Classical music news. Olympic Voices — A new competition for baroque voices will be held in Vicenza, Italy, from 1-7 November 2019
Maurice André (1933); Heinz Holliger (1939)
Today's background image
Derived from 'Alcina receives Ruggero', a fresco transferred to canvas, by French painter Niccolò dell'Abbate (c1510-1571)
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 Elliot 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