Love — Gabriel Jackson's Passion impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Emotionally charged performances, superb sound quality and highly informative annotations complete a revelatory disc that is wholly in tune with the present Lenten season.'

Vital Work — Margaret Fingerhut's UK piano recital tour raising awareness of the needs of refugees, recommended by Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Very Interesting and Original — Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music by John McCabe and David Ellis. '... superb performances delivered by the Camerata Ensemble.'

Ensemble. A Contemporary 'Stabat Mater' — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a new work by Nicola Piovani

Ensemble. A Fresh Pair of Ears — Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Sibelius from Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Sir John and Romantic Music — Giuseppe Pennisi describes an English conductor's visit to Rome

Ensemble. Satisfyingly Mysterious — Mike Wheeler listens to Lyadov, Stravinsky and Rachmaninov from Derby Concert Orchestra

Ensemble. A Noble Simplicity — Giuseppe Pennisi was at the Roman debut of Gluck's 'Orfeo'

Classical music news. Alberto Nepomuceno — Announcements of new releases from Naxos, Divine Art, SOMM Recordings and Warner Classics

Ensemble. Rhythms and Algorithms — Mike Wheeler was at Sinfonia Viva's latest schools project

Profile. A Forgotten Composer in England — Richard Meszto writes about Hungarian-born Emanuel Moór

Ensemble. Engrossing and Thought-provoking — Ron Bierman reports on San Diego Opera's staging of Jake Heggie's 'Three Decembers'

CD Spotlight. A Compelling New Reading — Anett Fodor is impressed by Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra's recent recording of Mahler's Fifth Symphony. 'Daniel Harding awakens and keeps the listener's curiosity captive, demanding thorough attention for his compelling interpretation.'

Ensemble. A Clear Success — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to contemporary music in a baroque setting

Elective Affinities — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to German pianist Alexander Lonquich

CD Spotlight. Improvisatory Freedom — Gerald Fenech listens to pianist Myron Romanul. 'Romanul's playing brims with an expressive power that generates its own excitement and self-belief ...'

Ensemble. Imaginative Freshness — Mike Wheeler listens to Beethoven, Mozart and Rachmaninov from Sasha Grynyuk

Classical music news. In Homage to Schubert — Launch of renewed online Winterreise resource by Iain C Phillips

Profile. Heart and Empathy — Ron Bierman talks to Frederica von Stade, who is in San Diego to perform in Jake Heggie's 'Three Decembers'

Ensemble. A Popular Music Drama — Giuseppe Pennisi is impressed by Musorgsky's 'Khovanshchina' at La Scala Milan

Profile. Genuine Artistic Perspectives — George Colerick discusses the music of Sergei Prokofiev with reference to the Soviet authorities

CD Spotlight. Past and Present — Gerald Fenech finds music for trombone and piano worthy of serious investigation. 'Performances are wonderfully attractive, with a certain exquisite timbre and beautifully shaped nuances permeating each piece.'

Ensemble. A Roman Pietas — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Petrassi and Shostakovich in Rome

CD Spotlight. Fascination and Influence — Gerald Fenech is impressed by Lucille Boulanger and friends. 'The talented foursome heard here rise brilliantly to the hurdles presented and performances are consistently full of charm and warmth, wrapped up in an aura of unmitigated sensitivity.'

Classical music news. Obituary — André Previn (1929-2019)

Classical music news. Luc Ferrari Competition — Submissions are requested for a Hörspiel spectacle performed through headphones

Classical music news. College Prep for Musicians — A new book about applying to music schools

Classical music news. February 2019 Classical Music Obituaries — A look at some of the figures who have passed away during February 2019

Classical music news. January 2019 Classical Music Obituaries — A look at some of the figures who passed away during January 2019

Ensemble. A Special Feature — Giuseppe Pennisi describes how Cagliari awakens Antônio Carlos Gomes' 'Lo Schiavo' after a long sleep

Ensemble. A Coloratura Contest — Giuseppe Pennisi witnesses a true triumph with Donizetti's 'Anna Bolena' in Rome

Ensemble. All About Collaboration — Music by Steve Reich impresses Mike Wheeler

Classical music news. Rosalie Coopman — Brixworth Music Festival announces the winner of its International Competition for Women Composers

Ensemble. A Children's Game — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to special Rossini in a special place

Classical music news. Schubertiade 2019 — Austria's unique festival celebrating Franz Schubert in two different locations has announced its 2019 concerts

Movement in Music — Teun Van de Steeg replies to Keith Bramich

CD Spotlight. Two Fine Violinists — Stephen Francis Vasta listens to music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. 'Even the Violin Concerto ends with a downward chordal scale that 'resolves' to a dissonance, "à la" Charles Ives!'

Classical music news. Grapes come before Music? — This year's Huntington Estate Music Festival has been billed as the last

Ensemble. Pin-point Delicacy and Precision — Mike Wheeler is impressed by the Eblana String Trio

A Perfect Fool — George Colerick discusses Gustav Holst and his Richard Wagner parody

Ensemble. High Jinks — Roderic Dunnett enjoys Opera Warwick's production of Offenbach's 'La vie Parisienne'

Ensemble. Sprightly, Polished and Gleaming — Mike Wheeler listens to Mozart, Malcolm Arnold and Lennox Berkeley from Alec Frank-Gemmill and Sinfonia Viva, conducted by Frank Zielhorst

Ensemble. An Anthem to Innocence — Giuseppe Pennisi experiences the Italian version of Benjamin Britten's 'The Little Sweep'

Classical music news. Brahms and Schumann — András Schiff joins the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for a series of concerts

CD Spotlight. Highlights of a Composer — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music by Nicola Sani. 'The performances by Roberto Fabbriciani and Alvise Vidolin, frequent collaborators of Nicola Sani, were just superb.'

Classical music news. Three Composers - Three Continents — A new cello concerto is being written for German cellist Jan Vogler and will be performed at the 2019 Dresden Festival. 'Our world today could be just like this particular cello concerto: colourful, rich in contrast and in happy cultural coexistence.'

Ensemble. Deceptively Undemonstrative — Mike Wheeler listens to Canadian/Romanian pianist Teo Gheorghiu

CD Spotlight. Gorgeously Sung — Choral music by Richard Allain, heard by Roderic Dunnett. 'The music is undoubtedly beautiful, without exception.'

Ensemble. A Brand New 'Carmen' Ballet — Giuseppe Pennisi reports from the opening night at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma

CD Spotlight. Idiomatically Revealing — Oxana Shevchenko plays Stravinsky for solo piano, heard by Roderic Dunnett. '... finely and deftly played.'

Ensemble. Expressive Progression — Mike Wheeler enjoys a concert by Stephen Hough, Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra

Classical music news. Mahler Education — Joy Lisney conducts a special performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony

Profile. Prodigious appetite for repertoire — Ron Bierman talks to coloratura soprano Alisa Jordheim

CD Spotlight. Dazzling Symphonies — Symphonies by Ruth Gipps, recommended by Roderic Dunnett. 'It conveys as much energy and artistry and expressiveness today as it did the day it was written.'

Of Major International Interest — Giuseppe Pennisi looks forward to a summer of opera in Italy

Classical music news. Towards the Light — Helsinki Chamber Choir's new CD will be released on 1 March 2019

CD Spotlight. Extending the Repertoire — Anett Fodor listens to Hungarian viola player Vidor Nagy. 'The mellifluous sound, the doleful melody, as well as Vidor Nagy's sensitive performance convince the listener that both the artist and instrument are worthy of recognition.'

Ensemble. An Odd Couple? — Kurtág and Brahms in concert, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi

Tempo Set Free — Keith Bramich comments on a recent article by Teun Van de Steeg

CD Spotlight. Diverse and Interesting — New works for large orchestra, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'All pieces on this disc are varied and the performances are satisfying.'

Ensemble. An Endurance Test — Rossini, Monti, J S Bach, Mozart, Handel, Vaughan Williams and Dave Maslanka from the Syzygy Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Extreme Staging — Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Palermo on the opening of Teatro Massimo's 2019 opera season

CD Spotlight. Scuttling Crabs — Music for vibraphone and wind quintet, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'There is some great vibraphone and bassoon work here ...'

CD Spotlight. A Splendid Compendium — Iberian concertos and sonatas, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... finely and eloquently played by an ensemble that is passionately committed to creating a sound world that never ages.'

CD Spotlight. Sensitive and Meditative — Kamyar Mohajer's 'Pictures of the Hidden' engages Geoff Pearce. 'The performers here are superb.'

Ensemble. For Students to Complete? — Accademia Bizantina's 'The Art of Fugue' enthralls Rome and Giuseppe Pennisi

Ensemble. The Tragedy of Not Dying — A new Florence production of Wagner's 'The Flying Dutchman' impresses Giuseppe Pennisi

George Flynn in Chicago — Esdras Mugatik looks forward to a concert on 27 January 2019

Ensemble. Collective Talent — Mike Wheeler marvels at The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

CD Spotlight. Rich and Varied — Songs by Robin Holloway, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Performances are full of expressive variety and sensitivity, complementing the composer's thoughts with undiluted commitment.'

CD Spotlight. A Deep Understanding — John McCabe's 'lost' Australian recording, commended by Geoff Pearce. 'The music is unfamiliar, but interesting, full of surprises and variety, and the fine piano playing is insightful and committed.'

CD Spotlight. Very Weird — Orchestral music by Witold Lutoslawski, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'This is meaty music through and through and, admittedly, for some this may be off-putting.'

Ensemble. The Touch of Gatti — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Wagner and Mahler from the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome

CD Spotlight. Distractingly Unusual — Peter Navarro-Alonso's Goldbergs re-invented, heard by Keith Bramich. 'It's certainly clever, but I'm not sure what it gives us that we don't already have.'

Amazingly Kind — Keith Bramich marks the passing of South African-born composer John Joubert, who died on 7 January

Somewhat Delayed Reviews — The Beauty of Italy Captured in Sound - Arabella Teniswood-Harvey plays piano music from Italy, impressing Richard Meszto

CD Spotlight. Melting Ice — Music from glaciers by Matthew Burtner, recommended by Keith Bramich. '... a slightly romanticised account of the effects of climate change in the far north, which doesn't affect the pure beauty, and often sadness, of these vivid and intriguing natural sound recordings and ideas.'

Profile. No Vulgar Commercialiser — George Colerick tells the story of Louis Jullien, a French impressario, composer and conductor famous in London in the nineteenth century

2019 Music Festivals — Keith Bramich invites you to add classical music festivals to our online listings

Profile. A Gold Mine — Roderic Dunnett visits Birmingham to talk to John Joubert

Write for us — Editor Keith Bramich's comments and tips on contributing to this online magazine, twenty years on

CD Spotlight. Majestic Feelings — Leon McCawley plays Schubert, admired by Anett Fodor. 'His unique touch, articulation, expressive dialogue between hands and outstanding technique are admirably illustrated in virtuoso passages which demonstrate his remarkable sense of style. This recording offers many memorable moments for the listener.'

Ensemble. Simply Glorious — Verdi's 'La Traviata', live in high definition from New York Metropolitan Opera, heard by Maria Nockin

Tempo Calculated — Teun Van de Steeg finds evidence of a missing link in our perception of music