CD Spotlight. Effervescent Beauty — Music by Pärt, Vasks and MacMillan, sung by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, impressing Patrick Maxwell. 'This recording from the Choir of Clare College Cambridge under the direction of Graham Ross cements their position as one of the finest church ensembles in the country ...'
Willem Mengelberg (1871); Modest Musorgsky (1881); Andrea Chénier (1896); Jacob Avshalomov (1919); Dmytro Hnatyuk (1925); Robert Ashley (1930); Karol Szymanowski (1937); Sergei Rachmaninov (1943); José Feghali (1961); Moura Lympany (2005); Lee Hoiby (2011); Alexander Arutiunian (2012); Ronald Stevenson (2015); Lívia Rév (2018)
Tokyo Symphony Orchestra subscription concert No 678 (Tokyo, Japan); Britten Sinfonia: Curlew River (Saffron Walden, United Kingdom)
Today's background image
Derived from a February 2020 photo by Keith Bramich of trees in Worcester against a blue sky background
CD Spotlight. The Charm of 'La Nuova Commedia Dell'arte' — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Busoni's 'Turandot' and 'Arlecchino'. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'
Classical music news. Obituary — Gerard Schurmann (1924-2020)
Ensemble. A More Intimate Approach — Mike Wheeler listens to Suppé, Dvořák and Holst at Derby Concert Orchestra's seventieth anniversary concert
CD Spotlight. Opposite Religious Poles — Secret Catholic music by William Byrd impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Absolute joy from beginning to end.'
CD Spotlight. Immediately Engaging — Raphael Wallfisch plays cello concertos by Mieczysław Weinberg, recommended unreservedly by Geoff Pearce. 'This magnificent disc showcases the work of a composer who is still relatively under-represented in recording catalogues and on the concert platform.'
Ensemble. Familiar Pieces Heard Afresh — Mike Wheeler has some thoughtful comments on a performance by Tasmin Little, Duncan Riddell, Thierry Fischer and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Classical music news. Obituary — Charles Wuorinen (1938-2020)
CD Spotlight. Great Advocacy — Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Nikos Skalkottas. 'Stefanos Tsialis draws impassioned playing from his Athens ensemble, and the openheartedness and technical finesse with which these works are despatched is beyond admiration.'
Life Under Quarantine — Suggestions for the classical musician, from Gordon Andrew R
CD Spotlight. Serious and Entertaining — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to choral music by William Mathias. '... each moment ... truly captivates and draws further.'
Ensemble. A Veritable Cat's Cradle — Mike Wheeler listens to Robert and Clara Schumann, Chopin, Grieg and Cheryl Frances-Hoad, played by British pianist Tom Poster
CD Spotlight. Nothing Short of Heroic — Idil Biret plays César Franck, impressing Gerald Fenech. 'My impression is that Biret does not only interpret these works but she reincarnates them.'
CD Spotlight. A Good Anthology — The story of Dido, Queen of Carthage, as seen by eight Baroque composers, heard by Giuseppe Pennisi. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'
CD Spotlight. Committed and Highly Energetic — Gerald Fenech listens to Mahler 6 from the Essener Philharmoniker. 'Netopil has stiff competition but this meticulously detailed, immaculately paced, vibrantly played version can stand with heads held high among the most recent issues of this work.'
CD Spotlight. Of Considerable Interest — Music by Gian Francesco Malipiero, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This excellent Naxos disc is well worth exploring, and performances from all concerned are very fine indeed.'
Classical music news - UK Vacancies — Opportunities in London, Essex, Sussex and Devon
CD Spotlight. Truly Admirable — Gerald Fenech listens to works by French composer Louise Farrenc. 'An exhilarating addition to the composer's discography, passionately performed and recorded.'
Ensemble. Sheer Contrast — Prokofiev and Beethoven symphonies from the Hallé Orchestra and Mark Elder, impressing Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Touching the Heart — Choral music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'David Shuler and his choristers deliver interpretations of sheer beauty brimming with natural and musical phrasing, spot-on-intonation and a glorious tonal blend ...'
CD Spotlight. A Precious Recording — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Offenbach's 'Maître Péronilla'. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'
CD Spotlight. Strengths and Weaknesses — Gerald Fenech listens to orchestral music by Max von Schillings. 'A very fine addition to CPO's ongoing advocacy of Schillings' oeuvre in detailed notes and exemplary sonics.'
CD Spotlight. Masterly Setting — Paul Sarcich listens to traditional Croatian song plus jazz-rock inflected arrangements. 'The recording of the women is very clear and detailed, the big band has some balance problems ...'
Ensemble. Beethoven Summitry — Paul Lewis' high altitude performance dazzles his Chicago audience, reported by Barbara Sealock
Ensemble. The Finest Musical Superglue — Mike Wheeler witnesses 'Energy', Sinfonia Viva's latest schools project
CD Spotlight. Masterly Setting — Gerald Fenech listens to choral music by Kenneth Leighton. 'Performances are of a consistently high level throughout and blessed with a beautifully recorded sound.'
Classical music news - February 2020 Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month
Classical music news. Guido Cantelli — The Italian conductor's international conducting competition comes back to life
CD Spotlight. A Delight — Song cycles by Mahler, Berg and Rhian Samuel, sung by Ruby Hughes with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, impress Geoff Pearce. 'Right from the start, she shows a more flexible and somewhat lighter voice, but a very good understanding of the lyrics, and she colours her voice beautifully to express this.'
Ensemble. Compositional Fury — More Beethoven string quartets in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Exquisitely Beautiful — Music for percussion by Chou Wen-chung, Chinary Ung, Lei Liang, Michael Pisaro and Edgard Varèse, heard by Ron Bierman
Photographer's Insight — Michael Whitefoot, Photographer at the Three Choirs Festival, explains some of the tricks and pitfalls of covering a major UK festival
Classical music news. The Elgar Festival — An annual celebration of the great British composer takes place in Worcester and Malvern, UK, during May
Classical music news. Obituary — Reinbert de Leeuw (1938-2020)
Ensemble. Traditional and Modern — Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin' returns to Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Relaxed and Exuberant — Mike Wheeler listens to Cavendish Winds playing Mozart, Danzi, Debussy, Arnold, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bozza, Ligeti and Gershwin
Portraits. Jenő Huszka — In defence of operetta and copyright, by Anett Fodor
Ensemble. Romantic Ideals — Patrick Maxwell visits Vienna for Puccini's 'Tosca'
Ensemble. Undeniably Exciting — Mike Wheeler listens to Bizet, Ravel, Debussy, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Sibelius and Walton from Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Yan Pascal Tortelier and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Ensemble. Gesualdo and Friends — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Les Arts Florissants
Classical music news. Frutillar Music Weeks — The Municipal Symphonic Orchestra of Copiapó gives a spectacular concert at Chile's most important classical music event
Classical music news. Darya Dadvar — The Iranian opera singer is to appear in Los Angeles on 8 March 2020
CD Spotlight. Interesting and Varied — New music from Apollo Chamber Players, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are committed and enjoyable.'
Ensemble. Beethoven String Quartets — Giuseppe Pennisi attends two concerts marking this year's Beethoven anniversary
Ensemble. In the French Tradition — Mike Wheeler listens to Fauré, Lili Boulanger, Abdelmoula and Debussy from Swiss pianist Jean-Sélim Abdelmoula
CD Spotlight. Dazzling Virtuosity — Mendelssohn concertos from the Stankov Ensemble and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, highly recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'Exceptionally beautiful music, sparklingly performed, sumptuously recorded, with a very insightful essay thrown in for good measure.'
Classical music news. Obituary. Mirella Freni (1935-2020) — The Italian soprano died on 9 February 2020
Classical music news. Stjepan Hauser — The Croatian cellist performs with orchestra at Egypt's Soma Bay in April 2020
Classical music news. Obituary — Nello Santi (1931-2020)
Ensemble. Darmstadt is Dead — A performance of 'Hyperion' in Rome celebrates Bruno Maderna's centenary, and Giuseppe Pennisi is in the audience
CD Spotlight. A Gorgeous Tribute — Piano music by Ireland and Tchaikovsky impresses Gerald Fenech. '... a fascinating series of contrasts within a framework of spectacular effects.'
CD Spotlight. Exquisite Precision — Early Beethoven from Boris Giltburg, Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... the orchestra and the piano are often interwoven in their lines, and the conversational phrases built up a tension that is perfectly managed by Giltburg.'
CD Spotlight. An Auspicious Start — Gerald Fenech listens to the first disc in the new Naxos cycle of Widor organ symphonies. '... a fascinating series of contrasts within a framework of spectacular effects.'
Ensemble. Opium and Eros — Richard Wagner's 'Tristan und Isolde' in Bologna pleases Giuseppe Pennisi
Classical music news. Obituary — Peter Serkin (1947-2020)
Classical music news - January Obituaries — Our summary of those the classical music world lost last month
Ensemble. Youthful Maturity — Mike Wheeler listens to Schubert and Rachmaninov from Lauren Zhang
Portraits. Jakub Józef Orliński — Anett Fodor writes about the Polish counter tenor and his latest album
Ensemble. Wagner's Revenge — Giuseppe Pennisi is puzzled by a political and contemporary reading of 'Parsifal'
CD Spotlight. Remarkable Expressiveness — Piano transcriptions by Kirchner, Reger and Brahms, reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Uriel Tsachor performs these ingenious pieces with a poetic brilliance that is consistently arresting ...'
Ensemble. Vaughan Williams and Jazz? — Mike Wheeler listens to a talk from Stephen Johnson, and to two works by Vaughan Williams played by John Wilson and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Unusual and Colourful — Contemporary orchestral works and concertos by James Lentini, Rain Worthington, Jan Järvlepp, Peter Castine and Beth Mehocic, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'The performances are committed and enjoyable.'
Ensemble. Bel Canto Marvels — Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Bellini's rare opera 'I Capuleti e i Montecchi'
Ensemble. A Remarkable Partnership — Mike Wheeler listens to music for violin and piano by Mozart, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski/Gounod and Debussy/Heifetz from Emmanuel Bach and Jennifer Hughes
CD Spotlight. Style and Panache — Gerald Fenech listens to flute music by Mieczysław Weinberg. 'A compelling disc which should keep the renewed interest in Weinberg's musical legacy on the upward curve.'
Ensemble. Gruesome and Engrossing — Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Franco Alfano's rarely performed opera 'Risurrezione' in Florence
George Flynn on CD: An Overview — Esdras Mugatik explores the work of this American composer
CD Spotlight. Exquisite Pacing — Gerald Fenech listens to Mendelssohn's String Symphonies. 'Michi Gaigg and his Baroque Orchestra deliver performances full of charm and beauty ...'
Classical music news. Obituary — Barry Tuckwell (1931-2020)
CD Spotlight. High Praise — Gerald Fenech listens to film music by Gerard Schurmann. 'Notes and sound are superb. A must for film addicts.'
Ensemble. Youthful Rebellion — Mike Wheeler is impressed by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
CD Spotlight. Fresh and Engaging — Villa-Lobos, Bax and Bolcom from Kerry Duwors and Futaba Niekawa, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... the sheer musicianship, combined with flawless technique and imaginative programming, never fails to impress me.'
Classical music news. Obituary — Jaap Schröder (1925-2020)
Ensemble. Variegated Colours — Alexander Binns plays Messiaen, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Emotional Gravitas — Gerald Fenech recommends this recording of the 1876 version of Dvořák's Stabat Mater. '... this latest undertaking has excellence written all over it.'
Ensemble. From Chaos to Ecstasy — Haydn's 'The Creation' in Rome, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Classical music news. Music and Spirit: An Unconference — The deadline for applications has been extended for this event in Lexington, MA, USA
CD Spotlight. Contrast and Energy — Modern wind chamber music, heard by Geoff Pearce. 'This is an enjoyable disc with quite a diversity of styles, performed by musicians of high calibre. I think most people who listen to these works will enjoy them.'
CD Spotlight. Why Mahler? — Roger Norrington's interpretation of Mahler's Fourth Symphony, heard by Gerald Fenech. 'Roger Norrington presents the music very much as Mahler would have approved, and dynamics are never exaggerated. The orchestra is never allowed to be short on emotion and overall this performance is deeply moving. Anu Komsi is also perfectly cast as the child-like soprano in the last movement.'
CD Spotlight. Interesting and Entertaining — Geoff Pearce listens to music by Paul Reale. '... a fantastic disc ...'
CD Spotlight. Jewel in the Scottish Musical Crown — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė is impressed by Mr McFall's Chamber. '... a vivid kaleidoscope of impromptu freely expressed creativity.'
CD Spotlight. Absolutely Riveting — Kent Nagano's recording of the 1869 version of Mussorgsky's 'Boris Godunov', reviewed by Gerald Fenech. 'Nagano's formidable insight is able to take the listener on a musical journey into the dark depths of the human soul. Painful, yes, but unmissable.'
CD Spotlight. A Distinctive Scottish Flavour — Geoff Pearce listens to chamber music and songs by Judith Weir. '... a fantastic disc ...'
Ensemble. Intimate Suffering — Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. The Harpsichord's Newest Reincarnation — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to twentieth century harpsichord concertos. 'Not many harpsichord players are as multifaceted and expressive as Jory Vinikour when interpreting modern music.'
Classical music news. January 2020 Newsletter — 'Pinchgut Opera's "Farnace"', Classical Music Daily's January 2020 Newsletter, has just been published
120 Years Ago — A snapshot of the musical world at the turn of the twentieth century, by George Colerick
Ensemble. A Wide Expressive Range — Mike Wheeler listens to piano duets from Dina Duisen and Martin James Bartlett
Ensemble. Much to Enjoy — Christmas with the Sitwell Singers, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Dramatic Stuff — Sibelius' 'Kullervo', recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'The foremost Sibelius conductor Hannu Lintu's interpretation is brimming with maturity and grandeur. His pacing is impeccable, and he draws vivid singing from his choir and soloists, not to mention the impressive sense of sweep from the orchestra.'
Classical music news. Obituary — Peter Schreier (1935-2019)
CD Spotlight. Unhurried and Spacious — Geoff Pearce listens to Ernst von Dohnányi's first symphony. '... a fantastic disc ...'
Ensemble. Memorable and Entertaining — Australia's first production of 'Il viaggio a Reims', reviewed by David Mitchell
Ensemble. 'Messiah' Overload? — Handel from Derby Bach Choir, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Portrait in Courage — Giuseppe Pennisi celebrates Christmas with Ezio Bosso and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
CD Spotlight. The Merging of Migrating Sounds — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music by American composer Derek Bermel. '... here the merge is extremely harmonious.'
CD Spotlight. Music of the Utmost Beauty — Gerald Fenech listens to Weber's 'Euryanthe'. '... highly charged emotional singing, felicitous and lush playing, and the ensemble and choral pieces are brought off with panache and precision.'
CD Spotlight. Charming and Engaging — Geoff Pearce recommends Alexander Moyzes' Dances from Slovakia. '... colourful and joyful music, beautifully performed ...'
CD Spotlight. The French Romantic Experience — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a CD box set from Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice. '... almost a mini course in French Romantic music, and well worth a try.'
Ensemble. Mischievous Silences — Lithuanian pianist Ugnius Pauliukonis plays Haydn, Chopin and Debussy, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. The Dame Wears Black — Giuseppe Pennisi reports on Tchaikovsky's 'Pique Dame' in Naples
CD Spotlight. A Tradition Still Alive — Gerald Fenech listens to Advent carols from King's College London. 'A hugely beautiful issue, full of inspiring singing and emotional joy, performed with fine control, impressive depth of tone and a dynamic range that commands one's admiration from start to finish.'
Profile. Creative High Points — George Colerick tells the story of Beethoven's influence on Romantic and nineteenth century music
Ensemble. Trade Secrets — Mike Wheeler listens to guitarist Craig Ogden and friends
Ensemble. Bold and Engrossing — Giuseppe Pennisi reviews Verdi's 'Les Vêpres Siciliennes' at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
Ensemble. Varied in Tone and Style — Mike Wheeler listens to twentieth-century British music played by Derby Concert Orchestra
Ensemble. Pearls on the Thread of Recitative — David Mitchell reviews Pinchgut Opera's production of Vivaldi's 'Farnace'
CD Spotlight. Highly Enjoyable — Patrick Maxwell listens to Brahms from the Primrose Piano Quartet. '... the playing is meticulous and the overall effect magnificent.'
CD Spotlight. Gounod's First Faust of 1859 — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Christophe Rousset's new recording from Bru Zane. 'Everything is lighter, softer, more sensual.'
CD Spotlight. Judged to Perfection — Baroque oboe sonatas played by Xenia Löffler, strongly recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... played very pleasingly with great style and panache by all instruments concerned.'
Ensemble. A Real Triumph — Giuseppe Pennisi experiences Puccini's 'Tosca', live in HD at the inauguration of La Scala's 2019-20 opera and ballet season
Profile. Universality of Emotion — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to American composer Rain Worthington
CD Spotlight. Arrangements for Chamber Orchestra — Gerald Fenech listens to scaled-down Busoni, Debussy and Mahler. 'All four works retain a certain freshness in their new garb, and despite the sound world created being slightly less opulent than their orchestral originals, they still acquire a more fully-fleshed structure than some keyboard reductions.'
Light and Shade — George Colerick writes about idealised beauty alongside the grotesque in the 1951 film 'The Tales of Hoffmann'
Classical music news. Beethoven in his Time — Registration has begun for a new international competition for historical performance practice
Ensemble. Nicely Shaped — Mike Wheeler listens to Duruflé and Ola Gjeilo from Derby Choral Union and its new musical director Paul Provost
Ensemble. A Dramatic Requiem — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Verdi in Rome
Classical music news. Obituary — Mariss Jansons (1943-2019)
Classical music news. Tapiola Sinfonietta — The Finnish Orchestra has received the 2019 Diapason d'Or for its disc of Saint-Saëns' Piano Concertos
Classical music news. December 2019 Newsletter — 'A Spanish Nativity', Classical Music Daily's December 2019 Newsletter, has just been published
Ensemble. Utterly Stylish — Mike Wheeler listens to Opera North's 'Giulio Cesare'
Ensemble. Special Moments — Adam J Sacks provides a Hong Kong snapshot on the classical music world
Ensemble. Finely Balanced — Mozart, Shostakovich and Beethoven, played by the Artesian String Quartet, and heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. As Fresh As Ever — Mike Wheeler takes stock of Benjamin Britten's 1948 cantata 'St Nicholas'
Classical music news. Obituary — Juan Orrego-Salas (1919-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary — Colin Mawby (1936-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary — Cecilia Seghizzi (1908-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary — Stephen Cleobury (1948-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary — Rémy Stricker (1936-2019)
Ensemble. Contemporary Premieres — Giuseppe Pennisi experiences three new operas in Rome
Ensemble. Particularly Irresistible — Music by Smetana, Martinů and Dvořák from Laura van der Heijden, Pietari Inkinen and the Prague Symphony Orchestra impresses Mike Wheeler
Classical music news. Christmas Carols with Libera — South London boys' choir Libera releases its Christmas album
Classical music news. Sponsored Features — Classical Music Daily's procedure for sponsoring articles and features is back online
CD Spotlight. Great Character — Lucas Ball listens to the latest volume in James Brawn's Beethoven series. '... the sort of technical control and agility that you get from many world class artists.'
Ensemble. Economical but Effective — Giuseppe Pennisi reviews the new production of Puccini's 'Trittico' in Florence
Alert Playing — Anna Tsybuleva plays C P E Bach, Beethoven and Schubert, impressing Mike Wheeler
Profile. An Early Maturity — George Colerick spotlights 1823, a critical year in the career of Franz Schubert
CD Spotlight. Sparkingly Virtuosic — Kim Cook plays music for cello and orchestra by Elgar, Schumann, Dvořák and Strauss, recommended by Geoff Pearce. 'The soloist, when she enters, is authoritative, warm and very sure footed, and reveals what a remarkable artist she is.'
A Different Kind of Minimalism — A P Virag investigates Ervin Nyiregyházi's '36 Selected Works for Solo Piano'
Ensemble. Contemporary Resonances — Opera North's production of Martinů's 'Greek Passion', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Classical music news. The Great Composers — Five films to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, in cinemas from December 2019
Ensemble. Well-chosen Contrasts — Sinfonia Viva is joined by Nottingham Harmonic Choir and vocal soloists for an evening of Sibelius, Mozart, Vasks and Salonen, impressing Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Affectionate Complicity and Tensions — Giuseppe Pennisi reviews Mozart's 'Idomeneo' in Rome
Ensemble. Magisterial Performance — Nina Stemme returns to Australia to sing Wagner, heard by David Mitchell
The Ballets Russes — George Colerick tells the story of the early twentieth century ballet company
Ensemble. An Autumn Trilogy — 'Norma', 'Aida' and 'Carmen' in Ravenna, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Deeply Humane — Patrick Maxwell listens to music by John Dowland. '... the exquisite word-painting comes through brilliantly ...'
Classical music news. A Tour of Great Britain — Orchestre National de Lille is the only French orchestra planning to tour the UK in 2020
CD Spotlight. Fresh and Natural — Leila Schayegh plays Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', heard by Gerald Fenech. '... she succeeds brilliantly with some magical playing full of "joie de vivre" and silhouetted tone painting.'
CD Spotlight. Delicately Played — Ali Hirèche plays Chopin, heard by Patrick Maxwell. 'Hirèche manages to give an impeccable portrait of Chopin, through a mixture of the multiple skills required to give an effervescent yet intimate feel to the music.'
CD Spotlight. A Glittering Compilation — Spanish Christmas music from Stile Antico impresses Gerald Fenech. 'Flawless performances by Stile Antico, added to some impressive sonics and eye-catching presentation ...'
Ensemble. A Winning Team — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to a pre-tour concert by Martha Argerich and Antonio Pappano, with the Symphony Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Profile. Stream of Consciousness — Ona Jarmalavičiūtė talks to Canadian oboist and composer Elizabeth Raum
CD Spotlight. Handel and the Roman Baroque School — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Lorenzo Tozzi's Romabarocca Ensemble. '... a precious CD from which to learn little known aspects of baroque music ...'
Classical music news. Obituary — Márta Kurtág (1927-2019)
Classical music news. November 2019 Newsletter — 'Jessye Norman', Classical Music Daily's November 2019 Newsletter, has just been published
Classical music news. Obituary — Zoltán Jeney (1943-2019)
Ensemble. Satisfyingly Unexpected — Mike Wheeler listens to Grieg, Clara Schumann, Kodály and Mozart from Frank Zielhorst and Sinfonia Viva
Ensemble. Extra Vibrancy — Mike Wheeler listens to Tchaikovsky and Fauré from the Sitwell Singers
Ensemble. Promised in Marriage — Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Rome on Rossini's first staged opera, asking who pays 'The Promissory Change'?
Ensemble. A Compelling New Format? — Adam J Sacks reports on two recent dance performances in Hong Kong which potentially reimagine the role of classical music in contemporary settings
Ensemble. 'Don Quixote' Returns — Giuseppe Pennisi reports from Rome's Opera House on the Ludwig Minkus ballet
Classical music news. Obituary — Hansheinz Schneeberger (1926-2019)
Profile. Collecting Gems — Ron Bierman talks to the American tenor Carl Tanner
Classical music news. Obituary — Chou Wen-chung (1923-2019)
Ensemble. He'll Be Back — Fabien Gabel conducts the Hallé Orchestra, impressing Mike Wheeler
Classical music news. Obituary — Hans Zender (1936-2019)
Classical music news. Obituary — Raymond Leppard (1927-2019)
Profile. Tragic Expression — George Colerick discusses Georges Bizet, as the most vital French opera composer since Berlioz
Profile. A Silver Age — George Colerick writes about Franz Lehár, probably the greatest twentieth century composer of operettas
Ensemble. Florence Rediscovers a Masterpiece — Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Gaspare Spontini's 'Fernand Cortez ou La Conquête du Mexique'
Profile. A Controversial Figure? — George Colerick investigates the younger Franz Liszt
Piquant Ensemble. Contrasts — A cello and violin recital by Katherine Jenkinson and Ning Kam, heard by Mike Wheeler
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
Ensemble. 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